#ignore his cracked paw pads
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El Destino Ch. 69
Pairing: EZ x Camila (OC)
Warnings: Mention of death, trust issues, pregnancy, Tio Angel being soft af
Word count: 2.3K
A/N: Angel as a Tio makes me so soft I wanna cry lmao. Also, EZ being protective over Camila and his baby is just *chef kiss* 💗
Camila smiled as she watched the birds flutter their wings in the birdbath, their chirping loud and beautiful as she listened. She kept her eyes on them, looking at their vibrant colors, more types of them than she could keep track of. That was why she had put up three separate bird feeders with enough seeds to please as many birds as she could think of. And pleased they were as they sat perched on the bar, beaks snatching up seed after seed. She took a gentle step forward, hoping not to startle them so she could get a better look. Step by slow step, she got closer until she was able to get a clear view of all of them.
The blue jay sat right along the rim of the birdbath, feathers glistening in the early morning sun. The cherry-colored cardinal was swirling around in the water, wiggling its body to clean itself up. The Meadowlark would fly from the nearby tree down to grab some seeds and take them back to what she assumed was a nest. Looking closely, Camila tried to see it, looking for the brown cluster that would tell her just where the bird was taking the food. Sure enough, off to the right side of the tree in one of the lower branches she could see the sticks and moss huddled up, the ball a clear sign of where that bird had taken residence. She watched in silence as the bird came back and flew right into the nest, staying in for a minute or two before leaving once again and heading straight to the bird feeder.
The sound of the sliding door opening grabbed Camila’s attention and she turned around with a smile to find EZ standing there against the doorway. He called out to her in a raspy voice, his face still puffy from sleep.
“What the hell are you doing out here so early? Come inside, you’re gonna get sick.”
Camila chuckled as she shook her head, having known he was going to get on her for being out when the morning dew was still fresh.
Her feet padded softly on the grey stones that lined the walkway back into the house, stopping when she came face to face with him. The Prospect smiled, leaning down to press a gentle yet lengthy kiss to her lips. Pulling away, he reached out and ran his fingers through her hair, feeling how silky the dark drown lock was around his finger.
“I swear every time I look at you, your hair looks like it gets longer.”
The mom to be nodded, reaching for a handful of her own hair.
“I’m just trying to enjoy it while it lasts before I go bald.”
She chuckled but EZ could tell there was some worry there and he placed his hand on her lower back, bringing her inside and shutting the sliding door behind her.
“We’ll get you some vitamins so you can start taking them as soon as you have the baby. I also read this article that said to use olive oil and peppermint oil and do scalp massages to help the hair grow back if it falls out.”
Camila looked at him for a handful of seconds before a grin spread on her lips, her arms wrapping around his waist to hug him as best she could with her belly between them.
“Did you really start looking up remedies for post-partum hair loss?”
EZ looked at her incredulously as he returned the hug.
“Of course I did.”
Camila laughed, though not at him. It was purely out of happiness that she had been blessed with a man like him. Pushing up on her tippy toes, she pushed out her lips for another kiss which EZ happily obliged. Now separating, Camila pointed outside, unable to hide the excitement in her voice.
“I finally found where that little yellow and brown bird has a nest! It’s up there on the right side.”
She pointed out the door to where the nest was located, EZ nodded with a smile knowing how she had been wanting to find it but not get too close that she scared them away. With a smile, EZ rested his hand on her back and started walking with her to the kitchen, knowing that she hadn’t eaten breakfast yet.
“Maybe we can go to the store today and get a birdhouse. I’ll put it up for you.”
Camila nodded with a bright smile, EZ pulling out her chair for her to sit down while he began making breakfast. They fell into a comfortable silence then, Camila yawning as she watched EZ crack the eggs and whisk them up. Looking around the house, Camila felt proud of the life she had. She was married to an amazing man, living in a warm and safe home with a baby on the way and a family that loved and cared for her. All things she wasn’t sure she would ever have when she was growing up. The callousness of her parents had always instilled a fear in her that that was simply how life was, and she was beyond thankful that moving to Santo Padre had proven her wrong. It had been the best decision she had ever made and every day she was thankful for it.
Caught up in her thoughts and reveries, EZ came to lay a soft hand on her shoulder, breaking her out of her daydream and motioning to the plate of scrambles eyes and buttered toast in front of her.
“Eat your breakfast, mi vida.”
Camila nodded, quickly reaching for her fork to dig in before it got cold.
The prospect nodded and walked back over to her with his own plate, sitting down beside her and reaching for her hand, kissing the back of it.
“Thank you for spending time with me today.”
Angel looked away from the rose plant he was inspecting and toward Camila at the sound of her voice. His heart clenched and he smiled, leaning down to leave a kiss on the top of her head.
Camila had a handful of errands that she needed to run today and considering EZ didn’t want her doing them alone, she figured she would ask Angel. Bishop had given them the day off from the scrapyard, something about a long night ahead of them the next day. Considering she hadn’t spent much time with Angel recently, she had decided to ask him, not wanting him to think that he wasn’t as important to her or her family now that she had a child on the way. She had half expected him to say not but had been surprised, the older Reyes brother choosing to come along excitedly. Now they were there at the nursery, looking over the new shipment of plants the company had received. She was using his judgment as well to see what colors he thought should be added to the garden, and now after getting to hang out with him for the first time in what felt like forever, she was happy to have him back.
Walking side by side with him, they made their way around the various plants, Camila starting to rub her hand along her stomach as she felt her daughter kick. The motion was something she did often now, but it startled Angel who grabbed onto her elbow quickly with wide eyes.
Camila jumped at both the sudden touch and question before chucking.
“What? Nothing. I’m fine. She was just kicking.”
The relief was palpable as he released his grip on her, hand coming up to rest on his chest.
“Oh, thank god. I thought your water was gonna break or some shit.”
Camila laughed at him and shook her head.
“I would’ve thought that you would be calmer by now when you’ve got a kid of your own on the way.”
Her comment was meant to be lighthearted, but the way his face fell showed her words had been anything but. Clearly, there were things going on behind the scenes that she was not yet privy to and she wondered if that was why he had been somewhat distant lately. Not wanting to make it awkward, Camila reached for his hand and placed it on her bump.
He was about to contest but it was too late, his ringed paw of a hand resting on the fabric of her blouse. He felt the movement against his palm, and he smiled, talking to the child softly.
There was more movement against his hand and they both chuckled, Angel letting his hand rest a little more firmly now.
“It’s Tío. Can’t wait to meet you.”
Camila pouted, the moment warming her heart as she felt her child becoming more active, Angel laughing.
“You better be a soccer player.”
Angel’s phone was ringing then and he removed his hand to pull the phone from inside his kutte and answer it, seeing that it was EZ who was calling. He still wore a smile as he answered.
“Hey bro. Yeah, she’s right here with me. We’re getting some plants.”
Angel nodded, and then the smile was slowly dropping from his face, his shoulders tensing despite him trying to hide it, and he nodded once more.
“Yeah, ok. We’ll talk later.”
The conversation was over then, Angel hanging up and slipping the phone back into his kutte. He smiled at Camila, one as fake as ever as they looked at each other. Putting a block in front of any questions before she could ask, he reached for her hand and began walking toward the registers with her.
“EZ wants us to go back to the house.”
The drive back to the house was uncomfortable, a clear tension in the air. Camila could tell that he was trying to act as if everything was fine, but she had been around the Reyes men long enough to know how to read them. She figured she would try as Angel drove.
“You wanna tell me what’s going on?”
Angel shook his head, offering her a fake smile once more.
“Everything is fine, hermanita.”
Camila nodded but knew he was lying. The brothers had been keeping things from her for her entire pregnancy it seemed, but she knew well enough that being kept in the dark wasn’t going to be good for anyone. She wanted to know what was happening so that she could be ready for it. She could feel that something was brewing, whatever situation they were sheltering her from bound to come to a head at some point and she worried that that point would be sooner rather than later.
The rest of the drive was quiet, Angel pulling into Camila’s driveway and parking. She unbuckled her seatbelt and began to get out of the car, Angel scolding her as he hopped out quickly.
“Wait for me.”
She ignored him, getting out of the car herself, one hand holding onto the door with the other on her lower back. She was getting frustrated with being kept in the dark, and being treated like she was made of glass was only serving to worsen that frustration. By the time Angel got around to her side, Camila was already closing her own door. Angel winced at the sound of it closing and he rubbed the back of his neck as he looked down at her.
“I’m sorry. EZ just,”
Camila nodded, knowing that he was just doing what he was asked. She patted his shoulder and tried her best to keep her face neutral.
“I know. It’s not your fault.”
With that, she was waddling away from him and heading into the house, the older Reyes brother huffing as he looked up at the sky. He stood there for a few seconds before following his sister-in-law into the house, giving EZ a look. The younger brother looked at Camila immediately, seeing on her face that she wasn’t happy. He sighed and reached for her, squeezing her shoulder as she put her purse down on the counter and put her phone down to charge. She forced a smile, but he could see through it just as easily as she had seen through Angel’s.
With a sigh, he turned her gently to face him, speaking quietly to both her and Angel.
“I got some new info about mom. Or really, I know how to get it.”
Angel nodded as did Camila, both exchanging a look, Camila saying what Angel was thinking.
“…Ok. Get it from where? From who?”
EZ looked away from Angel then, his eyes only staying on Camila’s, knowing that she wasn’t going to want to hear what he was about to say. She tilted her head as she looked at him, eyes narrowing.
“Emily. I can use her to get the info. She owes me. I can get her to look for transcripts of money transfers that Happy was talking about. That’ll give us the answer to who really paid to have mom killed. Only if you’re ok with it though.”
Camila looked between the brothers, finding that Angel’s eyes were on her too now. She sighed, tossing the option over in her mind. Emily was not Camila’s favorite person, not by a long shot, but she knew that the Reyes family had long been plagued by not being able to fully grieve due to not knowing the reason behind why Marisol had been murdered. She could never put her own resentment of Emily before the peace of the Reyes men. They deserved answers as to why the most important woman in their life had been taken from them, and she refused to be the one to stop them from getting that. With a single nod, she agreed.
“Do it. You deserve to know. All three of you do. Just,”
Camila paused and EZ eased her worries before she could finish.
“That’s where it ends. We get the answers from her and then that chapter gets closed once and for all. Dad said we can use his house, more neutral ground. I’ll have you there too. Nothing hidden, no secrets.”
Camila nodded, glancing over at Angel for a moment to see how he felt. The older brother gave her a nod in response.
“Ok. Just promise me that no one will get hurt.”
EZ kept his eyes on her, stepping closer to her and reaching out to rest his hand on her belly.
El destino taglist
@caramara3 @lostgirl219 @mrsjaxtellerfan @actuallyazriel @vannabanana1995 @unnecessarypineapplesstuff @thegreat-annamaria @negansdirtygirl22 @svintsandghosts @piccasoe @tobesurroundedbysplendidthings @jadert15 @realtrashf1 @may114 @meltingicequeen @spiced-reads @redheadonfire20 @laricebabe @kaystacks17 @ateliefloresdaprimavera @claytoncardenasbabymama @chickadeegirl @lilithsworldd @that-chick212 @everyhowlmarksthedead @sarai-ibn-la-ahad @briana-mishell24 @encounterthepast @wrcn9fvlcver @noz4a2 @mt2413 @multiyfandomgirl40 @gemini0410 @stephaniem1519 @traceyaudette @shaelivia @violetpheonix2
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Fic Tag Game
Grabbed from @hils79, because it looked like fun.
Name: Merinnan, which I’ve gone by for... fifteen years now, I think? Prior to that, I mostly used Calicia (and sometimes Zoi).
Fandoms: Like Hils, I’m only going to list the fandoms I’ve actually written fic for.
Star Trek: My very first fandom, and the one I’ve written the most fics for (so far - I suspect that DMBJ will overtake it. It certainly already has in terms of word count). I was (and am still) primarily a DS9 fan, and was a huge Kira/Dukat and Garak/Bashir shipper back in the day. Most of my Trekfics are DS9 fics, but I also dabbled a little bit in TOS and TNG, and had one or two crackfic crossovers that involved Voyager characters. Discovery has tempted me with a few fic ideas, but I haven’t written anything for it yet.
Bishoujo Senshi Sailormoon: aka, the show that first had me seriously questioning my sexuality. Look, Haruka and Michiru are #goals, don’t judge me. This is also where my Zoi name came from, after the first season villain Zoisite, whom I cosplayed several times. Unsurprisingly, my main ships are HaruMichi and KunZoi. Despite this fact, neither of my published Sailormoon fics are HaruMichi.
Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040: A short-lived fandom, but one I still liked enough to write a fic for and get the OST CD.
World of Warcraft: I wouldn’t say I’m really part of the fandom, per se, but I’ve been playing since the dying days of Burning Crusade, am a huge lore nerd, and started writing a crossover fic that is currently on indefinite hiatus. I do plan to come back and finish it, but first RL got in the way, and now I have to try and remember where I’d actually been planning to go with it.
A Court of Thorns and Roses: That crossover fic I just mentioned? Yeah, this is what it’s a crossover with. ACoTaR fandom went sleepy for awhile, but it’s back up and kicking now that A Court of Silver Flames is out - if any of you are still following me, it’s great to see everyone active again! To the surprise of no-one who knows me, I’m a big Nessian shipper.
Mo Dao Zu Shi / Chen Qing Ling / The Untamed: I came to this fandom via ACoTaR, actually, after a certain person (hi, @rhysand-vs-fenrys!) wouldn’t stop gushing about it :-) This is the fandom that really and seriously got me back into regular fic writing again after 15-ish years. I’m a multishipper here, and have written / am writing WangXian, NieLan, XiCheng, XuanLi, and XiSang.
Guardian / Zhen Hun: MDZS fandom led me to Guardian, which, along with DMBJ, has devoured my life in a way that hasn’t happened since my Star Trek days, and I love it! WeiLan is my major ship, but I’m also quite fond of the DaMian life raft.
Zhu Yilong: Yes, I’m going to list a person as a fandom. Zhu Yilong is one of the stars of Guardian, and is both incredibly pretty and an incredibly talented actor. So much so that I have suffered through some truly terrible dramas just to watch him in them. I do not write Z1L-fic, since RPF of living people is a personal squick of mine, but I am working on a massive crossover fic of most of his characters.
Mo Du: Guardian led me along to more of Priest’s works, such as Mo Du, which is now officially my favourite book, and I adore the main WenZhou ship. The Mo Du fandom right now is pretty tiny, and I’m still working on my first fic for it, but I hope that it will grow with the donghua due out this year, and the drama having just started filming.
Daomu Biji / The Lost Tomb: I initially came into this fandom because of Zhu Yilong, who played Wu Xie in the Reboot / Reunion / Chongqi drama, and then I got sucked into the fandom pit of all of the books and dramas and spinoffs, and it’s wonderful and fantastic. I have written so much for it, and have so much more planned. PingXie and PingXieSang are my main ships here, but I’m also a HeiHua fan, and very much enjoying the RiSang pool noodle that @kholran created.
Tropes: Hurt/Comfort and crack are my major ones.
Fic I spent most time on: A toss-up between Endings and Beginnings and Reunion, both DS9 fics. Endings and Beginnings is an alternate ending to the show, while Reunion is a Gul Dukat-centric fic set around, oh, season 5ish? Both were written for and initially published in print fanzines, so in addition to time spent writing, there was a lot of back and forth for editing, etc.
Favourite fic(s) you’ve written: Look, I honestly couldn’t say. I like most of the fics I’ve written, and there are several that I’m really proud of and really like.
Fic I spent least time on: Silent Graves, a super angsty DMBJ/Lost Tomb Xiaoge fic. I think I wrote it in like 15 minutes.
Longest fic: Cat’s Paw, a DMBJ/Lost Tomb PingXieSang canon rewrite fic I co-wrote with @xantissa, at 247 826 words. For fics written by just me, not with a co-writer, then that would be Nevermore, my WIP MDZS/CQL XiCheng Pacific Rim AU, at 22 276 words and counting.
Shortest fic: Every entry in my DS9 Drabbles series, with each one at exactly 100 words. Although if you count them as a quintdrabble, then Indiscretion (a DS9 missing scene vignette about Gul Dukat, set during the episode of the same name) at 169 words.
Most hits/kudos/comments/bookmarks/subscriptions: The answer to all of these is either Cat’s Paw or Nevermore, so I’m going to give the next highest.
Hits: Those who fear darkness have never seen what light can do, a DMBJ/Lost Tomb PingXie supernatural AU fic co-written with xantissa.
Since this fic also takes the highest kudos, bookmarks, and subscriptions after Cat’s Paw/Nevermore, I’ll skip to the next fic along on each of those.
Kudos: Stars fall like diamonds, a DMBJ/Lost Tomb PingXie missing scene fic from Reboot/Reunion/Chongqi.
Bookmarks: A Knight in Bloody Armour, another DMBJ/Lost Tomb PingXieSang supernatural AU fic (but a different supernatural AU) co-written with xantissa.
Comments: Ears and Other Related Calamities, yet another DMBJ/Lost Tomb PingXieSang supernatural AU fic (of a different again supernatural AU) co-written with xantissa.
Subscriptions: The Rescue Job, a Guardian WeiLan Leverage AU, currently at one chapter complete and posted out of a planned five chapters.
Fic you want to rewrite/expand on: We have plans for a prequel and a sequel to A Knight in Bloody Armour, and a spinoff fic for The Zhang Identity (a DMBJ/Lost Tomb PingXie AU that is complete but not yet posted. It will be posted in April as part of the Small Fandoms Big Bang).
Share a bit of a WIP: This is from an as-yet-unnamed post-canon fix-it fic for the Guardian drama:
It was hurting again. Zhao Yunlan curled up into a tight ball under the hospital blankets, trying to ignore it enough to try to get back to sleep. He knew it wouldn't work, because he couldn't remember a time when it ever did, but it was always worth a shot, right? He squeezed his eyes shut and held himself tightly for a few...moments? Minutes?...before grabbing his stuffed cat and clutching it while he forced himself to breathe deep, slow breaths the way the doctors back in Spring City had taught him.
Eventually, the pain died back down to its usual dull ache, the one that was bearable and let him play, and watch TV, and do school lessons with his mother. One day, she said, they'd find a doctor who knew what was wrong, why he hurt all the time, and the doctor would give him medicine that would keep the worst pain away so that he could go to an actual school and meet more kids than the ones who lived in their apartment block or who frequented the same playground that he liked to go to.
Zhao Yunlan tried closing his eyes again, seeing if he could go back to sleep, but he was far too awake now. He sighed, sitting up in bed and looking around the room. Again. It was just like the hospital rooms in Spring City, and in Kiyota City. He figured that if the doctors here in Tomorrow Mountains couldn't help, his parents would take him to yet another city, and the hospital rooms there would probably look the same, too.
Then, over the faint beeping of hospital equipment, and the quiet murmurs further down the corridor of nurses at the nurse station or seeing to other patients, he heard a soft sniffling sound, like someone was trying not to cry too loudly. He picked up his stuffed cat and looked at it.
"What do you think, Dead Cat?" he asked it. "Should we go and find them?"
Dead Cat didn't answer, of course, but that didn't stop Zhao Yunlan from assuming that it agreed with him, and slipping out of bed. His feet touched the cold tile floor with barely a sound, and, still holding Dead Cat tightly, Zhao Yunlan padded over to the door. He looked up and down the corridor, then left his room to track down the sniffling noise.
He wasn't surprised that it came from the next room. He was surprised that it came from another kid, a boy who looked to be about his age, huddled in bed and wiping his eyes.
"Hi," Zhao Yunlan whispered. The other boy looked up in surprise, then stopped to clutch his chest as he began to cough. Once he'd finished coughing, Zhao Yunlan and Dead Cat were perched on the end of his bed.
"I'm Zhao Yunlan, and this is Dead Cat." He held up Dead Cat, moving one of the paws to wave hello. "What's your name?"
The boy wiped his eyes again. "Shen Ye."
I tag: ALL OF YOU! Are you a writer who hasn’t done this yet? Consider yourself tagged if you want to be.
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What’s New Pussycat?
Pairing: Bucky x Reader, Steve x Reader
Warning: Language, werecat Steve, sexy times
AN: This is pure and utter crack. I want to call this a discord anomaly but we really discuss this kind of stuff all the time in the Smut Hub. Thank you to all the gals in the discord, I’m looking at you @navybrat817 @whisperlullaby @buckyownsmylife @sweetkingdomstarlight-blog and @mashep23 for throwing gas on fire for this and just watching me lose my mind.
Bucky was an easy-going kind of guy or at least he liked to think so. Sharing an apartment with his lifelong best friend in Brooklyn with a decent job and a good head on his shoulders he had it all. But knowing the same person all your life and then sharing an apartment had its pitfalls. Like you couldn’t keep a secret.
He hadn’t thought to ever ask Steve why in his old place he had a cat tree, scratching post, and various other feline-related items in his room. Bucky had never once seen a cat at his place, never even so much as smelled a litter box. Maybe it was some weird sex thing? Whatever, better off not knowing right?
So it came to a real surprise when after a big case Steve had lost track of time, stressed himself out, and poof. Cat.
Literally a cat with zero traces of the man who’d been there less than two seconds ago. Bucky blinked at the enormous mane coon sitting on the floor where Steve had once stood and screamed. The cat screamed, as best a cat can. He screamed again. Then the cat, Steve, ran off to his room door slamming behind him.
Yep, his roommate and best friend for life was a werecat.
It didn’t throw a wrench into his plans at all and actually worked out better for Steve since he didn’t have to particularly hide anymore. The only catch was that Bucky couldn’t tell anyone, it would put Steve in danger or worse and Bucky didn’t want to ask what was worse than being in danger.
Then you came along.
Bucky liked you. Like really liked you and this late in his life he didn’t expect to ever find someone as perfect, kind, witty, and passionate as you. You were the proverbial jackpot when it came to women and he wasn’t about to let you slip away. He’d met you through Steve, helping him on an animal neglect case with the rehabilitation shelter you owned and ran. Bucky fell hard and he fell fast for you.
Problem was, so did Steve.
But you’d had eyes for Bucky. Asking him out on a first date that turned into watching the sun come up in the harbor. Two dates turned into three, then four, now you’d been dating for three months and he still hadn’t taken you back to his place.
You’d brought it up a couple of times, but he’d brushed it off as not wanting to expose you to the bachelor pad he and Steve occupied. When really it was Steve he was worried about. Bucky wasn’t sure how, but you’d convinced him one night to take you upstairs. He’d thought it would be safe, Steve was working on a case and he’d been pulling all-nighters sleeping on his office couch instead of coming home.
But he was wrong.
Bucky froze, his hands stilling on your naked chest and his lips stilling against your skin. You were shirtless under him, encouraging him to do more than just the heavy petting. Turning his head slowly he was mortified to see the feline face of his best friend staring back at him. He’d closed the damn door, how did he get in?!
Whiskers twitching as a pair of too-human blue eyes glared at him laying on top of you.
“Oh, you have a cat,” you queried, sliding up a little and looking at the fluffy cream smoke tabby.
“Um, yes?” He said unconvincingly, unable to do much of anything when your hand reached out stroking down his head and between his ears. To Buckys mortification Steve jumped up on the bed, wedging his large body between the two of you and purring contentedly as he rubbed his face against your neck and chin.
Sliding back onto his heels Bucky watched as his sure thing for the night turned into a snuggle fest with his were cat’s best friend. You were affectionately stroking down his back, smoothing the fur and cooing to him. “Aww, your cat likes me.”
Steve meowed again, pressing his face under your chin and almost smirking back at Bucky.
Bucky cursed under his breath, “You little fucker.”
Reaching forward he pulled the heavy body of his best friend away from you, “Yeah sorry about that. He doesn’t have any sense of boundaries.”
Steve’s ears flattened against his head and the cat growled at him but it stopped the moment you reached up pulling him back and against your naked chest again. “Aww, come on Bucky. Don’t be mean. He just wants some loving too.”
He could hear the loud purring rumbles from Steve as he looked down at the obviously smug ass cat. Paws kneading against the flesh of your chest as he resituated himself in your lap, stretching before letting out a happy little chirp as your fingers scratched between his ears.
Bucky wanted to say something, anything, but the obvious smirk and laughter in Steve’s eyes were irking him on, that coupled with the tiny kisses you were pressing into his head finally made him pop, “Steve get the fuck out of my room!”
The world slowed down for a brief moment as you looked up at him. Bucky's entire body stiffened and his brain switched to ‘oh shit’ mode faster than you could blink.
“You named your cat after your best friend?”
Bucky blinked, say something, say something!! “Uh,” he stalled unintelligently, scrambling as Steve looked up at him with narrowed blue eyes just screaming, ‘Good job dumbass.’
“That’s so adorable!”
Your exclamation takes him by sheer surprise, even Steve’s head whips around and up to look at you with a questioning chirp. You hold him out at arm’s length, impressive since he’s such a big cat and beam at him, “Bucky sure loves his best friend to name you after him, huh? Your daddy’s such a sweetie.”
“You, you think it’s sweet?” Bucky was still a little stunned looking at you.
Setting Steve aside with an annoying meow, you rolled your legs under you as you sat up, grabbing Bucky by the loops of his belt and jerking him against you, “I think it’s the sweetest thing I’ve ever heard. You know I might actually like you more now.”
“Oh, oh yeah,” Bucky stuttered tearing his eyes away from the dejected and annoyed cat and back to you. A coy smile pulling at his lips as your gaze flitted between his mouth and his eyes. “Thought you liked me a lot already.”
“Mmhmm,” you moaned in agreement, leaning forward as your teeth nipped along his jaw. Whispering against his ear, “But now you have a pet, that’s an extra twenty points on the hotness scale.”
Bucky chuckled, briefly throwing the dejected Steve a smirk before capturing your mouth with his. Kissing you deep as his hands began trailing up your sides once more and the attraction was once again ignited between you both. Just as Bucky’s tongue caressed against your lower lip a chirping meow interrupted the two of you.
Steve, pouting, pressed his way between the two of you again howling with annoyance for being pushed aside and ignored. Once again rubbing himself against your naked midriff, head caressing against the swell of your breast. Breaking away from Bucky you blinked down at Steve who, for all of his credit, gazed up at you with pleading blue eyes.
“Okay, I’m sorry little buddy,” you smiled, picking him up and climbing off the bed as you carried him towards the door. “Time for your daddy and me to spend some time alone now. Promise we can cuddle later.”
You closed the door on him and his chittering protests, turning the lock for good measure. Still, on the bed Bucky looked at you with wide blue eyes as a laugh began to overtake him, reaching a hand out towards you he smiled, “Now where were we.”
As you leapt back onto the bed with him Bucky couldn’t help but laugh at the jiggling door handle and the telltale human huff from the other side.
Bucky 1 Steve 0.
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OIKAWA STARED AT THE true version of himself—really looked at the demon he actually was—for the first time in over five years. He stood in the metaphysical space he shared with the demon in his mind, a replica of the flower field he had seen you in all those years ago, with tall, spear-like trees reaching and bowing towards a single point in the sky. Stars of glittering gold and smoldering flame sparkled in the sky, globules of energy and power that seeped off of his demon that singed holes in the illusion’s carefully constructed walls.
Sometime after the demon had seized control during the angel dust’s more powerful reactions, Oikawa had been left to dwell amongst the illusory flowers alone. He wasn’t sure how long he had been asleep, as time worked differently for every demon and every inner space, but it couldn’t have been long. The demon wouldn’t allow him to sleep and part from [Name] for long now that she was back in his life, he knew, not that he himself would either.
She looked the same, but different—different in that she was older, had lost the rest of the baby fat she kept, wore her hair in a different style—and yet her aura was the same, unchangeable, and in it he found her a comforting presence. Even his demon, once raging for years on end, was sitting in the flowers across from him in placated silence as if he never knew the meaning of anger, fury, or destruction.
“Thou’st feelings of turmoil,” the demon noted. Deep set eyes of silver and red peered out at him through a frame of pitch black feathers, each individual one different from another and shining with the colors of an oil patch. “Prithee do not soil the peace of mine own world.”
“You’re one to talk about ‘soiling the peace of my world’ with turmoil.” Oikawa glared at the demon, watched as the panther-like tail swept through the flowers in amusement. A bright cloud of magic rose into the air, the flower illusion breaking just enough for him to peer through it and see the darkness lurking underneath, and found himself reaching for one out of habit. “Why are we here?”
“Thy mind has yet to waken.” Another eye opened, somewhere upon a lithe wing secured to a feline spine, to observe him more closely while the original pair looked away. This eye glowed like the edge of a silver disk, interspersed with flecks of bright green and yellow throughout the iris. “It will be some time before thine blood clears the seraphim’s poison from thy blood completely.”
Abaddon—the true Abaddon, and not the elegant farce that was Oikawa Tooru—was a panther of gigantic proportions, although calling him a panther was ignorant of his true form. It was the closest the human mind could get to imagining him, at least in context. While the demon assumed many forms, his most favorite was that of a panther. However, twisted and turned by his dark power, anger, and divine origins as one of the original Fallen, this seemingly innocent form had been turned into something other; something more. He was no panther any longer, but a horrific mixture of wings, eyes, feathers, claws, poisonous spines, and razor sharp teeth that looked like they belonged in the mouth of a serpent rather than a semi-feline entity. The same set could be found in Oikawa’s mouth if he was incensed enough, filled with a unique and deadly poison that no power in Earth, Eden, Hell or Heaven could cure, for that was one of God’s many curses against him before he fell.
“The Fall,” Abaddon echoed, following Oikawa’s thoughts through their shared connection. “T’was eons upon eons upon eons ago the last I thought of such.”
The Fall was generally a touchy subject for all of the fallen angels within Eden. Oikawa was one of the few who remained, foregoing the harsh hierarchy of Hell and Lucifer’s overstayed appointment as overlord. Several others, such as Seraphiel, Uliel, and Adariel, remained with Oikawa as well—Iwaizumi, Matsukawa, and Hanamaki respectively—while several others left for Hell to secure their spots in the hierarchy. Abaddon’s equal and match in every way, Azrael, had been absent for so long that Oikawa could scarcely remember a moment after the Fall that she had been present in any realm to begin with. While Oikawa and Abaddon were the same entity, Oikawa mourned her differently to his demon: he recalled her fondly, and that was all. It was likely that she was at peace with removing herself from any and all affairs, and reasoned that she would not be happy elsewhere.
“Azrael was always finicky.” Abaddon rose to his paws and, with a shudder of all the muscles in his body, all of his eyes opened at once, alert and aware. “Although I did not call for thy presence to reminisce.”
Oikawa watched him pad closer upon massive paws, each one larger than his entire body put together twice. “Right. And I’m guessing this isn’t about [Name], or you wouldn’t be so tense.”
And Abaddon was tense, at least in the only way an inhuman being could be. The air around him trembled like a water droplet on a thrumming harp string. “While I am enthused that our adored one has come to Eden once more, there are rumblings of something foul afoot. I hear whispers on the wind that Michael has Fallen.”
“... What?” Oikawa blinked at his true self, disbelief etched onto his features. It echoed in every fiber of his being, to the point where he was numb. “Michael? The holiest of us all, the brightest creature of light—he Fell?”
“Yes.” Abaddon flicked his tail and a mirage of Michael flickered to life, depicted as he remembered the Archangel. Smiling, bright, with hair the color of embers, cheerful as he flew through the skies on six pairs of wings. “I do not know what name he goes by now, but do be careful. If Michael has Fallen, it concerns me what may be happening in Heaven. God has been absent for too long, even from the divine, and now his world is crumbling at the foundation.”
“And the four horsemen haven’t been called to serve,” he caught on, suspicion dawning upon him. He fixed the demon with a curious stare, watching as depictions of the four horsemen flashed across the illusory flowers in rapid succession, their faces too muddied for him to see. “Nor has Leviathan been released from his shackles.”
“No,” the demon agreed.
“And nothing else has happened?” Oikawa pressed. “Other than Michael’s fall.”
“No.” Abaddon’s thousands of eyes closed one by one. “It is quiet. Too quiet. But there is no need to worry thine head, not yet. But soon.”
“What’s wrong with you?” He watched as the demon laid down and rested his head upon his paws, a long breath exhaling from his nose. “You spent years being angry and now you want a nap?”
“‘Tis precisely that,” Abaddon rumbled tiredly. “I tire of the anger. A moment’s reprieve of mine own fury allowed for drowsiness to set in.”
Oikawa squinted. “And it had nothing to do with [Name]?”
A huff of amusement that rattled the illusion. “Perceptive. Yes, our adored one was the catalyst, of that thou art certain. A breath of fresh air after years of torment, I think, would do even the strongest of warriors in to their graves.”
“Huh.” Oikawa watched the flowers ripple and fade beneath his feet the deeper his demon fell into slumber. He would be leaving and waking up soon, then. “Well, it was nice seeing you not… angry for once. So I guess this wasn’t so bad.”
“Indeed not.” A red and silver eye opened to glance at him briefly. Then it closed again. “Avaunt. I tire.”
Before Oikawa could open his mouth and give a snarky reply, his eyes were opening and he was staring at a familiar ceiling—familiar because he could make out the pattern that had been etched into it. He stared at it in confusion, furrowing his eyebrows, because the last thing he remembered was being in the medic’s room and seizing up on the bed.
“Drink.” A glass was pushed in his face abruptly. He didn’t recognize the hand—the slender, dainty fingers wrapped around the center—and followed the hand to the arm and up to her face dazedly, as if waking from a deep dream where he wasn’t entirely present. “Oikawa?”
You. It was you. [Name]. Here—in his apartment?
He accepted the glass mutely and drained it in one hearty swig, grimacing at the taste without ever taking his eyes off of you. Your hair was damp, like you’d recently taken a shower, and you smelled faintly of his shampoo and soap; you’d taken a shower in his bathroom, evidently, and a quick snore from the couch indicated that Iwaizumi had been the one to let you. Not that he minded; he only wished it wasn’t so barren besides his photo and furniture.
“[Name],” he rasped, his voice low and cracking with sleep. “I didn’t think you would want to see me.”
“After puking on my feet?” You raised an eyebrow at him and watched his face contort into an embarrassed grimace. “Probably not. But know this, Oikawa Tooru, I am absolutely furious with you for not telling me you were a demon even when I was at the orphanage. You had every chance and you didn’t.”
“You had every chance to tell me you were getting adopted,” he whispered quietly,”but you didn’t.”
You didn’t look ashamed. If anything, it made you angrier, and he reveled in it. “I guess we both have some issues to work out then, don’t we?”
“Maybe.” He set the empty glass down on his nightstand and pursed his lips at Iwaizumi’s sleeping form on the couch. “How much did you tell him?”
“Iwaizumi. How much did you tell him about my—our past?”
“Oh. Nothing.” You shrugged loosely when he sent a look of doubt your way. “He was really confusing, but I guess he wanted to hear it from you which I could respect. But you may want to tell him, it was bothering him the entire walk here.”
“Ah.” Oikawa reached up and rubbed a hand down his face with a sigh. Then he collapsed back on the bed and stretched his arms over his head, the tattoos rippling with the movement. “That’s a can of worms for another day, I think. There’s been enough excitement for one day.”
“Right,” you said quietly. It was as if you’d never been apart for five years; you were comfortable in his presence and he in yours. There was no awkwardness, only unspoken anger and relief lingering in the air. “Well, I should get going—”
“Where are you going?” Sounding more alert than he had been, he sat up, watching you pick up your bag from the floor and rise from your seat. “I can take you.”
“No, no, you’re still recovering.” When he huffed at you, you made a point to poke at his nose. He winced at the pain that darted through the bone. “My point exactly. I have work tomorrow and I live all the way across Eden.”
She lived in Eden now. That was good; it was a start.
“Where do you work?”
“That’s a secret,” you laughed. He gave you an affronted look. “I can’t tell you everything when literally everything I’ve ever thought about you has been a lie, Oikawa. Is that even your name? And besides, it’s not like you’re volunteering information to me or your friend.”
“Yes, it’s my name, and no, it wasn’t a lie.” He ran a hand through his hair, cringing at the way his fingers caught in strands clumped with blood. “Not completely. I just… omitted a few details.”
“Yeah, well, when you’re ready to amend those details, I’ll be waiting.” You handed him a slip of paper with your number on it and headed towards the door. “But not tonight, Oikawa. Talk to your friend first.”
When the door slammed behind you downstairs, it left a very different feeling in the core of his soul.
Oikawa glanced down at the piece of paper in his hand and then at Iwaizumi on the couch.
< PREVIOUS CHAPTER | NEXT CHAPTER >
taglist: @dancing-in-the-rain54 @earphonekiyouka @lucyrocks86 @lerawynnn @heiressofravka (let me know if you want to be added to the taglist :) )
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* muscle memory
→ This is a story about reconnecting with someone from your past. Angel was feeling lost, Emma (o.c.) stepped in.
Parts: One. Two. Three. Four.
A/N: Mayans MC fan fic. I posted the first story at 3 a.m. hoping it all made sense haha The notes I saw - thank you so much! I really appreciate the comments, likes and shares! It was really nice and cool. Thank you. I do want to continue with writing about these two (Angel/Emma). I don’t know my plans yet, but I’ll figure it out. To start, I will write a continuation for the first piece. Thank you again! 💜
♫ You don’t care for me // I don’-a care about that ♫
The music playing softly filled the house. The sounds of the scratch on the vinyl offered a unique beat to the Jimi Hendrix song. Emma hummed along as she did her nightly chores of cleaning before bed. She turned her head and saw her black cat, Trix, pawing at his bowl. “Sorry bud,” she scratched his head and poured himself some food. Trix was a senior cat she adopted a few months ago. He was blind from one eye after being abused from his previous home. Emma didn’t consider herself a cat person, but he changed her.
“Alrighty bud. Sleep tight.” Emma gave him fresh water, flipped off the kitchen light. She went to make sure the door was locked and turned off the music. It wasn’t too long ago she strongly suggested for Angel to leave. Seeing him again gave her uneasy feelings, some she really didn’t need. The day they ended whatever it was they had was a part of her life she pushed down, buried. He made his choice, there was no way of changing his mind. Maybe she should have been supportive but she recognized the reality of everything. It wasn’t in her to be okay.
She made her way to her bedroom, clicked off the lamp, and laid down on her bed. She closed her eyes and flipped on her side. The doubts started to fill her head wondering if she made a mistake sending him away. It was for her sanity. The joke is on her thinking she could easily snap and forget what they were. What they could have been.
Her eyes opened wide when she heard her cat hiss. He doesn’t hiss. Not around her. Emma sat up, quietly digging into her nightstand, and took out the taser she had purchased. She quietly got out of bed and poked her head out of her room, holding out the taser. Trix was scratching at the front door. She rolled her eyes.
“You’re an indoor cat. Leave the feral ones alone,” she walked over to him and looked down at him. She patted his head before looking out the window. It wasn’t a cat that was sitting on her porch.
She opened the door and kept her taser at her side. She didn’t say anything. He didn’t say anything. They exchanged quick glances. Angel sat on the rocking chair with a cigarette pressed between his lips, he let out a puff of smoke. He turned his attention to the street watching the cars zoom by, blaring music with the booming bass. Emma let the door slightly close behind her, leaving it ajar.
She rested her shoulder against the frame of the door placing the taser on the wooden table inside. The two sat in silence for a few minutes but felt like hours. He smoked, while they watched the cars and few people walking quickly to get home.
Angel spent the night confronting his brother about everything. He swung his fists, kicked him, and left him stranded in the middle of nowhere. He got into the car and pressed hard down on the gas. He wanted his brother to feel - just for a moment - truly alone and fucked over. Maybe it wasn’t the smartest tactic, however, all he saw was red. His bandaged-up hand wasn’t going to stop him from drawing lines in the sand.
He finally put out his cigarette and shifted in the seat. “I didn’t know where else to go. I needed a moment to clear my head.” He looked over at his dad’s house, the lights were off which meant he wasn’t home. Angel turned his head to face Emma. Her attention was on him raising her eyebrows. She kept her face unreadable, a skill she had taught herself thanks to him. Calm, cool, and collected was her mannerism.
“You pissed off my cat, pendejo.” Emma exhaled moving the second rocking chair to be next to him. She sat down, stretching out her legs in front of her. “I don’t know what to say to you. Why are you here? Let’s start there.”
“Family shit. I was blindsided like a stupid motherfucker by my own brother - and father. I was there and I didn’t know. How could I not know? I saw their faces every damn day. They looked at me and kept the bullshit going.” Angel’s voice cracked. He noticed quickly clearing his throat and rubbing his chin. He leaned back into the rocking chair avoiding eye contact with her. Emma seemed to be the only one who kept hanging on to the image of him prior to the MC, prior to the side hustles and lies.
“It was probably to protect you, Angel. You walk around like you don’t need anyone taking care of you. Acting as you have it all figured out and nothing bothers you. It’s a show, it’s fake, it’s an act. You don’t have it all figured out. You should allow people to take care of you. But I know that’s the hardest thing for you.” Emma locked eyes with him. The memories flashed in the back of her head. The smiles, the future they planned in their letters. “Let people take care of you. The vest is just a vest, it’s not a fucking shield.”
“Weakness, Em. It’ll make me weak and they’ll see that. It’s not fucking fair. My dad wanted to protect his future, not mine. I was the fuck up, the disappointment. The one they didn’t expect much from, as long as I got out of bed that was a win.” He let out a strained laugh and lit another cigarette. Before he could put it in his mouth, Emma snatched it from him and put it between her lips. “Am I a disappointment?”
The question felt like a slap in the face to Emma. The question was a loaded one. How could she answer that? He did disappoint her in certain ways, with certain things. But she still loved him, it drove her to breakdown into tears some nights. The days he was out earning his patches with the Mayans. She holding on to her phone, watching the red and blue lights drive through the neighborhood. The collection of 'what ifs’ flooded her brain worried her.
“No. You’re not.” She tapped the cigarette watching the bits fall to the porch. “Your family loves you, Angel. All that shit is inside your head.” She stood up after putting out the cigarette. “You’re a good man. You love your family and would fight tooth and nail for them to protect them. Why is it so hard for you to accept your brother would do the same?”
Angel looked up at her, taking her all in. It could have been the alcohol mixed with the adrenaline but all he wanted to do was be around her. He needed familiarity. He stood up getting close to her, not knowing what to do next. The last time they had been this close she told him goodbye. His hands searched for hers but she had already moved them away. She moved them to touch his face, rubbing his cheekbones with the pads of her thumbs.
“You’re hurting, Angel. This won’t end well.”
“I don’t give a fuck. Please.” He breathed as he nuzzled his cheek against her palm before moving it to her neck. The warm tears smeared against her skin as his body reacted and pressed into hers. His hands made their way to her hips to pick her up. Her legs instinctively wrapped around him. She embraced him tightly putting her arms around him. Angel exhaled, breathed in, and sobbed quietly. He broke. He did everything he could to keep it all contained. It was better that way. He couldn’t allow himself to get attached. It was something he wrote inside of himself, stating it was forbidden. It was all too dangerous.
Emma bit her lip as her eyes closed swiftly slipping into a state of comfort. She rubbed his back and let him cry. “Shhh.” She could feel his arms get tighter around as they slowly started to slip down to the floor still holding each other. They were now sitting. She placed a soft kiss below his earlobe and said the word her body was screaming. “Stay.”
Angel started to loosen his grip on her while his hands rested on her thighs. Emma studied his face, touching his lips. Sparks. “Em. You’re lying. I’m not a good man. How could I be?”
“I know you. That’s how.” She stood up first, holding out her hand for him to take. He didn’t hesitate, grabbed it as they headed inside the house. They looked at each other.
Angel initiated the contact by kissing her deeply bringing her close to him. Emma’s lips crushed against his. They both walked toward the bedroom, knocking over a few things scaring the cat. They started to drop pieces of clothing before stopping at the foot of the bed. Both breathing heavy, Emma pressed her palm against his tattooed chest. Her fingers traced the tattoos, the scars she hadn’t seen before. He dragged his lips against her bare shoulders, nipping at her skin.
She did what was inevitable and let her guard down. She kissed him, both falling back into the bed. For the night, they were both going to ignore the noise happening around them. Angel was going to be with her; Emma was going to be with him. The sloppy kisses, the moans, their bodies colliding. Angel needed it; Emma wanted it. His hands tightly gripped her body; she responded with her nails digging into his back. She swore she wouldn’t fall again. Angel promised he would let her live minus the chaos he would bring.
It was too late to go back. It wasn’t going to end well.
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Kyogoku ~ Happy
[Imagine - Smiles, Sekai and a boyfriend's surprise]
I report to Kasumi before calling it a day, just to turn in some reports on my learning and what I've learnt. I was pleased with my progress, after all I had a great preceptor to teach me. Every time I watched Kyogoku interact with his patients I feel my heart swell. Despite how much suffering he'd endured, he was still a beacon of light to those children. They looked at him with hope, bright sparkling orbs full of innocence. They trusted him and so did I.
Even if he was a little annoying at times with his small quips here and there. Those were like a bullet laced with pretty words. Anything sounded nice with Sekai's voice after all. Just kidding. Sen is the only one for me. I'm going on a Sekai fast- in fact no, it's a journey, to overcome my addiction to the manga series. I can't believe he didn't let me get the latest edition.
Just recalling that fact alone was enough to have me pouting for the rest of the evening. If Sen noticed he didn't comment during dinner. Nor when I ignored his attention as we cuddled up on the couch with blankets before the television. Instead he continued to tease me by littering kisses across my neck and parts of my shoulder.
I remained steadfast, keeping my eyes glued to the TV, determined not to give him a reaction. That would mean submitting. Never! He let out a groan, upon realising my stubbornness. Releasing a small huff he lifts himself up from the couch and moves towards the back of the apartment to his room. A small pout forms on my lips, I wanted to join him too. Snuggle up with him in bed, but I had to remain strong! He had to know how mad I was at him.
Few days earlier...
"What're you doing?" Asks Hosho, leaning over me to catch a glimpse of my screen. I press the lock button and slide the phone into my coat pocket.
"Nothing." Hosho narrows his eyes at me dubiously. "It's nothing."
"Really? Because it didn't look like nothing? Looks like you're searching for birthday presents for Sanai." Comments Hosho, grinning from ear to ear. Sentaro exhales deeply, before shrugging.
"It's not a big deal... and no I wasn't."
"Really? Oh, well that's a shame- actually I guess it's actually good. That means she'll be wowed by my present and maybe she'll be so impressed she'll become enthralled with me-"
Sentaro snorts. "Yeah right. If you're just going to waste time, go bother someone else. I'm busy." He snaps turning in his office chair to type away on his computer.
It's a special day today and you wake up with a bright smile and lots of excitement as you head on out to work that morning. You arrive before Sentaro, seeing as you stayed at your own apartment last night. Your lingering melancholy has dissipated, so as you're no longer ignoring Sen, you're a little disappointed that he makes no effort to speak with you throughout the day. Every time you make an effort to approach him, be it during ward rounds, nurses station, ICU headquarters you're swarmed with congratulations and merry wishes from your peers. At the same time Sentaro makes an equal effort to avoid you.
It's while typing away patient notes, you finally learn the reason why. Hosho approaches you, upon noticing your glum face. "Why so gloomy? Isn't it your birthday?" he inquires. You nod in response, eyes remained glued to the screen. "Is it Sen?"
You purse you lips, affirming his doubts. "He's been avoiding me all morning and I'm the one who was mad at him a few days ago because he refused to allow me to purchase the latest edition of Sekai's manga comic book."
Hosho gasps, adding in jest. "Not the Sekai comic!"
"I know!" You exclaim not quite realising his mockery. "And it was latest edition!"
He clicks his tongue in a tutting gesture, "That's very- You should break up with him for something so heinous." He teases. Only now catching sight of his playful smirk you scowl in response.
"I'm serious! I'm actually upset! Even if I hide it really well." You mumble the last part, bowing your head as your fingers entangled with each other.
"I see... well would you like my gift? I'm sure it'll make you feel better." Your ears perked up at this as you raised your head, like a child would upon hearing the prospect of candy. He gestures for you to come near, to which you comply, leaning forwards in your chair. He brings his hand to your ear and whispers his surprise. You gasp, hands flying to cover your mouth as you pull away abruptly.
"No! He didn't?!" Hosho nods, smirking proudly. "Ah! This might just be the best birthday ever!"
"But you mustn't tell him you know already, nor how you found out. He wants it to be a surprise." You nod obediently, pretending to zip up your lips and throwing away the key. Hosho smiles, satisfactory sweeping his features. "I hope you liked my present." He adds before picking up his file and exiting the office.
That evening you return home a little later than your preceptor. You wander into the living area calling out to your boyfriend, before catching sight of a beautiful chocolate cake, lit up with candles, sitting in the centre of the coffee table. You slump to the floor and sit in front of the cake before looking around. Sen was nowhere to be seen. Did he go back to the hospital after setting this up? You blew a puff of air from your slips as you rested you crossed your arms on the table and rested your head on top. You looked towards the small plush toy sitting beside the cake with a balloon tied to his paw. "Rough day buddie? Me too." You play with it's paw a little, watching the balloon bob up and down before turning to your cake. You squeeze your eyes shut and make wish before proceeding to open them and inhale a deep puff of air, to blow out all the candles in one go.
When you open them, hands move to cover your eyes, eliciting a gasp before a smile spreads across your lips. "Guess who?" Replies a deep, masculine voice. A voice you adored and missed.
"Hmm... Sekai!" He pulls away to lean over your shoulder and pull a disappointed face.
"Seriously!" He rolls his eyes before moving to sit down beside you. You can't stop the giggles that escape your lips in response to his action.
"I'm kidding! Obviously it's my sweet adorable boyfriend!" You jest, flinging your arms around his neck, covering his face in kisses with exaggerated theatrics. He scowls, attempting his best to scurry away from you but eventually just submitting to your affections. Finally you press a kiss to his forehead before slumping in his embrace and nuzzling your head against his chest.
It's safe to say Sentaro is utterly puzzled by your sudden burst of affection, but not surprised. "I don't even know what to say... if you're so starved of affection-"
"I love you." You hum, sending ripples of vibration as your lips move against his chest. The response is muffled by his shirt but he catches it none the less.
"I. Love. You." You reply earnestly, now lifting you head to look him in the eye. He looks up at the ceiling a small blush dusting his cheeks as he mumbles.
"And now I don't feel like keeping it a surprise anymore..." He reaches behind his back and thrusts an object into your hands. You tear away the bow and packaging to inspect the front cover, covered in small icons of your favourite manga character. You recognise the cover page immediately putting two and two together, gasping as you do so.
"It's- It's the latest edition!" You squeal with excitement flicking through the pages, just to feel inhale the fresh scent of a newly purchased book. You exhale with a moan escaping your lips out of satisfaction. "Thank you, thank you, thank you!"
Sentaro rolls his eyes, but you catch the hint of a smile teasing his lips as he shifts you position in his lap to redirect your attention to the cake. "I'm glad your wish came true. Go on. Cut the cake, I'm starving." You giggle in response and cheekily demand he sings 'happy birthday' first. He complies and presses a sweet kiss to your cheek as you make the first cut.
The creamy chocolate icing sticks your fingers as you offer Sentaro the first bite, before he mimics your actions. Just when you offer to retrieve napkins, he wipes the remainder of chocolate icing stuck to his finger onto your lips and swoops down to capture your lips with his. His tongue swirls across your lower lip and intertwines with yours, the delicate taste of chocolate melting onto your tongue in the process.
"Are you happy?" He asks, his voice barely above a whisper as we lose ourselves in each others gaze. You manage the slightest of nods as your tongue darts out to wet your lips. "Good. I want this to be the first of many happy memories we share down the line."
"But I'm always happy Sen, as long as you're smiling there will never be anything that can remove mine." You confess, cheeks ablaze with fervent heat. Sentaro doesn't say anymore, instead drawing you in for another passionate kiss, his hands tugging your shirt our of your trousers before slipping inside. When you finally pull away, breathless from the kiss, you mumble, "Sen..."
"Ssh. Don't speak. Just let me show you how happy you make me." He replies, a husky whisper in your ear. To put meaning behind his words, his tongue traces the shell of your ear, so delicately you barely register what's going on, besides the fuzzy warmth spreading across your skin. His fingers intertwine with you hair as he gently tugs on the strands to pull your head back and elongate your neck for his access. At the same time he sucks a spot of the side of your neck his free hand moves under you shirt, firmly cupping your breast over the padded material of your bra eliciting a deep moan from you. He cracks a smile as he pulls away to look at how easily you melted in his hands. "Hearing those sounds..."
"Sentaro..." You murmur, it comes out as a breathy moan as Sen continues to leave a trail of hot open mouthed kisses along the base of your neck and shoulder line.
"You should only ever speak my name in this voice. No one else should have the luxury of hearing it." He answers, pulling away for the briefest of moments to look you in the eye and affirm you realised his earnest meaning behind them. You nod in agreement, cheeks flushing an even deeper red at the promise and in anticipation for what was to come next.
So it’s nowhere near my birthday and a little out of place - but I hope those who are waiting for their birthdays can enjoy it! Just a little... steamy fluff, if you know what I mean.
Hope you enjoyed!
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Hi Star, my dog of fifteen years died today and I was hoping for some prompts to cheer me up. Obviously Kuwabara is a cat man, but what pets do the others get, and how do they handle picking them out with their SOs? Thanks :)
I am SO SORRY to hear about your precious pupper! I hope I can do these justice. I sometimes let asks percolate in my head for a bit before answering, but this I felt required a rush job given the day you’ve had.
To start, here are Yusuke and Hiei; they came to me very quickly, but I confess I’m currently stumped for Kurama (I keep imagining him trying to convince his S/O to “adopt” a sentient Venus flytrap with him). I’ll come back and reblog with an update once I figure out Kurama’s entry.
So sorry for your loss, anon, and I hope this can cheer you up even a little bit.
YUSUKE: Man’s Best Friend
Yusuke isn’t really the type for pets. He doesn’t like having to take care of something or be its sole caregiver, considering such an arrangement a chore. But after Puu hatched, he started to see the value in keeping an animal companion…. so when his S/O asks about getting a dog, Yusuke reluctantly agrees to pick one out. Puu’s enormous size forces him to stay at Genkai’s temple in the countryside, and Yusuke misses Puu a lot, though he’ll never admit it.
But while buying dogs is common in Japan, Yusuke is not the type to go for something from a breeder. Yusuke sees himself in a rescue dog: rough around the edges, living on the street, but with a lot of heart. Like him, really. He and his S/O are definitely going to visit a shelter and lots of animal rescue sites until someone catches Yusuke’s eye.
This is where we learn Yusuke is… picky.
Click “Read More” for the rest of Yusuke’s story + Hiei!
“Too fluffy. Too small. Too yappy.” The pair of you walk down the row of cages at the shelter almost without pausing, Yusuke shouting out dismissal after dismissal as he sees the current selection of dogs. “Too big. Too ugly. Ugh, and that one’s a puppy. Too much work!”
You trail after him, glancing at dogs and voicing protests over the thunderous sound of all the shelter dogs barking in tandem. He rejected a bunch of great potential pets right off the bat; isn’t he being too judgmental? You grab his arm and drag him back into the shelter once you reach the end of the rows of cages, making him take his time and look at each dog more thoroughly. Row by row, cage by cage, you inspect all of them—and just as you think you’ll never find a dog, Yusuke spots a certain cage and stops cold.
The dog inside that cage isn’t the prettiest. He’s an older yellow lab mix with a mottled muzzle and a scar over his eye. His paws are calloused and his tail doesn’t wag. He lies on his belly and stares out between the cage bars in silence, not barking like all the other dogs who’re yapping their heads off. He’s just… quiet. Quiet and still, eyes dull and unseeing. And Yusuke holds still, too, as he and the dog trade a long, silent stare.
Quietly, you slip your hand into Yusuke’s. He startles and squeezes your fingers, rubbing the back of his neck with his other hand.
“Think we can meet this guy?” he says in a low voice.
The yellow lab isn’t the most conventional of choices. There are certainly cuter dogs in the shelter, and younger ones, and a few pure-breeds, too. But this is the only dog Yusuke has given a second look, so you nod, and the pair of you go get a shelter worker to take the dog out of his cage.
The worker says something about that dog not being an ideal pet, citing his age and sullen temperament, but Yusuke shoots him a death stare, and the shelter employee falls silent with haste.
You meet the yellow lab mix in a small outdoor yard ringed by a tall fence. The dog doesn’t react to you at first, instead sniffing around the edges of the fence and ignoring you and Yusuke alike. You hang back as Yusuke plops onto the ground, watching the dog in silence for a bit. You can’t read Yusuke’s face just then. He looks serious, especially when he holds out his hand and pats the ground in front of him.
It gets the dog’s attention. The animal halts, brown eyes fixing on Yusuke without blinking.
Yusuke smiles and pats the ground again.
The dog doesn’t move.
“Hey, boy,” Yusuke says. “C’mere.”
The dog doesn’t move.
“It’s OK,” Yusuke said, cracking a big grin. “You can trust me.”
The dog’s ears prick forward. Yusuke chuckles.
“I get it. Still figuring out if I’m all right,” Yusuke says. “I’m that way, too. Enough people knock ya around, you start wondering if any of ‘em are OK.” He grins again. “But I’m not giving up on you so easy, you got that?”
The dog does not move.
Then, slowly… his tail starts to wag.
Your eyes prick with tears at the sight of that wagging tail, the tiny spark of light in the dog’s eye, and the look of understanding on Yusuke’s face. And although it takes a few more visits for that yellow lab mix to come around, Yusuke never once gives up on him—and you know in your bones that you and Yusuke have found the newest member of your family.
HIEI: Demon’s Best... Uh... "Friend” Might Not Be the Right Word...
Yusuke found man’s best friend, but Hiei isn’t interested in something so mundane. No, for Hiei, a pet needs to be useful. It needs to earn its keep. So when you start pestering him to adopt an animal with you and bring a new companion into your lives, he’s initially quite skeptical.
What do dogs do, though? And cats, they just laze about? He’s equally critical of birds and lizards, and don’t get him started on the uselessness of fish and rodents! But you are relentless in your quest to get something to cuddle (since Hiei isn’t the cuddliest by any means) and you make your feelings crystal clear. Hiei is a very come-and-go-like-the-wind sort of man, which means you’re often left alone for extended periods. Sure, you have your friends to keep you company, but a pet would make Hiei’s absences just the littlest bit easier to bear.
Still: Despite you telling Hiei that you want a furry friend, when he informs you that you’ll be taking a little trip with him to Demon World in the coming weeks, it doesn’t occur to you that this might have something to do with your request. Any pet you get will come from Human World, after all...
...or will it?
Hiei’s quite tight-lipped about why he’s taking you to his home world, but soon you find yourself in a Demon World market in the heart of Gandara, walking beside him through the crowd and staring with an open mouth at the passing demons. Soon you duck into a dimly lit shop, where a demon with a long beard escorts you into a back room.
There you find an object draped with a black cloth. The elderly demon removes this cloth with a flourish, revealing a basket full of squirming fur. You gasp and shrink back as a small growl trills from the basket, but Hiei nudges you forward with a hand and points.
“Pick one,” he commands.
You blink at him in confusion. “Huh?”
“Pick one,” he says. “One of the pups.”
Pups? The word certainly piques your interest. You pad forward and peer into the basket again, this time making out vague lumps amid the pile of fur inside. They look like small puppies with oddly domed heads, eyes barely even open, all of them covered in thick golden and white fluff that gleams in the light of the lamp nearby. But there’s something vaguely not-doglike about their anatomy, and you’re not entirely sure what you’re looking at.
“What… are they?” you eventually ask.
“Fu dogs,” says Hiei.
“Those big stone dog statues that guard temples?” you ask, poking one of the squirming pups with a fingertip. It gives a little peep and a growl; you snatch back your hand, a memory occurring to you. Turning to Hiei in alarm, you say, “Wait. Fu dogs aren’t actually dogs—they’re lions!” Your voice rises an octave. “Are these pups actually lions, Hiei?!”
But Hiei only scoffs. “No, you fool. They’re demons. But they inspired those statues you mentioned, if the legends hold true.”
Uh... OK. OK, then. This… this is weird, but it’s far from the weirdest thing Hiei’s ever told you (the fact that demons exist at all took that prize). Taking a few deep breaths, you steady yourself and stare at the fu dog/lion puppies, trying to figure out just what the heck Hiei is showing you these things for—
The penny drops in short order. Surely he doesn’t mean you’ll be taking one of these back as a pet, does he? You can’t have a lion-dog-demon for a pet! But Hiei looks impatient, and you realize that’s exactly what he wants you to do. You swallow down the nervous lump in your throat and poke again at the squeaking, squirming basket, trying to figure out what the heck to do, to say.
“How big do they get?” you eventually ask.
Hiei replies at once: “Massive.”
You look at him in horror. “I can’t keep one of these in my apartment!”
“Of course you can,” Hiei retorts. “They’re fastidiously clean, and they’re far smarter than half of the humans I’ve met. It won’t be a burden.” His eyes darken; he looks away. “But more importantly… fu dogs are unfailingly loyal to those that raise them. Anyone who raises such a creature can count on it to provide them protection until the end of their days.”
You look at the basket with new understanding. “Protection…”
“It will guard you when I cannot.”
The two of you trade a long, silent look laden with meaning. Hiei has never made excuses for his long absences from your life. He needs his solitude, his space, and you do not fault him for that. You understand him, and you respect his needs. But at times you’ve wondered how much he cares about your needs when he’s not around, and this… this is proof he’s thinking of them quite seriously.
A companion and a protector as a pet, you muse. It satisfies both your needs and his at once. How very ‘Hiei’ of Hiei to suggest such a thing…
Taking another deep breath, you once more approach the basket, tracing a finger down the head of one of the small pups. It opens its pink mouth and gnaws on your knuckle with bare gums, paws pressing gently against your skin.
“Well… I guess they are pretty cute,” you admit—and behind you, Hiei begins to smile.
Thanks so much for reading, and I hope you enjoyed these imagines/headcanons/whatever they ares!
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Title: A New Kind of Life
Summary: What if, when Sam and Dean break into the Empty, Cas isn’t the only one they save? A post-15x19 fix-it fic in which Crowley gets a second shot at the redemption (and family) he deserves.
(Read on Ao3)
Chapter 2 (of 5) (Ch. 1, Ch. 3, Chs. 4 & 5)
Days go by. Crowley remains in his room, keeping the door locked and stubbornly ignoring any attempts by Sam or Dean to gain entrance, although he does spare a breath to shout that if they want something to do, they can go ward the rest of the Bunker against further intrusions from certain Hell witches. In the end, the brothers leave him alone, and Crowley tells himself he’s glad. It nearly works; he is, after all, a very good liar, even to himself.
Then comes a newer knock, a softer one, followed by a voice Crowley recognizes as belonging to the new God-Kid, Jack: “Hello? Mr. Crowley? Are you still in there?”
And maybe it’s because he’s bored—it’s certainly not because he’s lonely— but Crowley decides to answer. “Why are you knocking?” he snaps. “Can’t you just blow the bloody door off its hinges?”
A beat of silence; then: “I...could, but it wouldn’t be very polite.”
Wouldn’t be very—?! Crowley gapes at the door; dear God, the boy really was Castiel’s son. Eventually, Crowley asks, “What do you want?”
“Do you know how to play chess?”
Whatever Crowley is expecting, it isn’t that. He goes to the door, unlatching the bolt and opening it a crack. “What?”
“Do you know how to play chess?” Jack repeats and holds up a battered old set. “I found this in the storeroom a while back, but I don’t know how to play, and neither do Sam or Dean.”
And it’s...strange. Crowley knows, logically, that this is the golden-eyed man he saw in the Empty, the supremely powerful being who is not only Lucifer’s spawn but also the new God; he knows this...yet somehow, as Jack stands before him and smiles almost shyly, Crowley can’t help but think Jack looks rather...small.
He frowns, opening the door wider. “What about Castiel?” Crowley demands archly. “Surely he’s familiar with what it means to be a pawn.”
Unfortunately, the jab appears to go right over the boy’s head. “He knows what all the pieces are called,” Jack says, nodding, “but he’s never played before. Have you?”
Crowley has. He actually rather likes chess, although it’s been some time since he’s faced a worthy opponent. As King of Hell, he’d of course been able to order other demons to play with him, but most of them were so abysmally bad at it that he’d stopped bothering after a while. “Why do you ask?” he says, instead of answering.
“Will you teach me?”
The request catches Crowley off-guard; he can’t help but feel it’s some sort of joke. “You want me,” he says slowly, “to teach you how to play chess.”
“Oh.” Jack’s face falls; he looks down. “Okay. Sorry for bothering you; I’ll leave you alone.”
Jack turns and begins to walk away, and the sight really shouldn’t bother Crowley...but it does. He feels a sort of painful pressure building in his chest, and suddenly, the thought of being alone any longer is downright unbearable. Bollocks...
“Wait!” Crowley calls, stepping out into the hallway as Jack turns to peer hopefully over his shoulder. “Just...wait. I’ve changed my mind. The answer is yes.”
Jack beams. “You mean it?”
And he looks so bloody happy that Crowley has to focus his gaze on Jack’s shoulder; looking too long at that smile feels like staring into the sun. “I said as much,” he grumbles. “What more do you want?”
“Can we play in the library? The lighting’s better there.”
Crowley flicks his gaze back to Jack’s face, fully prepared to say no, they’ll play in his quarters or not at all...but Jack is giving him these blasted, begging eyes that Crowley would bet good money were learned from Sam, and what actually comes out is, “Lead the way.”
They take to having daily lessons in the library. Crowley demonstrates various openings and defenses, and when they progress to actual matches, he shows no mercy, checkmating Jack’s king in what feels like a record number of moves.
Still, what Jack lacks in natural ability, he makes up for with eagerness to learn and ample appreciation of Crowley’s knowledge, which is...actually rather nice, if Crowley’s being honest with himself; he can’t remember the last time anyone appreciated him for anything.
Sam, Dean, and Castiel look in on them from time to time, although Crowley pretends not to notice them. Once, he catches a glimpse of a woman Jack says is called Eileen Leahy.
“She’s Sam’s girlfriend,” Jack explains brightly as he takes one of Crowley’s pawns with his remaining bishop. “Sam brought her back from the dead after a hellhound killed her.”
Ah. That explains the dirty look...Crowley frowns, moving a knight to capture Jack’s bishop. He hadn’t been lying when he’d told Sam, years ago, that he hadn't known who Eileen was when he lent a hellhound to the British Men of Letters, and besides, they were the ones who’d decided to sic said hellhound on the woman, not him. It’s not his fault the bastards had apparently thought it sporting to use an invisible weapon against someone who couldn’t hear it coming. If Crowley had wanted to kill Eileen, he would have at least had the decency to use a weapon she could see. Still, what’s done is done, and Crowley does his best not to dwell on it. The topic of hellhounds is, after all, rather painful at present, given that he still doesn’t know what’s become of Juliet.
Not for the first time, Crowley curses himself for losing his temper with his mother before having learned the fate of his favorite hellhound. Was Juliet still in Hell, where he’d left her? Had she been well-cared for in his absence? What if one of his adversaries had harmed her out of spite? What if his mother had harmed her out of spite? Crowley has no way of knowing, not unless he wants to contact his mother again or just show up in Hell, and neither option inspires optimism. Rowena could very easily lie to him over the phone, and setting foot in Hell feels far too akin to walking into a trap: enough of Crowley’s enemies have probably survived the past few years that he’d be stabbed the moment he got through the gates, and for what? Only to learn that Juliet had been butchered years ago? At least as things currently are, he can still hold onto the chance, however slim, that Juliet is alive. If only there were some way to know…
Go on then, universe, Crowley thinks savagely, give me a bloody sign.
No sooner does the thought form than Crowley hears the click of paws against the Bunker's floor. He freezes, hardly daring to believe...but his hopes are abruptly dashed when a moment later, a tan, scruffy-looking mutt who is neither Juliet nor a hellhound enters the library. The dog pauses when it catches sight of him seated across from Jack at the table, then growls.
Jack looks over and smiles. “Hey, boy, it’s okay,” he calls soothingly, reaching a hand down to get the dog’s attention. “This is Mr. Crowley; he’s a friend. Come say hi.”
To Crowley's surprise, the dog scampers forward, apparently willing to take Jack’s word on the matter. It stops next to Crowley’s chair and sniffs him curiously until Crowley reaches out and hesitantly pats its head, at which point it starts wagging its tail and lets out a friendly sort of bark. The sound fills Crowley with a sense of unexpected warmth.
“When did you lot get a dog?” he asks, glancing back at Jack as the dog lies down at his feet.
“A little over a week ago,” Jack replies. “Dean found him after Chuck made everyone disappear. His name is Miracle.”
“Miracle,” Crowley repeats, looking down at the dog, which yawns back at him, apparently settling in for a nap. “Of course.”
After they finish their lesson, Crowley starts to return to his room, only to hear Miracle trailing after him into the hall. He turns to regard the dog with a frown.
“If it’s treats you’re after,” Crowley says, “I haven’t got any.”
Miracle cocks his head, seeming to consider him for a moment, then pads over, tail wagging and eyes bright. “Woof.”
Crowley arches a brow. “You don’t take no for an answer, do you?”
“Right.” Crowley sighs. “Well, come on, then,” he says, turning and continuing the rest of the way to his room, Miracle trotting alongside him. “You’re no hellhound, but I suppose you’ll do for company.”
And to himself, with grudging approval: Well played, universe. Well played.
More days pass. Crowley spends most of his time in his room, leafing through books borrowed from the Bunker library with Miracle curled up at the foot of his bed. The dog comes to visit him more often than not, scratching insistently at the door until Crowley lets him in. Having him around doesn’t make Crowley’s anxieties over Juliet fade away, but it does lessen the sting of her absence, if only a little.
Jack also stops by with increasing frequency, and Crowley honestly still doesn’t know what to make of him. Lucifer’s blood flows in the boy’s veins, and by all accounts, that should make Jack terrible beyond reason, a vicious, manipulative creature whose only goal is to bring about the downfall of mankind in the most horrible way imaginable.
Instead, Jack sits cross-legged on Crowley’s bed and talks cheerfully about Star Wars or whatever other interest has his attention that day, and his only vice seems to be an insatiable sweet tooth. During one of his visits, he asks about Crowley’s life before they met, and there’s something so maddeningly sincere about the way he does it that Crowley finds himself telling Jack more than he means to, about himself, about Hell, about his mother...
By the time he finishes, Crowley feels raw and a little embarrassed at having said so much, but Jack just smiles softly. “It’s okay, Mr. Crowley,” he says. “We can be more than the people we come from; my dads taught me that. We can choose to be good.”
Crowley isn’t so sure about that, at least not as far as he himself is concerned. His soul is about as damned as a soul can get, and besides, his choices have a nasty habit of blowing up in his face. Still, it’s...a nice thought, if nothing else.
He’s still thinking about it later that night, long after Jack’s gone off to Heaven for a bit to do whatever it is he and Amara do up there. Crowley’s sitting in the dark kitchen having a cup of tea—cheap stuff that comes in a bag, unfortunately, but at least there’d been a kettle—when Castiel appears in the doorway, an almost-silhouette against the soft glow of the hall light, and peers in at him through the darkness.
Crowley stares stonily back. Apparently, his assessment of the shift in Dean and Castiel's dynamic had been correct: Castiel is barefoot, wearing a t-shirt and sweats that were probably once Dean’s or maybe still are. Crowley can practically smell Dean’s scent on the clothes even from where he sits, and the low-quality tea does nothing to chase the bitterness from his mouth. Who would have thought that all it would take to tear away whatever final shred of heterosexuality Dean Winchester had been clinging to all these years was a deathbed love confession followed by a romp in the Empty? Not that Crowley cares a whit about that; he doesn't, not even a little bit, not at all.
“Hello, Castiel,” he says darkly. “Out for a stroll? You should try the dungeon; from what I recall, it’s lovely this time of night.”
Castiel raises an eyebrow. “I wouldn’t know,” he says evenly, “having never spent the night there.” Then, before Crowley can think of a suitable comeback, Castiel gestures at an empty stool on the other side of the table. “May I?”
Crowley shrugs. “This is your home, not mine. You don’t need my permission to do anything.”
“Even so, I’d like to have it.”
“Then consider it had. I’ll take my tea elsewhere.”
Castiel frowns. “There’s no need for that.”
Crowley lets his eyes linger on Castiel’s shirt, on Dean’s shirt, then snaps his gaze back to Castiel’s face. “Not for you, perhaps.”
Silence. Crowley is hyperaware of the clock on the wall, ticking out each passing second as they stare each another down, and he half hopes Castiel will charge, practically dares him to. Crowley’s not stupid—he knows his odds against an ordinary angel aren't particularly good, let alone a former leader of garrisons—but at the moment, he doesn’t care: worst-case scenario, Castiel kills him and he goes back to the Empty. Maybe if Crowley's lucky, he’ll actually get a funeral this time.
Eventually, however, Castiel’s shoulders relax, and he sighs. “You should know,” he says, quietly, “I bear you no ill will over our past grievances.”
Crowley bristles; for a second, he considers getting up and throwing the first punch himself. He isn’t sure what Castiel is playing at, but whatever it is, he’s not in the mood for games. “Of course you don’t," he growls. "They all worked out in your favor.”
Castiel regards him carefully. “You’re referring to Dean.”
“I’m referring to everything!” Crowley snaps, nearly shattering his cup as he slams it down on the table. “Haven’t you noticed, Castiel? Your choices are lauded, held up as grand examples of what one does for love, and mine?” He lets out a mirthless laugh that comes out closer to a sob. “Mine end with me on the business end of an angel blade, dying for a world where I’m not even missed, not by Dean or anyone else.”
No sooner does he say the words than Crowley feels like he can’t breathe. Which is stupid, because he doesn’t need to breathe, hasn’t for centuries, but the feeling’s there all the same. The place his heart would be if he still had one aches; it’s as though a well-healed scar in his chest has been sliced wide open and now Crowley’s choking on all the blood. He blinks back the bitter tears he can feel prickling at his eyes, staring fixedly down at the tabletop and wishing it would swallow him whole.
Eventually, he manages to get himself under control, and by the time the choking feeling subsides, Crowley is more exhausted than angry. Maybe Dean should have left him in the Empty after all, he thinks tiredly; it would have saved a good deal of heartache.
Through it all, Castiel remains silent; when Crowley finally looks up at him, he’s surprised to be met with something strangely akin to pity. Ordinarily, it would be infuriating, but right now, Crowley just can’t find the energy to give a damn; he slumps forward over the table and sighs. “What is it you want, Castiel?” he asks listlessly. “You came here to say something, so by all means, say it. There’s nothing you can take from me that I haven’t already lost.”
For a moment, Castiel lingers on the threshold; then he steps into the dark kitchen and sits across from Crowley at the table. Crowley waits, expecting to be told off...but when Castiel speaks, his tone is surprisingly, solemnly gentle.
“I wanted to thank you,” he says, “for the interest you’ve taken in Jack. What he’s been going through lately...facing Chuck, rebuilding Heaven...it’s been a great deal of change very suddenly. He’s trying so hard, and Sam, Dean, and I are supporting him as best we can, as is Amara, but it's still an incredible burden for a child to bear.” Castiel smiles sadly. “Especially when it’s so easy for others to forget that he’s a child.”
As he listens to Castiel speak, Crowley thinks back to that day in the Empty, at the cosmically powerful golden-eyed being who shielded him, shielded all of them, from the surrounding darkness. Jack is powerful in ways Crowley can only begin to imagine...but he’s also more than that. He's the boy who knocked timidly on Crowley's door and asked to learn chess, the boy who sits on the edge of Crowley’s bed and talks to him and smiles in delight when Miracle chases his tail. He’s curious and well-mannered and kind and—
And God, Crowley realizes with a start; bloody hell, when had he grown so fond of God?
“But, as I was saying,” Castiel says, snapping Crowley out of his thoughts, “the time you’ve been spending with him, treating him like he’s anyone else, giving him space to just be himself...it’s been good for him.” A pause, then: “You’ve been good for him. And while you and I have had our differences—”
Crowley can’t help it; he snorts. “That’s putting it mildly,” he says, and Castiel actually cracks a smile before continuing:
“—and while you and I have had our differences, Jack’s happiness takes precedence over all of them. He’s my son, and you matter to him.” He looks at Crowley intently, then adds, in a tone of absolute certainty, “And he would miss you if you were gone.”
The weight of Castiel’s words nearly knocks Crowley to the floor. He’s never mattered to anyone before, and now...now he matters to God. Crowley swallows; he doesn’t know what to say.
Castiel seems to understand, though. They sit in silence, and it’s not exactly amicable, but it’s not strained, either. Like for the first time since Castiel entered the kitchen, there’s enough space in the room for both of them.
Eventually, Crowley clears his throat. “There’s still some water left in the kettle,” he says, “if you’d like a cup of tea.” Then, because he doesn’t want to appear too agreeable, he gestures despairingly down at his cup and adds, “although what passes for Earl Grey according to Winchester tastes is, unsurprisingly, questionable at best.”
And Castiel, to Crowley’s surprise, smirks. “Leave that to me,” he says, rising and heading over to the cupboard. “I know where Sam hides the stash Rowena gave him for Christmas.”
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first encounter- male!Werewolf(Grey) x female!reader (sfw)
Warnings: nudity, blood, fluff
Content: - the reader meets a mysterious, handsome man, but he is badly injured and passed out. She takes him, but this man has a little secret -
The mist stretched over the land as a large figure hurried through the forest. The silver creature ran half crouched as if it were in severe pain. Not far in the distance, one could hear dogs barking and human voices whirring in his ears. It was an annoying sound that made him growl. He clasped his chain in a claw. An amethyst tip of energy brushed his padded claws and he walked faster. He hadn't imagined it this way, those damned people had found him at the wrong time. The silver climber climbed one of the strong trees and heard dogs sniffing around below.
The pale light of the moon shone on the two figures who were walking with their dogs. Beginners with rifles, but they had thought well and instead of using normal bullets, they had used silver bullets. His wound burned, but luckily it was only a graze shot that, if lucky, he will survive. The men winced when they heard something above them. A growl, a puff. The men looked up and stared straight into glowing eyes without pupils and a wide open throat, then everything went black.
The figure licked the remaining traces of blood from its muzzle and held its muzzle in the air. The hair on the back of his neck stood on end and his gaze rested on a property that stood on the edge of a small village. He went lazily in this direction and with every run he did his bestial appearance changed. The silver-white fur diminished, his body shrank, and he reformed into a human. He was naked and felt the cold on his skin, but he didn't mind. It stretched and cracked the neck. He hated that shape, but he couldn't go into the village like himself. They would kill him. He already looked unusual for a human man. A garbage can appeared out of nowhere and he knocked it over, the loud noise made him shake and he growled when he saw this annoying thing lying on the floor. He grabbed his chain, but accidentally tore it off when he stumbled and fell. He crawled into the shadows and lay down, exhausted. His body trembled and he was sweating profusely, he only vaguely heard how cautious steps approached, then he fell asleep.
Whoever was there in her garden was beautiful. Angular cheeks surrounded by straight, long silver-white hair with darker strands in various shades of gray. He had dark, bushy eyebrows and a prominent, blunt chin. You could see exactly where his cheekbones ran down his cheek. However, his face was twisted in pain and he had an injury on his side. It looked like a graze. She skilfully ignored the fact that he was naked, since it was none of her business and maybe she didn't want to know.
(Y / n) was lucky to be at home alone and so she brought the man into the living room and laid him on the floor, his head resting on a pillow. She examined the wound and found that the blood was a strange dark color. Was he poisoned?
Probably his body was just trying to fight it. She rinsed the wound clean with clear water when she suddenly felt a firm grip on her hand. Surprised silver-gray eyes stared at her. He studied the being in front of him. Her look was surprised, but she wasn't afraid. He felt a strange urge and his inner beast wanted to touch her and claim her for himself, but he could hold it back and he fasted at his chest. Why was his urge so high again? The chain, it was gone!
"Where's my chain ?!" His voice was dark and rough and scared her a bit, but she didn't show it and pulled herself out of his grasp.
“I don't know who you are or why you go here at night without clothes at this time, but I'm trying to help you, so be nice! I will bandage the wound for you and then I will immediately look for your chain. Is that a compromise? "
The silver-haired man gritted his teeth and nodded, although he was surprised that she was talking to him like that. She didn't look like someone who would spit big sounds, but her eyes betrayed her innocence a little bit. Nor had a female figure ever dared to talk to him like that. He stayed where he was and she continued to take care of the wound that was now being bandaged by her. She gave him a pair of pants that belonged to her brother and ran outside.
The young woman sighed and tried to find a chain with an amethyst in the moonlight. Cursing, (Y / n) found the thing even after some time of searching and ignored the feeling of being watched. She picked it up gently. The piece of jewelry was beautiful, simple but beautiful. A spike of energy that she only knew from films, from beings who used spells and magic.
Suddenly she heard something in the hedge in front of her. Panic spread through her and she ducked, but that was probably her fault, because a colossal werewolf jumped out of the shadows of the bushes. His neck fur was still an inch above his body and he opened his huge mouth. Long fangs glistened on them and the smaller ones looked no less dangerous either. Luminous eyes approached her and suddenly something hard hit her head and a large silhouette lay over her tiny figure. Out of nowhere, a strong arm wrapped around her back and a large paw came down on her bum and pressed her close to a tough body.
She looked up and stared at a pale werewolf, who was crouching slightly and propping himself gently on the ground on his left claw. He pressed the weak creature closer to his monstrous body and stared at the stranger with bared teeth. An ear-rending roar came from the dark gray beast and straightened itself up and managed to reach a height of over two meters forty. The woman could only hear a roar between the two and she pressed closer to the white and silver wolf as the darker werewolf rushed towards her. The bright man dodged and slid lightly over the muddy ground, his sharp claws pierced the damp earth and slowed him down. The silver one built and howled. It was a deep, menacing yowl, but there was something weakened in the dynamic. The young woman suspected that he was calling someone to help, which was also true a few minutes later. The dark gray werewolf pinned it and bared its teeth, he was about to jump, when suddenly another large figure jumped at him and pulled him to the ground. This werewolf was beefier than the dark gray one and far more superior to him. The intruder was quickly scared away and the other werewolf also left, but stared back at the bright werewolf and the woman one last time, then he disappeared.
The Silver Wolf lowered the woman to the ground, where she looked up at him, trembling. These eyes. She recognized him and the torn fabric around his waist also told her that it was the handsome guy she had found. Suddenly she remembered the chain and took it out of her pants pocket.
"I think this is yours," she said, trying to bring up a smile. He sighed and bowed his head, an understandable gesture for her. Carefully she put the energy tip around his neck and it sank slightly over his virile chest. The two looked deeply into each other's eyes for a few seconds, then the werewolf looked around and listened, then she saw how he transformed back into a human.
"Are you okay?" His voice was gentle and careful.
"Great, except that I was involved in a werewolf fight and even had one in my house." She gave him a crooked grin, but was still scared. The gray-haired man gently pushed her back into the house and locked the door, they sat together on the sofa and he offered to answer her questions.
"Where are you from?"
"Who was the dark gray wolf and who was the brown one?"
"What is this chain about?"
"Why didn't you kill me?"
"And what the hell is your name?"
She bombarded him with questions and he started laughing the sooner he grabbed her shoulders and she fell silent. The sun was starting to rise and it was about three in the morning.
“I come from the woods, cliché, but it's true. The werewolf that attacked us was a loner in his beast phase and the other one of my pack members. The chain helps me to curb my instinct, for example my sex drive and I did not kill you because first of all I did not have the strength to do so, nor the lust and the intoxication. I killed before you found me and that calmed my predator.”
Her heart pounded with so much information and she shifted restlessly. That was all very ... interesting, but what if he started to follow his instincts and wanted to eat them !? And would he come again. He knew now where she lived and ... He noticed her troubled look and sighed.
“I won't hurt you. You saved my life, so to speak, and you are too valuable to be torn to pieces”, his fingers ran over her hair and she got hot, “besides ... I don't have a name”, he whispered and read from her and got up. She had completely forgotten that he was naked again and also got up and took a blanket and tied it around his waist. He just grinned because he knew he was making her nervous inside. You truly strolled around him and looked at him. His gray-colored, white hair went over his chest and his chest was also lightly covered by them and pulled from a narrow line to his abdomen. Gray. It was just his color, and his eyes reflected it too. On closer inspection, she also noticed that he had two pierced ears on each ear. Even his eyebrows were a shade of gray. It was just gray.
"Grey!" He looked up and stared at her with furrowed eyebrows.
"Grey?" She nodded and he thought about it for a moment, then nodded and smiled gently at her.
"Sounds good and what's your name?"
"(Y / n)" He took out the name again briefly and nodded. He stayed a while and his wound started to regenerate. The two got on well and (Y / n) was actually sad when he had to leave, because her parents would soon come back and he had to go back to his pack. Grey saw her sad look and pulled her into a tight hug, but without breaking her bones.
"I do not want you to leave." Was she crying? He looked down at her in amazement, as he was almost two heads taller than she was. Indeed! Tears were in her eyes and her lips trembled. No one had ever cried because of him, unless he was about to die under his teeth, but never because he didn't want him to go.
"I will come back. I won't leave you alone, (Y / n). " He kissed her forehead gently and wanted to go out the door.
"Wait!" He turned and looked at her carefully.
"Maybe I should have left you in my garden after all."
A big grin settled on his features and he purred against her face: "I would have survived either way and then I would have tracked you down and you would have been my midnight snack."
She actually blushed at the spell, and she understood the ambiguity. She shook her head in amusement and he gasped. Then he left.
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Title: Guys Like You
Chapter Summary: You’re late for tea
Rating: 18+ for later chapters
Warning: Possible swear words, dirty thoughts, nudity
Prologue Chapter 1 Chapter 2
Friday had been a strange day for Faye. First, Henry wasn't on set. It took an embarrassingly long time for her to remember being told he had a few days off of filming.
Then, Mrs. Anderson sent her a strange series of texts asking about him. Sure, Faye had mentioned him a few times. Also, Briar was constantly going on about the man with the fluffy dog, so it made some sort of sense that she would ask about him. Not to mention Mrs. Anderson was always trying to find her a 'nice young man' to settle down with, so fixating on the one man she had mentioned wasn't that odd in retrospect.
Then, as she was pulling her beat up car into her driveway, she noticed an unfamiliar, shiny vehicle already parked outside. Maybe that was the new car Mr. Anderson had been dying for? Why would he park at her house instead of in his own drive a few doors down, though? Was it a surprise for Mrs. Anderson?
Now, she was walking into her house only to be greeted by a very excited, very large fluffball at the door.
"Kal?" That was definitely Kal. He was the only black and white Akita she knew with the habit of knocking his rear into her leg for attention, although his getup was rather strange. Why was Henry's dog in her house, and why was he wearing fairy wings, her daughter's dress up fairy tutu and at least a dozen mardi gras necklaces? Also, the floppy sun hat on his head was a nice touch. He seemed to enjoy having it on as well. That, or it was tied on too well for him to get off.
The dog's attire should have prepared her for when she looked into the living room. There sat Mrs. Anderson, her sun hat on along with one of Briar's scarfs and glow in the dark glasses perched above her regular seeing glasses. Next to her was Briar, her full fairy princess costume on, complete with wings, crown and a scepter, pouring pretend tea into the strangest guest's cup.
There sat Henry Cavill, cross legged on her living room floor, tiny plastic tea cup in his massive hand. On his head was perched a plastic crown, a feather boa wrapped around his thick neck, and if the sparkles were anything to go by, Briar had attacked him with her glitter body spray.
"Mommy!" Briar gasped, dropping her plastic tea pot and racing over to her mother, wrapping her arms around her legs.
"Hi, sweetie. What's going on?" Faye asked cautiously.
"You're late for tea." Henry replied, taking a pretend sip from his cup.
"I hope it's alright, dear. You did say he was a friend, and Briar seemed so fond of his dog, I didn't have the heart to turn him away." Mrs. Anderson explained.
"Uhh... yeah, it's fine." Faye mumbled, still taking in the sight before her, Kal and Briar rejoining the tea party as though nothing was out of the ordinary.
"My mistake. I thought we agreed on Friday." Henry apologized, pushing himself up. "We've only been here a little while. We can leave if you'd like."
"Oh, no. That's ok." Faye assured, finally setting her bag down, hastily turning over her sketch pad on the entrance table. Some things weren't meant for anyone other herself to see.
"I'll just be heading off then, Miss Warren." Mrs. Anderson excused herself, taking off her borrowed accessories and gathering her things. "You all have fun."
"So, uhh... how... how long have you been here?" Faye asked once she closed the door behind the older woman, quickly scanning the room to make sure nothing difficult to explain was in plain sight.
"Not long." Henry assured, sitting back down at Briar's insistent tugging, folding his long muscular legs back up as he settled on the floor in front of the coffee table.
"More tea!" Briar demanded, holding the cup up to his mouth, prompting him to take another pretend sip.
"You make wonderful tea, miss." Henry complimented, Briar preening in response.
"Mommy, you want tea?" Briar asked, a wide yawn cracking her little face.
"I would love some, sweetheart, but it's time for your nap." Faye pointed out.
"No! I wanna play tea!" Briar whined, plopping back on her backside in a pout.
"Briar." Faye warned, raising a brow at her.
"But... but... tea party!" Briar insisted.
"We can play more tea party after your nap. You're getting grumpy."
"No I'm not!" Briar insisted, her chubby face drawn into a scowl.
"That was grump right there." Faye pointed out, gently scooping up her cranky daughter. "Now let's go lay you down for a nap, and then we can play more tea party when you wake up."
"I don't wanna nap!" Briar yawned, rubbing her hazel eyes in an attempt to stay awake.
"You need one."
"I don't wanna nap, I'm tired!"
"Sound logic, my love." Faye sighed, settling her daughter into her bed, tucking her in with her favorite stuffed unicorn. The little girl was asleep before Faye even reached the door, curled up around her stuffie with her little tush up in the air.
"Sorry you had to see that. She really hates going down for a nap when she's having fun."
"Oh, sorry. I didn't mean to get her wound up." Henry apologized, removing the plastic crown from his head.
"Don't worry about it, she's just happy to have more guests at her tea party." Faye assured, picking up the plastic dishes and putting them back in the toy box.
"She was quite insistent we join, though I do think Kal enjoyed getting dressed up." Henry chuckled, beginning to remove the dog's costume.
"Good thing you agreed, otherwise you would have faced the wrath of Briar." Faye giggled, noticing the unicorn and rainbow stickers all over Henry's back.
"It was a pleasure attending her party. She is quite a wonderful host." Henry laughed, stowing the costumes back in the toy box. "Now, I do believe you requested help with a cake for our little party host."
"Yes, right this way." Faye waved, heading off to her tiny eat in kitchen. "What do we need?"
"Well... you have an oven, so that's a start. I brought the ingredients with me. Do you happen to have a cake pan?" Henry listed, opening the fridge and removing the bag he'd brought along.
"I have a glass baking pan." Faye offered.
"We will work with that." Henry agreed. "Now, measuring cups?"
"They are around here somewhere."
"Do you know how to use them?" Henry teased, setting the ingredients from the bag onto the counter.
"Vaguely. I just usually eyeball everything when I cook." Faye admitted.
"That won't work with baking. It's a science and the measurements have to be exact." Henry explained. "So, we'll start with the dry ingredients. Can you measure out two cups of flour?"
"I have no idea where the cup is. I have half a cup."
"Four of those, then." Henry absently mumbled, scanning over his mother's recipe card again. He glanced over to see her attacking the bag of flour with the measuring cup, wincing to himself as he watched. "Faye?"
"Forgive me for asking, but do you know how to measure flour?" Henry asked, cringing when she tried to smooth the top down with her hand, causing a flour explosion in her face.
"I'm guessing what I just did wasn't right."
"Not quite." Henry chuckled, stepping behind her, taking her hand in his and dumping the flour back into the bag. "You can use a spoon to sift it. Packed flour and unpacked flour are two totally different measurements." He explained, handing her a spoon and taking her other hand in his, showing her how to sift the flour into the measuring cup.
Faye tried to keep her cool and ignore the fact that Henry Cavill was pressed up behind her, holding her hands and showing her how to measure flour like it was the most natural thing in the world. Surely this was just some dream and if it was, no one had better wake her up.
"Got it?" Henry asked, turning his head to look at her, snapping her from her thoughts. Faye did her best not to stare at his lips, so close and yet so far away. She could just lean in...
"Yeah, got it." She quickly confirmed, forcing her attention back to the task at hand.
And so it went, Henry leading the way through the mysterious land of baking, Faye following blindly behind. He even let her lick the spoon when he was done with it, and he in no way stared in awe at the way her tongue moved around it. He was a gentleman, after all, and imagining what else that tongue could do would be highly inappropriate.
It wasn't until after the cake had been pulled from the oven to cool that Briar woke up, wandering into the kitchen with her now disheveled princess costume still on, her hair sticking out in strange angles as she rubbed her eyes.
"You're here!" Briar gasped, taking notice of the giant in the room and scurrying over to him, throwing her arms around his legs.
"Nice to know where I stand." Faye pouted as Henry scooped the girl up, her daughter not even glancing her way in favor of talking to Henry.
"Can we play dollies?" Briar asked, batting her thick dark lashes at him, her chubby lip sticking out in a pout.
"I've never played before, you'll have to show me how." Henry agreed, smiling down at the little girl held securely in his arm.
"Mommy, you look silly!" Briar giggled, finally looking over at her mother.
"That's not nice." Faye gently scolded.
"What on your face?" Briar asked.
"Mommy had an incident with the flour." Henry explained. Shit. Had she really spent the last hour, practically drooling over her guest with flour all over her face? She really should write a book on how to flirt. No doubt, it would be a best seller.
"I'm gonna go get cleaned up." Faye mumbled, her face heating up beneath the flour coating as she ducked her head and beelined down the hall.
"I'll be learning how to play dolls." Henry chuckled after her, carrying the toddler back to the living room so her mother could shower in peace.
Fifteen minutes later, Briar was still explaining the different names of her dolls and stuffed animals, piling each on top of Henry and resorting to stuffing them under Kal's paws when she ran out of room on her semi-willing captive. Faye cracked the bathroom door open and glanced to the living room to make sure her guest was thoroughly distracted before she slipped out of the bathroom, towel wrapped tightly around herself as she snuck down the hall to her bedroom, breathing a sigh of relief when she closed the door behind herself. She could almost convince herself he was interested in her with the couple times she'd caught him looking her way when he thought she wouldn't notice. No need to scare him off with her mom-bod now.
Sure, it hadn't been that hard on her figure. She wasn't left with the same saggy stomach her mother had after her pregnancies, but then again, her mother had carried two sets of twins almost to term. Talk about a superwoman. Though she did decide no more children after her younger brother and sister had been born.
"You keep giving me a two for one deal, I'm not doing this again!"
Good times. Good times. The wonders of having twins running strongly in your family. Faye had only given birth to one, but she still bore the stretch marks on her stomach and breasts, and the loose skin on her stomach had never really gone back to the way it was before.
Faye was shaken from her thoughts by her daughter's all too familiar exclamation coming from behind her. "Mommy, you're nakie!" She would never understand her daughter's near obsession with pointing out the fact that she was in fact, naked during and directly after showers, but it was without a doubt one of her favorite hobbies. Right behind tea parties if she had to guess.
"Wait, what? Oh!" That was not her daughter's voice. Faye's head snapped up to find Briar's chubby hand wrapped tightly around Henry's little finger, his other hand clapped firmly over his eyes. "I am so sorry! She wanted to get her stuffed dragon, I did not know this was your room!"
Faye snatched her towel off the bed and wrapped it around herself again, grabbing the dragon from the pillow and handing it off to Briar. The little girl happily took her dragon and led Henry back down the hall, not bothering with the door. The wonders of being young and innocent. She had no clue what she had just done.
Faye quickly shut the door herself, remembering to turn the lock this time, though it was a moot point by then. She threw on a tank top, leggings and her fluffy socks before forcing herself to venture back out. Henry was actually sitting on the couch this time, doing his best to focus on what the little girl was saying, though truth be told, his mind kept wandering back to the quick glimpse he had gotten of Faye's backside before he registered what was going on. It was even better than the glances he had gotten when she bent over in front of him to rummage through her make up bag. Nice and round, plump yet firm. The kind of ass you just want to squeeze as you're-
"So... " Faye started awkwardly, quickly breaking Henry out of his own head. "Lunch sound good?"
"Chocolate sandwiches!" Briar quickly suggested, hugging her stuffed bunny to her chest as she bounced around.
"It looks like I'm making chocolate sandwiches, though I could probably also manage a peanut butter and jelly."
"I wouldn't want to impose, though I did want to apologize again-"
"Accident's happen, but we are going to pretend that one didn't, ok?" Faye interjected. "So nutella or peanut butter and jelly?"
"Umm... either is fine."
"Briar, keep them company while mommy makes lunch, ok?" Faye suggested, going back to the kitchen before her false confidence faded. If he was on board with repressing and denying, so was she.
Now, only one questioned remained: Would Henry prefer his sandwiches cut into dinosaurs or puzzle pieces?
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Tomura Shigaraki x Reader
Word count: 3.5k
Cow!Shigaraki, male lactation, breeding, handjobs, mention of abuse
Tomura’s hand lifted to his neck, his nails raking along the scar of his brand as he processed what you were suggesting. He didn’t like the idea of some random person pawing at him and groping him until he was leaking, but what he really didn’t like was that you weren’t some random person.
As always thank you to @palbabor-writes for beta reading and editing. Kendra is great and you should seriously check her blog out if you haven’t already.
Farming was something you considered yourself to be born ready for. The promise of inheriting your Grandpa’s humble farm gave you ample motivation in your studies; learning all you needed to about crop rotation and caring for hybrids. You hadn’t visited in years but the memories of the farm being so full of life and wonder had stuck with you.
Which is what made the sight that greeted you that day all the more devastating.
The fields that were once sprawling with lush crops were barren, weeds and long grass tickling the skin of your ankles as you wandered through it. When you made your way to the back of the house you were met with the rickety old barn you used to peek through the windows in childlike curiosity; the first place you’d ever met a hybrid. Much like the field, it was worn down, the bright red paint chipped and peeling, exposing the rotting wood underneath.
Inside was the first sign of life on the farm and your only hope of revenue. Curled up and shackled in the corner of the tattered barn was one sickly looking cow hybrid that you would come to know as Tomura.
He’d been so sweet that first night, so cold and lonely that he clung to you, like a child to their mother, as you draped a blanket around his shoulders. He didn’t speak, only peering up at you with his dark vermilion eyes as you brought a cup of warm broth to his cracked lips. You’d tried to stand, to see if you could find the key to the chain that held him, but he wouldn’t have it, wrapping his emaciated arms around your waist and nuzzling his face into the crook of your neck, his tiny, dulled, horns grazing underneath your jaw.
After he got some meat on his bones and the downy hairs that covered the length of his tail returned to their natural sheen, he grew colder. Tomura was embarrassed. After all the mistreatment he’d withstood from farmers and other non-hybrids, he loathed them. The world was unfair and society was cruel, treating hybrids as lesser beings, as property. It didn’t matter how much he squirmed or screamed when his previous owner pressed the hot iron of a brand into his neck, because he didn’t matter. Hell, he’d been chained to a fucking decrepit barn and left to rot, completely forgotten. As he wasted away, too weak to even try clawing at the shackle that bound him anymore, the only emotion he felt was unbridled hatred.
Yet he’d clung to your warmth the moment you’d offered it.
Your attempts to feed him after that day were met with scathing remarks about how he’s not some little calf that needs to be taken care of. You tried to reach out to him, just to stroke the soft hairs that covered his upper arm in an attempt to rekindle the bond that had started to develop that first night only to be met with gnashing teeth and threats. You thought maybe a little space would let him calm down but when you turned to leave he grabbed your wrist, yanking you back towards him and putting your hand where you’d tried to place it, grumbling out a “fine”.
The change in behavior was startling. What perplexed you most was that no matter how vehemently he declared his hatred for you, he never tried to leave.
You’d found the key to his shackle not long after that first night, freeing his ankle and applying ointment to the skin that had rubbed raw from it. He had free range of the field and could easily hop the fence if he truly wanted to. Yet every day when you returned to the now patched up barn his lithe form was still huddled in the corner.
You’d searched through the various books and online forums on hybrid behavior, looking for anything you could find that would give you some indication as to how to fix your relationship with him. And finally, you’d found your answer.
The next morning, when you returned to the barn to bring him his breakfast, you came with a pail dangling from your other hand.
Tomura’s eyes narrowed upon seeing the pail in your hand, his lip curling up into a snarl as you set down the bowl of food in front of him. “What the fuck is that?”
You sighed, pulling out the stool from the other end of the barn and dragging it behind you through the dirt floor, taking a seat in front of him as you ran over the speech you had prepared in your mind. You knew this moment would come eventually, and surely he did too, but that didn’t make it any less awkward to talk about.
“Tomura, when’s the last time you were milked?”
His brow furrowed at the question. It was to be expected, he wasn’t ignorant of the reason a farmer would want a cow hybrid. But it still felt so invasive. The idea of someone taking something from him and using him made his blood boil. He’d snapped at anyone who’d tried, sending them shuffling off with bandaged fingers and an empty pail. It was a wonder your Grandfather had kept him around.
You took a deep breath, a blush creeping up your neck as you rested your cheek against your fist. “I ask because it’s important,” you breathed, looking into the deep vermilion of his eyes and hoping he would believe you were being sincere. “I’ve been doing some research and it can cause major health problems for you to get backed up, really it’s a miracle you haven’t had any yet.” You scooted closer to him, lifting your hands up in an attempt to disarm him. “As uncomfortable as it might be, it’s for your own good.”
“Yeah, it’s not at all because you want to make a few quick bucks,” he scoffed, scooting back from you and pressing his back into the jagged wood of the barn wall.
You let out another sigh, your head tilting back as you carefully ran through your choice of words. “Yes, I’ll make money from selling it. But it’s not just going straight into my pocket. Repairing this barn hasn’t come cheap and it will take the crops awhile before we can harvest them,” you reasoned. “I’m asking for your help, okay? We can help each other. I can keep you from getting sick and you can keep us from going hungry, alright?”
Tomura’s hand lifted to his neck, his nails raking along the scar of his brand as he processed what you were suggesting. He didn’t like the idea of some random person pawing at him and groping him until he was leaking, but what he really didn’t like was that you weren’t some random person. There was a reason, despite his newfound freedom, he hadn’t tried to leave; a simple but annoying reason.
Tomura liked you.
No matter how much he tried to deny it, he knew deep down it was true. Every time your eyes met, a warmth would spread through his chest, just like when you’d swaddled him in the blanket and fed him broth that first night. No one had ever treated him so gently, letting him roam the yard and do as he pleases most of the time, instead of keeping him bound. But his pride and deep seeded mistrust of farmers made it difficult to accept these feelings.
You tentatively reached a hand out, gauging his reaction as the pads of your fingertips grazed over the skin of his chest. Tomura tensed, his eyes darting between your face and your hand, but he didn’t make a move to stop you.
A deep red blush dusted his cheeks as you groped his chest, your fingers massaging what little muscle he had as you prepared him. You were gentler than most at least and he supposed he didn’t mind the feeling too much, when you were the one doing it. Your thumbs moved to circle his nipples, rolling the sensitive buds underneath them. Tomura couldn’t hold back the whimper that escaped him, his eyes clenching shut as his head lolled back from the feeling.
His entire body trembled as you moved to tweak his nipples between two fingers, you couldn’t help the small chuckle that escaped you, watching him squirm from your touch. “You’re so sensitive. It really has been a while, huh?”
He winced as you brought the pail in front of him, the cool metal of it pressing into his stomach, but the noise quickly turned into a moan when you pulled at his nipple with two fingers, the rest of the digits massaging the tissue around them. You watched in awe as white liquid began to dribble out from the bud, the sound of it dripping into the bucket barely audible above the panting breaths Tomura was letting out.
You got a steady stream going for a moment, filling about an inch of the bucket before it tapered off and stopped all together. You moved on to his other breast, figuring it might have more milk, but were met with the same outcome, the pail not even one fourth of the way filled. You furrowed your brows, squeezing at the flesh of his chest and tugging at his nipples more firmly, to no avail. Tomura winced at the harsh treatment before finally working up the nerve to swat your hands away.
“E-Enough! You got what you wanted,” he grumbled, a blush dusting his cheeks as he looked up at your confused face.
Tomura brought his hands up to cover his chest. Truthfully there was another reason why he was so hesitant to let anyone try milking him. He was embarrassed. He was embarrassed that he was only able to produce so little. Hell even one fourth of a bucket was a new record and that was only because it’d been a while.
He stared at your face, waiting for the look of confusion to turn into disappointment but was only met with a small upward quirk of your lips, your eyes crinkling slightly as you brought your hand up to his head and tousled the wavy hair that sat between the base of his horns. “You did good, Tomura. Thank you.”
He sat there, dumbfounded, as you stood from the stool, pushing it back to the other side of the barn before heading for the door.
“I’ll be back later with some lunch.”
Maybe farmers weren’t so bad.
You stared at the cash in your hand, a mesley amount that would barely be enough to buy groceries for the week. It was to be expected. Although hybrid milk could be sold at a higher price, Tomura had barely given you enough to meet the market’s minimum requirement.
The numerous expenses associated with running a farm came to the forefront of your mind. The crops weren’t ready, and even if they were, there were so few of them, the soil too deprived of nutrients to begin seriously farming. With your savings dwindling fast, Tomura was your last option and it still wasn’t enough.
The shopkeeper offered you a sympathetic look, shoving his hands into his pockets before opening his mouth to speak. “You have a male hybrid right? Males milkers are pretty scarce ‘round these parts. You could probably make a decent amount ‘a money if you were willing to make ‘im a stud.”
“A stud?” You quirked a brow at the suggestion, earning a curt nod from the shopkeeper.
“There’s plenty ‘a ranchers who’d like to breed a thoroughbred milker. Don’t matter how much a stud can produce ‘long as they got it in ‘em.”
You knew he was right. You’d learned about breeding hybrids in your research. You probably would have considered it earlier but this was Tomura you were talking about. He’d made it clear he didn’t like to be manhandled and used. You were just starting to get on his good side, you didn’t want to ruin that, but as you stared at the small wad of cash in your hand you knew you didn’t have much of a choice.
You stood in front of the barn door the next morning, tightly clutching a thermos in one hand as you went over the script you’d prepared in your head. It would be awkward and uncomfortable, for the both of you, having to sit there and explain to Tomura why you needed to collect his seed. Eugh, just the thought of saying something like it made you want to turn on your heels and run back to the house.
You’d already put out feelers to see if some of the local farmers were interested and were almost immediately met with an inbox full of offers, each higher than the next. It would be stupid not to go through with it, you reminded yourself. If you don’t bring in money you can’t afford to keep this farm going and both you and Tomura will be out on your asses. Surely he’ll understand.
You took one last, deep, breath to steady your nerves before swinging the door open, Tomura’s brow furrowing in annoyance at the loud thunk of the door against the barn wall.
Vermilion eyes flickered between your hands before settling on your face. “What, no breakfast?”
“Later.” You dragged the stool out from the other side of the barn, taking a seat in front of him, like you had done the last time.
“Hey, I told you I can’t give you anymore right now,” he frowned, crossing his arms over his chest.
You sighed, chewing on your lip and fidgeting with the lid of the thermos in your hands. You just needed to say it, no use in prolonging it anymore. Just rip the bandaid off.
“I didn’t come here to milk you.”
“Then why are you here?”
“The milk wasn’t enough. I know you tried hard to produce as much as you can but it’s just not enough to get by. I have another idea. I've already received plenty of offers for it and it would give us enough to stay afloat,” you reasoned, avoiding the harsh glare he was giving you. “You did a really good job last time and i’m thankful for it. I hate to ask you for more than that but-”
“Stop patronizing me and just tell me what you want already.”
“I want to breed you,” you deadpanned, watching as his sparse brow quirked up in surprise. “I know it’s a lot to ask but, like I said, we’re running out of options.”
Yelling was expected, as was being met with seething hatred, but Tomura simply glared at you. His eyes narrowed as he processed what you’d said. Breed. You wanted to breed him. His mind instantly conjured up images of you sitting in his lap, riding him while his face was shoved in between your soft breasts as you cooed over him and told him what a good boy he was, just like you’d done after milking him. He blinked, a blush creeping up his neck as he tried to focus back on the conversation.
“You’re at that age where there are other ways you can get backed up. It can be a win-win, like with milking. We can make enough money to feed ourselves and fix up the farm and you can get some ah- relief.”
“I’m not fucking some random cowgirl for you farmers to make money,” he scoffed, his lip curling up in disgust.
“You don’t have to.” You leaned forward, slowly reaching towards him and gauging his reaction as your hand settled on his shoulder before traced down the valley of his chest. “I’ll take care of everything.”
Tomura’s let out a shaky breath as he watched your hand slide down his stomach, your fingers running over each dip of lean muscle before settling above the tuft of hair at the base of his cock. He could already feel the blood rushing south with your hand mere inches from where he'd dreamed of it being. He’d imagined you touching him like this ever since you held him the night you met, the feeling of your warm body pressed up against his had sent his hormones raging. His instincts screamed at him to fill you up with his cum and breed you each time you walked through the door. He’d tried reminding himself that he was supposed to hate you, that you were probably just like the rest, but it never worked.
He didn’t know how to react as you moved to palm his hardening length, his eyes cinching shut the moment your hand made contact. His pride wanted to shove you away but his body was begging you to keep going. Your skin was soft, for a farmer, the feeling of your fingers wrapping around his length caused his hips to thrust forward involuntarily, a low whine escaping him.
A blush spread across your cheeks as you watched him swell in your hand. You leaned forward, pursing your lips and pooling saliva on your tongue before letting it drip down into your palm. Tomura’s legs trembled as you rubbed it along his length, his chest heaving as he panted.
“Does that feel alright?”
He gave a curt nod, fingernails digging into his palms as he clenched his fist. It was pathetic how worked up he was getting over just your hand, his head lolling back as you dragged the pad of your thumb over his slit, gathering some of the budding precum and smearing it in with your saliva.
You built a steady pace pumping him, the click and slip sound of your dampened palm filling the room along with his soft whines. He managed to wrench open one eye, determined to see if you looked as good as he imagined.
You looked incredible.
A blush dusted your sun kissed skin, your teeth digging into your bottom lip as you looked down at him through hooded lids. His lower belly tightened at the sight, his cock throbbing in your tender grip. You weren’t looking at him like he was an animal you were doing some sort of routine clinical procedure on, you were looking at him like you were enjoying it as much as he was.
His entire body trembled at the thought. You reached for the thermos, grabbing it and unscrewing the cap with one hand as you continued to stroke him. As if it wasn’t embarrassing enough being this close to cumming already, you could tell he was about to blow his load all over your hand.
You held the thermos under the head of his cock, picking up the pace with your other hand. His eyes clenched shut once again as his slender tail swished through the dirt floor behind him, the brushlike end thumping against the barn wall.
“That’s it, Tomura.”
“You’re doing so well for me.”
“Such a good boy.”
“Ah- Fuck!” Tomura gasped, his back arching as his hips bucked up into your hand, the pace of them stuttering as he reached his peak.
You angled the thermos just in time to catch the first rope of cum, your other hand slowing to a more gentle pace as he rode out his orgasm. You were shocked by the sheer amount of it, rope after rope spilling into the container.
Tomura let out a soft whimper as you moved your hand to his balls, the tender skin tightening in response to your gentle touch as you cupped them, rolling the pads of your fingers over them and earning a stuttered whine from Tomura. You watched in awe as his cum continued to dribble out, sliding down the underside of his cock and gathering at the lip of the thermos.
After you were sure he’d given you the last few drops he had in him, you pulled your hands away, quickly screwing the lid of the thermos on to prevent it from cooling.
Tomura fell back against the barn wall, looking up at you through glazed eyes as he tried to regain his breath. He’d never cum so hard in his life and all it took was some pretty farm girl cooing over him, he would have been embarrassed if he wasn’t so exhausted.
You held the thermos up to the sunlight seeping in through the window, tilting it on its side and watching as the thick liquid moved with your hand, nearly taking up more than half of the container.
“Well Tomura,” you chuckled, beaming down at him as laid against the wall, his eyes fluttering in an attempt to stay awake. “It looks like we’ve found your talent.”
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Beg For Daddy
Pairing: Stepdad!Bucky x (18+)Female Reader
Summary: The thought of your mother passed out next door, the other side of your bedroom wall, did nothing to quell the intense hunger you felt for him.
Word Count: 2.2k
Warnings: Explicit language, STEPDAD TROPE/DADDY KINK, slight DUBCON but overall consensual, derogatory language, jealousy, edging, unprotected sex, fingering, bicep choking, slight mentions of prescription pills, Bucky’s filthy mouth.
A/N: A little continuation from Something Old, Something New. You don’t necessarily need to have read it to understand this though. Thank you to my lovely friend and Beta for this fic @ozarkthedog , who I don’t deserve because I often forget to credit her 🤣😘 Enjoy!
Your mother insisted on it.
Every Thursday night, without fail.
A notion you would have dreaded a few months earlier, but now all you saw it as was a chance to tease Bucky, and remind him of what he was missing out on while he played happy marriages with her.
“How’s college sweetheart?” You heard your mother ask as you absentmindedly picked at your pasta, one foot resting between Bucky’s thighs – the tips of your toes rubbing against the bulge in his trousers.
“Fine, nothing exciting to report.” You replied nonchalantly, leaning back in your chair, your arms raised high above your head as you feigned a stretch; the hem of your crop top riding up just enough to get his blood pumping.
“What about you, Honey? You’ve been working late a lot this week. You must be exhausted, poor thing.” She cooed as she looked over at Bucky, a sickly-sweet tone to her voice that made your stomach lurch.
He hadn’t been working late at all. He’d been picking you up from college most days in fact.
You’d spent most evenings that week tangled up in a cheap, motel bed with him. It was exhilarating, and the guilt you felt wasn’t a patch on the lust that grew in your belly with each passing tryst.
Bucky nearly choked on his water when the pad of your foot pressed firmly against the rigid outline of his cock, his sapphire eyes shooting you a firm look of warning. You couldn’t help the smirk that spread across your glossy lips, replaced soon by a grimace as he placed his hand over your mothers, squeezing it with an affection that you were certain was for your benefit.
“Been pretty busy, Doll. How’s about I take you out this weekend, huh? That new French restaurant just opened up in the City. I’ll make a reservation, just the two of us.”
His stare locked with yours, burning a hole through your skull as you sucked your bottom lip between your teeth in unreasonable rage.
You dropped your foot from his chair, tucking it beneath you as a thought popped into your head – a coy smirk rising on your lips.
“Hey Mom, I’m probably not gonna be home on Saturday night. I just thought I should let you know; I know you worry.”
You didn’t have to look up to know his eyes were still on you, studying your intentions.
“Does someone have a date or something?” Your mother teased, nudging you with her knee beneath the table. “We’ll be in the City anyway by the sounds of it, sweetheart. Who’s the lucky guy?”
Leaning back in your chair, you turned your head to face him, revelling in the very clear jealousy etched upon his strong features.
“Not a date, more like a something. You remember Peter, right? From my biology class?”
“Oh yes, yes he certainly is a looker. And he seems like a gentleman.” She was oblivious to the way her husband was looking at you, completely unaware of the fiery sexual tension burning in the air around her.
“A gentleman?” You scoffed, playing up to the idea that it certainly wasn’t a romantic date you were planning. “I sure hope not.”
Of course up until moments earlier you weren’t even planning on letting Peter take you out. But you knew he wanted you, knew he was more than a little interested.
You watched as Bucky’s jaw clenched, part proud and part scared, knowing it wouldn’t be the last you heard of it.
Dinner finished in near silence, the sound of cutlery tinkling against China ringing in the heavy air.
You couldn’t bear the tension, standing up and loading your plate into the dishwasher. Barely sparing him a second glance, you kissed your mother on the cheek.
“You know, I think I’m gonna go to bed. Early start and everything. G’night.”
Taking two steps at a time up the stairs, uncertainty and pride swirling in your gut, you made your way to your room.
Stripping off, you pulled on your oversized college sweatshirt, ridding yourself of your panties and diving into bed.
Your mind still ticking from dinner, you picked up your phone, the bright light causing you to squint slightly.
‘Hey Parker, wanna take me out on Saturday night?’
He was a sweet guy, and maybe a little part of you felt guilty for dragging him into your twisted game — but you couldn’t help yourself.
You ignored the niggling feeling in the back of your brain that you were growing all together too fond of Bucky, hiding behind a mask of unadulterated lust and desire.
Feeling yourself dozing off, a lazy smile on your face and your phone dangling in your hand, you pushed all thoughts of Bucky to the back of your mind. Slumber takes you quickly, and you don’t notice the shadow pass slowly through the crack of your door.
A pressure against your face startles you awake, his palm curled tightly against your mouth, breath hot in your ear. He’s behind you, his body weight looming down on top of you, the very prominent bulge in his pants rubbing against your bare ass.
“Peter Parker, huh?”
The blueish glare of your phone screen held in front of your face, you whimpered, a text from Peter staring straight back at you.
You tried to move, your mouth dewy from the heat of your own breath against his skin, inaudible pleas falling from your lips.
“I’m disappointed in you princess, thought you were gonna keep that little cunt tight and precious for Daddy.”
His grip over your face tightened, holding your head up to read the words displayed on the screen.
‘Oh wow, okay. You wanna see a movie? Or not? x’
Bucky’s breaths were ragged against your back -- the phone dropping to the mattress next to your head, his hand instantly pawing at the backs of your thighs possessively, his knee shoving your legs apart.
“How many times has Daddy fucked you this week, huh?” He gruffed, fingers sweeping through your already slick folds, pinching at your clit harshly. “Not enough, obviously. Greedy fuckin’ cockslut.”
Tears pricked at your eyes, yet not through sadness. No. You felt shame. Shame at the way you mindlessly wound your hips, seeking delicious friction against your core. His teeth found the shell of your ear and you yelped, your own teeth sinking into the flesh of his palm.
“I’d tell you to be quiet Princess, but we both know Mommy’s out for the count. Thank fuck for sleeping pills, ain’t that right?”
The thought of your mother passed out next door, the other side of your bedroom wall, did nothing to quell the intense hunger you felt for him.
His arm sweeping beneath you, he pulled you back to your knees, one hand instantly diving between your legs, cupping your sex with a primal desire that left your knees trembling.
Your mouth finally free of his grasp, he curled his bicep around your throat; his free palm slapping against your pussy, making you whine in need.
“We’ve been over this. You think anyone else can fuck you the way I fuck you?”
A finger stretched out your hole, pushing its way in to the knuckle, his grip around your throat tightening just a little. Enough to let you know that he was in charge, and he wasn’t in the mood for any resistance.
“Awful quiet for somebody who had so much to say at dinner, Princess. You like making Daddy mad, is that it?”
“N--no, Daddy.” You squeak, windpipe restricted beneath the weight of his thick bicep.
A second finger joined the first, the palm of his hand rubbing against your clit, and all you could do was fall back into the solid wall of muscle behind you, your head lulling back against his collar bone.
“Oh, she does speak.” The feeling of his fingertips swiping back and forth across the sweet spot deep inside you left you panting, your own hands reaching to grab at his thighs. “Feels good, doesn’t it? Think Peter Parker can fingerfuck you like this? Think he can make you come?”
With a slight twist of his fist, a third finger stretching you out to the point of discomfort, the burn laced with a touch of pleasure, you cried out.
“God, no, no Daddy. Please, please I think I’m gon--”
“Oh no, no you’re not. You’ve been a real cocktease tonight, Princess. They don’t get to come.”
You could have sobbed when he withdrew his digits, your cunt clenching around nothing, mourning the loss of his expert touch.
With a gentle shove between your shoulder blades, he pushed you down, your chest meeting the mattress. One hand wrapped around your thighs, he yanked your ass up high in the air, your conscious feeling the weight behind you ease.
Looking back over your shoulder, your eyes widened at the sight of him pulling off his clothes -- leaving him naked, magnificent cock throbbing from the strain of his erection.
“You wanna come don’t you? Tell Daddy how bad, beg for it.”
You watched as he palmed at his length, slow and dirty, never once breaking eye contact. His head cocked to the side, his lips pouted, mocking you as you undulated your hips in desperation.
“Please, I’m sorry Daddy.” Your voice was shaky, the tension in your belly slowly unwinding, driving your farther away from the edge of bliss. “I w-won’t go out with Peter. I’ll-I’ll be a good girl, please.”
With a sadistic smirk plastered across his face, he climbed onto the bed behind you, the sensation of his cock bobbing between your legs making you shiver.
“It’s okay, Princess. I know you get jealous.” The tip of him ran the length of your slit, your tight hole quivering in anticipation. “You know I think of you when I fuck her, right?”
His obscene words should have made you recoil in disgust, but instead you found your heart beating just that little bit faster in your chest, the slick between your thighs growing by the second.
“I think of this tight, fresh cunt.” Inch by agonising inch, he stretched out your walls, a grunt of satisfaction rumbling in his chest. “I think about how good that tight ass looks bouncin’ on my dick.”
The praise had you writhing, hands braced against the headboard as you pushed back to meet his firm, insistent thrusts. His cock growing ever harder inside you, you took him to the hilt, grinding your ass back against his pelvis, desperate for every bit of him.
“That’s it, just like that. You know how Daddy likes it, don’t you Princess?” It was rhetorical, but you nodded your head all the same, kitten-like mewls falling from your lips. “She can’t fuck me like this, not like you. You just wanna make Daddy feel good, don’t you?”
“Yes, Daddy. Oh, fuck, s’all I want.”
The eagerness in your voice had him pounding into you, the pressure of him driving up against your cervix causing you to sink your teeth into the pillow. His fingernails bit into the flesh of your waist, the cool sting of his wedding ring tickling your skin.
“Fuck,” he purred, sitting back slightly on his knees to take in the sight of your drenched cunt swallowing his dick. “Lookit you, taking Daddy’s cock like a perfect little fucktoy. That what you want, baby? Wanna be Daddy’s little fuck toy?”
One hand tangled in your hair, holding your head down against the pillow, the other gripping the flesh of your ass; he fucked you, fucked you like he owned every part of you.
“Yes - shit - yes!” Your garbled cries muffled by soft cotton, you braced yourself. The invisible coil of pleasure threatening to snap between your thighs. “Oh fuck! Fuck, please! Can’t—”
“Can feel it, go on baby, gonna fill you up. Fuck it all up into you, make sure you remember who this pussy belongs to.”
Your eyes rolling back, spine seizing up as he drove you into the mattress, you shattered. Bliss so intense, you couldn’t stop your knees from giving out, shaking and whimpering against the comforter like the fucked out, mess of a girl you were.
He followed you down, chest flush against your back, his mouth devouring the delicate flesh at the nape of your neck, teeth grazing over the knot of your spine possessively.
Hips rutting against your ass, his movements stuttered; cock throbbing inside you, warmth filling you up as his spend smattered against your bruised walls.
“Milk Daddy’s cock, Princess. Milk it with that pretty cunt.”
Your muscles spasmed, pulling him in, holding him inside the warm confines of your core, your cunt pulsing wildly as the blood rushed to the surface.
Floating in the aftershocks of your orgasm, you shuddered at the feel of his breath rasping against your cheek, the way his tongue snaked out to lap at the stray tears falling from your hazy eyes.
“Make sure you let Parker down gently, hmm? Not his fault you’re such a cockhungry bitch is it?”
A/N: You can read the third instalment The Pure and The Poison HERE. Thanks for reading!
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US - Heed The Signs (Part 5)
Terror springing to his eye sockets, Blue rushed to his fallen brother, pawing helplessly at him as he convulsed raggedly across the ground. He wouldn’t be held, limbs twisting and skidding under Blue’s fingers as they were coated in slush and ice.
“Papyrus! Brother, what’s happening?! Stop, stop it, stop it!” Choking on a sob, he shoved away the nearest rocks embedded in the snow before Papyrus could smack his skull against them. “What do I—?! Please, somebody help!”
But nobody came. Blue glanced madly around at the empty street, shuttered windows and locked doors of the town. Dusk had fallen, citizens retreating to their homes and beds—
There! Several yards—what seemed like miles—away, bluish-violet light streamed from a single shop’s windows, but how could he carry Papyrus there in this state? He could barely hold him down, much less up and across that distance as he tossed and turned.
I’m sorry, I’m sorry!
He left him behind, plowing through the snowdrifts with reckless abandon toward that one hope. Every scrambled, stumbling step away felt like a stab to the soul. Breaking his promise and for what? What if he found someone in there but they returned too late? What if he found Papyrus—? His only family, his only love in this world, his poor, sick, precious charge, he was supposed to protect him—
He could barely see the shop door’s handle through his tears as he clambered to haul it open, slipping on the smooth linoleum tiles the moment he rushed inside. Though he landed roughly, the pain that shot through his bones only spurred another surge of desperation into his screams. “Help! Help me, please!”
“Oh, my!” Blue barely had time to register the voice before a pair of arms—two pairs?—were grabbing at him, pulling him onto shaking legs. An arachnid woman loomed over him, all of her black eyes baffled. “What has a bone hatchling bursting into my café? Who are you? I am about to close!”
“Please, my brother! He’s out there and he’s really sick and I don’t know what to do!” Heaving a strangled breath, he grabbed at her hands. “H-He’s shaking, he’s shaking so badly and he won’t answer me! You have to help him!”
“Did you hear what he said?” Another free arm lashed out at the coat rack near the door for her jacket. “Take me right there to him. Sick in Snowdin’s cold is nothing to spit at!”
Eight legs crossed the distance far faster than two. Papyrus was still thrashing as they reached him, though not with as much violence. Did that mean he was getting weaker? Blue sobbed as he snatched for his hand, only to be swatted away by the stranger.
She wasted no time in rolling Papyrus over on his side with two hands, steadying his skull with a third and prying open his mouth with the next. He choked, muffled, jaw straining as she dug out the half-packed snow he had inhaled so far.
“Is he—Is he falling down?!” Blue demanded wretchedly, his soul burning with the words as he hovered beside them.
“He’s fallen down already, dearie; he’s on the ground, you see,” she shot back, her literal sense startling him. “But that doesn’t mean we can’t get him back up again! How long since he began this dance?”
“Um, I don’t—Minutes? Just a few minutes! I-I couldn’t carry him, I couldn’t get to your shop fast enough!” Guilt and shame flooded his tear-streaked face. Failure, weakness. “Ma’am, what do I do?!”
“Nothing, nothing. He needs to end this on his own.”
“Just what I said! There’s no ‘doing’ for us until he shakes it all out himself,” she insisted, scooping up another stone that Blue had overlooked under the ice. “Can you count, child? Count the seconds down until it’s over.”
Almost every fiber of his being fought to argue, to reach out and pull Papyrus in to hold him steady. Instead he wiped furiously at his eye sockets, counting and praying. Four, five…Stop it, Papy, please! Seven, eight, nine…I need you; you’re all I have! Eleven, twelve…
By the time he reached forty, Papyrus’ spasms were slowing to feebler tremors, followed by an unnerving stillness that made Blue stiffen. The spider woman, however, seemed satisfied.
“A round of applause now,” she tsked, carefully petting away the sweat marking Papyrus’ skull. “His dance is over.”
“But…he’s still not awake…”
“But can you blame him? He is exhausted now! It’s no easy feat to wake up fine and dandy when your whole body throws a tantrum against you.” As a whistling breeze stirred, she shuddered, curling a pair of arms around herself and another around Papyrus. “Oooh, huhu! Enough of this. Even if I can stand the cold, I don’t want to stand in it! A heated parlor is what we need! Come with us.”
Again Blue struggled to keep up with her, leaping in long attempts to match her stride as she marched back toward her café with Papyrus dangling loosely in her grasp. She was hardly a tall or overtly muscular monster yet Blue had never seen Papyrus look so…bare and undersized against someone in comparison. He swallowed hard, feeling even smaller himself, and hurried to get ahead so he could open the door for her.
Now that his panic had settled into a more contained shellshock, Blue was able to take in his surroundings more clearly: checkered white-and-lavender tiles, cushioned purple booths, padded stools, and more cobwebs than the wall or table corners could contain. There were two doors to the back, large and small; he blinked numbly at the smaller.
You can’t go through the spider exit because you’re not a spider.
The larger door had a thick mat of webbing at its base. “A guest wipes their feet before coming to my parlor,” the woman pointed out, tittering as Blue shuddered at the sticky texture under his toes. Impolite as it was, he then scuffed his feet on the carpet he found further inside.
Her parlor was dimmer than the front, dotted with small lights on the walls that looked strangely like her eyes. She had no bed, merely a webbed, curtained hammock that she settled Papyrus into before gesturing to a nearby stool.
“I—I can stand, ma’am,” Blue offered hollowly.
“Don’t be silly! You have only two legs.”
The adrenaline was dying down at last. Blue took a breath, opened his mouth to continue protest—and a crushing cascade of exhaustion shook through every bone. For a moment it felt as if his magic blinked off and then back on, like a dying lightbulb. When it returned, he was planted firmly on the stool and the spider woman was scuttling back to the front room.
When she returned, all of her hands were full. A bucket of water, sponges, a jug and a tray gave off a multitude of mingling aromas that made it hard to suppress a sneeze.
“Thank you,” Blue mustered instead, voice cracking. “Thank you so much for your kindness. I don’t know what Papyrus and I would have done without you.”
“Something wrong, no doubt,” she remarked without malice, ignoring or perhaps unnoticing Blue’s flinch. “You would have made his dance so much worse trying to help!”
“I…” If that was the case, he didn’t want to think on it. “Thank you.” He wasn’t sure what else to say.
“Mmm, I can give you more to thank me for!” As she began dipping the sponges in the water, she swept the tray and the jug toward him on either side. “Would you care for a pastry? Spider cider?”
The rubbery donuts and croissants were glazed and powdered with exorbitant amounts of honey, frosting and sugar that could make even a child blanch. Indeed, Blue’s first instinct was to decline; his gloves would be sticky and his teeth would suffer, but the water sausages seemed so long ago that he was getting lightheaded. Moreover, it would be rude to turn down her hospitality.
“Yes, I knew you would!” she exclaimed as he pried a donut from the pile. “That will be thirty G.”
He choked halfway through his bite, unsure if it was worse to spit it out or swallow it as he stammered, “What?! I—no, I’m—We don’t have that kind of money!”
“Oh, stingy, are you? Tsk. Well, how about this? Since you are a new customer, I’ll give you a discount: You pay by telling me what two little bone hatchlings are doing here, where they’ve never been seen before. Where do bone hatchlings come from?” Papyrus mumbled and twitched as she patted one of the sponges against his neck, the others under his arms. “Hotland? This one burns hot enough.”
Fidgeting, Blue reached for the cider to chase down the donut’s sickly sweetness. “Um, maybe? I know we had a house but…we lost it. Or maybe it lost us. We don’t remember where it is so we decided—” I decided. “—it would be better to make a new home here.”
“My, oh, my! Who is this ‘we’? You call the brother Papyrus, so what do you call you?”
“Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t even think of introducing myself. That’s awfully rude. My name is Sans. What…What do you call you, ma’am?”
“Ahuhuhu, I must need a bigger, brighter sign out front! I will budget for that. I call myself and my café Muffet. Welcome!”
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FIC: Welcome to Backwater ch.16 (spicyhoney)
Summary: Where was the one place that Red told Stretch not to go? Right.
Read ‘Into the Woods’ on AO3
Read it here!
Thin branches caught at Stretch as he slowly stumbled his way through the darkened woods. Twigs catching at his sleeves and scraping at his bare ankles as if trying to hold him back. He ignored it, ignored the annoyance and the scratches they left behind. One snagged and held until his t-shirt tore under the strain and still, he walked, following that faint, sweet song.
In front him of sparks seemed to form from nothingness, flickering lights dancing right before his eye sockets. Beneath the gauzy layers muffling his consciousness were vague thoughts of old legends from Waterfall about ghost lights that led travelers down wrong paths to their deaths, drowning them in still hidden pools where even their bones would never be found.
He remembered telling those stories to Blue at bedtime, whispering those haunted tales and then pouncing on his brother when he’d least expect it. Drawing out shrieks and laughter, his delight worth ending up with a little bro sleeping next to him in his bed that night after a nightmare.
He remembered it all and still he did not, could not, stop walking. It all seemed dreamy and distant, felt like his feet didn't belong to him, only vehicles carrying him deeper into the shadows beneath the heavy boughs rustling above. The lights seem bigger now, the sparks collecting together and forming into a larger shape. He couldn’t quite tell what it was, it was fluid, changing even as he looked right at it.
For the first few steps, thin moonlight glinted through the branches. No longer, every stride carried him deeper where even the moon couldn't penetrate. The only light was the face in front of him and when had it become a face? Stretch wasn’t sure, but he followed it, fascinated by her parted lips where that song formed and was cast out between them, drowning in it as surely as those who lost their way in Waterfall.
Her face was as white as the moon’s, surrounded by a cloud of long, pale hair, nothing more than a face that hovered out of his dreamy reach. He kept walking, following along with the double enchantment of that voice and face, even though that vision began to blur, melting like candlewax into something else entirely. Beneath the veneer of loveliness something was hidden, awfulness lurking under the surface, rotten with sharp teeth. The head hung in the air in front of him and slowly he was beginning to see what was dangling under it. Glinting wetly was no body at all but horrific, dripping entrails that heaved with every croon of song.
He could see it, yet even as something deep within his soul was howling in terror and beating against the bars of his mind, he only felt a sense of numb lethargy. That song ended and he only stood there, blinking dumbly and yearning for its return. She reached out to touch him, her spindly fingers tipped with long, curling claws, and he didn’t flinch as they brushed his cheekbone, caught him under the chin to yank his head painfully up.
“Too old.” Even those few words were sonorous, as lilting as a lute. That beautiful voice warmed him, so lovely, the most gorgeous thing he’d ever heard and the disappointment it held made him want to weep. He might have cast himself at her feet to plead forgiveness if not for her ruthless grip on his chin. She let out a disgruntled hiss, low and sibilant, “Much too old…a Monster? No blood, no flesh, no bite—ah, but wait.” She leaned in, sniffing delicately and something about that was familiar, something— “but you have magic, plenty of sweet, delicious magic.” She smiled and he stared dreamily at the rows of razor-sharp teeth, her long tongue lolling out and leaving a sheen of dark saliva on her lips. “You’ll do.”
It was only when she came closer and he could smell the fetid stink of her breath that a worm of panic finally wriggled its way through his calm. Gone was the angelic aura, her appearance twisting instead into that of a haggard ghoul, an anglerfish dangling her lure. He could smell blood and decay, and something worse, rotting meat and vinegar.
Her jaw seemed to unhinge, showing a gaping maw wide enough to swallow him whole, her gullet a deep, moldering gray that exhaled a fresh stink of vinegar, and he still couldn’t move, his silent shrieks only in his own mind as she drew him closer.
As she reeled him in, a loud, cracking sound filled the clearing, a splintered branch falling heavily to the ground. It broke whatever spell that held him and with a violent wrench, Stretch tore away from her, turning and running in a blind panic. He couldn’t see, crashing painfully through the trees in front of him but he could hear and behind him was something else tearing through the branches and tree trunks.
Stretch didn’t dare look back, he only ran, all the panic he couldn't feel earlier boiling up in him. He wasn’t even sure if he was going the right way, lost in a panicked flight away from whatever was following him. Reaching for his magic was pure instinct, for an attack, a shortcut, anything at all. He nearly gagged at the agonizing burn as it rejected him yet again, a splintering throb of pain jabbing into his temples.
He stumbled over his own feet and nearly fell, skittering in damp leaves and barely caught his balance enough to keep running, tearing through the whipping bushes, thin branches snapping around him. There was no time, nothing he could but let loose the screams denied to him earlier as something heavy caught him right between the shoulder blades and sent him sprawling to the ground, knocking the breath out of him.
“no!” Stretch panted out, clawing at the dirt, fallen leaves scattering as he tried to crawl free, grasping at weeds that pulled up uselessly from the soft ground. “no, no, no.” His voice rose into a panicked scream that only cut off when he was abruptly rolled onto his back. He cringed, expecting to feel needle sharp teeth sinking into his skull, crunching him down in a single gulp, and his skittering regrets were only for his brother, his dear, sweet little brother worrying over him back in Ebott and who would never know what happened to him.
Seconds ticked by and nothing happened, nothing but deep, heavy breathing coupled with the weight holding him down.
Stretch braced himself, taking a trembling grip on his sanity as he finally opened his sockets and found himself looking up into a pair of deep red eyes set in a large white skull. Bony paws were on his ribcage, pinning him down into the leaves and dirt. The creature was skeletal, like him, but like no skeleton he’d ever seen. The frontal bone of its skull was ridged with bony outcropping like horns or antlers, its sockets large and slanted, and its wide mouth was set with the teeth of a canine predator. But this was no dog or wolf, nothing that belonged in the current animal index. It was something prehistoric, dragging its bones from the murky depths of time to stand above him and stare with burning crimson eyes.
Thick, damp breath whuffed into his face with blistering heat and Stretch could smell its breath. Not fetid meat, but something oddly spicy, something---
It looked him over, crimson eyes flicking down and up, and then through that mouth of sharp teeth said perfectly clearly. "Did it bite you?"
The only sound that escaped Stretch was a near wheeze, "nnnnnnn...?"
The creature snarled louder and Stretch flinched, cringing away from those jagged teeth as it demanded, louder, "Did it? Did it bite you!"
"n-no," he shook his head frantically. "no, no, it didn't."
“You’re sure?” Another growl, more breath scented with that strange spice and when Stretch didn’t reply, another loud, feral snarl, “Are you sure??”
“yes!!” Stretch screamed back, coughing on a near sob.
The creature sagged, some of its ferocity draining into peculiar relief. Its claws dug in briefly as it moved, large paws settling on the forest floor as it released Stretch and padded away. “Don’t move,” it ordered.
He very nearly disobeyed it immediately, don’t move, what the fuck, who did Not Wolfy think he was fooling? Stretch was three seconds from fucking gone when a loud, ghastly shriek came from far too close, that same unearthly voice from before.
The beast snarled again, but not at Stretch, it turned and directly that roar in the direction of a faint, moony glow that wasn’t the moon, not at all. Stretch closed his sockets and didn’t move, shivering as the cold ground beneath him seeped into his clothes.
There was another round of incomprehensible growls and shrieks, all too close, and exhaustion was spreading through Stretch with the cold, it all seemed like so much, too much, and all he could do was croak out a miserable, “please,”
“Be quiet!” From much closer than he’d expected, and that voice held nothing of the sibilant appeal that led him into these woods. It was deep and rough, dark as the night sky and the words bitten off on jagged edges. “Stay quiet and don’t move. Don't run, it'll only make her chase you. Give me a moment to calm her down."
More growls and shrieks filled the cold night air that seemed to count as a sort of language, and Stretch could only lie there in the surreality of two creatures of woods arguing over him. He didn’t want to look, still couldn’t help opening his sockets a bare slit to see that horrible head hovering in the air in front of the creature that was like a reverse Night Fury, all sharp teeth that snapped and clenched, their voices squabbling loudly.
Mini-Smaug didn’t look at him, but it spoke again, low and steady. "She's angry that I am attempting to steal her rightful prey and the only reason she's not fighting for it is she hadn't bitten you yet. I told her you're mine.”
It…She? Whatever she was, she didn’t seem too happy to be giving up her midnight snack to the local dragon contingency. She huffed angrily, baring needle-sharp teeth then turned in her hovering way to vanish into the woods with a last angry shriek.
Falkor’s evil twin watched her go, waiting until that pale unearthly glow faded entirely before turning back to Stretch and the only light in the clearing was the crimson of its eyes.
Laying there so far from home, for the very first time Stretch wished that he’d never gotten on that bus. He didn't even have his phone to tell his brother goodbye, could taste his bitter regret from not answering any of those worried texts. He couldn't teleport, couldn’t fight. He was useless, always had been, and so too would be his death.
He could hear footsteps moving across the clearing, soft in spite of the creature’s size. Stretch squeezed his sockets tightly shut and managed a single, desperate plea. "make it quick."
There was a significant pause, a moment of utter silence, then, "What?"
"please, make it quick," he begged. "don't drag it out. eat my soul first, get it over with." The rest of him would dissolve to dust pretty quick after but he didn't see a need to mention that. He let his soul form in his ribcage and a new silvery glow filled the small clearing, the light seeping through his thin t-shirt. Hopefully this creature wouldn’t take too close a look at it before starting its meal or else the deal might be off, and Stretch wasn’t sure he wanted to consider what might be worse.
Silence, then the creature made a sound that Stretch slowly recognized as laughter. A strange clattering sound rose up and he opened his sockets again to see the creature rolling around in the leaves, still chuffing out great guffaws. Okay, getting eaten was bad enough, he didn’t need to be seasoned with any extra humiliation. He glared at the creature and huffed out, “what the hell is so funny?”
It rolled to its feet, clawed toes gouging into the leafy soil and returned that glare with sour amusement, "I'm not going to eat you, fool," it growled out scornfully, "The taste of idiot would spoil any meal. I told her you were mine, not mine to eat."
How that sort of face could raise its brow bones suggestively, Stretch didn’t know, but it took a minute for those words to combine with that expression. When it did, his shock and fear didn’t lesson, only took on another flavor.
"oh. oh, yours…you…uh." Stretch sat there dumbly, staring at the creature with wide sockets, ‘cause holy shit, it was fucking huge. He wondered if he wasn’t better off getting eaten.
The beast let out an irritated huff, its long tail lashing agitatedly. “Don’t look at me like that, I told her that to get her to leave, not because I was after a mate.”
“oh. right.” At least some part of him had already been consumed tonight, because someone had obviously already eaten whatever sense he still had rattling around.
“She won’t bother you again, but she’s hardly the only one out here looking for an easy meal. Can you walk?” The beast sat down, tail curling around its feet, and Stretch took that moment to scramble to his.
He gave himself a once-over, wriggling his ankles and bending his knees. Everything hurt, sure, he was gonna be one huge bruise tomorrow, but nothing was broken, thank the stars. “yeah, i’m okay.”
"Good,” The beast yawned, a weirdly benign way to show off those rows of menacingly sharp teeth. “Now get out."
Get out. Right. Getting out sounded like a top-notch plan. Stretch looked around at the woods, at the trees towering over them. There was no path, just a bunch of damn trees that all looked the same in the dark. "pal, i would love to, wanna tell me how?"
The creature let out an annoyed grumble and stood, pushed past him in a rough scrape of bone, "Follow me, outsider."
Follow me. Welp, he was at least seventy percent sure this one wasn’t gonna eat him and if they bumped into anything else that might, those claws and teeth would probably dissuade them better than Stretch’s current brand of useless. Cautiously, he trailed behind the creature, two steps behind that long tail that moved with sinuous ease. He still wasn’t sure quite what this guy was, but asking seemed kinda rude, all things considered, what with the saving his life and all. Seemed like getting saved was starting to become a trend here in Backwater and it was not one Stretch liked much. Someone else needed to take a turn at playing Lois Lane because he was done with his turn
But that didn’t mean that all questions were off the table. “what was that? that…lady thing?”
The creature didn’t turn around. “She was a penanggalan.”
“well, that sure cleared things up,” Stretch muttered. He followed the creature over a fallen tree, wincing as he scraped his ankle on the bark. “how did you even pronounce that? it sounds like you gargled with broken glass and chased it down with a bottle of motor oil.”
The creature didn’t seem to care much about linguistic issues, it didn’t even look back at Stretch to make sure he was keeping up, only kept forging the trail. “Be that as it may, it is what she is.”
“evil penguin, got it.” Then warily, not sure he wanted the answer. “so what would have happened if she’d bit me. you would’ve handed me over with a bone apple tea and a napkin?”
“If she’d bitten you, I would have had to kill you.” It was said so matter-of-factly that at first it didn’t even register.
Once it did, the new murder threat did not sit well. Stretch stopped, clapping a hand over his mouth against a sudden rush of nausea and took a stumbling step back as he stared at the creature in horror. “you…what??”
The creature paused then and this time it looked back at him, crimson eyes cutting through the blackness. “I wouldn’t have enjoyed it.”
“oh, like that’s reassuring!”
“It would have been necessary,” the creature said heavily. Their tail lashed agitatedly. “Their bite is infectious. You’d soon be covered with running sores and an insatiable urge to spread that bite to others until you died in slow agony. There is no cure, it’s generally an exceedingly rare disease. They usually eat their prey entirely.”
“oh, well, nice to see they have their own version of pandemic control!”
The creature turned away and started walking again. “Better that than the alternative.”
“so why didn’t you kill it, then?” The evil penguin was still out there looking for a snack and whoever it ran into next time probably wouldn’t be so lucky.
The creature stopped again so suddenly that Stretch ran into it, wincing as that agitated tail lashed against him like a whip.
“And are you one who dictates what should live and what should die?” the creature demanded. “Do others get to be predator or prey by your leave? She was hunting in the manner of her kind and you think you can demand her life as penance for that?”
“uh.” His first instinct was to say fuck, yes, but a harder look at it all made him think this guy had a point. As much as he didn’t want to be anyone’s lunch special, could he really fault another creature for simply doing what they did? It was an uncomfortable thought and maybe one he’d revisit later, but for now he only said, softly, “no. i don’t. you’re right, sorry.”
The creature stared at him with those burning eyes then swung back around and walked on, Stretch at his heels, and there didn’t seem to be anything else to say.
The walk back took longer than he expected; it was slow going, it felt like the trees were closed in around him and he kept stumbling into them, the rough bark scraping his bones and catching at his clothes. It was getting colder as well, his thin t-shirt and shorts offering little protection against the chill. Stretch started to shiver, wrapping his arms around himself to hold in whatever meagre warmth he could, but he could still hear the dull rattle of his own bones as he shook.
The creature paused and made a weird, rough sound deep in its throat.
"what? what it is?" Stretch looked around a little wildly, half expecting to see something else crawling out of the shrubbery, ghouls, vampires, the knights of Ni, who the fuck knew.
What he wasn’t expecting was for the creature to say abruptly, "Get on my back."
"uhhhh.” There was probably a good reply for that, but Stretch felt like his mind short-circuited, leaving him with only a mess of vowels and constants to string together into incoherency.
"Get on my back," the creature repeated impatiently, “I'll carry you."
Well. If this guy was gonna eat him, he'd already be chow. When in the woods, do as the creatures did, he guessed.
The creature crouched down and Stretch managed to clumsily clamber up, using the bristling bones as handholds until he could settle on its spine. It was more comfortable than he would have guessed and almost before he finished the thought, they were off. He scrambled to grab hold, clinging desperately as it ran unerringly through the woods. Its large paws were silent as they fell on the underbrush, never missing a step or falling for a trick of shadows, weaving easily between the tree trunks and bushes so that they didn’t even brush against Stretch’s legs. He huddled down against the spine behind that large, ridged skull, and into the warm bone beneath him, and let the world fade around him.
It seemed like hardly any time at all passed before the creature slowed again, then stopped. Stretch slowly loosened his hold, half-expecting to find something blocking their path. But in front of them was the tree line and he could see a single yellowed light in the distance, the one from Red’s porch.
Stretch slid off the creatures back and took a couple of stumbling steps towards it, choking on relief and wonder.
“how did you know to bring me here…” Stretch trailed off and looked back. Those crimson eyes cut through the darkness and memory clicked like a key turning in a lock, a half-forgotten dream of crimson eyes through window glass, staring in at him. “it’s you! you’ve been watching me!”
The creature only gazed back at him, unperturbed. “I have no idea what you mean.”
“the fuck you don’t, you liar!” Stretch sputtered. “I saw you outside my window, you…you creeper!”
Maybe not wise to shout names at the dragon creature who’d saved his life, but it’d been a long night. Didn’t seem to matter much, the creature only rolled their shoulders in an approximation of a shrug. “You’re a stranger on my territory. That bears watching.”
“oh, are there bears out there now?” Stretch snapped. “are they spying on me, too? ‘cause i have the right to bear arms of my own, you know!” Or, you know, he bet Miss Maggie sold civil war muskets alongside the bicycles and probably wouldn’t bat an eye to sell him one.
An irritated exhale puffed smoke out through the creature’s nasal cavity. “All you have to do is stay out of the woods, fool. Even you should be able to manage that.”
“i didn’t mean to go into them the first time, my dog—my dog!” All his anger slid away and Stretch fell to his knees on the ground, his skull in his hands, “oh, fuck, the dog, red is gonna be so upset.” Tears were burning in his sockets, he’d fucked up big this time, Red was so kind to him and all Stretch gave him in return was bullshit and pain.
“Outsider, look up.” Gruffly said, but not unkind, and he did, still blinking hard. To see the dog sitting on the porch, wagging his tail happily and brimming with delight from their adventure.
“you little bastard,” Stretch said, relieved. Seriously, he was glad Mutt was okay and not only because it’d give him a chance to murder the brat himself.
A nudge at his back made him startled and he turned to see the creature next to him, “Go on, outsider. Count your luck this once and don’t come back to the woods.”
Like he was about to hop on Trip Advisor to plan another tour? “trust me, you wouldn’t catch me in there on a bet.”
“Keep your bets and stay away.” The creature turned and started walking towards the woods, only to hesitate, glancing back with those deep red eyes staring at him unblinking. “Outsider,” it said, softly, “I would have hated to kill you.”
“yeah, well, i would’ve hated to die, so, thanks, dread pirate roberts, i’m off.” Stretch didn’t wait for a reply, only scrambled to his feet and headed towards the house, but he could have sworn he heard a soft sound behind him, almost like a laugh.
He trudged up to the porch, squinting in the glaring yellow light and the dog let out a happy bark, tail wagging furiously.
“shhhh!” Stretch scolded. He snagged his bag from the chair on the back porch, he’d had more than enough of the night air, probably enough for ten years or so. “i’m mad enough at you right now, if you wake up red, i’m selling you to the kids tomorrow along with the candy.”
The dog only kept thumping his tail unrepentantly, following Stretch into the house all the way up the stairs to his room. He hopped up on the bed next to Stretch as he sprawled out on the thin mattress, settling in with a sigh by his hip.
Probably Stretch should take a hot shower and wash away any lingering stench from…everything. At the very least he could curl up on the bed in a ball of incoherent, gibbering terror, probably nobody would fault him for that. Probably.
Instead, he dug out his phone from his bag. It felt heavy in his hand, the weight of it more than mere electronics and he only held it for a long moment. Then he opened the messaging app and started scrolling through his brother’s old texts.
They were hard to read. The first few only curious, barely tinged with worry as they wondered where he’d gotten off to so early and with every lack of reply, the texts were worse, moving through panic to angry scolding, then outright fear before finally into resignation. His little brother was so very worried and had no idea where he was, if he was truly safe, and Stretch couldn’t even promise he was.
hey bro, i have a place to stay, he wrote, made some friends. i’m doing okay.
It was the truth. Mostly.
He started to set his phone aside, but before he could, it buzzed with a reply despite the late hour. Stretch took a long, slow breath, let it out, then checked the message.
That’s good. I love you, Pappy.
Tears stung in his sockets again, trailing down his face in twin warm streams. He wiped them away impatiently, then had to fend off the dog when he tried to lick them away with a whine. Once he was no longer in danger of smothering from a wet tongue, he texted back a hasty, love you, too, bro.
Stretch closed his sockets and let his head fall back against the thin pillow. One hand settled into the dog’s thick fur, the sturdy warmth of its body cuddled close to him and in the other, he held his phone tightly against his sternum, right over his damaged, aching soul.
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When In Rinde
Geralt ruins all of his shirts, obviously, so he has to borrow one from Jaskier- if it’ll fit. Based off a prompt given to me by my lovely friend Ashley which was just “Geralt/Jaskier sharing clothes” It is explicit near the end, so don’t read if that makes you uncomfortable!
read it on AO3 here!
"You smell like a kikimore den." Jaskier wrinkles his nose in distaste, eyeing the green-black goo covering every inch of the sodden witcher before him. Geralt merely grunts, slipping past him as Jaskier shrinks back to avoid the worst of the mess. There's a bath waiting for him, luckily, and Geralt strips out of his armor and clothes, leaving them in a heap to be dealt with later. He sinks into the water, ignoring the way his nerves protest the heat. He spends time scrubbing at his skin, watching as the water goes murky and the lavender in the water fades. He can smell everything- the way he still reeks of the cave, the sweat clinging to Jaskier's neck as he scrubs at the guts on his armor. If he looked he could see the individual strands of Jaskier's hair, each reflecting their own color of light from the fire blazing in the hearth. That's too much, though, so he stares instead at his ruined nails and the blood crusted underneath.
The bar of soap that's pressed into his hands is faintly fragranced, and he presses it to his nose, dragging in a breath. The absence of anything other than a hint of rosemary and orange is a welcome diversion, and he spends nearly as much time sniffing the soap as he does using it. He can still smell everything else over the soap, but with each pass over his body it lessens. The blood comes up from under his nails and soon the water is too filthy to use. Jaskier knows, though, and makes Geralt stand, naked and dripping wet while he switches out the water. He must've been paid well for his performance. He's led with gentle fingers back into the tub, eyes having closed to block out the shadows dancing dizzily in the room. This time Jaskier stays nearby, lavender and sweat and silk in his nose. Jaskier has Geralt hold his soaps, occasionally sniffing them, while he works the tangles from Geralt's hair and rinses out any guts. The smell is all but gone now, replaced by the smell of pine. It reminds him of home, makes his heart ache with the want to see his family, and he hums softly.
"That's better, love." A startlingly gentle kiss is placed on the crown of his head, and he listens as Jaskier's feet shuffle across the ground and away from him. He hears the rustle of fabric, more footsteps, and then the soft slide of their skin together as Jaskier uses a hand to guide Geralt from the tub. A towel is pressed into his hands and he dries himself quickly, Jaskier's heart a steady companion in his ears. "Do you want to eat anything?"
The thought of food has his stomach rolling, and he shakes his head in a sharp no . Jaskier doesn't fight him at all, just places a velvety soft kiss on his shoulder and guides him into bed. Geralt sinks into the bed without much protest, listening as Jaskier tidies up the room and gets rid of the tub. He hears the door crack and Jaskier's voice, sheepish and sorry as he asks that Geralt's clothes be laundered. The door shuts with a soft click and the smell of smoke tickles at his nose, making him sneeze and shake his head. He cracks open an eye experimentally, and upon not being blinded, opens both all the way.
The candles in the room have all been blown out save for the hearth, and Jaskier navigates easily in the dark, undressing before coming to bed. He's warm and soft and achingly familiar, and Geralt pulls him close without thinking. The bard doesn't object at all though, humming a soft song. Geralt flinches when a bird flaps noisily past the small window, and Jaskier shushes him softly. "C'mere."
Geralt turns onto his side, letting Jaskier bundle him close as he rests his head on the man's chest. The sound of Jaskier's heart is a touch deafening this close, but that's the point, and Geralt focuses on the lub-dub lub-dub until the other noises fade back into the background. Pressed this close, all Geralt can smell is lavender, and it very effectively clogs his nose, allowing him yet more time to adjust his senses. It also allows sleep to pull at his limbs, and he drifts off with Jaskier hugging him close.
“What do you- Oh, oh of course. No, no thank you for trying.” Jaskier’s voice tugs him from sleep, and he shifts onto his side to see Jaskier closing the door, clothes in his arms. There’s a frown on his face and Geralt reaches out a hand automatically. Jaskier’s eyes flick up at the movement, and he smiles as he pads over, sitting on the edge of the bed and letting Geralt pet up and down his back.
“What?” His voice is thick with sleep, and he clears his throat softly as Jaskier sighs.
“The laundress, she couldn’t save the shirt. Something about acid?”
“Kikimore venom.” Geralt frowns, remembering that he’d been sprayed in it and glancing toward his armor. It looks fine, no worse for wear, and he faintly remembers the sound of a brush scrubbing over the hard leather. A sharp bolt of fear goes through him at the realization, and he sits up, grabbing Jaskier’s hands. His clean clothes tumble into a heap on the bed, but he’s too busy looking over the skin of Jaskier’s hands to care.
“Geralt-” Geralt growls, peering closer at Jaskier’s skin and his nail beds. “Geralt, I’m fine .”
“Washed right off.” The panic gripping his chest fades alongside his fear, and he glances up to find Jaskier smiling, expression fond. “I know how to handle monster sludge by now.”
“Hmm.” He can feel the heat creeping up his neck from embarrassment, but Jaskier presses a kiss to his cheek, still grinning. He doesn’t say a word, but Geralt can tell that Jaskier is tickled by his worry. He lets go of Jaskier’s hands to paw through his clothes instead, finding that whoever did the washing knew what they were doing. There aren’t any holes from the venom or lingering smells. Jaskier leaves his side as he inspects his clothes, and he’s too awake now to go back to sleep, so he slips into his freshly washed clothes and goes to find his other shirt. He’s digging through his pack, elbow deep in his things when he realizes with growing annoyance that his other shirt was used as bandages when he’d come stumbling back from a fight with a wyvern.
“Geralt?” Jaskier’s voice is curious, and Geralt grumbles, setting his pack down and reaching to rub at his forehead. Jaskier turns to him fully now, concern on his face, and Geralt tries to ignore the waver in his scent.
“That was my last shirt.”
“Oh.” It doesn’t seem to surprise Jaskier much, and he dips into his pack before pulling out a shirt. It’s soft and frilly and white . Geralt doesn’t reach out to take it, frowning and shaking his head.
“I’ll ruin it.”
Jaskier pins Geralt with a shrewd look, and Geralt reaches to take the shirt from him. He’s going to rip it just trying to put it on, but Jaskier has made up his mind. He hesitates, not wanting to ruin something of Jaskier’s, but the bard looks two seconds away from dressing Geralt himself, so he gets it over with. The shirt goes over his head easily, and he feels the fabric catch for a moment- before it slides on smoothly, loose around his shoulders and just a tad tight around his biceps. He bends his arms, flexing gently, but the fabric doesn’t rip and he looks up at Jaskier, perplexed. Jaskier is staring at him with what Geralt can only describe as lust , and he drags in a deep breath, intoxicated by the hint of arousal already.
“Silk looks good on you, witcher.” Jaskier steps forward, nimble fingers tucking the shirt into his pants, and Geralt should be embarrassed to be treated like a child, but there’s nothing motherly in the action. No, Jaskier’s movements scream of a predator, and he watches with helpless fascination as Jaskier loosely does the laces over his chest, shuddering when a soft kiss is left on his collarbone. The scent of Jaskier’s arousal is stronger now, heady, but he hums and goes about getting Geralt to put his armor on. Geralt is one step away from grabbing him and spending the morning in bed with the way that Jaskier keeps eying him, but soon his armor is in place and Jaskier is handing him his swords.
“Jaskier.” He rasps, throat constricting and nostrils flaring wide. Jaskier looks up at him, eyes molten, and Geralt loses his breath. “Jask-”
“We’ve ground to cover and a tailor to find. Let’s go, Geralt.” Geralt can’t deny him anything, not with his head swimming the way it is and the feel of silk pressed to his skin under his armor. He follows Jaskier out of the inn and to where Roach is stabled, tacking her and getting onto the road in record time. Jaskier seems to have calmed down some, lavender shining through, but there’s an undercurrent that Geralt finds hard to ignore.
The shirt is near impossible to ignore- the texture is different than the simple cotton of his shirts, smoother, and he finds himself shivering whenever the shirt moves under his armor. The shirt smells like Jaskier too- and while Geralt is used to the smell, it’s close and covers his own and that does funny things to his head. He’s more distracted than he’s ever been on the road, all because of a shirt and he stubbornly tries to block out the feel of silk and the scent of lavender. Geralt has no clue where the nearest tailor would be, but Jaskier leads them with a purpose, a small smug smile on his face the entire time. Geralt catches himself staring a few times before wrenching his gaze away, staring pointedly at his feet or some far off point in front of him. The trip between towns doesn’t take long at all, and Geralt realizes with a jolt that they’re in Rinde.
He hasn’t been to the city in years, prefers to keep his distance if he can, but the crowd in the streets sweeps the two of them up and ushers them deeper into the city. The sights and smells quickly overtake him, and he can feel his hands shaking. Footsteps clatter and bounce off the buildings, trapping him in an endless loop of louder and louder noises. The smell of dirt and sewage and sweat makes him choke, and his brain's only instinct is to run . He doesn’t get the chance, a hand sliding into his and squeezing gently. Jaskier presses in close to him, lavender trickling in to overtake the other smells, and Geralt feels a swell of relief and gratitude in his chest. He keeps hold of Jaskier’s hand lightly, his own fingers tracing the callouses from Jaskier’s lute and slipping to swirl along the embroidered edge of Jaskier’s doublet. His mind quiets slowly, adjusting to the onslaught of senses, and by the time Jaskier finds the tailor Geralt can look around without his hands shaking.
The odor of fabric dyes is sharp as they step into the tailors shop, Geralt ducking through the doorframe. He isn’t going to hit it, but the movement is habit and he’s never been able to stop himself. Immediately Geralt is drawn in by all of the color; rich blues and greens, reds and oranges and yellow. The color reminds him of celandine, the soft buttery shade of a very useful flower, and he finds himself gravitating toward it. It’s something he would never wear, too flashy, but Jaskier has a doublet almost the exact same color and Geralt finds it comforting. Jaskier slips from his side while he silently admires the different colors, stopping by a burnished orange bolt of fabric and reaching to feel. The cloth is buttery soft under his fingers, and Jaskier finds him there, holding a corner of the cloth and marveling.
“Geralt? The tailor needs your measurements.” Geralt looks up, nostrils flaring before he relaxes and nods, following Jaskier to the back where a man waits, glasses perched on his nose and measuring cord draped over one arm. A small girl, no older than 8 stands in the corner, watching as Geralt removes his armor and shirt and stands patiently while he’s moved and measured. Jaskier stands close, watching their things while the man mutters numbers and the girl scribbles them down. Once he’s released from the tailor’s scrutiny he dresses quickly, uncomfortable at being exposed and tired of smelling the wary edge of fear the little girl has. His scars are terrible, he knows, and they crisscross every inch of him, proof of what he’s fought, and how inhuman he truly is. Any number of his wounds should have been fatal, but he was still here, years later. “So, done in a couple days?”
“You’re sure you want this cotton? It isn’t anything as lovely as the silk.”
“Cotton will do fine.” Jaskier insists politely, glancing at Geralt and nodding his head toward the door. Geralt ducks out while Jaskier barters, knowing his presence can sour even the friendliest of people. Jaskier insists it isn’t the case, but Geralt has read people for as long as he can remember and he isn’t so easily swayed. Jaskier comes out a few minutes later, whistling merrily and smiling at Geralt. “C’mon wolf, we’d best find somewhere to stay tonight.”
“You’d rather stay in the forest?” Jaskier’s tone is teasing, but his expression is earnest and Geralt swallows hard.
“Would that bother you?”
“Never.” Jaskier holds out his hand, and Geralt goes to take it before realizing he’s being handed something. Jaskier presses a small scrap of fabric into his hand, just a small square of silk, but it's the bright, smoky orange he was looking at and Geralt latches onto it immediately. He worries the fabric between his fingers, and though he wants nothing more than to go back and stay in the forest until the clothes are done, they’d been on the road a while and… Jaskier deserved to stay in a nice inn for at least a night or two. The inn in the other town had been sufficient, but every so often he liked to see Jaskier flourish, laying among nice sheets and hunkered at a table that didn’t wobble. Instead of heading out of the city like he wants he heads deeper, following the scent of ale and sweat until he comes across the inn.
Jaskier ducks inside to get a room and inquire about playing for their board while Geralt goes to stable Roach, petting down the length of her neck and grunting when she headbutts his chest. “Rude.”
He chides her softly, dodging another headbutt and shaking his head as he slips the saddle from her back. Once he’s gotten her brushed down and spoiled her sufficiently with a few sugar cubes he leaves her to relax and heads back for the inn. He must have taken longer than he expected, because by the time that he gets back Jaskier is launching into a spirited rendition of ‘Toss A Coin’ and Geralt ducks into the shadows to avoid people noticing him. He doesn’t know which room is theirs, so he settles himself in a corner and pinches at his silk scrap as he settles in to watch Jaskier perform. For as much as he grumbles, his voice is lovely and having heard many of his songs come to life's a treat in itself. Not the process, where Jaskier hums or croons the same words over and over again while trying to figure out his melody, but this. Jaskier’s eyes bright, smile tugging at his lips and threatening to ruin the vowel he’s drawn out. The crowd reacts to him much better than when they’d first met in Posada, swaying and clapping along to his songs and crowing lyrics when Jaskier pauses to let them interact.
He works the crowd as deftly as Geralt wields a sword, but everytime that Jaskier’s eyes meet his, the look is only for him, a look of longing and love and contentment. If anyone notices the change in his demeanor they don’t say anything, just beg him for another song and cheer when he aquiesces. Sometime in Jaskier’s performance he’s brought an ale, and though he sips at it he can’t bring himself to drink much. Something in him makes him hold off, keeps his eyes firmly on the way the candlelight and sunlight mix to dance over the silk of Jaskier’s doublet.
He doesn’t want to leave, to risk missing anything else, but more and more people are crowding into the inn after hearing about Jaskier’s performance. The scrap of fabric in his hands helps, but it’s beginning to fray at the edges from his constant touching and Geralt slips up the stairs before he’s boxed in by too many bodies. He follows his nose as best he can, opening the last door on the left to find Jaskier’s things tucked neatly under the table. Geralt goes about setting the room up the way they’re used to, shedding his armor and draping the pieces over a chair before getting the fire going in the hearth. It’s warm in the room already, but the night brings a chill quickly and he doesn’t want Jaskier to be cold when he finally comes up. Geralt uses his time alone to prepare more potions, fingers stained yellow by the celandine petals.
It takes him less time than he was expecting to finish up, and the idleness of his hands… bothers him. He would sharpen his swords, but he’d just done it and didn’t feel inclined to sharpen an already razor sharp blade. Instead he moves closer to the fire and tucks himself into a kneeling position, closing his eyes and letting out a slow, even breath. He slips into his meditation as easily as one would breathe, letting his senses drift while his mind slows to honey around him. There’s something within the meditative calm that’s always called to him, drawn him deeper than needed and kept him. Nurtured some part of him that wanted nothing more than to disappear. He doesn’t know how long he drifts until the door creaks open behind him, quiet footsteps padding across the wood floor. He can tell it’s Jaskier instantly, so he chooses not to move, instead bowing his head a bit lower and drifting once again.
The sound of Jaskier behind him is a gentle distraction, one he can easily tune out as he goes about putting his lute away and slipping out of his doublet and boots. He hears Jaskier come closer, can feel breath on the back of his neck an instant before gentle fingers brush his hair out of the way and soft kisses are left on the exposed flesh. The feeling sends a warm flush through him, and he rumbles low in his chest as Jaskier trails kisses down his shoulder. A hand comes up around him, tugging at the ties of the chemise as he uses the extra wiggle room to leave more kisses across Geralt’s exposed skin. Jaskier is warm against his back, pressed up close as his heat bleeds through the silk of his shirt, and Geralt shivers when teeth scrape lightly across his skin. Hands roam over his front, petting at his stomach and tugging so that silk slides over his skin. He shakes involuntarily with the sensation, and Jaskier sidles a bit closer.
He follows the path of Jaskier’s lips, skin tingling as Jaskier lazily moves back up until he can kiss behind Geralt’s ear. His breath is hot, sending shivers across his skin, and Jaskier noses at the soft spot where his jaw meets his neck. “Yes, darling?”
“I…” Geralt, for the thousandth time in his life, is lost for words, but Jaskier laughs softly in his ear, voice husky.
“I’ve got you.” Heat rushes up his spine and pools in his stomach, and even the barest shift of Jaskier behind him has his fingers twitching with the urge to touch. Jaskier’s lips slide over his skin and Geralt’s head arches to the side, baring more of his neck for Jaskier to peruse. His lips are soft and warm, and Gaskier gasps when Jaskier bites, tongue sweeping over the skin to soothe any pain. Jaskier’s hands wander, one pressing against Geralt’s chest to keep him in place while the other slides down, fingers dancing along the inside of Geralt’s thighs. He jerks in Jaskier’s arms at the first teasing touch, and Jaskier croons against his skin, smoothing a hand over Geralt’s thigh and tugging until his legs are spread wider and he’s leaning heavily back against Jaskier. The touches along his thigh and the obscene spread of his legs has heat pouring through him, and he’s hard in his pants and the feeling is rapidly growing uncomfortable. He faintly hears himself whining Jaskier’s name, but Jaskier takes pity on him and tugs his pants open, hand dipping inside. Jaskier takes Geralt firmly in hand, moving with the witcher as he moans, arching up into the touch. Jaskier frees him from the confines of his pants and he sighs at the relief and feeling of Jaskier’s fingers firmly wrapped around his cock. Jaskier’s other arm is an iron band around him, keeping the two of them pressed together wherever they can. He should feel trapped, should fight out of Jaskier’s grip, but Jaskier strokes him slowly, wrist twisting, and Geralt shudders in his arms.
“Beautiful. Absolutely gorgeous, love. Let me hear you?” Geralt’s cheeks flame, but there’s nowhere for him to hide, trapped between Jaskier’s hand and his very nice chest. Jaskier rubs a thumb over the head of Geralt’s cock, spreading a bead of precome, and Geralt whimpers , hips jerking as Jaskier’s hand speeds up. “You like wearing it, don’t you?”
“What?” His mind is still slow, half out of his meditation and addled by lust, and he isn’t quite sure what Jaskier means. Jaskier’s hand on his chest grabs a fistful of silk, and Geralt understands. His hips jerk, cock twitching in Jaskier’s hand as Jaskier pays close attention to the head. “Yes-yes-”
“Tell me why.” Jaskier’s voice is saccharine in his ears, and Geralt can feel the vibrations against his back. It’s near impossible for Geralt to think about what he wants to say, pleasure rapidly building in his gut, but Jaskier’s hand slows down, giving him a chance and making him growl at the same time. The bard's voice is dangerous this time, ragged and broken with lust. “I’m waiting, Geralt.”
“It’s- it smells like you, makes me smell like you-”
“Territorial beast.” Jaskier’s voice is fond, lovingly so, and that makes Geralt’s stomach flop. He seems pleased enough by the answer though, because his hand speeds up and Geralt sees stars behind his eyelids. He’s much closer than he’d like to admit, but Jaskier is so close to him and he knows exactly how to push him toward the edge. Geralt turns his head, straining a bit to try and catch Jaskier’s lips in a kiss. Jaskier shifts behind him, going up higher on his knees, and Geralt gasps into Jaskiers mouth when he feels Jaskier’s cock brush against the swell of his ass. He pushes his hips back, grinding against Jaskier and moaning when Jaskier’s fingers tighten around him and jerk him faster. Jaskier laps into his mouth, tasting the sweet moans that Geralt lets out now that he’s somewhat muffled.
Geralt can feel his stomach tightening, release so close, and Jaskier swipes a thumb over the head, over and over until Geralt is sobbing against his mouth and trembling in his arms. “Come for me, sweetheart.”
The simple command is what finally undoes Geralt, and he moans Jaskier’s name as he tips over the edge, hips jerking as he comes messily onto the floor in front of him. He should care more about the mess- really he should, but Jaskier strokes him through his release and doesn’t let up until Geralt is whining and shifting his hips back to get away from the sensation. He sags back into Jaskier’s arms as the bard kisses his hair, and he can feel Jaskier, hard against his backside. Geralt shifts his hips, slowly at first, and when Jaskier puffs out a soft moan he grinds down harder. Geralt feels fingers dig into his hip, and he shifts so that he can look at Jaskier better. The bard’s eyes are dark with lust, pupils blown wide, and he sees Jaskier’s eyes flick down to his lips more than once.
“Stand up.” Geralt’s voice is soft, but Jaskier jerks up to his feet as if burned. Geralt turns fully, back to the hearth, and uses a hand on Jaskier’s hip to steady him. His other hand works at the ties of Jaskier’s pants, and he pulls Jaskier’s cock free, glancing up. “I love being yours, Jaskier. More than you could know.”
He can tell that Jaskier wants to say something, some flowery words to tell him much the same, but his words catch in his throat when Geralt tips forward and takes the head of Jaskier’s cock into his mouth. One of Jaskier’s hands flies into his hair immediately, gripping the strands tight, and Geralt bobs his head pointedly. He enjoys the taste of Jaskier on his tongue, taking the man deeper as he listens to Jaskier moan. Geralt closes his eyes, hands coming up to gently rest against Jaskier’s thighs. He can feel Jaskier’s thighs twitching under his palms, and he presses forward, relaxing as Jaskier’s cock slides into his throat and his nose presses against the soft skin of Jaskier’s abdomen. The noise that Jaskier lets out is a broken whine, and his hips twitch of their own accord. One of Geralt’s hands quickly slides to grip Jaskier’s ass, urging him forward, and Jaskier swears above him.
“Geralt- you’re sure?” Geralt’s eyes fly open and he glares up at Jaskier, swallowing pointedly around him. Jaskier’s cock twitches in his mouth as their eyes meet, and Jaskier lets out a shuddering breath before he pulls back. He thrusts back in quickly and watches eagerly, as if afraid to miss a thing. Geralt sinks into the feeling of Jaskier using his mouth, closing his eyes and moaning as he does his best to keep up with Jaskier’s sharp, jerky thrusts. Normally he’d have more time to enjoy, to let Jaskier use his mouth to tease himself, but Jaskier is painfully hard on his tongue and Geralt knows he’s close. The next time that Jaskier pulls back Geralt flicks his tongue against the slit, drawing a sweet noise from Jaskier’s mouth and stealing his breath when Jaskier shoves in, hips stuttering. Geralt pulls back, intent, and he swirls his tongue around the head until Jaskier’s grip tightens painfully in his hair and he’s held in place as Jaskier’s hips shove forward. The roughness makes his own cock twitch and he drops a hand to palm himself lazily. Jaskier pulls back halfway, murmuring Geralt’s name to get his attention. Geralt looks up to show he's listening, and Jaskier's look sends heat searing through his nerves. “Breathe, love.”
Geralt knows that warning better than any other, and he pulls in a deep breath on command, head tilting back a bit as Jaskier thrusts in hard, grinding against his face as he comes down Geralt’s throat. Geralt swallows around him reflexively, blinking rapidly as tears gather in his eyes as Jaskier stays pressed firmly into his throat. Geralt relaxes his jaw a bit more, ignoring the way his lungs are beginning to pinch with the need to breathe as Jaskier grinds into his mouth, moaning and fingers curling in Geralt’s hair. Eventually Geralt taps twice against Jaskier’s thigh and Jaskier pulls out, panting and jerkily petting at Geralt's hair. Geralt leans into the touch, a raspy purr kicking up in his throat. He hears Jaskier drop to his knees, still breathing hard, and then Jaskier is kissing him regardless of how messy he currently is. Geralt melts into the soft, reverent touches as Jaskier pets over his chest and cups the back of his neck with a hand. Jaskier uses a gentle press to tilt Geralt's head a bit, and Geralt can't help the small moan at the way it feels. Geralt feels drunk off of the attention Jaskier lavishes on him in the afterglow of his orgasm, and he gasps, grinding into his own hand when Jaskier's nails scratch at the base of his skull.
"Wanna come?" Geralt considers it briefly, ready to say no, but Jaskier's hand is warm as he guides Geralf into taking himself in hand. Jaskier's fingers overlap his, helping, and Geralt whines as he works himself rapidly into a second orgasm. This one isn't as intense as the first, but warmth rushes through Geralt and makes his toes curl as he groans softly against Jaskier's lips. "That's it, so good for me love. Take me so well, so pretty for me."
The compliments make his cheeks flush and he ducks his head automatically. Jaskier catches his chin with his free hand, not letting Geralt hide as he kisses him softly before pulling back to smile. Geralt squints at him then, voice cracking when he speaks. "What?"
"Mmm nothing, just wondering what else I could do with you wearing this shirt."
"Anything." The reply is so simple, but Geralt's pupils are blown and Jaskier can tell he's tapped into some other part of Geralt, some side aimed to please.
"Mmm, it's a good thing we've this room for the next couple days, then. Wonder how good you'd look in my lap."
It's meant more as a rhetorical, but the whine that shakes from Geralt's throat is needy and Jaskier knows these next couple of days are going to be very, very busy indeed.
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Into the Wild Rewrite: Chapter 1
← Prologue | Chapter 2 →
Dead leaves crunched under Rusty’s small paws as he stalked through the trees. The sound contrasted with the relative silence of the rest of the forest. A flash of gray fur had caught his eye, and he began to pursue the prey somewhat clumsily. His heart thumped in his chest as he came upon the small mouse just a few tail-lengths away from him. It sat up on its hind legs, sensing him once he was near. The young cat fell into an awkward crouch, hoping that it hadn’t seen him.
Once the rodent got back down and began smelling at the ground, Rusty launched himself forward with his short hind legs. He batted the mouse towards a tree before jumping back onto it, clenching it between his paws. He knocked the creature back and forth as if it were a toy, dazing it enough that it wouldn’t run away each time he hit it away.
A clattering noise made his ears stand on-end. Like something hard on metal, which confused him. Once he was distracted, the prey managed to slip from his claws and scampered off. Rusty grumbled with annoyance as he watched the gray form disappear into the forest. He stood there for a moment, allowing the cool breeze bristle through his fluffy fur, especially around his neck where his collar was typically clasped. The freedom felt amazing, despite losing the mouse.
However, the disappointment of letting his potential prey escape rang in his mind. But in a moment, the darkness of the woods lit up with white light. It hurt to look at, causing Rusty to squint at the sight. A glowing feline stepped from the shadows and placed the escaped piece of prey at his paws. Rusty looked from the mouse back to the starry cat with his mouth agape. He felt something ripple through his fur as the other cat glanced down at him with a calm smile.
He heard a voice say words he couldn’t understand, making him turn away from the figure before him. It was echoed and muffled. Maybe it was his name but he wasn’t sure. The cat in front of him made everything feel so surreal, even if it just smiled at him and did nothing else. Then, he felt a force press on his back, making his eyes go wide. It wasn’t hard enough to cause pain, but startled him.
He blinked frantically at his paws, realizing that he was now laying down and upon lifting his head, he realized he was back in his den. The stark, still air of the room contrasted to the crisp wind he felt in his dream. He glanced up at his Twoleg patting his back before they stood up and walked from the room. He presumed they would go to bed soon, since they always fed him beforehand. Rusty stretched out with a yawn and padded over to his bowl, taking in a mouthful of pellets his owner had put in. He wished it was the taste of mouse on his tongue, but he was somewhat satisfied with the food he was given. They had a bland taste, but it filled his aching belly.
Instead of going back to his cozy nest, Rusty ducked out of the flap leading out of his den. He stepped out into the garden with a deep breath. Fresh dew clung to the well-trimmed blades of grass as they shifted when he walked. His owners took such good care of their garden, it confused him. The sickeningly sweet smell of the flowers his Twolegs grew made Rusty’s lips curl, but he made his way past them to leap up onto the fence posts. He enjoyed sitting there on nights like these. It gave him an excellent view of his neighbors gardens and, more importantly, the dense greenery of the forest just outside his yard. The one he had dreams about multiple times since the last full moon.
He heard his name called from the entrance of the den - he knew his owners wanted him to return inside, they didn’t like for him to stay out too late. But tonight, something was telling him not to come back. It was hard to ignore the thoughts of warmth and gentle pets he was greeted with when he would curl up in his Twolegs’ nest. But the forest seemed to be pulling him away from all that. Once he looked back from the yard to the forest, he noticed something walking through the trees. A gentle glow cutting through the shadows of the canopy of trees. It was a figure similar to those from his dreams: a shiny, starry cat prancing through the greenery. His posture straightened in surprise.
“Hey, wait!” Rusty called, jumping down from the fence. The bell around his neck jingled and that, in combination to his yelling, alerting the figure to his presence. They darted back into the forest, slowly disintegrating into shimmering dust as they went. Rusty’s expression softened with disappointment. He hated the feeling of not knowing if what he was seeing was real. Perhaps he was just seeing things. Maybe it would be best just to return to his nest.
More jingling was heard from behind him as a cat jumped up on the fence. “Hey, Rusty,” the cat said. The ginger tom turned around with a flick of his ear. “Oh. Hey, Smudge,” he replied. “You’re out late tonight.” The black and white tom smirked. “Well, I was gonna go to bed but…” he began, reaching his hind leg to itch underneath his collar. “I saw you by the woods and got worried about you! You’re not goin’ in there, are you?” Rusty shifted a bit, glancing uncomfortably towards the forest. “Uhm. I was just thinking I’d take a little look,” he replied nervously.
“But!” Smudge said. “It’s dangerous there!” Rusty raised a brow quizzically. “Oh yeah, have you ever been in there?” Smudge gave a tiny shrug. “Hmm… no… But Henry went in there!” The ginger tom couldn’t help but let out a chuckle. “Really? Henry went in there? He’s so lazy, he barely leaves his den anymore.”
“He told me he caught a robin in there, though!” the black and white tom responded, giving Rusty a worried look. “There’s wildcats who kill and eat each other! And their claws are so sharp they can cut through trees!” The ginger cat frowned. “Well, I’ll only be in there for a bit. I’m sure those ‘wildcats’ won’t even notice me.” Rusty barely gave any attention to Smudge’s final “don’t say I didn’t warn you!” when he turned to walk off into the forest. The other house cat hopped back into his garden without another word. Trying to dissuade Rusty from going was impossible at this point.
The ginger cat immediately noticed that the grass just beyond the fence was thicker and more bristled than that of the garden - like that of a startled cat. It felt strange underneath his paws, poking at his pads. He gave a few rasps across his fluffy chest fur to calm his nerves. What if what Smudge said was true? It couldn’t be. It was far too ridiculous. But the ‘what if’ was bugging him out of his mind as he vanished into the thick trees.
A sense of recollection came flooding back when a mouse scampered a small distance away, scuttling around some nearby brambles. It was just like his dreams! He tried to remember back to what he did wrong last time, but the round of his collar ringing every time he walked hindered him from doing so. He crouched, narrowing his eyes in anticipation as a spark shot through his body. Rusty’s haunches shifted back and forth as he prepared to jump forward, and he was grateful that his bell only rang dully as he moved from side to side.
However, the sudden sound of cracking twigs made both him and the rodent jump. And if that didn’t scare the creature away, his bell’s sudden ring certainly did. Rusty watched sadly as the prey ran off as it had in his dreams. But this time, no mystical figure reclaimed the prize for him. As he stood frozen still, he noticed a bushy tail waving through a patch of ferns. He strained his nose to scent what it possibly could be. The abundance of new smells overwhelmed him, but he could tell it wasn’t a dog or any cat he had ever smelled. The scent of prey clung to the strange creature. Rusty became too curious and began to pad towards it. But then, the tail disappeared into the shrubbery, and the rustling began to sound all around the house cat. He whipped his head around in confusion, trying to find where the noise was coming from. However, it sounded as though it was all around him at once. The fur on his spine stood up as the sound of pawsteps crept up behind him. Before he could realize it, the sound became louder and louder, until it was just a few tail-lengths behind him.
His pursuer crashed into him at full force, slamming him into the trunk of a nearby oak. Rusty yowled once the creature jumped onto his back. Every time he writhed to shake it off of him, its needle claws and teeth clump to his pelt even tighter. The house cat was thrown onto his side by the weight on top of him and, trying to think fast, he rolled onto his back. The creature didn’t catch onto his ploy and, remembering how he would fight with his siblings as a kit, he pushed on its belly with his back paws as hard as he could. It wasn’t enough to knock his attacker off of him, but he heard the creature wheeze as the breath was kicked out of it.
Under the weight of the creature, he wriggled from its weakened grasp. Once he scrambled up to his paws, Rusty rushed back towards the familiar glow of his Twolegs’ den in the distance. The sound of dead leaves crunching let him know he was still being chased. The pain stung under his pelt as he ran, slowing him down before he could get a good distance between him and the creature. As the situation sunk in, Rusty realized it would be more likely that he would be tackled again before he made it back over the fence. So instead of continuing to run, he spun around to face the animal that was attacking him.
His eyes widened when he realized he was fighting another kitten not much older or younger than himself; a shaggy gray tom, with strong limbs under his thick fur despite his young age. Rusty’s sudden stop took the other tom off guard, suddenly toppling him over before he could skid to a stop. The house cat let out a string of hisses and growls as he struggled once again underneath the mess of the other kitten’s fur. But to his surprise, his attacker didn’t continue to claw at him. And once Rusty stopped writhing about, he noticed the other cat was calmly washing his forepaw as he pinned him underneath his weight. “Uh… excuse me?” the orange cat started to say, still tense. “Could you maybe get off of me?” The strange cat rolled his eyes as if Rusty’s request was a bother. “Okay I guess,” he replied as he stepped off of the other cat. “But if you think about attacking me again, I’ll send you home to your Twoleg den with your pelt inside out.”
Rusty couldn’t help but think about what Smudge had told him. Was this one of the wildcats who could cut through trees with their claws? He doubted it. “Who are you anyways?” he asked the gray cat.
He laughed under his breath. “I should be asking you the same thing. You are an intruder on ThunderClan territory,” the other tom said, continuing to rasp at the grass clinging to his wild fur. He paused. “But to answer your question, I’m Graypaw. You fight pretty good for a tame kitty.” Thunder-whatnow? Rusty didn’t know that the forest apparently belonged to someone.
“That’s a strange name,” Rusty said bluntly, the bitterness in his voice still present. Graypaw’s pelt bristled in annoyance. “Oh yeah? And what’s your name? Fluffy or something? Twolegs give you all weird names, Clan names have honor!” he huffed.
“It’s not Fluffy, it’s Rusty,” he growled back.
Graypaw puffed out his chest fur with a smug smirk. “See, what a weird name.” He gave a dismissive shake of his head. “Anyways, now that I know you’re not from the other Clans, you can run along to your Twoleg den. You’re lucky I’m not a ShadowClan cat, you’d have more than just a couple of scratches.”
Rusty raised a brow. “Other Clans?” he echoed. “There’s more of you?”
Graypaw gave an impatient hiss. “You’ve seriously never heard of the four Clans that live in this forest? For StarClan’s sake, you really are a sheltered Denpet aren’t you?” The orange tom opened his mouth to respond, but the other cat cut him off. “There’s ShadowClan, WindClan, RiverClan, and most importantly, ThunderClan - that’s the Clan I’m training to be a warrior in. We have to compete for prey to survive! So it’s our job to keep other Clans off our territory!”
He was dumping so much information on him, Rusty couldn’t help but have a confused expression on his face. “But if your life is so difficult, why don’t you just find a Twoleg to take care of you?” he meowed. “If you sit by the fence and look hungry, they’d take you in-”
Graypaw let out an incredulous squawk in response. “I’d rather die than become a Denpet! Your food looks like rabbit droppings and smelly sludge, and you can’t go outside unless your precious Twoleg lets you!” he spat. “Being a warrior is being free. You aren’t some Twoleg’s toy like you are.” Once he was done with his speech, he let out a mischievous mew. “I bet you haven’t even tasted a mouse, huh?”
The orange tom stiffened and then sighed. “No, I haven’t,” he sighed. “At least not yet.” The gray cat tutted. “Well I guess you’d never know what it’s like to truly live, Rusty. You haven’t got warrior blood; you weren’t born wild,” he said. “If you weren’t born in that Twoleg den of yours, you’d understand.” The house cat thought back on his dream and indignantly mewed: “Not true!”. Before he could get another word out, Graypaw’s suddenly bristled coat made him pause. The Clan cat lifted his nose to the air and his eyes widened. “You should go. ThunderClan cats are nearby… If they see you, they wouldn’t be happy about you hunting here.”
Rusty glanced around at the surrounding bushes. He didn’t know how Graypaw was aware of any approaching cats; to him, the crisp night air smelled just the same. But the other cat’s urgency made him nervous. When he didn’t move, Graypaw continued. “Run!” he hissed. But Rusty was frozen. He didn’t know which way to go, the wildcats could be all around!
But he was too late. The sound of shifting leaves from behind him made both Rusty and Graypaw whip their heads around. “What’s going on here?” an unfamiliar voice said as a figure shifted out from the greenery. The new-comming cat strolled majestically towards the two cats, her blue pointed fur glowing silver in the moonlight.
Graypaw immediately snapped to attention in the presence of the new cat. “B-Bluestar, I-” he started, cutting himself off to crouch respectfully in front of the cat, motioning Rusty to do the same. Then, another cat followed the first into the clearing. The large golden tabby glared down at the gray tom with cold eyes.
“Graypaw, what did I say about coming close to the Twolegplace?” the golden cat growled. “Your first night out of camp, and you already are causing trouble.” The gray cat’s ears flattened back against his head “I’m sorry, Lionheart. I just smelled something and I… I didn’t realize how close I was,” Graypaw meowed. The two larger cats’ eyes rested upon Rusty. Their gazes were cold. Threatening. Nothing like Graypaw.
The blue molly spoke first. “And who is this?” she asked. Rusty felt vulnerable under her blue stare. It pierced through him.
“Well I figured out he’s no threat,” the other young cat responded. “Just a Denpet, that’s all.” The orange cat felt anger rise in his pelt. He was sick of being referred to as that. He held his tongue, however. As much as he would like to shoot a retort. The molly’s eyes rested intently on him, noticing his irritation. “I’m Bluestar, young Denpet. And this is Graypaw’s mentor, Lionheart,” she said, motioning to the golden tabby with her slender tail. “She’s the Clan’s leader,” Graypaw hissed to Rusty under his breath.
Bluestar gave a pleased purr to Graypaw’s introduction. “Both of you, sit up,” she mewed. Her voice had softened slightly. “You fight well for a Twoleg pet.” Rusty looked to Graypaw with a confused expression. She eased his bewilderment quickly. “Lionheart and I were watching from the trees. We wanted to see how Graypaw would deal with an intruder without our intervention.” She gave the apprentice the smallest of smiles. “You attacked him bravely.” The gray cat beamed at the praise.
Her attention shifted back to the house cat. “I expected you to flee when you had the chance. I was shocked when you turned to fight, even when you knew he was stronger than you,” she began. The molly paused briefly. “You are an odd Denpet.” Rusty wasn’t sure whether he was supposed to be grateful for her backhanded approval. But he still gave a small nod of thanks. “I was waiting to see when you’d venture into the forest… I’ve often seen you sitting on the leafless trees by your Twolegs’ den,” Bluestar glanced down at Rusty with a thoughtful look. “Your youthful energy is on your side. Perhaps you might have caught that mouse if you didn’t hesitate.”
Rusty’s ears perked up. “R-really?” he asked nervously. She responded with a nod. Before she could get any words out, Lionheart jutted in. “Bluestar, please. This is a Denpet for StarClan’s sake. You can’t encourage him hunting in our territory.” His meow had respect but also intent. “You should just send him back to his den where he belongs.” The house cat’s pride fizzled out. “Please don’t send me back,” he pleaded. “I promise I’ll leave once I catch a mouse or two.”
Bluestar’s calm expression quickly turned to a furious one. “A mouse or two could mean life or death for our Clan!” she snapped, looming over the smaller cat. “Just because you get to eat your pellets whenever you want doesn’t mean there’s enough food to go around out here!” Rusty glanced over at Graypaw and saw the horror on his face. He quickly realized he had spoken out of line, but that didn’t mean the molly had to get so angry.
Fear set in once Lionheart stepped to his leader’s side, joining her in towering over the house cat. Perhaps being so comfortable with these wildcats was a bad idea… Perhaps… They were intent on finishing what Graypaw had started...
The blue molly’s face was barely a mouse-length from Rusty’s, and he felt his fur prickle with anxiety. “I’m sorry…” His voice trembled as he spoke. “I didn’t mean to threaten your Clan.” Bluestar’s anger was unrelenting. “You already have enough food! Why do you need to come into our territory and hunt?” Regret mixed with his fear as her words sunk it. She was right. He was hunting purely for sport. These cats needed all the food they could get. “I… I won’t hunt here again, I promise.”
Her bristled fur fell, and she gave a flick of her tail. Lionheart stepped back and stood next to his apprentice, who sighed with relief when the two older cats backed down. Bluestar and Lionheart’s eyes met, as if they were communicating something without words. Rusty felt curiosity bubbling within him. But he didn’t want to overstep and ask, risking Bluestar’s wrath again. “Is it really so hard to live out here?”
“Of course. We only have control over a portion of the forest,” the molly responded. “The Clans are always fighting for the small amount of resources we have. The forest is only so big.”
Rusty’s eyes widened. “Are there lots of cats in your Clan?”
“There’s enough. ThunderClan is the smallest, though,” she said. “We have enough prey to go around, but none to spare at the end of the day.” The orange cat glanced at the three cats in front of him. “So are all of your Clan warriors like you?”
Lionheart interjected again. “Most are warriors. But others are too old, others are too young. And others choose not to hunt or fight, but help the Clan in other ways.” Rusty felt guilty asking so many questions, but so many thoughts raced through his mind upon encountering these strange cats. “So you all share your prey together?” He was beginning to realize how selfish his life was.
For a long moment, Bluestar and Lionheart’s eyes met once more. Then, after a few heartbeats, she turned back to Rusty with a calm smile. “Well, Rusty, you seem very interested in our way of life,” she meowed. “Perhaps you would be interested in coming to our camp. Would you like to join ThunderClan?”
He couldn’t speak. He was taken off guard by the molly’s proposition. She continued to speak: “If you choose to join us, you will be like Graypaw. You’ll train to become a warrior.”
“But!” Graypaw piped up. “A Denpet can’t be a warrior! He doesn’t have Clan blood!”
“Hush!” Bluestar hissed, flicking her tail at the apprentice.
“Graypaw, Willowpelt does not have Clan blood either, and she is a respectable warrior,” Lionheart spoke gently to his apprentice. The gray cat huffed in annoyance. “Yeah, well that’s different!” The golden tabby ignored his apprentice’s protests and addressed Rusty once more. “We can only offer you training, Denpet. If it is too difficult, we cannot keep you in our Clan.”
Rusty’s brows knitted together with concern. “But… Why ask me then? Why offer me the chance if you think I’ll fail?” he asked. Bluestar was the one to answer. “The truth is, young one, ThunderClan needs more warriors. Our Clan is doomed to be taken over if we cannot fight back,” she said quietly.
“Understand, Denpet, if you choose to join us, you must live like us. If not, you must return to your Twolegs and never return to the forest,” Lionheart told Rusty. “You cannot live with a paw in each world.” Bluestar gave a small nod of agreement. “Our Clan cannot guarantee you food or warmth like your Twolegs can. You will need to work hard to survive; be willing to risk your life for the good of your Clan,” she said. “But you will be a real cat, Denpet. You will know what it is like to be a part of something bigger… You’ll be free.”
Her offer was surreal. Rusty had dreamed about living such a life so many nights. The breeze ruffled his fluffy fear. He shuddered, not only from the cool wind, but because of the anticipation of what could lie ahead.
Lionheart suddenly interrupted his thoughts. “Bluestar. The gathering should be starting soon. We must return to camp,” he said with a flick of his tail. Bluestar glanced at the other warrior. “I wonder if Redtail and Tigerclaw have returned as well…” she muttered, mostly to herself.
Rusty perked up a little. “Wait a minute! Can I think about your offer… Please.”
Bluestar hummed in thought for a moment. “Lionheart will meet you here at Dawn. You can give him your answer then,” she said with a nod. And with that, her tail gave a strange signal, and the three cats disappeared into the underbrush without another word.
He blinked, taking him a few moments to realize they were gone. He stared from the bushes up at the stars, glittering brightly through the canopy of leaves above. Rusty’s ears pricked to the sudden shout of his name, reminding him of where he had to return to. Even if he knew he needed to go back… Something seemed to pull him back, deeper into the forest towards the life he could have.
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So a little while back, my darling @starkerswonderland requested ‘Peter being a college Student (he can also be Spiderman but if he is, no one knows and he had no contact to the Avengers yet) and he has a night full of learning and studying, sitting in his bed surrounded by books...and suddenly there is a loud crash in his apartment, glass shattering..he jumps up to go to the small living room to find his always-in love with-hero Iron Man laying on the ground. His suit obviously damaged and the man inside unconscious...so...Peter can take care of him’ - Apologies it took me so long to get around to it, hopefully you enjoy it! 🥰❤️
Peter knew he should ease off the studying for the night and just go to bed (well, technically he was on his bed so the battle was half won), but the Christmas finals were only a couple of days away. He was pretty confident he'd ace them but even so, he didn't want to take any risks. Taking a sip of his third coffee in two hours (he was trying to cut down, but that was easier said than done), Peter smiled as he watched Karen hop up onto the bed.
"Hey, keeping me company for a change?" The brunette murmured, lightly scratching the grey cat behind the ears. She'd been a little moody lately, only showing Peter any sign of affection when he was filling up her bowl.
Setting the mug down on the nightstand, Peter let the feline crawl into his lap as he picked up his physics textbook. He only got about two pages in before an almighty crash sounded in the living room, Karen instantly leaping off the bed and going to investigate.
"Wait, get back here!" The student hissed, getting up from the bed and heading to his closet, opening it and taking out the baseball bat that May insisted he have in his apartment. Peter wasn't entirely sure how intimidating he looked in his old white 'find x' t-shirt, plaid pyjama bottoms and a baseball bat clutched in his hand, but he couldn't stay in the bedroom forever.
Taking a breath, Peter went to the door, slowly opening it and heading out to the living room. The air was cold, and there was glass all over the floor. He clutched the bat tightly, holding it up as he carefully avoided the glass. The window was broken, and Peter's heart started beating faster as he looked across the dark living room, spotting a figure laying on the floor.
Taking his phone from the waistband of his pants, Peter switched on the torch, his breath hitching as he shone it over the body on the floor. It almost looked like..armour? It was cracked, scratches on the red metal, but Peter couldn't help but think it looked like..
Stepping around to the other side, Peter let out a soft gasp as he took in the sight.
Iron Man was in his living room.
"Uh..hello?" Peter gently reached down and touched the shoulder of the armour, shaking it gently.
He didn't get any kind of response, a horrible feeling settling in his stomach. Why had this happened? Was he okay?
"Mr..Mr.Stark?" Peter asked, hoping the situation would allow him to be so personal. It felt weird referring to the man by his superhero name when he was passed out on the floor, and everyone knew Tony Stark was the man under the mask. Peter especially, he certainly thought about it enough.
But that wasn't important, Peter had bigger things to worry about than the fact that his biggest crush in the world was currently lying unconscious on his living room floor.
Actually, he didn't really, that was pretty much his one and only problem at that particular moment.
"Can you hear me?" Peter asked, kneeling down and gently placing his hand on the..cheek? of the armour around the man's head.
Still no response.
"I hope you don't mind me doing this.." Peter murmured softly, pretty sure his heart was about to beat out of his chest as he touched the face armour, gently tugging it off until it revealed Tony Stark. His eyes were closed, and Peter quickly checked his pulse, letting out a sigh of relief to feel it, albeit weakly.
The man had a couple of scratches on his face, one of his eyes deeply purple. Peter looked down at the wrecked armour, trying to figure out how to take it off. He'd had..far too many fantasies about something exactly like this before, but this situation was serious, Tony could be seriously hurt.
He managed to pry off most of it by hand, it was cold to the touch and left stacked on the coffee table. He had to dig out an old screwdriver to get off the rest, it took some time but Tony still didn't come around. The man was wearing a simple black t-shirt layered over a white long sleeved shirt, with a blue circle indicating the famous arc reactor. Peter stared at it in awe for a moment before gently rolling up the man's sleeves to check for injuries. There were a couple of bruises, nothing major.
Taking a deep breath, Peter carefully pulled up the man's shirt, trying to focus on checking for injuries, refusing to get distracted. Before he could, however, a large purple angry bruise covered most of the man's side, Peter cursing under his breath at the sight of it.
Karen sniffed around him, Peter shooing her away, not wanting her to get glass in her paws. Turning back to the man laying on the wooden floor, Peter decided he couldn't just leave him there. Moving him to the couch wasn't an option with the window broken, a cool breeze sweeping over the room. The only option was..Peter's bed.
Another fantasy that was proving to be much different in reality. Peter wasn't exactly the strongest guy, but he managed to get Tony into his feet, taking the man into his bedroom and laying him down on the bed. Karen followed after them, hopping up beside Tony and pawing at his face gently.
"Get away," Peter sighed, waving his hand as Karen ignored his orders. "leave him alone."
Looking over the older man's clothes, Peter noticed all the blood stains in the dim light of the bedside lamp. He couldn't let him stay like that, what could he give him? Peter doubted any of his clothes would fit Tony and the idea of the man laying naked in his bed was just..not appropriate right now. Just because Peter had seen Tony on TV and in magazines and had a..ridiculously huge crush on him didn't mean that man wasn't technically a stranger, and currently unconscious.
Peter searched his closet for anything he could give the man, managing to dig out a baggy grey sweater and some black sweatpants that he'd bought when he was painting the bathroom, though even tied up they kept falling down.
Karen had settled herself by Tony's head, curled up and purring softly. She gave Peter a slight glare as he gently eased Tony up into a sitting position, peeling the man's shirt off and maybe taking a moment to admire the arc reactor and letting his eyes trail downwards for a moment before putting the sweater on the man and laying him down again. Karen quickly resumed her position by Tony's head, while Peter unbuttoned Tony's jeans and tugged them down, the sight of the blood and bruises on the man's legs taking away any inappropriate thoughts.
He quickly peeled the jeans away, trying not to wince as they stuck slightly, large red gashes on the man's legs turning Peter's stomach. Once Tony's clothes were gathered on the floor and the sweatpants had been put on, Peter carefully draped the blanket over the man and laid him on his side before taking the clothes to the kitchen and tossing them in the washing machine.
While he waited, Peter swept up the glass and taped a couple of trash bags over the window as a temporary replacement before he called a repairman in the morning. The several mugs of coffee he'd taken would keep him from sleeping much anyway, so Peter decided to stay up a while as he moved the clothes to the dryer, sitting up on the counter and scrolling through his phone.
Once the clothes were dry and folded, Peter left them on the dresser in his room, checking Tony was still breathing before slipping into the bed beside him, leaving as much of a gap as he could. It was a surreal moment, and as Peter began to drift off he wondered if he wasn’t already dreaming.
Waking up to Karen pawing at his face, Peter let out a soft groan. He’d had a fitful night of sleep, constantly waking up and falling back into a horrible nightmare that he’d killed Iron Man and was keeping him in the apartment. Sitting up slowly, Peter rubbed his eyes before looking over to the other side of the bed, finding it empty. Had last night actually been a dream?
Slipping the blanket off, Peter got out of the bed and padded into the living room, finding Tony Stark was indeed sitting on his couch and looking through the bits of armour Peter had left on the coffee table. The older man was still wearing Peter’s clothes, which was just slightly thrilling.
“Hi,” Peter suddenly felt incredibly shy now that Tony was awake, his face flushing red as he raised his hand in an awkward wave. “I’m Peter, I uh..this is my apartment..”
“I thought as much,” Tony nodded, frowning at the armour in his hands, Peter’s stomach clenching. “Tony Stark, good to meet you.”
“I’m sorry about that,” Peter gestured to the armour, wringing his hands slightly. “I had to check if you were injured and it was really damaged so it practically came apart in my hands anyway and I didn’t me-”
“Hey,” Tony looked up with a smile, Peter’s heart fluttering like a nervous teenager’s. “it’s okay, don’t worry abo-ow,” The man winced as he went to stand up, clutching his side.
“Here,” Peter instinctively rushed forward, taking the man’s arm and helping him stand. “do you want to go and lie down for a while? That bruise looked pretty bad last night.”
“Is that an invitation?” Tony winked, Peter’s entire body turning a deep shade of pink.
“No, it’s, well, it’s not not, but I just..” Peter was pretty sure he couldn’t make a bigger mess of this if he tried.
“It’s alright, kid,” Tony waved a hand, wincing slightly and gritting his teeth. “either way I think I should lay down, sorry to burden you like this. Last night was..well, I had a little malfunction.”
“Don’t worry about it,” Peter insisted, carefully holding Tony’s waist to help the man into the bedroom. “I mean, it’s not every day a superhero crashes into my apartment.”
“Really? The Hulk has been known to do a little breaking and entering from time to time.” Tony raised an eyebrow, a smile on his face that threatened to melt Peter into a pile of goo on the floor.
“Well you’re the first.” Peter smiled, biting his lip as he helped Tony into the bed.
“I’m flattered,” The older man grinned, Peter’s blush now permanent as he gathered up his laptop and notes, intending to give the man some peace. “you’re not leaving me are you? Think of the kids at least, honey.”
Peter could only laugh, there was no way Tony Stark was actually flirting with him, he knew the man’s reputation. Peter could be anyone and Tony would probably do the same.
“I’ll just..call a repairman, I’ll be right back.” Peter smiled, leaving his things down on the bed and heading out to the kitchen. Once he’d called about the window and filled Karen’s bowl, he got a glass of water and a couple of painkillers, taking them back to the bedroom.
The sight that greeted him was one that would stay in his mind forever, Tony was sitting up in the bed with Karen in his lap, gently scratching the cat’s head while reading over Peter’s physics assignment with the other, a smile on his face.
“So,” The older man turned to Peter with a raised brow as the brunette set the water and painkillers down on the nightstand. “you’re not just a pretty face, I see.”
“Oh, it’s nothing, really..” Peter scratched his neck, an embarrassed heat climbing through his body.
“It’s certainly not nothing,” Tony grinned, patting the empty space beside him. “come on, I feel like having an intelligent conversation and missy here,” He gestured to Karen, the feline purring contently. “isn’t really giving me much to work with.”
As soon as Peter sat down on the bed, they started talking, and didn’t stop for hours.
Tony seemed genuinely interested in Peter’s studies, and Peter was fascinated by everything Tony said, particularly when he mentioned his latest plans for the Stark Phone, talking about the most exciting upcoming tech development in the world as though he was talking about picking up some milk. They talked about their hobbies, apace, music, everything. Peter felt like he’d won the lottery a million times over.
It was only when their stomachs started growling like angry bears did they stop talking, Peter offering to go and make them something to eat. The brunette would be first in line to admit he wasn’t exactly a chef, but May had taught him a couple of things before he moved out on his own which had proved helpful. Rummaging through the fridge, Peter settled on tomato soup and grilled cheese, throwing some music on his phone and humming to himself while he cooked. Once it was prepared (and any minor spills quickly cleaned), Peter got out a couple of trays, lamenting that the only ones in his possession were Star Wars themed. They didn’t exactly scream ‘sophisticated adult’, but he had no choice.
He carried Tony’s in first, Karen reluctantly crawling off the man’s lap as Peter set the tray down.
“Watch out, I could get used to this.” Tony winked, Peter turning the same colour as the soup before smiling and going to get his own tray.
Any plans Peter had to spend his Saturday studying were quickly dispatched with, preferring to make the most of having Tony Stark in his bed. Well, mostly. The repairman arrived shortly after they’d eaten, the armour on the coffee table quickly being relegated to the bedroom and hidden along with Tony. By the late afternoon the window had been replaced, and Peter was back in bed with the older man, Karen curled up between them as they watched, at Tony’s insistence, A New Hope on Peter’s laptop.
About halfway through the film, Peter was pretty sure he could feel Tony’s hand on his, but chose not to look, fearing the disappointment should it turn out to be his imagination.
Later that evening, Tony went for a shower, changing back into his own clothes and informing Peter that he’d have to be heading back home.
Of course he would. Peter knew the man couldn’t stay with him forever, but it still hurt to see him go, even if the kiss Tony left on his cheek did bring a smile to his face that was in no danger if disappearing.
A week later, walking out of his last exam, Peter wanted nothing more than to go home, fall into bed and sleep. But, because he was an idiot (and a good friend), he’d agreed to going out to celebrate with MJ, Ned and a couple of classmates.
Arriving home to change, Peter picked up the mail, and was a little surprised to see a red and gold package sitting on the table, ‘Blame Bruce for the B&E, thank me for the rest -TS’ written on the tag.
His heart was in his throat as he slowly opened it, a note falling out that caught his attention first.
Just wanted to properly thank you for letting me crash at your place, please find attached a cheque to cover the cost of the window and a little extra for yourself.
P.S, Call Me x’
With a slightly shaky hand, Peter looked at the cheque attached to the back of the note, $5,000 neatly scrawled on it. He sat down at the table (well, fell and landed on a chair), blinking at the paper for a few moments before daring to look up, reaching for the package and peeling away the wrapping to find a Stark Phone. They’d only been released the day before, instantly selling out.
He dared to take it out of the box before he woke up and realised his was a dream, opening the contacts with a shaky, cautious finger and finding only one.
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Whoo! Sorry for taking a hot minute to actually get this out.. I'll admit I've been distracted with Assassin's Creed Valhalla (doing all the leg work while my "brother" chases a stone). But here is chapter one! At some point I'll cross post to ao3 but onwards!
The heat was stifling in the crowded den. Or maybe it was just the amount of bodies that made his skin crawl. Either way, it roughly pulled Witherpaw from his fitful sleep. He raised his head to glare at no one in the dark den. He drew in a deep breath and let it out slowly as his eyes flickered around to the den's occupants.
Whitepaw and Sorrelpaw were curled around each other in a mostly white ball of fur just behind him. Across from him was Shrewpaw who slept peacefully with Spiderpaw in a nest at Shrewpaw's head. Spiderpaw's brow was furrowed, annoyed even in sleep. Then, behind Shrewpaw, in the same nest no doubt, was his own sister Squirrelpaw. She was on her back, one white paw twitching every so often as she dreamed.
He wasn't sure how he always ended up in the middle but he had a sneaking suspension it was on purpose more often than not. He slowly got to his paws, freezing every time he heard someone shift, and gingerly made his way out of the den. Once he was out he shook his pelt, as a wave of relief crashed over him.
It was still too early for anyone to be up as the stars twinkled above in the night sky. He padded over to a more secluded part of camp but still able to see most of it. He pulled together the moss and feathers he had hidden in this spot for this purpose. The apprentices and many of the warriors just assumed Witherpaw was an early riser. The truth was he often slept in this spot after everyone had fallen asleep. He tried to sleep in the den with the others but he never got decent rest. Even when he was a young kit in the nursery with Squirrelpaw and Leafpaw, he felt crowded. He couldn't explain it, he just always felt like he was being stifled. He'd learned to ignore it for the most part but it was still there.
After circling the make shift nest a couple of times, Witherpaw collapsed into it with a heavy sigh. He shifted so his chin was on his paws as he fought to make sleep return to him. He was sure he didn't fall fully back to sleep but the cool breeze ruffling his fur and the open sky at least let him doze a bit.
Witherpaw grumbled in annoyance as he heard a rustle from somewhere in camp. He cracked open his eyes and lazily looked around for the source of the noise. The entrance to the warriors den rustled and a gray pelt emerged. He watched through lidded eyes as Graystripe stretched. The gray warrior had barely reached out with a back leg before he abruptly stumbled forward a few pawsteps. Behind Graystripe, a white and gray tabby appeared and gave him another shove out of the way. Graystripe gasped dramatically and flopped over onto his side, a paw over his eyes.
He was saying something, but was too quite for Witherpaw to hear from his spot. Whatever it was, must have been amusing because the other warrior, Snowstep, twitched her ears and whiskers. A moment later, another pelt shouldered out into the open. This time it was Thornclaw, twin to the clan's deputy Brackenfur. He looked between the two other warriors and shook his head. He signed something to Snowstep and the tabby responded by flopping over Graystripe. Witherpaw heard the soft oof as the unexpected weight forced air from the gray warriors lungs.
Thornclaw padded past them both, flicking them both in the face with his tail, and another shake of his head. Both Graystripe and Snowstep untangled themselves and followed the golden warrior out of camp. Witherpaw suspected that they were either a dawn border patrol or hunting. Snowstep and Thornclaw were both more often sent out as hunters but that didn't mean they always were. Brackenfur often mixed it up so the warriors didn't get bored, especially when prey was easy to find. In the leaner moons, the more hunter inclined warriors were sent out exclusively to hunt.
However, Witherpaw didn't want to think too much more on it as his eyes slid shut. It felt like he had just closed his eyes when rustling again pulled him from rest. This time it was Brackenfur who pushed his way from the den. He stretched each leg before he shook his pelt. He trotted over to the entrance and stopped to give himself a quick wash. A few moments later both Rainwhisker and Ashstorm joined the deputy and all three headed out.
He knew he wasn't going to get back to sleep so with an annoyed grunt, he pushed himself to his paws. He went about scattering the remains of the nest before padding over toward the apprentice's den. He sat down outside it and started giving himself a thorough washing. He rasped his tongue along his paw and drew it over his ear a couple times before movement caught his attention.
Leafpaw trotted from the medicine cat den, looking far more awake and ready for the day than Witherpaw felt. She paused to look around camp and she seemed to perk up as she saw him. She made her way to him just as he splayed his paw to clean between his toes.
"Good morning! You're up early as usual," Leafpaw greeted. She sat beside Witherpaw, pressed so close that he could feel the faint rumble of a purr go through her.
"You're up early too. Guess Cinderpelt has you going after herbs today?" Witherpaw asked as he leaned into his sister's warmth.
"Yeah, she wants to get going as soon as the dawn patrol brings back prey. She wants to start storing some of the hardier plants before it starts cooling."
"I think the hunting patrol has already left so it shouldn't be too long. Is she going with you or can you go by yourself yet?"
Leafpaw turned to look at him with wide amber eyes, "Are you kidding? I still have so much to learn, I don't think I'll ever be able to do it myself."
Witherpaw snorted and touched his nose to her ear. He knew better than to argue with her. He watched as everyday she made leaps and bounds in her learning, and if he were honest it made his stomach clench. He had often played with the idea of becoming the medicine cat apprentice himself when he was a kit. However, he'd quickly squashed that idea when he'd watch Leafpaw (then Leafkit) watch Cinderpelt with such awe and admiration. He'd known that no matter how much being a warrior hadn't really appealed to him, there was no way he could take away Leafpaw's destiny. And as everyday slowly dragged by the less and less certain that Witherpaw felt he belonged here. He was only above average in everything and had no drive to become better.
As the two of them sat in comfortable silence, Witherpaw's mind continued to swirl. He'd never be able to leave Thunderclan. The idea of leaving behind his family sent such a strong sense of grief through him that sometimes he had to physically stop and catch his breath. However, despite knowing he'd never be able to leave he still felt restless. When Brightheart hadn't given him a specific task for the time, he often found himself wandering the territory. He always stopped at the borders but that didn't mean he didn't look across and wonder what was on the other side. Sometimes, warriors of any clan would find him simply sitting and staring at nothing in particular. He knew he unnerved a few of his clanmates, and more in the other clans, but he technically wasn't breaking any rules so they really didn't have any reason to try and stop him.
He was brought out of his thoughts when movement caught his attention once again by the warrior's den. He caught the tail of someone slipping into the den instead of out. He realized that the sun had finally started showing more and more and life began to start around camp. Cinderpelt padded from her den and stretched with a wide yawn just as the two patrols from earlier filed into camp. Witherpaw could hear the faint squeaks of kits just waking up as Brackenfur carried his prey over to his sister. The siblings bumped heads affectionately before the deputy turned back to join the warriors at the prey pile.
"Better go and eat," Witherpaw said as he gave Leafpaw a nudge.
"Oh, right," Leafpaw muttered sleepily. Witherpaw purred at her as she stood and went to join her mentor.
He turned his attention back to the warriors and watched as Graystripe slipped into the den. He flicked his ear as he heard shuffling from behind him, telling him that at least one of the other apprentices was awake. He tilted his head as Graystripe exited the den followed by Cloudwhisker and then a heartbeat later Brambleheart stumbled out. The dark tabby looked a little frazzled and still half asleep as he paused just a few steps beyond the den. Right behind him, a pale molly slipped out of the den.
She pressed against Brambleheart as she padded past only to stop briefly to touch her nose to his ear, causing the tom to shiver and blink in confusion. He seemed to be jumpy and tense even after the molly stepped away from him. She stopped in the middle of camp and looked around with so much pride her eyes glowed with it. However, there was also a deep sadness just underneath the surface. She took time to look at each cat awake with the fondness a mother would look at her kits with. The molly then looked at the leader's den with a longing that made Witherpaw's own heart ache. As her wise blue eyes finally moved to where Witherpaw was sitting outside the apprentice den, her gaze passed right over him as if he wasn't even there.
A moment later, Sorrelpaw was barrelling across the camp and right through the molly. Witherpaw blinked as the image of the molly shattered into dust that wasn't even really there to behind with. With the molly gone, Witherpaw turned his full attention to Brambelheart and Sorrelpaw playfully scuffling across camp. It was another reason he felt out of place among the clan, he often saw cats that weren't visible to anyone else. There were a few that would appear every so often, but the cats he saw stayed near either the medicine cat den or the leader's den. The cats never acknowledged him or his ability to see him so he figured they didn't know he could see them. Or perhaps, it was that they couldn't see him. Either way, Witherpaw had never mentioned it to anyone, never feeling the need to, and nothing bad ever seemed to come from it.
However, it was obvious that that particular molly had come to see Brambleheart. That was a first and now Witherpaw was curious. What had been so important that the molly had to go to a warrior and not either Cinderpelt or FIrestar? His eyes narrowed as he watched Brambleheart and Sorrelpaw finally separate and the tabby seemed more relaxed than he had been moments ago. Witherpaw felt his pulse jump a little in excitement as he decided to watch Brambleheart closely for the next few days. It was a good way to practice his stalking and it gave his paws something to do and for the first time in a little while, that restless feeling faded. Whatever was going on with the dark tabby warrior, Witherpaw was now determined to find out.
Arc1, book 2: Chapter 13
As he plunged into the stream Icebelly manged to keep one clawhold on the branch. He felt as if he were fighting a spiky wooden enemy, twigs that lashed at him and raked through his fur while his breath bubbled into the dark water. His head broke the surface briefly, but before he could gasp in air the branch twisted and rolled him under again.
Terror made him strangely calm, as if time had slowed down. Part of Icebelly's mind told him to let go of the branch and fight his way to the surface, but he knew that if he did that he would risk his life; the current was far too strong for him to swim. The force of the water meant there was nothing he could do but dig claws in and endure. Starclan help me! he thought frantically.
His senses were just beginning to ebb into the a tempting darkness when the branch rolled over again and brought him back to the surface. Choking and spitting he clung to it, with water churning along on either side of him. He could not see the bank. He tried to haul himself further out of the water, but his sodden fur was too heavy and his limbs were growing stiff with cold. He did not know how long he could hold on.
Just as he felt that he was about to let go, something brought the branch to a jarring stop. It shuddered along its whole length, almost throwing Icebelly off. As he clung on desperately, he heard a cat screech his name. Twisting his head, he saw that the other end of the branch was jammed against a rock that jutted out into the stream.
Fogtail was crouched on the rock, leaning down toward him. "Move, kittypet!" he growled.
With the last drop of his energy, Icebelly scrambled along the length of the branch. Twigs whipped across his face. He felt the branch lurch again and flung himself at the rock, his front paws scraping at it while hind legs thrust through the water. His paws had barley touched stone when the branch was swept away from underneath him.
For a heartbeat Icebelly thought he would follow it. The rock was smooth; there was no purchase for his paws. Then Fogtail reached down and Icebelly felt his teeth meet in the scruff of his neck. With the other cat's help he manged to claw his way upward until he was crouching on the top of the rock. Shivering, he coughed up several mouthfuls of stream water before he looked up. "Thanks, Fogtail" he gasped
Fogtail seemed in a trance for a moment then looked away "It was nothing"
Tiger-roar padded up behind from the rock. "Are you hurt?" he demanded "Can you walk?"
"I..I'll live" he groaned. He felt a paw hit his side. He saw the tortie molly from before but there was a tortie tom as her side. They must be related.
"Danger" the molly said
"Rapids help" the tortie tom added
Icebelly felt confused but the memory of saving Pikekit and Perchkit ran through his mind. "Apprentices" Goosefeather's voice yowled.
"Icebelly?" he felt Fogtail nudge him
"Others are in danger" he replied standing up with a jolt
"What?" Fogtail said in confusion
"How would you know kittypet?" Chestnutclaw sneered
"I just know listen"
The sound of distressed yowls became audible then went down a little but then became higher. "Help!" That was Ebonypaw
"Someone please!" Smokepaw yowled
"Move" Icebelly hissed
Chestnutclaw growled "I'm not-"
"My kits are in danger" Tiger-roar stormed past heading to the sound of the voices. Icebelly followed the mighty tabby as did Fogtail, he didn't care to see if Chestnutclaw was following. He wouldn't be surprised if Chestnutclaw had tried to have him killed. He did express his concerns to Bluestar about his and Raveneye's suspions of Tiger-roar and Nightshade but Bluestar had lashed out at him and told him her kits would never do such a thing, she also threaten with exile from Lionheart's death.
He nearly crashed into Tiger-roar when the deputy had stopped dead. He looked over the side, he saw flashes of fur. He didn't think, he acted. He jumped in with reckless abandon, he saw Ebonypaw thrashing in the water. He fought against the rapids as best as he could. He saw the apprentice's head go under and dived down. He remembered his training from Riverclan and kept his eyes open.
He bit into the black apprentice's scruff. He didn't cough as he came to surface, that would mean letting go. He did his best to swim back but the tide was trying to swallow him. He felt something hit his head and realized it was a stick being held by Fogtail.
"Ebonypaw bite into me and don't let go" Ebonypaw didn't argue. Icebelly didn't flinch as he felt the sharp sting of teeth fastening into his flesh. He wrapped one arm around the black apprentice and fastened his jaw onto the stick and gripped it with his free paw.
Fogtail snapped his head to the side, moving the stick faster until it neared dry land. Icebelly pulled himself a few inches onto the ground before falling. Ebonypaw fell into her side, coughing up water then panting. Icebelly quickly got up, he nudged the apprentice "Who else?"
"O..wl...Li..ght..P..Patch..W..Wren..Ch..ive" Ebonypaw stammered. Tiger-roar pulled Ebonypaw close to him, licking her ferociously. The dark tabby's fur was dripping wet which told Icebelly that he had been in the waves as well but didn't have any luck.
Icebelly knew in his gut that cats would die, he wondered if Ebonypaw realized he couldn't save them all. Even if most of the clan was here, they had to think smart and know that the rapids were dangerous.
Icebelly dashed back in, fighting with his might looking for the other apprentices. "Icebelly over there!" Fogtail yowled
He turned his head and saw Lightpaw clinging to a rock. He pushed against the waves, he felt a wave swallow him for a moment, he quickly went back to the surface. He nearly smashed into the the rock Lightpaw was clinging on.
"Come!" He yowled to the apprentice
Lightpaw was frozen, the waves lapping at her white fur. Her eyes closed and her breathing was ragged. Icebelly had no time for Lightpaw's trance. He grabbed the apprentice's scruff and made his way back to the ledge. He was almost there when he felt his leg caught in something, it was sharp as thorn. He wanted to yowl but he wasn't going to let Lightpaw die, seeing Redtail looking off only fueled that.
He ignored the sharp pain as it dug deeper into his flesh. He tossed Lightpaw to the side. He fell with a thump his energy draining, he smelled blood.
"Where are the others! I told Chestnutclaw to get help!" Fogtail mewed as he licked Icebelly's injured leg. He saw Tiger-roar toss Chivepaw to the side.
Icebelly panted, he wanted to let sleep take him but the tortie molly's stare made him shut it away. The molly said nothing but pointed her head to the right.
Icebelly turned his head to see Wrenpaw, Patchpaw, and Stagpaw climbing a tree but he froze in horror when he saw Chestnutclaw on the branch, he grabbed Patchpaw by her scruff and toss her but the apprentice didn't hit the waves but the rocks close by, the crack of bone rang through almost over taking the sound of rushing water.
"NO!" Icebelly screeched
"Fox-heart!" Sandstorm's yowl cracked through as a patrol came over, Ebonypaw leading.
The last thing Icebelly heard before blacking out was Wrenpaw and Stagpaw's yowl of help.
Raveneye sat close to Icebelly but was close enough to hear Sandstorm hiss as Thymepaw's placed more cobwebs on her wounds. "You did well sis"
"Should've killed him" Sandstorm muttered. Raveneye glanced at Lightpaw, she was awake but her face said all her emotions, grief.
"You almost fell into the water" Raveneye said, he laid a tail in her shoulder. He could practically feel his friend's anger and grief. He felt worry for Icebelly but hot anger for Chestnutclaw, he got along better with his mother and Duststorm more then that fox-heart. If it hadn't been for Ebonypaw's quick action Wrenpaw wouldn't have survived. Stagpaw had fallen in and drowned. He was so proud of his apprentice and he made her aware of that despite what happened.
"Would've been worth it" Sandstorm growled "I lost Redtail and now I lost Patchpaw"
Thymepaw met Sandstorm's eyes "Redtail wouldn't have wanted you to have died too"
Sandstorm tried standing "I was supposed to protect her"
"You did all you could, you didn't predict this Sandstorm" Raveneye mewed, easing her back down.
Sandstorm didn't reply but she didn't need too. Thymepaw finished her treatment and let Sandstorm stand.
Good timing because Bluestar called a meeting. Sandstorm and Raveneye padded out of the den with Thymepaw and Lightpaw following. Sandstorm sat close to the center with Duststorm, Raveneye, and Cherrycloud.
The clan was gathered in a scattered circle, Chestnutclaw in the center. His head was still bleeding from Sandstorm's harsh blow to his head that knocked him out.
"Thunderclan, we a traitor in our clan" Bluestar said, her voice void of emotion as she rested her harsh blue gaze on Chestnutclaw " a heartless killer"
"They were taking away resources, the strong survive while the weak die" Chestnutclaw replied "I don't know how cats like Nettlesong, Cypressflower or Raveneye made it this far though"
Raveneye dug his claws into the ground. He remembered the times Chestnutclaw would bash him into the ground during training with their mentors and with Robinwing.
"You tried to kill your siblings!" Robinwing spat, shoving past Raveneye "You killed Stagpaw!". He didn't expect Robinwing to acknowledge him as her son, she rarely did so. He and Icebelly bonded on their mommy issues. Cherrycloud was mostly in the middle and did her own thing. Robinwing would rather praise Duststorm, Fogtail, or Chestnutclaw, heh, not anymore.
"They were weak blooded and deserved to die, they didn't deserve your attention." Chestnutclaw snarled "Nor the ones in your belly either" He tried to lunge at Robinwing but Fogtail and Duststorm stopped him. Robinwng stumbled back and Speckletail pulled her to her side.
Raveneye did his best to get along with his younger siblings but it was kinda hard when Robinwing paid more attention to them rather then in his litter. He bonded the most with Wrenpaw.
Raveneye felt Icebelly rub against him as the white tom sat down. "Glad I didn't miss much" he drawled
"Chestnutclaw for your crimes, I sentence you into exile, if any warriors see you by sunrise tomorrow they will have my permission to kill you"
Raveneye saw Sandstorm bare her teeth, he had a feeling Sandstorm would disappear for a while. They had barley manged to grab Patchpaw's corpse. The apprentice's head had been split open.
"That's your punishment?" Chestnutclaw laughed, Raveneye had the urge to slash the look of his face.
"You have no one Chestnutclaw, no siblings, no mother or father, and no clanmates after what you did. You are on your own and I didn't have your wounds treated for a reason"
Chestnutclaw seemed to remember he was injured. "Now, get out!"
Raveneye saw his brother, no the traitor make a quick brake for the camp entrance but he turned his head in time to see Bluestar smirk and mew "On second thought, let's move the killing to now, the chase is on"
Sandstorm didn't need to be told twice.
Icebelly chuckled weakly as Graystripe was playing with Meadowpaw, Cottonpaw, and Milkpaw. Cloudpaw was being softly groomed by Snowfeather. Milkpaw had rejected her old name and asked Bluestar for a different one, to her it was the same thing. He figured this was from Robinwing's influence. Snowfeather just wanted her kit to be happy.
His nieces and nephew had meet Olive and Harvey many times since they became apprentices but he had to hear from Tommy and Chocolate that Olive and Harvey had moved without any warning. Snowfeather had been devastated at the news, Graystripe had been the one to help bring a smile to her face for the days after.
He did have a time spitting at Seedspots when he saw her insulting Nettlesong just for asking how her day by saying he was useless. Voletail wasn't any better bringing Cypressflower to the point of tears. He chased both of them off.
The clan didn't need this right now. Smokepaw, Owlpaw,Swiftpaw, and Petalpaw had also been taken by the flood, They found Owlpaw's corpse under a log and found Swiftpaw injured and soaked but alive but they were still looking for Smokepaw and Petalpaw's bodies.
Sandstorm had went after Chestnutclaw without as second thought as soon as Bluestar allowed it. She had come back bloody but she did admit she came close but didn't kill him.
Bluestar had given Ebonypaw a warrior name for it was long overdue and her courage and quick action even when she had been exhausted displayed she was ready. Bluestar named her Ebonyfoot. She named the others warriors, Chivepaw became Chivestalk, Wrenpaw became Wrenfeather, and Lightpaw became Lightcloud.
Frostbite had her second litter of two: Whitekit and Hazykit and Spottedleaf had her litter of one: Marigoldkit.
He heard Bluestar's mighty yowl and padded over. "With the flooding still present, only warriors may go to this gathering: Darkstripe,Whitestorm,Mousefur, Cinderfrost, Magpiethroat, Sandstorm, Ebonyfoot, Chivestalk,Wrenfeather, Lightcloud, Graystripe" Bluestar dropped her gaze to rest on Icebelly.
"Spottedleaf Yellowfang is Icebelly fit?"
"Aside from his normal issues, he's fine" Spottedleaf replied to her mother
Bluestar nodded "Then you may go"
Icebelly was glad, he wanted to see how the flooding was affecting the rest of the clans.
"I don't see why a mentally ill cat should go represent Thunderclan" Seedspots whispered to Darkstripe
"Bluestar pities the Kittypets and the broken cats" Voletail sneered "It's sad that we have to share prey with them"
Icebelly tried to ignore the jabs as he followed after Magpiethroat, Sandstorm, and Graystripe.
The sun had gone down, and twilight blurred the shapes of the forest. Bluestar took them straight through the trees to the place where the stream emerged from a hard stone tunnel underneath the Thunder-path, and Icebelly wondered what his leader was planning to do. When they reached the tunnel, he saw that floodwater spread out on either side, reflecting the pale light of the rising moon. Water covered the Thunderpath as well, and as the cats watched they saw a monster pass by, moving slowly, throwing up a filthy wave from its round black paws.
Once the monster had disappeared into the distance, Bluestar led her cats to the water's edge on the hard surface of the Thunderpath. She sniffed the water, wrinkling her nose at the stench, and cautiously put one paw into the flood. "It's shallow enough here" she mewed "We can walk up the Thunderpath until we're on the other side of the stream, and get to Fourtrees along the border with Shadowclan"
Walk up the Thunderpath! Icebelly felt his coat begin to prickle with fear at the thought of deliberately following the tracks of the monsters. Unlike in the city, the cars here were more reckless and he didn't forget Cinderfrost's accident.
"What if another monster comes?" Graystripe asked, voicing Icebelly's fear.
"We will keep to the side" Bluestar replied calmly "You saw how slowly that monster was moving. Maybe they don't like getting their paws wet"
Icebelly saw that Graystripe still looked doubtful. He shared his friend's worries, but there was no point in protesting any more. Tiger-roar would just berate them for being cowards but with what happened to Smokepaw, Petalpaw, and Owlpaw maybe they should try their luck.
"Bluestar, wait" Whitestorm called as his aunt waded into the water. "Remember how low our territory is on the other side of this stream? I can't help thinking it will be flooded there, too. I don't think we'll get to Fourtrees without going onto Shadowclan territory, which is higher"
The last thing Thunderclan needed was to get in a fight with Shadowclan, more than what happened a little while ago. Chestnutclaw had lead a patrol near the Shadowclan border and a fight broke out but no one had been hurt badly or killed.
Bluestar paused with water lapping over her paws, and looked back at Whitestorm. "Maybe" she acknowledged, "but we'll have to risk it, if it's the only way"
She set off again without giving her cats any time to protest. There was nothing to do but follow. Icebelly splashed along the edge of the Thunderpath just behind Whitestorm, Tiger-roar brought up the rear to keep a lookout for monsters coming up from behind.
At first everything was quiet, except for a single monster traveling in the other direction on the opposite side of the Thunderpath. Then Icebelly heard the familiar growling and the splash of an approaching car.
"Look out!" Tiger-roar yowled from the end of the line.
Icebelly froze, pressing himself against the low wall that edged the Thunderpath as it crossed the stream. Darkstripe scrambled on top of it and crouched there, baring his teeth at the monster as it passed. Magpiethroat had pulled Cinderfrost to the side when the pointed gray cat had froze up. For a moment its strange, glittering colors were reflected in the stinking water, and a wave washed out from it, soaking Icebelly as far as his belly fur.
Then it was gone, and Icebelly could breathe again.
"Thanks Magpiethroat" Cinderfrost mewed
As they reached the other side of the stream Icebelly could see that Whitestorm was right. The low-lying land on the to do but continue along edge of the Thunderpath until the land rose and dry enough to walk on.
Stepping thankfully off the paw-achingly hard Thunderpath, Icebelly raised his head and opened his jaws. A strong, rank yet familiar stench filled his scent glands-the scent of Shadowclan! They followed the Thunderpath out of Thunderclan territory, and now a swath of Shadowclan land lay between them and Gathering at Fourtrees.
"We shouldn't be here" Wrenfeather muttered uneasily. If Bluestar heard the comment, she ignored it, quickening the pace until they racing across the sodden turf. There were few trees hers, and the close-cropped grass offered no cover for trespassing cats. Icebelly's heart was beating fast, and not only from the speed of their journey. If Shadowclan cats caught them, they would be in trouble, but Fourtrees was not far away, and their luck might hold.
Then he caught sight of a dark shadow streaking over the ground ahead of them, on a course to intercept Bluestar at the head of her patrol. More shadow's followed, and a furious yowling split the quiet of the night.
For a heartbeat Bluestar quickened her pace, as if she thought she could outrun the challengers. Then she slowed to a stop. Her warriors did the same. Icebelly stood panting: the shadows drew closer, and he saw that they were Shadowclan cats, headed by their leader, Silverstar.
"Bluestar!" she spat as she halted in front of the Thunderclan leader. "Why have you brought your cats into Shadowclan land?" Silverstar was tall enough to reach Bluestar's neck so it was somewhat easy for her to try to size Bluestar up. Silverstar had inherited Yellowfang's uncommon height as had Brokenstar which had made him more frighting when he was alive.
"In these floods, it was the only way to reach Fourtrees" Bluestar replied, her voice low and steady. "We mean no harm, Silverstar. You know there's a truce for the Gathering"
Silverstar hissed, her ears flattened against her head and her fur birstling. "The truce holds at Fourtrees" she snarled "There is no truce here"
Instinctively, Icebelly dropped into a defensive crouch. The Shadowclan cats slipped silently into a semicircle around the smaller band from Thunderclan. Like Silverstar, their coats were bristling and their tails lashed in anger. Their hostile eyes reflected the cold light of the moon. Icebelly knew that if it came to a fight, Thunderclan was hopelessly outnumbered.
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