#getting together
dominimoonbeam · a day ago
Pretty Face
I got an ask for a David/Asher where Asher gets hurt and it leads the guys to realize/admit their feelings for each other and it spiralled into this 7k fic! And I have serious ideas for a steamy part 2...
tags: blood and injury, near death experience, hurt/comfort, idiots in love, getting together, misunderstandings, protective david, injured asher
posted here and over on ao3!
Pretty Face
It was raining, a lot.
They’d been out looking for a runaway when the storm hit, the whole pack prowling the woods just outside Dahlia. It was a job and a favor and something David was starting to regret the worse the weather got. It wasn’t like the guy was a danger to anyone. Just some thief. Some thief with a huge bounty on his head…
“Found him,” Milo said across their link.
David saw Asher change course mid-run and followed. Asher had always been the fastest of them, but he also knew he wasn’t running full out, because he was catching up.
“I see him too,” Miguel added, a laugh in his voice. “Fucker is drenched and looks happy to be caught.”
“We’ll bring him back to the road and the trucks,” Milo said.
“Do it. We’ll meet—” David started to say when he saw the ground up ahead shifting, the mud sliding off a sharp incline right under Asher’s paws. He ran faster, toward him, but the disaster was already playing out. Saplings snapped under the moving ground cover and Asher’s run turned into a tumble and slide as everything pulled toward a cliff edge and treetops below. He didn’t even get out a howl, and when he went over the edge, David felt like his heart had dropped down to the pit of his stomach.
Asher shifted from wolf to human and at first David thought he’d lost his fucking mind. He’d be better off falling in his wolf form than—But Asher was fast. He shifted midfall and caught the slender body of one of those bent over saplings, hanging just off the edge.
David shifted to human when he reached the cliff, the mud still tumbling off and down the slope. Asher laughed against the rain, his sneakers kicking at the wet ground but only shifting it, not able to climb. He looked up at David, hanging on. His breaths came fast, ran hitting his face, but he smiled big. “That looked cool, right?” he called over the storm.
David was absolutely not ready to admit that it looked cool—even if it definitely had. He dug his boots into the mud and crouched, grabbing onto one of the still standing trees and leaning out to try to get ahold of Asher.
Asher reached up with one hand, still smiling. His fingers brushed David’s and then his smile was gone. The sapling he was holding on to came loose from the mud wall and he fell back. David grabbed at his hand but couldn’t get ahold of him, grabbing at air and rain and watching his best friend, his person, free fall.
Asher shifted before he hit the ground, yelping and rolling down the slope. David watched, helpless to do anything but memorize each hit and roll until he tumbled below the tree line, disappearing.
David didn’t wait to hear him howl back up to him. He shifted and started running around the slope, toward a spot where he could get down, even then it was a mess and a struggle and he only barely managed not to go rolling.
“We’re at the road. Putting the bounty in the truck,” Milo said.
“Asher fell. I can’t see him,” David said back. Fuck the bounty. Asher still wasn’t talking. Wasn’t howling. Wasn’t whining.
David howled, running, getting no answer. Fuck. Fuck! He kept thinking about the way his body had dropped, the way he’d hit ground and rolled, the way he’d gone limp.
The thick of the trees dulled the rainfall and David found Asher. He had shifted back to human and was covered in mud and curled up at the base of a pine.
He shifted human when he reached him, dropping to his knees in the mud. “Ash?” His arm was bent wrong, forcing David to hesitate over rolling him. He had to move his arm first. He’d cringed, expecting a scream, but when he didn’t get one that was worse. “Asher, please,” David ground out the words. Other wolves were howling through the woods now, looking for them. He rolled his beta onto his back carefully. David’s breath caught in his throat and felt like a jagged stone lodged there. No. Nonono. His hands hovered over Asher’s face. He must have hit a rock or a trunk or something. His temple and cheekbone were…smashed. Smashed. That was the only word for it. There was so much blood.
“Jesus… No. Asher, can you hear me?” he forced the words out, desperate for some snarky response. David touched the side of his neck, leaning over him, sheltering him from the rain with the curl of his body. “Asher, please. Fucking answer me,” the words came out strangled.
Asher groaned, twitching on the ground. David’s eyes grew, his other hand touching his shoulder. Asher’s face pulled into a pained cringe, his body awake with agony and mouth going wide to suck air.
“You’re okay,” he said, as if saying it would make it true. It had to. He’d never lie to Asher.
Asher tried to get up and cried out in surprise, broken arm curled to his chest and body bowing back in pain.
David cringed for him, squeezing his shoulder gently. “Stay down. I’ll get you out of this.”
Asher dragged breaths and forced his eyes open. He looked confused and scared, eyes unfocused. Shit. When was the last time he’d seen Asher scared? “David?” he asked, voice strained.
“Yeah, buddy. You fell. Do you remember falling?”
Asher tried to shake his head and gasped in pain. His unbroken hand reached for his face but David caught the arm before he could touch it.
“Don’t. Just take it easy. We’ll get you out of here and to a healer.”
Howls echoed through the woods. Milo was close, Miguel and Amanda on his heels.
Asher groaned deep in his chest, writhing on the ground like he was trying to get out of his own skin to get away from the pain inside. “I don’t… I don’t. What? I can’t go,” he rambled, words breaking apart and tumbling out of him.
Somehow that scared David almost as much as his silence had. He kept a hand to the side of Asher’s neck, trying to keep him from moving around too much. “You’re going to be okay.”
“D-Don’t tell your dad,” he mumbled, swallowing hard and squinting at the sky. “He’ll make me go home. It’s not even that bad. I just…need a minute…”
David frowned, confused. His dad? Asher would never bring up his dad for a joke.
“It barely even hurts,” he tried.
David felt a pang of terror. Was he remembering the time he fell out of the tree? That was so long ago. He thumbed his jaw on the side of his face that wasn’t bloody and broken. “Asher. You—”
“Don’t make me go home,” he whined, but that usual playful sound cracked in pain. “I want to…stay with you…”
David fought the tears pricking his eyes. This was bad. He shook his head, staying in his friend’s line of sight. “You are staying with me, Ash. And we’re going home together. You’re going to be okay.”
Milo raced up to them from the side, shifting when he was close, breathing fast from running hard. His eyes grew at the sight of Asher. He turned back toward the other two coming up on the scene. “Go find the smoothest way to the road,” he ordered fast, pulling his phone from his pocket and coming over to kneel on Asher’s other side.
David could see him cataloguing injuries. He wasn’t a healer but his mother had insisted on teaching him first aid to a degree that shamed the rest of them. He dialed fast, phone to his ear but eyes still on Asher. He lifted Asher’s muddy shirt carefully, fear shining in his eyes when he put it back down. He gave his mom fast directions when she answered. No explanations. No conversation. It wasn’t a phone call between family—it was a call to the healer of their pack in an emergency.
“Maybe we should carry him to the road,” David whispered. “Even if we go slow, we might get there before she—”
Milo was shaking his head. “We can’t move him,” he said quietly but firmly. “Something could…” he swallowed. “There are too many broken bones. We can’t. Mom will get here first and can get him stable. I’ll call ahead and tell the Department we’re coming in and need a healer.”
Another healer. David’s hands shook. Fuck. He knew this was bad. He could see it, but hearing it sent something cold through his chest.
“D-David…” Asher jerked, like he’d just woken up, whining and shaking. He tried to touch his face again and this time Milo caught his good arm to keep his fingers from reaching that damaged cheek and temple. “Milo? What the fuck…” he sounded small and lost.
David stared down at him. “Yeah. We’re right here. You fell, remember?”
“What? I… Oh fuck. Yeah…” He shifted like he might try to get up but both Milo and David had hands on him now, holding him down. Asher never stayed still easily. He even flailed around in his sleep. “David…” His voice was quiet but panicked. “I can’t…Is it dark?”
David felt his brow pinch. Dark? It was gray out, sure but it wasn’t…
“I can’t see,” Asher said, breathing faster. He started wheezing.
Milo touched his chest, high up and close to his heart. “Hey. Shhhh,” he soothed. “Don’t freak out. Just breathe. You’re gonna be okay. Marie’s on her way.”
Asher had tried to calm down as soon as he was told to. He trusted them. That had never been worth more than it did right then. He closed his good eye and smiled through the fear and pain. “D-Don’t call your mom by her name, man… Sounds weird… She’s yo-ou’re mom…”
Milo laughed a little. “Yeah. You’re right.”
David hadn’t moved his hand from the side of Asher’s neck, but he took the opportunity to reach down and across his body with his other arm and lift the wet fabric of his shirt. He stared at what had scared Milo. It wasn’t just Asher’s face that had been smashed. The whole side of his chest was dark purple and red and some of the ribs weren’t right.
The next thirty minutes were easily the longest of David’s life. He wouldn’t let himself imagine Asher dying. He couldn’t. David couldn’t face a world without him. But he kept it together. He had to. Every time Asher woke up it was different. He either forgot again or he thought they were someplace else. Once he’d thought David had beat him up and he kept asking why, like he couldn’t understand what he’d done. That nearly broke David. But the worst was when Asher had woken up and cried, struggling to breathe and thinking he was alone. It didn’t matter what they said to him or how they touched the uninjured parts of him. It was like he couldn’t even feel them anymore.
And then Marie arrived. Milo gave up his spot to her and called the Department.
Marie cooed Asher’s name exactly the way a mother who had been patching him up all his life could. She carefully looked at his the damage they could see before deciding where to start. She prioritized broken ribs and internal bleeding, and then worked on the breaks in his skull. Breaks. David never let go of his best friend, watching her diligently work to put him back together. His face was still bloody and swollen when she took her hands away and he had to grit his teeth to keep back the demand that she do more.
This was triage. He knew that. He couldn’t ask her to do more than she was able and he knew she’d do the right thing. She had Milo support Asher’s head and then together they all turned him one his side so that she could slide her hand down the back of his neck and over his spine. Something cracked back into place and Asher groaned.
She slumped back, exhausted and muddy like the rest of them. She nodded to David. “You can move him. He needs more healing, but you can move him. He’ll be okay.”
David leaned across Asher to touch her hand, holding her gaze. “Thank you, Marie,” he said. They relied too much on her as their healer and he was going to figure out a way to fix that. But right now, right here, all he could be was grateful.
He picked up Asher as carefully as he could, fighting the fear that rolled through his chest at the dead weight in his arms. Not dead. He could hear his heart beating. He could see him breathing. Not dead. He carried Asher out of the woods, Miguel and Arden close by at all times. When he got to the road, Milo was waiting. He was already behind the wheel of a car, the doors open and the engine on.
He maneuvered Asher into the backseat and then climbed in beside him.
David had never realized how long or bumpy that road was before. He had buckled Asher in and then kept both hands on him, trying to secure him and sooth him even when he was out cold. They drove straight to a department clinic and the staff came out to meet them. They were only at the clinic for another hour before he was told he could take Asher home soon. Told that he was fine and just needed to sleep. Only they used words like “probably” and “should be” that had David growling.
Milo had waited with him the whole time and he knew more of the pack were in the parking lot. He could feel them. But the only person he wanted to feel right now was Asher. And that aura was quiet, like a candle almost gone out.
“I can take him to my place and keep an eye on him until he wakes,” Milo offered.
David shook his head. Absolutely not. “I’ve got him.”
Milo looked like he wanted to say something else but bit it off and nodded instead.
“What?” David ground out, still staring at the door and waiting for Asher to be discharged.
“Nothing. I get it.”
“Get what?”
Milo measured his words again. They’d known each other all their lives. He knew Milo. He knew he’d always been careful not to say things he couldn’t take back. He was careful. That was good, because too many wolves were rash. “I would be a mess if it had been sweetheart,” he said, watching the doors too. “If I saw my mate like that? I get it. I would need to keep eyes and hands on them too.”
It took David a second to soak all of that in. He turned his head to stare down at Milo hard. “This is different.”
Milo stared back. “Is it?”
They were friends. He and Asher were friends. Had he thought about being more? Yes. Of course he had. He’d thought about Asher in every way since they were teens. But had that happened? No. First he’d been too unsure and then he hadn’t wanted to risk their friendship and then he’d been alpha. And now, more than ever, Asher would do anything for him. It had seemed too complicated and too much of a risk. He needed Asher in his life. He couldn’t risk losing him. If anything, today had driven that knowledge home, hadn’t it?
Milo sighed and turned his gaze forward again, on the doors. “He moved out of your place last year because he thought he was holding you back. Thought you’d want to find someone to…be with.” He shrugged, clearly uncomfortable but also fed up.
David wrinkled his nose. “What are you talking about?”
“He was waiting for you to make a move and you didn’t. He thinks you’re not interested in him like that, so he left. You two are idiots and it’s driving me crazy which I was ready to live with but now…Fuck, if today had gone differently it would have been heartbreaking and you two never even…” he shook his head, lips pressing, trying to measure those words again. “You have a second chance, David. That’s what I’m trying to say.”
David was pretty fucking sure he was saying a lot more than that. Asher had been waiting for him to make a move? No. No fucking way. Asher was a flirt and if he wanted to make things between them serious, he could have. How many times had he slept in David’s bed? How many times had he sat in his fucking lap rather than his own place on the couch? That was just how he was. He was affectionate with all of his friends. But almost as soon as he thought that, he knew it wasn’t quite right. Yes, he could be flirty with friends. Yes, he liked contact. But he’d never seen Asher sit in anyone else’s lap. He’d never known him to sleep in anyone else’s bed like it was his own.
The doors opened and they both straightened. Asher was in a wheelchair, barely conscious and blinking slow like he was drugged. The nurse was smiling big. Yep. Somehow he’d managed to be charming while half-awake and high as a kite. David exhaled hard. He looked fine. He looked fucking perfect. Yeah, he was wearing a pair of sweatpants none of them had ever seen before and his hair was a mess of blood and mud, but all of the wounds were gone, all of those bones put back into place. A red scar snaked from his hairline down his temple to his cheek. It was nothing compared to the damage that had been but it was terrifying to see because it meant there was a limit to how much they could heal—it meant he’d been close to ruin.
David thanked the nurse.
Asher blinked up at him, squinting. “Dude. I feel great,” he slurred.
Milo snorted.
David hummed disapproval and forced himself to look at the nurse again. “Anything I need to know?”
“He needs to rest. Lots of sleep and food. Just keep an eye on him for a day or two? If he’s having bad headaches, give us a call.”
“What constitutes a bad headache?”
“Too dizzy to stand or throwing up.”
David nodded and was about to take over the wheelchair when Asher frowned hard and waved him off.
“No. Definitely not.” Asher got up. David had his hand on his shoulder, ready to push him back down, but he grabbed on to his arm like it had been an offering, using it to steady himself. “M’ not getting wheeled out if I’m conscious,” Asher insisted, voice quiet because this wasn’t a joke.
David nodded once, hooking his arm around Asher’s back to keep him up and leaned into his side. Milo took up his other side and they walked him out of the clinic. The sky was getting dark but at least a dozen pack members were waiting in the parking lot, smiling and exchanging words with Asher before they got him into David’s truck. Arden tossed him his keys. She must have driven it from the road where he’d parked it along the woods. He’d completely forgotten about where they’d been or way.
Arden must have seen it because she smiled fast and squeezed his shoulder. “It’s handled. Runner was turned in and bounty collected.”
David nodded thanks and got into the truck. He exhaled hard when the doors were closed and it was just the two of them again. He felt Asher watching him from the passenger seat and turned his head. Asher looked boneless the way he was slack in his seat, head back and arms in his lap, but those all seeing eyes still focused on him through the haze of all that healing magic in his body. “You okay?” Asher asked.
David laughed but he knew it brought tears to his eyes. “Fuck you.”
“It was an accident,” Asher reminded, as though worried David was about to tell him he’d done something stupid. This wasn’t the same as the tree when they were kids. The ground had literally dropped out from under him. He’d done everything he could to hang on.
“I know.” David sighed and turned toward him, reaching across to grab his seatbelt and tugging it out before carefully buckling it. “You scared me,” he admitted.
Asher’s hand moved just enough to brush fingers against David’s hand near the buckle. It was like an involuntary movement. Like he didn’t even know he’d done it. David turned his hand to take his, squeezing it for a second.
“Thanks for saving me,” Asher mumbled, eyes closing.
David snorted and let go of his hand to start the engine. “What’s the score at now?”
Asher opened his eyes as they pulled out of the parking lot. “Oh, I’m still in the lead.”
“The hell you are.”
“Yeah. Remember that lone wolf you pissed off? I saved your life.”
“I did not piss him off. He attacked me. And I would have been fine.”
“You would have been fine if he was alone, but he wasn’t, and I saved your life.”
David scoffed but he knew it was true. He hadn’t even been alpha for a year when someone else rolled into Dahlia and thought they’d take the pack from him.
“That was like a decade ago. I’ve saved your dumb ass so many times since then.”
Asher hummed in disagreement but was almost asleep again.
He woke up again in time to frown when they were pulling into the parking garage under his building. “This isn’t my place.”
“Your place is a dump. We’re going to my place.”
Asher sounded like he meant to argue but didn’t have the energy. That was something.
David parked, got out, went around and popped open Asher’s door.
His friend pouted now that it was just the two of them. “Carry me?”
David groaned like it was a burden and not setting his heart on fire. He unbuckled him and pulled him out of the truck, easily hoisting him up over a shoulder the same way he did when Asher drank too much and wanted to be carried. Those times, Asher usually made flirty comments about the view of David’s ass from that perch.
Tonight he was too tired. David carried him onto the elevator and all the way into the apartment they used to share. He couldn’t help but think about what Milo said—that Asher had only moved out because he thought David wasn’t interested in more than a friendship and wanted to give him his own space. He wanted to believe it was bullshit, but it sounded exactly like something his friend would do. He put him down on the couch, being much gentler than he was on nights they’d been out drinking.
 Asher landed on the couch and would have happily gone to sleep, but he made the mistake of looking down at himself. He was filthy, half dressed, and wearing sweatpants they’d given him at the clinic. Nope. He got to his feet, cringing at the gauzy feeling of his body. Sure, he played it up for the others like it was fun being high on healing magic, but he secretly hated it. He loved being a wolf, he loved his fast reflexes and sharp sense. He did not, at all, like feeling dazed and sedated.
“Where are you going?” David all but snapped, a hand on his shoulder as if to physically stop him from leaving the couch.
“Gotta shower, buddy. I promise not to fall asleep and drown.” He smirked at the idea. That would be hilarious, to survive falling off the hillside just to drown in an inch of water.
David actually looked like he was going to argue but thought better of it and nodded. He hovered the whole way down the hall to the bathroom and then followed him inside.
Asher laughed, leaning against the wall next to the shower. “I’m fine. Stop looking at me like that.”
“Like what?” David bated, arms folded across his chest.
Asher’s gaze flicked to the tattoos sleeving David’s arms. He tried not to stare. He’d started getting them before Gabe passed but after… After, David had turned his arms, shoulders, and upper back into art memorializing his parents and his pack in pieces. He wasn’t sure anyone else realized that though, but Asher did. He saw the meanings of those tattoos and for a little while, when they’d been living together, Asher had taken to tracing them with his fingertips. Sometimes David would grumble and brush him off, but sometimes he hadn’t. Sometimes he let his fingers roam and more than once David had fallen asleep under his touch. Which was thrilling, because David did not relax easily.
“You’re looking at me like you think I’m going to keel over or…” He lost his train of thought when he caught his own reflection in the big mirror over the sink. He reached up and rubbed his palm over the side of his face, trying to smear that line there. His breath came a little faster when it didn’t smear or smudge or fade. Oh god. He took a couple steps closer, hip to the cold counter and face turned. He clawed his mud crusted hair back from his face. Not just mud. Blood. A lot of blood. It colored his fingers.
He turned his head again, fingers shaking when they hovered over that scar. It just missed his eye and when he looked closely he could see how that whole side of his face was soft and raw, like it had been scrubbed hard. How badly had he been hurt? How bad had it looked? No wonder David and Milo had looked so shaken. No wonder the pack had been waiting in the parking lot. They’d thought he might really die.
“Asher,” David said, voice stern now, and he realized he’d moved. The big guy was standing right behind him, hovering again, his eyes full of worry. Asher could see everything in the mirror, including how his hands hovered in the air, just inches from grabbing hold of his hips.
Asher nodded, gaze turning down to the counter and head tipping the other way, hiding that scar from his reflection and David. “Yeah,” he croaked and winced. Not good. “Yeah,” he tried again, forcing himself to sound more like normal. He even found a smile. “I’m gonna shower. Order us some food or something? I’m starving.” He started to turn away, intent on pivoting around his friend and stepping into the corner shower. But David’s hands finally touched down, one catching his hip and keeping him in place. Asher’s breath came out hard.
David’s other arm curled around his chest, hugging him from behind and still watching him in the mirror. Asher closed his eyes, surprise by the lump of emotion rising in his throat when he leaned back into his friend’s chest. It was almost too much, too good, too safe. He didn’t realize he’d been so tense and wound until that moment of release.
David nuzzled the side of his head into the side of Asher’s.
Asher nodded, knowing what he was saying. They were okay. They weren’t dead. Everything was going to be okay. He took a deep breath and let it out slow. He opened his eyes and glanced at them in the mirror again. He only looked at his own face for a second before turning his gaze down again.
“Are you worried about your pretty face?” David asked, voice against his cheek.
Asher snorted a laugh. “So, you think I’m pretty?”
“We both know you’re pretty.”
It sent a rush of heat through Asher’s body. Yes, of course they both knew that, but David had never admitted it before.
His breath caught in his throat when David stroked a thumb along his face, beside the fresh scar, not touching it but tracing its shape from temple to cheek. “It’ll look cool,” he promised.
Asher met David’s gaze in the mirror and asked boldly, curiously, “Still pretty?”
David’s mouth tugged a little, almost a smile but he fought it. “Still pretty.”
Asher bit his lip to keep from saying anything else, from ruining the moment, but the words broke through anyway. He never had been good at shutting up. “I must have a concussion, because it sounds like David Shaw is flirting with me…” The familiar mask slid into place over David’s expression, taking with it those soft eyes and that almost-smile. Asher sighed but kept a smile when he turned out of David’s hug and went for the shower.
He turned on the water to let it heat up and then used the wall for support when he shucked his borrowed sweatpants. His skin was streaked in blood and mud. What a fucking mess he’d made today. “Do I still have clothes here?” he asked, even though he knew he did, just to fill the quiet. He stepped into the shower and looked back at David just as he answered, “Yeah.”
Asher almost lost his balance when he saw the other man taking off his shirt and unzipping his jeans. It wasn’t like they hadn’t showered together before. It wasn’t like modesty was even a thing in a pack. But they had just been talking about flirting. David had hugged him. And now…now he was taking his pants off.
Asher turned toward the shower spray, stepping into it as though the heat would somehow hide the rise of his own temperature. David stepped into the shower behind him. It was a walk in with just enough room for the two of them to maneuver around each other without touching. They’d done this dance before. But this time, David asked, “Do you want me to wash the blood out of your hair?”
Asher stared at him. Was the healing magic making him delusional? If so, then fuck yes. He wouldn’t mind some doped-up sex dreams about David Shaw. They wouldn’t exactly be his first… “Yeah. Thanks,” he answered on autopilot.
David reached past him to grab the shampoo, standing right behind him while Asher enjoyed the heat of the spray to his chest and neck. This had to be a dream. His skin felt gauzy from the healing, but it wasn’t any less sensitive when David slowly dragged fingers through his hair, massaging soap into his scalp. He closed his eyes and dropped his chin forward a little, reveling in that contact and care. It made his spine shiver despite all the heat in the shower.
David rubbed circles into the base of his skull and Asher tried to bite down on a groan. He felt the minute pause in the other man’s touch at the sound before he continued. “Ash?” David asked, voice so deep and so fucking close. He was right behind him, naked. Asher told himself to stop thinking about it but how the holy hell was he supposed to do that?
“Why did you move out?”
Asher’s eyes opened, his heart in his throat. The quiet stretched, David still had one hand in the back of his hair, thumb rolling lazy circles against his scalp. He forced a little laugh. “Well, I did set your kitchen on fire…”
That tone. That fucking, deep, unwavering, sexy tone. Fuck him. He had to know why. He groaned stepped forward, ducking his whole head under the shower spray and hiding there for a long minute under the guise of rinsing his hair. When he stepped back again, he bumped right into David. It knocked the air from him and it had nothing to do with impact. His back was flush against David’s front, both of them naked and wet. He half expected to get a nosebleed right there and pass out. Instead of shoving him away, David’s arm automatically locked around his middle, keeping him steady and pivoting him out of the spray. “You okay?” he asked, soft.
No. Asher was definitely not okay. He was also fucking over the moon at the moment but it came with a bunch of other complicated feelings and everything was hazy with magic and exhaustion. Fuck! “Yep.”
David grunted like he doubted that but let him go to lean against the tiled wall while he took his turn cleaning up.
And this, was exactly why Asher had moved out. He was constantly riled up by David—constantly tripping over himself at the sight of David at home, at getting to be so close to him so often. But David didn’t seem to react at all. And that was okay. That was fair. He wouldn’t want to pressure him into anything. And he sure as shit didn’t want to mess up their friendship by making things awkward.
 David wished the blast of water that hit him from that nozzle was ice cold rather than hot. He did not need any more heat. Touching Asher had probably been a bad idea right now, but he’d wanted so much to clean the blood off of him—to fix some part of the damage today and get them steps away from the place they’d been in the woods, with Asher blood and broken and begging for help. He probably shouldn’t have asked about why he’d moved out either. He hadn’t answered, but he had pulled away from him in almost a panic. And then he’d backed into him.
David bit into his lip to keep from groaning at that full contact, his hips jerking back and away to keep from pressing himself right up against his best friend’s ass.
He washed up, keeping an eye on Asher just to make sure he didn’t slump down the wall or pass out. When they were both clean of mud and blood, he turned off the water and grabbed them towels.
He was glad the mirror was fogged now, because he hadn’t liked the way Asher stared at himself earlier—like he didn’t like what he saw. If he’d seen how bad the damage had been before, he would have marveled at the scar instead of gaped.
Asher’s legs almost gave out on his way to the bedroom for clothes. David caught his arm but he also caught himself against the dresser. “Dizzy?” David asked. If he was, they were going right the fuck back to the department clinic.
“No. Just…” he growled a little rather than finish the sentence.
Weak. Weak was the answer and the word no wolf who was responsible for defending pack was ever comfortable saying. He grabbed some clothes from the drawers and pulled them on hurriedly, like a clock was ticking on how long he could keep himself upright. David was sure it was. He did the same but stayed close. He didn’t notice until they were halfway down the hall to the living room that Asher had dragged on one of David’s shirts, rather than one of his own. He used to do that when they lived together too. It drove David fucking wild, not that he’d ever shown it. Instead he’d just complained about Asher stealing his shit.
He must have stared too long at his t-shirt on Asher’s body because his friend noticed, looking down at himself now that he was sitting on the couch again. He sighed, tired and annoyed. “Fuck,” he mumbled and reached down for the hem, leaning forward. “Here—” he started to take it off.
“No. Keep it,” David said quickly, more than a little surprised he’d even tried to give it back. He never had before.
Asher stilled his hand, baggy shirt half up his chest and his own sweatpants low on his hips. He met David’s eye, a spark of curiosity in that too-dilated gaze. “Why? You hate when I wear your stuff.”
“I like it,” he admitted, meeting his gaze. What the fuck was he doing? It was almost a lie. He didn’t like it. He loved it. He used to think about Asher wearing one of his shirts and nothing else, his scent all over him, and Asher on his knees with his mouth wrapped around him. He tried not to think about that sort of thing anymore. He tried, but often failed.
Asher slowly let the shirt go, keeping it on and still staring up at David. “I moved out because I had a crush on you and didn’t want to fuck up our friendship,” he said.
David’s eyes widened and he fought the impulse to take a step back from that landmine of truth Asher had just slapped in the middle of his living room. Asher had had a crush on him? Both the truth of it and the past tense made David’s legs bend. Luckily the L shaped couch was behind him. His knees were inches from touching Asher’s thigh. “You had a crush on me?”
“You had to have known…” Asher said softer now, clawing a hand through wet hair. “I mean… Come on. I hit on you all the time.”
“No. No, you didn’t. You never said… You never did anything.”
Asher laughed. His thigh bumped against David’s knees. “Neither did you. You weren’t into me and that’s okay. Our friendship means everything to me. I would never—”
“I’ve always been into you,” he confessed, letting the words he’d held so tightly inside out.
Asher stared at him, smiles gone. “No. If you’d liked me you would have done something.” It sounded like he was trying to convince himself.
David snorted at how stupid they both were. “I didn’t want to mess up the friendship and then…” He hesitated. He’d barely even let himself think about the big part that kept him from trying, but he’d never liked keeping anything from Asher. “After my dad… I became alpha and you promised to do anything you could to help me. You’ve always been with me. I wouldn’t have been able to do any of this without you, Ash. But I wasn’t sure you’d say no. If I told you I wanted you the way that I do… I was afraid you’d give me anything I wanted, whether or not it was what you really wanted. So, I decided you’d either make a move or you wouldn’t and that would be it.”
Asher blinked at him, absorbing that for so long that David rolled his eyes. “Is your brain rebooting or—”
Asher was on him, tackling him back onto the sofa and straddling his hips. Before David could start to complain, Asher kissed him. Now it felt like David was the one with a brain rebooting. He reached up and curled one hand around the back of Asher’s neck, the other on his thigh, squeezing muscles through thin fabric. He kissed him deeper, tongues warring briefly before Asher started sucking at his.
David moaned deep in his chest, hand moving from Asher’s thigh to his hip, fingers sliding up under the shirt to stroke skin. He remembered how bruised and misshapen that side had been just hours ago—how close he’d been to never having this and losing his whole world. Asher bit his lip and David growled in warning, squeezing his hip.
Logically, he knew he needed to slow this down. They needed to talk more. He needed to get them food. Asher needed to rest.
And then Asher rubbed down against him, grinding on him.
David broke the kiss with a deep groan, both hands on Asher’s hips now to stop his movements. “You’re such a shit…” he ground out.
Asher smiled but he looked winded from just this, flushed and a little glassy eyed. That was enough to remind David fully that they needed to slow down. The last thing he’d want is to actually hurt Asher. He lifted him off of him and put him back on the couch. A flicker of worry crossed Asher’s face and he knew what he was thinking—had he misread things? Had things changed? Was he not into it after all? “You’re such an idiot,” David mumbled, leaning over and kissing him again. It felt so good to have that access—that level of closeness. “You’re going to pass out.”
“I’m not,” Asher argued but was already sinking into the couch, the magic tugging him toward sleep. “Okay…Maybe… But I mean, you could still…”
David made a disgusted face and rolled off the couch. “Ew. Fuck. No. You’re going to be awake and don’t think you get to be a lazy bastard either. When we fuck, you’re going to work for it.” The words flew out of his mouth without thinking and his gaze cut to his friend to see if he’d cross some line. Asher’s eyes were wide but his cheeks were red. Not a bad look for him at all…
He grabbed the delivery menus off the counter and came back to the couch with his phone in the other hand. He flopped onto the couch next to Asher rather than across the couch from him. Asher smiled, sleepy again, and put his legs across David’s lap. David rested a hand on his outer thigh, scooting in to have him almost in his lap. “What do you want?” he asked and then immediately added. “No. What food do you want? And so help me Ash, if you say something dirty, I swear I’ll order you salad.”
Asher hissed and grabbed one of the takeaway menus at random. He hummed happily at the sight of the pizza place.
David sighed but nodded. He’d let him eat whatever trash he wanted today. “Fine. But no shifting to scare the delivery guy.”
“What? Why not? He loves it!”
“We’ll see.” 
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alexandralumetta · 2 months ago
Tumblr media Tumblr media Tumblr media Tumblr media Tumblr media Tumblr media Tumblr media Tumblr media
"Oh, you're cute" a little Shinkami one shot ✨💜💛✨.
It's set just after chapter 340 and I it drew before we could get a good look on his hero costume 🥲, so yeah, I totally botched it.
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luveline · 6 months ago
far to fall [remus lupin x reader]
“Listen to you," he said under his breath. "Can't even speak properly, can you, lovely girl?”
“Remus, don't be cruel. Don't be."
"Cruel with you... How could I ever be?"
summary: you’re in love with your best friend remus. he somewhat shares the sentiment.
word count: 7.8k
tags: smut, nsft, marauders era, best-friends to lovers, mutual pining, getting together, first-time, fluff, fem!reader, she/her pronouns used for reader
requested by @marimorena06 here
You had a huge secret. It wasn’t earth-shattering, it wouldn’t bring about world peace or ruination if discovered. It wasn’t criminal, though it felt like that sometimes, a thief stealing glances at his Sandy brown hair and perfect, inviting eyes. It wasn’t dirty or pure or light or dark, it just was.
You were in love with your best friend.
You’d never believed in love at first sight, but Remus Lupin inspired something alike. You just knew, that day in fourth year, when a quiet, brave boy held out his hand for a crying, lonely girl that something was about to happen.
At the time, you’d thought of love. So maybe you’d known all along. But that day turned into years of the same thing, Remus always reaching out to save you, to pull you away from the stuff that was hurting you - he’d always been that way. His saviour complex was something unhealthy and yet you couldn’t get it out of him if you tried.
The secret was starting to become less secret. It began with one wrong look, a gaze too steady, too longing. Remus went up to the bar for another drink and James said, “Oh my god.”
You could tell from his tone you’d been found out. James Potter had always been extremely perceptive. It was a wonder he’d never noticed before.
You put a handful of pear drops in your mouth to avoid responding.
James reached out to squeeze your cheeks, and they fell from your mouth in a sticky wet mess.
“James!” you sputtered, grabbing some napkins from the centre of the table to clean up your face and the ejected sweets. “What is wrong with you?”
“What’s wrong with you?” he shot back. “I can’t believe what I’ve just witnessed. I have to tell Sirius-“
“No!” you said, much too loudly. You quickly searched the bar to see if Remus had heard. He hadn’t, so you leaned in very close to James’ face and whispered, “You can’t tell anyone.”
James wrinkled his nose, “I tell Sirius everything.”
“And Sirius tells Remus everything!”
James tilted his head in thought and then conceded. “Fair.”
Your hackles lowered. “Thank you.”
“But I want to talk about this!” he whispered urgently. Remus sat back down, a drink for each of the three of you in his hands. A butterbear for you and something with a little more kick in it for himself and James.
“Cheers,” James said.
“Thanks,” you said.
He smiled, a small smile, brilliant all the same. “You’re welcome.”
“When will Lily be joining us?”
James’ face clouded with adoration. Lily was in her second trimester of pregnancy, so she definitely wouldn’t be drinking anything. She kept a good lid on the boys, a skill you’d never managed to acquire.
“Not long now.”
“Oh, wipe that infatuated look from your face,” a new voice said. You turned your head to see Sirius Black looking exceedingly smart, although dampened by the rain outside. “I’m here, no need for tears.”
“Prat,” James said, throwing an arm around his shoulders. “Where have you been?”
“With Marlene.”
“How is she?” Remus asked. Marlene had broken her leg trying to dust Sirius’ wardrobe. He felt terrible.
“She’s great! Cast comes off next week.”
They drifted into conversation. You tried your best to pay attention, clenching and unclenching the napkin full of pear drops in your hand.
Remus pushed his shoulder into yours. “Something wrong?”
“Mm?” you looked into his face, startled at how close he was. “No, just thinking.”
You looked down at his mouth, caught yourself, averted your gaze to his neck. How do you describe the feeling of being found out?
“Nothing,” you said. “Nothing in particular.”
You insisted on keeping a healthy distance between yourself and Remus, hoping to dissuade James from imparting his newfound knowledge on anyone else in your circle of friends. This was an imperfect method, as years of friendship and doting meant that Remus was more than used to a friendly arm hooked through yours, his shoulders against yours, your knees and thighs pressed together. If you moved, he moved to follow, without thinking. You were almost flush to the booth wall when Lily arrived.
She had the pregnant glow about her, looking incredibly healthy and happy. She squished in next to Sirius without complaint, James  gazing at her as though she were an angel stricken from heaven.
Despite trying to escape his side, Remus gave you such a sense of security that you couldn’t begrudge his right forearm pressed to your left. Your arms fit together like two jigsaw pieces.
“I’ll get some more drinks, shall I?” you asked, hoping to escape Remus and your racing heart for a moment.
“I’ll come with you,” Remus said, sliding out of the booth so you could stand.
“No, that’s okay,” you said abruptly, almost tripping over him. You made a beeline for the bar toilets, shutting the door behind you with a final click.
You let out a loud, panicked exhale.
Being in love with Remus was one thing. It had kept you up so many nights, staring at your ceiling, wondering what you were going to do. Because if you didn’t have Remus, you wouldn’t be you anymore. He was this all encompassing part of you, the glue that held you together most days. If you fucked it all up you would never forgive yourself.
Corrupting the friendship between you both was a taboo you didn’t dare think about. Construing his affection as anything but platonic was your own affliction. You wouldn’t be the one to pull the stitches he’d sewn in you to keep you both together.
It was so heavy. James knowing should’ve made it as though the weight of your secret was lifted - it didn’t. It was crushing.
You pushed the tips of your fingers into your closed eyelids until you saw stars.
Somebody knocked on the door. You threw yourself back from it in a violent flinch, having forgotten where you were.
“Two seconds!” you called, voice rough.
“It’s me,” Lily said through the door.
You frowned. They’d noticed your detour and your absence.
You cracked the door open. Lily pushed in, her small distended stomach brushing the doorway.
“Everything okay?” she asked.
“Yes. Yep. Uh…” you had to think quickly of a way to hide how you were feeling. If Lily spent too long here you might spill it. “Do you have a tampon?”
“Oh!” she looked relieved. “No, babe. I’m pregnant, no cycle for me.”
“Right.” You pressed your hand to your forehead and laughed nervously, though it was half false. The panic from before was persevering.
Lily could see it on your face clear as day. “Is it heavy?”
You were confused for a split second. “Wh- no. No, I just didn’t expect to start right now.”
“Right. Uh, I’ll go find something.”
“You can’t be doing errands for me, you’re not supposed to be on your feet.”
She rolled her eyes, “I’m not that pregnant.”
You stared pointedly at her tummy. “Who told you that?”
“I’ll sort it out,” she said, slipping from the bathroom.
You took the next few minutes to sort out your breathing. You didn’t need to panic. James probably wouldn’t tell Sirius. Sirius was smart and nice enough to know not to tell Remus. And if Remus found out - god forbid he found out - he wouldn’t do anything like you imagined. He wouldn’t toss you aside, cut you out of his life. He couldn’t.
You had to believe he couldn’t.
“Knock knock,” James said. You cracked the door an inch. He could see your blotchy face.
“Is it bad?” he asked in concern.
“It’s fine. Where’s Lily?”
“Sitting, like she should be.”
“I told her that too.”
“Here,” he said. He held out a box of tampons.
“Thank you,” you said, voice oddly tender. Maybe James was a better friend to you then you gave him credit for.
“You need anything else?”
“Alright. Remus thinks you’re mad at him.”
“Tell him it’s hormones.”
“Is it?” he asked. You shut the door in his face.
You gave it five minutes as though you’d actually needed a tampon, leaving the full box in the stall for some other desperate soul. You shuffled over to the bar, feeling as though every patron had its eyes on you, ordering a round for your table and some snacks for Lily.
It took you two trips. Remus peered at you in concern, budging up so you could sit at the end of the bench.
“Thanks, Y/N,” Lily said, grinning at her crisps.
“Don’t mention it,” you said weakly.
“Everything okay?” Remus asked you.
He didn’t believe you. You leaned heavily on the table, tuning into James' story about their evil garden gnomes and the mess they’d made of the baby’s nursery.
Remus took your posture as pain. He placed his large, warm hand to the small of your back and began to rub soothing circles in your skin. You melted under his touch, shoulders slowly lowering into a less defensive position.
James said something, you weren’t sure what, eyes half lidded from Remus touch. Remus laughed, loud, unexpected. It made you smile so hard your cheeks hurt, turning to grace the lines of his exuberant face in a way that was so familiar it made your eyes burn.
“I want a cig. Remus?” Sirius prompted, carefully weaving over Lily’s stomach and legs.
“I don’t smoke,” he said, though he was already standing. You mourned the loss of his hand on your back. He climbed over you with the same care as Sirius had.
“As good a time as any for a pee,” Lily said. Standing seemed slightly more difficult for her than the average person.
James was on you before she’d even made it to the bathroom door. “You fancy Remus,” he crooned.
“Will you shut it?” you hissed.
“This is literally great news. Now you can get married and have kids and him and baby Potter can be best friends forever.”
“You have it all worked out, don’t you?” you sighed in defeat.
“Wouldn’t you? Oh, will you tell him? Please tell him. We can go on triple dates.”
“You say all this like - like it would work out. It’s not that simple.”
James' happy demeanour toned down, a more serious look crossing his face. “I know it’s not simple. But - but when can love not be a good thing?”
Your face flamed. “Who said anything about love?”
James shrugged. “I’d know a thing or two about it.” Lily emerged from the bathroom and his eyes lit up.
“Yes. I guess you would.”
“Mate, the amount of whipped you are is ridiculous,” Sirius said.
Remus threw his shoulders back and groaned at the knots there.
“You literally asked me to come stand with you while you smoke in the rain when I don’t even smoke, and now you’re making fun of me for it?” Remus said, leaning against the cold wall behind him.
“Not for me, you pollock,” Sirius said through the cigarette in between his lips, shielding his lighter from the wind
Remus laughed defensively. “Says the man waiting on McKinnon hand and foot.”
“She broke her leg, idiot,” he took a long drag.
“I’m not whipped.”
“And I’m not ruggedly handsome.”
Remus sighed. “If you had your period, I’d do the same for you.”
“It’s not the same.”
“You don’t look at me like that. I hope.”
Remus titled his head backwards so that the rain fell on his face. “It’s a want I can’t entertain.”
“You are so determined to be unhappy,” he said theatrically.
“Is that why we’re friends?” Remus asked, lips quirked in a lopsided smile.
“Get a grip.” Sirius said, dropping his finished cigarette on the floor and squishing it under his heel. “Just tell her.”
“I can’t.”
“Look, she didn’t care about your monthly cycle, I hardly think a confession of love will deter her.”
“It’s not that easy.”
“Sure it is,” Sirius said, holding open the pub’s side door. Remus walked through. “Some things just are.”
“Not this.”
“She’s nice, you’re nice. Perfect match.”
“She’s more than nice.”
“Yeah, get a load of you.”
“I despise you sometimes,” Remus said, although he was laughing all the same. Lily was toddling back to the table. You looked as though you were upset, James saying something quietly to you, his eyes on his wife.
You leaned back against your chair in a slump.
“Move up, sweetness,” Sirius told Lily. “Lest I have to climb over you again and risk damaging my godson.”
You made room for Remus without complaint. He would’ve commented it was too much room - you hadn’t been as touchy today.
Hormones. Huh.
“You want to go home?” He asked you.
“Boo! Don’t go, Y/N.” James said. “Stay here and drink martinis with me.”
“I’ll stay, but I’m not drinking anything with vermouth in it.”
“Be a man, Potter!” Sirius said with bravado. “Cosmopolitans or nowt.”
“Please no cosmopolitans,” Lily pleaded. “They make James too slutty.”
You were hiccuping through your third cosmopolitan when Lily cut you off. The pub was busier now that the night was starting, you had to strain to hear her.
“No! No more, Y/N. I can’t manage you and James and Sirius.”
“Remus will manage me!” you giggled.
Remus laughed. “Don’t I always.”
“I resent that.”
You braced your hand in between his knees, reaching forward to swipe Sirius' drink now that yours was empty. Lily threw her hands open when Remus did nothing to stop you.
“I’m not the boss of her.”
“Right!” you agree, practically gulping down the red drink.
“Maybe a little,” he said, disentangling your fingers gently from the stem of the glass.
“Spoilsport,” you mumbled. The cold from the glass was seeping down your hands.
“Feel,” you said, holding your hand out. “I’m cold.”
“You are,” Remus agreed, taking your hand between both of his.
You nodded, satisfied. You were a little dizzy now. The drinks were finally getting to you, seemingly. It was nice to be drunk - you could only think about your cold hands and Remus’ legs and none of the scary stuff.
Sirius was similarly drunk, leaning heavily into Lily’s side and spurting babble at James who was much more sober, surprisingly, his second cocktail still in front of him. How responsible, you thought. How boring.
“Loser,” you mumbled.
“I hope you’re not talking to me,” Remus said lowly.
You giggled. “Not you, Rem.”
Sirius clocked his missing drink and made a high pitched sound. “You fiendish girl.”
“Snooze loose.”
“Jesus, she’s gone,” James said. “I wish we had a camera, she’s funny when she’s drunk.”
“I’m not that drunk.”
Everyone at the table looked at you sympathetically.
“You guys suck.”
“I’m so tired,” Lily said, leaning her head atop Sirius’.
“Me too,” Remus said. They shared a companionable laugh.
“Not me,” James said.
“God, getting older sucks. What happened to getting blackout at sixteen? You guys have three cocktails each and fall asleep at the table,” Sirius said.
“Because you look wide awake.”
“Toss off, Moony.”
I volunteer, you thought to yourself. You laughed.
“What’s so funny?”
“Toss off Moony,” you repeated. It was funnier the second time; you giggled to yourself hysterically, so hard that it made you feel sick.
“Alright, calm down,” Remus said, fingers wrapped around your upper arm. “We don’t want a repeat of Sirius’ birthday.”
“You throw up one time and no one lets you forget.”
“It’s not that you threw up,” Sirius said gleefully, “it’s because you threw up laughing at frogs.”
You couldn’t help yourself, sighing in happiness at the memory. “They were so sticky.”
“Right. Home time. You’re coming with me-“ Remus said to you, “-so I can make sure you don’t choke to death. Sirius?”
“I’ve got a date with Miss McKinnon.”
“She won’t touch you like this,” James said, long arm wrapped tight around Lily’s shoulders.
“We’re gonna cuddle,” he said, enthused.
You staggered to your feet, wobbling in your canvas trainers. Remus steadied you by the shoulders.
“Can you side-along or are you a splinch-risk?” he asked you.
“I’m fiiiine, Remus. You worry too much,” you said, spreading the fingers on your hand against his chest affectionately.
“Sure. See you tomorrow for tea?” Remus asked the remaining friends at the table.
“Yes, Remus. See you then. Goodnight both!” Lily called.
“Goodnight,” you said. You crossed the threshold, Remus’ arm steering you out. He held your shoulder tightly.
“Ready?” he asked.
“Yes sir.”
“1, 2-“
You hurdled through the air, a complete feeling of weightlessness moving through you, landing gracelessly at the bottom of the steps to Remus’ flat building.
You felt like the air had been ripped from you, bending over at the waist to brace yourself.
Remus patted your back, used to this post-disapparation sickness.
“You’re okay. Quick, stand up before you throw up.”
You did as he said, smoothing your wind-blown hair to the sides of your head. “Why is side-along always the worst?”
“You’re usually drunk to begin with,” he said, opening the door for you. You walked into the foyer, grateful for the warm air that greeted you. You rushed forward to click the lift button, pleased at the green light that it emanated. Someone had drawn two dots over the downward v to make a weird smiley face.
The doors whooshed open, a low-pitched tone announcing the elevator's arrival. Remus walked in after you, much more steady on his feet.
The mirrored walls displayed you both clear as day. You, looking a little messy, mascara smudged under your eyes. Remus, handsome, neat, worn coat with the patched elbows.
You caught his eye in the reflection. “You’re tall.”
“Am I?”
“Mm,” you said, hopping from foot to foot. “Very tall.”
“No ones ever told me that before,” he said, nudging you out of the opening doors and onto his floor.
The inside of his flat was orderly, the smell of woodsmoke and something soft, like lavender or thyme, greeting you. It wasn’t a huge place, just an open plan kitchen/sitting room, bedroom, and bathroom. He folded your coats over the side of the sofa and kicked his shoes off.
You couldn’t work the laces of yours, moaning in annoyance.
“Here,” Remus said, leaning down. You brushed the hair out of his eyes without thinking. He untied your laces in the nick of time. You used his shoulders to balance yourself and toe them off.
He rose to his feet. “Come on, you’re in the bed.”
“Remus,” you said, knowing the argument that was about to happen. “It’s your bed, I’m perfectly fine on the sofa.”
“You’re my guest,” he said familiarly.
“It’s your bed,” you repeated.
“You never win this one - I don’t know why you try.”
“You’re being unfair.”
He smiled, knowing he was winning. You had a sudden stroke of genius.
“Look, it’s a double bed. We can share. That way you know I’m not choking to death on my own vomit,” you used his logic against him.
He was hesitant. “I don’t want to make you uncomfortable.”
“You won’t. Now come on, I’m so tired I can see two of you.”
"What a treat for you,” he said. You turned from him to smile.
You woke up confused, boiling hot and with a mild headache. Remus was asleep next to you, his face peaceful in sleep. You shrugged the blanket off of yourself and huffed, trying to cool down. If you squinted, you could see his alarm clock on the opposite bedside table.
You blinked, rubbing the sleep from your eyes. Remus had already laid out a glass of water and a closed box of paracetamol.
What a sweetheart, you thought to yourself wistfully.
You sat up to chug the water, forgoing the painkillers. You knew the headache would dissipate as soon as you had a drink. Your legs were aching.
You shrugged off your jeans, bending over to rub at the red lines embossed in your skin from the seams. You searched through Remus’ clothes until you found a pair of navy jogging bottoms, pulling them on instead. You sighed in relief, unbuttoning your shirt to reveal the vest top underneath.
How you’d managed to fall asleep completely dressed was besides you. Remus was in similar fashion, probably overheating just as badly as you’d been.
You crawled over the sheets to his side, placing your hand on the flat stretch of his stomach. Kneeling like this, you could see every detail of his face, his collarbones, his Adam’s apple.
“Moony,” you sing-singed under your breath. “Mooooony.”
He scrunched his eyes closed even tighter. “What is it?” he asked.
You sat back on your haunches, hand trailing down to his hip bone. You considered yourself for a moment and drew away.
“I’m awake, so you must also suffer my misfortune.”
“How selfish,” he said, stretching and pushing his face into the pillow. “Godric, it's warm.”
“You’re fully dressed.”
He opened his eyes, looking down at himself.
He glanced at you. “You’re wearing my clothes.”
“Oh, sorry. I can take them off.”
“Would you?” he asked, faux-eager.
You sniggered. “You’d like that, huh? Typical boy.”
“Don’t tease.”
“I want breakfast and we’re late.”
“Yeah?” he turned his head to squint at the clock. You ignored the urge to reach forward and touch his neck. “It’ll have to be brunch.”
“Cosmopolitans make you slutty too?” James asked, gesturing to your tank top.
“Misogynist,” you gasped, pretending to be scandalised.
“I never said there was anything wrong with being slutty, babe. Have as much sex as you like with Remus.”
“I’m not having sex with Remus.”
“You sound unhappy about that.”
You punched him in the arm. “Leave me alone. It’s too early for this.”
“It’s almost 11AM.”
You could hear Remus making tea in the Potters’ kitchen, his and Lily’s voices drifting in to mix with the sound of the washing machine, the whining kettle.
You’d come straight to the living room, intending to starfish on their sofa. James had beat you to it. You sat on top of his legs until he moved them
“I am unhappy about it,” you admitted.
James’ face might’ve split from the force of his victorious grin. “Acceptance. That’s like, the last stage.”
“Of what?”
“So, you’re gonna seduce him?”
“Are you joking?”
“No. Seduce him. Or confess your undying love, then seduce him.”
“I could do neither.”
“Bo - ring,” he said. “Look, I’ll help you out. We’ll plan, like, a whole thing.”
“You’re scheming,” Remus said suspiciously. Lily was close behind him, raising her eyebrows.
Remus sat down on the arm of the sofa next to you, offering you a cup of tea.
“Thanks,” you said.
James sat up properly to make room for his wife. Lily rested a protective hand on her stomach, tea held to her chest. They melted together, James’ arm wrapped around her shoulder, hand wandering up and down her upper arm. You could see the goosebumps break out on her skin, an expression of content on both their faces.
You leaned into Remus, just a bit, your hair against his elbow. You breathed out, watching steam from your tea swirl with the action. It tasted exactly as though you’d made it yourself.
“What are you and Y/N planning?” Lily inquired, smirking.
“I’m not planning anything.”
“That’s right, plausible deniability and all that,” James said, nodding gravely. “This burden I shall bear by myself.”
“That sounds like it’s not going to end well.”
It went like this.
Marlene got her cast off. Sirius decided that was enough to celebrate, declaring a party must be had at his flat. Everyone had to attend.
It was rammed from one end of the room to the other. You could barely make out one old friend from the next, people from your year of Hogwarts and even the year below having arrived in droves. Marlene sits in the middle of it all, a permanent perplexed expression on her face. Half the people who came brought birthday balloons.
You’re pushing through the people, looking for Remus like you usually are. He’d disappeared to find drinks and never returned 20 minutes ago.
Sirius popped up out of nowhere. “Hey, can I get your help?”
“Sure. Nothing better to do,” you said.
“‘Nothing better to do,’ she says. You’re young, fun and at the biggest party of the year!”
He led you into the kitchen, which was less packed but still had some milling guests, through the kitchen into his bedroom.
"What do you want?"
"Well, I knew there was something, but what was oh- right! You're in love with Moony."
Your face fell. "Sirius-"
"Don't worry, dollface, my lips are sealed."
You frowned. "James told you?"
"I guessed."
"With prompting?"
He didn't answer, which was answer enough.
"I'm going to wring James' neck."
"Settle down… is it such a bad thing, loving Remus?"
"No, of course not! He's - he's the best thing that ever happened to me."
"Then what's wrong?"
You sat down heavy on his rumpled bed, picking at a ladder in your tights. "It's difficult." You paused, chewing your lip.
"It's difficult," you repeated. "For me."
Sirius sat down next to you. "It doesn't have to be."
"I think people keep saying that, but they don't really believe it."
"I believe it. Love is never easy, but what's the point in loving someone and not telling them? Love with nowhere to go isn't what it could be."
You dropped your head into his shoulder. "Shouldn't you be having this talk with him? He's your best friend, not me."
"We're good friends, aren't we? Plus, James bagsied him."
"You drew the short straw," you grumbled.
"You're not the short straw, idiot. I like talking to you, especially if you're gonna marry my best mate."
"Marriage is not on the cards."
Sirius tapped a rhythm on his leg. "You're both the same. Determined to be unhappy."
"I love him," you said miserably. "It's a lot. I can't see everything else anymore."
"Love is supposed to make you happy."
"He does!"
"Then why won't you tell him?"
You thought about this for a long time.
"When we were 17… You remember, in potions, Slughorn made Amortentia. I was never any good at potions, Remus used to let me copy all his answers and - I turned to Emmaline, and I said - 'God, can you smell that? It smells like woodsmoke in here.' She looked at me like I was stupid."
You inhaled.
"I've loved him since I was 17," you whispered. "Maybe since the day I met him. How do you tell someone that?"
Remus leaned his head against the door, his fingers wrapped around the handle. James was looking at him with an intensely pleased expression.
"Woodsmoke," James said. "Boom."
He unwrapped his hand.
James' face was a picture. "Wh- wait a second! Where are you going?"
"I need to buy a ring."
James chased after him, tugging him back by his shoulder. "Woah- woah, Moons. You can't just ask her to marry you out of the blue."
"She loves me."
"Marriage is more than just love. Trust me." They both came to a stop. James was still grinning. Remus couldn't help it, he smiled back.
"She loves me."
"She does."
"Why didn't you tell me?"
"She asked me not to."
"Oh, so now you've suddenly developed an ability to keep secrets?"
"Why do you think I pulled you off to Sirius' room in the middle of a party? For a snog?"
"I'm an excellent kisser."
"You sound like Sirius."
"Can't I get her a ring without getting married?"
"You can get her fifty. But maybe put the poor girl out of her misery?"
"How do I tell her?"
"Think on your feet, buddy," James said, turning them both around.
Remus felt as though volts of electricity were running through his body, as though every footstep he took back down the hallway was as loud as a thunderclap.
Sirius was shutting his door gently behind him.
"Ooh, perfect timing, lover boy. She's debating her whole existence in there."
"What did you say to her?" James asked indignantly.
"Nothing bad. Just that if she never tells him she'll die alone."
Remus ignored them both as they argued, squaring his shoulders to stare at the door. James patted him solidly on the shoulder. "Go get 'em."
They walked down the hallways like kings. "Let's get this party started!" Sirius cried.
"Y/N?" he called through the wood. "Can I come in?"
You said something. "What?" he called.
"Yes! Come in!"
You were splayed out on the bed, hair around you like a halo. You looked sick to your stomach.
"Is it your period?"
He pushed himself up against the wall, his palm against the cold plaster.
He took a deep breath.
"When we were 17," he started shakily, "we had potions. Slughorn made amortentia. You were always pretty good at potions, but you never had any confidence, so you'd always copy my answers and I'd pretend not to notice."
You were staring at him with wide, wide eyes. He didn't dare move toward you, swallowing hard.
"And I turned to James and asked him what he could smell. He said Lily, obviously. He asked me what I could smell, and I said, ‘chocolate'. But-" he held your gaze, heart racing, and took the leap, "I lied. I didn't want anybody to know, I didn't want you to know. It was my biggest secret. Even bigger than the wolf."
He hesitated.
"It smelled of you. I fell for you a long time ago," he admitted.
“Was it so far to fall?” you asked him, voice cracking.
“It didn’t hurt at all,” he assured you.
You blinked. A tear gathered at the corner of your eyes, glassy in the low light.
You'd barely sat up and he was on you, almost pulling you off the sheets with the force of his hug. You laughed wildly and he cherished the sound.
You pushed your face into the side of his neck and he shivered at the feeling of you inhaling. You went to say something, and he knew he should've waited, listened, but he couldn't. He plastered his mouth to yours. You didn't hesitate, not for a second, kissing him back with all the wild abandonment you possessed.
He laughed into your mouth, kissing and kissing. You weren't the shy kisser he often imagined, matching his passion and tenacity with ease.
"Wait, stop," you said.
He looked at you in concern. "What, what's the matter?"
You leaned your forehead against his. "We can't make out in Sirius' room. That's, like, a cardinal sin. Imagine the things this bed has seen."
He touched the tip of his nose to yours. "Where else can we?"
"My bed, your bed. I'm not fussy."
He grinned, ducking his head to kiss your cheek. He pulled you up onto your feet. "Splinch-risk?"
"As if. He puts who-knows-what in the drink."
"1, 2-"
Maybe because he wanted to ravish you so badly, the disapparation felt as though it took millenia. When you both finally arrived at the outside of his building he pulled you in.
He couldn't accurately describe love to someone if they asked, but if he could he would play this clip, both of you falling over each other to steal kisses and laugh in the elevator at yourselves, red-faced, ecstatic in the reflections, almost missing your floor. Him fumbling with his keys at the door, forgetting to pull them out. Kissing you up against the thin flat walls like you were a sacred being, like you were a prayer he was sending.
The fronts you put up for other people, for yourselves, fell away. It was just you and him. Maybe it was hard to kiss your best friend without laughing madly or maybe it was your own mistake. Either way, it was a mess of kissing and laughing and struggling to breathe.
"Don't, don't," you begged, tickled by his lips against the skin under your ear.
"Or what?" he asked, though he pulled away anyways.
You went up on tip toes to do the same to him, laughing as he went boneless.
"Alright." He swatted your head lightly with the back of his hand. "You proved your point."
"Did I?" you asked, taking the skin between your teeth.
He gasped. "Demon."
"Who, me?"
"Yes, you. Sent to corrupt me."
"Consider yourself corrupted," you said, licking a stripe over his nibbled skin. "Now you're mine."
"Is that so?" His hands, seconds ago having held the nape of your neck, traveled down. The other pulled you flush against him. He watched your face saturate as you realised his affliction.
The other hand slipped under the edge of your skirt, holding your hip in a brushing grip.
"Excited to see me?" you asked, breathless. You were doing some exploring of your own, fingers traveling over the lines of his stomach and chest.
"Excited to do lots of things to you."
You moved away from the wall he'd pressed you against, walking him backwards until his knees hit the back of the sofa and pushed him down, clambering into his lap. You didn't shy away from him, setting yourself down on him in a way that made you both stutter in your breathing.
"Aren't we supposed to wait?" he asked you.
"For what?" you asked him, pushing his hair from his face with both hands.
"The right time."
"Doesn't it feel like now?"
"I just want you to be sure."
"I'm sure. Are you?"
He grabbed your hips, pressing you down, grinding you against him. "I'm sure," he laughed at your squirming. "I'm sure."
"Let me take my skirt off," you said, moving as if to climb off of him.
His arms tightened around your waist. "Do you have to?"
"Like this one, do you?"
"Can't you tell?"
"Let me up." You unseated yourself from his lap. It seemed much more illicit suddenly, him lying back on the sofa, red in the face and hard watching you undress with a heady gaze. You pulled your tights off in a hurry, almost toppling over. He smirked in amusement.
Next was the skirt. You unzipped it, letting it fall to your ankles before stepping out.  He hooked under your arms and brought you up, onto him again. Your underwear were simple, cute, black with a lettuce edge trim and purple ribbon with a bow on the top, like a gift.
He trailed a finger at the slip of skin just above it.
"You always wear stuff like this?"
"Thought I might get lucky," you admitted, bashful.
He moved his hands, pressed flat at the curve of your stomach, up, over your shirt to the peaks of your breasts. You brought your fingers up to the buttons, he squeezed.
The shirt came off. He pushed your bra up, not bothering with the clasp.
"What, you never took a bra off before?"
"Quicker," he mouthed, pressing his lips to the underside of your breast. He kissed stripes, leaving wet half circles in his path.
You did your best to maneuver around him, digging your fingers into his shirt buttons. You stopped at the first inch of a scar, tracing the thickest one with the lightest touch of your fingernail, sending goosebumps up his back.
"Do they bother you?" he asked.
"Never," you said. Pushing his shoulders back with your hands, you leaned down to analyse the scars. There was no rhyme or reason to them. Some were purple, some white with age.
You brushed your hands down his bare chest and smiled at him.
"You're so handsome."
The smile he gifted you in return was soft, loving.
"You're more perfect than I could have imagined," he said in turn.
"You imagine me like this?"
"Only every night."
Your hands wandered down to the zip of his trousers. You hesitated. "Go on," he said softly, pleaded softly.
You unzipped, unbuttoned. The trepidation between you both heightened. The shape of him was clearer and clearer.
You pulled his trousers down, then used a gentle hand to palm him through his boxers. His breath hitched. You were soft, lovely, probing with curious fingers. You'd be his undoing.
A fingernail, scratching at the waistband. You pulled him free, finally, his dick standing up. You used a knuckle to trace a prominent vein, gasping in happiness at his twitches.
He turned his head to the side, blinking hard. You took him in your hand and pumped with a confidence he wasn't sure you actually had, shyness and pleasure both written on your face.
"Alright, don't do me in," he said. He gripped the skin of your hips and pulled you forward, your silky underwear sliding against him. You took to this like a fish to water, planting your knees on either side and rocking your hips into him. He groaned, attempting to help, but your movements created a weakness in him he couldn't overcome.
You were wet on top of him, leaking through silk, coating him where you made contact.
You reached down in between your bodies to pull your panties to one side. You dipped a finger inside, then two, pulling slickness out and rubbing a circle around your entrance. Remus watched with half lidded eyes.
"You want to?" you asked him. He was better at it than you, probably because he could actually see what he was doing. He graced the skin of your clit, down, pushing his middle finger inside you with infinite care.
You moaned, your shoulders pushed back. "Ah, can you- will you-"
His middle finger was joined by his ring finger. His pinky and index hit the soft skin surrounding your entrance with each stroke. The meat of his pan rubbed your clit, sending spikes of hot pleasure up your abdomen.
You couldn't hold yourself up anymore, falling into his chest, arms braced on the sofa behind him. You tucked your head into his neck and gasped for air.
This restricted his speed but not his movement, scissoring his fingers inside you, curling to find where it felt best and repeating it whenever you squirmed.
You lifted yourself to escape his ministrations.
He rubbed the head of his dick against you. "Are you ready?" he asked.
You were flat to his chest. He pushed his hips down, lining up with your entrance. You cried out at the feeling. The first few inches were easy-going, sliding up into you as easy as pie. You'd brought a hand up to the hair at the base of his neck and he winced at the death grip you had.
"Am I hurting you?" he asked, coming to a stop.
"No - oh my god. You're big."
"I thought I was tall? Handsome?"
"You can be - oh, you can be all of those things."
"Listen to you," he said under his breath. "Can't even speak properly, can you, lovely girl?"
He was far from bottoming out. He held you in place, pulling out to push back in, stretching you out that little bit further each time, filling you up. You tried to move, ride him, and he tightened his grip.
"Stay still, sweetheart."
You listened. He was making good progress of you, easing you open with long, firm thrusts. You were beside yourself at this point, making sounds in his ear that almost pushed him to the edge every time he pushed back in.
Finally, with his full length inside you, he stopped. You wriggled circles around his dick, moaning with weak desperation.
"Remus, don't be cruel. Don't be."
"Cruel with you..." He thrust up, harder than before but never enough to hurt. "How could I ever be?"
You were pitched up, higher than he'd ever heard. His hips were doing all the work, you a sopping wet mess.
"We're a perfect fit," you said, your hair on his neck, your face against his shoulder. He turned to kiss your forehead.
He spread you open with his hands, the drag of his dick against your walls almost too much to bear. He was moving you up and down on him, finally encouraging you to move. You did so with a struggle, using your knees as an anchor to ride him.
You rose as high as you could, taking great pleasure in making him moan with every drop, pulling all the way off to abruptly drop back in, feeling his dick at the very deepest part of you.
When he was fully inside you, you rolled your hips, leaning forward to press pecks to his chest. He tangled a hand in your hair.
His head was thrown back against the sofa. You might look at his face and think he was distressed.
You steadily increased your speed, puffing with exertion though it could hardly be noticed between the sounds you were making.
"Don't wear yourself out," he said, sounding worried.
You let yourself drop onto your legs completely. "I can do it."
He lifted and dropped you with little effort, bobbing short, deep strokes, touching a part of you that stopped you from thinking.
"Can we go faster?"
He lifted you up close to his chest and layed you out flat on the sofa. It felt nice to be on your back, staring up at him instead of down. He hiked one of your legs up by the knee. The other leg fell off the side of the sofa.
It was his turn to be on his knees, lining up with his hand braced beside your head.
He did exaclty as you asked, fucking you at a pace that hardly let you catch your breath. It was overwhelming in the best way. His free hand came down to rub big, arching circles in your clit.
"Pretty baby, so pretty spread open like this"
"I'm close," you breathed uselessly, hand gripping the wrist near your head.
"Yeah? You gonna cum for me, pretty girl?"
The praise sent a hot flush through your whole body. You cried out, feeling the pressure of his thumb on your sensitive clit increase. Despite enjoying the feeling you felt yourself shy away as the climax started, pushing your leg down and in. Remus chuckled, doubling down his efforts.
He thrust into you with a force and it was enough to push you over the edge, both hands clamping down hard around his wrist where he held himself above your head. “Oh, god,” you cried, breathless,  the words ripped out of you.
Remus had an intensely pleased look about him, bringing up the hand from the apex of your thighs to cradle the side of your face, smoothing the lines where you’d scrunched your eyes closed.
You opened your eyes, misty as they were, to look at him, the corners of your mouth going up. He leaned down to kiss you, pushing most of his weight on you.
You made such sweet sounds, he thought. And you were stunning, sweaty and boneless, splayed out across his sofa like a vision, face alight with pleasure. You covered the hand he’d brought to your face with your own, steadying the jostling of each thrust.
He held your gaze and you laughed, a cascading sound, breathy and infectious. He was nearing his own climax, increasing his speed so that the loudest sound in the room was the slap of where his body met yours. You were half-sobbing with every thrust, though they were coloured with pleasure.
He pulled out, leaning back on his haunches, and painted the skin of your stomach white with a few rapid pumps of his shaft.
“Messy,” you said.
“Yeah, you should see the sofa. I’ll never have company again lest they see how much you like me.”
“I more than like you.”
“That much is evident,” he said, charting a course down your abdomen and slipping his fingers back inside you, pumping leisurely in and out, forcing wetness into the ever-growing pool beneath you and smiling like it was funny.
He moved back, his fingers still inside you, to kiss the soft skin between your cunt and your thighs, teasing you. You held your breath in anticipation, almost screaming when he teased the bud of your clit with his mouth. He liked stripes up your centre until you were begging him to stop, ticklish and overwhelmed.
He pulled his fingers free of you and wiped his chin with the back of his hand.
“If we weren’t wizards I’d send you a dry-cleaning invoice.”
You snickered, finally closing your legs to rub the skin of your hips. He watched you, kneeling before you like a prayer.
“You’re a rough fuck, Lupin.”
“That wasn’t too rough, was it?”
“You could go rougher.”
“Oh, could I?” he said, pulling you up and into his arms. You wrapped your arms around his neck, your legs on either side of him. He was still hard enough underneath you to keep going, but he hadn’t pulled you up for that. He rubbed a hand up and down your back, the other behind your shoulders, soothing the shakes moving through you.
“Maybe not today,” you mumbled.
“No, I don’t think so. Another time. We’ve all the time in the world.”
You dotted lazy kisses over his freckled shoulder.
“Wait,” you said, stilling with your mouth a millimetre from his skin. “I lied before, about being on. You didn’t know that. You were gonna fuck me on my period?”
He pushed your head back, his hand in your hairline. “Yes? What a strange question to ask.”
“I am not the strange one.”
“I’ll fuck you whenever you like. A little blood never bothered me.”
“I’m not sure if that’s romantic or insane.”
“You’ll change your mind the next time you cycle.”
James invited you over with a bottle of champagne.
You rushed forward to hug him, laughing when the air rushed out of him. “Thanks for your devious master plan, James.”
“Don’t mention it,” he said, surprised. “Someone’s in a good mood.”
“She’s always like that,” Remus said.
“I bet she is, you dirty dog!” Sirius chimed in. Marlene whacked him upside the shoulder. He shifted her where she sat on his lap, laughing.
“Baby Lupin on the horizon? Harry’s getting so lonely,” James said, wiggling his eyebrows.
“Harry’s not even born yet,” Lily said. “Stop pressuring our friends into having kids.”
You felt yourself light up at the thought. It was definitely too soon to be having kids, but it didn’t stop you from thinking about it with great anticipation.
Remus hugged you to his side, grinning. “We’ll see.”
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mccarthynatasha · 3 months ago
Reblog if you wanna fuck my pussy
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drarrily-we-row-along · 2 months ago
February 24: Blush
Harry fell in love with Draco’s blush first.
It wasn’t that there weren’t a thousand things to like about the other man, his good looks, his sense of humor, how genuine he was, his sheer fucking brilliance. And Harry had admitted to himself that he had a teeny tiny crush on the other man.
But then Harry had gone and done something monumentally stupid, and paid Draco a compliment. It has been something silly, just an offhand comment about the way he’d interacted with a student that Harry found particularly charming.
The most lovely pink blush colored his cheeks at Harry’s words and Draco face broke out in a pleased little smile. And just like that Harry went from liking him to being full stop in love with him.
It then became his mission to make that sweet little blush appear every day. So he started bringing little gifts (a flower, a chocolate, an apple, once even a shiny rock he’d found at the beach) or finding any little excuse that he could to say something kind.
Draco didn’t seem to quite know what to make of it, and his bafflement was all the more endearing, if Harry was being honest.
This continued for almost two weeks until the day that Harry wandered into Draco's office and held out a lovely little notebook he'd found; green vegan leather with golden flowers embossed on the cover. That day Draco said, "You're doing it wrong."
"Sorry?" Harry asked, tilting his head, sure he'd misheard the other man.
"Courting," Draco replied, that delightful flush covering his cheeks again. "And it doesn't really matter that you're doing it wrong, only-" he broke off and bit his bottom lip and Harry had the desperate urge to bite it for him, "Well, you're supposed to state your intentions first."
(Read more below the cut)
"Oh," Harry said, raising his eyebrows as he processed all of the information Draco had just given him in a matter of moments. Instead of asking all of the obvious questions, like what the courting rituals were, or if they were 'courting' or dating, or if Draco would even be open to something like that, he asked, "Why is that the first step."
"Well," Draco said, one long, pale finger tracing the golden flower on the cover of the notebook, "Intentions are stated first so that all parties understand what is being entered into."
"Does courting often have multiple possible outcomes?" he asked, only having the vaguest idea of what courting entailed.
Draco ducked his head, "well, not really, but it helps to know if your intention is to court me or if you merely want to jump into bed with me."
That lovely flush traveled down his neck and Harry had to tamp down the desire to trace it with his fingers. Or better yet, his mouth. "So, what if I told you that my intention hadn't been to court you?" he asked.
The other man deflated a bit, "Oh-"
"Or just to jump in your bed," he added.
This only seemed to make Draco feel worse, "I've misread everything-" he started.
"Well, not really," Harry said.
Draco groaned, "Potter, out with it. Just tell me why you keep bringing me all of these gifts and saying nice things to me. I can't-"
"I like you," Harry blurted. "A lot, actually. But the other day you blushed when I gave you a compliment and it made my stomach all swoopy and I didn't really think everything through-"
"Shocking," Draco deadpanned, but there was a smile at the corner of his mouth, so Harry didn't mind.
He licked his lower lip, "All I knew was that I wanted to keep seeing you blush like that, I wanted to keep watching you duck your head to try to hide that please little smile, because it," he trailed off, trying to find the right words, "Well. It feels good to make you happy."
Draco opened his mouth, then closed it again when no words seemed to be forthcoming.
"I wasn't trying to court you because I don't know anything about court-"
"Oh, thank Merlin."
"Oh," Harry said, frowning a bit at the sting in his chest, "Yeah," he said. "That's fine, that you don't fancy me, too. I'll just-"
"No!" Draco blurted jumping up from his desk, bumping an inkpot and spilling it all over everything. In his haste to save the students parchments, he upended the little vase of daffodils Harry had given him, spilling that over everything as well. "Bloody-" Draco spit. "Fuck!"
And Harry's magic seemed unable to bear that level of frustration from the other man, it reached out and set everything to rights as though none of it had happened in the first place.
Draco's blush deepened and he rested his palms on his desk, eyes fluttering shut for a moment. "It is so," he shook his head, "fucking hot when you do things like that."
"Oh," he said, surprised by this sudden, welcome turn of events.
"Like, the sheer, ridiculousness of your magic, that it just fixes things, all on it's own," he rubbed his hands over his face. "It's not supposed to do things like that once you're past the age of like 12," he added.
"Huh," Harry said, "Sorry, I'd really like to listen to what you're saying. It sounds sort of like when you're gearing up to talking about magic theory and your eyes get all bright and you light up like a firework, but," he shrugged helplessly, "you also just called me 'fucking hot' so I'm stuck there."
"Right," Draco said, straightening his waistcoat, "That's actually what I,” he shook his head, “well, why I wanted to stop you. I do," he said, "fancy you too."
The corner of his mouth quirked.
"I am just very pleased not to have to go through archaic courting rituals." He rubbed his hand over the back of his neck, "When I was epically disowned, it was one of the first things I took comfort in."
"So, you're opposed to courting, but might be interested in dating me?" Harry offered tentatively.
Draco grinned at him, "I'd be very interested in dating you," he replied, flush blooming across his cheekbones.
"That is fantastic news," he reiterated, leaning over and brushing a finger along Draco's cheek. "This is very distracting."
"Oh?" Draco huffed with a little laugh.
He nodded, "in a very good way."
"I'm glad you think so."
"Can I keep bringing you gifts even if we're not courting?"
Draco nodded, "And saying nice things, if you want." He leaned across the desk toward Harry, until their faces were mere inches apart.
"Do you think I could kiss you, too?"
He nodded, tip of his nose brushing over Harry's, and Harry reached out to cup those delightful, blushing cheeks as he brought Draco's mouth to his.
Written for @hdcandyheartsfest's prompt: February 24: Blush
February 23: Honey | February 25: "I love you"
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a-6-yearold-inside · 6 months ago
Enemy of my Enemy
a continuation of this fic
“So… Lila?” Marinette Dupain-Cheng glanced at him from over her mug. 
“Lila.” Felix nodded and set his cup down. “You know.” 
“And you?”
“I know better than most.”
She cocked an eyebrow at him and it was suddenly made clear that he’d be working with Marinette Dupain-Cheng against Rossi. He sighed. 
“We… dated. She made me think she was a person she wasn’t: an intellectual person.”
Marinette’s eyebrows, which had shot up when he mentioned that they dated, settled. “So, revenge?”
“Primarily. Your goal?”
“I want her to stop messing with my friends.” No hesitation. He liked this girl. 
Felix stuck out his hand. “Well, then. Miss Dupain-Cheng, Welcome to the committee to overthrow Lila Rossi.”
The initial stage of the plan was simple. Felix, who hadn’t exactly endeared himself to his classmates, would play the skeptic. Marinette, who still wanted her friends to like her, would be the one willing to be convinced. 
“A personal concert and backstage tickets? Really?” He griped. They were within earshot of Rose and Alya, who were the targets for the event. 
“Listen,” Marinette placed a friendly hand on his arm, “I wasn’t sure about Lila either, at first. Her life just seems too exciting to be real, huh?”
“Her life is-”
“But here’s the thing. My best friend Alya is a reporter; she doesn’t just take statements for truth. She needs proof. Can you believe that she once asked me for my birth certificate to prove when my birthday was?” She giggled. It was adorable. 
“Your point?” No. No. He wasn’t doing this again. It was a joint revenge plan. Nothing more.
“Just ask Lila to see the pictures that convinced Alya. I’m sure you’ll be fine then.” 
They left Rose and Alya chattering about how exciting a picture of Lila’s events must be. Just as planned. 
Of course, it wasn’t like they didn’t expect Lila to be able to get out of the spot they were trying to corral her in, but it would give her a bit of panic. Maybe just enough to light a spark of suspicion in Alya and Rose. 
Or at least something to laugh over at their next meeting. 
“Did- did you see her face?” Marinette cackled. It was even worse than the fake giggle. 
“I thought she’d have a genuine heart attack that time.” He hid his grin with a sip of tea as Marinette spluttered out more laughs. 
This was nice. Felix had missed having friends after Lila chased them all away with lies and threats; who knew? 
“So, what’s step 2?”
Right, the plan. He cleared his throat. “A bit of respect for everything Lila has to do in a day. You said you had a schedule of your friend’s activities?”
Marinette grinned, teeth flashing like a beast. 
It was almost frightening how easily she could read his mind at this point. 
“Guys, I’m sorry, but it looks like we'll have to reschedule Alix’s race. Lila’s got that Germany trip, right?”
“Maybe we shouldn’t have our annual pool trip; after all, Lila almost drowned that one time. We don’t want to remind her of her trauma.”
“We should all go and help Lila with her tree planting project, instead of that movie. Wouldn’t that make her happy?”
At this point, a few months in, Marinette’s well-meaning cancelations were driving her classmates to the point where they willingly went to Felix to complain about it. This was to be expected, of course, seeing as Felix was the only one in the room who was known to be anti-Lila and no one thought anyone else disliked her. 
This wouldn’t do; their whole goal with this section of the plan was to get people talking to the others and letting resentment grow.
“It’s not great how often we’ve got to postpone things for Lila, huh?” Kim settled into the seat next to him. 
“I couldn’t care less.” He answered blithely, maintaining a stare into his book. 
“You’re kidding, right? Movie night? Pool party? None of it?” A touch of incredulity wormed its way into Kim’s tone and Felix had to stifle a satisfied grin. 
“No, so if you wouldn’t mind, direct your complaints to someone who does.” He turned a page.
When he regaled Marinette of the situation at their usual table, she snorted. 
“You might have killed him.”
“I half thought so as well.”
“Anyway, there might be a hitch in the plan.” She tapped her nails against her mug. 
“Lila’s threatening me again, saying that Adrien will…” She trailed off and gave him an uneasy glance. 
“You’ve said that Adrien knows about her nature.” 
“Yeah, but the class’s opinion is really important to him. They may end up convincing him not to hang out with me anymore.”
He sighed a little bit. “So, what is your end goal regarding Adrien. Do you need romance to still be an option?” He bit down a plea for her to forget about Adrien entirely; move on and see the person right in front of her. 
“I…” She glanced at him and Felix desperately tried to act like he didn’t care, “No. I just need him to be my friend, that’s all.”
“Okay.” He nodded, more to himself than her. “We can work with that. For starters, you need to find a friend outside the classroom to pretend to be your romantic partner.”
Tea sprayed all over the table. “What?”
“This will be beneficial for both of our goals; no one will think that you’re against Lila for the sake of a boy, and keep Lila from feeling that you are a threat.”
She wrung her hands. “Does it have to be someone outside the classroom?”
Ah, so that was the problem. She had moved on to someone else, just someone that still wasn’t him. 
“If you are planning on a fake relationship, yes. If genuine, pick whoever you’d like.” He shrugged. “I’d suggest not hesitating, though. We don’t know when Lila will strike next.”
“And if it’s a real relationship?” She stared at him, eyes… hopeful?
Oh. Was it that important?
“Then, you should ask them soon.” 
“What if they say no?” Her voice trembled and she looked down. 
Suddenly, Felix realized that he couldn’t control his tongue.
“There isn’t a female-attracted person on Earth that would pass up on the chance to hold your hand.” Was out of his mouth before his brain could think the words. 
“Oh. I-In that case, can this meeting be adjourned?” She looked excited.
“We haven’t even finished our drinks.” It was a weak excuse; a pitiful attempt to regain any appearance of not being a love-sick fool.
“I know. I call for this meeting to be adjourned as a committee meeting and instead be a date. Anyone to second the motion?”
Felix was lucky he was sitting or else his knees would have given out. “Seconded.”
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knightmareaceblue · 5 months ago
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The world was a dark, dangerous place. A place where you could only depend on yourself. Henry understood that perfectly well. What he didn't understand was why he was so drawn to Charles and Ellie anyways.
One of the things Henry had learned in his career as a thief, perhaps a little later than strictly prudent, was that the light was NOT his friend. Robbing a bank in broad daylight had admittedly not been one of his best ideas, but the situation was made infinitely worse when Henry had carelessly jumped out of the safety of his dark bag into the open, where blinding lights had preceded painfully loud alarms blaring through the bank. That had been the most major mistake of his criminal career, and it had cascaded into a whole prison break.
After that, Henry became more generally aware, only performing major heists after the sun had set and avoiding lit areas whenever he could. And that worked out well for him; his next job, the theft of the Tunisian Diamond, went so much smoother as a result. He stayed in the shadows, crept passed everyone, and only had to crush one guy’s skull with the giant gem (And he was fine. Probably. Maybe. Henry never head anything about a murder, so he was probably fine) to get what he wanted. It was perhaps the smoothest job he’d ever done, and only cemented what he’d learned from the failed bank heist: the best way to work was to be silent and blend in with the shadows, avoiding the treacherous light that would expose him to the dangers of the world.
Of course, that was before he was kidnapped by the government to steal from one of the most notorious gangs in the criminal underground.
He hadn’t even been aware that the authorities had been onto him. One moment Henry had been crawling on to his brick of a mattress, prepared for another night of tossing and turning under his scratchy sheets and hoping to wake up at least a little refreshed, and the next he was rudely torn from slumber by bumps of air turbulence, hundreds of meters up above the ground, being stared down by a seasoned military captain and his (oddly familiar) angry subordinate.
“Well, well…” The captain’s smug tone was accentuated by a slight smirk. He stood straight and rigid with the type of arrogance only gotten by years of authority, and it made Henry clench his teeth. “Look who finally decided to wake up.”
Once Henry’s brain finally finished booting up, he immediately began scanning the interior of the metal beast he was trapped in the belly of. There wasn’t much he could take advantage of – from the window, Henry could see they were too high up for him to make it safely to the ground without a parachute, and there was no way he could get to one before getting shot up by one of the two government stooges with him-
No, not two. Three. Out of the corner of his eye Henry could see the pilot observing them from his place in the cockpit. He wasn’t slick at all, hastily averting his gaze when their eyes briefly met.
Honestly, in that moment Henry didn’t give a second thought to the oblivious government dog in the pilot’s seat. He was a constant presence, keeping the helicopter functional at jump-and-die altitudes, but  his existence was ultimately overshadowed by the dark clouds of the Captain and the soldier hovering over him, briefing him on the Toppat Clan (like he didn’t already know about them) and blackmailing him into what could easily be the most dangerous job of his career. It wasn’t until the cloud parted, having dumped their obligations of stopping the Toppats onto the thief’s back, that he was exposed to the pilot for the first time.
“Charlie here will be bringing you close to the airship.” Announced the Captain with a wave of his arm, drawing attention to the totally not eavesdropping man in the cockpit. “The rest is up to you. Find a way to bring ‘em down, and you’ll be a free man.”
It took all of Henry’s self control not to roll his eyes as the captain walked off, leaving the thief alone to contemplate his options.
“So, uh, how do you want me to bring you in?” The pilot asked, his nervous stutter betraying his neutral expression. “We have a grappling hook you could use…” It sounded simple enough, but Henry had enough bad luck with simple sounding things that he was immediately skeptical. “Or we could launch you over in a cannon – see, we have this ball, super-high tech-” Charlie paused, likely because he caught sight of the way Henry cringed at the idea. That sounded like a great way to make the Toppat Clan his enemy and, yeah, no thanks. “Or we could… uh, launch you over with a sticky hand?”
Okay, now he was just messing with Henry. The thief frowned at him, unamused, and Charlie seemed to finally get the hint.
“Or I can find another way of getting you in!” With that, Charlie spun around in his seat and began fiddling with some sort of tiny computer. It distracted him, but not enough to get him to stop talking. “Yeah, uh, no problem! I can do that… find another way in, no problem. Heh, it’s funny, after all the stuff you did, I’d have thought you’d be more of the ‘charge in, adrenaline rush’ kinda guy, you know?”
What, did this guy think he stole those things for fun? ...well, okay, it was fun, but that was only half the picture. He’d never afford his rent, otherwise. Henry huffed and crossed his arms, trying pretty damned hard to keep a neutral face.
Not hard enough it seemed, as the pilot flinched under his gaze. “Gee, sorry. I didn’t mean to offend you or anything. I just thought, you know, since this was like your museum heist, you’d be totally into it! Breaking into a secure criminal base, no plan, no idea of the layout or any sort of time for planning, rushing headfirst into one of the most… notoriously, cunning criminal gangs in the country… with no real reward except us not arresting you. Oh.” He blinked, the false stoicism fading into something sadder. “Huh. We… really don’t come out as the good guys here, do we?” Charlie’s hands stilled, and his gaze broke away from the monitor to look back at Henry. “I’m sorry, dude.”
Henry found himself taken aback – the pilot’s eyes seemed to glow with sincerity, an odd emotion on his face. He looked… pitying? Or maybe guilty? It was hard to tell, but Henry felt his eyebrows skyrocket up in response. He’d said sorry… had anyone ever apologized to Henry in his life?
(That was the first time Charles Calvin would surprise Henry. The first, but far from the last.)
Before Henry could come up with any sort of proper response, Charlie turned away from Henry and picked up a headset, tossing it over at the unprepared thief. It was a tiny miracle that Henry didn’t fumble and drop it on the floor. A smile grew on the pilot’s face, warm and glowing unlike anything that had ever been directed at Henry. It was… confusing, to say the least. “But don’t worry, I’m gonna help you out! I’ve got all sorts of cool gadgets on this thing, like a gravity manipulator…” He gestured to a pair of blue buttons. “A missile launcher… I’m not even sure what this thing is-”
“Charlie.” The Captain spoke up, his tone commanding and rigged. “Do we need to go over the definition of the word ‘classified’ again?”
A bashful blush covered the pilot’s face, and he swiftly turned back to the tiny computer, “Sorry, Capt’n. Well, uh, anyways, it looks like the computer found a maintenance hatch on top of the Airship. Seems pretty safe, I’ll swoop in and set you down. Once you’re inside, I’ll feed you any information you need.” And then he winked playfully, baffling Henry further. He did know Henry was a criminal, right? Why was he being so… weird? “And if you need any help, just let me know!”
Henry wasn’t sure how to respond to that, but thankfully he wasn’t given much time to contemplate before they swooped over the Airship to drop him off. Henry sighed, descended, and prepared for the worst mission of his life. Except… it wasn’t.
In fact, Henry would even say this mission had gone even smoother than the Diamond Job. He hadn’t had any time to prepare, but with Charles’ help that basically didn’t matter. He was forewarned of enemies up ahead, given more options for dealing with traps than he normally had, and even though Henry disliked speaking aloud, Charles was surprisingly patient with him. He’d suggest things, and wait for Henry to tap affirmatively on his headset before putting any of his plans into action.
(Henry also learned that the pilot generally went by ‘Charles’, not Charlie. At the time he hadn’t been sure why he’d fixated on this fact, since he didn’t think he’d see the pilot again after this. It wasn’t until later on in their relationship that he’d figure it out.)
Charles even managed to surprise Henry with the fact that the headphones he’d been carrying on him for the entire mission were, in fact, a secret weapon. Would have maybe been good to know he’d been carrying a force gun around the entire time, but man was it satisfying to finally fire it off, knocking those two Toppat goons out of the way before launching himself and the stolen intel back onto the helicopter. The force of crashing into the helicopter had nearly dislocated his shoulder, sure, but Henry couldn’t bring himself to be angry about the pain. Especially not when Charles had glanced over his shoulder to offer Henry a congratulatory thumbs up and a blinding smile that made Henry feel warmth wash over him, reaching into the pits of his stomach. He hadn’t thought much of it at the time.
Honestly, Henry hadn’t expected to have any communication with Charles after the mission, but the excitable pilot had shown up at Henry’s hotel room that night with the offer to buy Henry a souvenir and, well, how could Henry say no to a free gift? The day had ended with Henry having a new coat, a golden pin to match Charles’ silver, and an unlikely friend. A part of Henry nagged at himself for this; leaving his heart exposed to the light like this was dangerous. It would be so easy for Charles to leave him burned, or left out to dry. No person in Henry’s life; not his friends, not his peers, and certainly not his nebulous employers, had ever shown him even a bit of kindness, let alone the genuine compassion Charles radiated.
The longer they kept in contact, however, the more Charles’ optimistic warmth and hilarious antics gradually thawed the shadows encasing Henry’s heart. More and more often Henry would wake up to a cheerful ‘good morning :D’ text on his cell phone, and the weight on his shoulders as he continued struggling to find work was made just a little lighter. Charles would pop in at the most unexpected times, always with a smile and some new adventure to drag Henry into. It was Charles, pointing out how Henry was like a detective, that made him decide to follow the path of the private eye. Long, sleepless nights weren’t so dark and lonely when his phone would light up with another dumb meme, or a long text rant telling Henry about his day, or just a simple ‘Good night ;P’. Just seeing these, Henry would feel a faint warmth crawl from his chest, choking his throat as it traveled up, before pooling in his glowing red cheeks.
This was scary. This was dangerous.
If there was one thing more dangerous than the light, it was people. For as long as Henry could remember, people hadn’t liked him. He’d been alone all his life; no family, no friends. Peers and parents alike had thought him stupid as a child for not speaking, and his associates in the criminal world would all betray him at the drop of a hat. There was no reason to risk his heart by being friends with Charles. Why was he needlessly putting himself at risk of being burned? He should get rid of him. He should cut all ties and vanish into the void.
(But he couldn’t. Henry tried, but he just… couldn’t. The thought of being without the light Charles radiated gave him nightmares.)
It was a stormy afternoon when Henry figured it out. The winds were whistling as they carried the squall, encircling Henry’s home with dark clouds. The trees scratched at the walls of his building like claws, trying to burrow in, and Henry was shrouded in blankets, clutching his stomach. His organs felt knotted together, pulling painfully, and dark circles surrounded his eyes. Anxiety and insomnia were a wicked combination, and they’d tag-teamed him thoroughly.
The rent was due in one week, one cell of his brain screeched at him. You haven’t showered since Sunday, another howled. It was like every single cell was fixated on a different, terrible thing, and they were all competing to see who could yell about Henry’s problems the loudest. The thoughts swarmed like a cloud of bees, blotting out rational thought like the clouds outside blotted out the sun. The churning in his head made him dizzy, in turn churning his stomach, making Henry feel ill. His blankets were thin, and scratchy, and did little more than block out what little light could pierce through the clouds.
It was all his own fault, of course. The private detective business was actually treating Henry fairly well. A little too well. Having not really had stable work before, Henry didn’t think much of skipping a meal here, or missing a night of sleep there, but he hadn’t realized just how often he’d been doing these things until just this morning. The entire night he’d tossed and turned, trying to quiet his thoughts enough to sleep, but instead they only grew louder and louder, until he began to drown in the noise. By the time dawn rolled around, Henry had gotten maybe a few minutes of shut eye before another anxious thought would nag him awake.
His head was pounding, his heart beating hard against his chest as if trying to break out. There was so much to do, so many things to get done in so little time, but his body just… refused to move. Henry had always known he was weak, but he’d never believed he was this pathetic.
...pfft, who was he kidding? He’d always been a miserable pile of-
Knock, knock.
The sudden sound, piercing through the cloud of anxiety hanging over Henry’s head, brought with it a new wave of terror. Had one of his former buyers come by to ‘persuade’ him to come back to the business? Or maybe they’d taken a hit out on him? Or what if the government had suddenly turned their back on him and betrayed their deal-?!
“Henry?” The call of a now familiar voice gave Henry pause, stilling the swirling cognition of his mind with a single ray of light. It was Charles. What was he doing here? Another knock echoed through the apartment, accompanied by, “Henry, it’s me. Are you home?”
Pushing past the wall of blankets that trapped him in his bed, Henry considered his next actions. They spoke a lot, even hung out in public, but it was rare that Charles would be able to swing by Henry’s apartment and, honestly, that was the way Henry preferred it. His home was a dump, an embarrassment, he’s too lazy to even clean up after himself, too stupid to handle himself, too much of a slob to even shower, how could Charles ever want such a useless-?
Henry’s phone went off, jolting his thoughts to a halt. He never went anywhere without that thing in his pocket, so if Charles didn’t know he was home, he did now. God, what would he think when he saw Henry’s current state? Probably leave, make terrible jabs, insult Henry for failing in the most basic of necessities. He’d leave, and never come back and block Henry’s number, after all, how could anyone want to be friends with such a pathetic, miserable piece of criminal trash?
“Okay, Henry.” Charles called loudly. “I know you’re in there. You have until the count of three before I break your door down.” Oh Jesus. Henry sighed, pulled his blanket around his shoulders like a cape, and lumbered over to the door. “One… Two… Three!” Henry opened the door, just in time for Charles to charge through, trip on the uneven carpeting, and splat down onto the floor with a loud thud.
Well, that was a noise complaint.
“Aw, geez…” Charles moaned as he picked himself up off the ground. “Way to catch a guy off guard, Hen.” The simple nickname caused the increasingly familiar warmth to flutter in his chest, like butterflies swarming in his chest. Then Charles looked up, and the warmth sunk down to his stomach, going hard and cold like a stone. “Whoa, what happened to you?”
Instead of signing his response, Henry only pulled the blanket tighter around himself. God, what a mess he must look. Now that Charles had seen this, he’d probably turn around and walk out that door and never come anywhere near Henry ever again, just like he deserved. Shame washed over Henry; what was he thinking, stepping out of the shadows for this one person? He knew this would happen, he knew, why would he do this to himself?
“Easy, easy!” Henry hadn’t even realized he’d been swaying in place, not until Charles leapt forward and caught him before he could hit the floor. His hand was warm as it came to rest on Henry’s forehead, and he couldn’t help but lean into the touch. It was soft and pleasant, like Charles himself. “Aw, geez, it looks like you’ve got a fever man. I keep telling you to take better care of yourself.”
That was true. Many times Charles had nagged Henry to spend more time in his bed and less at his desk, to eat something other than instant food and coffee. Henry hadn’t listened; another reason Charles should just dump him then and there.
Before Henry could even finish lifting his hands to respond, Charles had one arm wrapped around his shoulders, another hooked around his knees, and was lifting Henry up into his arms. Instinctively Henry latched his arms around Charles’ neck, staring down at the unforgiving ground uneasily. “Don’t you worry, buddy. I’ve got your back.”
This dragged Henry’s gaze from the floor to Charles’ face, where he was greeted by a brilliant smile and gorgeous green eyes. They were intense, brilliant and glowing with ferocious determination, but they also radiated warmth and affection the likes Henry had never known before. The warmth seemed to spread, and suddenly the cold winds in his head and outside his home weren’t quite so loud anymore.
“Hey, it’s okay, you’re okay.” Charles’ voice was gentler than Henry had ever heard it be before. The pilot kept cooing reassurances at his sick friend, and Henry was so baffled and enraptured that he barely even noticed they were moving until he was once again set on his bed. Never once did those kind eyes waver. “See? You’re just fine. Ick, but this apartment isn’t though. You focus on getting some rest, I’m gonna see if I can spruce this place up a bit. Is that mold on that plate? No wonder you’re getting sick.”
Charles stepped away from his bed, and cold flooded the absent space where he’d once been. Henry’s stomach turned again. He knew Charles wasn’t leaving him, he knew that, but he still couldn’t help but jolt up into a sitting position, catching Charles’ hand in his own. Instantly Charles turned back towards Henry, surprise and concern on his face.
And before Henry knew it, he was speaking aloud for the first time in years. “...don’t go…”
Charles’ eyebrows shot up, but other than that his expression didn’t change. His hand, still locked tight in Henry’s grip, adjusted to clasp Henry’s hand back. The bed made a slight creaking noise as Charles sat next to him. “Hey, it’s okay. I know you’re not feeling well, I’m not going anywhere, alright?” And then he did something Henry hadn’t expected; he reached over with his free arm and pulled Henry so close he could tuck the other’s head under his chin. “I’m not just going to leave you hanging, okay buddy? I’m gonna be right here as long as you need me.”
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He pulled back, the light from the kitchen (had Charles turned that on?) encircling his body, giving Charles a warm, pleasant glow to match his sunny disposition. As he pushed Henry to lay down in the bed, with firm instructions to, “Get some goddamned rest.” He smiled, uplifting and friendly and… pretty.
And Henry understood.
Befriending Charles had, at first, been because he’d found the other funny and easy to talk to, but as it had gone on longer Henry had begun to feel this pull. He’d worry if too much time went by between responses from the pilot, and days where they’d meet up would cause a fuzzy feeling of anticipation in his head and heart throughout the entire day. Charles radiated warmth and cheerfulness and kindness like he was the sun, and Henry was Icarus. He’d flown too close, and now he was falling, faster and faster. And he didn’t know when he’d stop, or if he’d crash… or be caught.
Naturally, this revelation freaked Henry the fuck out. The only mercy the universe gave him that day was that Charles was too busy cleaning up his mess and cooking him soup (damn good soup, too) to notice the minor panic attack Henry was having under the sheets of his bed.
Charles also bought him a brand new linen set, soft and comfortable, and that didn’t exactly make things easier.
This new revelation had caught Henry off guard. Crushes and romance were as foreign to him as the straight and narrow had been just a few months prior. It was hard to tell what to make of these new emotions flooding to brain. Henry would have to take some time to process his thoughts, really think through what a relationship with Charles would look like… what he’d even want or get out of it… if Charles would even be interested in a petty, dirty thief like him. He should step back to think this through before he did anything. That was his plan, anyways.
Three days later, Henry got kidnapped.
“Ah, hello Henry. Welcome… to the Wall.”
Henry was blinded when he awoke, light assaulting him from the front. Unlike Charles’ gentle sunshine, this light was harsh and blaring, like headlights barreling towards you in the middle of the night. He attempted to shift, to move away into the comforting safety of the shadows, but found he couldn’t. His hands were sealed together behind his back, and the second Henry realized this his heart leapt into his throat. How the hell did this happen? Was he careless? Did he screw up?
...was letting Charles in the wrong move after all? Had his kindness been a cover for an inferno that would burn Henry’s tender heart?
Disregarding Henry’s obvious struggling, the gray old man in front of him continued. “Some of the most cunning and notorious criminals are kept here. And now we have the infamous Henry Stickmin.” The gray man stalked over like a wolf circling its pray, leering down at Henry with a vicious smirk. Henry paused in his struggles, his shoulders aching as they instinctively flinched as the man entered his personal space. “You’re going to be here a long time.” He then glanced up, past Henry. “Grigori, take him away.”
Henry couldn’t even see the man that ripped him out of that cold, hard seat. One second he was out in the open, exposed under a harsh artificial light, and the next he was ripped away back into the darkness. The entirety of the Wall felt uncomfortably fake. The ceilings were lined with harsh fluorescent lights that flickered and swayed. The air was more cold than anything Henry had ever felt before, and the jacket Charles had bought him, one he always wore, was conspicuously missing. He shivered as the winds blew around him, staring at the ground to avoid the snarling glares he got from the Wall’s many guards. They stood in the shadows, hairs raised, posture stiff, teeth bared; just as rabid and vicious as the wolf leading their pack.
He only looked up once, to see the moon’s reflection glowing on the ocean waves, before being violently shoved forward. There was ice floating on the ocean’s surface, which only made the anxious sinking feeling in Henry’s stomach worse. Where the hell was he?
Grigori, the stoic watchdog, shoved Henry into an empty, decrepit little room labeled ‘processing’, directing Henry to stand next to some red-headed girl with one simple instruction: “You wait here,” His brow was wrinkled with perpetual stress, “until cell found.”
With those simple words, Grigori stalked away to stand sentry at the doorway, leaving Henry to his own devices. Despite his nerves, a familiar sense of giddiness washed over Henry. Being a PI was nice and all, but this? This was where he shined. The biggest mistake the Wall would ever make was leaving Henry Stickmin unsupervised. Now, how to escape…?
With the eyes of an owl, Henry studied his surroundings. There wasn’t much to go with. The room was bare and dilapidated, with not a single thing to use as a weapon. With the tight, chafing iron clasped around his hands (preventing them from moving or signing or feeling, cutting him off from the world, tied like a stupid animal who can’t even talk-), hitting someone could really pack a punch, but could Henry really make it past the wolf-eyed guards patrolling the hallway? Or if he played dead- no, that was a terrible idea. That would just get him sent to the garbage chute to the morgue, which probably wouldn’t improve his situation any. Maybe he should just wait until they transferred him before-
Oh? What was that? Some sort of maintenance hatch just above his head. Well, Henry mused with a smirk, what a lucky coincidence. The problem was getting up there. There wasn’t exactly any ladders Henry could get his hands on-
Hang on. There was a girl sitting next to him, wasn’t there? Henry’s eyes trailed over to her. She sat in a slump, posture defeated, her vibrant red hair falling into her face. She was clothed in a tunic and leggings, and while she didn’t shiver in the cold as Henry did, her breath turned to fog in the air. He tried to get her attention, first by clearing his throat, then with a loud shivering sound that Grigori, thankfully, didn’t take notice of. The red-haired girl shifted her gaze up towards Henry, a dull amethyst colour shrouded with suspicion. Without delay, Henry tossed his head in the direction of the hatch, and the girl’s gaze followed. Suddenly her eyes seemed to brighten, becoming a vibrant violet colour as her hope was renewed. She gave Henry a short nod, and the game was afoot.
While the tight, restricting, terrible metal handcuffs made it difficult for the girl to perform any kind of toss, let alone a subtle one, she gave Henry the lift he needed to hook on to a pipe right next to the maintenance hatch. From there, opening the hatch was as easy as grabbing the handle with his foot and nimbly slipping inside.
Naturally, the first thing Henry did was free his hands. His wrists were sore from the cuffs clamping down on them, but he was hard pressed to care about that when he could finally feel the world around him. Henry flexed his fingers, stretching them out after being confined for so long, before looking down the long shaft he was in. All Henry had to do was-
Hold it, said a voice in his head, and Henry groaned. That had started happening sometime after the Airship mission. Anytime he thought about doing something totally cool and useful but not morally kosher, it popped up and snapped at him until he inevitably did the right thing. She helped you escape. Are you just going to leave her there?
Well, Henry argued back, this was a prison. Regardless of if she helped him, Henry didn’t know if he could trust her. What if she blew him off or screwed him over later for her own freedom? In the criminal world, you couldn’t – no, shouldn’t – trust anybody.
Well, you’re here, so clearly the warden isn’t basing his little collection on anything legal, pointed out that annoying voice, for all you know she deserves to be here just as much as you do. And besides, wouldn’t Charles go back for her?
And Henry sighed, because that was always the argument that got him.
Unhooking the ladder, Henry silently descended back into the room, tossing the red-haired girl a smile as he did. She blinked, and then returned it, her eyes shining with gratitude that made Henry feel a touch guilty for his earlier conundrum. With both hands free, it was easy for him to toss her up into the vent, and Henry quickly followed, retracting the ladder and closing the hatch as he did. Behind him, a clang, clang, clang told Henry that the girl was getting her handcuffs off just fine on her own.
“Thanks.” She said, the tension in her body slowly fading as she rubbed at her red wrists. Henry nodded in acknowledgment. “My name is Ellie. What’s yours?”
Without thinking, Henry lifted his hands, and managed to sign the first three letters of his name before remembering that most people didn’t understand ASL. Whoops.
Lucky for him, though, Ellie only smiled patiently and signed back. “DO NOT WORRY. KNOW A LITTLE ASL. THOUGHT IT WOULD BE USEFUL.” She winked. “I WAS RIGHT.”
Something in Henry felt a little lighter at the simple words. Most people, knowing that Henry could hear them, often made demands that he speak aloud, and Henry had always steadfast refused. All his life, his selective mutism had been an obstacle, one everyone framed as something he had to overcome. Even with Charles, who’d been sweet with him and was slowly learning to sign, they still had to communicate with a phone or by writing. It was nice to be able to just… talk to someone for once.
He completed his introduction, and the two silently crept along the vents, using ASL to hold a conversation as they did. Ellie, he learned, had once run with a dangerous criminal gang, too far to the north for Henry to have ever heard of them, and they’d betrayed her and left her to the mercy of the Wall when their last job went wrong. Despite this betrayal, Ellie was perfectly pleasant and friendly, and while a part of Henry was still wary, she did a nice job of keeping his fears at bay.
Something dark crossed her face for a split second, dulling her eyes to a palatine purple, and she took a calming breath. “HAD TO TRY. THAT OR BE STUCK HERE. AND I CAN’T LET THEM WIN.” Her brow furrowed. “WANTED TO BREAK ME. TO DRAG ME DOWN UNTIL I WAS JUST LIKE THEM. NOT GONNA HAPPEN.”
So, even when the darkness surrounded her, Ellie remained strong and loyal, a single ray of hope in a light polluted night sky. They could just be words, of course, but something in Ellie’s eyes told Henry that it wasn’t so. She seemed firm, and resolute. Strong and brilliant, even as she embraced the night.
Henry shook those thoughts out of his head, and they continued onward.
At the other end of the hatch was what appeared to be some sort of storage room. There were boxes strewn about, oddly untidy for such an otherwise organized place, and Henry and Ellie took advantage of that to duck under one of the boxes. There were two guards stationed here. They needed to act fast.
Ellie mulled this over. “NICE IDEA.” She signed back. “BUT WOULD PUT YOU AT RISK. NO WAY.”
Oh. She was… concerned about him? The thought caused a wave of warmth to rush through Henry. Before this, only Charles had ever shown genuine concern for Henry’s well-being. It was nice to hear that someone else cared as well, even if they’d just met.
Well, since they were on a streak of working well together, Henry grinned and signed back to Ellie, “OKAY. THEN WE TAKE THEM DOWN TOGETHER. I GET LEFT. YOU GET RIGHT.” She nodded, and they rolled out. Ellie’s footsteps were soft and practiced. How much experience did she have in the art of thievery? Regardless, they both pressed against the walls, waiting for the time to strike, then muzzled the guard wolves, knocking them out and resting them in a… relatively safe spot.
“Okay, we’re clear.” Ellie spoke aloud, her eyes narrowing like a cat on the hunt as she scanned the hallway ahead. “Nice job back there. You used to this?”
With a sheepish smile, Henry signed, “YOU COULD SAY THAT.”
“Well, it’s nice working with you. For once I don’t feel like a baby sitter.” Ellie laughed sweetly, a sound that echoed through the room like the chirping of crickets in a quiet forest. Henry found himself mirroring her smile. Despite his earlier doubts, he liked this girl. She was calm and serene, and Henry found himself perfectly at ease around her. Even though they were still trapped in the Wall, he didn’t feel afraid at all anymore. With Ellie guiding the way, Henry was sure he could find his way home. “So,” Continued the woman, brushing her hair out of her face, “ready to get out of here?”
“HELL YES.” Henry signed, then paused as he noticed a sign nearby. It said Confiscated Items. “JUST AS SOON AS I GET SOMETHING…”
One coat rescue, one story, and one massive prison break later, and Henry and Ellie had managed to make it to the Wall’s courtyard relatively unscathed. With his favourite jacket on and Ellie’s hand in his own, the cold winds that blew through the night didn’t seem quite so bad. What was bad was the chaotic riot that stood between them and sweet freedom. The guards ferociously pounced at prisoners, guns and smoke and fists flying haphazardly in every direction. They could barely see the gate over the havoc.
“We’re so close…” Ellie murmured, her voice only a whisper over the fighting and the harsh winds. “Just have to get over that gate, and we’re free! We can do it!” Her hand squeezed around Henry’s; strong, tight, reassuring. One guiding ray of hope over the cloud of chaos ahead of them.
Reluctantly, the two released hands, and they made a break for it. Henry sprinted as quickly as he could, leaping past prisoners, trying to get to the gate. So close, they were so close-!
“Henry!” The sudden call from his partner, much farther than it should have been, shocked Henry into pausing. He spun around, and Ellie’s lavender eyes were clouded with fear as Grigori’s claws dug into her wrists, much too firm for her to escape on her own.
He growled at her struggles, “Back to your cell, inmate.”
There was no time to think. Henry had to act, and fast! Could he hit that guy without hitting Ellie?! It was risky… if he was just a little faster, he could just nab her and be off…
Ellie stared at him, brilliant purple swirling as she silently pleaded for help. A sense of resolute calmness washed over Henry. He could do this. He could save her.
Now that he was calmer, Henry noticed something he hadn’t before in the midst of the chaos – vehicles, running wild through the courtyard. Henry couldn’t tell if the drivers were guard or prisoner, but it hardly mattered. They were clearly out of control.
They were heading right for them. All Henry had to do was draw his attention…
“What?” Grigori barked inquisitively, his grip on Ellie tightening. The girl herself stared flatly at Henry,  plum coloured eyes flat and unimpressed. “You think that will upset me? Oh, very mat-”
That was the last thing Grigori said before being bulldozed by a stampeding truck. Ellie, thankfully, remained untouched.
With the guard dog out of the way, she bolted over to Henry fast. “Thanks… I guess?” Henry only granted her a small smirk in response. “Now, let’s get out of here!”
They had plenty of options for escape at this point, and Henry didn’t trust a single one of them. A truck like that? Too slow and conspicuous for a good get away. Going under the fence? Makes it easier to hide, but on foot they’d be incredibly slow. Even with his coat, Henry knew just how easy it would be for the two of them to freeze to death. Maybe they could steal a tank? Henry’d always wanted a tank-
“I see it!” Ellie shouted, her surprisingly soft hands pushing Henry to look eastward. At first he couldn’t see it, but a thief’s master eye couldn't be fooled for long, and he quickly spotted the motorcycle buried under the snow. It was fast, easy to hide… it was perfect. Henry didn’t know how to drive it though, and asked Ellie through ASL if she did, to which she smirked. “Oh, you’ll find out.”
That was… hardly reassuring.
They raced past the roaring crowd of rioters, this time running hand in hand. Henry’s lungs burned with the exertion, and his eyes burned with the force of the bitter winds. The fierce, cold artificial lights bore down on Henry’s skull, bringing with it all the irritation of eyes on the back of his head. He squeezed Ellie’s hand as they ran, and her reassuring squeeze back calmed his racing heart. She was a soothing light in the dark cloud of chaos that covered the Wall.
Henry broke free to pull the bike out of the snow. That was a mistake. No sooner had Henry dug it out and stood it up that he was pounced upon by the warden himself. His eyes burned with a hate Henry had never seen before, his teeth bared, his pupils blown up with rage. The sharp claws of his nails dug into Henry’s flesh as he pinned the ex-con down. Henry tried to focus on breathing. He looked around, desperate for help, but the moon had disappeared behind the clouds, and Ellie had ridden off without him.
No… why had Henry thought he could trust her? Why did he listen to his gut?!
“Well, if it isn’t Henry.” The warden snarled. “There has not been an incident here in fifty years. And the day you show up, THIS happens.”
The vicious man looked ready to lunge forth and tear his throat out at any point, and Henry winced away, staring up. The clouds covering the moon shifted, exposing him to its comforting light one final time.
“You are going to regret every- huh?”
The warden went flying as a stop sign collided with his face, soaring amazingly high into the air before crashing down onto the hard, crunchy snow. A pink stain in the snow nearby revealed that at least one of his teeth had fallen out. Gross.
Henry was given a moment to just breath before Ellie’s hand reached out to him, her lips curled into a genuine smile. Her eyes shimmered in the moonlight. Awe washed over Henry at the sight of her. She hadn’t abandoned him. She’d come back for him.
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She was breathtaking.
Without wasting a second more, Henry grabbed Ellie’s hand and let her pull him up behind her. He wrapped his arms around her waist, and off they went. Success!
“Woohoo!” Ellie cheered as they sped off into the distance. The move above them lit their path through the rough, snowy forests. “We made it! We’re free! Way to go, Henry!” She couldn’t glance back, not when she had to focus on the road, but Henry could imagine the same dimply smile on her face. Once they were a fair distance away she brought them to a stop. “Question is… what now?”
Well, Henry did have a best friend with a helicopter, and he signed this to Ellie. “WORKED WITH HIM ON A PREVIOUS JOB. GOOD GUY. TRUSTWORTHY. HE’LL COME FOR US.”
“You’re sure?” Ellie asked, her tone serious.
Many months ago Henry would have doubted himself, but being exposed to Charles’ light for so long had thawed his heart, and he smiled wistfully as he responded. “I PROMISE.”
“Well, I’ll trust your judgment. We’ll go until we find a town, and you can call your buddy to come get us.” Ellie sighed, leaning back against their bike as she took a moment to just… relax. The moonlight reflected off of her, highlighting details Henry hadn’t noticed before. Cute dimples visible only when she smiled, a fondness in her eyes as she gazed at Henry. “Got to be honest here, for a second I was worried you would leave me behind.” Guilt prickled Henry’s skin like a cold breeze, but it didn’t last long before Ellie’s hand on his own drew his attention back to calm and sweet lavender eyes. “But I’m so glad I stuck by you. You’re… actually really cool, Henry.”
A familiar warmth bloomed in Henry’s chest, and he froze. This… this wasn’t quite the same warmth as Charles gave him. It was calmer, less intense. He wasn’t overwhelmed with warmth, enraptured by intense emotion he’d never experienced before. Instead he felt soothed and safe, comfortable in the much softer, more understanding light she gave off. Ellie was the moon, a beacon of safety in a sea of darkness, the one natural beam of incandescence that could stand against the polluted lights of the world. And like Charles before her, she was pulling Henry out of the safe, cold, lonely shadows.
But of course, these emotions… they couldn’t both be love, could they? He’d just met Ellie, and he could already tell what he felt for her wasn’t quite as strong as what he felt for Charles just yet, but did that mean it was less valuable? Were either of them even love? Henry had never thought he’d have any interest in romance, but the pilot whose brilliant light inspired him and the kindred spirit whose gentle glow had been a beacon of hope in the darkest night… they both had him thinking things he knew impossible. A happiness that wasn’t meant for rats like him that scurried in the dark.
“Alright, I think I’m ready to go.” Announced Ellie, breaking Henry away from his thoughts. She stepped closer, following his gaze up to the sky. “Heh, you know, once you get away from the Wall it’s actually really pretty out here. The moon is beautiful tonight.”
Henry smiled and nodded, and the two hopped back onto her motorcycle.
Well, Henry mused as they zoomed along the trail, it would probably work itself out. He had more than enough time to work out his feelings, and besides, it wasn’t like you could be in love with two people at once. Everything would be just fine.
Henry was in love with two people at once, and everything was not fine.
Sure, it started out great. Charles had come to pick them both up, practically bowling Henry over with the force of his hug, and had regretfully informed the duo that this pick-up wasn’t exactly free of charge. Well, that was just fine. Detective work was nice and all, but these missions were where Henry really thrived. And teamwork, while not something he had years and years of experience in like thievery, was a subject Henry turned out to be a natural in, and with Charles and Ellie by his side, the three of them launched what remained of the Toppat Clan into the Wall (a bone, if you would, for those vicious wolves) and saved the day yet again. The awards ceremony that followed was dull, but it did make Henry feel good to have a shiny medal placed around his neck, and the after party was much less boring than what he’d expected from a bunch of government goons.
Ellie, as it turned out, didn’t have anywhere to go after the betrayal of her former teammates, so Henry was more than happy to offer her a place in his detective agency, and Charles helped her find a place to stay. It certainly put a more lively spin on his work, having Ellie to bounce ideas off of. At first Henry worried they’d get sick of each other, working together every single day, but that quickly proved not to be the case. The pair of ex-convicts were alike in the ways that mattered, but still different enough that things never got dull. And the longer Henry spent with Ellie, the more the warmth she caused inside of him spread, until it was just as strong as the warmth caused by Charles.
Speaking of Charles, things with them didn’t change too much at first, except that Ellie was now their official third clique member. Several weeks after Ellie had made their duo a trio, Charles joined them for a breakfast outing with a box containing two heart-shaped hair pieces.
“Henry and I have our matching pins,” Charles pointed out, gently resting a finger on the silver badge he worse on his vest. When they were on base, Henry would hear other soldiers gossip about how he never took it off, even while he stored his other mission souvenirs away, and the thought made Henry’s heart leap. “And you and Henry have those matching snowflake patches.” Subconsciously, Henry’s hand reached over to brush the little blue snowflake. Ellie had made them a matching set while they’d waited for Charles after hearing Henry’s story about how he’d gotten his coat, and Henry had gladly helped her sew them into his jacket and her purse bag. “So I figured, since we’re friends now, we need an ‘us’ thing too.”
Ellie took the box, carefully inspecting the two hair clips inside, made up of a simple silver metal and an unknown pink crystal. She smiled her sweet dimply simple and immediately used one to clip back her bangs. Charles took the other and attached it to his sleeve.
“Wow, Charles.” Ellie smiled and rubbed at the little gem heart with her thumb. “This is so nice. You didn’t have to do this for me.”
“Aw, it’s no sweat.” Charles leaned back in his chair, smiling cheerfully at the woman. “You know I don’t just hang out with you for Henry’s sake. You’re super cool, Ellie. Besides,” His friendly smile transformed into a playful smirk. “You deserve a consolation prize, after how thoroughly I thrashed you in Street Fighter last night.”
Not once did Ellie lose her cool. Instead, she only turned up her nose and taunted back, “I’m sorry, I don’t remember. Was this before or after I ran circles around you in Mario Kart?”
The banter continued, and never once did either of Henry’s friends raise their voices, or even frown at the other. Ellie and Charles were night and day; calm where the other was excitable, thoughtful where the other was impulsive, but despite this they took to each other immediately. A part of Henry, the darkest part he buried in the corner of his mind, felt a little lonely when the two would begin bickering like this, since as a mute it wasn’t so easy for him to participate (he could if he’d just stop being so weak, so pathetic, you CAN talk, you’re just not trying-). But more than that, he felt relief that the two people who’d so quickly become so close to Henry got along so well.
(On the rare nights Henry slept soundly, he had dreams of the two of them holding him together, smiling at him. Ellie soft and serene, Charles bright and cheerful. He’d wake up those nights in a cold sweat, wondering what was wrong with him.)
For a while Henry was certain his feelings would fade over time, but the longer he spent basking in their presence, the stronger his infatuation grew. Sometimes Charles would smile, and Henry would go red from heat stroke, or Ellie would laugh, and her voice would echo in Henry’s ears like the song of the crickets in the night. And seeing them together, smiling and laughing and genuinely enjoying each other’s company, only fueled the outlandish fantasies that plagued Henry’s dreams, where he was just as important to Charles and Ellie as they were to him. Like the night and the day, the two had become invaluable to the function of his life; he couldn’t imagine being without his two partners.
Henry couldn’t lose them; he couldn’t go back to cowering in the darkness, praying that the pollution of the world around him was enough to drown him out. So he kept his feelings to himself, even as they grew stronger and stronger. The thought of exploding from the force of it was a constant thought on Henry’s mind. But the consequences… no. He’d sooner implode.
The only reprieve Henry got from the cloud of turmoil constantly hanging over him was the nights he’d spend alone in his apartment. There, in the dark, he was sheltered from the growing affection he’d developed towards his two friends, even if it accompanied bouts of loneliness and anxiety that left him with terrible insomnia. But it was fine. If it meant he’d be able to bury his feelings and keep them secret from his two companions, Henry even preferred it. As long as he could take the time to recuperate, his feelings would never get out.
Henry stared down at the strong, bold letters of his eviction notice with a sinking feeling in his stomach.
The trumped up laundry list of lease violations that accompanied it were a pathetic justification to get Henry out of there; the sorry truth of it was that the majority of other tenants in his building were also criminals, and while Henry hadn’t turned on them yet, with his new agency basically being sub-contracted by the government they probably figured it was only a matter of time. What kinds of pressures did they put on the landlord to pull this off?
It wasn’t important. Even before this place, Henry had a spotty renter’s history at best, and this just made things more complicated. The thing about moving was that thirty days sounded like a long time, but in fact the days flew by disturbingly quickly. At the end of week one, Henry had only managed to confuse himself looking at various listings. By week three, he’d seen a grand total of three apartments – all somehow in worse condition than his own. The other agents hadn’t even returned his calls.
Two days before he would become homeless, Ellie and Charles found out, and Henry learned that, despite his sunny disposition, Charles was perfectly capable of getting angry.
“What the actual hell Henry?” He screeched, rage blazing so hot that Henry had to resist the urge to flinch away from it. He merely kept his head down as Charles continued scolding him. “What, were you just going to not tell us?! Would we just find you dead of exposure in alley somewhere, and that’s how we’d learned you lost your home-?!”
Ellie’s hand came to rest on Charles’ shoulder, gentle and light like the evening summer’s breeze. “Hey, easy. Sometimes these things are just hard to talk about.” She turned gaze to Henry, and he gulped. Her anger was much less prominent than Charles, but even though she appeared serene, behind her the tides were raging. “Now, you want to tell us about this whole ‘homeless’ situation?”
Defeated, Henry raised his hands to explain himself, briefly summarizing the events before sighing heavily. “DID NOT MEAN TO KEEP IT SECRET. JUST…” He paused for a moment. Why hadn’t he told them? The thought of it had made Henry sick with worry, but why? Eventually he just signed, “DID NOT WANT TO BOTHER YOU.”
The rage on Charles’ face cooled, but the clearly hurt expression on his face was almost worse. “Henry…” A speechless Charles was about as rare as a meteor shower, but there he was, struggling to find the words to respond. “Dude, you shouldn’t worry about that. We’re your friends, we want to help you. You’re important to us. Important to me.” The lurch of Henry’s heart at those sweet, platonic words was expected. The way Charles avoided his gaze, a slight pink blush highlighting the freckles scattered across his cheeks, was not.
(He’s probably just embarrassed he has to explain this to you, you black hole of common sense-)
Ellie’s arms were looped around Henry’s shoulders before he could even begin to think of a proper response. She hung off his back like a cape, and Henry tried not to think about how perfectly her head fit into the crook of his neck, or how she was close enough to feel his heart beating in his chest.
“Seriously. You drag us off on life-threatening adventures every other week, you can ask to crash on my couch, man. I wouldn’t mind having you around more often.” Ellie smiled up at him, and Henry could see her dimples, a once in a blue moon rarity. Both he and Charles had very quickly learned that her biggest, most genuine smile was reserved for only the people she trusted – for only them.
“Hey, here’s a crazy thought.” Charles, never one to be left out of a hug, quickly moved to Henry’s side and pulled him closer by the waist. Ellie adjusted herself to stand by his other side, keeping one arm wrapped around Henry’s shoulders. They both listened breathlessly as Charles proclaimed, “Why don’t we all just move in together?”
If you listened closely, you could hear Henry’s train of thought crashing at the station.
Living together. Him and his two crushes, the best friends he’d live and die for, under one roof. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. No time to bury his thoughts, no time to cool down between meetings, no darkness to retreat into. A part of him reveled in the prospect. Another was screaming in horror as it squished all the scenarios of everything that could go wrong into a single second of time. Could Henry even survive that? What if he let something slip? What if he started acting weird, and couldn’t retreat, and Ellie and Charles noticed?
“I mean, we basically spend all our time together already, why not?” Perhaps Henry’s anxieties had made themselves known on his face, or perhaps he’d simply gone stiff, but all of a sudden Charles’ confident expressions wavered. “I mean, we don’t have to… but, well, Ellie’s on a month by month lease, anyways, and you guys are subcontracted by us so much, and since I’m the only one who works with you… it, uh, it makes sense, work-wise. And, uh… I just, I wanna be around you guys more.”
The crestfallen look on Charles’ face made Henry kick himself. His stupid feelings were already ruining everything. Just a second ago Charles had been shining so brightly, and Henry had rained on his parade and ruined everything like always.
Without thinking, Henry reached forward and grasped Charles’ hand in his own. Ellie moved to stand between the two men, using their shoulders as elbow rests. Casual touching was something Henry never thought he’d be okay with, but he’d grown accustomed to it distressingly quickly, to the point where he’d begun initiating more often than not. Ellie had called him ‘touch-starved’ once, and Henry wondered more than once if she was right. After being alone for so much of his life, Henry felt the need to reach out, to try and spread his own light, even if it paled to Charles and Ellie’s.
“Well, I think it’s a great idea.” Their red-headed friend piped in. Her eyes drifted towards Henry; the shadows cast by her bangs making them look as dark as the waning moon. “Don’t you, Hen?”
This was why the light was dangerous. It was pulling him further and further out of the safe shadows, and Henry couldn’t say no. Not with Ellie and Charles staring at him with such hope in their eyes. And, if Henry was being honest with himself, he wanted it to. The time they spent apart helped him push his feelings down, but it was filled with loneliness and longing, doubt and distress. What had attracted Henry to their light in the first place was the revelation that stepping into the light washed away these feelings. Despite the attraction he’d developed, Henry didn’t truly want to drown alone in the dark anymore. And as long as he was careful, everything would work out fine, right?
So Henry signed to them, “IF YOU SNORE, I WILL SMOTHER YOU IN YOUR SLEEP,” and sealed his fate.
Ever since he was a child, Henry had loved the stars.
One of his earliest memories was being awake in his bed, trying his damnedest not to listen to his parents in the next room talk about what to do with ‘that strange boy’, and staring out the window. There were few things Henry had appreciated about his childhood; one of them was that he’d grown up far enough away from the city that just outside his window he could see a field of stars spread across the sky. In school, Henry had learned about stars. They were balls of gas and fire that were so far away it would be impossible to reach them, but they glowed so brightly that humans could still see them from trillions and trillions of miles away.
Henry wished he could be trillions of miles away.
Supposedly, if you made a wish upon a star, then your dreams would come true. Henry had heard this in movies ever since he was young, so every night he wished for something else he wanted: the ability to speak so he wouldn’t be so isolated; to be far, far away from his home; to be able to have shiny things and fancy things and all the other things he wanted. Sometimes, Henry would even get brave enough to wish for the impossible: for someone to like him, for him, without having to change.
It quickly became very apparent to Henry that wishes on stars meant nothing. The stars were bright and beautiful, but they sat in an empty, uncaring universe. An insignificant, pitiful thing like Henry was nothing compared to the splendid beauty of the cosmos as a whole. It was easy to believe that he, like a single star in the canvas of the sky, didn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. After all, who would notice – who would care – if a single star went out?
So Henry decided, after fourteen years of being treated like a nuisance through no fault of his own, that he’d grant his own damn wishes. The stars were useless, but there was something Henry could do. In the middle of the night, the quiet boy had snuck into his parent’s room, stolen his mother’s most valuable jewelry, and never looked back.
The Henry who came to live in the city was nowhere near as stupid or fragile as the Henry he’d been under his parents’ roof. For once his silence did Henry some good, as his employers often took it as a sign of toughness or professionalism, and Henry himself was in no hurry to correct them. He put as much distance between himself and the rest of the world as he could, letting darkness fill the space between them. Living alone and taking up a life of crime, Henry found it best to blend in. Just one star in an endless, meaningless expanse.
It wasn’t until after he’d moved in with Charles and Ellie, however, that Henry began to embrace his long forgotten love of the night sky. It wasn’t the spectacular view of his childhood home, no, but after driving his scooter the wrong way one night Henry realized that the perfect sky viewing spot was only an hour’s drive from their new home. The light of the city was still bad enough to drown out the majority of it, sure, but even the few Henry could see brought back a sense of awe and childlike innocence he’d thought he’d left behind for good.
It had been this view that had inspired Henry to commission custom patches for himself and his two friends. Charles wore his on his sleeve, out in the open, while Ellie put hers on her favourite purse, a spot of honour where it would never be scratched. They’d… called him pretty.
Henry wasn’t sure how much more of this he could take.
Now that they all lived together, Henry didn’t have any time to shut his feelings back into their cage before Charles or Ellie would come along and scold him for not taking a break, or drag him away on some sort of misadventure. Oddly enough, the chaos Henry didn’t mind – on the contrary, he’d come to live for it. The dark apartment he’d existed in before was a quiet, dreadful place, where Henry had felt scared and alone. He’d thought that was what he should feel. That being alone in the shadows made him stronger. Ellie and Charles showed him that he didn’t have to live like that to be strong. They shone brighter than him, but his presence connected the three wayward souls and made them something stronger, something better. Living with them made everything from their government assigned missions as the Triple Threat to a simple trip down to the shops a thrill.
But it made it a lot harder to hide, too. Ellie already suspected something was up, he was sure. She’d look at him sometimes, when she thought he wasn’t looking, and her gaze was intense Henry was sure she was reading his thoughts somehow. Charles could be a little harder to read, so Henry couldn’t tell what he knew, but if he was getting suspicious Henry wouldn’t be surprised. Not when Henry couldn’t stop smiling when they were around, or when his face would go red at any vague compliment. And they’d just keep doing things that made his stupid feelings stronger.
Ellie remained his light in the dark, shifting and changing to provide Henry the comfort he needed. When the demons of his nightmares roared at Henry and prevented him from sleeping, it was usually her who would stay up until dawn to keep him company. She’d spin distracting tales, laughing at her own obnoxious jokes, and Henry felt right at home. It was her who brought home a series of astronomy books for Henry to peruse, and though he could tell she had little interest of her own, Ellie still smiled and nodded as Henry told her about the interesting things he’d uncovered.
Charles was his ray of hope, pulling Henry along to try new things and shape himself into a better person. It was Charles who got Henry to finally cut down on the coffee. Despite his nonchalant personality it felt like he took everything Henry said seriously, and feeling listened to was a surprisingly uplifting sensation. He’d been the one to buy Henry a telescope, and would brew tea as the two of them sat outside under the night sky and observed the universe at large.
They just kept being amazing, and Henry just kept falling and falling, like a shooting star raining down upon the earth. So far Henry avoided a complete meltdown by just not thinking about it, but on rare occasions his mind wandered to the love he’d developed for his two best friends, and he’d swoon. Henry wondered how long it would take until he reached his breaking point.
This breaking point came shortly after Operation: Triple Threat took down a small mafia clan. It was late at night, so late that the general silently urged them to just take up an apartment there on base instead of making the trip home, and none of them were in any state to argue the point. Charles wasn’t put out by the idea at all; before moving in with the two of them he’d lived on base, and seemed pretty content to make himself at home. Ellie, on the other hand, seemed on edge, and Henry couldn’t blame her. Being on the run from the law instilled a distrust of the police and military that, even almost a year later, hadn’t quite faded from either of them. He took her hand as they walked past groups of glaring soldiers, one even roughly shoulder-checking Henry. Charles glared back at them in response, and the three of them quickly made their way to the on-base apartment they’d be squatting in.
“The Capt’n said we could bunker down in here,” Charles told them as he led them into the place. It wasn’t much, with only one bed, a couch, and a tiny kitchenette, but it was better than sleeping in a dorm with strangers. “Ugh, I know I promised food when we got back, but I’m bushed. I’ll make breakfast in the morning?”
Ellie practically collapsed into the couch with a thumbs up. “Sounds good.” Henry had no complaints, and signed so as he plopped down next to her.
Charles only spared a moment to toss his carry-on bags nearby before joining them on the couch. He sat to Henry’s left, and Ellie to Henry’s right, and a part of him felt right at home sandwiched between them. Another was screaming at him to move before he did or said something that would ruin everything.
Instead, Henry signed to Charles, “NOT GOING TO TAKE THE BED?”
“Nah.” Charles waved him off. “Ellie can, if she wants, but I know you have trouble sleeping in places if you’re not comfortable, so I… figured we could, uh, share the couch.” Even in the faint moonlight that shone through the window, Henry could still see Charles fidget… nervously? Uncomfortably? He didn’t know what to make of that. “If you don’t mind, I mean, I guess it’s pretty silly, huh?”
Henry gathered his courage and whispered aloud, “I… don’t mind.”
The nerves left Charles, and his grin spread wide across his face. It was too dim to make out his freckles, but Henry could imagine them contorting cutely with his smile. “Cool, cool. That’s totally cool. Els, the bed is yours if you want it.”
“I’m not getting up off this couch.” Responded the tired but firm woman to his other side. She rolled over to face them, and though her eyes were sagging, she had a strange look of determination on her face. “’S too far. Besides, you don’t get to hog Henry.” As if to prove this, her arm hooked solidly around Henry’s, and she pressed her face into his neck. A perfect fit, just like before.
Charles didn’t put up a fight. “Fair enough,” He agreed, and leaned down beside the sofa to pull at the leaver that would make it recline. It was far from the most comfortable sleeping arrangement: the sofa itself was too firm, it’s seating too leathery, and Charles and Ellie were pressed so firmly against his sides that Henry couldn’t escape even if he tried.
He didn’t want to try. Here, in between the two brightest lights of his life, Henry felt right at home. It would have been the best sleep of his life, had he not been woken up by the apartment’s door slamming open in the wee early morning, early enough that the sky outside was still black and inky. Henry didn’t even have a chance to fully awaken before his ears were assaulted with shrieking and shouting too high-pitched and fast for him to make sense of. It was like someone put a chipmunk on fast-forward, and Henry desperately wanted to roll over and let Ellie chase them away.
Unfortunately, he caught the word, “Thief,” in the intruder’s tirade somewhere, and that woke him up far more thoroughly.
“Cap’n…?” Charles mumbled as he too stirred at the commotion. On Henry’s other side, he could hear Ellie grumble something under her breath, stubbornly refusing to acknowledge their intruders. There were now an additional three people in the room; General Galeforce, standing straight and tall with an unreadable expression; Rupert Price behind him, trying and failing not to look like he was dead on his feet; and some soldier Henry had only seen in passing, the most loud and lively of the trio. He’d… seen the guy last night, hadn’t he?
“I know he did! I know it!” Shouted the loud guy, whoever he was. He jumped up and down like a manic monkey, face distorted by a large scowl. “He stole the necklace I bought for my girlfriend!”
Oh. Oh fuck. This was the absolute last thing Henry needed to deal with right now.
“Whoa, what?!” Charles’ eyes popped open, wide and sharp. Beside him, he could feel Ellie tense as she finally sat up to deal with this mess. Charles beat her to it, jumping to both his feet and Henry’s defense. “That’s impossible! He’s been here with us all night!”
“You’re a deep sleeper, Calvin!” The soldier snapped back. “And like hell we can trust her!”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Ellie inquired with a calm voice and crossed arms. She was keeping her cool. For now.
Galeforce sighed, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes as he glared dully at the accuser. “As I said, Simmons, we’re not going to just throw around accusations like that. Henry, would you mind letting us look through your backpack?”
Henry nodded sharply. There was nothing in there, he reminded himself in a vain attempt to calm down, there was no need to worry, he wouldn’t find anything because Henry hadn’t done anything-
Rupert picked up the bag and unzipped it with all the enthusiasm of a late-term college student. His hand dipped inside, and came out with a golden locket encrusted with jewels. Henry’s heart sank. No. He didn’t steal that, he knew he didn’t steal that, how the hell-?!
“I DID NOT DO THAT!” Henry signed insistently. His hands were moving so fast he was afraid not even Ellie would be able to catch everything. “I WOULD NOT- I HAVE WORKED TOO HARD AND GIVEN UP TOO MUCH TO TRADE MY NEW LIFE AWAY FOR SOME CHEAP TRINKET!”
A hand came to rest on Henry’s shoulder. “Deep breaths, Hen.” Charles coached, and only then did Henry realize he’d been hyperventilating throughout his entire spiel. “It’s okay, we know you didn’t do this. Just take it one step at a time: In… and out. In… and out.” Henry focused on the sound of Charles’ voice, letting the sunshine guide him out of the dark hole he’d been pushed into. All the while Charles’ hand ran soothing circles over his shoulder blade.
Ellie, meanwhile, practically sprinted to stand in front of Henry with her arms spread protectively, her violet eyes dark as the night as she glared ahead of her.
“See? See?!” The soldier declared, sounding almost gleeful at this ‘proof’ of Henry’s guilt. “It was right there, right next to those astronomy books! I was right!”
“Like hell you are!” Ellie retorted, her voice a harsh gale. Henry had never heard her sound this angry, and it made him feel guilty. Calm, unflappable Ellie, had her temperance broken because of Henry. “General, this is clearly a set-up. Henry wouldn’t risk our jobs for a cheap bobble like that!”
“Cheap?!” The soldier looked offended, as if it wasn’t obvious.
“Now, calm down…” Galeforce tried to pacify. Henry couldn’t fault him too much for his mediator approach; as the boss of basically everyone here, he was obligated to play an impartial judge, even though Charles was basically his foster kid. “Let’s see if we can try to figure out what really happened…”
The soldier scoffed. “Are you serious?! It’s CLEAR what ‘really’ happened!” His withering glare turned towards Henry, and the ex-thief tried not to shiver under his gaze. Tried and failed, if the way Charles’ hand on his back stiffening was any indication. “That rat thief stole my girlfriend’s necklace! Tossed it right into his backpack with those nerdy astronomy books!”
Up until this point, Rupert had been silent. He hadn’t liked Henry, and maybe still didn’t, but his stance on the ex-con had softened after the Triple Threat’s second mission to rescue a certain man held hostage by the Toppats. Since then he’d been cordial, if impersonal, about conducting business together, which was probably more than Henry deserved after ruining the life of his partner. Twice. This time, however, he spoke up. “Funny.” Rupert quipped humourlessly, one eyebrow raised tiredly at the accuser. “How’d ya know they were astronomy books?”
The soldier’s mask went down for just a moment, but in that moment everyone could see the shock and apprehension he was keeping under the surface. He hurried to recover, “Well, I saw them just now, same as you did.”
“No,” Ellie pointed out, realization dawning on her. “No, you couldn’t have. I bought Henry those books, and the titles are all plain and simple and in, like, eight point font. It’s dark. There’s no way you could see what kind of books those are from where you’re standing.” Her glare turned scathing and cold, like a jaguar in the night eyeing a fool too close to her cubs. “You son of a bitch. You planted that.”
Somehow, that revelation didn’t make Henry feel any better.
Charles’ blunted nails dug into Henry’s skin, and he tried not to wince. “What the fuck, Simmons?” The pilot all but screeched, stepping out so that he, too, was in front of Henry. The angry twinge in his voice made Henry’s guts twist in his stomach. Even when things were at their worst, Charles was the most relaxed of their little trio, keeping their pace steady and their hearts light. Hearing him be so angry immediately put Henry on edge. And as they stood in front of him, Henry couldn’t see either of his friends’ expressions, but he could picture them in his mind, all distorted with rage and hate that never belonged there.
And it was all Henry’s fault.
“I, well, I… are you seriously going to trust this thief over me?” Snapped this so-called Simmons. Desperation raised his voice higher and louder, loud enough to pierce through Henry’s ear drums like an arrow. “I didn’t do anything wrong! I’m the victim here!”
“Doubling down isn’t helping your case!” Ellie scolded. “You son of a bitch- Henry’s put his life on the line for you goddamned assholes so many times over the past year, and this is how you repay him?!”
“Like we can trust a thief to watch our backs!” Simmons argued back.
“That’s enough! Let’s all calm down and discuss this like-!”
“Capt’n, that’s just STUPID! So he gets to lob these bullshit accusations, and we can’t say anything bad about him?!”
“He’ll get his due punishment, but-”
“He’s damn lucky I haven’t kicked his ass yet! Hen’s a goddamned hero, you can’t treat him like this-!”
Voices flooded the room, flowing so quickly and so loudly that after a while Henry couldn’t even tell them apart. They came from all sides, pushing down on Henry’s eardrums until he began drowning in them. What had Charles said earlier? In… and out… in… and out…
“You’re seriously believing this- this thug over me?! She’s no better than the thief!”
In… and out… and in and out and in…
“You have no goddamn honour at all, do you? I get not believing they’ve changed, but-”
“Seriously?! He’s the reason your Dave almost died, why aren’t you on my side?!”
And in and out and in and out and in…
“It’s only a matter of time until they betray us anyways! We should’ve gotten rid of them when we had the chance!”
“Stand down, lieutenant! Don’t you think you’re in enough trouble as it is?!”
And in and in and out and in and in and- and in…!
And Henry couldn’t take it anymore. He couldn’t breathe he couldn’t see he couldn’t focus he couldn’t do anything-
He ran. The voices flooded after him but Henry ignored them as he just ran as far and as fast as he could, until he was surrounded by darkness and silence. Only then did his frayed nerves calm enough for him to take in his surroundings. As luck had it, he actually hadn’t gone too far. The military base was surrounded by woods, and Henry had run some ways into it. He leaned against a tree and looked back at the base. It wasn’t far, getting back would be easy. Instead, Henry sunk to the ground and tried not to groan.
Geez, how pathetic could he get? He should have stood up there and defended himself, pointed out the obvious holes, insulted the tacky piece of cheap metal that he’d think Henry would risk his career, his life, his… his Charles and Ellie to steal. But when that necklace had appeared in Henry’s backpack, something in him just… froze. All he could think about was the things he’d lose, the terrible loneliness that would await him. Once the dark had been his noble, faithful protector, but after so long with his two best friends Henry had come to realize a terrible truth: the protection came at the price of the happiness that being around Charles and Ellie had afforded him. And in one terrible instance, because of one terrible man, he could have lost that.
Except, Henry realized, he wouldn’t have. Ellie and Charles, they trusted him. They’d jumped to his defense without any sort of prompting, holding Henry and comforting him and standing by his side.
Trust was not a concept Henry was intimately familiar with. On the contrary, he didn’t think he’d ever trusted anyone before. Not his parents, not his teachers. Certainly not the nebulous employers who’d once contracted Henry to steal for them. And this applied, Henry realized with a sinking gut, to Charles and Ellie. He’d been with them this whole time, basking in their light and letting them take care of him, but with doubts still casting a shadow over their entire relationship. If they thought Henry had relapsed and stolen again, they’d leave him to his fate. If they knew Henry was losing his home, they’d think he was an irresponsible loser.
If they found out Henry had developed a crush on the both of them, they’d think he was gross and abandon him. Wasn’t that what he’d been thinking this whole time?
It was sickening. All this time they’d been exactly what Henry had needed, trusting him and sheltering him, and he hadn’t afforded them the same privileges. Henry felt like a proper jerk for not realizing this until now.
Time passed as Henry took a seat at the base of a tree, watching the stars twinkle above. There wasn’t quite darkness to see the starscape the way Henry liked, but what he could see was still a quiet consolation. This time of year the north star was visible from its position at the tip of Ursa Minor. Nothing special on its own, but with its other stars in formation, they were the beacon guiding wayward sailors on the sea throughout time.
A star on its own was nothing, like Henry was nothing by himself. But with his Triple Threat – his dearest friends, who he’d come to love so much – he was complete. He was whole.
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They deserved more trust than he gave them.
Footsteps approached Henry from the side, slowly approaching. He figured he knew who it would be, but decided to continue watching the sky, even as Ellie and Charles came to a stop a few meters behind him. They remained silent, and Henry smiled as he watched the stars, waiting for one of them to speak.
“Hey… uh, you feeling any better?” Charles asked, breaking the spell of silence cast over the forest.
Henry smiled, and motioned for them both sit down. Wonder of wonders, they listened and took a spot next to the once thief. “YES. MUCH.” He signed as soon as they were in range of visibility. “SORRY FOR RUNNING OFF. DID NOT WANT TO MAKE YOU WORRY.”
Ellie looked bewildered by his words. “You’re sorry? I’m the one who should be sorry! You were freaking out, and I did basically nothing to help! I just- I got so angry when that jerk started tossing around accusations like that-!” Her fists clenched briefly, but then she took a moment to breath and her hands relaxed. “Sorry, he just- he really ticked me off.”
“Seriously. General said he’ll get court-martialed.” Charles informed them from Henry’s other side. Talking about Simmons made him just as annoyed and frustrated as Ellie was. “Anything less than a dishonourable discharge is too good for that guy. If we hadn’t all known you- he could have ruined you! And all because he doesn’t think people can change, just- urgh.” There was an angry furrow to Charles’ brow, but it smoothed as he directed his energy towards Henry. “But, Ellie’s right. We should have focused on how you were feeling, and I’m sorry.”
These silly dorks. Henry shook his head and signed to them again. “YOU DEFENDED ME. MORE THAN MOST WOULD DO. I AM… JUST HAPPY YOU BELIEVE ME.”
“Well, of course we believe you!” Charles proclaimed, leaning in a little closer to Henry so their arms were touching. They were both the affectionate type, he noted with fond amusement. “I’ve been your partner for, what, a year now? I know you wouldn’t betray my trust.”
“And I know you wouldn’t waste your time stealing something that worthless.” Ellie remarked, letting her held fall into its spot on Henry’s shoulder. “I hope that was just bait he bought for cheap online and not, like, an actual gift for his girlfriend? Because that would just be sad. And besides, we’re partners in crime and crime-fighting. We tell each other everything.”
For a second, Henry hesitated. Then he raised his shaky hands. “WELL… NOT EVERYTHING.”
The confusion evident on their faces gave Henry the time to shift so he was face to face with his partners. “What do you mean?” Charles asked.
Henry trusted his partners. They believed in him, they cared about him. Even if they didn’t feel the same way, maybe telling them would release the pressure on his heart that made it difficult to breath at night. They wouldn’t leave him over something as silly as this.
“WELL…” It was hard to get the words out, even in the form of sign language. His fingers were stiff and clumsy from the cold night chill. “YOU MAY HAVE NOTICED I HAVE BEEN ACTING FUNNY. NOT LIKE MYSELF. NERVOUS AND WEIRD SOMETIMES.”
“It’s… come up.” Ellie acknowledged awkwardly. The night cold brought a tinge of red to her face (Henry dared not hope it was anything else). To make things a little easier on all of them, Henry cast his eyes downwards towards the grass and continued on without looking at them.
With all the strength inside of him, Henry took in a deep breath, smiled, and said aloud, “I love you. Both of you.”
Henry mustered all his courage and looked up. The sight that greeted him was something to behold: Ellie Rose, unflappable conqueror of the Wall, and the bold action man himself were gaping at Henry like fish out of water. An amusing reaction, one that immediately struck Henry as ‘cute’, but not necessarily a positive one. So he continued.
This got a reaction out of Ellie, “Is… is that why you’ve been having trouble sleeping? Henry…”
Henry smiled. “NOT YOUR FAULT. MINE.” After all, he’d been the one keeping all of this inside of himself.
“Uh, confession time part two,” Charles raised his hand like a child in a schoolroom, looking almost sheepish as he admitted, “I kinda, sorta, maybe… have been having similar weird thoughts…? About, like, the three of us, being together. In… romantic ways.” He blushed, one hand drifting down towards the ground to draw circles in the dirt. “But I thought, well, there’s only really two people in a couple, and they work so well together. So I tried to bury my feelings…”
Charles was avoiding Henry’s eyes as he spoke, but he was smiling at the patch of dirt he was staring at. So did this mean… was he really saying…?
Ellie, meanwhile, sat pondering for a long moment. She took in the information they both gave her, picked her jaw up off the ground, and then began stroking it in thought. “I cannot believe…” She mumbled aloud, “that we are all this stupid.”
Both Charles and Henry directed their gazes at her, blinking dumbly.
“I mean, it’s so obvious in hindsight, how did I miss we all had feelings for each other?!” She threw up her hands. “Ugh! I feel like a total moron. Henry wasn’t retreating because he noticed my feelings, he was retreating because he couldn’t cope with his own. And Charles didn’t think we’d be interested, because why would he, it’s not like we ever talk about stuff like that!” She groaned and buried her face in her hands. “Why are we all so dumb?”
Henry laughed, and when he looked up, he found both Charles and Ellie staring at him. The looks they gave him were… borderline mesmerized.
“I… kinda worry about that too.” Charles revealed. “I mean, I don’t like thinking about it, so I usually don’t, but you two are so similar. You’re both smart and cool, and you do wicked awesome stuff on missions, and sometimes I just kinda feel like… the guy in the helicopter.” Charles rubbed the back of his head. His words made Henry feel absolutely gutted. “I mean, don’t get me wrong! I know what I do is super important! But it’s hard not to look at what you guys do and feel a little… left behind, you know?”
“Charles.” Ellie took one of his hands, and Henry, on impulse, took the other. “I promise, we will never leave you behind. You’re stuck with us, whether you want to be or not.”
“Heh, more like you’re stuck with me.” He quipped.
The reassuring tone of Ellie’s voice faded, however, as she continued. “I get what you guys are talking about, though. After my old gang ditched me, I kept wondering what I did wrong, why they didn’t think I was good enough to keep around. I guess I thought that if you guys knew how I felt, you’d see me as… lesser, I guess. I dunno.”
Henry shook his head. “NEVER.” Even if he hadn’t felt the same, Henry would have never shamed Ellie for feeling the way she does. “YOU ARE THE SMARTEST AND STRONGEST PERSON IN THIS GROUP MOON LIGHT. LOVE OR NOT YOU MAKE ME FEEL SAFE. AND KEEP ME CALM. DO NOT KNOW WHAT I WOULD DO WITHOUT YOU.”
When Ellie started giggling, Henry assumed that maybe some of the romance or sincerity had been lost in translation, but then Charles asked Henry, “I know this sign means LIGHT, but what does this sign mean?” And stiffly echoed back, “MOON.” Henry felt his face go red.
Damn it.
“If I’m Moonlight,” Ellie asked in a sickly sweet tone, like honey on a flytrap, “then what is Charles?”
Knowing it would be forced out of him regardless of the choice he made, Henry finger-spelled the word for them, “S. U. N. S. H. I. N. E.” And then signed the word. “SUNSHINE.” The cooing he received in response felt less than sincere, somehow.
Once Ellie and Charles got done poking fun at Henry’s choice in pet names, Charles (nicknamed the Bold Action Man for a reason) asked, “So… are we all, like, dating now or something?”
“I’m all for it.” Ellie agreed. “But, uh, it’s pretty clear that we’ve got a lot to work on. I mean, we all have abandonment issues, so that’s a problem right off the bat.”
“BUT WE WILL WORK ON IT TOGETHER.” Henry signed, because apparently, he was the sappy sentimental member of the group. “I FEEL LIKE I CAN DO ANYTHING WITH YOU TWO AROUND.”
Charles grinned. “Because your world literally revolves around me?”
Ellie chimed in, “Aw, do you need me to calm the tides for you?”
“Jokes aside, I do love you both a lot.” Ellie told them. “So… yeah. I want to date. But first, I want you guys to promise that if this doesn’t work out, we can still be friends. I don’t know what I’d do without you.”
Honestly, a promise like that would make Henry feel more at ease too. If they’d all been burying feelings for a long while, then there was a good chance these weren’t just fleeting flights of fancy, but it would still suck for romance, of all things, to kill the amazing dynamic the Triple Threat had going. “I SWEAR IT.” Henry signed. He then spoke aloud, “I will always be there for you two.”
“Same goes for me!” Charles declared, squeezing between his now boyfriend and girlfriend to pull them into a hug. “I don’t ever want to lose you guys! Ever! I’ll always be your friend!”
There was still a lot more to discuss; how this would affect their work, if they needed to change anything about their living arrangements, whether or not inform anybody… but those were problems to be solved at dawn. For now, while the world was quiet and the shadows of their anxieties loomed overhead, Henry invited his two loves to watch the heavens with him.
The light the stars gave off were beautiful.
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I'm so glad I was able to get this done today! Because, well, it's my birthday, and I am really glad to be able to get it out today! :D I love Polythreat so much, I've been meaning to do more with it.
It took me so many tries to draw that motorcycle, you have no idea-
I'm still trying to figure out how to write early-stage romance, if you couldn't tell. Constructive feedback is welcome! Also, you can find this and all my other fanfics on my AO3 account, Knightmareaceblue!
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robynlilyblack · 26 days ago
Best friends little sister
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Sirius Black x fem! Potter! reader
[Requested – see request here]
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Summary: Harry is worried about having a crush on his best friends’ little sister so James and Sirius tell him the tale how the latter bagged y/n potter, or more like how she bagged him
Warnings: swearing, kissing, mentions of food, drinking and sex, flashbacks clearly labelled
A/n: 4.1k words, Hufflepuff reader and she is one year younger than James x sorry for the delay there will be with all of my requests right now as i have a uni exam on Tuesday x thank you for the request i really liked playing around with this for of story telling
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Navigation | Sirius Black Masterlist
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You opened the door to yours and Sirius’ apartment struggling with the extra groceries since your brother, Lily and Harry were staying for the week while their house was being renovated. Kicking the door closed with your foot you lean over and drop your keys on the little dish missing completely as it hits the floor
“Fuck” you quietly curse laughing a little bit
As you were about to call for help you heard a giggle, turning around still clutching the bags across your chest wiggling your face a bit as the roots from the leek tickle your nose before you focus on your nephew who was smiling at the scene before him
“Need some help auntie y/n?” he asks
“Yes please” you say pleadingly as he walks up and takes one of the heavier bags “Thank you Harry” lean forward giving him a kiss to the side of the head as you crunch up his hair with your now free hand
As Harry shakes his head trying to fix his hair you both head through into the kitchen where your brother and husband are chilling out with some coffee at the table.
As you enter James just smiles while Sirius jumps up “Darling I’ll take that” he says making you giggle as he kisses your cheek
“Where’s Lily…oh Harry you can just put that one next to Siri” you ask before pointing to the free counter, watching as Harry nods placing down the bag before taking a seat across from his father
“She was going to drop off something at Marlene and Dorcas’ but I’m sure she’s probably got distracted catching up with them” James answers shrugging “I’ll call her in a bit if she isn’t back” he nods
You smile shrugging off your coat and folding it over your arm “I’m going to go shower before dinner then” you announce giving your bother and Harry a smile and walking over to give Sirius’ arm a squeeze and a light kiss to his hair which he smiles and leans into as he continues unpacking the shopping
As you head out of the kitchen James jumps up running out after you “Sis hold on I need to use the loo first!”
Sirius and Harry let out laughs, the former finishing putting away the food and leaving out the stuff needed for tonight’s meal. Turning around he flicks on the radio to play gently in the background as he returns to his seat taking a sip of coffee. As he does he notices Harry staring off into space with a wistful look, like he’s deep in thought about something, same look James used to wear when he was thinking about his next attempt at wooing Lily
“Girl trouble?” he asks casually making his godsons head snap towards him beginning to blush
“umm…” Harry bites his lip before he sighs “yeah” he admits before his eyes light up realising if there was one person that knew how to deal with his current predicament it was his godfather “Actually can I ask you something?”
“Anything I’m an open book, what you need help with flirting, date ideas…technique” the last one makes Harrys eyes widen comedically as he shakes his head rather fast making Sirius chuckle, he probably shouldn’t have enjoyed embarrassing him as much as he did but it was just so easy
“Nothing like that…it’s more I have a situation that I think only you could understand” he confesses
“Go on” Sirius says intrigued and sincere, sensing the tone in the boy’s voice
“You know Ron?” Harry starts rather awkwardly
“Oh…” Sirius seems to catch on but sadly not in the way Harry intended “…you fancy Ron? I went through the same thing with Moony for a…”
“Not Ron…” Harry jumps in shaking his head with a disgusted look imagining his friend like that “I like Gin”
“Yes!” Harry and Sirius’ heads turn quickly to the door as James re-enters the room cheering “You owe me 2 gallons” he points at Sirius “cough up” he gestures with ‘give me hands’
“Fine” Sirius concedes reaches in to his pocket and handing it over while Harry just stares in shock “Your flies undone by the way Prongs” he nods to his friends’ trousers
“Thank you…oh cheers Pads” he hops a bit as he zips it up then takes his seat across from his son
Harry looks between the two bewildered “You bet on me?” he asks
“Yeah I bet you’d confess you fancied Ginny in your 6th year and Pads bet your last” James explains “Sorry now you’re old enough we can tell you that we’ve bet on pretty much everything” he confesses cringing
“Do I want to know?” Harry looks to Sirius who scrunches up is nose as he shakes his head
“So you fancy Ginny” James says plainly while Sirius seems to catch on
“That’s why you came to me” he looks to Harry who nods shyly
“How did you go about Auntie y/n?” he asks Sirius before turning to his dad “And how did you agree because I’m scared Ron’s going to Kadvra me” he says like he genuinely concerned of that eventuality
The men chuckle slightly “To understand we might as well tell you the full story” James says
“Yeah, so it really all began in our 6th year like you while y/n was in her 5th…” Sirius starts
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Start of flashback – Sirius’ 6th year
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Sirius woke to a pillow being bounced off of his head, groaning as he rubbed his eyes and sat up finally focusing on his friend “The fuck Moony?” he huffs
“Here” Remus chucks a muffin at him “Come one sleepy head we’re going to be late” he ushers for him to get up
As Sirius climbs out of bed he can hear Remus trying to get James up as well, telling him it’s his own fault he has a hangover for drinking on a Tuesday night. After lazily throwing on his clothes, picking the sleep out of his eyes and running his hands through his hair, he heads down to the dungeons along with Remus and James, who is also munching down on his breakfast
As the approach the classroom the pass by you and your friend Alex, James is the first to greet you “Hey sis” he smiles
“Hey Jams” you answer shyly
Sirius’ eyes trail over your figure, clutching your books to your chest, shoulders up to your neck as you bit your lip, you looked so adorable and smelt great, your perfume filling his senses. You were shy, complete opposite to James and arguably quieter than Remus, he got to see you a lot more over the summer now he’d ran away as before you being in the year below and in a different house meant he rarely spoke got to you
“Hey little Potter” he smirks relishing in the way your eyes shoot to him and your shy state worsens under his gaze
“Stop flirting with Prongs’ little sister we are going to be late and Peter is shit with excuses” Remus hisses before turning to you going back to his usual sweet nature “Hey y/n, Alex” he gives you and your friend a smile before motioning for the others to follow
“Bye sis” James waves as he leaves while Sirius just gives you a wink chuckling as you look away quickly
Soon they get to Slughorn’s class, luckily, he was a pretty chill professor so he was fine with their tardiness. As they take their seats they notice a potion being passes around the class, people taking a sniff of it before proceeding to say a bunch of random things after
James nudges Peter’s back to get his attention “Wormtail, what’s in the vial?” he points to it currently being handed to Marlene by Alice in front of her
“It’s amortentia, we’ve all to take a sniff and write an essay on it” Peter explains which causes James and Sirius to groan at the idea of an assignment
“What’s amortentia it sounds familiar?” Sirius asks noting that Marlene’s smells sound rather like the curly haired girl next to her
“It’s love potion” Remus says shortly “The smells are what attracts you”
James’ face lights up while Sirius starts to feel anxious but he doesn’t understand why “Hey Dorca is passing it to Lily” Peter whispers pointing to the redhaired girl
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Break in flashback
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“Mate this is me and y/ns story” Sirius nudges James annoyed
“What? I can’t tell my son how I found out Lily liked me” James looks towards Harry for back up
Harry chuckles nervously “Sorry dad but you’ve told me this about a million times” he cringes making Sirius smile triumphantly and his father huff in defeat
“Okay where were we…”
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Resumed flashback
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“Go on mate” James motions for Sirius to give the vial a sniff
Leaning it he feels everyone’s eyes on him, it wasn’t unknown that he was a flirt but whoever he smelt was about to he be famous. He breaths in the scent, first its something familiar, James’ mothers baking, then its Remus’ chocolate and then, he freezes, it was you, your scent.
“Mr Black?” Slughorn prods “What do you smell my boy?”
“Umm” he panics “some kind of baking, chocolate and perfume” he says vaguely and it’s enough to satisfy the professor, his friends however seem to eye him
For the rest of the lesson he barely paid any attention, just let James gush about Lily. In truth he hoped that would distract everyone from asking about his own smells. Of all the girls of course he would fall for the one he couldn’t have, his best friends little sister, the same baby sister James had told the marauders but in particular him not to ‘fool around with’. For the rest of the day he did his best to avoid running into you as he tried to decide what to do. Should he tell you or should he ask James first and risk one to the nose? Would you even like him? What if your flustered because his flirting made you uncomfortable or you only saw him as your older brother’s mess of a friend?
He’d managed to successfully avoid both you and the conversation of his amortentia until that afternoon when he ran into you and by run into, James screaming down the hall to get your attention “SIS!”
You stop walking and look at your brother wide eyed before smiling awkwardly with a small hint of fear as they approach you “Hi” you squeak out
As James started gushing about Lily and you listened nodding along Sirius took a minute to really admire you. Sure, he’d always found you cute, but you were funny too, there were times you let out a small one liner that would kill the room, you were also smart, smarter than him, not to mention you were an utter sweetheart. Now he was aware of his feeling he felt a bit breathless in your presence but kept his cool composure on the outside, that was of course until you turned to him with those little doe eyes of yours
“So, what did you smell Siri?” you ask in a tone he could almost say was hopeful
“Ugh…” he freezes half by the question and half from the nickname that made his heart do little flips “Your mums cooking…” you and James smile at that “Moonys chocolate…” your smiles widen “and…” he looks around “Clementines” he says randomly after glancing at some girl eating one down the hall
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End of flashback
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“Why did you lie?” Harry looks at his godfather confused
“I was nervous, scared your dad was going to kill me…” he looks at James that shrugs casually “Of course I immediately regretted it seeing the disappointment in her face” he grimaces, he still regretted to this day not making a move sooner
“Wait…” Harry thinks for a second “You two got together in your last year, right?” the men nod “So you didn’t tell her for a whole year?” his mouth drops open
“Actually” James butts in smirking away “He never told her” Harry tilts his head
“I didn’t” he confirms “She actually made the first move almost exactly a year later”
“She did?” Harry looks more confused than before “But auntie y/n won’t even order for herself at muggle restaurants she’s so shy”
“She is but that day she was more Gryffindor than me” Sirius admits
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Start of flashback - Your 6th year
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You were headed to potions, you had missed breakfast because you had pulled an all-nighter rewriting your essay which had got ruined. On your way you felt a bit faint, wishing you had at least grabbed something, luckily for you a certain raven-haired boy came to your rescue
“Hullo little Potter” he jogs up to you with a smile
“Oh hi” you smile back it was rare to talk to Sirius alone, usually your brother or his other friends were with him
“Here” he holds out a muffin for you “Noticed you weren’t at breakfast” he shrugs casually
“Thank you, Siri” you smile at him accepting the food
“Is there a reason you missed breakfast?” Sirius asks trying his hardest to not let his heart crack at your appearance, it looked like you had slept in your clothes and you had a red mark on your neck
“Amos…” his heart shatters “burnt my essay to a crisp, even singed me and Alex” you gesture to you birn mark
“Really!” he says far too euphuistically even scaring himself “Sorry…” he laughs it off a bit embarrassed but he was so happy you weren’t with anyone, he knew one day it was going to happen but he was just glad it wasn’t today “How did he burn it?” he asks interested
“Oh well he sneezed with his wand in his hand…” you explain cringing “merlin help us if he gets the flu” you joke quietly making the boy bark out a laugh
You giggle as well, proud of yourself for making him laugh “Well I need to…skip class busy stuff you know. See ya later Little Potter” he throws you a wink walking off to who knows where leaving you with a smile plastered on your face the whole way to class
Sitting down you see Slughorn passing around some kind of potion “Alex?” you nudge your friend “What is that?”
“Amortentia, shame you were late cause you missed a few people revealing their crushes” Alex chuckles as he explains
“Like the love potion?” you confirm starting to get nervous
“Mr McConnell what do you smell?” Slughorn asks as Alex is handed the vial
Alex takes a large sniff smiling “Vanilla, freshly cut grass and…” his smile widens “…strawberries” he hands the vial over to you bliss as he knows exactly who it is
“Miss Potter” the professor gives you a nod
You bring the vial to your nose taking in the scent “Umm…my mums baking, books and…” your eyes widen “…something smoky” you say vaguely while Alex bites back a knowing smile
As the lesson continued Alex kept writing little notes in the margin of your parchment, writing some muggle song that went ‘Y/n and Sirius up a tree K.i.s.s.i.n.g…’ or little hearts with your initials to tease you. You let him do it, as he started to draw a rather cute sketch of you and Sirius kissing your mind was running wild.
You really did like Sirius, you always did, he was your brother really handsome friend how could you not, you had a crush on Remus too but that faded away after a couple of months while Sirius’ stayed and only got stronger as the years went on. It progressed to full blown love after he ran away to your house and you spend half of that summer together, you never spoke all that much he usually just sat outside and enjoyed the sun while you read quietly nearby. The summer passed you spent even more time together as James was off with Lily a lot now they had confessed, sometimes you could have sworn you caught him admiring you or seen his eyes trail over your body when you wore shorts and a vest out in the summer sun.
Sirius was popular with everyone, he dated a lot but since the end of his 6th year you hadn’t really seen him with anyone, if anything he seemed to catch your eye more often and have some reason to be with you, like this morning he noticed you probably wouldn’t have eaten and brought you your favourite kind of muffin. You weren’t the best at talking or being brave but something in you just needed, itched to tell him how you felt
After potions you headed to the library, you usually joined in to study with James’ friends then, so it would be a good opportunity to get Sirius alone. Walking in you see your brothers’ friends already there along with Amos who is awkwardly perched on the chair at the end, clearly unsure of how to make conversation without you and Alex.
“Hi” you say quietly gaining their attention, receiving warm smiles from everyone as they glance up, your eyes meeting Sirius’ who lingers a second longer than the rest before returning to ‘study’
“Hey Ams” Alex greets as he sits next to Amos earning a thankful ‘hi’ back
“So how was Potions?” Lily asks kindly
“Oh, we learned about Amortentia” Alex answers in a playful sing song-ey tone that makes Amos catch on, both giving you knowing smiles
Your bit of confidence was fading so you acted fast “Um Siri can you help me find a book?” you say quickly standing up
His eyes widen before nodding “Sure” he stands as well following you out
When you are far enough away James and the others make bets…
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Break in flashback
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“YOU KNEW!” Sirius exclaimed almost knocking over his now cold cup of coffee
“Well yeah” James says like it was obvious “You’d been making eyes at her for years, I was just betting how long it be before you finally admitted it. Mate, if it makes you feel any better we all lost because y/n make the first move”
“GUY!” Harrys gains their attention “You were getting to the good bit, come on!” he huffs impatiently
“Oh, sorry Harry” Sirius chuckles
“Yeah so, where were we?” James turns to Sirius
“Getting a book!” Harry answers for them
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Resumed flashback
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“So what book is it?” Sirius asks as you walk deeper into the library
You stay quiet for a moment “It’s just up here, I couldn’t reach it last time” you lie turning back to desperately think of a book you could pretend to need, realising this is a lot harder than you think
Sirius nods he was following you blindly, he would follow you anywhere if you asked, but right now all his mind could think about was what or more who you smelt in the amortentia. You stood up quickly, clearing using the book as a way of avoiding the conversation, he didn’t blame you for that especially since your protective elder brother was present. What he couldn’t get over was it was clear your friends had someone in mind, which meant you did fancy someone and that made his heart ache
Soon you stop, spotting a book you did actually need but weren’t planning on getting for another week “It’s that one, the green one” you point to it
“Alright” Sirius goes on his tiptoes before climbing ever so slightly on the bottom shelf to retrieve it, as he comes back down he stumbles into you, trapping you between the opposite bookshelf and himself as he steadies himself “Y/n you okay? I’m so sorry” he apologises checking to see if you are okay
Your faces were the closest they had ever been, you gave him a small nod to which he smiled, lingering before he started to move away. This was your chance so you lunged forward and placed a quick kiss on his lips, pulling back as quickly as you jolted forward gaging his reaction. Sirius seemed to just stare at you in shock for a moment, clearly processing, did you…did you really kiss him and kiss him first?
“I’m sor…mhm” you begin to apologise but this time he lunges forward capturing your lips, dropping the book you ‘needed’ to cup both of your cheeks
He kissed you like there was no tomorrow, which could have been true as he was sure James was going to kill him the moment he found out.
Both of you were smiling like madmen when he pulled away, hands still on your cheeks “I can’t believe you…” he shakes his head in disbelief “…if your brother doesn’t kill me be mine?” he asks
You start to nod timidly as your confidence fades returning to your usual shy self when you brothers voice comes from further down the shelfs “What’s going on here?” he says in a playful tone but that’s lost on Sirius as he panics jumping back from you
“James it’s… it’s not” he starts taking steps backwards as James walks forward, meanwhile the rest of the gang who you can only assume had been hiding there the whole time watch amused
“Strawberry?” Amos asks as he takes a bite of one while holding the little tub up for the others
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End of flashback
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“Then he chased me around the library for about an before we were kicked out…I can’t believe you knew and you still played with my emotions like that” Sirius crosses his arms annoyed
“One I didn’t chase you…he ran away like a little baby and I just followed you to make sure you were okay” he turns to Harry who looks more than entertained “And two, she’s still my baby sister I had to at least put the fear of Godric in you to make sure you didn’t break her heart” he says genuinely his protective brother side sounding quite similar to his protective dad side to harry which makes him smile
“So after that you started dating?” Harry ask to which Sirius nods “And dad you were okay with it?”
“Yeah, trust me Harry I know Ron’s a bit…” he makes a ‘going over their head’ gesture “But he probably already knows…I mean Sirius had more trouble convincing your grandparents than me but you won’t have that problem” he reassures his son
“Molly’s like your second mum while Euphemia loved me too she thought I was too irresponsible to be with your aunt” Sirius shrugs “But she came around” he says hopefully
“mmm” James hums sceptically
“What?” Sirius turns to James in shock like his life is a lie or something “I’ll be back I need to ask y/n” he says standing up and heading out the door while James and Harry burst out in laughter
“So, you think Ron will be okay with it?” Harry askes looking a lot lighter than before
“Yeah, Ginny will always come first for him and he’ll worry but he knows you and he trusts you so he’ll know in his heart like I did that you would never do anything to hurt her on purpose” he gives him a reassuring smile
Meanwhile Sirius walks into your bedroom “Darling does your…well hello there” he smirks seeing you in just your towel bent over as you try to find something in the bottom drawer of the dresser
You snap upright at the sound of his voice turning around “Hi Siri” you give him a warm smile before glancing back at the drawer “Do you know where my red…” as you turn back to him you trail off seeing him grinning at you “What?” you start to feel a bit shy with his eyes on you
“You’re so beautiful” he notes walking up to you and placing his hands on your towel clad hips “Can I ask you something?” he tilts his head
“Anything” you say truly
“Does your mother like me?” he asks with concern
“When we started dating? No…When we got engaged…also no” he smiles but it drops “Now? Yes, but she also thinks the wooden sculpture of her patronus can talk” you shrug cringing
“I’ll take what I can get…” he laughs before pushing a damp strand from your hair “So” he looks at you cheekily “Guess who Harry has a crush on…”
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buddiefanfiction · 19 days ago
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A small collection of fics that feature Buck and his praise kink.
All recommended fics are complete. Appropriate fic tags are attached to each rec in place of a summary to keep the post from being too lengthy. Please take the time to leave a kudos or comment if you read any of the below fics by these wonderful authors.
A Phone Call Away by @ironkissedmage
Oneshot • Explicit Rating • 5.7k // Canon Universe, Divergent, Phone Sex, Praise Kink, Masturbation, PWP, Smut, Accidental Voyeurism, Sex Toys, Getting Together, Love Confession
Always, All Ways by @ashavahishta
Multichapter • Mature Rating • 85k // ABO, Canon Universe, Divergent, Slow Burn, Alternating POV, Outside POV, Friends to Lovers, Omega Buck, Alpha Eddie, Insecurity, Pining, Protective Eddie, Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Smut, Angst, Hurt/Comfort, Praise Kink, Fluff, Cuddling, Touch Starvation
'cause i'm all tied up in you by @prettyboybuckley
Oneshot • Explicit Rating • 2.8k // Canon Universe, Established Relationship, Smut, Restraints, Dom Eddie, Sub Buck, Praise Kink, Daddy Kink, Aftercare
Held at the Brink by @letmetellyouaboutmyfeels
Oneshot • Explicit Rating • 2.9k // Canon Universe, Established Relationship, Smut, PWP, Edgeplay, Dom Eddie, Sub Buck, Blow Job, Fingering, Praise Kink
I Told You That We Could Fly by @princessfbi
Oneshot • Explicit Rating • 4.3k // Canon Universe, Established Relationship, Smut,  Biting/Marking, Praise Kink, Possessive Eddie, Fluff, Cuddling
more praise kink fics
Review a Fic
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I wanna be your turtle 🐢
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rated: g | words: 5.6k | read on ao3
“It’s so cool! I can’t wait to see the turtles.”
Eddie either; they’d watched Finding Nemo one too many times, both of them always drawn to the sea creatures.
“Me too buddy, but I don’t think we’ll get to see any of the swimming kind today.”
Chris frowned for a moment, though it immediately disappeared as a giant tortoise came into view; Eddie nearly missed the turtle for the man that was standing next to it.
“Wow,” Chris exclaimed.
Wow indeed, Eddie thought silently to himself. 
Sat crouched next to the tortoise was a beautiful man, golden curls blowing in the breeze. The guy was wearing boots with cargo pants and a flannel, nothing special, though Eddie couldn’t take his eyes off the man all the same.
“I’m the official turtle guy around here, but you guys can just call me Buck.”
Buck huh?
the wildlife au that no one asked for (aka i saw those pics of oliver and ran with it)
tags under the cut, lmk if you wanna be added or removed <3
tags: @buddiextarlos @swiftiediaz @confetti-cupcake @mansikkaomenabanaani @chimneymisteraprilhan @xxfiction-is-my-realityxx @loveyourownsmiilee @prettyboyandthekid @justsmilestuffhappens @corgiqueen14 @honestlydarkprincess @zainclaw @reallysmartladymariecurie @love-buddie @djdangerlove @therapyeddie @bifirefighters @perfectlynervousbeard
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superdecibels · 5 months ago
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Sooooo! @starksnack and I did a collab :)
If you like social media AUs and getting together AUs, I highly recommend reading our fic : "Make Up and Making Out"!
Absolutely had fun drawing these panels out, its been a while since I made a multiple panel piece. Thanks a whole bunch again, snacks!
Here's the thumbnails art lol
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deancaspinefest · 3 months ago
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Chance Encounter  |  Explicit  |  33,666 words 
Author: FriendofCarlotta Artist: Tatianaisanartist
One night, two strangers meet at a hospital. Charlie Bradbury has just said her final goodbyes to her mother, while Castiel Novak is waiting for news of his husband Dean, who’s been in an accident and is undergoing surgery.
Craving company, Charlie asks Castiel to tell her about Dean. What unfolds over the course of the next few hours is a love story like many others: a magnetic attraction, a shy exchange of smiles, passionate kisses and confessions in the dark. But unlike those other love stories, this one was never meant to happen — because when Dean and Castiel first met and fell in love, Dean was already married to somebody else.
Link to fic  |  Link to art 
Pairings: Dean/Cas (minor Dean/Lisa, past Cas/OMC, background Charlie/Stevie)
Warnings: Infidelity, Hospital Setting, Minor Character Death, Grief
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dapandapod · 3 months ago
Prompt 2 - running their thumb over the other’s hand
Jaskier hyper focused on the movement of Geralt’s thumb, Geralt doesn’t realise he’s doing it
6. running their thumb over the other’s hand
Darling, yes! This one went a little sad on me, but lucky for us all, Geralt is one hell of a softie, even if he pretends not to be!
I'm posting while having one hell of a cold (luckily plague free but the cough from hell) but hey, good thing about that is that i might actually post all these prewritten prompts, ehehe. Please enjoy this somftness <3
Warnings: Implied past child abuse, because Jaskier has A past TM, small hurt because string snapping, but otherwise just FLUFF all around!
Send me a handholding prompt?
On Ao3 Hand holding prompt collection
"You are so clumsy," Geralt informs Jaskier, as if he didn't know. "How is it even possible to get hurt by a lute?"
Jaskier sniffs where he sits opposite of Geralt, choosing to focus on taking offense rather than Geralt's warm hands on his.
"Clearly, you haven't been around many instruments. When the strings snap, it stings like a whip," he retorts, huffing.
"What do you know of whips?" Geralt says, dabbing the angry red skin with a wet cloth.
Jaskier turns his head but doesn't say anything else. Better not.
"It won't scar," Geralt says, inspecting the back of his hand where the string had hurt him. His breath is warm too. How is Geralt so fucking warm?
"You sure? Wouldn't be the first time," Jaskier can't help but quip. He is not ready for Geralt to let go just yet.
When Jaskier looks back, Geralt is watching him with a tilted head.
"What?" he asks faintly. It should be illegal for Geralt to look at him like that. It probably is illegal. Somebody should arrest him for crimes against Jaskier's heart.
"Where?" Geralt simply says.
"Where what? Where is it scarred?"
The witcher nods, his hands still cradling Jaskier's hands loosely.
"On my knuckle, right here." Jaskier points it out with his other hand, loath to do anything to dislodge this fragile thing. "And under my rings."
Those golden eyes inspect Jaskier's hand, pulling it closer to his face. His grip is so gentle, so careful when he changes his hold and pulls off Jaskier's rings, one after another.
When the scar finally is revealed, Geralt pauses. Touches his thumb to the pale, white line of his scar. It is barely visible anymore, Jaskier barely thinks twice about it.
"Was it deep?"
"Got infected." Jaskier shrugs. "Couldn't play for weeks."
"You didn't wash it?"
"I-" Jaskier shuts his mouth. No need to bring up past pains. Nothing he can do about it now anyway.
"I lived," he says instead. Geralt's other thumb is slowly running over the back of his hand, just shy of the red skin.
"And you always nag at me about cleaning out my wounds," Geralt teases.
"Well, someone has to care," Jaskier says faintly. Geralt's hands are dry, rough. He really could use some hand lotion. Maybe he can convince Geralt to have some.
"I care," Geralt murmurs, and Jaskier is pulled out of his thoughts with soft lips against that scar, the touch so faint he, for a second, thinks he imagined it.
Then Geralt is putting the rings back. It feels odd, to have someone else do it, to have Geralt do it. Intimate.
For a moment, the witcher lets go of his hand to lean to the side and dig in their packs.
Then he unceremoniously grabs Jaskier's hand again, spreading a foul smelling salve on his skin.
It stings, but Jaskier doesn't react, too stuck in the memory of Geralt's lips against his skin.
Lost in the sensation of Geralt's thumb still running over the side of his hand.
"It will heal better without a bandage," Geralt decides. "I guess we will head towards Oxenfurt tomorrow."
"What? Why?"
"Where else do we buy better quality strings?"
Jaskier is quiet for the rest of the night. His hand feels cold without Geralt holding it, but his soul is burning hot with memories.
Geralt cares.
Geralt... kissed his hand.
Nope. Jaskier can't deal with this.
"Geralt?" his mouth asks before his mind can stop him.
"What?" Geralt grumbles from his bedroll.
"Would you... Could you look at my hand again? It stings," Jaskier lies. He almost feels bad about it, but Geralt sits up, grumbling, turning to grab his hand.
"Looks fine to me," he says, eyes heavy with sleep.
"You aren't even looking," Jaskier complains, and Geralt shrugs, laying back down, still holding Jaskier's hand.
"If you want me to hold your hand, just say so," he mutters and closes his eyes.
How can he just say that? Just say that and go back to sleep? Can't he hear how hard Jaskier's heart is beating?! How very fast his mind is running?!
"Don't," Jaskier whispers. "I'll get greedy."
"That's ok," Geralt mumbles, tugging at his hand to make him lie down too. Jaskier goes, his eyes wide, his fingers flexing in Geralt's grip.
"You could kiss it better," Jaskier whispers, half joking, half hoping. Geralt smiles, shifting to lie on the side facing Jaskier. Not that he is looking at him at all. The trust he displays, it's breathtaking.
"That doesn't work," Geralt whispers back, but brings Jaskier's hand up to his face, mindful of the hurt.
Jaskier holds his breath, as Geralt changes his grip and nuzzles into Jaskier's open palm. Kisses it.
The breath burns in his chest, alongside his heart. Geralt's eyes open, gazes at him through Jaskier's spread fingers.
"My heart hurts too," Jaskier breathes and Geralt chuckles against his hand.
"Does it now?" he says, lips moving against his palm. Then his other arm is wrapping around Jaskier's middle, pulling him close.
"Guess I have to kiss that better too then," he murmurs, following the line of Jaskier's arm until he is hovering over his chest. "Or put some salve on it."
"Don't you fucking dare, witcher," Jaskier breathes, and then Geralt's lips are over his heart.
In the morning, they head towards Oxenfurt. Jaskier has made it his personal mission to make Geralt hold his hand again. The witcher makes for an easy victim.
The hurt heals, but the warmth of Geralt's hand remains.
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wangxianficrecs · 3 months ago
Company by WithBroomBefore
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by WithBroomBefore
T, 30k, wangxian
Summary: Lan Wangji is fourteen when the dying boy comes to stay at Cloud Recesses.
My comments: In which wei wuxian is very nearly killed by Madam Yu and Zidian (actually his heart does stop a few times) and is sent to Cloud Recesses to recover (and not be actually killed). Lwj keeps him company during his extended recovery and convalescence, and the two boys grow very close. It's really lovely to see the ways that lwj changes, in being able to make a friend in a slow-paced and quiet way (since in the beginning, wwx is unconscious a lot of the time).
Wwx's heart is damaged, so he'll never cultivate with a sword, which doesn't matter to his staunch new friend at all. Canon unwinds slightly differently, and overall this is more a study of character growth and falling in love where the fix-it features less prominently.
hurt/comfort, canon divergence, serious injury, hurt wei wuxian, abused wei wuxian, recovery, getting to know each other, students in cloud recesses, sort of, developing friendships, emotional support kitten, lan qiren is good, teacher wei wuxian, teacher lan wangji, non-cultivator wei wuxian, kissing games, (orchestrated by [nonbinary] nie huaisang of course), lan wangji & nie huaisang, first kiss, getting together, demisexual wei wuxian, burning of cloud recesses, wen indoctrination camp, trauma recovery, light angst, domestic, fluff, friendship, sharing a bed, emotional hurt/comfort, lan wangji has friends, POV lan wangji, everybody lives, jiang sibling feels, tenderness, soft, happy ending, @withbroombefore​
(You may wish to REBLOG as a signal boost for this author if you like – or think others might like – this story.)
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drarrily-we-row-along · a month ago
Day 167: Favorite Mug
"Come on, Draco," Harry pleaded, that slight whine in his voice that Draco could scarcely resist. "It'll be so much fun, I promise," he said. "I'll teach you all about the superheroes, T'Challa is my favorite," he added and the confines of Draco's mind expanded to hold that little tidbit of Harry as well.
Draco stared at him and his heart twisted in his chest, aching with the longing to be allowed to just love him. To hold every bit of him, of his body and of his mind, to know every inch of that mind and heart and soul. He was full to bursting with desire and he couldn't take it. "I can't," he said.
"Why?" Harry pouted, "Do you have something tonight?"
Harry frowned, "Then why not?"
He opened his mouth to make his excuses but what came out instead was his own heart, "Because I can't hold one more piece of you," he said.
Harry blinked but Draco's mouth apparently wasn't done with him.
"Because I know so much about you. I covet those little pieces of you, and I hold them and keep them, and there's no more room." He shook his head, "My head is full of you, and you, and nothing but you. Miles and piles of you in every little nook and cranny. Everything is you."
The other man opened his mouth but Draco steamrolled on.
"I know that dandelions are your favorite flower, which is ridiculous because they're a bloody weed. I know that thunderstorms make you tense and quiet, I know you can't be in enclosed spaces without windows when they're rolling through. I know that you take your coffee with cream and your tea with sugar. I know that treacle tart is your favorite dessert. I know that you will say that you don't have a favorite book, but 'The Hobbit' is the book that you've gone back and reread a thousand times. I know that green is secretly your favorite color.
(Read more below the cut)
"I know you like Chinese or Thai for dinner after a successful case, or breakfast for dinner after a hard case involving children." Draco swallowed and continued, "I know that you want to have kids someday, and that you love watching your godchildren but it makes you heartsick. I know that you still haven't forgiven yourself for the war, a burden that isn't fair for you to still be carrying.
"I-" he broke off and shook his head, "I know that you like muggle ballpoint pens best but if you must use a quill, you want a turkey feather one. I know that your favorite mug is that stupid one that I got you as a joke that says 'Sarcasm is one of the many services I offer.' I know that you hate cranberries."
"Draco-" Harry started.
But he shook his head again, "I'm sorry," he said, throat feeling tight. "Harry, it's killing me. I'm in love with you," he said helplessly, "and this," he said, gesturing between the two of them, "this is killing me." He took his bag off the back of his chair and left before Harry could say anything, before he could feel like even more of an idiot.
Draco locked himself in his flat and cried, cursing his own idiocy. Why couldn't he have just said something normal like 'I'm tired,' or 'I don't want to watch 'Moon Knight' with you because it sounds creepy and I don't like sleeping alone after I'm creeped out.' Or literally anything that didn't make him sound like a crazy person.
He collapsed into his chair and took out a piece of parchment and a quill, may as well start penning his letter of resignation to the DMLE, Merlin knew that Harry was the only reason anyone had given him a second chance there.
He was halfway through when there was a knock at the door, "Go away!" he shouted.
"I won't," Harry's voice replied, stubborn and boorish, bloody Gryffindor. "Open the door, Draco," he called, knocking again.
He got up and stomped over, letting the door swing open and reveal Harry standing there with his hands on his hips. "Go away-"
"Shut up," Harry said, "It's my turn to talk." He took a deep breath, "I know that Zinnias are your favorite flower. I know that you don't like sunny days; you're always covered up with sunblock charms and sunglasses and hats. I know that you take both your coffee and your tea with cream and sugar; and I know that you will tell people you drink it black because it seems like the thing that grown-ups do. I know that you will tell people that your favorite dessert is something fancy and french, but when it comes right down to it, your favorite dessert is a warm, gooey brownie.
"I know that secretly your favorite book is 'Pride and Prejudice'. I know that cerulean is your favorite color. I know that you like to curl up on the couch with a good book and a cup of hot chocolate after a long day or a hard case.
"I know that you are terrified of having kids, of having a family, because you are afraid of turning into your dad. I know that you haven't forgiven yourself for the war either."
Harry took another breath before continuing, "I know that you like those fancy quills that your mum orders you from France, but I'm pretty sure that you only like them because she gives them to you. I know that you would say you prefer tea cups for coffee and tea, but you love that big earthen-ware mug that I brought back from my trip to the States; whenever you use that one you hold it in your hands like it's something precious. I know that you hate nuts and fruit in cake."
He took a step forward and cupped Draco's cheek in his palm, "I know you too, Draco. I've stored up all of the bits of you inside of me as well," he confessed. "And believe it or not, I am very much in love with you too."
"Really?" Draco asked, his eyes filling with tears again.
"Really," Harry affirmed, pressing a soft kiss to his nose. "I'd like to take you out on a date, if you're amenable."
He swallowed and nodded, "I'd like that."
"Good," Harry said, smiling brightly. "Let's go."
He took a step back and gestured to what he was wearing, "You want me to go in this?" he asked incredulously, he hadn't changed out of what he'd worn to work.
"Darling, I don't care what you're wearing. I just want to be with you."
His heart tripped over itself and he couldn't have stopped the pleased smile on his lips if he'd wanted to, "You're sweet," he said softly, "But you may as well get used to waiting for me to get ready now."
Harry laughed and tugged Draco back toward him, "Can I kiss you first?"
Draco leaned in, "I suppose I would be amenable to that," he agreed teasingly.
Harry closed the scant distance between them as Draco pulled him inside, and if it took them longer than it ought to have taken to get to a restaurant for dinner, well, no one could say this hadn't been a long time coming.
Day 166: Saudade | Day 168: Is it true what the rumors say, Professor?
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jules-of-the-crown · a month ago
Kissing with tongue
(Sam/Bucky, rated T)
Sam re-wired the safe and tried not to notice how good Bucky looked in his tux. When Sam planned the op, he liked being undercover – and the occasional wardrobe perks. 
“Someone’s coming.” 
“Shit.” Sam whispered. “Need more time.”
“Unless you can think of another reason for us to be here...” 
“Kiss me,” Sam said, before he could think it through. Bucky did – automatically – a chaste peck that left them both staring.
“Probably not very convincing,” Bucky murmured.
“Try aga-”
Sam’s words were cut off by the press of Bucky’s lips, his searching tongue.
If anyone noticed them, they never knew.
Working on a little "exactly 100 words" drabble series for @elektraking with prompts chosen from this list. Thanks for helping me fight my writer's block!
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purplehotmess · 19 days ago
Draco winced as shrill cries rang through the living room. Increasing the speed of his hip-bop, he hoped that the rapid bouncing put Teddy to sleep. To no avail - he's almost sure his eardrum was blasted straight off by the time Potter rushed to take the wailing baby from him - Saint Potter to the Rescue he thought to himself snidely - and the little bugger promptly fell silent. Good grief. Were even 1 year olds not immune to the Golden Boy's charm?
Swallowing down bitter disappointment and a strange resentment, Draco averted his gaze from the pity clearly visible in Potter's eyes, and whirled around to stomp to the kitchen. He'd better prepare dinner - Merlin knew Potter could set fire to a pot of boiling water if Draco left him to it.
A month ago, Andromeda had unexpectedly died of an incurable, progressive blood curse, leaving her grandson to their care. The moment Draco had known that he would have to take care of his nephew with his childhood nemesis, he had been on the verge of throwing a massive strop, but then Teddy's hair had guilelessly turned blond, and Draco's heart had fucking melted. So here he was, chopping onions and pretending that his tears were anything but a result of sleepless nights, and days filled with frustration.
Of course, that was when the source of Draco's misery bumbled into the kitchen in pure Potter fashion. He had to grip the knife tighter to resist the urge to smack the git, or something inane like straighten his collar and comb his finger through those hopeless curls. Ugh, Draco hated his inner sap.
Nonetheless, like had become a weird kind of routine, Potter leaned against the counter, watching Draco work. He had, presumably, put Teddy to sleep, and was here to annoy Draco like always. Not that Draco didn't encourage it, but it was the principle of the thing that mattered.
"Can I help?"
Draco rolled his eyes. "Shut up, Potter, we both know you can't coo to save your life. I trust you've fed Teddy, and reinforced the cushioning charms?"
Through a small smile lurking about his lips - Draco snapped his eyes away, he'd cut his finger if he spent a moment more staring at Potter's lips - he said, "Of course I did. You're such a mother hen." Fondness had bled through Potter's tone at the end, and Draco didn't think his cheeks had ever turned hot this fast.
Draco scoffed, but let it slide. He knew that Potter had only been jesting, and long-gone were the days of mean insults and petty fights.
Fully concentrated on peeling the potatoes, Draco didn't notice when Potter moved, and so was badly startled when thickly-corded forearms - fuck's sake, Draco's inner sap, stop gushing - came around him to rest on the kitchen counter. Heartbeat out of control, Draco remained perfectly still as the warmth at his back moved closer, and obediently let go of the peeler when hands gently pulled it away from his grasp.
It was so silent, Draco could hear his pulse pounding in his ears, and his mouth opened in a silent gasp when a single kiss was placed on the side of his neck. It was followed by a hard suck, and then teeth clamped down on it, making Draco's skin goosepimple. He barely managed to turn around to face his ambusher, before he was pushed backwards, the marble slab digging into his back. Up close, Potter's eyes seemed like glittering jewels, forged in the pits of the earth; his pupils diluting like inky darkness in an emerald sea.
No words were spoken - none were needed, after all, both of them knew this had been building for years - and as Potter leaned forward, making Draco's neck arch back, Draco's eyelids fluttered shut, all remaining worries flying out of his mind when their lips met.
@slytherinnbitch prompted me 'Parent', and @thebooktopus prompted me 'Preparing dinner together', so here you go! I'm sorry if it wasn't what you were expecting, I admit I took a very roundabout approach to both prompts... Send me more prompts starting with a letter from my username, and get (mostly fluffy, sometimes angsty) drarry ficlets!
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buddiefanfiction · 21 days ago
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A small collection of fics with our boys keeping it all a secret (or trying to, anyway).
All recommended fics are complete. Appropriate fic tags are attached to each rec in place of a summary to keep the post from being too lengthy. Please take the time to leave a kudos or comment if you read any of the below fics by these lovely authors.
Entirely Platonic by evandiazbuckley / @evandiaz-buckley
Oneshot • General Rating • 1.2k // Canon Universe, Divergent, Humor, Secret Relationship, Established Relationship
I found love where it wasn’t supposed to be (Right in front of me) by @finduilasclln
Oneshot • Explicit Rating • 13.2k // Canon Universe, Divergent, Getting Together, First Kiss, First Time, Insecure Buck, Smut, Love Confession, Cuddling, Secret Relationship, Sharing Clothes, Intimacy
just to love you by @woodchoc-magnum
Multichapter • Mature Rating • 37.3k // Canon Universe, Divergent, Getting Together, Fluff, Secret Relationship, Love Confession, Drinking, Outside POV
like it's a little secret, like it's all he has to give by spinningincircles / @tripleaxeldiaz
Oneshot • Teen Rating • 4k // Canon Universe, Divergent, Secret Relationship, Idiots in Love
(yesterday my life was duller) now everything is technicolour by lecornergirl / @clusterbuck
Oneshot • General Rating • 1.3k // Canon Universe, Divergent, Established Relationship, Secret Relationship, Idiots in Love, Secret Relationship
more secret relationship fics
Review a Fic
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that one’s still my favorite
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HAPPY BIRTHDAY EMMA yes, i finally wrote it...the prompt you’ve been harassing me over (affectionately) for almost a year <33 i hope you enjoy this silly fluffy journey and have the best day ever. love you!! 🥳🥰💙💜 (btw it’s not quite your birthday for me, but since your several hours ahead of me, i get to post this early 😁) also i have about 8 screenshots for your prompt that i can in no way summarize, but just know it’s all here 😂 @xxfiction-is-my-realityxx
rated t (because emma said anything else was boirng) | words: 6.9k | read on ao3
At the sound of his lock turning, Buck hopped off the counter just in time to greet Eddie who let himself in with his spare key.
“Hey Birthday boy.”
Buck ducked his head as he tried to hide his blush, grinning over to Eddie.
Eddie stepped toward him, reaching his hand out to place over Buck’s shoulder, tilting his head down just like he did whenever he was trying to gain Buck’s attention.
“All ready to go?”
“Yea, just uh, let me grab my bag.”
Eddie squeezed his shoulder before pulling away, moving to grab his bag.
“Nope, it’s your birthday. No heavy lifting for you today.”
Eddie takes Buck on a roadtrip for his birthday....idiocy ensues. 
tagging squad under the cut, lmk if you wanna be added or removed <3
tags: @buddiextarlos @swiftiediaz @mansikkaomenabanaani @confetti-cupcake @chimneymisteraprilhan @xxfiction-is-my-realityxx @loveyourownsmiilee @prettyboyandthekid @justsmilestuffhappens @corgiqueen14 @honestlydarkprincess @zainclaw @reallysmartladymariecurie @love-buddie @djdangerlove @constructiononsunset @bifirefighters @perfectlynervousbeard
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tillytillytilda · 11 days ago
I absolutely adore your tenth doctor fics, here's my fiction request:
I'd love to see a 10 x reader fic in which there's a scene where to doctor does his mind reading ability on them, be as creative as you like about it, loads of detail if ya like 💖💖
Title: Memories
Pair: Tenth Doctor/Reader
Summary: The Doctor is forced to look through Y/N's mind though together the two make a rather surprising conclusion.
Word Count: 1.9K
A/N: Sorry for the delay! I hope you enjoy this lil piece of fluff.
“Y/N? Y/N? Are you okay?” 
Y/N tried to open her eyes, unable to see much of anything other than flashing lights. She must be in the TARDIS then, she reasoned in her hazy sort of mind. The colors seemed to be about right for the TARDIS too. Something else was coming into focus. A face. A rather worried and scared face with brown eyes and a messy head of brown hair.
The Doctor was staring down at her, one hand on her cheek while the other supported her head. It was then that she realized that she was in fact laying down. Well sort of. Her body was on the floor but the Doctor had propped up her head, probably so he could get a better look at her. 
“What happened?” she asked, her throat dry and her voice hoarse. The last thing she remembered was leaving the TARDIS with the Doctor. Had something happened once they got onto whatever planet he’d taken them to? 
“You got hit with something while we were exploring,” the Doctor said, taking his hand away from her face to grab his sonic screwdriver. He started scanning her with it, examining every inch of her face. “It was some sort of ray. Came right at your head from behind.” 
Y/N didn’t think she’d ever seen the Doctor so worried before. He usually stayed calm and collected, even in the most dangerous of situations. She felt fine. There was no pain anywhere at all. Though the more she thought about it, there was a bit of an itch in the back of her head. Not on her scalp, but in her actual head. She must have made some sort of face since the Doctor immediately started to ask her questions like, “What’s wrong?” and “Are you in pain?”
“It’s like an itch,” Y/N explained, gesturing to the back of her head where it occurred. “It’s in my head.” The Doctor scanned the place she gestured with his screwdriver, brow furrowing a bit. 
“That’s right where it hit you,” the Doctor said. “It might have done something to your mind.”
That thought scared her. Y/N always knew that physical danger was a risk she took while traveling with the Doctor but the thought of something alien being in her head did not sit right with her at all. 
“Can you get it out?” Y/N asked him. The Doctor was in deep thought, an expression she often caught him having after a particularly long day of different adventures. 
“There is an ability that I have,” the Doctor said slowly. “It would allow me to sort of access your mind, make sure there’s nothing wrong.”
“Do it,” Y/N urged him, not wanting to wait any longer and risk something happening. She didn’t know anything about what she’d been hit with but she’d hate for something bad to happen, especially when they were in the TARDIS. 
“It’s incredibly invasive,” the Doctor warned her. “I’ll see all your memories. And…well you might see some of mine.”
Y/N paused for a second. The idea of something going through her head was not a very pleasant one. But if it was just the Doctor, that should be fine. She trusted him more than anything in the world. And if he was willing to allow her access to his memories to try and save her, then she should be fine with doing the same. 
“Alright,” Y/N said, nodding. “Do it.”
The Doctor slowly placed his fingers on her temples as both of them closed their eyes. And then it began. 
Several of her own memories flashed before her eyes. Things from her childhood, school, going to university, and then-
“Sorry, what exactly is going on?”
Y/N was pretty sure she was dreaming. She had to be. There was no way her boss at the coffee shop had just turned into some sort of huge slug monster. And there was definitely no way this man, whoever he was, had just stabbed him with some sort of device. The man didn’t seem too concerned with answering her questions though, instead barraging her with ones of his one. 
“Do you work here?”
“Well, yes, but-”
“Have you drank any of the coffee in the back? The one your boss made for the employees?” 
“No, but-”
“Excellent! You’re not infected yet!”
“Hold on, infected? What are you talking about? Who are you? What’s going on?” “Oh sorry, I’m the Doctor,” he said as if that explained everything. Y/N still stared at him though her concentration was broken as a roar came from the back of the shop. “And that is your other co-worker.” 
The man, the Doctor, rushed to the back, his coat flying behind him leaving Y/N bewildered. She glanced behind her at the door where all their customers had rushed out once her boss started changing into…whatever he was. She could just leave. But instead, she followed behind the strange man, not looking back again. 
“That was amazing,” Y/N said a few hours later, her face a bit flushed from all the running they’d been doing. “I mean…really, you do that everyday?”
The Doctor was smiling at her, leaning against a blue box that was in the alley he’d led her down as they walked away from the coffee shop. Normally she wouldn’t follow strange men into alleyways but the Doctor made you do things you wouldn’t normally do. 
“Wellll, not everyday. Sometimes I just explore. No big dangers. Just travel.”
“That sounds incredible,” Y/N told him, honestly. “How do you do it? I mean, you’d need a ship, right? If you’re traveling through space.” She hadn’t wanted to believe the whole “aliens are real” thing, but she had just helped cure an alien slug disease. 
“That I would. It’s right here,” the Doctor said, tapping the box behind him with what he’d called his screwdriver. 
“That?” Y/N said, looking at the box with a combination of skepticism and interest.
“That’s an old police box or whatever. Not a spaceship.”
“Want to bet?” the Doctor asked, his grin growing. “If I can prove its a spaceship, you’ll go somewhere with me.”
“Where?” Y/N asked, already feeling herself being sucked into his world. 
“Somewhere fantastic.” 
Y/N lost her bet though she didn’t really care that much. The TARDIS was as amazing as everything else about the Doctor. So she went on an adventure with him. And then she went on another one. And another one. And soon she had a key to the TARDIS and a room and she only saw her friends and family on holidays. And that was fine for her. 
They went to an alien party for her birthday. The Doctor had even gotten her a dress. A new one, not one pulled from what seemed to be an endless closet in the TARDIS. It was beautiful and thankfully short enough that she would be able to run if they got into any trouble. They weren’t expecting trouble but you never did get what you expected with the Doctor. 
When she came into the console room in the dress, her hair done to the best of her abilities, Y/N cleared her throat a bit, surprised to find the Doctor wearing a suit. Not his usual pinstripe one, but a black suit. And when he turned around, he was wearing a bowtie. 
For a second the two stared at each other. The Doctor’s jaw fell open for a quick second and he quickly broke into a grin and turned back to the console. Butterflies erupted in Y/N’s stomach and she had no clue why. 
“You look great,” the Doctor said, flipping things on the console. Y/N smiled and went to stand next to him. She liked to watch him drive the TARDIS. 
“You look good too,” she said with a nod. The Doctor glanced over at her and when their eyes locked, their smiles both grew a bit wider. 
The memories were flashing through even faster and now they were almost entirely about the Doctor. Everything about it. The way his eyes lit up when he talked about some new planet or species or flower. The way his hair was always in its odd messed up fashion and how Y/N would occasionally mess it up even more just to tease him. The swooshing of his coat, the movements of his hands, the tone of his voice. All of it was flashing through her eyes. Until it settled on a new memory. One that occurred later the same night as the previous one. 
When she realized what it was, Y/N tried to skip it. To force her brain to think of something else. She’d been so panicked at the thought of some alien something in her head, she hadn’t even thought of this memory. But the more she tried to skip it, the faster it came until they were suddenly there in the moment.
“It’s actually quite amazing how they were able to set this all up so fast,” the Doctor was saying, explaining with his voice and his hands as he often did. He rattled on about something as Y/N listened carefully, nodding and laughing at the right moments. 
She watched him, watched his eyes, his smile, his hands. And the thought just slipped in as quietly as a mouse would. She didn’t even realize it until suddenly it was echoing in her head. 
Wow, I’m in love with you. 
The memory stopped the second her own voice echoed that thought over and over again. And then suddenly there were more memories. Not hers though. But memories of her, from the Doctor. All the same moments, but from his own mind. And they were amazing. 
Y/N had never seen herself as beautiful as she did through the Doctor’s eyes. Her eyes, her hair, her skin, her lips, everything seemed to practically glow with joy and…and love. She saw herself how the Doctor saw her. A fantastic, incredible person who he couldn’t believe he got to travel with. And then she saw the moment she had stepped out into the control room of the TARDIS, in that dress. And a voice echoed throughout her head again. It echoed the same words as before but this time in the Doctor’s voice. 
Wow, I’m in love with you. 
Y/N opened her eyes, practically falling backwards as she felt the Doctor’s fingertips leave her temple. She stared at him, unable to fully process what had just happened. The Doctor…the Doctor knew she loved him. And…and he loved her back. 
The Doctor was staring at her, breathing slightly heavily as if they’d just been running for a bit. He was looking at her carefully, trying to judge her reaction before actually speaking. Y/N wasn’t sure how to react so instead she started with a simple question. 
“Am I alright? My head, I mean,” she said, gesturing to her forehead. The Doctor seemed confused and then remembered the whole reason for the mind reading thing in the first place. 
“Oh, yes. Yes, you’re fine,” he said, nodding. He waited for a bit before saying, “What you saw-”
“I love you.”
The three words hung in the air as Y/N carefully walked towards him, gently taking his hand in hers. 
“I love you,” she said again, wanting him to know that she’d meant it. She had felt the darkness in his mind during those brief moments she’d been there. Not fully felt it, not like he did. But it had been there. The doubt, the darkness, the fear. “I see you and I love you.”
“I love you too Y/N L/N,” the Doctor said with a small smile, pressing a kiss to the knuckles of the hand holding his. “I love you too.”
Tenth Doctor Taglist (If you wish to be added, just let me know) @girl-inthestars
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