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#i didn’t realize how many different ways people can write morgan! i could scream
sollunas · 4 months ago
do you ever realize how beautiful your name looks when someone else writes it down. no matter if it’s in print or cursive, pen or pencil, on a thank you card or a love letter, i just adore how my name looks when people write it in their own handwriting. we all have our own personal, identifiable way of how we write things and that makes it feel all the more special and personal. if a thousand people wrote my name on a slip of paper and my mom was one of them, i could identify which one she wrote in a heartbeat
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anightflower · 10 months ago
Come and Find Me: Chapter 8 Someone Like You
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Spencer Reid x Reader
Warnings: Violence, swearing, a hint of smut, and death 
Your whole body shook as you took in the man before you, your body went numb, quieting the stinging pain within your cheek. 
The face you saw was one that you trusted, it was a face usually full of warmth and kindness, and just a hint of shyness. He always gave you a soft smile and a blush as he handed you your favorite drink, having it ready before you were even done ordering. 
The face before you now was dark, crazed, and struck terror into you. He was a stranger.
“James?” You croaked, your voice cracking in shock. 
“This is not how this was supposed to happen- You are ruining everything!” He growled. 
“How? How could you do this? Y-you helped kill so many innocent women-” You whimpered. 
“They were nothing but whores, just like Drew said they were. He sacrificed everything so I could get to you. He saved us (Y/N). He gave his life so we could have the one we deserved.” He explained, his crazed eyes only turning darker. 
You shook your head. “It’s the life you want James, not my life.” You explained gently, as if he was a cornered animal ready to snap. 
“No. No.” He grabbed your shoulders tightly causing you to gasp in pain. “You’re still holding onto the past, you’ve been manipulated by a man who doesn’t deserve you, one who doesn’t know you like I do. Let him go.” 
Tears began to stream down your face. You were afraid to speak, not knowing what James would do to you if you said the wrong thing. 
He realized your arms for a minute, bending down to unhook your chains. You wished you had a weapon you could hit him with. Anything to save you. 
You flinched when he rose back up quickly and grabbed your arm. He began dragging you out of the room towards the door. His grip was like steel and you did not dare run, even if every fiber of your being screamed to. 
He pulled open the door and dragged you through it, taking you up the stairs and past a series of rooms. You were shocked when you realized you were in a house, a normal looking suburban house. If you hadn’t been in the basement, this could have been any old friends house that you stop by for dinner and a couple of glasses of wine. 
He pulled you into a room, in a regular house it could be an office or a nursery, but not here. Here it was a shrine dedicated to you. Pictures of you, running, laughing with Ava- sleeping. Anything you could think of, it was there. The ones that had any hint of Spencer were scratched out or worse, replaced with an image of James. Articles about you and your business, anything that whispered a hint of you was there. There were even letters written to you from James, letters you barely skimmed before he finally spoke. 
“Can’t you see my love? This could be our life, I could give you so many good things. I know you like no one else does. Ever since I saw you on my first day of work, I knew you were meant to be mine. I envisioned this beautiful life where you were the center. I can give you a good life (Y/N). Just say yes.” 
“James, you don’t want to do this, you don’t know me as well as you think you do-” 
“Ava tried to tell me you would say no, that you wouldn’t want me, but I know you. I know I can give you the life you need.”
You remembered Ava explaining to you that James had a crush, it was in passing during one of the nights you hung out at her apartment. 
It was before you had met Spencer. You were both slightly tipsy off of red wine, sitting on Ava’s bed rolling with laughter over something you can’t remember. Of course the topic of love lives came up and you two both complaining over men and giggling. At one point Ava’s face became serious and she just came out with it. 
“James has a crush on you!” She blurted and then dramatically clapped her hand over her mouth.
“What?” You giggled, poking her in the side to encourage her to keep going. 
“James has a crush on youuuuu!” She sang teasingly. Then she sat up straighter and clasped her hands around her wine glass. “Okay well at least I think he does. He goes all doe-eyed and dopey whenever you come in and then bounces around like a little puppy for the rest of the day after seeing you.” 
“You are so lying.” You laughed. 
“NO! I am so serious. Though I did try confronting him about it- nicely- and he denied it and got all blushy.” Ava explained, leaning forward and poking your cheek for emphasis. 
Your head fell back in distress. “James is so sweet and all Ava, but like I don’t want him in that way. He’s like a little brother and I want someone older. Besides, I have a budding business to run, I can’t deal with a man right now.” You explained, pulling a false serious face. 
“Oh babe, don’t go all sexy business woman on me, it turns me on.” Ava purred teasingly, causing both of you to fall in a fit of giggles again. 
As you both wiped tears from your eyes, Ava put a gentle hand on your arm. “I’ll hint at him gently so you don’t have to worry about it. I know you like to go out with me and my work gang so hopefully this won’t affect anything.” 
You shook your head coming back to the present. Looks like Ava should have been harsher in letting him down. Your heart ached for a moment at the thought of your best friend, but at least you knew that she was safe and that James was here with you and not putting her in danger.
You didn’t realize that in your zoned out state, James had been going on and on about you and why you don’t need Spencer. 
“You might have given him an advantage, but no matter, he only has less than 8 hours to find you, and your little genius will fail-”
“So this is it then?” You hissed. “This is your little game and I am the prize?” 
His grip on you tightened. “You’ve always been the prize (Y/N). This game will help you see that your little Dr. Reid is not the perfect man you think he is. He will never find you in time and you will be mine. We will be in the wind before he realizes it and he will never see you again.” He purred, raising one of his hands to caress the cheek he had hit earlier. 
“I will never go quietly.” You growled quietly. “Even if Reid doesn’t find me, which he will,  I know he will. I will never stop fighting you and trying to get away. I will never fall for you. I will never be a piece in your game. I will never be your prize.” You ripped your chin from his grasp angrily. 
His loving gaze turned murderous as he pushed you down and out of the room. “You will break eventually my little dove, I’ve learned from the best after all.” He smiled, a smile that eerily looked like the one Andrew Curtis gave, when the news cameras had zoomed in on his face. 
Spencer gazed across the hotel room, it had been cleaned this morning like usual, the staff having no idea that (Y/N) had been kidnapped. Spencer had winced when he saw what few of (Y/N)’s things laid about the room. Her phone was nowhere to be found.
“How could you not have known that? Do you not care about your patrons?” Spencer had raged to the hostess stationed, until Hotch pulled him aside. Morgan began apologizing to the hostess as Spencer walked away. 
“Spencer, I know you are worried about (Y/N) but you and I both know they had nothing to do with her kidnapping and couldn’t have known what would happen to her. This hotel is in one of the safest areas of Miami.”
“But they didn’t even think, Hotch. That hostess saw her leave last night and didn’t even check to see if she came back-” 
“Spencer, it is a hotel, they have hundreds of guests who go off and do different things throughout their stay, they can’t keep an eye on everyone.” Hotch said sternly, giving him a look that silenced any further protests. “I know this case is a personal one, but if you need to step back-” 
“No, I can’t step back on this Hotch. This girl is the love of my life and she’s in danger partly because of me. I didn't want to introduce her to you because I know what happens to the people who are close to us in our line of work. I never wanted to risk that for (Y/N). She was too precious to me. I’ve only been with her for several months, but I know I want to spend the rest of my life with her. I have never loved anyone, the way I love her. I need to get her back Hotch-” Spencer’s voice broke. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath to stop any tears that threatened to overflow. “I need to get her back.” 
“We will, we still have 6 hours.” Hotch said, his voice so sure that Spencer had a smidgen of hope grow inside of him. 
“Hey Garcia have you found anything else?” Emily asked as she finished writing the final bit on James’s timeline. They had managed to connect James’s timeline with Curtis’s, with some of Garcia’s help. 
James had come from a household with an abusive father. After his mother left, he became the main target for his father’s abuse. He and Curtis met when James was just coming into high school. Curtis had become part of a Big Brother Program during his parole from assault charges.The judge thought it would be good for Curtis to volunteer and teach kids what not to do. Thus, the Big Brother Program. James became his little, doing an after-school program to elongate his school day and time away from home. 
“So Curtis took advantage of an already damaged boy and made him into a murderer.” JJ shook her head sadly as they had finished up the board. 
“Well an accessory to murder and a kidnapper, not that that is any better.” Emily explained, causing JJ to roll her eyes slightly. 
“Well we’ve dug up his past and his present, but I can’t seem to find a paper trail on him. He took almost all his cash out of his bank, so he must be using cash to cover up his tracks.” Garcia explained
“Could he have brought (Y/N) to an abandoned building?” JJ offered.
“No, throughout this whole thing, James has been telling Spencer how he wants a life with her, how he is better than Spencer in every way. He has to have her in a place where he thinks he would impress her.” Rossi mused. “He wants to show (Y/N) that he is an alpha male, despite being otherwise his whole life.”
“Could he have brought her to a house? He could be trying to make a domestic scene to impress her and draw her in.” Emily offered. 
“There was a bunch of advertising for those new fancy houses- do you think maybe he broke into one of those?” JJ asked. 
“No. That is a nice new neighborhood, any suspicious activity would immediately be reported, this is Miami after all.” Rossi argued. 
“Garcia, see if there's any Miami property under James Farren-” Emily began. 
Garcia cut her off. “Already beat you to it, nada on that.” 
“No, it wouldn’t be under his name, he’s been incognito this whole time-” Rossi paced around the small conference room that the police department had given them. “He was always close to Curtis and he was his submissive. It’s a long shot but try using variations of James and Curtis’s names mixed up.” 
“Alrighty, give a second- ah! There is currently a house being rented by a Andrew Farren in those fancy new suburbs you were talking about. I am sending an address to all of your phones now. Good luck and be safe my darlings.” Penelope said, hanging up with a click. 
“What would we do without her.” JJ asked as the others grabbed their vests and geared up. 
Spencer’s heart was pounding as he, Morgan, and Hotch made their way to the address Garcia sent them. There was a little over an hour left in his 24 hour time limit and the house was 30 minutes from the hotel. Spencer felt the guillotine of time closing in on him. 
S.W.A.T had been called in as backup, because nobody knew what Farren had inside the house with him, where he put (Y/N), or what he was willing to do to make sure Spencer would not win. 
His hands slightly shook as he put his bulletproof vest on. Hotch gave him a look that told him he could stay here if he wanted to. Spencer simply shook his head. He would be the one to find her. 
He had locked you back in your cell after you refused his offer. You had slept on and off trying to build you strength, but your hunger was getting to you. You had not touched any of the food or water he offered you, afraid that he would drug you to sleep and drag you off to God knows where. You winced as your stomach growled again. 
You were unsure how much time had passed, but it felt like hours. How much time did Spencer have left to find you? Any minute, could be your last. You felt tears enter your eyes. 
You would lose the life you built for yourself, the company you’ve made, the boyfriend and friends you loved. The simple joys of being alive and not captive, everything had been ripped out from under your feet because of a madman who thought that only he could love you. 
You shook your head to clear it from such negative thoughts, Spencer would be doing everything in his power to find you, you can not give up on him. 
You had thought about the last time you saw him. You had gone to his apartment after work to spend the evening together, knowing that you would be gone for a couple days. You had promised to help him cook dinner (and learn how to cook better, because lord knows Spencer needs it) and watch a movie together. 
What started out as a cooking lesson turned into messing around and waltzing around the kitchen. The two of you had gotten so distracted that the nice dinner you had tried to cook ended up burning, so takeout it was. 
After cleaning up your dinner fiasco, in which you sprayed Spencer with water and ended up getting chased around the kitchen, until he caught you and pulled you flush against him causing tensions to rise and your takeout to be forgotten. You thought of his hands traversing your body, his lips down your neck, how he had eaten you out to the brink and stopped only to bury himself to the hilt.
Both of you moaning as you chased your highs and then being in his arms after you came down. Feeling safe in your little haven of Spencer’s warmth and sweet musky smell. 
“We are down to under an hour my love, don’t worry though, I’ve already packed both of our things.” James' voice, now shamelessly unfiltered, crowed through the system. 
You felt your heart shatter. Please Spencer, come and find me, before it’s too late.
“Alright, Morgan, Prentiss, you take the back.” Hotch ordered, gesturing for a few members of the SWAT to go with them. 
“Reid, I am going to let you take the lead on this, don’t make me regret it.” He said seriously. “Rossi, JJ, and I will be right behind you.”
Reid nodded, his eyes filled with gratitude. 
 “Remember, he would try to kill himself and/or (Y/N) before giving up, see if you can talk Farren down and get (Y/N) out of there as soon as possible. Ambulances are on standby. Let’s move out.” Hotch said, causing the teams to split and go there separate ways. 
Reid slowly approached the house, praying to find you alive and unharmed.
Your body shot up from the bed as James burst in, slamming and locking the door to your cell. He pressed his hands against the door, you could see all the muscles in his body were tense. 
You could hear the door above you burst open as several pairs of feets moved about the house. You wanted to cry out relief as you heard several shouts of “Clear!”
“Spencer! Spencer I’m here!” You yelled. 
James had not moved from the door. “He can’t hear you dear, or did you forget that the room is soundproof?” 
“James, you’ve lost, Spencer played your game and he found me-” You tried to rationalize, but you should have just kept your mouth shut. 
“Spencer? Spencer? Even after all this time, everything I’ve done, that’s all you can think of, is that fucking doctor!” James growled, slamming his fist against the wall. “I do all of this and you still can’t see me! Just like at that stupid coffee shop. I stood there all those times and you never even saw me! You were always so wrapped up in your doctor-” 
You stepped back in fear when James turned towards you, a gun in his hand. “James,please-” you whimpered, holding your hands up.
“No, don’t act like that towards me. You aren’t innocent, you never were. I told Andrew, you were so pure, but you led me on with every small smile, every little greeting- Andrew was right, you’re just a fucking whore like the rest of them!” He sobbed out, waving his gun around.  
You tugged at your chains as he approached you. You refused to die here, not when Spencer was so close- you guys still had more time, you deserved a life together-
“James, don’t do this. Please, please, don’t do this.” Your voice shook as you pleaded for your life, falling back and shuffling toward the bed, anything to get away from him 
He grabbed your trembling body and pulled you to him. He placed a kiss on your forehead. Your skin felt like it had been scalded.
“If I can’t have you, nobody can.” He whispered gently, lifting the gun.
Tears streamed down your face, as you whispered your goodbyes to Spencer, mentally begging his forgiveness for not being able to fight James off and making Spencer’s worst fear come true- losing you to a case. 
 As the gun was pressed to your forehead, you thought of Spencer, pressing his lips to your forehead instead-
You jumped as the door to your cell was kicked open. Relief filled you as you heard Spencer’s voice cry out- “FBI don’t move!” 
James froze, his gaze not leaving you. “Ah the elusive Dr, we finally meet in person.” 
“Put the gun down James.” Spencer ordered. 
“Why? So you can shoot me instead? That’s hardly fair Dr, and here I thought you actually were playing the game.” You let out a small shriek as James yanked you up against him and turned you both to face Spencer. James kept the gun to your head. 
“I played by your rules, and I beat you before the 24 hours was up. I win the game, let (Y/N) go, nobody needs to get hurt.” Spencer explained, his voice was calm, yet you could see the tension in his gaze. If he had the power right now, you know he would grab you from James and run, but nothing could ever be that easy. 
“Well Doctor, you see I am one who likes things to be fair, for them to even out, per say. You took Drew away from me, despite me following all the rules, so why should I let you take (Y/N) from me as well? I think it’s about time I got my prize.” 
You bit back a whimper as he pressed the gun harder into your head. “Spencer-” You said softly. 
His gaze whipped to you, desperate. “Spencer, I love you so much.” You said, tears streaming down your face. Spencer blinked multiple times, trying to clear his vision of tears.  “You’ve given me everything I could have asked for and more. This is not your fault okay? This-” 
“Shut up.” James hissed in your ear, tightening his grip on you.
“This is your last chance Farren, let her go.” Spencer ordered, his voice cutting like a knife through the room. 
“How about a new game Doctor? Test out our shooting skills, can you shoot me, before I shoot your girlfriend?” James offered, his mouth pressed right against your ear. 
You took a deep breath and prayed to whoever was listening, you leaned forward a bit and then slammed your head into James, causing him to cry out and lose his grip on you. You ran towards Spencer in the heat of the moment. James screamed and aimed his gun at you. 
Two guns fired at once. 
You screamed and collapsed toward the ground in agony. Spencer caught you in the nic of time. 
James fell onto the ground and did not get up again. His blood slowly filled the room. 
Spencer gently pulled you towards him, brushing your hair out of your face. “(Y/N), look at me, hey, hey I need you to look at me.” He said softly, caressing your bruised face. 
Your eyes were glazed over with pain. “Spencer, it hurts.” You whimpered, as blood leaked from your bullet wound. 
“I know baby, I know. But I want you to focus on me okay? Talk to me. We have a medical team on the way.” He whispered encouragingly, as his team swarmed the room. 
“I thought about you to keep me going” You said, your breath coming out in sharp gasps. “I thought about the other night, when we burned dinner, and you chased me and we didn’t even end up eating the takeout we bought.” You huffed a laugh, that sounded more like a wheeze. 
Spencer forced a laugh, trying to cover up his worry at your blood loss. “I always thought moments like that were so cliche in stories and such, but the thing is, I have never loved someone the way I love you.” He kept stroking your face, trying to keep you awake. “I wouldn’t trade those cliches for anything in the world.”
Your eyes were fluttering, he was losing you and he knew it. “Goddamn it where is the medical team?” He growled angrily. 
“They’re coming now Spence.” You heard a voice say before blackness consumed your vision. 
“Tonight at 8, the Andrew Curtis case returns with a new twist. Recent reports found that Curtis did infact have a partner who he trained to carry on his legacy. James Farren, 22, was said to have taken up and coming interior designer (Y/N) (Y/L/N) who was shot during her rescue. Farren was shot dead on scene, while (Y/L/N)’s health status has yet to be announced.” ________________________________________________
@andiebeaword @haylaansmi @parkastoria @possessedjoker @amronsparty @generaltheoristexpert @sierraraeck @coniumalces @tamedbyafox @anotherr-fine-mess @adoregin @rainsong01 @canyonnmoonn  @mggshoe @boxofsparklingmuses​ @richardpapensmuse @deanlenaz​ @rainsong01 @goldentournesol @a@itsametaphorbriansblog @secretpickleprofessordean @shameleswhorehourstm @stepsofthefbi​ @iifloweringnightsii @mggsprettygirl​ @bravegirl221​ @messyhairday-me​ @n1ghtsh4d3-67​ @abbeypaw7​ @findmedontlooseme @hiiwouldlikesomesleepplease @sarcasticsagittarius1998 @ajeff855 @astronomynous
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criminalminds4days · 10 months ago
Family Matters | Chapter 6: Genius
Hello people! 
I have returned!
I am hoping you will enjoy this chapter, as I introduce one of my favorite characters from Criminal Minds (aside from Dr. Spencer Reid). I also hope you will have an amazing week. Love you all!
(Also, please forgive me if I glance over some cases, I am really bad at writing those scenes and I am trying my hardest)
I hope the wait was worth it and you enjoy this chapter!! 
Warnings: Swearing, sexual references, violence and murder references, public embarrassment, and very bad jokes!
Word Count: 3.6k
Previous Chapter | Next Chapter
Tag list: @mcntsee @lets-be-gay-for-the-angel @evelyncade @haylaansmi @paulaern @myfandomlife-blog
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(This gif is not mine)
Chapter 6: Genius
She should have known something was up. Spencer had called her to say that he didn't need a ride to work that day and that he would just meet her there. She just assumed he had a meeting with Hotch or something, but no, the reality was he was hoping to have some alone time with Jennifer Jareau.
How did she know? Well because she was so used to picking him up that despite knowing today would be different, she still stopped by the coffee shop and made her way to work at the same time she used to for the past couple of months. She figured once she reached the parking lot that she might as well get ahead on some paperwork, maybe she could even have time to figure out what she would give him for a gift since she hadn't yet found anything that would have the desired effect she hoped for. As soon as she reached the glass doors, she stopped in her tracks, almost dropping the cups of coffee she had in her hands. There they were. The blonde was reclining on his desk, her eyes never leaving him and their hands linked. He smiled as she spoke, not once acknowledging their environment. She tried to walk away, but she felt trapped in her place. It wasn't until she heard the elevator that she was able to move towards the trash can, dumping one of the coffees. Too late she realized it was hers and not Spencer's, she sighed and decided she would have to suck it and drink the one meant for him.
"No, that alone has been enough sugar for the rest of my life." She said aloud as she dumped the second drink in the trash can. She didn't understand how he could do a whole 32oz of that sugary drink but she applauded him. That was, of course, when she wasn't mad at him for what she assumed to be a hidden relationship with JJ.
There were so many things wrong with that scenario she couldn't begin to phantom which one made her the angriest. Was it the fact that they were friends with Will, who was the blonde's husband and father of her child? Or was it the fact that Spencer was the godfather of said child? Maybe it was that he never even mentioned he had feelings for JJ? Or that he would be capable of having those demonstrations in their office when he knew full well that it was against the rules?
She walked into the office. Now the blonde was sitting at her desk, filing paperwork as if she hadn't been flirting with the man only minutes ago.
"Morning!" She sparked, a bright smile on her face.
"Huh." That was all the girl responded. She made her way to her desk and logged into her computer.
"Hey, stranger." He spoke. "You're here early."
"Is that a crime now?" She answered, unamused.
"No, I just- Are you okay?"
"Yeah, I'm fine. Perfectly fine. Life is perfect, wouldn't you agree?"
"I don't know about perfect-"
"Spencer, I'm a little busy, can you please be quiet."
He looked so hurt she wondered if she had gone too far. Then again, he was a cheater, so boundaries didn't apply to him. She rolled her eyes at him and continued with her work. She pretended she didn't feel his eyes on her for what must have been ten minutes, and she closed all the gift option tabs she had accumulated in the last month.
Every morning for the past 25 days she had acknowledged how close his birthday was and would ask him what he wanted, but today, just two days before the grand day, she decided maybe getting him a gift was not worth her time.
"Hello, my beautiful soul." Penelope approached her, a cup of coffee in her hand. She leaned in and whispered. "I saw you dropped yours, so I thought I'd bring you another."
"What are you talking about?" She looked around. Emily had arrived and was now working on some documents, Derek had also arrived and was conversing with JJ, and Spencer tried subtly to listen in to their conversation while pretending to work on his case files. "Garcia, do you mind walking with me for a second? I want to run a theory by you."
The mentioned understood and nodded. "Yes, of course, dear." They made their way to the elevators, and Penelope stopped. "I'm sure it's not what you think it is."
"I have no idea what you're talking about."
"JJ and Reid. They've been best friends since forever ago. There is probably nothing going on. I mean, sure, she liked him a while back but-"
"She, what now?!"
"It was a long time ago! Things are different... I don't think you have anything to worry about, I'm sure he likes you."
"Woah, okay, let us stop for a second." She held her hands up, as she looked around to make sure no one was looking. Anderson waved at them and smiled as he exited the elevator and made his way to the bullpen. They returned the gesture and she waited until he was inside the glass doors to continue. "I hope Spencer doesn't like me because we're just friends. That's not why him and JJ being together makes me upset."
"I'm pretty sure they're not together."
"Did you see what I saw?"
"Well, yes. But that can mean a hundred things."
"One of the possibilities being they're secretly going out."
"Yes... No! Of course not, they would never do that."
"Listen, Pen, I really appreciate the coffee, and I also appreciate you trying to look out for them and me, but honestly you don't need to explain anything to me, as a matter of fact, nobody does. I just hope this doesn't blow up in their faces." She grabbed the drink and returned to the glass doors pushing unsuccessfully her way inside.
"It's a pull, honey." She did as she was told, and the door opened. "Some things never change." She heard the blonde say.
"Love you too Garcia." She spoke with a hint of sarcasm. Once at her desk again, her phone began vibrating. She took it out and looked towards Hotch's office, making sure he didn't see her take a call. "Hello?" She whispered.
"Honey, how have you been? How's Spencer? I know his birthday is coming up!"
"Hello, mom. I'm fine, we're all fine." She whispered into the line. Spencer looked at her as if hoping she would share what was happening, but she simply ignored him. "Wait, how do you know?"
"About his birthday? I checked your calendar."
"Well, your phone was unlocked so I simply went through it. It's no big deal. If you don't know what to get him I can give you the keys to the museum I bought him and you can say it's from you."
"You did what?!" She screamed. Her co-workers looked at her and she smiled, deciding this was a conversation that needed to be held outside of her workspace. She walked out of the bullpen and into one of the offices that were empty, closing the door after her. "Please tell me you're joking."
"Of course not. I thought that maybe that would help him see that a future with you is bright. Maybe this is the final push he needs to propose and soon after marriage come kids! Honey, I'm not getting any younger, I need grandkids."
"So you're using a museum as a bribe?"
"No, not a bribe, just encouragement."
"Mother you're gonna go and return that museum, and I don't want to hear another word about it. Do you understand?"
"Would you look at the time, got to go, love you, honey!" With that she hung up the phone, the woman sighing.
She knew she wasn't going to do it and one of those days Spencer would receive the keys to the building. As soon as she sat down, he eyed her with curiosity, hoping she would tell him why she was so worked up. She didn't have to ignore him for long since Aaron Hotchner called them in for a case. There had been several drug addicts who had been murdered recently, all of them seeming to have gotten fed and cleaned before their deaths. The team had to make their way to Albuquerque, New Mexico. As they borded the plain, she basically ran to sit next to Emily, avoiding all contact with Reid or JJ.
"Ok, we need to figure out how the unsub is choosing his victims and what purpose they fulfill, not to mention what role their drastic change in appearance and health play into his fantasy," Hotch said as they gathered in the local police station. "There is another agent here to assist us in this investigation, please meet Agent-"
"Luke Alvez." She interrupted as soon as she recognized him. His hair was still short and his beard had grown out, but it was clear he trimmed it just enough. His brown eyes landed on her and he smiled.
"Well, if it isn't my favorite non-medical doctor."
"I had no idea you were here."
"I was working on another case and thought it might be good to stick around."
"That's right," Aaron spoke, drawing the attention away from the pair and back to him. "Agent Alvez, these are Agents Jareau, Prentiss, Rossi, Morgan, Dr. Reid, and well, you already know the other doctor on our team."
"It's very nice to meet you all." He said, winking at her. She amusingly rolled her eyes and directed her view back to her boss. "Okay, well, JJ and Reid, go to the M.E. and see what more he can give us on their conditions before their deaths. Prentiss, Morgan, and Rossi, go interview the families of the victims, and you two stay here with me."
"Actually, Alvez can go with JJ and I can help set a geographical profile," Spencer said.
"No, I need to speak to agent Alvez." Hotch's tone was clear, it wasn't up for negotiation.
"Alright, let's go JJ." He said reluctantly, but made no intention to leave.
"Meet me in the main office." Hotch said to her and Luke, after which he walked towards said room.
"Great, I just barely saw you again and I'm already being called to the principal's office." He said and she jokingly shoved him and followed the man. After observing said interaction, both JJ and Spencer exited the building.
As soon as they entered, they were instructed to close the door and sit down. "Now, I am thankful for your assistance Agent Alvez, but am I correct to assume providing help is not the only reason for your presence?"
"You are correct."
"Wait, what do you mean? Why are you here Luke?"
"Am I allowed to say it?"
"Yes, after all the decision is hers."
"Who's decision? Mine? Guys I suck at those, this morning I couldn't decide what socks to wear so I put on one of each."
This sparked a laugh from Luke and a smile from Hotch. "It's nothing bad, I promise." The first one said, "my boss simply wants me to try and convince you to transfer to our department."
"Oh, that's an easy answer, no." She shook her head and turned to her team leader, who seemed to have a prideful look. "The BAU is my team and my family. It's my dream job, and I would never leave by choice. Sorry Luke, I really enjoyed working with you, but I can't leave my team."
"I knew that, but I still had to ask."
"Well, now that it has been settled, why don't you two review the files and see if there are any patterns that could lead us to who is responsible for these murders."
"Yes sir." They stood to leave, before Hotch spoke again.
"And agent," he paused as she directed her attention to him. "I'm glad you're staying."
"You had doubts?"
"It comes with a raise in salary."
"Agent Hotchner, you know I don't do it for the money."
He nodded and they both made their way out of the office, leaving Aaron behind. They had made their way to the room the local PD had set up for them before he asked.
"So are you gonna tell me what's going on between you and doctor eyes?"
"Dr. Reid."
"Why did you call him eyes? He's not even wearing his glasses today."
"Because he kept making eyes at you." He said as if it was obvious. "Are you two a thing?"
"Yes, we're friends. And colleagues."
"Since when are you so nosy?" She said as she pulled the case files from the box to begin reviewing them.
"Since there is a possibility of romance in the BAU."
"Why do you care?"
"Are you serious?" He asked, slightly offended. "Your team is the elite team of the FBI; everybody is jealous of you guys or wants to sleep with you. Which is saying a lot since it is not necessarily the best-paid position within the agency.” He pointed out, hinting at the possibility to earn more in his department, when she gave it no importance, he continued. "Anyway, as I was saying, you and your team are like the Kardashians, but for the bureau. Everybody knows about Emily Prentiss, Aaron Hotchner, Dr. Spencer Reid, Derek Morgan, Jennifer Jareau, Penelope Garcia, David Rossi, and you, Dr. I-wanted-to-join-the-BAU-and-got-in-almost-instantly-even-though-it's-really-hard."
"What exactly do you know?"
"About you? Only that you were one of the youngest agents to be hired, presided only by Dr. Reid, other than that, there hasn't been much on you, doctor. You know how to keep your life under wraps. You definitely spark the curiosity of the people."
"I don't even want to know how many rules you are all breaking to find out stuff about me and my team, do I?"
"No, not really." She laughed and returned her view to the papers in her hands. "Let's get back to work."
"You never really told me about you and Dr. Reid."
"There is nothing to tell, we're just friends."
"Does he know that?"
"We have some new information from the M.E." Were Spencer's first words. He looked between the two agents in the room, eyebrow raised. For a moment he seemed upset at the scene but soon changed his expression. "He's been impregnating the victims. Multiple times."
"Wait, that makes sense," Luke spoke. "That means there has to be a pattern somewhere, there is no way he's just doing it for the heck of it, if he was, he would dispose of the baby as well, and the woman wouldn't give birth or carry a child more than once."
"You're right, maybe if we can figure out what he is trying to accomplish by making them have his children, we'll find him."
"There are several reasons for someone to want a baby." Spencer said, "there is a black market for babies that yields high monetary compensation, and there is also the possibility this man feels powerful by fathering all these children. If he is keeping them, there is also a possibility we can find him faster, it is not every day your neighbor starts having children all around."
"I am going to tell Hotch about our theories." She said and left the room. She was still upset at Spencer and didn't want to talk or spend time with him more than it was necessary, so she took the opportunity to not be in the same room.
"I'm gonna work on the geographical profile." She heard him say.
A couple of hours later Luke had left to look through possible leads. Spencer and JJ found a child that matched the DNA of one of the victims, leading them to confirm it was hers, further supporting their theory. Now they were looking for other children, and how giving them up for adoption did anything for the unsub.
"I got a geographical comfort zone," Spencer said, he had tried to start a conversation before, but if it wasn't work-related then she wouldn't even look at him. "I have narrowed it down to three possible children, Lisa, Elizabeth, and Amanda."
After hearing those names, Luke's theory came back to mind. "Luke was right." She said as she turned she saw the mentioned entered the station. She waved him down excessively so he would know it was important, once he was inside the room she smiled. "Luke Alvez you are a genius! I want to kiss you right now!" He looked shocked, and a little uncomfortable, "but I won't because we are in a public setting. I have to tell Hotch." She ran out and pulled her phone to call said man.
"I guess you're a genius Alvez," Reid said, with a slight tone of resentment.
"Well, I don't know what I did."
"To me, it seems like I'm the one doing the work," before he could hear a reply his phone began to ring. "Reid." He said as he answered.
"Is Alvez there?"
"Uh, yeah." He placed the phone on speaker.
"Alvez, you were right. The unsub is keeping the boys, that's his end goal. We believe it might have significance to him or his partner."
"He has a partner?"
"There are indications of medications the victims were taking that would allow them to carry the baby to term. Rossi did some digging and the only way they can get access to the medication is through prescription, and they would have to have ample knowledge of the effects they could have."
"That makes sense. What should we look for next?"
"We found two potential subjects, I need the two of you on your way."
"Okay, we'll get ready-" Spencer began speaking.
"Not you Reid, I need you running point with Garcia."
"I'll go get her and we'll be on our way." Alvez comprehended who he meant and walked towards the door.
After the arrest of the man, they made their way back to the station. She was cleaning out the paperwork she had received when she heard her phone ring.
"What's up, Garcia?"
"Please tell me it's all a lie."
"What are you talking about?"
"The offer that agent Alvez came up with."
"How did you know about that?"
"So it is true." She heard some typing from the line. "You can't leave us, don't let what happened between you and Reid make you leave us."
"Garcia, my decision on the matter has nothing to do with that."
"So you've made up your mind? I can't believe it."
"Garcia, please listen to me, you can't tell anyone about this." She was now playing on her emotions, trying to see how far Garcia would go before she actually asked her what her answer was.
"I- I need to go." With that, she hung up.
She sighed and finished her packing, Luke appearing in her sight of view.
"Hey there, doctor."
"Hello, Agent Alvez."
"Is there no way I could make you change your mind?"
"Not in the slightest."
"Will you at least think about it? My bosses might not hate me as much if I left with an 'I'll think about it' rather than a straight-up no." He pleaded.
"Fine, Agent Luke Alvez, I will consider your offer."
"Thank you." He walked inside and helped her finish cleaning up. "And to show my gratitude, I am offering some advice: you can't avoid him forever. I don't know what he did, but he certainly does not deserve to be placed on the sidelines."
"I have no idea what you're talking about."
"Sure you don't." He placed an arm around her and brought her in for a side hug. "I will be anxiously awaiting your answer. Take care agent."
"You too Luke. I missed working with you."
"You could do it every day."
She pushed him slightly and rolled her eyes. He laughed and waved goodbye one more time before exiting the room. She continued working when she felt someone rush in.
"What do you mean you're transferring?" Emily practically yelled. This brought in the attention of the rest of the team who soon enough were cramming the room. "I get it, Alvez is hot, but you can't just leave us because of an attractive man."
"Emily-" she tried to speak.
"Don't Emily me. I get it, really, I do. He's good looking, smart, and single, not to mention that beard, but come on, this is your team, and you can't leave us."
"You can't seriously be thinking of doing that for this guy," Spencer said, his arms crossed, and eyebrows furrowed.
"The kid is right, you re one of the smartest people I've met, you can't make a decision based solely on a man." Morgan added, and soon they were all talking at the same time.
"Can you all please calm down? I never said I was leaving." She tried to hide her smile, knowing full well this wasn't gonna end well, but right now their panicked faces were priceless. "I simply said I would think about it. It does come with a salary increase."
She saw Hotch at the edge of the door, an amused twinkle in his eyes. "The jet is ready; we need to get going." He said and walked away.
She squeezed between her teammates and made her way to the plane. She noticed how everybody kept stealing glances at her as if hoping that would be enough for her to say she was staying. She smiled and closed her eyes, ready for a nap.
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ssa-ki99 · 11 months ago
I Promise You This [Aaron Hotchner x Reader]
Chapter 3/?
Wattpad and Ao3!
Hiii friends, I'm back with another chapter, very quickly because I have no life! I spent the night with a big glass of wine and got my writing going so I would have some chapters to post this week when I am busy! 
I do not own any of the characters in this story besides the Original Characters and Y/N.
Abuse TW
Chapter Three: I've overcome the blow, I've learned to take it well.
You sat in your usual seat on the jet. You were the first one on the plane. As Emily, JJ, Morgan, and Reid piled in together, you didn't let your gaze out to the dark night move towards them. You were still fuming.
Everyone could see it. They heard half of it at the police station, how could they not?
You were not one that got pulled aside by Hotch, or anyone honestly. It was not your personality type. Your first job you climbed the corporate ladder of retail quicker than any one at the company had, becoming the youngest manager. You were never a teacher's pet, per say, but all of your teachers and professors spoke to you like you were their equals. You were more friendly with them than you were most of your classmates. After college, working for the local task force you and your superior were thick as thieves. To this day, you would honestly consider her your only and best friend, despite her being thirty years to your senior.
That's how it always was. Part of it was being raised by two people who probably could have been siblings with you by age versus age. You were more their friend than their daughter, but any psychologist would realize that at least a third of your issues stemmed from that. Growing up quickly had a part. Coughing up your babysitting money to help pay to keep the heat on at twelve, that forces a kid to grow up fast. Your teenage years were ripped from you by constantly being hooked up to machines and having tests run to figure out why your body was constantly failing you. You spent your time as a teen surrounded by people in white coats more than you did in a normal classroom setting.
You almost didn't know how to handle being scolded from a superior. You were never scolded as a child, never as a teen, and nor as an adult.
Maybe that's why you thought it was normal for someone you loved and trusted to be disappointed in your every move. That thought was too exhausting to even begin to unravel, so you tucked it away for another time. You internally cursed yourself wishing you didn't quit therapy years ago.
Rossi and Hotch stepped out of their car from the police station, the entire car ride quiet. Rossi knew the gears were turning inside Aaron's head. He would bet money on what Hotch was thinking, kicking himself for all he said.
"You need to stop that, Aaron," Rossi said, closing the SUV's door behind him. Hotch looked at him and let out a breath.
"I feel like an ass," He paused in front of the stairs to the jet, "It's my job to be able to know when people are lying and I failed, nevermind with something so..."
He couldn't put the word on the situation, given it was you. Kind, compassionate, quiet yet fierce, Y/N. The agent that kept everyone on their toes, even him. The youngest, but sometimes the wisest.
"Y/N is a private person," Rossi replied, "How would you have known?" He shrugged, "Y/N is an excellent agent. Proficient, smart, and quick on her toes, but outside of her performance on the clock? How would you have known? None of us know much about Y/N." Rossi threw out, stepping up to the jet.
Hotch watched his older colleague and let out one last sigh before he shook his head and entered the jet.
He noticed you sitting alone in your usual spot. JJ and Reid were sitting together, JJ showing him a photo of Henry. Hotch knew for him it felt good to go home to Jack after a case with children so he sympathized with JJ there. The rest of the team was either relaxing or in idle chatter.
Hotch decided to bite the bullet and sat across from you. You didn't make eye contact with him as you weren't sure you could look at him without screaming, crying, running. Any of those would be so uncharacteristically you at work. The only person who ever saw you break about any of this was your parents and sister. Even then, you broke once...maybe twice, then it was the unspoken rule to never talk about it again. That's how your family was, they swept things under the rug rather than talk about it. Why not this?
"Y/N," Hotch said quietly, almost a plea.
If his voice wasn't so...gentle, you wouldn't have looked up, but you did, meeting his eyes.
He sighed, looking at your soft eyes. He still couldn't believe someone so good, could have been treated so badly. His years of education and profiling failed him to put pieces together due to the answer that kept coming to his mind. He doesn't really know you.
You intrigued him constantly, but this piece of your personal puzzle was not one he wished were true, nevermind the only thing he knew about you outside of work.
"I just wanted to apologize" He began with, "It was uncalled for, me doubting you."
Hotch looked so sincere, you were unsure if you had ever seen him like this. To be fair, you had never seen the man fail at anything.
"Why would I lie about something like that?" You asked, so much emotion in your question, it was atypical for your voice to sound that frail.
Hotch shook his head, "It's my job to be able to catch a lie," he sighed looking away from your gaze, "What we do here...we have all of this information to back up our thoughts," he waved in the air at nothing in particular.
You weren't following, you understood your job, unsure of where he was going with this. Was he going to insult you again?
"But you?" He said through another sigh, "You, I know nothing about."
You raised an eyebrow, "What do you mean?"
"I know JJ's sister committed suicide when she was young, so suicide cases hit closer to home for her. Reid's mother is schizophrenic, knowing that he is more apt to put himself in the shoes of a case that involves that, helps." He continued, "These are things you and I both know, but as the leader of this team, I never want to put my agents in a position where they are compromised."
You continued to watch him explain himself, waiting for him to get to his long-overdue point.
Hotch sighed again, laughed as he did, mostly at himself for being at such a loss for words, "But you, Y/N, you don't open up. Everyone here sees it. So when I say it was uncharacteristic for you to be sharing that much...I doubted every word that came out of your mouth."
You began to understand. You knew you were closed off. More than closed off, honestly. You also knew that all of that information you could share could also be taken as a weakness. Before your ex, you were an open book. You didn't care who knew you had health problems in high school, despite their comments. You could so easily brush those off before him. You used to wear your heart on your sleeve and let the world see when you were hurt, happy, excited, and more. But now? You tried your very hardest to not share anything that could be construed as frailty.
"I'm sorry..." You stumbled over your words, realizing even in all acts to protect yourself, you still managed to fail, "I'm sorry I made you doubt me." You said so quietly that if Hotch was glad he could read lips well.
Hotch's heart sunk into his stomach, he wasn't sure why, he dealt with horrific things all day, but seeing you apologize for something that was his own god damn fault made him feel loathsome towards himself.
"No." He shook his head quickly, "You don't have anything to apologize for, Y/N." He looked earnest. "I should be apologizing to you, I am sincerely sorry that I doubted you." He spoke in a voice you weren't sure you heard before. All of this was new for both of you. "I'm not doing my job as a leader if you don't feel comfortable opening up to this team."
You tilted your head. For the first time, you didn't feel so small next to him.
"It's just something," You shrugged, "I just don't talk about that with anyone."
Hotch understood, shaking his head, "Well I want you to know that if you ever need to take a step back...or need to talk," he took a breath in, collecting his thoughts, "anything. I'm here." He said.
You smiled softly at him, "Thank you."
His words, though small, went a mile in your book. It meant a lot that now he knew this little detail of your life and didn't look at you any differently. Sure you trusted your team, you had to. It was kinda part of the job, but people on this level, you didn't. You couldn't. It was no longer in your vocabulary.
You had your doubts about practically everyone who entered your life. Your parents let you down in a way. Your friends let you down when they were not there for you during such a scary time in your life, with so many unknowns. The one person you allowed your heart to let it, turned out to be the opposite of everything he promised he would be. But for some reason, Hotch? This man seemed as genuine as people could get.
What is put down on paper is what you get when it comes to Hotch, you believed. He wore his flaws like a branded mark on his skin, they followed him everywhere, but you didn't have to know this man's story to know that he also had been through a lifetime of heartache as well.
"Can I ask you something?" Hotch said, your heart skipped a beat, unsure of what would follow next.
All you could do was nod, swallowing the lump in your throat.
"He's not still in your life," Hotch paused, his tone bled with a small thread of protectiveness, "Is he?"
You smiled sadly, "No, he's...he's not."
"Good." Hotch nodded, you watched as he exhaled a breath that he looked like he had been holding the whole time on the jet.
You two were both so caught up in your conversation, you didn't realize that the rest of the team was asleep. You looked away from him out to the night sky. Something about being on a flight brought you stability. It was the first sense of freedom you knew when you turned eighteen and got on a plane by yourself. It was where you would spill your heartache in journals after months of being with your ex and you decided it was time to go home.
It was always back and forth between you two. Months together, months apart. Hot and cold. Emotional whiplash.
You quietly thought about everything he had said to you. You really understood now that your team knew nothing about you other than what you presented at work. Sometimes the girls would ask you out for drinks after a case, most times you would say no, but on the rare occasions you would go, you would only talk about work or general things like the weather. Nobody thought anything of it as Garcia, Emily, and JJ all tended to have their own life dramas and sagas that filled up most of the air.
You bit the inside of your cheek, it was raw from subconsciously doing it all day. You reached in your bag for your headphones and plugged them into your cell phone, opening up your music. You then looked back up to Hotch who now had his head in a file.
Unsure why, you felt the need...or want to share this.
"I was listening to Jim Croce." You said casually to Hotch. He was so focused on his paperwork that at first, he didn't even register that you were speaking to him.
He looked up, "Hm?" Confused by your statement.
"Earlier," You brushed your hair behind your left ear as you looked down at your phone, putting one earbud in your ear as you continued to speak, "You asked what I was listening to this morning before we landed."
Hotch shot you an incredulous, yet amused look. "Jim Croce?" He hummed softly.
You cocked an eyebrow at him, curious what he was getting at.
"Isn't that a little...before your time?" he mimicked your questioning facial expression.
You smirked, "I may be the baby on the team, but I do have good taste in classic music."
He tilted his head to the side, "I would never call you a baby," He cleared his throat, "You make it hard to remember that you are younger than most of us here."
You weren't sure what his intentions were with that statement, but you just bowed your head and flashed him a thin smile. You reached back to your phone, hitting play on the next song.
Hotch leaned forward, questioning your next song since you have now piqued his curiosity. You lifted up your phone to show him the album cover of one of Springsteen's classics.
He nodded, this time you were certain he was giving you an impressed look. "Another good choice," He smiled.
You shook your head, trying to contain your amusement, but couldn't help but let out a stifled laugh, bringing your attention back to the window.
The flight ended shortly after that, you all stumbled back into the bullpen. You practically threw your stuff onto your desk and sunk into your chair, knowing you had a large report to fill out.
Emily and JJ began packing up and looked over at you, "Y/N, wanna grab a quick drink with us?" Emily asked.
"Will is off for the night and has Henry, I am taking advantage of that," JJ laughed.
"Where's my invite, pretty mammas?" Derek walked over putting his arms around both girls.
"Fine," Emily groaned, "You can come," She rolled her eyes playfully.
"Boy genius, you coming too?" JJ called over to Reid who was finishing his report in record time.
Spencer looked up, "Yeah, sure," He shrugged, "Why not?"
"Good you're the DD then," Emily chuckled, both JJ and Derek gave her an amused look. You shook your head and laughed. Sighing, pulling out your file.
"Drinks on me," Rossi said, waving his hand to everyone.
"I'm not questioning that one," Derek said, then looked back over to you. "Kid, let good old papa Rossi here buy you a drink."
The sound of a drink after your long day sounded incredible. You sighed, wishing you had put the headphones down on the remainder of the flight and worked on your report like the rest of the team usually did on longer flights.
"I wish I could," you said, lifting up your file, biting the side of your cheek.
You were surprised when someone ripped the file right out of your hand from behind. You turned your head and say it was Hotch.
"Y/L/N, it can wait till Monday," He said honestly. He had already packed up his stuff, had his jacket on ready to leave for the night, which was unlikely for him. He was the one who would be here late hours after getting back.
"Are you sure?"
"Yes," He smiled, "You don't turn down a free drink from Rossi," Hotch laughed.
"You joining, Aaron?" Rossi asked, "The bar around the corner just got in this excellent scotch, per my recommendation," he said proudly.
Knowing Jack was at a sleepover tonight and didn't need to be picked up until mid-afternoon tomorrow, Hotch did not second guess his decision too much. "Hell, why not." He said, placing your file on your desk.
You looked up at him and smiled, following suit, throwing on your wool jacket and bag over your shoulder.
"Let's go," You smiled at the group.
LMK what you think babes! Writing chapter four now!!
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kyber-crystal · a year ago
Pairing: Steve Rogers x Reader
Words: ~3k
Summary: After the final showdown against Thanos leaves you broken and numb inside, you seek solace in the warmth of Steve’s arms. 
Warnings: angst, mentions of violence and death
A/N: tbh this was fun to write hehe NATASHA’S ALIVE im still in denial ugh also i almost cried writing this. I almost forgot to tag you, but this is for you @steverogersxreader! I apologize if this sucked lol.
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You had never felt more alive and dead inside at the same time than you did now. 
And here you were, charging across the debris-ridden battlefield as you struck down the aliens one by one with your solar blasts and katana in hand.
You fought them all off with ease. Years of brutal training regimes had shaped you into a relentless, battle-born and skilled warrior. You almost didn’t need to think. Fighting came to you almost as easy as breathing did. You could hear the thrum of your accelerated heartbeat against your chest, adrenaline shooting through your blood.
You didn’t know where the sudden burst of energy came from. Maybe you drew it out from your grief, your fury over losing all your friends. Your loved ones. For a future with seemingly no other path than an unsettling ending. 
You and Steve were prepared to fight alone, to stand alone together against an army of thousands, millions. Because that’s what true heroes always did in the end. They never backed down from a fight, no matter how badly the odds were stacked against them. “Because if we can’t protect the earth, you can be damn well sure we’ll avenge it.”
Then they all came back. 
Glowing orange portals opened all around you and you became surrounded by more heroes, more allies than you’d ever imagined. Heroes from all corners of the universe, all fighting alongside you. And although this didn’t mean the fight against the Mad Titan was over just yet, you were filled the tiniest bit of hope. 
But even the tiniest bit of hope could go a very long way. 
You plunged your katana into an alien’s chest, hot blood splattering across your suit and face. The acrid metallic taste overwhelmed you, but you kept going nonetheless. By your side stood Wanda, waving her hands around as red wisps of magic flowed out of her fingers. Booming sounds of gunfire filled the air. Explosions sounded in the distance. You smiled to yourself, knowing it was most likely the unstoppable duo of Bucky and Rocket. 
Then you meet Steve’s eyes from across the battlefield. Even when his face was streaked with dust and dirt, his piercing blue eyes still shone through, steadying your hold on the last bits of your sanity. He gives you a single nod that seems to silently communicate ‘I’ll be here for you’ and that’s what gives you the energy to keep going.
You couldn’t wait for the battle’s end. You couldn’t wait to finally sprint over to him and into his arms.You couldn't wait to return to your days filled with hanging out with your best friend, Natasha. You couldn't wait to spend time down in the labs all night with Tony - your mentor, the man who you could practically call your own family.
You still had yet to find them, however.
But right now, you had a war to win.
If there was one word to sum up everything you had been feeling so far, it would be heartache.
The final battle had declared you all victorious, but it hadn't been so without a great price. Hundreds of thousands of people lost their lives.
Including Tony.
He'd paid the ultimate price of giving himself up for the sake of the rest of the world.
It wasn't right, nor was it fair at all. If the universe was in demand of a sacrifice, you'd step up to volunteer without a second thought. Because unlike Tony, you didn't have thousands of people who looked up to you and admired you. 
He didn't have red in his ledger, he didn't have hundreds of kills under his belt. 
He had a family, and you didn’t. You were alone.
He’d never be able to see his daughter grow up. He’d never be able to be there for Morgan when she cried, would never be able to wipe her tears away again. He would never be able to see her graduate, go off into the real world, get married and possibly start a family of her own. 
Your heart ached at the thought of knowing he was missing out on so many opportunities as a father.
You didn’t deserve to survive. You were ripped away from your family as a little girl, forced into a dozen different lab experiments, becoming the government's tool. So naturally, the thirst for revenge and desire for vengeance against those who did you wrong took root within you at a young age. Having been a former Red Room assassin, you grew up in an atmosphere of constant fighting and suspicion, learning to never trust anyone no matter how reliable they seemed.
After he died, after his funeral, it seemed as if the universe collapsed within itself. Everything erupted into chaos.
People were confused, angry, frustrated, and upset.
Upset over losing Tony.
Upset over the fact that saving the universe had to conclude with Iron Man meeting his untimely demise.
Upset over the fact that they'd lost one of their own.
And you were upset, because you didn't get to say goodbye to the man who had always stuck by your side for the past decade.
You wanted nothing more in that moment to see your team. You felt like you were floating, untethered as you drifted through open space, and the only thing that could possibly bring you back down to earth was getting the closure that you so desperately wanted.
Suddenly, you felt a rough hand on your shoulder, and tore your gaze away from the horizon to glance up at a familiar figure. Steve.
All it took was one look into his soft blue eyes, glistening like the reflection of the sun on top of ocean. A sharp contrast to the darkened hues that once raged inside them, the violent storm had finally settled, causing a strange calming feeling to wash over your body. The way his gaze fell upon yours made you feel like you were trapped beneath a crashing wave, the roaring rapids keeping you from being able to break through to the surface. One that you fought against for a second as the burning desperation in your lungs begging for more oxygen grew, but surrendered to eventually knowing that your efforts would only be rendered useless in the end.
"Are you okay?"
That's when you noticed he was crying, too. You tried opening your mouth to respond but nothing came out. All the words building up in the back of your throat fell short.
Tony was dead.
Tony. One of the smartest guys you'd met in your life. The man who welcomed you into his home with open arms, who accepted you immediately. The man who looked past your mistakes and forgave you no matter what. The one man besides Steve himself, who could give the best hugs, was dead. The man who had the biggest heart of anyone you knew.
You collapsed to the ground, knees sinking into the grass and you screamed. You screamed until there was no more air left in your lungs and your throat felt scratchy and raw. You screamed until you felt like you were going to tear apart at the seams.  
A fresh onslaught of tears streamed down your cheeks in a heavy flood. His hands fell to your waist and back and pulled you close, and another sob tore from your throat, muffled by the fabric of his shirt as he buried his face in the crook of your neck, enveloping you in his warm embrace.
You didn't want to let go. And neither did he. He held you close, breathing in deeply as the two of you tried to live in the moment for as long as you possibly could, the temporary moment of peace and quiet that neither of you know how much longer it'll last for. So you stayed like that for a while, warm bodies gently pressed against one another, hearts beating against each other.  
From there, everything was a blur. You felt a soft hand slip into yours, presumably Wanda’s, and lead you inside, handing you a fresh set of clothes before showing you to the bathroom. You stripped off your uniform and stepped into the shower, letting the warm water run the dirt and dried blood off your body, relieving yourself of the smell of ashes and gunpowder. You lathered your hair in shampoo and covered yourself in body wash, and when you stepped out, you smelled of fresh roses and cinnamon.
You stayed cooped up in your room, staring up at the ceiling as your head laid against your tear-soaked pillow. People would call out to you, ask you to come down and eat or spend some time with the team, but you didn't answer. It was only until two days later that you finally headed down to the kitchen, sitting down at the dining table and staring blankly at the wall in front of you as you felt more tears fall, trying your hardest not to think about anything. You didn't want to think. 
It seemed that despite all your attempts in remaining strong you always ended up falling apart in the end.
Steve came over with a plate full of food, setting it down before taking a seat across from you. "Hey. When's the last time you ate?"
"I don't know. I'm not hungry."
"Y/N, when's the last time you ate?" he repeated.
"Four days ago? Five?"
"You have to eat," he ordered, pushing the plate towards you, "We had Pepper take a break for the week and I'm in charge of meals today. I made your favorite, you know."
You bit your lip. "Steve, I'm fine..."
"No, you're not," he stated in an accusatory tone. "Now eat."
You sighed and dug your fork in, taking a bite. It took everything not to let out a sigh at how well-flavored the chicken was.
"How is it that," you swallowed your food before resuming speaking, "in all my eleven years of knowing you, I never knew you were such a good cook? How do you do this?"
"Don't know," he shrugged. "I have my ways, I guess."
You didn't realize how hungry you were until you looked down five minutes later to see your plate practically licked clean.
"Enjoyed the food, huh?"
"That's good," he nodded and smiled as he observed you. "You've lost a significant amount of weight in the past week. Just make sure to eat enough at every meal to make up for it, alright?"
The super-soldier was beyond relieved to see you out of your room, fresh and clean after washing up. Times in which he offered to cook meals for anyone were rather uncommon, but he always made an exception for you, no matter the situation.
You all agreed to stay at Tony’s cabin until the compound was reconstructed, which would take roughly anywhere from 3-4 weeks to complete. You spent the majority of your time outside, standing on the dock by the lake and watching the sun rise and set. Wanda would sometimes come and sit by you, and you’d create small talk for a few hours until the moon came out and it was too dark to stay out any longer. On other occasions, you’d play catch with Peter and Morgan, or would sip coffee by the fireplace with Pepper and Natasha. 
Tony, if you’re listening up there, I hope you know what you did. You changed the world. We all owe you a great debt. 
The sun bloomed on the horizon, its golden petals stretching outwards into the powdery pale sky. For a brief moment you were cast in crimson and bathed in a rosy glow, your face illuminated briefly by the early morning light. The lake shimmered with a thin layer of gold, like flakes on a smooth, silver bed of stone.
“Enjoying the view?”
You turned around to see Steve standing there, leaning against a wooden pillar with a softened look in his eyes. 
“Yeah. It’s nice.”
“How long have you been standing out here for?”
“Since last night.”
“Aren’t you tired at all?”
“No, not really. I couldn’t sleep, so.”
He came forward and slid off his leather jacket, draping it over your shoulders. You were immediately enveloped with the fresh smell of his berry aftershave and a hint of the iced Americano he always liked to drink on every Friday at 3 p.m, at the same corner café with you in the same two seats at the back of the place. The memory made you smile a bit.
When Steve came along, everything changed. No matter how many walls you tried to put up around your heart to defend yourself, he always seemed to be able to break them all down. You found yourself caring about him without trying. You tried as hard as you could not to develop feelings as you believed it was just wrong to do so, but there was nothing holding you back, so you couldn't help but fall in love.
Even when you were on opposing sides, Steve's loyalty to you did not go astray. Even when his heart shattered as he saw you on the other side of the battlefield because you couldn't stand the idea of betraying your mentor. Even when you risked your life by running away with him, not once did he consider ever going against you. Because in the end, you always came to him, which only made the great Captain America’s already abundant love for you grow.
Oh, how badly you wanted to go back to the past.
Your chest ached. Tony would know exactly what to say to you at the moment to make you feel better.
As you stood there, Steve took several steps forward and circled his arms around your torso from behind, pulling you close against his chest and resting his chin atop your head. A choked sob suddenly came out of your mouth as you tried to escape his grip but failed, eventually relaxing into his touch. You brought your hands up against his and gripped them tightly as you squeezed your eyes shut and let the rest of the tears fall.
“We’re gonna get through this together, I promise,” he murmured, warm breath fanning against the back of your neck. “Don’t worry.”
“I just really miss him.”
“I know, I miss him too. We all do.” He squeezed your hand. “But we’ll get through this; everything’s gonna be okay. Remember when you asked me what love felt like?”
“If this is love, then I don’t want it.”
Steve chuckled. “Love’s not easy, sweetheart. It involves trial and error. Heartbreak.”
“I don’t know if risking my heart is something I wanna do, though. But I guess I can’t avoid it any longer, because I’ve already done it.”
“You have?”
“Yeah. But I don’t know if he feels the same way...I’m suspecting he still has lingering feelings for someone else. And’s kind of late to get into the dating game anyways. I should be married right now.”
"Hey. While it’s true that I’ll always love Peggy, I don’t see her as anything other than a close friend anymore. She was able to move on, so I don’t see why I can’t do the same.”
“When did I say it was-”
“Y/N, I’ve known you for over a decade. I know you like the back of my hand,” he laughed. “And who said it’s too late to get married now?”
You raised an eyebrow at him. “Are you proposing to me, Steve Rogers?”
“No. But I will, sometime later this year.”
“Is that so?”
“It’s very likely,” he hummed. “Because I’ve been in love with you for ten years, and I’ve been thinking about it for five.”
“Wait, you’re joking, right.”
“I’m not, and I’m always honest.”
You smiled, looking up at him and admiring his bright blue eyes. Those eyes that were your home, your safe haven - and always would be. 
He finally closed the space between you two and connected his lips with yours, and the world fell away.
Steve stayed true to his word. 
The ceremony wasn’t giant nor over-the-top, but still exquisite nonetheless; a gathering by the stunning coastline in Virginia Beach. Almost like a repeat of when he’d first got down on one knee in Aruba, except a bit closer to home. The entirety of SHIELD was there, as well as Morgan with Pepper, and Cassie with Scott. 
Originally Tony was supposed to be walking you down the aisle. And you really wished you could turn back time to bring him to this very moment. You knew he’d be a proud older brother figure and mentor. 
“You guys are disgustingly adorable,” he’d say. “But I can tell he makes you happy. Marry a guy like him if you can. Or just marry Cap himself. That’s all I want of you.”
Nick fury approached you and placed a careful hand on your shoulder. “You look great, Agent.”
“Thanks,” you sniffed, fiddling with your thumbs. “You look great too, sir.”
“I know I can’t replace Stark,” he sighed, “but I know he’d want you to be happy, especially on the day of your wedding. Chin up, Y/N, it’s your special day. And if you start crying before you get to the altar, Romanoff’s gonna be pissed because you know how long it took her to do your hair and makeup.”
“Yeah, she would,” you laughed lightly, sliding your arm into the crook of his elbow. “Thanks for doing this, Nick.”
“Anything for you.”
You took a deep breath as the music started and began your walk down the aisle. 
It seemed like a long way from the altar but as soon as you locked eyes with Steve, everyone else disappeared. It was just you and him in that moment, about to be bound together for life, and there was nothing else that mattered more than that.
When Steve first saw you, he cried like a baby. As in, turned into a baby and literally started crying like one and his hands were shaking, kind of cry. And you did as well. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house when you said your vows, the ocean breeze gently blowing around as you spoke. 
“I pronounce you husband and wife,” Happy announced with a wide grin. “Captain, you may now kiss your bride-”
Steve stepped towards you, cupping your face with his hands and pulling you into a passionate kiss. A kiss that sealed the deal, your happily ever after - tying the knot. 
The last month had been nothing but chaos, so your wedding was a relieving day for everyone. 
And so, for the first time in a long time, everyone was happy. 
189 notes · View notes
emisfritish · 10 months ago
So as someone who claims to be one of @yihwa closest friends and is all buddy-buddy with her, are you going to address the bulluying she's been doing to other blogs or are you going to stay silent and keep reblogging posts about shows no one cares about but you ? You usually love mansplaining and patronizing others in your posts, why silent now ?
Oh anon, anon, my dear anon. 
I was trying SO BAD to keep my 2021 resolution of focusing on positivity and only interacting with people I genuinely like and respect on this website, why must you bring me back kicking and screaming with the most random ask I’ve received in a while ? Why would you do something so brave (as brave as sending an anon can be anyway), yet so stupid ? You realize I’m a pretty small blog right ? So what do you hope to accomplish by this, exactly ? 
But you know... Fine, I guess. I’ll answer. 
First off let’s get this out of the way, because it’s going to bother me the entire response if I don’t. Mansplaining ?
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Like a+ for efforts on shading me, but please look up the meaning of the word.
Realistically, I probably do many things that are too much and/or annoy people (I speak way too much for one, I’ll admit that). But mansplaining isn’t one of them since, you know I... lack key equipment to even be able to mansplain, what with me not being a man and all... 
But anyway, I think I got what you meant, so let’s move on from this. 
I’ll admit I’m mega confused as to why I’m receiving such an ask seeing as :
I have purposefully stayed away from this whole thing even when it was actually hurting a person I adore, specefically because I didn’t want the feeling of ‘being ganged up on’ to grow even deeper for some people involved. 
Axelle and I aren’t close by any means, but as two of the french people in this fandom, we have spoken on occasion and I would hope that if she had some issue with me or wanted to talk about all of this, she would have come directly to me. I know I certainly would have with her, in any case. 
You are right about one thing though, anon. @yihwas and I are very close friends (and please if you people are going to keep dragging her name, can you at least spell it right ? Between you not spelling her url correctly and the people calling her Sophie, I’m losing it here). Sophia’s a queen, I love her and we talk every day. 
Me staying out of this until now in spite of everything that was being said about her and how protective I can be of my friends was entirely out of me trying to be considerate for other people’s feelings (especially when said feelings appear to be so hurt already that the person is fully delving into conspiracy theories and imagining evil plots against her), and because I didn’t believe that constructive conversation could go on under such circumstances. I was genuinely trying to be kind and as non-judgemental as possible. 
With you dragging me into this in the most random way though, I’ll bite. 
I’ve stayed silent up until now, but I do actually agree with most of the criticism that’s been made. I wasn’t about to pile on to what was already going on and worsen the situation and hurt feelings, but I do. Had I believed that talking about those issues in this moment could have led to self-reflection and an open conversation, I would have definitely done so long ago by talking directly to the person involved, because I do believe that some of the things mentioned in all the posts that have gone around can genuinely be seen as problematic. 
More importantly though ? It doesn’t really matter what I personally believe. 
@teh-ohaew said it way better than I could, so please feel free to go and read this post. To sum it up though ? It doesn’t really matter what was intended or not in those posts/tags, it doesn’t matter if you’re the best ally there is : If several people in a community (no matter which one) are telling you that some things you said/did could be seen as offensive, then the only decent thing to really do in this situation is to listen, think it over, and try to reflect before apologizing if necessary.
It’s important, we’ve all had to do it at some point in our lives with the different people we interact with, and it’s how we evolve and grow as people. 
This leads to something else, which is something that deeply bothered me by reading some of the posts going around : there seems to be a misconception that what is being perceived as offensive/problematic is an opinion only shared by Sophia, Shannon and Morgan, and that they’re somewhat leading or pushing other people into sending messages (either on anon or not). Do you guys realize how patronizing and offensive this sounds ?
People are not sheep ready to be led by whoever screams the loudest, has the most followers, or whatever other reason you may have come up with. People can think for themselves and decide of their actions by themselves. God knows I hate how mob-mentality works on tumblr sometimes, but that is not what’s at play here. What’s at play is several different people who may have never interacted before thinking the same thing, and deciding to address the issue.
Sophia and I are indeed great friends, but one of the things I love the most about our friendship is that we can disagree on things (and have in the past), discuss them like the adults we are and move on from there, with both of us coming out of the discussion with a maybe different perspective than the one we had before talking to each other about the issue. In fact when all of this started, Sophia and I did talk about one of the posts in particular and I didn’t necessarily see everything the same way she did, and guess what ? She still loves me ;) 
If that’s the case for me, why wouldn’t it be the case for Shannon and Morgan ? @yihwas  @1akorn and  @minghao-ah are all different people, with different experiences and different thoughts, as are all the people that have spoken out about this issue. Can we stop pretending like they share one brain and aren’t capable of critical thinking by themselves ? Can we stop pretending that sophia is the big bad wolf sending people over to terrorize others, like it was implied in some posts ?
So to answer your question anon, and before anyone goes on thinking that I’ve been brainwashed or am putting this out there only to defend my friend or whatever other theory you may come up with : No, I wasn’t going to say anything about the situation. Not only because there is no bulluying going around, but also because Sophia is Sophia and I am me. I’ve never needed anyone to think for me and neither has Sophia, and we can each behave how we please on our own blogs. 
As you were trying to point out with your frankly hilarious misuse of the word mansplaining, I have no issues expressing my thoughts through posts and neither does Sophia. Both of us (and every one now involved in this) are individuals fully capable of thinking for ourselves, and pretending that three people are causing many others to speak out (and therefore ignoring the initial message being spoken out) is doing a disservice to everyone involved in this issue. 
I’ll finish with one last point, because it’s almost 2:30 AM, I have to work tomorrow and I am tired and frustrated at having been dragged into this when I was trying to be considerate by not saying anything : can we please stop using the words bullying and harrassment out of context and throwing them out there whenever we feel like it ? That’s incredibly harmful to the people actually suffering from those issues, and it’s behaviour like this one which allows those words to lose their meaning and become normalized. 
There isn’t an evil plot at play to try to drive people off of tumblr or whatever else some of you may be thinking, so please let’s come back down to earth and try to talk about all of this like adults.
Now if you don’t mind anon, it’s getting pretty late and I’m pretty tired after writing this novel. So I’ll just go back to trying to keep my blog a positive place like I’ve been doing for the past couple of months, and reblogging posts about shows no one cares about but me, as you’ve perfectly said :) 
I hope you have a good day/night, a good week to come, and a good life. Please let’s never interact again !
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lhhsupremecy · a year ago
Last Thing I Do II Spencer Reid
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Summary: SSA Davis has found her sister shot in front of her by her sisters stalker. When her best friend is left pick up the pieces just like she did for him. 
Warning: Cursing, Drug Mentions, Guns, Shooting, Blood. Very sad, Angst 
This story is very similar to Maeve’s story. I completely made up the scene where they try and catch the unsub. 
WC: 2.4k 
I used a real name because it was easier to write feel free to change the name !!
"SSA Davis," I spoke confidently on the phone.
"Yes I understand." I say. I walk out of my office and into the meeting room.
"No time to get comfortable. This is huge." Garcia said turning on her remote.
"Three Murders in the past two nights."
"A mom and son and a younger man?" Reid questioned.
"Okay they need us in Atlanta Georgia. Wheels up in 30." I sigh.
"Are we ever going to get a break." JJ sighs. I shake my head no before going to my office. I sit in there for a second my head spinning a little bit. I hear a soft knock at my door.
"Yeah." I say. Spencer steps in.
"Hey what's up." I say
"Can I ask you a question?" he asks.
"You just did." I laugh. He rolls his eyes.
"No but for real what do you need?" I ask
"There was three different drugs found in the bodies. A drug for each person. What do you think that could me?" he asks.
"They're probably a sadist. Who somehow has a connection to drugs." I say.
"I get that but how would all of them get the types of drugs into them without a prescription. Besides LSD." he said
"I don't know but we'll figure it out." I say softly rubbing a hand on his arm. He nods.
"Let's go." I say we both grab our to-go bag's and head out onto the plane. We sit down on the plane only having to be on there for an maybe twenty minutes all of us decide to just sit quite and do our own thing. Ever since Hotch left to spend more time being a dad and I was put in charge I've always felt different. I don't like being in this high authority but I promised Hotch I would keep this team on track. Ring. I look down at the contact. Amber is calling,
"Hey I'm on the plane I'll text you later. Love ya." I send the text and turn off my phone. We land all of us heading to the cars. Driving down to the police station. I walk in there.
"Hello, I'm SSA Davis, These are agents Rossi, Morgan, Jareau, Prentiss, and Dr. Reid." all of them shake hands with the Sheriff except Spence. He just nods shoving his hands in his pockets.
"Okay. We have all the files Garcia asked for on a table and a conference room set up. If you need anything don't be afraid to ask." we all nod.
"Okay JJ, Morgan ya'll go to the the house of where the last murder took place. Prentiss and Rossi, ya'll talk to the witnesses and families. Reid and I will go down and get the autopsy report's and examine the body." I say we all split up. I give Spencer the keys as we drive. I feel a vibration from my pocket. I pull my phone out to see my sister calling again. I hit decline deciding to call her tonight. We pull up at the morgue. I look at my notebook making sure I have a pen to take notes.
"Who still takes notes." Reid teases.
"Not all of us have an eidetic memory." I ruffle his hair. He let's out a huff before laughing.
"SSA Davis?" the autopsy technicians asks.
"Okay well in the mom there we severe levels of a date rape drug called Rohypnol in her body."
"Rohypnol also knows as Forget-me pill, R2, and Roofies is a pill some versions of it turns blue when added to liquid but other forms have no color when added to liquid." Spencer states.
"So she was roofied. Did she have an alcohol in her system? Maybe she got it at a bar and the unsub followed her home."
"No there we're nothing but water and rohypnol found in her body."
"Any food?"
"What about the-" I was cut off by my ringer going off. I shut it off again.
"Sorry about that. What about the boy?"
"He was a teen there we're high levels of Phencyclidine found in his system."
"It creates numbness of the legs and arm areas so he can't move."
"Yes, we think this was a really well though out plan to this because there was no way that this could've just happened randomly." I nod.
"What about the other one. We we're told high levels of LSD were found. So was he drugged when he died or was he coming off the high?" Spencer asked.
"We looked but couldn't really tell. But we made an educated guess and are saying that it was already in his system maybe to get him where they wanted him."
"There's no way that only one person could do this. It had to be a team." she says. I nod.
"Thank you for you're time. If you have any more evidence please give us a call." I give her my card and she nods. We walk out and sit in the car.
"So they we're drugged before they could get away. Kept there for a day or two given water but no food and then brutally murdered. They are definitely a sadist." Reid says I nod.
"Let's go Morgan says the father of the kids are there."
"Father as singular."
"Yes apparently he is the father of both kids. Different moms." I say. He nods speeding off. We make it to the precinct. Spence and I walk into the interrogation room.
"John Hunter." I shake his hand.
"Why am I in here I didn't do anything." he pleaded.
"We needed you to be somewhere where there were not many people." he nods.
"Do you know who these three people are?" Reid asked.
"Yes that's my wife and sons." okay.
"Who are these two people." I ask.
"That's my ex-wife and son."
"Why isn't you're son with you in these photos. But you're youngest with you're first wife is."
"He was mentally ill. They had to take him away when me and my first wife Rose got a divorce he tired to kill his brother. Drowning him in a bathtub. He was sick." I nod.
"Can you give me his name." I ask
"Jack Hunter." he says. I nod and walk out. Dialing Garcia.
"Goddess of Everything Computer Related how may I help you."
"Hey can you do a background search on Jack Hunter and when he was released form a mental hospital. "
"Yes ma'am." she says,
"Okay so he was released from St. Claire's Mental Instantiation two weeks before the first murder."
"What about his mom?"
"Rose Strut she was given... you'll never guess."
"God I love you Garcia." I hang up seeing four missed call from my sister in the past twenty minutes. Reid walks out.
"It's time to give the profile." I said.
"We are looking for Jack Hunter and Rose Strut. They we're last seen two miles south of the Savannah River." I said.
"They could possibly be armed so if you are to see them do not go up to them. They will not be afraid to kill at this point." Emily said.
"If you do see them at any point. Please call the police and get away fast." Morgan finished. I hear my ringer again.
"Hey Garcia what's up."
"You'll never guess who's phone just pinged at a cell phone tower five minutes away,"
"Send the address." I circle my fingers telling everyone to load up.
Jack and Rose we're now being put into life in prison without the possibility of parole. We we're all getting off the plane when my phone goes off.
"Ash. "
"Hey Amber . What's up."
"She's back help-" before she said anything else I heard screaming.
"AMBER" I yell into my phone.
"AMBER." I yell again. Everyone looking at me. They put the stairs down. I grab my bag running down.
"Davis." I hear my team yell. I race to my car unlocking it. I start the car as fast as I can driving away. I'd be at Amber's house in a matter of minutes but realizing I wasn’t going fast enough I turn on my lights speeding down the high way. I finally pull onto her street. I stop at her drive way running up my gun sitting in my hand. I try opening the  door but its locked, I kicked in the door.  Looking all around before sighing. I heard a muffled scream come from the front yard so I run out the door as quick as I can seeing her. Holding a gun to Amber’s head. I must have forgotten my head set was on because I could hear the team yelling for me through it.
"Don't you come any closer or I will kill her."
"Please you don't have to do this." I begged.
"You killed my mom. I think it's only fair." she laughs. I take a step forward.
"Stop fucking moving." she yelled. I held my hand up my gun still in my hands.
"Drop your gun." she said. I drop my gun. She looks at me again and laughs,
"See I'm going to kill her either way but now you're just defenseless." she laughs. It was almost to fast to happen. A ring came into my ear's and I see her drop to the ground.
"AMBER." I called out
Blood spilling out of her head. I don't know if something kicked in my I grab my gun out of my leg canister and pull the trigger.  
"Oh hun. I'm not that easy to kill." she picks up her gun. Before shooting one last shot hitting me in my arm. I hissed in pain.
"I will kill you if it's the last thing I do. Weather I actually kill you are watch you fall apart mentally I will watch you suffer." she laughs falling to the ground. I see the lights flooding around us. I drop to my knees crying.
"Amber." I say softly. I put her limp body in my lap. I stroke the hair out of her face kissing her forehead. I see my team moving out of there cars. Kiera being taken away into cuffs. At this point all I'm doing is crying. I feel someones arms around me as they pick up my sister. I try to fight back but its inevitably not worth it. I'm covered in her blood. I turn around to see Spencer's arms around me.  I almost fall in them crying.
"Come on. We need to get you're arm looked at." We walk to the ambulance. I sit on the edge having them tear into my shirt cleaning up the barley scraped skin. I start staring into the space. Until. I grab Spencer's arm looking into his eyes.
"She has a kid. Where's Blake." I said softly.
"We'll find him. Right now you have to go to the hospital. I'll  come with you okay." he says just as softly.
They say it's always the hardest after. But what's hardest was telling my mom that it could've been me not her or that she would still be alive if I didn't move. Her funerals today. But a part of me can't go. This is my fault. I can almost hear my parents saying it to me but, none the less I still go. They found Blake and Tom her husband. They we're on out at a movie. Amber had to stay home for work. They don't blame me. They tried to tell me that I couldn't stop it even if I tried. Blake isn't old enough to understand what it means yet but he'll get there one day.
The funeral is over. I'm sitting in my tiny apartment surrounded by my feelings. My team couldn't be here. They were needed somewhere else. Even though Spence did offer to stay with me.
~ Flashback ~
"Spence." I called out.
"Spence I'm not leaving so please let me in." I say. I hear the door's locks come undone. He opens the door. He's standing there in a t-shirt, a cardigan, and a pair of pants, his hair was a mess, his eyes were puff, and he had bags under his eyes.
"Spence." I pull him into a hug. He wraps his arms around me crying into my shoulder.
"I couldn't do anything about it." he cries harder.
"Pretty boy, listen. It's not your fault. As much as I hate to say it. Diane already knew what she was going to do. Baby you couldn't stop that." I said softly. He just cry's.
"Can I come in?" he nods. I grab his hand he shuts and locks the door. I walk to his bed and lay down opening my arms. He cuddles into them laying his head on my chest.
"Go to sleep kid. I'll be right here when ever you need me."  I look at him. I kiss his forehead before putting my hand in his hair.
"I'll always be here for you." I said softly. His grip around my waist got tighter.
~ End of Flashback ~
I stood there a picture of us hung on the wall.
"I'm sorry." I said softly.
"Ash." I hear Spencer's voice call out. It startled me so i let out a yelp.
"Ash let me in please." I couldn't move. I hear keys jiggle and I see the door nob turn. Fuck why'd I have to give him a key.
"Ash." he says softly looking at me. He looked at me head to toe. I was wearing a pair of sweatpants and some how his 'Caletech' shirt. He sets his stuff on my counter and looks at me. I walk over to him standing in front of him. I let a tear drip down my cheek. He wraps his arms around me. I start sobbing in his chest.
"Why are you here..." I ask looking into his eyes. He placed a kiss on my forehead. His hands on both sides of my face.
"Because you we're here day after day when Maeve was killed so I will be here day by day until you are okay. because I love you. I love you more than anything." he says softly. I look into his eyes they were glistening with hope
"You love me?" I ask.
"Of course I do. I've loved you since day you offered to help me through everything you stuck by my side through everything, all my stupid little lectures, my rants, and facts. You're one of a kind." he said. I look up at him one more time. I lean forward into his lips. Melting together like butter.
"I love you too." he smiles and kisses me again.
"Let's go lay down." he says I nod.
“Everything will be okay” he whispers in your ear
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averagejoesolomon · 10 months ago
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Happy Sunday, all!  Here’s another chapter of Full Circle, which you can read in its entirety on Ao3.  A bit of a warning: we are starting to get into some Spy Stuff™ here, which means fighting and violence and something that might be akin to torture.  If that’s something that unsettles you, maybe don’t read this chapter.  Otherwise, enjoy!
Get updates and previews of Full Circle on my instagram
Chapter Ten
Tonight is one of those quiet nights that remind him of home.
His room is lit by a single lamp, sitting hot on the corner of his desk.  It casts a slashed glow that blurs at its edges, like a porch light up against an endless autumn night.  It’s just enough to make out his reference texts, arched across the tabletop with fresh spines that ain’t yet broken in.  This year’s first cool evening creeps in through a cracked window and Matt reckons he ought to close it before he goes to sleep tonight, but he lets it be for now.  Sometimes Virginia smells like Nebraska and the skies stretch between the states.
His roommate took off in the third week of training, leaving Matt on his own.  He was a nice enough guy, recruited out of Brown a few months earlier than Matt.  Maybe the allure wore off a few months earlier too, because it didn’t take long until he was packing his bags and swearing that he could make more money in tech for far less strife. Maybe there was some truth to that, although Matt’s ain’t here for the money.
That being said, he doesn’t know what he is here for, but that’s a question for another day when he doesn’t have to write 1,000 words on the functions and methods of Presidential intelligence briefings.
His eyes are starting to cross as he skims through columns of tiny, encyclopedic fonts, spared only by the occasional image or chart.  Absentminded solace sits in the uneven tap of his pencil, resting just between his first and second finger, eraser bouncing off of his books.  They don’t warn kids about the paperwork before recruiting them.  If in his senior year of high school, the Army recruiter had told him he’d be writing the same essays, only harder, longer, and on far less accessible information, Matt imagines he may have explored other professions more thoroughly before signing his name on the dotted line.
Of course, it wouldn’t have changed much, but at least he would’ve had a better idea of what he was getting himself into.  Maybe he would’ve practiced his thesis writing just as strictly as he ran his miles or trained his pushups.
He hears a woman’s voice, passing through the hallway on the other side of his door, and his mind wanders to Abby and Rachel.  They’re probably turning in analytical works of art, with strong arguments and critical discussion.  They’re smart like that—both of them, even if in their different ways.  For his part, Matt prefers translation and working with other peoples’ words, because he keeps stumbling over his own.  If he keeps falling one step behind, eventually he’s going to get lapped.
Would it really be so bad, if he didn’t graduate?
At some point he’ll have to come to terms with the fact that Lincoln may be a hardass, but he ain’t a dumbass.  Before he left for Camp Peary, Matt had a good, safe job with the Army, stationed at a desk.  Maybe it hadn’t been the most exciting, and maybe it wasn’t the most challenging, but Cooper had treated him right.  They had given him a good set of headphones and a decent salary that could feed a family someday.
Matt’s wanted a family his whole life.  He’s only wanted to join the CIA for a few months.  Maybe his short-lived roommate had been onto something, allowing the allure to fade.
He turns another page of his book at the same time there’s a knock on the door.
It’s too light to be one of the guys, but it lacks the usual shave-and-a-haircut rhythm that Abby carries in her fist. On his way over, shuffling across carpet in the fading light, he pieces together that it must be one of the guards, making some kind of round—although it’s strange that they would start patrolling now, when so many weeks have already gone by.
He pulls the door open wide, a natural welcome in his words.  “Evenin’, how can I help—?”
He doesn’t get the full sentence out before two pairs of hands grab him at each shoulder and yank him into the hallway.  His heart jumps up into his throat, then sinks into his stomach, and there’s an innate cruelty to the immediacy of it all.  In a single second, his night has gone from quiet to chaos, and he just doesn’t have the mind to keep up with it.
No explanation.  No reasoning.  “What in the Hell is going on here?”
One of the gentleman says something low in his ear, but he doesn’t catch it above screams coming from down the hall—or rather, battle cries.  Abby has her own grab team assigned to her, four against one, and they still seem to be outmatched.  She’s kicking, and punching, and swearing up a storm, right up until the biggest guy on her team wraps his arms around her waist and plucks her from the crowd
Rachel’s just behind her, escorted out of their room by a pair of much calmer guards.  “Calm down,” Matt hears her say.  “It’s just a test.”
“I know it’s a test,” Abby spits, as she squirms and shoves.  “Why do you think I’m fucking fighting? And why aren’t you fighting?”
“Who says I’m not?”  As she says it, she elbows both of her guards in the ribs, then shoves their hunched bodies face first into the linoleum.  She starts towards Abby’s team next, with the kind of fervor that belongs to a sister scorned.
Matt has learned a lot about espionage during his stay at The Farm, but one lesson rises above the rest, obvious in every way—when in doubt, do as the Camerons do.
His mind flashes back to his Basic Training, and to his Army drills, and to all those nights alone in a Virginian gym.  To racing hearts, and burning muscle, and the long, sore days that loyally followed.  He uses his top tier military training to twist himself out of one hold, then two, and sooner rather than later, his guards are on their backs with the wind knocked out of him.
There’s a pang of guilt, and he considers helping them back up to their feet, at least, but then his mind wanders, curiously, to Zeke.  Your kindness will get you killed.
He runs after the girls to help, although it’s maybe a little predictable that they don’t seem to need much assistance.  Abby’s already tumbled out of her hold and knocked one guy onto the ground.  He doesn’t appear to be getting back up, and Matt doesn’t blame him, because Rachel’s got a right hook that would make even Muhammad Ali shrivel.  
A second guy tries to sneak up behind Rachel while she’s already handling the first.  Maybe he has the element of surprise on his side, but Matt finds it easy to pull this guy from the pack, and jam him into a wall, forearm pinning his neck.  “Didn’t your mamas ever teach you boys not to hit a lady?” he says, but he elbows the guy in his nose before an answer comes, and his body slides limp down the wall.
Rachel’s guy joins the pile on the floor by the time Matt turns around.  She looks to Matt, then to the unconscious guard, then back up at Matt with something that resembles respect.  “Thanks,” she says, just about out of breath.
He nods, cautiously.  Talking to Rachel feels a lot like trying to approach a deer—move too quickly, and he’ll scare her right off.  “Sure.”
“They’re not going to stop here,” she says.  “They’ve got a plan for us, and it’s going to happen whether we like it or not.”
It only sends Matt’s heart further into overdrive.  “So then what do we do?”
It’s Abby who answers, from way down the hall.  “We keep fighting,” she says.  “Until we can’t anymore.”
Sure enough, the sisters are right.  Of course they are.  Abby acts as their first line of defense, but it becomes clear, as time progresses, that their attackers are only getting stronger, and that their unofficial trio is only getting more tired, and that Rachel’s theory had been as true as fact.  Their capture is inevitable, and they’re only making it harder on themselves.
Yet they fight, because sometimes it is all a person can do.  Sometimes it takes a hard, hopeless, down-to-the-bones kind of scrap for a man to feel like he’s done all he can—and for him to feel like that is enough, in the end.  Matt takes down his share of guards elbowing his way through the ranks one hit at a time, inching ceaselessly ahead in pursuit of unlikely success.
By the time Lincoln walks in, the girls are at Matt’s back as he leads the charge against the oncoming storm.  As usual, Lincoln’s expression reads as unamused, unimpressed, and completely uninterested in whatever Matt has to say for himself.  “Mr. Morgan,” he says.  “That’s quite enough.”
Lincoln reaches his hand out quicker than Matt can deflect it.  It lands at his collar, with pressure along his neck, and these are the final details that Matt remembers before the world falls to black.
Some time passes, although he doesn’t know how much.
He awakes to the pounding of his heart against the inside of his skull, dry and overwhelming.  It rings in his ears, alongside a harsh, flickering light.  Sleep resists as he peels his eyes open, his mouth thick and his blood hot.  
He catches sight of his arms, first—bruised up, with a handful of scratches and cuts.  They spot up all along his arm, starting at his shoulder and crawling down to his forearm.  They seem to have clasped some sort of gear to his right wrist, clunky and silver without any kind of display.  It’s heavy, and so he lets it fall to the icy floor.
He sits atop cracked concrete and, when he’s finally able to look outside of himself, he realizes that the whole room is made of harsh, manufactured stone.  There’s a steel door and no windows, and the light is still flickering.
Maybe his body is still in fight mode, because he stands, uneven on his feet, and charges the door, landing three sturdy raps with the side of his first.  “Hey!” he calls out, to anyone who will listen.  “Hey, you can’t do this—let me out of here.”
There is no answer.  He doesn’t expect one.  If one thing is clear about this room, it is that he is completely and utterly alone.
It’s a test, just like Rachel had warned Abby, and it’s not real.  None of it is real.  Somewhere behind the curtain, Lincoln is pulling the strings, and Lincoln’s not likely to kill him.  Lincoln’s not even likely to beat and torture him.  There are lines that not even Camp Peary will cross and he’s safe, even if working under the illusion that he’s not.
But Matt’s stomach rumbles.  And that damned light is flickering.  And it’s cold—damn cold.  Maybe the situation isn’t real, but its elements definitely are, and a shiver runs down Matt’s back.
A woman screams from another cell.  It’s Abby, not Rachel, because Rachel would never scream.  And even if it isn’t Abby, it’s Abby to him, and his heart shreds into bile at the base of his gut.  He pounds urgently on the door again, but it only serves to add more bruises to his collection, and so he slides back down to the floor.
With nothing left to do, he brings his hands together at his knees, fingers interlaced, and the frost of his breath falls over his knuckles.  His head aches, and his joints are stiff, and there’s another scream.  “Hail Mary, full of grace—”
There’s a metallic banging against his door, and laughter that he can’t place to a face.  “Hope you’re not tired,” calls an unfamiliar voice.  “‘Cause you won’t be gettin’ sleep for a long time.”
Matt’s grip tightens.  “The Lord is with thee…”
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raziroo · 10 months ago
Karma | The Marauders
[Chapter 1] Birthday 
Karma was excited. Even an ill-sighted person could sense that; the girl oozed happiness and giddiness and all that good stuff. After all, it was Peter's twelfth birthday today, and she'd brought him a gift. Made a gift, more so.
See, Peter Pettigrew was a mousy boy with straw-like hair who the girl had befriended when she'd first been shifted to this orphanage, here in London. Before, she was stuck in an orphanage back in India, and although she was sure the orphanage must have been a home for several kids who hadn't had the luck to meet a loving, caring family who'd adopt them. But all Karma could associate with Shri Ram Manohar Lahiya orphanage in Lucknow, was... nothing, really.
The girl was four when she'd been shifted from India to London, and she had no recollection of anything that had taken place there, she'd been young, and all her tiny body wished for was a plate of food, and a couple toys to play with.
And after all, a wise man once said, there was no use trying to remember the forgotten past, or in knowing of the unknown future; all we have is the present, and how we make use of it. Karma strongly believed in that, and so she had never given much thought to her past. She was happy now, seven years later, with Morgan and Jade, her two best friends, and Peter, the sweet, shy boy who was a year older than her and lived down the street.
She and Morgan would often go play with Peter, whilst Jade would just sit on the sidelines, content with watching.
It was currently 11 a.m. on August 27th, and Karma was excited to see how well her plan would work.
So, being the conductor of the whole thing, despite just being 11, the girl nonchalantly walked to Peter's home, ready to escort him to her and Jade's room, which was decked in streamers made of newspapers, and a tinfoil banner that screamed 'HAPPY BIRTHDAY!'. Just as the girl was about to rap her knuckles on the Pettigrews' home's mahogany door, the door was opened by Miss Pettigrew.
The lady, however, soon moved aside, and a young boy, around Peter's age, came stumbling out, followed by two others, and Peter himself. The boys all looked like they'd been doing some... typical boy stuff, and so the shallow breaths and heaving of chest. The girl tore her eyes away from them, and instead greeted Miss Leona Pettigrew. "Morning, Miss Pettigrew," Karma said with a light smile.
The woman smiled back. "Hello, honey. How're you doing?"
Karma answered, only a hint of her smile present. "I'm doing surprisingly well, how about you?" the girl was referring to the fever Leona had been suffering with, only a couple days prior.
"I'm fine as well, definitely better than before," the woman chuckled a bit. "I'm assuming you're here to meet Peter?"
"Yes," the girl seemed unapologetic about her short answer.
"Well, Peter's outside, as I'm sure you've noticed," the woman smiled, as Karma stole another glance at the group of boys.
"I've noticed, alright. I'll... talk to Peter outside, you can continue whatever you were doing," the girl said as she noticed Leona open her mouth. Said woman smiled warmly at the girl, and then closed the door.
Karma turned to Peter and co.
"Who are they, Pete?"
Peter seemed nervous, perhaps at the way the girl's eyes were scanning over each of the boys calculatingly. "Um, these are my friends," the girl whipped her neck towards him, and he corrected his blunder. "From school. That's James, Sirius, and Remus."
Karma scanned each of the boys as her friend told her about them. 'James' was an average heighted boy with a nest for hair, tan skin, and glasses not much unlike her own; he looked to be athletic. 'Sirius' was a boy with a striking face for a twelve-year-old, hair that was longer than James', and skin that was ivory. The last boy, 'Remus', had a striking face as well, just in a very different context than Sirius – the pale-skinned boy had scars running across the entirety of his face. And now that she noticed, his hands, or the parts of them which weren't covered by a sweater, had scars littered, too. The boy further had sandy brown hair, few fractions honey, and the occasional golden strand. By far, Karma declared Remus as the only one she'd think of befriending.
"Oh," Karma said as she looked back at Peter. "Friends from the same school that you left all your friends behind for? The boarding school?" Peter gulped. His school had been a sensitive topic that the mousy boy had avoided ever since he'd been accepted. Karma hadn't meant to make him nervous, really. It was just that, ever since he'd returned from his mysterious school, he seemed to always be on the phone with his friends, writing letters to his friends. These friends of his seemed to have a more important place in his heart than his real friends. And now, seeing these friends of his face to face, it left her feeling even sourer.
"You know that I didn't really have that many friends here. Its always just been you and Jade and Morgan, really." Peter shrugged, as his friends watched the interaction with curious eyes.
Karma frowned. "Exactly."
Peter had a fleeting look of realization cross his face, and then turned to the boys.
Remus, noticing his friend's distress, spoke up. "I understand that you're Peter's-"
"Friend, yes. And I understand that you're his friends as well, and I respect that. But what I neither understand, nor like, is the fact that Peter seems to have lost his ability to speak." Karma jumped her eyebrows at Peter, who looked even more nervous.
"But it's his birthday, and you're his friends, and you're here, so that means you'll be coming along to... whatever little bit we've managed to put together for him," Karma said as her eyes quickly roamed across the boys' faces, and she turned and expected them to follow her. They did.
"P-party?" peter asked.
"Yes, Peter, party. Sort of."
"But I thought that you were mad at me."
"That I was. But I need to understand and respect the fact that you are not some sort of property, you are a human who is entitled to socialize with anyone and everyone you wish to."
Peter could only raise his eyebrows a bit, at the girl's formal tone. His friends all exchanged a look amongst each other, bewildered at the fact that Peter cared so much about this girl's friendship. Sure, Peter had always been shy and nervous and fluster-y around new people, but he'd barely ever mentioned a friend he had. A female friend.
The children were all lead across the road to an old, worn down three-storey building with crumbling, rust-shade bricks. There were two steps leading to the building's entrance, which had a board that read 'BEAUREGARDE CHILDREN'S ORPHANAGE' plastered over the door. The door, that was basically just glass with oak wood as a frame, lead to a room that was neither too big nor too small, it was the reception. An old, grumpy-looking woman was sat behind a wooden table, and just by looking at her one could understand that she was, indeed, Mrs. Beauregarde, the supreme commander of the orphanage that the eleven-year-old Karma called home. With a frail, wiry frame that could topple over by just a strong gust of wind, a neck longer than considered normal, chapped lips and wrinkly skin, the woman certainly didn't appear too kind. And unkind the woman was.
Orphanages are often run by people who genuinely care about the children and helping them out. Then, occasionally, of course come people like Mrs. Beauregarde. The woman was... strange. Her voice was shrill, and the way she screamed, it would appear that the children were as good as torturing her, when it was quite the opposite. Gertrude Beauregarde did as much for the children of her orphanage as a stranger would, perhaps even lesser. Regularly, the children would receive tasteless porridge and grainy biscuits and bread similar to tiles, for breakfast; mashed potatoes and pepper-y gravy with rice for lunch; and runny cabbage soup and vegetable stew, for dinner. Of course, there were eggs and omelettes and chicken as well, but Karma, being raised vegetarian, never ate any of that.
The children all shared rooms in pairs, and the rooms seemed to end before they even started. With one bunk bed, one dresser, and a window that provided minimal amount of light, the room had just enough space to move around. The bathrooms at the end of each floor, although clean, were barely functional. It was no odd sight for a plumber to come and fix the orphanage's bathrooms routinely, and go away with a long face, because Beauregarde rarely ever paid the needed fees.
All in all, the orphanage was not in its best condition, and Beauregarde made no effort to make it that way.
As the boys were all lead to her room, Karma's insides were quivering. She'd been planning this for quite a long time, and even if it wasn't an A-grade celebration with cake and all, she'd spent two months' worth of her pocket money for this and the gift.
It was a big deal, and she hoped Peter liked it.
"Wow." That was the entirety of Peter's reaction upon seeing the decorations in Karma and Jade's room. In all honesty, the decorations weren't all that. It was just a bit of newspaper and tinfoil and run-out felt tip pens and drying paint which worked only if you added two more parts of water. Karma had tried her best, really, but with minimal amount of pocket money and affordable-decorations, that was all she could manage to whip up.
However, it seemed that Peter was happy, and that was enough.
"I know that it isn't much, and you would probably be happier off with your school friends, but I wanted to do something for you – we all did, and this was all I could manage, so revel in your fifteen minutes of fame," Karma said. Jade and Morgan nodded.
"We really did try to get everything we could, but with Beauregarde getting grumpier by the day, she doesn't really give us the needed amount of pocket money," this was from Jade.
"We had to fight with that grouchy slouch to even be allowed to bring you in this room," added Morgan with a distasteful look on her face.
"No, no, i- it's, thanks," Peter said earnestly, blood rushing to his face. Karma believed him.
"Well, uh... rejoice!" Morgan exclaimed. "...I guess..."
And so the 'party' commenced. Peter was enjoying, and his friends all looked to be having a good time, too. With an eventual cake – made of bread and a lot of chocolate spread – coming in, and the guests (Pete's friends) and the birthday boy himself seeming to enjoy themselves, it was safe to say that the 'party' was a success. Even if it lasted merely 30 minutes.
Eventually, time came for Peter and co. to go; Morgan and Jade had gone off to steal a bit of leftover breakfast. Karma had stayed behind; she had a gift to give Peter.
"Pete. Before you go, happy birthday once again. I... have a little something for you," the black-haired girl pulled out a bag from her dresser drawer, and gave it to Peter. The boy, seeming intrigued, slowly took the bag and peeked in to have a look at its contents.
His eyebrows furrowed, and he then shoved a hand down the bag, and brought out a doll of sorts. The doll, if you could even call it that, was made out of... rags, it seemed? And was sewn together with several colored threads, making it look incredibly messy. With button eyes, and a cloth-scrap smile, the doll looked creepy, at least.
"This... is the gift... you wished to give our friend?" Sirius asked, exchanging a look with Remus and James. "A rag doll? A literal rag doll?" James added to the incredulousness of the situation, eyebrows touching the hairline.
Karma seemed slightly flustered. Only slightly. "Oh no, no," the girl shook her head, snatching the bag and doll, and examining the latter. "This... this is a voodoo doll me and Peter made, don't you remember, Pete?" the girl looked up at the straw-haired boy expectantly.
His eyes squinted, brows furrowed in concentration, the boy suddenly exclaimed. "Ah! Yeah, yeah, I remember, alright! You were seven, right?"
"Yes!" Karma nodded her head enthusiastically. "I was seven, and you were eight, and I was mad at Reid and Connie for some reason, and felt that they needed to be punished, and that I wanted to stab them, and you said 'We can, Karma,' and I was like, 'How, Pete?', and you said-!"
"VOODOO MAGIC!" the children both exclaimed that together, and burst into a fit of giggles. The other three just stared at them as if they were unhinged.
"Wha-? Are you both alright, 'cause to me it seems you've both gone off your rocker," James said, looking disturbed.
"Yes, what... what do dolls have to do with magic?" Sirius looked genuinely baffled, but to Karma it seemed odd. Yes, voodoo and black magic was a topic that wasn't the most comfortable one to discuss, but surely Sirius knew of it?
"You don't know what voodoo magic is?" Karma asked, a half smile still present on her face.
The boys had all stiffened, except for Sirius, who still seemed befuddled. "Uh, he..." Peter started, but trailed off, looking around uncomfortably.
"Sirius, his, um, uh... mother! His mother!" James exclaimed out of the blue, startling Karma.
"His mother what?"
"His mother is... extremely religious, so witchcraft and voodooism isn't something, you know, to be dwelled upon," Remus said, and the boys nodded.
"But my mother-!" Sirius didn't get a chance to finish, however, because Gertrude Beauregarde suddenly barged in.
"Ey, kid!" Karma groaned and turned around, knowing that if Beelzebub herself was here, then the issue was non-negotiable. "The woman is here, she needs to talk to you."
"I'm coming, Bee- uh, Miss Beauregarde," Karma said with a weak smile. Beauregarde grunted, mumbled something about "pain in the arse," and then left, still grumbling to herself.
Turning to Peter, Karma mouthed, "Just a second," and then was off to rummage through her drawers, all while muttering constantly. The boys were all trying to explain to Sirius what voodoo meant, in hushed whispers.
Finally, the girl pulled out a pouch of some kind, and held it out to Peter. The boy in question instantaneously put his hand inside, and this time, instead of a voodoo doll, he brought out a beautiful frame made of twigs and a couple blue flowers and leaves. The flowers were fake, and so were the leaves. The boys all took the frame in their hand individually, admiring it, and suddenly Karma was at the receiving end of a meteor shower of compliments. Heat rose to her cheeks, but due to her complexion, it wasn't really visible.
After a lot of 'Thank you's and 'This is beautiful's, and 'You're welcome's, Karma had left the room to speak with 'The woman', as she was often referred to as, by the orphanage's children.
Karma was met by Morgan and Jade in the midst of her journey to Beauregarde's office, and she'd motioned for the girls to escort the boys out of the orphanage.
Throughout her journey, Karma's mind had been clouded with one question. What did the woman want with her?
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'No one's looking out for us. not for the Slytherins.'
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fjordswallowsswords · a year ago
ONESHOT: Prejudice and Pride
Co-Posted on Ao3 under “FjordSwallowsSwords”
WARNINGS: anti-LGBTQIA+ slurs in context, mentions of police brutality (mildly), Biphobia, Aphobia and agression towards LGBTQIA+ 
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 confidence and self-respect as expressed by members of a group, typically one that has been socially marginalized, on the basis of their shared identity, culture, and experience.
It isn't possible to love and part. You will wish that it was. You can transmute love, ignore it, muddle it, but you can never pull it out of you. I know by experience that the poets are right: love is eternal. ~     E.M. Forster
It was warm, sun shining bright, and the air was filled with distorted music and shouting as Dr. Spencer Reid and Agent Emily Prentriss made their way back to work after their break.
Reid eyed his half-empty coffee cup suspiciously. “Ever since they reopened that place, their coffee’s been tasting weird. Don’t you think?”
“I think it’s a wonder you can even taste the coffee under all that sugar and syrup… d’you hear that?”
Reid stopped and listened. “The protest?”
“There’s a protest?”
“It was on the paper, yeah... an activist group got their right to march today…”
They kept walking, crossed the street and yup, sure enough, there was the aforementioned protest. Rainbow banners, signs written on cardboard, a group of youngsters marching and shouting.
“Two, Four, Six, Eight! How Do You Know Your Kids Are Straight?”
“Hey, hey! Ho, ho! Homophobia's got to go!”
“We’re here! We’re queer! We shouldn’t have to live in fear!”
“Could have told me this was a pride protest.” Emily gave Reid a small bump against the shoulder.
Emily just raised an eyebrow at that. Realization crept onto Reid’s face.
“Oh. Yeah. Well… even if I had told you, it’s not like you could have jumped right into it. You’re working!”
“Good, you’re back.”
Garcia handed Reid and Emily each a file as soon as they stepped through the door.
“Aaaaand a good morning to you, too…” Emily started flipping through the pages. “New case?”
“You guessed it.”
“Two teenagers, dead, one last week, the other… just this morning?” Reid frowned and looked at the two photos attached to the file. One showed a Caucasian boy with dark hair, the other one a dark-skinned girl with neon pink braids. “Death by… asphyxiation, but no signs of ropes et cetera… so likely not suicide… No physical resemblance.”
“And they probably didn’t even know each other”, Morgan added from his seat. “Different schools, different parts of the city, different interests.”
“Then how are these connected?”, Emily asked.
“In no way but one. Look at the back of your files.”
Reid nodded and promptly went to the last page. There were two photos, side by side… just a few words, painted onto a wall with dark teal marker. You don’t belong!
“Belong where?”, Morgan asked, as if thinking out loud. “I mean, this could be anything, could be… referring to a club, a team of sorts…”
“Unlikely.” Reid shook his head. “You just said they didn’t share any similarities. The chances of them wanting to be in the same club are… slim.”
“Well, they must have had something in common.” JJ said. “At least we know it wasn’t a racially motivated crime.”
“Do we?” Emily raised her eyebrows. “Maybe the boy supported the Black community and got targeted because of that?”
“Doesn’t make sense with the message.” Reid frowned. “Were any kind of interviews done? With parents, friends and so on?”
“A few”, Morgan confirmed. “But neither families know anything, and no similarities as far as we know.”
Emily sighed and slammed the files down on the table. “Okay, so, what do we do now?”
“Garcia will look into both victims online presence and possible medical records”, Morgan explained. “JJ and Emily, you’ll will go question the family and neighbours of Eliza once again, Reid and I question James’ family. Can’t ever be too sure.”
Well, said and done. The apartment of late James’ family was close by and so Morgan and Reid decided to walk. On their way, they passed the protesters again. They had stopped their march to kneel on the road, banners and flags high above their heads.
A young woman with a megaphone was the only one standing. “We are here!”, she called out, and the other protesters all around her echoed the same words.
“We are queer!”
“We are queer!”
“We shouldn’t have to live in fear!”
“We shouldn’t have to live in fear!”
“They have a point.” Reid stumbled, too busy looking at the signs.
James’ father, Mr. Merver, a tall man with dark hair, greying at the temples, opened the door for them, and after a small introduction he let them in.
“My, uh, wife is at her mother’s place. She’s still very shaken.” He pointed at a blue door. “That’s James’ room. Try not to mess it up as you search it, will you?”
“Actually, I wanted to ask you some more questions first, is that okay?” Morgan pointed at Reid. “My colleague will look through the room though.”
“Oh, yeah. Sure…”
Reid took this as his cue to move past them, open the door and entered.
It looked just like any normal teenage boy’s room. Light blue walls, a few posters, a shelf, bed, wardrobe… of course the big, conspicuous writing over the bed. You don’t belong.
Reid swallowed and started looking. It didn’t take long, there was nothing helpful. No letters, no diary, hell, there weren’t even so many books, and most of them were age 9-12, clearly hadn’t been read in a long while… dust piling on them…
Except for one. It was part of a series called Magic Treehouse with second title Warriors in Winter. It had a roman soldier on the cover… and a small bookmark stuck in the front.
Carefully, Reid pulled it out. It was a white postcard with a pink-blue-purple watercolour gradient painted on the one side. The back had a photo taped to it. It showed a few kids, teenaged and a bit older, standing arm in arm in a line, some of them with colourfully dyed hair, all of them different ethnicities, but with colourful stripes painted on their cheeks. They looked happy, stood tall. Their shirts were black with white pronouns printed on them.
A girl with long red hair had one with she/her, same as a tall boy (who apparently wasn’t actually a boy?) who help two fingers up behind James’ head. And next to James… stood Eliza. The other teen that had been found.
Emily had meanwhile found the same photo in Eliza’s room, hidden in an old baby album.
“So they did know each other”, she said once they reconvened. “And we also now also know what they had in common and why none of the family members knew.”
“We do?”, Hotch asked. Emily rolled her eyes.
“Both were either part of or supporting the LGBTQ”, she explained, holding up the photo she had found in Eliza’s room.
“Actually it’s LGBTQIA+”, Reid interjected. “But yes, that’s what they have in common. It also explains the message – members of the LGBTQIA+ have been targets of hate crimes at least since the 1960s, or rather, that’s when reports of those hate crimes begin.”
“In 2013, 20.8% of hate crimes reported to police was founded on perceived sexual orientation or gender identity, and that is just the ones that were actually reported. The gray number is much bigger probably. We don’t have any newer numbers but they numbers probably only have gone up.”
“And police violence against LGBTQ+ people is also a thing”, Garcia piped up. “Just… just saying.”
“So the message could mean both Eliza and James are LGBTQ and therefor, in opinion of the unsub, don’t belong to the normal population?”, Morgan concluded. “What does that leave us with?”
“Probably a middle-aged white person”, Emily said. “Likely male, very conservative. Middle or upper class…” JJ sighed. “That isn’t much to work with…”
“Maybe the other people in the photo know more”, Hotch suggested. “They seem to be friends with our first two victims.”
Reid nodded and looked at the photo again. “Wait a second… The girl here, the redhead, I’ve seen her at the protest today!”
“Are you sure?”
“She… yeah I remember her sign…”
Before he was even aware he was acting, Reid was on his feet and out the door, Emily and Derek on his heels.
The protest had ended, but a few people were still around, no longer really protesting – when the three agents approached, they saw that a mob of white folks had formed, that surrounded the colourful group of protesters, shouting loudly…
A piercing scream cut through the air. Reid’s head flew around and he saw a the familiar redheaded girl stumble backwards, her hand flying up to her temple, another scream coming from her lips, a man with something small and bloodied in his hand standing above her, shouting “Fuck off you fucking dyke!” – He acted in a flash. Jumped between them, grabbed the thing, a water bottle, solid metal, pushed the man back – “On your way, sir! Now, get… just go, go!” – Emily and Derek backed him up, weapons obvious at their belts, and the man scowled, spat out, right into Reid’s face, then walked off…
“Are you okay?” Reid turned around to the girl as his two colleagues broke up the mob. She was still holding her head, blood on her face, in her copper hair, on her shirt… He reached out to try and take a look at the damage, but the girl shrieked and jumped backwards – “GET AWAY FROM ME!”
“Hey, hey, I’m not here to hurt you!” He lifted both hand next to his face. “See? Unarmed. I just wanna help!”
“Yeah sure.” The girl scoffed. “Why the fuck should I trust you?”
Before Reid could answer, there was another girl, darker, taller and leaner, pushing past him, wrapping her arms around the redhead.
“You okay?”, she asked. “He hurt you? Lemme see, here…”
She carefully pried her hands off the other girl’s face, revealing a nasty but probably harmless laceration. “Ouuuu shit… Yo, we need some help over here!”
“Hernandez, I am fine.” The redhead squeezed her eyes shut and hissed as she took a breath. “Mr. Blue Copper intervened…”
“I, I’m not a cop”, Reid said, crouching down as the other girl, Hernandez, lowered her friend to the ground, so that she sat on the edge of the road. “My name is Spencer Reid, I’m with the FBI…”
“Same thing.” The redhead winced. A boy with green long hair came over, handing Hernandez a small kit. Hernandez thanked him and started cleaning her friend’s face and to bandage her wound.
“Listen, I…” Reid handed her the photo. “Is that you?”
“Maybe. Ouch, fuck…” “Sorry.” Hernandez looked at Reid, then at Emily and Derek who now stood close by. “What do you want? We’re within our rights, we were allowed to march today. Those men attacked Rosie, not vice versa.”
“We know that, don’t worry”, Derek said, crouching down himself now. “We are here to figure something out.”
“This about James and Knight?”, Hernandez asked.
“James and Eliza”, Derek corrected.
“That’s Knight.” Rosie took a bottle of water from the greenhaired boy and drank in big gulps. “Their nickname’s… was… Knight… is this about them?” “Yes.” Spencer held up the photo again. “So this is you?”
“Obviously.” The girl nodded. “Wha-what do you need me for?”
“Are you investigating their murders or their non-existent crimes?”, Hernandez asked sharply.
“Their murders”, Emily said. “The local police couldn’t find anything on the murder. We wondered if their friends knew more. Only their families were interviewed and they didn’t know anything.” “We don’t know either”, Rosie said. “But we have an idea.”
“Not a who, but a why.” The redhead took a deep breath. “We’re a little group that stands for the oppressed within the oppressed.”
“What does that mean?”, Derek asked.
“It means… that even within the LGBTQIA+, some are facing discrimination from others”, Rosie said. “Bi and asexual people especially, nonbinary folks too. It’s not all of them, but there are gay girls being hostile against bi girls, people who claim asexuals aren’t actually LGBTQ+ and so on. We had this theory after we heard about James, he’s… was… bi and had a few people anonymously post pretty rude comments under his stuff… and the slogan over his bed… and Knight – Eliza – was nonbinary and ace.”
“The slogan? You mean the message?”, Derek asked. Rosie nodded.
“Yeah. Some, some anonymous folks online used it as a hashtag – to bully those they didn’t think that fit into the LGBTQ scene. Bi, ace, enby folks, gays who don’t fit the cliché image of what gay folks should look like, nonbinaries who don’t look androgynous enough for their liking and so on…”
“Were there any death threats posted under that hashtag?”, Spencer asked.
“Not as far as I know”, Rosie said. “Just reposts of the pride flags, Instagram photos of ace and bi and enby people, and the slogan plastered across each new picture.”
“So, basically, we’re back at zero”, Hotch said. “Because instead of for a middle-aged white conservative we are now looking for the one rotten apple in the pile of LGBTQ+ people?”
“Basically, yes.” Reid scratched the back of his head. “We can however exclude anyone who is asexual, bisexual or nonbinary. And if Rosie is right, our unsub is one of the people who used that hashtag online. Garcia, can you hack them?”
“That’s a stupid question for a genius”, Garcia’s voice came from the speaker of Derek’s phone. “I’m already on it. Will take me a while though. That’s several thousand posts with that hashtag, not all of them LGBTQ related… definitely will take me a while…”
“How long is a while?”, JJ asked. “We have no idea when he… or she… will strike again.”
“Actually, Hernandez said that both Eliza and James were at protests the day before they were killed”, Emily interjected. “There was a protest today, and the group that they both were a part of was there too. They’re the most likely to be targeted next since they actively fight against whoever posts under the hashtag #Youdontbelong.”
“The whole group is staying at Rosie’s place, her parents are the only ones that are accepting out of all the member’s parents”, Derek added. “So we should protect those kids right there and wait for Garcia to give us new information.”
“Rosie, can I ask you a question?”
The redheaded girl looked up from the book she was reading.
Spencer bit down on his lower lip before he actually asked. “Earlier today you were actually afraid of us. Why? I mean, I get that police brutality is something the LGBTQIA face, but… any specific reason?”
“Odd question.” Rosie leaned back in her seat. “Two years ago our little group formed and went to our first Pride protest together. It was in October during Asexual Awareness Week… some aphobic… actually just generally anti-LGBTQ… arseholes attacked us. Cops were there. They did separate the mob, but I was knocked against the head, just like yesterday… and also against the shoulder with a blade. I was dizzy and lost orientation… fell… a cop appeared and handed me a soaked washcloth. Told me to use it to clean the wound. I did… and it wasn’t soaked in water at all.” “What was it?”
“Bleach.” She pulled up her sleeve, showing off a healed scar.
Reid hissed. “To be used in first aid, bleach needs to be diluted with water and it’s not recommended...”
“Oh, I know.” Rosie sighed. “I reported him. Full thing. Batch number, description. Nothing. I was told to either let it go or get charged for unauthorized protesting.”
“Not the first time that happened.” Hernandez came over from the window where she had been standing and sat down next to Rosie, wrapping one arm around her shoulders. “Three months ago Rosie and I were… out on a date. A group of boys came up, started shouting Come on, kiss, let’s see how good you are! as if we were their personal real life lesbian porn… then they started throwing trash. Paper cups and tissues they had on them. We tried to report. Got asked what we were doing outside that late in the evening and why we were displaying unprofessional behaviour like that.”
“Hunter once almost got kidnapped once, the police did nothing because he’s trans.”
Rosie’s shoulders slumped. “We don’t trust the police because they don’t protect us. Some of us are safer because we’re white but Hernandez or Knight…”
Silence fell over the room. Reid watched the two girls, then Hunter, the green-haired boy who sat on the couch, then Rosie’s parents who stood in the doorframe, shoulders tense.
He thought about Emily upstairs, JJ and Hotch outside, Morgan in the hallway, waiting for Garcia’s call…
“Can I ask you something?”, Rosie asked. “Huh? Me?”
“Yeah you. Mr. Not-Blue-Copper.”
“Uh… yeah. Sure. Ask ahead.”
Rosie pulled her legs to her chest. “Is this the first LGBTQ+ case your team has worked on?”
His first instinct was to say That’s classified but instead he decided to tell the truth. He shook his head. He expected the girl to ask further, but she just nodded and leaned against her girlfriend’s shoulder.
It took Garcia three hours to finally find out the names.
“Anna Rallay, Sophia Tzech, Matthew Zahn, Thomas Martin and Blake Simmons”, her voice came from the speaker. “Those names ring a bell?”
“Only Blake” Rosie answered. “I went to school with her last year before I changed… she’s super aphobic, kind of should have expected this one…”
“Why?”, Morgan asked. “I used to date a hetero-romantic ace guy. Before I realized I was gay. Blake kept bullying us, saying he’s got no place in the LGBTQ+ because he’s just a prude hetero guy. She’s very much against cis-het people, right out demonizing them, as if their sexuality was their choice or something…” The girl pulled a face.
“You didn’t mention her name when you told us about your suspicions earlier”, Emily noticed.
Rosie shrugged. “Just because she’s aphobic doesn’t mean she’s part of that group, and I didn’t have proof.”
“Well, we might have proof very soon”, Derek said bitterly. “Hey, babygirl, you wouldn’t happen to have any pictures of those kids, would’ya?”
“Already on your phone, my gorgeous honeybadger.”
“You’re an angel, woman.”
“I know.”
“Uh, Derek? Garcia?”, Spencer piped up. “Case? Photos?”
Another good hour later, there was someone at the window, snapping the lock and pushing it up, crawling into the room. They were dressed in black, with gloves, a mask and a small pillow in one hand.
They had undone the lights to make a trap, Rosie’s parents standing still in the kitchen, Emily cowering on top of the stairs, the kids in the living room, Reid watching over them from a dark corner, Morgan in the hallway… the intruder stalked over to where Hernandez and Rosie pretended to sleep… and –
“Hey there! You! Freeze! Drop your… pillow!”
Suddenly, light, weapons drawn, intruder in the open – the pillow they doubtlessly had used to smother Eliza and James in their sleep fell to the floor –
“Remove your mask”, Derek ordered.
Shaking hands reached up and undid the black skimask… revealing a young man with light skin and blue hair…
“Matthew Zahn”, Derek drawled. “Imma have to ask you to come with us.”
The next day, Matthew Zahn had been arrested for the murder of Eliza Knight Vaughan and James Merver as well as the attempted murder of Felicitas Hernandez and Rosie Jones.
Three days later, he was on trial, and the BAU received a small basket full of rainbow-coloured cookies from the group they had helped. The small rainbow flag that was taped to the side mystheriously disappeared, and if the new bookmark Emily used looked suspiciously similar, nobody on the team meantioned it.
Nine days later, Spencer Reid had read over twenty studies and two books on the history and details of LGBTQIA+ identities.
Seventeen days later, there was another Pride march, on the first of June. An online magazine featured a photo of Rosie marching at the front, holding a shield painted in pinks, reds, whites and oranges, which black writing saying My FBI agents support my gay ass!
Several months later, in October, Penelope Garcia noticed that one of Reid’s socks were striped black, grey white and purple. He also wore a small black ring on his right middle finger. She didn’t outright mention it, but a day later, he found a tiny purple plush dragon clutching a plush cake on his desk.
"How many years has it taken people to realize that we are all brothers and sisters and human beings in the human race?" ~ Marsha P. Johnson  
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This is not a warning.
I’m going to share a story with you. One, that I’m sure I don’t want to. Don’t really have a say in the matter here, something is bearing down on me. Making me sit down here in my room, making my fingers fly across the keyboard. I haven’t paused once since starting, which is odd for me.
It’s like I can barely control myself anymore, like I’m a puppet on strings. And I’m not sure I want to try and struggle, because I’m sure whatever is in control, wouldn’t be too happy with me. But strangely enough, I don’t feel like it’d hurt me.
It needs me. That’s for certain.
But what scares me, is how much it doesn’t need my family, my friends. So, here’s my story.
My life up until this week had always been normal, boring even. I’ve got two older sisters, my dad. My oldest sister, Len lives with her girlfriend and her parents. But Willow, dad and I all live in the same single floor house we’ve had for at least twelve years.
My family supports one another, but dad has always pushed us to be as independent as possible. He always calls the world a “dog eat dog” kinda place, and he’s right of course. But sometimes, his resolve to make us independent was a pain.
Like he did with my sisters when they went off to college, dad paid for only half of my tuition, and left the rest to me. He’d also end up taking care of my textbooks, but either way. I spent most summers writing countless essays for scholarship money, doing one-shot commissions, anything to get the cash.
But in the end, the most surefire way of getting money, was always getting a job. So I also spent time flooding open jobs with my resume. And that’s what eventually led to me being here, typing up something I don’t want to. Typing up something I’d rather just forget and consign to oblivion.
I got a call from one of the countless jobs I’d applied for, saying they were impressed by my many hours of community service and prior work in a TV station, and wanted to conduct an interview in person at their own station.
I, eager to start a job, and it being already two weeks into the summer, agreed. The interview would take place the following Tuesday, and after asking my dad, he smiled proudly at the news, but couldn’t drive me there due to work.
The tv station was nearly two hours away by train, but I was feeling exceptionally lazy before the day of the interview had even arrived. So I asked Willow, and ran into the same response. And then I asked Len, and she was free to take me. Or would have been, had her girlfriend not needed the car they shared to attend a funeral.
Running low on patience and people with working or available vehicles, I was starting to wonder if it was really worth the trouble of bothering anyone else about it. But just as I was about to resign myself to a crowded, uncomfortable two hour train ride, I got a text from a friend.
Steven, nice, funny, prankster, had a painfully obvious crush on me, licensed driver…
I debated in my head for a while on my own capacity for cruelty, before shaking my head. I wasn’t being cruel, nor had I ever been. I knew Steven had a crush on me, but I never led him on. I even mentioned a few times out loud how I really wasn’t ever getting into a relationship with anyone. Romantically, sexually, I’d never had any desire for any of that stuff and seriously doubted that I ever would. The only thing that sustained the guy’s crush at this point, was his own stubbornness. And that was not on me.
Plus, if he said no, that’d be the end of it. I wouldn’t try to tempt him or make any promises. I was asking him for a favor, that was it.
And in the end I didn’t even need to do that. After exchanging pleasantries and being asked “what’s going on?”, I told him of my plight and he immediately offered his help. I asked him if he was really sure about it, feeling slightly uncomfortable at his willingness.
He was sure.
He was always sure when it came to me, and frankly, I hated it.
I just hoped someday soon he’d realize how hopeless a relationship between us was, and he’d quit being such a yes-man for me. I felt like I’d done as much as possible, short of screaming “I’m aromantic and don’t like you like that!” in his face. And well, I may not have loved him like that, but he was a good friend. I trusted him, he was always there for me even before he liked me… I didn’t want to fuck that up.
It was only a few days before I was throwing my backpack into the backseat of Steven’s car. Inside the bag was only a few things, a change of clothes for when my interview was done, my tablet, phone charger, and an assortment of other such things.
Steven gave me a two fingered salute as I joined him in the front and strapped in, “Looking sharp Morgan!” He fished his phone out of his pocket and buckled it into the holder on the dash. “You already texted me the address right?”
I nodded with a smile, “Yep. How’s college treating you? Or should I say, how are you treating college?”
Steven opened the address on his phone and grinned, “Wonderfully, and wonderfully. How dare you suggest any different?”
“Because you’re full of shit,” I shot back with a chuckle as I watched him start up the car.
“I’m filled to the brim with sweetness and charm. I am delightful, all my professors say so,” he shifted out of neutral and pulled away from the curb.
I looked forward and nodded slowly, “Uh huh, name one. I’ll email them to make sure.”
“Aw, you will?”
“Drive Steven.”
We spent most of the drive talking over the radio music we weren’t really listening to, catching up on anything we hadn’t covered in our last text conversation. It was nice, something I truly missed about being back home. The serenity of the drive almost distracted me from Steven’s occasional long stares, almost.
Maybe there was no way to settle this infatuation he had for me, peacefully at this point. Not to say that Steven was a violent guy! No way, he’d always been a pacifist, it wasn’t in his nature to hurt people. One time he broke down bawling all because he’d tripped and accidentally headbutted a guy in high school.
But sometimes I had to wonder if anyone else had been in my exact position, and gotten out of it with their friendship intact. Maybe the friendship falling apart was just something that happened when there were unreciprocated feelings. I hoped not.
Anyways, at this point, nothing out of the ordinary had happened.
I got to my interview on time, got out on time, and then I changed out of my formal clothes in a McDonald’s. Steven and I ate, and by the time we were back in the car, it was near 6pm.
I was tired, but not dead tired. And somehow, I think Steven knew it, because he suggested we go to an arcade for an hour or two. As a “reward for always working so hard”, as he put it. It took a bit of nagging, but he eventually convinced me.
I wasn’t tired enough to refuse gaming, but I was tired in a different way. The stress of finding my own tuition money and job alone was starting to wear me down, as Steven so tactfully implied in our game of skeeball. As he dubbed me “cash zombie” after my tenth loss, searching the land for money to devour.
Props to him, it fit how I felt to a T. However, the new nickname inspired me to challenge him to pool. Which I promptly kicked his ass in.
I was having fun until he walked up to me and asked me to show him how to hold the pool stick, with a smirk I gladly showed him. It wasn’t until I glanced up that I realized it wasn’t my technique he was observing.
I stood and then said I wanted to go home. He seemed taken aback but didn’t protest. With the tickets won from all the skeeball, he bought himself a little grumpy dog charm, and bought me a light up pen.
I accepted it with a smile, trying to shake off the deep discomfort that rested heavily in my chest. I was starting to remember why I ended up not going to my first choice college.
We hit the road at 8pm. Steven and I talked for a bit before he realized my eyes were drooping. With a soft laugh, he said I could go to sleep if I wanted to.
I gladly did…
And then woke up only minutes later, for some reason I still don’t understand. But I woke up, and it was dark out. The radio in the car played softly, I watched absently as the dark road was illuminated by Steven’s headlights and nothing else.
I looked over to Steven, his eyes were on the road, a small smile on his face as he hummed to the music. God I never understood how he could smile so much.
He glanced at me, “Couldn’t sleep? Sorry, the radio’s probably too loud.” Without waiting for me to say anything he reached for the volume and turned it lower. It was nearly inaudible now, I sighed.
“The music was fine Steven. Dunno why I woke up really…” I trailed off as I looked out into the near black of night.
“Bad dream maybe?”
“Those usually don’t wake you up a few minutes into sleeping right?”
“I dunno. All I know is that when you’re asleep, your brain doesn’t give a shit if you’ve been asleep for 12 hours or 1, it can still make you have a dream that feels like an entire day has gone by.”
“Yeah those are weird ones,” I muttered to myself, “Well, doesn’t matter. Even if I did have a nightmare I don’t remember it. I was asleep and then I wasn’t.”
We lapsed into silence. I listened to the calm breaths of my friend, the radio’s quiet  voices, I watched small reflectors pass us by, making sure the car kept on the road in the darkness.
Steven sighed, “Don’t even know what song they’re playing anymore, mind if I turn the radio back up?”
“I already said the radio was fine as it was,” I muttered in response, unable to keep a little annoyance from slipping into my voice.
With a soft laugh Steven reached for the volume and turned the knob. A voice could now clearly be heard. “There we…” Steven started but then trailed off as the voice continued speaking.
I looked over to the radio and blinked as I listened to what was coming out from it. “You’re deaf. You’re blind. You’re mute. You’re deaf. You’re blind. You’re mute,” I recognized the voice as the woman that usually did commercial breaks and announced what song was up next. I listened to the station often, so I knew it was definitely her.
Steven and I exchanged a few unsure glances, and I felt a confused smile pull at my face, I saw the same almost appear on Steven’s face as well. But then she said it again. “You’re deaf. You’re blind. You’re mute. You’re deaf. You’re blind. You’re mute. You’re deaf. You’re blind. You’re mute. You’re deaf. You’re blind. You’re mute.”
She continued the monotonous chant in a hollow voice, and the longer Steven and I just sat there listening, the more tightly my chest clenched in discomfort. I opened my mouth and swallowed to try and get rid of the dry feeling that had settled in my throat, “Wh…why isn’t her crew stopping her…”
Steven let out a soft laugh that sounded forced in every way, his voice was tinged in fear, “Maybe it’s uh…a prank? Hell of a good one I’d say!”
Meanwhile the chant had begun to make me antsy, I glanced around us, we were alone on the road and there were still no streetlights in sight. “You’re deaf. You’re blind. You’re mute,” what the hell did it mean?
I looked back at the radio to see Steven reaching out to hit something, maybe the change station button, the power button, but his hand just hovered in midair shaking ever so slightly, like he was scared to interrupt the incessant chant.
I quickly raised a hand to grab his wrist, “H-hold up.” There was something off about the woman’s voice. I placed my fingers on the volume, and looked at Steven. He was trying to keep his eyes on the road, but his eyes kept going from me to the radio. I frowned and took both of my hands away, “Stop the car.”
Steven gave me a look that was somehow both relieved and wary, but slowed us to a halt and put the emergency lights on. I nodded to him, “Thanks. I…I just want to check something.” Steeling myself, I reached for the volume again, and turned it up ever so slightly.
After a moment of not hearing any change, I turned it up again, more this time. The car was now filled with the woman’s chanting, making it louder hadn’t helped my nerves, but it did help me pick out one more disturbing aspect.
“Is…is that her crew?” I looked to see if Steven heard it too. There was an overlap, like they were all around the microphone chanting, but one or more of them couldn’t say it at the exact same pacing. Judging by Steven’s expression, he heard exactly what I had. His face was pale, his hands were clenching and unclenching in his lap.
He gave me a nervous smile, “Uh, h-hey Morgan, c-c-can we switch stations now? This prank has uh, outlived itself.”
I felt my head move to nod numbly before I could really think about it. As opposed to before, Steven’s hand jumped to hit the change station button.
There was normal, calming music. Well, as calming as country could be, but opposed to the chanting? It was a nice change of atmosphere. The relief in the car was palpable, Steven sighed and I sunk into my seat. I laughed a bit, “Holy shit!”
Steven chuckled nervously, obviously not understanding why I was so tickled. And to be honest, I wasn’t. It felt more like a reflex to counter how unnerving the situation had been. “Yeah they uh, they got us good. Weird though, it’s the beginning of summer, not Halloween, not April Fools. Why would they…”, Steven started before shaking his head with a huff.
He was rattled, and I understood, I was too. It had only been two minutes or so, but being out on country roads in near complete dark, and hearing a whole radio station chanting for seemingly no reason, was just downright creepy.
Steven took a deep breath before smiling over at me, “Well that does give me a hell of an idea for a party prank, so I’ll consider this a learning experience!” He put his hands back on the wheel and turned his emergency lights off.
The music cut out to static, I looked at the radio in confusion. And went cold when a different chorus of voices began to chant. “Hear the words, perceive their worth, speak their truth.”
I just stared as the words continued to resound through the car, and in an attempt to make sense of the situation, I went for my phone.
“Wh-what are you doing calling the cops?” Steven asked me in a voice tinged with fear.
I wasn’t, “I’m finding out if there’s a blog post or something about this, maybe it’s a secret event or something. Like, you scan across all the stations working together to uh, y’know figure out a secret message first and get a free cruise or some shit. I don’t know! Something!” I was grasping at straws but it was all I had.
Steven just nodded and seemed to jump onboard with my theory, “I-I’ll check the other stations.” He hit the next station button while my browser took forever to load up Google.
It was only silent for a moment before the car was filled with voices again, different voices, but the same chant as before. “Hear the words, perceive their worth, speak their truth. Hear the words, perceive their worth, speak their truth. Hear the words, perceive their worth, speak their truth.”
There hadn’t even been any music. Steven hit the next button, no change and my browser still hadn’t loaded up. Same chant, different voices.
“Hear the words, perceive their worth, speak their truth. Hear the words, perceive their worth, speak their truth. Hear the words, perceive their worth, speak their truth.”
He hit next again, and my browser quit loading giving me the timeout page. As the exact same chant surfaced from the silence again, I let out a shuddering breath and hit the reload button and silently begged for it to work.
Even if this was some sort of elaborate, fucked up prank, there’d be no way that so many stations would be saying the same message.
“Hear the words, perceive their worth, speak their truth.”
Steven with a frustrated growl hit the steering wheel, “This is so fucked up! What the hell are they thinking! It-i-it…! It’s not even funny anymore, it stopped being funny like six stations ago!”
I took a deep breath and looked to Steven as the voices kept on, his eyes were wide, fixed to the radio as the voices kept on and on. His breathing was quick and shallow, he was panicking. I understood, I felt the same way. In fact the only thing keeping me from joining him in his panic, was how worried I was for him.
He was the one behind the wheel, he couldn’t be shaken like this, it was a bad idea to let him spiral.
“Hear the words, perceive their worth, speak their truth. Hear the words, perceive their worth, speak their truth.”
“SHUT UP! SHUT UP! FUCKING STOP!” Steven shouted at the radio. I knew I needed to intervene, this was driving us both mad, but someone had to take control of the situation. I threw my unresponsive phone down.
Taking one of Steven’s hands brought his attention away from the radio and to me, his eyes were tearing up and he was breathing far too erratically, I could see his chest spasming. It hurt to see him like this even though I could feel tears just behind my eyes as well.
I took a deep breath to calm myself and hopefully calm him as well, “Steven, watch me. Do what I do.” I took a deep breath for five seconds, held it for seven seconds, released it for ten, and repeated. It took Steven a bit to catch on, his eyes kept darting to the radio and the speakers around him, but I kept reminding him to keep his eyes on me, and block out the radio.
I could have turned it off, but that would have distracted Steven and just sent him further into his panic. A part of me just thought if we learned to push it out of our minds when we could hear it, we’d be better off than just sitting in silence.
It was hard with the chanting, but having a reason to appear calm made it easier to pretend like it was easy. Steven seemed to buy that the chanting didn’t bother me anymore, and was able to breathe with me and stop his tears. After a while, I didn’t need to hold Steven’s hand anymore, he didn’t need to watch my breathing. He numbly turned in his seat, and sunk back into it.
I sighed in relief, I was still freaked out by all of the shit happening on the radio, but I felt better since we had managed calmed down.
“Hear the words, perceive their worth, speak their truth,” the chant kept going. You’d think the people’s voices would get tired after going for so long, didn’t sound like it.
I sighed, “I’m turning this shit off.”
Steven mumbled in response still focusing on staying calm, “Be my fucking guest.”
I hit the power button without hesitation.
And there was silence.
After the silence continued for a while, I ran my hands over my face. I didn’t even notice I’d been left sweating from all that.
I looked over at Steven, “A…are you alright? Stupid question, I know but…”
He just shook his head tiredly, closing his eyes and covering his face. “That was…so uncool…so fucked. Like…” he put his hands down into his lap, “That was without a doubt, the most fucked up thing I have ever gone through Morgan.”
I nodded in agreement, “Ditto.”
I didn’t even know what to do, and I doubted Steven did either. He needed to focus on calming down, though his breathing had slowed to a normal pace, he was too shaken to drive and I didn’t know how to drive. And despite everything that had just happened, the silence was hardly comforting.
There were no crickets, cicadas, there wasn’t anything besides the low humming of the car and our own breathing. It was a quiet that was suffocating.
Desperate to fill the silence and figure out what to do next I started searching for my phone that I’d thrown earlier. “I’ll uh, see if I can get a signal. Maybe someone can tow us to a gas station or something… Just to…be near people y’know? Maybe someone else there will be as freaked out as us,” I suggested with a pathetic attempt at a laugh.
Steven gave a weak smile that disappeared as soon as it had appeared, and nodded without a word.
After some blind searching I bent down to reach under my seat, and grabbed my phone.
“Are you afraid?”
I came up from my hunched over position to look at Steven, “Uh, well I…” I stopped as I took in his expression.
Steven looked horrified and his shaking had come back full force, his wide eyes were glued on the radio. What had happened?
“Steven, did you hear something? What’s wrong?” I asked reaching for his shoulder.
“You’re afraid.”
My heart seized in my chest and began beating far too loudly in my ears as my body broke into a cold sweat.
There was a voice coming from the radio.
I turned my head over slowly, and saw the display that usually showed the station number, just said “Hi”. I had…I had turned it off, and yet…
“Steven and Morgan, how are you doing this evening?”
“No no nono no!” Steven whimpered before I could even register what had just been said, “How? How the fuck! Who the fuck are you!” Tears were coming to his eyes again as he clung at the back of his head.
The voice on the radio was new, different from all the stations we’d changed through, and in fact sounded much too young to be someone that worked anywhere, let alone a radio station. A little girl, was speaking through the radio, and she somehow knew our goddamn names.
I shook my head dismissing every other thought besides finding out the answers to the questions that had been gnawing away at me, “I…I turned this fucking thing off! How are you…? How are you even speaking through this!” I checked the status of the power button just to be sure, the radio was definitely off.
There was silence before a strange sound broke through the speakers of the car, it took me a bit to realize the girl was giggling. “Please, a stranger talking to you through a powered-off car radio? Not the strangest thing that’s happened to you tonight. All that chanting, scary stuff.”
“This is scary stuff too you little shit!” Steven burst out. I placed a hand on his shoulder in an attempt to calm him. It was already prevalent in my mind, but I somehow already knew that all of this couldn’t be the work of any little girl. Her voice was too calm, and carried much intelligence with it. I just didn’t like the idea of insulting her recklessly.
“Why are you doing this? Who are you? And…and how are you connecting to our radio?” I tried keeping my voice level but I could feel myself trembling.
“I need a mouthpiece. Angel. And this is the only way I can speak to you. Let’s leave it at that.”
I shook my head, not because I wasn’t retaining what she was trying to say, but because everything she said sounded like the ramblings of a psychopath. “A-uhm…a mouthpiece? You mean us?”
“If radios are the only thing you can…talk through, just use that! Why do you need to-to fucking terrify a couple of college kids and make them think they’re going crazy, when you can just use fucking radios?!” I argued my voice cracking in stress and anger.
“It was fun.”
I stared at the display still displaying the word “Hi” and blinked hard in disbelief, “Fun? Us being scared out of our wits was fun for you?”
“Immensely. I admire your ability to take control of difficult situations Morgan, not many have your tact.”
“You’re fucking insane!” Steven spat out, “A-and you can only speak through radios? Then wh-what the fuck was that with the radio hosts, a-and their crew! You controlled them! Made them say shit!”
I looked over to him, he was panicking less, but getting more angry. He had someone to actually answer his questions, maybe that gave him some semblance of comfort.
There was silence for a moment, and then the girl spoke again. “I did no such thing,” but the voice that came from the radio had changed. Altered and distorted. “I just listened to them, and copied,” Steven’s voice clearly resounded through the car radio.
Steven’s panic was back, and I was starting to feel the urge to get out of the car and run. She continued on, Steven’s voice shifting and distorting back to the thing’s original voice.
“I speak through radios, and just like a radio’s frequency, I can be altered. But my power only stretches so far. I have no ability to touch…computers. More specifically, I cannot touch the internet how you two can. That is why I need a mouthpiece.”
I shook my head, this was crazy, “And…and if we say no?”
“I will embrace you,” the sound of the doors around us locking was startling and final.
Steven and I glanced at each other before checking our doors and trying to unlock them with no success. It was like the locks were bolted in place. Steven unbuckled his seatbelt to slide into the backseat and try the back doors while I too, unbuckled and instead, started kicking at the window on the driver’s side of the car.
“Now now, before you two try getting out. Maybe you should check to see where you’re safer?”
That gave me pause and I almost ignored the voice before remembering, if this girl, thing wasn’t lying, it wanted us alive to be its mouthpiece. So maybe, it’d be best to take a look around the car.
I didn’t need to look very far or very hard, to find what made the voice say what it did. “Steven…Steven stop!” I yelled back at him as he had also started kicking the windows. And when he leaned forward to see what was there, I pointed down the road.
Right over the dip in the road ahead, stood something. The headlights of the car just barely reached its legs but illuminated just enough of the thing to make me feel all at once, much safer in the car.
Glinting in the headlights, thin metal legs, seemingly made out of wire stood supporting the body of a humanoid monster. A white dress, tattered and worn covered the thing’s torso, and perhaps its arms too, but it was impossible to tell. The arms made out of the same material as the legs, hung by its sides, and the long hands reached near the ground. Upon closer inspection, what I thought at first to be wire, may have actually been…needles. The thing’s body was made out of fucking needles, I could see it clearly. They connected impossibly to one another, twisting around each other to form the thing’s limbs. Two red, perfectly circular lights seemingly floated in the darkness above its body, they glowed dimly.
A girl, made of needles, watched us like cowering animals in a trap.
I brought my legs up to my mouth and tried not to cry, just hoping it would stay where it was and not come any closer. “I…i-is that…you?”
“Yes. Would you like me to embrace you?” the voice wasn’t teasing or threatening. It asked like it was expecting us to say yes, then I thought if this was only the hundredth time this thing had attacked someone like this. If someone in our position had been so scared they just wanted it over with, and actually said yes.
I shook my head, “N-no…no! I-I just-!” A sob ripped its way out of my throat, “Pl-please let us go!” I blinked and heard myself scream as I saw that the monster on the road was closer than before, like in the short second my eyes weren’t on it, it had teleported a few feet forwards.
Whimpering I backed up to try and sit in the backseat, Steven put his hand on my shoulder to help me. Once I was huddled in the back with him, I tried not to cry lest I need to blink, allowing this demon on the road ahead of us to come any closer.
“Pl-please, A-Angel right? You want us to be mouthpieces for you right? We can do that! Th-there’s no need for this!” Steven shouted into the tense air of the car.
I watched as the thing on the road, tilted its head in a jittering clockwork-like movement, and teleported closer. I screamed and backed into Steven more, he held my hand and I could feel him shaking. There wasn’t any trick to keep it from coming closer, even if we somehow escaped the car in time, it would just hunt us down.
Now the monster was completely bathing in the headlights of the car, I could see its face. Pitch black and completely featureless, completely contour-less, flat with the red lights just embedded into what must have passed as the thing’s skin. And what framed the face, was pure white hair. Chopped short in the back, and two long lengths of hair that hung down on both sides, it even had bangs, not that they covered its “eyes” in any way.
“I need a mouthpiece,” the thing’s voice chimed like a reminder through the car.
“A” she had said, “a mouthpiece”. I looked to Steven, my fear was gone, but it was replaced with horror.
“It…it only wants one of us,” I felt myself talking and Steven looked at me in confusion. His face turned shocked and horrified.
“She…she can’t mean…” he muttered before looking back to the monster standing in the road. The monster trying to make us throw one another to the wolf that it was.
It was only twenty feet away now, every time Angel would need to remind us of what it wanted, five feet between us and it would disappear as it came closer.
Steven looked at me, “You have to do it. Morgan please, you…you just have to!”
I just shook my head, this was bullshit, I knew I was being childish, thinking there was any way we’d both be getting out of this alive. But there was no way I could do that to Steven!
He gave a frustrated sigh and took me by the shoulders, “Morgan listen to me, I could never live with myself if you died here and–”
“You think I could?” I screamed, “You’re my best friend you idiot!”
With a quick glance, we both noted that the monster was barely ten feet away from us, its long needle fingers twitching erratically as it stood.
“I need a mouthpiece.”
At that moment, I couldn’t take it anymore, Steven was willing to die for me, but I wasn’t willing to let him.
“Steven will be your mouthpiece! He’ll do it! I-I’m a dunce when it comes to the internet! E-embrace me!”
A window shattered, and all at once, I regretted everything I’d just said. Even if I hadn’t said a word, it would have likely turned out the same way.
Steven, in a desperate attempt to throw off my self sacrifice, turned and with two kicks,  finished kicking out the window. It shattered, and he dragged himself out. I grabbed at his hand to stop him, but he just pulled away.
It was the last I saw of him, his back running out into the darkness, and being impaled through his stomach by Angel as it appeared in front of him. The five long needle fingers poked through him like tissue paper, and closed before pulling back, ripping out everything in its grasp. I heard a choked and pained scream, only I’m not sure which one of us it came from.
Steven’s body fell, I screamed in despair. I couldn’t believe what had just happened. My eyes were glued to his twitching form on the ground before Angel stepped on top of it, her needle feet making more gashes on his back and head. My gaze traveled upwards to meet its eyes, round red solid orbs that pierced my soul and made me fall silent.
A crackling noise resonated through the car, “Looks like you win…lose? Either way, you’re alive. He was quite the brave fool.” The red orbs slimmed at an angle, as if it was smiling. “This will be a wonderful story.”
I shuddered and blinked away my tears, and Angel was gone.
The cold night air blew on my face, drying my tears as more fell, Steven’s body no longer twitched, dark blood leaked out from under him, staining his yellow shirt. I could see him, all of him with his insides strewn around his torso. My vision swam.
I felt my body move like lead towards the open window, towards Steven, but my arms didn’t carry me very far. They gave out and I felt the wind get knocked out of me as my torso hit the seat, I wasn’t breathing evenly, I was still sobbing and scared. It felt like something vaguely reminiscent of two hands were pressing down on me, forcing what air I had inside, out.
All I could see before I passed out was the back of the driver’s seat in front of me becoming blurry and dark.
The next days became a blur of high emotions and questions, none of which I knew how to deal with. I was sat in a hospital bed for three days, not to take care of my physical injuries, which were no worse than a few scrapes from broken glass, but to assess my mental state.
Everyone was convinced I had emotional trauma and truly couldn’t remember what had happened on the road that night, apparently I never could get past the arcade without suddenly being unable to speak. I’d start crying as I just stared off into space until someone snapped me out of it, which would throw me into an all too unpleasant panic attack. People learned to stop trying that, and would instead wait for me to eventually notice they were still there.
It was the strangest thing though, I always remembered telling them everything. I guess I wanted to tell them, but my body wouldn’t cooperate, and it was on the very day I was about to be released from the hospital, that I figured out why.
The police had once again tried to get what they could out of me without upsetting me. My dad had finally had enough, nearly chasing them from my room calling them vultures and the like. In my mind, I had been in the middle of telling my story as best I could. I was recalling the very moment I had seen Angel, its red solid orbs of light that stared into Steven and I, its needle-like limbs capable of piercing flesh and bone, the pitch black skin of its face and pure white of its hair. As I watched the police get rushed out, it became apparent that I had stopped speaking quite a while ago.
I blinked away the tears that I hadn’t noticed welling in my eyes and gave a frustrated and pitiful groan. When the door to my hospital door opened, I turned to ask whoever had entered for some water.
Then I stopped.
I found myself looking at a little girl dressed in black, she had to be no older than twelve. She stared at me with a blank gaze that made me feel like shifting to sit up so I could place more space between us. I forced a polite smile on my face, “Hey. What are you doing here sweetheart?”
The girl blinked a few times and looked around the room curiously, I figured her parents must’ve given her some freedom with her hair, considering the long blades of black hair framing her face didn’t match the cropped hair nearer to the back of her head. It looked nice on her.
But still, something about her made my skin crawl. I forced the feeling down, “My name is Morgan, what’s your name?”
The girl began making her way over to the foot of my bed which gave me a better look at her appearance. She reminded me of some international students that had gone to my high school once, she was definitely Asian, but I wouldn’t try and place any specific nationality on her. Though unlike any of the classmates I’d had, her eyes that just peered from behind her bangs were a startling sky blue. She mumbled something indecipherable, her voice was soft and low so I had to strain my ears to hear her.
I shook my head a bit, “Sorry sweetie, I didn’t hear you.”
It took a moment, only one moment for my mind to register three things.
The fact that a familiar voice was speaking, and not from the girl’s mouth, no. Her mouth hadn’t even moved to speak.
The familiar and foreboding voice had come from behind me, out of the bedside phone speaker.
The girl had just called herself Angel.
This girl, wasn’t actually a girl, it was the fucking demon from the road. I wanted to scream, but all I could do was stare at the human-shaped demon in front of me and fight off the rising bile. Flashes of Steven’s intestines strewn about outside of his body ran through my mind as those sky blue eyes pierced my very mind. I swallowed, hoping to make my throat feel less like sandpaper to no avail.
“What do you want?” I found myself asking, half hoping that it was there to kill me.
The demon moved just a step closer and laid a hand over one of my covered legs, I flinched violently but it didn’t seem to care. Crackling came from the bedside phone once again, “You’ll get to work soon.”
I felt my eyes well with tears and weakly shook my head, “Just end this…please.”
It tilted its head, a confused expression forming on its face. “Embrace you?”
I hesitated before my body moved of its own accord and gave a tired nod, I just wanted this to be over. “Please,” I whispered looking for any sign of mercy in the unsettling sky blue eyes across from me.
The confusion melted and was replaced with something dark, “I will embrace them.” Its body nodded towards a picture frame by my bed, with me and my family smiling on a beach. I felt my stomach knot in fear.
“No. No, no don’t!” I shouted reaching for its hand.
My father burst into the room with concern etched on his face, “Morgan?”
I just stared at him, wide eyed and crying before looking to the foot of my bed. Angel was gone. There was no evidence of the demon ever having set foot in the room, yet where its hand had grabbed my leg felt uncomfortably warm like the weight was still there.
I breathed in shakily before looking to my father, knowing what needed to be done. I gave a weak smile, “I had a nightmare. I’ll feel better when I get home, and get to work.”
The warmth on my leg faded, and with that warmth, something else was taken.
I knew then, that Angel and I, had come to an understanding. My father was confused and assured me that it would be fine if I took time to relax and take care of myself, I just sat there, unresponsive.
I haven’t seen Angel since, and I know that’s a good thing. My family is still worried about me, and I’m sure they’re going to keep worrying. After all I haven’t spoken a word since the hospital room, and not because I don’t want to. They try to speak to me and all I can do is stare at them. I’m sure they think it’s trauma, again. Perhaps it would be best if they continue to believe that.
But I understand now. Angel is like a parasite, yet it needed my permission to use me, invade my mind, tell me what to write. Its hold on me is strong, heavy and overbearing, keeping me rooted here, keeping me isolated, keeping me mute with no other way to talk besides using the words you’re reading now. That’s why it robbed me of my ability to talk about Steven until now, and then even my voice.
I can hear it sometimes when I cry into my pillow at night, “A trapped mind will simply prance when given freedom.” It’s like letting it use me, let it into my head too.
Just be aware, this is not a survival guide, a warning, anything of the sort. If you meet Angel, you’re either dead, or you’re like me. That’s what it wants. More people hearing its voice, more people writing about it. I can’t escape, I won’t ever be able to as long as I love my family. And now that you’ve read my story, Angel has reached out. My words, acting as its fucking conduits to reach you on the other side of the screen. Hopefully you didn’t think about it too hard, hopefully my story didn’t strike a chord with you, hopefully you kept your mind walled off and distant. But this is out of my hands now, I just have to keep on living, waiting for it to tell me what story I’ll write next.
A thought just occurred to me.
I might be writing with you soon. Hope not.
- Morgan
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arigatouiris · 2 years ago
revenge is a fool’s game // arthur morgan — [02]
pairing: arthur morgan x female!reader
word count: 2023
warnings: strong violence, emotional distress, mentions of torture, explicit sexual references, a whole lotta angst, cowboy stuff;
notes: I might actually not do a taglist, since not many got back to me; but let’s see? I’ve tagged for asking~
masterlist in bio~
Also, this is actually a story on my AO3, with an OC. I’ve remodelled it to fit as a reader insert here, and the story might change towards the end so... just wanted to put it out there!
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Chapter Two: Vengeance
Arthur had no idea why Riley was brought to camp. Their camp was small, and he would have actually preferred it that way. 
He saw to it that each person had a role to play—Dutch and Hosea were the backbones, and their backbones were Annabelle and Bessie (who in all honesty, Arthur knew, would want Riley to be a part of the gang because they were nice women and Riley looked malnourished, to say the least). 
There was Susan Grimshaw, who was one of the safekeepers of the entire camp, she made sure everything stayed in place—however, Arthur felt a tad bit bad for her when he thought of her, considering how she was sweet on Dutch but Dutch had Annabelle now.
There was a butcher too, from the Navy, whose name Arthur kept forgetting. And even if his food was terrible, Arthur knew he had a role to play as well. And then at last, there was the kid, John Marston. Arthur wouldn’t admit it, but he had a soft spot for the kid. He was feisty, something Morgan appreciated in the boy, but even John looked more aggressive and intimidating than Riley did, and that was saying something. John was just fifteen years old, barely a man.
But, Riley? What role can this gawky little kid play? Arthur grunted. People like him are part of our group now, Arthur thought internally. And Mary… It stung him each time he thought of her, but there was little he could do. 
He knew he had to move on, he knew that things had changed now—after last year’s robbery, they were officially thieves, leading lives that had a difficult path ahead of them. Each and everyone in the camp had to be careful and ready for any change. Riley didn’t seem to fit that image, in Arthur’s mind.
“Somethin’ on your mind, Arthur?” John’s voice alerted him.
John Marston’s voice had recently undergone a change. Puberty hit him late, something Arthur made fun of him for, but once it had hit him, the growth spurt surely surprised everyone at camp. Especially Dutch. Dutch wanted John to take up arms, something Arthur wasn’t so sure about, but knowing Dutch, he definitely had a plan. And Dutch’s plans always work.
“What do ya think o’ that kid, Riley, eh John?” Arthur asked, looking at Mrs. Grimshaw speaking to Riley near Dutch’s camp.
“He looks funny,” John said, smirking. “Maybe he’s as old as me. Thas’ why he’s small o’ somethin’.”
“Hm,” Arthur wasn’t too sure. Something about the kid seemed off. “Maybe, maybe.”
Riley didn’t want to be a part of the group. He had other plans, and even if he was simply passing by, he knew where he had to go. Considering how he held a secret as big as his entire life, being a part of a gang where he could be easily exposed was not one of those plans. Meeting Dutch took the life out of him, almost, Dutch seemed intimidating and every glance that the gang leader gave Riley almost made him believe Dutch had figured him out.
“I’ve figured you out, Riley.” Dutch said, interrupting Susan Grimshaw, a kind lady.
Riley’s eyes almost widened, but he had to maintain his composure. He could feel everybody’s eyes on him.
“You’ve got sad eyes, boy,” Dutch said, smirking. “With a lil’ groomin’, you’re gonna be a great gunslinger. No one would expect you to hold a gun, let alone shoot from one!”
Riley wanted to scream, but there was no way he would let Dutch or anyone know he could talk. If he spoke, they would know his secret, and that was something he would avoid with everything he had. Riley shook his head, uninterested to learn, uninterested to be a part of a gang of thieves, desperate for God knows what reason, to not have him be a part of them.
“I believe he ain’t interested in bein’ a part o’ this, Dutch.” Arthur spoke up, suddenly, walking toward them. Riley’s eyes followed the twenty-five year old gruff male, before looking back at Dutch.
“Why not?” Dutch asked, folding his hands.
Riley put his hands in the air. There was very little he could do to communicate, but he would try. He reached for the notebook inside his bag, and started to scribble, surprising both Dutch and Hosea, that he could write.
I don’t want to be a part of you all. I’ll be a burden. I can use guns for my safety, but I am a lousy thief. Please, excuse me.
Hosea read the words aloud and Dutch sighed. He raised his hands in the air, before groaning.
“Well, I ain’t got time for this. Gotta meet Colm o'Driscoll for information later tonight.”
Riley’s eyes widened a second later, and time seemingly stopped for him. Quickly, Riley reached for Dutch’s sleeve, with wide eyes, shocking the rest of the gang who were ready to murder Riley if he ever so lay a finger on Dutch. A moment later, they realized, that he simply held the man’s hand.
Riley waited, Dutch stared back.
“o’Driscoll?” He repeated, wondering if this was what stopped Riley.
Riley couldn’t believe it. He knew he had heard the name somewhere, and he knew that if this were a turn of events, Riley was simply lucky. If Dutch knew Colm, then he was one step closer to where he had to be.
He once again began to scribble, before turning things around.
Please let me be a part of your group. I will sling guns and watch horses and do anything you ask. All I ask for is a favor in return.
“And what’s that, kid?” Hosea asked, now curious.
Riley’s eyes were now cold. He wrote again, albeit, slowly this time.
I want Colm o’Driscoll’s head.
It was a quiet afternoon at the camp. Arthur and John were listening to Dutch read Emerson again, something John found a tad bit boring, but Arthur listening. However, even as Arthur listened to Dutch, he knew the man had something else running in his mind. Something that had happened earlier that morning, which changed everything about the camp or was slowly beginning to.
“Why? What do you want with Colm o’Driscoll?” Hosea asked, shocked.
Riley shook his head and refused to write more. Arthur could see the boy’s hands shake, and a frown sit on his face, however, it seemed strangely odd. Judging from the behavior the boy was displaying, Arthur knew it had something to do with—
“Vengeance?” Dutch said out loud, a slow smirk sitting on his lips.
He didn’t really like Colm all that much, but stayed away from ruining things because things would ultimately get bad for the both of them. With Dutch being wanted now, they couldn’t afford to get more on their plate. And the o’Driscoll boys were trouble.
Riley didn’t nod, but looked down to the ground. His hands clutched the book he was holding and it seemed as if Riley was lot in thought. Arthur felt for the boy a tad bit, but it was sympathy that he needn’t feel in the first place. He could tell the difference—Riley’s death would mean nothing to him; and if his death meant nothing, than even his vengeance meant nothing.
“Alright, boy. Listen. If you want us to help ya, you’ll have to give us more than wanting Colm o’Driscoll’s head.”
Riley looked at Hosea as he said that and began to write again.
He’s got a debt he never paid back.
“With you?” Dutch laughed, patting the boy’s shoulder.
Riley nodded, unblinking. There was something different now about him, Arthur could tell. It was almost as if Riley seemed uncaring to everyone around him. His eyes and body language turned cold, despite him looking like he needed to grow up.
“He done somethin’ bad to ya, boy?” Arthur asked this time and Riley wrote again.
Arthur could tell that this was enough for Dutch. There was an idea looming in the man’s head, his eyes sparkled the same way it sparkled before Dutch wanted to rob that bank a year ago. Something wasn’t right, something is going to awry, Arthur couldn’t put his finger on it, but he trusted Dutch. Dutch would never do something crazy and jeopardise the lives of those in the camp.
“Don’t get any o’us killed, ya got that?” Arthur said, almost as if he snapped, and walked away.
What he didn’t see at that second was Riley frowning a tad bit more than he already was.
“Dutch…” Arthur spoke up, suddenly, breaking his reading.
Dutch looked at Arthur and blinked. “Somethin’ wrong, Arthur?”
Arthur sighed, “I don’ get no good feelin’ from that Riley boy.”
Dutch sighed in retaliation, “Listen, Arthur, there’s somethin’ about that kid that I think we can use. It’s making use of potential, son. Don’t you agree, John?”
Dutch was starting to involve John in almost everything now and it didn’t sit easy with Arthur.
“I think he looks funny,” John said, “He looks almost like a girl.”
Arthur chuckled and ruffled the boy’s head, “You’re goin’ blind, Marston.”
John grumbled.
“Listen, Arthur,” Dutch said this time, voice more sullen that the last time, “There’s something about his eyes that spoke to me more than that notebook o’ his,” Arthur didn’t understand. “There’s so much pain in his eyes, son. Almost as if it’s stoppin’ him from living.”
Arthur remembered the last time Dutch had said something similar.
“You’ve got to understand, Arthur. You, of all people, you.” Dutch said.
Dutch had said the same about Arthur himself.
Riley got a small run down tent to stay in. He had no horse yet, which meant that he had to buy one, but considering how little money he had, he knew he had to wait. He felt handicapped, but that wouldn’t stop him from knowing he was heading toward where he had to go.
Colm o’Driscoll, he thought before opening a particular page in his book. There, he had names written in an order. The third name was Colm’s and the first two were Horace and Dalton Newcomb. There were a total of seven names, which meant seven times he would have to extract vengeance. Riley then shared at his palm, thinking of the last time it had slipped his fingers. He could have killed Colm that night, but he chose not to. He cursed his mind, he cursed that he felt terrible—Colm had after all, saved his life, but was instead a menace.
“I promise ya’ kid. I’ll save yer brother.” Colm had once said.
“False promises,” (y/n) (l/n) uttered, closing the book and keeping it back in her bag.
All of this, she thought as fresh tears filled her eyes. All of this torture for him, she thought, closing her bag and touching her chest. She felt the bruises. And, the tightness of the bandages suddenly made her breathless. To hide who I am, she thought before running her fingers across the rim of the bandage. She had tied it around her torso to push back her breasts, from people not figuring out that she was a woman.
Being a woman in a time like this was difficult. She would end up as Mrs. Grimshaw, nice and kind and lovely, but Mrs. Grimshaw wouldn’t be allowed to extract vengeance. She would ask someone else, and (y/n) had no mind for that. She wanted to control death, which she understood abandoned her when she needed it—instead, she made a pact with vengeance for something no one else but her can do. If she had to hide her identity, then so be it.
She would kill Colm o’Driscoll and then she would kill Horace and Dalton.
She would kill them all for slaughtering her parents and murdering her brother.
I’m sorry I took your name, baby brother, she thought, wiping the tears away. But, I will not let your death be in vain. You died for me that night, and I will end those responsible.
(y/n) (l/n) was barely alive. Vengeance kept her breathing.
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sparleyharley · 2 years ago
as your personal assistant, fuck you.
Peter Parker was a lot of things; resourceful, organizational, efficient, and… frustrated.   It all came with the job of being the personal assistant to the most cocky, arrogant, flirty, stubborn person who also happened to be the CEO of one of the largest technology companies in the world; Harley Keener-Stark.   With Harley being just like his father when he was younger, (read: horny and sad) it’s up to Peter to keep him in line and still keep his job strictly  professional
Special thank you to @donnaschaunamanon for being my first beta, and for taking my garbage ideas and turning them into a literate story!!
Chapter I;
     Peter Parker knew frustration. He knew how it felt to want to tear your hair out and scream into a pillow; but unfortunately this was the real world and you couldn’t fling yourself off of the Empire State Building when you were the personal assistant to the CEO of one of the biggest tech companies in the world.
     No matter how aggravatingly arrogant he was; with his stupid feet propped up on his stupid desk and a smart-ass smirk plastered on his stupid face.
     “Mr. Keener-Stark-”
     “Harley. You need to be at this gala if you want to keep ‘nosy-ass investors’ out of too much of Stark Industries’ business.” Peter quoted, his voice adopting a pleading tone and he clutched his Stark Tablet closer to his chest.
     His boss proceeded to pretend think about it, tapping his finger on his chin;      then after a split second of mock-thinking, he locked eyes with Peter and his smirk grew.
     “I’ll go,” Peter sagged with relief “If.” He paused, the dramatic bastard. “If you agree to as my date, not  my personal assistant.” Harley finished, and Peter rolled his eyes at his annoyingly familiar attempt at bargaining.
     “And I’ve told you before, I’ll agree to a date after you learn to make your own coffee in the mornings.” Peter quipped back exasperatedly.  
     Harley huffed, “But you’re the only one who can make it perfectly! You’ve set an unreachable standard!” He protested petulantly.
     Peter rubbed his temples, attempting to assuage the oncoming headache he felt when FRIDAY chimed in from the ceiling, announcing herself with the gentle tinkling of bells; something she’d done since Morgan Stark-Potts was brought home and FRIDAY’s sudden voice kept startling the newborn infant.
     “Mr. Parker, Mrs. Stark-Potts requests your assistance in the penthouse.” The AI stated, “Would you like me to inform her that you are on your way?” She requested helpfully.
      When Peter applied to become Mrs. Stark-Potts’ personal assistant,  he hadn’t expected to become Harley Keener-Stark’s personal assistant only six months after he was hired when Mrs. Stark-Potts decided to retire when she learned that she was pregnant.
      Soon, instead of becoming the personal assistant to just the CEO of Stark Industries, he somehow became the personal assistant to everyone in the Stark-Potts-Keener family.  
      Peter nodded even though the AI couldn’t see him. “Yes, Please FRIDAY. Thank you.” He politely replied, beginning to smooth the nonexistent wrinkles from his clothing before he looked back at Harley; giving him a stern look.
      “I’ll be scheduling a fitting for a new suit for you on Thursday, and you better show up Harley Keener-Stark or so help me.” He said, frustration and exasperation coloring his words.
     Harley smirked.
     “Oh, I do love it when you get bossy, Mr. Parker.” He flirted teasingly, relishing in the pink hue that rose on the assistant’s cheeks. He knew the blush was most likely from aggravation; but Harley liked to think that it was because of his flirting.
     Peter fixed his boss with one last look before he swiftly stepping out of the office and letting the door close behind himself gently.
     When Peter reached the penthouse of the tower, he was greeted by a babbling two-year old Morgan Stark-Potts and her little robot-pet that Mr. Stark-Potts created for her first birthday.
      Picking the toddler up and handing her the toy, Peter made his way toward the kitchen where Mrs. Stark-Potts was bent over some paperwork on the island.
     Peter cleared his throat, causing her to look up.  
     Despite the stress that life had put on her; Mrs. Stark-Potts looked as though she hadn’t aged since it was announced to the media that Tony Stark had made her CEO of Stark Industries almost twenty years before.
     With Morgan perched on his hip, Peter made his way toward the island and began looking over some of the papers Mrs. Stark-Potts was signing and reading over. She made room for him to stand beside her so he could read with her while Morgan began playing her her necklace from her spot in Peter’s arms.
      Many of the documents were related to the legal process of handing Stark Industries down to Harley; and a few were pending contracts with other technology moguls around the country.
     Peter picked up one of the contracts with Oscorp’s logo stamped in bold letters on the top and he began reading through it carefully. Mrs. Stark-Potts noticed what he was holding and spoke.
     “Tony thinks it’s an awful idea; and so does Harley,” She sighs before continuing; “but with the release of their new line of phones in a few weeks, it would put them almost neck-and-neck with SI, and if we can stay ahead of them, then it could be a good advantage for Harley when we announce his inheritance next week at the gala.” Peter inwardly winced.
     He still had yet to convince Harley to go to a gala organized in his honor.
     “And, how is planning for the gala coming along? Any word from the organizer?” Mrs. Stark-Potts asked suddenly and Peter straightened.
     “It’s going well, they’ve set up the catering and ordered the floral arrangements. They have it all ready to be set up in the ballroom.” He replied easily.
      Mrs. Stark-Potts smiled approvingly before taking her daughter from him easily. “If you can just make copies of all of these and send them to Legal, then you can go home if you’d like.” She asked him, and Peter nodded eagerly.
     He had a paper he’d only gotten halfway finished that was due at midnight that night and he could really use all the time he could get.
     “Thank you, Mrs. Stark-Potts.” He said earnestly, beginning to clip the papers together. “I've told you before, call me Pepper.” She laughed as Peter made his way down the hall and Morgan waved her little arms. 
     “Buh-bye Pe’er!” Her little voice followed him into the elevator, causing him to smile.
    11:37 pm.
     Peter had been writing his paper since he had gotten home from work at about 2:30 that afternoon, and he’d been in his and his friends’ Discord call since about 5:15.
     Ned had been quiet for about an hour, and Peter knew he was probably working on a new Lego set since he was smart and already finished his assignments, and MJ and Flash were playing online UNO and screaming at one another when they pissed each other off.
     Peter would say a sentence he wasn’t sure about from his paper and receive feedback from one of the three on the call and then he would get quiet again, and all his friends heard from him was his typing.
     Peter submitted his paper at 11:56 and he sighed in relief, the stress draining from his body. Man, college was hard.
     “Finally loser, we thought you were going to miss the deadline. Again.” MJ snarked through the call and Peter snorted. “Is it too late to drop out and become a male stripper?”
     Flash scoffed. “No, but you wouldn’t do well. You’re too pale and skinny. People want big, muscular guys. Not twinks. You’d be better off killing yourself with work than that.” MJ laughed and Peter vaguely heard Ned snort.
     “It doesn’t matter what other people want, not when Peter’s got his rich-ass boss wrapped around his finger and he doesn’t even realize it.” Ned said, and Peter groaned.
     “Oh my God, guys not this again. He’s flirty with everyone! And he’s my boss!” Peter protested, earning unconvinced noises from his friends.  
     “Anastasia Steele said almost the same thing, and then she had kinky sex with her boss and then got married to the guy.” MJ said, sounding like she really couldn’t give a shit.
     “And, it’s basically what happened with Tony Stark-Potts and Pepper Stark-Potts, minus the whole superhero part.” Ned spoke again.
     “Guys, you're referencing a fictional character from a terrible, terrible book series and my boss’ parents, who are like, the definition of a fairytale couple.” Peter said stubbornly.
     “Exactly Cinderella. You need to just snatch your happily ever after and stop being a bitchy, bisexual dwarf.” MJ said as Flash laughed. “Holy shit, that’s gonna be your name in my phone from now on!” He said between laughs and Peter rolled his eyes.
     “You guys suck. I’m going to bed.” He announced and Flash chimed back in “Yeah, so you can be well rested to better seduce your boss.” Peter flushed, glad his friends couldn’t see his red face. “Goodnight assholes.” He huffed over the sounds of their laughter as he exited the chat.
     Standing up from his desk and falling onto his kinda-sucky mattress, Peter stared up at the ceiling. Harley was his boss, and sure he flirted with him from time to time, it didn’t mean anything.
     Harley flirted with everyone, so much so, that people compared him to Tony Stark back during his party days. Pepper Potts fell for it because he changed after becoming Iron Man and taking the responsibility of a superhero.
     Harley wasn’t going to be kidnapped by terrorists and forced to become a completely different person and see the error of his ways. He was going to inherit Stark Industries in a little over a week and become the next Pepper Potts, CEO and business powerhouse with a little bit of Tony Stark’s recklessness thrown in, and Peter?
     Well Peter was going to stay and keep the man out of as much trouble as he possibly could.
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ravenofthefandoms · 2 years ago
The Lucky Stag: Part 2
Word Count: 2400 (it’s even and I’m happy)
Pairing: Sandor Clegane x reader
Characters: Sandor Clegane, original character (Jeremiah Bryne), original character (mentioned) (Ellion Rivers), Morgan, Lem, Gatins
Warnings: ANGST, kinda gory deaths, depression, just bad stuff all around
A/N: I cried while writing this so... good luck! I promise the next part won’t be nearly as bad. Also, I was looking through gifsets of Sandor from season 1 to season 8 and he looks so much better after season 5! Like, from season 6 onwards, he just looks... better. Healthier, maybe even happier. I’m not sure but if you look at a picture of him in season 1 versus him in season 6, specifically when’s with Septon Ray, it just looks like something has been lifted off his shoulders. I might be crazy but you know what, I don’t mind :) BTW, Rivers is the last name for a bastard in the Riverlands, in case you didn’t know!
Tags: @anita-e-taylor, @my-bitch-loki
Disclaimer: All characters except Jeremiah Bryne and Ellion Rivers are owned by George R.R. Martin and HBO. Any gifs used belong to their original creators, not me.
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Sandor had been in the tavern for some two moons now, and the two of you had grown closer with each day. For the first fortnight, he was unable to do anything except hobble from the bedroom to the main area. Jeremiah had brought a stick that was large enough for you to whittle into more of a staff. The morning that you had brought it to him was when you realized that he wasn’t as bad as everyone told you. He watched you the rest of the day, watching you with a newfound curiosity, and his heart would flutter strangely every time you smiled at him.
Sandor, Jeremiah, and you fell into a daily routine. Sandor would fall asleep in your bed, Jeremiah would wake up early in the morning, and while he left to hunt, you would finally fall asleep in his bed. During the many hours between you closing the tavern and Jeremiah leaving to hunt, you would find something to do to keep yourself busy. After a few hours of sleep, you would wake, usually a little bit before Sandor woke. He always woke to the scent of food for him to break his fast. While you and Jeremiah worked the tavern, he would find something to do as well, whether it be helping you skin the deer or, as of late, chopping wood. Then, as the night drew to a close, you would stay up late talking with Sandor, learning more about him and he about you.
Your brother warned you to protect your heart because if, when, Sandor left, your heart would break. However, you didn’t listen. Now, you felt yourself falling further and further in love with the man. He was more than just a sword and a scarred face. He was human, with emotions and feelings, like everyone else. Sure, he hid them, but he still felt them. From what you could tell, his emotions were a rampage in him, and hiding them away was destroying him.
After a particularly slow night, you sat next to Sandor, a pint of ale in both of your hands. The fireplace roared in front of you, spreading an even warmth through you. “How are you feeling?” You asked softly after a moment of silence.
“I can walk.” Was his only response, and you nodded. More silence. “When do ya want me ta leave?” This emitted a soft chuckle from you.
“Leave? Why would I want you to leave?” You smiled at him gently, a look that had grown on him quite a bit. “I’m dangerous. Ta ya and yer brother.” He sighed softly. “I have too many enemies for ya ta be safe around me. Ya’ll want me gone soon enough.” He muttered with a soft frown.
You frowned softly as well and turned to face him fully, setting your pint down on a nearby table. “Sandor, if I ever think that you will bring harm to my family, then I will ask you to leave. But, as of now, all is at peace.” You stood and walked over to him, gently placing a hand on his shoulder to make him look up at you. “Trust me when I say this. Jeremiah wants you around. My customers want you around. I want you around.” You gave his shoulder a gentle squeeze. “You would never hurt anyone of us. I know that.” With that, you leaned down and pressed your lips to his scarred cheek gently before putting your pint away and moving into Jeremiah’s room. Sandor sat there in complete awe as you walked away.
When you entered Jeremiah’s room, you smiled softly at your baby brother as you sat in the chair across from the bed he slept in. Even though he was a man grown, he still looked like the same little boy that would crawl into your bed whenever your father yelled at your mother, or whenever your mother screamed with an insane anger. He only fell asleep if he was held tight in your arms. He was a boy then, a child. So were you, but you were forced to grow up, for your brothers’ sake. Thinking about your childhood brought tears to your eyes. Though Jeremiah was the youngest child, that wasn’t how it always was. Once upon a time, there was a boy, even younger than Jeremiah. While you and Jeremiah both had dark hair and dark eyes, like your father, your younger brother had the fair hair of your mother and blue-grey eyes that seemed like a storm. In your innocence, these differences passed over you quickly.You fell in love with the boy, named Ellion, and decided that even though he looked different, you would love him just as much as you did Jeremiah. For many years, your father let this go. Maybe it was just luck that the child looked like his mother instead. But ten years later, your father found your mother cheating with another man and flew into a jealous rage. He killed your mother and her lover, then Ellion, before finally killing himself. It was a horrid time but you were old enough by then to raise your brother on your own. So that’s what you did.
The next morning, you woke in the chair that you sat in that night. With the sun glaring in your eyes, you realized that you had overslept. You groaned softly, standing and stretching out. Jeremiah should be back with whatever game he’s caught. So you made your way out to the main room, only to find a room lacking bodies. Sandor sat at a table, a loaf of stale bread in his hand as he watched the wall in front of him. “Has Jeremiah come in?” You asked, sleep making your voice husky. He swung around, his eyes flying to your own before flicking down to your lips for a brief second. He shook his head, standing to meet you.
You hummed in curiosity, making your way to the door. He had a tendency of getting distracted, especially by passing girls. Slowly, you opened the door, squinting at the morning light.
A shape, dangling from a tree near the front of the tavern, swung gently in the morning breeze. There were two, actually. Rubbing your eyes, the shapes focused and cleared. One was a deer, strung up by its hind legs and cut open from belly to neck. The other was bigger, longer. Its legs were also holding it up, and blood dripped from its neck. His face was shaded, a thick and heavy cloud covering the sun for a moment. Then it passed and the face was all too familiar. Jeremiah, his eyes wide and his mouth hanging open. A choked scream left your throat and you stumbled forward.
Sandor was out of the tavern and moving towards you before you realized that you were right next to Jeremiah’s lifeless body. Your hands shook as you reached up to cup his face. Sobs racked your chest and you felt strong arms wrap around you. Two sets of footsteps could be heard approaching, and two gasps followed them. “Get ‘im down.” You heard Sandor say gruffly before he was picking you up. You screamed, reaching out to hold your brother. Obviously, Sandor was stronger and easily lifted you into his arms bridal style. He tucked your head into his chest, allowing you to sob freely.
People began to exit their homes, curious as to what was going on. They saw Jeremiah, being pulled down from the tree dead, and they saw you, being held as screams and sobs took over you. It was strange to see you in such a state, as you never cried for anything or anyone. Until now.
Sandor carried you inside, taking you to your bed that smelled more of him than of you anymore. “Hush, now. I got ya.” He murmured, sitting on the mattress with you in his lap. You curled into him like a child, clutching at his shirt. The two of you sat like that for a long time. Your tears dried up, but your body still heaved and shook with silent sobs. Sandor did anything he could to help calm you: murmuring in your ear, running his hand through your hair, rubbing your back as he held you. Nothing seemed to work.
“We put him in the backroom.” You heard one of Jeremiah’s friends murmur. Lifting your face, they winced to see you like that, with red and puffy eyes and splotchy cheeks and a hollowness in your face that set them on edge. You stood on shaky legs, Sandor right behind you. You clutched his hand like it was the only thing that kept you from crumbling into dust and drifting away forever. Maybe it was.
Before you entered the room, you stopped. “Ya don’ have ta if ya don’ wanna.” He murmured gently, sensing your hesitation. With a slight shake of your head, you made your way in.
The two boys had laid out Jeremiah on the table that you had them lay out Sandor on not too long ago. You approached your brother, your knees shaking. Sandor quickly grabbed a stool and had you sit on it, placing it near Jeremiah’s head. “Hand me a wet cloth. Please.” Your voice was hoarse and thick with tears as you gazed upon your brother’s face. Sandor placed the item in your hand and watched with a heavy heart as you began to clean off the dried blood from your brother’s cold skin.
Sandor didn’t realize you were singing until he heard you taking a deep, shaky breath. He couldn’t quite make out the words, but the tune was reminiscent of a lullaby. It was the song you would sing to him every night when you were children in an attempt to drown out the violent sounds of your parents.
You sat there for hours, cleaning his skin until it was as clean as it was when he left. You cradled his hand, and sang until your voice was rough and pained. Even then, you continued to hum. For those hours, Sandor brought you water and food, none of which you touched. “I’ll dig a grave for ‘im.” He murmured, to which you merely nodded. Sandor left you then, and you craved the warmth of his touch. It seemed to be the only thing holding you together.
Within a few hours, he had a sizeable hole dug behind the tavern. “Come on.” He murmured softly, picking up Jeremiah’s body with more delicacy than you would think a man of his strength could have. You followed him out to where he dug out a space for Jeremiah and knelt next to it as he laid him in it gently. He then filled it back up, neither of you saying anything. When he finished, he took back the shovel that he had borrowed and walked back to you. There was still plenty of light, so he decided to give you your last bit of privacy. Then he walked inside.
It wasn’t very long later when he heard you walk back in, but instead of coming back to your room where he waited for you, you walked into Jeremiah’s room. You laid down on his bed, burying your face in his blanket that still held his smell. Sandor entered quietly, watching you for a long moment. Moving forward, he sat on the edge of the bed and looked down at you. Obviously, you didn’t plan on moving anytime soon. As he moved to stand, he felt your hand wrap around his wrist.
“Stay.” Your voice held a silent plea. You weren’t sure if you could be left alone at all. He didn’t respond, only moved to lay next to you, wrapping his arms around your body. If you weren’t grieving, then you might have relished in the feeling of his heavy arm against your waist or his warm breath against your neck, but you didn’t feel any of it. Only the empty space where your brother should be.
As you fell asleep that night, you vowed to find whoever had killed your brother, and vowed to string them up like animals, just as they did Jeremiah.
It didn’t take long to find them either. In fact, they came around only a few days later. Three men that Sandor recognized to be from the Brotherhood Without Banners rode up to the tavern, bursting in even though you hadn’t opened the doors to anyone. Plus, everyone knew that tonight was not a night to visit the tavern.
“We want ale and bread.” The man who was obviously in charge demanded. You didn’t respond. Instead, you continued to stare at the window, the tree where you found your brother being the only thing that held your attention, though you couldn’t see it in the darkness of the night. The man growled at you and jerked his head towards the door. Sandor stood, following them to make sure they didn’t try anything else. He noticed the group of men preparing their horses, but he didn’t notice one man sneak around towards the back of the tavern.
A sudden light reared up against the dark night sky, and Sandor turned towards it. The men cackled as they rode off, but Sandor couldn’t react. Fire began to burn the tavern, and Sandor felt nothing but pure, unadulterated fear. He could focus on nothing but the flames licking at the wooden building. But then an image was brought to his mind: your body burnt amongst the rubble. So he shook himself from his daze and hobbled back inside. “(Y/N)!” He called, spotting you in the spot you had sat in earlier. You were unmoving, the tree now illuminated by some outside source.
He picked you up with ease, coughing as the smoke began to cloud the building. He stumbled back out, his arms holding you against his chest. You began to sob again, watching the only home you ever had being burnt to the ground. The whole time, he held you, rocking you back and forth as you sobbed into his chest. “I’ve got ya. I’m here. I won’t leave ya.” He murmured, his voice holding the most emotion it ever has before.
Everything you had ever loved was gone. And it was never coming back.
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pepperony3000-archive · 2 years ago
For the prompts - how about irondad and spiderson and kidnapping?
(I’m going against what everybody expects in this scenario)
Set post Endgame (but Tony’s alive + missing his right arm and with irreparable heart damage). Un-beta’d
Send me a ship/duo/character + scenario and I’ll write a short ficlet
It was 3:00 in the morning, and Peter probably shouldn’t have been awake.
Strike that, make that definitely shouldn’t have been awake.
But he had a big exam in the morning that he had to study for, and early evening had been taken up with Spiderman duties.
“Spiderman duties” is definitely not Peter-talk for “procrastinating on studying for this exam”.
But still, 3am is a weird time for his phone to ring, and definitely a weird time for that phone call to be coming from Mr. Stark!
He absentmindedly answered it as he turned the page of his notebook, squinting at his nearly unreadable handwriting.
“Hey, Mr. Stark!”
“Listen to me very carefully…”
Shit. That wasn’t Mr. Stark’s voice.
“We have Stark, and if you don’t do exactly what you are told, his remaining limbs are going to be sent to you in a gift basket.”
Peter tried to keep the tremble out of his voice, tried to come off as strong and determined.His voice sounded cold even to his own ears.
“What do you want?”
“We are going to text you coordinates. You are going to come to them alone. We are monitoring your phone, so if you try to contact War Machine or Rescue, Stark will die.”
He could hear his heartbeat thundering so loudly in his ears it was surprising that the man on the other end couldn’t hear it.
“For every minute we have to wait for you, Stark will suffer. Don’t take too long, or he might not live long enough to get his limbs sent away in a basket.”
The call ended with an ominous click, and Peter’s phone dropped from suddenly numb fingers.
Shit! Shit! Shit! This couldn’t be happening! Mr. Stark couldn’t defend himself anymore!
He needed to call Pepper, or Colonol Rh… no the kidnapper said not to do that. He couldn’t breathe, couldn’t think, couldn’t move.
His phone vibrated, pulling him out of his panic. It was a text. The coordinates! 
His fingers were trembling so much he could barely pick up his phone - only managing it on the third try. He forced his blurred eyes to focus on the coordinate numbers, before copy/pasting them into google maps.
Shit! They were almost six hours away!
At the moment, “shit” seemed to be the only coherent word in Peter’s mind, but his numb body moved on autopilot - suiting up, checking his web fluid, making sure he was ready for this.
Did they say he couldn’t bring weapons? Did his Spidey-suit count as a weapon? He couldn’t remember, all he remembered was the threat on Mr. Stark’s life. All he remembered was that if he didn’t move fast enough, there was still a chance he could lose him.
That thought stopped him cold.
“No…” he whispered to himself. “I am not losing him! I’m not letting Pepper lose her husband. I’m not letting Morgan or me lose our father. I’m not… I’m not… I’m not…”
He repeated those words like a mantra, as he swung out into the cool night air.
“I won’t let him die.”
Tony roused slowly, confused. It had been a while, but he still recognized the acrid after-odor of chloroform.
This can’t be good.
He gently tensed his muscles, ready for pain to spasm through his body. When there was nothing, he cautiously opened his eyes. He was reclined against a metal slab in what looked like some sort of lab, at least based on the equipment and machines that were scattered around him. His arm and legs were manacled down, and his shirt was missing.
Great. Just what I needed.
A door to his right squeaked open, and Tony cursed the blind eye that prevented him from seeing his captor.
“Ahhh, Mr. Stark.” a voice purred. “You’re awake!”
“Yeah fuckface, I am. Now why don’t you tell me why I’m here? And if the answer is that you want me to build something for you, the answer is no.”
Tony wrenched slightly against his bonds, trying to turn his head far enough that he could see his captor.
Fuck! It’s that vulture guy!
“I don’t need you to build something for me, Stark. You’re just here as leverage. My real target is on its way.”
“You really think there’s a target bigger and better than me? Let’s face it, I’m the “savior of the universe” or whatever other titles people are throwing at me. I’m pretty damn valuable. I don’t think there’s any one single being who could bring you more reward money than me!”
It was false bravado and he knew it. They both knew it.
“I know we’re not all billionaires, Stark…” the Vulture walked closer to Tony, wheeling something he couldn’t quite see with him. Fuck that stupid blind eye. “We don’t all think in dollar signs. What I want is a little more valuable.”
Tony didn’t look away as the vulture… Toomes was it?… bent down over him, eyes burning with hate. “And what better way to get my revenge on the kid who took my daughter from me, than to take away his father?”
Tony struggled against his bonds once again as he felt Toomes clipping wires to him. He knew what was coming next.
“Anything you want to say before we begin?”
Peter stay away… stay away kid.
“You do realize I have heart issues. Apparently saving the universe can do nasty things to the old ticker.”
Stay away, stay away, stay away…
Toomes laughed. “Well then I’ll just have to get creative while we wait, and use more than just one toy, won’t I?”
Stay away, stay away, stay away…
The machine whirred on.
Tony’s body arched as electricity forced its way through him, trying its best to pull a scream out of his mouth.
Stay away, stay away, stay away, stay away…
Peter peered through the window, ignoring the terrified voice in the back of his head reminding him that he might already be too late.
He couldn’t just rush in there. He had to be smart about this, or Mr. Stark was dead. 
Taking a deep breath, he closed his eyes for a moment, composing himself. “Karen?” he whispered. “How many people are in there?”
“I can only detect Mr. Stark and four other individuals - identities unknown.”
Well that was something at least.
“Where are they? Nevermind, don’t tell me that. Just direct me there.”
Peter crept through the bunker, fear clawing at his throat. Karen had said that she detected Tony, so he was alive… but what had the kidnapper been doing to him since the phonecall?
“Mr. Stark and the unidentified people are through that door, Peter”
There were no windows, no way to get visual confirmation of what was going on. Peter was just going to have to burst in.
How long had it been? Hours? Days? 
Tony wasn’t sure, all he knew was that Toomes and his lackeys were frighteningly creative. He was still soaked to the skin and shivering from the last bout of waterboarding; cuts and burns and bruises covered nearly every inch of him, and he was currently hanging upside down from the ceiling, being treated like a piñata. 
He had stopped fighting hours ago.
Stopped counting the broken bones with each sadistic hit.
He was going to die here… Pepper would have to grow old without him, Morgan would have to grow up without her dad… but at least Peter had stayed away. At least Peter wasn’t in dan…
The door burst open.
Mercifully, the beating stopped, and Tony was left swinging - his pain-addled brain just grateful for the reprieve.
Fuck! They stopped! That meant…
He struggled to open his swollen eye, struggled to focus on what was going on as the room continued to spin around him. Struggled to hear the jumbled conversation that was happening beside him.
“Okay Big Bird! Time for round two?”
Peter sounded a lot more confident than he felt, but Mr. Stark was there… and he didn’t look conscious.
If you’ve killed him… his subconscious growled threateningly.
Toomes laughed. “It’s not a round two, Pete. It’s not that simple at all. You see after you made me lose my family, I decided the best vengeance would be to make you watch your mentor here die.”
Shit! He had a gun!
“Hate to break it to you, but I’ve lost three different parents already. If you think this is something I don’t constantly expect than think again.”
Toomes cocked the gun and aimed it at Tony’s swinging form. “Well it looks like my surprise party is a bust. At least I know how to end it with a bang.”
Peter’s world seemed to be moving in slow motion. Toomes’ finger was pulling the trigger, the three other men were coming towards him, the bloody crowbars they held swinging through the air.
“Now, Karen!”
The lights in the room went dark, and Peter swung into action.
“Electric webs!”
His webs zapped towards Toomes, lighting the distance between them with a blue light.
There was a terrifying bang as the gun went off just as Toomes’ screamed in shock as he was tased to the ground. The three lackies went down just as quickly.
But that gunshot…
Shit… Tony, Tony no… Tony please be okay!
“Friday, get the lights back up! Hurry!”
Tony was covered in so much blood Peter couldn’t be sure if any of it was from the gunshot.
“Mr. Stark? Are you okay? Oh please be okay…”
He gently lowered his mentor to the floor. “Karen, is he okay?”
“The bullet struck him in the leg and is lodged there. He needs attention”
Tony let out a low groan as Peter tore apart the ropes around his ankles.
“Kid…” it was a hoarse whisper, but it was something.
“Hey… it’s okay Mr. Stark. I’m going to get you out of here”
“You sh-should’ve stayed away…” Tony whispered, before his eyes fell shut.
Tony frowned, the steady beeping rousing him out of his comfortable sleep.
“Pep… turn off the alarm…” he slurred out.
His own voice caught in his throat, and he started coughing. And with the coughing came a wave of pain.
He opened his eyes, alarmed at the sensation as a soft hand brushed against his forehead.
“Ssshhh, Tony. It’s okay.”
His eyes focused on Pepper, holding a sleeping Morgan against her shoulder.
“Peter brought you home”
Tony looked around, taking stock of his location. He was laying in a hospital bed, nearly covered in bandages. Peter was sitting in a chair by his bed, both hands grasping Tony’s left hand, fast asleep. The sheets under his face were wet with tears.
“How…” another wave of pain accompanied his attempt to talk.
“It’s been a week, Tony. You were so hurt they put you in a medically induced coma for the first few days.”
Gently, Tony lifted his hand from Peter’s and rested it on the chestnut curls.
Pepper was silent for a moment, watching as the movement caused the teenager to start stirring. “He hasn’t left your side. I think he blames himself for what happened.”
Tony’s heart skipped a beat. Of course his brave stupid kid blamed himself. But he shouldn’t! It was Toomes’ fault for being an insane maniac and hurting innocent people, not Peter’s.
“Kid…” he called gently, ignoring the pain.
Peter lifted his head, eyes red and puffy. “Mr. Stark!”
Tony smiled, trusting his kid to read the unspoken words.
You did good kid.
“I’m so sorry, Mr. Sta…”
Tony’s hand moved from the top of his head to rest against Pete’s mouth.
No apologizing, kid. It’s not your fault.
Only when Tony felt him smile beneath his hand did he let it drop to rest on Peter’s shoulder.
“I’m glad you’re alright, Mr. Stark”
Tony squeezed his shoulder gently.
Me too, kid. I wouldn’t want to have to leave you.
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skycrystal23 · 2 years ago
Peter Parker x Reader 2
Fallout - Nightmares 
Summary: Peter is slowly beginning to open up to the Reader again through a shared experience in haunting nightmares from the day of the snap. Their relationship is slowly being mended although Peter is still reluctant to share what has been troubling him so much. 
Characters: Reader, Peter Parker, Pepper {mentioned}, Morgan Stark {mentioned}
Warnings: Sad Peter again, sorry
Words: 1046 {approx.}
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           You woke up in a cold sweat feeling your heart pumping double-time and a scream caught in the back of your throat. You dreamt of the snap again. Your family disappearing, crumbling to dust and being whisked away by the wind and Peter’s god-awful voice message that left you numb. Your natural reaction was to reach for your phone and scroll through your contact lists to Peter’s number. This was an old habit you thought you had broken over the past five years. Whenever the two of you had nightmare you would call one another no matter the time.
           Before you realized what exactly you were doing his number was being dialed. You started to panic internally, hands frozen and unable to press the dreaded ‘end call’ button. The call went through and surprisingly he answered. There was a long pause, but you could hear him breathing. “I had a nightmare and y’know, old habits die hard.” You whispered. Your room was dead silent as was the rest of the house. Everyone else was sound asleep in their beds. The digital clock on your bedside table read: 3:35am.
           It was late at night, you realized now that you should have hung up before it went through. “…what was it about?” He asked, voice groggy from just waking up.
“I don’t want to talk about it.”
           Peter sighed; you could hear him shifting in his bed. He was clearly awake now. This was the first time in a long time you’ve had a phone call with him. There was a long pause again, you could hear him breathing which was somewhat comforting. Your nightmares varied from time to time. Sometimes it was about the day of the snap and others were about Peter disappearing. You never saw it, but you imagined it happening in a variety of ways. It was haunting hearing his voice after so long of him being gone. “I shouldn’t have called, I’m sorry.” You apologized quietly whilst toying with your blankets.
“Call me again…if it happens.” He answered just as quietly.
“Goodnight.” You whispered.
           There was another pause and then he hung up. You stared at your phone screen for a minute longer at his stupid contact picture. It was honestly an atrocious picture from when you decided to give him a ‘make over’. Really it was just an excuse to see how badly you could mess up his face with paint, feathers, gems, and other crafty materials.
           The next day you arrived at class and sat down in Chemistry, pulling out the beaten-up textbook from your backpack and setting it down on the high table. Peter came in late and hastily took a seat next to you before the teacher noticed. You were mixing different chemicals again. Peter seemed to be brilliant when it came to anything science related. The two of you sat quietly mixing the different chemicals, everyone else around you were chattering amongst one another. “Are you with Pepper this weekend?” He asked.
“Yeah, I alternate.”
           He raised an eyebrow at your answer. You didn’t think he actually wanted to have a whole conversation with you at the moment. “She took care of me for five years and I’ve been with Morgan since she was born. My parents don’t mind, they treat it like a temporary weekend camp.” You said trying to joke towards the end. Peter nodded and the conversation ended at that. The bell rang and you were quick to put your things away and head out to the cafeteria. It was still strange seeing so many people in the cafeteria. You sat by yourself and pushed around the pasta on your plate. The food at the cafeteria was sub-par at best. You looked up when a tray was set down beside you.
           You looked to your side to see Peter. Usually he sat by himself as well, he was still very troubled. “Hi.” You said scooting over a tad to give him more space. He looked at you, face flushing red when he realized that he sat without asking. “I should’ve asked before sitting I’m so-”
“-it’s okay.” You interjected.
           Peter had always been awkward. You were glad to see some of that awkwardness breaking through this dark shell that has incased him lately. The two of you sat in silence while surveying the rest of the cafeteria. Everyone acted as if the last five years never happened. It irked you by how easy everyone was able to move on from it. You sighed and finally took a bite of the oily pasta.
Two nights later your phone rang.
           You weren’t very asleep or very awake, yet you managed to grab your phone and answer it without even seeing who it was that was calling. “Hello?” You said, voice cracking.
“Don’t hang up.” He said sniffling.
“Okay.” You whispered softly.
           You lied in bed with the phone pressed against your ear listening to the sound of him sniffling. He was crying, he probably had one nasty nightmare. “The day of the snap, we were all at mine for a barbecue…and one moment we were all laughing and the next they all disappeared before my eyes.” You said quietly. You squeezed your eyes closed and tried your best not to replay the scene in your mind. It felt good to let it out and Peter needed a distraction from his own nightmare. “I ran out onto the street and people were turning to dust all around me. I remember trying to call you…when it went straight to voicemail, I knew you were gone and I – I don’t remember what happened after that. Pepper found me wandering the streets sobbing, she took me in and that was that.” You explained feeling your eyes beginning to burn.
“If you ever want to talk about it…I’ll listen.” You continued quietly.
“Don’t hang up.”
           You didn’t hang up on him. You were on the phone until you heard his breathing even out – the sound of him sleeping. When you knew he was okay you finally let him go. If he needed you again you would answer in a heartbeat. The gap between you and Peter’s relationship was slowly starting to mend; the fallout beginning to get cleared away.
A/N: If you want to stay updated with this story you can be added to the tags list for this! Have any prompts for some Marvel characters send them! I love writing requests! 
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cakeisnotpie · 2 years ago
Cake’s Review of Avengers: Endgame
All right, I’ve got tissues ready and I’ve checked my personal nitpicks at the door for my review of Avengers: Endgame (well, all but one).  As usual, spoilers lie beneath the read more, so BEWARE!!!!   
Overall, I really loved the movie. I laughed, cried, got annoyed, laughed some more, shouted out loud, then brawled like a baby.  The flick has some issues ... *cough* science hand-wavey shit, I’m looking at you *cough* ... but my verdict is it’s a wonderful culmination of the last 21 movies that isn’t an end, but a new beginning. 
I give it a solid A. 
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1. “I am Iron Man.”  Yeah, it had to come down to Cap and Tony.  I love Clint, I really do, but it had to be one of those two.  When Tony held up that gauntlet with all six stones, the whole theater erupted in a combination of “Hell, yeah!” and “Oh my God, no.”  We knew what it meant and the next few moments ripped out hearts and left even my hubs in tears.  Bruce’s snap that brought everyone back was good, but Tony? Tony was ... Tony Stark. He laid down on that wire and saved the world.  Rest, Tony. You deserve it. 
2. “On your left” -- Oh my God, when I realized it was Sam talking in Steve’s ear, I shouted for joy.  Seeing those portals open and the people walk/fly/run out was the absolute best fanservice kind of moment.  Everyone was there. Valkryie, M’Baku, Hope, Star-Lord ... good God, it was perfection. 
3. Steve is worthy.  This is the bookend to Tony’s snap, Steve picking up the hammer and the ensuing fight with Thanos.  Fucking hell yes, I screamed and clapped and I want to go back and watch it a million more times.  
4. The humor throughout.  Scott Lang is a fucking gift who just wants to eat his tacos. Big Lebowski Thor has the best lines (his description of Thor: The Dark World is especially funny). Bruce/Hulk’s smiles and selfies and jokes. For a movie that could be too dark, the Russos managed to balance it out with a lot of humor. 
5. “Hail HYDRA,” “Bucky’s Alive,” “Clint!” and so many other little beats that call back to other movies.  When Steve got on that elevator with Jasper Sitwell and the Fast Strike team, I squeed out loud.  Same with T’Challa calling Clint’s name on the battlefield.  Spiderman being supported by all the women? Yessssssss.  Jarvis? Peggy? Thor getting to talk to his mom? Warmed my fangirl heart.  Not all the moments worked, but when they did, they were FANTASTIC.
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1. The opening gambit and five years later.  Starting with Clint’s family getting dusted (yep, I gritted my teeth and got through it) then the failure to get Thanos was a brilliant way to establish the time jump and set a very sobering tone for what comes next.  We get to see the counseling sessions, Clint gone rogue, Natasha holding down the fort, Steve untethered.  They needed to lose that second time to be ready to sacrifice to bring everyone back. What stops this from being fabulous?  To me, it’s the very obvious set up of Tony having to choose between his family and everything else.  Don’t get me wrong, I love  Morgan and Pepper supporting his going plus being there at the end, but it was a little too emotionally manipulative for me. 
2. “It’s a time heist” -- okay, put aside the wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey science of time travel for a second (we’ll talk more about that, trust me).  Going back to other MCU movies to steal the stones was a wonderful way to get all those little beats in, to revisit the past and see where we’ve come.  The different camera angles, Steve getting to fight past-Steve, Tony talking to his dad all allowed so much room to play with the whole MCU.  New York, New Jersey, Asgard ... I could wish the outer-space locations were as well-done ... it was a nice plot device. 
3. Honorable mention to “America’s Ass.”  Yes. This was good. 
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1.  Clint as Ronin -- I fucking love Clint as Ronin and will fight to the death anyone who wants to @at my baby, but I’ll admit I didn’t get enough of it.  The plotline was over too fast and then he was back in the Avengers compound and running around with his bow.  The moments we did get were great ... don’t get me wrong; we just needed more of it. 
2. Morag and Vormir -- Both the outer space locations made me scratch my head.  Why Clint and Nat to Vormir and Rhodey and Nebula to Morag?  Wouldn’t it have made more sense for Clint & Nat to go back to New York? They’re spies!  Why didn’t Nebula think about the whole networked thing? Other than needing a reason for Nat to sacrifice herself (see more on that below), why were they there? And, honestly, I could care less about Thanos and his fake love of his stolen “daughters” so that part did nothing for me. 
3. Timey-wimey shit.  Sigh. Okay, here’s the thing.  I teach a class on science fiction/science fact and we do a whole section on time travel theories.  So I know what’s theoretically possible and what’s pure cheesy storytelling. Yes, the concept that the Ancient One describes is a good way of thinking about time (the bundle of streams/universe idea) and, for a chunk of the movie’s outcomes, they stick with that notion.  But the couple times they violate it? Wow, okay, yeah no.  (see more on the most egregious in the next section). Overall, it’s all a bit too hand-wavey, especially at the end when Thanos jumps forward in time for me not to notice the two guys behind the curtain going “we need to do X here.” 
5. Why was Carol Danvers up there the whole time? -- Okoye’s should have asked this because, dayum, that was obvious “we can’t have someone who can end things so easily so let’s make her unavailable” writing.
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1.  What about Bucky?  -- so, wait. Steve goes back in time, marries Peggy, lives a happy life and NEVER FUCKING GOES AND SAVES BUCKY?  I mean, really?  Maybe ... and it’s a big maybe ... if they’d explained that Steve was in a parallel timeline (once he went back, he changed things so the timelines separated) and, big drama queen he is, waited until he was old and grey to come back and tell them ... yeah, nope. That doesn’t work either.  Now, if they’d turned, seen old Steve, then when the camera panned back, Bucky had short hair and a different arm, suggesting Steve got him back earlier, I’d have bought it, but not the other way. And we can’t forget Steve told past Steve that Bucky was alive ...
2. Natasha’s death --  If you’d told me that I’d get a section with Clint and Natasha fighting over who was going to sacrifice themselves for the good of the many, I’d have been overjoyed. But watching it, well, the whole Vormir scene left me feeling like it was rushed and not fully fleshed out.  It makes sense that Nat would make the choice she did, but I’m so deep into the fandom of Strike Team Delta I can connect the dots based on fanfic alone.  The movie didn’t do that for us -- I ended up not crying at her death as much going “WTF?” Plus, not even a quick flash of her funeral or Clint laying roses on her grave or a plaque or anything?
3. The Snapture never happened -- timey-wimey shit number two here ... If Thanos jumped forward in time and died at the Avengers compound, then he never goes on to do all the rest of the stuff he does.  He doesn’t destroy the Nova Corp. He doesn’t attack the refugees from Asgard and kill half of them (Heimdall is alive!).  He never kills Gamora to get the soul stone.  Yeah, yeah, he jumps time streams and yada, yada, but he fucking DIES, folks.  I can write off Nebula killing Nebula because of the concept that the person traveling in time is immune (thus why time travelers remember how things used to be while others forget), but there’s no Thanos to go on and do the rest.  That only works when there’s two Thanos’ ... and the Avengers killed this timeline’s Thanos in the first five minutes. 
4. No Phil Coulson -- goddamnit, all I needed was for Phil to be standing next to Fury on the porch during Tony’s funeral. No lines, nothing, just have him there.  Are you fucking kidding me that he wasn’t there for Clint after Nat’s death? Oh, hell no. 
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1.  So Steve returned the tesseract to New Jersey in the 70s ... but did he stop Loki from taking it and disappearing in 2012? Is Loki on the loose with the tesseract and how does that change 2019? 
2. Did Steve and Peggy hide who he was? Wouldn’t everyone have known? Did Sharon never meet her Uncle Steve? Did he warn Peggy about HYDRA in SHIELD?
3. So Sitwell and Rumlow think Steve is HYDRA. How does that change Winter Soldier? 
4. Are they going to make Lila Barton the next Hawkeye? 
5. Wow, how old was Cassie Lang?  She grew a lot in 5 years. 
6. Did Steve and Bucky talk about passing the shield to Sam? ‘Cause Bucky nodded in agreement and seemed to support Steve’s choice. 
7. Are Nat and Gamora bonding in the soul stone? Hope they have vodka. 
8. Seriously, Steve just sat at home during Vietnam and Korea and other conflicts? 
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okimargarvez · 2 years ago
HURT- open wounds - 22
Original title: Hurt.
Prompt: Luke’s dark thought, destiny, contrasted love.
Warnings: sexual content, dark thoughts.
Genre: angst, drama, romantic, smut, dark, mistery, frienship.
Characters: Penelope Garcia, Luke Alvez, BAU team, O.C.
Pairing: Garvez.
Note: multichapter.
Legend: 💏😘😈🔦🐶❗🎈👻.
Song mentioned: La tua vita intera, Tiziano Ferro.
Hurt- Masterlist
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Note: this is the last chapter. This story is ended!
Chapter 22-
-This story will end today, in some way. It's clear by now.- Penelope stands up and approaches him, without touching him. Luke can see her shiny eyes, but also the stubborn expression.
-I know. That's why I'm afraid.- the voice trembles, but refuses to give up. He hugs her, caresses her back and whispers sweet and comforting words.
-Hun, darling, look at me.- he takes her face in his hands. -I'm afraid, we are all afraid. But I can't promise you anything other than that I'll do my best, I'll be careful, because nothing will happen to me. Because I don't want to lose you, I don't want to lose the opportunity to stay with you and now we have to take care not only of Roxy, but also of Twisty...- he smiles, even a few tears fall from his eyes. -It's a great responsibility.- the last word is cut from her lips.
-Yes, it is. So be sure to bring your ass back home tonight, otherwise I'll go out with that man of the billiards that always flirts with me...- Luke laughs and grabs her by the wrists, bringing her closer to him again.
-Oh yes?- he knows he still has only a few seconds. They have to go and save Diana. They kiss again, then get out of the bunker. He must concentrate on the mission, he can’t think of Penelope in a fixed way, because this could distract him and make him commit some imprudence.
The blonde woman now feels powerless, because she can only wait for the facts to unfold, there is no information that can be useful to him, she has no way of preventing things from going as they should, but she has a terrible, dark premonition that digs in her bowels. She feels the desire to vomit, scream, cry. She hasn't had a chance to tell him how much she really loves him. Now, thinking back to the first months, how she behaved, trying to keep him at a distance, then realizing that she fell in love with him, all too soon... she is not being able to do without him. Now, she feels like an idiot. It started in such an absurd way, it is absurd even that Luke can really love her... yet he does. Please, Lord, let everything work out for the best. I know I ask You too many favors, but in that house there are so many good people who don’t deserve to die, including one in particular, and... and I promise You that I will be able to clearly demonstrate to him what I feel for him, if You let him come back in one piece.
 Lindsey poses the detonator and he handcuffs her and takes her outside. He feels less the burden on his heart. The helicopter trip goes by very quickly. As soon as it comes down, he runs into Garcia's room, nobody notices, but even in that case, he doesn't care. Maybe she heard his footsteps, because she waits for him on her feet. She hugs him hard, doesn't want to let him go. -Love, it's ok. It's over. I told you it would be over. Spencer won. We won. Lindsey is in our hands, Cat is in prison and Diana is safe. Do you want to see him? Soon Reid and JJ will arrive too.- he raises her chin, she puts her lips on his, but in a moment the kiss becomes more ravenous.
-I... I need it... it's so wrong, isn't it?- he doesn't let her replicate, he shakes his head and leaves the room, followed by her. A great promise lies on her head, yet here again she can’t find the courage to keep it. Then she sees all the others, already waiting, including Reid's mother and decides to postpone it later. She wants to enjoy this moment, because as JJ said many years before, they have so few good memories in these rooms. They see so many horrible things, the darkest points that the human mind can reach... so it is also good for the atmosphere of the building to be charged with positive energy. The elevator doors open, here is Spencer; Emily sends Diana forward, they exchange a few jokes in a low voice, then the hug. How much she misses her parents right now. She has never yet spoken to Luke about them, or rather not about their death and her feelings of guilt about it. She hasn’t yet told him a lot of things, all those that she didn’t want to say. Things must change. She had made a promise to him (apart from that to the Almighty): that once the story of Reid was resolved, they would have told the team about their relationship. That they are together. And now she will have to keep it.
She's thinking about this when she gets a text from Emily. She just says to go to hers bunker and so she hurries. But inside there is... Derek. There really is Derek Morgan, beautiful as always, even if that long beard makes him strange, he still remains the most attractive male specimen of the entire universe, her chocolate thunder, her statue of a god carved in... sorry, Luke.
She strives to regain control of her mind, then he comes out with his -Hey babygirl.- and that smile. It's too long since she heard that voice, that nickname, then she melts, sending to hell any effort to look like a normal person. Not with him, although there is Prentiss to watch the scene.
-Oh my God, oh my God, it's you!- she hops around in his arms. -It’s really you! You smell...- she closes her eyes to better enjoy the moment -…like… you smell like hope and happiness! It’s really you.- then they separate, but keep holding on to his arm.
-Yes, it's me, it's me, but listen.- he takes her face in his hands. -You gotta focus, ok?- Penelope knows he is perfectly right, so she tries to listen to him.
-Yeah. Anything. Anything.- she nods. -Focus... focus on what?- Emily lifts a cell phone and shows it to her.
-This text.- it says that Reid got out of prison and wants to see Derek, and that he must write to her if he wants to get the address of the security house where his mother was put. But it is signed with her name.
-Oh crap.- the blonde's heart leaps and she thinks exactly what her colleagues had already suggested. A trap. In fact, when she saw Luke enter her bunker shortly before, something, like a little voice, told her No, it's not over yet, but she didn't want to be right. The bad guys were in prison and the good guys were safe. What could happen? Now the answer is there, before her eyes. They move back to the meeting room.
 -I know we are all tired, but we might have a new load on Mr. Scratch.- that damn bastard is one of the criminals he has to thank for letting him know Penelope and true love, at more than forty years old. It is the asshole that led him to combine his path with that of the BAU, finally accepting to become a full-time profiler. He didn't believe he would make it, but now here he is. He faced so many different cases, most of it had nothing to do with Scratch or his modus operandi, yet he did it brilliantly, he managed to make his own contribution... in these people gathered here, plus Spencer who is not present because he is enjoying his new-found mother, he has earned a family. They aren’t just colleagues, but this is not something that happens everywhere, unfortunately. For example, it didn't happen with the members of the task forces, except with Phil... And you saw the result of having a friend in the middle. Friendship and love make you vulnerable to attacks. But looking at the blonde woman next to the chief of the unit, he consciously accepts to risk again, to mix the work with personal facts. But this time it will be different. There will be no ghosts of women to torment him and ask him why you had to send my husband, among all those who were available. Phil didn't even have the qualification to work on such a mission. What happened to him is your fault. Your fault.
-Somebody did a bang-up job of cloning my cell phone to send Morgan a fake text luring him to a non-existent safe house. And whoever that somebody is has mad skills.- but he is not the only one who is staring intently at Penelope. In fact, even that other man, the only one who doesn't know in person, the elusive ex-special agent Derek Morgan, is watching her carefully. Luke doesn't want to be jealous anymore, he doesn't want to repeat what he did when he saw a guy flirts with her at the bar or he saw her talking to Sam, her ex. He doesn't want to redo those mistakes. He trusts her, knows she doesn't love Morgan anymore, he's just her best friend and he has to be able to accept it.
-The kind of skills Scratch has.- Walker says.
In any case, he can't stand it. He has to get in the way, shooting even a useless question, but he must ask it, provoke her, remind her who is her boyfriend in this room. -Were you able to trace where the hack came from?- immediately he sees the expression of his woman stiffen. She looks up at the sky, assumes a very theatrical pose. She is reciting this part hopefully for the last time.
-Do you see what I have to put up with?- she asks to Morgan, but pointing towards Luke. The former agent frees his crossed arms.
-Alvez- he says. It's a strange thing, to be called by that one, who until he saw him was just another ghost, a fading creature, just a name, not a real person and now he is too much. -You always get a location, with this one.- and he puts his hand on Penelope's shoulder, literally squeezes it , while he looks at Latin in a... malicious way. As if, despite having been the last to see them, so he shouldn't know anything about them, instead he has understood everything. And in this case the situation is serious, because it means that the love he feels is printed directly on his face. Or that the blonde had talked to him, about the two of them, well before they officially got together. He will ask her as soon as he can. But right now he can't help but feel jealousy, pure jealousy, or rather the extreme intense desire to go there and take those fingers off his woman's body, to be able to pretend he is more at a distance, shouting, not just to Morgan, to others too, how things really are. But of course, he can't. He confines himself to a slightly mentioned smile, which blends perfectly with those of the others, next to him. And to put just a hand on the gun. Not that he is going to use it, but... it reassures him. -You guys are all good to go.- he adds, finally returning with folded arms.
-Obviously Morgan can’t come with us. He is a civilian now.- too bad, in case there will be ever a terrible accident... But no! He is married, with a small child. Luke, take control of your mind again. Penelope now loves him. But she hasn't said it yet. But she made it clear. It's enough? No, but it must be.
-We will miss you out there.- JJ says. Even Derek doesn't seem very happy.
-I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss it out there in the field with you guys. I think about it every day. But between my old friends and my new friends- he clearly points towards Luke -you guys are gonna go out there, you're gonna handle your business, you're gonna make people feel safe, and then you're gonna come home. And that's all that matters.- he is forced to admit that he is right. It's the only thing they have to do. But once this Scratch story is solved, they will have to give them at least a mini vacation; he will take Penelope to the mountains, where his grandparents had a chalet, they will stay there with Roxy and Twisty, they will enjoy walks and dinners by candlelight and after dinner under the stars...
-Let's saddle up.- the leader says, bringing him back down to earth. It's not over yet, but it will be soon. They all come out except the two best friends, he can't help but throw a last look at the blonde and in that look there is both the renewal of her promise (I'll come back home alive) and a slight warning (Don't forget who is the man you will wait with open arms).
Penelope asks Derek to accompany her to her den, even if for a moment she is tempted to tell him everything, about her and Luke, because she needs to let off steam with someone, to let her terror out. Scratch is a terrible adversary, he has almost destroyed Hotch's life, forced him to hide for Jack's sake, made him relive Hailey's murder, kidnapped and tortured Tara's brother, he knew perfectly well that Agent Alvez had joined their team... he knew too much about them, with too much warning. There was certainly a mole in the Bureau and their next mission would be to find out who it was. But right now she could only sit there, greet her best friend and then, in her bunker, listen to conversations among her colleagues. Limit herself to this.
Listening to Morgan talking about his baby, about the fact that he started walking... she has an extreme desire to cry, but this time with emotion. She had never thought of him as a father, but clearly he is perfect in this role. She should have known when he insisted on taking the baby Henry in his arms. And she can't help but wonder if Luke would be a good father too... a useless thought, since she is out of time, but they have Twisty and Roxy, and they are such a wonderful family too.
-I'm so proud of you.- he says, stroking her cheek. -I love you, always.- but then he changes his tone. -But do you think you can try to be a little friendlier, with Alvez?- bigger fear responds in her place, making her raise her eyes to the sky.
-Oh my God.- she really thinks If you would know what is the truth, and how really friendlier I’m with Alvez, you wouldn't reproach me. She has nothing to laugh about it.
-Hey, hey, hey. Look at me. He seems like a pretty all right kid.- and he smiles. You knew how much it is! He's like you, but he doesn't just play with double meanings... he makes them become concrete. He is intelligent, insightful, clever, mischievous. Sexy, jealous. Sweet, insecure, he has so many shadows that follow him, as you, but I think he has a little less of your willpower to overcome them. That is why I am there, and I will help him.
-He… I... it's complicated. I'll try. I make no promises.- already, enough promises, because so much fails to respect them. Suddenly the thought that they are already out hits her, they are in danger and that something horrible could happen at any moment. It doesn’t abandon her even while she greets his chocolate thunder, receives his kiss in the air and sends a bigger one back to him, remains to stare at the area until she realizes that he has really gone (again). And then she walks towards the bunker and connects with the others. -All right, Boltron, sound off.- a joke, to play down. She listens to someone's voices up to her. Ok. So far so good, they are still all alive and... She doesn't have time to finish thinking. Suddenly she hears a skid, braking noises, and doesn't understand what's going on.
Then she hears Emily ask -Is everyone ok?- and the others answer in the affirmative. Not even ten seconds pass. An even louder sound destroys her ears, so much so that she is forced to take off her earphones. She tries to contact them, but no one shows signs of life. So she sends a team of ambulances to the crash site and only then, she allows herself to faint for a moment.
 But this is a luxury that she can’t afford too long. The phone rings, she replies, is one of the paramedics. -Mrs. Garcia, we're bringing them to the...- but besides the address, he doesn't want to say more, about for example the conditions of her colleagues. So she drives up to there, passing every second from the most absolute discomfort to the optimism that characterizes her. She also calls Derek, to warn him of what happened and Spencer. Both said they will reach them as soon as possible. But she doesn't have time to wait for them. Then she parks, enters, asks the reception, all automatically, trying not to think. If she would did, she would stand motionless, too afraid to feel something she wouldn’t be able to overcome. They tell her the floor where they are hospitalized. The first she sees is Rossi. He wears a neck brace, but otherwise he is standing and seems to be fine.
-Penelope...- as soon as he hugs her, her armor collapses miserably. -Quiet, we're all fine, it's all right...- and yet something in his tone doesn't convince her. And the suspicion becomes atrocious after she enters their rooms and sees everyone except Luke. Why isn't he with others? Yet she doesn’t have the courage to ask anyone. She sets foot in the last and here is the answer. The body lying on that bed is completely covered with a white sheet. Dead. He can't be gone. He can't have abandoned her. She approaches a few steps but doesn’t dare to lift it. Not yet. -Why, Lord, did You have to put him in the middle?- she doesn’t notice at all that someone else has entered and remains on the threshold to listen to her. -It was my mistake, a lack of mine. I'm the one who doesn't have the courage to tell him how much I love him, how much I can't be without him and now... I'll have to try, but I don't think I'm able to do it. No. I know You have heard it said so many times, that they say that time helps, that what doesn’t kill you strengthens, makes you fat...- she doesn’t hear a slight chuckle behind her. -But I am very sure: I will not be able to recover. So, don't send me another handsome man to replace him, because I realized that no one replaces anyone. Derek is Derek and Luke is... he was...- she can't finish the sentence. -In short, I won't fall for a third time. I will always remain faithful to him, for what still remains for me to live... my only priorities will be Roxy and Twisty. I will never find another man so handsome, so interested in me, and above all...- huge male hands appear on her hips. She doesn't scream, because she seems to have recognized the scent that wrapped her. She is afraid to look down, but she forces herself to do so. She can no longer let her fears dominate her life. And she recognizes those hands. But it can't be...
-Hello.- he just tells her. Exactly the same word he had said to her the first time he saw her. -Hello, I'm Luke Alvez, from the task forces. I’ll collaborate with you in the case of Cullen...- she had ignored the hand he held out to her and merely glancing at him and raising her eyebrows, she had claimed -Penelope Garcia, computer technician. Now excuse me, but I'm very busy...- and she was gone, walking away on her vertiginous heels. -Penelope, love... are you okay?- it is not a hallucination, but this doesn't make less painful what she has felt. But she must be sure. She walks away and lifts the white sheet. Crumpled and wrinkled skin, different stitches... she lets it fall back down. It is an elderly person.
-Luke, I thought you were... dead.- the man makes a sign that he knows, he wraps his arms around her body to keep her closer. He too had the same terror. -It would have been my fault, because I can't tell you... show you.- it's ridiculous, she called thousands of people like that, she said that word to many people. She lifts on her toes and takes him by the face. He believes she wants to kiss him, but her intentions are different. -I love you.- she finally says. -I love you.- she repeats, as if the fact that she had worked so hard to pronounce it had opened the dam of her fears. -I love you and I understood, after all these years, that those two words are often not enough, that all that is between us is more important, that you were right: to stay awake waiting for your love to come back, is the biggest I love you that you can say.- she smiles, absorbs Luke's smile and now yes, he finally lays his lips on hers. Then she takes his hand and they leave the room.
-Pen, it's risky, the others are around here. They could see us.- he wants so much to get rid of this secret, but he will always and always put what she wants and what she needs, in the first place. Penelope sighs, increasing her grip.
-I know, but I'm not afraid anymore.-
TAG LIST: @shyladystudentfan  @norge-the-great @avengerquake123 @reidskitty13 @eclipseflower123 @lovebennycolon @pegasus-scifichick @theshamelessmanatee  @beana83 @ilovegarvez @martinab26 @hideourscars @ gracieeelizabeth27 @iliketomakecreampie @hepensadocosaspeores @arses21434 @sillygirlspy @mymidnightnightmare @teyamarra @mydreampenelope @lilises-blog @cosmicmelaninflower @thinitta @extremeobsessions101 @agentbishop @hellodawnwrightfan @kiki-krakatoa @amieatingevidence @ leftlamphumanfestival @ella1239me @flufflehufflepuffle @the-ellen-stuff I tagged just who liked at least a chapter of this story. Tell me if you want to be removed from the tag list ^^
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rollzerox · 2 years ago
Can you write another thing with Zoe (or is it morgan I’m confused about her name) and Lina? Like when they met up again?
Alright anon! Just remember Morgan/Zoe isn’t mine she’s @zenoobsessed ‘s OC and be sure to read her series Chasing Legends @i-create-as-i-write which this is a crossover with ^^ I decided to go with when Zoe, who is going by the name of Morgan by this time truly meets Lina for the first time, just keep in mind this is over two thousand years later after Different Times Different Faces
“I hate not having my core… Huh, this place looks familiar…” A black haired, freckled small girl was strolling along the forest when she heard something in the trees. “What the hell?” she looked up, and right then a small child with green and red hair landed right on her!
 “Oooowwww! That was a hard landing. Oh!” Lina gasped as she leapt off the woman. “I’m so sorry miss! Did I hurt you?”
 “Ehhhh no worse than I have been before kiddo, where did you come from?” the woman chuckled, slowly sitting up. The first thing Lina noticed about her was how sickly she seemed to look, causing the child to frown.
 “I’m sorry I was jumping in the trees and didn’t see you.” Lina whimpered. “I’m Lina by the way.”
 “Morgan.” The woman replied, petting the six-year-old on the head. Though she strangely felt a sense of deja-vu with this girl, where had she seen her before? ‘It’s not like hair that strange is common… Damn it’s nagging on me where I’ve seen…’ she then looked around. “Where are your parents sweetie? They camping somewhere around here or are you from town?”
 “No we have a camp just that way.” Lina pointed in one direction. “Just me, daddy and my uncles were hunting for dinner.”
 “A little girl like you hunting?” Morgan raised her eyebrow.
 “I’m not just little, I’m a Dragon Warrior!” Lina said proudly.
 “… A what?” Morgan blinked, getting a better look at the little girl now, as she saw a bit of green scales on her right leg that weren’t covered by her shoes as the girl wore a pink dress. ‘Oh crap am I in Kouka? I didn’t realize I wandered back here…’
 “Lina!” a male voice cried as a flash of green was all Morgan saw as something landed in front of her. “I told you to be careful with you jump-“ the man suddenly tensed up at the sight of Morgan, who had her hands on the child’s shoulders. “I apologize if my daughter is bothering you, lovely miss.”
 Morgan blinked a few more times when she met the mystery man’s amethyst eyes, she saw something there that sparked a memory in her. “… Jin-ae?” she gasped.
 “Who?” Jae-ha blinked, confused by her addressing him by a similar name to his own.
 “Daddy!” Lina gasped. “Sorry I landed on Morgan here and-“ she tried to explain but suddenly Kija and Hak came out of the bushes, both ready to attack.
 “Lina! There you are!” Hak had his glaive drawn and Kija his dragon arm enlarged, both had worried the little girl was in trouble when they heard her scream as she missed her jump.
 “Unhand her right this moment!” Kija said right away, but Jae-ha extended a hand to stop him.
 Morgan just rolled her eyes at the men overreacting, pushing Lina to her father. “Geez I wasn’t doing anything to her, calm down.” She shook her head. ‘Hakuryuus still jump to conclusions I see. Guen did you just pass on your stubborn gene to them or what?’
 “Ryokuryuu, is Miss Ryokuryuu alright?” Zeno rushed up last, freezing in place when he saw Morgan, he swore he’d seen the woman before but something was… Off. ‘…. No she looks different but for a moment I swore I saw the queen’s….’ he shook his head, dismissing the thought.
 He wasn’t the only one, Morgan’s eyes widened at the sight of the Ouryuu. ‘Damn he looks just like his first generation! Maybe he’s Zeno’s reincarnation or something…’ the old memory was a bit fussy, but she was recalling bits and pieces as seeing the dragons again jogged a bit of it. But that’s when she realized it as Shin-ah stood behind Zeno. ‘Wait… All the dragons are here? Does that mean-‘ She hadn’t seen the dragons gathered together since Hiryuu’s time.
 “I apologize for our rudeness.” Jae-ha extended a hand to Morgan. “My name is Jae-ha, I see you’ve met my daughter Lina. Can we offer a quick meal back at our camp in return for our misunderstanding? That is unless you’re in a hurry to where you’re going, in that case maybe we can help you get there faster.” He winked.
 A distant memory of Jin-ae flashing a similar smile ran through Morgan’s mind but she quickly dismissed it. Though it still nagged on her memory where had she seen Lina before? Unless… Morgan gasped as she clasped her hand over her mouth, realization dawning on her. Jin-ae…. The daughter of her reincarnation was named Lina, that little girl that traveled back in time all those years ago meaning… “… I’d love to.” She said with a warm smile, taking the man’s hand that felt so familiar. ‘Jin-ae, you got your wish to show up that drunken brother of yours. Geez you really did become a beautiful Ryokuryuu and your daughter is adorable.’ She found herself talking casually to Jae-ha so easily, like the many conversations she used to have with her friend from all those years ago. It was as easy as breathing to feel so comfortable with the Ryokuryuu, and she found herself immersed in little Lina all over again.
 Eventually they found their way to the camp, Yona rushing up to them. “There you all are, I was getting worried. Oh! You brought a friend, hello.” She smiled.
 “Morgan I’d like you to meet my lovely wife, Yona.” Jae-ha introduced them.
 “Jae-ha your wife is too good for you.” Morgan joked immediately, but smiled wide seeing the princess as it just cemented her suspicion who Lina really was. “No wonder Lina is so darling cute with a beautiful mother like this.”
 Yona flushed at that. “O-oh come on I….” she then gasped when Jae-ha seemed to wobble a bit, Hak immediately at his side and keeping the Ryokuryuu from falling over. “Jae-ha!” she cried.
 “I’m fine, just fine.” Jae-ha shut his eyes as sweat ran down his forehead, clutching to Hak for support as the green haired man looked like he was barely standing up.
 “Daddy….” Lina whimpered.
 “What’s wrong with him?” Morgan took in a sharp breath. She had an idea, she’d seen dragons die before when their successors were born, and she noticed while walking back to camp with Jae-ha something was draining the life out of him and passing on his powers to Lina.
 “It’s… Complicated.” Zeno mumbled behind her. “Miss Ryokuryuu let’s go get some apples for the lad to use for dinner huh?” he ushered the little girl away from seeing her father in pain.
 Lina nodded but kept looking back worried as she went with the Yellow Dragon. Morgan decided to follow along, frowning as she saw Jae-ha almost collapse once Lina wasn’t looking, obviously trying to stay strong for his child. ‘Dragon’s blood still causing more pain that it does good I see. Hiryuu himself… Or rather herself this time seeing the aftereffects of it.’ She noted the pain in Yona’s face. She remembered how much Jin-ae cried when she found out her brother was dying because his son had gained the dragon powers and how shortly he lived after the child was born. ‘To think they actually found each other again in this life only for the dragon’s blood to rip them apart… Jae-ha’s looking exactly like Shu-ten when…’ she shut her eyes as she couldn’t finish that thought.
 Zeno smiled as Lina jumped into the tree, turning to smile at Morgan as she joined them. “Miss Ryokuryuu likes to jump up and get the apples directly. The dragon powers don’t seem to amaze you, miss.” He noted, pursing his lips as it was still bothering him where he’d see her before.
 “I’ve… Seen them before.” Morgan admitted. “The dragon powers, that is. Truth be told, I’m actually a mage.” She felt comfortable telling them this, after all she knew from when little Lina visited her in past that she did something for her family that caused the girl to call her ‘Auntie Morgan’ when she… ‘Wait… She said I saved her father, didn’t she? Does that mean I…?’ she then blinked when she saw Zeno’s reaction.
 “….. Zeno hasn’t seen a mage in a really, really long time.” The Yellow Dragon looked at her shocked. “Not ever since…” he bit his lip.
 “Yeah well we’re not the most liked people around, and even most have forgotten about the dragons over the years.” Morgan waved a hand off at that. “And Zeno huh? Are you named after the first generation of dragons?”
 Zeno’s mouth twitched at the corners into a smile. “Not quite. Zeno is actually…”
 He was cut off as Lina screamed as she lost her footing, a branch broke and she began to fall. Morgan floated up with a spell to catch the girl, landing back down and smiling. “You really need to work on those landings, sweetie.” She kissed her temple.
 “Wow that’s cool Morgan! How can you do that?!” Lina exclaimed.
 “This is nothing for a mage…” Morgan mumbled, cursing how she couldn’t do much magic without her core currently.
 “Now why don’t you take those to your father? I’m sure Jin-ae will love them.” Morgan chuckled as she pushed the child along.
 “… Jin-ae?” Zeno’s eyes widened.
 “Oooppsss, I meant Jae-ha. Sorry.” Morgan chuckled as Lina ran off, she turned to Zeno to try and come up with an excuse. “Sorry he just reminds me of a friend that I-“
 “Lady Zoe?” Zeno gasped, grabbing her shoulders. “Is it really you? How are you…?”
 Morgan’s eyes widened with realization. “….. Oh my god. Hiryuu why didn’t you tell me? Zeno have you been… All this time?” she gasped.
 Zeno’s expression softened a bit. “Sadly Zeno didn’t find out until after you left with the queen when the prince took over. Zeno meant to visit when Shu-ten died but… He couldn’t. So Zeno’s been on his own since his brothers passed, until the little miss came along.”
 “Geez so we’re both immortals stuck in a similar situation…” Morgan pulled him into a hug. “Had I known maybe we could have saved each other some loneliness.”
 “Uncle Zeno, do you know Morgan?” Lina asked, tilting her head in confusion.
 “Well Zeno met Lady Zoe here a long, long time ago. Back in Hiryuu’s time actually.” Zeno chuckled.
 “You called her Zoe though.” Lina looked further confused.
 “I used to go by that name back then, when you live as long as I have it’s easier to change names.” Morgan waved her hand carelessly. “Didn’t you ever change your name, Zeno?”
 “Nope, Zeno is always Zeno.” Zeno chuckled.
 “Wow then you’re as old as Uncle Zeno is?” Lina gasped.
 “Actually I’m like…. Over six thousand years old.” Morgan tapped her cheek. “But don’t tell too many people because it’s not nice to blab a lady’s age.” she winked at the child.
 “Wow that’s so cool!” Lina gasped. “Can I tell mommy and daddy though?”
 “Sure go ahead.” Morgan chuckled at the child’s enthusiasm as the little Ryokuryuu rushed back to the camp, telling their group what she just found out.
 “She’s adorable.” Morgan mused, turning to the Yellow Dragon with a frown. “… Jae-ha doesn’t have long, does he? The dragon’s blood is killing him slowly as it drains his life while giving his powers to Lina, doesn’t it?”
 Zeno nodded with a frown. “Yes it’s true… Though you’ve got Zeno curious about something, Lady Zoe…” he turned to her with an eyebrow raised. “You called Ryokuryuu by the queen’s name… Why is that?”
 Morgan laughed at his question. “Seriously you didn’t notice it Zeno? Jae-ha is clearly Jin-ae’s reincarnation just as Yona is Hiryuu’s, I mean their auras are a dead giveaway but just… Something about their eyes I can see the old souls of my best friend and her husband.”
 Zeno’s eyes widened. “…. Zeno knew about the miss of course but… Huh. Zeno did often think Ryokuryuu reminded him of Shu-ten’s sister… Who knew? Zeno feels silly now that he didn’t figure out little missy and Ryokuryuu got together sooner now…” he shook his head as he suddenly looked like he realized something. “… But wait... That means Miss Ryokuryuu is…”
 “That little Lina is the same girl that came and saw us two thousand years ago?” Morgan finished for him, smiling wide. “Yep I’m fairly sure that’s her, seriously Zeno how many red and green haired Ryokuryuus are there?” she teased him.
 “…. Zeno’s memory isn’t the greatest, he doesn’t know how Lady Zoe does it.” Zeno grumbled.
 “Don’t worry Zeno it comes with time, you’re about four thousand years behind me after all.” Morgan winked, strolling back over to the group that looked at her with various expressions. “… What?” she blinked twice.
 “Well Lina dear here is telling us you have special… Abilities.” Jae-ha worded it carefully. “Also that you and Zeno are old chaps apparently.”
 “Oh you mean like this?” Morgan snapped her fingers and a fire appeared over the wood Yoon had placed as he was about to get that started to cook supper, making the boy genius yelp and back up. “Yeah I’m guessing you guys haven’t heard or seen a mage before, they’re rare in Kouka these days.”
 “Lady Zoe was very important to the queen back in Hiryuu’s time.” Zeno smiled as he came up behind her. “… Though she often liked to get into trouble with her… Like hiding all the noble’s shoes and seeing the garden on fire. Used to drive Hakuryuu crazy as he’d ban Lady Zoe from the castle all the time.” He laughed.
 “So you served back in King Hiryuu’s time?” Kija gasped, looking amazed.
 “Meaning you’re as ancient as the old hermit huh?” Hak asked.
 “Much older.” Zeno commented.
 “Now, now, it’s not nice to nitpick a lady’s age.” Jae-ha chuckled, then blinked when he noticed Morgan snickering. “Did I say something funny Miss Morgan?”
 “Nothing, nothing. You just remind me of an old friend, that’s all.” Morgan shook her head, unable to remove the wide smile on her face how much Jae-ha reminded her of Jin-ae. “Are you alright though? You looked ready to fall on your face back there.”
 “I’ll be fine after a quick meal and a rest.” Jae-ha chuckled and waved it off. “You look like you could use one yourself, really be our guest.”
 Yona nodded. “I agree, you can even borrow one of our sleeping bags if you’d like to rest here for the night. There’s plenty of room in the tent.”
 “You guys are far too sweet.” Morgan smiled at that. “I’m actually wandering around here in search of something, so if you all don’t mind me tagging along for a bit there’s no harm.”
 “Please do! I wanna see more magic!” Lina bounced up and down excited.
 Jae-ha chuckled and pet his daughter’s head. “Now, now, treasure. If our guest is alright with it maybe she’ll show you some more, and if you ask nicely.”
 “Treasure?” Morgan blinked, another memory flashing through her mind of how Jin-ae called that little girl that visited the same nickname because that was what her father called her. She smiled to herself as all the pieces seemed to be fitting together.
 “Jae-ha calls our daughter that all the time.” Yona giggled. “It’s become a nickname for her.” She groaned as she held her stomach. “Yoon I think what we had for lunch isn’t agreeing with me.”
 “Probably because you skipped breakfast.” Yoon sighed, handing her a small vile of medicine. “Take this.”
 Morgan felt the corner of her mouth twitch into a smile, could sense a new life inside the princess so it was rather obvious she was showing signs of the first stages of her pregnancy. Odds were the group had no idea though, but she could wait on springing that on them once she got to know them a bit better. Right now her thoughts were on the Ryokuryuu that was growing weaker sitting across from her. She frowned that here she finally found her own friend’s reincarnation only for that person to be on death’s door. But it was still nagging on her that when she saw that little girl from the future she said that Morgan saved her father’s life… So that made Morgan purse her lips in thought, her magic didn’t work on dragons so how in the world did she…? ‘Looks like I’m going to have to do a little research… Damn if only I had my core this would be easier but… Jin-ae, I can’t let you die like this. I’ll do everything I can to save you from your fate.’
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rampagewriting · 2 years ago
Bright Blue - Arthur Morgan
Author’s Note: So I’m sometimes a little bitch who rather say something on anon to a mutual than just message them like a big girl. I mentioned that @robwiethoff should have an Author Morgan fic written for them,they asked if I was wiling and hell yes I am. I love Arthur too but I also love making people happy with my writing. So this is for you bb <3 Dear god I hope I did good
Pairing: Arthur MorganxReader
Warnings: Little angst in the beginning,fluff,softness,hot cowboys. John and Arthur count as a warning.
Tag List: @robwiethoff
It was any other night. It was quiet outside except for the sound of crickets quietly chirping. I sat by the window,furiously fighting with my knitting. I never really got the hang of it but I’d be damned if I didn’t make a scarf or even a sock. I’d settle for one sock! My father always teased I wasn’t the most lady like of women. Quick tempered at times,even stubborn but he also acknowledged I could be sweet as sugar to those I cared about. God forbid anyone mess with my family. We were a small family. Just my father,my little sister and me. Our mother had passed long ago and my sister and I promised our father we’d take care of him when he was too old to do much of anything which earned us a laugh from him and the reminder he wasn’t down and out yet. I was always the night owl. Always the last to bed and the last to wake up. Like any other night the house was quiet while my father and sister slept. Tonight,things went different. Instead of the continued quiet the sound of something falling downstairs caught my attention. I held my breath,staying deadly still as I listened. I slowly set aside my knitting and rose from the chair I was sat in. I moved to the door and gently cracked it open. Looking up and down the hall I saw all the doors were closed. I slid out of my bedroom and quietly made my way down the stairs. My sister probably woke thirsty and I hadn’t heard her slip out of her room and make her way down the hall and down to the kitchen. When I got downstairs I noticed a bottle on the floor. With brows furrowed  I walked over and picked up the bottle. A bottle of whiskey my father kept for special occasions. Suddenly the world went dark and a searing pain blossomed on the back of my head.
Crying. That was the first thing I heard. My vision wasn’t back but I could hear. I could hear my sister crying and begging for our father. I rolled onto my side,realizing I was on the floor. I blinked,encouraging my vision to come back. Things began to slowly come back. It was blurry but I could see someone laying nearby me. I crawled over to the person,grabbing their hand. I shut my eyes hard before opening them again but wished I had kept them closed. My mouth fell open in disbelief as the lifeless face of my father stared back at me. 
My head whipped around to see my little sister,thrashing under a man as he tried to hold her down.
“This one’s too much trouble.” The man huffed,nodding to his comrade standing nearby. The man sighed and got up,whiskey bottle in hand as he drew his revolver with his other hand. One shot and the crying stopped.
“NO!” I screamed without thinking,drawing both men’s attention to me. I quickly crawled back but they were faster. One of them was on top of me,wrestling with my arms as I screamed. I ripped one hand away from the man,shuffling my hips back until I was up against the kitchen counter. 
“Hold still ya little bitch!” The man yelled at me. His breath stank like nothing I had ever smelled before. I reached up,gripping the handle of a familiar iron pan and brought it down on the man’s head. He immediately fell to the side and his friend yelled out.
“You’re gonna pay for that!” He yelled,running at me. I held the frying pan up,ready to whack at every part of him but a sudden gun shot made me jump and shut my eyes tight as I waited for the pain.
When no pain came I opened my eyes in time to see the man fall to the floor. Behind him stood another man,gun drawn still. I held the frying pan up,ready to fight still. The man holstered his gun and held his hands up.
I whimpered and sat myself up better,still holding the frying pan. The man moved closer and the light from the lantern on the kitchen table illuminated him. This was no man I knew. He had long hair down to his shoulders and a cap on his head,slightly shielding his face.
“Show me your face.” I demanded,making him stop.
“Show me. Your face. I wanna see you.” I hissed,waiting. Slowly the man reached up and pulled his hat off of his head.
“I’m not gunna hurtcha. I promise.”
“Promise?!” I sputtered and he offered a tight lipped smile.
“You have my word,ma’am. Is there anywhere I can take ya?”
At this I glanced at my family. My arms slowly lowered and my lip quivered. Tears quickly filled my eyes and I shook my head. “N-No. I have no one.” I sobbed,not realizing the man was knelt in front of me now and prying the frying pan gently from my fingers.
“...I’m sorry.” He spoke quietly and I finally looked at his face. I was met with bright blue eyes. I had never seen eyes so blue in my life. After a moment of silence he nodded his head and grunted. “Go upstairs ‘n pack some stuff up.” He said and I looked at him confused.
“Where are we going?” I asked quietly.
“I got a camp. You can stay there til you figure out what ya wanna do,miss...?”
“Y/N. Name’s Arthur Morgan.” He reached out and quickly wiped both my cheeks. “C’mon now. Get upstairs and pack some things. I’ll be outside.” With that he helped me up off of the floor.
In no time I was sat on the back of his horse,holding onto the man who saved my life. I trusted him. Why? I wasn’t sure. Probably for the simple reason that if he hadn’t shown up I’d be dead or worse then dead. 
“Who’s there?!” Someone called as we rode the damp woods of Lemoyne. My home was...had been not far from Rhodes. I suppose now it wasn’t my home anymore.
“It’s me!”
“Welcome back!”
As soon as we rode in and people saw Arthur wasn’t alone people began coming over. One man teased Arthur for saving another woman,I supposed I wasn’t the first. The first one to approach was a man in a red vest,telling me his name was Dutch and asking Arthur what happened. It was a quick explanation before a woman was called forward to take me to a tent and get me cleaned up. I looked back at Arthur,eyes wide in worry.
“Go on,Y/N. Ms.Grimshaw won’t hurt ya.” He reassured me and with that I followed the ladies to a caravan where they helped me clean up and calm down.
It seems like forever ago Arthur saved me. In reality it was only weeks ago but it felt like I had been with this group for years. In the end when Dutch asked me my plan I opted to stay. I was thankful for Arthur saving me and honestly I felt better being near him.
“Come on,Jack. You know this one.” I encouraged softly,pointing to the word in the book. Normally Hosea taught Jack but when Dutch needed him I helped with Jack’s lessons. 
“I don’t!” The little boy huffed and I rolled my eyes.
“Yes you do.” I sang,starting off the word for him until Jack yelled out the word. “See! You knew it!” I told him with a grin.
“I did! Aunt Y/N can I go play?” Jack asked,pouting up at me.
“Now Jack,you tryina slip outta your lessons with Aunt Y/N?” Arthur appeared behind us,making Jack look back and grin.
“But I’ve been working forever Uncle Arthur! Please?” Jack looked between us two.
“Well I dunno.” Arthur rubbed his stubbly chin and looked down at me,”What do you think,Ms.Y/L/N?”
I looked back at Jack giving me a puppy dog face and sighed. “Alright you can go. We start something new tomorrow morning though!” I warned him and a second later Jack was on his feet.
“Thank you,Aunt Y/N!” Jack yelled at he ran off.
“That boy loves yeh.” Arthur chuckled,helping me up from the floor.
“I suppose he does.” I laughed and looked up at Arthur. 
“I uh...I wanted to ask you a favor.” Arthur said and I raised a brow at him. I wrapped my arm around his and tugged him forward to walk with me.
“And what would that be,Mr.Morgan?” I asked him,walking towards my tent beside his. When I first joined the group I had refused to be far from Arthur. So now my tent was always beside his. He even let me use his cot when I first got there and slept beside me on the floor. 
“I know ya don’t really...participate in our money gatherin activities but-”
“You want my help this time? Arthur,I’m...I’m flattered you want my help and I’m honored you’re asking me but I’m no Abigail. Or Mary Beth.”
“But you are sweet.”
A blush crept onto my cheeks at the words and I turned my head to the side. “I suppose.” I murmured as we reached my tent. I returned the book to a small pile of books Hosea had happily let me borrow.
“Ya won’t be stealin nothin. We’ll just be...enjoying a little gathering while the boys do the work. I promise you - you won’t get hurt.” Arthur promised,taking my hand gently. “I’ll personally make sure no harm will come to ya,Ms.Y/N.”
“How many times do I need to tell you just to call me Y/N. Really,Arthur. No need for formalities.” I sighed,looking up at him. Arthur looked down at me,the corner of his mouth twitching up. “Alright!” I sighed,leaning my head back in exasperation. “I’ll help.” I answered and Arthur chuckled.
“It don’t take much does it?” He said,earning a wack to his arm.
Three days later I was gussied up,sat on Arthur’s cot as he looked through his chest of clothes.
“No,no.” I shook my head and took the vest he picked out. 
“Not this one,Arthur. This one looks so much better on you!” I explained,picking up his bright blue vest. It brought out his eyes nicely and made him even more handsome than he normally was if that was even possible. I walked over and slid the vest onto him. “There!” I grinned,fastening the vest. I looked up after running my hands over the vest and met Arthur’s gaze. I was never one to shy away from telling Arthur things. How I felt about something,what my opinion was and even mentioned to the girls when Arthur looked good. Of course all of them told me to tell him. I just never did.
I giggled and smiled up at Arthur,making him chuckle. “What?” He asked and I hummed. 
The sun was only adding to Arthur’s looks. It brought the blue in his eyes out along with his vest. I reached up and gently moved the stray pieces of hair from his face. His hair pomade was wearing out so his hair was starting to fall out of place. 
“You’re cute.” I giggled,full on laughing at the look on Arthur’s face. A light flush made it’s way onto his cheeks and he sputtered.
“E-Excuse me?”
“You heard me! You’re cute!” I repeated,finishing up fixing his hair.
“Look who’s talkin. Can we go now?” Arthur asked and I nodded. Arthur reached to put his hat on and I snatched the hat. 
“Not today.” I told him,setting it to the side. 
Arthur rolled his eyes and took my hand,dragging me towards his horse.
When we arrived to the home this party was being held at Arthur helped me down from his horse. Hosea instructed the boys to split off.
“Arthur,Y/N go inside and mingle. Find out where exactly they’re keeping this cash. Keep a low profile.”
“No problem,Hosea.” I smiled at the gentleman and took Arthur’s hand in mine.
The two of us made our way inside and immediately were welcomed inside. Arthur walked us over to a table of drinks and handed me a cup. “Just act like you’re at a party.” Arthur looked around then back at me,”Let’s split off for a little bit. I’ll keep my eye on you.”
I nodded and let Arthur go. It was easy to fall into conversation with the people at the party. One of the ladies began speaking about the fortune the couple had,mentioning they kept it close to them always. Where was a close place no one would think to go? A bedroom! Just in time I saw Arthur squaring up to a guy and it did not look...good. I quickly excused myself and rushed over. 
“Sweetheart!” I called,making Arthur sharply look at me. The anger fell from his face and he looked at me curiously. “I was looking for you!” I grinned,taking Arthur’s hand and leaning up to peck his lips. 
Arthur looked down at me,a little blush on his cheeks. “Sorry,darlin. I was just talking to this...gentleman over here.” He answered,clearing his throat. 
“Sorry,sir. I need to steal him away from you.” I said to the man who scoffed.
“You should keep your husband in line,beautiful. All I said was you looked fine.” The guys scoffed and Arthur glared at the man. 
Arthur stepped closer and spoke quietly to the man. “Don’t you ever talk about my wife like that again. Ya hear?” The man blanched and slowly nodded back.
“Let’s go,my love.” I smiled,tugging Arthur away and towards the stairs.
“What’re ya doin?” Arthur asked and I looked back at him. 
“Getting some alone time with my husband.” I answered,tugging him upstairs. It was easy to find the bedroom. Once I did I dragged Arthur inside and explained what I heard the ladies saying.
“You some kind of genius and didn’t tell me?” Arthur teased and began looking around the room.
“Oh you knew!” I answered and started looking too. I moved towards the bed and reached under the mattress. I gasped when I felt a couple bundles of something.
“What is it?” Arthur asked and watched as I pulled out multiple bill folds.
“Aha!” I squealed,sitting back on the bed and looking at the money. I quickly stuffed some of it into my top and Arthur stuffed some more into his pockets.
Both of us froze when suddenly we heard two people speaking and heading towards us. I stared at Arthur and he looked at the door. We had to act fast. It wasn’t like they had any idea what we were doing in there. I quickly grabbed Arthur by his jacket,pulling him on top of me and laying back on the bed.
“What are you doin?!” Arthur hissed and I shushed him.
“Just follow my lead!” I hissed back,hearing the men outside the door. I leaned up,kissing Arthur. It was better than the kiss I shared with him before mostly because this time Arthur reacted,kissing me back gently. I felt the warmth of his hand on my cheek as he deepened our kiss and the sound of the door opening made him pull away.
“What in the hell?!”
“Oh,sorry fellas. We uh...didn’t realize anyone would be up here.” Arthur quickly apologized and moved off of me.
“No problem,mister.” One of the guys chuckled,”Gotta take care of our wives,eh?”
“That’s true,that’s true. Sorry again.” Arthur said,pulling me up from the bed and leading me out of there. “We gotta go. Now.” Arthur whispered to me and I nodded.
We quickly made our way downstairs and spotted John,walking over to him. “It’s time to go.” I told him and John looked me over.
“You alright,Y/N?” John asked and I nodded.
“Get her out to my horse,Marston. I’ll be right there.” Arthur said and I looked back at Arthur.
“You’re joking.” I said and Arthur shook his head.
A sudden yell from upstairs made everyone look up. The sound of boots rushing to the stairs prompted Arthur to hiss at John.
“C’mon,Y/N.” John said,taking my hand and tugging.
“No!” I hissed back at John. Arthur and John shared a look before I was suddenly hoisted over John’s shoulder. By then the men came running down the stairs and John ran out of the house with me on his shoulder. “Put me down Marston or I swear to God!” I yelled,kicking in his hold.
“Calm down!” John yelled back,setting me down on my feet. I reached up and slapped John.
“Don’t you manhandle me like that ever again,John Marston!” I yelled and John’s gaze softened. I had a problem when it came to being manhandled. After Arthur had saved me...
“I’m sorry,Y/N. I knew I wasn’t gonna get you out of there even if I asked nicely. Now just wait here,please?” John asked,backing away before running back to the house.
I huffed and climbed up onto Arthur’s horse,waiting. Within a few minutes I saw the boys running towards me. “Time to go!” Arthur yelled,climbing up on the horse behind me. 
“Where?!” I asked and Arthur waved around.
“Anywhere but here,sweetheart!” With that I snapped the reigns,making Arthur’s horse lurch forward. I steered the horse away from the house and the others followed after me. Eventually we split off,some going one way and the others another. I kept up the speed until Arthur patted my waist to get me to slow down.
I stopped the horse and felt Arthur get down. He reached up and pulled me down,holding me close to him. “You alright?” He asked and I nodded.
“Not a scratch.” I smiled and reached up,fixing his hair back into place again. “Are you okay?” I asked him.
“Don’t matter.’S long as you’re okay.”
“It matters. To me.” I frowned,looking his face over.
“I’m fine,sweetheart.” Arthur murmured,leaning down and placing a gentle kiss on my forehead. He smirked and looked around. “How about we go home,Mrs.Morgan?” He asked and I giggled.
“Sounds like a good idea,Mr.Morgan. Though maybe you should stick to my name unless you plan on changing it.” I teased and Arthur chuckled.
“Maybe I will.” Arthur said and I took it as a joke. He helped me back up onto the horse and climbed on himself,leading us back to camp.
In reality,it was a promise. Arthur Morgan was determined to marry Y/N if it was the last thing he did.
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