Love Letters | Julian Devorak x OG Female Character | 3K
What's this? The first piece of Arcana fiction I've ever published? 🥰 Given how long I've been invested in this game, now, that probably deserves some kind of celebration. All that aside, though, this little ficlet started as a brain-worm and then developed into something sweet and soft for the absolutely wonderful @timmys-and-scribbles! As such, Julianne (the apprentice in this story) was created by and belongs to her! I hope you all enjoy!
Loving Julian Devorak comes with its challenges.
As it stood, this was quite simply a fact. It had always been common knowledge that the doctor could be a bit of a handful, even despite his good heart and his even better intentions. The things and the situations that surrounded him had a tendency to spiral out of control rather quickly — whether it was an good-natured round of cards at the Rowdy Raven, or an innocent debate with Valerius about some court-related thing or another, chaos had a habit of following Julian.
Now — nobody knew any of this better than Julianne did. Asra had gained a fair amount of experience on the topic, and goodness knew Portia understood, but even still: Loving Julian Devorak came with its challenges, yes, but oh… being in love with him was a challenge all its own.
This wasn’t to say that Julianne regretted falling for her dopey, dramatic, thespian lover; she had never regretted that, not for a second. But, gods, there certainly were some days that were much more trifling than others.
And this… this just so happened to be one of those days.
In Julian’s defense, this particular incident wasn’t exactly his fault. His intentions were just as pure and loving as they had always been. His heart was in the right place. There really wasn’t a damn thing he could do to change the situation - even if he had wanted to. It was just…. well, his handwriting was awful.
She had never thought that it would become an issue, not really; they lived together, and where Julian went, Julianne tended to follow. It wasn’t as though they communicated very much in writing, and she hadn’t even been sure that he had remembered her having claimed to be able to read the letter he had written to Portia years back.
Quite unfortunately for her, though, her lovable ruffian had remembered, and now, he had let his adorable, romantic streak get the better of him.
It wasn’t that she didn’t love his cliches, and his grand, sweeping gestures of romance - because she did. She really, really did. At the moment, though, she was holding what she thought might have been a sweet note, addressed to her from Julian. And that was all well and good. She loved that, but damn it… she couldn’t read it. She couldn’t make heads nor tails of it, and it was downright sad.
Her understanding of the what was written began with what she could recognize as her own name, scrawled near the top left corner, but ended abruptly just beyond that. She could pick out a word, maybe two - “sleep”, “soft”, maybe even “love” - but that was about it, apart from his scrawled signature near the bottom.
And she... she hadn’t a clue what to do about it.
He was going to ask about it at some point, wasn’t he? That was a given. And Julianne wasn’t sure she’d be able to get away with making like she had been able to read it again. Julian knew her better than that, now, and there wasn’t any way he wouldn’t see through the facade in an instant. The next best option would have been pretending she had never found the letter at all, but even that would be difficult. And besides, odds were Julian would only continue to try. He was nothing if not persistent, after all, and…
Gods, she was screwed. Well and truly.
After something close to an hour of fretting and then another hour of debate, she winds up going to Portia for help. She doesn’t come to the decision lightly by any means, but she does trust for the most part that asking for Julian’s sister’s help won’t immediately backfire on her. The youngest of the Devoraks did know how to keep a secret, after all. And anyways, it stood to reason that she’d have been able to read his messy scrawl — that was, if Julian had in fact written her letters as frequently as it’d seemed he had.
It was logical, and sound, and there was a fairly good chance that she could depend on her sister-in-law-to to help her out of this mess. And she had felt rather good about the plan, in the end. That was, until she’d actually turned up at Portia’s cottage with the letter in hand, and Portia had laughed. She had laughed, loudly and merrily, and it had been clear then and there that she would be of no help to Julianne.
“You… you can’t read it either?” Juli had squeaked, defeated once more.
“Gods, no,” Portia had giggled, squinting as she had eyed the letter for a long moment before handing it back to a rather wilted-looking Julianne. “Ilya sent me one, maybe two letters in all of the time he spent away. And even then, I had to have Lilinka help me read them. She was the only one who could ever make any sense of his chicken scratch.”
Julianne only sighs heavily at that, dragging a hand through her hair as her gaze falls to the letter in her hands. She loved and hated it in equal measure, because it really was incredibly sweet, but on the other hand… what, exactly, was she supposed to do about this?
“I’ve half a mind to get in contact with The Hanged Man himself,” she grunts. “Maybe he’ll be able to help me out.”
She’s only half-serious — because asking one of the Arcana for the power to read her own husband’s handwriting is downright silly, and she knows it — but Portia still cackles, dropping onto the couch next to her unceremoniously.
“Have you considered telling him you can’t actually read it?” she suggests with a smirk.
“No!“ she squawks, indignant as ever. “I can’t! That’s — it’s — “ Embarrassing, was what it was. And the last thing she wanted was to admit to it. It was looking more and more like that would be her only option, though, and… damn it.
Portia never stops snickering, not even as she stands from the couch and finds her way into the kitchen (where Pepi has been ‘mewing’ her desire for lunch for a handful of minutes, now).
“Well, you could always distract him with sex,” she suggests with a twinkle of mischief in her eyes. “Maybe he’ll forget all about it.”
Normally she might have blushed in response to Portia’s teasing, used to it as she may have been. But distracting Julian with sex? That wasn’t a bad idea. It wasn’t like she hadn’t done it before, anyways, amidst petty arguments and on days she felt like dragging him home from the clinic without a fuss. And so today, instead of blushing, she grins.
“You’re a genius, Portia,” she says, grinning as she stands from the couch and heads for the door — though not before pausing to tug the shorter woman into a one-armed hug.
Portia only laughs harder, and with that, Julianne scurries out the door.
Rather luckily for the stubborn magician, Julian doesn’t actually wind up coming home until well after sunset.
It had been a very busy day at the clinic, evidently, and by the time he comes sauntering through the front door, it’s dark out. He looks positively exhausted, and he heaves a thick sigh as he sheds his coat and then ducks to work at the buckles on his boots.
“Darling, I’m home,” he shouts halfheartedly, and Julianne pauses. As it was, she had only just started getting ready for bed. And that was rather lucky, too, she supposed, given her situation. Normally, she’d have slept in something loose and comfortable — one of Julian’s shirts, more often than not — but she hadn’t taken any risks, tonight. No, tonight she had purposefully worn something much more revealing. It was skimpy and soft; the straps were thin and the neckline sinfully low, and the fabric was primarily a lovely, translucent lace. It was a beautiful sage green in color, and it was downright distracting.
Or, well. She hoped that it would be, at least.
She delicately combs both of her hands through her hair — purposefully left down to fall across her shoulders — and with a soft sigh of her own, she wanders down the stairs to meet Julian.
“Welcome home, Ilya,” is what she decides to lead with. He’s not noticed her yet, too busy struggling to remove his obscenely tall boots to have looked up just yet. “Long day?”
His response is a soft groan, as his boots are finally kicked aside. He stands upright a handful of seconds later, dragging a hand through his hair as he nods his agreement. “Very long,” he laments, tugging his eyepatch off and tossing it aside in a manner that clearly indicates his happiness to be rid of it for the evening. “And hardly as exciting as you might assume. Some of these patients, darling, I’m telling you—! I’m not sure how many more times I can tolerate having to explain that there isn’t a cure for allergies, or a common cold. Not even leeches can — oh.”
He’s looked up, now. Smack in the middle of his frustrated rambling, he’s managed to catch a glimpse of Julianne, smiling softly at him and presenting herself just so, and… oh.
“Welcome home, indeed,” he purrs, and immediately strides forward to meet her. His still-gloved hands settle at her waist, first and foremost, and his touch is warm and appreciative as he spends a handful of moments looking her over more thoroughly. “To what do I owe this absolute vision?”
“Oh, no occasion in particular, darling,” she responds, melting right into his touch just the way that she always does. Perfect, she thinks. It’s working, then. “I just thought you deserved something nice. What with that long day of yours.”
One of his hands wanders upward, touching and tracing the length of her torso reverently. He only pauses when the palm of his hand reaches her neck, and the smile on his face grows all the more mischievous as he threads his fingers into her hair and ducks forward to kiss her lips.
“Mm, you spoil me,” he mumbles into the kiss. In the next instant his hands are on her hips, gracefully lifting her up and hauling her in close. Her legs wind themselves around his waist on instinct, and her lips curl into a delighted smile against his as she clings to him. “It’s only fair that I do the same for you, isn’t it?”
It’s not another moment before they’re up the stairs and off to the bedroom, then, and… Gods. It’s a win-win situation through and through. There’s never a word said about the letter, and Julian spends the next several hours doing positively filthy things to her with his tongue and his fingers alike.
It’s perfect, and more importantly, she’s safe.
Or so she thinks.
It’s in the early hours of the morning that Julianne finds herself being tugged in close to her beloved doctor’s chest, peppered in loving kisses and brought to consciousness both by the affection and the warmth of the morning sun.
“Mmf,” she mutters, tucking her face against his neck insistently as she comes to. “Ilya?”
“Good morning, my love,” he murmurs into her hair. It sounds as though he’s been awake for some time, and there’s a hint of a smile in his voice. It makes her smile, too, even as she yawns widely, and then proceeds to groan at the obviously early hour.
“Why’re you up,” she asks, returning a handful of his kisses. “S’too early to be up.” He laughs softly, then, and presses another to the top of her head.
“I was just… admiring, that’s all,” he sighs. His hands wander the length of her back, fingertips delicately tracing the lacy little thing that she’s still wearing. He had never taken it off of her the night before — not at the start, and not as he’d held her beneath him and showed her exactly how much he appreciated it.
She smiles softly as she gathers her wits about her. It’s achingly sweet, and she’s definitely about to respond with some flirtatious quip or another, but he beats her to it before she has the chance.
Though she can’t see it just yet, there’s a hint of mischief in his smile, and it only grows as he speaks. “If all of the silly little notes I write to you result in this, I might just have to do it more often.”
And — oh. Oh no.
She laughs softly perhaps a touch awkwardly at the suggestion. It’s certainly something of a challenge to bite back her panic, but she manages it quite expertly. Her expression is cool and calm as she leans back to meet his eyes, and she even manages to keep a hint of subtle flirtation in her tone as she speaks.
“Oh, I don’t know,” she says with a smirk. “Do you really think you could keep that level of charm up for so long?”
Despite her cool, collected facade, her panic only rises. Because oh, Gods — of everything she could have said, she had gone with that?. It wasn’t wise. Not in the least. Julian was as competitive as he was persistent, and — and — fuck. She was fucked.
“Oh, darling, you wound me!” he sighs, as dramatic as ever. He leans in and presses a kiss to her forehead anyways, though, laughing softly as he drops the act. “Still, though… perhaps I did peak with that first one.”
Relief washes over Julianne at that, and she nods her agreement. “Well, it isbest not to overdo it, isn’t it?” she suggests with a smile.
“You may be right,” he agrees with a nod, and she relaxes further at that, because thank goodness. If she could just… casually talk him out of the idea just as quickly as she’d talked him into it…
Quite unfortunately, however, she comes to find out soon enough that her relief had come very prematurely, because another few seconds later, Julian is grinning again. “I’m rather curious, though — did you have any favorite bits? Tidbits I could revisit in the future, perhaps?”
And she… she doesn’t have a good response to that. She doesn’t have an alibi, or a white lie, or an escape route, because in truth? She hadn’t been able to make sense of a single line of the letter. He’s asking her for specifics, now, and she’s got nothing.
“I — er — uhm,” she stammers, clearly floundering. In the midst of her panic, she fails to notice the amused gleam in his eyes — the way that he’s biting back soft laughter as she struggles to put together a response.
“Speechless, are you?” he teases, leaning in to kiss her cheek. “Or… perhaps it wasn’t very good after all?”
“No! I — it was! It’s… ah, the way, um — that line where…“ she continues to try, stubborn as ever. Positively refusing to let herself fail.
However, it isn’t very much longer before Julian himself can no longer keep up the act. He dissolves into delighted laughter roughly thirty seconds in, and it stuns Julianne into silence.
“My dear,” he says, once he’s caught his breath. “You could have just told me that you couldn’t read it.”
Julianne makes an indignant noise at that, and the shock in her expression dissolves into something rather more like a comically angry pout as she looks up at him.
“What—! How—“ she begins to ask, but it hits her before she ever gets the question out. Portia. She curses under her breath, and another moment later, she nudges him halfheartedly. It only makes him laugh more, and she grumbles and rolls her eyes at that. “That’ll be the last time I trust your sister with my secrets, then.”
“Come now,” he grins, brushing an errant strand of hair out of her eyes (even though she’s still refusing to meet his gaze). “I thought it was adorable, how hard you tried to be convincing.”
She makes another disgruntled sound at that, though instead of pulling away, this time, she rolls into his arms with a forlorn sigh.
“It’s embarrassing,“ she whines, forehead pressed firmly to his chest. He rumbles with soft laughter, again, and she pouts. “…and to be fair, we live together! I never thought that fib about being able to read that old letter of yours would ever come up again.”
Julian just grins, though, and presses another adoring kiss into his silly little magician’s hair.
“Oh, I don’t know,” he sighs, cuddling her close. “I’d dare say that little fib was downright cunning of you.”
She blinks, raising her head a fraction at that and eyeing him curiously. “…you would?”
He’s still smiling at her, and though the embarrassment of it all hasn’t faded just yet, it’s rather reassuring.
“It got me to talk, didn’t it?” he points out, and she huffs.
“It did,” she admits, and though her tone is still a touch reluctant, the smile on her face is soft and fond.
“And now we’re here. Married and terribly domestic, all because of your embarrassing fib,” he goes on to say, and that’s what breaks her. Her small smile brightens into a grin, and another handful of seconds later she’s giggling, flush with laughter and clinging to him as she nods her head.
“Gods, that… it really is the little things, isn’t it?” she snickers, and Julian hums.
“That it is,” he agrees, giving her a squeeze.
Her laughter settles soon enough, and as she relaxes into his arms once more, she sighs.
“It really was sweet, though,” she promises. “You’ll read it to me sometime, won’t you?”
“Of course I will, darling,” he promises, sealing the words first with a tender kiss to her forehead, and then another to her lips not a moment later. And she’s perfectly content with that, sated and just about ready to sink into another few hours of sleep. Julian, though… Julian has other ideas.
His hands wander toward the small of her back and then dip lower, and his smile grows devious as his touch shamelessly lingers on her ass for a very long moment before sliding toward the backs of her thighs, instead.
“So long as it gets me more of this?” he asks. His tone is low and sultry, and Julianne ignores the slight hitch in her breath in favor of swatting at him playfully.
“Oh, you’re a menace,” she complains. There isn’t any real fight behind it, though, and the moment he laughs and begins to pull away, she moves in closer. Presses him onto his back, and swings a leg across his hips. Indulges him.
She’ll always indulge him, as big a menace as he might be.
And… well, screw it. Love letters were overrated, anyways.
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Happy birthday! May I ask for the main 3 celebrating the MC's birthday? GN please? Thanks!
Of course you may <3. And thank you for the birthday wishes! I know it’s been a wee bit since my birthday and you sending this in, but I appreciate it!
Julian, Asra, Nadia x MC birthday celebrations
He loves celebrating your birthday with you, and is always super sweet about it
Bringing you breakfast in bed (with Maz’s help of course <3) and will just sit and talk with you as you eat
He’s been planning what to do for your birthday for a little while now, taking you two to your favourite spots around town
Stopping by the baker for a quick snack, saying hello to friends
He’s very sweet and dramatic the whole day, picking out little trinkets and presents for you as you shop around for a bit
Will do anything you want to do, and do his best to take you anywhere around town you want to go
Sets up a little show at the theatre before dinner, the two of you getting dressed up and giggly as you watch it
It’s a sweet thing, about the raven and the witch, defeating a god, and being together (*wink wink*) I wonder who could’ve possible written it...
After he takes you to dinner and then the dock
Staring out at the water and the island that was more of a dull ache by this point, he softly whispers that he loves you
While holding a little cake he made without any help. The frosting is a bit messy, the cake saggy and crumbly. The candle half melted for it was all he could find
But it’s so sweet you can’t help but almost cry, hugging him so tightly and letting out soft murmurs of ‘I love you’s
You fall asleep warm and content in his arms, with him kissing the top of your head
The cake, even with the messiness, was delicious
Asra is the type to wake you up on your birthday by jumping into bed and kissing you sloppily
Loud wet kisses against your face and neck and chest, making you wake with a start and fall into giggles
Slow early morning kisses while they tell you all the fun things you two are going to do for your birthday
The house smells sweet, like vanilla and sugar, the air holding a thickness to it that makes you feel like you’re on cloud nine
Faust curling around your shoulders as he hands you a sweet tea with still warm pumpkin bread, doing a little happy wiggle
He can’t resist giving you some of your gifts early, lighting up and wiggling as you open them
Of course, as the day goes on they give you little ones randomly, just to see you giggle and kiss his cheek
Takes you sightseeing, holding your hand and letting your arms swing as you two chatter on excitedly
Most of your day takes place at home, with little scavenger hunts to find presents and sweets, and spending time warm in one another’s company
You help them make dinner, them wrapping their arms around you and leading you into a soft yet sloppy dance around the kitchen
Smears frosting from your cake on your nose to kiss it off, entangling your fingers together
Falling asleep perfectly happy with them slurring their ‘I love you’ with a voice thick with sleep
Kissing their neck and murmuring ‘I love you’ back as you slowly drift off, Faust curled up around on the pillow above you two
One would think Nadia would throw a party and have a celebration, but she prefers the soft and sweet morning, waking up to your lovely face
The two of you sneaking out of the palace as dawn touches the dew turned earth, holding hands with whispered giggles
Going out of the city for once, to enjoy the beauty of nature in one another’s company
Relaxing in the sun on a picnic, picking flowers and putting them behind Nadia’s ears and twined in her hair
Nadia stumbling into a cold creek and dragging you in with her
Screams from cold water and giggles as you two splash one another, getting muddy and soaked
Going back to the palace chilled to the bone and still laughing, bent over and holding one another
Nadia kissing you softly in front of the fire as you two are snuggled under a blanket, skin pressed against skin
Laughter as you eat dinner and cake, opening gifts and just talking with her
Her lips tasting sweet like buttercream and skin as soft and cold as snow, pressed against one another with soaking wet hair
Soft ‘I love you’s said between kisses and bites of cake (that she probably feeds you)
Falling asleep like that, in front of the fire, your head on her shoulder and her head on yours, your hands clasped
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