Good evening, how are you? Hope your days are well, safe, and happy! I was wondering in your MerLuffy AU, how does Robin fit in? Because it's canon that she is the mother figure so would she also be a playing mother figure with bit more protective tendencies? Or would she fight alongside Nami for MerLuffy's attention?
Hey there to you too! Kinda hard to find “well” days nowadays, but we make do, and I hope you’re doing your best to take care of yourself too ^ ^;
So I’m not entirely sure if I agree that she’s a “mother” figure in canon. I think she’s an older woman in a group of people mostly younger than her, and that her maturity and experience often has her looking out for them, or watching over them when they engage in more childish actions that she herself doesn’t want to participate in. But I personally have never read her as being motherly to the other Straw Hats. Possibly older sisterly, but even that’s kinda open to interpretation! She’s just their friend and crew member, same as any other friend and crew member, and you can defs have amazing friends who are older/younger than you without needing a parental element in your relationship ^ ^;
As for her role in this AU...while it’s certainly subject to change in the future, I don’t currently have any plans to have her romantically interested in Luffy, at least beyond a gentle comfortable crush that she has no interest in acting upon. I personally sorta do see her as older sisterly! And can also absolutely see their relationship as queerplatonic, such that Luffy curling up on Robin’s lap and Robin gently kissing her head while stroking her tail and even sometimes pecking her lips is completely normal.
Robin’s absolutely very protective of Luffy, because in addition to Luffy being her chosen captain and savior, she’s adorable, and we know how Robin feels about cute things ^ ^; Robin’s also hyper observant, and is absolutely aware of most of their other crew members’ feelings towards Luffy, oftentimes before even they’re aware of it themselves. And, I think she finds the whirlwind of heated emotions centered around her beloved captain to be absolutely fascinating, and honestly, the greatest entertainment she’s ever had.
By which I mean, Robin’s essentially the all-knowing Overseer of the ongoing Win Luffy’s Affections Battle that is going on aboard their ship, and everyone but Luffy knows it too. She knows exactly who’s in love with Luffy and how deep they’ve gone. She’s there waiting when they come to the realization and need someone to talk to, and she gives advice on how to deal with their Feelings.
She steps in whenever things get too heated in love rivalry, such as when Zoro and Sanji are snapping at each other for Luffy-related things, suddenly appearing between them and giving them a Look, quietly saying, “Captain would be so sad if she knew,” which immediately gets them to back down and sulk in their respective Corners of Shame.
And while by no means is she a cock block, she’s also very aware of how oblivious Luffy can be, especially to things like romance, and steps in when she thinks anyone is going too far without Luffy’s knowing consent. Like perhaps Law gets a bit too tempted one night, and leans in to give Luffy a kiss on the lips while she sleeps--only for Robin’s eye and mouth to pop out of the wall next to them, gently chiding, “That’s crossing a line, Torao.”
Let’s just say, Law does not shriek like a terrified mouse, but no he won’t ever be repeating that. Nico-ya sees All.
Sabo, who got to know her a bit better than most during her time in the Revolutionary Army during the time skip, sometimes slides into the library while she’s working alone and tries to coax information on his competition out of her, such as whether Deuce has actually admitted to his feelings yet. And Robin’ll laugh, “That’s cheating, Mister Chief of Staff,” and Sabo’ll laugh too, raising his gloved hands in surrender but hey, don’t blame him for trying! He’ll be back to try another day, because it’s fun, even knowing Robin’s ironclad rules of confidentiality.
Who is Robin rooting for? Well, everyone, to be honest. While her unashamed favorite is Luffy, she loves all of her found family and friends, and finds all of their confused, chaotic, and passionate feelings for Luffy to be endearing. She gives little nudges here and there, but mostly stays neutral, waiting to see how things play out.
(And she has a strong hunch that there’ll be no single “winner,” anyway. Her captain always surprises them like that)
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~This ask has been added to the Mermaid AU Text Headcanons Compilation post~
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maybe it's all down to the loss we learned
ive been working on a short story for a writing class and i was like. what if i turned it into a fic. so i did! and here we are!
Pairing: Steve Harrington x reader
Summary: When the reader left Hawkins, they made a deal with Steve to come back in five years and try again (aka childhood friends to lovers to strangers to...you gotta read to find out)
Word Count: 2.7k
Hawkins is different than you remember it. Five years have closed over the puckered wounds you left behind, and new buildings have risen from the ashes of the destroyed, and though it is still your hometown, it has grown and changed without you.
The drive up the quarry shows a path grown over with misuse, the worn dirt half-buried beneath gnarling weeds and brown grass. What used to be a hotspot for the town's teens appears to have been deserted.
It doesn’t hold the same magic it did the last night you were here - the magic it held all the nights before. When you climb out of the car and take a deep breath, that old rush of excitement and burst of joy are long gone.
Though, maybe that’s because that beat-up red Beemer is gone, too. It was never really the cold or the view that made you feel that way, anyway. It was always the prospect of him; him, nudging your side to make you laugh, or him, popping the top of some drink and passing the cold hand, or him, whispering in the dark as you perched on the hood.
Part of you expects him to appear out of thin air with that familiar crop of brown hair, the kind eyes and the lankiness he's surely grown out of by now and the crooked nose that wasn't borne unto him, but broken.
You move around the edge of your car - a newer one, a different one - and drop onto the hood, folding your arms tightly against your chest. Only after another minute do you finally allow yourself to pull your phone out of your pocket and check the time.
Four minutes to midnight.
You know he isn’t coming, but part of you likes to think he’s looked forward to this day, too. Part of you believes you didn’t set a place at the table for someone who never planned on stepping back over the threshold.
Three minutes to midnight.
He is not coming.
It was Steve who convinced you to apply, in the beginning, and it was Steve who convinced you to go, in the end.
Back then, before Hawkins spilled out monsters, the plan was always the two of you. Your dream school, across the country, and a community college and job for Steve, and a shitty apartment, and maybe a cat. The plan was always Steve and y/n, without question.
Then the world cracked in half, and your plans broke with them.
“You have to go,” Steve said, sitting on the edge of your bed, flipping through one of the many pamphlets you’d received since the big ‘YOU GOT IN’ letter came a month ago.
"It's 3000 miles away," you said, dropping down beside him. The bed dipped with your combined weight, and Steve shifted closer instinctively.
“Come on, you have to,” he said, looking your way with arched brows.
“Your mom showed me the scholarship offer when I got here. You’ll come out of school owing barely anything.”
“No,” he said gently. “Y/n, look. This place-” he jerked a finger at the pamphlet, “-has the program you want, and it’s one of the best in the country. You’ve been talking about it since we were twelve. There are no negatives here.”
You frowned, tossing the pamphlet to the floor, drawing back and wrapping your arms around your stomach.
You couldn’t leave your friends, not after everything you’d seen and done and lost. You couldn’t leave your family, even if you weren’t exactly best friends. You couldn’t leave Steve. You couldn’t fly across the country and start a life and see the world without them.
You and Steve had plans. But the moment the Upside Down spread its jaws and bit down on Hawkins, those plans were shoved onto the back-burner indefinitely. There were people here to protect, to fight for - to fight with.
And yet, at the same time, this was your dream. So, how could you stay? How could you leave?
You couldn’t reply, the words thick on your tongue, sealing your lips shut.
“What’s up?” He asked. His fingers grazed your side before settling in the small of your back, trying to pull your attention his way.
He was visible in your periphery, but you didn’t look over. He shifted closer, not pushing any further than your constructed walls allowed; he wasn’t trying to know them down, but simply to be let in.
You took a deep breath and said, “I don’t want to leave you.”
He said your name with a sad, soft sigh.
“I know you can’t leave the kids, or any of these people,” you said, “but what if I can’t leave you?”
His thumbs ghosted your cheek for a beat before falling away, and his lips pulled into the saddest smile you’d ever seen.
"You were made for a hell of a lot more than getting stuck in some…inter-universal war for me."
“It’s not just for you,” you said.
“I know,” he said, one side of his mouth twitching. “But I can’t let you stay for me.”
You let out a shuddering breath. You’d never left anyone or anything behind before; you didn’t know how to do it; you didn’t know how to choose what bridges to burn.
“It’s your choice,” he said, “but you can’t make it for me. You have to make it for you.”
Neither of you spoke after that. Instead, you buried your face in the soft fabric of his shirt, and he wound his arms around you, and you let the silence shove away the truth and the reality of the situation.
Both of you knew the decision was made - maybe that’s why neither of you said anything.
You’ve largely kept yourself from keeping tabs on Steve over the last five years. It was what you and he promised each other - to not hold back.
You wonder if he forgot. It’s been years - it would make sense.
Steve was never forgetful, though, even when you were kids. He paid attention, especially where you were concerned. The Steve you knew - the one you loved - wouldn’t have forgotten.
Which means he chose not to come.
You try not to let that burn, but it hits you with the wind, stinging your skin. The cold creeps beneath your coat, and you tug it closer around you, strands of hair brushing your cheeks. Your hair is longer, now, longer than Steve has seen.
Different. In so many ways, you are different.
When you arrived at the quarry, Steve’s red Beemer was already parked up top, sitting on a blanket spread across the dirt with piles of food surrounding him. His attention was on plucking weeds from the dirt until your car door popped open, and his gaze shot up, lips curling up in a smile at the sight of you.
You crossed the dirt to stand above him, folding your arms and cocking a brow.
"It's 9 PM," he said, "grandma.”
“Not my fault you’re an insomniac.”
"You go to sleep at like 10 PM, I am not-"
“You totally are-”
Steve grinned, reaching out to nudge the back of your knees, buckling your legs, and he pushed up to catch you as you lost your balance, lowering you down onto the blanket. You squealed, gripping his arms and laughing as he rolled you beneath him, propped above you on his elbows.
The wide smile on his lips softened, turned more serious, and he brushed a strand of hair off your forehead, gaze flicking around your face like he was trying to memorize the lines of your expression.
You spent the end of the summer at the quarry, at least a month wasting the days away, sometimes with Robin. It was your last summer; it was your hardest summer.
“I’m gonna lose my mind without you,” he murmured.
“You already have,” you said, ignoring the painful twist in your gut. “Robin’ll have to lock you up.”
“She might kill me without you around to mediate,” he said. “She’s on the warpath for new jobs.”
“You’ll find one. It’ll all work itself out. Always does.”
“But not with you,” he said. You let out a breath, and Steve pushed off of you, laying on his back beside you. He snaked a hand out, pulling you against him, and you curled into the crook of his shoulder, one of your arms tossed across his stomach.
“You’re gonna be okay. We’re both gonna be okay.”
“I know,” he said. “I just…” He shook his head.
“I know,” you said, and shifted, laying your head on his chest, reveling in the slow and steady beat of his heart beneath your ear. “I know.”
“I think I might love you forever,” he said softly, a hand trailing up and down your shoulder.
Tears pricked the back of your eyes, and you lifted your head, stretching your chin to catch his mouth in yours. The kiss tasted of salt and loss and the draining seconds in the sand clock, and after that night, there was no more denying that the future was catching up to you; that the future might not keep you together.
You weren’t sure you would come. The idea was tossed back and forth for months, one day a yes and the next a no, a constant fight until you finally booked the ticket after staring at the agent’s phone number for months.
But part of you always knew you’d end up here. Part of you always knew - or hoped, maybe - Steve was it.
All you can hope for now is that he feels the same.
You stood beside one another, hips touching, arms crossed against your chest, eyes on the still, black water below. This time of night, the woods were deserted, and the only sound was the soft patter of water on the rocks and the chirping of crickets.
It was your last night, and after making the rounds to see friends - a tearful goodbye with the party, a big hug from Robin, a care package from Joyce - you and Steve ended the day on top of the quarry.
"It's really happening," Steve said after a long silence. His words weren't angry or resentful, like part of you hoped they would be - it would make things easier. Instead, though, he was just sad. "This is it."
“Steve,” you said back. You said his name because you couldn’t say yes, and you looked at the ground because you couldn’t look at him.
You should have. You should have been memorizing his face, the curve of his shoulders, the way his hair fell over his forehead. You were twelve hours away from getting on a plane and flying across the country - twelve hours away from the beginning of the rest of your life.
But Steve wasn’t coming with you. He would be here, likely starting at a community college and working his way through the days with Robin. He’d likely marry a girl much kinder than you ever were and have 1.5 perfect kids and be happy.
You turned to face each other at the same time. You looked him up and down, wanting to remember this Steve, but also every other Steve he was and had been; the one who pushed you into poison ivy at eleven, who threw you the world’s cheesiest birthday party at fourteen, who kissed you first at sixteen.
The deadline sewed tension between you, and you were fifteen again, nervous around each other
, not quite sure where you stood or how you felt or what to do about any of it.
“Can I ask you to make a promise?” You asked.
Steve’s brows furrowed slightly, and he said, “Yeah. Sure.”
You tossed the words over on your tongue, threatening every tear that threatened to brim behind your eyes.
“In five years, when I’m done with school, and hopefully on my way to being a functioning member of society, I’m going to come back. I’m going to come back to this spot. And if your fight is over, and you want to try again, you’ll come, too.”
Steve nodded, traces of confusion in his eyes.
“And I don’t want either of us to force it. I want us to go into every relationship or opportunity or whatever with everything we have. But if it doesn’t work out, we can give this another go. We can pick up where we left off. We can try again.”
“Five years,” Steve said. “You’re sure?”
“No,” you said, “that’s the whole point. But maybe in five years, we will be.”
It was a silly promise, no more sturdy than love or a snowflake. But like people did to all those things, you clung tight. You wanted Steve to do the same.
And he agreed. Because he was Steve, he agreed.
Midnight rolls in without a sound, without a blink. One moment it’s one day and then it’s the next, and you’re still standing here, nose going pink with the cold, waiting for someone who isn’t coming.
There was neither the time nor privacy for a proper goodbye. Instead, Steve wrapped his arms around you tightly, and you buried your face in his neck, and they held on for as long as they could - as long as was permitted for a couple that was officially broken up.
Then you pulled back, and Steve stepped away, and all he had was your fingers, gripped tightly in his own.
“Five years, yeah?” He asked. “No sweat.”
You let out a laugh, trading it for your tears.
“Yeah,” you said. “Five years.”
Steve held your gaze for one more moment before squeezing your hand and letting it fall. He smiled, sad and lopsided and Steve, and you smiled back. And then you got onto the plane, and didn’t look back - just as promised.
That’s it. The book of Steve is being closed.
Your eyes flutter shut, and the weight of it settles on your lungs.
It is so easy to get lost in all the things you’ve lost. And it would be so easy to fall into it all, to let it all swallow you whole the way you wanted it to all those years ago, when you left Steve standing in the airport.
But you have a life now. You have a dog in the city, currently being dogs by the best friend who only knows Steve from the stories you’ve told her. You have a degree, have job options. You have things outside this quarry, outside this city.
You have things outside of this place - outside of Steve. He would be a bonus, but a life without him is survivable. You know - you’ve lived it before.
The sound of tires spitting up gravel. The silencing of an engine. The open and close of a car door.
When you open your eyes, you see a familiar crop of brown hair, cut a little shorter and with more intention, a silhouette more filled out, less of a lanky boy and more of a young man.
Steve walks toward you and stops a few feet away, taking you in the way you are him, a sentence hanging from his lips.
No more preppy polos or work vests for him. He shed the hand-me-downs and the well-hidden insecurity, and traded it for dark pants and a nice tee shirt tucked beneath flannel and a jean jacket, an air of something like confidence following.
“Sorry I’m late,” he says. He pats the hood of the old Beemer. “This car doesn’t take the path as easy anymore. I thought I was gonna break down halfway up.”
He scans you up and down once before letting his gaze settle on your face. That familiar, lopsided grin tugs on his lips.
It is not like Steve to be late, but it is not like you to wait, either.
You smile, and say, “Steve.”
Then he crosses the dirt, wraps his arms around you, and holds you tight. And there are still five years to wade through, and there will be no immediate snapping back to the old days, and even now, it may still crumble.
Nothing is certain. But you’re as certain about Steve as you are of anything, so it will have to do.
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