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#i was absolutely not joking in the tags about how i had no issues with gore as a kid but DID have incredible paranoia abt creepypastas
cadaverkeys · a month ago
im gonna be honest making fun of people for having "weird" triggers is not poggers in the least
i really dont see the post as making fun of peoples triggers- just the weird dissonance that happens from being online that causes young ppl to dismiss real life threats and conversely inflate the danger of comparatively less severe things.
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for-memories-sacrifice · 6 months ago
Found Family? Poggers!
Request: FINALLY SAM AND KARL YEs ok pls c!Sam and his s/o bonding with Tommy, helping him through his issues. Bonus points if they have their own kid and Tommy acts like a big brother
TW: Mention of exile (so manipulation, gaslighting, etc), cussing, Tommy a little OOC in the beginning.
Parings: Awesamdude x reader (romantic) Tubbo x Tommy x Ranboo x Purpled x reader (platonic)
You're dealing with a fussy newborn when Sam, your boyfriend, comes back with a new ‘kid’. It takes you awhile but you finally recognize Tommyinnit. You gasp when you take the boy in. He looked terrible and that was putting it lightly. Your parental instincts were kicking into overdrive and you just wanted to rush over to the young boy and shield him from the world.
However, you had another child to tend to. Hushing yours and Sam’s child you wait for the two to get closer. Giving Sam a look your boyfriend quickly understands what your asking. Closer he carefully takes the baby away from you. Making soft sounds your child calms down and looks at his father with fascinating. Free to go to Tommy you try not to run. Once close you take in the young boy. He flinched back when you get close and you feel a simmering rage bubble inside you. Who had hurt this boy?
You would kill them yourself. Drag out every last one of their lives.
Instead of asking who did this. You take a shaky breath. Tommy was more important right now.
“Hey Tommy. I’m (Y/N) but you already knew that right?”
He’s quiet but hesitantly nods his head. He’s looking at the baby uncertainly. Your eyes soften.
“That’s Neil. Would you like to hold him?” A stillness and then a hesitant nod of his head. You carefully take Neil from Sam and carefully make your way to Tommy.
“Do you know how to hold him?”
“Not really. I know you support the head.”
“That’s good! Okay, here’s what you do. Cradle him in your arms like this and hold his head.” Cradling Neil you look at Tommy and in a softer voice.
“Sam show him.”
“Here like this.”
Soon Tommy was cradling Neil and there was a fascinated look on his face. You smile softly and look to Sam resting your head against his chest. Neil looks up at Tommy in aww.
“Hi Neil,” Tommy says softly in response. Neil coos and teaches his chubby little hand up to pat Tommy’s face. Tommy gives a soft giggle and the haunted look in his eyes lessens just a little. You grin up at him.
That night as your laying in bed with Sam you broach the topic of what happened.
“Sam what happened to him?” Sam sighs and plops down in the bed looking down at his hand.
“I don’t know. I stumbled across him half dead. He was going to go to Techno’s but Techno isn’t the best with situations like this. So I offered him our place. I hope that’s okay.”
“You know it is Sam. I’m just worried. He’s so unlike himself.”
“I know but we’ll help him. He’s been through too much. We’ll help him heal.”
The first few night were rough Tommy was constantly waking up screaming. The first time it happened it gave you and Sam a heart attack. You both were still awake trying to come up with a plan to help Tommy when the screaming starts.
You rush to go calm Neil down and Sam tears off to Tommy’s room. After Neil is out back into bed you rush to Tommy’s room. What you see breaks your heart.
Tears streak down Tommy’s face and his shaking. Sam has him pulled up against his chest murmuring soothing words to the boy. You carefully sit down at the edge of Tommy’s bed and reach your hand out to touch Tommy’s hand. The boy violently flinched at that.
“It’s just me Tommy. It’s (Y/N) I’m going to hold your hand.”
The next week follows in a similar fashion. Tommy apologized over and over again you and Sam both assure him it’s fine. It takes a month for the first flashes of Tommy to show up.
You're cooking some rabbit stew when Tommy bursts back into the door. He had taken to walking around you looking up in alarm. He looks excited tracking mud all through your house. You sigh realizing your going to mop again but the frustration with having to mop is almost immediately replaced with excitement over how happy Tommy is. His eyes are still dull but his smile isn't forced anymore.
“Must you track mud through my floor?” When you say that you have a teasing smile on your face to show him your joking.
“Sorry (Y/N). I’m just really happy!”
“What happened?”
“I ran into Ranboo!” You vaguely remember who Ranboo is.
“The half enderman?”
“That’s the one! He asked me if I was okay and was really worried. Especially since I had vanished from Logedshire and the place is blown up,” trailing off you carefully see this was falling into dangerous territory.
“So what happened after that?”
“Well, I told him I was staying with you and Sam and he got excited. Actually I was wondering if he could come over?”
“You know he can, okay?”
Tommy looks surprised. Did he really think you wouldn’t stop him from seeing his time. Not the first time and certainly not the last time you cursed what exile did to the boy. You really needed to find out what happened but you wouldn’t push the subject.
Soon Ranboo becomes a semi-permanent fixture in your household. It’s here you begin putting the pieces together and judging from the way Sam is clutching his knife in hand he has to. Mentions of Dream and the way they talk about the man makes your skin crawl. You can see the gross manipulation tactics that are being used. The way the minors talk about it like it’s normal makes your skin crawl.
Sam excuses himself from the table. After a while you join him and find him gripping the sink tightly. The mirror above is broken.
“It’s not fair (Y/N). Nobody should be okay with why Dream has done, is doing. Least of all minors but here we are! Tommy is talking about this shit like he deserves it and Ranboo is so lost and with what he did with Tubbo. Tubbo shouldn’t be in charge of a country he’s still a teenager for Notch’s sake!”
“I know Sam but we have to think logically about this. We can’t just go in guns blazing. We have to be smart. Right now the only thing we can do is offer our place for them. It’s all we can do. Not until we can hit Dream where it hurts.”
“Sam I need you to promise me you won’t do anything.”
“I promise.”
“I’m going to hold you to that.”
“But I need you to promise me something (Y/N),” Sam says looking up and staring at you critically.
“You won’t do anything either.”
“I promise but I will say this. When we do see him. I’m dragging out one of his lives.” He hiss venomously and he nods his head slowly.
“I know.”
Joining Tommy and Ranboo back in the dining room. You see Ranboo playing peek-a-boo with Neil who’s shrieking with delight. You laugh and your heart warms at the sight.
Purpled is the next one to join you. He just kinda shows up one day. You and Sam exchange looks but shrug. If your house needed to be a safe haven then so be it.
After what Tommy had dubbed Doomsday (and God you were going to kill Techno, Phil and Dream) Tubbo joins you. He looks so small and rushes to give Tommy a hug and you hear them talking to each other and leave. After all the conversation was for their ear and their ears only.
A few months pass and you convince them to head to therapy with Puffy. Tommy fights it tooth and nail insisting he’s fine until Tubbo tells him he’s not and Tommy absolutely breaks. Soon you all collapse on the floor in a heap and people are crying and your heart breaks. You would be okay. They would all be okay. After all it was your family no matter how broken or jagged it was still yours.
~A week later~
“(Y/N)!” Looking up from baking your bread you see Tommy, Tubbo, Purpled and Ranboo rushing in. With Ranboo holding Neil. They all look excited.
“What is it boys?”
“Say it again Neil!” Neil giggles at that and then your jaw drops.
“T-Tom!” Tommy is bouncing up and down.
“He said my name! His first words was my name!”
“Oh Neil that’s perfect!”
The rest of the evening is spent until Sam comes home with the others trying to coach Neil into saying their names. Of course though Neil’s next words are dada after Sam. You grin at your small family and feel content.
Tag List: @smiithys, @cr0wbonezz, @mcyt-is-my-life, @day-dreaming-fox, @ella-ivanov
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thenatashamaximoff · 5 months ago
Dangerous Love; Ch. 7
Summary: You and Wanda breakup after finding out about her secret relationship. Natasha’s there to comfort you. Chapter 7.
Pairing: Wanda x Reader; Natasha x Reader
Warnings: cheating, blood
Words: 16,470
Ch. 1 | Ch. 2 | Ch. 3 | Ch. 4 | Ch. 5 | Ch. 6
✨🏆Winner for Best Series of the 2021 Tumbies🏆✨
┌─────────────☢─────────────┐ @chynagirl13 @rebeliz777 @madamevirgo @natasharomanoffswife @coollemonsaresour @swords-are-cool @fayhar @d14n4ol @yourmcu @the-camilucha @tomy5girls @severepeanutartisanhands @messuhp @queenelizabeth193 @hardqueendetective @username23345 @stephanieromanoff @lameasseasterbunny @marvelfansince08love @leah-halliwell92 @trikruismybitch @pipsxpreath @hello-itsbarbie @shelby-victoria7 @simpforwandanat @bebe404 @infamous-light @afuckingshituniverse @loomontoia @euphouriaszn2 @mmmmokdok @solotexastiger @an-evergreen-rose @upsidedowndanvers @ima-gi--na-tion @vanessa5122 @wlwlovesreading @fanboy7794​  └─────────────☢─────────────┘
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You looked away from the TV when you heard the door open, a smile brightening your features when Natasha entered the room. She closed the door behind her, releasing a frustrated groan as she trudged her way to you. You moved the remote off the bed as she crawled into it, setting it on the nightstand as you held out your arm for her. She laid on top of it, immediately wrapping it around her as she rested her head on your shoulder. You enjoyed the moment, both of you staring at the TV, but neither of you were really watching it.
You've been bedridden for ten days and you've served nine of them already. Today was your last day confined to the prison cell normal people call a "bedroom". The days would've gone by slowly if it wasn't for Natasha, having basically moved into your room at this point. You hadn't complained about being forbidden to leave your room, knowing that you could give her at least ten days of worry-free relaxation because you couldn't do anything. And you hadn't tried to leave because you wanted to heal properly. Plus, Natasha would give you another reason to be bedridden for ten more days and you didn't want that.
She sucked in a deep breath, inhaling your aroma rather aggressively and you broke the silence by laughing. Her laugh mingled with yours as you looked down at her. "What's on your mind, darling?" Your hand found her shoulder, squeezing her tighter against you.
"I have a mission later today," she stated, absentmindedly tracing circles with her finger on your shirt. "It's a simple one, shouldn't take more than a few hours."
"So, what's the problem?"
She sighed thoughtfully, pursing her lips together as her finger paused. She picked her head up to look at you, your hand falling off her shoulder and onto the bed. An eyebrow quirked up, telling you that you should automatically know what the problem is, but you laughed at your own cluelessness. She rolled her eyes, pulling away from you and sitting against the headboard.
You looked up at her expectantly, waiting for her to fill you with knowledge as the TV continued on in the background. She sighed again, crossing her arms over her chest and you groaned. 
"It's your last day in this bed, Y/N," she said.
You nodded, laughing. "Yes, I know that. Trust me, I've been counting. After this, I'm never coming back to this room ever again." You swiped your hand through the air, punctuating your words. You rested it on her thigh, rubbing your thumb up and down as you smiled softly at her. "I still don't see what the issue is."
She pursed her lips together, thoughtful. A frown tugged your lips, moving to sit up next to her against the headboard. You brought one of her hands into both of yours and laid the three in your lap, waiting for her to say what's on her mind. The TV was the only thing disturbing what would've been comfortable silence.
"Why haven't you healed your own wound?" You froze was her question, eyebrows furrowing together. This was clearly not what she had on mind and it was one hell of a good subject change.
"Maybe I like it when you cater me," you stated, looking at her with a grin. "My own personal minion, summoned by the sound of a bell. You're highly trained, you know that?" You lost your joking manner when you saw that she wasn't laughing, the only sign that she respects your joke was the twitch of her lips. You sighed, releasing her hand, but she caught one of yours, not wanting to let go. "I… don't have my powers anymore."
"It's not a big deal," you assured quickly, feeling her give your hand a slight squeeze. "I'm fine. It's not like I had those powers my entire life, so I can get used to normal again."
She sighed, scooting closer to you. Your legs bumped against each other, shoulders rubbing together for a brief moment before she released your hand, moving her arm around you and bringing you tight into her side. You instinctively rested your head against her shoulder, letting the soft noise from the TV console you both for a moment. "How long?" she whispered.
"Ten days."
She was silent for a bit longer, though her hold on you never faltered. It only got stronger, pulling you even tighter into her, squeezing you with warmth and comfort. "Why didn't you just tell me?"
Yeah, why didn't you just tell her? Your relationship with her had started after you got your powers, so maybe there was that fear of her not wanting to be with you anymore now that those powers were no longer there. It sounded silly when you confessed your thoughts out loud, your face flushing with embarrassment when she pulled away to look at you. 
She huffed as she repositioned herself to sit in front of you, making you pull your legs to you so she didn't sit on them. "You think I love you because of your powers?"
You rubbed the back of your neck, pursing your lips. Yeah, that sounds even more ridiculous. At the moment, it made sense in your head. "I mean, the green does look sexy on me, doesn't it?" Of course you'd try to make a joke out of this very serious situation, but it didn't go unappreciated. She smiled at you, soft and patient.
"Y/N, you do remember that I have fallen for you long before you got powers, right?" She chuckled lightly at your expression of realization. How could you not remember that? You wanted to smack yourself, but it was as if she read your mind because she grabbed both of your hands. "Honey, if I wanted someone affiliated with green, I would've just gone with Bruce."
You tilted your head, nodding. "I did always think there was a special connection between the two of you," you confessed, a snarky grin forming on your lips.
"Oh, really?" She looked up at the ceiling, thoughtfully. Your grin slowly faded away the more she thought about it, her lips pursing together as she imagined it. She smiled widely, looking back down to you as she said, "Well, now that you mention it, he and I did flirt with each other a while back. Think he's still into it?"
"All right, joke's over now." She laughed as you tugged against her hands, pulling her close to you. You rested your forehead against hers, releasing her hands so she could snake her arms around your waist. You thrived for her touch, a giggle erupting from the back of your throat as she tugged you closer to her, falling back into the bed and bringing you down with her.
"What's that?" She smirked, cocky, as she looked up at you in the eye, your elbows propped on both sides of her to prevent your entire body weight from squishing her… for now. "Am I sensing some jealousy?"
"Me? Jealous?" You rolled your eyes, shaking your head. "I know I have you wrapped around my finger, Natasha Romanoff." You cut off her laughter by pressing your lips to hers, moaning into each other as her hands slid up your shirt. You gasped at her cold fingers, the kiss ending as you pulled away a couple inches in reaction to the icicles sliding up your back. "Your hands are freezing, Nat!"
"They won't be for long." She pulled against your back, making you fall onto her. Your legs twisted with hers as your lips grazed hers teasingly, grinning when she released a whine. She was right, her hands weren't cold anymore. "Stop."
"Oh?" You pulled away from her, looking into her emerald eyes. This time, your eyebrows raised in challenge. "You want me to stop?" With a shrug, you moved to get off of her, but she was quick to pull you back, shaking her head quickly.
"I meant stop teasing me, Y/N," she pleaded. You smiled at her softly, your eyes fluttering close as a gasp escaped the back of her throat at your fingers drawing up the inside of her thigh, higher and higher, but you stopped abruptly, opening your eyes to see the half annoyed, half desperation in her eyes.
The thumb of your free hand brushed against her bottom lip, trailing down her jaw until you grasped the back of her neck. You gently picked her head up, meeting her halfway to guide her lips to yours. Your fingers retraced your line, going back down her thigh, your fingernails ghosting over her skin and spreading goosebumps through her body. She whimpered into the kiss, your laughter causing you to pull away.
"You are an absolute mess, darling," you whispered softly, removing your hand from the back of her neck to brush away a few strands of stray hair out of her face. Your lip jutted out into a fake pout, seeing her teeth dig into her bottom lip as your fingers switched direction.
"You're not making it any easier," she replied, her hands cupping your face gently. "I'm sorry, Y/N."
"For what?" You grinned wickedly, your fingers halting in between her legs. Her hips moved, trying to get closer to your hand, but your body weight pushed against her didn't let her get very far.
"For teasing you about Bruce." You raised an eyebrow, tilting your head against her hold. "For calling you jealous."
"Beg for me, darling," you breathed, letting her hands guide your head back down to her. Your lips connected against the skin of her neck, her head bending to the side to give you more access. Your teeth sunk into her skin in a soft bite, hearing her moan underneath you. "I don't hear you begging."
"Y/N," she pleaded, her voice shaky with desire. "Please. I need…" Her sentence trailed off into another moan when your mouth moved to another spot on her neck, your laughter vibrating against her as she was putty in your hands.
"You need… what?"
"You," she finished, exasperated. "Y/N." You picked your head up, moving your lips near her ear.
"I love you," you whispered into her ear, the hand in between her legs moving an inch upwards. She convulsed below you, her eyes squeezing shut as you continued to tease her.
"If I say it back, will you stop with the teasing?" she questioned, her eyes fluttering open to stare into yours. And, for one split second, a fleeting thought of looking into her eyes, Wanda had crossed your mind, picturing her underneath you, begging for you. The thought was so fast that you had barely managed to process it before Natasha said those three little words, an "I love you" fading into a loud moan as the hand in between her legs crossed the finish line.
You couldn't afford to think like that in a moment like this.
The two of you cuddled when you were finished, your thoughts berating yourself while Natasha held you in her arms. You both sat in silence, the TV still playing softly in the background, ignored. You couldn't bring yourself to say something, that brief thought from earlier making you loathe yourself. Why would you think of Wanda during an intimate moment with Natasha? 
You were confused, that's all. Your feelings for Wanda weren't existent anymore. Either way, you weren't going to let that brief moment of ignorance affect your mood. You shook it off and smiled widely as Natasha looked down at you.
"I'm going to get in the shower." You fell onto the empty bed as she peeled herself off of you, getting to her feet. You looked up at her in time to see a smile crossing her features. "You're more than welcome to join me."
You purse your lips together as you sit up. "Mmm, maybe later," you stated as she crawled over the bed, her lips hovering inches away from yours. "I'm thinking food."
Her laughter brushed her breath against your face before she planted a kiss on your lips, pulling away to make her way to the bathroom. "We should go out tonight," she suggested. "I'm sure you're more than willing to get some fresh air. And we still haven't gotten a proper date yet."
"You don't even have to ask," you declared, rolling out of the bed and onto your feet. 
"Hey, be careful. You're still healing," she warned and you chuckled as you made your way to the door.
"I'm sure walking to the kitchen isn't going to do anything compared to what you and I just did, sweetheart." She sent you a wink before disappearing behind the bathroom door.
You walked into the kitchen to find some of the team chilling throughout the room, Bruce and Tony at the table, Steve leaning against the counter with a cup in his hand. Steve was the one to hear you enter the room, an eyebrow shooting up at the wide smile on your face.
"You're glowing," Steve commented and you only smiled wider at him.
Tony looked up at his words, squinting his eyes at you for a moment before he returned to his phone as he said, "She just got laid."
You laughed. "There's nothing wrong with that," you stated casually. "Hey, Steve, you should try it. It's very relaxing."
Tony chuckled as Steve rolled his eyes, pushing himself away from the counter to empty his coffee into the sink. "I don't have time these days."
"Ah, everybody has time," you countered. "If you're having trouble looking for someone to hook up with, try Tinder. I'm sure a lot of women will jump at the opportunity to sleep with the Captain America." Tony turned his body to focus fully on your conversation with Steve, a smug grin on his face.
"Tinder?" Steve spun around to look at you, a hand resting on his hip.
"Yeah, it's an app where people basically just-"
"I know what Tinder is," he snapped and you raised your hands up in mock innocence, a smirk crawling on your face. 
"You clearly need to let some steam out," you suggested. "If you don't want to be intimate with someone, I suggest yoga."
"Pilates," Tony jumped in and you pointed at him approvingly.
"Jazzercise," you added.
Steve looked down at the ground, contemplating his life choices as he sighed. "You know, Y/N, out of everybody here, I thought you would at least be more hellbent on finding Dr. List." He picked his head back up, eyes casting towards you in time to see the smile slowly wash away from your face. "He could be making more experiments right now."
You crossed your arms over your chest. What a way to destroy the mood, Steve. He could've gone with literally any other topic he wanted to to change the subject, but he decided to be that guy and bring up the doctor.
His eyes glanced at something behind you and you instinctively turned to see what it was, your breath getting caught in your throat to see Wanda entering the room. For some reason, she looked even more beautiful today and you don't understand why.
It was pissing you off.
She looked between everybody before pulling a cup out of the cupboard. She furrowed her eyebrows, a small smile toying her lips as she poured herself a cup of coffee. "Am I missing something here?" she questioned.
"No," Steve declared immediately, sending you a glare. A warning to keep your mouth shut, but you ignored him.
"I'm trying to get Steve to open up and get laid," you explained, causing him to groan in annoyance.
Wanda chuckled as she prepped her drink, pouring the necessary ingredients to make her coffee more enjoyable for her. "You do need to unwind, Steve."
You laughed. "See? I'm not the only one! Everybody's on my side, Rogers." You stepped towards him, hand extended out in front of you. "Hand me your phone. I'll download Tinder and set up your profile for you."
He shook his head, tensing his stance in case you tried to forcefully take his phone. But, without your powers, you knew you didn't stand a chance against the super soldier. You weren't even going to attempt. Instead, you decided to settle on making a quick breakfast, pulling out a box of your favorite cereal and accepting the bowl offered by Wanda, who was already near the cupboard. You sent her a soft smile in thanks and she returned it, her eyes bright.
You quickly looked away to hide your burning cheeks, the thought of earlier making its way back into your mind.
You began pouring the cereal into the bowl. "I don't know if Romanoff told you during your… intimate session" - such a prude, Steve Rogers - "but we got a lead on Dr. List." Your arm twitched at his words, cereal spraying all over the counter and you immediately set down the box.
That's what was on her mind before you distracted her with pleasure. Mystery solved. But she pulled your attention first, asking you about your powers. And, to be fair, it's an understandable thing. Why sit in bed for ten days when you could just fast forward time to heal your wound? Or even rewind it and not leave a scar. You didn't blame her for not telling you.
"What kind of lead?" You cleared your throat, forcing yourself to relax your posture, but everybody has already noticed your reaction. Wanda silently helped you clean up the cereal spilled on the counter.
"We have his last known whereabouts," Steve said, absentmindedly watching the two of you swipe the cereal off the counter and into your hand. "We're still delving into it. Joking aside, surprised Romanoff didn't tell you. There was no hesitation when she jumped onto the mission."
You felt Wanda's eyes on you, but you couldn't seem to look away from a spot on the counter. Last known whereabouts. That could be a lot of places. In that HYDRA van. Or in that parking garage… right in front of you.
Steve took your silence as a sign to leave, walking out of the room. Tony was quick to follow, still teasing Steve about Tinder. It was funny, but you couldn't bring yourself to grin at it.
"Are you okay?" She was sincere about it. She wouldn't know why you're not really okay because you haven't told her what you did. You couldn't look her in the eye, pursing your lips together tightly. She straightened her form and smiled softly at you. "Hey, we should go out." A distraction. Just what you needed; get your mind off of the possibility of Steve finding out what you had done to Dr. List and fire your ass.
She grinned as you pulled yourself out of your daze, blinking rapidly for a moment as you finally looked at her. Her expression was soft, patient, as she watched you closely. "You made a promise," she pointed out, smiling at your confused expression, "before you went and got yourself shot, that we would go out. Well, I'm cashing it in." She crossed her arms over her chest, leaning her hip into the counter for support as her head moved to get the hair out of her eyes. You blinked again and she chuckled lightly.
She rolled her eyes playfully, shaking her head. "Dinner tonight?"
You opened your mouth, preparing to offer her a raincheck - you had already made plans with Natasha, you couldn't go out tonight - but an agent walked into the room and requested Wanda's assistance for something.
"I'll see you tonight." She placed a hand on your elbow, her fingers brushing against your skin as she walked away, and the touch pulled you out of your second daze.
What just happened?
You watched as she walked away, too dumbfounded to say anything. You blinked once more and she was gone, leaving you in the room alone. Or so you thought.
"That was interesting to watch." The noise that came out of your mouth was that of a mouse, spinning around to see Bruce sitting at the table. He laughed as he stood up, bringing his dishes to the sink to rinse them. "You seem conflicted."
You couldn't help but size him up as he leaned against the sink, crossing his arms over his chest. He was flirting with Natasha? Bruce Banner - antisocial, anxious, anger issues, lonely - thought he stood a chance with Natasha Romanoff.
You huffed when you realized. You - antisocial, anxious, anger issues, lonely - got that chance with Natasha Romanoff. Well… damn. Now you're jealous.
"I'm not conflicted," you stated defensively, crossing your arms over your chest to mirror his stance. You leaned against the counter, glaring at him. Why do people think you're conflicted? You made your decision, that should be the end of it. "There's nothing for me to be conflicted about."
He chuckled, shaking his head. "I don't put myself into unnecessary conversations, Y/N, but I can see all the way from across the room that you still have feelings for Wanda."
"That's not-"
"And your feelings for Nat is where the conflict comes in."
You furrowed your eyebrows. Since when did Bruce Banner give out relationship advice?
He smiled at you. "I consider you a close friend-"
"Even after-"
"Yes, even after that," he assured quickly. "I don't enjoy seeing you split yourself in half. And I don't want to see all of you getting hurt."
"Trust me, Brucey, I'm not conflicted. My feelings for Wanda? There are none. I already had this conversation with her."
He pursed his lips together, contemplating on whether or not he should say the thought that popped into his mind at your words, but then sighed and nodded. He figured it wasn't worth getting into. "Alright, Y/N." He moved to leave.
You shook your head, putting a hand against his shoulder to prevent him from walking away. "Say it."
"Bruce, I don't need a coat of sugar," you bitterly declared. "Tell me what you were going to say."
He cleared his throat, looking away from you for a moment. Finally, after a tense second of silence, he looked back at you and sighed heavily. "It's easier to lie to yourself than it is to face your real feelings." 
You stared at him, your face scrunching into disgusted confusion. "Are you binge watching Dr. Phil, Bruce?"
"Face your feelings," he told you, patting you on the shoulder. "It'll hurt at first, but it'll be worth it. Maybe you could talk to her at dinner."
He walked away from you, leaving you in your third daze in the last five minutes.
What. Just. Happened?
Later on, after attempting to enjoy your cereal (the weight of the guilt and regret were pushing down on you so hard, you would've barely remembered what it tasted like if it wasn't your favorite), you found Natasha in the garage, working on her motorcycle. She sent you a smile when she saw you, the expression sending warmth through your veins. She placed her tools down, wiping her hands on a towel as you reached her. "I leave in a few minutes for this mission," she said. "I'm just making sure this baby is up to date."
"Hey, about dinner-"
"Oh, yeah. I managed to pull a few strings and get us a reservation at that new restaurant you wanted to try," she said. "I was gonna surprise you, but then I figured it'd give you something to look forward to while I'm out."
Your eyes widened in shock. "You got last minute reservations to L'Artusi? Don't you have to wait, like, at least a month?" She nodded. "Color me impressed, Romanoff."
She grinned, shrugging nonchalantly. "What can I say? Only the best for my baby." She reached across the space between the two of you and booped your nose with a grease-covered finger, then laughed a little as she handed you her towel. "Sorry." But she really didn't sound like she was.
You smiled as you swiped the towel out of her hand, finding a cleaner part of what used to be a white towel before rubbing it against your nose to wipe off the grease. Well, now what? One of the reasons you seeked her out before her mission was to ask to postpone dinner, but it's just a douche move to do it now.
"Anyway, what about dinner?" she questioned, watching the towel plop onto the seat of her bike when you tossed it. She crossed her arms over her chest and looked back up at you.
"Just… we never established a time," you stated, talking with your hands to give them something to do.
She grinned, her arms falling back to her sides as if she was anticipating something else and had to prepare herself for it. You already felt guilty, but the fact that she thought you were going to cancel on her only added to it. Because she was right, that's what you were going to do. For Wanda. And you hated that. 
"I figured it was an unspoken rule to have dinner at eight," she said, her voice light and joking.
"Eight o'clock it is, then," you stated, smiling wide. You don't even know how you ended up in this kind of predicament, but you knew something was going to go wrong. Especially since you don't have your powers anymore. Where the hell did they even go? It was kinda like the universe's way of punishing you, wasn't it? Getting almost complete control over them - feeling confident enough to go out on missions, even the small dognapping ones that actually don't end up being that small - and then bam!, powers gone. "Anyway, something was bothering you earlier and it was rude of me to distract you like that without talking about it. So, let's talk."
She pursed her lips together, eyeing you closely. You felt as if you were under scrutiny. What was it she was looking for? Could she see the guilt written in your eyes? The shame drawn on your face? That only made you paranoid, wanting nothing more than to just stop feeling.
Wanda Maximoff is destroying your life… and you love her too much to stop her.
"My mission," Natasha's voice pulled you out of your thoughts immediately and you were very grateful for that, knowing just which direction they were about to take, "is tracking Dr. List."
"Steve told me," you admitted, placing your hands on your hips. You understand the hesitance in telling you - it's a big thing to weigh on her now that she knows the truth - but you couldn't understand why she just jumped right into it voluntarily. "I don't get why you signed up for it."
"I did it for you," she confessed with a sigh, hugging herself. "I figured if I find something that tracks back to you, I could hide it or destroy it."
Your face softened with realization. She was willing to sacrifice her job to protect your dumbass. Well, now this just makes this whole dinner situation so much worse. "I didn't ask you to do that," you said and you hated it because you sounded so ungrateful.
"You didn't have to," she assured you. "I'll do anything to protect you." Just like you'll do anything to protect me. But she didn't say that, smiling instead. She didn't want to bring up the moment that came to mind, how you sacrificed everything to bring her back from death. She didn't have to say it, though, because you had an idea.
"I'm doing this," she declared, refusing to be convinced otherwise. You sighed, knowing that it would be useless to talk her out of it.
"If you get caught-"
"Y/N." She breathed out, walking around her bike to stand directly in front of you. She reached out to cup your face, but you were quick to grab her wrists. A look of hurt crossed her features for a brief moment before you turned her palms to her, showing her the grease staining her skin. She laughed, pulling her hands back to her sides. "If I get caught, I'll handle it." She said it confidently, even a little cocky. As if she would get caught, what a ridiculous thought.
You pouted, knowing that whatever you were going to say, she would just find something else to counter it. There was no way out of this, the only thing to do is to let her do what she wanted. What she thinks she needs to do.
"Fine. Have fun, then, but not too much fun," you said. You quickly planted a kiss onto her lips, a quick peck. You stepped away from her, dodging her dirty hands with a laugh as you left the garage. "And be careful!"
Leaving the garage and entering the compound, you have acquired a new goal now: Find Wanda and postpone her dinner. There's no way she could top Natasha's plans. She'd understand if you couldn't make it, Natasha should come first after all.
The last place you checked was her bedroom, rapping your knuckles lightly against the door and paused for a moment, giving her the chance to open the door.
Last time you were in her room, you hadn't thought of it being the last time you'll ever be in there. There were a lot of fond memories in this room, a lot of comforting. Cuddling. Touching. Moaning. You never think of something being the last thing you'll ever do with someone; your last kiss with her, your last hug, the last time her name was whispered across your lips, the last time your limbs were tangled in between the sheets, the last time you said I love you, not knowing those were the last times because, if you had, you would've taken advantage of it.
You would've taken advantage of being able to draw the tips of your fingers across her skin, creating a trail of goosebumps. You would've taken advantage of her moaning your name, your body shivering underneath her as her hands roamed in places that caused the noises slipping through your lips. Of the way her lips pushed into yours in desperation, panting and sweating against each other as you rode that ecstacy high.
"Y/N?" You snapped out of your thoughts, focusing on Wanda standing in front of you, leaning against the door you didn't hear open. Her hair was damp, making it darker, and a few water droplets were fresh on her neck. She had just gotten out of the shower.
The smile she was sending you - holding a bit of confusion as to why you're knocking on her door - warmed your insides. You needed to stop thinking like this. You needed to get girlfriend Wanda out of your head, default back to friend Wanda. Otherwise, these conflicts that you were trying so hard to ignore are going to tear you and everybody else involved apart. Things were good as they are.
"What's up?" She tilted her head to the side, licking her lips and you just couldn't. She maintained eye contact, a small smile returning to her mouth as she waited for you to answer the most simplest question in the history of questions. What's up?
All you had to say was "I'm gonna have to give you a rain check for dinner tonight. Maybe tomorrow?" but your mouth didn't seem to wanna work properly. Why was this so hard?!
Her soft, hearty laughter at your dumbfounded look made your knees weak, putting your hand against the threshold to steady yourself. "Y/N, I'm sure you didn't come here to just stand there."
She's right. You didn't. But you couldn't get the words out of your mouth for the life of you. "Dinner." That's… it? That's all you could manage to say? How long have you been standing here because it feels like it's been hours. Your cheeks flushed with embarrassment and you wanted to look away, but you couldn't tear yourself out of those eyes.
"Yeah, I got reservations to Per Se for seven," she said, smiling proudly and crossing her arms over her chest. That restaurant was near L'Artusi, the one Natasha is taking you to. What a… coincidence. You haven't heard anything about it, really. It brought no interest to you, so you didn't bother with it. "I tried getting reservations to that new one, but you have to wait months!"
"Yeah," you laughed awkwardly, using your free hand to rub the back of your neck, "it's Gordon Ramsay approved, so there's going to be a lot of people wanting to try it."
"Gordon Ramsay?" She furrowed her eyebrows, confused, and your arms dropped down to your sides, baffled.
"Wanda, you watched Hell's Kitchen with me on multiple occasions," you stated, laughing, a bit more comfortable.
"I wasn't paying attention," she confessed with a small shrug, grinning. No, she was too busy paying attention to you, memorizing each reaction while watching that show, watching your face because that was the only thing she could focus on. 
You rolled your eyes, mirroring her grin. "What could have possibly pulled your attention from Gordon Ramsay?"
She didn't answer, instead sending you a soft, admiring smile. She watched as you continued to ramble on about the hot headed chef, filling up the silence. She leaned against the doorway. She loved this side of you, the look in your eye when you talk about something you enjoy was irreplaceable. She used to trigger that glint all the time just to see it, a bright light. And she really needed to see it in you now.
You stopped talking, your cheeks flushing with embarrassment once more, but this time you managed to look away. The floor seemed to be less judgy at the moment anyway.
Why did you come here?
"Well, maybe I can proceed with that reservation and, when the time comes in a few months, you and I can try it out together," she suggested. You looked back up at her slowly, your eyes melting into her green ones.
Now you remembered why you stopped by. "Wanda, we should-" Your voice caught in your throat when her teeth caught her bottom lip, the corners of her mouth tugging into a smirk. You stammered, forming half words that had no meaning.
You didn't know it, but she was doing it on purpose. Distracting you was easy, she didn't have to do much to drag your thoughts away from your goal. Her light laugh made you shut your mouth, quitting all future attempts to form the sentence.
"You're so adorable when you're flustered," she commented and you furrowed your eyebrows.
All right, enough. Get your act together and rip the Band-Aid off. Say it fast and get it out into the air. "Wanda, we need to postpone dinner.” You purse your lips as you watched the smile on her face fade, putting her weight onto one foot as her shoulders slumped. Why would you do that to her? She looked so sad, having been looking forward to dinner with you. Her smile slowly faded away, no more humor written on her face.
“Oh.” It was the only thing she could say, her eyes casting down to the floor. Your stomach twisted with regret. You had to walk away otherwise you were going to try to fix the sadness in her eyes, but you just couldn’t force your legs to work no matter how hard you tried. You licked your lips, chewing on your bottom lip as she took a small step back, giving her enough space to close the door.
You had to do this to prove to Bruce that you didn’t have feelings for her. That you’re not lying to yourself and that you’re not conflicted. But as she slowly pushed the door closed, you found yourself speaking.
“Seven o’clock seems a bit early for dinner, doesn’t it?” She froze, looking back up at you, eyebrows furrowed. You knew it. You’re such a fool, doing anything to put a smile on Wanda’s face. You hated Bruce for getting into your head. You wanted to lie to yourself, it was easier than facing the truth. That you do still have strong feelings for Wanda, but your feelings for Natasha were standing in the way and you weren’t complaining about that. Wanda hurt you, Natasha didn’t. It’s an painfully obvious choice and you’re choosing wrong.
“We used to always go at seven,” she said. “I just figured that’s the default.”
“Yeah, but why not go later?” you offered. Stop talking. “We can go at eight. Or even 8:30. Live a little, Wanda.”
She smiled, even laughing a little and that feeling in your stomach subsided. Was it worth it? A little. Seeing the sadness evaporate from her face was a good feeling, but now you’re just in a bind. Natasha had already gone on her mission, so you’re not going to be able to communicate with her until you see her at the restaurant. Wanda was the only one you could postpone with and that didn’t go very well either.
This is a cliché, isn’t it? Getting caught in between two different dinners at the same time. A love triangle trope. You had cut that corner of the love triangle off, but someone sneakily sewed it back onto your heart, running away like the wind before you even realized what had happened. And now you’re stuck.
Look what you did.
“I can call the restaurant, see if they can move it to 8:30 if that’s what you want,” she stated, nodding. The smile never faltered, the look in her eye bright. In any other scenario, you would’ve been calm at the expression, the softness in her eyes, the happiness on her face, but this wasn’t any other scenario. This was your life now. Stuck between two women with one of them not knowing about it. And that’s what made it so much worse.
You nodded, not being able to open your mouth. She slowly closed the door, a little more pep in it this time, though. And when the door clicked shut, you released an audible sigh, smacking your forehead as you walked away from her room. At this point, all you wanted to do was go back to your room and hide in a ball. And that’s saying a lot considering you’ve been stuck in that room for ten days.
“Whoa.” You turned a corner sharply, bumping into a wall of a man and stumbling back at the impact. You looked up at Steve, your eyes narrowed. “Are you okay, Y/N?”
Are you okay? No, you weren’t. But you couldn’t tell him that. You couldn’t tell Steve that everything in your life is going wrong in more ways than one. On top of the fact that you’re caught between two people you’re absolutely, totally crazy in love with, but you have lost your powers, killed two people, almost killed a third… and you enjoyed it.
No, you couldn’t tell Steve Rogers that.
He sighed heavily, crossing his arms over his chest as he looked at you. “I knew it,” he declared, shaking his head. You leaned forward, curious. Knew what exactly? “You’re putting on a front, Y/N. I knew you weren’t okay with this whole situation.”
“Steve, what the hell are you talking about?”
“Dr. List,” he clarified. “I knew it was upsetting you. You’re brave for pretending you’re okay with it, but you can’t keep holding your emotions inside.”
You blinked. The doctor didn’t even make your list of everything that’s going wrong because that’s basically the only thing that went right! You couldn’t care less about the doctor’s corpse, you were busy dealing with other things. But that’s another thing you couldn’t tell Steve about. You couldn’t confess that you didn’t care about Dr. List because he was dead, and a dead man can’t do anything because he’s… well, he’s dead! “Steve.” You sighed, shaking your head. You rubbed the back of your neck, closing your eyes for a brief moment before looking back at him. “You-”
“You don’t have to talk to me about it,” he assured, his voice softer now that he thinks he’s cracked the code. You sighed again, shaking your head subtly. “But I do think you need to talk to someone about it. Maybe Romanoff, or even Wanda.”
“Wanda? Why would I talk to her?”
He shrugged. “You two seem much better now,” he answered. “You’ve made amends, right?”
You stared at him. 
“Wrong?” He tilted his head, confused.
“Steve, help me out here,” you stated, placing your hands on your hips. “You got anything for me to do at eight tonight?”
He shook his head. “No. There was only one mission today and it’s already happening.”
“Not even a simple small one? Like… kidnapping?”
“Y/N, you just recovered from a gunshot wound,” he declared. “Don’t you want to take it easy?”
“When have I ever taken anything easy, Rogers?”
He shrugged, silently agreeing with you. You sighed once more, running your hands down your face in frustration. He was absolutely no help.
“Hey.” You looked over your shoulder to see Bruce rounding the corner and your anger only got more intense.
“You!” You slapped him harshly, repeatedly, until Steve dragged you off of him quickly. 
"Are you insane?" Steve demanded, letting you shove him away. You crossed your arms over your chest with a huff, knowing you weren't going to get anywhere with physically hitting him. Especially with Steve here. "What's the issue?"
Bruce shrugged, shaking his head. He genuinely didn't know, which only made you more mad. You glared at him, jaw clenched tightly as the men stared at you, waiting for an answer. Steve placed his hands on his hips, his muscles tense in preparation to stop you from getting physical again.
"You got in my head," you declared. "I was perfectly fine with lying to myself, but no. You just had to put your two cents into it!"
Bruce's eyes widened with realization. And then he chuckled, the audacity of this man. You wanted to hit him, but you couldn't with Steve breathing down your neck. Instead, you sent daggers his way with your eyes and, in that moment, you wished looks could kill.
"Don't be mad at the messenger, Y/N," Bruce stated.
Since when did he get so cocky? The man you knew as shy and insecure was being so conceited. You barely recognized him, this new attitude is intolerable and now you understood why Vision was so fed up with you on your dognapping adventure. You wondered why he didn't give in and punch you out - hell, it would've saved everybody a lot of time. You had to give him some credit now because the android has more restraint than you do.
If Steve wasn't here, you definitely would've punched the man's lights out. Or at least attempted to.
And you couldn't even fully blame him because you knew it was all your fault. All you had to do was say one thing and then shut your mouth, but you didn't. You continued to speak, digging yourself further into this hole. And Bruce was on top of it, throwing dirt into it to bury you beneath your mistakes. It's what you deserved, you knew that, but you didn't want it.
"You have feelings for Nat?" You crossed your arms over your chest, watching his smug grin turn back into confusion. You had to clear this. Ever since Natasha planted that image in your head, you couldn't unsee it. Was he spiteful because you managed to snag her and he didn't? Jealous? You needed to know if everything he said earlier in the kitchen was so you could fuck up your relationship with her, so he could be there to swoop in. Because, if so, it was working.
"No!" he stated defensively. And then he sighed, shrugging as he added, "We may have flirted with each other a bit, but that was long before you two became a thing. And I knew it was never going to work out between us."
"Why's that?"
"Because her feelings for you are strong." Dammit. His words made you feel even more guilty about what you did because you knew he was speaking the truth, and now you were more angry at yourself than you were at him. As you should, it was your own stupidity that got you into this situation. Nobody else. 
Both Bruce and Steve relaxed when they saw your arms fall to your sides, your shoulders slumping. You needed to figure this out. You needed to go back to Wanda's room and put your foot down.
You pushed past Bruce and made your way down the hall, a beeline straight to her room. But no matter how hard you knocked on her door, no matter how long you waited for her to pull it open, she didn't answer. You didn't even bother opening the door yourself, knowing that if she was in there, she would've answered. She always answers.
You turned away from the door, covering your eyes with your hand as you tried to think about where the hell she would go, but you couldn't think of anywhere for the life of you. She was just here! Where could she have possibly gone?
You pulled your phone out, typing in the number you had memorized and brought the phone to your ear, groaning in frustration when it went to voicemail. Was she avoiding you on purpose? No, that wouldn't make sense. There's no reason to avoid you.
You started your search through the compound, checking every single room you pass by, your groans growing louder every time you came up empty. It wasn't until you came across the war room that you had forgotten about Wanda, stepping into the room with furrowed eyebrows, a picture of yourself attached to a bulletin board, Dr. List connected to you with a piece of yarn.
You looked over the board, everything relating to the doctor attached to him by yarn, creating a spider web pattern across the surface. But the picture with a question mark on it intrigued you. It rested beside Dr. List, no yarn attaching him to the mystery photo.
You were too focused on the board to hear the door open. It wasn't until they cleared their throat directly behind you that you realized you were no longer alone.
You spun around, facing Steve once more. "What are you doing in here, Y/N?"
"Last I checked, this room was open to everybody," you countered, crossing your arms over your chest. "The question you should be answering is: What the hell is this?" You pointed at the board behind you, his posture relaxing at your question.
He got caught.
"We think List had a partner," he said, stepping next to you so he could point to the mystery photo. "We have proof that List wasn't the complete mastermind behind your experiment, but only a part of it. We just can't figure out who."
So… there's another Dr. List? 
"It's why I'm so hellbent on catching him," he continued. "If we catch him, we can get him to talk about this mystery partner."
Oops. Maybe you should just tell him now, save him all the trouble of searching for his corpse. For all you know, HYDRA was probably smart for once and roasted the dude. He's probably ashes at this point, dumped into the ocean or… somewhere. Hopefully a place that's disrespectful… like the junkyard.
Steve sighed, looking over at you and catching you lost in your thoughts. You chewed on your bottom lip, staring at the board in front of you but not really focusing on it. "Hey." Steve's voice dragged you back to the present, blinking the daze out of your eyes before looking at him. "We're all bending over backwards to find him. We will succeed." No you won’t.
"But there's someone else out there that's like him," you stated, pointing at the question mark. "Why didn't you tell me that? I could've helped, Steve."
"You've had a lot of things happen to you, Y/N," he answered. "You stopped a bomb and got shot in the same week."
"That doesn't mean anything," you declared, huffing. "If there's another Dr. List out there, I want to find him!" You want Dr. List Jr. to suffer just as much as the original did. You learned your lesson from the last time, you wanted to handle this punishment. 
You were much more at ease knowing Dr. List was dead. Now the dude is back on your list of things going wrong. That's it. It's settled; the universe hates you.
"I understand, Y/N, but there's really nothing you can do," Steve assured, "but just sit back and wait it out."
Wait? Steve wants you to wait it out? How in the world did he expect you to do that? You were always the "shoot first, ask questions later" type of person. And you're certainly not a patient one, either. He knows this, so why is he ordering you to wait? 
"Just go back to that HYDRA base and-"
"We searched that thing inside and out multiple times," he interrupted. "There wasn't any sign that Dr. List wasn't working alone. The only reason we found out is from encrypted emails Tony managed to get into."
"Who all knew?"
He was quiet, his lips pursed together in a tight line. His silence gave you the answer you didn't want. Everybody knew. Everybody but you. And you don't know which one hurt worse; the fact that Natasha knew and didn't tell you, or the fact that Wanda knew and didn't tell you.
"I see." You turned away from him and the board, hugging yourself as you sucked in a deep breath. It's no big deal, really. Just the fact that someone like him is out there, possibly continuing the experiments on innocent people. People who have the rarest of chances of survival and you were the only one who got lucky. And you hated that.
You should've died on that table, in that lab. Why do you get to live while everybody else gets to die?
"If you're looking for someone to be mad at, be mad at me," Steve declared, stepping towards you. "I told everybody not to tell you."
You turned back to look at him, eyebrows furrowed as your arms went down to your sides. "There's nothing to be mad about. You were doing what you thought was best for me and I appreciate that, Steve." You sent him a smile, forced and meaningless.
You could use this. This could be the reason to get out of one of the dinners, or even both. But the longer Steve defended everybody else's silence, putting the blame on himself, you couldn't find it within you to do that to Natasha and Wanda. Maybe they wanted to tell you, but they couldn't because Steve told them not to. For reasons he doesn't truly understand. Because now all you want to do is hunt down Dr. List Jr. and kill him.
"If you're still looking for a mission, I have something for you." It was like he read your mind, your eyes going back to him. He's leading you away from that murderous path. "It's simple, but should last a few hours. You can go by yourself." He sighed as he walked over to the table, picking up one of the files and tossing it towards you.
You watched as it slid across the table, stopping on the edge. You were impressed, you definitely would've thought that it was going to fall off by the looks of it.
"Don't worry, you should be back in time for your dinner with Nat."
You released a sigh as he walked away. That's something you didn't know about. Did you want to go to dinner, or did you just want to cancel them and deal with this another day?
You decided to ignore your real life problems and focus on work. You sat down at the table, opened the file, and began studying.
You smiled softly at the hostess, giving her the name of the reservation before following her into the restaurant. The mission Steve gave you managed to take your mind off of your problems, though temporarily. You felt so much more stress free the past few hours than you've had in months. It gave you a distraction from this love triangle. But now you're taking a step back to reality and it sucks.
You looked up and your breath hitched in your throat. She was… absolutely stunning. You had to stop walking, admiring her from afar for just a moment, her red dress making your eyes wander her body, though most of it was hidden behind the table. You were stunned, your heart hammering against your ribs and you couldn't breathe properly. She was… gorgeous. Captivating. Irresistible. You could just go on and on, staring at her like some sort of creep.
It wasn't until the hostess awkwardly cleared her throat that you managed to snap out of it, sending her an apologetic smile. You assured her that you could find the rest of your way and she went back to her podium.
Natasha made you feel highly underdressed even though you really weren't. And it's a good thing you feel like that because she is absolutely striking. You had to remember how your legs worked, walking the rest of the way to her table.
She looked up from the menu and sent you a gentle smile. "Hey," she greeted, placing her menu down. "I ordered you a drink, I hope you don't mind."
You stared at her, barely able to move your head in a nod as you sat down across from her. She chuckled softly, the sound doing things to your body that you didn't think were possible without physical touch. She hid herself behind her menu as she continued looking through it and that's when you managed to become yourself again. You finally breathed in, moving to sit more comfortably in the seat. You cleared your throat and picked up your glass, bringing it to your lips and taking a sip. Why were you so nervous? Not like you hadn't had dinner with Natasha before.
"You look breathtaking." Literally. She had taken your breath away when you first saw her. And she'll keep doing just that every single day.
She smiled at you, wider, brighter, and you just wanted to take a picture of that joy written on her face. "You look astounding as well," she complimented.
You hid back behind your cup, taking a few more drinks. You didn't even stop to think that she could possibly look more beautiful than she already did and here she was, proving you wrong. But you didn't mind. You enjoyed the view.
"I heard this place is Gordon Ramsay approved," she commented from behind her menu.
You grinned, placing your glass back down. "I heard that, too." You picked up your menu, eyes widening at the prices. This was absurd! If only you had brought Tony's card. "How was your mission?"
She sighed as she placed her menu down and you absolutely refused to look away from yours, knowing you'd just be too stunned to continue this conversation. "It went smooth," she answered, crossing her hands on the table in front of her. She leaned towards you. "You clean up your tracks very  well,  but-"
"Are you ladies ready to order?" You looked over at the waiter, sending him a kind smile before you looked at Natasha. God, you'll never get used to how ravishing she looks tonight.
"I'm ready," Natasha confirmed, making eye contact with you, "are you?"
You nodded, giving the waiter your orders. He nodded, collected your menus, and walked away, leaving you and Natasha alone once more.
"Steve sent me on a mission," you stated proudly, smiling wide as she raised her eyebrows. "All by myself, too."
"Oh, really?" she questioned, smirking. "What was the mission?"
"That'll be classified, ma'am," you declared, shrugging casually.
She laughed, the best song in the world to you. You just wanted to make her laugh for as long as possible. "That's fair," she said, laughter hidden in her voice.
"Nah, it was just a simple drug bust." You sighed. "Not even a drop of blood was spilled." You looked up to catch her staring at you, a small smile tugging the corner of your lips. "Are there any updates on the Dr. List hunt?"
She furrowed her eyebrows, tilting her head a tad bit in confusion. "You've never asked about that before."
"You weren't on the case before." You made eye contact with her and sighed. You could see where this was going and you didn't want it to go that route. Questioning her about Dr. List's partner was just going to ruin the mood. "Alright, let's hold off the work talk for the bedroom."
Her smile returned, looking down at the table for a moment before picking her head up. She reached her hand across the table and you met her halfway, your hand resting in hers, warmth spreading through you at her touch.
This is what you needed. The calm essence of Natasha rushing through you, as if it were water and you were swimming through it, cool to the touch, cascading over your skin. You breathed out, feeling everything that had been pushing stress against your shoulders just fade away in this moment.
"I love you." She smiled softly at your words, pulling her hand away from yours, laughing when you tried to grab her hand back.
"I love you, too." Her words sent a swarm of butterflies fluttering through your stomach, pushing a smile onto your face. God, you just wanted to hold her in your arms.
This was the worst thing about dinner dates. No matter how hard you wanted to, no matter how strong the urge was, you just couldn't jump across this table and take her right then and there. You couldn't.
You had to keep convincing yourself of that.
You opened your mouth to say something, but your phone released short bursts of vibrations against your leg and you knew what that meant. Has it already been half an hour?
Wanda had texted you as you were getting ready for your date with Natasha, confirming the reservation at 8:30. You wanted to shoot back a text, asking her if it was okay that you just moved dinner to tomorrow, but then you remembered the look on her face and you couldn't bring yourself to do it.
"I actually got you a gift," you stated, Natasha's face telling you that she was immediately intrigued. You sent her a wink as you stood up. "Let me go grab it."
It wasn't a lie. You did get her a gift, but you were going to use this as an excuse to run on over to Per Se to get in a few minutes with Wanda. This was your life now. A sitcom set out for the universe to watch and laugh at your struggles.
You entered the restaurant, the host guiding you through the tables in seek of Wanda. There was a reserved room off to the side, peeking in as you passed it to see a gathering of people in what seems to be a wedding reception, music playing gently from the speakers as the guests mingled. It was nice to see people living in a moment of happiness. Something you're probably never going to find if you keep taking this path you're going down. 
"Here." You were so lost in thought about the wedding reception that you were absentmindedly following the host, gesturing towards the table where Wanda had stood up to greet you.
You felt a sense of Deja vu wash over you, your breath catching in your throat as you looked at Wanda, your eyes traveling her body to marvel her outfit, the way the color makes her eyes pop. She was… enchanting, to say the least. Alluring. Magnificent. And you could continue on, naming off the words that would perfectly fit her, but the host had left and she was waiting for you to sit down.
She sat down at the same time you did. She made you feel just as underdressed as Natasha. And, again, that's okay. Means that they're at least doing something right.
"You look very nice," you commented and she sent you a smile that made your cheeks burn brightly.
"I'm glad we're doing this," she said, her voice soothing and accent thick. You loved her accent.
"Remember that time you tried to do an American accent?" You laughed at her expression, her eyebrows raised in shock that you're bringing up something that happened so long ago. Her fake American accent was spot on, but you didn't tell her that at the time. You enjoyed teasing her. 
"How do you remember that?" she questioned, smiling. "That was a small moment that happened years ago."
You looked at her, your eyes sparkling as she laughed lightheartedly. She was carefree, casual and there wasn't a sign of worry on her face. This was what you needed. Not having to worry about anything, as untroubled as those guests at the wedding reception. 
"It's easy to remember the good parts," you told her. Your smile remained as you picked up the menu, searching over it to find something small, quick. The silence settled between the two of you, only disturbed by the quiet conversations and subtle clashes of dishes from other people around you. 
"Do you… remember the last time we did something like this?" You tore your eyes away from the menu and quirked an eyebrow at her.
"Yeah, it was pretty traumatizing, Wanda," you stated. How could you forget the most embarrassing moment of your life? "It's my fault for forgetting about proposing-"
But she shook her head, waving her hand. "No, before that."
You couldn't help but laugh. You do remember the last meal the two of you had together as a couple, in the shared apartment. It was hard to forget the perfect moment.
"You came home extremely late from a mission," she started, watching the tip of her finger run around the brim of her glass. "You were just… so tired and beaten. I will never forget that look in your eye." It was different then than it is now, that look of defeat. Back then you still had a little hope left. Her finger halted as she looked up at you, half a smile on her lips as you listened to her.
"I thought you were asleep," you said, remembering. You leaned back into the chair. "I was expecting you to be in the bedroom."
"But I wasn't." No, she wasn't sleeping in the bed, she was waiting for you at the table, candles lit and food freshly cooked. The least she could do for you, to ease some tension off of your shoulders at the time. But she didn't know what went down, what you had gone through during that mission. She didn't know why you were two days late coming home or why you were a total zombie walking through that door.
"I remember the mission," you confessed quietly, looking away from her. Your fingers played with the edges of the plastic menu, your lips pursing together. What was supposed to be a search and rescue for the governor of Minnesota turned out to be a search and rescue for his kids. Children, not even in the double digits. It was the mission that shook you to your core.
You and Natasha barely made it out alive. Nobody else involved had the same luxury.
"I remember." You looked up at her soft voice, her gentle smile. She cleared her throat. "We didn't eat dinner that night." Instead, she consoled you as you cried into her arms on the couch, neither of you concerned about the burning candles or the fantastic meal waiting for you.
You sucked in a deep breath, shaking the memory from your mind as the waitress stepped up to your table. You wondered why she would bring that up. Taking a trip down memory lane? For what reason?
You looked at Wanda as the waitress collected your menus and left. "I have to run to the bathroom," you told her, standing up. "I'll be right back."
You quickly made your way out of the restaurant, stopping by your car to grab the small box resting on the passenger seat. 
You mumbled an apology to Natasha as you sat down at her table, relieved that the food has yet to make an appearance. She smiled at you as you cleared your throat. Though her smile was reassuring, you couldn't help but feel the twist of guilt settle uncomfortably in your stomach. This was supposed to be a beautiful moment, your first official date with Natasha, but you had to ruin it by not being able to man up and cancel your plans with Wanda.
"I saw this and thought of you." You handed her the box and she accepted it, sending you a grin as she flipped it open.
She pulled the necklace out of the box, a silver arrow attaching the chain from tip to end, a wide smile resting on her face as she laid it in her hand, staring at it.
"I know it's not anything fancy, but-"
"I love it." She looked up at you, her lips resting into a smirk as she held it up. "Put it on me?"
You grabbed the necklace from her as you stood up, walking around the table and wrapping it around her neck. Your fingers ghosted her skin, goosebumps forming underneath your touch as you hooked the clasp. You sat back down in your seat as she looked down at the necklace resting on her chest, a smile on her face as she rubbed the arrow in between her index finger and thumb.
The waiter delivered your food before you could compliment her, setting your plates in front of you and walking away briskly. 
"Hey, what do you think about… sharing a room?" You looked up at her question as your chewing slowed, eyebrows creasing together. She shrugged as she poked at her plate, eyes avoiding yours with embarrassment.
You smiled softly as you swallowed. "I think sharing a room is a good thing if someone's ready to take the next step in a relationship."
She cleared her throat, shoveling some food into her mouth. She delayed the conversation by chewing and you rested your elbows on the table, holding your chin in your hands as you watched her. Usually, you're the one who's shy and embarrassed despite her judge-free looks. You just wanted her to look at you, to see the same assurance she always gives you when you're like this. Her chewing was drawn out, seemingly taking much longer than necessary, but she eventually swallowed, her hands going to the sides of her plate, the utensils gripped tightly.
"Well, I was thinking that maybe you and I can… share a room." Her sentence was steady, unhurried, as if she was trying to make sure you understand every syllable coming out of her mouth. You just wanted her to look at you, her eyes still casted down to her plate. You wanted her to see in your eyes that confidence in your answer.
You reached across the table and gently placed a hand over hers, the utensil falling to the table as she released her tight grip under your touch. "Nat, I would love to share a room with you." You laughed lightly as she finally looked up at you, turning her hand over in yours so she could squeeze it. "The only problem now is deciding whose room."
She shrugged, a little more relaxed now that you gave her the answer she was hoping for. "I mean, I'm practically already moved into yours."
"Glad you said something because I wasn't going to mention it," you stated and she laughed. You took your hand away from her side of the table so you could continue eating your food. "I just love how shy you became. Can I get more of that?'
She rolled her eyes, picking up her fork. "Maybe, if you're lucky, you can get a taste of it tonight." She popped some food into her mouth and sent you a wink. Now it was your turn to be shy.
You ate a couple more bites before excusing yourself to use the restroom, sneaking out of the restaurant and making your way back to Per Se. You felt like you were cheating, absolutely loathing the feeling. Was this how it's supposed to go? Going behind Natasha's back to have dinner with Wanda? But it's just dinner, nothing more. Yet, that thought didn't make you feel any better.
"You were gone for a long time," Wanda commented when you sat down in front of her. The food had arrived, but she hadn't touched hers. She was waiting for you.
You looked up at her to see a humorous smile stretching across her lips. She didn't seem upset about the fact that you were in the "restroom" for an extended amount of time. In fact, she appears to find it more funny than anything. And that should've been your first clue, but she managed to distract you by laughing gently.
"Did something happen?" You looked up at her question, tilting your head in confusion as she stabbed her fork into her food. She didn't break eye contact with you, watching you carefully. When she figured you weren't going to ask her to elaborate, she continued anyway, "You seem a lot more stressed than you were before you went to the restroom."
You released a deep breath, running a hand over the top of your head. "I'm fine." Though it was a lie and you knew it, you wondered if you could convince yourself it wasn't if you said it out loud. It didn't work.
Wanda sighed. She knew you were lying, too, but she didn't push you. Instead, she picked up her glass and took a sip. "I thought you were coming back with bad news," she announced, placing her glass back onto the table. She grinned as she added, "Like that one time you sauntered off to the restroom and came back to tell me Steve called you in." She laughed as you furrowed your eyebrows. She's being very in the past tonight and you'd like to know why. "You felt so guilty for having to leave me alone in a restaurant, but I made you promise me to come back alive." Her laughter subsided as she made eye contact with you. "That's all I cared about, Y/N, that you came back to me."
Her words made your stomach wrench. The guilt you have been feeling all night consumed you and you felt… nauseous. Your face grew pale, your heart bashed against your chest uncomfortably. Her gentle eyes watched you as you stood up abruptly, your mouth propped open as you willed your brain to form words, any words.
"I…" You huffed, wiping your hands off the front of your clothes. "I'll be right back." You rushed out of the restaurant, leaving behind a grinning Wanda.
Natasha watched as you sat down, out of breath from running down the street to get here. Sweat dripped down your temples, barely noticeable, and it wasn't due to the last minute exercise. You forced yourself to breathe slowly, trying to catch your breath as you avoided eye contact with her.
"Are you okay?" Her voice should've soothed you, but the concern held behind her words only made you feel more guilty. Your hands were tied behind your back and you really wished you had your powers. "Y/N?"
"Yes." You nodded, picking up your utensils and stabbing your food. You picked your head up, sending her a constrained smile. "Where were we?" You shoved some food in your mouth, evading anymore words from spilling out, hoping she doesn't ask anymore questions.
She eyed you, suspicious. She had no idea what was going on with you, but she knew something was up and that's enough to make you feel nervous. Nobody in the entire world could begin to understand how much you hate yourself right now. You hoped something would happen, whether it be a bomb going off right next to you or a stray bullet taking you out of your misery, but you knew the universe wasn't that giving. You had to get yourself out of this. You had to go back to Wanda and cancel dinner. She'd understand, right? You'll even pay for the food if it'll ease her mind. You stood up, Natasha sighing as she watched you get to your feet.
"I'm sorry, I just…" You squeezed your hands, nervous, guilty. "Just give me a minute, alright, babe? I'll be right back."
This was it. You were putting all your focus on Natasha after this, going to Per Se with one goal on mind. You had to prepare yourself to see the heartbreak on Wanda's face, willing yourself to not give in to the pity again. This had to be done otherwise you were never going to be happy.
You passed by the wedding reception, stuttering to a halt when you realized that Wanda was standing at the entrance. You circled back, moving next to her as you both looked into the room, the guests now dancing to soft music, the groom and bride holding each other as they rocked back and forth. It was a peaceful scene, warm and happy. If it wasn't for the stress, you would've been able to feel happy for these strangers.
"This would've been us." Wanda's words made you sigh, your chin going down to look at the ground. You crossed your arms over your chest tightly, pursing your lips together. "Happy, excited… in love. This could've been us, but I messed it up."
Yeah, she did. But you kept your mouth shut, letting her speak. There's nothing you could say.
She exhaled deeply, disappointed in herself. And then she looked at you, her eyes sparkling. "Dance with me."
"What?" Your tense form relaxed with shock, eyebrows furrowed. "Wanda, we don't know these people."
"So what? They're all in their own world of happiness, they won't even notice." She stepped into the room, standing in front of you. You felt yourself get lost in her eyes, seeing the glitter of mischief. You let her tug you further into the room, bringing you close to her as the two of you danced together at the edge of the dance floor, her hands dangling around your neck behind you. You didn't know where to put yours, settling on her back. 
The two of you swayed to the music, your eyes wandering the room to see if anybody noticed two new faces added to the party, but after a few moments, nobody seemed to really care. You looked back at Wanda, her eyes never left your face and her smile never faltered.
"Wanda, we need to postpone dinner."
She chuckled delicately. "We're already at dinner, Y/N," she stated. "You can't postpone it now."
You looked downwards, unaware of her eyes looking past you to the large window behind you. You picked your head up, preparing to say something, but she pushed her lips against yours before you could get a word in.
It was a millisecond, but you felt yourself fall into the kiss, the warmth of it spreading through your jaw and sending chills down your spine. Your heart fluttered in your chest as she pushed against you, but you pulled away. And that millisecond kiss was all she needed from you, seeing her eyes go back behind you.
You turned on instinct, feeling your stomach drop when you spotted Natasha on the other side of the window. She quickly avoided your eye, looking away as she began walking back towards the other restaurant, where her car was parked.
You pushed past Wanda, running out of the restaurant, desperate to catch up to her. "Nat, wait. I can explain!"
She stopped so abruptly, you almost ran into her, but you didn't. You stumbled to a stop as well, watching as she turned to look at you. The look on her face absolutely destroyed you, her cheeks puffy, her nose red, and she was trying so hard not to let any tears stain her cheeks, pooling at the brim of her eyes. She blinked them away, not wanting to give you the satisfaction of watching them roll down her face.
You felt sick.
"No, Y/N," she started, her voice shaky and uneven. You hated this, hated yourself. "It's my fault, isn't it? I didn't give you time to process the grief of losing Wanda. I just jumped right on in."
No, no, no. Do not let her take blame for your stupidity. That's the last thing you want. She shouldn't put this on her shoulders, carrying the weight of your decisions. This was no doubt your fault! But… you couldn't open your mouth. You couldn't find your voice to tell her that. You can think it, you can play the words over and over in your mind as you imagine telling her the truth, but you couldn't for the life of you get the words out into the air.
Her shoulders slumped, the moment you saw her take that weight. Your silence was the answer she was seeking. "I get it, Y/N." You stepped towards her, but she stepped away, hugging herself. "You need time. I just wish you would've saved us both the heartbreak." She dipped her hand into her bra, pulling something out and handing it to you. You accepted it, looking down to see the fake SHIELD badge with Dr. List’s face on it. “You left that behind in the parking garage, next to the pool of blood. I’m sure it has your fingerprints on it.”
She turned away from you, her hand going to her face in what you assume was her wiping away a stray tear, and she walked down the sidewalk, getting further away from you.
You were frozen, your feet refusing to move. You wanted to chase after her, to tell her that none of this is her fault. Your heart broke into pieces, pieces that you just knew were too small to put back together. You watched her retreating form, hearing someone approach you from behind.
You found yourself turning around, your face a mirror of Natasha's, red and puffy with watered eyes. "You knew." You looked at Wanda, your body frozen in your stance.
To her, Natasha's thoughts were so loud. She couldn't help but break her promise with you and read the redhead's thoughts, seeing what she had planned on asking you during the meal. If you and Natasha move in together, the window Wanda's been using to get into your heart will shut and she'll be locked out for good. And she couldn't stand that thought.
"Why did you let me go through with this if you knew?"
"What she didn't know-"
"That's the mindset of a cheater." And you're not a cheater. No. You reject the idea of you being a cheater because you didn't cheat. Wanda kissed you.
"But you kissed me back."
"Stay out of my head, Wanda." Your jaw clenched, anger replacing the heartbreak. She knew everything. She knew you had plans with Natasha, she knew Natasha was there when she decided to kiss you, she knew this was going to destroy your relationship. "Why? Why won't you let me let go?"
"I tried," she confessed. "I tried letting you go, Y/N, but I couldn't bear the thought of someone else having you."
"You're deliberately ruining my relationship with Nat because you're jealous?" You scoffed, shaking your head. "You were my pain and she was my cure. You have to accept the fact that you and I just don't work anymore!"
"Please, Y/N."
"I need some space," you stated, taking a step away from her. "I… I thought we were doing okay as friends. Apparently that was only a one way street." You shook your head, laughing humorlessly. "Life sure has a funny way of saying fuck you."
You turned around, walking away from her and making your way to your car. You were struggling to breathe, preventing yourself from just booking it to your car, to get out of the open and into somewhere private.
You have never in your life seen more clearly up until this point. You actually wanted Natasha. You felt the moment your feelings for Wanda withered into something small, no longer in a fight against your feelings for Natasha. But you lost her.
How did you have two women who would bend the world for you one second, and nobody the next?
The drive back to the compound was completely silent, no music, no thoughts. Silence. And you didn't even realize you were back at the compound until you were parking your car, taking the key out of the ignition like a robot programmed to do this very thing. You rested your forehead against the steering wheel, sucking in a deep breath as tears rolled down your face soundlessly.
Everything inside of you wanted to scream, to cry, to break. But you released that deep breath shakily as you pulled yourself together, climbing out of the car and shuffling your way to your bedroom.
You didn't notice it at first, too busy focusing on changing into something more comfortable, but Natasha's stuff was gone. The past ten days, all the stuff that had found its way into your room was missing. And now the room felt empty. You didn't want to be in here anymore, your stomach twisting uneasily.
Every single thing inside this room only reminded you of her. Not an inch of relief from her, constantly filling your thoughts with memories of her smiling, happy face. That's when you saw it. Resting on the edge of your bed was the arrow necklace you had given her over dinner.
You gathered it in your hands, the chain wrapping around your fingers as it spun in the air. You stared at it, picturing it resting against her chest so comfortably. You couldn't be here. Not when both of them were in the vicinity, your heart breaking at just the thought of seeing either of them and not being able to touch them, or even talk to them. Because even though you were mad at Wanda, you knew that your feelings for her would grow back if you see her. And you needed to get out of that mindset. She hurt you by cheating on you for months, there's no getting over that.
You left the necklace dangling on Natasha's doorknob before leaving.
The roads you drove down were dark, empty backstreets, a box of some of your things sitting in the passenger seat. Just enough to get you by, to spend some time away from the compound so you can think without the influence of others.
Steve was understanding when you told him you were taking some time. He wants what's best for you and if that meant going away for however long then so be it. The hug was surprising, and you're pretty sure he sniffled, but it was comforting in a way. He was the only one you told, knowing he'll tell everyone else in due time. You just needed to get out of there and you knew that if you faced either Wanda or Natasha, you were going to stay.
You're an adult, you can make choices on your own. And if leaving the compound was your choice, then they'll be okay with that. They have to be. They will see that eventually. You needed space, not just from Wanda, but from Natasha, too, and the rest of the team. You're pretty sure they're on teams, probably even making bets in the background while you suffered a midlife crisis. Nah, they wouldn't be doing that, but you wouldn't be surprised, really.
Maybe you can stay with Clint. He lives in the middle of nowhere with his family, happy and relaxed. You've given him enough time away from you - ten days is enough, right? He won't turn you away, though he would be mad to find out what you did to Natasha. Maybe it'd be best not to pay him a visit just yet.
Looks like you're just going to keep driving until your self-conscious stops somewhere.
An explosion that jostled your car pulled you out of your thoughts, forcing you to pull your car off to the side of the road because you sure as hell weren't taking any chances. Not with the way your life had been going. You closed your eyes as your grip on the steering wheel tightened, fear boosting your heartbeat at the sudden noise. You were breathing, moving, no blood, no pain; you were still alive.
Sucking in a deep breath and slowly exhaling, you killed the engine and hopped out of your car. You groaned when you saw that your tire had blown out, thankful that you had a spare, but frustrated that you didn't have the tools necessary to change it. You ducked back into your car, reaching for your cell phone, only to toss it back in when you saw that you had no service out here.
Now you had to wait for a car to drive down this lonely road and hope they stop for you. You were getting real sick of this schtick. At least last time you had Clint with you to fill the silence because now you were just going to let yourself get lost in your thoughts, which were just going to trace back to Natasha and Wanda.
You sat on the driver's seat, legs still on the outside as you waited. You were not going to let your mind wander back to the past. Think about the future. Where were you going? You could find a place to stay for a bit. You brought Tony's credit card this time, you could use that until he figures it out and cancels it on you. How long were you going to stay away from… them? From Wanda? From Natasha? You didn't want to stay away from them for long, but it is a necessary pain. You had to keep your distance, to not see them or touch them or feel them. It's only been how long and already you missed them? Damn, you're such a fool. In a world, maybe you could've had both of them… nah, that world doesn't exist. One could dream, though.
Keeping the women out of your mind didn't last long.
The slamming of a car door pulled you out of your thoughts and you turned your head to see that a car had silently pulled up behind you. How did you not see the lights appear? Were you really that lost in your thoughts that you just tuned out the entire world around you? Seems likely.
"Hey, are you alright?" It was a man, silhouetted by the lights of his car until he reached you. You stood up and pointed towards the wheel underneath the driver's door.
"My tire blew out," you explained. "I have a spare, but not the tools to replace it."
"I have that," he stated happily, jogging back to his car. You sighed in relief, crossing your arms over your chest to fight against the cool breeze crossing over you through the night.
"It's a good thing you decided to drive down this road," you called out to him, looking towards his car to see his trunk open. "Who knows how long I would've been waiting? And I don't have any cell reception here."
"I was just on my way home from work," he called out to you, his voice barely muffled by being inside his car. He pulled himself out, carrying a car jack and a lug wrench. He sent you a cheeky smile, barely seen if not for the headlights, as he dropped the stuff down in front of your blown tire. "This road takes longer than the main, but there's no traffic here."
"Yeah," you agreed, watching him work on your tire. "It's a nice drive. Peaceful. Gives you time to think about things."
He looked up at you from his spot on the ground, his face squinted. "You seem like you have a lot to think about," he said, returning to the tire. He released a hearty chuckle, shaking his head as the car lifted under the pressure of the car jack. "Life sure has a funny way of saying fuck you, huh?"
You furrowed your eyebrows, nodding. "Yeah... it sure does."
"Mind getting the spare? This bad boy is going to be ready to come off in a sec." He took the lug wrench to the tire, spinning them loose one by one.
You popped the trunk of your car and fished out the spare, pulling out of the vehicle in time to see a second car pulling up to you, the tinted windows making it difficult to see just how many people were in the SUV. You placed the spare tire against the car, turning your back to the man fixing your tire as the new strangers hopped out of their car. Blacked out SUVs are never a good sign.
"Everything all right here?" another man questioned, walking away from his car without closing the door. The passenger remained on the other side of the hood, watching the interaction silently as he leaned against it.
A feeling of dread washed over you. These new faces didn't feel like good news, you wanted to get rid of them quickly. "Yeah, we're all good here," you assured. "Just blew a tire, but we got it handled. Thanks for stopping."
"What's a few more hands?" the stranger asked, sending you a wide grin that sent chills running up your spine. You felt cornered, stuck between the new faces and your car behind you. You were a trapped animal, wanting to be free from this cage.
"Sir, I'm gonna have to respectfully decline your offer," you said in one last attempt to be civil. "As I said, we have it handled."
"We?" The man tilted his head to the side, a smug grin on his face. 
You were sent to the ground by a force against your head, groaning in pain as you got to your hands and knees. You put all your weight on one hand and used the other to feel the back of your head, feeling the warm liquid against your fingers, pulling them back to you to see the blue fluid drip down your palm. You groaned as you placed your hand back onto the ground, relieving the pressure of your other hand.
Laughter bounced around the three men as the one who hit you twirling the lug wrench in his hand. The back door of the blacked out SUV opened, a fourth person stepping out of the car. You looked up in time to see a familiar face, a condescending smirk resting on her lips as she slowly walked to your injured form. Ah! She was so familiar but you just couldn't put a name to her face.
"Well, I clearly pissed you off," you stated, moving to sit on your knees. You got a good look at her when she turned her head to look at one of the men, the healing marks on her face, the torment of grief in her eyes. You remember her now, but that doesn’t mean you’re not going to play dumb.
"You did," she confirmed casually, even throwing in a nonchalant shrug in there. She was quick, her foot kicking up into your gut sent you back down to your hands, gasping at the sudden loss of air in your lungs.
The laughter continued between the men. The female, however, did not laugh though you knew she was finding entertainment in your pain. You coughed as you filled your lungs back up, breathing rapidly.
"What'd I do to you?" you questioned, picking your head up to look at her. "Did I do that to your pretty little face?" You laughed, but that laughter was soon cut off by her fist striking through your jaw. You bit back the groan building in your chest, knowing that's what she's searching for because that's what you would seek.
"I'm surprised you don't remember me," she stated. You spit out the blood forming in your mouth before looking back up at her. "You and I held a very interesting conversation when we met."
"Oh." You laughed, jaw clenched against the moan you wanted to make as you sat up on your knees again. "I remember you. You're… You're the Watchdogs heir!" You seemingly enjoying this did not make her feel better about beating you. "How's your dad? Is he doing okay?" You snorted as you added, "Oh, wait. He's dead."
She grabbed onto the collar of your shirt and tugged you close to her - oh, how the roles have reversed - but she didn't get a single punch in before one of the men spoke up.
"Let's not get carried away." It was the man who had yet to speak, the one leaning against the car hood. "We need the bitch alive."
"Hey, how was the funeral?" you questioned, ignoring the man. "I'm sure it was a closed casket because his face was probably too disgusting to put on display."
Her teeth were clenched so tight, you were pretty sure you could hear her grinding them. You wanted her to punch you, to feel that feeling you felt when you were pummeling her because you felt that this is something you definitely deserved, but she released you. You fell back to your hands, relying on her to hold you up.
You laughed. "Your father must be so proud of you," you stated as she walked away from you, heading back towards the SUV. "I'm sure he would've chickened out of a fight, too."
She stopped walking to look at you, sending you a smile that slowly wiped the grin off of your face. "He would definitely be proud," she confirmed. "I've expanded Watchdogs. We're bigger, better, more dangerous. And we're under new authority."
Oh, don't say it.
"Hail HYDRA." Her grin was the last thing you saw before the man behind you sent the lug wrench into your head one last time, darkness engulfing you.
Wanda stood in the middle of your room the next morning, lips pursed together tightly as she waited. The feeling in the pit of her stomach wasn’t settling no matter what she conjured up in her head, taking slow breaths to steady herself. She released a breath when the door opened behind her, Natasha hesitantly stepping into the room.
“What?” Natasha received Wanda’s text and ignored it at first, but the curiosity got the better of her and now here she is, standing in your bedroom with your ex. And Wanda could tell by the tone of her voice that this is where she doesn’t want to be.
She turned to look at the redhead, huffing. “Y/N’s gone.”
Natasha nodded, crossing her arms over her chest. “Yeah, she told Steve she was leaving for a bit. He was trying to find you to tell you.”
But she shook her head. That didn’t help the feeling in her stomach, twisting and turning and screaming at her that something is wrong. “Don’t you feel that? The… The feeling that she is not okay.”
“Oh, you probably have a stomach ache from last night. It could be the food, but it’s probably more guilt than anything.” Natasha shrugged casually, turning to leave, but Wanda used her powers to slam the door shut before she reached it. “Really?”
“I know you’re upset with Y/N, but she’s not a cheater.”
“No.” She spun around to look at Wanda, eyebrows furrowed in anger. “I’m not upset with Y/N, I’m upset with you. And myself. I don’t blame Y/N. We pushed her too hard.”
“I knew she had a date with you,” Wanda confessed. “She tried to postpone it, but I wouldn’t let her. Y/N has a conscience, so it was easy to just put on the puppy eyes and get her to change her mind.”
“You’re making this easier to be more upset with you than myself,” Natasha declared, “but we’re both to blame, aren’t we? I rushed her into a relationship and you just keep pulling her to you.”
Wanda sighed, nodding subtly. “Maybe you’re right,” she decided, rubbing her forehead as her eyes fluttered closed. “I’m sure I’m just feeling guilty about last night. I’m… sure Y/N’s fine.” At her own words, the feeling in Wanda’s stomach seemed to simmer down a little bit, giving her the opportunity to relax. She opened her eyes, looking at Natasha to see that her anger has subsided as well. “I’m sorry.”
Natasha sighed, placing her hands on her hips. She wasn’t ready to accept her apology, but she knew it was a step in the right direction. “I know,” she assured, nodding. “I’m sorry, too.”
Wanda looked away for a moment, hugging herself, before she made eye contact with Natasha as she asked, “Do we hug now?”
“No.” Natasha laughed, shaking her head. “Can I leave now?”
Wanda gestured towards the door, Natasha pulling it open with ease and leaving the room. The second Natasha was gone, she pulled out her cell phone and called you, pouting when it went straight to voicemail. Taking one last look around, she left the room, too, shutting the door behind her.
She knew you’ll be okay out there, but that doesn’t mean she’s not going to be worried about you.
Chapter 8
579 notes · View notes
raibebe · a year ago
Of needles and seduction
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Genre: Fluff and smut Words: 15.2k Prompt: Johnny tattoo shop AU featuring best friends Yangyang and Jaemin Warnings: contains smut, Daddy-kink, size-kink, mentions of mirror-sex
A/N: This is very self-indulgent, I’m sorry. While I do have piercings myself, I know next to nothing about tattoos, so I’m sorry if anything is inaccurate. Also I don’t advise what some characters in this are doing for yourself. Just a quick special thanks to @burtonized​ who has listened to me ramble about this story and Johnny and helped me write this by giving me ideas and support. Thank you darling! This fic is a beast, I have never written anything this long,it’s insane. If smut isn’t for you, you can stop reading after the phone call and still have a pretty decent story. If you feel like, you’ve seen this post before, you might have. I deleted the original one because tumblr decided to delete it from the tags.
“Are you sure this is a good idea?” You asked for what you felt was the tenth time in the past five minutes. “It’s going to be fine. The shop is clean and sanitary,” your friend Yangyang groaned while running his hands through his messy, blonde hair. It was getting way too long, hanging low into his eyes. “I’m just saying that this doesn’t seem like a safe place,” you mumbled but followed your hyper friend through a more than dubious looking side street of Itaewon. “Jaemin got his piercings done in the same shop and those healed just fine, stop being a baby,” the blonde said while rolling his eyes. He quickly checked his phone for the address of the (probably illegal) piercing and tattoo shop and took a sharp turn into an even shadier looking street. “I still don’t get while you need me to come with you when you want to get your nipples pierced for god knows what of a stupid reason.” “It’s easy,” Yangyang grinned at you, “Ten said I wouldn’t dare to do it. And I’m going to prove him wrong and you’re going to document the progress.” “Do you ever listen to yourself talk? You’re literally paying someone to stab you into your nipples to shove a piece of metal through it just to prove a point.” “It’s just one nipple though.” “How does that make it any better, Yangyang?” You deadpanned. Your friend groaned again. “I knew I should have taken Guanheng with me. He would have been supportive.” “He would also be supportive of getting ‘I love Tacos’ tattooed on your ass.” “He would,” Yangyang agreed with an exaggerated dreamy look on his face. “What a madlad.”
You sighed but couldn’t help smiling at his antics. You had befriended the hyper exchange student when you had been assigned to be partners for a group project for your mandarin class. Yangyang had only taken the class for extra credit and easy good grades while you were struggling like crazy and had seriously questioned all your life choices that had let to you taking the class. (But mostly you regretted listening to Renjun who had convinced you it would be an easy class.) The group project turned out to be rather easy when you had a native speaker as your partner and you had become fond of the younger student, staying in touch with him and helping him find his way around the big campus. If you had known that he was a package deal with a bunch of other equally hyper and questionably crazy exchange students, you might have thought a little longer about keeping in touch after the project was over. But who were you kidding, the other boys and Yangyang were incredibly dear to you and if Kun had his regular morning coffee, the others weren’t even that chaotic.
“That’s it,” Yangyang suddenly exclaimed, pointing at a small beat up looking wooden door that looked like it was ready to fall out of the doorway any second. But a little green neon sign that hang next to it flashed the word “open” onto the street indicating that a shop must be hiding behind it. Your arguably best friend quickly grabbed your hand as if he had been sensing that you were about to complain again and dragged you into the shop. A little bell jingled quietly when Yangyang closed the door behind you two. You took a deep breath to calm your nerves (hell you weren’t even the one to get stabbed with a needle) and took a look around the small room. It was small and poorly lit and every free space on the walls was plastered with drawings and photos of both freshly done and healed tattoos. You had to admit that whoever had done those had done a good job, they looked really neat. You guessed that at least two artists must be working in the shop. A good portion of the art were very neat black and white works (some looking freakishly realistic) while others were very vibrant and artistic.
With a confident bounce in his step, Yangyang went up to the counter to a man with wild bubblegum pink hair wearing a black tank top that showed off the ink on his arms and torso, all kept in black except for a deep red rose on the side of his neck. His eyes were lined with dark eyeliner, making them seem like dark bottomless orbs, and they were fixed to the screen of a laptop that was covered in stickers that were a wild mixture of cute characters and various rock and hip-hop bands. “And what brings you here?” The man asked with a surprisingly deep voice, turning his head towards your friend. “A friend of mine told me I could get pierced here,” Yangyang spoke, his hands fumbling with the loose threads of his sweater. “And if that was the case, what would you want to get pierced?” “My nipple.” At that the other man raised one of his perfectly arched eyebrows. “People usually start off with getting an earring or something.” “Go hard or go home,” Yangyang grinned, making the other man snort. “If you have 70.000 Won in cash, I can look if one of the piercers is free.” When your friend got out his worn wallet and put a couple of bills onto the counter, the other man smiled for the first time. It didn’t quite fit his whole dark punk aesthetic but you couldn’t deny that he was really good looking.
“Don’t run away now kiddo, I’ll see if someone is free,” he grinned, “I’m Taeyong by the way.” When he disappeared behind a curtain made out of pearls into the back, Yangyang turned towards you with the biggest smile on his face. “I told you it was going to be fine.” You just hummed nonchalantly, still not entirely supportive of the whole idea. “One of the guys is ready in a bit,” Taeyong said when he came back to the main room. “Are you getting anything?” He asked, looking at you. “Oh no, she’s a scaredy-cat, just here for moral support and to document that I actually did it,” your friend answered for you. Your face immediately heated up under the intense gaze of the pink haired tattoo artist. “Too bad,” he just shrugged. “So technically you need to sign stuff for legal issues and whatnot. But since this place doesn’t exactly exist on records, we’re skipping that part. You’re not on drugs or any meds, right?” “I’m not,” Yangyang shook his head, making his hair flop back into his face. “Any issues with fainting or other medical conditions?”   “Nope.”   “Great. Had a good meal before coming here?” “I had breakfast,” Yangyang shrugged. “You had a slice of cold pizza from yesterday,” you groaned. “That I ate in the morning, therefore it’s breakfast,” he argued. “Well in that case,” Taeyong interrupted your bickering and threw a granola bar into Yangyang’s hands, “Eat that and let your girlfriend treat you to some proper food afterwards.” Before the blonde could deny anything, you had already opened your mouth to tell the other man that in fact you weren’t dating.
“Sure, sorry for assuming,” he shrugged and sat back behind the counter, taking out an iPad and began drawing something, probably a tattoo design. “Nervous yet?” You asked Yangyang who was uncharacteristically quiet while munching on the granola bar. “Shit, I’m really doing this,” he replied, exhaling shakily. “You don’t actually have to, Yangyang,” you tried to comfort him. “And let Ten just get away like that? No way. I am doing this. I’m not his little baby Yangyang anymore,” he said like the stubborn child he was. You could just sigh and roll your eyes at him. “He might have just been joking, you know?” “One does not simply challenge Liu Yangyang like that and not expect consequences.” “Kun is going to actually flip and pop a vein,” you tried to reason with your friend for a last time. Kun was doing a lot of coordination work for the exchange students with a Chinese background and had taken on almost a fatherly role for the younger students that hadn’t been in Korea for long. And even though Ten wasn’t even that much younger than Kun, he almost lost his otherwise calm composure when the Thai boy had announced that he successfully had pierced his ear by himself yet again after he had convinced a poor med student to smuggle some equipment for him. And from there the situation had somehow escalated into Ten daring Yangyang to get a nipple piercing. “Well he can’t do anything about it once it’s done. We’ll just make sure he’s with someone who can call an ambulance if he ends up having an aneurism.”
“Someone still wants their nipple pierced?” A new voice interrupted your conversation and a tall man with dark inky hair came into the room, making the pearls of the curtain clink against each other. One side of his head was shaved while the longer hair on the other side framed his handsome face beautifully. He was wearing a loose black T-shirt paired with ripped jeans with almost as many holes as there was fabric that hugged his long legs perfectly, showing that he had also ink on his legs. From his lobe dangled a little silver chain and of course his arms were covered in intricate designs, one arm strictly black ink while the other sported some colorful pieces as well. In the center of his plush lower lip sat a black ring and just beneath his left eye two little silver balls were reflecting the low light. You couldn’t deny that the man looked absolutely stunning despite his unusual appearance.
“Yes, me,” Yangyang eagerly answered the man’s question and walked towards him, tugging you with him. “Too bad,” the piercer grinned cheekily and winked in your direction, making your heart flutter in your chest and heat rise to your face, before he extended a big hand to shake Yangyang’s much smaller one. “I’m Johnny,” he introduced himself before leading you both into a smaller room in the back with a simple black padded bench in the middle of the room and a desk tucked into a corner. The walls were plastered with art and photos like the main room, showing that Johnny apparently was able to pull off a bunch of different tattoo styles. He seemed to have a thing for florals and roses though. The only free space was taken up by a full body mirror at the opposite wall. Johnny sat down on the little stool that was standing by the desk and motioned for Yangyang to sit on the bench while you sat down in the only other chair in the room, made of worn looking black leather.
“Let me see your chest before we start this whole thing,” Johnny spoke to your friend after he had grabbed a pair of silver framed glasses that sat low on his elegant nose and slipped on a fresh pair of black gloves. With only slightly trembling hands, Yangyang pulled his sweater over his head, keeping his hands buried in the fabric. “Looks good to me. Left or right one?” “Ehrm, I haven’t really thought about it,” he confessed. Johnny chuckled. “Spontaneous decision to get your nipple pierced?” “He does it to prove a point to a friend,” you supplied before Yangyang had the chance to answer. “Seems like a valid reason,” the tattoo artist grinned, “You play guitar or anything where the strap could irritate the new piercing?” “Just the violin,” Yangyang supplied, demonstrating how he would hold his instrument. “Then I’d suggest we go for the left one,” Johnny concluded, grabbing a bunch of stuff he needed. “Is it going to hurt badly?” “No idea, mine aren’t pierced.” “The first one is fine,” another voice chimed into the conversation and a pink mess of hair appeared in the doorway. “My client is there and Jaehyun isn’t back from his break yet, have an open ear for the door.” Johnny just hummed but it seemed enough to satisfy Taeyong who disappeared just as quickly as he had appeared.
“You ready?” Johnny asked one last time. Yangyang took a deep but shaky breath and nodded. “You better film this so Ten knows it’s real,” he said, holding out his phone towards you. Rolling your eyes, you got up from your actually really comfortable chair and took the phone from your best friend’s hands while Johnny disinfected Yangyang’s nipple and drew two little circles where the bar would go through it before grabbing a small mirror to show him. “Let’s do this,” your best friend nodded and you pressed record. “It’ll be quick,” Johnny promised, disinfecting one last time before he grabbed a pair of tongs to hold the nipple in place and freed a needle from a foil package. “I’ll count to three and then I’ll start, alright?” “A-Alright.” “Last time to chicken out.” “No, I’m doing this,” Yangyang gritted out, closing his eyes. After that everything happened really fast: Johnny counted to three and steadily pushed the needle through Yangyang’s nipple, who bit his lip hard. He then let the needle dangle from the nipple while freeing a little barbell from another foil package to insert it through the canal he just had made. “And that’s it,” he announced when he secured the little balls on either side of the barbell. You ended the recording when Yangyang left out the breath he had been holding in. “Now no sports, especially no swimming or sexual activities for a while. Clean it well and don’t worry if it gets sore, that’s normal. It can take a while to heal, so be patient and don’t let it get infected. You can get a smaller barbell or a ring once it’s healed. Just come back to get it changed to be safe.” “Fuck I really did that,” Yangyang cursed and looked down to his chest, “I think I need a minute before I can get up.”
“Take your time, I don’t have any clients for another half an hour,” Johnny reassured him, putting the used materials into the trash. “Just please don’t vomit all over the floor or hit your head while fainting.” “That has happened before?” You asked, eyes wide. “Not on me but it’s not unheard of. You sure you don’t want anything?” he asked, turning towards you. His silver framed glasses had slid down his nose a little and you couldn’t deny that the man looked really hot, looking at you from beneath his lashes. “She’s too scared,” Yangyang teased. He couldn’t feel too bad if he still could do that then. “Too bad, I think you would really suit a little conch or something,” the piercer motioned around his own ear to indicate what piercing he meant. “A conch?” You asked, turning towards the mirror to try to imagine it. “Wait let me show you.” Johnny quickly got up to search through the drawers of his desk before he pulled out a little box with a bunch of jewelry, grabbing a small hoop. He stood behind you in front of the mirror. “Hold still for me,” he breathed and bend down to push your hair behind your ear before he carefully put the fake piercing in place. For a moment you could swear that time had stopped. You felt his breath fanning over your skin gently and could smell the intoxicating smell of his cologne. You were so close to each other, you were sure that if you turned your head, your noses would brush against each other. But before you could do anything stupid, Johnny pulled back and gently turned your head so you could see the little silver ring. “I think I could put an even smaller one if you wanted,” he said, watching you through the mirror with an intense gaze from his dark eyes. “I’ve never thought about getting a piercing,” you admitted shyly. While you did get your lobes pierced when you were a child, you never thought of it much. “It looks good. Not so much like daddy’s good girl anymore,” the piercer grinned. You almost choked on air when the words left his plush lips, feeling the heat rush to your cheeks.
“How much?” “For you I’ll do it for free, darling,” he grinned, running a hand through his thick dark hair, making his muscles shift beneath his inked skin. While your brain was still short-circuiting from the nickname, Yangyang seemed to be back to 100%, destroying whatever the atmosphere between you and the tattoo artist just was. “Are you really going to say no to a free piercing, dude?” You could just groan and roll your eyes at your best friend. “Stop calling me dude, Yangyang.” “Only if you get that piercing.” “That’s blackmailing.” “Just do it, it won’t even hurt right?” “It’s just a bit of pressure,” Johnny assured you, his lips curled into a smile. “I can always take it out if I don’t end up liking it,” you thought out aloud. “The beauty of temporary body modifications,” Johnny sighed before he stepped in front of you to take the fake piercing off again. With his face so close to yours again, your eyes traveled over the little silver balls beneath his left eye, over his elegant nose down to the black ring in his lower lip and you briefly wondered what it would feel like to kiss him. “So what will it be?” You looked over to your best friend who had put his hoodie back on and nodded his head enthusiastically, making his fluffy hair flop into his eyes. He really needed a haircut.
“Alright, let’s do this,” you decided. “That’s what I like to hear,” Johnny grinned and moved to get his stuff ready. “Need me to hold your hand?” Yangyang grinned when you took his place on the bench. “I wouldn’t want to contaminate you with girl germs,” you teased, sticking your tongue out at him. “I’m sure he wouldn’t mind some girl germs if they’re coming from such a pretty girl,” Johnny cut in when he rolled back over on his stool, his glasses pushed back up his nose again. You couldn’t even fight the heat that crept onto your face at his words, he sure could feel it radiating off your cheeks from where his gloved hands were touching your skin. “I’ll do it where I placed the fake one, just with a smaller ring, alright?” He spoke softly when he disinfected your ear. You could just nod, anxiety taking over, making your heart race and skin prickle. When you heard the plastic bag that held the sterile needle rip, you pressed your eyes shut and balled your hands to fists. “Take a deep breath for me, doll,” Johnny mumbled, gently caressing your skin where he had grabbed your face to stabilize you. “In and out.” You shakily did as he asked you, his low voice comforting and calming your anxiety a lot. “Now you breathe in and let me count to three, then you gently release that breath. Can you do that for me, darling?” “Yeah,” you breathed, eyes still closed so you missed the soft smile on Johnny’s face. “Alright, deep breath in. One, two, three,” the pain of the needle piercing through your skin made you clench your fists harder, “And breathe out.” You tried your best to release the breath evenly until the pressure of the needle was just a low thudding. “You’re doing great, darling,” the handsome piercer reassured you, “I’ll just push the ring through and we’re all done here. Take another breath for me.” This time the feeling wasn’t as painful, just a really uncomfortable feeling of pressure. “All done, pretty,” Johnny concluded, clicking the ring closed. “Open your eyes.”
When you did open your eyes again, he held the little hand mirror from before in his still gloved hands so you could see the little ring that sat against your ear now. The skin was a bright red and you could feel your pulse throb around the metal but it actually fit the shape of your ear really nicely. “Thank you,” you smiled at Johnny. “It’s been a pleasure,” he winked before gathering the used needle and tissues to throw them away. “Take good care of it and try to not sleep on that side for a couple of nights and it will be healed in no time.” “Let’s go home, big baby,” Yangyang chirped in, already on his feet to leave the room. “I’m starving.” “There’s a good ramen shop a little up the street, not too expensive either,” Johnny recommended.
“Thanks for the piercings, man,” your best friend thanked the artist when he took you back to the main room. “No big deal,” Johnny shrugged and sat down where Taeyong had sat before, putting his long legs up on the counter. “Well, have a nice day, maybe we’ll come back for more some time,” Yangyang grinned, opening the door to leave the shop. “Oh I’m sure you will,” the artist replied, locking eyes with you before winking. “Take good care of that piercing, doll. You know where you have to come to if you want more.” You nodded shyly before bowing to the man. “Thank you, Johnny.” “I’ll see you again,” it wasn’t a question. Somehow you and him both knew that this wouldn’t be the last time you would step into the shady tattoo shop.
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The next time that you found yourself in the shady streets of Itaewon came faster than you had thought. This time you were accompanying Jaemin to his tattoo appointment after Jeno had ditched him because he had to take over a shift at the cat café he worked at. (That poor boy had to take antihistamines before every shift because of his allergies but couldn’t resist the charm of the kittens.)   “You’re a lifesaver seriously,” the hyper boy repeated while jumping up and down excitedly, “Sitting still for hours on end is really so boring if you have no one to talk to.” “Can’t you talk to your artist?” You asked confused. “He threatened to stab me with the tattoo gun the last time when I was trying to talk to him while he worked,” Jaemin pouted. You could only imagine how irritating Jaemin and his moods could be to someone who wasn’t used to him. Ever since he had decided that he wanted to commit to what he had dubbed a soft punk look, he had been going to the shop somewhat regularly to start a collection of tattoos and piercings. It had started a year ago when he first had dyed his hair to a light blue color. Shortly after that he had first gotten his ears and then his nose pierced. The two lip rings in his lower lip were his newest addition as far as piercings went. The tattoos came a little later. After much consideration he had made the decision to start a floral piece on his arm, the center would be a hummingbird, all with black ink for now.
After a little bit of Instagram stalking you had easily identified the intricate flowers that adored Jaemin’s upper arm as Johnny’s work and the thought of seeing the handsome tattoo artist again had made your heart beat faster in your chest. Not that Jaemin needed to know that you weren’t coming with him for his sake but rather because of your desire to see the dark haired flirty man again.   You had been thinking about his dark eyes behind his silver framed glasses and how he scrunched his eyebrows when he was concentrating a lot for the last weeks. (Not that you had replayed the video of him piercing Yangyang an unhealthy amount of times or anything…) Every time you took care of your new piercing it reminded you of how his fingers felt on your skin and how his deep voice had gently guided you through everything. Not to forget how easily the pet names had rolled from his lips. And oh god his lips… His Instagram account featured a good amount of pictures of himself both casual and while working and the way his plush lips would curl into a confident smirk did things to your heart. His latest update had been the actual death of yours though. It had shown the new tattoo he had gotten recently: It was an intricate eagle that spread over his muscled chest, the feathers of the wings blending seamlessly into the other art covering his strong shoulders and biceps. Did you already mention that he was freaking shirtless in the picture? And that he was hiding a seriously ripped body beneath the wide T-Shirt he wore the last time you were at the shop? So to say that your thoughts had started to spiral after seeing that post was a little understated.
You still felt a little uneasy when you followed Jaemin through the backstreets of Itaewon but when the shabby door with the neon green ‘open’ sign came in sight, you felt the feeling disappear, only for it to be replaced with a mixture of excitement and anxiety. Jaemin grinned widely when he pushed the door open and his good mood was always infectious, a smile creeping on your lips. This time a new man sat at the counter, lazily rocking back and forth on the chair with his phone in his hand. His hair was dark and hung into his eyes and he wore a dark, long sleeved hoodie, so you couldn’t see if he had as many tattoos as his colleagues but if the tattoos on his hands and neck were any indication, he must be pretty covered as well. You recognized the rose on the back of his hand from one of Johnny’s Instagram posts. When the man looked up, you saw that he didn’t only have tattoos but piercings as well: In his lower lip sat two rings right next to each other, a ring dangled from his nose and two little silver balls sat in the hollows of his dimples that showed when he smiled at Jaemin. “Back for more?” He asked with a deep, rumbling voice and got up to greet Jaemin properly, bumping their shoulders together. “Got an appointment with Johnny for my sleeve,” the blue haired boy replied. “I see the snake bites healed well.” “Done by the best piercer of the shop.” “You know it,” the man laughed, throwing an arm around Jaemin. “Brought your girlfriend?” “I’m just a friend,” you quickly corrected the piercer. (Why couldn’t you just platonically join a friend for his tattoo session?) “Alright, just a friend, I’m Jaehyun. Johnny should be ready by now. You know the way?” Jaemin nodded and pulled you with him to Johnny’s room.
When Jaemin pulled the curtain to the room open, you weren’t prepared for what you were seeing: Johnny was standing in front of the full length mirror with his black button up shirt unbuttoned, applying cream to his still tender looking eagle tattoo on his chest, making his beautiful sunkissed skin glisten. “You’re early, Jaem,” he spoke. “Jaehyun said you were already ready,” the blue haired boy shrugged and plopped down onto the black bench. “Oh you brought company,” Johnny turned around when he spotted you and grinned, “I knew you’d come back, doll. How’s your piercing healing?” You had to summon all your strength to rip your eyes from Johnny’s strong and glistening chest to meet his dark eyes. “It’s fine as far as I know, doesn’t hurt anymore,” you stumbled across your words. Couldn’t he just button his shirt back up? “Let me see.” Before you could protest he had made two big steps and was right in front of you, the intoxicating smell of his perfume filling your senses. He gently tucked your hair back to have a look at the piercing and you swore you could feel electricity buzz beneath your skin where he had touched you. “You took great care of it, darling. Not regretting it yet?” “No, I like it.” I like you. The words had laid on your tongue but you managed to swallow them back down.
“Stop flirting with her, I’m the one paying for your attention,” Jaemin whined from where he was sitting. You of course immediately felt all your blood rush to your head but Johnny just chuckled. “I haven’t seen any cash yet, boy.” The tattoo artist gave you a last wink before turning towards his actual client, buttoning his shirt back up but leaving the last two buttons unbuttoned, letting the head of the eagle just barely poke out. Taking a deep breath you sat down in the worn leather chair while Jaemin handed Johnny a bunch of bills that the taller quickly counted. “Alright, I’m all yours for the next five hours or so,” he grinned, “You saw the drafts I sent you?” Jaemin nodded while he took off his jacket and rolled up the sleeve of his T-Shirt to expose the ink on his arm. It was already beautiful even though it wasn’t even halfway done. The hummingbird was still missing its shading and he hung in the air for now, the flowers and leaves stopping above its head. “Yeah, I’m still not sure about the color though. Can’t we just do more flowers instead?” “Sure but the inner arm and near the elbow is going to hurt like a bitch. So it’s either that or you let me color that hummingbird.” Jaemin groaned dramatically, turning his arm to look into the mirror. “He does look weird just half-finished like that.” “So color it is?” Johnny asked while rolling up the sleeves of his shirt a bit, exposing his own tattoos: A snake like dragon curled around his entire right arm, kept in all black ink. “I really liked that green-blue watercolor thing you sent,” Jaemin supplied when he turned to lie down. “Right, then I’ll do some flowers directly surrounding the bird and color that thing.” He snapped his black gloves on and turned to prepare his machine and the colors.
“Come closer with that stupid chair,” Jaemin whined, making grabby hands at you. After Johnny nodded, you pushed the chair closer with great effort. “Are you going to whine for the whole time?” You groaned but smiled fondly at your friend. “Most likely,” Johnny answered instead of Jaemin and rolled over on his little stool, his silver framed glasses back on his nose and a pen between his lips. “I’ll freehand a bunch of flowers first to make sure they fit around that little guy nicely.” “And I thought you liked putting others in pain,” Jaemin joked when Johnny adjusted a little lamp and began to draw flower after flower. It was really fascinating how quick his hand drew delicate petals and leaves, filling up the space around the hummingbird. “Oh if I put others in pain, they usually like it,” he grinned, his voice dropping an octave. You almost choked on plain air and had to try to mask it as coughing but if the way Johnny’s eyes twinkled was any indication, he had seen right through it and dared to be smug about it. “Wow my third appointment and we’re already talking about kinks?” “Sorry Jaem, not interested,” the artist laughed, “I’m more into cute girls.” He leaned back to examine his drawing, throwing you another quick wink. You barely held in a squeak. He really wasn’t even trying to be subtle about his flirting anymore. “Ready for the big gun?” “Oh dick jokes now, nice,” Jaemin chuckled while you were sure your head was about to explode from how much blood was collecting in there. You covered your hot cheeks with your hands in a hopeless attempt to cool them. “Oh look Johnny, she’s getting shy already.” “I haven’t even started yet, baby.” That was it. This man was going to be the death of you. You really didn’t need to know what it sounded like when he spoke those words that were dripping with honey. “Why did I agree to come with you?” You groaned, hiding your face in your hands. “Because you missed me”, Johnny said at the same time as Jaemin said: “Because you’re a good friend.”
After a beat of silence in which Johnny arranged his actual tattoo gun and Jaemin stared at you while his smile grew bigger and bigger, he asked: “Now which one is it?” “I’m not answering that,” you mumbled from beneath your fingers. “No answer is an answer as well,” Jaemin singsang but luckily the low buzzing of the tattoo machine saved you from any further embarrassment… For now…   “Now hold still or I’ll actually stab you,” Johnny warned before he dipped the needle into black ink and began to trace the lines he had just drawn on with a fine needle. “Yessir,” Jaemin joked, wiggling his eyebrows.
Johnny was unusually quiet while he worked, completely tuning out the chatter of you and Jaemin about shitty professors and assignments. You were absolutely fascinated by the confidence he radiated while dragging the needle over his client’s skin. He went back and forth between two different tattoo guns and rubbed Jaemin’s skin every now and then to get rid of excess ink. Soon Jaemin’s whole upper arm was decorated with delicate flowers and leaves and Johnny leaned back to both take a deep breath while stretching his back and to look at his work. “Let’s take a break before I do the color,” he proposed, wiping down the skin. “It looks great,” you complimented his work, taking a picture for Jaemin so he could see it himself. “Damn that pain really pays off,” your friend grinned, zooming in and out of the picture before posting it to his Instagram. “Does it hurt badly?” “You get used to it,” he shrugged, not taking his eyes from his feed, “It’s more like someone continuously scratching you.” “I can show you if you want,” Johnny chimed in from where he was cleaning his tattoo gun from the black ink. “I don’t think I’m spontaneous enough for a sudden tattoo.” “Not even if I offer it for free again?” He laughed. “I’m not mentally prepared for that,” you tried to reason. “I can still show you how it feels though. Without ink.” You shyly nodded and held out your arm for him that he quickly wiped down with disinfectant when he was done putting a fresh needle into the gun. “Just don’t flinch, darling,” he softly spoke before the buzzing of his tattoo gun filled the silence. You expected it to hurt a lot more when the needle touched your skin but it really wasn’t that bad. It was an odd kind of pain you couldn’t really describe. “It’s not that bad,” you told him, looking into his beautiful brown eyes behind his glasses. “It hurts more when it’s directly on the bone or at a more tender area,” Johnny explained and turned the gun off again, bending down to look at the slightly reddened skin of your arm before chucking the used needle into the nearby trashcan. “Let’s patch that up real quick, just treat it like any other scratch.” You nodded and let the handsome man put a band-aid over it. But before you could pull your arm back again, he leaned down to press a kiss on the cloth “For a good and quick healing,” he breathed and grinned smugly when you quickly turned your head away to hide your heated face.
“When you’re done flirting, will you finally put some color into me?” Jaemin interrupted, grinning widely. “That’s what she said,” you mumbled under your breath, making Johnny chuckle. “All you need to do is ask, darling.” Before you could even wrap your mind around what the tattoo artist had just implied, he had already rolled back over to your blue haired friend to take a look at the hummingbird. “Alright let’s do this,” he grinned before wiping down the skin once more. The buzzing of a new machine filled the room and Jaemin scrunched his eyes shut when the needle dipped in turquoise ink met his skin. “This is nasty,” he complained. “Don’t be a baby,” Johnny murmured, dragging the needle over your friend’s skin that accepted the ink quickly. “You want to hold my hand?” You giggled. What you didn’t expect was for Jaemin to actually reach out to you with his unoccupied arm, making a grabby hand. “Jeno always holds my hand,” he whined. “You’re such a big baby, Nana,” you sighed but still laced your fingers together, yelping loudly when Jaemin squeezed down hard. “You said it didn’t even hurt, you big liar,” you squeezed out between gritted teeth. “You’re not the one getting stabbed,” Jaemin argued, “That shit hurts different than the black.” “It’s a different needle,” Johnny explained, “People usually say it hurts less than outlines though.” “It’s not more or less, it’s just different.” “Well it’s going to hurt more if you keep seizing up like that, relax.” “You’re one to fucking talk,” Jaemin sounded upset. “Don’t curse at me for giving you a pretty tattoo,” Johnny just said, dipping his needle into the little pot that held the color again. “Talk him through it,” the artist said to you, looking up from behind his glasses that had slipped down his nose again.
“Hey, remember that time when Donghyuck was so drunk he wanted to jump from the roof into the pool at that frat house?” You quickly said, the silly story coming to mind first. The memory made Jaemin giggle. “Jeno and Mark had so much trouble holding him back once he managed to climb out of the window,” the blue haired boy chuckled. “They were lucky they didn’t fall off.” “That would have made for an even better story though,” Jaemin laughed. “They could have hurt themselves,” you said, scandalized, “You’re hanging out with Renjun too much.” Jaemin didn’t answer, instead he just hummed and wiggled his dark eyebrows.
“Did you ever go to college?” You asked Johnny out of curiosity even though Jaemin had said that the artist preferred to keep quiet and concentrate on his work. “Do I look like I went?” He just laughed, cocking one of his stupidly perfect eyebrows at you when he looked up. “Well, I didn’t want to assume,” you shied away under his gaze. “I dropped out of high school to learn tattooing,” Johnny shared while painting Jaemin’s skin as blue as his hair, “I wasn’t good in school anyways. So art school or something wasn’t an option either. Not that I would have had any money for that.” “What made you want to pick up tattooing then?” You asked curiously. “Art usually is very temporarily and if you make a mistake, you can just erase it or paint over it with another color. Not so much with tattoos. I like that. It’s immortal as long as you don’t start shooting lasers at it.” “I’ve never thought about it like that,” you confessed. Tattooing had never seemed like art to you but that was exactly what it was. Just not on a canvas but under your skin. “Thinking about getting one now?” Jaemin teased, squeezing your hand that he still held. “I haven’t even told my parents about the piercing,” you scoffed, “They would disown me.” “Well too bad, I know a pretty good tattoo artist,” he joked and poked his tongue out. “Do you now?” Johnny asked, a grin on his lips, wiping down Jaemin’s arm before going in with a lighter color. “Yeah, he works in this shady ass shop in Itaewon and I am pretty sure you can buy drugs there as well.” “Those are not for sale,” the artist chuckled when he saw your scandalized expression. “It’s just anesthetics for certain piercing procedures, calm down doll.” “So sadly, it turns out you can’t buy drugs at their shop but it still looks shady and I’m pretty sure they’re paying part of the mafia so the police won’t come to investigate.” “I know nothing of transactions of this sort,” Johnny commented before you could get an actual heart attack. Illegally tattooing and piercing was one thing but mingling with the mafia was a whole other thing. “Anyways, he does pretty cool tattoos and pierces as well,” Jaemin continued, a grin on his lips, “Also talking male to male here, he’s pretty ripped.” At that Johnny started grinning as well. “Wanna know his name?” Jaemin asked you when Johnny turned to clean his needle and you just rolled your eyes but nodded, wondering what he was getting out of all of this. “It’s Jaehyun.” “Excuse me?” Johnny exclaimed with wide eyes when both you and your blue haired friend started laughed at his stupid joke. “This kid,” he mumbled and shook his head before putting the needle back to Jaemin’s skin who seemed to have forgotten to whine about the pain.
The rest of the appointment was spend with you and Jaemin chatting about this and that and a short video call from a red eyed Jeno who had finished his shift at the cat café and wanted to apologize and promised to buy you two dinner after you were done. “I think that’s all I can do for today,” Johnny said after he had stared at the little hummingbird for a while, “Your skin took the color well but if I do any more, I’ll stress the skin too much. I can go in another time if I need to fix anything.” Jaemin nodded, sitting up so he could inspect the colorful hummingbird in the mirror. “Wow that looks sick,” he commented, his eyes going wide, “Totally worth the pain.” “That’s what I wanna hear,” the artist grinned, grabbing some paper towels to rub the tattoo down once more. “Let me snap a picture to post.”
After both men had taken about 20 photos each, Johnny quickly wrapped Jaemin’s arm in plastic wrap, reminding him how to take care of it. “Text me for the next session, I think we could fit some pretty roses at the bottom. Maybe add a dash of color here and there or other animals,” the artist smiled, slipping the glasses off his nose, gently placing them on the table. “I’ll think about it but first I gotta slave away behind the bar to make more money,” Jaemin sighed, shrugging his jacket back on. “And you darling?” Johnny asked, putting on his confident smile again. “When will I see you again?” You just stared at him, at a loss for an answer. Did he really want to see you again? But before you could even open your mouth, Jaemin had already pulled your phone from your grasp, unlocked it and shoved it towards Johnny. “Put your number in already,” he sighed and rolled his eyes dramatically. Laughing, Johnny did as your friend had said. “Very smooth, Jaem.” “I- I guess I’ll text you,” you stuttered when Johnny gave your phone back, your fingers tingling where his touched yours. “I’ll be waiting, darling,” he winked, raking a hand through his inky strands. “Alright, time to leave, before you start drooling,” Jaemin destroyed the intense atmosphere and grabbed your arm to pull you back to the main room and out of the parlor, leaving a laughing Johnny behind in his room.
“I wasn’t even drooling, what the fuck Jaemin,” you argued when you were outside, your phone clutched to your chest. “Stop complaining, I got you his number, you should be thankful,” he just grinned, absolutely shameless, tugging you along through the little street. “I will not thank you for embarrassing me in front of him,” you pouted, unlocking your phone to confirm that Johnny had indeed put his number into the contacts with a little black heart behind his name.
“Is it too early to text him?” You asked when you and Jaemin sat in the subway on the way to his and Jeno’s dorm to take him up on his offer for food. Your friend just laughed at you, making an elderly man scowl at the two of you, who shook his head in disapproval. Well, Jaemin’s visuals didn’t help him when he acted like this in public. But as long as he didn’t care, you wouldn’t care either. “Text him after we’ve eaten,” he advised you. “Then you don’t seem as desperate as you are,” he added, which earned him a punch to his not tattooed arm.
All through dinner, Jaemin retold every embarrassing moment that happened at the tattoo parlor, making Jeno laugh so hard that he almost choked on his rice. You really needed to find new friends. These ones were just harassing you at this point. (Aside from the fact that Jaemin had indeed managed to get you Johnny’s number, you’d thank him later when he couldn’t make fun at you.)
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Later that night, you laid in bed in your own dorm room, staring at the screen of your phone. Your fingers were hovering over the keyboard but you really couldn’t think of what you should text Johnny. You didn’t want to seem weird. With how confident he was, he probably did this a lot and you were too proud to make a fool of yourself. Groaning you tossed and turned in your bed for a while, still staring at the empty chat box that by now must be mocking you for your cowardice. Sighing you typed out another short message to immediately delete it again. Should you just send him a simple ‘Hi’ or ask him if he had eaten? How the rest of his day went? In moments like this you whished you were more confident in yourself.
The sound of an incoming message suddenly filled the room and made you jerk. When you saw Johnny’s name on the screen, your heart first stopped for a second before it started beating about three times as fast as it should. How did that happen? With shaking hands you unlocked the phone to see that you in fact didn’t delete the last message but accidentally send it. Luckily it wasn’t as embarrassing as it could have been and Johnny had just answered that he was glad that you had finally texted him. Before you could think of an answer he sent another text asking you why you were still awake this late when he expected you to be a ‘good girl’. You could practically hear his smirk and you couldn’t fight the heat that rose to your cheeks. You replied that you were already in bed and were about to sleep if he was concerned about your sleep pattern that honestly wasn’t the greatest ever since the semester had started. ‘Oh, sexting already’ he replied, making you shriek in embarrassment. Was this what your message had looked like? ‘You alone?’ He asked and with a furiously beating heart you answered with a simple yes.
A couple of seconds went by with no answer from him which definitely didn’t lower your anxiety before the loud sound of your ringtone tore through the silence, Johnny’s name on the display. You quickly answered it to not wake up anyone on your floor, pressing it tightly to your ear. “Hello?” “Good evening, miss,” you heard the rumble of Johnny’s voice, “Missed me already?” “You’re the one who called,” you argued, making the man on the other end of the line giggle. “That is true.” “Why did you call?” You asked curiously, shifting to lie down on your back, staring at the ceiling. “Just wanted some company. My last client just left and I’m cleaning up the shop for today, the others already left,” he explained. “Jaehyun and Taeyong?” “Yeah those two guys,” he sighed and you heard him rummaging in the background. “Is it just you three at the shop?” “Yeah, it was just me and Taeyong at first but Jaehyun is an incredibly quick learner once he had found someone who was willing to teach him a thing or two. So he quickly joined the two of us.” You just hummed, your fingers playing with your hair, unsure of what to say. It was somehow easier to talk to him like this when you couldn’t see his eyes twinkle in mischief or his lips curling up in that confident smirk. Like this he was just a boy who wanted company and not an insanely handsome, heavily tattooed man who flirted shamelessly. “Do you usually work this late?” You asked to fill the silence and out of curiosity as well. If the shop wasn’t legal there sure weren’t any laws regulating how long the artists were supposed to work. “I don’t,” Johnny laughed, “But thank you for your concern. I was just tattooing a friend for free after my last paying client left because he was in the area.” “You do that a lot? Offering up your services for free?” “Just for friends and special people, doll,” he chuckled, “Why? Are you considering getting inked after all?”
Well were you? You didn’t even know at this point. Whenever you had thought of tattoos you had only ever thought about big bold and very black lines, of skulls, names of exes on your skin forever and warped pictures of people’s faces. But never of delicate flowers, bright colors and intricate designs. Johnny had made it obvious that it was art that he was doing and that it wasn’t just some technical procedure to get color beneath your skin. “I- I don’t know,” you confessed, “I never thought much about tattoos until Jaemin started getting them.” “I thought so,” the artist chuckled, “But I bet I could design a pretty piece that would compliment you nicely.” “I don’t think I’m the type for it though,” you argued, thinking about the amount of ink on Johnny’s body and you hadn’t even seen half of it. (Not that you planned on doing so but you were curious to know if there was more hiding beneath his clothes.) “It doesn’t have to be an obvious one. Just something only you know about.” That really got you thinking. His tattoos were really delicate and you had seen that he could write in really pretty cursive. “I don’t want to pressure you into anything, darling. But if you ever want one, you know who to ask.”
“Yeah, thank you Johnny,” you murmured, lost in thought about how you would look like with multiple tattoos. “I like the way you say my name.” “You- what?” You stuttered when he caught you off guard like that, making him laugh. “You’re cute,” he said once he had calmed down. “Stop pouting,” he added when you weren’t answering. “How did you know I was?” Johnny chuckled again. “I just knew.” “Thank you for keeping me company,” he said when you hadn’t said anything in a while. “It’s alright. I like talking to you,” you confessed. You could hear a door closing and his deep chuckle on the other end of the line. “You probably hear that a lot…” you murmured, embarrassed at how the words had slipped past your lips. “I actually don’t,” Johnny said, “I appreciate the words, darling. I’m all done cleaning up now, thank you for keeping me company.” “It’s fine, no need to thank me.” “You should go sleep now, it’s already late. Sweet dreams, doll. Maybe I’ll even visit you.” “Goodnight, Johnny,” you squeaked. The last thing you heard before he ended the call was another chuckle and a hushed goodbye. Smiling widely you turned your face into your pillow to muffle the scream you let out. How could this man make your heart beat faster like that with just a few simple words? And why did this short phone call make you so happy? Sighing, you put your phone to your nightstand and cuddled tightly into your blanket, the thought of Johnny’s smooth voice guiding you to sleep where he indeed did visit you.
After that initial phone call, Johnny called you more and more often. Sometimes when he was on his lunch break and his colleagues were still working, sometimes later at night when your head was spinning from studying and he was cleaning up the shop. You two talked about your days, you complained about professors, deadlines and assignments and he told you about tattooing and his sometimes crazy clients. And every now and then Johnny would bring up his offer to tattoo you. Which made your thoughts spiral every single time. In class you would scroll through Johnny’s Instagram account, imagining what some of the intricate, more feminine designs would look like on your skin. After much consideration you definitely ruled out anything big or colorful. But something small wouldn’t hurt, right? Well it would, you would be giving him permission to stab you with an automated needle a bunch of times which in itself sounded really scary. But Jaemin’s tattoo looked nice. And after his skin had peeled, the hummingbird truly looked absolutely incredible and you couldn’t wait for him to visit the shop again to keep working on the sleeve.
So in a whim of bravery and with the help of the little glass of wine you had drank you told Johnny that he should tattoo you. “Are you for real?” He asked. “I am,” you giggled, “I’ve thought about it a lot the past weeks.” “I am honored, darling. What will it be?” “Something small and no colors please,” you told him. “That’s all you’re asking for?” “Yeah, I… I like the simple black stuff you do,” you stuttered, suddenly really nervous and unsure if this was actually a good idea. “I’ll design something that’ll match you perfectly,” Johnny promised, sounding very eager. You could hear some rummaging on his end of the line. “I could fit you in Friday evening after my last client. It won’t be too late and I need some time to come up with a design that’s worthy of being in your body.” You swallowed dryly. If you said yes, you couldn’t back out anymore. You would be getting inked. Secretly. Without telling anyone. Not to mention illegally. In a reasonably shady shop that was owned by the most gorgeous man you had ever met. Taking a deep breath, you nodded before you realized that he couldn’t see that. “I’ll be there,” you promised. “I’m looking forward to it, doll,” Johnny said before he wished you sweet dreams just like every time when he called you late at night.
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The neon light in front of the door to the shop was already shut off when you arrived the next Friday late in the evening but the door gave away when you pushed it open with trembling hands after taking a deep breath. “I thought you weren’t going to come, darling, you left me waiting,” Johnny greeted you, jumping down from the counter he had sat on. He was wearing a simple black t-shirt with a little white rose design over his heart that fit him perfectly. His hair was elegantly swept back, exposing the freshly shaved part on the side. “I’m sorry,” you mumbled, fumbling with the sleeves of your hoodie. “Don’t be nervous, I’ll take good care of you,” he promised, quickly locking the front door before taking you to his room where he motioned for you to sit on the bench. “Do you trust me?” He asked, tipping your head up so you would look into his dark eyes. “I- I think I do,” you stuttered. “I won’t tell you what you’re getting,” Johnny grinned and your eyes widened in shock. “You will like it and it’s not that big.” “I’m not sure, Johnny,” you voiced your concerns but he just pressed his index finger to your lips before you could say any more. Your breath hitched and he could definitely feel your shaky exhale against his finger. “You said you trust me, doll.” Taking another shaky breath, you nodded and a smile spread over his plush lips. “I need you to take off your shirt and lie down on your left side,” he spoke, his voice casual but you could feel something shift in the air between you. At a loss for words you just nodded again and did as Johnny asked when he turned around to gather his stuff.
“Take a couple of deep breaths for me, darling,” he instructed you when he rolled over on his little stool, his glasses sitting low on his nose and his hands already gloved. “It’s going on your ribs,” he told you so you wouldn’t flinch when he quickly dragged a razor over the area before disinfecting it. “I’ll draw a quick sketch first. I don’t want to mess it up when it’s going on your beautiful skin.”  You felt the tip of his pen meet your skin in a gentle stroke, tickling your skin so you had to giggle. “Don’t make me mess this up, baby,” Johnny scolded, playfully slapping your back. “It tickles,” you pouted. “I’m trying to be gentle with you,” he said and you could hear the smile in his voice. While he was sketching, you closed your eyes, trying to figure out what he was drawing. But all you could figure out was that it was something rather small which calmed your nerves a bit.
“All done,” the tattoo artist announced after a while and quickly pulled his little side table with his tattoo gun and ink closer. When the low buzzing noise filled the air, you pressed your eyes shut even tighter, balling your hands into fists. Technically you knew it wouldn’t hurt badly, Johnny had shown you before. But you were still getting stabbed a bunch of times and fuck, you were really doing this. Letting this man put something on your body that was going to be there forever and you didn’t even know what it was going to be. “Relax, darling. I’ll be as gentle as I can be,” he promised, running a hand up and down your back. “It’s going to be on me forever,” you said. “It is. Your own personal piece of art on your body. Just for you to have.” That was a beautiful way to see it, you thought. It’s not just some pigment stabbed into your skin but art. Something unique no one else had. And Johnny would be painting it on just you for you and you alone. “Okay, let’s do this,” you breathed. “That’s my good girl,” Johnny praised and the words made your stomach twist with a feeling you didn’t want to further explore.
The pain was bearable. It was weird at first and the ribs sure hurt more than it had on your arm and the bones somehow seemed to amplify the buzzing, making it travel through your body. You had to grit your teeth when Johnny went over what seemed to be the middle part of the tattoo, where he grazed the skin in quick successions. “That hurts.” “I know, baby. But you’re almost done. You’re doing so well for me,” he soothed and gave you a small break to breathe before he went back in.
“All done, darling,” Johnny announced a little later, turning off his machine and rubbing the tattoo down with a wet paper towel. “Can I see it now?” You asked. “In a bit, keep your eyes closed,” he spoke softly and took your hands in his now ungloved ones to first guide you into a sitting position and then off the bench and over to what you assumed to be the mirror. He turned you so your side was facing the glass and put one of his big hands on your waist. It felt hot on your exposed skin and made goosebumps break out on your skin. “Open your eyes, doll.” You did and looked directly into his dark chocolate brown eyes behind his glasses. “I’m too scared to look now, is that silly?” You asked, losing yourself in his eyes and leaning towards his body that just seemed to radiate heat. “It’s beautiful, just like you,” he assured you, squeezing your waist reassuringly. After taking a deep breath, you tore your gaze away from him and turned to look at yourself in the mirror where a delicate, black chrysanthemum was awaiting you on the skin over your ribs. It indeed looked beautiful, absolutely stunning. It was small but looked so delicate and realistic and fit well with the curves of your body. “It’s stunning,” you whispered.
“Thank you, Johnny.” “No need to thank me, darling,” he chuckled and when your eyes met again, his were dark and almost hungry. “But I think I should reward you for being so good while I tattooed you.” Before you could ask what kind of reward he was talking about, he had already connected your lips in a passionate kiss and pulled your body flush against his. You couldn’t help but sigh now that you finally knew what the metal of his lip piercing felt like against your lips. Johnny was a good kisser and you were boneless in his strong grip not long after he had slipped his tongue past your lips after you had moaned into the kiss when he had started to push you backwards to the bench again, hoisting you back up. “Let me make up for the pain I’ve caused you,” he breathed against your swollen lips when you broke apart to breathe.   “Just keep kissing me like that,” you demanded, burying your hands in his soft black locks to kiss him again. He chuckled and let you dominate the kiss for a while, toying with the black ring in his lip and exploring his mouth. Meanwhile Johnny’s hands started to wander from their place on your waist down to grope at your ass, pulling you forward against him, so you could feel his growing erection between your legs which made a spark of arousal shoot through you.
“Let me make you feel good, baby,” he breathed heavily while kissing down your neck, gently taking the skin between his teeth. “Please Johnny,” you begged, feeling the arousal simmer low in your stomach. Grinning he pulled back and raked his dark eyes over your figure before making quick work of your belt and sliding your jeans along with your panties from your legs, only shortly struggling with your shoes. “It’s not Johnny now, baby,” he rasped when he kneeled down in front of you, pulling you towards him roughly, so your glistening core was exposed to him. “It’s Daddy,” he added before licking a broad stripe through your folds and flicking his tongue at your clit. You could just mewl and throw your head back in pleasure. You didn’t know that this would be such a turn on for you. “Say it, baby,” Johnny demanded, lazily dragging his tongue over your sensitive bundle of nerves. “Please Daddy,” you whimpered and you could feel his low groan vibrating against your core. He wasted no time to attach his plush lips to your clit, gently sucking and grazing his teeth over the little nub, making you mewl and shiver in pleasure. He definitely knew what he was doing, altering between stimulating your clit to the point where it almost became too much before he focused on dragging his tongue through your folds, gently prodding against your entrance before it gave away. When Johnny moaned you could feel it travel straight through you, making your head swim with pleasure. Looking down to the man kneeling in front of you, you were met with his dark eyes, staring straight up into yours. Moaning, you threaded your fingers into his soft hair and pressed his face closer to your core, not even taking the chance that he could move back. “Feels so good, Daddy,” you moaned when he spread your labia with his fingers so his tongue could dive deeper into you, stimulating your velvety walls. When he hummed it send sweet vibrations through your core and you could feel your orgasm approach almost embarrassingly fast. “Mmmh, so close Daddy.” “You wanna cum, baby?” He rasped, his hot breath fanning over your clit that he was lazily rubbing with two fingers. You bit your lip and met his dark eyes, nodding furiously. “Then beg for it, doll. I could stay here for hours,” Johnny spoke before he turned his head to mouth at your thigh, gently biting and sucking at the sensitive skin until it bruised under his ministrations. “I would just keep you right on the edge for hours until you’re a shaking mess for me, begging for release.” His lips split into a wicked grin when he saw how his dirty words affected you and he slowed his fingers on your clit until it was just enough to keep you stimulated but not enough to make the knot in your stomach snap. “Please Daddy,” you whimpered. “Please what baby?” He rested his head on your thigh, looking up at you from innocent eyes as if he wasn’t driving you insane with just his fingers. “What is it beautiful?” He repeated the question, replacing his fingers with his tongue. “You wanna cum?” “Yes please,” you whined, grinding your hips against his tongue to get more friction. “Well if you ask so nicely…” Johnny immediately slipped two fingers inside you with almost no resistance from how ridiculously wet you were and began pumping them in and out of your core fast, crooking them to search for your sweet spot. “Come on baby,” he growled, locking eyes with you again when he closed his lips around your clit. Almost screaming his name, you came hard when his fingers finally found your sweet spot, rubbing at it mercilessly to help you ride out your orgasm. Your thighs were shaking and you fell back onto the bench, the leather sticking to your back where you just laid for a while, your head spinning, breathing heavily.
“You look gorgeous like that,” Johnny complimented you, when he got back up from the floor, raking his clean hand through the mess that was his hair before he shamelessly took his fingers that were covered in your essence into his mouth, sucking them clean. Through half lidded eyes you could see the way he was still straining against the fabric of his jeans and the sight made your mouth water. “You’re still hard,” you said breathless.   “I am,” he said matter of factly. You wordlessly let your thighs fall open for him, exposing your core to him. “Oh baby,” Johnny cursed, pressing the heel of his palm against his bulge, “As much as I want to fuck you right now, you still have a fresh tattoo, doll.” “Please, Johnny, I want it,” you begged. “Shh, baby,” he soothed you rubbing a hand over your thigh, “Let me dress that tattoo and then I’ll take you upstairs to fuck you on an actual bed like you deserve.” You nodded, amazed by his amount of self-control.
Johnny worked quickly and efficiently: Cleaning your tattoo one last time before putting some ointment on it to keep it moisturized. At last he gently taped down a small sheet of plastic foil to keep it safe. “All done, beautiful,” he spoke before pecking your lips, “You still want to come upstairs with me?” “Yes Daddy,” you answered and you swore you could see his eyes darken just from the word alone. “Hold on tightly,” he ordered before scooping you up into his arms, holding you up by your thighs. Squealing you quickly wrapped your arms and legs around him, holding on tightly. “I’ll get your clothes before we open up tomorrow,” he mumbled when he carried you through the back door of the shop that lead to a dusty staircase. You pressed your body closer to his, nuzzling your face into his neck where the smell of his cologne was the strongest, to have some of his warmth seep into your skin when you started to shiver from the cold air. Lazily you let your lips travel over his skin, sucking a mark next to a splash of ink.
Johnny quickly grabbed the keys to his apartment’s door from atop of the doorframe (not really safe) and unlocked his door while holding you up with just one of his arms, the display of strength making your head spin. With quick steps he crossed the way to his bed and gently laid you down on the soft sheets, immediately crawling on top of you, crowding you against the mattress. “I knew you would look good in my bed,” he rasped, kissing your neck while his hands made quick work of the bra that you were still wearing for some reason. “You’re gorgeous, doll,” he breathed after he had sat up on his knees, looking down at you with dark eyes, his big hands roaming your body. Feeling shy under all the attention and compliments he was giving you, you tried to hide your face behind your fingers but he wasn’t having any of it, quickly grabbing your wrists in one hand to pin them above your head. “Don’t hide from me baby. Daddy wants to see how much you’re enjoying yourself.” You could just nod, trying to force down the whimper that almost spilled past your lips, he hadn’t even done much yet and you were already feeling arousal pulse through your veins. “I couldn’t hear your answer,” Johnny teased, gently grabbing one of your boobs to massage the soft flesh. “Yes, Daddy.” “That’s my good girl,” he grinned, releasing your wrists to slip his T-Shirt over his head, revealing his strong chest where the eagle majestically spread its wings and the hard lines of his abs. “Like what you see?” He asked smugly, climbing off the bed to unbuckle his belt and slip his jeans off his narrow hips, revealing strong, muscled thighs. One of them was covered with the face of a growling panther while the other was decorated with a colorful koifish tattoo that disappeared beneath the fabric of his dark boxers that were doing very little to hide a prominent bulge. “Let me,” you breathed and crawled over to hook your thumbs into the waistband. But before you pulled them down, you pressed a couple of kisses to the cherry blossom branch tattoo that seemed to stretch from his back over his hipbone and further down, mingling with the koi tattoo further down. With every centimeter of skin you exposed, more ink from the blossoms became visible and you kissed every single one of the delicate flowers. When his length finally sprang free, you had to swallow dryly: His cock was huge and hung heavy between his legs. Licking your lips you looked up to him, to find him grinning down at you. “Go to town, baby.”
He didn’t need to tell you twice, you were itching to feel his heavy weight on your tongue. You pressed a sweet kiss to his tip before placing a hand at the base only to find him surprisingly soft as you experimentally pumped your hand once. “It takes a while for it to get fully hard,” he groaned when you moved your hand up and down his shaft a couple of times, feeling it pulse beneath your fingers. Damn if he wasn’t even fully hard, how big would he be if he was? Holding him at the base, you licked a broad stripe up the whole length before you swiped your tongue around the pink head, pulling another groan from Johnny’s lips. Taking a deep breath, you finally took him in your mouth and hollowed your cheeks, tasting his skin. The weight on your tongue felt just right and you couldn’t help but moan as you slowly started to take more and more of him until you felt him hit the back of your throat. Shit, you were barely able to fit half of his length in your mouth like this. “You’re so big,” you moaned when you pulled off of him with a wet pop, spreading your saliva down the shaft with both of your hands. Johnny just hummed and grabbed a handful of your hair to shove your mouth back onto his dick. He cursed when the velvety heat surrounded him again and gently began to thrust in and out your mouth. “Fuck you look so good with my cock in your mouth,” he breathed heavily. You could only moan where your lips were stretched around his length and hollow your cheeks when he pulled out, the grip he had on your hair keeping you in place while he snapped his hips. “Shit baby,” Johnny cursed when he pulled out, panting while he rested the head of his cock on your outstretched tongue. “I could cum like this.” You whined pathetically, looking up at him with pleading eyes. He chuckled and gently slapped his cock against your lips, smearing them with precum. “But you don’t want that, don’t you, baby? You want my cock inside you? Stretching you out?” “Yes Daddy, please. I need it so bad,” you blabbered, not even knowing where those words were coming from but you seemed to have said the right thing with how Johnny’s dick twitched in his hand.
“Then get on your hands and knees for me, baby. Ass up.” It was almost comically how fast you complied, baring yourself to him. “Such a good girl,” he praised, grabbing your asscheeks to knead and pull them apart. “Beautiful.” “Please Daddy,” you begged him, arching your back further. “Patience baby,” he chuckled. A frustrated groan got stuck in your throat and turned into a drawn out whine when he pushed two of his fingers inside you, pumping them quickly and curling them to find your sweet spot again. Soon two fingers became three and he had reduced you to a moaning mess with how he abused your sweet spot once he had found it again. “You think you’re ready for my cock, baby?” “Yes. Oh god, yes please,” you begged while shamelessly grinding back on his fingers that he had stilled inside of you. “Spread your cheeks for me,” he ordered while quickly grabbing a condom from his bedside table and rolling it onto his cock. Balancing your weight on your knees and shoulders, you reached around yourself to pull your asscheeks apart so Johnny could see your core clenching around nothing. “You’re such a good girl for me,” he rasped, running his palm along the curve of your body while lazily thrusting his cock through your folds, making it glisten with your essence. Finally you could feel him nudging at your entrance with the thick head of his cock. “You want it, baby?” “Yes please Daddy,” you gasped, trying hard to be good and not grind back against him. “You’re such a good girl for me,” he chuckled, “And good girls get what they want if they ask so politely.” With that he finally sank into you in one agonizingly slow thrust until you could feel his hip bones press against your skin. You had to screw your eyes shut and bite your lip to suppress a whimper. You had never felt so full before.
“Fuck baby, you’re so tight,” Johnny groaned, grabbing you by the dip of your waist with his big hands, grinding you on his cock. “I’m so full, Daddy,” you gasped when he slowly pulled out until only the head of his cock was inside you before he languidly thrust back in. “Yeah? You like that? Being stuffed full of my cock?” You could only moan and nod where your head was pressed into the sheets. His cock was so big that it seemed to press against every good spot that was inside you, setting your nerve endings on fire, the pain from being stretched like that only adding to your pleasure. “You‘re sucking me right back in baby,” he cursed and gripped your waist harder, pulling you back on his cock as he picked up the pace, low groans falling from his lips. Your moans got progressively louder and louder the faster Johnny snapped his hips. “Hands behind your back, baby,” he ordered panting and immediately grabbed both your wrists in his hands to use them as leverage so he could fuck into you faster, the change of angle and pace making you moan his name. Your head was swimming with pleasure and you could only moan and mewl beneath him, imagining how he would bite his lip while watching his dick disappear inside you over and over again, stretching out the delicate skin of your sex. “God baby, your ass looks amazing,” Johnny groaned, praise after praise falling from his lips that reduced you to a moaning mess.
With one particularly hard thrust he buried himself to the hilt inside you and draped his body over yours, his hot breath fanning over your face when he spoke, a deep rumble in his chest while grinding his dick right against your sweet spot that had you seeing colors behind your closed eyes. “Wanna see you bounce on my dick, doll. Can you do that for me?” Taking a deep breath, you nodded. Your ability to form coherent sentences had left you as soon as he had begun to fuck you in earnest. “You’re such a good girl,” he purred and gently pulled out, making you whimper from the loss. You felt the bed dip next to you and when you opened your eyes, you were met with Johnny’s pleased smirk as he leaned against the headboard of the bed, his cock resting against his hip, too heavy to properly stand up and you couldn’t stop another whimper. “Come on baby, I know you want it,” he grinned, crooking a finger in a ‘come closer’ motion. Dragging your limbs from beneath you with great effort, you climbed onto his lap, immediately claiming his lips in a messy kiss. You buried your hands in his stupidly perfect hair to mess it up and tug at the inky strands, causing Johnny to moan into the kiss. “Hmm, my baby is feisty,” he chuckled when he broke the kiss, the pupils of his dark eyes blown so wide that they seemed almost black. “But you promised me to ride my dick,” he reminded you. “And I’m gonna,” you slurred, reaching between your bodies to grab his cock, giving it a couple of strokes. “But turn around for me baby. Wanna see how much my fat cock is going to stretch you out,” he rasped, playfully biting your lips. “But I want to see you too,” you complained. “Oh you can,” he grinned and pointed over your shoulder. You reluctantly turned around before you saw what he meant. Right across from the bed was a big mirror and you gasped because of how fucked out you already looked. A couple of tears had rolled down your cheeks and messed up your makeup and your lipstick was smeared around your lips.
You carefully grabbed Johnny’s cock again and held it steady so you could sink down on him, watching yourself in the mirror until you sat snug on his lap and had to close your eyes because the feeling was so overwhelming. He felt even bigger like that. “You okay, baby?” He asked, grabbing your hips tightly to help you swivel them on his cock, making it press into your walls just how you liked it. “How does your cock feel even bigger like this?” You gasped as you leaned forward and slowly started to ride him at first to get used to his size and figure out the best angle for you. Your legs shook with the effort to keep your rhythm but the look Johnny had on his face, his eyes glued to where you two were connected, made it worth it. Suddenly a wicked grin spread on his lips and he snapped his hips up when you lowered yourself again, tearing loud moans from both of you. “Fuck, do that again,” you demanded when you raised your hips again. “What’s the magic word?” Johnny teased, holding you up so you wouldn’t drop down again. “Please, Daddy.” Groaning he started to snap his hips up every time you ground down on him, making your skin slap together with an obscene noise.
God you wanted to die on his dick. “Do you now?” Johnny laughed. Shit did you say that out loud? “Want to feel how deep it goes inside you?” He rasped, wrapping his strong arms around your waist. You went lax in his hold and mewled helplessly. Who knew that a little display of strength and a big dick were such turn ons for you that your brain was reduced to mush. Grinning he carefully pulled you up and against his chest and draped your legs over his after he had planted his feet firmly onto the mattress. “Watch, baby,” he ordered as he lifted you off of him until only the tip was barely inside you anymore before letting you drop down again. You mewled and thrashed in his hold, the feeling just on the edge of too much. Feeling him deep inside you was one thing but actually seeing it was a whole other thing and it messed with your head. Curiously you pressed your hand down on your lower stomach when Johnny had started to piston his hips up into you instead of dropping you down onto his cock every time and you swore you could feel him move inside you. A drawn out curse left your lips and you threw your head back onto his shoulder.
With the way he was snapping his hips up you could feel your orgasm approach at lightning speed and you were so far gone that you shamelessly reached between your legs to stimulate your clit. “Fuck baby, you’re so hot like this,” Johnny groaned, grinding his dick inside you as you quickly rubbed your clit, toeing right on the edge. “Please Daddy,” you cried out, not sure what you were even begging for. “You gonna cum on my cock?” He rasped, snapping his hips harshly, “Wrapped around my big cock stretching you out like this?” You nodded your head furiously, your eyes screwed shut. You were so close that you could already feel your toes curling. “Show me baby. Show Daddy how good his cock makes you feel.” That’s what pushed you over the edge, the way he was panting in your ear, his voice strained from how he was drilling into you. The coil in your stomach snapped and you almost screamed his name, your body curling inwards and thighs shivering as your orgasm washed over you, making a bunch of colors explode behind your lids. In the back of your mind you registered Johnny’s curses and how he was grinding his cock inside you to help you ride out your orgasm. “Such a good girl,” he praised when your body went lax on top of him, your chest heaving with heavy breaths. You briefly wondered if you had ever cum this hard and you couldn’t think of any other time. “Thank you Daddy,” you panted, turning your face to press a messy kiss to his plush lips that were bitten raw. He chuckled lowly when you whimpered when his still hard cock shifted when you tried to turn around.
“Will you let me fuck you for a little longer, baby?” He asked, running a hand through your sweaty hair. Instead of answering him, you lifted yourself off his dick to turn around on his lap, capturing his lips again. “Want you to ruin me,” you whispered between kisses, “Want you to ruin me for any other men. Want to only remember how you feel inside of me.” Johnny growled deep in his chest before he pushed you down onto the bed, hungrily licking into your mouth. “You’re the one who is ruining me,” he panted, rising to his knees. He quickly grabbed your legs and threw them over his shoulders before he sank into you again with a low groan. This time he didn’t waste any time with building up the pace and immediately snapped his hips harshly, chasing his own orgasm. “You’re taking me so well, baby,” he panted, folding your thighs to your chest so he could push into you even deeper, making you see stars with how he was nailing your sweet spot with the new angle. And even though you had just cum, you felt another orgasm build inside your stomach. A row of curses left Johnny’s lips when he could watch his dick slide in and out of you again and he gripped your thighs so hard you were sure you’d have bruises there tomorrow. But that was something you’d worry about later, right now your world was only made up of the handsome man with his huge cock that was currently rearranging your guts with how vigorously he was snapping his hips, making your skin slap together with lewd sounds.
“I’m gonna cum baby,” Johnny grunted, his hips losing their rhythm. “On me,” you managed to choke out, still lost in your own pleasure. Another groan left his bitten lips before he quickly pulled out and ripped the condom off, jerking his cock with quick strokes, his eyes fixed to yours. All it took was a couple of jerks before he threw his head back and you could see his abdominal muscles contract before the first burst of white hot cum spurted from his dick and covered your chest and stomach. With parted lips he stroked himself through his orgasm, milking rope after rope from his cock until he hissed with overstimulation. “Fuck,” he cursed before giggling when he saw the mess he had made of you, his cum dripping from your boobs and running down your stomach. He cursed again before claiming your lips. “You want to cum one last time, baby?” “Please Daddy,” you whined, spreading your legs further for him. “My good girl,” he sighed, sinking two fingers into your heat, quickly crooking them to stimulate your sweet spot while his thumb was putting sweet pressure on your clit, making you thrash beneath him. “You look so good covered in my cum,” he rasped before he kissed you harshly to swallow your moans and cries of pleasure. You desperately held on to his shoulders, breaking the kiss when your head was spinning from the lack of oxygen. While speeding up his fingers, Johnny began sucking bruises low on your neck and over the soft skin of your cleavage. “Shit, I’m gonna-“ you didn’t get to finish your sentence because right that moment he had sucked one of your nipples into his mouth which was just enough to send you over the edge for a third time that night, your lips parted in a silent scream of his name and your thighs shaking and closing around the handsome man kneeling between them. “That’s my good girl,” he praised breathily and gently rocked his fingers to help you ride out your orgasm before he pulled them out, instead winding his strong arms around your body, holding you to his inked chest.
For a while he just held you close, not caring that his cum was now also stuck to his chest. “Fuck that was a lot,” you chuckled, burying your face in the crook of his neck, inhaling his calming scent. “Not what you thought would happen when you get a free tattoo?” Johnny softly spoke, carding his hand through your messy hair. “Not at all.” Another question was burning inside your head but you were too scared to ask it. You didn’t want to push him and ruin the mood. “I should clean you up and see if that tattoo is still okay. Then we can cuddle, alright?” The tattoo artist said before he detangled your bodies from one another to get up from the bed. He looked around on the floor for a cloth and you could finally see where the cherry blossoms on his hip were coming from. A big samurai was stretched over half his back, surrounded by the pinkish blossoms. It seemed like it wasn’t a complete piece yet, the samurai staring at the still untouched skin of Johnny’s left shoulderblade. “Your back tattoo is really pretty,” you mumbled to fill the silence while Johnny was wiping his chest clean before he gently did the same to you, taking extra caution when looking at your still fresh tattoo. “Thank you,” he smiled, pressing a kiss to your forehead, the metal of his piercing feeling warm on your skin, “We should change that foil real quick.” You just nodded and let him do his work, exhaustion settling into your bones.
“Do you do this with all your clients?” Shit. You hadn’t meant to ask that, the question had just slipped your lips and you could feel Johnny freeze where he was dressing your tattoo again before he secured the last piece of tape. He sighed and slipped beneath the covers, pulling you against his chest, so you could listen to his heartbeat. “Not all of them,” he answered eventually, “I haven’t slept with a client in a while. It happens sometimes but usually I don’t think much about it.” “And now you do?” He just hummed nonchalantly, playing with your hair. “They usually don’t come back after I fuck them.” He paused, holding his breath. “Will you come back?” Your heart started to race and you could feel a bright smile spreading over your lips. “For more free tattoos and piercings?” “Oh, yeah, I guess,” he sounded so deflated, the confident tattoo artist suddenly gone. “You idiot,” you giggled, pillowing your head on his sternum so he could see the smile on your lips, “I like you Johnny. I’ll come back if you want me to.” Now he was also smiling, his features softening. “Don’t make jokes like that, my heart is fragile,” he joked, wrapping you up in his strong arms.  
“Which one was your first one?” You asked him when the silence between you stretched while you traced the scales of the dragon that wound around his arm. “My first tattoo?” Johnny shifted around for a while before he showed you his other arm that had all kinds of different designs on it, some in bright colors, some strictly black. “That little guy over here,” he said with a smile on his lips and pointed to a little sunflower at the bend of his elbow, “To remind me to always look at the sun, at the bright side of life.” “It’s cute,” you breathed, touching the yellow petals. “And then it went downhill from there,” he chuckled, “It’s addicting.” “Let’s hope I can stay abstinent.” “What a shame, I’d love to cover you in my art,” Johnny confessed, tilting your face up so he could claim your lips in a kiss. “Maybe one or two more,” you breathed in between kisses, making him chuckle against your lips.
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ladycibia · 6 days ago
The "shut up cibia" tag is the most depressing tag I've ever seen. The fact that you exist and have things to say - things to share - should be celebrated. Speak all you want, smile, laugh and be yourself. I am thankful that you are here, and you should be too. Take care, sweet person!
You know what? You're right. You're absolutely right.
(a bit of a rant here)
I always joke around it because that's...basically what I usually do, being passive-aggressive with myself, and I'm afraid I ended up internalizing the issue? It's not easy for me to talk (especially irl) for three main reasons:
I am one of those (very) shy people who often get reprimanded because they're "so quiet, you should talk more!" and who then religiously get interrupted, ignored and talked over and this unfortunately leaves a mark, after a while. Point two: I am perfectly aware of the fact that I have a bad habit of hyperfixating on things and I've already been told so many (maybe too many) times how annoying that is. To the point that I've ruined said thing(s) to one person because I just couldn't shut up about it. I'm working on it, trying to control myself and encouranging people to kindly stop me if I'm going too far (as for my drawings--- that's a lost cause, as my 500+ witcher doodles can tell. Oh well). And lastly, I am paranoiac and I'm always afraid of saying the wrong thing, hurt someone's feelings or just embarassing myself. For example, last week I attended a convention to help my boyfriend in the Artist Alley and I had the chance to talk to some voice actors I follow and I admire (they were super nice); it was great until I woke up in the middle of the night, terrified of having said or done something wrong. Which was complete nonsense!
So...yeah, connect all these dots and you can hear my brain whispering "shut up cibia" every time I open my mouth (and I do that when I start typing, too). But again, you're right. If I want to get over this, I should at least be able to change a meaningless tag, shouldn't I? And I really like @onceuponaleviathime's suggestion, "Cibia Chats" has a cute sound (you pronounce the "c" in Cibia as the one in "chibi", so it's like "chibia chats"), thank you! And thank you, for your kind message. I'm very grateful; and sorry about the rant! I guess I needed to let it out somehow, ahah...! *bows* thank you. 💜💜💜 Take care, you sweet person!
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rainbowloliofjustice · 5 months ago
I hate how so many people just... lack any kind of critical media literacy across so many different genres and how just about every genre and common tropes, issues, etc. within them just get boiled down to "Oh this is bad because ableism/racism/homophobia" even though the tropes largely have nothing to do with that. It's like they have such a surface-level understanding of something and then proceeds to read into said surface-level understanding in a contest to see who can come up with the most disingenuous, bad faith, uncharitable and just all-around god an awful interpretation of it.
"Characters having prosthetics as an allegory for losing their humanity is ablest because it is saying that if you got into an accident you are a monster." No, you absolute peanut. Robotic parts specifically are an allegory for the loss of humanity in characters that just get rid of their human body because they were being reckless, stupid, thought that it was not perfect enough, too weak, etc. Oftentimes, this is juxtaposed with a character that is a robot but is more human than the cyborg or person that just gets another piece of them replaced with a machine.
Ironwood getting increasingly mechanical parts as he is making increasingly inhumane choices in regards to himself and others is not saying he's a monster because he had an oops boo boo and had to replace his arm. ESPECIALLY when his character is juxtaposed by a character who has a robotic arm (Yang) and a character who is a created robot (Penny). The reason why Yang said that her robotic arm (and even taking pride in it at that) is "just extra" because it is just an extra asset to who she is as a person, but not her whole person. In terms of Penny, she is entirely made of machines but has what amounts to a human heart and compassion because she makes a choice to be kind to people. The allegory here (that y'all failed to understand) is that it is not whether or not someone has prosthetic or robotic parts that determine their humanity, but rather their choices and how they treat others.
It is often also the same in stories where it has characters who have robotic parts such as Alita Battle Angel or anything that genuinely comes from cyberpunk dystopia. Alita (Who is completely robot mind you) is often more kind, compassionate, etc. than characters who are fully human. Hugo and his crew regularly steal parts from cyborgs who've done nothing to him and this is juxtaposed by characters like Grewishka and Zipan who are mechanical and monstrous but not because of their parts but because of their choices. Which is a strong contrast to Alita who is fully kindhearted and has a strong sense of justice and doing what is right regardless of whether there is a price tag on it.
In more dystopian stories wherein no short words, the corrupt government controls technology and spies on its people using it, it can be a question of how much of your humanity (in this instance, privacy and agency over oneself) you're willing to sacrifice for comfort or just because you had to. But of course, rather than looking at these stories as a potential warning that we should make laws that would prevent the government from using technology against its people under the guise of safety, convenience, etc. Or even having people question wtf do they do should the government get so corrupt that it can just hijack someone's arm or even just stop someone's pacemaker because lol why not.
Yeah I get it, it's uncomfortable but unfortunately, the people who need it the most are going to be the people most at risk to a corrupt government which is like... kinda the point.
But anyways moving on
The same can go for when stories use animals as a means of telling stories revolving around discrimination. But ofc people can only see it as a surface-level "racism" and then do their damnest to force characters into being black/poc or white (and for some reason, only those two races) while failing to realize that the reason it was done is that discrimination has more than one axis. I swear this logic is what has convinced me all the talk of intersectionality in activism is just a joke they say to get other people to just shut up and let them speak over them and ignore problems/issues they don't want to focus on. It's like the only thing they can understand is racism and even that racism is only if it is hatred and black people vs white people. And somehow even that is on its most basic level.
The reason stories like Zootopia and Beastars work when it comes to discrimination because it doesn't solely focus on the narrative of race and allows it to explore the implicit and explicit biases of every character that doesn't exclusively revolve around racism. It allows characters to be on the axis of sexism, racism, class, etc. and explore various -isms that are not always "negative" in the sense that it is just hatred, racial slurs, etc. and that it can be the "positive" racism like saying "you're one of the good ones" or that "they're a token to xyz for not being as bad as everyone else."
It allows characters to fall on multiple axes without people arguing whether they have it "too good to complain" because of just one axis of discrimination that they give more weight to than others for some arbitrary reason.
Even when it comes to things like nudity being a symbol of being true to oneself or purity (such as Sailor Moon or Kill La Kill) people manage to, unironically boil it down to just the writers feeling horny and therefore ignore any other kind of lore, storytelling, etc. that revolves around it. They took one thing, scrubbed, bleached, and then nuked it of any kind of context/meta just to say lol writers horny this bad it literally means nothing else even though there are whole ass plot lines revolving around it. Like do you just pick and choose what kind of plot or storytelling is Valid (TM)?
And this extends to things beyond that and I just don't understand how people can lack such media literacy when you can literally go and read anything you want online. Is it because of people being willfully ignorant? Just lacking media literacy for some reason? Only consuming and understanding media that has to have every meaning shoved down their throat like the tentacle down an anime girl's throat in a hentai??? Like there are so many questions as to how people can come up with so many dumbass takes.
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ezrasbirdie · 4 months ago
insecurities - chapter 1
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series masterlist
summary: Charlie Ellis is the lead intelligence analyst under Javier Peña’s direction, but he doesn’t even know she exists. All she knows about Javier is what everyone else says—and rumors don’t tell the entire story. A chance meeting in the embassy courtyard brings them together, and Charlie finds herself thrust into a world she never imagined being a part of when she’s called in to help with an undercover operation.  
rating: T for now, but there will be smut lmao [warnings: discussions of weight and heavy projecting onto our boy javi]
pairing: Javier Peña x Charlie Ellis [OFC]
word count: ~1700
note: i’ve been sitting on this for a while, but i thought i’d throw the first chapter out and see if there’s any interest. if i get like 20 notes i’ll move it forward lmao. ty to @starlightmornings and @danniburgh for the encouragement
Charlie thought about Javier Peña a lot.
She glanced at him as he passed her office—furtively, so he wouldn’t notice. Not that he’d ever noticed her. Not that he’d ever looked in her direction for more than thirty seconds. Not that he’d ever given her a second thought.
Nevermind that he’d slept with or tried to sleep with every other woman in the building, if the rumors were to be believed. And it’s not like she really wanted to fall victim to his charm and be ignored by him for the rest of her career, but really, his standards weren’t high. Not from what the other girls said.
It made her a little sad, because she was sure she knew exactly why she was so invisible. The desirability of the waif-thin supermodel look followed her from the States to Bogotá, and most of the other women in the office adhered to it.
Charlie didn’t begrudge them this, obviously—they couldn’t help the way they’re shaped, just like she couldn’t. But she’d still like to feel somewhat desired. Even if she knew, she’d turn that attention away. She thought. Definitely. She definitely didn’t want to be used by her boss. Right?
Work was harder to concentrate on today. The office was absolutely buzzing with excitement. The DEA had just taken down Gilberto Rodriguez. It was a win, technically, but it was her job to analyze any data that came through. And there was a lot of data. The tak-tak-tak of her terminal keyboard started to give her a headache, and the green and black screen made her dizzy.
Charlie usually ate lunch at her desk. She was fortunate enough to have her own office as the lead intelligence analyst, but sometimes it got lonely. She was effectively the supervisor, and it’s not a job she really wanted. She was friendly with the other analysts beforehand, but now there was a barrier. The pay increase was barely worth it.
Bogotá’s weather was almost always beautiful, but today especially so. The sun-dappled bench in the Embassy courtyard called her name, so she carried her little sandwich and bag of carrots and sat there surrounded by the other office drones trying to get some sun.
Charlie loved Bogotá. She’d explored bits and pieces as safely as she could and fell in love with the people and the weather and the beautiful views of the mountains. She even liked her shitty little government-issued Embassy housing apartment because she could see the Andes from her living room window. Her favorite thing to do was drink coffee in the morning and watch the mist roll off the mountains.
She’d love a week off.
Charlie was lost in her thoughts, dreamily planning the vacation she’d never take, when a shadow blocked the sun’s warm rays.
“Do you mind if I sit?”
The voice was low and raspy. Charlie looked up out of her daydream—Javier Peña loomed above her. She was sitting in a most unprofessional way. Her knee-length skirt was too stiff for a proper criss-cross-apple-sauce posture, which she preferred, so she’d tucked her legs up beside her. She’s a little sprawled out, and a little too relaxed. Her shoes are off.
“Yes, sir, I was just finishing—”
He looks at her untouched sandwich and still-full bag of baby carrots and frowns.
“You on a diet or something?” he asked. She winced at the joke, straightened out her outfit, and slipped her shoes back on. She tried not to feel too disappointed at the confirmation of her suspicions.
“Didn’t mean to run you off,” he said, lighting a cigarette and squinting at her. Charlie didn’t smoke, but she could watch him do it all day.
“Oh! No sir, I just, I have a lot to get done. The Rodriguez bust brought along a lot of stuff to rifle through and I really wasn’t that hungry anyway,” she lied, just as her stomach gave a loud rumble.
“You’re in my office?”
Charlie’s heart sank. He really didn’t know she existed. Like, not that he didn’t find her presence important—he had no idea she was a person. That worked in his office. He signed off on her paychecks. They’d had conversations.
“Yes, sir, I’m—I’m your lead intelligence analyst?” She answered, trying not to sound too crestfallen.
“Are you new?” he asked.
God, it just kept getting worse and worse.
“No, sir,” she said nervously, “I’ve been there a year. You, um. You promoted me?”
On one hand, she couldn’t believe she was so forgettable that someone who had consciously given her a promotion had no idea who she was, and she wanted to yell in his pretty face about it. On the other hand, she didn’t want to get fired. She prepared herself to say it was okay, don’t worry about it, it happens. It didn’t, really, but what else do you do when it’s your boss? Not that he knew he was her boss.
He was quiet, puffing his cigarette, studying her.
“Well, I am a real piece of shit, aren’t I?” he said, inhaling a deep drag. She was so surprised at this that she let out a laugh and then clapped a hand over her mouth.
“What’s your name?” he asked.
“Charlotte Ellis, sir. Charlie,” she said, introducing herself for the second time.
“Hi, Charlie,” he said, “I’m Javier.”
She would never call him that, but she thought it was weirdly sweet. He probably just didn’t like to be formal with his employees.
Charlie bounced a little on her feet and looked at the taller man. She didn’t what to say now.
“Well, I’ll see you around the office, Agent Peña,” she said and walked away, still holding her uneaten lunch.
Javier Peña stood back, watching her walk away, feeling like the worst person in the world. A year since she’d been working under him? When had they spoken? When had he promoted her? He recalled the name—he’d thought Charlie Ellis was a man.
Her voice had gotten so small when she told him she’d been there for a year. And he knew Charlie Ellis was one of the best analysts that had come through this dump. Ever. She was quick, decisive, and never wrong. He’d used her work as examples to new agents.
How could he not know her face?
It was a pretty face; genuine and expressive. Round cheeks, brown eyes, thick lips. Dark hair in a bun. Long eyelashes. Not a lot of makeup.
And he’d never noticed her.
Javier Peña had never been the type to suck up or do grand things to apologize, but he felt like he needed to make up for this spectacular mistake. He just didn’t know how.
He stamped his cigarette out and went back to his office.
Charlie was starving when she got to her office. She nibbled at her baby carrots while she typed on her terminal, dissecting bits and pieces of the documents sprawled onto the desk adjacent to her. Hours passed, and she watched her team trickle out for the evening. She had three more documents to get through, and then she could let herself go home.
It was 7 p.m. when she heard a knock on her door that made her nearly jump out of her skin. Charlie looked up, eyes wide, trying to catch her breath.
Javier Peña stood in her doorway.
“I—yes, sir?” she asked.
“You’re still here,” he observed.
“And you found my office, sir,” she replied dryly.
“I thought you were a man,” Agent Peña said. Charlie’s mouth fell open.
“Excuse me?” she said.
“No, not—your name. I thought Charlie Ellis was a man,” he explained.
“It’s really not a big deal,” she said, packing up her things.
“It is,” Javier insisted, “You’re our best analyst.”
“I know,” she said, throwing the empty bag of baby carrots away.
“Are you hungry?” Javier asked. He moved to the other side of the desk nearest her. He was taller than she remembered, but she realized it was because she wasn’t wearing shoes again. Putting them on discreetly was not an option. He was close to her now.
“Yes,” she said, not knowing what else to say. His eyes went to the floor.
“You don’t like shoes, do you?”
“Not these, sir.”
The truth was that she couldn’t concentrate with them on her feet. So she took them off. One of her weird little work rituals. But he didn’t need to know that.
“Let me buy you dinner,” Agent Peña said. She should’ve said no and gone home and eaten a microwaveable TV dinner and gone to bed, but it was hard to say no to those puppy dog eyes. And it wasn’t like he was asking her on a date. He was just trying to make up for not knowing who she was. And he probably figured a chubby girl wouldn’t turn down food.
He wasn’t wrong. Baby carrots don’t last all day.
“Okay. Sure, but if you keep me out all night I’m calling in,” she joked.
“Fair enough,” he said, smirking faintly. “You like coconut rice?”
She nodded.
“I’ll drive,” Javier offered.
He stepped back, motioning for her to go ahead. She slipped her shoes back on and shouldered her purse. As she moved past him, she felt his hand on the small of her back, guiding her out of the office. Charlie flinched at the contact and hastened out of his reach. She was sure he was just trying to be gentlemanly, but she wasn’t comfortable with anyone touching her, much less her very handsome boss, who didn’t know she existed five hours ago.
Javier watched her run ahead and wondered if he’d offended her. She had a pretty way of walking. Deliberate and graceful. She pressed the call button and turned around to face him, averting her eyes from his own, and she felt heat bloom in her cheeks.
Dinner was going to be interesting.
tags: @wyn-dixie @kesskirata @janebby @julesorwhatever @221bshrlocked  @mad-girl-without-a-box @maharani-radha @ladytrashbird @charnelhouse @jaime1110 @dihra-vesa @riddikulus-obsessions @thepoisonofgod  @yespolkadotkitty @keeper0fthestars @songsformonkeys @sarahjkl82-blog @simsiddy @pedro-pastel @toomanystoriessolittletime @mothandpidgeon @silverwolf319 @generalfoolish @notabotiswear @foli-vora @the-witty-pen-name @pedrobsessed @leaiorganas​ @cannedsoupsucks @thewayofthemandalorian @i-ship-it-ironically @sergeantbannerbarnes @greeneyedblondie44 @phoenixhalliwell @dindaddy @bootyliciousbilbo @sleep-tight1 @autumnleaves1991-blog @northernpunk @salome-c @agentwhiskeypussyindulgence @thirstworldproblemss
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modern-vellichor · 5 months ago
Heyyy! I really like your writing!! Can i maybe suggest an idea? 👉🏻👈🏻
So it’s buckyxf!reader. She is an ex-avenger, and his closest friend left after Steve’s gone. She checks up on him every once in a while to make sure he’s fine. And he’s absolutely in love with her: no one knows him like she does, no one understands him like she does, no one makes him feel the way she does. But he thinks that she’s too good for him and she spends time with him just because she’s kind or she feels like she has to and the last thing he wants is to lose her as a friend. Anyway, eventually he accidentally says sth like how beautiful or amazing she is and he thinks he royally fucked up but she’s being super sweet about it and everything turns out really well
Bonus points if a reader is very confident badass type rather than classical ray-of-sunshine-type :))))
I love writing stuff like this
You pounded on the door to Bucky’s apartment. Bucky shot up, suddenly awake. He rushed to the door, checking through the peephole before letting you in. You smirked at him, eyes raking up and down his figure unashamedly. 
“Woah, it’s my lucky day,” you pushed past Bucky into his apartment.
Bucky had been asleep of the floor. He rushed to throw a pair of sweatpants on, stumbling into his kitchen after you. You packed groceries into his fridge.
“You been eating?”
You always did this, asking constant questions during your visits. Checking up on him once a week. You were the only person Bucky ever called, other than his therapist. You were no longer an avenger. You had always been friendly and kind, and Bucky appreciated having civilian friends. You made him feel normal.
“And drinking enough water?” Bucky nodded, and you spotted the blankets on the floor next to the couch. “Nightmares?”
“That sucks. Anyway,” Bucky liked how you never dwelled on his issues. “Ever considered getting a harder mattress? Maybe you can find one of those prison beds, like the ones that are made of steel and hang from walls.”
Your soft laugh lifted all the weight from Bucky’s shoulders. You understood him. You knew that Bucky liked you because you were ‘regular’. He liked you because you acted normal around him. You never addressed the face that he was a serial murderer, or his past. You never asked about therapy, or if he was talking to Sam.
You waltzed into his apartment, made yourself at home and began to rant about Helen from HR, or Zack who sat across from you at work. The two of you went on walks, and for coffee dates. You made jokes and laughed, and made Bucky feel alright.
It was during one of your visits that you and Bucky spent the night in. Your jacket - an old leather jacket of Steve’s, one that you wore everywhere - was flung over the back of a chair. Bucky’s dog tags clinked around your neck as you danced around the kitchen. You and Bucky were cooking dinner, the both of you already a little wine drunk. You had swapped dog tags after the first glass, your own tags swinging from Bucky’s neck.
Dinner had been eaten already, the dishes washed, dried, and packed away. Old rock music played through the radio on the windowsill, and the two of you danced. 
Bucky stopped to watch you. God, he was smitten. You invaded his every sense, his every thought. He loved you, you were engraved in his bones. His heart swelled, seeing his name hang from your chest. 
“What are you staring at Barnes?”
You were so independent, Bucky had never known you to be otherwise. He had watched you crush men’s heads between your thighs. He had seen you smile with blood stained teeth, despite the fact that you were bloody and bruised. He had been on the receiving end of your not-so-empty threats.
“You,” he muttered slowly, adoration seeping in his voice.
“Why? There are nicer things to stare at,” you scoffed playfully.
“You’re just so pretty,” the words fell from his lips before he could stop himself. Bucky’s eyes went wide.
You were silent for a moment. And then you laughed, loud and free. Bucky breathed a sigh of relief.
“I think it’s time for bed. Will I take the couch?”
“No,” Bucky sighed. “Take the bed.”
Bucky woke to the smell of fresh coffee and bacon. You were leaning against his table, coffee in hand, watching him sleep.
“Creep,” he mumbled.
Bucky stumbled into the kitchen, pouring his own coffee. Bucky noticed his tags still around your neck. He reached out to grab them, they were his. The shirt you were wearing was his too.
“You sleep with these on?” He mumbled. You nodded. “Jesus, wearing my tags, and my shirt. Sleeping in my bed, might as well be a couple,” he joked halfheartedly. 
“Mhmm,” you hummed, staring intently at Bucky.
“Listen, about last night-”
“Did you mean it?” You sipped your coffee nonchalantly. Bucky sighed.
You laughed gently. You lifted your hand to caress Bucky’s cheek softly. Bucky blushed but made no move to hide it.
“Darling, I know I’m pretty.”
You stood up on your toes, placing your mug onto the table. Your hands fisted in Bucky’s shirt, pulling him down so you could ghost your lips over the shell of his ear. You chuckled sultrily.
“We’d make one hell of a couple,” you whispered. 
Bucky finally pulled away as you both howled out laughing. You clutched your stomach and Bucky shook as you both chuckled. Bucky was just as in love as he was before, if not more. But now, with a new glint in his eye, he thought maybe you loved him too.
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a helping hand [henry cavill] - part 3
A/n: I know it took me ages, and I'm sorry, but it's finally here!! I don't know when part 4 will be up, but I know the plot, and by the time you finish reading this, you'll know it too!! Filth is coming. Also, since I posted the first 2 parts weeks ago, under the cut you'll find a small summary of what happened so far! Ofc, I'm linking the previous parts as well! Have fun reading, sorry for taking me so long, and please, don't hesitate to tell me what you thought! (I’ll reblog it with the taglist, otherwise it doesn’t show up in the tags!)
Summary: after Henry lost it during a fit of jealousy, he sneaked into your apartment, his actions having some very different repercussions from what he initially intended. SMUT 3.9k
Warnings: please be over 18!!! mentions of smut, masturbation (male receiving), sightly/some somnophilia, stalker-ish/obsessed Henry, cum play if you squint and ofc, mentions of filming and sharing pornographic material. 18+ please!!!!
You can find part 1 here and part 2 here!
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Quick recap: Henry's crush on his very sweet and younger neighbour (you lol) grew into something else when you asked him for help with taking some pictures for your onlyfans account. Following this, your relationship reached a very teasing level, which prompted Henry to take matters into his own hands, even if that meant crossing some lines. So when he found out that you and a specific man from your past were on a voice call, he just had to know what exactly was being discussed. This jealousy fit had him using his spare key to enter your apartment and eavesdrop, and this is where chapter 2 ends. Have fun reading the next part!!!
“No” you sighed, waving your arms around, desperate to get your point across. But it was mostly useless, nothing even remotely decent would ever manage to penetrate Steve’s thick skull. He was a dumbass with a heart of gold, so you couldn’t even blame him for messing things up on purpose, you just learned the hard way not to take his advice under any circumstance. “No, Steve. I won’t do that. Not a chance!”
“Hun-” he scoffed, rolling his eyes as a smirk showed up on his lips, “When have I ever been wrong?”
“Really!?” you giggled and then sighed, “Listen, I gotta go to the bathroom and you’d better forget about this topic by the time I come back”
“Wait, wait. Ok, fine. Scratch that” Steve laughed, stopping you from getting up, “When have I ever been wrong on purpose?”
“Listen, I know you’re just trying to help” you smiled, “But I don’t think your experience in seducing girls with daddy issues benefits my situation in any kind of way”
“‘Course it does! I can give you some perspective!”
“Perspective on what?” you mocked, playfully frowning at him through the screen on your laptop, “You and Henry have nothing in common”
“The dick for one” Steve joked but when he saw you roll your eyes, he became serious, “I’m just tryin to help you hook up with the guy! That’s all”
“See!?” you laughed, already exasperated by the conversation, “I’m not trying to hook up with him, I want something more…”
Your sentence was cut short by the sound of a door closing. Your blood ran cold and your hands froze, eyes staring blankly into the camera.
“Y/n?” Steve asked with worry, “What’s wrong?”
“Wait here” you mumbled, pushing the laptop off of you and rushing to the door of your bedroom. You pressed your ear against it, and listened closely, the sound of a lock being turned chilling you to your bones. With shaky hands, you stumbled your way back to your bed, and looked into the camera, directly at a somewhat already worried Steve. “I gotta go-”
“Wait-” Steve tried to ask, “Are you-”
“Yeah, I’m fine, talk to you later” you hurriedly mumbled before ending the call. Your fingers flew across the screen of your phone, finding Henry’s name and pressing the green button in the blink of an eye.
And had he not been this utterly stupid and reckless, none of this would have happened. His impulsivity got the best of him, and panic rushed through his veins when he heard you were about to head to the bathroom. Pressure did him no good, and the first thing that came to mind at that point was to bolt out of there, knowing there was absolutely no way to explain what he was doing in your apartment. But his shaky hands were of no help, and the dexterity he earlier proved himself capable of was nowhere to be found. However, he didn’t care. He just stormed out, happy to finally breathe again as soon as he was out of your apartment - but when his phone vibrated in his pocket, he felt like dying all over again.
With your heart beating inside your throat, you grabbed your bedside lamp into your free hand, and curled yourself into a ball in the corner of your room, opposite to the door, the sound of the ongoing call being the only thing you heard over the loud buzz in your ears.
“Yeah?” Henry’s voice rang loudly when he finally answered, making you all but jump with fright.
Had you paid more attention, you’d have noticed he too sounded out of breath, but you were too out of it to tell. All you could think about was the psycho what was at your door.
“Henry-” you cried, voice shaky as the intake of air was no longer satisfying. You were hyperventilating, sweating from every pore, scared out of your mind.
“What’s wrong?” he asked, his voice more stern now. “Y/n? Are you ok?”
“Yeah- yeah…” you said on autopilot, mind on standby. “No…” You whimpered, “Henry, can you- I think someone is trying to break into my house, I-”
“What!?” he gasped, “I’m sure no one-”
“Henry!” you cried into the phone, “Can you please look through your peephole? Please?”
He sounded confused, but you didn’t have to ask him twice. You heard a bit of shuffling before his voice reached your ears again, “There’s no one there, there’s no one at your door, you can relax”
“No-” you whimpered, unable to calm down, “Henry, please-!”
“I’m coming over right now,” he said.
“No! No, what if they’re still in the hallway?”
“There’s no one there, love” Henry tried to reassure you. When you heard him unlock the door of his apartment your heart stopped, but after that, everything was quiet. 
“Are you ok?” you muttered, wiping your nose with your sleeve.
“Yes, love. I’m fine” Henry lightly chuckled, “I’m at your door, can you open up?”
“No” you scoffed, “What if someone got in?”
“No one got in” he tried to explain, but your adrenaline soaked brain refused to comply.
“Henry, take the spare key I gave you” you suggested, “And grab a knife”
Seeing how affected and terrified you were, Henry didn’t argue with you anymore. In a matter of seconds, you heard the door of your apartment being unlocked, Henry assuring you through the phone that it was him. When he walked inside, you remained hidden in your spot. He checked the kitchen and the living room, coming up to finally enter the bedroom. When your eyes landed on his massive frame, you breathed out relieved and rushed to him, throwing yourself into his arms. There was no other place on Earth you felt as safe as you did when he was holding you.
“Shh, you’re ok, you’re good” Henry cooed, cradling you to his chest, “I got you, baby, ok? I’m here”
But there was no stopping you. You broke down entirely, holding onto him as your legs gave in, turning into a mess. Henry carried you to the bed, sitting you down and allowing you to calm down at your own pace.
“I’m here, ok?” he asked again, rubbing your back, “I won’t let anything happen to you, Y/n, you know that. You’re safe, I got you”
It was impossible to tell just how long it took you to fully calm down, but it was safe to say that it would have taken hours longer had Henry not been there with you. When you were finally able to properly breathe again and hold a conversation, you looked up at him, big doe eyes hoping to convince him without too much of a fuss. “Can you stay here with me, please? I can’t be alone right now”
With nothing but sympathy in his eyes, Henry leaned down and kissed your forehead, “Don’t you think it would be better if we went over to my place instead?”
“No” you shook your head, “And leave the apartment unattended? I don’t think that’s a good idea”
His heart broke. Being his usual, impulsive self, Henry managed to break you down and terrify you to your core. As much as he wanted to reassure you everything would be fine, he couldn’t. He couldn’t just tell you it was him who broke into your apartment in the middle of a jealousy breakdown. So, he settled for the second best option, and really, he couldn’t complain.
It was late in the afternoon on a Sunday, no locksmith on the clock. Seeing how you’d have to wait until the next morning, he was more than happy to spend that time with you.
As time started to pass, you also started to relax. 
The day slowly wilted a way, as both you and Henry made yourselves busy around your apartment. He wasted a couple of hours installing games on your school laptop as you took a bath, he then cooked you dinner, and by the time the night rolled around, you were your usual bubbly self again. And after watching and laughing your hearts out at Jack Nicholson in As Good As It Gets, sleep started to creep up on you.
Henry placed one of your kitchen chairs under the doorknob before turning to give you a massive hug, “No one can get in, darling. I promise”
“Thank god you live across the hall” you confessed, snaking your arms under his hoodie as you gathered yourself as close to him as possible. “What would I have done otherwise?”
“You don’t have to worry about that” Henry kissed your forehead, “I’ll always be here when you need me”
And in that moment, right there, stopping yourself from kissing him turned out to be the most difficult thing you ever had to do. Instead, you settled for his cheek, before hiding your face against his shoulder. “I’ll always be here for you too”
“Thank you, angel” Henry breathed out.
There really was nothing on this earth you loved more than this man. 
Getting ready to go to sleep, you changed in your pajamas, while all Henry did was take off his hoodie. With your toothbrush lodged between your teeth, you lingered in the door frame, watching the muscles of his back flex as he bent down and put his phone down to charge.
Toothpaste and drool could very well have dribbled down your chin as you stood and gawked, only releasing you were staring when Henry turned around and a smile made its way up his lips. “Yes?” he laughed, but all you did was look him up and down, before returning to the bathroom with a shake of your head.
“Oh, Y/n?” Henry called again, following you, “Where can I find a blanket or some sheets?”
First you squinted, but then you decided it would be best if you just finished brushing your teeth before anything else. After rinsing your mouth, you turned to look at him, utterly unamused. “What for?”
“So I don’t have to sleep on leather?”
“You’re sleeping with me” you rolled your eyes, grabbing his elbow and dragging him into the bathroom so he could get ready for bed too. “Not up for discussion”
“Ok” Henry chuckled, looking at you in the mirror. “But I snore”
As if that would make you reconsider. You walked away and into your room, settling under the covers, without another word. About 10 minutes later, Henry joined you.
He fit in like a piece of puzzle and you didn’t even try to keep yourself from cuddling into his side. Sinking his head down between the multitude of pillows on your bed, you giggled, crawling on top of him. Without thinking too much about it, you kissed your way down his neck, peppering tens of kisses against his naked chest. You felt his heartbeat under your palm as he breathed in and out slowly, smiling down at you as he enjoyed the view.
“Thanks for doing this for me” you mumbled, rubbing your hand up and down his chiseled abdomen.
“Really, Y/n” Henry said, wrapping his arms around you, “There’s no need to thank me. Plus, you think I’m not enjoying this?”
“Oh shut up” you giggled. The amount of small talk that followed turned out to be exactly what you needed in order to allow your eyes to peacefully close. Despite the events of earlier in the evening, you now felt safer than ever before.
It was just a matter of time until soft snores started escaping past your lips, your chest rising and falling every so softly as you drifted out of consciousness.
But Henry’s mind was nowhere near relaxed enough to drift off. No. You were too close to him, too innocent and vulnerable for him to just let this moment pass. The way you had just thrown one of your legs over his lap drove him insane - your bare thigh too accessible to him.
At first, he just tested the waters. A peck to the top of your head, and a small caress against the back of your hand. You were completely out, and that accentuated his need further.
Slowly moving his free arm down his body, Henry brushed his fingers over his clothed member, grunting out loud when he felt the sensibility in his tip. He bit into his bottom lip out of need to keep quiet, teasing himself just a little as he struggled to decide how to go about things. With the way you were laying right now, it was next to impossible for him to free himself without moving you. And even though at the beginning he tried to avoid that, when you stirred in your sleep, your body rubbing up against his, he lost all kinds of patience.
As softly as he could, Henry pushed your leg back, just a little. Even in your sleep, you craved his touch, as when you felt movement, you involuntarily shuffled closer, but much to his relief, your legs remained on the mattress.
Eagerness controlled his actions as he pushed his pants down his thighs, propping his hips up with difficulty. When his underwear was pulled down and his cock sprung free, Henry hissed with unmatched satisfaction. With his hand wrapped around his base and his eyes on you, he swallowed thickly, his heart beating out of his chest with a demented sense of bliss.
"My baby-" Henry cooed, rubbing his lips across your hairline as he started stroking his cock.
His movements were slow but not calculated in any way. His brain was occupied, forcing his hand to work on muscle memory. But still, he teased himself, rubbing his thumb across his slit just like he liked to think you would. 
The fear of getting caught was at an all time high as you stirred again. He froze for a second, "That's my good girl-" Henry whispered, looking down at your sleeping frame. As much as he wanted you to take an active part in this, he knew better than to risk it. 
It was getting more and more difficult to breathe, his back sweating profusely as he pumped himself closer to the edge. His hips bucked, causing the bed frame to creak. Instantly, he stilled, eyes on you, but all you did was rub your cheek against his chest, completely unaware of your surroundings.
"I'm so close for you, my darling" Henry groaned, his throat paper dry as the words left his lips. All he could hear was his own breathing and the unmistakable perverse sound of slapping skin, but still, even above all of that, you kept on peacefully snoring. 
The arm Henry looped around your frame was now traveling lower, his palm exploring your side until he reached your ass. He softly gripped a handful of your bum, squeezing hard enough to make up for the struggle of not allowing himself to finish too early. But it was reckless and maybe he shouldn't have done so, as his touch all but woke you up. 
Still overwhelmed with sleep, you barely pushed yourself up, eyes closed as you slightly changed your position. You were now laying higher up his body, your head almost falling off his shoulder. Your breathing tickled the side of his neck as you snaked your arm up and looped it around his frame. Biting down hard on his bottom hip, Henry felt ridiculous amounts of blood rush to the tip of his cock as you refused to settle already.
Rubbing the tip of your nose across his jugular, still mostly out but not fully, you peaked your eyes open, “Henry-?”
“Y- yeah?” he swallowed thickly, freezing in his spot.
“Why’re you awake?” you mumbled.
“Just woke up- had a weird dream, that’s all”
You believed the lie without an ounce of doubt, “Wanna talk about it?”
“Yes” he whispered, “But in the morning. Sorry I woke you up, go back to sleep, darling”
“Ok” you sighed, kissed his bare shoulder and allowed yourself to drift off again.
Henry licked his lips in a haze, his eyes rolling to the back of his head as sweat worked his entire body. God, how he regretted getting himself in his position, but his cock was full on hard, all but leaking at the tip, not so patiently waiting to receive any kind of attention again. He sucked in a deep breath, eyes on you to make sure you were asleep. 
His heart skipped a beat as your mouth popped open, but your light snores came as the strongest form of reassurance, and he resumed his work. The anxiety of getting caught fueled him, and the heels of his feet dug into the mattress, his hips bucking upwards as he furiously pumped his cock.
It was all getting too much. He was close. Henry threw his head back trying to suppress a moan, but he miserably failed. A choked back wail escaped his now dry lips as his whole body tensed. He squeezed you closer, his fingers lewdly digging into the sweet flesh of your ass. He was crossing many lines but that didn't stop him. He didn't see things clear anymore. His chest heaved, rushing up and down as he fisted his cock, biting into his lower lip as he watched your peaceful expression. 
It was pure, dumb luck that he managed to spot a pack of napkins laying on the night stand mere seconds before he came. His juices eagerly ran down his shaft as he flew through his orgasm, his saviour napkin proving almost useless. 
Coming down from his high, he all but managed to calm down, but his mind was still set. He would never get enough of you. And no matter how many times he'd cum, he'd still be down to go again. You had that power over him.
"Fuck…" Henry panted. And in the blur of the moment he created, he didn't even stop to process his thoughts. Gathering the few droplets of cum that landed on his stomach, he brought his hand up to your face, his thumb rubbing across your lips. 
In that moment, then and there, when you unconsciously wrapped your lips around his finger, he almost lost it all over again. 
"Holy-" he cried again, kissing your forehead. As eager and willing as he was to keep going, Henry stopped himself. He tucked the napkins next to the foot of the bed, pulled his pants back up his hips and settled under the covers. 
Sleep didn't come easy, but he eventually drifted off. Unfortunately, the clock had almost struck 3am by the time he closed his eyes, and no later than 6:15, your alarm went off.
"No" you protested, wiggling around in search of your phone. "No school- no, thank you"
Eyes closed and cheek squished into the pillow, Henry raised his arm and found the phone with ease, handing it to you without a word.
Squinting under the bright light of the screen, you dismissed the alarm and snuggled back into Henry's chest, his arms wrapping around your body in an instant.
And as heavenly as this felt, it only lasted for about 5 minutes, until your alarm went off again. 
"Just turn it off" Henry laughed, kissing your forehead, "I'll wake you up after I make breakfast"
"You don't have to" you protested, throwing in a whine or two as you curled yourself around him.
"I want to"
"Ok fine" you sighed, "Thank you"
"No need darling" Henry chuckled and stood up. He once again pecked the top of your head and then he was gone. About one second and a half later, you were asleep again, only to complain when Henry woke you up.
"It's 7" he stated, gathering the blanket in his arms and allowing the cold air to reach your body.
"Give it back" you cried.
"Is that how it's gonna be?" Henry threatened, and despite his dominating tone, you still refused to take him seriously. When you hid your face between the pillows, he deeply sighed, but satisfaction was still audible in his tone. "Fine then"
Taking you completely by surprise, Henry bent down and gathered you in his arms, throwing you over his shoulder with absolute ease.
"Henry-" you yelled, "The fuck-"
"Not gonna be late, Y/n" Henry laughed, "Not on my watch"
"God" you giggled along and allowed yourself to be carried to the kitchen. 
As soon as he walked out of the bedroom, a delicious smell reached your nose. It was probably the first real breakfast you'd had in weeks, so you weren't going to complain anymore. Fresh coffee, toast, avocado, pancakes, hard boiled eggs and a multitude of veggies and fruit awaited on the table.
"I didn't even know I had all this food in my house"
"You didn't-" Henry shook his head, sitting down beside you, "Grabbed them from my place"
"You shouldn't have, but thank you"
"No need" he assured you, "Dig in"
When you were done, and right before you headed to the bathroom to get ready, you turned to him again. "Do you know the number of any locksmiths? I really wanna change the locks"
Following a quick Google search, Henry found a multitude of ads, and after choosing the most trustworthy looking one, he dialed the number as you patiently waited beside him.
Everything seemed to go perfectly well, until he frowned, "No, today pl- [...] No, I'm not locked out of my- [...] You sure-? Ok, ok fine. Ok, tomorrow, first thing, ok, thanks"
"They can't come today?" you pouted as soon as he hung up.
"No, I'm sorry" Henry shook his head, and seeing the disappointment plastered on your face, he spoke up again. "I can stay one more night, if you want to. I'll sleep in the living room-"
"What? No" you scoffed, "It's not that…"
"What is it then?" he questioned, starting to get worried.
You hesitated. "Its no-"
"Don't tell me it's nothing" Henry commanded, pointing a finger at you. A smile appeared at the corner of your lips as you rolled your eyes.
"Ok, fine. I just- I just had to film today for the- you know… That's all, but I can do it some other day"
Henry didn't answer until a smirk tilted the corner of his lips upwards. "Or I could help you?"
"Help me?" you gawked.
"Yeah" he nonchalantly shrugged, "Helped you once before, didn't I?"
"You sure?"
"Yeah" he smiled, "Only if you me want to, of course"
Your knees weakened and your heart was beating in all the wrong ways, so all you managed to do was giggle and shake your head in disbelief. "Well, yeah... I want to"
How were you going to tell him that the video was supposed to be of you fucking yourself with a baby pink dildo? And how exactly was he going to help? You had a long day ahead of you and the ridiculous amounts of school work you had to get done in the meantime didn't allow you to give these questions any kind of priority. All you wanted was for the evening to come around already even if you sweated profusely just at the thought of what was to come.
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rachaelswrites · 5 months ago
New Captain: Part 1
Steve Rogers x Daughter!reader, Sam Wilson x Teen!reader, Bucky Barnes x Teen!reader
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A/N: I absolutely loved this idea and enjoyed writing it so much! I’m sorry for taking so long to post it but it’s here and it will be two parts
Months had passed and you thought you would be over it. Everyone did. Your dad left and didn’t take you with him. Then, you had to be by his bedside as he took his last breath. You didn’t want to though. You were so angry with him for choosing his old life over you, his daughter, but you went. It would make him happy in his final moments. 
You weren’t sure what was going to happen to you after his death. You had no family anywhere except for Sam and Bucky. You wanted to be with Bucky. You knew him better and he was your dad’s best friend but the government had other plans. Because of the court-mandated therapy and his ex-assassin status, Bucky was deemed unfit to raise you, so you had to live with Sam. You were angry that people who didn’t know the real Bucky, only the things he was forced to do, decided your future. 
You liked Sam and it wasn’t him that was the issue and he knew that as well. He knew you would be better with Bucky but neither man could argue about the final decision. 
You and your dad had been sharing a small apartment in New York so when the day came, you, Sam, and Bucky cleared it out and packed up your things into Sam’s car. Steve’s stuff was already put away or in museums but you managed to steal a few things. You had his notebook from when he first came out of the ice and his dog tags. The day he went back, he gave them to you to wear and protect. He didn’t want them in a museum. He wanted you to have them and only you. The notebook was something you found in a box that was going to the museum, but you grabbed it, passing it down to Bucky. 
Once the last box was packed and in the car, Sam let you say goodbye to the apartment and to Bucky before driving all the way to New Orleans. He knew what this place meant to you and he wasn’t sure when you’d get to see Bucky again. 
You made one final lap around the small home before meeting Bucky at the door, “Are you okay?” he asked softly. He could see the tears threatening to spill. You weren’t really the crying type so he knew something was up. 
“I don’t know,” you said while shrugging, “I just don’t want to leave.”
“I know,” Bucky said, “But I’m sure Sam can take you here to visit anytime you want.”
“Does that mean I can visit you also?” you asked hopefully.
Bucky sighed and put his hand on your shoulder, “Maybe. I’m not sure if they’ll let me but we can certainly try.”
You reached out and hugged him tight, the tears falling onto his shirt, “I don’t want to go. I want to stay here with you. I have nothing else of him except for here. Bucky please don’t make me go,” you sobbed into him. 
“I don’t have a choice Y/n,” he said sadly, “I’m sorry but it’s not my decision,” he placed his hand on your back and started rubbing up and down, hoping to calm you down. He didn’t want you leaving so upset and didn’t want Sam to have to deal with a crying teenager.
“Please,” you said again, “Let me stay. Try. Please.”
“Hey, look at me,” he said, pulling away from the hug and lifting your head up with his hand, “I'll try but I think we both know how it’ll end up.”
“Are you ready?” Sam asked as he walked into the apartment. You could tell he didn’t want to interrupt what was happening, “We have to leave now or we won’t get there before tonight,” he said. 
You nodded and hugged Bucky one last time, him returning it. He kissed the side of your head before letting you go and watching you walk out of the apartment for the last time. 
Over the next several days, Bucky kept his promise to you and tried to convince everyone to let you stay with him, but it didn’t work. 
“They really said that?” Sam asked him over the phone, “What do I tell Y/n?”
“Tell her that I’ll keep trying. I don’t want her to think I gave up on her. It’s bad enough she thinks Steve did,” Bucky replied. 
Before Sam could respond, you walked into the small kitchen, “Can I call you back later? She just walked in.”
“Sure. Tell her I say hi,” and with that, Bucky hung up the phone.
“Was that Bucky?” you asked, “Did he say anything about me staying with him?”
“It was and he says hi. He told me to tell you that he’ll keep trying but for now, it’s still a no,” he said, “I’m sorry Y/n.”
“Sure you are,” you grumbled, sitting on the nearby kitchen chair. 
Sam sighed. He knew he shouldn’t take your attitude personally but he didn’t like it. He couldn’t imagine how difficult things were for you but he was trying to help. He’d been trying to help for the past few days but you’ve been snapping at him and shutting him out, locking yourself in the spare bedroom you were given. 
“Look Y/n, I know things are difficult and I know how close you are to Bucky but I need you to work with me okay? I want to help you but I can’t if you keep going on like this,” Sam said, “Just talk to me about something. Anything.”
You stood up from your chair and slammed it, pushing it into the table, “The only thing that would make me feel better, is if my dad didn’t choose his old life over me, his daughter, the one thing he said made him the luckiest person ever. Can you explain to me Sam, why he left?”
“I can’t tell you why he did what he did but-”
“I don’t want to hear it then,” you snapped, “You don’t know what I’m feeling and you never will,” you stormed out of the kitchen and slammed the door to your room shut. 
The ruckus from inside, caught Sarah’s attention and she peeked her head inside from an open door, “Give her more time Sam,” she said. 
“I can’t give her more time Sarah. She’s keeping everything in and it’s hurting her,” he replied, “I sit outside her door every night, and I can hear her crying and cursing at Steve for leaving her. I don’t blame her, but I want to help her.”
“Let her come to you then. She’s a teenager and she’s in mourning. She needs time.”
You managed to slip out of the house without gaining anyone’s attention. You snuck out an open window and walked until you couldn’t hear the sound of the water or the voices of Sam’s nephews, who were out playing in the yard. You walked until you reached a small clearing, with trees surrounding you on either side. You found this spot on your first day here and used it as a spot to talk to your dad. 
You sat on the ground and sprawled out on your back, looking up at the sky. There were a few clouds floating around, something that reminded you of him. During the blip, one of the things Steve did to take your mind off things was to look at the clouds and find the shapes and make stories about them. He would also throw in stories from his childhood and his times before the war. 
“Hey dad, it’s been a few days since we last talked. I’ve been super busy,” you said. It was a lie of course. You had nothing going on except trying to move on. You closed your eyes and kept talking, “I really miss you, especially now. I have nothing else of you anymore. Everything is in a museum. I gave Bucky your notebook. I hope you’re not mad at that. I know you wanted me to have it but I wear your tags every day. I never take them off.
“I wish there was a way for you to convince everyone that Bucky can take care of me like you could. I want to be in New York with him. I think he’s lonely without anyone. I don’t think he’s good at making friends,” you laughed a little at your own joke but it was soon replaced by a somber thought, “I hope he’s okay. He has no one anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate everything Sam has done for both of us but with Bucky is where I want to be. I think all four of us know that but Sam’s being too nice about it. If I were him, I already would’ve smacked me upside the head.”
As if he were right next to you, talking to you face to face, you heard your dad’s voice speak to you, “Y/n, I love you so much and I wish I was there with you right now but this is what is best for you now. You need to accept the help Sam is trying to offer you. He cares about you and I know he has your best interest at heart.”
You sat up right and looked around. Deep down, you hoped he had somehow come back from the dead and be sitting here with you, hugging you and telling you he loves you. Holding your hand if you had a nightmare and wiping your tears when you got tired or frustrated. Whatever that voice in your head was, it was right. Sam had been trying to help and you were pushing him away for no reason. 
You stood up from the ground and brushed off your pants, turning in the direction of the house. You walked all the way back and searched the house for Sam. You needed to apologize to him and take his help. You found him and Sarah in Sam’s room, the TV playing. You knocked on the door and took a step, before speaking, the headline on the TV caught your eye and made your jaw drop.
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tomatograter · 11 months ago
New to the fandom, Could you explain June? 💯 Love and support her. But homestuck 2 doesn't have her and I'm just confused?
June Egbert precedes the concept of homestuck^2! I’ve seen a lot of people be confused about this because they weren’t active on the fandom at the time the epilogues dropped, when reading her as a trans woman got a lot of discussion going and eventually lead to multiple confirmations.
So here’s an attempt at contextualization:
Throughout Homestuck, a few key ideas about Egbert’s identity and motivation to push forward with her hero’s journey are dropped like breadcrumbs. She’s meant to play the default straight-man protagonist. Her defining traits are ridiculously… generic, when compared to how all the other kids present themselves and stick to exaggerated bits. She’s a perfectly normal, regular suburban kid with normal, suburban issues. 
She may not leave her room a whole lot. She may not have a lot of real life friends in the neighborhood. She holds a comical irritation for the concept of birthdays, even though her father is extremely supportive, and is delighted to see his son grow up nice and healthy. There’s no reason for her to be so irrationally upset at cakes and gifts, and that’s what makes the setup funny! June doesn’t even know why she’s annoyed with half of the things that annoy her, what the heck.
But under all that playing around there is a sense that her life is so normal, so blasé, so unexciting and limiting and hollow and fake that she’d give anything to not be herself, even if only for ten minutes. This goes way, way back. It’s why June needs SBURB to happen.
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June lives as though her life hasn’t started yet. She’s stuck in the Tutorial stage. I would argue while most kids (and trolls) play SBURB to escape a shitty environment or the end of the world as they know it, June plays for a simpler reason: She needs to escape herself, and she needs to do it before it is too late. 
Being thirteen means crossing the homeric abyss between being a child with no care for the world sporting a generic hand-me-down identity and becoming a Teen (capital T) who needs to figure out how to cope with atrocious bodily changes while building the adult they’re meant to be AND deciding what the fuck they want out of life, and how they’re going to work to get it, forever and ever.
When you’re trans, and you don’t yet know you’re trans (or that this is a thing you’re even ALLOWED to be) the above feels a lot like serving a life sentence for an intangible crime.
You know what you’re supposed to do. You’ve seen it on tv, you’ve heard it from your dad, you know what are the normal trials and tribulations. You know you'll grow a few pimples and stubble and you'll need to learn how to shave, obviously, because it's basically a tradition in your family, and no one is really happy to be a teen. You know at some point you'll find a nice girl and you'll grow a hat out of your skull and then you will have to pay taxes and maybe you will have a baby daughter? You'd like it to be a daughter for no particular reason. And when you get a daughter you're going to name her Casey and she's going to be adorable and this is something you've dedicated a lot of thought to. Maybe its because you thought Nic Cage looked really cool with those long flowing locks in con air, the movie who featured a trans woman as a minor character for a few minutes (and she gets quite a bit of compliments, regardless of how the movie has aged), and he had a really exciting life, but goddamn did he love his daughter. There is no purer love than the bond between a father and his daughter. 
This absolutely has nothing to do with your father and you, or how you hold no excitement for becoming an adult man, or how your father's excitement for you becoming an adult man in your stead feels a little stifling.
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But i digress.
June spends her time on SBURB mostly hassling karkat, and readily following the instructions of zany, dangerous, COOL girls that seem to know what they're doing. June lets Terezi lead her to certain death without blinking. June lets Vriska dress her up as soon as opportunity presents itself. June thinks its really funny to trick this troll Who Types Really Oddly into believing she's Rose, and also into believing that she's a very silly girl. You may even say Homestuck employs a few of jokes pertaining to how her name looks like EGG !
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June has a ball playing this game until it starts to get shitty. She's never able to mend her relationship with her dad, as he's one of the first causalities. She has to spend a lot of time waiting around with jade on a ship until things get cool and exciting again, but she never stops growing during those three years. Its fine, though, because there's always more things to be done and more people to fight.
Until there aren't, and they make a new earth, and while everyone cheers and claps for the birth of a new planet June realizes all her excuses are over. Her friends begin to grow up. Rose gets married. Jade is living her best life. Dave has a not-boyfriend glued to his hip. Jane has a job. Jake is on TV for some reason. June doesn't want to leave home. June's birthday is around the corner again. Here come all the congratulations for becoming a strong lad for yet another year! Vriska is gone. Terezi is gone. SBURB is over. Wacky hijinks have been swapped for real-ass, boring-ass Regular life. We watch her unsuccessfully chase after the glory of days gone by when Rose presents her the possibility of going back into the game, when things were cool and mattered, or her flimsy decision to settle down with a nice girl she hasn’t really made an effort to know and become a father and be absolutely miserable for four decades as she asserts nothing is real, not anymore, and this is just how it is.
Depersonalization, depression and general apathy towards the world are all pronounced aspects of dysphoria that seem like unrelated incidents for someone who hasn't came out yet. June's trainwreck of a life post-game, specially her feeling of hollowness and chasing after anything that could fill it struck a chord with trans readers who left the epilogues to read HS again and discovered this has always sort of been here. June being a trans woman who doesn't have the proper vocabulary to express she is a trans woman makes a lot of earlier bits from the comic click into place, now in a broader context. We settled in the name "June" because it's what she imagines Vriska is calling her at some point, amid laughs, but even that was discussed for a lengthy period last year. What would she want to be called, what are possible tags for this, etc. But it was mostly for fun and games, because the prospect of the protagonist of a 10 year old beloved cult series being ACTUALLY confirmed as a trans woman just wasn't something that was done.
Until word got around to Andrew Hussie and he was reportedly so pleased with this interpretation of events he’d be making references to it, and some time later, a box of toblerones was left in a cave as a gift for fans to find. The first person to find a toblerone thought it would be funny to dedicate it to June, because now she was an ongoing reference that was fun to make. Instead of it ending there, Hussie logs on twitter for the first time in a long while to say 'Oh yeah, i'll make it happen' and that's when the whole thing exploded. I have a post detailing this made a year ago (with pictures!) so i won't keep you here.
In the year since, June has been vaguely alluded to in Pesterquest (in jade's end card, she's having her nails painted by rose.) Has been widely adopted by the community, those making their own fanventures and continuations, and the team behind Homestuck^2. In every way that matters, she's already thriving within the community that brought her to light a year ago. But her coming out in canon is something that will take time and a proper narrative arc to happen, one that is still being set up. We know it'll come eventually, the only question is “how”.
Not that the wind waits for anyone.
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hdlynnslibrary · 9 months ago
Pairing: Din Djarin x Fem!Reader Warnings: Tiny bit of angst, and a bucket load of pining & yearning and that is about it Words: 5.7k (chonky) Tags: Mutual pining idiots, fluff, domestic fluff, found family elements, dad!din, soft!din, cloak sharing, cloak sharing is a Mando love language
Thank you to my beta reader @princessbatears!!! :D
The basic prompt for this is from my 300 Follower Celebration back in September (whoops), thank you again to everyone who participated in that!
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You never truly understood why Mando always liked to park his ship so far away from the small rural villages your little group had taken to restocking in. He had been avoiding any larger towns or cities for the time being after a rather unfortunate incident when you had been alone with the kid in the last hanger the Razor Crest had been parked in. Mando had been working on a job when the rival bounty hunter had tried to take you and the kid.
Thankfully, you’d been able to get onto the ship and pull up the ground security protocols like Mando had shown you how to do and comm Mando to alert him of the situation. He had been absolutely livid when he had returned and taken care of the issue, but not angry with you. No, you had seen him take a moment his fists clenching and clenching slowly before he even turned to you and the kid.
At that moment you had known he was collecting himself so he didn’t lash out and that little moment had solidified how you saw your employer. That he might be rather terrifying in some respects, but he always did his best to keep control over himself, his anger.
But that had led to Mando being rather… well extra vigilant the past several planets. He didn’t stop you from going on market trips, but if he could accompany you, he did so like today.
He had insisted that the grey sky would hold out until you all returned to the ship… but even your Mandalorian wasn’t in control of the weather. So when the winds had shifted and the sky darkened you both had hurried to finish paying for some of the cheap fresh produce you wanted to make into supper tonight in the tiny galley kitchen on the Crest.
It hadn’t been quick enough though as you followed Mando back to the ship, the purchases — all contained in the bag he sometimes carried the child in — has slung over one of his broad shoulders. Even as your face warmed at the unbidden thought of the wide expanse of Mando’s shoulders and back, fat raindrops started to fall down. The first few made little, dark craters in the dusty pathway as the winds picked up again cold and stiff.
Glancing up to Mando, whose legs were eating up the terrain of the path at an amazing speed, even laden with the supplies that had been purchased. He seemed to be going alright, though you could only assume the rain was starting to soak into his cloak and his clothes beneath as the path quickly turned from still a bit dusty to a flattened wetness.
Holding the kid in one arm, you popped the collar of your coat up to try and stop the elements from being funneled right down your back. It helped marginally, but you worried for the little one as the rain started to pick up. You kept walking, eyes turned to the path so you didn’t trip on any wayward roots or stones. You did your best to keep up with the Mandalorian as you resituated the kid inside your jacket and zipped it up around you both.
The baby’s little claws burrowed into the fabric of your shirt as he mumbled some disgruntled baby talk about the cold rain before pressing his face into your chest, his breath warm there.
Shifting him again when it felt like he was slipping in your gasp, you almost walked right into Mando.
He turned with a speed that always surprised you, one of his gloved hands shot out to grasp your shoulder to keep you both from colliding. You froze at the touch, feeling Mando’s hand flexing on your shoulder. His hold was solid and grounding. Yet, somehow you knew if you moved at all in a way the showed you didn’t want him touching you anymore Mando would immediately remove his hand from you.
Squinting at the silver of his helmet and the black of his visor, your eyelashes heavy with the rain, you couldn’t help but notice how the water was beading up on the beskar. The droplets gathered together, growing larger until they became too heavy and went streaking down to drop off the sharp edges. It reminded you of days you had watched the water bead up on the window glass of your childhood home when you had been able to spend time picking which raindrop would win the race in their downward travel.
“What’s wrong?” you asked, watching in confusion as Mando dropped his hand from you to fiddle with his cloak.
The armored man grunted as he finally got the fabric bunched and draped around his neck off.
“You were right,” he said, his hands easily settling the cloak around you. The weight of it was heavy on your head and shoulders and you stood in wide-eyed shock as Mando made sure the cloak covered both you and the baby.
“I? What?” you asked, completely distracted by Mando’s protective actions to know what he was talking about.
The helmet tilted to the side for a moment, you knew he was examining you from behind the visor.
“The rain,” he finally said. “You were right, the storm came quicker then I thought it would.”
With that explanation Mando turned back to the trail and trudged towards the Razor Crest, pausing after a few feet to make sure you were following.
You stood rooted to the ground before his helmet started to tilt at an angle you now knew from months of experience meant he was either examining you or amused by you. Perhaps it was a bit both this time considering you were just standing there in the rain probably looking absolutely gobsmacked.
The weight of the cloak settled over you, strange yet somehow… comforting. The fabric was not, in fact, soaked like you had figured it would be. Even in this rain, the felted wool did its best to let the water bead up and roll off. You were not sure if that was a natural property of the fibers or if it had been treated with some sort of hydrophobic treatment to waterproof it. But the effect was that you were suddenly very warm and much drier than you would have been otherwise.
Somehow your feet caught up with the need to continue on before your brain had and you both continued onwards. It couldn’t be that much further back to the ship. But it still gave you plenty of time to start wondering how much of the warmth you felt flooding your cheeks and spreading down your chest was caused by the cloak or the cloak’s owner. Thankfully the baby tiredly cooing at your chest was a welcome distraction from that particular question.
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After returning to the ship, rainstorm still raging outside, Mando had hidden in the cockpit and his little quarters in turn. You had tried to not take it personally, after all, you had wanted to peel off the soggy clothes you had been wearing and take a hot shower after you made sure the kid was warm and dry.
The kid was still being toweled off, his giggles muffled as you playfully hid him under the towel and playing peekaboo with him, when Mando half-climbed and half-slid down the ladder.
“I’m going out, the contact got back to me,” he explained as he pulled out his pulse rifle from his little armory. He checked the sights and the chamber to make sure it was clear before swinging it onto his back with practiced ease. Already moving to the control panel on the side of the ship. “Make sure to-“
“Turn on the ground security protocols,” you archly finished for him. Gathering the kid into your arms, you let him wave goodbye to his protector — though you saw Mando truly being more the child’s father than merely a protector.
“No worries, I’ve got it, Mando.”
There was a soft snort that came through his modulator, the sort of sound you were rather sure was Mando chuckling rather than his more familiar heavy sighs. He made you blink as he stepped back in close to you again, a gloved hand carefully caressing the top of the baby’s head that was poking out from the fluffy bundle of towel you held him in. The child babbled up at Mando, giving the armorer man giggling raspberry when the gloved hand gave one large ear a playful tug.
The raspberry did cause the helmet to tilt back to your face, and you felt your face heat at the invisible gaze, but you just grinned puckishly at Mando. Someone had to teach the kid such things, didn’t they? Might as well have been you.
“I know you do,” he responded before speaking to the kid in his people’s language. The words were familiar to you even if you didn’t know their meaning. Mando had been telling the kid the same thing when he left for some time now, “Cuyir jate par cuun cabur'ika, ad’ika.”
With that, your employer stepped away again. A gloved finger pressed the button to open the side bay door and the gentle hiss of the hydraulic systems filled the air before that too was drowned out by the rain.
“Your cloak,” you called out as the fall chill the storm had swept into the ship. Mando paused to look at you before responding.
“Don’t worry about it, I won’t melt.”
You gaped at Mando for a moment before turning bemused. He didn’t joke much, but when he did it always took you aback.
“You better not!” you called after him.
Your heart fluttered when you saw him raise his hand in a farewell over his shoulder. You were grateful he never seemed to look back whenever he did that, for you were not sure you wanted Mando to see what was written on your face.
The child chirped in your arms, drawing your attention to his worried face.
“You heard him kiddo, he’ll be fine. You weren’t sure if you were reassuring yourself or the kid, but at that moment it didn’t really matter since you both sometimes needed that when Mando went out to do his job.
The rest of the evening was spent as you normally did while Mando was out. The kid had plenty of energy and you had laid out a blanket on the floor along with the small collection of toys he had been recently acquiring. There was the silver ball, of course, he’d had that when you had started watching over him. There was a bright yellow stuffed star that was a newer addition, Mando having brought it back that last time he had
But there was also a handmade little stuffed doll that you were rather sure that Mando had made, it was made of grey-blue fabric like his capes. It was shaped vaguely like the kid, a round head with large ears sat on a soft but lumpy body and it originally had two eyes and a crooked smile drew onto its face.
Recently the kid had gotten ahold of the markers you kept for supervised craft time and drawn a surprisingly good attempt at the striking “T” that clearly was meant to be just like his papa’s helmet. You had let the kid show the Mandalorian that particular artistic endeavor, the way he had thoughtfully examined the toy before turning to the tiny child and telling him he had done a really good job had made your heart catch in your throat.
While the kid was distracted you took a super-fast shower and changed into dry clothes, and also got a head start on supper. You knew the kiddo was going to be ravenous when he was done with his toys.
You decided a nice hearty soup would be good for today’s gross weather, nice and warm and comforting to hold in the bowl and also to sit in your bellies. It would be easy enough to set aside some for Mando to eat if he got back later tonight. It was sometimes hard to tell how long that man would be gone for, but you always liked to have something set aside for him just in case.
The soup was just starting to really come together when you heard your tiny green charge making the cute sleepy snuffling sounds. Turning you found him looking pitiful, laying sprawled out on the blanket, one of the fuzzy star’s points being chewed on. After making sure the soup wouldn’t boil over in your absence you retrieved the child, his thin arms begging to be picked up after making sure to show you the slobber covered toy.
Humming slightly you kept him close as you finished dinner. This pattern had become familiar with you both as he clung to you.
Tiny clawed hands gently patting at your clothing and then you face until you pressed a loud kiss to the downy hairs on the top of his head.
“You ready to eat, sweetheart?” You asked as you filled up his favorite little bowl.
The little green monster cooed happily, a hand making grabby motions at the bowl until you sat him down and gave it to him.
The amount of food this kid could put away in one sitting was equal parts impressive and terrifying. Though, if you were, to be honest, three bowls of soup were nothing compared to some of the things he had deemed fit to be considered “food” before downing it before you or Mando could stop him. Several small critters had met their untimely end that way.
The kid had gone down quickly, the warmth of the ship and the excitement of being out and about having made him yawn and rub at his large eyes in such a cute way. Just a couple bedtime stories and a song or two was all it took to have his eyes finally close, one thin arm holding onto his favorite lumpy homemade toy.
The next few hours were spent with you handling the small compact clothing washer and then switching it over to the drying setting. As you started to fold dry clothing, a tear mid-way up the cloak caught your eye.
It was long and had started to unravel at the edges but even so, you could tell it was from a knife, perhaps a vibroblade. Shuddering at the size of the cut, relief flooded you cause if that slash had hit Mando? You were rather sure he would’ve needed help sewing up his side if the knife had cut true… at least you hoped he would’ve let you help. It wasn’t outside the realm of possibility that he would have just taken care of it by himself if he thought he could get away with it.
Sighing, you finished with the rest of the clothing before gathering the cloak into your arms.
On closer inspection, it was clear that Mando was used to making his own repairs on his clothes once you knew what to look for. A few patches were there in a fabric that was a similar enough color that you hadn’t noticed, and also some areas where he had re-hemmed bits. The stitches were neater and more careful than you would have assumed, but you paused. No, you supposed it wasn’t truly odd.
From what you had gathered about Mandalorians, in general, was that they had little use for the gender roles you had grown up with. It made sense that even their warriors -- or their bounty hunters -- would have as many life skills as possible and it made sense that basic mending skills to be part of that.
Pulling out the small repair kit Mando had shown you when you first started working for him, you sorted through the supplies. Sorting through the threads and packets of needles, you grinned when you found something that would be perfect for this. There was a packet of dark grey wool roving, a felting pad, and felting needles. Your grandmother had shown you how to make repairs with needling felting and this would be the perfect time to make use of that skill.
Setting up in the cockpit, you watched the now dark sky above you, rain hitting the transparasteel. It was too thick and solid a material for you to hear the sound of the rain, but you pretended you could as you slowly layered and felted the long woolen fibers on first one side and then the other of the cloak. Building up the wispy fibers until the patch was sturdy enough to pass your inspection.
The patch was a bit more of a plain grey than the rest of the cloak, the original fabric having a slightly blue or even purplish cast to the shade. But the spot would only be noticeable close-up and you reasoned that most people that close to Mando were generally more distracted by his presence as a bounty hunter to notice the same things you did.
The sound of the baby fussing broke you from your reverie. You quickly folded the cloak up and set it on Din’s chair where he was sure to find it when he got back.
It didn’t take long for you to make your way over to the silver bassinet, pressing the button to open it up before the kid could start working himself up into a true crying session.
Large brown and glossy wet eyes stared up at you for a moment before his little green claws were being raised in supplication.
“I know, I know, baby,” you said as you easily picked him up. Keeping your tone warm and soothing as you wrapped him in the soft blankie Mando had gotten the kid, you spoke to him as if he could perfectly understand you. It was hard to tell with young ones, with how much they understood, but he had always been special. You liked to think he would understand. “It’s hard when your dad is away isn’t it?”
He whined, burying his wrinkly face into the warmth of your neck as you sat in your chair in the cockpit.
Cradling the child, you held him close, rocking him softly back and forth as you continued talking to him.
“You know he loves you a lot right? I know it’s hard having him away, but your dad will always do his best to take care of you, to come back to you.”
Something deep in your belly twisted at the words, and it took you a moment to figure out what it was before pushing it away. It wasn’t your place to wish that Mando would also be coming back to you. You didn’t have any right to wishing for more from Mando, he was your boss and a professional and honorable man. Yet, here you were, sinking into the warm waters of affection for the Mandalorian, waters you couldn’t see the bottom of.
You continued on distracting yourself and the child. Telling stories you had heard as a youngster for a while before resorting to just humming little bits and pieces of half-forgotten songs that were much older than you. Slowly the claws in your clothing eased in their death grip, the kid’s breathing evening out and his head rested heavily on your chest.
Trailing a hand over his soft cheek, you felt your heart bloom with an affection you knew was much more than you should let yourself feel. For the kid and his father. But you couldn’t help it, didn’t want to help it.
Rubbing soft circles into the kid’s back, you closed your eyes. It would just be for a moment — you told yourself. Just one moment to rest your eyes as your head grew heavy, then you would get the kid back to bed.
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Din punched the button on his vambrace to open up the Crest’s hold. It was late and dark and he was tired and wet and hungry. The contact had been partly helpful, the information was slightly sketchy, but it should take him to where this current bounty was hiding so he was glad he had gone out when he did. It just didn’t change the fact that he was feeling a bit miserable.
He knocked as much of the mud as he could from his boots as he got onto the ship, but he knew it was a losing battle and that he would just end up needing to clean it up later. But right now? Right now he wanted to get some hot food in his belly.
There was a little piece of flimsy that was tucked into the door of the fridge. The sight made him smile unbidden. Din knew without reading the note that you had made sure to pack up leftovers for when he got back.
He reached out a gloved hand to take the little note and look over the words, a little hastily written but in your hand nonetheless. You gave a few little instructions on how best to reheat the soup and he followed them before tucking the note into his one pocket for now as he took the soup container from the fridge and started reheating it in the nanowave.
While that heated up he could get the ship set on course for the planet the bounty should be on.
Climbing up the ladder, Din found himself surprised to find the cockpit occupied.
The sight of you completely asleep, your head slumped over as you cradled a quietly snoring kid to you, made Din’s chest tighten and warm despite the chill that had been in his bones.
Maker, you both look so soft and warm and safe here on the ship. The kid completely relaxed and contently sleeping in your embrace.
Even still, Din knew he had to wake you so you could go get some sleep in a position that wouldn’t have your neck screaming at you when you got up. He placed a careful hand on your shoulder, shaking you lightly as he quietly spoke your name.
You stirred slightly and then jerked partially awake, blinking bleary eyes up at him before a huge sleepy smile spread over your face.
“You’re back,” you said before a yawn overtook anything else you might have said.
“Come on, cyare,” Din said, his one hand out to make sure you were steady even in your half-awake state as you got up. “Let’s get you both to an actual bed.” It wasn’t until his whole thought had been verbalized that he realized what he had said, and was suddenly grateful that you wouldn’t know the meaning of that one word.
You squinted in confusion, the look causing Din to panic for a moment. How was he going to explain what ‘cyare’ meant to you? Maker take him now he wasn’t ready for this. Was he?
But you surprised him, just as you somehow always did.
“Not sure the cots on this ship count as real beds, Mando,” you slurred slightly, so tired and half awake you sounded almost drunk.
Din let out a breathy chuckle, relieved to not have to deal with something so foreign as his own feelings just yet. Much like how he didn’t question why he had a whole stash of every single note you had written him on tiny pieces of flimsy that would be getting a new addition tonight.
“Come on,” he just prompted and you acquiesced with a happy hum, letting him take care of the kid as you crawled into your own cot.
You were back to sleep before he had even finished tucking the kid in. Your breathing deep and even as Din couldn’t help but watch for a moment longer before returning to the cockpit. You looked so soft, your limbs sprawled out in an unstudied and relaxed repose. He had noticed it for some while now but you almost always looked like that here on the ship, both around the kid and also… him.
Leaving you to rest Din got back to the cockpit shortly and was just about to sit down in the pilot’s chair when he noticed his carefully folded up cloak. Picking it up Din immediately saw it was clean and dry which made him smile, you always had a habit of doing such thoughtful small things that he didn’t at all consider to be part of your job. You were here to help him take care of the kid and yet he found you often taking care of him in small ways.
It was then he noticed that something was different about the cloak. Namely, what wasn’t the same about it when he had placed it over you.
Din ran a gloved hand over the old spot where there had been a nasty long tear. It had happened a few weeks ago now, he just hadn’t had the time or energy to repair it, yet here it was now fully repaired and whole again. You hadn’t even just sewn the edges together like he probably would have done. You had literally felted a patch into the fabric until the patch and the cloak had become one and stronger for it.
After setting the new course, Din took the cloak and went to his own little sleeping space. He pressed a spot on the wall that slid out a small metal compartment. At one time it might have been used by a previous owner to hide personal things as well or perhaps it had been a safe place to hide contraband.
Din had taken to keeping a growing collection of things inside it. A rock the kid had taken a liking to and had gifted him some weeks ago. It was a smooth and very round rock, but otherwise unremarkable. But Din couldn’t get rid of it. Then there were the drawings the kid had drawn, including the very first one that had shown a rather messy looking, but very recognizable, rendition of three familiar figures. The tiny green and brown blob, a black and grey figure with an unreasonably sized blaster in hand, and then what could only be described as you. The kid had even included your smile, which Din had thought made sense.
Behind those drawings though was numerous pieces of flimsy, all different sizes and some in different colors. But they all had little notes written in your hand, some were very silly things to keep like supplies lists, or a note to warn him that the refresher drain was acting up again.
Din took the newest one from his pocket and added it to the others, a sense of fullness and warmth filling his stomach.
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You didn’t really remember how you got back into your bunk the previous night. You seemed to remember that Mando had come back sometime? And he had made you get up? But past that, you didn’t remember even leaving the cockpit.
The kid had been well-rested though and ready to go shortly after you had finished some morning stretches to limber up your neck, the short stint sleeping in that chair had not been great on your muscles but you were sure it would have been worse if Mando hadn’t made you go to bed.
Currently, you were sitting on the floor, some flimsy and markers spread out around you and the kid as you watched him drawing nonsensical lines and shapes. It was funny to watch how he picked out the colors he wanted to use. One tiny claw tapping gently at the different shades until he made up his mind and he would show off the chosen color to you for your approval.
While you watched the kid, making sure he didn’t start drawing on himself or his clothes, again, Mando had come down and started cleaning the weapons he had been using most recently.
It was the normal setup, you playing with the kid to help make sure Mando could get his work done. He even got the perk of being often able to play with the kid as well once he got finished up. Those moments of seeing the big and intimidating Mandalorian bounty hunter chuckling quietly at the kiddo’s antics, smoothing a hand over those large ears as tiny clawed hands and feet clambered all over him, or how he always let the kid feel heard when he babbled over the things babies and toddlers talked about.
You couldn’t help but keep glancing up as Mando started with one weapon and then working on the next. The confident way he moved, the practiced and casual manner that he broke down each and every blaster.
It was clear he was well versed with each and every single weapon in his arsenal and every single component of those weapons as well. There was an assurance to his movements, the perfect mixture of self-possession and proficiency that had you wonder what else those hands, those fingers, could do. The slip into such thoughts made you shiver slightly as warmth filled your belly as you turned back to the kid. You were supposed to be paying attention to him, not lusting over the child’s father.
“You’re cold,” Mando’s gravelly tone made you look back at him surprised that he had noticed the small movement.
“What? No,” you grimaced at the correction, that was dumb what were you going to tell him? No, Mando, I’m not cold I just happen to have a raging crush on you so that even seeing you disassemble and reassemble blasters is just insanely attractive to me? Yeah, that wasn’t going to happen. “I mean, maybe a bit,” you equivocated, your face turning warm despite yourself.
Mando grunted as he got up and came over to where you were rolling the ball back and forth with the kid. He unclipped his cape and had it settled over your shoulders again before you could protest.
“Mando, I don’t need to take your cape,” you say even as your one hand burrowed into the thick fabric.
The texture was still a bit rough, and your fingers lingering over the new patch for a moment, but it was warm and you couldn’t help but notice how it smelled like him. It was almost bitingly fresh from the laundry soap he used. With how fastidiously Mando took care of his clothing and armor after a hunt, there was usually a warm lingering scent about him that reminded you of evergreen trees paired with leather and ozone. But there was also a deeper smell underneath of spice and loamy earth, it was a combination you knew just as, well, Mando’s.
“I want you to have it,” he said in a rush before he took a big breath he had taken made him stand up straighter.
You had to snap your eyes back to his helmet from watching how he shifted his weight to his one leg, a thumb hooking into his belt like he sometimes did. The man was too damn attractive when you hadn’t even seen his face, how was this fair?
“Thank you Mando, but I don’t want to keep your cloak,” you refused politely. “You need it for when you’re out, I can get a blanket the next time I get cold.”
The silver ball floated back over to you this time and you plucked it from the air as you continued to look at your bounty hunter, your brows knit in question as he sat down beside you on the floor.
“No, that’s not…” Mando stumbled over his words slightly. He shook his head, cursing under his breath in what you had come to assume was the Mandalorian language. “I want you to know my name.”
The ball slipped from your fingertips, striking the floor of the ship before rolling away. The child, thinking it was part of the game, shrieked with laughter and chased after it as it began to roll away.
You were just staring at him, why couldn’t you speak? He wanted to share his name with you marker dammit, think of something to say!
“Oh,” you respond dumbly before grimacing, that was eloquent.
The lackluster response seemed to make Mando deflate a bit and you both tried to speak at the same time.
“If you don’t want-”
“I’d really like-”
You rubbed your chin sheepishly as Din chuckled slightly.
“Sorry, I just… I’d like to know your name if you want to share it that is.”
“I… I really would like that.”
You both sat there for a few more minutes, you didn’t want to push him. After all, you were pretty sure some other people knew Mando’s name, like Cara and Greef. But you hadn’t gotten the impression that it had been… willingly given to them from what you had gleaned. They still never used his true name.
It seemed off-limits, just like it felt off-limits to know if Mando had kind eyes like you liked to think he did, or what the shape of his nose was, or the line where his jaw and neck connected. It was secret, profoundly intimate. So you would wait as long as he needed, but you couldn’t help but notice as he put one hand by yours on the floor.
As you waited, the child, having found the ball returned to you both. He cooed in pleasure at finding you both together, coming to show off the silver ball with its painted blue circle on the top.
“Vor entye, ad'ika,” Din said as the child pressed the ball into one of Din’s palms. The orange tips of his gloves were ever gentle with the adorable boy’s hands.
You both got babbled at before the tiny claws started to explore the leather wrappings of Mando’s boots.
“It’s Din,” he said softly as he let you carefully place your hand on top of his. His gloved hand turned, moving slowly, carefully, so he didn’t knock your hand away until he was able to entwine his fingers with yours.
“My name is Din Djarin,” he repeated, more sure of himself this time.
You smiled up into the visor, giving his hand the smallest squeeze as the kid clambered on both your legs like you had become his own personal gym.
“It’s nice to meet you, Din Djarin.”
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Translations Cuyir jate par cuun cabur'ika, ad’ika - Be good for our little guardian, little one Cyare - beloved Vor entye, ad'ika - thank you, little one
Perm: @princessbatears​ @youhavereachedtheendofpie​ @cosmicbug379​ @yellowbubblewrap​ @keeper0fthestars​ @agentpike​ @opheliaelysia​ @catfishingmorales​ @anxiety-riddled-mando​ @rzrcrst​ @mrsparknuts​ @beccaplaying​ @trippedmetaldetector​ @maybege​ @aeryntheofficial​ @mandolovian​ @littlevodika​ @oloreaa​ @lovinglokiforever​ @gallowsjoker​ @whataenginerd​ @hayley-the-comet​ Pedro Characters: @mrschiltoncat​ @seasonschange-butpeopledont​ Din Djarin Tag: @kyjoraven​ @maydayfigment​ @awboomerangsno​​ In case you get bored at work today: @max--phillips​
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xpeachesncream · 6 months ago
bands | thirteen
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[ series masterlist ]
summary: jeon jungkook has it all: the looks, the fame, the money, the women. being considered the sexiest man in the industry, he finds no complaints about the way his life is going nor does he find any reason to apologize for the way he approaches it. he is a force to be reckoned with - until he meets you.
pairing: stripper!reader x idol!jjk
genre: (18+) strip club/nightlife au, post grad au | fluff, angst, smut
words: 3.9k
warnings: cussing, mature language/implied sexual content, slight degradation, trouble stirring behind the scenes if you squint, yeonjun and soobin (txt) make an appearance but also as reg 18 yr olds lol
tags: @brightcolorsoffendme​ @min-nicoleee​ @eggbutnotyolk​ @ra-mun-e @miinoongi​ @jimidol​ @ppeachyttae​ @thebeebi​ @bluesharksandfish​ @kooafraid​ @liriaus​ @thisartemisnevermisses​ @ggukkieland​ @preciouschimine​ @sunniejinnie​ @cypheruby​ @cyb3rbab3​ @masterlists101​ @awhnamjoon​ @redhedhoseok​ @wooya1224​ @taeismydeath @jikookiekosmos​ @un2-verse​ @aynsx​ @wearenot7withu​ (please message me if you would like to be added to the taglist!)
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"BTS' Jeon Jungkook rumored to be dating stripper from nightclub!"
"Jungkook is no longer single, ladies!"
"Jeon Jungkook is dating a stripper? Why the hell is he doing that?"
"Who the hell does she think she is? I bet she's not even pretty."
"Jungkook fell for a stripper? Out of all people? Damn, and I thought he was better than that."
Jungkook has been tired, the rumors constantly being spread day in and day out. But, it still didn't mean he was gonna say shit to prove himself to people out there. He didn't need to give anybody answers. Hell, this was strictly between you and him and that's how he wants to keep it.
Fuck every single one of you who didn't wanna be behind him and support him. Don't even think about calling yourself a fan of his if that's your mindset.
He could truly care less. He was happy and he felt ten times better than he has in a really long time. It's unfortunate how people love to stay narrow minded. The only thing that bothered him was the fact that it was so unfair for you - how they stuck to that stripper image, rather than really getting to know you beneath the surface.
But it's not like anyone else deserved to know the real you, not after all this shit. And he was gonna keep it that way, and protect you.
"Hey, don't listen to any of that shit, okay?" Jungkook says as he meets you in your car in the BigHit building garage. "None of that matters to me."
"I know, but Kook." You look at him. "Your career, BigHit literally might not even want me here and-and—"
"Then I'll make sure they understand it's not an issue, because it's really fucking not." He says, getting irritated only at the thought of the company giving him issues over you. He watches as you slightly frown, causing him to sigh and soften his own facial expression. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to get worked up like that. It's just annoying how people are narrow-minded. This has absolutely nothing to do with you." You give him a small smile. "Come on, I'll walk you." You silently nod and hop out of your car. You follow beside him, your stomach in knots having to meet with their performance director. This meant you'd also most likely run into the rest of Bangtan.
In which happens to turn true pretty quickly.
"Jungkookie!" Hoseok says loudly down the hallway as he approaches the both of you. He does nothing besides smile, curiosity definitely filling his eyes.
"This is Y/N. Y/N, Hoseok hyung." He holds out his hand for you to shake, his head tilting ever so slightly because you know he's familiar with your face. He's just trying to remember from where. Or, he has recognized you, but he's trying his hardest not to say anything.
Cause they have seen all of you, especially in that fishnet bodysuit.
"Hi! Nice to meet you! You can call me Hobi for short. Are you meeting with someone?" You nod.
"Yeah." Is all you can reply with as you shyly tuck a strand of hair behind your ear.
"Nice, goodluck!"
"Is everyone else here?" Jungkook asks, making Hobi nod.
"Yeah, but they're still running through some stuff in the dance studio. I just ran off to take a break."
"Okay." Jungkook looks at you. "Follow me, he's in one of the private studio rooms." You both part ways from Hoseok, the need to clutch onto Jungkook's arm immensely strong right now. You hold yourself off though, because even with passing a few female staff members, you catch them looking at you oddly with the way you're walking side by side with Jungkook.
Nope. Don't even think about it, Y/N. It doesn't matter.
Jungkook knocks softly on a door, the middle of it being made up of entirely frosted glass so it's difficult to see inside. Their performance director opens the door swiftly and welcomes you in with a warm smile, stepping aside to let you in.
"I've got it from here, Jungkookie. Thank you." Jungkook nods but tries to peek through the door to get one last glimpse of your face before he shuts it fully. "How are you doing, Y/N?" He sits in front of you, leaning onto his knees with his hands fully clasped together.
"I'm good. How are you?"
"Good, tired." He chuckles. "Thanks for taking my call earlier and for meeting at such short notice on a weekend. I had a couple of things come up and didn't want to push things off until later." You smile.
"It's no problem."
"Jungkook tells me a lot about you."
"Does he now?" You chuckle and tilt your head to the side.
"Says you're a really good person. Super hardworking. Told me a little bit about your situation with your brother."
"Mmyeah, it's a little complicated."
"It's alright, no need to get into the details." He smiles before letting out a small sigh. "It's incredibly rare for me to hear Jungkook speak like that. In general. He's usually very closed off, doesn't like to let people in much. He really respects you, you know? Cares about you a whole lot." You slightly blush.
"I'm still getting used to it." He chuckled.
"Look, I know you've been worrying because of where you've been and all that, but I want to reassure you that none of it matters. I don't like to focus on all that. You're here as you, not her." He says, putting another pronoun to your stripper persona.
"Thank you, I appreciate it." He nods. There's a small pause before he begins to speak again.
"I could really use some help around here if you're still interested? The boys are becoming a lot for me to handle."
"Ah-uh, yeah! Of course I am." You found yourself stuttering at the sudden offer. Was this fucking real?! "But, you are aware of where me and Jungkook are at, right?" You ask, trying to be completely transparent and honest about their relationship. He nods and waves his hand out.
"As long as you keep it professional here, right?" You nod.
"Come, let me show you around really quickly and have you formally meet the boys." You swallowed the lump in your throat. Fucking great. He definitely didn't know they've all seen your titties and pussy out during Yoongi's birthday, and now here you were - about to meet them again in this environment. Hobi was awkward enough even though he tried not to be.
Surprisingly, Jungkook wasn't waiting outside in the hallway like you thought he would be, but the tour commences and the PD is taking you around pretty quickly. You feel even more awkward and somewhat alone [even though you weren't] without Jungkook nearby, but you chug along and say your hello's to the people you're introduced to. He finally brings you into the dance studio, where there's loud ass music blasting, Jungkook, the boys and some backup dancers in front of the mirrors fooling around.
"Aye boys, come here real quick." You and Jimin lock eyes and your body suddenly gets tense. The room feels 10x hotter than it already is, especially when he slowly walks over and clenches his jaw. He is literally seeping with hate right now, maybe actually disgust, and he doesn't even try to hide it. Most of them for sure recognize you, but they seem to brush it off and give you a big wave/smile anyway.
"Last, that's Jimin - Jimin, Y/N." You give Jimin a fake smile, and the only thing his ass can reciprocate is the smallest, tight-lipped smile you have ever seen. You've never even seen your mom do that when she got mad or upset with you.
"Hi." Is all you can say.
"Sup." He looks at you before turning on his heel and walking away.
"Ooookay?" Namjoon furrows his brows as he watches Jimin walk away so rudely. "The hell was that about?"
"I knew that was Kookie's girlfriend! Maybe Jiminie remembers seeing her titties and shit too, needs to walk away before he gets his ass beat by him." Yoongi says lowly behind Namjoon.
"Yeah, like you're any better." Namjoon says, looking at Yoongi weirdly.
"I mean, we did see her practically naked." Jin says, chiming into the discussion.
"I touched her." Yoongi's mouth slightly hangs down. "I touched her."
"Go ahead, say it louder so Kookie can hear you." Jin nods sarcastically. "Go, say it!"
"No, stop." Yoongi's cheeks turn red while shaking his head and laughing. "He'll literally launch me out the window with one hand."
"You asked for her to sit on your lap too, bro!"
"I was joking, and it's not like she did it anyway!"
"Whatever, I'm keeping my birthday deep in my memory storage."
"Clean slate for her so it should be for you too, my guy." Namjoon says as he has enough of their conversation.
You look at Jungkook who is silently standing there, looking like a big dork with a huge smile on his face and his thumbs up. You give him the tiniest nod before proceeding to follow the PD out.
"So?!" Jungkook dashes to meet you in their waiting room area, where an abnormally large picture of Jimin posing oddly hung up.
"He said he'll send me all the info and papers and stuff!" You respond excitedly as Kook hugs you and quickly swings you around.
"See, I knew it would work out!" He puts you down. "Are you gonna tell Kai?" You shook your head.
"Not today at least, it's his birthday and I don't wanna take away from that. It's his day." Jungkook smiles at you.
"Text me when you've picked him up? I should be home by then."
"Okay." You blush and back away, making Jungkook look at you with confusion. "I have to keep it professional here, duh."
"Ah I see." He chuckles. "That won't last very long."
"Jungkook." You whine.
"There's a lot of private rooms here and—"
"I'm not listening, sorry. I think Kai is suddenly calling me." You cover your ears as you begin to walk away, giving him one last smile before leaving him to the rest of rehearsals and whatever else they're doing. He laughs to himself as he waves you off, excited to get through the day so he can just spend time with you and Kai.
As the hours go on and it's about time for you to pick Kai up, you quickly stop by the store because you're a procrastinator and didn't buy Kai's birthday gift any earlier. You felt bad you weren't able to find the shoes he wanted, but you at least snagged the video game he had been talking about for a couple of days now. Before walking into the arcade, you made sure to write your birthday card and slip some more money into it before shoving it in your bag to give to him later.
"Your pretty sister is here." Yeonjun grabs Kai by the shoulder as he finishes up a game.
"Yeah, and you're too young for her."
"Age is nothing but a number. It's only like.. 6 years apart."
"Besides, she's taken, dude. Sorry." Kai snorts as he watches Yeonjun's smile fade. "You would have never had the chance."
"You're mean."
"I'm mean, or you just have really high, unrealistic expectations?" The rest of their friends laugh as they follow Kai over to you.
"Hey!" You smile at all his friends.
"Hiiiiii Y/N." They all say in unison, some waving in awe, while the others shyly dug their hands into their pockets. "Birthday boy, you all good to go? Got some good Loco Moco waiting for you."
"Yeah, I'm good."
"Happy birthday again, Kai! Get online later!" Soobin yells out.
"Yeah, yeah." He says, waving them off as he follows you out to your car.
"You guys run through the entire arcade?" Kai laughs.
"Pretty much." He sinks into his seat, legs damn near touching the glove compartment with how long he is. "I'm honestly so excited for Loco Moco. It's been years!"
"It has not been that long." You laughed.
"You're right, it's been months." Kai looks out the window. "Wait, you're passing the road to get to our go-to shop though?"
"Cause I found a better place."
"How is there a better place when that one was already supreme?!"
"Hey, trust me on this okay?" You laugh. Kai starts telling you about his day and how so many people he knew from school had been messaging him happy birthday. He truly looked his happiest today and it was all you could ask for. Though at the same time, your heart slightly sank at the fact that he'd be going off to uni soon and staying at the dorms. He was just growing up way too fast, and you wanted to spend as much time as you could with him now before he was too occupied being a college boy.
You slipped yourself past Jungkook's security, parking in the one guest spot they have in the garage that's closest to the elevator. Kai doesn't really question it and hops out anyway, his hands in his pockets as he follows you into the elevator and onto Jungkook's floor.
"You ready, kid?"
"Is this some like, Michelin Star Loco Moco restaurant?"
"Ah, I guess you could say that." You knocked on the door, hearing music playing in the background. Jungkook opens the door and Kai's eyes widen.
"Oh shit, that's Jungkook?" Kook laughs and steps aside to let you both in. "Sis why—what—how come you didn't tell me we were seeing your boyfriend? I look like a mess!" He says lowly.
"You don't!"
"Hey Kai! Happy Birthday!" Jungkook says smiling, making Kai actually blush. He's cheeks are tinted with a rosy color and he suddenly gets all shy.
"Your brother's tall." Jungkook looks at him up and down.
"Looking at an 18 year old 6 footer."
"Must be nice."
"Go sit." Kai silently nods as he sits awkwardly on Kook's couch, while you go and check in on him in the kitchen.
"Is he always that shy?"
"No. Just with you, apparently. He's not even that shy around girls." You chuckle as he places a quick kiss on your head. "Need my help?" You still ask even though the plates are neatly prepared already.
"Not really." He smiles down at you. "You hungry though?"
"Starving, actually." Your eyes light up at the plates. "Ouuuuuu, yum."
"Honestly, I think this batch might be better than my first."
"Still honored to be your guinea pig." You carry a plate over to Jungkook's coffee table in the living room.
"Oh shit, that looks amazing." Kai says, slipping himself down from the couch to the floor so he could get a good whiff of the plate. "Thank you."
"You're welcome." Jungkook hands you the remote before walking into his room. "Pick something."
"Here, birthday boy. Help me choose."
"Let's watch Soul on Disney+." At this point, Jungkook comes out of his room with a wrapped present, his eyes locked on the TV.
"Ooh, I keep seeing this everywhere! Niceeeee." Jungkook says, smiling with Kai nodding and already digging into his plate. "By the way, this is for you." You shoot him a look as he sits on the floor by you, watching as Kai unwraps the present. Kai's eyes light up as he sees a shoebox underneath the wrapping, quickly flipping the lid open to reveal those blue Air Jordans he wanted.
"Kook?!" You say lowly, making him smile at you and gently pinch your side.
"Holy shit!" He holds out a shoe, only for him to immediately shake his head and close the box again. "Jungkook, I can't take this." Kai says.
"No, it's your birthday."
"Yeah, but isn't this expensive? You've already done so much for me and my sister, I-I don't want to—"
"Kai, it's cool. If it's one thing you can do to repay me, it's to take my present." You literally want to cry at how sweet Jungkook is being with your brother. He had been good to you, no doubt, but this was one thing you didn't expect from him at all. Quite frankly, you had forgotten you mentioned the shoes to him. The fact that he actually remembered and kept his word.
"Okay." Kai says, gently setting the box down aside before looking at Jungkook with a small smile on his face. "Thank you. I really appreciate it. Like, even with the food and everything. It means a lot to me."
"You're welcome." You give him a soft smile before digging into your food while Soul was already off to a start. Kai and Jungkook devour their food together, with you following shortly behind as Jungkook brings over a small ice cream cake from his fridge for Kai to blow his candles on. After the boys had helped themselves to a good serving of the cake, they started getting hyper and pulled up Smash Bros on Kook's Nintendo Switch [as if Kai hadn't played enough games today]. It started to get intense; the boys jumping and yelling everywhere, bouncing off of the walls, with you getting pulled into the competition every now and then. Even though you knew you'd lost over and over again, you happily joined in anyway, seeing how excited your brother was - plus, it was always a bonus to hear Jungkook's loudly obnoxious, nerdy laugh.
"I WIN!"
"Hey, hey, hey. I let you win because it's your birthday." Jungkook said, making Kai laugh as he crashed to the floor.
"Sure." Kai huffed and puffed. "Crap, I'm tired. What time is it?"
"Almost midnight. We should start heading out, bubba." You patted Kai's chest gently.
"What? No, it's late. Why don't you two just stay here?" You suddenly remembered you've had Kai's shit in your trunk since you dropped him off at Yeonjun's this morning. You didn't have any change of clothes, but that could easily be fixed with Jungkook's closet.
"Only if the queen wants, she's driving."
"It's late, baby." Jungkook says to you softly. "No way I'm letting you two head out there."
"Okay." You give him a small smile before handing your keys. "Can you do me a favor?" He chuckles.
"What is it?"
"Kai's duffle bag is in my trunk." He nods and takes your keys.
"I got it. Kai, you can take the guest room or my office room." Jungkook says with his 3-bedroom apartment having ass. "I have my computer in my office room though, and a pull out bed. I don't know how comfy you'll be."
"It's cool, I'll just take your guest room. I always bring my laptop and switch whenever I sleep at my sister's." Kai says getting up. "Thank you."
"You're welcome." Jungkook says, toothlessly smiling at the both of you, completely endeared at how alike you two were - even down to the fact that you both said thank you for every little thing. If this was a result of Kai being close to you and having you as pretty much his mother figure, then Jungkook wouldn't know what to do with his feelings. He felt butterflies every time he thought about how cute and sweet you were, and he was always excited to be around you.
Jungkook does a quick jog to your car, grabbing Kai's Nike duffle from your trunk before jogging back to the elevator and back to his apartment. He walks in to see Kai helping you clean up the remaining dishes in the sink, tidying the rest of the things in his kitchen.
"Thank you." Jungkook says himself, a little unfamiliar with saying such a thing to be completely honest.
"You're welcome." You say softly, wiping your hands on his hand towel. "Off to bed, or are you gonna go online with your friends?"
"I'll see what they're up to, but I'm pretty beat. Today was fun." Kai smiles at the both of you. "I really appreciate it." You ruffle his hair a bit before gently pushing him towards his bedroom for the night.
"Bathroom's right over there, help yourself to anything you need."
"Don't stay up too late."
"Only if you aren't too loud." You gasp while Jungkook laughs out loud.
"Hey, I'm just being honest. Please remember that I'm right in this room."
"Oh my god, go to bed." You shove him inside the room and shut his door. "Don't even say a word." You look at Jungkook shyly as you hurriedly brush past him to get into his room - even though Jungkook is literally right behind you with those long ass legs of his, making every stride so much easier for him to catch up to you.
"What's your outfit of choice tonight, pretty lady?" He shuts his door behind him as you start to make your way into his closet.
"Hm, I'll just wear this plain black--" You unfold it. "Balenciaga? Okay, I definitely can't just wear this to sleep."
"Why not?"
"Because this is like, name brand and everything."
"So?" He shrugs. "Just wear it, babygirl. It's not gonna make much of a difference, you're wearing it either way." You do a slight pout before you start to slip out of your clothes to get into his shirt. You make his way to his bathroom to take a little tinkle when you notice another toothbrush sitting next to his. A pink toothbrush, next to his blue one.
"Why do you have two toothbrushes?" You wash your hands as he comes in to the bathroom to start getting ready for bed.
"That's yours." Your eyes light up at his statement.
"I figured since you'd be over more, it'd be easier for you." He furrows his brows lightly. "Unless.. you didn't want--" You press a kiss against his lips, his hands resting on your arms to keep you close.
"No, I did want that. Thank you."
"Of course, baby." He pecks your forehead.
"By the way, way to make me look like such a bad sister!" You say as you start getting your toothbrush ready.
"Why? The shoes?"
"The shoes, the Loco Moco, the games, the ice cream cake." You laughed. "I literally got him a video game and some money."
"I mean, he is turning 18. I wanted to help make it as memorable as possible."
"I appreciate you a lot. Really."
"I appreciate you too." Your eyes widen as you brush your teeth.
"Waaaaow, say thaht wun mohr tiyme." You say, pulling a Jungkook while brushing your teeth.
"Eye apprushiate yoh toh." You giggle. The both of you finish getting ready for bed before slipping into his warm sheets. Jungkook never goes to sleep early, however, he makes sure all the lights are off and that the show he's watching isn't too loud. You have no idea what's going on in his show, but you lay on his chest to watch for a little bit until you feel yourself getting a little more sleepy. He's holding you close, his hand brushing through your hair softly, causing tingles to ripple through your body.
"Yes, baby?"
"You make me happy." You say sleepily as you hung him tighter. He smiles down at you, your eyes now shut close as you slowly start to drift into a deep sleep. He presses a light kiss against your head, fingers still in your hair.
"You make me happy too, sweetheart."
326 notes · View notes
mostly-marvel-musings · 5 months ago
Hii! Could u maybe do a 12 & 13 from fluff prompts with Bucky?
Also congratulations on the milestone! 🤍
Just say yes
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A/N: Beware of the fluff attack and Bucky being an absolute puppy dog!
Not my gif! Credits to the owner.
Prompts - Dancing in the kitchen & Proposal gone wrong. 
Pairing: Bucky Barnes x Reader 
Warnings: Fluff town, a curse word or two.
Word count: 1500ish
Requests & Challenges
Bucky Barnes Taglist - @marvelgirl7 @mycosmicparadise @feetoffthetablee
Everything Taglist – @godofplumsandthunder @ladyacrasia @agustdowney @swaggysposts @littlegasps @little-baby-vixen @another-stark-sub @supraveng @kahlanmars @disappointmentofthefam @pandaxnienke @tom-hlover @just-the-hiddles @fyreball66 @asmigurub @avantgardium-leviosa @imerdwarf @gladiosamicitias @fanofalltheficsx @ladyburberry
Tags are open! Send me an ask or DM if you wish to be included in any of these lists ;))
As the saying goes, ‘everything that can go wrong, will go wrong’ Bucky found it applicable to his current situation now more than ever.
He had been planning the perfect evening while you were away on a small mission with Sam and were expected to be home in less than an hour. He’d ordered your favourite pizza, kept that special bottle of wine you’d been saving on the table with two glasses, even texted every single person in the team to not disturb once you were home. 
Bucky wanted you all to himself tonight. That and the fact that he was planning to propose. 
You arrived fifteen minutes later looking tattered and exhausted. Bucky frowned, wiping his hands on a kitchen towel as he heard the front door slam shut, concerned when he didn’t hear your usually chirpy voice, he walked out to greet you. 
“Welcome home sweetheart, how was th—”
He stopped mid-sentence after getting a good look at your state, hair in disarray, minor cuts decorating your forehead and chin. It wasn’t the first but today was supposed to be an easy one. 
“Oh you look terrible.” 
“Thanks I feel terrible.” 
Bucky chuckled, pulling you into a hug before pressing a kiss on your temple, immediately feeling your body sink into his. 
“What went wrong? I thought the mission was fairly—” 
“Yeah except it wasn’t. I’m going to take a bath okay.” 
“Do you wanna talk about it?”
Sighing, you gently pushed him away to get to the bathroom, peeling off the unitard as you went,  exhaustion making you forget he was waiting for a kiss, but he understood.
“Alright, don’t be too long though. I made you dinner, and I can guarantee it’s edible this time.” 
“I’m sorry babe but I’m not really hungry. All I want is sleep.” 
You mumbled, your voice laden with sleep as you reached for the door, missing Bucky’s dejected face that he quickly recovered from, not wanting you to worry. 
“How about I get you a glass of wine and patch you up?” He offered.
You practically crawled into bed after you bathed, falling asleep instantly. Bucky climbed in shortly after, racking his brain for yet another attempt of proposing as he draped his arm across your waist, gazing at your sleeping form for a while before kissing your forehead. 
A lingering aroma of fresh bacon and eggs woke you up the next day. Peeking through a half open eye, you saw Bucky holding a tray of food in his hands and your favourite flower between his teeth.
“God bless you Bucky Barnes!” You exclaimed, sitting up against the headboard with the biggest smile on your face, making grabby hands at the food as your stomach growled. 
He placed the tray in your lap and tucked the flower behind your ear, whispering ‘good morning’ before leaning in for a kiss which you happily returned.
Bucky had already cleared your schedule for the day, made sure that no one bothered you today, he was determined to not let you out of the house before getting that ring on your finger. 
You took turns eating yourself and feeding your super caring boyfriend who had gone through all this trouble for you, not really saying much but rather enjoying the silence you shared. 
“Hey I got us a table at that Italian restaurant that you love for dinner.” Bucky announced matter-of-factly, hiding his nervous self under the facade of a casual dinner date. 
“I’ll have to check with Agent Hill if there’s some updates after last night’s blow-up but I’m sure th—” 
“Oh that won’t be necessary.” 
“It won’t?” You eyed the man who kept his gaze on the piece of fruit he was toying with in the plate.
“Y-yeah I cleared your schedule for the day.” 
“Yes. I want you all to myself.” Bucky’s soft smile warmed your heart as did his honesty, making you lean forward and place a chaste kiss to his lips. 
“So it’s a date Barnes.”
“It’s a date.”
Bucky went over his plan once more after deciding to drop the idea of proposing in a public place, he figured he would take you out for a nice meal first, get home, maybe open a nice bottle of wine with some cake and do it then. 
He still had some issues when people disturbed your peace while out at a public place or a social gathering. People would stare, ask for pictures with his vibranium arm or just generally give him the look making him utterly uncomfortable. He decided he couldn’t afford that tonight, everything had to be perfect. He even decided to take the efforts of making you a chocolate cake from scratch. 
Evening rolled by and the kitchen counter was a mess of broken eggshells, a thousand mixing bowls and spoons, the floor covered in sugar and cocoa powder while Bucky wiped the sweat off his forehead and finally got the batter in the oven. 
Looking around, he knew it would eventually have to be professionally cleaned or it would be sleeping on the couch for a week. Somehow he had to evade you from entering the kitchen until he popped the question. 
The super soldier double checked the ring box in his back pocket and set the timer, getting to make the ganache for the cake. 
“Bucky! Get in here right now!” You yelled from the bathroom, voice sounding downright pissed off. 
“Ah fuck what now.” 
Muttering under his breath, he ran, only to find your fully clothed self drenched as the water sprayed everywhere from the broken shower. 
“Oh God, are you alright?”
“Besides being fucking soaked and ruining my new dress & make-up? Oh just fabulous!” You rolled your eyes, crossing your arms over your chest and stepping away to let him in the mini pool.
You stood next to him shivering while he tried his best to fix it, his vibranium arm doing the trick as he closed the tap, now completely soaked the same as you. 
A tiny box fallen on the wet floor caught your attention and you bent to pick it up, gasping when you opened it to find the most beautiful diamond ring sitting inside the cushioned box. 
It felt more and more real the longer you stared at it, unable to form words, glancing at the man you loved and who, by some miracle loved you back & enough to take this next big step. 
“Hmm?” He wasn’t paying attention.
“What uh..when did you—please look at me.” You croaked, holding the tiny box up in your palm.
Bucky’s eyes turned wide before his hand automatically went for the back pocket of his jeans from where the ring must’ve fallen.
“Fucking hell.”
“What? I hope this isn’t for someone else.” You chuckled at your terrible attempts of a joke, tears already gathering in your eyes while Bucky scratched the back of his neck nervously. 
“Okay I’m gonna do this now. Wait fuck, let me get you a towel first, you’re shivering.”
He hurried to wrap you in a fluffy towel, walked you out and sat you on the bed before knelt down on both knees and cleared his throat.
“Here we go. None of the amazing things that have happened in my life in the past few years would’ve happened, if it weren’t for you. You have been one of the most integral parts of my journey towards healing and by no means is it over, but I know I can’t go ahead without you. You’ve loved me through my worst and by some miracle continue to do so even today.” He chuckled, tears gathering in his eyes while you were down right sobbing at this point.
“I mean it wasn’t supposed to happen like this, I had a whole thing planned and now the kitchen’s a big mess and we have a pool in the bathroom. But again when has anything worked perfectly for us right?”
You giggled through tears, nodding as your mind automatically played all those memories, first date, first kiss, the first ‘i love you’s, everything. It wasn’t the smoothest ride with Bucky but it was the best and you wouldn’t have it any other ways. 
“So Miss (Y/N) (Y/L/N), would you be interested in spending the rest of your life with a semi-stable hundred year old man?” 
Wiping your tears, you knelt in front of the man yourself as fresh tears appeared, cupped Bucky’s face in your hands and kissed him with all the love you had in you.
“What do you say?” He mumbled, never breaking the kiss as he stood up with you and walked you over to the bed.
“What do you want me to say? I already found the ring.” You giggled, flopping on the bed and peeling your clothes off, dinner reservations  long forgotten. 
“Just say yes.”
“Yes.” Saying it out loud made you believe it actually happened, as Bucky climbed between your parted legs.
“Say it again.”
Two hours later when you were finally ready to leave the bedroom, you found yourself in the kitchen in Bucky’s arms, swaying to some 40s ballads that he put on, the floor was a complete mess but neither of you cared. The cake he’d prepared was mostly burnt - thankfully he ran to turn the oven off right before giving you your second orgasm of the night. 
But you wouldn’t trade this moment, this day or this man for anything. 
205 notes · View notes
lokiskitten · 4 months ago
Loki Laufeyson | Valentine’s Day pt4
Loki Laufeyson x fem!reader
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Author’s note : so so so sorry for the delay! I was dealing with some personal issues. People who wanted to be tagged : @delightfulheartdream @idontreallyknowhonesyy @kaz11283 @cc12-02 @thegirlthatsfalling @likesiriuslydude @wolfish-trickster
plot : ( refer to the three previous part if you wish! ) After confessing time each other, you and Loki spend a romantic moment where you decide to loose your virginity together.
warnings : kissing, making out, virginity loss, consensual intercourse, self discovery, masturbation, premature ejaculation, unprotected sex.
As your lips moved against Loki’s in a shy manner, your tongue barely dared to peek out of your mouth in order to collide with the young man’s lower lip. Understanding the message yet remaining reserved at the moment, Loki parted his lips and allowed his own tongue to delicately penetrate your moist cavity. This was your first kiss, and you didn’t regret sharing it with someone such as Loki. The more your lips remained pressed against his, the more feelings grew inside of you.
The tip of your tongues collided with each other’s, tasting one another’s saliva and enjoying the way it mixed with yours. Soon, Loki took the initiative to place his hand onto your waist, crossing a line that no one had ever dared to cross before. A blush spread across your cheeks as you moved closer to your lover, the kiss progressively growing more confident as both of you made an effort to learn from this first interaction.
Pulling away from him, a smile appeared onto your lips as you looked down at your hands in order to avoid eye contact- secretly wishing that Loki wouldn’t notice how much influence he had on you. Though, that was something he would’ve never been able to deny. “That was..” you began, loosing your words only to be helped out by the demigod. “..absolutely ravishing.” He finished, head tilting as he attempted to make eye contact with you. However, his efforts were soon put to an end when you accepted to look up at him by yourself.
Lovingly staring at each other, you easily understood that both of you wished to go further. However, innocence and inexperience managed to fill your beings with doubt and anxiety. But talking would’ve been unnecessary, as nature was here to lead you both towards the greatest achievement that was loosing your virginity to someone you trusted and loved. You were the first one to take the initiative to remove a first layer of clothing, hands moving up to your shoulders in order to slide the straps of your dress off your silhouette.
Loki’s eyes widened face to this nice spectacle, his green orbs watching the way the thin fabric slid off your body to reveal your bare breasts. Gasping nervously, Loki adjusted his position on the bed as his eyes couldn’t seem to get off your chest. In fact, it was the first time he ever saw the upper private parts of a lady, and this honestly awoken sensations and feelings within him he already knew about. Before he could even tell, his member hardened underneath the fabric of his suit, creating an uncomfortable sensation for Loki to bare with. “You can touch them.” You ended up saying, secretly wishing that Loki would start taking more initiatives.
Gasping nervously, his hand rose from the bed sheets and gently travelled up to your breast, palm colliding with the soft and warm fleshy mound. You bit down onto your bottom lip, enjoying this first physical contact as your eyes looked down at Loki’s hand. In order to make him feel more confident, you added a couple of details to your previous sentence. “You can squeeze it, but gently. The feminine body is delicate.” You notified happily, allowing Loki to follow your advice. His hand squeezed your breast, causing tingles to take over your chest. It felt peculiarly good, allowing your mind to forever remember and learn from this move for your future intercourses.
On another hand, Loki seemed as pleased as you were, though for different reasons. Being a young man, it obviously felt like a great accomplishment to finally get to touch a woman’s bare body. But it wasn’t an act to take any lightly, and everyone in Asgard knew it required humbleness and great care. His cock didn’t take long to harden to a painful state underneath the fabric of his suit, your eyes locking with the appetizing sight which was his boner. After noticing this detail, Loki blushed and pulled his hand away, face turning down towards his crotch as he awkwardly cleared his throat. “There’s nothing to be ashamed of. You should see it as an asset.” You joked with a smirk before making your hand travel until his upper thigh.
The man did nothing to stop you, and simply watched curiously as it was now your turn to return the pleasant gesture. The tips of your fingers delicately collided with the long print, soon starting to rub up and down his shaft which easily caused your partner’s breath to itch sensitively. Loki pressed his palms against the bedsheets, leaning backwards as his eyes continuously stayed onto his crotch as if he was scared you would attempt to backstab him. As ironic as it could be. Though, that would’ve been a thought you would’ve been easily able to understand, as this probably remained the most fragile part of the masculine body- and even as a virgin, you knew. Or at least, you could expect it to be.
“This- this feels nice..” he spoke shakily as his positive words encouraged you through the sinful acts. Your fingers now clenched, locking the man’s girth between the phalanx of your folded digits and keeping on moving up and down in a enhancing manner. This eager initiative caused Loki’s balls to twitch lightly, length following the gesture which allowed you to feel the wave from underneath the fabric of his pants. A discreet smile appeared onto your lips, yourself secretly feeling proud about being able to please him efficiently enough for such a thing to happen. Now feeling more confident, the young man sat back up properly before unzipping the upper part of his suit, arms soon sliding out of the extensible fabric and leaving him bare chested for you to enjoy.
Your eyes respectfully settled onto his bulging abdomen, admiring the way he breathed in and exhaled repetitively, yet in a calm manner. Looking up from his body, you locked eyes with him and noticed the slight sadness which easily reflected in his green orbs. However, before you could even part your lips and speak up about the matter, Loki suddenly pushed his body forward and allowed his mouth to collide with yours again, hand instinctively moving up to your jaw with he cupped passionately. You obviously returned the gesture, progressively forgetting about the emotions you saw in his eyes as your lips tenderly moved against his.
Little did you know, sadness was far from being the emotion which previously filled Loki’s green eyes barely a couple of seconds ago. It was passion. The young man was simply and desperately in love with you. He wished to admire your features forever, and the only thought of his new source of happiness potentially drifting off to his brother caused his heart to shatter to billion of pieces.
Without ever breaking the kiss, both of your half naked bodies progressively moved further onto the bed as he allowed his hands to grab your waist in a securing manner- as if he wanted to hold you back from leaving if you ever planned on doing so. A gentle moan escaped your lips as you were soon to climb onto his lap, clothed cunt pressing and grinding against his hard bulge. You couldn’t help but allow your hands to move up to his head, breaking through the gel and messing up his usually silk hair into thousands of random strands. Some of them even started to fall before his handsome face. The room’s dark yet peculiarly illuminated ambiance set both of you into the right mood to fool around, though not as much as your respective and mixing hormones did.
The smell of your natural pheromones drove most of Loki’s senses wild, heavy breaths escaping his lips as he allowed his face to burry in between your breasts, pressing kisses to your skin and fleshy mounds in the most respectful manner you could’ve ever wished for. His arms remained wrapped around your waist, hands soon moving up to the back of your shoulders which he held in a securing and needy manner. Soon, both of you managed to overcome the excitement as Loki was now rubbing the tip of his nose against the skin of your bare chest. His eyes remained close, hips slightly thrusting forward as his cock felt like it would explode if it didn’t get to be trapped inside of your moist cavity any time soon.
At this point, your light dress had fell down to your crotch, revealing the top of your underwear whilst Loki’s suit unfortunately allowed its owner to remain dressed efficiently. Laying a couple of more kisses against your jaw, the demigod’s hands took the initiative to slide off your shoulders and release the grip he had passionately been keeping on you. Your clueless orbs looked down at him as you then understood that it would probably be the right time for you to get off your partner and allow him to fully undress. Loki indeed acknowledged your move, hands sliding the zipper of his suit down until he couldn’t go and further. He was now able to fully remove his upper piece of clothing before going for his pants which he seemed quite eager to get rid off.
Within a few seconds, the two of you were now sitting in underwear before each other, your eyes finally able to witness what his crotch was composed of a little bit better. He smirked as soon as he noticed that you were staring, large hand reaching out for your wrist as he decided to take the initiative to lay your palm down against his crotch. Surprisingly enough, it was boiling warm- a detail you didn’t expect to end up face to face with even though you probably should’ve. However, it was something you seemed to enjoy as it offered comfort to your usually cold fingertips. Biting down onto his bottom lip, Loki started to gently grind his hips again as he obviously couldn’t seem to maintain his physical nor hormonal excitement.
You didn’t feel an ounce grossed out, in contrary, you enjoyed his kinky gestures. At least, it gave you the guarantee that he felt confident and comfortable with this intercourse, which was something you believed was absolutely primordial. And just like you did before, your hand soon started to stroke his member through his underwear, now being able to feel it better then you did back when Loki still adorned his pants. Besides, you were also able to get a better hold of his length. The demigod’s facial complexions grimaced, brows raising and frowning continuously as it was his way of handling the pleasure without necessarily having to moan it out.
Your body moved forward as your partner tilted his head back, hand remaining on his cock as your lips started to press lustful and gentle kisses against his exposed Adam’s apple and jaw. This seemed to have a lot of positive affects on him, moans finally escaping his mouth as his member twitched. Unfortunately, this initiative turned out to have more repercussions than both of you expected, Loki’s climax progressively building up as he couldn’t help but remain quiet about it out of shame. “Y/n- I-..” loki stuttered painfully, hips thrusting forward in one great and sloppy move out of anticipation. Believing that he was only irrelevantly moaning out your name, you carried on stroking his girth without ever daring to slide your hand down his underwear.
And before both of you could tell, thick liquid sprayed out of his urethra, staining his underwear as Loki’s hands took a tight hold of the bedsheets. A guttural moan came out of his open mouth, your hand and entire body moving back as it was the first time that the demigod ever had such an eager reaction. It didn’t take too long for you to understand, both of you looking down at the stain on his underwear whilst your partner continued to pant tiredly. Eventually, his lips ended up pressing together out of shame, hand moving up to his messy hair which he sulk back in order to keep his anxious self occupied.
“I’m sorry..” he spoke, avoiding eye contact which allowed you to understand his mental state. Carefully, your body moved closer to his, placing himself behind his back and allowing you arms to wrap around his chest. “Hey.. it’s okay. It happens.” You whispered before laying a kiss against his cheek, though all you received in return was an inaudible groan. Whilst you thought about ways to make your partner feel better, Loki couldn’t help but once again think about the fact that this kind of accident probably never happened to his “perfect” brother. Unfortunately, those intrusive thoughts only managed to make him feel even more miserable.
Seeing how he wasn’t answering anything nor even taking the pain to look up at you, you took the initiative to move before his sitting silhouette. “This doesn’t make me want you any less. At least, we now know everything is working perfectly.” You spoke with a chuckle, hoping that this will help to lighten his mood. Loki’s eyes finally flickered up at you, smirk progressively forming on his face as he suddenly took the decision to crawl on top of you. Now that he had released once, the demigod had the guarantee that he would probably be able to make this intercourse last for a while. Or at least, he wished so.
A happy laugh escaped your lips, feeling glad that Loki had finally got his tricks and malice back to enhance this moment. Once again, his lips pressed against yours as he made his way between your legs, the cum stain rubbing against your inner thigh. Your back arched, initiating penetration and allowing your partner to understand that you now felt ready for more than rubbing and kissing. Loki’s confidence dropped slightly as he stopped his movements, head looking down at your crotch in apprehension and fear. Even if he was as eager through this moment as you were, the young man knew that he held the responsibility of taking your virginity as painlessly as he potentially could. And this was seemingly a duty he felt anxious with.
You could tell that the demigod seemed intimidated by what was soon going to occur, yet your mouth didn’t speak any words and that mostly due to anxiety progressively taking over your own self. Carefully, Loki’s hands firstly slid down his underwear; allowing his hard member to spring out of the confines of his tight briefs. Your head didn’t even tilted up in order to look at it, secretly feeling intimidated by the potential sight of masculine genitals. Though, you at least decided to slide your own panties down, your completely naked self laying underneath the young man and patiently waiting for him to break through your hymen.
Nervously, Loki’s forearm made sure to keep his body above yours in order to guarantee maximum comfort whilst his hand held his girth in order to properly align it with your entrance. When his tip finally collided with your wet slit, a shaky breath escaped your lips which probably betrayed the fact that you indeed felt as anxious as he did. Yet, you accepted to offer him your entire trust and didn’t do anything to put an end to the soon to occur vaginal penetration. Once the demigod believed that his girth was properly lined up with your own genitals, his other forearm made its way back up and landed beside your head to guarantee him great stability.
In a caring manner, Loki’s lips pressed against yours- his main goal being to distract your mind from the what he expected to be slightly painful penetration. And as he carried on moving his mouth against yours, his hips carefully moved forward, forcing his tip inside of your entrance as slowly as he could. Soon enough, the amount flesh broke through your hymen, allowing his full member to penetrate inside of your sensitive self. A high pitched wince escaped your lips as your eyelids shut close, Loki’s face pressing against your cheek as he took the decision to immediately reach balls deep, believing that it was probably better for him to put an end to your misery as soon as possible. Besides, he wouldn’t deny feeling absolutely impatient about finally getting to be inside of you.
The new sensation of his cock being trapped by your warm walls caused his breath to shiver, body squirming as his knees lost control and slipped along the silk sheets of the bed- causing both of your stomachs to collide together. He waited for a couple of seconds, waiting for your body to ease up and for your entrance to adjust to his size before he allowed himself to start thrusting in and out of you. You arms wrapped around his muscular back, eyes remaining closed as the pain progressively turned into pleasure. You moaned, shockwaves of pleasure going through your body as your partner seemed to perfectly know how to satisfy you and your sexual desires.
“Loki..” you moaned in his ear, enhancing his state and encouraging him to slowly start to upper his pace. Even though he wasn’t necessarily keeping an even pace, it was still enough to make your pussy throb. Besides, the way his pelvis collided with your clit only managed to make it feel even better. Both of you were as vulnerable as one another, sharing the same amount of love and passion. “You’re so tight..” he whispered vulnerably, keeping his voice low as he insisted on maintaining his energy locked in order to spend it with his hips rather than his mouth.
Apparently, it hadn’t taken your partner a while to stack more semen up even though he had released a couple of minutes ago. Progressively, his thrusts started to get sloppier and sloppier, hands clenching against the pillows as lustful groans would eventually escape his lips until he finally came inside of you. The sensation of his warm cum staining your walls and cervix caused you to moan yourself, hands wrapped around his back in a passionate manner as you made sure to keep his muscular body close to yours. Unfortunately, lust and excitement unfortunately hadn’t allowed you to think about the consequences this gesture would obviously have.
Raising his body in order to look down at you, his green orbs nervously collided with yours as his lips remained parted, soft pants escaping his mouth whilst his hips remained physically connected to yours. You were as messy as he was, a couple of sweat droplets staining the back of your neck- a spectacle which was thankfully hidden by your hair. Pulling out, Loki then allowed his bare body to fall down beside yours, hand resting onto his bulging stomach as he stared up at the ceiling. You followed this breathing pace, chest rising up and down as your body was progressively trying to get over the intense intercourse which had just taken place, and barely ended a couple of seconds ago.
[ 4/4 ]
Sorry for taking so long! Here’s part four. Lots of love. Would you guys like me to make a new series or imagine, connected to this one, where the reader finds out that she is pregnant? Let me know! It would probably be centered around an argument.
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sunflowervolvimp3 · 11 months ago
you’re someone i just want around: VIII
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Like wolves we've run wild
Let passion get too much
And let ourselves get burned by the fire
We're walking on wire
But nothing feels higher
Then when I see that look in your eyes
Small Talk, Niall Horan
A/N: here she is!! another part!! you’re probably used to this now, but part 8 got a little long, and will continue in a part 9 but honestly!! who cares!! it just means more vampirerry for all of us 😌 here we deep dive into a few more dates with a dash of some good ole jealousy!! love to see it love to hear it!! and andrea and i would just like to say THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO VOTED IN THE 1D CRAFT AWARDS!!!! we cannot believe ysijwa was even nominated, let alone that it won most unique!!! as a thank you, we’re doing a livestream this sunday!! you can send in questions, we’ll discuss the story, and just have a lil chat so please tune in!! details can be found here!! and please if you like what you are reading here!! reblog it!! leave reactions in the tags (we read every single one)!! send a message to andrea and i!! feedback and interaction is what keeps content creators motivated to keep writing and updating!! and that’s a general rule for all content creators not just us!! we do this for free so a lil love note is always appreciated 💌 alrighty now that that’s out of the way!! let’s dive in!!
ysijwa masterlist : andrea’s masterlist : leyla’s masterlist : ysijwa playlist :  ysijwa playlist II
word count: 30k
content/warnings: confessions of an immortal shopaholic, blair waldorf dark au, the glamorization of the sugar baby lifestyle, harry not understanding the concept of sharing, y/n “eat the rich” y/l/n, harry the walking rosetta stone (tw: google translate), an italian chef (and psychic) who will also adopt someone before dessert is served, A Cinderella Story 6: Fifty Shades of Gucci Grey (rated R), an internal monologue of john mulaney’s “now we don’t have time to unpack all THAT!!!”, and a definitive guide on how to get rid of unnecessary parts of an outfit
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Harry is aware that he has a taste for excess. 
He wasn’t always like this, truly.  When he was human, everything about his life had been thoroughly middle class.  He was apprenticed to his father, the town’s blacksmith, and spent the majority of his life living in modesty.  He wore plain clothes that had been sewn by his mother with the cheapest and most durable material she could find.  He spent most of his days at the forge, or dutifully completing chores at home.  He prayed quietly in church, took only the bare minimum of what he needed from anything, and, for the most part, kept his head down.  He’d lived his life with no fancies, no frills, and no fun, in the hopes that all his humble modesty would serve him well in his next life. 
And then he ended up eternally damned, so a fat lot of good that suffering had done him.  All he got from following such a plain mode of life was intimacy issues, a newfound bloodlust, and a broken neck. Therefore, when it came to his afterlife, Harry decided to try a different route. 
And that route, lucky for him, always seems to lead him back to Gucci. 
Harry’s tried a lot of styles and a lot of designers in his two hundred and some years of life, but he’s yet to find anything that speaks to him like Gucci does.  Whether it’s a leather wallet, a blue velvet suit, a sheer pussy bow shirt, or a silk neck scarf; if it has the Gucci label stamped on it, Harry probably owns it. 
Whenever he steps foot in the store, sales associates flock to him, knowing that he’ll drop at least five thousand in one visit.  Harry knows he should feel a tad guilty, but frankly, he thinks he’s earned it— more so than those billionaires he compels into making monthly donations to the “charity funds,” also known as his bank account. 
His methods, however, do bring him a bit of flack from his friends.  While Mitch normally does everything with Harry, the laid back and neutrally good-aligned vampire can only spend so much time in a high-end boutique before claiming that he’s “choking on the cologne of the entitled.” Niall, on the other hand, doesn’t let his teasing nature stop him from joining Harry, but Niall’s affinity for polyester usually stops Harry from allowing him inside the store.  And Xander is a non-starter— the last time Harry tried to bring him, the vampire had spent the entire time cracking scathing jokes about Harry being a sugar baby, to which Harry responded with a comment about Xander being jealous of the salesman fitting Harry.  That little argument turned into a three day battle of neither speaking to the other, and had only been settled when they each agreed that the other deserved to lose an eyebrow for what was said.  
Harry could recount more instances of friction caused by his shopping habits, but needless to say, he either frequents the shopping district of Los Angeles by himself, or with Adam, who is wonderfully indifferent to Harry’s methods of obtaining pocket change, as well as how he spends said pocket change, and possesses the bonus trait of having an eye for beautifully tailored trousers. 
It’s Adam who is by Harry’s side as he walks into the Gucci store for the third time in two weeks, his disinterested expression nearly eclipsed by the confident smirk that adorns Harry’s ruby lips. 
It’s almost like they have a censor for him, Harry thinks smugly, as the associates begin to whisper to each other at the sight of him.  Even if he didn’t absolutely love the brand, Harry would come to Gucci just for the boost to his ego. 
Despite having accompanied Harry before, Adam still leans over to his friend, raising a quizzical brow as his eyes scan over the racks of clothing they pass. “Do we have to go to the counter, or—?”
“Oh, I never have to go to the counter.” Harry chuckles lightly, brushing his icy fingers over a smooth silk shirt styled on a mannequin. “They—”
“Mr. Styles!”
The egotistical simper on Harry’s lips grows, and he shoots Adam a smug look before turning around. “They come to me.”
“Mr. Styles, it’s so nice to see you again.” Mr. Koffman, the manager of this particular location, stops in front of Harry after a brisk walk over, fixing the fit of his suit jacket before extending his hand to Harry and Adam. “How are you?”
“I’m well, thank you.” Harry shakes his hand once, enjoying the usual look of bemusement that flashes through the human man’s eyes at his strong grip and cool skin. “And yourself?”
“Oh, I’m just fine.” He replies, shaking Adam’s hand once without moving his attention from Harry. “We’re thrilled to have you back so soon.  I understand we have a suit in the works for you?”
Adam rolls his eyes the moment Mr. Koffman turns away from him, turning his attention to the rack of jackets to the left and running his fingers over the material. 
“Yeah, I got the call this morning to come pick it up.” Harry pauses, giving Adam a sideways glance as his grin grows. “But I was wondering if I could do one last fitting, just to make sure everything’s set…?”
“Oh, uh—” Harry enjoys the frayed tone that echoes from the manager’s mouth as he begins to scramble, a light sweat breaking out on his forehead. “I’m so sorry, but we have another appointment coming in fifteen minutes, and—”
Harry sighs in mock disappointment, clicking his tongue as he gives a slight nod. “Ah.  I see.” He sighs again and lifts his shoulders in a small shrug, glancing at Adam from the corner of his eye.  The other vampire is watching him with a half-amused, half-exasperated expression, and it takes all of Harry’s willpower to bite back a laugh. 
The light sheen of nervous sweat on Mr. Koffman’s brow begins to drip down his temple. “I’m terribly sorry, Mr. Styles—”
“No, no, it’s alright.” Harry waves off the apology with an unconcerned air, glancing at his own statement watch and sighing again. “If you could just have my suit sent down to the Gucci location on Rodeo, I’d really appreciate it— I know they’ll be able to squeeze me in for a last minute fitting.” Harry smiles at Koffman, whose face fades a shade paler as the creature gestures to his friend. “C’mon, Adam.”
“No, no, there won’t be any need for that!” Mr. Koffman says quickly, checking his watch again as his hand reaches for the handkerchief in his suit pocket.  He dabs at his moist forehead while forcing a smile at Harry, who gives an easygoing smile back. 
“It’s alright, Mr. Koffman, really— if you’re unable to make some room for me, I’m sure they’ll be happy to—”
“You’ve been a wonderful and loyal customer to us, Mr. Styles— we’d be more than happy to make room for you.” The human smiles again, the action more strained than before as he tucks his handkerchief away and clasps his hands in front of him. “Just— Just give me one moment to arrange it with alterations, and move some things around.  Please, feel free to browse,” He gestures to the racks of clothing around them. “And I’ll be back in a few minutes once we have everything ready for you.”
Harry hums in the back of his throat, faking hesitation as he replies in a slow voice. “Well...if you’re sure it’s not too much trouble…”
“No trouble at all.  Not for you.” Koffman, to his credit, manages to make the response sound natural before scurrying away, already dialing a number on his phone as he speed-climbs the staircase leading to the alterations department. 
The laugh Harry’s been choking on for the last three minutes escapes the moment the human disappears, echoing off the marble walls around them as Harry turns to Adam with a glint in his eye. 
Adam, on the other hand, looks less entertained and more annoyed. “Was that really necessary?” He asks in a bored tone, crossing his arms as his eyebrows raise in question. “Why do you need to try the suit on?  You had, like, three fittings.  It’ll be fine.”
“I know, but I want to make sure it’s perfect before I take it home— I’m spending way too much money for it to possibly be defective.  And I want you to see it in all the glory of the mirrored Gucci fitting room.” Harry pats his friend’s shoulder as he steps past him, his attention captured by a pair of red leather and snakeskin boots sitting on a pedestal in the corner. 
Adam snorts once, short and harsh. “Were those the only reasons, Mr. Styles?”
“Well, now that you mention it…” Harry drags a finger over the embroidered side of the boots, his cherry lips rising at the corners. “I do enjoy making Koffman squirm.  He’s so easily bothered by the littlest of things; it’s like an open invitation to cause some trouble.”
“Y’know, if I didn’t know what you really were,” Adam laughs once in spite of himself, shaking his head in disbelief while checking out a pair of plaid trousers. “I’d think you were the devil.” 
Harry’s smile twists into something more sinister as he fiddles with his gold cross, twisting the pendant under the overhead lighting so it glints symbolically in Adam’s eye. “It’s a good thing I’m not, hm?  I’d be unstoppable.”
“We’d all be doomed, that’s for sure.” 
“Oh, absolutely. But world-domination aside, everyone knows the devil wears Prada, not Gucci. Get it together, Prendergast.” 
The clicking of dress shoes against the marble steps alert Harry to Koffman’s return before his sputtering heartbeat does, and the vampire turns his head just in time to see him descend down the spiral staircase. 
“Good news, Mr. Styles!” He beams at Harry as he steps off the last platform, nearly tripping over his feet in his effort to get to his client. “I was able to talk to the girls, rearrange some appointments, and we’ll be able to do a final fitting for you.”
“That’s wonderful t’hear, Mr. Koffman.” Harry tucks his cross back beneath his shirt with a pleased grin, catching Adam’s eye over the mortal’s shoulder. “I wasn’t fancying the drive to Rodeo.”
“I wouldn’t either, sir.” Koffman nods solemnly, gesturing to the stairs with a stubby hand. “But we’re always glad to make accommodations for you here.”
And isn’t that the truth, Harry thinks as he makes his way upstairs, Adam hot on his heels as Koffman leads the two of them to the alterations department.  Part of the reason why Gucci— and this location, if Harry’s honest— holds such a place in his unbeating heart is because it reminds him of an era long gone.  When Harry steps through the gold archways of the store, he instantly transforms into a person worth noting, and is waited on as if he were a lord in Victorian England who was set to inherit twenty thousand pounds.  Now, of course, Harry could drop the equivalent of twenty thousand pounds in one shopping trip, but it was a large sum of money back then, when Harry could only dream of such wealth. 
Now, the immortal’s reality involves him being waited on the moment he enters the alteration department, with one attendant handing him a glass of champagne as another shows him a display of accessories to match his custom suit, which hangs proudly inside a garment bag on the wall.  Adam, for all his eyerolls, still accepts the complimentary champagne and appraises the accessories right along with Harry, who gets a chance to roll his own eyes as an attendant named Mara convinces him to try on a platinum watch.
“Would you like to try one as well, Mr. Styles?” The other attendant, Blair— Harry’s favourite consultant at the store, truth be told— bats her eyes at him as she taps a finger over the Rolex already adorning Harry’s wrist. “Could be nice to switch it up, no?”
Harry offers a polite smile as he readjusts the band of the watch on his arm, tutting in reply. “I’m afraid I’m rather attached to the Rolex brand for my watches, Blair.” He sighs before nodding his head at Adam, who’s become enamoured with the platinum band on his wrist. “Best to focus your energy on that one, I think.  He’ll make you some easy commission.”
“It’s not about commission, Mr. Styles, it’s about finding you something you’ll love.” Blair pouts as she leads him behind the dressing room curtain, her lithe fingers unzipping the garment bag covering his suit with one swift motion. “I thought you’d know me well enough by now to know you’re much more than commission to me.”
The smile on Harry’s face only falters for one second, the flicker going unnoticed by the employee as she carefully removes the suit from the bag.  The last time Harry had been here for a fitting, she hadn’t been working— he remembers because the new attendant they’d sent to deal with him had nearly zipped his suit into the garment bag when the fitting was over.  It had been Blair, however, who had originally measured him for the suit, and Harry remembers her wandering fingers that paused at his inseam a moment longer than needed, how she had showered Harry with praise as he modeled the sample suit.  It had done him good then as he strutted around the alterations department, flexing underneath the chandelier light as she’d complimented his every pose, but that had been nearly two months ago.  Moreover, it had been two brunches, four dinners, three walks, and an antiquing trip ago.  A lifetime ago, really.
“That’s very kind of you, Blair.” Harry finally manages to respond, his fingers pausing at the buttons of his shirt as she hangs the separate parts of the suit on their own hangers. “I’d trust no one else with a suit this expensive, you know.”
“Oh, I know.” A light giggle escapes the girl as she hangs the jacket on the wall, stepping back and admiring the pieces with a keen eye. “I’m glad you decided to go with the light grey fabric; it’ll compliment your eyes so nicely.” When she turns back around, Harry doesn’t miss how the same keen eye skirts over the half unbuttoned fabric covering his torso. “I’ll give you a moment to slip everything on.  If you need anything…” The girl tugs the curtain back just enough to let herself out, her pink lips tugging into a simper. “Just call for me.”
Harry’s smile grows tighter as the curtain closes behind her, and disappears the moment he’s out of her sight.  He’d forgotten, really, the effect he has on most mortals.  It had been something he’d paid close attention to before, delighting in how they all unknowingly stroked his ego as their jaws dropped whenever he’d walked by.  In a way, it’s nice to know that he’s still capable of that— he’s still a narcissist, after all— but it’s a little less satisfying when he’s grown so used to that careful attention from Y/N.  When it comes to stroking, he thinks shrewdly, a smirk slowly crawling onto his face as he strips out of the rest of his clothes, there’s no one better than her. 
Once he’s stripped completely, he dresses in the custom suit, pulling the crisp fabric along his muscled limbs and tugging it into place.  He starts with the silk black shirt, slipping his arms into the sleeves and buttoning the two sides together, excluding the top three holes.  After that, he steps into the grey trousers, tucking the shirt in and taking a moment to admire the black stripe that runs down the inseam of the pants, which— to Blair’s credit— hug his thighs perfectly.  Once he’s satisfied with the lay of the article, he slips the suit jacket overtop, adjusting the sleeves over the dress shirt as he fiddles with the cuffs.
“Now, don’t worry about the cufflinks with the suit, Mr. Styles,” Blair calls through the curtain, her voice grating across Harry’s admiration with an irritating cadence as she seems to predict his need. “They’re just some samples given by the store.  I’ve personally selected some more appropriate pairs that match your style much better.”
When Harry tugs back the curtain, Adam has shifted himself to the plush velvet couch in the middle of the room, his champagne glass already refilled as he slouches back against the cushions.  Mara, it seems, has disappeared from the fitting room, but Blair is standing just to the side, next to a table lined with gold accessories for Harry to try.
“Well?” Harry asks, stepping to the platform that sits in front of the mirrored wall, his jeweled hands tugging at the starched lapel of the jacket.  He regards himself in the mirror for a moment, admiring the fit across his sturdy shoulders, before rotating around to face the vampire and mortal. “What do you think, Adam?”
Adam takes a long sip of his champagne, mulling over his reply for so long that it sparks irritation in Harry’s stomach, which is only soothed by his long awaited comment. “It looks good.” He nods, squinting his eyes as he tilts his head to the side. “A little plain, compared to what you normally wear, but it’s nice.”
“I don’t know if it’s proper to call this plain.” Blair scoffs, looping the tape measure in her hands around her neck as she approaches Harry, her heels clicking against the lacquered floor. “Mr. Styles usually has a preference for something more patterned, true, but there’s something to be said for a sleek, simple suit.” Harry watches the way her eyes flicker down his body, pausing at his inseam with a look that’s less than professional. “And that black stripe along the inside of the pant certainly...draws the eye, does it not?”
Although her words are laced with implications, Harry directs a smirk at Adam as he rakes a hand through his curled locks. “It’s alright, Blair.  Adam’s right, it is a little plain compared to what I normally wear, but every man needs a nicely tailored formal suit in his closet.”
“Exactly.” Blair nods in earnest response as she begins to circle Harry, her detail oriented eyes sweeping over every aspect of the suit.  In the reflection of the mirror, Harry catches the way her eyes settle over the fit of his backside, her heartbeat increasing for just a moment until Harry clears his throat.
“The cufflinks, love?” Harry prompts, raising his arms as he begins to fiddle with the cuffs. “These sample ones are horrid.  You said something about gold…?”
The attendant snaps from her objectifying stupor, her eyes meeting Harry’s in the mirror as a light blush settles over her cheeks. “Yes, I, um, picked some out for you here.” Her heels click again as she retrieves the velvet lined tray that’s studded with jewelry, bringing it to Harry for him to examine. “We have a few variations of the Gucci logo— interlocking G’s, some embossed onto gold coins— but I think this pair we just got in might be to your liking.”
Harry reaches for the cufflinks Blair points to, pinching one between his fingers and lifting it close to his eye to examine it.  It’s a pair of interlocking G’s, but instead of a smooth finish similar to the other pairs before him, these have textured engravings all around the letters.  It takes Harry a moment to realize that the engravings are scales, and the G’s are actually—
“They’re engraved to look like snakes, with black Swarovski crystal eyes.” Blair begins her infomercial-like spiel, holding up the other cufflink for her own examination. “They’re 18K gold with an aged finish, and the attention to detail is just extraordinary.  Even the back is engraved with an Arabesque motif.” She twists the cufflink around in her fingers as Harry does the same, examining the engraving with an approving nod.
“They’re lovely.” Harry murmurs, wrapping his fist around the cufflink to secure it before removing the sample cufflink from his own sleeve.  With one swift motion, he’s swapped one piece of gold hardware for another, fiddling with the fit of the sleeve as he sets the new cufflink amongst the fabric. “S’a nice fit, I think.”
“It’s a wonderful fit.” Before he can reach for the other cufflink, Blair snags his sleeve in her grasp, replacing the sample in a motion nearly as swift as Harry’s. “Beautiful, really.  It’s such an understated suit, which works to its advantage, but the pop of gold on the cuffs will really make everything stand out so much more.”
Harry nods seriously, a pensive look on his face as he examines the sleeves once more before raising his arms. “What d’you think, Adam?  Look alright?”
Adam offers a passive nod as he becomes distracted by the rack of watches again, his fingers draping over another platinum band. “Looks good, man.  But you know that.”
“I know.” Harry flashes a blinding smile at his friend, dropping one emerald eye into a wink as he fiddles with the cufflinks. “But I like hearing you say it.”
“It really is a perfect fit, Mr. Styles.” Blair nearly coos the words as she circles him again, her careful fingers tugging and adjusting the lines of the suit just enough that it can be considered appropriate for her job.  “Gorgeous.  The best we’ve done, I think.” Her fingers dance over his lapel as she adjusts the fall of his open neckline, and a flash of warning ignites in Harry’s stomach as her skin grazes the ink of Harry’s chest. “But the suit is only doing half the work, you know.  The rest is all—” Her touch travels up the lapel and across his shoulder, her body taking a step behind his own as her touch settles on the nape of his neck. “You.”
Although her skin barely brushes the back of his neck, the pin-prick touch bursts into a shudder that paralyzes Harry’s entire body, tensing his every limb.  When it releases, his frame spasms one single time in reflex, yanking itself away from the human’s touch.
The shudder doesn’t go unnoticed by Blair or Adam, although each has their own response based on what they know of Harry.  As his jade eyes harden to stone, Harry catches the cautious movements of Adam, who is slowly pulling himself into a tense and careful posture in the corner of Harry’s eye.  Blair, on the other hand, is merely frozen with her hand still hanging in midair, a confused and bewildered expression painted onto her features.
“Is everything alright, Mr. Styles?” She questions, her self-preservation betraying her as she takes another step forward with her outstretched fingers once again reaching for Harry’s shoulder. “Is something in the suit bothering you?”
Harry gives a rough shake of his head as he leans back from her touch once again, forcing himself to take a deep breath through his nose to collect himself.  When he speaks, his voice is low, raspy, and filled with a quiet fury that exceeds the intensity that would accompany a scream. “I think I’ve mentioned before,” He enunciates each word clearly, his delivery cold in every aspect. “I prefer not to be touched there.”
Despite the tense undercurrent of Harry’s voice, Blair’s expression relaxes once she realizes the cause of it. “My apologies.  I was just trying to adjust the fit.” When she places her hand on Harry’s elbow and tugs at the sleeve, her brow creases at the taut joint, but her voice remains as smooth and slick as ever. “I’ll make sure to keep my hands to myself— or at least, wait for your direction on where to put them.”
The smile that curves over her lips begins to fall as Harry’s face stays as stony as ever, his own mouth dragged down into a frown as the implications of her words settle around him.  Part of him wants to snap right there, to give into the instinct to bare his teeth, swell his chest, and show this emboldened employee what she’s really touching, but Adam’s eyes over her shoulder urge him not to. 
His friend knows how sensitive Harry can get when his guard is at full throttle, especially when that issue stems from anything vaguely related to that particularly haunted place the young woman had carelessly touched. Watch it, Adam’s gaze seems to say as he shakes his head just enough for Harry to notice.  It was an accident. You’re fine. 
Harry inhales deeply once again, grounding himself in his human persona with each rise and fall of his chest. “That would be wise, I think.” He finally responds, straightening his back and turning to face himself in the mirror once again. “Just be a bit more careful.”
It seems that Blair has finally gotten the hint, because every touch of her fingers over him for the rest of the fitting is calculated and precise.  Her hands do drift a little further on his body than what’s necessary, but she makes sure she doesn’t graze against his icy bare skin again.  What Harry finds most curious, however, is that every swipe of her fingers against the fabric grates on what seems to be his last nerve.
They’ve played this cat and mouse game before, always teasing, always touching, and just barely staying out of reach.  But it seems Harry has gotten too lax in his ways, he thinks, as his cold eyes watch the movements of the girl in the mirror, because she’s never been this blatant before, especially in front of another customer.  Does she actually think something could happen between the two of them?  Does she really believe that Harry would drag her behind the curtained partition, meticulously remove the suit he’s just paid thousands for, and trace his own fingers over her supple flesh as if he’s fitting her for himself?
The thought nearly pulls a ridiculing laugh from Harry’s chest, but that laugh is replaced with a pondering thought that irks Harry the moment it flickers into his mind.  He could do that, yes.  He’s certainly done worse, and Blair can probably sense that.  If Harry were in her position, of being the mouse that believes it’s the cat, he would probably think that something was going to come out of all their chasing eventually.  And why hasn’t it?
The answer, of course, comes to Harry a moment after the question does.  Even though Blair is, by society’s standards, objectively attractive, and obviously willing to follow any direction he gives her, Harry is smart enough to not draw attention to himself by hooking up and feeding from a consultant that works at his favourite store.  It had been Niall, he thinks, who summed up a simple yet effective rule wonderfully for him once: Don’t shit where you eat.  Plain and simple.  
But there’s a second answer that grinds at the back of Harry’s mind, festering inside every thought as Blair makes final adjustments, blathers on about accessories and additions, and tries to raise her commission by once again showing Harry watches.  Harry doesn’t want Blair, because Harry has Y/N.  Being touched by Blair feels wrong because Harry’s so used to being touched by Y/N.  And Blair grazing over his neck bothered him so much because he can, apparently, only stand someone’s fingers grazing there if Y/N is the one doing it.
And perhaps festering isn’t the right word, Harry muses, because the warmth that’s spreading through him with that realization feels a lot more like blossoming than anything else.  It flowers within him, lavender weaving through every limb, letting him know that maybe— just maybe— he’s not as selfish as he thinks.  He could be a complete monster, and fabricate a relationship for Y/N while still pursuing other people, but he has, at the very least, one shred of decency hidden within him.  Although he indulges his base desires whenever he’s with her, he at least has the power to resist one of them.
With that in mind, Harry finds it easier to pay less mind to Blair’s lingering touches and sly compliments, and instead focuses on cherry-picking the suggestions he wants to take from her.
“Y’think I should change the shoes, then?” Harry steps down from the platform, drifting closer to the full length mirrors to examine the black leather loafers adorning his feet. “Something more colourful?”
“Not necessarily colourful, no— after all, we’ve worked hard to create a cohesive look.  We wouldn’t want to interrupt that with a sudden burst of fuschia.” Blair laughs once, brushing her hair behind her ears as she hums in consideration. “But something with a bit of gold, maybe?  To match the cufflinks?  We could add some gold hardware to those loafers, or just find a new pair for you…”
“New is always better.” Adam chimes in from the couch, tilting his half full glass to Harry with a wry smile. “Isn’t that right, Mr. Styles?”
Harry points a ringed finger at him, winking once in confirmation. “Right you are, Mr. Prendergast.” He begins scanning the room, his eyes catching every pair of shoes displayed and comparing them in his mind. “Do you have some selections we could look at, Blair?”
“If you give me a few moments, I could certainly run to the back and pull some—”
As Harry’s keen eyes settle onto a pair of boots on display in the corner of the room, he raises a hand, cutting the girl off in one swift motion. “That may not be necessary.” He murmurs, walking over to the pedestal and examining the newest object of his fascination.
The boots are made of matte leather with polished snakeskin over the toes of the shoes, both fabrics shining the darkest black Harry has ever seen.  The leg of the boot is relatively short, and would probably only come to Harry’s ankle, with a black heel that would add an inch or two to Harry’s already tall frame.  But the pièce de résistance that draws Harry’s eye the moment he sees them are the embroidered gold dragons that adorn the outer sides of each boot, their bodies coiled in such a way that Harry almost swears he can see them breathing. 
He slides one finger around the toe of the boot, nearly shivering in how pleasurable the silky surface feels against his skin. “How much?” He mumbles the phrase with a reverent look in his eyes, his voice as delicate as his touch.
Blair’s smile twists into one of apology as words Harry has never heard from her before fall from her mouth. “I’m so sorry, Mr. Styles, but those are actually a custom order for another client.  They’re not for sale.”
Harry hums low in his throat, his fingertips dancing over the gold embroidery. “I’ll add another thousand onto whatever they’re paying.” He says, earning a breath of hesitation from Blair and a sigh of exhaustion from Adam.
“Christ, Harry,” The latter groans, rubbing his eyes in a frustrated manner at Harry’s familiar antics. “Has anyone ever told you that you’re bad at sharing?  Did you skip that part of kindergarten?”
“Kindergarten wasn’t really a thing where I grew up.” Harry reminds his friend, shrugging indifferently before turning his attention back to the torn consultant. “So?  Another thousand?  I think that adds on quite a nice percentage of commission for you, doesn’t it?”
“I— Mr. Styles, I’m not really sure if—” Blair stutters over her words as she quickly strides over to him, the clicking of her heels against the marble floor punctuating each pound of her heart in her chest. “I don’t really think we can do that.”
A short laugh echoes from Harry’s ruby lips as a grin dimples his cheeks, the humour of her words apparent only to him. “You know I don’t take no for an answer, Blair.” He raises his eyes to hers and locks their gazes, lowering his voice to a smooth and convincing octave, pupils dilating as supernatural magic flows into his irises.  When her own eyes respond the same, her face falling slack for just a moment, Harry knows he’s alright to continue. “You didn’t answer my question.  How much?”
“Just under four thousand.” The consultant replies immediately as the compulsion settles into her brain. “They would be around five if you wanted to add on the thousand you mentioned before.”
The smile on his face twists into something more conceited, and Harry steps back from the boots with a satisfied sigh. “I’ll take them, then.” Confidence weaves itself through his voice as he meticulously removes the suit jacket from his body. “Call Mara to wrap them up, won’t you?  While I’m changing, I’ll need you to start pulling some more selections for me.”
Blair blinks the compulsion from her eyes as Harry’s stare dips from hers, her tone thick with confusion as she sleepily takes the jacket from Harry’s hands. “More selections, Mr. Styles?  Of what?”
“Yeah, Harry.” Adam’s words are tinged with trepidation as he subtly checks the time on the watch now hanging off his wrist. “Of what?”
“Cocktail dresses, I think.  Although I’m not opposed to a cute little romper, as long as it has a bit of sparkle and shows off some leg.” Harry says thoughtfully, rubbing over his pillowy lips as he ponders the thought. “But I think a cocktail dress would work best.  Black, maybe.  To keep it classy, but not too classy.” He says, shooting a wicked grin at Blair. “I’d like to see a bit of skin.”
“I’m— I’m sorry,” The befuddlement in the human girl’s voice finally begins to clear up, leaving curiosity-tinged jealousy in its place. “What sort of event is this outfit for?”
Harry’s loafers echo around the marble room as he makes his way back to the changing area, a plan already forming in his head as he speaks. “A dinner.  Semi-formal, so no floor length gowns or anything like that.  Maybe bring some matching heels as well, although...” Harry pauses with the changing curtain clutched tight in his hand. “I think a quick trip to Christian Louboutin down the street may yield better results in that department.”
“Quick trip,” Adam quotes scornfully, downing the rest of his champagne and setting the glass down on the gold side table with a groan. “That’s what this was supposed to be, H, and we’ve been here for an hour!  We were supposed to pick up your suit, and then head back to Niall’s for the barbecue—”
“So text Niall and tell him we’re running behind; he certainly has no problem doing that to us.” A snort sounds deep in Harry’s throat as Blair walks to the ornate desk in the back of the room and picks up the gold-plated rotary phone, dialing a short number with practiced speed. “And, with the amount of times he’s complained to me about my lack of punctuality, he should be used to it by now.”
The other vampire rolls his eyes again, pinching the bridge of his nose between his fingers with a groan. “Fine.” He relents, reaching into his pocket for his phone. “But you’re buying me this watch as payment.” 
“Fine.” Harry shrugs as he echoes the word, his voice casual and without a care as he slips behind the curtain and finishes undressing.  
Once he’s hung the suit back up on its hangers and redressed in his normal clothing, he retracts the plush curtain once more to find an annoyed Adam hanging up the phone, his newly purchased boots gone from the pedestal, and the heavy gold accessories that had been picked out for Harry being swapped for finer and daintier pieces.
Harry begins to examine the gold chains, humming in thought over the delicate pendants that swing from them. “How’d Niall take it?” He tosses the question to Adam over his shoulder, not particularly concerned about the answer.
“He told me to call you a wanker and rip off your ear, so,” Adam tucks his phone back into his pocket, shaking his head at the Irishman’s harsh words. “About as well as you’d expect.”
Another hum vibrates through Harry’s throat as he sets a mental note to make amends with his friend at a later date. “So do you want to rip off my right ear, or my left?  I have to admit, my left is my prettier ear, so I’d be appreciative if you left that one alone.”
The laugh that leaves Adam is so genuine that Harry knows he can’t be too annoyed at him.  When his friend joins him in overlooking the jewelry, Harry offers him an airy smile in return, pointing out a detail in one of the pendants to Adam’s interested gaze.
“Explain something to me.” Adam starts after a moment, his own hands grazing over a diamond bracelet. “Why go to all this trouble?  A dress, shoes, accessories… what’s the point?”
If it were any of his other friends asking the question, Harry would take a defensive response, spouting off a justified reply about how he looks so good in the suit that it needs to be seen, and that he can’t wear it and have Y/N not match him in clothing that’s sufficiently up to par.  But Adam’s eyes, albeit frustrated at times, have always been kind, and contain a depth of clarity that Harry can’t resist. He’s always been the most level-headed of the group, second only to Mitch, so the monster always feels safe trusting him with his innermost thoughts. 
“S’nice, I suppose.” Harry replies with as casual a tone as he can allow, lifting his shoulder as the sound of a rolling cart heavy with clothing pricks his ears from down the hall. “I’m taking something from Y/N, so… it makes me feel nice to give her something in return, y’know?  Makes me feel a little less guilty, at least, if she’s having a good time.”
Although Adam’s eyebrows raise at the mention of guilt, he makes no other comment on the surprisingly candid confession from his friend. “I get that.” He says slowly, settling down the gold necklace in his hand with a gentle touch. “I’m surprised you get it, but I get it.”
“Yeah, well,” Harry huffs as Blair rounds the corner and enters the room with a rack laden with black garment bags. “Don’t tell Niall I said that, alright?  He’ll never let me hear the end of it, and if he thinks I’m going soft— which I’m not—” Harry tacks on quickly. “He’ll start trying to fuck with me, and then I’ll have to rip off his ear, and it’ll be a whole thing.”
“My lips are sealed, man.” Adam laughs, gesturing over his shoulder to the clothing cart. “Shall we pick a dress for the lucky lady, then?”
A smirk paints its way onto Harry’s face. “Mhmm.  As long as you’re the one modeling it.”
A package arrives the next afternoon.
Like any Saturday when she isn’t working or with Harry, Y/N is home alone, trying to unwind from the previous week’s trials and tribulations.  Although she’s worked customer service jobs at home, working a customer service job in Los Angeles is a whole other demon, and she finds herself more exhausted than she’s ever been more often than she’s not.  It’s probably a good thing, she muses to herself over a cup of tea and her new copy of Sense and Sensibility, that she doesn’t have many friends in L.A., because she wouldn’t have the energy to go out with them anyways.  And honestly, she prefers it that way.  She’s learned to get along with her coworkers enough at her job that she doesn’t feel isolated, and sees Harry enough outside of work that she feels she has a shred of something resembling a social life.  Her quiet afternoons at home by herself are really a godsend, in a way.  They give her an opportunity to recharge to be present enough for social interactions during the week.  Being lonely can be a challenge, yes, but being alone is an entirely different thing, and it’s something that Y/N quite enjoys.
Which is why she’s so confused when her doorbell rings at 2:13 P.M. on a Saturday afternoon.
The moment the sound pricks her ears, Y/N pauses her reading, setting her book down on her lap as she sends a confused look towards the front door.  Her eyes slide to her phone next to her, tapping the screen to make sure she hasn’t missed any messages from anyone.  Harry, surely, would at least text her before showing up unplanned, wouldn’t he?
When her phone screen is found to be predictably blank, and the doorbell rings again, Y/N stumbles her way from her couch to the front door, her chain clanging against the frame as she unlocks it and pulls the door open.
A man she doesn’t know raises an eyebrow at her as she looks up at him, and a spark of fear flickers in her stomach before she realizes he’s wearing a UPS uniform and holding a large brown package in his hands.
“Are you Miss Y/N Y/L/N?” He asks, glancing down at the tablet in his hands. 
“Uh— yeah.  Yes, I am.” Y/N replies slowly, tugging the patchwork cardigan she’d stolen from Harry around her frame. “Hi?”
The UPS delivery man gives her a quizzical look. “Hi.” He repeats back to her in a monotone voice, extending the tablet in his hand. “Sign here, please.”
The urge to argue that she wasn’t expecting anything bubbles up in Y/N’s throat, but she tamps it down as she accepts the tablet, using the pen attached to the device to sign her name.  It’s probably from her mother, she thinks, scrawling her signature quickly before handing the tablet back.  Even though L.A. is famously a city without seasons, her mother has probably knit her two new blankets for the winter months, or sweaters, or some other woolen article of clothing that Y/N will have no use for.
The UPS delivery man swaps the tablet in her hand for the package in his, barely sparing Y/N another glance before retreating back down her hallway.  
“Um, thank you!” Y/N calls after him, shifting the surprisingly heavy package in her palms as she nudges the door shut with her socked foot.  
She carries the box to her living room, setting it down on her coffee table before pausing for a moment to double back and relock her front door (although she’s adjusted to living alone, the fear that’s been implanted in her from a young age about living in a big city still has a hold on her).
The box, she discovers upon further examination, has no return address, but it does sound like there’s multiple items inside when shaken.  And then Y/N remembers that she’s an adult, and should probably not be shaking a box when she doesn’t know what sits inside, so she sits back on her couch with a confused pout— until she once again remembers that she’s an adult, and can open a package addressed to herself.
It takes a moment of struggling to tear off the thick tape lining the seam of the box— a moment which would probably have been shorter if Y/N had retrieved a knife from the kitchen, truth be told— but the opening of the package makes the contents no more clear.  When she pulls back the top of the box, she finds sheets of packing tissue paper, which she tosses onto her living room floor without care to reveal the surprises inside.
And what a surprise the black and white box with Gucci stamped on top is.  Nearly as much a surprise as the second larger black and white Gucci box underneath, or the red and black box next to it labeled Christian Louboutin.
Y/N’s not quite sure how long she sits there staring at the packages in shock, but when she finally manages to unfreeze her limbs to take a sip of her tea, the liquid is considerably colder than it had been when she set it down to open the door.  The packages are so unexpected that it takes her a moment to realize that designer boxes typically contain designer items inside them, and maybe unpacking those will bring her greater insight into what the fuck is happening right now.
Of course, that’s not the case.  
Beginning with the smaller Gucci box, Y/N carefully extracts it from the brown container and sets it on her lap, untying the black ribbon encircling it as if she were dismantling a bomb.  When she lifts off the lid to find a matte black leather clutch purse with a gold Gucci emblem as the clasp, she almost thinks that a bomb would be preferable, because surely, there’s been a mistake.  Y/N certainly hasn’t purchased a Gucci clutch for herself, so it’s entirely likely that this was a gift for someone else, and the UPS man had just gotten the address wrong.  Yes, she thinks to herself, ghosting her fingers over the supple leather in shock, that must be it.  It’s a mistake.  And because it’s a mistake, she should back this all up and call UPS to have them fix it.
And then she remembers the UPS man had said her name, and that’s enough motivation to open the Christian Louboutin box next.
Based on the brand, Y/N suspected that the box would reveal a pair of shoes.  It’s still a shock, however, when she finds a pair of black satin heels that shine even in the low light of her apartment, with a satin ribbon death trap of an ankle tie, and signature red lacquered bottoms.
By the time Y/N reaches the third box, she’s moving on autopilot, her fingers robotically untying the black ribbon and lifting the lid without her instructing herself to do so.  The only words she can manage upon seeing the black cocktail dress is a gentle but emotive “What the fuck?”
The dress, she finds as she cautiously lifts it from the box, is made of satin, and is nothing she would ever purchase for herself in a million years.  The neckline dips into a low V, supported by off the shoulder cuffs, and Y/N can already tell by the cut of the fabric that if she were to slip it onto her body, the knee length dress would cling to her form.  And— Y/N shifts the dress into the light as her eyes widen in shock— as if that weren’t enough, there’s a leg slit that runs so high that Y/N flushes at the mere thought of her thigh peaking through.
It’s that detail, coupled with the suspicion that a single item of the package— let alone all three together— costs more than her rent that leads Y/N to the realization that only one person she knows could have sent all of this.
Folding the dress carefully back in the box and setting it to the side, Y/N fumbles to retrieve her phone from where she had left it earlier.  After unlocking it, she flips to her contacts and clicks on the familiar name, raising the device to her ear with a slow motion.
The phone rings four times before Harry’s voicemail crackles through the speaker. “Hi, you’ve reached Harry.  I can’t talk right now, but if you leave a message at the beep, I’ll try to get back to you.” There’s a moment of hesitation in the recording, and Y/N almost thinks she’s missed the beep before Harry’s accented voice returns. “Unless you’re Niall.” 
The expected beep finally sounds, and Y/N swallows hard as she tries to find the words she needs. “Hey, Harry, it’s, um, it’s Y/N.  I just received your package— I mean, I think it’s from you, because I don’t know who else would send me a Gucci dress— which I can’t accept, by the way.  That’s why I’m calling.  So, um,” She sucks in a harsh breath to give pause to her rambling before continuing. “Just— just call me back, alright?  Thanks.”
While Harry is usually attentive to every call and message from Y/N, her voicemail receives no reply, nor does her second phone call, or her third, or the four texts she sends to Harry in between.  By five P.M., she’s given up on hearing back from Harry at all, and is nearly resolved to pack up the box again and march it to Harry’s apartment when his signature sharp rap echoes on her front door.
Despite her frustration at receiving no reply from him, there’s an air of relief running through Y/N as she tightens the cardigan around herself and strides to her front door.  She unlocks it quickly, her greeting already falling from her lips before the door is even open.
“You better have a good reason for ignoring me all afternoon, Harry, because I’ve been wracking my brain to figure out why—”
And then Y/N’s frantic eyes finally settle on the man before her, and the rest of her beration dies before it can leave her throat. 
Harry is leaning casually against her frame with his arms crossed over his broad chest, as usual, and he’s dressed in a grey suit that clings to his body in a way that is so attractive, Y/N didn’t even think it was possible for a man to look this utterly flawless.  The suit fabric looks soft to the touch, more luxurious than anything Y/N could ever dream of, and the black silk shirt that lies underneath looks even softer. The human tries to not let herself focus on the way the shirt is slightly unbuttoned, showing off the inked swallows that decorate Harry’s muscled chest, as well as his usual cross necklace.  However, letting her eyes drift lower proves to be a mistake, as her gaze is immediately drawn to the black stripe that runs down the inseam of Harry’s pant legs, highlighting the muscles of his thighs in a way that makes her mouth water.  Even his shoes, black leather boots embroidered with gold dragons, are attractive in a way that Y/N doesn’t understand.
“Hello, darling.” Harry’s charming voice and dimpled smile pull the girl’s eyes back to his face just in time to see his lips drop into a discouraged frown.
Although Harry is usually greatly fond of seeing Y/N clad in cozy clothes with her hair in a messy ponytail (especially when his own cardigan is part of the ensemble), the look isn’t necessarily welcome at the moment. Yes, she looks adorable in her pastel blue pajama pants with cartoon sheep scattered all over the fabric. And yes, she looks incredibly cute swaddled in an oversized The Nightmare Before Christmas tee along with his patchwork coat. However, given the premise of the plans he’s drawn for tonight, her outfit is far from appropriate. Especially because he’d expected her to be wearing the dress he’d bought her along with the heels and clutch, dishing out a sexy but classy aesthetic rather than the ever-present lonely couch potato one.
He gives her entire body a quick, judgmental sweep, brows cinching. “I— why aren’t you ready?”
The confusion bubbling in Y/N’s mind molds into indignation at his words, albeit a hint of bewilderment lingers. “Ready for what?” Y/N demands, crossing her arms over her chest as she stares at Harry expectantly. “I’ve been trying to call you all day about the dress, and you didn’t answer a single time, so I don’t know what—”
“The dress?” Harry’s brow draws together deeper, his easy going demeanor twisting to match Y/N’s within a moment. “Why were you calling about the dress?  Does it not fit?”
Y/N’s mouth gapes open at the question. “I haven’t tried it on, Harry, I—”
“What?  Why not?”
“Because I can’t accept it!” Y/N exclaims, the suffix of obviously unspoken between them. “It’s way too expensive by itself, let alone with the shoes and the purse!”
Taking a deep breath through his nose, Harry responds in a slow and careful voice. “Why don’t we step inside, love, and continue discussing this while you get ready, yeah?”
Y/N scoffs at the condescension in his voice, but does as he says, stepping back from the doorway and allowing Harry to walk inside before locking the door behind him. “Ready for what?” She demands again, following Harry’s path down the hallway to the living room. “You still haven’t told me!”
“Christ, Watson, I thought if I sent you a dress and heels, you’d figure it out!” Harry replies with a half-joking sigh, a degree of annoyance beginning to work its way into his tone as he touches the ribbon of one of the Gucci boxes. “You’re losing your touch, huh?”
“Okay, well, apparently I’m a little slow tonight, so fill me in, Sherlock.” Y/N matches Harry’s snippy remark with ease, pinching the bridge of her nose as her head begins to throb in irritation. “What’s going on?  What obvious clue have I missed?”
“I sent you the outfit for you to wear—”
“I figured that much out, thanks.”
Harry’s emerald eyes snap to hers in an exasperated flat glance before continuing. “—to dinner.  I made us a reservation at my favourite Italian place, and I thought that the dress and the shoes would be enough of a hint that I could keep the rest a surprise.” He gathers the ribbon with his fingers again, rubbing the fabric between them as his face drops its usual haughty front. “You really didn’ didn’t try it on?  Do you not like it?”
The disappointed hesitation threaded through Harry’s thick accent stops Y/N short, worming its way into her aggravated chest and leaving a spark of guilt behind. When she speaks again, her voice is dulled by genuine warmth, less sharp and pointed and more soothing and grateful. “I...I do like it.  It’s a lovely dress; a little more body-hugging than what I would’ve picked, truthfully, but it’s beautiful.” Y/N offers Harry a soft teasing smile before continuing. “I just...I can’t accept something so expensive from you.”
“Why not?” Harry’s brows re-furrow in sheer confusion as he drops the ribbon from his grip, turning to face her fully. “It’s just a dress, Y/N—”
“It’s a Gucci dress.  And purse.  And Louboutin shoes.” Y/N states with a disbelieving laugh, crossing her arms over her abdomen as she drops her gaze to the rug she’d picked out from IKEA. “It’s too much, Harry.  I know you meant well, but I can never...I could never pay you back for this, or give you something as nice, or…”
A disheartened pout tugs at the corner of Harry’s lips as he registers the mortal’s words.  It hadn’t occurred to him that his gift could be perceived negatively; he’d just thought she’d like it. He likes to think their friendship is in comfortable enough territory now that gifts wouldn't be a turnoff, especially because of how much more time they’ve been spending together outside of the bedroom. However, as he stands here now watching her hug herself in the living room of the tiny apartment she’d told him she was so proud to afford, he can see how wrong he’d been in that assumption.  Y/N is independent, and has been from the moment he met her.  A gift like this— so extravagant and expensive— could come off as him mocking her financial status, almost, even if it had originally been bought with good intentions.
Harry worries his bottom lip between his teeth as something that feels a lot like embarrassment begins to boil in his stomach.  She’ll feel like she owes him something, when that’s the farthest thing from the truth.  If anything, it’s long overdue payment for everything Harry has unknowingly taken from her.  
“I don’t care about that.” Voice dropping quieter, Harry takes a step forward, his cool fingers wiggling their way between hers and pulling her arm from her tummy.  Once her hand is within his grasp, he squeezes it gently, his thumb brushing over the back of her knuckles. He talks slowly, keeping his tone level and honest to communicate the real innocence behind his prestigious present. “I don’t need you to pay me back, and I don’t want you to feel bad.  The money thing— that’s not an issue for me.  And I understand makes you uncomfortable…” His gaze flickers to the ground as well before meeting hers again. “I can take it back if you’d like, if it bothers you that much.  But I was hoping…” 
He rubs his finger over his cherry lips pensively, taking a moment to clear his throat before continuing. “Well.  The reservation is already made, I’m already dressed— and looking like a proper stud, if I may say so myself—” He laughs once in an attempt to lighten the mood, his eyes glued to Y/N’s face to see if she takes to the joke. He feels cool relief flood his veins when she scoffs slightly, the edges of her mouth ticking upwards humorously. “And you’ll match me so well in that dress that it’ll probably put me to shame, dove.”
Y/N glimpses up at him hesitantly, squeezing his fingers with a playful air. “You’re really good with words, y’know that?”
“I like to think I’m good at quite a few things.” Harry grins suggestively, cheekily squeezing her grasp right back. “And I hope I can add ‘getting you all dolled up and convincing you to come along to dinner with me’ to that list. So...what do you say?”
Y/N chews on her bottom lip as she mulls over the suggestion, her fingers grazing over the lionhead ring on Harry’s hand.  He has gone to a lot of trouble, she thinks, glancing over his appearance one more time.  His curls are carefully coiffed, his skin is practically glowing, his trusty cross necklace glints alluringly in the buttery lighting, alongside a small gold hoop on his pierced ear, and the way the suit fits over his body, hugging every flexing muscle and annunciating every hypnotizing curve… 
“What time is the reservation?” She finally asks, eyes flickering to the clock on her wall that reads ten after five.
Harry’s eyes follow hers. “Seven.” He says immediately, licking his lips once as he grips her hand in anticipation again. “We have plenty of time to make it, if— if you want to.”
It could’ve easily been the money Harry spent on the clothing that sways Y/N to say yes.  It could’ve been the humiliation of not realizing what he was planning and ruining his surprise.  But in reality, the thing that causes the next sentence to fall from Y/N’s mouth is the quiet weariness in Harry’s tone— a certain shyness that she hasn’t seen in him before, paired with a specific type of subtle raw hope that makes her heart absolutely melt.
“Alright.” She murmurs, nodding her head once as she draws away from his touch. “I’ll go shower, then, and get ready.  Are you alright waiting out here?”
A relieved smile jolts at the corner of Harry’s lips as he easily nods in return. “Yeah, I’ll be fine.  I’d offer to hop in with you, but…” He gestures to himself vaguely as his grin widens with conceited teasing, shrugging one shoulder offhandedly as if what he says next should be obvious. “We wouldn’t want to ruin perfection, now would we?”
The jesting response pulls an eye roll from the human girl. “Uh huh.” She snorts, snatching her phone from the coffee table as she begins to make her way to the bathroom. “I won’t be long.”
“Take all the time you need, sweetheart.” Harry calls after her, slipping his own phone from his pocket.  The click of the door lock pricks his ears, but he waits until he hears the shower running to unlock his device and dial the restaurant number.
“Bella Vita Ristorante, how many I help you?”
Harry exhales hard as he rubs a hand over his eyes, his head falling back to hang off his shoulders as his mind recalculates the evening’s plans, shifting things out of place to mold everything around this minor hiccup. He tries to keep his voice as steady as possible, swallowing down the instinctive bothered bite threatening to elbow through. “May I speak to Vincenzo, please?”
“Yes, of course. Just a moment, please.” There’s a shuffling on the other end of the line, and Harry’s gaze slides to the Rolex on his wrist as he waits, not nearly as patient as he knows he should be.
“Hello?” A familiar rough Italian accent echoes through the phone speaker, followed by a light clearing of the person’s throat. “This is Vincenzo.”
“Ciao, Vincenzo, é Harry.” Hi, Vincenzo, it’s Harry. He answers in Italian on reflex, gliding his hand over his lips once more as he fights the urge to tug on his styled hair. “Come stai?” How are you?
Friendly excitement breaks into the man’s voice the second the vampire makes his identity known. “Signor Styles, sto bene, grazie! Non vedo l'ora di vedere te e la tua ospite stasera.” Mr. Styles, I’m well, thank you! I’m looking forward to seeing you and your guest tonight.
Harry glances at the bathroom door symbolically, exhaling curtly through his nose. His tone comes out apologetic and unsure. “Sì, chiamo di stasera.  Abbiamo riscontrato un piccolo problema.  C'è un modo per spingere la prenotazione da sei a sette?” Yes, I’m calling about tonight.  We ran into a little problem.  Is there any way we can push the reservation from six to seven?
There’s a pause on the other end of the line, and Harry waits with bated breath for Vincenzo’s reply. The waiter’s response flows through the phone with a rueful heaviness that makes the immortal’s stomach plummet. “Siamo molto impegnati stasera, Harry… È un sabato, dopotutto.” We’re very busy tonight, Harry… It’s a Saturday, after all.
A frustrated sigh falls from Harry’s lips as he scratches at the nape of his neck, once again itching to yank at his curls but forcing himself to refrain the impulse. “Lo so, Vincenzo, e mi dispiace chiederti il ​​favore, ma devo. Sai che te lo devo e ti lascio una generosa mancia.” I know, Vincenzo, and I’m sorry to ask you such a favour, but I have to.  You know I’ll owe you, and I’ll leave a generous tip.
When Vincenzo replies, the hesitation in his voice is gone, replaced by reassurance and familiar fondness. “No, no, Harry, non mi devi niente. Per te, non è un problema. Gli amici aiutano gli amici per gentilezza, lo sai. Mi assicurerò che il tuo tavolo sia pronto per le sette.” No, no, Harry, you don’t owe me anything.  For you, this is no problem.  Friends help friends out of kindness, you know that. I’ll make sure your table is ready for seven.
Harry heaves a grand sigh of relief, a wide smile cracking his face in half. His head swings forward as a light laugh falls from his ruby lips, all tension washing out of his strong shoulders in one swift wave. “Grazie mille. Ti devo, lo fare.” Thank you so much.  I owe you, I do.
His friend’s casual demeanor filters through the phone with a dismissive click of his tongue, and Harry can practically see the older man waving his hand passively. “Senza senso. Ci vediamo più tardi, sì?” Nonsense.  I will see you later, yes?
“Sì. Grazie ancora. Ciao, Vincenzo.” Yes.  Thank you again.  Goodbye, Vincenzo.
As Harry hangs up the phone, he feels a weight lift off his chest.  He knows that it wouldn’t have been a problem if Vincenzo had been unable to move the reservation; all it would’ve taken is a few words of persuasion at the host stand, and Harry would’ve been able to waltz right into the restaurant.  But Vincenzo has been kind to him— has been such a good friend, really— and Harry would hate to tarnish that relationship.
With the new reservation secured, Harry tucks his phone back into his suit pocket, turning his attention to the gifts he’d brought Y/N that are still in their boxes.  He removes the satin dress from its packaging, meticulously folding it over his arm as he snags the clutch and heels with his hands and carries them to Y/N’s room.
Harry nudges the door to the bedroom open with his foot, hesitating in the door frame as Y/N’s familiar honey and lavender scent fills his senses, and the vampire’s gaze slinks over a place he’s spent countless hours in as she’s slept soundly next to him.  There’s been a few changes, he observes— warm satisfaction begins to bloom in his chest when he sees the tapestry on the wall has been replaced with the framed Monet print from the antique mall, her half emptied overnight bag is lying on her chair still from her last overnight stay at his condo, and the comforter on her bed hasn’t been fixed back in its usual place.  Harry sets the Louboutins on the ground before tugging the comforter back into order, draping the dress onto the bed and smoothing the creases that formed.  After he lays the clutch down next to the dress, Harry steps back and admires his choices.  It was good that he’d gone with the black satin, he thinks, brushing a hand over the shining fabric with a fulfilled expression.  It’s simple, yet elegant, and matches him perfectly, which brings a flutter of pleasure to his dormant chest like nothing else.
With the dress sufficiently laid out, Harry turns on his heel to leave, and his quick movement blows an unfamiliar scent around the room.  Harry inhales deeply, wrinkling his nose in response to the thick fragrance of carnations and cedar that settle into his senses.  While cedar isn’t one of his favourite scents, he doesn’t usually mind it, but the overpowering presence of carnations nearly gags him, and Harry twists back around to find the source of the offensive stench.
It only takes a second for his eyes to settle on the cause, a new addition to Y/N’s bedroom that he hadn’t noticed when he first walked in.  He takes one stride across the small room to her bedside table, picking up the object with a gentle grip.
The picture frame is made entirely of glass, but has a decorative gold edge lining the small rectangle as both decoration and protection of delicate hands from sharp corners.  In the center of the frame is a photo of three girls dressed in navy blue caps and gowns with red and white sashes around their necks, their arms thrown around each other as their posture curves, and bright smiles on all of their faces.  Although she looks years younger, her hair is longer, and her eyes more naive, Harry recognizes Y/N on the left right away.  The identities of the other two girls, however, stump him.
Of course he wouldn’t recognize them on sight, as Harry has never met any of Y/N’s hometown friends, but his ruby lips drop into a frown when he realizes that he can’t even conjure a name for either of the girls.  No first initial, no general idea— just nothing.  They’re ghosts to him.
Harry traces a finger down the younger Y/N’s face, searching for any part of the woman he knows now in the girl who existed then.  The acne on her cheeks that she’s covered in makeup for the photo match the pattern of light scarring she has on her face, small marks that Harry’s traced in the dead of the night as he listens to her breathe.  Her eyes, while younger, do show a faint glimmer of that stubbornness that he’s been so prone to witnessing.  But it’s her smile, Harry realizes, that is the most different.  While the size and shape of it are the same, there’s a dullness to it that digs into his mind, scraping against his every perception of her.  This is around the time she’d have been with her ex, he remembers, dragging a finger down the edge of the frame.  But what else was life like for her there?  She had friends, obviously, friends who still care about her enough to send her this framed photo drenched in their carnation and cedar scent.  Life couldn’t have been all that bad.
He sets the framed photo back down on her bedside table, scanning the room with a keen eye more closely than he had before.  If he tore through every book on her wall of shelves, would he find any inscriptions written to her from a person in her past?  Notes that had been slipped between herself and others in high school science class, still pressed between yellowed pages as bookmarks?  What if he dug into her bedside table drawer?  Would he find more pictures, letters from those she’d left behind?  It’s strange to think that with all the time Harry has spent in this room, there’s still so many secrets buried within its four glossy walls.
Harry settles his gaze onto the silk dress once again, worrying his bottom lip between his sharp teeth as he does so.  Y/N had been worried that a Gucci dress wouldn’t be a good fit for her, and while Harry had thought she meant she couldn’t wear a designer brand, maybe she’d meant she didn’t want to.  Maybe her hesitation didn’t lie in just the cost of the outfit, but in her not wanting something so extravagant.
Sucking in a short breath through his teeth, Harry clears his mind of the thought.  Y/N wouldn’t have said yes if she didn’t want to, he assures himself, quickly adjusting the hem of the dress on the bed.  And besides, it’s just for a few hours.  She’ll be out of the dress soon enough, and into…
Harry turns back to her vanity, swiping the overnight bag from where he’d spotted it on the chair.  A pair of sweatpants already lies inside, but Harry still tugs open Y/N’s dresser and snags another pair, as well as a comfortable t-shirt for her to sleep in.  He packs two pairs of fresh panties as well, one high-waisted cotton and another a cheeky pretty lace (the latter is definitely for selfish reasons, if he’s being honest) along with Y/N’s favourite pair of fuzzy slipper socks, because he knows how her feet get cold on the tile of his kitchen floor in the mornings.  
The image in his head brings a smile to his face as he grabs a few hair ties from her vanity and throws them into the bag, along with her half empty bag of makeup removers.  She always gets a chill in the morning in general, so she normally emerges from his bedroom with one of his sweaters tugged around her tired body, half mumbling incoherently until Harry slides a cup of coffee into her hands.  In truth, sleeping next to his icy body probably does nothing to help the mortal, but Harry just tries to wrap her in an extra blanket to help remedy the situation.
Just as he’s tugging the zipper on the back shut, he hears the creak of the bathroom door, followed by the soft steps of Y/N’s feet against the runner rug down her hallway.  Harry straightens up just as the bedroom door is nudged open, and whatever sharp comment was on the tip of his tongue dies away as he sees Y/N.
She’s already done her hair, having styled it into soft curls that are pinned back from her face with two gold clasps on either side of her head, and if Harry were in a more comprehensive mindset, he’d be pleased that the gold will match the adornments on the clutch.  But Harry isn’t in a comprehensive mindset, due to the fact that Y/N’s body, still damp from her shower, is wrapped in only the smallest blue towel Harry has ever seen.
After Y/N shuts the door behind her, she turns around and sees Harry standing in her bedroom with a bag in his hand, and she clutches the towel tighter to her chest in surprise. “Harry—” Her heartbeat stutters as she locks eyes with the creature before her, her cheeks immediately flushing with heat. “What are you doing?  I said to wait in the living room!”
“I know.” He licks his lips slowly as his eyes flicker down her figure and back again, the bright emerald darkening to jade when he meets her gaze once more. “I was just laying out your outfit.  Although now that you’re here, wearing only that—” He gestures to the towel with his free hand as the edge of his lips curl. “Why don’t we just cut out the middleman and have a quick shag?”
Y/N scoffs in response, pushing her way past her lover to her dresser drawers. “I already showered, H, and I even put effort into my hair, so we have to go out.  Can’t waste it, y’know?” With her hand wrapped around the handle of her dresser, the human girl pauses, her gaze drifting curiously from Harry’s face to the bag clutched in his grasp. “What’s that?”
It takes a moment for Harry’s attention to turn from Y/N’s glistening cleavage to the object she’s nodding towards. “Oh, I— uh— I packed an overnight bag for you.” He clears his throat as he sets the bag on the bed, taking a step back from the item like it’s a ticking bomb. “It’s not— I’m not insinuating that you have to stay over if you don’t want to, of course. And you don’t have to use it, but I just thought that if you decided to, you’d want something comfy to sleep in.”
“How is it,” Y/N laughs softly, her curls bouncing as she shakes her head in disbelief. “That you can go from saying you want to fuck me to telling me you packed me an overnight bag, all in the span of one minute?”
Harry presses into the inside of his cheek with his tongue as he chuckles, dimples winking awake and eyes glimmering all at once. “S’easy, really, when you look like that.  It makes me horny—”
“Everything makes you horny.”
“—but I’m still a gentleman.”
A low hum echoes from Y/N’s throat as she opens her underwear drawer, surveilling the contents before she begins to rummage for what she’s looking for. “Alright then.  Would the gentleman be so kind as to step outside so I can finish getting ready?”
Y/N hears two quiet footsteps behind her before she can feel Harry’s cool breath on her neck, her damp skin prickling at the sensation.
“Do I really have to step outside?” He groans lowly as his lips graze the shell of Y/N’s ear temptingly, and she shivers when his teeth follow behind. “S’nothing I haven’t seen before.”
There’s a nagging temptation in the back of Y/N’s mind to twist around on her heel, drop her towel to the ground, give into Harry’s half-hypnotic seduction, and let him drag her back to her bed to take care of the heat that’s beginning to swell between her thighs.  But she knows she’s already pushing the seven P.M. deadline, and if she allows herself to take that detour, she’ll never make it on time.
“Yes.” She mumbles, suppressing a whine as Harry’s lips move to the pulse point on her neck, smudging open kisses down her heated skin. “I just need to do my makeup and get dressed, and then I’ll be ready to go.”
A disappointed sigh rustles across the shell of her ear. “Alright.” Harry murmurs defeatedly, smudging one last kiss to her jugular before stepping back from her intoxicating cloud of flowers and sugar that, if the burn in the back of his throat is any indication, is doubly intense from her shower. “I’ll just be outside then, doll.  Take your time.”
Y/N keeps her back to Harry, clutching her towel with a clenched hand until she hears the click of her bedroom door shutting behind him.  She knows that if she looks at him again, and sees that stupidly suggestive smirk on his face, she’d give him whatever he wants— which, considering she’s already trying to do that by going to this dinner, is a bit of a problem.  Once he’s gone, however, she’s free to heave an exhale of relief as she searches for the undergarments she’s pictured in her mind.
While Y/N was in the shower, she’d been trying to picture what she would wear with the expensive dress that Harry had purchased for her.  She only has one strapless bra— a nude coloured cotton contraption, which she’d purchased at a Target last minute for a dinner party a neighbour had thrown back home a few years ago— and she didn’t think that pairing the cheap article with a Gucci dress was going to work.  Some of her friends back home, however, had just mailed her a little care package earlier in the week, and one of the things they’d included was a strapless bustier with a note reading “Here’s to getting L.A.’d!” tucked inside.  They’d meant it as a joke, of course, but as Y/N extracts the lace garment from her drawer, she sends a silent thank you to her friends and their strangely omniscient humour.
Y/N releases her grip on her towel, drying the rest of the dampness from her body quickly before tossing the fabric over the back of her closet door.  After selecting a matching pair of black lace panties, Y/N slips the undergarments on, fidgeting with the bustier to get it to sit right.
A gentle knock echoes from the other side of her bedroom door just as she gets the clothing settled. “How’s it going in there, love?” Harry’s voice floats through the crack in the door, half muffled through the barrier. “Have you got the dress on yet?”
“Not yet,” Y/N calls back, sitting down at her vanity as she analytically surveys her makeup. “Patience is a virtue, Holmes, don’t you know that?”
On the other side of the door, Harry lets out a long sigh, crossing his arms and tapping his fingers along the inside of his elbow. “Yeah, well,” He leans his back against the door, sliding one ankle over the other as he lets the wood support his weight. “‘M not very virtuous, Watson.  I think you can attest to that.”
Harry glances over his shoulder at the wooden door, a smug smile peaking onto his lips as he hears the blood rush to Y/N’s cheeks from inside the room. “What?” He taunts, satisfaction laced into his accent. “Cat got your tongue?”
Pressing his head back against the wood to hear better, Harry is met with the sound of a makeup brush sweeping against Y/N’s silky skin, so quiet that human ears could never detect it.  He focuses his attention a little harder to try and picture the steps of her getting ready routine as she performs them. 
A rustling of fabric that sounds a lot like lace pricks his ears, taking his attention with it as Y/N grumbles a reply. “You’re such an ass.”
“Ah, nevermind, then.  Tongue’s still there, and as sharp as ever, I see.” Harry chuckles lowly as he listens to the nearly silent stroking of mascara over Y/N’s lashes.  
He likes that, he realizes, as he raises one hand from its crossed position to rub over his pillowy lips while he waits.  He likes hearing the muted sounds of Y/N getting ready— the bristling of makeup brushes against her skin, the hushed hums that leave her mouth as she debates over what colours to use on her eyelids, the muffled spritz of her perfume bottle against her neck.  The notes of poppies and vanilla mix with her natural scent of lavender and honey, and Harry’s eyelids flutter when the fragrance rolls under the door and envelops him completely.
It takes a harsh bite of his tongue and digging his fingernails into his clenched palms for Harry to restrain the moan fighting to break through his tightened jaw.  Months ago, when he first smelled Y/N in that club, he’d sworn that she smelled more delicious than any aroma he’d ever encountered, but now… Harry wants to laugh at the naivety of his past self, and probably would, if unclenching his jaw didn’t mean letting a growl fall from his throat.  Now, he’s convinced Y/N’s scent is an aphrodisiac created just for him.  All it takes is one small inhale, and his entire body responds.  Even now, as he presses his pounding head back against the panel, he can feel his mouth flooding with venom, his abdomen tightening, and a subtle throb beginning to bulge his—
“Harry?” Y/N’s voice breaks through the cloud of arousal dulling Harry’s senses. “Can you help me zip up the dress?”
The vampire swallows the excess venom in his mouth in an attempt to clear the lump in his throat. “Uh, yeah.” He replies, his voice strained as he struggles to regain control of himself.  He clutches the door handle in his icy hand, pushing the barrier open with restrained strength. “Yeah, I can.”
When he steps into the room, he expects to see Y/N facing the door, her hands clutching the loose dress to her chest the way she’d clutched her towel earlier.  For a moment, there’s a flicker of excitement in Harry’s belly that beats back the desire rolling around inside him.  He’s been waiting to see her in his dress for only a day, but it feels like an eternity, and he pastes a charming smile onto his face as he lifts his eyes to meet Y/N’s.
What he’s greeted with, however, is the smooth expanse of the girl’s exposed back, a clear line of tantalizing skin running from the nape of her neck to the curve just below her backside, only broken up by a thick band of black lace with satin ribbing.  
While he was able to control himself in the hallway, the inside of Y/N’s bedroom— with her mouthwatering scent surrounding him and her exposed skin in his line of sight— is an entirely different story.  Harry can feel the way his canopy green eyes darken, and it’s a good thing Y/N is facing the wall, or else she’d see the shards of crimson that he can’t stop from flitting across his irises.  With every step he takes towards the human, he becomes more aware of just how mortal she is— how her heart pounds louder with each passing moment, the shallowness of her breathing as he gets closer, the heat radiating off of every inch of her skin.  Even with his centuries of experience behind him, it’s nearly too much for Harry, whose every instinct is screaming at him to lock the door and ravage the girl in front of him in every way he can.
Harry doesn’t stop walking until the front of his chest brushes against Y/N’s back and his breath is hitting her neck.  He unhurriedly skims his palms over her bare shoulders, feeling the goosebumps that form underneath his icy touch as his hands run down her arms and back up again.
“This…” His voice is thick with desire as one hand travels down the trail of Y’N’s spine, eliciting a shiver from her before grazing the edge of the black lace. “This is new.  I haven’t seen this before.”
“I…” Y/N’s speech falters as she feels Harry’s freezing digits trail down the small of her back as his other hand continues to stroke across her shoulder, barely touching the base of her neck with each movement. “I got it from my friends back home.  They, um—” She sucks in a harsh breath as Harry’s hand inches its way towards her throat. “They sent me a package.”
Harry hums low in her ear, the sound vibrating throughout her body before settling in her warming tummy. “Did they?  How thoughtful.” With his palm finally at her neck, he squeezes it once, applying the slightest bit of pressure to her jugular as his lips brush against the top of her ear. “I should send them a thank you note.”
The feeling of Y/N swallowing beneath his grip sends another wave of desire crashing over Harry, and he bites back a low growl as the fingertips of his other hand find the golden Gucci emblem zipper at the back of her dress.  When he does, he tugs the metal tag up slowly, the sound of the zip barely audible over Y/N’s ragged breathing. 
“S’a shame, really.” Harry murmurs in her ear, letting his teeth graze her earlobe just hard enough to catch her breath. “A crying shame.”
“What—” Y/N’s heart pounds out of her chest as Harry squeezes her neck once more, applying just a smidge more pressure than he did previously. “What’s a shame?”
Harry’s lips trail down her jaw, smearing a single kiss along the dip where it curves to meet her neck. His fingers squeeze her one last time before releasing. “That this pretty little piece your friends sent you is going to end up ripped to shreds on my bedroom floor.” 
The blunt reply incites a squeak of surprise from Y/N as Harry tugs the zipper completely to the top of the dress, settling the seam flat against her flushed back before stepping away.
“Fits like a glove.” Harry murmurs as his hands return to his sides, fixing the fall of his own suit that was disturbed during his previous actions.  He raises a single finger and makes a twirling motion as he dimples a smirk the human girl can’t see. “Give me a twirl, will you, dove?”
Y/N inhales a deep breath as steadily as she can, using the moment to calm her racing pulse before turning around to face Harry with a flustered complexion. 
The dress, made of black satin, has a sweetheart neckline that sits off her shoulders, and hugs tight to the curves of her body all the way down to the hem, which sits just above her knees.  It could be considered conservative, really, if it weren’t for the leg slit running so far up her thigh that Y/N is a little worried about flashing her underwear every time she takes a step.
Harry, however, seems to share none of those concerns, as he hungrily drinks in the sight of her with a satisfied grin and lust swirling through his jade irises.  She’s kept her makeup fairly neutral, save for the bold red lipstick adorning her lips, and while Harry feels a prick of sadness at the realization that he’ll have difficulty kissing her throughout the evening, the idea of smearing said lipstick across her face afterwards erases the feeling completely.  And the dress… “Y’look so fucking gorgeous in that dress, angel.” He hums lowly, rubbing his thumb over his lionhead ring absentmindedly. “So much better than Adam did, and without all the complaining, too.”
Y/N stares at her lover with a blank expression “What—?”
“Does it feel alright?” Harry strides around the mortal girl, examining the fall of the fabric with a keen eye. “I took a guess on your size, though I think I did pretty well. I've licked every inch of your body to the point where I practically have it memorized, so it was relatively easy.” He gives her a cheeky grin as his hand grazes her waist. “But Gucci sizing can be a bit tricky.”
“It— yeah.  It feels alright.” Y/N tugs on the hem of the dress as she feels heat crackle across her ears, shooting him an accusing stare as she touches the thigh slit. “This is a little much, but other than that…”
“That’s my favourite detail, actually.” Harry laughs lightly as he walks to her bed, taking a seat on the edge before reaching for the Louboutin box. “But it’ll feel a lot more natural once you have the heels on.”
“Uh, yeah, about those…” Y/N eyes the offending shoes as Harry extracts them from the packaging, doubt painting itself all over her face. “Those look like six inch deathtraps, and I don’t really trust something that uses a ribbon to attach itself to my ankle, so I think I’ll take a raincheck on the heels.  I have some flats I can wear instead.”
Harry scoffs, a snort echoing from the back of his throat as he shakes his head. “You’ll be fine, love.  I wouldn’t let anything happen to you.  You may not trust the shoes, but you can trust me, can’t you?” He unravels the ribbon from one of the shoes and pats his knee expectantly. “C’mere.  I’ll make sure I tie them nice and tight, yeah?”
Y/N nearly chews on her bottom lip before she remembers the lipstick she’d carefully applied earlier. “Alright.” She relents, walking over and lifting her foot to rest on his bent knee. “But if I snap my ankle in half, you’re paying my hospital bill.”
“And I would do so gladly, except it won’t be necessary.” A quiet chuckle rolls out of Harry’s lips as he grips her calf gently, fitting her foot into the sole of the heel with one smooth motion.  Once it’s sitting nicely, Harry diligently wraps the satin ribbon around her ankle, stopping midway up her calf before tying it tightly into a neat bow. “See?  Nice and secure, darling.  You’ll be alright.”
Y/N’s cheeks boil as Harry presses a single kiss to the slope of her knee before setting her foot gently on the ground. “Next one, please.” He smiles up at her with a twinkle in his sea glass eyes.
That twinkle, however, darkens the moment Y/N hikes her other bare foot onto his knee, gripping his shoulder for support as she teeters on one heel.  The leg that she’s lifting is the side of the dress with the thigh slit, and she can tell from the expression on Harry’s face that he has quite the view.
Just like he did previously with the zipper, Harry takes his time slipping Y/N’s foot into the second stiletto.  He trails his fingers all the way up her calf and back down before reaching for the ribbon, and is more meticulous in his motions as he ties the satin around her calf.  
Y/N swivels on her other foot as she tightens her grip on Harry’s shoulders, fisting the fabric of his suit between her fingers. “Thanks, H.” She clears her throat as Harry’s cool hands keep their grip on her lower leg, massaging the muscle beneath his fingers with careful and concise motions. “That’s, um, that’s good, I think.”
Harry hums in response, letting her know he’s registered her words, but he doesn’t release her from his grip.  Instead, he bends at his hips, making sure that Y/N can still grasp him for support as he connects his lips to the smooth skin of her calf.
He smudges his mouth all along the area up to her knee, each kiss sloppy and open-mouthed as he inhales more and more of her intense fragrance.  His nose nudges along the tender and dimpled flesh of her thigh, her scent growing stronger the higher Harry gets, and it burns his aching throat with lust and thirst.  He can feel the heat radiating from her core, and he wants nothing more than to burrow his face between her legs and lose himself completely in her taste.  But he’s already come so far, and put so much work into this night; he can’t let it all go to waste because his self-control is particularly weak at this moment. 
With that in mind, he sucks in another long breath, sponging one last kiss to the top of Y/N’s kneecap. “Does it all fit nicely?” He asks, voice gravelly with desire as he squeezes her calf. “The dress, the shoes… is it all alright?”
“Y-Yeah.” Y/N whispers, releasing the fabric of Harry’s jacket before it creases, smoothing it with her palms. “It all fits good.”
“Mmm.  Perfect.” His lips twitch against her skin as he drags another searing breath into his lungs. “Anything I give you always fits so fucking good.”
Another flash of heat rises to Y/N’s cheeks, and she nods weakly in response, not trusting her ability to form words. A quiet hum is the only comprehensible noise she can manage. “Mhmm.” 
Harry straightens up the slightest bit, giving her an expectant look as he releases the grip of one hand on her calf to lightly touch the shell of his pierced ear. “Sorry, pet.  Didn’t hear you quite clearly.” He says, his voice taking on a sterner tone. “Did you agree?”
Although embarrassment begins to crawl up Y/N’s spine, it quickly mixes with irritation.  She knows what he’s getting at, and she can’t afford to let herself give in. “Yeah.” She mumbles, keeping her response as short as she can.
Despite the edge beginning to creep into Y/N’s voice, Harry can’t stop himself from pressing the matter.  He never can, really, when he’s in a mood like this.  When his mouth is filled with venom, when his head is throbbing so much that he can hear a steady drumbeat vibrating through his skull.  He can’t stop.
“M’gonna need to hear you say it, I’m afraid.” He raises his ringed hand to the human girl’s chin, gripping it between his thumb and forefinger as he regards her with a firm and conceited gaze. “Speak up, minx.  I know you have no issue with being loud.”
All it takes is that one reminder for all of Y/N’s resolve to fall away, her entire body flooding with warmth as she lets out a trembling sigh.  She swallows the weight in her throat down as much as she can, pinning her eyes to where Harry is gripping her calf with a strong hand. “Everything you give me always fits so good.” She whispers, her voice higher than it was a moment before.
Harry squeezes the backside of her knee once. “Look me in the eyes when you say it.”
Y/N’s entire body feels as if it’s on fire as sweat begins to bead across her forehead, but her mouth is as dry as a desert. She swallows thickly once more, gathering all the composure she can muster. “Everything—” Her voice cracks once, and she clears her throat as Harry’s thumb sweeps across her chin in an encouraging manner. “Everything you give me always fits so good.”
When she completes the task, Harry gropes her knee once more, but this time the action is a show of satisfaction rather than demand.  He trails his fingers up her bent leg to her thigh, only stopping to dig his fingertips into the crease where her backside begins to plump. “That’s my good girl.”
Delicately setting Y/N’s heeled foot back on the ground, Harry rises from the bed, both of her hands grasped in his own to help her remain steady.  Once he’s eye level with his lover once again, he leans forward and stamps a chaste kiss onto her forehead, his lips already tugging into a small grin before he pulls away.
“Y’ready to go, then?” He questions casually, smoothing the thumb of his right hand over her knuckles as his left hand snags the Gucci clutch from the bed, along with Y/N’s phone.  He unclaps the clutch and settles the phone into its silk lining before handing the bag to the human girl.  
Y/N clears her throat once more as she takes a shaky step towards her vanity, grabbing the lipstick she’d applied before and tossing it into the bag, clasping it shut with a final snap. “I suppose so.” She chews on the inside of her cheek as she shoots Harry a nervous glance. “I might need you to carry me down the stairs of my building, though.”
Harry laughs once as he grabs the overnight bag he’d packed with one hand and reclaims Y/N’s left hand in the other. “Don’t worry, pet.  I’ll make sure Cinderella doesn’t lose a shoe.  Or break an ankle.”
“Thanks, Prince Charming.”
“Considering I’m the one that got the dress, I think the Fairy Godmother role fits just a smidge better.”
Although it takes careful steps, more than a few stumbles, and Harry’s hand wrapped securely around her waist, Y/N manages to make it down the multiple flights of stairs in her apartment building to Harry’s car waiting below.  After the ten minute car ride into downtown L.A., the majority of which is spent with Harry’s hand sitting perfectly still on Y/N’s exposed thigh, the vampire pulls the car in front of a large restaurant with a line of well-dressed parties winding down the sidewalk.
The restaurant itself, Bella Vita, is one that Y/N’s heard of in passing, but has never experienced firsthand herself, probably because it holds a reputation for being the premier Italian restaurant in all of Los Angeles.  Shock covers her features as she stares out the car window at the grand glass double doors, but only for a moment; after all, could she have expected anything less from Harry, who seems to indulge in luxuries the way most people do chocolate?
When the passenger side door swings open, the surprise returns as Y/N glances up and sees a blonde man she doesn’t know dressed in a suit holding the door open.  The breast of his outfit is embroidered with the restaurant name, but it’s not until Harry, who has already vacated the driver’s side and is behind him, flips the valet his keys.
“Thanks, mate.” Thinly veiled irritation works its way through Harry’s voice as he steps in front of the valet, clapping his large hand over the employee’s shoulder. “I got it from here.”
The valet nods curtly, releasing his grip on the door as Harry extends his hand to Y/N.  The mortal girl grasps it within her own, eager to receive the help he offers as she swings her exposed legs out of the low car and onto the ground. 
“There we go, love.” Harry’s voice softens as he pulls her to stand, giving her a moment to find her balance on her own before sliding his arm around her hips. “Y’alright?”
“I’m fine.” Y/N nods in confirmation as she folds her arms in front of her body, grasping the Gucci clutch in tight hands while she appraises the packed high-end restaurant. “I see why you insisted on the dress now.”
A low laugh rumbles from Harry’s chest as he shuts the car door with his free hand. “I told you, you need to trust me more.  Have a little faith.” He extends his palm towards the valet, shaking his hand quickly and smoothly while sliding him a bill. “Thanks, Leo.”
Leo retracts his hand from Harry’s icy grasp with another respectful nod of his head, slipping the bill into the inside pocket of his suit. “Of course, Mr. Styles.  Enjoy your dinner.”
Y/N watches as the valet hurries to the driver’s side of the car, sliding in and starting the engine with ease as Harry begins to lead Y/N to the door. 
“So…” She quirks an eyebrow as Harry confidently bypasses the long line of people waiting to be seated. “You’re Mr. Styles here, are you?  Do you come here that often?”
Harry lifts one shoulder in a half-hearted shrug, releasing his grip on Y/N’s waist to open the large glass door for her. “Every once in a while, I suppose.” He quips, the answer as non-committal as most things Harry says.  Once Y/N steps into the restaurant, the vampire follows closely behind, clutching her warm hand in his own as he leans down to whisper in her ear. “But I wouldn’t say it’s too often—”
An older man that looks to be in his mid-seventies emerges from behind the corner, dressed in a fine suit and with an animated grin on his tan, weathered face.  He waves off the host at the stand who had been about to approach the two new guests, his arms already outstretched towards Harry.
“Vincenzo!” Harry responds with equal enthusiasm as he lets go of Y/N’s hand to clutch Vincenzo’s between his palms.  He leans forward and pecks two air kisses onto the employee’s cheeks as the older man does the same. “È così bello rivederti. Come stai?” It’s so nice to see you again.  How are you?
Y/N’s eyes widen in utter shock at the fluent Italian that easily slips from Harry’s ruby lips, watching as Vincenzo takes a step back from him with the same excitement as when he first turned the corner.
“Sto bene, grazie. È meraviglioso anche vederti.” I’m well, thank you.  It’s wonderful to see you, too.  Vincenzo’s attention lists over Harry’s shoulder to Y/N, who is still standing behind him with her mouth half open in bewilderment. 
“Grazie ancora per aver riorganizzato la prenotazione per noi.” Thank you again for rearranging the reservation for us.  Harry reaches back and intertwines his fingers with Y/N’s again as another Italian phrase slips off his tongue with practiced ease. “Ti devo un favore.” I owe you a favour.
“Te l'ho già detto, non mi devi niente. Gli amici aiutano gli amici.” I’ve already told you, you don’t owe me anything.  Friends help friends.  Vincenzo raises an eyebrow as he gestures to Y/N, who’s still a half step behind Harry as he carries out the conversation. “A proposito di ... chi è questo, Harry?” Speaking of… Who is this, Harry?
“Perdonami, sono stato scortese.” Forgive me, I’ve been rude.  Letting go of Y/N’s hand, Harry drifts his palm to the small of Y/N’s back, rubbing his thumb over the satin of her dress as he gently guides her forward for a proper introduction. “Vincenzo, sono Y/N, la mia ... amica.  Y/N, questo è Vincenzo, il titolare del ristorante.” Vincenzo, this is Y/N Y/L/N, my… friend.  Y/N, this is Vincenzo Genovesi, the owner of the restaurant.
Y/N’s ears prick up when she hears her name, and she smiles shyly in greeting at the older man. “Hi.” She wants to offer a more formal presentation, but is unsure if he speaks English or not, so she simply extends her hand to shake his. 
Vincenzo’s smile grows as he grasps her hand in his own, bringing it to his lips and planting an innocent kiss to her skin before taking a polite step back. “È così bello conoscerti.  Sei così bello!”
With a gentle squeeze to her love handles, Harry lowers his mouth to Y/N’s ear, his lips barely grazing her sensitive skin as he speaks. “He says it’s lovely to meet you, and that you’re very beautiful.” He translates, and Y/N can feel the way he’s smiling into her hair.
A shiver rolls down her spine as his cool breath meets her neck, but she manages to ignore the sensation, and instead sends a grateful smile in Vincenzo’s direction. “Oh… Thank you.  Grazie.” She tacks on, and although she tries her best to mimic Harry’s Italian accent, the way the immortal’s body tenses against her side as he represses a laugh tells her that she didn’t pass the test.
Vincenzo, however, waves off Harry’s amused expression, flipping his hand airily in his direction before taking Y/N’s again. She finds out that he indeed does speak English, and it comes out with a thick accent that holds so much genuine kindness, she immediately takes a strong liking to the aged gentleman. “Wipe that grin off your face, cretino, at least she’s trying!” He pats Y/N’s hand reassuringly, shaking his head with a disappointed scoff. “The last time he brought someone here, they spent the entire time doing a Godfather impression.  And it wasn’t even a good one!”
“How many times do I have to apologize for bringing Niall until you let me forget it?” Harry sighs in exasperation, his hand snaking around Y/N tighter than before. “I’ve already forbidden him from coming back.”
Shaking his head with a hearty laugh, Vincenzo pats Y/N’s hand once more before stepping back to the host stand and grabbing two leather-bound menus from the shelf. “I will never forget, Harry.  But don’t worry; I’ve still reserved your favourite table in the back of the restaurant.  Come, bella donna,” He tucks the menus underneath his arm as he gently loops Y/N’s arm through his own, tugging her from Harry’s grasp as he begins to lead her away from the entrance. “Let me escort you to the table, yes?”
Y/N allows Vincenzo to lead her, but glances over her shoulder to meet Harry’s amused gaze as he trails behind them, large hands tucked into the pockets of his slacks as his eyebrows poise teasingly.  The table in question, she discovers, is tucked away in a private corner of the restaurant, framed by a plethora of flora and candles that reflect back on the stone walls.  
Although Vincenzo releases her arm to retract Y/N’s chair, Harry beats him to it, pulling the seat out smoothly and waiting until Y/N is seated comfortably to push the back of it in.  He brushes his cool hand over her shoulder, nudging a loose curl away from her bare neck while offering her a dimpled smile.
As Harry takes his own seat across from her, the older Italian man gives him a knowing look, his eyes glinting with mirth. “Solo un amica, eh?” Just a friend, eh?
The vampire half rolls his eyes, nodding his head slightly as he lays the cloth napkin over his thigh, voice stubbornly flat. “Sì. Solo un amica.” Yes.  Just a friend.
Vincenzo sets a menu down before each of them, clicking his tongue in unconvinced disbelief. “Non guardi un amica come l'hai appena guardata.” You don’t look at a friend the way you just looked at her.
Flipping his menu open with disinterest, Harry makes a bored sound in the back of his throat, waving off Vincenzo with a leisurely gesture. “Vorrei la carta dei vini, Vincenzo, non la tua opinione non richiesta.” I’d like the wine list, Vincenzo, not your unsolicited opinion.
A laugh echoes from the older man’s belly as he shakes his head in amusement, taking a step away from the table. “Certo, Signor Styles.  Lo farò portare subito dal cameriere.” Certainly, Mr. Styles.  I’ll have the waiter bring it right away.  
Turning his attention back to Y/N, Vincenzo takes her hand and kisses it once more. “Bella donna,” He begins, heaving a long sigh. “It was lovely to meet you.  And if this one ever gives you trouble,” he gestures to Harry with a nod, giving her a playfully wink,  “I have five grandsons that would die for the opportunity to dine with a woman as beautiful as yourself.”
Harry’s face hardens at the comment, but Y/N laughs at the joke, squeezing Vincenzo’s hand before releasing it. “Thank you, Vincenzo.  It was so nice to meet you… Next time I come, you’ll have to teach me some Italian.” She adds, glancing at Harry as the curiosity of what they discussed before burns a hole in her belly.
The moment Vincenzo leaves the pair to their own devices, the mortal girl leans forward, the inquiry already falling off her lips. “Speaking of Italian…” She runs her finger around the stem of her empty wine glass, cocking her head to the side. “What were you and Vincenzo talking about?”
Harry waves off her question just as he did Vincenzo’s comments. “Nothing important.  Don’t worry,” a sly grin works its way onto his lips as he smoothly changes the subject, “he wasn’t offering to set me up with his granddaughters, if that’s what you were worried about.  It seems he only wants you in the family.”
“Who wouldn’t?  I’m a delight.” Y/N remarks, a wry smile raising the corners of her lips. “But seriously, Harry— where did you learn to speak fluent Italian?”
The answer rolls off his tongue as easily as the language did. “Italy.” He states simply, as if it should be obvious.
And it’s not a lie; he really did learn in Italy.  It just happened to be during the early 1900s, when he had been bouncing around between Florence, Venice, and Rome.  He’d liked Italy, actually, and would’ve stayed there longer, but then an Archduke was assassinated, and Harry had to return to Britain to fight in what was then called “the War To End All Wars.” Harry had figured that he might as well, given that he could shrug off bullet wounds as easily as a knick, and could use his blood to help heal other soldiers when travesties struck. The Italian, it turned out, had come in handy as he fought his way through Europe, but considering the bloody conditions under which he did so, Harry much prefers using it to woo a lovely girl in an expensive restaurant.
“Italy.” Y/N repeats the word in a deadpan voice, crossing her arms over her chest as she leans back in her chair, kinking an eyebrow stubbornly. “When were you in Italy?”
Ah, Harry thinks, habitually rubbing his thumb over his ruby lips.  It seems a little white lie is necessary. “During uni.  I did a semester abroad.”
For a moment, he thinks that Y/N doesn’t buy the fib.  Her other eyebrow quirks upwards to meet its partner, but her gaze remains as suspicious as it has been since she first asked the question.  When she finally opens her mouth to speak, there’s a small, irrational part of Harry that thinks she might prod for more. 
“What do you mean, ‘a semester abroad’?” She questions, and Harry is about to over-explain when her posture suddenly relaxes, her arms returning to her sides as an easygoing laugh falls from her mouth, a seemingly entertaining realization dawning on her. “Wait, you grew up in England!  You already lived abroad!”
A breathless and relieved chuckle rolls out of Harry as his shoulders drop, the tension rolling out of him as he leans forward. “I suppose that’s true, hm?” He hums, reaching for Y/N’s warm hand and tugging it onto the table to intertwine her fingers with his own. “I really just went a few doors down the neighborhood, didn’t I?”
“You really did.” Y/N sighs wistfully, drifting her thumb over the back of Harry’s knuckle without a second thought. “I’m jealous, though.  I wish I had gone away for school, even just to a different state.  I could’ve been living in Washington, or Oregon, or New York.  It would’ve been so nice.”
The corners of Harry’s lips weigh down into a frown as he considers the possibilities laced into the comment. “I suppose, but…” He casts his gaze towards their knitted hands.  Hers looks so much smaller wrapped inside his. “If you did, then you might not have moved to L.A.  And then we wouldn’t have—”
“Good evening, Mr. Styles, Miss Y/L/N.” A waiter that Harry hasn’t met before appears beside the table with a wine menu clasped in one hand and a basket of bread in the other.  
The server is younger than others Harry has seen before, but Harry knows Vincenzo hires his staff carefully, and that he wouldn’t send anyone too inexperienced to take care of Harry.  From the sweat beading his brow, the vampire can tell that Vincenzo has given the waiter a speech about Harry’s status with the restaurant owner, and the thought brings a small spark of satisfaction to him.  However, that satisfaction disappears the moment he sees the waiter’s eyes linger on Y/N a moment longer than needed. He nods kindly to both of them, but the immortal can’t evade the small spark of irritation that zips down his spine at the employee’s subtle interest in his companion.  Shifting in his seat, Harry tightens his grasp on Y/N’s hand, but keeps his demeanor neutral and polite.  It’s not like he can blame the poor boy, really.  Not when Y/N’s silky lips are sheathed in such a breathtaking shade of red.
“My name is Luca, and I’ll be your server for tonight.” He shifts his attention back to Harry as he sets the bread basket on the table before extending the small leatherbound menu to him. “Here’s the wine list you asked for, Mr. Styles.  I’ll give you some time to look it over, and then I’ll be back in a few minutes to take your order.”
Although his right hand is closer to the server, Harry reaches for the menu with his left in order to maintain his grasp on Y/N’s. “Thank you, Luca.  I appreciate it.”
Luca nods once as he takes a step back from the table, clasping his hands behind his back. “Prego, signore.” You’re welcome, sir. 
Harry’s eyebrow jolts up in mild surprise. “Oh, parli italiano?” Oh, you speak Italian?  He asks, the flip in language gliding down his tongue without so much as a second thought. Harry hadn’t expected it, given that the young man’s natural accent is as American as can be. 
Pausing on the ball of his foot, Luca nods as colour begins to rise to his cheeks. “Sì, signore, la mia famiglia è italiana.  Mia nonna mi ha insegnato a parlarlo quando ero giovane.” Yes, sir, my family is Italian.  My grandmother taught me to speak it when I was very young.
“Tua nonna è una signora molto intelligente, allora.” Your grandmother is a very smart lady, then.  Harry’s mind drifts back to his own upbringing, when his mother would gather him and his sister around the table on Sunday nights, reading them Latin passages by candlelight.  The memory brings a sad smile to his face. “Grazie per il menu. Lo daremo un'occhiata.” Thank you for the menu.  We’ll take a look at it.
Luca nods again, but there’s hesitation in the motion as his eyes drift to Y/N once more, flickering from her own gaze back down to her crimson lips. “Is there anything I can get you before I go, miss?  Some water, perhaps?”
Y/N sends a bright smile to the young man, nodding her head as a strand of her curled hair loosens from its pin. “Yes, please.  And thank you.”
“Due acque, Luca.” Two waters, Luca.  Harry interjects, clearing his throat quietly as he catches the human boy’s eye, giving a curt jut of his chin that signals he’s done ordering for the time being. “Grazie.”
Y/N reaches for the basket of bread the moment Luca has scurried away, her eyes lighting up as she hears the first slice crackle open. “Ooh, garlic bread.” She thrums happily as she takes a small bite while being mindful of her red lipstick, setting the rest of the bread on her side plate as she chews slowly and indulges the flurry of delicious flavors. She talks lightly over a semi-full mouth, careful as to not give Harry an unpleasant eyeful. “So what’s on the menu for drinks?  I’m assuming you’re, like, an expert on wine, right?”
Harry’s lips twitch as he bites back a laugh at the hint of annoyance in her voice. “What makes you say that?”
“You shop Gucci like it’s Target, you speak Italian, you’re a regular at this place…” Y/N’s eyes sweep over their private corner of the restaurant before sending a teasing glance to Harry. “Being a sommelier on the side just seems like something to add to the list of things you’re infuriatingly good at.”
Despite the small jab, a satisfied smile settles on Harry’s lips as he squeezes Y/N’s hand. “You really are good at stroking my ego, aren’t you, dove?  I suppose we can add that to the list of things you’re infuriatingly good at?”
The familiar comment brings Y/N back to the night the two of them met, in a dark and deafening club that’s the complete opposite of their current location.  She twists her fingers within Harry’s, flipping their hands to examine his palm as memories float through her mind like movie scenes.  How Harry had looked when he first walked over, the soothing and seductive tone of his voice, how she’d done her best to match his flirtatious compliments… how he’d kissed her in his car before taking her back to her apartment.  She should’ve known then, Y/N thinks, that she wouldn’t have been able to let someone like Harry be just a one night stand. 
“I guess I’ll allow you to add it.” Y/N murmurs teasingly as she clasps their hands together once more. “But, unfortunately for me, wine knowledge is not on that list, so… you pick something.  I trust your taste.”
“Alright, then.  No pressure for me.” Harry jokes, snapping his gaze from her hypnotizing irises to peruse the menu once more. “Would you like red, white, or rosé?”
The human hums as she considers the question, pursing her lips in thought, as if the answer she gives is life or death. “Red, I think.” She replies, watching as Harry’s brow furrows in thought while shifting his eyes to the red wine list. 
A moment later, Luca appears again with two glasses of ice water balanced on a tray, which he sets down on the table before each of them.  While both of them offer a murmur of thanks, it’s only Y/N’s show of gratitude that incites a darkening of his cheeks.
Another thread of irritation flares down Harry’s spine, but he forces himself to dampen it down with a reminder that if he were the one waiting on Y/N— rather than being the one sitting across from her— he’d probably be doing the exact same thing. “Penso che abbiamo preso una decisione, Luca.” I think we’ve made a decision, Luca.  He says with a tight smile, snapping the wine menu shut and handing it back to the young man. “Prendiamo due bicchieri del tuo cabernet sauvignon, per favore.” We’ll have two glasses of your cabernet sauvignon, please.
Luca nods as he accepts the menu, his eyes flickering to Y/N’s ruby lips yet again. That’s three times in the last ten minutes...not that the vampire’s counting or anything. 
“Ovviamente. Li prendo per te che scrivi.” Of course.  I’ll get those for you right away. The server answers politely before tucking the menu under his arm and hurrying off.
“Okay, I’m sorry,” Y/N says the moment the waiter is gone, her eyes alight with amusement as she pulls her hand from Harry’s to take a sip of her ice water. “But I can’t ignore it.”
Clearing his throat as he reaches for a slice of garlic bread, Harry slinks his head to the side before answering. “Ignore what?” He asks offhandedly, taking a bite of his bread and chewing it slowly.  Had Luca’s fascination with her crimson smile not gone unnoticed?  Or had Harry’s aggravation begun to show on his face?
“The Italian.” Y/N admits, setting her glass down and sitting forward as she rests her bent elbows on the table, propping her head upon her interlocked fingers. “I feel a bit left out, and, truthfully, a little jealous.  I want to learn.”
A playful laugh echoes from Harry’s throat as he taps a ringed finger against the table. “I can’t exactly teach you an entire language over one dinner, sweetheart.  I’m good, but I’m not that good.”
“Hm.  I know.  It’s tragic.” Y/N sighs, giggling quietly at the way Harry’s laughter cuts off completely and is replaced with a wounded sound of protest. “But what about some important phrases?  Just so I’m not in the dark all evening while you play Roman Holiday?”
Harry prods the inside of his cheek with his tongue. “Alright.  Why don’t we start with Mi dispiace?”
“Mi dispiace.” Y/N repeats slowly, trying her best to wrap her red lips around the Italian diction. “What does that mean?”
“It means ‘I’m sorry’, which one could say in reference to, oh, I don’t know…” Harry shrugs lightly, matching the motion with a theatrical dejected sigh. “Insinuating that your date is without certain… talents?”
Although Y/N laughs again, she reaches across the table and wraps her hand around Harry’s, trying to tamp down the mirth in her voice when she replies. “Mi dispiace.” She repeats again, giving Harry her best attempt at puppy dog eyes.
“That’s passable, I suppose.” Harry props his chin up in his palm, rubbing his thumb over his pillowy lips in thought. “And then we have ti perdono— I forgive you.”
“How kind of you, Mr. Styles.” Y/N simpers, biting her tongue between her teeth to hold back more sounds of glee. “Give me another one.”
Harry regards her with a thoughtful air, his hand sliding from his mouth to his hair to tug on his styled curls before traveling back down to rest on the table. His voice comes out a tad deeper, a vein of sultriness running beneath it that she just barely detects. “Sei molto bella con quel vestito.”
One of the words tweaks Y/N’s memory from earlier, but she still traces a finger over Harry’s initial rings as she locks eyes with him expectantly. “What does that mean?”
Swiping his tongue over his lips, Harry peers at her through his thick lashes as he encircles his free hand around the stem of his water glass. “You look very beautiful in that dress.”
A pleasurable flush rolls through Y/N’s belly at the compliment.  No matter how many times Harry pays her a positive comment, she somehow always still feels a rush with each word that falls from his soft lips. “Thank you.” She mumbles shyly, tucking her thumb between Harry’s ring and pinkie finger. “I mean— grazie.” 
“Try saying it back to me.” Despite the encouraging words that are said under the guise of teaching, there’s an undercurrent of command that turns the satisfaction in Y/N’s tummy to anticipation. “Molto bella.”
The mortal’s eyes flicker between Harry’s own emerald irises and his mouth as he curls a ringed finger over her hand, stroking the icy digit over her heated skin. “Molto bella.” She repeats, her voice barely above a whisper.
“Fantastico, tesoro.” The praise slips easily from his lips as he lets himself bask in the warmth her flesh brings to his. 
“‘Tesoro’,” Y/N repeats, a tinge of confusion settling onto her face. “What does that mean?”
“It’s, uh,” Harry scoffs to himself in realization, unaware he had even let the term fall from his mouth. “It— well, it means ‘treasure,’ but it’s kind of the Italian equivalent of ‘darling’.”
The vampire can hear the way Y/N’s heartbeat spikes, sending a new wave of blood to warm her cheeks. “That—” The human girl mimics the way he’d cleared his earlier as she reaches for her water glass. “That’s pretty.”
“It is, yeah.  You’ll probably be hearing it often.” Harry continues to drag the pad of his finger down the ridges of his lover’s knuckles as a fond smile crescents his Cupid’s bow. “And here’s another one you’ll be hearing often— piegarsi.”
Y/N pauses with her water raised halfway to her lips. “And what does that one mean?”
Harry waits until her mouth has reached the rim of the glass and she’s taken a sip of ice water. “Bend over.” 
The response is instantaneous, just as he’d imagined. The mortal chokes on her water, coughing up a storm as she quickly lowers the drink from her mouth, half bending over the table and yanking her hand from his as her cheeks light with fire. “Harry!” She gasps once she regains her breath, glancing over her shoulder to see if anyone else at the restaurant overheard his lewd statement. 
“What?” He asks innocently, but quickly gives into snickering, his body curling over the table as he cackles. “I’m not wrong!  You really will be hearing it often, so you should know what it means!”
“That doesn’t give you the right to say it in public!” Y/N exclaims hotly, shooting him a look of irritated disbelief that’s exaggerated to hide the boiling that’s working its way into her stomach.
Still chuckling every few moments, Harry reaches for her hand once again, interlocking their fingers and bringing her palm to his mouth. “Alright,” He kisses her heated palm while gazing at her through half lidded eyes. “Alright, I’m sorry.  Mi dispiace, tesoro.”
Y/N purses her painted lips, but sighs in defeat after a few moments of Harry’s moony eyes boring into her own. “Fine.  I forgive you.  Ti perdono.”
Although the annoyance has faded from Y/N’s complexion, Harry still keeps her hand flushed to his lips, stamping kisses to a new area of skin with unpatterned frequency.  He’s not certain if her warmth is just her or the residual embarrassment, but he doesn’t care.  It’s just nice, he thinks, his eyes crinkling in the corners as he smiles at Y/N from across the table.  It’s comfortable.
“I have your glasses of cabernet sauvignon, Mr. Styles.” Luca interrupts from beside Harry, who had been so focused on the feeling of Y/N skin against his that he hadn’t noticed the waiter’s return. 
Harry gently lowers Y/N’s hand from his mouth, setting her palm down on the table with care. “Grazie.” Harry says casually, straightening his posture to allow Luca to set the glasses down. 
Y/N does the same, offering the young server a thankful smile once again. “Grazie.” Her voice rings sweetly from behind her lips, her confidence more stable thanks to Harry’s miniature Rosetta Stone lecture. 
“Prego, signorina.” Luca matches the Italian easily, his eyebrows raising in hopeful shock. “Parli anche italiano?” Do you speak Italian, too?
The human girl’s eyes flick to Harry as her mouth falls open without sound, and the immortal reads the distress signal easily. 
“No, lei non—” He cuts himself off in the middle of the address to Luca when he remembers that Y/N doesn’t like being spoken for.  Harry redirects his attention back to her questioning eyes. “I mean— he asked if you speak Italian.”
Y/N gives Harry an appreciative smile before turning back to Luca, the expression turning apologetic. “No, I don’t.  I wish I did, though.”
“It’s a fairly easy language to learn.” Luca tucks his tray underneath his arm as he regards the girl timidly. “And your accent is wonderful already.”
Harry hides his smirk behind his wine glass, stifling the laugh that’s threatening to sound.  The server must be entranced by her beauty, he thinks, because that’s the most blatant lie Harry has heard in a long time.
Y/N, however, accepts the compliment with ease. “Thank you.  It’s not true, but I appreciate the effort to be kind.”
The tips of Luca’s ears redden as he laughs breathlessly. “Are you, um, ready to order?”
“Oh, uh—” Y/N drops her gaze to the unopened menu in front of her before offering an rueful glance at the waiter. “I still need a few minutes, I think.”
“That’s alright, take your time.  I’ll be back shortly.” Luca assures her, turning to Harry and giving one last nod of acknowledgement before leaving them again.
Despite already having the menu of the restaurant memorized, Harry slides the leatherbound cover open, dragging a ringed finger down the smooth pages as he feigns searching for a dish. “You know…” He flits his gaze to Y/N’s face as an amused grin begins to tug at the corners of his mouth. “That’s really not fair of you.”
Y/N looks up from her own opened menu the moment Harry speaks, a bemused shadow falling over her face. “What’s not fair of me?”
Harry reaches for his wine glass as he laughs gently, shaking his head before taking a small sip of the smooth cabernet. “Being so charming to Luca.  The poor boy looks like he’s going to pass out each time you speak to him.”
Her cherry lips curve into an exasperated smile as she rolls her eyes. “I have no idea what you mean.” She states, turning her attention back down to the cursive menu. 
“Oh, you don’t, do you?” Harry replies dryly, quirking an eyebrow as he sets his beverage back down on the table. “So you’re not noticing how his eyes are glued to your mouth every time you say something?”
“Nope,” Y/N pops her lips on the last consonant sound of the word as she reaches for her own wine glass. “Because it’s not happening.  We’re just talking, H.  He’s the waiter; he has to look at me.”
“Right.” Harry drags the word out, completely unconvinced. His own eyes glue to Y/N’s lips as they wrap around the edge of her glass, his throat growing slightly parched as he studies the way they curve in a manner that he deems practically flawless. “So do you think the way he’s staring at your tits is also in his job description, then?”
Y/N snorts at the snarky remark, lowering her glass to rest just in front of her chest. “You’re the one who picked out a dress with such a low neckline.” She unwraps her index finger from the wine glass to point it at him in an accusatory manner. “Why did you get it, then, if you didn’t want my tits out on display?”
Harry takes a swig of his own wine as he fights back a laugh at her bold statement. “Let me fill you in on a little secret, mi amore.” He says, lowering his voice and setting down his delicate glass with a muted thud. “The main reason I got it…” The vampire watches the way Y/N’s breathing hitches when she feels the snakeskin tip of his boot brush against the back of her bare calf beneath the table. “Is because I’m curious to see what it would look like as a crumpled heap at the bottom of my staircase.”
The toe of his boot travels higher up her leg, circling around the bend of her knee before just barely grazing the soft flesh of her lower outer thigh.  Y/N does her best to control her breathing, but the effort is in vain when the cold metal zipper presses against her dimpled skin. 
“Harry…” His name leaves her crimson lips in a warning tone as she glances around the restaurant, eyeing the closest couple five tables away. 
“‘M excited to see it later, y’know? Been thinking about ripping it off ever since I zipped you into it.” Harry drags the toe of his boot back down her leg, coasting it lightly against her ribbon-wrapped ankle in small and concise motions. “But I suppose I’ll just have to be a bit more patient.  At least I’ll be seeing you like that; poor Luca could only dream of it.”
The human girl clears her throat quietly, taking another measured sip of her wine as she wills herself to steady. “The only thing poor about Luca is that he’s going to come back to the table and I still won’t know what I want.” She shifts her attention back to the open menu, ignoring the eye roll she receives from her lover across the table as she looks over the Italian in front of her. “I don’t know what any of this is.”
“Let me help, cara— which means, ‘dear,’ by the way.” Harry says in an amused voice, dropping his gaze to the cursive menu. “Do you want fish?  Pasta?  Red meat?  Chicken?”
“Maybe pasta.” Y/N murmurs in reply, running a finger down the booklet page as she reads over the Italian descriptions.  Her eyes catch the prices next to dishes, and she nearly gasps, but bites back the sound of surprise at the last moment.
“Alright…” Scanning down the pasta list, Harry bookmarks a few dishes he thinks Y/N may like. “You’d enjoy the ‘Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe’, I think.” He muses, rubbing a finger over his chin in thought. “Or the ‘Gnocchi al Vostro Gusto’.  That’s kind of like pasta— it’s a potato dumpling, and you can choose if you want a meat or gorgonzola sauce.”
“That sounds good.” Y/N finds the mentioned items on the menu, her eyes sweeping over the Italian descriptions to try and pick out the words Harry mentioned. “I think I’ll go with the last one, with the gorgonzola sauce.” Taking a sip of her wine to seal her decision, Y/N poses a question to Harry. “What are you thinking of having?”
“I’m not sure…” Harry lifts his shoulder in a careless shrug as he continues to scan the menu. “I have a few favourites, and those are always solid choices.  The lamb is quite good here; I haven’t had that in a while.”
As Harry peruses his decisions, Y/N begins to chew on the inside of her cheek, narrowly avoiding her habit of biting her lips and ruining the raspberry lacquer she’d painted on earlier as an idea forms in her head. 
“Harry,” She begins, waiting until he raises his jade eyes to meet hers before continuing. “When Luca comes back over…” The girl chooses her words carefully, doing her best to voice her question in the most understandable way. “Could you order for me?”
Just as she suspected he might, Harry rests his menu back down against the table, giving his whole attention to Y/N as his brows furrow. “You want me to order for you?” He asks, confusion threaded through his accent as his mind flips back to their first date, when Y/N had nearly skinned him alive for attempting to do just that. “Why?”
She shifts in her seat under his hot gaze, her own eyes dropping to her lap as her cheeks sear. “It’s— It’s in Italian, so it’ll probably be easier if you say it.”
Harry shakes his head in disagreement as he tries to reassure his date. “No, doll, it’s alright if you say it in English.  Luca will get it.  And if worse comes to worse—” He cracks a smile, tapping a bejeweled finger against the booklet. “Y’can just point.  He’ll get the gist.”
Despite the solutions offered, Y/N continues to shift around, her foot bumping against Harry’s boot as a soft sigh falls from her lips.  She’d hoped Harry would’ve just accepted the request on her first try, but he seems determined not to repeat his mistake from their first date, which means Y/N has to get a lot more honest.
“No, H, I want…” She purses her lips as she twists her fingers around the stem of her wine glass, gently swirling the dark liquid inside. “I want you to order for me.”
The smile on his face darkens into a befuddled expression. “I mean, I can,” Harry says slowly, closing the menu and sliding it onto the table as he appraises the girl across from him. “But I’m a little confused on your reasoning.  Last time I tried to order for you, you said I was trying to make decisions for you—”
“And you were,” Y/N can’t help but to defend herself, flashing a stormy look at Harry from beneath her lashes. “That’s why I’m telling you what I’d like now.”
Harry’s mouth gapes open as he stares at Y/N with a blank expression.  A scoffing laugh finally falls from his lips as he shakes his head again, reaching for his wine and bringing the glass to his lips. “You are the most confusing woman I’ve ever met, d’you know that?”
Y/N lets a beat of silence fall between them as she rethinks her question and how best to phrase it in a way that still lets her feel like she’s living in the twenty-first century. “I mean I— you said that it was polite, right?  At that brunch.  Your mom taught you it was a sign of respect.” Her eyes fall to the opal ring sitting on his pinky, sparkling in the candlelight like it always does.
Harry lowers his glass, watching Y/N with a guarded gaze. “Yeah.” He murmurs, licking his lips once as he places his cup back on the table. “She did, yeah.”
“And you’ve gone to a lot of trouble tonight— the dress, the reservation, everything— and I just— I wanted to—” The more Y/N tries to articulate her thoughts, the more tangled her thoughts become, and she sucks in a harsh breath of frustration. “I don’t know what I’m trying to say.”
Although Harry has a suspicion about her meaning, he doesn’t try to finish her sentence.  The last thing he wants to do is make Y/N feel like he’s trying to speak over her. “It’s alright.” He says instead, snaking his hand across the table to weave her fingers through his. “Take your time, tesoro.”
Heeding his advice, Y/N takes a moment to just focus on the feeling of Harry’s cool fingers wrapped around hers, and allows her thoughts to gather themselves together on their own.  When she tries again, her speech is hesitant, but less frustrated than before.
“I think I… understand you more now.” She mumbles the words, keeping her eyes glued to the shining stones that adorn Harry’s rings. “When you do things that I’m not used to… I know you’re doing them out of kindness, and not because you think I’m incapable.” Raising her stare to meet Harry’s entrancing emerald eyes, Y/N takes a deep breath before continuing. “You’ve done a lot to make me comfortable, and I appreciate it, so… I want to do something for you.  It’s no Gucci dress—” Y/N laughs breathlessly, her cheeks flushing again as her intent flickers away from Harry’s own for just a moment before— to his relief— returning. “— but you were taught it was a sign of respect, like opening a door, or pulling out a chair.  So if you want to order for me… you can.” She finishes in a quiet voice. “If you’d like to.”
A slow smile spreads over Harry’s strawberry lips as Y/N wraps up her speech. “Really?” He asks, his voice hushed with delight. “And you won’t accuse me of treating you like you’re incapable?”
Y/N’s eyes flash to him in a darkened glare, but her tone holds a jesting bite. “Not unless you piss me off.”
A soft exhale of air leaves Harry’s nostrils, the beginnings of a laugh. “I’ll keep that in mind.” He quips in return, catching Luca’s eye over Y/N’s shoulder as the waiter approaches the table again.
Although his body is turned towards Harry, Luca’s eyes canvas Y/N once more, the action bolder this time as his irises spend longer resting on her cleavage after observing her tinted pout.  The lengthened look grates against Harry’s nerves, and he clears his throat in a slightly irritated manner to call the young man’s attention back his way.
“Oh, uhm—” Luca’s ears redden as he turns back to Harry, clearing his throat as he steadies himself. “Sei pronto per ordinare, signor Styles?” Are you ready to order, Mr. Styles?
“Sì,” Harry replies curtly, tapping his thumb against Y/N’s soft hand. “Y/N vorrebbe gli Gnocchi al Vostro Gusto con la salsa al gorgonzola, e io prendo il filet mignon, cotto raro, per favore.” Y/N will have the Gnocchi al Vostro Gusto with the gorgonzola sauce, and I’ll have the filet mignon, cooked rare, please. He says smoothly, and he can’t deny the satisfied pleasure that curls inside his belly when he sees the gentle eyes Y/N gives him across the table.
Luca nods once as he takes the menus from the two of them, careful to keep his eyes away from Y/N’s mouth as he gathers her leatherbound copy and scuttles off to submit their orders to the kitchen.
“Okay.” Y/N says reluctantly, squeezing Harry’s hand within her own with a sigh as she watches the waiter disappear. “I will admit, I did notice his eyes drifting a little low there.”
“Sorry, what was that?” Harry asks, eyes widening in dramatized disbelief.  He wills himself to keep a triumphant grin off his face, but knows he doesn’t quite succeed. “Did you just admit I was right?  Did that just happen?”
“Oh, shut up.” Rolling her eyes, Y/N shakes her head as she takes another bite of garlic bread, her tongue poking from her mouth to catch a crumb at the corner of her lip. “If you’re going to act like such a child, I’ll take it back.”
Harry brings her knuckles to his mouth, brushing them against his lips in a tender motion. “I’m just trying to savour the moment, angel.” His cool breath crawls over her skin, eliciting a shiver from the human girl that he adores. “Who knows when I’ll get to experience it again.”
“Never, if I have any say in it.”
“Should we ask Luca to weigh in on this little debate, too? You know, since he’s practically as acquainted with you as I am.” 
“Bite me.”
The monster’s dimples wink at the irony of her insult, and his voice carries a knowing edge that only he can decipher. “Don’t I always?”
They fall into their usual rhythm after that, easily discussing what each of them had been up to throughout the week during their gaps away from the other.  Those gaps, Harry realizes as he listens to a work story from Y/N, are becoming shorter and shorter. He’d swung by Y/N’s cafe for lunch on Thursday to order a mediocre at best sandwich, and indulge in a far from mediocre makeout session in the back of his car.  And watching Y/N hurriedly tighten her ponytail while she stumbled away from his Cadillac, cheeks flaming as she nearly ran to the employee entrance around the back of the building before her break ended, had prompted Harry to call her that night for a long overdue phone sex session.  
Even after they had both helped the other reach climax, and post-orgasm photos had been sent (Harry had received a picture of Y/N stretched out on her bed, her face visibly heated and chest sweaty as she wore nothing but his “enjoy health” t-shirt, and in return, he’d sent a snapshot of his cum-covered abdomen, fingers resting delicately at the edge of his butterfly tattoo), the vampire and human had stayed on the line as they both caught their breath.  Harry had followed the nude photo with a picture of him posing with a glass of water and a thumbs up, smiling grandly amidst his colored cheeks and sweaty curls, captioning it “Make sure to hydrate after a workout!” The energy it took to take the self-timed photo was worth it when he’d heard Y/N’s laugh tumble out from the opposite end of the line. 
It’s the same carefree laugh that she’s trying to stifle now, her hand pressed over her mouth and nose as her eyes send an apologetic glance at Luca setting her plate of gnocchi down in front of her.
“Thank you, Luca,” She manages to choke out, wiping her eyes with the edge of her thumb to stop the saltwater threatening to rush down her heated cheeks. “It looks delicious.”
Harry nods in agreement as the waiter sets his own dish in front of him, his mischievous smirk still shining at Y/N from across the table. “Grazie.” He says as he curls his lips around his newly topped off wine glass.
Y/N bites her tongue to hold back the continuous laughter that’s on the verge of bursting from her chest like a dam.  With every moment Harry keeps his eyes locked on hers, the human girl has to press her lips harder and harder together, and barely manages to wait until Luca has left them again to release the wave of giggles that crest out of her chest.
“Something amusing?” Harry raises an eyebrow as he sets his glass down, hardly able to hold back his own laughter as couples seated away from them begin to take notice of the boisterous sounds.
“You—” Y/N sucks in a ragged breath, half snorting once more as she manages to calm herself enough to take a small sip of wine.  The liquid soothes the raw ache in her throat that is practically raw from the convulsed snickers. “You did not say that to him!”
“I did.” Harry answers smugly, adjusting the napkin covering the light grey fabric stretched over his lap before picking up his knife and fork. “He was too certain that no girl had ever faked it with him just because of a leg shake.  I couldn’t let him live in that delusion; it’d be a crime, really.  Just plain cruel.”
“Oh, right, like telling your friend that all the girls he’s been with have been faking it isn’t cruel?” She gently sets down her wine glass at the edge of her plate as she voices the retort, shaking her head in disbelief. “Poor Niall.”
“Not Poor Niall!  I was trying to help him!” Despite the claim, Harry can’t stop himself from chuckling out the words. “How’s he going to fix his ways if he doesn’t know anything is wrong?”
“Alright, so riddle me this, then, Dr. Phil.” Y/N picks up her fork, spearing a piece of gnocchi and holding the chunk above her plate as she issues her challenge to Harry. “How did you become the expert in whether or not a girl is faking it?  Do you have a lot of experience with that?”
“Not in the slightest.  I think you know that much.” Just as he did before, Harry begins to slide the tip of his boot up Y/N’s calf, relishing in the slight hitch in her breath and stutter of her heart. “If I’m an expert in anything, it’s how to make someone cum until their legs actually shake.  That’s why I can tell the fake from the real.”
Y/N takes a deep breath through her mouth, closing her eyes for a moment as she forms a coherent reply. “I guess I do know that.” She relents, opening her eyes just in time to see the simper that’s growing again across Harry’s face as he continues to rub up and down her leg with his shoe.  Y/N lifts her fork, carefully slipping the sauce-covered gnocchi into her mouth. “But Niall doesn’t— holy shit.” The mortal gasps as the flavours burst across her tongue, the perfect mix of savoury and salty and drenched in decadence.
“It’s good, innit?” Harry pokes his cheek with his tongue as he slices off a corner of his steak, checking the rarity of the meat before bringing it to his mouth. “There’s a reason this is my favourite restaurant, and it’s not just Vincenzo.”
“It’s fucking delicious.” Y/N can’t think to censor herself as she meticulously chews and swallows the bite, savouring every second before poking another gnocchi onto her fork. “I understand the price now.  It’s still outrageous, but I get it.”
Harry watches the way Y/N’s lashes flutter as she chews her bites, and the satisfaction growing in his belly increases. “High quality is worth paying for.” He states, slicing off another portion of steak. 
Y/N nods slowly, swallowing the food before pointing the prongs of her fork at Harry’s plate. “How’s your filet mignon?” She asks, spearing another bite of gnocchi onto the utensil. “Worth the price point?”
Dragging the bite on his fork through the sauce that’s pooled on his plate, Harry beckons her forward as he extends the piece towards her. “Open your mouth and find out.”
There’s something about the way that Y/N immediately obeys the command— setting down her own fork and leaning across the table to wrap her lips around Harry’s— that sends a shiver down his spine.  With her mouth closed, she slides the cut of beef off the silverware and leans back in her seat, chewing thoughtfully with a contemplative look on her face. 
A drop of sauce is smeared from the bite, dripping from the edge of her mouth, and although it goes unnoticed by Y/N, it’s all Harry can see as he watches her savor the bite of food.  He leans forward more, collecting the droplet on the pad of his thumb, which he brings to his mouth and licks off casually before settling back in his chair.
“Like it, tesoro?” He asks, an expectant look glinting in his eye as he slices off another bite for himself. 
Y/N cocks her head to the side as she swallows, trying her best to focus on the flavour and not the way Harry had been so careful not to smear her lipstick as he touched her. “I like the sauce.  It’s sweet, but has a bit of a kick to it.  The steak, however…” She wrinkles her nose the slightest bit. “It’s a little too rare for my taste, I think.  I’m not really a fan of anything bloody.”
Harry curls his tongue inside his mouth as he allows himself a single laugh. “No?” He questions, spearing a piece of meat and sliding it past his lips. “I can’t say the same.  I like my steaks cooked rare.  The bloodier, the better.” 
“I bet you’re one of those weirdos who orders blue steak, huh?” Y/N asks, taking a gulp of her wine to wash out the taste of the meat. “Like, still cold in the middle, and looking practically raw…”
“Oh, no.  Not at all.” Harry’s chuckles increase, and he has to hide them behind a false cough to stop himself from drawing more attention. “It tastes much better if the meal is warm.”
Although Y/N doesn’t grasp the full meaning behind his words— and thank God she doesn’t, Harry thinks, because she’d probably run screaming from the restaurant— she hums in acknowledgement as she swirls the wine around her glass.
“But you’re enjoying your meal, right?” Harry changes the subject swiftly, deciding he’s indulged his one-sided humour long enough. “I have no problem sending it back if it’s not to your liking.”
The human’s eyes widen as she swiftly sets down her glass, shaking her head at the question. “No, no, it’s delicious!  Probably the best thing I’ve ever eaten, honestly.” She collects another bit on her fork, twirling the potato dumpling through the gorgonzola sauce before motioning to Harry. “Wanna try?”
When Harry nods in response, they slip back into their former position, both of them leaning forward in their seats to meet in the middle of the table.  Y/N slips the fork into his mouth, feeling the resistance as Harry’s white teeth meet the strong metal of the cutlery. 
Just as had happened to her a few moments prior, a small droplet of sauce gathers at the corner of Harry’s mouth as she pulls her fork away.  Y/N collects the sauce with her thumb as Harry had as well, but before she can sit herself back in her chair, Harry captures her wrist within his cool hand. 
Keeping his canopy green eyes locked with hers, the creature slips her thumb into his mouth, licking the remnants of the bite off the digit with his slick tongue.  His boot continues its climb up her leg, just barely reaching her thigh again before traveling back down to plant itself firmly onto the floor of the restaurant.
A quiet gasp leaves Y/N’s mouth as Harry lulls his tongue around her thumb one last time, and the barely audible sound raises his strawberry lips into a hint of a grin as he extracts the finger from his mouth.  With his hand still wrapped around her wrist, Harry brings her open palm forward and plants a delicate kiss to the center of her hand.
“That’s quite good.” Harry finally says nonchalantly, attentively setting Y/N’s hand back down on the table and releasing her wrist from his grasp. “I’ll have to try it the next time we come.”
Y/N struggles to regulate her breathing as she retracts her hand from the table, setting it down in her lap as her fingers involuntarily clench into her heated thigh. “Um, yeah.” She wisps, clearing her throat once as she reaches for a slice of garlic bread. “Yeah, it’s, uh, it’s really good.  The sauce is— it has a nice balance to it, I think, with the thyme…”
“I agree.” Harry wipes his wet finger off on the napkin laying over his thigh. “You’ve got quite the mouth on you, don’t you, pet?”
“You would know.” Y/N huffs snidely, cheeks blazing as she reaches for her wine again to extract a heavy gulp of the liquor.  
In the moments of silence that fall between them, Y/N allows herself to canvas the restaurant, observing the interactions of those around her.  True to Vincenzo’s promise of a private spot, the couples nearest to them are all at least five tables away, and partially hidden from view because of the positioning of their corner booth.  However, Y/N’s sharp eyes don’t miss how every formally-dressed staff member, from servers to busboys and hosts, cast their eyes in Harry’s direction each time they pass by.  Some even whisper to their coworkers as they turn the corner, their gazes always lingering on Harry with a mix of awe and wonder.
“Have you noticed how all the staff here watch you?” Y/N asks as she catches the eye of a passing waitress, who offers her a tense smile before sliding her stare towards Harry. 
“Do they?” Harry replies curiously, raising his wine glass to his lips as he lightly shrugs. “I’ve never paid much attention to it.”
“I think Vincenzo’s given them all the update on the prestigious British bachelor, Harry Styles.” Y/N pokes fun, tilting her head to the side thoughtfully as she contemplates Harry with an observant eye. “Or maybe they’ve all just noticed the ridiculous amount of designer labels you insist on wearing.” She teases him with a playful grin, tapping a finger against the Gucci cufflinks on his sleeves. “I feel a bit like a celebrity.”
A modest laugh breaks past Harry’s lips as he lowers the glass, keeping his ringed fingers twisted around the stem. “In my experience, I’ve found you’re treated best when you treat the staff best.  I tip well, so I receive better service.  When I receive better service, I tip more.  It’s a bit of a cycle, isn’t it?” He asks rhetorically, the tip of his boot once again exploring the soft skin of Y/N’s bare leg. “But I’m glad you’re enjoying yourself.  I thought I’d test the waters tonight and see how well you like the high life before I arrange anything more… extravagant.”
“More extravagant?” Y/N laughs at the idea, propping her elbow on the table and plopping her chin in her hand as her eyebrows raise. “What could possibly be more extravagant than a Gucci cocktail dress, Loubotin heels, and a fifty dollar pasta dish?”
The answer rolls off Harry’s tongue immediately, slathered in a jesting, matter-of-fact tone. “A trip to the Bahamas, obviously.”
Although Y/N’s eyes widen slightly at the comment, it’s not long before she giggles softly, the wine beginning to twist its way through her system.  Harry can smell the way her lavender and honey scent is intertwined with the dark, fruity notes of the liquor, but even if he couldn’t, it would be obvious in the way she draws towards him with a tender smile on her face.  Despite the dewy appearance of her skin amidst the lulled candlelight, it’s the genuine warmth behind Y/N’s eyes that makes Harry feel like her gaze could thaw the ice from his long-frozen limbs.
It’s that warmth that brings Harry to reach over the table after Luca has cleared their bare plates and refilled their glasses, dragging his hands across the linen tablecloth with his palms turned upwards.  He just can’t ever seem to stifle the need to touch her.
The motion is a quiet question in itself, and Y/N gives the desired answer when she fills his empty grasp with her own palms, automatically tangling her bare fingers with Harry’s jeweled digits. For a moment, Harry just sits there, thumbing over her fragile knuckles in the way he’s grown so accustomed to doing, basking in the heat that congregates in his chest and gives him the feeling that he’s glowing.  He almost hates to break the perfect silence between them, which is so understanding, but he’s been thinking about his words too carefully to swallow them back.
“Thank you for agreeing to let me take you out.” He says, his voice gentle and low, a far cry from his usual cocky drawl. “It’s…It’s been a really long time since I’ve done something like this with anyone, let alone had this much fun doing it.” He takes a quiet breath through barely parted lips. “It’s nice.”
His ears prick with the sound of Y/N’s hummingbird heartbeat thrumming in her chest, the pattern bringing an ache to his tummy in an entirely new way, but the ache is quickly soothed by the soft smile that adorns her crimson lips.
“It’s…It’s been a while for me, as well.  Which you know.” She laughs airily, but is too entranced by the vivid color of Harry’s eyes to tear her gaze away. “I’m having fun, too.  I’m glad— I mean—”
Harry continues to rub over her knuckles patiently, keeping his touch as gentle as she is, making sure to gift her an instance to collect her thoughts.
“I’ll admit, I was… worried at first.  When we started to go on actual dates.” The mortal takes a deep breath through her nose, but it hardly calms her down as she inhales the vanilla and tobacco scent of Harry’s cologne. “We were doing so well with just sex, y’know?  And I was worried that adding more would… ruin it.”
The faint grin playing on the edge of Harry’s mouth disappears, and a chill runs through his bones at the possibility of what they have dismantling at the seams. “But it hasn’t… Has it?”
The seconds Harry spends waiting for an answer is agony, but the relief is instantaneous when Y/N replies in a bashful voice. “No.” She whispers, her gaze faltering down to her lap before raising back to him. “It hasn’t.”
“I feel like…” Harry worries his bottom lip between his teeth, nearly forgetting to be mindful of his strength so as to not break his skin. “I feel like it’s made things better, even.  Like… like we work better together, yeah?” He clears his throat gingerly as nerves begin to dip into his dormant veins.  He knows he’s treading on dangerously thin ice, and he’s never been more at risk of plunging into the freezing depths below, but he can’t make himself return to shore.  Not now. “Not that we weren’t working well before, because we were.  We were working really well— incredibly well.  But I just feel like tacking on this little bit of extra stuff makes everything more fulfilling.”
A wry smile breaks across Y/N’s face. “Right, because who doesn’t love getting wined and dined before getting their back done in?” She jokes easily, and Harry snorts in spite of himself, grateful for how she always manages to save him from making an ass of himself.
“I just really like spending time with you, I guess.” He squeezes her hands within his own before the sincere moment disappears. “It feels natural.  Really natural.”
“It does.  And while we’re confessing our innermost confessions over garlic bread…” The mortal purses her lips as a sparkle appears in her eyes, glinting at Harry like the North Star. “I want you to know how grateful I am for what we have.  I was feeling really lonely and out of place when we met, and running into you…” Y/N hesitates for a fraction of a instant, just long enough for Harry’s own breathing to catch. “It really helped me get back on my feet.  It’s just nice to have someone who I mesh with so well, especially after such a big move and everything, so…” A new wave of heat works its way over the apples of her cheeks. “I suppose this is a bit of a ‘thank you’.  Thanks for coming up to me that night at the club.”
Harry’s lips quirk at the corners as the tender confession settles into his chest. “Thank you for letting me chat you up.  It was a two way street, love.  Although—” His signature smirk begins to make a reappearance. “It’s not like I had to try very hard— you practically drooled the second you laid your eyes on me.”
Y/N’s mouth drops open indignantly as she yanks her hands back from his, rolling her eyes heavily while smoothing the hem of her dress. “Alright, that’s enough.  Moment over, dickhead.  Go back to sipping your wine and looking hot in your suit in silence.”
Although Harry obeys her order and picks up his wine glass with nimble fingers, his eyes grow teasingly large over the rim, accent dripping with faux shock. “You think I’m hot?”
“I’d hope you know that,” Y/N says cooly as she grasps the stem of her own glass. “I don’t let just anyone choke me.”
It’s Harry’s turn to cough on his liquor as he registers the comment, and he struggles not to spill the dark liquid down the front of his brand new suit as he barks out a laugh.
“Well, for what it’s worth,” he says after he swallows the drink, setting his glass back down on the table firmly. “I don’t let just anyone use my jacuzzi whenever they want.”
“Right, right, because you allowing me to use your hot tub is equivalent to me letting you wrap your fingers around my throat.” Y/N snorts, drumming her digits against the table top. “Practically identical.”
Harry snakes his hand across the table and cards their grips once more, squeezing her fingers playfully as he taps against her knuckles. “It’s not like you complain while it’s happening.”
“Only because it’s hard to talk when my air flow is restricted.”
“Really?  Because you still manage to moan just fine.”
Harry delights in the way her eyes hurriedly dash to the other diners, her heartbeat stuttering in her heaving chest.  He likes that he can still get a rise out of her with his crude jokes, even after all he’s said to her.
“Christ, Harry, lower your voice!  Don’t let anyone hear you!” Y/N protests, cupping a hand over her sizzling cheek.
“No one can hear me, love.” He chuckles lightly as he reassures her with another squeeze of her fingers. “S’why I always request a private table.”
“Oh, so you have a pattern, then?” She quirks an eyebrow at the comment. “Do you bring women here that often to discuss choking?  So much that you need a private table?”
Although there’s a mocking air to her words, Harry’s laugh cuts off. “No.  I don’t.”
Y/N hums in the back of her throat as she raises her wine glass to her lips. “I don’t believe you.  I think I’ll ask Vinzenco on our way out.  He seems like an honest man.”
Cool relief flushes through Harry’s body, but he hides it behind an incredulous gasp. “So what I’m hearing is that you’re interested in him.  Do you want Vincenzo to choke you instead?” His face breaks into a look of exaggerated disbelief tinged with fake disgust. “He’s married, you tramp!”
Y/N can’t help but laugh when Harry yanks his hand away from hers, pretending to wipe it on his napkin while gagging, as if touching her is a horrendous act. 
“I hate you.” She giggles, shaking her head slowly. 
“I promise you that no matter how much you hate me, Vincenzo’s wife would hate you tenfold.” Harry shakes out his hand before setting it back down on the table. 
“Don’t worry.” Y/N rolls her eyes at the exaggeration. “I don’t plan on breaking up a marriage tonight.”
“How gracious of you.” Harry murmurs, but he leans forward with a mischievous glint in his eye as he shamelessly canvasses Y/N’s body. “You could, you know.  Vincenzo is only a man.  Look how you had Poor Luca drooling tonight.  You in that dress…” He settles his eyes on her prominent cleavage. “Y’look like Aphrodite, almost.”
Despite the heat that flashes over Y/N’s entire body, she keeps her voice dry when she responds. “I don’t know about that; this isn’t much of a grecian look.”
“Well…” A grin creeps onto Harry’s face, igniting his jade irises with humour. “You look like Aphrodite if Aphrodite was a twenty-first century sugar baby.”
Y/N’s mouth drops open before she spits out an indignant reply. “I’m not a sugar baby!”
“Sorry, who bought you that dress?”
“That doesn’t count—”
“And who do you call ‘daddy’?”
Harry can hear the way blood rushes to her cheeks, and it sends a delicious shiver down his spine. 
Y/N, however, glares up at him through her thick lashes, her hands twisting the cloth napkin in her lap. “You’re a prick.”
“I’m simply stating facts, darling.” Harry sighs lightly, ducking one of his hands underneath the table and reaching to give her bare knee a squeeze.  He revels in the way she jumps at his touch. “And I’ve got videos of you whimpering that over and over to prove it.”
“If you keep this up,” Y/N says, forcing her voice to stay steady as she nods to his grasp on her skin. “You won’t be getting any more of them.”
“Is that so?” Harry’s hand travels further up her leg, the metal of his rings icy against the heated flesh of her inner thighs. “Guess you won’t be getting any more videos of me playing with myself either, then.  Fair’s fair.”
The whimper that falls from Y/N’s lips is so quiet that if Harry were human, he wouldn’t have been able to detect it. “Harry—” 
“You don’t like that, do you?” He taunts lowly, continuing to rub over her thigh as he leaves a trail of goosebumps in his wake. “The idea of me taking that away? Of never seeing me lose myself for you on video ever again?”
Y/N clears her throat thickly. “N-No.”
“I didn’t think so.” With his free hand, Harry lifts his wine to his lips, taking a long sip as his darkened eyes stay locked to hers. “So you’d better behave for me then, hm?”
Despite the electrifying way her entire body is starting to fizzle, Y/N still manages to choke out an amused scoff. “You’re starting to sound like a cheap porno, H.  Be careful.”
“Careful?  You want to be careful?” Harry asks, eyebrows poised as he digs his fingertips into the meaty flesh of her thigh. “Alright.”
In one fast motion, Harry snakes his hand completely up Y/N’s dress to cup over her lace-covered cunt, running the pads of his fingers over the dampening cloth.  He hooks one finger into the side of the lace and gives a sharp yank, and although Y/N’s not sure how he does it, or how Harry attained the sudden rush of strength needed to do so, she feels the delicate fabric rip right down the center. 
Before she can even process what’s happened, the act is over as quickly as it started as Harry settles back into his seat, eyebrows cocked in a conceited fashion as he watches her assess the new issue. 
“You’ll have to be careful now, won’t you, minx?  Gonna have t’keep your legs closed like a proper good girl— which I know is hard for you whenever I’m around.” He teases, his hand still clenched under the table as the other raises his glass to his strawberry lips. “Otherwise we might have a little mishap, hm?”
Y/N’s breath stutters in her pounding chest as she clenches her thighs as tight as she can. “You didn’t.”
Raising his hand from beneath the table, Harry opens his palm for just a moment, flashing her the scrap of black lace that had once been her panties before coasting his hand beneath his jacket and tucking the article into his pocket. “Didn't I?”
“Harry!” Y/N hisses, her voice dangerously low as she leans over the table. 
“Yes?” He replies innocently, wrapping his hand firmly around his glass. “Something the matter?”
Y/N gapes at the man across from her in disbelief. “You’re such a dick, you know that?” 
“I promise you, I’m well aware.” Harry laughs lightly as he polishes off the last of his wine. “But it’s not like you don’t like it.  You wouldn’t bounce on my cock if you didn’t.”
Sucking in a harsh breath through her teeth, Y/N clenches the tight satin of her dress in her fists. “God, I’m going to fucking kill you.”
“Yeah?” Harry quirks an eyebrow with a cocky smirk. “Good luck trying to catch me without flashing your entire arse to the kitchen staff.”
“I swear on my life, I’m going to rip off your—” 
“Ciao, Harry! Bella donna!” Vincenzo’s voice cuts over Y/N’s thinly-veiled threat as he approaches the table with arms wide and a smile pasted onto his face. “Come trovi tutto? Possiamo portarti dell'altro vino? La carta dei dolci?” How are you finding everything?  Can we get you more wine?  The dessert menu?
“È tutto delizioso, Vincenzo, grazie.” Everything is delicious, Vincenzo, thank you. Harry drawls, his grin growing as he turns to Y/N with a condescending tilt of his head. “What do you think, tesoro?  Are you in the mood for dessert?  Or have you had enough?”
Y/N’s mouth is too dry for her to answer, especially with the way Harry’s irises twinkle suggestively at his own words, so she finishes the last dregs of her wine before shaking her head tightly. “No— no dessert for me, thanks.”
Vincenzo heaves a dramatic gasp as he turns his full attention to her. “Bella donna, what is this?  Surely you want to try our dessert?  Even just some homemade gelato?”
“Oh, no, Vincenzo, thank you, but I don’t think I could squeeze any more food into my stomach.” Y/N fights to keep herself from sounding flustered, but she knows it’s a losing battle when she hears Harry mutter something about how wonderful she is at squeezing under his breath.
Vincenzo clicks his tongue with a shake of his head, twisting his astonished gaze back to Harry. “Harry, per favore, sicuramente puoi convincere il tuo appuntamento a mangiare un boccone di dessert? È sulla casa.” Harry, please, surely you can convince your date to have a bite of dessert?  It’s on the house.
The vampire presses his tongue into his cheek as he appraises Y/N again, the clenching of her abdomen drawing his eye more than anything else. Harry uses the tip of his boot to once again trail up the back of her calf beneath the tablecloth, giving her a wicked grin. “You’re sure you don’t want anything else, tesoro?”
Y/N jerks her head once more as a shadow crosses over her eyes. “No, thank you.” She reiterates in a strained voice.
With a casual shrug of his shoulders, Harry twists to face Vincenzo again, voice surrendered. “Grazie per l'offerta, Vincenzo, ma sembra che stiamo bene. Accettiamo solo il conto, per favore.” Thank you for the offer, Vincenzo, but it looks like we’re fine.  We’ll just take the check, please.
The restaurant owner sighs in disappointment, but nods in acceptance. “Va bene, va bene, solo l'assegno. Ma la prossima volta che torni, mi amore,” Vincenzo shifts his attention back to Y/N, who meets his smile as best as she can. “Dovrai provare due dolci per compensare la mancanza di uno stasera, vero?” Okay, okay, just the check.  But next time you come back, my love, you’ll have to try two desserts to make up for the lack of one tonight, yes?
Harry leans across the table and whispers the translation low in her ear, his cool breath sending a shiver down her spine as it rolls over her body.
“Yes, Vincenzo.  Next time.” Y/N promises quickly, clasping her hands tightly around the hem of her tight dress as the thigh slit begins to ride up.
Vincenzo motions over his shoulder for Luca to bring the check, chatting happily to Harry in Italian throughout the whole transaction.  Y/N stays quiet the entire time, instinctively hiding her boiling cheeks behind her hands each time one of them casts a glance her way.  Despite the nerves wreaking havoc in her belly, Harry continues to make casual conversation as he swipes his credit card, laughing and joking with Vincenzo like he has all the time in the world.  By the time the restaurant owner bids them both goodbye, Y/N’s certain she’s sweated well through the thin fabric of her dress from her nerves.
Harry, however, looks perfectly at ease as he tucks his wallet back into his suit jacket. “You handled that well, doll.  ‘M proud of you.” He says easily, rubbing a finger down the condensation dotting his glass of ice water. 
“I’m glad you’re enjoying this.” Y/N hisses at him, clenching her thighs together as another waiter passes dangerously close to their table. “How am I supposed to walk out of here without anyone noticing?”
“Like this.” Harry rises from the table and extends a hand to Y/N, who eyes it warily from her seated position. “C’mon, love, you’re going to have to trust me.” He goads her with a sigh, wiggling his fingers until Y/N gives in and settles her palm inside his.
Making sure his own body is hiding Y/N from the line of sight of anyone else, Harry helps pull his lover from her chair before removing his jacket with one swift motion.  He settles the rich grey fabric over her bare shoulders, draping the article in such a way that it covers the deep thigh slit that exposes her bare skin. 
“How’s that?” Harry asks lowly, voice tender as he fixes the collar of the jacket around Y/N’s delicate neck. “S’that better?”
The moment Harry’s familiar and intoxicating cologne fills her senses, all the irritation evaporates from Y/N’s veins, leaving behind only the quiet thrum of attraction that’s intensified by the man’s fragrance. 
“Yeah.” She whispers, the cadence of her voice nearing shyness as Harry tugs a lock of hair from underneath the collar of the jacket. “It’s a bit better.”
“Good.” The vampire leans down and stamps his lips to the girl’s forehead, letting his mouth linger for a few seconds before straightening up. “I promise I won’t let anyone see anything.  And even if someone does see something, as long as you’re with me, nobody will say a word.”
Y/N nods gently as Harry grasps her hand in his own to lead her out of the restaurant and back to his car. “Alright.  I trust you.”
That warmth from earlier begins to spread through Harry’s chest again the moment she utters the words. “I’m glad to hear that.” He snakes his hand inside the jacket, brushing his fingertips against her breast before dipping his hand into the pocket.  When he withdraws it, the lace of her ripped panties is visible for only a moment before he tucks it into the back of his slacks with a smirk. “These are mine now. A little spoil of war for my trophy case.”
Despite his protective stance around her as he begins to weave the two of them through tables, Y/N scoffs at the action. “I still can’t believe you did that, you asshole.”
“Oh, I’m an asshole?” Harry glances over his shoulder as he quirks an eyebrow teasingly. “Alright, then.  I can just drop you back off at your apartment, if you’d like.  Go back to my place alone tonight. Gonna have to unbutton my trousers on my own, and peel this nice shirt off by myself, and crawl in between my sheets rather than in between your thighs. Such a shame.”
Y/N can’t stop the whine that echoes the back of her throat. “No, H—”
“That’s what I thought.” Harry steps back from her just enough to tug open the glass front door of the restaurant, his eyes already settling on the valet.  When he speaks, however, it’s just for her to hear, and her alone. It sends a current of anticipation through her veins as it washes across the shell of her ear, his breath smelling of sweet grapes and notes of cherry from their wine, thick with the tangy scent of liquor and cooler than usual from the chilled beverage. Despite that coldness, his next promise settles into her exposed core with a familiar heat that she knows only he can resolve.
“Don’t worry, sweetheart, I’m not done with you just yet. It’s gonna be a long night.” 
953 notes · View notes
whumpzone · 5 months ago
Linden & Colton - 12
(masterpost) (im numbering the chapters now! here is part 2, from last week’s piece!!)
please tumblr tag people this time
CW for nsfw/noncon thoughts, whumpee offering themselves up sexually (and being rejected, obvs)
Pet had cried, he had sobbed and wailed and managed to not let it sound too much like speech- or at least, he must have, because Master wasn’t beating him.
He hoped he had cried enough to satisfy Master’s urge in that regard. It was just about the only thing that Pet knew pleased him.
But now- he had to show Master what he would do for him. How willing he was to satisfy him. He took a deep breath. He had wasted enough time. He could do this. I’m still alive, aren’t I? I can do this.
Right on cue his mind started to go hazy. He knew what he was about to do, but only in terms of the movements his body would make. He couldn’t think any further. He had to let go, be pliable and good, and not come back until he was used up and tossed to the floor.
He wiped the remaining tears from his face and lifted his head, keeping his eyes down. Master didn’t move. He was waiting, and probably getting impatient. He couldn’t have made it more clear that he expected his pet to make the first move.
One hand on the floor. Knees rolling forward until he was on all fours, ass up, one hand in front of the other as he crawled towards Master. Slowly. He had never been taught seduction, but he hardly needed it. The same fear and anticipation that had brought him to collapse moments earlier was now pushing his limbs forward. To get it over with, to make Master happy, to try not to get thrown out.
Glancing up through his eyelashes, Pet saw that Master was not moving. Rather, he was watching his dog with an unreadable expression. At least he did not look angry- but he did not look pleased either. Hopefully that would change after Pet has serviced him.
He would use his mouth. He didn’t think it directly, rather he just knew. His mind was mercifully bypassing the stage of thinking or comprehending. He would use his mouth and he could only pray that would be enough, or else he would lie down and take his beating obediently.
He was close, now. Almost through the door frame. Master’s legs were crossed, his thighs wide apart, ready. An unspoken order. Pet swallowed and let his lips part slightly. His thoughts closed off completely as he entered the agonisingly familiar setting- the equivalent of someone holding their nose before eating something foul. Pet was pinching his mind closed to stop anything getting in or out that might make him curl up into a ball to scream and cry and panic.
He pushed his face against Master’s crotch, letting his warm breath brush over the fabric, leaving a faint moisture there. He reached with one hand to tug at the waistband, his fingers hooking into the elastic, and-
“No- no!” Master snapped, standing up so suddenly that Pet gasped, instinctively going to shield his head.
He looked up- Master had one hand to his waistband, almost protectively, and his face was taut with shock. But it suddenly clicked- Master was stood, Pet was on his knees. Okay. Nothing else mattered.
Pet lowered his hands, palms flat on the floor, and sat back in a kneeling position, legs apart, head up. Mouth open. Eyes blank. Please, please just get it over with.
“Oh my god. No, Col, no no no, I don’t want that from you. No. Close your mouth, fuck.”
Pet flinched at the swear but obeyed instantly. He almost spoke, almost cried out please, please god this is all I have, this is all I can offer you. Without this I’m below dirt, I’m nothing, please Master I’m just a body and I have to please you. I can please you. Why am I here if not for this.
Terror suddenly hit him in the guts. He had made a mistake. He tried to persuade Master and it failed. Who cares if he thought it was right? He was meant to be completely open and willing, not assertive, not making decisions. He had messed up and the punishment would be severe.
Or he would just be killed. Or thrown out. He thought Master was getting him ready to be used and it had been days without a new injury. In fact, his only pain since coming here had been his self-inflicted burn. He was more healed than he has ever been in living memory.
He trembled as Master looked down at him, his lips pressed together in thought. He took a breath. “Okay. Okay. I’m going to lay down some rules. I think right now that will help.”
Pet looked up- not into Master’s eyes, but near enough. Rules. So he was not being thrown out. Master still had some training for his dog, after all.
“Firstly. You have to eat and drink.” Master reached, keeping a gap between himself and his pet, and grabbed the glass of water. Pet looked at it, knowing he had to take it, but his body ignored him. He was frozen in fear, he realised. Waiting for the other shoe to drop.
“It’s okay,” Master said, so sweetly that he could have been talking to Jaffa. He crouched and tilted the glass against Pet’s lips. Pet drank obediently, wondering what it was laced with. Why else would Master be so keen that he drink? Indeed, it would make sense, given he apparently didn’t like his Pet trying to initiate.
If he just ordered me onto the bed, I’d go, he thought as he drank. But maybe drugging me is part of the fun.  
Thoughts of him, his body, lolling helplessly on the bed, unable to even lift his head and watch properly as Master stalked closer like a wolf over an injured lamb. The images flashed in his mind, making him choke on the water slightly with the suddenness of them. He wouldn’t be able to moan or cry. He would lie there, seeing nothing, but probably feeling everything. Completely open for Master’s use. Maybe that was how he’d be kept permanently from now on. He couldn’t know.
“Well done, well done,” Master said as Pet finished drinking. “Eat this next, okay?”
The cereal bar. It was still wrapped, Pet could see. It looked safe. Not that any of those thoughts mattered. He had been given an order: his only option was to do as he is told.
He ate with no issue, and earned a few more words of meaningless praise.
“Okay. I think we- hm,” Master took a step away from Pet and sat, this time with his legs tucked together. “So, you thought- or you, uh, you thought that I wanted you to- suck me off? Yes?”
Pet only nodded. He was so sorry. He shouldn’t have been thinking at all.
“Is that what you had to do in your previous house,” he asked quietly.
Pet nodded again.
“Oh my god. Oh Col, I’m so sorry. That is awful. That should never have happened to you. I’m sorry that I didn’t know.”
Pet listened, but the words made no sense. No one had ever apologised to him before, and he didn’t understand why Master was doing it now.
“Not here. Understand, Col? Not here. Nothing sexual will ever happen between you and me, is that absolutely clear? And as a rule, you must not ever try to offer something like that to me again. I’m not angry. But this is a rule you have to follow.”
The phrasing was weird- Pet would follow any and all rules given to him- but he nodded once more. The horror inside him only grew, curling around his stomach like ice. He was not to please Master that way- so he would be rented out? Used for public relief? Chained outside for easy access?
But before he could get trapped in that idea, Master spoke again. “In fact, no one is going to use you sexually. I won’t let them. Is that clear?”
Pet nodded, more than a little relief thawing his frozen stomach. It was too good to be true, but Pet was only a simple-minded creature. Master was speaking so firmly that Pet couldn’t be blamed for getting lost in the fantasy of it. Never used again, as long as he was under this owner. It was far, far too good to be true.
But it still sparked a sense of fierce loyalty in him. A desperate need to earn his place and stay here.
“Is there a reason you thought that I- wanted you in that way? Why today? Did I do something?”
Pet paused. He didn’t want to come across as accusing Master of anything, but he had been asked a question. He raised his non-burnt hand to his head and brought it down, pretending to pat. Not actually making contact. That was a kindness only for his Master to bestow.
Master’s face was grave. “Because I touched you yesterday. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to imply that I wanted this. I won’t touch you again.”
Oh no. No no no no no.
Pet made a noise, a strangled yelp, so nearly a word, and pressed his head to the floor. He was sorry, he really was, he’d take any pain over losing Master’s gentle touch. Being patted yesterday had been the best thing he’d ever felt.
“Whoa, whoa, okay, it’s okay Col, so you do want me to- touch you? You like physical contact?”
Pet tilted his head to look up, still with his face pressed to the carpet, and nodded against the bristles.
“Okay. Thank you for telling me. You’re good at communicating, even without words.”
The ice in Pet’s stomached thawed some more. Master was speaking so calmly, and he hadn’t brought his fists down on Pet, and whatever was in the water hadn’t taken effect yet. He was okay, he realised. He wasn’t hurting or being torn open or crying for mercy. He was still in danger- he was always in danger, so close to his owner. He pushed himself back onto his knees, and didn’t get punished for that either.
“It’s all okay. You don’t have to earn something like that. And they don’t mean anything sexual. You can have them whenever you want, okay? That’s another rule. You’re always allowed to be, uh, touched, Col.”
Maybe I’m a lapdog, Pet mused. Maybe Master really does just want another pet like Jaffa.
The idea almost made him smile wryly. Of course he wouldn’t be a lapdog. It was a nice thought, though.
“Would you like to come downstairs with me? Or sit on the balcony? It’s a little cloudy, but I can give you a blanket.”
Pet decided he might as well test the new rule out right away. He didn’t want to be strung along, given false hope. If it was a joke, and he was almost sure it was, he would like to find out right away and take the beating. So he glanced into Master’s eyes for half a second, and raised a hand to his head.
. . .
Linden felt rung out. Seeing the way Col had nodded, head bowed, eyes downcast, confirming his sexual slavery- it had knocked the wind out of him completely. All this time Linden hadn’t known. How could he have? But he still cursed himself for not being able to help him.
He had only thought Col was coming closer for the glass of water, or some more head pats, or something. He should have moved away sooner. He shouldn’t have let him get so close, he shouldn’t have snapped, he should have just- done things differently.
He took a breath.
Talking to Col was difficult at the best of times, but these were topics Linden couldn’t find out about unless he knew what to ask. And he hadn’t known to ask until Col tried to yank his trousers down. God.
Col was being clear now, though. It broke his heart that he wouldn’t even touch his own hand to his head- presumably that was against the rules. He truly relied on his owner for everything, even the smallest scraps of comfort.
“Of course, Col. I’ll come and sit nearer to you, okay? I’ll only touch your head unless you tell me otherwise.”
He settled next to Col, his back against the doorframe, and gently drew the boy’s head against his shoulder, arm around him, fingers brushing through his hair. Col pressed his head into Linden, just a little, but for Col that was a huge display of enjoyment. So Linden stayed put, saying nothing, only hoping that Col had understood everything he’d said.
. . .
Master’s arm around Pet felt... brand new. He’d never experienced something like it before. The pressure of his arm, the warmth, the soft skin. To be touched without any tension or severity behind it.
If Pet allowed himself to believe that Master’s current kindness was genuine, then he had to accept that it would hurt, hurt so awfully, when it was all ripped away. Master wasn’t just letting him heal physically, only to be broken down again- he was building him up with soft words and gentle skin on skin, and it would be a wholly new kind of torture when he was put back in his place.
But Pet would take it. He was an object made to be used: if this owner’s particular type of sadism involved kindness preceding the torture, Pet was lucky for that at least.
(tagging: @newbornwhumperfly @whumpadump1939 @firewheeesky @whump-me-all-night-long @captainseconds @grizzlie70 @unicornscotty @lave-whump @princessofonward @cupcakes-and-pain @bumbumbea @whumpfigure @yet-another-heathen @secretwhumplair @whumps-up @as-a-matter-of-whump @temporary-whump-sideblog @getyourwhumphere @itzagoodthing @whumpymirages @soapparentlyilikewhumpnow  @zipadeedooda-drabbles @penny-for-your-whump @briars7 @legallylibra @whumpwillow @angel-stars @loyds-of-registry @tears-and-lilies @badluck990 @rosesareviolentlyread @vickytokio @neuro-whump @thingsthatgo-whump-inthenight @whumpsy-daisies @control-whumps @theydy-cringeworthy @starnight-whump @cursedandtired @jo-doe-seeking-inspo @justabitofwhump @glamrockgregory @rippedjeansandfadeddreams @genesissane @justbreakonme @addyez @httyd-chocolate @littlespacecastle @haro-whumps @extrabitterbrain @briars7 @neverthelass @downrivergirl914 @kween-pinescales)
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duuhrayliegh · 4 months ago
A Friend of Yours - pt. 3
pairing: bucky x reader
warnings: TFATWS SPOILERS!!!!!, language, canon lvl violence, soft!bucky, some suggestive content, it’s ten thousand words so i’m sure i missed something, just lmk and i’ll tag it accordingly babes.
word count: 10,246 (i may have gone a little overboard)
a/n: this is the last part, unless y’all want more. i’m rlly proud of myself w this series, granted MUCH of the content was already written for me, nonetheless, here you go. i hope y’all like it <3
read A Friend of Yours - pt. 1 and A Friend of Yours - pt. 2
p.s.: my requests and tag lists are open!!
check out my m.list here!
xoxo ray
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The Wilson family house was adorable. Two stories with chipped blue paint on the walls and yellowing white on the columns. You had beat Sam there, so you decided to just look around for a few minutes before meeting Sarah and the boys. You walked out to the dock in front of their house, admiring the water, how still and calm it was. You were staring into the distance when you heard small footsteps from behind you.
“You know, it’s rude to sneak up on people.” You weren’t sure which boy it was, but you were trying to present a non-threatening front.
“You know, it’s rude to invite yourself onto someone else's property.” You were surprised when you heard Sam’s voice respond to you. Turning quickly to face the man with the confused expression. “I thought you wouldn’t come to the States because of the whole Enemy of it thing.” He walked away from you, gesturing for you to follow as he picked up your abandoned duffle. “He’s not here if that’s who you’re looking for.” You shook your head as you crossed the threshold into the living room.
“I’m not here for him, although he would be a much welcome bonus.” The two of you shared a laugh. “But no, I’m here to help you however I can.” Sam’s eyes narrowed, wondering if he should question your generosity. Your eyes must have given away your desperation for a home because he decided against it.
“Okay, but if you’re here, you’re gonna work. We’ve got a lot of shit to get done if we’re going to fix this boat up.”
“What boat?” You smiled at him as he began explaining what was going on. He just skimmed the top of what was really happening, but you could tell he was worried even though he wore a good facade.
“Get changed into some clothes you don’t mind getting messed up.”
“Am I going to be doing, like, manual labor?” He gave you a ‘duh’ look to which you groaned, “So, shorts are out of the question?” Sam had already walked into the kitchen before replying.
“Only if you want to freeze your ass off!” You changed quickly into a pair of ripped mom jeans that you cinched with a belt at your waist and a white short sleeved shirt.
“Do you have an overshirt I can borrow?”
“You mean, a flannel?” Sam shot back as he exited the room.
“Yeah, an overshirt.”
“No. A flannel. Come on, say it with me, flannel.” He tossed one your way, which you put on the rolled the sleeves up to your elbows.
“It’s an overshirt, Sam. I’m not seeing the issue.”
“Y/N, it's a flannel. Just say flannel, why you gotta make it all fancy?” He walked out the back door and onto a wooden bridge that led to the marina the boat was docked at. He didn’t let the flannel thing go the whole way over, making you laugh loudly and shake your head. As you walked up the dock, you could see several people helping Sarah and Sam with their boat.
“This is all you guys?” You were amazed, you hadn’t seen togetherness like this since before Aunt Peggy died. “Wow.” You said mostly to yourself as Sam walked you up to the woman of the hour.
“Sarah, we’ve got another one. Sarah, Y/N. Y/N, Sarah.” You stuck your hand out for Sarah to shake, which she did kindly. “I’m going to work on getting some of the siding off the boat. Sarah, Y/N is all yours.” He darted off, leaving you with Sarah.
“What ya got for me, Sarah? I’m here to do whatever you need.” She began instructing you to help with cataloging everything that people were bringing. Whether it be rusty spare parts or a couple twenty dollar bills, Sarah wanted to know and she wanted a record of it. A truck pulled up next to the boat and Sam got out hugging the men that exited it.
“Tommy, Carlos, man, this is amazing.” They exchanged a few more words before one of them asked the inevitable question.
“How do we get it off the truck?” A loud scraping sound emitted as the pallet was taken from the truck bed. Bucky lifted the bundle of parts over his head effortlessly, dropping it on the ground. He turned to the group of three men staring at him.
“You’re welcome.” You laughed as you approached. Bucky hauled a gray and black case onto the truck bed, speaking to Sam about it. Suddenly, one of the pipe fittings went out of whack, causing a steady stream of air to escape on the boat. Sarah stopped in front of it on the dock.
“Sam!” She was holding her clipboard as she watched Sam try to stop the leak with a crescent wrench. Bucky walked up next to Sarah, saying hi before telling Sam he was doing it wrong.
“Men. They even mansplain to other men, can you believe that?” You said from beside Sarah while Bucky finished fixing the leak. You tilted your head to admire him, “But we love to watch them work, huh?” She laughed as you wiggled your eyebrows at her. Bucky and Sam turned back to you and Sarah and Bucky’s eyes widened when they landed on your figure. Sam walked toward the front of the boat as Bucky stopped to introduce himself to Sarah.
“Sarah--” His eyes flicked to yours, “Y/N.” Then he quickly followed behind Sam.
“Oh, what was that, Y/N?” Sarah teased, two can play at that game.
“I don’t know, what was your thing about, Sarah?” You said her name like Bucky did to mess with her. She shoved your shoulder away and pushed you back to work.
You had to admit, watching Bucky do domestic type things with his metal appendage did things to you. Just knowing that he was comfortable enough to be around Sam’s whole family with his arm fully on display, made you happy.  The sun was beginning to go down, and you were sharing a beer with Sam and Bucky. Bucky hadn’t spoken to you directly since he got there and it was starting to irk you. You thought that you had something, but maybe not. Bucky rose from his position on the boat, clinking his bottle with Sam’s, claiming he needed to find a hotel room so he could catch his flight tomorrow.
“You’re just gonna set me up like that, huh?” Sam joked.
“I just don’t wanna make it weird for your family.” But Bucky’s eyes caught yours as he spoke.
“Just stay here, man.” Sam began a rant about the people of the town, ending with, “Plus we already got one freeloader for the night, what’s one more, right?”
“Oh goodie! Are we going to braid each other’s hair and play Seven Minutes in Heaven, too?” you teased Sam, but Bucky stiffened.
“We can do whatever you want.” Sam said, then he pointed at Bucky, “Just don’t flirt with my sister. Cause if you do, I’ll have Carlos cut you up, feed you to the fish.” Bucky made a face at Sam before smiling again.
Later that night, after you had all eaten dinner and the kids had gone to bed, you contemplated what your next move was going to be. You were sitting in one of the patio couches outside, a blanket wrapped around your legs, watching the stars reflection in the water. Bucky walked out on the porch, a pair of sweats-- that he had to borrow from Sam because he didn’t pack anything-- slung low on his hips, his blue Henley stopping just before the waistband of his boxers.
His gaze met yours and he approached you as if you were a wild animal and you were going to run away if he made any sudden movements. Your legs had been sprawled across both cushions of the couch, so instead of letting you change positions, Bucky just lifted your legs and then rested them on his lap. His left hand was rubbing back and forth just above your ankle.
“Is there a reason you’ve been avoiding me, James?” He ignored your question all together, opting to ask his own.
“Do you remember when we first met?” You thought back to the first time that you ever saw him. Chained to a chair, hair hiding his face from nosy onlookers.
“Uh, yeah. You were being treated like an animal, caged in a glass box. Why?” His left hand never stopped its motion on your leg.
“When you first started staring at me, I was absolutely positive that it was out of fear. Then when I actually looked at you, you were curious.” You nodded your head, recalling the emotions.
“That was a stressful day.” You could sense that Bucky didn’t need your input to get to where he was going.
“Then, when we were in that stupid tiny blue car that Steve had crammed us into,” he paused to laugh at the memory, “I was sure in that moment, that I was never going to see you again.” His gaze hadn’t left his palms on your legs, refusing to meet your eyes. “And when I saw you in Madripoor, I was positive that it was just someone who looked a lot like you. It couldn’t have been you, I wasn’t that lucky.”
His left hand gripped your leg as he spoke, “But then you started talking and I would’ve known that voice anywhere. All I wanted was to be close to you.”
“Bucky, you almost broke my arm because I sucker punched Zemo.” He shushed you.
“All I wanted was to be close to you, but I’m also a violent person.” He brought his head up, locking his steel blue orbs with yours. “Then you kept talking and you were so smart. So beautiful.” His metal hand left your leg to cup your chin. “Every word out of your mouth mesmerized me, even when you were kind of insulting me.” His thumb stroked your jaw, traveling up to your bottom lip. “And God, the way you said my name.” Your nostrils flared and your brow raised.
“What? James?” You trapped your bottom lip in between your teeth, giving Bucky reason to pull it out with his metal thumb. Your tongue shot out to wet your lips out of habit and Bucky shot you a glare.
“Doll. What’re you doing to me?” He dropped his thumb back to your cheek as his eye flicked over your face. He brought his hands down to your waist, holding it tightly and pulling you closer to him. Your ass now rested against his right leg, and he transferred his grip to wrap around your blanket covered thighs. A squeal escaped your lips without your permission, making your face contort.
“When we were sitting at the bar in your gallery I wanted nothing more than to smother you with all my love and affection.” Your heart rate increased, you want that too. “I’m glad I wasn’t able to though.” Your stomach dropped, a feeling of rejection washing over you. You began to pull away from him, wanting to escape his touch. He gripped your legs tighter against his body, “At that time, I wasn’t what I should be for you. I’ll probably never be exactly what I should be for you, but I’m selfish enough right now that I don’t care anymore.” He twisted his upper body to face you.
“What are you talking about, James?” A visible shiver ran down his spine as you said his real name. He brought both his hands up to grip your face. The cool air added to the temperature difference of his hands.
“I’m talking about this.” It wasn’t a half a second later that his lips were on yours. It took you a second to respond, but you did with fervor. Your hands traveled to his neck to show him that you wanted this too. His fingers fanned out, cupping behind your ears to bring you impossibly closer to him. His tongue traced your bottom lip, seeking entrance which you denied playfully. He brought his thumbs to rest on your chin, applying pressure as he asked again. At this point, you didn’t care about the pardon, or Karli and the Flag Smashers, or Sharon and the Power Broker, or even Sam, Sarah and the boys. You could only focus on James’ lips that were molding so perfectly with your own. You eventually had to break apart, your fingertips coming to rest on James’ kiss swollen lips. You locked eyes with him again, his pupils blown wide, and the two of you laughed.
“Oh, that.” You traced his lips while holding his stare. “Is that why you haven’t been talking to me?” He nodded quickly, gaze drifting down to your lips again. He leaned forward wanting to steal another kiss, but you stopped him. “That’s not okay behavior, James. You can’t just not talk to me because you’re frustrated with yourself.” He hummed a noise of assent, kissing your fingertips on his lips. His palm came up to keep your fingers pressed to his lips as his eyes roamed your face. “What does this mean, James? You aren’t just going to get my hopes up and then walk away right?”  He pulled back from you, a look of disappointment crossing his features.
“I’m sorry if I’ve made you feel like that would be a possibility.” He took a deep breath, “After my time in Wakanda, after Shuri de-programmed me, I thought I finally had a group of people I could trust. Then, Ayo was able to remove my arm within the blink of an eye, but not the way that they had when they were tweaking it.” He rested his body against the back of the patio couch. “My therapist had been telling me that I needed to trust someone, and up until that point, I did. I thought I had people who fully trusted me as well.” He looked over at you, silent tears racing down his cheeks. “This clearly isn’t a good excuse, but I felt like you wouldn’t have trusted me either.” Your hands came up to his face, wiping away his tears.
“James, I’ve known of you for years before I met you. Remember how Sharon said I did that report on you in high school?” He nodded as much as your hold on his face would allow him to. “Well, that’s when I first fell in love with the idea of you.” His eyes widened as you continued speaking. “Then, I was lucky enough to meet you and it felt like everything fell into place. After Sharon and I ran off to Madripoor, I wasn’t sure if I was going to see you again, and I was okay with that because maybe you were better left as an idea.” You laughed as you looked down at your lap, dropping your hands from his face. “Then I got dusted during the Blip, which is a whole other thing and then Sharon said that you were in Madripoor.” You shook your head then faced him, eyes locking with his red rimmed pair.
“I would love to fall in love with you. And right now, I want nothing more than to let the trust we have for each other grow into something more.” A wide smile spread across his face and he bared his teeth at you, scrunching his face at the nose.
“I want that too.” He leaned forward slapping a sloppy kiss onto your lips, which you returned with equal intensity. When Bucky pulled back from you to catch his breath, he left his forehead resting against your own. Your breaths synchronized and he patted his hand twice on your outer thigh, signalling you that he was going to get up. “We better get some sleep.” He stood in front of you, offering you his hand. You smiled as you entwined your fingers with his metal ones.
Luckily, Cas and AJ were kind enough to share a room tonight so you could sleep in the other. Bucky’s hand never left your side as he walked you up the stairs. Once you had reached the closed door, he wrapped his arm around you, twisting your body to face him, back pressed against the cold wood of the door. He pushed his whole body forward, molding your bodies together as his hands hooked into the waistband of your sleep shorts.
“I’m glad that we talked, Y/N.” He pecked your lips, pulling back afterwards to stare at your face.
“I’m glad we did too, but what are you doing?” A nervous laugh left your lips and Bucky’s eyes followed the movement.
“You’re just so pretty.” He leaned forward kissing your cheeks, “I’m happy,” A kiss to your chin. “that I’ll be able to,” one to your nose, “call you my doll soon.” His lips lingering on your forehead before bringing his chin up to the top of your head, pulling you into him for a hug. You brought your arms up to wrap around his waist, your face pressed into the spot where his neck and collarbone met.
“Am I not already your doll?” Your question was muffled against his skin, but he heard you.
“Not until I specifically ask you. You can be mine without being my doll, but I want to wine and dine you before I feast.” Your brows raised again and your lips rolled inwards.
“Before you feast?” You were holding back a laugh, so Bucky pulled back, his hands gripping your shoulders, face serious.
“Feast.” He reached behind you opening the door. He gave you a quick smooch before pushing you into the empty room, alone with your thoughts. You had a harder time falling asleep that night. Bucky, on the other hand, had no problem, sleeping like a rock with a smug smile on his face.
You woke up to the sound of eggshells being cracked and forks hitting the sides of ceramic plates. Walking down the stairs and into the kitchen, you saw Sarah working over the stove while Cas was scrambling eggs. Sarah heard you coming down, ever the always aware mother.
“Hey, hope you’re hungry, ‘cause you aren’t leaving this kitchen without eating somethin’.” She watched as you peered into the living room, searching for Bucky’s imposing figure. “I think he’s down at the dock with Sam. They left real early this morning and girl, I swear to God if they’re messin’ with that water pump, I’m going to strangle the both of them.” You laughed, taking the plate of scrambled eggs that AJ was holding out to you.
“Did you tell them that the water pump wasn’t the issue?” She nodded as she stirred the eggs in her pan. “Then you know that they are, Sarah.” The two of you shared a laugh as Cas and AJ sat down to eat, as well.
“Y’all better hurry up before you’re late for the bus.” The boys quickly shoved their remaining food into their mouths, rushing out the door after kissing their mother goodbye.
“How do you do it?” Sarah’s head tilted, wondering what you were referring to. “Being a single mother and managing a business? Does it all get to be too much sometimes?” She could tell you were genuinely curious, so she sighed.
“It’s definitely challenging at times, but thankfully I have a good enough relationship with AJ and Cas that we’re able to get through pretty much anything. After we lost their Dad, I was all alone and scared. I’m still scared a lot of the time, scared that I’m going to mess them up, you know?” She paused a second to recollect her thoughts. “It’s just by chance that we live in this amazing community that helped me whenever I needed a little bit of assistance.” The conversation between the two of you fizzled after that, perhaps it was too heavy a topic for breakfast to handle. You followed her to meet a group of people at the marina, but the journey there wasn’t silent.
“So, I have a question, but you don’t have to answer it if you don’t want to. Although I feel like if you don’t answer it, you’re kind of answering it.” You encouraged her to ask whatever she wanted to. “You and Bucky are a thing, right?” You coughed, unsure of how to answer. “That’s all the confirmation I needed.” Sarah smiled at you as your mouth struggled to form words.
“We are, but we aren’t?” Sarah gave you a look making you roll your eyes. “I don’t know he said that he was excited to see where this was going and then we kissed, so yes?”
“Oh, he looks like a good kisser.”
“Right? Just like he’s got the bone structure and lip plumpness ratio down to a T.” There was a brief moment of silence before the two of you burst into a fit of laughter. The walk down the marina dock wasn’t a long one, so you were able to see Sam and Bucky hunched over a pile of scattered parts.
“Uh-huh. No. No.” Sarah’s head began shaking as Sam was arguing with Bucky, who wasn’t paying attention to him. Instead, his eyes were roaming your figure, lingering on your face. His eyes darted to Sam before he greeted the two of you with a wave of his hand.
“I told you specifically that the water pump was not the problem, and yet, here you are.”
“Yep, Samuel.” Bucky teasingly berated, taking Sarah’s side.
“You’re in just as much trouble, you by-stander.” Your voice lilted into a playful tone as Bucky made a shocked face at you.
“In our defense, we were supposed to be done long before you woke up.”
“I don’t come up to the sky to tell you how to barrel roll, so don’t come down here and mess around with things you don’t understand.” Your fist came up to your mouth.
“Oh, that’s a-burn, Bird Brain.” You pointed a finger at Sam, clutching your stomach with your other hand as Sarah swatted the two boys away. Bucky stopped next to you, wrapping his metal arm around the front of your body, delivering a soft kiss to your temple. He left with Sam, arguing the whole way to the house while you stayed with Sarah, reassembling the water pump.
By the time you had gotten back to the Wilson house, Bucky was hauling his backpack strap onto his shoulder. You slowed your approach, holding your open palms in front of you, confused as to what Bucky was doing.
“Where are you going?” He turned to face you, a smile spreading over his face. His metal arm wrapped around your waist again, pressing a kiss to your temple.
“I’m heading to New York, I’ve got some stuff to wrap up there. I want you to come with me.” You were taken aback, what about Karli and the GRC?
“We haven’t finished this whole thing with the Flag Smashers, or Walker. Bucky, we can’t just walk away from our responsibilities.” Bucky’s hands clasped around your shoulders.
“We aren’t, Y/N, I promise. Sam has Torres doing something with some signal do-dads and he’s going to call us the second he gets a lead.” He spoke calmly and you thought it over. At least he wasn’t trying to run away again, he was accepting that he had a real role in this. You could feel a shift coming, you weren’t quite sure what it meant, but you were hoping it was a good one.
“Okay, let’s go to New York.”
The two of you hadn’t even been in New York maybe twenty minutes when Sam texted Bucky that he had a line on where Karli was. Supposedly she was heading a takeover of the GRC meeting in Lower Manhattan. If being in New York as a wanted person was nerve wracking enough, now you were going to be surrounded by hundreds of government officials and some of New York’s finest. Bucky was on the phone with Sam, talking through the plan when your phone buzzed. Pulling the device out of your pocket, you saw Sharon’s name pop up.
“Heard you were having a bit of trouble with Karli again. Don’t worry, help is on the way, dear.” Your eyes rolled, still not over your argument before.
“You don’t need to be here for this Sharon.” You paused for a second, your left hand resting on your hip. “How did you even hear about this? Sam just now called Bucky, and I guarantee that he didn’t call you first.” Sharon chuckled on her end of the phone.
“You underestimate my reach, Y/N. I’ll meet you outside the building.” Your jaw clenched.
“Sharon, you said you didn’t want to help. What the hell changed that you’re so willing to put yourself in the middle of all this shit?” She was silent on her end.
“I figured you would want me there.” Well, shit what the fuck were you supposed to say to that?
“Lower Manhattan, keep quiet.” You hung up the phone before she could say anything else. You hated not talking to her, and being mad at her was next to impossible. This was your way of saying ‘I forgive you,’ and you knew she would understand. Bucky didn’t say anything as he watched you push your phone into the pockets of your jeans. He could tell something was off, but he could also see that you definitely didn’t want to talk about it right now. Instead he jerked his head for you to follow him, leading you through the streets of Manhattan.
The two of you could see the red lights illuminating the streets, letting you know that you were here. Bucky turned to you, holding his hand out to you, a single earpiece laying in the middle of his palm. As you took it, his hand drifted to your jaw, lifting it to face him. He placed a sweet kiss to your lips before nodding for you to stay behind him. You pulled the brim down on the hat you wore as you stuck to Bucky like glue. He led you through the barricade, one of the soldiers addressing him accordingly.
“Sergeant Barnes.” You made a face beneath your cap, holding back a laugh as Bucky came to a stop in front of you.
“Oh, Sergeant Barnes.” Bucky looked at you over his shoulder as his skin twitched. Your eyes widened. “Does that turn you on, James?” He wasn’t able to answer because of an interruption by Sam’s voice in your ears.
“By the way, I called in some backup.” An agent approached the two of you while Sam kept speaking. “Also, please remember that I can hear everything you say, Y/N. And I don’t need to know what makes the Tin Man tick.” You laughed at Sam’s statement as a twinge of pink ran up the back of Bucky’s neck.
“Excuse me, sir. Are you supposed to be here?” The agent’s hand came up to his hairline. A click sounded as the agent’s face began to glitch. “It’s me.”
“Sharon, what the hell are you doing here?” Sharon pointed an accusatory finger at you.
“Why didn’t you say that to her? The same people who want me in the Raft, want her there too. Or did you forget that?”
“Do I hear Sharon?” Sam asked as he listened in on your conversation.
“Unfortunately.” Bucky grumbled back.
“Hey Sam. I thought I’d get the band back together.” She threw a wink at you as she stepped closer to Bucky. Sam said something else to her, but you had zoned out to watch Sharon. “I hear pardons aren’t all they’re cracked up to be anyway.”
“Depends on the therapist.” Bucky said as he backed away from Sharon and closer to you.
“They’re going to move on the building soon. Be ready.” Sam brought you all back to the task at hand, switching into Captain mode. Bucky nodded to you and Sharon.
“Go with her.” You made a face at him, about to protest when he cut you off. “I don’t care. Stick with her, Y/N. Don’t get arrested though. We’ve got a date.” He wrapped his arm around the front of your waist, like he did at the Wilson house. He pressed a kiss to your temple, staying a little longer than necessary and giving your hip a squeeze before he released you. You heard glass break above your head as Sam crashed through one of the windows upstairs.
“You guys are going to have to do something. Don’t let ‘em out of the building.” You walked behind Bucky to enter the building, the metal detector going off for both you and Sharon. You shared a look with the woman.
“Oops.” Bucky pointed at a guard in tactical gear while he stepped forward.
“He’s one of them. I’ll get the evac.” He left before you could stop him, leaving you and Sharon to deal with the man he pointed at. The both of you followed him to the parking garage, where he was standing post next to two black armored vehicles. The two of you were waiting behind a pillar as you debated what to do.
“We need to stop him.”
“If we take him down now, they’re going to be suspicious and we are going to get arrested. Cool your jets, Y/N.” Your nostrils flared at her tone, crossing your arms over your chest.
“Why didn’t you tell Sam you were already coming?”
“What?” Sharon seemed startled by the question as if you didn’t catch the slip Sam said earlier.
“Sam said that he called in backup. I’m assuming he meant you because we’re the only four people he knows. So why didn’t you tell him you were already coming, or already here or whatever?”
“I didn’t think it was important.” She said dismissively, you could tell she wanted you to drop the subject, but you wanted the truth. Throwing a glance up to the guard, you saw him helping the GRC officials into the vans.
“Damn it Bucky, you had one job.” Bucky ran past you, grumbling a response as he loaded his weight onto a motorbike.
“We aren’t done with this, Sharon.” You pointed at her before she walked away from you. You watched as she ran into the guard then apologized profusely to him. When you caught up to her, she clicked a button in her hand, releasing a noxious gas in the guard’s face. You saw his skin being bubbling and sizzling.
“How’d you do that?” Your eyes hadn’t left the man in the car.
“Mercury vapor, amongst other things.” The two of you continued walking out of the garage, a helicopter started taking off from the helipad on the top of the building.
“Sam, that chopper’s about to take off.”
“I don’t fly, man. That’s your thing.” Sam groaned in the earpiece and then you saw him shoot out the window again, chasing after the helicopter. You walked alongside Sharon, following Bucky’s path after the NYPD vans. You got to the barricade just in time to see Scruff holding one of the cars back from falling off a ledge. You were too far away to be able to get to him in time to help, though. You stood next to Sharon as he was ripped away from the back of the car. Your heart dropped as your gaze went to Bucky, who was standing directly underneath the car that was about to crush him.
The crowd around you was holding their phones in front of their faces, at an angle that all they could see was the back of the NYPD van full of GRC officials screaming for help. As the car slipped farther and farther down the platform, your stomach churned more and more. Suddenly, the car stopped, hovering over the opening in the ground. You could make out Sam’s new wings on either side of the car. He pushed forward, lifting the car back to a safe position and then moving away, allowing the crowd to see him fully. The star on his suit glinted proudly as he stood still for a second. The crowd erupted in cheers for the savior. A man to your left cheered for ‘Black Falcon,’ but the man beside him corrected him before you had the chance to.
“No. That’s Captain America.” Red Wing left Sam’s suit to undo the locking mechanism on the back of the van and the GRC officials evacuated the vehicle quickly. Sam turned in the air, removing his shield from his back and throwing it at the Flag Smashers below, knocking them off their feet. At some point, you began moving toward the edge of the platform, ready to help and away from Sharon.
An explosion went off to your right, causing you to search for the source. Puffs of smoke were being thrown in the pit where Sam and Bucky stood and you could see Karli getting away in the confusion. Bucky’s voice rang through your ear.
“Hey. We’re underground. We entered the tunnel on William. Heading south.” You searched for Sharon so you could join up again, but you couldn’t find her. You could hear Sam telling Bucky that the Smashers had split up, and you knew that Bucky would’ve gone with Scruff to keep an eye on him, the unstable bastard. Out of the corner of your eye, you could see Sharon crouched behind a stack of pallets, and your brows furrowed. She began whistling and then you heard Karli’s voice.
“Dovich? Is that you?” Sharon emerged from behind the stack, holding her gun in front of her.
“I’m disappointed in you.” Karli brought her gun up as well, speaking to Sharon as an old friend.
“That’s what I was gonna say.” Sharon brought her hands up in surrender, and your head tilted, what the fuck is going on? “You know, when you first came to Madripoor, you reminded me of a young me. I took you in, gave you an opportunity, and you betrayed me.” Oh hell no.
“Because you wanted to control a world that hurt you.” Karli lowered her gun but all her senses remained in overdrive. “But I wanted to change it. I’m not interested in power or an empire. I have bigger dreams.” Sharon scoffed, looking around, her eyes darting over where you were hidden behind a stack of boxes. Could it really be? Was Sharon really the person that you thought you knew?
“What, like this?” She stepped closer to Karli. “Come back and work for me again. All of you. We can make a difference together.” Sharon was trying really hard to convince Karli, but she wasn’t having it.
“You just want me because you need your muscle back. Without us Super Soldiers, how much power does the Power Broker really have?” Motherfucker. You zoned out a bit, trying to decide what to do. A male voice began speaking in French causing you to refocus.
“Four times, or--” You could see Batroc’s gun pointed at Karli and Sharon’s face was indifferent.
“I don’t do blackmail.” Sharon gripped her gun tighter, raising it quickly to shoot Batroc. Karli panicked and shot Sharon in the process. The gunshots were loud enough to give Sam an idea of where you were all located. You came out from your position, gun gripped in your hand as you stood closer to Sharon. Maybe you could salvage this situation before Sam got here.
“Karli, calm down.” You kept a tight hold on your pistol as you talked. “Look, I get it. You’re scared, but I’m going to need you to put the gun down.”
“I’ll put mine down when you do.” You could hear a slight shake in her voice. You tilted your head at her apologetically.
“You know I can’t do that.” You cast a glance at Sharon who was clutching her stomach, attempting to stop the blood flow. Karli gulped as she raised her gun again.
“Well, I can’t have any loose ends now, can I? You taught me that, Power Broker.” She sneered at a groaning Sharon. A blinding pain began radiating from your shoulder and your hand immediately when to the area. The force of the bullet knocked you off your feet, slamming your head into the ground.
“Shit, what the fuck Karli!” You could make out Sam’s figure coming up from behind Karli. You saw him process Karli standing over one dead body and two injured ones. The wheels began turning and he started speaking.
“So, what’s next, huh? You kill ten this time, then, what, a hundred? Where does it end?” He stepped closer to an agitated Karli. “Please, let me help you.” He kept his voice calm.
“Don’t try and manipulate me.” Karli approached Sam ready to attack. Their fight continued as she pushed Sam backwards.
“I’m not gonna fight you!” She knocked Sam down to the ground, with the swing of a metal bar.
“Stay down!” She shouted at him. You pushed yourself to your knees, adrenaline pumping allowing you to get to Sharon to help hold pressure on her stomach. You watched from over Sharon as Sam rose to his feet, holding his body in a fighting stance.
“I can do this all day.” She launched herself at Sam, throwing his body back into a bunch of cinder blocks. Sam held his shield in front of him, protecting from her punches.
“Fight back!” She shouted as she delivered blow after blow. Sam ducked low, grabbing onto her torso, using his thrusters to send the both of them flying. Karli used the momentum to push off the ground, to bring Sam up to the ceiling. You sat back on your knees, worry lacing your features.
Sam held one of her hands to his chest as she continued throwing the other into his shield. She gripped the top edge of the shield, using it to gain leverage. She pulled her hand away from his chest, tossing his body forward. The shield slipped from Sam’s arm and he laid on the ground, recovering from her attacks. Karli leant down to pick up her gun and you pushed yourself to your feet, ready to tackle her.
She raised her gun, aiming it at a now shieldless Sam. Karli hesitated, staring at Sam before committing to her cause, ready to kill Captain America. You were steadily creeping forward as she debated, but you could see the moment she decided to pull the trigger. Just before she could, a gunshot sounded from behind you. A gasp left your lips as Sam ran to hold Karli.
Your head whipped around to see Sharon leaning against the stack behind her, gun still smoking. Sharon shook her head at you as she holstered her weapon. Sam lifted Karli into his arms and carried her away from the both of you. You stood a good three feet away from Sharon, hand on your gun in the waistband of your jeans.
“When were you going to tell me that you’re the Power Broker.”
“What the hell are you on about now, Y/N.” Your brows raised and your mouth opened in shock.
“I was fucking here when Karli was talking to you, dumbass. Is that why you shot her? ‘Can’t have any loose ends,’ she said you taught her that, Sharon. What the fuck?” Sharon laughed at you.
“You’re imagining things, Y/N.” She rose to her feet and began walking away from you.
“Sharon, don’t fuck with me right now. How long have you been the fucking Power Broker?” You followed her up the tunnel and out to where you could see Sam lecturing a Senator. Sneaking around to a medical bag, you grabbed two pieces of gauze.
“I’m not the Power Broker.” Sharon rolled her eyes at you, leaning against a car behind the ambulances. You were about to say something else when you saw Bucky and Sam approach the two of you. They took in the two of you, an angry look on your face and an annoyed one on hers.
“You’re blocking my light.” Sharon bit out to Sam.
“We got to get you to a hospital.” Sam told Sharon as Bucky walked up to you, pulling your gauze away from your shoulder, checking your bullet wound.
“It’s through and through and you know they aren’t going to listen to you.”
“It’s not the worst thing that’s happened to me all week.” Your eyes glared at Sharon as you spoke. How long has she been doing this behind your back? Someone called for Sam’s attention.
“I think he’s talking to you.” Sharon said, turning away from the newcomer’s view. “Look, I’m sorry for how things ended down there.” Your jaw clenched but you remained silent. “For what it’s worth, the suit looks good on you.” She played a good victim, that’s for sure.
“Alright, can we get out of here, please?” Bucky wrapped his arm around your waist, leading you away from the ambulances and news cameras.
“I didn’t forget my promise either, guys.” Sam nodded at the two of you before turning to do his Cap duties. Bucky remained silent beside you, content with just being in your presence again.
He led you to his apartment, bringing you to the bathroom where he pulled out a first aid kit. He placed it on the countertop, placing his hands on your hips and lifting you onto the granite.
“You’re gonna need to take your shirt off.” He flipped the top of the kit open, searching for what he needed.
“Trying to get me naked already? At least take me to dinner first, Sergeant.” You winked as you peeled your shirt off. Bucky glared at you then quickly looked at your shoulder.
“This is going to hurt, just so you know.” He didn’t give you time to say anything else before starting to clean the hole in your shoulder. You hissed as stings radiated from the wound, cursing under your breath as he blew on it. “Alright, here we go.”  Bucky began stitching, returning your body to its former glory in his eyes. “How’d you managed to get shot?”
“I was attempting to get Karli to drop her gun.” You debated on telling Bucky what you learned about Sharon. “Who do you think the Power Broker is?” You asked gauging his reaction. His attention never wavered from his task. He soon finished with the front side of your shoulder, backing away and telling you to face the mirror. Bucky leaned forward, his hips pressing against your ass as he set to work on the exit wound.
“I have my theories. What about you?” You looked at the granite below, tracing the different lines, not answering for a few minutes.
“Mm, not really.” Was it naive to keep the knowledge to yourself? Probably, but this way you could deal with Sharon on your own and not have to involve Captain America.
“Y/N. You lived there for years, you’re telling me that you never encountered the Power Broker? Never worked for him before, procuring a particular art piece?” You shook your head as you felt him start to wrap your shoulder.
“No, I made sure that all my dealings were as clean as the illegal art trade could be.” Bucky nodded, closing the first aid kit and placing it back under the sink. He walked out of the bathroom and into his kitchen, pulling out a bottle of Advil. He shook two tablets into his metal hand and gave them to you along with a water bottle from the fridge.
“Take these and then go lay down. You need to sleep so your body can heal.” You could tell something was bothering him. You reached out to grasp his metal wrist.
“Hey, what’s wrong? Hmm?”
“Nothing. I’ve just got something to do.” You nodded.
“Do you want me to come with you?” His head shook back and forth in denial.
“No, I need to do this alone. I’ll be back soon. Whenever I get back you better be asleep in that bed.” He pointed at the door to his room. He walked up next to you, wrapping his arm around the front of your waist and giving you a kiss on your temple. “I’ll be back, doll. I’ve just got a few things to wrap up.”
He left soon after, leaving you alone in his barren apartment. It was easy to see that he hadn’t made it his home. Probably feeling like he had no reason to, no ties to anyone here. Makes it easier when you have to bug out in a pinch. You walked into his room, searching for a shirt to wear to bed. Finding one of his shirts hanging in his closet, you pulled it over your head after removing your bra. You took off your jeans, trading them for your sleep shorts from your bag.
You climbed into his bed, waiting for his scent to envelope you, but it never came. Has he ever actually slept in this bed? So you laid there, unable to fall asleep, too many thoughts swirling in your brain. How long has Sharon been the Power Broker? Did it start when you first got to Madripoor? Or was it after you were dusted and she was there alone for five years? None of this changed the fact that she needed to be stopped. The amount of influence she had was too great. Your phone buzzed on the nightstand next to the bed, so you rolled over to pick it up.
Court hearing with the Senators tomorrow at 8 A.M. for you. -Sam
You thought about the possibility of being welcome back into your own country and not being treated like a criminal. Thought of the possibility of going to work for the government again. Of working with Bucky and Sam. Of being with Bucky without having to look over your shoulder all the time, and it made you smile. Your phone buzzing brought you out of your trance.
Also, you and Bucky need to come to my house tomorrow. Sarah’s throwing a party, they got the boat finished so we’re celebrating.
That made your smile grow, you were happy for the first time in a long time. The lock of the front door clicked and you jumped out of the bed, grabbing your knife, ready for an attack. You waited behind the door to Bucky’s bedroom, then swung it open. Your hand came up to the intruder's throat and your mind switched out of attack dog mode when you saw Bucky’s raised brow.
“Is there a reason for this?” His eyes were red and he had tear stains on his cheeks. You flipped your knife back down and placed it on top of your jeans.
“Sorry. Are you okay, James?” He shook his head and you opened your arms to him. He walked into your embrace, before exhaling harshly into your uninjured shoulder.
“No, but I will be.” He backed away for a second, taking in your form. “Didn’t I tell you that you were supposed to be asleep when I got back? Also, is that my shirt?”
“Yes, you did and yes, it is. Do you have an issue with that, Sergeant?” He quickly shook his head back and forth, leaning down to pick you up by your thighs and tossing you onto his bed.
“Not at all, doll. You look better in it than I do.” He smiled at you as he stripped down to his boxers before climbing into bed with you. Bucky tossed his arm over your waist, pulling your body into his. He sighed contentedly, basking in the way you smelled.
“Sam got me a hearing for a pardon.”
“Oh yeah? When’s that?” Bucky’s voice was muffled because he had buried his face in your neck, peppering small pecks there.
“Tomorrow morning at nine. Are you going to come?” Bucky thought on it for a moment, before shaking his head.
“I have one more thing to take care of.” You nodded.
“They got the boat fixed and Sarah invited us to the party. Sam says we have to go, it’s tomorrow too. I don’t actually know what time though he didn’t say.”
“Alright, I’ll pick something up to bring after I finish my thing.” You turned to face him, a smirk plastered on your face.
“So, Sergeant does it for you?” You giggled as he groaned and removed his arm from your waist. His hand came up to run through his hair, scratching his head
“Are we doing this right now, Y/N?” You released a cackle of a laugh, nodding in response. “Oh that’s how you’re gonna play this?” He attacked your sides, beginning to tickle you causing you to react accordingly. Somehow, he managed to end up on top of you, in between your thighs. He stopped suddenly to watch as you writhed and giggled.
“What?” You started getting self-conscious, afraid that there was something on your face. Your hands came up to hide your face from him, but Bucky wasn’t having it. He took your hands away from your face by trapping your wrists beside your head. “What? Why are you doing that?” You questioned, only halfway serious.
“You’re just so pretty.” He leaned forward, his lips meeting yours in a gentle kiss that soon turned into something else. His hands traveled back down to your sides, resting on the bare skin showing from your shirt having ridden up. The temperature difference shocked you enough to make you gasp, giving Bucky the perfect opportunity to slip his tongue in your mouth, escalating the situation.
Your hands came up to the back of his head, holding him in the kiss, guaranteeing that he wasn’t going anywhere. They made their way down his body to rest on his shirtless back. He pushed forward with his hips, the fabric separating the two of you becoming increasingly annoying. Bucky pulled back slightly, nudging you to open your eyes. There was a silent interaction between the two of you in that moment, neither of you was ready for anything intense, so the momentum slowed, but the energy level remained.
Bucky’s hands never left your body that night. Exploring and memorizing every ridge, every stretch mark, every piece of you that made you, you. You drifted your fingers over the scarred skin next to his arm, tiny feather touches that made him hum. Falling asleep in his arms was the easiest thing you ever had to do. And for Bucky, being able to hold you as you flutter asleep was beautiful. He watched as your face relaxed and all the tension left your body, allowing yourself to melt into his embrace. Bucky didn’t like to admit it, but he was a touch starved human being. All those years in and out of cryo and isolation gave his body plenty of reason to crave genuine human touch. And to have a human as charming and annoying as you was a dream come true, his doll.
You woke up before Bucky the next morning. You looked over at his face, tranquility lacing his features, unburdened with no glorious purposes. He was just your James. The two of you had separated sometime during the night, so you scooted closer to his frame. His metal arm is thrown across the pillow behind your head, giving you perfect access to his neck and chest. You glanced at the clock across the room, the hands telling you that it was seven thirty in the morning. If you wake him now, you could have at least thirty-five minutes of bliss, plus some heavy petting if you both were feeling cheeky.
You leaned forward towards his neck, placing tiny kisses from the base of his ear to the puckered skin of his shoulder. You were so focused on your task that you didn’t recognize the change in his breathing pattern.
“Good morning, doll.” If you could melt into the mattress, that would’ve done it. His fucking rasp grated you into a fine powder of a human. You hummed at him, not stopping your kisses, instead climbing up to his jaw and then to his lips. He turned his head and playfully laughed. “Nuh-uh, we’ve got morning breath, ya nasty.” You groaned, retreating from his figure completely.
“Fine, we will brush our teeth together and then come right back to this bed and you will love me, damn it.” Bucky laughed at you as you drug yourself into his bathroom. This was the type of bliss you wanted, and you only wanted to share it with a particular metal armed super soldier. It didn’t take long to brush your teeth, and you pushed on Bucky’s back to get him into the bed quicker. When he did get back into the bed, he was grumbling.
“I don’t know why we’re getting back in bed, we’re already up now.” He smiled as you glared at him. Bucky’s back was leaned against his headboard, so you swung your leg over his thighs, straddling his lower half. His hands rested on your waist as you brought yours up to the sides of his face.
“You frustrate me.” You said with a loving smile and tone before pecking his lips softly as he laughed. “What time do you have to leave for your thing?” You played with the strings of your sleep shorts as he answered you.
“Around eight-thirty, it takes me about thirty minutes to get there and it doesn’t open until nine.”
“I’m gonna be leaving around then, too. What do you wear when you’re going in front of senators to be pardoned for stealing a metal frisbee?” Bucky huffed a laugh, pulling you closer to him wrapping his arms around your back. “I’m thinking a crop top that says “Fuck You,” would that be too obvious?”
“Yeah, that one might be a little on the nose.” Bucky checked your shoulder as he spoke. “Your shoulder looks good, no infection, thanks to me.” He plastered a wide smile on his face afterwards. “Do you know what time Sharon’s hearing is?” You stiffened slightly at the mention of Sharon.
“Uh, no. Sam just told me my time and I haven’t talked to Sharon.” Bucky’s head tilted.
“Everything okay on that front?”
“Not really?” You went back and forth on what to tell him. You didn’t want to give him the extra burden of knowing what Sharon was. “We had a fight a few days ago and neither one of us has cooled off about it, so that’s a bit rocky.”
“Do you want to talk about it?” You shook your head, so Bucky just held you tighter. “Okay, you don’t have to.” He held you for a few more minutes, before backing away. “Alright we need to get ready.” You groaned, slackening your body, making everything about you dead weight.
“No. I don’t wanna.” You sounded like a child.
“You sound like a child.” Oh you whore, get out of my head, butt munch. Bucky said, pushing your body off his. He walked to his closet as you laid spread out like a starfish on his bed. Bucky had already picked out a shirt and put on pants whenever he walked back in and you were still laid on his bed.
“You’re gonna be late.” He leaned over your head, appearing to you upside down. His arms were resting on either side of your face, dropping down he pressed a kiss to your lips. “You’ve got to get up, Y/N.” He went to the other end of the bed, where your feet dangled off the edge. He grabbed your ankles and pulled you, you slid off the bed, taking the comforter with you. “Oh my god, this is pitiful, Y/N. You’re a grown woman!” Bucky shouted at you as he left the room.
The two of you parted ways after you got dressed, but not before Bucky wrapped his arm around the front of your waist and placed a kiss on your temple. You wondered why he did that so much, but you weren’t going to argue with the attention because you loved it. You walked up to the extravagant building that was bustling with people. Everything was white, you always wondered why that was. White represented innocence and America was anything but innocence. You ended up wearing your casual clothes for two reasons. One, you were being pardoned, why couldn’t you be comfortable for that? And two, you had somewhere to go after this and that was just as important as this court meeting to you. Walking into the courtroom, you took in all the faces in the seats. Your name was called immediately, so you approached the podium.
“Ms. Y/L/N, on behalf of the United States Intelligence Community, I’d like to offer you and your family our sincerest apologies.” You wanted to scoff, but you bit your tongue. “You’ve always been an incredible asset to our country. Today, we begin to set things right. We begin to repay some of the debt that is owed to you.” You bowed your head.
“Thank you, Senator. It’s been a long time coming.” You could see the Senator’s jaw clench, not used to being brushed off.
“And we’d like to offer you a full pardon. There might be an opening in your old division. Is that something that you’d be interested in?”
“Actually, Senator. I would like to thank you for that opportunity, but no. I’ll be working with Captain America.” The man’s whole body seemed to twitch.
“You aren’t authorized to make that kind of decision, Ms. Y/L/N.” This time you did scoff.
“Yeah, okay. Well thanks for the pardon.” You tapped the podium twice, leaning to walk away. “This has been great, I really feel like we’ve both said our peace. See ya later, Senator.” You walked out as you heard him calling your name. You pulled your phone out, dialing Bucky’s number.
“Hey doll! How’d court go?” You started walking to where you and Bucky had planned to meet after you got done with your respective tasks.
“Oh great! I’m working with Cap now.” You could almost see Bucky’s face.
“Wow, how’d you manage that?” You smirked.
“I can be very persuasive when I want to be, James.”
“Oh is that so, Y/N?” You could hear his smirk as he spoke. “Maybe you’ll have to be persuasive with me one day.” You laughed.
“James, I don’t have to be persuasive with you.” You caught sight of Bucky walking down the street with a store-bought cake in his hand. You held up your pinky finger wiggling it for emphasis, “I’ve got you wrapped around my finger.”
By the time you got to the marina that docked Paul & Darlene, you were buzzing with excitement. Bucky was giggling at your antics, you were practically bouncing in the passenger seat. As soon as Bucky got out of the car, Cas and AJ latched onto him. He went along with them, playing as if he was going to slam the cake into their faces. You walked past Bucky, hugging everyone who greeted you. Once you reached Sarah, you sat down on the picnic table for a second before taking off again. You stood to the side as you watched Sam take picture after picture with pretty much everyone from town.
Bucky stood next to you, chuckling about everyone’s reaction to Cap being from their hometown. One woman almost knocked Sam flat on his ass when she hugged him, a huge smile stretched over her face. You went back to the table Sarah was at, taking a seat next to her. Suddenly Bucky climbed on top of the table, holding his vibranium arm out with two children dangling off it. He was talking animatedly with his other as he told a story about Sam. You had zoned out just staring at him with the kids.
“You know, this could be you.” Sarah said as she leaned next to your ear.
“What could be?” You made a face at her.
“The kids, the community.” She looked over at Bucky, “That hunk of a man over there.” You slapped her shoulder softly before humming.
“I’ve thought about it, but that’s a two person decision and I don’t think either of us are at a point in our lives to raise another tiny human.” Sarah nodded, her features disbelieving.
“Just don’t let that one get away.” Her finger was pointed at Bucky who was playing with the kids at the edge of the dock. Bucky must’ve felt your gaze on him because he looked up, removing his dark sunglasses to lock eyes with you.
“Oh I don’t plan on it.” You smiled at her. You joined Bucky and Sam as they stood in front of Paul & Darlene, taking in the sunset reflecting on the water. Bucky wrapped his arm around your waist, pressing a kiss to your temple. You definitely don’t plan on it, you thought to yourself as you leaned into his embrace.
@londonalozzy @marvelofwitch @dramaticwittch @hellmoonsin @jn-wolf @youcancallmeishita @iabrokengirl @veroxloki @liveloudwriteloud @lainternettuale @angelofthetrenchcoats @rosiahills22 @peachymichu @sj-ficrecs @learisa @itsyagirl01 @simply-me-xoxo @ghoststudyy @taina-eny @japanrecs @sinfulhun-collapsedheart @isaordora @shutupstevie @sprsoldierfics @beachbabe925 @afuckingshituniverse @distinguishedgardenroadbonk @littlewhiterose @bcadc42 @tcc-gizmachine @imagines78643258 @mia-j-333
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rainguk · 12 days ago
perfect pitch | ksj
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SUMMARY. your stand partner this year is, to put it simply, insufferable. with a rare sense of perfect pitch and a stunning face to boot, this boy's ego is absolutely off the charts... but you'd be lying if you said you didn't care about him anyway.
PAIRING. seokjin x reader
RATING. pg-13
GENRE. crack, fluff - stand partners idiots to lovers (with a lil bit of enemies in there), high school au, orchestra au
WARNINGS. swearing, threats but like nothing violent happens LOL, seokjin's sense of humor: there's like one mildly inappropriate joke (i'm sorry bach), super cliche rain scene i apologize
NOTES. this is based off of infuriatingly true events in my life because people with perfect pitch just LOVE flexing it like i'll drop my fork on the table and my friend's just like "oh wow that was a B flat" aaaaggghjsdjsdf anyways... i had a lot of fun writing this and i'm nearing the end of another longer fic i'm writing so please look forward to that :D hope you enjoy!!! + if you ever want me to tag you in my fics just let me know and i will <3 plus this is unedited and disgustingly cringy as it nears the end so read at your own risk
TAGS. @imdamconfused @sunghoonight-x @iminchaosnow
SONG. butter (bts)
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You’re teetering dangerously on the edge, a mere few seconds away from stabbing your stand partner in the eye with whatever you can use as a weapon.
“Hey, are you okay?” Seokjin cuts into your murderous thoughts, alarmed. “You look… truth be told, Y/N, you look like you want to kill someone.”
“If you don’t shut up about how flat my A is, that someone might just end up being you.”
“How romantic.”
Your bow slides off your violin with a cadence of squeaky notes. “Can you at least stop flirting with me while I’m trying to tune this thing?!”
He smiles, a bright, brilliant thing that shows off all his perfect teeth. You swallow, heart suddenly racing a thousand times faster; it’s no secret that Kim Seokjin is probably the biggest pain in the neck you’ve ever met, but it’s also true that he is insanely good-looking. And you’re not about to deny it.
“You like it, though.”
Well, shit.
“Not everyone’s head over heels in love with you,” you retort, trying desperately to throw him off your trail. You know what happens with popular kids like him; once it’s known that you have a soft spot for them, everyone pounces on you, bombarding you with questions and snide remarks and rumors.
Of course, it’s complicated — because how on earth could you want to rip off someone’s head and kiss them at the same time?
But you tell yourself that it’s only because he looks like that; not because he easily gets you to laugh like it’s nobody’s business, and certainly not because he looks out for you in the littlest ways; leaving his rosin out on the stand for you to use and lending you a pencil when you need one.
Kim Seokjin is an insufferable little shit, yes. But he’s a friendly insufferable little shit. And you would honestly be so down to hang out with him and get to know him better, save for one little thing that’s been getting in your way.
His perfect fucking pitch.
Being stand partners with someone naturally gifted with such a sense is both a blessing and a curse. Countless times, Seokjin has saved your ass from being questioned by Mrs. Choi by letting you know silently that you’re a little too sharp, or playing in the wrong key entirely. (That last one has happened before.) Sometimes you can’t hear Namjoon, the principal violinist, too well from where you’re seated, so you’ve relied on Seokjin on many occasions to tune your strings correctly.
However, it irks you equally as much when he uses it against you, stopping you mid-piece to let you know that your C# sounds more like a D to him. No one’s perfect, and certainly not you — but you try, and to be shot down every single time by someone who thinks it’s absolutely funny to watch you repeatedly attempt to fix your pitch issues is purely exhausting.
“Hey, Y/N—”
“What?” you demand, sighing as you turn to him.
“Wanna hear a joke?”
“Why did Bach have twenty children?”
Your eyes widen in horror. “Oh my god—”
He continues anyway, ignoring your plea with that mischievous grin, “Because he had no organ stops!”
Seokjin is trying his best not to laugh at his own joke, shoulders shaking at the punch line. You can’t help it yourself, a giggle bursting out of your own chest as you cover your mouth.
“That was horrendous,” you tell him once you catch your breath again. “Absolutely terrible.”
“Oh, worry not,” he proclaims, smiling widely, “I can do far better.”
“Wait, no—”
“What tone does a piano falling down a mineshaft make?”
You furrow your brows, thinking. “I don’t know,” you shake your head after a few seconds. “What is it?”
“A flat minor.”
Your jaw drops open as you process it, and Seokjin just watches you in amusement. “You should be banned from making these kinds of jokes,” you tell him. “Seriously.”
“Admit it, I’m hilarious,” he counters. “I made you laugh, didn’t I?”
He did, you’ve got to acknowledge. He always does, in some way, now that you think about it. Whenever you end up coming to rehearsal in a bad mood, it’s always because of Seokjin that you leave the auditorium with a smile on your face.
The realization startles you like nothing else — you hadn’t known before that he played such a role in your daily life.
“Oh, I nearly forgot,” he starts again, “We have a concert tonight.”
“Yeah…” You turn to him, eyebrow raised. “You forgot about the biggest performance of the year?”
Seokjin nods, a faint pink dusting his cheeks. “Yeah. My bad. You’re coming, right?”
“Duh,” you reply, fishing a block of rosin out of your case. “It’s almost half of my grade; no way I can skip. Besides, I like performing.”
“You do?”
“What are you so surprised for?” you ask him playfully. “I do enjoy it. I might not be good — not as good as you — but I like it. I like playing together with everyone, being able to hear every other part fit in with mine perfectly.” You frown. “Now if you asked me to play solo, I wouldn’t do it for anything in the world. Ensemble performances are far better.”
“You’re good,” Seokjin says quietly, looking at you — it’s like he’s taking you in, letting his eyes linger on you for a little while longer. “Don’t think that you’re not. You sound nice, Y/N.”
You hold his gaze for several breathless seconds before scoffing, turning away. “Don’t lie.”
“I’m not!”
“I don’t need empty compliments fr—”
Your bickering is cut short by Mrs. Choi walking onstage, a stack of sheet music in her hand which is promptly handed to Namjoon for him to distribute to the entire orchestra. You don’t offer your usual smile when he gives you two, and it’s with an impassive expression that you hand the extra to your stand partner.
“You’re welcome.”
Maybe you’ve made it more awkward between you two — but what else could have happened? Had you been hoping he’d magically fall in love with you and kiss you and you would have gone on dates?
No, of course not. This is Kim Seokjin you’re talking about; and besides, no matter how much you manage to soften up to him one moment, he’ll immediately make you want to murder him the next.
“Hey, Y/N… um — your D is just, you know, a little bit sharp—”
“Kim Seokjin, I’ll fucking kill you!”
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“You, my dear, are just overcomplicating this for yourself,” Taehyung declares after listening to you rant about your problematic stand partner over lunch. “What’s the issue? You like him — don’t you shake your head at me, Y/N, you’re as obvious as an open book — and he clearly likes you. Why don’t you just date him?”
“It’s not that simple,” you grumble, brutally stabbing another piece of chicken. “I can’t just walk up to him and ask him out, Tae. Plus, he doesn’t like me, he just likes flirting with everyone he lays his eyes on.”
“From what you’re telling me, it sure does sound like it.”
“Come on, you can’t possibly be that clueless, Y/N.”
“No,” you insist. “He’s a pain in the ass, and he enjoys getting a rise out of me, and he flexes that dumb pitch power of his whenever he can.”
“But you like him...”
“You’re not helping!”
This is where Jimin decides to intervene, tired of your back and forth arguing. “She has a point, Tae. But,” he says to you. “He’s also right. You need to take some kind of action.”
“Yeah, but what?”
Taehyung claps his hands, a telltale sign of a new idea. “Flirt back!”
“Okay, absolutely not—”
Jimin grabs you suddenly, shaking your shoulders. “Wait, think about it!” he exclaims, eyes wide. “It can work! That way you can see if he actually does like you, and you won’t publicly embarrass yourself by confessing to him, either!”
“On second thought, I’d have preferred to see the public embarrassment—”
“Shut up, Tae, you’re just making her feel worse!”
That makes you laugh; contrary to Jimin’s statement, your best friends certainly have succeeded in making you feel just a little bit better.
“Don’t worry, the feeling’s mutual,” you tease. “Maybe I owe him a dose, actually, because I’ve seen firsthand a particularly painful confession back in n—”
“Y/N! Don’t you dare bring that up!”
Amidst the chaos of Taehyung screeching while trying to attack you with a spoon and Jimin holding him back, someone taps on your shoulder lightly; a momentary distraction from this madness, if you will.
“Oh. You,” you respond when greeted with the gently smiling face of Kim Seokjin. “Did you need anything?”
“Nah,” he shrugs, instead showing you his closed fist. “Wanted to give you something.”
“If it’s another one of my strings that you’ve borrowed and also broken, then you can keep it, thanks.”
Seokjin shakes his head, chuckling. “Not that, Y/N. I always throw out the strings I break; don’t worry. I just thought you should have this.”
With that, he places a small wooden box on your lunch bag — at a closer look, you realize it’s a block of rosin. Brand new, too, by the looks of it — when you take off the bright blue lid, there are no scratches on the surface, no sign of wear and tear.
“For me?” You look at him, surprised to be met with a rather fond gaze you’re not used to. “Why?”
“Noticed the one you had was basically falling apart,” he says nonchalantly, attempting to mask the slight tremble in his voice and the blush on his cheeks. “I mean, come on — how are you gonna keep your bow in good shape with those tiny chunks of this stuff?”
“Oh,” is all you can reply, staring at the gleaming black cube in your hand. “I — thanks, I guess.”
“No problem.” He’s back to his bright, grinning self again, all self-confidence and smug smiles. “See you tomorrow,” he tells you, before waving to your friends. “Have a nice lunch, guys.”
It takes Jimin and Taehyung precisely fourteen seconds after Seokjin leaves for his own table to lose their shit.
“Was he looking out for you?”
“Did he actually just give you a new block of rosin?!”
“And you still don’t wanna date this guy?”
“You guys are violinists! Gifting each other supplies is basically your love language!”
You fidget with the rosin, smoothing your thumb over the lid. “No, that’s just how he is,” you defend. “He always lends me rosin when I need it.”
“And you always lend him extra strings,” Taehyung says, a teasing smile on his face. They’re kind of right, you realize when you think about it. Never has Seokjin actually given you a block to keep, and though you might be overestimating the significance of the gesture, it makes your heart flutter nonetheless.
“Okay, anyways,” Jimin changes the topic, “How are we feeling about tonight’s concert?”
“I think we’re in good shape,” you tell him. “We’ve got everything under control — Mrs. Choi was afraid the cellos would screw up their solo section, but they managed to pull it together today and they sounded great.”
“I’m afraid I can’t say the same,” Taehyung sighs. “Not when the tenors keep screwing up their long note—”
“That wasn’t me! That was Jeon Jungkook!”
“Yeah, sure—”
You groan, rolling your eyes. “Come on, we are not arguing about this right now. I’m sure you guys will sound fine, you always do. Plus, Jeon has a really sweet voice.”
“I guess so,” Taehyung shrugs. “But I think the highlight of tonight is going to be Y/N getting to see her guy all dressed up,” he says, wiggling his eyebrows.
“No!” You exclaim a little too quickly, cheeks red. “Why would you say something like that?!”
“Because you’re whipped for him—”
“I am most certainly not—”
Jimin laughs out loud, almost toppling off of his chair. “You know, Y/N, we might have believed you if you weren’t redder than a fucking tomato right now—”
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As luck would have it, you’re a solid ten minutes late.
Call time was at six o’clock, and here you are; slamming the car door shut as you wave a hasty goodbye to your father and run to the main entrance, all the while trying not to get drenched in the rain.
(Your folder and the music inside it are probably already soaked, but that’s an issue for another time.)
You hurry down the stairs, pushing the double doors open with a quick apology to Mrs. Choi, who gives you a stern look but says nothing else. You let out a breath you didn’t even know you were holding as you slide into your seat, already unlatching your case.
“You’re late.”
You twist your neck to give your stand partner a blank stare. “I’m aware.”
“You look really nice,” he blurts out next, blinking faster than usual.
“Thanks?” You try and laugh it off, fastening your shoulder rest to the back of your violin. You’re not wearing anything fancy, just a flowy black dress with your hair tied back, but his remark renders you speechless for a split second “So do you.”
You manage to compliment him nonchalantly, but your heart is beating twice as fast, eyes admiring his parted, fluffy hair, the white dress shirt impeccable on his figure. And his lips…
Shit. You really are down bad, but you don’t have time to dwell on it — Mrs. Choi is starting the last piece already, and you’re scrambling to have your instrument ready by the time the first violins start with their little intro.
Seokjin laughs at you quietly, but inhales sharply when you start to rosin your bow hair. “You kept it,” he says softly, nodding at the block in your hands.
“Yeah,” you swallow, suddenly self-conscious. “I did.”
“Didn’t think you would.”
“I’m not that ungrateful,” you wrinkle your nose at him. “Of course I kept it, Seokjin.”
“Jin,” he repeats, flicking a strand of chestnut hair away from his eyes. “That’s what my friends call me.”
“Since when am I your friend?”
“Would you rather not be?”
“Would you rather be?”
Seokjin — Jin, rather — frowns down at you. “Stop asking questions to my questions!”
“You did it first!” you exclaim, laughing. “Hypocrite! Answer mine, then!”
He looks at you for a long moment, like he’s taking his sweet time choosing the right words to say to you. “Since now,” he decides finally, firmly. “You are now. I want you to be mine. My friend,” he clarifies, turning deep red as he says it.
“I thought you hated me,” you muse. “And I was pretty sure you thought I was the lamest kid ever because I couldn’t play a single thing right.”
“Of course not,” Jin shakes his head vehemently. “You’re cool, Y/N. A little tone deaf, but cool.”
“Take that back!”
“I’m sorry, it’s the truth,” he laughs, eyes crinkling at the corners.
You send him your best glare, but contrary to your facial expression, it’s nice to laugh with him like this. You’ve been so caught up with telling yourself that you shouldn’t be feeling anything but annoyance when you’re around him that you ignored your blossoming feelings, and now they’ve fully bloomed, leaving no room for that initial irritation you so often experienced.
Friends. It’s not what you most want, but it’s something. You could get used to that.
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The concert goes smoothly, and the choir performances were absolutely delightful to watch — but your father is late, again, which means you’re stuck waiting for him out in the rain that hasn’t let up for hours.
You’re about to call him for the fifth time in ten minutes when you hear a set of heavy footsteps behind you, running up the stairway. “Y/N!”
“Jin?” you ask, surprised by the boy making his way toward you, brown hair completely soaked. “What are you doing out here?”
“I lied,” he says breathlessly, like he’s in a rush, and if he doesn’t tell you now, he might never be able to. “I’m sorry, I — I lied, Y/N. I don’t want you to be my friend — God, I don’t think I could live with that. I want you to be more.”
“I just,” he exhales forcefully, “I want to be able to take you out and hold your hand and hug you and kiss you—”
When your mind finally clears up, you don’t let him finish his sentence, instead grabbing his collar and yanking him down so you can press your lips to his in one swift motion. A quiet gasp leaves his mouth, but he quickly adjusts to the situation, hands dropping his violin so he can gently cradle your face, teeth tugging at your bottom lip. It’s all happening so fast that you barely even have time to think, to properly take it all in.
His lips are cold due to the nasty weather, and you’re both sopping wet — and this is most definitely the worst setting for this to have happened, but you wouldn’t have it any other way.
“That,” Jin breathes when you finally let him go, pupils dilated, “that was—”
“My first,” you finish. Your prior courage all gone, you’re a bit nervous now, too embarrassed by your bold move to even meet his eyes. What were you thinking? “I-I’m sorry...”
“Sorry?” Jin asks, confused. “Why are you sorry?”
“You know, because… of that.” You can barely speak up, cheeks burning. “I-I don’t know why I did that. Is this — is this a prank or something? Did you plan this? Was I just supposed to laugh it off and threaten to take your eye out with my bow instead?”
“No, no, no,” he shakes his head, laughing. “Can’t you tell, Y/N?” He lowers his voice to a gentle whisper. “I like you, you idiot. Ever since you waltzed into the auditorium sophomore year and nearly broke your violin falling down the stairs, I never stopped thinking about you.”
“You… you like me?” you ask incredulously, jabbing an accusatory finger at his chest. “Like, for real? You’re not just pulling my leg like you usually love to do?”
“I meant what I said, Y/N,” he tells you softly, fingers intertwined with yours. His voice is genuine, soothing. “I want to do all those things with you, if you’ll let me.”
It takes you a while to reply, but when you do, your heart is pounding so loudly in your chest that you can barely hear yourself. “A-And if I said yes?”
A wide grin breaks out onto Jin’s face as he pulls you into a hug, both your instruments forgotten on the pavement and your head resting on his chest as he holds you close. A few days ago, you would have thought yourself a fool for even thinking that a day like this would ever come; yet here you are, all those daydreams come true.
It’s all so new to you, and you’ll most likely screw up along the way — multiple times. But hand in hand with Jin and his vexing ability to pick out a B from a B flat, things aren’t looking so bad.
You’ll work it out.
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Hanging out with your friends is always a chaotic (but fun) occurrence — but when you add your boyfriend’s buddies into the mix, it all goes down to shit.
Actually, it’s all his fault, if you really think about it. Why on earth did he think challenging Taehyung to a baking competition was even remotely close to being a good idea?
“That’s so not fucking fair!” the aforementioned best friend cries, angrily shaking a spatula at a playfully grinning Jung Hoseok. “You can’t just hide the bag of flour! I fucking forgot to put it in!”
“Nothing we can do about it now, Tae,” Jimin sighs, massaging his forehead as the three of you stare at the burnt, soupy mass your team has created. “We fucking lost, that’s it.”
“So,” Jin smirks mischievously, nudging your elbow. “I guess Hoseok and I win this one, yeah?”
“Shut up,” you shove him back, though you’re grinning; a plate with a slice of his impeccably made cake in your hands and a fork lifted to your lips. “You’re good at this and you know it. I knew from the start that you were just trying to fuck around with Tae.”
Taehyung scoffs. “Your evil, demonic, deceptive, satanic boyfriend—”
“Nice vocabulary,” Hoseok comments without looking up, and you’re sure he’s on your best friend’s hit list at this point.
“Well — anyways, he’s out to get me,” Taehyung continues, frowning. “I feel attacked.”
“Yeah, okay, keep saying that several years from now when you’re sitting in a church and Y/N’s walking down the aisle,” Jimin says nonchalantly, causing you to choke on your cake in complete shock.
“What the heck — we’re literally eighteen! You can’t — you can’t just say things like that!” you exclaim indignantly, fork clattering against your empty plate. Jin grins widely all of a sudden, tapping your shoulder all of a sudden.
“Hmm?” You turn to him, momentarily forgetting how flustered Jimin’s comment made you feel.
“That was a really nice C# just now…”
Your mouth drops open as you gape at your boyfriend; part of you wants to cry and part of you wants to laugh. You knew when you agreed to make it official that somewhere along the line, you’d have to deal with these kinds of things, but now that it’s actually happening…
You turn to Jimin, patience already running thin from Jin’s antics (actually, you secretly love it, though you’ll never admit it to his face.)
“And you have the audacity to suggest that I’ll actually get married to this man?”
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“Y/N? Honey, wake up. I… I just realized something.”
“Oh — Jin? What is it? Everything okay?”
“Yeah, everything’s good. You know, I was thinking about it, and I realized that...” Your husband bites down on his lip hesitantly, glancing down at the baby sleeping peacefully in his arms.
“Yeah?” you press, curious.
“When Aera cries — you know, when she’s screaming at the top of her lungs,” he smiles fondly. “It’s always — she always cries in either F# or C#. It’s,” he looks like he’s nearing tears, “the D major key. Y/N, she literally cries in D major. I’m—”
You sigh, smiling amusedly to yourself as you snuggle up to him for extra warmth, holding your baby close. Leave it to none other than Kim Seokjin to analyze his daughter’s pitch — isn’t that part of the reason why you fell in love with him, anyway?
Life with Jin is many things — a chaotic mess that includes the constantly screaming light of your lives, three pandemoniac best friends, and far too many notes for you to keep track of. And though sometimes you want to chuck a blue-lidded block of rosin at his head to shut him up, you’re more than ready for it all.
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— feedback/questions/just wanna chat?
thank you for reading perfect pitch! ♡
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taki118 · a year ago
Go Watch the Venture Brothers
So just heard the complete and utter Bullshit news that Adult Swim has cancelled one of (if not the best shows) they have the Venture Bros. This series is one of those shows that for WHATEVER reason never got to the level of fandom Rick and Morty has even though they’ve been at the genre parody game longer and in my opinion better. 
The series is about Rusty Venture former boy adventurer and failing super scientist who in an attempt to keep his head above water in debt goes around with his two boys Hank and Dean, and bodyguard Brock on misadventues while various legal archnemisis go after him, such as the Monarch. 
So if you never watched or never heard of this 7 season series let me give you a break down on why you should, 
1) Art Style & Animation
Venture bros is one of those rare Adult aimed animated series that that really truly tries to utilize their medium to the best of their abilities. Season 1 had like such a small budget and corners had to be cut so it can be a little hard to watch at times. 
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But with each passing season they get a little better, a little more fluid, go just a little harder and it truly feels rewarding to watch. Like seeing an artist you follow online improve over the years. Like they COULD have stayed with the choppy and stiff animation from season 1 it fit right in with its fellow adult animated shows but it didn’t. They strove for quality to have something that matched the story they were telling.
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2) The Writing 
Venture Bros has some of the tightest and consistently great writing of ANY serialized show I’ve seen, adult, animated or other wise. Wanna know why? Cause it’s all done by TWO people (save for like one ep each season where one other person is allowed to touch their baby). Yeah TWO people and they work their asses off every season to interject, humor, refrences, parody, plot and character development in equal measure. 
3) Character Development
Um yes in case you were wondering that’s right an adult animated show has CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT  that holds as the series goes on. Not to give spoilers but characters will go through changes in alignment, relationships will develop and change, some characters will go through negative arcs where they are straight up unbareable for a season before coming out the other side even better than they were before. There is no end of epsiode or even end of season reset. Characters, settings, and dynamics all change over the course of the show and it feels just so god damn good.
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4) Story Development 
Just like the characters the story of the Venture Bros grows and changes each season. Things that are set up even as early as season one are paid off as the series goes on. Like not to be that bitch but you know how RIck and Morty teases an overarching plot ALL THE TIME but like will often just spit in the face of fans hoping for more than like one episode a season addressing it? Yeahhhhhhh that doesnt happen here, fans are consistently rewarded for putting the time in to rewatch and really think about what happened in the series. Characters that are seen in the background or are just referenced by other characters will be brought in to be recurring characters, things that start off as a small detail or gag will be given larger relevance and each time they do this you get that “OH I remember that from last season! So thats what it was!” The writers WANT you to rewatch, they WANT you to analyze and they WANT you to theorize, and they give you a show that gives back the time you put in.
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5) Parody & Reference 
This series does a great thing with parody. They make real characters  who are just as enjoyable as the characters they parody, they make story lines that both poke fun at the absurdity of the media but shows the writers love for it. So often parody and references are just used to mock the thing but with Venture Bros you feel the love and care so when you know the thing being parodied you can laugh but feel good about laughing cause they are never laughing at a thing maybe you cared for in your youth but rather laughing with it.
And it’s never just one thing. When they parody a thing its often layered with other things to make it even more unique. Scooby-Doo is overlayed with famous criminals, Laura Croft is mixed Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, GI Joe is given the look of the Village People and so on. They never go for the easy joke or reference. Hell theres an episode that starts with them reciting the lyrics to David Bowies Space Oddity for really no reason other than they could. They weave these things in naturally with their setting and characters so nothing feels out of place. Like if you dont catch a reference or parody you dont feel like “I think this isa reference to something?” like a LOT of things do not just adult animated shows. You arent taken out of the moment cause it all feels so natural. 
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6) The Characters 
God damn these characters, I could go on for hours about these characters. From main to one off these are some of the most likeable characters you can find. I mean it when I say I can’t think of a single character I wish they had cut cause they are all so well created. Even the ones I hate i have fun hating cause they were made to be that way. I’ll be good though I’ll only talk about my absolute top faves.
- The Monarchs
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You ever sit and wish villain couples could have functional  healthy relationships? Well look no further than Malcom Fitzcarraldo aka The Monarch and Dr. Shelia Girlfriend (yes that is her last name). The Monarch is a high strung impulsive saturday morning cartoon villain whos tendency to over react is only matched by his unspecified hatred of Dr. Venture. And Dr. G is his nonsense partner in crime who will cut a bitch if they don’t play by their admittedly weird rules. Both characters are great on their own but are better together. Though that doesnt mean they always get along. Like a real couple they have their ups and downs they fight, break up, make-up and grow stronger in their relationship with each season. 
- Shore Leave
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Ok ok so I want you to imagine James Bond, mixed with GI Joe simmering in a cocktail of the most flamboyant gay men you have ever seen and you have one of my favorite gay characters/characters in general. Shore Leave is a member of OSI (the shows SHEILD/GI Joe parody organization) he’s loud, brash, flippant, sassy and highly competent at his job loving every second of getting to beat bad guys down within an inch of their life. I love seeing him play off the stoic Brock and the two have this great brotherly dynamic that’s never called into question. He also gets to have a very cute romance with Al the Alchemist (who is also great). I could talk about this man all day.
- Dr. Rusty Venture
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They did such a good job with this man. He’s a self serving, sexist, perverted, whinny, self important asshole and yet you feel pity and genuine sympathy for him and want him to succeed. You can see how Dr. V was given a raw deal by his father who seemed to care more about his adventures than his sons well being and how this molded him into the bitter man he is today, but on the flip side you can see where he chose to use that as a crutch for his worst behaviors and impulses. Seeing him slowly grow and change and be an actual good father to his boys while all the while still be a giant dick is actually really great. 
- Dr. Byron Orpheus 
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Ahhhhh Dr. Orpheus part Dr. Strange Parody part busybody stay at home dad, he’s just such a delight. Dr. Orpheus is a divorcee, with an unfulfilling job of maintaining order to the cosmos (which isnt as hard as one might think), and uses his magical ablities in ways most of us would (ie menial tasks and home chores). Overly dramatic and affectionate Dr. O is a delight whenever he appears, but he’s at his best around his daughter and old friends The Order of the Triad. 
Again I can go on but all these characters ranging from main to recurring are crafted with the utmost care for you to want to see them succeed or fail, to see them again even if you know it’ll never happen, and want them to cross paths with other characters. 
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The Venture Bros is one of those series that I will ALWAYS recommend even to the pickiest of humor tastes. But if you don’t believe its as good as I said or don’t think the concept is to your tastes I’ll recommend a few eps that I think best show off the base idea of the series without giving much away. In terms of plot and spoilers, though somethings wont make a lot of sense. 
- S1 ep10 "Tag Sale – You're It!" - Dr. V is having a yard sale so of course all manner of costumed weirdos show up.  - S2 ep5 "Twenty Years to Midnight" - basically a fetch quest around the world to save the planet with daddy issues - S3 ep2 "The Doctor Is Sin" - Again daddy issues but with one of the best recurring characters and a great showcase of the series deeper emotional plots - S4 ep6 "Self-Medication" - Really embraces the parody as Rusty goes to a former boy adventurer support group.  Anyway the show is 7 seasons with 80 episodes, please go watch it. I will never forgive @adultswim​ for cancelling what was to be their final season. And in closing GO TEAM VENTURE!
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