#kind of wish i’d been here for all of them
Wherever You Go - Part 3
An Eternals fanfic series | Druig x Fem!Reader (No use of Y/N)
Word Count: 6k+
Warnings: mentions of domestic abuse/violence, angst, Ikaris is a buzzkill
Summary: In ancient Babylon, Druig hears a young woman’s desperate plea. In 21st century New York, Druig finds you somehow already one step ahead of him.
Notes: I should mention, all books and book titles mentioned in this chapter are real books and I have read none of them. So, nothing said in this chapter is intended to be any sort of comment on the quality or content of the books mentioned. I just wanted some fun and relevant titles to put in the story without having the extra work of creating my own fictional selection of books. Also!! Thanks for reading!! I hope you enjoy this new chapter!
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Babylon, 607 BC
She saw him standing by the water’s edge. He had his hands hanging at his sides as he faced out towards the sunset across the river. Even from the side, she could see a gentle smile had taken up residence on his lips as he watched the sun’s descent to the horizon. Her footsteps weren’t quiet enough though and he turned to look at her. Gold flashed in his eyes before he recognized her. He must have wanted to be alone or maybe she startled him. She shrunk a little at that, worried she was bothering him.
“You’re not bothering me,” he said softly, turning his gaze back towards the river. She walked up to the water’s edge, letting it lap against her bare feet. She hadn’t anticipated finding him here but she was glad she did. She knew she didn’t need to be alone right now. She didn’t want to be alone. “Why are you so troubled?” he asked, just loud enough to be heard over the rush of the river. The young woman glanced over at him and bit her lip for a moment. He always knew and he was always so kind.
“My father is selling me,” she told him, staring out at the river again. “He said he found me a husband but his village is far from here. I don’t want to leave.” She looked back at him and when he saw her other cheek, his expression hardened. She put her hand over her cheek, dragging her fingers from her eyes to her jaw. It was still sore. “I’ve told him I’m not going,” she said, glancing away from him. “He disagreed.”
“He won’t hit you again,” Druig said, his jaw clenched in anger. He could sense all the anger and sadness and fear in the woman beside him and he couldn’t stop himself from feeling it too. “I’ll make sure he won’t hit you anymore.” She smiled a little and looked up at his eyes again.
“Thank you,” she said, “I’m grateful, truly, because if I went home now, he would surely kill me.”
“Why?” he asked. She smiled a little bigger.
“Because I released all the livestock he was going to use as my dowry,” she answered, obviously very pleased with her method of revenge. He smiled and couldn’t stop from chuckling with her. “They’ll probably make their way back home, but for some time at least, he will be very angry,” she said, her smile slowly fading as she looked back out at the sunset. "It may not have been the wisest decision." She half expected him to scold her for it, but he laughed and smiled along with her as they stood side by side in the dying light of day.
They stood in silence for a while, at least it was silent for her. He could hear her thoughts temper and grow more serious. She was so unhappy with the life she was living. It was all she knew but she still wasn’t happy. She wished she could leave this place, that she could see what lies beyond the city gates, beyond the mountains in the distance, beyond the great rivers that stretched on in either direction for miles and miles. She wished he could take her away from all this. She knew he could. She’d served him and the others for years. She’d served them and worshipped them for most of her life and he had shown her favor. He’d been kind to her. He’d protected her, from the monsters, from others, from her own father. He’d smiled on her so often. At feasts, he’d sat with her and danced with her. He rarely danced but for when she asked him. She knew it would be foolish to ask for his love but she couldn’t deny the fact that she wanted it and she wanted to give her own in return. She wished for a way out, a way to change her life, and she knew he could give it if he chose to.
“Kalumtum,” he called her by her name. She looked up at his face again, both their smiles long gone. “I can’t give you what you want.” She glanced away as she felt tears pricking at her eyes. He knew. He always knew. It was his gift.
“Why?” she demanded, meeting his eyes again. Her feelings were only barely contained.
“I have a purpose to fulfill. It will take me far away from here one day and it will be very dangerous,” he replied. "Too dangerous for you to follow."
“One day,” she repeated, eyes full of tears, “What about now?” She reached out and took one of his hands in hers, clutching it to her chest. “I would give you my life. I owe it to you for the kindness you’ve shown me. Please,” she begged, “Spare me my father’s scheming. Spare me an aging husband who will beat me and treat me ill as my father has.”
Druig stared back at her. He wanted to spare her, to give her everything she wished for, but that was a decision that would affect more than just himself and the young woman in front of him. His entire family would have an opinion and it wouldn’t be very kind. But if he were to have a favorite human, no one would compare to her. She lowered her eyes and took a deep breath, loosening her grip on his hand.
“I belong to you,” she added in a whisper, almost too afraid to even say it. “More than I’ve ever belonged to any other man.” She trembled as she let his hand fall with hers. “I am yours, body and soul.” He hadn’t heard her utter the words aloud but he heard them loud and clear, almost like she had projected them into his own mind. He squeezed her hand in his and slid the fingers of his other hand beneath her chin. Gently, he guided her face up to look at him again. It wasn’t until she saw the sadness in his own eyes that tears finally spilled down her cheeks. His fingers slid their way from her jaw up to her cheek, grazing over the bruise that lingered beneath her skin.
“I wish I could be what you want me to be,” he spoke so softly, as if to protect her from his words. She pulled her hand from his and brought it up to his face.
"I don't want you to be anything, but who you are," she whispered. As gently as he touched her, she slid her hand against his cheek, pausing there for a moment as she blinked away her tears. His eyes widened just a little as he saw what she planned to do next, but he didn’t stop her. Her hand lurched to the back of his neck as she reached up and kissed him. For a second he wasn’t sure what he should do, but he chose to let her take what she wanted. Even if he couldn’t save her, he could allow her this and he’d be lying if he said he didn’t want it either. It only took a second to make his decision and wrap his free arm around her. They mirrored each other as they kissed, one hand on the other’s face and the other on the other’s waist, holding them close, closer than they’d ever been before. As she pulled away, he kept her close, pressing his forehead to hers as they breathed slow and deep together.
“I’m sorry,” she mumbled. He could feel the anxiety in her mind, wondering if she had made a mistake in kissing him.
“Don’t be sorry,” he said. Druig opened his eyes and leaned back a little to look at her, dropping his hand from her cheek to her waist. “Don’t be sorry.” She started to lift her eyes to meet his again but a voice came calling over the hill.
“Druig!” Ikaris appeared over the ridge and stopped when he saw the pair by the shore. Embarrassed and afraid, Kalumtum looked down and away from him. Druig didn’t move. He only stared back at Ikaris. “Ajak was looking for you,” he said, eyeing the woman beside his friend.
“I’m busy,” Druig said.
“She’s asking for you. You should come,” he replied, “I doubt she would approve of whatever it is you’re doing anyway.” Kalumtum dared turn her head to look at Ikaris, who just stared back at her with a look of the most obvious disapproval.
“I’m coming,” Druig said. “Alright?” Ikaris glanced back at him for a second more before he turned and left the way he came. Druig started to step away from Kalumtum.
“I can’t go home,” she said, suddenly afraid. He paused. She was right and if Ajak wanted him now, he didn’t have time to go see her father. He couldn’t leave her alone either. She had nowhere to go.
“So don’t go home,” he said, offering her his hand. “Stay with me.” Eyes wide, she let her hand fall into his.
New York City, 2016
“And that’s when he realized, we weren’t even on the ship,” Druig said, a grin plastered across his face.
“Oh my god,” you chuckled, “What did he do?”
“Well, there was nothing he could do,” he continued. “He stayed on the ship and ended up on the opposite end of the Mediterranean. It took him weeks to get back and find us.” You laughed along with him at his story. He still thought it was funny no matter how many times he told it. Kingo probably wouldn’t think so but it was always a hit.
“And that was-” you asked.
“Kingo, a friend from college,” he replied. The two of you sat back in your seats for a moment. A few moments of quiet passed between you before you spoke again.
“You know,” you began, staring down at the coffee cup in your hands, “I didn’t really know what to expect from this.” You looked up to see him staring back at you. “I mean, I still have no clue why you’re so familiar, but I think I’m glad we met.” Blue eyes staring back at yours. Locked in this familiar gaze, you could feel the energy between you, buzzing with potential and echoes of something too, something that once existed and could exist again if one of you would just make the first move. He didn’t need his abilities to know you felt that magnetism too.
“I’m glad too,” he said with a smile. “Maybe next time we can do dinner.”
“Yeah,” you nodded, “I’d like that.” You had to pull your eyes from his as you glanced back down at the cup in your hands. It was nearly empty and what little was left was cold after you’d sat there talking for so long. You almost wished it wasn’t empty just so you could stay there for a little longer. You tried to think of what was close by that could extend this date. There was a bookstore a block down the street. You tried to remember if you’d been there before. That could be nice. Who doesn’t like bookstores? If he doesn't, that's a red flag, you thought.
“You know,” Druig said, bringing your attention back to those blue eyes of his, “We don’t have to part ways yet. If you don’t want to, that is,” he smirked. You felt your cheeks warm a little as you chuckled. “I saw a bookstore up the street.”
“It’s like you read my mind,” you laughed. His smirk persisted as he stood and offered you his hand.
“Shall we?” You shrugged your coat back on before you stood and took his hand. He kept your hand in his as you stepped out onto the street, the cold air biting into whatever exposed skin it could find but his skin where it met yours stayed warm. With anyone else, you might have thought about the fact that you were now holding hands as you walked down the street, but it felt so easy with him. You didn’t think about it except that it was so different from people you’d dated before. There was no awkwardness, no misunderstandings, no sense of disconnect between you. It was almost like he knew you already. It was strange when you met and even when you sat down to coffee that day but maybe it was good. You hoped it was good.
His hand left yours as you entered the store.There was a moment of pause just inside but you decided to choose where to go first.
“Almost everytime I go to a bookstore,” you said as he followed you through the store, “but especially when I’m with someone else, I like to try and find the most ridiculous romance novel titles. Like the trashy paperback ones.” The pair of you stopped on the romance aisle. “Whoever finds the worst one wins.”
“And what do I get when I win?” he smirked. You smiled for a moment as you thought.
“Hmhm, okay,” you smiled and rolled your eyes. “How about the loser has to…” you began, “cook dinner for the winner?”
“Ooh,” he grimaced, “You’d be losing either way, darling.”
“What? You can’t cook?” you asked, raising an eyebrow.
“You wouldn’t want me to,” he replied, shaking his head.
“Okay. How about the loser has to read the winning book?” you suggested with a grin. “And!” you added. “They have to give a book report on it later.” He laughed and nodded.
“Alright,” he agreed, “Let the game begin.” You both turned to the shelves and started looking.
“My Holiday Cowboy,” you read aloud, holding up the book for him to see.
“The Bull Rider’s Christmas Baby,” he countered with another book, turning around to show you. You put your book back and kept looking.
“Mad, Bad, and Dangerous in Plaid,” you read aloud. Then you spotted it, an even worse one. You picked it up and turned to him again. “Okay, this may be the worst one in the store,” you announced. “Kill or be Kilt,” you said, stifling a chuckle. He visibly winced at the title but turned around with his own book in his hands.
“That’s good,” he nodded, “but is it better than Since You’re Leaving Anyway, Take Out the Trash?” He turned it around to show the cover. You laughed at the title for a moment. It was a good one. “I think that’s checkmate, darling” he smirked, holding out the book towards you. You hesitated, but after a moment, you sighed and conceded, taking the book from him. “When should that book report be due, do you think?” You rolled your eyes and looked over the book.
“How about whenever I finish it?” you suggested with a smirk of your own. He clasped his hands behind his back and took a step closer as you held the book against your chest and your eyes locked with his again.
“Is that your way of telling me to stick around a while?” he asked. You smiled a little bigger.
“Maybe,” you said, “Is that a problem?” That smirk lingered on his lips while his eyes drifted from your own down to your lips then back up again.
“That’s the opposite of a problem, beautiful.” You stared him down for a moment. You really didn’t know what to expect today, but after bracing yourself for the worst, you were continuously and pleasantly surprised. Despite how charming he was, he seemed to know more about you than you did about him and that still gave you a little pause. Lifting your chin, you let your eyes drift up and down him once.
“You know, there’s another thing I like to do when I go to bookstores with people,” you said, “people I go on dates with, that is, where we each choose a book for the other.”
“Really?” he said, just inches away from you.
“The book should be one that we like, about something we like, or by an author we like, and it should tell the other person something about ourselves that we want them to know,” you explained. He could tell you already had a book or two in mind. Druig could think of more than a few things he would want you to know, both about him and yourself.
“That’s a good idea,” he agreed. “Let’s say, ten minutes then we present our choices?”
“Okay,” you agreed, checking the time on your phone. “Ten minutes.”
He turned and left first, stuffing his hands in his pockets as he walked away. Druig didn’t know what sort of stories were popular in contemporary fiction these days so he headed for the non-fiction section. He skimmed the titles among the World History shelves. What to choose, what to choose. After a thousand or so lifetimes together, he was used to starting over but if he wanted to try and bring back past memories together he had quite a few to choose from. Babylon, Pataliputra, Byzantium, Florence, Cusco, among others. Should he start with the most recent? Or at the beginning? Each time you came back to him was precious but some of them carried more weight than others. The weight varied in it’s forms from the greatest happiness to the worst kinds of trauma. The first one was one of those that carried memories of both extremes, for you and himself. It would be one of the most painful, but he knew it would be the most deeply woven into you and one of the easiest to draw out. He’d chosen his book. It wasn’t exactly what he might have wanted but it would be enough to plant the seeds needed to bring your memories to you again.
After ten minutes had passed, he found you in the fiction section. Both of you had a book in your hands but concealed the title from the other.
“What did you pick?” you asked. The two of you swapped books at the same time. You looked down at his choice in your hands. The Mystery of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. “You a history buff?” you asked. He tore his eyes from the book you’d given him to look up at you again.
“Something like that,” he smiled. “It’s something that means a lot to me.”
“The Hanging Gardens of Babylon mean a lot to you?” you asked, raising an eyebrow.
“Yeah,” he replied, “I have a lot of fond memories of it.”
“Like the history of it?” you asked. He kind of shrugged and agreed.
“Yeah,” he said, “the history of it.” He looked back at the book you’d given him. Reincarnation Blues. Now, this was an interesting development.
“It’s about a man who gets reincarnated thousands of times but he just can’t get it right. He wants to find the secret to immortality so that he can finally be with his true love, who happens to be the personification of death,” you explained. Druig raised an eyebrow as he looked up at you again.
“Do you believe in reincarnation?” he asked, “or soulmates?” Even if you weren’t looking at him, you would still be able to feel his eyes watching you.
“Maybe,” you said, stacking your two books together and holding them against you like before. “Anything’s possible. I mean, I didn’t believe in Thor or Loki. I thought they were just myths but then a few years ago, one of them tried to take over Earth and nearly destroyed the city, so yeah. Anything’s possible.” You paused, just briefly. “Do you believe in reincarnation and all that?”
“I do,” he answered, “and I think there has to be an explanation for it, why certain people come back the way that they do, even if we haven’t figured it out yet.”
“Do you think you have past lives?” you asked. It was a playful question but his response almost seemed serious.
“Yes,” he replied simply and promptly. “What about you?”
“I don’t know,” you answered, “probably.” You shrugged.
“They say children can recall memories from their past lives more easily,” he suggested, “maybe you’ve forgotten.”
“Yeah, maybe.” You smiled and shrugged but then you remembered something. Maybe it was nothing but your eyes fell away from him as you considered it for a second. A recurring dream you had as a child. Was that what he was talking about? You hadn’t considered it before.
“What is it?” he asked, bringing you back out of your thoughts. You hesitated but decided to tell him.
“I had this dream over and over again as a kid,” you said. “I thought it was just part of being a kid, my mind making things up. But it was so vivid. I would get so afraid every time I had the dream.”
“What was it about?” he asked, leaning against the bookshelf beside you. He could just as easily look in your mind and see what you were remembering but he wanted to hear you tell him.
“Well,” you began, “I was running down this street. There were stone buildings around me. A group of men were chasing me. A woman found me and took my hand. She ran with me into an alleyway with a dead end. She put her hands on the wall and it turned to dust. On the other side, she somehow put the wall back up again. She ran with me some more but we could hear the men growing closer.” You looked back up at Druig’s eyes. You’d been looking away as you told your story and you glanced away again as you continued. “We stopped when we met some other people. One of them hugged me,” you paused. It was one of those things that never really faded. The one who hugged you, who held you after you were so afraid, they looked a lot like the man who stood beside you now. It was a coincidence though, right? It had to be. Maybe you didn’t remember it as accurately as you thought. Maybe your mind was playing tricks on you. You wanted to believe that was the case. You wanted to.
“Who hugged you,” he asked, “in the dream?” You looked up at him again.
“I don’t know. He was special to me, I think, but I don’t know who it was,” you said, standing up a little straighter. “The dream usually ended there and I would wake up with my heart pounding, feeling like I’m still being chased.” You were quiet for a second or two. “It was probably just my imagination though,” you added, “I mean, the wall disappearing and reappearing? That has to be all in my head.” You tried laughing it off, but Druig seemed unconvinced.
“Why would it have to be?” he asked, “You said it yourself, anything is possible. Who’s to say that there weren’t people with those abilities in the past?” He stood up from where he was leaning against the shelf. “Nowadays you have the Avengers, but how do you know that there weren’t people with abilities like that in the past?”
“I don’t,” you replied, “But wouldn’t we have heard of them? Wouldn’t there be records of them?”
“What makes you think people in the past would have perceived them the same as you perceive the Avengers today?” he asked. “Maybe people didn’t see them as superheroes. Maybe they perceived them as myths and legends, as gods and angels.”
“Maybe you’re right,” you mumbled thoughtfully. “Do you think that was a memory then? Not just the active imagination of a child,” you asked him.
“Maybe it was,” he said. “Anything is possible.” He smiled at you for a moment. It was a gentler look than the smirks he’d given you over coffee and your little competition, and it left you with a strange sense of deja vu. That seemed like a frequent occurrence with him. He seemed familiar in every way but you had no clue why, even after a long conversation about it over coffee. “Come on,” he offered you his hand again. “Let’s go.” You let your hand fall into his as you put on a smile for him again. He led you to the front of the store and insisted on buying all your books. It wasn’t until you were on your way out of the store that you realized what time it was.
The sun had long since set and the temperature had noticeably lowered. When you stepped out into the cold, he had a bag with your books in one hand and your’s in his other. You stopped on the sidewalk outside.
“I think I ought to head home,” you said. “I’ve got papers to grade.”
“Are you sure?” he replied. “The night is still young.”
“I probably should,” you added. You were suddenly aware of his hand in yours again. It made you want to stay, but you really did have papers to grade.
“Are you hungry?” he asked. You knew he was asking if you wanted to get dinner and you did like his company. Not to mention the fact that it was just too damn cold to stand around outside for much longer trying to decide what to do. You liked his company. You liked him, but there was something strange about the whole thing. It wasn’t obvious but it was lingering just beneath the surface in every interaction between you, every glance, every touch, every word. You wanted to understand it but it scared you a little. What if it was something bad? But what if this was all in your head? You’ll never know if you don’t try. You looked back at him and bit your lip for a second.
“Yeah,” you replied. “Yeah. We could get dinner, if you want to?”
“Okay,” he agreed. That gentle smile of his making a reappearance. “Let’s go then.”
Soon you were seated at a small Greek restaurant, mid-way between the coffeehouse and your place. Being dinner time on a Friday night, it was pretty busy and somehow you were able to get a table. There were people waiting outside but the host said he had a table for two. For a moment, you wondered if you were seeing things. His eyes seemed to glow for a second or two before he turned to lead you into the dining room. You asked Druig if he noticed but he didn’t seem to notice. You filed the event away in your mind. Maybe it was nothing, but if it’s something, you wanted to remember it.
“So when did you come to New York?” you asked him, while you waited for your food.
"A few weeks ago," he exaggerated a little, but you didn't need to know that.
“What brought you here?”
“A chance to see an old friend,” he smirked again. “And I needed a change of scenery.”
“Are you planning on staying?” you asked. It wasn’t meant to be suggestive of anything, but it seemed like he took it that way.
“That remains to be seen.” His smirk lingered as he leaned back in his seat. “For a little while at least. Until I can figure out if I have a reason to stay.” You mirrored him and leaned back as you looked back at him across the table.
“What did you do before you came here?” you asked. He hesitated and glanced away for a second or two.
"I was-” he paused, “Let's call it a community organizer. I managed a small village in Peru, sort of like a commune."
“Peru?” you asked. He hadn’t mentioned that before. “Where in Peru?”
“The middle of nowhere really,” he replied, “We had a place way out in the jungle. We were pretty isolated.”
“How long were you there?” you asked.
"A long time. Sometimes it felt like no time at all and other times, like centuries," he smiled as if he made a joke. You were interrupted by the server and once they left, Druig decided to ask his own questions.
“What made you choose that book?” he asked before you could start eating. His smile had faded and he leaned forward now, elbows on the edge of the table.
“I don’t know,” you said, fork in hand. “I guess it was just a gut feeling. I was running out of time and I knew I liked that book. I really liked the concept of it and it’s not something that many people actually believe in, at least not around here.”
“No other reason,” he mumbled thoughtfully.
“I mean, I don’t know,” you added. “Maybe that’s why we feel so familiar, like we met before.” You paused, looking at his eyes. “Who’s to say that we didn’t know each other in a different time?” His smile slowly returned as he sat up straight again.
“Who’s to say?” he repeated. “Maybe we have met before.”
You were content then to start eating and he followed your lead. You were quiet for a little as you ate. The food was really good and almost a welcome interlude in your conversation.
Today had been interesting so far, you thought. The man across from you remained an enigma though. The more you thought you knew about him the more mysterious he seemed. And that dream. He did seem similar to the man in the dream. If it was a memory though, why would he look the same now? You weren’t the same then. Maybe it was your mind making things up. Maybe you just liked him and wanted to feel some connection to him or at least a way to explain this strange connection that already exists for some reason between you.
Druig could hear your conflict as you ate in silence. The progress you’d made in just one afternoon was impressive. He’d done this with you many times before and this was usually the best method. It was good to ease you into the idea and let you figure it out for yourself but this time was going surprisingly quick so far. He still wished things could move a little faster. It’s been four hundred years since he last saw you. It was the longest you’d stayed away from him before. For nearly three thousand years, you had always come back to him every hundred to two hundred years. But after four hundred years of waiting, he wondered if you were finally gone, if he had watched you leave him for the final time. He was so grateful that he was wrong.
You let him walk you home. It wasn’t something you would normally allow but despite how unusual he seemed, he didn’t seem like he would do anything dangerous. It was a calculated risk on your part. You didn’t hold his hand this time. This time your hands were gloved and in your pockets as the temperature had only continued to drop since the sun went down a couple hours ago. Everything seemed fine until you were approaching the crosswalk just before your block and you slowed your pace.
“Shit,” you mumbled to yourself.
“I didn’t mean to come this way,” you said, stopping at the crosswalk. Druig did think it was interesting that you would come this way with him but not on your own the other night.
“Why not?” he asked. The two of you waited for the light to change.
“There’s a guy,” you said, “He lingers outside this convenience store a few buildings down from my apartment. He’s always there in the evenings. He’s shouted things at me and followed me a few times. I usually just walk around the block so I don’t have to come near him.”
“I take it the police won’t do anything,” he replied.
“Nope.” The signal to walk came on and the two of you started to cross. As you did, you could see the man stepping out of the convenience store ahead, down the street. Druig handed you the bag of books and moved so he would be on the other side of you, between you and the man. You pulled your hand out of your pocket to put it on Druig’s arm. The guy is less likely to try something if you’re with someone, right? Especially a man. Druig could feel you tense up at the man noticed you.
He had a steaming cup of coffee in his hands as he lingered just outside the store, watching you and Druig walk by. You could feel him watching you and you tried to ignore him entirely. He didn’t seem satisfied with that, neither was he intimidated by the fact that you had company. He started to follow you but he didn’t make it more than a few feet down the sidewalk before his eyes glinted gold and he poured his hot coffee down his pants. You didn’t see it but you stopped and looked when you heard him let out a long and loud string of curses as he frantically tried to rip his own pants off. When you glanced at Druig, he was smiling and fighting the urge to laugh. You didn’t know exactly how it happened but you couldn’t help but smile with him. He nudged you with his arm and continued walking.
As the two of you stopped in front of your apartment building, Druig pulled his hand out of his pocket to hand you take yours that was on his arm.
“I guess this is goodnight then,” you said. He smiled and looked down at your hand in his. You watched him stare down at your hands for a second or two before he looked up and met your eyes again.
“Goodnight,” he said. It was a loving smile, you thought. No matter how many times he’d given you that look this evening, it still made you feel good. When you looked into his eyes like that it left you feeling almost hypnotized. Something drew you together and it was hard to explain the sensation. It was almost like magnets and the more you were with him, the stronger the pull became. It scared you, sure, but you couldn’t stop feeling that pull either. And now that you had to say goodnight, you almost didn’t want to. His eyes slid down to your lips then back to your eyes. You wondered if he might kiss you. You wouldn’t be mad if he did. Regardless of how odd this day had been, there was still this undeniable and nearly indescribable attraction between you. You wished he would, but about the time you admitted it to yourself, he sighed and squeezed your hand.
“Text me sometime,” he said, taking a step backwards. “We should do this again.” He let your hand slide out of his as he pulled away, walking backwards for a few yards. You nodded and smiled.
“Goodnight,” you added. He gave you one last smirk as he shoved his hands back into his pockets and turned. You turned and hurried inside out of the cold. Once in the elevator though, you leaned against the wall and put a hand on your chest. Now why did that leave you breathless, you wondered. He was a stranger, you reminded yourself. But you still wished he’d kissed you. Why didn’t he? He seemed like he wanted to. Maybe he was teasing you. You chuckled at the thought. If that’s what he was doing, it was working.
Druig smiled to himself as he walked down the block. He’d accomplished what he wanted today. Phase one was well underway and now all he had to do was wait. Now that he’d successfully introduced the concept of past lives, or rather you did, and you showed you were already aware of some memories from your past, he just had to help you remember. Once it became more clear and you accepted this connection to him, he needed only to fill in the final blanks. You always came back to him and you had always loved him each time. After three thousand years, he couldn’t imagine not loving you, nor you not loving him.
He stopped in the convenience store at the other end of the block. He wasn’t going far tonight. If the next phase in this process was helping you remember your past memories, he didn’t see a problem with helping you along. He’d held onto these memories you’d given to him, safe in his mind, perfect and unchanged for millennia. He was going to begin with Babylon but after what you told him earlier, he thought he might start a little later, in Byzantium.
Tag list: @peachymichu
If you’d like to be tagged in any future parts to this series, please don’t hesitate to let me know! I’m happy to do it! And thanks for reading!! :)
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SUMMARY: AT HER LATEST BIRTHDAY, ELSIE REMINISCES AND COMES FACE TO FACE WITH THE ACT OF GROWING UP.
WARNINGS: sombre mood? Other than that I don’t think there are any, message me if you think I should add anything!
Word count: 760
Part of the Elsie Shelby series
Elsie sat silently on the balcony of Arrow house, looking out into the misty night; the sounds of the party, her and Finn’s party falling behind like white noise. Trust Thomas Shelby to host a bloody ball for his youngest siblings' birthdays.
But she was kind of sick of it. The glitz and glamour. The etiquette. The going up in the world which also somehow meant going down. She didn’t know over half of the people in that room downstairs. Appearance was what they were here for. Reputation and promises of future deals. She wanted Watery Lane back, with all of them living in it. Cramped into the little space and sharing rooms. It wasn’t nice, they would dream of this life. But now they had it? Well, Elsie just wanted her family back together in their old ways instead of being miles away in different homes no longer eating chips on the cut or dancing in the streets on the holidays.
She missed them, and she thinks most of all she dreads growing up. It was all too much too soon, she wished life would slow down a bit.
“Knew I’d find you here eh.” Tommy’s voice cut through the silence as he sat down on the cold concrete next to her, rubbing his hands together and frowning. It was February, and his sister's lips were turning blue. She’d make herself sick at this rate. “It's bloody freezing out here.”
“You just don’t want to be inside.”
She decided not to respond, humming out an old gypsy tune into the wind. “You know, I’m graduating soon.”
Her brother nodded his head, “I know.” He said gruffly patting her back a little bit too harshly. He was too used to roughhousing with john.
She continued on. “And then it's University. Or a job.”
“I know.” Really, Thomas, she wanted to say with a roll of her eyes.
“You're not getting it.”
He sighed in frustration, pulling a hand over his face, he loved his sister but she wasn't exactly direct was she? He had people to talk to and he was starting to freeze. “What is there to get then eh. Little one?”
“I don’t want to grow up. I want to stay like this forever. And I miss how everything used to be, and everyday is a step further away from that isn’t it?”
Now he was getting it. He felt a tug on his cold heartstrings. He didn’t want her or Finn to grow up either. But they were, and there was nothing any of them could do about it. He sighed and pulled her closer, arm wrapped around her smaller frame as she leant her head on the crook of his neck. “There’s a whole world out there for you to explore El. A whole fucking world you wouldn’t get to see if you stayed this age forever. Thought you wanted to see Paris and America? You’ve had those bloody postcards up on your wall since you could walk.”
Despite everything, Elsie Shelby smiled off into the reminiscent night, “Of Course I do, Tom. I do, I really do it’s just-”
“I miss us all being together, you know? Eatin’ fish and chips on the cut and playing stupid games in the streets and the party’s on the lane and-”
Her childhood. She missed her childhood, and despite what was waiting for her, what Thomas was excited and terrified for her to see and experience, neither of them could get that time of innocence back. It had been too long and their hands too red and wallets too rich. “I miss it too.” He spoke slowly, catching the flash of surprise on the young woman's features. “But you need to grow up, and you’re right. Maybe this new world isn’t entirely ours but that doesn’t mean you can’t use it, Elsie.” His tone turned stubborn. “And use it you will. Use it to go travelling or to university if you want.”
She said the next part slowly, cautiously, “and if I want to help around more in the family?”
He sucked in a breath, but she could make her own choices, as Poll always said. “Then we can discuss that another time, but for now, you have time to decide what you want. We aren’t rushing anything Els; now go have fun.” He shoved her to the door and back into the warmth of the house, catching her before she turned the corner. “Elsie? We’ll always be here. This family. Don’t matter where you are.”
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i’m very glad it wasn’t. ❤️
(the kara counterpart can be found here.)
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Not to have major main character syndrome on main but if I have to go into work tomorrow and explain that 2 weeks in I’m going back to my old job actually I will die
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Julian to Mark
℅ Helen Blackthorn
Los Angeles Institute
Don’t worry about the parchment scroll yet, I’ll get to it at the end of the letter.
Hello from Chiswick! It’s pronounced like chizzick, it’s just outside central London, and it is a collapsing ruin. The house, I mean, not the neighborhood, which is cozy, a little suburban, lots of green space, quiet. You’d like it.
I should have been in touch before, I know that – and I’m sorry. We had to move fast to save this place and I knew a fire-message wouldn’t reach you. Blackthorn Hall may be a ruin, but it’s our family’s legacy, one of the very few things that we’ve inherited from Blackthorns past. I feel this sense of responsibility, a need to preserve the place for Tavvy and Dru, for Ty and Liv — well. You know.
It was us or the Clave, and they would have knocked it down and put something else in its place. It’s easily in bad enough shape that knocking it down would be the practical move. But it’s ours, and I kind of love it. I mean, if we don’t love it, who will? It can be truly beautiful again, I believe that. You should visit when you get a chance—all of you there are invited, of course—but be warned that if you come in the next couple of months you will be put to work.
This brings me to the parchment, which is the estimate and contract from the faerie builders for the renovation work on the house. I was hoping you and Kieran could look it over for faerie trickery, both in terms of whether their rates seem reasonable, and also to make sure they don’t get Tavvy if we’re late with payment, that kind of thing. They came highly recommended—they’re brownies? I think? They look like big garden gnomes. I mean, it’s probably the pointy hats. They could take them off, of course, but I guess they like them. They must know they look like garden gnomes. Anyway, they seem trustworthy and industrious and all that. But faeries do love tricking humans. Let me know what you think.
Oh, I should explain that there is one part of the house that is in all right shape and has all the “mod cons,” as they say here. It was redone in the Sixties and, well… it is groovy. The cons are Mod as well as mod. I am not sure you will get that joke but don’t worry about it, it was pretty stupid. The thing is, I’d never thought about it, but I realized this must have been fixed up by our grandparents. The timing works out. So this must be where Dad lived, once. And Uncle Arthur. It was where they grew up. And I realized: they, too, must have been groovy.
Arthur. Must have at one point. Been really groovy.
I just want you to sit with that for a moment, the way I did. It creates a feeling I believe to have never been felt before by any human being in the world.
You should see the clothes. I mean, really. You should see them. There’s a consignment shop’s worth of vintage stuff here and none of it suits me at all. You’re welcome to it but it is almost all synthetic fabrics and would not go over in Faerie itself.
Aaand I know I’m rambling. I was trying to avoid saying this, but there’s something about this house. It reminds me of some of the nights you and I used to ramble around the Institute back home. Which I know is weird, London couldn’t be more different than the Santa Monica Mountains — I miss the wildfire tang in the air, the smell of the chaparral and sage, the coarse dirt under our feet. (Do you miss it too? I feel like it has to be very different where you are in Faerie.) But there were plenty of times, especially when we were younger, when we’d tell ghost stories out there and scare ourselves that something was watching us. Maybe something was, though I’m inclined to think now that it was something friendly. Here in this house I get the same watched feeling, like there are eyes on me, shadows I see out of the corners of my own eyes that disappear when I turn around.
Anyway, I really wish you were here. I’d bring it up with Emma, but I don’t want to freak her out. She’s started the massive job of sorting through decades of papers and journals that used to belong to the people who lived here, and I’ve started painting the ballroom. I know Emma has been in touch with Cristina, please send my love to her and to K as well!
Your loving bro,
PS: I realize now I don’t know where this letter will find you, so let me clarify that “all of you are invited” from the LA Institute, not “all of you are invited” from the Unseelie Court.
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dissonance (m) || jjk & reader
pairing: jeon jungkook x reader
genre: angst, fluff, smut, rockstar!jungkook, gradstudent!reader
summary: something that first seems out of reach becomes a reality for him. screaming adoring fans, billboards with him and his band plastered on it, and touring across the globe with venues sold out. he has everything... but all he's missing is you.
warnings: explicit protected sex, vulgar language, sexual innuendos, oral sex (female receiving) -- please let me know if i’m missing anything else!
a/n: um. oh my god. how did i plan for like 10.0k and ended up with 19.4k, i’ll never know. hopefully this isn’t boring!! :D i’d also like to thank all the beta readers in @/ficscafe discord, and especially @masterninjacow & @latetaektalk (before the smut ofc... i didn’t even write it until like 1hr ago), @koocycle, @cheolbooluvr, @ddaechwita, and @jayhopely!! pray i didn’t forget to mention any of the big beta readers because honestly there was a lot LOL. um. enjoy. yeah.
p.s. if there’s errors, i don’t even know if i want you to tell me bc this shit is way too long and makes both my laptop and phone lag FDJKSALFJA LMAO
He loves it here. It’s his dream to be here, on the stage, with the feeling of the music rumbling underneath the soles of his chunky boots, with the sea of fans screaming and hollering out his name, with his self-produced songs booming through the speakers of the venue while his band stands by his side, just as passionate for this as he is.
It’s his dream; he reiterates this constantly as a reminder that this isn’t something everyone gets the chance to breathe the opportunity of. He’s been manifesting this scenario his entire life, wishing and praying to the potential Gods to help make his aspirations become a reality. He’d work his ass off to make ends meet, be able to afford the necessities all while chasing this goal that many claimed to be unrealistic or unattainable. But he’s here right now, supporters that flood the building to the brim for a concert that’s been sold out in thirty cities so far. He has everything he could ever want. Girls, money, music…
But why does he feel like there’s something missing?
Another pair of panties gets thrown at the toes of his boots—it’s probably the sixth one that night but he’s grown used to this already. In some performances, girls would throw themselves at his feet instead of undergarments, yelling at the top of their lungs so ferociously that the security guards had to hold them back in fear of what they were capable of. And sure, if he really wanted to, he could ask them out or invite them back to his hotel room for a quick bang, and it was what he’d been doing for the first couple years, and maybe they’d make him feel a little less like this.
It doesn’t quite hit the same way anymore.
He’s left with this feeling of emptiness when he says his goodbyes and shuts the door behind them; there’s a gap in his chest like he’s forgotten something, yearning for it to be filled but those girls aren’t the ones to do it. His dreams used to be able to—but what are accomplished dreams when you have no one to share them with?
His friends/band mates are great, supportive and understanding, he’s admitted that he’s gotten lucky in that department, but part of him believes that it’s not friendship he’s lacking.
It sounds sappy to the ears of strangers, especially because ideally, you’re not supposed to depend on love to have that stuffed-to-the-brim emotion in your chest, to feel complete and whole because a pretty person fell for you and vice versa. But to Jungkook, being in love had been something he thought he could toss under the rug for another day when he’d given up the girls he'd been infatuated with for this unobtainable aspiration, yet instead, he finds himself back in the same spot years later. Missing a lost sentiment he had to let go to make a dream come true.
He loved the chase—he’s a hopeless romantic kind-of-guy. After all, how would all of his songs be so full of raw emotion? It’s because Jungkook lives it—or well, lived it because everything he knew about love had been left on a shelf to collect dust. He’d deserted the last one back in his hometown. And he’d try to convince himself that he didn’t need someone, but he’s grown… lonely.
And quite frankly, finding someone genuine has proven to be difficult.
Don’t mention Tinder, Jungkook has already tried that. It promptly made headlines the moment he logged into that app with a selfie he’s never used before, and still then people actually thought he was catfishing, and wasn’t the real Jeon Jungkook. He should’ve known. But in all fairness, Jungkook isn’t much of a ‘future thinker’.
Then there was trying to date a staff member—worst idea yet. That noona ended up pissed at him when he realized that this wasn’t what he wanted (he’d learn she was quite the control freak) and she flipped shit to the point that his managers fired her on the spot, then informed the security that she was on the “do not enter” list.
After that, Jungkook just thought maybe he was going about this wrong.
Maybe women weren’t actually of his interest.
Possibly, he was into men.
So, he tried. He ventured out a little, got a little taste here and there. Jungkook even found someone who fit him perfectly. His name? Kim Hyunwoo.
God, Kim Hyunwoo was a very gorgeous man.
Hyunwoo was tall, lean, with black hair that matched the midnight sky. His jawline was sharp without the need of Photoshop, skin so smooth that it felt like butter underneath his fingertips, and had a smile that was so fucking bright, you’d see it from lightyears away. He’s always got that hooded sultry gaze like he’s in the middle of a photoshoot; chin up, sleepy eyes, and slightly parted lips, Jungkook was confused whether his boyfriend was just standing beside him or modelling for the camera. Hyunwoo also had this deep, husky voice that swooned all the girls he’d encountered, the majority practically begging for his phone number, but he was simply into boys. Jungkook thought he was lucky to even be able to snag up a guy like him in the first place. He had a lot of competition, apparently.
It worked out for a little while, Jungkook confesses, because Hyunwoo was overall a great boyfriend. He looked out for Jungkook, treated him well and they shared the same interests.
But… that was the problem.
They got along very well. As if they were best friends.
He found himself getting a bit uncomfortable when things got a little too serious—don’t get him wrong though, he wasn’t embarrassed to be dating a guy. Hyunwoo was the definition of a model with all those sharp facial features. He’d even been stopped and recruited several times during their dates, and truthfully, it made Jungkook feel a little awkward. He was the celebrity here, yet standing beside Hyunwoo only made him feel small.
And in all honesty, he shouldn’t feel this way about the success of his significant other. But it wasn’t even just that. He found himself unable to pass first base with the guy—something about the action itself made him feel… unnerving. But he’s attracted to Hyunwoo. So why can’t he push himself to kiss him?
Jungkook learns that maybe he finds men appealing but he couldn’t have anything more than a friendship with them.
So, he dove head first back into the dating game. Met girls all over during his tour stops; he ran into a foreigner named Lily, a gorgeous girl with pretty blonde hair and pale skin. But they didn’t click. He oddly felt like they weren’t ever on the same page. Then he went to dinner with a gal named—okay. He’d forgotten her name. But the way her dress hugged her ass made his mind go blank, so could he really be blamed? (The answer is yes.) Oh! What about that girl whose name is similar to a hurricane? She had long, dark hair that matched her lengthy lashes and fluttered over her supple cheeks when she sucked his—
Nonetheless, it was a dud, again. He’s still lonely, he sadly confesses, but all of this is too much for him to process. He’s tired of getting his heart broken. He’s exhausted from meeting girls who first claimed that they’re not obsessed then actually are. He’s worn out of the ones who don’t love him for him, but love him for his fame.
Jungkook just wants to be loved for being… Jungkook.
And when he encounters you, some graduate student who spends majority of her days in between the activities of your face dug into a textbook or eyes glued onto a computer screen, he thinks he’s back to where he was before this lifestyle. Jungkook finds himself swooning, desperately wishing for your touch and kisses, but there’s just one thing he doesn’t quite know.
Do you like Jungkook for Jungkook? Or do you like the ideal version of him that sings on stage, tossing off his shirt with his abs flexing while the crowd screams his name once more, all while the veins in his neck pop when he reaches that high note?
Or do you like Jungkook, the one who still doesn’t understand the difference between an orange and clementine, the one who still has trouble knowing when a potato is thoroughly cooked, and why his socks came out of the wash in this weird pinky shade when they definitely went in as white.
So… which is it? Which Jungkook are you interested in?
Jungkook recalls the first meeting so vividly. People always call their initial brush of contact with the person they have feelings for a “meet-cute” (he learns this from his bandmate Jimin) but truthfully, he’s not sure what to call yours.
For one, you’re a very nice person. But he caught you in a bad situation when he landed his eyes on you for the first time; hair disheveled, frantic movements and heavy breaths, you didn’t seem rather… sane. In fact, he actually thought you were one of those psycho fans, waiting inside of the coffee shop, ready to pounce on him and ask for kisses, an autograph, and a hand in marriage, possibly.
Albeit when he spills his coffee onto you (purely accidental, not that he was scared of you or anything), he truly wasn’t sure how to react.
Well, unexpectedly, you blew.
Like the result of a ticking time bomb.
You yelled at him in the middle of that coffee shop (he’s not sure if he could ever show face there ever again)—veins popping along the side of your neck with a furrow of your brows, mouth constantly moving with sharp words that spat out of it. He was startled, completely baffled as to how you were able to formulate such… creative insults.
It ranged from being called a “dumbass with a head that's so big you’d expect it to at least have some knowledge in it, but really it’s just hollow,” to how he should“ go get prescribed lenses because it seems like you’re fucking blind as shit.” Honestly, there were definitely worse ones but he only revealed those two since his feelings might get hurt if he revisited the others.
Although seeing you now, you’re not that person. It was horrible timing, he learns later on, because you actually have the warmest heart he’s ever encountered. You’re beaming with smiles, radiating nothing but positivity on your routes, and when Jungkook has a rough day, just unlocking his phone to see your daily texts is enough to do it for him.
He’s so embarrassed to admit he’s got a crush on you. This simple, casual girl who knows who he is yet doesn’t treat him less than or better than everyone else just because of his career.
But he still has his doubts.
He worries, oftentimes his thoughts seem to stray away from what they’re supposed to be, constantly overthinking all the possibilities of what may happen if the two of you officially got together. He ponders about the what ifs, like how would you even react when this big time celebrity tells you that he has been harboring these feelings for you for months, or if it turns out this entire time, you’ve been devising a plan to date him for his fame and money.
Or, his imagination could be running wild and you would do neither, other than respond surprisingly to his confession.
Nonetheless, he’s still scared. Jungkook has been on so many dates, “broken” so many hearts because they broke his by holding up a facade, by making him feel like they wanted him. And he’s tired, exhausted like he’s run a marathon without the end in sight, when all he’s done is search for someone to love and to love him.
And when he finally gets to know you, the you that wears those baby blue overalls stained with smears of different shades of primary colors from helping your sister paint her nursery room for her soon-to-be-arriving daughter aka your niece, he learns what it feels like to be in love for another time. “You never know what color she likes,” he recalls you saying over a Facetime call, waving around a brush with the ends drenched in a canary yellow, but your pillowy cheeks have marks of blue on them. “Or they. He. Whatever that kid wants to go by later on. So instead, I’m painting her a portrait.”
“I didn’t know you were a painter,” he retorted, but you shrugged as you propped the phone onto a tin-plated steel paint can. “I thought you said you were going to school to become a scientist.”
“Scientists are allowed to have hobbies, Jeon Jungkook.”
Jungkook remembers a laugh effortlessly slipping from his lips, something you’re able to spill out of him with ease, and it’s partially the reason why he sticks by you so often. After he offered to pay for dinner to make up for the coffee spill (which you gladly took simply because you’re a poor grad student), he met with you yet again, but this time, you’re more welcoming when you’re in a better mood (you tell him “obviously” when he mentions this in the future), and that warm smile stretching from cheek to cheek is enough to lure him into the idea of love once more.
“What’s up with you?” Jimin queries, snapping Jungkook out of his trance.
He doesn’t realize it, but he’s lost in his thoughts as usual. On the leather loveseat in the living room of the shared condo he lives in with his bandmates, he huffs out a heavy breath, head thrown back. “I’m just…”
“Thinkin’ ‘bout that girl again?” he asks, but this time with a drink in his hand from the fridge. He pops the can open, a sizzle of the soda hissing through the opening as he brings it up to his lips. “Why don’t you just fucking date her if you’re so into her? I mean, yeah, she ain’t exactly your type, but you’re fucking Jeon Jungkook for god’s sake. She’s gonna wanna date you.”
Jungkook rolls his eyes. “That’s not the point, Jimin.”
“Then what is?” Jimin shoots back, raising a brow questioningly. “You could get any girl, including her. What's going on with you?”
Jungkook doesn’t like to talk about these things with his members. It’s nothing personal—they just have different perspectives when it comes to things like these. They love the idea of temporary; girls coming and going, barely even staying within the late hours. By the time they’re stumbling out of their apartment, they’re struggling to slide back into the heels they wore for the night out when the sun hasn’t even risen yet. His friends love that, they favor the fact that the girls they encounter never come with any baggage because they never stay long enough for them to unload it.
They’re not hopeless romantics like Jungkook—it’s why they’re never the ones to dip into the lyrics of the song, it’s only him writing it. They don’t have the passion for love like he does. When they see the sunrise, they think of the walk-of-shame, staggering out of the homes of the women they slept with after a show, but when Jungkook sees the sunrise, he thinks of the way your hair blows in the direction of the wind when you’re snuggling into the scarf that wraps around your neck. How your nose twitches at the feeling of the brisk air smacking against your skin, shoulders raising before bouncing to regain the warmth in your coat. He’s reminded of the way your fingers tap against the paper cup with steam coming out of the opening, waving him off about how you have class in a couple minutes and you don’t have time to hear his story about the performance he had just a couple hours before.
“Ugh,” he groans, hopping up from his seat. “Listen, I don’t wanna talk about it. We’re just friends, alright? Nothing more.”
Jimin has his arms out, clicking his tongue irritably. “Aye, come on. You’re not actually upset because I said that, are you? Seriously though. You wanna get in her pants, it’s easy, you just—”
“I don’t wanna just get in her pants, Jimin, I wanna date her.”
“Alright, well, that shouldn’t be a problem either.”
Jungkook scoffs. “You don’t get it, do you?” His bandmate only furrows his brows in confusion as a response. “I want her to date me because she likes me for me, not because I’m some celebrity in a famous band.”
Jimin sighs, placing his drink onto the counter. He has his hands on his hips, tongue poking the inside of his cheek. “Then why won’t you talk to her instead of moping around like some sad puppy all day in our apartment? You realize that negativity is contagious, right?” Jimin shakes his head. “We care about you, okay? And we want you to be happy. I’ll never understand what you want right now because I’m not looking for a serious relationship. But I’ll help you if you need me to.” Help with what? Thanks for nothing.
Annoyed, he grabs his jacket from the coat rack, slinging it over his shoulders and sliding his arms into the sleeves. He needs air, needs space from the guys, because although he loves them dearly, he feels like the odd one out these days.
The first person he could think of contacting is you, and of course it is because all this revolves around you. Then again, you’re on shift tonight. But at the same time, you have to welcome customers, don’t you?
Or so, he thought.
If your stare had lasers, he’d be melting right now.
“What are you even doing here?” you hiss as Jungkook grins cheekily while adjusting the black baseball cap on his head. Did he really think he could hide his identity behind a flimsy jacket and some old ass hat? How stupid was he? “And why are you dressed like that?”
“It’s a disguise.”
“And that’s the best you could do? Come on, Jeon. You could do better than that. I thought you had a high IQ.”
“I never said that.”
“Are you sure?”
“I may have mentioned it once.”
“Well, once more than I have ever spoken about my IQ.”
He can’t help but let out a breathy laugh, crossing his arms over his chest. “I’m a rockstar now, I think a high IQ is the least of my worries. Plus, no one suspects a thing. I just look like some guy coming to grab a cup of coffee.”
“At 11:32 pm.” You quirk a brow. “You look more like a creeper than ‘some guy,’ Jeon.”
“It’s a 24-hour cafe,” he attempts to justify, and you only roll your eyes.
There’s something about you that’s so simple, yet at the same time makes you even more beautiful than usual. Is it the way your hair is messily tied in a low bun with flyaways that cover your face? Or is it how cutely you scrunch up your nose when your hair brushes over it, shaking your head to get it out of your field of vision? Maybe it’s how the space between your brows crinkle in concentration when you’re tapping orders into the iPad register, trying your best to accommodate to the system that seems to update every couple weeks with a new layout.
Jungkook leans over the counter, some funky latte you whipped up from the specials menu in his hand. “I was feeling a bit… off today. Wanted to see you.”
“Mhm,” you hum, wiping down the caps of the syrups that line the shelves. “Not sure what I could provide for you Jeon. But what’s up with you?”
He chews on his bottom lip anxiously. Is today the day? The day he finally professes his true feelings for you?
Jungkook tests the waters. “I, uh, got into a little argument with Jimin.”
You click your tongue, the same way Jimin did earlier in the apartment. “Why do you keep fighting with my favorite member of your band?”
“I thought I was the favorite.”
“Have you seen his ass?”
Jungkook tilts his head. “You’re not even sure what my band members look like, do you?”
Nose scrunching up, you do an arm swing, feigning disappointment from being caught in your lies. “Oh, darn. How’d you figure that out?”
He lets out a hearty laugh from his chest, warm and full of elation like he always does when he’s with you. For a moment, he doesn’t remember his fame, he forgets the crazy fans, the surfeit of stages he performs on—he just lives in the simplicity of this moment, the calmness before every storm of his shows, and gets to bask in the normal things about life. How the front of your brows dip when you’re using the little ounce cup to measure how much of those weird, sticky, fruity syrups to add into the drinks the customers’ order is probably his most favorite moment to swim in. He loves that you’re able to make him feel alive in this way, a different kind of alive in comparison to when his feet are on the stage of a venue, mic stand in hand while he sings his heart out because instead, he’s got his heart in the palm of his own hands, reaching it out to you.
“Seriously though, maybe you should get along with your boys,” you state firmly, wiping down the counters in unison. “They’re not just your bandmates or your roommates. They’re your best friends; you guys have come a long way from where you started. Don’t turn your backs on them just because you’re slightly annoyed.”
He sighs, rubbing the round of his cap discontentedly. Jungkook knows where you’re coming from, but he hasn’t exactly been entirely honest with you when it comes to why he got upset with the guys because well… it’ll expose this stupid little crush he has on you. “I know that. They just… they just don’t get me sometimes, you know?”
“That’s no excuse,” you quip, tossing the rag into the sink. “You sit down and talk like grown adults. Communicate. Converse until it gets through all of your heads. Don’t fight.”
Jungkook smiles. Again. He’s so infatuated that he knows he’s far gone now when it has to do with you. “The guys would love you.”
“Yeah, but I wouldn’t love them.”
With a chuckle, he adjusts himself by leaning against the counter. “I know. You’ve got that thing where you hate irresponsible people. They drink, party, get involved with girls then break their hearts—they’re not exactly the kind of personalities you love to associate yourself with. But forgetting all of that, as friends, they’re great people, and I think you guys would get along.”
“We have different morals.”
“They’re just people, they’re allowed to enjoy themselves.”
“So why do you get upset when they have one-night stands?”
Frozen, Jungkook remains in the spot he’s in, almost like his feet are rooted into the broken tiles of the coffee shop. How did you even figure that out? Was he that obvious? He didn’t think he was, especially since he’s been manually trying his best to control what he says when it has to do with the topic of dating. “I… I don’t get upset.”
You roll your eyes. “Oh, come on, Jeon. I hear the way you talk about them. Your voice raises a couple of decibels, your ears get all red, and your jaw clenches. Trust me, I notice. And it’s fine that you get upset, but that doesn’t mean that it’s just them that don’t understand you, but vice versa.”
Were you actually siding with guys you’ve never even met, let alone googled?
“Are you really taking their stance on this?”
“I mean, you can’t possibly think you’re perfect, right?”
His jaw tightens and ears grow heated. He takes a deep breath for a moment before speaking; Jungkook doesn’t get mad at you, at least, not really, but today is slightly different from your other encounters because he came to you to ditch those guys, only for you to bring up the same exact thing? Not the right time.
“It’s not that I think that I’m perfect—”
“So why can’t you try putting yourself into their shoes and see how they’re feeling? They’re also trying to understand you. I mean—you don’t have to tell me that you’re not perfect. You’re a rockstar, but that doesn’t mean you’re smart enough to decide that wearing all black in a public setting isn’t a good idea because I’ve already heard three separate side conversations of girls asking if it ‘really is Jeon Jungkook underneath that black dad hat with a prada logo’—”
Jungkook cowers. “What?”
You sigh. “You should go.”
“I wanted to see you.”
“Yeah, well, I wanna see the Jonas Brothers perform but I’m in grad school, a broke ass bitch, and using every free minute I have to work at this goddamn fucking café.” Then you’re giving him that ‘that sucks’ look he’s all too familiar with. “You can see me when I’m studying at the library. Nobody who listens to heavy rock music studies there on a Sunday afternoon.”
You wave your hand dismissively at him. “Yeah, yeah, just go.”
This is the twelfth time Jungkook has invited you to a concert of his.
And it’s the twelfth time you don’t come.
It’s not like you give him empty promises either; you make it abundantly clear that the chances of you ever going is slimmer than 0.4%. How do you come up with that particular number? He’s not exactly sure, but he accepts the small percentage with a little glimmer of hope, nonetheless.
“Tae, I need you to help me with my guitar amp.”
“Isn’t that what the staff is for?” Yoongi narrows his eyes at his bandmate and Taehyung immediately places down his Starbucks mocha frappuccino on the stool before rushing over to help him.
Jungkook wishes you were here. This was quite literally the ‘calm before the storm,’ and seeing your pretty face and soothing voice would give him the encouragement to perform on stage, but he knows you’re not the type to come see a band that you’re not interested in.
He sort of hopes you were interested in him, but he digresses.
“Where’s your girlfriend?” Namjoon asks, helping tune one of the electric guitars as he sits comfortably on one of the amps. “I thought you guys were good. Why doesn’t she come?”
“She’s not his girlfriend,” Jimin chimes in, walking on stage. He’s got his earpiece hung over the curve of his ear, and adjusting the mic stand to his height afterwards. “Apparently, Jungkook is a bit hesitant about asking her out.”
Taehyung jolts his head at the younger male. “Why the fuck you scared for? You’re the lead singer of a rock band. You’re fucking racking with money, pussy is literally lining outside your fucking door, and you’ve probably got a big dick—”
“Whoa whoa whoa,” Yoongi calls out, furrowing his brows at the kid, “don’t be talking about Jungkook’s dick like that, what the fuck?”
Jimin looks at Yoongi with a confused expression. “Have you seen his fucking dong?”
“Alright,” Namjoon gets up from his seat, propping the guitar back on its stand. “Let’s… How about we not talk about our friend’s genitals, and try helping him with his girl problem instead?”
Immediately, Jungkook waves his hands in dismissal. “No, it’s fine, seriously—“
Namjoon raises his palm up to halt the younger male. “Come on. We may have different perspectives in life, but tell us seriously how you’re feeling and we’ll figure it out together.”
“I just,” he sighs, running his fingers through his already disheveled hair. “I wanna ask her out, but I don’t know if I wanna do this because… she’s great but—“
“You think she’s only into the idea that you’re a celebrity,” Yoongi interjects, nodding his head as if he’s seen it before. “I used to date this girl—I’ve never introduced you guys to her before,” he’s got a finger put down with every word that describes her, “Beautiful. Tall. Sweet. Kind. But she loved that we were up and coming at the time, that we were getting famous so quickly and she loved that lifestyle. Wanted me to bring her as a date to every party. But I was so infatuated, my stupid ass didn’t see it. It wasn’t until that first record deal fell through that she also fell through.”
Jungkook puffs his cheeks. “Then what do you suggest I do?”
“Well, you’ll never know her unless you actually date her.”
Jungkook’s hands are abnormally perspiring way too much. He can’t believe that a girl, not even his first time performing on stage for thousands of people, causes him to feel this nervous. Shaking his shoulders in his bomber jacket, he takes in a deep breath before opening the doors of the library.
2nd flr, your text reads, and Jungkook recalls that you preferred this level since you were still allowed to talk here but in a low volume. You weren’t a big fan of dead silent places, and ever since you found this spot, it’s been your go-to. He’s already rushing up the steel staircases of the building the moment you confirm there’s a spot for him to sit in. It’s not his first time and he’s not even a student here, yet he’s probably been here more frequently than those who were enrolled. He comes to see you, not even to study or anything else. In reality, he finds himself scrolling through social media on his phone or even borrowing your laptop as your face is dug deep into the depths of the pages of your textbook, only to do the same exact thing he was doing on his own mobile device.
When he pushes through another set of double doors, he lets out a sigh of relief. There isn’t one specific reason why he feels this way, but there’s just something about you that releases the burden that sits atop of his shoulders.
“Hey,” Jungkook calls out softly, and your head perks up at the sudden movement of the chair in front of you. Pulling out an AirPod from one of your ears, your sunken eyes meet up with his. “What are you studying for?”
In your oversized charcoal hoodie (the one you got from Artizia that one time; something about how expensive it was but the moment your arms and head slides through the holes, you were already one with the hoodie), you’ve got your hair tied up in a loose, messy bun, stray strands cascading over your face. He takes note that you’ve been breaking out lately; a pimple on your cheek, nose, and chin, black circles darkening underneath those pretty eyes, and you’ve been putting in less effort to apply makeup on in the mornings.
Yet, you still look effortlessly gorgeous.
“What?” you say, half of the energy you normally exhibit.
Jungkook has a soft smile tugging on the edges of his mouth. You’re cute. “I asked what you were studying for.”
“Some specific law class. If I got into the details, you wouldn’t get it.”
He chuckles quietly. “Good call on stopping yourself from explaining.” Slipping the backpack off his shoulders, he unzips it before pulling out a sandwich he bought from the store.
Your face abruptly is three shades brighter.
“Is… is that for me?”
“No,” he retorts bluntly with a straight face until it breaks with a grin. “… Yes. Of course. I even got you chicken salad as the protein.”
You gasp. “Chicken salad? You went all out, Jeon Jungkook. What are you having?”
“Nah, I’m on a diet. I got a performance on Friday night and I’m supposed to showcase my abs.”
Your nose scrunches up, hands reaching out with a grabby-grabby motion. “Gimme gimme. And—do you have to show your abs? I mean, they come for your music, right?”
Jungkook narrows his gaze at you. “Come on, you can’t possibly think that they’re all here for the music. I’ve seen some of them that come backstage with VIP passes. It was like they paid for it to test their chances of fucking me or something ‘cause they didn’t even know the titles of some of the songs.”
Midway reaching your first bite of your sandwich, you cringe again.
“Which… actually is sorta something I wanted to talk to you about.”
Cheeks stuffed with the carbs, his heart is full with love at the sight. You’re so cute like this, eyes widened, smears of the mayo on the side of your lips, and your mouth is filled to the brim with the sandwich that he can see a bit of it protruding out.
“What?” He swears he saw you spit something out of your mouth but he ignores it.
“I… have a confession to make.”
How you swallow that huge ass bite so quickly, he’ll never know, but you wipe your mouth with a napkin, the fronts of your brows dipping at his abrupt statement.
Jungkook inhales a deep breath before releasing it while you eye him curiously. “I… like you.”
It’s not the reaction he was looking for—or, well, he wasn’t sure what he was expecting, but it definitely wasn’t this. “What?”
“Well, I don’t see why you’re making it into a big deal. We’re friends, aren’t we? I know you like me. Otherwise we wouldn’t be friends.”
His face contorts in confusion. “No, I meant like… I like you. More than a friend. Boyfriend and girlfriend kind of deal.”
You place your sandwich down gingerly.
“Do you… not like me in return?”
Shoulders dropped, your lips curve into a frown. He doesn’t want to be the type of guy who says you look beautiful even when you’re upset, but… you’re beautiful when you’re upset. “Don’t worry, I like you. You’re charming and handsome, smart at times and dumb at others, but there’s still things I learn from you. Of course, it’s sort of hard not to like you.”
“But,” his face drops; nothing good comes out after the word ‘but’. “I wouldn’t necessarily be interested in dating you.”
He freezes; he’s more frozen than when Captain America is found in that block of ice. “Wh… Why?”
“Because you’re a rockstar.”
You roll your eyes. “Jungkook, we both have vastly different priorities.”
Bewildered by your response, Jungkook adjusts himself in the wooden chair, the ones you complain about that make your ass hurt when you sit on them for too long, and clears his throat. “I mean, everyone has different priorities. I don’t see what you’re getting at.”
Fiddling with a piece of the bread, your eyes don’t even meet with his. “Jungkook, you seem to forget that you’re this big rockstar. You have billions of adoring fans, you travel frequently, you drink and get blackout wasted with your band mates, and well… I don’t know how else to describe your lifestyle other than that you’re living the dream. I’m just a grad student. I’m trying to finish school, get a job, one day get married and have kids. If we ever dated, we’d be casual. You’re like an undergrad fling, not a graduate school one.”
Baffled, his mouth is agape. Were you really labeling him as a fling despite the fact that the two of you haven’t even dated yet?
“You… okay, let me get this right. You don’t want to date me because I’m a rockstar?”
Leaning back in his seat, he pulls his baseball cap off his head and tosses it on the table before running his fingers through his disheveled tangled locks. “Wh… I’ve never been in this situation.”
You’re already reaching for your sandwich again as if you didn’t just tore his heart to shreds. “Um. I’m sorry. I think we’d make great friends though.”
“You know, girls would kill to date me because I’m a celebrity.”
There’s an empty look washing over your face. “Correct. Which all the more makes me not want us to date.”
“Because what?” he snaps, exasperated.
“Because,” you reiterate, continuing along, “I’d have so many people to compete with. What makes you think I wouldn’t be sitting in the middle of my apartment on days you’re on tour elsewhere, or pacing around my living room, distressed because I have no idea what my boyfriend is up to? Or if he has better options lining up, waiting to get his attention and be his when I’m supposed to be the only one?”
“Because,” he’s mocking you now, “you’d be my girlfriend. The only one that’s on my mind.”
You scoff. “Not the only one in your eyesight that’s half naked though.”
He groans frustratedly, rubbing his face into his hands. “I’ve never had to convince someone to date me before.”
“Jungkook, it’s fine. I think you’re great with an amazing personality. But we’re just not meant to be because I can’t understand your stardom life. That’s all. Maybe in another lifetime.”
“I don’t have control over those girls that strip in front of me or throw their undergarments on stage.”
“I never said it was your fault.”
He sucks in his cheeks, pondering on how to proceed next. Jungkook didn’t prepare for this—he thought he’d either get friendzoned or you’d run into his arms eagerly, excited to be finally his. And somehow, it’s… neither?
Jungkook never knew his job could get in the way of getting his dream girl.
He stays silent, absorbing all of this information. So you did like him back, you just didn’t want to get involved with a rockstar. It makes sense though, and he completely understands where you’re coming from because his bandmates live that same exact lifestyle that you claim is stereotypical celebrity behavior. But he wanted to prove to you that he wasn’t like that, that he saw life a whole lot differently than those guys, and if anything he is solely dedicating himself to you and no other girl if it meant that you’d be his girlfriend.
“How… how do I convince you otherwise?”
This intrigues you. There’s a twitch in your brow, like your face is going to warp into a different countenance, but you’re resuming eating your sandwich again to stall a response.
“Maybe… if you come to my shows, go on a couple dates with me, and hang out with my friends, you’d… get a better glimpse of what that side of me is really like. It’s not like you don’t have feelings for me, right? So this is just… just a trial run. And if it really doesn’t work out, I’ll drop it and we can continue being friends again. I won’t probe you.”
Finishing your last bite, you brush your hands off of the crumbs on the side. He remembers the first time you did that; the remnants of your poptart that spilled onto the table while you were studying were whisked off and onto the floor and when he made a comment about how unsanitary it was, your rebuttal was, ‘if I’m paying this much for University, I’m going to make a mess.’ It’s one of the reasons he fell for you—not that weird thing with the crumbs you did though, he still doesn’t support it, but it’s how bold and honest you were, and he hadn’t met anyone like that.
Finger in your mouth to get the remains of the sandwich off the side of your teeth, you wipe your hand off on the napkin and suck in your cheeks. He cringes, and he knows you’re doing this purposely to throw him off because of his proposal.
“Fine?” He didn’t think it was going to be that easy.
“Fine,” you reiterate once more, leaning back in your seat. “But if I still feel the same way, I’m moving on and you can’t keep pursuing. I’m giving this a shot in case one day, I look back and regret that I didn’t at least give it a try.”
Jungkook’s cheering inside.
The queue outside wraps around the venue and continues down the street, past a Starbucks, a post office, and some creepy gas station with a couple lights flickering, in need of a replacement. The sight of the amount of people that are waiting just to see Jungkook’s band perform is astonishing, leaving your mouth agape because truthfully, you’ve never truly thought about how famous he was. All you knew was that if you Googled his name, an actual Wikipedia page would show up.
Maybe that should’ve been the first sign that he’s actually a celebrity.
It feels wrong when you passed the people in the line, like you’re cutting them off or something, but this Staff pass that Jungkook gives you lets you slide in both the front and backdoors with ease, and allows way more accessibility than some nutty ass VIP pass that fans have to sell an organ for. So, pulling your jacket closer to your frame, you crouch your head down as much as possible to avoid any attention before flashing that plastic rectangular card with the words ‘STAFF’ printed in bold and caps, and the security guard steps aside without any words coming out of his mouth.
The first thing you could think of the moment you stepped backstage was that it’s… a tad bit hectic.
People are hustling and bustling, all occupied with tasks to tend to, earpieces plugged in and you take note of a couple of the workers with clipboards that are hollering out orders to the rest. It’s chaotic as hell, and you feel like you’re sticking out like a sore thumb just trying to weave through the crowds that are just trying to do their job when you’re here to see Jungkook.
You hate these kinds of places.
They’re so packed and filled with sweaty humans, wet and thirsty for these stupid boys at the same time, and you couldn’t be bothered to even be there. Although being backstage is quite the opposite, instead of those crazy fans, it’s frantic employees that are preparing the stage for Jungkook’s band to perform for those said weirdos on the other side of the curtain.
You [6:45PM]: where are you?
Jeon [6:45PM]: hold on, i’ll come out and get you!
He’s so easy to spot in a crowd full of people.
You ‘stick out like a sore thumb’ because you’re not working like the rest of them.
Jungkook, however, ‘sticks out like a sore thumb’ simply because of his looks.
You meant it when you said that it’s not him that makes you hesitant about pursuing a relationship, it’s his choice of career. He’s always got that pretty smile planted on his face, never failing to turn the heads of many, with charms that emit off him with simplicity, and when he says something even remotely flirtatious, your heart skips a beat. But your stance remains—Jungkook is a celebrity, and you’re not ready for that kind of burden.
Gesturing you to follow him, you don’t hesitate to trail after him in his leather tight pants that hug him in places you never thought your eyes would linger. Were his thighs always that big? You had to quickly shake your head from getting any weird ideas. This is Jeon Jungkook you’re thinking about here, a rocker, a musician, a guy with crazy adoring fans. You would and could never be more. It just didn’t make sense for it to.
When you say there’s a fucking shit ton of people backstage, there’s no exaggeration.
It slowly becomes harder to pinpoint Jungkook in the midst of the employees weaving through the crowds, and the mop on Jungkook’s head barely makes him accessible to find. Yet, he seems to figure this out when you’re not in close proximity—so he waits. He waits until you’re close, then in that moment, his hand reaches for yours and clasps them together.
You’ve never touched Jungkook or been this close in that manner, because when he tugs you closer, you get a whiff of his cologne that practically intoxicates you and has your knees buckling at the aroma. It’s a mixture of citrus with a light spice, some vanilla, and patchouli—then when Jungkook turns to confirm that you’re still there, a smile tugs on the corners of his mouth that tightens your chest even more.
Wait. Snap the fuck back into reality.
Jungkook is a fantasy, one you couldn’t afford to mesh into with your reality. He’s the type of guy that the moment you get involved with, he’ll steer you off your life course and you don’t want that. You worked too hard for your career, for your education, and someone like him could ruin your dreams in a heartbeat because of that gorgeous smile.
He’s like a bad boy meets a sweet boy into one. Tattoos decorate his biceps to his forearms, down to his hands and fingers. He’s got a piercing underneath his tongue, more jewels that adorn the curve of his ears, and he even has an eyebrow one. You never confess to Jungkook that you’ve watched his performances on Youtube before, but you definitely saw it. There’s no dodging those recommended videos on the home screen of the website, so you have been tempted to tap one of them (especially when the thumbnail is of him with those RayBans and that tight shirt).
He flexes his arms like he’s gotta use this strength for something, but it’s all for visuals. Sticking his tongue out his mouth, he uses it to outline his plump lips, moistening them as it glistens underneath the stage lights, then points directly at the camera, stares at it dead eye in the center before wetting girls’ panties just from a simple wink.
But when he’s offstage, he’s got this warmth that radiates off him, kind of like that cute reaction you see in Animal Crossing where flowers emerge with that sparkling sound effect, supposedly expressing joy.
Jungkook laughs with his whole face scrunched up, deep and thick like honey when he’s playing it cool, but higher-pitched and bright when it’s genuinely funny. He does that thing where his hand just stays in the air sometimes, and you’re not sure if he’s going to hit your arm or put it down, but it’s part of his cute laughing habits that you’ll never understand.
It’s hard to tell him ‘no’ after his confession when he’s like this, gleaming with elation when he sees you, but the truth still stands. Jungkook isn’t the guy for you.
When he introduces you to his bandmates, who lounge around in the room with what looks like there isn’t an ounce of nerves in their system, the sound of your name also seems familiar to their ears.
Then Taehyung sports a cocky grin, extending his hand out for you to shake, and the words that leave his mouth only support your observation. “Finally, we get to meet you. Jungkook doesn’t shut up about you.”
Heat rises up to Jungkook’s cheeks. “Alright, enough of that,” he says, glaring at the older male. “Either way, these are my boys.”
His “boys” are what you expect, based on Jungkook’s description of them. Namjoon, the leader, is poised with eyes that curve to moon crescents, mirroring the way his lips curl. He’s gone bleach blonde, you recall Jungkook mentioned, but he wears a beanie that hides it, however the little baby strands that peek through expose him. He’s supposedly mature despite not being the oldest, and always brings order to the chaos.
Then there’s Yoongi, the quiet one with a hardened expression. He’s nice, you learn eventually after having a couple conversations with him, he just has a stiff facade you have to break into. You finally have names to the faces: Seokjin, oldest and loudest, Taehyung, the ‘artsy’ one who dresses accordingly what the current trend is, Hoseok, the cheesy ball of goo who seemingly is always beaming whenever he goes, and lastly Jimin, the big womanizer whose whole personality revolves around having an active sex life.
“You’re pretty,” Jimin compliments, but his tone exhibits a ‘stating-the-obvious’ vibe. “I see why Jungkook is so caught up on you.”
With a groan, Jungkook shoves Jimin out the way. “Stop,” he whines, “the point is to not scare her away, and you guys are doing just that.”
Namjoon lets out a laugh, and the way he gets up from the armrest of the couch to open the mini fridge to snatch a water bottle for you is comforting. He doesn’t poke fun like Taehyung and Jimin, in fact, he does the opposite. He hands the chilled bottle to you, and the way his eyes match that soft smile dressed upon his lips pulls you in. “Don’t mind them. It’s nice to put a face to a name. We’re happy to have you here, it’s great to finally meet a friend of Jungkook’s.”
“Water?” Seokjin calls out from the corner of the room, finally detaching his eyes from the screen of his phone. “Get her a beer or somethin’. You’re here for a concert, not for an interview. Go grab her that Budlight from the fridge, Joon.”
Namjoon rolls his eyes. “Would you like a beer?”
Seokjin makes a point. If you’re going to at least enjoy yourself (and maybe release some nerves while you’re at it), you should grab yourself a drink.
A drink is an understatement.
You end up having more than just the two cans of beer in their dressing room—you somehow resulted in drinking a couple glasses of mojitos (your favorite), and enjoyed some appetizers leisurely, despite the crowds of people. And it’s all because of that sparkly VIP pass Jungkook gives you.
There’s a box, slightly higher than the rest of the mass of people, but not taller than the stage. It’s got these bars that perimeter the area, seats that are spaced out from each other, including tables so you can put your fancy drinks on. Jungkook mentions that they have this at all of his concerts, and that usually the wealthier fans tend to put in extra money for the comfort during the show, rather than being in that horde with skin on skin contact with strangers who are without a doubt sweating in this hot venue.
Maybe it’s the alcohol in your bloodstream, or is it your heart talking but Jungkook is… different on stage.
When your friends tell you about their concert experiences, you rarely ever truly understand what they mean. There’s a difference between listening to an artist’s song on Spotify or Apple Music, and hearing them onstage, feeling the vibration from the speakers that surround the venue, and that inebriated trance it puts you in. Body swaying to the music, eyes closed to heighten your senses; the thud underneath the soles of your shoes, the heat radiating off your skin—you lose control of yourself and just vibe with the songs that blare into your ears.
It’s also helpful that you have some rum in your system.
Jungkook and his band make this new adventure worthwhile. There’s no separation between the fans and the performers—they’re so interactive during their concerts, constantly getting the audience to sing along while holding their mic out, even tossing water bottles and sweaty towels in their direction, and winking or pointing to random girls to get them swooning.
That wink from Jungkook may have stirred something inside.
After the concert, a handful of screaming fans come running to his side the second he’s hopped off the stage. His intention was to run to you, give you that sweaty hug that you were oddly longing for, but instead, he’s already wrapped an arm around a crazed fan for a picture.
And suddenly, reality smacks your face like the winter’s brisk wind.
Being here was great in a sense that temporarily, you were able to forget. It was easy to bury all the concerns you had when it came to possibly dating Jungkook, but reality comes crashing like a storm, and you’re back to where you started. You could never date someone like him—the inconsistent schedules, the constant traveling, the careless environment, and the mounds of girls that chase him incessantly were all negatives. You’ll never know what he’s really doing, and wholeheartedly, you’re not sure how long you could do the semi-long distance kind of relationship either.
But Jungkook just wants to try so hard, and it’s making it difficult to tell him ‘no.’ It’s those pretty irises that sparkle with joy every time he sees you, long lashes fluttering over the smoothness of his cheeks, and those pouty lips that have you choking on the words you logically want to say, but the words from your heart spills instead.
So, you decide to run.
Well, not so much run, but ghost him, as the kids say.
When he approaches you after your class several weeks later—in a crowd of people, you note—your heart stops at the sudden intrusion. He's not supposed to be here. It’s too public for him to be here, dangerous too, because he’s without his security team and with his fame increasing, you fear for his safety. Immediately, you have fistfuls of the fabric of his black hoodie to pull him aside, letting his back face the students who move quickly in between classes to block his face and you sigh with relief.
“What the fuck? Why would you come here? Do you see all the kids here? What if they just start fucking bombarding you? What are you going to do?” Exasperated, you let your weight fall against the brick masonry so you could catch your breath from the anxiety with the release of his hoodie from your hands.
“You haven’t been calling me back. Or texting me,” there’s hurt in his eyes, permeating to the point of no denying. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing is wrong,” you reply shortly, pushing the straps of your backpack closer. “Just busy.”
He furrows his brows. “You told me a couple weeks ago that this is the only week you’re free in the semester. It’s Tuesday, you have one class and you haven’t even texted me back. Are you busy? Or are you avoiding me?”
Jungkook doesn’t even let you get a word in. “Because if it’s because I confessed to you, I’m sorry. I fucked up, alright? I thought you’d like me back, and maybe we could date—well, honestly, I didn’t know what would happen but I didn’t think it would be this. I didn’t want to lose my friend over it. Why couldn’t you just say you didn’t have feelings back so I wouldn’t just sit by my phone waiting—”
He doesn’t stop, even when your mouth drops open to interject, he doesn’t allow it. Quickly placing a hand to cover his mouth, he muffles a couple words into your palm before tilting his head puzzlingly. “I never said I didn’t like you.”
Jungkook pulls your hand off and you drop the hold with ease. “Then… what was it?”
“If I saw you again, it’d be hard to tell you that we can’t be together,” you solemnly disclose. “And I’m usually the type to control my emotions very well, but it’s confusing being around you.”
His expression softens. “Confusing?”
Shrugging your shoulders, you cross your arms over your chest. It’s a simple act, but part of you always feels like you need a shield to protect yourself around Jungkook because if it’s anyone to break your heart, he’d facilely do it. “You’re a great guy. I love talking to you, and hanging out with you is the highlight of my week. But I never know if you’re going to be out with someone, or if you’re going to be away next week for a concert or for some show appearance. What am I supposed to do when all those things are eating me up inside? We’re not even dating and I have all this anxiety.”
Strangely enough, in his past relationships, he’s never had anyone say those words. It has him wondering if they’ve ever felt this insecurity with him, and when he asked them for a break up, he wonders if they ever felt like they might’ve been right about their theory (even though it wasn’t).
But he didn’t want you to feel that way. He wanted you, without all of those burdens that he would be the cause of.
“You… haven’t even let me try yet. It was one concert. I didn’t even get to show you what kind of boyfriend I could be, the kind of man that could show you what it’s like to be loved.”
And there it was again.
Those gorgeous eyes; how are they brown yet manage to shine brighter than the stars in the sky? They’re hypnotizing when they meet with yours, having you locked in with the key thrown away and you’re left with saying with your heart feels instead of your head for the second time.
With a quiet voice, you say it once more. “Okay.”
Jungkook does try his best when he says he does. He’s a hopeless romantic, you learn, but it’s something he reveals continually and yet you never took seriously until now.
He often comes by after your classes with a cup of coffee, or drops by the library when he knows you have to stay late to do some research for your papers. Jungkook even takes you out on dates at times; once on a picnic, another at some fancy steak restaurant with the lights so dim that you couldn’t even make out the shadow of his face if it wasn’t for the little ass candle in the middle of the table, and sometimes, you’d go on walks in the park or alongside the river. He doesn’t fail to whisper sweet nothings to you from time to time, always reminding you how you’re the one that has his heart stuttering in its beats.
Jungkook sort of makes you feel like you’re dating a… regular guy. (And in a good way).
He even makes visits to your apartment, cooks dinner with you and stays the night. Some days, he has band practice or recordings, so you enjoy the leftovers from the night before, and although it feels empty not to have him in that seat across from you at the dinner table, his presence is faintly there—especially when he’s texting you in between breaks or Facetimes you when he can.
It feels… nice. Being loved like this, so effortlessly, like a soothing cool breeze on those nights in the summertime. There’s no weight on your shoulders, instead, you feel like you’re floating in the air when you’re with him—problems set aside, nothing but calmness instilled, and it’s just the two of you.
When he plants kisses from the corner of your lips down to the side of your neck, your breath hitches at the feeling. He’s so close, and you’re desperate to feel closer, but you don’t want to be another number on his list of women and yet here you were, melting underneath his touches.
You don’t say anything, but the fewer words spoken, the better because Jungkook comes back up once again, abandoning the end of the path of kisses he leaves to press his lips against the crown of your head with a hand cupping the other side of your face. He knows when to stop, understanding that there’s that insecurity that sits in the pit of your stomach, worrying about his past relationships, even though you know you shouldn’t be. So if this is how far you’re comfortable with, Jungkook complies.
The nights that he spends here end up lost with what feels like longer hours; you’re lost in him, inebriated by him, and you’ve even caught yourself becoming clay, with him as a sculptor, molding you into his version of perfection.
Except, you’ve already been created by yourself as the artist, and he’s purely the admirer. He strokes each curve and crevasse of you in adoration, gaze drenched and dripping in fondness, wishing nothing but to bask in your beauty for as much time he has left. Days, hours, minutes, seconds—you were right when you said that you’d never know when he’ll just have to grab his things and go, and Jungkook cherishes each moment he has with you.
He doesn’t want to tell you that what you said was the truth; it means that you’ll push away, that you won’t get to be his, and he’s hardly even fully fallen for you yet. There’s always uncertainty when it comes to being a musician, and Jungkook isn’t the exception.
And yet, he still pushes through, despite knowing all of this information.
Jungkook still cherishes his time with you, and pushes to the back of his mind that he might have to leave one day. You’ve mentioned pumpkin picking once, and although he’s not really the type of guy to go to a farm and pick a huge round orange colored fruit, he does it because you like it. Apple cider isn’t his favorite, but when you bring the drink up to his lips, he breaks out of his comfort zone to try it anyway. (Spoiler: he hates it.) Even though it sucks, he’d take another sip any day if that means he gets to see that bright laugh again.
But good things always come to an end.
With a sunken look on his face, he leans against the countertops of the pick up station at the café. Apron around your waist and a cup in hand, you eye your sort-of-boyfriend inquiringly. You’ve yet to make it an official label, and to be quite fair, the whole idea of him being a celebrity still doesn’t sit right.
He’s got on that baseball cap again, oversized hoodie with ripped black jeans, matching monochromatically from head to toe. Again, you wonder if he’ll ever get caught because this doesn’t necessarily camouflage him.
“What’s wrong with you?” You ask, popping the cup under the espresso machine. “Why the long face?”
He rolls his lips, almost like he’s hesitant about sharing his thoughts, but when your gaze narrows, he swallows. “I’m… going on tour soon.”
“Oh,” you say, mouth in an ‘o’ shape. It wasn’t surprising, after all, you saw this coming anyways. It hadn’t been the first time he's been on tour since the two of you were friends, but it’s the first since you’ve started this… somewhat of a courtship. “When?”
Clearing his throat, he readjusts his position uncomfortably. He can’t fully read what’s going through your mind, but part of him can already guess that you might not be happy with the news. “…Tomorrow?” The tone is uneasy, like he’s going to cower underneath the closest table.
“Oh,” you reiterate, this time softer. It hurts to see you like this, trying to hold yourself together as if you haven’t told him a million times before that this is what it’s going to feel like when he leaves for tour. “I see. Do you know when you’ll be back?”
Jungkook’s shoulders drop. He lets out the deepest of breaths with downcast eyes, evidently avoiding meeting the frown that he knows sits upon your pretty lips. It’s barely been a couple weeks since you’ve let him pursue you, barely enough time to get to know you in ways more than friends should, and he already has to go. And maybe he should’ve listened when you told him how arduous the goodbyes would be, but he selfishly wanted you to be his so badly. This wasn’t the last goodbye, it was a ‘see you again soon’ farewell, and he hopes you’ll see it the same way he does.
“It’ll… be quite some time. The tour is for three months, but we’ve also been invited to perform on the James Corden show.”
Your face brightens—quite the opposite of what he was expecting. “Wait—James Corden? Jungkook, that’s a pretty big platform. You guys would blow up even more with this opportunity. That’s amazing, I’m happy for you!”
But he sees that glimmer in your eyes.
At first, it’s easy to mistake it as one with hope, elation, and love.
He later finds out it was from your eyes watering.
This is his dream.
On stage, with a fandom that grows from thousands to tens of thousands to hundred thousands, and eventually, millions. Singing his heart out, with the songs that he produced and wrote with his best friends and being able to share it with the world.
Yet, it doesn’t feel right.
When he says, “I’ll see you again soon,” with a kiss on your forehead and a hug, your body gives him chills. It’s cold, and he could feel brisk winds in the air, blowing against the back of his jacket, but it’s supposed to be warmer. Before he left for the day, he checked the weather app to make sure.
Why is it freezing when he’s with you?
He calls, as promised, sharing stories of his journeys—from having to be in a cramped RV for hours on end with the boys, sleeping in those bunk beds that remind him of his youthful days at summer camp, and stopping at tourist attractions when they see one. His face is always radiating brightly, eager to talk to you and share his experiences, but his favorites are hearing yours.
The first couple times, you’re candid.
You share freely and comfortably, and he wants nothing more than for you to talk for hours. He loves hearing your voice; describes it as ‘smooth as honey’ yet at the same time ‘light and flowy like a feather’ and compares it to the melody of his favorite song. Jungkook was smitten by you, eyes filled with hearts each time your name popped up on his phone lockscreen. It made him forget the last time he saw you, how distant you felt despite being in his arms.
When he texts you goodnight, you’re off underneath the covers. Cozy, wrapped snugly with your blanket that you bragged you bought for a smacking good deal of twenty bucks, claiming that you’ve seen these go for at least eighty dollars. He misses that smile, the one he’d see before he’d turn off the bedside table lamps on nights he’d stay over at your apartment, and gets a whiff of lavender from your body wash when you toss and turn in slumber. The way you crinkle your nose in your sleep, and the way your jaw tenses and releases (he suggests you go see a dentist about that, but you’re so stubborn), it’s the little things that he begins to notice the absence of when he’s not near.
It was exciting and eventful at first; waiting for the clock to strike three in the afternoon to get a call from Jungkook after he took a break from a recording session, and another one just before bed, you could expect your phone to blow up between the hours of nine and midnight. The text exchanges were rapid fire too, Jungkook never failing to respond back as quickly as possible, sometimes replying to your messages directly or sharing a meme in the hopes of making your day.
Things get harder, you grow to learn, and it’s a mature thing to come to the consensus that this kind of relationship requires a lot of effort. You’re exhausted from your daily activities. From work to school, by the time you’re home, you’re to cook dinner for yourself, clean up your mess, possibly do other chores, shower, and prepare for bed. There isn’t even time for yourself anymore, let alone for somebody else, but you’re also starting to believe that Jungkook can’t even keep up with this lifestyle anymore.
Three months. Three months is a lot of time for a person to be apart from another, and enough time for people to change.
You spot Jungkook just in time for his performance when James Corden comes back from commercial break, and needless to say, he’s always breathlessly handsome. He’s got his hair slicked back, exposing the piercings that embellish the lobes of his ears, makeup that darkens his irises, and lips painted that familiar faint pink. With seven guys in the band, Jungkook stands center beside Jimin, but something about him specifically captures your eyes, although it seems like you’re not the only one.
His name is practically plastered on the majority of the handmade posters in the crowd, and your heart sinks. He’s gotten so popular in the past couple months; from billboards to trending topics on Twitter to magazine covers and endorsements on big name brands on Instagram, Jungkook and his bandmates have increased their fame three times more than what it had been before.
You see him everywhere on social media.
And sadly, you see him less in your personal messages and calls.
Daily video call dates get cancelled. The first couple times, all was forgiven. Things happen, and with his new hectic schedule, it’d be crazy if he didn’t reschedule. But eventually, it became too much. When he was available, you were either working a shift at the cafe, stuck in class, or meeting with your classmates for a group project. It never worked out, and in all truthfulness, your patience was wearing thin.
When Jungkook comes back, it’s like looking at a brand new person.
He’s gotten an uppercut, a couple new tattoos that adorn his arm, and walks with a certain jump in his step that you couldn’t miss. There’s a newfound confidence that he’s gained over tour, like he knows his own self worth, or even inflated the one he’d already had. But Jungkook is still a hopeless romantic. That’s the one trait that’ll never leave him, no matter where he is in life, he’ll always believe in love.
Entering through the double doors of the coffee shop, the bell above the entrance rings, and your sunken eyes barely even look up to see him. “Hey, welcome to Brew-tiful Beans, cold brew let me know your order?”
Jungkook snorts. “Did they… Did they train you guys to do those new greetings?”
Startled by that familiar voice, your ears perk up. Your body freezes, like the soles of your shoes are super glued to the broken dull tiles behind the counter and you can’t even bring yourself to turn to look at him. It’s been weeks since you’ve last talked, someone who was supposed to be chasing you, someone who was supposed to show you what it feels like to be loved. And he didn’t. He didn’t reach out, he didn’t leave a text, he didn’t call. He did nothing.
And he comes back like nothing even happened?
“Um,” you respond uncomfortably, wiping your hands off on the front of your apron despite nothing being on them. “Uh, yeah. New corporate thing. They came down from headquarters and trained all the baristas.”
Jungkook showcases that signature smile that easily swooned you before. It’s a bit different now, especially with how it’s been recently. “You hate all that fancy corporate stuff,” he states factually, and he’s right. You’ve mentioned it a plethora of times before, and part of you is slightly surprised he remembers it. “Experience only matters when it’s special to each person, if I recall that correctly. I know you’re a pro with all that customer service stuff, you told me you’ve been in the industry for most of your life.”
“Yeah,” voice soft and tone slightly off from the one you normally exhibit, Jungkook raises a brow questioningly because this abnormality doesn’t go over his head. “Something like that.”
He crosses his arms over his chest and inhales sharply. You’re different, and whether or not in a good or bad way, Jungkook wasn’t sure but he was going to figure out why. And he’d been so caught up with your punny greeting that he almost didn’t notice your recently cut hair, and when you pull your phone out to place it by the register, there’s a crack on the screen too.
“Something is off.”
You blink, this time, eyes meeting with his own. He makes your legs feel like those silly putty toys you used to play with in your youth, and your heart palpitates like you’ve just ran a marathon. Jungkook reminds you of your middle and high school crushes, the ones that make your hands all sweaty and give you the jitters as if you’re about to take a test you didn’t study for. It’s not fair that he reads you like an open book—were you really that transparent? You thought you did a good job of closing yourself off, but you have to keep reminding yourself that Jungkook is observant when it comes to these things. He’s a hopeless romantic, one that will continuously see nothing wrong with this relationship because he prefers the on-the-surface part of it.
“I’m at work, Jungkook,” you retort coldly, the same way you did when he said his goodbyes. Why is it that you keep up such a believable facade behind a screen, but in person, you’re freezing like a block of ice? “Maybe we can talk later.”
Hurt, he nods and steps away. It makes you feel worse because he’s so respectful, and the reasons you have for wanting to break this off always seem to dissipate when you’re around him. He’s just so… warm, like if home was a person.
At the end of your shift, he sits with tired eyes at the corner of the cafe. He knows better than to do or say anything when you ask for space, and to get out of your hair when you need it.
“Listen,” you begin, after locking the double doors of the shop. “I think… we should end this.”
Startled, Jungkook steps back. “Wait—what?”
Sighing, you rake your fingers through your tangled locks tiredly. All the negative thoughts had been eating you up inside, and staying with Jungkook wasn’t helping. “I can’t get over it. I can’t fucking get past all the things that come with you because you’re a celebrity.”
“Because I chose to follow my dreams, I can’t be with you?” This can’t be happening.
“It’s not your fault—”
He scoffs. “Damn fucking right it’s not my fault. I did everything—I made you feel loved. And… that’s it?”
“I just… I don’t think I could handle all the uncertainty.” That was it. There wasn’t anything else after that, but he couldn’t hear anything else after your last apology over the sound of his heart shattering into a million pieces.
And with that, he watches as you drag your exhausted frame away, head down and dig into the fabric of your hoodie where he doesn’t hear the faint sobs that escape your lips.
“We broke up,” Jungkook snaps, aggressively tossing off the headphones that sit atop his head. “We weren’t even officially together and she fucking broke up with me.”
“Bro, I’m sorry,” Namjoon says, patting Jungkook’s back comfortingly. He knows that Namjoon is trying his best in this situation, one he’s not familiar with himself, but he wants Jungkook to feel better. “I know she meant something to you.”
“This is stupid,” covering his face with his hands, he leans back in his swivel chair. Going through heartbreak should get these juices flowing, get his thoughts moving and the pen scribbling on pieces of scrap paper full of ideas. But he’s got nothing. Empty, clean sheets of printer paper, all stacked nicely upon his work desk with a filled cartilage of ink in his pen. “How the fuck did I get broken up with because I’m a rockstar? I’ve been searching far and wide for a girl to date me for who I am without the whole costume getup. Then when I find her, she doesn’t want the side that the rockstar brings but it’s part of me.”
Namjoon sighs, pulling a seat beside Jungkook. “Well, maybe she isn’t the girl for you.”
“She’s definitely the girl for me,” he corrects, shoulders and hands dropping. “She’s so the girl for me, and the fact I can’t have her because of the consequences that come with my dreams makes me feel like shit.”
“You’ll find someone who will,” the older friend assures, picking up the pen to hand it to him. “Trust me. Don’t settle for someone who would make you consider quitting your dreams.”
But that’s the thing. You don’t ask him to pick between his dreams or you, you made that decision yourself. To him, you all had all the qualities he’d want in a partner—smart, beautiful, kind, and liked him for who he was behind closed doors—but he never stopped to think before if he checked all the boxes for you, and was overly confident despite never saying it.
“She never told me to quit my dreams,” Jungkook snatches the pen from Namjoon’s hold. “She just didn’t think my dreams were fitting for her lifestyle.”
Namjoon nods, finally absorbing in the why of the end of your relationship with Jungkook. “Well, shouldn’t you be grateful? She didn’t continue to lead you on. Told you what she wanted then and there, and moved on.”
He groans, head dropping onto the desk with a thud. “Is it bad that I don’t want that?”
“No, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t respect her wishes and do as she asks anyway.”
He knows his leader is right, and he normally always is when he gives life advice, but Jungkook hates that this is what he’s right about. He doesn’t want to let you go, step away from a girl who makes him feel whole again, someone who made him want to keep improving as a person for not just her, but himself too.
But he’s beginning to lose that drive without you by his side.
So, he decides that he’s going to take a combination of both Jimin and Namjoon’s suggestions. Namjoon’s is to move on, and continue to do what makes [him] happy. And Jimin’s is to eat, sleep, record, perform, drink, and fuck.
And shit, does Jungkook do all those things.
He knows that if you were standing before him right now, you’d tell him that he’d become exactly what you said he would. What else would he expect you to say? He’d then deny profusely, waving his hands in dismissal and sending rebuttals your way until you’d get annoyed enough that you would stop. But you’re not here now, and it’s just him. He doesn’t need to impress you anymore. Although he wants to, there’s no need for it now.
Jungkook doesn’t love this lifestyle, as much as he wants to admit that he does, it doesn’t fit him. These girls that snugly sit on him while he’s seated on the leather couches of this blaring loud club aren’t you, and because he’s gotten a taste of what your petal lips are like, he’s addicted and wants nothing else but that. When he’s standing on the dance floor, girls’ asses up against his dick, grinding and swaying their bodies to the music, he only misses the way you turn around in your sleep, curling up to become smaller and he’d be able to wrap his arms around you like a blanket.
He hates having them on his personal bedroom sheets, so he never brings them home. You’ve never been tangled in them, so he doesn’t even have your scent imprinted on his pillowcases, so why would he have some strange girl’s?
So he takes them to a hotel, every single endeavor, fuck them with his frustrations and leave them without any conversation to exchange. Jungkook didn’t want attachments. He’s too busy being into you.
But during that time apart from you, it only makes him miss you… more. He’s gotten everything he’s ever wanted—a record deal, multiple albums, songs that hit top ten on charts, fame, and all the money he could need. If Jungkook decided he wanted to quit pursuing music now, he’d be able to afford it.
And honestly, he’s starting to reconsider this whole rockstar life. Was it worth chasing all your dreams, having all of these so-called ‘great things’ when during it, you have nobody to share it with? Sure, he had his boys, but if he had been completely honest, the money was slowly changing them all. As a group, they rarely hang out anymore. There weren't any of those Friday night dinners, where they used to eat at bbq joints and have just pork skin because they couldn’t afford the fancy meats. Or when they find a way to stretch their money, and find clever ways to do it together as a group, because the up-and-coming artist lifestyle was brutal. They’d try stuffing as many clothes they could in those washing machines at the laundromat so they wouldn’t have to waste another quarter. Eventually, they ended up handwashing everything, but nonetheless, they did it together.
And now, Seokjin only eats Kobe beef if it’s beef. Taehyung’s clothes aren’t thrifted, they just look thrifted, with name brands printed across the fabric. Yoongi can’t seem to relate to any of the guys anymore, much like Jungkook himself, so he coops himself up in the recording studio for days on end, hoping to produce the next big hit. His best friends weren’t his best friends anymore, and once again, Jungkook is lonely. But not just lonely for love, but his friends again.
If this is what happiness is supposed to be, he doesn’t want it.
It’s been two years since he’s been back here. Here, as in the neighborhood where the apartment he stayed at with the guys when they were just young kids chasing their unattainable dreams was at.
Do you still work in that cafe by the university? Is the cold brew at Starbucks still your go-to? What about those rainy days—is it still the weather you prefer to go driving in? How about your hair? Does it still get tangled in those gold hoops you like to wear? Is Coldplay your favorite band? Or have you already moved on from them like you did with him?
He didn’t know he’d see you here. If he did, he would’ve prepared himself better—maybe wear a nicer shirt, or chose those jeans that he splurged on instead of these sweats that he saw hanging over the back of his computer chair with a t-shirt he definitely put on rotation twice this week. But he can’t turn back now, especially when you’ve spotted him across the room.
You did a double take, he notices, because you even rub your eyes afterwards to see if it’s true.
It’s like time stops. Nobody around him moves, and the room goes silent. You’re somehow exactly the same yet different at the same time—you’ve dyed your hair (some type of balayage, he thinks it’s called), and you look toned (have you been working out?), but the way your mouth curls up at the sight of him, lashes still long and pretty when they brush against the high points of your cheekbones, he knows you haven’t fully changed. You’re still that simple girl he fell in love with.
His trance breaks when you gesture him in your direction, and he’s quick to grab his order from the to-go counter so he can get to you. What’s this weird feeling rushing through his veins? It’s one he hasn’t had in a while.
Jungkook’s excited to see you, and he hasn’t been excited to do anything in a while. But seeing you again, in some random coffee shop, in the last place he’d ever think of is… nice. It’s refreshing.
He knows if he tells you how he’s been feeling, you’d roll your eyes and call him a hopeless romantic like you used to. He manages to find the dull, mundane things in life and make it riveting, embellishing it with the “Jungkook-touch” so that it’d seem more fantasy or fairytale-like. But Jungkook hasn’t been able to do anything like that in quite some time, and just looking at you has his heart racing like this only confirms his emotions.
“H-Hey,” he greets, mentally punching himself because how wimpy did he look for stuttering over one goddamn word? “You’re… here.”
You smile so wide that your eyes replicate the shape of your mouth. “Hey! And you’re here. Didn’t think I’d ever see you back.”
Jungkook rubs his nape with an awkward laugh. He still wears that stupid black hat, despite the black now slightly purple in discoloration from overuse. “I… yeah. Needed a break. Wanted to get out of that busy life for a bit.”
You nod with pursed lips with a book laid flat on the table, phone with the screen down, and a cup of iced coffee. “I get that. Took a day off from work to… yeah. Catch my breath.”
“Right,” he says, mostly as a filler for the weird silence. “Um. Yeah, it’s uh… nice seeing you again—“
“Are you single?”
Jungkook nearly chokes on nothing. “W-What?”
You blink, as if your bold question is one people ask casually in a regular conversation. (Spoiler: it’s not.) Tilting your head to the side, you lean back against the booth you’re sitting in with your arms crossed on your chest. “I didn’t stutter.”
“I know that but—”
“Well?” God, even though he hasn’t seen you in a while, the feelings come rushing back like a tsunami. There’s something about you that always has him stuck like this.
“I’m single,” he confirms, although he doesn’t understand why you need this information.
“Great, if you’re interested, I… wanna take you out tonight.”
Something he remembers from your friendship is that if your hair is down, it’s a special occasion.
And well, your hair is let down, cascading over your shoulders and pretty collarbones. He takes note of the new piercings that ornaments your ears when you tuck a couple of loose strands of hair behind, but that’s when he notices that the piercings weren’t the only thing new—you got a tattoo. It’s dainty, small, and hidden behind your lobes from the world to see and it fits you so perfectly.
“Hey,” you greet with no hint of anxiety in your voice. You’ve decided to wear a grey band tee (unfortunately, it’s not his band), baby blue jeans, and a leather jacket. How do you always remain calm and collected every time? Because he’s nervous out of his mind. Who wouldn’t be though? He’s going on a date with a girl he’s had a crush on, despite not seeing her for two years.
Thankfully, this time, he could impress you. His outfit is casual, but not too casual as before because he opts for an expensive pair of jeans instead of the raggedy ones he had since before his band’s debut.
“Should we go for dinner?”
God, he feels weak. You’re even pretty when you’re eating spaghetti, when you twirl the stringy carbs with a fork, bringing it to your lips with a soft moan. It’s delicious, apparently, and he doesn’t taste the pasta but you’re like a walking advertisement for this dish. He can’t help but to notice how lovely you are holding a champagne flute, the sparkling liquid glossing over those plump lips of yours.
He’s distracted. In his mind, he can’t understand what’s going on here because you’re the one asking him out, you’re the one who suggested to have dinner together. What’s the point of all this?
But you remain eating your food and talking just like how the two of you left off your friendship. Not relationship, but friendship.
Jungkook forgot how easy it was to talk to you—you’re just so welcoming and kind without actual judgement, in spite of your teasing words. You love to banter, he remembers, and that’s a trait of yours that never changed, other than the fact you still make his heart swell like a balloon.
Toward the end of your meal, he thinks the night is over. Truthfully, he’s scared. Afraid that whatever this was is another fleeting moment—another chance for you to walk away once more and tear out his worn heart from the last encounter from you.
Then, it’s like you read his mind because you offer to take a walk to ‘burn off the calories from dinner.’
But, unlike the exchanged laughter and stories over dinner, the walk is quiet. It’s like the awkwardness weighs heavy on both your shoulders, and sits atop his lungs because it’s hard to properly breathe with the burden of uncertainty. Did you have something to say? What’s the reason for having dinner with him?
“I’m sorry,” you blurt, unable to even meet with his stare. You keep your vision forward, looking into the river as the cold air weaves through your hair and cools the heat that rises around your neck from all the anxiety of being with Jungkook. “I told you that I didn’t want to date a celebrity, and I left you. Even though you tried, you made me feel special, and you made me feel loved. I said I didn’t want what comes with dating a rockstar, and I made a selfish decision.”
“It… it was an acceptable selfish decision, if that’s what you’re trying to figure out.”
You laugh, shrugging in your big coat. “I guess. But… I forget sometimes that when you love someone, you make some sacrifices.”
Jungkook chews on his bottom lip. Even when he observes you, the little ticks you give away, he still can’t read you. You’re not the same person you were years ago, and yet, he’s already learning to love this version of you. “Do you?”
You tighten your lips into a straight line for a moment. “Yeah. And even though we only dated briefly, I loved you throughout our friendship. I made a choice—one that was solely for myself, one that I thought I’d be happy with.”
He swallows. “And?”
“I’m happy, but I think I’m happier with you.” His heart clenches. Barely able to get a word in, you continue, “And I can keep being happy with myself, by myself, or I can be happy with you too. I forget sometimes that you can chase your dreams while still loving someone.”
Jungkook blinks. “And what about the consequences of my dreams?”
Finally, you turn and your eyes meet his. They melt into his irises like those hot chocolate bombs when they drop into a hot cup of milk—so sweet, so warm, fitting for the winter. “If you loved me back, you’d never do the things I said I’d assume. I would try—the whole long distance thing when you’re away, maybe even travel and stop by shows. Call you daily. Kiss you goodnight, and wish you sweet dreams,” you pause for a moment, scoffing in disbelief at yourself, “I’m… I’m not usually the hopeless romantic here, Jungkook, but you did something to me.”
This… wasn't what he was expecting out of this date but he doesn’t have any complaints.
Now, don’t get it mixed up.
Jungkook is a hopeless romantic. Not easy.
He doesn’t let you in that simply, no matter how tempting you are with those tainted pink lips that remind him of strawberries. Or how you briefly mentioned there’s a cute little tattoo on your hip bone of something sweet, you’d say teasingly, and it’s got his jeans uncomfortable. You’re a walking temptress, and it’s safe to say that he has to put up a shield over his heart in case you’d want to break it again.
Yet, that same insecurity is swirling in the pits of his stomach again. Do you love him or who he is as a celebrity? Especially now, with his fame rising and more people recognizing him on the streets, he can’t help but wonder once more if you love who he is as a person and not this persona he puts on stage.
So, he tests a couple things.
Jungkook knows how bad this sounds, but in all truthfulness, it’ll make him feel better. He still loved you, even from before you gave him a chance, and even still now when you’re standing before him, a different person. All he wants to know is if you love him like that too.
Slouched over on the worn out black leather couch of his recording studio, Jungkook ponders with his shoes tapping against the laminated flooring. He’s been stuck on this ‘new message’ screen with your name in the ‘to:’ section, fear rushing through his veins like every performance on stage. Except, he’s performing in front of you, to test whether or not these feelings you claim to are what you really mean.
Yoongi eyes Jungkook carefully. The kid has been sitting on this goddamn couch for hours, and although Yoongi thought of speaking up several times, he figured if he left Jungkook be, maybe the problem would resolve itself.
It’s been five hours.
Yoongi can’t focus with all that leg shaking.
“Alright,” he says, breaking the silence with a turn of his swivel chair. “The fuck is wrong with you?”
Surprised, Jungkook looks up. “Huh? What?”
Yoongi points to Jungkook’s phone. “You’ve been staring ar your fucking phone for five hours. Not moving your goddamn fingers but instead you keep shaking your leg. It’s distracting. What are you doing?”
“She’s back,” Jungkook announces, except the way he says it makes it sound like a horror movie. Yoongi picks up on who she is, but he can’t make out why Jungkook would be so scared to talk to you again.
“Okay, so what’s wrong?”
“She said… she made a mistake last time,” he begins, and Yoongi raises a brow in curiosity.
“Again, okay, so what’s wrong with that?”
“Well, what if she’s back because I’m famous, and not because she loves me?”
Ah, it was clicking in Yoongi’s head now. It’s like a lightbulb pops above his head, and everything is making sense now. “I get it. So… what are you doing?”
“I’m gonna ask her to come to our show tonight.”
Yoongi blinks blankly. “O…Okay, and… how’s that gonna determine if she loves you for you or your fame?”
Jungkook’s shoulders drop. “Honestly, I don’t know.”
The two sit in silence for a moment, Jungkook’s mind empty but Yoongi’s head is swarming with ideas. His friend is stuck, is what his brain is telling him, and as a natural instinct, he’s coming up with ten thousand ways to make this work.
“Tell her to come,” Yoongi says, shattering the glass of quietude. “And give her the cold shoulder if she comes. Maybe get Jimin to flirt with her and see if she’s interested in him when he gives her the attention.”
Jungkook snaps his finger as if it’s the best idea he’s ever heard. “Good point.”
You reply in less than thirty seconds later.
you [7:52pm]: sweet offer, but it's sunday and i have work bright and early in the morning. rain check? maybe facetime before you get on stage? i’ll give a kiss for good luck.
Jungkook chokes on his saliva .
Yoongi stares at the bright screen, lost for words.
“Well, that backfired.”
“I only had ideas for when she would go. She’s gonna miss out on a free concert from one of the bands on the top of the charts right now?”
Jungkook scratches his head. That’s true. Who would do that if they’re thirsty for clout?
This new plan dawned on him on a Thursday afternoon.
He recalls that you brought up momentarily about how you worked in a research lab at the University downtown, and coincidentally enough, it’s close to his record label.
So he thought… why not?
Why not meet her outside of her workplace with no disguise? Would she like that? If she truly was into this for fame, she’d like being seen in public with him without the hats and jackets.
And the second he sees you pushing through those double glass doors, Jungkook expects your face to brighten at the surprising sight of him.
God, he completely forgot. He completely forgot about his first impression of you—that day at the coffee shop where you ran into each other, spilled coffee, and profanities slipped.
Well, more than just explicit language.
Remember how he said he didn’t want to relive some of the insults that spewed out of you?
He’s reliving it again.
You’re fuming, it’s unbelievable. If he wasn’t in shock, he’d be able to hear the smoke whistling from your ears as you’re attacking him again. Your words are like bullets, and he didn’t wear a bulletproof vest to protect himself from it. Shuffling through your bag, he notices a white jacket stuffed into the opening, and you manage to pull out a black baseball cap out of it.
Jungkook stares at you, perplexed.
You shove the hat into his chest. “Loosen the back strap. Wear it. We’re on a fucking college campus, you can’t seriously think you can just walk around here without anything on, right?”
Slowly, he grabs the hat from you and readjust the tightness before putting it over his head. “You’re mad?”
“You idiot, remember when I said that even hats don’t cover your face that well? It’s a stupid disguise. But it’s still better than fucking walking around with nothing on. Jesus, Jungkook, what came over you?”
“Sorry, I just—”
You squint your eyes at Jungkook. “You’re testing me.”
He clears his throat, something caught in his windpipe just like he’s being caught red handed right now. “W-What?”
You cross your arms over your chest, sucking in your cheek as you observe his slightly cowering expression. “You’re testing me. And that’s fine, Jungkook. I come back suspiciously when you’re more famous than before. I get the precautions. But don’t fucking put yourself in a position where you could hurt yourself physically because you’re afraid I’ll hurt you emotionally.”
So, that failed too. And you figured him out.
To be fair, while he was trying to come up with a plan to see what your whole thing was going back to him, it sort of brought him and his friends back together.
Everyone was excited to come up with something—Yoongi had experience dating a girl who was like that, and the rest of the guys just had fun chiming in.
“Video girl syndrome,” Yoongi begins, stealing it from a Jonas Brothers song (the original JB, but he’s not gonna get into that right now), released in 2008, and pretty much describes the girls Jungkook talks about when he says he doesn’t want to end up with them. “is when they live for fame, love the money—”
“You could just recite the whole entire song for us,” Taehyung interjects, and Yoongi whacks him on the back of his head with a newspaper.
“Alright,” Namjoon says, voice louder in volume to get the rest of the boys to stop playing around. “How about we ask you questions about how she’s been acting lately? From our experiences, that is, since I’m a thousand percent sure we’ve all dated video girls.”
“Mm, and see if you’re a victim,” Seokjin raises up the beer can in his hand and Hoseok rolls his eyes.
“I got one!” Hoseok shoves Seokjin to the side and he glares at his band mate from the corner of his eyes before brushing it off. “Does she laugh at your jokes when you’re not even being funny?”
Jungkook tilts his head. Has he ever tried being funny in front of you? Because, he’s never seen you laugh at anything he said. But—other exes come to mind when Hoseok says this. “Mm, no.”
“Has she ever asked you for money?”
“Only because I ordered a drink from the cafe she worked at.”
“What about your famous friends? Does she name drop any of them?”
Jungkook furrows his brows in thought. Did you? Then a quick flashback of you pulling out your phone when he brings up Namjoon, and tapping of characters into a google search before you nod and pull your lips into a straight line with a, “I remember him,” then resuming back to listening to his story.
“She googles everyone I name drop.”
Namjoon leans back in his seat. “So wouldn’t that just prove that it isn’t like that? What are you so worried about?”
Jungkook sighs. “I don’t know I just—”
“He’s worried she’s gonna leave him again,” Jimin adds on, and Jungkook is taken aback because out of all the guys, he thought Jimin would be the least to understand. “But if she’s back now, and she says she’ll try, you should let her. Let her prove to you instead of you having to come up with tricks. She’s chasing you, remember? Because she left in the first place.”
At first, Jungkook thought that the person who wouldn’t have any ounce of input would be Jimin.
But he didn’t realize that during the times he’d been desperate to have a friend to offer a shoulder for him to lean on, Jimin needed one too.
It’s what prompts Jungkook to actually start lifting up that barrier he put up to protect himself from you. He invited you over for dinner at this old KBBQ joint with his friends, the one he was missing after all the time, and the laughter you brought out of them made Jungkook feel like… this is what he was wishing for. This was that puzzle piece in his life that needed to be found. And for the first time, Jimin speaks about his experience with a ‘video girl’ and Jungkook’s outlook on him changes.
The fact that he couldn’t share anything comfortably in front of his so-called best friends, but he does it easily with you spoke volumes. All six boys with their ears perked up gave nothing but undivided attention to Jimin, and it aches Jungkook’s heart knowing he wasn’t there for his friend when it was vital.
It’s why Jimin is the way he is. And honestly, Jungkook can’t even blame him.
But he makes a good point—make you do the chasing.
And, surprisingly enough, it works.
The things Jungkook used to do for you, to make your relationship with him work and prove that just because he’s a celebrity, it doesn’t mean he can’t be a trusting, average boyfriend. Those facetime calls were always initiated by him in the past; now it’s your name that pops up on his lock screen with a cute selfie he saved as your contact photo.
He learns that you don’t love going to his shows, not because you weren’t a fan of his music, but because you just didn’t love loud spaces. It’s why you prefer those special floors of the library, where there’s quiet muttering since it’s not a ‘quiet zone’ but enough sound for white noise in the background. It helped that you didn’t like entirely hushed rooms either.
But you meet him after, wrapped in a coat despite him telling you to stay home because it’s too cold outside. And yet, you ignore his requests with a sweet smile on your face, tugging not on your just lips, but his heartstrings, with a honeyed, “hello,” when he spots you standing outside their van.
“What are you doing here?” He says, voice mixed between anger that you’re standing out in the freezing cold but excited because the girl of his dreams came to see him after a show. “I thought I said stay home.”
“I’m an adult, I can make adult decisions,” you state firmly, bouncing in the soles of your shoes. “I wanted to drop by. Ask if you want to hang out.”
Jungkook lifts a brow. “It’s late.”
“We can hang out at my apartment,” you reason, and Jungkook could hear the giggles from in the car coming from his band mates. He could almost feel the heat radiating off of you that rose to your cheeks in embarrassment, but bold and loving is how you’re trying to present yourself in front of Jungkook since he’d always been the one to give. “So… what do you say?”
“Say yes, you idiot!” Taehyung hollers and Namjoon slaps his hand over his mouth.
With a hearty laugh, Jungkook gestures his head to the van. “What Tae said. Sure. I’ll come over.”
You don’t live in the same apartment building as you used to. Just like yourself, you’ve moved on to bigger and better things.
For one, it’s spacious and not cramped like your old studio. Your kitchen, dining room, and bedroom aren’t in the same vicinity, and where you sleep has its own four walls that don't take you to the next room after two steps forward. Instead, you’ve not only graduated with a PhD, but you’ve also graduated from a studio to a one bedroom apartment.
It’s kind of nice seeing you in a different setting—just a few years ago, you were struggling to make ends meet; rationalizing amounts of food, calculating how much of a dollar gets split to what but now you’re asking him if you could treat him out for dinner.
When you slide your jacket off, putting it on a hanger to toss onto the rod in the closet, he grows slightly anxious. It’s not like how it was two years ago, it’s not even close. You’re the vocal one here, taking the lead in this so-called relationship, and once again, you’ve got him feeling weak in his knees for you.
“Are you okay?” You ask, breaking the silence. It’s easy to sense his nervousness, especially when Jungkook doesn’t often get that way around you. He’s usually comfortable, calm, and cool, but tonight, he exhibits the characteristics of the old version of yourself when he was bolder.
Jungkook clears his throat. “Mm,” he hums, as if something really was stuck in there, but the only thing lodged in his throat are his words. “I’m uh, I’m good. We’re… we’re hanging here?”
“Yeah,” you respond, pursing your lips as you extend your arm. At first, Jungkook’s heart starts racing, thinking you’re asking to hold his hand, but you gesture to the jacket over his shoulder and he mentally sighs of relief. “I made some cookies. Wanna drink coke and watch a movie?”
This… makes Jungkook laugh. A laugh that he hasn’t had in a while, one that roars from the depths of his chest, one that’s so genuine and warm, one that he hasn’t caught himself reacting in this way in a while. There’s something simple about how you say it—so harmless, casual and innocent. Dirty thoughts don’t surround your head, just a sweet night with him and junk food.
The night is blissful. He gets to shower in your bathroom, doused in that intoxicating lavender you emit off your skin, and get into his sweatpants instead of those leather pants he always wears on stage.
“I didn’t expect you to be there tonight,” he says, ruffling his damp hair. “It was cold, and I said not to go.”
“I thought we went through this,” snatching the remote from the coffee table, you’re already skimming through your abundance of options on Netflix. “I’m an adult who can make adult decisions.”
He can’t help himself. That grin that pierces through his exterior is hard to control. “And is one of them choosing ‘Soul’ as an option for a movie night? You realize that’s a kid movie, right?”
Flabbergasted, your head jolts to his gaze. “Have you ever even watched it?”
You’re cute. “No but—”
“Jeon Jungkook, just because films are animated doesn’t mean they’re limited to the viewing of only children.”
And, you’re right. He finds himself on the verge of shedding tears, and despite it being the fourth time watching it, you don’t fail to cry every time.
Maybe he shouldn’t do this anymore. Maybe he should stop playing these games, stop testing you and seeing if you truly mean what you say because life is too short to spend wasting it on wondering on the ‘what if’s’ when he has you right here, just fingertips lengths away on your loveseat couch. Because you’re here, you’ve asked him to keep you company tonight, and you don’t run away from your feelings like you used to.
Quite frankly, that’s all he asks.
You’re everything else he hopes for you to be, and yes, you have flaws, but who doesn’t? But with you—he just wanted to understand you, and for you to reciprocate it.
Now that you have, what was he waiting for?
It doesn’t take long for you to get tangled in the sheets with him, Jungkook’s hand finding a way to slide up the side of your face, threading through your hair that falls loose from its bun. Lips locked, sucking and licking, he misses the sweetness of you, how disorientated he gets from just being with you, and how happy you make him.
Hazy, he pulls away with a string of saliva between the two of you. Your irises are swirls of the skies, the ones that lead to an unknown, yet he feels comfortable like this. And part of him finds comfort that you’re just as uneasy and complacent as he is. “Is this okay?” Jungkook asks, and you feel your chest tightening from the motive of the question.
“If you’re okay, I’m okay,” you answer softly, eyelids fluttering closed. Lashes damp, they brush the highs of your cheeks so prettily, so effortlessly, just as you’ve stolen his heart.
“I want you to be okay,” he clarifies, and you nod with a soft, reassuring smile.
“I’m always okay if it’s with you.”
You’ve had previous lovers before. Ones that claimed to love you, and ones that weren’t technically ‘lovers’ but were flings. And comparing this experience with Jungkook to them makes you realize a couple things.
That darkened gaze he has on you, tongue pressed flat against your clit, hands on your thighs to push you down, stopping you from shutting your legs. Fingers raking through his wavy hair, your head throws back with a gasp when he sucks, the sound filling your ears and heat rises up to your face. Were you that wet already? He’s barely got his mouth on you, and the fact he’s got you so weak already makes you slightly embarrassed.
But Jungkook doesn’t care. He just wants to see that pretty face contort in pleasure when he does that thing with his tongue that other girls claimed sent them to heaven. (He won’t tell you they said that though. They’re in the back of his mind.)
Kissing the side of your thighs, you’re woozy, attempting your best to catch your breath, but a finger slips into your opening before you’re able to relax. His lips wrap around your nub once more, and when he thrusts another finger in, you’re unraveling under his touch and you see whites behind your lids with a shutter of your body.
Rising up, Jungkook grins cheekily. He’s glad it’s him that’s got you like this, and he’s so full of elation knowing that he gets to be with you in this way. Pushing away the wet strands of your hair that sticks to the side of your face, he gets to see that gorgeous face a bit better. With a gentle peck on your nose and a rub on your cheek with his thumb, it doesn’t take much for him to ask, “are you okay we go further?”
Yes. Yes! Fuck yeah. Totally. Shit, yeah. But you don’t want to seem too excited around him, no, it’s too early in the relationship. With a cool, calm tone, you reply with an airy, “yes.” If only you knew that your heart skipped a beat because he’s such a gentleman, even with a raging boner in his boxers that was starting to hurt.
He swallows. He’s slept with you, but he’s never had sex with you before. Although there’s going to be many more times after this, the first is always special. Even when he accidentally bumps noses and foreheads with you clumsily, the imperfection of it is what swells his chest. It makes this real.
Pulling away, Jungkook tugs off his briefs before pumping his cock a couple times. The bead that sits atop of his dick gets smeared with his thumb, and even though you’re tempted to suck him off, Jungkook doesn’t even give you enough time to insinuate it because he’s already rolling a condom on and positioning himself in between your legs.
“Last chance,” he says breathily, holding himself back from fucking you apart because this sight of you, with that layer of sweat glistening from the dim lights in the room, has him swooning like some horny teenager. “Are you okay with this?”
Chewing on your bottom lip shyly, you nod.
Those past ‘lovers’ make you feel like the fumbles during sex are bad. They make those moments that seem innocent, despite the not-so-innocent act, feel wrong. The wet bed sheet underneath you are normal, and when kisses get messy, it’s not gross, it’s sexy. And with Jungkook, he makes you feel okay with all these things, even more.
Nose dug into the crook of his neck, you suck on the exposed skin gently before placing a ginger kiss on the flesh. His thrusts are languid, fearing that he’d hurt you, but when you give him the go with a whisper to his ear of all the dirty things you want him to do you, Jungkook doesn’t just have to hold himself back from splitting you apart, but also the fact he might cum too fast from your sultry words.
It doesn’t take long, but he makes sure you reach your orgasm once more.
And when your eyes are clenched shut, brows dipping in satisfaction with your lips opening with a quiet moan, Jungkook pistons his hips several times more before he stills, ropes of cum released into the condom.
Cleaning you up, he then tosses the condom and used tissue into a trash bin nearby before pressing a tender peck on your lips.
With your head resting on his chest and his arm around your frame, there’s nowhere else you’d rather be than in the embrace of Jeon Jungkook. Even if you needed two years to figure it out, you’re glad you did. And him? Although the time apart broke him, the healing made him a better person. A realistic one, one that doesn’t always have his head up in the clouds for love.
With a quick strum of his electric guitar, the sound blares through the speakers of the venue. Jungkook steals a quick glance at Jimin, who mirrors that same content smile as himself, and that sparkle in his eyes returns from a hiatus that he never realized wasn’t there for a while.
The crowd is different tonight, and he could say that he can’t pinpoint why, but Jungkook knows why.
He hates being that hopeless romantic that claims you responsible for all these changes in his life, but you are the reason. He’s never seen his bandmates this… harmonious in the past two years. The way that Yoongi actually laughs, smacking Taehyung’s arm when he’s joking around too much, Namjoon shaking his head when Hoseok chimes in, and Seokjin nagging at them for it—he missed this. And he missed turning around midway through the show, watching their heads bobbing to the music, lost in the tunes and immersed in making their dreams come true.
Jungkook can’t help but let that smile tug from the edges of his mouth, especially when he spots you in the crowd, swaying side to side with a friend of yours, beer in hand and sporting that cute grey t-shirt with his band name on it with a pair of jeans. Everything about this feels right. He doesn’t even care that it’s the third bra thrown on stage in the past twenty minutes. He’s happy to be here.
All Jungkook wants is love. And to share the success of his dreams with the people he loves.
And finally, he gets to.
He gets to share that with both you and his best friends.
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I said I’d do more Pokemon/Hollow Knight stuff and since I’m in a Hollow Knight mood here’s more buggies! Some rough new ones and of course my moths!
Moth lore under cut if anyone cares to read my ramblings about them~
Volcarona is old, predating the split in dreams and is perhaps one of the first moths ever made by the Radiance. She is the leader of their little ragtag groups of moths and is highly proficient in dream magics including that of nightmares, whose flames she favors. It is these flames and the extensive knowledge her age has allowed her which she carries with the greatest pride and which she so readily shares with others she comes across in her travels.
Mothim acts as the group’s scout as well as a jack of all trades who helps with random little things whenever needed. Generally, he’s quite confident and alert, but you’d be an anxious mess too if you were separated from your group and it felt like everyone you came across tried to stab you at least once. He doesn’t even know what they meant by infection????
Dustox hauls around and keeps track of much of the group’s basic supplies. They’re the quietest of the group, loosing themselves to their thoughts quite often but they don’t let that effect how meticulous they are with their tasks, which provides them a level of unmatched resourcefulness and ingenuity. They’re still mourning the loss of their child.
Venomoth is the group’s lively healer and storyteller. The energy of the group lies with him as he continues to keep everyone’s spirits up, not allowing the silence of the vast expanses they travel to get to them by instead filling it with his endless thoughts and ideas. He possesses basic skill in soul magic, which allows him focus and heal both himself and others.
Frosmoth is the youngest and the primary defender of the group due to her being the only one to utilize a physical weapon of any kind--a makeshift blade of ice. Despite this, she is still quite inexperienced in fighting with a weapon and still primarily relies on the shear cold of her icy magic to bring her opponents to submission. She often gets into friendly competitions with Mothim.
The groups origins are found before the creation of Hallownest with the Pale King’s initial arrival. Volcarona, having already once been caught in the middle of two warring higher beings and sensing Radiance’s distaste of the new light, did not wish to find herself caught once more. So, she, alongside a handful of other, like-minded moths, departed the caverns and made their way out into the surround vast wastes. Ages later, Volcarona is drawn back to the old place of her birth, bringing with her the remaining descendants of those moths that had initially left with her those ages ago.
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Because I’m addicted to angst like crazy, can I request headcannons or mini scenario’s of the reader wanting to confess to Kuroo, Suna, Sakusa, and Akaashi but she overhears how said boys don’t like her like that or how they would turn her down, so she distances themselves from them so she can move on easier? They notice and confront her about it and when she explains that she heard them say they don’t like her and are trying to move on...Idk, it’s up to you if you want to make it a full angst or angst to fluff, you write so well 🥺
you overhear that they don’t like you
a/n: ... i know you said mini scenarios... but this was divided into two parts bc kuroo and suna’s are like... 3k words in total.. please i think i went a bit overboard with this. akaashi and sakusa will be linked once done ! I hope you enjoy these for now... :DD
Warnings: angst ig?
Characters: Kuroo, Suna
(read akaashi and sakusa’s here)
(read atsumu and kita's here)
With a sigh, you tried mustering up all the confidence you can as you trudged towards the gym.
‘This is the day.’ You thought to yourself. You were finally going to confess to Kuroo. After having numerous debates with your mind, you finally came to the decision to confess.
Your heartbeat quickened at the numerous scenarios you were thinking, most of them being rejection.
The worst thing that can happen is rejection, right?
You couldn’t help but fall for Kuroo, how could you not? He was funny, smart, and being handsome was a nice plus. You already knew that it would be hard to just tell him about your feelings, especially knowing that he probably only viewed you as a friend.
Once you arrived by the gym, you took a deep breath before going in with a smile, waving to Kenma who acknowledged you by looking up from his game.
“Uh.. Have you seen Kuroo?” you sheepishly asked Kenma who looked at you curiously before nodding to the locker room.
“Hey, (Y/N)?” Kenma called out. “Yeah?”
“Goodluck.” Your eyes widened as he gave you a small smile.
You sometimes hated how perceptive Kenma is despite his nonchalant behavior. With a determined nod, you walked towards the locker room, hoping to see Kuroo walk out from the door.
When you were at a near distance from the door, you hear a bunch of chatter. You didn’t mean to eavesdrop, but you perked your head when you heard your name come out from a voice you recognized as Yaku’s.
“Man, Kuroo. You’re lucky! You have (Y/N) crushing on you.” A smack was heard after, Kuroo groaning in pain followed afterward.
Your heartbeat quickened when you heard the captain laugh in response.
“Come on, Yakkun. (Y/N) and I are just friends!” For now. “Eh?! Seriously? You don’t like her in that way?” You scoot a bit closer to the door, wanting to hear his answer before you take the leap.
“Don’t be ridiculous, Yakkun. We’re friends, and that’s it.” Your heart dropped at his words.
You were so caught up in evaluating Kuroo’s answer that you didn’t realize the door to the locker room opened. “Oh, (Y/N)? What’re you doing here?” The chatter in the locker room evidently stopped. You blinked, trying to keep tears at bay.
You looked up to Kai who looked at you with a kind expression. “Ah, our professor told me to give this to Tet- Kuroo-san.” You say, giving him a folder. “I have to go, please give this to him for me. Thank you, Kai!” You say before running off, passing by the freshmen who gave you a wave of excitement. You couldn’t find it in yourself to smile back as you ran from the gym.
Once you were at a safe place, you let the tears fall free. You didn’t know why you were crying.
‘You didn’t even confess, for crying out loud! So why are you sad?’ you thought to yourself, laughing as you wiped your eyes.
You felt pathetic for ever thinking that Kuroo would ever look at you that way. You were friends. He specified so clearly to one of his closest friends. That was all the confirmation you needed.
You knew you had to distance yourself on the following days. Knowing that if you don’t you’ll fall even deeper and get hurt.
And you were tired of getting hurt.
“Oi, Chibi. Why did the picture go to jail?” Kuroo asked when the class was about to end. You took a while to answer him, you only answered when you felt him poke his pen by your cheek. “Oi.” “I don’t know, Kuroo. Why?” Kuroo could almost shiver at the tone you used, but he thinks it may just be a bad day. Maybe his jokes could make it better? It always did.
“Because it was framed.” Not wanting to ignore him, but not wanting to indulge him either You give him a short laugh that can be mistaken as a breath.
“Was it not funny?” “It was.”
Kuroo was silent for a few seconds before asking you with a small nudge from his elbow.
“Are you okay?” “Mhm.” You realized that that answer was too curt, something that would possibly make him suspicious. And you didn’t want that.
“I just need to listen to this lesson, this is very confusing.” You follow up quickly, taking down notes just to not look suspicious.
“You know I could always tutor you, right?” Kuroo said, a reassuring tone lacing his voice. You turn to give him a small nod and smile. “I know.” But I’d like to not be with you unless necessary. “Thank you.”
Kuroo furrowed his eyebrows, clearly he knew something was wrong. But before he could ask, the bell rang and you immediately went out of the room. Not even giving Kuroo his usual goodbye.
Something was definitely wrong.
“(Y/N’s) acting weird.” Kuroo couldn’t help but mention when they were on the train home. “Eh?” Kenma kept clicking on his console, listening intently as his childhood friend rant on about you.
“And then suddenly they turned cold! I don’t remember doing anything to make them mad.” Kuroo was frustrated to say the least, he knew that your friendship was going well, so of course he would be confused as to why you suddenly gave him the cold shoulder.
“I mean… did you reject them?” Kenma asked, eyes still on his console. Kuroo furrowed his eyebrows at his friend. “Reject them? What?”
Kenma paused the game and looked up to Kuroo.
“So, they didn’t confess?” Kuroo shook his head in response to Kenma’s question. Kenma sighed, “I think I know what’s going on.”
“Well, don’t keep it to yourself, Kenma. Tell me.” Kuroo urged.
“They heard you say you don’t like them.” Kenma said, unpausing his game. “Well, that’s only my thoughts. I wouldn’t know.”
Now that Kuroo thought about it, when he told Yaku he only saw you as a friend, the door of the locker room opened to reveal you, who gave Kai a document that was meant for him before running off.
Kuroo should’ve known you’ve heard. Because no matter how busy you were, you would always wish him good luck on his practices and give him a corny joke to keep him motivated.
“Fuck.” Kuroo muttered, placing his hands by his eyes and tilting his head back on the window of the train, groaning from frustration.
There was a small pause of silence, only the clicking of Kenma’s console was heard before the underclassman spoke.
“What do you plan on doing now?”
“Hey, we need to talk.” Kuroo cornered you by the locker, you shut the metal door lightly before giving him an apology.
“I’m really needed for the next class.” At this point, you weren’t even trying to hide the sheer fact that you were avoiding him.
“We’re in the same class, and we both know the teacher wouldn’t show up until half the hour passes. Try again, (Y/N).”
“I just don’t want to talk to you.” You say straight up, not even trying to put a filter and Kuroo felt his heart clench painfully at your tone.
“Too bad. You don’t have a choice.” Without a word, he grabbed your hand and pulled you away to a vacant classroom.
“Why have you been avoiding me.” Kuroo knows the answer to his question, but he didn’t want to get ahead of himself.
“I was busy, can I go now. Please?” You say as curt as possible, not wanting to melt under his gaze. Not wanting to break whatever resolve you have built up from the past few days you ignored him.
“I’m not buying it.” Kuroo says, crossing his arms and eyeing you down. You knew that you wouldn’t be able to keep up the tough act if you stayed there.
“You’re so unfair, Kuroo.” You couldn’t help but whisper. Kuroo’s posture immediately straightened.
“I’m unfair?” Kuroo asked with an amused grin on his face. “I don’t think I’m the one who ignored someone for days for no apparent reason.” You looked down at his words, knowing he has the upperhand. Just why did you think you could escape him?
“I’m not the one who made someone think that they did something wrong.” You didn’t realize that he was getting closer, not until you saw his shoes in front of you and felt his hands on your chin, making you look up to him.
“I’m the one who was deprived of a confession from the person I like, don’t you think it’s unfair for me?” Your eyes widened for a few milliseconds before you pushed him away.
“Stop messing around, Kuroo.” Your voice cracked. “Just let me move on. And I promise I’ll be back to normal.” You both know that was an empty promise. If Kuroo didn’t corner you, then you would’ve completely tried to eradicate him from your life. But Kuroo couldn’t have that.
Now that he knew you liked him back, how could he let this chance go to waste.
“You think I’ll let you go when I finally have an opportunity to pursue you?” Your throat went dry.
“Kuroo... stop. You don’t need to pretend, I heard what you said to Yaku. It’s fine, really.” At this point, you wanted to get out as soon as possible. You knew you were going to break down if this keeps on going.
“(Y/N), please. Believe me. I truly do like you back.” You felt tears prick your eyes. This was some sick joke Kuroo was playing at.
Kuroo panicked, seeing tears well up in your eyes before you blinked it away.
“But I-” “Yes. I know that I said those words that day, but it was to shut Yakkun up… and to hide my own feelings.” Kuroo said the last part quietly. If he weren’t holding you, you probably wouldn’t have heard.
He lets go of your chin before sighing. “I’ve been in love with you for so long, I didn’t know how to deal with it so I kept denying it. I didn’t tell Yaku the truth because I didn’t need him to make fun of me because I couldn’t get the person I wanted.” Kuroo let it out, you were shocked.
He felt the same way?
“Kuroo…?” “(Y/N). I’m sorry, but I can’t let you go. Especially now when I know I have a chance. So please.” Unbeknownst to the both of you, your heartbeats were almost identical on how fast it paced.
“I...” You started. Not knowing the right words to say.
“I think we should… take things slow.” You look at him, giving him the smallest of smiles you can muster. “If that’s okay with you?”
Kuroo couldn’t find it in himself to suppress the wide smile that was plastered on his face. Without another word, he pulled you to his chest. His laugh rang out the empty classroom.
“God. I didn’t want to confess this way… but here we are.” Kuroo pulled away and laughed.
“Don’t break my heart, Kuroo.” You warned lightheartedly. He gave you a smile that was laced with all the adoration he felt for you before pecking raising your hand to his lips and kissing your knuckles.
“I wouldn’t dream of it.”
The whistle was blown, signalling the end of their practice. You smiled in encouragement to the members who looked like they’ve gotten through hell and back. From the intensity of their training, you would probably believe so.
“Nice work.” You say, handing Atsumu his water bottle. The setter gave you a pat on the head before gesturing to Suna who was wiping his sweat with a towel. “Go talk to ‘yer loverboy.”
You rolled your eyes at his statement, but walked towards the middle blocker anyway.
“Nice work out there, Rin!” You smile, giving him the water bottle that you prepared. Of course, it was your own water bottle with the liquid infused with citrus. You thought about putting it in his, but then again, the water bottles were identical and someone else might drink it.
“(Y/N)~ Why does Suna get special treatment?” Akagi whined. Your eyes widened, not knowing that the libero was watching your interactions.
“I want manager-san’s special treatment too!” Ginjima whined as well, your face heat up at the sudden attention before the coach blew the whistle once more.
“Seems like break is over, be back later, (Y/N).” Suna stated, giving you back your water bottle and a quick pat on the head. Your face heated up with the contact.
“Yeah.” You were in a daze, staring at Suna’s figure as he went back to court.
“‘Yer staring, Manager-san.” Kita’s straightforward voice cut off your thoughts. “Huh? What?”
A smirk formed on Kita’s face. “Be careful, (Y/N). ‘Yer not being as cautious as before.”
“What did you mean before? Kita-san. I-” “Liked our middle blocker since before you were our manager? I’m well aware.” If you and Kita weren’t close, you would be scared on how he managed to catch on quickly with your stupid crush. “I’m right, aren’t I?”
“I sometimes hate you, Kita.” A scoff was heard from the bicolored male. “Sure you do.”
You and the captain went on with your banter. Occasionally noting down some of the notable movements the team did in their practice.
When the whistle was blown, that was then you realized that you have forgotten to fill up the water bottles once more. With a quick bow, you ran outside to fill it up with refreshing cold water. Once done, you struggled to carry the weight of several bottles at once.
“When do you plan on confessing to (Y/N), Suna?” You stopped in your tracks as you hear Atsumu’s voice reverberate from the other side of the wall.
“What are you talking about?” Suna retaliated, voice deadpanned as usual. “Come on, Suna. Don’t think we don’t see the way (Y/N) has heart eyes for you.” You almost dropped the water bottles in your hands. Your heart beat quick, realizing that Suna was well aware of your crush on him.
“So?” The same deadpanned voice answered. You felt saddened at the lack of emotion in his tone. “What do you plan to do if they tell you?”
You weren’t prepared for his answer, you didn’t want to know.
“I don’t know what you want me to say, I don’t like (Y/N) that way.” Fuck.
At this point, your throat felt clogged and tears were forming in your eyes. You always knew that you should have never let this small crush turn into something more, now you were here. Feeling sad just because of your hopeless crush on the team’s middle blocker.
You didn’t realize that you dropped a water bottle, when you looked down, you saw lemon slices floating around the water. As if it were mocking you.
You sigh, picking it up. ‘One last time.’ You thought to yourself before entering the gym, pretending you didn’t just get your heart broken.
“No lemons this time?” Suna asked as you gave him his water bottle. “Didn’t find any.” You say as curt as possible before attending to the other members of the team to which the others found odd.
Since when was he the first one you attended? Usually you always placed him as last so you could talk to him more. Maybe you just forgot? Did something happen?
Either way, the team was in confusion with your sudden shift in attitude. Especially Suna, who has gotten used to your daily banter every training.
The middle blocker shrugged it off before taking a sip of the plain water. Maybe you just weren’t in the mood today? Who knows.
It wasn’t only today, but the next few days. Suna began noticing how his interactions with you have drastically decreased, he never took notice of how much he actually craved your presence until you stopped giving him attention and began treating him like how you treat the twins.
Well, there wasn’t anything wrong with the way you treated the twins, but he thought he was special. He knows he was special, maybe that’s why he thought that you might have possibly liked him back. But why did you suddenly drift away from him?
Suna doesn’t remember anything that he could have possibly done for you to stray away from him.
“Good work.” “Are we okay?” Suna suddenly asked you, who was giving out his water bottle as per usual. “Of course.” You say before plopping the bottle on his hand and moving on to the next member.
“Relationship problems?” Osamu teased as he went beside Suna, sipping on his own water bottle. “Shut it, Miya.”
The middle blocker hated this. He hated how all of a sudden you pretended as if the both of you were only club mates and nothing else.
But isn’t that what you were? You weren’t obligated to keep him company during breaks and talk about your guys’ days and plans. So why was he so bothered that you weren’t beside him?
Suna had a thought, but he immediately crossed it off his mind because he knows it’s impossible.
Suna likes you, and you moved away even before he could act on it.
“Good wo-” “Can we talk?” Suna cut you off. You raised an eyebrow at him before trying to give him his water bottle.
“I’m not taking that.” He huffed, before continuing. “Give the others theirs first then get back to me. Just like before.” Startled, you wordlessly nodded before giving the rest of the members their water bottles.
Once you were done, you felt Suna pull your wrist and dragged you outside. A knowing smirk invaded the twins’ faces as they saw the both of you leave.
“Suna-” “What is your problem?” Your eyes widened at the sharp tone that Suna gave you.
“I have no idea what you mean.” “Why have you been getting distant lately?” “I was busy, Suna”
Suna looked at you, knowing he isn’t buying a single word you say. He wanted to cringe at the way you called him by his last name, but he couldn’t afford to lose his composure.
“We both know that’s absolute bullshit, (Y/N).” You narrowed your eyes at his response.
“Why does it matter, Suna?” You bit back, having been fed up with this conversation. “I just want to know what I did that made you act weird around me.”
You tense up, not knowing what to say next. You knew it was unfair to make Suna feel as if he did something wrong, but you knew the more you acted upon your feelings, the more you won’t be able to move on. So with a deep breath you braced yourself for your next words.
“You did nothing, Suna.” You gave him a small smile. “That is just me trying to move on. So please, give me some time.”
Suna blinked. Was that a confession? He couldn’t register it fast enough before he tightened his grip on your wrist.
“(Y/N)... what do you mean?” “I don’t want to repeat myself, Suna.” You say, gently trying to take your wrist from him.
“You like me back.” Suna says, more to himself than to you. You gave him a look of disbelief. “Don’t be ridiculous.”
“No, (Y/N). You like me back.” A small smirk was plastered on his face, you felt your face heat up.
“I did.” You could barely see the way his smirk faltered. “Did?”
You sigh, wanting to get this over with.
“I heard you say to the twins that you don’t like me in that way. And it made me realize that maybe I’ve been reading the signs wrong and you only like me as a friend.” You explain, effectively pulling away your wrist the moment he faltered in his grip.
“No hard feelings, Suna. I just need time to move on, and since we’re here now. Can you please tell me to move on? Just so I can have the closure I need.” You say.
Unbeknownst to you, Suna only said that so the twins would leave him alone. He’s always liked you, even before you were their manager. And when you suddenly gave him special treatment, he felt as if you returned his feelings.
Now that he knows you like him back, the twins be damned. He can’t let you go.
“Be with me?” “Did you not hear what I said? I said I’m trying to move o-” “No.”
Suna said, taking a step closer to you. “I said I didn’t like you that way because I didn’t want the twins knowing and potentially ruining my chance with you because we both know they’d tease the both of us.” Suna started.
“I didn’t confess because I didn’t want to assume that you liked me the way I liked you. But god, whenever you strut in the gym and give me your stupid hello kitty bottle filled with lemon water. I couldn’t help but assume.” You make a face. “My hello kitty bottle is not stupid, Rin.”
Suna smiled at the returned nickname. “And you didn’t assume. I really do like you back.”
“So...” Suna trailed off. “So…?”
“Do you want to go out with me, after training?” Suna didn’t know where the courage came from, before he could shy away from his question. You gave him a smile, a small blush on your face.
“I.. I’d love to.”
“And will you bring back the lemon water. I miss the stupid hello kitty bottle.” He was hit by the arm as you pouted. “Once again, my hello kitty bottle is NOT stupid, Rin.”
Suna smiled before placing a hand on your head.
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What a lot of you don’t understand is that when you think about it, the John Wick movies really are the closest thing to perfection we have in the movie industry nowadays. Yes, I’m aware of how absolutely insane I sound right now, just bear with me. By ‘perfection’ I didn’t mean good, just in the sense that. They are the only action franchise I know that openly panders to their audience, and somehow also managed to include literally everyone in that audience.
Let’s take a crack at this together if you don’t believe me.
We’ll start with the basics. What country are you from? Trick question, it doesn’t matter because *slaps the roof of New York* This City can fit so many countries into it and oh yes, they Are going to speak your language. This is a threat. Next, what kind of music are you into? Pop? Rock? Jazz? Classical? KYARY PAMYU PAMYU? Don’t worry, they’ve got you. Let’s move on to something a little more personal– Are you gay? Straight? Yes, these movies qualify as queer cinema because every single fight scene in them IS bi on bi violence, but you also wouldn’t know this if you’re cishet, so their homophobic dudebro fanbase is still steadily expanding despite the movies steadily getting gayer and gayer. By the way, have you heard about their canon nonbinary character? Well, you see, the thing is, they’ve announced that this character IS nonbinary, you just didn’t notice this because the need for them to explicitly state their gender never arises in the movie. Well, fingers crossed for more Trans Rights in John Wick: Chapter 4 and 5!
Ok, enough about you. Let’s move on to your taste in men. What’s your type? Do you like older men? Younger men? Keanu Reeves is here, and he somehow managed to look both 31 and 65 at the same time. He has the Range. Do you like men with short hair? Long hair? John Wick has shoulder-length hair but he’s never put it into a bun in canon, so he passes as both I guess. Do you want a male wife? He’s a househusband for 5 years in canon. If you like nice guys, he’s good with animals and very polite to everyone around him; but if you’re into bad boys, he’s also killed over 300 people and they don’t get any worse than that. If you like married men, this is probably the most married man I’d ever seen in an action movie; but if you’re not into that, it’s fine, because his wife’s also Very Dead. If you like men with short names, “John Wick” is only two syllables; if you like men with longer names, his real name is actually Jardani Jovonovich. If your type is Keanu Reeves, he’s there, but if you just hate Keanu Reeves, well this is THEE franchise for you because they’re going to beat the shit out of him and throw him off the edge of a thirteen-story building. Oh, sorry, do you like women? They’ve got so many great non-sexualized female characters, you’re gonna fall head over heels in love with all of them faster than I can say John Wick; but if you just hate women, well, some of them are also dead. (But like, killed off in a dignified and respectable way that made sure to not piss off anyone.)
Now let’s talk about the animals. Are you a dog person? Welcome, this franchise is secretly just three dog movies in a blood-stained trench coat. If you like small dogs, there’s one, but if you like BIG dogs, you get 3 of them. If you like smart dogs these Belgian Malinois are trained to climb walls and castrate people on command. If you like dumb dogs this pitbull does nothing for two movies but sit around on sofas, look pretty, and eat butter off of Keanu Reeves’ face. If you’re a cat person check out this absolute unit living their best life at a sushi bar owned by a gay ninja; if you’re a bird person, well I hope you like pigeons because *slaps the roof of New York* this city can fit so many pigeons into it. If you’re a horse girl so is John Wick, apparently, and to make this movie even more relatable for you, he brought a Horse. To a car chase. In the middle of BROOKLYN. If you're a snake person, Ian Mcshane is also there, and he speaks.
What else? Oh, let’s get into the fandoms, why not. DC fans, your John Constantine is wearing a white shirt with a tie and talking to Lucifer. Marvel fans, your Green Goblin dies again. SPN fandom, happy to inform you that Sam’s blonde girlfriend (the one who somehow got fridged by. A ceiling fire??) is here too and she’s MY girlfriend now. She wears a leather jacket, calls John Wick a pussy while beating the absolute shit out of him, and she is an asshole to everybody. If nothing else I said could convince you, do it for HER. Hannibal fandom, we’ve been through this many times, but John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017) IS a hannigram mafia au, and coincidentally, Laurence Fishburne is also There, and he flirts with Keanu Reeves while wearing a silk bathrobe. Game of Thrones fandom, don’t you just hate that blonde little fruit Theon Greyjoy? Don’t you just wish someone would punch him in his stupid face? Well I’ve got GREAT news for you folks. Brooklyn-99 fandom, your Vulture is here and he’s got a husband. Ok alright no he didn’t yes he did. no he didn’t ;)) (He did though) And of course, of course, how could I forget my main audience, The Old Guard(2020, dir. Gina Prince-Blythewood) Fandom? Right this way followers, here’s an unedited screenshot of the canon dialogue from John Wick(2014)
NOW that we’ve gotten all that out of the way, let’s move on to your taste in movies because oh, *slaps chad stahelski in the face* this movie can fit So much Movie into it. Tell me, do you like good movies? These movies CAN, indeed, be very good. Do you like BAD movies? Well congratulations! This critically acclaimed arthouse action franchise WILL put you through some of the worst moments in the history of cinema, and you WILL unironically enjoy every single second of it, perhaps even more than the good parts. Do you like movies with good acting? Well one of the greatest accomplishments of the John Wick franchise is that they went out of their way to round up all the best actors in the movie industry, just to get them to say the absolute dumbest shit on camera. For you. Do you like movies with BAD acting? Well Keanu Reeves is There and he somehow managed to be at the peak AND the rock bottom of his career at the same time, he HAS the Range. What about.....The story? Do you like a good plot? A BAD plot? Spoiler Alert: everyone wins, because there is NO plot.
I could go on and on but the point is, you could NOT lose with these movies even if you tried. It’s just fun for everyone, every time, and if you hate fun you can come sit next to me in the theater, and I promise I’ll do my best to take all the fun out of your viewing experience. Oh and one last thing, before I log off: I get that some of y’all have problems with graphic and gratuitous violence, and that’s valid, but hey, listen. What if it was, like, really funny
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“What Plot!?” - [Reid x Reader]
Summary: Reader is a new member to the team who has developed a slight crush on one of her co-workers. She also has a proclivity for reading certain kinds of books. What happens when our favorite speed reader takes a peak over her shoulder?
Pairing: Spencer Reid x Fem!Reader (no y/n used)
Word Count: 4.5k
Category/Rating: Smut. Literally just smut. Explicit, 18+
Content Warning: Lord have mercy. Dom!Spencer, post prison Spencer, face sitting, dirty talk, unprotected sex, no y/n, spanking (kinda), BDSM discussions. I can’t think of anything else, but if I missed any, lemme know.
A/n: Hello doves. Welcome to fic 2 of my birthday fic fest. I hope you love it. 🤍 (also: Thanks to Sam for reading the first bit and for helping me come up with a title.)
-- What Plot!? --
“What are you reading?”
My spine stiffened, and I snapped my phone up until it was pressed against my chest. "…Nothing." I felt my neck get hot at the words being said…or rather who was saying the words.
In the weeks since I’d joined the BAU, I very quickly developed a crush on the team’s resident genius. I had tried not to, I knew it was unprofessional to develop feelings for someone you work with, but it wasn’t even my fault. Fighting my feelings for Dr. Reid was like fighting gravity. Not only was he objectively gorgeous, but he was also otherworldly smart, unfailingly kind, and to my delight, he was a complete nerd.
There was much more to him than that, but we weren’t close enough for me to pull back the veil. His smiles came easy, but I couldn’t help but notice the sadness lurking in his warm brown eyes. I knew his story from the other teammates, and he had only mentioned his time in prison in passing.
All of that combined is probably why I couldn’t bring myself to look up at Spencer, but I didn't really have to; his tone made it plainly obvious he didn’t believe me. “So, you were staring at your phone…that had a page open…filled with nothing but words…but you weren’t reading.”
Lowering my phone to my lap, careful to keep the screen facing down, I met his stare. The corners of his lips were quirked up in amusement, and his eyes were unusually warm. “I just meant…that it’s not something you’d have read. That’s all.”
“How do you know what I’ve read?” he asked, pulling out one of the chairs from the table. The one closest to me. “I read a lot.”
“I’ve noticed,” I huffed, feeling heat creeping up my neck. “But…still. It’s just not something you would have read.”
He leaned forward, his elbows resting on his knees, interlacing his fingers while his eyes moved over me. “So, you’ve noticed that I read…and you’ve noticed what I read.”
I couldn’t be sure if he was teasing me or attempting to torture me. “It’s normal to pay attention to things like that. I’ve only been here for a few weeks-.”
“Six weeks, 4 days, 5 hours, and 16 minutes,” he interrupted.
“Right,” I said softly. How does he do that? “Well, it’s normal to notice things about your co-workers. Especially when you work as closely as we all do.”
Dr. Reid nodded, his teeth biting the side of his bottom lip in an attempt to suppress his smile. “Of course, it’s only natural to notice things about your co-workers. You’ve noticed that I read a lot, and apparently the sort of things I read. But,” he paused, bringing one of his hands up to his face, his index finger tapping against his mouth. “I can’t help but wonder if you’ve noticed how fast I read.”
I felt my heart stutter in my chest. “What?”
He made no attempt to hide his smile from me now. “I can read up to 20,000 words per minute.”
“That’s not possible.”
“It’s actually a fascinating thing; our conscious mind can process 16 bits of information per second; our unconscious, however, can process 11 million.”
“…So, you can read with your unconscious mind?”
The corners of his mouth tipped up again. "Something like that. So, I asked what you read as more of a politeness in an attempt to make conversation. I already read what was on the page."
Fuck my life. “Oh.” I sucked in a deep breath, trying to ignore the blood that rushed to my cheeks. “Um…do you think you could keep that bit of information to yourself?”
Spencer chuckled. "There's nothing to be ashamed of. We just finished a tough case; we all unwind in different ways."
Heat began to creep up my cheeks. "It's…it's not like…" I huffed, wishing the earth would open up and swallow me whole. "Can you not tell the others about this? I'm still…knew, and I just…."
He tilted his head to the side. "You just what? It's a very popular genre. Statistically, other members of the team would read it too."
“Do you?” I challenged.
Spencer just nodded slightly. “It’s not my preferred reading, but I had to read a similar novel a few years ago for a case. The story was…well, it was something,” he finished with a soft laugh.
“What book was it?”
He leaned back, leaving his legs slightly spread but crossing his arms over his chest. "Bare Reflections. We had an unsub that was using it to lure in his victims."
I wrinkled my nose. "That book was terrible." I glanced around quickly to make sure we were the only two in this part of the lobby. "It was a total misrepresentation of the BDSM community! And the guy was completely uninterested in what the girl wanted. He just did his thing and expected her to have a hundred million orgasms."
Spencer’s laugh is what broke me out of my rant. I hadn’t actually heard him laugh before, at least not like this. The corners of his eyes crinkled, the only indication that he was older than he looked. But it was his smile that stopped me. He was so pretty. He smiled with his entire face, and for a moment, the shadows I always saw under his eyes were gone.
“I don’t think it was quite a hundred million, but I can see your point,” he said once he’d composed himself. “I haven’t read the book you’re reading. Is it any good?”
He didn’t look convinced. “It must be more than fine if you’re reading it in the middle of the hotel lobby where anyone could come up behind you.”
I waved his comment off. “I read this stuff all the time.” Oh…oh fuck. "I don't…I don't mean…."
I blame the fact that I was so caught up in my own horror that my reflexes were delayed. Before I even realized what was happening, Reid had my phone out of my hands. His eyes were zooming over the page while his thumb scrolled up.
Why did I switch it to continuous scroll! I thought angrily, lunging across the table. "Give it back, Reid!"
He stood up and stepped out of reach, his eyes never leaving the page. “Hang on, I’m almost done.”
I rounded the table at full speed, jumping slightly to reach the right height. I was able to knock him off balance enough that his arm dropped, allowing me to grab my phone. The only thing I hadn't planned on was the fact that my charging at him would knock me off balance. I stumbled over Reid's feet, embarrassingly losing my balance.
His hands gripped my sides automatically, steadying my body against his own. We weren't wholly flush against each other, but it was enough for me to notice how warm he was. He was impossibly tall and slimmer than other male team members, but he also seemed solid somehow.
“That was rude,” I breathed out, staring up at him. I hoped he would just assume that my sudden change in tone was due to the adrenaline of chasing him. From the way his hands flexed at my sides, I knew I had no such luck.
He chuckled, his eyes moving over my face. “So is reading porn in the middle of the lobby. But who am I to judge?”
I smacked his chest lightly, stepping back. “It’s not porn. It’s erotic fiction.” I sniffed, tucking my phone securely in my pocket. “There’s a difference.”
Spencer shrugged. “If you say so.”
Just then, Alvez rounded the corner, two small white envelopes in his hand. “Guys! Prentiss got it fixed.”
“Thank god,” I muttered. I really, really wasn’t looking forward to having to share a room tonight.
After taking our room keys from Alvez, Spencer and I fell into step beside each other as we made our way to the elevator. After he hit the button for the third floor, he asked what room I was in.
“Um…36,” I answered, looking anywhere but at him.
“Hmm. That’s interesting. I’m in 38.” His shoulder bumped up against me. “Looks like we’re neighbors.”
Fantastic, I thought sarcastically. “Super,” is what I choose to say out loud, however.
When the doors parted and I went to step off the elevator, Spencer took a step forward and grabbed my elbow, holding me back. His foot came out to prevent the doors from closing while he leaned his head down until his lips brushed my ear.
His voice was gravely when he spoke, his breath hot against my skin. “If you want to try what’s on page 347, you know where to find me. I’d much rather hear your sounds in person…but if I have to hear them through the wall…so be it.”
He said nothing else, just pulled away from me as if nothing happened. Spencer Reid just walked casually down the hallway to his room like he didn’t make my mind explode.
I was still standing inside the elevator; my feet were frozen to the ground when he reached his room. Once he had the door open, he turned to look at me one final time.
He might have winked at me. Or I might have been seeing things because of all the heat flooding through my body.
After I finally got my legs to work, I made my way to my own room. My body went through my usual routine on autopilot, which was extremely helpful because my mind was utterly useless. Before I'd gotten in the shower, I'd flipped to the page Reid had whispered about before he'd exited the elevator.
That decision had been a mistake.
I could still feel flutters when I thought about that page. The flutters only intensified when I thought about Dr. Spencer Reid doing that to me.
Was he serious? I thought. Maybe he was just joking? It’s true, I hadn’t known him long, but he didn’t seem like the sort of person to joke about something like that. Then again, he hadn’t seemed like the kind sort of person to whisper in my ear either.
I chewed my lower lip as I thought. What was I supposed to do? I could go over there, certainly. He could turn me down…and if he did that, I'd simply fake my death and start a new life somewhere else. That wasn't so bad; sure, I'd devoted a lot of time to my career but –
My thoughts were interrupted by a knock on my door, which caused my heart to stutter in my chest. Part of me wondered who would be at my door, but the other part of me already knew.
Sure enough, I opened the door to reveal the man himself, Dr. Spencer Reid. He was dressed in sweatpants and a Cal-Tech t-shirt. His skin looked flushed and warm like he'd just showered too. Those beautiful hands that I thought about entirely too much were resting on his hips while his eyes looked down at me.
“Hi,” I squeaked. Squeaked, like I’m not an FBI agent. Get it together.
Spencer smiled softly at me. “I only came over because I can practically hear you overthinking through the wall.”
His long arms crossed over his chest. “Don’t be sorry. I’m sorry if I made you feel uncomfortable. I just…I thought I had noticed you looking at me a certain way. And the book seemed like a good way to…brooch the subject.” He shifted his weight from foot to foot under my stare. “It’s not something I normally do. But…”
“But what?” I hedged, my breath coming faster.
From this distance, I could see the stubble on his chin, the tiny flecks of gold around his irises. “But…I’ve realized life is short. And I made a promise to myself that I’d start going after the things I want.”
My heart skips another beat in my chest. “And…you want…this?”
He chuckles, clearly amused at my discomfort. “I want you, Princess. Any way I can have you."
Oh. Oh. “Oh,” I say lamely, heat pooling in my stomach. “I…I want you too, Reid.”
He takes a step forward, crowding me until I take a step back. Once he’s through the doorway, he shuts the door with a soft click, his eyes never leaving mine. “You can call me Spencer, you know.”
I snort despite the tension I feel. Somehow the dry way he says it speaks to my weird sense of humor. “You don’t want me to call you daddy? Or sir? Or is master what you fancy?” I tease.
Spencer smiles, but there’s something dark lurking just behind it that makes a spark of electricity flow through me. “Spencer is fine for every day. What you call me when I’m fucking you is up to you. We can figure it out as we go.”
'When I'm fucking you,' repeated in my head over and over, causing my eyes to go wide.
“I take it you don’t have any real-world experience with this?” When I shake my head, he continues. “Okay. We’ll use the traditional safe words. If you say red, the scene ends. But it’s important that you know only the scene is. I respect you, and I don’t want you to feel uncomfortable. The scene can end, but aftercare is still a part of all of this…unless you don’t want it to be.”
My head was spinning. An hour ago, Spencer Reid was just my work crush; now he's talking about aftercare. "You…you won't be mad? If I have to stop?"
He reaches out to cup the side of my face, his thumb brushing over my cheek. “Not even for a second, Princess.”
His words go straight to my heart, stirring emotions I don't have time to think about right now. "Why are you calling me Princess? Is that just like…your go-to name?"
Spencer shakes his head. “No, I’ve never called anyone else Princess before.” I can’t help but preen a little bit after he says that. “But you’re pretty, just like a princess, so it fits. But…I have to confess; page 347 is what cemented it in my mind.”
Oh. My mouth went dry. “That…that made you think of a princess?”
He leaned close to me again, his lips ghosting over my cheek before I felt his breath against my neck. “Maybe I just like the idea of my princess using my face as her throne.” I felt his lips press more firmly against my neck, causing a whimper to escape my mouth. “Would you like that? Do you want to put your pretty pussy on my face and let me make you cum?”
I'm eternally glad one of his hands had come up to grip my waist because my knees quickly turned to jelly at the thought of Spencer Reid doing that to me.
His breath puffed against my neck as he laughed at my reaction. "Is that what you want?"
Mutely, I nodded rapidly. Who the fuck wouldn’t want that?
To my surprise and momentary disappointment, he stepped away from me. I could only blink up at him while he moved to my bed, sitting on the edge with his legs spread slightly. "Then come here, Princess." I walked over to stand between his knees, squeaking when his hands gripped my waist, maneuvering me onto his lap, my knees on either side of his hips. Our lips hovered less than an inch apart when he said, “Remember, you can stop this whenever you want. Alright?”
I never got a chance to respond or from any sort of coherent thought before his lips were against mine. I lost the ability to think about anything that wasn't Dr. Spencer Reid.
His lips were full and soft but slightly chapped from how much he bit them. One of his hands came up to tangle in my hair while he guided my movements. Both of his lips moved against my top lip, then my bottom lip. His tongue brushed against the seam of my mouth, demanding entry that I was only too happy to give him. My hips started to rock against him while his tongue moved against my own.
The hand that wasn't in my hair moved up from my hip until he was at the hem of my shirt. He paused for a moment like he was waiting for my permission. I brought my right hand down to cover his, urging his hand higher under my shirt, shivering when those slightly rough fingertips brushed against my ribs.
His mouth broke away from my own at the exact moment his fingers came in contact with my breast. His thumb teased my nipple while his teeth nipped at my neck. "Spencer," I groaned, desperately grinding down on the hardness in his sweatpants. "I need…I need…."
I didn’t even know what I needed, but luckily Spencer seemed to. He started to shift his body up the bed, tugging me along with him. Once he reached the spot he wanted, he started pulling my shirt over my head, his own quickly following. My initial instinct was to cover my body from his gaze, but he pulled my hands away. “Don’t. I can’t control how you feel, but please don’t hide from me. You’re beautiful.”
I was still reeling from his words when he started to pull my sleep shorts and underwear down my legs. With some careful maneuvering, I was now fully naked on top of Spencer.
He reclined until he was lying flat on my bed, his eyes moving over me hungrily. “Come here, Princess,” he said, his hands urging my hips upwards.
Embarrassment bloomed across my chest. “But…my thighs…what if you can’t breathe?” My teeth started chewing on my bottom lip. “I’ve just…never done this.”
Spencer just shrugged. “I’ll tap your thigh. Or I’ll die. Either way.”
I was in the middle of forming a retort when he grabbed my hips and used them to pull himself down the bed until my pussy was directly over his mouth. Before I was done processing that, I felt his tongue run up and down my fold, dipping inside me.
My breathy groan of his name came out at the same time he actually growled against my flesh.
After another swipe of his tongue, Spencer flicked his head back a bit in an attempt to see my face better. “Okay?”
“More than okay.”
He didn’t need any further assurance. Spencer’s mouth latched onto my pussy again, his tongue moving over my folds and clit repeatedly. When he finally focused his attentions on my clit, his tongue fluttering rapidly, one of my hands came down to tangle in his curly hair.
Spencer's arms were wrapped around my thighs, holding me to him while my hips slowly started to rock against him. I tried to cover my needy sounds by biting my lip, but Spencer would have none of it. His lips closed around my clit fully, sucking softly. A broken cry spilled out of my throat, causing Spencer to dig his nails into my skin.
“I’m…I’m- fuck. Spencer, I’m gonna cum if you don’t stop.”
Spencer’s hand made its way from my thigh to my ass, smacking sharply when I tried to pull away from him. His mouth moved over me like he was ravenous for me, desperate for me to fall apart under his touch. His hands lifted until he grabbed my hips, holding me in his iron grip as his mouth continued to work me over.
I should have been embarrassed by how wet I was, how needy I sounded, or how I started to rock my pussy against his mouth. But I couldn't; I just couldn’t.
“Spence- Spencer! Don’t…Don’t stop, please,” I babbled, my hips moving faster and faster against him. His mouth sealed over my clit again, his tongue moving rapidly, and I lost it. I came with a shriek against his mouth, my hips rolling as he rang every ounce of pleasure from me.
He gently worked me through my orgasm, his grip on my hips losing slightly. Spencer’s mouth came away from my pussy with a wet smack, much to my embarrassment. I scooted my hips back a bit, glancing down at him. The bottom of his face was drenched with the evidence of what he’d done to me. His lips were red and swollen. I thought he was beautiful before, but it was nothing compared to how he looked now.
But his eyes weren't fixed on me the way mine were on him; his eyes were much lower. With a gentle tug on his hair, I cleared my throat. "My eyes are up here, Dr. Reid."
Those warm brown eyes met mine, nearly blown black by his pupils. “Sorry,” he rasped, not sounding sorry at all. “I could stay here all day.”
I snorted, trying to move off of him without incident. “While I don’t think I’d complain, I’d really like for you to fuck me now.”
Spencer moved quickly into a sitting position, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand before crowding me back onto the bed. “I’m sure we can arrange that, Princess.” His lips were against mine again in an instant. I pulled him closer to me while the hand that wasn’t bracing him up started to push his pants down his slim hips.
“Do you have a condom?” he asked once his pants were off completely.
My eyes moved down to his newly exposed length. He was longer than I would have expected and not overly thick. I reached out to take him in my hand, giving him a few pumps, reviling in the way his breathing hitched.
"I'm on birth control…if you want to…."
Spencer leaned his forehead down to rest against mine. “If I want? If I want to fuck you without one? Is that what you want, Princess? Do you want me to fuck you like the dirty girl you are? Do you want me to fill you up with my cum?”
It didn’t skip my notice that no matter what, Spencer still kept the upper hand. I’d never told him about that particular kink, and I knew it wasn’t referenced in the book I was reading. Fucking profilers. "Yes. I want that if it's okay with you. Please, Spencer?"
He laughed again, moving to settle his hips between my thighs. "Is fucking your pretty pussy bare okay with me? I'm sure I'll manage somehow." He took himself in hand, moving the blunt head of his cock up and down my slick folds. Slowly, slowly, slowly, he started to slide inside of me. Moving his hips in a gentle rhythm, fucking his cock into me a few inches, then out again. His eyes were trained on where we were joined, watching his cock disappear inside of me. "You feel better than I ever imagined."
With that, he bottomed out inside of me, his pelvis meeting my own. My hands gripped his shoulders, digging into his skin. "You've thought about this?"
Rising up on his braced arms, he pulled out slightly before snapping his hips against mine sharply, pulling a cry from me. “I’ve thought about this plenty, Princess.” Spencer started a steady rhythm, pushing himself inside me deeper and deeper. “You’re so fucking tight,” he pants. “How do you feel so fucking good?”
My pussy fluttered around him at his words while my legs hooked around him, urging him closer. “Spencer, faster. Harder. Please.”
His mouth came down to mine in a filthy kiss, his thrust becoming more forceful. I raked my nails down his back, pulling a growl from him. Breaking away, his mouth attaches to my neck, sucking marks that I'm sure will be impossible to cover tomorrow.
“You’re getting close,” he whispers. “I can fucking feel it. But you can’t cum until I tell you, do you understand? This pretty little pussy is mine, Princess. Isn’t that right?”
I nodded, my eyes squeezed shut against the onslaught of sensation.
Spencer wasn't happy with that as he snapped his hips against mine hard, grinding his pelvis into my sensitive clit. “I asked you a question.”
“Yes! Yes, sir! It’s yours!” I babbled. “I’m yours!” I hadn’t meant to say any of that, but I was too far gone.
Spencer moaned at my words. "Good girl. You're such a good little girl. Reach down and rub your clit for me." I followed his directions automatically, my fingers frantic against my flesh. "Come on, pretty girl. Cum all over my cock, Princess. Be my good girl, and I'll fill your pussy up with my cum. Isn't that what you want?"
His filthy words triggered something deep inside me. My back arched off the bed, my mouth hung open in a silent scream. Vaguely I heard Spencer groan my name while my spasming cunt pulled him over the edge too, but I couldn’t be sure. My entire being fractured apart under his touch. No orgasm I’d ever had before had ever felt anything like this.
When I slowly began to float back down to my body, Spencer was still there, peppering kisses all over my face. His hand was smoothing over my hair while he murmured in my ear about how pretty I was, how special I was.
He withdrew himself after a moment, moving towards the bathroom quickly. My eyes had started to drift shut when I felt the warm washcloth between my legs, cleaning me up. Tossing it aside, he climbed into bed with me, pulling me to his side before covering both of our bodies with the comforter.
It took a few moments for my breathing to return to normal, but when it did, I lifted my head to look at him. “Hi.”
He smiled at me, his eyes crinkling again. “Hi,” he whispered before pressing a kiss against my nose. “You should probably go to the bathroom in a few minutes to prevent UTIs.”
Blood rushed to my cheeks. “Jesus, Spencer.” I was mortified, dropping my head against his chest again.
"What?" he asked with a chuckle. "I can't talk about UTIs, but I can say I'm going to fill you up with my-“
My hand covered his mouth quickly. “You’re doing this on purpose.”
His eyes were shining when I met his gaze again. “Maybe,” he mumbled behind my hand.
I started to reluctantly pull myself away from him. “Will you be here when I get back?”
Spencer nodded, running his fingers down my arm. “The only way I’ll leave is if you send me away, Princess.” His words were earnest and caused a warm feeling to bloom in my heart. “Oh, but while you’re gone, can I finish reading that book? I need more ideas for next time. And that’s the quickest way to find what you like.”
I glared at him. “You could read it for the plot, too, you know.”
“Plot?! What plot?!”
Before I got out of bed, I threw a pillow at him.
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The Mysterious Case of Jaskier's Immortality
Word count: 3601
“So nice to see you again, Yennefer,” Jaskier says, putting on one of his many fake smiles.
“Jaskier,” she replies with a smile that almost looks genuine but Jaskier is pretty sure that it’s not. Which she confirms a few seconds later by saying: “Shouldn’t you be dead already?”
“I see you’re as kind as always, my dear. But don’t you worry, Geralt is doing a very good job when it comes to protecting me.”
“Hm,” Geralt sighs resignedly, clearly regretting his decision to spend the night in an inn instead of the middle of a forest.
To be fair, it was Jaskier who suggested it, claiming that he refused to be eaten by angry drowners, no matter how many times Geralt tried to explain to him that the probability of finding a drowner in the middle of a very dry forest is extremely low.
If Jaskier knew they were going to run into Yennefer in the inn, he would have risked the drowners.
“I don’t doubt that,” Yennefer smirks. “But seriously, how old are you, bard?”
“No idea. I stopped counting after fifty, I think.”
“You know, you don’t look fifty,” she says.
“Oh, well, my mother had an elf lover before I was born, so there’s a fifty-fifty chance that I’m not gonna age anytime soon. Sorry,” Jaskier smiles again, sweetly – and this time, it’s genuine.
“As if,” Geralt grunts.
“I’m sorry, dear?” Jaskier blinks.
“Come on, Jaskier, it doesn’t work like that. You’re a viscount, that means your father must have been a viscount, too.”
“You don’t know much about nobility, do you, Geralt?” Yennefer snorts.
“Hm,” Geralt grunts. “Still, he’s not a half-elf.”
“Let me guess, you’re a Witcher, therefore you could smell it if I was? I hate to break it to you, dear heart, but you’re going to have your nose checked.”
“You’re not a half-elf, Jaskier,” Geralt repeats. “You’re not immortal, you just… look young.”
“Yeah, right, you got me,” Jaskier shrugs. “I just look good because I moisturize. Happier now?”
“Much,” Geralt nods. “See? You can be honest if you want.”
“Yup,” Jaskier nods. “Honesty personified. Now please excuse me, I need to go and moisturize some more. Internally. With ale.”
“I’m actually a mermaid, you know?” Jaskier grins the next time he’s asked, this time by a very confused and very old Valdo Marx.
“A siren, Jaskier. Not a mermaid,” Geralt sighs, praying to Melitele to give him strength. “And you’d know that, of course, if you actually were a siren.”
“Just so you know, the term siren is actually quite offensive to my people.”
“You mean idiots?” Geralt chuckles. “You’re not a siren, Jask.”
“Can you prove that I’m not?”
“Well, last week you tripped and fell into this creek that was like… knee-deep, and you nearly drowned.”
“I was in shock!” Jaskier proclaims dramatically. “But I have a proof that I am, or at least could be a siren.”
“Well, my lovely voice, of course!”
“Not as lovely as you think it is,” Valdo Marx snorts.
“Come on, Jaskier,” Geralt sighs, ignoring the old troubadour. “You have much better voice that any siren I’ve ever heard.”
“Geralt of Rivia!” Jaskier gasps, clutching his chest. “Was that a compliment?!”
“Fuck,” Geralt mutters. “I didn’t mean…”
“Really though, Jaskier,” Valdo says. “How?”
“That’s a secret I’ll take to the grave, I’m afraid,” Jaskier grins. “Once I manage to reach it.”
“Keep on with the bullshit, Jaskier,” Geralt growls, “and you can reach it tonight.”
“Fifty years traveling with him, and he still thinks he can scare me. Cute, isn’t he?” Jaskier laughs. “Oh, Geralt you could never.”
“All right, I’ll tell you my secret,” Jaskier winks at Ciri, who lifts an eyebrow. “I’ve got this neat… magic ring.”
“Hmmm,” Ciri observes. “Looks like a normal signet ring to me.”
“Well… Yeah, well, it looks like it, all right, but actually–”
“Jaskier, I was born a princess. This is clearly a Pankratz family signet ring.”
“Damn,” Jaskier groans. “Like father like daughter, eh?”
“Sorry,” Ciri shrugs.
“I got myself cursed.”
Triss Merigold lifts an eyebrow.
“Somebody cursed you to live forever, is that so?” she asks and her voice is almost dripping with disbelief.
“More like cursed me,” Geralt murmurs.
“Oh, shut up, Witcher, you know you couldn’t live without me,” Jaskier smiles brightly, and Geralt has to bite his cheek to stop himself from smiling back.
“Hm,” he says instead.
“Eloquent as ever,” Jaskier nods.
“Would you like me to...” Triss clears her throat. “You know, try to lift the curse?”
“No!” Geralt yells before he can stop himself.
“See?” Jaskier beams. “You could never live without me!”
“A bruxa,” Jaskier repeats to a young man who claims to be his son, but looks older than his supposed father.
“You’re not a bruxa, Jaskier!” Geralt whines.
“Excuse me, and how would you know?”
“Because I’m a fucking Witcher?!”
“Well, you’re clearly a fucking horrible Witcher if you haven’t noticed until now!”
“I think I’d notice if you tried to sneak out of the camp at nights to feed,” Geralt comments, crossing his hands. “You can’t even sneak out to take a piss, Jask.”
“Maybe I do that on purpose!”
“Besides, bruxae are mostly women.”
“Mostly being the important word here.”
“Fuck’s sake, Jaskier. You won’t even eat a piece of meat if it’s not so well-done that it’s almost cremated.”
“Do you know how disgusting the blood is, Geralt?!” Jaskier groans, and then immediately blinks when he realizes what he just said. “I meant…”
“Case closed,” Geralt nods, satisfied.
“Oh, dear,” Jaskier mutters. “I fucking hate you sometimes.”
“Uhm, my lords, if I may,” the young man says.
“Hate to break it to you, kid, but if you’re aging like a normal human, you’re probably not my son,” Jaskier shrugs. “Sorry. I get it why your mum might be confused, though. It was quite a night, with at least four–”
“And that’s enough,” Geralt says, grabbing Jaskier by the collar and pulling him away from the man. “You know, lifting the curse seems like a good idea now.”
“There isn’t really a curse, Geralt,” Jaskier laughs.
Geralt sighs, his lips curling into a tiny smile that Jaskier cannot see.
“You see, we were in a crazy mage’s tower and I saw this bottle and I thought it was slivovitz, so I drank it, but it seems that it actually was some sort of an immortality potion,” Jaskier explains to a lady at the ball, whose grandmother he’d apparently fucked once, when said grandmother was still a young, unmarried woman.
Geralt only blinks, because it’s the first truly plausible explanation for Jaskier’s mysterious immortality.
“Oh, that must be so horrible to watch everyone you love die!” the woman nods enthusiastically. “Perhaps you’d like to tell me about it in private?”
“Of course, my dear…” Jaskier smiles. “Just… wait a second. How old is your mother?”
Jaskier’s lips are moving silently for a few seconds while he counts, and then thy turn into a wide grin.
“No reason, dear,” he says, offering her his arms. “Shall we?”
When Jaskier and the lady flee the ball, Geralt pulls out his flask of White Gull and pours its contents into his empty tankard.
So, a potion…
“There is no such thing as an immortality potion, Geralt,” Yennefer shakes her head.
“How can you be so sure?” Geralt asks. “Maybe this mage really did find a way to at least make the human life longer!”
“And why would he do that?” Yennefer scoffs. She has been doing that a lot since she finally ended their relationship for good about twenty years ago. (He later found out that she had left him for none other than Triss Merigold, but Yennefer still doesn’t know that he knows, and he’s having way too much fun with it to break the fact to her. So right now, he is pretending he doesn’t notice that Triss is eavesdropping on their conversation behind the door leading to Yennefer’s bedroom, and that he absolutely believed Yen when she claimed that the loud thud a few minutes ago was caused by a cat.) “We are immortal, Geralt, unless killed. There is no reason for any of us to make a potion that would make a human live forever.”
“Well, perhaps this mage fell in love with a human and wanted them to stay with him!”
Yennefer pauses, inspecting Geralt from head to toe and back again, and then she sighs.
“Oh, Geralt. Really?”
“Really what?” Geralt blinks, genuinely confused.
“Oh,” Yennefer murmurs. “Oh, no. Really?”
“Really what, Yen?”
“You mean you don’t… Oh, dear gods. Really?”
“Yen, I swear that I have no idea what you’re talking about,” Geralt grunts, frowning.
Yennefer rolls her eyes and tries counting to ten to calm herself down. She doesn’t even get to three before Geralt’s eyes go wide.
“Oh,” he whispers. “Fuck.”
“Fuck, indeed, Geralt,” she nods solemnly. “Fuck, indeed.”
“I found a djinn, he granted me a wish,” Jaskier says when Geralt asks him, about five minutes after his meeting with Yennefer. (He agreed to use a portal to get to the bard as soon as possible. A fucking portal!) The bard is sitting in a tavern and eating his dinner, utterly undisturbed by the sudden appearance of an angrier-than-usual Witcher.
“You never mentioned a djinn,” Geralt growls. “And after your last encounter with one, I sincerely doubt you’d engage with another.”
“You clearly don’t know me at all–”
“Besides, Valdo Marx, as far as I know, had an apoplexy while fucking a young student on his desk, and I don’t think you’d ever let him die like that if you had a choice.”
“You see, that was kind of a my mistake, since I didn’t specify the time and the circumstances of his apoplexy in my wish, so…”
“What was your third wish?”
“Your immortality, Valdo Marx dropping dead, that’s two. What was the third one? And don’t even try to mention the Countess de Stael, since you’d have to dig her up first.”
“That was disgusting, even for you, you know that, Geralt?”
“How are you immortal, Jaskier?!”
“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.”
Jaskier puts a piece of bread in his mouth and grins.
“Maybe some other time, Witcher.”
“I am a fae,” Jaskier replies a day later.
“You’re not a fucking fae, bard.”
“How can you be so sure?”
“Because you fucking lie, Jaskier. All the time.”
“Fuck. Didn’t think of that.”
“You see, there was this artifact–”
Geralt closes his eyes, turning Roach around.
“Let’s consult Yennefer about this.”
“Oh, mother of…” Jaskier whines. “All right, no artifact, there was no artifact! Geralt, I’m telling you, there was no…”
“You’re not a succubus.”
“But it would be a perfect explanation, wouldn’t it?”
“You’re not succubus, because if you were, you’d know that a male one is called an incubus.”
“Oh, you and your stupid Witcher terms again.”
“You’re not an incubus, Jaskier, because if you were, I could never let you near Eskel.”
“All right… Explain, please?”
“I’d really rather not.”
“A dragon,” Jaskier grins victoriously.
“No,” Geralt says, shaking his head.
“No,” Jaskier agrees with a sigh.
“You know you could just tell me the truth and be done with it, right?”
“All right, enough is enough,” Jaskier growls that night in their rented room, tossing his doublet aside. “You’ve asked me three times today, Geralt. Why the sudden interest in my immortality?”
“As you said, enough is enough. You’ve been traveling with me for what, a hundred years?”
“A hundred and four.”
“Yes, and you still look the same as the day I met you in Posada!” Geralt growls. “And it drives me mad!”
“It wasn’t driving you insane for at least fifty years, so why the sudden change of heart?”
“Fuck off, bard. You don’t have to tell me. I don’t care.”
“But you do, Geralt,” Jaskier says, taking a step towards the Witcher. “Why?”
He’s standing in Geralt’s personal space, his chemise half undone, and he’s watching Geralt with those sincere blue eyes, and Geralt can’t fucking think…
“Because I love you, you idiot!” he snaps. “Because I fucking love you and I need to know if I can love you, or you’re gonna just drop dead one day without a warning!”
“Oh,” Jaskier whispers, his lips forming into a huge, happy smile. “Oh, fucking finally.”
“Fucking… what?” Geralt blinks, his arms suddenly full of an enthusiastic bard.
“I love you too, you silly Witcher,” Jaskier laughs. “I’ve loved you for a hundred years! Well, a hundred and four, but who’s counting?”
“You…” Geralt mutters.
“Silly, silly Witcher,” Jaskier repeats, pressing his lips against Geralt’s in a kiss that could be described as chaste, or at least the chastest Jaskier has ever been capable of. “We’re going to Lettenhove in the morning.”
“Oh, yes,” Jaskier whispers. “See, I’ve told you the truth about the source of my immortality once. But I think you need to see it to believe me.”
“Wait, you have? When?” Geralt asks. “Was it the artifact? Just tell me, I promise I won’t make you consult it with–”
“Shut up now,” Jaskier says, kissing Geralt again with way less chastity than before. “And in the meantime, believe me this – you can keep loving me, and I’m not planning on dropping dead anytime soon. Also, I’ve spent the last hundred years imagining fucking you senseless, so if you’re not opposed to the idea, perhaps we could, well…”
The kiss that this idea gets him is as far from chaste as one could possibly get.
And Jaskier definitely isn’t about to complain.
“You sure this is a good idea?” Geralt asks as they march towards the Lettenhove castle’s gates. He tugs at his doublet’s collar, way too tight for his liking. He’d much rather walk in there wearing his usual attire, but Jaskier insisted that Geralt must look presentable if he wants to meet his family.
It turns out that it only takes a single I love you to turn the bard into a manipulative bastard. Who would have guessed?
“Why wouldn’t it be?” Jaskier replies, grinning cheerfully. “And stop frowning, you’re gonna scare the servants, love.”
“How long it’s been since your last visit here, Jaskier?” Geralt says, his frown deepening. “Who rules Lettenhove now, hm? Aren’t you only going to be a distant relative, a great-great-uncle risen from the grave?”
“I sure hope not,” Jaskier chuckles, stopping in front of the guards by the gate. “Good afternoon, gentlemen. Viscount Julian, here to see the Viscountess Madeleine.”
“How can you still be a viscount?” Geralt blinks when one of the guards promptly disappears inside.
“We kind of decided to, you know, share the title,” Jaskier shrugs. “Seemed fair. Besides, father, well, the former viscount, insisted that I inherit the title, but he never mentioned anything about Mads not inheriting it, so…”
“How could your father have known who the viscount is going to be in almost a hundred years?”
“He really didn’t,” Jaskier chuckles. “See, it will all start to make sense once you meet her.”
“Yeah, that’s what I’m hoping for.”
The guard returns a few minutes later, telling them that the Viscountess will meet them in the garden.
Geralt, knowing a thing or two about nobility, think it’s a little weird, but isn’t about to protest. He only thinks he could have left the fancy clothes at the tavern.
“Oh, shut up, you,” Jaskier chuckles when Geralt voices this thought. “You look gorgeous.”
“I know. You’ve mentioned it a few times. But I didn’t have to look like that, because we’re going to meet the ruler of this land in a fucking garden, and–”
A woman in a long white dress throws herself at Jaskier, who happily catches her. Geralt’s first instinct is to reach for his sword, only to realize that he (luckily) left it in the tavern – because Jaskier insisted, of course.
“Madeleine,” Jaskier chuckles. “You haven’t aged a day.”
“Oh, yes. Shocking, isn’t it?” she laughs, pulling away from him, and for the first time, Geralt truly looks at her.
The woman is shorter than Jaskier, slim, and her dress is much, much simpler than Geralt would have expected considering the fact that is supposed to be a viscountess. She has dark, long hair and her face is so beautiful that it almost – but only almost – takes the focus off her pointed ears.
“Lady Madeleine,” Jaskier grins, “may I introduce Geralt of Rivia, my Witcher. Geralt, this is Lady Madeleine, the current ruler of Lettenhove and my younger sister.”
“You’re…” Geralt blinks.
“A half-elf, yes,” she nods. “Julian! You haven’t told him?”
“Hardly my fault. I really tried,” Jaskier shrugs. “But he just wouldn’t believe me.”
“So you brought him here to prove it to him, rather than to visit your beloved sister? You are a horrible, horrible sibling, Julian!”
“Your… sister,” Geralt mutters, all his thoughts speeding through his head, colliding and falling down, one over another.
“Yes, we definitely share a mother,” Jaskier confirms. “Most likely a father, too, and trust me, it wasn’t the old viscount. Madeleine got the elvish looks, I only got the non-aging bit. Well, apparently.”
“But…” Geralt blinks. “Your father. The title.”
“Yen was right, dear heart, you really don’t know shit about nobility,” Jaskier snorts. “But I admit that even though our dear departed noble father knew that Mads wasn’t his daughter, obviously, it never occurred to him that I might not be his true son.”
“But you don’t age!”
“In his defense, that only became clear after his unfortunate passing.”
“And you aren’t going to start to age anytime soon,” Geralt mutters. “You really aren’t.”
“Told you so, didn’t I?” Jaskier winks, letting go of his sister and wrapping his arms around his lover instead.
“I… I…” Geralt stammers. “Fuck.”
“Maybe later, love,” Jaskier smiles. “Madeleine, my dear, wouldn’t you say that my return calls for a feast?”
“Absolutely. In fact, I have started the preparations the second my spies informed me that you have crossed the border.”
“Oh, so we have spies now?”
“It’s really only a net of nosy old ladies, but it works wonders,” Madeleine laughs. “I must admit, though, that I was only planning a feast to celebrate you coming home, but now I see we have a much better reason to party. Tell me, brother, did you finally get your stupid Witcher?”
Jaskier smiles brightly, turning his head to Geralt.
“Yes. I finally got my stupid Witcher.”
“Party,” the Witcher in question growls. “Is that why you made me dress like a pompous prick?”
“No, that was because while I find your usual self extremely attractive, you still look much better when your hair is properly combed and you’re not covered in monster blood.”
“Hm,” Geralt hums, but wraps his arm around the bard to hold him close.
“Oh, yes, about monsters,” Madeleine says with the most innocent expression Geralt has seen since Ciri broke Vesemir’s favorite vase at Kaer Morhen. “You see, we have a tiny problem with a cockatrice…”
“Right,” Geralt nods. “I’ll go grab my armor from the tavern.”
“That won’t be necessary. I have already arranged for your things to be brought to the castle. And your horse,” she adds before Geralt can even open his mouth. “You can leave for your quest as soon as the servants get here.”
“So much for you not being covered in monster blood,” Jaskier sighs.
“Hm,” Geralt grins. “Lady Madeleine, I suppose you happen to have a bathtub somewhere in the castle?”
“Of course. In fact, there is a private bathroom right next to Julian’s bedroom.”
“Geralt of Rivia,” Jaskier purrs. “You know me so well.”
“Yes, and I expect to get to know you even better. In another hundred years or so.”
Jaskier laughs, pulls Geralt closer to him and kisses him.
“Another thousand years, I’d say.”
“What… the… fuck?!” Geralt croaks, staring at the smouldering remains of the cockatrice that would have surely killed him if Jaskier… If Jaskier…
The bard looks at his hands, then at the cockatrice, and then back at his hands again.
“Geralt? I have a feeling that I’m not really… A half-elf.”
“I think I might be… Uhm…”
“Oh, shit,” Geralt whispers.
“I suppose, uhm, you know…” Jaskier stammers, wiping his palms on his trousers like he could wipe away the feeling of literal flames shooting out of them mere moments ago.
“Yeah. We’re gonna have to consult this with Yen.”
“Splendid,” Jaskier sighs. “Can it at least wait after the feast?”
“After more than a hundred years of you not even knowing, I think one feast will be fine.”
“Thank the gods. Madeleine would kill me if I tried to leave now,” Jaskier chuckles. “Let’s go, then. We need to get the fried monster remains out of your hair.”
“You’re… I was fucking right! You’re not a half-elf!”
“Yeah, you’re a great Witcher,” Jaskier nods, grabbing Geralt’s arm and dragging him away from the monster. “Didn’t notice I was secretly a fucking mage, but otherwise a great Witcher.”
“Explains a lot, though.”
“Does it now?”
“Yeah. I always had a thing for mages, you know.”
“Oh, Geralt. You’re such a fucking idiot,” Jaskier chuckles.
“Made you laugh,” Geralt shrugs, smiling.
Jaskier shakes his head.
“I’m so, so gonna drown you in that bathtub.”
“My love,” Geralt grins, “you’re more than welcome to try.”
Tagging @lottelorelei - I’m sorry I always forget to reply to your lovely comments, but believe me, they always put a big smile on my face! :)
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so i have kind of a specific request (very specific actually lol) but kaeya, childe, and zhongli with a reader who gets bother/angry by certain thing and people do those things on purpose because they know it bothers the reader? your writing makes me super happy so i’d love to see this :)
Characters: Childe, Kaeya & Zhongli x Male Reader
Warnings: Hurt/comfort, Genshin boys being protective🥰
Word Count: 1,112
A/n: Yo! Okay, so I kind of interpreted this as people poking fun at the reader’s fears, but then the characters defending him and comforting him. I hope this is what you had in mind!
As we all know, Childe himself is quite the playful guy.
I can see him being playful towards you when you initially met, but when he stumbled across a certain situation, he was quick to come to your rescue.
You had been walking through Yujing Terrace, minding your own business, when a group of Fatui (ik, they probably wouldn’t be strolling through the Harbor, but let’s just imagine) had spotted you, and decided it would be funny to give you a low blow.
It was well known across the whole Fatui group that Childe was dating you, and this certain group had a certain distaste for the Harbinger.
“Hey if it isn’t the scaredy cat, [Y/N]! Wanna go for a swim?” The group of fatui joined in laughter after the first one pointed out your fear of water. It was relatively well known around the Harbor that ‘the boyfriend of that Harbinger’ was deathly afraid of water.
“Please don’t, o-or I’ll call Childe!” You replied in a weak attempt to scare his subordinates.
“Ha! As if he would even show up! Come on, time for your bath little kid!” The group began chanting as they grabbed you by the arm and began dragging you to the edge of the path. The sight of lily pads and fish in the pond had you stammering and shaking. Just as the man was about to throw you in, you felt the hand release its grip and you getting pulled back.
“I wouldn’t do that, unless I had a death wish.” A familiar voice called out, eerily calm. You turned around to find yourself being held into Childe’s side by his one arm wrapped around your waist, his other hand strongly gripping the wrist of the fatui who had tried to throw you in. The fear in his subordinates’ eyes was enough for any onlooker to go back to minding their own business, as Childe told them to “scram before Signora hears about this.”
To comfort you, Childe would look at you, his expression instantly changing into one of love, and would make sure you are alright.
He would bring you back to your shared house and would spend the rest of the day/night doing things with you, such as bathing with you or eating. His mere presence was enough to comfort you, even on the worst days.
Just like Childe, Kaeya likes to poke at least a bit of fun at everyone (yes, that includes you).
Also, like Childe, I can see Kaeya being flirty to you at first, but after being together for a few months, he would stop his flirtatiousness altogether (including with his general acquaintances).
This man can be a little scary though, so when he comes across a group of big drunkards poking fun at your small frame and trying to scare you, the manz is there in an instant.
The four men were dancing in circles around you, singing in a drunken daze, all the while scaring you and knowing full well what they were doing. Strange, judging by the fact they could barely walk at all. You, being in the middle of this circle, didn’t know what to do, so you just stood there with your eyes glued to the ground, trying to think of a way out.
The men continued their drunken dance, oblivious to the tall, shadowy figure closing in on them at a fast pace.
“Well, well, well. Who do we have here?” You heard a familiar sultry voice call out from behind you. The feeling of a new presence beside them seemed to make the men freeze in place.
“What is this, a game of freeze-dance?” The cavalry captain continued to mock the men as they slowly faced towards him, bowed, and apologized profusely before scramming. You stood in your same spot; head hung low in shame as Kaeya approached you.
“Now, now, dear. There is no need to be embarrassed about fearing a group of big, burly men. If ever you feel frightened in the slightest, do not hesitate to find me, and I will protect you.” You looked up in Kaeya’s eye and found the softest of smiles adorning his lips as he looked down at you with nothing but sympathy and love. This look was reserved for you; and you, alone.
Kaeya would bring you back home to help you relax in a warm bath. He definitely would not initiate anything (unless you wanted to oop), because he feels so bad for not coming to the rescue earlier and feels the need to make it up to you (aw it’s okay🙁).
As opposed to the other two on this list, Zhongli is a very calm and collected man.
That one time he stumbled across a group of people making fun of how shy you were? Yeah, they were a little worried when they saw Zhongli get straight up pissed off.
There you were, sat on a bench in Liyue Harbor, your gaze looking anywhere but at them. You were currently being made fun of for always being so quiet, so shy, whereas a ‘normal’ person would usually be so boisterous and outgoing.
Tears form in your eyes as you recall the large celebration of your birthday, your reaction for which had been to blush and mumble about how ‘they didn’t need to’. Or the time where you were spotted having lunch with Zhongli in Liyue, the man talking his heart out about who-knows-what, while you sat there quietly, staring at him lovingly. Anyone else would proclaim their thanks and love loudly, right?
Wrong. Zhongli loved you for who you were. And people were about to find that out the hard way. Everyone in the group noticed the sudden gloomy feeling coming from behind them. Needless to say, the sight of Mr. Zhongli with a dissatisfied frown upon his face was enough to make anyone quake in their shoes.
“Do I need to ask what is going on here?” His deep voice boomed across the street. There was no need for an answer, everyone in the group scurrying in different directions.
Zhongli’s face immediately softened into a look of sadness when he turned to see you wiping tears from your face.
“Come, love. Let us get you comfortable.” He would hum next to you, as he hoists you to your feet, putting your hand in his.
Zhongli is definitely one to pamper you whenever you’re feeling tired or down.
The bathing headcannon might be getting a little dry LMAO, but I REALLY see him heating up rocks and giving you like a whole spa treatment idk why. His calming aura is just… Ugh😩
I’m so happy my writing makes so many of you happy, writing this was kind of self-indulging but I’m glad I’m able to bring you happiness!! >.<
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Lizard People and Antisemitism: Avoiding Dogwhistles
Is it possible to make an anthro lizard character without being antisemitic? I know lizard people is an antisemitic dogwhistle, but I also think geckos are really rad and want to make a gecko dude.
On the anti-semitism discussion: What about lizard characters in of themselves? Like, anthropomorphic lizard, or just scaly characters? What should be considered when writing them?
Great questions, y’all! I love lizards so I’ve been saving this one for when I had enough energy to have fun with it.
Short answer: no, lizard anthros are not offensive on their own. I, personally, adore them.
Why are lizard comparisons antisemitic?
In order to write a lizard anthro who won’t be read as a weird antisemitic thing, there are some steps you can take to distance the character from antisemitic tropes. But before I get into that, I want to make sure everyone understands why the lizard thing is bad. I love lizards. Like, a lot. Going back to being 5 years old. But when people make those comments it's not about "cute lizards" it's like... this way of saying we look so weird (or are so weird) that we don't even look mammalian. To compare a marginalized group you aren’t in to an animal (and we are far from being the only group to experience this) is often two different kinds of annoying at once: 1. It’s a generalization, and one that reduces us to some assumed common trait that we all have, and 2. Usually it’s a reference to something humans—all humans—find off-putting about this type of animal.
Distancing your character from antisemitic tropes
Anyway moving on to ways to distance your dapper adorable Geico lizard from us:
1. I’d avoid having them being bankers, debt collectors, or anything else associated with money (I’m okay with that iguanamouth cartoon of the lizard hoarding coins you lost in the couch, because it’s ridiculously cute. This is all mental algebra, with pluses and minuses, and things being lovable, cute, and safe can make it okay because the core of the lizard trope is the antithesis of lovable and the antithesis of safe.)
2. “Invading.” Because that’s the rest of the antisemitic lizard trope, that we’re infiltrators. I think some of this might come from the fact that some of us look really white, but have customs that the local Christians super didn’t associate with whiteness so it seemed sneaky to them. Like we were something foreign and other-y but in a white-person costume. But that’s just a guess. (I am thinking of the “your skin is hanging off your bones, Edgar” thing at the beginning of Men in Black or the Slitheen in “Aliens of London” in Doctor Who, but specifically with lizards. Please note I am not a Whovian so I don’t really know anything else about them, I just randomly saw the Eccleston season with a friend a looong time ago. If you avoid having your lizard anthros evoke this trope that is a very good way to save them.)
3. Master manipulators, government conspiracy etc. I suppose this is related to point #2.
4. There are certain stereotypical professions that I would be shy about unless you have a definitive way of showing you’re not talking about Jewish people (such as, having Jewish humans in the story/universe, or making the lizards pagan or Christian or something) -- tailors (this is more historical than current), doctors, lawyers especially sleazy ones. This one is more murky because you can probably get away with a lizard anthro orthopedic surgeon or whatever if she’s super lovable. Consider #4 more of a yellow light than a red light.
Speaking of being lovable making it okay, this post I wrote about my own approach to writing a literal Jewish lizard-shifter character from the inside might be helpful, with the caveat that I would absolutely not write a characters as trope-reclaiming as Isaac from the outside of any group. I am fully aware what a thin line I am walking here.
Look, I love lizards, and I love being Jewish, so I wish I could enjoy things like the “shalomander” meme unconditionally, or put Isaac in an umbrella as a kippah when he’s in his dragon form in an art commission without being nervous. But unfortunately there are teeth and history hidden in some of these things so it’s a good idea to tread lightly.
I think you will be fine because there is plenty of room for anthro lizard people without the kind that sets off the trope.
P.S. If you love lizards as much as I do, you should check out @daftpatience ‘s lizard wizard series.
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Good Little Helper
Pairing: Season 5! Spencer Reid x fem!Reader
Summary: Reader gets assigned to be Spencer’s personal assistant of sorts after he gets shot in the knee.
Content Warnings: fingering (female receiving), blowjob, praise kink, dirty talk, blink and you’ll miss it cumplay
Word Count: 4.7k
NOTE: So, remember yesterday when I posted about how I wished new ideas would stop distracting me from everything I’m currently working on? Yeah. This wouldn’t leave me alone, and I couldn’t work on anything until I got it out of my head, so here! Have a fic! (It was supposed to be a blurb, but I got a little long-winded so now it’s too long to be a blurb oops 😙✌) Also, I apologize for any editing mistakes, I just wrote this out in one go, so hopefully it’s alright!
Being assigned to assist Dr. Reid with practically his every need after he was shot in the knee wasn't exactly how I expected to spend the past few months.
And that's, like... a huge understatement.
In fact, when Agent Hotchner came up to me in the break room and said he'd like me to do the job, I dropped my coffee and shattered a mug. I could tell he was a little impatient with me, even through his kind reassurances that it was quite all right as he helped me clean it up and waited for an answer.
In the end I'd said yes to the job, though the more I thought about it the more I wondered how much lust and naivete had clouded my judgement when I did.
Because there was absolutely no way I was going to be able to survive weeks, possibly months, as Spencer Reid's assistant. Not only because he was intimidatingly intelligent and there was almost nothing I could offer him in decent conversation, but also—and more prominently—the fact that I was pretty sure I was in love with him.
Maybe that was a stretch. I definitely had a stupid major crush on him that felt more like we were in middle school, but I could barely look at him without going warm all over. In fact, I think we had only ever made eye contact once and I averted my gaze immediately, afraid I'd give myself away. If I'd have held it any longer, I was positive I'd have burst into flames.
He'd tried talking to me once, a few months after I started working at the Bureau, and it was only to ask if I'd send some files over to their tech analyst, Penelope Garcia, but when I tried answering, I stumbled over my words and ended up only getting out a squeaked, "Uh huh," before taking the files from him and scurrying off.
I almost cried that day.
Basically every time I was in his presence, I was a total wreck. Even more so than I was on any other given day.
Being his assistant did get fairly easy pretty early on, though. I mostly just stayed out of his way while he worked, and if he need anything that he could've gotten himself if not for the injury, it was my job to get it for him. I worked on my own paperwork most of the time, and he was always busy working on geographical profiles and whatever else, we only ever really had to talk when he asked for something. And that only required a, "Sure," on my end, so I could just get up, get what he needed, and then go back to work.
Still, it didn't help that sometimes I'd get distracted.
He was very distracting.
I usually waited until I was sure he was so busy in work that I wouldn't get caught. And that's when I'd peek over my computer or hide behind a book and stare at him. I know that sounds creepier than it is, but if you had to spend almost every hour of the day with him, you'd have done the same. Even though for months he was put on rest from the field, he always showed up looking more like a college professor than an FBI agent. Which, I suppose suited him more anyway. Regardless, it was a damn fine look. His hair was decently long and extremely pretty, and when he got the cane?
I was a goner.
It was at that point, though, when I started to realize that he probably wouldn't need my help anymore. He'd been allowed back into the filed by then, and even when I went with them on cases it still felt like I was more out of place than usual. Sure, I'd picked up on some minor skills that aided in profiling and otherwise, but at the end of the day I was still only a desk clerk. Sooner or later, I knew there would be a time where Agent Hotchner would inevitably tell me that I'd done a good job and could return to my menial day job.
So, even though Dr. Reid and I had gotten into a pretty regular, non-awkward rhythm, I was being a little more squirrely than usual.
And of course, he noticed.
"Y/N, are you doing alright?" he asked, looking up from his stack of paperwork. That was another thing we'd ended up doing— late into the night after everyone had gone home, we stayed late in the conference room and quietly filled out paperwork.
I barely looked him in the eye when I answered. "O—Oh, mhm. I'm fine."
"Oh... You just seem... a little different today."
On any other day I would have freaked out on the inside like a teenager, excited that he'd noticed me at all enough to notice a difference in my behavior. But that was his job after all.
"Actually, you seem rather... sad."
I did look up at him this time, and the soft glow of the table lamp lit up his features— features that looked me over with concern. I could feel my face grow warmer with every second I looked at him, until I quickly looked back down at my paper and shook my head.
"N—No, I'm okay. Promise. Just a little tired, that's all."
Usually he would have left it at that, given we didn't ever really have longer conversations than that that didn't pertain to whatever case the BAU was working on. But he pushed further, and I swallowed.
"Are you sure? Because... You can tell me if there's something wrong. I'm a good listener..."
Did I dare tell him what was really plaguing me? That I was scared I wasn't going to be able to spend time with him every day, thus most likely giving away my crush? That is, if he hadn't already figured it out by this point... Truthfully it wouldn't have surprised me.
The thought made me go warm again, and still, I kept my head down.
And then I did something I probably shouldn't have. I looked back up at him, just a quick glance, but under his intense gaze I crumbled, flitting my eyes back down and playing with my hands.
"Is it... because of me?"
Afraid suddenly that I'd made him feel bad, I straightened a little. "No! No, not at all I... Um... I—I guess I'm just... A little sad that I'm probably... not going to be of any help to you anymore. You know, now that you're healing up."
A small smile flashed over his face, and I inwardly melted.
"Oh... In that case I... I guess I'm sad, too."
"Really?" I asked softly, my heart jumping.
"Mhm," he answered back in earnest. His features were softer than they'd ever been, eyes wide and kind, smile inviting... "You've been a great help. And you're fun to be around."
I couldn't help but smile shyly at his confession, completely bewildered that he'd think of me as someone he'd enjoyed being around, though I'd offered just about nothing interesting to any conversation we'd had. "Y—You don't mean that..."
"C'mon, really? I... I—mean... coming from you that's... that's too generous."
He laughed a little. "How do you mean?"
"I... Well, y—you're you... I mean, you're... smart, and nice, and cu— uh,... n—nice..." I stumbled hard on that last one, squeezing my eyes shut at the thought of almost calling him cute to his face... And then I realized I'd called him nice two times... in a row.
I hadn't even realized he'd gotten up and walked over to me until I felt his cane gently tap my leg. I jumped, looking up at him and almost crumbled again right then and there. He stood over me, tall and clearly amused, and I wanted to just curl up and hide where no one would ever find me.
I also didn't want to be craning my neck so far up to see him, so I stood up, sending my chair rolling back a foot or two. The added height was better, but he was still fiarly taller than me, and with the way were standing so close to each other?
Maybe I'd made a mistake...
"I—I'm sorry," I stammered.
Still amused, Spencer tilted his head a small amount. "What for?"
"I... I don't know, m—making this awkward?"
"It's not awkward."
"It... It's not?"
He shook his head, quiet for a few beats before he nearly whispered. "What were you going to say?"
I paused. "I... What?"
"Before... You said I was smart. And nice... And... What else?"
It sounded like he was trying to get me to confess something, and quite honestly I couldn't tell if it was for humiliation or amusement or clarification purposes. I mean, it was probably safe to assume he wouldn't go out of his way to humiliate me, but... it still made me nervous.
"I—I didn't... I..."
"Y/N... Tell me?"
I'd been cornered. Quite literally, too, as my lower back hit the edge of the table. My hands shook anxiously at my sides as I contemplated what to say. The truth? Embarrassing for me. A lie? I was no good at telling lies, and I'd still end up embarrassed, because he'd be able to tell.
So, after a very long silence in which he waited on me to answer, I blurted out, as quietly as possible, "Cute."
The word sounded juvenile coming from my mouth. Right now, standing under Dr. Reid's intense scrutiny, it didn't even feel like the right word to describe him. Not that it wasn't true... But it just wasn't an elegant enough descriptor for him.
And that alone probably proved just how different we were. How out of my league he was...
"That's what I thought you were going to say," he mused, slightly breaking me out of my self-deprecation.
I would have asked him something then, anything to keep myself from looking like even more of a fool with a childish schoolgirl crush, but all words escaped me entirely. All I could do was look up at him, slowly growing warm under the intensity of his eyes and praying he wouldn't think of me as silly.
Though, it wouldn't have mattered, because he kept talking anyway, his body taking up even more space around me as his arms came around to well and truly trap me against the table.
"You're right, you know... I'm almost completely healed, and pretty soon I think I won't need an assistant anymore."
I was scared that maybe I was wrong before, and he'd actually humiliate me now, though the look in his eyes suggested otherwise. I wasn't sure what to make of all of it. SO I just stood there, trying to breath steadily as Spencer studied my face.
"And I meant it... That makes me sad. You know why?"
I shook my head, afraid to make a sound.
His head dipped lower, close enough that I could feel his breath on my mouth as he spoke. "I probably won't get to see you every day."
"Y—you want to see me?" I couldn't help but ask.
He scanned my eyes, amusement and something else lingering there as he did. "Yes."
And then he kissed me.
It was a short distance, but it felt like we went far. And I hadn't even registered that I whimpered into his mouth until he returned it with a low groan that boiled my insides and absolutely melted me. I was helpless against him as he pressed himself further against me and used his hands to keep my back steady.
The whole time my mind was swimming with dizziness. It felt like my body was covered in butterflies from head to toe, particularly strong where his hands pressed into me and his cane rested firmly along the inside of my thigh.
I leaned forward when he pulled away, because I was afraid that he was saying goodbye. But one of his hands came up to my face and my eyes fluttered open, immediately taking notice of how messy his hair was now that I'd had my fingers in it.
I must have looked scared, because suddenly his eyes changed, and he removed his hands away from me altogether, putting distance in between us. "I—I'm sorry. I shouldn't have kissed you without asking..."
The relief that rushed through my body must have gotten to my head, because I breathed out a demand I'd never have had the courage to get out before.
"Do it again."
One second I was staring at him, admittedly afraid that he'd regretted all of it, and the next I was seeing stars as he came forward and kissed me again. His hands cradled my face as he did so, coming on to me with gentle care while still maintaining that hunger that surprised and excited me.
I hadn't realized how much I missed his touch until he'd given it back to me, my body once again melting into him and allowing him to do whatever it is that pleased him.
Apparently that was lifting my leg off the ground and making me sit on the table.
My body went along with it easily, and I was glad for it because my brain was nothing but mush, unable to process fully how he'd decided that I was worth kissing. All I really knew was that I wanted him. Anything he wanted from me, I was willing to give. And that must have come across very clearly, because when he pulled away and spoke to me, I whimpered at his words.
"Y/N... You've been such a good girl, helping me with whatever I needed these past few months..." Meanwhile his hand danced along the hem of my skirt, the tiny brushes of his skin against mine sending me into a mess of shivers.
"I think it's about time I've thanked you for all your help, don't you think?"
The implications in his tone made me whine again, and I pressed my forehead into his, our noses brushing as I answered. "Please."
I was so taken by the way he groaned as his lips connected with mine once more that I almost didn't realize that his hand was now fully up my skirt, his fingers drawing gentle lines over my panties and practically making me melt again. His hungry kisses contradicted the softness he took to my clothed cunt, a fact that warmed me to my core and made me want him more than ever.
When he slipped the fabric aside and ran the pad of his finger through me, I whined hard against his mouth, something that must have excited him— He nipped at my bottom lip and took a deep breath.
"How long have you wanted this, Princess?"
If not for the kissing and the finger slowly sliding up through my arousal, the nickname would have done me in. By now I was an utter wreck, but I somehow still managed to answer, even through a little stammering. "F—Forever."
It was the best I could come up with.
He breathed a laugh as his finger circled my clit. "That's a long time..."
"Uh huh," was all I could manage in response. My body and my brain were too focused on the things his finger was doing to my body, involuntarily rolling my hips forward for more. I needed more.
Thankfully he picked up on my urgency and reciprocated with slipping his middle finger inside me, one knuckle, then two...
I cried out as my head lurched forward, connecting our mouths once again. My hands clutched around his neck and my fingers tugged at his hair to keep myself from falling, because the slow, searing pace at which he fingered me made me wonder how I'd still been able to breathe.
He added another finger soon enough, picking up the pace and rendering me practically useless in his embrace. Meanwhile I registered the sound of his own little whines, still deeper than mine but little enough to tip me off that he was enjoying this just as much as I was, and that alone helped get me further along in pleasure.
I pulled my mouth from his reluctantly, squeezing my eyes shut as I allowed my forehead to rest against his. "D—Doctor, I'm c... I'm so close."
"His honorific falling breathlessly from my mouth seemed to do something sinister to him, because his fingers sped up and his breathing got heavier.
"Yeah? You gonna come for me, Princess?"
My stomach tightened and I nodded as best as I could, relishing in the sounds coming from below us, wet and downright filthy.
"Go ahead...Be a good girl and come for me... You deserve it..."
Each little sentence was punctuated with a slightly faster pace, each one bringing me closer and closer until I squeaked into his mouth and shook violently around his fingers, my vision going white. My legs had been open wide since he'd started teasing under my skirt, but now they threatened to clamp shut from the intensity. But I wanted nothing more than to be good for him, to make this as easy as possible, so I held out and kept them open as wide as I could stand as my orgasm rocked through me.
Spencer whispered praises into my skin as his hand slowed and his mouth trailed down to my neck. And even though it was more than nice feeling him lick and bite over my skin, I felt rather sad when he removed his fingers from me.
That sadness didn't last long though, not when he pulled back and studied me for a moment, eyes lust-blown and purely ravenous before he brought his glistening fingers up to my mouth.
I didn't even have to think. I brought my tongue out and let him slip his fingers over it, closing my mouth around them and sighing as I sucked them clean. This only seemed to excite him more, his features displaying all sorts of desperation until he couldn't take it anymore.
He kissed me again, bringing both his hands to rest at my waist. And with his hands so low I wondered if maybe he'd take to ridding himself of his own pants, but it never happened. Rather, he pulled away after minutes of more kissing, and sighed quite sadly as his upper body pressed firmly into mine.
Something else pressed firmly against me as well—right along the inside of my thigh—and I gasped, mind running wild through all the possible outcomes of the night.
But Spencer only stood there, occasionally nudging his nose against mine while his hands gently kneaded my sides.
"D—Do you want to stop?" I asked softly, afraid he'd regret what we did.
He proved me wrong. "God, no... It's... It's just that I'm still not cleared enough for any... strenuous activity on my leg, and I don't..."
I didn't want to push him, obviously, but I thought I could make the mood a little lighter. "O—Oh, well on the bright side... I could stay your assistant for a while longer."
The laugh that rumbled in his throat made me smile, though from the way he stood there, I knew he wouldn't risk it.
"Um... Raincheck?" he whispered.
On the one hand, that meant he definitely wanted to see me again, and I was more than happy with that. But also, that meant our fun for the night was done...
Yet... Maybe not...
"Sure," I answered, pecking his lips once more. Then I brought my hand to his chest and slid it down until I reached his belt, and I leaned back to look him in the eye, a boldness I never imagined coming from me in a million years.
"But I can still help you..."
I watched the desperation and disappointment in his features slowly dissolve into a newfound hunger—and an amusement—that grew my confidence tenfold.
"Oh?" Spencer mused. "How do you suppose you can help me this time?"
He wanted me to say it. So, without second guessing myself anymore, I grazed my finger over his erection. "I'm very good with my mouth, Dr. Reid."
He grabbed me by the hand then, dragging me along to the chair I'd kicked back before and sat himself down, one of his hands still gripping the cane. Matched with the desire in his eyes and the swollenness of his lips and the tousled strands of his hair, the sight was truly something to behold. It was something that only ever existed in my dreams, nd now it was real.
Not wanting to waste any time, I sunk to my knees and nestled myself in between his legs. He reached out and caressed my cheek before lifting my chin with his middle finger.
"You like being my good little helper?" he drawled.
I tried to nod, but he clicked his tongue and held my chin in place. "Words, Princess."
"Yes. I—I'd do anything you asked. Anything you want, it's yours..."
He hummed then, removing his hand from my face and moving to undo his belt swiftly with only one hand. The action, the sound, everything... it was enough to make me wet again, and I subtly ground down onto the heel of my foot as I watched him pull himself free from the confines of his pants.
I didn't have time to marvel at him before I was drawn forward like a magnet, my hands crawling up his legs and my eyes batting up at him, ready and eager to please him however he wanted.
"Eager, are we?" he mused once more, gently stroking himself with his hand.
"Yes, Doctor," I breathed, inching closer and kissing the outside of his hand.
His movement stopped then, and it didn't take longer than a second for him to decide to let me work on my own.
"Then have at it, Princess..."
I started by kissing my way up the length of him, taking my time to gauge his reactions as I did so, occasionally darting my tongue out to taste him. Once I reached the tip, I sucked on it gently, using my tongue to swirl around it until I could taste the saltiness of his precum.
And then I started taking him slowly into my mouth, watching above me as Spencer's eyes started to shut, obviously debating whether or not to lay back and enjoy this or watch me intently.
Either way, I was more than happy to keep it up, finally getting him to the back of my throat. I flexed my tongue and held him there as long as I could, promptly gagging over him and blinking tears from my eyes as he let out a loudest sound I'd heard from him yet. His head flew back and his tongue quivered along his bottom lip as he cursed my name.
The act made me proud, so I retreated for air, sucked at his tip again for a few seconds, and then repeated it, taking him down my throat again and watching through teary eyes as he visibly swallowed and squeezed his eyes shut.
"Fuck, Y/N, you're so... Such a good fucking girl..."
The praise caused my insides to burn hot, and I ground down onto my heel again, lifting my mouth to start bobbing up and down.
His eyes opened then, and he looked down at me, using his hand to brush stray hair from my face and the other to grip onto his cane for dear life. I looked up at him the whole time, making sure to convey through not only my actions but also my eyes that I loved this. I thrived off of his praise, I enjoyed the feel of his dick gliding over my tongue and hitting the back of my throat, and I longed to feel him coat the inside of my mouth with his release.
I was so entirely into him in every capacity, it wasn't even funny.
I was so glad he could tell, a smile grazing his features as his hand gently gripped some of my hair. "So eager to please, Princess... And so fucking good at delivering..."
I whined onto his dick as he held me down, rendering me immobile. The only thing I could do was look up at him and choke, and of course, I was more than happy to do it. In turn, I was met with a deep groan and a tug of the hair.
"Hold it, hold it... Atta girl..."
My cunt throbbed at his words, and my throat continued to burn, tears falling down my face at ten-speed until finally, he let up and pulled me off of him.
I coughed a little and blinked away tears as I caught my breath, Spencer's fingers combing hair from my face as he smiled proudly.
He didn't even need to say anything then. I wanted to give him more. So I leaned down again and took him in my mouth, quickly making work of his tip while my hand came up and stroked the rest of him.
"Fuck, Princess, just like that... Make me come just like that..."
Rather than just continuing, I offered him a high whine and a wide gaze, hoping to exceed expectations.
I guess it worked, because he came right then, his dick pulsing over my tongue and in my hand as his warm release shot down my throat and over my tongue. I hummed around him, fluttering my eyes closed at the taste and the feeling, probably enjoying the fact that I'd done this to him more than I should have.
It was worth it to see the look on his face, though, after he'd given me all he had and I purposely spit some of it out onto the tip of his dick so I could lick it up and give him just a little more stimulation after the fact. His mouth hung open, eyes heavy and unwilling to leave me, even as I finished and sat back to wipe the tears and saliva from my face with a satisfied smile.
Though, the longer he looked at me, the more shy I became. Funny when I'd just had his dick down my throat, but I'd never been good with people staring at me for long periods of time.
"Was that... Was that okay?" I asked, suddenly worried I hadn't done something to his standards. "I know I don't do this a lot, so I'm sorry if it wasn't that g—"
I blinked up at him, still on my knees and unwilling to move. Not that I wanted to, but I couldn't even if I had.
"That was fucking perfect... I meant it, you're... so good."
I knew he was capable of better words, but after having the life sucked out of you, I could imagine 'better words' were hard to come by. Still, I laughed a little, playing with the hem of my skirt. "Good. I'm... glad I could help."
He smiled at me, readjusting his pants and then moving to help me off the ground.
"Hey, uh... Even when you go back to your regular job after I get better, I... I hope you know you're always welcome to come visit me if we're not busy."
The words warmed me in a different way, my heart swelling as well. "You... You mean that?"
Spencer nodded, grabbing my hand and dragging his thumb over my wrist. "Of course. I mean, you're more than just a good helper, you know. You're also kind, and smart, and cute..."
I laughed at his emphasis on cute, heat warming my face. "Ha-ha..."
"I really mean it, though," he said softly, removing his hand from mind and bringing it up to lift my chin, so I'd meet his eyes. They were swimming with sincerity, the epitome of warmth and comfort and kindness— the kind that always drew me to him in the first place. "And... If you'd want to maybe ditch the paperwork one day and grab a coffee or something, maybe—"
"Yes," I interrupted without thinking. My heartbeat picked up upon seeing the look in his eyes when I agreed, a mixture of amusement and relief. "Y—Yes, I'd love to."
"Good. Then it's a date?"
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I read your rules for requests and I'm not sure if this is too nsfw 😳 but can I get uhh reader being kinda shy and never really being the first to initiate touching maybe giving their partner oral for the first time? Maybe with Zhongli Diluc and Xiao(or if ur not comfortable with xiao that's cool)
^ wasn’t super clear if the reader was giving or receiving; so I wrote them being brave and giving - if you want to receive… well, you just let me know ;)
So, I wasn’t going to work on this one yet, but I started writing out some thoughts on it and well here we are ...
Also - take me to horny jail please*
Warning -> NOTSFW* (18+) (character receives oral sex from a nervous reader), explicit
Includes: Zhongli, Diluc, Xiao
Character X GN Reader | Anthology
There is no pressure here - take your time, he will wait for you to be comfortable and would never ask you to do something that lustful to him
He will gladly initiate contact with you - if you are shy and prone to letting others take the first step he will most likely ask you for permission to go further than kissing
Don’t be deterred if he questions you when you work up the nerve to ask him to stay seated while you get on your knees before him
“Y/N?” there is something in his voice that spurs you on, a nervousness you’ve rarely heard him emulate.
“Umm, I wanted to try something. Please, don’t get up.” he’d watch you with those eyes, those eyes which pulled you into a place you didn’t know you could go. Your brain just shuts off in that place.
He’d sit there, just like you requested, and watch how you lean towards his crotch, your hands gliding over his pants and up to their hem
There’s no way he wouldn’t notice you shaking, or the unsteadiness of your movements as you reach your fingers toward the button of his pants
He’d extend his hand to your face, his fingers delicately grazing your cheek. When you look at him you can see how flushed he was. His chest moving at a faster pace than normal, his eyes with a hint of need.
“You’re nervous, you don’t have to continue…” he’s breathless, even as he is trying to be a gentleman.
“I want to do this.” you go on, the beating of your heart so loud in your ears.
When you pull his pants far enough down and see him inches from your face… words cannot describe this view
You take him in your hands, he is so warm, burning against your fingers
You’ve don’t do this often so you just try and think as best as you can about what would feel the best. With your tongue you lick up his shaft until you reach the tip, once there you take him into your mouth
He feels unbelievable, this is such a different sensation than when he is inside you, thrusting and relentless - here, you had all of the control, and you were going to take great pride in it
If you ever wanted to see a man of great reservation and poise turn into a fucking disaster, this was the perfect way to do that
You’ve been taking him in for a while now. You’ve positioned yourself closer, sitting up more on your knees and using his legs to get a better angle as you swallow him over and over again.
You can hear him moaning, and when you look up you see how he’s using his elegant fingers to cover his mouth. He was encouraging you more than he would know, and whatever nervousness you had at the beginning was gone.
“Y/N.” he moans, and you know he is getting close. He grips onto the edge of the chair and digs his nails into the corner of the table. You cannot get enough of the noises cascading down to you, and with a quickened pace you capture his orgasm in your mouth. It’s more than you expected so you have a hard time keeping it all in.
Your legs ache so you scooch back, your legs now bent behind you. You’re still wiping his cum from your mouth when he finally finds his words.
“I am at a loss …” his hand is flush against the table and his chest is heaving.
“Was it good?” you whisper, your throat coated in him.
Diluc is more likely to be a giver than a receiver - he wouldn’t pressure you to do that
In fact, you’d have to push him - being almost forceful, stubborn in your wishes
If you are shy, he’d have no problem convincing you to let him do all the work, let this boy please you, it’s so worth it
So when you came to him, your hands wringing together and the nervousness in your voice, you had to prepare yourself for a battle
“Diluc,” you mumbled his name. He looked at you from his place on the bed, his shirt already off.
“Yes?” He didn’t mean to be, but his presence was so intimidating. He was so sure of himself that it overwhelmed you.
“I’d like to, um, try something …” the nervousness apparent in your voice. “Can you lay with your back on the bed?”
He’d be a bit confused but would follow your request. Scooting himself back and resting his head on the pillow
He’d watch as you’d climb over him and position yourself between his legs
“Hey, what are you doing?” he’d question, sitting up and meeting your face.
“I’d like to try, giving you oral…”
“You don’t have to do that, I don’t need that kind of pleasure from you.” He stroked your face, brushing any hair that’s fallen there.
“I know, I really want to.” this time he won’t talk you out of it. You push him back onto the bed and lean down, breathing hot air through his pants and onto him. No matter how nervous you were, he was going to let you do this. You’d already decided on it earlier this morning, and when you hear the moan escape his lips - your resolve is set in stone.
As you rub your hand over him, feeling how hard he had gotten - well sorry, you would be in a completely different world
Diluc was about to show a side of himself to you that you wouldn’t be able to forget for weeks
When you pull his pants down and get a full view of him, you cannot believe how unbelievable he was, how strait he was, how hard he was, how hot he was
You’re still unsure what sort of actions he will find the most pleasurable, so you start with your mouth, working your tongue around his shaft from the bottom all the way to the tip and back down again, once your saliva starts mixing with his precum you begin to use your hands, squeezing around him
It drives him crazy, and he’d be a mess with your mouth enveloping him. He’d practically catch the sheets on fire when he sees your head between his legs
You look at him, nervous and excited to see how he is reacting to your touch. You never expected the sight before you. His face filled with desperation. There is so much desire and lust in his eyes it catches the breath in your lungs. His cheeks are turning a beautiful shade of pink and the more you stare at him the more embarrassed he becomes.
There is a level of vulnerability you are seeing with him that makes you lose your damn mind. You find your eyes cannot pull away, even as you take him back into your mouth, even as your hands work their way up and down to match the movement of your mouth.
His chest heaves and you imagine he is close.
“Y/N … ” your name is the only word he’s been able to get out in a while. His moaning has taken all control of his throat, and you cannot handle how his usually deep voice has risen an octave or two as he nears his climax.
He lets himself go into your mouth and, try as you might, you can’t keep it all in. His release spills over your fingers making your hands sticky.
You pull yourself away from him and settle back on the bed. Your breath is uneven and there is a heat between your own legs that you're dying to relieve.
“So, how did you like that?”
When you look at Diluc he is just a shell of his normal self. His chest is heaving, his hair like a messy halo around his head, he isn’t even looking at you, instead, his head is turned away. You don’t mind waiting for an answer, you’re having an enjoyable time watching the ever-composed Diluc fall apart before you.
The thing about Xiao is he is very reserved
He would have to trust you to an unbelievable degree to do anything of that level - it may take a long time to get him to expose himself like that
He won’t initiate most of the intimate moments with you - so if you also are shy with intimacy it’ll be quite the challenge to climb over that barrier
So, let’s say that once you do reach the point in your relationship you’d have to be very brave to take this into your own hands
“Xiao?” there were so many butterflies in your stomach that you thought they would break through your mouth any minute.
“Hmm?” he wouldn’t look at you, he’d continue to gaze out over the vast landscape in front of him.
“Would you be open to me trying something new tonight?” you constantly fussed with your hair, your shirt, your nails as you waited for him to respond.
“What?” he looked back at you, giving you his attention. With a shaky hand, you’d reach for his, and wait for his acceptance of your touch before leading him into the bedroom. Once there, you get him positioned on the bed, and after siking yourself up you’d kneel in front of him.
He’d be super confused - are you prostrating before him? He couldn’t grant any wish you had unless it was to take a life, so he’d be confused for sure
When you scoot closer to him and look into his eyes he’d feel something in his chest - this was something completely different
“I know this is going to be strange, and if you hate it please let me know.” You begin, hoping if you reassure him before even proposing what you wanted to do you’d be more successful. “It’s like to, uh, try something with you.”
“Get to the point,” his voice was sharp - you didn’t know that it was coming from a place of nervousness just as much as your own.
“I’d like to, uh, give you oral …” the words are quite embarrassing, and you pray he knows what you mean. The silence is oppressive.
Instead of answering you, he reaches for one of your hands and places it on his crotch. You can already feel how hard he was through his pants. When you look up at his face he isn’t looking at you, his head is turned and his cheeks are red.
For a while, you just rub him, caress his thighs with your hands, run your nails down this legs - you want to give him - and you - as much time to prepare for what was about to happen
When you slide his pants down and see how hard he is, how eager he was for your mouth, the butterflies return, but with an entirely new motive - and you let all your nervousness slip into the floorboards
You don’t want to do anything too sudden, especially because he was now laying on his back and not looking at you
You put your lips against him and let out your heated breath over his tip - when you see his fingers dig into the sheets you know you’re doing good
With your tongue you lick, in circular motions, around his head and watch as his chest moves deliberately up and down, heavy inhales and exhales - his breathing starts to fill the room
After giving him some time to get used to your mouth, you take him in completely, barely able to reach the bottom of his shaft. As you engulf him in your mouth you hear just how much pleasure you were giving him. His gruff moans intersperse with his loud breaths - it sounds like he is gasping and trying so painfully to hold himself together.
You take him in and soon you’ve added your hands in order to increase his pleasure. You wrap your hand around him, covering the section your throat can’t reach and you add just enough pressure to enhance the sensation of being completely taken by you.
Suddenly, he props himself up on his arms and stares at you, his eyes send a jolt of electricity through you, straight to your core and back into your brain. You pull away worried you might have done something he didn’t like.
“Don’t … don’t stop.” his desperate pleas reach your ears and from there you don’t hold back. You swallow him over and over, taking him as far in as you can. He watches you with hungry eyes until he reaches his breaking point.
Tipping his head back and letting out a shameful cry he lets himself go in your mouth. You do your best to catch all that you can, and you continue to pump him until he is empty. He looks back at you as soon as you swallow him, and his stomach flips.
“So?” you chuckle, your nerves coming back to the surface.
He just nods at you, unable to form words.
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In Need of a Breath
Pairing: Bucky Barnes x Avenger!Reader
Word Count: 4007
Warnings: !FATWS SPOILERS!, Cursing, Zemo, Feelings, Another PTSD Flashback
A/N: So…Part 4 is going to have a couple parts to it. Maybe even three. I didn’t even make it half way through the episode on this one, mainly because I really wanted to fit in the Reader’s backstory and I wanted her and Sam to have a heart-to-heart again. I’m suuuuper tired, so I probably won’t be posting the next part for another few hours (it’s 5 am right now and I haven’t slept), BUT it’s my day off work and I won’t be doing anything I planned because my grandmother had a stroke a couple days ago so plans have changed and I’m staying in to help her, meaning I’ll mostly be writing all day.
This Part is kind of a mix between off-screen and shot-by-shots, but it’s mostly off screen/what’s going on inside Reader’s head.
I’m really excited about future parts and the characters that are being introduced! I will say that after these parts, I will be doing one shots of previous MCU movies with the Reader, due to the information that is being given about the Reader now. You kind of see more of how she was affected/how she affected the previous MCU movies and what she was doing during that time.
Like always, this hasn’t been beta’d, again it’s SUPER early in the morning, and I’m really tired, so please excuse any mistakes! I hope you guys enjoy this part! Stay tuned for more to come later today!
!SPOILERS UNDER CUT!
“You know…I’m really starting to regret saying yes to this.” You huffed out, craning your neck and squinting your eyes against the sun as you stare at the facility in front of you, hating the skin-crawling feeling of being back.
“Would you relax? Whenever you’re nervous, I get nervous, and I don’t wanna be nervous about this.” Sam shifted his weight from one foot to the other.
“Do either of you have a better plan?” Bucky grumbled, crossing his arms.
Gnawing on your lips, you finally take the lead and breathe out, “alright. Let’s go then.” You could feel the hesitance from your - what were they? Partners? Coworkers? Teammates? - the fellas before they started after you.
There was a sick twist in your gut as you entered the building, going through the lobby and security.
You had been there.
You had been there when Zemo impersonated Bucky. You had been there when Zemo unleashed the Winter Soldier at the Joint Counter Terrorist Centre Building in Berlin. You had been there during the battle at the airport. You had been there when Zemo turned Tony and Steve against each other in Siberia. You had been there when Zemo tore the Avengers from the inside out. Your family. The only family you’d ever known.
But you’d always been good about pushing your personal feelings aside for the sake of the mission. It’s what you’d been born to do. All you ever knew.
“Hey. Doll. You hear me?”
“Hmm. What?” You looked up from the ground to look into those enchanting blue oceans Bucky had for eyes, staring worriedly down at you, eyebrows pinched and forehead creased.
“I’m going in alone.” You frowned, opening your mouth to argue, but he shook his head. “Sam already agreed-”
“I didn’t necessarily agree-”
“You’re an Avenger, sweetheart.” Bucky tilted his head, speaking softly, those eyes of his worried. Worried for you. It made your stomach flip. “And you were there in Siberia, and that almost makes it worse. Especially considering you went after him. Just…just let me do this, okay?”
You cracked your knuckles nervously as you thought. It was a terrible idea. But it was an idea. And it was all they had. “Okay.” You finally relented, shrugging as your hands hit your thighs and slid up to your hips. “But don’t do anything stupid.”
“Steve took all that with him.”
Knowing about their little inside joke, you scoffed. “Sure he did. Go before I change my mind.”
You watched him walk down the hallway, hands fidgeting with excess nerves. “I think you’re the only one he actually seeks approval from.”
“Good thing I’m so lenient then, huh?” You joked, turning to Sam with a strained smile. Your smile slipped at the curious expression on Sam’s face, his eyes darting to each of your features. “What?”
“Are you doing okay?”
You groaned, throwing your head back. You thought you got out of talking about your feelings back in Baltimore. “Oh my God, Sam-”
“I’m serious. You…you just don’t seem like yourself.”
You shook your head, looking down the hall to where Bucky disappeared before turning back to him. It was weird to have a self that people recognized. Your whole life you’d been searching for it and when you finally found it…everything went to shit. “Honestly, Sammy, the only time I’ve ever felt like myself was with the team. Zemo took that away from me and now we’re here, practically begging him for help.”
Sam hummed, leaning against the wall. “Have you thought of taking a break?”
“A break.” At your bewildered look, he rolled his eyes. “Cher, this time last year most of us were dead. This time a few months ago you found out about Wanda. This time last week you were out looking for her. Maybe you should just stop and take a breather.”
Shoving your hands in your pocket and looking at the floor, you couldn’t help but snort at his advice. “I haven’t taken a breather since I was eighteen.”
He clicked his tongue. “That’s my point. FBI academy as soon as you graduated. SHIELD recruit by 21, undercover operations leader by 24? Slow down. You’re in your thirties. Next thing you know, you’re gonna be ninety something, lying on your deathbed, wishing you had stopped to smell the roses.”
“If I live to be ninety, shoot me.” He chuckled in amusement. “I’m so fucking serious, Sam. I will not be put in an old folks home to play Bingo and be pushed around in a wheelchair. It ain’t happening.”
“I’ll see what I can do.” There was that infectious smile, which you unconsciously grinned back at. “Y/N…I’m serious. You’ve been in and out of missions since you were a teenager. What’s the shortest undercover operation you’ve done?”
He gave you an unimpressed look. “Yeah you do.”
Licking your lips, you turned away and shrugged. “A couple months. Seven weeks and three days, to be precise. September to October in 2012.”
“And the longest?”
“August 2007 to May 2009. Twenty one months.”
Letting out a puff of air through his nose, Sam pushed himself off the wall and caught your chin between his fingers to make you look at him. “That’s nearly two years under cover. And I’m sure you went right back under after-”
“I was sitting at a desk for four months doing paperwork on it.” You defended yourself.
He shook his head, brows knitting together, lips drawn down. “You say that as if four months is enough time.”
“It doesn’t matter anymore, Sammy. I’m out. I’ve been out since Ultron and Sokovia. I haven’t been under in almost a decade-”
“A decade half the world was dead for half of-”
“I never said you were.” Sam sighed, closing his eyes for a moment. You were always amazed at his ability to keep his emotions in check. To stay cool under pressure. Sometimes you forgot how experienced he was with dealing with other people’s trauma. It was no wonder why Steve thought he’d be good for Bucky. “Listen. All I’m saying is once this is done…don’t go diving back into searching for Wanda. Don’t go running to the kid every time he calls - and I know you’ve been doing that-”
“It’s just been homework and stuff-”
“Y/N.” You stopped, biting your lip at the stern look he gave you. “Go home. Order take out. Binge watch TV. Go for a jog through the park. Actually meet your neighbors. Go grocery shopping. Just…live. If only for a couple weeks. Don’t worry about anyone else. Don’t pick up the phone, don’t drop everything because someone needs you. You need you.”
“I-I…” You shook your head, looking at him, sincerely apologetic. “I can’t. I wish I could. But I can’t. I’ve never had one normal day in my life. I’ve never had someone to care for, never had someone to care for me. I can’t let people I’ve come to…I can’t let them think I don’t care. I don’t even know where I’d go.”
You winced, not thrilled for his reaction to your next statement. “I, uh, I sold my apartment in D.C.”
He gaped at you in complete disbelief. “You got it in December!”
“I know, I know. I liked it. I really did, but…I dunno. Nomadic life has always suited me better. It’s what I grew up with.”
He took a breath, making you cringe again. You don’t think you’ve ever legitimately gotten on his nerves like this before. “Have you ever thought that, instead of going with the flow and jumping place to place, putting down roots might actually help?” He cut you off before you could say anything, holding up a finger to stop you from talking. “I can’t imagine going from foster home to foster home like you did. I can’t imagine not having a home for as long as you can remember. Louisiana’s my home. Always has, always will be. But I understand your life has been anything but stable. And maybe, just maybe, that’s why you need some stability.”
You clenched your jaw, crossing your arms. “The Avengers were my stability. Steve was my stability.”
“Because you loved him.”
“I’m not doing this with you again.” You turned to walk down to the lobby to wait for Bucky there, but Sam caught your arm.
“You were in love with him! It’s okay! You two were super close! No one would blame you! Why won’t you just admit it? I’m trying to understand! Why won’t you-”
You tugged your arm away, finally snapping at him. “Because he could never be mine, Wilson! Is that what you wanna hear?!” Sam took a step back at your exclamation. You closed your eyes, swallowing the lump in your throat and pushing down the tears. “He could preach all he wanted about moving forwards, Sammy, but we all knew he was stuck in the past. He visited the museum every Thursday because her interview showed in his exhibit on Thursdays. He carried around that broken compass because her picture was in it.” You looked back up at him sadly, shrugging. “And I get it; it’s hard to move past your first love. I get it because…that’s what he was to me.”
There was a silence that blanketed the hallway, before he spoke up hesitantly. “What about Bucky?”
“I thought - I thought I was projecting my feelings for Steve onto him because I knew Steve couldn’t ever…”
Sam raised an eyebrow. “You thought? What do you think now?”
You cleared your throat. “I’m still figuring that one out.”
“If you ever need to talk, I’ll be here.”
You chuckled, nodding slightly towards him. “Back atcha. Don’t think I haven’t noticed you not being yourself lately, either.”
“It’s…a tough topic.”
You nodded in understanding. “Just know that I’ll support every decision you make as long as you think it’s the right one. Because I trust you. Steve trusted you. It’s all we can do to try to do what’s right. That’s what makes you a good man, Sammy. He gave you that shield for a reason, and if you think what you did was right…I’ll stand by it.”
The two of you stared at each other for a moment, calming down in each other’s presences and taking comfort knowing you’d be there for each other through thick and thin. “Thank you, cher.”
“Of course, Sammy. Now let’s go see what’s taking the old grump so long.”
He laughed at that, nodding in agreement, taking your offered hand and squeezing it as you made your way down the hall.
Bucky eyed you as you spluttered, coughing on the water you were drinking. “Please don’t choke, doll.”
“Break him out of jail?!” You repeated his words and blinked at him, absolutely baffled by his plan. “Oh my God.” You groaned as Bucky and Sam started arguing, moving your flashlight around the room. “Where the hell are we?” There was no response as they kept going back and forth.
“Zemo’s gonna mess with our minds! Especially yours! No offense.”
“Heelllloooo!” You tried again. “Where the hell are we?!”
Bucky turned on the lights, giving Sam a look. “Offense.” Glancing at you he quirked an eyebrow. “Stop worrying your pretty lil’ head, sweetheart. You trust me, dontcha?” Your breath hitched at his words. You quickly recovered, huffing and pouting - although you’d deny ever pouting - and crossing your arms. You stood between the guys like that, eyes darting to whoever was speaking, waiting for them to stop so you could actually think.
“Look. Let me just walk you through a hypothetical. Can I walk you through a hypothetical?”
You and Sam exchanged glances. “What did you do?”
“I…didn’t do…anything.” Bucky shrugged.
“How is it that you, one of the most deadliest assassins basically ever, are one of the worst liars I know.” You tilted your head at him, an eyebrow quirking up in confusion.
“Shush it you. Just, okay. The weakest point in any system isn’t the software, the hardware, it’s the meatware. The human element.”
The more you listened to Bucky’s “hypothetical”, the stronger the gut feeling telling you this was a terrible terrible idea got. You brought your hands up to your head, eyes wide as he spoke.
“I don’t like how casual you’re bein’ about this. This is unnatural.”
You couldn’t help but agree with Sam’s words, your head falling back and your eyes closing. “Sweet Jesus. Listen, God, I know we don’t talk much these days, but please, please don’t let this not be a hypothetical. I’m fucking begging you.”
A noise to your right made your head snap over. “Oh hell to the fucking no!” You shook your head as Zemo himself walked in, wearing a prison guards uniform. “Uh-uh! No way! Bucky, this was not part of the plan!”
“What did you do?!”
“We need him!”
“You’re going back to prison.”
“If I may-”
All three of you faced him, simultaneously shouting, “no!”
You held your face in your hands as your head dropped, shaking back and forth, your eyes squeezing shut, tuning them out for just a minute to think. Bucky had a point. The enemy of my enemy is my friend and all that, and the Avengers were technically disbanded, which was Zemo’s whole objective in the first place, but…God. You were good at compartmentalizing, but not that much. You were willing to put your feelings aside for the mission so Bucky could talk to him. Not for you to work with him. But he had connections, you knew he did, and he had information…
“Doll?” You looked up, Bucky anxiously licking his lips as he met your gaze. “I need you to say something.”
You looked to Sam, who shrugged, gesturing to Zemo. “What do you think?”
What did you think? What did you think?! You thought that it was the worst idea in the history of ideas and you should turn back and find another way! But…you knew this was the fastest, probably most reliable way to get information that you needed.
Dammit, since when were you the deciding factor?
You sucked in a breath, looking over Sam’s shoulder at Zemo, who lifted his hand in greeting. You raised your eyes to the ceiling, pointing your finger accusingly. “This is why we stopped talking.” Gaze dropping to the still waiting fellas, you gnawed on your lip, before hissing out, “ffffine…” Running a hand through your hair, you threw your hands up as you shrugged. “Fine. Okay. Fine.”
“Okay.” Sam nodded, taking charge again.
You couldn’t believe this was happening. Except, that was a lie. You could. You’d seen weirder. You’d experienced the impossible. Lived through the unbelievable. This…this was completely imaginable.
Which is why, with a lot of hesitation and very little confidence in this plan, you followed Zemo through the auto shop you were in until you reached a large room with a ton of different old cars.
Bucky’s hand found yours as Zemo explained what the plan was, rather vaguely, in your opinion, but at least he was explaining. Point for him. Not that it would make up for the level of distrust you held for him, but it was something.
You looked up at him, giving him a puzzling frown. He usually only grabbed your hand in front of other people when he was feeling anxious. Which, yeah, he had a right to be anxious right now, but it wasn’t the right kind. The type of anxiety caused by large crowds and loud noises, ones that startled him and threw him into a defensive mode.
But the look on his face made you squeeze his hand in reassurance. He was pouting, staring at you although he did something wrong - a puppy that tore up a pillow - and all you wanted to do was give him a hug.
“You’re mad at me.” He mumbled as the four of you headed out with Zemo in the lead.
“No I’m not.”
“Yeah you are.
“Bucky, I’m not mad.”
“Listen, if I had a better idea I wouldn’t-”
You brought your linked hands up to your lips, pressing a gentle kiss to his gloved knuckles. “I’m not mad.” You repeated more firmly. “It’s just…a lot for me, right now.”
“Why? What’s going on?”
“Nothing’s going on, Buck, I-I just…” You thought about your and Sam’s earlier conversation and suddenly understood what he meant. “I need to breathe for a second.”
His features twisted into ones of uncertainty, eyes squinting as you stepped outside. “Do you…do you wanna leave?”
You shook your head, tugging his arm to stop him and grabbing the sunglasses on his collar, slipping them over his eyes. “No. I just need some time to think. Hopefully the plane ride to wherever the hell we’re going will give me that.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, James. I’m sure.”
He lowered the glasses on his nose to scan you over the frames, before nodding and sliding them back up. “Okay. You ready for this, then?”
“No.” You breathed, turning back to where Zemo and Sam were still walking. “Let’s do this.”
Climbing onto the private jet, you raised an eyebrow at Sam, who shrugged, giving you a bemused expression. A Baron…huh…who knew? You feel like you should’ve, yet there you were.
You sat besides Bucky, across from Zemo, crossing your legs and leaning back while staring at him through narrowed eyes.
His butler seemed nice, which made you even more suspicious. You obviously didn’t know as much about Zemo as you wanted to. It was a habit you picked up after years of undercover work; once the mission was complete, that was that. There was no looking back on it. No sitting on it. It was over and you moved onto the next one. It was a bad habit in cases like this.
The moment you spotted the notebook over Zemo’s book you knew something was going to happen, yet you still flinched when Bucky lunged at him, grabbing his throat. You leaned back in your seat again, steadying your now racing heartbeat. You decided you were too tense, trying to relax your muscles as Bucky sat back down in his seat.
“I’ve seen that book. It was Steve’s when he came out of the ice. I told him about Trouble Man. He wrote it in that book.” Sam seemed so proud of himself that something he recommended was written in Steve’s little book and it made you smile.
You remembered that; Steve and you were supposed to meet up for coffee after his run, but Fury called him in so you rescheduled it for when he got back. He asked you about Marvin Gaye. For your opinion. You told him to check it out and make his own.
You remembered asking him about that little notebook of his, and he just shrugged you off telling you about his list. He would read items off to you, but he never let you read the book yourself. You never found out why, and you supposed you never would now. The thought made an ache behind your ribs that you’d come to familiarize yourself with appear.
You smiled a little more as Zemo and Sam told Bucky how awesome Marvin Gaye was. “C’mon, baby. Back me up.”
Chuckling, you looked at Bucky. “They’re not wrong. But,” you quickly added before Bucky could whine at you, facing Sam again. “Neither is Buck. I mean, c’mon. You can’t find music like the 40’s anymore. Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Fred Astaire. Ol’ Blue Eyes himself.”
“Thank you.” Bucky grinned at Sam, who rolled his eyes.
“Okay, okay. But, I mean, c’mon! Everybody loves Marvin Gaye.”
“I like Marvin Gaye.”
“Steve adored Marvin Gaye.”
Your face fell as Zemo started talking about Steve and icons and Red Skull, your mind once again slipping away from reality.
“Kids love you.” You giggled as you finally made it out of his exhibit. You’d wanted to show it to him since he moved to D.C., and you’d finally got an opportunity after coming back from being undercover for ten weeks. “You’re their hero, you know.”
“Yeah, well, I’m just trying to do what’s right.”
You nudged him, scoffing at his answer. “You’re too humble. You’re a national icon, you know.”
Steve shrugged, looking around the museum at the planes surrounding them. “I never wanted to be.”
“Why not? Everyone loves you.”
“I’m sure not everyone loves me.” He rolled his eyes. “And…I just wanted to help. To fight. Protect my country and the people I cared about. I-I didn’t ask for…all that.” He waved behind his shoulder where his exhibit was getting smaller with each step they took away. “People were dying. Bullies were winning.”
You shook your head, spinning and walking backwards besides him to face him. “Sure, but you did that. And you became someone people could look up to in the process.”
He narrowed his eyes at you before asking, “why do you do what you do?”
“...because I’m good at it?”
“Honey.” He gave you a look. “Answer the question.”
You hummed in thought. “Because I couldn’t stand by, knowing there would be orphaned kids if I didn’t help any way I could.”
“Alright. Why do you do it in the dark?”
He shrugged. “Why don’t you come out and take credit for all the lives you’ve saved?”
“Because that’s not why I do it. I don’t want that attention. I just want to know I’ve helped people. I’ve kept them safe.”
He gave you a soft smile. “I just wanted to beat the bully. I never wanted to be a dancing monkey, too.” You looked at him in a new light then, understanding where he was coming from. “Watch out, honey!” He grabbed you and pulled you aside before you could crash into a wall, arms wrapped firmly around your waist. He gave you that charming smile of his. “Wouldn’t want you hurting that pretty lil’ head of yours, now would we?”
You snapped back into the conversation, moving your eyes from the window to Bucky, who tilted his head, eyebrows pinched and eyes narrowed. “Sorry. So, Madripoor. That’s a fun place.”
You ignored the side eyed glances Bucky and Sam exchanged, Sam turning to you curiously. “You’ve been?”
“Once. Back in 2010 for a few months”
Zemo raised his eyebrows. “You’re lucky to have gotten out.”
You shrugged nonchalantly. “Lucky, maybe. Skills were a part of it, too, though.”
“Good.” Zemo nodded. “Because we’re going undercover…and if we blow it. We’re dead.”
You breathed out, shaking your memory away and getting your head back into the game. Because like the man you were severely wary of in front of you said, if you blew this, you were dead. And, sure, you didn’t want to live until ninety, but you weren’t even half way there yet. So dammit if you were going to die soon.
“Hey.” You looked over at Bucky’s murmur, his head tilting as he grabbed your hand and pulled you from your seat closer to him. “Are you okay?”
“Yeah. I’m fine. Are you okay? You know you’re going to have to be-”
“I know.” He nodded. You watched his Adam’s Apple bob as he swallowed thickly. “I’ll be fine. Just…tell me right now if you need to step out for this one.”
You gave him a smile that you knew he didn’t buy, just by the slight narrowing of his eye, his lips pressing together. “No. No, I’m good for this. If you think I’m gonna let you two idiots go into Madripoor with him - alone - oil that cyborg brain of yours, because there’s no way.”
He squeezed your hand, eyes still filled with uncertainty. “Are you sure?”
“If there’s even a slight possibility that I can protect you, then yeah. I’m sure, Buckaroo.”
2K notes · View notes
Word Count: 3467
Requested: yes. Based off ‘505′
Warnings: strong hints to sexual disposition. Spoilers if you squint.
“I’d probably still adore you with your hands around my neck... I did last time I checked.” -Arctic Monkeys, ‘505′.
With hoarse breath and unwavering eyes, you look up to the stars as you speak. “So, you’re really going to do it then?”
“I have to,” you hear him say. His voice has gotten far more mature and calm since the first time you’d heard him speak. Still angry and determined, but in an intelligent, adult way. Eren is a more capable person now. The only thing left to do is wait and see if that’s a good thing, or a bad thing.
“What do you think are the chances of winning?” you question. A shooting star whizzes across the sky at that very moment, and it’s gone before you can think of a wish.
You turn around to face him, but his eyes are already on you. Once upon a time, Eren’s eyes were emerald and teal and deep. Now they’re paler. They are cold and steady as a byproduct of who he’s become. It’s hard not to wonder what he’s thinking about when he looks at you like this, especially since he’s become harder to read over the years.
At first, Eren was one of the most insufferable people you’d ever met. He acted out so often, it was hard to see him as another person of intelligent life. You mostly just minded your business through your cadet years, usually hanging around Reiner, who was also difficult to see as intelligent life. Sometimes you and Eren would argue, but it was never passionate. You just had different world views.
Things got better when you found out what Eren really was. Since you hadn’t made top ten, you could only choose between the Garrison Regiment, or the Scout Regiment. And with Eren’s newly discovered power showing the promise of hope, you decided on the Scouts. He liked that.
After that, it was hard not to mature at the same time as he. Eren often blamed himself for the death and carnage that surrounded the regiment. You were solely responsible for the passing of your best friend. And after everything that happened with the government, almost dying at Shiganshina- you knew you couldn’t stand this much longer. With your relationship with Eren still budding in its early and steamy stages, he was the only one you told of your desertion. You abandoned the corps, finding a small, abandoned farm within wall Maria to hide out in.
Eren was too tired and sick of everything to think you were being cowardly. He wanted to leave too. Maybe come with you. But Eren had plans in the works that he couldn’t leave alone. He visited you less and less. Luckily you never made a fuss.
And now Eren wants to end the world, to save the world. How does he expect you to react to this?
“I just thought I should see you,” Eren replies. You know he’s deflecting your question. You’re not stupid.
You nod slowly, blinking as you think. “Am I going to die?”
Your companion crosses his arms calmly. “Yes,” he tells you.
There it is.
“You know I can’t support you in this, right?” you tell Eren, equally as calm.
He only replies after a moment, also in deep thought. “I know.”
You look back up to the sky, sighing out through your nose. “Why did you come, Eren? Did you want me to tell you that I think you’re doing the right thing? Or was it because you need to let out some anger? I wonder.”
“I did want to see you.”
“Do you still?”
“And I suppose there’s nothing I can do to change your mind?”
The stars are glittering with pastel hues, like a rainbow, or kaleidoscope. Each one is a different size, bordering on different shapes, all fusing and melting together like your idea of heaven. You can barely even see the midnight color of the sky through all them. It is beautiful, but it’s also bitter. Everything is bitter, here.
“I didn’t make myself any dinner yet,” you say. “Couldn’t think of anything.”
When she was alive, Eren’s mother would make a soup for the family. It was creamy, hot, filled with meat and cheese at the bottom. Eren never liked soup, but he did love that dish. She was always sure to make extra for him, so that he could enjoy it for several days. And although it wasn’t until after she was gone that Eren realized he rarely ever thanked her for it, it was still one of the warmest memories Eren had.
He fills your wooden bowl with it, being awfully generous. He knows that even though you haven’t eaten much in the last few years, you too had grown fond of the soup. He knows no matter how slowly you force it down, you are enjoying it. It burns the roof of your mouth every time, but you’ve never cared. All that matters is the creamy sauce, and the cow cooked to perfection.
You stare at the fireplace beside you, flames cackling and licking upward. Eren sets the bowl in front of you, and takes the seat on the other side. You know he sets his long hair behind his shoulders. You’re already prepared. From your pocket, you produce a stretchy brown hair tie on the verge of snapping, handing it to him.
“Thanks,” he says, even though this routine has happened however many times he’s seen you.
The soup is as amazing as usual. You’re willing to bet Eren makes it even better than his mother did, but you dare not say it aloud. It’s creamy, perfectly seasoned. It goes down your throat, still steaming.
“Does Mikasa know about this?” you question, taking one more delicious bite.
“No. None of them do,” Eren answers. “Armin will figure it out soon.”
“You want me to kill ‘em?”
Eren shakes his head. To a lot of people, this would be taken as a joke. But this is nowhere near it. Your tone is too casual, too low for it to be humor of any kind. And the way the man across from you reacts- he’s thinking the same thing.
“How are they, then?”
Eren thinks as he takes another bite, the warmth creeping up his chest sweetly. “They’re alright for now. I don’t know for how much longer. I can’t see everything.”
“Can you see who’s next?”
He squints at his bowl as if he were angry, but his eyebrows barely move. “Sasha.”
Sasha. She was always a good presence to have around. While she seemed like the type of person who would annoy you, it was hard to hate her. And you admired her keen intuition anyway.
“Will you give her something for me?”
Eren nods. Then you both go back to eating for a few seconds, basking in the orange glow from the flames.
“How are things here?” he questions after a minute.
“The same,” you tell him. “I think the cow might die soon.”
Some people might reply with condolences, or sympathy. But your lover does not, and you do not expect him to. “I’ll get you a new one,” he says flatly, almost like a promise. You nod once.
Despite the atmosphere which can only be described as bitter, you’re glad to see Eren again. You’re glad that he’s alive, and as alright as he can be. The bed is always colder without him, heated up only by your lingering fingers that you pretend are his every other night. Whenever he leaves an article of clothing behind, usually on purpose, you hold off on washing it so it can smell like him for you as long as possible. Then there are the hair ties you keep either in your pocket or on your wrist, specifically for him. The razors in your cabinet he often didn’t even bother using.
Even with the sullen demeanor that had managed to overtake both of you, there was at least one thing you cared about in the world still. Maybe it wasn’t the most conventional kind of caring, or the healthiest coping mechanism. But it was still caring. And all that you cared about was him.
You knew you weren’t Eren’s first priority. You were probably second, or third. It didn’t bother you. Eren’s head was one of the first things lost when the truth was presented to him. It came back coldly and sternly, in contrast to how previously hot and impatient it had been. But by then your head had also grown colder and sterner. In simpler terms, Eren did care for you. He did love you. But he would consider letting you die if it meant achieving what he set out to do, and you knew this.
Across the table, Eren lifts his head to look up at you as he chews slowly. The burning meal slides down his throat easily, albeit painfully. It doesn’t even register with him, his piercing eyes slowly gaining a glint from the fire light.
You meet his eyes after a few seconds, feeling them on you. You don’t say a word, don’t even give a questioning look. You just hold him patiently, which is something the two of you find yourself doing often.
“You can’t stop it,” Eren speaks, looking you dead in the eyes with a steady gaze. There is love behind his eyes, far behind the anger, but you can tell from the tone of voice he is trying to tell you something as if it were an order. Your lips part slightly from the intensity radiating from your lover, who doesn’t move a muscle. “You’ll be free soon.”
Dinner ends. Eren helps clean up the dishes for you and goes to get water from your well so you can clean easier. You already know from the way his thumb brushed against your own when you took the bowls that you’ll likely be bent over the sink in a few minutes, which you don’t mind, but you wonder if he’ll be willing to be softer than usual as an apology for what he’d said earlier.
He’d meant to scare you. You’re intelligent enough to figure that out. Even though you don’t scare easy, and you didn’t even give an extreme reaction, the look in Eren’s eyes had made your heart drop to your stomach. Sometimes you forget that Eren sees everything. Then he says something like that to remind you in the most memorable way.
The wooden door opens and closes behind you. Boots scuff the ground for a few seconds, drawing closer and closer as something in you sparks with anticipation, as it always does. A pail of water hits the surface beside you, partially sloshing over the sides, shining silver in the moonlight from the tall window in front of you. Finally, ultra hot hands slide around your waist and push gently but tightly against where your ribs diverge.
A jaw leans down on your right shoulder, chin poking against your collarbone. Locks of hair brush against your own, just as the hand on the left runs across your side to finally put a small band in your pocket.
“I did miss you,” Eren’s low voice seemingly growls, his chest rumbling softly against your back.
“I was thinking about you,” you admit with monotone, knowing your lover can read through it like as easily as a knife slices through skin.
“I hope I didn’t worry you,” he says, though you can also read through his own tone. He probably didn’t care about worrying you. He definitely doesn’t still.
You place a both bowls in the sink, running your fingers over the dirty spoons. Eren’s orbs follow your movement. You can feel his chin change positions ever so slightly in the coming seconds.
“Can you pass me the rag?” you ask, eyes focused on a piece of food on the spoon that doesn’t even exist.
In response, Eren doesn’t pass you anything. Only his right hand gives you any kind of acknowledgement, passing from on your ribs to down lower. His fingertips skin over the erogenous zone under the waistband of your undergarments.
“I worried about you,” Eren murmurs boldly. The hot fingertips pass under the cloth finally, pricks of stubble on his jaw scratching your neck and shoulder as he shifts. “I wanted you to be okay.” His left hand raises to grasp the breast above it. Slowly at first, then firmly, like a warning. Everything is a warning with him.
Your head lulls back uncontrollably. The back of your hair matts up as it rolls against his own shoulder.
“I said you worried me,” your partner grumbles. “Did you hear me?”
“No,” you lie lowly, refusing to let your voice shake despite the shiver in your throat.
“Mm,” Eren hums in condescending understanding. A force presses against your core, which has turned burning hot and ice cold at the same time. The force pulls away, a string of something smooth and slimy following it that makes a sound draw from your lips. It’s high pitched, weak, and unstoppable. You’d be embarrassed if you weren’t so associated with Eren.
His hand gives your breast a firm squeeze, soreness blossoming from the center. Your back arches quickly and returns lax against him, though now something pokes against your bottom that makes your eyes pop open with a new alertness. Eren’s hand gives you no time again. From your chest, it flies to your throat, holding it back with soft strictness as the other finally dips into the hot pool between your hips.
“I worried about you.”
A strangled groan releases from between your lips again, this time fully carried up through the air. To Eren, it must sound like nothing more than music, or background noise.
Thick cylinders pump inside you to the knuckle. They feel better than your own. They always have.
It feels good. Full. Tight and fast and like the inside of you is quivering under the weight of something that you can’t see or hear. Eren is like a blanket supporting you from falling over, keeping you upright with his grip and his fingers buried inside of you. Prodding every angle, every spot. Not necessarily romantically, but still lovingly. He has always had this goal during intimacy. Nothing matters but communicating to you just how close he wants to be.
“Eren,” you choke, a dribble of spit sliding from the corner of your lips.
“Again,” he hisses in response. His fingers hit a tight spot, making every muscle in your body clench at the same time.
You don’t say another word, your mouth hanging partially open as you focus on everything around you. And it’s all Eren Jaeger. His smell, his growls, his voice, his breathing, his chest, his muscles, his hair, his anger, his bitterness, his intelligence, his determination. It’s overwhelming. It reminds you of getting swept in one of those waves at the ocean he described to you. He’s yours. No- more likely, you’re his. End of story.
“I said again.”
“Eren,” you moan.
His head nuzzles into your neck comfortingly, his fingers pushing faster and harder. You can feel how warm you are, never mind how slick. And the way your own body holds around his digits every time he pulls away is enough to make you all the more warm and slick.
What is he doing?
He had said “you’ll be free soon”. And yet, here he is, gripping you tightly as he forces you into the corner of submitting. And yes, it is hot. It arouses you as it always has. But something about it makes your stomach turn into a knot of unpleasantness, in contrast to the other one of liquid pleasure.
“Eren,” you strain, squirming against him.
Eren speeds up again. A grunt falls from his own mouth from his own power, and you know he’s getting off almost as much as you are. It doesn’t stop feeling good. Feeling euphoric.
It’s getting rougher. Rougher and harder and faster, more intense.
Another gruff moan from him.
“Eren! Stop! Stop!”
Eren’s palm softens away at once. It lifts away, his eyes opening and his hand stilling inside of you. He watches you shake as you gaze up to the ceiling, wide eyed. Your thighs sputter, entire body twitching. You didn’t cum.
His eyes trail over you. You’ve worked up a steady sweat glistening and glowing, shivering and shaking and quaking because of him in the best way. You’re his. His partner, his friend, his ally he knows for a fact he can rely on.
“C-can we... Eren...”
Drips of water dribbling down Eren’s temple. One of your hands are threaded in his brunette locks, holding them back so you can have an uninterrupted view. The other hand is dabbing cloth against his forehead and hairline, bathing him softly.
He’d gone a while without bathing again. You could tell. Eren’s eyes are glued to yours, deep teal memorizing all the flecks in your own as if he hadn’t a million times over.
Eren loves you. Dearly. He’d travel all seven hours and forty five minutes just to tell you that. He doesn’t know what made you stop earlier. He doesn’t ask. But he’s not mad. Overall, Eren understands that it doesn’t matter what you asked to stop for. You give the word, he obeys. Not because he has to, but because he loves you.
Still, he knows something is wrong. You don’t show it. You’re steady, calm, mature, apathetic as always. But in the pit of Eren’s stomach, something brews. A warm, strange feeling of intuition and omniscience.
“You look very pretty today,” Eren ventures, wondering only of your response. “Did I tell you that?”
Your eyes squint. “Thank you,” you reply back.
The cloth continues to rub against his skin, cleaning something that probably doesn’t even exist. Dirt, maybe. Eren’s stopped taking care of his skin in the past few years.
Your eyes squint again. This time, they gloss over with sharp wetness like glass. The eyebrows crease like a break, your bottom lip trembling as you suck it between your teeth.
He doesn’t know what he was expecting. But your lover wasn’t expecting this.
Eren hates when you cry. He can remember the first time he’d seen it, but not the most recent. You didn’t cry often- you were strong. Crying over something as useless and flimsy as emotions didn’t seem worth it. So what was this for? What were you about to make Eren break down inside over?
Your hand falls limply from his forehead. Shoulders hunch over in defeat, staring down at the floor as your hair covers over your face. And then the sniffles come, choked out coughs like sobs.
Eren can see the lightest of bruises he’d left on you from earlier, but you’d never had a problem with it before. No, it was something else. But what?
Silent, your teeth grit together as you wince, tears streaming down your face inexplicably.
“Earlier w-when you,” you gulp, snot beginning to form, “when you- I did worry a-about you. I- I don’t know why I didn’t...”
You stumble forward. Eren stands from your bath tub to catch you as you slump against him tiredly.
“I hate it when you go.”
Eren switches positions with you, pushing you down to sit on the edge of the tub. He takes the wet rag from your hand and holds your shoulder back so he can have a good look at you. Then the cloth dabs against your own forehead, just as you had done to him.
“I hate it here,” you sigh, a single tear drop blurring your vision as it falls finally.
Your lover moves the cloth from your head to your cheeks, smearing the wetness into your skin and away. They moisten and dry, your eyes red and shiny. Eren tilts your head up under your jaw, creasing his brows and using the towel to clean closer to your eyes.
“If it helps,” he says, looking straight into your eyes, “you’re crying, but I still think you look pretty.”
You’d be lying if you said that didn’t help even a little, because you love him.
A soft smile creeps to your lips, your hands dropping in between your thighs.
No I didn’t reread this lmfao enjoy. Hope I did you justice anon
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what mxtx said: on translation
hi everyone :) i thought i’d write something up about how english language cnovel fandom interprets and does, or doesn’t, have access to the original authors of the novel.
i want to take a specific instance of a moxiang tongxiu interview answer and look at the different interpretations fandom has had of it, in this case, the infamous “everyone in modao zushi but wangxian is straight” line.
this is a mxtx take i’ve seen thrown around a lot, i think often mockingly. “mxtx wrote [xiyao/nieyao/xuexiao/songxiao/speaker’s choice of ship], but yeah, everyone in mdzs is straight.” it’s meant to sort of be a gotcha. but it’s never really clear who the joke is on: mxtx for not understanding her own writing, other fans for taking her seriously, or a half-assed attempt to prove the canonicity of their ship in face of all other evidence.
as best as i can tell, this interview answer entered english language fandom on january 31, 2019. cloud recesses translation on twitter aggregated her various interview answers, end notes, and posts and translated them in the follow tweet: https://twitter.com/ysfyc_crt/status/1090997559085023233?s=21
they originally wanted to explain to english language fandom mxtx’s stance on breaking apart the main couple (i.e. shipping wei wuxian or lan wangji with characters other than each other or switching their uh. positions.).
the original weibo article they link is no longer accessible; it uses the weibo setting that makes posts private after six months. so i’m not able to verify the screenshots they are translating, but i think that’s fine. i’m going to do a very rough translation of my own very quickly, because it seems sort of hypocritical to complain about misinterpretations of the original text without actually um. reading the original text.
the first screenshot of mxtx’s weibo is her responding to a question: would she ever write a novel with a secondary ship again?
she answers that she’s considered it often, but not again. she finds that writing a relationship plotline in danmei requires a lot of energy, and the main pair tends to occupy all of her focus. if it’s not a goofy parody [like her first novel, the scum villain’s self-saving system], she just doesn’t have any extra energy to distribute to other pairings.
in fact, she writes, originally when she was writing scum villain, she hadn’t been intending to write airplane shooting towards the sky and mobei jun as a couple. (honestly, airplane hadn’t had that many appearances at first. he was the kind of guy who, at the last minute, would come out as a passerby character) but her scum villain outline was so loose, as she kept writing, she suddenly found-- huh? what’s going on? this guy is pretty cute?! anyway, that book was a parody, pairing or no pairing, it didn’t really matter. so they were an exception. but at any rate, she won’t have another one.
when she reads other people’s works, she continues, she doesn’t always mind multiple couples. but in her own writing, she just doesn’t like it that much.
and i think this is the bit where i think where people tend to get mad: this is because she feels out of all the people who appear, it’s just inconceivable that that many are gay. she forgot where she saw this quote, but in short, for a work of art to feel lifelike, that originates in its emotional truths, not in its physical truths. as a writer, she says, as far as she’s concerned, the world she builds in her head is a real world. she can convince herself that a world with gods and ghosts running around is a real world. but she can’t convince herself that a world where the entire population is BL is a real world.
before this, she saw a commenter say, “even if it’s not romantic love, there’s still many complicated relationships between people, that are all very moving. compared to invariably calling it all romance, it’s quite nuanced.” yes, she agrees, there are many conflicts that aren’t driven by romantic love, so that allows for more interpretations. as far as she’s concerned, this already makes her feel OK. she’s able to write something satisfying enough, with realistic emotions; the plot holds water; the conflict is intense enough.
without romantic love as a prerequisite, people can analyze what they see. however, if it’s straightforwardly labeled as “romantic love,” the way people think about it will become somewhat distorted. discussions will shift to points that she doesn’t think need to be twisted up. for instance: who disappointed whom, who invests more in whom, who’s not good enough for whom, who’s the scumbag where. that isn’t what she set out to write, so it would be a pity.
but as long as it doesn’t break up or flip the main couple, ship whatever, she doesn’t care. she herself often will read regular novels and enjoy shipping couples. reading books isn’t just for fun. using your brain to supplement or enjoying couples as you wish, that’s fine, just don’t break up or flip the main couple.
paraphrasing now, she goes on to reference a particular fan who obsessively sent her hate because they were so fixated on a sidepair and were mad she didn’t endorse it as the author.
anyway, the other bit from her this translates is back to the whole “don’t break or reverse the couple” discourse which is umm... not really a big discourse in english lang fandom? thank god.
so the critical take, the one i see the most often takes one (or more) of the following stances in responding to her answer.
the literal refutation. they argue that gay people are more numerous that mxtx says. they think that not only, statistically speaking, there should be more gay people than just one couple, but that gay people often find platonic companionship, comfort, and safety in each other. therefore, where there’s one gay couple, it seems even more likely that there should be more.
the “my meow meow” refutation. this is usually centered around a specific character that they are convinced is gay that mxtx has implicitly (or explicitly, in the case of jiang cheng) deemed straight. nie huaisang is often a example of this: why would mxtx claim he gets straight married when he [insert epic gay huaisang moment]
the “my meow meows” refutation. this is usually centered around two characters who seemed to be wholly motivated by their romantic love for each other. how do you explain 3zun, how do you explain yi city, if not wholly by romance?
there are also some more fawning stances, where people wholeheartedly defend her from those three points. it typically goes like this--in china, gay people don’t have the same visibility or community that they do [wherever the original commenter is from]. therefore, it’s fine that there’s only one gay couple because it’s realistic. everyone else is straight.
and then here’s what um. what i think.
first: on genre. i think she’s talking a lot about genre here rather than like. real life. i intentionally left BL untranslated, because she does say 全民 BL, or the entire population being BL/in BL relationships. ghosts feel more realistic to her because xianxia is an established mainstream genre. like it or dislike it, it seemed that her artistic goal was to tell a gay love story in a xianxia world/genre, rather than a love story in a BL world/genre.
i think she certainly succeeded in that respect. mdzs is umm very popular. i think it’s fine to be an ambitious writer with aspirations of a mainstream audience. my thoughts here kind of go part and parcel with my thoughts on her treatment of female characters.
obviously i hate when GIRLS die. obviously i really like a lot of her female characters that don’t get that much shine. check my ao3 lol i do put my money where my mouth is. but the fact of the matter is that there are two genres that condition where she can put female characters and maintain suspension of disbelief (that concept is, i think, what she’s working around in her interview answer).
because mdzs is a xianxia novel and a danmei novel, there are some complications. historically sexism did exist. there are and were high profile women who had an impact and certainly had leadership roles. mxtx does put them in these sorts of positions, e.g. madam yu or wen qing. there also are women who were important because of their relationships to men, e.g. jiang yanli or wang lingjiao. unlike in a het xianxia novel, women aren’t romantic leads, so this does diminish the number of “important” roles a woman can take--priority is paid to the ones who serve the plot.
so there are important plot relevant roles in mdzs that women are just excluded from: e.g. the sworn brotherhoods. 3zun would have had to be all women, or all men. there are also important roles that preclude a confirmed monogamous romantic gay partnership. e.g. nie huaisang, who as a sect leader would have been expected to marry at least one woman to have children with. i think this is where people might go: this is a book about gay people! she’s obviously already making departure points!
well first there is already a historical framework for how to be gay in china, but more importantly. xianxia is an established genre. for people for whom this is their first xianxia novel, every bit of the setting may seem equally foreign. wow, they hunt ghosts? wow, they’ve got sects? and sworn brotherhoods? and they use talismans and-- it doesn’t seem like a big deal to say, why couldn’t women simply do xyz in the setting too? but this is a whole existing genre.
she’s stuck working within it, and her point, i think, is that she can only offer so many points of departure before she--and implicitly the audience--stop suspending their disbelief. she’s a young writer, and she began by admitting she has trouble balancing too many emotional thoroughlines at once. it’s okay if the BL written by a young 20-something focuses on only one gay couple.
second: on 爱情. i think it’s important that she repeats aiqing, or romantic love so many times. she is making a really genuinely good and relatively uncontroversial point here: mdzs contains a lot of relationships that don’t flatten easily into straightforward uncomplicated reciprocated romance. she also emphasizes repeatedly throughout the interview that she’s eschewing labels not complex dynamics between characters. if you take yknow. one of the many relationships in mdzs that are weird intense homoerotic and do end with one party killing the other, it’s kinda boring to look at it and go “damn if they were dating that would be fucked up.” or “damn it would be better if they were dating instead” ykwim.
third: on translators, distortions, and fan culture. i do think the original translation was reasonably accurate. i think there are some tonal choices i think were weird, but the substance is all there. my main criticism was that it was presented in a decontextualized selection specifically to achieve a certain agenda: don’t break up wangxian. which um. i think is not best translation practice. i think this is something that has happened often with translations of mxtx’s words, whether her prose or her posts.
i’m not linking the interview, because i’m not trying to start a fight here, but there is a popular interview that was originally translated from chinese to bahasa indonesia, and then from bahasa indonesia to english. the final translator did not speak chinese, and so could not refer back to her words. not only did the first translator insert their own commentary into the interview, but the second translator translated that and also added their own commentary. there are parts where it is difficult to tell what is mxtx’s opinion, and what is fan commentary.
the exiled rebels translation, the only complete translation of the novel, was done by someone who was 15/16 for most of it, and edited by an adult who did not speak chinese. shoutout to k for taking on an ambitious project at a young age but uh.
exiled rebels initially specializing in yaoi rather than danmei novels meant that there were fan cultural gaps. they were aggressive towards other translators due to the difference to community norms re: multiple translations existing. this has provoked hostility towards re translations (along with other assorted discourses) because of basically. historical accident? ancient drama between like. snoopycool, evil-genius, and other groups who’d accidentally or purposefully sniped series concreting personal disagreements into established norms?!??! christ.
at any rate, a team that specializes in yaoi plus their teenager translator does not um. does not a nuanced translation make, especially from chinese->english. i’m not saying they shouldn’t have done it!!!! i’m saying that words come from people!! and in the case of translations, they come more directly from the translator than from the author, and it’s bizarre to see people trying to seriously evaluate the original prose and language through it, much less authorial intent.
fourth: on who we have sympathy for. i don’t think mxtx is perfect. but i find myself trying to take very nuanced, kind stances towards her because i think she’s a young woman of color whose books have had runaway popularity. i think fandom can be bizarrely cruel towards her.
i’m pretty new to fandom, but i do think it’s rare to see a fandom with so much open hostility and mockery towards a new and vulnerable individual writer whose works they theoretically greatly enjoy. i use vulnerable in the sense that she writes under contract for a company that takes half of her profits, she can no longer profit from most of her novels because they’ve been taken down due to their content, she has no control over the adaptations of her works, like-- guys.... she has more in common with you as a person than you do with the wealthy queer representation we see here.
there’s this pervasive sense in a corner of fandom that if there’s something good in her novels she wrote it by accident, and if there’s something bad, she did it on purpose (and perhaps homophobically). again. you are reading a translation, it’s bizarre to make these claims about her character. and secondly, what the hell is wrong with you? again, i am not pretending she is a perfect writer, and it’s fine to object to her content. but goddamn in that interview she approaches the subject with twice the nuance than all the people who rag on her for not including enough canon gay people do.
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