#last time when we went to the bookstore i bought him a drink which was nothing obv but he said it was sweet lol...
-ˋˏ seeing him shirtless for the first time (part 2) ˎˊ-
parings: kageyama x reader, kenma x reader, sakusa x reader, bokuto x reader & oikawa x reader
note: this is either set in their 3rd year of high school or in college,, also feel free to request some more boys for part 3 and some scenarios cause i’m running out of ideas
part 1 part 3
wbk that kags has a killer body like his proportions are really good not to mentions he’s also tall so that kinda adds to his appeal but like i feel like he isn’t super buff you know like i feel like he’s just has a perfectly toned body, nothing too muscular (we’re talking about 3rd year kags here for the setting of the scene later) but he’s still sexy and damn those eyes ugh he could look at me any day i’m literally such a sucker for guys who have nice eyes (or the small eye shape like suna :)) anyway he definitely has nice arms and thighs :)
so for some reason kageyama was picked to be a part of the class’ yearly play, how he got a role that had many lines he didn’t know either. and you were one of the persons in charge of the costumes, you were assigned to alter kageyama’s costume for it to fit him and one time during a fitting he asked you something.
“umm hey y/n, i think my top is kinda loose on me can you fix it please?” you heard him say, you turned around to look at him, eyes widening because you didn’t expect the site that was in front of you. there was kageyama tobio in all of his shirtless glory.
you’ve always had a little crush on him since you were 1st years but refrained from telling him because he didn’t seem like the type of guy to get into a relationship especially when you knew he was busy with volleyball.
you snapped out of your thoughts focusing on the view in front of you. kageyama shirtless and reaching out his hand that was holding his top. with his arm extended like that you could see the defined muscles on his biceps not to mention his abs. you were now sure that your face was heating up from staring at him too much and you just grabbed the top from him muttering a quiet “alright i’ll fix it”.
kageyama was confused as to why you were turning red and couldn't help but scratch the back of his neck which made you even more red when you saw his arm muscles flex.
so i feel like kenma doesn’t have a six pack but like he’s still toned you know like he definitely has a little muscle going on there and it’s still kinda sexy. and you actually love to hug his bare waist a lot even if he tells you not to or to warm up your hands first because it’s cold and during one of his streams he asked you to get him a shirt cause it was getting hot and he was wearing a hoodie, ONLY a hoodie.
you’ve been sitting in kenma’s game room for a while now watching him play games with kuroo, in all honesty you didn’t mind watching him, you found it relaxing. you knew his game was about to end cause they’ve played this game a few times around you already so when you got up to get some water kenma asked you if you could go get a shirt for him while you were going out of the room and of course you agreed to it.
you came back with a random shirt that you picked out for him while sipping your water and when you entered the room he was already done with the game. so you handed him his shirt and he started to take off his hoodie. you’ve never actually seen kenma shirtless before so this was a sight to see. when his hoodie was completely off he took a look at you and saw you staring at him, if he was being honest he was kinda shy to take off his clothes in front of you but he was your boyfriend it was bound to happen one day (if you know what i mean 😏) anyway him seeing you a bit flustered gave him an idea so he stood up and grabbed his shirt from you while doing this he made sure that your fingers would touch and to add on to that he gave you a peck on the lips which made you blush harder.
“uhh, yeah no problem” you stuttered
umm hello yes we all know how fucking hot sakusa is like have you seen those timeskip panels of him??!! and if you don’t think he’s hot you have to go and see someone about your eyes cause damn bro. anyway sakusa definitely works out everyday but takes a break on sundays to rest. and one time during his practice you accidentally spilled your water on him
you and sakusa have been dating for a few weeks and only sakusa’s teammates and your close friends knew about this. one day you decided to be nice and bring your boyfriend some food for after his practice cause you know how hungry he gets after. you had bought him some snacks that you knew he liked and a bottle of water for yourself. you had your friends accompany you to the gym so it wouldn’t feel too awkward.
when you enter the gym. you and your friends were talking about some gossip and you failed to notice that your boyfriend was coming up to you, you were drinking your water and all of a sudden someone came rushing in the gym and bumping into you in the process making you spill your water all over sakusa. he was drenched, he was not looking good since you just made a mess and made his last clean shirt wet. you quickly apologized to him.
“oh my god i’m so sorry kiyoomi, let me help you with that” you tried getting your handkerchief from your bag but that wasn’t enough to dry him off but then you suddenly remembered that you still had one of his hoodies with you. you told him this but for some strange reason he didn’t want to change out of his slightly wet shirt so you had to drag him to one of the bathrooms for him to change. you explained to him that he might get sick if he didn’t change into a dry top and he agreed knowing it was better than getting sick.
“give me the jacket” he grumbled. you took it out of your bag to give it to sakusa but you got surprised when you saw him with his shirt off, yes this was the first time you saw your boyfriend with his shirt off and damn he definitely was packed. you saw how he almost had an 8 pack and his v line was looking mighty sexy not to mention the happy trail that he had, which had you gawking at him with eyes wide open.
he saw you looking at him before grabbing the hoodie you had in your hand “what’s the matter? why are you staring at me like that?”
you gulped not sure what to say if you should straight up tell him that he’s hot or just play it cool “umm, you’re really hot” you managed to croak out
sakusa raised an eyebrow at you and smirked “i know”
if you’ve seen the last episode of season 4 i don’t think there’s any explanations needed for me to say why bokuto is hot but i still am sooo. i feel like bokuto is naturally buff cause he’s an athletic guy so he probably has built up muscle since he was a kid and it just got bigger as he grew up. not to mention that ass!! am i right or am i right he definitely likes weight training to boost his strength and runs for endurance
you were bokuto’s classmate and you guys would always share his book because you lost yours and you haven’t found the time to buy a new one since not every bookstore had them. and since bokuto was your seatmate he insisted on sharing his book with you. and who were you to deny sharing a book and being close to your crush.
it was the last class of the day and you were still finishing the seatwork that the teacher had given the class but the bell rang signalling that classes were done for the day. you asked bokuto if he could lend you the book and you would just return it later to him at his practice.
“yeah, i don’t mind, you can give it back to me later. i’ll just be at the gym.”
so here you were walking towards the volleyball gym and from a far you could hear noises that didn’t sound like balls hitting the ground. when you opened the door you were surprised to see most of the 3rd years without shirts on. your eyes immediately gazed towards bokuto who was also shirtless trying to run away from konoha who was chasing him trying to hit him with his shirt.
once bokuto saw you he went up to you, mind you without putting his shirt back on.
“hey y/n what are you doing here” he said while throwing his shirt over his shoulder and putting his hands on his waist.
you gulped at this not knowing how to act in front of a shirtless guy let alone the guy you liked but you tried your best to answer him “umm, i came by to give you back your book. thank you by the way”
he took the book from your hand while noticing that you had a faint blush on your cheeks so he asked “hey y/n, are you okay? you’re looking a bit red there.”
your eyes widened because you didn’t know you were getting red and all you could do was nod and leave cause you didn’t want your crush to see you like that.
akaashi saw the exchange and shook his head overhearing the conversation and how clueless the captain can be sometimes.
okay so oikawa is definitely a person who takes care of his body but sometimes over works it?! but he would eat healthy food and workout on the weekends in the evening cause he thinks it’s more relaxing, he also likes to jog you can’t tell me otherwise! i feel like oikawa would be the type of person to look at himself in front of the mirror and say “looking good today my friend” lmao
oikawa had asked you to come over to hang out at his house for the day since his parents were not home and he missed you since he was always training after school. so you said yes to spending more time with your boyfriend.
you texted oikawa that you were already near his house but you didn’t get a reply from him but you just shrugged it off knowing that he might just be watching volleyball matches on tv. when you arrived at his front door you knocked on it three times, you waited for your boyfriend to open the door and let you in. when you heard footsteps getting closer you knew it was him and when he opened the door you were shocked.
there stood your boyfriend oikawa toruu shirtless wearing nothing but some grey shorts and a towel around his neck a sign that he just took a shower since his hair was also wet. you couldn’t help but look at his body since this was the first time you’ve seen him without a shirt on and all you can say is goddamn he has a nice body.
your boyfriend saw you staring at his body and decided to comment on it “you can always take a picture you know, it’ll last longer” he said with a smug smile
you rolled your eyes and replied “eh it’s okay i’ve seen better” and proceeded to take off your shoes and walk inside. you didn’t see the face that oikawa made, it was a face of betrayal.
he gasped loud enough for you to hear and said “how dare you y/n, take that back” even though he knew you were only joking
you giggled and turned to look at him who had a pretend offended look on his face and you walked towards him and wrapped your arms around his neck and kissed his cheek.
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opening scene, six am, scrambled eggs stuck to your economy class seat
the first thing i bought in america was a stick of deodorant. i'd left mine in singapore though i could've sworn i'd stuck it in my suitcase before i got on the plane, in the turquoise pouch with the chipped zipper beside the advil that would sit there, forgotten, for the next thirteen weeks and a travel-sized bottle of hand sanitizer that smelled like well-fermented ass. it turns out your memory fails you when you're getting ready to leave everything you've ever known behind, even if the place you're headed for has looked like a hammered michelangelo's impression of salvation for most of your life. it was that kind of time. i was out of my mind and found the space beneath my feet where one expects floor to be empty for most, if not all, of my waking moments. of course i forgot about the deodorant. the real surprise was that i thought i'd remember at all.
the first thing i bought when i got on campus was a bottle of mineral water. it took me two days to realize that the star trek-esque metal fitting built into the wall on the first floor of my dorm building was meant to dispense drinking water and not tiny silver men that would kill me in my sleep, and three to realize that none of the water coolers in this place were functional. jamming my thumb into the button while no longer expecting anything to happen, i was reminded, suddenly and abruptly, that we were in the middle of a pandemic. i resisted the urge to rub my eye with the back of my hand and went back up to my room, where already a small army of plastic bottles had begun to accumulate on an empty shelf.
the first person i spoke to here is not a good person, but not a particularly bad one either. he is selfish and has half-eaten dinner plates for eyes and thinks the world is the size of his fist, which is how most people are when they're eighteen, especially the boys, especially the ones who've never had to answer to the horrible, searching x-ray question, what are you? i only hope he grows out of it. i will not be the one to make him. perhaps he should make an appointment with god.
the first time i cried in america was when i was born (austin, texas, april 25th, 2001). it hasn't happened since.
today i cross the street from the campus bookstore to the bank, thumbing my passport in the pocket of my hoodie to make sure it hasn't fallen out, to make sure they'll be able to identify my body if i'm ever found somewhere wet and starless (behind a beat-up denny's would be good, though i'm not against the idea of waffle house). i spend five minutes standing awkwardly in front of the empty counter, shifting my weight from one foot to the other, before i notice the print-out saying something about online check-ins and virtual consultations. i ignore it. when i finally work up the courage to speak to someone the teller makes me scan the QR code with my phone anyway. eight hours later, long after i've opened my first bank account in america and gotten a bona fide american debit card, bright orange like they're afraid i'm going to drop it on the street if it's the color of slate (i will anyway, because god made me full of homosexuality and hubris and i intend to live up to his expectations), and discovered that i am, in fact, capable of holding a conversation with two strangers a decade my senior who both have wedding rings and big adult smiles and soft adult voices, i get a text back. good news, it says. we're ready to serve you now.
the spring semester ends today. when i was typing up my powerpoint on why i should be allowed to go to america for college at four a.m. last december i remember looking up the duration of the spring semester on the school website. look, i told my mom, while frantically clicking through fifteen pointless, but very cool animations on google slides with my other hand. it's only until may twenty-first. it's not that long. but it's long enough.
it isn't long enough. three months is barely enough time to get someone to trust you enough to tell you what they think about when they're lying awake in bed at three o'clock in the morning and they have to pee but they're starting to drift off and if they get up now they'll never fall asleep ever again in their life. and this is a country we're talking about. the worst one there is. the loudest, the proudest, the weirdest; the closest to the proverbial heart of man. the one that's the happiest to fuck the world up, over and over again. this is not your standard courtship ritual. this is a lifelong investmnet.
one time someone told me he'd always thought he was straight. but then i met you, he said, his brows scrunched together in a way that was both unattractive and made me want to pinch his cheeks together until there was nothing left in between. so what does that make me? imagine i'm standing in that room again but a little removed from the scene. i stare into the camera like i'm in the office. i don't have a fucking clue, i say blankly. why the fuck are you asking me?
there is something about people who have never been forced to consider the question of what constitutes their fundamental identity as a human being. they're so happy, but in the way that toddlers are before they realize that melted ice cream doesn't taste as good as the frozen stuff and things that die, like, actually don't come back to you even if you hold a funeral for the ant you accidentally squished and stop drinking soda for a week and make sure not to step on all the white tiles in the hallway outside your apartment. i imagine all of the happy cishets in the world poised on the edge of a very tall building. what's at the bottom of the drop? i dunno. you'll have to ask them.
recently i acquired seven bottles of nail polish from a friend who was trying to clear out her collection before leaving for the summer. i keep forgetting people are leaving for the summer, and now they've all left. reality hits you like a horse's ass across the cheek. it's warm. it's soft. it smells unpleasant but in a way that makes you want to keep smelling it even though at the back of your mind you know that this isn't going to improve your mental, physical, or spiritual health, and yet in the moment, in the moment that is the now that is the blood coursing through your veins all red and shimmery like glass, in this funny little moment all you can do is stand there, eyes squeezed shut, and inhale.
i convinced my mom to send me my favorite bomber jacket. the postage cost seventeen dollars and fifty cents in singapore dollars but true to form it only took thirteen days to get from one side of the globe to the other. it is not so appalling after all that we are connected by distances. geographically speaking, i am always beside you.
there is at least one working water cooler on this campus. in the basement of this whoozy, boozy freshman dorm, beside the laundry room with its clear glass door and clean, powdery lavender-lemon-jasmine smell, you will find a metal fixture with a thick rectangular button hidden under the lip of the bowl. if you jam your thumb into it, water will erupt from the fountain-head like god pouring life into the mouths of tiny clay-children or goldfish, depending on which version of history you're a fan of, depending on which natgeo subscription you have. and the water will be very sweet, very cold, nourishing the skin on your bones and furnishing the ground beneath your feet. but don't drink from it. we're in a pandemic, after all.
instead go back up, past the lounge with the flatscreen tv and the ratty green sofas, past the elevator that sounds like a soap opera crossed with a minecraft let's play, past the cubbyhole of a kitchen with the moldy sponges and the half-empty bottle of dish soap that smells like van gogh's impression of misery until you get to the room that, for the last three brilliant, battered months, has been yours. and let yourself in.
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Ace of hearts
A/N: I wrote this story for @startrekkingaroundasgard Love is in the Air writing challange! My prompts were: romantic-emerald-rose-magic.
Pairing: Loki x ace!Reader (gender neutral)
Word count: 1814
Warnings: talk about sex but nothing happens (and I didn’t proof read it so sorry for the mistakes)
Summary: Loki invited you to her apartment to celebrate the day of love, hoping to take your relationship to the next level but your date went in a different direction.
Sleepover squad: @castiels-majestic-wings @kellatron55 @imyara @twhiddlestonsstuff @cocoamoonmalfoy @amwolowicz @akhansen2800 @electroma89 @the-emo-asgardian @lehuka123 @marvelisawayoflife @unknown-girlie @waywardstarkmadkhaleesi @cozy-the-overlord @whatafuckingdumbass @poetic-fiasco @myraiswack @marvelgirlonmain @lokistan @lovermrjokerr
Writing Tag list : @twhiddlestonsstuff @dreamingyouth @xladyxfatex @castiels-majestic-wings @lokistan @amwolowicz @whatafuckingdumbass @electroma89 @dpaccione (If you want to be added let me know in the comments or send me an ask)
If someone told Loki she would court a Midgardian, she’d laugh in their face. And if that person added that Loki would spend their entire afternoon cleaning their appartement and cooking for said Midgardian because they were coming over for the first time in their relationship, which made Loki excited and nervous at the same time, the goddess would probably banish them from Asgard. But here she is. Two burned pots and 3 hours of cleaning later Loki has finally succeeded in making the perfect valentine’s day dish. And dessert! Loki herself was surprised how well it went, except those two burned pots, of course, but there was a good explanation for that!
In their entire life the trickster has never felt so much love as when they were with you. This relationship is so important to the both of you. You are so dear to Loki and she loves you with her entire being. But something has changed. The more your relationship blossoms the colder you act around your partner. And it confuses her a lot. You used to be so cuddly and didn’t mind being kissed during the movie nights at the tower but lately you started to behave differently. Loki asked you about it a few times, but you always said you weren’t feeling well. Fearing your feelings for them has changed, the trickster invited you here in hope that the spirit of the valentine's day would somehow help.
When you started dating you both decided to take things slow, but Loki was hoping to take your relationship to the next level tonight. And she didn’t mean cuddles or making out during a movie marathon. There was a moment when Loki thought it would happen but then you pulled away quicker than a lightning can strike and wouldn’t talk to her for a few days. She feared she did something wrong and apologized to you on her knees, but you said you were feeling unwell, so the goddess didn’t think much of it. Loki is an overthinker and they were still worried they did something inappropriate.
Looking at the clock on the kitchen wall, Loki realized she has spent too much time cleaning and cooking.
After taking a shower the trickster has finally started to get ready. There was no rush, but everyone knew that our favorite Avenger would change their entire outfit at least five more times before finding the perfect one. And today the perfect one appeared after the third one!
It wasn’t rare to see the goddess wearing a suit, but Loki remembered how much you liked this one. It was the fanciest, and most expensive, piece of Midgardian clothing in their collection. Not wanting to waste any more time, the trickster quickly put it on.
Checking herself out in the mirror, Loki adjusted the golden cuffs on their emerald green suit. They haven’t worn it in such a long time, and yet the woolen jacket still fitted them perfectly. She didn’t need a belt to keep her pants up anymore, but Loki still had one on. For aesthetic purposes only. Making sure there were no wrinkles visible they looked at their reflection again only to realize there was something missing. And then she remembered about that one tie you have bought them for their birthday! Loki knew you would appreciate it if she wore it on the date. You never forget to compliment your trickster’s outfits which always boosts Loki’s confidence. And the tie from you is a perfect accessory!
The goddess realized they have been in their room for too long because as soon as she put all of the rose petals on the bed there was a knock on their door. She quickly threw some more petals around the place and put a giant bouquet of pink roses on the table before letting you in.
You didn’t want to be too early but the excitement inside you wouldn’t allow you to wait anymore. So, who cared if you arrived half an hour earlier? You have spent almost two hours choosing an outfit for your date and even after that you still weren’t happy with your choice. Knowing Loki, she will be dressed in a gown or something. And now you’re in front of her door, overthinking. Your hands were sweaty.
Damn, you really were nervous! It’s not like you’ve never been inside Loki’s house before. It was one time when Peter dragged you there with him. This visit has happened before you two got together and was purely platonic. Most of your dates took place at cafes and bookstores so Loki inviting you to her apartment on a date was a huge step forward. You both decided to take things slowly but what if the goddess was tired of waiting? You were so deep in your thoughts you didn’t notice when the front door opened.
And there she was, with the emerald green suit on and this charming smile you have fallen in love with. You were too busy admiring the goddesses' appearance to notice the enormous bouquet of pink roses on the table behind them. Loki gently took your hand in hers and slowly brought it to her lips. She laid a small kiss on your knuckles which made your heartbeat faster and then brought it to her chest. You were going to pass out before this night ends, that’s for sure! Hopefully your confession wouldn't change the way Loki felt about you.
“I like what you’ve done with the place.” you said, pointing at the colorful pots on the balcony as the two of you were done with your dinner. So far everything has been great, but you could still feel the tension between you. "There is way more plants since I’ve last been here. Those roses are gorgeous by the way!”
“Thank you, darling.” Loki smirked and lit the candles with a snap of their fingers. Your favorite drink appeared in your hand soon after. You will never get tired of Loki’s magic. Even after all this time it still fascinated you. “It makes the place look cozier; don’t you think? More romantic.” the goddess winked at you which meant she switched into her seductive mode. “Perfect for the day of the lovers.”
“Oh, yes, I like it very much!” you didn’t mean to make it sound so awkward, and yet you couldn't help it. How were you going to tell her you didn’t want that kind of intimacy? If you told them tonight, the trickster would think you lied to them and gave her the false hope. Your past relationships didn’t last long because your partners couldn’t understand it and you feared it would be the same with Loki. You were still thinking about that one night during your movie marathon with Loki at the tower. It was, well, it was awkward. “Perfect for the day of love, as you said…”
“Are you well, darling?” the playful facade disappeared as soon as the goddess sensed your distress.
“I need to tell you something.” you announced, nervously. Your lover was worried but didn’t interrupt you. “Remember how at the beginning we said we wanted to take things slow, right?” Loki nodded in agreement, encouraging to continue. “And by things we meant the, ehm, the intimacy” you needed to remind yourself to breathe.” aaaand I don’t think I want it.”
“You don’t want to wait?” The trickster asked, confused but also very hopeful. Was it really happening?
“No, I..” you inhaled deeply to calm down. It was now or never “I don’t want to have sex.”
“I mean, we don’t have to have sex tonight if that’s what you are worried about, my little rose.” she responded with a laugh.
“No, Loki.” damn, that was hard “I don’t want to have sex. Like, at all.” you finally announced, ignoring Loki’s gaze. “Not that I don’t find you attractive! Because I do! You are beautiful and I love y-” Loki placed a finger on your lips to stop your mumbling. You were certain it was over but when you looked at the goddess you saw nothing put pure adoration in her eyes.
“Is it your way of telling me you are ace?” her hand moved from your lips to your arm, gently caressing the skin.
“I- yes?” you whispered, nervously fiddling with your hands “And you’re okay with that?”
“How shallow would I be if I only valued you and our relationship because of the sex we would or would not have?” Loki covered your hands with hers and smiled lovingly at you “I love you and nothing can change that. Is this why you have been ignoring me for so long?”
You felt so relieved! Loki accepting you was the best thing that has happened in so long. Now that you think of it, it’s sad how such a simple thing as Loki acknowledging and accepting your sexuality made you tear up. Wanting to hug your girlfriend you jumped on her and embraced your lover so tightly you have almost knocked off the both of you.
“I love you! I love you! Iloveyou!!!!” you sounded like a broken record but who cared! Cupping Loki’s face you kissed her with so much passion the trickster thought they would explode from the sheer love you were giving them. “And I’m sorry I didn’t say it earlier.”
“Please tell me I’m not the first person to tell you that.” she muttered against your lips. You could feel their magic all over you. It was a thing the goddess did often when she wanted to make sure you're okay. You asked about it one time and they said it had something to do with your aura. It was a very unusual thing, but it made you feel special.
“It doesn’t matter, Loki.”
“It should!” she protested. “How could anyone ever have a chance to be with you and ruin it? You are so precious to me and whoever thinks that intimacy only means intercourse doesn’t deserve your time! And I am so terribly sorry if I ever made you feel uncomfortable.”
Loki was mad. Mad at everyone who made you feel like you had to hide it from her for so long. But you were right. It didn’t matter. Because you were here, in Loki’s arms, hugging her so tightly as if your life depended on it.
And suddenly a perfect idea came to Loki’s mind. Handing you one of the roses from the bouquet she said some words in a language you couldn’t understand. The green light embraced the flower, making it all sparkly like a diamond.
“It’s eternal,” Loki explained “Like my love for you.” That simple gesture made your heart happy. How did they manage to make you fall in love with them even more?? “Happy valentine’s day, my darling rose.”
And happy it was.
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Old Money, New Feelings- Chapter 8
Warnings: angst, this is set a few months after chapter 7, drinking, sleeping around, mentions of smut
This chapter includes One More Drink by Gjan
Summary: the reader (y/n) finds out what this has been and why Ransom was being so nice to you.
Pairing: Ransom x fem!reader
(Sorry, I couldn’t add a continue reading since I’m writing this on my phone)
For months Ransom has been so sweet and kind. It’s like he looked in the mirror and saw his flaws. He is caring and shows his emotions more. Everything is great. Well, everything was great. Past tense.
I ran upstairs knowing his office is upstairs and I thought he would be excited to see me. I come into his office where I knew he would be since he’s always there when he and I aren’t together. I hear moaning. Female moaning.
“What about that girl? The one you’re always with.” The girls voice says. It’s muffled due to the door between us.
“She’s just some nice arm candy and a decent hole to fill.” Ransom’s voice rings clear even through the door. I back up stumbling a little. I hope he doesn’t hear me as I run down the stairs failing to hold in tears. I run to my car and that’s when I realized he did hear me.
I get in my car and I shut and lock my doors quickly. I try to stop crying before I drive. I don’t want to be in danger of crashing my car or hurting anyone. I see him run out in just some sweatpants. I turn on my car as he runs to my car door and starts screaming “Y/N open your door!” I look at him and I scream back “Back up. I don’t want to run you over while trying to get away but I will!” I need to get out and far away. God it hurts. I was an idiot for falling for this dick.
He doesn’t back up but I scare him by doing something he didn’t think I would. I start backing up my car and he moves away quickly. I drive off no longer caring.
I can’t go back to the stupid apartment that douche got me. I call my best friend over the car phone. I told her about this from the beginning and she even thought he changed from the playboy he was. I sob as I ask if I can stay with her till I find a new place that won’t have traces of him everywhere. She would never say no and she tells me that.
I’m at her place less than 30 minutes later. She holds me while I sob out and tell her what happened. After a week of blocking his calls and making sure my find my friend is off so he can’t find me. After one particular night of drinking my pain away she and I come up with an amazing idea to make him jealous.
In the last few months I wrote and released a song that blew up on Tiktok. I’ve written and sang a lot of songs now and Ransom hated it. He always did. My followers have skyrocketed on everything which would mean that Ransom would be watching anything I post like a hawk. He can’t have me saying anything wrong or even remotely bad about him.
We decide to have me sing One More Drink. As I sang to the music I feel the pain of everything wash over me. I end the song with me burning a cute letter he wrote to me. It’s just bullshit anyways. It all is. Every stupid word he uttered.
“I found out today that he’s a liar. Room full of him the smell of sorrow!” I still remember what it was like when he held me. I felt safe. “I don’t want to know if she’s like me. Or how much she loves the way you speak!” He had texted me trying to explain. “I found out today that you’re a liar, ah.” It brings me back to that day. “And I say I got stuck into you and I can’t believe it, oh, I’m on fire.” I’m an idiot. “Friends told me what to do. But I don’t believe it, oh, I’m on fire.”
I get into it feeling the pain and anger come over me “Ah, ah, one more drink tonight!” I repeat that with emotion three more times then follow it with a tonight. “Both said we’ll build our own empire, ah.” Lies. He lied about what he wanted. “How dare you say you didn’t try? Oh.” I keep singing
“It wasn’t like that. It just happened!” I could hear him saying it.
“I woke up at 4 stuck in a loop. I gotta confess it’s not my room.” I knew that would kill him. I hope it does. I hope he feels half of my pain. “You once said we’ll build our own empire. Ah.” I then keep singing and I end up finishing the song. I burn the letter hoping it would help me feel better.
We stop filming and I fall to the ground sobbing. My best friend edits it and post it for me. I can’t. I can’t keep thinking about him.
It’s another week till I even go out of my friends house. I just need to see life again. See things other than my pain and ransom. I go to the coffee shop but I quickly leave after seeing the cute couples who seem to be rubbing their happiness in my face.
I go to the bookstore I love. The place that makes me feel content and at peace. I stay in the back reading a horror story. I can’t help but understand why the girlfriend killed her cheating boyfriend. Though, I guess he wasn’t my boyfriend. I’m such and idiot.
I don’t even notice how late it’s gotten until one of the employees comes over to me to tell me they are closing. “I’m sorry ma’am but we are closing.” I look up at her. “Thank you. I’m so sorry for staying so late!” I get up quickly and since I already bought the book I leave immediately. I keep walking until I see a familiar car.
‘No. It can’t be him. It wouldn’t be him. Why would he even come this way. This is a crappy area in his words.’ I keep walking at my normal pace after haven slowed for a moment. I keep walking just wanting to lay down in a bed and sleep away that pain I feel deep in my chest.
“Y/N.” I hear a familiar voice say. It can’t be him. I’m going crazy. I keep my walking feeling my heart pounding. Part of me wants it to be him but it won’t be. It can’t be.
I believe that until I feel what is undeniably Ransom’s hand grabbing my wrist. I whip around and I glare at him “Hello Hugh.” I say coldly.
“Dont do that sweet heart. Please don’t do that. I understand you hating me or being pissed but don’t do that.” His face is softer than expected and his voice is sweet and calm.
“Don’t do what? I just said hello Hugh. I thought I was being polite. Isn’t Hugh your name?” I glare pissed. “I get why you’re mad but please listen to me. I just... I need to talk to you.” His eyes are red.
Maybe that’s why I said we could talk. Maybe it was his puffy eyes or how you could see how pained he is in his face. I hate what he did but I still don’t hate him. I can’t hate him no matter how much I’ve tried. “Come with me, we can go somewhere more private.” He says softly. I let him show me the way to a small cafe with no one in it, he undoubtedly rented it so no one would be here. I can’t help but hate that it makes me feel special, I want it to make my blood boil. I don’t want to feel especially loved when he does this. I want to be mad at how cocky he was to just assume I’d come with him. I walk in and he holds the door for me, I have to stop myself from saying thank you to him. I don’t want to be nice to him at all. I want him to be mad. I walk to the booth that is in the corner and I sit down. I sigh softly and when he tries to hold my hand I move it away even though I long to hold his hand.
“Listen, I didn’t want to hurt you. I never wanted to hurt you.” He says then I scoff “Bull shit! You fucked a girl when you were pretending to care about me. I should have known better. I should have known you were just messing with me to get what you wanted.” I huff. “She was just some girl from a bar I went to when you said you couldn’t come over.” “I had work! You know, the thing people do when they need money! Oh wait, no you don’t know that, everything you’ve ever wanted was handed to you on a silver platter.” I spit word venom at him angrily. “That’s not true! I worked to keep you didn’t I?” My jaw actually drops. How in gods name could he do that to me and then say he worked for it! “Bull shit! I’m just a hole that you used to wet your cock. “You know what, just fuck off. You and I would never work anyways. Maybe when you grow up like a big boy and get a real job I’ll reconsider your bull!” I scream at him and I get up off the seat quickly. I leave the cafe not looking back no matter how desperate he sounded.
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Spencer Reid x f.reader
(not my gif)
Request: I just saw your post about wanting to write for reid. could i request a fluffy fic about reid falling for a barista at a local coffee shop and the. he realizes she also works at his favorite bookstore or record store? ahhh i’m sorry it’s a lot ! thank you in advance!
warnings: some criminal minds stuff but mostly just fluff
word count: 1290
— • • • —
Morgan and Emily arrived at the office with coffees for everyone. They started giving them out, and Spencer was the only one that questioned that selfless action.
"What's this?" Asked the Doctor, drinking from the black coffee that was given to him. "What's the occasion?"
"There's this new coffee shop around the block and Morgan and I decided to try it, then we bought coffee for the team."
Reid nodded. He knew which coffee shop they were talking about, and he had visited also but decided to keep that information to himself.
"Prentiss, Morgan—" called them Hotch—" thanks for the coffee. Everyone conference room. JJ has a case for us."
"And the day couldn't get better."
The team entered the conference room and sat in their usual seats, Reid was doodling the handwriting of the barista on his cup, unfocused of the victims in the screen.
"Three victims, three of them blonde, two seventeen-year-olds and one with forty six."
"How does that murder connects with the other two?" Asked Morgan. "We sure it's the same killer?"
"The two blondes, Amanda and Alice, were best friends and both had another friend who's the daughter of the forty-six-year-old woman called Marie. That’s how they were connected. Besides, it's the same signature, same way of placing the body on the ground... same guy."
"And how does her daughter look like?" JJ projected the photo of a seventeen-year-old girl with brown hair. "Huh... interesting. Wheels up in 30."
— • • • —
The team caught their unsub. It was the daughter Gabriella’s boyfriend Jason who found out that her friends were talking bad behind their back and her mother was abusing her psychologically. He was trying to get rid of all the bad and hypocrite people in Gabriella’s life, thinking by killing them he was saving his girlfriend from these double-sided people on her life.
"I think we should celebrate, " interfered Garcia with a tiny smile, "we have work tomorrow so no drinks but, the coffee shop you mentioned is still opened. We can eat some doughnuts and I'm definitely craving for a lemon cake."
"It's too late, baby girl, " said Morgan, "tomorrow morning."
No one joined Penelope’s plan except Reid, who quickly stood up when everyone left and reached Garcia on the elevator.
"I'll join you, " he said in a hurry, and she smiled. "I’m starving for some coffee"
"Me too. The coffee this morning was so good." Spencer nodded. How could he tell her he wasn't going to that coffee shop only for the black coffee they served.
Both sat down at the counter and started talking about the case and how they caught the guy. Spencer tried to show Penelope how Morgan entered the unsub’s house with the sugar bags and she cackled as she heard how Derek almost tripped with a piece of furniture as he was going to catch the guy.
"Doctor, " you called him from the other side of the counter, confusing Garcia, "if I didn't know you better I would’ve said you are following me." Garcia quickly noted how Spencer got nervous. "But as I said, I know you. Black coffee."
"Please, Y/N, and a latte for my friend Garcia."
"The tech analyst?" You questioned.
"Actually, technical analyst, but close, " corrected you Spencer with a tiny smile. "How you’ve been, Y/N? What happened to the record store?"
You used to work at Reid’s favorite record store, and before that, you worked at his favorite bookstore. You kept crossing paths with him. Now you worked at the coffee shop near the BAU office.
"Got fired. I put Pink Floyd on the speakers of the store and I accidentally poured coffee on the controls and destroyed the panel." Reid laughed, nearly choking on coffee. Garcia looked at him really confused.
He has never spent so much time without spilling random facts or acting weird. He was acting cool and that was weird from him.
"That's such a Y/N thing to do." You giggled.
"Oh, Morgan and Prentiss were here yesterday and you are completely right, he does flirt with every girl." Reid nodded after you finished telling. "It's so good to finally meet you, Penelope, heard so much about you."
"Same thing, Y/N." And with that, you left to another table, leaving Garcia and Spencer alone. "Who is she?"
"You can't tell the team, Garcia, " said quickly the doctor as he inhaled deeply. "As soon as I tell them about her the tiny amount of privacy I've gained this last three months is going downhill."
"Ok, fine, I won't. This is why you wanted to come here?" He nodded. "You like her!"
"Shh!" Spencer quickly shushed her friend with his eyes wide open. "Don't shout, Garcia!"
"I can't believe you like her, " she whispered, excited about this new discovery. "You talked to her about us?"
"Yeah, " Reid murmured with a tiny smile forming on his face, "she’s the best and she listens to everything I say, including the nonsense babbling. Do you think I got a chance?"
"Uhm, yeah! She’s crazy about you. You should ask her out. Look, I'm gonna go with my lemon cake and my coffee to the office so you can be alone with her." Reid quickly started shaking his head but Garcia was already leaving. There was no coming back.
A few seconds later, you approached the daughter placing the rag on your shoulder, glancing confused over Spencer who seemed really nervous.
"Everything good, Doc?" You asked and he gave you a nervous smile. "What's up with the tech?"
"She had to leave. Work on a case, " he lied even though he was a terrible liar.
"Shouldn't you be leaving too, then?"
"Oh, no, no... it wasn't my case... it wasn't... it was hers, " he stuttered making you chuckle a bit. "Hey, Y/N."
"Spencer, " you called him too to release the tension.
"Would you want to go out sometime?" He asked quickly, taking to by surprise.
"With you?" He nodded. "I would love to. Actually, my shift ends in ten minutes. You maybe wanna catch a movie or something?"
"I would love that."
— • • • —
Spencer arrived late to work the next day, he looked tired and he had bags under his eyes, barely even able to stand on both feet.
"What train ran you over, pretty boy?" Asked Morgan, getting the attention of the whole team. "You look terrible."
"Thanks, Derek, " he said trying not to close his eyes. "I stayed up late."
"Adding numbers or some?" Questioned Derek again sitting on top of Spencer’s desk.
"I had a date."
Those four words gained the attention of everyone. Spencer Reid had a date. That couldn't be possible.
"Oh my God! She said yes!?" Yelled Garcia and Reid nodded with a smile. "I knew it!"
"You know this girl, Garcia?" Asked Emily and Penelope nodded.
"Yeah, I do, " admitted her while Reid smiled. "How was it, Reid?"
"We went to the movies, then we had food and then I drove her home and kissed her." Penelope couldn't hold the excitement. "Calm down, Garcia."
"When are you going out again?"
"Tomorrow, " replied Spencer. "I went to the coffee shop this morning and asked her out again. She said yes and gave me a black coffee with my name on the cup."
"You asked the barista out?" Questioned Emily. "What's even going on?"
"She drew a little heart next to the «r», " whispered Penelope with a big smile, almost melting by the action. "She's perfect."
"I know, " whispered Spencer, drinking from the cup with a tiny smile, thinking of what happened the night before with you.
requested by: @artcozy
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huh, that's new
a social media au
warnings: language, "pregnancy"?? uhh idk what else hehehe
a/n: this is a pretty long chapter i think? (2000+ words) im very nervous about this chapter cause its kinda a big deal asdfghjk anyways, please please please tell me what you think about this! and ik this idea is very odd HAHAHAHA but what else would you expect from two dumbasses named bucky and y/n? hehehe i really hope you enjoy this chapter!! ♡
flashback is italicized
huh, that's new - masterlist
You wanted to laugh so badly.
For some reason, your housemates are panicking over who the hell set this gender reveal party up in the living room.
It was you. With the help of Bucky of course.
Natasha and Wanda have been shouting “I’m not pregnant, I think you are!” to each other for about 10 minutes now. Steve decided that he needed answers too, so he joined in the shouting. Pietro’s talking to his camera, probably vlogging the whole thing. Peter’s talking on the phone with MJ asking if she set this up. Sam’s the only one enjoying the food. Bucky was looking at you from across the room, keeping the smile from forming on his face.
Just about an hour or so ago, you and Bucky were just setting the whole thing up. Bucky was pushing the table to the living room when you arrived with the cake. You placed the rest of the blue and pink food on the table along with other decorations. There were many variations of food, but the cupcakes that have toppers that said: “Here for the Sex” were Bucky’s personal favorite despite not knowing how they taste. The balloons were still lifeless when both of you hung the streamers on the walls with the banner that matched the topper of the cupcakes. After finally finding the balloon pump, blue and pink balloons filled the living room. Some were on the floor while you hung the others on the wall. When you were content with the appearance of the room, you and Bucky went your separate ways.
You got the idea of throwing a gender reveal party when you were working at the diner one evening. “You’ll be at the gender reveal party next week right?” the woman at the booth asked her friend. “Of course, Jill asked me to pick up the cake,” Her friend says. When you got the idea, you thought it was silly, so you dismissed it. Later on, you thought of more ideas and details to add, then in a blink of an eye, you were in the bakery, asking the baker if they can make a three-layered cake of your favorite flavor with the inside colored blue.
“Maybe P set this all up for a prank again?” Nat looked at Pietro who was filming the whole thing. “Just because I have a channel that doesn’t mean I always prank!” Pietro said, turning off his camera.
Steve sighed, “Okay, one by one. Nat and I were the first ones here, but it was all here already when we arrived. Wanda was the next one here, she was in the bookstore the whole morning. Bucky and Sam were next and they only came here because he saw the Instagram story of Nat. Pietro and Peter came home today from LA and Peter from Tony’s. Lastly, Y/N came home from the cafe,” everyone nodded.
After a couple of minutes of silence, you couldn’t handle it anymore, “Okay, I can’t do it. I give up. It was me. I set this up,” you laughed.
“But why Y/N?” Peter gasped, “Are you pregnant?”
Everyone’s eyes were on you now. Natasha’s eyes widened, “Wait, who’s the father?”
Bucky was laughing internally, you could tell. He wasn’t looking at you anymore, he turned around to look at the window. You could see his shoulders slightly shaking, he’s definitely laughing. Good thing the attention wasn’t on him. “I uhh… I don’t know,” you said. You technically haven't met Bucky's dad, you were being honest.
“Doesn’t matter, my sweet Y/N! We’ll support you and help you. Anything you need” Sam swallowed the macaroon whole before going to you and hugging you tightly.
“I know you will.” In less than a minute, you were trapped in the middle of the group hug.
“Why didn’t you say anything sooner? We would’ve known the gender by now!” Pietro said as the group untangled from the hug.
You laughed, “I was enjoying the show.”
“Well, come on! I wanna know if my godchild is a boy or a girl!” Wanda yelled excitedly and went to the kitchen to grab the knife.
Bucky walked towards you before you could join the others who are now gathered at the table, waiting for plates and the knife. “I’m tellin’ ya, doll, they’re gonna be frustrated at us,” he said. You shrugged, “They already are.”
Wanda handed you the knife to cut the cake. Everyone took out their phones to take a video of the “soon-to-be-mother”. You were trying very hard not to laugh at this point and so was Bucky, who was taking a video of his friends’ reactions to what they’re about to say.
You sliced a triangle on one side of the cake and pulled it out, showing blue. “Oh my God! It’s a boy!” Peter yelled, jumping around with Pietro. Sam and Steve took turns hugging you and they were later pushed aside by Wanda and Nat. “I’m happy for you, hun I am, but I really hope that a girl comes out of you,” Natasha said while hugging you and Wanda tightly.
You cleared your throat, catching everyone’s attention, “It’s actually a Bucky” you said, nonchalantly.
“Bucky?” Wanda pulled away slightly from the hug, making Nat do the same. “A Bucky? As in it’s Bucky’s baby?” Steve asked, wide-eyed, obviously excited, looking at Bucky who is now looking back at you, covering his mouth with his hands, to keep himself from laughing.
“I meannnnn… Bucky... is my... baby,” you said while extending your arm, inviting Bucky to come closer, which he did.
Peter was still confused and it shows, “You’re Bucky’s mom?” he asked, making Pietro smack his head, “Pete, it means they’re dating... Right?”
Both you and Bucky nodded, “We are.”
“Oh my God! Fucking finally! I was starting to think you’ll never tell each other how you feel! Do you know how frustrated you two made me?” Sam yelled, throwing a pillow at Bucky.
Natasha was yelling “I fucking knew it! I told you so!” repeatedly to her boyfriend while Wanda kept pinching both your and Bucky’s cheeks saying, “CUTIESSS!”
You looked at Bucky, “they don’t look frustrated” you said which made Bucky roll his eyes and smile. Both of you laughed when you saw Steve silently saying “Yes! My ship!” Either that or something about shit.
“Calm your asses. Now, this party isn’t just for us to announce that we’re together. This is also a party for Natty and Steve. Sorta like the part one of the roomies night we’re gonna have” you said, looking at the couple.
“Thank you, Y/N, but I don’t wanna think about moving right now. What I do want is for you two to give us the fucking details about how you two finally got together” Nat said, making everyone agree and sit down and get comfortable in the living room.
Bucky cleared his throat and looked on his left, where you sat. “It happened the night that her friend came to the city.”
To say you were excited for tonight was an understatement.
Last night, you already picked out the clothes you wanted to wear tonight. It was simple, really, just a pair of jeans and the most comfortable hoodie you owned. Or should you go with a plain sweater instead? Printed shirt? Oversized shirt? Your grey sweatpants? They look comfortable. Or your black ones?
You ended up with your first choice.
Wanda and Nat noticed how upbeat and cheery you were the whole day. It wasn’t exactly like you to be this happy at 7 am. You cooked a lot more food than usual and you haven’t even had your coffee yet. “Maria’s in the city today!” was the only excuse you thought of every time they asked you. You had some errands to do that day, its something you find really boring and exhausting but you found yourself skipping to the bank. Skipping, not walking.
At the tower, Bucky was a nervous wreck. He couldn’t focus much on what he was doing. He would zone out and forget what he was typing, then he remembered he wasn’t typing at all, he was fixing a floor plan. Sam being Sam, noticed how Boinky was acting. He kept teasing Bucky about being distracted while Steve kept asking him to stop. “What’s up with you, Buck? What’s making you zone out?” Steve asked, giving Bucky some water. Bucky just shrugged and continued whatever the hell he was doing.
The evening came too fast for Bucky and too slow for you. You got home, got dressed to meet with Maria for dinner before seeing Bucky. When Bucky got home, he changed into something more casual and fixed himself at his bathroom. “Tell her tonight, you fucking idiot,” he told himself, looking at the mirror before grabbing his helmet and his old helmet that you proclaimed yours when you were hanging out before. He smiled at the memory then remembered that Dot never even got to see his motorcycle. Huh.
He picked you up at the hotel that Maria was staying at. In a few minutes, you were at the bar that you two used to go to. You two bought a couple of drinks before going to the spot - your spot. You almost forgot how beautiful it was there, especially at night.
“After tonight, you’ll only have one night of free drinks, use it wisely,” Bucky said, breaking the silence.
“Yeah, I’ll have to find another way to have free drinks from you,” you joked.
He looked at you, “You can just ask, you know? You don’t have to blackmail me,” he smiled.
You laughed for a moment and it became silent once again. It felt... awkward. You two were seated a couple of inches away from each other, the closest you two have been since you avoided each other, but you wanted to get away. You remembered the last time you were here, in this exact same spot. Drinking the alcohol of your choice, laughing with Bucky, talking about your high school selves. Many things have changed since then. It feels so weird and new to you, sitting next to someone you genuinely like, your friend. You took a deep breath and stopped thinking.
“I like you, did you know that?” you said out of the blue making Bucky wonder if he was just imagining it and he was just hearing things. He stayed silent, deciding that it was just his mind saying that cause that was what he wanted to hear.
You turned to Bucky, waiting for his reaction. Nothing. “Buck?” he turned and looked at you as if he hadn’t heard you. “I like you,” you said once again only this time, it was louder and clearer.
“You like me?” Bucky asked, finding it hard to believe for some reason. “Like, you like-like me?” You nodded, smiling at his creased eyebrows and slightly tilted face, like a confused puppy. You almost didn’t notice how your heart is beating quickly as if it wanted to jump out of your chest. It was taking Bucky too long to reply, and that made you anxious. All you wanted was to take it back and change what you said. You should’ve said “I’d really like to go back to being close friends” or maybe ask him why he avoided you or somethi--
“Did Wanton ask you to tell this to me?” he asked with an accusative tone. “No, why would I agree to that? Even if I did, I’d only agree to say something like that if I really meant it,” your voice getting louder every word.
“So it’s true? You like me? Romantic styles?” You nodded, slightly annoyed that he would think that you would play with his feelings. “Yes, it’s no big deal. I just wanted to tell you, I don’t expect you to like me back. I just- I want you to--”
"I like you too. Romantic styles," he said holding your hand. "That was why I set you up with Loki, why I avoided you after that and why I was avoiding you until you invited me to join you and Pietro. I kinda got a bit… slightly, sort of jealous so I agreed to go with you."
"Wait, hold on, you like me... and you... set me up with Loki? I don't get it"
"I like you and… That doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is that you’re happy, and I'll do anything to make you happy,” he said, offering you a small smile.
"Then we kissed and… yeah,” you smiled at your friends’ faltered smiles.
Sam stood up, “Why was everything else so detailed and the kiss was just ‘then we kissed’? What’s that about?” He said, grabbing more food from the table. "And, I fucking told you so, Boinks!"
Bucky rolled his eyes, “Do you wanna hear how I kissed her softl-”
“Excuse me?” You said, raising your eyebrows at your boyfriend. “I kissed you, and it wasn’t soft”
“Y/N stop saying soft!” Peter shouted, covering his ears.
Wanda wiggled her eyebrows, "You didn't come home that night, hun."
"Yeah, I invited her to my place, we had some wine and we just talked for the rest of the night. Nothing happened. Okay? After talking we just slept. That's it,” Bucky defended.
Steve kept nodding his head, “Hence the Instagram story, mhmm, mhmm. Alright.”
“Whatever happened that night, I’m glad it did. And, I’m really really reallyyyyy happy for you, dumbasses,” Nat laughed.
Peter walked to you, “I’m happy for you too, sis. But please, don’t get detailed with… you know. I don’t need to know that.” You laughed, holding his hand. “And Bucky, if you ever hurt my sister, I’ll hunt you down and beat you up,” Peter looked at Bucky squinting his eyes, trying to look intimidating, which made Bucky laugh.
You looked at Bucky, “He’s serious. And very strong. He gave Steve bruises when they were boxing at the gym.” Bucky looked at Steve who was nodding.
@intovert-gone-wild @jbb-bucky0310 @jessicakimba @mariachiii @essenceproxima @cazslaughter @eldahae @rororo06 @bonkyboinkybucky @a-hopeless-fan @danosaurushowell @hannibal-lecters-bitch @ceeellewrites @divainthesun @kseniiafirebrace @k-n-e @adriannajackson @connorhoez @fanfuckingtastic04 @cherthegoddess @captain-america5 @onlyjamesbuchananbarnes @writerwrites @lovinnholland @softboibarnes
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Cri de Coeur (IV)
Characters: Baekhyun x Y/N x Chanyeol
Series: I, II, III
Genre: Fluff; Angst
Summary: You are hopelessly in love with your best friend, Baekhyun, who, unfortunately, is locked up in a relationship with his girlfriend of nine years, Seri. These desperate feelings were always confided by you to your friend at work, Chanyeol, who, unfortunately, is in love with you. When Chanyeol solicits Baekhyun’s help to date you, Baekhyun realizes that he might feel a little more than friendship for his best friend.
A/N: Been reading a lot of classics lately. And I really love Greta Gerwig's Little Women. 💛
You have already walked thrice in front of the huge full body mirror in your bedroom, checking for any creases or any unwanted stains in your powder blue eyelet dress, but you cannot seem to calm your anxious and worried disposition. In any other circumstances, you would just be patiently scrolling through your social media accounts awaiting the signal to go out and hang out with your old college friends and go through one of your monthly Friday dinners and drinks--which is, in your opinion, quite insufferable and not to mention a tad too boring. You don't even know why you continuously put yourself through such ordeal, but your social calendar looks a bit too lonely without the Friday reservations you make every month. At least your single, independent, and strong woman lifestyle doesn't look too sad when you go out with your equally single and miserable college friends.
But today is a special Friday.
Because you are going out to watch a movie with Baekhyun.
Earlier that morning, you were working through a pleading on the foreclosure of a mortgage for a medium-sized bank, flipping through pages of deeds of title, when the Telegram app icon appeared through a small inset at the far right side of your desktop monitor. Your heart dropped. You adjusted your glasses which flimsily fell down from the outmost peak of the bridge of your nose because of the constant wrinkling of your eyebrows at the amount of data you were reading. Your lips formed into a small smile, eventually growing into a wider one as you repeatedly read the preview of the message which appeared before you.
"Watch Little Women with me tonight? :)"
You heart did little sommersaults, and for a moment, you were quite thankful for the tall cubicle walls that surround and separate your workstation from the other lawyers in your department. The creaking of your revolving chair sounded a little too forceful, making Hayeon peek over your workspace, thinking that you fell from your chair. But there you are in all your overjoyed glory--leaning comfortably, arms splayed out, and a stupid smile painting all of your features peachy and warm.
He remembered, you thought, the memory of your most recent movie review rant to him flooding through your reminiscence, that you did not even notice Hayeon calling you out and asking if you are still the sane friend and workmate she knew just an hour ago.
You were rereading Little Women together with Persuasion and Emma for the nth time, relaxing your mind after a series of particularly grim evenings of finishing Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky, when Baekhyun casually told you that Greta Gerwig is trying to bag another Oscar nomination following the splendid "Lady Bird". You were not paying him any attention, as you were deeply invested in reading Captain Wentworth's letter to Anne Elliot, noting the angst and the briddling of love that flows from the protagonist's heart. But a moment after, your eyes were on him, asking him to repeat what he had said.
"She will be remaking what?"
Baekhyun picked up his phone again, and read the news to you, your mind impatient for the keyword that you knew he had mentioned and had peaked your interest a while ago.
You quickly leapt from the chair you were occupying in the coffee shop and let out a loud shriek. Greta Gerwig, one of the decade's most genius directors is recreating one of her absolute favorite childhood novels. That, of course, deserves a leap and, yes, a shriek.
From that point on, Baekhyun had the mind of reporting to you any new updates on the film during your occasional--but, obligatory, in your opinion--Sunday coffee shop habits. The same leaps and shrieks were heard by the coffee shop audience when Baekhyun told you that Saoirse Ronan, one of your favorite actresses next to Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, would be playing Jo, with Timothee Chalamet--"your beautiful baby boy" as Baekhyun told you--playing as Laurie. You couldn't be any happier whenever Baekhyun tries to hold down your over excited demeanor, but laughing at the outbursts of excitement from you. The best that he updated you with is an article about how famous costume designer Jacqueline Durran, assigned every March sister with a color scheme that matches their characters. It is just Baekhyun to dig some deep information like that.
That's why when you received that message from Baekhyun, you cannot help but feel extremely special and cherished. While the fact that he remembered that you were patiently waiting for the theater release of Little Women makes you all giddy and warm, it was the realization that he especially dedicated himself to be your companion throughout all your Little Women film journey that makes you appreciate him even more.
I guess, you thought, we are really best friends.
Your mind is still planning how the rest of the night would turn out when the doorbell to your apartment rang loudly, mightily announcing the presence of a guest outside. Immediately, you got up from your bed, took a last, but long glance at the mirror, and after deciding that you absolutely look lovely tonight, calmed your beating heart as you went to the living room, to get to the door.
"I know you're just as excited to see Emma Watson as Meg Ma--"
Fuck, you almost said out loud.
Your words were cut off when you finally open the door. Expecting to see an excited and joyful Baekhyun, your face could not mask the surprise--thankfully, overpowering the disappointment that plunged through your heart--that you felt at seeing the people in front of you.
Because there with Baekhyun is his girlfriend, Seri.
"Thank you, have a nice night, as well." Chanyeol bid the cashier as he exited the bookstore. He looked at his wristwatch, and after noting that he still had some time to spare before going home, went to the nearby tea shop, eager to start reading the book he recently purchased.
As he was waiting for the early grey tea he ordered--no sugar, but with honey and a little bit of lemon--he picked a nice window seat away from the more crowded area in the famous tea shop. He opened the paper bag from the bookstore, took out the book he bought, and leafed through the freshly-minted paperback of Little Women.
He was still admiring the cover of the book when his mind brought him to the events that led him to where he is now this evening.
When Baekhyun asked Chanyeol to talk to him, Chanyeol was expecting that the former would talk him out of dating Y/N. The worst possible scenario that Chanyeol could think of, as well, was Baekhyun admitting that he has feelings of affection and attraction for the same girl that Chanyeol adores, thereby extinguishing all hopes in his heart. The IG post that Baekhyun uploaded last night was enough validation for Chanyeol that his best friend would talk his ear off into dating Y/N, but when Baekhyun handed him a set of portfolios and a flash drive, to say that Chanyeol was surprised, was an understatement.
"Here you go, my friend--books of account, new pleadings, and a flash drive fresh of full jurisprudence." Baekhyun said, as he placed the materials one by one in his already overflowing arms. When the last paper was placed on top, Baekhyun gave him a small grin, and apologized for the tons of work that their department had transferred to Chanyeol's team. It was only then that Chanyeol remembered of a recent transmittal of records memo that he received from a partner. This made Chanyeol breathe a huge sigh--whether of relief, frustration, or exhaustion, he does not even know.
"Thanks, man." Chanyeol curtly replied.
Observing Baekhyun's demeanor, Chanyeol cannot tell if Baekhyun even had an inkling of the events last night. "He looks like his usual easygoing self," Chanyeol remarked to himself, trying so hard to remove any trace of confusion in his face so as to not invite any further conversation with Baekhyun. It amazes him that even through 10 years of friendship, he still cannot tell when Baekhyun is bluffing or not.
Chanyeol was about to go when the firm secretary brushed past him and knocked some off the papers he was holding. They quickly exchanged apologies, as the secretary picked up some small sheets of paper that he, on the other hand, likewise dropped. When Chanyeol took a glance at the papers the secretary picked up, he noticed that they were movie tickets for Little Women, and Chanyeol would not mind them until Baekhyun thanked the secretary and said to himself, "Y/N would scream for this."
And so Chanyeol found himself after work in a bookstore, looking for the latest edition of Little Women. He almost bought the illustrated version of the novel, but figured just how you even scour for the oldest editions of the books you owned, so he immediately shut off that idea.
Chanyeol was on page four already, when his phone rang.
Answering a call from his sister, he put down the book for a moment, blankly gazing at the passers-by in front of the shop. His sister was asking if she can take the Park family's dog, Toben, to his apartment tonight, as she and her husband would be going out to an event.
"Of course, noona. You can leave Toben at around 8. I'll be sure to be home by then."
Chanyeol said his goodbyes to his sister, and was about to go back to his reading when he spotted a familiar figure walking to the direction of the bookstore.
It was Y/N.
Chanyeol got up, picked up the book, and as he was walking, quickly dialed his sister’s phone number. When she answered, Chanyeol was heard saying on the other line, “Actually, noona, I think I have plans tonight.”
"It was so good to see you again, Y/N." Seri called out from the passenger seat.
You gave a small smile--the warmest that you can, as well--to Seri, who was looking at you through the rearview mirror, and returned the greeting. You cannot help but shudder at the thought that just last night, you were the one sitting in that car seat. It has been a whole quarter of an hour since they had gotten together in Baekhyun's car, and you wished you had taken the subway because of the stuffy and awkward atmosphere inside the vehicle. Granted that it was a Friday and it was the rush hour, you would gladly bear the public transportation than suffer through the discomfort you are feeling right now. Your insider knowledge at the unstable relations between Baekhyun and Seri adds to the burgeoning feelings of affection you are feeling for your best friend, making this one hell of a ride to the cinemas. Literally.
Seri, all throughout the ride, was explaining how she decided to surprise Baekhyun after work so that they can have dinner together. But then she suddenly remembered that today was the opening release of Little Women, and she must go. Baekhyun then, according to her, mentioned in passing that you would also like to go, so they take a quick detour and picked you up as their third wheel.
"I really love Florence Pugh!!" Seri exclaimed, her hands flailing aimlessly in front of her in an attempt to describe her undying love for the British celebrity. She then began explaining how she felt betrayed that Midsommar did not win any major awards even though Pugh performed very wonderfully in the psychological thriller film.
"But when I heard she's doing this, I couldn't resist!" She giggled. "I then started counting down until their film release. I even sent Baekhyun every single update about the film. I was flooding him with articles. I even sent him that article where every character was assigned with a color scheme! A color scheme! For every cast! Could you believe it?"
WHAT THE HELL.
Your eyes immediately landed on Baekhyun. How dare he! You were trying to catch his eyes in the rearview mirror, but he was staring straight into the freeway. To your consolation however, his ears had gone red. You wished it had did so from embarrassment because he deserved it.
How could he? The betrayal palpable even in the voice inside your head. Here you were: for weeks amazed at Baekhyun for his updates on the Little Women film production. Only for you to find out that he was sourcing the news from his girlfriend.
How very convenient.
Seri was still going about Florence Pugh when her phone rang. Alas, a wave of silence blessed the car, and Baekhyun, finally looked at you through the rearview mirror. You, however, purposefully avoided it, still hurt by the deceit he had done.
"Mom wants to meet us." Seri declared after turning off her phone and putting it again near the console.
"What?" Baekhyun replied. If not for the fast moving cars in the highway, Baekhyun would have stopped the car for a while and looked properly at Seri. But he couldn't, and so he just contented himself in making the irritation in his voice obvious, manifesting his disagreement to the sudden changes of plan--which to Baekhyun, is more than the series of turnabouts he can manage and tolerate tonight.
"She's been meaning to see us for so long, babe. But I always have to put it off because of you," Seri pleads, wrapping her arms around Baekhyun's arm. She momentarily gives a sideway glance at you, as if saying that your presence is a problem she had at the moment.
Being smart and wanting to get out of this ride to hell for forever, you announced to the couple that they could just drop you off at the nearest mall and they could proceed with their plans.
"I'm just third-wheeling anyway." You said, trying your best to not sound too dejected by how your night is turning out.
"No, we couldn't just drop you off like that, Y/N." Baekhyun dissented. "Can't you tell your mom that we had earlier plans?"
Seri huffed and pulled her arms towards her chest. If you look dejected, then nothing beats the look of frustration on Seri's features now. Never one looking for arguments, however, especially in fights you don't have a say at, you insisted to Baekhyun to drop you off and go with their plans.
When Baekhyun stopped the car at Mansfield Mall, he tried to get out and say a proper goodbye to Y/N. But Seri told him that her mom was calling again and asking for their whereabouts. Y/N, deciding for Baekhyun and herself, then quickly said her farewells to the couple, and mixed herself among the crowds flocking the mall.
What now? you asked.
You can't help but feel sorry for yourself. You started this evening happily--you bought yourself your favorite coffee on your way home from work; you put on your favorite Soundcloud jazz playlist once you were home; you merrily enjoyed your shower even though the water temperature was too cold for your preference; you put on the dress you bought online, wishing to wear it on a perfect special occasion; you opened the newest blush you bought from Sephora--the list of self-indulgences you enjoyed was endless.
And now you are all alone. You are in the middle of one of the busiest places in the city, but you had never felt most alone in your early 20s, until now.
But what do you expect?
I guess, you thought, we are only really best friends.
Shame and embarrassment were all that you were feeling right now. You couldn't believe that you had allowed yourself to fantasize about having a too special relations with your best friend. You had let yourself to dream more recklessly; to hope just a little bit more risky.
And now look at the damage your own weak attempt at sef-control had done.
You just managed to break your own heart.
You were still walking aimlessly—no particular destination, no particular plan, no specific goal--until you heard someone calling your name.
And when you saw him, you swore you almost cried out.
"I'll be right back." Baekhyun politely excused himself from Seri's family. He took a small bow, and hurriedly went to the men's room, rushing past through the servers and the staff walking around the restaurant.
Baekhyun had wanted to call you ever since he dropped you off the mall, but upon arriving at the restaurant, he was surprised and was too overwhelmed too see almost all of Seri's relatives gathered and expecting them. Apparently, Seri's mom had arranged a large dinner for their clan to celebrate an aunt's return from a sabbatical abroad.
Baekhyun quickly pressed your assigned speed dial number and waited for response. The loud cheers and voices of Seri's family members were sounding all throughout the restaurant but all of that was white noise to Baekhyun, patiently listening to the dialing tone on his phone.
No one, however, was answering on the other end, so Baekhyun was forced to just send a quick text to your way, urging you to pick up the call. He also sent a flurry of apologies so that you may see the remorse in his now embarrased state.
But 15 minutes had passed and there was still no replies from you. Baekhyun grew restless. Were you really that mad at him? Did he ruin everything tonight?
He was about to send a DM to you via your Instagram when his eyes caught Chanyeol's name at the top of his feed. He planned to ignore it, but a slight scroll made him widen his eyes and drop his phone.
Because there in the photo was Y/N and Chanyeol, posing in front of a Little Women movie poster, holding their popcorns, and smiling like fools.
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Telling Him You’re Pregnant After You Break Up ~ Kim Namjoon
It had been a long time since you saw Namjoon, the last time you saw him was still clear in your mind. Having him break up with you was one of the hardest things you went through, it still hurt you to this day.
You walked into the bookstore, spotting Namjoon sat in the small coffee shop that was there, he already had an iced americano in front of him, ordering your favourite drink for you as well. You sighed, straightening out your dress, walking in.
He was lost in his phone, unaware of your presence until you stood beside the table, pulling the chair out to sit. You softly smiled, Namjoon had no idea what to say, placing his phone into his back pocket to greet you.
“You didn’t have to buy me a drink, that was kind of you,” you smiled, sitting in the chair.
“Well you said you needed to talk to me, so I thought seeing as I still remembered I’d get yours, save you a job,” he spoke, smiling across at you. “Has something happened to you? Your text sounded like something serious was going on.”
You nodded, taking a sip of your drink to settle yourself. Your hand came down, resting on your tummy underneath the table, away from where Namjoon could see you.
“There’s something I need to tell you,” you whispered, staring out across the store, “I wish that I could tell you this under different circumstances to be honest.”
“You know whatever has happened you can just tell me.”
The sound of his voice bought several memories back, it felt like you were back to reality, the two of you spent countless hours in this store over the years, reading over books, losing track of time, it was the perfect place for the two of you.
“It’s just, something’s happened that I don’t think either of us would ever expect, it’s just hard to tell you in person now,” you said, moving to look across at him.
His heart was pounding, he hadn’t seen you this nervous in such a long time, in fact he couldn’t recall a time he’d ever seen you this anxious. He didn’t have the slightest clue what was going on, but even after you broke up, that didn’t stop him worrying about you.
“Honestly, Y/N, I’ll be with you through whatever has happened, I want to help you and be there for you,” he assured you, happily sitting and waiting for you to settle yourself. “Just take a deep breath and talk to me, nothing is going to stop me from helping you, I’ll be there for you.”
You smiled appreciatively; you’d forgotten how much of an incredible person he was. “I just don’t want you to hate me, not after I tell you what’s going on.”
“I won’t know unless you tell me,” he chuckled, “take my hand and tell me, it’ll be alright.”
He reached across the table, extending his hand out for you to take. You did so, feeling his fingers intertwine with your own, squeezing your hand gently. “I’m pregnant.”
“You’re having a baby?” He questioned, watching as you nodded your head. He peered around the table, noticing where your hand was resting on your tummy. “I don’t have to ask if it’s mine, do I?”
You shook your head, reaching into your handbag, at the top was some of the photos from the scan which you slid across the table to them. He picked it up tentatively, studying it closely as he pieced everything together, coming to terms with the news.
“You know that I’m going to be here for you, we can have this baby together,” he encouraged, tracing the pad of his thumb across the photo gently.
“I just didn’t want to worry you, I know how busy you’ve been with work, the last thing you probably need is a baby- “
“-I don’t care about work- “
“-Namjoon, you can’t just say that, there’s a lot of work on your shoulders. It’s hard for me to just come into your life like this again,” you spoke.
He refused to listen, he’d prided himself on the fact family was so important, work would always come second, especially now that a baby was going to be entering his life. He squeezed your hand once again, reassuring you that he was going to be right by your side.
“I promise I’m going to help you through all of this, whatever you need, I’ll be there. There is no one way I can let you do this by yourself, you can’t raise a baby alone, whatever has gone on between us, we have to be there for each other for the sake of our child Y/N, I want to be there.”
“You broke up with me Namjoon, and now you’re back in my life.”
He nodded, appreciating it perhaps wasn’t the most ideal situation for you to go through. “If you are willing to, I’m willing to forget. I don’t want to put pressure on anything, but maybe this baby could be good for us, we just need to see where things go, how it turns out.”
It was hard to listen to him, all the promises he’d made you had been heard before, they’d been broken and damaged, and you were terrified to put yourself through that again. He’d hurt you more than he could have ever imagined when he broke up with you.
“I can’t work on what ifs; this is real now Namjoon.”
“I know that, and I’m going to be here for you, I might have hurt you in the past, but I’m not going to hurt our child, I would never do that.”
“I wish there was a different way of doing this,” you sighed, resting your head into your spare hand, “I never saw this being how our relationship played out if I’m honest.”
“Neither did I, but maybe this is someone telling us to be together.”
You sighed, stepping back into a relationship with Namjoon was perhaps something you could look to over time, but right now, that was no where near a priority of yours.
“Everyone is going to be so excited for the two of us, I can’t wait to tell my mum and dad,” he giggled, picking up the scan photos once more.
“You can take them with you if you fancy, I’ve got plenty already, might be nice for them to see their grandchild,” you told him, watching his eyes light up. “I don’t want anything bad to happen Namjoon, I’m scared enough as it is right now.”
He smiled, “I know it’s scary, and I’m a little scared too, but we’re still a team, we can work together and build an excellent world for our child to come into.”
“I really wish I had your confidence, all of this is terrifying, I don’t know how to feel, or what to do next most of the time.”
He chuckled, standing up from the table, walking around it to give you a hug. “Whatever happens, I’m going to be here for you, whatever you need, whenever the time, you can always get in contact with me. I made some mistakes, but I’m not going to mess this up Y/N, I promise.”
“We don’t have much of a choice but to make things right.”
“We’ll do it right; I know we will.”
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To Intrigue the Slytherin Prince - Chapter One: Third time’s the charm
Hello everyone! I posted an announcement a few months ago that basically said I was going to turn this one shot called To Intrigue the Slytherin Prince into a series and was going to share the next chapter in a few hours but it didn’t happen that way... Well, I have no excuse, life had just been too hectic. Even though it’s quite late now, I finally finished writing and proofreading the chapter I wrote so I hope you enjoy reading this and feedbacks are always appreciated! ❤️
Draco Malfoy x Reader
Word count: 1912
A few days passed since your awkward incident with the Slytherin Prince. It is not like you cared about it a lot or put so much meaning into it but since then something has changed. You are sure you have caught him staring at you a few times after that day in the common room. You thought that he was looking at you while cursing and insulting you in his mind, because that is what all the Slytherin students had done all the time. The Slytherin Prince was now quieter, but you can never know what is going to happen. This quietness and calmness might be a part of his and his goons’ new grand plan to torment you, the only blood traitor in the Slytherin.
It was finally weekend and you were going to visit Hogsmeade the next day. Excitement filled you in as you have not been to Hogsmeade for a long time because of the exams. The next day also happened to be your birthday. You and your close friends from Ravenclaw planned to celebrate it by having a cake at Madam Puddifoot’s first and then going to the Three Broomsticks for some drinks. The previous night, you went over all your clothes to choose the perfect one for your birthday. At the end of the chaos you created, you decided to wear a black turtleneck sweater that fits perfectly and emphasizes your figure and a dark green plaid skirt.
The next morning during the breakfast you sat with your friends Luna and Padma on the Ravenclaw table. It was not an anormal thing to do for you since you were friends with most of the Ravenclaw students. No Slytherin students want you on Slytherin table anyway.
The breakfast was jollier than usual, Luna and Padma were also dressed up for the celebration. A decent number of students wished you happy birthday, which made the day better and better. If there was anyone who did not know that it was your birthday, they know it now.
As you passed the Slytherin wagon you could feel a pair of eyes watching you. You turned your head slowly to see the owner of the eyes and you realized it was Draco Malfoy, the Slytherin Prince. Your eyes met with his, the moment you turned your head. You were expecting him to frown or have an expression that shows disgust when you faced him. But it did not happen. His eyes were not filled with hatred and disgust like usual. Instead, they were filled with curiosity. Padma and Luna’s enthusiastic comments about the cakes at Madam Puddifoot’s grabbed your attention and you kept walking. While you did so, Draco looked at you from head to toe and wondered the occasion you dressed up so nicely for. He could not ask you or anyone. But luckily, he heard Padma asking you a question about what kind of birthday cake you wanted as you passed by and entered the Ravenclaw wagon. A light smile appeared on his face as he leaned back and looked out the window on the way to Hogsmeade.
A beautiful view welcomed you in Hogsmeade. The snow started to accumulate on the ground, on the trees and on the roofs of the buildings. The snow also brought a lot colder weather to Scotland as Christmas approached. You and your friends made your way to Madam Puddifoot’s quickly.
Even though you had been a student at Hogwarts for years now, it was your first time to visit this shop. It was a place that lovers go for dates, and you were single since birth, so it was understandable why you had never been to this shop. It had never come to your imagination that a place could be this lovey dovey and cringy.
“Hello, my dear girls. What can I get you?” Madam Puddifoot approached you and asked with her very high-pitched voice.
You ordered the cake you had planned to have and ate it as quickly as possible. Before leaving, you looked around one last time and you spoke to yourself quietly.
“I don’t think I will come here again. Ever.” Not that the place was terrible or anything, but it was just too much for you.
After this extreme experience you sure needed some drinks. On your way to the Three Broomsticks, you talked about the lacy napkins on the tables and the constantly snogging couple next to you. Just as you were about to enter the pub, you remembered something.
“You should go in first, I have to pick up something from the bookstore.” Luna and Padma insisted on coming with you, but you could not just drag people anywhere in this cold weather just because it was your birthday.
“You don’t have to. Just get in and I’ll be back here very soon.” They nodded and entered the pub as you made your way to Tomes and Scrolls.
The bell over the door announced your arrival and the owner rushed to you from the back of the shop.
“Hello, how can I help you today?” They greeted you with a smile on their face.
“I had ordered a book a few weeks ago. Emma by Jane Austen.”
“Ah, Jane Austen, yes.” They repeated the name of the author a smile, but their expression changed as they continued to speak.
“I am afraid we just sold it to a young man just about your age.”
You were surprised that someone, some boy your age was reading a novel by Jane Austen, a muggle author, in Hogwarts.
“He asked me if we have Pride and Prejudice first but after I told him we did not he just asked for any book by the same author. I told him that we were keeping it for another customer, but he just insisted so we had to sell it. I’m so sorry.”
After the story that the owner just told you, blaming them was neither an option nor a solution. You really wondered the persuasive person who bought it.
“It’s okay, I understand.” You tried to smile but feeling a little frustrated as you really wanted to read this book.
“This writer must be quite popular among your age these days.” The owner commented on the situation.
You nodded just to brush it off and asked hopefully:
“Is it possible for me to order the same book again?”
“Yes, of course.” They smiled and went to get a quill. As you told them your name to write it down, they looked up for a second and the person who just bought the book caught their eye through the window of the shop.
He pointed at the blonde-haired boy who passed by the shop with his goons as he spoke.
“Oh, that’s him, that’s the gentleman who bought the book you had ordered.”
You turned your head to look out the window and you were shocked to see that it was Draco who bought it. If it was true, Draco Malfoy had just bought a muggle novel! A Jane Austen novel!
“Are you sure it was him?” You could not believe it. You had to ask the owner if they were sure.
“Yes, very.” They answered and put the quill on the counter as they continued.
“Okay, it’s done. The book will be here in a week. You can come to pick it up then.”
You were still looking outside the window even though the Slytherin Prince is already gone. You thanked the owner and left the shop, your mind full of thoughts.
Was that really Draco who bought the book you ordered? Did he really buy a muggle novel? A Jane Austen novel? Did he suddenly become interested in muggle literature?
After countless thoughts on your way to the Three Broomsticks, you came to the conclusion that the owner of the shop was probably mistaken. You snapped out of these thoughts and entered the pub.
It was quite crowded inside, not only students but also professors were present. Obviously, everyone wanted to enjoy some butterbeer and recharge after the busy exams schedule. You spotted your friends sitting on a table close to the table that was occupied by Professor McGonagall and Professor Flitwick. It was obvious from the expressions on their faces that they were having a heated discussion. You passed by them and sat on the table.
“Here is the birthday girl!” Padma exclaimed joyfully.
“We ordered three butterbeers. Would you like something else?” Luna asked more calmly than Padma.
“No, that’s perfect.” You answered her question smiling.
“Where did you go?” Padma asked after taking a sip from her butterbeer.
“I just needed to get a book, that’s all. Did I miss anything?”
The moment you finished speaking both of your friends started to laugh like crazy. After a few minutes of loud laughter, Luna took a deep breath and told you about how both of them just slipped and fell on the ground at the entrance of the pub. Now you could understand their amusement, you joined them, and you laughed altogether once again.
After an extraordinary day, you got on the train feeling tired but quite happy. When you arrived at the castle, you parted your ways with your friends to go to the common room. But after such a day, probably everyone was there chatting about their day. If you happened to go there now, it would just lead to some bitter incidents. That is why you decided to go to the Astronomy Tower despite the cold weather. The peace you found there especially during nighttime was immaculate.
Someone was sitting at the top of the stairs. You could not exactly see who it was, but it was obviously a boy reading a book. You climbed the stairs and the boy finally lifted his head from the book and his eyes met with yours in an instant.
You decided it was best to leave after realizing who it was. But you just could not move because your bootlace got stuck between the stairs. As you were both looking into each other’s eyes just a moment ago, you did not notice your shoelace got loose.
He was shocked as much as you and he did not know what to say or to do. He just kept sitting there and watched you as you tried to get her shoelace free.
You tried to lift your foot in a more powerful way, but it did not work. He thought that it was meaningless to keep doing this and was about to express this thought of him with words, but he could not. One more time you thought and lifted your foot. He got up to talk and in that moment you succeeded.
He could not quite comprehend what just happened as he opened his eyes. Only after he found himself on the floor of and something or someone heavy on the top of him, it made sense.
Yes, you succeeded but you used much more power than you had planned and that led to this chaos. You felt so embarrassed that you could not lift your head from his chest for a few seconds. When you finally gathered up the courage and lifted your head, he was already looking at you. Your eyes met again for the third time today.
“Are you okay?” Draco Malfoy asked in a soft, caring voice that you never expected from him.
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(K)night in Black Armor (Part 6) – Spock (Mobster!AU)
Pairing: Spock x reader
Warnings: mentions of injury and death, groping, allusions to non-con, violence and torture (but nothing explicit)
All parts: Series Masterlist
Let me know if you want to be added to the Series taglist!
Please do not repost my work on other sites or platforms.
Your week of bedrest was getting boring very quickly and not even reading, watching a movie or trying to sleep could help you against being bored and sometimes you were more awake during the day. At least you could talk to the younger kids then because they still were awake during the day and not in the night like the others. This however was something you regretted when you started working again. Theresa had managed to convince Oliver to only let you work half a shift with only working behind the bar for at least five days before you could work whole shifts again. But she would not let you entertain customers until at least two other weeks had passed. Not that you minded.
On your fifth day of working a normal shift again, (at least a normal long one, you still were only serving behind the counter and your friends protected you against customers like they did with younger girls) something unexpected happened. The night was already quite advanced and you were getting a little bored at the bar because not many ordered drinks at that hour anymore. Usually you’d be sent to entertain too in such a situation but with your injuries still healing no one allowed you. So you just sat behind the bar (although you usually stood) waiting for people who still wanted to have a drink. Then suddenly, a familiar face appeared at the bar and you couldn’t help a broad smile
“Spock” you shouted and hurried around the bar so that you stood directly in front of him “I thought you don’t come here?”
“This is a special visit. I had to come and ensure you are doing fine” you felt like your heart skipped a beat “You came because of me?”
“I did” you smiled even more and wrapped your arms around him
“I suppose you should not do this, considering it could make others believe you are available for service” you shrugged
“That’s something different”
“No it is not. At least not in their eyes”
“But you’re not like a customer to me. More like a friend” or more, you thought to yourself. Although that was strictly forbidden. You were not allowed to start a relationship with someone because it could stop you from working, which again would be bad for business. And of course you couldn’t date customers because then you could offer them sex and all around it for free and they wouldn’t need to come either. In general you were not allowed to have sexual relationships without the managers of the Stella knowing about it (so that they could charge the people in question). Of course this rule had never bothered you before because you had been certain that you’d never fall in love anyway but right now you understood why some of your colleagues had gotten mad because of this after they had met someone they liked. That were your two friends that had been thrown out when they refused to work because of their relationship or the feelings. You knew that one of them had been able to live with her boyfriend but you never heard of her or the other one again. Spock placed a hand on the side of your face and you noticed that his other arm was still bandaged “What is your wrist doing?”
“It is healing well, according to Bones”
“That’s great to hear. Also my things are quite healed” you lifted your dress a little to show him the big patch over the wound on your thigh. “Little Zora drew a sun on it, see?”
“That seems very nice of her” you smiled and toyed with your white armband
“I know I’m wearing white but… there’s not much to do and I think that if you ordered a drink we could sit down somewhere and talk”
“It is a tempting offer but I only drink businesswise” you frowned.
“Oh. But we also have non-alcoholic stuff like the ‘Twinkle Star or the Sunbeam”
“I did not intend to stay long” he said
“So you paid 20$ entrance fee just so you could see me?”
“Not quite. I have brought you something”
“You did?” you asked and recognized that bag he was holding. “What is it?” you didn’t care that you behaved like the younger ones when you came back from outside with something you had bought for all of you like something special to eat or something to pass time like drawing colors, movies, games or a book. There was a little smile on his face and he took out a pack of ice cream, your favorite flavor “Oh. How did you know I like that one?”
“I remembered that you have been eating ice-cream the last time we met. And after all you could not eat all of the ice cream because you used the cone as a weapon”
“Ah okay. That’s sweet. But I fear I’ll have to share it. Thank you” you said squeezing his arm. “Maybe I should get it somewhere cold. To the ice cubes” you said and wanted to leave but stopped when you heard him call your name “Huh?”
“I have something else for you as well”
“I only found it adequate to organize you something since you have saved my life and got injured for this reason”
“But you don’t feel bad for me getting hurt?”
“I do feel responsible”
“It’s not your fault the Romulanos abducted you and tried to kill you” you hugged him again “But I’m glad that we came by right then and that you’re alive now”
“It is indeed fortunate” he took something else from the bag and you let out a gasp when you saw it. It was a tablet
“Wow. Is that for me?”
“Of course it is”
“But why would you give me something like this?”
“I initially wanted to gift you a book but I did not know what kind of books you like so I decided this was a better idea. Since bookstores are closed when you are awake, I figured that an eBook would be a good alternative”
“And for that you just buy me a whole tablet?”
“I knew you would need something to read it on”
“But…” you looked at him “I can’t take that. It’s too expensive”
“No, it is an older model” he switched it on and showed you on which internet page you could download books for free and another one, from a bookstore for which he had also given you a 150$ gift coupon so that you could buy books
“Wow that is… thank you. I-I don’t know what to say” you pressed the tablet against your chest.
“You do not need to thank me. You have saved my life, I would not be here without you. Therefore, this is the least I can do” you gave a nod and looked down, then went onto your tiptoes to peck his lips
“Thank you” you whispered “You don’t know how much this means to me” somehow you wanted to share the tablet and the bookstore voucher with the others. On the other hand, you wanted to keep it to yourself. Of course you’d let others read the books too if they wanted. “Wait, can I also download games and all on this tablet?”
“Oh the little ones will like that. This is great. Thank you”
“But please make sure that you too get it at some point” you chuckled
Your good mood was destroyed two days later when Oliver heard about the present you had gotten and demanded that you made it a usable good for everyone because he disapproved of such expensive presents that customers made any of you. Theresa had found you crying and you had heard from Gaila that apparently she had argued quite a lot with Oliver in his office, telling him that you deserved the tablet since you had saved someone’s life and almost died while doing so. But as it seemed her adoptive uncle was not impressed at all and found that it had not been your job to help Spock and that you should have thought about the Stella. But this incident only made you momentarily sad, what really freaked you out was when you had started serving not only behind the bar again. Although you were wearing white, you were pulled against someone’s chest and you almost dropped the empty tray you were holding
“Look who it is” you heard someone whisper in your ear
“Let me go. I wear a white band. One of it. So either you’re colorblind or unable to count or both”
“Oh no, no, no. It’s alright”
“No” you said “Let me go”
“Shh. It’s alright”
“No it’s not. Get your hands off me. We can say ‘No’ in 35 languages for something and ‘stop’, ‘leave me alone’ or ‘let me go’ in at least 20” you wanted to ram your elbow into the man’s ribs but that was only the last resolution. However, it didn’t seem like this customer was actually willing to let you go at all.
“You don’t seem to recognize me or my friends. Although, you only knew my brother”
“And what about your brother?” you tried to break free and finally one of your friends came, requesting that he let you go
“You’d better while you still can or you’re next” Samantha gave a nod and left. But she returned shortly after with Will, one of the managers, who repeated that you should be left alone. “She deserves this. My brother has to be avenged”
“Look, I don’t know what you’re up to, but you have to leave her alone”
“Or what?” you felt something cold against your cheek and saw that he had a knife with which he threatened you “What will you do?”
“Put that knife away right now and let her go”
“Please” you whimpered “What have I ever done to you?”
“My brother died because of you”
“There has to be a mistake” Will defended you
“Oh no, there isn’t. A pier at San Francisco Bay, almost two weeks ago. Do you remember?” you gulped. Of course you did. That was when you had saved Spock’s life.
“I haven’t killed anyone”
“I know that, sweetheart” he whispered into your ear, making you shudder “That’s why I won’t kill you. But you still deserve to suffer for what happened” by now, even more people were standing around you, all not knowing how to help you. Even some customers were there, trying to distract the guy who surely was a Romulano.
“That’s not her fault. Find another way to vent your anger. But leave her alone”
“What if I don’t agree? What are you gonna do?” there was a clashing sound and finally, the guy let go of you and Will quickly pulled you further away from the scene. The Romulano looked rather dazed and you realized that someone had hit a jug over his head. Two more males appeared and grabbed the guy
“Exit?” they asked and Will nodded, whereupon they started dragging the man to the backdoor and shoved him outside. You let out a breath of relief and let go of Will a bit.
“Are you alright?” Will asked and you gave a weak nod, then most of your friends and customers asked the same question.
“Maybe you should go and sit down a little” Tanja said, gently guiding you towards the preparation room. “I’m sure no one would mind if you took off the rest of your shift” although you weren’t too sure about it, you still gave a nod and sat down at one of the make-up tables, burying your face in your arms, while trying to comprehend what had just happened and why. You doubted that the guy could get in again but you were sure that he’d try to get back at you again somehow.
“(Y/N)! (Y/N)!” you heard one of the younger girls scream during the day “Wake up. Wake up” you groggily opened your eyes and noticed that also the other girls in your room were awake now
“What?” you groaned, rubbing your eyes.
“Ollie says he got an offer for you. You have to get ready”
“Oh my God” Eileen jumped up on her bed “Don’t you realize what that means?”
“I can’t sleep anymore?” you let out a yawn.
“No, it means someone has bought you. You can leave, (Y/N)!” that woke you up completely.
“What?” you shrieked “No that can’t be”
“Oh come on, don’t lie. You know exactly who it is” of course you knew who would do something like this. Probably Spock had heard that this Romulano had tried to harm you and thought he had to take you to his place in order to protect you. But you didn’t like it that he spent so much money on buying you free. It were 50’000$ after all.
“Is he still here?”
“No, never has been here” the younger girl replied “Ollie only said that he called and said that he wanted to buy you and that he’d come here in some hours to pick you up and pay” you gave a nod and left the bed, tearing out a bigger bag in which you could fit all your belongings. You didn’t own much though. Only a top, a hat, a book, your baby blanket (the one in which you had been wrapped up in when you arrived here), a plushie, your money, some sweets you hid under your pillow and of course your tablet. For a while you stared at it, not knowing if you should take it with you or not. Then you decided that it was yours and that you should take it with you or else Spock might buy you yet another which you didn’t want at all.
“Oh God, I’m so jealous. He seems so nice. At least when he’s with you. I’ve always thought someday someone might want me but no… it will always be a dream”
“I’d have never thought that either” you muttered and grabbed your bag, rushing down the stairs. Of course all the other girls that were working during the day had already heard the news and congratulated you or wanted to know more about the man. You only smiled and came to Ollie’s office, depositing your bag so that you could get changed.
“They said you should put on something that can get dirty”
“What? And what do you mean by ‘they’?” did Spock not do this alone? Maybe he was sharing the price with someone else. Maybe Bones.
“They. Yes you heard right”
“But… who are they?”
“What do I know? Does it matter?”
“Yes!” you crossed your arms “Did they say names?”
“Of course they did”
“Was-was anyone of them Spock?”
“Not Spock?” you repeated, a strange feeling starting to spread in your gut
“No. Anyways, get changed so that you’ll be ready when they’re here”
“But why would someone just buy me? Me? I’m almost invisible. I suppose they are not regulars?”
“No” he looked something up on this computer “Although one of them has a month’s pass entrance. Has been banned to come here again for five years because he attacked someone… oh it was you”
“Oh no” suddenly you knew what was going on. The guy who had bought you was the one from the Romulano family that wanted to avenge his brother “No” you said, steadying yourself at the desk “You-you can’t sell me to them. They’ll hurt me, they’ll kill me” you felt tears in your eyes
“Don’t cry that makes a bad impression”
“No you don’t understand if I go with these guys I don’t know how long I’ll survive. Please! You have to call them and tell them that you changed your mind”
“Listen here, that’s a good price for you. You haven’t been exactly… useful in the last few months. You always seemed distracted and in the past weeks you couldn’t even work properly. I don’t like it when my girls get involved with customers or externals in any way other than business. Especially not when they’re from the Mafia. That only means trouble”
“You can’t do this!” you screamed, tears now rolling down your cheek “Don’t act like you don’t care”
“Look, what do you expect me to do? If what you say is true and they just want to hurt you, what to do you think they’ll do to us if I refuse?”
“Then tell them I ran away or something. But I can’t go with them. You have no idea what they’ll do to me”
“I honestly don’t want to imagine it”
“But you don’t do anything against it!”
“As I said, if I don’t allow them to get you they will only try to get you in another way. And do you want to be responsible if anything happens to any of the others because of you?”
“But there has to be something you can do?” he sighed and placed a phone on the table and wrote something on a block then ripped the page of and placed it next to the phone
“That’s the number they called with. Maybe you can find a solution with them” you gulped and took the telephone and the paper, slowly trotting out of the office.
“What’s wrong? What happened?” the girls asked but you only walked past them when you came upstairs, six-year old Chloë hugged your leg
“Don’t go (Y/N). You can’t go. Please!” you stroked her head
“I don’t wanna go either” you said. Theresa left a room and let out a sigh
“There you are. Apparently, now everyone is awake to say goodbye because they heard you got bought free” she came closer and noticed how you were doing “Hey, what’s wrong?” she asked “I know it can be scary at first but I heard that it’s this Mafia guy who bought you. I’m sure you’ll get happy” you managed to shake your head and told her what happened “And Ollie did nothing?” you shook your head “Well I understand the part that he wants to protect the others but that’s not justifying what he does to you. Go back to your room, I’ll try to make him see sense”
“Thank you” you whispered and returned to your room. Almost everyone was inside but you asked them to leave because you wanted a moment alone. Luckily, they listened and you were alone on your bed, staring at the phone and the number.
Taglist: @love-wanderlust15, @chenellearose, @softsapphic-softdom, @softsapphicideals, @poemfreak306
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Depth Over Distance - Part Three [Rudy x Reader]
[A/N: I haven’t found a hometown Rudy fic yet soooo I wrote one. I have no idea where this story is going to go and I’m honestly finding it hard to get out of writing JJ and get into writing Rudy, but here we go anyways. I wanted to write something where the reader and Rudy were hometown friends before he moved to LA, and to explore the idea of how that would change/what it would look like when he comes back. Get ready for a S L O W. B U R N. my dudes. Peace and love, Mossy x]
There were very few people in the world that could make you smile at 7 in the morning when it was raining outside, but Rudy was one of them.
You forced yourself awake as your car wound around the dirt roads, swerving pot holes and washboards, the rain starting to patter lightly on your windshield again. You followed Rudy’s tail lights away from the beach parking lot, your hula girl bobbling on the dash board, and you smiled as you were instantly transported into a flashback of the first time you had followed him down this road.
It was the day you bought your car, the week of your sixteenth birthday, and Rudy had asked you to meet him out at the beach alone in the afternoon before your party later that night. You had driven your car to the parking lot where his old beaten down and barely drivable Chevy was parked and pulled in beside him. He applauded graciously as you got out of the drivers seat and you took a deep bow, laughing.
“Look at this absolute TANK!” He said, taking his sunglasses off and walking around the car, inspecting it. It must have passed his inspection because he got up off the ground after looking under the wheel wells and wiping the dirt off his knees, beaming. “Its perfect”
“Isn’t it?” You gushed, unable to contain the smile plastered on your face. “I can’t believe its mine. It feels so weird.”
“Come on” Rudy bumped your arm with his and grabbed his pack out of the box of his truck. You followed him down the trail, jogging lightly to keep up with his long, comfortable stride. When you got to the beach, he laid a blanket out and patted for you to sit down beside him, you had been telling him about how the car drove and all its quirks you had noticed and how sticky the gear shift was, and didn’t notice when he pulled two beers out of his pack.
“Oh” You said quietly, stopping talking and staring at him. “Rudy, I can’t. I have to drive to my party after this.”
Rudy smiled at you and chucked the beer underhand at you so you had to catch it. Your eyes wide, you looked around, checking to make sure nobody was watching.
“Relax, Y/N. I will drive in front of you...if anything happens ill get stopped first.” He winked at you, knowing that one beer wouldn’t get either of you in trouble but knowing how conscious you were, and cracked his can. You apprehensively cracked your own, some of the spray from it being shaken up landing on your bare legs. You clinked cans and smiled at each other. Rudy looked at you intently and dipped his head towards you.
“To you. My wonderful best friend. I hope you have the best night ever. Happy Birthday. Congrats on the car. Can’t wait to christen it-”
“RUDY!” You smacked his arm and laughed until your face was beat red. “Cheers”
He echoed you and you both lifted your cans, drinking a few gulps. It was hoppy and made your throat burn, you squinted and shook your head.
“-AND, and,” He tipped his can towards you. “I have a present for you.”
“No.” You looked at him, feigning anger. “You know the rules. We don’t do presents...”
He ignored you and smiled cheekily, lifting a box out of his pack. Unwrapped and the cardboard torn, you snorted as he passed it to you. You hoped he mistook your blushing for the beer making you flush. As you opened the box, you could feel your legs tingling and your chest pumping quicker. Rudy had never given you a gift before - you had agreed as kids that you weren’t going to be those friends. This felt weird and intimate. First you saw the black hair and the green skirt, then the lai and the bikini top. You looked up at him and raised your eyebrows before you started laughing.
“Oh really, Rudy. Really, you shouldn’t have. Thank you.” You mocked sincerity, putting a hand on your chest. “So thoughtful...I just...”
“Alright shut up” He laughed, tearing the box up and stuffing it back in his pack.
You smiled genuinely at him, and held the dashboard hula girl gently in your hands.
“Thank you” You said without laughing now, making Rudy wiggle his nose and shift his position on the blanket, scratching his hand through his hair nervously.
“Well. You know...no beater is complete without one.” He said with mock seriousness.
“Hey! She’s not a beater. She’s...just...very well loved.” You emphasized the last words, hoping to convey how loved you felt at that moment.
You smiled at each other now, then the smiles faded and you held each others gazes silently. You couldn’t tell if it was the beer or the sunset or Rudy’s cologne or the proximity of how close you sat on the blanket, but the air shifted between you and you felt your head loosen on your shoulders. It was as if Rudy was leaning towards you, but you felt wobbly so you couldn’t be sure. All you knew was that he was staring at you, your eyes, your lips, and your chest was pounding and you felt light headed.
You swallowed and broke eye contact, looking at the water.
“We should probably get going. Can’t be late to our own party.” You smiled at him, his eyes still lingered on your mouth then hazily looked back up at your eyes and returned the smile.
“Yeah” He agreed, then stood quickly, offering you his hand to help you up.
You white knuckled the steering wheel the entire drive from the beach to your house, the hula girl on the dash wiggling in between Rudy’s tail lights.
You blinked and looked at the road again, Rudy’s rental car tail lights disappearing around the corner onto his street. You looked at the hula girl and stretched your hands out on the steering wheel, your palms sweaty.
You pulled into his driveway behind his car as he emerged from the drivers seat, taking his sunglasses off and hanging them off the neck of his shirt. You shoved the gear stick into park and reefed on the e-brake (you couldn’t trust the brakes on flat land let alone a slight hill) as Rudy walked towards your car, waiting near the hood. He placed his hand on it and smiled, you watched as you took off your seatbelt and opened your door.
“What, did you miss her?” You asked sarcastically as he feigned shock and lifted his hand to his chest.
“Of course I did” He bumped your elbows together when you stepped in beside him and you both started towards his front door.
His house hadn’t changed a lick since you were there last - you stopped visiting a few months after Rudy left, even though his mom invited you over every single time she saw you. The gutters were still rusting and the front door looked like you could kick it in if you tried hard enough. You spent more time at this house than you did at your own in high school, and walking up to it was like muscle memory, you knew to sidestep the root in front of the first step, to skip to the third step because the second was rotten and your foot would go through it.
Rudy’s mom was already coming down the hall towards the front door, making all sorts of noises and probably crying, and you could hear the family dogs scuttling on the hardwood around her feet.
“Good lord, my boy.” His mom stopped in the frame between the main door and the screen door, then she broke into hysterics, throwing the screen open and pulling him into a huge, very Rudy bear hug. He came by them honestly. He looked at you like he needed help before she turned her attention to you and did the same thing.
“Hi Mrs Pan-Hi, yep hello-“ She squeezed you so hard you felt your back crack.
“Mom - you literally see her once a week, chill.”
Rudy was laughing but also courteously trying to pry his mother back inside the house. It was true - she did see you every week when she came into the bookstore to pick up her newspapers and magazine subscriptions, but it didn’t matter. She was like a second mother to you and always made you feel like it was the most exciting day in the world when you came to visit.
When you finally made it into the kitchen, you and Rudy sat down at the barstools as his mom flew back into whatever she was making, both of you knowing better than to get in her way when she was cooking. She started talking to Rudy about how the trip had been and how much of a ‘weiner that Alan was, messing up your schedule like that’. Rudy placed his phone on the counter and the screen lit up briefly - showing over 20 missed calls from someone who’s name started with an A. The screen went dark before you could read it. Wow - he really was famous. Or had a stalker.
You watched Rudy and his mom convalescing over their separation (his parents flew to LA to see him at Christmas every year since he had left, but still) and felt yourself relax into your seat, smiling. Watching her rolling dough and washing fresh berries, smelling the spices and being in the same seats you had spent numerous summer mornings in in high school, you actually felt somewhat hungry.
Rudy’s mom passed you a cup of fresh coffee and you nodded a thank you at her as you began to sip it, listening to their conversation shift from how the trip was to how his acting classes were going to how Anna was doing. Anna? The name jogged your brain and you realized that was who the missed calls had been from. Rudy’s face dropped and his eyes flitted to your briefly, you lowered your cup from your mouth and held his gaze, then he regained composure and smiled at you before looking back to his mom.
“Uh, yeah. Yeah no she’s good. Actually I was gonna talk to you about that later.” His eyebrows rose and he smiled shortly at her, to which she made a confused expression and continued.
“But I thought-”
“Mom. Later.” He said finally, cutting her off. She nodded once and returned to her dough, continuing to talk to him about some of the things they had lined up while he was home. You barely heard a word she said, your gut was screaming at you that something was off about the way Rudy had reacted to her bringing up this Anna person and how odd it was he had so many missed calls from her. His body had gone completely rigid, and he had completely dodged the conversation, like he was keeping her a secret. You and Rudy had never kept secrets. Besides, if he had told his mom about a girl, it was serious. He hadn’t even told her about his high school girlfriend and they had dated for over 4 months. Why was he being shady now?
Then it hit you, and you felt like an ignorant little girl. It had been 4 years since he was home, he lived in LA and was a professional actor. He led an entirely different life that you knew nothing about now. It had been so easy, so comforting, to slip back into your old routine with him, being in his family home, visiting with his mom. But it wasn’t the same as it had been before, you were both different people now. Of course he had been with girls, was probably with girls right now, apparently her name was Anna, and who were you to him? His high school best friend? He didn’t owe you an explanation. But it did feel like a mistake coming here, expecting everything to just... be as it was. You felt silly.
As his mom brought plates of food to the table and motioned for you to sit with her, you grabbed your phone out of your pocket and checked the time. It was just after 8am.
“Actually, Mrs Pankow, I would love to stay but I’m actually not super hungry and I have to help my dad get ready for this trip he has coming up this weekend...it was really nice to see you though.” You rushed your words and scurried towards her, forcing her into a hug and then separating and moving towards the door, walking backwards as you talked.
“Wait, but honey I made you a plate.” She stood, confused, looking at you while holding the tongs.
“I know I’m so sorry, I just didn’t realize the time. I’ll see you soon, though. Promise. Bye Rudy”
As you spoke you spoke only to her, avoiding Rudy’s eyes which were watching you intently as he rose from his seat. You put your back against the screen and apologized again before pushing through it and jogging back down the stairs, tripping on the root at the bottom and walking quickly towards your car. You heard the screen door slam as Rudy called your name from behind you.
“Hey, Y/N, woah woah woah.” He was behind you before you reached your car, his hand wrapped around your arm. “Where are you going?” He spun you to face him, his face full of concern.
You smiled, tight-lipped, and nodded to your car.
“I lost track of time. I have to go.” You said curtly, waiting for him to let your arm go.
“Look if its about the food...I mean, you don’t have to...” He looked down at your arm, that was so devoid of fat and muscle anymore that his hand could wrap fully around it, and frowned.
You let out a breath and looked around, pinching the bridge of your nose before speaking.
“Its not that, Rudy. I just...I need to go. I’m sorry.” You backed away, tugging your arm free as you walked towards your car again, your face hot and feeling embarrassed. Of course he would think it was about you not wanting to eat.
“Y/N wait” He said hurriedly, jogging to catch up to you and pressing your door closed as you began to open it. You looked up at him now, his eyes were intensely focused on you.
“What’s going on?” He was scanning your face, desperate. You felt yourself crumbling being this close to him and feeling him watching you so intensely. His expression faltered and his features relaxed. “Please talk to me” he said quietly.
You took a step back, away from your door, and let out a breath, swatting a mosquito away.
“I don’t know Rudy, I just....a lot has changed since you left. A lot. And I can’t just waltz around and pretend like we’re still in high school and nothing is different. We’re different...and...I mean if there are some parts of your life that you don’t want to share with me then that’s fine, but-“
“Hold on, what are you talking about?” His brow furrowed and he narrowed his eyes, taking a step towards you.
You raised your eyebrows at him and looked around, putting your hands in your pockets.
“You don’t have to...hide...stuff. From me. Of all people.” You said slowly, urging him to pick up on it so you wouldn’t have to say it. He looked stunned. “Anna?” You finally relented, taking half a step back.
His shoulders relaxed and a small smile crept onto his face, then a small laugh.
“My agent?” He said in a half mocking tone. “Anna is my agent.”
“Oh. Oh...that’s...weird” You felt the gears in your head turning slowly, trying to think if you had ever heard her name before or maybe it was normal to fool around and date your agents in LA? “You’re seeing your agent?” You said sceptically, trying not to look too judgemental.
He let out a full belly laugh then.
“No I’m not dating my agent, you loser. I just didn’t want to...talk about work yet. Its all my mom ever wants to talk about and I’m kinda trying to...have a few hours to relax first.” He said quietly, his eyebrows raised as he watched you, ready to laugh again at any moment.
You rolled your eyes and looked at your feet, nodding and pursing your lips.
“Yeah alright laugh it up. I don't know...you just seemed really on the spot when your mom brought her up. It was weird.”
He looked around and put his arms up, resting his hands on his head before his eyes settled back on you. He licked his lips and took a step towards you, dropping his hands to his sides.
“Look. There are some things about work I haven’t shared with my mom yet, and probably never will. And what I said on the beach this morning...about needing to come home for awhile. I meant that. Its...complicated. And trust me, please trust me when I say that I want to share that with you but....” His eyes were heavy on you then, he set his jaw and stepped towards you. “Y/N, please don’t go yet. I just got here.” He said firmly, his eyes locked on you.
You nodded once, scratching your forehead, and throwing your hands up dramatically.
Rudy chewed his cheek and smiled, taking a deep breath and releasing it as his dad appeared on the porch behind him, the screen door squeaking.
“Hey! Kids! My breakfast is getting cold over here!” He shouted, smiling as Rudy turned around to wave at him. Rudy looked back at you once to make sure you were still coming, to which you nodded reassuringly, before he took off and hiked up the steps to greet his dad with a hug.
Tag List: @bluebirdsbluebells, @sunshinemadds, @lovelymaybankk, @poguestyleskye, @alexa-playafricabytoto, @ilikealotofpeople-younotsomuch, @k-k0129, @kimyeon-tae,
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A Hand in the Matter
Ch8: Make a Home Here
Richard would eventually learn that when seeking help he should probably ask Connor rather than Silas, and he shouldn't ask them both. It was a mistake he probably wouldn't make again given how it went this time.
The Family Feud
UnluckyNine: I need help. I think I made a mistake.
UnluckyNine: I don't think I'm ready to have someone in my apartment for two days.
UnluckyNine: I know its only Gavin, but this is kind of a big deal.
Sixty-Second-Set: Its still a couple days away right? Just cancel last minute, that's what I would do.
Sixty-Second-Set: Wait. Who is Gavin?
Sixty-Second-Set: Why is he staying with you for two days!
Sixty-Second-Set: Where did you meet him? Have you seen him before? Is his name actually Gavin?
Sixty-Second-Set: Do you have proof he's real? Are you sure he's not a serial killer?
RunawayArkait: Silas, stop. Gavin is a friend of Richard's from school.
RunawayArkait: He's staying the weekend because he is helping Richard renovate his apartment.
RunawayArkait: They met at the cafe. Yes his name is Gavin, and they go to school together so obviously they've seen each other.
RunawayArkait: He's not a serial killer Silas. He isn't smart enough.
RunawayArkait: Anyway Richard, you want to do this right? It would be best to just get it over with. Because if you don't do it this weekend, it will just be hanging over your head for whenever you reschedule it.
Sixty-Second-Set: Solution! If he isn't there at a decent time, don't let him in.
RunawayArkait: As someone who was an hour late to their own birth, I don't think you should be the one to give time based ultimatums.
Sixty-Second-Set: Fuck off, Connor. You were an hour early.
UnluckyNine: Thanks for the help. I'll just see how I'm feeling on Friday
RunawayArkait: It'll be fine Nines, you'll see.
Sixty-Second-Set: Call Connor if you need back up.
Sixty-Second-Set: He can call Nora, or whatever her name is, and she can come kick his ass.
RunawayArkait: Her name is North, and he won't need to because its going to be fine.
UnluckyNine: Thanks for the advice
Sixty-Second-Set: Of course! That's what big brothers are for.
RunawayArkait: Its gonna be fine. I promise
The rest of his week was spent getting ready for Gavin to come over. Cleaning. Making sure he had sheets and a blanket big enough for the pull out bed. Cleaning the pull out bed. He went grocery shopping and bought snacks and junk food like what he had seen at Gavin's apartment. Almost texted Gavin on several occasions to cancel, and then deleted them. After the longest and most stressful week in recent history, it was finally Friday. There would be no backing out last minute, he wasn't Silas. On top of that, he was actually looking forward to seeing Gavin. As if on cue his phone lit up with a message from the man in mention.
Gavin Reed: Getting ready to head your way. Need me to pick anything up on my way over?
Me: No. Not that I can think of.
Gavin Reed: Alright, see you soon.
Richard set his phone on the kitchen island and gave his apartment another once over. Making sure everything was where it was supposed to be, that his apartment was presentable. Richard himself was dressed in a more relaxed way than usual. He had on blue sweatpants from Silas, that said University of Idaho Theater Fest down the left leg, and an oversized blank white hoodie. He didn't want Gavin to give him a hard time for going over dressed at home a second time. His phone vibrated against the counter top.
Gavin Reed: On my way up to you.
Me: Ok. The door is unlocked.
He put his phone back down on the island and made his way over to the door and unlocked it. He glanced at the shoe rack by the door. A small grey thing. The impulse purchase that had started all of this. He smiled and headed back to the kitchen.
Normally he would be waiting in the living room, but that was going to be Gavin's space for the weekend. He leaned against the counter until his nervous energy became too much to handle. He opened the fridge and dug through it, looking for the bottles of soda he had bought. He heard Gavin come in, followed by the sound of his shoes hitting the shoe rack. He looked up when Gavin spoke.
"Where do you want this?" He asked gesturing to the bag on his shoulder, an excited smile curling at his lips.
Richard straightened up and pointed at the couch since that was where they decided Gavin would be spending the weekend. With that taken care of, Richard grabbed the two bottles of old fashioned soda and set them on the island. He turned to grab the bottle opener since he didn't know if they were twist tops or not. He slid a bottle over to Gavin when he came back to the kitchen.
"Thanks." Gavin said as he took the bottle, "I got you something, a bit of a house warming gift."
Gavin's other hand came up and he placed a hastily wrapped box on the counter. He slid it over to Richard like it would have bit him if he didn't. Richard opened it carefully, not wanting to tear the paper. The box didn't have a label or anything that would hint as to what was inside, and Richard didn't want to shake it in case it was something fragile. He set the box down on the counter and carefully opened the top. He took out a white mug. Richard turned it over in his hands to see if it had a design on it. He found 'Silence is Golden' written in pretty light blue font. He set the mug down so he could sign and felt a smile tugging at his lips.
'Thank You.' He signed, 'I Love It.'
"I'm glad," Gavin said with a smile of his own, "I saw it in the campus bookstore and thought you might like it."
Richard took a drink from his bottle, trying to ignore the clutter on the counter. Gavin had gotten him something, saw it and thought Richard would like it. Connor and Silas were really the only other people who did that.
"What's the plan for tonight?" Gavin's voice pulled him from his thoughts. He was heading for the living room, "Online shopping, actual shopping, relaxing, or starting on changing around the place."
Richard came to sit beside him on the couch, leaning into the back rest some. Gavin, on the other hand looked like he had melted into it, he looked relaxed and comfortable. A contrast to the tensness that was still clinging to Richard, he was trying his best to relax. His fingers were tapping against the bottle in a rapid staccato pattern. He didn't really want to do anything tonight. If he was honest, he didn't want to do any of this, but Gavin was already here and it was too late to back out. He figured they could just hang out for tonight and worry about the apartment tomorrow.
He finally set the bottle down since he had come to a decision. Richard tried explaining this to Gavin, but he couldn't find signs that conveyed what he meant that were also signs that Gavin knew, and he didn't want to fingerspell everything. He let his frustration out as a sigh. Gavin was picking up ASL quickly, and Richard was proud of him, it was just that he was feeling more than what child-sign could express. So it was only natural that his texts didn't even scratch the surface either.
Me: Could we stay in tonight? Relax and maybe look at things online?
Me: I don't think I'm ready to do much else yet.
"That's perfectly fine," Gavin said as he turned on the tv, flipping to some cartoon he liked listening to, "We'll only do what you're comfortable with."
That was how their afternoon went. Gavin told Richard about his week as he looked at stuff online. Writing down a list of things he wanted to buy and the stores the website said he could find them at. It was comforting to come up with a plan for the weekend so it didn't feel so much like he was going into this blind.
Hours passed and they were just talking. Gavin was talking and Richard was texting his responses. It was a normal evening for them, up until Gavin's stomach growled loudly interrupting the story Gavin had been telling.
'Food?' Richard signed, not bothering to hide the amusement. He was feeling a little hungry himself.
"Yeah, that would probably be a good idea," Gavin said, a laugh hanging onto his words as he covered his stomach, "You in the mood to cook or is it a take out kind of night?"
Definitely a take out kind of night. Richard couldn't cook to save his life and he wasn't about to expose Gavin to that. He pulled up the app and tapped on his usual Italian place and picked the same thing he always got before handing the phone off to Gavin. He took his time picking before handing the phone back. Richard placed the order and Gavin went back to his story.
The conversation fell away when the food arrived. The two of them falling into a familiar and content silence. They relaxed like that for a time, eventually passing notes. Gavin in the mood to talk, but not in the mood to speak. It was nice, and they stayed like that for hours. Enjoying each other's company until Gavin yawned bad enough that it sounded like something in his jaw broke.
"So how are we doing this Nines?" Gavin asked, rubbing at his face and muffling his words.
'You Take Couch.' He signed slow and clear since Gavin was tired, 'I Take Bed.'
With that established Richard began packing up the remaining food and putting it away. Leaving Gavin to handle the garbage. It reminded him of when he spent the evenings at Gavin's. Getting the pull out bed set up didn't take long and he let Gavin get ready for bed first since he looked like he was going to fall asleep if he stayed in one place for too long. It was new, but not unsettling to have someone else here, but he supposed it was because he was used to being around Gavin.
He took his turn getting ready for bed, and once he was done for the night, he checked in with Silas like he promised he would.
Me: I'm not dead.
Silas: Did he do anything weird.
Me: He bought a coffee mug as a house warming gift which was nice
Silas: You're alright then?
Me: I promise.
Me: I'm going to bed now.
Silas: Sleep well.
When morning rolled around Richard got ready for the day, a grey turtle neck paired with dark jeans, and made his way to the kitchen as quietly as he could. Being mindful of Gavin, who was still passed out on the couch. He got the coffee grounds out and into the machine before he heard signs of life from the living room. Gavin came into the kitchen as though summoned by the spluttering of the coffee machine.
"Good morning Richard," Gavin managed through his yawn, his sea green eyes barely showing signs of life. "How did you sleep?"
'Good Morning.' Richard signed back with a smile, 'I Slept Fine.'
The kitchen fell silent after that. Gavin was leaning against the counter, in the small corner made by it and the fridge. His eyes were open and he was looking around, but it didn't seem like he was seeing anything. Richard hadn't gotten to witness pre-coffee Gavin before, and now he understood why Gavin's texts this time of day were only one word. It was kind of endearing to see a new side of Gavin.
Richard grabbed mugs as the coffee finished, a plain one for Gavin, as well as the one Gavin had bought him. He poured Gavin's first, leaving room for the abysmal amount of cream he felt the need to add to his coffee, and pointed the semi-alert male in the direction of the fridge. He poured his own next, then returned the pot to the machine.
"That's some good coffee," Gavin joked tiredly when he caught Richard looking at him.
'You Monster,' Richard signed back with his free hand and pulling a face to make his point.
Silence settled over the kitchen again, though this time it was content rather than exhausted. Richard was absently staring out the window, going over the plan for the weekend in his head. Today they were shopping, picking up the things Richard had decided on last night. He liked them and hoped they would make his apartment feel less like a hospital room.
Gavin got ready quickly after he finished his coffee and met Richard at the door when he was ready to leave. They were taking Richard's car because Gavin had brought his bike over. He was glad to have Gavin with him since he'd never done any important shopping like this before. What he had now was a collection of things that used to belong to Connor and Silas that had sat in storage when they had moved. The things they were getting today would be Richard's and would finally make the apartment feel like it was his.
Richard had made a list of stores along with what he hoped to find at each one last night. When they arrived at the first store he found a place to park that was relatively close.
'Ready?' He signed at Gavin as he got unbuckled.
"Yeah." Came Gavin's reply as he got out.
Richard joined them and they made their way inside. The store was big and had an open floor plan with furniture on one side and decorations on the other. He made his way through the store picking things out that were on his list, crossing them off as well as other stores as he got them. He also picked up a few novelty things that caught his eye, including a present for Gavin. It was a mug that said 'cunt' in black print with the letter 'c' making up the handle. He figured Gavin would get a kick out of it given his sense of humor.
The other stops went similarly. Richard getting things off his list as well as a few other things that caught his eye. Some of them for Gavin when he did well on signing or passed his Psychology tests. None of the places they went had the shelves he wanted for his room. One place had some that were similar, and he bought them for his office. They were going to try one last place before giving up and ordering them online.
The store his phone directed them to was massive. The website said they at least sold the shelves he was looking for, but didn't say if they had any in stock. Looking couldn't hurt.
He and Gavin wandered the store. Following the signs in hopes of finding the shelves. They were stopped in an aisle trying to get their bearings. Richard didn't think they were going to find the shelves here. He was going to say as much to Gavin, but he saw a girl in the store's uniform coming toward them. Maybe she could help.
She spoke to them as she approached, "Can I help you and your..." her eyes moved from Richard to Gavin and then back as she chose her words, "partner find anything specific."
Richard froze. His partner? She meant Gavin, he knew that much, but it wasn't like that. They weren't like that. It wasn't like that. Richard tried telling her that but his signs wouldn't cooperate. He turned to Gavin, silently begging for help because he didn't know how to get out of this situation.
"Oh, uh. No. We're alright, thanks." Gavin sounded just as embarrassed as Richard felt, he hadn't explained that they weren't together, but his words had gotten the sales clerk to leave them be, which was just as good.
They stared at one another for a long while, the silence between them wasn't awkward, but there was something hanging in it. Gavin broke into a smile and then broke down into uncontrollable laughter. It got to the point that he was nearly doubled over. Richard's own anxiety was beginning to subside and he couldn't help but smile at Gavin, the other's delight rubbing off on him. They didn't find the shelves, but that was fine.
"Let's head back," Gavin said when he finally had control over his breathing. "We can pick up some food on the way back. Then order the shelves when we get back to your place."
Richard found himself hyper aware of how close he was to Gavin the rest of the night. Keeping a friendly distance between them and decided he could give him the mug another time. He didn't want to give Gavin the wrong impression.
They continued talking about it, Richard taking delight in Gavin's awkwardness. They exchanged pleasant stories and memories well into the evening. The late night hours became early morning and when they were both sagging into the pull out bed, Richard decided it was time to get some sleep.
'Okay,' Richard signed as he stood with a yawn, 'Bed Time.'
He let Gavin use the bathroom first again. When Richard was done for the night he climbed into bed and messaged Silas.
Me: Today was interesting
Silas: What did Garrett do?
Me: He didn't do anything, but a worker at a furniture mistook us for a couple.
Silas: You said he wasn't doing anything!
Me: He wasn't. We were just kind of close
Me: We were lost.
Me: Anyway, its late so I'm going to sleep.
Silas: Be safe
Richard woke up at his usual time, the late night not quite beating natural habit. Like yesterday, Richard went about making coffee as quietly as possible. Since they were staying at the apartment he was back in comfortable clothes. The same blue sweatpants as before and a loose black t-shirt with an old style cat emoji on it. Just like the day before, the smell off coffee brought a barely coherent Gavin into the kitchen.
"Morning." Gavin muttered, sounding like he would much rather be asleep. "Today's the day. Are you excited?"
'Morning.' Richard signed back, choosing to answer Gavin's question with a nod. He didn't look awake enough for more signing.
When the coffee finished he poured Gavin's first sliding it over to him so he could get around to actually waking up. Richard poured his own next, holding it in his hands to soak up the warmth. He found himself watching Gavin, and rolled his eyes when the other all but moaned into his coffee. Understanding the sentiment, Richard lifted his own mug in a mock salute.
"Look. One of us can't function before eleven in the morning." He complained, hiding a yawn behind his mug before he took another drink, "Its not my fault you can't wake up at a normal time."
'Waking Up Afternoon Not Normal,' he replied dryly, winking at Gavin in place of a smile. Richard found morning's to be the most peaceful time of day and he liked them the best.
"Richard." He groaned gesturing to the window with his free hand, "Its the weekend. Its practically against the law to wake up early on the weekend."
'Yet Here You Are.' Richard felt himself smiling as he signed, 'Awake Early Sunday Morning.'
Gavin rolled his eyes and gave a genuine but tired laugh, "Okay, no need to be so damn smug. You've made your point."
'Have I?' Richard asked with the quirk of a brow.
This earned him getting flipped off by Gavin. He rolled his eyes again and hid a broad smile behind his mug. Gavin finished his coffee first and cleaned his mug out in the sink, setting it aside when he was done.
"Alright, I'm going to start by cleaning up my shit from the living room," he gestured in the vague direction of the couch, but Richard got the idea. "Then where do you want me?"
'My Room.' Richard signed before finishing off the rest of his coffee and cleaning out the mug.
Richard went to his room with every intention of redecorating but caught sight of his open closet doors. Part of making this apartment his was getting rid of those. He walked back out of his room to the hall closet, he opened the door and dug around until he found his tool kit. Richard took it back to his room and got started on the doors. He was working on the one farthest from the bedroom door. He got the top hinge detached without a problem. With that out of the way, he sat down and got to work on the bottom hinge. He heard Gavin knock on the doorframe before he spoke.
"What," Gavin started from behind him, sounding genuinely confused, "are you doing?"
Richard, personally, thought what he was doing was rather obvious. He was taking his closet doors off their frame. He gestured to the door as a way to get his point across and got back to work.
"Okay," Gavin continued, sounding just as confused as before, "and you're taking the door off its hinges because why exactly?"
Richard took a deep breath, letting it put as a frustrated sigh. After making sure the door wasn't going to fall if he left it unattended, he turned to face Gavin.
'I Do Not Like Noise They Make. Help Me.' He emphasized the last two signs by pointing at Gavin, then at the door that was still standing.
"You have a plan of what you're gonna do once they're off?" He asked as he walked over and leaned against the frame of the closet.
'No.' He stopped for a moment, wondering if they could fit in his car, deciding they couldn't he moved on, 'Do Not Want Them Here.'
"We'll figure it out I guess," came Gavin's response as he stood upright again, he eyed the door before he looked back at Richard, "you got anything to make this easier or are we just gonna brute force it?"
As much as Richard would have loved to see that, he didn't think the complex owners wouldn't like it too much if they couldn't replace the doors. He reached behind himself for the screwdriver he had been using and handed it to Gavin.
They worked in silence after that. Getting thr doors off and finding a place for them took longer than Richard thought it would. They settled for sticking them in the back of the bathroom closet, he found the irony of that a little amusing. The shelves for his room wouldn't be coming in for another ten days, but everything else could be set up today.
He took his time in his room, reorganizing things as he got it put together. Richard enjoyed himself as he redecorated his room, relaxing as the space came to look more lived in. His room came to have a blue and grey color scheme that he found calming and visually appealing. He took a picture of the finished product to send to Silas and Connor, making sure Gavin wasn't in the shot. Silas would lose it if he saw him in Richard's room, he would get the wrong idea.
The office came next, and setting up the shelves took the longest. Organizing them was easy though. The one to the right of the door as you came in was for books and paper work, the one to the left came to hold office supplies, a ship in a bottle, and a Lucky Cat statue from Gavin. Like with his bedroom, Richard took a picture to send to his brothers once Gavin had left.
Richard worked on the bathroom next, which didn't take him long. It was just changing the shower curtains and putting up different towels. The shower curtain was a blown up picture of the beach. Another picture that was sent to his brothers.
The last room left to do was the living room. Richard left it as the last room so Gavin had time to get all of his stuff together. He started with the media stand, placing ocean themed glass globes on either side of the tv, and light blue fairy lights along the front of the shelf. He placed two grey costers in shade order from lightest to darkest on each corner of the coffee table and a line of three white-blue electric candles along the center of it.
The couch was the last thing left to be decorated. Richard went back to his room to grab the bags of throw pillows. When he came back he couldn't find Gavin. Assuming he was in the bathroom, Richard started on the couch. He was smacked on the back with something soft, and turned to find Gavin triumphantly holding a pillow with "fuck off" stitched into it with light purple thread. He smacked Richard again, this time in the chest. It was on now.
Richard took a pillow off the couch and grinned at Gavin who seemed to realize he was a little out of his depth. He threw the pillow at Gavin causing him to back up, it hit him in the chest anyway. He ducked under the next one and threw his pillow at Richard. He caught it effectively disarming Gavin.
He backed Gavin into the wall with a barrage of pillows and was poised to throw the "fuck off" pillow when Gavin finally called his surrender.
"Okay! Okay!" He managed between bouts of laughter, "I'm sorry for smacking you with that pillow. Even if you deserved it."
Richard still threw the pillow, hitting Gavin lightly in the shoulder. They got to work setting up the pillows at each armrest, some along the back. Gavin placing the "fuck off" pillow in the center so it could easily be seen. When he moved away from the couch, Richard took a picture of the living room, making sure Gavin was in the shot this time, and sending it to his brothers.
"There its perfect." Gavin said, turning to face Richard with a smile as he put his phone away, "home sweet home."
Richard returned the smile, something light and warm making its home in his chest as he looked at Gavin, 'Home Sweet Home.'
For the first time, it felt true. This apartment was finally a home, a place where he could simply be, rather than be confined to. It was a new feeling and he liked it. Richard hoped one day he had the right words to thank Gavin for this.
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Falling: Chapter 1 - In which the Hug is Finally Acknowledged
Summary: "I wanna forget all this burden in my past."
Alternate Reading: AO3
Lift the Veil? I don’t know her.
D.N.Angel ending? I don’t know her.
But that hug? Lives, rent free in my mind, man.
Warning: Spoilers for the DNAngel ending abound.
After Dark disappeared, the hours continued to flow as if the incident had never occurred. Satoshi brought Risa home that evening before he visited the Niwa household to brainstorm a story for Commissioner Hiwatari’s disappearance. Daisuke slept next to him that night and, while comforted by his friend’s rhythmic breathing and familiar warmth, Satoshi kept his tired eyes on the window, watching as the evening skies brightened to a morning blue.
Commissioner Hiwatari was declared missing the next day, and Inspector Saehara decided to take Satoshi in for the time being. He moved into the Saehara household that same evening, everything he owned packed in a duffel bag weighing on his shoulder, and Takeshi showed him around the house.
Satoshi met Mama Saehara through a video call that same evening. She worked as a fashion designer, and her job had flung her off to Paris this time. He quite liked her.
After they hung up, he had a warm dinner with Takeshi and Inspector Saehara. It was leftovers from last night, but he enjoyed the food nonetheless.
That night, Satoshi slept next to Takeshi, who snored in his ear while either kicking him or rolling on him. Satoshi kept his tired eyes on the window, watching as the evening skies brightened to a morning blue.
He went shopping with the Saeharas the next day. They bought a bunk bed, a desk, and whatever else they thought that Satoshi would need. After that, the days fell back into their familiar rhythm as if the incident had never occurred.
Satoshi slept in the top bed for privacy. Takeshi took the bottom bed since he didn’t quite care. Their desks sat side by side in front of the window: Takeshi’s impeccably spotless and Satoshi’s covered in manila folders and schoolwork.
Everyday, Satoshi woke up, went to school, and attended the art club that Daisuke finally convinced him to join. On some evenings, Inspector Saehara would ask him for help on a case, and they always headed home after work with fried chicken for dinner. For the most part though, Satoshi spent his time after school with Daisuke and Takeshi.
Then Riku moved away.
Risa began to hang out with Daisuke and Takeshi just as much as she hung out with Ritsuko and the other girls, but she still maintained the same distance she had with Satoshi prior to the incident. She’d greet him, cordial and courteous, and she’d smile and laugh with the boys, just like him, but that was the extent of their relationship: friends of friends.
And that was how Satoshi’s second year in middle school came to an end.
The last of the art club members finally left. They were a group of giggling girls who clearly only joined to get closer to Satoshi but, after realizing that he wouldn’t pay any attention to them yet again, they decided to call it a day.
Satoshi sighed in relief when the door closed behind them and ran his hand through his hair. Daisuke, president of the art club, laughed at the strands that were sticking up.
“How long are you going to let them stay here?” Satoshi asked, watching the group walk and giggle down below.
“They’ll get tired eventually.”
“I highly doubt that.”
“Just wait. They’ll eventually realize how boring you are and set their eyes on someone else.”
Satoshi shot Daisuke a look. He laughed before slipping off his stool.
“So what did you want to talk about?”
Daisuke, eyes shining with curiosity, scurried over to Satoshi’s canvas. His jaw slacked.
Before him was the familiar visage of Dark outlined in pencil. The sharp angle of his eyes, his chiseled features, his charismatic smile, and his dark hair flowing around him: everything was detailed to utmost perfection.
“Oh my god.”
“How is it?”
“It looks just like him.”
“It does, doesn’t it?”
Daisuke nodded, awestruck, but that eventually gave way to a darker expression on his face. “…why are you doing this, though?”
Satoshi shrugged. “I don’t know. Still life practice got boring, so I decided to try doing something different.”
“You could have done something else besides starting on a portrait of Dark.”
“I know, but this is what I ended up making.”
“…are you okay?”
“That’s a rhetorical question.”
Daisuke sighed. “It’s just—we’re worried about you, Satoshi. We don’t want you to hurt yourself, you know? If you’re not ready to face it, you don’t have to.”
“What? Would a portrait of my father have been better?”
“No, Satoshi, I—”
“Sorry,” Satoshi said before getting off his stool. He grabbed his bag and made his way to the door. “I didn’t mean to snap at you like that.” At the entrance, he turned around to face Daisuke. “But when the hell am I going to ever be ready?”
The sun began to set, casting its golden hue on the busts and wooden stands by the wall. Since Inspector Saehara didn’t need his help that evening, Satoshi stayed after the club meeting to work on his painting. A palette full of varying hues of purple floated gracefully in his left hand while a worn brush sat precariously in his right, waiting to lay down another thoughtful stroke.
The door opened.
He tore his eyes away from the canvas to see Risa standing there. She no longer had her customary pink ribbon tying her hair up; her dark locks cascaded down just like Riku’s. If she trimmed some off, she’d be the spitting image of her sister.
Perhaps that was why she changed her hairstyle.
“Are you heading home soon?”
He glanced at his watch: 6:04 PM.
“Maybe.” Satoshi noted the bag slung over her shoulder. “I’m assuming you’re on your way back?”
“Yeah.” She frowned. “Saehara-kun kept us all late today because our monthly issue is coming out. What a workaholic.”
Satoshi smirked. “Like father, like son.”
“His dad’s just like that?”
“Absolutely. His mom’s the same way, too, so it probably runs in the family.”
Risa giggled. The door opened again, and it was the man of the hour himself. He pouted.
“I’m not as bad as my parents.”
“Sure,” Satoshi sarcastically drawled.
Takeshi just shook his head. “Whatever, bro. You headin’ back soon?”
“Maybe. Don’t wait for me if you need to head out.”
“Nah. I kinda want to hit up the arcade for a bit before we go grocery shopping.”
“Can we drop by the bookstore, too? I need to grab a couple of things.”
“Yeah. I think I need some stuff from there, too.” Takeshi then turned to Risa. “You wanna stick around with us, then? No hard feelings if you need to jet, though.”
“Thanks for the offer, but I think I’ll pass. I don’t want to stay out too late and worry my parents.” She waved with a smile. “I’ll see you two tomorrow then. Bye!”
Risa skipped out of the room while Takeshi walked over to examine Satoshi’s painting. He whistled.
“Yanno, you’re a little too talented for someone who doesn’t like painting.”
“Shut up. You know how I feel about it.”
“And yet you joined the art club.”
“I have to start somewhere with that positive reassociation and all.”
“And how’s that goin’ for ya?”
“Terrible. I’m hating every second of it.”
“Well, uh, nobody asked you to make a painting of that Dark Mousy fellow, yanno?”
“Couldn’t help it. His handsome face kept bothering me.”
Mama Saehara popped up on his phone screen with the Parisian skyline behind her.
“Good evening, Satoshi.”
“Good morning, Saehara-san.”
“No need to be so formal with me! Please, call me Mama.”
“I’d rather not.”
She laughed. “Alrighty, hun. How’re you doing?”
“And the therapy? Have you decided to go?”
“No. I don’t think I can.”
“That’s alright. You’re doing alright. No need to push yourself if you’re not ready.” She sighed. “I just need this project to finish and then I’ll take the first flight I can back to Japan. Just wait for me, okay?”
“No need to rush. Take all the time you need.”
“Oh honey, I appreciate the thought, but I don’t know if I trust those buffoons to take care of you. Speaking of them, how are they treating you?”
“They’re very nice. I like living here, Saehara-san. Thank you for taking me in.”
“I’m glad, Satoshi. And you’re very welcome! It’s the least we could do, truly.”
Her phone rang. Mama Saehara answered before launching into a furious tirade of French. After she hung up, she sighed and began to massage her temples.
“Sorry to cut this call short, but there’s an emergency. I’ll call again as soon as I can. Toodles!”
“Bye. Have a nice day.”
Satoshi saw himself reflected on his phone screen, and he took out his earbuds before leaving the room. He went downstairs to see Inspector Saehara at the table, can of beer open in front of him, while Takeshi began plating the food.
“How’s Ma?” Takeshi asked.
“Alright. Busy,” Satoshi answered. He grabbed some plates and bowls from the cabinets.
“Sound about right,” Takeshi said. “And you?”
Takeshi smirked. “Who isn’t?”
He patted Satoshi’s back before putting the plates full of table and hounding his dad about drinking: just another meal at the Saehara household.
Satoshi smiled as he began to set the table.
After the club meeting, Satoshi stayed behind to work on his painting, unrestrained by a request from Inspector Saehara. He mindlessly toiled away until the door opened.
Risa’s voice broke his focus. Golden hour had passed and the blue hour settled in, dying the room a muted blue. Even Risa, despite her chipper demeanor, seamlessly blended in with the mood.
“Hey, Harada. Did the newspaper club meeting just finish?”
“Nope. It ended a while ago, but I stayed back to wrap something up.”
“So Takeshi’s already gone?”
“Yeah. I think he went to the arcade with a couple of our club members for some bonding time.”
Risa swayed her head. “Are you heading home soon?”
“Yeah. Let me tidy up here, and I’ll leave with you.”
She smiled. “Thanks.”
Satoshi covered his painting with a tarp before leaving the room to clean his brushes and palette. He returned to see Risa on a stool, watching something on her phone. She laughed until she noticed he had returned, and she paused her video before offering a weak wave and smile.
Satoshi grabbed his bag. “You ready to head out?”
She hopped off the stool. Satoshi closed the door behind them before they walked to the faculty office. He bowed before entering, leaving the keys to the art room with the frazzled student-teacher, and bowed after leaving. Risa trailed behind him uncharacteristically calm and quiet the whole time.
When they got to the shoe lockers, Risa finally broke her silence.
“Hiwatari-kun,” she began as he took off his slippers, “did you know him?”
“The person I was waiting for that day at the lamppost.”
“It took you this long to ask me about that?”
Risa giggled. “Sorry. I couldn’t find a good time to bring it up.”
“Really? I thought you’d do it by screaming at me about hugging you and overstepping boundaries.”
Risa giggled again. Satoshi raised his eyebrow as he slipped on his shoes. “I was thinking about it, but I thought it’d be too rude to. After all, you appeared when I needed someone the most. Thank you for that.”
“I had a snarky reply to that but, since you’re being genuine, I’ll keep it to myself.”
They reconvened at the entrance. Risa’s smile looked more genuine that the one she had earlier.
“So, why bring it up now?” Satoshi asked as they began walking out.
“I tried to forget about it. Why should I stay hung up over someone I don’t remember? But, well, long story short, I couldn’t. I want to know who he was.”
They stopped at an intersection. Cars rushed by while commuters joined them, preoccupied with their own lives. Satoshi focused on the red light of the crosswalk, trying not to look at Risa’s expression.
“Are you sure you want to know?”
“Of course I do! Why else would I be asking you about him?”
“And what if I tell you that it might be overwhelming?”
“So? I’d still want to know!”
“Even if it’ll make you cry?”
“Of course! I don’t want to just forget about him!”
Satoshi sighed. The light at the crosswalk turned green, and they began to move. Risa’s head bobbed with each step, and Satoshi focused on the sidewalk to avoid looking at her.
“Harada, I’d rather not see you cry,” he said. “It makes me uncomfortable.”
“Okay then. I’ll try not to cry.”
“You? Who displays your emotions for the whole world to see? Forget it.”
Risa grabbed his arm, and he turned around. She forced him to look at her. He saw the determination in her eyes, burning just as much as it did when she was chasing Dark mere months ago.
How could he say no to her?
“Alright. Fine. Just give me some time, okay?”
He brushed off her arm, frustrated by her stubbornness. But he saw the softness in her expression when he yielded, and he etched it in his memory.
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Growing Together - Chapter Six - To Wish Impossible Things
It was the sweetness of your skin
It was the hope of all we might have been
That fills me with the hope to wish
The Cure - To Wish Impossible Things
It was a sunny Saturday morning, filled with sunshine and countless aromas coming from restaurants and food stands. Victor and I were visiting the bookshops in the old part of town, browsing for childcare books. Later that afternoon, we would be attending Diane’s baby shower, and despite already having bought a designer diaper bag as a gift, my mom had recommended some books that she swore would be helpful for the mother to be. And as a good friend, I would make sure Diane would get them.
I wish I could say that I was taking Diane’s pregnancy like a normal healthy person, but I knew I wasn’t. Being recently married, and knowing that I could never give Victor the child I was sure he wanted soured my soul, and all I could feel was jealousy and regret. I was happy for her, I really was. But I couldn’t help but also feel angry at the fact that this moment would never come for me, and mostly because of a lousy choice. Ten minutes was all it took to change my life forever, I concluded, as I let myself dive into a painful memory.
It was late in the afternoon when I called my mother on that nightmarish day, and even later when I went home to pack and go to my mother’s house. I had decided to leave Daniel for good, because of the child that I thought I was carrying. I wouldn’t allow him to beat me again, to reduce me to the nothingness he wanted me to be. Despite feeling incredibly weak and hopeless, I would choose strength for someone who couldn’t have it on his own, my unborn child.
However, after everything was packed, just when I was getting ready to leave, something came to mind. Bad person or not, Daniel was still the father of my child. It wasn’t right to just leave and take his child with me, without a single word. I took a pad and a pen and started writing him a goodbye letter, where I stated my reasons for leaving, and how he was still welcome in our child’s life, provided that he would follow some rules. Those ten minutes I spent carefully choosing my words and writing them down, that show of respect and kindheartedness, was the sealer of my fate. As I was getting up from our dining table, leaving the letter behind, the lock on the door turned, signaling Daniel was home.
“Is this the one you were looking for?” Victor questioned, showing me a book. I blinked at it, jarred with the sudden jump to present reality. “Are you ok?”
“Yes, that’s the one I couldn’t find.” I smiled weakly at my worried husband. “Come, let’s pay for it, I want to go get lunch.”
“Where do you want to have lunch?” Victor held my hand as we left the bookstore. “We could get some takeout sushi at that place you like.”
“You don’t care for sushi.” I smiled at him. “We can cook at home or take something else instead.”
“Alright.” Victor wrapped his arm around my shoulders. “Takeout sushi it is.” He gave me a sweet look.
It was evident that Victor knew what was going on with me, and since he was never good at talking about feelings, he tried to help me the way he knew how, by acts of service. His way to show me he loved me was to always make sure I was taken care of, and pampered in ways I never deemed possible. That entailed eating sushi he didn’t really care about, taking a morning stroll through stores when he could be playing tennis, and going to baby showers when he could just make an excuse and spend his afternoon watching one of his old movies or reading.
Back at home, we happily ate our sushi, Victor unusually doing most of the talking, trying to distract me. I listened to him intently, but couldn’t find any words to say. We hadn’t gone to the baby shower yet, and I was already exhausted.
“We don’t need to go if you don’t want to.” He broke through our shared pretense that everything was fine. “I can call Goldman right away and make an excuse.”
“I want to go.” I lied. “This is important to Diane, she wants me there.”
“Will you clean up the table while I go wrap the books?” I changed the subject. “Diane will get mad if we show up late.”
I went to the office, looking for the gift bag I had bought for the books. As I was wrapping them in pink satin paper, one of them fell on the floor, open. It showed the picture of a mother breastfeeding her baby. I picked the book up, noticing the article about the benefits of breastfeeding and naming some curiosities about it, like, how the taste of the milk would change according to what the mother eats, which helps the baby starting to get acquainted to new flavors, even before getting other foods. Or how the milk adapts to the needs of the infant, some studies indicating that the milk carries more antibodies and white blood cells if the baby is sick, and more serotonin by the end of the day, to help the baby sleep better.
I was marveled at how a woman’s body was so perfectly designed to take care of a baby, chemistry and hormones and instinct creating the perfect caretaker, so all the baby’s needs are met. Being a mother, being able to create and nurture life was one of the things I liked the most about being a woman. It was miraculous. I was so distracted reading that book, venturing in all the facts that composed motherhood, that I didn’t even notice Victor leaning on the doorframe, watching me.
“Are you ready?” He was watching me closely, his gaze sweet and with a hint of worry.
I immediately closed the book, wrapping it quickly before inserting it in the gift bag.
“Yes, let’s go.” I grabbed the gift bag, bolting to the door.
Our trip to Goldman’s house was silent, Victor and I both lost in thought. When he finished parking the car, he turned to me.
“We don’t have to stay here all afternoon.” He offered, taking my hand. “I can give some excuse so we leave early.”
“It’s fine, I don’t mind.” I shrugged. I didn’t want to be that petty person who couldn’t be happy for her friend because she couldn’t have kids. And I didn’t want people to worry about me. I was a full-grown woman, I would be fine. Sometimes some things hurt, and that’s life. I just had to toughen up.
Goldman and Diane’s house was a big cloud of pink, with pink balloons, and diapers, and storks everywhere. The house was already full of people when we arrived, some from LFG, some being Diane’s and Goldman’s family members. Diane approached me with a big smile, her baby bump bigger than it was last time I saw her, a few weeks ago.
“Our favorite couple!” She hugged us both, Goldman coming right after to greet us. “Welcome! Make yourselves at home, we have plenty of food! Henry, get our CEO a drink! Andy, do you want anything?”
“Wanting to get me drunk already? Isn’t that how you made that child?” I teased, showing her my big bag with my gifts. “Here. To spoil the mom-to-be.”
“Thank you so much! It means so much to me that you guys are here!” Diane gave me a tight hug. And it looked like someone else wanted to join the party.
“I think Penny kicked me!” I smiled, charmed with her belly. “Can I touch it?”
“Of course!” Diane smiled. “She’s been excited all day, it’s like she knows there will be a party!”
“Or maybe it’s because of all the sugar you’ve been having.” Goldman offered.
I touched Diane’s pregnant belly with careful hands. Inside, there was a human being, sweet Penny, waiting to be big enough to come to this world. And she was indeed excited, jumping inside the womb, trying to poke my hands.
My husband was by my side, holding my waist lovingly, trained eyes on my hands, smiling sweetly. I couldn’t help but wonder if he was picturing that my hands were his, and Diane’s pregnant belly was mine. I felt tears coming, so I swiftly brushed the thought aside. The doorbell rang, diverting the attention from me, Diane busying herself with other guests.
“There are pink margaritas in the kitchen. Go help yourselves.”
As expected, the entire afternoon was baby-themed, from diaper changing races and sharing labor stories to the opening of gifts, and bestowing of best wishes to unborn Penny. Although I did try to have fun and relax, each activity only reminded me of what I couldn’t have, and I began to feel increasingly worse about myself. I was a bottomless pit of sadness and self-loathing: not only was I miserable because all those things were impossible for me, I felt bad for feeling that way, and not being able to fully enjoy this very important moment in my friends lives. I was a shitty person, and probably deserved everything bad that came my way.
To make matters worse, I could feel my husband’s eyes on the back of my neck, searching for any sign of distress on my part, ready to jump and act if necessary. Although I loved him to pieces for that, I was growing a little uneasy with it. If Victor was protective before, the marriage just magnified it even more. There was a part of him that was sweeter, more relaxed and open, but there was also another part of him that was borderline domineering, always wanting to know where I was, always scared to leave me to my own devices. And this time, although I knew I could count on him, although I knew he would always stand by me, I wanted to be left alone, and keep this ugliness of mine just to myself.
But this was Victor, and he was one of the most observant people I had ever met, especially if he was worried about something. After a while, he was by my side, checking up on me.
“Would you like to leave?” His hand rested lovingly on my shoulder.
I have to admit having him care for me felt good. Yes, I was admittedly a hypocrite.
I nodded, too emotionally tired to talk. Victor took my hand, pulling me from my seat.
“We should get going.” Victor apologized to Diane. “My aunt had a situation at the ranch, she needs our help.”
Despite what I predicted, knowing Diane Goldman AKA Momzilla, in less than five minutes and with only a few sentences, we were in the car, driving home. After a moment, Victor broke the silence.
“I don’t understand the need to share labor stories.” He commented, disgusted. “If anything, those should be cautionary tales, not things to share willingly at a party. I do not need to know how many stitches one can get in her… You know.” He shuddered.
Even with a heavy heart, I had to laugh at his honesty.
“That older woman was saying she broke two of her husband’s fingers while he was holding her hand.” He continued. “Everybody laughed. How on earth is that funny?”
“Imagine the birth announcement: Johnny Boy was born on day x, weighting y kilograms. Mother and baby are ok, father is severely injured.” I joked, making us both laugh.
“The whole thing was a parade of reasons not to have a baby.” Victor declared, looking shocked. “Parents not being able to have a full night’s sleep for years . Clothes being belched and puked on, poop that goes to the baby’s neck, babies peeing and spitting on their parents. How is that cute?”
“Cholics, sudden fevers, tantrums, teething.” I continued. “I remember my mother telling me that Josh and Cristina were on the verge of insanity at one point.”
“The labor itself is a mess. A woman’s vagina stretches to the point of passing a human head through it, tears, gets bloody and infected, and stitched up. Goldman is never having sex again.”
“And even if Diane is in the mood, they won’t have time for it. The baby will need them all the time.” I offered.
“In the meantime, we will be traveling, enjoying life to the fullest, and I’ll be making you scream my name in every penthouse of every luxury hotel in the world. Or in every surface or wall at our apartment. There are a few we haven’t tried yet.”
“You’re keeping count?” I chuckled.
“Who do you take me for?” Victor raised an eyebrow at me. “Of course I am.”
I laughed again.
“You know what, you are right.” I spoke with confidence. “Who says couples should have kids? Our life is pretty amazing. We both love our jobs, we have successful careers, we love each other and have amazing moments together. It’s no use to wish for impossible things. We should be counting our many, many blessings.”
“My point exactly.” Victor smiled.
I was putting the dinner’s dirty dishes in the dishwasher, back at the apartment, when the thought assaulted me again. I remembered Diane’s pregnant belly and Penny jumping inside it, trying to interact with the world outside. I imagined myself bearing that belly, and Victor’s hands caressing it, his eyes bright with joy. I pictured us putting together baby cribs, buying baby clothes, going to ultrasound appointments together. I imagined our faces as we watched our child inside me, playing with the umbilical cord or sucking her thumb. I could imagine Victor having a picture of that ultrasound next to the ones of us together on his desk.
And maybe during labor, I would hold his hand a little too tight, and end up a bloody stitched mess because of it. We would have endless stories of poop and pee, and dark circles under our eyes, but that wouldn’t matter, because every little milestone achieved in our child’s life would be like a Nobel prize to us, documented with the same pride. We would look at our child and find things from both of us, and we would love her for that. She would have Victor’s eyes or raven hair, and I would love her more because she reminded me of the man I loved. And Victor would look at her dark curls or prominent cheekbones and think of me, and he would love her more for that. She would be the testament of our love, the proof that Victor and Andrea Lee stood on this planet, and they loved each other.
Only when I saw my tears staining the black marble counter did I notice I was crying. I was wishing for impossible things, but I couldn’t help it. I wanted a child like I never wanted anything in my life, I couldn’t ignore it. And I wanted to fight for it.
I felt Victor’s arms circle my waist from behind. I turned to face him, my eyes filled with tears. He gave me a knowing look and pressed my face against his chest, silently telling me to cry it all out.
“I’m a hypocrite.” I confessed between sobs. “I do want a baby. I want to be a mother.”
“I know.” He spoke softly, tightening his grip on me, his hand on the back of my neck, caressing my hair.
“I don’t want to give up just yet.” I looked up to him, suddenly feeling steady. “I still have my ovaries, there is a lot that we can still try. Will you try with me?”
I couldn’t quite read his expression as he looked me in the eyes, pondering my question. A moment after he held me tighter again, pressing me against him again.
“Yes.” I heard his low voice rumble in his chest. “I will.”
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Prompt: Reid is a regular at his local bookstore, and also has a very good acquaintance with the young storekeeper there. When she turns down his date very last second, he finds a secret about her that can’t help but make him fall harder for her.
Warning: idk man I’m just tryna write fluff lmao I got hella carried awayyyy
We all deserve happy Reid
The cold October air whizzed by, as Spencer walked into Pages And Pages, his local bookstore, with a large smile on his face, and two steaming coffees in hand. He’d made it a part of his schedule to try and drop by at least once a week. Sure, the books were very captivating, but so was the receptionist.
He thought, from the moment he laid eyes on her, that she was a beauty. Her hair was always loosely tied in a bun, her make up close to minimal, and her sense of style almost mirrored his- sweaters. Lots of sweaters.
He found it fairly easy to talk to her, because, although at first he stumbled with his words, her kind and soft spoken demeanor drew him into a safe space.
Y/n was very well aware of Spencer’s occupation. If he didn’t come by on his weekly visit, she’d figure he was out saving the world, as she liked to put it.
The little bell on the large oak door of the bookstore rang as Spencer entered, and headed straight for y/n’s desk. He was very punctual. 12:15 every Friday. Y/n didn’t even have to look up to know that the shadow covering her table was him.
She had a smile etched on her lips before she even looked up, “You realize I’m seeing you in less than 48 hours right?” She joked, taking the cup of coffee he handed to her.
“I do,” he smiled, just as stricken by her beauty as the last time he saw her, “but, I didn’t want to skip out on meeting with you today.” He tucked a strand of loose hair behind his ear.
She takes a sip of her drink, humming at the delightful taste, “Why won’t you just tell me what you order?” She has her eyes closed, having every taste bud tingle in happiness, “This is delicious.”
He laughs slightly at her happiness, “Becuase, if I told you, then you could get it yourself, anytime. And, I want these coffee meetings to be special.” He says, shyly shrugging.
Y/n’s cheeks filled with a rose blush, “Dr. Reid, you are over the top.” She laughed softly, shaking her head.
“Just wait until Sunday,” Spencer sips his own coffee, “I’ll pick you up from your place, by 8 o’clock, you said, right?” He double-checked. He didn’t need to double check. He had it memorized down to a T. Her address. The route. The time to pick her up. The restaurant he was planning on taking her too. The walk that he planned on them taking from said restaurant to a small ice cream parkour.
He didn’t need to double-check anything.
“Mm-hmm,” She hummed, sipping her drink this time, nodding slightly, “he should be down by then,” she mumbles to herself, quickly scribbling down something on paper, “I’ll be ready by 8, waiting for you.” She smiled.
“I’m so sorry.” Y/n apologied for the hundredth time. “I really feel awful. I promise, I’ll make it up to you.” She sniffled over the phone.
“No, I-its fine,” Spencer spoke into his cell, trying so hard to mask the disappointment that was dripping in his voice, “I understand.” He was pacing back and forth in the break room at the office, “We couldn’t possibly know you’d be getting down with bronchitis. It’s not your fault.” Spencer says, scratching the back of his neck.
Y/n had called Saturday afternoon, the day before the duos scheduled date. She had been coughing and sniffling, saying she went to the Urgent Care near her earlier that morning because she was feeling off, and they said she had came down with a pretty bad case of bronchitis.
She kept apologizing and saying she’d make it up to Spencer as soon as she felt better.
Spencer tried not to take the date-canceling to heart. Y/n really was sick, she wouldn’t lie about that- would she? No, of course not. She wasn’t like that.
“Listen, don’t worry about it.” Spencer stopped pacing, “Just rest. That’s what you’ll need to feel better quicker.”
He heard her giggle lightly, causing him to smile, “Thanks, Doc.” He snickered at the nickname, “Hey, Spence,” he hummed in response, “I really do like you.” She said, causing his stomach to turn, “Please, don’t think I’m turning you down or anything. I really was looking forward to our date. And, I really do mean it when I say we’ll go on another one.”
He smiled to himself, putting one hand in the pocket of his jeans and swaying slightly, side to side, “Promise?”
It had to be the right address. Spencer checked his phone for y/n’s previous message and confirmed it for the third time. He held his breath for a second, and licking his lips, he rang the doorbell again.
He felt bad that y/n had gotten bronchitis that just didn’t seem to go away for almost 5 days now. His first priority of Wednesday morning was to stop at a small Chinese spot and grab some soup.
Surprising her would be a small little thing he was hoping would make her happy. So, there he was. At y/n’s doorstep, soup in hand, ringing her bell, awaiting for her to open up.
He checked his watch again, and shuffled his feet. His stomach fluttered as soon as he heard shuffling from behind the door.
“I’m coming!” He heard her voice from inside. He played with the box of soup in hand, and bit his bottom lip anxiously. That’s when he heard a faint cry. Not her cry, though. A cry that seemed to belong to a small child. A baby, maybe. Spencer furrowed his brows, confused. “Baby, please, you have to lie down.” He heard y/n’s voice from a distance.
After some more shuffling around, the door before him opened. Y/n distractedly looked up at Spencer just to do a double take, shocked. “S-Spence? What- What are you doing here?” She asked, barely in frame of the open door.
He looked at her, unable to speak for a second. She fully came into view of him. She adjusted a small sleeping baby in her arms, the child’s head resting on her shoulder.
“I-um, I came to see you.” He spoke slowly, and quietly, “I bought soup.” He held up the box in his hands.
Y/n smiled, and just as she opened her mouth to reply, the baby she was holding began stirring causing her eyes to widen, “Come on in.” She whispered hastily, nodding to Spencer before going into her abode.
Spencer followed behind her, unsure of what exactly was happening. Questions were running through his head, but it was as if his body was working before his mind could catch up.
Y/n went straight to a small couch, and sat down, pulling her legs up, and cuddling the small child in her arms, wrapping the both of them up with a nearby shawl. Spencer’s heart warmed up at the sight, and he unknowingly smiled to himself.
He slowly walked towards the two when he heard a small but gruel cough come from the baby’s mouth.
“You’re... not the one that’s... sick?” He slowly pieced together, sitting on a couch opposing from the one y/n was on.
Y/n sighed quietly and licked her lips. Shaking her head, she stroked the small child’s hair, “No,” she looked up at Spence, “I’m not. They’re calling it bronchilitis, because he’s so young. It should be gone in about a week total, so at least 2 to 3 days left.” She swallowed hard. “It’s the first time he’s ever gotten sick, and I couldn’t just leave him with a sitter, which is why I had to stay back on our date. Im sorry,” she apologized in the midst of her ramble, “I just...” she paused before breaking eye contact with Spencer, “we don’t have anyone but each other.”
Spencer stayed silent for a moment. He watched y/n hold the baby close and his heart felt all heavy. It was a sight he didn’t think could affect him at all. But, something about a girl he was already infatuated with, being so protective and loving made him fall even deeper for her.
He just couldn’t form any words to express this to her, so he stared at the mother-son silently. That is, until the baby started coughing again. Y/n cringed at the way her son shook as he forced the cough out of his small body.
“I understand if you want to leave,” y/n spoke up, feeling Spencer’s eyes on her, “I shouldn’t have hid the fact that I’m a mother. It’s just, I know that some people would have seen it as,” she shrugged, “extra baggage, so I just refrain from saying it at all. I apologize.”
“You apologize far too much.” Spencer spoke without thinking for once, shocking himself and y/n. He stood up from his seat, and wiped his sweaty hands on his jeans, “Does he, uh, drink soup?” Spencer asked nodding to the child.
Y/n cracked a small smile, “Adam,” she said, “and, yes, he actually is very fond of soup.”
Spencer nodded, before finding his way into the kitchen. As quietly as possible, he emptied the soup into a bowl, and plopped a decent looking spoon into it. Filling a small glass with water, he brought it out to y/n, who was now standing, pacing with a very upset looking Adam.
Spencer’s brows furrowed in worry.
“He’s fine,” y/n assured him, “just a little fussy. Don’t worry.”
“It’s tough, huh?” Spencer spoke, not sitting down until Adam had calmed, “Being a parent, I mean.”
Y/n had seated up the small one year-old next to her on the couch. She was slowly feeding him the soup, and although he was dozed off on meds, he slurped it up happily.
“Being a single parent is something I wasn’t ready for,” y/n admits, wiping some soup of Adams chin, “but, I love this monkey so much,” she scrunched her nose to her son, who gave a very sleepy smile in return, having Spencer laugh lightly, “I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”
Spencer answered the third FaceTime call he had received in the past 5 minutes, “Hey, sorry I was in a meeting with Hotch, is everyth-” he cut his sentence short when he saw his girlfriends face tearstreaked on screen. “Oh, my god,is everything okay? Are you hurt? Is Adam okay?” He quickly rambled, his mind thinking the worst.
Y/n sniffled, “I’m fine, we’re fine,” she quickly answered, “just, wait-“ she quickly runs into a different room and Spencer can hear Adam babbling in the background. He smiles hear the child’s voice. “Watch this.” Y/n tells Spencer. She pulls up a photo, and shows it to her boyfriend first.
It was of the two of them on New Years Eve, happily smiling. Spencer was holding a very giggly Adam, and had his free arm wrapped around y/n’s waist.
She turns the photo to Adam, “Sweetheart,” she tries to grab her sons attention, “hey, Adam,” He looks up to her wide eyed, “you know who this is, baby?” She points to herself.
Adam starts clapping and smiling, “Mama! Mama!” Y/n starts tearing up all over again.
“Yes!” Spencer encourages the child, “Hey, good job!” He gets shushed by y/n quickly.
She points to Spencer in the photo and asks Adam, yet again, “Okay, sweety, and who’s this?” She ask, already ready to cry again.
Adam starts laughing and jumping in place, “Dada! Is dada!”
Spencer gasps, covering his agape mouth with one hand. “Did you teach him that?” He asks a very ecstatic y/n who shakes her head.
“No, he just started to point to the picture all by himself and talk.” She sniffled, leaving the room her son was sitting in.
“Well, one things for sure,” a very smiley Spencer admits happily, “he’s smart, just like his Mama.” He attempts a wink, causing y/n to laugh.
It was early. Y/n could feel the December brisk air seeping into the apartment, making her pull her duvet up to cover herself further. She felt a tug, as her boyfriend pulled her covers back from her.
“Hey,” She grumbled, “no hogging.” She whined causing Spence to turn to face her and snicker sleepily.
The two heard their bedroom door open slowly, and the slight pitter patter of small feet tip toe in.
“He’s awake.” Spencer whispered to his girlfriend, peeping one eye open.
“Brace yourself.” Y/n groaned, just seconds before the three year old attacker jumped on the bed. He bounced and he jumped and he laughed loudly, inevitably causing him the grown ups in bed to groan and slowly sit up in bed.
“Mama, Daddy! It’s Critthy Time! It’s Critthy time, now!!” He pumped his tiny fists into the air.
Spencer smiles, still trying to open both eyes, “Did Santa even get you any gifts? You’ve been been pretty naughty lately.” Y/n groans, covering her head with a pillow.
“So many! Daddy, there’s like,” Adam puts up 3 fingers carefully, “this many boxes with my name!!”
Spencer fake gasps causing the child to have a giggle fit, “Honey, Adam has been such an angel, I’m sure all of the gifts under the tree are his.” Spence pulls the pillow off y/n’s face receiving a groan from her. “Long night?” He smirks to her, causing her to stick her tongue out. Her cheeks slightly blushed as she remembered the... eventful night the two shared.
“I’m exhausted.” She sighed, sitting up and rubbing her tired eyes. Adam jumps out of the bed and runs to the living room. Spencer can’t help but smile at the little ones pajamas.
They were a mom-dad-child set. So all three of them were wearing the same red plaid winter pajamas. Spencer and y/n had gone to sleep in just the pants of the set, so before they went out to the Christmas tree, they made sure to put on the shirts as well.
Y/n groggily made her way to the sofas, and sat by the foot of one. Spencer made his way to the kitchen to put the coffee on before he sat beside y/n, his arm draping around her shoulders, and her resting her head on his chest.
Adam came up to y/n, putting his face a mere centimeters from hers, as grabs her shoulders by his small hands. “Can I open, now? Please?” He pouted to his mother.
She laughed and kissed her nose, “Of course, monkey. Let’s see what Santa got my big boy.” Adam cheered before running to the small pile of boxes under the decently lit tree.
He help up a box, and took it to Spencer first, having him nod in indication that it does in fact have Adams name on it. Happily he plops down right in front of y/n and starts to tear open the wrapping paper. The smell of coffee starts to fill the apartment, and Spencer gives y/n a kiss on the forehead before getting up to go to the kitchen.
“Mama?” Adam whispers to his mother, who simply hums at him in response, “You know, Daddy opened presents not asking you.” He said to y/n innocently.
She furrowed her brows, ruffling his hair, “What are you talking about, Pumpkin?”
“Daddy,” he repeats, “he took a small box and hid it in his jacket. He don’t want you to know. So, you can’t get mad.” He explained, although causing more confusion to his already confused mother.
Y/n had suspicions for a few months now. She once overheard Spencer on the phone with his colleagues, saying something along the lines of yeah man, I knew she was the one a while ago. Any day now. I’m just deciding on when.
Then, she was borrowing his phone once when Adam has dropped hers down the toilet, and when she opened Safari, she saw 2 tabs open. One that had been searching for unique and special rings, and the other that was searching, children’s tuxes and suits.
But, what really put the icing on the cake for her, was when the three of them were coming home late after one Spencer’s teammates wedding. Y/n had been tired so she was resting her head, with her eyes closed. Adam was already fast asleep, snoring lightly. Spencer has put his hand on y/n’s thigh, and when her being to tired to respond, translated into she’s asleep for him, he said the words that had been tugging at y/n’s heart since then.
“I can’t wait to marry you.”
Y/n unfolds her legs, and slowly gets up, “Mama’s gonna go check on Daddy,” she informs her child, “I’ll be right back.” She kisses the top of his hair.
She goes into the kitchen to see two mugs with steaming coffee in them, but no Spencer in sight. She furrows her brows, and turns to head into the bedroom, looking for her boyfriend. Glancing over her room she fails to see him again. She frowns slightly, and turns around on her heels, almost falling over her own feet when she bumps into Spencer right behind her.
“You scared me.” She frightenedly giggles, putting a hand over her heart. “I was looking for- What... are you doing?” She narrows her eyes at him when he takes a step back, and gets down on one knee. She sees a paper and a small box in his hand.
Her breathing fastens, watching his every move, “I was planning on doing this on New Years, at Rossi’s house party,” Spencer started off, “but, my surprise seems to have been foiled.” He nervously laughs. “Y/n,” him saying her name causes her eyes to start tearing up, “You came into my life unexpectedly,” he says, “but, I decided a long time ago, that you were definitely the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.” He looked over his shoulder to Adam, then back to y/n, “Both of you.” He inhaled as y/n’s bottom lip trembled, “Y/n,” she whimpers in response, biting her bottom lip, “will you do me the honor of making me your husband, and the official father of Adam?”
Y/n in the midst of her crying, sniffles and cocks her head, confused. She walks closer to Spencer, pulling him to stand up. He hands her the piece of paper and opens the small box in his hands.
A beautiful ring shone brightly in Spencers hands, and adoption papers shook in y/n’s hands.
1 very cold wedding, 2 additional siblings to Adam and a kitten later; and still, Spencer refused to tell y/n what type of coffee he would get for her when they go out.
I kinda like this mmm we’ll see my opinion change in a few days lol
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3. Upon Further Research
Simon was fine. That’s what he kept having to tell himself. It wasn’t like he truly wanted to date Grace St. Catherine. He couldn’t even if he wanted to. He had far too many habits and personal ways that made others uncomfortable or annoyed.
The last woman he attempted to date didn’t like the fact that Samantha had her own room and that she was only allowed to enter it if Samantha had approached her to be friends. If Samantha was uncomfortable, she would mewl about it and he didn’t want that type of upset over someone who didn’t have to live with her adjusting to something she didn’t like.
The last man he dated had an irrational hatred of the fact that Simon purchased multiple types of milk for different times of the day or different kinds of enjoyment. He never thought he would see someone have such a reaction to the fact that he wanted whole milk for cereal and to warm up at the end of the night before bed, low fat milk for milkshakes and accompanying a grilled cheese or a cheese and egg sandwich, and skim milk for drink mixes and casual throughout the day enjoyment. “Just buy one kind of milk and stick with it!” Truth be told, sometimes, Simon also bought 2% milk whenever he wasn’t feeling that great and nut milk for cooking. He just… couldn’t explain that it made a difference to his consumption and couldn’t understand why it made someone else so frustrated.
But, it reminded him that he had unique quirks that people found basically unacceptable. Grace seemed like a cool person, but she probably would be irritated to open his fridge and see 6 different types of milk too. Or to have Samantha refuse to acknowledge her and therefore not be able to enter Sam’s Sanctuary… or even just be annoyed that there was a room with cat trees, a little playground, cat toys, waterer, feeder, etc, and a cat that spent most of her time in the windowsill instead of acknowledging all of the luxury that had been collected for her.
Then again, it was unfair to assume what people might not like about you or your life. He couldn’t know for sure. All that he knew was that she wasn’t interested in going out with him.
That should have been the end of it, but he was very curious about that comment that her coworker made about “another hot date.” Did she have a lot of hot dates? What exactly constitutes a hot date?
Going through her photos didn’t help with that. If she regularly dated, she certainly didn’t like anyone enough to put them on her social media. Though, she did see in one of her comments she said something about VDay “my hands will be full. Worry ‘bout yourself," she’d told somebody who asked if she was trying to get “wifed up for VDay,” as a response to a photo of her in a stunning red dress, captioned with “Beneficiary Gathering #GraceLoveTheKids” She didn’t have a location, so he searched “beneficiary gathering” and came up with SO MANY things. He sighed and went back to her hashtag, wondering if it was common for her.
She used it pretty frequently! There were photos of her at a children’s hospital, photos of numerous kids, some at some center, some at parks and stuff… She really didn’t put a lot of information into her captions. Most people loved to tell you location and event and every single detail. The fact that she didn’t made her more appealing to Simon. She liked her space. He liked his too. He could relate… but also… he needed to know more.
It’s not a violation of her privacy if I don’t use anything against her. I'm just intrigued...
A few days after the date debacle, Simon found his way back into the coffee shop, this time with Samantha with him. Grace noticed him come in and sit down, but she was at the cash register, helping a customer out. When she finished, she waved to him, but he didn’t seem to notice. He was petting his cat and scrolling something. She let out a disappointed sigh. Of course, Simon had noticed her. Every single detail, including that sigh. That made him a little hopeful that perhaps she would come over and engage. Maybe meet Samantha, even. She didn’t, though. She worked as usual and didn't seem to even glance his way again.
Grace went across the street for lunch. The little deli had a small selection, but they had something that she couldn’t get anywhere else in town - chicken taco pinwheels - and she was hooked on them. She’d order a dozen of them with two pickle spears, homemade potato chips with cracked pepper and sea salt, and ginger ale with cherries. It was one of the highlights of her day to get that very same lunch any time that she worked. When she was leaving today, she almost ran into Simon. She gasped and hugged her lunch to herself. “Mr. Laurent. Sorry. I’m usually pretty aware of my surroundings. You didn’t sneak up on me, did you?” she teased and winked an eye at him.
“You know… People usually call me Simon,” he said, smiling.
“People call you?” she asked. He blushed and laughed. “Of course I’m kidding. It’s just easier to call you that because of the policy and stuff.”
“At the bookstore. Normally, they don’t care if you get familiar with regulars and they share their names, but since it’s you, we’re not supposed to bother you and were told that we were to refer to you as Mr. Laurent. It’s part of orientation. I remember very vividly saying, “Well excuse me, Mr. Laurent!” She exaggerated the Frenchness of his name and he chuckled at it, then stopped and looked serious. “Because, I’m kind of a goofball. Didn’t mean anything by it..”
“No, no. It’s fine. I just think it’s weird that they do that. I don’t mind being spoken to like a normal person.” That wasn’t completely true. He hated being interrupted if he was working or doing something with a hobby…
“Okay… Simon, then,” she said with a smile. He could only give her one back in return. “And who is our little pristine friend?” She asked. Samantha was on a leash, and standing, staring, almost as though she were waiting to be introduced to this strange new person.
“This is Samantha.”
Grace stooped down and Simon tensed up. She smiled and said, “Hi, Samantha. I’m Grace. I work at your daddy’s favorite bookstore. I’ve seen a lot of photos of you, and might I say, you are radiant! Exuding opulence! You own EVERYTHING!” Samantha stepped forward and rubbed herself against Grace’s knee. “Oh, you are so adorable, but I can’t pet you right now! I’m holding stuff.” Grace stood up, looking sad as Samantha continued to rub against her shoes until Simon gathered her up.
“She never does that. Sorry..”
“No, she’s majestic. Maybe Daddy will bring you around to see me again some time, sweetie!” She blew kisses at Samantha, nodded her head to Simon, called out, “See you tomorrow, Chief!” (to which the deli owner waved).
Simon came up to the counter and noticed the man staring at Samantha. Maybe he shouldn’t have brought her inside of here. “I’m going to have whatever she just ordered, to go, please?” He waited out of the way, just in case having an animal in their eating space might bother someone.
Her deli order was better than her coffee order, that was for sure, though that wasn’t hard to beat. He shivered thinking about it. He ate in his car and pulled up to a trash bin to discard things. Samantha was sleeping very comfortably in her safety carrier.
Grace got off of work and danced out of the door, holding her perfume laced coffee. She looked up at the sky for a moment, checked her phone. He looked up too. It might rain. She didn’t seem too bothered, merely curious. She walked through the neighborhood, the wind was blowing her sweater and she was drinking her coffee, speaking to various people as she passed them. How did she DO that? Simon barely liked speaking to the people that he knew. She couldn’t have possibly known most of these people, though maybe she saw them everyday, but that meant nothing. Was she cordial and warm all of the time?
She stopped at a florist and he watched through the window as she seemed to know the guy in the flower shop too. They chatted for a while until someone came from the back with what looked like a package. It was one of those big yellow mailing envelopes and the woman who gave it to her walked her over, away from the counter to speak with her before handing it to her and hugging her. As Grace came out, she said, “Thanks! See you next time…” The guy behind the counter rushed to hand her a flower and she hugged him too. Simon… didn’t like it, even though it seemed perfectly friendly and she seemed like one of those people who probably hugged her friends and stuff. Maybe. He didn’t know enough yet. Hadn’t collected enough information.
She slipped her package into her bag, handed her presumably empty cup to the guy and he went inside and threw it away for her as she left. Simon lost her once she went into the train station. But, he felt like he collected enough information for the day. He wondered if this was daily, or if she deviated what she did after work. He continued driving past the station and headed home to work on all of his notes and more research.
One thing that he noted was that aside from her social media, he couldn’t find much about Grace St. Catherine. And, that wasn’t even much to go by, because aside from everything being private, what she shared was still limited.
But. The guy at the florist shop followed her. Simon checked his page. Heath Farmer *152 Simon didn't think much of it whenever he read the generic name, just scrolled through photos. None of them had Grace in them, but she was in his comments a lot and vice versa. It led to nothing.
He clicked on someone else's page who was speaking with them in the comments. Jalicia Barrett * 227 "Huh." He went to find others that he saw speaking in similar circles and several had no numbers there, but there were quite a few others that did have a number listed, and some were kids or teenagers. Maybe something to do with some of Grace's child benefits? He couldn't find what tied them together… But then he saw someone's page and Grace was actually in photos ON it. "Xander Helstrom *747…"
His profile pic was a younger photo of himself with pink hair, wearing a chin guard on his face and a bandana on his arm.
But, all of his current photos indicated he was older now, probably early 20s or late teens. He and Grace seemed close. There was a photo of him with her pet turtle and sliding through the set, it was the day that she bought it. So… they were most likely really good friends, or something else… Simon found himself looking at every interaction between them that he could find. They spoke like they had known each other a long time and from what he could see, this was the only person who had photos of her in her space. Maybe they were in something complicated? He searched Xander's other accounts. His Tweets were mostly about child welfare and social justice. His Facebook seemed similar, but also had memes and photos of himself and memorials for children. One caught his attention. The drawing looked similar to Grace's art style and it was of a little girl with the caption, "In honor of Hazel. She was never a number and she changed us for the better."
There were several people who commented. "To Hazel, never a number." But, then Simon saw Grace's comment.
"Hazel taught me not to worry and not to rush. She helped give me empathy and a reason to fight. I never would have made it without her. To Hazel, never a number. Always a friend."
Simon looked at the time on his phone. "Crap." It was 2 am.
He finished compiling all of his notes and went to bed. He was very curious what those numbers meant, but he couldn't dwell on it at the moment. He'd have to sleep well into the day to make up for staying up tonight. Tomorrow, he'd have to leave his car behind. He needed to know what happened when Grace got on the train.
04. Date Night
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Almost Fate P2
Forty Quinn x Reader
Warnings: Nagging, other stuff probably
Notes: This is a sequel to an earlier writing of mine. I’m currently posting this because the other requests are taking longer for me to proof read. I guess it’s because I’m being pulled in multiple directions by school work? Surprisingly, the Visual Arts department was not built for online classes.
Part One -> https://hamburgerhelpersotherhand.tumblr.com/post/612751263373934592/almost-fate
What on earth is that noise?
You suddenly bolt off the bed you didn’t realize you were on. “SHUT U—“
Your roommate stands before you, one hand on her hip and the other holding out her phone. She turns off the ringer and stares you in the eye.
“So, now you wake up?” She says sternly. “Where were you last night? You didn’t pick up your phone.”
“It’s a long story.” You reply with attitude laced into your words. You hadn’t noticed it before, but you were now definitely aware of your hangover.
“How did I get in here? I didn’t have my keys last night.”
“I brought you in. You were passed out in front of the door.”
You gasp theatrically. “... Are you going soft on me now?”
“Never mind that, Y/N. Where is your bag? You had absolutely no ID on you. That’s dangerous.” Your roommate is starting to sound like your mother. You won’t admit it, but you kind of appreciate it on a good day. That’s not today. “Besides, you weren’t answering any of my texts or calls and you left the room a mess! I swear, the thought of you being kidnapped crossed my mind.”
“Please stop talking.” You blurt out and point to your head. “Migraine.”
“Then answer me this: Where is your phone and WHY isn’t it on you?”
“My phone?” You’re confused for a moment, but your memories catch up quickly. “MY PHONE! Dammit, I think I left it at the bar.”
“The bar? You were at a bar in the middle of the week nearing finals?” Here we go. “Y/N... I know you’re more responsible than this.”
“Look, I have today off. I can make it all better. I’ll even pick up a new textbook!” You give her a thumbs up, a symbol that everything will be alright.
“Something happened to your textbook?!” Oh okay, now you’ve really stoked the flames.
“While you’re already as pissed off as you’ll ever be, someone also snatched my purse with my dorm keys and wallet inside...” You’re already beginning to change into some clean clothing.
“Y/N, do you not care about your grades here?” Your roommate is looking more concerned than angry now.
“I do care.” You reply with a sigh. “Yesterday was just not my day. Nothing went how it should have and I really wish my closest friend was supporting me rather than nagging me.”
Ouch. She’s thinking over what you said. Honestly? That’s all you could ask for.
Never mind your roommate. You make your way out of your dorm, heading to the Student Services office to report your issue and get yourself a new key.
You don’t have a phone, no purse in sight and you definitely don’t have a wallet... but your new key is snuggly sitting in your back pocket and you find yourself with some cash in your secret pocket, given to you by the bar man you met last night.
You... really can’t remember his name, but you knew it was something odd.
While you do remember feeling guilty about the money, you also remember telling yourself to spend it well. Specifically to buy yourself a new textbook before class next week. Whatever is left can go towards your new phone.
Your mind is thinking of how funny it would be to suddenly run into your robber as you walk along the streets of Los Angeles. Would you ever see that hideous yet sentimental purse again?
You left campus a while ago, but didn’t bother getting yourself a cab. It wasn’t worth the little money you had.
Whatever. You need a textbook. Where do you find this exact textbook at this exact time of year?
And this particular grocery store, which you so happen to find yourself walking by, seems to have one inside, lucky you!
You’ve stepped into Anavrin once or twice before.
You’ve never bought anything, though.
None of this appealed to you, but the first time you stepped foot in here, you followed behind your friend as she bought fresh lemons for a school project.
The second time you found yourself wandering Anavrin, you thought they would have a public bathroom. You didn’t bother asking, so if they did have one, you couldn’t find it and concluded that they did not.
Now, you found yourself wandering the rather pathetic excuse for a bookstore. You followed the alphabet and quickly made your way across. Your head was pounding and you felt restless. The faster you got this done, the sooner you could just sleep in a dark room and cry.
“Come here often?” You’re startled by a familiar voice and instantly recognize his stupid looking grin.
“Right.” For the sake of your own dignity, you hope not to make that mistake again.
“Wait. Let’s do another take.” He puts his hands up and turns around on his heel. “One, two, three...”
He spins back around to face you, a smile crossing his face once again. “Come here often?”
You can’t help but smile back and play along. “Only when I need a new textbook.”
“Oou, you think a grocery store carries college textbooks?” Hes cringing and you slap yourself in the face from a sudden wave of embarrassment.
How could you be so stupid...
“I’m kidding!” He puts his hands on your shoulders and lightly shakes you out of your own head. You definitely still feel that migraine. “They should be in storage and, since I’m feeling so incredibly generous, I’ll get Will to take them out for you.”
“Oh! Thank you!” You exclaim, very much surprised but mostly thankful for narrowly avoiding such an embarrassing scene.
“Hey old sport—“ He lets go of your shoulders and waltzes over to the bookstore clerk with an apron. You’re just out of earshot, but you can tell that this Will guy seems very disinterested in whatever Forty is saying.
While whatever happens over there happens, you begin to drift away and squint around at the rest of the store. You’re not particularly drawn to anything, but your head is killing you and you’re starting to really feel it.
Maybe... just maybe... you should of asked your roommate for a Tylenol or two.
“Are you doing okay?” He asks, a confused smile on his face. “You look like you’re about to burst into tears.”
“Heh, yeah. I think I might have a slight hangover. I’m fine though, really.” You’re smiling at him reassuringly.
His grin widens as he inhales. “I have just the remedy for your hangover!” His hands rest on your shoulders. “It’s called sleeping in.” Very funny. “Now, you probably haven’t heard of it but—“
You swat your hand infront of his face to grab his attention and frown. “I tried that but I have a bossy roommate.”
“Then maybe you should sleep over at my place.” His hands slide down to hug your forearms, his eyes are looking through yours for a reaction and you’re suddenly made aware of his statement.
“Your requested box.” Will huffs out and gestures downward.
You peer down to the large single cardboard box by your feet and immediately spot the familiar cover of the textbook you’re looking for. You reach down and fish it out of the box.
“This is it.” You say.
“Great! Hey, old sport... I’m gonna need you to bring that box back to where you found it.” Forty claps his hands together and Will reluctantly obeys. If only to get Forty out of his hair.
“Thanks for the help.” You say as you double-check the textbook in hand.
“It’s on me, so don’t mention it.” He gives you a charming wink. “Seriously though, don’t mention it because Calvin will have an aneurysm.”
He has quite the way with expressing himself. For the most part, Forty can keep a straight face as he describes the oddest of situations. You believe it’s one of the things that makes him a hoot to converse with.
“Do you have a phone number? I think my broken phone equals no phone number gag has run it’s course.” He states.
You cant help but laugh and nod your head. He hands you his phone and you quickly add yourself as a contact.
“I should get going now, before my roommate thinks I’ve gotten myself killed. Thank you again for the textbook!”
“See you around, Y/N.”
You did it again.
It’s been a couple days since you stepped foot into Anavrin.
The encounter with Forty was surprising and really did catch you off-guard. There’s a possibility that he had mentioned Anavrin by name and that it entered your subconscious when choosing where to go... but you felt that was too far of a stretch to call it your reality.
The equal possibility that you were fated to enter that exact building also crossed your mind, but you shot it down just as fast.
Well, anywho, you’ve gotten yourself a new phone with the same old phone number. Forty still hasn’t tried contacting you, but he may simply not be aware of your phone’s status.
Not that contacting you matters! You two are just acquaintances, right? Drinking buddies at most.
You’re currently sitting at the desk in your room, studying the useful new textbook Forty had given you free of charge.
It was very kind of him, but you really didn’t want this to become a regular occurrence. Not letting you pay and/or paying for you? That felt like a problem waiting to happen. Don’t get yourself wrong, you appreciate the gesture wholly, but you hate to be in a position of owing something to someone.
Like... that kiss.
Oh, look at you now. You’re blushing and you know it.
That’s... your phone. That’s your phone!
But wait, you’re studying. You really need to get your grades up with this final project if you want to stand a chance to get the hell out of this school.
But...... what good is studying if all you’re really doing is getting lost in your own head? You slam the textbook shut and answer the phone.
“Hello?” You say.
“Good, you gave me the right number. I almost believed you’d play me.”
“Is this Forty?”
“Hey! You got my name right.” He says excitedly. “So,” His voice moves into a whisper. “What are you wearing?”
“Um... sweatpants and a tank top?” You mentally slap yourself when you hear him chuckle and realize what the question implied.
“Hot.” He laughs and you smile embarrassingly. “Anyway, I would hate to cut into your studying but... Can I take you out tonight? I think you’d absolutely adore the place I had in mind.”
You feel you face heat up. “Uh— I finished studying earlier. What did you have in mind?”
“It’s a surprise, silly!” His tone likes to change a lot, as you’ve come to realize in your short time with him. “Wear something special for me, yeah? Okay, I’ll pick you up at 8.”
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Buying Time (2/6, probably, who knows, ~2,800 words, some salty language and more ways to not deal with grief)
Customs and Duties, but make it a modern!fake-dating AU with a severe lack of fake dating and more historical minutiae than any self-respecting modern AU should have; Part the Second, in which neither party has any luck with antique clocks, despite planned and unplanned meetings.
He never did see that coat again. Either someone had taken it, or maybe it had somehow found its way into the water that seemed omnipresent in that place – tidal creeks and ponds, the little river, the sea itself. One of life’s mysteries. There were others, from that day in January, but it was easier to think about the coat he’d lost.
Or why that particular shop: there was a bookstore nearby, and frankly that seemed a better place to finish sobering up before driving on to New York – where he would, in all likelihood, end up maudlin drunk on Andy Gillette’s couch, but at least get the thin satisfaction of someone worrying about him. At any road, he’d looked at the sign for S. J. Treat & E. C. Treat, Antiques – quaint, with a little hour-glass carved next to the names, and found himself inside – where he’d proceeded to make a complete ass of himself before the proprietor, who, contrary to what a sensible person would have done, sat him in a (modern) chair behind the counter and poured coffee from a thermos that might have actually have been an antique, listened to him ramble about Decatur and Barron because he’d been thinking that maybe his ancestors had been onto something, with their elaborate and ritualized pretenses for beating the shit out of each other over “honor” – and, after she was satisfied he was safe to drive, Mrs. Treat made sure he had his keys, wallet, phone, and a water bottle before wishing him well.
When he returned to Boston, he penned a note of thanks, knowing that it was wholly inadequate. Then, after his series of stilted emails with Elizabeth over the disposition of the apartment and everything in it, he’d had the idea.
Mrs. Treat politely insisted he pick the restaurant , since he was paying, and he insisted that she pick the restaurant, as she knew the area better than him. They probably would have stood there in the square batting courtesies back and forth like a deranged game of shuttlecock, before he made a tentative suggestion – which, contrary to her earlier assertions that she wasn’t picky – Mrs. Treat scoffed at as both too trendy and too loud, and steered them off in the direction of an unassuming shingle-sided tavern he hadn’t looked twice at on his initial and inebriated visit.
“It’ll be reasonably quiet,” she said, “And there’s a decent chance they’ve got the Franklin stove going.”
With that ringing endorsement, she ushered him into the bar, waved to the bartender, and pointed to a table that was, indeed, right next to an ancient woodstove – and sat in the chair closest to it.”
“I hope you don’t mind,” Mrs. Treat said, by way of an apology, “I get cold easily.”
“Not at all,” he replied, looking around the low-ceilinged room. “The decoration is …”
“A little idiosyncratic?”
“It’s what the tourists expect, I think.”
“They expect harpoons?”
“They’re not used,” Mrs. Treat said, with an expression that was very nearly a smile, “You’d be able to tell if they were. There’s a lot to be said about common misconceptions regarding 18th and 19th century maritime activity in this neck of the woods – or the coast, as the case may be – but that’s not what we came here to talk about.”
James privately wondered how you went about telling how a harpoon had been used, but missed his chance to ask: Mrs. Treat briskly arranged the tablet, folders, and notepads on the table, pausing only for the waitress to take their lunch order. Mrs. Treat recommended the scallops, and a local brewery with atrociously punned names, but he noted she only ordered a sandwich for herself. He thought of reminding her that he had asked her to find a clock that might very well cost more than a car and he wasn’t going to begrudge her a pint, but just as quickly scrapped the idea as horrifyingly bad-mannered. She might not drink, after all. Or hate seafood.
“I’ll start with the bad news: the sum total of it is, I haven’t found your Williams shelf clock.”
“I assumed so.”
“I would get in touch right away if I had, absolutely. But I haven’t.”
Watching her twist her wedding band, he cleared his throat and asked: “Any good news?”
Mrs. Treat stopped her fidgeting and laughed. “The good news is that I can probably teach a specialist course on clock manufacture to 1850? I found more information on the Boston concern that Williams tended to purchase his clock-faces from, the history of brass rolling mills in New England – mostly Connecticut, by the way, none of your Hub nonsense here – though I don’t know for sure if Williams bought from Abel Porter and Co. or imported from England. You said your clock was early 18-teens, which makes trade with Britain a tad unlikely. There’s more information on the mahogany trade in there, as well. Book review for a monograph creatively titled Mahogany, by a Dr. Anderson – I suppose that’s part of the commodities trend where every other book was titled Cod or Pepper or whatever have you – in case you’re interested. Oh, and did you know that Williams once rented shop-room that had previously been occupied by a silversmith named Zenas Fearing?” She pushed a full manila folder across the table to him.
“If you want it,” she said, quickly, “I have all this in scans and pdfs as well, I can just email it to you. But I prefer hard copies.”
He took the folder and leafed through the pages, her annotations in red standing out against the page. “At this rate, Mrs. Treat, I’ll be able to construct it myself.”
“You might consider it. Shelf clocks are more common by the Federal period, but they’re still rare. If you could find a good source for Honduran mahogany you’d be able to make a pretty close replica to an original. Or just 3D print it, I guess.”
She sat back in her chair and swirled the ice around her glass with an apologetic smile. “I want to be clear, Mr. Norrington. I do believe that David Williams likely made multiple clocks of the type you’re describing, and I do believe that several have survived the last two centuries, and will come up for sale if they’re not already – these things can get misidentified. My failure isn’t an indication that it doesn’t exist, only – hmm. I say this as a professional: I appreciate your business and the trust you’ve put in me, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least tell you to consider going through a specialist. I don’t know clocks as well as I do desks and highboys.”
When he said he had consulted a specialist, Mrs. Treat cocked her head, and frowned. “Well. That’s good.”
He wasn’t sure what to say to that – she didn’t seem upset or offended, more puzzled than anything. He hadn’t meant it as an insult to her professional abilities; the dealers he had consulted spoke highly of her, tempered by the recent loss of her husband, who had been the founder of the business. Still, she looked at him cautiously – like she suspected something was afoot. “You care a great deal about this clock, I see.”
“One needs goals in life.”
“A lawyer’s answer,” she shot back. “But I understand, I think. And that really is all I have for you – there’s copies of correspondences with a few auction houses about Williams’ clocks – mostly tall clocks that have come up in the last half-century, some research from Newport Historical Society I called in a favor for – mostly about Williams and his contemporaries. Shockingly, most everyone wants to hear about William Claggett, so this is a bit thin – but if you ever get to Newport – the antiques show really is something! – you really should see the Claggett clock in the Redwood Library; it makes the to-do about him and his workshop seem very, very justified. There’s some auction results for the last few times one of his has come up, too. Just for comparison. Close to the back, yellow tab.”
Well. That was a number of zeroes.
“I appreciate your diligence,” he replied, closing the folder and pushing it to the side, to make way for the two plates the waitress was sweeping up with, and was very grateful for it, because he wasn’t sure what else there was for her or him to say. At least Mrs. Treat seemed to think one shouldn’t talk during the first few bites of a meal, efficiently clearing away half of her turkey club before setting the rest aside, and pushing her chips around her plate, which seemed an oblique signal that she’d welcome conversation, or still had something to say.
He didn’t say anything – a lawyer’s habit, maybe, though God knew it’d never helped him outside of the courtroom; or maybe he was still feeling a little foolish for letting the blind grief and very old scotch go to his head that day, and wasn’t entirely sure who Mrs. Treat was, even after doing some due diligence of his own: she seemed personable, dedicated, and honest – too honest for her own good, if she was encouraging him to look elsewhere. The glasses she wore on a chain gave her the air of a librarian, or slightly eccentric aunt – appropriate enough for her occupation. Still, it was rude to be too quiet for too long, and Mrs. Treat really had done an admirable job given the conditions.
“Will you permit a question, Mrs. Treat?”
“You needn’t have given me all this information – or anything else that you’ve sent along. I would have been satisfied with an email that was some variant on ‘Not yet.’ Why all this?”
“It’s the slow season for me. Almost no foot traffic between the holidays and Memorial Day weekend – a spike around Valentine’s Day and St. Pat’s, because of the road race – but all in all, winter into early spring’s my designated vacation time. I liked the challenge – and I spent a lot of summers in Newport, when I was a teenager.” She paused, before looking at him curiously. “Will you permit a question?”
“I’ve been assuming you’re looking for a Williams clock because there was one passed down in your family – how did your family come to acquire the original? I’ve had to get very good at family genealogies over the years, but I wouldn’t have to have done so to know you’re not from a Newport family.”
“An antecedent married a woman from Newport; it came with her to the marriage.” If there had been an implicit question in why he did not have that original clock, he ignored it – better leave it as some question or quibbling over inheritance. Old families were fairly notorious for that. His cousins still weren’t speaking, even after fifteen years had passed, over the disposition some porringers. God alone knew what Hell would break loose when Grandmother passed away, and left the Burt silver tea service to one her descendants.
“Good provenance,” was all the reply that Mrs. Treat made on that score – all the reply she could make, because her phone began to ring and, apologetically, she checked the ID before blanching. “It’s my daughter’s school – if you’ll – just a moment – I’ll be right back!”
And she was – dashing back to the table looking like she was either about to break something or cry. “I am sorry, Mr. Norrington – I have to cut this short – my daughter’s been in a fight at school – she bit someone, actually – no blood, thank Christ – and, well –”
“I understand,” he said, rising to his feet belatedly, because he felt he ought to.
“Bless you! Do you want the folder with all the copies? Yes? Great. I’ll be in touch in June. Enjoy the spring up in Boston!”
Mrs. Treat rushed out the door, and he sat back down with the folder. If nothing else, it’d be more interesting that his current caseload.
In his inbox, not a few hours later, was a painstakingly polite email containing more than one apology and several thanks for understanding as he had: Just in case (she wrote) I’ve set up a DropBox with all the info in the folder, find it at this link, I am profoundly sorry for my unprofessional behavior, Best Regards, Elinor Treat.
He replied immediately that there really was no need for her apologies: though personally unable to relate to the experience of managing children alone, his sister’s children were enough of a handful, and – came the sobering thought – they hadn’t just lost their father the year before.
Biting, though. He wanted to ask, but that would be rude.
And as May rolled through into June, Theo reminded him that it had been six months, and there was no time like summer to at least try to start dating again. This struck him as profoundly collegiate, and he said so, which led to a completely fruitless argument over whether or not either of them had dated in college, and why or why not, and how that at all had any bearing on the subject at hand – the only thing worse than arguing with a lawyer, he supposed, was being one yourself and doing it anyway. Like being an electrician and still sticking a fork in a wall socket.
He won a one-month moratorium on the topic, but that seemed pretty pyrrhic, all told. Weatherby Swann still couldn’t look him full in the face – and he didn’t anticipate that starting to date again would at all endear him the senior partner turned Gubenatorial hopeful. Or maybe it would? Swann could breathe a sigh of relief that it hadn’t been so serious as it seemed at first – no broken hearts, no resentment. Just two people who weren’t quite meant to make it.
He was out of his office before he knew it, saying something vague about getting lunch to Ned Jarsdel and he’d be back shortly, etc. etc. – and didn’t even notice he had a shadow until Theo Groves jumped into the elevator behind him with an obviously innocent expression.
“Someone’s got to make sure you eat your greens,” Theo said, airily.
“I’m not six years old,” James replied. He said it petulantly enough that it sounded like he was, and his junior snorted. Decades of incredibly expensive education, and that was the best he could do.
“You eat like you are.”
“And you know many first-graders who survive on scotch and bagels?”
“More in the sense of, ‘You can’t be trusted to eat a nutritionally balanced meal on your own account,’” Theo corrected, following him into the noisy lobby, “Honestly, it’s a marvel you haven’t developed scurvy by now.”
James tried to think of concrete proof he’d eaten something with vitamin C in the last week, but came up short, and settled for sniping that Theo had a job and caseload of his own – which, somehow, turned into another bout of unproductive bickering that lasted up State Street, and James pretended he didn’t notice he was being herded towards Sweetgreen (or however it was spelled). With the vaguest glimmer of self-knowledge, he knew he was bristling from the shame of being seen to be incompetent; it didn’t stop him bristling, but at least he let himself be chivvied along through the crowds and the late-spring sunshine.
This was, of course, the moment he encountered Elinor Treat again.
She was standing on the edge of a group of children, clustered around a tricornered guide at the Old State House – and whirled around at being hailed with a puzzled look, until she spotted him and waved. With a word to another woman, she broke away and jogged over. “Mr. Norrington, hello! Forgive me – I’m here with my daughter’s class – end of year field trip, you know. I hope you’re well?”
Very aware that Theo was suddenly Interested in the proceedings, James was as dry as possible in introducing the two: Theodore Groves, a junior associate; Elinor Treat, antique dealer.
“Allegedly,” she said, with a sort of chagrinned cheerfulness, “I’m afraid I haven’t been very helpful yet.”
Mrs. Treat looked at him rather than answering Theo’s question outright; he supposed he appreciated her discretion. “She’s investigating a family heirloom for me,” he replied, which was at least partially true.
“An interesting line of work,” said Theo.
“It has its moments. It does put a target on my back for chaperoning these kinds of trips, though – and we’ve still got to make to Charlestown.” She glanced over her shoulder at the school group, anxiously, “I don’t mean to be rude, but I’ve got to get back. Responsibilities aside, my daughter’s a firecracker and even the Massacre won’t be enough to keep her occupied long. Goodbye! I’ll be in touch!”
Blessedly, Theo said nothing until after they’d gotten their lunches, and sat out in the sun. “So. She seems nice.”
“You have another two weeks before you’re allowed anything on the topic,” James replied, stabbing at his under-dressed spinach bad-temperedly.
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the bouquet of balloon flowers is nestled in the space between his thumb and forefinger, the card slotted adjacent and the cupcake, towered with frosting burns a single candle, balanced in his palm. he raps gently against the door with his free hand, early, but not early enough ( hopefully ) to provoke the irritation of her roommates. there’s a twenty-five percent chance that she opens the door, so maybe this is sign that he should buy a lottery ticket. he clears his throat, mornings don’t wear off for him until long into the afternoon - his voice is slightly hoarse. ‘ happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear, ’ his voice cracks slightly trying for the high note which lurches him into an unpracticed falsetto, ‘ luna, happy birthday to you. ’ the end of the performance melds into a breathy, self-conscious laugh. he’s caught on her gaze when instinct drags it down to the cupcake, a dribble of wax dropping down the side of the candle. he raises the cupcake towards her, as though believing the wax would rise with it too. ‘ oh, quick, make a wish. ’ @lunaseongs
the card’s a stolen page from his scrapbook, which is a collection of memento’s and miscellaneous things he’s found that can be pressed : dropped flower petals, fallen leaves, shiny candy wrappers counted as litter until he picks it up. he chooses a page with a piece of silver tinsel that snakes across the entire page, the bare spaces decorated with leaves so dead that they’d still crunch if he’d decided to try and glue them instead of pinning them down with packing tape. it’s folded in half. in a black, boyish scrawl, the inside reads:
Happy Birthday Luna! Twenty-one! It feels odd to have missed so many years, but we have so much to catch up on now and I’m grateful for that. Like the backlog of our memories is proof you’re really here. I’m so happy you’re here.
Did you know Flowers in the Mold got an English release last year?
he hadn’t, until he’d seen it in that gigantic bookstore in london, the name of it escaping him. he’d bought it immediately, devoured it in one night, dog-earring pages and underlining the parallels between the stories, searching for evidence that the woman in the woman next door was the same woman in flowers of mold. luna had been on every single page ; she was in waxen wings, the way she’d told the story coming into focus - she wasn’t even translating it for him, just recounting the story, but the care with which she did was meticulous, as if the author would come and reprimand her if she did a poor job. luna had told him how the woman had gotten to fly, even though it had ended in an accident where she lost her leg. somehow he hadn’t found it as devastating when she’d said it as he had when he’d read it. she was in your rearview mirror, quite literally. luna and the man. partners in magic, until a bus crash. he likes that one the most, even though the ending had made him cry. and she was in every rigor mortis mention, every time a living person went looking for something dead and came up empty, she was in the misremembering, the sole shoes left behind, the wanting to fly.
That’s just one of the things we have to catch up on. I got a bit obsessed with trying to figure out what each story meant. But it’s not the really the type of book you can figure out. I bet you knew that way before me.
Cheers (do you drink?) to all the time in the world.
it’s still feels like a miracle.
P.S. I promise your next gift will be better. Though the flowers do last incredibly long, you don’t even have to put them in water!
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That Time I Made Dave Malloy Feel Like a "Bad White Guy"
aka, "the weirdest fucking thing that has ever happened to me in my life," aka, "how the moby dick musical went from being racist to...slightly less racist?"
(Before I dive right into this, I have an actual, like, serious review of my thoughts on the musical HERE, so if that's what you're looking for, there you go)
Buckle up, folks, get comfy, and grab a drink, because this shit's going to be long. and wild.
So. Once upon a time, in the Ye Olde Days of winter 2018, three things happen, in this order: 1) I decide I'm going to make a Moby Dick comic. 2) I join a Moby Dick discord on tumblr. 3) From this discord, I learn that Dave Malloy is making a Moby Dick musical, and I am ecstatic. I am so fucking pumped for this musical -- I was already in love with Great Comet, and just starting to get into Ghost Quartet and his other stuff, PLUS, I live really close to the A.R.T. (on campus!!) so I knew I could go see the show as soon as it came out. I bought tickets in June for the show in December, and just was super super hyped.
Come, like, June ish, some folks in the discord discover a kinda sus casting call for the musical, that call for all of the white characters (except Captain Ahab) to be played by WOC and all of the characters of color to have their races swapped.
so... this is a lil Yikes. Moby Dick is a book that is very intrinsically tied with race. The characters of colors' stories are often explicitly about their races (especially Pip!), and the white characters exhibit varying degrees of racism, from the more casual ignorance of Ishmael to the outright white supremacist violence of Stubb. Melville wrote the relationships between his white and nonwhite characters in a very conscious and deliberate way. Were Melville's racial politics great, or even good? Absolutely not; he's a white man writing in 1851. But he still wrote Moby Dick with extreme thought given to the racial dynamics of the time period, and like, did an okay job, all things considered.
So! Changing the races of these characters not only doesn't really make sense (w/ regards to having racist white people being played by POC), but it's also just...super racist to treat characters of color interchangeably and disregard the racial contexts of their original stories.
So this was concerning. But hey, this was still a Long way out from the actual show, so we thought, maybe this is an earlier draft? maybe they have changed/will change it?
I sent him a tweet about it, no response; some friends sent him tweets about it/messaged him on other places, no response. So like, whatever, wasn't really expecting one anyway (yknow, he's a busy man i'm sure), so at this point we just think "hmm, ok, guess we'll wait till December and see? this casting call is kind of old so maybe he changed it. whatever, we'll see."
Come July, we find out about the preview concert that they're doing for the show in NYC. some friends from the discord go see it. at this point, most of the characters of color have been swapped back to the right races, BUT Pip is still being played by a nonBlack actor (& his character is referred to as 'pip-not-pip,' which I assume is related to Pip's in-book struggles with identity and mental illness), and the three mates (starbuck, stubb, and flask) are still being played by poc, even though they're referred to in-show as white men (and, like, I don't have that big of a problem with this? the whole take of 'metatextual' whiteness is really weird and unnecessary esp from a white writer imo, but i love all the actors who played them and at this point there are much bigger issues, so like w/e). Pip, in addition to being a Black character who's played by a nonBlack actor, has an entire segment of the show dedicated to him ('the ballad of pip') and a song in that section called 'the tambourine' which was really just...like, a 15 minute tirade of opinions on race in the modern US and, like, appropriation of Black culture and music, but, like, coming from a white writer and a nonblack actor so like, yikes. (the song has changed a bit to the final version, but more on that later).
soooo. I send another tweet, no response.
I make this meme in september, which I am both linking and including in the body of this post because it becomes relevant later. and once again, we decide to wait till december.
OCTOBER comes, and the ART is doing an open house, and Dave is gonna be there and do like a q&a about the show! so i'm like, GREAT, I live on campus that the theater uses, I am going to go to this man and talk to him. Kathie, one of my friends from the discord, comes up to stay with me for that weekend, and we write dave a letter (which i'm still very proud of, tbh) that's just, like, "hey maybe don't do this with characters of color and here's why, but we understand if you can't change this in time for december, just please, something to keep in mind for future iterations of the show etc etc."
so we go to the event.
dave's like, right there when we walk in, and i didn't notice him at first, so kathie points him out to me and i fucking beeline past him, because I'm losing my mind.
the event starts, the lady from the ART is up on the stage asking him questions and stuff, and Kathie and I are sitting and still losing our goddamn minds.
so Dave starts talking about, like, race in the show, and he mentions something about how originally, all the characters of color were going to be cast against their race, but now they've been switched back! which, NICE! and he also confirmed ishmael and queequeg to be lovers in the show (he used the word 'lovers' to describe them!) slight tangent: i know there's a video with this interview online, but it actually cuts out parts of the interview...so if anyone wants the full audio of the whole event, including aforementioned comments about race, i have it. I only bring this up because Both of those things he said ended up being blatantly untrue: Fedallah is NOT cast with the correct race (so not all the characters were switched back like he said), and Ishmael/Queequeg are not confirmed narratively to be together (though it is... implied? Idk i have mixed feelings abt that). I am VERY unhappy with the decision to erase Fedallah’s canon ethnicity and religion, though.
but anyways, at the time, Kathie and I are like great! looks like he fixed the things! maybe he saw some of our critiques, maybe he came to it independently, but regardless that's cool! and we think, ok, let's go give him the letter anyways, because still, he should know that, like, people were worried about this and we're glad he changed it etc etc.
so the event ends. we get in line to talk to dave. I turn to kathie and say "Don't worry, I know exactly what I'm going to say."
Famous last words.
I think I'm going to say, like, hey we wrote this letter about race in the show, but it looks like you fixed the things, but we figured you should have the letter anyways just so you know, yada yada.
That... that's not what happened.
So we get up to Dave and I'm, like, you know, a flustered mess, and I introduce myself, I go "Hi I'm Sahar and this is Kathie--"
and he goes
"Sahar? I know you."
to which I respond something to the effect of
because, like, what the fuck am I supposed to say to that?
I figured, ok maybe you saw my tweets? Cool, I guess, whatever, guy who wrote my favorite musical but also is Kind of Racist knows my name, that’s fine I guess.
anyway. at this point, I am Barely keeping it together. i try to explain about the letter, I try to explain that, like, hey i'm excited for the show but i was worried about some of the racial stuff, here's this letter we made, and I'm not sure what came out of my mouth but it was some incoherent babbling nonsense because by now I have lost all sense of what it means to be human.
So, like, I try to thank him for making the racial changes
and he goes
"yeah i saw some memes online that made me want to change them" (something to that effect; i'm paraphrasing)
and, internally, I was thinking, "haha what if he saw my 'it's free real estate meme'"
he said "yeah there was this it's free real estate meme"
and I fucking. I just lose it. All the marbles? Lost! Sahar? Found dead in the Loeb mainstage at, like, 3pm! I don't think I've ever said the words "I'm sorry" and "thank you" more times in the span of, like, 60 seconds!!!! (in hindsight I definitely should Not have apologized, but in the moment I was very flustered and also losing my mind completely, & he also said some lowkey passive-aggressive thing about ‘yeah people see what you post online’ which, like, ok i just got #octet’d by mr dave malloy himself but ANYWAYS)
and this is a direct Fucking quote
that the meme made him feel like
and I QUOTE
it made him feel like a "bad white guy"
To this day I still cannot believe that happened? that he chose to use that exact phrasing? it's so fucking hilarious to me (and honestly, if Kathie weren't there, I would not have believed it happened because it really truly felt like a fucking fever dream).
And like, when he said that, internally I was thinking, "yeah, that was the point?”
But also, “how the fuck did you see this meme that has only 20 notes on tumblr when you dont have a tumblr? did you find it? did someone show it to you? i need to know these things."
anyways, after all this,
I ask him to sign my book, like a well adjusted individual, and I bolt it the fuck out of there,
and Kathie takes this fucking selfie of us (me on the left), which I think truly captures the energy and chaos of, like, everything
and I went to the bookstore down the street
and impulse bought an illustrated copy of Moby Dick,
the official cast list came out later that week (and it was still a little confusing/sus??? so like, I had to be “I GUESS I’LL JUST WAIT UNTIL DECEMBER, AGAIN),
and I fucking Died, the end.
(also the musical was still kind of racist. Saw the show twice in December, once at dress rehearsals (and, like, tried to stare down dave), and once during previews. more on that in my review and under the #quasartalks tag).
And, uh. That's the story of how I made Dave Malloy feel like a bad white guy, I guess. I think about this every goddamn day of my life.
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