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#let him be the smiley lead in his next series
submissive-bangtan · 6 months ago
Group Sex With SuperM
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SUMMARY: creating a group chat is all it takes.
↳ A/N. yep, we’re going there. 
words. 14k
WARNINGS ⚠️ friends to lovers hc, porn with plot, idol au, sex w/ all members individually and together, dom/sub dynamics, corruption kink, sexting, blowjobs & cunnilingus, gaping, graphic, pegging, bondage, light foot fetish, sex toys, spitroasting (m receiving), brat taming, dick riding, protected sex, doggystyle, cuddling aftercare
curious about an eightsome are we
how’s the state of things then?
last september you decided to open an entire group chat just for planning your juicy sexual activities together
and oh lord is it active
and full of ideas
and explicit videos
and emojis
and excitement
yesterday taemin sent a clip of lusciously covering himself in champagne foam for you
wearing close to nothing
in fact just a piece of gauze, a snake-shaped necklace, and probably a bit of perfume
oh boy
watching that was an out-of-body experience for sure
the entire chat basically imploded with reactions
but hey hey
not so fast
we need to go through everything from the start
to see how all these utterly historic events happened to unfold
so where did all that come from?
first off 
befriending super m outside work (eating together, fooling around, bingwatching stuff, you know)
...means there’s no point nor chance in having a permanent favorite with a group like this
every member truly is the creme de la creme
super m is the package of the entire packages
they are so legendary you can bias each member for one day of the week 
and never run out of that pure bliss
in fact 
you all agreed to do exactly that on a regular basis to get to know each other casually
it just naturally happened
seven days seven members that’s just logical
you can’t always hang out together in full attendance so you split up your times and set specific days
you change that routine very often depending on your individual moods
but it usually goes like this because you want to develop closer bonds with them one-on-one
so this is how it ends up
mondays you work out with xuxi. oh, that sexy smiley man. his body is the ultimate bomb. is there something better than doing sit-ups next to him? anybody’s sports motivation would go through the roof. and if there’s someone you call to share a pile of food with? it’s just gotta be him. being with yukhei is self-care.
tuesdays, you visit ten to check out his latest dance moves. and: to have a huge cuddle session with the cats. sometimes, you watch whatever series you’re in the mood for. it’s always a time to slow down and mend your sore muscles from monday anyway. you think ten is so interesting and talented, and super pretty, truly one of a kind.
on wednesdays jongin and you often end up on long midnight walks with the dogs or you both look after his cute nieces. meeting up at the river han is a staple, you get ice cream and snacks. you adore kai because he’s a sweetheart and steadfast person, and admittedly... so damn hot, holy hell. being with him makes you feel great.
thursday is baekhyun day and full of cheeriness as you’d expect. long hours of gaming, cheeky skinship, banter, and pizza eating await you at his apartment. you adore this mochi for his everything, he makes you laugh uncontrollably so much. sometimes, you also comfort him when he doesn’t feel good about himself or exhausted from practice. he will sing anything you want, baekhyun is like your personal 24/7 radio station.
fridays it’s time for the studio. mark is crafting his most fire bars and loves to have you around there. you inspire him a lot. he’s just completely astounding and the sweetest to you. friday most people would go clubbing, but super m just has to meet up in the studio. no paparazzi, and the music is obviously danceable. i’m telling you: this mob can jop, duh.
saturday is for handsome taeyong who loves coming to your home. cooking, organizing, doing the laundry, and browsing youtube together is the best thing. taeyong is the shyest goodest boy and a great listener. he gives great advice and is the epitome of respectful. you just vibe very well together.
sunday you dedicate to taemin. you watch artsy films, experiment with outfits, and he plays the piano for you so expertly. man, you are lucky. he’s like a fairy to you, and a connoisseur, a mythical figure almost. since he’s a newly-found cat dad, you easily fill your day playing with the most interesting kitten that is lee kkoong. sometimes, you even meet shinee members dropping by.
so yes this is what paradise looks like
and they all love to engage with you in their own way and you develop favorite ways to spend time, they put so much effort into this
it goes without saying that you all realize how hard you’re crushing as the weeks pass
like can you imagine
all the hormones i swear
you’ve already been joking to them that you have seven boyfriends some months ago
well the prophecy is fulfilled faster than you can blink
when you meet up as eight for a movie night at baekhyun’s, the atmosphere feels pretty frisky
because lucas is sending you ten thousand glances and certainly nobody misses that
if this guy is laughing at your every word i mean
meanwhile taeyong is having a nervous meltdown at your every comment about the movie, it’s ridiculous, he’s smitten as fuck, he looks at you like you’re an actual goddess
mark keeps on making glimmering eyes at you as well, and he asks you if you want popcorn every two minutes
baekhyun is all curled up close to your lap and not even watching the movie because his face is almost nuzzled into your sweater for fuck’s sake
taemin has spent the entire preperation in complete frenzy making sure there are scented candles everywhere and the snacks are exquisite and costly. mother taemresa? at full throttle. he even used his own damn credit card.
meanwhile kai suffers from his fidgety legs, constant hair fixing and even more inability to concentrate on the movie 
because damn, he knows he wants your attention. he literally came around with the tightest shirt he owns so there’s that. you can see every little muscle doing its thing when he does as much as breathe. kai is now well aware he came to impress. it won’t take him a lot to realize he wants to be even closer to you than doing midnight walks.
ten is so firmly snuggled up next to you, he might as well be your cat himself. if ten starts acting like a clingy feline instead of being in roast mode, you know he’s lovestruck i’m telling ya
needless to say
the mood in the room is hard to ignore
hell there are romance candles everywhere all those hecking rose fumes are to blame
surprise surprise all the members try to sit as close as possibly to you the more the movie progresses
even abandoning the couch and seats to sit on the ground in front of you instead
“you want popcorn?”
“like some more popcorn?”
“here, have my popcorn!“
“more popcorn?”
“hey do you want popcorn?”
from all sides, constantly
the m in super m stands for making sure you have popcorn
you never run out
like when the leading lady is pulling out a cigarette in those old hollywood flicks and at least twenty guys are scurrying to offer a lighter
i’m exaggerating but
nobody even knows what kind of movie they’re watching tonight though
the elephant in the room is trumpeting too loud to understand the dialogue
you’re surrounded by seven big ole hotties who have fallen for you
it was inevitable
it’s more than clear to everyone that they all like you and you couldn’t be any more fluttered yourself
let the hunger games begin
i’m jopping i mean i’m joking
this is not the wwe
it’s pretty clear to the boys that if they fight you’re gonna be so unhappy and your quality time together is ruined
you adore them all, and they’d be regretful about hurting their own bonds 
and anyway
if it came down to it and the bad blood was really escalating um...
...ten would destroy all of the competition
there’s no denying
by the simple virtue of his badassery and winning disease
quickly reducing all his opponents to a pile of dust so fine-grained, the great freddie mercury himself would resurrect to sing the soundtrack in the background and pump his fist
imagine that. superm actually being gladiators i mean wasn’t that the entire jopping mv
baekhyun would try to pull the leader authority card and use his hapkido martial arts skill but ten would obliterate him anyway so
even if taemin put on a dark robe and drew a salt circle to summon a million snakes from hell, ten would win the fight to a fault
but that’s too apocalyptic and outside of that thought experiment the boys are actually kinda shy so... let’s scratch that
there are seven days of the week with good reason 
you ease the uncertainty and tension by saying you’d truly fail as a tv bachelorette
everyone understands that deciding would be impossible and cheating is shit
why give someone a rose and break 6 hearts when you can hand out a whole damn bouquet
it’s more stylish my friend
and for what reason would ten want to face off against taemin and his army of snakes in the first place. they’re ten’s greatest inspiration
nor does kai have any tighter shirts 
he already ran out, he brought his A game from the get-go
on top of that the popcorn is empty there’s no more to offer
so you remain with the idea to just keep your daily routine
xuxi monday, ten tuesday and so on
keeps everything in order
it’s fair
plus it doesn’t mess with their schedules
usually unless a big award show is coming up but that can be re-planned in advance as well
you know... things can develop in their own timing with each member
it’d be awkward to expect everyone to be on the same stage at once
baekhyun is comfortable with all kinds of back hugs while taeyong and taemin are still completely flustered and turn all wobbly at just a greeting wave
you know what i mean
it’s already clear everyone loves you very differently 
some members are more straightforward, others take it slow, it’s just a normal thing
that’s when the group chat is born
it’s still very sfw 
compared to how explicit it’ll be in the future ahem
and everyone is overcautious with writing something except baekhyun, the eternal extrovert
for now you keep each other updated on how it’s all going with trivial details
earlier you just had individual chats and baekhyun arranged the group meetings since he knows the schedule best
now it’s all in one spot so that works
everyone’s curiosity is quenched at least a little bit
and they see each other anyway and put their heads together
baekhyun will be the most open about how far your skinship slowly develops followed by lucas and kai who oggle each other in their usual tom and jerry manner
which you have an eye on
you tell the members something very important for when they’re envious
or feel the need to one-up or catch up
it’s the sign to get closer to you and that they’re ready for taking another step. that’s literally what jealousy is all about
that advice helps them out a lot actually
kai takes that to heart in particular because he knows he’s prone and feels bad about it
and they also learn from ten who carries a quiet happiness with confidence that doesn’t need comparison, but he can also talk very honestly about how he’s standing with you to the point
ten knows how it’s done
as expected of such a competent man
like he’s kissed your hands very lightly but he doesn’t feel the need to show it off all day
and he also leads by example together with taemin and taeyong how one can give compliments even when not being involved in something 
“you’re looking adorable together“ as taemin would often say about you hanging out with kai or baekhyun
a lot of praise culture is developing in the group chat
you like to see it 
and now for the other elephant in the room
as for who will ask you to sleep with him first
(and mind you at this point they’re all walking around with condoms in their backpacks and jackets)
believe it or not
after the finishing touches on his latest mixtape (oh yes), and those tracks have you feeling some kind of way oh shit, mark gathers all his courage
yes it’s mark lee 
literally he steps into the blaze of bravery of jongin when he first put on a crop top
and gets out a little “can we... some time... you know...” after you’re having some pretzel sticks together and awkwardly sitting around
oh what's gonna happen next huh?
you say you’ve been thinking about it a lot
that he has a great body doesn’t go unseen
and tell him how you imagine it with him
long story short you’ll have your first quickie in the sound booth that night
cutting straight to the chase
him steadily penetrating you from behind, you leaning closely with your back to his chest
just standing and enjoying the rhythm
that dick. is amazing.
oh god, mark lee
long, curved, smooth, a classic
meanwhile your fave rapper is definitely going through it
his arms tell you everything
that’s an embrace for the books
he’s hugging you like his life depends on it
you can just take in how he’s been showering twice today this guy is clean as fuck he smells so good
getting off from shampoo and fabric softener is not what you expected but it definitely makes you clench
you both know he’s not gonna last for more than six minutes and that’s ok
that’s a lot of long-held frustration released into that condom
and a lot of passion put into how he puts his guitar fingers to work on your clit afterwards
jimi ‘lee’ hendrix has arrived
oh yeah mark, you fucking treat, fuck it up
that way you won’t last long either since you guide his finger tips to your favorite spot and the motherfucker completely goes for it
“like this, like, um?”
and he goes off with the wrist
oh shit
it’s all kept so short and simple and you’re on the oldest mustard-colored studio couch that ever existed but mark lee is mark fucking lee nothing can obstruct his quality
like this guy has some serious skills with the angles
that orgasm is gonna get some moans you didn’t know you were capable of out of you
never wasting time, that guy is he
mark definitely fucks like he raps. fast and good
you cool down together looking each other in the eyes, forehead to forehead, for like fifteen minutes, and you give each other little chaste kisses all over your faces and he melts every time
your little rendezvous was definitely so needed 
you ask if you can bring some vibes to play around with and a watermelon next time
you don’t have to ask twice
mark is so damn happy
and the timing was right
straightforward and spontaneous. that definitely works well with mark
no complaints, you go home feeling comfortably refreshed. you’ve told him he could tell the others or wait to do it, this is up to his comfort because he is shy
neither happens
after just one glance at him the next day while the group is doing a photoshoot
baekhyun already knows mark slept with you 
he just knows
and makes a loud “ohh wow, you did it” noise
ten takes two only glances to understand what’s going on too
mark nods and the whole group is highstrung for the entire day
like a hive of bees oh yes
kai is massively proud of raising mark so well but also really surprised
unlike taemin who calmly advised mark on many things in advance
guess where mark’s fingering skills originate from
he took some secret pointers from the king 
taeyong is shook at his rap buddy’s singleminded grit to just spontaneously ask you
while baekhyun...
is keeping it together repeating the anti-jealousy mantra you gave him in his mind
“jealousy means to get closer jealousy means to get closer jealousy means to get closer jealousy means to get closer....“
it makes him realize oh god he really wants to be inside of you badly as well
you ain’t dumb, you see his change of tone from cute to sexy in the group chat even if he might not notice
baekhyun is trying extra hard to make you react to him
he posts so many cute selfies with kissy faces
needless to say taeyong’s time slot gets postponed to next thursday while you visit baekhyun this evening
it works for taeyong because he still needs to think some things through
the news overwhelmed him a little and he is shy about meeting up but that’s not a problem for you
and it’s better to get together with your mochi sooner because you both know there’s a lot of banging to do
like seriously
your mood tells you that candy’s on the menu today
oh yeah. it’s time to be all over your clingy lil’ honey bunny 
there’s not much endless wooing involved it goes to the point very fast after you arrive at his home
you just wanna stop pretending and fuck like animals and see his brain melt from it
remember how baekhyun once said he doesn’t fancy nice girls
that’s what he meant by that
mattress earthquake
he wants you fully riled up with arousal and addicted to touching and grabbing him
yeah baekhyun gets off on your desire
that’s not hard to accomplish when he makes big puppy eyes and puts his tongue on your neck
with that gomez addams shit... kissing up your arm and then popping off as soon as he gets there
congrats morticia
here is a man who can handle ya
he’s being so slobbery and moany about it that it knocks the breath out of you 
that shit is so good
baekhyun is not just a pro at giving head my friend it’s also giving neck
and unlike mark, may god have mercy on you, baekhyun keeps on going and going and kissing and kissing and he wants to lick up all of you so bad 
we know how needy and stamina-heavy this fella is
baekhyun is super m’s most insatiable member by fucking far
he’s like just give it to me and you’re like ok here we go
this guy is burning up oh god
that’s an evening of ten thousand positions, fearless cumplay, and a lot of face-sitting
super m’s most unleashed tongue right here
thank god you worked on your fitness with xuxi otherwise you couldn’t do this
he’s moaning in some harmonic scales or something it’s a whole concert
baekhyun is fully at it with you in every room of his flat with his whole neck and underarms looking mighty veiny
yeah he even carries you around to make it short and simple he’s one impatient bun
he can lift up sehun bridal style so no worries
mochi is smol and thin but he won’t drop you i promise
he’s fueled by horny boyfriend hormones and wants to give you the greatest night of all nights
and hit all the amazing spots
baekhyun aims to make your pussy lips throb and fall completely in love with him
and the bridge of his nose if you get what i’m saying
he’s also versatile in his clothing choices
if you say keep your nerdy glasses on, oh yeah they stay on
just a little challenge to see if you can ride him hard enough to see them fall off
and that dick is not some extra long lasso mark lee calibre
so he can really bend it more and thrust with ease at many angles
talking about mark
he regrets not asking you earlier but you tell baekhyun that this way was much better because you unceremoniously skipped to the fucking instead of messing around
if it wasn’t for mark’s courage to break the ice even with a choppy sentence 
you’d still be awkwardly looking each other in the eyes while munching pizza
all hail mark lee nervous legend
this way, baekhyun goes all out with fewer restraint and the burden of being first with making the impression that comes with it
we all know he’s too self-conscious for his own mochi good so that’s a better way to start out
this way baekhyun will have sex with you until he’s passed out on his bed
knocking him out like that might as well become your favorite hobby
even minutes after your tongue still feels like it’s knotted together with his honestly, the muscle memory is kicking in
and this must be the most dick thrusts you’ve ever gotten in one night
baekhyun really wants to be all inside you, make you feel him
if the condom broke at least his baby will be easy to identify from day one
it’ll come out and belt a perfect G#5
he gave it all my god you stopped counting the times you came your pussy is just dripping wet it feels crazy
and his voice has become all raspy i—
that was baekhyun’s hardest vocal run yet i swear
the contraception shelf in the convenience store next to his house is close to empty
but there’s no need to buy more
what you two perverts have been up to is enough for comfortably going through 10 years of celibacy
baekhyun is content and sleeps like a baby
you hold your bun for like two hours afterwards and never want to let him go
you are as wobbly as taeyong after getting a head pat from you
and the most well-kissed girl in this city tonight
both sets of lips
what a smoochy boyfriend
you even get the chance to jerk baekhyun off in his half-sleep after he wakes up and asks you to put your hand in his pants
guess who opens his mouth very wide to lick his own semen off your fingers with some really obscene noises
it’s his royal nastiness byun baekhyun 
who sucks your tiddies to drift back into sleep again
with his hands in your pants
god bless this man
the group chat is sending 👀 emojis all the way throughout the night
your boys know love is in the air
they’re loosening up the timing is right again
you send cute smiling emojis 
a bunch of “ahs” and “ohs” come through via voicemail
and lucas even writes: “so who’s next? 😳”
you reply boldly: “the one asking that”
the group chat becomes a buzzing beehive again
from which you extract that kai is also very interested while ten, taeyong and taemin prefer waiting a little more
but this time you don’t switch time slots since you’ll meet xuxi on monday already 
kai wants to set up something nice and prepare the catering and whatnot (alright you rich man)
so it’s gonna be wednesday as usual with him
so far so good that’s the plan
sunday being taemin day, you get together to read and paint and listen to music
you feel like just doing some sensual kissing with him and taemin is very down
yeah baby he is the kissing king, taemin is hot stuff, he knows exactly what he’s doing, those lips are the pillows at the gates of heaven
losing your mind is a staple when you do that with him
just making out on the couch surrounded by the nicest arrangement of pot plants you’ve ever seen while it rains completely relaxes you and the serotonin is off the charts
he holds you so gently and tastes so good
what is it, rose water or something like that
he even put on his coziest sweater so you’ll love leaning against him
TL;DR taemin is the biggest fucking romantic in the history of SM
that was so seductive you’ll be dreaming about it
applause for lee taemin please
perfect contrasting programme: just hours later
yeah here it goes now
monday starts with xuxi stripping more than he usually does 
at the makeshift gym in his room while he’s on the treadmill
with his hair freshly dyed the most himbo shade of blonde ever
and yeah that’s blonde with an e because yukhei is too sexy to be called a blond. what an ugly word to look at
he’s a blondé
so that’s nice
he’s so dtf you just skip the workout 
time for lubed condoms.
i don’t have to tell you that you literally jump on him 
or that you’ll be dealing with super m’s singlemost biggest equipment
he doesn’t even have to drive it home an inch by himself you’re already riding him
he can’t handle all that gear in the first place
because how do you even develop a technique with such an unrealistic dick
hell how do you even exist like that
so it’s clear who’s taking the lead
all he has to do is work that body but it sort of happens on its own
himbo autopilot
you are going hard and chaotic on this man
xuxi doesn’t even know what hit him
he’s so vocal and excited 
you fuck him while he holds you up, get down on several gym benches, have him bend you forward at the bathroom sink... 
...and you attend business in ten’s room on a desk and window sill
because it’s the most silent there and doesn’t disturb xiaojun’s beauty sleep
ten has discreetly ushered you there and preoccupies himself in the kitchen with the cats
he knows how the game is played
either floor ‘em all or always watch out for others
but you are secretly wondering what ten is plotting because he has some serious self-control and observation skills
given how tidy his room is... whatever his plans are you can look forward to it
xuxi is definitely suffering from your heavy duty cock destruction in the meantime while being in heaven at the same time
that dick is worn out and dripping 
so much bouncing is even gonna make the biggest boy lose it
milking that orgasm out of him is gonna be so gratifying yum
the deep and defeated moans, my god he really surrenders to the pleasure
wow that was almost as to-the-point as studio sex with mark
no idle talk in nct huh
you clean each other all exhausted and then gobble up three bowls of noodles each
then sleep for two hours in each other’s arms
then do a second round because this guy is really getting you going and yukhei wants to live this monday to the fullest
like this man gives you previously unknown levels of energy
must be the blonde hair. it does sexy things when yukhei is twitching
this time it’s a dick blowing festival
oh yeah
the type where you’re so sloppy with your head bops, he doesn’t even know where to put his hands and needs to think emergency thoughts
oh yeah big dicks make for some nice slurpy noises that sound really plump you know what i mean
he’s gonna realize very soon you do this shit for your own entertainment
and get all kinds of squeaks and faces out of him
only little pauses help him keep up the stamina so he asks you to pull off for a bit every two minutes or so
he has to look elsewhere and distract his mind with thinking about washing the dishes
girl... your tongue has this man sweating major bullets
you’re big on the corruption kink are you
once again 
xuxi is gonna be so shaken and pass the fuck out from cumming
and he thought he was a horny guy
his soul must have left his body and that scalp is probably dead
but bleaching was worth it (he looks like a sleeping angel now)
not to mention banging all over the wayv dorm
ten got a preview of what’s expecting him
not that he doesn’t know he reads you well
lucas promises to return the oral favor next monday and finally collapses entirely in the living room wearing only boxers
nothing new for wayv, great sight for you
not a single workout routine has exhausted xuxi this much
he needs 10 hours of sleep to reboot
“she’s so wild 😲😂😍” is gonna be what he’ll summarize it as in the group chat later
first big boy taken down
the second one follows
wednesday is right around the corner 
oh yes
kai definitely goes off with the preparation you are not ready for this spectacle
he redecorated his entire kitchen and bathroom to perfection with flowers, lanterns, dim light, petals, expensive fabrics draped from the ceiling, and there’s a great view on night time seoul
you can tell he’s best friends with taemin
i mean they’re the greatest entertainers of their time of course their taste is great
always going the extra mile
the black, sheer shirt with a deep cleavage that kai put on is nothing short of a treat
is that a lace choker he’s wearing
and his hair is pushed back lord have mercy
you get pretty weak in the knees at that
the catering leaves nothing to be desired either. a full 3-course sicily-style italian meal with 100% organic ingredients and beautiful basil and thyme garnishings
to set the mood afterwards jongin does what he does best
don’t tell me you didn’t see this one coming
just a chair for you, some music, and him
is this like a whole damn private concert?
he has prepared an entire setlist to thrill you with selected styles of dance
even a rendition of salsa, swing, and tango argentino
i’m telling you...
if kim jongin moves his body for you like that you’ll be fucking hooked and honored and not believe your eyes
what a feast
prepare for a serious case of dropped jaw
and jongin being an absolute daredevil dancing incrementally close to your chair
he incorporates all these little moments of skinship
where he strokes your hair, your jaw, or takes your hands
while at the same time he’s completely destroying it on the dancefloor
with those scorching hips and how he works it on the carpet right in front of you
you’re about to fucking melt
what a time to be alive
the sheer shirt’s buttons are holding onto dear life as do his pants
kai’s movements are becoming extremely ecstatic
what a fucking lapdance 2.0
men have clearly evolved otherwise this wouldn’t be happening
kai dances like a king on a stage but jongin? is god-like when he dances with just one person as the audience
and because he’s very nervous
he work particularly hard to ace it
in his mind he’s already underneath you judging by how he’s moving can definitely fancy a luscious private concert each wednesday
and for designated activities in the bathroom
he even made a whole 5-hour playlist of the finest songs
so he can make you grind on top of him
don’t tell me kai isn’t the master of courting
king of effort
i don’t have to tell you that this is gonna be the most sensual night you’ve ever had
kai will get to know your body very, very well
those hips never stop do they
the fact that thursday is baekhyun day right after this?
wow aren’t you exhausted
the orgasms just seamlessly continue huh
everything goes on like that 
friday you have a toy-filled, passionate evening at the studio with mark who’s doing the most 
let’s say mark just has good ‘vibes’ indeed
this almost gets as messy as your first time with lucas
have fun cleaning up that couch, canada
what a sex marathon
if you don’t have your period
there’s always a lot of action going on 
or actually. you do catch a break for the weekend
saturday you bake delicious, pistacio and pecan-crusted sticky buns with taeyong 
who also shows you the new fledgelings that have hatched in his apartment
so adorable
sunday you endlessly make out with taemin in the sheets who has of course heard of jongin putting on a show
so he dances for you as well and even does the hands-tied criminal choreo in an especially luscious rendition (aka extra heavy breathing and grinding on the floor, and doing splits that almost rip his pants)
oh yes my love
nothing really happens afterwards you just have dinner completely flustered
if lee taemin dances, sex becomes redundant and doesn’t compare anymore
but really now
the slow burn is unbearable with him for fuck’s sake
taemin knows how to work up the seduction bit by bit
you basically masturbate all evening after returning to your house
god. what to do with this guy
on monday you ravage yukhei’s dick and get all that head 
xuxi is a chaotic fella but he keeps his promises
plus you get the best full-body massage of your life
and for the first time pull out your phone to basically livestream yourself riding him
so the whole chat can watch for five minutes
yep. you learned that courage thing from mark lee
the camera work is obviously subpar but the video definitely has maximum effect
kai and baekhyun stream their reaction right alongside your broadcast
“woah woah oh my god oh my god!!”
everyone’s freaking out, everyone stops whatever they’re doing, everyone is glued to their screens, they love your body moving
you’re having a blast 
especially when you stream another round an hour later and lucas holds the camera now
his arm is perfect for that by the way
strong and stable and high up in the air
so you can do your thing on that fat dick with a bonus of the sexiest xuxi moans ever
that deep but soft tone... yukhei really got a perfect groaning voice huh
after getting steamy for almost ten minutes, you get some great close-ups of your pussy after having yukhei pull out mid-romp
because that gape is for the gods
don’t kid yourself with a dick like that inside you’ll be opening a little wider
it looks and feels even better with lucas tracing his long fingers inside of it
with the closeup zooming in even more while he’s putting his thumb on your clit 
mmh that’s good stuff
six very shaky boys are sitting in front of their phones right now being able to look um very deeply inside of you
baekhyun is basically frozen to a statue on the reaction stream and salivates nonstop it’s just running down his neck at this point
his wettest dreams are right in front of him
stretched out pussy all juicy and swollen? baekhyun’s lifeblood. he’s seeing god 
he turns up the brightness of his phone to maximum so he can see every little detail 
remember. this guy loves to be inside of you so obsessively he wants to pay rent to live in there
so he’s appreciating an HD view of his favorite place, really deep and really pulsing and really soaked
yukhei has slathered you in lube and really pushed apart your muscles very gently, no abrasion, you relaxed so nicely around him
it’s feeling good as fuck
kai who’s watching right next to baekhyun just stares with big eyes
every injury he ever got while dancing is suddenly healed 
he’s a new man his spine has put itself together his legs are reborn
taeyong almost falls off his chair when he tunes in
he’s that bewildered
he just types a big WOW and a wall of blushing emojis
the explicit songs he’s been listening to and whatever he’s been rapping about recently are nothing in comparison to this
finally someone climbed up to taeyong’s level of nastiness
and he thought he’d never find someone on eye level
secretly he loves the nice view but he won’t admit how much
meanwhile he will rewatch this over and over for the whole week at least five times a day
and then there’s taemin
| adorable 😊🤗🎀 6v6
| can you put the camera a bit closer again 👉👈
| and turn on the flash if that’s ok 😳
| ah thank you 💟
i don’t know what taemin has seen or heard or experienced in his life and what made him this way but damn he loves that graphic shit
turning on the flash makes even yukhei’s jaw drop and rub your clit even faster
he’s damn proud he could make your pussy open up to him this way as he should be 
cuz he’s really been improving his Big Cock Techniques (BCT)
mark doesn’t write anything but he’s online and streaming so yeah he’s jerking off
with two hands
baekhyun is typing how much he loves the wet sounds and how great the fingering action is
and he’s damn right. telepathy 
that’s your favorite pervert right there yeehaw
in the meantime yukhei’s brain is empty he’s just smiling bright and enjoying the moment and the attention and your body
ten is basically next door because this is the fucking wayv dorm 
you can hear him choke on his coffee and whisper ‘oh my fucking god, oh shit’ to himself
the phone almost topples into the sheets while lucas is putting all those rubs and circles into your clit but the audio is already telling the boys to watch very closely anyway because here it comes
taeyong is probably falling apart by now given how he’s posting a couple fragmented sentences that you try to decipher on yukhei’s phone
until you get close and take up filming yourself again 
so yukhei can make a video with his own phone as well
yep that’s two cameras on you by now not just one
xuxi’s been such a steadfast babe 
and he gets to see the fruits of his work. for one, just how much of an imprint he left with his cock inside you 
and second how hard he can make you cum now
those big fingers are magic on you
taemin gets all the closeups he ever needed from your camera because you hit the zoom even more
yukhei starts kissing you twice
not as carefully as he often would
it’s the really wet and passionate version this time
he films your lower faces as good as he can
those big fucking lips 
they never fail to make you get the hots
they’re really made to do all this are they
his tongue nips into you with extra saliva on board
you suck it into your own mouth and mix it with yours, and gather some more
and slip your tongue above his in return
yukhei makes sure you can hear him swallowing all that warm runny spit and moans into your mouth
guess who just blew one big juicy load into the condom
and he’s not even inside of you
jesus christ yukhei
looks like french kissing is his orgasm button 
you start sucking on his tongue when it slides back between your lips and you make them really tight and puckering
the noise is so delicious
yukhei shoots the rest of his semen into the condom
you go even harder on him, the kiss gets really deep
kai and baekhyun are literally jumping up and down on their beds by now
taemin and mark are sending star-eyed emojis
ten is definitely beating the meat next door
yukhei’s hand is massaging incessantly between your legs
he makes you feel. so. good.
when he retreats from the kiss you’re ready
you can hardly keep the phone stable in your palm
yukhei also points his camera back at your pussy again
and makes sure to catch every contraction
you know an orgasm is good when you’re going all “oh... ohh...”
even taeyong goes online to stream his reaction because you cum so beautifully
he’s actually crying and can’t close his mouth he can’t believe what he’s seeing
your pussy lips are so sloppy and stretched apart and twitching and you make sure the camera catches every bit
it takes almost half a minute until your muscles calm
you tell yukhei to clean it up with those plump lips of his
baekhyun and taemin are violently agreeing with thousands of “YESS EAT UP!!!” and “yes!! 😊♥︎🌹” text bubbles in the chat
your guys are so cute do you realize that
in order to have both hands free, lucas ends his video, puts his phone aside, and is already licking you up like a whole bowl of whipped cream
you keep on streaming on your own phone and brush the hair out of his face
the best part is catching yukhei’s tongue winding between your lips and then spoiling your pussy with big kisses very very slowly as not to overstimulate you
he’s such a fast learner he’s doing it really well
once you’re satisfied and cool off, you stroke the back of his neck and his favorite boyfriend duties are officially on pause
so he can go to pull off the condom and clean himself up, and get ready for bed after a quick mini snack
while you blow kisses into the camera, flirt with all your babes while they flirt back and even bow to you
and film your pussy all swollen and licked up but slowly closing a little bit again, ever so slightly
ten sends two little black hearts and a little “that was the most amazing thing i’ve ever seen thank you 😽”
you make sure taemin gets an extra close view of your clit and taeyong is making high-pitched squealing noises in his reaction video stream
mark goes like “yea that’s the spot!”
kai has joined baekhyun with the mouth and saliva action, they’re both licking their lips all over the place and make lewd lusty faces
they’re literally sucking and eyefucking your pussy through the camera bitch they want it so goddamn bad
oh to have their mouths on you right now to come down from your high and chill
you tell everyone how much you miss them and how badly you want them to be here
and how you want to feel all of them all over, on your skin and inside you
the chat is full of yearning and horny crying emojis now
yukhei helps you clean up the rest while you text how it felt with mark and baekhyun because they wanna know more
you talk about how yukhei’s girth is always rubbing that one spot inside and his breathing changes when it does
and you say you really loved their reactions
the members promise to be careful and discrete when they re-watch the stream and ten also says that if you don’t want it to stay in the chat some day you should never hesitate to delete it
you say no problem boys you should know me inside out, just remember to use head-phones when yukhei starts slurping at the 01:27 min mark
taeyong and mark are losing it at your puns
then you have a glass of water taller than yukhei’s dick and basically dance to the bathroom
lucas talks to the boys with his big ole smile in his pyjamas while you’re busy
oh god he is so shy
but very very blissed out. it really takes only two things to make this man happy. big plates, twitchy pussy.
a truly simple man. you like that
kai is definitely evolving from his teasing yukhei agenda in the meantime
he is sending thumbs up emojis instead of raised eyebrow ones
you lay down in xuxi’s big embrace and say goodnight to your boys
yukhei buries his nose in your hair, and kisses you on the forehead so innocently, taeyong melts in his little video square on screen
taemin is a big fan as well
he’s living true to his “explicit shit and romance” life motto isn’t he
you ask if everyone was enjoying themselves
big positive reactions all over the chat
you coo how you adore them all so much and want more of things like this where everyone is involved
eight people are going to bed very happy today
yukhei waves and baekhyun goes offline as well, as does taeyong who’s beaming
end stream
it was a masterpiece
that mark needs to recover from the very most, his entire bed is full of used tissues
and basically
over the next few hours the chat is losing their minds over and over again
everyone can’t stop gushing and telling you what their favorite part was
kai says how turned on you were was making him hard all night
ten enjoyed the wild kissing part and how wet everything was
naughty boy taemin keeps on talking about how — i quote — your insides are the best ever!! while sending flower emojis
your stream has unleashed a gigaton of sexual energy
and that basically goes on and on
until tuesday arrives
today’s the day
you know that ten is up to something 
except the little hearts and kiss comment
he hasn’t written much in the chat
oh shit oh shit what is he planning
he truly is a pisces
you know that some epic stuff is about to go down since the cats are with yangyang 
and — what
there’s a large canvas in his room with a piece of cloth to cover it
lord have mercy
he’s bringing the big guns
ten will even hold a little speech on how he got inspiration two weeks ago
only to proceed to unveil the art very shyly
it’s an elaborate pencil drawing standing about as tall as him
immaculately sketched in a realistic way
have a guess what he’s been drawing
exactly right it’s an erotic depiction of you
laying on your back, thighs spread, head thrown back
and to make it mysterious you see more of the legs rather than the crotch area
so whatever or who is giving you pleasure is entirely up to you to imagine to your liking
it’s more about how the person he drew feels lust rather than the onlooker. he drew this for your own enjoyment
he did that very cleverly and classily 
this canvas will be your utmost treasure and get such an intimate spot in your home
it doesn’t take very long until you’re mounting him and get those hips moving in a circle
ten is just full of surprises
you ask if you can photograph the drawing and upload it to the chat
ten is like ohhh!
but why not, now that he thinks about it. he secretly likes praise and visibility for his drawings so much
the post is definitely a success 
lots of exclamation marks and reaction memes for three hours straight
but who would’ve thought otherwise
ten is just massively talented, always on point
and hits the right nerve with his line of work
as your pussy can attest
yukhei is gonna tease in the chat that he heard you in the dorm and that it sounded mega hot wink wink wink
ten writes:
| my tongue hurts 
| let’s do it again next week
| i feel inspired to draw more as well
the chat explodes with hype for another two hours
multiple members come up with their own artistic takes on you
on wednesday kai presents a feral dance he choreographed for the whole morning. showing a representation of what you are to him and what he feels for you
very beautiful
on thursday baekhyun gifts you a deliberately humorous doodle titled mochi mama in the style of i dunno, probably picasso on crack
you have not seen anything like it
it’s gonna make you laugh in sad hours for many days to come
talk about come
baekhyun will have his hands busy in and on you all night
he wants to feel mama mochi and please you and make you smile
try not to climax challenge: failed several times
on friday mark blasts a song he wrote about you as soon as you put your hand bag down in the studio
100% of the lyrics are about how sexy and charming and special you are to him and how infatuated he is and how much he thinks about you all the time and how much you knock him off his feet, and how he has the biggest hots for you, jesus christ
that mark lee canada flow wants to make you fucking nut right then and there
the fandom just got his lit mixtape and he’s already working on another one i guess he sure has enough nsfw inspiration for it
all the more reasons to cum hard on his dick tonight
and make sweet love to that sexy body because mark lee isn’t the only one with the hots
then comes saturday
taeyong day
the tension is rising
you’re at his place
the sweet boo comes to put some chirping fledgelings into a towel on your lap as usual
there’s a big crispy lasagna baking in the oven, dripping with cheese and sauce with the most full-bodied herbal mix ever
damn tasty 
gordon ramsay would rate this particularly well on twitter
honestly man
we all know gordon ramsey would like taeyong’s dishes
the evening passes as it always does
so he didn’t jump on the bandwagon that’s interesting
it’s almost as if the stream didn’t happen or anything
just as you expected
taeyong doing his own thing and being just very consistent makes him so sexy and desirable to you it’s hard to explain
you just like his style of going about things you know
he’s very receptive to your impulses
you figure it’s up to you to make some steps
so when he opens the fridge to pull out a self-made, perfectly swirly vanilla-chocolate vortex pudding that’s just at the right temperature, you can’t help but hit on him like the world is ending 
but as you learned from taeyong’s example: your way
you ask him to open his mouth and maneuver spoon after spoon of pudding into it for him to deliciously savor it
giving him compliments on always making your day along with that
that bowl is empty very fast my loves
and taeyong very happy
oh yeah he was enjoying that
with his eyes closed
oh fuck
the sexual tension could rip the air in half like a mark verse
you decide to sit down on his lap all nonchalant and finish your own pudding... more than suggestively
taeyong is basically holding his breath at this point he’s a puddle
you tell him he can put his hands on your waist if he wants to
no answer needed his fingers are already on their way
you can hear how his heart is approaching a techno music BPM
at this point all you can do anymore is lean in to whisper if he likes to go to the bedroom with you
he can keep the apron on
taeyong tastes deliciously of pudding aye
you roll around in the sheets kissing so heavily
this is pure indulging you just feel how you’re sleeping with a chef
who happens to have the veiniest dick of all time
you’re definitely filled up well
sliding up and down on him deliciously for twenty minutes
really slowly and hugging each other tightly
and saying romantic things
that’s the good life
by the end of the evening the group chat gets a picture of taeyong’s world class lasagna 
and a ‘very random’ shaky picture of your hand in his hair
which baekhyun instantly comments as:
“now tyong knows how great you taste as well 🤓😁🤗“
yukhei agrees wholeheartedly and ten starts making baby don’t stop puns
kai is totally in love with the quality food 
baekhyun voices his interest in making more pictures of that kind with you. you know, hand in the hair, no big deal
kai says hurry up with it hyung, all the hair dye makes you balder every minute
baekhyun reprises his doodling and now draws a couple
it’s mama mochi with byun baldhyun
“this will be the next selca“
you’re having a damn good time
but later you feel something is going on
the whole week passes and taeyong seems to be brooding
next saturday he has a hard time expressing himself when he comes to your home 
you ask if he’s not comfortable having more sex or if he struggles with the relationship setup
taeyong says it’s not that but can’t explain any further
you go on a whim and ask if it’s a confession he has on his mind
“taeyong... if you think i’ll judge you for something. remember we’re only doing this since a couple weeks. it’s hard to know how the person really reacts if you don’t know each other inside out“
he is still hesitant
you ask him if it’s something taboo
you thought so. taeyong is the least basic person you know along with taemin
guess why these two are saved for last my dear readers
you tell him that how he’s in his own lane is what you appreciate him for in the first place, it’s why you’re here with him, you love your duckling chef so much
if he wants a different kind of sex that’s perfectly him
he looks relieved and understood hearing that
and confesses that yeah... he wants to go a little kinkier with you
now you know why taeyong was acting with so much restraint
and put all of his feelings and sensuality into food pretty much
in fact the kinky sex has already started whether you noticed or not
indirectly. as in, the dynamic
truth is he wants to be a service sub
oh yeah lemme introduce you to some new things
service subs like to really cater to their dominants and fulfill their every wish not just in bed, but around the house as well
and there’s even more to it as you will soon discover talking to him about it
an apron is only the start
in case you have been living under a rock
taeyong’s duality is nuts 
he’s a completely shy mega pervert
it’s not a secret that this guy wants hardcore bdsm torture sex
you letting all that aggression loose on him for fucking sport
and being cold to him
with a bit of soft domme action as the perfect balance 
he wants you to take him out and take care of him at the same time
he’s perfectly aware he’s among the freakier and more deprived members
even ten is just casually freaky and just open for a lot of things. taeyong is deliberate
and pretty deep in the femdom community as far as his browser history is concerned
we all know assertive partners are his thing
but he’s afraid he’ll get you into something that’s a lot of responsibility
you say mister i’m familiar with your interests 
my dear you never made them hard to guess
you tell him it’s no problem for you to give it to him raw
you’ll be doing disgusting things to him that sexy face will straight up drown 
did you know?
our dear boy taeyong loves it when you spit in his mouth and do virgin roleplay
if he asks you to break him don’t be surprised
he wants to release control completely
he goes by all the rules
and i guarantee. when he comes along your dominatrix mood is gonna skyrocket he just brings that shit out in people
his mere naked body is just... how not to go nuts on him how he wants it
long story short tied up taeyong head to toe ends up immortalized as a vertical photograph
the group chat is overwhelming your notifs with wide-eyed emojis and all caps
amping up the game a little more each day are we
without even trying. hell, this just happened
where this is going is gonna be fun
sunday goes down with you grinding yourself all over taemin but you’re both clothed
you grab the back of his neck to lean in for kisses over and over and over
yes kisses are key
if not the favorite thing he does
let this sink in. if taemin overwhelms a little kitty with a hundred thousand smooches, just how kissy is this guy gonna be 
and have fun teasing his erection through his pants
lee taemin a squirmy mess? hell yeah
in classic fashion he will spend the most time of the evening on his knees getting slapped around in several blindfolds, harnesses, and wrist ties
his fantasy finally came true
i repeat what taemin has been dreaming of is reality
thank god for taeyong having you second guess his private tastes. otherwise you would not be on your dom grind now
taemin even goes as far as ordering lingerie for your encounters — to wear himself because he’s taemin
satin and silk blouses he already has in his wardrobe so there’s no shortage
i don’t have to tell you that you can spend hours grinding on his cock in a room full of candles while taemin is in head-to-toe bondage
that’s his idea of a good time and hell you are really treated to perfect eye candy, taemin’s hotness will bring your pleasure to a new level
the group chat will definitely love your photography taken from your sessions
taemin is just an utter no-compromise kinda man to make kinky love with. everything is planned he’s never settling for less than a perfect evening
where both of you really experience the ultimate satisfaction from treating your bodies to the best of clothes and toys and scenarios
give me an amen for taemin being your sunday guy because this legend of a man is your personal church
and his discography is the bible
and cum play is the baptizing my friend
so yeah huh
every day you can look forward to. monday to sunday
and not a day goes by without someone in the chat reminiscing the steamy video you did with lucas
you end up repeating what you wished that day
for everyone to be with you
so you could feel all of them 
and you say maybe it’s time to arrange something 
you’ve gotten to know each of them personally and intimately by now
and integrated them into your personal life
hell when you wake up the first thing you see is ten’s drawing across your bed
or baekhyun’s funny mama mochi art on your phone background
and you start your day literally selecting from a pile of taeyong’s freshly washed and ironed clothing stacks in your wardrobe
sitting at your breakfast table with a bouquet of flowers that kai and jongin brought you
eating food you bought together with lucas
listening to music that mark made especially for you
they’re all in your life together so it’s the right time to make some heated love together
the chat is all down you don’t even have to ask any further
baekhyun volunteers to go about his leader duty to organize the best possible venue and best possible date
cause with superm things do go 100
he asks what kind of atmosphere you have in mind
you say hard and nasty and kinky
which will definitely make the chat interested
and baekhyun was about to rent a huge modern art penthouse in gangnam
you say no need to go that expensive. you just need a large bed, no paparazzi, and an area where you can be loud. sculptures you could care less about
you have yukhei on your team, so that’s a living sculpture already 
it needs a safe haven essentially, with a dark and lusty atmosphere would be so nice
ten steps in saying he has the exact spot you’re looking for 
he has a friend who runs a declining night club in the suburbs, with some pretty attractive and grungy backrooms with plenty of space to fuck
yeah a club is exactly what you’re looking for that’s a good idea
it’s closed on monday so baekhyun and ten arrange a rental just then
of course way in the evening
with the guarantee of nobody else around
baekhyun knows how this rigged game rolls he says they need the club to perform a dance practice, overnight stay, and shooting a music video
which is only a half-lie
not “hey we are super m planning an orgy wanna invite dispatch and tell lee soo man”
regardless ten’s friend is pretty chill and indifferent anyways
and baekhyun’s money is doing the talk
you’ll be guaranteed to be left by yourself
monday evening it is. 
you already have a whole bunch of fantasies to let loose on your boys
and put it all in the chat
yo it’s called brainstorming and it sure has brain in it
you discuss
and it goes down next week 
you encouraged the members to wear what they feel best in, no dress code, no comparison thinking. you want to meet them like you got to know them, each in their favorite expression
taeyong dons a mass onslaught of fetish gear underneath a trench coat, including a fancy collar, lots of hairspray
and latex gloves. shit he’s a freak
baekhyun puts on the coziest clothes he finds and his smol sneakers but they are secretly expensive, his hair is curly and big, he put on a nice scent
kai can’t help but go black suit and lace underneath, you know him
bleach blonde yukhei gets out the tight white tee and smug jeans
creative genius ten goes all out designing his own fashion (!) with paint, he puts on sexy af glasses and goes for his signature ‘cleavage down to the belly’ look underneath a bomber jacket
mark goes for a casual suit but make it swag, with a sleeveless top underneath, yeah those mark arms go crazy 
taemin — picks his most dazzling silver outfit that looks like a rendition of mermaid scales, pointed shoes, princely hair, famous i’m so fabulous
and it’s already starting out sexy in the car before you even arrive 
because this is all gonna be glorious from the first second to the last
baekhyun and kai will do the driving
you have not one but two classy and sexy chauffeurs you hear me
yeah in their shiny black german cars with those sleek comfortable seats
baekhyun, taeyong, ten and lucas are a team
and then you get kai, mark, and taemin, including your group luggage because such a trip needs a lot of things to pack trust me
you’re with team kai on the way to the club and with team baekhyun the way back 
it’s already lit and steamy on your way there
nothing better than getting in the mood held by the greek god arms of none other than lee taemin with mark lee assisting
you’re entirely wrapped up in kissing taemin so passionately, his tongue melts into your mouth like the finest chocolate
thinking about how you were making out last week gets you going even more
as does feeling up his bulge, ugh taemin is so sensual
mark sitting on your other side being eager to attend to your thighs, your waist, your back, your hands, your hair, your stomach
yukhei has been telling him about the wonders of a whole-body massage since you like it so much
mark gets his hands all over you to provide a sexy caress and wow he’s doing it well, giving everything the perfect kind of attention, always asking if you want more of this or more of that
mark loves everything about you and he knows how to make your anticipation become even more intense by dedicating time to all areas generously
you feel like he’s worshipping you head to toe
it’s the way to get turned on
mark has great soft hands and knows your best spots by now
that’s exactly why it was a good idea to sleep with the members individually at first
you could figure it all out in detail and each member could show their style of doing things, and you could teach them
mark has become an expert in skinship
while he’s kissing into your neck whispering revering things to you nobody else would understand
they’re intimate, spicy details from your studio lessons
with a romantic twist even because mark is giving you his entire arsenal, the entire palette
“i’ve been thinking about you so often...”
with jongin driving carefully and taking the lesser frequented roads 
kai is really keeping it together
the maknae backseat party is faithfully photographed by mark who sends it to the other team after taemin and you select the best shots, giggling
your favorite is a bird’s view of your cleavage with taemin kissing right between your breasts, slightly below the sternum
his hair is softly splayed over the area
taeyong and ten reply with heart eyes in the chat
on you go kissing and touching
taemin is so gentle with you and easily accepts your wild licks and bites, leans his head back so you have perfect access to his neck
by the time you arrive at the club’s back entrance, he’s marked up and his lips are mighty used
ruined neck, ruined mouth
taemin’s favorite two accessories to walk into a club with 
including a hard-on
with mark and kai strutting right after, chewing mints
...both getting hard themselves because mark loves your body and jongin has very good ears when it comes to picking up things that happen in the back of his car
and this bitch got a raging libido, so
the best part is everything is prepared
the other team already parked their car there earlier
ten had the keys to every needed lock, showed everyone around, and then baekhyun went into organization overdrive
this is the first time he didn’t clown around to distract from work since debut
if baekhyun ever means serious business... wow
your best boy taeyong has located the perfect backroom that’s shaded inside and neon-lit from the outside
the window’s aren’t particularly low-sitting so that’s a privacy plus
there’s a huge white extra oversized bed with some more great furniture and a sofa landscape
he desinfected everything to a T
and pulled out every utensil you might need from a large black bag
he walked in like he just commited a bank robbery but in reality there’s cutesy pink rope in the bag
oh well
classic taeyong
yukhei sorted and handed out the condoms plus water bottles for everyone
he’s the expert for the basics don’t come at him he’s doing a great job
after you reminding everyone of the safeword 
taemin sits down with you on the bed and you keep kissing
keeping up the flow right there
you beckon your lil’ adorable mochi who’s been dying for skinship
baekhyun is so turned on he wastes no time joining
still fully clothed while the other members are about to undress
you actually like baekhyun huddling up against you in his oversized hoodie it’s cute
so hey, change in plans
everyone ditches the protocol and climbs on the bed only without their shoes 
lot of ties and belts to pull them closer to you
you bring all of them together on the bed now
the feeling of having everyone around you is so electrifying, you have to distance from taemin’s seductive lips not to get some kind of adrenaline overdose
jesus this guy is trying to soak your pants like baekhyun forgot to turn off the shower
you get to enjoy five minutes of relaxed massaging from all sides to cool everything down a little
baekhyun and yukhei alternate with kissing you
big plush lips plus a horny tongue
that’s a good combination
kai is definitely setting the pace of how to massage you, and how to move the body while doing so, and what expressions to make 
instead of sitting there awkwardly staring into space
remember? master of courting — that’s kim jongin
even baekhyun follows his example a bit
you’re entering cloud 9 from that whole-body massage
you can tell they’re all dancers. there’s rhythm involved
having the seven of them attend to you at the same time just hits different
that are 14 hands
70 fingers
all in sync with kai’s physical ideas, carefully yet purposefully kneading and stroking 
kai also helps everyone find a good area and makes sure everyone stays away from any precarious or sexy zones
because you’d probably get off from that in the matter of a blink
to be honest you’re already feeling heated you can’t help it
but that’s a good sign you’re definitely feeling this 
and there’s not a single limp dick in this room at this point already
baekhyun being the best people reader all over again manages a seamless transition to some water drinking
so everyone is ready to go
you wish you could do everything at once but decide to get a load of some slow body rolls against you because hell yeah
courting expert kai is sure to oblige, dance god taemin joins right in, and ten completes the holy trinity and hell does he go off
photographer mark on duty again. this moment has to be captured
baekhyun does his mood management magic and encourages ten and taemin to let out their little sounds more
kai he doesn’t have to tell
nor you because you’re already moaning
shit these guys are just too good
these bodies are machines
again bless your xuxi workout sessions
you wouldn’t keep up otherwise
you curse them because your pussy feels creamy way too early
switching to grinding on their bulges is not a better idea because it’s making you even hornier but anyway it’s your favorite activity
yukhei takes time and some effort to get fully hard so that’s a grateful job now
because you can gather yourself
you resort to using your cleavage to stop turning yourself on completely
and then your hands to palm his pants because that’s even more inconspicuous
group sex with superm? hardest early orgasm avoidance challenge EVER
is there some kind of legally accessible viagra for women
there’s no way you could turn yourself off help
you either get the first orgasm out of the way or keep it together to have some suspense in here and see the boys work hard
the decision is clear
time to bring out the toys that taeyong assembled on a table
baekhyun, taemin taeyong and ten are in the down to get tied up in various ways
lucas and kai get blindfolded and get a sexy task from you
slowly humping the mattress just for your viewing pleasure
topless for that matter
no need to ask twice there they go
photographer mark stays free and flexible. it’s always good to have someone outside bondage just in case with such a big group
anyway so you will be busy for sure
the rest of the boys strip down to only their briefs and get a good dose of spanking
ten is definitely moaning the loudest there
taeyong ends up with tied wrists in a prayer position and has his fun getting slapped around by you 
until he’s breathless and smiling to himself with his tongue hanging out
someone got his daily meal of smacking
taemin highly approves 
nobody’s surprised
baekhyun gets a quick and simple upper body rope harness that’s very easy to grip him by
and just to tease him you add some nipple pinches
result: loud baekhyun noises
cute as hell
so that’s how he’s been training himself to reach all those high notes
taemin, completely naked, has his hands and ankles tied, looking so beautiful all helpless and his cock itching for stimulation
and because taemin’s strange ‘artistic’ kidnapping fantasies that he never stops talking about cannot be ignored he gets a mouth gag for good measure
you know you just roll with their ideas
he’s a simple man that’s all he needs
you decide to put a bigger bondage piece on ten who ends up in a hogtie aka his new favorite place to be in
if there’s one guy who’s flexible like that it’s him
let’s see for how long he can take it
ten likes a challenge
you tell mark exactly what kind of pictures you want of your tied darlings and he’s well-engaged with that task
baekhyun is clinging to you a lot in the meantime
he gets kisses on the mouth 
and your open ear 
because you can tell there’s something on his mind
or rather
his ass is telling him something after you activated it with spanks huh
what does baekhyun want?
baekhyun wants the strap
and the strap he shall get
his time has come
this time the safeword won’t do so tapping yukhei’s thigh is the deal
taeyong’s kinky tool collection has a nice and thick equipment to offer, jet black black straps, jet black dildo, like it’s some kind of secret agent gear
it takes a lot of lube to get it into baekhyun’s tight and tiny ass but what’s new 
he’s not the gaping expert 
and way too busy laughing at the members’ reaction faces so his damn asshole is contracting god dammit
what a brat
next time he gets a toy for prep
only when you grab him by the harness and get into a rhythm, baekhyun throws it back
good boy
kai and xuxi are allowed to take off their blindfolds now because you have a task for them
taeyong’s toy collection features one extra long double-ended dildo, transparent and neither too slim nor too wide
if baekhyun doesn’t have that thing inside his throat i don’t know who
this shit is made for him
and you can tell he’s salivating for that
you tell yukhei to use those big hands to keep baekhyun’s head steady
and oh wonder, his long fingers enclose it perfectly
kai gets to go hard on baekhyun and fulfill his lifetime fantasy that he has had for over a decade now and jerks off to every night:
baekhyun not talking
so while baekhyun’s ass is getting properly stuffed
so is his mouth
kai has no qualms squeezing the toy into baekhyun’s throat a little more roughly
those are some pretty intense choking noises
mark steadily hits the snapshot button
some people go to pound town
baekhyun goes to silicon valley
kai is not afraid to push that thing as far as it can physically go
you’re pleased with how he’s doing it
and with baekhyun’s blowjob abilities anyway
is there a better throat in this industry? probably not 
he’s pretty surprised himself with how much he can take it
that poor ass is getting more than it can handle in the meantime, baekhyun is throbbing and whining
little did you know his prostate is so sensitive and makes his dick leak
such a shame you fully exploit that
you tell yukhei to have baekhyun move his head on his own to get into the rhythm
and get taeyong over to suck on the other end of the toy because oh yeah
let me just say these two are amazing
god bless sm entertainment 
not for any executive decisions
but for their uncanny ability to attract and assemble all the subs
lee taeyong giving head like the rent is due is a sight you need in your life
like everything, he does it roughly and properly
baekhyun is barely even sucking anymore just straight up gagging and seeing stars
because uh-oh here comes a big fat prostate orgasm
mark is clever enough to hit record on his phone
and capture a shaking baekhyun travelling through a whole bunch of universes, at least in his mind 
because that’s how strong his climax is
all he can say is thank you mama mochi and recover from this on his back
kai is satisfied with the result as well because baekhyun managed to not say anything for fifteen minutes
kai never had this much silence in his life
taeyong is still not done sucking the toy off and you let him
never step between a man and his favorite dildo
lucas takes up the task of untying ten who wants to share the other end that’s free now
and mark hands over the camera to kai who films just that
which also means mark is in the mood for you
about time to get some dick
and have taemin watch right next to you
being able to delight in mark’s wonderful technique
which ends up in kai joining 
which causes yukhei to join
and baekhyun to film 
the three are literally queueing while waiting for their turn
you tell them when to pull out and let the other member have you
until mark is riddled with so much suspension, the fifth thrust on his turn ends up in an unexpected hard climax
“oh my god oh my god!“
obviously kai will let loose now and cum as well, accompanied by really breathy groans
yukhei takes his time to make you moan which gives both taeyong and taemin a good show and an untouched orgasm
eventually you get to hear lucas growling his soul out
and kai bickering to pull out already
because it’s time for buffet
after getting rid of his condom, mark has been untying the very resilient ten who’s been in prawn bondage for like half an hour and five minutes now
he and baekhyun team up to eat you out
yeah prepare for a dream team
while mark and kai chill on the other side of the bed
lucas on the other hand still doesn’t have enough and ends up licking your legs with his cock firmly palmed in those big hands
baekhyun and ten are doing the most meanwhile, lapping you up all sloppy
the job of the cameraman goes to a wild taemin who’s undone his safety hook 
he can’t stand this shit anymore he has to join the action instead of lying around in ropes
jeez the guy has the fun of his life playing with filters
silently giggling to himself
until kai finds out that taemin has been putting cat ears on ten and cowboy hats on lucas
kai confiscates the phone from naughty taem and decides to take up that task himself
so taemin can eat you out himself now
alright there are three heads bumping each other between your legs now
and yukhei close-by, currently nibbling at your outer thighs
can you imagine how crowded and crammed that is
you tell mark to get taeyong out of his ties as well
if you’re gonna cum he has to join the party as well
and he will not hesitate my friend
taeyong’s kinky tongue (which can make all kinds of completely unprecedented moves and slurping noises) riles up the other three to put all their effort into this
you order baekhyun and ten to line you left and right of your hips, fingering you from there
and let both taeyong and taemin get you to the point with their tongues at the same time
it’s a busy day innit
the reason is that baekhyun and ten didn’t come but you plan to change that with some dual handjob
baekhyun lets out some pretty hoarse panting noises
(yeah jongin destroyed him with that toy in his mouth for real)
once your hands grip onto their erections, almost automatically baekhyun’s fingers start going crazy on your clit and ten goes mad with his thumb right next to it
yeah he’s kept his rings on this is gonna be a sexy sight
mark and kai retire from their pillows to join at your request
mark kissing you, jongin sucking on your breasts
from this point on things are pretty much just a daze
two tongues two hands? oh shit
four people are trying to make you cum what did you expect
and three other people are licking you all over
yukhei doesn’t even care at this point he’s just straight up kissing your feet
ten is silently groaning it out, he’s pouring his seed into the condom with little twitches in the hip and shoulders
taeyong’s tongue is gonna finish you off, taemin’s lips will make you feel so good, your legs will be a shaking mess in yukhei’s hands
how to even describe this
it’s an explosion of heat and contractions
you’re going fucking crazy from all that head and tongue action god damn
mark definitely has to swallow a lot of your moans all over the place
and taeyong
also swallows
what a god-loving man
your pussy is leaking enough to feed baekhyun as well
who still strokes himself off while he’s cleaning you up with his mouth, oh boy he really developed a lot of stamina
you have your fun telling him to stop jerking himself off
so his orgasm ends up being ruined
those always mess him up
always a nice sight to have him shaking and whining and gasping
you have to roll over at some point before getting overstimulated
phew that takes quite a couple of deliberate breaths
now you have seven hot guys with sopping wet mouths on your hands, looking at you exhausted and infatuated
that’s super m for you
yukhei, man for the basics he is, hands out towels
you really gotta say he’s kept a clear head in all of this except maybe the sudden foot fetish reveal
of course taeyong towels himself down the most he’s basically covered himself with anything he could get his hands on
that face is dripping like his saturday evening lasagnas 
you help clean mark who kinda lost his mind and heart while kissing you, he needs your care a little more now
baekhyun soon snaps back into organization mode and has the brilliant idea to unpack xuxi’s and jongin’s luggage
to have everyone wearing their gigantic hoodies and sweaters
it’s warm in the room anyway but this feels so much cozier
after going to the bathroom
a ball of cuddly guys is snuggled up all aroud you faster than you can think
mark and taeyong are already sleeping they really knocked themselves out
kai finds the completely forgotten phone somewhere in the sheets and turns off what seems to be a 50 minutes video
that’s gonna be fun to watch some time
baekhyun nuzzles himself to sleep against your sweater, right between your breasts
“mochi mama thank...” are his last words before he drifts off to pineapple pizza land or whatever dreamscape is in his head
probably something much dirtier but anyway
lucas and kai steal kisses from you and go off to sort out the room
jesus christ they still have the energy
taeyong’s nasty lil’ toy collection gets cleaned and reassembled, the ropes get coiled up, the towels wander into a washing machine in the other room
whose steady bumping lulls the rest of you to sleep
while taemin, epitome of taste he is, plays his best of hits on low volume with his phone
dozing off between seven guys while “heaven” is playing? 
best thing ever
the rest is history. you’re surrounded by sleepy cuddly sweater men
you actually sleep for a couple hours
dawntime you wake up cozied and sandwiched between yukhei’s tiddies and jongin’s back
which is the most protected, snug place on earth
even a nuclear superweapon couldn’t explode past that spot
they’re fast asleep
giant baby and teddy bear
safeguarding you in unison
ain’t they adorable
baekhyun is awake silently doing pilates, smiling cutely at you when he sees you’re awake, and he gets a big load of kisses i’m telling you
miraculously everything is tidy and smells fresh, and there’s a light soup in the air...
... lee taeyong got up at 6:30.
he was a whirlwind
the group gets to enjoy a 3-course classic korean breakfast 
because taeyong found the club kitchen
what kind of godly entity is this man
how did he do all of this
the club is the cleanest it’s ever been
taking care of 24 people is probably so difficult, this is actually easy to him
you depart in a good mood because damn that soup was restaurant quality and baekhyun had the idea to give you morning head to which everyone joined in
good thing the club has showers
baekhyun is still horny as hell and you want that D(elight) any time of the day 
so you fuck for a bunch of minutes in his car after dropping off the team and they giving you playful winks
you park the car behind xiumin’s house because that’s the most calm place to be
people are sleeping on xiumnin so hard, no paparazzi are around, ever
baekhyun settles there with you smiling
he didn’t sing “get you alone” with no reason
baekhyun needs that one-on-one time with you to ground himself and love you all over again big time
plus you are dying to cum bouncing on him on the driver’s seat 
while he is desperately gripping the steering wheel to have something solid to hold onto
yeah baekhyun is always ready to lose it for ya
it’s literally such a good spot to fuck
he’s strapped in all underneath you and you can see him squirm and get heart eyes from up close
you also love how your thighs meet the fabric of his pants
baekhyun’s tiny lap is already worth a huge nut you love grinding on him
those shapely thighs
with his cock peaking out from underneath his sweater
what his morning head tongue can do, his dick can do twice with ease so time for round two today
glad you have your bag with some utensils
you’re generous with lube on the condom
in fact you love spilling it over his pants a little
it looks like you’ve been squirting on him that’s why
baekhyun is down for your pervy imaginations
and gets even harder
not bad lil’ guy
time to make him moan with the grip of your walls
mochi breathes pretty hard because damn... more dick destruction
you love burying your hands in his sweater at the shoulders and just fucking ride
his hair gets messy, his bedroom gaze is so intense
his ass still hurts from yesterday but it seems to turn him own judging by the high-pitched groans and his begs for you to bounce on him harder
no problem his dick is just made to be ridden
if this wasn’t a high-tech car from the future with carbon and whatnot anybody could hear baekhyun’s um ‘vocals’ from the outside
this is so much fun oh my god
baekhyun releases with his eyes shut and teeth pressed together, his nose is all scrunched up
jesus this one got to him
he drives you to his home with his fingers shaking a little on the steering wheel
literally tapping like they do in his microphone on stage
yep this shook him up
and insatiable byun is now satisfied byun
nothing better than knowing you ruined your cupcake boyfriend in the best of ways
back at his apartment and after some extra carbo hydrate heavy food, as a pre-nap treat you grind on his thighs and his ass because why not
and gyrate him to sleep with his arms and legs stretched in all directions
both of you are still in disbelief that all of this happened
legend has it you’re dreaming of more group sex ideas that night
the next day taemin sends the champagne video to celebrate your first time together
which brings us back to the start
and that’s how it all happened
now you know
congrats on being a lucky girl
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related: super m as subs
FINAL NOTE. ah shit i love this dynamic, thank you for reading 🎊
© 2017-2021 submissive-bangtan. all rights reserved. no reposts or translations allowed. all depictions fictional.
566 notes · View notes
criceofpain · 3 months ago
supermassive black hole | jay park
"you set my soul alight."
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notes from space: series masterlist
synopsis: gone was your peaceful modeling career the day you brushed shoulders with the lead guitarist of the top band in south korea, park jongseong. you definitely didn't want to be associated with people who lived like he did—lavishly and nonchalantly. since then, people wouldn't stop talking about the two of you side-by-side, until one day, you were to work with each other despite the fact that you couldn't stand each other's asses. will you be able to pull his tight strings? will he be able to walk the slippery runway, a.k.a. your heart?
pairing: rockstar!jay x fem model!reader (ft. photographer!heeseung, band member!rest of enhypen)
genre: fluff, a tiny bit of angst if you squint, enemies to lovers!au, showbiz!au
warnings: suggestive content (but not smut), mild cursing, slight mentions of alcohol
a/n: let's give it up for notes from space's next installment featuring the ceo of rock chic, jay! this time, the story is inspired by "supermassive black hole" by the rock band muse. i've been seeing the rockstar jay agenda for a while now on different platforms and i'm not able to get it off of my mind since then. some people might be thinking i'm rushing this series, and nope i am not. i just need to satisfy my short attention span. enjoy, luvs!
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"you caught me under false pretenses, how long before you let me go?"
"good set of shots today, y/n!" heeseung cheered as he stares in front of his computer, monitoring the different cuts of your photos that he has taken. you had a magazine shoot for the autumn-winter fashion week, and god, how you loved style and coziness put together.
today would count as your most comfortable shooting day, as heeseung being your photographer and best friend provides you with an extra layer of relief. you personally didn't like it when older men did the job—the way they were eyeing you was just unsettling.
getting out of your heavy-ass fur coat, you slowly sauntered your way behind heeseung, who was making some quick photoshop fixes in the a-cuts you have handpicked. you softly clicked your tongue. as much as it was enhancing, you hated being photoshopped.
out of the blue, you decided to pull a little prank on him by plucking out a strand of his hair for behind.
"fuck, ow!" he cries out, gaining peals of giggles from you. "you're never gonna let me live peacefully, aren't you?"
"you work so hard on photoshopping me, hee." you pouted, hastily but carefully removing your boots to ease the excruciating pain on your legs, to which the stylist unnie came and sent them back to the dressing room. "i don't like it."
"i don't like it, either." he muttered, careful not to be heard by the whole staff except you. he shakes his head as he fiddles with sliders and graphs in the photoshop app. "but i get paid to do it."
you just shook your head at the lad who wouldn't avert his eyes away from the screen and just eyed your photos on the other side of the editing stall. your lips curved into a minuscule smile as you think of how you've come so far. you remembered trying to hide your excitement when conquering the runways because in reality, you were a very smiley person. you flip the switch whenever it was time to work, or when you were having a bad mood.
that was why the model moguls loved you.
"anyways, i have a brunch sesh with mr. park later." you announced to heeseung as the other stylist unnies ushered you into the dressing room. craning your head towards his direction, you bellow, "take care, hee!"
"yeah, you owe me ramen after this." he rolled his eyes, sending you a friendly flying kiss after. "you take care." he gets back to his laptop, silently worrying for his best friend meeting another middle-aged man. "this bitch gotta text me after."
i guess you can say that he wasn't able to sit still after that.
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accompanied by four bodyguards, you entered the restaurant with full caution. through your tinted eyeglasses, you eyed the whole area to see if there were prying eyes anywhere. seeing nothing suspicious after a minute or two of observing, you signaled your bodyguards that the coast was clear.
from a nearby table, you spotted mr. park waving a hand to your direction. thankfully, there was no trace of paparazzi around so you went in and greeted him respectfully. "looking fresh today, miss y/n! just finished a shoot, eh?" the man chirped, pulling back a seat for you.
"wait outside, please." you ordered your bodyguards to which they agreed, walking out of the premises as quickly as possible. "mr. park! you've called me here. is there anything you wanted to discuss?" you asked, taking of your sunglasses and coat, handing them to his secretary beside him. finally, a female.
"yes, and it's actually a very important matter." he said, clasping his hands together. "i'm sure you've heard about the music festival coming up next week, right?"
music festival? you picked up the menu laying in front of you and open it, hoping to find something appetizing. "yes, sir, i have." you shoot him a slightly confused look. "but what does that have to do with me?" for god's sake, don't tell me to sing. i'm a model.
mr. park let out a slight chuckle. "don't worry, y/n. you are not going to sing for this matter." he said as if he has read your mind. "we're inviting you as a vip guest."
you put the menu down and blinked at the man from across you. you didn't even notice that your food has arrived because you were giving mr. park a gaze of disbelief. i thought we were going to have like a runway of some sort. does he really think i'm an influencer? i'm about to step up and cut this crap already. after a minute of almost pin-drop silence, you broke the gaze and cleared your throat.
"are you sure about that, sir?" you sheepishly asked, taking a sip of iced coffee while still keeping your confused front on. you were beyond pissed by the fact that your name was being used for something that is out of your expertise. "let me catch up with my team first."
you wanted to get out of the restaurant so bad but you had lots of things in mind. what would the paparazzi say? what would be the next news headlines? "model y/n l/n ditches deal with mr. park"? you didn't like the thoughts that your brain created.
"oh, don't worry about that, they already agreed." he grinned, making you drop your fork. his unsettling gaze on your chest area made it worse.
you were doomed.
you stared contemplating between texting heeseung to save you, or just eat like a snob in front of mr. park so he'd get turned off somehow. either way, you still had no power over this man—he's a ceo, and his son was famous. things have escalated so quickly and today was so uncalled for.
damn it, you screamed in your head. with shaking fingers, you grab your phone and speed dialed heeseung's number. impatiently waiting for him pick up, you grabbed your coat and sunglasses from the poor secretary then stormed out of the restaurant, not bothering to spare a glance at mr. park who was fuming, knowing that his covered was blown. he planned to make you an eye candy, and you weren't that type of person.
"it's been ten minutes, y/n." heeseung said with an almost monotonous voice. "what's up?"
"i'm screwed, heeseung!" you practically screamed at your phone as you strode out the street, not caring if there were cameras around. you needed to get out of there as soon as possible.
"you didn't actually forget you have bodyguards, did you?" he asked. you did forget them, but it was not the time for them to make an appearance.
"i don't need them this time." you replied, your voice shaking because of the heavy steps you took. "just get me out of here or something!"
"are you running right now? i can clearly hear you panting over there."
you turned your head on the other side and immediately spotted mr. park and his secretary behind it. not caring for your current image in terms of emergencies, you decided to make a run for the safest location you can find. heeseung, from the other line, had to put up with you screaming on the phone for a good minute until he himself has lost his shit, eventually ending your call.
you were still running for safety in your heels, and it slipped your mind that mr. park might've used a car to chase you. you were persistent. teenage students were already taking pictures of you having a personal marathon, and men were already catcalling you. but you still kept running.
your course was halted when you bumped with someone, causing you to drop to the ground and slightly graze your knee. wincing in pain, you look up to the culprit who was just as surprised as you were.
the man stood tall, probably a six-footer. he was wearing a mask but you were able to see his dilated eyes from his spectacles. after seeing your awkward position, he immediately pulled you up on your feet. "are you okay, miss—" he paused to pull his mask down, revealing his whole face.
you silently gasped as you've identified him. the person grabbing your arm, and the cause of your grazed knee was none other than his son, jay.
"oh, my god, you're that model." he blurted out suddenly. he scowled. this wasn't like him. he didn't know why he found himself staring a you for a good minute. so this is how she looks like in person, huh? she's fine. kinda plain. but nonetheless, he kept staring at you, and at your knee, and then back at your face.
"don't mind my grazed knee, please. i just need to get away from your dad." you grabbed jay's arm as you begged. "please don't tell on me."
you were practically crying in front of him, so he had no choice but to save you. he didn't want to be associated with his own father, anyways. he shook his head at you, then crouched a bit. "hop on." he spat out.
you shot him with an "are you sure" look, to which he retorts, "okay, fine. i'll tell on you."
"no, no, no, no, no—"
"just do it." he rolled his eyes. "let them feast their eyes on this."
the two of you knew that you were about to corrupt your reputations with this encounter but you didn't budge. you'll forget each other the next day, anyways.
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"you rejected the proposal?" your father queried you with the most authoritative voice he can make out. he looked at you with disbelief, and you, for the first time, actually didn't give a damn about it. "are you out of your mind, y/n?"
on the other hand, your mother was busy with her phone, probably scrolling through some designer clothes on instagram. you figured she wouldn't care about your decisions, and you've inherited from her your nonchalant trait.
"dad," you finally speak up, locking eyes with him to somehow prove your point. "do you have any idea about mr. park's real schemes?"
"he's a nice guy, y/n!" your father was back at it again with convincing you to work with creepy old men. you shook your head as you let him go on with his bantering sesh. you didn't know why people were so envious of your life when you had a money-hungry father and a practically negligent mother. lucky daughter, my ass.
you stared at your phone, thumb hovering over two contact names—"heedeungie" and "you owe me steak". you chuckled at jay's contact name choice, but kept in mind that you were still enemies because of his father.
"i'm gonna need you to save my number, y/n" he muttered, grabbing your phone without a word. mouth agape, you watched as his calloused hands type his number in an unexpected speed. the guitarist in him was showing.
"what for?" you asked, and jay was definitely surprised by the sudden depth of your voice. he didn't know why he was getting sudden goosebumps as he stared at you. he felt like he was being sucked in a black hole as you locked gazes with him for a minute. he found you pretty, but there were some parts of you that he didn't like. you were clumsy and somewhat gullible, and the fact that you made him run to the park with your weight on his back. it still made you an enemy to him.
"read the contact name." he replied, giving you back your phone with a new contact name on it—"you owe me steak."
you didn't want to be linked to him. he was everything you didn't like—loud, slob, and a sucker for excessive fan service. you saw on the television how he let the girls in the front row of the concert touch him and kiss his face, and it was everything you despised.
still, you call his number, hoping you can take out all your frustration by annoying him.
"is my steak finally ready?"
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"yeah, he's kinda interested in you." jay nods. to keep your sudden "promise" to him, you took him to a steakhouse, only for you to be able to rant everything to him and to stay away from your parents. apparently, heeseung was busy with university errands so jay was the only available companion you had. you spent a ton for the sake of your peace of mind. how nice of you, jay thought.
"i hate to ask this but does your father not know how to differentiate a model and an influencer?" you spat out before taking a big bite of your rib-eye. jay has his jaw dropped as he saw how big you ate. weren't you a model? didn't models have diet restrictions? never mind. you were a furious mess as you continued to rant stuff to him. some things he agreed to, and others he didn't.
it wasn't definitely the right time to pull a prank on you. the last time he did, it was in front of his bandmates. he did apologize after, but you didn't buy it. you went home crying that night.
since then, you and jay were the face of the newspaper's headlines, but for different reasons. you with your escape venture from jay's father, and jay for performing while drunk. some were starting to ship the both of you, but you swore that you would never give in. he was boyfriend material, however, you weren't really looking for a relationship as of the moment.
"hey," he said, giving you a pat on the shoulder. you looked up at him, and for the first time ever, you saw a smile (not a laugh) on his face. somehow, you were relieved that it was him you were with despite all of the pranks he pulled on you and the profanities you exchanged. "listen, my band will be part of the festival on wednesday. my dad doesn't know about this."
you scoot closer to him to pick up his words more clearly. "what do you have in mind?"
"trust me on this, sweetheart."
you were surprised by the sudden pet name he gave you and you weren't able to speak for the rest of the night.
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the day of the music festival has finally come. the whole place was packed with people of different ages, mostly teenagers. lights of different colors blinked and it was hurting your eyes a little bit. with you was heeseung, whom you've linked hands with to avoid getting lost. you can tell the boy was not a crowd guy because his talkative self has just went poof.
despite the distracting noise of the crowd, you made sure to stick to the plan you and jay made two days ago. since both of your lives were practically ruined by jay's father now, you both wanted to divert the attention from him and as jay said, "make him irrelevant because he's a greedy pervert."
"you can come belatedly, alright?" he whispered, matching his words with gestures. "you can come when we're about to start performing. i'll keep my dad distracted." he then pulls out his phone and plays a recording of his dad inside a room with walls filled with photos of female models, including you. your breath hitched as you heard the man say "you'll be all mine" with a very sinister grin. reading your actions, jay stops the video, apologizes and instinctively holds your hand for a few seconds. why was he?
you gasp. "how did you?" jay cleared his throat. "anyways, i'll put this clip to good use. maybe pretend to be drunk and shove it in the cameras, i don't know. and after that, you come to me, we'll give the media what they want. are we clear?"
before you were able to answer, you took one good look at his face. damn, he was handsome. no wonder the girls liked putting kisses on it.
"will we still be friends after this?"
it was a risky question that you needed a concrete answer to. much to your anticipation, jay smiled, followed by a nod. he personally hated using the word "friends" for someone he considered more than it.
you have melted the big-ass glacier that was his heart.
"y/n! god damn it, hold my hand, will you?" heeseung grabs your arm as a guitar riff gets the whole club screaming. it was finally time for jay's band to perform. heeseung drags you to the front row as the lead vocalist, jungwon, makes his opening remarks. contrary to his shyness earlier, your best friend was already downing a cup of beer before you knew it.
the band has performed only two songs to give leeway for the artist. jay spots you in the crowd, gives you a signal, and walks out of the stage. your plan officially commences.
just five minutes later, you were being interviewed about your escape from mr. park. for the sake of peace, you sugarcoated some of the information. "i personally wasn't expecting that offer. i was overwhelmed to be called 'a vip guest' when i'm just a model." you sarcastically laughed, making air quotes with your hand. jay was staring behind the cameras, pretending to be drunk, and getting the clip ready. his smirk sent shivers to your body.
you were in the middle of answering a very controversial question, particularly "what is your relationship with en-dash's jay?", when jay purposely stumbles at you, shoving the phone to the cameras while laughing like a moron.
"haha, you guys." he slurred his words to get that drunk feel, shooting finger guns. "i didn't know that my dad... was up all night doing some kind of shiiiiiii.... fucking pervert. leaving my mom like that. fucking asshole."
the cameras were now on him, and you had the chance to run back to heeseung (who was the real drunk) for safety, just like how you planned. he still kept his act up until an angry mr. park decided to intervene. jay was satisfied when some reporters were calling the police, saying they've found a criminal on the loose.
"you fucker! how could you do this to me?!" mr. park wails as bouncers pinned him to the ground, while jay, who has successfully gotten revenge for the both of you, shoots him two middle fingers while running away.
you found him smiling, and you knew the plan worked. "thank you, jay." he sheepishly rubs his nape and shakes his head at you. "small thing, love."
somehow you forget that heeseung was still beside you, and the poor guy chokes on his beer after hearing the pet name. you and jay chortle, and he pats heeseung back. "i'll tell the boys to pick him up. i heard he's a good photographer."
not wanting to wait any longer, you pull jay towards you and straight up kiss him. dumbfounded, jay froze in his spot, taking him a minute to pull away from you. with confusion, you start to overthink. "did i do it wrong?" "fuck, y/n, you're stupid." "now he's turned off."
a chuckle was heard from jay after he has seen you chicken out. unexpectedly, he holds you by your chin and tilts you head up, making sure you only look at him. he grinned. "i was supposed to say 'i like you' first, dummy."
at this point, you weren't surprised anymore. you knew you liked him, too. you wanted to lean in for another kiss, but you couldn't bring yourself to do it. so jay did. pecks were boring, so he went in and used his tongue. you clung to his leather jacket to keep yourself on your feet as he was practically taking control of your body. his fingertips felt warm on your waist, and his lips were giving love to your neck. despite the loud music that filled the whole place, the vibrations on your throat let him know that you were moaning, that he made you feel good.
the plan the two of you made was actually his confession in disguise.
after what felt like hours of making out, you pushed his forehead against yours and placed a gentle peck on his lips. "fuck the media, we'll go on a date tomorrow." you assert, grabbing his hand and running out of the crowded, constricted club.
from that moment, he was now deep inside the supermassive black hole called you.
"i thought I was a fool for no one, oh baby, I'm a fool for you."
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blushmis · 10 months ago
Only Angel (Part 26)
70s!Rockstar!Harry Styles x Reader
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Only Angel Playlist & Only Angel Pinterest Moodboard
Summary: A reuniting (blissful) night spent with reader leads to a reckless performance by Harry. 
Note: grammar and spelling errors. more angst… and more of harry’s pov (: harry really is a sad puppy in this chapter poor baby—
Don’t be shy to leave a like, comment, reblog, ask, private message, any type of interaction about what you thought! I love responding to asks and interacting with my readers. Feedback, theories, questions, and comments are always great to read! I enjoy hearing from you guys, I appreciate it! It’s a motivator!!! And fanart is always welcome (: 
And a reminder that the Only Angel taglist is always open! (:
Warning: language, smut
Words: 4.3k+
***November 5, 1976***
To say you missed being touched by Harry was an understatement. 
Not the little finger touches. The soft skimming.
You missed the nights tangled in bed. Completely bare. Clinging onto one another so tightly there would be prints the next morning on your skin. Kisses so long, you had to gasp for air. Skin soaked in sweat. The repeated tickles of Harry’s stubbly chin tickling your inner thighs. 
England gave that back to you. 
Soft pants and loud whines escaped your swollen lips as your fingernails dug into the white sheets of Harry’s bed, your palms soaked into a clammy sweat. Your knees bending up and down, heels digging into the bed. The arch of your back.
Your entire body reacting to the intimate touch of Harry between your legs. His long locks of hair decorating his shoulders. His lips hidden between your legs, his tongue ravishing the taste of your bud, his forehead dipping deeper into your stomach. 
On his knees, at your mercy. 
Thankful to be with you like this once more, because he truly thought the day you left him was the last day he’d see you. 
But there he was. His thick middle and ring finger pumping in and out of you with ease, as deep as he could. As soaked as he could get you. As loud as he could get you. To say his name. 
Because to say his name, meant you acknowledged him. Saw him. Despite what he had done to you.
“Harry,” you softly panted, your fingers molding into his hair to bring him in closer. 
Harry slowly pulled out his two fingers from your heat, instead placing them onto your inner thigh as he kissed your skin all over. Running his bottom lip against it. 
“H,” you softly whispered, your palm caressing his jawline. His jaw clenched at your touch, his eyes connecting to your eyes. 
Harry moved his body to hover above you, his lips pampering your neck as he shoved his hand between your legs to part them once more. Swiftly inserting the same two fingers into your heat, continuing the slow, aching pumps. 
It earned a soft moan from you, your eyes fluttering closed as you placed your palm on his cheek. His eyes completely fixated on you. Watching you melt at his touch. Something he thought he’d never see again. Something he thought fate would never let him do. 
“F*ck, I want you to cum,” Harry breathed through his own aggravation. 
“With you,” you softly breathed, opening your eyes to look at him. Your hand moved down to grip onto his wrist, feeling him touch you. 
“How… How long has it been?” Harry asked you.
“No one. I haven’t been with anyone since you,” you admitted. “...And you?” you hesitantly asked. 
Harry’s jaw clenched at your question, his eyes looking away for a moment. 
And you understood. But you felt no jealousy in your heart. No anger. 
“It doesn’t matter.” You shook your head. “It doesn’t matter to me, Harry,” you encouraged, letting him know you weren’t hurt. That you accepted whatever Harry had done while you were away. With whomever.
Because after all, you left him. You were no longer together.
Harry nodded, but still had shame in his eyes. 
“Doesn’t matter,” you quietly reminded, leaning in for a kiss. A kiss that led to you and Harry resting on your sides, his chest to your back. His thick arm holding you tightly into him, as his hand squeezed your breast. His lips soaking your neck, shoulder, and arm in kisses. Your hand gripping tightly onto his hand, keeping him close to your heart.
Soft moans and pants leaving your lips as Harry made soft thrusts in and out of you. 
Harry’s touch. 
That was your home. 
“How’s Sunny doing?” Harry asked, resting on one arm as his other hand touched different parts of your skin. Soft touches. 
You were on your back, still falling in and out of a strong daze.
“He’s doing well,” you softly smiled, your hand following his as to wherever it went. 
The moonlight bore down right onto Harry’s face, making all of his features stand out. Allowed you to see him perfectly. His green eyes. Matted hair. 
“He misses his dad,” you admitted. 
“Yeah?” Harry asked.
“Mhm,” you hummed, touching his hair. “Sometimes… Sometimes he sits at the door for a few minutes… when he hears a car drive down the street. Like he would when he’d hear your car arrive.”
“He’s waiting for me to come home.”
“I think he’s waiting to go home,” you whispered. “Malibu…” you trailed off. A wave of regret coursed through your body. Of speaking too much. Not words meant to lead Harry on. Even if they were true. “Your hair,” you softly chuckled, changing the conversation. “It’s gotten so long, H.” You touched the ends of his hair. Still soaked in sweat. 
“You don’t like it?” he asked, wrapping his hand around yours. 
“I love it,” you confessed. “I like it long. It suits you.”
“Yeh? Like Jagger. You work for him now, don’t you? You’re a hot shot now,” Harry chuckled, pulling your hand to his chest as he leaned in to kiss your neck. Down your chest. His tongue looping a circle around the tip of your breast. The warm, wet swivels creating goosebumps.
“Harry,” you softly breathed out, eyes fluttering closed. You had been completely weak. Vulnerable. The moment Harry touched you, you became his. 
Harry could feel your nails digging into his chest, showing him how you felt. What you felt. What you wanted to feel more of. 
“Harry,” you chuckled through a short breath, moving your body away from him. Your eyes locked on his. Harry smiled at you with a boyish smile. His hand still wrapped firmly around your wrist. 
Just a glance at his chest, and you remembered. The ink. The angel. The tattoo Harry got in your honor.
“What?” Harry asked, his eyebrows furrowing at the notice of your change in facial expression. Noticing your eyes fixated on his chest. And understood what you were looking at the moment he felt the outline of your finger around the wings. 
Harry placed his palm atop of your hand, skimming your fingers with his thumb. Letting you touch him. 
Then your finger soon outlining the sun tattoo. 
Tattoos inked to Harry’s body forever. 
Harry gently removed your hand from his skin, and instead spread out each of your fingers. Opening your hand completely wide for the two of you to see. And drew a line down each finger. And a smiley face on your palm. Then closed your hand. And placed a lingering kiss on your fingers. 
“Feels like the sun has left me ever since I left you, Harry,” you faintly admitted. 
Harry could hear the voice cracks from your throat. The ones that came before the tears did. 
“There’s no… There’s no sun,” you sheepishly spoke, feeling your lips begin to quiver. 
“‘S a cloud…” Harry deeply spoke.
You nodded.
“I’ve got a f*cking thunderstorm following me, love,” Harry awkwardly chuckled, trying to prevent you from crying. And it did help, making you softly giggle. But the sadness was still there. 
Because it was the truth. And it weighed on you.
“You’re still wearing them,” Harry stated, his thumb running over the rose ring and “S” ring. Two rings with important meanings. That tied you to Harry. A promise. An “engagement.”
But seeing the way Harry looked down at them, you could see Harry looked at them differently from the way you looked at them. Harry still had hope. Harry saw it as hope. Salvation. 
It made you uncomfortable, your nerves instinctively pulling away from his touch. 
“Have you done much while you’ve been here?” you questioned, changing the topic once again.
“No.” Harry shook his head with a smile. “Just been staying in the house. Feeding the squirrels.”
“They’re still here?” you laughed.
“Yeah, got more of ‘em now. I think they’re telling the other squirrels I’ve got food.”
The two of you laughed.
“And your mom?”
“No.” Harry shook his head. “Haven’t seen her either. But I… I was actually planning on visiting her soon. Going into town. The bakery. Some shops.” Harry paused. “I was planning on staying here for a week or two… I don’t really know. But you… you could come with me. Stay with me. See my mum. ‘M sure she misses you.” 
And there it was. Harry’s ramble sent you into a silent panic. Everything he imagined. All the scenarios and thoughts. The plans he envisioned for you two. 
“And I’ve got a show coming up, actually. A few of them. But there’s one I’d like you to come to. It’s on December first, Christmas themed. It’s in New York City. I’d like you to come. And maybe we can spend a few days there, walking around the city. They put all the lights up and decorate. There’s ice skating. We can get a tree for the penthouse.”
Harry had gotten everything wrong.
You could see it in his eyes.
It was beyond hope. 
He was right back to the day he asked you to be his and you accepted. 
But now you were far from it.
“How does that sound?” Harry asked, offering you a soft smile as he squeezed your hand.
You were mute.
But nodded in response, making Harry smile even wider. 
“We should get some sleep then, yeah?” he asked.
You nodded once more, offering him a weak smile as you became entirely numb to the situation. 
You turned around to lie on your side, Harry spooning you. His fingers playing with your rings. 
Your eyes wide open as you lied there. Your heart thudding against your chest. 
“I’m really sorry,” Harry’s voice softly rasped, the heat from his mouth warming your neck. “I’m sorry,” Harry apologized once more, his head rising up to come more into your eye view. “For everything.”
“I know,” you stated.
Harry shook his head, halting any other words that would leave your lips. 
“I’m sorry,” he apologized again. “For hurting you.” 
“I know,” you whispered, offering him a tired smile before turning away, resting your head further into the pillow. Hoping that would be the end of it. 
And it was. 
Harry went back to spooning you, his breath tickling the back of your head. 
The two of you trying to find rest.
It was much easier for Harry. 
But sleep became impossible for you. After listening to Harry’s ramble of plans that involved you. After hearing him apologize to you. An apology you knew was sincere. That came straight from his heart. An apology he thought would make everything better. An apology he thought would reconcile the remainder of the relationship. 
But Harry had done so much damage.
Damage that could never be fixed. 
Damage that an apology could never fix.
The rings around your fingers began to feel uncomfortably tight.
***November 6, 1976***
4:13 am. 
The sky was still dark. The windy air hit against the window of Harry’s room. 
And as you sat there on the bed next to Harry, now completely covered head to toe in the clothes you had arrived in, you never felt such guilt. Watching him sleep peacefully. Years subtracted from his age, making him look younger as he slept. His hair shaping his face. His pink lips plump. 
It pained your heart to see how innocent he looked. How happy he had fallen asleep, thinking everything went back to normal. You brought him to that state. Through deceit. Something you never meant to do. All because of your mixed feelings. 
You pulled your hand back the moment you reached out to push the hair away from his forehead. It wasn’t your place to. Anything you did, you knew Harry would fall more and more into the false hope. Even if he was asleep. 
And staring at him as he slept there all alone, you knew what you had to do. For your own good.
And for Harry’s.
At least, that’s what you believed to be true.
Harry woke up late that morning. A deep sleep from a night of physical activity and talking. 
When he woke up, he felt completely energized. But he knew it had nothing to do with the sleep. It had everything to do with you. His adrenaline still high and running.
Until his eyes opened fully, and his hand felt the empty space next to him. The space that was occupied by you, just hours ago.
It brought an alarming feeling to him, his heart instantly thudding at a high rate as he sat up straight. Looking around the room for evidence you were still there. A shirt. Anything.
But instead, he found something else on the nightstand, quickly scooping up the two small items.
Something that stood as evidence that you were no longer there. And that you wouldn’t be there. For good.
Two rings.
A rose.
And the “S.”
All Harry had to know about where you and him stood in a relationship was in that “S” ring.
And you had returned it to him, giving your final answer.
An official ending of your relationship with him. 
Completely done. 
Harry’s eyes never felt so tired.
***December 1, 1976***
Harry stood at the side of the stage, hidden from the audience that watched the female artist perform.
He had been standing there for a few minutes, waiting anxiously. His eyes always looking about in hopes that he’d spot your arrival, all the while anxiously flattening out his black suit jacket repeatedly. 
“She’ll show, Harry,” Lana comforted, lightly patting his elbow and giving him a girlish grin. She knew all about your night in England with the rockstar.
Harry in return gave Lana a dry smile, because his hope lessened as the minutes went by. 
You had given Harry the rings back. Fled England after sleeping with Harry. Hadn’t spoken a word to him since. All signs that you weren’t going to show up to support Harry.
And his heart had clung onto you so tightly, enough, not a lot, but just enough hope was there for Harry to believe you’d show. After all, he did believe your departure at the Malibu beach house was the last of you. But just about a month ago, he had you back in bed with him in England. It was enough to satisfy Harry. Enough to encourage him to fight for you. That that night in England must have meant something. Because you did say you would go to his show. Maybe you hadn’t forgotten, Harry thought.
“You’re on,” a man stated, patting Harry’s shoulder.
“I… um,” Harry’s voice faltered, caught in a panic at the fact you still hadn’t arrived. “I’m… I’m waiting on someone. Do you think just a few more minutes-”
“You’ve got to get on that stage now. The lineup doesn’t wait. And you’re next,” the man ordered. 
“She may arrive while you’re singing,” Lana encouraged. “I’ll tell her to watch you from the side. Right here.”
Harry nervously nodded before stepping on the stage. 
Screams and chants throughout the stadium. That’s how it always was when Harry performed. The blinding lights on him. The warm air of the stage. 
But none of it mattered to Harry. Not a single aspect of it was on his mind. 
Two songs through, Harry had performed while being completely numb. All of it a whir of the moment. He had performed so many times, he was able to do it. Perform as if his mind wasn’t elsewhere. 
Every few seconds he’d glance to the side of the stage. A few groupies. Fans. Crew members. Never you. 
Another song finished.
No sign of your arrival.
Fourth song completed.
No sign of your arrival. 
Lost hope.
You weren’t showing up.
And Harry knew it. Harry gave in. You won. 
Harry wiped away the beads of sweat on his forehead, trying to ignore the bright lights on him.
“This final song I’m going to sing is one that I really like,” Harry spoke into the microphone. “I wrote it for my second album. The first song I worked on in the studio. And it… It means a lot to me. You all mean a lot to me. ‘S called ‘Sign of the Times.’”
“Harry, that song isn’t on the set list,” Mitch spoke under his breath. 
“I know. I know. But I want to sing it.”
“You sure you’re ready for that?” Mitch asked. “Vocally? It’s not your easiest song to sing.”
“Yeh,” Harry nodded, stepping forward with his hands cupped around the microphone on the pole. 
And the slow melody of the piano began to play.
“Just stop your crying, it’s a sign of the times,” Harry softly sang into the microphone. “Welcome to the final show. Hope you’re wearing your best clothes. You can’t bribe the door on your way to the sky. You look pretty good down here. But you ain’t really good.”
Harry stood there, glued to the microphone. His feet not moving. His arms not moving. Completely still, just singing with his eyes closed. Remembering that it was this song he first performed for you in the studio. It was this song that made you more interested in Harry as a person, not the fact he was a rockstar. It was this song that encouraged you to take a chance on Harry. To join him on tour. 
It was this song that brought you to him. 
What was the beginning of yours and Harry’s adventure.
An awakening.
And every memory of it flooded through Harry’s thoughts. The lyrics forming more and more into a message for him. 
The tears began to form in Harry’s eyes. Sparkling green in the spotlights. 
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“Just stop your crying, it’s a sign of the times. We gotta get away from here. We gotta get away from here. Just stop your crying, it'll be alright. They told me that the end is near. We gotta get away from here,” Harry sang, fighting through the tears. Trying to transfer the pain he felt into how he sang the song. “Just stop your crying, have the time of your life. Breaking through the atmosphere. And things are pretty good from here. Remember everything will be alright. We can meet again somewhere. Somewhere far away from here.”
As if he were singing to himself.
As if he were singing to a younger you and him, just in the early stages of dating. What was to come. Advice. Encouragement. All of it in the song.
“We never learn, we've been here before. Why are we always stuck and running from the bullets?”
And as the song continued, Harry felt it in his throat. Became raspier combined with the sore lump he felt from refusing to cry, but he fought against it. And he continued to sing. To shout at himself. To shout at the couple he saw in his head of you and him sitting on the Malibu beach. Trying to get any one of them to listen. But none of them did. None of them would. Not his present self. Or the once in love couple.
“Just stop your crying, it's a sign of the times. We gotta get away from here. We gotta get away from here. Stop your crying, baby, it'll be alright. They told me that the end is near. We gotta get away from here.”
By this point, Harry was completely gone. Lost in the song. With such anger and pain. 
Turned into his best performance of the song. The loud drums. The strumming guitar. Everything falling into place with its theatrics. 
It was Harry’s surrender song. 
Another love gone wrong.
It was a sign of the times. 
Harry had to let you go.
And a stream of tears ran down his cheeks, fuzzing his vision. But he sang through it. Clutching so tightly onto the microphone his knuckles turned a painfully pale white. But he didn’t care. He didn’t even notice. 
“We don't talk enough, we should open up before it's all too much. Will we ever learn? We've been here before. It's just what we know. Stop your crying, baby, it's a sign of the times,” Harry sang. Right before he let it all out. Shouting at the top of his lungs. Veins popping out of his neck. His face red. Eyes shut tight that still managed to release tears. 
Every instrument bashfully joining in.
Fans crying in the crowd.
Everyone wrapped around Harry’s performance. 
 “We gotta get away, we got to get away. We got to get away, we got to get away. We got to get away. We got to, we got to, away. We got to, we got to, away. We got to, we got to, away,” Harry finished.
And as the instruments began to simmer down, Harry took a step back and clumsily knocked down the microphone pole. His ears ringing. Blurred vision. Fingers tingling. Tears falling down his cheeks before he ran off the stage, causing everyone in the crowd to gasp. 
Harry pushed past a few people, not even caring about bumping into them. All the groupies and fans eyeing him and whispering to one another, “He’s crying,” “What’s wrong?” “Do you see that?”
“Harry! Harry!” Lana called, realizing Harry was having another one of his moments. 
“Go! Go!” Lana heard people shout, watching people follow after Harry. 
“Harry!” Lana shouted, chasing down the brunette. She could only see Mitch trying to communicate to his friend as he tried to walk with him through the hallway at a quick pace. But Harry was ignoring all of it. And more people started to gather around the man. All of them following him into a room. 
And what a mess the room was. 
People scattered all around, talking about.
Harry was sitting on the couch, head in his hands as he looked at the floor, crying his heart out to Mitch. 
Mitch tried to calm Harry down, but it was no use. Harry was stuck in his thoughts of you. 
“Harry,” Lana sweetly spoke, getting down on her knees in front of the man and wrapping her hands around his wrists. “Harry, love. Can you look at me, darling? Please,” she gently requested. 
But Harry couldn’t stop his crying. It was uncontrollable. 
“She left me. She left me. She’s not coming back,” Harry cried, but it was barely understandable to anyone’s ears.
“How many times are you going to do this to yourself?” Lana spoke, trying not to sound aggressive, but to get him out of his negative headspace.
But Harry ignored her words. They meant nothing to him.
“Harry, darling,” Lana whispered, trying to take Harry’s face into her own hands. But he refused. “Please,” Lana begged, nudging his hands away as he finally let her touch his face. “Harry-” Lana’s voice shook at the sight, followed by a short gasp. A Harry she had never seen before. His eyes puffed red from crying. Tears drenching his cheeks and chin. His nose runny from the force of tears. His pink lips chapped from crying, but soon wet from the tears - an endless cycle. And his hair all frazzled. His dazzling green eyes had no light. No sign of life. Heartbroken. 
The type of unfixable heartbreak.
The type that damaged your heart. 
The type that only came from falling in love deeply. A real love. 
Heartbreak that changed a person’s life for the worst.
“I loved her. I loved her more than anything. She was my angel. And I hurt her,” Harry choked out, tears leaving the crooks of his eyes and landing onto Lana’s hands that remained cupping his face.
Harry was being vulnerable in a crowd of people that didn’t deserve to see it. People that weren’t there for the right reasons.
“I need these people out of here, please,” Lana spoke to Mitch. “Harry, you’ve got to calm down.”
People began exiting the room at the urgency of Mitch, but Harry was blind to all of it.
“I loved her, Lan. Why… Why couldn’t I love her right?” Harry choked through tears. “And she’s… I know she’s not coming back.” Harry dug into his pocket, pulling out the two rings to show Lana. “I know… I know now that she isn’t. She doesn’t want me. She doesn’t want to marry me. She doesn’t… She doesn’t love me.” 
Lana’s hands remained cupped around Harry’s cheeks as he continued to cry. It broke her to see Harry this way. 
“First time this ever happened I… I shut her out,” Harry quietly cried this time, his head turning to look at the closed door. 
Lana’s hands fell to his knees, her eyes watching Harry. 
“I shut her out. And I was holding onto Penelope’s hand as I cried. And I shut (Y/N) out. She was standing… standing right behind that door. Worried about me. Wanting me to be okay. To help me.” Harry paused. “To be by my side. And the one person I needed to be by my side in that moment, I shut her out. And I want her,” Harry softly cried, trying to hold himself back from crying even harder. But his voice began to crack, the sore lump growing in his throat. “I want her so badly to be behind that door, waiting to come in. But I know she isn’t.” Harry paused, finally turning back to look at Lana. “Where is she?” Harry asked. “Where’s my angel?”
And Lana answered the same way she had to Harry on stage just time ago when Rocky left her. When she felt the same exact heartbreak Harry was feeling in this moment. It was what Harry needed to hear, because it was the truth. As much as it pained Lana to say it to herself just months ago at Rocky’s departure, and the way it pained her to say it to a current heartbroken Harry. 
It was the truth.
“She’s gone,” Lana stated. 
End note: 
welp :/
please let me know what you think with feedback. I love hearing from you guys! thank you! (: 
Only Angel Taglist: @perrythefrickinplatypus​ @uglipotata72829​ @sozvuchiy​ @bohemian-war​ @chubbybunnybenny​ @youngpastafanmug​ @blisshemmings​ @baebee35​ @sspidermanss​ @crisptrepidations​ @simonedk​ @theprettyandthereckless​ @peculiareunoia​ @wiensrsoldier​ @nekomacam​ @a19103​ @hufflepuff-always-and-forever​ @h-arrystyles​ @pink-bonnet​ @sebenagomez​ @girlboss99​ @honestlyisuck​ @malikbruhh​ @havingoodtime​ @anotheronewritesthedust1​ @star-incandescent​ @emily-ev12​ @georgia-cb​ @cali4niagirl​ @harrysxputa​ @youcancallmebymymiddlename​ @harryluv11​ @harryspirate​ @superduperkindness​ @harrysgoth​ @jesusidontcare1​ @princesa-peachy​ @marauderswhisperer​ @tmbxlen @iamwhoiamdontjudgeme​ @missprofangurl​ @gonnagoandfangirl​ @butterfly-skinnylegend​ @oskea93​ @classicstyles​ @jgun2001 @poguestyleskye​
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imkylotrash · 6 months ago
Black And White (5)
Pairing: Saul Silva x reader
Summary: You go on the date letting Harry know that there was nothing between the two of you but you’re not ready to forgive Saul so you become petty.  Contains a request given a long time ago regarding sparring partners. I won’t be writing the request because it would give away the entire chapter. 
Series Masterlist
Tagging: @grey-girl @intoanothermind @anreeixcobra @kingunder221b @lflores2008 @alexiapayne12 @quuenofblacks @quarterback-5 @estelmei @bitchwhytho @music-of-melody @artsyle​ @baueoud​ 
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All the way through getting ready for the date, you feel absolutely sick to your stomach. You don’t want to go on a date with someone else but your ego is hurt badly from Saul telling you to go. You wanted him to tell you the opposite, you wanted him to get upset at the mere thought of someone looking at you the way he does. You never expected him to tell you to go. Once again, your phone buzzes letting you know that another message from Saul ticked in. He’s been texting you every five minutes since you left his room but for you his decision to stay away from your room says more than any text message he might send you. 
Once you finish getting ready, you wait another 5 minutes giving Saul time to come stop you but he doesn’t. You try not to feel too hurt but it’s hard not to when your partner won’t even fight for you. Instead you text Harry to let him know that you’re good to go. He texts back the meeting spot and a bunch of inappropriate smileys that you can’t help but laugh at. He’s a little bonkers that one. 
“Hey, I’m Y/N.” you introduce yourself to the stranger waiting for you out on the lawn. He smiles showing all his pearly whites and somehow, you already hate him. He’s too slick knowing he’s objectively pretty and thinking it’ll substitute for an actual personality. You see why Harry would like him though. He’s probably one of the lads always up for a good chat about the ladies. 
“I’m Jared. Can I just say you look absolutely stunning tonight?” he starts and it gives you the creeps. It’s not so much what he said but the way he said it. He’s been with you for two minutes and it feels like he’s already picturing you without your clothes on. 
“Should we get going?” you ask deflecting the question ungracefully. He holds out his arm to lead you through the portal to Solaria. It’s a beautiful restaurant and the food is amazing but you predicted his personality so accurately it’s almost painful. He doesn’t ask you a single question but goes on and on talking about himself and how he always considered himself better than what Alfea could offer which is why he transferred to private tutors right here in Solaria. The wine glass seems to empty quite often in order for you to survive the night. 
“I’ve had a great time tonight.” I bet you have, you think to yourself panicking when he leans down for a kiss. In a moment of complete brain freeze, you decide that a sneeze is the best way to avoid it. 
“Sorry, I should probably get inside.” You hurry away leaving him hanging outside. Rather than going to bed, you head to Harry’s room and knock on the door. 
“What the hell were you thinking?” you ask once he opens the door. Luckily, his room appears empty so you push past him ready to take off your shoes and get comfortable. It’s been a while since the two of you had a sleepover but tonight, you could really use it. 
“You didn’t like him?” he asks closing the door before coming over to sit next to you on the bed. 
“Like him? How could anyone like him?” you ask making Harry laugh. 
“Honestly, I have no idea. I never thought you’d go through with it,” he chuckles confusing you even more. Why would Harry set you up with him if he doesn’t even like him? You narrow your eyes looking at your best friend with a suspicious feeling growing in your stomach. 
“Why wouldn’t I go through with it when you vouch for him?” Does he know? How could he know when you and Saul have been so careful not to reveal anything in public? Everything seems a little backwards right now and what you really want is to cuddle up next to Saul and forget all about this but your pride won’t let you do that. 
“You tell me?” he smirks and he definitely knows. 
“Saul told me to do it.”
“Saul?! You’re dating Saul Silva?!” He’s so shocked that you quickly realise that he definitely didn’t know you were dating Saul. 
“I knew you were dating someone and hadn’t told me but... You’re dating Silva?” He can’t believe it and you can’t believe you just told him that you’re dating your teacher. Could tonight get any worse. 
“Whatever I just said, I blame it on the wine.” But the damage has been done. There’s no way Harry will let you forget this and while you worry about what Saul might say, you have to admit that it’s really nice to be able to tell someone. You get keeping it a secret until graduation, but you wish you didn’t have to. And lately that feeling have only gotten worse. 
“You can blame admitting it on the wine but not the fact that you’re dating our teacher.” He goes to high five you but the look in your eyes is enough for him to abandon that idea. 
“So, you sent me on a date that you knew would be horrible to make me confess I was already seeing someone?” you ask trying to figure out exactly what went down tonight. 
“I really thought you’d back out before you guys even left Alfea. I felt a little bad.” He holds up his thumb and index finger to indicate the measurement of how bad he felt. It’s not much. 
“You’re a dick,” you laugh deciding that you won’t be upset about this. If you hadn’t been fighting with Saul, you might even have thought it was a fun prank. Instead you opt for climbing under the duvet and going to sleep. Harry stays on the floor not even considering the idea of you two sharing a bed which you really appreciate. He can be a gentleman for the right person. 
“Wake up.” The sun has made a reappearance way too soon but you know you can’t go back to sleep. Classes will be starting soon where you’ll have to face Saul. 
“I have a plan that might make up for last night. But it’s very petty.” Your ego likes petty at the minute. He fills you in as you head towards the training grounds. When you arrive, you don’t even look in Saul’s direction instead focusing on Harry. 
“Have you been working out?” you ask touching his biceps even though everything in you is screaming for you to stop, you keep going. Harry is like family and while this feels so wrong, his smile tells you that someone else is definitely annoyed by it. Your back is to Saul but that means that Harry can watch him. 
“Tightening his grip in the staff,” he informs you at the same time letting you know that you can up your game. 
“Fight me,” you whisper crawling into the ring. It’s the silliest training you’ve ever done. Instead of actually trying, you and Harry just roll around laughing and having fun. None of you put anything more into it than wanting to piss Saul off but it’s still weird. 
“I surrender,” you scream when he starts tickling you. 
“You two, my office!” he snaps and you have to bite your lip from laughing. Harry’s plan worked a charm and while you probably should feel a little bad for agitating him like this, you’re mostly just satisfied that you finally got the reaction you wanted him to have when you told him about the date. 
“I’ll be expecting to see you in detention for the next three Saturdays. Training is not a joke and I refuse to let anyone behave the way you two did out there.” You can’t even look at Harry in fear of laughing out loud while Saul is screaming at you. He’s clearly very upset but you don’t feel bad. He started this. 
“Harry, you’re excused.” He sends you a look when he gets up to leave which you return with a wink. 
“See you,” he says letting his hand rest on your shoulder for just a second longer than necessary. Don’t laugh, you tell yourself wanting to enjoy jealous Saul a little longer before you admit what really happened out there. 
“What the hell was that?” he sneers very upset. 
“I have no idea what you’re talking about. Harry is my best friend, we were having a laugh.” You try to ask innocent secretly swooning over just how hot he is when he’s jealous. 
“Don’t play dumb with me. Why were you flirting with him?” There’s a fire burning in his eyes that you’ve really missed. All you want is for him to admit that you’re his and he’s yours. You know it’s wrong and that no one can claim another person but somehow, you and Saul have anyway. 
“Sorry. I just thought it would act as a good cover. You know, so people don’t ask any questions.” You’re enjoying this far too much but really, it’s just your bruised ego talking. 
“Well, that little stunt just cost you me.” That wipes the smile of your face. 
“What?” you ask thinking that you can’t have heard him correctly. He can’t seriously mean that he’s willing to end things over this. It’s an argument and sure, it’s one of the big ones but you figured you’d get through it like you have with anything else. 
“I’m not doing this childish thing you’re trying to do,” he says with a hollow tone. 
“I’m done.”  
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subwalls · 5 months ago
Tales from the SMP Presents: The Pit
Another Tales, another Kingdom Hearts comparison post! “The Other Side” is a mix between the soundtrack The Other Promise and the cinematic “Another Side, Another Story” (both of which come from Kingdom Hearts, of course), which evokes a very specific KH character that... yeah. So let’s get into it.
Karl gets stabbed by the king’s new general and finds himself back in the Inbetween. A cool new logo pops up as we enter the Inbetween, which actually is a... very typical example of a Kingdom Hearts world logo / intro card / name card? I honestly don’t know what it’s called, it doesn’t have a name, it’s just a thing that happens every time the character enters a new world.
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Castle Oblivion is just one (1) example, but if you just look up “Kingdom Hearts worlds” and scroll a bit, you’ll see what I’m talking about, haha. This doesn’t really change anything, it’s just another little wink and nod to the Kingdom Hearts series.
... Except, of course, the fact that there’s a title placard for this world implies the existence of other worlds. Which we eventually find out is, in fact, true. Fun! There’s a number of associations I could make based off the aesthetic of the logo (the castle reminds me of Radiant Garden, etc) but honestly they’re not worth much without more information.
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So, the Inbetween is vividly aware of Karl’s straying from “the path”. It makes a huge attempt to still be pleasant and “nice” and whatever, but we can tell quite obviously that there’s an undercurrent of threat under all those pretty quartz blocks and smiles :]
Speaking of the :] smile, the reveal of Quackity’s previous lore stream actually doesn’t push me to think that it’s directly related to him in any way. It’s not impossible that c!Quackity achieved such heights as... becoming? The Inbetween? Because he’s got reason to be invested in Karl’s powers and keeping him in line. But it’s a reach or long-term thing at best, honestly, so I’m shelving the Quackity-smile association until further evidence appears.
(I could go bonkers and say that this is the culmination of c!Quackity’s ascension after ripping Information out of Dream or even XD, but that’s well into AU territory, so it’s all just shrug emojis for now.)
Which, of course, leads to the question of who that smile actually is associated with, and I think as clear an answer as we’re going to get is... The Inbetween itself. Clearly.
There’s a lot of meaning I could take from that; is it associated with Dream or XD then? Or maybe is it tapping into Karl’s memories of c!Dream doing the :) thing and it’s appropriating that for itself? Why? To intimidate Karl into obeying it?
Mayhaps. Mayhaps!
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Anyway, Karl goes up to the tree, and as he approaches, the video feed distorts as the game abruptly switches to a higher-level shader like BSL or something.
Now, I haven’t confirmed it, but the way the audio shifts makes me think it suddenly started playing backwards, too. It’s just the way it sounds; it’s got that... sucking effect that’s pretty typical of musical tracks played backwards.
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Karl swims down to the hidden room, which is very dark now. There is a book that tells him to go up the ladder for a surprise.
Also, by the way, I’m back on my wither rose pot association brainrot, because I can’t help but notice that there isn’t one here. There was one in the previous Inbetween segment, but it’s gone now. Now there’s a new book with the :] smiley, which of course should set the audience on edge, since we just saw the first book use it in a... mildly threatening manner.
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We know that in Dream SMP it’s a pretty common thing to use redstone as blood. Other characters have used it in bits, some more seriously than others, and I think that’s what this room is trying to emulate.
If I had to guess, I’d... hm.
A part of me wants to say that the blood is probably from the different versions of Karl wandering around. Nobody’s going to notice if a few abruptly take a swerve to bleed themselves out in a room or something, right? But that carries a lot of implications, namely that of control so perfect it borders on possession. So either the Inbetween can control Karls, or it has some other agent capable of dragging something into this chamber to bleed it all over the room.
Neither of those options are particularly nice, I’ll admit!
There’s no Kingdom Hearts associations here, by the way. Due to being so closely tied with Disney, KH is deathly allergic to portraying blood in any way lmao. Not so many messages carved into the walls.
Or painted onto the walls with blood, if that’s what that is. Color correction gets a bit odd with shaders, so I’m not saying anything for certain; the closed books don’t look enchantment-purple, for example.
What does catch my eye are the torches, which will later be the flickering lights that guide Karl to the portal. The fact that they are here makes me think that this was definitely the scene of either a battle or some other conflict between the two sides to this story (haha, get it, Another Side, Another Story, because that’s a Thing in KH—), or at least proves that an influence from The Other Side was here at some point in time.
Karl quickly gets the fuck out of there, and when he swims back to the surface the shaders/music switch back to normal.
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Oh, and for all you people who like to point fingers at anything vaguely false and scream “that’s gAsLiGhTiNg!!!1!!111″ about it, here’s an actual attempt at gaslighting. Note the language used here: “Your mind seems to be playing tricks on you :]”. It’s explicitly trying to convince him not to trust his own senses and mind. It’s saying, let me think for you. And that is a very dangerous thing.
Wither rose pot exists again, yay. Definitely a Inbetween voice, this book.
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More wither rose book, this time in the, uh, grand entrance hall? The lobby? Yeah.
This book basically goes on a spiel about how the Inbetween is so great for Karl (a declaration, by the way, rather than a hope) and says that he is doubting himself or being less like himself, which is odd, because what he’s really doing is doubting the Inbetween and the path it has laid out for him. In a way, by questioning the Inbetween, Karl is being truer to himself than anything else.
The malicious way this place frames its words becomes more and more obvious with each passing page; it again reminds him that it’s a place to be “feel at ease”, which is super sketch that it has to tell him outright rather than actually being that place. It continues attempting to gaslight him, telling him that his imagination is getting away from him and that he can’t trust himself or anything else but this “path”.
I’ll get back to the “path” thing in a minute, but I really want to drive home that this is the truest instance of gaslighting we’ve ever had on the Dream SMP. Nothing has ever so clearly declared that it must be trusted over the victim’s own senses, practically infantilizing the victim’s concerns and trying to make them think that their worries are just flights of fancy. Please, please keep this in mind any time you want to accuse a character of gaslighting in the future; not all psychological abuse is a form of gaslighting. Sometimes it’s just... abuse. It’s not any more or less worse than gaslighting, it’s just different.
Anyway, about the “path” that the Inbetween is so obsessed with. No idea what the fuck that’s talking about.
In Kingdom Hearts, the only paths that are really of import are is a specific character’s “road to dawn” (redemption without fully yielding his edginess, essentially) or the “paths” that characters take to traverse between different worlds. I really don’t think the Inbetween has anything to do with either of them, but I’ll leave the options there if you want to peruse the possibilities.
What’s more likely, I think, is that this is a vaguely more subtle version of control/possession. The “path” is just “whatever the Inbetween wants you to do”.
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Our next book is from the other side, and is plastered nonchalantly but boldly against the wall with no flower pot or anything.
Karl picks it up, puts it in his inventory (which probably indicates that he’s keeping this particular route close to his heart, rather than whatever the Inbetween is trying to make him do), and then the video stutters and he teleports back to the main entrance.
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There’s a new book. It’s spooky as fuck, and hilariously hypocritical.
The tone shift is immediate, of course, aided by the abrupt change in background music since he got teleported back here. (I can’t quite nail it down; I assume it’s a slowed KH track like the others, but it doesn’t quite ring any bells for me.) The way the Inbetween speaks through these books has changed too, though; it addresses him by name without any attempt to cover up its intentions with flowery softness.
It does a cool fun thing where it says that it knows more than Karl, and knows what’s right, and then goes on to say that those visions shouldn’t dictate his opinion on the inbetween. (I’m keeping an eye on that lowercase, by the way. Not sure if it’s a typo or intentional, since it’s still one word, but.) As though he should trust the Inbetween’s opinions of itself rather than his own brain? A’ight. Sure, Jan.
Again it tries to tell him that it’s safe here. The lying is getting more transparent now.
He puts this book back, the previous book back, and runs after a double of himself until the shaders and music glitch again.
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Fun thing about shaders is that they make dark areas... much, much darker. Especially since we saw that Karl’s got night vision (the effect, for cinematic purposes) on.
The music has a few notes that again sound as though they’re being played backwards.
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The book on the tree in this courtyard does not come with its own little wither rose pot, and neither does it seem to come from the Inbetween, since it’s telling him some awful things about these other versions of himself.
It confirms a few things about the mystery other selves, namely that they’re definitely condemned to walk the castle forever, but it doesn’t really tell us why this happens or why the Inbetween (probably) wants this to happen. What’s the end goal?
We’re probably a bit early in the story to figure that out, but they’re questions worth keeping in mind as this storyline progresses.
Karl gets teleported back to the main lobby, which looks very dark and spooky, though in the transition we do see a glimpse of that portal. There are torches around the wither pot book pedestal, and the audio really kicks into high gear with the creepy notes and the visuals get stretched and glitch quite a bit as he opens the book.
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Funnily enough, the audio kind of reminded me of some pokemon encounter music, but I think that’s just because I’ve got those notes wired into my brain from years of playing those games. Anyway! The book tells him this is not a warning, and that they’re gonna fucking come for him to make sure he sticks with their path.
Who is “we”? Is the Inbetween a collective? Is the Inbetween just part of a different whole? Maybe it counts all the different Karls as a part of it.
Either way, it’s creepy and threatening. Karl starts running; the screen glitches and tells him to follow the torches, which at first I was kind of leery about trusting, but the next series of words helped clear up exactly what side those words are on.
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Also, you’ll notice that some other text kinda skitters across the screen before the English, like it’s getting translated. I think it’s Galactic, which is something different from the thing that Ranboo uses for Ender? I think Ranboo uses the Alien language thing or something? I’m not 100% sure on that, feel free to correct me and I’ll fix this portion.
It certainly implies that the speaker isn’t communicating in the server equivalent of “common”, however. Not sure if they’re translating into English or if Karl inherently understands it and it’s translated into English for the audience’s convenience, but either way, the other speaker might be linked to something completely different.
Karl runs on with encouragement and creepy music until he finally arrives at the portal, which is not barred off like it was last time. Thanks, whoever’s responsible for that!
The music dies for this final book.
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The Inbetween’s last-ditch attempt to make him stay. It calls him silly a couple of times, and smiles at the end with a :]
Problem is, we and Karl already know that staying with the Inbetween will keep him from his friends. And the voice tells him to leave for his friends.
Karl looks around at this place that calls itself his sanctuary, and makes his decision.
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He arrives at The Other Side.
The music appears to be drawn from parts of either The Other Promise or Roxas’ Theme, both of which are heavily tied to the character known as Roxas. The version that Karl uses is slower and lower, the same as with the Dearly Beloved track he uses for his Inbetween segments.
Honestly, I’m not as certain on this as I could be, because I couldn’t find the exact variation on Youtube and there are parts that could just be Emotional rather than Roxas-related, I’m not sure. I’ll probably come back and fix this if it’s untrue.
EDIT: Yeah, uh, it’s Ven’s theme, not Roxas’, but the world itself is still heavily associated with Roxas in naming themes.
For now, I’m going off the assumption that the decision to make both the name and the theme of this world relevant to Roxas is purposeful, which means I’m... going to attempt to explain who Roxas is and what his story is.
Oh boy.
To grossly oversimplify the situation, Roxas is a “part” of Sora who develops his own sense of identity, is betrayed, gets coerced into murdering his best friend, gets kidnapped, gets memory wiped, and then—when he gets his memory back and realizes he super hates his captors—is convinced by those same captors to give up his existence because he “isn’t a real person” and if he lives then Sora will never wake up. So he “dies” and becomes a part of Sora again until later.
(Sora, by the way, is asleep due to the events in Castle Oblivion, which you might recognize as That Place I Keep Associating The Inbetween With.)
He’s also a fan favorite lmao. Take from that as you will, and, I don’t know, flip through his wiki page or something. Can’t guarantee it’s all understandable though.
My point to bringing Roxas up is that his arc... kind of parallels Karl’s. He did his job working for superiors he didn’t really understand in a white castle, with the higher-ups trying to control him, until he realized he was losing his friend/s to them. At that point, he defects. I think this is the point that Karl has reached, in his own storyline. He’s pulled away from the thing that’s made itself known to him, and now he’s wandering down something that hopefully isn’t as awful as the beast he’s just left behind.
Roxas also doesn’t get his happy ending for a long, long time.
Let’s hope Karl is different.
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Off the top of my head, I can tell you that the mood this world creates is very reminiscent of some areas that the Kingdom Hearts games explore in 0.2 (yes, zero point two, that is the number of that game. This fucking series, man), specifically Castle Town, in which the player character has to smack a bunch of clock gears to make time go backwards in order to proceed, which is fun. But no exact inspirations come to mind the same way that Castle Oblivion did for the Inbetween.
Until we get a better look at the interiors, I’m going to gently claim that this build is more original and doesn’t take inspiration quite as directly from a Kingdom Hearts source, so there might not be an exact parallel. There isn’t a black castle in Kingdom Hearts that I can think of, honestly.
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Also, I will say that I’m going to take this episode as confirmation that the wither roses are associated with the Inbetween and appear next to books that come from / are related to the Inbetween, especially since The Other Side associates itself with a completely different flower: the white tulip.
Anyway, The Other Side tells him he’s home, and that they’ll explore more soon.
This... eerily parallels the Inbetween, which told him that he’s safe, and has lots to explore.
I can’t say that I immediately trust The Other Side, but neither can I say that I inherently distrusted it the same way I did with the Inbetween. We’re going to have to wait and see how this place behaves in future episodes to get a good grasp of it. Who built these places? Are they alive, and writing the books, or is there a mastermind behind them? We still don’t have a lot of the answers, but that’s okay.
For now, I’m content to know that Karl is away from the more obvious perils of the Inbetween.
It could still be a trap, but for now, it’s a refuge.
62 notes · View notes
starklysteve · 9 months ago
hi!! i love your 101 ways to propose series, if you're still taking prompts for that, what about tony overhearing steve practicing his proposal speech? ty!
hi! 💛 i plan on one day maybe fulfilling that 101 number, so i am always taking prompts for it :D also i posted this on ao3 and forgot to answer your ask but here you go i hope you enjoy this serving of these two idiots with paper rings
overheard your heartbeat (calling me yours)
5.7k words, fluff and angst, tw: hospitalisations, some explosions
“If you don’t want to go out, then stop making plans!” Tony yells at Steve, pulling the tie off his own neck and tossing it on the bedroom floor.
“I do, it’s just – ”
“Did a dinosaur attack Central Park?” he huffs frustratedly, pushing past his boyfriend. 
He can’t do this, not right now. 
All that would do was lead to a shouting match.
They’d agreed a few years ago to never do these sorts of talks while they were both tired, and Tony was tired.
A shitty week on top of a shitty month.
He storms down the stairs of the Avengers Compound bare feet thumping loudly over the soft carpet Natasha had chosen. After Ultron and after they had started tracking down Bucky Barnes amidst the wreckage of the world, turning the Compound into a home together had helped soothe the tensions in the team.
The distance from the city was particularly helpful, giving them peace from the constant scrutiny of the press and the public. 
Today, with all the mess from the Secretary of Defense pushing for more oversight and Stark Industries’ clean energy contracts facing hold up, Tony is especially glad for that peace.
Today was also meant to be his evening out with Steve, but like all of their dates in the past month, Steve had cancelled.
Usually, the absence of Tony and Steve going out publicly for longer than a stretch of two weeks was enough to drive the press to intense speculation, as three years of their on-and-off dating had turned into something steadier.
Now – Tony thinks with no small amount of bitterness – at least he has some privacy in watching his relationship dwindle.
Has Steve finally grown tired of Tony?
They still do their breakfasts together, the smiley face drawn in blueberry sauce all over Tony’s face still cheeky as ever, accompanied by a heart of whip cream next to it. At night Steve will murmur a hot ‘I love you’ between Tony’s shoulderblades, hands warm around his waist as kisses are pressed down his spine.
When Tony is forced to work in the city, Steve will arrive right around lunch time by the Tower, motorbike ready to whisk Tony away for a short, blissful break from the stuffy old men in the boardrooms.
And when Tony kisses Steve after a mission, Steve still grins against the kiss, unable to hide the clear happiness from Tony’s mere presence.
The question remained: why did Steve arrange dates only to cancel at the last minute?
The excuses ranged from a very valid emergency preventing an attack on the city to a more questionable ‘Sam’s niece is having a birthday party and I didn’t want to disappoint her’.
There were also the very strange purchases: what did Steve need a thousand roses for last week? 
Not that Tony stalked any of the Avengers – JARVIS only started flagging the out-of-habit purchases after Clint had placed the down payment for a million-dollar bouncy castle.
So. A shitty week on top of a shitty month on top of a rollercoaster life.
His boyfriend-slash-Captain-slash-bane-of-his-life was acting strangely, and he pauses in the middle of the stairs to recenter himself, chest throbbing from the exertion. 
The reflection that stares back at him from the dark glass windows lining the walls is a sad one: his dress shirt askew, graying hair a mess from the countless times he’d run his hand annoyedly through it today, and eye bags heavy as sleepness nights of fear and regret took its toll.
Creeping out from between his unbuttoned collar are the old scars from the reactor, branching out to curl over his collarbone in a grotesque pattern.
Is it any wonder Steve doesn’t want to go out with this mess?
Sliding silently down the railing, he sits heavily on the steps, shoving a fist between his teeth to stop his ragged breaths from becoming sobs.
Why can't he catch a break?
He's just so fucking tired and hungry, he wants a hug from his boyfriend and a warm dinner. 
What he doesn't want is for Steve to break up with him.
The thought is enough to make him feel sick, stomach balking at the mention of food. 
He's about to leave for the safety of his labs when he hears a woman's voice come through their open bedroom door.
"Steve, did you do it?"
Tony's heart drops. That's Sharon. 
His cousin went on one date with Steve way back when New York was still in ruins, and while Tony knows she had been among the people scheming to get Steve and Tony together, it's hard not to have a dreadful suspicion after the string of cancelled dates.
"No," Steve's reply comes, "I couldn't do it."
Creeping back up the stairs, Tony refuses to pause and think about how his life's been reduced to this: sneaking through the hallways to eavesdrop on his boyfriend.
Supposed boyfriend, an insidious part of his mind corrects.
"Steve, Tony loves you so much, he's definitely going to say yes."
The yellow light spilling out of their bedroom is almost eerie, and he realises Sharon's words are true. 
If Steve would be happier with her, Tony would let him go.
His heart clenches fiercely, painfully. 
Thankful the arc reactor's been removed, Tony presses hard against the mess of scars there, rubbing circles to do something with the pressure building up hopelessly in his chest.
"I just want it to be perfect. I can't propose when he's so tired he's about to collapse on his feet." Wait, what? "But I think I made a mess of everything."
Steve's sigh is loud, which is good because it covers the small, strangled noise Tony lets out.
A proposal?
The whiplash of surprise and horror roots him to the spot.
Is Steve planning a proposal to Sharon? Had Tony really made Steve so unhappy to push Steve into a relationship so covert? Do any of the other Avengers know about this? He's too fucking tired and heartsick to figure things out, his mind playing in agonising detail the past month.
The way Steve's smiles seemed nervous, uneasy, uncomfortable. How Steve's hand sometimes shook when he reached across the breakfast table to hold Tony's hand, and how quickly Steve pulled away afterwards. 
"Okay," Sharon's voice comes again, "try reading your speech to me."
"You'll laugh," Steve miserably says.
"Who could ever laugh to a Captain America speech?"
"I should start with an apology, shouldn't I? He thinks I don't want to go out anymore."
Christ, Steve sounds so upset that Tony's instinct to comfort him rears up above his own discomfort. 
Had Tony not convinced Steve enough that he loves him?
Sharon clicks her tongue over the call. "It isn't my fault that you can apparently fight wars but can't propose to the love of your life."
Fucking hell, Tony can't just stand here while Steve proposes to someone else, can't just listen to his home crumbling all around him.
Nobody ever said Tony wasn't a masochist, though, and a large part of him wants to know where he failed, where he'd gone so wrong to drive Steve so far away from him like this.
Taking a deep breath, Steve – was that the sound of paper being unfolded? Had Steve actually written the speech down? – clears his throat.
“Tony, I’ve been trying to propose to you for the past month but you just keep getting less happy and more stressed? Does that work?” Steve's voice lilts up doubtfully. “Or just, I'm sorry I've been a horrible boyfriend this past month, I've been nervous because I have something to ask you?”
Something catches at the back of Tony's throat, and he's frozen in the dark hallway, staring at the light of their bedroom, struggling to breathe. 
Steve sounds so sincere, so desperate to do this properly that Tony feels an echoing rawness crawl up his throat. His confusion stings against his exhaustion, sluggish mind counting the possibilities slowly.
"The second one works better, I think," Sharon answers.
"Right." And suddenly the words coming out in Steve's voice are impossible, because Tony cannot possibly be standing here listening to his boyfriend – soon to be fiance? – practice a proposal for him. 
His day has been too much of a rollercoaster for him to be able to handle this.
Yet, he continues to stand transfixed as Steve's feet scuffle against the carpet of their room, a familiar sound from all the nights he's had to watch Steve pace nervously across its length, anxious for news about a mission.
“Honey – no, that’s not right. Tony," Steve says into the call, and Tony's heart is beating too loud in his ears, "you’re the most important man in my life. No. That sounds like a damn romcom.” Another loud, frustrated sigh. “Okay what about this – we haven’t been at our best lately, but we’ve gone through a hell lot worse, and even in my worst moments, you knew how to bring out the best in me. No? Tony’s going to hate it, isn't he?”
Hate it?
Tony can’t even breathe.
Steve wants to marry him.
Him and not anyone else.
"No," Sharon empathically insists. "He's probably going to stare at you, and then kiss you silly."
Tony makes a note to send her the biggest, most overblown fruit basket. 
With flowers. And a giant bunny.
“You said everything special about me came from a bottle. That might be true, but everything happy about me came from you,” Steve tries another sentence, the words coming out slow, measured, "I always thought marriage would mean a faceless lady and a picket fence, until I met you and realised it would mean your grumpiness when I wake up too early, my stubbornness making us fight, and your bot children pestering us until we kiss again. An adventure. A promise to come home. To kiss the most wonderful man in the world good night every night - "
And Tony can't help it. 
All the stress of the past month, the worry, the fear, the doubt – the bone aching tiredness – it rises up as relief and awe and disbelief replaces them.
He clamps his hands over his mouth, but it's too late.
He lets out a pained sound, a wounded animal jerking away from the light because it's too much.
Steve's love burns too hot across his chest, and he really can't breathe, he's heaving, lungs unable to expand because god, how had Tony not noticed his own boyfriend's worries?
Does Steve not know how much Tony loves him?
Was Tony so self-absorbed that he hadn't noticed Steve needing him?
Would someone like that even make a good husband for Steve?
Curling away from the word 'husband', he closes his eyes shut against the tears threatening to spill there, and suddenly he hears a clatter coming from their room. 
His heart stutters again, panicked that something might've happened to Steve, but there's only a quick, "Sharon, I need to go," before warm hands fall on his shoulders, and blue, blue eyes crowd his vision as the hallway lights turn on.
"Hey," Steve moves to cup the back of Tony's head, rubbing small circles at the base of his neck, "what's wrong, Tony?"
Tony shakes his head, not trusting himself to speak.
The furrow between Steve's brows deepen. Gently, Steve takes Tony's hand, thumb rubbing away the bitemarks there from when Tony had shoved his fist between his teeth. "Did you hear my call earlier?"
He should say yes. 
The truth. 
Except, if Steve is really afraid that Tony will refuse marriage, shouldn't it be Tony's turn for once to soothe Steve's fears? 
Later, he can blame his tiredness for this harebrained plan.
Now, he just needs time to make a proper ring.
"No," Tony says, fighting his hardest to keep his smile from trembling. "I miss you," he gives another truth instead, "I – can we not fight?"
"Of course," Steve nods quickly. This man would give Tony the universe if he asked for it.
Tony doesn't need the universe.
"Hold me?" he asks.
Steve does.
The following morning, Tony is surprised to wake up with Steve's shirtless chest still pressed against his back. He peeks at the alarm clock on the bedside, its red letters reading out 09:43.
"Hey, sunshine," Steve laughs when Tony pulls the blanket over his head to shut out the light from their windows.
It should be a normal Saturday morning, they have no emergency missions or unavoidable meetings, so why hasn't Steve gone for the usual morning run yet? His mind scrambles to figure out why it isn't –
Steve wants to marry Tony. 
And doesn't know that Tony wants to marry Steve right back.
"Don't you have places to be?" Tony prods, voice muffled by the blankets. His plan of secretly designing a ring won't get anywhere if today's Steve is the affectionate kind.
"I have places to be and places I want to be," Steve answers, pressing his cold feet against Tony's thighs, making him yelp to get away.
"You sure you don't have to make sure Clint isn't stuck in the dumpsters somewhere?"
Next to him, he feels Steve stiffen, amusement replaced by a thoughtful sombreness. "Look, if you're still upset about last night, I'm sorry I cancelled our date." Steve rests his chin on Tony's shoulder, leaning up to meet his eyes apologetically. "Pepper called to tell me you had a shitty day yesterday, and I thought staying in would be a better rest for you. But I shouldn't have assumed."
A proposal would definitely have made my day better, Tony thinks. 
And he realises that's what he'll start his proposal with. Because Steve didn't make Tony's day better, he made Tony's life a thousand times better.
"Staying in with you sounds perfect," he replies carefully. How does he assure Steve that he loves him without blurting out 'be my husband'? "Yesterday was just such a clusterfuck, I was really looking forward to dinner with you."
Steve ducks his head to press a kiss behind Tony's ear. "How about I make it up with some breakfast together?"
The ring, Tony decides, can wait.
Marriage – as scary as it can be – boils down to a promise. Together.
When put like that, Tony's harebrained plan of showing Steve how much he loves him becomes so much simpler.
"You make the pancakes, I make the coffee?" he shifts around to face Steve. "Or better yet," he presses his own kiss between Steve's brows, "we skip breakfast and keep doing what we're doing."
"And what are we doing?"
The soft huff of fondness that Steve lets out is so different from his frustrated sighs last night, and Tony knows he's made the right decision. Trying to sneak away now would do little to help, so he takes advantage in the best way he can.
"This," Tony burrows his way into Steve's chest, until his cheeks press against the heartbeat there, until all his arms can touch is the vast expanse of Steve's back, holding them closer than close.
"I love you."
A beat of silence.
"I love you, too," the rumbling of Steve's chest ricochets in Tony's ear. "You make me really, really happy."
Nope. No. No matter how brightly Steve's words flare through him, Tony is going to be the one who proposes so that Steve will forever have no doubts about how much Tony wants him.
"Coffee would make me really, really happy too," he steers the topic into safer waters. 
"No coffee 'til you let me go," Steve points out reasonably, because none of the bots can be trusted to make a decent cup of coffee. 
"Worth it," Tony wraps his arms tighter around his boyfriend.
He can feel Steve smile into his hair.
And he feels his own smile above Steve's heart.
One week later – after much finesse with sneaking around and peppering Steve with affectionate gestures as a distraction – Tony finishes the ring.
He's had JARVIS save the recording of Steve's phone call with Sharon in a very, very private server, and he's put together the fanciest fruit basket to give to her after Steve says yes.
All he needs to do is get through this battle so he can suit up properly to take his soon-to-be fiance on a private date. 
The Iron Man gauntlet rolls up his sleeve as he types commands rapidly into the helicarrier's mainframe, trying to stop or at least delay the sabotage threatening to send the ship into a fiery ball of flames falling down into the depths of the Atlantic below them.
His boots keep him steady when the ship shakes from another explosion, and he's pleased by his decision to play with nanotech. 
Without needing to accomodate for the arc reactor that's been removed from his chest, he's had greater flexibility in the armor design and material. If this field test proves successful, he'll incorporate nanobots into the other Avengers' suits.
This pesky problem first, though.
"How much longer, Iron Man?" Steve asks through the comms, followed by a grunt that signals he's taken out another one of the drones firing at the helicarrier. 
AIM is definitely up there on Tony's shitlist for putting Steve in danger.
"Five minutes," he continues undistracted.
"All civilians and crew evacuated. Avengers at checkpoints for evacuation."
In other words, get on it, Tony. But JARVIS keeps getting firewalled from accessing the helicarrier's systems, and if Tony stops fighting the flashing red code for even a second, it'll trigger all the attacking drones inside the ship to blow.
He has to be the last Avenger to leave. Five minutes might not be enough.
Without the others keeping the drones at bay, he calculates two minutes before the drones converge on his location.
"Cap," he does a few more calculations, "evacuate Avengers. Clear the ship."
"That door won't protect you from the drones, Tony," Steve breaks protocol by calling his name. The first sign that Tony's plan is going to crack, because Steve won't evacuate if Tony isn't evacuating too.
"I have my armor."
"I'm coming to you. Avengers, head for the quinjet."
There's a series of protests over the comms that Tony ignores because the end result is always Steve's orders being followed. He spells out a few commands in rapid fire, triggering override commands through the chains of drones, locking himself in a limited maneuver that requires sacrifice of the entire front hull of the ship.
His new priority is to drive the drones as far away from the control room he's in to give the distance he needs for a fair chance at getting out alive.
"Fuck," Tony curses. The red flashing letters return with a countdown to detonation that he really doesn't want Steve to see.
Not much he can do – he hears Steve's footsteps thumping heavily on the metal floors and silently commands his helmet to retreat, nanobots reacting to his thoughts.
"Tony." It's unfair how Steve doesn't even sound winded from all the fighting. "What can I do?"
"Get out of here." Life liked laughing at him, and it's ironic that after a month spent worrying about Steve cancelling dates, Tony has to cancel their next date tonight.
"I'm not leaving you."
"Trust me," Tony begs him, because if Steve doesn't leave, he'll have to make a choice he doesn't want. 
There was a time when Tony was ready to sacrifice his life for the world, but now at the cusp of starting a new part of his life, his affection for Steve has made him more selfish, more desperate to stay alive, to spend a thousand tomorrows together with the man.
He should have married Steve years ago, should have asked for a kiss before shawarma, should have stopped wasting time.
The armor stands small chance of protecting Tony from an explosion this big, this close. The underarmor beneath it stands an even smaller chance. 
Tony's faced worse odds than that before, though, and if the choice is between Steve dying or not, then it isn't really a choice, is it?
His fingers hesitate over the 'Enter' key.
The only choice is how he can do this the most painlessly for Steve in case the odds don't work in Tony's favor. 
Because going down in a plane into an icy sea was among Steve's worst nightmares, and seeing Tony go down in another one would be – well.
He presses the key.
Three minutes is not enough time to run to the last quinjet.
But if he makes himself a target for the drones while he sends Steve away, that's enough time to reduce possible casualties to just one.
New evacuation plans, Tony really has to draft them up for the next helicarrier. Or better yet, get rid of these damned things entirely.
"Tony," Steve says again, now with an edge to his voice. "What's the plan?"
First, distract Steve. Second, apologise. Third, hold his breath. 
He's pretty sure that plan isn't what Steve was hoping for, but it's the only plan that Tony has which can selfishly protect everyone he loves.
"For the record, I would've said yes," Tony finally turns away from the screen. 
There's nothing more he can do to stop this. 
He'd much rather spend these last minutes taking in every detail about Steve: the ruffled blond hair covered by the helmet, the small cut on his exposed cheek – someone has to bandage that, supersoldier or not, pain was still pain – the soot-covered shield held aloft and the bright white star on the uniform's chest that reflects the light of the new reactor on Tony's own chest.
The small crow's feet at the corners of Steve's eyes: perfect marble marred by happiness. The only marks on Steve's self-repairing body.
And the frown of confusion that used to annoy Tony.
That now looks heartbreakingly endearing.
"What?" Steve struggles to put together all the pieces.
Tony gives him the missing piece with no small amount of guilt. Closing the space between them, he lets his bare hands take Steve's gloved ones. "Yes, to kissing the most wonderful man in the world good night every night."
Steve's mouth is a perfectly shaped 'o'.
"Tony - "
"I wish I could promise to come home this time," he feels the armor crawl back down his arm, continuing unnoticed over Steve's red gloves, then up the blue uniform as Tony fights to keep Steve's gaze firmly fixed on him. 
The last eyes Tony might get to see, and he wants to be lost in them. 
He hates all the drama that comes with last words - hates how last words keep haunting him - but he's a futurist. Which means he's thought of what he'd say. 
In the end, his entire life boils down a few simple things: "Give Rhodey and Pep and the rest of the team my thanks for putting up with me."
Steve's eyes widen the tiniest bit, pupils large in dawning fear, hiding more of that precious blue. 
It's when Steve tries to pull away from Tony's grip that he realises the trap Tony has baited him into.
"Stop this," the hint of betrayal, anger, anguish in Steve's voice is enough to make Tony regret it, but not enough to make him undo it. "I'll survive without the suit," Steve tries to claw the thick layers of nanobots off his arm, "please, don't make me – "
Step two: apologise. Or at least, do his best to keep Steve from drowning in guilt and what ifs.
"This is my choice," Tony lifts his hand to Steve's cheek, brushing away the tear that's fallen there in Steve's frustration. "It's not your fault." 
He doesn't think he can kiss Steve goodbye, because he doesn't know if he'll be strong enough to let go afterwards.
Thirty seconds, the clock in his head ticks down dreadfully.
"Please, Tony, darling," Steve clings onto Tony's hand, desperate, voice breaking. A sea of grief and lost futures crashing against Tony's cliffs of stubborness. "I love you, don't – "
"JARVIS," Tony has to say this out loud, has to know that the man he would've married will be alright, regardless of whether he survives the fall into the ocean, regardless of whether he gets to hold him again, "take care of him for me."
The helmet forms, closing shut with a click that muffles Steve's shouted protests, and in the end the last face Tony sees is his own – reflected in awkward angles across the red and gold face plate.
All of Steve's overrides fail.
The armor flies Steve away, crashing carelessly through walls to find the most efficient way out of this ticking time bomb.
Ten seconds.
Time for one final request. He adjusts the earpiece he's wearing. 
"J, play that recording?"
It plays without any witty comment from his faithful AI, a short clip that JARVIS must have chosen deliberately because it ends just as the floor under Tony's feet disappear, the helicarrier breaking apart, dropping from the sky.
He clings to what he can – if he slows down his fall, he has a better chance at seeing his family again – and he clings to the voice in his ear, hoping against hope.
Everything happy about me came from you.  
The water swallows him.
He doesn't wake up to beeping.
He wakes up to angry mutterings that drown out the steady beeps.
"Tony, I swear to god if you make me watch you fall one more time, I'm going to chain you to bed. And the longer you take to wake up the longer I'm going to chain you," Steve's voice cuts off with a wet sniff, and there's a warm hand brushing Tony's hair from his face. "Please wake up. You can't die before I marry you."
Losing the struggle to open his eyes, Tony slips for a moment back into the dark nothingness. 
Some time must have passed because the next time he's aware of anything other than darkness, the air's gotten colder, and Steve now sounds less angry, more tired.
"It's been two hundred hours since I fished you out, Tony. DUM-E's starting to misbehave without you, and I – I found your ring, you idiot. You left it right there in your lab and your bots tried to throw it away because it made me – it made me." 
The fingers that curl around his wrist, right on top of his pulse, feel damp. Tony picks up the fight to open his eyes, because Steve crying is unacceptable. 
"JARVIS told me about your recording, and we really were a pair of fools, weren't we?"
Warm lips press against his temple, chasing away the cold for a moment.
"The doctors say reading to you might help. And since you've heard half of it already, I thought the other half might give you a reason to - just. A reason," Steve stops as his voice trembles too much. 
A shaky breath, its hot, stuttered puffs falling over Tony's cheeks.
"Wake up, please."
Because his eyes aren't cooperating, Tony decides to try his hand. 
Move, he commands his rebellious thumb. 
Paper crinkles near Tony's ear, making him pause his attempts. 
Steve clears his throat, speaking in quieter, soothing tones. There's a muffled quality to the words, like Steve is doing his best to keep himself from shattering - and Tony certainly feels like shattering because he can't lie here listening as Steve hurts himself.
"I always thought marriage would mean a faceless lady and a picket fence, until I met you and realised it would mean your grumpiness when I wake up too early, my stubbornness making us fight, and your bot children pestering us until we kiss again. An adventure. A promise to come home. To kiss the most wonderful man in the world good night every night."
That last sentence is punctuated with another kiss, this time lingering over the top of Tony's knuckles.
"I can't promise to be perfect. Can only promise to try my best. And I know you also worry about hurting me, but between the two of us, you can always build us both new hearts and I can heal enough hurts for any broken feelings."
Oh god, Tony wants so much to be properly awake to hear this, to be able to hold Steve and tell him yes, yes a thousand million times yes.
"You make the future worth dreaming of, Tony. You make me – your bedhead in the morning, and your wit and how you hate pineapples – I can picture a thousand fights with you and a thousand nights in bed making you see the stars to get you to forgive me. There isn't a future where I'm not holding your hand, where you're not there as proof that every day is worth fighting for, when it means another morning seeing your smile and another night listening to your heart."
Wake up, Tony commands himself. 
He doesn't care about the pain, doesn't care about anything else except squeezing Steve's hand back.
He can hear Steve's hand shake, the paper wobbling with it, and he aches to reach out.
"And then," Steve says, leg bouncing against what must be the medical wing's bed, "I'd get down on one knee, and you'd call me a sap, but that wouldn't matter because we all know you like it."
For a few moments, Tony can only hear shuddering breaths over the beeping of the machines, unsteady and tired and God, Steve.
"They can't tell me when you'll wake up. They can't - I survived the ocean before," there's a string of muffled curses. "You should've let me - you shouldn't have - I can't survive this without you."
Tony continues forcing his own weariness away. Sleep was useless. He needs -
Oh! Did his toe just move?
"I miss your smile," Steve murmurs, and there's the scraping of plastic against bare tile.
No, no, no. 
He can't let Steve leave like that.
The man proposed. He can't let something as big as that slide because of an inconvenient waking up problem.
Steve's hand is still in his, and Tony squeezes.
He hears a sharp inhale.
One eyelid opens first – the left one – but the lights forces it to close again, Tony cringing away – hey! He can move his face again.
"Oh my god," Steve breathes out, and when Tony tries the other eyelid, the lights have been dimmed so low it no longer hurts to open both at once.
He's greeted by the sight of Steve stooping over him, blurry face swimming above his own as Tony squints happily at it.
Pleasantly surprised that he isn't hooked to a respirator, he lets Steve feed him an ice cube to help with the dryness of his mouth.
From Steve's lips, his name is half prayer, half praise, and a hundred percent admonishment.
None of that really matters right now.
"You didn't finish," Tony pushes the words past his scratchy throat, past the hazy weightlessness.
"Oh," Steve sits back down in the plastic chair. "I – you heard."
"You going to make an honest man out of me, soldier?" he squeezes Steve's hand again, weak but reassuring.
They've wasted enough time dancing around the topic.
There are bags under Steve's eyes, and the old jacket Steve is wearing – is that Tony's MIT hoodie? – has its strings fraying at the edges, and yet when he smiles, tired eyes lighting up just for Tony, he's the most beautiful man Tony knows.
"Tony," this time his name sounds loved, Steve's rumbling voice curling around the 'o' and rising up with the 'y'. "Marry me, please?"
Is it even a question?
"Yes?" Steve repeats.
With a sly smile, Tony burrows further into the thick blanket covering him. "You know how much I love it when you ask so nicely."
Steve ducks his head, cheeks reddening. "You're the worst."
"I thought I was the best?"
"I'm calling the doctor," Steve threatens.
Considering the full IV bag and the buzz of happy painlessness, Tony thinks they can enjoy the moment for a few more minutes.
"Don't you dare," he threatens right back, although his wheezy voice gives it little authority. "If you do, you're not getting custody over the bot kids."
Steve's laugh warms him up more than any blanket could.
"The others then, at least," he bargains with Tony. "It's been nearly ten days, and they – we watched you die three times on the way here."
Oh. "Steve," Tony says, because there isn't anything he can offer except proof that he's here. "I'm sorry."
Shoulders hunched, Steve shakes his head. "Don't ever do that again, you hear me?"
"I'll be sure to put it in the vows," Tony promises easily.
Steve closes his eyes for a long moment, smile fond. "I love you."
Tangling their fingers together, Tony blames it on the painkillers when he giggles. "Do I get a ring to show off to the family?"
Steve casts around the room for an object, eyes landing on the crinkled piece of paper lying on top of the beside table cluttered with medical supplies. 
The speech, Tony's slower-than-usual mind supplies. 
Deftly folding it up into a thin strip, Steve carefully loops it around Tony's left ring finger, mindful of the IV needles stuck in Tony's arm, and tucks the ends together to make a paper ring.
"There," Steve bends to press a kiss where paper meets skin, "my handsome fiance."
Tony looks down at it.
The way the paper has been folded makes it so that the words 'come home' loop around the very top.
He thinks of how Rhodey will cook chicken soup for the next month and how Natasha will sing him lullabies while burning AIM from inside out.
He thinks of Bruce sneaking him lab reports to calm down his boredom and Pepper delivering DUM-E's drawings of them all.
He thinks of a future spent waking up to that smile of Steve's, and a lifetime ahead spent kissing it brighter.
Of a thousand days tasting its sun, and a thousand more learning its every angle, and another thousand to let it mark his skin, to wash all their grief away.
There's nothing wrong with starting a little early, is there?
He tugs Steve in for another kiss.
And again.
And again.
After all, practice makes perfect.
And Tony feels perfectly home.
158 notes · View notes
sunshineshipper · 4 months ago
Don't You Know Your Sister's Fallen For You?
Revised because the first one just wasn't it, chief.
Chapter- 1/5
Words- 4397
“Are we done? Are we finally done?” Dipper comes up next to her, clearly agitated by the numerous bags in his arms. Mabel takes a few to carry for herself, but it doesn’t relieve the pout he’s got, “You know, when you came to my room and asked me to go to the mall with you, I didn’t think you meant that I’d have to be surrounded by clothes all day.”
“Oh, come on, Dipflop. It wasn’t that bad, right?”
Shaking his head, he lets out a sigh, “I don’t know what’s worse. The fact that I had to spend all day walking through jewelry stores and clothing departments or that you just called me ‘Dipflop.’”
She leads him to the first table in the food court where he tosses every bag on the floor to plop down in a chair. Just the way his eyes scrunch up as if he just endured the most unimaginable torture makes her let out a giggle, which causes his eyes to find her.
“You think this is funny?” the statement was definitely supposed to sound angrier than it came out- especially since he’s fighting back a grin, “And what about this thing? Why did you even need to buy this?”
Mabel looks to the rainbow unicorn plushy in his hand, “I bought it for you,” gripping the unicorn in his hands, she raises it closer to his face and tries to use her best high pitched voice, “‘Dipper, don’t you love me? I’d look so good next to your comic book collection.”
“Stop that. You owe me for tricking me into coming here. I think you should buy me a soda and a cookie from the food court.”
“Fine, fine. Whatever,” realizing that she’s still touching his hand, she quickly pulls back and takes a ten dollar bill from her pocket, “Bring me back a double chocolate chip cookie, though.”
“Will do,” and he shuffles with a hand in his pocket. Meanwhile, Mabel picks up the first bag near her- white ankle boots that she purchased when they got to the mall. Somewhere in the bags is a purple dress that’ll look great together.
“Oh, sweet, those are really cute.”
Mabel turns to the source of the voice directly behind her where she’s met with wild curly blonde hair and a friendly smile. She smiles back.
“Thanks. I just got them today. You know where Marco’s is?”
“Uh… yeah, I think I past it earlier. I’m not from here, so I’m not sure where anything is. Just moved from Arizona. I’m Laura,” she holds a hand out that Mabel takes, “And you?”
“Mabel. Mabel Pines.”
“Nice to meet you Mabel, Mabel Pines,” she pulls back to slip her hand back into her purple hoodie, “Are you alone?”
She points toward the nearest cookie shop, “No, I’m with my brother. He’s somewhere over there.”
“Oh. Well, I won’t disturb you then,” backing away, she sends Mabel one more smile, “Thanks for the tip on the shoes,” and she’s off.
“No problem,” she turns back around where Dipper’s standing next to her with a cookie wrapped in paper in his hand.
“Who’s that?” he asks sipping from the red straw in his cup. She takes a bite out of the cookie that she offers back to Dipper.
“Oh, that’s Laura. She likes my shoes,” and she points down to the heels on the table.
“Oh. Well, maybe you can get her number and go shoe shopping together, That way I don’t ever have to do it again,” he grins and holds out a hand for her to take, pulling herself out of the chair, “Can we go home now?”
“Yeah, yeah. Don’t be such a baby.”
Mabel thinks that if she had to pick a least favorite subject in school, it’d definitely have to be English. Taught by Ms. Peters who was obviously too interested in Shakespeare.
“‘Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow, that I might say good night till it be morrow,’” she ends the quote with a soft sigh and Mabel looks up from her desk in time to see a single tear slip down from her eyes, “Isn’t it such a beautiful story? This is Romeo and Juliet, class, and for the next few weeks we’ll be studying this book. I’ll have Jordan here pass out the books and I want you all to read the first few pages by tomorrow, got it?”
But just as Jordan sits up from his desk, Ms. Peter’s door swings open and everyone’s attention turns to the girl walking through the door where Mabel’s met with a familiar face.
“U-Uh, Ms. Peter’s English class, right?” curly blonde hair Mabel recognizes from the mall.
“Yes, you must be Laura,” Ms. Peter’s brings the clipboard up from her desk, “They told me you’d be in today.”
“Yeah, sorry I’m late. The kid they had helping me directed me to the wrong class.”
“It’s quite all right, dear. Why don’t you have a seat?” she grins, handing Laura the copy of Romeo and Juliet in her hands, which she takes and avoids eye contact as she makes her way to the right of the classroom.
That is, until she notices Mabel and shoots her a quick smile. And the class goes on with Ms. Peter’s reciting more Shakespeare quotes until the bell rings.
“Does the food here always look so...deadly?” Laura- staring down at the bland piece of lasagna- looks back up to Mabel and she can just tell the fear in Laura’s eyes.
“Yeah, consider yourself warned. Bring a packed lunch,” she hands over half of a peanut butter sandwich to Laura, who takes it with a soft thank you.
“Noted. So, are you excited to read Romeo and Juliet?”
Mabel responds between bites of an apple, “Not really. Not my thing.”
“Really? I love Shakespeare. I love all of those old authors and poets,” she states and Laura suddenly looks like she could be a younger, blonder version of Ms. Peters herself.
“They’re okay, but I’m more into the romance stories involving vampires or werewolves, you know?”
“Ah, yes, Twilight. The problem with every girl our age,” she mimics disgust, but it’s clearly meant as a joke.”
Mabel feigns embarrassment, “Guilty.”
“I’m sure I can turn you on to this, though. Romeo and Juliet is full of romance and fights and-”
“Yawn,” another bite of her apple and she takes in the half lidded gaze from Laura, “If you really want to get me interested, why don’t you come over to my house tonight. We can read it together.”
“Really? Okay, sure,” she slides over her phone to Mabel’s side of the table, “Save your number in my phone and I’ll meet you at your house, okay?”
Mabel notices the yellow smiley face with a tongue sticking out as Laura’s wallpaper. She thinks she’s seen that same image on Dipper’s walls with the rest of his posters, “You like Nirvana?”
Nirvana. That’s the band’s name, “No, but Dipper does.”
Quickly, she types out her number and hands the phone back, “My brother. He’s into that gruffy music.”
Laura laughs, “I think you mean grunge not gruff.”
She thinks she’s had this exact conversation with Dipper before, “Yeah, that. Anyway, you can meet him tonight.”
“Okay, cool.”
“Romeo and Juliet kinda sucks, ya know,” Mabel, after rereading the same paragraph about six times in a row, decides to give up and flips through the pages instead. But, of course, each page is filled with ‘thous’ and ‘thees’ and language she’d never really understand.
And it really did suck.
“What are you talking about?” this didn’t sit well with Laura, “Romeo and Juliet is a beautiful tragedy that can never be topped.”
“Eh, I don’t know. I still think Edward Cullen is hunkier than Romeo could ever dream of being,” this earned a brief chuckle from Laura that Mabel mimicked.
“Why am I surprised? Mabel Pines, romantic vampire extraordinaire.”
Mabel shrugs, rolls her chair to face Laura, “I would’ve preferred the Twilight series to this. I mean,” randomly, she flips to a page, “‘These violent delights have violent ends and in their triumph die, like fire and powder.’ What does that even mean?”
“Mabel, you have to read the context of what’s happening. It’s about how Romeo’s love for Juliet is so passionate that it could end in disaster. ‘Violent delights have violent ends.’ It’s beautiful,” Laura’s eyes seem to sparkle, and Mabel wonders if she’s about to cry, but then she just sighs and throws herself onto Mabel’s mattress.
“If you say-”
“Mabel, mom wants to know wha- Oh,” she turns to Dipper at her door frame and his eyes shift between her and Laura, “I didn’t know you had company,” he states, eyes conventiantely landing on the other girl. Mabel opens her mouth to introduce them until she’s beaten to the chance by Laura.
“Hey, I’m Laura. Dipper, right?” he nods, “Thought so. Mabel mentions you all the time.”
She shoots Laura a glare, “I mentioned one thing about Nirvana.”
“Don’t listen to her. I feel like I know you better than my own brother.”
“Oh, really?” brown eyes shift to Mabel and she has to turn away from his gaze.
“Yeah, she tells me you like their music.”
“Yeah, I do. I’m guessing you do, too?”
“Totally. Heart-Shaped Box is, like, my all time favorite song.”
“Mine, too,” Dipper states with just a little too much enthusiasm. If Laura’s bothered by it, though, Mabel can’t tell by the way her eyes light up, “What other music do you like?”
They go back and forth naming off bands and songs that she’s never heard of and she wonders why she suddenly misses the idea of reading an old story she can’t stand when she hears her name being brought up.
“I tried to get Mabel into some of my music, but if it doesn’t have a catchy tune she’s not interested,” Dipper says, but when she looks at him, his attention is on Laura and Laura alone.
“Dipper,” she blurts out, “What did mom want?”
Finally, he notices her, “Huh? Oh, right! She wanted to know what toppings you want on your pizza.”
“Just pepperoni is fine.”
“Pepperoni. The usual,” he grins before giving Laura a final glance, “Nice to meet you.”
“Likewise,” she says as he turns away from the door, but her attention still stays in the exact spot he was in.
Mabel clears her throat and Laura snaps out of whatever trance she was in, “Sorry for the interruption.”
“No problem. Your brother seems pretty cool,” she flips to the page they left off on, but her attention clearly wasn’t on Shakespeare, “You know, when you mentioned your brother, you didn’t tell me he was cute.”
As if the whole thing wasn’t weird enough, "Laura, ew. He's not cute. He's Dipper."
"You have to say that. You're related."
"Yeah, that's a good reason," Mabel flips through her own book landing on the page where Juliet stabs herself and she wonders if that'd be less disturbing than the current conversation about Dipper being cute.
“I’m just saying. He’s got nice eyes.”
“We have the same eye color.”
“I know, but his are… more brown, you know? Like… an ocean of brown,” it was probably supposed to come out more poetic, but instead Mabel lets out a giggle and Laura chucks her pencil in her direction with her own laugh slipping past her lips, “You know what I mean.”
Mabel thinks about it. Mostly the time when she accidentally washed his white Doctor Who shirt with her red skirt and it came out pink.
'Mabel, they don't make this shirt anymore. Now it's ruined.' And he spent the rest of the day pouting at her along with sad puppy dog eyes. They really were a chocolatey sea or whatever Laura said.
"Eh," she shrugs that thought away. No reason to get weird, "He's got a derpy face."
Laura giggles again and Mabel thinks the conversation is over.
That night after dinner, Laura sends her text asking if she can have Dipper’s number.
Mabel: Why do you want Dipper’s number?
Laura doesn’t respond for another hour and Mabel wonders if she fell off the face of the earth until her phone dings again.
Laura: Just to talk.
Just to talk.
Mabel: Just to talk, huh?
Laura: Okay, you got me. He’s cute, okay?
And it’s Mabel’s turn to ignore the whole conversation because not only do Laura and Dipper have similar music tastes, she thinks he’s cute and she wants his number and Mabel’s not dumb. Laura likes Dipper. Laura, Mabel’s new friend, has a crush on her brother, who’s suddenly at her door.
“Mabel, why the hell was this unicorn sitting on my bed?” he holds up the plushy, “It’s bad enough that you bought it for me. I’m not sleeping next to it.”
Usually, she would laugh at that and make some comment about how she remembers the stuffed puppy he used to carry around; however, thanks to Laura, she’s focused too heavily on his eyes. His chocolatey sea eyes.
“Uh,” he lets out a cough and she realizes that staring at her brother’s eyes could be a good enough thing to check someone into a mental institute.
“O-Oh, uh, sorry. I guess I forgot I put it there. My bad,” Don’t say it, don’t say it, don’t say it. “So, it’s totally cool if I give Laura your number, right?”
This takes him by surprise, “Your friend Laura?”
“My friend Laura,” she repeats, “She just asked for your number and I wanted to make sure it was cool with you.”
He goes silent, eyes shifting between her and the plushy he was gripping a little too hard, “Yes? No? Say something.”
Okay, maybe not that.
She doesn’t know why she was expecting- hoping- he’d say no, but she shoots him finger guns and pretends it probably didn’t look stupid.
“Cool, cool. I’ll just text that then.”
“You do that,” and he doesn’t say another word as he leaves.
Dipper’s awkward the next morning. Like, staring at her with his mouth open, then looking anywhere else awkward. She tries to enjoy her bowl of Cocoa Pebbles, but she can’t help but think that Dipper’s hiding something from her. Though, she’s not about to question him if he’s this weird about it.
She gets to school and the first three classes go by without a problem. Then, she meets Laura in the library to go over Romeo and Juliet again who seems to be just as awkward as Dipper was. But she ignores it.
“‘My bounty is as boundless as the sea. My love as deep; the more I give to-’”
“I asked out Dipper.”
The lines on the page blur and she forgets what she’s even reading, “Huh?”
“I said-”
She raises a hand, “No, I know what you said. I just- Dipper? You asked Dipper out?”
Awkwardly, she pushes her cardigan sleeve above her elbow, “Well, yeah. He’s cute, so I thought,” a shrug, “Is it totally weird that I did that?”
Dipper. And Laura. Going on a date. Is it weird? It shouldn’t be. He’s single, she’s single, and they have the same tastes in music, and she likes the chocolate colors in his eyes, and Dipper said yes to Laura having her number. So, why should she care if they go on a date?
But Laura? Is she his type?
She contemplates it. She just met Laura, but she’s known Dipper her whole life and the only real girl he’s had a thing for is Wendy. And Laura admittedly has similar down-to-earth qualities like Wendy. Besides her- and a week long crush on Veronica back in 8th grade that he still never admits to- Dipper never took an interest in girls.
But Laura’s waiting for an answer, so she has to say something, “No?” it comes out as a question, “No.”
“Really?” and Mabel can’t seem to swallow down the lump in her throat, so she nods, “Okay, great. Because I asked him if he’d want to catch a movie tonight with me and I’m kinda nervous. I mean, what should I wear?”
Tonight? “Uh…” Tonight?!
“Should I go casual or sexy?”
Sexy and Dipper just don’t go together, “You’re going to a movie, right? Probably should stick to casual.”
“Yeah, you’re right. Would it be cool if I sent you some pics of outfits so you can decide which is better.”
“Um… okay.”
“Great, I think I have this outfi-” but the bell interrupts whatever Laura was going to say and Mabel almost trips when she quickly jumps out of her chair.
“Sorry, Laura, but I have to get to history. I’ll text you tonight,” she doesn’t let Laura respond and she bolts for the door. Hopefully history class will take her mind off Dipper and Laura and sexy outfits.
Except it was hard to focus on anything but Dipper when he sat across from her in history. He taps his pencil against his notebook and everything she learned about the American Revolution goes in one ear and out the other. She side eyes him and she can make out the bored expression on his features. When she gives in and gives a quick glance she notices the way he licks at his bottom lip and she turns away like she just witnessed a murder.
‘A sexy outfit.’
She shudders. Why did Laura even have to mention that? Now all she can picture is Laura in a knee length red dress in Dipper’s arms and he’s drinking in every inch of her and she kisses him and he kisses back and-
A folded piece of paper lands on her desk. Another glance at Dipper, he’s trying to look at her without turning his head away from the board.
‘Everything okay?’
She scribbles out, ‘yeah, why?’ and throws it to him. He tries to read it in his lap without getting caught and she has to smile watching him write a reply as fast as he can.
‘You just seem you’re not telling me something.’
Rich coming from the man who basically hid the fact that her new friend had asked him out.
‘Hiding? Maybe like you hid the fact that you didn’t tell me Laura asked you out?’
‘I was going to tell you. I just didn’t know how you’d react. And she just took me by surprise.’
She writes out that maybe he can explain that he doesn't want to go on a date, but decides to scratch that out and instead writes, ‘So… you don’t want to go out with her?’
He writes back, ‘I didn’t say that,’ and she nearly tosses the paper back at him, but decides that would just cause a scene.
‘So… you do want to go on a date with her?’
Dipper reads it, looks up to the front of the class, and repeats this process about five times. Meanwhile, she listens to Mr. Howard ramble on about Benedict Arnold and how important he was. But then the paper lands on her desk a final time.
‘It could be fun.’
Heart beating a little too fast for her liking, she folds the paper up and hides it at the back of her textbook.
And Dipper doesn’t mention anything for the rest of the day.
It's around 4:45 when Laura sends her a picture of the third outfit. Blue jeans with ripped holes and a white tank top.
"I'm gonna put a cardigan over it. Don't wanna give him a peep show this early on," she makes a sound and Mabel can practically see the eyebrow wiggle through the phone, but something about Dipper getting a peep show made her want to hurl.
"Mabel, are you okay? You seem distant."
"Uh, yeah. Just-” whatever she was about to say was interrupted by Dipper's face popping up in her door and she nearly fell off her bed. He shoots her an apologetic look.
"Hey, I'm about to get Laura. You, uh," two taps on her door frame, “You cool?”
She nods, Laura makes a comment about if she can see her bra through the tank top in the picture. She thinks about hanging up.
“Good, uh, a-are we cool?”
Yeah. We’re as cool as a brother and sister can be when said brother is about to go out with said sister’s friend.
“We’re cool.”
“Huh?” says Laura. Mabel mumbles an apology followed by a no to her previous question. Dipper grins that silly grin and says something about hoping she has a good night while Laura says that Dipper should be there soon and that she has to go.
Both leave at the same time.
So, she does the only thing she knows to do. Turn on the first Britney Spears song in her playlist and stare at the ceiling hoping that the gut wrenching feeling goes away.
By 5:30 Laura sends her a text.
Laura: Dipper’s here. Wish me good luck!
Followed by a picture of her in her tank top that doesn’t show her bra and jeans. Sure, the black cardigan helps hide what the tank top wants to reveal, but it doesn’t settle Mabel’s nerves. She checks her messages from Dipper. The last one being two days ago when she sent him a video of a cat and his response being a laughing emoji. Things were simple then.
6:00. They’re probably in the theater. Dipper probably bought popcorn and candy and drinks even though he only has forty dollars to his name. They’d be sitting next to each other, a preview playing on the screen and Laura would laugh, then Dipper would laugh. Because they already have so much in common. Why not the same sense of humor?
She contemplates texting him. Maybe something like, ‘Hey, what’s up?’ then say that it was meant for someone else, but conveniently ask how the date’s going. She scratches that idea. She scratches any chances of her messaging Dipper while he’s out. Instead, she tries reading Romeo and Juliet again. Maybe some tragic romance can get her tragic situation off her mind. Except when she gets to the scene where they marry and she wonders what would happen if Dipper and Laura elope.
6:45. She’s staring at the ceiling and wonders why it even bothers her that they’re on a date. It’s not like Dipper’s doing anything wrong. He’s just going out on a date. And they could be cute together. Laura’s curly blonde hair could compliment his almost curly brown hair and she’s got crystal blue eyes while he’s got brown ones and what if their kids get his hair and her eyes? Or her hair and his eyes. And what if they call them Sydney and Reese? Sydney and Reese Pines.
Laura Pines.
She pushes that thought to the back of her mind because they’re only going on one date to see a movie. But now she’s thinking of brown eyes that are chocolatey oceans and how the sun brings out golden tints. Like a Hershey’s bar wrapped in golden foil.
7:30. She sneaks a bag of chips and two cans of soda to her room hoping that her parents who are watching TV on the couch don’t notice. They don’t and she eats half the bag when there’s a knock at her door. Thinking it’s just her parents, she shouts, “Come in!” with a mouth full of chips. But it’s Dipper giving her a strange look. She swallows hard.
“Hey,” he says and it’s not the most awkward hey in the history of the world, “Can I come in?”
“When have you ever asked to come in? Most of the time you just barge in.”
He chuckles. Damn him, “Sorry. Don’t know why I’m being so formal,” he shuffles in until he stands next to her bed. She moves the chip bag for him to sit.
“Hungry?” he asks. She offers him a chip that he takes.
“Kinda. There’s half a can of Pitt Cola on the floor if you’re thirsty,” he shakes his head. She isn’t sure if he’s turning down the soda or if it’s just a response to her sneaking food, she doesn’t ask because he’s got eyes on her.
“I’m going out with Laura again.”
Maybe she shouldn’t have eaten so many chips at once because now she thinks she’s going to hurl.
“Oh? Tonight went well for another date?”
“Well, yeah. I guess. She’s, uh, pretty cool. We have a lot in common. So,” he shrugs, then he’s staring at her again- eyebrows knitted together, bottom lip poking out, and waiting for something she can’t put her finger on.
“I see. And when is this said date?”
“Next Friday. She wants to go to that new restaurant downtown. You know the one.”
Yeah, she knows. A new Italian restaurant that Dipper and her talked about trying, but never really did. She’d be lying if she said she wasn't slightly envious of the fact that he’d be trying it with Laura instead of her, but it’d never slip out of her mouth.
When she didn’t respond, Dipper took this opportunity to scoot an inch closer, “If it bothers you that I’m dating your friend, tell me, okay? I won’t do it if you don’t want me to. I’m sure Laura will understand.”
It bothers her for whatever reason she can’t quite understand. But she thinks of Sydney and Reese and Dipper’s metaphorical marriage with Laura and what if Laura is the girl Dipper’s meant to be with? Could she forgive herself if she ruined that for him?
It bothers her; however, she won’t say a word.
Instead, she shrugs and bites into another chip, “It doesn’t bother me. As long as you’re happy.”
He frowns.That wasn’t the answer he wanted. Or maybe it was because his frown turns into a smile and he picks the Pitt Cola off the floor and mumbles the word, ‘Cool,’ to himself. Eventually he asks if she wants to play the new video game he bought, which leads to her bragging about how she can stomp him to the ground.
For a moment, she forgets that Dipper’s dating.
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psychedellic-phase · 12 months ago
Fifteen (pt17)
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[not my gif]
a/n: welcome to the last part of this story!! I want to thank you all SO MUCH for joining me on this 3 month long journey. This story is very close to my heart & i’ve spent every day of the last 3 months thinking about it & working on it :) also i decided to add a lil super fluffy smut in! I hope you all love the ending! xoxo rmac 
wc: 7.2k
tw: arguing, cursing, angst, mentions of pregnancy and miscarriage, extremely fluffy smut. like cotton candy fluffy. I didn't even use the word ‘dick’ fluffy. 
series masterlist 
Six o’clock came slowly. You swore the hour and minute hands on the clock were lying. You looked up after what felt like an hour had passed, only to find that had only been fifteen minutes. 
You tried to bury the feelings and focus on work. Spencer had done it for months so, why couldn’t you? 
You tried to, you really, really tried to, but somehow paper smells like Spencer and ink smells like writing letters at two in the morning while getting tipsy and trying not to smear the words too much with tears. Burnt coffee reminds you of mornings at the round table and watching new coworkers have water-cooler conversations reminds you of your friends back home. 
This place was different from Quantico, but somehow still exactly the same. Somehow, neither place seemed like the place you were meant to be. 
You were grateful that no cases had come up that required your immediate attention, so at five you found yourself in the parking garage. 
You half expected Spencer’s car to be next to yours, the same way it was in the beginning. 
The beginning, back when things were easy. Back before you had a failed relationship and a failed pregnancy looming over you at all times. 
You got in, taking your time as you drove ten under the speed limit. To say you were nervous would have been an understatement. You’d wanted to just talk to him for so long, but now that it was actually happening, now that you were minutes away from deciding what the rest of your life would look like, you just wanted to vomit. Or maybe have the ground open up and swallow you whole. God, you were scared. 
You were scared of saying things you couldn’t take back, like ‘I hate you’ or ‘I love you.’ You were scared of what he’d say, what he’d do. You were scared of looking at him in the eyes. You were scared of breathing the same air as him. You were scared of getting back together, but also scared of letting him go completely. It was hard to tell which fear was more paralyzing. 
It was a miracle you found your place without crashing your car. Your mind had been preoccupied for the entire ride, your body just moving through the motions, something that seemed to happen a lot lately. 
Spencer was already on the front step, box to his left, his leg bouncing nervously, hands fidgeting with the hem of his shirt. 
It wasn’t six yet, but he had nothing else better to do. He had waited outside your door in DC for a week, he would wait outside your door in Seattle for a night. 
You just watched him from your car, trying to push away the immense pit of dread in your chest. You fixed your hair, took a deep breath, and mustered up whatever courage you could find. 
“You can do this,” You repeated, still not knowing exactly what ‘this’ is, “You can do this.”
“H-hi,” you said, slamming the car door behind you, feet crunching the gravel as you made your way to him. 
He stood up to meet you, smiling awkwardly, “Hi.”
The light from your front stoop illuminated his face, making his brown hair glow in a sort of halo. He looked like an angel, absolutely heaven sent. You stared into his eyes, transfixed. 
He stared back at you, his breath visible as he inhaled and exhaled deeply. You shook your head, ‘snap out of it.’
“Come in, come in. It’s cold out,” you finally offered, unlocking the door as he picked up the box and followed you inside. 
You dropped your keys in the dish by the door, leading him into the kitchen. He placed the box on the end of the table. You dropped his letter, that you hadn’t dared to read, in the center. You each assumed positions at opposite ends, keeping as much space between you as possible. Everything both of you wanted to say was right in front of you, just waiting to be put out in the open. It felt a stand off, neither one of you daring to draw your gun first. 
You broke first, eradicating the suffocating silence by clearing your throat. 
“Water?” You offered, and he just nodded numbly. 
He scanned the room, looking at the half unpacked boxes and packing peanuts that littered the floor. This gave him a little bit of hope. You hadn’t settled in yet, so maybe you also knew that this wasn’t home. It’d never be home. The only thing you had put up was the ultrasound picture. It was pinned to the fridge with a smiley face magnet, the same way it was before. 
His chest hurt as he stared at it, following the shape of her nose and chin with his eyes. He hadn’t seen her in so long. 
You handed him a glass, pulling him out of his trance, and you both sipped to avoid having to speak. The air was awkward and tense, three years of memories looming over you both like dark clouds. 
He put the glass down and looked everywhere except at you. Absentmindedly, he spun the ring around his middle finger, a nervous habit he had already formed in the few hours he had it on. 
“You’re wearing it,” You said awkwardly, gesturing to his hand. 
“Oh,” He mumbled, “I’m sorry.”
He started to struggle to take it off, but you protested, “No-no it’s okay. I-it looks good on you.”
He half smiled, “Yeah, I think it looks good on me too.”
You smiled awkwardly, running your hands over your pants to wipe the sweat off of them. Awkward was never a feeling you had around him, usually he was easy to talk to. He was always comfortable. But now, awkward was the only way to describe this. His eyes kept catching yours, stopping your heart momentarily before nervous laughs came from both of you and filled the tense air. 
“We have a lot to talk about,” he finally stated plainly. 
You nodded, still slightly shocked at the sight of him. You were determined to keep your cool, be the epitome of civil. It was high time you spoke like adults, “Okay, where do you want to start?”
Your face dropped slightly as you resisted the urge to roll your eyes. It was always about JJ, wasn’t it? It would always be about JJ, wouldn’t it? You reached for the glass again, your throat had already gone dry. It was hard to stay civil when he insisted on being so god damn infuriating. Your voice was incredulous, “JJ? Of all our problems, you want to talk about JJ?”
He leaned forward, elbows on the table, begging you to meet him in his intense stare. You refused, staying back and keeping your distance. You were afraid if you got too close your stone-cold façade would crumble, and you wouldn’t be able to stop yourself from what would happen next. 
He gave up on his staring contest, leaning back into the hard kitchen chair, “Why’d you never mention it?”
You shrugged, “Why should I have mentioned it?”
“It clearly bothered you, a lot, so why didn’t you say anything? If you said something I would’ve—“
“Would’ve what?” You interrupted him, “Stopped being best friends with your best friend? Who we worked with? Then I’m that girl who tells her boyfriend that he can’t have female friends. Then work is awkward and painful. Then that makes me ‘one of those’ girls.”  You used air quotes around the phrase. 
“No, it wouldn’t have,” he argued, folding his hands and squeezing them. He had anger to release, and for once he told himself he wasn’t going to release it on you. 
You looked at him with genuine confusion, “Why not?”
“Because you were right.”
You took a pause, swallowing the lump that had formed in your throat. You had never gotten confirmation from him. Even though somewhere deep down you always knew he loved her, it still hurt for him to say it. 
“You were right,” He continued, “Back then I did love JJ. I was waiting for JJ. I was living in some fantasy world where we’d end up together.”
He looked up at you again, begging for you to meet his pleading eyes. This time you did. His were watery and wide, tears pooling at the corners. Your eyes stung with dangerous tears, eyes matching his.  
“But now?” His voice was a whisper, “Now I’m waiting for you to come back home, because I love you more than I ever loved her.”
You didn’t answer. He’d already slipped and said ‘I love you,’ making your blood run cold. It’d been months since you heard him say it, it was hard to tell if he meant it. The words he was saying were exactly what you wanted to hear, but was it true? Was he being honest? Or was he lying to himself and you all at once? 
The thought made the tears that had just been stinging your eyes, well up and fight to spill over. 
You blinked hard, begging the tears to go back into your face and stay there. You knew he could tell exactly what emotions were flooding you all at once; he could always read you like a book. He was kind enough to not mention it. You also knew the emotions behind every shaky breath he let out, he may have been able to read you like a book, but you knew him like the back of your hand. You could tell he was hurting, his heart probably felt like someone was in his chest squeezing it and squeezing it. You recognized the feeling. 
You cleared your throat, trying to keep yourself grounded, but the crack in your voice gave you away, “What e-else?”
“Really, Y/N?” He whispered, bringing his hands to rub at his eyes. 
You shrugged. 
“I poured my heart out already,” you gestured towards him and the box on the table, “I mean, you read it. Isn’t that why you’re here? I-I just don’t know what else I’m supposed to say to you. I said it all already, a thousand times.”
Spencer sighed, his posture going more limp than it usually did, “I didn’t talk and that was a problem, now I want to talk and that’s a problem.”
His voice was only slightly accusatory, bringing that fiery rage back into your belly. 
“Is that what you flew all the way here to do?” You scoffed, “Argue with me?”
Your eyes narrowed, every part of you wanting to lunge across the kitchen table at him. You weren’t quite sure whether it was to choke him out or kiss him. He ran his hands through his hair, so clearly exasperated and exhausted. 
The words rushed out of you like a river, like a dam breaking and flooding the whole town. 
“See this?” You said, standing up, chair screeching against the floor, “This is why we don’t work! Why we will never work!”
He stood too, “No, Y/N, please. W-we do work!” His voice was a low beg, tears in his eyes, “I-I need us to work. I love you!”
Hearing him say it again, with no hesitation and no stuttering, with pure emotion made you start to believe him. God, you wanted so badly to believe him. 
You crossed your arms defensively, “I thought love wasn’t enough! Isn’t that what you said?”
“Yes I said that but–“
“But what, Spence?” You sighed, voice cracking. 
He stared at you, not quite knowing what the right answer was, because there was no right answer. There were no words that could erase this feeling. There exists no string of letters that could encapsulate this feeling, contain it, and finally take it away from your heart. 
“All of this,” You gestured between the two of you, “It’s just too little too late. You had four months. Four!”
He made his way in front of you, but left a foot of space. If he broke that, if he crossed that line, he didn’t know what he’d do. His dam broke too, spilling over the both of you. He just hoped you could stay afloat. 
“I came! I came to the house, every night for a week! I knocked, I begged, and you didn’t open up! I apologized four hundred and six times. I counted! I sat in the freezing cold and said I was sorry to you four hundred and six times!” 
So that’s what he thought you needed? Four hundred and six ‘I’m sorry’s? What made him think that would be enough? You wanted to pull your hair out, had he not understood anything you wrote? 
“What was I supposed to do? Open up? Let you lie and tell me you didn’t mean any of the cruel things you said to me?!”
He had been avoiding eye contact, looking everywhere except where you wanted him to. When his eyes finally met yours, they were wide and distraught and angry and swirling with darkness, “It wouldn’t have been a lie.”
Your profiling skills kicked in finally, and you could see that he was telling the truth. Those four hundred and six apologies were real. The ‘I love you’s were real. He was real. 
You broke the foot of space between you with one decided step closer to him. You were still debating whether or not you should kiss him or slap him. 
“Really?” Your voice was soft but stern, “Then tell me the truth. Tell me what you really want, and how you really feel, because I’ve been too confused about you for too long. So tell me, Spencer. Tell me why you’re here. Tell me what you want me to know. And be honest, God, we need to finally be honest.”
He paused for a moment, gathering the courage for what comes next. His eyes flicked back and forth from your face, to your lips pressed into a firm line, and the letter at the middle of the table. 
“Read it,” was what he finally decided on. 
“Read it? Read what?” 
“The letter, from me, from your desk. Read it.”
You stared at him nervously, hands moving precariously towards where it sat at the middle of the table. You wavered for a moment, hand hovering over the paper. It was begging you to grab it, so you did. You clumsily tore it open, not quite ready to know what was inside of it. You unfolded the crinkly pages, and began to read. 
“Outloud,” He sniffled, “Please, read it out loud.”
“Y/N,” You began, hands shaking so much the paper was hard to read, “I’d like to consider this letter sixteen, to go with the e-engagement ring that’s in my palm. I bought this ring the day after we ate dinner at Rossi’s and showed everyone tiny FBI o-onesies.”
You paused, taking a shaky breath, “I have your perfect ring here in my hand, a plain silver band with a lab-grown diamond in a four-prong setting in the center, just like you told Garcia you wanted. I should’ve given it to you the day I bought it, but I waited until the perfect opportunity presented itself.”
You stopped, your mouth dry and the words feeling funny on your tongue. It was hard to tell whether you were pleased with them or not, “Spencer– this— I. No. I’m not reading this.”
You met his eyes and they were pleading, begging, “Please, please Y/N.”
You chewed on your lip, heart feeling like it had gotten tangled up in barbed wire, “I-I–“ 
He sighed, “Then let me read it to you.”
He moved towards you, his hands brushing yours as he took it from you. He stayed close, so close you could feel his breath on your face he spoke, “What you didn’t know about the trip to the Crystal Cove was that I was going to propose to you there. I was going to get down on one knee in the sand at sunset after dinner. I even had a whole speech planned.”
His eyes were trained firmly on yours, reading every micro expression that passed your face. He so badly wanted to reach out and touch you, place his hand on your cheek as he spoke, but he restrained himself. He had it memorized, so he let the paper fall from his fingers and to his feet. 
“I was going to tell you that I never thought I could love anyone as much as I love you, or that anyone would ever love me the way that you do. I was going to say that it amazes me how everyday, I wake up and love you more than I did the night before. And everyday I think it’d be impossible to love you and our daughter more than I do right now. I wanted to tell you that I want to wake up every morning and feel that for the rest of my life. I want the good, the bad, the ugly, I want it all.”
He dared to move his hand to your arm. You didn’t push him off. 
“I want Korean film festivals and IHOP breakfasts and to talk to the moon. I want tubs of ice cream and overly sentimental flowers hanging from the wall. Most of all I wanted to say that I want to spend every day of my life making you happy. 
That speech still applies today. I still love you enough to ask you, but I don’t think you love me enough to say yes. 
It’s okay. It really is. I haven’t decided what to do yet, but if you do read this, just know that it’s okay. I promise you, it’s okay. I’m not the bitter, angry man I was at the Crystal Cove anymore. I changed again, and I hope you’re right. I hope we are twin flames and your soul will come looking for mine, and I hope it happens in this universe, not the infinite parallels that may or may not exist. I miss you and I want nothing more than for you to come back. Come home, L-love, please come home.”
Tears had sprung in your eyes, washing over your cheeks. Spencer had done the same, his words blubbery and strained as he spoke through tears, “Come home, please. Love, I’m sorry. I just want you to come home.”
Instead of speaking you moved even closer to him, placing one hand on his chest, feeling his heart beat erratically under your palm. 
“You did that?”
Your voice was just a whisper, you didn’t trust yourself to raise even an octave. If you did, your voice would break and the wall you tried so hard to keep up would crumble. 
He nodded, hand coming up to meet yours where it laid comfortably on his chest, like it was meant to go there. Your hand felt familiar under his, “I know it’s too little, too late, Y/N. I know I should’ve—I should’ve asked you to marry me anyways. I should’ve stayed in Florida and I should’ve gone to the counselor with you. I should’ve done a lot of things. I’ve made so many mistakes, so many, God I can’t even count the ways I’ve messed up. But this?” He squeezed your hand, “This can’t possibly be a mistake. Loving you is the only thing I’ve ever done right.”
He stared into your eyes, “And I don’t expect you to forgive me, I wouldn’t forgive me either, but if I didn’t at least try I know I’d regret it for the rest of my life.”
He paused to breathe, your breath and heart rate equally as erratic as his, your mind listening to his words, but only half understanding the true weight of them. 
But you couldn’t help yourself, you never could when it came to him. Hell, that’s why you had to leave, you couldn’t help it. He was everything, everything you ever wanted, ever needed. He was your twin flame, and your soul would always migrate to home. It would always try to find it’s back home.
Your brain wasn’t even controlling your hand as it left the warmth of his and drifted up his shirt, finding his neck and pulling him down. 
You didn’t even realize what you’d done until his lips touched yours, a feeling that brought tears back to your eyes. He didn’t know what else to do except kiss you back, as if it was the last time he’d ever have the privilege to do so. It was as if he’d spent the last century in the desert, and you were an oasis. 
It felt like five years, but it was only five seconds before you pulled away, tears on your cheeks. 
“I–“ You stammered, stumbling back away from him, “You–“
He cut you off, grabbing your arm and bringing you back to close to him, “If you don’t want this, then tell me that. If you don’t know, then tell me that. But if even any part of you still wants this, then tell me that too.” 
You looked away from him, his grip tight and burning into your skin, “You know I do. You know I’m always going to want this.”
You wiped your face with your free hand, turning towards him and staring up into his glossy brown eyes. 
“‘I love you, and I mean it,’” He recited your own words, his hand, warm and calloused on your cheek, wiping away tears. 
“I just- I was so alone, and all I wanted was you,” your voice choked out between tears, and your knees just about gave out. He caught you, pulling you into his chest, “All I wanted was you, Spencer, and you just, you just didn’t want me.”
“No, Love,” He whispered, “I’ll never not want you. I wanted to talk to you, so badly, I just didn’t know how to. I was hurting and I retreated, just like I always do.”
You put your hand on his cheek, his arms around your waist, “You ran away.”
He gestured at the empty room with his head, “Looks like we both did.”
You managed a light chuckle, “I’m sorry, Spence, I am. I was so busy being angry at you that I didn’t even see the pain you were in. And I’m sorry for adding to it, God the last thing I ever wanted was to hurt you.”
He put his hand over yours where it laid on his cheek, “I know, Y/N, I know. I read every letter. I looked at every piece of this puzzle. You’re right, just like always, you’re right.”
“A-about what?”
“You and I,” He pressed a kiss to your palm, “We’re meant to be together.”
“I missed you,” you gushed, throwing your arms around his shoulders. He held you tightly, the same way he had on the bathroom floor. 
It felt like home. The smell of him finally not making you nauseous, but making you feel warm. 
“Oh, Y/N, I missed you too.”
You stayed like that for a while, clinging onto each other for dear life. Like he was a life raft, and you were about to drown. The pieces of your soul that he held clicked back into you. For the first time in a long time, you both felt complete. 
You pulled away first, escaping his hands that were firmly placed on your ribs. 
“Where are you–“ He started, but you interrupted him by digging through the waterlogged box until you found what you wanted. 
You held up the locket, the little stones shining light onto the walls and Spencer’s face. 
“Put it on me?” You asked, placing the necklace in his hands. 
“Really?” His eyes were hopeful and bright. 
You nodded, “Really.”
He pushed your hair aside to clasp it around your neck. It felt right, hanging just below your collar bones. You took it between your fingers and opened it up to see his face still in there. 
“I love you, you do realize how much, right?”
He nodded, cupping your cheek, “I know. I’ve always known.”
You stared into his eyes, falling into their sweetness and truth, heads slightly turning and moving closer and closer and closer. His lips met yours again, soft and slow as you got reacquainted with each other. His hands were in your hair, yours on his shoulders as you licked across his lower lip, wanting to get even closer to him. 
It’d been too long. It’d been far, far too long. 
His hands found your hips, rubbing soft circles against your skin. You wanted him to absorb you; no matter how close you got it didn’t seem to be close enough. He felt the same, strong arms wrapping around your body and holding you tightly. 
If he could hold you together, maybe you wouldn’t fall apart.
“I want you,” you breathed, noses bumping, hips absentmindedly rolling into his. 
“God, I missed you,” he mumbled before sweeping you off of your feet and carrying you to your room. He laid you down gently before standing back and staring at you. 
“What’re you doing?”
“Memorizing you. If this is the last time I ever get to see you, I want to remember it all, in detail.”
You smiled, a hot blush rushing to your cheeks. “No lasts,” you promised, sticking your pinky out for him. 
“No lasts,” he repeated, hooking his pinky in yours and kissing your hand, before propping himself up above you. 
You kissed him slowly and sensually, needing to take your time. Your hands fluttered under his shirt, tugging it out from where it was tucked into his pants. His skin felt familiar under your fingertips. The last time you’d been in this position, you’d been a few months pregnant, excitedly looking at baby names and planning for the future. 
You opened your eyes for a moment and were met with his closed ones. The man in front of you was different, but you loved him just the same. 
A wave of emotions overcame you. Holding him in your arms was overwhelming, tears pricking your eyes as his hands traced up your sides. 
“Spence, promise me something?” You interrupted, pulling away to stare at him in his eyes this time. 
He nodded fervently, “Anything, anything.”
“Promise me, no more running away.”
“No more running away,” He swore with a kiss, hands trailing up your body to remove your shirt. His followed closely behind, and soon you were both a tangled mess of limbs. 
The feeling of him completely against you was astonishing. You never thought you’d ever feel him again, but here he was. His hair tickled your cheeks as he kissed from the corner of your mouth down your neck, his muscles taught and flexing as he moved down your body, insisting on kissing every inch. 
Your hands tangled in his hair as he kissed from where the locket lay at the base of your neck, down the valley between your breasts, and to your belly button. 
Your breath hitched when he got there. He’d kissed that belly so many times, and for completely different reasons. 
He felt you pause. 
“Shh,” he hushed, “Don’t.”
Your hands found his cheeks and you tried to pull his face up to yours. He refused, incessantly kissing all the darker stripes of skin that lined your lower belly. 
“Beautiful,” he mumbled, “Strong, incredible, and absolutely beautiful.”
You sighed into his touch, hands lightly grazing his back, “I love you.”
He looked up at you, hair in his eyes, “I love you too.”
You tugged on the ends of his hair, beckoning him up to you again. This time he obliged, face coming right above yours, breath mixing in the hot air. 
You kissed across his jawline sloppily, stopping to lick and suck at the parts you knew were extra sensitive. 
Your bodies never forgot each other, no matter how long they were apart. They’d always know each other and fit together perfectly. 
“Look at me,” He whispered, “Don’t ever stop looking at me.”
You nodded, catching him in one last kiss before you felt him inside of you. 
Every nerve ending in your body was electrified, wanton moans escaping both of your lips. His left hand found yours, holding it tightly above your head. You felt the leather of his watch, smiling to yourself as you remembered the very first time you felt this way, full of love and adoration. 
He moved slowly, his body almost completely on yours. He was holding himself up with one elbow as he took deliberately slow strokes, needing to savor every second. 
His hand moved between your bodies, rubbing you slow and calculated. 
“God,” You hummed, squeezing your eyes shut as he worked you. 
He kissed your forehead, “Eyes on me, love, eyes on me.”
Your eyes fluttered back open and the look in his eyes was tender, a look of complete and utter devotion.
Your eyes never left his as his pace quickened, heavy moans and gasps spilling from both of you. Your eyes never left his as he rolled his thumb over you, both of you falling into climax nearly simultaneously. Your eyes never left his as that foreign feeling of pure ecstasy coursed through your body. Your eyes never left his as he kissed your cheeks and then your lips, before slipping out of you. 
Your eyes would never leave his again. 
“I almost forgot how good you are at that,” you panted, as he rolled off of you, equally breathless. You giggled at the self-assured smirk that came to his lips. 
“Muscle memory,” he joked back, kissing your shoulder and then your cheek, “Absolutely beautiful, beautiful.”
A comfortable silence over came the two of you as you came down from your collective high, having to face reality again. You didn’t want to. You wanted to stay in this bubble with him forever. 
You found comfort nestled in the space under his arm, fidgeting with the locket as you got up the nerve to ask the question you’d needed to all this time, “Can we talk about her?”
He nodded, his hand absentmindedly running through your hair, “Yeah. Yeah, I’d like that.”
You sighed, one hand instinctively coming to your stomach, “I miss her.”
He smiled sadly, his hand coming over yours, “Me too.”
“Today–“ You started, but he interrupted you. 
“Today is February seventeenth.”
You looked up at him, “You remembered?”
His voice cracked, “Remembered? Of course I remembered. I’ve been counting down to today since the very first day, in that little room, remember?”
You laughed a little, “Yeah, we snuck out at lunch and tried not to arouse any suspicion. You held my hand when we saw her for the first time. We both cried.”
You both sighed sadly, reminiscing on that first day in the doctor’s office. 
“I feel guilty,” He admitted, taking down his walls brick by brick. 
“Why?” You scrunched up your eyebrows, genuine confusion painting your face. 
“I-I’m her dad. Was her dad? No, I am her dad and I should’ve been able to protect her. I should’ve been able to protect both of you.”
Tears stung at your eyes, “It’s no one's fault, Spencer. There’s no one to blame.”
“I know, I’m sorry for trying to blame you. It was wrong and unfair. I didn’t know how to cope. I loved her more than anything in the entire world, and I never even got to meet her.”
You traced little shapes on his belly, “For what it’s worth, Love, I forgive you.”
He frowned, “I just don’t know how to forgive myself.”
You smiled, appreciating the way his thumb circled your knuckles, “You’ll find a way to, I know it.”
“I wish things had ended up different.”
“Yeah, I understand the feeling,” You mumbled, “What do you wish happened?”
He shrugged, “I don’t know. I guess I just wished for anything except this. Any string of events that wouldn’t have led to us being here right now. N-not physically here. I’m so happy to be physically here, with you, I mean here emotionally.”
You thought for a moment before whispering, “Do you ever wish we never met?”
The question was honest and deserved an answer. 
You nodded. 
“Yeah, sometimes.”
You tensed under his grasp. 
“But, Y/N,” He made eye contact with you and pushed a stray hair off your face. His eyes were conveying nothing but sincerity, “I don’t anymore. I’d do this all over again, a million times, if at the end of it all I’d have these experiences. To have her, for as little time as we did, to have you.”
You tilted your face again, capturing him in a sweet kiss that said more than words ever could, “I love you,” you promised. 
“I love you too,” he promised right back. 
He shifted, sitting more upright. You moved so you could face him, “Come home.”
You smiled and cupped his cheeks with your hands. His skin was prickly underneath them, like he hadn’t shaved in a few days, “I am home.”
He smiled, poking his tongue out the side of his mouth, “No, I meant like, home home. DC home. Quantico home.”
You bit your lip. It was a fair request. If the two of you were going to do this you couldn’t be two thousand miles and two time zones away from each other, “But I just got this job, like today. Literally today.”
He frowned, “Y-you don’t want to?”
“No! I want to, it’s just not as easy as that. I don’t have a job in Virginia.”
“You can get your job back at the BAU tomorrow. Hotch can—“
“Hotch can do almost anything,” you interrupted, “but I...”
The words were on the tip of your tongue, but you didn’t want to say them. You didn’t want to hurt him. Not again. Not anymore, not when you had just gotten him back. 
“But?” His eyes were wide and expectant. 
“But I don’t want that.”
His eyes went from wide and kind to wide and forlorn, “What are you saying Y/N?”
You groaned, “I-I don’t want to work at the BAU.”
His face fell, “You want to stay in Seattle?”
“Oh God no, this may be the gloomiest place in the entire world.”
He half cracked a smile, “So then what do you want?”
You pushed his hair off his forehead, “We never really talked about what we were going to do after she was born...”
“Yeah, you–we never got far enough.”
“I was going to quit,” You stated, deciding to avoid his eyes. 
“Quit? Y/N–“
You shrugged, “I was going to quit. Right about today would’ve been when Hotch got my formal letter of resignation from the FBI, effective immediately and permanently.”
He looked at you, both of your eyes sad and tired, “Y/N, you can’t quit. I’m not going to let you. This-This can’t be what you want.”
“Love, I’m positive. Today I could barely even listen to the briefings. Something inside of me changed, and I’m just not built for this life anymore.”
He gnawed on his lip, “What life are you built for?”
You smiled and shrugged, “One with you.”
It was cheesy, but you meant it and he still grinned, “That, that sounds like a great life.”
“The best,” you whispered, kissing his forehead, “After she was born I was going to take some time off of working, and then get into teaching.”
“Teaching?” He repeated, a smile tugging at the corners of his mouth, “Well those will be the luckiest students in the entire world.”
You bit back a smile, “D’you think?”
“Do I think?” He pecked your lips, “I know.” 
“I’m going to get out of this lease and the job as fast as I can. It’ll take some time, but I will come home,” You promised. 
“Good, I need you. We all need you.” 
He kissed you again, sucking on your lower lip slightly. You rolled on top of him, the cold locket pressed between your bodies. His hands found their place at your hip bones. You kissed light butterfly kisses from his lips down his neck, stopping at his collar bone to nip and suck there. 
His hands squeezed your hips, begging for your attention. You wanted to feel him again so badly, and it’d only been twenty minutes since you had. You wanted to, but a question wouldn’t leave your mind. It had been bouncing around in there since he recited his letter. 
You pulled away, hands on either side of his head to keep yourself up. 
“Did you mean what you said earlier?” you panted, “In the letter, about marrying me.”
He moved your hair out of your face, “Every bit of it.”
“Y-you’d actually marry me?”
He laughed, “Of course. I’d marry you tomorrow if you’d let me.”
You stared into his eyes, appreciating their warmth and honesty. He meant it. He meant every word of it. He always had, he always would. 
“Do you have the ring?”
He scrunched up his eyebrows, “Yeah, it’s in the box.”
“Go get it.”
You said it rushed and impulsively. You weren’t even aware of what you said until it left your mouth. 
“G-go get it?” He stammered. 
You nodded, “Yeah, go get it.”
You’d never seen him move so fast. He was a blurry streak of pale skin as he ran from your room, not even bothering to put on clothes. 
You giggled as he ran, the feeling in your chest light and airy. You could do this, together. You could do anything, as long as you were together. 
When he reappeared he was panting, fumbling back into bed with you. He opened his palm and showed you the closed blue-velvet box. 
“Open it,” you urged, and his eyes widened in recognition. 
“O-open it? Like–“
You scooted closer to him, kissing his nose, “Yeah. Open it. Ask me.”
“Ask you? Right now? Like this? I’m naked Y/N!”
“Ask me!”
He smoothed out his hair, smiling wide as he opened the box. 
He was right, it was everything you wanted. Silver and an oval, simple and timeless. The feeling in your chest was unfamiliar, but dearly missed. It was happiness. 
“Y/N, I-I know we’ve been through hell. But every word of what I said is true. I want to spend the rest of my life making this up to you. I want to spend the rest of my life making you happy. I can’t believe I’m doing this right now, naked in Seattle, but I want you to marry me.”
The smile on your face couldn’t be contained, “I want to marry you. I want to marry you so hard, Spencer Reid.”
He smiled, wider and bigger than you’d ever seen before kissing you quickly, “I want to marry you so hard too.”
You put the ring on, sliding it down your finger easily as he watched in awe. He wrapped his arms around you, “I should’ve done that a long time ago.”
You kissed him again, holding his face when you parted, “You don’t have to make anything up to me, Spence. We can learn from the past without letting it affect our future.”
You grabbed his hand and squeezed it, ring bumping ring as you smiled. They didn’t match, but his was from you, and yours was from him. Pieces of each other you’d wear always, keeping you connected no matter where you were. 
He nodded, tears pricking the corners of his eyes. They were a mixture of happy tears and sad ones, “I-I just wish she was here for this. You know? It’s crazy. I never even saw her and she changed me so much.”
You nodded, running your fingers through his hair,  “She-Annabell–“ It sounded strange leaving your lips, “was supposed to change us.”
He smiled, “You never use her name.”
You shrugged, “It used to hurt too much, but now I can say her name and it’s not a bad word.”
He grabbed your free hand that was on his chest and kissed where your ring was, another silent promise. 
“And some days it will hurt. Some days I’ll cry, you’ll cry, some days it’ll hit us when we least expect it.”
“Except this time we’ll do it together.”
You buried your face in the crook of his neck, “Together.”
You stayed like that for a while, just appreciating each other’s presence. His hands drew lazy shapes on your arms, your head rested on his chest, memorizing the sound of his heartbeat. You drifted off to sleep like that, feeling content and in the arms of the only man you’d ever love. 
When you woke up, he was gone. You outstretched your arms, finding nothing but blankets. You wondered for a moment if it was all a cruel dream.
“Spencer?” You croaked, wiping the sleep out of your eye and feeling something cold. 
The ring. 
It wasn’t a dream. 
“Spencer?” You called again, reaching behind you to turn on a lamp, there you saw a post-it note. 
“I’m out on your balcony. Come find me when you wake up. I love you, Love.”
You grinned, happy to wake up to a post-it note that he had left again. You found clothes and bounded down the hallway to find him. 
He was where he said he was. He had grabbed a chair from the kitchen table and put it outside. Spencer was staring up at the sky, the full moon casting harsh shadows across his skin. 
“Hey, you,” You said, before stepping out, “Talking to the moon?”
Spencer looked over at you, smiling wide, “Yeah, actually. I am.”
“Are you upset?” 
You slid onto his lap, one hand on your back and the other on your thigh. The air was cold, but he was warm. 
“No,” He squeezed your thigh, “Just the opposite.”
“So what are you guys talking about?”
“How lucky I am that I get to exist in a world with you.”
You kissed his temple, “I matter because I’m in this place at this time with you.”
“Letter nine, ‘I miss little notes. I miss the way “How wonderful life is when you’re in the world” felt when I was in your arms. I miss late night kissing. I miss the way you feel with me. I miss us. I miss you, but I miss that you,’” He recited from his eidetic memory, looking away from you as he said the last part. 
“Hey,” You said, turning his cheek to face you, “Stop that. I also believe I said that I’d fall in love with every version of you that could ever exist.”
He pulled you close, “You did say that.”
“And besides, Reid, you can’t get rid of me now,” You held your left hand out in the moonlight. It sparkled, he kissed it. 
“I’d never dream of it.”
He patted your side, signaling for you to stand up. You did, and he disappeared back inside for a moment. 
When he reappeared he had his hands behind his back. 
“Another surprise? You spoil me, Spencer Reid.”
“Ice cream?” He offered you, pulling the tub from behind his back. 
You smiled, a real, genuine smile that only he could give you, “I’d love some.”
He sat down and you resumed your place on his lap. You held the tub, both of you clinking spoons before dipping in. 
“No lasts?” He said. 
“No lasts.”
It was just you, him, and the moon. The way it was always supposed to be. 
And everything was okay.
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& some people who always interact and i prob should’ve been tagging this whole time ;) @safertokiss​​ @imjusthereformggcontent​​ @missdowntonabbey​
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moononastring · 8 months ago
Tales of the Fox & the Fawn XXIV
Season II - A series of short snippets to fill my Elucien heart.
Tumblr media
Smiley Pots
This was inspired by this hilarious video. ______
That’s it. 
Enough was enough. 
Lucien was absolutely going to put his foot down this time. 
What triggered this particular thought in Lucien today was him walking into their sitting room, now overtaken by a number of plants and various types of leaves hitting him in the face. Lucien and Elain had had this conversation many times and yet, somehow Elain always won him over. 
But not this time. He swatted at the intruding house plants with a snarl then marched out back to their garden. 
“Elain!” he called out. “We have got to talk about all those plants!”
Elain happened to be watering some of their outdoor plants as he spoke and turned to look at him with a smile, causing Lucien to stagger in his step, caught off guard for a moment. She (unfortunately for him — and only unfortunate in this exact moment), still very much had that effect on him. 
It wasn’t fair. She was just so beautiful. Her hair tied in a high ponytail with a pretty bow exposing that lovely neck, her freckles making an appearance because of all the sun she’d been sitting under, and that dazzling, dazzling smile.
It just wasn’t fair.
“Lucien, my love. What is it?” she asked, smoothing down her dress with a hand and placing the watering can down. 
Lucien’s eyes followed the movement of her periwinkle dress. He loved that dress. Always loved when she wore it and he scanned her body in it, moving up until he met her gaze. She gave him a knowing smile and that snapped him right out of his daze. He was being ridiculous. 
He shook his head and his expression turned stern. Lucien would be firm. He would be kind about it but firm.
“We need to talk about the amount of plants taking over our home.” he said quickly, noting the way she had turned her body towards him and he narrowed his eyes at her coy expression. “Outside plants, great. Inside plants, too much.”
Elain hummed in thought and came closer to him. “But that ruins my surprise for you.”
“What surprise?” he asked quietly and backed into the garden door leading into their home. He had to stand firm. If she came closer, he would lose this fight. 
But damn it, she smiled at him. That big, beautiful smile that lit up her whole face. Gods she was beautiful.
“Close your eyes!” she said and he watched her scurry off.
“No, thank you. That seems dangerous.” he muttered and then took a deep breath. He stood tall. Whatever surprise she had, it will not distract from his request. No more indoor plants. Enough was enough. “I mean what I said!” he added after her. “No more house plants!”
But then Elain came skipping back and Lucien knew the moment she held up his surprise in her hands, he was a goner.
“Surprise!” she said, beaming, holding up yet another house plant. “Look at our new plant baby! It has a smiley face on the pot!” 
Lucien’s eyes darted from the plant to Elain’s wide smile. “No more house plants.” he said weakly and she tilted her head with a playful pout.
“But this one is so cute. I specifically bought it for you! How could you say no?” she said, honey dripping from her words and Lucien internally groaned.
“But we have so many.” he whined. “They keep hitting me in the face. In my eye, Elain! My eye!” 
“Aw, well I can rearrange and fix that!” she said with a laugh, pout instantly gone. “We need to find space for this awesome guy!”
Lucien blinked at her. He knew her tactic. She always did this. This was how she always won and how he found himself living in an indoor jungle of plants. 
But as he opened his mouth to object, Elain slowly held it up to him, bringing it next to her face so the smile on the pot lined up next to the wide smile on her face. 
A beat of silence passed and then Lucien sighed, taking it from her. 
“Fine.” he mumbled and she giggled, leaning up to kiss his cheek. 
“I’m glad you’re so enthusiastic about Maurice.” 
“Maurice?!” he scoffed and Elain quirked a brow.
“Do you not like my name choice?”
“Absolutely not. This is Pablo the Plant.”
Elain rolled her eyes. “You’re going to run out names that start with P at some point.”
“It’s my gift! I get to name him what I want!” 
“Just like you named Peter the Plant, Petunia the Plant, Percy the Plant, and Patsy the Plant.” Elain rattled off with another eye roll. “One would think you didn’t appreciate my house plant gifts.”
“I appreciate them alright! They’ve taken over our house out of appreciation.” he grumbled, eyeing his gift wearily. 
“Do you want me to take Pablo the Plant back then?” she asked, hands on hips and Lucien instantly hugged the potted plant closer. 
“Tsk...yet you always try to object.” she said giving him another one of her knowing smiles and Lucien pouted.
“They keep hitting me in the face! I can barely find the chairs to sit!”
Elain chuckled, pulling him away from the door to open it and dragging him inside. “I promise to rearrange so you can have space.” she said then smiled widely. “Where do you think we should put Maurice?”
Lucien sighed, defeated as usual. “It’s Pablo.” he corrected and Elain scuffed as they walked towards their living space. “And on my desk is fine. He can take Patrick the Plant’s place now that he’s gone.”
“Ah, poor Patrick. Let’s make sure you don’t overwater Pablo too vigorously now.”
“It was an accident! I kept forgetting if I watered him or not!”
“Hmm, or so you said, Lucien. Or so you say.”
Holding Pablo closer, he used his free hand to point at her, narrowing his eyes. “Don’t make fun or I will put my foot down.”
Elain patted his back gently and smiled. “Of course you will, dear. Now let’s show Pablo his new home.” 
Lucien held up the potted plant and looked at it with a scowl as Elain rambled on.
He’ll put his foot down next time. They would run out of space eventually and Elain had to give up at some point.
For now, the smiley face on the pot wouldn’t be so bad to look at.  
Tagging: @rainbowsnowflake | @amandlas | @zhian-tara | @illyrianwitchling | @gingerwritess | @foxboylucien | @abbadinfluence | @seniararsenisorar | @wonderland--memories  | @highladyylit | @sjmships | @dreamingthroughthenoise | @asilentfrenzy | @ourbooksuniverse | @virdibirdie | @nasias-stuff | @mayphenix | @mariamuses | @th-th-th-thats-all-folks | @rattle-th3-stars​ | @my-fan-side​ | @nahthanks​ Please let me know if you would like to be tagged/untagged (no hard feelings if you do ;) Feedback is always encouraging and welcome :))))
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mewhiphand · 5 months ago
Drake analysis for his birthday!
Long post, part 1 of 2! Feel free to share your thoughts!
Drake analysis;
*WARNING : MAJOR spoilers for the Gone series and Monster series, discussions of child abuse, misogynistic mindsets, victim blaming, discussion of torture, sexual assault and rape*
This is a general analysis of Drake's character, focusing mostly on scenes from GONE and HUNGER (where he, arguably, has the most autonomy). If there any specific scenes or books you'd like me to take a look at, please let me know! :)
1| Pre-Coates Drake (overview)
Drake was already showing worrying signs, even before the FAYZ (and before he got sent to Coates); it's mentioned that he found enjoyment in microwaving a puppy and burning frogs. Either this was done covertly until the Holden incident, was done at Coates, or was ignored by his family (likely the former).
This tells us a couple of things:
A. His family may neglect or ignore him (or he ignores them)
Torturing these animals, a strange hobby as it is, does require time and commitment. This distance from his parents during his formative years could create antisocial tendencies and isolation from his 'loved ones'.
B. His sadistic tendencies developed before the death of his father and his mother's remarriage (more on that later).
However, Drake didn't start hurting people until he shot the "neighbour's kid, Holden" who "liked to come over and annoy him".
This short description gives us an insight into Drake's short leash on himself: his temper and impulses are hard to control, and he's aggravated to the point of almost committing murder at a young age (he was 14 in Gone, so this could have been at any age before then) - the book tells us that despite only being shot in the leg by Drake with a .22, "even then, he'd nearly died".
This was the incident that got Drake sent to Coates (a boarding school for mostly "rich", messed-up kids) - this could also clue us into how Drake didn't appear to be legally punished for shooting Holden, as his family might have been well-off (implying they'd rather just buy the victim's silence and ship Drake away rather than deal with his issues on their own, or get a private therapist - or perhaps they believe it's out of their hands?).
However, this is based on assumptions and not solid ground.
2 | Drake and his father.
Drake was taught to shoot by his father, a Highway Patrol lieutenant, using his service pistol. This formed an integral part of who he became, and they now had something in common -
"Don't shoot a person," his father had said. But then he relented, relieved no doubt to find something he could share with his disturbing son."
Despite his father being wary of Drake's early sadistic tendencies, he seemed to be the person that Drake was closest to, and his death affected him majorly. As perhaps the only person who even slightly understood him or sought to find something to do with him, his father's death appeared to be a pivotal moment for Drake - it signalled the end of any sense of a positive male role model in Drake's life, as his mother's next husband was abusive. This would cause him to seek out "strong", violent, dominant men when he was older.
The most likely timeline in my opinion is :
•Drake develops sadistic tendencies
•Drake's father dies
•Drake's mother remarries
•Drake shoots Holden and is sent to Coates
3 | Drake and his stepfather and mother
There is subtextual information that Drake is abused by his stepfather: "the beatings he'd suffered, and the much more numerous beating he had delivered, the pleasure he had found in burning frogs and microwaving a puppy and drawing all those endless loving pictures of weapons, spears, knives, torture devices, all of it, all the hatreds, all the burning lust, all the madness and rage.."
"But he was always a troubled boy. Especially after my son died. The stepfather...young Drake’s stepfather..." - Drake Merwin Sr to Connie temple
To digress :
This small passage in Plague and Sr's speech in Light gives us leagues of information.
Drake is drawn to things that cause pain, he's sickly fascinated with all kinds of weapons, "torture devices" (cleverly hinted at in Hunger, when he's watching Saw II), and the true depth of his emotions are revealed - along with a great deal of self-awareness.
Drake doesn't lack emotion - he's incredibly emotional. The things he does feel (rage, lust, joy) seem to be felt deeper, as if his lack of empathy amplifies the rest of his spectrum of emotions. Drake is also aware of what he feels - the "burning lust" mentioned is especially important to understanding Drake - the misogynistic hatred of Astrid and Diana stems from his apparent inability to distinguish between sexual attraction and causing pain (again, his sadistic desires)
The two are one, in Drake's mind.
[More on that later*]
But where did the misogynist mindset come from in the first place?
The answer lies in Drake's home life following the death of his father.
Drake's mother remarried - but his stepfather was an abusive man, leading to an incredibly toxic relationship. Drake, in his youth, already having the urge to hurt and kill, was exposed to that kind of extreme violence. Drake's stepfather beat his mother in front of him, and because his mother seemingly took actions to antagonise him enough to beat her, Drake (with the mindset of a child, who may have already seen it as a betrayal by his mother to remarry after his father's death)
concluded that she did it deliberately because she liked it.
This misconstruction and victim-blaming set in place a cycle of violence that would form Drake's victim-perpetrator mindset. [*]
It could also imply that Drake's mother's actions of irritating his stepfather directly impacted Drake himself: his stepfather took out his anger on his stepson, and beat Drake too.
This could stand to reason as another explanation why Drake's hatred of women developed - lacking positive female role models and maternal figures in his life led to distance from women, and led him to think that all women were intrinsically weak, irritating and masochistic in their desires.
(This would establish a sadistic-masochistic dynamic that Drake believed all woman [for some, like Astrid, secretly] wanted / partook in, and fuel the idea that women were weak and cowardly as his mother failed to protect him from her husband's violence.)
With a stunted, childish psyche, Drake lost sight of the real issue - the fact that his stepfather was abusive - and directed his anger at someone "safe" and "easy" to hate- his mother, whom he victim-blamed.
We can infer that Drake's childhood was filled with uncertainty and violence, and therefore he sought out control as a way to find a sense of stability in his life, and linked violence with strength and power - therefore, he won't recognise any authority that doesn't use violence as the main way to achieve its aims (hence why he's so gleeful when Caine "is lowered to his level" by using violence, and Drake himself only exercises power through shows of violence and using fear as a means of control - he has no sense of loyalty)
The build-up of resentment at his mother would explode, but not at its original target - at Drake's two known objects of sexual attraction in the FAYZ, Astrid and Diana [who will be addressed separately, as their treatments differ in some aspects. In this post I believe I'll only be addressing Diana, but if you want the full Astrid post comment I guess!]
4| Drake and Diana
Drake fears humiliation - mainly, from the female population. In Gone, Drake comments on this :
"He felt a moment of panic then...He would look like a fool if he didn't get [Astrid]."
"Drake cursed and, again, for just a moment, felt the almost desperate fear of failing Caine. He wasn't worried what Caine would do to him - after all, Caine needed him- but he knew if he failed to carry out Caine's orders, Diana would laugh."
What Drake hates about Diana here is her ability to make him feel humiliated, weak, powerless, a failure - everything he's bound to have felt in his childhood when he couldn't protect his mother or himself against his stepfather. He craves the feeling of power over others, and loathes the feeling of helplessness. We can see that he's aware that Caine uses him and needs him to act as a threat, and he accepts this for now, with the ultimate goal of overthrowing him, but his real fear is being publicly seen as weak and being laughed at, which drives him to do anything to succeed in Caine's eyes and, in his own words, "wipe the smirk off Diana's face"
"Drake had made time to check out Diana's psych file the day after the FAYZ came. But her file had been missing by then. In its place she had left Drake's file lying open on the doc's desk and drawn a little smiley face beside the word "sadist".
Drake had already hated her. But after that, hating Diana had become a full-time occupation."
Diana humiliates Drake, and gains power over him by knowing information about his mental state. Drake, who had the same idea to gain power over Diana, is infuriated and his hatred of her, once a burning ember, is now a raging volcano. We can see that Drake doesn't fear that Diana will hurt him psychically, but emotionally by provoking and humiliating him.
"To Drake's disgust, Caine accepted Diana's back-talk."
Diana has power over Caine that Drake can't hope to accomplish, due to the fact that Caine is attracted to her. Caine's desire of Diana outweighs any loyalty or comradeship he has with Drake. Diana also uses Caine's want for her as a failsafe protection against Drake.
Drake's misogyny shines through here: he sees the fact that Diana is manipulating Caine, and sees how he tolerates it. Drake realises that Diana can get away with much more than Drake himself can - she has more power over Caine than Drake does. And this power, in Drake's eyes, isn't "earned" as it wasn't gained through violence.
Drake disregards any kind of power that isn't earned through pain - this also shows in his hatred of freaks, who he sees as not having "earned" the right to be powerful, and explains his glee at, yes,suffering the pain of his arm being burnt off, but it being replaced by something that enables him to cause pain to others - like a reward for enduring the pain. Drake wants his suffering to mean something, and to gain something from it. Drake wants to be important.
"Go ahead, raise a hand against me, Drake," Diana taunted. "Caine would kill you."
We see another example where Diana uses the threat of Caine to keep Drake in line.
Diana is described as attractive throughout the books by varying characters, and so we infer that Drake finds her attractive, but in his twisted, misognyistic mindset, this is translated to violence. Additionally, he already disliked her so his hatred for Diana is stronger than for any other girl in the FAYZ (even Astrid).
5| Drake and Caine
The foreshadowing of Drake's betrayal
We've established that Drake lacks any sense of loyalty and trust due to a lack of these in his own childhood. Drake also only sees respect as being earned by shows of violence and dominance.
Drake, lacking positive male role models, appears to latch on to Caine, the "most ruthless" of all the boys at Coates, and the most powerful (in a literal sense, with his telekinesis). Caine is mentioned to do small favours for Drake (but, crucially, plays Drake and Diana off against each other [*]), and seemingly gains Drake's initial respect.
Drake, however, seeks to usurp Caine (due to his hatred of freaks, and needing to have a sense of superiority. He also sees Caine as weak and below him for bowing to Diana's demands due to Caine being attracted to her.)
When the Coates trio is first introduced together, in Gone, - "Drake Merwin stood smirking, arms across his chest, on Caine's left, and Diana Ladris watched the crowd from Caine's right"
I'm perhaps guilty of looking too much into this initial description, but I find it interesting - despite being Caine's "right-hand man" and even Drake taunts Diana that he and Caine are "like brothers" (Hunger), Drake stands on his left and Diana on his right.
While this also serves to cement (haha) Caine's role as the 'Fearless Leader', it could also foreshadow Drake's betrayal later in Hunger, and his need to "run the show".
Drake, the Judas figure to Caine's christ [maybe a post on this at some point?*], stands on his left. It also marks Diana as the loyal follower, the one to stay with Caine until the end.
The decimation of Drake and Caine's relations ship culminates in the final events of HUNGER, when Drake almost kills Diana and Caine throws Drake down the mineshaft in revenge and anger.
This marks a shift to Drake's character - he's no longer under Caine's control - but emphasises that his loyalty is now fully to the Gaiaphage, whom he worships for giving him power over others [!!] (the whip hand, which grants him the ability to hurt and kill others, and in LIES, immorality)
We can see that what Drake actually craves is, in GONE: to run things himself, a personal anarchist dream where he can hurt anyone he wants, (and yet he needs a strong male figure behind the scenes to give him motivation), or the illusion of control, found in causing others pain, as he lacks the mental stability and leadership needed to be in control, and he lacks long-term goals beyond revenge and fulfilling his sadistic desires, and is rudderless without a leader (as seen in Monster, where he is "mindlessly killing, torturing and raping anyone he comes across" until he is sought out by Tom Peaks, who gives him motivation)
This is supported by Peaks' comment on this in VILLAIN -
"But along with the sneers, he sensed that Drake was looking for leadership. Drake had no plan, never would have any plan, beyond his next murder."
Drake and his hatred of freaks, and how this impacts his relationship with Caine -
"Drake hated the power. There was only one reason why Caine and not Drake was running the show: Caine's powers."
"But Caine understood that the kids with powers had to be controlled. And once Caine and Diana had all the freaks under control, what was to stop Drake from using his own nine millimetres of magic to take it all for himself?"
Drake always planned to usurp Caine, as he thinks he's too influenced by Diana and due to his hatred of freaks. Drake hates anyone having power over him, and Caine's abilities give him a unique advantage, which Drake loathes.
Caine and Drake - altercations before the betrayal and what they show
"She was your mother and she gave you up and kept Sam?" Drake said, laughing in his enjoyment of Caine's humiliation.
Drake's sadism shines through and he turns entirely reckless in tormenting Caine, his desire to see Caine humiliated outweighing any fear he has of him. For Drake, fulfilling these sadistic urges take precedence over everything - even fear, pain, rage. We can see that he seems to not know when to stop, or chooses to push people past their limits anyways.
Caine responds in physical violence, the language Drake seems to understand - "Something slammed Drake's chest. It was like being hit by a truck. He was lifted off his feet and thrown against the wall."
Drake refuses to be humiliated (in front of Diana, curiously) - "He made himself shake it off. He wanted to jump up and go for Caine, finish him quick before the freak could hit him again. But Caine was there, looming over him, face red, teeth bared, looking like a mad dog."
"Remember who's the boss, Drake," Caine said, his voice low, guttural, like it was coming from an animal."
"Drake nodded, beaten. For now."
This small passage gives us a lot of messages about Drake. He wants to appear strong and vicious, but plays it smart and backs down to avoid the risk of Caine actually killing him. Drake and Caine's dynamic is, crucially, a power struggle at its heart.
However, Drake doesn't give up - he's admirably resilient and persistent in chasing his goals of revenge, and "winning" the power struggle against Caine. He does, at least in GONE, possess a good amount of intelligence and foresight.
Caine (and Diana) being aware of Drake's psychopathy
Caine :
"Drake is a violent, disturbed boy." - Caine to Sam, the gym scene in GONE.
Caine knows of Drake's afflictions, but keeps him around as a lackey to do his dirty work. He also considers himself morally superior to Drake - he remarks that at least he doesn't "get off" on what he does.
Hypocritically, Caine does not see his own actions as being just as damaging, but this is due to his overinflated ego and delusions of grandeur - he believes the ends he wants justifies the means he uses.
Diana :
"Drake is sick in the head. I'm not saying that just to scare you, I'm saying it because it's true...Drake is flat out sick in the head. He could kill her, Sam" - Diana to Sam, the gym scene in GONE.
"Well, that's why we keep Drake around. He enjoys hurting people." - Diana to Astrid, classroom scene in GONE.
Diana shares a similar opinion to Caine - he's mentally unhinged, but Diana recognises the threat he poses to both her and to Caine, and wants him gone.
6| Drake and dominance & submission
"Drake moved past Diana and kicked Sam onto his back, legs twisted beneath him. Drake stood over him and pushed the end of his hat against Sam's Adam's apple. The same move he had used on Orc the night before."
We see that Drake is physically strong, despite his unassuming stature - he's described as "lean". He has been in enough fights and has enough experience to take down people at least "fifty pounds" heavier than him (Orc). He also puts these people into humiliating, submissive positions where they have no choice but to capitulate to his demands.
He speaks to Astrid in LIGHT about this -
"Are you as clueless as the rest of them, Astrid? It’s simple. Here it is, here’s the answer, Astrid the Genius: it’s fun to hurt people. It’s such…it’s such joy, Astrid. Such joy realizing that all the power is yours, and all the fear and pain is right there, in your victim. Come on, smart girl, you know what it’s called. You know the word for it. Come on, say it.’ He cupped his hand to his ear, waiting for the word.
'Evil,’ Astrid said.
Drake laughed, threw up his hand wide, and nodded his head. 'Evil! There you go. Good for you. Evil. It’s in all of us. You know that, too. It was in you. I saw it in your eyes as you looked down on me in that cooler. Evil, hah. We all want to have someone powerless beneath us while we stand over them.’ His voice had grown husky. 'We all want that. We all want that.’
One thing that stands out about Drake's character is that he likes to believe that everyone, at some level, has the same desires he does: Drake is just "strong" enough to act on them.
Drake likes to antagonise people to 'bring them down to his level'.
In this speech, Drake reveals a lot about himself.
"it's fun to hurt people" ,in particular, keys us in to the fact that Drake is self-aware, and making Astrid call him "evil" is part of this: Drake knows what he's doing is morally wrong. Drake wants people to think that he is evil, that he's ruthless, that he's nothing but a sadistic murderer, because he doesn't want to reveal his true vulnerability and helplessness.
He calls out the hypocrisy of Astrid for seemingly reveling in his pain and still condemning him for the desires over which he has no control. [This is not to say that I believe he is right for acting on them; the urges he can't control, but he can control his actions]. This is Drake's make me your villain speech. His final cry for help, in a way.
He wants everyone to be like him. He wants to not be judged, he aches for the confirmation that he is not alone in wanting power and vengeance and pain.
"We all want to have someone powerless beneath us while we stand over them." - Drake's experience of the roles being reversed, and the victim-perpetrator cycle show through here. Drake seeks power because he was denied it.
It is paradoxical in that, arguably, he wouldn't be like this if people hadn't punished him for things he couldn't control (involuntary sadistic impulses), and it is sad that we realise he could have been so much more, had circumstances been different.
Drake is a dark mirror of every dark thought we ever have. He, horrifyingly so, reflects the human urge to inflict pain as revenge. Drake's story is a cautionary tale. Many can relate to his harsh childhood, and Drake reminds us that no matter how much pain is inflicted on us, we bear the weight of not continuing that cycle onto others. That is the curse of being good. That is the curse of being human. That is the curse of empathy.
Crucifixion - in MONSTER, it is revealed that Drake has been 'alive' for years, and we find out in VILLAIN that he resides in a cave in the desert along with 3 bodies - 2 female, one male, people he recently tortured. He crucified them with "railroad spikes" and left them to hang from the bones of their wrists. We can see that Drake leaves them in humiliating positions deliberately - "The only thing better would be to have Sam nailed to the opposite wall, forced to watch it all. To see Astrid degraded as Sam watched? He could not imagine anything better."
This is an example of his psychosexual development being warped - he associates sex with violence and power. He tortures and degrades his victims as a way to fulfil his sexual and sadistic urges.
7| Drake and Orc as foils
Drake and Orc first oppose each other in the early chapters of GONE - Drake is given power over Orc by Caine - "Drake and his people, including Captain Orc.."
This establishes a hierarchy within the "sherrifs". Drake leads them, but ultimately defers to Caine - (and, he is given power over others at Caine's will.)
Orc, like Drake, had a traumatic childhood and was abused by his father, and his "dumb dishrag" mother does nothing to stop it (she herself is abused by her husband, and rebukes Charles for wanting to kill his father.)
Both Orc and Drake blame their mothers for failing to stop the abuse of their husbands (and their father and step-father in Drake's case).
This is an interesting comparison, as it cements (haha) both Orc and Drake as bullies with short tempers who need to have control, each with a shrewd, conniving friend who effectively "leads" them.
Also, for the most part in the books, they're the only characters with physical mutations (both resulting from physical injury!) and turn their backs on the shrewd friend at some point (Drake and Caine becoming enemies, Orc finding faith and becoming distanced from Howard's crimes).
The fight between them at the start of GONE is a clever foreshadow to their battle at the end of GONE (and, of course, their long-lasting rivalry) and provides a comparison between the two.
They butt heads when Orc is ordered to defer to Drake when Caine is giving out roles, and Caine handles it by crushing a boy with a cross - but no physical altercation happens until Orc punishes Bette for "doing magic tricks".
The anti-freak agenda (ironic, considering they both end up gaining mutations, at similar points too!) of both Drake and Orc is pointed out, but Orc is almost painted as a "lesser evil" - as if Orc may be a garden-variety bully, but Drake is pure, distilled essence of evil.
"Orc...went for Drake like a linebacker. Drake stepped aside, nimble as a matador."
"Drake hit Orc in the ribs with a short, sharp forward thrust of the bat. Then again in the kidneys and again in the side of the head. Each blow was measured, accurate, effective."
Drake is the quick and nimble to Orc's sluggishness, the playfulness to Orc's sullen demeanour. He is "lean" where Orc is "wide" - their battle at the end is described as "their quick-and-slow, nimble-and-heavy, sharp-and-dull battle".
This is a perfectly well written description in my opinion - succinct, and perfectly accurate of them.
The main differences, however, are their personal views on their mutations, and their arcs.
Orc thinks he's a monster - he knows he is physically repulsive, and detests himself. He feels immense guilt over the pain he caused, and seeks to redeem himself through finding faith and asking for forgiveness from God.
Drake, in contrast, adores the power that his mutation gives him. He even describes himself as "Jesus with a whip". His mutation, in Drake's eyes, gives him control over others and he relishes in this.
Drake feels no remorse over the pain he causes, and doesn't desire redemption.
His God-figure is the Gaiaphage, whom he eventually betrays as he desires personal revenge on Astrid and Diana and cannot cope with Gaia being female due to his misogynistic views.
However, Drake and Orc share an interesting scene in Plague with Astrid - Orc seeks out Astrid with the intent to hurt her (it is implied to be sexual violence) and is interrupted by Drake arriving at Coates with his army of bugs. Drake picks up on Orc's intentions.
Drake confesses to Orc that he had the same idea.
"You think she'll give you a big, wet kiss on your gravel face?" He peered closer at Orc as if looking inside him. "Nah, Orc, the only way you get Astrid is the same way I get her. And that's what you were thinking, isn't it?"
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littledrummeraussie · 8 months ago
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At Christmas All The Roads Lead Home | part 2
Christmas morning finds Ashton and Y/N reminiscing about their very first holiday together – with both of their flights cancelled the strangers make the hasty decision to rent a room until they can leave for their own destinations. The pair soon finds out that there’s much more than they’ve bargained for when there’s only one bed in their hotel room. story masterlist. | masterlist. word count: 3488 words tags/warnings: past: an unhealthy load of flirting. food sharing. some heart-to-heart talks. snowball fights. there’s still only one bed. & present: dad!Ashton. fem!mom!reader. married fluff with kids and a dog. Christmas morning cuteness. tooth rotting fluff. nostalgia. a healthy load of teasing.
“Do you think we could eat some more of that cookie we’ve left out for Santa?” Ashton nodded towards the kitchen, a grin spreading across his face. “We could tell the boys the reindeers ate them.”
“Daddy doesn’t have a sweet tooth, the reindeers do,” you lovingly rolled your eyes at him, hands sliding onto his face to pinch his cheeks, making him giggle.
“There’s something else Daddy loves that’s sweet,” his eyes were sparkling with mischief, hands sliding under your thighs to pick you up, and you muffled your squeal against his neck.
Your arms wrapped around his shoulders as he stood up, blankets falling to the floor in a heap. Ashton squeezed your butt lightly, brushing a smiley kiss onto your lips before adjusting you up on his hips, bringing you over to the kitchen. He put you up on the counter and stepped between your legs, already reaching for the plate of chocolate chip cookies you have baked the night before while he finished decorating the house with the boys. Their giggles still rang in your ears as you recalled them chasing each other through the kitchen, tiny arms wrapping around your legs for shelter before Ashton picked them up, pressing a series of kisses on their cheeks and noses, making them squeal with laughter.
Ashton broke a cookie in half before putting it in his mouth, leaning forward so you can bite into it as well, your lips lightly brushing in the middle. A smile pulled at your lips at this and the memory of how sharing Christmas cookies became a tradition for the two of you, something that now you also did with your sons. When the first batch was done you brought one over to the three of them; Tyler and Henry were cuddled into Ashton’s sides, watching a movie together while Bailey napped at their feet. Your heart was ready to burst with love as you watched him breaking the cookie into three, carefully giving the boys their own portions before sharing the remaining piece with you.
“What are you thinking about?” Ashton pushed himself up on his tiptoes, playfully biting your nose as he leaned closer, and you scrunched up your face, pulling back a little.
“You’re so weird. Why did I marry you?” you reached for another cookie and broke off a piece, bringing it to his mouth.
“Dunno. Why did you marry me?” he accepted the cookie from you, munching on it as he spoke. “I mean, the sex is really good, so…”
“Yeah, it was only for the sex,” you chuckled, curling a leg around his waist to pull him closer. “No, I was thinking about our day in London. How you stole half my croissant at breakfast.”
“Hey, I shared my panini with you,” Ashton gave you a faux pout. “And it was a damn good panini, thank you very much.”
“Yeah, I know, I brought you there,” you stuck your tongue out at him before popping a chocolate chip in your mouth. “Guess this is why I married you.”
“Because of the panini?” he furrowed his eyebrows and you leaned forward, pressing a kiss onto the bridge of his nose, stroking your thumb over his scruffy cheek.
“No, silly,” you shook your head, smiling at him “Because not a day has gone by without you making me laugh. Making me fall in love with you even more.”
It surprised you how easy it was to convince Ashton to have breakfast with you in a small corner café instead of your hotel’s restaurant. Maybe it was the promise of fresh coffee and the world’s best panini, or maybe the offer that this time it will be you paying for both of your food. Either way you couldn’t complain as you’ve made your way towards the breakfast place.
“So what are your plans for today?” he asked as you both settled down at a table, waiting for your orders to arrive. “Or do we just walk around London all day long?”
“I mean, you’re welcome to go back to the hotel but I’ve thought we could make the most out of this situation,” you shrugged, giving him a smile. “I mean, when was the last time you’ve seen a winter wonderland like this in LA?”
“Can’t recall,” he chuckled, shaking his head. “But you have to promise me you’ll join at least one adventure of my choice today.”
“I mean – you were willing to come and have breakfast with me, so I guess that’s the least I can do.”
“We were sleeping in the same bed last night, having breakfast together is just the next step,” Ashton sent you a wink, one that could only be described as flirty. “And anyways, you’ve promised me the world’s best panini. Now I don’t know how you know that, but I trust you on this one. Can’t disappoint me now.”
“It is the best, I promise you.”
Before any of you could make another comment the waiter has arrived with your food and coffees, making both of you focus on your breakfast. You needed to stifle your laugh as Ashton moaned around his sandwich, clearly enjoying it as much as you’ve thought he would.
“Okay, you were right. This really is the best panini I’ve ever had,” he took another bite of it, eyes almost rolling back from how much he enjoyed it.
“Told you so,” you sipped you coffee with a smile, lightly kicking his foot under the table. “I wouldn’t have brought you here if it wasn’t the best.”
“Yeah, yeah, but your croissant is looking really good too…” his gaze moved from your face to the plate in front of you, and you quirked an eyebrow at him.
“Nooo. Don’t you dare…” but you were too late – a mischievous grin pulled at his lips as he quickly reached across the table to snatch up your breakfast, taking a hearty bite of it. “Ashton!”
“That’s a damn good croissant too,” he munched on it between words, and you rolled your eyes at him, laughing at his antics.
“I’m really glad, but you just ate my breakfast,” you kicked his foot again playfully, and he curled his ankle around yours, making heat crawl up your neck.
“Here,” he placed his plate in front of you, giving you another smile. “You can have the other half of mine.”
“Giving up your panini for me? What a gentleman,” you took a bite of the offered sandwich as Ashton kept eating your croissant. “Guess we’re getting better at sharing?”
“Yeah, I think we are,” he rested his chin in his hand, still smiling softly at you.
Your legs stayed tangled together under the table until you’ve finished breakfast.
“It was one of the best days of my life,” Ashton pulled you to the edge of the counter, wrapping both your legs around his waist as he hugged you, face hidden in the crook of your neck. “I never wanted it to end.”
“And to think we were both on our way back home…” you hummed in agreement, fingers slowly brushing through his curls.
“We were already home,” he mumbled against your skin, lips pressing a soft kiss on your jaw. “We just didn’t know it yet. That home is not a place, but a person.”
“You know, there’s something I’ve wanted to ask you since yesterday,” Ashton’s shoulder brushed against yours as the two of you made your way back to the hotel.
“So why didn’t you?” you let yourself slightly bump into him, making him let out a chuckle.
The day was spent walking around London and getting lost in the snowy city, window shopping and buying whatever food or drink one of you started craving. Both of you ended up with a few trinkets and last minute gifts that you just couldn’t leave behind before Ashton treated you to lunch, claiming that he also knows places you have to try out. He shared stories with you about the time he spent in England, how snowball fights with the boys were his favourite past time around this time of year, and in the end he made good on his promise and dragged you out to ice skating even though none of you have done it in years.
“What were you doing here?” he finally asked, tucking his hands in his pockets. “I mean before you were meant to go home.”
“You really wanna know?” you chuckled and he nodded, making you continue. “One of my friends came up with the brilliant idea to have a singles trip. Guess her bucket list included something about hooking up with a British guy but she didn’t want to come alone, so she dragged us with her. We rented a house and just had fun there, or went out to meet people, you know. She did find herself a guy, and it looked kinda serious, so I guess it wasn’t for nothing.”
“But you were alone at the airport,” your path led you through a park and Ashton kicked one of the snow piles, not looking up at you. “Did something happen?”
“I wanted to stay for a day or two,” you shrugged then a moment later let out a sigh. “I didn’t actually want to go home.”
“Why?” Ashton stopped and blinked at you, the confusion clear on his face. “I’ve thought you couldn’t wait to be back in LA.”
“There’s nothing wrong with LA. Just… going home means I have to go home, to see my family, and those visits usually end up, well– let’s just say they care too much about my personal life.”
“Is there someone waiting for you at home?” he stepped closer, the toes of his boots touching your shoes, and you looked up at him, shrugging.
“Does the guy my parents want to set me up with count?” at that Ashton let out a breath, cheeks turning slightly pink as a smile pulled at his lips.
“No, I don’t think so,” he chuckled, and you did the same, slowly continuing your way back to the hotel. “What about here?”
“What do you mean?” you had a pretty good idea what he was asking, but wanted to hear it from him.
“Have you met someone in London?” his shoulder bumped into yours again, and you stopped, eyes meeting after a few seconds.
“Do you count?” you quirked an eyebrow, the slightest bit of flirt in your voice.
“Maybe…” it was Ashton’s turn to shrug, his face turning another shade of red as he kicked the snow with his boots, quickly casting his gaze down.
“Then yeah. Maybe,” you stepped away with a giggle, making sure you brushed against him. “Are you coming? I don’t wanna miss dinner, Irwin.”
Ashton shook his head with a little laugh, scurrying after you. He fell into step with you, quickly picking up your previous conversation about his early days in London as you made your way across the park.
“…and then Calum somehow locked himself out in his boxers and– Y/N? Where ar– fuck, that’s cold!”
You laughed as Ashton turned around, shoulders pulled up and jaw clenched as he realized you just hit him with a snowball. You already had another one at the ready, and you could see the flash in his eyes as he dropped his shopping bags, reaching for the closest pile of snow.
“Oh no, you didn’t…” he gave you a grin, aiming at you.
“I think I just did!” you shouted at him, giggling as he missed hitting you with the snowball just by a few inches.
“I’m gonna get you, you can’t run away!” Ashton suddenly started running towards you, and you shrieked with laughter as he chased you through the park.
You felt his arms wrap around your waist, both of you crashing to the ground in a fit of giggles, trying to catch your breaths. His pupils were blown wide, lips slightly chapped but so kissable as he pushed himself up, looking at you like it was the first time. A second passed, maybe two, then he collapsed next to you on his back, giggling again.
“Told ya I’ll get you.”
“You still couldn’t hit me with a snowball,” you poked his side which made Ashton laugh even more.
“God, you hit my neck! It’s all the way down my shirt! I’m soaked!” he let out one last chuckle before looking at you.
“You can shower first when we get back,” you smiled at him and he just nodded. “We don’t want you to catch a cold.”
“Can we go back now?” Ashton pouted at you, pairing it with his best puppy dog eyes, and you stifled another laugh, sitting up.
“Sure,” you reached for his hand, none of you feeling the cold around you when your fingers touched. “Come on, Australia. Let’s go home.”
Someone started moving upstairs and both of you stopped in your tracks, listening to the sounds coming closer and closer to the stairs. A moment later you’ve heard a thump, and soon Bailey appeared next to you, stretching and yawning.
“Well, good morning to you too, boy,” Ashton reached down to give him an ear scratch, and Bailey nuzzled against his palm. “Is everything okay upstairs?”
The dog nudged Ashton’s knee before turning around and making his way to the door. Ashton leaned back to you, pressing a kiss on your cheek before nodding towards Bailey.
“I’ll let him outside. Don’t go anywhere.”
“Sure, hot stuff,” you chuckled, and Ash wiggled his eyebrows at you. “Bring him back for some biscuits!”
A few minutes later the dog was already back in the kitchen and you slid down from the counter, reaching for the treats he loved the most. You saw Ashton smiling as you crouched down to Bailey, petting his muzzle as he patiently waited for his treats. He nuzzled against your side before starting munching on the biscuits, taking them one by one from your palm.
“Who’s a good boy? Yes, yes you are, Bailey, you are a good boy,” you stroked his side as you talked to him, and Ashton joined you too, scratching his ear again.
“Did you know I’ve got him for you because you’ve told me you wanted a dog for Christmas?” Ashton caught your eyes over Bailey’s head, and you bit your bottom lip, blushing.
“I didn’t think you remembered,” you confessed. “I just thought it was a lucky coincidence.”
“No, I did remember. I’ve been waiting for the perfect time to get you a dog, and thought our first Christmas as the Irwins would be it. Of course, I didn’t know you were pregnant, in that case I would have thought about it twice, but I wasn’t about taking him to a shelter just because of that.”
“I’m still amazed you gave up your precious garden just so me and the boys could have a dog,” you gave the last biscuit to Bailey, and Ashton beamed, a blush on his cheeks.
“I love you. I love the boys. And I love Bailey. A garden is just a garden – but you’re my family, and I would do anything for you,” he squeezed your hand, and you tangled your fingers together.
“I couldn’t ask for more. And I love you too, Ash. So much.”
By the time Ashton got out of the shower your dinner had been brought up to your room, so he settled down next to you, knees slightly pressed together as you ate your food. A blanket was wrapped around his shoulders, and you joked if he was trying to protect himself from another snowball, for which he just stuck his tongue at you.
“Really funny, Y/N,” he rolled his eyes, a smile playing at the corner of his mouth.
“I do think it was funny,” you stifled your giggle, and he poked your knee with his finger, making you laugh even more.
“You’re still weird. I kinda like it,” he said, almost as an afterthought, but before you could react to that he already moved onto something else. “What about the cookie? Did they send that up for us as well?”
“No, that was actually me,” you confessed, and you suddenly felt a bit shy and embarrassed. “I would say it’s a peace offering, but– it’s a Christmas tradition in my family.”
“Now you have my attention,” Ashton put his elbow on his knee, resting his chin in his palm. “You’re gonna tell me?”
“Okay, traditionally it’s a Christmas apple not a cookie, but it was easier to get this one,” you started, pulling your legs under you. “They say that those who are together at Christmas and share an apple then they are all going to spend the next Christmas together too. It’s something my family has been saying and doing since forever, and… I mean, it’s Christmas Eve and we’re both here and not at home where we thought we will spend the holidays and…”
Ashton reached for your hand and squeezed it, tangling your fingers together. He gave you an encouraging smile, nodding a little to go on.
“I just thought that– that this could be something that we could do? Just a little piece of home while we’re here,” you mumbled, not really daring to look up at him. “It’s silly, I know. I’m being weird, I’m sor–”
“No! No,” Ashton turned towards you, thumb brushing over your cheek. “It’s really lovely. I really like the sentiment behind it.”
You felt your cheeks heat up and you quickly reached for the cookie, holding it up for Ashton. He grabbed the other half and broke it off, never looking at the baked good but at you, even when he brought it to his mouth to take a bite.
“So – does this mean you want to spend next year’s Christmas with me again?” he chuckled, munching on his cookie and you shrugged, a small smile pulling at your lips.
“Who knows, we might get stuck at the airport again. In that case it’s good to know I have someone who’s willing to share his room with me.”
“If we’re both in LA next year I’ll make sure to share a cookie with you at Christmas,” Ashton winked, his other hand still holding onto yours.
“Sounds like a promise,” you chuckled, taking another bite of your cookie.
It was around midnight when both of you found your ways to your shared bed after watching a tacky Christmas movie or two. Ashton was already wrapped in his blanket when you came back from the bathroom, slipping under your own sheets. He propped himself up, cheek resting against his palm as he looked at you and you turned towards him, blinking up at him.
“What would be your ultimate Christmas present?” he asked, voice soft and curious. “What is something you hope to find under the tree?”
“A dog, maybe,” you answered after some time, a smile pulling at the corner of your mouth and you saw Ashton mirroring you. “I miss having one. Would love to have someone waiting for me when the day is over.”
“Yeah, they have that effect on you,” he reached towards you, tucking a lock of hair behind your ear. “They are great company. I have one back in Australia – kinda miss little old Indie.”
“That’s a cute name. I would love to see them,” you rubbed your cheek against your pillow, getting comfortable. “What about you?”
“I have everything,” he chuckled, shaking his head. “The only thing I wish is to see my family. I really miss them, haven’t had the chance to go home since forever. I’m really lucky with my life and job, but family is family. They’ll always be on top on my list.”
“I’m sure we will be able to travel in a day or two. Snowstorms aren’t forever. You’ll be home before you know it,” your eyes moved to the window where you could still see the snow slowly falling. “And me too.”
“While I do miss being at home… right now I couldn’t ask for more,” Ashton whispered, and you knew there was something he wasn’t saying, something that you felt too.
“Me neither,” you shook your head with a smile, slowly closing your eyes. “Good night, Ash.”
“Remind me to show you a picture of Indie tomorrow,” he lightly chuckled, and you felt him brush another lock of hair away from your forehead. “Good night, Y/N. Merry Christmas.”
“Merry Christmas,” you mumbled, already drifting away.
You still heard Ashton quietly humming, something that sounded a lot like I’ll Be Home For Christmas, and you could swore you felt him moving a little closer before you fell asleep.
Morning found you with fingers lightly tangled together between the two of you, his touch warm and comforting, and – even in this strange city – feeling a lot like home.
» part 1 » part 2 » part 3 » part 4
@mymindwide @loveroflrh @sadistmichael @notinthesameguey @babylonashton @talkfastromance4 @dead-and-golden @fuckyeah5sostakemehome @karajaynetoday  @myfavfanficsever @myloverboyash @suchalonelysunflower @sexgodashton @rebelwith0utacause @creampiecashton @irwinkitten @allthestarsandthemoon @castaway-cashton @spicycal @wontlastimokwiththat @luckyduckydoo @sunshineeashton @2fangirl4u @talkfastdrummer @pastelbabygirl19 @istantommoandtpwk @perfectlieirwin @thesweetness-irwin-archive @c-a-l-m-hood @youngblood199456 @tiannaxox2 @caffeinecalum @fanficsandotherthings @melanindarling
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wisteriashouse · 4 months ago
a little jealousy.
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pairing: kamado tanjirou x sumiyuri hayami (oc)
genre: fluff; kimetsu academy!au
word count: 7429
remarks: another commission by @hinokami-s​!! honestly this one was a bit of a struggle trying to not make it too kdrama like but also with trying my hand with a new character who i don’t really know, so thank you for challenging me with this! i hope you enjoy it <3
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The stage lights dim all at once, adding a dramatic flair as the curtains fall - slowly concealing the scene of a young woman bleeding out on the floor and the man cradling her in his arms. The theatre is hushed except for the sound of gears and wheels turning to move the heavy curtains, the audience still reeling in shock over the twist in the plot and the bittersweet ending.
Well, except one person, perhaps.
“Ooh, is the next performance Hayami’s?” Nezuko whispers from next to him, nearly bouncing up and down in her seat with excitement. She hasn’t been able to concentrate much on the entire series of performances showcased by the other clubs at their school, too distracted by the prospect of the finale. Tanjirou only gives a fond smile and nods. Although he’s a lot more calm than Nezuko is, he can’t help but anticipate the next performance as well.
After all, Hayami is going to be the one performing.
“I’m so excited,” Nezuko gushes. “Hayami showed me a bit of what they were working on a while back, and it was already so cool!”
“Well, she is the president of the dance club,” Tanjirou reminds his sister. “Whatever it is, I’m sure it’ll be amazing.”
Even in the dim light of the auditorium, he can see Nezuko’s teasing little smirk. “Of course you would think so, brother, with your massive crush on Hayami-”
Tanjirou puts his hand over Nezuko’s mouth before his younger sister can blurt it out to the whole world. “Shush, Nezuko,” he tries to say, but Nezuko only laughs playfully, looking far too amused for a younger sister who’s bullying her dear older brother. “What if someone hears?”
“All the better! You’d have more reason to confess to Hayami then!”
“Nezuko, I swear-”
All the stage lights suddenly blink to life in unison, nearly blinding Tanjirou and making Nezuko squeal in excitement. “It’s starting! It’s starting! Wait, I need to get out my phone and take some videos for Instagram…”
Tanjirou, on the other hand, simply relaxes back into the plush seat of the performance hall, intent on watching the performance properly. It’s rare that he has free time like today, oftentimes being too busy with school, his part time job or his responsibilities at the family bakery to really enjoy himself like a regular high school student would. But Hayami had insisted, even going as far to offer both him and Nezuko free tickets in one of the front row seats, just so the two of them could have some fun and relax.
Well, when she had looked at him so excitedly, explaining all the different shows the performance clubs would be putting on, how could he possibly refuse her good intentions?
Lights flood the stage, the curtains falling to the sides to reveal a group of performers standing on the stage in various confidant poses, their silhouettes outlined against the glowing backdrop. All around them, the speakers start to blare a song - one that Tanjirou is quite sure he’s heard before, but isn’t entirely sure what it is - and it sends the entire audience into loud cheers.
“Oooh, Really Bad Boy by Red Velvet! I approve of this song choice!” Nezuko cheers, waving her phone in the air as the group breaks into a dance. Squinting against the bright lights, Tanjirou tries his best to concentrate on the performance, but he always finds his eyes roaming the performers, as if searching for someone…
“Sing along with us!”
Tanjirou looks up at the stage in surprise at the familiar voice, and his eyes widen when he sees Hayami standing at the very edge closest to him. There’s striking makeup done artfully on her face and she almost glows under the lights of the stage, a fierce yet ethereal aura radiating from her. The sight is almost enough to take Tanjirou’s breath away.
Just at that moment, Hayami glances down at the front row when Tanjirou looks up, and their gazes meet for the briefest of seconds. Hayami’s eyes gleam like fine cut amethysts, sparkling in the light, her platinum hair swinging out behind her in a high ponytail. And when their gazes meet in the middle, Hayami grins at him - a bright, unrestrained sight that has Tanjirou’s heart skipping in his chest.
“Brother, your blush is showing, you know!” Nezuko calls over the heavy bass coming over the speakers, and Tanjirou instantly clasps both hands over his cheeks, feeling slight heat along his palms. At his mortification, Nezuko only laughs harder, tears nearly escaping her eyes and raising her phone to his face. “You’re so cute, brother! Let me take a photo, I’m sure Hayami would love to see it.”
“No.” Tanjirou tries to make a grab for the phone but misses, and he hears the telltale click of Nezuko’s camera phone. With a long, drawn out sigh, he simply gives up and slumps back into his seat, resigned to watching the rest of the performance. There’s no stopping Nezuko when she’s in a playful mood like this, he thinks to himself with fond ruefulness. Well, he doesn’t really mind it, though…
The performance ends with a bang, and Tanjirou joins the audience in giving a standing ovation as the rest of the performers stream onto the stage for their final bow. And as confetti rains down from the ceiling, gold streamers and coloured paper dancing through the air, Tanjirou thinks that Hayami looks absolutely radiant.
As soon as the performance night is over and the performers have all retreated backstage, the audience begins streaming out of the halls, chattering excitedly about all the different shows that were put on that night. Tanjirou, on the other hand, remains firmly rooted to his seat, his bag held tightly to his chest as if he’s carrying glass with him.
“Hayami’s performance was so cool! God, if I knew how to dance I’d join her club right away - wait, I’m not even in high school yet. That’s fine, that’s fine. It just means that I have more time to learn how to dance,” Nezuko glances back to see her older brother not listening to her in the least, instead dedicating his attention to checking the contents of his bag carefully. Curious, she leans over to catch a glance. “What’s that?”
Tanjirou jumps at Nezuko’s question, before he relaxes slightly, chewing at his bottom lip with nerves. “Oh, nothing much. It’s just… um, some flowers.” Nezuko’s eyes widen in interest. Who knew her brother had a romantic bone in his body? “Zenitsu mentioned yesterday that it’s customary for other students to bring flowers for their friends who perform as congratulatory gifts, so I stopped by Kanae-san’s flower shop after school today to get some for her...”
Nezuko immediately reaches for his bag, and Tanjirou holds it high out of her reach, suddenly feeling embarrassed for no reason at all. “What flowers did you get her?” Nezuko chirps, waving her hands high in the air as she attempts to get a look. “Please don’t tell me you got her a head of cabbage or, god forbid, a broccoli flower. Knowing you, brother…”
“Hey! What’s that supposed to mean?”
Finally giving up on trying to get her hands on Tanjirou’s mystery bouquet, Nezuko only pouts and relents. “Well, since you’ve got flowers to give to Hayami, let’s head backstage! I know a few friends in the drama club who performed today, so they’ll let us in.” Tanjirou frowns a little at how excited his younger sister seems to be in his place.
“It’s almost as if you’re the one giving the flowers to Hayami,” he says. Nezuko beams at him.
“Of course I have to be involved on your behalf, brother!” She explains, her smile all too wide to be innocent, before she leans in to nudge his side and give him a subtle wink. “Just remember to mention me as your wingwoman during your speech on your wedding day, got it?”
Tanjirou groans.
Backstage is more chaotic than Tanjirou would have thought.
Even though the performance is already over, participants still rush to and fro different rooms, their arms laden with crumpled costumes or props, faces still done with dramatic stage makeup that looks rather strange in the lighting of the corridors. Nezuko leads Tanjirou down to where the dance club’s room is supposed to be, coaching him on how to present a girl properly with flowers with words of advice such as, “don’t do anything Zenitsu-san would do” and “brother, why didn’t you dress up a little for today’s performance”. After reassuring her for the third time that, no, he hadn’t let Inosuke chomp on his bouquet (although the boy had tried to earlier), Nezuko comes to a stop outside an unassuming room at the very end of the corridor.
The paper stuck on the door reads ‘dance club’, the blank spaces decorated with smiley faces and hearts in various doodling styles. He recognises the wink done in purple ink as one done by Hayami’s hand, and a slight smile touches his lips at the sight of it. He’s seen it many times before - left scrawled in the corner of his exercise books when he visits the maid cafe and on post-its during exam periods - so he recognises her handwriting almost instantly.
“Your hair is awful,” Nezuko complains, reaching out to flatten the top of his hair. His hair looks the same as it always has, but it apparently doesn’t quite pass Nezuko’s standards, so he’s forced to stand stock still with his sister trying to fix his hairdo as people walk by. “You could have thought to dress up a little for today, you know?”
Tanjirou frowns, confused. “For what occasion?”
“You, brother,” Nezuko says delicately as she arranges his bangs, “are so dumb sometimes.”
“What do you mean-”
“Unfortunately, that’s the best I can do right now, and we really need to get going before the dance club needs to leave.” Both hands on his shoulders, Nezuko steers him to the door of the dance club before shoving something into his hand. When he looks down, he’s surprised to see himself holding a bouquet of light purple lilies - when had Nezuko taken them from his bag? “Come on, brother! It’s time to shoot your shot! Make Hayami yours! Put a ring on her-”
“I am not proposing, wait, I’m not even confessing to her!” Tanjirou cries, suddenly panicked. Confessing? He doesn’t even know how she feels about him that way! “I’m just giving her some flowers, like Zenitsu told me to do-”
Behind the two of them, the door suddenly swings open.
“Hey, what’s with all the racket right outside our door? If you have something to say, just-” Tanjirou’s wide eyes meet Hayami’s, and for a moment, the two of them simply stare at each other in surprise. Hayami still hasn’t removed her stage makeup, her lips painted crimson red and bold eyeliner only accentuating her clear lilac eyes.
She looks stunning.
“Oh, Tanjirou, Nezuko, I was just about to go find the two of you myself!” Hayami is talking, but Tanjirou doesn’t really hear her words, a deer caught in the headlights and the lilies growing all too weighty in his hands. “I hope you guys liked the performance! We had to rush to change the formations today since one of the members got sick, so I hope it wasn’t too noticeable.”
“I didn’t even notice, that was amazing!” Nezuko smiles, reaching out to squeeze Hayami’s hands reassuringly. “I really loved the performance, and all the song choices! Keep a spot for me in the team when I finally get to high school, yeah? Or better yet, how about you teach me dance? You were so cool today, I really want to be able to dance like that in the future!”
“Oh, it’s nothing much,” Hayami says bashfully, twirling a lock of platinum hair around her finger. Tanjirou catches a hint of a rosy blush on her cheeks. So cute... “I’m sure you’ll be able to do it if you just try!”
Next to him, Nezuko nudges him in the side and gives the flowers in his hands a meaningful look.
“Oh, right,” Tanjirou fumbles over his words, mind seemingly blank. Flowers. “Uhm, Zenitsu said that I should bring flowers as a congratulatory gift when there are friends performing, so…” He holds out the bouquet, and Hayami’s eyes widen in surprise, seemingly noticing it for the first time. Tanjirou can feel his own cheeks burning. “You looked amazing on the stage today, Hayami.”
Hayami looks down at the small bouquet of lilies in his hands for a moment, before she breaks out into an incandescent smile, almost too bright for Tanjirou to look at. “Thank you,” she says, reaching out to take the bouquet. “I’ll take care of them-”
Right before Hayami can take the bouquet, a taller figure sweeps past Tanjirou with long, confident strides - making a beeline straight towards Hayami - and plops a massive bouquet of red roses into her outstretched hands. “For you!”
He’s tall, taller than Hayami, with dark hair and matching eyes that shine with mirth. His ears are pierced with little black hoops. Tanjirou thinks he’s seen him around a few times before, constantly surrounded by different people while he remains the nucleus of the conversation. Who is he? From his athletic build and height to the easy way he carries himself, light on the balls of his feet… a sports player, perhaps?
“Hey!” Nezuko protests, possibly indignant at watching her brother’s future romantic relations being ruined on the spot, but Tanjirou doesn’t notice, eyes fixed on the newcomer with a furrowed brow. While Tanjirou normally tries to be patient and polite with everyone he meets (save for his first meeting with Inosuke, but to be fair, the boy had thought that Nezuko had stolen something from him), but he can’t help the strange awkwardness he feels around the taller boy. A little rude, but he seems to know Hayami, so…
“Ginjiro, you shouldn’t have,” Hayami lets out a sigh as she looks over at the bouquet. Her fingertips trace the velvet petals. “How much did this cost? A kidney on the black market?”
“Not quite, but close enough!” The boy, Ginjiro, grins wolfishly at her. There’s a sort of… easygoing, unruly charm to him that Tanjirou can’t quite put his finger on, but he can see why the boy is so popular. “Ninety-nine whole Ecuadorian roses! I’m sure you know what that number means, my dear Hayami.”
Hayami rolls her eyes, shaking her head, but she doesn’t look very put off by his blatant flirting, much to Tanjirou’s surprise and slight unease.
“Ninety nine roses… doesn’t that mean eternal love? Usually given to romantic partners…” Nezuko mutters from behind him, and Tanjirou feels his heart drop in his chest. His sister turns to Hayami, eyes wide with shock. “Hayami, don’t tell me this… guy is your boyfriend?”
“No,” Hayami says flatly, just as Ginjiro sings, “Not yet!” and proceeds to laugh merrily as if he hasn’t just declared his intentions to date Hayami in front of them all. To Tanjirou’s shock, Hayami simply sighs and places a hand on her forehead before turning back to him.
“Ignore him, he’s an idiot.” Hayami tells Tanjirou, attempting a smile to lighten the mood. Try as he might, however, Tanjirou just can’t seem to bring himself to give a genuine one in return. “Let me take those flowers from you. I’m really grateful that you made the time to come today, I know how busy you are at the bakery.”
Even as she does take the flowers from him, Tanjirou can’t help but feel that his lilies are dwarfed in comparison by Ginjiro’s scarlet bouquet, crimson red overpowering the delicate lilac. Tanjirou isn’t one to feel ashamed of his family’s financial situation, but in times like this… he can’t help but feel uncomfortable with the wealth displayed in front of him. And for Hayami to not even bat an eyelash, but seem so completely unimpressed...
The gap between him and Hayami seems to grow just a little wider.
“Anyways, I booked a table at the rooftop restaurant you like, just for the two of us,” Ginjiro continues, without giving Tanjirou a single second to speak. “Let’s go hang out, you’ve been so busy the past few weeks… it’s as if I haven’t seen your face at all for months! I am feeling extremely neglected.”
“It’s because I’ve been busy with planning the dance performance,” Hayami retorts with a shake of the head. “Besides, didn’t you just crash the Student Council meeting yesterday just to steal some snacks off me? Don’t lie about neglect, you little ass.”
“What?” Ginjiro puts a hand over his chest, batting his eyelashes so furiously Tanjirou wonders if they’ll fall off. “You know it’s because I missed you, Hayami dear.”
Tanjirou does not know how to act - not when another man is so clearly vying for Hayami’s attention. If he were making Hayami uncomfortable in any way, Tanjirou would have been more than happy to see him off, but Hayami seems to know him, and actually seems… rather close to him.
It makes Tanjirou slightly uncomfortable.
“Oh right, Tanjirou, Nezuko, you haven’t met Ginjiro before, have you?” Hayami says. Stiffly, Tanjirou nods in agreement, but Nezuko pipes up.
“You’re Sato Ginjiro, aren’t you? Captain of the basketball club? I heard Zenitsu complaining about him before, saying that he’s too popular with the girls.” She mutters, folding her arms over her chest and Ginjiro grins widely as Hayami only rolls her eyes. “He’s got quite a… reputation.”
As if trying to ease the awkwardness in the air, Hayami only gives a placating smile, stepping between the two of them. “Right, that’s Ginjiro for you. He’s one of my friends from back since middle school, but he can be overbearing sometimes.” Ginjiro gives a dramatic gasp, acting offended, which Hayami pays no attention to. She then gestures at the siblings, eyes softening slightly as they fall on Tanjirou. “Ginjiro, these are Tanjirou and Nezuko, both dear friends of mine. Nezuko is Tanjirou’s younger brother, still in high school, so you might not have seen her around before. I hope that you all get along.”
That might be a little difficult, Tanjirou’s lips press together uneasily. Nezuko, who’s far more vocal about her opinions, pouts openly. “I don’t want to-”
“Wow, didn’t know that even the middle school kids knew about me,” Ginjiro laughs, and out of the corner of his eye, Tanjirou catches Nezuko making a face. “Only good things, I hope?”
“Hmph, just so that you know, Hayami-” Nezuko begins, but before she can say any more, Tanjirou tugs at her arm lightly, stopping her words in her tracks.
“We should be leaving first, we need to catch the last bus home before it’s too late.” Tanjirou interjects quickly, giving Hayami and Ginjiro an apologetic smile that seems just a hint forced. Nezuko looks like she wants to argue, but a stern look from her older brother has her falling quiet. “I hope you enjoy your dinner later.”
Ginjiro doesn’t seem to notice the tightness of Tanjirou’s mouth nor the reason behind Nezuko’s sulking, only grinning in response. “Oh yeah, we definitely will! The restaurant is a Michelin star that Hayami’s been wanting to try for ages, so I had to tip the receptionist extra to get a reservation. Still,” he winks at Hayami, who only sighs in response, “anything for my dearest Hayami, don’t you think?”
“You’re always like this,” Hayami complains, and Ginjiro laughs, oblivious to the siblings’ discomfort. It feels as though they’re intruding, and Tanjirou would hate to do that if Hayami really did have feelings for her, well, long time friend. Turning to Tanjirou and Nezuko, Hayami frowns a little. “Sorry, I intended on spending some time with the two of you after the performance, but the restaurant’s booking is really, really expensive…”
“It’s no problem.” The words taste wooden in Tanjirou’s mouth but he forces them out, along with the reassuring smile on his face. “I’ll see you next Monday at school, then.”
Ginjiro steps forward, his ever present grin on his face as he extends a hand to Tanjirou. “It was nice meeting you.” As Tanjirou grasps his hand to shake, he swears that Ginjiro squeezes just a little harder than what would be polite. His smile seems more reminiscent of a smirk now. Tanjirou has to bite back a slight wince. “Hope to see you around, buddy.”
He doesn’t sound like he means what he says.
“Let’s go, Nezuko.” With a last wave at Hayami, Tanjirou turns on his heel and walks away from the two of them, Nezuko hurrying to catch up with her brother’s longer strides. Behind them, Hayami bites her bottom lip, wondering what on earth has just happened in front of her earlier. For her own sanity, it would probably be a good idea to keep Ginjiro and Tanjirou very far apart...
“So, shall we get going, darling Hayami?” Ginjiro turns around to look at Hayami, who quickly banishes the pensive expression on her face. Yes, Ginjiro might be an ass and his flirting might be overbearing at times (all the time), but he’s still one of her good friends, and he’s done so much for her too. With a sigh, she can only shake her head. “Don’t bully Tanjirou, okay?”
Ginjiro shrugs airily. “I have no idea what you’re talking about.” Reaching out, he tugs at her wrist. “Come on, let’s go! They have these artisanal doughnuts that I am absolutely dying for you to try… And of course, it’s my treat!”
Hayami allows Ginjiro to pull her by the hand to his car, but for the rest of the night she can’t help but think of the slightly bitter expression on Tanjirou’s face as he walked away earlier, and how she’s never seen him make such a face before. Slight worry builds up in her as she wonders if she’s done something to upset the ever placid Tanjirou, and Hayami makes up her mind to ask him about it come Monday.
But for now, even the doughnuts don’t taste as sweet.
Hayami does not get to ask Tanjirou anything come Monday, mainly because Ginjiro does not seem to have any intention of leaving her side and giving her and Tanjirou some alone time. The second her classes are over, Ginjiro appears at the door to walk her to the next, chattering to her excitedly about his new modelling gig and whatnot, and Hayami is far too polite to interrupt when he’s talking about something he’s clearly so passionate about.
It doesn’t help that Ginjiro is suddenly being a lot more…. flirty than usual, with an abundance of sweet and suggestive words paired with a lot of indecent hands that she’s had to slap away. She’s used to this sort of behaviour from Ginjiro, having known him for so long, but today seems more… excessive. Hayami doesn’t know what exactly is up with the boy.
Out of the corner of her eye, she can sometimes see a head of chestnut hair lingering behind pillars or around the bends at corridors, but the second she tries to approach it, Ginjiro either steers her attention away, or the person she’s increasingly desperate to talk to vanishes of his own volition. Tanjirou can’t possibly be avoiding her, can he? Worry gnaws at her insides, even as she sits down to have lunch with Ginjiro in the canteen.
What if he really doesn’t like Ginjiro?
Looking down at her food, Hayami chews on her bottom lip. Today morning has killed her appetite completely, to the point she almost doesn’t feel like eating anything. Still, she already skipped breakfast because she overslept, and it wouldn’t be healthy to miss two meals in a row…
Taking her hesitation for dislike, Ginjiro nudges her in the shoulder. “What’s the matter? Don’t like your bento today?” Hurriedly, Hayami shakes her head, moving to pick up her chopsticks.
“Oh, no, no, I was just spacing out,” she says, but Ginjiro only raises an eyebrow, the perceptive little bastard.
“Well, I have some strawberry mochi here for you, if you want something for your sweet tooth,” Ginjiro smiles, picking up the sweet and holding it up to her lips. Hayami stares at him with an exasperated face, but Ginjiro doesn’t let up. “Come on, Hayami dear. Say ahh-”
“Here, have some takoyaki, Hayami,” someone interrupts all of a sudden, and Hayami looks down to see a round octopus ball being put on her bento. Glancing up in surprise, Hayami is shocked to see the very person that she’s been trying to find all day - Tanjirou. If Tanjirou notices how shocked she is, he doesn’t mention it, only sliding into the seat next to her with his usual placid smile on his face. “I made that this morning myself. Try some and tell me what you think.”
“W-Where’s Inosuke and Zenitsu?” Why is she stuttering? “Don’t you usually have lunch with them?”
“Zenitsu had to go for remedials with Rengoku-sensei, and Inosuke wanted to try catching some of the fish in the school pond,” Tanjirou tells her calmly as he sets down his bento next to hers. Vaguely, Hayami wonders if she should inform Aoi about this so that the discipline council can stop the boar headed boy before the fish meet their ill fates, but then decides it’s better to pretend she never knew about it in the first place. Ignorance is bliss, after all. “Since I was left alone, I thought that I should join you for lunch, Hayami.” Tanjirou smiles politely at Ginjiro, who’s wearing an unusually stoic expression. “I didn’t expect you to be here, Ginjiro-san. I hope you don’t mind me intruding.”
“Not at all,” Ginjiro replies before Hayami can. Although he’s still wearing an easygoing smile, it’s one that he wears around prospective business clients he doesn’t like or when he meets with Hayami’s parents - not a genuine one in the least. “Please, feel free to sit with us. It wouldn’t be right of me to be possessive over a girl I’m not dating yet, would it?”
At Ginjiro’s goading tone, both boys’ eyes lock and Hayami feels electricity rise in the air, static prickling along her skin. Awkwardly, she picks up the takoyaki and puts it in her mouth. It does taste good, but she can’t really enjoy the savoury flavour when this is happening right in front of her.
“Right, just as it wouldn’t be to be possessive over friends, like you and Hayami. Don’t you agree?” Tanjirou says calmly, reaching for his sandwich. Ginjiro’s eye twitches at Tanjirou’s provocative words, but he keeps his cool. Hayami doesn’t understand what is going on.
“That’s true, although Hayami and I are more than just friends,” Ginjiro answers. Hayami frowns, opening her mouth to clarify Ginjiro’s words, but Tanjirou cuts across before she can answer.
“Oh? The two of you must be so close that she sees you as a brother, then. That’s really admirable.”
“You too. Hayami always tells me about how you take care of her like how you take care of your younger sister.”
At a total loss to what’s happening, Hayami slumps back in her seat, feeling the beginnings of a migraine coming on. Watching the two of them take verbal snipes at each other is somehow even less pleasant than watching her parents squabble, so she only gives up and shakes her head, letting them duke it out on their own terms.
Men, she thinks with a sigh. Hopefully, this will wear off by the end of the week.
Much to Hayami’s exhaustion, it doesn’t end there.
As if that little meeting had only spurred on their competitive urge, Ginjiro and Tanjirou both have started acting very differently from what they’re usually like. On one hand, Ginjiro has turned unbearably flirty, constantly dropping suggestive one liners and his hands somehow always finding their way to her in Tanjirou’s presence. On the other hand, Tanjirou has become excessively helpful whenever Ginjiro is around, offering to help her carry books or papers between classes. While his altruistic personality is something that Hayami has always admired, this goes far beyond what she’s used to.
Ginjiro and Tanjirou only act like this in each other’s presences, though, so Hayami works out that there must be some sort of tension between them - whether they’ve fought before or they just don’t like each others’ faces, Hayami doesn’t know. All she knows is that she doesn’t like being caught in the middle of this.
Which is why she will try her best to avoid having both of them meet, instead choosing to only hang out with one of them at the time. Today, Tanjirou has offered to help her clean the student council room (after Aoi had accidentally let this slip in the corridors), hence here they are, Hayami finally getting to enjoy Tanjirou’s presence for the first time in the entire week.
It’s already the end of the week, and Hayami realises that this is the first time she’s managed to get Tanjirou alone… without Ginjiro butting in some way or another.
When he’s not trying to one up Ginjiro at whatever little game they’re playing, Tanjirou’s presence is as soothing as a gentle summer breeze on a hot day. Instead of being overbearingly nice, with those strange half smiles and hard eyes directed at Ginjiro, his mouth is tilted in a slight, content smile as he wipes at the desk with a cloth, pausing occasionally to sweep his chestnut hair back from his forehead.
“Hayami, you missed a spot here,” Tanjirou points at the corner of the window, and Hayami startles out of her thoughts, suddenly very aware that she was staring. Quickly, she hurries to bring her cloth to the area, but finds it too high for her to reach. Her height has failed her.
Moving to stand on her tiptoes, she tries again, the cloth just inches from the spot of dust on the window. Slightly embarrassed now, Hayami turns to Tanjirou and gives him the most pitiful expression she can muster. The boy’s laugh is gentle, and the sound makes Hayami’s heart flutter in her chest.
“It’s no problem,” Tanjirou tells her, moving towards the back of the room. “I’ll just grab a stepladder from the storage room that we can use.”
“Thanks, Tanjirou!” Hayami calls after him, smiling. Right, this is the pleasant, well mannered Tanjirou that she knows.
“Hey, Hayami-chan, cleaning the council room again?”
At the sound of Ginjiro’s voice, Hayami has to bite back a groan, forcing a suitable smile onto her face as she turns around to face her friend. As usual, one of his hands comes up to rest on her shoulder and she has to fight the urge to bat it away. What is he doing here?
“Yeah, I was rostered for cleanup today since I drew the short end of the stick at the last council meeting. And you,” she pokes his shoulder hard with a finger to emphasize her point, “are not supposed to be in the student council room without express permission from a teacher. Who did you get caught by the last time you were in here, Shinazugawa-sensei?”
Ginjiro’s unflappable grin falters a little at that, looking more like a wince now. “That man chased me all the way to the school gates, I swear my ass was black and blue by the time he let me go.” Hayami rolls her eyes. “ ‘sides, I saw you cleaning the windows from the ground floor and thought I’d give you a hand. Aren’t I perfect boyfriend material?”
Hayami scoffs, fighting the urge to smack him. When on earth will he cool it with the flirty lines?
“Perfect pervert material, more like. It’s your own fault for giving yourself such an awful reputation for peeping.” Shaking her head, Hayami busies herself wringing out the cloth in her hands before returning her attention to the window behind her. When she does, however, she spots Tanjirou standing there with a stepladder in his hands, lips drawn into a tight line as he stares down Ginjiro.
He does not look pleased to see the older boy there.
As if noticing him for the first time, Ginjiro raises a hand in greeting before Hayami can intervene, a sly smile growing on his lips. “Hey, Tanjirou! Coincidence seeing you here.”
“Coincidence, much?” Hayami mumbles under her breath, exasperated. Can they please just let off for five minutes and let her clean her windows in peace? Shaking her head, she turns around to face the window so that she doesn’t have to look at either of them. Why can’t she just reach that spot?
“It’s a coincidence seeing you here too, Ginjiro-san.” Tanjirou’s voice is clipped. “I was just helping Hayami clean the student council room today. What are you doing here?”
You’re not supposed to be here, Hayami can hear the underlying meaning to his words. And while she does agree that Ginjiro really needs to stop sneaking into the student council room as and when he likes, Hayami feels like Tanjirou is being a little too hostile towards her friend.
“Oh, I was just coming by to ask Hayami something, but I guess I could help with the cleaning too.” To Hayami’s surprise, the cloth in her hands is suddenly plucked out of her grasp. Turning around, she sees Ginjiro standing there with a grin. “Here, let me help you out. I’m perfect boyfriend material, remember?”
Hayami is about to argue that Tanjirou is right there with a stepladder, but Ginjiro is already leaning forward to wipe at the window without giving her any time to move out of the way. As a result, Hayami ends up caught between the glass panes of the window and Ginjiro’s front, far too close for her liking.
“I can’t believe that for all your height, you’re still shorter than me,” Ginjiro teases in a sing-song voice, leaning over to wipe at the window. Part of her swears that he’s doing this on purpose, the little bastard. Hayami scowls, pushing at his chest with both hands in annoyance.
“Wait, Ginjiro,” Hayami snaps, patience quickly running out. “Get out of the way and let me out before-”
There’s a sudden crash behind both of them, and Ginjiro and Hayami whirl around to see Tanjirou standing there with a tense expression on his face. The stepladder lies at his feet, but he makes no move to pick it up.
For a moment, Hayami wonders if Tanjirou might say something unkind - the look on his face is truly something to behold. Tanjirou’s usually good at controlling his emotions (how else would he be able to put up with both Inosuke and Zenitsu at the same time), but this time, he doesn’t seem to be faring as well at reigning in his emotions. Ginjiro, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to notice just how much he’s managed to rile Tanjirou up, instead slinging one arm over Hayami’s shoulder.
“Right, Hayami, I wanted to ask if you’d like to come over to my house later after this. I’ve got some problems with literature homework, I just don’t get Macbeth.” Grinning, he nudges Hayami in the side. “We can catch a movie after, too. Sounds nice, doesn’t it? It’s a weekend tomorrow, and I’m sure your parents wouldn’t mind if you slept over at my house for the night.”
“I-” Hayami begins to say, but is interrupted by Tanjirou.
“Hayami usually comes over to my house on Friday nights, so I don’t think she’ll be able to go with you,” Tanjirou says tersely. Hayami frowns. She was about to say that herself, sure, but the fact that Tanjirou is speaking for her instead leaves her indignant. Hayami can speak for herself. “My mother’s already cooked for her, and besides,” he turns to her, “Nezuko misses you too. She says she hasn’t seen you for the entire week. Hanako, Shigeru, Rokuta, especially.”
Well, Hayami has been busy planning the next dance performance - it’s competition season for the performing arts, so she hasn’t had the time to go over to Tanjirou’s house as often as she likes. Still-
“Masako misses you too,” Ginjiro interjects, before Hayami can get a word in once more. “You know how my little sister is, she adores you. Besides, you’ve known my family longer, haven’t you? You should come with me, I’m sure you can visit Tanjirou’s family another day.”
At that statement, Hayami can feel her temper starting to rise. For Ginjiro to claim that his sister misses her is one thing, but to bring up their friendship to strong-arm Tanjirou’s aside is a huge no-no for her.
“What exactly,” Tanjirou’s voice is completely level, and Hayami nearly has to bite back a shiver at his cold tone, “are you trying to imply here, Sato Ginjiro?”
She’s never heard Tanjirou like that before.
Ginjiro scoffs, shaking his head, that easygoing smile dropping to reveal a face full of seething jealousy. “Look here, Kamado, you’re the one who brought up the topic of family first. As if you weren’t trying to manipulate Hayami into visiting your house for your own gain-”
At the sound of Hayami snapping, both boys immediately shut up. Hayami’s arms are folded over her chest, teeth gritted, and she pauses a moment to take a deep breath before she starts laying it all on the two of them.
“The two of you have been unbearable this entire week! I don’t care about whatever is going on between the two of you, but don’t you drag me into this! I already have my own issues with the dance performance coming up, and my parents,” she has to fight back tears at this point, the words simply spilling out of her as if a dam has broken somewhere inside of her, “are coming home sometime next week! I’m already massively stressed, and I don’t need the two of you adding on to it! So if the two of you aren’t done with your petty little argument, then I’m leaving first!”
With that, she storms out of the student council room, too angry and tired from her little rant to think too much about what she’s just said. Behind her, Ginjiro and Tanjirou stare after her back in shock at her little outburst, too stunned to respond.
Out of nowhere, the shrill sound of a ringtone fills the air between the two of them. Ginjiro fumbles to pick up his phone, pressing it to his ear.
“Masako? Yeah, yeah… I’ll buy some sushi for you on the way home. You’re hungry right now? Alright, I’m coming…” When he hangs up, Ginjiro gives Tanjirou a look out of the corner of his eye, the air between them so thick with awkwardness Tanjirou thinks he could choke on it.
“Okay, look, man, I shouldn’t have said what I said earlier.” Ginjiro says all of a sudden, words stilted as he fumbles with them. Tanjirou looks at him in surprise for a moment, before he sighs and relents.
“I get it. For what it’s worth, I’m… sorry for what’s been happening the past week.” Ginjiro gives an awkward laugh in response, before moving towards the door.
“Well, I gotta go now, so…” He purses his lips, glancing over at the Hayami’s bag on the table. “Could you take that to Hayami and tell her I’m sorry?”
“I got it.” Tanjirou watches as Ginjiro makes a face, as if he wants to say something, but he apparently decides against it and simply leaves without another word. Once left alone in the student council room, Tanjirou runs a hand through his hair and lets out a long, heavy exhale. What exactly came over him just now?
Regardless of whatever it was, it was still unacceptable behaviour for him, and Tanjirou knows that he needs to apologise. With a sigh, he picks up Hayami’s bag and moves towards the door, intent on clearing up this mess before he heads home for the day.
She’s nowhere to be seen, but Tanjirou has a feeling that he knows just where she is.
Walking out of the school gates, he makes his way towards a small neighbourhood playground nearby. And sure enough, beneath the large cedar tree that flourishes there, he sees Hayami sitting beneath it with her knees drawn to her chest, her chin resting on her knees. Her hair is undone, and slightly messy from where she must have run her fingers through it in frustration.
Tanjirou feels awful, but he continues to step towards her. If Hayami notices his presence, she doesn’t say anything, not even when Tanjirou moves to take a seat beside her, but neither does she tell him to leave her alone. He decides to see that as a positive.
“Your bag,” Tanjirou offers, setting down her bag next to her. Peeking up, Hayami gives the bag a look before she buries her face in her knees again.
“Thanks.” Short and curt. But not… angry. That sends relief flooding through Tanjirou, and gives him the courage to do what he came here to do.
“I’m sorry,” he offers meekly, but his words and intentions are genuine. For a moment, Hayami doesn’t respond, but eventually she seems to relax just a little before she speaks.
“Yeah, I’m sorry too… for blowing up like that.”
Tanjirou winces as he recalls Hayami’s anger on full display. “Well, we deserved it,” he tells her honestly, and Hayami turns her head so that she can pin him with a stare.
“I don’t blame you for being so tense, Ginjiro is unbearable at times and I completely understand that.” Tanjirou can’t help but nod along as Hayami speaks. “But I really didn’t know why you weren’t just… I don’t know, ignoring his antics or whatever! Surely you know better than to play into his hands?”
Tanjirou presses his lips into a line as he thinks about all the times during this past week that Ginjiro has put his hands on Hayami, or tried to monopolize her time, and the same, irksome feeling rises up in him once more. Ah, Tanjirou’s eyes widen in realisation. It was-
When he glances up, Hayami is still looking at him, waiting for an answer. However, Tanjirou can only give a slight smile, and shakes his head.
“Sorry,” he says. “I don’t know what came over me. It won’t happen again.”
“I hope it doesn’t,” Hayami huffs, but Tanjirou can tell that she’s calmed down now. Both of them sit in silence for a moment, until Tanjirou feels something tugging gently at his sleeve. Turning around, he looks at Hayami, who’s glancing away towards the playground where the children are running about, the sounds of their laughter filling the air. There’s slight colour dancing along her cheeks, but Tanjirou can’t tell whether it’s from the light of the setting sun or something else...
“Still,” she begins to say, looking slightly hesitant, and Tanjirou tilts his head to the side as he waits for her to continue. “Still… Can we go to your house for dinner? I mean, it’s like you said, I miss Rokuta and Hanako, and the rest of them as well…”
Tanjirou laughs. “Of course we can. You’re always welcome at my home, remember?” Rising to his feet, he extends one hand to Hayami. “Come on, Hayami.”
Hayami blinks at his hand before she reaches out to take it. Her fingers wrap around his calloused ones, and he hoists her to her feet. “We should hurry. Mother cooked takoyaki and karaage for dinner tonight, so if we don’t hurry, Nezuko and Takeo will eat them all.”
Hayami’s eyes widen at the sound of Kie’s home cooking waiting for her. “What? Why didn’t you tell me?” Tightening her hold on Tanjirou’s hand, she pulls him down the road towards his house. “Let’s go! Let’s go!”
Tanjirou only smiles, and follows Hayami with slower, steadier steps as she practically skips down the road. Although this storm has blown over without much incident, Tanjirou is more than aware that these affections for Hayami will only continue to grow with the passing of time.
He really should tell Hayami about these feelings that he has for her soon.
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pucksnsticksnhockeyboys · 11 months ago
summertime mindset - epilogue
date night & declarations
masterlist for summertime mindset
Timing is hard to get right and summer doesn’t last forever. You and Tyson learn the hard way.
word count: 2.2k
note from the writer: it’s finally over. also Come On Eileen just came on while im writing this rn which was mentioned no less than twice in this series is this a sign. anyways, hope you enjoy and let me know what you think!
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“Close your eyes.”
“Tyson, if you let me trip.” You warned, a slightly nervous chuckle falling past your lips. Tyson laughed loudly, and you smiled at the sound. It was date night, apparently, and he had something set up somewhere. You assumed your aunt’s backyard, because Michael had been tasked with keeping you out of the house. As much as you loved your cousin’s boyfriend, he was not subtle at all, and about fifteen minutes into grabbing ice cream with him, you realized something was up.
So when Michael went to drop you off at your aunt’s house and you found Tyson standing in the driveway, you weren’t totally shocked. He was dressed nice, a pair of jeans and a sweater you had never seen him in before. Even his hair was styled. When you pulled into the driveway, he opened your door, gave you a kiss, handed you the bouquet of flowers, and told you to close your eyes.
“C’mon, just do it.” He grinned, holding your free hand. Out of the corner of your eye, you saw Rachel and Kacey looking out the window of your aunt’s living room, both giving you a thumbs up. Michael had already slipped inside, so with one last teasing glare at Tyson, you complied. “We’re going out back.” He explained, though you could tell that from the direction he was leading you.
“What do you have planned, Jost?” You teased, trying to focus on your footsteps and not tripping on anything, but it was a little difficult when your head felt as light as it did when Tyson squeezed your hand and laughed as melodic as he did.
“No peeking!” He told you instead of answering your question, and you held your tongue, knowing that you were not going to win this battle. You let him lead you further into your aunt’s backyard, and you realized he was taking you to the gazebo at the end of the yard. Tyson finally stopped walking you, and moved to stand beside you, his hand held tightly in yours still. “Okay, open your eyes.”
You did as you were told, and your eyes immediately widened in shock. The gazebo had been decorated with fairy lights and candles, and in the center there was a table completely set with what looked to be a homemade meal. It took you a moment to take in everything, how good it looked and how moved you were that he had put so much effort into it.
“Tyson…” You trailed off, at a loss for words. Instead of saying anything, you turned to face him, wrapping him in a tight hug that he readily returned. You pressed a kiss to his cheek as you pulled back, eager to investigate the set up closer. 
“Kacey helped me cook, and Rachel helped with the decorations. It was my idea, though.” Tyson said, a little nervously, as he watched your reaction. He hoped that you wouldn’t think it was too much, but he had wanted to do something special for you, and his sister had suggested the dinner idea.
“If Kacey helped cook, then it’s probably edible.” You teased, throwing him a mischievous grin that had his heart stopping in his chest with how much he adored you. On the table, there was an empty glass vase, with some water in the bottom, so you placed the bouquet Tyson had gotten you there.
“I’ve been told I’m a great cook.” Tyson defended playfully, easily falling into your typical light banter despite his nerves. Despite the teasing, he pulled out your chair for you like the gentleman his mom had raised him to be.
“It doesn’t count if your mom told you that.” You rolled your eyes with a grin, watching as Tyson settled into his own chair across from you. He didn’t respond with anything other than a chuckle, and you watched as he nervously studied your face. “Tyson?”
“Do you like it?” He blurted out, one hand gesturing to the table and decorations. You creased your brow together in confusion, but seconds later you realized why he was so nervous. He was afraid that he’d done too much and would scare you off.
“I love it, Tys.” You reached across the short table to set your hand on top of his. He relaxed at this, and lifted your hand up so he could kiss the back of it with an easy grin. Your simple words were enough to calm him down, and you briefly reveled in the fact that you were able to have such an effect on him. “But what’s the occasion?”
“Just ‘cause I really like you.” He assured you, his broad grin on full display. Your heart stuttered in your chest, despite the fact that it was far from the first time he had told you that. You had a feeling that it was far from the last time he’d tell you that, too, and thought made you smile wider. You chuckled breathily at him, eyes dancing across the lights that were around the gazebo before finally settling on Tyson. He was smiling fondly at you, and you knew that you would be perfectly content to sit there for the rest of life, as long as he looked at you like he was.
“Didn’t realize you were such a romantic, Jost.” You chirped, but his response was quick and easy, as if he had spent a lifetime in preparation for this moment.
“Only for you.”
“We’re engaged!”
You beamed at Rachel, standing up from the lawn chair you had been perched in while watching Tyson play a game of modified spike ball with your younger cousins. You had been waiting for Rachel and Michael to return from their drive, knowing he had been planning to propose. He had, after all, asked you for Rachel’s ring size and help with planning everything.
“It’s gorgeous, Rach.” You cooed, stepping back to let your various extended family members that had come to your aunt’s for a family barbecue to crowd around Rachel. She shot you a grateful smile before turning to entertain your Great Aunt Ida’s various questions. Tyson approached, then, clapping a hand on Michael’s shoulder and his other arm winding around your waist.
“Congrats, Mikey.” Tyson grinned. You smiled at your boyfriend and soon to be cousin, glad they were able to easily rekindle their friendship after you got back with Tyson.
“You two are next!” Your aunt shouted in glee, pointing to you and Tyson. You flushed, chuckling out of nerves. Rachel elbowed her mother for her comment, but you felt Tyson’s arm tighten around you. Luckily, your grandma asked Rachel a question about her future wedding that had everyone in a tizzy, so you were out of the hot seat.
“Beer?” Tyson asked quietly, and you nodded, ducking away from your crowd of family members and towards the coolers. Your mind was elsewhere as you went through the motions of taking a sip of your fresh drink. Specifically, your mind was wandering years into the future, to your relationship with Tyson, and how maybe then you’d be in the same position as Rachel and Michael.
Tyson sat in the Adirondack chair you had previously occupied, and gently tugged you down so you were seated comfortingly on his lap. You leaned back into his chest, distantly paying attention to one of your younger cousins explaining the rules for whatever game he was making up. You turned to face your boyfriend when he squeezed the arm that had been wrapped comfortingly around you, finding him already watching you with a soft and caring look in his eyes.
“Hm?” You hummed, searching his face for whatever he would’ve wanted to tell you, only coming up short in the few moments he said nothing. A grin broke out across his face, one less mischievous than you were used to seeing.
Your fingers subconsciously started toying with the braided friendship bracelet on Tyson’s wrist. It was a new one, since the first one was years old and the string had snapped during one practice. He had gotten upset, genuinely distraught that one of the first gifts you had gotten him had broken. You assured him it was okay, and made him a new one with the colors of the Colorado Avalanche.
“That’s gonna be us someday.” He said, wordlessly gesturing to Rachel and Michael who were still being questioned by your family. Your heart stopped beating in your chest all together, a wide smile on your face at the sureness he spoke with. “Maybe not next, ‘cause,” He paused, nodding his head in the direction of your thirteen year old cousin who had invited the girl he liked from school to the barbeque. “little man’s got game.” You laughed at this, feeling Tyson’s eyes heavy on you the whole time. Calming down, you returned Tyson’s soft smile.
“Someday, then.” You told him quietly. He nodded brightly, before leaning forward to press a quick kiss to your cheek, before kissing the other, and then finally landing one on your lips. He didn’t move back far, choosing to mumble his next words against your lips.
“Someday it is.”
As if you were always meant to, you spent the rest of the warm summer evening in Tyson’s arms. He joked with your family and you chirped him alongside his sister, and all the while your mind didn’t stray far from Tyson’s comment about your future together. Kacey had asked you what made you so smiley, and you just shrugged, but the grin you sent her brother’s way told her all she needed to know.
“I swear, you two were meant for eachother.” She sighed dramatically, her own teasing grin so familiar to the one you loved. A family trait, you assumed.
“I hope so.” You told her, a little breathless at just how happy you were in the moment. A giddy smile broke out across your face as Tyson appeared, his arm snaking around your waist to tug you into his side gently.
“Are you coming with me tonight?” Tyson hummed tiredly. The night was coming to an end, with most of your family gone already. There was only a small group of twenty-somethings left: you, Tyson, Kacey, Rachel, Michael, and Dan. The latter of which had previously been engaged in conversation with your boyfriend, and had kept him occupied for the last half hour. It was late, you were tired, and Tyson noticed.
He always noticed you.
“Yeah, if you’re on your best behavior.” You grinned playfully, and Kacey jokingly gagged. Some things never changed, and you were incredibly grateful for it.
“Always am.” Tyson replied, his hand slipping in yours and tugging you in the direction of his house next door before you had the chance to reply. You bid everyone a goodnight over your shoulder, shouting one more congratulations to Rachel and Michael before you were inside the Jost family home.
Fifteen minutes later, you were clothed in one of Tyson’s oversized athletic shirts and wrapped in his arms. You were chatting mindlessly, your thoughts on the verge of incomprehensible as a result of your exhaustion. Tyson was laying on his back with his head against the pillows, and you were curled into his side with your head tucked into the crook of his neck.
He listened to every word that fell past your lips, hanging onto each sound you created with a broad smile and beating heart. He had known before that moment that you were it for him—he had decided he was done for the moment you walked into his life—but he wanted you to know. Sure, you probably had a pretty good idea about what you meant to him, but it couldn’t hurt to say it.
“I meant what I said earlier, you know.” He found himself accidentally interrupting a story about something one of your aunt’s had said. He could tell you didn’t mind, because you didn’t even try to continue.
“About?” You hummed, confusion lacing your tone. You could feel his heart hammering in his chest, and in a bid to try and calm him down, you began brushing the tips of your fingers up and down his arm.
“About marrying you someday. I’m going to do it.” He sounded so serious, that you couldn’t help but prop yourself up on your elbow, slightly hovering over him in order to get a better look at him. He was smiling softly the way one does when they’re in love, and you felt your heart stutter in your chest at the way he was looking at you.
“Not right now, I hope.” You teased, a little breathless under his stare. You were grinning at him, an easy smile that was mirrored on his face.
“No, not now. But I can’t imagine not having you in my life again.” He told you, and you wasted no time in leaning down to connect your lips to his. You smiled into the kiss, still feeling the same electricity from the first time you had done so all those years ago run through you. You’d never tire of Tyson, you were sure of it.
“Didn’t realize you were such a romantic, Jost.” You mumbled against his lips before pulling back to admire him. He chuckled quietly, one of his hands rising up to cup your jaw, his thumb brushing across your cheek. The sensation had you leaning into his touch, and you grabbed his hand to give each of his fingers a quick kiss.
“Only for you.”
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mooifyourecows · 7 months ago
Moo! For the tropes: Daisuga 8 Hospital AU + 42 The Big Damn Kiss ?? (☆ω☆)
I started writing this one yesterday but I didn’t like what I came up with so I deleted it. Now I’m starting again. Let’s get into it.
Okay so hospital AUs are notoriously depressing, right? I mean... I have never read a hospital AU myself because i’m scared of death and YOU KNOW THERE ARE MEAN ASS WRITERS OUT THERE WHO JUST WANNA MAKE ME CRY BY EVISCERATING MY OTP NO THANKS!!!
But I don’t wanna do a depressing Au. So let’s make it something cute and funny. As usual. (with some sad stuff along the way though because it wouldn’t be me if I didn’t at least try to make yall cry a LITTLE)
And I’m not positive what “the big damn kiss” means. Like, I’m assuming it’s a “finally” kiss, right? Like ugh so much dancing around it until BAM finally they kiss? Sure, let’s go with that.
Alright so I’m thinking... Daichi is a doctor. And he’s a good doctor. The best damn doctor I would say, and not just because I simp for him. He has never had a patient that he couldn’t diagnose. So smart. So good at his job. I love him.
So, one of the doctors at a really nice hospital retires and Daichi gets offered his job. He takes it because papa gotta make that dough. He shows up and ooh ahh, everything is real nice and the staff is great and yada yada yada
Shortly after he starts, he gets a patient who SWEARS there’s something wrong with him.
“Doc you gotta help me, I’m tired all the time, I eat and eat and don’t gain weight and I’m hearing weird sounds in my left ear.”
Daichi is like uhhmmm okay. So he runs some tests and finds nothing. He’s stumped. What is wrong with the guy? Maybe something mental? Depression? He admits to one of the nurses that he can’t figure out what’s wrong with his patient and she’s like 
“Oh. You got Suga? Yeah. He’s our local hypochondriac. There’s nothing wrong with him.”
Daichi is like wtf. He’s dealt with hypochondriacs in the past but this guy was so convincing. He goes back to talk to him and subtly changes some of the things he came in complaining about. Suga doesn’t notice. He’s just like “yeah, yeah, you’re right. That’s what it was.”
Okay so that confirms it. He’s making it up. Or imagining it. Alright. 
“Sugawara-san, I’ll be honest with you. There is one more test we can run, but it’s extremely invasive and uncomfortable and you might die if it goes wrong.”
“What are the chances of it going wrong?”
“It’s about a ninety percent chance.”
“... you know what? Suddenly I feel all better.”
“Oh? That’s great.”
He sends him on his way, thinking he totally handled it perfectly and he wouldn’t be seeing Sugawara Koushi for a looooong ti-
He’s there the next week.
Daichi can’t believe it. He came back. Why? What was it this time?
Suga lists off another series of symptoms, swearing he’s dying for real this time, and Daichi steps outside to collect himself.
The nurses spot him and laugh. “Now you’ve done it.”
“What? What did I do?”
“You were gentle. You’re never getting rid of him now. The last guy had the same problem.”
Daichi refuses to believe this guy is that bad though. He goes back into the room and he listens to Suga’s complaints. He tries to get more information out of him, see if there’s something ELSE going on. There’s gotta be something psychological, right?
But after twenty minutes of talking to him, the only thing he’s found is charm and wit and a pretty smile and a cute little scrunch of his nose when he giggles and... ahem. Well. He seems very well adjusted, mentally.
So maybe there IS something physical. Something that he can’t quite vocalize correctly, so it seems like he’s lying but he’s not. Daichi is DETERMINED to find something. He refuses to believe this guy is just making it up.
He’s just too cute-- err... uhm... normal... to be making it up.
Commence weeks where Suga comes in to the hospital and Daichi tries something new. He makes him run on a treadmill and monitors his oxygen intake and heart rate. He has him wear a little monitor thing while he sleeps for a week. Etc. etc.
It’s harmless stuff. Nothing big or invasive that could potentially lead to him getting sued for malpractice. And while it’s wildly unnecessary, most of the tests he runs, he doesn’t mind. Because Suga is cute and charming and funny and Daichi genuinely looks forward to seeing him when he goes into work. He’s not there EVERY day, but he is there a few times a week and it’s always the highlight of Daichi’s day.
After a while, when Suga shows up, his symptoms get lazier and lazier. Sometimes he doesn’t even put ANY effort into making them convincing. “Uhh, well I smelled some milk yesterday and I think it was expired so like, will that kill me?” On those days, when he’s smiley and clearly there for Daichi and not for some imaginary sickness, Daichi does a lazy physical and then they just sit and talk.
And it’s the highlight of Daichi’s week.
So, eventually Daichi’s boss is like “bro, you can’t keep wasting time on this guy. There are ACTUAL sick people you could be helping. If he comes in, just tell him there’s nothing wrong with him and send him packing.”
Daichi is disappointed. Because he likes Suga. A lot. And he looks forward to seeing him. It’s such a refreshing break from the stress of helping actual patients and gives him a much needed energy boost to tackle the rest of his day. If he doesn’t have that anymore... he thinks maybe he could really come to hate his job.
BUT, he can’t go against his boss.
Suga shows up the next day with some half assed excuse like “My right thumb is tingling a little bit. Is that the heart attack side?”
Daichi does an examination and then reluctantly tells him that there’s nothing wrong with him. In fact, there’s never anything wrong with him. It’s all in his head. Made up. And he needs to stop coming in to the hospital over every little thing. It steals time from the patients that actually need it.
It pains Daichi to say this. But he says it.
“Oh.” Suga seems stricken that he would say such a thing to him. Daichi wants to cry.
Quietly, without another word, Suga picks up and leaves.
And Daichi doesn’t see him for a few weeks. 
He wants to cry.
Damn it. He should have just asked him out. Who cares if it would be inappropriate for a doctor to ask out his patient? Who cares? 
In the weeks that Daichi doesn’t see Suga, he just goes through the motions. He treats his patients to the best of his ability, putting on a smile, but everyone notices his shift in mood.
Eventually, the doctor that had Daichi’s position before he retired, shows up at the hospital for a simple infection and Daichi treats him. As Daichi is giving him a check-up, the doctor asks,
“So, how’s Suga?”
Daichi is surprised at first, until he remembers that the entire staff seemed to know Suga before Daichi first met him. The “local” hypochondriac, they called him.
“Oh... well. I haven’t seen him in a few weeks,” Daichi admits, feeling sad all over again.
“Is that so? Hmm...” The old doctor goes silent for a while and Daichi’s curiosity eats at him. So he breaks and asks,
“Why is he like that? Why does he lie and waste so much of his time here?”
The doctor gives him a sad smile. “You know... the first time I met Suga was when he was just a little boy. He came in with his mother. She had a lot going on. Wasn’t expected to live much longer. Despite that, she held on for quite a long time. And every time she came to see me for a check-up, Suga came with her. Even when he became an adult, he continued to live with her. Take care of her. Bring her to her appointments. Then... a couple years ago... she finally passed away. But Suga kept showing up, right on time for his mother’s next appointment.”
Man Daichi really wants to cry now.
“At first, his complaints were very valid. Pain in his chest. Lack of appetite. Poor sleep. Clear signs of a broken heart. He turned away my offers to find him a grief counselor but he still showed up to the hospital every once in a while. Though his symptoms changed. Slowly, his broken heart healed and he started coming up with random things instead. A tickle in the back of his throat, shortness of breath when he runs up the stairs...” The doctor chuckles. “But if he’s not coming around anymore, maybe he’s finally better.”
Daichi wants to C.R.Y.
“How often did he come in when you worked here?” Daichi asks.
“Hmm... he was pretty strict in keeping with his mother’s usual check-up appointments. So about once every three weeks.”
Once in every three weeks? That can’t be right. Suga came to see Daichi multiple times a week. Why? What was different?
“How did you usually treat him?” Daichi asks. “And how long did it take?”
“Oh, I would give him the usual physical and ask him how he was doing. But I had many patients. So I usually sent him on his way in about ten minutes.”
Ten minutes. Daichi usually spent well over ten minutes with Suga. Never less than half an hour. Just talking and laughing and...
Ah man.
Daichi finally figured out it out.
Once the old doctor is gone, Daichi goes and calls Suga on the number in his file. The call goes straight to voicemail and Daichi leaves a message, telling Suga that he needs him to come in so Daichi can give him his diagnosis.
A few days pass but then Suga shows up. Lookin’ wary and a little upset. He sits in the room and Daichi comes in and he’s like,
“What the hell are you talking about, Daichi? There’s no diagnosis.”
“Yes there is.”
“No. I’ve just been making it up. Like you said.”
“Nope, you definitely have something and it’s very serious. So I’m here to treat it.”
Suga kisses him back and it’s sweet and romantic and like ugh finally. 
When the kiss is over Suga’s like “... so? What’s my diagnosis?”
Daichi is like, “Loneliness. And the treatment is being my boyfriend.”
“....... I’d like a second opinion.”
but yeeeahhhh so ya know, somethin’ like that I guess?
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farfromharry · 8 months ago
always (part seven) | harry holland series
summary: you and lily spend christmas day with the hollands and you couldn’t be happier
word count - 2.1k
a/n - merry christmas!!
It was officially only days before christmas and Lily was already almost 2 weeks old, which you couldn’t believe. You’d gotten help to make sure you had everything prepared present wise, but you and Lily were going to spend actual Christmas day with the Hollands.
A sudden distressed cry woke you from your sleep, pushing yourself out of your bed to tend to your babygirl. You moved around to the other side of your bed, your baby looking at you with teary eyes and a red face.
“Oh, there’s my little angel.” You gently lifted her from her crib, holding her against your chest and gently stroking her back. You bounced her gently, pressing kisses to her head to try and soothe her.
“You’re okay.” She continued to wail in your ear, your heart aching for your precious girl.
“You hungry darling?” You looked at her distressed face, taking a seat on your bed, lifting your shirt up to let her latch on.
You sighed, leaning your head back and glancing at the time on your phone screen. 4:23am.
“We’re gonna have to get you a better sleep schedule baby.” After she was done feeding, you carefully laid her back down in her crib, watching over her for a few minutes to make sure she was okay, before climbing back into bed yourself. You were out like a light the second your head hit your pillow, you were utterly exhausted.
The next morning you were woken again by loud babbles from Lily, checking the time and seeing it was almost 10am.
You sighed, pushing yourself out of bed and scooping the girl up in your arms. Harry would be coming over soon anyway. You changed Lily’s nappy and dressed her in a fluffy purple onesie, making your way into your living room to set her down in the kitchen, so you could make breakfast.
“Y/n?” You called back with a ‘hey’, letting Harry know where you were.
He entered the kitchen with a smile, moving over to the little baby to give her some affection.
“There's my favourite little girl.” She babbled, reaching up to try and touch his face. He carefully picked her up out of her high chair, pressing kisses to her cheeks and having a mini conversation with her. At least as best he could considering she didn’t understand anything he was saying.
“So, how’s it going being a mum?” Harry asked, entranced with the girl in his arms who was grabbing at his fingers.
“I adore her but,” You paused, seeing Harry look up in concern at the ‘but’. “I’m so stressed and sleep deprived.” Harry could see how tense you were, he’d noticed how tired you looked when he first came in, but he didn’t want to sound rude.
“I didn’t realise it’d be this hard by myself.” You complained.
“Let me look after her for a few hours,” He offered. “Go and catch up on some sleep.” You were hesitant, feeling bad to burden him with Lily, but also growing slightly protective over her.
“She’ll be okay, would i ever let you down?” You shook your head, thanking him.
“Be good for Harry.” You kissed her head, Harry pouting when he didn’t get a forehead kiss too.
“Anyone would think you’re the newborn.” He grinned, accepting your kiss with a smile.
“Have a good sleep.”
“Thank you,” A lightbulb went off in your head, realising he didn’t know what to do. You turned back around to tell him and he simply rolled his eyes. “If she cries, there’s a bottle in the fridge, just heat it up, nappies are in in her nursery and-“
“I’ll be fine, if I need any help I'll call my mum.” You nodded, taking a deep breath before heading to bed to catch up on lots of missed sleep.
“Looks like it’s just me and you now.” Harry spoke to the girl. The two had a fairly enjoyable time together, Harry in love with everything she did and the girl in awe of him. It was hours later that you were trudging into the living room looking much more refreshed. Harry was sitting on the couch, Lily against his chest while the curly haired man talked to her.
“How did it go?” You asked, taking a seat next to them and resting your head on Harry’s shoulder.
“She was a perfect angel, didn’t cry once.” He boasted. You grinned, stroking her chubby cheek.
“Thank you for helping me, my hero.” You kissed his cheek, watching Lily scrunch up his shirt in her tiny fist. It wasn’t long before your bub began to get uncomfortable, beginning to cry her small heart out.
“I think she’s finally ready for her nap.” You carefully lifted her off of Harry’s chest, taking her over to the bassinet you kept in your living room. You laid her down, hovering over her for a few minutes to make sure she knew you were there.
“Go to sleep hunny, I know you’re tired.” You watched her eyes flutter shut, content with the world around her.
“And then there were two.” You said, sitting down next to Harry again. He yawned and stretched his arms above his head.
“I mean, I don’t know about you but I’m exhausted after watching her.” You huffed.
“Don’t leave me yet.” You begged, staring at him with puppy dog eyes.
“Can I just nap here?” He asked, watching you think about it.
“I guess so.” You said, Harry scoffing at how unamused you sounded. You flashed him a cheeky grin, motioning for him to lay his head on your lap.
“Here.” You handed him a fluffy blanket that you usually kept on the back of your couch, throwing it over his body to keep him warm. You spent the next hour stroking through his curls, watching him sleep peacefully with the comfort of your warmth. With your other hand you just scrolled through your phone, not wanting to disturb Harry with the sounds of the tv.
He eventually started to shift, signalling to you that he was waking up. His hair was messy and he looked absolutely adorable, staring up at you with tired eyes.
“Thank you.” He mumbled. Nuzzling his face into your hoodie material.
3 days later and it was officially Christmas day, you were getting Lily’s stuff together to head over to the Hollands. You had already taken presents over a few days earlier, just so today you only had to bring yourself and your baby.
The drive over to the Holland household was quite pleasant. There was soft christmas music playing in the background, with the bubbly feeling of excitement in the pit of your stomach.
Getting out of the warmth of your car, you were hit with the freezing december weather, rubbing your hands together for warmth.
Lily was quick to protest at the change in temperature with a small uncomfortable cry, her chubby cheeks turning a soft pink shade as the cold hit her.
Your cold knuckles knocked on the front door of the house, a shiver running through your body.
You wrapped Lily’s coat around her tighter, pulling her little hat down and doing everything you could to protect her from the blistering cold. The door to the Holland house opened a few minutes later to a smiley Harry. Welcoming you inside.
“There’s my favourite girl.” Harry said, taking Lily from your arms and cradling her close to his warmth. You scowled at him playfully.
“Me or her?” You asked, teasing your best friend. “Be careful with your answer.”
“You, obviously.” He stated, like it was a fact. When you nodded, seemingly satisfied, he leaned in close to Lily, his mouth close to her tiny ear.
“I lied, it’s definitely you.” He whispered to the girl, tickling her to make her giggle. You scoffed.
“I heard that, Holland.” He laughed, sending you a teasing wink.
You followed him into the living room, seeing the other Holland’s scattered around doing various things.
“We have visitors.” Harry announced, motioning to you. Sam was quick to practically snatch Lily, peppering her cheek with soft kisses.
“Merry christmas y/n!” Nikki said, pulling you into a tight hug. You said it back, thanking her for letting you crash their Christmas day.
“You’re always welcome.” Tom was next to pull you into a hug, ruffling your hair like an older brother would.
“Did I hear y/n?” Paddy asked, slipping into the living room to look for you.
“Hi, little man.” The nickname caused him to groan, it’d been something you’d called him for years, even after he passed you in height.
“I’m taller than you.” You rolled your eyes, pulling him into a hug.
“And I don’t care.” You simply stated. You watched Lily receive all the affection she could ever ask for, babbling incoherent things.
“Can we open presents now?” Paddy asked, motioning to the pile under the tree.
“You didn’t have to wait for me.” You whined, feeling bad that the teenager was unable to have a normal christmas morning.
“You’re here now, so let’s get started!” Paddy announced. You stifled a laugh, nodding your head. You watched with a smile as the lads fussed Lily, helping her rip open the wrapping paper on her presents.
“Come here a second.” Harry said, tapping your shoulder. He took your hand and lead you away from his family.
“This is for Lily.” You playfully rolled your eyes at your best friend.
“It better not be another stuffed animal, she has too many already.” You joked. Harry shook his head with a small grin, telling you to just open it. Harry had pulled you over to a more quiet part of the living room to give you this, not wanting his brothers to see or hear.
“A blanket?” You asked, looking at him in confusion. A blush rose to his cheeks. He showed you the space where Lily’s name was engraved in, only confusing you further.
“I don’t get it- why did we have to open it separately?” You asked.
“I-i may have made it.” He stuttered, rubbing the back of his neck nervously. You awed, finding it cute that he’d go through so much trouble for you.
“Don’t laugh at me.”
“I’m not.” You argued. “I think it’s adorable.” You said, squeezing his cheek playfully.
“I didn’t really know what to get her so-“
“Harry, this is perfect, thank you.”
After all the presents came the part all the Holland boys were the most excited about; christmas dinner.
They practically ran to the dining room when Nikki announced it was ready, taking their seats at the table and digging into their plates like animals.
“You’re like savages.” Nikki muttered, receiving a laugh from you as you dug into your own food. Every now and then you’d alternate between eating and amusing Lily so she wouldn’t cry.
You pinched her cheek gently, wiping the drool from the corner of her mouth with a napkin.
“Such a messy baby.” You said. She just babbled, showing you her gummy smile that made your heart flutter.
“A bit like Harry.” Sam said, receiving a slap to the arm from his twin. You laughed at the two, leaving your angel to finish up the last bits of your meal.
After dessert Nikki turned down your offer to help clean up, forcing one of her boys to do it instead. Tom groaned, trailing to the kitchen with some dirty dishes in his hands, muttering complaints on the way.
“Nikki, that was amazing, thank you.” She smiled, kissing your head as she walked by. The table was disturbed when your little bub began to cry, you being able to recognise that she was crying for food.
“I think she’s hungry.” You pouted, lifting her up into your arms.
“Go feed her, we’ll sort this.” Sam said, motioning to the table that needed clearing.
“Are you sure?” You asked, feeling slightly bad.
“Unless Harry’s going to grow boobs and feed her, I'm pretty sure you’re the only one that can.” Harry slapped his twin upside the head, calling him an idiot. You just laughed, making your way up the stairs to feed your precious angel.
“I really enjoyed today, thank you.” Harry squeezed your shoulders gently.
“We’re all glad you were both here.” The two of you continued to get ready for bed, you also getting Lily into her onesie. The three of you would be sharing Harry’s bed in his childhood room for the night, having to make sure Lily stayed safe between you both.
You climbed under the covers, next to your already sleeping daughter. You had a smile gracing your face, one that Harry couldn’t help but completely adore.
“Goodnight Harry, merry christmas.” You whispered, laying your arm over Lily gently to make sure she’d be safe.
“Merry christmas y/n.”
always taglist - @hopelessly-harry @iwearheadphones @thevelvetseries @minejungwoo @siriuslyslyslytherin @givebuckyhisplumsnow @itstaskeen @icyhollands @starkweasley
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itskateak · 10 months ago
Mint Ice Cream & Bubblegum Kisses - Chapter Three
(Bucky Barnes x Single Dad!Reader)
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Series Summary: Y/N L/N works as an intel specialist at the Avenger’s Compound. He scans chatter on the international - and intergalactic - level for any information that might be helpful to the Avengers and other agents. But he’s also a single father to a beautiful eight-year-old girl: Angelica L/N. It’s tough raising a little girl on his own and working a full-time job, but he’s managing. A promotion has him launched up in rank at the Compound, leading him to work directly with the Avengers team. The only problem is it’s a 24/7 job. Life around the compound gets a little strange when his daughter is added to the mix of enhanced humans and ex-assassins.
Chapter Summary: Angelica seems to be settling in nicely and Y/N is still getting used to having his kid around in his workplace. Especially when she's known to be a little mischievous.
Word Count: 2.6
Warnings: Fluff, pranks, like four swear words, discussion of PTSD but it's very brief. Like very brief.
A/N: this is in light of me recently being able to play Black Widow for work. as I said in the last chapter, things will be moving a lot quicker
Taglist is open! PM me, send an ask, or @ me on a chapter to let me know you’d like to be tagged! Strikethrough means I couldn’t tag you, but I will send you a message to let you know :)
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Angelica snuck down the hall toward the common room, trying to keep her steps light or as close to silent as she could get them. She resisted the urge to look up at the ceiling, knowing Peter was just above her. This was a new system they were trying out where Angelica went first as a decoy and Peter would follow for the proper scare.
They had a shared love of harmless pranks and therefore had started a small prank war on the other inhabitants of the compound. At first, it had only been against each other, but they figured out that they could do way more if they teamed up. 
Y/N had warned them not to do anything too bad, knowing how some of the people in the compound were affected by sudden surprises. He'd sat Angelica down and explained what Post Traumatic Stress Disorder was and how what she might perceive as a harmless trick might trigger something or cause a breakdown. 
She had understood and in her very solemn way promised to run her more "fear factor" ideas by him first just to be safe. When he did shut down her ideas, she never argued and dropped the plan. Confuse not abuse was their motto.
Y/N, meanwhile,  was working in his office, watching text scroll across his screen. There was a lot less than when he worked general intel, but that didn't mean he could focus any less. Any small detail could make or break whether the information was crucial or not. Everything that came across his screen was very important, but some things had to be taken note of.
He had mastered reading and writing at the same time, his shorthand notes making no sense to anyone but him. He'd learned that the week before when he passed the intel off to Tony and he just stared blankly at the paper. Now, he translated his notes so others could understand. Sometimes, he couldn't tell what he was meaning to say.
A transmission from The Benatar came through and he pulled his seat closer. It was just a simple message about their whereabouts and where they were headed. Gamora had signed it off, saying that it was nice to meet him and that whenever they stopped by next, they had to properly meet. He wrote down their message before typing a message in response.
Received. Glad to know you all are safe and having fun up there. Stop by anytime you want. My daughter would be overjoyed to meet all of you. 
 - Y/N 
Y/N leaned back in his chair, taking up a pen to make notes as information on underground movements possibly related to Hydra agents flooded in. More bases had been popping up recently, despite Steve's attempts to drag them all down in the past. Instead of being against the Winter Soldier, though, he was with them. Which gave them the upper hand since he knew their inner workings.
A knock on his office door made him glance up. Bruce stood in the doorframe, his knuckles still against the wood of the door. He gave a shy smile. "Am I interrupting?"
"Not at all. Come on in, Bruce." Y/N set his pen down and rolled his chair to the end of his desk. "What can I do you for?"
"I just came by to see how you were settling in. We haven't talked much since you were offered the promotion." Bruce sat tentatively on the couch, looking very unsure of himself. 
"Things have been going well. It's nice of you to stop by, though." Y/N swiveled back and forth casually. "I like having my own office."
"It's great, huh? I have a whole lab to myself most of the time. Tony invades my space once in a blue moon but he has his own lab somewhere else." Bruce relaxed a little, laughing gently. 
"Angelica breaks the peace at least twice a day, but she's my kid so it's not as annoying. Except when I really have to focus. Then I kick her out for a bit." He said with a lopsided grin.
"She wanders into my lab every so often to say hello or ask for help with her science homework. She's lovely." Bruce smiled. "Very bright."
"Yeah, she is...I can't keep up with her at this point. She's going to surpass my skills soon." He chuckled, shaking his head. "Good thing she's got you guys to check her science. I barely passed it in high school."
"Really? I wouldn't have expected that from you." Bruce said.
"I was okay up through my sophomore year but once I hit physics, I lost all understanding. Algebra was never my strong suit, either." Y/N rolled his eyes. Bruce was going to respond when shouting down the hall caught their attention. 
Peter sprinted by the office, yelling over his shoulder: "Every man for himself!"
Angelica was a few seconds behind him and she slid into her father's office. "Hide me! Quick!" She slipped around his desk and curled up underneath it.
"Kiddo, what are you doing?" Y/N asked, giving her an amused look.
"Shhhh!" She shushed him and pressed herself into the corner, covering her mouth to hide her giggles. 
"Peter Benjamin Parker! Angelica Ellaine L/N! Get your butts back here!" Natasha seemed to be the source of the yelling as she stormed down the hall. She paused at the door to the office, leaning casually in the doorframe. "Hey, boys. You seen a tall spider or a little monster recently?"
Angelica shook her head vigorously in her father's peripheral vision. He pretended not to see her, making sure not to look anywhere close to her location. "Snitches don't get cookies." She whispered as quietly as possible.
"What'd she do now?" Y/N asked. He had to uphold the Code. Snitches don't get cookies, and he'd never betray his daughter.
"She tried to jumpscare me and then Peter swung down from the ceiling and scared the hell out of me." Nat folded her arms over her chest. "So, I'm trying to grab both of them to dump them in the pool."
Y/N laughed and shook his head. "I haven't seen her, except for a few seconds ago. She ran by on Pete's heels."
"Bruce, have you seen them?" Nat turned her gaze to the scientist, who suddenly grew visibly nervous. 
"Uh," He glanced at Y/N. "They ran by just a minute ago."
"Uh-huh...Well, I guess I'll just keep looking." Nat pushed off the doorway and started to leave before poking her head back in. "You're still a terrible liar, Bruce." She winked and disappeared.
"Is it safe?" Angelica whispered.
"Yep. Come on out." Y/N rolled back a little bit to give her space to move out. "Good luck out there, kiddo. Watch your back."
"Thank you, Mr. Banner! You deserve a cookie." Angelica smiled at Bruce, the full personification of the smiley-face emoticon. She snuck to the doorway and glanced down the hall before turning the same way Peter had run.
"How long do you think it'll be?" Y/N asked, returning his chair to its proper place.
"Until what?" 
His question was answered by a scream from down the hall that devolved into squealing laughter. There was some indiscernible shouting from three different people.
"Until Nat caught her at the corner." Y/N watched as Nat went running by, laughing, with Angelica thrown over her shoulder.
"Peter! Help! She got me!" Angelica yelled through giggles, hand extended out behind Nat's back.
"Angelica! No!" Peter followed, reaching for her. "Nat, give her back!"
Y/N shook his head fondly as the chaos grew quieter the farther they got. "We're settling in well, as you can see. She's making friends and creating chaos. I'd be worried if she wasn't."
"Did she always play pranks on you?" Bruce asked, smiling uncontrollably.
"On more than one occasion, I found shaving cream in my shoes." Y/N wrinkled his nose up at the memories. He had hated that feeling of shaving cream squeezing between his toes in his socks.
"Gross. She and Peter were bound to get along well, then." Bruce glanced at the clock and got to his feet. "I should let you get back to work. If Angelica has a science or math question, you can totally send her to me."
"Thanks, Bruce. You're a genius." Y/N rolled back over to his work station, shaking his mouse to wake his computer up. 
"I wouldn't say that," Bruce said as he walked backward out of the room, pausing in the doorway.
"Don't sell yourself short, Bruce! You're totally a genius." Y/N pointed with his pen, smiling as he spoke.
Bruce ducked his head sheepishly and nodded before he left the office.
Y/N returned to his screen, pulling his notes back into reach, and scanned the text again. Another couple of hours before lunch.
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"Your kid." Tony suddenly popped in, holding his phone out to show Y/N what was on it. "Your kid keeps changing my phone background."
Y/N looked up and glanced at the screen before bursting into laughter. It was a photo of a sloth dressed as an astronaut. In the past year, she'd managed to change her father's phone background and laptop wallpaper to that stupid sloth photo without his knowledge at least sixteen times. 
"Why?" Tony asked, defeated. "Why is she doing this?"
"She read about someone online who did the same thing to their parents and she took inspiration. I'm happy to see she's moved on to other targets." Y/N shook his head in amusement. "Shouldn't your phone be super secure or something?"
"It is! I don't understand how she keeps doing it. I've changed my password eight times and even had Friday monitor any attempts to hack in." Tony sank down onto the couch, tossing his phone beside him. 
"Well, she definitely can't hack things. She's smart, but not that smart. Usually, a password change will keep her from trying again." Y/N swiveled to the side, head cocked.
"This is the second time today," Tony grumbled, brows furrowed. "I don't get it."
"Well, you're the genius here." Y/N snorted, glancing at his screen again. "If my kid's not the one hacking your phone, who is?"
"Oh, my god," Tony said, standing quickly. He rushed to leave but paused in the door. "You're the genius, Y/N."
Y/N arched a brow in mild intrigue. "Uh-huh. You're welcome?"
Tony flashed a smile before turning. "Peter Benjamin Parker, how many times have I told you not to hack into my stuff!" He shouted as he walked down the hall.
"Kid, you're sowing chaos." Y/N glanced at his daughter curled up under his desk. 
"Huh?" Angelica looked up from her book, confused. "What's going on?"
"Peter hacked Tony's phone and changed his phone background to that astronaut sloth." He responded, returning to his work.
"Oh, Pete didn't do that." She said, turning her page. "Mr. Banner did after seeing us do it. Somethin' about getting back at him for leaving crumbs all over his lab."
Distant yelling floated down the hall to the office. High-pitched 'Mr. Stark, it wasn't me!'s were the only things that could be properly made out. Angelica made eye-contact with her father.
"Should I?" She asked.
"Nah." Y/N said and they both started to snicker. "He's a big boy. He can take care of himself."
Angelica giggled and returned her attention to her book. 
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Y/N pulled himself out of the pool, shaking his head to fling water off his face. He hadn't gotten to use the facilities yet since they moved in. The pool was really nice - way better than any of the public pools he'd been to. He used to swim once a week but work got in the way. Now that it was Sunday, he could enjoy the free access for as long as he wanted.
He grabbed a towel, dried his hair and face, and walked to the locker room. His shirt was folded up on a bench with his shoes sitting beside it. He dried the rest of his body off and pulled his shirt on. He slipped his feet into his shoes and froze.
"Dammit, Angelica!" Y/N shouted as shaving cream seeped between his toes and spilled over the top of his feet. He grimaced and kicked his shoes off, quickly wiping the shaving cream off. He picked up his shoes and went storming off to find his daughter.
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"Hey, Y/N. Sorry to intrude after hours." Sam knocked on the doorframe to his bedroom. 
"Hey, Sam. No worries." Y/N looked up from his book and set it aside. "What's up?"
"Bucky and Steve are coming back really early tomorrow morning. Like, three in the morning early." He wrinkled his nose up. "They might have sensitive intel from their raid so Tony's asked you to be in office by the time they get back."
"I won't yell at you since you're just the messenger, but really?!" Y/N groaned, running a hand over his face. If he wasn't a morning person before, he surely wouldn't be a happy camper at such an early hour. "Guess my plans to stay up reading have been shot."
"Sorry, man. It's what the boss wants. But really, blame Barnes because he wanted to get back as soon as possible." Sam crossed his arms and shrugged. "Always his fault if somethin' goes wrong. Man brings bad luck wherever he goes."
"I think that's a little harsh and biased. I haven't even met the guy, yet." Y/N leaned over to set his book on the nightstand. He snagged his phone and started to set an alarm or two for the morning. 
"I'm sure you've heard all the rumors. Some of them are true - about him being grouchy and an anti-social person - but a good majority of the rumors is just scuttlebutt. Er, gossip. He's got a good heart, but man he can be annoying as hell," Sam smiled fondly, though he tried not to look it. 
"Sounds about right," Y/N chuckled, sliding his charging phone underneath his pillow. 
"He's really slow to trust and open up, so if he's a little closed off and rough around the edges, it's not you. It's all him, so don't worry." Sam explained. "Might want to ease him into meeting the little rascal, though. He's skittish on his bad days and after missions."
"I took the liberty of reading over all of the team's files so I get why. Thanks for letting me know. I should get some sleep so I'm not as grumpy in the morning when I greet them." Y/N yawned on accident, covering his mouth with his hand. 
"No problem. I'll let you get some rest." Sam reached forward and closed the door as he left.
Y/N turned out the light and sank down in bed, drawing the covers up. He had at least four extra blankets just for the weight. He liked having the excess weight since it made him feel secure and grounded. 
"Hey, Friday?"
"Yes, Mr. L/N?"
"If I don't wake up from my alarms, please wake me." 
"Of course." 
Y/N fell asleep shortly afterward, not fully aware of how tired he had been. Moving and getting used to the new environment had really taken it out of him and his body was begging to catch up. A shame he'd only get five hours before being dragged from bed. That was going to be one of the very few downsides of this new job.
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Taglist- @supernaturalwintersoldier​ @shadowolf993​ @myybebe
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star-spangled-steve · a year ago
His New Partner
Chapter 45: The Kiss For Good Luck
Series Masterlist
Previous Chapter
Pairing: Steve Rogers x Reader
Words: 2461
Warnings: Smut, vaginal sex, oral sex, fingering, nudity, Daddy!Kink, light Dom!Steve, sub!Reader, bathing together, pregnancy, cussing.
A/N: Thank you guys so much for 1500 followers! I am so grateful for your support. I haven’t written smut in a while so I hope this turned out okay!
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The bath water was the perfect combination of warm and bubbly as the couple sat in it, Y/N’s back to Steve’s muscular chest. His large hands were resting on her medium-sized baby belly, her own hands over top of his, delicately playing with his fingers every now and then.
The woman tried not to stress about the events of the next day, tried to let the hot bath soothe her into a state of mental relaxation, but her brain would just not stop thinking about it. About the mission that her husband would be going on tomorrow. The time travel mission.
“You feeling nervous?” It was almost as if Steve had read her mind as he asked her the question, and he could tell that he was correct by the tiny sigh that she let out.
“Shouldn’t I be the one asking you that?” Y/N retorted. After all, it was him going on the mission, not her.
The man gave her a short chuckle. “Not when I know how anxious you can get about these things. Especially now.” He added, softly patting her belly.
“I mean...” his wife puffed out a breath, letting her head fall back against his shoulder, “I am kind of nervous, yeah. Can you even blame me, though? This is time travel, Steve. It’s not like you’ve ever done anything like this before. In fact, over a week ago we didn’t even know this was possible!”
“I know, sweetie.” Steve spoke, hoping that he could reassure her in any way. “But the way I think about, we have some of the best and the brightest minds in the world who helped make this possible. You think Tony and Bruce would have us going there if it wasn’t safe?”
Y/N hummed. “I guess not. You really aren’t sacred, though? Not at all?”
“Well,” the man pondered her question for a moment before answering, “after all that we’ve been through, I can’t help but think that we’re going to be okay this time. I just have this gut feeling that we’re finally going to win, you know? It’s what we deserve.”
A smile began to form on the woman’s face, her husband’s optimism never failing to make her feel a bit better. “I like the way you’re thinking.” She remarked before slightly turning her body to face him. “You just have to promise me that you’re going to return safely.”
“Of course, angel.”
Before Steve knew it, his wife was sticking out her pinky finger, something that she always did when she wanted to him to keep his word. He instantly began to laugh, and a small pout formed on Y/N’s lips. “Why are you laughing?” She practically whined. “You have to pinky promise me or else it doesn’t count.”
The man chuckled once again at her adorableness, before giving in and linking her pinky with his own. “There.” He spoke with an almost teasing smile, bringing their pinkies to his mouth and pressing a gentle kiss onto the back of hers. “It’s sealed.”
Y/N grinned before slowly leaning in and pressing her mouth against his own, separating their fingers so that she could put her hands on his smooth jaw. “Yay.” She giggled when they separated.
Steve’s pupils began to dilate with lust, his wife being naked, soapy, pregnant, and kissing him almost too much to handle. “What do you say, little lady, that we distract ourselves by having some... ‘playtime’, as you like to call it? Take our minds off of all this mission stuff, yeah?”
“You’re volunteering to not be focused on a mission?” Y/N questioned playfully. “Who are you and what did you do with my husband?”
The man chuckled, though he was beginning to grow impatient. “Come on, baby. I know you want it.”
“Well of course I do.” His wife agreed, and that was all of the consent he needed. He immediately sent a strong smack onto the side of her ass, making Y/N jolt at the feeling. “Stevie!” She squealed.
“I want you to get out of the tub, dry yourself off, and be on your hands and knees on the bed by the time I get over there.” His tone left no room for argument, and the woman nodded her head, moving to do exactly as he asked. She was so quick to submit to him and it made Steve smirk. “Good girl.”
Y/N wrapped herself in a towel and headed to their bedroom, which was connected to the washroom that they were in. The man drained the tub and quickly dried himself off, seeing his wife exactly where he had asked her to be when he finally walked into their room.
The woman was on all fours, ass up in the air, and Steve had to stop himself from drooling. “Nice job, sweetheart.” He praised, his voice alerting his wife of his presence. “You’re such a good listener.”
Before Y/N even knew that he was behind her, the man was pressing small kisses down her spine, leading all the way until the top of her ass. He pressed one kiss on each cheek and it made her giggle. “Stevie, that tickles.”
Instead of verbally giving her a response, Steve just pressed his next kiss to her body, this time it being right on top of her folds that were glistening with arousal.
Y/N whined. “Please.”
“‘Please’ what?” The man taunted, finding pleasure in seeing her desperate for the thing that only he could give her. “Use your words, baby girl.”
“More, please.” She begged. “Use your mouth more.”
Steve snickered before quickly lapping once at her womanhood, just enough to tease her. “Like this?”
Y/N nodded her head eagerly, but very soon realized that wasn’t enough of an answer for her husband as he sent a harsh spank to her ass. “Ah!” She cried out.
“Didn’t I just tell you to use your words?” The man asked, his voice sharp and demanding. He had originally planned on being gentle with her tonight, but knew that deep down that’s not what she wanted to happen. Y/N, especially pregnant and overly horny Y/N, liked to be dominated. Steve was here to deliver. Plus, he very much enjoyed his role in this too.
“Yes, I’m sorry.” The woman spoke. “Please keep going.”
Without another word, Steve continued to lap at her pussy, taking his sweet time and savouring his favourite taste in the world. He inserted a finger into her opening and grinned in satisfaction as she mewled, adding another one in order to prepare her for his large size. “You taste so good, little doll.” He uttered before moving his mouth to her clit, sucking on it gently.
“Oh, god.” Y/N moaned in delight, her toes curling. “St-Stevie, I-I’m close.” It was getting difficult to hold herself up as she was shaking with pleasure, but the woman pulled through, knowing that she would get punished if she didn’t.
“Do it, princess. Cum for me.” The man ordered while curling his fingers to meet that special spot inside of her, his tongue still toying with her clit.
With a loud whine, Y/N let go and released, gushing all over her husband’s mouth. He gladly licked up every drop, smirking to himself at how fucked-out she looked, still trying to hold herself up.
“It’s okay, baby. You can relax.” Steve cooed, licking the remainder of her juices off of his fingers.
His wife nodded at his words before crashing to the bed, still panting breathlessly. She felt him softly grab her and turn her over so that she was on her back, and she stared up at him with a cute grin on her face.
“What’s got you all smiley?” Steve questioned, adoring how beautiful she looked in the moment.
Y/N giggled, the atmosphere in the room suddenly turning from raw and passionate to sweet and loving. “You.”
The man let out a chuckle, his expression now matching her own. He lowered himself so that he was hovering overtop of her, supporting his weight with his arms in order to be careful of her baby belly. “I love you.” He said quietly, his lips so close to Y/N’s own that they practically brushed as he spoke.
The woman looked up at him sweetly, wrapping her arms around his neck and running her fingers through the short hairs on the back of his head. “I love you too.”
Steve brought a hand down to position himself up with her entrance, groaning as he pushed into her tight hole. “Goddamn.”
“Stevie.” Y/N sighed out in ecstasy. He gave her a moment to adjust to his size before she was nodding her head, urging him to begin moving.
The Captain pulled out almost all the way before shoving back in, starting a pattern of sharp and deep thrusts. He knew exactly how to work himself to make his wife go crazy, and it was obviously working by the way she was clenching around him so hard.
“I-It feels so good, honey.” She spoke in between pants of breath, her fingernails digging into his shoulders so hard that she was certain there’d be red crescent moon shapes left behind on his skin. They’d be gone in less than an hour, though, due to his super soldier healing.
“I know, baby.” Steve grunted in her ear before moving his mouth to connect with her own, their kisses quickly turning rough and hungry. His tongue was attacking her own, her not even trying to fight for dominance, knowing that he’d win. He always won, and she wouldn’t have it any other way.
His lips separated from her own to trail down the side of her neck, stopping where her neck met her shoulder and giving extra attention there. He knew every sensitive spot on her body like the back of his hand, and was always amazed at how reactive she was to his touches.
“St-Steve,” Y/N mewled as his thrusts only got harder, “I’m close.” She wrapped her legs around his waist, the new angle making him hit even deeper inside of her. “C-Cum with me.” She insisted.
The man removed his face from her neck to look her in the eyes, giving her a little smug smile. “Yeah? You like it when I cum inside you?”
The woman nodded eagerly. “Yes. Please.”
Steve almost chucked at how desperate she was. “Well, you want me to cum with you, then you gotta’ say it, babydoll. Come on, Y/N, you know what I’m talking about. Say it.”
“Fuck.” The man groaned, that word having such a huge effect on him even after all these years.
“Daddy, please cum inside me.” Y/N continued, being so close to the edge herself. “Please. Please, fill me up, daddy.”
Steve felt himself faltering at her last statement, and knew that it wouldn’t be long before he was finishing. “Good girl, N/N. You’re so good for daddy.” He brought a hand down to her clit, rubbing fast circles around it. He watched as his wife arched her back and felt as she clenched around him hard, knowing that she was about to release. “Cum, little girl. Now.” He demanded, and within a couple seconds she was going exactly as he said, the dam bursting inside of her.
“Oh, god.” She moaned out.
Y/N’s orgasm triggered Steve’s own, his seed spurting inside of her powerfully as he grunted. “Dammit, princess.”
The couple laid there panting for a moment before the man pulled out, making his wife, who was a little over five months pregnant at this point, whine at the loss of contact. “Stevie.”
“One second, sweet girl.” He cooed, “I’m just going to clean you up.” He went into their en-suite bathroom and returned with a wet washcloth, using it to clean the inside of her thighs and around her pussy. Steve then cleaned himself up quickly, going back into the washroom to grab Y/N’s lotion.
“Honey, you don’t have to do that.” The woman spoke, watching as he opened the container and took some of the lotion in his hands.
“Yes I do.” Steve stated, and she knew that once he was set on something, he wouldn’t let it go. He rubbed lotion all over her stomach, back, and bum, before tucking the both of them underneath the covers to go to bed.
“I love you, darling.” Y/N murmured, almost passed out already.
The man, who was spooning her, pressed a small kiss to her shoulder and smiled to himself. “I love the both of you.” His hand rubbed up and down her belly, trying his best to lull his girl, and his other girl inside of her, into a peaceful sleep. “And don’t you worry, doll. Daddy’s gonna’ come back home safe and sound.”
“You’re sure you’re going to be okay, right?” Steve asked as he grabbed his keys, making his way to the front door.
Y/N laughed as she followed him, crossing her arms over her chest. “Once again, shouldn’t I be the one asking you that?”
“Not when you’re pregnant.” The man insisted. “I worry about you when you’re alone now.”
“Now?” She raised her eyebrows.
“Okay, maybe for the last eleven years we’ve known each other too.”
The woman giggled at him, secretly loving how protective he was over her. “I don’t even care about me right now. I’m just worried about you, hon.” She told him honestly, wrapping her arms around his neck while his hands moved to rest on her waist.
“Trust me, baby; I’ve already told you, everything is going to work out okay. We pinky promised, remember?” He spoke, trying to cheer her up and make her less anxious.
Y/N nodded, refusing to meet his eyes as she felt tears coming.
Steve cupped her chin and nudged her head up, frowning as he saw her quivering bottom lip and watery eyes. “It’s going to be alright, sweetheart.”
She nodded again, her emotions making her unable to form any words. Damn pregnancy hormones. 
“Can I at least get a kiss for good luck?” The man questioned, hoping to lighten the mood.
Y/N smiled briefly before stepping up on her tippy toes, giving him a loving and chaste kiss. “There.” She said when they broke the kiss. “Now go be the hero I know you are.”
Steve, knowing how much it took for her to say that, gave her a small grin. “I will.”
The couple stepped apart and he opened the door, giving her one last glance before he left.
“Love you, dollface.”
Y/N gulped, trying to keep the remainder of her tears at bay. “Love you too, Stevie.”
And with that he was off. Off to complete the mission that could change their future forever.
Next Chapter
Feedback is always welcome!❤️
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angrylizardjacket · a year ago
heard your name in every love song {Ben Hardy} 19 // EPILOGUE
EPILOGUE // 19. i love everybody because i love you
Summary: A series of vignettes that follow your life after X-Men Apocalypse.
A/N: 16.6k words. this has been a WILD fucking ride, and i love you all so much. i hope you like it. i hope i stuck the landing. thank you for coming on this journey with me, im so unbelievably proud of this fic. also lowkey woah the wish-fulfillment really jumped out in this epilogue. but also you ARE wonderful and talented and deserving of success!! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE COMMENT OR MESSAGE ME WITH YOUR THOUGHTS ID LOVE TO HEAR THEM and i respond privately to all non-anon messages if you dont want me to publish !! id still love to hear from you!! ( and im sorry if you dont care abt stranger things)
the mutant brotherhood: @daisy-lu @hervoidparadise @jamesbibuchananbarnes @ultrunning @d-r-e-a-m-catchme @clementimee @that-fandom-sucks-tho @cjand10 @rest-is-detail @baileymae @rosesvioletshardy @onceuponadetectivedemigod @hazelstyles94 @bitchylittleredhead @bihemian-rhapsody @sweatyexpertgardenpanda @whereeverythingisbetter @dedxbed @xxencagedxx @glittrixvibe @a-girl-with-stress @sunflower-ben @pxroxide-prinxcesss @mrsmazzello @cubedtriangle @haileymorelikestupid @misscharlottelee @nevilles-insinuations @jovialcreatorkidtoad @brianmaysclog @sambuckywarrior @hey-yo-bedussey @bubblyanis @lifesciencesbois @elektraofcrete @diosanaz @bbdoyouloveme @kirstansworld @okilover02 @cardboardbenmazzello @dreashappyworld @juliarose21 @simonedk @greycuby @emmasunshiine @dinotje @qtrogerina @spiketacus @nympha-door-a @local-troubled-writer @emphatic-af @wh0a-thisisheavy @lustgardn @banginashton @pamacs-macs @rogerinahardy1 @tired-ass-show-girl @kurt-nightcrawler
“So they’re not technically dating,” you explain to Tye before filming starts; he’s got his head in your lap, reading through a few pages of the script, and you’re gently carding your fingers through his hair, “they’re just hanging out while Alex is in town filming.” You explain, and he lowers the paper he’s reading from, giving you as look as if to prompt you for more information.
“And nothing,” you shrugged, “just making conversation,” and he rolls his eyes, but his smile is fond, “Egghead,” you add, poking him in the cheek.
It’s the end of the first week of filming; they’re hoping to get most of the live-action shots done before suiting you all up for the in-game, motion captured scenes, and you’re both enjoying the morning. You’re on a roof garden, the crew milling about, repositioning various fans to create more wind, as Spielberg was reviewing some footage from the day before; the breeze isn’t particularly sweet, though that’s unsurprising given the local of the shoot, but the sun is warm, and the off-the-shoulder sweater they’ve put you in is comfortable. You’d already spent a good part of the morning warming up, so now you’re just waiting for filming to get underway.
“Alright, Tye, Y/N, can you both reset by the door, we’re about ready to start,” Spielberg calls over to you, and Tye sits up, getting to his feet and stashing his script out of sight for the moment.
We’re rolling. Action!
Tye identifies landmarks that will be added in post, IOI’s building, “The Stacks” where he’d lived, before his home was blown up –
“We’ve been living this close to each other the whole time?” His tone is softly disbelieving; with his lost-puppy expression and oversized jacket making him look all soft and warm, it’s easy to fall into character and give him nervous, half-pining looks. Your character, Artemis, still feels like it’s a risk to get close to him, but she can’t help herself; you hope that reads in the way you’re regarding him.
“Next door, around the world,” you shrug, moving past him, the wind blowing your hair out of your face; you’ve been put into a cute, auburn-toned wig to better fit the camera, an incredibly high-quality lace front, that now works exactly as intended, blowing carefree in the artificial wind, revealing the large birth mark the makeup team had given you, “it’s all the same in the Oasis.”
As if realizing what’s happened, you deliberately move your hair back to hide the birthmark, gaze dropping from his.
“For the record,” Tye stumbles over his words, all young and nervous and in love, “I’m… I’m not disappointed.” And you look to him, make eye contact as you let yourself feel your thinly veiled surprise; “you know you… you said I’d be disappointed when I met you, but I’m- I’m not.”
“I’ve lived with it my whole life, you don’t have to pretend,” you tug your sweater a little tighter around you, walking away from him, going to sit on the makeshift bench that had been set up amid this small slice of urban paradise; he follows you in earnest, looking far too gentle. He brushes the hair out of your face, revealing the birthmark, his hand warm, though you avoid his gaze.
“You have a birthmark,” he tucks the hair behind your ear, “so what?” And he gently lifts your chin, fingertips warm when they linger, “why would that scare me?” And in character, you hesitate in the face of such unfiltered kindness, and you reach up, taking his hand, marveling at the contact; it’s the first time your characters have touched one another in real life.
“Z, if I hurt you, I’m sorry,” you tell him as honest as you can manage, and it takes him a moment to try and wave it off before he’s grinning and laughing at the realization that you’d called his character by his in-game avatar’s nickname. His smile and laugh is a familiar comfort.
At first it’s weird to have romantic tension with him, to almost kiss him before your character’s realization occurs and you rush off. The moment after his gentle, soft laughter, in which you finally come to the realization about the ‘Second Clue’ in game, and you get to yell ‘Oh Shit’ instead of kissing him, it’s a cathartic release.
During the first take, the moment you shout, Tye bursts out laughing, unable to stop himself ruining the take. But it helps. Because it’s Tye shining through, and slowly the two of you work to find a middle-ground, between who your characters are, and how to bring your genuine friendship into the role.
There’s a take where you’re admiring him as he speaks, and you forget your own cue for a moment. He looks at you, as if to prompt you, eyebrows raised, but you double down on your mistake once you realize it. You plant a loud kiss on his cheek, wrapping your arms around him.
“We have a plot to get to,” he says with a quiet laugh, struggling to stay in character while you press a stupid grin to his cheek.
“But you’re cute,” you tell him teasingly.
“Fuck the plot,” he announces, as if convinced, throwing seriousness to the wind, wrapping his arms around you and licking a large stripe up your cheek in retaliation. He pulls you closer with such force that you both topple off the bench you’re sitting on as the director calls cut. You can almost guarantee that’ll make it to the blooper reel.
The banter sounds more natural between you both, and when Spielberg calls cut, he’s nodding as if it’s turning out the way he wanted it.
[what’s your eta?] Sitting in the plane before take off, about to turn your phone off when Ben messages you. How could a single text get your heart racing, and your grin to a billion watts.
[my flight leaves in fifteen so like an hour and a half?]
[fantastic!] [filming wraps for the day in about twenty so I’ll see you then] and then in a few seconds [wanna come to dinner with the cast?]
[as long as I won’t be a bother]
[never x]
A man in a black suit was waiting for you when you landed, holding a sign with your last name on it, and there was a giddy sort of rush that came with the whole experience, which you’d only ever seen on TV. He leads you to the waiting car, and your waiting boyfriend, sitting on the boot with his ankles crossed. His hair is all curly, like the early days of Apocalypse filming, but it’s shorter this time, styled, like he’d just walked off set, which becomes apparent when you go to run your fingers through it.
He’s ecstatic to see you, an emotion you mirror with ease, laughing with relief when you final get to hug him.
“Do I get to see you in period clothes this week?” You ask once you’re both in the back seat, your eyes shining bright with amusement and anticipation.
“I happen to think I look quite good in a all those fancy layers,” he sounds a little defensive, but you’re quick to placate, a hand gentle on his cheek.
“Oh, baby, I have no doubt about that,” you assure him, voice low and amused, “why else would I be looking forward to it?” And he turns his head to press a kiss to your palm, a small, intimate moment that you hope your remember for the rest of your life, before it breaks, and you pull out your phone, showing him your lock screen; a selfie he’d sent you the previous week of him in full costume, “do I get to see this in person?” You ask.
“Of course,” he grins, and then you kind of forgo talking for the rest of the ride back to his hotel, and spend the hour before dinner, ahem, catching up. At least you leave time for a shower before leaving.
The cast seems surprised when they meet you, like they weren’t expecting you to be all smiley and friendly when you meet them, eager to shake hands and make small talk. Not that they can’t separate actor from character, but you can’t deny that in the two major roles you’ve played, you’ve been typecast as the bitter revolutionary. To meet you, to find you so open, so chatty, it was a welcome surprise.
“I told you we weren’t dating,” Merissa is sulking on your sofa, curled up and breaking an entire bar of chocolate up into bite sized pieces in a bowl before she eats it.
“Then why are you acting like –“
“I told you we weren’t together, I just… I miss her is all,” she heaves a dramatic sigh, “I’ve watched all her movies –“
“Now you’re just being a masochist,” you tell her, but when you sit down beside her, you pat your lap and she lays her head down, pouting, “do you still talk to her?”
“Was it meant to be just a fling?” You ask gently. Merissa groans.
“I don’t know! Can you just let me be dramatic tonight?” She pleads, and your heart softens.
“Of course,” you assured her, running your fingers through her hair with one hand, picking up your remote with the other, “what do you wanna watch?”
“X-Men Apocalypse?”
“Don’t bite me,” Tye’s glaring at you, his hand on your thigh to keep you steady where you’re in his lap for the entirety of this shot, which happens to be the final shot of the film, but not of the shooting schedule. It’s been almost half an hour.
“I might bite you,” you mused, not sounding even a little bit sorry, “I’m bored what am I meant to do?” You asked.
“Not fucking bite me!” Tye answered, exasperated.
“Can I bite you a little bit?”
You shrug.
“What if I bite you?” He counters like it’s a threat, which baffles you.
“Sure,” your answer doesn’t seem to please him, “you know I mean, like, in general. On the nose. Not during the kiss, this is a family movie.” And you see the relief on his face as he finally understands.
“Oh, yeah, sure, fine, I don’t care about that, just don’t be a dick.”
“Just a little bite,” you assured, petting him on the head. He rolled his eyes at you, but leaned back in the chair, offering his cheek like a vampire’s victim offers their neck. You give him a gentle bite on the cheek.
“Did that cure your boredom?”
“Kind of,” you shrug after a moment. The scene is reset, and the swivel chair the two of you are currently occupying turns away from the camera. You wiggle to get a better seat in his lap, and he secures his grip on you.
“Don’t bite me,” he whispers in warning, and you raise your eyebrows.
“Biting is strictly for when I’m bored, I promise,” you assured, and the director calls action right as he laughs, so, at least for this take, the kiss that begins the scene and extends arguably too far into it, was to shut him up.
“What do you mean you’re in the new season of Stranger Things?” It’s the first and only time you think you’ve ever heard Andrew raise his voice. His eyes are wide, shocked and overwhelmed in the lagging little FaceTime video.
“What do you mean ‘what do you mean’?” You squawk in confusion, frowning at your phone. You can hear Ben laugh from the kitchen.
“He’s got a crush on the skinny white boy who looks like he eats cigarettes,” Jamie’s all smug and amused, perching his chin on Andrew’s shoulder, loudly chewing Ritz crackers. Andrew looks frankly betrayed.
“As if; you know I’m only invested in that show for Wynona Rider,” he says seriously, and Jamie grins from ear to ear.
“Right, I’m the one with the crush on the white boy who looks like he eats cigarettes.” And he plants a kiss on Andrew’s cheek for emphasis.
“You have a type,” you tell him flatly, and Jamie steps back to cackle, and Andrew gives you a deadpan glare. After a moment, however, you’re scrambling to amend, “it’s not public knowledge yet, I’m still doing mocap and voice work for Ready Player One, I just wanted to tell you guys ‘cos I was excited.” You admit.
“I do appreciate that your typecast is apparently the eighties,” Andrew’s anger defrosts to thinly-veiled amusement, “I feel like I should put on Heathers just to cast you as the lead and keep in theme.”
“Andy, I’d be there in a heartbeat,” you assured him, and his smile, while fond, is a little sad.
“I feel like you don’t have the time anymore, dear.”
Kissing Tye on set isn’t weird, which you’re incredibly grateful for. There’s so much more strange shit in this movie, an eighties dance sequence that you have to perform in a motion capture suit, essentially feeling him up, also in the motion capture suit, and having the single most inuendo-laden conversation you’ve ever had in your life, whilst wearing – you guessed it – that horrific mocap suit.
After you’ve heard your friend mutter about having ‘the X-1 Haptic Boot-Suit with microfiber crotch inlay’ the rest stops being weird; there were several takes, both in person, and in the voice recording booth, that you couldn’t get through without laughing.
Your favorite blooper has to be when you’ve got your hands on his chest doing mocap, asking if he can feel the contact, and then, because you can’t help yourself, you bite his shoulder, and not in a flirty way, in an over-the-top, comical way, and he bursts out laughing in surprise.
“I’m gonna kill you, dude,” he chokes out, firmly out of character, between laughs, and around you the crew is trying to smother their own laughter.
Slowly but surely, however, you’re becoming nicer to each other on set, not that anyone should mistake those for romantic feelings, but it’s a tough film to shoot, and your friendship’s currently undergoing trial by fire. Just like with Ben, with whom you’d spent all your time with during Apocalypse, you and Tye have developed a similar unspoken code, the most frequent of which, surprisingly, is an apology.
You got the giggles one day on set during what was meant to be a very serious scene, and it took almost a full fifteen minutes and half a bottle of water for you to calm down. You’re meant to be helping him escape from the bad guys, and letting them take you instead, and so when you finally are in the right headspace, the last of the laughter leaving you, you want to apologise to him after you’ve apologized to the director.
Tye takes in your gentle, apologetic smile, even as the director calls for the scene to reset, and you realise you don’t have the time. You quickly rest a hand on his shoulder, murmuring a quiet but sincere apology, and he pets your cheek fondly with a nod. It’s okay.
It’s easy enough for people to miss, if one of you is late to a shoot or to coffee beforehand, if one screws up a line which ends up somehow embarrassing the other, that unspoken apology, and the easy it’s okay that goes along with it, goes a long way to reassuring the other.
“I’ve been thinking of getting an apartment in LA,” you bring up tentatively over dinner. Ben, who’s got a mouthful of pasta, looks at you with surprise, but mostly because you’ve caught him at an inopportune time. He’s nodding, trying to finish his mouthful quickly.
“There’s a shitload of opportunities out there, it would be smart,” he agrees, and you nod thoughtfully, though he’s the one to bring up, “seems a shame to be paying rent on two places though, ‘specially if you’re already barely using one,” which was true, you were staying with him more than in your own London flat.
“I was thinking that too,” you gave a small smile, hoping you were both on the same wavelength, “and if you ever had a project out in LA, or had a bunch of auditions or were job hunting, it would probably make more sense… you know… if I- if we- you know if I had a place out there that you could stay at.”
“You could move anything you didn’t want to take into my place here,” he offered, and the tension that had been knotted in your stomach eased considerably, though you feel the need to clarify –
“I still have a lot of stuff here, though, like I wouldn’t be moving for a while, not until maybe next year? After all that Stranger Things stuff.”
Across the table, Ben tilts his head ever so slightly, confused at your sudden concern, his expression turning soft and reassuring.
“I’m happy to live with you, there’s no rush, don’t worry.”
[ID: Tweet from @Deadline: ‘Stranger Things’ Adds 3 New Regulars, Promotes 2 For Season 2 (There are three headshots attached, one of child actress Sadie Sink, one of Dacre Montgomery, and one of Y/N Y/L/N). End ID.]
[ID: @burdenedwithporpoise retweeted @Deadline’s post with the following caption: when u realise children shouldn’t be fighting monsters so u have to bring in two teenage superheroes @dacremontgomery @yourtwittername (Two images are attached; a still of Dacre Montgomery in the upcoming Power Rangers dressed as the Red Ranger, and a still from X-Men Apocalypse of the character Control as played by Y/N Y/L/N, using her scream-attack power). End ID.]
“Ben, I was meant to be at least twenty in Apocalypse,” you sighed deeply, flopping over in bed to lay your head on his chest and sulk for a moment. He pressed a kiss to the top of your head after reading the tweets.
“I know, babe.”
“They’re asking if I can play drums.”
“Ben –“
“If I say yes, I can always learn after, right?”
“I mean, yeah, I guess.”
“Y/N, would you consider being one of my Groomsmen?” Andrew asks you over brunch at his and Jamie’s little flat. You’ve been giving your opinion of floral arrangements, “it’s pretty low effort, my brother’s going to be my Best Man, he’s organizing everything, I just –“
“Andy, that’s not even a question, of course I will be!”
It’s an Autumn wedding, the whole world golden when Jamie and Andrew both say ‘I do’, and you have to pretend like you’re not crying the entire time. Both grooms are wearing impeccably tailored, bright and embroidered suits, Andrew in sunny, pastel yellow, and Jamie in peach; the meaning, the longstanding nickname, is not lost on you. During the ceremony, you catch Merissa’s eye, see her teary in place as Jamie’s Best Woman, and you both share a bright smile. Andrew’s never been very good at expressing his emotions, so to see him crying during Jamie’s vows, it set off another round of waterworks.
Ben’s in the crowd, four rows back, and just a moment, he looks to you, as if feeling your gaze, and you share a look of love, of pride, of promise. Something catches in your chest. That could be us. You’d never considered that before.
Everyone in the wedding party is wearing a suit, at the grooms’ behest, and once the ceremony is over, and the reception begins, Ben, who was of course your date for the function, looks at you like you’re not quite real.
“How is this the first time I’ve seen you in a suit,” he breathes, hands running down your arms as he marvels at how incredible you look in all black, with baby pink accents. You’ve just finished drying your eyes, so his praise has your lip trembling with overwhelmed gratitude.
“Fancy seeing you here!” A new voice joins you both, snapping you out of your feelings, and surprising both of you. When you turn, Alexandra is beaming at you both, wearing a dress in shimmering purple.
“Alex?” You asked, happy but confused. You hadn’t seen her in the crowd. Ben forgoes a greeting and wraps her up in a hug. You follow suit, just a moment after, grateful to see her despite your confusion. When you step back, Alexandra hesitates for a moment, looking between you both.
“Merissa invited me,” she says with a smile, looking so damn pleased and joyful. Oh! “Beautiful ceremony, wasn’t it?”
“Stunning,” you agreed, though your gaze is torn away as you see Merissa looking through the crowd, concerned, “I think she’s looking for you.” And Alexandra turns, expression lighting up at the mere mention of Merissa. As she floats through the crowd, away from you and Ben, your boyfriend wraps his arm around you.
“So are they back together?”
“No clue.”
Merissa kisses Alexandra in greeting, wrapping her up in a hug like long lost lovers finally reunited; that is answer enough.
[ID: A photo posted to Instagram by Alexandra Shipp of herself, Y/N Y/L/N, and Ben Hardy. She is wearing a floor length, strappy, purple dress with a slit up to her thigh, Y/N is wearing a black suit and black undershirt with a baby pink bowtie and pocket square, and Ben is wearing a dark grey suit with white undershirt, the top few buttons undone. The three of them are posing together, arms around each other, looking at the camera with serious expressions.
The caption reads: who invited famine, pestilence, and death to the wedding? End ID]
Predictably, the comments are full of questions about whose wedding it was, asking where Magneto was, and generally thirsting over the three of you looking like actual models. You won’t lie and say it’s not kind of an ego boost. Both you and Ben repost it to your public Instagram pages. You follow it up with a second heartfelt post about the wedding itself, congratulating two of your closest friends.
You’re reminded starkly of Jamie calling him ‘the white boy who looks like he eats cigarettes’ when you find out you’ll be playing opposite Charlie Heaton, playing Vanity Ambrose, a punk photography enthusiast, and resident rebellious delinquent, who begins the season as a friend of Johnathan Byers, who ropes your character into the mystery of the story, but as he leaves you behind in favor of adventuring with Nancy, you end up teaming up with Steve Harrington trying to protect Will Byers while Jonathan’s out of town.
Reading this description, you wonder what about you has you typecast in these badass roles when, in reality, you’re a soft theater student who’s winging it, because they’ve written you as someone that Steve ‘The Hair’ Harrington, the popular guy, is actually intimidated by your character.
It changes over the course of the Season, unsurprisingly. Once Jonathan leaves you with more questions than answers, you go looking for him, and then his not-girlfriend, and instead find Dustin, the kid with a monster for a pet, and at least a few answers for you. When Steve Harrington shows up looking for Nancy too, Dustin collects him too, and your character refuses to leave without knowing what the hell is going on.
As the mystery unravels, Steve learns that you’re more than just the intimidating stereotype you present as, and you see him for more than just a popular jerk, and the two of you bicker over the advice he gives Dustin about girls. You two help the kids set up their fortress again Dustin’s monster pet, and you’re part of the ensemble for the rest of the story, helping protect the kids as best you can, and you’ve always got Steve’s back.
[ID: Two images posted to your Instagram story.
The first is captioned ‘my characters’ and is a still from John Mulaney’s comedy special The Comeback Kid where he’s saying “Do not fuck with me.”.
The second is captioned ‘me’, and is a second still from the same comedy special where he’s saying “You could probably pour soup in my lap and I’d apologise to you!”. End ID.]
“Hey, I’m so sorry, I just have to take this call real quick, it’s very important.”
“All good, Y/N, we’ll break for fifteen and meet back here, okay?” The director of the episode gives you a thumbs up, and you quickly move away from the rest of the cast and crew to answer.
“Babe! Babe holy shit! Babe!” Ben’s elated voice greets you at three in the afternoon in early January. You’re currently in America, two thirds of the way through filming for the show, currently on set, decked out in leather.
“Hey baby, you sound happy, what’s –“
“Babe!” He adds for emphasis, tone ecstatic, “I got it! I – fuck! I got it!” And he lowered his voice, worried of anyone in your vicinity, even with the phone to your ear, “Bohemian Rhapsody!” He hisses with the biggest grin you’d ever seen. For a moment, your eyes go wide, and you fight to control your reaction, absconding further into the woods you’d been filming in, before it all bursts forth.
“Ben, oh my God!” You’re all but jumping with joy yourself, “oh baby, oh Benny, that’s incredible! I knew you would, you’re going to absolutely kill it! Oh my man’s a star!” You practically sang, as Ben’s excitable and incomprehensible yells filled your ear.
“Queen, babe! Fucking Queen!” He made an uncharacteristic noise of excitement, before adding with something of a self-deprecating laugh, “now I just need to learn how to play drums.”
“What if I moved to LA?” Merissa asked over FaceTime, fidgeting.
“For real?” It kind of came out of nowhere for you, sitting in your hotel room on a rare day off, taking advantage of all your free time, catching up with your friends.
“Yeah, I mean I’m about to graduate, and there’s plenty of opportunities for journalists, and…” she hesitated, chewing her lip.
“And?” You prompted.
“And I’ve been saving for a while, actually, like since I was sixteen, and my parents have agreed to help me out –“
“So you’ve already made up your mind then?” You say with a half-smile, but she doesn’t seem to be registering anything you’re saying.
“And it means I’d be closer to Alex.”
“Don’t move to LA just for a girl,” you told her, “but if it’s what you really want, go for it.”
“If I bought you a waistcoat would you just wear it around the house for me?” You sighed wistfully, head propped up on your hand where you’re lounging in his chair on the set of The Woman in White, gazing longingly at Ben in his full period costume. Ben, where he’d been pacing and running lines before the shoot actually started, stopped, a blush creeping up his cheeks when he finally looked at you, taking in your dreamy expression. He approaches you, still wearing that pleased little, half-flustered smile, and he takes your face in his hands, leaning in to kiss you gently.
“Only ‘cos I like you,” he teased, leaning back, and you giggled, taking one of his hands and pulling him back in for another kiss.
Later, one of the production assistants will be by your side, the both of you watching as the director calls action and Ben wraps his costar up in one of the hottest kisses you’ve ever witnessed. The PA asks if it’s weird to watch. You shake your head; it’s a job, honestly you’re a little proud of how just watching him kiss someone else like that makes you think unholy thoughts. Mostly, however, you’re just proud.
“Mum, I am begging you, please do not mention EastEnders,” you plead with your mother as there comes a knock on the door of your family home.
“I won’t call him Mister Beale,” is what your mother agrees to, wiping her hands on a tea towel and heading to the door as you finished setting the table. The door opens, letting in a gust of cold air, and your mother ushers your boyfriend inside, “Ben it’s so lovely to see you again, it’s been far too long.”
“Not since we saw Streetcar,” he agreed, smiling easily, and hugging your mother when she offered one. Making his way through to the dining room, he kisses you in greeting, while your mother babbles about how it’s a shame that both you and Ben are so busy that it’s been hard to have dinner together.
“I hear you’re starting filming for that Queen film in a few weeks,” your mother muses while you were all eating, and Ben lights up when he talks about it, excited about learning how to play drums, getting to talk to the band members, watching old documentaries, and all the exciting costumes he’s been trying out. Your mother nodded along, admiring the way you were regarding him with such pride as he spoke.
“I’ve always liked them, truly tragic what happened to Freddie, truly tragic,” she shook her head, and both you and Ben nodded in somber agreement, before she perked up, “but ooh, that little bassist, I swear back when he had his long hair- that wife of his was lucky to snap him up so quick,” you and Ben share an awkwardly amused look, and your mother continues, “Roger’s always been very pretty, all my little school friends always thought he was the cutest; I’m sure you’ll do wonderful, Ben, you’re a very talented young man, I’ve always thought so.”
You’re very suddenly reminded of her, in this very room, calling him an idiot after you’d broken up that first time, but decide to keep that to yourself.
Ben’s humble as he tries to brush off the praise, but your mother feels the need to mention that she ‘owns all of EastEnders on DVD, so I’d know if you’re talented; that was a long time ago’ and Ben turns red and you regret everything that lead you here.
“Mum, you’re killing me.”
“What? It’s just a fact! I’m a fan of the show, I’m not a super fanatic or anything,” she shrugs, and you take a deep breath before remembering something you’d been meaning to bring up.
“Speaking of BoRhap, I got a call from the director,” which was news to Ben, as well as your mother, “he’s the same one from Apocalypse,” you said for your mother’s benefit, and she nodded in understanding, and you turned to Ben, resting your chin on your shoulder with a grin, “he offered me a little cameo.”
“That’s fantastic, babe, what’ll you be playing?”
“He wants me to play your wife, actually,” you grin, and Ben’s whole expression softens, “suppose he thinks I’ll do quite well at it.”
Filming for the new X-Men movie, simply titled Riot Control starts filming a few months after Stranger Things finishes, and you’ve never been so happy to take a painfully long flight before. It hurts to do without Ben, to have him not be part of the story, but he’s there in spirit, cheering you on the entire time.
To play Control is like riding a bicycle, like coming home after a long trip, like a warm hug on a cold night. Okay, perhaps that’s a little dramatic, but to be back with most of the cast, apart from Ben and Oscar, it felt more like hanging out with friends than any other shoot you’ve been on thus far.
They’ve hired a movement coach for you this time around, specifically to develop a new way of moving and fighting when playing the Symbiote. There’s also more fighting in this one, more time spent in the gym and with a personal trainer and fight choreographer; it’s intense, and most days leave you feeling sore and exhausted, but it’s worth it, you tell yourself every night that it’s worth it.
The best part, by far, is seeing everyone again. Some you haven’t seen for almost a year, not since the Apocalypse premiere, but there’s a few faces you’re more than used to by now.
“That looks familiar,” Tye’s grin is clear in his tone as he looks you over in an unflattering mocap suit, filming as the Symbiote for the day.
“Shut it, Egghead,” you warn him, though when you glance at him out of the corner of your eye, you’re grinning, and he laughs, throwing an arm around you.
“No, come on, I’ve missed this,” he gives you a squeeze.
“You’re just excited not to be in the suit as well,” you counter, and bite his shoulder in a familiar display of affection. He does not, however, disagree.
Much to your surprise, Merissa shows up to set before Ben gets a chance to; that’s unsurprising, he’s still filming back in Ireland, but Merissa doesn’t even mention that she’s thinking of showing up before she’s on set.
“Holy. Shit.” You’re in your full Control costume and makeup, complete with prosthetics, contacts, and fake tattoos. She’s got that look in her eyes again, like back at the premiere, when she didn’t know anybody and didn’t quite know what to do or what to say, “holy shit, dude.” It’s like it’s hitting her just now, how much you’ve changed in the years that have passed.
“Merissa,” and you smile, greeting her warmly, wrapping her up in a hug and holding onto her for a very long moment, “it’s so good to see you! Why didn’t you let me know you were coming?”
“Thought I’d surprise you,” her voice was soft, and a little awed, “Alex flew me out.” She paused, stepping back and holding you at arm’s length, taking in your whole costume, “dude, you look kind of terrifying,” she grinned, “does this mean I’ll actually get to see you at work?”
“Yeah, dude, you’re here aren’t you?”
The Comic Con green room makes your skin itch when déjà vu strikes, waiting for the Ready Player One panel, but Tye is next to you, talking at length about his latest production, to take your mind off of things. They call you both over, and as you stand, you rest your hand on Tye’s shoulder, not an apology this time, a thank you. He gives a reassuring smile, resting his hand on your cheek briefly, nodding, checking in, making sure you’re alright.
It’s easier this time around, you find; they give you your own microphone, which you fidget with when you’re walking on after the trailer plays.
And the trailer- Holy Shit! It looks stunning, so much more incredible than you’d ever imagined. Suddenly, you’re excited rather than nervous, despite the lack of footage of your own character, though they’re still in post, so you wouldn’t be surprised if it takes another trailer or two before she’s shown fully-rendered.
“Y/N, how you doing, you okay?” Tye asks into his mic as you’re all finding your seats after hugging Spielberg and Ernest Cline, the writer, in greeting, and when you look at him, that little traitor is grinning, he must have noticed you fidgeting.
“I’m doing good, don’t have my boy- my-“ you stumble over your words, much to both Tye, and the rest of the audience’s delight, “Ben to hold my hand this time around though,” and TJ Miller, one of the other actors barks a laugh from beside you.
“You can have a Ben hold your hand,” he gestures to Ben Mendleson on his other side, and while you and Mendleson share an amused look, you politely decline with a chuckle.
“I think I’ll live,” you rebound easily after a moment, sitting back and giving an easy laugh. Most of the questions are directed at Steven Spielberg, and the two cowriters of the film, naturally, and the only question you field in the time you’re all allotted is how it felt to kind of play two separate characters, which is easy enough to answer. Until, the inevitable;
“So Tye, you and Y/N – this is the second time the two of you are working together, do you think that made it easier or harder to build that- that relationship between your characters?” The host asks, and when you and Tye share a look, you can already see the cogs turning in his mind, the mischievous glint in his eyes, and you race to raise your microphone.
“Be nice, Egghead,” you warned, and he goes to protest, something along the lines of ‘I’m always nice’, but before he even gets a chance, you turn to the audience, “he sent me a text the other night, at like two in the morning, completely unprompted –“ and Tye’s laughing because he knows exactly what you’re referring to, “that just said ‘You remind me of a pelican’ full stop – full stop,” you add for emphasis, “’that’s not a compliment’,” you huff, but you’re grinning, and shrugging, “so that’s what our working relationship is like.”
“That’s only because you called me ‘Significantly Worse James Marsden’ that day,” he protests, “so my thing, it wasn’t- it wasn’t unprompted.” He clarified, and you had to lower your microphone to laugh, along with the crowd.
“But no, seriously, Gun - Y/N and I didn’t actually interact all that much in our last film, like we did, but not a lot, so it was kind of like, we were building that relationship from scratch, but we’re both- you know we were both already comfortable around each other,” Tye explains, and you nod along in agreement, until he adds, “I just have to keep her distracted with something shiny, ‘cos she bites when she’s bored.”
“You hypocrite!” You exclaim, and Tye’s whole expression shifts to amused and mischievous, “you bite me just as much as I bite you. This is mutual-friendship biting.” And the audience laughs and whistles while Tye just sits back, amused by the chaos he’s created.
“That’s actually not a joke,” TJ Miller adds from your other side, grinning wide enough to split his face, that traitor, “between takes I’ll look over, and they’ll both be on their phones – millennials –“ he adds, jokingly, “and one of them will just lean over and bite the other, just right on the arm.”
“Biting on set?” The host asks Spielberg, bewildered, and the director laughs gently.
“As long as they do what they’re told when cameras are rolling, I don’t care; the energy and dynamic they have is fantastic for their characters, so as long as they’re menacing each other and not the rest of the cast, everyone kind of lets them be.”
The crowd are all smiling at you, watching, attentive, reassuring. They want you here.
And you’ll see them all again in just a few hours for the Stranger Things panel.
You don’t even have the safety net of Tye for your second panel of the day, but by now you think you’ve got everything under control. You’re in a new outfit at your stylist’s behest, changing the look from something sweet to something more rock and roll to reflect your character.
“Y/N, who plays Vanity,” Joe Keery announces, and you shoot him a smile as you walk on, finding your seat next to Dacre.
“Now, Y/N, you’ve already been up here today once before,” the host of the panel cuts in, and you give a laugh, leaning in to your shared microphone.
“Shh, Patton, they made me get changed so people wouldn’t notice,” you laughed, and the host snorted a laugh, quickly playing along.
“Sorry, sorry, welcome to the stage for the first time today, Y/N,” and you laugh lightly as they introduce the rest of the panel. They show the trailer for the next season and you’re kind of blown away; it’s always a little strange to see yourself on the big screen, especially playing characters so against your actual personality, but you don’t look out of place, you look… cool.
And then they’re going down the line, asking the new actors about how their characters fit into this role.
“And Y/N this- this is very familiar, the leather, the eighties; are you planning to end the world here too?” The host jokes, and you grin broadly as the audience laughs.
“What makes you think I’m the bad guy? We’ve already got – Dacre here literally said he’s a human antagonist, dude,” you shake your head, and the host babbles something about the way you’re dressed, the colour scheme you’ve been put in, and you nod in understanding, “well that’s part of my character, you know, a lot of people find it difficult to look past her whole, her whole punk thing, you know? That was really interesting for me, because – I don’t know how much I can say – but I spend a lot of time hanging out with Steve, Steve Harrington, who’s like this popular kind of jerk, at least that’s how Vanity sees him, and so it’s really nice to be able to play this kid who’s like, wearing this intimidating, punk mask, hanging out with the popular guy – for whatever reason –“ you wiggled your eyebrows, teasing the audience, “and to just have these kids discover that there’s actual people beneath these stereotypes.”
“Can I ask you something?” Alexandra’s voice is uncharacteristically quiet; the two of you are getting lunch in a break between scenes, and you’ve squirrelled yourselves away in the back of a restaurant you’d enjoyed back when you’d been filming Apocalypse.
“Of course, anything.”
“Do you think you’d still be Famine?” And she asks it so seriously, that it’s a little surprising, and you have to wrack your brains to figure out what she means. It’s clear her question confuses you, however, because she’s quickly clarifying, “back when we, you know, when we first met; you, me, Ben, Michael, Oscar, we went around and we said which Horseman we’d be as ourselves, not as our characters.”
“Yeah, I remember,” you nod slowly. Alexandra drops her gaze from you back to her food.
“Do you still think you’d be Famine?”
You take a very long moment to think it over, to analyses what she’s saying, what she’s implying, and coming to terms with the fact that such a small detail, all those years ago, had stuck with her. Maybe she could tell, maybe she’d understood what you’d meant when you called yourself Famine, quietly wanting for everything, so desperate for connection, for recognition, for appreciation.
So much has changed in the past two years alone.
“No, not anymore.”
Before filming had started, you’d heard that the story was going to be split over two films; in the first, you play the villain. You find the Symbiote while looking for a way to bring back Angel, but over time, the Symbiote corrupts you, makes you turn to vengeance rather than your loved one’s revival, and for a time, you listen. Broken by Apocalypse and Angels’ deaths, and your perceived betrayal of Magneto, who is revealed to be Control’s idol, during a flashback in which she watches his 1973 national address, she goes after the X-Men specifically, at the Symbiote’s urging. But Magneto’s not with them, and his betrayal is the one that hurts the most, so he’s the one she’s going to kill first.
Not that it works out like that.
But the point is, Control survives the first movie; going up against the X-Men, going up against The Phoenix, Jean refuses to believe that Control can’t be saved, that she doesn’t deserve to be saved, and burns the Symbiote out of her, as Control finally comes to terms with everything that’s happened, everything she’s done and who she’s become, and agrees to go with the X-Men.
In the second, you’re somewhat reformed, and would go back to being a secondary character, living alongside Magneto in his mutant paradise island as the events of Dark Phoenix would play out. At least that’s what you’re told at the time.
There’s never been a more difficult scene for you to film than the final confrontation with Jean; hours, voice raw as you’re meant to be screaming as the Symbiote is burned out of you, nose to nose with Sophie, crying and shaking and covered in cuts and blood. Sophie’s crying too, as Jean, refusing to give up on you, her hands holding your face.
You’ve been at it all day, overwhelmed and exhausted, you’re the only two cast members on set, feeding off each other’s anguish, muttering to each other that it’s going to be okay, that you’re going to get through it. Someone hands you a bottle of water, another lozenge, and your hands shake as you drink, as you try and help your sore throat before the next take.
“We good to go again?” The director asks, and you hand back the water bottle, giving him a shaky thumbs up. Sophie smiles at you, sniffling a little and trying to shake out her nerves before beginning again, “just a few more takes!” The director calls, apologetic.
And again, again, again; scream, lines, tears, a lightshow in your face to indicate Jean’s powers, her grip against your cheeks tightening, until it all becomes too much.
You scream, but you can’t keep it up, and it’s like it’s choking you, your voice lost, overcome by tears, and you collapse against Sophie in the middle of the take, shaking and crying and exhausted.
“No-one, no-one,” she tells you sincerely in character, falling with you until she’s sitting on the ground, cradling you against her, “is beyond help. There is always hope,” and it comes out as a whisper, “there is always hope.”
The director is calling cut, but you sit like that for a long time, in Sophie’s arms, so tired and overworked, and the director apologises for pushing you both so hard, thanking you both for the effort you’d put in, telling you it was a wrap on the scene.
“I know we don’t have you for long, so thank you for coming in and doing this,” the director of Bohemian Rhapsody told you, leading you through to the band’s rehearsal room set, “but you’ll be back in November, right? There’s a few scenes we need you for; the schedule’s all been cleared with your manger, I just wanted to run it past you.”
Your schedule had gotten hectic; it had been less than a week since you’d wrapped on Riot Control, and in a week and a half you were flying back out to LA for the Stranger Things 2 premiere, but had made the trip to London to film your first BoRhap scene at the director’s behest.
“Yeah, all good, I’ve been looking forward to this,” you grinned brightly, smoothing out your brightly colored blouse.
“This is Rami Malek, Gwilym Lee, Joe Mazello, and Ben, whom I think you already know,” the director gives a knowing little smile as he introduced you to the rest of the cast, all already in full costume.
“I mean, we drove here together,” you agreed, and Ben snorted a laugh from where he was sitting behind the drums. You greeted each of the other actors warmly, smiling, shaking hands – Rami kissed you on the hand, apparently already in full Freddie-Mode – before you got to Ben.
“I like your wig –“
“Don’t be making fun of it,” he warned, straight up, and your hands raised in surrender.
“I wasn’t, I never would,” you tell him, and he gives you a pleased little smile as you admire him. His drumming has really gotten quite good, and as you sit on the sofas on set with the other wives while the other cast members float around, mostly in character, waiting for the cameras to finish setting up, you can’t help but admire him.
“You know Ben?” Joe asks, his interest piqued when he notices you tapping your thigh in time to the drum beats. You pause for a moment, and give a slight nod.
“We both worked with the director on X-Men Apocalypse,” you began, and Joe’s expression lit up.
“I knew I knew you from somewhere; you were- you were Control, right? The clone one? You don’t…” and he tries to put it into words, looking at your outfit and kind smile, and hums for a moment.
“Look like I’m about to get into a knife fight in an alley?” You fill in, and though Joe laughs, he’s nodding and agreeing, “I don’t know what it is about me that gets me cast as these mean, badass characters, you know? I’m just- I’m just me, you know, I’m not a fight-y person.” As your amusement dies down, however, you look back over to Ben, and when he catches you looking at him, he raises his eyebrows in silent question, “and we’ve been together for about two years.” You add as an aside to Joe.
You’re hounded for interviews walking the red carpet at the Stranger Things 2 premiere; it’s surreal that this is the first of your projects to actually premiere. It’s surreal, so many people are calling your name, it feels like there’s a million flashbulbs going off in your face, but as things get overwhelming, you remember the message Ben had sent that morning.
[you’re going to kill it, love, im so proud of you x] [remember to reach out if it gets too much]
Remember to reach out if it gets too much. He knows you well.
“Sweetheart, is everything okay?” Wynona Ryder steps up to you before you even have a chance to look for someone to help; she’s been in the industry for a long time, she must recognize the signs. Swallowing hard, you smile for the cameras all around as you tell her what’s wrong.
“Red carpets tend to overwhelm me, and I just need to ground myself for a moment,” you take a deep breath, and she fixes you with an understanding and caring smile, offering her arm. Gratitude flows through you as you tuck your arm in hers as she leads you down the rest of the red carpet. It’s easy with her beside you, keeping you both moving forward to various interviews and photo opportunities.
“Thank you,” you whisper, approaching the main photo backdrop.
“Don’t even worry about it,” she pets your hand, “you ever need a moment, you come find me, okay?”
Once you’re finally at the end, you let her go and pose with your most winning smile for the sea of photographers, joining a smattering of the rest of the cast. Joe Keery and Gaten Matarazzo both wrap you up in a hug when they see you, the three of you posing for endless photos together to hint at your characters’ friendship, before Gaten heads to the rest of the children, and you and Joe pose together for a few photos, before the whole cast comes together.
One of the final shots of the season, Steve drops off Dustin at the Snowball dance, and catches sight of Nancy, his ex, inside and serving punch. There’s a sigh, a mourning for a first love he knows he won’t be getting back, but then, panning over to a darkened corner of the parking lot- Vanity, laying on the back window of her car, smoking, looking up at the sky. Steve gets out of the car.
“How can you stand those things?” Steve asks, and Vanity lets out a laugh, smoke spilling from her lips in the faint light.
“Mother Harrington,” she greets, sitting up, “Dustin make it in okay?”
“’Course he did,” Steve snorts, hopping up beside her on the trunk, the pair of them shoulder to shoulder, “kid looks a million bucks, gave him a pep talk; he made this weird growl but I talked him out of it.” He says, smug and proud in equal measure. Vanity puts her cigarette out on the bumper of the car, grinning at him, “what’re you doing out here, I thought you’d be in there working the camera or something?”
“Jonathan’s got that covered; I’m Max’s ride,” she explained, “I’ve never gone to the Snowball dance before, I’m not gonna start this year.”
“Not even once?”
“Never had anyone to go with,” she admits, a little sheepish. At that, the music starts to change, to something slow and romantic, well as romantic as a middle school dance can get, and Steve jumps from the car, and turns sharply, offering his hand.
“May I have this –“
“Van,” he sighs deeply, hand dropping for a moment, “I’m trying to do a thing here,” and he lifts his hand again in invitation, “now I know the parking lot of the Snowball dance isn’t the same as a well lit gym, but –“
“No.” But she’s laughing, sliding from the vehicle, and gently lowering his arm, “Steve Harrington, I do not want to dance with you in the parking lot of the Snowball dance,” she told him, but she’s still gently holding his wrist, “I would however, say yes to a burger,” she paused, stepping back and shrugging, “or a movie; would you want to see a movie with me?”
“A movie?” Steve asks, surprisingly flustered, “with you?” Vanity shoves her hands in her pockets, suddenly quiet, giving a hopeful little nod.
“We can probably still catch Terminator.”
Oh, the realization occurs to him very suddenly, clear as day on his face, she’s asking him out. His expression melts into pleasant surprise.
“Yeah, I’d love to.”
“Do you know how hard it is being a high school English teacher, coming back from Autumn break when all your students are talking about how they’d just binged the new Stranger Things, and you have to act like one of your best friends isn’t one of the new regulars?” Jamie bemoans you over coffee when you get back from LA; you just raise your eyebrows at him.
“Why wouldn’t you tell them?”
“Because it feels like I’m bragging, and as their teacher, that feels… I don’t know, it feels wrong,” he sighs, and takes a long sip, “it would be different if I was like, telling them that you were coming to speak with them about something, but it just seems like I’d be showing you off if it didn’t fit with the curriculum.”
“Any of your classes currently studying Shakespeare?” You asked pointedly, and Jamie’s entire face lit up like a Christmas tree, as if remembering the years of stage experience you also have.
“My sixth form kids are currently doing Richard the Third!”
“Get the paperwork together, I’m happy to come have a chat with your classes.”
With Ben’s arm around you on set, you feel like everything’s right with the world.
“Have I told you have absolutely gorgeous you look right now?” He murmured in your ear, voice low enough that no-one else could hear, all full of heady promise. You sighed soft and pleased, tilting your head until your lips were mere inches from his.
“Tell me again,” you smiled, licking your lips as your gaze caught his, pupils blown wide and dark.
“Fucking gorgeous,” he mutters again, pulling you just a little closer, and you tucked up against him, leaving no space between the two of you, kissing him quickly. You’re on the Garden Lodge set, surrounded by the main cast members and countless extras, as the scene is reset.
“Lovebirds,” the director calls with the barest hint of annoyance, and you and Ben immediately look to him, flustered, as if caught red-handed. The rest of the cast look like they’re trying to hide their laughter, “don’t forget you’re meant to be annoyed during all of this.” And you nod adamantly but rest your head on Ben’s shoulder; he taps your shoulder once, which makes you smile. You reach down and draw a check mark against his thigh.
“Love you,” he murmurs before he takes a sip of prop champagne to hide his smile as the director calls action at the other end of the set with Rami. You give Ben’s thigh a squeeze.
“Love you too.”
Highschool kids are fucking savages.
“Are you going to be in the next X-Men movie?”
“Connor, that’s not-“ Jamie tries, but you straighten your posture, happy to answer.
“Yes I am!”
“Connor, what the fuck?” One of the kid’s friends hisses and Jamie sighs deeply, reminding her not to use that kind of language. You, however, gave a bemused look to the kid, Connor.
“What do you mean?”
He seems to have realized his mistake, and is quick to backtrack, stuttering that he thought your character wasn’t coming back because the Horsemen and Apocalypse were no more. You kindly explain that there’s more to your character than being a henchman. He nods sagely.
At the end of the class, like with all of the other classes you’d attended throughout the day, you answered a rapid-fire round of questions about anything, not just Shakespeare and theater related.
“Are you really dating the guy who plays Steve Harrington?” One girl calls, referencing a rumor you’d seen circulating a few days ago; the same had been said about you and Tye several months ago, but both were easy to ignore. The girl, Keely, quickly silenced by her friend, who, embarrassed, informs her that you’re dating Angel from Apocalypse; “wait, the blonde one?” The first girl stage whispers, turning red. Her friend nods, and the girl mutters a quick apology.
“Are the Stranger Things kids nice?”
“How old are you?”
“Almost twenty-two.”
“Oh, shit that’s younger than I was expecting –“
“Rian, language please.” Jamie calls.
“Sorry, Mr Fulleur-Keene.”
“How’d you become friends with Mr Fulleur-Keene?”
“I was in a play with his husband when we were younger.”
“What’s been your favourite movie to be in?”
“X-Men Apocalypse,” it’s always your answer whenever anyone asks.
“Y/N can you come hang out with us on set again?” Joe Mazzello calling you is not a surprise; the main four BoRhap cast members have gotten very close, to the point where you’d had them over for dinner at you and Bens’ flat last time you were in town.
“Aw, Joe do you miss me?” You teased.
“Of course, if I was not a firm believe of bros-before-those-who-are-not-bros, I would have tried to steal you in an instant,” he says, with so much faux seriousness that it’s clear he’s making a joke. Ben still makes a mildly offended noise in the background.
“And if I didn’t have the most wonderful boyfriend in the world,” you said, matching his tone, “I’d still chose Rami.”
“Ouch,” Joe gasps, and you’re guessing you’re on speaker phone judging by the way you can hear Gwil and Ben laugh, and Rami call out a very pointed ‘thank you’ in the background, much to Joe’s fake annoyance, “but yes, we all miss you, but Ben’s moping-“
“I am not moping!” Ben crows in the background, his laughter immediately dying down, “I don’t-“
“He actually doesn’t mope,” you agree, and Joe makes a noise in the back of his throat, which you ignore, “you know we live together, right? I’ll see him tonight, I doubt he’s moping.”
“Joe’s the one who’s moping!” Ben calls, and you hear them bickering for a few moments, and then a loud clatter.
“I’m so sorry, Y/N,” it’s Gwilym’s gentle welsh amusement that greets you, amid scuffling sounds.
“It’s no worry, I’m free today anyways; how long are you guys filming for, or do you wanna all just get dinner after?”
“Dinner would be great, love,” Ben sounds strained when he shouts it, and Gwil reiterates to make sure you’d heard it. When you’re in town, dinner with the BoRhap boys is a very common occurrence, and one you look forward to.
“We’re so glad you could come on board, you got the pages we sent out last week, right?” Venom’s assistant director is chattering away to you while you’re sitting patiently in the makeup chair. You make a noise that indicates that you did while the makeup artist is applying your painfully familiar prosthetics. “Just a few little flashback scenes, a little bit of B-roll, a nice Easter Egg, you know? Easy as.”
All the work you’d done with your movement coach for Riot Control feels like it’s paid off tenfold as you walk with an uneven, inhuman gait, expression black, twitching, offputting. If Riot Control was your character trying to hold herself together, then the flashbacks in Venom are the moments where she loses control, where Riot fully takes over.
There’s something feral, and very wrong with Control here, something that can’t be shown in a PG-13 X-Men film. You think you like this version of her more, just a little bit. She is ugly and rotting and using this Symbiote for his power, just as he is using her.
When you scream, you throw your all into it, and the very first time the entire crew is dead silent behind the camera. It’s meant to be a flashback to when you first merge with the Symbiote, and the pain of it takes you by surprise, the scream causing the Symbiote pain, which then causes it to twitch and convulse inside you, a feedback loop of sound and pain, and your legs buckle and you fall to the floor, twitching.
The director calls cut with you gasping and shaking and grinning on the floor of the set, feeling a familiar rush of power that came with blowing people’s expectations out of the water.
“Damn,” an assistant marvels under their breath, voicing the thought they all seemed to be having.
You do a screen test for a film with the code name TrIXie, but you have very little idea what it was about. Everything for it was very hush-hush, just like it was for your screen test for Apocalypse.
There’s several different premieres for Ready Player One within the space of a few weeks, all with a different, flashy look for you to wear.
“Nineteen-eighty-eight’s Beetlejuice! Who invited you?” Tye announced, grinning from ear to ear at the sight of your striped blazer, though he hugs you in greeting. You take it in stride, however, giving him a faux pitying look.
“Whoever made the guest list really should have checked it, how’d an old coat rack make it all the way from the dumpster?” you tell him sweetly, to which his expression sours, and he looks down at the dressed down, brown sweater and black slacks he’d been put in; neither of you looked bad, obviously, it was habit more than anything else. All of you had been told not to overdo your looks for the South by Southwest red carpet, which you were more than happy to comply with. Of course, after a moment you both concede with genuine compliments, so excited to see the product of all your hard work on the big screen.
“We should go somewhere,” Ben muses in the early hours of the morning, all warm and soft in the afterglow, “a holiday.”
“Where would we go?” You ask around a yawn, fingers carding through his hair.
“Anywhere; Australia, Alaska, Cairo? Somewhere we’ve never been.”
“Cairo,” you ponder softly, “we did spend a good deal of time pretending to be there, would be nice to actually see it in person,” tugging his hair, you hear his stifled, breathy groan and grin, “when were you thinking of going?”
“When were you free?”
You pause, considering, and realise that the next few months are the only time you and Ben will have free until some time in 2019, probably. You’re in talks with whatever that TrIXie project is, Stranger Things Season 3 is going into production in just a month, and there’s apparently massive reshoots scheduled for Riot Control starting in August.
“Next week?”
Perhaps he’d intended for the two of you to visit Cairo all along, you realise looking at him with wide-eyed disbelief as he offers you a ring, and a promise across a candle-lit dinner. It’s quiet, it’s honest, it’s you mean the world to me, and there’s no-one else in the world who makes me half as happy or half as proud as you do.
The sun is staining the sky lilac and pink and gold where it’s hiding, quickly setting beneath the pyramids, haloing them in light. Maybe you’re reading more symbolism into it than you should, but you’d lost him once here, in spirit, on film, and now he’s brought you back, for the first time, to promise that’ll never happen again.
You’re looking at the ring, watching it catch the light as you let this all wash over you. He’s waiting, hopeful beyond anything else.
“Me?” The word escapes you as tears of joy begin to cloud your vision. The laugh he gives is quiet, cathartic, and he looks like he’s on the edge of a sarcastic quip, but then you’re smiling, and the tears begin to spill as you clutch your hands to your chest, and his heart melts.
You’re nodding, already you’re nodding, yes of course absolutely, spilling from you in a joyous rush as you offer your shaking hand, and he gets up, his hands warm on yours as he slides the ring on your finger. It fits perfectly. You stand to meet him, kiss him, let yourself get wrapped up in his embrace, laughing and crying and brimming with delight.
“Whatever you want to say, keep it to yourself,” Joe Keery warns you the first time you see him in his Scoops Ahoy costume during the fitting for Stranger Things 3. You’re trying very desperately to repress a smile, but it’s not working.
“But I like your little chicken legs,” you teased him, though he didn’t seem nearly as amused. The tables turn, however, once you’re called over by the head of costume design, hands you a red and gold movie attendant uniform. He, very kindly, doesn’t laugh at the little hat they put you in.
“Hey, can I,” you hesitate, when talking to the head of costuming, spinning the ring on your left hand, “do you think I could wear this on a chain around my neck? For the show? I’d tuck it in, but I just… I’d like to have it on me.” She gives you a warm, knowing smile, nods, and gets you a chain.
This season starts a month into Summer Break, and your character, Vanity, has just gotten back from a month-long stay at a last-chance camp for young delinquents. Her relationship with Steve still isn’t exactly public knowledge, since they’re both young and kind of dumb, trying to uphold their own reputations. The only people who know are the kids, Nancy, and Jonathan. And honestly, who else would believe either of them?
Her parents have gotten her a job at the Starcourt movie theater to try and teach her responsibility, though it’s success is still yet to be proven. When she’s not working, she’s bothering Steve at his new job at the Scoops Ahoy Ice-cream Parlor, where she’s quietly jealous of his friendship with Robin, who is cool and funny and who Vanity’s quietly worried has a crush on her secret boyfriend.
“Ambrose!” It’s your first scene of the second season, and Gaten, as Dustin, calls for your character, delighted. You’d been playing at being in a mood, as if on a break from a job you hated, though you perked up at the sound of his voice.
“Dustin! Dude!” You crowed, wrapping the kid up in a hug as he scrambled from his seat beside Joe, in his Scoops Ahoy uniform, “how was Camp? Did you open your imagination door?” You grinned, putting on a voice to make the concept sound mystical.
“Duh! And I got a girlfriend!” He practically preened, puffing out his chest, which was a rather sweet sight.
“You gonna stand there all day, Ambrose?” Joe asks with a slight smirk, playing it cool, his voice going deadpan, “or are you gonna set sail on this ocean of flavor?”
You know you have some blocking here, you have to walk to the counter and have an interaction with Maya, playing the new girl, Robin, but Joe’s dead-eyed stare is making it hard to not laugh. It becomes a staring contest where you’re both trying very hard not to break, and in the end, you can’t help but crack up laughing, as do the rest of the cast around you. It’s such a stupid line, you love it.
Cut, reset, another take.
“You gonna stand there all day, Ambrose, or are you gonna set sail on this ocean of flavor?”
This time you keep it together, giving him a sarcastic smile, and turn on your heel towards the counter.
“Aren’t you the girl who almost burned down the science department?” Maya asks, and you lean your elbow on the counter, resting your chin on your hand as you look at her with a sharp little smile.
“Almost,” you agree, and you see the surprised, and slightly flustered reaction she gives, as the two of you had worked out in rehearsals, and you order your ice-cream.
[ID: @yourtwittername retweeted two tweets from @JamieFK8:
MR Jamie Fuller-Keene 🌈✨📚: okay can @SHO_Shameless please cast my dear friend @yourtwittername ? because she’s talented as hell and I need her to tell @cameronmonaghan he looks like my husband. That’s not a joke. (Attached is two photos, one from Cameron Monaghan’s Instagram, the actor is posing for a magazine in a floral button-down shirt. The second is one of Andrew, blurry, yawning, and hair a mess over morning coffee, still wearing his pyjamas.)
MR Jamie Fuller-Keene 🌈✨📚: oh god never let me tweet hung over again @yourtwittername how dare u retweet me knowing andy’s going to fillet me for this 😅 😅 😅
You replied to the second tweet.
Y/N Y/L/N ☑️: because you’re not wrong lmao
End ID]
“I feel like I’m seeing you every two weeks now,” you’re on stage at the Teen Choice Awards with Tye, playing at being annoyed during your acceptance speech for Best Liplock. You’ve each got your arm around a surfboard that represents the award, standing awkwardly beside one another.
“Yeah, I was told after the movie I never had to see you again,” he played along, and you cleared your throat, leaning into the microphone.
“I mean… there’s still- we are still doing another X-Men movie together,” you reminded him, and he conceded on that point.
“But I don’t have to kiss you in that one,” he reminded, “it’s my favourite part so far.”
“Well then it’s agreed, let’s never do it again,” and you reach out with your free hand, as if to shake it, though it was a bit you’d both planned, pulling each other in for a big, dramatic show-kiss as the crowd screamed around you. Stepping back, you’re both laughing and a little flustered, before heading off stage while the next musical act is introduced.
“What’s the chain mean?” Joe Keery asks between takes, sitting in the back room of the Scoops shop. Gaten’s getting notes, and Maya’s kicking the wall, sitting opposite you both.
“Huh?” It takes you a minute to process, before the instinctual, bashful smile spreads across your lips, “oh, it’s kind of stupid and sappy,” you murmur, and he raises his eyebrows, both confused and intrigued, and you pull the chain out from where it had been tucked beneath your costume, with only the barest glint of it visible by your collar, “it’s not actually a character thing,” you pause to consider, “I mean it is; in my mind it’s something dumb, like a nail from Steve’s bat from last year that she bent into a circle.”
“That’s actually kind of cute,” Joe gives a fond grin, knocking his shoulder against yours, but you’re not done, and finally you pull the ring out too.
“But it’s actually my engagement ring,” you pause, dropping your gaze to where you were fiddling with the simple little ring, “like, my actual real-life engagement ring; I’m not allowed to wear it on my hand, but I didn’t want to take it off.”
“Oh, shit dude, for real?” He asks softly, eyes going wide. You nod, giving a toothy, pleased smile in return, “Ben, right?” Another nod from you, “that’s so fantastic, congratulations!” And he gives you a side hug. Neither of you can shake your weirdly proud and sunny aura for the rest of the shoot. You haven’t told many people, trying to keep your private life relatively private, but it feels nice to have someone share in your happiness like this.
“You’re in the new Star Wars movie?!” Alexandra is the first to call you, waking you up at six in the morning after you’d wrapped on a scene only three hours before.
“I’m what?” You asked groggily, eyes barely open as you held the phone to your ear.
“It’s all over Twitter!”
At least now you knew what the TrIXie project was.
According to the email from your manager that you’d received last night but hadn’t looked at, your character was named Zorii Bliss, an old acquaintance of Poe Dameron’s, which means you’d be seeing more of Oscar Isaac. You’d be more excited in a few hours; for now, you put your phone on airplane mode and went back to sleep.
“So you’re trying to tell me that you’re dating the girl who sets fires for fun? You? Mister Hair, Mister Perfect?” Maya snorted a laugh, leaning on the table in the back set, surrounded by cameras as she and Joe worked through a scene for episode four together, “you know she’s too cool for you, right?” She smirks.
“Why would you say that?” Joe sighs, frowning.
“You know, between the Russian conspiracy and this, I believe the Russian thing more.” She announces, ignoring him.
You’re not on set for that scene, you’re actually not on set for a lot of your favorite scenes this season, but you’re so grateful you still get to work with Maya and Joe as much as you do. The way your characters interact is so fascinating, and hearbreaking in the end, when all this time, while your character had been so terrified of losing Steve to Robin, it turns out that she had been pining after you this whole time; its not that she didn’t believe that Vanity and Steve were dating, it’s that she didn’t want to believe it.
Yet again, Steve Harrington, King of Hawkins High, gets everything she wants, everything she’s never allowed to admit she wants.
“Merissa’s kind of blowing up on TikTok.”
“Andrew, you’re not allowed to just say made-up words at me like I’ll understand what they mean.”
“Come on, you know what TikTok is, don’t you?”
“Kind of, how do you know what it is?”
“The teens in my show –“
“You sound so old, dude.”
“- are all singing Hit or Miss at each other, and Jamie comes home whistling this song about – listen I don’t know who Tracer is, but someone wants to be Tracer - believe me, everything I learned about it, I learned against my will, except -!”
“Merissa’s got half a million followers.”
A lot of your scenes in the middle episodes are with Priya and Gaten, Erika and Dustin that is, trying to rescue Steve and Robin from the underground Russian bunker that they’d found themselves caught in.
Gaten bursts into the room where Joe and Maya have been tied up, wielding a stun baton like a pro, frying the actor in the lab coat that had been looming over the pair, who does a convincing impression of being cooked from the inside out as he drops to the ground. On the other hand, Maya and Joe are doing an incredible job of acting completely out of their minds.
“Henderson! That’s just crazy, I was just talking about you!” Joe slurs, grinning at Gaten as he undoes the ties around his wrists.
“Vanity! Miss Vanity, you guys ‘ve come to save us!” Maya sings amid laughter, and you kneel down in front of her, gentle and attentive as you work at undoing her ties too, and Gaten tells them to get ready to run, and the scene cuts. There’s something in the air that’s making Maya and Joe giggly, but it adds to the scene, so they manage to make it through most takes without too much trouble. There’s a take where Maya lifts her joined wrists to gently touch your cheek, which you think is kind of sweet, even though your character’s been oblivious to her hints the entire time.
Episode seven, however, is your favourite to film.
“Vanny, Vanny, hey,” Joe’s got his head in your lap where he’d fallen, and he’d seemed to forget about you while he was being interrogated by Gaten. Now, however, he was reaching up and none too gently patting your face, “Vanny, hey if we’re going to the food court, come get- come get food with me. A real live date.”
“In the food court while you’re drugged and beaten bloody?” You asked, deadpan, refusing to break when he sticks his fingers up your nose. Joe laughs loud at his own antics, as it’s written in the script.
“Awe, were you worried about me?” He teased, before struggling to sit up, digging his elbow into your thigh.
“Ow, motherfucker- !” You yelped, and Joe immediately broke to apologise, getting off of you, and you waived him off, just rubbing the sudden sore spot as they reset from your line.
This time, when he sits up, he’s careful not to injure you before delivering his next triumphant line to Maya.
“I told you she wasn’t too cool for me!”
“Oh, dude, she definitely is,” Maya laughed loudly, leaning back in her squat until she was propped up against the wall. When Joe turns, his eyes wide and almost comically sad, you fight not to laugh yourself. It’s difficult to look as tender as the director wants when Joe’s actively trying to make you laugh.
“You’re not too cool for me, are you?” He sounds a little desperate, which goes a ways to helping you fight your urge to laugh. In the moment, you reach up to where you can feel your ring pressed against your chest beneath your costume, and think of the boy waiting for you back home to get you to the emotional place you need to be.
“I –“ you cut yourself off, tone too gentle, too raw, too honest; your character can’t tell him she loves him here, “definitely am,” you concede, and his expression falls, so you reach out, running your thumb gently over the prosthetic that makes his cheek look swollen, “I’m totally kidding, babe.” And he leans back against you, into your arms, this time on purpose. It’s a disgustingly cute moment. The director calls cut.
“I miss you so fucking much, I wish you were here,” you spend more nights than you can count with your phone to your ear, wishing Ben was actually beside you. He’d come to visit you a few times on set, in the months you’d been in America, but the visits always felt too short. Now, in Canada, just days away from starting reshoots for Riot Control, he feels further away than ever.
“I know, babe, I know,” he said softly, and you can hear the ache in his voice. Your gaze drifts to the sky, to the stars glittering overhead, and you play with your ring absentmindedly, “I could come see you, it’d be nice to see the gang again too.”
“Aren’t you headed it Italy in a week?” You ask, and a white-hot stab of pride flares through you, knowing that he was going to be filming for a Michael Bay movie.
“I could leave tomorrow and come visit you before I go there,” he offered, and oh how you wanted to say yes, but you didn’t want to burn him out too badly.
“We’ll see each other soon, when I have a few days free, or you have a few days free, not immediately before we’re both starting shoots,” you laugh, but your heart isn’t in it, and for a moment, all you can do is sigh, your eyes closed, curling in on yourself as if to try and alleviate the loneliness.
“I miss you,” he murmurs, and, like a flash, you have words running through your mind, though you can’t quite connect which specific song you’re thinking of.
“Which- which Queen song is the one with I’m happy at home in it?” You ask softly, and you hear his soft chuckle on the other end of the line.
“You’re My Best Friend.” His tone is knowing and softly fond; he knows what you mean, what you’re implying with the song alone, and he hopes you know that he feels it too. The distance feels like lightyears.
“Ooh, you make me live~” you sing softly, now that you’ve got the tune in your mind, and he hums along to, for a few bars, even as your voice grows quiet, “I miss you too, fuck I wish you were here.” And he seems to pick up on the notes of desperation in your voice, because his answer shifts the tone of the conversation entirely, to something playful.
“And what would we be doing if I was there?” You can hear him smirking now, and can feel yourself already growing warm; she shift to more of a sitting position against the headboard.
“If you were right here beside me? In this bed?”
“Yeah, tell me what we’d be doing.”
Your mouth goes dry, but it’s been a long time since you’ve been shy with Ben, and you’re not going to restart now; you let yourself grin, and get settled against the pillows.
The reshoots for Riot Control are intense.
Thanks to a corporate deal between Disney and Fox which resulted in Fox unfortunately joining the megacorporation, this film is officially going to be the last X-Men movie in this canon, which means no Dark Phoenix, and Riot Control can’t leave things open ended.
Which turns out to mean that Control is going to die.
For some reason, it stings.
Some scenes need to be moved and changed to round out the plot, some characterization reworked and redeveloped, and most importantly, that final scene between Control and Jean needs to change drastically.
It’s interesting to watch how it changes, how Jean, who had been so adamant during the original cut of the film that despite everything Control had done, everyone she’d hurt, that she was able to be saved, to now, thanks to the reshoots, be conflicted, feel Scott’s pain for his brother, and the pain Control inflicts, and think that Charles’ ideology of ‘no-one is ever truly gone’ might not be correct.
Which makes it all the more painful at the end, because finally she sees that Control is not beyond help, but it’s too late for Control to see that, so Control gives herself up in favour of causing anyone any more pain.
“We can help you,” once again, you and Sophie are crying in each other’s arms, standing on a pile of debris in front of a set of green screens, “please,” she begs, “I know there’s hope somewhere deep inside of you, I know –“
“You know so much,” your voice cracks, and you take her hands where they’re holding your face, and you press them harder to your cheeks, you’re looking at her like you know the hurt she’s feeling, like you know you’re the cause of it, but you can’t stop yourself; her expression is horrified as she realizes what you’re doing, “and yet you still think everyone deserves to be saved.”
“Cassidy, don’t do this –“ she struggles, as if trying to pull out of your grip, but there’s lights going off around you, cameras close to your face, which is free from prosthetics for the first and only time in the film. You’d already done this scene a million times with the prosthetics and contacts, now for the final takes without.
And you quickly step out of the scene when the director gives the signal, and Jean screams up at the sky, like a little part of your spirit is momentarily imbued within her, reaching up, trying to catch the last CGI embers of you that will be added in post; it occurs to you that a lot of people end up as ashes around Jean.
“How do you keep doing this?” Sophie half laughs once cut is called again, her voice raspy from screaming.
“My blood is fifty percent lemon-honey tea,” you answer with a snort, and she nods, as if seriously considering getting a cup for herself. Someone hands her a waterbottle, and she takes the time to pat the tears from her cheeks before taking a sip. An assistant comes to touch up both your makeup.
You catch Alexandra watching some of Merissa’s TikToks in between takes, and just grinning like a fool, all sappy sighs and gentle smiles. You don’t say anything, but it warms your heart. When you finally cave and download the app, she’s the first person you follow. She’s got close to a million followers now, and as you scroll further down, you see Alexandra in more than a few of her videos, in the background.
You realise you don’t recognize the background; it wasn’t the place you’d helped her move into a while ago, but you find a video captioned ‘Moving Day’ from about a month ago, set to Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5, and it’s a montage of herself and Alex moving all of her things into an apartment that’s already partially furnished and decorated.
Alex’s apartment.
Merissa’s making something of herself, you soon discover; she’s working for Buzzfeed, has been in a few of their videos, and is putting her journalism degree to arguably good use. A bittersweet pride flares in your chest when you realise that you’ve both been so busy that you hadn’t even know about all the changes in her life.
You invite her to set, to catch up and hang out, and thankfully, she says yes.
Oscar wraps you up in a bear hug the first time you see him in rehearsals for Star Wars. He tells you it’s been too long and you’re quick to agree; you hadn’t realized how much you’d missed him until you see him again.
“Congratulations, by the way,” he adds, and you’re confused for all of five seconds before he gestures to your ring that you’d been spinning absentmindedly. Your expression lights up, and you instinctively look at it, Ben’s smile bright in your mind.
“Thanks! It’s Ben’s!” You say, all chipper and awkward, “I mean- he gave it to me, I – we –“ you try and correct, but Oscar’s expression melts, and he doesn’t seem to mind your excited word vomit.
“Ah, jeez, you guys were always so cute, I’m so glad it’s still going well!”
He’s quick to introduce you to the rest of the cast, who are all incredibly kind and charming in their own right, and with Oscar’s seal of approval, they’re quick to treat you like an old friend.
For how little you’re actually in the film, there’s certainly still a lot of training to undertake, including a short, but stylized set of blows traded with Daisy Ridley, and you’re never one to complain about getting your ass kicked by someone pretty. It’s kind of becoming a habit.
It is, however, a little strange at first, to think about flirting with Oscar. Three years ago, he was playing your weird, pseudo-parental-slash-god figure, and now the two of you had a torrid romantic past that obviously ended badly. Not badly enough to stop him flirting with you, of course, Poe Dameron was like that. But still, at first it was weird.
It doesn’t take long to compartmentalize; if you can spend a year alternating between threatening to kick Tye’s ass and aggressively making out with him for cameras, you can flirt with Oscar Isaac. Who, on a completely unrelated note, has only gotten more handsome in the years since you’ve seen him in person.
“Benjamin that photo of you on top of that fancy dome building makes me both afraid for you, and feel like I want to do unholy things to you,” is how you open the phone call to your fiancé only five minutes after he sends you a photo from the set of 6 Underground.
“Why are you whispering? Where are you?” He laughs at the other end of the line, and yet again you curse your misaligned schedules; while Star Wars IX is filming in England, Ben’s currently in Italy, standing on top of buildings and looking absolutely gorgeous.
“I stepped out of wardrobe for the moment,” you admitted. At that, Ben huffed a laugh, following it with a contented sigh, calling you cute.
“When can I come see you? Are you free next weekend? Italy’s not that far.”
“I’ll be back in just a few weeks, BoRhap premiere, remember? Not long now.” His voice was warm and calm, softly reassuring. You took a deep breath. Someone’s calling you back to wardrobe, but as you consider the possibility of seeing him again soon, you’re too giddy to mind.
“Okay,” you breathe, “I’ve got to go, just wanted to say you look fine as fuck.”
“Thank you, babe, I appreciate it; ‘love you, talk to you soon.”
“Hey, thank you so much for coming out to brunch,” Andrew started one Wednesday morning, holding Jamie’s hand on the table, their fingers linked. You look between them suspiciously, putting down your bag. It looks like an interview setup. It looks like they have news.
“What’s the ulterior motive?” You ask, sitting across from them. They share a look of thinly veiled excitement. Jamie raises their joined hands, kissing Andrew’s knuckles; the two of them appear to have a silent conversation using only their eyebrows.
“We didn’t want to tell you over the phone,” Andrew finally says, slowly, and he looks back at you. Jamie’s almost bouncing in his seat, “we got approved for adoption.”
“Oh my god,” you gasp, eyes going wide, and then, as what he’s said takes a moment to sink in, you stand abruptly, your chair clattering to the floor as you reach over the table to hug them both tightly, “oh my god! Guys, congratulations!”
You hold a fancy prop pistol to Oscar’s head and spit insults at him through a visor. What you’d originally worried about – your shared history as actors – actually ended up helping your characterization. There’s a bit of Control in how you play Zorii, you realise, as during rehearsals, for the first time you meet him, instead of saying the scripted line for the run through, you say-
“Hey, remember that time you asked me to help take over the world and instead died in front of me? What was that about?”
Oscar, who hadn’t been expecting that at all, chokes out a laugh, eyes wide, and it becomes something of an inside joke, that all of Zorii’s anger at Poe was merely Control’s anger at Apocalypse, reincarnated. It actually helped a lot with your motivations, having something you could relate to, to help ground your emotions.
Oscar doesn’t seem concerned for you like he had during Apocalypse. When you ask him about it, he gives a slight shrug, and a fond smile.
“You seem more secure; you’ve grown into yourself.”
“I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to make you wait,” you say in a flustered rush, climbing into the limousine where Ben had been waiting in the garage of the hotel where you were both getting ready for the Bohemian Rhapsody premiere.
“No need to worry, love, we’ve still got plenty of time,” he assured as you closed the door, “you look bloody stunning, by the way,” and when you turn to him, finally, you beam, before you can take in his appearance. Your mouth goes dry all of a sudden, and Ben’s smile widens, “yes?”
“God damn it, Ben,” you breathe, and he knows that tone all too well, pressing a button on the door handle that would roll up the partition between the driver and the back.
“You like it?”
“Tell me you get to keep that- fuck,” you lick your lips and finally look back to his face. He’s smirking like he knows exactly how hot he is, “you just keep wearing all black and thinking you can get away with it.”
“Love, I need you to know that I am barely restraining myself; you are not the only one who’s a fan of what they see.”
“Do not tempt me, Ben,” you warn pressing yourself to his side, hand on his chest, on that sheer fucking back shirt that has you very vividly and precisely thinking about how scratch marks would show up underneath. His heartbeat is quick beneath your palm. His lips, his damn smug smile, is only inches from yours.
“I wouldn’t want to ruin your makeup,” he murmurs. You press your nails against his chest and his smile widens. Tease.
It’s with very deliberate movements that you sit back, open your purse, and remove a single tissue, carefully wiping off your lipstick, informing him in as much of a neutral tone as you can muster, that you’re able to reapply lipstick if necessary. Ben goes to laugh, but you’ve practically launched yourself at him, kissing him within an inch of his life, practically in his lap in the back of this limousine for the entire ride to the premiere.
You let Ben leave first, soaking up the attention from the photographers waiting, while you reapplied your lipstick and straightened your dress.
When you exit the limousine, to much less fanfare, seeing as you were simply a cameo, Joe is the first to spot you from where the main four men are getting photos together; he gives you the most shiteating grin and you fight the urge not to stick your tongue out at him.
Tomorrow there will be photos from the red carpet, of you with the cast, with Ben, with Roger Taylor and Brian May. Tomorrow the world will see you and Ben, toe to toe on the purple carpet as you fix his collar, and they’ll see the ring on your finger, and the love in both your eyes, and finally put two and two together. Tomorrow you won’t even care.
Bohemian Rhapsody leaves you breathless, leaves you on the verge of tears in the theater as you realise that this may just change everything. You’re bursting at the seams with pride, speechless as the credits roll, in awe of your fiancé as everyone around you is cheering and congratulating each other. You’re quiet, but Ben can read the awe on your face, and doesn’t push you for comment with everyone around him chattering excitedly.
There’s an afterparty, and on the way there, you finally speak. It’s just the two of you in the car again, his hand on yours, and your looking at your linked fingers, and the ring gleaming on your finger. He follows your gaze and gives your hand a squeeze, finally asking what you thought of it.
“How did I ever get so lucky as to meet someone as talented and incredible as you?”
“Y/N…” He says softly, his expression surprisingly vulnerable when you reach up and touch his cheek, fingertips brushing his soft skin, tucking a strand of his hair behind his ear. Slowly, you move in, gaze roaming his face, committing every detail of this moment, of his smile and adoration-filled expression to your memory.
“Ben, you’re the love of my life,” you breathe, gaze locked with his, and holy shit you really mean it. Of course you mean it, but you’ve never considered how far reaching that statement was, how desperately and honestly you wanted him to know. He kisses you in answer, urgent and warm, his free hand cupping your cheek and bringing you closer. I know, the kiss says.
“I’m so proud of you,” the words bubble out, and there’s tears of joy, of euphoria in your eyes when you pull away for a moment, and he’s grinning so wide so proud, and I’m in love, I love him, I love him, I love him, rings in your mind like a mantra, on repeat.
If someone had asked you, all the way back in 2015, before Apocalypse, before any of it had even begun, where you saw yourself in the next five years, there’s no way in hell you could have anticipated any of this.
Not even a little bit.
Not the opportunities, not the awards, not the friends, and certainly not Ben.
The idea of a future where you wake up to his smile, golden in the morning light, that was unthinkable at the start. There’s no way you would have foreseen discussing which Queen song to dance to at your wedding – Your My Best Friend and Somebody to Love are top contenders.
You take each other to movie premieres, and award shows, and finally get to take a few months off together. You travel Europe, see sights, let yourselves breathe, bask in the life you’ve built together before you get back to your busy reality.
BoRhap wins SAG Awards, wins Oscars, wins more than the cast and crew had ever anticipated; it’s a moment in time and culture, one that your fiancé is at the epicenter of, and you know you’ll never get tired of seeing him succeed, seeing him flourish.
Andrew and Jamie’s daughter Katherine, who prefers Kitty, is four, and calls you and Ben Auntie and Uncle, and it melts your heart every time. It makes you feel all warm and soft to see two of your best friends doting so much on this little girl who’s quickly come to love them, and you realise that perhaps you and Ben should have a serious conversation about kid; whether or not you personally want them is still up for debate, but it’s still a conversation that needs to be had.
When you win the Teen Choice Award for Best Villain – Female for Riot Control, Merissa’s the one who presents the award, as an influencer in her own right, and you burst into tears when you see the pride in her eyes. Something about this, above the Ensemble Emmy you win for Stranger Things, and the surprising SAG Award nomination the ensemble gets for Riot Control, this Teen Choice Award, as handed to you by your oldest friend, smiling as you both realise just how far you’ve come, it means the most.
And after, Ben will wrap you up in his embrace, brimming with pride and that’s my girl, murmured against your skin, and you can feel his smile in his kiss, in his words, in the reverential way he touches you.
In 2015, you’d been so scared to finally face the boy you’d quietly loved for so long.
Today, you can’t wait to marry him.
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serpentinesarang · 11 months ago
Bend, Not Break
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pairing: i.m (im changkyun) x gender-neutral reader
genre: non-idol!AU, boss/subordinate!AU, third-person POV, similar to the kdrama “Romance is a Bonus Book” (small book publisher setting), part of a series
word count: 1683 | next
content warnings: one mention of blood, one mention of alcohol
summary: you work as a copy editor at a publishing house, and you’re a genuine hard worker who never breaks rules—that is, until a new boss takes over your department. you find yourself magnetized and lusting over him, and vice versa, so perhaps your morals can bend just a little?
requested by: @livingwithmx​
a/n: From here on out, I’ll be incorporating more Korean language and cultural things into my writing, but fear not: I will list a handy key each time with translations and pronunciations! To make it more universally easier to understand my included Korean, I’ll write the Romanized words in the story and add the Hangul in the key.
korean key:
⦿ biseonim (비서님) = secretary; pronounced “pee-suh-neem;” (titles follow one’s surname) ⦿ annyeonghaseyo (안녕하세요) = most common and formal hello; pronounced “on-yawng-ha-seh-yo” ⦿ pyeongjibjangnim (편집장님) = editor; reader’s work title; pronounced “pyung-jeeb-jahng-neem” ⦿ soju (소주) = clear Korean grain alcohol, similar to vodka; pronounced as it looks ⦿ jungyeok (중역) = executive director; pronounced “jung-yuk” ⦿ pyeonjibguk (편집국) = editorial department; pronounced “pyun-jib-gook”
“Good morning, YL/N-pyeongjibjangnim!” Seoyoon calls out from behind the wide reception desk, her adorable chipmunk cheeks dimpling as she watches Y/N step off the elevator and onto the eighth floor, where their employer is located in the building.
“Annyeonghaseyo, Park-biseonim!” Y/N replies, throwing their hand up to wave briefly. They stop at the desk and peer down at Seoyoon. “How was your weekend?”
“Really good, actually,” she chirps with raised brows and blue-contacted eyes aglitter. She moves her hands off her keyboard to prop herself up on her forearms. “He finally kissed me!” she whispers excitedly.
Y/N’s mouth drops open in happy surprise. “It’s about time!” they say, matching Seoyoon’s excitement.
Seoyoon leans back in her swivel chair. “Right?! I still feel so good.”
Y/N smiles, bringing the black coffee tumbler in their hand to their lips.
“I even slipped some soju in my tea,” Seoyoon murmurs, raising her eyebrows again and jerking her head toward the dainty cup in front of her computer.
Y/N swallows their coffee hard and shoots Seoyoon a disappointed look with pursed lips. “Park-biseonim… You know alcohol isn’t allowed on premises,” they remind her softly, friend to friend.
Seoyoon exhales. “I know; I know… Just this one time?”
Y/N pauses, examining the secretary’s face. How could they alert their superior when the sweet girl was just so happy about her boyfriend finally kissing her?
“All riiight,” Y/N replies, turning toward the main doors leading into the office. “Only because of that kiss.”
They smile again before disappearing through the windowed double doors and making their way to their corner office on the far end of the floor. Y/N greets their coworkers, waving at those already submerged in their work and bowing to their superiors. Odd, they think, the entire executive board is here today. Something must be happening.
Y/N gets themselves situated at their modern Plexiglas desk, powering on their huge monitor and turning on lamps here and there. As soon as the computer hums to life, a loud two-toned chime goes off, signaling a high-importance email.
Smoothing out their slacks as they sit on their swivel chair, Y/N opens the email, which was sent to the entire editorial department. Something is happening, indeed.
In it, the department’s director had written:
Good morning, team:
Please meet in the conference room at 8 today to join me in welcoming a new employee to our department. I have important news to share, as well.
~Choi Jaeho-jungyeok
Y/N glances at the time on the computer: 7:57 AM. Yeet! they mentally screamed, shooting out of their chair and bee-lining for the conference room, situated between the editorial and creative departments.
Bursting through the large room’s white double doors, Y/N is greeted by a small symphony of good morning!s and annyeonghaseyo!s, and they bow their head to everyone while walking around to the last open chair at the corner of the rectangular table. Some coworkers have pads of paper in front of them; many have cups of steaming liquid; and others simply have their cell phones lying out. There’s one unfamiliar person sitting directly across Y/N in the other corner seat, though, looking like a stone with their elbows on the chair’s arms, hands clasped, and with nothing in front of them.
As soon as Y/N sits down and scoots in, they glance up to find this man already gazing at them.
Oh my God, they think.
The man across from them is young, around their age or older, and he looks like an Olympian god. Plentiful, chocolate-brown hair frames his intense, dark eyes, and his full lips are slightly pressed together in the tiniest of smirks. He’s wearing a crisp, white button-up with a skinny, dark purple tie. The lanyard holding a small placard hanging over it reads, Im Changkyun and beneath it, Jungyeok, Pyeonjibguk.
We have two directors now? Y/N thinks to themselves. Is that Choi-jungyeok’s big news?
Im Changkyun is still watching Y/N, and normally in a situation like this, they’d break eye contact. But something about this guy has started sucking them in, and the enigmatic glow of his eyes is not helping.
Jaeho causes both of them to snap out of it, though. “Okay, everybody, let’s get started.”
Jaeho is a fortysomething man, gray hair peeking through at his temples and his youthful face looking strangely alight today. He’s not normally this smiley, either. Standing at the head of the table, he clutches a large mug of fragrant coffee.
“You all got my email, evidently, so thank you all for being here and on-time. I mentioned that I have news, and I don’t intend to beat around the bush, so with that being said, I will be resigning as jungyeok, effective next Monday.”
A gaggle of gasps, what?!s, and nooo!s sounds from around the table.
“Order, order!” Jaeho dramatically raises his free hand like a judge, grinning at his joke. “I have been offered a wonderful opportunity on the other side of the city, and I spent a long time thinking it over, so this wasn’t an easy decision.”
He pauses to gulp some of his coffee, pocketing his other hand. “Many of you have already noticed the new face among us, and he’s here today to get acquainted with his new team, as he will be replacing me.”
Several of the surrounding executives collectively respond with an excited, “OH-ohhhhh.” No one seems really upset by this news, and even Im Changkyun has broken into a sheepish smile.
Y/N observes Mr. Im in the moment, noticing his sharp cheekbones and thick brows. His lips look the most tantalizing, totally full on the bottom with a perfectly curved Cupid’s bow above. They recognize a pair of silver hoops on his lobes, specifically from Cartier’s Love collection—ironically, the same design as Y/N’s gold ring on their thumb. Without realizing it, they emit a small hm in their amusement.
When Mr. Im glances at Y/N, they stiffen and immediately angle themselves toward Jaeho again.
“I have been training this employee both off-site and after-hours for the past week now because I, admittedly, wasn’t sure how you all would take the news. So I wanted to train him away from prying eyes,” Jaeho explains, occasionally looking down at the table. “For the next week, though, he’ll be in-house, sharing my office with me—’cause it’s really his now—and familiarizing himself with everyone as well as how you all work together. This is the last leg of onboarding for him and the last leg of Phenomenon Publishing for me. I’m very excited for both my and his future.”
Jaeho drinks more of his coffee and steps around his chair, pushing it in and resting his free hand on top. “I’d like everyone to get back to doing their magic now, and your new jungyeok will spend the day going around meeting everyone. Thanks, guys.”
And with that, Jaeho exits the conference room.
Everyone sits around for a moment, processing their director’s words, but more so trying to figure out if they should say something to Mr. Im, who’s still in the room.
Mr. Im speaks up, sitting upright in his chair. “Annyeonghaseyo, everyone. I want to make my introduction to you all a little more personal, so instead of doing it here and hiding with Choi-jungyeok the rest of the day, I’m going to spend a little time with each of you today. I don’t just want to know your name and role; I want to learn a little about you guys too because we’ll be working closely from now on. I hope to fill the jungyeok’s shoes, quite honestly,” he finishes with a deep chuckle.
Im Changkyun’s voice is like hot blood sliding down Y/N’s skin: unsettlingly appealing, deep, magnetic, and velvety. They gulp hard, fidgeting with their gold ring under the table as Mr. Im speaks.
Y/N’s coworkers rise from their seats, formally bowing to their new boss and making hush-hush conversation amongst themselves as they filter out of the brightly lit room. Y/N is the last to follow the crowd out, and as they send one last furtive glance toward Mr. Im while approaching the double doors, he turns to meet their curious eyes and raises an eyebrow.
Stunned at their unusually brazen behavior, Y/N nods politely before ducking out and speed-walking back to their office. They close the door a little too hard but only because they’re desperate to sit down and catch their breath.
What is happening to me, they think, drinking their own iced coffee.
Y/N spends the rest of their day immersed in their editing tasks, working diligently to keep their mind from dwelling on God himself and how heart-stopping-attractive he is, how entrancing his voice is. They respond to emails as normal, reference the same books as normal, listen to the same low-fi playlist as normal, field interns’ questions as they take turns knocking on Y/N’s door as normal, and they even spend their lunch hour in the cozy break room.
Im Changkyun is nowhere to be seen, and by the time 4 PM rolls around, the last hour of the workday, Y/N had calmed down. In fact, they’d had a spurt of productivity after lunch and were able to finish editing two of the larger manuscripts that’d been stressing them the past few weeks.
Y/N even debated taking off the last hour to quietly read at their desk instead of emailing the finished documents for Choi-jungyeok to skim over, as he gives final approval before the company convenes with the respective authors again. But that’s never been Y/N’s style, breaking rules. They were there to work—“do their magic,” as Jaeho had put it, and that’s how they’d spend the remainder of the day.
The all-glass door to their office swings open, and God himself walks in, plopping down in the small loveseat on the right side of Y/N’s desk.
“I saved you specifically for last,” he says, leaning back in the chair and freezing his eyes on Y/N’s.
They pause for a second before cannonballing into the unknown. “I figured.”
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