i’m catching up with Quackity’s alt stream from last night and i just. points are being made and i love it.
people really do focus on one or two streamer’s lore and assume that’s it, if you’re upset that “no one does improv lore anymore” you’re just looking in the wrong direction. there are people who still do more improv lore. like Hannah, Foolish, Ponk, Michael etc
if you want that type of storytelling you should 100% check them out
also the lore is often said to be slowing down, there is always some sort of lore going on. it’s just probably not one of the “bigger” streamers doing it. there are like 30 people on the server, there are multiple povs you could watch
(Disclaimer I do not support the harmful/problematic actions cc!Techno has done in the past)
The first point that caught attention was that Techno claims to have written a will. This is shocking. Why would Techno do this? Doesn’t he never die? His catchphrase is ‘’Technoblade never dies’’ and so far it has significantly held up. But somehow Techno thought going into the prison was risky enough to write a will. I doubt this is because of how many deaths have occurred in the prison as Techno's aware those were caused by someone whose his ally, Dream (Ranboo told him) and Techno considers himself stronger than most people especially people like Ghostbur or Tommy (He worked hard to protect them when they were on his side, it’s well known Wilbur is a horrible fighter and Techno used to duel with him, he beat up Tommy until he died in the pit etc.). So why did Techno write a will? I think it’s because he’s scared. I think it’s starting to set in for Techno that in L’manberg he did die, as Phil confirms even with a totem you still die but the totem gives you enough energy to push yourself back to life. Techno has realized he can die and at the hands of people he thinks of as inferior to him. Techno even becomes uncomfortable when a creeper explodes near him which is odd as normally he wouldn’t be so startled as he’s killed much harder enemies.
Techno’s new acknowledgement of his mortality might have been encouraged by Phil who seems overly worried for Techno’s safety. Phil never used to seem that concerned if Techno was doing something dangerous, even openly encouraging L’manberg to attack Techno when he thought Techno was a traitor despite showing evidence later he didn’t want Techno to die. Now Phil is saying things like:
Phil: ‘’Yeah...I’m not happy with you going to see Dream, just for the record. This is dangerous, dude.’’
Phil: ‘’Do you want me to go with you or do you need any help?
And continuing to point out the dangers:
Phil: ‘’Like 50% of people that go in there [the prision] die! Are you sure this is a good idea?’’
Phil: ‘’I’m extra worried.’’
I’m sure you understand the idea. It seems like after letting out their anger unreasonably at L’manberg via Doomsday both Phil and Techno have been forced to come to terms that Techno isn’t necessarily untouchable. I wouldn’t say Techno is afraid of death like Foolish or Tommy but this is a change from before where he had no concept of death to now where he understands he can die. I wish we got to see more of this development other than a few throwaway lines but I digress Techno hardly streams.
Techno then explains he has no choice in visiting Dream because of his philosophy of repaying kindness, Dream saved his life so he’ll do one thing Dream asks him to:
Techno: ‘’I gotta do it, man, I took a vow. Those that treat me with kindness, I’ll repay it tenfold. I gotta honour that.’’
Despite Techno being more aware of his mortality, he feels he has no choice but to repay his debt. Techno obeys his morals to the letter, if he feels hurt no matter the context he’ll hurt you worse and if you help him no matter what you’ve done to others he’ll help you. Even if repaying a debt is something that puts himself or others in danger he’ll cross any bound to repay said debt.
When Techno arrives at the prison he constantly checks every step Sam’s making him go through is typical, even reassuring himself the procedures are normal. I think this stems from Techno’s paranoia of betrayal. Techno has never been afraid of death but the idea of a crowd turning on him or someone switching sides is a fear of his. This is shown in how he jumps right to spawning withers when he thinks Pogtopiea betrayed him not waiting for it to be confirmed or asking questions first as he’s paranoid that’ll make him more vulnerable or when he kills Tubbo because he thinks the crowd will turn on him despite everyone (even Quackity) calling out for Techno not to shoot Tubbo. Techno is paranoid that anything could be a trap. Techno knows Quackity could betray him but isn’t too worried as he doesn’t suspect Quackity to attack him in any way but physically and he knows he can take Quackity in a fight. But the idea the authority system of the prison could suddenly turn on him is unnerving. This might be part of Techno’s social anxiety and this paranoia of being betrayed coming from fear of making the wrong move causing others to turn their backs on him. Of course, Techno doesn’t outwardly show this fear as he doesn’t want others to view him as vulnerable or weak. Though progress on this has been made by him making friends outside of Phil (though I would have liked to see more of this development on-screen) as he’s learning to trust in a healthy way that doesn’t involve revolutions or business contracts as cheap ways to not consider those he trusts as friends.
Techno: ‘’I was executed one time by a government, I was, between you and me, I was totally innocent...don’t look into it.’’
While what the butcher army did, trying to kill someone was no trial, was wrong it’s interesting that if you go back into the vod and watch the above line being delivered it sounds as if Techno knows what he did, spawning withers with the intent to kill, would make L’manberg go after him. It sounds like Techno knows what he did was ‘’wrong’’ (not that he believes he isn’t justified but that he expected backlash for hurting L’manberg and threatening to kill them if they ever became a government again), which isn’t surprising considering he had been collecting a vault full of withers.
When Techno meets up with Dream he’s unphased by Dream insisting it’s a trap, as at this point Sam is across an entire lake of lava and in his own words ‘’Quackity’s nowhere to be seen’’ no one is going to suddenly betray him and he never trusted Quackity to begin with:
Techno: ‘’Quackity’s lying you say?’’
Techno: ‘’I’m not going to lie to you Dream I kinda had a feeling.’’
Techno goes on to explain he felt he had to visit even though he suspected it was a trap to repay his debt and check on Dream as they are shaky allies. Techno is more focused on how to take down the prison than being trapped because he’s ‘’into anarchy’’ as he presses Dream to tell him everything he knows about the prison while Dream panics. Techno dismisses Dream’s worries probably because while he’s afraid of betrayal it’s over now and he knows he can take anyone in a fight. It’s not like Carl is here to be used against him like with the butcher army, it’s going to be a twist to see how Techno reacts when he learns Dream planed to control him by threatening Carl for all eternity.
The most unexpected plot twist happens when Dream brings up Sam is working with Quackity. It’s common knowledge Quackity and Sam are business partners but no one was aware Quackity let Sam in on his plans to trap Techno. Sam mentions later Quackity convinced him of this by pointing out Techno is the biggest threat to a prison break, from his favour to Dream to his anarchist ideals:
Sam: ‘’You’re probably the main threat Dream escaping aren’t you? Cause you to have worked together before.’’
Sam puts down the lava trapping Techno in the prison with Dream, locking away the server’s two most powerful players leaving a power vacuum Quackity intends to fill. Techno was a threat as Quackity is canonically terrified of him, Techno’s killed him and will be against Las Nevadas because of his ideals as an anarchist.
This twist also explains why Sam allowed Techno in despite claiming he’s ''not really letting anyone into the prison'' and later bringing up how it’s very obvious Techno does not respect authority, Sam has been on the server for a long time he’s seen Techno’s loudly state his ideologies many times.
Techno doesn't seem very upset that he’s trapped at all. On the other hand, Dream starts screaming and sounding very distressed by the development. Techno's very unsympathetic telling Dream to write down everything he knows about the prison feeling confident he’s not in any sort of danger as he has friends that’ll rescue him and he's more pleased they now have lots of time for Dream to write out the details of the prison for him to demolish later.
I’m excited to see how Techno reacts to staying in the prison for a prolonged period and if Phil will learn what it feels like to think a friend died in prison. This plotline has a million different routes it could take and as long as heavy topics like abuse are handled with sensitivity I am eager to see where this story will go heading forward.
warnings: prison, mentions of solitary confinement, mentions of physical abuse, spoilers for The Good Doctor, spoilers for Lucifer, alcohol, drugging
word count: 7.1k
summary: spencer gets used to life in prison in the worst ways. amelia goes through a rollercoaster of emotions and tries to cope with spencer being out of reach. she tries to stay positive and convince others that she is okay.
i’d like to say once again that having a good understanding of the prison arc is helpful in reading this fic. i don’t explain every single detail (because it’s unnecessary to) and if you’re not familiar w the storyline, it’ll be harder to comprehend.
school is over so i’ll have more time to edit and post!!!! yay!! enjoy the chapter :)
"Is that clear?"
"Yes, yes, it's clear!"
My heart pounds against my chest and that's all I can feel. Absolute fear and absolute helplessness. I can't do anything here. I've accepted that but maybe I've just been lying to myself. How can I ever accept that I can't do anything to protect myself or protect others? I’ve spent my life protecting. I need to protect. I need to.
The fear and the panic are overwhelming and I'm thrashing around. I can't do anything to stop it. I wish it would stop. The panic is overwhelming. It's consuming. It's eating me alive. It’s too uch. It’s way too much. I need to go and protect. I need to protect.
I jerk awake, drenched in sweat and my hair matted to my forehead. The images of my dead friend are still flashing in my head and as badly as I want to forget, I know I never will. My back and bottom ache from the metal cot I’m on, my limbs stiff in the smaller-than-twin, poor excuse of a mattress.
I twist my body and reach under my pillow, pulling out the journal that my counselor had given me and the pencil, scribbling down my stream of consciousness as quickly as I possibly can. It's barely readable in my chicken scratch writing but who cares enough to read what I have to say anyway? No one. Nobody cares here. Nobody cares about me. I’m nothing.
Getting more and more intense. Got to fall deeper in to beat them. I've lost friends before, but not like this. Not in a box where I have no control. Or do I? Starting to think like them, starting to survive like them. I'm here because I made a choice. What if that means I don't get out alive?
My blood runs cold as I dot the question mark with my trembling hand. I swipe my hand across my dripping forehead and grimace at how wet my hand comes back. I throw my journal onto the floor and lay back down, forcing my eyelids closed.
How could I expect myself to sleep? I'm foolish to think I will. But I keep up the illusion for a while and keep my eyes closed, hoping that sleep will draw me in, but it never does. I just keep replaying the events that plague me every night, and eventually, my eyelids snap open again. The gory images were too much. Then the beautiful, blonde-haired, blue-eyed images became too painful. I scrunch up my eyebrows when I feel a headache forming between them.
My eyes immediately land on the journal, and red hot flames replace my brown orbs. That journal is horrible. It's filled with depressing content and it's falling apart and it's a disgusting brown color. It doesn't have my name in beautiful calligraphy on the front, and perfect drawings of beakers and coffee cups and strawberries and books and records players and decks of cards, and my confessions of love for my girlfriend inside. It doesn't have any of that beauty on the inside. No, this journal contains my deteriorating mind and my disappearing conscience.
Barely having control of my tired muscles, I roll off the bed and land on my hands and knees, holding in my grunts of agony. The cell block is almost silent, aside from the fans blowing around stale, warm air, and I don't intend to piss off anyone by disrupting their sleep. I keep my mouth shut after the initial impact sound.
I make the bed. I fold the corner of the sheets, so they are absolutely perfect. I fold the blanket and tuck it under the mattress. I smooth my hands over the top of the bed to make it perfect. It has to be perfect. If the bed isn’t perfect, it will get torn apart by the officers. They will rip up my bed and take away my blanket and pillow and humiliate me in front of the whole cell block. I don’t need that to happen again. I experienced that on my first week here and I vowed to never let it happen again. I make the bed and then I make it again, then fix it, then arrange it perfectly one more time. Finally. Perfection. It has to be perfect.
I push my journal against the wall and lay on my back, setting my feet flat against the floor and tucking my hands behind my head. I keep count in my mind as I lift my chin to my knees, ignoring the burn in my abs and the sharp pain in my spine from the concrete I'm rolling my bones against.
Once I've reached my goal number, twenty higher than yesterday’s number, I roll over onto my hands and lift myself up, and start my press ups. I begin a new, higher count in my head as I continuously bring my nose to the concrete, and with each time my biceps flex, the anger flares up. I clench my jaw and my stomach bubbles and my head gets light.
Fuck prison. Fuck it. Fuck the fact that I have to be here. Fuck Frazier and fuck his gang and fuck his shank and fuck the fact that he killed Luis. Fuck this whole situation. This is madness.
I'm becoming them. I am them. I either become them or I die, and I refuse to die in here. I refuse to die without curing Alzheimer's and getting married and having children and spending my life hunting the very people I'm locked in here with. I refuse to die knowing that there's a whole life I could live if I keep fighting. I refuse to break law after law in here like my life doesn't matter in the free world. I refuse to lose the person that I was, even if he's slipping further and further away by the second. Even if every time I try to recall the person I was, the images of my own face get more and more blurry. They’re hard to make out.
And maybe he's already gone and I've already sucked in the traits of the felons around me. Maybe I just refuse to accept who I am now. That's more likely than the lies I feed myself.
I work my muscles until the sun peeks in through the tiny window across from my cell. I'm drenched in sweat, even more than before, and my muscles are aching, but it's easy to forget. And if I can't forget, then it's easy to revel and bask in the intense pain.
The correctional officers bring us to the chow hall and we all collect our disgusting food and eat as quickly as possible. We usually only have three minutes for meals. Three minutes. That's it. It was horrible at first. I had to sit at a table, alone, with my shoulders hunched, shoveling food into my mouth. If you don’t eat at chow, you don’t eat at all. I always used to go back to my cell and curl up in my bed, thinking I was going to throw up. The combination of moldy, rotten food and a three-minute time crunch to eat has horrifying results. But now, three minutes is child's play. Three minutes is eating leisurely. I could eat my entire meal in exactly two minutes and twenty-seven seconds. Three minutes, now, is generous.
After breakfast is visitation and, to no one’s surprise, my name is called. I wonder who's on Garcia's list for today. They haven't managed to stick to a set schedule yet, due to cases and traveling, so I have no way of predicting who I'll see. I’m always left to wander into the visitation room and come up with lies on the spot.
I stick my hands out and allow Wilkins to slap cuffs on me, but I never meet his eyes. I wouldn't dare to. No amount of crunches or push-ups will ever prepare me to take him. I keep my eyes down and, shamefully, let him push me towards the visitation room.
I scan the little tables for a familiar face and smile the tiniest bit when I see Rossi sitting and waiting for me. He hasn't come to visit me yet, and out of the two people I don't want to visit me at all-- my girlfriend and my mom-- I've been waiting to see him. I resist the urge to push the person in front of me to get as much time with Rossi as possible. I wouldn’t dare risk pushing someone. I don't need a fight to send me to solitary confinement. Huh. Actually, solitary confinement doesn't seem too bad right now. I could get away from all these other inmates who want to hurt me. I could relax in solitary.
I sit down and just give Rossi an expecting look, utterly speechless. I've had so many questions to ask him. I've needed so much advice, but now I have nothing to say. My voice is stuck in my throat. His facial hair is longer. The bags under his eyes are a shade darker. Luckily, he speaks first. "You haven't slept." Okay, not what I wanted or needed him to say.
I just shrug nonchalantly. "It's been a while." What else can I say?
Rossi just nods. What else can he do? "I heard about your friend, Delgado. I'm really sorry, Spence," Again, not what I wanted or needed him to say. I don't want to hear or talk about Luis anymore. I'm tired of dwelling on that. I feel guilty enough. I don't need to see his slit throat every time I close my eyes and then open my eyes and talk about him. I don't need that. When I'm unresponsive to this, Rossi continues. "Is there anyone you can talk to?"
I roll my eyes to the back of my head. If my mother were here, she would warn me that if I do that long enough, my eyes would get stuck there. "We have group therapy once a week. The counselor wants me to keep a journal. So I am, but I don't really think it's helping."
Rossi's furrows his eyebrows. "How come?"
A scoff escapes my lips before I can stop it. "Because no one in here is honest. I mean, not a single person can admit that they're terrified," my cuffs rattle as I move my hands as if to hone in what I'm saying. "If we can't agree on that one basic truth, then it doesn't really matter."
"They could just be numb to it all." That's what Rossi offers up. It could help. It would help if I was in the free world.
"Well," my voice softens and even though I know there are gang members around me and people who want to hurt me, I let my guard down, "I'm not. There's," I drop my head the tiniest bit, "there's a helplessness in here that causes people to do things they'd never consider."
Rossi sighs, and this was what I was scared of. I open up and he has nothing to say to me. He has no world-class wisdom to offer. I'm prepared to do what I did to Garcia and practically ignore him for the rest of the visit, but when he reaches into his jacket, my intrigue beats out my disappointment.
I recognize the calligraphy on the front of the envelope as soon as I see it. It's on the front of every single one of my journals that still lay in my desk drawer. It looks as beautiful as ever in black ink, outlined and accented in a yellow pen. There's a lump in my throat that I try to swallow.
"I had to flash my badge just to get it in here so you better read it. I'm not letting you refuse to read this like you refuse to see her," Rossi moves the letter closer to me, directly in my eyesight.
I swallow the thick lump and slowly raise my cuffed hands to grab the envelope. I carefully, without ripping my cursive name, make a slice in the top with my finger and pull out pieces of paper that I recognize to be paper ripped out of Amelia's journal.
"Did you read this?" I ask Rossi as I place the envelope down.
"It was still sealed, wasn't it?"
I nod and stay silent as I drop my head again. I could cry just at the sight of Amelia's handwriting. She touched this paper. This specific piece of paper. This piece of paper was in her hands, in her apartment, and now it’s in my hands. She sat and put pen to paper and wrote this out for me to read. And with one final breath, I finally bring myself to actually start reading it.
To my love dove,
Hi!! How are you? I'm only okay, but there's something I need to tell you can it can't wait any longer.
I started watching this tv show called The Good Doctor a few weeks ago and I've finished the entire series. Honestly, Spencer, it's so amazing. I think you would love it so much.
I know you don't watch that much tv, unless I'm around, so I'll tell you what it's about. The show is about this resident surgeon named Shaun Murphy who is fighting to get a job at a hospital, but the administration of the hospital won't give him a job because he has autism. But then he saves a child's life in an airport or something (I can't remember exactly, it’s been a while) and does a procedure that is really innovative and outside the box and it floors everyone and the hospital hires him.
The show follows him navigating adult life and relationships and his job and him learning how to be less dependent on older people telling him what to do. He gets a girlfriend and loses his virginity and then starts talking about sex at work which is fucking hilarious but also stupidly inappropriate, and he has a friend who's a girl who his girlfriend has a problem with.
And then (I'm sorry, baby, but spoilers are coming!!) they kill off one of the main characters at the end of the third season! How dumb! Melendez was one of my favorite characters and he was just about to admit to Claire that he's in love with her and then they killed him off for such a stupid reason. The season ends on a cliffhanger! You know how much I hate cliffhangers. And that plot of Claire and Melendez falling in love was teased at for so long and they gave it to us just to take it right away!!!! Cruel!! Do I have grounds to sue for emotional distress? I think there is. I should get on this.
Okay. I've calmed down now.
Fine. You caught me. I haven't. I'll never calm down from my heartbreak over Dr. Melendez. But I can move on for now.
I think you would really like this show and I'd be willing to watch it again with you. I think you'd enjoy it. They talk a lot about medical terms and medical procedures and there’s diagrams and everything. And whether they're accurate and precise or not, I'm sure you'd enjoy picking out mistakes in the procedures or telling me why the procedures are revolutionary. And no matter which option it is, I'm ready to listen and learn.
Before I watched The Good Doctor, I finished watching Lucifer, but I know that you hated that show. But he went back to Hell!!!!!!!!!!! He really did That!!!!! He left Chloe and went to Hell!!!!!! So fucking rude. I screamed out loud when he said he was leaving. Thankfully, there's going to be a season five and maybe I'll make you watch that with me so we can see what happens with Lucifer and Chloe. I debated on watching Star Trek or Doctor Who because you're always talking about how much you love those shows, but I know I won't understand it. I'll need you to explain it to me. I think I'll just wait to watch those with you. Sounds like a good date night to me.
I love you more than words can even express. I miss you more than I will ever be able to say (or in this case, write). I know you're not doing well and I know you don't want to see me but I hope that hearing from me helps you in some way. I don't know how it would but I hope it does.
I love you. I promise, I'll see you so soon.
With all the love in my tiny body,
from your pretty girl,
ps. idk if you're shaving your face in there but... I'm curious to see what you look like with a mustache and beard... that's a sight I never thought you'd let me see. Hmm. I shouldn't let my mind wander. Sorry. I love you. Kisses.
I read over her letter once, twice, three times. Every time I read it, I notice something new. Every time I read the letter, I notice a teardrop beside a word, of a subtle smudge of a pen, or another hesitation in her pen stroke.
I read it again. And then I read it again. But then I read it one more time. And just when I think I've had enough, I read it another time. I’m on the tenth read before the wheels actually start turning in my head, slower than usual. This letter has distraction written all over it in Amelia’s pretty writing. I don't like medical dramas and I hated Lucifer. She knows that. She acknowledged that in her letter. But this is the kind of thing she would tell me as we're eating dinner when I get home from a case, or as we're laying in bed, or when we're showering, or when we're sitting on the balcony of one of our apartments. This serves that purpose, except this time, it's in letter form. She's distracting me. God, I would give anything to break out of here and drag her to a courthouse and marry her right now.
My head snaps up when Rossi speaks, and when I force our eyes to meet, he's holding out a pen. I know for a fact that pens aren't allowed. Pens could be considered a weapon in the hands of the wrong inmate. He snuck this in, and I'm not sure how, but I don't want to know how.
I snatch the pen out of his hand and rip the sides of the envelope so there's more room to write, scribbling down my thoughts as fast as possible. I don't want to get caught. If I do, I can't imagine the trouble I'll get in, especially if Wilkins catches me. When I'm pleased with what I've written, I fold up the envelope and hand that and the pen back to Rossi. But I keep the letter, tucking it into the waistband of my pants so it's completely out of sight.
Rossi smiles, putting the envelope back in his jacket pocket and flattening the lapels. "Is there anything you want me to tell her?"
"Tell her--" I'm cut off by a sharp alarm going off, a guard screaming about a lockdown, and for all the inmates to return to their cells. I sigh, rising to my feet. "It's all there. Just give that to her."
"Hi, Jeannie," My voice is only a mumble as I greet the receptionist. She gives me a pitiful smile, another new tradition that has only formed in the last few weeks, handing over a visitor's pass and watching as I clip it to the pocket of my jacket.
I drag myself to the elevator and hit the up button, drag myself inside, and when it opens on the sixth floor, I drag myself to Penelope's office. My mood is lower than it has been lately. I didn’t really think it could get any lower. But here I am with a heart heart, hunched shoulders, and the inability to smile. I'm not sure why I feel like this on this specific day, as opposed to any other shitty day, but maybe it's because I know that Penelope went to visit Spencer today. All I know is that I barely wanted to drag myself off of Jenna's couch this morning and get dressed and show up here. I could barely pay attention to the new episode of The Good Doctor that Jenna coaxed me into watching with her last night. I could barely get myself to come through the front doors of the building, but I show up to the BAU every single morning like I work here.
I plug in the code to Penelope's door and push it open, and I’m welcomed to a sight that I didn't think I'd see for a while. Luke is kneeling in front of Penelope, and at first, I think that he's finally confessing his feelings for her. My first intention is to silently back away and let them have their moment. His hands are on her knees and she isn’t insulting him, so nothing about this interaction could be bad, right? But then I notice that she's crying, and my heart drops. I don’t back away.
My hand slips off the doorknob and it slams shut, making me flinch on impact. The two stare up at me like deer caught in headlights. I see this expression way too much for my liking nowadays. And judging by the sheer fact that there are still tears dripping down Penelope's cheeks, this isn't good. Nothing is ever good anymore.
"What happened?" I don't step closer, I don't grab Penelope's hand, I don't touch Luke's shoulder. My heart is pounding against my chest and my hands are starting to shake.
Luke glances at Penelope before rising to his feet. "Garcia went to see Reid today."
"I know," I snap faster than I intended to. "What happened to him? Is he okay? What--" my voice betrays me and I can't choke out another question.
Luke sucks in a breath, keeping a stony, emotionless face. "He got beat up."
"Beat up?" I regurgitate the disgusting words that have just been spewed at me, backing myself against the wall. "He got--"
Penelope stands up and moves towards me, lacking her normal finesse. "His face had bruises and he seemed agitated but he seemed fine otherwise--"
"He's not fine if he got beat up," My anger, somehow, quickly dissipates and turns to heartache. My heart pounds against my chest at an alarming rate. My eyes flood with tears and my knees start to give out from under me, and I go sliding to the ground, curling into myself. "He's trapped inside with the people who beat him up and there's nothing he can do."
"Listen," Luke kneels in front of me and places a hand on my shoulder, but I can't bring myself to shake it off or even look up at him, "I'm gonna get an extra set of eyes on Reid. He's mentioned something about another inmate that sounds like an ex-FBI agent, and I think I know how I can get him to protect Reid. Amelia, he's gonna be okay. I'm gonna go to the prison right now and figure this all out. You call me if you need anything at all."
Luke stands again and smiles at Penelope, quickly leaving the room. And once he's gone, Penelope takes his place on the floor beside me, sitting with her legs straight out. She's silent, but I'm not sure why. Is she giving me space? Is she waiting for me to speak? Is she figuring out what to say? Is she too scared to say anything? I wouldn't blame her if she was. I'm not the person I was anymore.
I reach into my pocket and pull out Spencer's medallion, passing it between my fingers. "I'm sorry," I whisper, keeping my gaze on the metal circle. "I haven't exactly been a best friend lately, or a friend at all. I've just been a bitch."
"No, you don't need to apologize," Penelope insists, scooting closer to me. "This is a really hard time for you. It's understandable. I don't expect you to want to be listening to my guy problems or wanting to drink wine. I mean, I don't even want to be doing either of those things. It seems too...cheerful for right now."
My lips quiver and I try to hold back my tears, but no matter how hard I squeeze the medallion, my tears won’t retreat and my pain doesn’t disappear. "I just really miss him, and I'm really worried about him."
"We all are," Penelope sighs, patting my leg. "But we're working as hard as we can to get him out."
"I know you are," I flip the medallion over and stare down at the compass. "I just hope he comes home soon because I don't know how much longer I'll last without him."
The snapping of my pencil against paper shakes me back to reality, and my head pops up. I find that I've been jamming my pencil into my sketchbook, creating a hole in the paper that has effectively ruined my drawing and maybe even ruined my entire sketchbook.
A groan leaves my lips and I drop my sketchbook to the floor, my pencil following. I shouldn't be upset. Whatever it was I was drawing was horrible anyway. I haven't drawn anything good since Spencer got arrested. My art revolves around joy and happiness and the good things in my life and if I don't have any of that, how am I expected to make art?
"Hey," Jenna comes and sits beside me, placing a cup of tea on the coffee table. I don't touch it. She never makes it as good as Spencer. She picks up the sketchbook and lets out a sigh. "It's a shame there's a hole in it now. I liked what you were drawing."
"It was bad," I respond, letting my head fall onto her shoulder. "Nothing in there was any good."
"I disagree," Jenna drops the book and slings her arm around my shoulder, drawing me into her embrace. She’s not nearly as warm as Spencer. "Sometimes, our best work comes from dark places. You know, like comedians. A lot of comedians have depression and--"
"Jen, I appreciate it but I'm not in the mood for this," I murmur, eyelids feeling heavy. I rest my head on her lap and stare up at her, resisting the urge to purr as she starts to brush her fingers through my hair, but it's nothing like the way Spencer does it. Spencer, somehow, doesn't let his fingers get caught in my curls and he doesn't tug on knots. His hands are big and veiny and strong and not dainty and tiny like Jenna's.
"I'm sorry," Jenna apologizes with a heavy sigh.
"No, I'm sorry," I catch her hand in mine and intertwine our fingers, squeezing tightly. "I've been horrible lately. I've just-- what I'm going through with Spencer is no reason to be acting like a bad friend to you. You've been so generous and so helpful and so--"
"Hey, listen," Jenna cuts me off with her sweet smile, "when everything with Spencer is resolved and he's settled at home with his mom and with you, then you can take me out and throw me a Jenna appreciation party. But for right now, don't worry about me. Just worry about you and staying healthy and trying to stay happy, and focus your energy on your happy memories with Spencer."
"You're the best, have I ever told you that?"
"Hey!" Jenna exclaims. "Save it for the appreciation party."
I smile back up at my best friend, nodding slowly. "Okay, yeah, I can do that. Once I get my shit together, I'll throw you an amazing party."
"And I look forward to it," Jenna quips, and then looks at the time. "Okay, I've gotta get to a meeting but you're welcome to stay here if you want. My apartment is all yours."
"No, I think I'm gonna go home for a bit. Probably shower and then get to the BAU with fresh clothes. I feel all," I sit up, brushing my fingers over my cheeks and grimacing, "greasy and oily."
Jenna returns my ruined sketchbook and ushers me out the door, watching me get into my car to make sure I get there safely. I wave goodbye to her before driving off, not even bothering to turn on the radio. I never do anymore.
Trudging up to my door, I unlock it and toss my keys aside, throwing my bag down on the floor and kneeling down to take off my shoes. I pull out my hair tie and drop it to the floor, then leave a trail of clothes to the kitchen. First my denim jacket, then my socks, then my crop top. I'm left in my bra and sweatpants in the middle of the kitchen, reaching into the fridge for something to eat. It’s nearly empty. Of course it is. I haven’t had the energy to go shopping lately.
I reach my hand out but I pause and scrunch up my nose at a strong scent. Why does it smell like bubblegum in here? Again. I don’t even like the scent or taste of bubblegum, and I obviously didn’t buy any gum recently. I roll my eyes, wandering over to the window to open it further and let out the smell. I breathe in a bit of the fresh air and sigh, stepping away and going back to my original plan of getting something to eat. Maybe the older woman next door has a bubblegum candle that she likes to light whenever I’m home.
But the smell is persistent and it's filling my lungs and my brain and my tongue. I start to walk towards the window again but my feet don't let me. It's like there's someone telling me not to go and breath in the fresh air outside, and so, I don't. I stand in the middle of my kitchen like a floundering fish, gripping the island with white knuckles. My head feels fuzzy. My eyes feel like they should be rolling into my skull. It’s that familiar feeling of not having control over myself. That sickly familiar feeling of someone standing right behind me, whispering in my ear and telling me what to do.
But then I feel the urge to shut the window completely, so I do. I rush over and slam it closed with so much force that I think I might break the glass. But I'm confused. I'm so confused. The bubblegum smell is nauseating so why am I closing the window? What is telling me to close the window? Who is telling me to close the window?
I feel my feet walking over to the couch and I lay down. My eyelids feel heavy and I don't stop myself when I feel an intense need to lay down and close my eyes, to rest. I curl up and drift off comfortably, into the best sleep I've gotten since I had the privilege of sleeping in a bed with Spencer.
When I finally wake again, my head is pounding. I whine out loud, curling my knees into my chest and tossing my arm over my eyes, trying to block out the lights above me. But nothing works so I roll off the couch, falling onto my knees in a pathetic heap. I lift my head, finding an empty bottle of white wine on the coffee table. I furrow my eyebrows in confusion. I didn’t drink wine today. The bottle is empty but I didn’t drink. I mean, I feel hungover but I know I didn’t drink. The smell of bubblegum is gone.
I reach around for my phone, but after groping the couch and the coffee table, I come up empty. I conclude that I've left it in my backpack which I dropped beside the door. I grind my teeth as my muscles pop when I stand and walk over to the foyer, rubbing my eyes and letting out a dramatically loud yawn. When I get to the foyer, I find that my backpack is nowhere in sight. That's odd. I could have sworn that I left it here when I got home from Jenna's apartment, but I guess in my blackout, I moved it.
I turn on my heel to head back to the kitchen, and the first thing I notice is that it's not morning anymore. It's dark out. My head whips towards the clock and I find that it's almost midnight. I must have gotten drunk. I must have finished that whole bottle myself and the alcohol made me forget. I drank the entire day away, somehow. That's not like me. That's never happened before. I drink wine all the time, I know I can hold my wine. How did one single bottle of wine do this to me?
Shaking my head at myself and pushing away my pathetic tears, I move on to my kitchen. Surely enough, the contents of my backpack are strewn across the island and my phone is right there. What I need it for? I'm not sure. But despite the fact that I've just woken up, I'm exhausted. So with my phone in my hand, half dressed, belly button ring falling out, hair tangled, head pounding, and my brain swirling, I drag myself up the stairs and collapse into bed.
The sheets smell like him. They always do. They always will. The pillow he claimed as his own will always be stained with the scent of his cologne, and no matter the amount of times I wash it, it was always smell like him. I roll over and hug his pillow to my chest, and this time, I don't stop the dam from breaking. I let the tears flow down my cheeks relentlessly and I let the sobs rack my body and I let myself succumb to the depression I've barely been fighting off.
But I don't let my mind succumb too much, not to the bad thoughts that are hounding me. I stumble off the bed and into my bedside table, pulling out my journal and holding it in my lap. My pen moves faster than my mind does and before I know it, I'm signing my name at the end. I don't even proofread it. I don't check for spelling or grammar errors or try to dry the tear stains or fix any pen smudges. I just rip out the pages, fold them up, put on some clothes, and jump in my car.
The doors the the sixth floor open as I fiddle with my visitors pass on my hip. I see Stephen first and he smiles at me, stepping out of the way and gesturing me for me to go past. I thank him softly and go tiptoeing by, pulling open the bullpen door and stepping in. JJ and Tara are talking with Anderson and Kevin by the coffee machine and I send them a wave, but I don't go over to talk. I haven't been in the mood for small talk lately. And besides, it’s midnight. Everyone is here incredibly late to work and small talk would distract them from their obvious mountain of work. They don’t need the extra worry of me showing up hungover and confused. I keep my head down to avoid everyone.
I pass Emily and get to Dave's door, knocking much softer than I have in the past. He calls for me to enter, and when I do, I give him one of the fake smiles I've become so accustomed to lately. "Hi," I state gently.
"Hi," he gestures for me to sit, and when I do, he closes to door. "Are you okay?"
"I am," I nod quickly, probably way too quickly, and bring my backpack into my lap, digging through the contents. "I saw that--"
"Are you drunk?" He interrupts me, narrowing his eyes at me as he takes a seat again.
I fiend surprise, shaking my head. "No! Of course not! Why would you--"
"Your eyes are bloodshot and you're not speaking properly, you're slurring your words," Dave points out bluntly.
I don't move my gaze from his as my hands finally land on what I was searching for, and I pull it out, holding it to him. "I saw on Garcia's board that you're the next to visit Spencer. Could you bring that to him? It's just a letter."
Dave takes the envelope from my hand and admires the calligraphy on the front, the same I always use to label Spencer's sketchbooks. He nods and tucks it into his jacket pocket. "I'll bring it. The prison checks everything and--"
"If they confiscate it, I don't wanna know," I tell him, standing and putting my backpack on again, heading towards his office door. "Just-- everything I have to say is in that letter. I've gotten it out and even if he doesn't get to read it," I shrug my shoulders up to my ears and laugh pitifully, "whatever. I just hope he's safe now."
I go home. I leave with my head down and tears in my eyes. Dave is going to think I’m a crazy drunk who can’t control herself. The reality is, I don’t even know what happened today. I’m just confused and sad. I’m missing Spencer, I hate the smell of bubblegum, and I can’t do my job anymore. Everything is fucking horrible. Everything has gone to shit.
Like clockwork, I bring myself to the BAU the next morning. Freshly showered and in presentable clothes, looking better than I have in months. An obvious overcompensation for what Dave said to me yesterday. I need to show him somehow that I’m okay. Well, I’m not okay but I don’t need anyone worrying about me. I should have practiced my fake smile in the elevator.
"Hey, you," Penelope smiles softly as I walk into her lair, dropping my backpack on the empty desk. "Feeling okay?"
"Meh," I shrug, sitting down in a free chair and drawing my knees to my chest. "I'm trying to keep my spirits up. It's hard, you know? It keeps getting longer and longer since I've seen him and the longer it gets, the harder it gets. I’m trying to keep it together. It’s hard, P."
"I think I may be able to help with that," Dave's voice at the door makes the both of us jump. Neither of us had even realized he had come in right behind me. But I jump to my feet and smooth down my skirt, adjusting my nose ring so it’s perfect and brushing my straightened hair behind my ears.
"Help with that?" Penelope repeats, glancing between us. "Help with that how?"
Dave reaches into his jacket pocket and pulls out the envelope for the letter I'd written for Spencer, and my heart drops to my feet. Why was I thinking? What made me think he would be able to bring my letter in? He's in a maximum-security prison. Spencer can barely take a shower without prison guard eyes on him. He's not going to be able to get a letter from a visitor without it being checked and rejected first.
"I told you I didn't wanna know if he could see it," I whisper, looking down at my lap and hating the way my eyes instantly burn with tears. I’ve cried too much lately. "You should've just thrown it out. I don't want it back, just--"
He drops the envelope onto my lap to shut me up, but now, it's unfolded and there's writing on the inside. My body jerks ungracefully when I recognize Spencer's handwriting and I snatch it up to read what he's written for me.
To my pretty girl,
The Good Doctor sounds like a great show, and even though you've basically spoiled the whole show for me, I'd love to rewatch it with you. Medical dramas tend to be incorrect with their facts so I'd like to see how much of the show is accurate. And no, I will not watch Lucifer with you. But I will absolutely watch Star Trek and Doctor Who with you. It would be my pleasure to explain them to you.
I think of you every single day. You are the reason I'm pushing through and you are the reason I'm still alive. You are the reason I get out of bed and you are the reason I'm sane at all. You're still my north. Don't forget that. I’m going to come home to you.
Like you said, words cannot describe how intensely and how badly I miss you. Things are hard right now but I promise that I'll see you soon and I promise that everything will be okay.
Listen to some Brahms or Mozart for me. I love you so much.
With all the love I have left to give,
ps. There are no razors here and I haven't shaved in months. Enjoy.
pps. Thank you for distracting me. It worked wonders. You're truly amazing.
I read his letter over and over and over. I examine every single word on the page and I barely even notice when my tears start to fall on the paper. His writing is messy, it always has been, but it's so beautiful. Maybe I think it's so extraordinarily beautiful because I know he touched this piece of paper and now I'm touching it. It's from his heart. It's from him. It's from my Spencer.
"Penny," I whimper out, and she is at my side in a second, placing her hand on my shoulder. "He—” I sniffle and hiccup, “he promised."
"He promised?" She echoes, her voice sounding hopeful but like she's talking to a child. "What did he promise?"
"He promised that everything is gonna be okay," I clutch the paper in my hand, admiring its beauty and counting the strokes that Spencer made with the pen. "And he told me again that I'm his north and-- that's good, right? He's still there, you know, mentally."
Penelope nods at me, reaching down to wipe my tears. "Yeah, Amelia, that's really good that he said those things."
I drop the letter to the floor and throw my arms around Dave, crying into his shoulder. "Thank you so much. Thank you for doing this for me."
He hugs me back tightly. "Anything to see you and the kid happy. Anything for you two."
Both Quackity and Wilbur have things up their sleeves and struggle to see beyond themselves but fuck dude at least Wilbur seems to be trying
We cannot look at this stream in a vacuum, the context of the past streams are very important
We saw the way Quackity spoke to and about people. We saw him convince Fundy he was the only person who cared. We saw him blow up Purpled’s home so he would be convinced there was nowhere else to turn. We saw the way he belittles Sam and twists Sam’s guilt to his own benefit. We saw him threaten to kill Charlie up until Charlie admitted to having valuable information. We saw him let Foolish die to prove a point (sound familiar?). We saw him admit that he was only torturing Dream for fun at this point.
And Wilbur? Honestly, what all has Wilbur done since his revival? At most he’s implied he has some sort of big plan, but we’ve seen nothing of it. Yes, he has absolutely used manipulative language towards Tommy. He’s tried to sway him by saying things like “think about how this would make me feel” and generally talking over Tommy. But all of these events have been punctuated by seemingly genuine acts of care. The fact that he explicitly didn’t want to build a nation this go around, but simply a safe haven, like L’manberg was meant to be. The way he entered the suspicious hallway and guided Tommy behind him. You can at least tell Wilbur genuinely cares about Tommy’s well-being, even if he’s misguided or believes he knows best in areas. You can tell Wilbur means it when he says he would never wish harm to Tommy. Even in his attempt to blow up L’manberg, it was never to hurt anyone, it was in a misguided attempt to make sure nobody got hurt by a nation like that again.
I can believe Wilbur when he says he cares about Tommy like family and wants what (he believes) is best for him.
I cannot believe Quackity wants anything more for Tommy than he truly does for anyone else in Las Nevadas.
Synopsis: The present is gloomy and the future uncertain. You’re having trouble falling asleep with your mind going a million miles an hour. So you call on a certain adeptus to ease your disquiet.
Fandom: Genshin Impact
Featuring: Xiao x g/n reader
Word count: 1.2k
A/n: the Xiao date hc I wrote really tugged on some heartstrings so I figured I’d write some comfort <3 enjoy!
For about the tenth time tonight, you toss and turn, throwing off the thin linen blanket the innkeeper thoughtfully prepared for you. It’s no use; the weather is the least of your troubles, and as cosy as this room at the Wangshu Inn is, sleep remains an elusive villain. Your restless brain recalls the day’s news reports and their overarching themes of despair and uncertainty dance like devils before you.
It’s all anyone can talk about - the looming threats from the Abyss Order, a mysterious illness in the countryside of Liyue and its alarming spread, disappearances… You’re convinced there is some greater cosmic plot afoot.
Praying for the peace of a dreamless slumber, you shut your eyes tight. Your mind refuses to settle down. Always the same thoughts - you never asked to be part of any of this, you’re weak and unprepared for the future, you should be spending every second training - an endless march of reprimands of your own making. They’re not wrong, you tell yourself. Still, the growing list of matters to attend to is starting to look increasingly like an enormous mountain, gaining height with every step you scale. You turn on your side, curling into yourself. You don’t know how long you can bear it all. A warm memory pops into your head and you cling to it, desperate for relief. Lips trembling, you speak his name.
In an instant, he is by your bedside, spear at the ready.
“Are you in danger?” he asks, his voice a whisper, eyes already scanning the room.
You feel a surge of guilt for calling upon him. What if these are mere trifles and he laughs at you for it? Maybe you’re just wasting his time, like your own.
Your silence prompts him to face you, and as he does, he stiffens. Your constricted form suggests pain and you see worry painted all over his face.
“Xiao, I’m sorry I called you,” you start to say, feeling embarrassed, “I can’t sleep.”
“And how am I supposed to help that?”
His tone is cold but you have come to understand his language and the hidden kindness behind his words. Even so, you can’t help but feel foolish.
“What troubles you, y/n?” he finally mumbles, awkwardly seating himself at the foot of the bed. You look up at him, a little taken aback by the softness in his voice.
“Nothing, it’s just--” your hands grip the blanket nervously, your words colliding into each other like a poorly choreographed parade. “Everything. The present, the future. It’s all too much, Xiao. I… I don’t know what to do.” you bury your head into the mattress as the last few words consume you.
Xiao sighs. In a languid motion his spear vaporizes, unnecessary in the circumstances. You sense him stand up and hear his hesitant footsteps as he approaches you.
“Take my hand.” he commands.
You lift your weary head and see his arm reaching out to you. Unsure, you grasp it. With a delicate firmness, he pulls you up and out of bed, towards the window. It’s a moonless night and the darkness outside mirrors your internal strife. You watch as he climbs out, urging you to follow. Confusion builds in your chest but so does curiosity, and you leap out after him.
You land in grass, your bare feet tickled by the tiny blades. Before you can protest going further, worrying about your lack of footwear, Xiao grips your wrist and takes you down a path leading away from the Inn.
The air is crisp and cool, the nearby marsh flora swaying gently in the nighttime breeze lulling you into a trance. The path soon fades, merging with the wild brush. Trees taller than you stand still like sentinels in every direction you turn, their leaves rustling quietly. You return your gaze to the hand around your wrist and see that it is small. You smile; those hands have boundless strength and hold your heart.
Just as you start to tire, Xiao stops. You crouch, trying to catch your breath, having trudged up the path more briskly than you realized.
You raise your head and follow Xiao’s finger pointing skyward and any breath you managed to catch leaves you at the sight of what must be billions of stars. In a vast ocean they glitter softly, subtly shifting hues, dancing in a dazzling troupe. How something so clustered and numerous can envelope you in such a sense of tranquility is beyond you. You feel your eyes dampen and quickly dab at the corners with your shirt sleeve. Xiao pretends not to notice, and you’re grateful.
He sits down slowly, his back against yours, as if to give you space even in his company. You lean against him and exhale.
“You can tell me,” he mutters in a gentle voice, “You can share your troubles, if you wish.”
His invitation to confide in him unwinds the coil that had slowly been strangling you. You start to share your burden, timid at first, then in a rush. You tell him how powerless you feel, how there is so much to do in so little time, how the sensation of running for your life never leaves you and you hate it because you know it isn't rational. You tell him how you want to yell at yourself. You tell him everything, and at last when your energy is spent you let yourself fall against him.
For a while, he is quiet. You feel relief just from unloading your thoughts so his silence doesn't bother you. You know he listened to every word and his hand still holding your wrist tells you he cares.
"Y/n, I will not tell you of the things I have witnessed, or the eons I have walked this land," he says, finally, "I can only tell you about time."
He turns around to face you, sitting cross legged so his knees touch yours. Unwavering, he holds your gaze as he speaks.
"Do not let it ruin you, y/n. You cannot control every action of those around you, nor can you turn the tide of the world. Why, then, do you seek power over these things?"
He pauses for a moment, realizing he may have been harsh. You watch his expression shift and soften, and with a note of empathy that you cherish, he continues.
"You are not powerless. Only you can dictate your future, and your actions now are but small pieces of a larger picture that will reveal itself in time. And it will be as remarkable as you are."
You can't help but smile, despite the tears streaming down your cheeks. There are a thousand words you want to say to Xiao as repayment for the precious few he shared. But your mind is finally at ease and you feel your eyelids grow heavy. By the light of a sea of stars, and the soft earthly glow of fireflies, you drift into a dream. You swear you hear the soft melody of a flute somewhere in the distance… it tells you, you are safe.
The prompt for this week’s Writer Wednesday was given, as always, by the lovely @autumnleaves1991-blog, and I included a photo of the reader’s tail as well.
There were plenty of things Oberyn didn’t believe existed anymore. Dragons, mainly, but there were other things as well, creatures that had long since faded from everyday life and had become nothing more than tales parents told misbehaving children. So when a fisherman came running through Sunspear saying he’d fished up a merfolk, Oberyn assumed him insane. But Doran, who had always had an active imagination, requested the fisherman bring the merfolk to the palace. They had a pool in the palace they could keep the thing in for now.
Oberyn sighed, watching two horses pull a covered cart up a hill. He was in his room, Ellaria by his side. She peered curiously over his shoulder, resting her cheek on his bare skin. “My prince,” she said softly. “Should we not be at the pool with your brother?”
“I don’t believe in things as childish as merfolk,” Oberyn replied, turning from the window. “But you may attend if you wish.”
Ellaria nodded, shuffling into a thin robe and walking out of the room, leaving Oberyn alone with his thoughts. There was no way merfolk were actually still real, right?
To say you were pissed was an understatement. Trapped in a glass tank, you huffed, pounding on the sides yet again. It was a fruitless venture, but you tried anyway. How could you have been so foolish? Your mother told you that the land men were getting bolder, that they were fishing near your home and you had to be careful to steer clear of their nets. You just hadn’t expected them to come as close as they did.
Sinking to the bottom of the tank, you sulked, swaying as the water sloshed around. You hoped the land folk didn’t intend to keep you here forever. It was much too small.
Thankfully, the tank stopped swaying eventually and you felt it tip sideways slowly draining the water over the edge. You could hear it splashing into a different pool of water, and you perked up. Getting the message, you swam to the top of the tank, following the flow of water and falling into a much bigger pool of water. It was decorated with shining rocks on the bottom, the smooth colored surfaces arranged in such a way that an intricate pattern was created. Looking up, you spotted many plants above you, and some interesting architecture, but the details were lost to the rippling of the water.
Land folk began to surround the pool, and you stayed firmly on the bottom, not wanting them to have the satisfaction of seeing you. Muffled words were spoken, and you huffed, sending a stream of bubbles up to the top of the water. You continued blowing bubbles, entertaining yourself as best you could. You would explore the pool later, when you were alone. For now, you just waited.
The land folk disappeared shortly after, all wandering away and allowing you to swim around the perimeter of your new home. Some parts of the pool were covered, shadowed and secure beneath overhangs with arches and columns. You set up in one of the corners under the biggest overhang, yawning widely and wishing you were home before curling up and beginning to sleep.
It was hours before you woke again, hearing loud footsteps running through the palace. Night had taken the sun from the sky, and your only source of light was the silver of the moon. The footsteps grew, and you floated out, wanting to see what was causing the commotion.
A man was running around the pool, seemingly running from someone. He looked in both directions, seeing no way out, and dove into the pool.
You shrunk away, pressing yourself into the corner. Did he not know you were here? How could he not?
The man turned, seeing you. He let out a shout that stole the air from his lungs, and you immediately rushed forward, grabbing his face. He had facial hair that tickled your hands, but it was no concern of you as you pressed a firm kiss to his lips. He flailed, but you held him tight, pushing air from your lungs into his mouth. When you pulled away, the man swam backwards, gasping. He put a hand to his throat, surprised. He was breathing underwater.
You examined the man. He had distinctly land folk features, with brown eyes and short brown hair. His face was angular and beautiful, and you wondered if he had merfolk blood in him. He wore yellow robes that swirled around in the water, his feet bare and his robe loose. You carefully stripped him of it, letting the useless fabric float in the water. Underneath, he wore a linen shirt and simple pants.
The man tried to speak, but nothing more than bubbles left his mouth. You giggled, swimming in a smooth circle around the man. He twisted to follow you, but you were too fast, flicking the bare points of his skin with the tips of your fluke. He was entertaining, even if he did seem scared of you.
You blew bubbles in his direction, and he flinched as they harmlessly hit him. He looked at you and your curious blinking. Hesitantly, he blew a few bubbles back. Clapping, you blew a large bubble and held it in your hands, tossing it to the man. He tried to catch it, but it popped when he touched it.
A shout at the top of the pool pulled your attention away from the man. You looked up, grabbing the man and dragging him with you as you broke the water’s surface. He gasped when he hit air, and you tsked softly, using your tail to keep him above the water.
“Prince Oberyn!” A sharp voice yelled. “Are you alright?”
“Fine,” the man said, his voice strained. You knew, in that moment, he absolutely had some form of merfolk blood in his veins. His voice was silky as a siren’s and twice as enchanting, even marred by his breathlessness. “I’m fine. Stand down.”
The men around the pool relaxed, helping the man out of the pool. You watched him go, a bit disappointed. He had been fun. What had the men called him? Prince Oberyn. So he was land folk royalty. You snorted, turning to go back to your corner and spotting something in the water. Swimming towards it, you realized it was Oberyn’s robe. You grabbed it, swirling it around you and eventually deciding to put it on. It didn’t exactly fit, but the deep yellow complimented your tail well and you liked how it moved when you swam. Curling up in your corner for the night, you sighed out, snuggling down in Oberyn’s robe. You would definitely be seeing him again.
Oberyn did not visit you for a while. Other land folk came around to see you, but none of them were your mysterious land prince, and so you were uninterested.
Finally, after months, Oberyn ended up at the pool again. He had a familiar land woman on his arm, and you tipped your head at the woman and she and Oberyn walked around the pool. She was watching you, her eyes full of curiosity. She spoke to Oberyn, who looked at you and shook his head. You scowled at him, swimming to the top of the water and sending a spray up, soaking Oberyn and the woman. She laughed, waving to you as you circled slowly, watching the pair. You waved back, giving her a mischievous smile and beckoning her close.
The woman broke off of Oberyn’s arm and sat on the edge of the pool. The water was too shallow for her to get her feet wet, but you swam to the surface, floating on your back and taking a few burning breaths of air before your lungs adjusted.
“Do you have a name?” The woman asked, looking down at you.
“I do,” you said. “Do you?”
You hummed, flicking your tail and watching the water dance across your white gold scales. “Ellaria,” you purred. “A lovely name. I’m (Y/N).”
Ellaria smiled. “This is my lover, Prince Oberyn.”
“I know,” you said. “We’ve met.”
“Oh?” Ellaria looked at Oberyn, who was standing nervously behind her. “He never told me that.”
You giggled, waving to Oberyn. “When are you going to take another late night swim?” You asked him. “I miss you.”
Ellaria laughed. “Is that where you got that robe?”
Nodding, you fiddled with the sleeve of the robe. “It’s very comfortable.”
Oberyn sighed. “I’m going back to our room,” he said, and you pouted, swimming in a frustrated circle. “What?” He looked down at you and your scrunched face. “If you have something to say, say it.”
“Why do you hate me?”
It was not what Oberyn was expecting. He was silent for a moment before sitting beside Ellaria. “I was unsure of your existence,” he finally said. “You and your kind were a fairytale to me. I am merely unsure of how to approach you.”
You nodded, holding a hand out. “Join me,” you said. “My father used to say the best way to learn is to experience.”
Ellaria stood, removing her robe and dress and sliding into the water with no hesitation. You steadied her, watching slightly as Oberyn pulled his robe off more hesitantly. He remained in his pants as he followed Ellaria, the water cradling him as he joined you two.
The first few minutes were full of patience, with you circling the land folk pair and encouraging them to swim with you. Ellaria dove first, Oberyn following. You swirled around them, urging them lower. When it seemed Ellaria was running out of air, you kissed her. Kissing her was very different from kissing Oberyn. Where she was soft and eager, he had been rough and hesitant, although you found yourself missing the scratch of his facial hair against your skin. When you pulled away, Ellaria gasped in a breath, eagerly lighting up when she realized what you had done. She beckoned Oberyn closer, tangling with him and kissing him slowly and smoothly.
The three of you played in the water for a while. After a good hour, during which the sun began to paint the sky with streaks of pink and orange, you eventually exhausted your land folk friends. You showed them how to weigh themselves down, laying across the patterned floor of the pool. Oberyn and Ellaria were pressed together, as if they were trying to become one being. You watched, almost jealous, until Ellaria summoned you close.
Unable to speak, she scooted away from Oberyn, gesturing to the space between them. You slid in, finding a comfortable spot and immediately purring as warmth surrounded you. Tiny bubbles rippled to the top of the water, and your rumbles made your two partners smile. Oberyn wrapped an arm over you, pulling you closer to his chest. Ellaria sandwiched you to him, and your purring deepened. You wanted this every day, this gentle warmth and tight embrace and feeling of pure bliss.
Eventually, someone must’ve noticed Oberyn was missing, and guards in various states of dress surrounded the pool, all shouting. You looked up, hissing slightly and tightening your grip on Ellaria’s shoulders. Oberyn smiled, kissing your cheek and floating to the top of the water. He spoke to the guards, who all nodded and dispersed quickly. Swimming back down, he embraced you and gestured to the surface. Reluctantly, you followed him as he crested the water once more.
“They want us back in our room,” Oberyn explained. “I think they thought you had kidnapped us.”
You sulked, face stuck in a pout. “I don’t want you to leave.”
“I know,” Oberyn murmured. “I’ll speak with my brother tomorrow morning. I’m sure we can find a way to get access to my room from this pool. Worry not, we will remedy this.”
He climbed out of the pool and helped a very reluctant Ellaria out as well. You waved, calling goodbye until your new lovers were out of earshot. Floating to your sleeping corner, you hummed, curling up and watching Oberyn’s robe swirl around you. Maybe being captured by the land men wasn’t such a bad thing after all.
Blood smeared the knuckles when they made contact with the thick wood of the thickest tree trunk. The Sorcerer hissed and hollered as he banged his hands furiously against the tree. His entire body shook with rage at the evidence his newest spy brought him. He waited too long. He pulled himself away from the free and covered his face with his hand. Now it was only a matter of time before Kai gave into Cole's seduction. He banged the tree again, then composed himself and pulled the hood of his cloak over his raven hair.
He watched the cut of his hand swell and bubble until perfectly healed skin was revealed.
He waited too long. The second he suspected the teen had Occulti blood he should have acted! His growl morphed into a roar.
"Damn to the depths of my lust and pride!" He bellowed. He had known he had taken a heavy gamble when he decided to change his strategy, but it was too difficult to resist such a tempting specimen, especially since if his seduction proved a success it would devastate the Dragon Lord more than a thousand of the most vicious monsters. Now, his miscalculation had caused him a major setback. It was worse when it became clear exactly who this mysterious specimen was.
It had been easy to ignore the first instance as merely a single occurrence.
It wasn't uncommon for humans to discover untapped abilities in traumatic or near-death situations. Many people held biological connections to magical ancestors. The religions might have changed, but the blood certainly didn't, he himself was proof of that. Still, many lines had become so thinned by mundane human blood any inherited power could only be tapped through stress or shock and usually only once. But the skills used to defeat his monsters and the premonitions were too much to be a coincidence.
That Occulti whore was dead and she continued to be a thorn in his side.
A wicked smile curled across his lips as he approached the road. The raven sat immobile like a statue on his shoulder awaiting instructions. It didn't matter now. She failed then and she will fail now.
"I'm running out of time, and I'll be damned if I let some Occulti whore destroy over one hundred years of patience and hard work!" He thundered and looked to the crow. It shot up and waited for orders. "Watch them, if they do anything together, inform me immediately; I don't have much time to carry out the next stage of my plan." He commanded. The crow bowed its head and flapped away into the night. The Sorcerer's grin widened as he chuckled then burst out laughing when he came to the main road.
He turned around taking one last look at the castle in the distance.
"Enjoy your concubine while it lasts, prince." He smirked recalling the conversations his spies had recorded. Episodes of the life the boy had forsaken to appease the dragon's wishes. Memories of a high-ranking man who fancied him. Of the childhood instances experienced in Ignacia. Of the siblings he had sacrificed himself for, who were no doubt still terrified for their brother's safety. He may have feelings for the dragon, but Kai was like any other human when it came to sacrificing.
As the Sorcerer walked along the forgotten path, he noticed a cold stream still flowing and an evil idea formed in his mind.
He dunked his hands into the freezing liquid and used his magic to create a small ball of water.
"Enough talking, time for some screaming." He cackled as he blew into the bubble turning it into an ice ball. He then shook the ball violently before throwing it into the air. He smirked as it broke apart and a grey, shimmering mist blew through the wind towards the castle. That should buy him some time...
Nya hollered and roared in rage as she slamming the door to her house shut. It screamed in protest as it suffered the force of his anger. The only thing the village idiots were good for was gossip and apparently, Morro's dismissal of Kai's fate had spread faster than an infectious plague. So much now even other towns were mocking them. No matter where she went to who she begged to help her, she was simply laughed at. One of them even suggested she join her brothers and started to believe in children's stories.
A frustrated hand ripped at Nya's raven bangs.
The only one who seemed remotely worried was the librarian, Dr. Saunders, but he was just one old man. As much as he wanted to, he couldn't go wandering through the dark forest, let alone take on a dragon-hybrid monster. She stormed into the kitchen, her angry steps echoing loudly in the empty room. Nya growled and started grabbing whatever her furious mind thought she would need and stuffed them into a bag she already had set up on the kitchen table.
If no one will help her, she would find that castle and get him back herself.
She stuffed the bag with food, maps, and anything else. She strapped it tight and threw it over her shoulders, donned her thickest coat to keep out the freezing winter air, her cloak, and her heaviest boots. Once she was secure, she turned to the staircase.
"Lloyd, I spoke with Mrs. Grumbmiller, you're gonna stay with her until I get back, is that alright?" She called loudly. Her words echoed through the house, and she braced herself for her younger brother's protests. Instead, she found only silence and she started to panic. She quickly realizing Lloyd hadn't run downstairs when she came inside. He didn't come crying and begging to know if anyone would help them like he had done every time she came home over the last two months.
When their previous attempts had failed.
After two months of trying, Nya and Lloyd returned home only to discover the town was debating what to do with their house and shop now that they were gone. It was only because of Nya's fury that the town would act so irresponsibly. Nya refused to leave their home unattended. Despite Lloyd's protest, Nya left him behind to protect the shop under Mrs. Grumbmiller's care during the lonely nights. Panic started to rush through Nya's entire being.
She bolted from the stairs, checking each room on the ground floor, painstakingly for her younger brother.
When her search failed she thundered up the old steps. Her eyes scanned every room, meticulously for any sign of the young boy. Nya's eyes widened when she entered her own room. Lloyd had been known to sleep there some nights when his worry became too much. Again she found it all empty, even missing a few things. The realization made her sick as she bolted upstairs, heading straight towards Lloyd's bedroom. She panicked and threw the door open but her heart sank into her stomach.
The room was empty, but dressers were left open, empty of clothes.
Her thick winter cloak was missing from the hanger as well as Lloyd's thickest pair of boots. The only evidence that the boy had been there at all was a note left on the bed. She grabbed it with haste and read it as fast as she could. Her eyes bulged with horror and fear as she read over each word, filled with tears.
If you're reading this then I'm already gone. I'm sorry I didn't wait until you came back but no one is going to help us, I know that now. I can't leave our big brother to suffer in that horrible place. He's only there to protect me, so I've decided I'm going to go back to that castle, and no matter what I must do I will free our big brother. No matter what. I've already taken more than enough remedy so I won't choke, so don't worry about me.
Please don't come after me, Nya.
I know you and what you're planning. You'll try and switch places with Kai and I can't let that happen. That dumb duke is right about one thing, you two have sacrificed everything for me, now it's my turn to help you.
I love you, Ny-Ny.
Nya screamed and cursed, crushing the little note in her hand, cursing her baby brother's foolishness. Her hands clenched the window as she looked outside. Though Winter was fading quickly, new frost still encased the ground. Winter was still dangerous and it was the most hazardous time of year for someone with Lloyd's condition. She could also swear that those dark clouds rolling in were the signs of an incoming blizzard. A bad one at that.
Snow was already falling and getting heavier with every passing second.
She screeched as she tied on her boots and hopped down the hall, before finally falling over and stormed out the front door. If Lloyd died, she was going to murder him. As soon as she was ready, Nya bolted down the street and towards the woods for any sign of Lloyd as she vanished into the night. She was in such as rush that she didn't notice or hearing the hammer of footsteps approaching the now-empty home. The snow-covered any evidence of her footprints within seconds, masking her trail in the process.
Seconds after Nya left, Morro and Bansha arrived with Noble's collection wagon.
"Nya! Lloyd! Kai!" Morro hollered as he shoved the door to the dark house open, not even bothering with chivalry as Bansha stepped inside behind him. As soon as they entered, they saw that the house was vacant of light and life. The lamps had burnt out, the doors were locked, and no sound echoed through the rooms.
"Where are they? I thought Nya would be back by now!" The duke screeched like an angry owl.
"They're not here, Morro." She quirked, not wishing to be on the wrong side of the Duke's anger.
"This is ridiculous! How long do they plan on being gone? It's been four months!" He bellowed throughout the house. He hissed in a furious rage when no one answered him.
"Morro, you don't think... maybe..." Bansha trailed off nervously. She nervously rubbed her arms and flinched and looked at the floor when Morro's heated glare turned to her.
"If you are going to say what I think you're going to say, I don't want to hear it! There is no such thing as dragons or castles or any of this nonsense! It was a lie! A trick of their little minds!"
"But Morro, think of it!" She protested. "Kai's been gone for almost four months, and ever since his disappearance Nya has been going around town and asking anyone to help her, and Lloyd's been doing the same thing, swearing on their lives that he's been kidnapped and taken hostage by this dragon; they've even gone so far as to seek help from other towns! Why would they keep this story of a 'dragon' kidnapping Kai going if it wasn't true? What if Kai really was kidnapped?"
Morro glared at the girl and opened his mouth to protest but found he could not.
Instead, he stormed back through the door scowling.
"Alright, say this 'dragon' does exist and their story is true? Why would Kai stay with such a monstrosity?" He chuckled darkly.
"Well as you said, Morro, he would do anything to protect his family correct? Maybe, he was forced?" She suggested.
"Excuse me, duke." A smooth voice interrupted Morro as he was about to scream again. The two of them turned around and saw a tall man dressed in vibrant red and purple colors that made him glow in the darkness of the storm approached them. His hood shadowed his face and eyes and only pale streaks of black hair were visible.
"Forgive my forward intrusion, but I'm afraid I couldn't help but overhearing your plight, the plight of your town, and I think I may know what has befallen this unfortunate family." He said with the best fake saddest look he could muster. The pair exchanged equal bewildered glances until Morro's gaze hardened and he returned his glare to the man.
"And who are you?"
"My name of no importance to one of such caliber as yourself, sir." He bowed respectfully. Morro soaked the flattery up like a sponge, but Bansha shivered, catching the sinister smile crossing the man's face.
"Know only that I wish to aid you, I have traveled much in my lifetime, seeking wisdom and the destruction of injustice; if this creature is who I fear we must act quickly or I fear this boy, your fiancé's fate, may already be sealed."
"What are you talking about? What will happen to my Kai?" Morro demanded.
"My entire life, my lady, has been devoted to the destruction of a terrible beast who is responsible for the downfall of my ancestors." The man began. "A hundred years ago they ruled these lands until they were brutally betrayed by this creature, as punishment he was cursed to become a dragon and since then I have hunted him down in hopes of avenging my family's senseless destruction and it seems I have finally found him." He spoke with the passion of a tragic hero but remained focused on their reactions.
He could see they were both skeptical but there was fear evident in their eyes.
Fear that he knew was the perfect fuel for creating an angry mob or a rebellion or an army to obey one's will if it would promise the return of their safety.
"What does your personal crusade have to do with my fiancé?" Morro demanded again as Bansha's hands found his arm and squeezed it tightly, shivering at the frightening presence the man radiated.
"As I said, sir, the dragon is a monster." He spat. "He seeks an end to his curse, and unfortunately, that freedom includes the seduction of a beautiful and talented mortal, and apparently he's settled for this boy you've fallen for, so just you watch; he will descend his destruction on the entire town if given the chance!" The man spoke, emphasizing the destruction of the town and the word seduction.
"No!" Morro screamed and thrashed in fury and rage. "Kill him! Destroy him! Slice off his head!"
"Calm yourself, my lord." The stranger soothed in a sophisticated voice that commanded obedience. "There is still time to save the boy and his family, but I need your help, yours and this town's if you are willing to help me?" He asked as his eyes were soft and his voice pleading. "My only request is that you let me kill the monster, all I ask is to avenge my family, your land shall be yours once more and whatever riches are in the castle, I'm wealthy enough that I do not need such trivial things, all I seek is to avenge my family."
"Of course," Morro announced, throwing his cloak over his shoulder and howling in his delight. "We must get to the town hall immediately! Bansha, go and gather my council, tell them to rally the people, we have to rescue my fiancé!" He ordered, leaving no room for argument. Bansha shivered and nodded mutely, before rushing down the street desperate to get away from the man.
"By the way, who should I say you are when I explain you to the city?" The duke turned to the man as he hauled after his maid. He was shocked, however, to find the man had vanished into thin air. The only difference to before was the thundering of the incoming snowstorm clouds...
elllloooo, i would just like to ask for some god!ponk headcanons (im writing a fic for him i guess, although im not to sure about what he's like, so if you could just point me in that direction) :D
I may have been a bad pick for this as I don't watch Ponk a lot (I wish i did but I never have the time). I would recommend just watching bits of his streams or maybe YouTube compilations but I'll try my best for this
He's a very neutral god. Offering medicine to the gods and some humans (of course he offers the most knowledge about the medical practice to his followers)
Not a lot of people see him really, not even his followers. He's sorta locked away in his domain/realm practicing his herbs and essentials
But when he is out he doesn't bother with humans. Just flying down to the mortal realm to walk a nice path, sometimes alone, sometimes he has a friend (Foolish or Sam you can choose)
He's a workaholic. He's the god of medicine and health. He needs his work to be perfect (as a long time ago a god managed to get the better of him and tear his arm off. He spends decades without an arm before he made something to heal/give it back to him).
Good luck trying to take him from his work
A lot of people say the god is strict and stern. Very emotionless. While it's true half of the time, the other times the god acts like his true self. He's loud, he's happy, and just a burst of energy! And when he's tired he's soft. He's sorta the only god who sleeps (besides George) as he tires himself so much with overworking
This is all I have for Ponk. If you have more questions don't be afraid to send me a DM or something in my inbox. Hope this helped and have take care!
No Vandy requests you say??? Well lets fix that!!! Vanderwood + 25 sounds like it could be really great! I am so hyped your requests are open again!
Yeeeaaahhhh!!! Thank you SO much for requesting this. At last—at last—I have written something soft for dearest Vandy. <3
for all my lonely life
Vanderwood X Reader, T, Words: 2165
When you get home, the lights are already on.
Your whole body stiffens. Out of habit, you’ve cracked the door rather than opening it all the way—and a beam of light streams out, bright and unexpected. It’s twilight now: the sky is purpling and there is already a dusting of stars on the horizon. You’d expected to find the house cold and dark and bare.
But instead, there is a warm fluorescent glow and—you sniff, puzzled, still frozen on the doorstep—the smell of simmering onions?
Check if you’ve got a weapon, he would tell you. If not, turn around and run.
And you always take his advice—it’s kept you alive in the past—but—
Would a murderer be cooking onions?
Quiet as can be, you slip through the door and shut it behind you. He is the only one with a key to your home, but he’s never shown up unannounced before. The light is, indeed, coming from the kitchen; the entryway is still dim. You scan it for any sign of a forced entry.
Everything is just as you left it, except—ah.
Lined up neatly beside the door are a familiar pair of boots: his, of course.
Your neck feels hot. You never know his schedule—are never certain when he’ll be working all night or when he’ll call out of nowhere to say that he’s on his way to your home. Sometimes he disappears for days; other times he spends the whole weekend here—in your big, empty home—in your kitchen; in your living room; in your bed.
You slip off your shoes and down the hall, hoping for the rare opportunity to catch him unawares. You muffle your footsteps the way he’s shown you—still your breath, silence your heart.
The kitchen does not have a door that shuts—just a frame. You peek around it: there is a cutting board on the counter—some small bowls—a glass—and—
There he is: standing over the stove, his hair tied back, a spatula in his hand and his attentive eyes already trained on you.
You laugh at your foolishness. Catch him unawares indeed.
“How’d you know I was here?” you ask, coming all the way into the kitchen. His lips part and he shakes his head; a lock of hair falls into his face.
“How did I know—you’re very loud,” he mutters.
You’re not loud at all; it is just that he would hear if a mouse shifted in its sleep in the nearby field.
“So,” you say. The little piece of hair is almost in his eyes, but he doesn’t seem to have noticed. Your fingers twitch—you want, more than anything, to brush the lock of hair off his face. To feel his warm, scarred skin beneath your fingertips. To press your lips to his jaw and wait to see if he will blush or groan or push you away.
“What?” His voice is gruff; he turns his attention back to the pan and gives it a stir. Whatever he is cooking smells incredibly enticing.
“Are you making me dinner?” you ask.
And there are a million other questions right on the tip of your tongue, but for some reason that is the one that comes out first.
“No,” he says. Ah: he is staring at the pan too intently now: avoiding your gaze. You grin, feeling bold; you sidle up next to him, and he shifts uncomfortably.
He should be used to you by now.
But for him, closeness is foreign and intimacy is strange. It has taken him time to acclimate to the way you behave around him. It will take more time, still.
“It’s night,” you say. “And you’re cooking a meal. In my home. So it’s just for yourself, then?”
“Hush, you,” he says—and you smile, because this is as good as a confession.
“Thanks,” you say.
And you do what you’ve wanted to do since the moment you saw him—tuck the stray hair behind his ear; brush your lips over his cheek and linger a moment too long so you can feel the way you make his skin burn.
He grumbles: neither a groan nor a sigh, but more of a confused growl. Grinning, you pull away and hop up on the counter for a better view of his face. Just as you’d thought: his cheeks are pink. Your heart thumps proudly.
“You’re thanking me for telling you to hush?” He shakes his head and scoops the contents of one of the little bowls into the pan. He’s still not looking at you, which tells you he is feeling something: it’s easy for him to look when he is calm—harder when he is distraught or flustered or moved.
“Thanking you for cooking for me,” you say. You kick your heels against the cabinet and he twitches as if he wants to tell you to get down—but it is your house, after all.
“Never said it was for you.” He crosses to the counter and starts roughly chopping some cabbage. Even when he is trying his best to be brusque and disinterested, his technique is excellent. You smile and watch his hands.
“I’m tired today,” you say—a non sequitur, perhaps, but it’s what’s on your mind. “My eyes hurt and my legs are sore. I didn’t know what I was going to make for dinner, so—”
“Really?” He cuts you off, knife frozen in midair. He looks up and you are caught in the crossfire of his intense gaze.
“Long day,” you say weakly. He is looking you up and down now, but there is nothing lustful in his gaze—it is meticulous and penetrating. For a moment, he is an agent, not a—
Whatever he is to you.
“I’m okay,” you say, shaken by the zealous way he’s looking at you. “Just a little worn out.”
“Right,” he says. For a moment longer, his eyes linger on your face—as if he is trying to read, in the lines there, whether or not you are lying. Then he has turned away, and he is chopping again—squash, now—as though he was never interrupted in the first place. “Habit,” he mumbles.
You forget, sometimes—when you are here, in this house with its creaking wood floors and dust that sparkles in the sunlight—who he is; where he’s been; what he’s done.
It is too easy, when he is holding you and the room is too hot and you’ve kicked off the heavy comforter and you can hear the regular rhythm of his heart, to think oh, this is the person he is.
And it is. And it’s not.
“Vanderwood,” you say. You slip off the counter and come up behind him; the name sounds strange in your mouth, and you see the way his muscles tense at the sound of it.
“Don’t call me that stupid name,” he says. He doesn’t turn, but you can feel his energy through his back. He is so attuned to you.
He cuts the squash into perfect, bite-sized pieces.
“Then tell me your real name,” you say. Your breath ruffles his shirt. You want to bury your fingers in his hair and spin him around and kiss that look of derision off his lips.
He laughs, and it’s not a warm sound.
“Don’t you wish I would,” he says.
Yes, you think. God, yes.
“Fine.” Frustrated, all of sudden, that you can’t see his face, you go to his side— lean against the counter and peer up into his eyes. His expression is unreadable as ever. “What should I call you, then?”
He looks at the squash.
“Whatever,” he says.
And most of the time, you call him nothing at all—even when you are so close you feel that his heart is beating inside your own body, you have no name for him—no word you can whisper like a spell into the night (a silent plea to be here, stay here, be with me.)
“Baaaaby?” you drawl experimentally. It feels strange to say, but it is worth it for the way his cheeks color.
Twice in one night. You’re on a roll.
“Honey?” you try. He scoops the chopped squash into a bowl and goes to the stove.
He shudders as he dumps the squash into the pan. The oil makes a satisfying sizzling sound.
“Feels weird,” he mutters. You laugh. It does feel weird—but the kind of weird that makes your toes curl and your heart race.
“If you say so.” You know better than to push him. He has a tendency to leave abruptly—to disappear without so much as a word or a backwards glance when he suspects that he has let you go too far. Instead, you cross to the doorway, meaning to retrieve the bag you left unceremoniously in the hall when you were trying to sneak up on him.
But he speaks, and his voice stops you in your tracks. It is harsh and sudden, as though he thinks—
“Don’t leave,” he says.
You don’t move a muscle. There’s a sort of rough honesty in his tone that makes you shiver.
“I was just going to get my bag,” you say. You turn to him and he’s looking right at you, and ah: you were wrong before. He looks away when he is flustered—but when he feels something (really feels it), he looks at you straight on.
“Oh,” he says. “I thought—”
Something stirs in his dark eyes, and you feel, for a moment, as though you are falling headfirst off a cliff.
You let yourself fall.
“Not leaving,” you say. And you go to him. He sighs as though trying to clear away the honesty that’s lingering in the air; emboldened by the way you seem to have frightened him, you wrap your arms around his waist.
“Don’t mind either way,” he says. His gaze is fixed on the pan again—but you suspect he’s not really looking at it.
“Can I tell you something?” you ask. You turn your face sideways and press your cheek to his chest—and you are very much in the way, but he does not brush you off or tell you to move. You can hear his heart. It stammers.
“You’re going to either way,” he mutters. “So.”
You smile because his heart belays the roughness of his voice—because he feels so solid in your arms—because, for a moment, it is easy to pretend that it could be this way more often.
“I’m happy you’re here,” you say.
Now, he stiffens—now, his chest goes taught and his hand stops stirring the pan. He laughs, then: low and gruff. You know you should pull away, but you squeeze him tighter instead.
“Why did you laugh?” you ask.
You feel his eyes on the top of your head so you look up; his expression is inscrutable.
“Feels like…” he begins. He shakes his head, like he can’t quite think straight (you know the feeling). “Feels like I’ve been waiting for a long time,” he mutters. You pull away to stare straight into his face, and he doesn’t look away.
“For what?” you ask.
He wavers. He deliberates.
“Uh,” he says. “You. I guess.”
Your heart stops. You know he feels it—know, too, that he can hear the way your breath hitches; see the way you are melting in his arms.
He hears everything—sees everything.
“Don’t get carried away,” he grumbles—and for the third time, his cheeks are pink, and so you stand on tiptoe and kiss his lips. He lets you.
“For how long?” you ask. Because this is who he is, and also it isn’t; because there are things he’s done you’ll never know about, and places he’s been you don’t even want to imagine.
But he is here, now. And he is in your arms. And you are kissing him and he’s not pulling away.
“What?” He looks ruffled. You grin and kiss him again. He puts the spatula down.
“How long have you been waiting?” you ask.
He kisses you harder this time—and his rough hands are in your hair, and your body is a blade of grass on the wind.
“Oh,” he says. The onion sizzles. The world turns. Your heart beats. “The whole time,” he says. “My whole…you know.”
You hold his face in your hands and his skin burns and you recognize—you do, you do—that there is still so much to uncover.
But he came here unannounced tonight.
But the room smells of cooking oil and he’s kissing you with the lights on and his hands are like the shimmering air at the very end of summer.
Time passes; nothing is forever. And the waiting, you think—perhaps it has come to an end (after all this time).
Let me know if you’d like to be added to my taglist!
. . . You’re a very pretty person and I think that anon person is super insecure because anyone looking at you will see that you are delicately beautiful not only on the outside but inside too. society, like you said, (aka really the male gaze and main stream media, whatever, you know what I mean) puts us girls down and pulls us as far as they can to self hatred and insecurity and with that turns us against each other. im proud of you for not getting so easily mad at this person, you have every right to be though. i think that’s a real strength that you have and a real display of your true love that you have yourself. you see someone else attacking you, you wish them well, you go on with your day and love yourself loudly. that’s apart of loving yourself. holding on and making the other person look foolish when they already did that themselves would’ve been you trying so hard to validate your beauty, but you don’t need to do that because you’re already beautiful, inside and out. You love yourself, inside and out. That’s really cool to see on here — 🐰
thank you so much for this ,, i rly needed it . this is one of the sweetest things any1 has evr sent me on here ,, u have a beautiful soul <3 sending love ur way !!!
Summary: Sakusa shows you that he’s more than capable of meeting you in the middle and listening to you for a change. But be careful of what you ask for.
A/N: This is for the Poly Wives Angst Collab~ RIP us and our never ending collabs we create for ourselves.
If someone had told you five years ago that you’d be dating one of Japan’s most eligible bachelors, a professional athlete fawned over by media and fans nation-wide, the epitome of the strong and silent type, you would have laughed in their faces. What is this? Some silly fairytale? The childish checklist of “things I want in a boyfriend” you’d written in middle school?
But life has a funny way of working and you find yourself in an obnoxiously lavish and rowdy nightclub, made only more crazy by the surprising appearance of some VIPs.
It seems like volleyball has somehow become Japan’s national sport overnight and although you aren’t necessarily the biggest follower of anything remotely athletic, even you know exactly who the rambunctious trio catching everyone’s eyes are.
You can’t deny there’s more than just a bit of appeal in the way their button up shirts cling to toned muscles, but you’ve never been one for crowds and you stray to the emptier corners of the establishment to avoid being swept by the crowd of excited fans. But when Atsumu cheesily winks and flirts as he signs scandalously bared skin of female fans, you mockingly gag, only to whirl in embarrassment when you hear an amused snort from behind you.
“Not a fan of Miya Atsumu?”
Staring wide-eyed and slack jawed when someone asks you a question is very rude and you want to answer. But you don’t trust yourself with basic human speech when Sakusa Kiyoomi is staring at you expectantly. So you shake your head side to side instead, heat rising to your face at the small upward curve of his lips.
“Neither am I.”
Atsumu never lets the two of you live down how he’s the one who technically brought you together, even if it was at the cost of his pride. (You chuckle when you remember his loud squawking when Sakusa recounts the dialogue exchanged at your first meeting.) But even months later, even after Sakusa has officially introduced you to the rest of the MSBY team, even after they’ve accepted you as part of their cozy and rowdy family, you can’t stop feeling impostor syndrome.
Dating Sakusa still feels unreal and you can’t help but feel like you’re living someone else’s life, stuck in a rose-tinted dream, playing dress-up and make believe as you parade around in clothing far more luxurious than you’re used to, whisked around on your lover’s strong arm as you follow him around the world from match to match. And as lovely as it is, you long to truly make this relationship your own, to feel the rawness and grittiness of love and life, to experience the charm and comfort of being true to yourself and knowing Sakusa loves you just as you are.
But your desire to be with him, to call him your own trumps your own wishes and you find yourself quickly backing down everytime you suggest something that he’s quick to turn down, desperate to appease and please him even at the price of your own desires.
He’s never outrightly rude about his preferences, never raises his voice. But somehow that makes the judgement and disdain in his dark eyes that much more apparent. You remember a rough day of work you had, the relief you had felt about being able to swiftly swap your constrictive work apparel for a pair of worn-in shorts and a baggy t-shirt. Your outfit would certainly not win any fashion awards, but you blissfully sigh at how comfortable you are as you call a local pizza shop, ordering delivery self-indulgently.
You could feel yourself becoming one with the couch you’re lounging on, the television playing in the background. But even in the hazy in-between of sleep and alertness, your eyes snap open when the door opens and you lazily smile as your boyfriend enters your shared apartment, returning from another grueling practice.
“You look like you’ve had better days.”
Your smile slips, anxiety flooding through you as you self-consciously curl in on yourself while his lips purse, eyes scrutinizing your sloppy appearance.
“Umm, yeah...tough day at work-”
“Maybe you should freshen up with me. You might feel better in a...real outfit.”
You know better than to think that it’s really a suggestion, cursing yourself, humiliation coursing through you when you think of how foolish you were to get so comfortable so quickly. You’ve seen the caliber of the women who lust over your boyfriend unabashedly despite his long-time relationship with you. You need to try harder. You need to be better.
Self-deprecation rips you to shreds as you painstakingly groom yourself, donning a dress you know Sakusa loves, applying a full face of makeup and a spritz of his favorite scent. And despite how exhausted you are, how much you’d rather be slumped on the couch, gorging on a slice of pizza, it’s all worth it when you see the appreciative look in his gaze as his eyes rake over your figure.
But worry gnaws at you once more as the doorbell rings and his eyebrow raises questioningly at the interruption. It’s a painful walk of shame as you plaster on a fake smile, tipping the delivery boy, the usually tantalizing smell of cheese and grease only making you nauseous as you bring the box to the dining table.
“What is that?”
Your voice trails off and you feel so small, so pathetic as Sakusa’s face borders disgust as he observes the offensive item.
“You didn’t cook?”
The disappointment in his voice has you spewing excuses and apologies, your heart shattering when he merely waves off your ramble, telling you he’d order a salad from elsewhere and to enjoy your meal.
You never order pizza again and a steaming hot plate of freshly cooked food is always waiting for Sakusa when he returns home while you patiently wait for him with a painted face and impeccable outfits.
Your friends and family tell you how grateful you should be, how envious they are as they oggle your latest high-end designer pieces, cooing over how picture perfect the two of you always are, staring wide-eyed at your gorgeous home, not a speck of dust or object out of place. Who would have thought that you would be the epitome of the ideal housewife in such a short time?
Yes, you wonder. Who would have thought? Certainly not you.
If only they knew how deep down the deception goes, how lost you are in this pretend world you’re stuck in. And your heart twists and turns when your friends share about the little and big spats that happen behind closed doors, giggling and sighing in an understanding you’re not part of when they playfully complain about how much work love is.
But it’s always worth it in the end because the good always outweighs the bad if you’ve found the right person (not to mention the makeup sex is a bonus). Or so they say, but you wouldn’t know what any of that feels like. Sakusa doesn’t leave room for any arguments, any disagreements, any hint of anything less than a perfect relationship.
Even in the privacy of your bedroom, you feel like you’re in a cheesy porno, dressed in the prettiest white slip dress decorated with dainty lace and a string of pearls around your neck. You feel like a doll as you’re positioned on the bed, eyes demurely looking down, letting Sakusa do as he pleases while he guides you, calloused hands roaming over your skin. You’re sure he means for it to be pleasurable and intimate, and you can’t deny that he knows your most sensitive areas, shuddering when he grazes over your hardening nipples. But there’s a coldness to his movements, a calculating aspect in the way he examines you, dark eyes scrutinizing every inch of you as if they’re looking for a blemish, a reason to lecture you on not taking care of yourself.
Yet as predictable and standoffish as he is, he does know how to pleasure you and you writhe underneath him, moaning, lower lips dripping in your own arousal. But you whimper when he growls at you to stop moaning so loudly, to stop acting like a slut.
“I’m dating a lady, not a whore.”
The words cut you, pain and emptiness mixing with the rising pleasure, muddling into a confusing and overwhelming mess insides of you. You don’t trust yourself to speak, hot tears pricking at your eyes, unsure whether a moan or harsh words would slip past your lips. But you know that neither will work in your favor, so like always, you hold your tongue, doing whatever you can to keep your lover happy. You close your eyes, letting yourself get lost in the tightening knot inside of you, submitting to the waves of pleasure that crash over you as you cum, fingers tangling in the rumpled sheets, back arching in ecstasy.
Only when Sakusa is asleep, his back turned to you, the two of you cleaned and freshened up, do you let your tears stream down your face, feeling more alone than ever in your shared bed.
You hold out longer than you should, much longer than you should, in the hopes that things will improve, that Sakusa will loosen up, reveal his true self to you, let you reveal your true self to him. It’s just early dating jitters, early relationship issues. Things will get better.
Except it’s months later and things aren’t better. If anything, they’re worse and you can feel the weight of his expectations and the stress of perpetually living by a prewritten script crushing you.
It’s time to put an end to this charade.
It’s just another uneventful night and you idly stare up at the ceiling as you wait for Sakusa to join you in bed. Your heart is racing, throat feeling dry and choked up as he slips under the covers. You’re terrified, of Sakusa’s reaction, of ending everything, of starting from scratch. But you know it’s the right decision and when he finally settles in beside you, you begin to speak.
There’s only the sound of your trembling voice as you quietly tell him how you’ve felt all along, how everything has felt so prim, proper, fake, how everyday just feels like another session of rehearsing your lines, making sure you meet whatever standard he’s set for you. You want passion, real love, fights, laughter. You just want to be yourself. You just want to be with someone who loves you exactly the way you are.
“Kiyoomi, maybe we should break up. I don’t think we’re right for each other. I don’t think I’m what you want. I don’t think I’ll ever be what you want.”
“You’re right. Despite how much time, work, money, and patience I’ve spent to better you, you haven’t changed at all.”
You’re left reeling from the matter of fact harshness of his words, the slight exasperation in his tone, as if this is all your fault, as if you’re just a bothersome misbehaving pet.
“Prim and proper? Passion? Fights? So you’re tired of manners? Tired of being a respectable woman? You just want to fight and fuck like animals?”
You open your mouth to protest, anger licking at the open wounds his verbal assault leaves behind. But before you can retort, the air is ripped out of your lungs in a stunned yelp as your body is swiftly flipped over, your face shoved into the mattress until it’s a struggle to breathe, fabric and cushion all you can taste.
Your arms flail as you struggle to breathe, nails clawing at the sheets, arms trying to push yourself up against. But it’s no use against Sakusa’s strength and just as specks of black begin to enter your vision, fingers tangle with your roots and you gasp as your head is harshly jerked up, neck bending painfully back, jaw forced open from the strange position.
You whimper, tears beginning to blur your sight as a calloused hand turns your face until you’re staring at a condescending impassive countenance.
“If you want to be treated like a slut that badly, I’ll be a good boyfriend and give you exactly what you want. Ass up. Now.”
There’s no room for disobedience and spurred on by fear and pain, you listen, awkwardly shuffling into position, shame heating your face at how exposed you feel. But it’s only the start and you scream as a heavy strike lands on your bare ass, more and more blows raining down upon you, until you’re sobbing for mercy, agonized cries forced from your mouth, thighs trembling at having to support yourself through the torture.
Your upper body slumps in relief when the hits finally stop, but you flinch when fingers methodically prod at your entrance. You instinctively try to lurch forward, away from the touch, but it’s no use and you clench your eyes in humiliation at the sloppy wet sounds betraying your arousal.
“This is the wettest I’ve ever seen you. You really do like being used and treated like a bitch.”
You wish you could deny it. You wish you had the spirit to talk back, maybe even spit on that handsome face. But all you can think of is how full you feel as Sakusa’s cock slams balls deep inside your dripping hole, how deep he is inside of you from this angle, how overwhelmingly pleasurable the mix of pain and lust is as he uses you like you’re nothing more than a warm breathing sex doll.
All you can do is lewdly moan and take it, tears slipping down your face, drool seeping into the ruined sheets, eyes rolled back in your head. The coil in your stomach tightens and tightens no matter how hard you try and hold it at bay, desperately trying not to cum, not to inadvertently admit your body’s betrayal as it succumbs to every thrust. But it’s too much, the unfamiliarity of this brutal pace, the overpowering sensation of his tip reaching new depths inside of you, and you shatter to pieces, pussy convulsing, body twitching, pleasure like you’ve never felt before surging through you.
All through it Sakusa continues his relentless rhythm, a sneer marring his flawless face as he watches you suffer through your orgasm, writhing underneath him. It’s disgusting how much you love this, pathetic, pitiful, and yet he’s harder than he’s ever been, more turned on than he ever thought possible. And all it takes is a few more thrusts before he’s spilling inside of you, a strong hand holding you still and tight to him as his groin presses against your ass, not an inch of space between the two of you as he paints your insides white.
Maybe you had a point all along. You’re absolutely filthy and wrecked and he grimaces at the tear, sweat, and sex stained mess he touches as he shoves your exhausted body away from him. Yet there’s a certain appeal to your disheveled appearance, how ruined you are because of him.
How beautifully you break.
Well if you have no desire to improve yourself, he can learn to meet you in the middle, learn to let you be the low-life whore you have no desire to move up from. After all, that’s what you said love is, right?
I am never drawing Quackity’s ugly ass character ever. The only fanart for this stream will be of PURPLED, FOOLISH, and CHARLIE.
[spits] Fuck you, fuck your well written but stupidly edgy character, fuck your scatterbrained ass lore, I WASTED 5 BUCKS TO WATCH THIS SHIT WITH NO ADS, I WISH I WAS WATCHING A STATE FARM AD RIGHT NOW.
After Anasterian Sunstrider is dealt a mortal wound in battle, he calls for his son from his deathbed.
“You must rule,” he says, voice rasping with pain, “With kindness, with honor, and with fairness. Only then will you be worthy of this crown.”
But Prince Kael’thas is young, with a heart set on magic and learning. He does not wish to rule. His sense duty bars him from giving up the crown; so he chooses another way out.
The healers said the king could not be healed by any mortal means. He goes to seek elsewhere.
Deep within the darkest forest of the land, where the moon never sets, there lives a demon. One must be brave, to make the trip, or very foolish, for the forest holds many dangers besides. But with courage and strength, one may find their way to the heart of this forest, and ask the demon for a service; and if one is very lucky, the demon may agree to it.
Kael’thas is young enough to believe himself invincible. But he is also one of the most brilliant mages in the kingdom, and a powerful warrior, enough that his bravery is set in more than youthful naivety.
He sets off at midnight with nothing more than the fastest horse of the royal stables and a sword. He rides without pause for a full day and night, through hills and forests, and knows himself to have reached his goal when hours pass and the moon never lowers in the sky. The darkness has a weight, here; a deep magic that stretches like spiderwebs between the trees and glints silver under the everlasting stars.
Following the trail of this magic, the prince comes to find a clearing, at the center of which stands a house of black stones and dark wood. A single lit lantern announces that it is inhabited; but the stillness inside tells that the occupant must be very lonely indeed.
Kael’thas composes himself, breathing in deep. Don’t forget to be polite, the voice of his best friend warns in his mind. You cannot be rude to a wish-granting demon.
As if he would ever do such a thing.
Walking directly to the unguarded house, Kael’thas slams the heavy knocker upon the door thrice, and waits.
Just as he is about to knock again — perhaps call out loud, since this demon must be hard of hearing — the door creaks open, with a sound like a wail.
“Who comes to disturb my rest?”
The sickly green light of the lantern does not reach inside the house, so that the disembodied voice seems to come from the darkness itself.
“My name is Kael’thas Sunstrider,” he says, “And I come seeking help from one we call a demon.”
Slowly, footsteps echo across the stillness — oddly sharp, like cloven hooves upon a stone floor. A faint glow the same hue as the magical light comes to breach the darkness, in odd twisted shapes like thorn vines and, higher still, like two eyes.
“Have you not been warned, Kael’thas Sunstrider, to never give your name to creatures you so readily insult by calling them demons?”
“It’s a risk I am willing to take for the sake of a proper introduction, and as long as I stand here alive I will consider it a risk worth taking.”
The darkness rumbles with something akin to a laugh, getting nearer, until Kael’thas can start to make out a shape. First he sees the horns, tall and curved and glinting like metal; then teeth, bared by speech; a chest carved with glowing markings; and wings, shifting like living shadows behind the creature; until finally all of him is visible.
He looks the part for a demon, Kael’thas muses; but he looks rather like a man, too.
“What is it that you seek, to come so far from the light?”
“A miracle cure for my father, who was wounded in the war.”
The demon tilts his head, considering. Then he says, “Come, then.”
And he walks right past Kael’thas, past the cover of trees and deep within the forest. The prince hurries to follow after him.
They walk, the demons with confidence and Kael’thas with confusion, until they reach a tree. It is old, Kael’thas can tell, large enough that it might take him many minutes to walk around its trunks and nearly humming with the force of its innate magic. The demon strides up to it and gouges into the bark with a swipe of his claws. The tree bleeds red; and it shines like blood under the moonlight.
“Pour this over his wounds,” he says, gesturing to the sap, “And he will heal.”
Kael’thas looks at the dark liquid, then at the demon, and says, “I have no vessel to carry it in.” Only his water skin, which he could empty easily enough; but it seems unwise to take from a demon and offer nothing in return. One never knows when the demon will want to call on this debt.
“Then you will work for me for three night and three days, and I shall give you one,” says the demon, and nothing more.
It’s only after Kael’thas agrees that he realizes there are no days here, and the moon never shifts or changes; and he thinks himself very foolish indeed for agreeing to a contract that has no end, when his father is lying in agony and might pass the veil at any moment.
But there is no going back.
For hours the demon has him do menial tasks. Fetch water; gather firewood; weed the garden into which nothing else grows. He never lets Kael’thas inside of the house, not once in the many hours of labor. And Kael’thas doesn’t complain, not once; not even as he rages against his own stupidity, and schemes his escape. But as much as the demon seems absent more often than not; but whenever Kael’thas comes closer to the house, he appears as if from nowhere, and sends him to another task.
For three days and three nights he neither sleeps nor eats nor has the need to do either. For three days and three nights he hopes, desperately, to find a way out.
But at the hour at which the fourth dawn should have broken, and despite the full moon remaining unchanged above their heads, the demon comes to Kael’thas and offers him a glass vial filled with the blood-dark sap.
“Be on your way,” the demon says, “And never comes back.”
Kael’thas rides hard and fast through the trees until he finds dawn; then through the forests and the hills, all the way back home again. Not once does he look back.
And he would have stayed away, too, if months later sickness had not swept through his kingdom. Their healers work tirelessly; but dead bodies litter the streets, and the sky is choked with smoke from the pyres, and Kael’thas knows if they ever find a cure, it will be too late.
He remembers the path to the forest, through the trees, under the moon and all the way to the clearing with the black stone house. He knocks; he waits.
The door creaks open, and the same low voice asks, “Who comes to disturb my rest?”
“It is Kael’thas Sunstrider,” he says, “Who seeks a cure for the plague.”
There is a beat of silence, then, “Follow me.”
They walk through the forest until they reach a pond, by which grows a bush of white flowers that shine like diamonds.
“Crush these,” the demon says, “And give the sick water infused with the powder. They will heal.”
But Kael’thas is no more likely to accept a one-sided deal now than he was last time, and he says, “I have no box in which to store them safely during my travels.”
“Then you will work for me for three night and three days, and I shall give you one,” says the demon, and nothing more.
Once hardly makes a pattern, but Kael’thas still trusts that the demon will release him after the allotted time. So he works, without complaints and without fear, as the demon has him sweep the path leading to the house and pick the rocks from the garden where nothing grows, not even weeds.
Still he doesn’t come too close to the house; still the demon does not speak to him beyond handing him tasks; and still, at the dawn of the fourth day, the demon comes to him with a tin box filled with flowers, and sends him on his way.
The third time is what makes it a habit.
Jaina has refused his proposal; she loves another, she said, and it broke Kael’thas’ heart.
For weeks he is inconsolable. Elves live long lives, and are slow to change; he would have mourned this love for many weeks more if, one night, he had not woken up from a nightmare to find the full moon staring down on him.
Another man would have gone back to sleep, or perhaps waxed poetics about the unfeeling face of the moon. But Kael’thas is a man who rode twice to the heart of the night and came back with a boon each time; he sees the moon, and thinks of a black house among trees.
What is a heartbreak but a wound? What is heartsickness but a plague of the soul?
This time, the door opens before he even reaches it. The demon looks at him in silence; Kael’thas swallows past the pain in his throat, and whispers:
“Once again I come to your front step, asking for a cure for love unrequited.”
Something flashes across the demon’s face, impossible to read in the gloom. He gestures at Kael’thas to follow and leads him around the house, to the small garden where nothing grows. He has him dig in the soft dirt and scatter seeds in the holes; then he makes him carry star-strewn water from the stream, through the tangled roots of the forest.
After three days, the demon empties what little of the water is left after taking care of the garden into a gold-rimmed cup, and offers it to Kael’thas.
“Drink this,” he says. “Your heart will mend, and grow stronger for the breaking.”
Kael’thas drinks. The water tastes cool and sweet.
When he leaves the forest of never ending night, the dawn that breaks seems to him to be the first in years rather than days; and it is all the more beautiful for it.
After this Kael’thas starts to find excuses to travel to the moonlit forest. He comes asking for a book that does not exist, and the demon finds it; he comes asking for a sword of sunlight, and the demon gives it to him; he comes asking for anything that comes to mind, pays the toll of labor and leaves, up until the demon opens the door and says,
“Oh, it’s you again.”
And Kael’thas replies, “Who else could it be? It’s not like you have many visitors.”
“Maybe I like it that way. What is it that you want, now?”
Kael’thas thinks for a long time, staring at the demon, and then says, “I seek a name that belongs to a demon in a black house in the forest of night.”
The demon looks slightly distressed at that.
“Is there nothing else you want?”
“Only this knowledge.”
The demon makes him weed the garden again, urging him to be careful of the new growth there, before he tells him his name.
“I was once known as Illidan,” he says begrudgingly.
“What good is a name when there is no one to know it?”
“There is me, now.” Kael’thas grins then, looking up at him, and says, “I have your name and you have mine. Won’t you invite me in, as the rules of hospitality demand?”
Illidan looks, for a second, like he might kick him out of the clearing for good. But in the end he only heaves a sigh, and waves him inside.
The house is dark inside — what use has a blind demon for light, after all? But after Kael’thas has bumped into one piece of furniture too many, he waves his fingers and flames flares to life in the fireplace.
“What do you want, then?”
“Must I always want something?” Kael’thas asks absently, looking around himself. There are books everywhere: piled on the floor, the seats, the table, overflowing from the shelves. He supposes there’s little else to do with one’s time, when one is a demon living alone in a black house in a forest of eternal night. Though he does wonder how a blind demon reads.
“You generally do.”
“That is fair.” Considering the question for a moment, he finally says, “A conversation.”
“Make yourself useful, then, and boil water for the tea.”
Kael’thas comes to ask for many more conversations after that first one — and though Illidan never offers them freely, the price is always easy to pay.
All Illidan ever asks for is for him to boil water, or clear some space to sit, or grab a book for him. Eventually he brings himself to ask Kael’thas to read for him; some he knows by heart, and will mouth the words as they are said, but most he listens to in silence. It’s Kael’thas who stops, usually, to ask a question or start a debate over what he’s reading.
Illidan is brilliant, he finds — with a mind like a steel trap, and a sharp tongue that he seems reluctant to use.
“Words have power,” he says when Kael’thas mentions this. “And power should not be wielded carelessly.”
Kael’thas, who’s notorious for speaking before he thinks of the full implications of what he’s saying, nods and continues the paragraph he stopped in the middle of.
Illidan is brilliant, a scholar, and old enough to speak of history as if he has lived it personally. Kael’thas learns all of this and then more, and each new information feels like a theft — as if, by not paying the meagre price Illidan insists on making him pay for everything else, he has taken something from him.
So he tries to offer payment instead, though he does not voice it as such. One of the ways he does this is by cooking. Kael’thas is not a good cook by any measure; but one of the things he’s discovered about Illidan during their many conversations is that the man is terrible at it. He eats mostly meat, raw or charred over the fire, that he has hunted himself in the depths of the woods.
“Is that why your garden was barren when I first came?” He asks idly over the root vegetables he’s currently peeling. They have odd shapes and colors, but they taste remarkably the same as the carrots he eats back home, so he decided that’s what they must be.
Illidan stares through the window as he answers.
“No. I tried once, and nothing grew. I did not believe it worth it to try again.”
A pause. “I found that I… enjoy repetition, in the right context.”
Kael’thas says nothing for a long time. When he speaks again, it’s to change the subject — it’s easier on the both of them.
“For as long as I’ve stayed here,” he says, “I’ve never needed to eat.”
“But you stay for very little time, when compared to me, and all that lives must eventually eat.”
Was Illidan changed, he wonders, by this strange halfway land he resides in? Or what he already like this when he came, and it is the land that changed around him? Surely there wasn’t always a forest of night in the heart of their kingdom; surely it was not always inhabited by a demon. One or the other must have come first.
The next time Kael’thas comes, he brings something in anticipation of the payment he must make. Pastries from the capital: sweet and buttery, something he’s sure Illidan has not tasted in a long time.
He has an important question to ask — or rather, something that will lead to an important question, later.
“What do you seek here?” Illidan asks, as he always does when he opens the door.
“An answer.” Kael’thas thrusts the box of pastries at Illidan. “And before you ask, I brought payment already. Let’s get inside: your garden will survive not being weeded for a day.”
They sit, and after allowing the demon a few moments to taste the pastries and looking away so as to not witness the emotions warring across his face, Kael’thas asks:
“Why must I pay, every time I come?”
He keeps his tone neutral, because in truth he is more curious than insulted by the practice. Demons must have their quirks, and he cannot entirely shake off his initial fear of a bargain struck but left open-ended.
Illidan tilts his head so that his long hair covers his face slightly, and his voice sounds rough when he replies.
“It can never be a gift. Only a trade or a theft.”
“Gifts are like curses — easy to give, hard to get rid of, impossible to change. Powerful. They’re dangerous.”
“And me bringing you food in exchange for conversation makes them… less so?”
Illidan looks away then, fully hiding his expression behind the curtain of his hair. “I do not like to owe people — or to have others owe me. It is easier, that way, to have every payment upfront.”
“What a terribly mercenary way to look at things.”
“Perhaps, but it has served me well.” When he faces Kael’thas again, he is smirking. “But this offering of yours has paid for more than a single question, I would say. What would you like to talk about?”
There are many things Kael’thas would like to ask about. Who took too much from you? What more can I offer you? Where do you come from, what are you doing here?
But he will not ask; this, he thinks, must be offered freely.
“That first time — would you have let me leave with the sap, just like that?”
Illidan shrugs, still smiling. “You feared me then. You would have thought keeping your life a sufficient payment in exchange for it, and it certainly would have made you leave quicker.”
How glad he is to have been too stupid to be truly afraid, now.
Kael’thas makes the trip to the moonlit forest one last time. He glances at the flourishing garden; he knocks on the black wood door.
When Illidan opens it, his usual greeting on his lips already, Kael’thas takes a step back and digs his hand under his cloak.
He doesn’t know what is on his face; only that Illidan’s face falls at the sight of it. But this must be done. Kael’thas will not be trapped into a life of bargaining, but he cannot keep on taking without ever giving something back.
“What do you bear?” Illidan asks blandly, in the way one would ask about a particularly cumbersome burden.
Kael’thas offers his hands, and bows over it. Between his fingers he holds a single flower, the petals pale pink with veins of gold. Beloved’s blossom; a flower often exchanged between lovers, as a proposal. He held a similar one out for Jaina, an eternity ago.
“A heart,” he says softly, though he does not allow himself to be quiet. This is not a vow to be whispered and lost in the wind. “Freely given, for you to keep or to let go as you please.”
“What do you ask in return?”
Glancing up through his lashes, he sees a small, bitter smile on Illidan’s face. “You bring me a gift,” he says, like it’s poison on his tongue.
“I am a selfish man, Illidan. I wished my father saved, my people cured, my heart mended, my days filled with your company; all this you have given me. Now I want to tell you I love you; I will have this too.” His uncomfortable bow makes talking awkward, but he refuses to straighten up until Illidan has either accepted his gift or closed his door to him forever.
Slowly, so slow it’s torture, a hand comes to cover his. Clawtips prickle the soft skin of the inside of his wrist. “Have you not been warned, Kael’thas Sunstrider, to never give your heart to creatures who could so easily break it?”
“It will only be stronger for the breaking.”
“Do you seek to see it broken again, then?”
“No. But it’s a risk worth taking, for the chance to see what you would do with it if given the chance.” He hopes for care; but it is only a hope, and he would not dare to make a request of it.
Illidan’s hand closes over his, and he can feel it shake slightly as the demon sighs deeply.
“Come inside, Kael,” he says softly. “The night is cold, and your heart is dear to me. I would not like to see it freeze.”
Pull the Stars Out of the Sky (And Gift Them to Me), pt. 7, (Ahkmenrah x Reader)
Notes: idk when i started writing smut so willy nilly but here it is, another fuckening. Pretty big warning though: dubious consent. It’s clearly consensual later on but at first there is no given consent.
He had yet to leave your side, taking you with him in every which direction as he, in his own words, marketed himself. It was a process that consisted of being charming and making witty jokes; simple things that had people trusting him. You stood mostly silent beside him, wringing your hands, stuck in distant thoughts. If anyone referred to you, you didn't notice.
They did, though––but if anyone asked about you, Ahk would make up a quick explanation, one he knew you wouldn't mind.
Your silence was originally your constant state, traipsing about the palace with a chain keeping you at Ahk's side. Over the short course of time between Amun first awakening and coming to stay with the Persian nomads, he had already grown used to your laughing, the snide comments always on your razor-sharp tongue, and that lively spark that filled your eyes whenever your heart thumped in your chest.
"You're quiet," he murmured as the two of you walked. You gripped reins in your hand, keeping your camel with all your bags beside you.
"I don't... like travelling with people," you said through gritted teeth, side-eyeing a group of whispering friends to your left.
"It's safer, isn't it?"
"For you," you mumbled bitterly.
"Oh, you're above joining in a caravan?" He said with a teasing lilt.
"I am simply experienced in this," you said, sure to speak under your breath, "and I know how to take care of myself."
Due to the size and needs of a caravan such as Mahud's, you would need to stop thrice a day, each time setting up a little bit of a home at the riverside. Inbetween those breaks, your legs ached with a familiar burn. Long walks had been your staple for a long while. Though your long break from the lifestyle had left you a little out of shape, your previous experience allowed you to navigate your way back in without too much trouble.
Ahk was taking the physical exertion overall well, despite his aching hunger. The stops would allow him to eat, a fact he was very happy to learn, going by the massive grin on his face when you pointed it out. At a few points he was partial to complaining, but always ceased if you glared at him.
The next stop for the slow-moving caravan was by an outcropping stream flowing from the Nile and out into the desert, allowing a small oasis to grow further from the river itself. Although there appeared to be no fruits growing on the tall trees, a few men and women took up nets and spears, wading out into the water to look for fish.
Numbness filled up your legs as you collapsed on the ground, leant against your camel who had also drawn to its' knees. Heat had already pooled in your face and in your feet, burning from the long day, and ready for anything to drink.
"Here," Ahk said as he rounded a bush, kneeling beside you in your shady, isolated spot.
He handed a cup to you, filled with hot tea. Not the most satisfying drink, but it was safest, and you dutifully sipped away. As you watched the other travellers Ahk shifted his position, scooting nearer to you and pressing himself to your side. Instantly his heat began to overcrowd your senses.
"Ahk, it's too hot for me to be touching anyone," you said, shifting away with your back to him.
You probably should've expected him to pull you into him and keep you there, which made you feel all the more foolish when he did it anyway and you didn't expect it at all.
"Ahk..." you whined, half suffocated by his arms wrapping tight round your chest, his face buried in the back of your neck.
"Mmm," he hummed as he took all of you in, nuzzling you with his nose. "I am... tired."
"I'd be astounded if you weren't, but you can't sleep. It's still day and we won't stay here long," you said matter-of-factly, pushing his face away from you.
"I'll just keep you here," he decided, his voice muffled through the fabric of your shirt. "Sleep forever."
"Right," you said, rolling your eyes.
You wormed out the moment he loosened his grip, much to his disappointment.
By nightfall the distant murmurs of a city sounded from ahead, blurred with singing crickets and the steady flow of the Nile beside you. Ahk had spent the rest of the day trying to cheer you up, mostly with bad jokes, but the sentiment was nonetheless there. Still, being surrounded by people for the past fourty-six hours had already taken its' toll. You hardly spoke, your chest felt caved in on itself, and your eyes were trained on the ground below you.
The city ahead, while heralding certainly crowded streets and filled taverns, would suffice as a hospice away from people who had come to learn your name. Whispering in your ear, Ahk informed you this was the city Piye had wanted the two of you to stay at for a little while. If things got worse, you'd move further south, and if they got better, you would return north down the nile.
While at first you tried to sneak away without Mahud noticing, Ahk insisted on giving the man a proper good-bye, and backed this up with the fact that you had been lent a camel. You wouldn't be able to take it with, but it was still a nice consideration for the trip to Aswan.
"We'll be stopping here," Ahk said once Mahud's attention was on the two of you. "We're to meet a friend soon."
"Ah, then I wish you safe travels," said Mahud, patting Ahk on the shoulder with a firm hand.
"Thank you. To you and your family as well. Will you be staying here tonight?" Ahk asked as he gestured to the outer markets of the city, filled with traders who came from far away to make their living, and couldn't afford a roof over their heads.
"I believe so. Tomorrow we make our money and head off again."
"Good luck to you then," Ahk said, silently urging you to say your own farewell.
"Good-bye," you said quietly, bowing your head respectfully.
As you entered the outer rim of the city, the first thing you noticed was the quiet. It wasn't all that late––the sun had set only a little while ago, and it always did that much earlier in the day during the colder months. So you kept your footsteps quiet, instructing Ahk to do the same when he didn't pick up on the eerie silence.
With no one around to direct you every which way, you had to rely off what memory you had of Aswan, as little as it was. You had visited several times, but never for very long. Most of the city was still unexplored to you.
The long light of burning torches cast itself upon the street in front of you, approaching from around the house to your right. Instantly you were darting for cover, hiding the whole of your body behind a large barrel, while you watched Ahk look around the corner.
"Ahk, you fucking idiot, get over here," you hissed, the pounding in your heart begging him to listen to you.
He looked over his shoulder, finding you mostly-hidden, and quickly made to do the same. His spot was on the opposite side of the street, guarded by a practical wall of broken-down stalls. Once Ahk was fully secured you slipped back behind the barrel, calming your quickened breath as footsteps passed you by, numbering somewhere in the tens.
Only when you were fully assured that whoever passed you was not coming back, you joined Ahk in the middle of the road and continued onwards.
"Did you get a look at them?" You asked immediately.
"Yes, but... I'm not sure if I actually saw what I saw," he said, his brow furrowed intensely.
"What does that mean?"
"They had these.. heads on them, feathered and beaked, with massive eyes. Fucking jacked, too," he muttered, pausing to check both ways before crossing the next street.
"Like your Gods?" You asked.
"Like Horus," he said with a nod. "What on Earth are they here for?"
"Just guessing right now, but they might have something to do with you."
He took your hand, and after a long while of searching the streets, you found yourself at the step of a tavern whose lights had long gone out. Again, strange; neither of you remarked upon it, but you did turn to each other with dubious eyes. The smell of mead still came from it, not yet soured or rotten.
Ahk took a cautious step forward, reaching for the door and easily pushing it open. Inside there was the expected darkness, surrounding the knocked-down chairs, broken tables, and spilt beer. Both of you stopped, your shadows stretching before you on the wooden floor as you scanned the whole of the abandoned room. The bar, where you were sure there was once an attendant, was left unmanned and covered in shattered cups, sticky with sweetened alcohol.
The door behind you swung shut, making you whip around. Fortunately it was only Ahk letting go of the door, leaving it to join you nearer to the center of the room, where you could try and peer over the counter.
"Um..." you said.
"Good evening," said a voice, accompanied soon by a man popping out from behind the bar. "How may I help you?"
"Uhhh.. what... what, uh, happened here?" Ahk asked, his expression contorted as he glanced around the room.
"Nasty Egyptian soldiers. They've wrecked up the place, and every time I fix it they come back in and ruin it, so I stopped fixing it. The party's upstairs, if that's what you're after," he said with a too-bright grin on his face.
"Really? And they don't notice that you're up there?"
"Well, they are bird brains," the man said as he leant in, though spoke in a much quieter voice.
"Wait, are they the soldiers with the bird heads on them?" Ahk asked as a revelation came to him.
"Yes, sir. Where've you been?"
"Travelling for the last couple days. How long have they been here?"
"About a week or so now," said the man, looking away as he recalled. "Heard they're crawling all over the other cities, too. So you folks want a room?"
"... sure," you said in a quiet, low voice when Ahk failed to answer.
He handed you a wooden coin with a symbol engraved with fire, informing you that the door with the same symbol was yours. There were no locks and he made sure to tell you that, as well. After offering to carry your bags and earning a 'no,' from you, he pointed you up the stairs, and returned to his spot hidden beneath the bar.
"Odd man," Ahk whispered to you as you climbed the steps.
"Ahk!" You scolded, hitting his shoulder. "We're still in earshot."
How the Horus soldiers hadn't managed to find this place was beyond either of you, as the moment you entered the upper floor you were bombarded with the tunes of dancing music, twirling and playing with the veins of each listener. The thick scent of searing meat filled the whole of the room, rivalled only by the scent of sloshed beer. Most of the food and drink came from a single corner, where a large cask of beer had been set up alongside a furnace, where the one manning the food also managed the distribution of drink.
All around you, people sat and stood, dancing in the middle or resting on the sidelines. Every crate and usable chair was taken up, most people taking seats on the floor instead in great groups of public conversation. You instinctively grew closer to Ahk, trying to keep as far away from others as you could, even as he began to wade through the crowd.
"Hey, don't you think it's a little loud in here? Won't the soldiers find us?" Ahk asked a random stranger, who had happened to stand as the two of you passed her by.
"Egyptian soldiers are hardly valued for their intelligence, young man," she said with a knowing chuckle, before continuing on to the bar.
"Told you," you murmured in his ear as you watched her disappear in the crowd.
"Oh, shut up."
After setting away your bags and manually jamming the door, you rejoined the party on the second floor, partaking in what food and drink you could afford. Piye had given you a good deal of money, but you had no way of knowing how many days or months you would have to stretch that amount across. It was better to keep a good eye on your finances, something Ahk didn't know much about, and left in your capable hands. Though, that hardly stopped him from complaining.
"We got more food when we were staying with Mahud," he whined, his cheek squished against your shoulder.
"That's because it didn't cost any money," you said.
"You are a cruel lover."
"I am, but this has nothing to do with that since we are not lovers."
"No," you stated, leaning your head back against the wall with closed eyes. "We are, at best, accomplices."
There was no ignoring the sudden change in his energy. He grew quiet, as he so rarely did, and hardly moved to breathe.
As he sulked, you took care to remind yourself of what he was capable of––the strange things he'd said to you, even if they weren't entirely harmful, that had set you in a month-long mood of unease.
"You will stay here. Any attempt on your behalf to leave and I will have to punish you. Understand?"
"Then I am a prisoner," you said, your voice hoarse and broken.
"You are what you make yourself," he said in a much more stern tone, looking down at you with knowing, wary eyes. "If it is a prisoner, then so be it. But you will be, throughout all actions and situations, mine."
"You belong to me."
He had not relented in his usage of that claim. In times of peace, in political unrest, he had kept you with him. In times of great bounty, of danger and uncertainty, you had not left him once, and you wondered how sick you would've gotten if you were to go back in time and tell your freshly-met self that you would spend the longer half of a year with him.
You supposed that, in the end, you had joined his collection. The only catch was that it cost him everything else in his ownership, including his kingdom. And yet he seemed perfectly content to lean on your side, even if harsh words came before the silence, and to wait till you returned his affections.
As he touched your shoulder, his muscles went lax, letting him fall limp against you. The moment he intook your scent he was gone, hypnotized by his own adoration for you.
Though your mind fell into a quiet stupor, dancers still circled the room in beat with music. For a moment you wondered how they'd react if they found out the Pharaoh was in their midst.
Aswan was a very Egyptian-type city considering it was still within the borders of Nubia. That meant less worker camps, less fear of Egyptian soldiers, and less knowledge on the impact the Pharaoh stressed upon higher up Nubian cities. Keeping that in mind, you assumed they would try to cozy up to him––spend some of his riches, flirt a little––however it was also possible they worshipped Amun and had already heard of Ahk's treason.
Music began to fade from your mind as the faint sound of footsteps sounded from below you, seeping through the cracks in the mud and wood. They appeared more succinctly the closer you listened, and soon you could identify the number, all marching in unison.
"Ahk," you shook him awake, eyes trained intensely on the floor, "we need to get out of here."
"What?" His sleepy face gave way for concern. "What? What's happening?"
"There's soldiers coming," you said, your grip on his arm tightening.
"Well – the man at the front said they come by every now and then. They haven't found the upstairs yet, they probably won't now," he said.
Muffled voices muttered from below the floor. Ahk opened his mouth to speak again, but you quickly silenced him with your hand, carefully tuning back into the conversation beneath you. A loud crash was followed by silence, and that combination had you jumping to your feet.
"What is it?" Ahk asked, much more panicked now that he noticed your own fear.
"They're coming upstairs," you said as you backed up through the crowd, disturbing those you bumped into.
"They're – oh fuck." Ahk's expression dropped. "The soldiers are coming!"
Ahk yelled his warning over the music, certainly loud enough to assure the soldiers that there were, in fact, people up here. Lutes and harps stuttered to a halt, the pounding of footsteps now clear through the walls.
Panic seized the partygoers. People trampled over one another reaching for their belongings casted aside, hurriedly adjusting them back onto their bodies and making for the windows. Like rats they climbed out, writhing over each other into a mass of fabric and limbs, followed eagerly by you and Ahk. Massive backpacks made it so you were the last out and the only two to see the soldiers yourselves.
The pounding door had you stuck in a trance, only able to back up towards the window. As it slammed open, you finally caught sight of the falcon-headed soldiers, their sharpened spears and sharper eyes, staring empty-minded at you as Ahk pulled you out the window.
"This way!" Came a voice from above you.
You and Ahk quickly looked up, finding a young woman offering you a hand from the rooftop. Ahk took no hesitation in grabbing it, allowing her to hoist him upwards. When he reached down to find your hand, he felt nothing, and panic struck his heart like a searing knife. He ducked his head down, watching the room upside down.
Muscled arms wrapped around your chest and face, blocking your mouth from making practically any sounds at all. The only sound you could make was from kicking your legs frantically.
He jumped back to his feet on the roof, spinning round to the woman who had helped him.
"I need a sword," he said in a rush, desperate eyes already begging.
"Um – ask Imar, I believe he has one," she said, pointing to the man who worked at the bar downstairs. Ahk thanked her in a rush and left.
"Imar!" He called as he jumped from one building's roof to another, approaching where most of the party-goers had gathered. "I need a sword, or a weapon of any sort. Crossbow even."
"I've got a sword, but I need it. There's a stock of axes over there. Don't know who they belong to, though, so take at your own discretion," he said. Ahk once more gave his thanks before running off.
The kink in your neck had only gotten worse the more you struggled, spiking pain down your spine and into your skull each time the soldier's golden bands pressed into the side of your neck. Your already travel-worn shoes were now nearly in shreds, pulling and pushing on the rough gravel roads, occasionally cutting the soles of your feet open. Thus far you had not been allowed to speak, one massive arm nearly cutting off your oxygen supply.
Although you couldn't tell for sure where they were dragging you, you assumed it was towards a temple, as the buildings around you slowly grew more complex and well-kept. A temple seemed a proper place where you could be thrown into whatever underworld Amun lived in.
Being a commodity fought over should've scared you more. There was a panic seizing your nerves, but you were numb to the surprise, instead saving your energy till you could outsmart the soldiers.
Squawking interrupted your harsh breathing, crying out from behind the falcon soldier. You opened your eyes to the dark of night, spying through the shadow-filled alleyway a running figure, followed by the heads of soldiers falling from the city's silhouette. It was then you recalled a very important fact––Amun and his soldiers might've been strong, but Ahk held within him a hunger unlike that of the starved. The hunger of the rich––of pigs and cannibals. A hunger that terrified you to your core.
The first soldier in your sight that emerged from the shadow of buildings soon stopped in its' tracks, tumbling down past its' own knees as the falcon head slipped off human shoulders. Your shocked eyes watched intently, darting upwards to see Ahk with a broad axe.
His blade came down on the last remaining soldier walking behind your captor, blood splurting from the veins and splattering on his face. Much of it landed on your foot, leaving a trail of red as you were dragged, legs still shakily kicking.
He held a finger up to his lips, hushing any muffled screams that might've come from you. Whatever he had planned, you let him do what he deemed necessary, and kept quiet to avoid the suspicion of the soldier restraining you. He raised his axe high above his head, as though he were to strike you down. Terror filled your eyes when the blade came screaming down, splitting the soldier's head in two before it could ever reach you, leaving no mark on you but the pouring blood of the falcon head. The grip on you loosened, and as you pushed yourself away the corpse fell to the ground.
Blood and nerves squelched as Ahk tore the weapon out of the skull, a horrible crack resonating in the empty street when the base of the skull finally split. He panted, droplets of blood falling into his open mouth as he turned to you, eyes frozen and wide.
"You alright?" He asked softly, in a tone so out of character from his current state.
"... yeah," you breathed out.
The axe clattered onto the ground, followed shortly by Ahk falling to his knees. From there he crawled the short distance to you, gently wrapping his arms around your middle, and pulling you into his lap. He buried himself in your neck, hid away in your warmth. The blood covering his midsection soaked through your shirt.
"Ahk, we need to leave, you know there's more of them," you said, though you did not cease in stroking his hair.
"I know," he mumbled, pressing himself tighter to you for a moment before releasing. "They didn't hurt you?"
"Nothing but bruises," you huffed. "Let's go."
You kept near the entrance to the tavern as Ahk wandered back inside, checking behind the counters and in the attic for any trace of the fleeing people. From the roof you could hear muttering, though you couldn't see anyone, and you could vaguely make out the words they were saying.
"Are you the one they're looking for?" A woman asked.
"I did anger an Egyptian god, yes," Ahk said with a curt nod.
The man from the downstairs bar appeared from over the horizon of another tall rooftop. He was drenched in sweat, practically glowing in the dim moonlight.
"These are the ones they want," she said, gesturing to Ahk.
"Really?" He said as he dusted his hands off. "The hell did you do?"
"I, um, attacked a God in order to save my.. um... Amoke," he answered rather sheepishly.
"You cannot stay here," Imar said firmly.
"I'm sorry, but we have many other people looking for protection. We will not risk them for two people who have private business with whatever kind of God you worship," the woman said.
"I understand. Keep safe. Do you have any ideas on where we could go for the night?"
"Try the old graves up on the hill. They hate desecrating the dead," she said before sending Ahk back off down the stairs.
Footsteps drummed for a moment before the door swung open, revealing the Pharaoh still covered in blood. By now it had dried, leaving much of it to flake off his clothes and skin, now a muddy brown instead of the vibrant red of before.
"Have you ever slept in a grave before?"
You had expected him to ask, considering what you heard of the conversation, but you weren't wholly convinced he would actually allow himself to sleep in a tomb.
"A long while ago, I died for a little while. Well, I guess not that long ago. Two or three years. My brother killed me," he began as he started off down the steps, taking you with him as he directed you through the streets, "and I was buried. Piye returned from their banishment shortly after and dug me out of my grave... used their gift to give me life once more."
"... you're really expecting me to believe that?" You asked, almost ready to burst out laughing.
"You saw Amun come to life. There are flowers growing out of your arms. What part of my story is unbelievable to you?"
"Right," you mumbled. "Good point. So... did you sleep in that grave or something?"
"It's complicated, but I was conscious for some time, locked underground. Not Piye's magic. Khonsu's, I believe. Either way, it's not horrid if you have someone with you," he said, patting you on the back with a smile.
"Did you have someone with you?"
His expression fell, the hand on your shoulder going with it.
"I did," he said softly, offering no more than a bittersweet twitch of his smile.
Ahk caught it before you did––the trampling of numbered footsteps, growing steadily louder the closer you came to the upcoming street. You remained within your own thoughts, plagued by questions, and mostly ignorant to the slowing of his pace. Eventually he had to grab your hand, forcing you to hide behind the shadow of a tall building. You opened your mouth to say something, but he set his hand over your mouth, staring at you with an intensity that had terrified you only a little while earlier.
"They're coming," he mouthed in your ear, breath barely passing his lips as he spoke.
Steps grew louder and he pressed himself against you, squishing you to the wall with his chin on your shoulder. Pressure tightened around your chest, constricted your breathing, hastened the beat of your heart as you relied solely on your hearing.
Stomp. Stomp. Stomp.
The clattering of armor, weapons, and shields rang through the marching steps, sending the imagery of shining, sharpened stone and arrows glinting in the moonlight.
"We need to go," he said beneath his breath.
Before you could ask what he meant, his hand encircled your wrist once more, pulling and forcing you down the other side of the alley. Chirps and squawks came from behind, making your pulse rush and swell beneath your skin. They would find you––bird brains though they were, they were still soldiers of a God, with eyes adapted for darkness. They would pull you into their hell and murder your... your Ahk.
You arrived back in your body when Ahk turned into an open, empty street, running uphill as he trained his sights on the tomb-filled mountains.
"We're not actually going to stay in a grave, are we?!" You asked as you ran, trying desperately to keep up with the long strides of the former Pharaoh.
"It is our safest bet," he said, tightening his grip on you. You still attempted to squirm out, however fruitless your struggle, and the proceeding panic had you soaked entirely in fear.
He kept you running till your legs burned, till he was fumbling over his own steps, too full of adrenaline to fully control his feet. Pebbles, rocks, and dust filled your sandals, scratching at your skin as it clung to your sweat. Your throat was still too tight to take in enough breath, leaving you part-way wheezing. Soon your own legs began to give way, scraping your knees and palms across rough dirt.
"Come, up," Ahk muttered as he helped you back to your feet, casting wary glances towards the city still ringing with the cries of falcons.
A few more minutes of scrambling up unused paths and you came to the foot of the hill, where the first graves had been set up. The long tunnels led into darkness, to a place you had never been before, where death would paint every wall. Few things in life truly terrified you––death was not among them, but the cruel afterlife of the Egyptians did. The tales you'd heard of the spells necessary to memorize, the weapons, the escorts, the protective magic one needed to have to brave what they called Duat had done that to you.
He didn't take to the first grave you saw, whose door was sealed shut from the outside with rope and wood. In fact he took you past halfway up the hills till he finally found a hole in which to hide, shoving you into the overwhelming darkness, and shutting the door partway.
All that you could hear was the trembling of your own breath, echoing in the empty, dank chamber. Despite the chilling cold the ground beneath you seemed wet, as though it had rained within the earth.
Clicking came from somewhere in front of you. Instinctively you pressed yourself against the wall, surprised to find not a cave wall but a carved granite wall. A flame burst before you as you realized this, revealing the whole of the cave, each wall covered in paintings of life and magic. Hieroglyphs lined every scene, rivalled only by the collection of yellow and white stars painted onto the lapis ceiling.
Your eyes scanned the walls around you and the ceiling, wandering down the pillars and towards the dirt floor. Across from you, Ahk leant his back against the wall, a flicker of light dancing on cloth ripped from his skirt. Now the material covered only the upper half of his thighs, leaving little to your imagination as he drew nearer to you.
"I'm afraid Nubian graves don't quite compare to the luxury of Egyptian graves," he said, setting his hand on your knee and running it up your thigh.
"When will we leave?"
"When our hunger becomes too great."
Ahk might've had good impulse control and lots of self control, but you did not.
"That'll be in days!"
"You're not very patient, are you?"
"Not when I'm stuck in a fucking tomb!"
"Screaming won't do you any favors, Amoke," he reminded you with a quirk of his brow.
Though you hardly had the consciousness of mind to recognize what he was doing, his hands had set to separating your legs, wedging himself inbetween them instead.
"I don't think the volume of my voice has anything to do with our predicament," you said scathingly, crossing your arms and turning away.
"Well, no, but you will hurt your voice. And my ears. This is a small room."
He had a point, but you were adamant in your decision to avoid his gaze. So instead you looked to the floor, your arms still crossed, and a small pout on your lip. Your eyes widened as you felt warmth on your neck, soft and somewhat wet. Ahk was kissing at your neck, one hand dangerously high on the inside of your thigh and the other squeezing your waist, in the middle of a tomb.
"What the hell are you doing?" You asked, beginning to worm in his grasp. The curt movements soon turned to struggle, your heart racing as he simply held you tighter, biting harsher at your neck.
"I could've lost you so easily today," he said softly between the ministrations of his lips.
"Amun almost kidnapped me, too, and you didn't act l –" he bit down and you gasped, "like this."
He simply chuckled and continued.
"I wanted to," he admitted after a moment. "He had no right to do anything to you. I've already lay claim."
"You're mine. I found you first." Motions began to grow rougher, hands tightening on you as kisses became hurried and desperate. "My beautiful little toy... I won't let you go, never."
"Ahk, we're in a grave," you said, attempting to pull his hands off you.
In one swoop his hands caught yours, pinning them above your head. The weight of his body still rested between your legs, keeping them apart, and allowing him access to push and grinded himself against you. His strained breathing kept your shuffling feet company, a distraction from the heat welling in your stomach.
"You are a most beautiful sight," he murmured against your flushed skin. "Truly fit to be a god yourself."
The fear rushing through your blood was one unfortunately familiar––that same fear when you first met him. When he tied you to his bed for hours. When he stood above you with angered eyes, scanning the whole of your over-exposed body.
"This isn –"
"You told me you didn't love me... do you remember that?"
"... yes," you said, still unable to meet his eyes even as he pulled away to look you in the face.
"Then I suppose I have nothing to lose," he murmured, leaning into gift the softest of kisses, barely gracing the bow of your lip, "as all I want in this realm is your love."
"And what of your kingdom?"
"My kingdom is my duty. I do not enjoy ruling, but it is something I must do for the safety of families who now rely on a government to protect them. You, however..." he trailed off for a moment, biting into his bottom lip with a grin, "... you I enjoy very much."
A quick kiss to your lips and he resumed what he started, letting your entwined hands fall in favor of feeling you. His touch slipped up your shirt, feeling the heat of your skin until it grew too much to bear, and he began untying the knots of your clothes. Once he pulled the fabric off your shoulders, he leant back to pull his own coat off. The space gave you ample time to wriggle out of his weakened grasp, though you barely raised to your feet before he grabbed your ankle, pulling you back down and scuffing you in the process.
You turned onto your back, watching with heavy, quickened breaths as he pulled you to him till your hips met, hands and piercing eyes pinning you into place. For a split second an image flashed before your eyes––rope in his hand, silk beneath you, and a servant watching it happen. You shook your head to clear it away, opening your eyes in time to see him lay you flat on the earth.
"I love you," he murmured with a reverence so deep you could swear there were tears welling in his eyes. The hands on your hips slowly ran up your waist and over your chest, squeezing and teasing your senses. "Beautiful..."
He dipped down, like a hand of God descending from heaven to grasp the unholy that sits beneath. Kisses landed on your sternum, trailing up towards your neck, where his nipping teeth had already left dark marks. Unsure what to do with yourself, you let your hands sit above your head and allowed him to do as he pleased.
"I have waited forever to indulge in you," he said, the heat of his words beneath your jaw.
Your eyes flew open.
Haji warned you about this––or maybe it was Naguib, but he didn't seem to like you all that much. Either way, you recalled a spare bit of information given to you concerning the Pharaoh; he might've originally locked you in the castle to have his heirs. Was this what he was doing? Giving into what he'd first taken you for?
"Will you give me this?" He asked, inches away from your face, your leg kinked up upon his hip.
"The easiest form of love," he said through a crack in his voice. From here you could clearly see what you'd spied earlier––tears. "I cannot seem to win your personal love. But I will take anything you give me, and I want this."
He ground his hips into yours, till you could clearly and distinctly feel something hard pressing against you. A soft groan fell from him. Part of you already knew what he meant, but another part was still stunned into stupidity, your wide eyes nothing but empty.
"I need you," he murmured.
Even with all the thoughts in your head, you couldn't manage a single word. Your mouth hung open, gasping when stimulated, but mostly silent with your own confusion. There was an appeal to Ahkmenrah––his beauty, his intelligence, his humor. Quite the array of good traits even without the fact that he held massive amounts of power, or did at one point. Yet you still couldn't let go of what you'd seen him do. It loomed over you like an eclipse, blocking your thoughts and stilling your mind in its' presence.
He didn't have the strength within him to stop himself. He would need your ardent refusal, even though he knew silence was a quiet no, to regain his control. It was a funny thing, seeing him so desperate––a man as composed as him, as aware of himself as him would be remiss to be such a shameful sight.
And it was you.
You driving a Pharaoh to his knees. You taking a man whose very essence was his control over his identity and tearing his image apart. Making him a devil in his people's eyes. You weren't even asking him to ruin himself, to take himself apart just to appeal to you even in the slightest––he was doing that himself. Willingly.
Your chest felt concave upon itself as he continued, numb to the realizations in your head. He pulled off your skirt, the ties in your clothes, till both of you were nude, him still locking your body to the ground. From this angle he could thrust against you, almost fucking your thighs as your wetness grew. Gasps and moans built in your mouth despite your efforts to keep an even expression. He delighted in your own embarrassment, laughing when you squirmed with your eyes shut tight and a hot blush on your face.
"Gods, you are... perfect," he said, devolving into a long, soft moan as the head of his cock began to prod at your entrance.
A rush of excitement––or perhaps just the simpler anticipation––ran through you, and you couldn't stop the sounds that left you as he pushed in. He stretched you, filled you perfectly, and for a moment you wondered if you had been denying yourself a taste of bliss.
As he kissed you, bitter iron filled your mouth and painted your tongue. At first you wondered if he had bitten too hard (or if you had), but in a short time you realized it was the dried blood, still caked onto his face and body.
Blood passing between your lips. Mingling with your breaths and moans. It became hard to distract yourself with the forceful thrusts of the Pharaoh above you, your mind instead set fierce upon your sense of taste, and the watchful, hooded eyes Ahk looked down on you with.
He soon noticed your sudden daze, and his thrusts slowed down, going deep instead of fast.
"Are you alright?" He asked softly, though he didn't stop his movements entirely.
Your wetness squelched slightly, making you shut your eyes tight with embarrassment, your arms coming to hide your face from sight. Of course, Ahk was having none of that––he took your arms, carefully pinning them to either side of your head.
"A little shy, are you?"
"... this is my first time," you finally mumbled, turning away so you wouldn't have to see his reaction.
He stopped grinding into you. But you couldn't help yourself––you wrapped your legs around his hips, pulling him back into you and moaning when he was fully sheathed.
"Fuck," he groaned, eyes rolling up into his head. "Perfect little pet."
He pinned you to the floor as he finished, keeping you from scrambling away. There he kept you, warm on his cock, filling you with his seed as you whined helplessly.
Although he made an effort to take care of you, gently stroking your skin and kissing away what marks he made, the whole of the day left you both exhausted, and the bout of 'exercise' certainly hadn't helped. In the end you asked him to stop worrying and simply sleep at your side; he acquiesced, using his arm as a pillow as he faced you.
"Still hate me?" He asked, and though they would've been teasing words out of anyone else's mouth, you found sincerity in his expectant eyes.
Dream SMP Recap (May 12/2021) - The L’Sandburg Ultimatum
Foolish leaves a message for the L’Sandburgians telling them that they have overstayed their welcome on his land and that they must take down their walls in five days.
Those yellow flags will be white, or this means war.
Meanwhile, Ranboo receives a letter back from the Council.
- L’Sandburg has gone too far. At Foolish’s summer home, he explains that the L’Sandburgians have not only built a massive wall, but closed off the toll gate!
- They’ve gotten a little too aggressive Foolish says, taking a toll-free shortcut that’s been conveniently dug beneath the wall
(Said shortcut is a hole with a ladder going all the way down to bedrock, a few blocks of horizontal tunnel and another hole going all the way back up to the surface with a tiny piece of the ladder missing halfway up)
- L’Sandburg has left Foolish no choice but to fight back. He is reluctant to start a war yet, as he would rather not use TNT on his own land.
- The first thing he does is take down the gate. For now, he leaves them a message:
You are in violation of the original agreement of building inside of one chunk of territory. Not only have you further expanded but you have the audacity to make a toll gate ON LAND OWNED BY FOOLISH. I expect this to be torn down
by the residents of L’Sandberg within 5 days. I WILL NOT LISTEN TO ANY DISPUTE OVER THESE LAND CLAIMS!
- Ponk visits the summer home and speaks with Foolish to tell him that he’s named his skeleton horse for him, and walked the bee.
- He leads Foolish all the way past Eret’s castle to the trapped flower hill. At the top, he places a bunch of maps with pictures of money on them
- He shows Foolish the underside of the hill, which is rigged with TNT. He blocks off the entrance as Foolish tries to run, shouts “LOVE ME” and lights it, sending the entire hill into an explosion
- Foolish asks what’s wrong with him and kills his dog. Ponk asks if he’s having a blast right now. As they walk back, Ponk turns to Foolish and says he trusts him to look after something, throwing him a poppy named “Sam <3″
Foolish: “Oh, this’ll be perfect for -- never mind.”
- Ponk then asks if Foolish notices anything different -- his eyes! He is Egg-free now
- They go up the MLG tower, and Foolish brings up the IOUs with Ponk. He mentions he’ll be going on a date soon and wants Ponk to be his waiter. Ponk says he’d be down
- Ponk tries to trade Foolish Netherite blocks for gold. He soon has to leave for the Twitch Rivals event
- Phil continues to work on the basement and chats with Tommy for a bit
- Ranboo goes to check his mailbox. Inside is a letter and an enchanted golden apple:
No new news yet.
We have been keeping an eye on things and everything seems to be going okay so far. In our searches one of us found something that may be of use to you! We have left it in this chest.
We respect your wishes.
- The Council
- Ranboo leaves a return message:
Thank you for your gift it will prove to be of good use. Please make sure that you keep a close eye on everything happening regarding what we spoke about earlier. If i have any more requests i will give them to you here.
Thank you again.
- After Eret blew up the glitch cube (with Fundy’s permission), Puffy lights the obsidian frame into Nether portals
- She then goes to check on L’Puffburg, seeing the message from Foolish. She takes the empty book and quill to write a reply:
I agree with Foolish and also you should give Puffy diamonds as well because I’m also offended
- She returns to working on her base back home
- Puffy later speaks with Badboyhalo extensively about Tall Mama
- They meet up at L’Sandburg and Bad shows off the wall before noticing the message, reading it
- Purpled logs onto the server for a few minutes
- Bad is enraged. He, out of the kindness of his heart, made a toll-free shortcut for Foolish! They take the shortcut. When they finally emerge out the other end of the shortcut, they come face to face with Foolish
Bad: I love this wall
Puffy: “I think I’ve heard that quote somewhere...”
- He speaks with Foolish, who is upset that Bad has made this wall. Bad explains that their economy was experiencing turmoil due to a loss of toll revenue
- Bad brings up Tall Cactus, insisting that while they gave Foolish Tall Cactus back, the L’Sandburgians kept ownership of the strip of land. Foolish disagrees
- Bad says that canonically, this is their path! Foolish replies that canonically, he gives two shits about this
- Foolish disapproves of the shortcut. Bad offers to improve it. While they discuss toll, Puffy starts twerking, asking why inflation has increased the toll to one golden apple
Foolish: “Five days. Five days for this wall to come down...or we might have turmoil.”
- Foolish refuses to pay the toll. Bad offers him a special yearly tollbooth pass for ten apples. Puffy pays him nine. L’Sandburg Toll Company thanks her for business
- Foolish threatens to hire Purpled to come kill them. Puffy hands Foolish the apples to pay to Bad. Puffy asks Bad if she and Foolish can make a drug cartel that passes underneath the wall
- Bad asks Puffy to join him in defending the wall as L’Sandburg and L’Puffburg, offering her 50% of the toll revenue. Puffy isn’t on board.
- Puffy brings up Tall Mama. They talk about Tall Mama. Eventually the subject returns to the wall
Bad: “Oh, so it’s gonna be war then, is that it?”
Foolish: “Oh, is that what this is? Huh, Bad? You want war!”
- Foolish lets Bad know to respond by letter. Or, he can surrender right now, and settle things peacefully.
Foolish: “Bad, you see these yellow flags?”
Foolish: “They better be white in five days.”
- Foolish says he’ll hire a bunch of mercenaries and end the war swiftly. Bad says he can pay them more to hire them over to his side.
- Foolish threatens to set up a TNT canon aimed at the wall. Bad says he can rig TNT underneath the entire place so that if it ever goes, it will be nothing but a huge crater the size of Wyoming. They proceed to discuss Wyoming
- Foolish shows Bad Finley, his child. Bad almost refuses to give Finley back, but returns her
- They go back and look at the Tall Mama poster at Bad’s house
- Then they stack themselves in boats. Many innuendos are made
- Afterwards, though, Foolish tells Bad that this changes nothing. The walls of L’Sandburg must still come down. Bad is sad
Puffy: “Yeah it meant more to you, Bad, than it meant to him.”
Foolish: “It was a one-boat-stand, okay Bad?”
- After dealing with some technical issues for a bit, Bad tries to find Skeppy for his trident and starts following Ranboo around to see what he’s up to.
- Bad finally spots Skeppy lurking on a tree, but Skeppy logs off when Bad tries to go to him. Bad tries repeatedly to convince Skeppy to log back on so he can kill him and retrieve the trident
- After the chase, Bad goes to L’Sandburg to fill chat in on the conflict, saying that Foolish seems to have declared war on L’Sandburg. Bad is unfazed by his threats and leaves his own response:
EAT DIRT FOOLISH
LSANDBURG WILL LIVE FOREVER!!!
DOWN WITH THE TYRANICAL TOTEM!!!
- With love,
He signs the book “<3″
- Bad then “improves” the shortcut with lava out of the kindness of his heart and reinforces the wall with concrete
- Next, he tweaks the flags, making them black and yellow. He plans to mine a bunch of obsidian for the wall
i have in fact thought about ponk today !!! i was watching foolish's stream earlier when he was on there nd it was very funny nd entertaining :D also yes !!! puffy is so gender !!! she stole all my gender i think thats why i dont have any (hehe agender jokes) :0 also !!! if u have the chance u should listen to love cherry motion by choerry from loona :D i love hearing ppl's reactions to it hehe -🐝
I wish to have c!puffys gender she is muscular and puffy hair and wine aunt vibes god shes so cool. anyways the song!! I was not expecting the beat drop but it gave me taylor swift uhhhh love story? I think? vibes? is she in love with the girl? is the rest of loona her background dancers? the video does give off cool vibes n nice aesthetic so thats cool :3