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#he's single handed gotten me into the holiday spirit with this
harrywritingsbyme · 11 months ago
The Best Christmas
Based Off Of These Asks since there are so many...I had to make a whole tag for them. 
A/N: I hope everyone had a great day!! Here is my little gift to you guys...some fluffy Christmas smut!! The smut is there and filthy, but I couldn't not give y'all some of the fluffy feels...I just couldn't help myself, so I hope it doesn't suck lol. Also, I’m adding this to A Series of Firsts...Enjoy🙃❤️
Even though this Christmas was a bit bittersweet since neither you nor Harry could spend the holiday with your families, it still managed to make its way to the top of you and Harry’s “Best Christmases” lists. Why? Because it was the very first Christmas you and Harry spent together since the beginning of your relationship. Sure the milestone came about by means of a global pandemic and yes the both of you wished that you could be with your families. But you and Harry were very willing and able to put all of that aside and focus on the positive that is your first Christmas together. Now since you two were living together for the past year (or however long this pandemic has been raging on), and it was your first Christmas, you and Harry made sure to pull out all the stops when it came to decorations and holiday activities. Well it was more so you than Harry on the excitement, but you were more than willing to include him.
Harry had a little bit of an extended break from filming, so once production wrapped for the remaining part of the year, the holidays officially began for you two and it started at the tree farm where you and Harry picked out the best tree you could find for your home. It took a little bit of bickering, a couple pouts here and there, along with some kisses, but the two of you were able to find and agree on the perfect tree. Along with said tree, you also bought tons of decorations for the house. And by tons, you meant tons. There were enough decorations to not only decorate your house, but yours along with someone else’s. While Harry called it crazy and overboard, you called it being festive and in the holiday spirit. And that’s all you really cared about along with essentially making the house a Christmas wonderland because you knew that no matter how much he teased you for it, Harry loved and thought that it was cute, overboard and all.
In the few days leading up to the 25th, you and Harry spent your time binge watching just about every Christmas movie on the planet, dancing around the house to your favorite Christmas music, and baking until you both were in sugar induced comas. Along with taking part in the happy festivities of the season, you and Harry also spent time talking to your families and trying your best at making up for the lack of your physical presence. And while you two were incredibly happy to be having your first Christmas together, it still stung to be away from your families for the first time, especially under these circumstances. But despite this bump in the road, you and Harry remembered the one thing that always got you both through any situation that wasn’t what you’d hoped. You two remembered that you had each other. And that with each other, you were going to have the best Christmas. 
And when the day arrived, it really was the best. 
For starters, you and Harry had the best morning sex ever. Aside from enjoying the seasons festivities together, you and Harry were also enjoying the continued stream of sex. It was absolute bliss to wake up on Christmas morning, nestled deep into the warm covers and tangled up with your lover. Add a round of slow, passionate, soft, and absolutely lazy morning sex into the mix and you were in heaven. And that was the perfect description of you and Harry’s morning. The both of you lazily moved with and against each other as you moaned into each others mouths and brung each other to your releases. It was absolutely amazing and the perfect way to start your day together.
“Merry Christmas baby” You hum softly, bringing your mouth to his for another kiss.
“Merry Christmas bub” He hums back to you with a sleepy smile spread across his face, closing the gap between your mouths. It was only supposed to be one kiss. But given the fact that it was you and Harry, on top of the fact that it was a milestone in your relationship, that kiss quickly escalated to another round of lazy morning sex which unsurprisingly topped the first round. The both of you were already incredibly sensitive from the first time so when you two went at it again, you and Harry exploded around each other.
After regaining the feeling in your lower halves, you and Harry begrudgingly pull yourselves from the warm and toasty bed, throwing the clothes that were strewn about from the night before back on and heading downstairs to call your families and then exchange the gifts you’d gotten for each other. Since it was a bit late in the morning in Los Angeles and there was a sizable time difference between there and London, when the two of you made your calls, the evening had already rolled around back home. But that didn’t stop either of you from gluing yourselves to your computer screens. It was just so nice to talk to your friends and family back home and have that connection even though you were so many miles apart. After talking and catching up with everyone, you and Harry said your goodbyes along with promises of talking more the next day before hanging up completely, leaving you both alone to get your first Christmas together going. To start things off, the two of you moved on to your gift exchange, which was filled with many pleasant surprises. You’d been giving each other gifts for a good while now and none of them topped the ones you’d gotten for each other this year. All of them were absolutely amazing and incredibly thoughtful, and the both of you prided yourselves on giving thoughtful gifts. While Harry gave you all of the gifts he’d gotten for you, you gave all of yours but one. It was special and you were saving it for later on.
But until then, you and Harry decided to have a Christmas themed spa day. After making breakfast, the two of you did everything from taking a warm bubble bath that had a strong and welcomed scent of sweet candy cane, to giving each other facials. The two of you even gave each other Christmas themed nails and had a little competition on who gave the best ones. And in the midst of all of this, the two of you were happily drinking the wine you loved so much while watching your all time favorite Christmas movies (rewatching them because they were just that good), randomly stopping every once in a while for a spontaneous round of sex. It wouldn’t be a Harry and Y/n Christmas if there was no random sex. You just couldn’t keep your hands off of each other. It’d either start off with a kiss that sucked you and Harry down the rabbit hole of pleasure beyond compare or it’d be a simple proposition that neither of you could deny. Either way, the sex was absolutely amazing every single time. 
As the day lingered on, the pampering came to a nice end, (Harry won the nails competition and the both of you had the softest skin in the world), the Christmas movies had ended, and there was only a little less than half a bottle of wine left from the two bottles. The evening was finally coming around for you and Harry and it was getting closer and closer to the end when you would give him his final gift of the day. After taking a little nap to curb the headache that was forming for you both from all the wine, you and Harry made yourselves Christmas dinner for two and completely devoured it before going back upstairs to get ready for bed. The two of you were already on the same page for this process because once you hit the top of the steps you and Harry went right into getting another bubble bath ready. You chose a different scent from the last time, still in the Christmas realm, and you relit the candles that were burning a bit earlier. Once the bathroom is transformed into an aromatic oasis, you and Harry remove all of your clothing and sink down into the warm water and bubbles. 
“Today was a good day.” Harry sighs behind you, breaking the silence and wrapping his arms around your middle, pulling you tighter against him.
“It was.” You reply happily. “First Christmas together, success.” You continue on. 
“It was amazing.” He reminisces, bringing his head down to press a kiss to your temple. “Can’t wait to spend so many more with you baby.” He whispers happily. 
“Me neither.” You reply excitedly, pulling yourself out from his grip and slowly turning around to straddle his lap. “But nothing will beat our first.” You continue, wrapping your arms around his neck and bringing your fingers to the hair on the back of his neck. 
“And this is just be beginning of all the first Christmases we’re gonna have lovie.” He says, causing your mind to immediately flicker to your future together and all of the firsts he was talking about.
“I can’t wait.” You whisper as you smile down at him, your voice filled with contentment and happiness from today and for the future. 
“I love you.” Harry says, wrapping is arms around your lower back. 
“I love you more.” You reply, bringing your mouth down to his for a sweet kiss. When your lips connect, sparks go off in your bodies. It was a very familiar feeling to you both but it was also a bit rare of a feeling too. Whenever you and Harry touched or kissed there was always a similar feeling to this one. But this feeling the two of you felt in this moment was ten times the normal feeling. Maybe it was the underlying conversation you two were having about your future together or something, you weren’t completely sure. What you do know is that you never wanted to depart from this feeling. You wanted to relish in it and never let it go. Luckily for you, being with Harry meant that you were going to be feeling this way many more times going forward. 
As the kiss continues on, you and Harry begin to softly move yourselves against each other, getting yourselves a little riled up. When you feel Harry’s cock beginning to harden beneath you, you pull your lips away from his a little. 
“I have another present for you.” You mumble against his lips. 
“What is it?” He questions, tightening his arms around you.
“If I told you right now it wouldn’t be a surprise. But if we get out of here I can give it to you.” You barter.
“Let’s get out of here then.” He agrees excitedly, loosening his arms from around you. The two of you then step out of the tub and right into the fluffy bathrobes your mom sent over for you and Harry. 
“Now you go in there and wait for me on the bed and I’ll be in shortly.” You explain.
“Don’t be too long.” He pouts down at you before pressing a wet kiss to your forehead and walking out of the bathroom and into the bedroom, leaving you alone to change. As soon as the door closes behind him, you go straight to the cabinet underneath the sink to reveal the box you’d hidden under there the day before. You quickly pull it out and you sit it on the counter before lifting the lid to reveal the lingerie you’d bought for the occasion. Since Harry loved seeing you in it and ripping it off of you, it was the perfect gift to give him. Especially the set you’d picked out. To stay in the Christmas spirit, you bought a sexy Santa lingerie set for him. Now there were many sets out there for you to choose from, but there was one that was just perfect and it was definitely something that Harry would love. There wasn’t much to it, only satin and a little white fur to really give it that Santa feel. It was ruby red and barely there with bows covering both of your nipples, and one covering your folds. There were small ties on the sides of your panties that could and would be snapped by Harry in an instant and there was a little fur lining at the top hem of the tiny panties and the top edges of the barely there cups of your bra. There was an underwire for a little support but the only fabric was the fur and the four sort of thick satin bands that formed the bow right at your nipples. It was absolutely perfect and you thought you looked amazing in it.You do a final once over in the mirror, adjusting the lingerie on your body and pulling the Santa hat onto your head. Once you’re completely done, you take a deep breath and you open the door to enter the bedroom. 
When you walk in, you see Harry sitting at the edge of the bed waiting for you, he didn’t even bother to change out of the robe. When he sees you step out of the bathroom, his jaw drops right to the floor. Harry was so glad the lamp on the bedside table was turned on because he needed to see all of you right now. You looked absolutely phenomenal in the lingerie. The material wrapped around your body perfectly and it accentuated your features. And per usual, there was so much to take in and Harry was in sensory overload with it all. He was literally drooling at the sight of you. The lingerie wasn't the present, the present was you.
“Santa, baby, I just want daddy to fuck me so bad.” You say in an innocent tone as you get even closer to Harry. “That’s all I want for Christmas. I just want daddy to fuck me nice and hard and dirty.” You continue as you climb into his lap. When you do this, Harry stops breathing for a second. He was so overwhelmed from how hard he was now and from how good you looked and from what you said that he forgot how to breathe. “Can I have that Santa?” You pout, moving yourself around in his lap to tease him a little. When you do this, Harry snaps out of his trance and quickly lifts you both up from the edge before throwing you back down onto the middle of the bed. 
“You just can’t get enough huh?” He asks, swiftly undoing the robe and shrugging it from his shoulders before crawling on top of you. “Always wanting daddy t’fuck you.” He chuckles, taking in your appearance below him. “You should be glad that Santa and daddy are the same person doll.” He teases before pulling at the ties to undo them, tossing the garment behind him. He then grips onto your forearms, quickly pulling you up and reaching a hand behind you to undo the bra, tossing it in the same direction as the panties once it’s off your body, leaving you in just the Santa hat that was on your head. Instead of taking your naked body in before digging into you, Harry just digs in. He pushes your legs farther apart before leaning down between them to lick a wide stripe up your already sticky folds, spitting down onto you on his way back up. Harry then wraps a hand around his girthy shaft and gives himself a few tugs before moving to hover over you, resting his forehead right against yours. “I love it when my presents are fuckable.” He whispers as he lines himself up with your entrance and begins to push into you.
“Yes daddy! Your cock f-“ You moan loudly as your eyes roll back, as you immediately reach up to claw at his bicep as he sheathes his large member with your walls. Even after so many rounds on and off throughout the day, you never failed to be stunned at how good it felt for him to be inside you.
“M’gonna fuck you so good baby.” He grunts as he pushes the last bit of his cock up into you. “Gonna fuck you real good.” He breathes out to you. And without wasting any time, Harry begins to piston his hips into you, pushing himself into you as deep as possible. The both of you were moaning messes, enjoying the pleasure that came from Harry’s thrusts. Harry felt right at home from the way your warm walls were gripping onto his cock. No matter how many times he fucked into you, Harry would always consider your walls to be magical. You were always tight, warm, and wet for him; absolutely perfect. As he continued to slam into your cunt, you were falling apart. It felt so good to have him pounding into you like this. It was quick and it was dirty. Harry was continuously and deliciously slamming his cock up into you while you cried out and withered below him from the pleasure. You were getting exactly what you’d asked for. 
The room was filled with your combined moans and cries as Harry continued on slamming into you. The only other sound in the room was the wet sound of his cock moving in and out of your drenched pussy. When his hips begin to slow down and he starts to push and hold his cock inside of you, that was the signal that he was nearing his release. As he did this, you too were rapidly approaching your release. You could feel his cock digging into your sweet spot and you could also feel the curly hairs around his cock pushing back and forth against your tingling clit. 
“Need t’cum daddy!” You cry as you try and connect your mouth with his, beginning to become overwhelmed with your need to let go around him. 
“Cum with me sweetheart.” He slurs, feeling the warmth from his release beginning to flood his entire body. “I got you another present too doll.” He grunts as he delivers a final thrust between your legs, shoving his cock all the way up into the deepest part of your pussy, catapulting you both right over the edge and into your blissful releases. “It may arrive a bit late though” He chuckles though his labored breaths as he continues to flood your walls with his cum. And as he lets go, you let go as well, squirting all over him, getting not only his lower stomach wet but the sheets below you two wet as well.
Once the two of you are completely done, Harry slowly pulls out of you, triggering the thick stream of his cum to begin pouring out of you and onto the wet sheets below. He quickly reaches over to turn the light out and collapses right onto the bed next to you, making to throw an arm around your waist. 
“Maybe next Christmas we can work on your present.” You hum, feeling yourself beginning to doze off.
“That sounds like a plan.” Harry readily and happily agrees before shifting closer to and following after you and drifting off to sleep.
Even though your first Christmas together wasn’t under the best of circumstances, it was still one of the best. All you needed was each other. And once you had that, everything was bound to be perfect. 
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mo-d3ans · a year ago
mistletoe wishes.
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pairing: owen joyner x reader an: this is the first in my little Christmas collection that I have ideas for, so I hope you enjoy it! please let me know what you think! if you want to be added to any of my tag lists, please let me know!  word count: 3.7k+
The Christmas party was already well under way by the time you arrived. It had taken you over an hour to decide on which Christmas sweater you wanted to wear, as you had way too many, but you were happy to see that you weren’t the only one who was decked out in the holiday spirit as almost every single one of your friends were wearing an ugly sweater of some kind.
“Look who decided to show up,” a voice greeted you, and you grinned when you turned to see Charlie heading in your direction. He had a drink in his hand and a Santa hat on his head, so you knew that he was already having a good time.
“Sorry I’m late, my wardrobe decisions got the best of me,” you replied as he pulled you in for a hug, his hand holding his cup away from your body so as to not accidentally spill anything on you. 
“Well, it looks like it paid off. That sweater is amazing,” Charlie complimented when he pulled away and he saw exactly which one you had picked out. “Owen is going to die when he sees it.”
You had gone with your festive Star Wars sweater that had Darth Vader on the front wearing a Santa hat similar to the one perched on Charlie’s head. The red and green font across the front read, “I find your lack of cheer disturbing”, and it was one that you had adored ever since your other friend, Owen, had bought it for you the year before. 
“Is he here?” you asked, and Charlie nodded, the smile on his face growing as you both heard Owen’s voice fill the air. 
“Don’t worry, I’ll be fine! I’ll just be hanging around the mistletoe waiting to be kissed.”
“I think he’s still a little bummed that he’s one of the few people here without a date,” Charlie chuckled, and you giggled yourself, despite your heart falling in your chest. You knew exactly how he felt as this was the first year in a couple that you were showing up to Christmas parties by yourself as well.
Your last boyfriend, Jake, had recently broken up with you in October just before Halloween. You had been devastated, as the two of you had already put together your coordinating costumes and you had been looking forward to the holiday season together. You were sure that, when he ended things, your holidays were going to be ruined, only to be proven wrong when Owen had shown up at your apartment that Halloween in his bright yellow jacket and short shorts, ready to pull you out of your own personal misery. Surprisingly, it had worked, and now you knew that you owed him a holiday saving grace.
“I guess I’m gonna go find him,” you told Charlie a few seconds later, and he nodded as you assumed that he went to find the girl that he had been talking to for the last few weeks that he had brought along as his date for the night.
It didn’t take you long to find Owen, as you headed down the hallway in the direction that you had heard his voice. The familiar blonde was leaning against the wall, his phone in his hands as his finger swiped across the screen, seemingly lost in his own little world.
“That doesn’t look like mistletoe to me,” you teased, as you referred back to his previously shouted words, and Owen looked up at the sound of your voice. 
“Yeah, well, I needed to say something to help myself feel better in the midst of this little Christmas love-fest,” he replied sarcastically, as his eyes trailed down to your sweater. A smile immediately formed on his lips as he pushed himself away from the wall and slid his phone into his pocket. “Wow, what a great sweater. Whoever picked that out must have great taste.” He was teasing now, and your heart lifted as it seemed that whatever little mood Owen had been in was starting to dissipate.
“I know, I’m quite the sweater connoisseur if I say so myself,” you teased back, and Owen rolled his eyes playfully.
“Right, cause you picked it out,” he drawled and you grinned even more.
“I did actually. Just a few minutes ago.” This earned another eye roll from your friend before he gestured back the way you had come.
“Did you want to get a drink?” he asked, and you nodded eagerly. Your first mission had been to find him, and now that you had, you were ready for a drink.
The two of you headed towards the kitchen while Owen started ranting at the lack of single people that had shown up to this particular party.
“I know it’s like, cuffing season or whatever, but come on. Does everyone have to be in a relationship?” he groaned as he leaned against the kitchen counter while you poured yourself some punch. You were thankful in that moment that he couldn’t see the look on your face, as your back was to him, because you were sure that there had been a quick flash of hurt that had formed on your features at his words. It wasn’t like you didn’t agree, but it was a painful reminder that you were also newly single, and you were one of the few that was spending the best holiday, in your opinion, alone.
“Come on, it can’t be that bad,” you replied when you turned around after regaining your composure. Owen had a red cup in his hands now that you knew was filled with the same liquid that was in yours, but he didn’t seem to pay it any attention as his eyes scanned the room. There were a few people hanging around, but they were all so engrossed in the conversations they were having with their dates that none of them seemed to notice either one of you.
“I mean, it’s fine, obviously. Like, good for them. But you can’t blame a guy for hoping for a romantic Christmas miracle.” There was a flash of something in his bright blue eyes when he looked over at you, but before you could place it, it was gone.
“Romantic, eh? Oh, Owen, I didn’t know you were into stuff like that,” you teased, and the corners of his lips turned up slightly as he finally lifted his cup so that he could take a small drink.
“A guy can dream sometimes. I blame the holiday atmosphere,” he responded coolly, and you nodded as you tried to quell the racing of your heart with a sip of your own punch. The feeling was one you had been experiencing a lot since Halloween night, primarily when you were in Owen’s presence, but you pushed it aside and ignored it, just as you had been for the last several weeks.
Eventually, the two of you moved into the living room where most of the rest of your friends seemed to be, and you took the next few minutes walking around and saying hello. You didn’t miss how Owen stayed close behind, though you were sure his reasoning for it was because you were one of the only other single people around, and he didn’t want to get stuck with a big group of couples where he had to pretend like he didn’t feel incredibly awkward being alone.
“Oh my god, look at you!” Savannah cooed when she saw you. “And look at your sweater! Wait, is that the one Owen got you last year?” When you nodded, a small gasp slipped from her lips as she grabbed your hand and quickly pulled you to the other side of the room, away from everyone else. The movement startled you, and the wild look in her eyes made you nervous.
“What are we doing?” you asked apprehensively, just as Savannah spun back around to face you.
“Is there something going on with you and Owen?” The question caught you off guard, but also made your heart clench at the same time. 
“No? Why would you say that?” you asked, and Savannah gave you a pointed look. You had no idea where all of this was coming from, and it seemed like a stretch to say that it was caused simply by your choice in sweaters for the evening. It wasn’t like it was the first time you had worn it out.
“Ever since Halloween, the two of you have seemed… different. I mean, I always thought that Owen had a thing for you, but Jake was always there. But now that he’s out of the picture-“
“Wait,” you interrupted, your hand coming up to stop her. “What do you mean, you always thought Owen had a thing for me?” Your heart was racing again, and when Savannah gave you a sympathetic look, you couldn’t help but glance over your shoulder to try to find the boy in question.
Owen was standing a few feet away, talking with Charlie and Charlie’s date, but the second your eyes landed on him, his eyes lifted to meet yours. It was as if he could feel you looking, and a smile immediately blossomed across his features just before you turned away.
“See, things like that! He’s always looked at you with literal heart eyes, and I was sure as soon as Jake broke up with you, he was going to make his move. I think he’s just been hesitant because he doesn’t want to rush you.” 
You couldn’t believe what Savannah was saying. You and Owen had been friends for a while now, and there was never a time where you thought he might like you. Sure, the two of you had grown quite close, but you just thought that your friendship was special. When he came to cheer you up, he was just being a good best friend. There were no other emotional motives, right? No, there couldn’t be.
“Savannah, I think you’re reading a little too much into our friendship,” you sighed, as you tried to reason with both yourself and her. “Owen doesn’t like me like that.” 
“But how do you feel about him?” she pressed, and that was the topic of conversation you really didn’t want to reach. While, before Halloween, you had never seen Owen as anything other than your closest friend, recently you had started seeing him differently. It all started with the fluttering in your chest when he was around, and slowly it had progressed more and more, but you had gotten quite good at suppressing it. You thought, at first, that it was just because you were lonely after having been in a relationship for over two years. But now, as the feelings grew, you weren’t so sure that could be to blame any longer.
“We’re just friends.”
It was clearly not the response Savannah was looking for, but just before she could protest further, she glanced over her shoulder, and another smirk formed on her lips.
“Hey, what are you guys talking about over here? I hope it’s more interesting than what Charlie and his date are carrying on about.” Owen’s voice made your heart stop, and when you felt his arm brush against yours, you did your best to hide your immediate emotional reaction.
“I was actually just about to go and get another drink. I’ll catch up with you guys soon,” Savannah told him before giving you a quick wink and walking off. You and her were going to have to have a serious conversation about subtlety later on.
“What was that about?” Owen asked, as you turned your attention to him. 
“Your guess is as good as mine,” you replied quietly, before lifting your cup to your lips once more. You hated that you felt a little weird standing alone with Owen now, and you did your best to shake the conversation you had just had from your mind. “Did you want to maybe go find a game to play?”
“I thought you would never ask,” Owen responded brightly, and you couldn’t help but smile as you both went in search of something to entertain yourselves.
There were several different games that were being played throughout the house, but eventually, you and Owen found a game of charades that you were able to insert yourselves into. Anytime you had played this game, it had always been with Owen because Jake thought that it was stupid. More times than not, you and Owen won, and it had become an almost unsaid rule that you would be partners anytime you played.
“This isn’t fair,” Tori groaned as you jumped from your seat on the couch in victory when you and Owen won. “It’s like you two can read each other’s minds.” 
You grinned as Owen lifted you from your feet and spun you around quickly in a tight hug before setting you down, his arm remaining wrapped around your waist as he turned to face his friend. 
“You just wish you had a connection like us,” he taunted, and even though you knew that he was just being cocky, you still felt another pull in your chest as you slowly moved out of his embrace. He didn’t seem to notice what you were doing, which you were grateful for, as you didn’t move too far out of his reach for it to be obvious.
“We’re just really good at being on the same wavelength with these things,” you added, and Tori gave you a look that was similar to the one that Savannah had given you earlier in the night.
“Clearly not all things,” you heard her murmur, but you didn’t ask for her to elaborate because you were sure that you could already guess what she meant.
“I’m not really ready to go watch everyone be all couple-y again just yet. Did you maybe just want to… walk around?” Owen asked when the rest of the charades group started to disperse. You nodded, though you weren’t sure where exactly you were going to walk as the house wasn’t that big, and it was too cold outside to walk around out there. However, Owen reached out to take your hand as he guided you back down the hallway, away from everyone else, and you didn’t pull away as you followed him.
“You know, I thought this party was going to be a drag as one of the few single people here, but it’s actually been quite fun,” Owen mused as you walked through the hallway. You nodded as you looked up at him, your fingers still laced with his. 
“You’re welcome,” you joked, and when he looked down at you, he laughed.
“I mean, obviously I’m having a good time because you’re here. We just hadn’t talked about the party or anything, so I didn’t know… I wasn’t sure…”
“Wasn’t sure of what?” you asked, as his voice trailed off and he seemed to get lost in his thoughts. Owen’s gaze was fixed on the floor in front of him while he walked, and he didn’t look back at you when he spoke again.
“I wasn’t sure if you would find someone else you could bring so you wouldn’t feel lonely too.”
Your heart jumped in your chest, as you let your eyes scan across the various pictures on the wall as you passed.
“And who in the world would I bring on such short notice? It’s not like I’ve been hanging out with anyone since Jake broke up with me. No one but you, anyways,” you replied, and it took half a second after the words came out of your mouth for you to realize how bad it sounded. “Which I’ve loved, of course. I love spending time with you.”
Owen slowed to a stop in the doorway for the stairs that led to the basement as he dropped your hand and lifted his to rub the back of his neck nervously.
“Actually, about that…” he started, but before he could continue any further, there was a gasp from behind you, and when you both turned to see what was wrong, you were surprised to see Savannah at the end of the hall, a wide smile on her lips.
“What’s going on?” you asked nervously, but instead of responding with words, Savannah just pointed above your head. You and Owen both looked up at the same time, and your stomach rolled when you saw the familiar green plant dangling from the doorway above you.
“Mistletoe,” you whispered, and Owen inhaled sharply from next to you. You hadn’t actually thought that anyone would have put up mistletoe, as it was incredibly cliché, but it was also no surprise that since they did, it would be over a high traffic area like this particular doorway. You hadn’t known about it, and it was clear that Owen didn’t know about it, and now, you felt stuck.
“Umm,” Owen started again, and you looked up at him to see that his cheeks were flooded pink, and you were sure there was embarrassment and awkwardness written all over your face.
“We don’t have to do this,” you replied quickly. “We can just pretend like we never saw it.” When you glanced back down the hall, you saw that Savannah was gone, which was also surprising given that you were sure she would have loved to witness this particular moment, even though you weren’t sure which way it was going to go. It was probably for the best that you didn’t have any kind of audience when you had your heart broken in the middle of a Christmas party.
“I mean, it is tradition,” Owen spoke up a moment later, and you gave him a quizzical look. “I mean, this isn’t how I really saw this happening, but now that we’re here…” His words only confused you more as you tried to piece together exactly what was happening.
“How you saw what happening? Getting a kiss under the mistletoe? Of course, I’m sure it wasn’t with me,” you laughed half-heartedly, and the small smile on Owen’s face quickly disappeared as his blue eyes bore into yours.
“That’s not what I meant,” he insisted, his voice serious now as he took a half-step closer to you. “You’re the only person I could ever imagine wanting to kiss under the mistletoe.”
A shiver ran down your spine at the look he was giving you now, and you found it hard to formulate a response. You had no idea what was happening, and even though Savannah had insisted there was something that Owen felt for you, you hadn’t really allowed yourself to believe it. However, if you truly had heard his words correctly, maybe you were the wrong one.
“I, I don’t understand,” you replied lamely, and Owen’s hand reached out for yours once more, this time more hesitantly than the first. You could see the conflict in his eyes, and while you were hopelessly confused, you could make this emotion out better than the rest. He was nervous. 
“You know that I would never, ever want to do anything to ruin the friendship that we have. But, I’ve pretended like I don’t have feelings for you since the first day we hung out, and I gotta be honest, kissing you here, right now, would possibly make me the happiest I’ve ever been.”
You didn’t know what to say. Savannah had been right. You thought that you were so good at reading him, and yet you had missed the mark completely on how your own best friend felt about you. Sure, he was an actor and you were sure that he was great at hiding his feelings, but you felt quite dumb that you hadn’t noticed before. Not that it would have mattered then. But it sure mattered now.
There were a few, long seconds that passed between you as his confession hung in the air before you made your next move. He was waiting for you to make the call on what happened next, and instead of spilling your heart to him with words, you leaned up onto your tiptoes, curled your free hand around the back of his neck, and pressed your lips tenderly against his. 
You could feel him kiss you back immediately, and his free arm snaked around your waist, pulling you closer to him as you smiled against his lips. It felt perfect, though incredibly cliché, but you wouldn’t have had it any other way. Owen had been the one that had always been there for you. He had been the one to cheer you up after your first heartbreak, and he had been the one to stitch the pieces of your heart back together. The connection you shared was deeper than friendship, and you saw that now. You could feel it pass between you as your kisses continued, and even when he pulled away to rest his forehead against your own.
“For the record, you make me the happiest I’ve ever been as well,” you whispered, causing an even bigger smile to form on Owen’s features. 
“Maybe coming to the Christmas party alone wasn’t such a bad idea after all,” he mused, and you giggled as you buried your face in his neck. “Even better, now I don’t have to leave that way.”
Butterflies raged in your stomach as he kissed you again, but then a few seconds later, the sounds of someone clearing their throat behind you caused you to jump. Both you and Owen turned to see who had just walked into your moment, and you were greeted, once again, by Savannah’s smiling face.
“Just friends, huh?” She asked simply as she slipped past you, and you hid your face in Owen’s shoulder. You could feel him look down at you and then back at your friend, but he didn’t say anything as the blonde disappeared down the stairs. 
When you looked back up at Owen, he was smiling down at you, and your heart skipped in your chest as you immediately smiled back. 
“What do you want to do now?” You asked, and Owen pulled you closer with the arm he had wrapped around your waist before pressing a gentle kiss to your forehead.
“We can do whatever you want. I already got my Christmas miracle. I’m good to go.”
tag list: @alexpjoyner​, @crybabyddl​
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Valentines Day for Nerds (Spencer Reid x Fem!Reader)
Summary: Spencer’s favourite holiday is often taken up mostly by work, but this year his enjoyment doesn’t seem to be as disruptive in the BAU bullpen. The team soon realise why.
AN: It’s a bit late- who am I kidding? IT’S ALWAYS HALLOWEEN IN OUR HEARTS! This was a part of @imagining-in-the-margins fic swap, for the brilliant @agntprentiss <3 
For my smut fic from the swap, check out A Little Indulgence (18+ only!)
Reader uses she/her pronouns!
Word count: 1.7k words
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Gif credit to @imagining-in-the-margins​ <3
Your name: submit What is this?
The first breach of boredom was Penelope practically skipping into the bullpen, her arms cradling a bouquet of flowers as if it were an infant. The bold orange roses contrasted with the dyed black petals of its counterparts as they were planted upon Spencer’s desk.
“Delivery for Doctor Reid!” trilled Penelope, clapping her hands now that they were free of said delivery. Dropping his pen onto his unfinished paperwork, Spencer pivoted the base of the bouquet before he found a small black envelope.
It held a little card with two pumpkins, happy faces carved into them both. Inside were the following words:
 Black is for new beginnings,
Orange is for enthusiasm,
Spooky times are afoot tonight,
Watch out for ectoplasm!
I spent ten minutes trying to think of a rhyme for that. Happy Halloween, Cara Mia!
Y/N xxx
Spencer beamed as he placed the bouquet at the edge of his desk, next to the fake severed hand that now held the card in its stiff fingers. He scratched his bristly cheek. Less than a day until he could shave this off. It’d be worth it though.
“Is it from Y/N?”
He looked up to see Penelope had lingered like a lost spirit, waiting to see if her trials of passing on the bouquet had been worthy enough for her to move onto the next world – her Batcave. She was poised with a hopeful expression.
“Yes,” Spencer said, watching Penelope lean up on her tiptoes as she tried to rein in her delight.
She clapped her hands, her purple painted nails clicking as they tapped together, “Are my two favourite ghost hunters up to much this Hallow’s Eve?”
“We’re going to see the Phantasmagoria re-enactment after we go trick-or-treating with Henry tonight.”
It was hard to ignore the absolute glee with which Spencer spoke. Even if one completely ignored the way his voice carried a light excitement, the way his eyes lit up and his broad smile almost fell off his face was enough to connote that he was very excited for tonight. It was also hard to ignore the mild bemusement on the faces of everyone who heard.
Glad to be back and bearing witness to his elated behaviour regardless, Emily cracked a smile, “Maybe she’ll cling to you when she gets scared.”
A heat crawled up Spencer’s neck and he tried to return to work now in hopes that his gift’s display would be cut off. He’d rather sit in the glow of receiving the flowers without mockery.
To the team’s credit, no one ribbed him for it.
The flowers were not the last gift though.
Soon Penelope reappeared, “Your Cupid has returned with another gift for you!”
As he tore at the paper and revealed an Edgar Allen Poe pin – the titular Raven he instantly attached it to his satchel strap – in pride of place, just like the bouquet.
Derek was the one to notice how Spencer’s sandwiches had been cut into little pumpkins. Some digging and Spencer revealed that he had gotten Y/N to order a cutter online. He held his lunch in one hand, his collection of classic Halloween short stories in the other, with a childish glee that no one wanted to squander.
When Spencer climbed the steps to drop off a file to Hotch around mid-afternoon, Rossi walking behind him noted the brand-new socks. A classic odd pairing, and obviously they were Halloween themed. This kid left no opportunity untaken when it came to celebrating Halloween – more than his own birthday.
But Rossi was not closed enough to get a good look at them, and no one else was as close. So, he recruited Emily and Derek to discover what the pattern was. It was Emily and Derek who upped the stakes by wanting to get a glimpse without arousing suspicion. Now that outright asking Spencer was not an option, the game began as they dropped several pens as an excuse to bend over and strain for a flash of those socks.
Derek eventually resorted to a pantomime attempt at tripping in front of Spencer’s desk and gave the jig up straight away by shouting to a stressed Emily (whilst also catching the attention of Hotch through his office’s blinds): “IT’S IT!”
A few language barriers hurdled later, and hindsight brought them both clarity. The red splodge on Spencer’s ankle was officially defined as a balloon.
“So tell us! What’s the other one?” Emily said, her voice strained with how much she was invested in this single sock.
Spencer hiked up his trouser leg to display the skeletal zombie sewn into the sock. “It’s Curtis Danko from When Good Ghouls Go Bad. Y/N had it commissioned for me!”
JJ was watching nearby, unaffected by the tensions of the sock bet. She knew the film because Y/N had wanted to show it to Henry the other week when she babysat him. But upon further inspection, the R.L. Stine film – while intended for kids – might be a little intimidating for Henry to watch without his profiler mother and godfather, police officer father, and favourite auntie there to protect him from the cursed statue.
No one else in the bullpen knew the film.
The team soon discovered that Spencer was not the only one to be on the receiving end of such gifts. Six o’clock rolled around and Y/N entered the bullpen. She was wearing a fuzzy black scarf, some sparkles shining within the wool. At the tail of it, a lucky black cat patch was sewn onto the end. It caught Rossi’s eye and he hid behind a folder as he smiled. The three times that Spencer had forgone a card game with him (in favour of knitting the scarf on the flights back from cases) had been riddled with playful teasing. It was good to see that it was worth it.
Especially when Spencer saw Y/N wearing it and his back snapped straight up. His chair flew backwards, spinning around with the effort that Spencer had launched himself from it, and he and Y/N embraced each other with casual affection.
“How was work today?”
“Not as boring as I thought. But, I have to say: I’m meant to call you Cara Mia.” Spencer’s eyes darted to the card Y/N had sent that morning.
Y/N caught onto his meaning, “Should I stop?”
She rubbed her nose against his and Spencer went pink again, giggling like a teenager. True, he was as smitten with Y/N as Gomez was with Morticia. Then he remembered he was in the workplace as Y/N went to greet the rest of the team, and Spencer’s pink became a scarlet.
“Aww, Pretty Boy,” Derek grinned at him from his desk chair, “You’re so cute!”
“It’s like Sergio!” Emily said, admiring the scarf with her thumb rubbing over the stitches around the cat patch.
“Make sure he’s safe tonight,” Y/N squeezed her hands for a second.
Then JJ appeared from her office, coat and bag over her arm, and she, Y/N, and Spencer wished the bullpen a Happy Halloween before they left.
They had three hours before the Phantasmagoria started. Plenty of time to get ready.
Henry was right behind the front door of his home. The second it opened, he bounced at Spencer’s feet, his tiny hand clutching onto two of his fingers to drag him inside. He was babbling away at such speed that Y/N could barely keep up. She gave Will a wave across the ironing board where he was diligently ironing Will’s cape.
“Well don’t you look handsome!” Y/N beamed at Henry while JJ combed his hair back, slick with gel. It was something he agreed to but only if Spencer was doing the same. Which he was, occupying the downstairs bathroom as he prepared his own costume.
The moment Spencer had finished shaving everything bar the moustache, he was plonked in front of the television. Henry smoothed out his cloak and put in his plastic fangs in to watch the rest of his new favourite Halloween film, The Little Vampire. He mumbled along with Rudolph’s lines and sat enraptured as he pointed out to Spencer the flying scenes. Luckily for him, Will and JJ were getting dressed as Frederick and Freda Sackville-Bagg upstairs to join in the Halloween spirit – last year’s Halloween date night disaster long forgotten.
Henry put in his plastic fangs and hissed at Y/N who emerged in her long sleek black dress. As she stepped across the room as elegantly as Morticia, Spence spied that she was wearing the black spiderweb tights he had bought her today.
“Hello, Gomez,” She smiled radiantly at Spencer, smoothing out his suit jacket as he stood before her. He presented her with a red rose that matched her lipstick to a tee.
As she breathed in the flower’s scent, he kissed her cheek, enjoying her giggle at the bristle of his ‘stache, “You’re stunning.”
“Thank you, and you’re handsome as ever.” She swung their linked hands between them in the opposite way she poised on her tiptoes. “Maybe we should have taken a tango class.”
And she laughed loudly at Spencer’s wincing at such a thought.
“It’s ok, Cara Mia. I’ll settle for a kiss instead.”
Oh, that was something he could do forever. He brought her hands to his lips and kissed her knuckles then the inside of each wrist.
Unfortunately, Henry interrupted the stream of kisses that were headed in Y/N’s way. “Ready to go!” He skipped his way between the happy couple.
It was hard to be mad at Henry, especially with how adorable he looked beside his parents and with his bright orange pumpkin bag ready to collect candy. He felt safe with his four favourite adults guarding him.
“Tonight,” Y/N whispered into his ear and he could hear the smirk in her words, “After the Phantasmagoria.”
Spencer beamed, his dimples delightfully framing that smile. One day maybe, they would have their own Wednesday, Pugsley, and Pubert to join them. And maybe then Derek would dress up as Uncle Fester.
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peridottea91 · 11 months ago
Summary: A salt and burn in Colorado takes a wrong turn, and you find yourself in a deadly situation with your greatest secret revealed.
Pairing: Alpha!Sam x ??Reader 
Warnings: a/b/o, true mates, case!fic, angst, smut, fluffy finish, fuck or die, mutual pining  
Wordcount: 6,398 (I am so sorry!!!!!)
Divider by: @firefly-in-darkness​ / @firefly-graphics​
A/N: this is my submission for the @spnsecretsantaficexchange​ hosted by the wonderful and patient @negans-lucille-tblr​. Thank you so much for granting me an extension and being so patient about literally everything getting in the way of this! My secret santa was @moosekateer13​ ! I really hope you like it! This was my 1st time writing a/b/o so hopefully this turned out good!!
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Sam leaned his head back in frustration, taking deep, heaving breaths.  He could feel his blood boil and his skin prickle.  Sam grit his teeth in an attempt to ground himself as he continued to work the ropes that bound him.  Nearby, Dean fidgeted with his own bindings, although he wasn’t having much better luck.  Across the room, you were slumped over in the chair you were bound to, twitching and whimpering despite being unconscious.
It was just supposed to be a milk run, a simple salt and burn in a tiny Colorado town.  Over the past several weeks, half a dozen people had turned up dead after going out to chop their own Christmas trees.  A trip to the coroner’s office revealed each victim’s heart had been frozen solid, with ice crystals and what essentially looked like freezer burn visible without a microscope.  What was just as concerning was that every single victim had been an omega.
When you and the Winchesters found out that whatever it was had been targeting omegas, you had immediately started acting off.  Sam couldn’t quite figure out why though—you were a beta, and he and Dean were both alphas—none of you were at risk.  Sam had asked you if you felt okay, but you had brushed him off, making some excuse about wanting to get home to the bunker in time for Christmas.  Dean, of course, couldn’t resist teasing you, asking if there was some “Secret Santa” you’d hoped to get back to.  You had simply rolled your eyes and retorted that you didn’t need some alpha to make your own Christmas cheer.
Your comment had only perplexed Sam further, although it wasn’t entirely uncommon for betas and alphas to hookup.  At the end of the day, there was no fighting biology or fate.  Everyone had their one, true mate, even betas—alphas matched with omegas, betas with other betas, and, although rare, occasionally deltas would match with an alpha or omega.  It was designed just so by Heaven itself, with cupids being given orders to help mates along if they’d gone off-course or a specific match was needed.  John and Mary Winchester were shining examples
Over the years, Sam and Dean couldn’t help but wonder if having true mates was ever in the cards for them.  At one point, Sam had even thought that Jess was his true mate, but deep down, he knew better.  It had never felt right for him to claim her.  Sam had always told himself that he was waiting for just the right moment—until an anniversary, until he was going to propose, until he got into law school—but there would never be a right moment.
As truly in love with Jess as he had been, deep down in his bones, Sam knew that she wasn’t his.  He had been so desperate for normalcy, to escape his life as a hunter that he forced himself to pretend.  In the end, he had cost someone else their true mate because he couldn’t face reality.
Then, one day at the Roadhouse years ago, the Winchesters met you.  Introduced to them by Ash and Ellen, you were a whirlwind of a hunter, full of snark and drifter energy that nobody could contain.  Yet, you were incredibly sweet and caring, having moments of demure simplicity that had Sam entranced the moment he met you.  And then there was your scent, like candied currants and malty vanilla; that first day they met you, you had made his head swim in the best way possible.
Unfortunately, reality quickly brought him crashing back to earth when they discovered you were just a beta.  The bond that eventually grew between you and the Winchesters—especially you and Sam—only made him feel conflicted and confused.  You were two puzzle pieces that seemingly fit together, but no amount of force would make you fit.  You and Sam had gotten along famously, falling into step together so comfortably that it had him craving something more.
So, as much as it pained him, the forlorn alpha could do nothing but watch you from afar, knowing that he couldn’t have you.  It was a harsh lesson, but there was no fighting what was—or in his case, was not—meant to be.  Unfortunately, that was at the very root of the case that had brought you and the Winchesters to Colorado.
The ghost you were hunting had been a love-scorned beta, now seeking revenge on any omegas that came too close to her ramshackle home.  In life, she had been madly in love with an alpha.  Despite everything, the pair had decided to settle down.  Only two months before they were to be married, while away at his bachelor party in Denver, the alpha met his true mate, an omega.  Immediately, he called off the wedding and left his beta fiancé.
Heartbroken, she begged and pleaded for him to come back to her, but it was no use.  The man she had loved found his perfect match, the person who completed him in every sense.  Distraught over his betrayal, she locked herself away in the home they once shared, eventually hanging herself on the old evergreen that stood just outside her front door.  The house was left to ruin, and almost 30 years later, some poor couple awakened her spirit by chopping the tree she had hung herself from to use as their Christmas tree.
Right off the bat, Dean had wanted to torch the tree, saying that clearly, that had to be what she was tethered to.  You, on the other hand, argued that the three of you couldn’t just storm in and burn down Christmas.  While you and the older Winchester bickered for almost 45 minutes about ruining some couple’s holiday, Sam had done a little more digging into the case files of the beta.  Before she hung herself, the woman had removed her engagement ring, leaving it somewhere in the now dilapidated house.
So, with rock salt and iron in-hand, the three of you had headed to the property to find the ring and put the brokenhearted beta to rest.  The wintry woods surrounding the house were eerily calm and only seemed to put you even more on edge, Sam had noticed.  Unfortunately, he didn’t get the chance to say anything because of the job you came to do.
Once inside, the three of you decided to divide and conquer—Dean had headed to the cellar, Sam took the main floor, and you were left with the upstairs.  At first, you had no luck, with most of the rooms having been picked clean by scavengers.  You had continued your search cautiously, wondering why you hadn’t seen the ghost yet.  Eventually, you found the ring underneath the remnants of the bed in the mast bedroom, covered in decades of dust and cobwebs.  Then, shit hit the fan.
When you awoke, you found yourself tied to what was probably the only still functioning chair in the house.  Sam and Dean were roped to the support beams across from you.  Up until that point, whenever the ghost stumbled upon her next victim, she attacked without hesitation.  You, showing up with not just one but two alphas, however, had set her off completely.
“One alpha is not good enough; you have to have two!?  Omega slut!!” the ghost shrieked in your ears, circling like a wolf stalking its prey.
“Fuck off, corpse bride.  Killing omegas not good enough, so now you gotta go after betas, too?” Dean shouted, already working on getting out of the ropes.
“Beta!?”  the ghost wailed, zapping herself across the room and getting inches away from Dean’s nose, “Is that the lie she’s told you?  Is that how things have changed? How ironic…  I spent my last days wishing I’d presented, and she gets to play pretend!?  AM I A JOKE TO YOU!?”
The ghost screamed so loud that you could feel the derelict house shake with her fury, dust and bits of wood falling atop your heads.  You cringed as your ears began to ache from the shrill pitch of her voice.  If the ghost didn’t kill the three of you first, her shrieking would bring the building crashing down on you.
You should have listened to your gut and just stayed behind at the motel-like you wanted.  But if you had hung back on a simple salt and burn, you just knew the boys would have immediately been suspicious.  You didn’t want to answer any questions they would throw your way, and you certainly didn’t want to risk the life you spent years building for yourself.  Didn’t matter anymore, though. The ghost had already outed you—you were an omega.
Growing up as the only girl out of four grandchildren, you had learned young how to fight for yourself and not let the boys gang up on you.  For years, it worked without issue, being more than capable of kicking any of your cousins’ asses whenever they tried to mess with you.  But all that came crashing down when you had presented at 17.
Suddenly, you were no longer the bookish tomgirl who didn’t let the guys walk all over her; you were the weak, submissive, little omega.  Your biology instantly overshadowed any respect and recognition you had earned in your family.  It didn’t matter that you were smart or bookish or that you could take anyone out with a sharp tongue as rapidly as a swift kick.  You were suddenly reduced to be nothing more than an alpha’s future pet.  
Your own mother had only made the situation worse, trying to shove archaic expectations down your throat and attempting to force you to be submissive.  She had always disregarded your tomboyish ways and roughhousing, knowing that one day you’d show as an omega just like her.  When it finally happened and that first heat, she was a little too ecstatic.
Why should you submit to anyone just because of your biology?  Why should you suddenly stop being you just because you were an omega?  How was it any fair that everyone around you turned on you seemingly overnight, demanding you conform to outdated expectations?  
You felt so betrayed by your own body.  The week you turned 18, you secretly sought out a specialist who was able to prescribe you suppressants.  Unfortunately, not even two months later, your mom found them when snooping through your back.  The fight that ensued was historic, complete with screaming, slamming doors, and your mother flushing your suppressants.
After a week of you refusing to even look at your parents, staged an intervention.  Your entire family was in attendance—cousins, aunts, uncles, and parents.  To say you were furious is a gross understatement.  You felt like everyone had turned against you, and you made those feelings loud and clear.  That night, after endless shouting, tears, and getting physical with your mother, you left and never looked back.
Not too long after, you stumbled on your first case—werewolf in Wisconsin.  Afterward, you submersed yourself in as much lore as you possibly could, striving to learn as much as possible about the supernatural world.  Before long, you were traveling the country as a hunter, learning on the job, having a couple of close calls, and still taking suppressants.  Eventually, after getting mocked by several alpha hunters, you sought out a shaman in the everglades who you paid a hefty sum for magic suppressants.  
Thanks to the spell the shaman used, these would not only diminish your scent to a minimum but to everyone around you, you would present as a beta and have no more heats so long as you took the pills.  However, it would take up to a month for the pills to take full effect, and you wouldn’t be entirely immune to the scent of an alpha in rut.  You were also warned that, should you ever stop taking them, you would experience a retroactive heat that would be fatal unless your true mate claimed you.  
It had been a risk you were willing to take, although there came several times where you questioned whether you should ease off the suppressants over the years.  To be more specific, one alpha, in particular, made you question—Sam Winchester.  As you grew closer to the Winchesters and became a part of their hunting family, you had found yourself falling hard for the younger of the two alphas.  When you had been around right when he was on the cusp of a rut, you nearly lost your mind, but in the end, your iron will had won out
Eventually, the boys started taking rut suppressants after it became an issue on a hunt, much to your simultaneous delight and dismay.  You and Sam grew increasingly closer with every meeting, and soon you found yourself tempted to come clean to him.  But at the same time, you were terrified—what if he rejected you?  What if what you were feeling wasn’t the real deal, and you gave in only for Sam to not be your true mate?
So, despite everything you had grown to feel for Sam, you kept quiet.  You were terrified of the different outcomes, so much so that any hope that should have come from your feelings for him was promptly snuffed out.  Of course, none of that mattered now.
“We’re not lying, we promise.  You have no reason to hurt her.  She’s just a beta!  Right, Y/N?” Sam retorted as he looked to you for support, trying to convince the ghost not to hurt you.  When you hesitated, however, you watched Sam’s eyes go wide as his face contorted in confusion.
“LIES!  You cannot fool me!  I know that omega stench anywhere!”  the ghost shrieked once more before flickering away and reappearing before you, “Stop lying to me!”
Suddenly, she plunged her hands into your chest, and you felt your blood run cold briefly before going aflame.  You screamed in pain as your body felt like it was on fire, a sheen of sweat breaking out on your skin within minutes.  Then came the cramps, the most excruciating pain you had ever felt wracking through your body.
Sam and Dean shouted to you, fighting to break free of their bonds but to no avail.  You lunged forward, trying to curl in on yourself, only for the chair and your restraints to stop you.  You didn’t know how she did it, but the pain was unmistakable after all these years—you were in heat, one so strong that it had the culmination of every single heat you had suppressed.
You gasped in pain as tears began to stream down your face, barely able to do more than cry out with each cramp.  Sam and Dean watched on in horror as you thrashed and convulsed, unable to do anything to help you.  Setting her sights on the younger of the two alphas, the ghostly beta reappeared before him and yanked his head back by his hair.
“Do you smell it!? Suppressants can’t fool me!”
Sam grit his teeth as your scent crashed into him like a Mac truck.  It was warm, sweet, unmistakable, and absolutely delicious.  Sam arched his back and automatically thrust his hips forward with a grunt.  He could feel himself grow hard in his jeans and sweat form along his brow, despite the chill in the air.  Your sudden heat had sent him into rut.
“Son of a bitch,” Dean watched as you both struggled, his brother writhing next to him with you screamed and cried with each cramp, “This cannot be fucking happening right now!  You fucking bitch!”
The ghost simply smirked at him and vanished, leaving the three of you tied up in the freezing house.  Dean struggled with renewed vigor against the ropes, desperate to free you and Sam before either of you lost it.  Unfortunately, the cold had made his fingers so numb that he was struggling with the rope.
Then you smelled it, the most comforting scent in the world that hit you so strong that it took your breath away.  It was as if someone had taken the woods and baked them into your favorite dessert—honey, sandalwood, a hint of cedar, and shockingly, the smell of old books.  A gush of slick coated your jeans and thighs, and you felt your core suddenly clench.  You knew this smell, your perfect smell, and you needed him now.
Sam slammed his eyes shut as the smell of your slick hit him with lightning speed.  His hips continued to thrust forward of their own accord, and he slammed his head back, trying to regain control.  Sam could hear you crying and shouting in pain, whimpering after each cramp.  Cracking his eyes open to look at you, he watched your lids became hooded as you succumbed to the fever and pain, your head lulling side-to-side.  Eventually, your cries hushed, and your whimpers became softer as you passed out.
“Sammy!  Just hang in there, man!  We’re gonna get you both out of here!”  Dean promised, still shifting and working his wrists.
Sam fought against his ropes, desperate to get to you and comfort you.  But the longer he was tethered, the harder it became.  His ass was numb from sitting on the frozen, wood floor for so long, and both his wrists and fingers were chafed raw from the ropes.  Despite this, his determination refused to waiver; you were hurting and unconscious, getting sicker by the minute because of your sudden heat.  He had to get to you.
“AH HA!” Dean barked in triumph as the ropes finally gave way.
Stumbling onto his feet, Dean made his way over to Sam, moving sluggishly due to the cold.  He had just barely gotten the rope loose when he suddenly was sent flying through the wall across the room and behind you.  The ghost flickered into view, glaring at the hunter before turning to Sam and repeating the action just as we freed himself and went to stand, smashing into the old remnants of furniture.
The commotion stirred you slightly, although you still flitted in and out of consciousness, growing increasingly delirious from fever.  You could hear the fighting, but your brain struggled to fully process everything around you.  You felt as if you were simultaneously burning alive and drowning, leaving you able to do little else but cry.  Your own body was trying to kill you, and at that moment, you wanted nothing more than to throw yourself into the snow outside.
Your mind started to spiral into hysterics, feeling like it had been thrown around in a cage match from the different sensations.  The cramps, the fever, the smells of both the boys (although primarily Sam, the cold from the winter night air, the volume of everything; it was utterly overwhelming.  Your clothes were drenched in sweat and your own slick but did little to cool you down.  If your body didn’t cook itself to death, hypothermia would certainly kill you.
You could feel large, firm hands jostle you unexpectedly, a voice cursing as they rifled through the pockets of your jacket, “Stay awake for me, Y/N.  Come on, baby, I’m gonna get you out of here, and I’m gonna make the pain go away, I promise.  Just hang on for me, omega.”
The deep baritone of Sam’s voice, along with the smell of him, was so soothing.  His proximity to you caused the cramps to lessen slightly—not much, but just enough to be noticeable.  You tilted your head slightly to look at him just as he found the ring in your pocket.  You wanted nothing more than for him to hold you and let you snuggle close, to bask in his scent.
After a few failed flicks of the lighter, Sam was finally able to get it lit and held the ring above the flame.  The tips of his fingers singed slightly as he watched the gold melt, but he couldn’t be bothered to notice.  The ghost of the beta had Dean pinned to one of the support beams, her hand crushing around his heart as she began to turn it to ice.  As soon as the ring had started to melt, she went up in flames, dropping Dean to the floor in a crumpled heap while he clutched his chest.
Dropping the lighter and the remnants of the ring, Sam was on you in an instant, pulling your head to rest on his shoulder as he worked to get you untied.  You immediately pressed your nose to his neck, scenting him as a soothing calmness washed over you.  If you had been a little less delirious, you would have been ecstatic and horrified by the current situation.  Instead, you let the scent of your true mate wash over you like a warm summer breeze, providing you a much-needed relief to the supercharged heat your body was going through.  If that was just what smelling him did for you, what would touching him do?
Dean stiffly heaved himself off the floor and staggered over to the two of you, chest heaving as he tried to warm his chest back up.  He wasn’t entirely focused on how close he was getting, so the instant he took one step to many, Sam snapped his head and let out a deep, guttural growl in warning.  It didn’t matter that they were brothers; with you in your current, sensitive state, the alpha in Sam kicked into overdrive.
Dean leaped back in surprise, holding his hands up to show the overprotective alpha that he wasn’t a threat.  Sam’s eyes had turned a deep, goldenrod color, one which Dean had never seen before.  If they were going to get you out of the house and to safety, the older Winchester was going to have to be careful.
“It’s alright, Sammy.  I’m not gonna take her from you,” he soothed, hands still raised, “Y/N is sick.  We need to get her somewhere more secluded so you can take care of her, okay?  I’m just here to help.”
Sam let out a ragged breath and looked away from his brother, swallowing hard as he regained some semblance of sanity.  He needed to get you out of there as soon as possible, although the way you were nuzzling his neck made it difficult to focus.  Breathing deeply, Sam steadied himself and focused on getting the ropes off, trying hard to ignore the rut that was threatening to completely overpower him.
Once he successfully freed you, Sam scooped you into his arms and bolted from the house, desperate to at least get you outside.  Dean hung back, grabbing the bags and discarded gear before following Sam outside.  Sam stooped down to one knee and set you on it, scooping up snow and carefully pressing it to your skin to help fight the fever while you clung desperately to him.  Dean rushed past you, hurrying to the impala to throw the gear in the trunk while hopefully staying out of Sam’s ire.
If you could have pressed yourself any closer to Sam, you would have, the cramps having considerably subsided and the heavy fog loosening its hold on your mind.  The more you smelled him, touched him, the better you felt, especially with him pressing handfuls of snow to you.  However, now that your mind was clear, you were able to recognize the familiar heat in your core as your body clenched and more slick coated your thighs.
You twisted on Sam’s lap, straddling the leg you were perched upon and began to grind down against his thigh.  Sam’s eyes rolled into the back of his head as the zipper of his jeans cut painfully against his hard cock.  When you placed an open-mouthed kiss to the juncture of Sam’s neck, his free hand tugged firmly against your coat, trying desperately not fuck you there in the snow.
“Y/N… Please, no.  Not here.  Not like this,” he begged.
“Sam…  I need you,” you croaked out, finding your voice surprisingly dry, “Shaman gave…  suppressants… wanted to be you… so long… alpha.”
You had struggled to get the words out, your voice cutting out now and again.  You needed Sam to know that you wanted him, even before this, what had caused this bad of a heat.  You found yourself struggling to fight the omega in you after years of suppression, so you needed Sam to know as much as you could tell him while you could, that this was okay.
Sam groaned at the title and buried his face against your neck, nipping lightly, “Omega.  Not.  Yet.”
You whimpered in response, your body practically buzzing with both fever and pleasure.  It was, admittedly, a very confusing sensation.  While you hated that you were being reduced to nothing more than a needy omega, you were also relieved to know that it was Sam who held you, who was going to the one to help you.
You couldn’t help yourself, you wanted more, so you ground harder against him, bumping your thigh against the massive tent in his jeans.  Growling in frustration, Sam hoisted you both back up and made his way to the car where Dean was waiting.  He could feel his will crumbling and knew that if they did not get back to the motel soon, he was going to claim you in the woods and in front of his brother.  You deserved more than that, so much more than that.  Under ideal circumstances, Sam would have been able to make this special and romantic.  However, given the circumstances, the least he could do was get you to a warm bed with some privacy.
Sam stayed with you the whole ride back to the motel, huddled together in the backseat of Baby.  He whispered sweet things in your ear, about how he was going to take care of you, was going to make the hurt go away, was going to take you out once you got back home.  You sighed dreamily against him, letting the smooth depth of his voice soothe you, although you did gasp slightly when another cramp hit.
Dean’s jaw was clenched tight as he drove, hyper-focused on the road.  He could smell your heat and would be a liar if he said it hadn’t affected him slightly.  But when he also smelled Sam’s rut kick-off, your two scents pairing together perfectly, it made it extremely easy to subdue the primal alpha within.  Thus, the nature of true mates; while their scents aligned wonderfully together to find each other, they also deterred any potential threats and unmated suitors.
As soon as you arrived at the motel, Sam had you out of the car and into your motel room.  Dean sat for a moment, eyes wide and deep in thought as he pondered his next move.  He could go inside the room he was supposed to share with Sam, taking a much-needed rest after everything that had just unfolded.  Or he could hurry off to the bar and avoid the inevitable sounds of his little brother fucking you silly while he potentially found a one-night stand to blow off some steam.  Throwing the car in reverse, Dean backed out of the parking lot and headed down the road to find the busiest bar he could.
Inside your motel room, Sam laid you down gently on the bed, careful not to hurt you.  You clung to the front of his shirt, desperate to keep him close.  Sam leaned over you, his breath fanning your face as he tenderly brushed the hair out of your eyes and gazed into their depths.  Even from here, he could tell that his presence was causing your heat to subside into something far more manageable, albeit still harsher than any you’d experienced before.  He wanted you, desperately, but there was something that needed to be done first.
“I need to know this is okay.  I need you to tell me you’re okay,” Sam whispered.  As difficult as it was to fight his alpha instincts over you, Sam refused to continue without your explicit consent.  He loved and respected you too much to do otherwise.
You opened your eyes to look at him, taking in the pained and conflicted expression on his face.  Even on the cusp of his rut, teetering dangerously close to the edge, Sam was still looking out for you first.  It was more than your family ever did for you, and unexpectedly you felt the intense frustration with your own body and your heat melt away.
“Yes.  I’m yours, Sam,” you whispered, unable to talk much louder than that.
Without further hesitation, Sam let his self-restraint crumble and crashed his lips to yours in a searing kiss.  Your tongues twisted together, fighting for dominance as he pressed himself against you.  You let out a needy moan when you felt his rock-hard bulge grind against your core, granting you some much-needed relief to the scorching ache between your legs.
Sam ran his hands gently down your sides to your hips and thighs.  Hoisting them up, Sam encouraged you to wrap your legs around him, grinding down harder and faster.  You tangled your fingers in his hair and tugged him impossibly closer into the kiss, if that was even possible.  A fresh wave of slick soaked through your jeans and his, to the point of discomfort.
Sam pulled away momentarily, causing you to whimper pathetically at the loss of him.  However, he didn’t go far, only pulling back enough to unbutton your jeans.
“Let’s get these off you.  I need to taste my omega,” he said lowly, eying you hungrily.  You felt yourself clench around nothing and thrust your hips slightly, desperate for any form of friction.
Sam pulled down your ruined underwear and immediately dove in, hungry and desperate to taste you.  He covered your entire pussy with his mouth, lapping at your juices and sucking on your clit.  The noises that came from both of you were obscene, Sam slurping and moaning loudly against you while you gasped and spouted an incoherent mess.  It had been ages since anyone had touched you, and Sam was eating you out with desperate expertise.
“Sam… Sam…  Sam!  ALPHA!” you cried out wantonly as your first of several orgasms came crashing over you in minutes.
Sam licked a wide stripe up your slit, from hole to clit, ravenous for more.  Your slick was hot and tangy on his tongue, and he couldn’t resist sucking you down once more with renewed fervor.  Your hips launched off the bed as he latched on to your over-sensitive pussy, desperate to taste more of you.  Still wound-up from your first orgasm, your second came barreling through both harder and faster, causing you to let out a silent scream.
It wasn’t enough; your body was still hot and aching, desperate to be filled.  You reached out to Sam, frantic to feel him all around you.  Placing a quick kiss directly on your clit, eliciting a shudder from you, Sam crawled up your body and quickly stripped out of his clothes, eager to be inside you.
Despite the assault his mouth did on your aching pussy, you were already drenched with even more slick, making it all the easier for Sam to slide into you.  Caging you beneath him, Sam shoved a hand between your bodies and guided his cock to your aching core.  You were writhing impatiently beneath him, begging for him to be inside you.  Sam nipped at your jaw and sealed his lips around you, tongues tangling together once more.
You could feel the blunt head of his cock slowly push at your entrance.  In one smooth motion, Sam was fully sheathed inside you, groaning loudly as your warmth squeezed him deliciously.  You arched your back and choked out a whine, his cock making you feel just so impossibly full.  You had always heard that the Winchesters were packing, but Sam’s dick inside you was beyond expectations.
Sam pressed his forehead against yours, trying to ground himself and not lose control, lest he risk hurting you.  However, any tattered remnants of self-restraint quickly flew out the window when you clenched around him and mewled in his ear.  Wrapping his arms around your waist and angling you both forward on the mattress, Sam took off.
Instantly, he set a bruising pace, pounding so hard into you that the tip of his dick hit your cervix.  You could feel the wet heat of your slick pouring out of you around him, creating a squelching sound with every push and pull.  You clung tightly to him and dug your nails into his muscular back and shoulders, leaving behind red scratches as he fucked into you.  Sam growled hungrily into your mouth, both of you unable to do more than share the other’s breath.
You could feel yourself rapidly spiraling, the coil in your stomach growing tighter and tighter as he hammered into you.  The thick band of muscle at the base of his cock began to swell as he grew closer to his own orgasm, sweat rolling off him from exertion.  You could feel the heat cascading off his skin, practically searing your fingertips as you hung on.  Every thrust of his hips elicited a high-pitched gasp from you, his movements growing increasingly erratic as his pace became frenzied.
You sucked hard against the nape of Sam’s neck, causing him to shout in ecstasy.  Burying his face against your neck, the alpha scraped his teeth lightly against your skin.  A dozen or so rapid thrusts more and Sam’s knot popped inside you, causing you to scream in pleasure as he bit down.  You could feel yourself squirt around him as the pain instantly morphed into a crazed euphoria.  Grabbing at the base of Sam’s neck, you pulled his head slightly to the side and bit down hard, leaving your own claim behind.  
Spots dotted your vision, and you could feel hot ropes of cum ceaselessly paint your walls.  Sam jerked his hips involuntarily as he sucked and licked at the fresh mark he had left.  Darkness crept on the edges of your vision as you soothed the bite on Sam’s shoulder.  Your orgasm kept crashing over you with ferocity and, before you could say anything, everything went dark.
When you awoke hours later, the sun was high in the sky.  Your fever had broken, the cramps dissipated, and your body ached in the best way possible.  The bed was warm and comfortable compared to the chilly motel room.  Snuggling down deeper into the covers, you became vaguely aware of the solid wall of muscle behind you, and an arm slung heavily over your waist.
Rolling over, you found Sam sleeping peacefully, your claiming mark bright right against his tanned skin.  Your legs were tangled together, and you became increasingly aware of your nudity.  However, it surprisingly didn’t bother you as much as you thought it would, instead making it easier to press uninhibited against the human furnace that was Sam.
A tiny Sam graced Sam’s lips, and he cracked his eyes open, “Morning.”
“Morning,” you whispered, your voice raw from the events of the night before, “So… last night…”
“How are you feeling?”
“Better.  Much better,” you answered honestly, “I’m sure you want to know more about, you know, everything?”
Sam pulled you closer to him and rested his cheek against the top of your head, “I do, but I’m not going to pressure you into talking about it.  You had your reasons for masking that you were an omega, and we are going to need to talk about a few things.  But for right now, I’m just happy with this.  With holding you here and knowing that you’re alive.”
You hummed in acknowledgment, quietly organizing your thoughts, “If I had known about us, I would have stopped taking them the moment I met you.”
“Why didn’t you?” he didn’t mean it in a harsh way.  Sam was genuinely curious to know what was on your mind.
You shrugged lightly, “Fear?  Resentment?  Take your pick.”
“Do you regret last night?” he asked cautiously, his voice quiet.
You looked up at him, his hazel eyes a swirl of greens and ambers in the late morning sun.  Lifting your hand, you lightly traced along the line of his jaw, savoring the rough feel of the faint stubble that grew there.  Leaning forward, you pressed your lips to his in a gentle and sweet kiss, although, based on the feeling of his quickly hardening cock against your thigh, it wouldn’t stay that way for long.
“Not at all.  The more I got to know you, the more I wanted my true mate to be you.  But I was terrified of the rejection, of the consequences of the suppressants, of being just another submissive omega…”
Sam ducked his head to look you in the eyes, “Y/N, no offense, but both Dean and I have sparred with you, and I’ve seen you kick ass on a hunt.  I don’t think you could be submissive even if you tried.”
You chuckled and shook your head, burrowing down into the scratchy pillow.  He had a point; out of the three of them, you easily were one of the better fighters, despite the Winchesters’ larger sizes.  Hell, Dean nearly had a coronary when you flipped him the first time.
“I want you to know that I wouldn’t have you any other way,” he continued, “I love you exactly the way you are, and I would never want you to become something that you’re not.  You’re more than just an omega to me.”
“You mean that?”
“Truly,” Sam smiled sweetly and kissed away the tiny tears that were starting to fall down your cheeks.  
Gently rubbing his nose against yours, he wrapped both his arms around you and pulled you in closer.  You weren’t quite used to this level of intimacy or tenderness, but you definitely didn’t hate it.  However, feeling him pressed so close made you feel a low, familiar heat build in your core.
“Then, I suppose we have a lot of making up to do…  Don’t we, alpha?” you purred demurely, looking up at him from beneath your lashes.
Sam growled deep within his chest and licked his lips hungrily, rolling on top of you, “Yes, we do.”
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aurips · 10 months ago
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For the employees of Terra and Cadre magazines, the Annual Prythian Printing Holiday Away was usually a weekend full of festivities. However this year, with less than twenty fours before the trip, haunted memories cause two employees’ secret affair to fall into shambles–their hearts along with it. Will a weekend in the mountains be a time of healing  or are the scars left behind too deep to overcome?
Trigger warnings: non/con, abuse, ptsd from abuse
Prompts: @elriel-incorrect-quotes : Elriel + Helping put on snowgear, "Maybe I just wanted an excuse to touch you."
Anon: The Inner Circle in a sledding competition
 A/N: eeek you guys our short little Holiday story is almost at a close. Only two parts left after this! Meg and I, would like to issue out thanks and gratitude to all of you reading and supporting our cowriting adventure. The two of us have decided to continue this partnership, creating multi chapter fics. A Holiday of Healing will finish being posted here on my account, everything else you will find on Starborn-Illyrian. If you’d like to be added to a permanent joint taglist please let us know. THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH FOR ALL THE LOVE YOU HAVE SHOWN WITH THIS LITTLE ANGSTY BABY OF OURS
*Dearest reader, do keep a look out for our next project. Be sure to follow @starborn-illyrian for the reveal. It is an inquiry you do not want to miss
With love,
@illyrianwitchling, @starborn-faerie-queen
A Holiday of Healing
“You saw it too, huh?” Elain questioned, walking out of the bedroom, fixing her hair up into a ponytail. Heading towards the closet, she pulled the thickest wool sweater she brought along the trip off the hangar. The deep blue color made her think of the ocean and warmer days. 
“The weird look between your sister and Cass? Yeah, I saw it,” Azriel added, sitting on the bed, lacing his boots up. Ready for the sledding they were participating in. She should have known he did. Azriel had a tendency to never miss a single thing. Highly observant of everyone and everything around him
Elain pulled the sweater overheard, tugging the hem down to her waist, flattening the heavy fabric with her hands. “Do you think she was the reason for his mood yesterday?” Out of all the people in the office, Cassian was the one rarely in bad moods. Always teasing, joking, laughing. Constantly in good spirits. Yesterday threw everyone off by the solemn man sitting in his place. “Hand me my snow pants, please.”
Azriel plucked the requested item from his left side where they laid out on the bed. He could have tossed the pants at her. Elain was a grown woman. She’s been up in the Staghorn Mountains plenty of times. Has put on snow gear hundreds of times. She turned at the right moment with her back to him. His gaze trailed down her back to the pert shape of her ass on full display in those thick wool leggings. He swallowed, feeling his adams apple bob when she bent down to dig in her suitcase. With that motion, there was something--someone--he wanted to do at this moment. Sledding with everyone was not it.
Azriel stood, moving around the bed with pants in hand to his girlfriend of the past five months. Elain turned back around, a headband in her hand, seeing Az on his knees. The legs of her pants stretched open.
“What are you doing?” she laughed out, warm eyes twinkling. 
“Helping you get dressed. I am a gentleman after all.” The words rolled off his tongue with such a smoothness, like the finest of whiskies. Her insides flutter at the sound of it.
“If you insist,” placing a hand over his shoulder, Elain steadied herself, slipping her right leg into the correct hole then doing the same with her left, “Just so you know, I may not go sledding as much as you, but I can put my own snow gear. It's not that hard." 
“Oh I know,” hazel eyes began to pool with lust as Azriel flicked his gaze up meeting hers. His hands splayed around her ankles, moving towards the top of her pants. As he stood, pulling up the slacks, Azriel eased her against the wall. One of his hands resting on her hip, the other braced on the wall. He settled his mouth on the sensitive spot on her neck, “I just wanted an excuse to touch you, flower,” he murmured as mouth touched flesh. 
Elain hummed her approval, angling her head just so to grant him further access over the expanse of her neck. Her hands dropped to his shoulders, as he lifted her legs to settle around his hips. Instinctively she tightened herself around him. His growing hardness pressing into her side as the sensual movement of his lips traveled along her jawline to her lips.
Azriel’s mouth had just claimed hers when a loud knock came at the door, startling them to break apart. “Hey, Az!” Amren’s voice filtered through the door. “We’re heading up to the mountain. Now. Last one there has to pull the sleds back topside after the competition!”
Elain waited a beat to make sure Amren had walked away before moving in to kiss Azriel once again. But Azriel didn’t meet her halfway. He gave her a pleading look instead. “Really?” She asked incredulously. "You started this." Elain pointed out.
“Kissing you, yes…" He trailed off, knowing better than to start a semantics debate. Azriel jumped to the point with a sympathized expression etched on his handsome features "I lost last year. It was the absolute worst,” he explained. Elain narrowed her eyes at him. He pulled her closer in order to whisper in her ear. “I’ll have more time to finish what we started if I don’t have to deal with clean up duty.” He pressed a kiss to the shell of her ear, eliciting a full body shiver from his girlfriend.
“Fine,” she sighed, making her way to the door. “But you better make it worth it.”
Azriel grinned. “Don’t I always?” He punctuated his words with a slap to her ass and ran away. Leaving Elain cursing in his wake.
Rhys found Feyre in the lobby, lacing up her snow boots, looking as beautiful as ever, golden hair cascading perfectly down her back. Her midnight blue snowsuit made her face glow like the brightest star in Velaris. He was thankful to see she was finally alone. Other than their brief reunion, he hadn’t gotten a moment alone with his best friend.
He squeezed into the chair besides Feyre, wrapping an arm around her shoulders. He greeted her with a sing song “Feyre, daaarling!”
“Out of all the chairs in this lobby, you had to choose the only one already occupied?” she scolded him playfully, pushing an elbow into his side.
“Ah, but if I sat somewhere else, I wouldn’t have the excuse to do this.” That was all the warning he gave before grabbing Feyre by the waist, sliding into the seat, and hauling her onto his lap. A look of confusion flashed across her face before she rolled her eyes and laughed at him.
Rhys did his best not to overanalyze that look. He’s been in love with her since the day they met, though she told him right away she wasn’t looking for a relationship. Rhysand couldn't help but be taken with her from the first night they met. Everything about her was captivating. From Feyre's artist soul, adventurous spirit, her optimism, easy conversations and how she just simply got him. He never had to explain anything to her. If soulmates existed, Feyre was his. He would wait, bide his time, opting for the next best thing: her best friend. 
Rhys has always been affectionate towards Feyre, brushing her hair from her face, wrapping his arm around her waist as they walk. But he always made sure to keep his feelings in check. Maybe he hasn’t been doing as well of a job as he thought.
Before his thoughts could spiral further into the rabbit hole, Feyre’s phone vibrated in her back pocket. The sensation against his thigh combined with Feyre in his lap did more to Rhys than he cared to admit. Those feelings were quenched, however, when Feyre pulled her phone out and he got a glimpse of the incoming text message.
Unknown Number: You looked beautiful last night, as always.
Feyre’s knuckles went white around her phone, though she made no move to unlock it. Rhys wasn’t sure what to make out of the whole ordeal. Was it a flirty patron that frequents Rita’s? Surely Feyre wouldn’t lie about working to go on on a date. If that were the case, she would’ve told him. They told each other everything. His heart clenched at the thought. That she would lie to him. He pulled on a cool façade, questioning her in jest. “Hot date last night, love?”
She scoffed, rolling her eyes in the process, a blasé air overtaking her, “Hardly. I was at work, remember?” He sighed in relief at her affirmation. Feyre glanced away knowing how he’d react. Since their first meeting, Rhys was the kind of person she could tell anything to. He hoped that was still the case. “Only Tamlin being Tamlin.” Rhys stiffened beneath Feyre. The very mention of Feyre’s ex put him on high alert.
“Tamlin? Tamlin was at the bar last night?”
His fingers tightened on her waist. Feyre laid her hands over his in gentleness turning to meet his burning gaze of his fury. “Stop it. It’s nothing. I told Nesta on the drive here. He walked in already drunk, but you know Tam. Wants what he can’t have.”
Feyre shrugged and at that Rhys grinned, “You had the ring on?”
“Of course. I wear it every shift,” Feyre blushed, absentmindedly playing with the spot an engagement ring should go. Rhys was transported to another universe where he could give her an engagement ring for real. A wedding band to match. To make her his. “Rhys?” Feyre’s voice brought him out of his daydreams. He glanced down and realized he had taken her hand in his own, sliding his fingers in between hers, twining their hands.
Rhys looked back up into Feyre’s stormy blue eyes. He felt himself drawing closer to her, she was a magnet pulling him in. Confusion swirled in her eyes, yet she didn’t pull away. Rhys’ mind raced with all the reasons that could be. He dared to let himself hope that she reciprocated his feelings, but before he could make what might be a monumental mistake, a throat was cleared behind them.
Feyre’s eyes widened as she scrambled off his lap into the next chair over, turning around to face the newcomer. Rhys turned as well, finding Nesta Archeron facing off with her sister. He couldn’t be sure why, but a look that said I told you so was evident on her face as she stared at Feyre. Though Feyre didn’t respond, he saw the way she stiffened under her gaze, the estranged sisters in close proximity of each other could only end badly.
Interrupting their staring contest, Rhys spoke. “Nesta. To what do we owe the pleasure?”
Nesta rolled her eyes at him. “We’re due at the top of the mountains to assure everything is ready for the sledding contest. Let’s go.” Without another word, she turned on her heel, arms crossed around her book, making to leave the lobby.
Next to him, Feyre stood, brushing invisible lint from the front of her jacket. “I’ll, uh,” she stuttered, not meeting his eyes. “I’ll see you out there, Rhys.” 
“Feyre--” but she was already gone. Rhys fell back into the seat, running his hands down his face. “Idiot. You’re a fucking idiot,” he mumbled to himself before regaining his composure and making his way up the mountain.
Nesta continued on her way, heading toward the complimentary coffee bar, with Aelin’s recommended book in hand. It helps me whenever I’m feeling low, she’d said. Perhaps for Aelin it works, but for Nesta all it seemed to do was keep her mood neutral. It didn’t put her into further despair which she assumed was good. It didn’t make her feel any better either. However, the story of Alex and Henry proved to be entertaining enough, so Nesta continued the charming read.
Reaching the coffee bar, she was thankful the carafe was recently filled with a fresh pot. Quickly she fixed her cup, inhaling the scent of freshly brewed coffee as she did so. The scent of it re-awakening her, pushing the sleepy haze down. She could rest after the sledding contest. Her plan didn’t truly come in for Cassian until tomorrow. 
Nesta only hoped it would work, that it wasn’t too late. That they haven’t gone down a path they can no longer return from. She thought about the facts. He had waited at the lobby bar until she arrived, and the small, albeit clenched, smile he gave told her Cassian was hurting as bad as she. This alone told her that there was no reason for anything to go wrong. But of course, there was still a small seed of doubt festering inside her.
What if he didn’t understand her reasonings? 
Nesta was always a private person. To open herself to him, to bare herself, scars and all, it was the biggest risk she’d take. Just like Alex not giving up on Henry by flying to UK for him. She couldn’t give up on this, on Cassian. He saw her in a way no one else did. Not even Rowan or Feyre or Elain. When she was with him, it wasn’t just Cassian and Nesta in her apartment. It was two souls who had found their match. She couldn’t explain it, the connection shared with him, but she felt it all the same. Her past caused her to give in to falsified hauntings.
Tapping the stirrer on her cup and tossing it in trash, Nesta picked up her book once more. Making to turn down a hall leading to outside where the sledding would take place, when she slammed into a solid body. The book fell to the floor, she kicked it away keeping it safe from the spill. Her coffee splashed upward, drenching her coat and face in hot liquid. Nesta winced as the beverage warmed her skin. The cup fell from her hand as it dropped to the floor, shaking off droplets from her fingers. 
“Shit, Nes. I’ll be right back.” 
It took her a moment to realize the voice, the deeply smooth tenderness of it. Her entire body went into a rigid panic. This wasn’t a part of her plan. She wasn’t supposed to talk to him yet and not this way. Before Nesta had a moment to flee in the opposite direction, Cassian was back, a cloth in hand. She reached to take it, but he pulled back.
“Let me do it,” he pleaded.
“You’ve done enough,” she clipped, glaring up into his hazel eyes, fighting the restraint to say more. “The rag, please, I’ll do it myself,” she commanded, holding her hand out. 
Cassian refused to listen, gripping her chin in a tender caress as he cleaned her face. Nesta laid a palm over his hand, squeezing in demand. “Let me do it,” he repeated, his focus moving between his work,  the now reddened splotches dusting her cheeks and her eyes, stormy-blues filled with too many emotions. “Please, Nesta.” 
Briefly she closed her eyes, sighing as she did so. “Fine. Just be quick.”
He wished to shut his heart and mind off. Fearing he’d say something that would erupt both of them. Bumping into Nesta wasn’t his plan. At least not like this. Cassian wanted to approach her at a point in time during their stay, but he didn’t know how or when. The way her eyes searched for him on her arrival. How Nesta mirrored his smile. It gave him a sense of sureness that Aelin couldn’t provide him. 
Desperately, he craved to tell Nesta that she could tell him any horrors from her past. He’d be there to lend support, chase away those demons, or whatever she needed. First Cassian needed to sort his thoughts out, think of what to say. For now, he’d savor this moment with her.
Cassian cleared his throat, “So. Hi.”
Nesta kept a hardened gaze on the floor, counting the grains of wood. A feeble attempt to not get lost in the way his skin felt along hers. His thumb tapping against her, like Cassian resisted its want to trail down her jawline the way he’s used to doing before bringing her lips to his and the acts that followed after. Cassian stood so close, Nesta could feel the warmth from his body radiating off him. She longed to bridge the small gap, fall into the embrace of security only he can provide for her. 
Heated breaths tickling her cheek. She outright refused to look him in the eyes. He was too close, and her body, mind would crumble underneath his gaze. That wasn’t a part of her plan. None of this coffee incident was. 
“You’re watching the sledding?” he questioned, casually finishing cleaning her face. All but a pink tint remained. Which he assumed was from the beverage and not him. Cassian angled himself to the left and right. Checking her face making sure he removed all the spilled coffee.
“Since the other editor in chief is participating, yes I will be. One of us has to be on the sidelines,” she added.
“Missed a spot,” he flicked her nose. Nesta batted him away, finally looking up at him with a glare. Cassian didn’t fight the grin as it bloomed on his face. Nor did he miss the quick ghost of a smile on hers.
“You’re an idiot.” Nesta took a small step back, giving a hard eye roll as she did so. Cassian stepped away, too. He leaned down to pick up her book and handed it over. She muttered a thanks.
“But I’m--” he stilled, halting the following words he knew were to follow: But I’m your idiot. Cassian awkwardly ran his fingers through his shoulder length hair before rubbing at the back of his neck, “Sorry. Habit,” he murmured.
Nesta held her book close, shuffling her feet on the floor, “It’s fine. I should go and change.” 
Cassian nodded watching her walk away around the front desk and down the hall. What he shouldn’t do was follow her path. He should walk outside and wait to meet Aelin for the trek up to their destination. Cassian harbored a habit of not listening, even to himself. Knowing how Nesta takes her coffee, he quickly fixed her cup before trailing after her. Though he knew that he made it mainly for her and not just because her cup was wasted. It also proved to be a good cover for any coworkers who saw. He was simply being good natured Cassian replacing what he ruined. Trailing her path, he rounded the corner of the front desk. A slight pep in his walk as he caught her halfway down the hall.
“Nesta. Nesta, wait!” To his luck, she turned towards him, allowing Cassian to catch up to her. 
“Just how you like it,” he handed the coffee to her, their fingers overlapping, they both froze for the briefest of times. She didn’t say thank you, only offered him a meaningful glance. It took everything in him to not follow her and have this talk instead of sledding with Rhys. “I’m sorry about your coffee and..”
“You pick the worst times.” Though her words were curt, he caught the lightness in them, “Later.” She turned back around quickly on her heels. Like if she stayed a moment more, Nesta would be the one to drag him away from sledding and not the other way around. “Try not to do something stupid out there.”
Quietly, he chuckled at her jab, relishing in how lighter he feels after her one worded promise. Later could mean that night, tomorrow, or even when they get back to Velaris. It was the reassurance in the one little word that gave him strength to face the day.
Aelin Galathynius was one with the snow. Ever since she was a little girl, the first snowfall was her favorite time of the year. More often than not, she can be found outside playing in the yard or sitting on the balcony with a book and the largest mug of the sweetest hot chocolate in Velaris.
Aelin Galathynius was also extremely competitive. A trait that Cassian never failed to take advantage of every year. Who can build the better snowman? Who will win in a snowball fight? And now that they are both employees at Prythian Printing, who will win in a sledding contest?
“What’s it gonna be, Tiny Fireball?” Cassian slung his arm around Aelin’s shoulders as they looked down the mountainside that was to be their sledding grounds for the day. For the third year in a row, they’ve competed in this competition. Though the prize of an extra week of vacation time was appealing to most, an Aelin and Cassian winter competition was nothing without an outrageous bet between the two.
“I don’t know, General Dickhead, what do you think? Somehow I need to top last year. Watching you sing karaoke in front of everyone in only your boxers last year was quite a treat,” Aelin recalled. Cassian scoffed and pushed her away, crossing his arms over his broad chest. “Okay, okay. If I win, you have to talk to Nesta.” Aelin bent down and scooped a handful of fresh powder into her hands, forming a ball. 
Cassian held up a finger in protest. “Technically, I did talk to her.”
“Uh huh, yeah, no,” Aelin argued. “I saw that coffee spill. That was more flubbering than talking. If I win, you talk. To. Her.” She punctuated the final word with a blow to his face with the snowball she formed. 
Aelin knew Rowan would scold her for getting in between the situation more than they are. She'd kindly remind him that she's merely furthering along plan Nessian. The coffee interaction for her was so incredibly painful to watch. Seeing how both of them were fighting so hard against admittance. 
“Hey!” he exclaimed, pointing at Aelin who was already bending down to make another snowball. “Technically, she said we would talk later.”
“Oh, Cass, but I know you. And you’re going to avoid her like the plague because 'you don't know what to say'. You talk to her before midnight. Tonight.” Aelin threw the snowball at him again, though this time he was expecting it and ducked.
Damn her to Hellas, Cassian knew she was right. 
“Fine! But if I win, I get the whole box of sweets your mom sends you.”
“Okay,” Aelin agreed, a little too quickly.
Cassian narrowed his eyes at her. “You already ate it, didn’t you?”
Cassian let out a belly laugh, not at all surprised that she had. Ever since Aedion’s mom took Aelin in as her own, the Ashryvers never failed to add extra chocolate for Cassian. And every year, Aelin never fails to eat every single piece. “Alright then, to combat the calories you’ve been gaining, if I win, you have to go to the gym with me every day before work.”
Aelin gasped. Cassian was even harder on her in the gym than Rowan was. There was a reason she called him General Dickhead, after all. “Whatever, I accept,” she lamented. She went in for their handshake, a series of hand gestures that no one can quite follow, but his attention was elsewhere.
Aelin followed his gaze to Nesta who had just made her way to a tree near the bottom of the slope.
A tick in his jaw, his brows pressed together as a hardened focus landed not on Nesta. But on a man who seemed to be tracking Nesta’s movements. The man swept his gaze over her body like she was prey and he was a hunter. A burning rage settled in Cassian’s bones. This guy and his cropped hair and air of authority unnerved him. 
The way he was eyeing Nesta--his Nesta, if he’s lucky--made him want to stride right over and throttle the rudding prick. No, Cassian didn’t know him. In truth, he didn't need to, to know what he was. Any man who looked at a woman that way, like she's a meal to devour instead of a human-being, was a prick in his eyes. Especially when that woman captured his shattered heart.
Then the man whistled at Nesta. 
Cassian zeroed in on the sound. He didn’t know the emotion that fueled him more. Protectiveness, fury, envy, or simply the fact this asshole whistled at her as if Nesta was some pet of his. A low growl rumbled in his chest as he stepped forward to settle this matter until a hand wrapped around his forearm pulling Cassian in the opposite direction.
“Territorial bastards all of you,” Aelin snapped, dragging him away. “You do realize this is Nesta. Nesta, right? That man doesn’t stand a chance. Let it go.”
Cassian huffed a breath, tearing himself away from her grasp. “So I can’t defend her? You heard him.”
Stopping in her tracks, Aelin rubbed her temples. “No. You can’t. You two haven’t even talked properly. You can’t go jumping to her defense like you own her, either. After all, everyone knows that Nesta has the power to make someone cry with a single look. The only two people not afraid of her are you and Rowan.”
“You’re afraid of her?” Cassian questioned, staring at his best friend incredulously.
“You clearly don’t work with her when deadlines are coming,” Aelin shuddered at the thought. How Nesta has come close to bringing even Aelin to tears. The editor in chief was a force to be reckoned with. “We’re getting off topic. You know how nosy our co-workers are. If you go to her side now, they will question you and Nesta. It could push her further away. In any case, that skinny guy is no threat whatsoever. She’ll tear him down in seconds. Come on. We can’t be late.”
Cassian looked over his shoulder back to Nesta and the man. He was now sitting again, but still watching her. From his angle, the expression was dark. An uneasiness uncoiled within him the further they walked away. He didn’t like this. Against his better judgement to stay near Nesta, Cassian continued on, hoping this damn race would be over soon.
The two of them walked towards their group, several sleds waiting for them in a line. Lysandra and Aedion stood a few feet from everyone. They couldn’t hear the entire conversation. Only angry rushed words. 
“Lys, come on. I went sledding drunk one time.”
“And you broke your arm and had a concussion from jumping sled to sled!” she hissed, her hands resting on either side of her belly in protest. “We don't need injuries from accident-prones today. You’re reffing."
Aedion points a finger towards Fenrys and Mor, simultaneously gesturing over at Aelin and Cassian with the other hand. The latter two froze at being noticed. Hoping he didn’t catch them listening purely on accident, "What are they then?"
Lysandra flashed Aelin a knowing stare before returning to Aedion’s furious attention, "Not my husband, for one,” she clipped before walking over to Elide.
Aedion pulled at his face with an annoyed groan before walking into his position.
Looking up at Cassian, Aelin noted the still worried face on him. Territorial as it is to be so overprotective, it was still sweet to witness. That despite him knowing Nesta was more than capable of handling herself, even with her past of Tomas, he would still still jump at the chance to be her savior. Rowan was the same, and her heart swelled at thought.
“Hey.” Aelin stepped in front of Cassian. She pulled up her tiptoes to press a kiss to his cheek. She whispered in his ear, “Nesta will be fine.” He nodded. “But if you wanna beat the guy’s ass later, you and Rowan can find him.” She winked, pulling away. “Good luck, General Dickhead!”
“I don’t need luck, Tiny Fireball.” Aelin laughed running to meet up with Fenrys.
Aelin climbed onto the sled behind Fenrys and scanned everyone else around her. Lysandra was waiting with a pregnant Elide at the bottom of the mountain. To her left, she stuck her tongue out at Rhys and Cassian, waved to Mor and Feyre. On her right, she blew a kiss at Rowan and Lorcan and saluted Azriel and Elain.
“Alright, folks!” Rhys yelled from behind Cassian on their sled. “You all know the rules are essentially nonexistent, but please, for the love of gods, don’t get hurt on my watch.” He glared pointedly at Fenrys and Aelin before gesturing for the ski lodge worker to signal their start.
Next thing she knew, Fenrys pushed them off the top of the mountain and they were flying. Snow was churning beneath them and Aelin screamed with exhilaration from the sensation. If she closed her eyes, she could imagine herself flying on the back of a Wyvern she read about in a book once.
Not wanting to miss out on anything around her, however, she opened her eyes. A quick scan at her current enemies told Aelin that she and Fenrys were in third place behind Rowan and Lorcan with Azriel and Elain in the lead. Good for them, Aelin thought. While the couple has only been official for a few months, they were soulmates from the start and deserve an extra week off together.
Aelin’s attention honed in on her fiancé and Lorcan once again. They weren’t terribly far ahead, but Aelin still couldn’t fathom the taunting and teasing that is sure to ensue if she lost to Rowan. Her competitiveness mingled with her mischief as a plan formed in her head. They were almost halfway down the mountain. Plenty of time.
“Fen!” Aelin yelled above the snow.
Fenrys had to yell even louder for her to hear him. “What, Ae?”
“Do you think you can steer us closer to Ro and Lorcan?”
For a split second, Fenrys turned to face her, but she couldn’t see anything on his face beyond his goggles. Turning back to watch where he’s going, he asked, “Why?”
“Just do it!” she commanded. In front of her, Fenrys shrugged his shoulders and steered them towards the other pair. Aelin helped throw her body forwards in an attempt to accelerate, and smiled as they succeeded. “Okay,” she yelled, “go a little to the left of them!” Without question, Fenrys followed her direction.
They were close enough now that Aelin could see Lorcan’s bright red jacket on the back of Rowan’s sled. Any second now, they’d be within arm’s reach. Aelin looked ahead to find they had only about a quarter of the mountain left. She hoped she still had time.
Aelin didn’t need to worry, because not two seconds later, her sled was almost directly aligned with theirs. Not hesitating a moment longer, she wrapped an arm around Fenrys over his shoulder, gripping tightly to stable herself as she stood and reached towards Lorcan. In one smooth motion, she grabbed a handful of his jacket as best as she could with her gloved hand--and pulled.
The world around them seemed to slow as Rowan turned around with wide eyes, gaping at the empty space behind him on his sled. The space Lorcan had occupied moments earlier before Aelin pulled him off into the packed snow behind them. Rowan slowed to a stop so that he could jump off and assist his friend, cursing at Aelin as she and Fenrys flew past, cackling the rest of the way down the mountain.
Meanwhile, Rhys and Cassian hugged the tree line, hoping this lesser used path would get them down the mountain faster. They were making fairly decent progress when Rhys saw what transpired between Aelin and Lorcan. At the same moment, Cassian caught a glimpse of Nesta and her book again, vision going red as the man from before was crouched next to her, trying to strike up a conversation.
He watched as Nesta stood and moved to a different tree, obviously wanting to be left alone, but still, the man followed. Cassian gripped the front of the sled harder, his focus only on Nesta rather than the path they were taking. His path was straight to Nesta every time.
Behind him, Rhys yelled, “Cass, bro, did you see that?!” Cassian didn’t answer. He didn’t have a clue what Rhys was talking about. All he could see was this stranger reaching a hand towards Nesta. “Cass-- Cassian! Watch out!”
Rhysand’s shout and rock hard grip on his shoulders brought Cassian back to the present situation. Sledding. He was sledding. The annual sledding competition. He shook his head, trying to re-focus on the task at hand, but it was too late.
“Cassian!” someone yelled. Someone with a velvet voice he dreams of waking up to every morning. The voice that once whispered sweet nothings in his ear late at night. He honed in on that voice, trying to place the panic he heard in it.
But then came the tree.
And everything went black.
Tag list: (I know I usually don’t have the tag lists in a line like this. It was saved in my drafts this way and I’m too lazy to change it.)
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ananbeth · a year ago
“I want to go home” & “it’s freezing in here” <3
Percy can tell that Annabeth isn’t trying to ruin his fun, but she has never really had a good poker face so her grumpiness is really very clear to see from a single glance her way.
“We can leave soon,” he mumbles as he presses a kiss to the side of her head, through the wooly hat she wears.
Annabeth burrows against his side. “It’s freezing here,” she mutters back.
Wrapping an arm around her, Percy laughs. “You can tell you’re a Californian.”
“You put that sentence back in your mouth.”
Her words are undercut by the way she presses closer, sneaking a hand under his sweater to push against the bare skin of his belly. Percy hisses at the ice cold touch of her fingers.
“Fucking hell, Annabeth.”
“Told you.”
“Alright. They’re turning the lights on soon, then we can go.”
“Okay. Tell me when it happens.”
She turns all the way towards him then, keeping her arms pressed between them as she pushes her cold nose against his neck. Percy runs his hands over her back through the thick jacket and sweater, and three more layers he knows she is wearing underneath those two. Around them, other couples and families and groups of friends wait in anticipation in the biting chill of the November evening for the Christmas Lights to be switched on.
Percy has always loved joining the masses to watch the lights being turned on as the festive energy of the city begins to seep into the corners of stores and offices and apartments all over the city. Something about the air becomes light and cheery, as much as it can be in this city, as people acknowledge each other with greetings of goodwill for the holidays, or at the very least, a thin-lipped smile as they get through their days as usual but this time, with Mariah Carey as their soundtrack.
Annabeth, who spent most of her childhood Christmases at Camp, has never really gotten into the spirit in the same way as him. Hence dragging her down to the Rockefeller Centre for some forced festive fun.
A few minutes pass before he is nudging her and she lets out a little noise he associates with early mornings when their first alarm goes off.
“It’s happening. Turn around.”
Annabeth does, twisting in his arms so she is leaning back against him and resting her head on his shoulder. Percy kisses her ear to just make her squirm and keeps his arms around her middle. There’s a small countdown and a louder cheer as the lights decorating the enormous tree and looped between buildings light up the dark evenings and Percy is smiling as he gapes at it all. It never gets old, somehow.
To his surprise, Annabeth is smiling as well, when she turns to look at him.
“That wasn’t so bad, was it?” he asks her.
“It was worth it for this.” She touches the corner of his mouth and Percy falls in love for the thousandth time.
“You’re cute.”
“Yes.” She reaches up to kiss him. “And I want to go home.”
Percy laughs and throws an arm over her shoulder as they turn to push their way out of the crowds and make their slow way home. Annabeth will press her hands underneath his sweater and push her face into the crook of his neck as they wait for their bus and Percy won’t complain, not once, even as he suspects she is no longer cold.
He isn‘t one to ruin her fun, after all.
dialogue prompts!
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prettywordsyouleft · 9 months ago
Tales of the Bulbury Valentine
Pairing: Park Jinyoung x female reader
Genre: romance / fantasy / time-travel au
Warnings: mentioning of spirits / a sex scene but no details / the concept is a little like Narnia for the time-travelling, I guess?
Word count: 7270
A/N: Happy Valentine’s Day! This story was entirely impromptu. I had a dream yesterday with Jinyoung and it was so intense that I spent all day writing it out. I hope you all enjoy it.
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Chuckling softly when you looked up at the place your feet had carried you to, you walked up the short set of stairs to the front door and went inside.
You hadn’t meant to come here, of all places, but it wouldn’t be your first time studying within these walls. Still, you had a lot to do, and there was no time to head off elsewhere.
You had to admit, you felt at home here.
“Well, hello again!” the clerk behind the counter exclaimed happily, and you beamed a smile at her.
“You look fetching, as always, Polly.”
Glancing down at her flapper-styled dress, Polly then shrugged. “I’ve worn better and worse here. Are you coming to the party later?”
“Party?” you echoed, glancing up at the board of events behind her. You laughed and shook your head. “Oh, I don’t have a need to celebrate Valentine’s Day.”
“You don’t have to have a need, Y/N. But I see your bag is full. The study halls on campus too crowded today?”
“I guess now I know what all the noise was about,” you admitted sheepishly, and pointed to the closest hallway of the manor house. “Is the library free from the party?”
“What soiree would we hold in there?” she teased, and you rolled your eyes, thinking of countless wonderful opportunities that could be hosted within there.
The library was your favourite place within the estate house, after all.
“I’ll see you later, Polly. The Medieval era awaits me.”
“Not within this place, it wasn’t built until the fifteenth century!”
You laughed as you waved the woman off, greeting a few of the other paid actors as you walked down the familiar hallway to the room at the far left. You could hear all the fuss happening in the grand salon as you passed on by, a pink balloon escaping the room in the process.
You giggled. “When were balloons created?”
“The first attempt was in eighteen twenty-four, so they’re rightfully placed today,” a voice answered, and you turned, grinning at the woman in a lavish bell-shaped dress that seemed to take up more than half the walking space in this corridor.
“You know everything, Marguerite.”
“Not everything. But I do seem to know an awful lot,” she confessed, giggling with you as you both entered the library.
Glancing at your casual attire, she frowned. “You’re not dressed up.”
“I’m not a paid actor here at the estate,” you responded with a small smirk, propping your book bag next to the desk. You placed your hands upon the dark wooden desktop and sighed happily. “I came here for this desk, not for any party.”
“You and this desk,” she griped, shaking her head so much that the ornate wig she had chosen to wear almost toppled off the pins she had used to secure it. Holding her hair, she then smiled at you. “We welcome you every time.”
“I’m grateful, truly.”
“What are we studying today? The French Revolution?”
“Medieval Crusaders,” you corrected, and she scrunched up her nose. “Hey! History comes in many forms, Marguerite.”
“Perhaps you can be a mastermind behind a medieval love story for a play held in the theatre room later this year.”
You laughed and shook your head. “I’m a trained historian, not a writer.”
“Then you can co-direct with your facts and I with my interest in scriptwriting.”
“Perhaps, I could.”
“We’re expecting a lot of visitors today. I put an advert in the paper,” she mentioned as you sat down at the desk and pulled out your belongings. You smiled up at the owner of the estate and nodded as she continued to talk to you about the vast Valentine’s Day plans.
You supposed a place like this needed to get in on all the holidays to bring in patrons outside of the usual curious folk.
It was because of Halloween two years prior that you had stepped into the Bulbury Estate, to begin with. It wasn’t like all museums. Sure, each room was dedicated to some era of history, ranging from the fifteenth century to the nineteen-fifties. However, it was a living environment, and hardly a single mannequin was used. Instead, Marguerite had a small team of historical actors who helped her bring the past to life every day here during the tours.
You found the library on that first night here, the party being held in the grand salon nearby. You had gotten over the noise and opted for someplace quiet. The library door had opened right when you went to enter, and you had shrieked, especially when the man before you looked as if he came from the past himself.
Blinking out of your fond memories of the place, you looked up at Marguerite curiously. “Do mind the spirits for me in here as best as you can.”
“Oh, but of course. They are welcome to stay and keep me company as long as they’re quiet.”
Marguerite was naturally quirky. However, her biggest obsession, aside from wearing the most flamboyant of vintage outfits, was the spirits. You hadn’t actually met one yet, but you humoured the woman every time. She was invested in these spirits to the point she talked of them on a first-name basis quite often. They had guided her to buy the run-down estate ten years ago, so she said, and with a stroke of luck, she struck gold – literally – in the backyard and was able to pay for the repairs to be done quite quickly. Since then, she was adamant they ruled the house, and she merely managed it on their behalf.
“I worry about Thomas and Bertha causing trouble today. It is their favourite holiday of the year.”
“Then I hope they can enjoy some quiet time in here with me,” you offered with a grin, gesturing to the vintage armchairs in the room.
“I shall tell them so,” Marguerite announced with a clap of her hands and then a gasp left her. “Oh, dear! I left Joseph unattended in the salon. Who knows what that child has done to the decorations already!”
You didn’t know if Joseph was a spirit or living person, but you ushered the suddenly frazzled woman off and then sat down at the desk. Pulling out a thick textbook about the crusades, you picked up your pen and began to scribble down notes as you read. Aside from the murmur of noise that reached the library from the festivities of the day, you were alone for some time.
Until the door suddenly opened.
Glancing up immediately, you couldn’t control the smile that formed on your lips.
Nor could Jinyoung. “You know, we really need to stop meeting in this room.”
“Granted, it’s the one you’ll most likely find me in every time. But I happen to agree.”
Closing the door behind him, Jinyoung came to your side and peered over your shoulder at your studies. He placed a hand upon the table to balance himself, and you began to inspect the muscles in his exposed forearm until he cleared his throat.
“Your essay topic sounds interesting.”
“I’m enjoying it.”
Jinyoung laughed. “I think you’re the only person I’ve ever met to say they enjoy their essays.”
“Then why study in the first place if you don’t enjoy it?” you wondered and Jinyoung pointed at you.
“You’re not like the rest.”
“I don’t intend to be.”
Sharing another smile, you then turned your focus back to the books jarringly. “I suppose I better…”
“Yes, and if Marguerite finds me not in the Victorian kitchen talking to guests in ten minutes, I guess she’ll fire me.”
“Your Aunt isn’t that cruel,” you told him, and Jinyoung shrugged playfully.
“Maybe if I play hooky with you, her favourite visitor, she won’t mind.”
“I’m hardly her favourite. I’m certain that’s Bertha and Thomas.”
Jinyoung shook his head. “Not you too. The spirits aren’t real. She uses that as a tactic to look kooky to her patrons. It keeps people coming back for more of her stories.”
“You and I both know they’re real,” you countered, gesturing to the portrait of the married couple on the walls. “You’re insulting them by dismissing their existence.”
Jinyoung walked back to your side and leaned down towards you. “Have you seen one of them yet?”
“No, but-”
“Have you experienced anything spooky here at the estate?”
“The door suddenly flying open on the first night I was here.”
Jinyoung stood back up and folded his arms over his chest. “You opened it, stop denying it.”
“I did not! You did!”
“We can argue about this all day but--”
The static sound of the walkie-talkie device in Jinyoung’s pocket interrupted the heated debate and he groaned, pulling it out and spoke into it. “Yeah, I’m on my way.”
“Duty calls. Who are you playing today?”
“Henry, the servant boy who wants to learn how to cook,” he announced, flicking his suspenders lightly over the linen shirt under it. “And a servant I shall be since Emma is playing Lady Crocrombe. See you around, Y/N.”
You were slightly disappointed to see the back of Jinyoung. From the first night on Halloween until now, he was part of the reason you liked coming here. It was unintentional that you arrived on the estate’s doorstep this morning, but you couldn’t deny your hope once you walked through the front doors that Jinyoung would also be working today.
Your feelings for him made you feel warm and giddy.
However, he didn’t get far. Yanking on the door handle several times, he glanced back at you hopelessly. Getting up, you approached him and the stuck door. “It can’t be locked, can it?”
“Nonsense, who would lock a door here?”
“Move aside, let me.”
“Not to sound egotistical, but if I can’t open it, how will you?” he grunted, and you shoved him aside then, placing your hands on the handle and gave it a firm yank.
It didn’t budge.
“We’re locked in. Call for assistance,” you instructed logically, and Jinyoung nodded, fishing out his walkie-talkie. It didn’t seem to connect to anything, the static sounding different this time. You reached into your pocket for your phone, but suddenly there was no signal.
You both stared at one another, perplexed.
Then the phone began to ring. Not the one in your hand, but the old vintage one sat upon the desk. You slowly turned your head to look at it and followed Jinyoung’s cautious steps across the room to it. “I thought that was a prop.”
“It is. What would it be connected to?” Jinyoung murmured, staring at the phone handle before he inhaled a deep breath and answered it. “Hello?”
You couldn’t hear who was on the receiving end. However, Jinyoung visibly relaxed and started to explain what was going on. After a moment, you realised it was Marguerite talking to him, and cast your eyes across the room whilst you waited for the instruction of what to do next.
You had visited this room more than fifty times, and whilst you were certain you couldn’t remember every book title on the bookshelves that lined the walls, you had looked at them often enough to be familiar with the shapes and colours in the very least. One seemed to stand out to you all of a sudden, and you walked over to the black spine, tilting your head to the side to read the gilded title along it.
You heard Jinyoung hang up the phone, and blindly gestured for him to join you. “Have you seen this book here before?”
“Book?” he repeated, coming over. “Which book?”
“This black one. Tales of The Bulbury Valentine.”
“Never heard of it,” he said, peering over your shoulder again. You were surprised by how close he was to you, and your heart fluttering felt nice. You were slightly dejected when he shifted to your side. “Marguerite mentioned she’s tied up with an influx of visitors so she’ll let us out when she can.”
“Right. Well, that sounds fair.”
“I didn’t know that phone worked. Bizarre, don’t you think?” he continued, and you nodded, your fingers reaching to touch the spine of the book.
“You’re not fully aware of what I’m saying, are you, Y/N? Just pull the book out if it’s got your attention.”
“I’m not one for Valentine’s Day stories, Jinyoung.”
“Why? Hasn’t Cupid ever shot an arrow your way?” he teased, and you groaned loudly, letting go of the book.
“I’m sure he’s shot many at you. Or at all the women around you.”
“Why do you say that?” he questioned, wriggling his eyebrows and smirking when you didn’t answer right away. He stepped in closer again, and you were certain he knew that he made your heart play up whenever he was near you. “Maybe he should have shot you then too.”
“Don’t be daft. Cupid is a folklore at the best of things.”
“Says the historian. Surely, you should know something about Valentine’s Day.”
“What?” Jinyoung asked, blinking frequently.
“They say it was the Lupercalia ritual in Roman times that started the ancient version of Valentine’s Day.”
“Lupercalia was a fertility pagan festival to bring in the start of spring and growth. Saint Valentine has been written in the bible and has several ancient merits as well.” Looking at Jinyoung’s bemused expression, you sighed. “So, I know a little about the tradition. It comes with studying mythology in my first year.”
“So, what happens?”
“What do you mean?”
Jinyoung folded his arms across his chest again. “To Valentine’s Day. When did it become a gimmick?”
“I wouldn’t call it a gimmick, Jinyoung.”
“You just said you don’t do Valentine’s Day stories. Do you still believe in the romance of it all?”
“I don’t know what I believe in, but I do know that the history of it becoming what it has is pretty interesting.”
“So pull out the book. You like history, shouldn’t we learn more together?”
“I’m supposed to be working on my essay,” you mentioned, looking over at your discarded study and then back at the book. You grinned at Jinyoung. “I suppose a short look won’t hurt us.”
Reaching again for the spine of the book, you pulled it out from the shelf and opened the cover.
There was only one thing inside. “A key?”
“It’s not a book?” Jinyoung questioned, lording over you to stare at the puzzle before you. Sharing a look, Jinyoung then reached for the key and pulled it out from the book. “Where do you go?”
Looking at the gap in the shelf, you noticed you could see light shining through. “There! The lock is in the bookshelf.”
“Well, I’ll be damned,” Jinyoung breathed, sharing another glance with you before slipping in the key. You heard the lock click and a section of the bookcase swung into a secret room.
You both peered inside, trying to decipher if it was safe to step in. “Does Marguerite know of this secret room?”
“Probably. Maybe not. My Aunt is hard to keep up with.”
“We shouldn’t go inside it then.”
“Logically, no. But aren’t you curious, even just a little?” Jinyoung asked, and you nodded swiftly, taking his hand that he held out to you without any further thought.
You were surprised by how warm he was.
“Let’s leave the door open so we can come back, okay?” you suggested, following Jinyoung into the dusty room.
“Or this could be a horror film in the making, and it creakily shuts behind us,” he mentioned, and you squealed when as soon as you were both inside, it did just that.
Gripping onto Jinyoung tightly, you then thumped him with your spare hand. “Now, what do we do?!”
“You begin to fall together,” a hushed little voice mentioned in the dark, and before you could shriek at the statement, you began to descend at a fast pace through, well, you couldn’t really tell.
Was it time? Realms? You weren’t able to decipher anything apart from it felt as if your falling was endless and Jinyoung’s hand was growing harder to grip onto.
You could barely see him now, but the way he tried to grapple onto your hand made you realise he didn’t want to lose you either.
Eventually, you did, and as soon as you could no longer see him, you fell with a thud onto something soft.
Opening your eyes, you then blinked several times. It was day time again, and you thanked the light for greeting your eyes as they strained to take in your surroundings. You were certain this was still the manor house, but not of the present time. Sitting up in the bed, you realised you were up in a bedroom in the west wing.
“It still looks the same,” you breathed, noticing how well Marguerite had done with restoring it. It was as if she had been to the past herself and knew exactly where to place each bit of furniture.
“That makes zero sense,” you chided yourself, though after blinking some more, nor did the notion in your head about this being the past.
“Marguerite!” you called out, and jumped when the door opened, Jinyoung’s aunt dashing into the room.
“Yes, My Lady?”
“Lady—what do you mean?” you asked her and took in her outfit. It was the plainest thing you’d ever seen her wear before. You started to laugh. “You, a servant?!”
“Did you fall ill overnight? Shall I fetch a doctor?! Oh, the Mistress won’t be happy to hear of this at all! I was told to check for any and all chills before your wedding day, and I was certain I caught them all!”
“Mistress? Wedding day? Marguerite, you are talking nonsense. And you look entirely plain.”
You stopped for a moment, frowning at how your accent and word choice sounded different. Older, in fact.
You really needed to stop reading so many regency au stories.
“This is always how I look, My Lady.”
“No, you wear the most flamboyant of outfits. Lace upon textured fabrics and lush petticoats!”
Marguerite started to bounce on the spot, growing increasingly frazzled. “Oh my! You have caught a chill!”
And before you could answer, she dashed out the door and shut it behind her.
“What on earth just happened?” you asked yourself, pulling back the blankets and walking barefoot across the wooden floors to the mirror by the wall.
As you caught glimpse of yourself, you were relieved to find your appearance was still the same. You weren’t anyone else and wondered if you had fallen in the secret room and hit your head and were now concussed.
Pinching yourself, you whined when it hurt to do so.
“I’m not dreaming.”
Pacing across the floor in your nightgown, you raised a hand to your mouth in thought. “Marguerite is acting weird and called me by a lady of status. But she’s the one who owns this place, so why is she dressed as a lady’s maid?”
“Where is Jinyoung?” you asked next, and jumped when the door opened.
You were met with familiar eyes that rounded upon seeing you and then diverted to the walls at the somewhat sheerness of your clothing.
“My Lady, you shouldn’t be out of bed if the chill has caught you! Doctor Park, please forgive her lack of modesty.”
“Uh, er, right,” Jinyoung managed, peeking another look in your direction. You gave him a pointed look back, and his eyes went straight to the ceiling again.
“I’m perfectly fine, Marguerite. It is you who is acting peculiar.”
“Back to bed, My Lady, so the physician can check if your health is quite alright. Your marriage to Lord Maynes is this afternoon, and we must ensure we are sending him a healthy daughter of the manor.”
“I suppose my sister Caroline could step in if I’m not able to,” you offered and then frowned at the name.
Who was Caroline?
“I’ll check Miss Y/N over now if you don’t mind,” Jinyoung gruffly stated as soon as you were back under the blankets. Staring at you momentarily, Jinyoung smiled weakly before directing his next instructions to Marguerite. “I’ll need some water.”
“Of course,” she said, going over to the basin in your bedroom.
“Not that water!” he cried, and Marguerite’s hands shook with surprise. “I uh, will need it fresh from the well.”
“Is that truly necessary?”
“Yes. If a wedding is to go ahead, then it must be at its freshest.”
Marguerite nodded resolutely and dashed out of the room, leaving you both alone. You stared at Jinyoung, hoping he had some answers. He merely shrugged. “When I woke up, I was in a small house, and Polly called me her brother.”
“Polly’s here too? Do you think this is all staged then?”
Jinyoung stared at you. “I said, I woke up in a small house. Not here.”
“So you saw the outside world. Is it modern or-”
“Are you really asking me when we look like this, and you’re dressed in something my great grandmother would wear?”
“It’s rather comfy,” you admitted, and Jinyoung couldn’t contain his chuckle.
“I wasn’t quite expecting to see you in so little just yet.”
“Yet?” you echoed, but he gave you no answer, fishing in his leather bag and looking at all the instruments he pulled out. You shook your head. “I’m perfectly fine.”
“I know that, but given how strange you normally are, and no doubt how you acted upon seeing my Aunt, they’re all convinced you’ve caught something terrible, and the wedding won’t go ahead. From what I’ve gathered, you’re to marry some Lord who will help with the prosperity of the village.”
“Thomas?” you offered and then shook your head. “No Thomas was a…”
“A what, Y/N?” Jinyoung prompted when you trailed off.
Paled, you didn’t blink as you stared at Jinyoung. “A doctor.”
“Bertha was the second eldest daughter of this house. Caroline was barely fifteen when her sister was meant to be married off,” Jinyoung added on, and you stared at him with interest. He coughed awkwardly. “So maybe I’ve been around when my Aunt talks her nonsense a few times.”
“I’m Bertha, and you’re Thomas?”
“And this is a nightmare. What do we do to escape it?”
“Well, what did they do?” you enquired, finding no answer immediately.
Jinyoung got up and went to the window. “Marguerite is finally at the well now.”
“Can’t you say I’m terribly ill?”
“That would ruin the family.”
“Bertha did that by leaving Lord Maynes for Thomas, no doubt,” you airily offered, and Jinyoung spun around, nodding as he returned to your side.
“She married Thomas.”
“Yes, I know of that,” you snapped, the light bulb that had gone off in Jinyoung’s head finally lighting up in yours. “She didn’t marry today.”
“Nor will you. Get dressed now!”
With some effort, you managed to get into a simple empire styled dress, donning a light coat Jinyoung found for you in the wardrobe before taking his hand. Hastily putting on shoes without anything under them, you allowed Jinyoung to take your hand again.
He began to pull you towards the door he came through, but you stopped, looking at the panel in the wall of your room. “This way.”
“There’s no other exit.”
“I’m Bertha right now. This is my room, and I trust my instinct,” you announced, tugging him over to the panel and pushing on it. A tiny corridor appeared, and Jinyoung gave you little time to admire it, shoving you inside and shutting the panel behind him.
You let out a triumphant giggle on being right.
It was arduous in places to navigate, but the secret hallway led to a set of stairs that wound around the house until you spotted a trapdoor. Unlatching it, you then crawled outside, brushing the dirt off your skirt as you waited for Jinyoung to climb out.
He grinned at you. “We’re so looking for this when we’re back.”
“For now, we need to get away so let’s worry about trapdoors and hidden staircases when we’re not escaping, shall we?”
“You’re sassier than I expected.”
You looked at the man who reached for your hand effortlessly and started to run with him across the back of the garden towards the woods. “You hardly know me.”
“That’s not true. I know some about you.”
“That I am history mad and would rather come to your Aunt’s manor museum than spend time in modern places? That’s probably all.”
“You have the most interesting colour of eye too,” he confessed, and you stared at his side profile then, watching his ears turn pink from the admission.
“I’m not sure what made me swoon more then. The fact that you noticed something about me or the way you worded it.”
Jinyoung recovered, thanks to your sentence, and grinned at you. “The fact you swooned is enough for me.”
“Alright, Doctor, it’s on you now. Where did Thomas take Bertha?”
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Staring at the small cabin deep in the woods, you were stunned. Jinyoung, equally amazed by the discovery, let out a small whoop of excitement. “It actually is here!”
“You saw it in your head?”
“Vaguely. He directed us here.” Jinyoung opened the door and let you inside. You sat down with a whine, looking down at your ankles that had been rubbed raw from your travels without any socks on.
Jinyoung cleared his throat as he crouched down in front of you, removing one of your shoes before looking up at you. “Do you reckon they were the ones who guided us to this strange world?”
“Maybe they were annoyed with you for not believing they exist.”
“You pointed out that I knew they did.”
“But as spirits,” you corrected, and Jinyoung sighed. You hissed when he pulled off your other shoe, your heel worse on this side.
“It’s a good thing I’m a doctor.”
Unable to hide your amusement, you laughed gently until Jinyoung began to treat the wounds. He did an excellent job with the tools he had, and you wondered if he was just that capable or if Thomas had guided him with this as well.
Jinyoung grinned up at you once he was done. “Better?”
“Much. Thank you.”
There was comfortable silence as you both took in the cabin. There were the basic amenities. A cooking area was nestled next to the open fireplace, and there were two armchairs, one that you were seated upon, facing it.
A small dining table with two chairs and a modest bed filled the rest of the space.
It would do.
However, you would need to work hard for it too.
“There’s little food stored here,” you mentioned once back on your feet and exploring the place.
Jinyoung had just come back inside. “There’s an outside toilet, though it’s not great. But what’s worse is there’s no real firewood. It bet it gets cold around here, so we better gather some wood.”
“How do we go about getting food?” you wondered, and Jinyoung gave you a grim look. You nodded. “Well, I guess we have a lot of adjusting to do.”
By nightfall, you were both exhausted. You had helped drag bits of a fallen tree from the forest surrounding you for Jinyoung to chop up and stacked it inside and by the wall of the cabin for subsequent days.
By luck, you found a chicken coop out back and even better was Jinyoung’s cooking skills as he boiled the bird over the fireplace for dinner. You had managed to uproot some vegetables from a tiny garden and dinner was enough to fill your stomachs.
After some time spent quietly around the fireplace, one too many yawns had sent you both over to the bed.
Jinyoung shook his head. “We’re doing this out of necessity.”
“Neither of us will get any sleep on an armchair.”
“Absolutely not.”
“And we’re adults. Sharing a bed will be fine.”
“It’s a small bed, but we’ll make do,” Jinyoung concluded nervously, and you nodded equally as awkward, before both climbing under the blankets and laying beside one another.
You were stiff for several minutes, staring up at the ceiling. Chancing a glance at Jinyoung, you were surprised to find him watching you. It didn’t make you flinch, rather you smiled. “Do you think Thomas and Bertha loved each other before today?”
“No,” Jinyoung stated, rolling onto his side, so he was fully facing you. You mirrored his actions and propped your head up with your elbow. “I think he was just a friend.”
“Maybe they liked each other a little. I mean, he risked a lot by taking her away from the house on her wedding day.”
“She wanted to escape, what should he have done? Told her no? Left her to an ill-fated match? I can understand why he helped her escape. No one should marry another without love involved.”
You smiled lazily. “You’re quite the romantic, Doctor Park.”
“Please, just call me Jinyoung, My Lady.”
You giggled. “I’m hardly a lady of status.”
“I don’t know, you suit the role,” he said, and you watched him for a moment more.
“Maybe that’s why I come to the manor.”
“Because you’re Bertha in the present day?”
“Do you have a PhD in anything?” you asked tauntingly, and Jinyoung laughed, shaking his head. “We’re just two normal people, really. So were they.”
“Who fell in love,” Jinyoung breathed out, staring at you intensely.
With the humour now gone, you felt your breathing change, growing restricted with all the flutters in your chest. Jinyoung seemed to wrestle with a similar reaction and then cleared his throat loudly, swapping to laying on his back again.
The moment now lost, you awkwardly wished each other a good night’s rest and eventually drifted off to sleep.
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You had hoped when you woke up that it would be in the library of the manor where you had last been. However, finding yourself nestled into Jinyoung’s warm side wasn’t all that bad. If you had to be stuck in the 1800s, you couldn’t hope for a better person to be with.
Jinyoung stirred awake shortly after you, and after marvelling his bed hair and him pointing out your own, you both got to work.
Day in and out was much the same. You cultivated what you had, you cleaned and collected wood together, and you even got used to fending off the earth for food to cook each night. He would improve your home little by little, and you became skilled in sewing new coverings or mending clothes along the way.
It brought you both closer to one another, and for a while there, you almost forgot the tally of days Jinyoung had been counting of your stay. It felt comfortable being with him each day and night.
However, when Jinyoung pulled you over to where he had been marking down your stay, you gasped. “It’s been a hundred days already?!”
“Do you think Bertha and Thomas trapped us in this world so they can live as us in the present?” Jinyoung mentioned bitterly, and you shrugged, slumping down into an armchair in shock. He approached you soon after and crouched at your side. “Not to say I’m not enjoying your company. I am. I do. But I kind of would like to go home. I’ll praise my microwave and ready-to-eat foods so much once I’m back.”
“And a flushing toilet,” you offered with a laugh. “Oh, and a shower. Gosh, I miss a good shower.”
“Is the lake nearby not doing it for you, huh?” he asked mischievously, and you pushed his arm off the side of the chair playfully.
“It’s sufficient.”
“You don’t take your undergarments off.”
“I’m washing them too as I wash myself,” you objected, your cheeks flushing with the thought of how easily Jinyoung took his shirt and pants off whenever you went to the lake. You didn’t watch him do it, of course, but you had seen his shoulders and chest, and that was enough to fulfil any desires you had for the man until the next lake visit.
Jinyoung chuckled. “You’re thinking sinfully right now.”
“You are too.”
He shrugged. “You don’t give me much to think like that over.”
“A lady shouldn’t bare herself unless it’s to her husband in these parts,” you stated dramatically, and Jinyoung didn’t laugh as you expected him to. Losing yourself in his gaze as he had already done with you, you instinctively moistened your lips.
You both had been dancing around the unspoken feelings for one another for quite some time now. Naturally, the more you bonded, the more you fell for Jinyoung. He was playful yet incredibly capable. He was there to help you when it was too much and had shouldered your tears whenever you had fits for home.
Even without this experience, you had crushed over him, but now it was beyond a crush.
You had fallen in love with him.
“Was this how it happened for them too?” Jinyoung whispered, and you knew what he meant right away.
“Perhaps,” you said back, your hand reaching out to hold his.
It had been your favourite thing to do all this time. No matter the time of day or night, reaching out to hold his hand made you feel connected, grounded even. Right now though, his touch held a charge that had built to a point that started to buzz throughout you.
It was then that Jinyoung captured your lips in his. The buzz turned into a rush, and you pulled him up to you from the ground, your lips not parting as he, in turn, tugged you from the chair. Now standing, your arms moved to stabilise your balance by hooking together around his neck, your body flush with his.
This kiss was yours alone.
Although you knew you were being guided by the past lovers, this moment was spurred on by your own feelings that had grown. You could taste the hunger, the passion upon his lips and feel it upon your skin as his hands took purchase of your hips, moving downward until he reached your thighs. Hoisting you up, you curled around Jinyoung, pulling back for another breath only to crash down upon his hot mouth once more, kissing him eagerly as he carried you both over to the bed.
Laying you down, he placed a knee between your legs and finally pulled back, his dark gaze washing over you lustfully. “What are we doing?”
“You know exactly what we’re doing, Jinyoung. Something long overdue between us.”
He groaned before leaning down to capture your mouth against his again, hands exploring, trying to undo one another’s clothing. It was easy enough to get his shirt and suspenders off, but your dress slowed Jinyoung down, and he grew impatient with it being in the way.
Sitting up and pushing him back, so you were now resting upon his thigh, you reached for the ties of your dress and loosened them off. Holding up your arms, Jinyoung swore under his breath, his palms pushing the fabric up and over your head.
Just your undergarments remained.
“A lady shouldn’t bare herself,” he reminded of your statement previously, and you smiled, still holding your arms above your head for him to take it off. “Not unless it’s to her husband.”
“Will you marry me then just to take it off?” you asked, and Jinyoung cursed once more at your direct approach. “I’m certain Bertha and Thomas weren’t married whilst they lived in these woods.”
“Are we playing them still right now?” Jinyoung asked, and you shook your head.
“In our lifetime, being intimate can happen regardless of being married or not.”
“In our lifetime, we also have protection,” he pointed out, the flames within his eyes dampening with the further logic he placed over the situation.
You didn’t want this to end here. You only wanted one thing, and that was to feel the culmination of your feelings for him, emotionally and physically. Kissing him with demand, Jinyoung’s resolve broke, his hands taking to the bottom of the fabric and only pulled away to get it over your head. Taking off his pants, he stopped and stared at you.
You finally were as bare as he was.
“I’m in love with you,” he confessed, and you nodded, resting your forehead against yours.
“I know. I am with you too.”
“I know,” he replied with a shared smile, capturing your lips and heart once more.
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Two years or so had gone by since you found yourself in this strange world. You had stopped counting how long exactly it had been in this little oasis you shared with Jinyoung. You enjoyed the simple life at his side and the ecstasy that came with loving him during the nights. Somehow, you hadn’t fallen pregnant yet, and even though you had both taken vows last summer in a tiny church in another village, your marital life was childless.
You had to admit you were starting to feel as if your womb would forever remain barren.
Finding your menstrual cycle had arrived like clockwork once again disappointed you, and you wondered why.
“Perhaps it’s the environment,” Jinyoung mentioned, and you shook your head.
“I’m not going back to the township. Out here we can be whoever we want to be.”
“We can be that there as well. We’re married now. They can’t break what we vowed under the eyes of God apart.”
You remained against the idea until one morning someone from your household finally travelled this far into the woods to find you. Marguerite was relieved to see you alive and well, begging for you to return to the house. “They will forgive you of your betrayal, My Lady.”
“What of Caroline?”
Marguerite sighed. “She married the Lord in your stead. She’s rather happy now. She is with child again already.”
You swallowed difficultly, nodding once. “Again. Her second?”
“Third. She bore twins for the Lord.”
Jinyoung reached for your shoulders and gave them a squeeze. “And of Y/N’s parents?”
“They have entrusted the estate to you.”
“Not Caroline? Nor Abigail?”
Marguerite smiled. “It’s time to come home. Your father has fallen ill, and he wishes to see you before he leaves this earth.”
Leaving the cabin was painful. Your lives had been set up there, and yet, you were curious to see the manor again. As Marguerite had assured, your family welcomed you home with open arms, grateful to see you alive and well. Jinyoung was accepted as your husband and took over some of the affairs when your father in this world passed away. Your mother soon too joined him, and it was now your estate with Jinyoung.
But it didn’t quite feel like home.
“My Lady?”
Opening your eyes, you smiled weakly at Marguerite’s appearance. “I’m tired today.”
“You’ve rested enough now, don’t you think?”
“No, I feel I need more sleep.”
“Jinyoung is already on his way back.”
“Back where?” you asked groggily, and when you received no answer, you sat up immediately, noticing the room was now empty.
Getting out of bed, you found the floor beneath you gave way, and the same falling feeling you had experienced four years ago started again.
When you woke up this time, you were nestled in the library next to Jinyoung, your head upon his shoulder.
“Quite the adventure you two took today, huh?” a voice mentioned, picking up the book you held loosely and looked it over.
Blearily looking around yourself, you sat up, staring at Jinyoung when he reached out for your hand. Helping you to your feet, he then let you go. “I suppose Emma needs me in the kitchen.”
Once hastily excused, you stared at his Aunt for some time. Her expression felt knowing about the journey you just took. “It’s the same day?”
“What year did you think of it to be?”
“I just… that dream felt longer than a day. More like years.”
“I’m sure it was,” she answered with a smile, the glint in her eyes confirming your suspicions. “Thank you for looking after the spirits today. They always seem to be on the lookout to play matchmaker. It would have been a disaster if I let them loose on just anyone.”
You didn’t know what to say back, a small smile gracing your lips before you pointed to your things. “I uh, I better clean up.”
“Will you stay for the party, Y/N?”
“I’m rather tired,” you excused, and Marguerite laughed, nodding along.
“Yes, I suppose it was a long journey back too.”
She left you then, and you stared up at the portrait of the couple in the room, wondering just how long they had been watching over you.
And Jinyoung for that matter.
Not really knowing how to comprehend all that had happened, you gathered your books and belongings back into your bag and shouldered it.
It felt odd to be doing tasks you hadn’t done for four years.
Or a day. You couldn’t quite understand time right now.
Still, you took your time, going into the bathroom and rejoiced over hot water when you washed your hands, and then headed to the exit.
Instead of leaving, you turned for the grand staircase, taking yourself up to the bedroom in the west wing.
You marvelled at how identical it was. “Marguerite has been there more than once, I’m sure of it.”
“I think so,” Jinyoung announced, and you spun around, staring at the distance between you both. He rubbed the back of his neck awkwardly. “I don’t know what’s acceptable or not in this realm.”
“I guess we have to get adjusted to modern times again.”
“In this year we weren’t married,” he mentioned, stepping closer to you. “Not even dating.”
“No, we were almost strangers. A pair who fought over a door opening between them two years ago,” you announced with a grin, and Jinyoung chuckled.
“What if we both agree that Bertha and Thomas opened that door between us?”
“Then I think we’d have to agree that they also took us someplace today,” you answered, taking a step towards Jinyoung. He reached out for your waist, and you almost hummed with happiness.
It felt just as natural as it had before.
“And in that world, we fell in love.”
“Will we in this world?” you wondered as Jinyoung tucked a strand of your hair behind your ear.
“It is Valentine’s Day still. Should I take you on our first date?”
“Was our first date back then when we chopped wood together?”
Jinyoung laughed and leaned down to brush his lips over yours. “I promise I have no need to chop wood in this lifetime.”
“You were awfully good at it, though.”
“So you did watch me.”
“Intently,” you divulged, slipping your hands up over his chest and resting them on his shoulders. “I’d like that date.”
“I’d like it too.”
“And then what happens after it?” you asked, chewing your lip with anticipation.
“Well, it’s our turn to tell the story. Thomas and Bertha have their world, but this is ours. Whatever happens next, we’ll have to write it down in our own book.”
“The Tale of Love: Then and Now,” you named it, and Jinyoung laughed, hugging you warmly.
“Whatever it’s called, so long as you remain close to my heart, I know I’ll live happily ever after.”
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blvckjvckvls · 11 months ago
tinsel n ribbons
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pairing: miya atsumu x reader contains: fluff, friends to lovers, mildly jealous atsumu, he’s also a brat in this w/c: 2.5k+ listening to: fool’s holiday - all time low
it’s a cloudilicious christmas!
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Winter had set in around the city. The air had gotten chilly enough and the roads slick enough that parents wouldn’t let their children out to play or hit the arcades without scarves and snow boots on. School was let out for the next few weeks, jolly music filled the air wherever you went, and shops displayed their sales proudly. Signs all throughout the shopping districts read "Only _ shopping days 'til Christmas!", a gentle reminder for people to get themselves in gear. And you? You were one of the people who hadn't gotten yourself into gear yet.
It was a Tuesday morning when you realized you desperately needed to at the very least begin your shopping. You weren't used to having more than three people to shop for, but, after taking a job with a sports magazine, the year had blessed you with so many amazing friends that you were ready to drain your bank account to see them smile. Unfortunately, you had a Tuesday ritual with one of those amazing friends and had to await his arrival. 
Atsumu’s practice ended early on Tuesdays- every single week. And he’d learned that you had Tuesdays off- every single week. For months now, it’s been a routine that he comes over once he’s showered and clean to spend the afternoon with you- doing whatever mundane tasks that needed doing before you went back to work. With a glance to the clock, you could see that you had maybe fifteen minutes until his arrival- which was the perfect amount of time to make a shopping list.
'Alright. This should be easy. You know these people. Well. Get it together. Okay, Mika: Makeup. Easy,' you thought to yourself as you scribbled furiously on a notepad as if the ideas could fade away if your hand didn't move fast enough. 'Mom: that rice cooker she wanted, some perfume, a cute new sweater, and whatever else I see that makes me think of her.' It was around this time that you heard the noises of footsteps coming up to your doorway, but chose to ignore them- Atsumu had a key, anyway, and you were in the gift giving zone.
'Kiyoko: uh...shampoo? Would she want that? Maybe a stuffed penguin? Tsukki: ...a stuffed dinosaur?' This internal debate kept you busy until footsteps came from your entryway, making your head perk up.
"God, ‘m so fucking tired, please tell me we aren’t going anywhere" Atsumu anti-greeted in an annoyed voice, tugging his red flannel into a more comfortable position after having to shift around to get his shoes off. You swallowed thickly after taking in his gorgeous- as always- appearance and then gave him an overly-large grin.
"Do you wanna be the best friend ever?"
Atsumu’s groan could probably be heard by your neighbors, large hand rubbing his face sleepily. "What's in it for me?"
"I'll pretend you said yes. We have to go shopping today," you informed him, scribbling down more ideas on your notepad. Atsumu's eyes rolled, arms crossing themselves under his chest.
"Don't tell me yer one of those people who puts Christmas shopping off ‘til the last minute, (y/n)." Honestly, you felt attacked. You were exactly that type of person. And he should know that by now.
"I just got a little behind! I didn't even think you knew what Christmas was," you grumble, a little bummed at realizing you wouldn't be able to weave the tales of Saint Nick your entire walk to the shopping district.
"What am I? New?" You shook your head as you grabbed your wallet and keys, jerking your head towards the front door.
"You just haven't had any jolly spirit the last few times I've seen you," you explain, shrugging as you wait for him to exit so you can lock the door. The blonde setter followed you outside, a smirk wide on his lips.
"Do ya want me to strap on a Santa beard an’ start singing Christmas carols? Pretty sure I got some of those lyrics ingrained into my brain from all the Christmas shopping I did- at a reasonable time, I’d like to add." You caught up with him easily, laughing as you think about Atsumu belting along to ‘Baby It's Cold Outside’. "Or we could just go straight to the three ho's." he sneered, the smirk never leaving his lips for an instant.
"Ooookay, that's enough Christmas outta you," you spoke quickly, walking a bit faster than him so he couldn't see the color tinting your cheeks.
"Do you think your brother would like this?" you ask the bleach blonde man to your side, holding up a book on guitars through the ages.
"He doesn't play guitar." You whined out in response, placing the book back on the shelf.
"I know, but there's nothing else here for him!" So far, you'd only gotten gifts for the women in your life. They were just so much easier than guys. You'd dragged Atsumu through what felt like every store in the district and still were running empty on ideas. The constant Christmas music was enough to make you want to bang your head against the wall and Atsumu seemed to be in an equally sour mood.
"Then don't get him anything. Brat doesn't deserve a damn thing, anyway," Atsumu grumbled, looking around the store. His arms were crossed under his chest, refusing to meet your gaze.
"But he's such a good friend to me," you whined again, rubbing your forehead. "I think I know what I want to get for Bokuto and Hinata, come on," you encouraged, pulling on his sleeve. Atsumu's arm moved quickly out of your grasp, causing you to raise your eyebrows and suck your lips in. Great, now you'd pissed him off. Honestly? Maybe he should just leave if he was so miserable. Besides, that way, you could get his gift. You knew weeks ago what you wanted to get for him. Regardless, you ended up just walking out of the store and hoping he'd follow. You felt a wind chill immediately after exiting the door and instantly regretted wearing only a thin long sleeve shirt.
After tugging the sleeves down as far as they would go, you braced yourself to start walking through the icy breeze, intent on getting to that stationary shop sooner rather than later. Before you could get too far, you felt something warm cascading around your shoulders. Something very warm, actually. You reached up and felt the rough fabric of Atsumu's flannel covering your torso. You looked up instantly, eyes narrowing seeing him in only his tank top. You moved to take it off and pitch a fit about him getting sick when he placed a hand on yours to stop you.
"I run hot. Keep it." Any fight you held inside died when you saw the flash of a caring smile for a nanosecond before the stone cold expression slid back over his face and he looked away. You slid your arms into the coat, cherishing its warmth.
“‘Tsumu, you’re s-”
"Someone's caught under the mistletoe!" Oh no. Oh no, you'd wandered into the photography tent while you weren't paying attention. They were relentless any time you stopped by this particular strip mall and they wouldn't let you go without taking your picture. And now? now they had brought mistletoe into it. The man with the Polaroid camera stood there, mistletoe attached to what appeared to be a cat toy, holding it above your and Atsumu's heads. You were mortified, eyes widening and color draining from your face.
"Nope, all good!' you spoke cheerily, trying to grab Atsumu and run, but he wouldn't budge. "’Tsumu!" you hissed, pulling harder. Atsumu was cracking up, not even trying to cover it with his hand.
"Come on, lovebirds. Everyone wants to see it! Isn't that right?!" The photographer yelled the last part, getting applause from passersby who had no idea what was happening. You groaned loudly, putting your head in your hands. There was no way this was happening- this wasn't happening. "Come on, it's a free picture!"
"Yeah, it's a free picture, cupcake." Sarcasm dripped off the last word from Atsumu's mouth, causing you to shoot him a death glare.
"Let's get this over with," you grumbled, agreeing to the humiliation as long as it ended soon. The photographer grinned- pleased with himself- while he got ready.
"Go ahead!” he encouraged. You shut your eyes and tilted your head upwards, ready for the obligatory peck that was about to grace your lips. What you weren't ready for was the feeling of Atsumu's warm hands grasping the sides of your face, pulling you in closer as he slammed his lips to yours desperately and deeply. A flash of blinding white light shone through your closed lids before they shot back open. You grabbed onto the front of his shirt, ready to shove him off, but lost your will somewhere along the way. There was no point trying to fight it- his lips felt so good against yours, so you relaxed and let him have his way with you until the photographer cleared his throat, making Atsumu pull back.
You were gasping for air, pressing your hand to your chest to steady your heart as the setter simply smirked and turned to the photographer. "I'll take the picture, please."
"I fucking hate you," you shot out, cursing him for being so damn dramatic all the time. Atsumu merely grinned, satisfied with himself as he slid the picture into your purse.
Christmas morning came and went uneventfully. You’d visited your family during the early hours, exchanged gifts with them, made a (relatively) successful breakfast, and you were back home by noon. It was nothing special, your family had always been brief when it came to holidays- everyone else had so many other events and dinners to attend, so you did yours early. And you were always sent home with flour on your pants and arms full of presents- so, really, it was a no lose situation.
You hadn't really thought the day's events over very well. It was all riding on Atsumu deciding to show up. You had texted him earlier in the day requesting that he come over, but you couldn’t blame him if he didn’t- and he hadn’t responded. Which, yes, made sense! It was Christmas! And that’s what you had to remind yourself of every time you glanced at the clock, or illuminated your phone screen to see no notifications. All you could do was get yourself pretty and hope. And that's what you did. An hour later, you were back on the couch, all dolled up, trying to remember the exact feeling of his lips on yours, praying that wasn’t the only time you’d get to feel them.
This was stupid. Why would he come visit you on Christmas day? You groaned at the tv while you gnawed on some popcorn- it was like the Hallmark movies were mocking you. And then you heard the melodious tune of footsteps stomping around in your entryway. Your entire expression brightened up as you bolted off the couch, launching yourself towards the door as it opened.
‘I swear I'm more than just broken promises.’
"Atsumu?" you called, watching him shake the snow off his boots before he came in. His head turned up, pausing his movements, and gave you a wide smirk.
“Hey, ya called for a handsome olympic setter? Sorry ‘m a little late, couldn’t get ‘Samu to leave me alone.” You squealed, ignoring how he talked about his brother, throwing your arms around him and pulling him tight. He was a little taken aback, hesitating a bit before wrapping his arms around you in return, ruffling your hair. “Ya miss me that bad?”
What were you gonna do, lie? “Yeah, that’s why I invited you over, stupid.” You pulled back, slapping his arm lightly before pulling him into your room and tossing him onto your bed. You were elated as you grabbed his presents from your desk, jutting them out in front of him. "Merry Christmas!"
"Aw, darlin’, you shouldn't have. All I got you was this," he spoke sarcastically, tossing a clumsily wrapped parcel in your direction. You held it tightly, placing Atsumu's presents on his lap.
"You first, okay?" You couldn't believe how truly happy you were in this moment- your heart had lept into your throat and butterflies made out of pure anxiety were swarming in your stomach. Atsumu shrugged, playing his part well as he unwrapped both boxes. "Okay, so that's a few new shirts for when we hang out, ones without stains, rips, bleach spots, or anything else embarrassing so I can actually be seen with you," you explain, causing Atsumu to smirk.
"Those shirts tell a story, one I wrote with you, too. Don’t knock ‘em, ain’t nothin’ wrong with ‘em." He tapped the side of your head for you before holding up the smaller box. "And these?" You grinned widely. These were your favorite.
"It’s a manicure set! Goats milk hand cream, some real strong files, moisturizing gloves...right up your alley...right?" You asked, anxiety flooding you as you pondered if he even liked his gifts.
"Anything's possible," he commented, making your grin reappear. You knew him well enough to know that meant he liked them. "Alright now, cupcake, yer turn." He motioned to the gift you held in your hands.
‘Decorations can change- like tinsel and ribbons.’
You tore into the paper, not bothering to save it (if it was ever salvageable, that is.). Hidden inside was a red flannel, identical to the one Atsumu owned. You looked up at him, trying to hide your excitement.
"You wanna match now or what?"
"I just don't need ya taking mine when you get cold, alright?" He looked away, playing the role of a 'cool, unreachable, and unemotional guy' perfectly. You roll your eyes, pulling it out completely to see it. Once the soft fabric was unfurled, something tumbled out from inside. Mistletoe landed at your toes, causing your eyes to roll and sarcastic laughter to tumble from your lips. "Oh ha ha, very fun-" Your words were cut off by a kiss- one of the same caliber that you had experienced last week, but much more private- only for you.
‘So do not open 'til you've got forever to spend with me on a fool's holiday.’
You responded quickly, your lips pressing back against his instinctively. Your arms wrapped around his neck as his hands found your hips, pulling you forward so you were practically sitting on his lap. He broke away only to leave several more open-mouthed kisses across your jaw and down your neck, leaving you pulling at the strands of hair closest to the back of his neck, the soft waves squished in your fists. He finally pulled back, looking you in the eyes- his own darker than normal. You stared back at him, gasping for breath but not daring to leave your position.
Atsumu's eyes focused on something behind you and then back to you, the corners of his mouth turning up. " already put the picture up, huh?"
You deadpanned, removing your hands from around his neck. "You have red lipstick all over your face," you shot, standing up weakly. “Now get up, we’re going to deliver Osamu’s present.”
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royallyprincesslilly · 11 months ago
Title: Pine-ing For You {One-Shot}
Chris Evans x Reader
Warning: Mild Cursing, Fluff, Cheesy Christmas Stuff
Words: 3.1k
Summary: Chris Evans + Christmas Trees + Christmas Time = Cheesy Christmas story. End Of summary. 
As always, thank you everyone for reading. I appreciate each and every one of you. ❤️❤️
If you enjoyed this, please, LIKE, COMMENT, REBLOG!!!  ❤️❤️
***Loosely Edited/Proofread***
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 “No, I’m supposed to go pick out a Christmas tree,” you informed your mother over your FaceTime call.
 “Finally? Mom, it literally just turned December.”
 “Honey, we had the tree up the day after Thanksgiving,” your mother pressed.
 It was true. Your family loved Christmas and New Year’s time. It was nauseating. Every time you went over to the house throughout December, it looked like Santa, Mrs. Clause, and Jack Frost threw up all over the house. You weren’t a scrooge shouting bahumbug, but you definitely weren’t one of Santa’s elves either. You were usually somewhere in the middle. This year found you leaning somewhere closer to Scrooge than Elf.
 It had been a tough year. Around this time last year, you were still in a relationship with your long-term boyfriend, Quincy, a relationship you saw going the long haul. You had no way of knowing that you’d find him in the closet literally at his holiday office party with your bosses. One was on her back on the floor getting a mouthful of Christmas cheer. While the other was standing in front of Quincy, letting him deck his balls with plenty of fa-la-la-la-la.  Just like that, in the blink of an eye, a two-year relationship had gone down the drain while finding out your boyfriend had been lying about who he was for years.
 To add insult to injury, those said bosses decided that they needed to cut their budget, which meant you had to go while Quincy stayed. So, you’d lost your man and your job. You would have had a mental breakdown if it weren’t for your family’s incessant check-ins and your friends’ wellness check that came every other day like clockwork. One particular friend who had been there for you way more than he had to was Chris.
 The year had been a slow one for him because he decided to take some time off after his contract with Marvel was up. That meant he was in Boston a lot and that usually meant he was around for family gatherings, friend get-togethers, dinner outings, club-hopping, walks in the park, and a multitude of other things. He was the one to drag you out to do things. The one who forced you to get some exercise in because exercise releases endorphins, and endorphins make you happy. His preferred way to release endorphins was walking among the maple, Eastern White Pine, and Black Oak trees. The man was obsessed with nature, and your thighs and ass thanked him for it, but your sleep schedule hated him all the same.
 Today found you grumpy, but it wasn’t because of the ungodly hour of ten in the morning but because it was ten in the morning and the activities for the day. You’d been thinking of ways to get out of the day since you opened your eyes. Still, you hadn’t come up with anything that would fly. The man was persistent in many things, and Christmas was one of them.
 A message came in, and you rolled your eyes when you saw who it was from.
 MSG Chris: Come on, up, and at ’em. We’ve got trees to see and ornaments to get.
 You released a disgusted scoff.
 “What’s wrong?”
 “Why is he always so damn happy at Christmas time?”
 Your mother began laughing. “Do you remember that one Christmas, he insisted on making a wreath birdhouse so the birds could get in the holiday spirit?”
 Laughing, you reminisced on the memory. He’d worked tirelessly for four hours in the back yard of your parent’s house, gathering the branches from spruce trees that he could twist and mold into a wreathlike creation that resembled a terrifyingly hideous nest that you’d expect to see in an Edgar Allen Poe story.
 “It was so bad,” you added.
 “It was, but he was adorable trying to do it. You could stand to have a man like that in your life.”
 Groaning, you instantly stopped smiling. “Mom!”
 “What!? How long do you plan on staying single? Yeah, things didn’t work out with Quincy, and it was a shit thing he did keeping those secrets from you, so you didn’t know what he was getting into. I get you feel betrayed and once bitten twice shy, but honey, it’s been a year,” your mother ranted.
 “Mom, you act like I haven’t dated. I go on dates.”
 She snorted and rolled her eyes as sassily as you had moments before.
 “Y/N, in thirteen months, you’ve gone on four dates. That is abysmal.”
 Crossing your arms, you leaned back on the couch, pouting like the last born you were. “Excuse me. I’m sorry we all can’t be darling dating Darlene who flitters to every flower sampling pollen.”
 “Y/N, shame on you.”
 You kissed your teeth and knew she was right. You loved your sister and was all for her dating habits. She knew what she wanted and what she didn’t and had no problem tirelessly searching for it. You, on the other hand, were the polar opposite. You’d been wrestling with many demons the last year, which made dating your absolute last priority.
 The ring of your bell brought your attention back to the reality of the day.
 “All I’m asking is don’t count anyone out. You’re still young, don’t lock away that beautiful heart,” your mother advised with a loving smile on her face.
 “Thanks, mom. I’ll talk to you later.”
 After ending the call, you did your best to shake off the emotions her words had brought up. When you opened the door, there stood Chris with a bright smile on his face in a dark plaid printed jacket with light wool at the lapels, his trusted NASA hat, a black shirt that was tucked into his dark washed jeans.
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“Who’s ready to get their Christmas tree so they can stop being a disgrace?”
 The sing-song tone did not amuse you. Quickly sensing that, he held out one of the coffee cups he was holding.
 “Hot chocolate just the way you like it with white chocolate shavings, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and a dash of nutmeg.”
 Taking it, you turned from him and walked to the nearby closet for your jacket.
 “What’s wrong with you?”
 “Nothing. I’m fine,” you said as you slipped on your coat, making him hold the cup so you could.
 “You’re lying, but you’ll tell me,” Chris said, taking a sip from his cup.
 You knew it was hot chocolate with peppermint inside. He was that predictable.
 “Let’s get this over with.”
 The drive to the mall was barely thirty minutes. While driving, the conversation circled around a few things Chris wanted to do during the day. First, you’d get the ornaments and decorations for the tree; then, you’d make a stop for an early lunch, making the Christmas Tree farm the last stop before heading back to your place to decorate it. Chris knew that if he left you with the tree and the ornaments that you wouldn’t do it on your own. They would sit there for weeks.
 As you walked around the store canvasing the many different colors, styles, and materials of ornaments, Chris, the big child he was, had three different colored tinsel wrapped around his neck, a giant red Rudolph nose, and Santa sunglasses. The man was a dork—an adorable dork—adorkable.
 “So what color scheme do you want to go with this year?”
 Once he asked the question, your eye caught an already put together Christmas tree that was decorated to the nines with red and gold ornaments, and you beelined to it.
 “Oh my god, let’s just get this.”
 When you looked back at Chris, he looked like he’d been shot, and you were holding the weapon still.
 Several eyes roamed to him, drawing even more attention to himself. Shaking your head, you rolled your eyes at his dramatics.
 “Never in hell will I get a fake tree.”
 “Good thing it’s my money getting it,” you replied.
 “Y/N, come on. A fake tree? The best part about Christmas is the scent of the pine through your house. It sets the mood at nights.”
 Snorting, you walked around the tree, admiring it more.
 “What mood?”
 “Oh, come on. You’ve seen the Christmas movies…you know what kind of mood, the cozy, cuddly, feel good, lovey booed up mood,” he explained.
 From behind the tree, you scoffed. “Chris, why would I need to set that mood or any?”
 Your eyes met, and he looked like he had so much to say. He came a little closer to the tree and your face.
 “It’s never too—late,” Chris stuttered. Part of you felt exposed, so you shrugged it off.
 “Still not a good enough reason to not get a fake tree.”
 Chris cringed then sighed out. “Look, just do things my way this Christmas, and next Christmas, I’ll gladly listen to your debate.”
 “Must you always get your way, Christopher?”
 “On everything Christmas, yes.”
 Groaning while stamping your feet, you rolled your eyes. “You’re insufferable.”
 Chris came around with a chuckle and pulled you into an annoying big brother hug. “Almost as insufferable as you. come on, the later we get to the tree farm, the worse the selections.”
 With that, he was off to search for the perfect ornaments. Halfway through roaming the aisles, you found a smidge of holiday spirit and managed to pull together a color scheme for the tree and narrow it down to two themes you thought worked well together. A few hundred dollars, a multitude of bags, and an hour and a half later, you were in the middle of lunch.
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“So what you said in the store,” Chris hesitantly began after a bite of his salmon salad. “you know it doesn’t have to be that way.”
 You sighed, then took a sip of your Arnold palmer. “Of course, it does.”
 “Because I literally turned my ex gay. It took being with me to realize he was gay. What does that say about me?”
 “That didn’t have a thing to do with you. I thought you’d gotten that by now. Quincy---he just-.”
 “Dodged a bullet?”
 “Never deserved you, and that’s on everything,” Chris filled in.
 You were stunned and could only just stare at him. It could have been seconds that passed or minutes. All you know was that your eyes never left one another.
 A familiar voice had you turning to your right, and as if he’d heard his ears ringing, there stood Quincy.
 “Uh—um---,” you stammered.
 “Hi, how are you?”
 The loud screech of wood against stone echoed in the restaurant as Chris slid himself closer to you before wrapping his arm around your shoulder to pull you close.
 “She’s great. Isn’t that right?” Not missing a beat, Chris pressed his lips to your cheek. The unexpected butterflies caught you all the way off guard.
 “Oh, hey there, Chris.”
 “Um—I’ve been meaning to call you, Y/N. it just never seemed—I didn’t know--.”
 The two of you stared at one another for a few moments before your ex-boss came up beside Quincy to wrap her arm around his waist.
 “Oh—Y/N. What a surprise. How are you?”
 You were stunned, speechless that’s how you were. Chris must have sensed it because his lips were again kissing your cheek before he went to your ear.
 “Follow my lead. Pretend I just said something funny.”
 When he finished speaking, he kissed your ear and dropped a kiss right below your earlobe at your neck. It was such an unusual place to kiss, a place you’d never been kissed before.  He then laughed, a laugh you felt you should have followed, but you were too shocked to do anything. Chris nodded, looked to the additions in front of them.
 “Wow, you’re Chris Evans. Oh my god, I’m such a huge fan,” your ex-boss Natalie exclaimed.
 “Oh yeah? Are you as huge a fan of mine as you are to sleeping with other women’s boyfriends then firing them to lessen the competition and chances for her to file a lawsuit?”
 The smile on Natalie’s face dropped, and it was replaced with a look of shame that mirrored the one on Quincy’s face. You couldn’t believe he’d said that. Looking at him, you knew he was not in the mood for fakeness.
 “Y/N,” Quincy began before Chris held his hand up, stopping any further words.
 “It’s cool, bro. I should probably be happy you showed your true colors. You know what they say about one man’s unclaimed buried treasure turning out to be the find of a lifetime for another.” Chris’s eyes landed on you. They were soft and expressive, and when he kissed the tip of your nose, you literally could have melted.
 “Oh, so you two--,” Quincy bitterly began before he paused and scoffed. “I always knew there was something about the way you looked at her. You stared at her a little too long to just be her friend. You were lying in the cut,” Quincy accused.
 “And you were just lying,” Chris spat out before he reached into his jacket pocket for his wallet. He then dropped four hundred-dollar bills onto the table and stood.
 “If you’ll excuse us, we still have plenty of errands to run for the house.” Chris held out your jacket for you allowing you to slip your arms into it before he wrapped his arm around your waist to walk away.
 “Ho-ho-ho, happy holidays,” he chimed in as he slipped by them, leading you to the exit.
 Once outside, you glanced back to Quincy who had an angry, sick look on his face, but it was nothing compared to Natalie’s jealous, bitter look. A strange urge filled you, and before you could stop yourself, you slid your hand down Chris’s back to rest it right on top of his ass before turning back around.
 The drive to the Christmas tree farm was about twenty minutes longer than it should have been, thanks to holiday traffic. You didn’t mind because it gave you more time to think about what had just happened. As you drove, neither of you spoke. You could tell he was dying to say something, but his silence won out. You were thinking heavily, but it wasn’t about your ass of an ex or the woman with him. You were obsessing over the feel of Chris’s lips on your neck and the feel of his ass.
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When Chris pulled up to the farm, you walked through row after row, trying to find the perfect tree. You’d passed plenty that looked good enough, but every single one that you pointed at, Chris shook his head and said you could do better. After thirty minutes, you were tired of looking. All the trees were beginning to look alike, and they all sure smelled alike.
 “I’m sorry about that back there. I’ve just—I’ve always hated that asshole.”
 Snapping your head to him, your shock shone through.
 “What!? You hated Quincy? How? You always seemed like you liked him. You went to those Patriots games, and he took you to those Celtics games.”
 Chris rolled his eyes. “I did that for you. I knew how important it was for you that we got alone so--.”
 Your jaw dropped. “You lied.”
 Chris bobbed his head from side to side. “Lied is a strong word. I faked it.”
 Your snort was loud, and so was your laughter that followed. You couldn’t believe it. This entire time you thought he and Quincy were friends.
 “I’m sorry. I’ve always thought he was a pompous show-off who thought he was more important than he was. I hate people like that.”
 “Oh my god. He was. Uugh. Wow, I can’t believe I thought everything was cool.”
 Silence filled the space between you as you turned down an abandoned row of trees.
 “So—what he said back there about you lying in the cut. Was that his own bullshit?”
 Chris didn’t answer right away. He stayed quiet so long you wondered if he would answer at all. Before he could turn down another aisle, you grabbed his hand and pulled him back to you.
 Your eyes met, and you took notice of how close his body was to yours.  you knew he had too. “Are you asking me if I’ve been pining for you all this time?” His voice was impossibly deep and low.
 “Have…have you?”
 The way he looked at you had your heart racing and breathing changing. He didn’t speak; instead, he walked away around another corner. Holy shit, you thought as you tried to get your breathing under control. When you met him, he was three aisles over, staring at a tree.
 “See. I told you we’d find the right one. You can’t rush these things. It happens when it happens, and when it happens, it was when it was supposed to happen,” Chris softly said.
 You stared at it, slowly inspecting it.
 “I’ve always pined for you.”
 It was so low you almost missed it—almost. When you turned to him, Chris was already watching you.
 “Get it, pine-ing, the tree is a pine tree.”
 His smile slowly spread across his face until you scoffed and shook your head.
 “You’re such a dork.”
 Chris shrugged, then closed the space between you. You had no idea what to say. There was plenty to be said, but none of it seemed like it mattered.
 “I’ve always had feelings for you, Y/N.”
 This was probably what every woman on the planet wanted to hear him say. Any other woman would have been in his arms and had their tongue down his throat by now.
 “I don’t—What do I—how---oh my god, Chris.
 “Have you been pining for me too?”
 It was a flat-out question. The answer wasn’t a difficult one, especially if you were honest with yourself.
 Nodding your head, you replied. “I have.”
 His smile was the biggest you’d ever seen, and that goofy smile had you giggling. The two of you stood there giggling together like kids.
 “Oh my god, where does that leave us?”
 Chris looked to think about it for a few moments before he shrugged, then took your hands.
 “We have all of December to find out.”
It was the perfect answer for the moment, and though it had been a long day, neither of you made any attempts to move. You just stood there, pine-ing for each other.
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jayeray-hq · 11 months ago
Tangled and Entwined
This is my NSFW Secret Santa piece for @candychronicles​ from the Haikyuu Headquarters server! Hello! We haven’t really interacted much, but I hope you enjoy this! I wasn’t entirely sure what you liked, hopefully it’s okay!
Want More Terushima? Check out my Character Masterlist!
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Thanks again to the wonderful Tay @deathcab4daddy​ I really bombarded you with a lot of words, but you were amazing as usual! 😊💖
Warnings: 18+ minors dni! smut and fluff, bondage, slightly submissive Terushima, making out, grinding, female reader, biting, cunnilingus, teasing, blowjobs, edging, overstimulation, slight anal fingering (male), unprotected sex, creampie
5.1K words
It had started out innocently enough. It was your first holiday living together, and Terushima had insisted on going all out, making cookies, playing Christmas music, and decorating to celebrate. He’d dove into things so enthusiastically that you hadn’t had the heart to say no, and had been swept along by the tide of his holiday cheer.
You’d been in the kitchen working on icing a batch of cookies when an enormous crash and a string of swear words reached your ears. More than a bit concerned, you’d set your things down and made your way to the living room where your boyfriend was supposed to be decorating the tree.
             “Teru’?” you called a little confused as you entered the room only to find it completely empty of your energetic boyfriend, who’d been bouncing around the house like an overly energetic puppy all morning, belting out song lyrics at the top of his lungs, “Yuuji, where are you?”
             “Here,” he answered, his voice tinged with an unhappy note that let you know even before you rounded the couch that he was pouting, and the sight that met your eyes told you exactly why that was. Somehow, someway, your boyfriend had gotten himself completely tangled up in an extremely long strand of lights, which were wrapped tight around his torso, trapping one of his arms to his side and the other above his head, one of his legs was also thoroughly tangled the lights looped several times around his thigh and calf.
             “Having a little trouble?” you asked, trying desperately to hold back the laughter that was threatening to burst from your lips at the sight of him.
             “It’s not funny,” he grumbled twitching slightly, clearly trying to free himself from his predicament, but failing, reminding you a bit of a fish caught in a net.
             It had taken all your willpower to hold back, but you simply couldn’t any more. Laughter burst from your lips as you clung desperately to the furniture to keep yourself upright. You weren’t ever going to let him live this down. Luckily, your boyfriend had always been the good-natured type and eventually managed to smile back at you despite his predicament, clearly amused by your reaction.
 He even let you snap several pictures of him on your phone without complaint, sticking his tongue out to show off the green metal tongue piercing he’d put in specifically for Christmas. He’d insisted it was his own way of showing holiday spirit, though personally you were pretty sure he’d just thought it had looked cool and bought it on impulse.
 “Alright, kitty, you’ve had your fun,” he told you with a playful pout on his lips, “Now help me out, would you?”
 “Okay, okay,” you conceded with a smile, leaning down to press a light peck to his lips.
 As per usual, when you went to kiss Terushima, he wasn’t about to let you get away with a simple peck, his lips chasing after yours, the warmth of his mouth too sweet and enticing to resist. He tasted like peppermint and chocolate, likely from the hot cocoa he’d been drinking earlier, and you couldn’t seem to resist.
 His lips curled beneath yours in a pleased smile, as you brought one of your hands up to gently cup his face, deepening the kiss, and holding him to you as your other hand supported his neck, fingertips brushing over the soft fuzz of his undercut at the nape of his heck.
 His mouth opened eagerly under yours, happy to welcome you, skilled tongue darting out to lick its way into yours, the hot, wet appendage stroking over yours. The feel of the metal ball of his tongue piercing was familiar by now, unlike the first few times you’d kissed like this and it had taken you by surprise, but the sensation never failed to make you shiver in anticipatory pleasure.
 Each swipe of his skilled tongue against yours sent small spikes of arousal through you, and you hummed in pleasure against his mouth. When you finally parted from him, you were utterly breathless as you panted against him.
 “Naughty,” you scolded a little breathless as you peered into his eyes, forehead resting against his.
 “You love it, kitty,” he insisted a smug grin on his lips, a little breathless himself.
 You hummed in agreement, and shifted so that you were straddling his body, your hips automatically moving to his, and finding a very clear indication of how much he too had been enjoying things. Not that it was difficult, your boyfriend was always eager for you, the day Terushima Yuuji said no to sex would be the day pigs flew.
 “You love it too,” you countered, grinding your hips down on him for emphasis, earning a low, raspy moan of pleasure, from your boyfriend, his whole body jolting as he tried to reach for you, but failed, too tangled in the Christmas lights to move.
 “Never denied it,” he told you with his signature tongue lolling grin, the kind meant to show off the tongue piercing he was still stupidly proud of even all these years later, “So why don’t you help me get untangled and I’ll show you just how much I loved it.”
 You glanced at him, considering, your eyes roaming over him as you sat up so you could see him properly. There was something about him like this that was incredibly appealing. The bright red band t-shirt he’d worn to decorate had risen part way up his chest and was stuck there, exposing the nicely chiseled abs he fastidiously maintained, and the muscles in the arm trapped above his head were taut and straining slightly against the wires. His dark jeans had slipped low on his hips, exposing the nice V cut of his hips, and the dark green elastic of his underwear, and the dark treasure trail that led from his belly button and disappeared enticingly into his pants.
 “Hmm, no,” you eventually told him, after returning your gaze to his, earning a surprised stutter from your boyfriend, the smug look slipping off his face, leaving sputtering confusion in its wake.
 “No?” he asked utterly baffled, “But kitty…?!”
 “No,” you repeated firmly, untangling his arm from where it had been crushed against his side just enough so that it could be lifted above his head, then looping the lights around both his wrists for good measure to keep him pinned there, grinding your hips down on his erection, savoring the way the seam of his jeans rubbed right up against your clit through the thin leggings you were wearing.
 “Stay still, Yuuji,” you warned teasingly, unable to help the smug grin on your lips as your boyfriend watched you with unabashed awe and desire on his face, “Be extra nice for me, and I’ll give you an early gift.”
 “I’ll be good,” he swore vehemently, an excited grin splitting his face, “I’ll be so good!”
 “You’d better,” you told him, leaning down to capture his lips in a heated kiss, one he responded to eagerly, his mouth opening easily, hot, wet, and fervent as you pressed a series of open-mouthed kisses on him before trailing up his jaw kissing and nipping at the skin as you went.
 You moved your hips against him in a slow rhythm, enjoying the feeling of him between your legs. He was loud as usual, moaning unashamedly and doing his best to thrust up beneath you undulating and writhing in a way you couldn’t help but find extremely sexy.
 “Fuck, fuck, fuck,” he grunted, breathless and eager, as you nipped at the skin of his neck, kissing, licking and suckling at it. Normally, you were fairly careful about leaving marks on him, mostly for your own sake. He didn’t care a single bit about it, and was happy to show any hickies you gave him off to the world. He’d even brag about them if he got the opportunity, but you were a little more circumspect.
 It meant you had to be the one to control yourself usually for both your sakes and your own dignity, but seeing how close it was to Christmas, you couldn’t bring yourself to care. Instead you marked him up thoroughly, tossing caution to the wind as you nipped at the skin at the junction of his neck right where the collar of his t-shirt hit, pulling it back, stretching the fabric to give you better access to his skin.
 “Whoa, kitty, you really like this, huh?” your boyfriend asked even as he panted for breath unable to help teasing you despite how helpless he was, “Me, bound and helpless for you?”
 You bit down hard in response, not enough to pierce the skin, but enough to be slightly painful, earning a garbled shout of surprise, his hips automatically bucking into yours, and a deep desperate groan escaping his lips. You smirked into his neck even as you laved over the nice bite mark you’d left on his skin, one that would no doubt leave a deep bruise. You’d known from the beginning that Terushima liked a little pain along with his pleasure every once in a while. You just hadn’t realized quite how much he liked it before.
             “What did I say about being naughty, Yuuji,” you purred teasingly into his ear, nipping lightly at the lobe and teasing the piercings with your tongue, “Be nice for me now.”
             “Fuck yes, kitty,” he groaned in response.
             You hummed in pleasure and sat back, grinding down on him again and earning a whimpered moan as you pulled the oversized sweater you’d been wearing up over your head and tossed it to the side. The way he looked at you never failed to make you feel sexy and appreciated. Terushima wasn’t the kind of guy who held back, and his chocolate colored eyes were dark with desire as he let them roam over your exposed torso.
             In turn you carefully hiked his shirt up, pulling it through the strings of lights wrapped taught over his chest so that it was bunched over his collar bones, admiring the way the soft white lights lit his peach colored skin, framing each ridge and dip of his chiseled muscle and caught on the glinting metal that framed his dusky brown nipples.
             You leaned forward unable to help yourself, determined to mark him up just as thoroughly here as you’d done to his neck. One of your hands automatically moved up to gently tug at the piercing through his left nipple, playing with the little metal balls and teasing the tip with the pad of your thumb, hoping to coax some more noise from him.
             He eagerly obliged, curses and moans escaping his lips as he wriggled against his bonds, each sound sending bolts of heat through you making you grind helplessly into him. Your panties were damp between your thighs, no doubt soaked with your desire for him.
             “Like that?” you teased, nipping at the taught skin of his chest and flicking your tongue playfully over his other nipple, rolling the little balls around and enjoying the weight and feel of it as you sucked it into your mouth.
             “Fuck yeah kitty, you know I do,” he panted, his hips jolting and bucking helplessly with every nip and flick of your tongue, seeking friction between your thighs. The flush of his skin, and the breathless way he spoke making you feel utterly electric. Your own body flush with desire and arousal slick between your thighs.
             “Then why don’t you show me?” you asked, your eyes catching on the glinting metal of his tongue as he spoke, desire to have the talented appendage between your thighs coursing through you. You wriggled your leggings and underwear down off your hips, and kicking them away as he grinned at you, clearly picking up on what you wanted.
             “Hell yeah, pretty kitty, come up here and let me show you just how nice I can be,” he ordered, a self-assured smirk on his face as he waggled his tongue at you teasingly, still utterly cocky despite the fact that he was tied up and helpless.
             Still, he wouldn’t be Terushima without the attitude, and you had to admit even if it did drive you crazy at times, other times you found it incredibly attractive. This was one of those times, even if you did roll your eyes at him first, unable to help the amused smile that tugged your lips upwards even as you crawled up his body.
             You hovered over his face hesitantly for a moment, a little worried about smothering him. Normally when you did this his hands were free, and he was the one holding you down. He’d normally dig his hands into your thighs and press his face as close as he could get to you and use his talented tongue to make you cum over and over again until you were a shaking mess of overstimulation.
             This time though his hands were a bit preoccupied and you had absolutely no intention of letting them free. Instead you slipped one of your hands into his and ordered, “Pinch me if you need me to get up.”
             “Yeah right whatever,” he agreed unbothered, “Now come here, kitty.”
             You rolled your eyes again at his careless demeanor but did as ordered, lowering yourself over his face, your thighs spread wide to accommodate the arms held above his head. You let out a choked moan as he immediately dove in. Terushima had always eaten you out like a man starved, desperate to taste you, eager for every little bit of arousal he could pull from you.
             It was always an incredible experience and he knew it too. The man was a god at oral sex, not that you’d ever tell him that lest his ego grow even larger than it already was. He used his tongue piercing with skill, letting you feel the contrast in texture as he traced it over your folds, and lapped at your hold, drinking in your essence.
             “Yuuji,” you groaned, shuddering above him your hips jolting in an aborted movement as he flicked his skilled tongue over your entrance, his nose nuzzling against your clit, doing your best to speak, well aware that he liked to hear you talk when he did this for you, “Feels good, just like that for me, baby.”
             He speared his tongue into you, the sensation making you shake and writhe above him, a litany of moans escaping your lips as you praised him, “Your tongue is so amazing Yuuji, fuck, so good, so good.”
             He sucked and slurped at your folds, the sounds he was making utterly obscene, as he moaned into you, clearly enjoying it just as much as you were. Your hips were making tiny helpless thrusts against his face, seeking more as he ate you out thoroughly enough to make your thighs quake with desire.
             The sensation of it all was too much and quickly sent you tipping over the edge, your orgasm crashing through you, making you glad you had hold of him to ground yourself. He continued to lick and suck at you through it, not letting up for even a second making you whimper as you fought to get your shaking thighs to cooperate so you could pull yourself away.
             “Hey no come back, kitty. I wasn’t done,” he whined unhappily, lifting his head to try to chase you but unable to his arms jerking in a belated movement, clearly trying to grab hold of you.
             “Don’t you want your reward for being so nice to me, Yuuji?” you asked him, a little breathless as you shuffled back and away.
             “I was getting my reward already,” he informed you looking more than a bit smug, his face shiny from your release, “So come back here.”
             “I don’t think so,” you told him with a wry grin. Honestly, you should’ve known he’d say something like that, the cocky little jerk that he was. Still you weren’t about to let him have his way, he was the one tied up, you were the one meant to have your way with him.
             You didn’t give him a chance to protest as you slipped further down so you were straddling his thighs, palming the prominent bulge you found there, and earning a low groan from your sexy boyfriend. It took seconds to undo the belt he was wearing and flick open the button and zipper.
             “Really, Yuuji?” you asked, as you smiled a little in helpless amusement at the boxers he was wearing, which were a dark green and covered in little candy canes and Santa faces.
             “Santa is a sexy man,” he informed you with a teasing grin, completely unashamed, “And so am I.”
             “If you say so,” you agreed with a giggle, tugging his jeans and boxers down. They couldn’t go far because of the string of lights wrapped tight around one of his thighs, but far enough that you could free his erection, which sprang free, resting hard, flushed, and eager against his muscled abdomen.
             “Mm, I guess you are pretty sexy,” you conceded running your hands over his muscled thighs, enjoying the way the muscle flexed under your palms and the way his cock twitched in interest as you traced your thumbs over the sensitive skin on his inner thighs.
             “Fuck yeah I am,” he told you with a smug grin, one that made you want to wipe that cocky expression right off his face. You knew just now to do it too.
             Slowly you leaned down and began to kiss at his thighs, one of your hands reaching up to smooth over the firm muscle of his abs, and the other holding his hips in place. You worked slowly, laving your tongue over the muscle, kissing and nipping, enjoying the way they twitched and jumped with every sharp sensation.
             Your thumb traced circles on his hipbone as his cock twitched helplessly against his belly, the flushed tip smearing precum all over him. You refused to touch it, instead lowering your hand to gently squeeze his full sack, rolling it in your hand, massaging the heavy balls.
             Above you, Terushima was getting loud again, a string of curses leaving his lips in between low moans as your hand slipped lower. You teased the sensitive skin of his perineum with the tip of your index finger, making his hips jolt in pleasure, a surprised whine leaving his lips, the sound making you throb with desire.
             You carefully traced the sensitive pucker of his ass with your finger, pressing on it, teasing just the tip into his entrance, only your firm grip on his hips keeping him from writhing under your ministrations. You found a spot on his thigh that you liked, one you knew would brush up against the inner seam of his jeans and nipped at it several times in succession, hoping to leave a nice thorough mark that would remind him of you every time he moved later.
             “Tease,” your boyfriend accused, the word lacking any sort of sting with how breathlessly he said it.
             “You deserve it,” you told him, lifting your head up so you could look him in the eye even as you continued to tease your finger around his sensitive rim. There was a definite flush to his cheeks, the sheen of sweat on his skin making his golden blond hair stick to his forehead.
             “I thought I was nice,” he protested, a quiet gasp escaping his lips as your hand left his pucker to tease his perineum again.
             “You were nice,” you agreed with a grin, your body humming with arousal from the power you had over him, and the beautiful way he was responding to your every movement, “But then you were naughty right after.”
             “I wasn’t nngh!” he cut off with a groan of helpless pleasure as you finally wrapped your hand around the base of his desperate cock and slowly began to pump him, in long slow strokes.
             “You were,” you corrected, a little entranced with the sounds he made as you swiped your thumb over the sensitive head, gathering the moisture there and using it to help ease the passage of your hand over him, “But that’s okay, because I know exactly what to do with naughty boys.”
             “Oh yeah?” your boyfriend asked, the words probably meant to sound self-assured but coming out eager and breathy with desire instead.
             “Uh-huh,” you agreed, dipping your head to lick a long stripe along the sensitive underside of his cock, making his hips buck helplessly into the air, a shuddering gasp escaping his lips.
             You teased your tongue over the mushroomed head, exploring the sensitive ridge there, savoring the taste of him and the heavy feeling of him on your tongue as you sucked the tip into your mouth. He moaned above you as you continued to work him over, doing all the things you knew he loved, gently grazing your teeth over him, the feel of it making him shudder.
             You allowed yourself to drool all over him, peering up at him through your lashes and making pleased humming sounds around him as you took what you could into your mouth, your hand working the places where you couldn’t quite reach. His lips were parted as he panted for breath, his eyes locked on you, a fascinated awed look on his face that was utterly intent and flushed with desire.
             It was the same look he always gave you, as if he almost couldn’t believe that you’d do something like this for him, despite how eagerly he always went down on you. It made you even more eager to please him, because you knew, despite how utterly cocksure he acted, Terushima worshipped the ground you walked on.
 Experience meant you knew exactly when he was going to cum as you worked him up, only to pull back at the very last second making him whine unhappily as you removed your mouth, helpless confusion painting over his features. It was almost enough to make you feel bad, right up until you remembered the cocky look he’d worn not even five minutes prior and reminded yourself he definitely deserved this. Instead you slowly stroked your hand over him, not quite giving him enough stimulus to cum, but enough to keep him dancing close to the edge.
 “You look good like this, Yuuji,” you praised, well aware he had a bit of a praise kink, “all tied up for me, hard and needy.”
 “Kitty, kitty please,” he groaned, his cock flushed and weeping in your palms, hips shifting helplessly unable to move far because of the way he was tangled, seeking more friction.
 “Not yet, Yuuji,” you cooed at him, “Not yet, hold on for me, won’t you?”
 He groaned, low and deep as you slid up his chest, your hand still working him over, as you caught his lips in a messy kiss, one he eagerly dove into, clearly trying to distract himself from your teasing. You let him, enjoying the taste of yourself on his lips, one you were well accustomed to by now given how much he enjoyed eating you out.
 Threading your free hand through his hair, you tugged at it, knowing how much he enjoyed it as you allowed him to plunder your mouth. However, you didn’t let him distract you enough that you couldn’t tell when he got close to the edge again. You knew him too well for that, and instead pulled back again, leaving him untouched, his cock twitching desperately against his abs as he writhed searching for friction.
 A needy whine left his lips, the sound sending a bolt of heat through you. He was worked up and desperate, but the noises he was making were getting to you. You could feel an ache between your legs, your walls clenching around nothing, practically begging to be filled with your boyfriend’s thick cock.
 “Please,” he begged between kisses, completely unashamed at how desperate he sounded, brazen as ever even when he was needy, “please, please, please. I won’t be naughty this time. I’ll be nice!”
 “That’s what you always say,” you scolded lightly, even as you pulled away from his mouth, so you could resettle yourself over his hips giving in to both his need and your own. The two of you groaned in unison as you slowly sank down on his thick length, the feel of him inside you, stretching and filling you enough to make your breath catch in pleasure.
 “I mean it,” Terushima managed to gasp out as you began to slowly roll your hips, savoring the feel of him inside you, swiveling to ensure he hit all the right spots.
 “Then prove it, be nice for me now,” you challenged, “And don’t you dare cum until I do.”
 “Only if you let me see your tits, kitty,” he counter offered, breathlessly, brazen as ever.
 “I don’t think you’re really in a position to be making demands here,” you told him, amused at his audacity, purposefully clenching around him and earning a low moan of pleasure.
 “Please kitty?” he begged, dark eyes locked on yours, giving you the best pout, he could muster under the circumstances, “It’s Christmas, right? Season of giving?”
             You huffed at that, amused at the sheer cheek, but in the end, you caved, reaching around to undo your bra, and shrugging it off your shoulders, letting your breasts bounce free. Terushima’s eyes immediately went to them, tongue darting out, clearly desperate to taste you.
 Your hands immediately went up to them, figuring you might as well give him a show, squeezing and fondling them, in the way that felt best to you, pushing them up and together for him to see. Your fingers plucked at your nipples, teasing both him and yourself, your hips speeding up inadvertently, chasing your pleasure as you watched him watch you.
 His hips gave aborted, shallow thrusts, clearly desperately trying to match you and chase his own pleasure, making the muscles in this abdomen ripple and glisten in the light given off by the tiny bulbs on the string. Several red marks where the wire dug into his skin as he’d thrashed against his bonds had appeared crisscrossing his skin beautifully. His face was a mask of desire, want, and affection intertwined and clear for anyone to see.
 You honestly thought you’d never seen anything quite as appealing as he was in that moment, as you chased your pleasure, one of your hands sneaking down under his watchful gaze to toy with your clit as you rode him. The sight was clearly too much for your boyfriend, who you could clearly see was right on the edge. However, you were too worked up yourself to want to back down, instead pushing harder, chasing your own pleasure.
 You felt him begin to cum inside you, hot liquid splashing against your insides, but continued to ride him. Your own ending was close, though you purposefully pulled your hand away from your clit and your breasts, prolonging it as best you could.
 “T-too much, kitty, too much,” he whined at you, not that you were at all inclined to listen to him.
 “It’s your own fault, Yuuji,” you scolded breathlessly, “We had a deal, and you couldn’t keep up your end of it, which means you get to stay just like this until I cum.”
 “Fuck, fuck kitty, feels so good, it hurts, but it feels so good,” he moaned at you, his teeth digging into his bottom lip, eyes squeezed shut and his hands clenched into fists. His hips shifted as much as they could under you, though whether he was trying to meet you, or shrink away you couldn’t tell.
 “I know you like it, Yuuji,” you teased, “You think you can cum again for me?”
 Your challenge made his eyes pop open, staring at you in surprise as you reached forward, your nails digging into his chest, earning a broken moan from your boyfriend, whose cock twitched inside you at the sensation. You tugged lightly at his nipples, conscious not to yank as you played with the piercings, the pleasure making him whine.
 He felt so good inside you, thick and hard and perfect, curved just enough to brush along the front of your walls with every thrust. The sound of your hips on his was utterly obscene, the sound filling the room along with a litany of gasping breaths and moans, mingling in the air between the two of you, sending fissions of desire along your spine.
 Your own end was getting close, as you chased after it, your movements becoming slightly sloppy as you rode him desperately. Your back arched as you swiveled your hips in just the right way to push you over the edge, your walls clamping down hard on his cock, milking him for all he was worth. A choked moan left your throat, as you felt him begin to cum once more, your name spilling from his lips like a prayer as you collapsed on his chest.
 You lay there for several moments catching your breath but it wasn’t nearly as comfortable as it usually was and you couldn’t stay for long. Instead you pushed yourself back up, wincing slightly at the way the bulbs had dug into your skin. Terushima looked just as wrung out as you felt, still flushed and panting as he watched you with clear adoration in his eyes.
 You pressed a quick affectionate kiss to his lips, and slowly began to carefully untangle him from the lights, managing to free his wrists and arms, so he could help you with the rest. He had a few deep red lines across his skin from where the wires had dug in slightly when he thrashed, and his chest, neck and thighs were awash with the marks you’d left in your wake. He looked well and truly fucked, and from the smirk on his face, he knew it too.
 “Next time, you get to be the one tied up,” he managed to tease, a cocky grin on his face as he carefully helped you pull yourself off his softening cock, pulling his t-shirt up over his head and tossing it to you to help clean yourself up with, uncaring about the mess.
 “Fine by me,” you agreed, more than willing to switch and let him take care of you, “But not with the lights next time, as it is, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to look at them the same way ever again.”
 He grinned at you, completely recovered and utterly unashamed as he waggled his eyebrows and asked, “Then how do you feel about tinsel, kitty?”
134 notes · View notes
deangirl93 · 12 months ago
Life’s Lessons - Part 10
Title: Life’s Lessons - A Lesson in Love and Hope
Pairing: Mechanic!Dean x Female!Teacher!Reader
Other Characters: OFCs: Jill (Y/N’s sister), Evie and Mia (Y/N’s nieces), OMC: Brian (Y/N’s brother-in-law)
Word Count: 6,385 (notes in bold, thoughts, texts, song lyrics in italics). 
Part Summary: As Christmas time approaches, Y/N and Dean are sad they can’t spend this time together as she goes home to New York for the holidays. However, their Christmas presents to each other prove that they have a future together.
Warnings: Slight angst, brief mention of reader’s exes, Dean’s self-deprecation rears its ugly head (slightly), Dean being sweet (yes, that’s a warning), Fluff (yes, it’s true, you read that correctly lol)
Music: It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas by Jason Manns (Y/N at the airport scene), Let It Snow by Bing Crosby (playing in the background of Y/N and her sister girl talk scene), Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas by Jensen Ackles and Jason Manns (Christmas Eve scenes)
Life’s Lessons Spotify Playlist 
A/N: It’s a Christmas chapter! Yay! Great timing as it’s the first day of the holiday season! Thank you to everyone who has been reading and loving this series. I never thought it would get as much love as it has, and I’m so grateful to every single one of you! There’s only 5 parts and an epilogue left after this, I can’t believe we’re almost at the end, but there’s still quite a bit of story to tell. I’m so excited for you guys to see what happens! Happy reading and enjoy! :)
Life’s Lessons Masterlist
Dividers by the wonderful @firefly-graphics! Check her out for all your AU needs, and for festive themes!!!
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Y/N smiled as she watched the kids rushing out the front doors of the school. It was officially the end of the day and the start of the holidays. She pulled her coat a little tighter around herself, as she called out to some students to be careful on the sidewalk, as it had snowed overnight. It was December 22nd, and school had let out early. In a few short hours, she was flying out to New York to spend the holidays with her family. She was nervous about the weather and was praying that her flight wouldn’t be grounded. She was also nervous to be headed home but considering Ethan had made the permanent move to L.A. she doubted he would be there.
She went back into the school and quickly packed up her things. She said goodbye to all the teachers and to Chuck and walked out with Cas and Charlie.
“Alright, here” Charlie said, as she handed her a small present in the parking lot.
“Oh Charlie, thank you” Y/N smiled, as she took it and handed one over to her as well. Y/N opened the gift, smiling as she saw the earrings she wanted during a time when she and Charlie had gone shopping, but didn’t buy.
Charlie hugged her after opening hers, a beautiful scarf that had her favorite colors.
Cas and Y/N exchanged gifts too, a new tie, white with little books on it for him because “blue may be your color, but you can branch out” and a leather-bound journal for her.
“Merry Christmas” all three of them hugged and called out to each other before they drove home.
Y/N hurried to get home as she still had a few more things to pack before she left in the evening. She had messaged Mark a few days after the incident with him, telling him that it was really over and to never call her, ever again. So far, it seemed like he had gotten the message, having not tried to contact her at all in the last few weeks. She was incredibly thankful for that. She was also thankful that in that time, she and Dean had been hanging out a lot, too. It was all very innocent and simple, just watching movies and making dinner together, or ordering take-out if they didn’t feel like cooking, after they both finished work. After that first night when they slept in her bed, they hadn’t done more than that. She was beginning to wonder when Dean would ask her out, and whether she should just ask him. Though she knew that maybe they just needed a little more time.
When she got home, she unzipped her boots and walked around in socked feet. She picked her suitcase which was half packed already and put it on the bed. She started putting some clothes and shoes and other items that she would need, including a few last-minute presents for her nieces.
Once she was finally finished packing, Y/N got changed into the clothes she’d be wearing to travel. A loose, grey, high-neck sweater and dark grey scarf, black pants and her grey coat, and white sneakers to make it easier on her feet in the airport. She had her carry-on and check-in bags ready by the door, needing both for this trip as she had to carry so many presents with her. She couldn’t wait to see her family after so many months away from them.
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Dean shrugged on a thicker plaid shirt, wrapped a scarf around his neck and then his brown leather jacket. He picked up the rectangle shaped present he had wrapped horribly (he had never been good at that) and opened the front door, leaving the house and closing it.
He walked down the porch steps and across the path in his front yard, where he had cleared the snow off to the sides. He walked across the street and down the path of Y/N’s yard, which he had cleared for her, walking up her porch steps. He stood in front of the door and let out a big breath, pushing the doorbell. He had her present in his hand and he wanted to give it to her at that very moment. He had enlisted Dorothy’s help in finding it for Y/N, after an idea popped into his head and he couldn’t get rid of it. Considering Dorothy had connections, she had managed to get him a decent price on it; it was expensive but at least it didn’t cost him an absolute fortune once she haggled the price down.
The door opened, and Y/N was shocked to see Dean standing there. She stood at the threshold and admired how adorable he looked all rugged up to protect himself from the cold.
“Hi” she smiled, softly.
“Hi” he smirked, walking in when she stepped aside. “You leaving soon?”
“Yeah, my cab should be here any minute” she said, shutting the door.
Dean nodded, as he handed the present over to her. “Here.”
“Oh, Dean” she smiled at him, as she took it from him. “I was going to leave yours at your door, but-” she stopped herself as she tucked the present under her arm, gesturing for him to wait and walked into her office.
Dean watched as she came back, carrying a large, thin, rectangular shape wrapped up in silver wrapping and a giant red ribbon, tied into a bow.
“This is for you” she smiled, handing it over to him. “But you can’t open it until midnight, after Christmas Eve is over.”
“Okay. Wow. Thanks” he said, looking over it and wondering what the hell it was. “You can’t open yours till then, either.”
“New York’s an hour ahead” she laughed.
“Doesn’t matter. We both open them on our midnight. Deal?” he asked, smirking.
“Deal” she nodded, with a smile.
“So… New York. I’m glad you’ll get to see your folks for the holidays” he said, his smirk fading away knowing that she’d be so far away. He was happy for her, though. She deserved to see her family after so many months away.
“I can’t wait” she beamed. “Just to see them all, hug and cuddle my little nieces, soak up the holiday spirit.”
“That’s great.” He smirked. Seeing her love for her family made him positive that his own would love her, and she would love them.
He looked down at the present in her hand and smirked. He really hoped that it would let her know what he felt for her. Y/N looked at the present she got him and hoped that he’d like it. It was something for his new building where he was going to have the restoration garage. It would look amazing in his office, there.
A car horn honking pulled them out of their thoughts, and Y/N glanced down at her watch. She looked up at him smiling brightly.
“Merry Christmas, Dean” she said.
“Merry Christmas, Y/N” he smirked.
She moved in and wrapped her arms around his neck. His automatically came around her waist, pulling her into the hug. They held each other for a moment, basking in each other’s touch, their eyes closed. They jumped apart as the car horn sounded again.
Y/N laughed as she gathered her things. “I’ll see you when I get back.”
“Yeah” he agreed. “Here, let me help.”
Dean placed his huge present outside on the porch as Y/N walked out and closed the door to her house, locking it securely. Dean walked down the porch steps, with her check-in suitcase, putting it in the trunk of the cab. Y/N walked down and opened the door to the backseat, as Dean took her carry-on and put that in the trunk as well.  She waited for a moment, as Dean walked over to her after closing the trunk. She really wished she could stay back and spend time with him, but she had to see her family. She was really looking forward to it, but she couldn’t help but feel sad that she wouldn’t be with Dean.
He looked down at her, looking as beautiful as the day he first saw her. He hated that he wouldn’t get to see her over Christmas and New Years’, wishing that she could stay back, and they could spend the holidays together. He wished he could see the look on her face when she opened the present from him, but he would have to settle for hearing whether she liked it or not. He was really going to miss her. Kiss her! He thought to himself as he continued to look at her. Before he could think twice, he leaned in, pressing his lips against hers, softly.
It didn’t take long for it to deepen, as Y/N wrapped her arms around his neck. She smiled into the kiss, as he pulled her closer, their lips moving against each other’s. They were finally in each other’s arms again. There was so much behind the kiss; a promise of more to come, a promise of their future together, a promise of things being better for both of them. Y/N was the one to pull away, regretfully, but she had a plane to catch. “I really have to go” she said, frowning as she looked up at him. “But um… it’s about time you did that” she said, biting her lip.
Dean groaned when he saw her do that. “Don’t, sweetheart, or I won’t let you get on that plane.”
She laughed as she stopped. “Bye.” She leaned in and pecked his lips.
“Bye” he said, returning her smile.
With one last glance at him, she got into the cab. Dean watched it drive away with a smile on his face. He suddenly couldn’t wait to see her again.
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Y/N eyes scanned over the crowds at the airport, trying to spot her dad. She had shoved her way through baggage claim and picked up her check-in and was now trying to find her father through the throngs of people embracing each other, excited to get their holiday celebrations underway. By the time they had a quick lay-over in Atlanta and flew into New York, it was 8.30pm, which was the scheduled time, and she was incredibly thankful to whatever higher power there was that got her there. It was still a 2-hour drive to Rhinebeck, and her family would most likely be sleeping by the time she got home, but at least she’d see them properly in the morning.
As the crowd around her cleared, she spotted her father and beamed as he saw her too, waving frantically. She rushed over to him and launched herself into his arms, hugging him tightly. She felt tears prick her eyes as she laughed, happy to finally see him again.
“Oh sweetie, let me look at you” he said, pulling away from the hug and holding her at arms’ length. “You look different.” He eyed her, his brows knitted together.
“I’m still the same me, dad” she shrugged, laughing slightly.
“It’s so good to see you” he smiled, his eyes glistening. “Come on, let’s go.”
As they walked out of the airport, a bearded man with glasses was jamming “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” on his guitar. His case was open in front of him, and Y/N quickly walked over, dropping a 20-dollar bill in.
“Thanks” he smiled. “Merry Christmas!”
“Merry Christmas!” she called back and then hurried over to her dad, who was wheeling her bags to the parking lot. She smiled as she walked beside him; Christmas was her favorite holiday, and it was already off to a great start.
The drive back home was filled with Y/N catching up on everything she had missed. Her dad told her that her mom was going crazy with excitement of her being there soon and was making sure everything was perfect. Y/N laughed; her mom didn’t need to do anything extra to make things special considering it always would be no matter what, but she wouldn’t be her mom if she didn’t.
When they arrived home, Y/N gasped as she saw the house decorated so beautifully. The lights and decorations on the house were as stunning as always, and she was glad she got to see them again. As they went in, Y/N laughed quietly to herself as saw her mother, fast asleep on one couch, and her brother-in-law asleep on the other. Her sister and the kids were most likely asleep upstairs.
“I’ll get them up, you go upstairs” her dad whispered. “Brian can carry that up.” He gestured to her large suitcase.
“Thanks, dad” she whispered, as she quietly walked up the stairs with her carry-on.
She walked to her old bedroom and flicked on the light. She laughed slightly as she saw it still hadn’t changed at all since before she left for college. All her Backstreet Boys and NSYNC posters were still up on one wall, her Led Zeppelin ones still up on the other. She really had an eclectic taste in music. She heard a soft knock on the door and turned, seeing her brother-in-law, Brian, walk in with her suitcase. She smiled as she walked over, hugging him tightly.
“Jill’s gonna freak in the morning. I tried waking her up but Evie’s practically sleeping on top of her” Brian said, laughing slightly.
“I’ll catch them in the morning” she said, folding her arms across her chest.
Brian nodded, smiling at her. “It’s good to have you home. Goodnight.”
“Goodnight” she said, watching him leave and shut the door behind him.
Y/N quickly got changed for bed and slipped under the covers. As she drifted off, she couldn’t wait to see everyone else in the morning.
It was great to be home.
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“Auntie Y/N!” a little voice yelled as it barrelled through Y/N’s room and bounced up on the bed.
Y/N gasped and flinched as a little body flung itself over her. She relaxed when she realized where she was, and held her 5-year-old niece, Evie tighter.
“I’m so happy you’re here” she smiled down at Y/N.
“So am I, sweetie” Y/N smiled, rocking her side to side as she didn’t let go.
Y/N looked up at the door when she saw her sister standing against the doorframe, holding her 8-month-old niece, Mia on her hip.
“This one wants to say hi, too” Jill said, smiling.
Y/N got up from bed, Evie stuck to her leg as she walked over to her sister. She hugged her tight, feeling a few tears escape down her face.
“I missed you, so much” Y/N said, holding Jill tighter.
“I missed you too” Jill said, pulling away and smiling at her.
Y/N smiled as she saw the baby. She was so big now, having only been 4 months when she left for Lawrence. She reached for her, but little Mia scrunched her face up, squirming into her mother.
“This one needs to be fed, so you get cleaned up and come downstairs. Mom’s making breakfast” Jill said, kissing Y/N’s cheek and taking the girls out of the room.
Y/N quickly brushed her teeth and threw her robe on over her pyjamas. She raced down the stairs and into the kitchen, smiling when she saw her mom’s back as she stood at the stove.
“Mom” Y/N said, as she walked over.
Her mom turned around and nearly started crying on the spot. She rushed over and took Y/N in her arms, hugging her tight.
“Oh, I’m so glad you’re here” her mom said to her as she pulled away, wiping her eyes.
“Me too” Y/N smiled.
“Alright, the pancakes are almost done. So, sit down and help yourself, and everyone else will down soon” her mom said, gesturing to the table that was already set.
“Can’t I help with something?” Y/N asked, frowning.
“No, you just got here, honey. Relax, we’ll put you to work tomorrow” her mom laughed, as she playfully shoved her towards the dining table.
Y/N laughed and shook her head as she walked over, licking her lips at the sight of the delicious breakfast.
After a great breakfast with her family, Y/N helped Evie decorate another gingerbread house, because the two she did with grandma yesterday weren’t enough. Jill sat with Mia on her lap, across from Y/N at the dining table, as Let It Snow played in the background through the house. Brian had gone back to their house to get some more bottles for the baby, and her parents had rushed out to deliver some homemade Christmas cake to their friends. So, Y/N was glad she and her sister were alone for a while, to have some proper girl talk.
“So…” Jill trailed off, as she distracted the baby with her toy, and tried to ice a piece of the gingerbread house with one hand. “How are things with Mark?”
Y/N smiled, sheepishly, feeling guilty she hadn’t told her sister yet. “Things are… over.”
“What?” Jill asked, wide eyes looking up at her.
Y/N shrugged, as she iced one part of the roof for the gingerbread house. “Things got a little… complicated.”
“Well, considering I only know whatever you told me up to the third date, I need the specifics” Jill said, shifting Mia when she started to fuss.
“I know, I’m sorry I haven’t talked to you in a while” Y/N frowned, looking up at her sister.
“It’s okay, Y/N. Don’t apologize. I mean, we’ve both been busy” Jill laughed slightly, gesturing her head between her two daughters.
Y/N looked at Evie sitting next to her and smiled, seeing her niece in full concentration as she decorated, her tongue sticking out.
“This one has to leave, though” Y/N said, looking at Evie and then Jill.
Jill nodded in understanding. “Evie, honey. Can you stop what you’re doing for a second?”
“What is it, mommy?” Evie asked, her big eyes looking at her mom.
“Can you make sure all the presents are kept neatly under the tree?” Jill asked her in return.
“Okay” she replied, simply, not understanding why she had to go but doing it anyway.
Once she was out of earshot, Jill turned to Y/N. “Okay. Spill.”
Y/N took the next few moments to tell Jill everything that had happened with Mark.
“Fuck” Jill remarked, not knowing what to say.
“Yeah” Y/N nodded.
A short pause fell between them as Jill thought about everything her sister just told her.
“Why didn’t you say anything sooner?” Jill asked, her eyes teary.
“I didn’t want you guys to worry about me” Y/N replied, shaking her head. “And don’t tell mom and dad, they’d freak out. I’ll tell them myself at a later stage.”
Jill sighed, but nodded. “Okay.”
“Thank you” Y/N smiled, softly. She bit her lip, wondering if she should tell her sister about Dean too. Maybe it was too soon?
Jill tapped her fingers on the table as she watched her sister, her face looking like her brain was overloaded with thoughts.
“There’s something else” Jill said, knowingly. “Isn’t there?”
Y/N looked at her sister, tentatively. She wasn’t sure if she should say it or not.
Jill cocked her head to the side, a smile gracing her face as she understood. “Who is he?”
Y/N scoffed, impressed with her sister’s intuition.
She spent another couple of minutes telling Jill everything about Dean. She felt a smile tug at her lips as she talked about him. After everything she had been through in the past, and then with Mark, she thought for minute back there she’d never be able to think of dating someone again, but things were different with Dean.
“So… when you get back, what’s going to happen?” Jill asked, curious about what she was thinking of doing.
“I… don’t know, but… I know that he’s it now” Y/N replied, her smile growing.
Jill smiled. “I gotta say, I’ve never seen you like this. Yeah sure, you’ve been with a few guys, but this is different.”
“It feels different this time” Y/N nodded. “I don’t want to get my hopes up, but… it feels like this is it. And I know he’s some years older than me, but that doesn’t matter to me.”
Truth be told, men who were slightly older than her were a turn on for her. Plus, she had only ever been with guys her own age. Maybe it was time for a change.
In that moment, Y/N’s baby niece started to fuss in Jill’s lap.
“Oh, honey. You can’t be hungry, I just fed you” Jill said, frowning as she didn’t know what was wrong.
Y/N got up and walked over to their side of the table. She slowly picked up the baby and held her close, lightly bouncing her. Little Mia smiled and Jill smiled, too.
“She just needs a little lovin’ from her aunt” Y/N smiled, kissing her niece’s chubby cheek.
Jill admired her sister with the baby. “You look good like that.”
“Stop” Y/N laughed, shaking her head. She didn’t need those thoughts in her head at that moment. She had always loved children, and couldn’t wait to have her own, but she wondered if Dean was the one who she would have them with. Did he even want any?
The doorbell rang and interrupted them. Y/N gave little Mia back to Jill and walked to the front door. She screamed when she opened it and saw Katie smiling at her. The friends hugged tightly, laughing.
“I’m so glad you’re here!” Katie said, swaying them side to side.
“Me too” Y/N tearfully told her, letting go of her and letting her into the house. “You just missed girl talk, though.”
“Well, catch me up. I’m all ears” Katie said, walking into the house, taking off her coat.
Y/N laughed as she followed behind her, ready to divulge everything she told Jill to her best friend as well.
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The next day brought a whirlwind of familial chaos, as Y/N’s family got everything ready for Christmas Eve dinner. Christmas carols were playing in the background, as her mom worked on the ham, her dad helped with all the sides and her sister was in charge of decorating the rest of the house, the table and setting it. Brian was keeping the kids entertained and Y/N was making pudding and few other treats for dessert.
It took all day, but they finally got everything ready and in time for dinner. As everyone got dressed and ready, Y/N took some time to admire the house. The lights were dimmed, the candles were lit, and everything was bathed in a beautiful glow. The lights on the tree were shining, and the fireplace crackled, adding to the ambience of the room. She was so glad to be here with her family and to spend this time with them.
Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Let your heart be light
From now on,
Our troubles will be out of sight
She quickly had a shower, and then got ready for dinner in a red, A-line dress, with sleeves that came to her mid-forearm. She pinned her Y/H/C hair into a bun, a few strands framing her face. She put on her nude heels and then went downstairs to join her family.
Dinner was absolutely divine, and her mom had outdone herself, yet again. Everything from the ham to the pudding for dessert was perfect, and everyone was absolutely stuffed by the end. They all relaxed on the couch and sang some carols, drank eggnog and enjoyed the fact that they were all together again. For the first time in a long time, Y/N had no fear about Ethan or Mark, or any of the other troubles she had had in the past. All she needed was her family and hoped that the man who she had fallen in love from the minute she saw him, would also be a permanent figure in her life.
Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Make the Yule-tide gay,
From now on,
Our troubles will be miles away
It was pretty much the same vibe over at the Winchesters.
Mary had assigned jobs for everyone, stating to the boys that they weren’t getting out of it just because they didn’t live at home anymore. She made Eileen and Sam come early as well as Dean, so that they could all do their assigned jobs.
Once everything was ready before dinner, everyone put on their ugly Christmas sweaters, a Winchester tradition that was something silly but fun. Bobby, Ellen and Jo arrived, and they all greeted each other. They sat around talking and laughing as they ate, and afterwards sat around on the couches, listening to carols while drinking eggnog. No one trusted Sam with it anymore, so it was Eileen’s job to mix it since she joined their family. Dean smiled as he looked around at his family, content for the first time in years.
Here we are as in olden days,
Happy golden days of yore
Loving friends who are dear to us,
Gather near to us once more
However, Dean was the first one to notice when Eileen wasn’t drinking any. He gestured to her and then signed “are you okay?”, which was just one of the things of what little he knew, but he was trying to get better at it. She nodded and then smiled at Sam. They had a small conversation between themselves, before Sam turned to everyone with a huge smile on his face.
“Well, now’s as good a time as any to tell you… we’re having a baby” he said, beaming. “Eileen’s 16 weeks in.”
Dean’s eyes widened but his smile grew as he got up, and hugged his brother first, Mary and Eileen hugging as Mary cried. Everyone hugged the expecting parents, before they all sat back down.
“Congratulations, guys” Dean said, as he returned to one side of the couch. “That’s awesome, seriously.”
Sam smiled as he kissed Eileen’s cheek. “Thanks, Dean.”
“Oh, I can’t wait for my first grandchild!” Mary exclaimed, as John kissed her head.
Dean’s mind wandered off as Eileen and Sam were talking about moving into a bigger place. Mary was listening intently, but Dean couldn’t focus on the conversation. He couldn’t have been happier for his little brother and sister-in-law. They were going to make great parents; he knew that to be the absolute truth. However, he couldn’t help but feel an unexpected sadness wash over him. He never thought of himself as the “having kids” type of guy, hell, he never pictured himself in a serious relationship. That was when he was younger though. As he got older, he realized he wanted those things, and even though he was happy for Sam, he felt a little jealous sometimes that his little brother would have all of that before he did.
The last year of his life had been a waste, as he tried to salvage a relationship with Lisa. He couldn’t help but think where he would be if he had broken up with her a year ago. Mostly likely with Y/N as soon as she got to Lawrence he thought as he tried to concentrate on the conversation his family was having. It was no use though, as his mind continued torment him with the possibilities that could’ve been, if he had just claimed his freedom sooner.
Dean silently excused himself and walked out to the back porch of his childhood home. He let out a long breath, seeing it cloud up in the cold. He sipped the eggnog, feeling the kick of the alcohol warm him up. He smiled sadly as he thought about Y/N, so far away from him, in New York with her own family. He wondered what she wanted from life and whether their wants would align, whether having a family was something she wanted or not. He really hoped so.
“Merry freakin’ Christmas” he mumbled to himself. He never had a problem with being alone, but as he got older it had started to become a fear for him. Maybe that was why it took so long to see the whole truth with Lisa.
“Sure is” he heard someone say behind him. He turned and saw his mom standing behind him.
“I’ll be back in soon, mom” he said, turning away from her.
“Actually” she started as she stood next to him and faced him. “I was thinking we could talk.”
“About?” he asked, staring down at his eggnog.
Mary was quiet for a moment before she spoke. “Who is she?”
Dean scoffed as he closed his eyes. Of course his mom had figured it out.
He opened his eyes and looked at her, his jaw clenched. “She’s… she’s the best person I’ve ever known and… I have no idea if I should do anything about this because honestly, she deserves more than me.”
“Isn’t that up to her?” Mary asked, knowingly. “If you’re spending so much time with her, and I know you have because I’ve hardly seen you over the last few weeks, then doesn’t that mean that she wants to give you a chance?”
Dean blinked a few times as he took in what Mary just said. “I guess.”
“Then all you have to is take the leap” Mary smiled.
Dean nodded slowly, scrubbing a hand down his face. “Yeah.”
Mary nodded. “Just know, you have to bring her here because we need to meet her.”
Dean groaned and laughed, shaking his head. “Great.”
Mary smiled, leaning over to kiss his cold cheek. “Come inside soon, it’s way too cold.”
“I will” he promised as he watched her go back in.
Dean smirked as he thought about how Y/N would actually fit in with his family. He knew he needed to muster up the courage and just ask her out. Let go of the fear that had developed because of everything that had happened with Lisa. Maybe it was too soon after, but the truth was, he didn’t want more time. He was ready to be happy.
Through the years
We all be together,
If the Fates allow
Hang a shining star upon the highest bough.
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At midnight, Y/N and her family all wished each other a Merry Christmas, before they cleared everything up and each of them headed to bed. They would be up in several hours again, to open the presents anyway. As she went upstairs, there was one thing she needed to do before she headed to bed. Walking into her room, she shut the door and walked over to her carry-on bag. She opened it and found the present from Dean. She moved the bag back to the floor and then sat down on her bed, the present in her hand.
She laughed a little as she saw the envelope on it had her name but also “READ AFTER OPENING” in Dean’s all caps writing. She opened the wrapping, frowning when the thing was wrapped in brown paper as well. She unwrapped the brown paper, noticing that it was a very old but beautiful, hardcover book. She frowned again, but as she turned the book around and saw the spine, she gasped loudly.
In her hand, was an early edition of her favorite novel of all time, Jane Eyre. Y/N’s eyes widened as they started to well up with tears. She remembered telling him it was her favorite at dinner with him. It was yet another thing he remembered about her, the Led Zeppelin album being the first. She felt the tears rolling down her face as she opened the book, slowly flicking through it. She closed it and hugged it to her chest. She couldn’t believe he had done this for her.
She put the book in her lap and picked up the envelope, opening it and sliding the card out. Opening the card, she smiled through tears as she read his words.
Merry Christmas, sweetheart.
I hate that you’re not here with me, but I can’t wait until you’re back. There’s a lot that I wanna say, but I’ve never been good with words. So, I’m just gonna do my best.
I’ve never been surer of anything, than I am that you’re the greatest person that I’ll ever know. You’re beautiful, smart, strong as all hell, and have the kindest heart of anyone I know. I know how freaking lucky I am that you’re in my life.
I hope this present lets you know how much you mean to me. How much you’ll always mean to me.
Y/N, this is it for me. You’re it for me. I need you to know that.
Have an amazing time with your family and I’ll see you as soon as you get back.
She laughed through her tears, shaking her head. She had never been surer of anything either; that he was the greatest man she had ever known. That she was so madly in love with him, and she couldn’t wait to tell him that someday.
And have yourself a merry little Christmas
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When it reached midnight in Kansas, Dean said a quick “Merry Christmas” to everyone, but everyone kept wondering why he was heading off so quickly.
“You know, you can just stay the night to open presents in the morning” Mary told him as she handed out warm cider to everybody.
“No, there’s uh… something I gotta do” Dean said, putting his jacket on.
“Something or… someone?” Jo asked, smiling suspiciously.
“Shut up, Jo” he groaned, glaring at her.
Jo laughed as she and Sam looked at each other.
“Seriously, what’s the rush, kid?” Bobby asked, curiously.
“Can a man not have a little time to himself anymore? Jeez” Dean grumbled, shaking his head.
“Alright, everyone leave him alone” Mary said, calming everyone down. “He’ll be back soon anyway.” She leaned in and kissed his cheek, patting his shoulder.
He would be back in several hours anyway to open presents with everyone, but at that moment he had to see what was awaiting him.
When he got home, he walked over to the big present from Y/N, resting against a wall in his living room. He chuckled as he looked over the size of it, wondering what the hell she had gotten him. He opened the large bow, letting it fall away. He dug his finger into the edge of the wrapping and ripped it open, at every side to see the present more clearly.
“Holy shit” he gasped as his mouth open in awe.
The present was a large black frame, with a black and white photo of his beloved Baby, shining away in the sun. It looked like his backyard in the background of it, and he had to wonder how she took this photo. On the corner of the frame was an envelope with his name written on it. He took it and opened it, smirking as he saw her handwriting.
Merry Christmas, Dean!
I took this photo for you to hang in your new office at the restoration site. There’s nothing better to convince the customers to bring their cars to you than a picture of Baby.
I’m so proud of you for everything you’re working towards. It’s going to bring so many amazing things your way; don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
I hope that the new year brings you everything you wish for, because if there’s anyone who deserves it, it’s you. You’ve been an amazing support to me, and I’ll never forget everything you’ve done for me. Ever.
I can’t wait to see you when I get back and just be near you again.
Y/N xx
He smirked as he read over the note a few times. She really was something else. He couldn’t believe that someone like her would want someone like him, but he knew how lucky he was that she was in his life.
And have yourself a merry little Christmas
He looked at the clock and saw that it was ten past midnight, which meant it was ten past 1am in New York. Y/N was probably asleep, but he really wanted to speak to her. He sent her a quick text, asking if she was awake. When he got a reply instantly that she was, he dialled her number. In New York, Y/N sat up instantly when her phone rang and picked it up.
“Hi” she said, smiling. “Dean, I… I don’t even know what to say.”
“Did I make the English teacher speechless?” he teased with a smirk on his face.
“Yes” she admitted. “Dean, it’s… thank you. Thank you for everything you’ve done for me.”
Dean smiled. “Well, it’s like I’ve said before, sweetheart. You don’t ever have to thank me.”
“Did you… did you mean it? What you said?” she asked. She already knew it was the truth, but she just needed to hear it. She just needed to know for certain.
“Yes” he replied. There was no pause. No hesitation.
Y/N felt tears welling up in her eyes all over again. “You’re… you’re it for me, too.”
Dean smiled, feeling like his heart would burst from her confession that she felt the same.
“Thanks for the photo. It’s so freaking awesome, Y/N” he smirked as he looked over at it.
“You’re welcome” she said, smiling. “But Dean, now our presents are totally uneven. This would’ve been so expensive-” she said as she picked the book, but Dean cut her off.
“Hey, no. It’s not about that, okay? I knew… I knew that I wanted you to have it. Plus, with Dorothy’s help it wasn’t too expensive, so we’re good” he reassured her.
“Okay” she said, nodding.
Dean looked up at the time and knew he should end the call. “I should let you go. Merry Christmas, Y/N.”
“Merry Christmas, Dean” she smiled as they both hung up the phone.
That morning, as they fell asleep for a few more hours before they had to wake up again, even with miles and miles between them, they fell asleep with dreams of each other. They fell into a peaceful slumber, knowing this was the start of something magical for both of them.
And have yourself a merry little Christmas now
Tags: @flamencodiva @deanwanddamons @winchest09 @katehuntington @akshi8278 @hobby27 @michellethetvaddict @spngirl05 @kyjey @halesandy @440mxs-wife @stoneyggirl @deanswaywardgirl @wonder-cole @that-one-gay-girl @redbarn1995 @marianita195 @babypink224221 @deans-baby-momma​ @parinarain​ @thoughts-and-funnies​ @mandalou29​ @castiels-a-winchester @ellewritesfix05​ @jerkbitchidjitassbutt​ @supraveng​ @roonyxx​ @supernatural-love14​ @vicmc624​ @prettyboyswow​ @lunarmoon8​
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theoppositeofprofound · 6 months ago
“It’s inevitable that we beings of songflesh turn to metaphor to describe the singers. We speak of veils, of fire, of music, of fatherhood, knowing that these are paltry veneers over a greater truth.
The most attuned philosopher-physicists seek discard many of these low level thought experiments. They speak of resonances, vibrations, light that is two things at once, entangled specks of self.
For the purposes of this discussion we will work within the established body of imagery; specifically focusing on the fana, the veil which all being of spirit are said to draw over themselves when they wish to interact with the world and people of matter. The veil is distinguished from a true bodily raiment by its flimsiness, the ease with which it is shucked on and off. A being of the spirit, unbound, is no more attached to their veil than we are to a summer shawl; it comes on, it comes off, it can be swapped for a more fetching style. In comparison we’re practically buttoned into our garments. And Manwë forbid we should take them off in the city square! Mandos would frown on that! Hah, just a bit of hrondo humor there.
Of course the key word in the statement above is “unbound”. One of the Ainur unlimited and in the full of their power may do as they please. But over the years cases have emerged which demonstrate the complexity of the veil and the limitations of its use.
The most famous case of this shackling is Moringotto. The Enemy, after burning his hands on the Silmarilli, found himself unable to heal those holy wounds. As the years passed he loathed to change his shape as well, remaining in the form of “a great, dread barrowking,” according to Penlod. Other servants of the Enemy, especially his Balrogs, were also marked as becoming increasing frozen in form over time— we have the testaments of a few prisoners of Angband now, including the University’s own Bronadwen, who speaks of the never changing fana of their captors.
Obviously a number of hypotheses have been put forth for this phenomenon. A popular explanation is that their ability to alter their veil was revoked by higher powers, this falls apart once you realize that Sauron the Abhorred retained his ability to take fairer form well into the second age. It seems more likely that their lack of change was a consequence of Moringotto’s own insistence on testing the bounds of the veil, along with exposure to the Silmarilli, which the Abhorred is known to have mistrusted.
To put it into simpler terms, it’s much easier to put on and take off a light veil, or in this case an approximation of an elf. The more complex the fana the more complex its investment and divestment, the more power must be sunk in. A great fiddly cape, or festival clothes, well we’ve all gotten home from one of the great holidays and simply not had the energy to take our nice robes off, haven’t we? The Enemy, who was once said to have fought as a mountain wreathed with clouds, whose form even in those later days was seven times the size of a normal man and heavy as lead according to the Revised Mithrim Histories, whose Balrogs flew on wings of smoke and breathed fire as recorded in the Fall of Gondolin, had made himself and his followers veils far too complicated to get in and out of. With the influence of the Silmarilli it is not surprising that they stopped trying.
If you want a case of actual top-down limitation of veils you’ll want to look towards the Enemy of following ages. The Abhorred, perhaps retaining some of his skill at craftsmanship, kept his ability to shape and wear immaculate veils until the fall of Númenor. After the Fall, to prevent future tragedies, he was forbidden from ever again taking a fair shape. This kindness to the men and elves still dwelling in Middle Earth proves that the One has some control over their Children’s manifestations, though it raises some significant questions about why they chose to interfere at that juncture and no others.
There are other matters of academic interest related to the Tormentor’s physical veil, in particular how it was moderated through that artifact known as the One Ring, but if you want answers about that you’ll have to take Theoretical Spiritbinding with Istarnië im six years. Do sign up now, her classes get full fast.
The last example I wish to discuss with you is that of Queen Melian, once of Doriath. Though there are rumors of other half ëala-children in this world— if you read my colleague Wilwarindîl’s book on folk songs of hobbits you would think they’re everywhere— we have only one recorded case. This means that Queen Melian is the sole Maia who can explain the ramifications of reproduction on a metaphysical level. Sadly even since her recovery she has rebuffed all interview attempts so we must rely on second hand sources, using again, the language of fabric and vestments, to describe this great undertaking.
Most Doriathrin sources agree that Queen Melian, though free with her form in the early days of her marriage, settled into single chosen shape a few decades before the birth of Lúthien Tinúviel. She does not seem to have changed this veil from that point forward, in fact it is not clear if she was able to do so anymore. To quote Soloe of Alqualondë, “If the Ëala wear a veil then it’s too thin and fluttering to anchor a gestating creature of soul and flesh. To solve this problem, Lady Melian stitched herself in.”
Her solution was not permanent, based on records it seems that in her grief following the death of King Thingol she “ripped the seams” so to speak, fleeing back to Valinor in the guise of a nightingale. But such and act came at a high cost, Queen Melian slept for almost an age after that exertion.
Now, why don’t we break into groups of three or four and debate what you believe the hard limits of physicality translated through the veil to be. How much are the Ainur constrained by their own power, or the power of others. I’m sure you’ve all heard the Tale of Beren and Lúthien, how realistic was her threat that “There everlastingly thy naked self shall endure the torment of his scorn, pierced by his eyes, unless thou yield to me the mastery of thy tower”?
Once you’ve all made your cases and had the evening to think about them, tomorrow we’ll have a special visitor. Yes, yes, do stop cheering, I’m not that dull. One of my friends from Oromë’s hunt has agreed to come over and answer your questions to the best of his ability, provided you mind your manners and remember that it’s as hard for him to talk about this as it is for you to describe all the layers of your skin.”
— Notes taken for a fellow student who had to miss class. University in Valmar, Digressions on the Insubstantiation of Ëala (for first to twenty first year students)
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elwenyere · a year ago
A Very Small Grease Fire (and Other Human Disasters)
(Thanksgiving ficlet for the Stony and Avengers fam; also on AO3)
The Avengers didn’t have the best track record with Thanksgiving. The first time the dinner had ended in disaster, it had been Steve’s fault. One rainy fall Sunday, just months after the Battle of New York, Steve had been picking at a bowl of mint-chip ice cream, feeling tired of getting looks of sympathy about the holidays and absolutely exhausted by feeling sorry for himself. If Bruce and Clint hadn’t chosen that particular afternoon to ask him whether there was anything special he wanted for Thanksgiving – raising the question with just enough gentleness to make Steve’s jaw tighten – he probably would have said, “I’m a sweet potatoes guy” and left it at that.
Instead, Steve had been seized by a spirit of mischief. Putting on his most morose poker face, he had proceeded to invent a series of Depression-era dishes, from “Hoover Rolls” to “Poor Man’s Potatoes,” the recipes for which he concocted out of the blandest ingredients he could imagine. By the time he was in the process of describing his third Crisco-based dessert, Steve was sure he had gone far enough to reveal the joke; but Bruce and Clint had continued nodding encouragingly and jotting down notes.
The results had been borderline inedible. And even though the sight of Tony doubled over with laughter when Steve finally fessed up had thawed out a part of his heart he hadn’t even known was still on ice, the experience of eating a holiday dinner in which half the dishes tasted like over-starched socks forced even Steve to admit that the prank had been a bit of a Pyrrhic victory.
The second time…well, Steve would have said the second time was his fault too – though he supposed the rest of the team would blame the extremists who tried to kidnap the governor. Clint had just started basting the turkey when the “Assemble” alarm went off, and the team had to pile in the Quinjet to deal with a hostage situation at the capitol. It should have been an easy job – in and out with plenty of time to take the butter for the piecrust out of the freezer – but then one of the extremists had pulled the pin on a grenade just yards away from a state senator’s eight-year-old son, and four hours later Steve was waking up in the burn unit at Walter Reed hospital with the anguished sound of someone shouting his name still ringing in his ears.
“You fucking idiot,” the same voice had greeted him, and Steve looked up to see Tony sitting by his bed, the lines around his eyes drawn tight over a surgical mask. “You’re supposed to be a tactical genius, and you haven’t learned a single new method for containing explosives since basic training in 1943? I’m going to equip your suit with goddamn ballistic plates.”
“Tony,” Steve managed, feeling a halo of pain radiate up his scalp. “Are you okay? Was anyone hurt?”
Steve thought he saw something mist across Tony’s eyes, but he couldn’t be sure. The more fully he became aware of his body, the more he noticed the pull of his skin cells contracting in uneven loops around the burns on his torso, and it was taking a considerable amount of energy to keep Tony’s face in focus.
“Everybody’s fine but you, Steve,” Tony assured him. “And the doctors said you should be able to move to the general floor in a few hours. So shut those baby blues and let the serum do its job, because there’s a whole team of keyed-up superheroes waiting to see you, and they’re emptying the hospital vending machines fast enough to cause a run on the Frito-Lay factory.”
Steve had drifted in and out of consciousness for a while after that, finally waking up long enough to eat a holiday dinner of contraband take-out, which Natasha had smuggled into the hospital using only Thor’s tendency to knock over delicate instruments and Bruce’s oversized jacket.
“When you sign up to be an Avenger, no one warns you about doing overtime as a falafel mule,” Bruce had mused, leaning back to let Natasha steal a fry off his plate.
“I still think we could have gotten that eighth kebab if you’d been willing to consider pant legs as additional real estate,” she told him.
"You should all be eating stuffing and pumpkin pie,” Steve grimaced. “I’m sorry you’re stuck here on Thanksgiving.”
“Listen, Cap,” Clint replied, waving a dolma at him, “if you’re going to apologize for anything, apologize for the purgatory potatoes you tricked me into making last year. At least this year we have food that doesn’t have the texture of fast-drying cement.”
“Those tubers had truly been abandoned by the gods,” Thor agreed solemnly. “But I maintain that the Big Band Banana Pie was actually quite delicious.”
“Just don’t make the third-degree burns and hypovolemic shock a holiday habit, Rogers,” Tony put in. “Some of us are trying to watch our blood pressure.”
Tony had leaned over to adjust the settings on Steve’s bed as he spoke, and by the time he finished, a dull tugging sensation across Steve’s chest had loosened – the pain subsiding almost before Steve could register that it had been bothering him.
So that was why, after two years of throwing wrenches in the Avengers’ Thanksgiving plans, Steve was determined to make sure that year three went off without a hitch. He’d drawn up an elaborate plan for maximizing the utility of the Tower kitchen’s two ovens and seven burners and for optimizing the team’s various culinary skills. The operatives had been briefed the night before, and by 10:30 AM on Thursday, Steve was fluting a pie crust, Bruce was stripping fresh thyme leaves into an herb blend, Clint was whipping up a roux for the mushroom gravy, Thor was mashing potatoes and parsnips in an industrial-strength metal vat, and Natasha was dicing carrots and celery with a speed and precision that felt vaguely unsettling.
After checking the team’s progress against his itinerary, Steve turned to the next task on his own list: bringing Tony Stark his emergency coffee. Bruce had just made a second pot, and Steve poured some into the largest cup he could find: a purple novelty mug, featuring a drawing of the Hulk and the words “You Wouldn’t Like Me Without My Coffee.” He paused to tuck a few biscuits into a napkin (Tony’s relief at sighting fresh coffee sometimes opened up a narrow window during which Steve could feed him breakfast without being noticed), and headed down to the lab.
He found Tony standing with both arms braced against his worktable, designs for what looked like the paneling of Steve’s uniform projected in front of him. Steve cleared his throat, and Tony whirled around, the slump of his shoulders morphing into a graceful lounge by the time he was facing Steve.
“I was just about to come up,” he said. “I have a few finishing touches left here and then I’m all yours, Cap. Give me everything that can survive being the tiniest bit overcooked.”
Steve walked over to put Tony’s coffee on the table and then felt his breath catch in his throat when Tony reached out and took the mug from his hand instead.
“There’s no need,” Steve responded to cover his reaction, flexing the hand that had brushed Tony’s as he let it fall back to his side. “We’ve got the schedule covered for now. I was actually hoping I could talk you into a snack break.”
He waved the napkin of biscuits experimentally.
“Are you cutting me from the Thanksgiving roster, Rogers?” Tony asked. “Just because one time I set a very small grease fire – which I contained almost immediately, by the way.”
“The vase I broke when I sprinted into the kitchen would beg to differ,” Steve smiled. “But it’s not that. I just wanted to do this for you: a big dinner and sitting down with family.”
“For me?” Tony blinked at him. “Why?”
Steve started to cross his arms across his chest before realizing that he would risk crushing the biscuits. He settled for clasping his wrist with his free hand instead, widening his stance slightly and taking a deep breath. Come on, Rogers. Take it on the chin.
“Because I wanted to tell you that I woke up in this century alone,” he said, “and that you were the first person stubborn enough to make sure I wouldn’t stay that way. Now I wake up to a kitchen full of people who tease me about my lists but who know why I need them – who will eat dinner rolls that taste like soggy chalk just to make me feel at home.” He paused. “People who stay by my side for eight straight hours at the hospital.”
Steve looked up and caught Tony’s eyes, his heart rate picking up speed as memories of those same eyes flashed through his mind in quick succession: tearing up with laughter over a plate of cornstarched bananas, pinched with fear over a surgical mask, narrowed in concentration over the remote control for an adjustable bed.
“Romanov has an awfully big mouth for a spy,” Tony said with a rueful smile.
“I think it was a tactical leak,” Steve acknowledged, “to motivate her mark. She knew I needed a push. Because I’ve messed up the past two years, and I needed to tell you: pretty much everything I’m thankful for in my new life is here because of you.”
Tony was staring at him, his eyes darting quickly across Steve’s face as if JARVIS were scanning it for data. Steve held up under the silent scrutiny as long as he could before letting out an explosive breath.
“Anyway, sorry to interrupt you,” he said quickly. “You’ve got work to do, and I’ve got to go make sure everything’s on track upstairs. I’ll uh – I’ll have Bruce come get you when dinner’s ready.”
He started to make an about face toward the door, but Tony caught his arm and held him in place.
“Give a guy a goddamn minute, Steve,” he said softly. “I’m having to do a major cognitive reboot over here. It takes a while for the operating system to come back online. Just…sit down? Let me show you the new flame retardants I’m adding to your uniform.”
Steve complied. And as he watched Tony run through the specs, gulping coffee and nibbling absently at the biscuits, he realized that he knew what Tony was saying even before Tony finally spoke the words: “I’m thankful every time you wake up.”
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jaskierswolf · 11 months ago
The Christmas Elf (pt. 2/5)
On tumblr and AO3 ___________________________
Geralt sighed and tugged at the ropes that bound his hands together.
He blamed Jaskier for this.
The bloody elf had gotten everyone drunk and happy, which was a lethal mix. Some poor sap had decided it was a brilliant idea to hire a witcher when they usually feared them. Now he was tied up and his head was fucking killing him.
“Filavandrel, please!” He heard Jaskier’s sing song voice pleading in the cave.
He groaned and blinked, his eyes adjusting as he looked around.
And these weren’t the happy music kind that Jaskier seemed to be. These elves were dangerous and wouldn’t hesitate to kill him.
“I have no choice.” A blond elf replied, Geralt assumed this was Filavandrel.
If Geralt’s knowledge of history was right then this was the king of the elves, Filavandrel of the Silver Towers.
“He won’t tell anyone!” Jaskier insisted. “We won’t tell anyone.”
Geralt looked between the two elves. The similarities were startling. Perhaps sometime before the Conjunction of the Spheres the two species shared ancestors. The pointed ears were the most obvious similarity, but there was something in the bone structure. The elven beauty that humans so often sung about.
Jaskier’s eyes glowed though. It was only faint in the sunlight but they had grown brighter in the tavern when he’d absorbed the Chaos, or Spirit as he called it, from the orb. Geralt couldn’t tear his eyes away. He’d never seen anything like it. He’d felt the thrum of magic from the satchel as Jaskier danced through the tavern, singing gaily and charming the lot of them out of their coin. He wouldn’t be surprised if Jaskier’s performance had managed to recharge the magic.
The elf had mentioned that his magic was created through love and joy of this Christmas celebration. Geralt had scoffed at the thought. It was something out of a fairytale but he’d felt it, he’d seen it! He couldn’t deny the evidence that he’d seen with his own eyes. The love Jaskier had shown to the barmaid, the joy he’d brought to the tavern.
It was magic.
And Geralt was enchanted.
“What are you?” Filavandrel hissed at Jaskier. “You are not like any elf I’ve met before.”
Jaskier laughed his musical laugh and tossed his fringe from his eyes. He put a hand on his hips and smirked at the blond elf. “We used to be called Sprites of the Solstice, but I assure you I am very much an elf.”
Filavandrel scoffed. “If we let him go then the humans will learn that we’ve been stealing.”
Jaskier shook his head. “But he’s not human, and neither am I! We are not your enemies your majesty.”
“But are you our friends?” He asked with the serene quality in his voice that only elves could manage.
Jaskier stuck his tongue between his lips and frowned. Geralt watched the pair of them silently. Jaskier hadn’t been tied up so the elves had trusted him to a certain extent. Geralt just hoped his elf knew what he was doing. Jaskier wasn’t familiar with this world. He’d experienced the hate against the elves first hand but that didn’t mean that he knew how to talk to elven royalty.
He looked down at his fingers and hummed.
“You have much hate in your hearts, Filavandrel. Now, no don’t look at me like that, I know why. The humans have not made your lives easy, but you need to learn love if you want to survive.”
“What?” A she-elf spat from the corner. Geralt recognised her as the elf who had ambushed them.
“I’m a… a winter elf, not a summer one, so I can’t fix your harvest, but I am a rather talented musician. I could sing of the elves and their kindness. I could mesmerise a few humans in the town into forgetting why they ever hated elves.” He licked his lips. “Maybe one human, my Spirit is running low.”
Filavandrel stared at him aghast. “You can use Chaos?”
Jaskier snorted. “Even your word for it is all…” He finished his sentence with a flourish of his hands. “Chaos, Spirit, Magic. Whatever you want to call it. Yes. I can, but I can only harness it through the globe. It’s the North Pole Realm’s source of all magic. Please just let us go and I can help you.”
Filavandrel looked between Geralt and Jaskier then drew his blade. Geralt barely flinched as the steal kissed his throat and he stared back at the elf king defiantly. Jaskier had been right, the elves needed to learn to work with the humans if they wanted to survive. Their survival should come first, their pride could come later.
“No!” Jaskier yelled.
Geralt’s eyes flashed over to the elf. He had a hand in the satchel which held the orb. His eyes flashed brighter and the temperature in the cave dropped. Geralt’s breath crystallised in front of him and he noticed flurries of snow fall from the sky. The tips of Jaskier’s hair was now covered in frost and his face was like thunder.
“Do not harm him!” He hissed at Filavandrel.
The blond elf regarded Jaskier haughtily but dropped his blade. “Incredible.” He breathed quietly, a wispy cloud forming from his lips.
Jaskier blinked a couple of times and stared down at his hands in shock. The cave was filled with a sudden rush of warmth. “Sorry.” He mumbled with a sheepish smile as his hair returned to a soft chestnut brown. “It’s been a while. I’m not used to the power. I’d forgotten we could do that. It was meant to provide cover so the humans wouldn’t see us through the snow.”
“You are really quite remarkable.” Filavandrel murmured. “I haven’t seen elves with such raw power in centuries. Not since humans corrupted chaos.”
Geralt rolled his eyes. “Chaos is the same as it’s always been. Humans just adapted better.”
Both elves glared at him for his interruption and he raised an eyebrow at Jaskier. The Christmas elf was not as soft and helpless as he first appeared to be. Jaskier’s glare morphed back into a charming smile as he turned to face Filavandrel.
“So, my darling friend, let us go and I promise you, we will help you.” Jaskier sang with a flick of his wrist. Filavandrel thought about the proposal for a long heavy beat and then nodded.
“As you wish. Toruviel. Your lute.” He gestured at the she-elf.
Jaskier’s lute was lying in pieces on the floor at the edge of the cave. The first casualty in the elves’ attack.
Toruviel continued to scowl at both Jaskier and Geralt but she left the cave with a grumble. When she returned she was holding an elven lute, intricately decorated and elegantly made. Jaskier’s eyes lit up.
“A present!” He clapped his hands together. “By the holy star, I’ve never had a present before!”
“A gift, to replace the one that was taken from you.” Filavandrel took the lute from Toruviel and presented it to Jaskier.
Jaskier bowed as he accepted the present. “Thank you.” He grinned. “I won’t forget this.”
Geralt was untied by Torque and in return he gave Filavandrel the coin the farmer had given him. Jaskier beamed brightly when he noticed the gesture.
They left the elves on good terms. Jaskier swaggered along the path with a spring in his step as he caressed his new instrument, chattering excitably about their adventure together.
“Oooh. I almost forgot!” He spun round excitably, his lute swinging from his shoulder as he dug the orb out of the satchel. “Geralt! Look!”
The orb, or snow globe as Jaskier called it, was glowing brighter than Geralt had ever seen it.
Geralt furrowed his brow. “What does it mean?”
Jaskier held the glowing orb up into the air and laughed melodically. “It means, dear witcher, that I can save my home. Humans on Earth no longer believe in magic in anymore, and without that belief our realm was dying. I heard Santa say that within a few decades our realm might cease to exist completely unless we could get people believing again, but there wasn’t enough Spirit left to do anything about it!”
“There is now.” Geralt surmised.
“Yes! Look at it, Geralt!” He thrust the globe under Geralt’s nose.
“Hmm.” He gripped his medallion in his hands to contain the vibrations.
“This land is full of magic and belief in magic. It was just missing joy! Joy and love. If I can spread that throughout the land then I’ll be able to completely recharge the snow globe.” He licked his lips and traced a pattern on the glass.
Geralt found himself swept along with Jaskier’s unbridled joy. He smiled faintly at the elf who was gazing in wonderment at his shining snow globe.
“Back to the tavern then?” Geralt suggested.
Jaskier’s glowing bright eyes flashed to meet his and he smiled fondly at Geralt. Geralt’s breath caught in his throat and his heart raced a little faster.
If he hadn’t have been a witcher he might have said he was falling in love with the elf.
But that was impossible. Witchers didn’t have feelings, and even if they did, someone as radiant as Jaskier would never love him back.
He swallowed and tore his gaze away from Jaskier. He grunted and mounted Roach, kicking her into a canter as he put some distant between him and Jaskier’s kind smile. It was just the adrenaline that was making it so hard to breathe. That was all.  
Jaskier was having the time of his life. He’d been on the Continent for over a month now and was absolutely loving it. Geralt was a brilliant and interesting guide for this new world. The man was full of stories and knowledge about all the monsters and miscreants of the Continent. Jaskier took every single scrap of information and wove it into a delightful new song that painted Geralt and his witcher brethren as heroes of the Continent.
Geralt wasn’t quite as happy with attention he was receiving as a result of Jaskier’s ballads. The witcher was finding it harder to slunk around in the shadows now that his name was becoming more renowned and more famed for heroic deeds rather than butchering, but Jaskier didn’t take much notice of the witcher’s grumbling. The snow globe was shining brighter every day and Jaskier was learning so much about the Christmas Spirit than had been dying out for decades.
First and foremost was that it wasn’t the belief in Christmas or the Solstice or what wintery holiday that the Christmas elves had served over their long history. It was the absolutely, without doubt, the belief in the magic behind it, and in a world where magic or Chaos was so very present… the Spirit was thriving.
But it needed more than belief.
It needed hope, joy and love.
It was the very essence behind Christmas, the bond between loved ones, a light in the dark.
Earth was struggling to believe.
The Continent lacked love and joy.
Jaskier couldn’t force humans of Earth to believe, not without revealing his true nature as a magical being, and that was strictly forbidden. What he could do was bring light to the darkness of the Continent.
He was starting to thinking that being called Christmas Elves was a misnomer. They were so much more than that.
He scoffed as he blew on his wine. Glitter fell over the drink and the goblet began to steam. He grinned. Mulled wine was clearly the superior option even if it was hot outside.
“Would you stop doing that?” Geralt grumbled as he sipped his own tankard of cold ale.
Jaskier smirked and flicked his wrist towards Geralt’s drink. He didn’t jingle the way he had before which saddened him. He really did miss his bells, but at least now he’d acquired some clothes that suited both his need to be colourful and Geralt’s requirement to not be a walking Christmas tree. He was now wearing a silky teal doublet with a beautiful fish scale pattern embedded into the fabric. It wasn’t quite the vibrant greens and reds he was used to but it would do.
Geralt growled as his tankard began to steam and the delicious scent of hot spiced cider filled the room.
Jaskier pouted, his face a picture of innocence. “Yes, darling?”
“Fuck off.”
Jaskier let out a peal of laughter as the witcher scowled into his now hot drink. His laugh drew the attention of the nearby barmaid and he winked at her. She was really rather pretty, and if his job was to spread love then he could hardly be blamed for flirting.
“Would you stop it?” Geralt snapped.
Jaskier rolled his eyes and finished his wine in one large gulp. “Ah, dearest witcher. Are you jealous?” He purred.
“No.” Geralt grumbled. “Are all Christmas elves like this?”
Jaskier frowned.
“I’m afraid not. I’m one of a kind.” He mumbled and pulled away from the witcher. “More cider?”
“Ale. Cold.” Geralt replied.
Jaskier scoffed. “You’re no fun, Geralt.”
But he waved down the barmaid to order Geralt a new drink, and promised his witcher that he wouldn’t tamper with it. He swore that he was just excited to be able to use magic freely again.
“And what would your Santa say?” Geralt asked with a quirk of his eyebrow.
Jaskier rested his chin on his arms on top of the table and sighed dramatically. “Santa doesn’t know. Fuck!” He groaned.
“I need to go back.” He whined and pouted at Geralt. “Santa won’t be able to enchant the reindeers without the snow globe.”
Geralt huffed. “Half of what you say makes no sense.”
“They can’t fly without it!” Jaskier insisted.
Geralt’s brow furrowed. “Reindeer have wings?”
“Oh darling… no.” He giggled at the mental image. “That’s why they need the Spirit to fly.”
“Your realm is strange.” Geralt rolled his eyes. “Makes no sense.”
Jaskier shrugged. “Perhaps, but it’s home.”
Jaskier stood in the middle of their shared tavern room dressed back in the clothes that he had arrived in. Geralt had almost forgotten just how bright the felty fabric was. He much preferred the way Jaskier looked in the soft blues and golds that he had taken to wearing over the last two months. They complimented his bright cornflower blue eyes better. The garish Christmas elf clothes were too harsh. They made him look like a fool.
Geralt scoffed.
Jaskier may act the fool but he was very much not one. The bells and songs and general foppish persona were just quirks of his personality, and ones that led people to underestimate him, especially now he could access his magic. Geralt had grown quite fond of his elven bard over the last few weeks. The noise and endless chatter was no longer irritating and instead filled a quiet void that Geralt hadn’t realised was there.
His heart beat faster whenever the elf called him darling or, more recently dear heart and he found a little bit of home in Jaskier’s softly glowing eyes.
Ok, so perhaps Geralt had developed feelings for the elf.
Feelings that he would deny profusely if anyone were to ask him. Jaskier was clearly a lover of the fairer sex, and had had many dalliances during his time on the Continent and despite what Jaskier said, he wasn’t jealous.
He would just miss the shining presence of the Christmas elf in his life.
“So…” Jaskier sighed.
He looked miserable and he gripped the snow globe in his hands. His hair was almost completely covered in frost as he absorbed the energy to make the jump. Geralt couldn’t help but smile at that. His magic was unlike anything the Continent had ever seen. In its own way it was remarkably powerful, but if he were to go up against the sorceresses of Aretuza then he would almost certainly lose. Without the snow globe, Jaskier had no access to his powers and they were, what the sorceresses would call, cheap tricks.
Geralt grunted in reply to Jaskier’s unasked question.
“Guess it’s time for me to go.” He sighed again and looked down at his shoes that were adorned with bells.
“Yeah.” Geralt agreed with a scowl, ignoring the pain in his chest.
“Santa needs me.” Jaskier mused. “He needs the globe.”
Geralt tilted his head and moved to cover Jaskier’s hands with his own. He could feel the chill radiating from the elf. He swallowed as he looked into Jaskier’s brilliant blue eyes. Jaskier licked his lips and was, remarkably, quiet.
“He needs you.” Geralt corrected him. “Look at what you’ve done, Jaskier. This was empty before you arrived here.”
“Not empty.” Jaskier amended.
“As good as.” Geralt growled gently at his friend. “You wanted to save your realm?”
Jaskier nodded.
“You’ve done well, elf.” He smiled faintly, it was all he could manage.
Jaskier flushed, probably from the cold that was surrounding them. “Yeah, well. I had a good muse.” He looked up at Geralt through his eyelashes and Geralt was once more taken aback by the elf’s beauty. “Geralt?”
Geralt hummed, finding no words to say.
“I. I should quite like to kiss you now? I thought, maybe, seeing as I probably won’t see you again… there’s no harm in asking right?” Jaskier stammered.
Geralt’s mind went blank and before he knew it his hands were cupping Jaskier’s cheeks and he was kissing the elf fiercely. The kiss was over before it had begun as Geralt realised what he was doing and he stumbled back with wide eyes.
“I’m sorry.”
Jaskier had the audacity to laugh. He scoffed with a jingling flick of his wrist. “Geralt, dear heart, there is nothing to apologise for.”
Geralt scowled at Jaskier. Of course there was something to apologise for.
“I asked you to.” Jaskier reminded him and stepped forward to caress Geralt’s cheek in a gesture that was so tender and openly affectionate that Geralt really didn’t know how to react.
“But you’re leaving.” He mumbled. “Why would you ask that when you’re leaving?”
Jaskier’s eyes bore down into his, and neither of them noticed the snow beginning to fall around them.
“Because I wanted to reason to stay.” Jaskier admitted quietly. “Or at the very least, a reason to come back, to you.”
Geralt’s resolve crumbled and they were kissing again. The snow around them whipped around their feet in a flurry and even Geralt’s hair was covered in frost by the time they parted.
“Stay.” He growled.
Jaskier closed his eyes and shook his head. “They need me.”
“I need you.” Geralt countered.
Jaskier snorted. “A big bad witcher needing little old me? Please.”
Geralt resisted the urge to roll his eyes. “I want you then.”
Jaskier smirked and took Geralt’s hand in his. “Oh I know, I’ll come back, dear heart, darling, shining star, my white wolf.”
Each of the nicknames was followed by a kiss to Geralt’s palm.
Jaskier laughed. “I love you too, darling.” He winked and dropped Geralt’s hand.
Before Geralt could reply, Jaskier shook the snow globe, vanishing in a swirl of snow. The last thing Geralt saw was a twinkle of lights in the flurry of snow flakes and there was an echo of musical laughter.
Jaskier was gone.
And Geralt’s life was still once more. _________________
Tag list: @alwenarin @slythnerd @davidtennan-t @flippinfricks @innocentcinnamonpun @marvagon @elliestormfound @geraskier-trashh @panerato @moonysourenza @artistsfuneral @hailhailsatan @wherethewordsare @havenoffandoms @bitchy-witchy-post-mortem @electricrituals @geralt-of-riviass @00qtee @kittynannygaming @stinastar @scribblesonmapleleaves @thecomfortofoldstorries @fontegagrilledcheese @anythinggoesfandoms @veritasrose @trickstermoose67 @nonegenderleftpain @ohheytheremiss @kueble @love-more-today-than-yesterday @kozkaboi @llamasdumpsterfire
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The Answer
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Requested by: anonymous (“Congrats on reaching over 2.5k followers! I was wondering if I could request something with Joe trying to talk the reader out of doing something stupid, but in a funny way?”)
Summary: When Valentine’s Day turns unexpectedly stressful, your favorite coworker Joe Mazzello is there to offer moral support. I may have gotten a little carried away with this one, but it’s all in the spirit of the holiday! 😂 I hope you enjoy it. 💗
Warnings: Language. 
Word Count: 2.2k. 
You can find all my writing here!
Oh my god, this man is about to ask me to marry him.
You are suddenly aware of every immaterial detail, because this is the sort of night you’re supposed to remember forever. This is the sort of night, the sort of story, you’ll be retelling all your life: to parents, to friends, to overly-chatty hairstylists, to coworkers, to children, to grandchildren. The music is slow, sophisticated, French. The dress you’re wearing is lavender and just a stitch too tight in the ribs. The tablecloth is white, the flowers in the centerpiece ruby-red roses. The candlelight bathes Ryan’s face in hot, flickering gold. And he’s smiling, broadly, artfully, like he knows something you don’t. Like maybe he always will.
You’re trying to follow what he’s talking about, but you can’t. It’s some meandering summation of your last two years together: meeting at your mutual friend Sarah’s New Year’s Eve party, numbers tapped into each other’s iPhones, sushi and green tea, browsing through book stores, murky movie theaters and hands entwining on shared armrests, Fourth of July picnics where you socialized gamely with one another’s extended families, kisses that started out light and fleeting in the chilly lobbies of restaurants like this one and turned into hours spent in the rustling shadows of your bedroom. And although the details sometimes evade you, the arc of Ryan’s story is clear: that the journey was perfectly linear, every piece in place, every want and ritual accounted for. That the time has come for the inevitable conclusion.
He reaches across the table to take your hands in his. The last of your beef bourguignon lays unclaimed and forgotten in its bowl. Your appetite has vanished entirely.
“Pierre,” Ryan tells the moustached waiter, grinning triumphantly. “Could you bring out dessert now, please?”
You hear your chair squeal as you bolt to your feet. Your ankles wobble as you balance on your strappy, rather painful silver heels, the ones Ryan likes so much. “I’ll be right back,” you announce. You flash him a reassuring, innocent smile. You gesture apologetically to the wine and water glasses, like it’s all their fault. The perfect fall guys. How dare they interrupt this magical evening.
Ryan suspects nothing. Or—worse, far far worse—he doesn’t care. “Sure, baby. Take your time.”
You zigzag, rather unsteadily, around the restaurant tables—all those other nameless candle-lit couples reminiscing and giggling and feeding each other spoonfuls of quivering chocolate mousse—and crash through the restroom door. There are two college-aged girls touching up their makeup, stark and bone-white under the florescent lights, and they peer quizzically over at you. You take shelter in the nearest stall and lock the door.
“Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god.” You stare at the wall, waiting for a sign. There’s an artsy black-and-white picture of the Eiffel Tower hanging there. Another trivial detail to one day tell your grandchildren about. “Oh my god,” you moan again.
You root through your purse, pull out your iPhone, and find Joe Mazzello in your contacts. You’ve never called him before; you have his number solely in case of work-related emergencies. But your fingers are moving swiftly, almost autonomically; and time is rolling irrevocably forward like a freight train.
“This is clearly a pocket dial,” Joe says as soon as he answers. “There’s no way you’re thinking about me and my subpar sandwich-making abilities on Valentine’s Day.” He’s right about his sandwich skills; they’re honestly abysmal. He’s the worst employee at Quiznos. He always spills the honey mustard everywhere. You, on the other hand, take great pride in your consistently neat, uniform application of condiments. But, nevertheless, Joe is your favorite coworker. Your favorite coworker by a margin that ships could sail through like a drawbridge.
“Help,” you croak.
“Uh...?” Joe’s voice changes. He’s not exactly serious yet—you’re not really sure what a serious Joe Mazzello would even sound like—but he’s definitely apprehensive. “Are you locked in a trunk somewhere...?”
“Wait, no, sorry. I’m not being kidnapped. I’m at L’amour Vrai.”
“Oh, nice!” But he doesn’t sound that thrilled about it. “With Ryan, I’m assuming.”
“Yeah, therein lies the problem.”
Joe is confounded. “...Did he forget to bring you a massive teddy bear and a heart-shaped box of Ferrero Rocher, or...?”
“I think he’s going to ask me to marry him,” you say in a rush, breathlessly. “He’s been rambling about our relationship and being weird and sentimental all through dinner and I think dessert is going to be, like, a giant bowl of chocolate mousse with a ring hidden in the bottom or something and now I’m hiding in the bathroom.”
“And you don’t even like chocolate mousse,” Joe notes.
“That’s not really the point, but yeah, true.”
“So what are you going to do?”
You don’t have an answer. You don’t even have threads of thoughts that could be woven into words. Because no matter how seamless and fated Ryan’s story of your relationship sounds, you feel that something is missing. You’ve always felt that way. And you’ve waited—patiently, undemandingly, faithfully—for that one last piece of surety to drop out of the sky and click into place for the past seven-hundred and forty-four days. You’ve waited for indelible magnetism, for that sensation of free-falling, for love; you’ve waited until you started to suspect those things didn’t exist at all except in fiction. But sometimes, just recently, you think you might be catching glimpses of them: in how Joe sends you a clandestine smirk when a customer is agonizing over whether they want cheddar or swiss, in how he invents new combinations of fountain drinks for you to taste and rank on a highly scientific ten-point scale (Cherry Coke-Dr. Pepper is the current champion at 8.5/10), in how he complains incessantly about having to close but will wipe down the same counter fifteen times while you count the money in the register so you don’t have to lock up alone. And those transitory glimpses are enough to show you exactly what a lifetime with Ryan would mean living without.
“You don’t want to say yes,” Joe realizes quietly. “You wouldn’t be freaking out and hyperventilating in the bathroom if you did.”
“I don’t think I can say no.”
Joe snorts. “Lady, this isn’t the sixteenth century. You’re not being traded to this guy for some cows or a military alliance or a duchy in Germany. You can always say no.”
“But we’re in the middle of this fancy restaurant and he’s got the staff in on it, and everyone is going to stare when he asks me, they’ll probably start clapping and making TikToks and I’m going to look like a total bitch if I don’t say yes.”
“Well, yeah,” Joe says, a little darkly. “That was probably the plan. To put you in a position where you felt like you didn’t have a choice.” And you recall that Joe doesn’t seem to like Ryan very much, hasn’t said a single nice thing about him in the six months that have passed since Joe joined the illustrious Quiznos team.
“Maybe I should say yes and then after tonight never speak to him again.”
“You’re...gonna ghost your fiancé? You legitimately think that’s a better plan?”
“It’s only going to get harder to back out as this thing picks up momentum. The families will get involved. There will be dress fittings, venue shopping, cake tasting...oh, wait, actually, don’t back out until after the cake tasting. And invite me.”
“I could fake my own death. Or enlist in the Peace Corps. I’ve always wanted to see Mongolia.”
“But then you’d have to give up your promising career in sandwich making.”
“They might have Quiznos in Mongolia.” You sigh, defeated. “I’m really sorry. I shouldn’t be bothering you with this. I’m definitely ruining your Valentine’s Day.”
“There’s not much to ruin, honestly. I’m re-watching Tiger King and eating my weight in Skittles.”
Oh, right; Joe and his girlfriend Julie broke up last week. And come to think of it, despite the fact that you don’t have any identifiable reason to feel this way, you’ve never really liked Julie either. “I’ll gladly trade you.”
“I mean, sure, I fucking love chocolate mousse. My apartment is only three blocks away. I can hurry over there and put on your dress and heels and earrings or whatever you’re wearing, but I feel like Ryan might catch on.”
You laugh, your first real, involuntary, jolting laugh of the day. “Genius. Let’s do it.”
“You can say no,” Joe tells you, seriously now. This, as it turns out, is what a serious Joe Mazzello sounds like: warm, concerned, measured, his typically frenetic energy temporarily wrangled. “If he asks you to marry him and you want to say no, you can say no.”
“Okay,” you reply, taking a deep breath, resolved.
“Yeah. Okay. I’ll say no.”
“Cool.” Joe sounds pleased; proud, even.
“Alright. I’m gonna go. Thanks, Joe. Seriously. Thank you so much.”
“No problem. You can mop up my next honey mustard spill as a show of gratitude.”
“Deal,” you say with a smile, and then you hang up.
Waiting for you back at the table is the moustached waiter cheerfully playing a violin, Ryan’s luminous grin, and a glass chalice full of chocolate mousse. Jesus christ. Chocolate fucking mousse.
Ryan motions for you to take a bite. You obediently sit down, pick up your spoon with a quaking hand, dip it into the center of the chocolate mousse...and lift out a diamond ring. You unleash a gasp of horror that Ryan mistakes for—or, perhaps, is determined to believe is—elation.
Ryan plucks the ring off your spoon, wipes it clean with a red cloth napkin, and slips out of his chair to kneel at your feet. Blood is pounding frantically in your ears. Your courage has evaporated. Your legs feel numb, jellylike, boneless. How the hell are you going to walk out of here after you say no? How the hell are you going to say no at all?
Ryan is reciting some generic, Hallmark-card speech. The other restaurant patrons are beaming, clapping, already assuming your answer. Ryan asks you the question. Your trembling hand is now resting at the base of your flushed throat like a noose. Your words are ghosts.
“I...” you sputter. “”
“Go ahead,” Ryan says, nodding, smooth and undaunted. And suddenly you know that Joe was right; every single part of this was planned. Ryan turns to the crowd. “Aw, folks, give her a hand, she’s shy!”
And as they cheer and whistle encouragingly, as Ryan waits for your acquiescence, as your hope for those things you’ve only caught glimpses of begins to wither like autumn leaves, someone steps between you and Ryan and fills up the hollow, hungry space left by your silence. It’s Joe.
“No no no,” he tells Ryan. His voice is ostensibly matter-of-fact and yet formidable. “She’s not shy. She’s just trying to figure out her answer. And she doesn’t need some random strangers in a French restaurant to help her out with that.” Joe looks at you and raises his eyebrows. “Go ahead. Whenever you’re ready.”
“What the...?!” Ryan exclaims, his eyes shifting from you to Joe. The other patrons are extremely bewildered. The waiter’s violin playing screeches to a halt.
“No,” you say, your courage flooding back in, a slow smile igniting across your face.
Ryan doesn’t understand. “No...?”
“No. My answer is no. The past two years have been nice, but this is over now. I’m not right for you, Ryan. You’re not right for me either. And I think you know that. So goodbye.”
You stand, sling your purse over your shoulder, and follow Joe out of L’amour Vrai; but not before you yank off your silver high heels and leave them there on the restaurant floor. The other guests are in scandalized uproar now. Ryan is still kneeling, furious and in shock. Outside it is bitingly cold and your breath turns to fog in the night air; the chilly concrete sidewalk soothes the aching soles of your feet.
Joe is ecstatic, his eyes gleaming under the streetlights as you walk together. “That was incredible! Did you see his face?! He totally thought he was going to be able to bully you into saying yes and you were not having it, you are a beast my dear, I hope some of those people put you on TikTok, I hope you get TikTok famous for being freaking awesome, then you can get rich and buy a mansion and let me live in the pool house and I’ll never have to work or suffer another honey-mustard-related catastrophe again—”
“Joe.” You stop him abruptly, resting a palm against his chest, gazing up at him beneath the cold stars. And after a moment he understands, and he kisses you. You catch more than a glimpse of those beautiful things you’d feared might not exist. They light up like the goddamn Eiffel Tower.
“I’ve wanted that for six months,” Joe says as he pulls away, softly, shakily, smiling almost shyly.
“Yeah,” you reply. “I think I have too.”
Joe takes your face in his hands and kisses you again. He tastes like heat and harmony and laughter and Skittles; but more than all of that, he tastes like love.
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show-choir-gal · a year ago
“Pinky Promise?” Oliver Wood Imagine
Guide: Y/N: Your Name Y/F/F: Your Favourite Flower
Words: 3,098
Every now and again, I like to reflect on Oli and I's friendship; how we started and how we got here.
It was our first year at Hogwarts, we met each other on the Hogwarts express. I had gotten a booth early, since my parents hated being anywhere near late for anything. Oliver had hopped on and was looking for a place to sit. I was sitting and reading this week's newspaper of Quidditch Weekly. "Mind if I sit here? I love Quidditch!" He said with bright eyes. "Of course! I'm Y/N McCormack, what is your name?" I asked as I reached out my hand. "I'm Oliver Wood. Wha- Wait, did you just say that your surname was McCormack? Is Cartiona your mum?" "Why yes, she is." You replied with a chuckle, "I didn't expect someone my age to know who she is." "She was an amazing Chaser for Pride of Portree and absolutely nailed herself a place on the Scottish Quidditch Team and a place in Quidditch Hall of Fame! How could I not know her!?" Oliver replied. We spent the whole train ride  talking about our love for Quidditch. You could just feel the pure happiness radiating off of us and our newly found friendship. *End Flashback*
Oli and I had only grown closer and closer with each passing year. He has been my best friend in the whole known universe. We both made the Quidditch team our second year, not much of a surprise for either of us. We were a package deal, like George and Fred Weasley. Oliver was a Keeper and I was a Chaser. We killed it on the pitch each and every single practice and game. We were, and are, unbreakable. Pretty much from the moment we woke to the moment we went to bed, we were together. Nothing could break us apart. In our Fourth Year, Oliver was chosen as the team captain, which made me a bit disappointed because I really thought I was going to get the position. I was a little hurt, not going to lie, but still... my best friend was the captain. He ended up appointing me as his "second in command" aka, his assistant captain.
I remember the moment like it was yesterday, the moment I realised I was in love with Oliver. It was the end of our fifth year. It was our last match of the year, we didn't win but Oliver gave us a killer speech about how proud he was of all of us. Once we were all changed, Oli and I walked back to the castle, but he stopped suddenly. "Oli... Is everything okay? Are you ill?" I asked, walking closer Oliver grabbed my arms and pulled me in for a hug. Butterflies started  flying inside me. I didn't understand the feelings at first so I brushed them off. "Thank you for dealing with me, thank you for being you." Oliver said to me, I hugged back. "Oli, it's no problem. You're my best friend, it's the least I could do...Someone has to put you in your place." I replied with a chuckle as we let go of each other. We continued our way back to the castle for dinner, "Do you want to come over this summer? My parents wanted to know if you wanted to come on holiday with us." Oliver asked. "I would love to, I'll just have to ask my parents." I replied. "Oh no worries, I have the Wood charm. Who could say no to this smile?" Oliver said, flashing that world winning grin at me. He's right, who could say no to that smile.
Summer was around the corner, and the school was really trying to do a "secret admirer" thing to get spirits up. Oliver was getting flowers left and right, as well as giggles from girls of all houses. Oliver was bragging to Fred and George about it, and they were just fuelling his ego. Oliver and I weren't together, but I was jealous. All of a sudden I was jealous, and not in the way I usually was. I was suddenly hit with all these feelings for him, feelings I have never really felt before. Every girl sending him flowers and flirting with him and him flirting back...stung. It stung like I had just been stung by a handful of wasps on the pitch during a practice. It never stopped. In class? Nope. In the corridors? Nope. In the middle of a conversation with me? Apparently that stopped no one. It wasn't even time for lunch and I already just wanted to sleep the rest of the day away. Oliver and I finished our last Charms exam for the year and we headed to lunch together, we just about reached the dining hall when a group of sixth year girls came up to us and gave Oliver all their flowers and hurling flirts in his direction. Oliver was so preoccupied with those girls that he didn't even notice that I had walked away and entered the dining hall by myself. I walked to my usual seat and sat down and started to put food on my plate. Just as I was about to take my first bite, a yell of my name made me jump out of my skin and I looked towards Fred whose voice I recognised. "Oi, you're not eating yet." Fred said. "What's going on?" George chimed in. "I don't know what you are talking about." I said as I took a bite of my sandwich. "Oliver isn't with you." The twins said in unison. "Oh, yeah. A group of sixth year girls stopped him and were just gushing their feelings about him. I'm annoyed so I walked away." I replied as I took another bite, seeing out the corner of my eye that the twins shook their heads at each other and then fixed their gaze on me again. "Sounds like someone is jealous..." George said with a wink. "Jealous that other girls are giving ol' Oli attention." Fred said as he nudge George. "Me? Jealous? As if! Why would I be jealous?" I asked with a cocked eyebrow as I turned to face them. "Be honest Y/N." George said. "It's obvious you like him." Fred chimed in. "You like him and want him for yourself." George continued. "It's quite obvious, you can't fool us." They said in unison. "You two are just ill. Should I take you two to Madam Pomfrey?" I said as I tilted my head in "concern". "Believe what you want," George started. "But trust us." Fred finished. "Make him jealous back." They said in unison and gave me a wink. Their attention quickly went to the front of the dining hall, I turned my head to see Oliver walking in with those girls trailing behind him. I rolled my eyes and just kept eating. Oliver went on and on about it, and I just slowly started to feel sad. It was so bad that Fred and George were trying to signal Oliver to stop. They didn't want to see me this sad. He would not get the hint though. He was too absorbed in the euphoria he was feeling. I decided I had heard enough and was getting ready to get up when Professor McGonagall came rushing into the dining hall. "Ms.McCormack, this is.." Professor McGonagall started, but was then cut off. "Mr.Carneirus, I'm a big fan of you and your mum," He said as he started to shake my hand, "This is the photographer Adrian. We're both here for the Daily Prophet." I gave a puzzled look. "Although Gryffindor didn't win the last match, all we can say were that all eyes were on YOU. There were Quidditch scouts here to scout out who they might want on their teams in the coming year, but eyes never left you. We want to write an article about you, the new and upcoming Quidditch star!" He said with a smile. "! I'm extremely flattered!" I replied, in awe of the situation in front of me. "No need to thank us! Thank yo-" He was cut off by your mother, who had a new broom with her, which she threw in your direction. "Thank me." My mother said with a smirk as I caught the broom. My eyes widened, "Wow! Is this a new broom.?" I questioned. "It's more than new," My mother said with a smile, "It's one of a kind. A Firebolt Supreme. My buddy patented this design and wants to see it in action. It won't be out for a few more years." We all talked for a few and then I realised the time. Fred and George brought my broom down to the changing rooms and Oliver and I went to class. We were discussing how the paper wants us to have a game against Slytherin to test out the broom...and make me look good.
Dinner came around, and everything was back to normal. Well, now the school was buzzing over me. Fred, George, Oliver, and I were mid conversation when Fred and George went silent and stared behind Oliver and I. Oliver and I made eye contact and we looked behind us. "What do you want Flint?" Oliver said aggressively. "Relax Wood, I'm not here for you, I'm here for the beautiful girl right next to you." Flint said with a smirk, and I immediately started to blush. Marcus removed his hand from behind him, revealing a beautiful bouquet of Y/F/F, "I've been quite interested in you for a while now and would love to know if you would want to go on a date in Hogsmeade before the year ends?" He asked, with a smirk as he slightly blushed. " I would love to." I replied with a smile and he handed me the flowers and took my hand. "I will see you tomorrow beautiful." He said before he kissed my hand and walked away, but not before he sent a wink to the group of boys around me. Oliver and the twins started to stand up but I grabbed them to stay down. "He just wants you for the spotlight." Oliver said, face becoming as red as a tomato. The twins were about to say something but Angelina chimed in before they had the chance, "He's been interested in her since second year. I hear about it ALL the time in the classes we share." Those words shut the boys up. Eventually we finished dinner and Oliver had the team head to the pitch for a practice. Just because it was to test the broom and show me off, doesn't mean Oliver won't have us go in blind.
The morning rolled around and I had to be down at the pitch extra early for pictures and the interview. The whole team decided to come down early as well to support me. Once I was in full game wear, I walked out onto the pitch and was greeted by the editor, photographer, and my parents. While pictures were being taken, the Slytherin team  was walking in to change. Marcus and I made eye contact and he sent a wave and wink over in my direction. I saw that Oliver almost went over to do something but the twins held him back. I will admit, it did make me giggle. After the pictures, the interview went off without any issues. Apparently I had been deemed as "The Mini McCormack", I like the nickname not going to lie. All the stands were filled to the brim with people. From students to their parents, fans of my mother to Quidditch Scouts. Not an empty seat in the stadium. As soon as the Gryffindor team emerged from the sideline, applause roared through the stands. I was going to let Oliver lead the team up for a few laps around the pitch, but he wanted me to lead with a few fast laps by myself to show off the Firebolt Supreme. And that's what I did. I mounted my broom and went up to see all my peers. My eyes laid onto my parents who hugged and waved at me. I braced and took about 3 laps to myself, going as fast as this new broom allowed me (which was very fast). I was met by my team and slowed down to stay in formation, having Oliver lead the team like we normally did. We lowered ourselves to let Slytherin do the same. The game was well underway, and we were beating Slytherin, but not by much. As we witnessed a Quaffle go through Slytherins middle hoop, I went up to Angelina and the other Chaser and whispered "Parkin's Pincer". We all smiled and as soon as Marcus had the Quaffle, Angelina got on his right and I on his left. "You're quite handsome when you play." I said with a wink, trying to distract him. "It's all for you love." He replied, but before he could send me a wink back, our other chaser was heading right for him. He got nervous and released his grip on the Quaffle. Angelina grabbed it right out from under him and flew up, all the Slytherin chasers went up to follow her, but I knew what she was doing. I flew as fast as I could towards the Slytherin hoops. I looked up and she threw it ahead of me without climbing down. I flew and caught it and went straight for the hoops. I threw and I scored. This game went on and on until we had caught the snitch! This wasn't real game, but it sure did feel good to win against Slytherin. I took a victory lap around when a stray Bludger came hurling my way. Without thinking I grabbed a bat from Fred and got my angle right and hit the Bludger with all my might into the open box Madam Hooch was holding. I came back down to see Oliver's mouth open. "I- I didn't know you could hit..." Oliver somehow sputtered out. "My dad was a Beater, I'm not entirely my mum. Now close your mouth before flies get in." I said as I shut his mouth myself. I was about to walk away into the changing when I felt hands wrap around my waist, I looked and saw it was Marcus. I smiled. "She's quite a woman, Wood. Isn't she?" He said with a smirk. Oliver almost swung at Marcus' head, but I stopped his hand. "Get in the changing room. NOW!" I said sternly to Oliver. "You better listen to her or else you'll end up like the Bludger." Marcus said with a chuckle. I playfully slapped his arm and shot him an apologetic look before I made my way into the changing room.
It was September 1st, the first day of our Sixth Year. I boarded the train first, like I had every year previously. Fred and George joined me next, they were filling me in on how their summer was and how their youngest brother was a first year. Oliver followed not super long after the twins. He sat down beside me and we told the twins of the holiday we went on with Oli's family, and how we made some amazing plays for the upcoming Quidditch season. Suddenly, there was a knock on the booth's door. We all looked, and it was Marcus. I excused myself and went to talk to him outside, out of earshot of the boys. Soon after, Marcus and I kissed and he went to the Slytherin car. Oliver was a little weird after that, but nothing too bad. The year continued to just get better and better, until two days before the House Cup match between Gryffindor and Slytherin. Marcus broke up with me, well, I confronted him about cheating on me and he admitted to it. I had a tutoring session with a third year but rescheduled it due to "personal reasons". I went down to the pitch and just let everything I could out. I grabbed my broom and flew around the pitch. Eventually, I grew tired of flying aimlessly, so I decided to just watch the stars and hoping Merlin showed me some help and sympathy.
I heard someone come onto the pitch, but I didn't move. I stayed staring at the stars. It wasn't until Oliver was right in front of me that he was the one who had entered the pitch. "Why weren't you at dinner?" He asked, concern grew in his voice. "Personal reasons." I spit out, trying not to cry. "You're my best friend, what is wrong Y/N?" He practically begged me to give him an answer. I started to let it all out, "He cheated on me." The anger grew inside Oliver, but this wasn't the time to be angry. He brought both of us down to the pitch and just grabbed me in a hug to comfort me. I had my best friend back, the man I was truly in love with.
The day of the match came and went. Gryffindor had won because I rewrote a play last minute, I was so happy for Oliver. This was the moment he had been waiting for. I let him enjoy the glory he had been wanting for so long. The Gryffindor party started without a hitch. I kind of just stayed on the sidelines while my team was off flirting with whomever their heart desired. I didn't mind being alone, I wanted everyone else to have a good time. Oliver was heading my way despite the army of girls trying to get his attention. He grabbed my hand and dragged me to the front of the common room. "Oliver wha-" I started but before I could finish, Oliver had one hand on my waist and the other grabbing my face and pulling me in for a kiss. This was a kiss of pure love. Don't ask me how I know, I just know. This was love. I was in shock, mixed in the same silence from the whole room looking at us. I was speechless. "I love you, and I have since we first met that September 1st of our first year. Now can you promise you'll be mine forever now?" Oliver asked, with tiny tears swelling his eyes. "Pink promise?" I asked with a smirk. "Pink promise." He replied as we pinky promised and kissed again. The twins roaring for us in the background.
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hwanung · 11 months ago
lux brumalis.
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lemurēs were restless ghosts. wicked ghosts. vengeful ghosts. kihyun could certainly be all those things, but he was far, far greater than the sum of his parts. throughout the course of those seven days of saturnalia, he changed your perception of the world fundamentally and forever.
PAIRING: yoo kihyun x fem!reader, johnny suh x fem!reader
GENRE: ancient rome!au, mythology!au, ghost!au, fluff & angst
WARNINGS: mentions of violence, war, & gambling; death generally used as a theme; some mythogical/historical divergence; occasional untranslated latin
this work is dedicated to @raibebe​, whom i was assigned to be a secret santa for in @kafenetwork​‘s holiday event <3
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The first time you saw him, Saturnalia had just begun.
Feasting and festivities, rows upon rows of people—patrician and plebeian alike—dining together and partaking in the holiday. You remember leaning against Johnny, laughing at something he had said. A strip of leather tied his shoulder-length hair back from his face, but two golden locks had fallen out from their binding and persistently framed his smile. The world was glowing in fairytale hues, and for once you felt free from your burdens.
The lemurēs tended to avoid the celebrations. They could not enjoy many things, of course, least of all a festival symbolizing the freeing of souls into immortality—their own souls were doomed to walk the earth for eternity, a strange state between life and death. There was no glimmer of happiness to be found for them. 
Occasionally, a translucent figure would toe the edge of the meadow, lip curled in disgust. If they caught you staring at them, they would fix you with an icicle-like glare, then dissipate into the wind. Their visits were brief; none tarried. Perhaps they only came to observe the ceremony, reflect on what it was like to be awake. Perhaps it was the pain of remembrance that kept them from remaining for too long.
That was why he caught your attention that day. Upon first sight, you had assumed he would retreat soon like the rest, but he did no such thing. No, he was standing in the midst of the banqueters, incorporeal among corporeal. And his eyes? Set on you, gaze so piercing it felt as though you had been run through with a spear.
You felt a nudge from Johnny on your left. “What is it?”
“It is nothing,” you replied, head still turned toward the specter. 
He craned his neck to see what you were observing, getting closer to you in the process. “Ah, one of the lemurēs dallying? Do not pay it any mind. Though, this behavior is very strange…”
You hit him playfully. “Ah, so the champion of bathhouse ballet would like to talk about strange behavior?”
“Heia! You can joke about that incident all you want, but my dancing was superb and I did not slip that day. Not even once!”
“The same cannot be said for your towel, though.”
Johnny—as always—took this in stride. “I have nothing to be ashamed of there,” he fired back with a smirk.
You pinched the bridge of your nose in mock distress. “My gods, how the youth of today are corrupted.”
He shook his head, equally as mock solemn. “There is no saving this one. He might as well give into gluttony and gorge himself on sweets.” Quick as flint against steel, Johnny reached out for the platter of honey cake and happily took a bite. 
He was distracted with his meal, and you were distracted by the shade. Your eyes were drawn to him like a moth to a flame. One minute, he was intimidating the revelers (inadvertently or not); the next, he vanished and reappeared at the edge of the woods. There he stood, head tilted and eyes blazing in a challenge. 
You muttered a quick prayer to Salus and got up from your seat, meeting the spirit’s stare. You did not know why he was fixated on you, but you were determined to find out. As you moved away from the table, Johnny caught your wrist, intimately knowing what you were about to do.
“Do not go. There is nothing good to be found in consorting with ghosts.” His tone was painfully grave, a stark contrast to his earlier banter. 
You offered your friend a reassuring smile. “The undead have never frightened me. This one is no more special.”
He shook his head. “Lemurēs are different. Not like wraiths, frightening but disincarnate and unable to harm. Lemurēs… they are just like the most cruel of us, complex and vindictive beings. You do not leave an encounter with one without having traded something of your own.”
“I am certain I will be getting something worthwhile in return.”
He let go of your wrist, but he kept his fingers brushed against yours. “By the gods, you must come back safely.”
 “I swear I will.” 
He nodded, but the lines in his face were still darkly etched. As you turned from him and walked toward the spirit, you could feel his heavy gaze set on your back, like he was watching a lamb to the slaughter.
The forest was the only place where it actually felt like winter. Frosted grass and dead twigs crunched beneath your sandals as you proceeded deeper into the woods, the trees stretching their long branches over your head; you did not know if they were trying to protect you or possess you.
You finally glimpsed him in a clearing. The path leading to it was so straight and the boundary so circular that you began to think he had constructed it himself. When he caught sight of you, a self-satisfied smirk spread across his face. You had fallen into his hands, for better or for worse. “Why have you followed me, mel?” The term of endearment sounded sickly saccharine in his mouth, like yew berries crushed in honey. 
You raised your chin. You could not show fear, much as it was present. “Is curiosity not a good enough reason?”
“If mere curiosity led you to follow a dangerous spirit into the middle of the woods, I am afraid to see what passion could drive you to.”
“You describe yourself as dangerous, yet you have made no move to harm me.”
His eyes were filled with derision—yet, there was another emotion within them, a sense of interest. You felt as if you were being dissected, your very essence being picked apart with morbid fascination. “Do not be so easily tricked into safety, girl. Perhaps I am watching your behavior and biding my time. Perhaps I am toying with you as a cat does to a rodent, and at any moment you will be under my claw. I can drive you mad with my whispers, freeze your heart with my touch. Misjudge me again, and I will not show you any niceties.” With that, he vanished, like a warm breath against cold air. 
You let out a shaky breath. The woods had been chilly before, but now, it was as frigid as the banks of the river Acheron. You felt chilled to the bone and sapped of all vigor, blood frozen and hands turning to marble. Where the sun had once left kisses, the wind bit. You could only assume this was due to the spirit’s presence—or lack thereof.
Flexing your stiff fingers, you adjusted the sleeves of your tunic and turned back toward the banquet. The sounds of distant laughter and playful shrieks filled you with a sense of comfort and normalcy that you desperately needed. This whole encounter with the ghost left you in complete and utter disarray. You hadn’t gotten a single bit of information, not even his name. There were sharp rocks in your sandals and branches scratching your shoulders, and you began to feel as if this whole endeavor was not worth it. With a sigh, you returned to your friend, solace and true warmth.
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You weren’t expecting to see him again on the second day of Saturnalia.
How could you ever anticipate one of the lemurēs appearing on your doorstep? It hadn’t been too long since the last Lemuralia. Did the rites not work? You were getting too disgruntled to be fearful. 
You had no reason to be fearful at all, truthfully. In the morning’s lazy glow, the ghost was only a lake’s reflection or light streaking between leaves, a picture perfect in paintings. 
“What are you doing here, spurcifer? You are not allowed to loiter around my home like this!” 
He leaned back against the wall, raising an eyebrow in amusement at your bold, accusatory tone. “By whose decree?”
You scoffed. “Nature’s. During Lemuralia, when your kind devoured the black beans Father had thrown over his shoulder, the premises were supposed to be protected from evil spirits such as you.”
He chuckled, a dark tint to his voice. “You truly think chanting a few lines and walking around will exorcise wicked ghosts? We stay away because we can’t be bothered.” His eyes flickered away from yours, betraying a secret that you could not discern. “In any case, we do not eat the black beans.”
You furrowed your brow. “Is that so?”
“We cannot partake of any food or drink.”
“Well, naturally, but I always believed—”
“Even if that was possible, what makes you animātiōnēs surmise that we would lust after mere beans? Why not offer the finest sections of meat as you would to appease the gods?” You saw his eyes flicker up toward the heavens for a brief moment. Incorporeal, but still fearful of the deities’ wrath.  Or perhaps he was getting exasperated with you. More likely, you supposed. 
“I had always been taught that—”
He cut you off again. You were not sure where his manners ran off to; perhaps he had never possessed any. “I was raised with the same customs as you. The same beliefs, although two hundred years prior. That does not mean they were not wrong.”
“I understand that, but—”
“You never truly get a perspective on anything until you are fated to walk the earth for eternity. This is what animātiōnēs will never understand, all the hardships and—”
You had reached your breaking point. “Argh, tacē tū! You are sounding like my grandfather’s father, all this droning on and on about misconceptions. I get it! I am a stupid human and you are an intelligent—but bitter, extremely bitter—spirit. Stop rambling and get off my family’s property.”
After a shocked pause, he began to laugh, long and loud. “Ah, I knew you would be an interesting one. You will not be getting rid of me anytime soon, mel. I am quite enjoying our conversations.”
“I do not appreciate being treated like the object of your research, spurcifer.”
“You continue to call me spurcifer, but I’d prefer you to call me by my actual name.” 
“You have neglected to tell me what it is.”
“Kihyun. Remember it, if you’re bright enough.”
You had never been more offended. “Sceleris plēnissime! Nēquam quidem es!” you shouted after him, though he had already disappeared. The pedestrians around you gave you judging looks, having deemed you insane; yelling insults into thin air can never be interpreted any other way. 
A familiar laugh sounded from behind you. “Gone crazy already?” Johnny asked.
You sighed. “Lemurēs are not as dangerous as you told me. Just… very irritating.”
“What I said holds true. In exchange for his name, you lost your time and sanity.” He was suppressing a smile, but his eyes could not help but twinkle in mirth.
You muttered a few vulgarities under your breath. “I suppose it could be worse,” you conceded.
“Yes, this ‘Kihyun’ seems to have taken a liking to you. He could have just as well stolen your voice, or your youth, or your memory.” The look in Johnny’s eyes grew serious, but his smile was as bright as ever. “I am not going to force you to stop conversing with the spirit. You have your own volition, and it is not my place to challenge that. I only care about your safety.” He reached out and gently tucked a hair behind your ear, an affectionate gesture you were not used to receiving from him. “But you are clever and wise and courageous, far more than I. Whatever you set your mind to, you will achieve.”
You gave him a soft smile. Johnny, being a son of Venus, was flirtatious and boastful, but there were certain moments in which he was utterly tender. You loved him for it, though you weren’t sure whether this was a friendly sort of adoration or… more than that. You never gave much thought to your feelings, instead choosing to go with the flow and take things one day at a time. You had all the time in the world. 
“Are you coming with me to play dice? Surely you’ll do better than last Saturnalia!” Johnny asked, back to his cheery self. Gambling was only permitted during the seven days of the festival. The stakes were usually low—nuts or coins—but you were unpracticed in betting and usually ended up losing. Still, there was thrill to be found in it. “Lady Fortuna will be on my side today, I can feel it!” “Let us see if your winging words have any substance behind them!” With that challenge and a wink, Johnny was off, and you had no choice but to follow.
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The sleepiness had not yet been blinked from your eyes when you saw the shimmering outline of a shade. There was an effect like when a sunbeam hits the clear water of a pond—you could not directly pinpoint where the air ended and something tangible began. You stretched languorously, taking your time to get out and get ready.
It was only the third day of Saturnalia, and there were still celebrations to be had.
“You’re getting bolder, appearing in my room. You never seem to tire of bothering me, do you?”
“Who said I’m here to bother you? I am merely observing your living conditions.” Kihyun responded, stealing the pillow from under your head. “What a shame that you live in an īnsula. A domūs would be more interesting—I am too used to seeing these run-down, inflammable buildings.” He tossed the pillow in the air and caught it with a smirk.
“The gods did not grant me an extraordinarily affluent upbringing, my apologies.” Seeing that the ghost could actually pick up physical objects sent a chill up your spine. If he gained possession of a knife, what sort of havoc could he wreak?
Like he was reading your thoughts, Kihyun snorted. “It is impossible for lemurēs to fatally harm animātiōnēs, if you are concerned about that.” He threw the pillow at you. It hit you in the throat lightly, and you coughed. “We can use objects to inflict blunt damage, but never our bare hands. Our preferred method of torment is psychological.” His eyes glinted, and you abruptly understood all the severe warnings you had been given about lemurēs, all the rituals to keep them away. They were not beings to keep as acquaintances. You had gotten too comfortable in Kihyun’s presence, too jocular. He was not a friend, and you were foolish to think he could be anything close to one.
Kihyun’s smile was wicked in the sunrise’s orange light. “You seem tense, mel.”
You got out of bed and backed away from him. “I still do not know your intentions with me, but whatever they are, I will not let you carry them out.”
He scratched his chin nonchalantly. “My purpose is only to have fun. Eternity is tedious.”
“You are not telling the full truth. Why did you single me out at the banquet?”
“I stared at many people that day. You were not the only one to notice, but you were certainly the only one who acted on your observation.” His grin grew wider. “I like when prey makes me chase it.”
“You are vile,” you spit out.
“You already knew that, mel. But you are not making yourself walk away.”
He vanished, leaving you with the feeling that you had gotten yourself into something entirely too great for you to handle.
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Kihyun and his iniquity should have been the only thing on your mind, but on the fourth day of Saturnalia, you were too preoccupied to spare him a single thought.
Johnny had just run to you, parchment clenched tightly in his fist, the beginnings of tears in the corners of his eyes. This was the first sign that something big had happened; Johnny only ever sauntered. You dropped the goods you had been carrying back home from the market, fruit rolling in all directions, as chaotic as your thoughts.
His chest was rising and falling quickly, quickly. You did not know if this was from panic or the exertion of running. “It is… it is my father. From the battlefield. The Gauls are… more formidable than they at first thought. I am to fight for Caesar and the Roman Republic. He has ordered me to join the war at—at once.” It was the first time you had seen Johnny completely and utterly terrified.
The air in your lungs turned solid. You could not breathe nor think. Johnny’s father was a high-ranking general and one of Caesar’s favored; Love was always drawn to War, thus Venus to warriors. But Johnny had always taken after his mother. He was not suited to blood and gore and all the horrors of battle. They would eat him alive.  
“Do not tell me you are actually thinking of going.”
“What choice do I have? If I don’t go voluntarily, I will be dragged there.”
Your grim stare mirrored his. “Then let yourself be dragged. Delay for a bit longer. You are not prepared.”
“Do you not understand? I cannot dally! The troops are in dire need of aid. They need as many men as possible to fight for them, lest they all be killed!”
“And how will you aid them? You may share a parent with Aeneas, but you are nothing close to him.” You knew your words were biting, but you were acting out of desperation.
Johnny set his jaw. “I would rather die in glory than suffer in idleness. I am going. If you truly think of me as your friend, you will not attempt to stop me any longer.” With that, he left. 
You sank down to your knees on the grass, every part of your body feeling heavy. You had never been devoted to Mars, but you sent a prayer to him now, begging him to watch over Johnny and allow him to come back home safely. “Do not worry. Your friend will not suffer the same fate I have,” said a rough voice.
You looked up. There was Kihyun, with his serrated stare. “How can you be certain?” you said bitterly. “They will leave him to the crows and he will never get a proper burial.”
“He is the son of a goddess and loved by the gods. They will take care of him. Even if he is fated to perish in battle, he will not end up cursed like me.” He did not say this with a consoling tone, but with a factual one. 
“Either way, I will never know him again in the afterlife. I do not believe you have memories in the land of the dead.”
Kihyun nodded, looking at you with what was a poor imitation of pity. “It is the same with lemurēs. We do not retain any of our memories from when we were truly alive. I know only what killed me”—he gestured to his abdomen, where the ash shaft of a spear became visible for a brief moment before vanishing again—“and where my soul is tethered. This new beginning, a fresh start for the rest of eternity… it’s desirable, to some.”
You studied him carefully. “Was it desirable to you?”
He glanced away, then back at you. “Many things seem desirable until you actually gain them.” It was a non-answer that told you more than a direct one would have.
“Do you—do you ever want to know how exactly you died? For what cause, who killed you, anything?”
Kihyun raised an eyebrow. “I do not ‘want to know.’ I do know, using logic and reasoning, two things which you severely lack. I can only assume I died in the Pyrrhic War, fighting for some general that would never thank me by name. I do not particularly care to find out what sorry soul impaled me. He is certainly wandering the earth now just as I do.” His tone was steady and unfeeling throughout, but his words were charged and you got the impression that everything affected him more than he cared to admit. 
But you did not comment on this. His grief was his alone. You were expecting him to vanish like he always did, but now he took a seat beside you on the grass. The air was rife with copper thoughts and steel emotions.
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On the fifth day of Saturnalia, something had fundamentally changed.
Johnny had boarded a ship in the morning. Your best friend was separated from you for the first time in many years, and you felt like a chunk of your heart had gone with him. You could still feel the imprint of Johnny’s lips on your knuckles, a parting gesture before his journey into uncertainty. The last moments you spent with him had been sentimental, yesterday’s conflict forgotten. You had said all manner of affectionate things that you would have never said in normal times, which were reciprocated equally back. When your world came crashing down around you, there was no use in withholding the truth. Whatever was between you and Johnny could not be fully realized, but there was comfort in knowing that the other knew too.
You could not locate Kihyun for a good portion of that day. You were not certain why he was staying away, but perhaps it was for the best. You were not in the mood to hear his snide remarks or witness his condescending expression. It was a day of sorrow for you, and you knew he would not respect that.
But the second you managed to find him, you knew that his avoidance of you was wholly unintentional. You sucked in a breath, seeing the horrible state he was in.
Like a dying candle, Kihyun was flickering in and out of existence. He usually retained a constant state of translucence—there, but not quite—but now he was completely physical one moment, completely gone the next. The worst part was the broken spear in his side—blood had begun to stain his pure white toga, a harsh contrast.
“Gods, Kihyun…” you quickly knelt by him and tore a strip from the bottom of your gown in an effort to bandage his wound, but it was ineffective. 
He grimaced. “Something… strange... magic… not sure…”
“Save your energy. We must get to a priest or-or a doctor, anyone that can help.”
He grabbed your wrist weakly. “No… cannot… help… no…”
The intermittent moments when he was nonexistent became more and more frequent. Within a minute or two, he would vanish permanently. You felt the need to do something, but there was nothing you could do. You were a mere mortal, with no powers of any sort. 
His grip on your wrist tightened. “Take care… dangerous times… be careful.”
“I will, I will. I swear I will.”
He gave you one last meaningful look before he was no longer part of this world.
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He was not there the sixth day of Saturnalia.
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It was the seventh day of Saturnalia, and the festival was drawing to a close. Gifts were being exchanged. The occasion was entirely merry, but you could not find happiness. How could you possibly? Your best friend was off to war and Kihyun, your—well, you were not entirely sure what your relationship with him was, but he was certainly of significance to you—Kihyun had suffered a terrible fate, death for the undead. Your own future was uncertain. 
There was a performance going on at the amphitheater. You had never really cared for plays, but the noise of thousands of people, chattering amongst themselves and at times laughing uproariously, offered you a sense of comfort. You took a seat at the utmost highest tier; the air was spectacular but the view was not. You let yourself breathe for once, letting go of all the tension. This too shall pass, you reminded yourself.
You heard someone sit down close to you, but you ignored them. You were consumed by your own musings.
That is, until the person spoke.
“Any gifts for me, mel? I have been wanting a new hunting knife. Or perhaps a set of knucklebones.” 
A gasp shot out of you. “Kihyun?”
He snorted. He was just as he had always been. “Who else?”
You stared at him, taking everything in. He seemed slightly more corporeal than he had been before, but everything else was normal. The spear shaft was gone, and in the sunlight, his brightness was glaring, shifting though it was. “How…? What…?” 
“I am not truly sure. On the fifth day of Saturnalia, I felt forces shifting. The world was turned on its side. I assume I was caught in the middle of the changes, because I was quite literally split into two—the parts of me that were human and the parts of me that were entirely spiritual. I was phasing in and out of reality, as you saw. But as for how I came back…” He shrugged. “I am lucky to still be here.”
Instinctively, you threw your arms around him, wrapping him in a tight hug. 
Previously, you thought your hands would go right through him, but you were relieved when you found out that was not the case. “Spurcifer, how dare you!”
“Vah, let go of me, stolide. I do not appreciate having my arms be pinned to my sides,” he said gruffly, but you could hear the laughter in his voice.
When you finally let go, his demeanor was almost pleasant. In his gaze, you felt gratefulness and joy and… adoration. Kihyun, one of the fearsome lemurēs, feeling love—love directed at you. You could not believe it. Here he was, ghostly and formidable and warm. All your hairs had stood on edge when you were merely in his presence, but now he was as comforting as the hearth, as Vesta herself. Ice had become flames. 
Without warning, he surged forward and pressed his lips to yours. He was searching, searching for a truth eternal, a key finding its lock, the perfect fit. You met him easily, like it was meant to be all along. He was a spirit and you were a mortal, but nothing had ever felt so right as this.
And two hearts were entwined as one.
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TAGS: @yunhozone @hwacinth-main @potatoe-life @yunhowhoitiss @serenityswords @yunderland @inkigayeo @ashisparanoid [this is my general taglist! let me know if you would like to be added to or removed from it <3] @1-800-seo​
AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY: in the asks i exchanged with rai, i learned 3 things that were vitally important to the creation of this fic: one, that she loves supernatural concepts; two, that she also takes interest in mythology and nonmodern settings; & three, that she’s a sucker for johnny’s long blond hair—aren’t we all 😳 when you combine all that w my latin student self, you get ✨this✨
this fic required a lot of researching, editing, & planning to complete, but i’m satisfied with the end result :D please let me know your thoughts, i’m always happy to hear feedback ^^ have an amazing day, & io saturnalia !!
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hazelquartz · 10 months ago
Rhapsody of a Veela part 11
Summary: Y/n is a half witch half Veela who was put under snape`s guardianship. She is also the girfriend of Gryffindor`s mischief maker Fred Weasley, however now that the summer break has arrived she is dreading the time they will have to spend apart. 
Pairings: Fred Weasley x Reader, Cedric Diggory x Reader, Draco Malfoy x Reader / Yes I know, so many ships but still, this takes place over a few years so I think it`s fair.
Warnings: None, except maybe drinking.
Word Count: 1.8k
Part.1 / Part.2 / Part.3 / Part.4 / Part.5 / Part.6 / Part.7 / Part.8 / Part.9 / Part.10 / Part.12 /
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Part.11 – Summer at Spinner`s end
Word spread around rather quickly that the pair of you had made up again. You did not mind it at all, perhaps now people like Malfoy would leave you alone. For the rest of the schoolyear Fred was constantly at your side, holding you, kissing you as if he was afraid you would disappear from him at any moment. As the weather was changing, spring was turning into summer little by little. You were studying together, him for his ordinary wizarding levels and you for your exams. Time seemed to slip away faster and faster, and suddenly June had arrived and gone. Everything had been so peaceful again, so now that the school year had ended you were afraid what would happen.
At the leaving feast everyone seemed to be in high spirits, but you were dreading the departure of all the students. All of them going back to their families, their homes. But you, you were not going anywhere. Your on-paper guardian, Severus Snape had made damn sure of that. After the feast, while everyone were gathering back at their houses, Gryffindor were throwing the usual end of the term party. The butterbeer`s and Firewhisky were circling around the room, the end of exams naturally being well celebrated by all.
Then there was you and Fred, sitting in a corner tangled into each other’s arms. While he assured you, gently that he would write you as often as he could. That he would convince Mr. Weasley to reach out to Dumbledore again, so you could at least spend some parts of the summer holiday at the Burrow with them. Just the thought alone made you fuzzy, a summer at The Burrow, or at least parts of it, would be downright magical. But you highly doubted it would work out, just the thought of asking Professor Snape for permission made you pessimistic. You had a lot of Firewhisky that night to push away those thoughts, so much in fact that the next dreadful morning, at the day everyone would finally depart home, you were like the living dead.
You had hardly been in shape to even leave the dorm room, but you knew you had to get downstairs to the common room in order to say your goodbyes. Floating down the circular stairs, you felt dizzy and sick. By the time you arrived staggering and pale, looking rather dishevelled for a Veela, Fred had already been ready to leave. When he came into sight as you rounded the last staircase, you could tell he was worried but also impatient. Everyone else had already left the schoolgrounds on their way to Hogsmeade Station.
As you floated the last few stairs down, however, he immediately lit up when he saw you.
“God I hate those stairs..” he said with a smile, “I wanted to get up there so bad, I couldn’t leave without seeing my girlfriend could I?”
You managed to chuckle softly, despite still feeling like you had to drag your body with you as you floated down the last few stairs into his arms.
“Do you remember the first thing you ever said to me?” you whispered, still not pulling away from the tight embrace he had locked you in. He was thinking for a moment, then looked at you with a grin.
“I asked you if you had drunk too much Firewhisky, didn`t I?” he laughed,
“Well now I wish I never had..” you smiled, apologizing to him over your current sickly state. Giving him a soft peck on his lips, which soon became much more passionate and eager. Until you managed to stop, heaving after your breath. If snogging Fred Weasley couldn’t sober you up then what could?
“Freddie… you're going to miss the train you know..” you whispered, looking into those big brown eyes. As he brushed his hand across your cheek, tilting up your face so he could kiss you one last time.
“I know.. that`s why I did not pack my broom..” he said with a grin, pointing towards the wall where it sat waiting.
“But we`re not allowed to fly within the castle” you said looking at him startled,
“Well they can`t expel me on the last day before summer can they?”
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The castle, which you had once enjoyed while empty and still now gave you melancholy. But for as long as you could still feel the warm sensation where Fred had brushed his lips, you told yourself it was all right. He was yours even if he was far away, sitting on the Hogwarts express towards London with all your friends. He was happy, you though, even though your departure had been bittersweet. And that was all that mattered.
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The summer holiday had been rather uneventful, until Professor Snape had announced to you one morning, that whether you liked it or not, he was going to travel back to his home in Cokeworth, England. And you, as you were under his guardianship needed to follow wherever he went. It became quite clear that you, had absolutely no say in this matter whatsoever. Luckily you were saved from the dreadful idea of having to travel there by train, as just the mere thought of being stuck on a train with Snape disgruntled you. Instead you arrived there by the Floo network that had temporarily been connected to the fireplace in Snape`s office to his house.
A small house, that you only had gotten to see from the outside once you had become too claustrophobic of the inside. The inside which had a definite air of neglect to it, making it quite clear that Snape hardly ever spent any time there, at least not any longer. You thought it recembled a cell, as there was not any sign of life, no flowers and hardly any pictures. Just dust ridden bookshelves upon bookshelves, and with a mould-like scent in the air of the cramped spaces it contained within its two storey walls. It was absolutely miserable, in other words, to have to spend any longer than a single moment there.
You were given a guest room, cramped and neglected just like the others. Snape told you to not sneak around, to not touch anything and to not bother him most of all. As if you would, instead you quickly resorted to spending as much time as possible outside. Although, “outside” was hardly any more impressive. The neighbourhood of Spinner`s end had clearly suffered some difficult times, all the identical brick houses made it feel like a labyrinth of neglect and poverty. You quickly came to understand, why Snape much preferred to spend time at Hogwarts.
During the first few days nothing interesting happened, you would just walk about, sit and read strange books you had snuck out from his library, down by the muddy river all by yourself. Dreaming about Hogwarts, dreaming about Fred.
Until, Snape swiftly announced that you were invited to dinner at Malfoy Manor.
Yet again, you had no choice at all in whether to go or not. If anything, this was not at all what you had imagined your summer to be like. Being dragged along to this and that, being alone at Hogwarts seemed like a much preferable option. However, so came the time when you were sternly told to hold onto Snape`s arm, as you apparated to a place you had never stepped foot before.
Fred would find it ghastly, you thought to yourself as you found yourself walking up to the gates of a large and dark looking mansion. Shielded by a large green hedge on each side, where white peacocks appeared and disappeared in the misty evening fog. The gates sliding open at Snape`s command, who seemed even more sour than you about having to bring you along.
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“Ah… Welcome Severus” said the man who met you inside, a tall figure with long white hair straightening behind his shoulders, “And you are accompanied by Miss Y/n of course…” he said while glaring at you with his cold spiteful eyes, up and down as if he had been rather curious about whatever something like you would look like in person. The freakish hybrid his son had been yattering about, you suppose he reckoned you as. Yet there was also a distinct look of regard present, which conpletely mystified you.
Behind him appeared a skeletal tall lady dressed in dark colours, just as pale but who seemed to have once possessed a great beauty. Now she looked tired, even a little skittish as she motioned towards you with just the same disparaging yet commending glare that Mr. Malfoy had given you the second before. But she smiled, as she gestured for you both to follow her inside. Further into the lions den.
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You were absolutely dreading the thought of having to see Draco Malfoy, as you were walking through the long dark halls towards their dining hall. The last time you had even spoken to him was when your boyfriend had attacked him just for speaking to you. You wondered if they knew, or if he had bashfully kept this to himself after he had come home for the summer holiday. But as you entered the room, there he sat at the farthest end of the long dark wooden table, looking rather bored until he had spotted you.
Dinner was as dreadful as their smalltalk, they all had to talk rather loudly as the seating’s of the table were placed rather far apart. You on the very opposite end of Draco, who seemed to dread it all as much as you. Sporadically Mr. Malfoy would manage to sneak a few spiteful comments about Muggles and the Muggle-lovers as he called them, into the conversation. Stating his clear opinion that in this current climate it was absolutely vile how far the wizarding community had been straying from their traditions and customs. All thanks to people, such as the current Hogwarts Headmaster, Albus Dumbledore.
You would occasionally look up at Snape, trying to read how he felt about hearing all such things about Dumbledore. But he gave away nothing. Then the conversation topic shifted to the much-anticipated event that would be that summer, the Quidditch world cup. Which would be taking place this year in Britain. Mr.Weasley was quick to reveal his tickets and seating at the Ministry’s booth. Then to invite Snape along, for old camaraderie`s sake. But Snape, unsparingly declined.
“Let us bring along Miss Y/n at the very least then, she is a good friend of Draco`s afterall”
You wrinkled your nose to this sentiment, looking across the table to see Draco reaction too. You were certainly not friends, and you doubted you ever would be.
“Father I-“
But he was quickly interrupted by Mr. Malfoy simply pointing a finger at him, and then continuing his proposal.
“I am confident this would also be a great occasion to discuss the expulsion of her case and troubles with the ministry”
Snape, who seemed to be more than willing to get rid of you so easily, quickly agreed, without ever consulting you about your own opinion of it.
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anonknown · 11 months ago
On the foxes having a holiday season in fox tower...
Alright guys, enjoy this holiday foxes fic (let’s just pretend that the events of the story didn’t happen in the early 2000s so this all makes sense) that I put together last minute. All I have to say is, all good couples are made up of two different kinds of people. Those who think Die Hard is a Christmas movie and those who don’t.
Words: 1,980
While the foxes would usually return home for the holidays, this year they were unable to. It was made a rule that those who spent the holidays would not be able to participate in the next game as it occurred too quickly after break to confirm that they hadn’t contracted the virus. For some teams, this isn’t an issue due to their seemingly everlasting rosters. The foxes, however, who only had 9 players, could not afford to be missing a single one. This meant that the winter break of 2020 would be one spent mostly in their dorms at fox tower. 
Because they were foxes, many of them weren’t necessarily hurt by the idea that they wouldn’t be able to go anywhere. Save those who had family at home or significant other’s abroad, most of the team members had their most important people around them, and weren’t necessarily known for participating in particularly festive holiday seasons. Despite some of their collective reluctance to participate in holiday traditions, at around 10 PM, the foxes could be found in the girls dorm lounging on their cheap furniture, eating shitty holiday themed snacks and watching Die Hard.
It had come to the attention of Matt that many of the younger foxes had yet to see the movie when he turned to them for input in his and Dan’s debate over it’s status as a Christmas classic. When none of them were able to formulate a proper educated response, the upperclassmen decided it was time to remedy this, bringing them into a longstanding tradition of watching Die Hard together every holiday season. 
The upperclassmen thought it important that the others understood the two points of view, launching into a lengthy discussion over its merits and failures as a movie. Though they should have expected this, Neil, Andrew, Kevin, Aaron and Nicky all found themselves perplexed as they listened to the others passionate argument. On the side of pro-Die Hard being a Christmas movie was Matt and Renee. Against them and their ideal was Dan and Allison. 
“The movie is set during Christmastime! It literally plays Christmas music!” Matt insists convincingly. Dan continued staring at him, unimpressed, as she had been during his entire speech.
“Is that all it takes?” She responded, incredulous. 
“What else does it possibly need?”
“There’s not really much of a point in arguing. The only way this is officially settled is by letting them all watch and decide what they think,” Renee interjected diplomatically. “So let’s get started, yes?”
“I’ll get the drinks and food then.” Said Allison, forgetting her retort in favor of listening to Renee. Matt did the same, moving to set up the DVD player.
“You actually own that shit as a disc?” Kevin asked in disbelief as he watched the upperclassmen insert the disc into a DVD player. Matt grinned at him good-naturedly in response. 
“Don’t knock it until you try it man, you may like this ‘shit’.” Kevin huffed in response as everyone found their seats and got comfortable. 
So there they sat, somewhere between enduring and enjoying the film and their teammates’ commentary, trying to form or reaffirm a proper stance on Die Hard’s status as a possible Christmas movie. Their seating nearly mirrored that of their seating in the locker room, with Neil, Andrew and Kevin on the couch, Neil laying on top of Andrew whose arm was around him and Kevin’s longer legs resting on top of theirs without comment. The bean bags had been brought with the underclassmen and Nicky and Aaron found themselves making use of them, despite the fact that they were well worn and in need of new packing. Dan and Matt commandeered one tattered arm chair while Allison and Renee took the other. 
While most people would be deeply irritated by the amount of poorly whispered discussion during the movie, this was hardly the team’s first time watching one together. It took certain team members more time to get used to than others, namely Aaron, Kevin and Dan when she first joined the team, but at this point, they all found it a bit endearing. The conversation had become a part of the experience, and the pausing of a movie no longer meant passive aggression but instead interest. Because of this, a movie that should have completed in around two hours was now approaching three. 
“What part of this screams Christmas to you?” Allison questions. Matt waves his hands aimlessly, searching for the words to explain his answer.
“I think what he’s trying to say is that the fact that it involves Christmas and the Christmas season in any capacity makes it a Christmas movie. It isn’t that it’s overly Christmas-y just that it’s setting puts it under the Christmas movie umbrella.” Neil explained. Andrew leaned forward to look at him, face unreadable.
“You can’t actually believe the logic behind that. That just means it happens to be set in December. There is a difference. Leave it to you jocks to forget that.” 
“Andrew - you’re the best goalie Exy has ever seen. You’re a jock too.” Nicky reminded his cousin with a laugh. Andrew shook his head as he reached for his heavily spiked eggnog.
“No, I just happen to play a sport and be good at it.” He paused, taking a sip of the drink. “Jock is a mindset, and one I don’t have.” None of the foxes could disagree with that, so the conversation ended, apparent battle lines beginning to be drawn. Dan took the remote from the side table and pressed play, allowing the movie to continue. 
Seeing that Die Hard was near its end, the foxes made an effort to not talk to much, wanting to finish up and reach a verdict. As the final scene plays, earning cheers from all the foxes for Argyle and the first official meeting of “partners” John and Al, and the credits roll, the foxes all stand up to stretch, turning on two of the lamps in the room. 
“Hey, how much do you guys want to bet that Abby and Wymack are taking this rare time off to spend the break together.” Allison said suggestively with a raised brow. Nicky laughed at the idea.
“Like anyone would want to go against those odds.” The rest of the foxes nodded in agreement and that was that.
Dan, who had entered the bedroom, returned, rolling out a clear whiteboard with a few dry erase markers. “All right kids, it’s time to take a side. It’s fine if you change mid debate, especially if this is your first time watching it, but state your opinion now. Move to the side of the room you agree with, On the left with me for no it’s not a Christmas movie, and to the right with Matt if you’re wrong.” 
Most of the team laughed as they took their places, Matt leading the pro-Christmas Die Hard fans; Renee, Neil and Aaron, and Dan leading the anti’s; Allison, Andrew and Nicky. Kevin remained seated, not claiming a place in either camp. “No one is going to change their minds. Stubbornness is one of the only entirely shared traits among this team. I haven’t made my choice yet, I’ll move when I do.” 
Predictably, the foxes took this as a challenge. Though the debate had technically been continuous throughout the movie, openings by Matt and Dan escalated both the tension and intensity. 
In favor of Die Hard being a Christmas movie, Matt pulled out the remote, scrolling through every scene of the movie and pointing out holiday aspects. By the time he’d gotten to the movie’s 45 minute mark, both teams had heard enough.
“Fucking hell Matt we get it! Showing every scene doesn’t make the point any more convincing! It just takes forever.” Allison interrupted. 
“I’ve only been going for 7 minutes!” 
“That is exactly why Die Hard is NOT a Christmas movie. If it was, pointing out all the holiday shit would have taken just as long as the runtime, if not longer.” Silence enveloped both sides as the foxes thought. This was a good point, but Kevin had yet to move. Aaron decided to speak up in defense of his side.
“Then what makes a Christmas movie? Look at the facts, it’s set Christmas Eve, plays Christmas music, mentions Christmas. What law says a Christmas movie can’t have violence or fall under the action category?” These were Renee’s exact thoughts. 
“See, that is what I think. Where do you draw the line, preventing it from falling under the Christmas umbrella?” Dan’s group all came to the verdict that it had to be a feel good movie to count. 
“Christmas isn’t about the season. It’s not even about the holiday really. It’s about the feeling!” Nicky explained. “If it doesn’t have the ‘feeling’ it is just a movie that happens to be set during Christmas.” For the first time, Neil decides to speak. 
“Then why does home alone count?” It’s a short and simple statement, but it put the odds strongly in his side’s favor. They should have expected this, with Neil’s competitiveness and quick wit, but that’s what they had Andrew for. 
“It is a feel good movie. Sure it’s fucking morbid, but it ends with the little shit -” Kevin tries to interrupt to remind Andrew of the character’s name, but Andrew speaks over him, feigning ignorance. “ - WHATEVER his name is, learning to appreciate his family and having them appreciate him.” Andrew reaches for his nearly empty eggnog. Neil beats him to it, grabbing it off the table.
“You can’t tell my die hard doesn’t end basically the same way, just with less screen time for it.” He drinks the rest of Andrew’s eggnog and puts it back on the table in front of him aggressively. 
At that, Kevin gets up, mumbling, “I can’t believe I am actually siding with you shitheads.” Matt laughs, pulling him into a slightly awkward but sweet embrace.
“I could tell you liked it.” Kevin just shook his head, concealing a grin. While team spirit may not have been his strong suit the season prior, he was definitely improving. 
Neil winked at Andrew, silently flaunting his victory. A hint of a smirk could almost be seen on Andrew’s face as he leaned over the coffee table to whisper, “225%,” in Neil’s ear. “Yeah, right.” Neil responded, having learned the meaning of Andrew’s percentages long ago.
After Kevin’s final decision, the foxes began to help the girls clean their dorm, bickering heard loud and clear down the hallway. They knew it was pointless though, what Kevin said about their collective stubbornness was true, and it was likely that the night’s verdict would be a final one. Once everything was sufficiently cleaned and organised, the team parted ways, headed back to their respective dorms. Once the door was shut behind them, Andrew commented, “So Kevin, seems Matt was right. You did end up liking that ‘shit’. A miracle you can take interest in anything other than Exy.” Neil and Nicky laughed as Kevin rolled his eyes, sending a middle finger Andrew’s way as he threw himself onto his bed. They had started the film late, and it was now well past one. The break had messed with his sleep schedule, despite his efforts to prevent it. Like his roommates, Kevin was exhausted. They took his silence as a signal that it was time for bed, and none of them protested. Already dressed comfortably, there was little left to their nightly routines. In minutes, lights were out and the boys were in bed. In the silence, they all heard as Kevin pushed something, by the sound of it, likely a pillow or blanket out of his bed. With a chuckle, Neil makes the needless, borderline nonsensical joke.
“Yippee Ki Yay, Motherfucker.” 
Everyone responds in kind with, “Shut up, motherfucker.” 
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thoughtsaboutshows · 8 months ago
hi thereeee can i get “You are the last thing on my mind when I go to sleep. And the the first thought when I wake up.”
Finally getting around to the prompts I still have (just like 4 months late)
This is in a post Part 4 world where Sabrina dies but Nick does not.  Trust me...
“You are the last thing on my mind when I go to sleep. And the the first thought when I wake up.”
Nick didn’t hide his surprise when he placed his hands on the door of Gehenna Station and it opened.  He’d expected it to burn with refusal as he was no longer a student at the Academy.  Or because he hadn’t considered himself a member of the Order of Hecate in a long time.  Nick hadn’t been able to bring himself to stay there after Sabrina had died on that sacrificial altar.  The statue of her that stood in the Great Hall was too much for him to bear.  He’d almost rather the one of Blackwood’s take it’s place, instead of the constant reminder that Sabrina was no longer there.  When it became clear the memorial wasn’t going anywhere and neither were the memories of her he found around every single corner or in every crevice of Greendale, Nick was gone.  He was through seeing her brave face in the music room, her in a black dress in Dorian’s, and her seated at tables in the cafeteria.  He told Prudence by way of letter that he was going, but not where, as he didn’t even know what his destination would end up being.  He just knew he had to get out of Greendale and away from the place where he’d learned to love but then lost the one who taught him.  
Nick had taken the last seventeen years to travel around the world, visiting different covens and learning different ways of magic.  He catalogued his journey after taking a page out of Edward Spellman’s book and writing journals of his own.  The first few years after Sabrina died had been spent in a haze, not a drug induced one as he’d sworn them off after she saved him, but a cloud followed him around all the same.  Prudence pulled him out of the Sea of Sorrows when he’d attempted to join Sabrina in the thick of his grief.  But she’d been able to knock some sense into him and he kicked his butt in gear eventually, knowing Sabrina would want him to have a happy life. 
He didn’t know if a happy life was possible without her, but he was alive and he was trying.  And that was enough for now.  
It was Prudence who’d pulled him from the Sea years ago and it was Prudence who’d convinced him to come back to Greendale now.  He’d sworn he’d never set foot in that sleepy town again and just the mere thought of walking through the woods without Sabrina’s hand in his caused him physical pain.  But there he was, not needing a hand of glory, opening the door to the Academy. 
It was Halloween and the Coven was gearing up for their new Holiday, as it did every year since Sabrina’s death.  They honored her sacrifice with a ceremony and some of her favorite things: horror movies and blueberry pancakes.  Nick could never bring himself to attend, but Prudence had guilted him into coming this year.  It was the 17th Anniversary of the Defeat of the Void.  
“No, Pru.  It’s the 17th Anniversary of Sabrina’s death.”  Nick had corrected her over the witch’s mirror.  “It’s morbid and depressing and I want no part of it.”  
“You need to come, Nicky.” Prudence had said with an intensity he didn’t understand, but would later figure it was because she saw more than people knew.
Nick walked in circles around the main hall, eyeing the statue of his dead girlfriend with flowers at her feet.  He never thought girlfriend was an accurate title for what she was to him.  All things considered, they weren’t even together for all that long.  But she still made a greater impact on his life than anyone else he’d ever met or would meet.  He felt her love even now, seventeen years since he’d kissed her last, and he loved her back with his whole self.  No.  Girlfriend wasn’t the right word at all.
“Mr. Scratch.”  The firm and familiar voice of Zelda Spellman called out to him.  He felt the hairs on his back stand up and suddenly he was eighteen again.  And Zelda was berating him and Sabrina for sneaking out another ceremony to makeout in the library.  But her tone wasn’t punishing and when Nick spun around he saw her face wasn’t either.  Instead he could swear he saw a tear daring to fall out of the corner of her eye.  Almost as if she’d missed him.  “You came.”
“Uh, yeah.”  Nick forced out and cleared his throat.  “Prudence said I should.”  
“Well, we’re glad to have you.”  Zelda nodded and took a puff of her cigarette.  Some things never change.  “Everyone will be delighted to see you, and well...she’d be happy you’re with us.” 
“She’d probably yell at me for skipping all these years.”  Nick chuckled at the thought of his stubborn Sabrina.
“She’d probably yell at all of us for creating a Holiday in her name.”  Zelda pointed out and Nick laughed softly.  That was definitely true.  Sabrina would find this whole thing vain and over the top, but she deserved it.  She’d saved the world far too many times for Nick’s liking, and blamed the world every day for not saving her.  “Very well, come with me.”
Zelda bid Nick to follow her into the next room where the rest of the Coven were seated.  There were many he didn’t recognize, but Hilda and Ambrose approached him immediately.  Hilda hugged him tighter than he’d ever been held and Ambrose shook his head, sharing a knowing smile and head nod.  Prudence and Agatha had saved him a seat and he bounced his leg up and down during the whole ceremony, until Prudence hexed him to get him to stop.  He was wildly uncomfortable and unnerved, and decided the whole coming back to Greendale thing had been a colossal mistake.  His heart ached just as it did seventeen years ago and the wound was still fresh.  He didn’t think it would ever heal, never scar, it’d be gaping for however many centuries he had left.  Because even though life without her was worse than Hell.  He’d still live, because she’d never gotten the chance. 
Nick stormed out of the ceremony and rushed off to go anywhere else.  Ambrose called out for him and made to follow, but Prudence stopped him with a brush on his arm.  Nick needed to be alone for this.  
Nick didn’t realize he’d ended up in the Sanctum until he got there.  He was in a secluded corner, one with a plush couch and a fireplace.  He’d come here on instinct as it was a place he and Sabrina would often retreat too, whether they were doing research or just stealing a moment for themselves.
He didn’t know how long he was there but it proved to be helpful and started to calm him down.  His hands brushed all the books and he picked at a few, flipping through the pages.  He started a fire at some point, planning on hiding away in this corner for a while.  At least until the dumb ceremony was over.
Nick was engrossed in a book on ritual history when he felt the heat in the air change.  A breeze blew a curl from his forehead but he didn’t think much of it, still too focused on his book.  
“Nick. Nicholas.”  He heard her voice before he saw her, and he was sure his mind was playing tricks on him, as there was no way in Heaven that he could be hearing her soft tone right now.  He squeezed his eyes shut and opened them again, hoping whatever dream he was in would be over.  It would be too hard to hear or see her and then have to let her go again when he woke up.  But she spoke again.  “Nick.”
He looked up that time and Sabrina was there, at least what appeared to be her.  But it startled him and he sprung to his feet and moved behind a chair, spooked at whatever witch or spirit was playing a cruel joke.  
“It’s okay.”   She held out her hands to show that she meant no harm.  “Nick, you don’t have to be afraid.”
The woman in front of him looked exactly as she did seventeen years ago.  She was in the black skirt and red sweater her aunts had picked for her burial, and Nick swore he could smell her vanilla lotion that Hilda had made sure she wore for the funeral.  His senses were overtaking him and his heart yearned for her to be real, but his head was screaming at him that she wasn’t. 
“This is impossible.”   Nick finally found his words.  They came out edgy and rough, like he hadn’t spoken for years.  “Sabrina died seventeen years ago.” 
She walked slowly towards him, continuing to hold out her hands.  He didn’t move but he eyed her carefully, ready to banish whatever demon she turned out to be.  When she got close enough she reached for his hands and when they touched, she didn’t pass through like he’d expected her too.  Instead he felt a rush of electricity that seemed to wake up his entire body.  It was like her touch was rebooting his entire system, and he could finally see.  
She brought his hands to her face, encouraging him to touch her, brush her cheeks like he used to do.  When he did his fingers were met with the softest skin, porcelain white, just like Sabrina’s had been.
“Is it really you?”  Nick choked out, tears creeping down his face and matching the ones running down hers. 
“It is.”  She breathed out as she turned and kissed his palm, repeating the words she’d said when he’d come back fresh from Hell.  “It is me.”
Nick knew it then that it was truly Sabrina who stood before him.  He didn’t think any spirit, or demon, or witch playing a trick on him could get the glint in her eyes that perfect.  Nor would they be able to concoct the smile she was giving him now, the one she saved for him, and only Nick’s eyes had ever seen.  
It was her.  She was home.  
“Spellman…”. Nick said before wrapping his arms around her and pulling her to him, staggering backwards by the force of her essentially jumping into his arms.  He welcomed the weight of her as she clung around his neck and pressed her nose into it, grasping at those curls she had missed so much.  
She pulled her face from his neck only enough to look up at him, brush her nose against his, and wipe away the tears that had started to fall more freely from his eyes.  He could hardly handle it anymore then.  He had to kiss her.  Sabrina sighed into it when he kissed her, moving her hands from his hair to his chest and grabbing his shirt collar to pull him even closer.  He let her in willingly when she deepened it, and Nick moaned in contentment at the fact that seventeen years dead hadn’t stolen her knack for being in charge. 
It could have been hours that he held onto her and kissed her before they slowly pulled apart.  He didn’t stop touching her though, brushing his hands across her back and into her soft curls.  The way she breathed out his name, in that perfect whisper of hers, further cemented the fact that she was here. 
“How?...”. Nick asked as he sniffled.  Tears were flowing freely now, but he’d never been afraid to cry in front of her.  “How are you here?  For how long are you here?”
She saw his worried brow and smoothed it out with her fingers.  She smiled at him again, one with the promise of a future.  Of forever.  
“I’m back, Nick.”  She brushed the runaway curl off his forehead that was still there after all these years.  “For good.”  
“How, Spellman?”  Nick grabbed her hand and led her to the couch, pulling her to sit next to him.  She immediately folded herself into his arms, wanting to touch him as much as possible.  
“Hecate brought me back.”  Sabrina explained as she played with the lines on Nick’s hand.  “She said in order for the sacrifice to be complete, to give myself completely over to the void so you could trap it, I had to remain dead in the sweet hereafter for the number of years I was alive.”
“Seventeen years.”  Nick filled in and she nodded.
“After seventeen years she could bring me back.  Today, on my birthday.  If I wanted to.”
“And I assume you wanted to?”  Nick said with a smirk as he shook his scrunched nose at her.  She giggled and leaned forward, placing a single, tender kiss on his lips, nodding in response to his question.
As he leaned into it with a clear intention to kiss her deeper and pull her on top of him she pulled away quickly.  Her brown eyes went wide and she put her hands to her mouth as if she had said the wrong thing.  
“Oh my Hecate.”  She said as she gasped.
“What?”  Nick panicked, trying to scoot closer to her.  “What’s wrong?”
“I can’t kiss you.”  Sabrina said like it was obvious, and Nick’s face twisted in confusion.  “What if you’re with someone.  I can’t just kiss you assuming that you’re single.  I’m so sorry-”
He shut her up the best way he knew how, with his lips against hers.  He bit her bottom lip for good measure, drawing a moan that made him chuckle.
“Spellman, how could you ever think there could be anyone else.”  He leaned forward and kissed her forehead. 
“Really?”  She asked, hiding her smile as tears trickled down her cheek.
“Yes.”  Nick implored.  “Sabrina from the moment I met you, despite everything, one thing has remained true.  You are the last thing on my mind when I go to sleep. And my first thought when I wake up.”
“I thought about you too.”  Sabrina admitted as she shrugged.  “I thought about this moment when I could finally come back.  I’ve been counting down the days ever since I got there and found out I’d return someday.” 
“I missed you so much, Sabrina.”  Nick told her.  “Living without you was-I can’t-It’s-”  She shut him up with a finger on his lips and a soft smile.
“We don’t have to talk about it right now.  And I missed you too.”  
“What did your family say?”  Nick asked as he pulled her to him, laying down on the couch with her snuggled on top of him.  He knew they’d have a lot to catch up on, his last seventeen years, her time in the Sweet Hereafter.  But now he just wanted her in his arms.  The hard conversations could come later.  
“Nick you were the first person I came to see.”  She said as she lifted her head to kiss his forehead.  She thought he may have shuddered at the gesture, just as he had at Lupercalia.  “How could you not be?”
“Mmmm.”   Nick said in response as she snuggled closer and he kissed the top of her head.  “Wanna go see them?”
“In a minute.  I just wanna be in your arms.”  Sabrina spoke to his neck as she kissed him there, breathing in the smell of him.  Another thing that hadn’t changed. 
“You got it, babe.”  He felt her smile at the nickname as he pulled her even closer.  His heart felt full for the first time in a long time and he decided he didn’t care if he never got up again.  
“I love you, Nick.”  Sabrina told him as she closed her eyes, knowing that this time when she opened them she would still be there on a couch with Nick by a roaring fire.  Nick’s heart nearly stopped at the words he never thought he’d hear again.  But the love of his life was there with him again, and the centuries he thought were stolen from them were given back.  It was the most perfect gift.
“I love you too, Sabrina.”  He kissed her forehead again before settling into a comfortable silence.  “I will forever.”  
As they both drifted off to a near slumber, Prudence’s words rang in his ears.
“You need to come, Nicky.”
He was damned glad he did. 
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