Seeing as how it’s still July 4th in much of the western hemisphere, Happy Independence Day to those of my followers who live in the States! And happy...uh...bald eagle drawing to everybody else...?
Prove Me Wrong, Darling
who doesn't love a bit of enemies to lovers? :)
You and Agatha had never gotten along. From your perspective, it was due to a conflict of interest. Whereas if you asked her, she'd likely say it was a conflict of intelligence, or something else insulting along those lines. Though the issue you had with the fellow witch wasn't her attitude, rather her underestimation of your powers. It'd started with her massacre of the Coven, when she'd attempted to end your life alongside the others. But to her surprise, you'd been strong enough to defend yourself and escape. Since then, there'd been several instances where your paths had crossed, and you hadn't let her live down the failure yet.
This particular occasion was different, however, as Agatha had asked you for help.
It'd taken everything in you not to immediately mock her. But you knew that she'd leave without further explanation if she felt ridiculed, and you were just dying to know what had made her stoop to your level. So, you'd swallowed your pride and attentively listened to her proposal. It'd mostly featured the repeated phrases "immense power" and "huge source of energy," and even a confession that she was baffled by the cause, which only intrigued you further.
Although you weren't too interested in accumulating anymore power, the opportunity to be on level ground with Agatha was too good to pass on. You confessed this to her upon accepting the invitation, which resulted in an unimpressed eye roll. Regardless of her annoyance, you left that same day, arriving in the least expected location. A quaint town in New Jersey.
"Well," You landed behind Agatha in the middle of a road, surveying the picturesque, colourless neighbourhood. "isn't this lovely."
She pursed her lips, looking round similarly perplexed. "Lovely?" She echoed. "This is like every outdated suburban stereotype rolled into one. Like some kind of picture-perfect movie set."
Her condescending comment jogged a memory. "That's what I was thinking of!" You exclaimed, clapping your hands enthusiastically. "Did you ever watch that sitcom- from the 50s? The Dick Van Dyke Show?"
"From the title alone I'm glad I didn't."
"Seriously, it's practically the same setting." You moved to stand directly in front, forcing her to look at you.
"So, what you're saying is someone used this insane amount of power just to recreate their favourite TV show?" She quirked an eyebrow, clearly unimpressed by your theory.
"Well, wouldn't you?"
"Anyway." You glanced down at the rather eye-catching ensemble Agatha was currently wearing, then at your comparably casual yet modern clothes. "This isn't going to work." With a wave of your hand, the jeans and jumper combo was replaced by a more period accurate pencil skirt and blouse. Satisfied, you looked up at her expectantly.
Taking it as a challenge, she copied the gesture, managing to both create a new dress and fix up her hair. She smirked, enjoying the chance to show off her superior abilities.
"It's not a competition." You huffed.
She placed a hand on your arm fake comfortingly. "Of course not, dear."
The contact caused you to shiver slightly. It felt as though her touch ignited sparks, though the sensation wasn't exactly unpleasant. Quite the opposite, in fact. But indulging in it didn't feel right either, so you were grateful when Agatha removed her hand.
Her face dropped, eyebrows furrowing. Slowly, she swivelled round to point at a house. "There. Can you feel it?"
Following her outstretched finger, you tuned into the energy, focusing specifically on the house. "Mhm." Unsurprisingly, Agatha was right. An unfamiliar energy was being emitted from whoever was inside. You tried to pinpoint what kind of magic the user possessed, but found no trace of any familiar type. "Shall we go meet the neighbours, then?"
"You read my mind." She muttered, narrowing her eyes and offering an arm without so much as sparing a glance in your direction.
You hesitated, taken aback by the kind gesture. It hadn't dawned on you until then that an incredibly powerful being was residing little over 10 metres away, and that you were both about to willingly walk into their house. Looping your arm with hers created a naïve sense of safety.
Neither spoke as you approached the house with faux confidence, only pausing for Agatha to summon a potted plant. A house warming gift, you guessed. The simple gesture of goodwill brought a smile to your face.
"I didn't expect you to be such a considerate neighbour." You whispered.
"Gotta make a good first impression." She reached out to knock against the door.
You sighed. Barely an hour spent in this black and white world and you were already bored. Everything was so tiresomely perfect, so normal that you questioned how you'd ever suffered through those terrible old sitcoms in the first place. Sitting in Wanda's living room, the only entertainment was your partner in crime Agatha, or Agnes, as you ought to say.
She was currently flipping through a magazine, tracing the page with her index finger and reading aloud to help Wanda prepare for her anniversary.
"Any notable date you can remember? Special occasion?" She asked the redhead. "You know, to remind him of good times." She winked suggestively, briefly glancing at you with an expression that only you could decipher. She was enjoying flustering Wanda a little too much.
"Oh...I don't know." She trailed off, untrustworthy eyes darting around the room. "Do you two have any memorable date? Maybe I could steal some ideas."
Had the sitcom spell effected you, this would've been the ironic moment in which you spat out whatever drink was currently in your mouth. Fortunately though, you'd declined the offer of tea earlier, and opened your mouth to correct her.
Agatha beat you to it by nudging you with her elbow. "Oh don't we just?" She laughed deeply until you joined in with a forced chuckle.
Deciding to join in with her game, you hummed thoughtfully. "What about that picnic we had? In Salem, remember?" Judging by the way her eyes flashed dangerously, she knew you were referring to that dreadful night with the Coven, serving as revenge for the sudden change in relationship status. "Agnes decided the best time to go on a date would be at night- and in the middle of forest of all places!"
Agnes threw back her head in exaggerated laughter. "Oh hush! I thought it'd be romantic. Besides, you're the one who got us completely lost, dear." She continued, further adding depth to the altered anecdote. "And I'd say it went pretty well regardless." She turned to whisper conspiratorially to Wanda. "So I'll spare you the dirty details."
The three of you fell into easy laughter, only interrupted by the shrill ring of the telephone. "If you'll excuse me." Wanda stood up to answer. "That's probably Vis."
You took the distraction as respite from forcing such an overly hospitable smile, finding that your cheeks were already aching. For the last few minutes, you'd been aware of a pair of eyes watching you closely, and finally turned to face the witch sitting next to you.
Agatha said nothing, her invasive eyes never leaving yours as she took a sip of her drink. You could practically see the gears turning in her head as she thought something through, and dreaded to wonder what she was about to say.
Reaching some form of a conclusion, she leant forward to place her drink down on the table. "Kiss me." She murmured through clenched teeth, momentarily glancing at Wanda, who's back was turned.
"Excuse me?" Out of all the possible things she could've said, this request seemed the least plausible in your mind.
"When Wanda turns round she should see us-" Agatha gestured her hand back and forth as if vocalising what she was implying was too sinful to put into words. Her vagueness was met by your blank stare. "Y'know?"
"No?" You shook your head, unable to comprehend why she'd ask such a thing, untrusting your interpretation of her suggestion.
"Just-" Agatha raised her hands to grasp your face. Hesitated. Then threw them back down into her lap and sighed in frustration. The fact she was struggling to initiate contact was laughable, though eventually you took pity on her.
Leaning forward, you kept your eyes open to watch for Agatha's reaction. You found it amusing that upon realising what you were trying to do, her eyes shut impossibly fast. Satisfied that she was consenting, you raised one hand to cup her cheek and continued to chase after her lips. The kiss was chaste and affectionately mundane, exactly at it should be.
In response, she grabbed your knees and pulled you closer, nipping at your bottom lip. Clearly Agatha wasn't on the same wavelength as you. Her hands shifted further up to your thighs, bringing a startling heat to the kiss. You gasped, virtually melting at her touch. You wanted this. One hand slid to rest on her shoulder. But it wasn't the time or place. You gently pushed against her.
Agatha pulled away, breathless. She scanned your face with pupils blown wide and mouth slightly agape like she'd just reached some new revelation. You were certain your expression mirrored hers.
Wanda cleared her throat somewhere in the distance.
"Gosh, Wanda I'm sorry." Agnes' cheerful voice reappeared as she addressed the redhead without breaking your intense shared eye contact. "But I think we ought to be heading home now." She said unabashedly. Like you hadn't just been caught making out on the neighbour's couch.
"Of course." You could hear the understanding smile in her voice, the slight awkwardness from intruding. "It's been lovely meeting you both."
Summoning an ounce of brainpower, you turned to Wanda. "And you. Feel free to keep the magazine." Then tugged Agatha up and began dragging her toward the front door. For once in her life she went willingly, allowing herself to be pulled along, calling out a last minute farewell to Wanda.
Upon reaching the end of the garden, Agatha wordlessly took the lead. Staying true to her fabricated story, she set a determined course for the house to the right, waltzing up as if she owned the place. A quick flourish of your fingers and the lock was rendered useless. Now the house was yours.
As soon as the door shut behind you, she turned on her heel and pushed you against it. Her mouth quickly sought out yours with a desperation only appropriate in private. Had you known Agatha was this good of a kisser, you would've done this ages ago, but elected not to vocalise the praise knowing she'd never let you live it down. You felt her smirk against your lips, and briefly wondered if she'd somehow infiltrated your mind. You wouldn't put it past her.
As she began trailing kisses down your neck, any concern about the invasion of privacy became inconsequential. You sighed. She rewarded the sound with a nip at your throat. Due to the haze of lust clouding your better judgment, you didn't register the sound of footsteps until it was too late.
"Woah!" A man called from the top of the staircase, presumably the current previous resident of the house. Agatha froze, her lips still pressed up to your neck.
"If you two beautiful ladies hadn't already broken into my house, I would've happily invited you in." The man grinned obnoxiously, slowly continuing down the stairs.
Agatha disinterestedly waved her hand, incapacitating him. The sound of the stranger tumbling down the stairs caused her to let out a short, cruel cackle, before returning to bury her face in the crook of your neck.
"Not big on roommates?" You joked, sliding a hand up and down her back soothingly.
She nipped at your flesh, a little harder this time. "Trust me, he doesn't want to be here for what I'm about to do to you."
Already impatient, you decided to tease her in hopes it would speed things up. "You're all talk and no action, Harkness."
She all but growled as she returned to your lips. Without warning her hands squeezed your hips. "I don't think you're in the position to be insulting me, love."
"Then prove me wrong, darling."
and at last, the post that maybe three people maximum have been waiting for...
em's comfort retro rally videos: a masterlist!
in a much-needed return to this blog's roots, and as an antidote to all motorsport- and life-related chaos, i now present to you: the first edition of em's favorite retro rally videos!
general disclaimer/info: these videos mainly come from the group B era of the world rally championship (wrc), which generally speaking was in the '80s. i am only human, so expect a lot of bias toward my personal favorites...which will become very apparent as you read this list hehe. also i'm not even gonna pretend to be an expert on this or anything. a lot of these are literally just based on Vibes
table of contents
i. my top 5 rally coverage videos
mainly coverage for television, recorded on VHS and uploaded to YouTube by some truly incredible people
ii. honorable mentions
not rally coverage, but retro rally videos nevertheless
often documentaries, mini-doc features, interviews
for all videos, i have indicated the language (most are in english fyi); if any links fail or videos disappear, send me an ask or DM and i'll remove the culprit/find an alternative link.
and now, onward!
(TW for occasional flash photography in many of the night sequences of the videos, as well as a gif included in this post)
i. my top 5 rally coverage videos
in which my bias toward audi sport, mouton/pons, mikkola, toivonen, and vatanen are put on blast for all to see 🥴 i am not an expert in anything i am just very good at research and a whore for aud—[SNIPED]. for the sake of brevity, i narrowed my favorites down to 5. maybe another time i will share all the rest!
also, a general note about the commentary: sometimes, the commentary around michèle and fabrizia can get... weird. keep in mind, they were the most prominent female team partnership around that time, and the first to nearly clinch a wrc wdc, and to modern ears, the commentators really didn't know how to act around them. personally, it wasn't horrible for me, i just ignored the weirder bits, but i understand if others might find it off-putting. also for the sake of your sanity don't read the comments.
5. Rally of the 1000 Lakes, 1984 | finland
link: overall coverage (eng)
podium: vatanen/alén/toivonen (full final results)
comments: this was definitely a rally for most of audi sport's drivers to forget: bar stig blomqvist, who came quite close to the podium finishers with a 4:14:01 to henri toivonen's 4:12:57! both hannu mikkola and michèle mouton had to retire from the race, which may lead you to wonder: why does this rank among my favorites? well, it's always fun to watch group b rally cars sailing through the air against picturesque scenery, and this video also contains an intriguing (at least for me!) look at the scrutineering process, with drivers at their most casual.
owie :( they were fine though!
4. Lombard RAC Rally, 1981 | britain
link: overall coverage (eng)
podium: mikkola/vatanen/blomqvist (full final results)
comments: hannu winning by 11 whole minutes even after rolling his car in the middle of the forest is actual legend behavior! anyway this was michèle's first wrc outing in britain, and even though she and fabrizia had to retire, they still did quite well, consistently running high in the leaderboards after the first few stages. and that's considering the fact that michèle had a bad cold for much of the rally and had to ask fabrizia to drive the car to service park for her at one point bc she was so tired. which fabrizia did... with a pencil in her mouth. lot of big names in one video—also, jean todt makes an appearance as a co-driver!
shamelessly poached off of one of my text post edits
3. Marlboro Safari Rally, 1983 | kenya
link: overall coverage (eng)
podium: vatanen/mikkola/mouton (full final results)
comments: ok can i just say how stunning the video presentation is?? the opening sequence is just!!! the shots of the wildlife! the sprinting giraffes! wow! anyway the visual of drivers in deck chairs just tickles me for no reason, and michèle please tell me what you ask for at the hairdresser's and also where you got that orange blouse (this is obviously not just specific to this rally, she always eats and leaves no crumbs). this was michèle's first entry and only finish in kenya (and of course it was a podium mwah). it was also her last wrc entry in the A1 quattro, as she switched to the A2 for the rest of her program in the '83 season. also this is one of my favorite podium pictures ever.
lksdjffnnkd there's almost too much to unpack... fabrizia somehow surviving in high waist jeans in a hot car... michèle's do-it-yourself shorts... this podium picture was the subject of a very frantic video chat conversation between myself and a friend at 2am a few months ago
2. Rallye de Portugal, 1982 | portugal
links: short recap (eng) | overall coverage 1, stuck in the middle of two other rallies. timestamps in descrip. (eng) | overall coverage 2, very vibey with cool music (ita... also peep walter röhrl speaking italian)
podium: mouton/eklund/wittmann (full final results)
comments: GOD I LOVE THIS ONE SO MUCH AAAA! michèle's first podium of '82 being a win? this rally being the one where there's footage of her going shopping with fabrizia afterward? (more on that later) them winning by 13 whole minutes? and that's not even considering THEE most poetic victory ceremony of all time! in fact let me talk about that bc the racing and the win aside, that's why it's so high up on my list! literally poetic cinema! it's night, they're standing on top of the car and floodlit and surrounded by cheering crowds but they may as well be the only ones there in their own little world, laughing at each other and barely even having to look to each other when they're raising their hands—like god! shut up! we get it you're besties 😭
and now... last but certainly never least...
1. Lombard RAC Rally, 1982 | britain
link: overall coverage (eng)
podium: mikkola/mouton/toivonen (full final results)
comments: firstly, if you were to ask me about my dream podium, this would be it. hands down, across all series of motorsport, my comfort podium would be hannu, michèle, and henri in any order. (there's such a cute picture of them from this rally on pinterest, standing in order on a staircase. henri is not looking at the camera because he is laughing at something michèle is saying and it's such a Vibe but i cannot find it wah). the battle for second between michèle and henri ran down to literally the last stage, and their times are separated by seconds, which is just wild to me. the context of this rally deserves another post, which i honestly don’t have the energy to make rn, but just take my word for it that it threatens to destroy me if i think about it too hard! anyway this is just such an awesome rally and i’ve watched this video so many times haha
i love this rally so much that i actually had a character in a story i was writing attend the ceremony captured in this picture as a small child and made it a formative moment in her life. no, there is nothing wrong with me.
ii. honorable mentions
(is it obvious who my faves are? yikes)
'Group B - Avec Michele Mouton' (eng) - taken from a longer feature presentation about group b, a segment specifically about michèle. a friend once described its vibes as ‘a synth wave edit of an 80s anime set in a cyberpunk world about racing’
'1983 Audi Sport National Rally with Michele Mouton' (eng) - in which michèle takes journalist sue baker as a co-driver for a spin in an A1 and a rally win. fun behind-the-scenes video
'Intervista a Fabrizia Pons, la Regina delle Note' 1, 2, 3 (ita) - very thorough interview which is mostly fabrizia telling all sorts of stories, including the very entertaining story of how she found out she was going to be michèle’s co-driver. also what a badass title
'2008 Otago International Classic Rally' (eng) - THE BESTIES REUNITE THE BESTIES REUNITE!!! michèle and fabrizia reunite for a rally that fabrizia convinced michèle to join, they suffer some problems but there are plenty of wholesome bestie moments to be had
'Michele Mouton hurls Group B Audi Quattro up Goodwood hill' (eng) - i mean, self explanatory. the sound of the chirping tires? asmr could never. very short watch if you want a quick pick-me-up
'1990 Louise Aitken-Walker feature' (eng) - a video featuring a female rally driver from scotland and her point-scoring run at the rallye monte -carlo. i am convinced that louise was john finnemore’s inspiration or at least an influence for the character of linda fairbairn. no my hat is not made of tin foil what are you talking about
hannu rocketing around michigan back in 2017 (eng)
hannu flying around goodwood in 2015 (eng)
sometimes i listen to fabrizia's recent onboards (yes, she's still at it!) and this one is one of my favorites, from 2016 (ita)
Old Money, New World - Eugene Roe x OFC - Chapter 3
Chapter 1 / Chapter 2
Summary: A week after the famous D-Day landings, Camille accompanies the nursing staff as they enter France, and reunites with Easy Company on the eve of their assault on Carentan. Following her friends into battle, she is set to get her first taste of war, and it's not all she had expected it to be.
Warnings: Descriptions of combat, bullet wounds and blood
Word Count: 3.6k
Please let me know if you're interested in being added to the tag list!
Camille waded up to the French shores, knee-deep in cold, salty water as she could feel her wool socks soaking to the bone. There must have been more than a hundred doctors and nurses landing alongside her, trudging up the beach towards jeeps, trucks, and a makeshift camp made up of army tents and clumsily built gazebos. She could hear Eugene in her head pestering her to keep dry as best she could, and Camille knew that her feet would undoubtedly be horridly sore by the time she caught up with Easy Company, but she didn't quite care when the knowledge that she was soon to be reunited with her friends was so present in her mind.
A few of the nurses she'd stayed with in Upottery were stomping up the sand slightly further down the beach, and the feeling of her helmet clattering against her skull was one she hadn't felt since the poorly executed training exercises she'd undergone with Captain Sobel way back in Toccoa.
"Private Whitney!" The familiar voice of Doctor Hardy rang out from higher up on the sloped shoreline.
The Doctor hadn't been kidding when he'd told her the week before that he was sure they'd be seeing more of each other. The man must have visited her house in Upottery every day since D-Day, always as nervous and jittery as he had been the day they'd first met. His demeanour wasn't one Camille expected from an army doctor, but from what she'd heard from the other girls he was quite the accomplished physician. Nevertheless, there was something oddly endearing about the man, although his apparent sense of attachment he showed her could wear a little thin.
"Doc," She nodded with a huff, catching her breath as she made it up to the top of the sand and was finally able to pause long enough to wipe the sea salt from her eyes.
"I'm afraid we're not getting any rest right now, Private," Hardy admitted. "You're coming with me, they're driving you down to your Company, somewhere outside... Carentan,"
To hear someone else mention Easy Company made her breath hitch with anticipation, as if her longing to see the boys had suddenly been validated, and she was finally about to see it become a reality.
"Alright," Camille nodded, adjusting her helmet slightly. "Good. I'll be glad to see them as soon as I can"
The Doctor opened the passenger door of his jeep and she slid into the seat, her bag resting on her feet as Hardy settled himself in the wide backseat and the driver started up the engine.
Driving through France felt surreal. She'd visited the Southern coast once when she was a little girl, but her mother had always vowed to take her shopping in Paris. The France that lay before her was nothing like it was in the movies, and far from the picturesque coastal towns Camille remembered from her childhood. Here, the country lanes were lined with soldiers, farmland dormant and littered with plane wreckage and discarded parachutes. The constant rumble of the jeep's engine drowned out the few birds that sat twittering up in the trees, and as they gained speed on the longer, straighter roads, she felt a sudden urge to remove her helmet, if just so that she could feel fresh country air blowing through her hair before submitting to the upcoming months without any expectation of a hot shower or new clothes.
It was a relatively uneventful journey, and Camille was left alone for much of it after they dropped Doctor Hardy off at a more established army hospital about ten miles back from where Easy Company was positioned. When he had departed, he had wished her all the best of luck, anxiously promising her a place at his hospital should she ever find herself wanting release from the front lines - although she assured him she would be able to manage.
Pulling into town, she had expected to find all the boys busy at work, preparing for a patrol or a fight, so she was surprised to see many of them perched on doorsteps or huddled around a statue in the central square, chattering amongst themselves.
Camille picked up her bag with a grunt, quickly thanking the driver as she hopped out of the jeep. Her socks were still wet from her trek up the beach, squelching slightly as she landed on the cobblestone, and she made a mental note to change them as soon as she got inside.
"Look who it is!" The familiar cry of George Luz sounded as he bounded over, a broad grin decorating his expression as he wrapped his arms around her back and lifted her clean off the ground in a binding hug. "We were startin' to worry you'd got lost somewhere, kid,"
"Nah, I was just dreading seeing your ugly mug again, couldn't stay away long enough," She teased, nudging his shoulder as he put her back down.
Luz scoffed, turning to call to the other men. "Ey fellas, look who decided to show up!"
"Eyy!" Bill Guarnere yelled, strolling over from across the square. "Good ta see ya, Whitney! Here, get some chow in ya and report to the CO, let 'em know you're here," He said, handing her a spoon and a half-eaten can of beans.
"Thanks, Bill," Camille chuckled. "Where's Meehan then?"
The two men exchanged strange looks and George sighed. "We haven't heard from him since D'Day, Winters is in command for now. He's up in there," He explained, gesturing up to a large building on the other side of the square.
She frowned, nodding slowly. "Alright." She was upset to hear about Meehan - as far as she could tell he had been a good and fair man. But surely there was a glimmer of hope that he could still be wandering around somewhere? Either way, Winters seemed a fitting replacement.
Camille crossed the square towards the building George had directed her to, shouting her hellos to a few of the other men as she walked by. Stepping through the door, she passed Lieutenant Welsh, who nodded in greeting with a smile, and she headed up the stairs to Winters' quarters.
"Whitney," He greeted with a smile as she came in. "Good to see you joining us,"
"Good to be here, Sir," She nodded with a smile. "I heard from Luz and Guarnere outside that you're in command, Sir?"
"Until we can locate Lieutenant Meehan, that is correct," Winters said, getting up from his desk. "Now, I expect you'll want to know where to set up?"
"Oh, please, Sir."
"Right. Your billet's in that house over there," He said, pointing out of the window at a nearby building. "We've found you your own room, it's small but it's probably nicer than some of the other ones. Doc Roe is set up in the building next door, you can head down there once you've settled in."
Camille had to do everything in her power not to absolutely beam at the mention of Eugene. He hadn't been out in the square with the others, and her anticipation for their reunion had built up exponentially on the drive over that she could barely disguise her excitement. Uttering a brief thank you, she scurried from the room, boots thudding on the stairs as she headed down and out to the square.
Winters hadn't been kidding when he said her room was small - the bed took up half of the room in and of itself - but it was cosy enough. There were lace curtains over the window, a little framed embroidery piece hung on the wall above her bed, and a wooden chair in the corner which she decided to hang her wet socks over the back of.
Her boots had mostly dried, and although her trousers were still damp she was sure they'd air out soon. Pulling on a spare pair of socks, she re-tied her laces and slid her bag under the bed, leaving the room and practically jogging out to where Gene had set up.
Camille was relieved to find the room pretty much empty, most of the men still around relatively healthy. Eugene was stood at a table by the far window, head down and brow furrowed as he rummaged through a crate of medical supplies, clearly taking stock of what they had.
She couldn't quite explain why, but for a moment she felt compelled to just stand there, stationed silently in the doorway, breath baited as she watched him. He seemed more in his element here than he had their whole time training together, his right hand scrawling numbers onto some paper as his left sifted through bandages and boxes of syrettes. When he looked up he was visibly startled for a moment, before a smile spread across his face.
"Camille," Gene breathed, dropping his pencil and bounding across the room to her. When he was barely a metre away he seemed to falter, stopping in his tracks for a moment as if suddenly unsure of what to say.
She scoffed with a smile, hurrying forward and throwing her arms around his shoulders. It took a second for him to hug her back, but when he did she felt her grin creasing at her eyes as she buried her face in his collar. "Heya, Doc,"
She could feel his chest move against her as he chuckled, squeezing her briefly before breaking the hug and stepping back to look at her face.
Eugene was sure he hadn't felt relief like this before, not like he did the moment he realised that it was really her standing in his doorway. No matter how much work he'd had to do, every day since he'd last seen her at Upottery felt unfulfilled, and it wasn't until they'd been reunited did he realise how much better he felt when she was around.
"You okay?" He asked, brushing her hair to the side and pressing the back of his hand to her forehead. "You feeling good?"
Camille fought the urge to roll her eyes, but his concern was endearing and she nodded with a smile. "I'm fine. My feet are cold from the water on the beach but it's no problem."
"You need to make sure you-"
"Gene!" She chuckled, putting her hand on his. "Don't worry about me. I've got it all sorted."
Eugene nodded, pulling his hand away as he gnawed his inner lip slightly. He knew she could look after herself - hell, she went to med school, he learnt his craft in what was essentially a glorified tent. He could tell she didn't mind him worrying about her, but he couldn't help feel guilty, like he was patronising or diminishing her somehow, insulting her training.
"How are the boys?" She asked.
He shrugged, crossing the room back towards his notes. "Of the ones that made it through the landings, most of them are doing fine. Popeye and Burgess got hit, but they've been shipped out and they should both be ok."
"Alright, good," Camille nodded, leaning up against the wall. "So what do we do now?"
Eugene shrugged. "Now we wait for the next fight, same as everyone else."
The assault on Carentan was all the men could talk about when she had arrived, and they'd all risen early the morning after the patrol, gathered in the town square for the debriefing and so that anyone not already geared up could get ready.
"Your helmet on proper there, Doc?" Tab asked, approaching Camille and grabbing her helmet with both hands, gently shaking her head back and forth.
"Is yours?" She said, delivering a jab to the side of his head, her knuckles clanking against the metal.
"Hey!" He cried, readjusting his helmet. "You can't beat me around like that! You're supposed to be a medic." He smirked.
"I'm a damn good medic, Tab, but in order to fix your bones I might have to break 'em first," Camille laughed, lashing out to punch him in the arm as he leapt out of the way.
Crouched in a ditch alongside the road leading into Carentan, she squinted into the sun, gravel digging and poking into her knees as they awaited Winters' signal. Luz had made sure that she was set to enter the town alongside him - as it was her first time in combat, a few of the men were understandably wary as to how she may hold up. Camille was sure of her abilities, but she couldn't deny the bubble of anxiety building in her chest.
"You stick with me, ok?" George whispered, looking back over his shoulder at her.
"Don't worry, I'm not going anywhere," She assured him.
Upon Winters' signal, they leapt from the ditch, chasing after Harry Welsh as they headed into the town. Suddenly, it was as if the air itself became alight with sound, deafening cracks of gunfire sounding over their heads. Camille saw a man fall beside her, and was about to rush towards him before Luz's hand clamped around her arm, his iron grip almost painful as they dove behind a nearby building, shielding themselves from the prevailing bullets.
Sandwiched between Luz and Welsh, it was as if she were in a daze for a moment, the sound of her breathing somehow overwhelming the two men shouting over her. Get it together, Camille. She thought. This is what you've been waiting for, you will not let them down. Get your head in the game, and keep yourself alive.
More men began to run into Carentan, bullets raining down on either side as the Easy boys began to disperse, targeting the German guns and ducking into nearby houses. Taking a deep breath, she finally steadied herself, and her trance was shattered by the nearby cry of 'Medic!'
Almost skidding on the stone street, Camille broke into a sprint, dropping painfully to her knees as she reached the wounded man. She brought him to sit up, his back pressed against her chest, her arms looped under his and around his front. There was a bullet wound in his leg from the sniper Shifty was currently taking care of, and the height difference between her and the wounded soldier made it all the more difficult for her to move him, almost losing her footing a few times as she dragged him out of the road to a small alcove in the wall of a nearby building.
Camille knew she recognised the man, but she couldn't quite recall his name, not that it mattered at present. Tearing open a sulfa packet, she poured the powder over the wound, keeping his injured leg propped up in her lap in an attempt to keep the bullet's exit wound in the back of his thigh off the ground. Reaching a bloodstained hand into her bag, the other clamped firmly over the larger exit wound, she fumbled until she found her gauze, doing her best to staunch the bleeding long enough to wrap a bandage around his thigh.
"Am I gonna die, Doc?" The soldier asked, his voice quivering and youthful and dripping with pain.
"No way," She breathed, head shaking hurriedly. "You'll be just fine, don't you worry."
Ideally, Camille would've tied a tourniquet, but she knew it could be a while before this man could get out of Carentan, and the prolonged loss of circulation could cause just as much if not more damage than the blood loss itself. Her hands were covered in his blood, and it was beginning to soak into the cuffs of her sleeves too. Tying off and cutting the bandage, she kept her hands wrapped tightly over his wounds, aware that her bandaging was a rather rudimentary fix, and while it would help, this man needed far better than what she had available to her.
Camille stayed crouched by the soldier until the fight was over, uttering words of reassurance and doing her best to ignore the booms of mortar and artillery, her job simply to keep the man before her awake and alive until they could get him out. The morphine syrette she had administered was still poking out of his leg, just so she could be sure how much she'd given him, afraid she might administer too much in a moment of panic or despair.
When the fighting finally ceased, a few men came by and helped to carry the soldier away, as he was far too heavy for her to take him alone. Once he was safely away, she stood up from her place in the alcove, bloodied hands raised in front of her to avoid making a mess. It wasn't until she was alone to think for a moment did she notice the dark stains on her lap, and her own bloody handprint on the flap of her medical bag.
"Aw, Jesus, Camille," Skip sighed, talking gently as he approached from where he'd been positioned by Malarkey. The two men were both staring at her, brows furrowed in equal shows of distress and sympathy. "Let's get inside so you can clean up, eh?"
"Yeah," She nodded, her voice hoarse from having to talk over machine-gun and artillery fire. "Yeah, let's go."
Eugene had been momentarily panic-stricken when he first laid eyes on Camille after the fight, slightly dazed-looking and covered in blood. He'd watched from the other end of the room, trying his best not to get distracted from his work as Nixon had sent her off upstairs to get cleaned up. She wasn't gone for long, but when she came back she seemed somehow fully recovered. She looked fine, as if she'd simply washed off everything she'd seen earlier that day, and Gene supposed he should be comforted by it.
Camille frowned as she entered the room, walking past Winters, who was crouched down and talking to Private Blithe. Blithe's hands were trembling nervously, and he had a strange, glazed look in his eyes that she found somewhat unsettling. Stepping through the door, she tapped Gene on the shoulder, whose eyes widened as he turned to look at her, his expression softening as she spoke.
"What's wrong with Blithe?" She asked softly, folding her arms as she stepped closer towards him so that they could keep the conversation between themselves.
He shrugged, screwing up his face slightly as he shook his head. "Not sure, it looks to be hysterical blindness, but I've not seen it before. He just... got back from the fight and told me he couldn't see. He hasn't got any trauma wounds or anything,"
Camille nodded, her frown deepening as she looked back over her shoulder. Winters had stood up now, limping slightly as he headed back over towards Eugene. She huffed, readying to head off in search of her own work to do, when Blithe's voice sounded behind her.
"Sir?" He spoke, now stood up. His eyes had lost their unsettling sheen, as his pupils now looked focused.
"What is it?" Winters asked.
Blithe nodded steadily, his gaze flickering from the floor to Winters. "Thank you, sir. I'm okay... I don't know what happened. I think I'm okay,"
The other three watched him as he stumbled past them, heading across the room towards the door. Camille and Eugene exchanged glances, both looking just as confused as each other.
"Strange..." She uttered.
Just over two weeks had passed since Camille had first entered France, and Easy Company had been grateful for their retreat back away from the front lines, where they were currently posted for some respite. They were all sat around tables inside a large cabin, tucking into their food. She was glad to see the boys look so happy, the colour restored to their faces, their laughs louder and their smiles wider.
She was sat opposite Eugene, fork in one hand as she sipped out of the tin cup in the other. "It's been a while since we got to sit together for dinner like this," She observed.
Eugene hummed, eating another mouthful. "Just like the old days, you and me," He smiled.
She was about to speak again when Gordon began to recite his self-penned poem at the front of the room, the boys laughing along at his account of Talbert's unfortunate encounter with a bayonet. She shook her head slightly, chuckling as she poked at her food. Camille was glad that Talbert was ok, although she'd find the time later to scold him for all the teasing remarks he'd made whilst she was trying to patch him up. ("Hey Doc, I promised you I wouldn't get killed until you got here, didn't I?")
When Lipton announced that the Company was headed back into France, she found her appetite suddenly gone, spirits dimmed by the dismayed sighs and groans from the others.
"Well, I suppose the war won't stop on our account," Camille frowned, picking up her plate as she rose from her seat.
"No, it won't." Gene agreed.
And so they were to head back out again, exposed and alone, fighting alongside one another under the toughest of circumstances against the most relentless of enemies.
And yet, Camille was glad to be there. She'd been far more certain of herself since Carentan, and she knew that there wasn't anywhere she'd rather be than right here with them.
More Than He Seems
so i stumbled across Shifting Bodies, Shifting Souls by captainbrooklyn aka @skywalkersinflight and was inspired
and by "inspired" i mean "my brain latched onto the idea of slightly-to-the-left-of-human stan getting into hijinks and such and then the inevitable angstfest that happens when he gets ford's postcard" and i immediately started writing fic set in this 'verse because i have no impulse control
warnings: local shapeshifter mullet stan has issues of the "why am i here? who am i? am i really myself?" variety which i'm pretty sure there's an Actual Term™ for but it escapes me at the moment. it mostly manifests in him referring to himself by his full name and only his full name for a while. also a bit of swearing from stan because he's had A Long Series Of Mostly-Canon-Compliant Terrible Horrible No-Good Very Bad Days and isn't retelling it and censoring it for a couple of preteens and a soos.
anyway here's wonderwall the stan twins' reunion
now on ao3
It had been four years since the person once known as Stanley Pines had come across the probably-not-really-an-old-lady who'd somehow given him the power to become anyone and everyone else.
Or, well, it would be four years in a few months, but he wasn't going to nitpick.
He held his breath as he heard the sound of footsteps receding from his motel room, and as soon as he was sure they were gone, he slipped out of the shape of a child (small, innocent, harder to notice) and back into himself.
There was a postcard below the door.
He frowned, cautiously stepping closer to pick it up. On the back, or maybe the front (he never was quite sure which side was which), there was a photo of some picturesque forest with the stylized words "Gravity Falls" overlaid atop it.
His breath hitched.
He flipped the postcard over-
It was addressed to Stanley Pines.
It was from Ford.
The person who'd received the postcard stared at the hastily-scrawled "PLEASE COME" that took up the entire left side of it.
There wasn't anything else to go off of. Did Ford need him for something? Did Ford get into trouble of his own? Did Ford want to see him? To talk?
…maybe he could afford to be Stanley Pines again, just for his brother.
Just for a few days.
For those familiar with the events that took place in 1983 in Dimension 46'\, the following days mirrored them almost religiously.
Stanley Pines drove like a bat out of Hell to reach Gravity Falls.
Stanley Pines found himself walking the last leg of his journey in the freezing Oregon winter.
Stanley Pines found his brother a paranoid, twitchy shell of who he'd once been.
Stanley Pines followed his brother into the basement.
When they were in the basement, however, their timeline once again veered away from that of 46'\ with one simple sentence, one which carried a harsher consequence than its 46'\ counterpart.
"Stanley, you don't understand what I'm up against! What I've been through!"
Stanley Pines's blood boiled.
"No, no, you don't understand what I've been through!" He snapped. "I've been to prison in three different countries! I once had to chew my way out of the trunk of a car! You think you've got problems?"
In 46'\, Stanley Pines followed this with the declaration, "I've got a mullet, Stanford!"
In this dimension, he followed it with an angry "I'm not even sure I'm human anymore, Stanford!"
For emphasis, so there could be no mistake that he meant it literally, he let his form flicker, startling Ford and making him go white as a sheet.
He kept going, back to his solid, original self. "Meanwhile, where have you been? Living it up in your fancy house in the woods-!"
"Not human?" Ford's voice came out a venomous hiss.
"Hell if I know!" Stanley Pines held his arms out wide in a mockery of a shrug, viciously wishing he could have real flames come from his eyes, but knowing his ability could only go so far. "Then again, you've been out here living your dream! It's been ten damn years, Stanford, and-!"
Something in Ford's face hardened.
(Stanley Pines hadn't even realized that was possible at this point.)
"I should have known!" Ford snapped. "The real Stanley would never have come, would he?"
That…was not where Stanley Pines had expected this fight to go.
(He clung to his old identity with a new fervor. He hated it more than anyone else ever could, but if there was another creature out there that could take it for their own, if there was another creature that could hurt someone under his name-!)
His thoughts whirled around his skull, but all that managed to come out of his mouth was an eloquent "Whuh?"
Ford grit his teeth and clenched his fists. "Don't play dumb with me, Shifty! You escaped the bunker, intercepted my postcard, and took on my brother's form so you could get me to hand over my journal and the forms therein, but I won't let you escape again!"
Stanley Pines swallowed and held the beat-up journal a little closer. "Okay, um, I feel like we're running on completely different-!"
"GIVE ME BACK MY RESEARCH!"
Ford leapt at him, eyes wild.
Stanley Pines fell to the ground, the journal knocked from his hands. Ford scrambled to grab it, but Stanley Pines tripped him and snatched it up, glancing back at his brother. "Clearly, being cooped up out here has driven you nuts-!"
"GIVE IT BACK!" Ford roared, shoving Stanley Pines into the control room and up against a wall of switches and levers, grappling with him for the journal.
Stanley Pines snarled, "Oh, you want it back, you'll have to try a little harder than that!"
The two fell to the floor, tumbling one over the other until Ford lay on his back and Stanley Pines stood over him, washed out by the flashing red of the control room and unearthly blue of the portal. (When had it turned on?)
"You left me behind, you asshole! It was supposed to be us forever! You ruined my life!" Stanley Pines ground out, stubbornly forcing his tear ducts to vanish so they couldn't betray him.
"You're not even Stanley, and I'll prove it!" Ford shouted, lifting a foot to Stanley Pines's chest and kicking him back into a-!
For one, agonizing second, he only knew pain.
Fire coursed through his veins and lightning lanced through his brain, and his form flickered through countless variations before returning to what it had been. He became dimly aware of a bloodcurdling scream from somewhere nearby. He kind of wished that whoever was screaming would stop, actually. If he wanted to scream, he could do it himself, thank you.
It wasn't until he fell to the ground and the agony centered itself on the back of his shoulder that Stanley Pines came back to himself.
He realized he was the one who'd been screaming.
(If he hadn't been in so much pain, he'd be embarrassed.)
Ford seemed horrified. "W-wait, Stanley?! It really is y-?"
Stanley Pines punched him in the nose.
Ford stumbled back into the portal room and fell against a lever, and as machinery began to clank and whirr, Stanley Pines stormed after him, picking the fallen journal up almost as an afterthought.
"Some brother you turned out to be."
Smoke rose from his shoulder and the acrid smell of burnt flesh and polyester assaulted his nose.
"You care so much about your dumb mysteries that you can't even recognize your family when it's right in front of your face?"
Ford's eyes were impossible to make out with the blinding light of the portal behind him, but if Stanley Pines had to guess, he'd imagine Ford was glaring at him.
"WELL THEN, YOU CAN HAVE 'EM!"
Stanley Pines's hands shoved the journal into Ford's chest-
-and then Ford began to float.
His rage twisted into something different, something he didn't dare identify. "Whoa, whoa, hey, what's going on? Hey, hey, Stanford!"
Ford was floating towards the portal.
He flailed in the air, terror evident in his every movement. "Stanley! Stanley, help me!"
In Dimension 46'\, Stanley Pines would be helpless to do anything but watch.
In this dimension, he glanced around fearfully until catching sight of the nearby lever.
"Stanley, do something!"
An idea sprang to mind.
Stanley Pines had never before needed to make himself look like anything other than another face in the crowd, but if there was any time to change that, it was then.
He gulped and launched his right arm at the lever, stretching and stretching and stretching some more until his hand reached it, six feet away.
Good. He knew it was possible now.
Stanley Pines gripped the lever with everything he had-
-and flung his left hand at Ford's leg!
His arm grew and grew, and he saw Ford's eyes widen in shock, but then his fingers closed around Ford's ankle and he couldn't spare any thought for Ford's mental state.
All that mattered now was fighting the pull.
All that mattered now was getting Ford out of danger.
Stanley Pines screamed from the effort (and his shoulder screamed back at him in protest), but he managed to take one step back, and then another, and another, and then he was stumbling away from the hungry portal, Ford falling on top of him in a tangle of limbs.
The portal roared as it lost power, as though it was a ravenous predator and Stanley Pines had just stolen its prey.
Stanley Pines just heaved for air and painstakingly pulled his arms back to the proper lengths, shakily keeping his burnt shoulder off the ground as best he could.
"Zip it, Stanford." Stanley Pines snapped, sitting up and trying to get his legs under him. "You've made your point quite clear."
His legs gave out, and he groaned. "Oh, of all the shitty luck-!"
Ford pushed himself upright in the corner of Stanley Pines's vision, and Stanley Pines had to hide a wince at the horror in his brother's face. "Stanley, what happened to you?"
Accepting that his legs were going to make him pay for the stunt he'd just pulled with his arms, Stanley Pines huffed. "Do you want the short version or the long version? Because the short version is that I'm pretty sure I ran into a witch and she took pity on me."
No impassioned excitement over the existence of a witch with the ability to turn someone into a shapeshifter. No wide-eyed terror of the thing that had once been his brother. No anger over Stanley Pines meeting a real, honest-to-goodness magic user when Ford was the one who studied the weird and the anomalous. No pity directed at Stanley Pines's casual mention of the person who had apparently changed him into something just to the left of human.
Somehow, the exhausted blink was worse.
"If you want the long version, I'm getting myself some ice first." Stanley Pines grimaced, forcing himself to his feet. "I'm not dealing with this and a third-degree burn."
At that, Ford scrambled to his feet. "The sigil! Oh my gosh, Stanley, I'm so sorry, if I'd realized it was really you, I would've never-!"
"Yeah, well, you did." Stanley Pines snapped, clutching at the shoulder in question. (Was there a sigil burnt into his back now?) "Ice now, words later."
This was how the two found themselves sitting in what was probably Ford's kitchen a few minutes later.
Stanley Pines slumped against the table and let a bag of frozen peas sit against his burn, and for a moment the freezing cold let him breathe properly for the first time since being injured.
Then he shifted in place and rested his chin on his arms, levelling a hard glare at Ford and the notebook in his hands. "So. The long version started on our twenty-fifth birthday…"
More Than He Seems?
I sent word for the man I intended to take the final journal, but to my surprise, it seems he, too, has come into contact with the supernatural! Or, more accurately, he has BECOME supernatural! (Shukdsv L vkrxogq'w eh vxusulvhg, wr eh iudqn. Zh vhhp wr kdyh edg vkl rgg oxfn lq wkdw uhjdug.)
When he first arrived, I had assumed he was the same selfish man I remembered, but he seems almost broken as he recounts his tale to me: on the night of our his 25th birthday, he was approached by a woman who I've identified as a magickal crone of some kind. Much like in the fairytales of old, she approached him for aid, and when he gave what he could to her, she offered him a boon in return.
(A sketch of a man in a zip-up hoodie, his eyes obscured by shadows. He holds a duffel bag over one shoulder.)
(Kh vdbv vkh dvnhg zkdw kh zdqwhg iru klv eluwkgdb. Kh doohjhgob dqvzhuhg, "Wr eh dqbrqh rwkhu wkdq klpvhoi.")
(9-19-25 26-1-18-8 12-3-7 20-9 3-9-7-2 5-19 5-19-25-2-6-22-16-8-6-19-26? 13'14 17-11-7-5-13-15-11 22-3-1 17-2-18-1 25-17-3 17-13-7-17-17-23 16-10 22-22-21-23 17-25-2-14-24-9.)
His boon revealed itself during an altercation with some of the shady characters he's encountered over the past decade: the ability to shapeshift! Unlike Shifty, he was not born with this ability, nor do his character or genome seem to be changing for the worse as he uses it. He prefers human faces, but for the most part, has stayed in the form that I assume is what he would look like if he hadn't gained this ability.
(A sketch of the man's face, caught in an anguished scream of pain. Three exclamation points float above his head.)
This leads me to my other point. When he came, I was aware of none of this. When I showed him the depths of my folly, he had the audaci countered with folly of his own, revealing his paranormal nature to me.
(A sigil. Specifically, the sigil on the control panel of the portal.)
I took it badly.
(R yizmwvw nb ldm yilgsvi drgs z hrtro nvzmg gl ezklirav fmuirvmwob vmgrgrvh, ufoob yvorvermt srn gl yv zm vhxzkvw Hsrugb! Lm gsv lmv szmw, R zn rnnvzhfizyob tozw gszg sv hfierevw zmw gszg R xzm mld szev hlnvgsrmt hlorw gl zmxsli nbhvou gl ivzorgb, yfg lm gsv lgsvi, sv xlfow hgroo hfxxfny gl rmuvx gsrh rh qfhg zmlgsvi rm nb olmt hgirmt lu nrh R YIZMWVW NB LDM UF dliwh xzmmlg vckivhh sld sliiryov R uvvo.)
In the fight that followed, he was injured, the portal was reactivated, and I was nearly pushed through. It was only the quick thinking of this man that saved me, using one arm to anchor himself and stretching the other to reach my leg and pull me back.
As he tells me his story now, immediately after the fact, (drgs uilavm kvzh lm srh yizmw rm zm vuulig gl ovhhvm gsv kzrm,) I believe I will not record it. Some things are not meant to be saved to the history books, and if the way he keeps skipping over large chunks is any indication, it is as uncomfortable for him to retell as it is for me to hear.
(A sketch of a bag of peas, held closed by a rubber band wrapped around the open end.)
I am going to offer him my spare room. It is the least I can do after harming him so.
(Dqg shukdsv L'p ehlqj d elw vhoilvk lq zdqwlqj wr nhhs vrphrqh forvh iru zkrp L kdyh vrolg hylghqfh L fdq wuxvw…hyhq li L lqiolfwhg wkdw hylghqfh xsrq klp pbvhoi zkhq qrw lq pb uljkw plqg.)
I can only hope he accepts.
"…and for the past four years, I've been pretty much anybody and everybody that wasn't Stanley Pines." He finished, though he did manage a sardonic laugh. "Fat lot of good it did me. I couldn't bring myself to cut off all contact with Ma, and that's probably how you managed to find me, and now here we are."
"Here we are…" Ford murmured, unable to meet Stanley Pines's eyes as he set the notebook aside.
"So, what's this 'sigil' supposed to do?" Stanley Pines asked, tilting his head against his arms like a tired student falling asleep at his desk. "Considering I'm pretty sure it's gonna be on my back for the rest of time, and all."
Ford cringed, but answered, "It's meant to be a ward against evil supernatural beings. I've…had some run-ins with malevolent tricksters before. One was an alien with a remarkable affinity for shapeshifting similarly to how you can. The other is a triangular demon that can enter one's dreams and make deals. He desires to have a physical form of his own, but is not above possessing others to enact his schemes."
"Okay, but what's it gonna do to me, Science Guy?" Stanley Pines almost rolled his eyes.
"Well, that's the rub." Ford admitted. "We were fighting, so the sigil must have recognized you as an attacker and acted accordingly, incapacitating you while you were in contact with it. At the same time, you…"
Stanley Pines gestured with one hand for Ford to keep going. "I…what?"
"…you saved me from being lost to the portal, so you couldn't have been intending to do lasting harm." Ford breathed, as though the mere idea froze him in place. "The sigil recognized you as not malicious at heart, so while it caused you to halt your attacks, it didn't disintegrate you like it would have if you were truly malevolent!"
"Wait, it woulda what-?!"
"And then it used the less lethal deterrent as a method to imbue itself into you as well!" Ford concluded, walking around to swap out Stanley Pines's wet bag of peas for another, fresh from the freezer. "You ought to be warded against such entities now, yourself!"
Stanley Pines groaned and let his forehead drop to the table with a 'clunk.' "Whoopee. A magic whatsit decided I'm not as big an asshole as I coulda been, so instead of just killing me instantly, it fucking branded me. Is this gonna heal up anytime soon?"
"Unfortunately, it will likely take as long to heal as any mundane burn this bad would." Ford admitted.
Stanley Pines buried his face in the crook of his elbow. "Dammit."
Ford muttered to himself, turning to leave the room. "I'll have to clear out one of the extra rooms, maybe see if the spare mattress is still in relatively okay shape…"
"Wait, what?" Stanley Pines stiffened. "Stanford, you really don't have to-!"
"Perhaps not, but Stanley, I want to." Ford cut him off and sat down across from him. "Were you anyone else, were you free of the sigil now on your back, I wouldn't. I wouldn't be able to afford to trust you. As it stands, you're really you, you really came, you're safe from whatever the demon might use me to do, and you've clearly been through a different sort of Hell than mine over the past ten years."
Stanley Pines lifted his incredulous gaze to his brother's. "I'm sorry, what was that about the demon using you? Can we go back to that?"
"I told you before, I've made mistakes." Ford sighed and intently studied a dark stain on the table. "One of those was extending my trust to a being that didn't deserve it."
Stanley Pines glanced around the house with a new understanding, seeing places where a human body the size of Ford's must have been slammed into stairs and walls where before he'd just seen a mess.
"He possesses you, doesn't he."
It wasn't a question.
Stanley Pines…no, Stan dropped his forehead back into his arms. "Alright. Alright. Guess I'll hang around a bit longer."
It wasn't like he had anything to go back to.
"So, how do you plan on getting this asshole out of your brain?"
A/N: Commander Thorn/reader
Warnings: PG-13,follows canon and has Unhealthy Coping skills
The Price of Love
The sun was lazily breaking the horizon, as if the star itself was unsure whether it should wake up. In your dreaming haze you hear the flowing water of the shower in the fresher. Your mind -- the amazing three pound organ that it is -- seamlessly adds this new effect to your picturesque dream.
You're waiting for your love to return, by the calming ebb and flow of a turquoise lake.
The early morning light trickles in pass the half opened blinds. Like ethereal fingers, their feather light touch beckon you softly to wake up. In sleepy defiance you however, turn over, your bare back now exposed to the suns embrace.
A light breeze whips across the soft cresting waves on the shoreline. The light mist cools your face as sunlight flickers through the low hanging branches of your shaded oasis.
Crisp water droplets fall on your skin, causing your muscles to jump after each tiny, harmless shock. A calloused finger tip gently traces through the pooling water in abstract shapes. The landscape of your lake country turns misty, slowly fading to the background as you begin to awake.
A promised vacation fulfilled, a secret honeymoon.
"Good morning cyar'ika." He kisses into the space between your neck and your shoulder.
"It's to early for it to be good yet, Thorn." You mumble into your pillow with a half smile.
"Awww, let me see what I can do about that." He coos softly as he joins you in a blanket fort made for two. His kisses trail up your back and across your shoulder as he pulls you in closer. His stubbled face nuzzles into your neck, whispering sweet nothing with each tender kiss.
"I can stop... if you want me too?"
"It's a lil to late for that now isn't it?" You said shifting around to face him. His amber eyes burned brighter and warmer then the golden morning glow that now bathed the room. Wrapping your arms around his neck your hands combed through his damp hair. Dark strands just beginning to curl around your fingers. He would say he was due for a cut but for now he was letting it be because you liked it a bit longer.
Your moment of marital bliss is interrupted by a demanding comlink, angrily beeping in background. You both try to ignore it. Thorn let's out a resigned sigh and gives you one last lingering kiss. Letting out a small chuckle as if to say 'sorry' he pulls away from you, grabbing the comlink from the side table.
Your eyes narrow with growing annoyance from the disruption. By working alot of overtime and through good old fashion begging you had managed to get three weeks off. Even though you knew it would be impossible for Thorn to have that much time, you were expecting at least a week of uninterrupted alone time with your new husband. A price you pay to be with a Commander of the Coruscant Guard you guess. Thorn was always on call.
He sits back on the edge of the bed. You come up behind him, arms coming around his broad and overworked shoulders, half eavesdropping, half just trying to distract him.
"Right...right away... sir." He stutters finishing the call, trying to keep a small veneer of composer through all the barely there kisses you have been leaving on his skin.
"I have to escort Senator Amidala to Scipio."
"Now." he said his voice painted with disappointment as he half turns to face you. "Have to get everything prepared and the men ready for take off later this afternoon."
"Did you really, wake me up just to tease me like that!?" You complain and dramatically fall back with a loud sigh.
"I'm sorry cyar'ika." Thorn said leaning back for a kiss.
"You can kiss me when you get back, you little tease." You huffed throwing your pillow at him for good measure. He lets out a half whine half laugh.
"I love you cyar'ika."
"Mmm hmmm." You croon turning over to fall back asleep.
For the Republic!
The funny thing about the worst moment in your life is you don't know until after the fact. Until after the unrelenting timer has already counted down to zero. Exploding and tearing you away from every preconceived thought you had. The future that once was so clear and bright was now shrouded in thick, noxious darkness. Questions, regrets, like hot shrapnel sear through you.
Why didn’t I... What If... If only I did something... Why didn’t I... What If... If only... Why didn’t I kiss you goodbye... What If made up an excuse for you to stay... If only... Why didn’t I... What If... If only... Why didn’t I... What If I’d begged you to stay...Why didn’t I say I love one last time... If only I tried...
Lodging themselves so deep into the crevices of your mind. You're worried not even time will be able to coax them out, to heal.
There was no frivolous ceremony given. No funeral was held, not even a body put to rest. No greater meaning or spit-shined purpose tacked on for his death. Thorn was just a weapon. A weapon made out of human flesh and a beating heart. He was nothing more to the Republic then a random set of numbers that had happened to give its self a name. Just a serial number lost and easily replaced. Except he wasn't. Not for you.
He was a person, who name was not his only distinguishing feature. A kind smile and knowing eyes burning with life and love. Who's arms you needed so much right now, to steady you from your shaking limbs. Thorn was a person, Thorn was your person.
Each minute felt like an hour, everyone more difficult then the last. Crying so hard you would leave yourself breathless. It was a small relief from the suffocating 'what ifs' and 'maybes', that had become like a well worn paths in your mind. In the end you knew nothing would bring him back, no matter how much you pleaded and cried to an unhearing diety.
The days slowly bleed into each other. The silence rings deafeningly in your ears, in this place that was once called 'ours'. You make ill-fated attempts to distract yourself from your cracked and crumbling world. You shower with his soap and call his office to hear his voice one more time, for the thousandth time. On a whim you put on his favorite dress and the candy apple red lipstick that he said made your lips sweet and hard to resist. You want so desperately to see his face, to feel him again, you head out to 79s.
It’s almost his touch but not quite, its not really his face, just a cheap imitation. But after a few shots burn their way down your throat a cheap imitation passes and after a few more shots, ‘almost’ becomes enough.
Still in his favourite dress you stumble into your apartment. The sweet aftertaste of your lips feels more like bile and regret on your tounge. Your eyes long for sleep but your afraid to close them only to see Thorns' eyes, no longer warm but cold and lifeless. All you want to do is forget and collapse in the bed, in our b—.
Your legs give out under the weight of what you once had tried to bottle up. Sobering thoughts make your late night choices harder to excuse, harder to deal with. Raw emotions liked jagged pieces of glass slice deep with a pain you can not be prepare for. Like a tsunami coming and you having nowhere to go. All you can do is brace yourself for impact and with whatever meager strength you have left, fight to survive. A pain that has to be felt, because words fail utterly to describe.
The morning sunlight eventually breaks through the half closed blinds, its touch feels like a branding iron on your tear soaked skin.
"St— stay away from me." You pleaded with tears spilling down your face.
"It's okay I'm here for you." your memories of him try to comfort.
"No...no." your voice cracks. The words barely being able to get out of your ever tightening throat. You try with a sluggish inhale to breathe air, to breathe life into your burning lungs.
"You're not here, that's what's wrong."
Grief is the price you pay. The price you pay for the stolen kisses. For the times you spent wrapped safely in his arms. The price you pay to visit him again in a lifetimes worth of memories cut short. Grief is the price you pay for loving him.