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#looking like a beautiful snowflake
my-narrator-is-reliable · 2 months ago
Sometimes when I feel so consumed by anger, or sadness, or numbness and I just need to start ranting for hours about politics or the obliviousness of my nation to their extreme racism/ableism/general bigotry or about my trauma or about somebody else's trauma and I’m just too tired and can't find my words I listen to no children and it makes everything bearable
#it's so cathartic#it's unapologetically hateful and that's really validating y'know#like sometimes I just can't gather my fancy words and talk about how misogyny has affected me since I was a lil baby#or about all the animal cruelty I’ve witnessed and all the animals I saw with my own two eyes get killed#or about how every time I open my mouth to criticize something racist in some Egyptian comedy I get the weird disgusted looks and the ‘’stop#-being a twitter snowflake’’ talk#and about how the teachers in my elementary school mistreated us#and how worse they've mistreated the disabled students#I remember once when I was in first or second grade one of our fucked up teachers said:#do you want to get beaten up like donkeys? donkeys who never care and beg for more beatings? do you want us to treat you like the cripples-#-​down there? and he pointed to the ‘’special school for differently abled children’’#the children were all cannibalizing each other and getting cannibalized and nobody cared#they encouraged it. even#and about how normalized child abuse is here#and about how I can never walk down the street without clutching my keys and glancing around#and I just need to cry ‘’I hate you. I fucking hate’’ at so many many people#it takes all of my hate and anger and turns them to something so beautiful#it's beautiful#the melody is not angry as the words are. it's cold and full of light like a winter morning#like running away in a meadow until your feet are blistered and never looking back#it's like they're saying ‘‘your anger can be this beautiful’’#music loveposting#vent#very reliable posts#child abuse tw#ableism tw#animal cruelty
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restinpeacesensei · a year ago
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hes going to take a bath
#boueibu#akoya gero#gero akoya#my art#i actually drew this last year but now it's sweater weather again i shall post it#hi!!! im so sorry it's been taking me so long to respond ive been busy but thank you so much to everyone who remembers me wahh;; \;A;/#fr33-w1ll wah!! it made me so happy you said the snowflake looks beautiful in the snowy picture >///< you're so sweet!! tysm!!! ;;w;;#silvormoon 'it takes style to look elegant even in a thick winter coat' IKR IT DOES.. to be fair... this isn't a super thick coat tho LOL#he might prefer to suffer the cold than compromise his style ...... akoya in a very thick puffy winter coat would be a pompom tho#i love that you noticed his cheeks are red from the cold!! ;;o;; and your idea about his surprise is such a good one!#maybe he didn't expect it to snow and that's why he's not dressed super warmly .... oh no???#and thank you so much for saying the halloween pic is so cute!!! ;;w;; i love how you call them such cute monsters it sounds so cute!! >///<#i love how you say arima is proud of his hat that's such a cute way to interpret it!!#and OMG you figured out akoya's evil plan.... you're right to give a warning though nobody wants a mouth full of zundar needles!!#what if the candy is full of them now oh no .. zundar get out of there!!#unfortunatelycake aaaaaaaaaa i love how you called him beautiful snow boy!!!! >////< that sounds so precious thank you so much!!! ;;w;;#for giving him such a cute and graceful name!!! \;;U;;/#stellakissu thank you so much for calling the halloween monsters cuties!! ;;w;; it makes me so happy that they are cute monsters!!#ravensimaginaryfriends !!!! RAVEN THIS MADE ME SO HAPPY!!!! ;;W;; THANK YOU FOR SAYING IT WAS SO CUTE SO EXCITEDLY I GOT SO EXCITED!!! >///<#magiccatprincess ahhhh thank you!! im rly happy you like the colors thank you so much!! ;O; it's so sweet of you to call it so cute ty! >//<#lidoxia omg thank you so much!! you're so nice to call it so pretty ahhh ;;--;; kinchan has the cutest hoodie im so happy you like it!! ;w;#ironpaladont aaaa your tags are a beautiful after-halloween surprise to see!! ;;w;; im so happy you love them so much omg wahhhh!! >////<#thank you so much for wishing them a great halloween!! ;;w;; i love how you said it looks like they had fun celebrating im so glad!!#LMAO ZUNDAR GET OUT OF THE CANDY... youre right you immediately spotted the problem.. watch out for zundar needles!!#thank you i love your comments so much!!! >///< i hope your halloween was great too and you got to be who you wanted to be!!! ;;w;;#merelatio eeeee youre so sweet thank you so much for calling it a super cuteeee group picture wahh!!! im so happy you think so yay!! \;;U;;/#kafushita WAHHH thank you so much for all your wonderful surprise tags omg they make me so happy!! \;;O;;/#your reaction to the cute monsters is so cute EEEEEEEP??? you make tiny zundar in the candy bowl sound so cute tysm for noticing him!!! ;U;#i love how you sound so excited to see them all omgg!! >///< thank you i love how you described them so much!! ;;w;;#im so happy you spotted bunny akoya!! in a cute egg with a ribbon!! you make it sound so cute i cry!!!! >///< i love the baby hearts TYSM!!!
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bogglebabbles · 2 years ago
lunariagold replied to your post “I know that a mineral collection is both an incredibly inefficient use...”
Alright, random but today I happened to go buy crystals and got a few cerussites. It made me so happy to feel them again because I'd forgotten how freaking HEAVY they feel in the hand! Sparkly lead carbonate babies <3
Half the fun of owning a mineral is getting to hold it and feel the weight of it. I never got to hold a cerussite but it was on my want-list.
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nctsworld · 9 months ago
two nights, one you
✩‌ jaemin ‌x‌ ‌reader‌ ‌|‌ fuckboy!jaemin | strangers (who f*ck) to (brief) enemies to lovers | ‌10.9k 
SUMMARY‌ ‌⇾‌ a last-minute one night stand gone awry is extended into two nights when you’re snowed in at the cute (but rude) stranger’s apartment on christmas eve. [loosely based on the movie, two night stand] // part of the x-mas in ncity collection  GENRES ⇾ crack | smut | fluff  WARNINGS‌ ‌⇾‌ ‌lots of bickering and dialogue, smut, oral s*x (f and m receiving), fingering, mentions of alcohol/drinking, swearing, bit of angst before the end, jaemin’s an asshole... or is he? RATING‌ ‌⇾‌ explicit TAGLIST ⇾‌ @infnteen​ 
AUTHOR’S NOTE ⇾ it’s late (and long fsldkm), srysry but here it is! i hope the humour comes out in this and look away if falls flat zzz fingers crossed that i can finish the last two installments for this collection asap! 
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⇾ gif created by me, please don’t repost or share without credit!
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Maybe it’s because it’s the evening of Christmas Eve Eve and you’re feeling more lonely than usual.
Maybe it’s due to the two glasses of wine you guzzled down in the span of fifteen minutes that get you buzzed.
Maybe it’s your prominent six-month dry spell and you’re in desperate need for some much needed rain in your drought.    
Or maybe it’s just pure impulsiveness.
Regardless of the reasons, you’re aiming to get laid tonight.  
It’s 9:45pm as you make the rounds on Tinder. You’ve used it in the past, searching for a relationship in vain, but haven’t used it much since you broke up with your last partner. Bringing the app alive again, you’re already bombarded by distasteful messages, off-putting one-liners and jokes, and swiping left more than you’d like.
You haven’t had a one-night stand before, but isn’t there anyone on here that is just a little bit attractive, nearby where you are, around your age, and is somewhat chivalrous about the topic besides saying DTF? Maybe you need to lower your standards if you want to get dicked down tonight.
But then, you land on him.
One Na Jaemin, 20 years old, and only four miles away from you.
Scrolling through his profile pictures and Instagram feed, you assume that he’s into photography, is on the athletic side from the various hobbies he partakes in, and he must be at least half-aware of his beauty because there’s the occasional pic that shows off his lean, toned arms, which, if you can be frank, is more flattering than the shirtless ones you constantly see. Oh, and he attends the same university as you.
The cherry on top? His bio is simple and upfront:
“Not up for anything serious, but always down for a good time ;)”
You swipe right without hesitation.
“It’s a Match!” flashes instantly at you. Your mouth swings open in disbelief.  
Usually, you’d wait for your matches to message you and play hard-to-get, but not tonight. Tonight, you’re initiating and leading all the conversations, completely driven by your thirst.  
Messaging Jaemin is a breeze. He types with more than half a brain, and he flirts, but it isn’t overwhelming or repulsive. Segueing the current topic, you drag your bottom lip upward as you send the following message:  
so, hypothetically... if one were to have good time with you would tonight work?
Not even twenty seconds later and he replies with:
-wow, dont you go straight to the point -im impressed -but yeah -tonight works ;)
He’s quick to send his address.
-let me know when ur here and ill come get you out front!
Smacking your lips together, you squeal to yourself in the comfort of your home, excited to meet with him, but then a thought hangs over you—this feels a little too good to be true. Horrible scenarios run through your head, so your fingers dash across your phone’s keyboard:
tbh i haven’t really done this b4 so im kinda new to this is it ok if we video call or smth? gotta make sure you’re real and not a serial killer i’m sure you understand 😛
-for sure for sure -totally get it -ive had my fair share of fake girls and serial killers so i feel u 😛
Grateful for his consideration, you rush to rearrange your hair after you send him a Zoom link, hoping you look decent enough to not have him back off from his initial offer. He appears in the video call on his phone with the front-facing camera on a few seconds after you connect.
“Hi,” you chirp.
A corner of his mouth lifts. “Hey.”  
Okay, he’s definitely cuter in real-time than in his pictures.  
“You know, I’m not gonna lie, but I lowkey expected to see a dick or something,” you joke in an attempt to dispel your nervousness.  
“Same,” he chuckles, running a hand through his black hair.
Oh God, he’s not just cute—he’s devastatingly gorgeous.
“So, this is my place...”
Jaemin moves around with his apartment in the background, revealing his living room first. Envy prods you as you note the brick walls, high ceiling windows, and well-appointed furnishings.
Recalling his address, you ask, “How’d you get a place in the heart of the city?”
“Lucked out,” he shrugs. His phone shakes a bit as he’s still moving. “My friend slash roommate—who is at his girlfriend’s place tonight, so we have the place all to ourselves—his parents own the condo and they gave me a friend discount on the rent.”
He finally stands in one place and turns the light on to reveal a room. “And this is my bedroom.”
Nothing out of the ordinary. A desk table with a gaming set-up, in tow with a gamer chair, and a decently-sized bed beside a nightstand.
“Oh, and here’s my closet.” Jaemin’s on the move again as he opens his closet doors. “Just to make sure you don’t think I hide the skins of my past one-nighters in here.”
A bubbly laugh rises from you. “Okay, I didn’t think of that before, but now you’ve planted the seed in my head. Maybe you hide them in the other rooms.”
“Nah, my roommate would kill me if I did.”
Both of you laugh in unison, and you bob your head with puffed cheeks.  
“Okay, it all seems very promising. I’m going to get ready and I’ll guess I’ll see you in a bit, Jaemin.”
“Sounds good,” Jaemin nods, then winks. Although you’re sitting down, he’s still able to get you weak in the knees. “See you soon.”
You end the call and rush to bundle up for the snow starting to come down outside. A twenty-minute train ride later, you’re at the front door of a rustic, industrial apartment complex. After informing Jaemin you’re outside, you glance up at the snowflakes falling from the dark pink-grey sky, anticipating for what comes next.
Sex with a hot guy, what can go wrong?  
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So, you must’ve jinxed it because the sex is...  
Unsatisfying. Finished faster than you’d like it to be. Sadly, overall disappointing. If you had to rate it, three out of five stars, at best.
But hey, he came, and you sort of did, and it wasn’t the worst sex you’ve ever had. It half-quenched your dry spell.
And enough happened that it tired you out, leaving you passed out in the handsome stranger’s bed until morning.
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In the morning, your eyes slowly flicker, unused to the foreign, sweet scent engulfing you in your bed. Correction: Jaemin’s bed.
Your eyes flicker faster as you glance through the almost wall-sized window. The snow hasn’t let up from last night. On the contrary, it seems like it’s snowing non-stop. You groan at the thought of going home in this weather.
The bed is without Jaemin’s presence as you reach for your phone on the nightstand. 10:36AM and a few notifications greet you. You rub your eyes and start combing through them, rising upward to sit up on the bed.
“Morning. You’re finally up.”
Peering up from your device, Jaemin’s standing by the door with folded arms. His plain sweater and sweatpants match the colour of his hair. The dazzling smile he gives is so contagious, you’re not even conscious of catching one too.  
“Out you go.”
You blink.
Once, twice, and then you tilt your head as you stare blankly at him, uncertain if you heard him correctly.
After a few moments, because you’re not moving an inch, his smile dissipates and he cocks an eyebrow in expectancy. A serious expression rolls over his face.  
Suddenly, Jaemin strolls to the side of the bed and hitches his thumb towards the door.
You definitely heard him right.
And he’s dead-serious.
You replay the video call from last night, dissecting how you thought he was nice and funny and—
Realization dawns on you.
Why would you expect anything more from a two-faced fuck boy?
Still awestruck by the situation, you’re still solid as a statue, so Jaemin takes matters into his own hands and grasps you by your elbow, casually dragging you from his bed like he’s taking out the trash.  
“What the fuck?!” you screech.
“C’mon, let’s go. Out out.”
“My clothes, though!” you protest in the middle of the hallway. He sighs in frustration, scurries to the bedroom, and returns with a small pile in his arms, then continues to drag you to the front door.  
“Are you always this pleasant with your guests the morning after?” you rage, putting on the rest of your clothes by the door. “You don’t even have the decency to offer me tea or coffee?”
“This was a one-night stand, not a bed and breakfast, sunshine,” he says as he watches you put your shoes on. He’s folding his arms again and leaning against the wall, his attitude dripping with smug. If he wasn’t a stranger, you’d punch it off his face. “You weren’t kidding when you said you were new to this, huh?”
“What the fuck is that supposed to mean?!”
“It means you’re a borderline virgin who needs to toodle-loo, get going and gone because you’re overstaying your welcome as we speak.”
Finishing putting on your coat, you’re fuming as your jaw hangs at the personal jab over your skills in bed. Jaemin swings the door open and shoves you through it.
“But I’ll admit, it was still nice having sex with you!” he chimes with a sickening grin and a hand on the door.  
“Aw, thanks asshole, wish I could say the same,” you sarcastically reply, resting a palm upon your chest.  
He scoffs. “From what I heard last night, I think I can confidently say that you had a great time.”
Flashbacks replay in your mind of your screaming fest from underneath him. Little did Jaemin actually know—
“You know, for someone who I assume has many one-night stands,” you spit with squinted eyes. “I’m surprised you can’t tell when girls fake it.”
You must’ve hit a sore spot because he grinds his teeth and you could almost see the steam coming out of his ears.
Oh yeah, you’re definitely the winner in this fight.
“Okay, you know what, Merry Christmas and fuck you. Have a great life!”
“Fuck you, dickface. Wishing you a miserable Christmas!”
With a bitter smile, you flip him off as he slams the door in your face.
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Carrying a basket filled with dirty clothes, Jaemin’s on the way down to the laundry room in the basement of his apartment with his shoulder scrunched up, squeezing his phone to his ear.
“Bro, she had the audacity to say that I didn’t make her come when she was screaming my God damn ear off—”
As he steps down the short flight of stairs and passes by the foyer area by the main entrance to the building, he notices you’re still here.
“Shit, uh, Jeno,” he mumbles. “I’m gonna have to call you back.”
He stuffs his phone into the pocket of his sweats and calls out to you as he strides closer. “Are you resorting to stalking me by my front door now?”
With crossed arms, you peer over your shoulder, eyes full of bitterness.
“Like I wanna be anywhere near you right now,” you grumble. You jerk your head towards the thick, wooden door. “It’s jammed from the snow.”
The laundry carrier shakes his head and places the basket onto the floor. “A little snow never hurt anyone. You’re probably just too weak.”
Stepping aside and holding out an arm, you signal for him to give it a try.
Jaemin twists the handle and, lo and behold, it doesn’t open. His forehead crinkles as he tries again and again, using more force each time.
Glancing through one of the partially frosted windows adjacent to the sides of the door, he notices the snow has piled enormously high, almost to the height of his chest.
“Well, shit.”  
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Reluctantly, Jaemin brings you back to his apartment. You’re technically his guest and if he left you in the foyer to freeze, trouble would surely come his way, whether it be in the form of his landlords (also known as his roommate’s parents) or the police.
Without a word, he settles a spoon in a bowl, a carton of milk, and a box of cereal onto the small kitchen table.
At first, you stare at it venomously in rejection, thinking you can easily last a day without any hand-outs from this son of a bitch, but your stomach roars ferociously three seconds later.
As you chew across from him, you enjoy the company of your phone over him, while he does the same but with a cup of coffee in hand.
After finishing your food, you adamantly place your phone down and lean back into the chair, boring holes into his head.
“Why are you such an asshole?” you seethe observantly.
“Why are you such a bitch?” he retorts, not pulling his gaze away from his phone.
“Because you started it,” you say slowly, stating the obvious.
“No, you.”
You sigh defeatedly at his childish behaviour. The weather apps predict the snow will (hopefully) die down by tomorrow morning, thus you’re officially stuck with him for the next twenty-four hours or so. Your hands rake through your hair.
“Whether we like it or not, the snow isn’t going away until tomorrow. Merry Christmas Eve to us, I guess.”
He’s still glued to his phone. You exhale another sigh.
“Since we’re not getting out of this until then, can we just...” You soften your voice. “Start over?”
His eyes are still on the screen, but from the way his shoulders tense and how he stops scrolling, you know he’s considering your proposition.
“At least call a stalemate over this.” You drift your hand in the air, gesturing between you and him.
Blowing out air and shaking his head, he rests his phone onto the table.
He crosses his arms, imitating you, and the two of you sit there, staring at each other in a long silence.  
One minute, to be exact.
You’re the one to break the silence game by running your hands over your face, letting out a hybrid of a groan and laugh.
“God, the fact that we had sex makes this kinda awkward, huh?”
Jaemin’s exterior melts slightly, letting out a snicker. He shrugs, “Then let’s just pretend that we didn’t have sex.”
“We can’t just pretend that we didn’t have sex,” you say, holding two upturned palms near your face.
“We did it, it’s done. I’ve seen your penis, you kicked me out, and you labelled me a prude—” You dart a finger towards him. “—which I am far from, by the way. All of those are pretty huge things.”
One of the corners of his mouth raises high. “Are you saying my penis is huge?”
“No, the implication of said penis is huge. Wipe that smirk off your face.”
He stretches an arm, holding an imaginary microphone to your face. “Do you deny that my penis is huge?”
Rolling your eyes, you swat his fist away. “What am I, on trial here?”
“Do you plead the fifth then?”
Annoyed, you roll your eyes again. Why do you get the feeling that you’re probably going to be doing this a lot more today? Another feeling tells you that if you don’t answer his question, he’ll probably pester you until you do.
You tilt your head side to side. “It’s... decently sized.”
“Bigger or smaller than average?”
“Perfect...” His eyes light up. “ average.” And a frown rolls over.
He squints his eyes accusingly at your sneer. “Are you lying like you did before about faking it?”
You scoff. “I wasn’t lying about faking it, and I’m not lying now about your average sized dick.”
Jaemin releases a disgruntled grumble and lifts his cup to his face. You notice he likes to take his coffee black and bitter, presumably like his heart.
“So, Miss I’m-Not-A-Prude-and-I’ve-Definitely-Had-Sex-Before.” His eyebrows perk up on the word definitely. “What’s your story? Why the last minute one-night stand?”
Shrugging your shoulders to your ears, you reply, “Haven’t had sex in a while.”
“When’s the last time you had sex?” he asks mid-sip.
“Half a year ago,” you respond nonchalantly, perching your chin into your palms.
Jaemin immediately chokes, almost spraying the coffee through his nose.
“Half a year?!” he gasps. It takes him a few hits to his chest to dispel the coughing. “Six months?!”
“Wow, you can count!” you exclaim in a condescending tone. You change the position of your hands so that your chin is now atop of the back of your curled fingers and tilt your head. “Can you also spell?”
“As a premed student, I can assure you that I am capable of doing both,” he says with a slight strain due to the coughing fit. The humble brag brings on another eye roll. Of course he’s a premed student with the attitude he wears.
“It’s just—” He clears his throat and swallows the last bit of coffee stuck in his windpipe. “—The last time I had a dry spell was for like, a month, tops.”
So the fuckboy gets laid way more on the daily than you expect. You’re torn between being envious over how much action he gets in comparison to you, or remorseful, since you’re now just one of the many notches on his bedpost.
No matter, sarcasm is always the best defence mechanism.
“Good for you, Jaemin. I’m sure you’re very proud of that.”
There’s an awkward beat. His head hangs for a moment while his thumbs stroke the sides of his cup. A strange pinch of guilt occurs. Did you overstep an unspoken line? But then he drags himself back to reality in a heartbeat.
Jaemin brings the cup to his mouth again, mumbling, “At least the sex on your part makes more sense now; you’re rusty as fuck.”
Completely aware of what he said, you trash your guilt entirely and narrow your eyes. “What did you just say?”
Following a long sip, he hums, “Mmm, nothing.” Soon after, he stands up with his cup.
“I’m gonna go game now. Feel free to watch Netflix on the TV and stay in the living room.”
As if you had anywhere else to go...  
He begins to walk towards his room as you mutter under your breath, “I’m not a dog.”
“Says the bitch,” he pipes up, taking you by surprise.  
“Thought we had a stalemate?!” you shout, leaning your head forward as you watch him entering his room.  
“Doesn’t mean we’re on peaceful terms!” he sing-shouts.
The flinging of the closed door echoes throughout the apartment.
Regret surges through you. You just had to choose a fuckboy fluent in assholery and end up incidentally being isolated with him during a snow storm on Christmas Eve.
You wonder if you can handle being around him for the next twenty-four hours without killing him first.
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During the afternoon, you’re on the living room couch, playing a show as mostly background noise while you’re on your phone. At one point, your phone unsurprisingly begins to die and you tread over to Jaemin’s door to ask for a charger and if you can also take a shower. He’s still annoyed by your existence, but at least he hands you a charger and lets you know where the extra towels are.
Stepping into the living room with the towel in your hand as you dry your hair off, you peer out the large living room window and see nothing but white engulfing the streets and buildings as far as the eye can see.
You pray the snow will eventually stop as soon as possible so you can head back home.
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By the middle of the afternoon, Jaemin emerges from his bedroom and shocks you by plopping down on the opposite end of the living room couch from where you’re sitting.
“Bored?” you ask, eyes fixated on the TV screen.
“Nope,” he replies, popping the p as he says it. His slings his arm around the top of the couch.
“Gotta keep an eye on you in case you do something.” Turning away from the screen, he faces you and motions circles with his hand. “You’ve got a little crazy in you, I can feel it.”
You quickly glance over at him, but try to refocus on the TV. “Need I remind you that you’re the crazy one, dragging me out of the apartment right as I woke up.”
That compels him to turn his whole body towards you. “Well, you’re the one who wanted a last-minute one-night stand.”
You match his stance. “As if I’m the first girl in your bed to stay in the morning?”
“Actually, yeah.” He aggressively tilts his head to one side. “Most girls leave before I even get up. The other percentage don’t fight me when I ask for them to go, so it looks like you’re the odd one out.”  
You press your lips together, refusing to admit that maybe he has a point, under the assumption that he’s telling the truth.
Jaemin twists his body back to the screen and adds, “I make it very clear on my profile that I don’t do morning afters, sweetheart.”
And you agree that his profile is clear about his intentions, but that doesn’t mean you can condone his shitty behaviour.
“Well, sorry that I expected just an ounce of respect instead of getting kicked to the curb after you stuck your dick in me,” you grumble, shifting back to the show and crossing your arms.
“Morning afters lead to attachments, and attachments lead to feelings, and feelings lead to relationships,” he says the string of words clinically, as if it’s a mantra that he lives by.
Your eyebrows knit together as you whip your head towards him once more, studying him.
“And what’s so wrong with that?”
Deliberately averting your gaze, Jaemin grates his tongue between his teeth, a slight tsk audibly heard, and his chin juts out. There’s definitely a story behind his ways. He huffs and changes the subject.  
“Seriously?” He holds a hand out. “You’re watching this trashy show?”
Squinting your eyes at him, you could probably interrogate him further, but you decide otherwise.  
“It may be trashy,” you concur, looking at the TV. “But it’s my trashy comfort show.”
Following an over-the-top acted out scene between the show’s main love interests, Jaemin shoots up from the couch.
“Yeah, no, I can’t handle this. Can we either put on something else or game or something?”
“Why don’t you go back to your room to game, Mr. I’m-Not-Bored?”
“Like I said, I gotta keep an eye on you,” he says while bending over in front of the TV, already setting up the Playstation. He tosses you a controller as he strides to his side of the couch again.
He mumbles to himself, “Need to make sure you don’t go crazy from the lack of human interaction.”
Either Jaemin is selfish and only looking out for himself, or he wants to make sure you’re not feeling lonely in a stranger’s home.
Likely the first reason, you deduce—because why would a guy like Jaemin care about a mere one-night stand?
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Admittedly, you’re not the best at games, especially at fighting ones. You can comprehend the move lists, but you like to live by button smashing the controller and repeating moves over and over.  
So it’s hilarious when you beat Jaemin every round with your surprisingly fruitful technique.
“Okay, this is bullshit,” Jaemin complains, sticking his tongue out in irritation. His ass is currently being handed to him on a plate again since you’re almost done killing his character off. “You must be lying to me; you have to be a pro player or some shit.”
Jaemin’s health bar is dangerously low as your character jabs his with a sword. He winces out loud and you snicker.
“Why do you think I always lie about everything?! Dude, you have serious trust issues,” you joke before you steal the opportunity to slice his character. One more hit and he’s done for.
“I do not! I just—nooo!”
You rise to your feet and pump your arms in the air, turning in circles in joy over yet another win.
Sulking, Jaemin eyes your little dance from his end on the couch, but as he watches you more, a feeling balloons in his chest. Something he hasn’t felt in a long time.
Finally coming down from your post-win high, you spot an emerging grin from the corner of your eye, making you pause.    
“What?” you eye him suspiciously.
Your suspicion pops the sensation in his chest and, like a fish out of water, his eyes widen and his grin melts away.
“Nothing, uhm.” He ruffles his eyebrows and palms the back of his neck, quickly facing the TV. “Let’s go one more round and then we can switch to another game—”
Suddenly, the TV and surrounding lights switch off. Both of you waver your eyes, anticipating for them to come back on, but they unfortunately don’t.  
Jaemin rushes over to the window. When he swivels his head towards you, his face darkens.
“Looks like it’s at least the whole block. The streetlights are out too.”
Without another word, he dashes to the linen closet and brings back several blankets. He calmly explains that there won’t be heat since it’s connected to the electricity, so it’d be best to keep warm with the extra layers.
Not wanting to scare you, he doesn’t add the fact that due to the huge windows in the apartment, more unnecessary cold air will come in, but you’re already cognizant of it from your own logic and since the remaining heat dissolves rapidly.
You groan and retreat into the massive blanket over your shoulders, turtling your head.
You can’t believe you’re going to fucking die in this asshole’s apartment on Christmas Eve.
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On the ends of the couch in your makeshift blanket jackets, both of you attend to your phones for a while.
From what people and the news outlets are saying, it’s not just the block, but the whole city grid is out. You frantically text your friends, giving updates on how you are and half-jokingly telling them that you’re going to die with your dreadful one-night stand. Some time passes and Jaemin tosses his phone  off to one side.  
“Well, since there’s nothing else to do and we should probably conserve our phone batteries—” You glance up at him from your phone and pout. Slowly nodding in agreement, you toss it aside too. “—why don’t we play a game of ‘I’ll-Give-You-Pointers-on-How-to-be-Better-in-Bed’?”
A smile burgeons on his irritatingly handsome face and your eyes roll. At this point, you wonder if the reaction is conditioned into you. “It’ll be my early Christmas gift to you.”
“Wow, so thoughtful, how could I ever thank you?” You drag the blanket closer to your chest in false gratitude.
You think for a serious moment if you really want to go through with this. Hearing Jaemin run his mouth on you unwarranted is already painful, but to give him the go-ahead to do so? Especially criticizing your skills in bed?  
You blow out a sigh, noting the slightly visible cloud. You’re grateful Jaemin has thick, downy blankets.  
Well, if you’re going to die, may as well know what went wrong, right?
“Fine, but if we’re playing this game, we have to say everything honestly and take the criticism we get.” You point a stern finger. “No rebuttals, just acceptance.”
“Wait.” Jaemin crinkles his face in genuine confusion as his hand peeks out from his blanket.
“You have things to criticize about me in bed?”
Your lips tremble before you burst into laughter. Displeasure is on Jaemin’s tight-lipped face as you laugh for a while, almost keeling over in your blanket ball onto the hardwood floor. “How conceited are you, oh, my fucking God?”
He slices his hand through the air. “I’ve never had any complaints—”
“Because you’re too busy focusing on your own orgasm, you selfish dickwad,” you say as your laughter dies down.  
He sits in his snit for a few more moments until he gets over it.
“Fine, fine,” he huffs. Jaemin knows he’s not going to enjoy this, but he’s the one who suggested it. He can’t back out now. “Let’s just get this over with, you go first.”
With your blanket held by your chest, you hop off your end of the couch and shuffle over in front of him where he’s seated. Beaming, you begin.
“Let’s start with foreplay.” Jaemin’s eyes light up with confidence, thinking he’s at least decent with that. You crush his expression as your lips purse and you shake your head.
“What do you mean?! I kissed you as you took off your clothes.”
You stick your free hand out from your blanket, extending your index finger.
“One: you only kissed my lips. You know, there are other parts of me to kiss, like, I don’t know, my neck, my arms, my shoulders.”
You extend another finger. “And, two: it’s weird to not help someone take off their clothes. Like you’re in a super rush to get somewhere or something—”
“We’re fucking!” he cuts in sharply. “This is a one-night stand, not a relationship.”
Closing your eyes and dropping your head, you pinch the bridge of your nose. You sigh in exaggeration.
“Thought we agreed no rebuttals...” you softly sing-say.  
Jaemin’s head sinks a little into his blanket. “Sorry.”
Removing your hand, you shrug. “Maybe there’s some rule that I don’t know about one-night stands, so this could be on me.”
You start to aimlessly tread back and forth in front of him, dragging the blanket along too. “But fuck, foreplay is foreplay for a reason. You work your way up to the heat of the moment and it makes sex much better, regardless if you’re in a relationship with the person or not.”
“Next point.” You stop walking and direct your focus on him. Pointing your finger and looking him dead in the eye, you ask, “Do you know what a vagina is?”
He snorts with a simper. “Uhhh, is this a rhetorical question?”
“No, I’m legit asking,” you say with a raised eyebrow and snarky smile. “Because when you went down on me, all you flicked your tongue at was the outside of it, also called the labia if you didn’t know.”
“I’m premed, of course I—”
“Which is great! But you didn’t go any deeper nor did you go near my clit.”
You thrust your finger again. “Do you also know what that is?”
“Yes...” he groans with the flickering eyelids.
You swipe your arm through the air. “Maybe make use of it, and not only when you go down on girls. Even during sex, touching it is great.”
“And lastly,” you continue. “I’ll be honest here, you have a decent dick.”
Jaemin waggles his finger. “So you were lying before—”
“I wasn’t lying,” you retort firmly. “But anyways, you’ve got the stuff, but why don’t you put it to better use?”
With the following words, you attempt to gesture with your body and execute moves as graphic visuals. Jaemin giggles at the sight.
“Vary the speeds and the angle, don’t just slam it in me and go crazy fast from the get-go. Build up to the climax. Jesus, I couldn’t even get close to coming because you’re like a jackhammer from start to finish.”
When you finally finish, Jaemin’s giggles morph into hollow laughs. Frustration is blatant on your face, pondering if he even absorbed a single word you said.  
After he calms down, he asks, “Are you done?”
You mumble, “Yeah, I think so.”
The two of you switch places. He shuffles onto his feet with his blanket while you sit back on the couch.
Jaemin pulls the blanket across the floor as he ambles. “Okay, your head game is decent—”
“Excuse you, my head game is strong.”
“Uh-uh, rebuttal,” he points out.  
You sigh. Pinching your fingers together, you drag the invisible zipper across your mouth, then wave your hand, allowing him to resume.
“Your head game is decent. You definitely can deepthroat, but—” He mirrors you from before and extends his index finger.
“One: this happened only a few times, but your teeth scraped against my dick, which is why I assumed you were a borderline virgin.”
You fume silently at the accusation, attempting to not speak up with a heap of rebuttals. But he wasn’t wrong—if you teethed on his dick, that’s a classic virgin move.
“But that’s okay, because we already established that you’re just rusty.” Jaemin flashes you a fake comforting smile as he continues to pace. You flash him one back.
“And two—” He holds another finger out. “Don’t be scared to use your hands and stroke me. Give my dick some love. If it’s too wet, just wipe your hands on the bed or something.”
“Okay, duly noted,” you hum. “Next.”
“Don’t be scared to touch me.”
“I touched you so much during—”
He shoots you a glare. You roll your mouth inward, your lips disappearing instantly.
“Your hands were mostly on the sheets, which is hot, but guys like to be felt up too.”
The attractive individual peers up for a second, thinking to himself. “Even hotter when a girl feels herself up during the fucking, but that’s beside the point. Baby steps, just remember to touch the other person.”
Jaemin does a full-stop and faces you.
“And just... don’t fake it.” Distress is evident in his pout. You hate to admit it, but it’s a little cute. He raises an arm and jerks it in the air. “Why do girls fake it?”
“Because guys with egos like you can’t handle criticism,” you reply bluntly.  
“What are we doing, having this conversation, hm?”
“We wouldn’t be having this conversation if it didn’t snow in and keep us here together.” You peel a hand away and gesture to the window. “If I walked out of here this morning, you would’ve just fucked the next girl the same.”
He defends himself, “Faking it just feeds our egos.”
“Yeah, well, if I told you afterwards that I didn’t come, what would you do?”
“Try to make you come in other ways?”
Shaking your head, you scoff. “Guys like you aren’t that considerate.”
“You’re right.” He assents, holding his pointer finger against his chest. “Because guys like me aim to please.”
A brilliant thought leaps in his mind and Jaemin gasps. You can only assume bad things from the wicked smile he sends your way.  
“Why don’t we try it again?”
Perplexed, you squint at him.
“Try what again...?”
“Sex,” he says enthusiastically.
You blankly stare at him.
“You’ve gotta be joking,” you deadpan.
“I mean, there’s nothing else to do and it’ll keep us warm.” 
You continue to stare at him until you groan.
“Oh, my God...” Your blanket droops a bit off your shoulders as you drag your palms across your face. “I cannot believe I’m stuck in this snowstorm with you out of all people...”
Sitting next to you, Jaemin persistently reasons with you. “Think of it also as another learning experience for the future partners we’ll have.”
“Yeah, if we don’t die first!” you shriek.
“We’re not going to die,” Jaemin replies in a mocking tone and a dart of his tongue.  
Outside the window, the snow seems to have slowed down, but not by much.  
God, Jaemin better be fucking right because you want to live to see another day.  
“Fine,” you mutter and match his gaze. “But we have to be vocal throughout the whole thing. Say whatever’s on our mind.”
“Fine,” he agrees to your terms. He produces the same wicked smile again. “But can we film it then? So we can study it after?”
You fire him a death glare that melts his face off, even in the frigid atmosphere.
“I’m joking, I’m joking,” he says, waving his hand.
They say that jokes are half-meant true, but you think Jaemin fully meant it. Still in your blanket jackets, Jaemin snags your free hand and leads you to his room.
“You gotta give me credit for trying, though.”
“No.” You shake your head with an unwilling smile creeping on the edge of your lips. On second thought, maybe the joke was a little funny, but you still stand by your opinion that he’s the most annoying person in the world. “I don’t think I will.”
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“Thank God Chenle has so many scented candles...”
On the edge of Jaemin’s bed, huddled by the blanket, you watch him light up several large jars, placing them on his nightstand and desk in hopes to brighten the room. It’s already late afternoon, but one could mistaken it for nighttime with the muddy sky due to the snow.
“Is Chenle your roommate?”
“Yeah,” Jaemin answers with a slight shiver, igniting the last candle near the bedside. He removed his blanket when he went to nab the matches and candles. “His girlfriend gets free ones from work, so she always gives him a shit ton, even though he never uses them.”
With a glowing hue against his face, he blows out the match. He makes his way to you, a cocky grin plastered on him, as he says, “Guess we’re making use of them now, though.”
Before you can even respond, Jaemin gets right down to business—sitting beside you on the mattress, he palms your face and drags you in for a kiss. You softly yelp, but immediately reciprocate.
The cover falls off your body as you reach to touch him, fingers drifting over his solid arms.
You don’t want to stroke his large ego, and maybe it’s because you haven’t had anyone else on you in a while, but Jaemin’s kisses are something else.
The cushiony pair of lips always executes enough pressure against your mouth, increasing and decreasing on command in perfect tandem and timing. His hands hover over your waist and the nape of your neck, fingers sinking into your hot skin.  
His mouth trails downward the side of your neck. You crane your head back, indulging in his caresses as soft moans trickle out.
He gently signals for you to recline back and lay onto the mattress, moving the sea of blankets aside. Inclined on his elbow, almost atop of you, his cool fingers glide under your top layers, his thumb stroking against your stomach.
Pulling away from your body, he tugs on the ends of your clothes. You rise from the bed to better the angle for him to discard of them.
The hairs on your skin are standing on end from the frigid air, but you’re too focused on Jaemin’s mouth migrating over your upper arm and your bra-covered chest to care. Without notice, he stuffs a cup of the bra to one side and takes your bosom into his mouth.
Air’s seized from your lungs and your core contracts from the pleasure. Your fingers tug on Jaemin’s luscious locks and his free hand squeezes your unoccupied breast.    
After a few twirls of his tongue and a gentle drawing of his teeth on the pointed tip, he mumbles hotly into your chest while he thumbs your other nipple, “Foreplay still non-existent?”
“It’s better, I guess,” you sigh with fluttering eyes. His chuckling reverberates against your cleavage, a sign of amusement from your obstinacy. A gasp pierces the room as Jaemin repeats his actions onto the other breast.
He aids you in taking off the rest of your clothes and, obviously aware of your goosebumps and shuddering, tells you to get underneath the blankets while he strips himself.
Under the toasty ocean of layers, despite how both of you are bare-boned and how easy it is to jump into the main act, Jaemin purposefully continues to prolong the foreplay. Side by side, your lips meld endlessly; your legs and hands are intertwined in an amorous pretzel.
Jaemin ensures he doesn’t leave any part of you untouched—the pads of fingers virtually graze over every inch of your body. Each grip and drag of his digits sends you in a frenzy. Your chest is pressed into him and your eyes are blinded with desire.
In the back of your mind, you think about how you were right about foreplay working up to the heat of the moment—literally, because you’re dripping, he’s hard, and you two have embraced so much that you don’t need the blankets anymore.  
On the other hand, you wonder if Jaemin was right about skipping foreplay, because with every whisper of each other’s name, the intimacy rises immensely. You don’t know him, and neither him with you, but you’re both freely drowning in one another in a plane beyond the lust.
Although the room’s beginning to smell of a mix of all the scented candles, Jaemin hones in and drinks in your sweet aroma and your entirety behind his hazy eyes and already tousled hair. All of a sudden, one drag of his fingers over a particular sensitive spot on your body makes you giggle.
“I’m ticklish over there.”
“You mean right—” He drums his fingers over the area again. “—here?”
With a toothy grin, he generates more suffering from you and you begin to lively howl. Soon enough, you beg him to stop.
“You’re such an asshat, c’mon, let me live!”
When he ceases, his head hangs over yours and your gazes connect.
The same feeling blooms in his chest from before in the living room.
He gulps as his eyes waver over your face, unknowingly tracing your beautiful features and etching them into his memory.
Your starry eyes. Your glowing aura. Your everything.
You barely register the change in his expression because he quickly tramples on his moment of weakness by kissing you passionately.
Jaemin whips the blankets aside as he lowers himself between your legs. Your eyes are fixated on him, matching his stare, until he starts to devour you by swiping against your lustrous folds. Your back bows, and, following a few more licks, Jaemin makes a point of his knowledge of the vagina by spreading your lips and ravishing your pussy, tongue penetrating deeply.
Rippled moans release in harmony with your undulating chest. You swear you’re getting more wet, too wet, likely making it overwhelming for Jaemin, but he’s eagerly lapping every drop up.  
“How’s that?” he inquires with a grin, hovering over your trembling nether lips. His mouth is evidently glossy, even under the dim lighting.
“Good,” you pant in the most nonchalant tone you can muster up. “Very good-ahhh—”
Jaemin kindly interrupts you by tonguing your clit as he fingers your sex deeply, shattering your fake indifference.
“Move your tongue up more,” you direct, creasing your eyebrows in despair. He follows your direction, and droning moans ensue.
Jaemin’s immersed in your pleasure, but also adding to his own. The more he laps up your wetness, the more he grinds his length against the bed, aching to be inside of you.
Your desire pulses faster, contracting tighter against his fingers, body winding tensely by the second.
“Fuck, Jaemin,” you whine, leaning your head to one side with a parted mouth. “I’m close.”
He draws back and temporarily replaces his tongue with his thumb.
“Good,” he pants, cocking his head to one side. His eyes are filled with determination. “Because I’m not stopping until you come at least two more times tonight.”
You exhale a light laugh. “That’s ambiti-ohgodohgod—”
His tongue works wonders on your clit once more, so much that he has to brace your bucking hips.
Okay, maybe Jaemin did learn a thing or two and actually listened to what you said during your critique.
But now it’s time to demonstrate to him what you’ve learned.
You don’t need much of a break to catch your breath, nor do you want to immediately freeze due to inactivity, so you pull Jaemin in for an intense kiss, tongue dipping into the remnants of your own nectar, then beckon for him to take your former place on the bed.
Perched on the bottom of your feet, you’re on one side of Jaemin, lackadaisically fisting his prominence. After a few strokes, you gradually swallow his inches, keeping in mind to relax your jaw and to not rush in order to avoid any potential teething. You do this to prove yourself worthy of giving head, but also in spite, because you absolutely do not need Jaemin to brand you a virgin again.  
You read his quiet groans and his long fingers running lazily through your hair as a positive sign and advance further.
Carefully, you rest your tongue beneath the underside of his cock and bob your head, licking him until he’s sopping with your saliva. His grip in your hair grows in strength as his length reaches the end of your throat, his groans becoming more and more drawn-out.
A needy whimper leaves him as you suddenly withdraw. Dribbles of your spit follow, and you wipe it off with the back of your hand.  
“How am I doing?” you glow in a pant, lazily stroking the doused shaft.
He simply nods with half-lidded eyes, barely able to look at you. “Yeah.”
You snicker at him in his breathless position, a prickle of pride running through your spine over the fact that you blew his mind as much as you blew his dick.
“Use your words, Jaemin.”
Teasingly, your fingers curl around his blunt head, soothing the sensitive tip and sending jolts throughout him.
“Fuck—” he pulls his bottom lip upward. “Awesome. You’re doing awesome.”
“Anything to critique?”
“Mm-mm,” he shakes his head restlessly. You revel a bit more in having the upper hand on him a little while longer. You grip him tighter and hasten your speed, leaving him gasping for air.
“Am I still rusty?”
“Nope, nope,” he croaks, voice rising to a whine. “Definitely not rusty.”
“You sure?” His cockiness has transferred over to you.
“Yes, yes—fuck, slow down, please,” Jaemin begs.    
Granting his wish, you abate your rhythm and free his inches from your touch.
You wipe your hands on the sides of the bed while Jaemin rummages through the drawer of his nightstand and hastily rolls over the rubber over himself before he prepares to enter the body beneath his.  
Recalling your advice, Jaemin mindfully starts off slow. You sigh blissfully in sync to his thrusts. He adjust himself, attempting another angle, and you draw in air between your teeth.
“There, there—“
Jaemin’s quick-witted and keeps at it, plunging a bit more vigorously. Out of habit, your hands grasp onto the bedsheets, but you wittingly attach them to his frame. Hands grazing his neck, his firm pecs, and his taut muscles.  
“Touch-touch my stomach,” he orders in a hush.
You hands follow through and feel up the flexed valley of his abs. Feeling up evolves into desperate gripping and even the slight dragging of your nails.
“Your abs are so fucking hot,” you state thoughtlessly, eyes eating up the view alongside his cock disappearing in and out of you. “Jesus, fuck.”
“Yeah?” he rasps with that devilish smirk of his. God, you want to smack it off him, but not right now—not when you’re reaching euphoria. “You’re not just saying that?”
Oh, you’ve definitely stroked his ego now, but there’s no turning back. Truth spills from you on a whim.
“You’re a fucking masterpiece,” you gasp acutely.
You’re starting to wither away, yet, as if they have a life of their own, your hands drift away from him and find a new home atop your breasts.
“You make me feel so good, Jaemin...”
Jaemin’s eyes go wide. His mouth hangs at the lewdness of you touching yourself.
“Fuck, holy shit.”
His gaze doesn’t leave your ecstatic face or humming body for a second as you knead your breasts and tweak your nipples between your fingers. Your back arches further when Jaemin deepens his sweet, fulfilling thrusts. He’s holding himself back, not wanting to end this beautiful deed just yet.
The stimulation bursts over your body, both from your own doing and Jaemin’s.  
You plead, “Faster, please, faster.”
And he complies, but he also rubs your bundle of nerves, causing a tight knot in you to build up and your shallow moans transform into heavy screams. You clasp onto his back and claw at the protruding shoulder blades.  
You clench, both with your core and your nails digging into him, but Jaemin’s unrelenting, capturing your second peak for the evening.
Instead of coming after you, he shockingly veers lower and closer to you and curbs his pace.
“Was that real?”
You respond with an exhausted nod. Oddly, the smile he shows this time isn’t arrogant, but warm and teetering the line of tenderness. His lips fuse with yours before they stray towards your neck. The passion stews as he sucks your tits, all the while lunging laxly into you.  
With an obscene pop!, Jaemin removes himself from your nubs.
“Ready for the last round?”
His fast thrusts, hitting you precisely in the best spot, cloud your already weakened logic, deterring you from making any response.    
Perspiration is blatant on both individuals. For him, his forehead glistens gorgeously with his damp hair. For you, the back of your bent knees are gluing together. Your bodies are about to pass out, but you both persevere until the end.
As you convulse and perish together in beautiful agony, coincidentally enough, the bulbs in the room and in the streets leap to radiance.
Together, you collapse onto the bed side by side, panting heavily and laughing.
“Told you we weren’t going to die.”
You turn your head to see Jaemin looking at you with a cheeky grin. In retaliation, you stick your tongue out.
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By nighttime, it’s finally stopped snowing outside. However, the streets won’t be cleared until morning, at the very least.
But... you’re surprisingly okay with that.
In a turn of events, the sex inexplicably makes the two of you warm up to each other. There still is targeted banter and tension between you, lingering from before, but it’s less hostile and more playful.
During a fancy Christmas Eve dinner of microwavable pizzas, you poke fun at each other’s majors and discuss your respective hobbies in depth, especially his love for photography. Jaemin even asks if he can take a picture of you, claiming that the kitchen lighting actually looks nice on someone for once.  
“Is that how you collect the memory of your one-night stands? Instead of hanging their skins in your closet, you sweet-talk your way and keep all the photos of them?” you joke, referring to the video call from yesterday night. It feels like an eternity ago, but snowstorms tend to do that.
He chuckles behind the camera as he snaps a photo of you scrunching your face cutely.
“Yeah, but you’re the first one who has clothes on,” he says, glancing down at the photo on the camera roll.  
“Ugh, gross,” you cringe and take a sip of tea.
Jaemin doesn’t add anything further. He leaves out the fact that he never keeps any traces of his one-night stands, that you’re the first girl he’s taken a picture of in a while.  
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After a few hours of more talking and even some gaming with one another, sleep is much needed. Jaemin offers an extra toothbrush and a sweater and pair of sweats to sleep in. You’re facing each other on his bed, noses almost touching.  
“It’s been a while since I haven’t had sex with a girl before I slept next to them,” he whispers, adjusting himself comfortably. The side of his face rests on his piled hands. “It’s kinda nice.”
You cover your mouth as you yawn, then lay your hand back under your head, reflecting the same position as Jaemin.
“You know, it might be my sleepiness talking, but maybe you’re not the worst person in the world to be stuck with during a snowstorm.”
A lovely chuckle echoes in your ear. “I’m glad you’ve had a change of heart.”
After a few moments, your eyes are fluttering to a close until he softly calls out your name.
“Hm?” you stir awake, but not by much.
“Do you...?”
Jaemin doesn’t know what’s gotten to him, doesn’t quite understand why the defences he built for so long are crumbling down in only a day of knowing you.  
And yet, something urges him to give it a chance.
Blowing out a shaky sigh, he anxiously intertwines his fingers with yours. You hum softly at the action and a small smile blooms on your face.
“Do you want to go on a date with me sometime?”
“Hm?” His question doesn’t take you aback as much as you would be if you were fully awake. But even in your drowsy state, you have quips in hand. “Jaemin, the notorious fuckboy and serial one-night stander, wants to go on a date?”
“Yeah,” he replies gently, brushing your loose hair out of your face.
Another yawn. “I thought you said you don’t want feelings and relationships and all that shit.”
His fingers trace your pretty jawline and shrugs. “One date doesn’t mean we’re going to be in a relationship, I’m sure you know that.”
You pause for a good two seconds, but the two seconds feel like forever for Jaemin.
“Mmm, fine. One date, just one.” You barely hold up your pointer finger. “And only because it’s Christmas tomorrow. ‘Tis the season to be giving...”
Relief washes over Jaemin in the form of a smile. Embracing the blatant feeling in his chest this time, he plants a light kiss on your nose and wishes you sweet dreams, even though you’ve already fallen soundly asleep.  
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Sunlight pours over your eyes on Christmas morning.
Déjà vu peculiarly creeps up on you, but the only thing that’s the same as yesterday is waking up in Jaemin’s bed.
He’s next to you this time, deep in his peaceful slumber, instead of waiting for you to leave by his doorframe. The snow has finally stopped, and you think you hear the faint noises of snow plows outside. You inhale deeply and also notice the faded aroma from all the scented candles from last night.
The scenes of yesterday flicker across your mind. The incredible sex. The talking. The dinner. The interlocking of his fingers with yours.
The date he asked you out on.
You stare at him, watching him sleep with a sense of content.
Turning your body, you routinely check your phone, which is charging beside his. You have a slew of Merry Christmas texts from several chats and a few private messages from your friends.
Your attention falls on Jaemin’s phone when it lights up with a notification, likely texts from his friends and family too.
But that’s not what you’re focusing on.
Your heart sinks at the sight of his lockscreen.
It’s a picture of him and a girl kissing.
A twinge emerges in your chest and twists harder and harder.
Jaemin being a fuckboy, you can respect. People can do whatever they want with their lives.
But to cheat?
That’s unforgivable, and a true sin if there ever was one.
You scramble to dash out of there, careful not to make any noises in fear of waking Jaemin up. However, Jaemin’s sensitive to the sounds of the front door, so he rouses awake. His eyes flit open, noticing how you’re gone. He then sees his phone blowing up and adds two and two together.
With his phone in hand, Jaemin rushes to get on a coat and stuffs his feet into his boots, not giving a shit that he’s wearing his thin pajamas in the coldness. He’s bounding down the flight of stairs and onto the bright, white wonderland of the streets.
He swivels his head and catches sight of you almost past down the block, slowly trekking through the thick snow. Jaemin sprints, as much as he can, and hops towards you.  
He yells your name, making others on the street turn, but you don’t. You continue forward without looking back.
“Wait! I can explain!”
You’re trying to gain speed, but cardio isn’t your friend. Thankfully for Jaemin, it’s a close friend for him.
“I don’t wanna fucking hear it, Jaemin,” you grunt, hearing the rapid crunching of his shoes coming closer. “Get lost.”
“No, listen to me for a second.”
The boyish man grasps you by the arm and turns you around. You throw his arm away from you and he holds his hands in the air, letting you know that he respects your space. He drops his hands and sees that you’re seething, even worse than you were when he kicked you out yesterday.
“How are you going to explain your lockscreen with you kissing your fucking girlfriend?! Hm?”
“Ex,” he pants in clarification. “Ex-girlfriend.”
Your eyebrows mesh together in utter confusion.
“Okay? That doesn’t make me feel any better, knowing that you’re still hung up on your ex.”
Jaemin shakes his head and rakes a hand through his hair. You note the large clouds he exhales and how he’s barely wearing any clothes. A tinge of sympathy passes through you, wanting to give him some of your clothes for extra layers, but you smother that quickly in your state of rage.  
“I’m not hung up on her. Remember you asked me yesterday why I don’t want girls to stay the next morning?”
You cock your head impatiently, as if saying, “Yeah.”
“Well, I don’t want to attach myself to girls. I can’t. I...”
He lowers his head to one side. Shutting his eyes, a long puff emits from his mouth.
“She cheated on me.”
The snow plows in the distance can’t compare to the pumping of your heart in your ears. All the feelings you felt in the last day, but especially in the last fifteen minutes, jumble together in your head, making you feel uneasy and unsure of what to exactly feel or comprehend of the situation.  
But you do know one thing, despite the fact that you two barely know each other, the pained look on his face is real—that this is the untold story behind his ways.  
Jaemin lifts his head and holds out his phone for emphasis. “The lockscreen serves as a constant reminder that dating and feelings will and can fuck me up.”
Carefully, he steps a little closer to you and slowly cups your face in his shaking hands. You don’t pull away nor is there the same anger from moments before, so he daintily runs his thumbs over your cheeks.
“Until you showed me yesterday that maybe I’m willing to give it all another shot. Risk it all for fuck knows what, but you make it look like it’s worth it.”
He continues his ramble after adjusting some of your hair from the ongoing breeze.
“Sure, it’s Christmas today, but I don’t want you to say yes to going on a date with me just because it is. I want you to say yes because maybe you like spending time with me just as much as I like to spend it with you.”
You’re completely disoriented—your eyes are shifting everywhere but his eyes and your lips are quivering with no words coming out. He sighs understandingly. 
“Look, I know you’re probably having second thoughts and you don’t have to give me an answer right now. Think on it for as much time as you need, but I want you to know that I genuinely like you and I want to go on an actual date with you.”
He peels his hand away from your face and raises it into the air as if taking an oath.
“I, Na Jaemin, the notorious fuckboy and serial one-night stander, will devote to monogamy once again if it means I can date you.”
His hands grab yours, kisses the back of them, and then he presses one kiss onto your icy cheek prior to walking away.
“Merry Christmas,” he says with a sad smile. “You know where to find me if you change your mind.”
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Later that evening at your large family’s Christmas party, you take another dreadful gulp of your wine.
It’s the happy holiday season, but why does everyone feel the need to stick their nose in your dating life? Well, really, a lack there of.
“Why are you still single?” Layers of their voices resound the same question in your head. You take another swig.
Potential unsaid answers that you kept to yourself fly around as you swish the drink in your glass.  
Because you choose to be.
Okay, not really, but it’s the easiest answer.  
Because you haven’t found the right guy to get you back in the game.
What does that even mean? What makes the right guy even right?
The right guy? It’s someone who makes you laugh, someone who gives as good as they can take it, someone who wants you just as much as you do.
The cogs move in your head as you take one more sip before you finally come to the conclusion—  
Because you didn’t find the right guy until last night.
Despite the mess of today and yesterday morning, you realize that Jaemin is... actually sort of sweet. Annoying, yes, but he keeps you on your toes. It’s a plus that he’s easy on the eyes, but it’s a bigger plus that he’s even easier to talk to.
And if he can find it in his scorched heart to trust you, you can find it in your heart to trust him too.  
You quickly say your good-byes to your family and let them know you have other plans with friends tonight.
As the Uber rolls up to his apartment building, you realize you probably should’ve messaged him on Tinder, but it’s worth a shot to see if he’s home. Anyways, impulsiveness is a controlling entity, as evident from your Christmas Eve Eve’s adventure.
And in retrospect, perhaps Jaemin was the perfect pick of the crop after all.  
Someone’s entering the building and lets you in behind them. You take the stairs two at a time and hear booming music coming from his floor. At first, you assume it’s from other apartments, but it’s all coming from one—his.
Without a thought, your knuckle taps the door.  
A handsome figure that’s definitely not Jaemin opens the door. Behind him, you see a group of young men scattered around the living room, and some have a few girls tucked under their arms.
The man eyes you up and down with a spark in his eye. He’s not Jaemin, but he surely reminds you of him.
“And who might you be?” he asks.
“Who’s at the door, Jeno?” An unknown male voice hollers in a high pitch from the couch. He’s one of the guys with a girl attached to him.
You blink. “Uhm, I’m—”
“She’s with me!” Jaemin shoves the flirty stranger aside and tugs you by your wrist, making headway to his bedroom. He flips the light switch on and the door clicks shut.
“What are you doing h—”
You cut him off with a kiss.
An innocent one, at first, with hints of alcohol on each other’s lips. Your arms wrap around the other and the passion increases with the mingling of your tongues, each party tasting and confirming the specific drinks you both consumed tonight.  
Jaemin forces himself to pull away and presses his forehead against yours. “Did you just come all the way here to kiss me, or...?”
“Maybe I came over to ask... if I can stay with you for another night?” you playfully ask, fingers intertwining behind the nape of his neck.  
He chuckles heartily. His fingers sink into the sides of your waist. “Is my dick that great? The sex with me that amazing?”
“Mmm, that’s definitely a benefit,” you agree, fluttering your nose against his. “But I want more than that—“ You poke a finger to his chest. “—I want the man behind the dick.”
Your gazes converge, bringing you together as one.
“I want to go on that date with you. I want you, Jaemin.”
He flashes a megawatt smile that could compete with a million Christmas lights, but it fades suddenly and you’re unsure why he seems like he’s about to bawl his eyes out.
“That’s so beautiful, I might cry.” He brings a finger to his eye, pretending to shed a tear.
Oh, yeah—you’re definitely going to need to hire someone to constantly shove your eyeballs back into your sockets if you’re going to date Jaemin.
“Oh, shut up,” you whisper, yanking him in for another kiss.
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Three dates later, including a memorable New Year’s Eve, you finally decide to rid of the Tinder app for good.
With his arm around you on his living room couch, Jaemin glances over your shoulder.
“Really? You’re finally deleting your Tinder?”
You snort in disbelief. “That’s gold, coming from the King of Tinder himself. When did you delete?”
He turns to face the television and shrugs coolly.
“Maybe I didn’t.”
“Wouldn’t put it past you,” you nod, eyes still on your phone.
“Nah, I’m kidding, I did.”    
You sharply turn your head.
“No way. When?” you press with narrow eyes.  
A shy smile emerges on Jaemin’s face as he picks his pants over his thighs.
“On the night of Christmas Eve, after you agreed to go on a date with me.”
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dokifluffs · 15 days ago
Falling Asleep in His Arms | Akaashi, Iwaizumi, Sakusa
Pairings: Akaashi X Reader (female), Iwaizumi X Reader (gender neutral), Sakusa X Reader (female) 
Genre: soft, domestic professor akaashi tehe and mafia sakusa!! sleepy, fluffy!! 
Author’s note: A mini snippet sequel to “This is My Child | Akaashi Keiji” and just a little mini snippet from the mafia hc world from “You’re Safe | Sakusa Kiyoomi” 
Kita, Kenma, Tsukishima, Bokuto
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Panel from Ch 382!
large, puffy snowflakes fell one after the other outside, building up a blanket that only got thicker and thicker as the days and night came
It was predicted to be one of the heaviest snowfalls in years
Your bodies were snuggled closely together, beneath the blanket on the couch as your head rest on his shoulder, hand resting on his chest as you were fast asleep in his arms
Winter break finally allowed Keiji to be free from straining his eyes at the computer screen all day, going through his lectures when online school shouldn’t have tried to be normal when life in the world was the farthest from normal
Even he didn’t understand the system for trying to make students attend school, take finals and quizzes and midterms and everything as normal to in-person school when it wasn’t normal
So he made everything as simple as he could to relieve any stress for his students
But now he could finally relax from being professor Akaashi and he could be Keiji
A husband who held onto his wife as she slept in his arms
And a father to two beautiful kids - A daughter of four years old and a son just around a year old
Your days had been getting quite busy with your errands, chores, and being the mother of two
Sleep only helped a fraction as it felt like as the days came and went, you burned more energy than regained when you rest
It wasn’t anything that you couldn’t handle at all, however, you could finally catch a break with your husband being free until the end of winter break
And now you could recharge your batter a bit
You slept like a baby in his arms, not moving a single bit in about an hour and a half now
He had an arm wrapped around you, the other would stroke your arm, played with your hand and fingers, or just rest behind his own head as he watched his stars play
D/N player with S/N, as she talked with her baby brother, teaching him how to play while he bounced around, following her with everything she did in his walker
The toys on top of it jingled and rattled as he walked, the wheels making a subtle droning sound as it rolled around the wood floors
They were so precious
He could remember so clearly the day you brought D/N into his class, the other time she bounced her way into his office, during his online class
Just by laying here, he could remember the time you were still pregnant with D/N
You had felt sick and you didn’t want to be alone and even then, you were drained as well
You slept on him with your head in his lap, lulled into peaceful sleep as you fell deeper and deeper asleep to the sound of his calm voice
now here you two were almost five years layer on the same couch
And now you two had two new members of the family
Your guys’ kids were such perfect combinations of you two
But just as he thought this, he could see the sneaky smile of his daughter spreading on her face
She whispered in her brother’s ear but Keiji was pretty sure that he didn’t know what she was saying anyways
But the two of them shyly looked at him and approached as she took his hand, leading him over to the couch
“Dada,” she looked up to him
“Yes?” He smiled as he turned his head, his son staring with his blank eyes that matched Keiji’s, a bit of drool on his chin
“Can we have hot chocolate?” She tilted her head, widening her eyes
Ah the puppy eyes and the pouty lip
“Ah…” he paused, thinking about it as he extended his arm so his sleeve would move, exposing his watch
“Please, please, please!” Her voice got louder as she bounced, her brother imitating her in his walker, babbling
“Alright,” he chuckled. “Shh, mommy’s sleeping..” He put a finger over his lips to which she playfully covered her mouth with her hands
“How about this, since it’s so close to dinner time, we’ll all eat one after dinner as a treat,” he compromised, his voice hushed as he drew circles with his finger on your upper arm as you shifted in your sleep, waking up just the slightest
“Okay!” She whisper yelled as she ran off, her baby brother going as fast as he could after her, arms reached out making little grabby’s toward her
You cracked your eyes open for the first time feeling quite refreshed for the first time in quite a bit but your eyes made you feel otherwise
“Hey, did you sleep okay?” He moved his hand down to your hand, rubbing small circles in your palm
“Mmhm..” You breathed, snuggling close once again, staying warm in your spot, feeling like you couldn’t move from this position even if you wanted to
He smiled, satisfied knowing how much you needed this sleep and pulled you closer, pressing a long and short kiss to your forehead
“You can sleep longer, I’ll wake you up when dinner’s ready, alright?” He smiled, knowing exactly this was what you wanted just by looking at you
After all, this was his wife
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Panel from Ch 402! 
Iwaizumi: Ft. Makki, Mattsun, and Oikawa! 
“You guys should come to Brazil, it’s so nice here with the golden beaches and the music and foods!” The bright, velvet voice of oikawa sounded through the speakers of Hajime’s laptop as he laid on the couch, relaxed, laying his head on his arm
“Not all of us has the time or the funds, Oikawa,” Matsukawa spoke, the tall guy laid on his stomach, head turned toward his own device for the call
“And not all of us are employed,” Maki piped up, joining in before he slurped in some ramen
“First of all, only you are unemployed,” Iwaizumi spoke up, joining in on the usual seijoh banter between the four of them
The comment made Maki choke on his ramen, making the three of them laugh
It wasn’t too late when the call started, the four of them picking a time to finally get together for their sort of bi-weekly call whenever anyone was free but the longer they talked, the faster it felt like time was going as the hours rolled by like they were nothing
It was just a few hours beyond midnight in Japan while it was the perfect afternoon time in Brazil
The four friends laughed about random things, talking about random things too like their high school days, talking about winning, dinners that Oikawa owed them, what they would do when he finally came back home and such
As Hajime listened to the story Oikawa was telling about seeing Hinata, he suddenly caught your form in his peripheral approaching him
“What’re you doing up? Couldn’t fall asleep?” His lips slowly curled into a smile as you nodded sleepily, your hair messy and his big oversized hoodies were oversized on you too
He propped himself up on his elbows just a little when he laid back down with you laying down on top of him
You let out a deep breath as you laid down on Hajime, feeling his warm beefy body wrap around you, your heavy eyes yearned so much for sleep
But you just couldn’t fall asleep no matter the position when you were upstairs in bed
You were so used to sleeping with Hajime, without him there, it was just so much hard to sleep when you were so close to falling asleep
You rest your head on it’s side, your ear pressed right over the valley in between his pecs, facing the back of the couch as he draped his legs over your own, resting his arms on your back and waist
“Oh, it’s Y/N,” the other three called repeatedly out to you as Hajime rubbed and stroked his hand up and down your back
As much as you wanted to just ignore them and sleep, you gave in and turned your head towards the light and the screen, giving a small smile and wave before turning back
Oikawa continued his story as you worked on getting comfy, moving up so your chest was on top of his, your head resting right on his collar so your forehead met his jaw
He continued rubbing your back, bringing his hand up and down knowing that was something you liked until slowing down, coming to a stop as you fell asleep in his arms
The two of you laid there as the crickets chirped outside, their voices slowly droning out as it got later and later in the night for you four and later in the day for Oikawa
As the call came to an end, to not disturb you, Hajime reached over and shut his laptop with his foot
He let his muscles go as he became one with the couch and you melted on top of him
As he breathed, your body rose and fell and your body did the same as you breathed against him
The sound of your light snores brought a small lazy smile to his face as he could feel his eyes beginning to sting from their tiredness
Yawn fell after yawn from him the longer he laid still, letting his head fall back into the pillows
Every now and then, your hand moved along his collar/ chest, waking him just the slightest
But soon enough, he joined you fast asleep with his arms draped over your back and waist
It was beyond peaceful to be here with you, to lay here and sleep here with you - somehow different but better than the bed
He wanted to wake you at some point and bring you upstairs but the couch was just so comfy and once he slept, he slept
He held you close, not letting you go a single bit, only when you got up to use the bathroom if you needed, but even when you went, he stayed awake until you came back to him, falling back to sleep as soon as you did completely
By morning, Hajime was woken by the silent whines and pawing of Zilla, your guys’ Rottweiler as she waited patiently for someone to take her out so she could do her business
Still full of sleep, he groggily got up, setting you to the side but it was your turn
You latched on to him and groaned in your sleep, not wanting your personal heated pillow to leave you
“I’ll be back in a bit,” he blinked slowly, eyes half open, voice deep and raspy as ever as he melted his lips to your temple before being set free from your grasp
And with that, ‘Zilla ran towards the front door, her tail wagging as she spun, looking up to Hajime  
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panel from ch 394! 
He leaned back in his seat, pinching the bridge of his nose from all the work he still had to do but this was a given considering he was the head of his clan
He had to maintain the balance his father had created in the underworld
But there was also a part of him that wanted to burn it all
To destroy it
If he could, he would go back in time and make sure that his father never ran his family into poverty
To ensure that he never went to the dark and suspicious places to look for work to make money back, he would
Especially with you
He never wanted to take your normal life away from you yet you took his hand and trusted your life with his and now you could never go back to that normal
Looking back at his monitor, he clicked his teeth, not wanting to finish what he had to do
It honestly made him want to punch his own screen at times since - which he has done
He was able to get a replacement within half an hour whenever he wanted
just as he balled his fist, the door to his open opened
He prepared to snap at whoever stepped in after he made clear instructions that he be not disturbed at all
But it was you - your sleepy but somewhat awake self so you weren’t sleepwalking as you walked down from the door with security closing it quietly right behind you, right toward him
Your body waddled a bit as your belly protruded from your shirt but the more you walked, the more nauseous and dizzy you got
Your pace staggered and the sleepy smile you had on your face slowly disappeared the more you felt sick
The room was so bright with the various color paintings and light fixtures, it made your head spin, your vision tricking you that even the room began to spin
All you could feel at this point was the burning dizziness that drilled through your head, you didn’t even begin to notice your legs and knees buckling beneath you
Kiyoomi saw everything unravel as his body moved without a second thought around his desk and right toward you, catching you in his arms and on his knelt legs before you could collapse and hit the floor
“Deep breaths, darling, deep breaths,” he held you securely in his arms, sitting you in his lap as you closed your eyes and regained yourself
You clung onto his shirt sleeve, fist shaking as you squeezed your eyes shut, letting your head reset and stabilize itself against his chest as he took deep breaths slowly with you, taking things slow, one after the other as he let you relax
“Atta girl,” he whispered, pressing a gentle kiss to your temple as you slowly opened your eyes, peeking at him
“Focus on me, you’re okay,” his voice was kind and smooth as the words fell from his lips
He held you there, forgetting about the darkness that was always around him, the work and balancing he needed to fix but how could he when you were right in front of him
You were the sun in his life that saved him from being completely consumed from the darkness
He helped you to your feet and walked you back to bed, being done with his work for the night - he couldn’t stare at it a second longer when you were in his arms
“Do not disturb us at all.” He spoke, his entire persona changing into his serious self for a moment as he instructed the security outside the bedroom, getting an obedient, silent nod in return before the door closed behind him with a firm click
He fluffed the pillows, helping you get in before he disappeared and washed up before joining back in right at your side
“Are you feeling better? Do you need to throw up?” He wrapped his arm around you as he stroked his hand down your back while the other held your hand, his thumb circling over your knuckles as he looked down to you with concern, brows furrowed
“Mmhm, I just need to.. breathe..” You paused, taking in a deep breath and slowly letting it out, keeping your eyes closed as he leaned you back into him
He knew it was around this point of your pregnant that morning sickness and just dizziness/ nausea were common symptoms you would be going through
Laying down would only make you dizzier and make it practically impossible for you to sleep
Kiyoomi stayed up later no matter how heavy his eyes got, holding you in his arms, making sure you were tucked in and comfy, not wanting the most precious being in his life to be in any discomfort
The lamp lights were dim all around the room as he kept his eyes open
No matter how tired he was, he dedicated himself to you with everything he could because he felt deep down that there was nothing he could do to give you a normal life where you could go see friends, your family, to go out and not worry about your life being at risk or his or anything
But at the same time, he thanked the universe for bringing your pureness to his darkness, being at his side
And now he could be with you
His gentle touch moved up and down your arm, lulling you deeper, pushing away the nausea and hoping you could sleep peacefully tonight, a wish he wished every night
~~~~~ Thanks for reading! Masterlist for more! Please do not repost anywhere else!
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bxckybxrnxs · 2 months ago
Melted Hearts (Bucky x Reader)
Summary: On a mission to Siberia in Winter, you, Bucky, Steve and Sam are stuck overnight at a dingy hotel. Luckily for you, the hotel has a bar. Unluckily for you, each time you get drunk you find yourself kissing Bucky like there’s no tomorrow, but the ‘friends with benefits’ type arrangement the two of you appear to have, isn’t really working out anymore. And what a surprise: it turns out there’s only one bed!
Pairing: Bucky Barnes x Reader, fwb!Bucky Barnes x Reader
Word Count: 12k (whoops)
Warnings: Knife/gun violence mentioned as well as injury.
A/n: And on the last day of my isolation I present you all with this! Reader is a form of super soldier like Steve and Bucky, but to a lesser degree so can get briefly drunk on mass quantities of alcohol :) This was my favourite thing in the world to write, despite working on it for a very long time, it’s my baby :’) all my original ideas and work
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A thick blanket of snow covered the ground. The trees, lightly dusted, spiralled upwards darkly, contrasting with the stark whiteness. The scene would have been eerily beautiful if it wasn't for the gunshots you could hear in the not too far off distance. 
Your radio crackled into life, ‘Come in. Twenty one hostiles heading north west.’
“Copy that Cap’n.” You replied, before hooking the radio back onto your belt. 
Running through the woods, your footsteps were entirely muffled by the cotton covering of snow. A stealthy shadow came into view, as Bucky fell into step with you.
“On your left,” He muttered, throwing you a grin.
‘Hey, that’s mine and Steve’s thing,’ Sam complained over comms. 
“You’re a big boy now Sam, you can share your toys.” 
‘Fuck you, Y/n.’
 “Love you Sam. Have they taken the bait yet?”
‘Hell yeah they have, they’re heading back South East.’
You both finally slowed, breath visibly curling in short puffs into the freezing air, the tips of your fingers numb.
“Fuck, this is just too easy.”
Bucky smirked at you as he swiftly loaded a rifle he’d pulled from his jacket.
You glared at him, “Shut up Barnes. I don’t run a body temperature of a thousand degrees like you do, I’m literally freezing to death.” 
Pulling your favourite handgun from your winter boots you loaded it quickly, then whipped four knives from your sleeves, sheathing them on your belt.
Bucky raised his eyebrows at you, “Where the hell are you keeping all of those?” 
You watched his eyes rove across your figure hugging tactical suit.
“You can’t use searching me for weapons as an excuse to check me out, Barnes,” You sassed, lips turning up mischievously. Reaching behind you, you pulled another concealed handgun from your suit, chucking it to Bucky, who easily caught it, a guilty smile plastered across his face.
“Doll, do I ever need an excuse to check you out?” He flirted, loading the gun and handing it back to you.
Steve’s candid voice came through the comms, ‘Can we focus please.’
“Focus on what again, Steve?” Bucky asked; cheeky tone of voice.
You slapped his arm, before starting into a run, carrying out the next stage of the plan. Bucky caught up to you almost instantly and the two of you were flying through the woods side by side again. 
‘T- minus four minutes until planned intercept.’
As a touch of liquid splashed onto your forehead, you threw a glance upwards to see Sam’s drone Redwing flying directly above you, just skimming the trees.
“Either Redwing is throwing snowballs at me, or it’s just started snowing again.”
But even as the words left your lips, you could see white snowflakes starting to once again spiral downwards from the sky.
“Shit, that’s not looking good,” Bucky replied, as the two of you slowed your charge through the trees, scanning the area as the snowfall started to rapidly increase.
‘There wasn’t supposed to be anymore snow forecast until Sunday.’ Steve responded over comms, and you could hear the hint of concern in his voice.
“Guess we just got a time limit then.” You pushed your hand through your hair, flicking off the snow that was already gathering on your head, before a mischievous glint flashed in your eyes, “Race you, Barnes.”
You took off, tearing through the snow, but your attempt at giving yourself a head start was futile. He was next to you in an instant, easily matching your pace.
‘Don’t start being reckless,’ Steve chided and you rolled your eyes.
‘You’ve got thirty seconds until you’re on top of them.’ Sam added.
“Hmm, ‘on top of them’? Think you might have read the wrong mission brief Sam.”
“Or maybe he’s been reading your diary Doll,” Bucky grinned.
“Sam, you wouldn't!” You gasped mockingly, “Now my secret fantasy of twenty one Hydra agents at once has been revealed to the world.”
‘I hate you both SO fucking much.’
“Nah, you love us really Sam, where would you be without us?”
‘Living a quiet, blissful life in DC.’
“Where’s the fun in that Pigeon?” Bucky smirked.
Sam’s irritated response was cut off by Steve, ‘Can you kids stop bickering, you’re a hundred metres away.’
“Okay Dad,” You murmured, just loud enough for him to hear.
You heard Sam chuckling over comms, ‘More like Grandad.’
‘Sam,’ Steve said, warning tone clear.
As he spoke, you spotted black shapes moving stealthily through the trees in the distance. Instantly stopping, you pressed your back against the nearest tree in unison with Bucky a few metres away from you. Unhooking one of your knives from your belt, you held your gun up, turning your head to Bucky with a brow raised. He was brandishing two rifles, and with a wink, he twisted to look round the tree concealing him, before nodding at you. You took a deep breath in, before whisking around the tree and running lightly towards the intercept point, gun pointed towards the direction of the Hydra agents in anticipation of being seen. 
Making it to the intercept point, you threw yourself down onto your elbows, on the top of a snowy lump of ground obscuring you from view. Bucky was mere seconds behind you, instantly peering through the scope of his gun.
“Twenty one targets confirmed. Ten seconds.”
You could hear your heartbeat thumping loudly in your ears as your adrenaline began to spike. 
“Five seconds.”
Squeezing your eyes shut for a brief second, you inhaled deeply once again, before the eerie silence was interrupted by the rapid firing of Bucky’s rifle. You weren’t even a second behind him, picking out the dark shapes of the enemy easily against the white backdrop of the snowy landscape. 
You had them trapped, and the two of you picked them off one by one, bodies collapsing to the ground in front of you. 
As the last Hydra agent dropped to the ground and the last echo from your gunshot faded, you scanned the scene counting the bodies. 
“Eighteen, Nineteen, Twenty...” You counted under your breath. “Steve, I thought you said twenty one?”
“There’s one left, he’s coming at you-”
Steve was cut off suddenly by a powerful blast from where the bodies lay, throwing both you and Bucky backwards. Fumbling for your gun, you looked at Bucky; who’s expression of confusion you were sure mirrored your own.
“The fuck was that? A bomb?” He said, scanning to see the source of the explosion but the scene was bare, if not blackened by the explosion. 
‘Looked like it. You need to find the last agent and take him out NOW. They’ll be trying to blow up the hard drives before we get to them.’ Steve shouted over comms.
Exchanging a glance with Bucky, the two of you leaped simultaneously over the decimated snow bank, heart racing at what felt like a thousand miles an hour. You both spotted the rogue agent within milliseconds, and you started rapidly firing at him as Bucky flung a knife, but the agent easily flipped behind a tree and avoided it all. Bucky’s dagger embedded itself into the tree he was hiding behind, and as you took a beat to reload your gun that you’d emptied of bullets before the explosion, you didn’t notice the Hydra agent launching Bucky’s knife back towards you with furious speed.
Before you noticed anything, Bucky slammed into you, his full body weight knocking all the air out of you as you fell to the ground. 
“Fuck,” you gasped, rolling onto your side. As your head whipped round to spot the Hydra agent, you finally noticed the reason for Bucky slamming into you.
He was still laid in the snow, hand pushing down on his side where blood had started to seep through his suit, face pressed in a grimace.
“Shit!” You swore, kneeling next to him.
“Get the agent, I’m fine,” he grunted, gasping for air as he tried to sit up.
You twisted round, loading your hand gun as you did so; just in the nick of time. The Hydra agent’s head had just popped into view and you aimed, shot and they went down easily.
Dropping your gun in the snow you turned back to Bucky, looking him up and down.
“Strip. Now.” You commanded, pointing towards the darkened patch on his side, where blood was seeping through his shredded tactical suit. 
He gingerly removed his hand from his wound, cursing under his breath, and pulled off his jacket and shirt, “Why, is this another one of your fantasies Doll?”
You threw him a look of concern, his voice was strained slightly, and his face was a touch paler than usual. “Oh so you read my diary too?” You joked, in an attempt to keep his mind off his injury.
“Don’t need to to know you’ve got one hell of a dirty mind, Dollface.”
“Watching you bleed out in the snow is entirely within my power right now, and I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t currently the top of my bucket list.”
"Nah, you need me around for entertainment. Imagine being stuck with an injured Sam, he'd have been crying."
'I will gladly speed up your slow death Barnes.'
"I don't know, watching you slowly bleed to death would be the most entertaining thing in this goddamn forest."
Kneeling in the snow next to him, your eyes scanned over the bloodied gash to the left of his abdominals, it wasn’t deep, and with Bucky’s accelerated healing, it would be no problem, but you did need to stop the bleeding. The only first aid you had with you was with Steve and Sam, who were ten minutes away at least, so making a quick decision with the limited resources available, you unzipped the front of your suit. Gritting your teeth and bracing for the freezing cold air, you pulled your tank top over your head, leaving you in just a sports bra from the waist up.
You could feel Bucky’s gaze burning into you as you bunched up your t-shirt, and you rolled your eyes, zipping back up your suit, “There was me thinking that a stab wound might have distracted you.”
“You’re the only thing that distracts me, Sugar.” He replied with a flirtatious tone weighing heavy on his words, grin pulling at his lips, his eyes still flicking over your body.
You raised your eyebrows at him, shaking your head slightly in mock disbelief, “Thought you were a highly trained assassin, were you not trained to resist the allure of spy agent femme fatale’s stripping in front of you?”
"Is that what you are Doll? Maybe sometime when we get out of this, you wanna use some of that seductive-"
‘-We’re about five minutes out. Think you can keep it in your pants Barnes?’ Sam interrupted over comms.
“I’d honestly be more concerned if he wasn’t deliriously flirting, Sam.” You smirked.
“Believe me there’s nothing delirious about this flirting.”
‘Yeah. He’s fine.’
Bucky looked away from you for a second, preoccupied with Sam’s remark and you abruptly pressed your t-shirt into his wound, holding it there with your right hand to apply pressure.
He jolted sharply, flinching away from your touch as he hissed through his teeth, “Fuck me, that stings.”
“You wait until Steve gets here and I disinfect it.”
“God, don’t tease me like that.” He mocked, letting his head fall back against the tree bark.
Your hands were splayed over Bucky’s skin, fingertips resting against his toned chest, as you kept the pressure on his gash. It wasn’t anything serious, but you didn’t want to risk any infection.
‘Two minutes max.’
Your shoulder was leant against his thigh, and you could feel the heat from his skin through his tact gear, a sharp contrast to the freezing puddle of snow you were knelt in. You could feel his eyes on you, tracing over your face as you continued to hold your shirt firmly against the stab wound, the blue colour gradually staining darker as it began to absorb his blood.
“I knew you were dying to get your hands on me Doll.”
“If anyone out of the two of us is dying, it’s currently you Barnes.” You laughed, finally looking up to catch his gaze. The intensity of his eye contact had your heart beat racing a little faster than usual. You could see each short breath he took curl into the bitingly cold air, his parted lips showing his teeth gritted in pain.
“Is it bad?" You asked softly.
His reply was short, as he dropped his eyes from yours, “Nothing I can’t handle.” 
“Bucky.” You murmured, quiet enough for it not to be picked up by comms. "Don't bullshit me, I know it hurts. You don't have to act up, it's just you and me."
His eyes flew back to yours, and you couldn't quite read the tangle of thoughts flickering in his irises. 
"Just you and me, huh?" His voice was a whisper as he replied, right hand reaching up to gesture at his comms. “It’s never just you and me Doll.”
You stared down at him, but as though to prove his point, your moment was interrupted by the crunching of Sam and Steve’s feet on the snow covered ground. 
Swinging the rucksack the emergency medical kit was stored in his shoulder, Steve looked at you expectantly, “What do you need?”
You coughed slightly awkwardly, hoping they hadn’t noticed you and Bucky gazing into each other’s eyes like love struck idiots. 
“Er- antiseptic wipes, first.”  
If Steve noticed anything amiss, he didn’t show it as he swiftly tossed you the pack of wipes. Kneeling down next to Bucky, you pulled a wipe from the pack, “This is going to-”
“-Sting. You got it, doll.” Bucky interrupted, laughing dryly.
As you pressed the wipe to his skin he hissed through his teeth, and you felt his muscles clench with the shock underneath your hands. You cleaned out and bandaged the wound quickly and efficiently, feeling Bucky’s dark eyes watching your every move. 
When you were done, Steve reached out a hand to help Bucky to his feet. From where you knelt in the snow, you bundled the medical supplies back into the bag before standing yourself. Looking round at the snowflakes still swirling around you all, you turned to Steve.
“So what now?”
The four of you clattered into the foyer of the smallest, most incognito hotel you could find in the nearby village; dripping snow or sweat everywhere, you couldn’t tell which. The smell that was emitting from you all almost improved the stale air of the fusty lobby. 
Steve and Sam went straight to the desk where a tiny old lady was sat, almost hidden behind her desk. 
Turning to Bucky, you nodded at a group of musty arm chairs, “You should sit, while we wait.”
“I’m fine, Doll.” He replied, shaking his head. 
It was probably true, his accelerated healing was more than likely making fast work of the knife wound. 
“Your funeral then.” You joked, a smile stealing its way onto your face before sitting yourself down on one of the chairs.
“Are you going to cry?” He deadpanned, before taking a set next to you anyway.
You frowned, taken aback, “What?”
“At my funeral, are you going to cry?” 
You could see the mischief glinting in his eyes. He must be feeling better.  
“You’d be lucky.” You laughed. 
He feigned offense as he placed his hand over his heart, “Not even one tear?” 
“Maybe I’d squeeze one tear out. You deserve that for saving my ass today.” 
“One tear is all I get for getting stabbed?” 
“Yep.” You laughed, “Don’t push your luck.” 
“Good to know that’s all I mean to you, Y/n,” he teased.
You smirked, patting his shoulder in mock remorse, “Well, you were going to find out at some point.” 
You could feel the heat of his body emitting through his torn stealth suit, and as you looked up waiting for a surely witty response, you caught his gaze for a moment too long, but you were interrupted.
“The last room they had was a double so you can sleep in the bed Y/n, we’ll take the floor,” Steve announced, as him and Sam returned.
You tore your gaze from Bucky’s, blinking as you pulled your hand from his arm like it was on fire and coughed slightly in composure, “Steve, don’t be stupid. It’s a double bed, I’m not taking the whole thing myself.”
“Buck, you’re sharing with Y/n, better for your injury than the floor.”
“Don’t be trying anything and forgetting me and Steve are also in the room Barnes,” Sam sniggered, before hiding it as a cough.
Bucky rolled his eyes at him, shaking his head.
“Me and Sam are gonna head up there now and check it out.” Steve said, before looking between you and Bucky, a hint of questioning on his face.
“Copy that.” You replied, before pursing your lips. “There must be a bar somewhere in this dump, I’m gonna start drinking and take a blissful, drunk fifteen minutes.”
“Fifteen minutes? With your metabolism? You'll be lucky." Sam scoffed, "See you in ten."
“Twenty.” You challenged, pulling out and twirling a credit card between your fingers, “Tony’s paying after all.”
“You coming Buck?” Steve asked.
“No. I don’t trust an unsupervised, drunk Y/n not to make some terrible decisions.”
“Well what can I say, we’re in Russia. I’m sure there'll be some handsome looking mistakes ready to be made in the bar.” You replied, smirk gracing your lips.
Steve rolled his eyes, “I’ll see you both later. Room 19.”
It took you less than three minutes to locate the bar, order five of your favourite drinks and down them.
Placing the last empty glass down with a bang, you turned to Bucky in mock offense, “So you think I need babysitting, mmh?”
His eyes flew to the five empty glasses littering the bar counter in front of you, before he raised his eyebrows at you, “I think that answers your question there, Doll. And after all, you're much nicer to be around when you're drunk."
You nudged him, not so gently with your foot, “Ever the gentleman, Barnes,” You mocked.
Turning your attention to the barman, you ordered five more drinks. A flutter of your lashes and a suggestive smile resulted in a blushing waiter and another drink, free of charge. Bucky watched you flirt in silence, jaw set in displeasure, his hands involuntarily clenching into fists.
You’d drank two of the brimming glasses before the barman had even finished filling the others, and as you laughed away the waiter’s comment, Bucky suddenly rose to his feet, picking up two of your drinks and nodding his head sharply for you to follow him. Rolling your eyes, you unhooked your legs from the bar stool and followed him to a shitty sofa discarded in the corner, out of the bustle.
“What was that for?” You complained, as you took a seat next to him, placing the drinks on the coffee table in front of you.
“Babysitting, remember.” Bucky replied, dragging one of the glasses towards him and swallowing a few mouthfuls as he slung his arm across the top of the settee.
Brushing your hand over his, you prised the glass from his grip with a smirk, before taking a sip triumphantly. 
“I think alcohol is off limits for babysitters.”
“It’s not gonna affect me Doll.”
“Then stop wasting it.” You reprimanded, pretending to be annoyed. You could feel the familiar warm buzz beginning to spread across your body, and you closed your eyes in bliss, letting your head fall back onto the sofa, resting against Bucky’s arm. “Let me have this,” You complained, “You already chased off that sexy bartender, alcohol is the only thing I have left.”
“Sexy bartender? Doll, I think all this drinking is throwing your judgement off.”
“Well he was Russian, Russians are always sexy.”
“Спорим, он будет очень сексуальным, когда я пронзу его ножом через его череп. (Bet he’ll be real sexy when I impale my knife through his skull).”
Opening your eyes, you narrowed them at him, “What did you say?” You asked accusingly.
“Nothing important.” Was his smug reply.
Tracing your eyes over his face, searching for any hints, you found yourself lingering as you took in the dark stubble littering his incredibly defined jawline and those gorgeous daylight blue eyes fixed directly on yours. Dragging your eyes away from him, you blinked a few times before downing the last filled glass on the table, slamming down the now empty glass. 
“Did you run out of options for your handsome mistake?” He asked after a pause, low, husky tone to his voice.
“Don’t know if you’re a handsome mistake,” You teased, and as a slight frown rippled across his features, you added, “More like fucking gorgeous.”
“Is that just drunk Y/n talking though Doll?” He asked, the intensity of his eye contact sending a shiver down your spine, his face only inches away from yours.
“No, you just look a little fuzzier around the edges.” You replied, the corner of your mouth turning up playfully, before you bit your lip, tilting your head to the side slightly, “Are you taking advantage of me while I’m drunk Barnes?”
“Only if you want me to, Doll.” He replied, smooth as ever.
“Maybe I do want you too. Better be quick, the alcohol will wear off soon.” You replied lazily, drawing dizzy circles onto his leg with your finger, feeling him tense beneath you.
“Do you want me to start a timer?” He asked, sarcasm shining through his grin.
“Shut up for once and kiss me.”
He didn’t need to be asked twice, capturing your lips with his, moving against you with a sense of urgency brought on by your imposed time limit. Tracing his jawline with your finger tips, he curled his arms around your waist, pulling you closer to him. As he pulled lightly on your bottom lip with his teeth, you wove your hands into his hair, tugging in retaliation as you smirked into the kiss.
“You’re such a fucking tease, Doll.” Bucky's voice was rough as you finally pulled away, hands still entwined behind his neck. His lips were swollen slightly from kissing you, usually bright eyes darkened with desire.
“And you’re a major flirt, you know that?”
“You only tell me like, twice a day.”
"Mmh, maybe I should tell you more," You hummed, before Bucky leant forward to kiss you again, taking your breath away.
But almost instantly you pulled back, hand flying to your ear as confusion etched onto Bucky's face.
"You turn your comms off?"
"No, you?"
"Fuck, no."
'Damn. I was just gonna ask if you guys could snog any fucking louder.'
You bit your lip as Bucky snorted with laugher, "Alright Wilson, calm down you fucking perv." He said, throwing a grin at you.
'Sarcasm, you dick. Look it up.'
Fiddling with the tiny radio behind your ear, you switched it to privacy mode; not transmitting anything short range. As Bucky pulled his hair to one side to do the same, you reached behind his ear, swiftly changing the setting for him, as he watched you intently. Starting to move your hand back, Bucky suddenly linked it with his own, using it to pull you into him once more. 
“You always fucking do this when you’re drunk,” He mumbled against your lips before you silenced him, kissing with a burning intensity, brushing your fingers across his stubble roughened jawline.
But you could already feel the warm buzz of intoxication starting to leave your body, as Bucky’s right hand traced down your back and left a trail of electricity sparking along your spine. The kiss took on a desperate edge, as he almost frantically moved against you, savouring every moment. As his hand fell dangerously low, you suddenly pulled away, damned influence of alcohol flushed entirely from your system.
Lust was splayed across his features, eyes almost jet black with desire. His lips were still parted from the ghost of your kiss, a slight frown passing over his face at you so abruptly pulling back.
Pushing your dishevelled hair back from your face, you shifted across the seat to stand, before looking back at Bucky, “I’m going to go shower,” You said, words impossibly soft as you left him sitting in the bar alone.
Watching your figure retreating away from him, a scowl pulled at Bucky's lips after you'd disappeared from his sight, and he glared down at the empty glasses abandoned on the table. 
“Your luck’s in Barnes, the bed isn’t a double, it’s a three quarter mattress at best.” Sam smirked from where he was laid back across the bed as Bucky entered the hotel room, slamming the door loudly behind him.
"Back off, would you Wilson." Bucky snapped in reply, throwing himself into one of the shabby arm chairs, jaw set.
Steve had been stood pulling some towels out of the wardrobe, but he shut the door to’ and exchanged a glance with Sam before casting his eyes over his friend in concern.
“You alright Buck?”
“Fine.” He answered shortly, a brooding expression settling across his features as he refused to meet Steve’s eyes.
The low background buzz of the shower suddenly cut out, leaving a heavy atmosphere hanging over the room. Steve turned, rummaging through his rucksack which he’d discarded on the bed earlier whilst Sam was promptly engrossed by his phone, tapping out a message. 
You poked your head out of the bathroom, disrupting the silence as you tightly clutched your towel and caught sight of Steve, standing not even a metre away.
“Steve do you have a clean t-shirt I can borrow?”
“Sure.” He replied, chucking a navy blue one towards you.
You caught it easily, kicking the bathroom door shut and pulling it over your head. The only mirror in the bathroom was fogged over, was barely the size of your face, and was hung stupidly low; just above the sink. But you didn’t need a mirror to know that Steve’s shirt entirely dwarfed you; the bottom hem falling just above your knees.
It was definitely long enough to be deemed decent when you consider some of the gorgeous dresses you’d worn out with Natasha and Wanda. A smirk crossed your lips at the thought.
Picking your towel back up from the rail, you began to dry the dripping ends of your hair as you left the bathroom in search of your brush. Finding it, you ran it through your wet locks.
“What was the temperature like?” Sam asked.
“I had to make a decision between burning in hell or freezing to death. After today’s temperatures there is no prizes for guessing which option I went for.”
“Better get used to those hellfire temperatures, you never know which day could be your last.” Sam grinned.
“Honestly, you kill a couple hundred mob bosses, Hydra agents and criminals and suddenly you’re eternally damned.”
“Nah. I think it’s the seducing of said criminals that’s reserved your place.”
“What can I say? I’ve got a thing for bad boys, and they’ll be far hotter in Hell.” You replied innocently, the corner or your lips twitching into a smile as you gently rubbed your hair with your towel.
Across the room, Bucky’s hands were clenched into fists, a scowl etching onto his face that only deepened after each word you spoke continued to rile him up. His temper was barely under control and a dangerous fire burned brightly behind his eyes; all of which you were either ignoring or seemed entirely unaware of, his irritation-addled mind wrongly convincing him it was the first.
Steve suddenly strode over to the door, swiftly unlocking it.  
“I’m going to go and talk to the desk staff downstairs, see if they know how long it will take for the storm to blow over.”
Sam took one glance at Bucky, sat in the corner practically vibrating with rage, and another at you, bent over towel drying your hair, entirely oblivious of the death glare you had been receiving for the past five minutes; and swung his legs over the edge of the bed to follow Steve.
“I’m coming with you.”
As soon as the door slammed shut after the two of them, Bucky’s building anger boiled over.
“So you and Steve then?” He snapped.
“What?” You retorted, almost dropping your towel in shock as you straightened up to face him.
“Not content to fuck around with one guy are you?”
“What the hell has got into you?”
“What the fuck do you think? You’re wearing Steve’s fucking shirt.” He snarled, springing up from his seat.
“What fucking code did you think I was speaking in? I asked him for a clean t-shirt because my last one is still soaking in the sink covered in your fucking blood.”
“I was literally across the fucking room, you could have asked me.” He retorted angrily, jealousy flashing darkly in his eyes.
“He was the first one I saw! It’s not as if I asked him to fuck me sideways Barnes, grow the hell up.” You hissed, turning away from him as you rolled your eyes. Before you could walk away, he'd grabbed your arm, instantly stopping you.
"Bet that's what you want though, isn't it Y/n? Hook up with Steve, have him fuck you real good?" He growled.
"Jesus Christ!" You yelled, snatching your arm away like his touch was burning you. "What the fuck is your problem?"
"My fucking problem is you flirting with my best friend."
"On what planet is just borrowing Steve's shirt flirting?"
"On what planet is it not?" He challenged.
"You know what Barnes? Maybe I will go and find Steve, because he's not an immature asshole like you." You spat, his angry expression mirrored perfectly on your face. "While I'm gone, sort out your fucking jealousy problem, because you have no entitlement to me."
You stalked out of the room, loudly slamming the door and leaving him alone.
"Trouble in paradise?" Sam smirked as you stormed into the reception area, finding both of them sat scouring a large map which was threatening to envelope them.
"Not in the mood Wilson. Please tell me you have good news."
"Staff reckon it won't be till tomorrow afternoon that the storm clears." Steve replied, eyes still fixed on the map.
You blinked hard. 
"For fucks sake!" You swore loudly, inciting a sharp glare from the elderly lady sat at the front desk.
Steve finally lifted his gaze, throwing you a look of concern, "What's wrong?"
"Your asshole of a best friend, is fucking wrong." You replied, throwing yourself down onto the lumpy sofa next to him. "He kicked off at me for asking for your shirt Steve. What the hell is his problem?"
"He's a jealous guy," Steve shrugged, intently tracing a dotted footpath along the map with his finger.
"He doesn't have the right to be jealous. We’re not even fucking close to being together, we’re just friends."
"You sure about that? You seemed to be getting along pretty well before." Sam added smugly, tapping his concealed comms behind his ear.
You glared at him, "Fuck off Sam. You could have turned your comms off."
"And risk the possibility of missing a call from Stark about evac?" Steve questioned.
You sighed, letting your head drop back onto the sofa.
"Fine, but you could have switched it to not receive adjacent transmissions like me and Bucky did. Privacy is a thing that exists, you know.”
“Where’s the fun in that?” Sam grinned wickedly, “You’re here ranting to us now, so we would have found out about your make out session at some point.” 
You rolled your eyes, pushing your still damp hair back from your face, “Seriously though, why the hell is Bucky getting so worked up over a fucking t-shirt?" You said, exasperated, as you pulled at the hem of the offending fabric.
"Like I said, he's a jealous guy, always has been," Steve repeated, before standing to refold the map. "You’re saying that the two of you aren’t actually involved but maybe he doesn’t see it that way."
“It’s not as if I’m the only one he pays attention to, he flirts with anything with a pulse.”
Sam raised his eyebrows at you, “Does he though? I’ve only ever seen him flirting with you in the past year.”
“He is literally the biggest player I’ve ever met.”
“Yeah, he used to be...until he got to know you.” Steve mused.
“Steve you can’t be serious, it’s not like that between me and Bucky. We’re...” You trailed off, fanning your hand in the air as you searched for the word.
“Fuck buddies?” Sam offered smugly, and you leant over, smacking him on the arm. He glared at you, rubbing his bicep. 
“No you dick, I was going to say just friends.”
“With benefits,” Sam added, before quickly throwing his hands up in surrender as you whipped your head round to stare at him, daring him to annoy you. “You have to admit that Y/n; we’re friends and you don’t go round snogging me.”
“Jesus Sam, can you stop saying ‘snogging’ you sound like a child.” You sighed, throwing yourself back to slump on the sofa again.
"Well from what I heard, it was nothing less than snogging." He mocked.
"I fucking hate you."
"Nah you don't."
“No, I really do.”
By the time the three of you ventured back to the room, Bucky was nowhere to be seen. “Probably gone to blow off some steam,” Steve had said.
Luckily enough, rolled up and discarded in the corner of the dingy wardrobe, there were a few spare blankets, which Sam and Steve had spread out on either side of the bed to create makeshift sleeping arrangements. You'd been granted four, very flat and lifeless pillows with the bed, so you’d given one each up to them, although it wasn't going to be much support from the threadbare carpet.
Shifting yourself onto your elbow, you peered over the side of your bed to look at Sam who was flat on his back, trying to get comfortable in the makeshift bed he'd created.
You threw him a hopeful look, but before you could even open your mouth he was shaking his head.
"Sure you don't want to switch?" You asked hopefully, preferring the hard floor to sharing a bed with an angry Bucky.
"Y/n, I would rather die than switch with you." Sam replied frankly, resting his arms above his head, “I can’t think of anything worse than spooning Barnes all night”.
“You’d think it would be that way round?” You giggled, “I’ve always thought of you as a little spoon.”
Sam scowled up at you but before he could retort, your eyes flicked to the door as you heard the second key turning in the lock. Exchanging glances with Sam, you let your head fall to the pillow and pulled the scratchy covers around yourself, not wanting to see Bucky at all. 
You heard him tread lightly across the floor before the buzzing light of the bathroom blinked on and he shut the door.
“Night,” You said as soon as Bucky was out of earshot, directed at both Steve and Sam. The only reply you got was a sleepy grumble from Sam. 
You’d shifted yourself as close to the edge of the bed as you could manage, without risking falling on top of Sam whilst you slept.
Bucky was only a few moments in the bathroom, and you froze as he snapped the room’s light switch and the room was suddenly plunged into darkness.
You may have enhanced senses, but Bucky’s assassins training easily outmatched them, and you didn’t hear him crossing the room until you felt the bed bend slightly with his weight. As he lay back and the bed stopped moving, you squeezed your eyes shut and hoped to fall asleep quickly; trying to relax your body without moving an inch.
Thankfully, he’d decided not to use the covers and both of you were facing away from one another, as far away as possible. However, due to the tiny sizing of the three quarter mattress, and the not so tiny sizing of Bucky, you could still feel the heat radiating from him, mere centimetres away.  
Despite holding your body uncomfortably straight to try and avoid any contact, as you began to feel sleep overcoming you, your weary muscles relaxed uncontrollably and you rolled backwards towards the centre of the bed.
Your eyes snapped open suddenly at some point during the middle of the night. You flicked your eyes round the room but couldn't focus on anything in the pitch black. Four people crammed into a small room had made the air incredibly close and stuffy, and you longed for a breath of fresh air.
The numbing cold from the snow you had cursed yesterday would have been a welcome relief now, you were absolutely roasting. Your heart dropped in your chest the second you realized why you were so warm. Your head was resting against Bucky’s shoulder, the curve of your side pressed to his. 
Mentally you were screaming curse words; you couldn’t think of a way of escaping without Bucky’s super senses waking him up to the situation. You were just going to have to make a break for it. Starting a 3-2-1 countdown in your head, you took a deep breath before throwing your body away and regaining your position hanging on for dear life at the edge of the bed. 
You were that worked up about the situation that you could feel your pulse throbbing in your ears. Listening to the undisturbed silence you were about to breathe a sigh of relief when the mattress rocked as Bucky shifted position. You hoped to god that what had woken him was just your movement of the bed, the mattress must be at least fifty years old, it squeaked at any movement. You gave it five minutes of listening and after hearing or feeling nothing else, hoped he had just shifted briefly in his sleep.
Half an hour later and you were still wide awake. Whether it was the shock of waking up so intimately close with Bucky or the fear of it happening again that was keeping you up, you weren’t sure. But now your eyes had adjusted to the darkness, and you could pick out the shapes of the wardrobe bathroom door, and even Sam’s head on the pillow as he slept peacefully.
Under the covers, you toyed with the hem of Steve’s shirt you’d borrowed; the root of Bucky’s explosion a few hours earlier. It was crazy, the way he’d accused you of trying to mess around with Steve; a t-shirt doesn’t exactly equate to a wedding proposal, or even anything near.
Dealing with regular mission stress is something the whole team handles; and Bucky had been injured on top of that, but that burning fire in his eyes was something you’d never seen before. It scared you a little. You’d seen Bucky in action a couple of years back when Zemo had activated the Winter Soldier; he’d smacked you across the room as easily as though you were a doll. Picking you up by your throat, his face had been set; emotionless. You’d glimpsed his eyes before he’d thrown you and they had been dormant, clouded over with the Winter Soldier programming. 
This had been an entirely different thing; his eyes had been filled with a sort of jealous rage, as though if you had held his gaze for long enough you would have been burnt. You’d messed around together a few times, but it was only ever when you were drunk, and like you’d said to Sam and Steve downstairs, you were hardly the only girl he paid attention to… 
Turning to relieve your aching shoulder, you lay flat on your back, leg slightly hanging off the side of the bed. You twisted slightly, stretching as to not wake up with a cricked neck, and as you did so, your darkness adjusted gaze met the deep blue eyes of Bucky Barnes staring intensely right back at you. 
As soon as you’d met Bucky’s eyes, you were out of there. There wasn’t exactly a chance of you getting back to sleep anytime soon anyway; you’d already laid there for over half an hour, and the thought of being so close to Bucky after how you woke up was a big no. 
Shuffling to the end of the bed so as to not aggressively wake Sam by standing on him, you grabbed your jacket, pulled on a pair of joggers and left the room.  
Finding a staircase leading upwards you followed it, until you reached a fire door at the top. Ignoring the exclamation signs, they were all in Russian anyway, you picked the lock. The door creaked open to reveal a small roof top area with a rickety old barrier that had fallen away in areas.
You left the fire door shut to’, allowing a small chink of light to escape from the inside. You didn’t need the light to see though, white snowflakes were still steadily spiraling down from the sky making the dead of the night fairly bright; though any further than a few meters away was obscured by the dense snowfall. A deep covering of snow blanketed the ground and you brushed a layer of it away, perching on an old beer barrel that had overturned. 
The freezing air you had cursed early on today was now a welcome release from the burning heat that had been emitting from Bucky as you had woken up pressed against his body. You let out a sigh, it was going to be so awkward between the two of you tomorrow, and that was even before you’d woken up almost being spooned by the guy. Pushing your hair from your face you stared out into the night, watching as the snowfall appeared to lesson slightly. 
Within ten minutes it had almost stopped altogether and there were only a couple of snowflakes dancing in the night air. Finally able to see further than a few feet from your nose, you scanned the surrounding landscape, senses acting like you were scouting for a mission. There were a couple of houses in the close parameter, but what you could mainly see was snow covered countryside, white blankets stretching into the distance. Suddenly your eyes caught sight of a few small black shapes moving ever slowly in a field a couple of miles away. 
“Shit.” You swore, if you can see them with your bare eyes now the snowstorm has stopped there’s no way they can’t see you sat as a bloody sitting duck on a rooftop. You could be overreacting, it might not be anything to worry about- maybe the locals have strange nocturnal habits- but something was telling you to warn the others. 
Scrambling to your feet you rushed to the fire door, lightly running down the steps. But before you could descend even one flight of stairs, you spotted a figure all in black coming up towards you, just a couple of steps down. Your heart jumped into your mouth for a second, pressing yourself back against the wall, away from the edge of the stairs. Taking a breath, you leant forwards ever so slightly to assess the situation, catching sight of the long dark hair of Bucky Barnes. Just as you recognized him, his dark head looked up, blue eyed gaze catching yours.
“Fucks sake Barnes- I thought you were Hydra. What are you doing walking around in the middle of the night?”
“I could ask you the exact same question.” He retorted, finishing his climb up the last few steps and standing a hesitant few paces away from you.
“Couldn’t sleep in the room, I just wanted some fresh air.” You lied.
“Then, the same.” He shrugged. 
You rolled your eyes. There was an awkward silence for a moment before you remembered the reason you’d left the roof.
“There’s a couple of figures in black a few fields away from us. Could be Hydra, or could be some locals out super early for...” You trailed off.
“I have no idea what Russians do in their spare time, could be anything. We should let Steve and Sam know anyway as a precaution.” You scowled before brushing past him, deliberately knocking his shoulder. “You don’t have to be an ass all the time Barnes.”
“I’m an ass? You’re a fucking pain in my ass.”
You stopped in your tracks, whipping your head round to glare at him. “And how’s that?” You asked scathingly. 
“You left the room in the middle of the night, not telling anyone where you were going, whilst there’s possible Hydra agents still on the move trying to track us down. You’re lucky I was awake.”
“Lucky? Yes I’m just so lucky that you followed me. Come to fucking yell at me again Barnes?”
The fire that had burned so brightly in his eyes early had reignited. 
“Why do you go out of your way to piss me off?” He said through gritted teeth, stepping closer.
“I don’t go out of my way to piss you off, you just overreact to everything.”
“The fuck is that supposed to mean?”
“It means you losing your shit over me borrowing this top from Steve,” You hissed, pulling at the loose material aggressively, “Is fucking insane.”
“You’re driving me insane!” 
The growling tone in his voice caught you off guard, and you hadn’t realized how close the two of you had gotten. You stared up at his blazing blue eyes, feeling mesmerized by the intensity. The flickering anger wasn’t the only thing reflecting in his eyes; they were clouding over with lust just as easily as they had in the bar earlier. There was no denying he wanted you, and you’d be lying if you said you didn’t long for the feeling of his lips on yours again. 
A huge bang jolted you both from your stupor, and you shot away from each other.
“They were Hydra.” You said, realization trickling through you like ice as you set off running down the stairs towards Sam and Steve. Your cheeks were flushed scarlet, embarrassed and ashamed that staring into Bucky’s stupid blue eyes may have just cost your best friend’s lives.
Lightly running down the stairs, your heart was hammering so hard you felt like it was going to jump straight out of your chest. As far away as you wished you were from Bucky right now, you were at least glad in a tactical sense that he was in step with you as you descended. 
Bucky suddenly slowed, grabbing your arm to stop you in your tracks. You looked at him surprised only for him to silently place one finger to his lips. That damn assassins training definitely came in handy in situations like this. 
His lips parted in concentration as he listened but after only a few seconds he turned back to you, answering your raised brow by holding up four fingers. You breathed a silent sigh of relief, that’s how many you’d seen from the rooftop which meant Steve and Sam were safe, for now.
“Two each?” You then mouthed in reply and he rolled his eyes. 
Stepping back from the stairs, the two of you pressed yourselves against a locked door, slightly set back from view. You could hear the agents coming up towards you now, getting closer and closer by the second. 
Another few moments, and...
You didn’t even need to look at Bucky to feel yourself working in tune with him, as the two of you always do on missions. You were both simultaneously facing the Hydra agents in an instant, and as Bucky disarmed the first by using his body weight to push him back against the stairs, you kicked out the legs from underneath the second before easily knocking him out with the butt of his own gun. 
Taking aim towards the third agent with the already loaded weapon, the first shot fired off down the hallway as the Hydra agent easily escaped your aim with an unfamiliar gun.
“Shit,” You swore, before aiming again. This time luck was on your side and the agent went down with a shot to his shoulder. 
“And that’s how it’s done!” You claimed triumphantly, turning to watch Bucky knock the last agent out against the metal railings. “Beat you Barnes,” You smirked. 
“What do you want me to say Doll, congratulations?” He laughed. 
The use of the nickname for the first time since the fight sent shivers up your spine but you shook it off.
“I was hoping for a medal but I’ll settle for a congratulations this time.”
You stepped towards him, intending to show him the Hydra weapon you had proficiently, or almost proficiently worked out how to use on the spot. But as you looked up from the gun a wave of terror was passing over his face and before you could realize what was happening he’d flung you back into the doorway. Your head slammed against the locked door impossibly loud and your ears were ringing, eyes unfocused for a moment. 
“B-Bucky? What-” You started, pressing your hands to your throbbing head as your vision came back into focus. 
Bucky was across the landing, standing at the feet of the first agent he’d taken down. You still couldn’t hear properly so felt incredibly disoriented as you pulled yourself to your feet and your head span. 
Waiting a few seconds to adjust, you blinked a couple of times as your hearing returned only for you to watch as Bucky crashed to the ground a couple of feet in front of you.
A sickening wave of realisation rolled over you as your heart dropped to your stomach, the bang you’d thought had been your head hitting the door had been a gunshot.
“Bucky!” You yelled, rushing over to his seemingly lifeless body; uncaring of drawing the attention of other Hydra agents. Reaching him, you could already see the blood seeping out of his right shoulder. 
“Fucks sake Barnes!” You swore, voice high pitched with worry. The wound on his lower body from yesterday had also started to bleed through his t-shirt once again and you instantly took Steve’s shirt off, wrapped it around the bullet wound in his shoulder in fear he was going to bleed out entirely. As you pressed down on his shoulder his eyes jolted open, wild fear reflected in them that calmed when he realized it was you. He let out a groan as you pressed harder on the shoulder wound. 
“You’re killing me here, Doll.” He groaned, as you helped him to sit up, leaning against the wall.
“No, that's exactly what I’m trying not to do, you asshole.” You tried to joke but your voice was so clearly lined with fear that even you could hear it. 
“I’ll be fine, it’s just a flesh wound the bullet barely touched me.”
“-There’s too much blood for it to be nothing Bucky.” As you tightened the makeshift bandage around his shoulder he let out another groan in pain. “Point fucking proven, stop trying to act all hard.”
Behind you, you suddenly heard footsteps, dangerously close. You’d been too distracted by the blood gushing out of Bucky to think about the noise of the commotion you’d caused and what it might attract. 
Picking up the gun lying next to Bucky, you placed an arm in front of him protectively and pointed the gun towards the stairs ready, your heart beat thumping erratically.
“Y/n? Buck?” 
You suddenly heard and you breathed out in relief, “Oh thank god. Steve, Sam! We’re up here. Bucky’s hurt. Hurry-” Your voice broke off with emotion. 
They climbed the last few steps, laden with all of your backpacks, clearly hoping for a quick escape. 
Steve instantly knelt at Bucky’s side with the first aid kit, pulling out the brand new nano-technology that Stark had given them for first use on this mission, only if necessary. Steve pulled away the bloody soaked shirt and sprayed what looked like liquid ice into the wound. As soon as it hit Bucky’s body his laboured breathing slowed down and the look of pain splashed across his face started to fade.
“Damn, we need to get Stark to let us use this more often.” Sam commented in disbelief. “Especially if Barnes is going to insist on getting shot and stabbed at least once each mission.”
“Fuck off Wilson,” Bucky grunted but there was a ghost of a smirk across his lips. 
“You alright to stand Buck?” Steve asked. Bucky nodded in reply and Steve stretched out a hand, helping him to his feet. “Right, Y/n, Buck- you two stay here, whilst me and Sam scout for our exit out of here. I can only imagine more Hydra agents are on their way as we speak.” 
Steve and Sam swiftly left down one of the corridors and you turned back to Bucky, the fear you’d felt for him swiftly turning to anger at him once again putting himself at risk for your sake. 
“Why the fuck did you take that bullet, you moron!” You snapped but he looked unperturbed, rooting through his rucksack. 
“Take the bullet? Y/n, it barely scratched my skin.” 
“If Stark hadn’t given us the new nanotechnology to trial, you would have needed evac. And guess what Barnes, there’s a fucking snowstorm stopping us from getting back.”
“You were facing the other way, you didn’t know that the agent still had a gun, he could have killed you.”
You rolled your eyes, “I’m not an idiot Barnes, I can look after myself.” 
“I took that agent down, so it was on me if your fucking brains had been splattered across the room!” He snarled, that sudden anger burning brightly in his eyes once again as he’d finally stood to face you. 
You winced, stepping back from him. You knew your annoyance had stemmed from worrying about him, but that last remark hurt. ‘Look, you took that goddamn knife for me too on the mission. I get that we have each other’s backs but you can’t put your fucking life on the line every time I’m in danger.”
“If it’s a choice between putting myself in harms way or you literally fucking dying, what the fuck do you think I’m going to choose?” The anger inside him had clearly reached a crescendo, and he shook his head, almost helplessly, before looking back to you. 
“It would kill me if I fucking lost you.”
Your lips parted in shock, but you didn’t know what to say. You could hear your heartbeat thudding loud in the silence. The passion flashing in his eyes reached deep within you, and you both stood there as though frozen in time for god knows how long. 
The silence was broken by Sam and Steve’s footsteps running loudly down the corridor, and you jerked out of the trance. 
“Stark has got the Quinjet here now the snow’s stopped.” Steve shouted, his words echoing loudly down the corridor. “We need to get up to the roof. Now.”
Steve and Sam rushed by you and Bucky, heading up to the rooftop. Your feet still felt rooted to the ground, heart beat thumping loudly in your chest. A few steps away from you, Bucky leaned down to pick up his rucksack, before turning away and following them. 
You had no choice but to follow suit, and you walked up the stairs as though dazed. 
A week later and you hadn’t seen Bucky once. It wasn’t hard to bump into people in the compound, considering you all used the same facilities to train, eat and relax. Bucky had either disappeared entirely or was intentionally ignoring you, and he didn’t have any magical abilities so you knew it was the second. 
It frustrated the hell out of you, and you found yourself training much more than usual, to try and work out some of the irritation. Blow after blow, your hands hit the punching bag, knocking it flying in different directions. Finally, you took an unintentional leaf out of Steve’s book and sent it flying across the room, sand trickling out onto the floor. 
“You want to talk about it?” Came a voice from the door.
You turned to see Steve, shoulder leant across the doorway with his arms crossed over his chest. 
“Talk about what?” You replied, raising your eyebrows in feigned confusion as you unwrapped your hands. 
“Talk about how since we got back from Siberia all you’ve done is decimate Stark’s supply of punching bags?” 
He crossed from where he’d been standing, dragging the punching bag to the side of the gym. 
You finished unwrapping your hands and threw the wraps down, taking a swig from your water bottle. “I’m just training more. Is that not a good thing?” 
“Well that depends.” Was his playful reply. 
“And what does it depend on, Steve?”
You were sick of his game already. 
“It depends on why.”
You shook your head, “Why does there need to be a reason? I’m training more which increases my strength and ability. That’s all there is to it.” 
Steve had walked over to face you, and he put his hands up, encouraging you to spar with him. All the frustration built up inside of you came pouring out and without a second thought you hit him hard. With anger driving you, you weren’t thinking as clearly as you should and within twenty seconds of the fight starting, Steve had you pinned to the floor. 
“Fucks sake,” You swore as he let you go, reaching out a hand to help you up. He looked expectantly at you. 
“OK fine! Your best pal Barnes got in my fucking head. And better yet since we got back from Siberia he’s been avoiding me, I haven’t seen him once outside of meetings.”
“Well, what about the party Stark is throwing tonight? We all have to be there.”
Stark’s party had completely slipped your mind. 
“It’s not like I even want to see him,” You scoffed. 
“Yeah,” Steve chuckled, as he made his way out of the gym. “Of course you don’t,” He called back with a knowing smile.
A few hours later you stood in front of your mirror, arranging your hair. You were dressed in a flowing, backless red dress that accentuated your features perfectly. Reaching for the bottle of vodka on your dresser, you downed a few shots for confidence, grimacing at the taste staining your tongue. Taking one last look at yourself in the mirror, you sighed; taking in a deep breath as you left your room. 
It wasn’t hard to find the party, you just followed the vibrations of the thumping music. Seeing Steve on the edge of the crowd, you made a beeline for him. 
He smiled warmly at you, “You look lovely Y/n.”
“Thanks Cap, you don’t look too bad yourself.” You replied, taking in his tailored navy suit. 
“This looks to be a long night,” He said, gesturing at the vast crowds of people you’d never met, and would likely never see again.
“What is it tonight then? Crowdfunding?” You joked. 
“Charity event.”
“From the look of that banner over there,” he replied matter of factly, as he pointed to a huge silver banner draped across the stairs, “It’s ‘Feed the Children’.” 
“Yeah, not sure how I missed that thing. Well that’s a good cause, where can I donate some more of Tony’s money?”
Steve rolled his eyes at you, “There is a donation being made on behalf of The Avengers.”
“Well aren’t you full of knowledge today Steven.”
“No, you clearly just didn’t read the banner very well.” He teased. 
You punched his shoulder playfully in response but as you did so you suddenly spotted the dark haired super soldier that had been trying so very hard to stay away from you. 
He was stood at the top of the stairs, over viewing the party with a frown. Your stomach dropped at how good he looked. Effortlessly handsome, he’d chosen an entirely black fit; ebony suit, shirt and tie and he looked stunning; hair slicked back in a style he must have worn in the ’40s. He’d shaved as well, but of course he’d left a shadow of dark brown stubble dotting his jawline. 
“Fuck me,” you breathed without meaning to, loud enough for Steve to hear, and he followed your gaze towards his best friend.
“He’s looking sharp.” He said, before turning to you with a brow raised. “So, are you gonna do anything about how you feel?”
You were taken aback, “What?! I don’t feel anything, Steve. Except that I’m pissed at him for ignoring me.”
“You’re honestly telling me there’s nothing between you?”
“Maybe an on going murder case from tomorrow if he doesn’t fucking stop avoiding me.”
Trying to distract from the conversation, you waved over a passing waiter who offered you both glasses of champagne. You took a glass in each hand, downing them quickly to try and dispel the ball of nerves in your stomach. The waiter looked surprised, clearly he had no idea that your enhancement almost ruined your ability to get drunk. Calling him back, you requested he bring you five shots of vodka, which he agreed to with a hint of fear in his eyes. 
“Honestly you’d think I’d just asked him to blow up the compound,” You grumbled, still trying to change the subject as Steve held back a laugh. “I bet if it was Thor who had asked there would have been no funny looks given.”
A shiver ran down your spine and you shook it off, flicking your eyes back to where Bucky had stood but he was nowhere to be seen. Just the feeling of his eyes on you was driving you wild and you blinked hard a couple of times, trying to remove him from your thoughts. When your shots were brought you rapidly took them all, shot after shot, then placed the five empty glasses back down on the tray.
Sam had come up to the two of you and watched you take the last couple of shots. “Can you even feel any of that?” He chuckled as the waiter backed away almost in fright.
“Give me five minutes and I will.” You replied, a smile breaking onto your lips. 
“I think five shots might have been a mistake.”
“Mistake? I was thinking I should have done eight.”
“I think I’d curl up and die if I did eight shots of vodka at once.”
However two minutes later, the welcome buzz of alcohol had finally filled your system. “Okay Sam, you win,” You giggled, raising your hand in surrender, “Five was enough.” 
“Definitely more than enough with that champagne too,” Steve joked, swatting your hand away from reaching for another glass.
“Alright Grandad, stop being a party pooper.” You complained, rolling your eyes at him and taking another anyway.
Turning, you froze mid sip of your drink as you caught sight of Bucky again, this time ordering a drink at the bar. There was a wide smile plastered on his face as he talked to a waitress, and as he threw his head back in a laugh, white hot sparks of jealousy shot through you. The thought of Bucky talking, flirting with someone that wasn’t you was making you feel bitter.
A jolt of realization shot through you; a week ago you hadn’t cared, a week ago you knew that you weren’t the only girl Bucky showed attention to, and a week ago you were completely fine with that. That fucking asshole. He’d got into your head with the last thing he’d said to you, he might as well have locked himself inside the fucking doors to your brain and taken the keys.
“Y/n? Y/n… hello?” Steve’s voice jerked you from your thoughts, and both him and Sam were looking at you confused. 
“I’ll be right back.” You replied, slamming your glass down hard on a waiter’s tray, startling both of them. 
Before either of them could say a word to you, you were gone. Head held high, you strutted across the room, heading straight for the bar; lashes fluttering and hips swaying invitingly. You could feel eyes all across the room roaming across your figure, wondering if they had a chance. Reaching the bar, you slid onto a bar stool and hooked your heels under the seat. It wasn’t long before one of the guests at the party went for it. 
“Hi, Y/n isn’t it.” Came an unknown voice.
“Yes,” you replied sweetly, “And you are?”
“Liam. Can I buy you a drink?” 
“I would love that.” 
Liam was tall, with dark hair and blue eyes; a combination which you rolled your eyes at internally. As he took a seat next to you, you scanned the bar. You knew you were in sight of Bucky, but he hadn’t seen you yet, still talking to that damn waitress.
You listened to Liam show off, telling you all about his new promotion only responding with a few hair flicks and throwing him a few seductive smiles as bait for a certain someone.  
You looked away from him for a moment, almost knowingly, and you met the dark gaze of Bucky Barnes across from you; face unreadable as he watched you. Feeling the weight of his resentful gaze, you batted your lashes at Liam, touching his arm as you giggled. 
Bucky tilted his head back, draining the last remnants of his drink before slamming it down on the bar. Not even a minute later a dark shadow fell over you. Game, set, match. 
Liam finally stopped talking, looking up nervously.
“You’re in my seat.” Bucky growled at him, and Liam instantly moved, walking away from the bar, tail between his legs. 
“I’ll have what she’s having.” Bucky added, tone unreadable as he spoke to the closest waiter, and took the seat next to you.
The waiter took one look at him before stammering, “Er- yes… Sir,” and backing away. 
Feeling Bucky’s eyes burn into you as he took in your figure in the stunning dress you’d chosen, you stirred your drink with the little umbrella it had been served with, refusing to return his gaze.
“You look...nice.” He said evenly. 
“That’s all you have to say to me? After you fucking ignore me for a week?” You snapped, the irritation that had built up inside you all tumbling out as you finally turned to look at him. 
A flash of guilt stole across his face before it was replaced with anger to mirror your own, “What else do you fucking want me to say?”
You glared at each other for a moment before your demeanour faltered as every molecule of air was sucked from your lungs as your eyes dropped from his and you realized how fucking good he looked in that suit. Having him so close to you was hard, your mind kept trying to drag you back to that night in the bar in Siberia, and you wanted his lips on yours more than you’d ever wanted anything before. 
Finally dragging your eyes back to his, you could read a glint of satisfaction in his darkening orbs, he knew you were checking him out and liked what you saw. You forced yourself back to reality, and finally answered his question, “I want you to fucking tell me why you’ve been ignoring me.”
“I haven’t been ignoring you.”
“What, so it’s a coincidence that I’ve not seen you once in an entire fucking week?” 
The guilt in his eyes gave him away, he could lie to anyone in the entire world but you. 
“Whatever, it’s fine; I don’t care.” You added, downing the rest of the drink and pulling the little umbrella from the glass. “You,” you said, pointing at him with the sharpened end of the cocktail umbrella, “Can go back to that fucking waitress.”
You unhooked your heels from the bar stool, striding out of the crowds trying to escape him, but you could feel his presence hot on your heels. You’d just reached a corridor without any people when his arm had whipped up to stop you in your tracks. His touch sent a spark of electricity jolting around your body. 
“I was talking to the waitress to order a drink, nothing more. But, I don't know why it's so fucking hard for you to admit that you’re jealous.” He growled into your ear, voice so low pitched it sent butterflies dancing around your stomach.
“I’m jealous? You’re the one who came running over and scared away my handsome stranger.”
“Yes, the tall, dark haired, blue eyed handsome stranger. It’s almost as if you have a fucking type for guys you use when you’re drunk.” 
You stared at him in disbelief, ignoring the fact that the feeling of his hand on your arm was all you could concentrate on, “There was no choosing, he came over to me first,” You spat. “And what the fuck do I have to be jealous of? We're just friends.” 
Paying no attention to the fact that your body wanted to give in to him, you stuck to your word, pushing him away. 
"Just friends? Don't give me that bullshit when every time you're drunk you're kissing me like your fucking life depends on it." He snapped.
"Fuck, Barnes." You swore. "I didn't realize you had a problem with that."
"Open your fucking eyes Y/n!"
"I think they're pretty fucking open." You replied icily, stung by the aggression in his tone. You blinked a couple of times trying to control your own rage, furious about the way he was speaking to you.
"No. You've either been walking around blind folded or you're full of shit." His face was washed with anger, eyes flashing darkly once again. 
"What the hell are you talking about?!"
"Don't you fucking see that I like you? I've been making a play for you for over a goddamn year and yet you just fucking use me every time you're drunk and shit all over my feelings as soon as you're sober again. The reason you haven’t seen me in a week is because I was scared: scared about what I’d said in Siberia and scared that it might mean fucking nothing to you.”
You were completely stunned, and you stood frozen, eyes fixed on his. “What?” You finally managed to choke out as realization washed over you like a bucket of icy water. 
“I want you Y/n- you know what not even that. I fucking need you. And I’m standing here entirely open in front of you, I’ve told you everything. I need to know if you feel the same.”
All of the emotion that you’d suppressed inside of you in the past week came bubbling out at a million miles an hour and you answered him in the only way you could think of. 
Your lips crashed onto his, and he responded instantly, kissing back with the same force for the first time in what felt like an eternity. You melted into the kiss, hands reaching up to entwine behind his neck. Your bodies melded into each other perfectly, the jealous knot that had been tied so tightly inside you evaporating entirely. You smiled into the kiss and you pulled back slightly, looking into those stupid blue eyes that had entirely captured your soul.
“We need to kiss when I’m sober more often.”
A smirk pulled at his lips and he let out a dry laugh, “That’s the plan.” 
“And you promise me you don’t pull this with all the girls?” You asked, flashing him a cheeky smile. 
“I could never. Not since I got to know you. You are the most incredible, stunning, intelligent and the fucking funniest girl I know. I literally adore you, Doll.” 
You couldn’t help the smile spreading across your lips, “Is that what I am, your Doll?”
“If that’s what you want to be.”
Reaching up to brush your fingertips across his jawline, you replied softly, “I want that more than anything.”
...The End...
A/n: What did we think? I worked my ass off on this and I hope everyone enjoyed! 
501 notes · View notes
tea-with-veth · 10 months ago
Dual Blades
They are both already legends when they meet. Maybe that’s part of what pulls them together, like two magnets. In the end, it was always going to be Philza and Technoblade, the angel of death and his blood god.
Phil meets a man (not quite human) who should still be a boy, with voices in his head, and chaos in his soul, and he took him under his wings, and never let him go. And Techno finds a man (not quite human) with a blade drenched in blood and kindness in his eyes, and he vowed to offer him the world if that’s what he wanted.  
They rotate around one another, a dangerous double-sided weapon, as they conquer countries and bring kings to their knees and move on and you can only fight so many battles side by side with another person before you are more than allies. And you can only save one another’s lives so many times before you are more than friends. 
By the time the Antarctic Empire is a name that inspires terror, hatred, and awe Phil and Techno are something more indeed.
Phil is the first person Techno tells about the voices. 
Phil finds him, late one night, when they both should be asleep, slumped against an icy corridor wall, eyes too wide, staring out into nothing, breath shallow, trembling like a leaf.
Blood for the blood god. Blood for the blood god. Blood for the blood god----
“Techno? Mate?”
Blood for the blood god. Blood for the blood god. Blood for the blood god----
Techno’s nails are digging into his arm, breaking skin and drawing blood as he tries to ground himself back into the present, and he can barely hear Phil’s concerned voice over the ringing chorus in his ears. It’s too much and Blood for the blood god. Blood for the blood god. Blood for the blood god----
Gentle hands slip into his and restrain his clawing fingers, and he clutches them gratefully, tethered by the touch, gripping so tightly he feels certain he must be hurting Phil. But his friend doesn’t flinch. 
“Techno,” he says in a voice as soft and quiet as snowfall just outside, “Techno what is it?”
He crumbles, and the words come pouring out of him, telling Phil everything, about the voices, the way they scream into his ears and eat him from the inside, and how they push him and pull him, how he feels trapped in a tug of war with himself and the voices fighting control of that space between his ears, how he can’t remember what silence sounds like--
Somehow the act of saying it calms him, and he’s no longer panicked. Now he’s simply afraid, afraid of what Phil will think. He peers out from behind tangled pink hair falling over his face, trying to read his friend’s face. Phil is looking at him, into his eyes, like he’s trying to see something on the other side. 
“Hey,” the older man says, “I don’t know if you lot can hear me, but if you can, give my friend a little peace.”
Is it his imagination or do the voices quiet, just a bit?
And when, a month later, Philza awakens to find Techno at his door, he recognizes that look in his eyes. 
They spend the night in silence, but he braids Technoblade’s hair, working through the tangles with a comb, and weaving it into complicated patterns, and at some point the hybrid falls asleep slumped against his shoulder, and Phil suddenly feels whole. 
The voices like Phil. That’s one thing they and Techno can agree on. 
Their names echo across worlds, and if people turn to Techno’s blade in war, and Philza’s kind eyes in peace, they don’t seem to mind. 
And when Philza says “you’re like one of my sons,” Techno does not say you are a father and a brother and the only family I’ve ever had, and I would bring the world to your feet if you wanted it, and I would do anything for you because he knows Philza understands. So he just nods and they keep on walking across the barren snowy expanse, snowflakes caught in their hair, and a thousand stars spinning above them, bright as lanterns. 
Eventually, the Empire ends. It’s not exactly planned. But Techno says one day, “I think I’m ready to keep moving,” and the next morning he’s gone.
Phil isn’t worried. He makes his arrangements and packs away the beautiful blue cloak and goes home to his sons. 
There’s a bit of emptiness there, but Phil isn’t worried. He and Techno are something more, two twin soldiers, two halves of a whole, two kings of an empire. Phil isn’t worried, because he knows he’ll see his friend again.
The next time Techno meets Phil, at a tournament, he’s with his sons. They’re like their father, children of chaos, and Techno likes them for it. When, at the end of a long day, dizzy with the euphoria of triumphant victory, Wilbur lets slip that he thinks of Techno as another brother, he’s flattered, and his heart lights up like a smoldering ember in his chest. 
Phil didn’t quite realize how barely-more-than-a-child-he’s-Wilbur’s-age-oh-god his ally was until he sees him next to his oldest son, and they’re laughing together. Suddenly he’s thinking back to all those battles, to those torturous nights back in their frozen fortress when the voices were too much, and he resolves to be something more for this young warrior who has grown up far too fast.
Techno likes Philza’s children, and so it’s for their sake as well as his old friend’s that he comes to their aid when the local government needs some of his signature anarchist chaos. 
(“How does one go from an Emperor to an anarchist?” Wilbur asks, late one night, as they sit around the fire in Pogtopia, eating baked potatoes)
(How does the son of an Emperor become an exiled ex-president who just wants to watch the world burn? Techno wonders) 
He does not speak to Phil again, until that terrible, beautiful morning, the sun rising across a very different snowy plain when Phil knocks on the door of the little cabin. He looks different than Techno remembers, shattered. It’s not just the wings, feathers burned into crumbling ash by explosions, it’s the broken expression in his eyes that Techno doesn’t recognize. 
“Come in,” he says.
And Phil does not say I saw my son again today, and I didn’t know him anymore, and I killed my son, I killed my son, Wilbur is gone--
And Techno does not say They used me, they used me, I was nothing but a weapon to them all, in the end, I didn’t matter, and he doesn’t speak the bitter taste of betrayal on his tongue. 
They don’t need to say it. They know.
But Techno holds Phil tightly in his arms when his friend breaks into fractured sobs, and later that night they sit by the fire, and Phil re-braids Techno’s hair, gently smoothing about the tangles, and the voices quiet. 
And they do not point out that their tangle of allegiances means that technically they are enemies. Because, when the lines and swords are drawn, they know exactly where they stand.  
“I think I’m going to retire.” 
“I think that’s a good idea.”
They are two soldiers, twin blades, and they know they never really rest. 
But it’s nice to pretend they have a chance at peace.
Phil leaves with a compass in one pocket and an emerald in the other, and though he’s going back to L’manburg, his heart’s home is a small cottage in a snowy field.
They know where they stand. Phil and Techno will stand with one another.
After all, dual blades should be wielded together. 
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genshin-obsessed · a month ago
Happy Birthday (y/n) | Genshin Impact Girls
Ok, it's my birthday and this is a little self-indulgent so don't @ me, I already exposed myself. Anyway, I hope you like it <3 It took like 3 days to complete this :') they do get repetitive, but you're only supposed to read one-
[Guys here]
Characters: Amber, Baal, Beidou, Eula, Ganyu, Jean, Ayaka, Keqing, Kujou Sara, Lisa, Lumine, Mona, Ningguang, Noelle, Sangonomiya Kokomi, Rosaria, Xinyan, Yae Miko, and Yoimiya.
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She frowned, realizing how late it was already. You would definitely be asleep by the time she got home. she really didn’t mean to be so late, yet here she was, getting home way after sundown.
she opened the door and walked in, seeing your sleeping face right there on the couch. You always waited for her to come home and today wasn’t any different.
she sighed as she moved towards you after locking the door. she got down on her knees, a small frown on her face.
✩ Amber
“Aw, man… I guess I’m not as fast as I thought. I guess I’ll have to make it up to you later today. Hey, did you know (y/n), I have the coolest date set up for us? All your favorites and whatnot. You’ve been so busy recently, you know? And I’ve really missed you. I’m glad we’ll both have some time tomorrow. I think we need it. Aside from it being your special day, but also as bonding, you know? Oh man, I’m really just talking to myself, huh? Cuz you’re asleep and whatnot. Ok, um… sleep well. I can’t wait to spend time with you tomorrow. Happy birthday and I love you.”
✩ Baal
“As I thought. You’d be asleep. I don’t know why you insist on waiting for me when you know I’ll always be home late. More often than not, I find you already sleep and on this uncomfortable couch no less. I suppose I should be grateful… you don’t have to, yet you do it regardless. Heh… you’re pretty cute, you know that? You look so peaceful when you’re asleep like that… I swear to you, (y/n)... I will build a world that’s always so peaceful for you. So that you may never experience any pain… so that you’re always smiling, so that you can always sleep just as peacefully as now. Ah- I’m getting off-topic. Happy birthday, my sweet.”
✩ Beidou
“I knew, dammit… you fell asleep. Sorry, I’m late, babe. I guess I could make it up to you tomorrow… but I wanna say this now. Even though you’re not exactly awake. Thank you for staying with me and loving me. We’ve been together for almost four years now and I just- I sometimes can’t understand why you’re still here. Not that there’s anything wrong with me but… there’s so much to explore in the world. So much to see and do, yet you’re still here with me. I just… love you so much that I can’t even comprehend it sometimes. Weird, right? Oh! The point of this was because… here… I wanted to give this to you before you went to bed but hey, maybe you’ll like it when you wake up. It’s not the prettiest ring, but it looked beautiful to me. So, I hope you’ll like it. I love you… and happy birthday.”
✩ Eula
“Ugh, I knew it! I was gonna be late! Oh- I should be a little quieter- no, no, no don’t wake up… oh phew. I’m… sorry for being late. I really thought I would be on time, but I guess I was wrong. WAY wrong. But! I’ll make it up to you tomorrow, I swear. I have a wonderful date planned, we’ll have nice food, drinks- huh… wow… you look so peaceful and pretty. You know, your smile is my favorite thing to see. Ever. So always smile for me, ok? No matter what, because if I can see your smiling face, then I can handle anything. Happy birthday, my little snowflake.”
✩ Ganyu
“So cute… you’re so adorable when you sleep. Oh but I should be apologizing for being so late. I was supposed to be here hours ago to wish you a happy birthday right at midnight. But here I am… well past 3am. I guess I can do it now. Happy birthday, I love you.”
✩ Jean
“Oh no. I knew I shouldn’t have stayed over time but I decided it would help everyone tomorrow. And I even brought you flowers… I suppose I could always give them to you tomorrow. I mean that’s my only choice, I’m not going to wake you up. I really wished I could’ve said this earlier but… happy birthday, my dandelion flower…”
✩ Kamisato Ayaka
“I’m not even sure why I thought you’d be up. It’s already so late. I was thinking about telling Thoma to cover for an hour while I came back home to wish you a happy birthday, but I decided against it. And here’s my punishment for that. You really shouldn’t sleep on this couch, it’s not very comfortable… but you do look so very peaceful. Let’s get you to bed, my love. Oh and happy birthday.”
✩ Keqing
“Happy birthday… I was supposed to say that to you hours ago, but I suppose now isn’t that bad. Thank you for staying with me as long as you have… I mean we’ve been through five of your birthdays already. And here’s a sixth. I thought it would be time… so tomorrow… um… say yes, ok? Please say yes. I’ll make you the happiest person in the world.”
✩ Kujou Sara
“The bedroom is literally 40 feet away, yet you insist on falling asleep on this terrible sofa. I’ve told you time and time again just wait in our bedroom so that in the event you fall asleep you can- *sigh* am I really lecturing you? On your birthday no less. I suppose since it’s your special day… I’ll let it slide. Be prepared for tomorrow, it took me all year to plan and execute actually so I hope you’ll like it. I love you, little bird.”
✩ Lisa
“Oh, I knew you’d be right here, sweetie. I’m not surprised, you always insist on waiting for me. Normally, I’m never this late. I’m sure you were very worried too… hm I really hope you weren’t super anxious when you fell asleep. You’ll get nightmares like that. Well, I’ll be here to ease any nightmares… happy birthday, light of my life. I hope you enjoy what I have in store for you tomorrow. I love you.”
✩ Lumine
"Oh you're asleep already, I guess I should have known. I'll have to apologize better when you wake up but for now, I'd just like to say happy birthday (y/n). Out of everyone I've met you've tried to help me find my brother the most. I can't thank you more for that, you're so kind and caring to me more than I think I deserve. Happy birthday (y/n) I hope you enjoy your present when you wake up. I love you forever and always~"
✩ Mona
“I’m… sorry. Gosh, I’m really sorry. I wanted to be here before you fell asleep but I couldn’t do it. I suppose there’s no crying about it now, I always tomorrow to make it up to you. Thank you for everything you’ve given me, I swear to give you all of me too. You’re so special to me- so special. And I cherish- oh wait, I should tell you this tomorrow when you’re actually awake! Good night, my star. Sleep well. I love you and happy birthday.”
✩ Ningguang
“No matter how much I tell you, you always insist on waiting for me. It’s one of the cutest things about you and I adore you for it. Thank you for trying my love. But tonight, I shall take the blame. I was so late, you fell asleep. But worry not tomorrow, I shall make it up to you. I hope you’re excited because I am. I love you.”
✩ Noelle
“You’re… asleep… no. You weren’t supposed to fall asleep. Ah- I can’t wake you up now. I wanted to wish you a happy birthday and give you your gift, I was even going to- oh. I mean, I do have all day tomorrow so it’s not that big of a deal but I really wished I could've said it earlier. Anyway, sleep well. I love you, birthday baby.”
✩ Sangonomiya Kokomi
“Oh dear, you’ve fallen asleep. I should’ve known, but I decided to be a little stubborn. No matter, I already have tomorrow prepared and I know for a fact I can make up for this little mishap. Hehe… say (y/n)… you ever think about getting married? I hope you’ll say yes… because I’m proposing tomorrow. Not in front of a crowd, of course. In private. So be ready, cutie. I love you and happy birthday~”
✩ Rosaria
“You’re so lucky it’s already your birthday or I would scold you for trying to stay up when you knew I’d be late. The fact that I was planning on surprising you and failed is beside the point. You look so peaceful, I feel bad for even thinking about scolding you. Well, I have a surprise for you tomorrow. So I hope you’ll like it, I got all your favorites. Happy birthday, my sweet. Love you.”
✩ Xinyan
“Aw damn! I thought I’d make it in time, but I couldn’t. I had a song prepared for you, did you know? Well, of course, you didn’t. It was a surprise. I planned on singing it to you right at midnight but since I’m late and you’re asleep… I’ll sing it to you tomorrow. I hope you’ll like it. You were my inspiration after all. Happy birthday, my love.”
✩ Yae Miko
“Asleep… as expected. And here I thought I could actually beat time. Forgive me, my love, for being late. I wanted to be here right on time but alas, things came up and I couldn’t get away from them. I tried, yet it wasn’t enough. No matter, I’ll make it up to you tomorrow. I promise. I hope you’ll be well-rested for it. I love you and happy birthday.”
✩ Yoimiya
“Aw, you’re asleep. It’s ok, I heard you had a long day. I’m not sure how long you managed to stay up, but I would’ve preferred if you’d fallen asleep in bed. Hey, (y/n), are you ready to have your mind blown? Tomorrow, you’ll see the best fireworks show in the history of fireworks and they’re all for you. I want you to see how much I love you. Tomorrow, we have a busy day so you better be well-rested. I love you, my firework. Happy birthday.”
☽ ☾
Her hand pushed your hair out of the way before her thumb brushed over your cheek. She leaned in, pressing a kiss to your lips for a brief moment before pulling away and gazing at your soft features.
So beautiful- that’s the only way she could ever come to describe you. You were the light of her life and you made her so happy she could never find a way to put it into words. But she would surely try.
Quietly standing up, she ever so gently lifted you into her arms and walked towards your shared bedroom. She was definitely going to make it up to you for being late tonight.
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abyssheart · 3 months ago
When he catches you staring at him [Albedo, Diluc, Kaeya x GN!Reader]
pairings: Albedo, Diluc, Kaeya x gn!reader word count: 0.6k warnings: none a/n: credits to @yanbub for the idea!
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The library is empty, save for you and Albedo. The setting sun’s light filters in, casting golden on all surfaces visible to it. Long bored of reading, you gaze at him, and notice details you hadn’t before. Illuminated are the flyaways of his curly hair and his eyelashes—wow, were his lower lashes always this long?
Before long, he catches you staring. “What is it, Y/N? Do I have something on my face?” He asks, starting to wipe at his face.
“Ah, no, it’s just—you’re beautiful.” The words slip out before you can even consider them, and you slap a hand over your mouth. Did I really just say that?
Albedo just smiles at you, seemingly paying no heed to your now reddened face. He reaches out, tucking a lock of your hair behind your ears, then rests his cheek on his hand, lovingly gazing at you.
“W-what is it, is it my turn to have something on my face now?” You joke, attempting to lighten the slightly overwhelming atmosphere. But Albedo ignores your joke, continuing.
“No, it’s just that you’re beautiful as well.”
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The Cavalry Captain of the Knights of Favonius, though parading around like a peacock in public, has surprisingly turned out to be a rather shy man in private.
So his face turns red when he catches you staring at him. He chuckles, a poor attempt to keep his cool mask in place. “What is it?”
A bright idea forms itself in your mind and you walk over to him, cupping his face in your hands and looking lovingly into his eyes. His face burns in your hands despite his Cryo Vision as he averts his eyes. "What is it, snowflake, you're making me flustered...," he murmurs with a slight smile.
You grin and press a kiss over his eyepatch, causing his visible eye to widen. His eyes dart back and forth between you and the walls as your hands leave his face and you return to your seat, satisfied, while he a flustered mess.
Oh, the things you do to him.
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It's late at night. When Diluc had refused to come to bed, you sighed and said, "I'll keep you company."
Now, as he works, you have nothing to do but to stare at him. You rest your arms on his desk and your chin on top of them, staring at him. You notice how it's always the same locks of hair falling into his face and obstructing his view, how it's always these particular strands that curl a different way from the rest.
Though absorbed in his work, Diluc eventually notices your staring. "What's wrong?" He asks, and you realize that you had, in fact, been staring at him for an uncomfortable period of time. Averting your eyes, you say, "It's nothing." He simply smiles and returns to his work.
It happens a second time, less than five minutes later. This time, he chuckles and asks, "What is it?" Your sincere gaze meets his crimson eyes and a "you're beautiful" slips past your lips. His cheeks start to match the color of his eyes and you laugh heartily.
Soon enough, he'll grow less shy. Enough to tell you that he pales in comparison to you.
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ppangjae · 10 months ago
SUN&MOON | Jaehyun
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SUMMARY. Asking Jeong Jaehyun to accompany you to your family’s 1-week Christmas vacation as your boyfriend has its consequences. One can surely get through 1 week of pretending to be in love with an enemy, right? 
GENRE. enemies to lovers!au | fake dating!au | tooth-rotting fluff | angst
WORD COUNT. 14.6k+ words (someone stop me)
playlist. sun and moon by sam kim | sun&moon by nct 127 | D (half moon) by dean
author’s note. i’ve always wondered how ‘ordinary people’ would be if the situation was switched and yn needed someone to be their fake boyfriend. but you know that i love making things messy and so i decided to add the enemies to lovers trope. have fun reading and no, you don’t need to read ordinary people before this fic! merry christmas? merry chrysler? merry crimmus?
disclaimer. you do not need to read ordinary people before reading this fic! this fic is made in a different universe and time, so consider this fic separate from ordinary people!
warnings. swearing!
taglist: @yasmini24 @jungjxxhyun @softieus @justineasian @chantellsievert @jaehyunnie77 @princessaecha @je0ngjaehyun @joyfuljaehyun @fluffyjaes @icelandicboo @chalcopyright @ethaeriyeol​ @svchengss​ @yourmagnanimousholiness​ @127-jaehyun​ @theunluckylistenermusician​ @mangotexts​ @daydreamerblues​ 
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Even when we’re not looking at the same sky, we stay together like the SUN&MOON.
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“If I’m the dumb of dumb and dumber, then that means you’re the dumber.”
It’s unfortunate that you couldn’t agree any more with your best friend, Jungwoo, who’s setting up the projector in his living room. The projector turns on after twenty straight minutes of Jungwoo just smacking the top of it, as if it would do anything. Projected onto the off-white walls of his apartment is a PowerPoint presentation and to your surprise, it’s not a presentation about how you’re the dumber one out of the two of you. Instead, it’s a PowerPoint presentation about—
“Five reasons why Jeong Jaehyun should be the fake boyfriend you’ll bring home for Christmas.”
“Turn that shit off before I rip your hair off your scalp—”
“Listen, hear me out.” Jungwoo cuts you off, pressing the button on his clicker to move on to the next presentation slide. The next slide shows a very dorky picture of Jaehyun sticking two fingers up his nostrils and you assume that it’s some sort of blackmail that Jungwoo uses. “Reason number one, he is a handsome and smooth motherfucker and I’m sure your parents will be very impressed.”
“Jungwoo, I hope you know that no matter what, I will not ask Jaehyun to pretend to be my boyfriend—”
“Reason number two,” Jungwoo ignores you, moving on to the next presentation slide. The slide shows a picture of all the boys in your circle of friends. Johnny, Sicheng, Jungwoo, Mark, and Jaehyun. Jungwoo points at each one of them. “Johnny is in a relationship, which means that he’s not an option. Sicheng is also in a relationship and he’s planning on proposing on Christmas Eve, not only is he booked and busy this Christmas, but he’s also not an option.”
“Jungwoo, you’re not dating anyone. You can pretend to be my boyfriend instead.” You suggest and Jungwoo clicks his tongue, shaking his head in reply. “What? Why not?”
“Do you think your parents would believe that I, Kim Jungwoo, so happens to be not only your childhood best friend but your boyfriend too?” Your face turns blank. He has a point. He smirks. “Exactly. That’s what I thought. Now, Mark has a crush on your younger sister, so I don’t think it would be ideal for him to be your fake boyfriend when he should be shooting his shot on your sister this Christmas.”
“He needs my approval first—”
“That’s not the point.” Jungwoo cuts you off, pointing the laser of his clicker to the wall, specifically at Jaehyun’s face. He circles the laser around Jaehyun’s face and begins to grin. “The point is that Jaehyun is your only option. Jaehyun’s single, he’s good looking, and it wouldn’t be suspicious to your parents.”
“Reason number three, Yeri and Haechan would definitely approve of Jaehyun.” Jungwoo explains. 
“What makes you so sure about that?”
“Because Jaehyun is easily likeable, it would be odd if Yeri and Haechan didn’t like him.” He reasons.
“Do I look convinced?” You ask. 
Jungwoo stares at you. He blinks before shrugging his shoulders. “I say you kind of do. Now, reason number four!”
The next slide shows a poorly-cropped photo of you and Jaehyun standing next to each other. You let out a snort, biting your lip and covering your mouth to stop yourself from bursting out into laughter. You’re appreciative of Jungwoo’s effort, but—
“Reason number four, you both surprisingly look good together. I think you guys suit each other, if I were to be quite honest. The only problem here is that you both hate each other with a lively passion.” Jungwoo shrugs his shoulders. “Don’t give me that look, Y/N—”
“Okay, fine!” You raise up your hands in defeat. Jungwoo grins. “Does it look like I actually have a choice? I swear I have the worst luck—”
“You do—”
“Everyone of you is taken and my parents would have to be extremely gullible if you pretended to be my boyfriend. That leaves me no one but Jaehyun, who’s unfortunately single and the only one that seems more convincing.” You sigh with defeat. You fall back against Jungwoo’s leather couch, kicking the air out of frustration and stress. “That’s problem number one of two. Problem number two is—”
“So, you’re actually going to ask him—”
“—how the fuck am I going to ask Jeong Jaehyun to be my fake boyfriend for one week?”
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“Are you on crack or something?”
“Stop laughing at me, you fucker.” 
Jaehyun’s playing with his chain bracelet, a smug grin plastered on his face. Oh, how you wish you could wipe that grin off his face. Fine, as much as you hate to admit it, Jaehyun does look good. He looks good in his oversized hoodie with his hair gelled back and a few of its strands framing his slim face. But that’s not the point, the point is is that—
“No?” You repeat his answer. He raises an eyebrow questioningly. “Wait, did you just say no?”
He nods his head, clasping his hands together and smirks. “Why? Did you want me to say yes?”
You let out a scoff of disbelief. “Does it look like I want to do this? With you, specifically?”
“I mean,” he shrugs his shoulders. “You could’ve just simply said that you had a budding crush on me just like how you did when we were fifteen instead of going through the long route and asking me to be your fake boyfriend for your one-week holiday vacation with your family.”
“Why, you little—”
“Calm yourselves before you start clawing each other’s faces, holy shit.” Jungwoo arrives at the table booth with a tray of your orders. Jungwoo slides into the seat next to you, handing the both of you your burgers, fries, and drinks. You and Jaehyun are having an intense glaring competition. “Stop eye-fucking each other it’s making me feel uncomfortable.”
“We’re not.” The both of you say in unison. “Shut up.”
“You irritate me.” You roll your eyes, opening the wrapper of your burger and taking one big bite. Jaehyun looks at you with disgust, mumbling a few curses underneath his breath before taking his first bite. “And for the record, I do not have a budding crush on you. What happened when we were fifteen was just a joke. You just so happen to be the single one out of the guys and I just so happen to forget telling my parents that Taehyung and I broke up—”
“And you just so happen to think that I would easily say yes?” Jaehyun dips a french fry into ketchup. Before shoving the french fry into his mouth, he sticks his tongue out at you. “Try harder, Y/N. I’m not going to do it.”
“Fine,” you snap. “It’s not like I wanted you to do it anyways.”
“But you still tried—”
“Fuck this shit and fuck you,” you grumble, nudging Jungwoo to make room for you to leave. Jungwoo looks at you then back at Jaehyun. You’re too pissed off to notice Jungwoo give Jaehyun a warning look. “I’m out. I’ll just ask someone else, maybe Yukhei or Yuta. I’m sure one of them would be nice and kind enough to help me out for just one goddamn week.”
Jaehyun’s presence is enough to ruin your day. This is a living example. You huff out a breath, realizing that you have to ask for a takeout bag for your burger and fries. Cursing underneath your breath, you begin to head to the front cashier counter to ask for a—
“What’s in it for me, then?”
You stop in your tracks. You have your back facing the two of them. You slowly turn around. “If I give you something in return, would you do it?”
Jaehyun shrugs his shoulders. “It depends on what you’re giving me.”
You frown. “I’ll do your laundry for a year—”
“Y/N will get you that vintage LP turntable that you wanted.” Jungwoo cuts you off. You’re about to protest but Jungwoo gives you a look that silences you. “Even the records you wanted.” (**vintage marantz 6200 turntable)
It’s terrifying how you could see a fire igniting in Jaehyun’s eyes. The corners of his lips slowly move up to reach his ears. He slowly places his burger down. 
“Fine, I’ll do it. When do we start pretending?”
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“I told you to pack one luggage, not three.”
Jungwoo looks at you through the rearview mirror. It’s been five minutes since the three of you hit the road and an argument has already begun to ensue. Jaehyun, however, seems unfazed by it. In fact, he’s too distracted by the beautiful snowflakes falling from the sky and falling onto the ground to form a fluffy blanket. Just by the argument that’s about to start in the back of the car, Jungwoo’s worried that the one-week plan might fall through the cracks.
“You told me to pack a week’s worth of clothes.” Jaehyun tears his gaze away from the view outside of the window to look at you. To his surprise, you’re already looking at him. With your pierced gaze, it catches him off guard, but he plays it off by letting out a scoff. 
“And a week’s worth of clothes just so happens to fit in not one but three luggages?” You raise an eyebrow at him.
“Well,” Jungwoo cuts into the argument, his darting between the two of you through his rearview mirror. He gulps nervously. “If you count the winter coat, the shoes, and everything else, one luggage actually isn’t enough—”
“Don’t take his side.” You whine. You fold your arms. “Well then, how come I managed to fit a week’s worth of clothes into one luggage?”
Jaehyun eyes you up and down before gesturing your clothes. “Maybe it’s because you have a poor sense of style—”
“I do not!” You exclaim. He purses his lips into a tight line, looking away from you. You let out a frustrating sigh. “God, I can’t believe I’m spending a week with you.”
“If I were you, I’d watch it with the snarky remarks.” Jaehyun warns you. “The moment I get ticked off, I can simply just tell your parents the truth.”
You look at him with wide eyes. You feel threatened. “Oh, you would not do that.”
“Oh, yes I could and I would.” Jaehyun squints his eyes at you. 
“Are you threatening me?”
From the rearview mirror, Jungwoo watches you pout in defeat. You’re looking away from Jaehyun, turning your body towards the opposite direction. Jungwoo, however, catches Jaehyun spare you a gaze that lasts longer than it should before his lips form into a soft smile. 
“Jaehyun, one point. Y/N, zero points.”
“Shut the fuck up and focus on the road, Jungwoo.”
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There’s a sole reason as to why you and Jaehyun have bad blood. Ridiculous as it sounds, Jaehyun has been categorized as three different things throughout your entire life. Childhood friend, crush, and enemy. There was a time where you and Jaehyun were childhood friends. You’d always be attached at the hip. Whatever was yours was his and vice versa. But things began to take a sharp turn when you started liking him.
You started liking Jaehyun at the innocent age of fifteen. It was the year where you and the group would go on overnight camp trips. Jaehyun had just come back from studying in America for a year. You remember seeing Jaehyun stepping out of his mother’s Mercedes-Benz in nothing but a loose basketball t-shirt and jean shorts and thinking, wow, I think I’m in love with him. Things haven’t been the same since.
The switch up of him being the love of your life to your enemy happened on the last night of your camping trip. The group had decided to get a dip in the lake while you and Jaehyun stayed back to set up the bonfire. It was your only chance to tell him, you remember convincing yourself. You planned it out carefully, where you would confess to him and if he returned the same feelings, you’d date. But if he didn’t feel the same way, you both had the brutal option to shove memories of that year’s camping trip into the back of your mind, not to be dug up again. It was stupid of you to think that the former would happen instead of the latter.
Ever since then, just the thought of you crushing on Jaehyun made your blood boil. You wish it never happened. You wish you never saw Jaehyun in a different light. You wish your heart never skipped a beat too many when you liked Jaehyun. 
You wish you never liked him.
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“We’re here, kids.”
It takes a harsh shove for you to wake up. Your eyes shoot open and your hands ball up into fists as you prepare to fight someone. Fight or flight response. As your eyes meet Jaehyun, he glares at you. Jungwoo watches the both of you from the driver’s seat. 
“Your head’s incredibly heavy, did you know that?” Jaehyun complains after pushing your head off of his shoulder, getting out of the car. You scoff, grumbling underneath your breath as you get out of the car. The door slams shut. Jungwoo smiles at the cute interaction.
As you step out of the car, you feel yourself shiver from the chilly breeze that hits against your cheeks. Your instinct is to warm up your cheeks with your knitted gloves. Jaehyun’s pulling out your things from the trunk. It’s not long until you hear a loud screech a couple of metres away. You’re closing the trunk as Jaehyun sets down the last luggage and someone jumps over you, almost making you stumble over. You let out a yelp, looking over your shoulder to see Yeri on your back. You let out a scream.
“You said you weren’t coming home for Christmas! What are you doing here?” You exclaim, pulling your younger sister into a tight embrace. Yeri giggles, wrapping her arms around you as she snuggles into your warmth. 
“Of course, it was a lie. I wanted to surprise you and Taehyung—you’re not Taehyung.” She pulls away from the hug and looks up at Jaehyun. She looks at the both of you with confusion. She points at him. “You’re not Taehyung. Y/N, are you sure you brought the right guy home for Christmas?”
You and Jaehyun share a look. Get into your act, Jaehyun reminds himself and he immediately straightens his posture. He extends his hand out to Yeri and Yeri raises an eyebrow. “Hi, I’m Jaehyun. We’ve met before you studied abroad but I’m not sure if you remember me. I’m Y/N’s boyfriend—”
“Boyfriend?” Yeri blurts out. She looks at you in shock. “Since when did you drop Taehyung so fast?”
You let out a nervous laugh, scratching the back of your neck. Somehow, it’s difficult to come up with an answer but before you could at least utter out a word—
“It’s getting quite cold outside, shall we head in?” Jaehyun suggests, throwing his arm around your shoulder. You’re too bothered by your thoughts of your ex-boyfriend to even notice that Jaehyun’s doing skinship with you. “Babe?”
Babe? You snap out of it. You look up at him. “R-Right, it’s getting cold. Let’s head inside.”
Yeri stares at the two of you and grins. “Well, I’m happy you dropped Taehyung. I never liked him for you anyway. It seems like Jaehyun’s a better suit for you, but I’ll have to find that out myself. Welcome home, Y/N. And Jaehyun, make yourself at home.”
Jaehyun’s not sure why Yeri’s words send a shiver down his spine. As your younger sister is the first one to head back into the cabin, the both of you glance at each other. You push Jaehyun’s arm off your shoulder, scrunching your nose in disgust, and pulling out the handle of your luggage. “Let’s head inside, it’s freezing.”
“Y/N, if we’re going to pretend like we’re dating, at least make it look real.” Jaehyun mutters.
“Sorry, I was just caught off guard about—” You begin before stopping yourself. You bite your lip. “Let’s just head inside, we wouldn’t want everyone waiting for us at the dinner table, especially my parents.”
Jaehyun purses his lips into a line. About what? He turns around to look at Jungwoo. Jungwoo’s too intimidated by what had just gone down and he’s not sure if he could handle it any longer. “Thanks for the ride, Jungwoo.”
Jungwoo looks at Jaehyun nervously. “Make sure you guys kick ass with this fake relationship because from what had just happened now, I’m not sure if the act will last long.”
“Oh, we will.” Jaehyun shoves his hands into his pockets. “I’ll make sure of it.”
“You better.”
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The moment your parents looked at Jaehyun from across the dining table, you just knew. Your mom is the first to set her spoon and fork down onto the table, tilting her head in confusion before looking at you with a slightly questioning gaze. Mustering up a smile, you shrug your shoulders, glancing at Jaehyun who’s sitting next to you on your right. Jaehyun, however, has been great with putting up the act. He has the fakest smile spread across his lips and his body is tensed up. You’re too busy trying to stop yourself from breaking out into a teasing smile, but you fail at doing so. Jaehyun places his hand on top of yours, gently rubbing the top of your hand with the pad of his thumb. Your smile grows wider when you notice how moist and sweaty Jaehyun’s hands are.
He’s nervous, you think to yourself. Maybe you could get used to this, where Jaehyun is a nervous mess in front of your parents who look intimidating—but are definitely far from it. 
Your dad’s reaction comes a bit later than your mom’s. He’s looking up from his plate and he chokes on his food when his eyes land on Jaehyun. “Wait, you’re not Taehyung.”
Jaehyun chuckles nervously, nodding his head. He sucks in a breath. “I’m Jaehyun, Y/N’s boyfriend. I’m not sure if you remember me but Y/N and I went to the same high school and—”
“Ah! That’s right! I knew you looked familiar.” Your mom exclaims. Jaehyun suddenly feels nervous under your mom’s gaze and he sets his spoon and fork down to engage in the conversation. Your mom glances at you. “Y/N, sweetie, I think you need some explaining to do. I wish you told me sooner that you and Taehyung weren’t dating anymore because I assumed you were still together and I even bought him a Christmas present—”
“We broke up, mom.” You bite your lip, shoving a spoonful of soup into your mouth. You’re avoiding your mom’s gaze, but from your periphery, you can see Jaehyun looking at you. “We broke up three months ago. I’m sorry for not telling you sooner. I could still give Taehyung your present—”
“Oh, no, you don’t need to, sweetheart.” Your mother shakes her head. She looks at Jaehyun apologetically. “I’m sorry, Jaehyun, I probably made things a bit awkward.”
Jaehyun tears his gaze away from you. He smiles. “No worries.”
Yeri clears her throat. “Jaehyun, are you worried that you might be my sister’s rebound—”
“Yeri.” You glare at her as you hiss. “Please—”
Your words are cut short when Jaehyun squeezes your hand. You glance at him and his face softens. He looks at your sister. “I’m not worried at all. Sure, we’ve been dating for only two months. Sure, Y/N had just gotten out of a relationship. Sure, her wounds are still fresh. But asking your sister to give me a chance was my choice, and just the fact that your sister gave me a chance tells me that she’s ready to move on.”
For a brief moment, Jaehyun looks like he’s being sincere about his words. It feels so real, almost like he’s telling the truth. If you were someone else, you’d definitely believe him. He’s being too creative with this act, and you definitely have to reward him some brownie points for the effort. 
You don’t notice the small smile forming on your lips. Jaehyun’s eyes meet yours and he mirrors your smile. “Right, Y/N?”
You chuckle, shaking your head. “Right.”
Your dad lets out a light-hearted chuckle. “I think you both suit each other. I see a difference in my daughter’s aura, Jaehyun, it must be because of you. When Taehyung spent the Christmas holidays with us, Y/N looked completely different.”
“Is that a good sign?” Jaehyun jokes.
“Yes.” Your dad flashes him a warm smile. “Kudos to you, it means you’re doing a perfect job.”
Jaehyun’s smile falters.
It means you’re doing a perfect job.
A perfect job of acting. This isn’t real. 
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The first day of the holiday vacation is a trip to the Christmas Market. Every year, you and your family spend the first day of the holiday vacation at the Christmas Market for a variety of things. It could be an opportunity to pick out gifts for your Secret Santa, it could be an opportunity where your parents will visit the grocery shop to get groceries for the Christmas Eve dinner, or it could simply be an opportunity to shop around for yourself and have fun. 
It’s also the day where your cousin Haechan and his family will move into the cabin for the week. The cabin is always busy and full of joy when both your family and Haechan’s family are there. It’s what makes the holiday vacation much more special. It’s sort of like Midas touch.
“Please remember that we parked right in front of the Gingerbread House because you know that I’ll forget.” Your dad commands the moment all of you hop out of the SUV.
Jaehyun looks at the hustle and bustle of the Christmas Market. He’s amused and fascinated by all the dimly-lit lights scattered all over the market. To set the Christmas mood, it’s lightly snowing and all Jaehyun could smell is hot chocolate from the cafe a couple of metres away. “This is…”
“Amazing?” You look up at him.
He nods his head. “Yeah… amazing.”
As all of you reach the entrance gates of the Christmas Market, everyone begins to split ways, leaving you and Jaehyun behind. You remove your hand from Jaehyun’s. “Well, I’m going to go shop around for my Secret Santa. You can go and do whatever you want for the meantime, unless you want to join me—”
“Let me join you—”
“Ew.” You scrunch up your nose in disgust. “Fine, do whatever you want, I guess.”
Jaehyun reaches down to grab your hand and you raise an eyebrow. He shrugs his shoulders. “You never know, we might bump into them in the shops and they’ll wonder why we’re not holding hands.”
“Do we always have to hold hands?” You question. “I’m sure holding hands is not a mandatory requirement for couples. Besides, your hands are disgustingly sweaty.”
Jaehyun lets go of your hand and looks at it. “Are they?”
You snort. “Let’s go before they start wondering why we’re just standing here doing nothing.”
He fails to notice that you’re already walking away from him because he’s too distracted by his ‘sweaty’ hands. He grumbles angrily underneath his breath, ready to protest only to see that you’re no longer standing in front of him. He looks up to see you already a couple of metres away. He wipes his hands on the sides of his jeans and begins to jog up to you.
“Wait! Hold my hand! Y/N! They’re not sweaty anymore!”
You hear him calling out to you and it only makes you smile and let out a bubbly giggle.
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“Are you my Secret Santa?”
Yeri jumps at your voice, completely startled. You burst out into laughter. She frowns at you and folds her arms. You and Jaehyun had so happened to bump into Yeri at the jewelry shop. It’s been at least an hour and a half since you started shopping for your Secret Santa and you still haven’t gotten anything. You figured that a stop at the jewelry shop will help you out. 
“I’m not,” Yeri mumbles. “I got Haechan this year.”
“And how do I know that you’re not lying?”
The jeweler comes back to the counter with a beautiful Louis Vuitton necklace. You lean closer to Yeri to get a better look of the necklace. Yeri turns the LV pendant around to reveal an engraved ‘H’ on the back. You let out a sad sigh. “I told you. I’m Haechan’s Secret Santa this year. Believe me now?”
“I’m kind of disappointed that you’re not my Secret Santa this year. You always go out with the gifts and I’d be more than grateful to receive a beautiful necklace like this.” You sigh again. “It’s alright. You still need to give me a birthday gift anyways.”
“Your birthday is in March.” Yeri snorts. 
“Anyways, I’ll continue shopping. Don’t make your pockets hurt too much, alright? You got textbooks to buy when you go back to university once the Christmas break is over.”
She groans. “Don’t even remind me.”
You laugh. Before you’re walking away, a familiar necklace catches your eye. You look down at the glass counter to stare at the necklace. It’s the Louis Vuitton silver lockit that you’ve always wanted to buy. Your smile is replaced with a frown. You shrug off your sad thoughts before moving on to another glass cabinet of chain bracelets.
Jaehyun observes you as you walk away. He walks closer to the counter, looking down at the necklace you were just looking at. Yeri nudges him and he glances at her.
“You know, Y/N’s always wanted that necklace, but I’m not sure if she wants it anymore.” Yeri whispers quietly. “She told Taehyung that the moment she saw that necklace, she dreamt of having it. They were  six years into their relationship when Y/N found out that the woman Taehyung was seeing behind her back was given the exact same necklace.”
“Taehyung cheated—” Jaehyun stops himself. He looks over his shoulder to see you standing on the other side of the room, talking to the jeweler about a few sets of chain bracelets. You don’t look as happy as you were a while ago. He frowns, looking back down at the necklace. 
“I’m sure Y/N never told you about that,” Yeri mumbles. “That’s because I’m the only person that knows. But since you seem to be a good guy for my sister, I figured it would be safe to tell you.”
“Why do you trust me so much?” Jaehyun asks.
Yeri shrugs her shoulders. “I guess it’s because my sister would never replace the man she loved so much with someone else this fast. But she did, and that could only mean that you must be very special to her.”
But I’m not. I’m not special. Jaehyun thinks to himself. He purses his lips into a tight line. “I see. Thank you for putting so much trust in me. You barely even know me.”
“No problem.” She beams at him. “Anyways, you’re being a bit too obvious.”
“Me? Being a bit too obvious? About what?”
“About being Y/N’s Secret Santa.”
“Well… shit.”
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The cabin becomes more lively the moment Haechan and his family enters. Haechan immediately rushes to his usual room which is right across from Yeri’s. The two of them are like two peas in a pod, either always bickering over the smallest things or having late-night conversations in the cabin’s basement. There’s no in between. They’re truly cousins. 
“Who just ran past?” Jaehyun asks you. You’re busy stirring up two cups of hot chocolate. One for you and the other for— “Hey, thanks for the hot chocolate—”
“Haechan, get here before your hot chocolate gets cold!” You yell, turning around and leaving Jaehyun in the kitchen to meet Haechan halfway. 
“I’m here, I’m here, I’m here—who the flipping heck are you?” Jaehyun looks past your shoulder to see who he assumes is your cousin Haechan. Haechan gently grabs his mug of hot chocolate from you and takes a quick sip. 
“Me?” Jaehyun points to himself.
“No, the dude standing behind you—of course, I’m talking to you.” Haechan quirks an eyebrow. Well, what a sassy cousin. No wonder you’re both related, Jaehyun thinks to himself. “Hi, I’m Haechan, Y/N’s cousin. You probably already know that.”
“I’m Jaehyun,” he introduces himself. “Y/N’s boyfriend.”
“What?” Haechan blurts out. “I thought—weren’t you dating—I am completely and utterly confused. You have some explaining to do, Y/N. You dropped Taehyung pretty fast. I am also Taehyung’s Secret Santa, now how the fuck am I going to give him his present?”
“Exactly what Yeri said, no wonder the both of you get along so well.” You roll your eyes. “About Taehyung’s gift, just leave it with me and I’ll give it to him for you—”
Haechan squints his eyes at the two of you with suspicion. “I’m getting the vibe that you guys aren’t really dating but are just putting up an act—”
“We’re not.” You both cut him off in unison.
“Huh, well,” Haechan grins. “It’s just surprising to see that you’ve moved on from a long relationship with Taehyung that fast. You replaced him really quickly. I wonder why.”
Jaehyun wraps his arm around your waist, pulling you closer to him. “Things just happen. It was nice meeting you, Haechan.”
“I guess this Christmas holiday will be spicier and messier than I thought.” Haechan smirks. “It was nice meeting you too, Jaehyun.”
Haechan saw right through the two of you and that alone sends shivers down your spine. Just as he’s about to head back to his room with his hot chocolate, you reach out for the ends of his sleeve, tugging him back. He looks at you questioningly.
“Yes, Y/N, my beloved cousin?”
“Don’t tell anyone.” You beg.
“Y/N—” Jaehyun’s eyes widen.
“I fucking knew it!” Haechan exclaims before Jaehyun reaches out to cover his mouth with his hand. Haechan glares at Jaehyun, licking his hand. Jaehyun yelps, wiping his hand against the side of his pants with a look of disgust. 
“Haechan, please don’t tell mom, dad, or Yeri. You are the only one that knows about this. If you tell them then we’re—”
“Screwed? Yeah, I know.” Haechan chuckles. He pats your shoulder. “No worries. I won’t tell anyone.”
“Promise?” Jaehyun squints his eyes at him.
Haechan glances at him. “I promise. But, what’s in it for me?”
“I’ll get you the PS5—”
“I’ll get you those speakers you wanted—”
“PS5?” Haechan’s eyes widen like saucers. 
You bite your lip, looking at Jaehyun. You mumble, “you’re making the biggest mistake right now, Jaehyun—”
“Deal. Your not-so-real boyfriend will be getting me a PS5 in exchange for keeping your not-so-fake secret.” Haechan puts his hands up as if he’s going to preach. “I give you both the family’s blessing.”
You playfully punch him in the stomach, and he bends over in response. He groans. “Yeah, sure, whatever. Go unpack your things before Jaehyun changes his mind.”
Haechan obliges to your order, leaving the both of you in the kitchen before looking over his shoulder. His eyes meet Jaehyun’s and he smiles. “Welcome to the family, Jaehyun. I think I’m starting to like you already. Not for my cousin, but you get it.”
“How the fuck am I going to get your cousin a PS5?”
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It’s the second day of your Christmas holiday, and you find yourself lying against the snow. It snowed a good twenty centimetres overnight and Haechan dragged you out of bed just to make snow angels before it gets shovelled away. Fortunately enough, it’s still snowing and the pretty sight of snowflakes falling from the sky brings a bright smile to your face. Haechan lets out a happy sigh.
“So, why did you do it?”
You look to your right. Haechan’s not looking back at you, he’s looking up at the sky. You raise an eyebrow. “What are you talking about?”
“Your fake relationship.” Haechan clarifies, finally looking at you. “Why did you do it? I mean, you could’ve simply told your parents that you and Taehyung broke up instead of bringing Jaehyun into this mess.”
You give yourself some time to come up with an explanation because surprisingly, you didn’t have one. Well, you did have one, but now that Haechan’s confronting you about it, you suddenly think your reasoning is stupid. 
You shrug your shoulders. “I just didn’t want to disappoint my parents.”
“You didn’t want to disappoint your parents?” Haechan asks.
You hum in reply. “Taehyung and I dated for six years. That’s a long time. My parents adored him. When we broke up, I was devastated. Six years of dating down the drain. I guess I just didn’t want my parents to see me look like a mess over him.”
“And so you asked Jaehyun to pretend to be your boyfriend for the annual Christmas holiday?” You nod your head. Haechan purses his lips into a tight line and nods his head understandingly. “I get where you’re coming from.”
“I figured it would be better for my parents to know that although Taehyung and I broke up, there’s still someone out there who stepped in to take care of me.” You add with much hesitation. “It would be better for them to know that than seeing how horrible I am because of the breakup and how I haven’t been taking care of myself properly.” 
“Well, you should give your fake boyfriend some credit for putting in so much effort to pull such an act in front of your parents.” Haechan says. “For a week too.”
Haechan’s right. No matter how much you hate Jaehyun, you must consider the fact that Jaehyun decided to help you out. He could’ve simply neglected you—like he always does—and made you embarrass yourself in front of your parents. He could’ve just flat out not help you at all. But he did. 
Somehow, it makes you wonder. Why? If it’s so simple for Jaehyun to not help you at all, why did he end up helping you anyway? There must be a catch, aside from the vintage turntable you have to get him in return. There’s definitely a deeper reason as to why Jaehyun’s doing this for you.
“You guys are up really early.”
You and Haechan sit up from the snow to see Jaehyun standing at the door. He has a hot, steaming cup of coffee and it looks like he had just gotten out of bed. Haechan waves him over. “Finish your coffee and join us out here!”
“I think I’ll pass—”
“It snowed?!” Jaehyun’s cut off by your younger sister, Yeri, who pushes past him. She steps out onto the porch and extends her arms out to catch snowflakes in her bare hands. She smiles. “Don’t move! I’m putting on my jacket and I’ll join you.”
She hurriedly rushes inside, zooming past Jaehyun. Jaehyun quirks an eyebrow. His gaze is focused on you. You’re bursting out into laughter after throwing a snowball at Haechan’s face. He’s in the midst of rolling up a snowball only to get hit in the face by another one. “Hey!”
You stick your tongue out. “You snooze, you lose.”
Jaehyun smiles. “On second thought, I think I’ll join.”
And so he does. He sets his cup of coffee down and lets it run cold. In a couple of minutes, he finds himself lying next to you on the snow. He’s looking up at the sky, snowflakes getting caught in his long eyelashes. You sit up, looking down at him. You fall into his line of sight and he can’t help but notice how pretty you look. Your lips are itching to smile.
“You have long eyelashes,” you point out. 
He nods his head. “You noticed.”
“And,” you mumble, getting lost underneath his gaze. “Your ears are really red.”
“Huh? No, they’re not—”
“They are—”
“They’re not—”
“They are—oof!”
You gasp, immediately wiping snow off your face. Jaehyun bursts out into a cackle. “I can’t believe you didn’t expect that to happen!”
You frown. “It was bound to. You’re going to pay for this!”
Haechan and Yeri watch you and Jaehyun chase each other out on the front lawn that’s covered in snow. You’re both chasing each other with snowballs, throwing them at each other when the opportunity is there. Yeri lets out a happy sigh.
“They look happy together, huh?” Yeri asks.
Haechan nods. “They do. Your sister looks different from last Christmas.”
“Yeah, you could tell her and Taehyung weren’t doing so great.” Yeri agrees. “I kind of knew they were going to break up eventually. Taehyung looked like he had already fallen out of love and was just trying to find the right opportunity to end things with her. But now, she looks happy. Happier, I mean.”
“With him?” Haechan questions.
“She looks happier with him,” Yeri smiles proudly. “She also looks like she’s been set free.”
Haechan purses his lips into a tight line, letting out a sigh that Yeri can’t tell if it was a happy or sad sigh. He falls back against the snow, muttering to himself. “Oh boy, this isn’t going to end well.”
“Did you say something?”
“Me? No, nothing at all.”
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The fireplace is the only thing keeping you warm in the surprisingly cold living room. You’re sitting right in front of it with a fresh mug of hot chocolate for good measure. Everyone’s sound asleep in their rooms, but you somehow can’t seem to fall asleep. Placing your mug onto the coffee stand, you pull your knees to your chest and you rest your chin on top of your knees. 
“You’re still awake?”
You look over your shoulder to spot Jaehyun standing at the doorway. He looks like he had just woken up from his deep slumber. He’s rubbing the sleep from his eyes and trudges his way towards you. You look up at him, nodding your head. “I can’t sleep.”
“You know, I’m sure your parents are wondering why we’re sleeping in different rooms.” Jaehyun suddenly brings up. 
You scoff. “I am not sleeping in the same bed with you—”
“We don’t have to. I’ll just take the couch and you can sleep on the bed.” Jaehyun shrugs his shoulders, pointing at your mug of hot chocolate. “I’ll take the couch if you make me a cup of hot chocolate.”
“Why are you even awake?”
Jaehyun clamps his mouth shut. He scratches the back of his neck. “I noticed your door was open and I was wondering if you were still awake.”
You smirk. “You were concerned about me? How sweet.”
“Shut up.” He grumbles. “Go make me a cup of hot chocolate.”
You smile evilly. “No.”
Jaehyun’s too tired to bicker with you. He ends up occupying the empty spot right next to you in front of the fireplace. He hears you let out a sigh. “Do you think your parents believe it?”
“Believe what?”
He looks at you as if you’re stupid. “That we’re dating.”
“Oh,” you laugh. “I guess? My mom hasn’t spoken to me about you yet. Well, aside from that time she told me how much she liked you—”
“Your mom likes me?” He asks. “For you?”
You frown. “Unfortunately.”
“Admit it, I am the best person to take home for Christmas.” Jaehyun says with a smug grin.
You roll your eyes. “It was so peaceful before you joined me. Do you mind just going back to sleep and leaving me alone?”
“Fine, fine, fine, I’ll just shut up.” Jaehyun gives up, settling his gaze back to the fire. 
It’s silent for a couple of minutes. There are so many things running through your head. You’re not sure where to start. Heck, you’re not even sure if you’ll ever stop thinking too much about the past. Jaehyun seems to notice how silent you’ve gotten. He shifts his gaze and stares at you. You have a distant look. Your eyes seem to sparkle, captivating him. He could see the gears shifting in your head.
“If you don’t mind me asking,” Jaehyun clears his throat. “Why did you and Taehyung break up?”
You look at him with a broken gaze and it’s enough for Jaehyun’s heart to ache. You’re surely not over him. In fact, you look far from it. But he couldn’t blame you, you and Taehyung dated for six years. Six years of memories with someone special isn’t something to forget about so easily. 
You laugh it off, but your teary eyes tell something else. “He cheated on me.”
“That…” Jaehyun trails off. “Sucks.”
You stare at him with raised eyebrows before bursting out into laughter. “That’s your reaction? That… sucks?”
“Well, I think Taehyung lost someone special.” Jaehyun says, avoiding your gaze. He looks at the fire, a smile threatening to spread across his lips. “I’m sure he regrets it now. If not now, he’ll surely regret it later on.”
“You see, the Jaehyun I’m talking to right now is much more pleasant.” You bite back a smile. “Why can’t you just be nice, like a decent person?”
“Look, this isn’t a one-way thing. Why can’t you just be nice either?” He asks and immediately, you’re both back to enemies. 
It falls silent again. 
“But, do you really think so?” 
“Think about what?”
“That Taehyung lost someone special?” You whisper. 
Jaehyun meets your eyes. Your eyes aren’t as glassy anymore. In fact, they look a bit more hopeful, a bit more happier. It makes his heart beat a beat too many. 
“I know so.”
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When my MOON rises, your SUN rises as well, under the same sky.
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You’re almost halfway through your Christmas holiday with your parents and you can’t wait to go home. You can’t wait to go back to your normal, Jaehyun-free life. You’re sure Jaehyun can’t wait either. Your eyes flutter open and you’re immediately blinded by the sunlight peeking through the blinds. You let out a yawn, slowly sitting up on your bed and stretching your arms out. 
Your arms drop when you feel an arm wrapped around your waist. Your eyes slightly widen. Glancing to your left, you see Jaehyun fast asleep. Tucking strands of your hair behind your ear, an idea pops into your head. With a mischievous grin, you quietly grab your phone from the bedside table, going to your phone camera. You slowly hold up your phone in front of Jaehyun’s face. His lips are slightly parted open and he lets out a snore that sounds like the honk of a car. 
“This is perfect blackmail.”
Just as you’re about to take a picture, Jaehyun’s eyes flutter open and widen when he realizes that you’re attempting to take a picture of him— “Give me that!”
You let out a yelp. He grabs your phone and you use all of your willpower to tug your phone away from him. It’s a game of tug-of-war with your phone. Jaehyun’s much stronger and he yanks your phone with all of his might, causing you to fall on top of him. Your hands are pressed against his chest and he’s got his eyes clenched shut. You tilt your head in confusion, why are his eyes—
He peeps one eye open. “Why are your eyes closed?”
His other eye opens. “My eyes weren’t—I had something in my eye.”
“Yeah?” You grin. “Then why are your ears red again?”
“They’re not red—” 
“They are!” You exclaim, pointing at them as you move off of him. Out of instinct, he covers his ears with his freakishly large hands. 
“They’re not.”
You raise up your hands in defeat. “Fine.”
He slowly uncovers his ears that are still red. “Good morning, I guess—”
“Y/N! Jaehyun! The skating rink opened! Let’s go before it gets crowded!”
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“Time to get out of bed, Jungwoo, stop worrying.” Jungwoo tells himself, slapping his cheeks and getting up from bed. 
All week, he’s been worrying about you and Jaehyun. Things could either work out really well, or it’ll all crash and burn. He shrugs off his thoughts, finally getting out of bed to make himself some breakfast. As he trudges his way to the kitchen, he stops in his tracks when he spots his projector still sitting on the coffee table. 
“How could I forget to put that away?” Jungwoo scolds himself, walking over to the coffee table. He opens  his laptop to disconnect the projector, only to stop. 
The PowerPoint he made specifically for you is still open on his laptop. He had probably gotten a bit too drunk from the beer you both had that night and forgot all about it. He goes through the PowerPoint and stops at one particular slide, a soft smile spreading across his lips.
Although he forgot all about the projector and his laptop, there’s one thing he remembers from that night. 
“I guess she’ll never know what reason number five is.”
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“You don’t know how to skate?”
Jaehyun stands near the board, holding onto the railings for his dear life. It’s a funny sight, in fact, it has you doubling over in laughter. Haechan and Yeri had already ventured off, skating with each other on the ice, bickering like the cousins they are, and making each other trip because concussions are the sweetest revenge. You’re stuck with Jaehyun near the boards, waiting for him to gain the courage to push himself onto the ice.
“It’s not that bad, Jaehyun.” You reassure him. You hesitatingly extend your arm out to him. “In fact, if you trust me enough, let me teach you.”
“You’re not going to make me fall on my face, are you?” He squints his eyes at you with suspicion.
“I mean, I could,” you shrug your shoulders. “But I’m not that evil.”
“Why should I trust you?”
“I mean, I trusted you enough to help me and pretend to be my boyfriend in front of my family. You could’ve just sabotaged my plan and embarrassed me instead.” You answer.
You had a point. He lets out a sigh, grabbing your hand. Funny thing is that Jaehyun’s hand doesn’t feel sweaty this time around. It feels soft, warm, and perfect in yours. It’s like your hands were meant to hold each other. You begin to skate slowly and you could feel Jaehyun’s reluctance. 
“Just trust me, Jaehyun.”
“I’m trying—”
“Then try harder, doofus!”
“Okay, Jesus—oof!”
Jaehyun slips, completely making a fool out of himself. The way he falls looks extremely embarrassing and there are a couple of kids laughing at him. You frown, looking down at him. He sighs, his back falling against the ice. Suddenly, Jaehyun sees you fake a fall, falling down right next to him. 
“Did you just—”
“Fake a fall? For you? Yes.” You cut him off. “Just go with it.”
“Wait, why?” He chuckles.
“Because your fall is giving me second-hand embarrassment.” You mumble. “Now, let’s get back up and start again. I’m sure you’ll get a hang of it soon.”
And so you both start again. Jaehyun’s hand absentmindedly reaches out to grab yours, interlocking his fingers with yours. At first, you help Jaehyun skate by skating backwards and bringing him along with you. It takes him a couple of falls and trips, but it’s not long until he’s almost getting the hang of it. 
“I told you, it’s not that bad.” You smile.
“I think I can do it.” Jaehyun says softly.
“Do you think so?” You question.
He slowly nods his head. “I might as well try.”
“Alright, I’ll be standing over there. I want you to skate to me.” You point towards one of the corners a couple of metres away. You glance at Jaehyun. “Are you sure you could do it?”
“Let me try.” He insists.
Before you skate off, you let go of Jaehyun’s hand. The warmth of your hand immediately vanishes, and suddenly, Jaehyun feels like he’s missing something. He stares at your back as you skate away. When you turn around to face him, he quickly shifts his gaze away from you. You open your arms, gesturing for him to begin skating over. He sucks in a deep breath and begins to skate over, slowly but surely. You find Jaehyun quite adorable and it makes you start to smile.
Jaehyun looks up from the ice to look at you. You’re smiling at him. But the smile you have on is a different smile. It’s bright, so bright that it blinds him. Your smile feels so foreign, yet so familiar. It’s so familiar that it reminds him of the time when you were both fifteen. It reminds him of the moment you confessed your crush on him. It’s so foreign that it’s been ages since he last saw a smile like that on your face. He’s not sure if Taehyung made you smile that way. He could feel his heart shrivel up, time slow down, and all he could think about are the ways he could make you smile like that forever—
Jaehyun falls, his butt landing on the ice with a soft thud. You gasp, your mouth hanging open in shock. The both of you just stare at each other in surprise before you’re the first one to break it. You wheeze out into laughter, bending over as you continue to laugh at him. Jaehyun’s too absorbed by your adorable laughter that rings in your ears that it makes him start to laugh with you. 
From a couple of metres away, Haechan slows down and watches the both of you laugh. Jaehyun’s sitting on the ice and you’re bending over, laughing so hard that even Haechan can hear it. 
“This is surely not going to end well.”
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On the fourth day, you’re all rummaging through the cabinets for recipe ingredients. Apparently Haechan still thinks Santa exists and so now you’re all spiralling into a mess trying to bake Santa a batch of cookies. Yeri slams the bag of flour onto the countertop and sighs. Jaehyun’s busy mixing the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar in a bowl. You’re greasing the pans and preheating the oven. 
“You know, Santa doesn’t exist—”
“Shut up, Jaehyun!” Haechan gives Jaehyun a warning look. “I don’t want to hear it.”
Jaehyun wipes the sweat off his forehead and glances at you. You’re putting a couple cups of flour into the bowl. A smile slowly occupies his lips when he notices your dusty hair that’s covered in flour. His eyes trail down towards your face, his smile widening, there are some traces of flour on your cheeks. You wipe your cheek, only to make it worse.
He’s itching to wipe the flour off your cheeks, but why does he suddenly feel shy and hesitant to do it? The both of you are supposed to act like a couple. At first, it was so easy for him to pretend to be your boyfriend. But why did it suddenly become difficult? When did it suddenly become difficult?
“Why are you looking at me, love?” Jaehyun snaps out of his trance, caught red-handed. 
He shakes his head, still smiling. “Nothing.”
“You’ve got flour on your face, dumb dumb.” Haechan points at your cheek. 
“I do?” You ask, your hands immediately reaching for your cheeks until—
Jaehyun gently wipes the flour off of your cheeks. His eyes are focused on your cheeks that are heating up with embarrassment. He looks… handsome—
“Thanks.” You stop yourself from thinking too much. 
This is all fake. Remember that.
Jaehyun looks at you with an expression you can’t read. He gives you a genuine smile.
“No problem, love.”
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“Jaehyun, do you mind checking up on the cookies?” 
Haechan wakes Jaehyun up from his nap. All it takes is a light nudge and a couple of pokes to the cheek for him to get up from the couch. He looks out the window and surprisingly, it’s snowing. Jaehyun stretches his arms out, slowly getting up from the couch. He trudges his way to the kitchen to find you washing the dishes. He’s about to call out your name, but he stops himself. You’re humming to yourself, rinsing the dishes underneath the water. As you place the clean dishes onto the dish rack, you walk over towards the oven to check up on the cookies.
You squat down, looking through the window to see the cookies almost done baking. Suddenly, you see someone squat down next to you from your peripheral vision. You make the biggest mistake of turning your head. Jaehyun’s already looking back at you, his face inches away from yours. You could feel your heartbeat pick up its pace. 
You clear your throat, quickly looking away from him and acting as if nothing had happened. You point at the cookies. “I think they’re almost done. Let’s give it a couple more minutes—”
“You’re pretty.”
You slowly meet his gaze, eyebrows furrowing in confusion. “S-Sorry?”
Jaehyun snaps out of it. “I said, you look like a piggie.”
You scoff, pushing his shoulders. He falls back onto the hardwood floors with a soft thud, glaring at you. You roll your eyes, getting up from your squat position to get back to dishwashing. 
“Piggie, my ass.” You grumble underneath your breath.
You’re scared. You’ve never felt this scared.
The last time Jaehyun ever made your heart race was when you were fifteen. He should not be letting your heart race like that again.
But it is.
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“I can’t believe it’s already Christmas Eve.”
“I’m happy this week is almost over.”
You and Jaehyun are in the bathroom, brushing your teeth. He finishes first, wiping his mouth with a face towel and throwing it in your face. You yell at him, grabbing the towel and throwing it at his back. “I’m glad I don’t have to romantically associate myself with you after this.”
Jaehyun raises his hands up. “Surprise, surprise, me too. Two more days of this shit and I’ll finally be free. Don’t forget that vintage turntable you promised me—”
“I never break my promises—”
“I didn’t say that—”
“But you were implying it—”
“Babe, I’ll be downstairs to help set up the dining table for breakfast.” There’s a sudden change in Jaehyun’s voice, making you straighten up your posture. It happens out of instinct. You clear your throat, stepping out of the bathroom to see your mother entering the bedroom.
“Mom, hey,” you greet her nervously, scratching the back of your neck. “Did you need something?”
She shakes her head, a small smile on her lips and she makes herself comfortable on the edge of your bed. You awkwardly stand in front of the bathroom, fiddling with your fingers, a bad habit of yours that you can’t seem to drop. Jaehyun picks up your mannerism and slowly exits the bedroom to leave the two of you alone. Why was this making him feel nervous? Did your mother see through the two of you?
“I just wanted to check up on you,” she says softly. “About you and Taehyung.”
You bite your lip. “I don’t think there’s much to say about Taehyung and I—”
“Why didn’t you tell me that the both of you broke up?” She asks with concern. “Were you afraid that we would be worried about you?”
You slowly nod your head in reply. “I was terrified.”
“Well, you can always tell me anything. You know that.” She reminds you.
You let out a soft sigh. You’re so close to telling your mom the truth. That this whole relationship with Jaehyun is a lie, that it’s a front to keep them from feeling disappointed in you. That Jaehyun is merely just an enemy, someone far from your boyfriend. But you bite your tongue to stop yourself.
“Taehyung cheated on me,” you whisper. Scratch that, it barely comes out above a whisper. Your mom is silent. You bite your lip. “I know. I reacted the same way.”
“How long? When did you find out?” She questions. “I’m so sorry, sweetheart. He doesn’t deserve you.”
Then, who does? Who deserves you? Do you deserve to be loved? The thought makes your eyes water, but you blink them away before your mom notices. You can’t look weak in front of her, she will only see right through you. 
“I found out a year and a couple of months before we broke up.” You answer and your voice almost cracks. “He’s been seeing her for a while. I mean, we’ve been dating for six years and I found out he started seeing her when we were four years in.”
“Are you okay?” She asks. “Will you be okay?”
You purse your lips into a tight line. “I hope so. I mean, Jaehyun’s been too good to me and sometimes I feel like I don’t deserve it—”
“From the looks of it, Jaehyun’s keeping you happy.” Your mom smiles. “But what makes me sad are the times you came home with Taehyung for Christmas and acted like everything between the both of you was alright, when you knew that he was seeing someone else.”
“I didn’t want to disappoint you.” You whisper.
She shakes your head. “You’ll never disappoint me, Y/N. I will always be proud of you.”
The tears flow down so easily. Your mom pulls you into an embrace and gives you gentle, soothing rubs on the back. You warm up to her embrace, snuggling into her neck and letting out a sigh of relief. 
“Besides, I think Jaehyun is doing a pretty good job at helping you move on. You look different to how you looked when you were with Taehyung. There’s something more brighter and prettier about your smile that you have on whenever you’re with Jaehyun.” Your mom explains.
“You think so?”
She smiles. 
“Yes, I do.”
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The four of you sit in front of the fire, all sporting the same pair of red, plaid pajamas and ugly sweaters. There are four presents sitting right in front of you, waiting to be given out. It was Haechan’s idea to stay up until midnight, where it’d officially be Christmas Day and you could open your Secret Santa gifts. Patience is such a virtue, and Haechan clearly doesn’t have it. 
“I can’t believe the week is almost over.”
Haechan doesn’t get a single word from any of you. You’re a bit tipsy to find the right words to say to him. The Christmas Eve dinner was eventful but you can’t seem to stop thinking about how Jaehyun looked at you from across the dining table. There’s something different about the way he looks at you now, and it bothers you.
You feel a slight nudge. You glance to your side to meet Jaehyun’s gaze. “What?”
“Do you remember when you first confessed to me?” 
You scoff, covering it up with a cough in case Yeri picks up your sudden change in attitude. You say through gritted teeth, “Of course I do, babe. Do you remember?”
Jaehyun’s close to chuckling. He tears his gaze away from you and stares at the fire. It reminds him of that night at the campsite, where the both of you were setting up the bonfire. He remembers finding you really pretty and adorable that night, and he was itching to tell you. But he couldn’t do it. He remembers hearing you call out his name with a soft voice, how his heart skipped a beat. You were looking up at him with hopeful eyes. And then you confessed to him.
“Of course I do,” he mumbles with a shy smile on his lips. “How could I ever forget?”
You’re staring at him a bit too much. The small smile on his lips kind of throws you off. Your eyebrows furrow in confusion. It comes out as a whisper. “What do you mean?”
It seems he has heard you because he shrugs his shoulders. “What do you think I mean?”
You’re tipsy. “You’re being extremely confusing, Jaehyun.”
When Jaehyun finds the courage to look at you, you almost let out a soft gasp. The way he looks at you is the same way he looked at you that night at the campsite. It terrifies you. You look away from him.
“Do you regret it?”
“Regret what?”
“Confessing to me that night.” He clarifies for you.
You purse your lips into a tight line. “A huge part of me does, but that’s only because you rejected me.”
“I did not reject your confession.” 
You scoff. “Yeah, because flat out saying ‘I don’t return the same feelings as you.’ isn’t considered a rejection.”
“Would you ever,” he begins to ask, but he stops himself. 
“Would I ever, what?”
“Would you ever fall in love with someone like me?” He questions. “No, would you ever like me? Again?”
You’re definitely drunk.
“If you weren’t so much of an annoying brat, I would.”
“You would?”
“Sure. Maybe in a heartbeat.”
And in a heartbeat, Jaehyun finds himself feeling terrified because the feelings that he forced himself not to feel anymore don’t seem to leave, but instead grow stronger. Why did he have to be in love with you? Why is he such a coward? A fool? He’s not sure. But being in love with you is the best thing he’s ever done, and if being in love with you was a mistake… it would be his most beautiful mistake that he’s ever made.
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And a beautiful mistake you truly are, when he carefully holds your face in his large hands, when he watches your eyes flutter shut as he leans in, when your lips are inches away from each other, when he kisses you out on the porch underneath the snowflakes falling from the sky.
As you both pull away, time that felt frozen had gone back to normal and the images that remain stuck in his mind is the look of confusion you had given him and the J necklace he gifted you that’s wrapped around your neck. 
“I have another gift for you, Y/N.”
“What is it?” You ask softly. “You didn’t have to get me anything.”
“I had to, I was your Secret Santa, right?” He pulls out another box from his pocket and hands it to you. He sucks in a deep breath. “I hope you like it.”
You furrow your eyebrows in confusion, eyes trailing down to the box into your hands. You gently open the box and you could feel your breath getting caught in your throat.
It’s the silver lockit you’ve always wanted but never got. 
The only difference is that you’re not sure if you wanted it after finding out Taehyung cheated on you.
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Jungwoo pulls up to the cottage with an empty trunk and free hugs. You and Jaehyun step out of the cottage, not uttering a single word to each other since that night out on the porch. You didn’t care if your parents noticed that distance you both had in between each other, you were too lost in your thoughts and feelings. The moment Jungwoo spots the two of you out on the porch, he feels his heart stop. Something surely happened between the two of you. 
“You better have that PS5 ready. I kept this relationship under wraps for a whole week.” Haechan whispers into Jaehyun’s ear when he puts him into a headlock. 
Jaehyun shoves him away. “Yeah, yeah, whatever.”
“You’re leaving soon?” You ask Haechan. 
He shakes his head. “We’re gonna stay back with your family for the rest of the day. We’re leaving tomorrow morning. I kind of wish you guys stayed just a little bit longer.”
“I was only able to book a week off from work. Sorry, Haechan.” You frown. The both of you hug. “It was nice seeing you again after so long. Study hard, alright? If a girl breaks your heart, just let me know who I have to fight.”
And soon enough, you’re both heading towards Jungwoo. Your parents are waving you goodbye from the porch and Jungwoo starts driving down the road. Jungwoo looks at the both of you through the rearview mirror, wincing when Jaehyun’s lips part to start a conversation, but you quickly look away from him and out the window to avoid it. 
What happened, exactly?
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“Thanks for the ride, Jungwoo.” 
With the slam of a trunk, you meet Jaehyun’s eyes and purse your lips into a tight line. You fake a smile. “Thanks for helping me, Jaehyun. I really appreciate it. I’ll get you your vintage LP turntable as soon as—”
“You don’t need to get it anymore,” he mumbles, shaking his head. “I was kidding anyways.”
“Alright,” you mumble. “I’ll get going. I’m sure the both of you are tired from the trip—”
Jaehyun feels his heart clench. “Can we—Can we talk?”
Jungwoo bites his lip nervously. You look at Jungwoo from over your shoulder with a questioning gaze. He gestures for you to take your time and he swore he saw you grimace. You smile at Jaehyun, but Jaehyun knows it’s not genuine. “Sure.”
Jaehyun helps you bring your luggage inside of your apartment, placing them right near the door. You stand a few metres away from the door, giving him some space to stand at least a metre away from you. He clears his throat. “So—”
“What is it that you wanted to talk about?” 
He clamps his mouth shut. He feels his hands grow sweaty. “I wanted to talk about last night and why it seems as if you’re avoiding me.”
“I’m not avoiding you, Jaehyun—”
“You are.” Jaehyun cuts you off. “I know you are, but could you at least tell me why?”
“I don’t think we should.” You bite your lip.
He frowns. “Is it because of the necklace?”
You let out a soft chuckle, shaking your head. “No, it’s not because of the necklace—”
“So, it is because of the necklace—”
“Fine. It is because of the necklace. You want to talk about it? Fine.” You let out a frustrated sigh. “Why did you think that this would be a good idea? To give me a necklace that does nothing but remind me of my cheating ex? Right after you kissed me, too?”
“I thought it would give you closure—”
“Closure?!” You let out a bitter laugh. “For what?”
“Because Taehyung is holding you back. Your relationship with him is holding you back. You need to move on, Y/N. Taehyung is not coming back for you—” He begins to explain.
“I’ve established that fact the moment he left me for her. Besides, my relationships are none of your business. On top of that, why do you care so much? This is my life, not yours—”
“Maybe I care so much because—because I—” His heart hurts so much.
“Don’t you dare finish your sentence. I’m sick and tired of your jokes, Jaehyun. Y/N this and Y/N that. Budding crush here and embarrassing crush there. Whatever happened when we were fifteen will remain in the past. I liked you, you didn’t like me back and rejected me—” You look broken.
“Wait, what?” He looks at you with confusion. “I didn’t reject you. In fact, when you confessed to me that night, I was on top of the world because I returned the same feelings—fuck, I still do—”
“You laughed at me when I told you that I liked you—”
“And then you took it the wrong way. Months after that summer, I was figuring out why you were avoiding me, why you were ignoring me, why we suddenly became strangers, only to find out that you’re dating Taehyung—” You look at him incredulously.
“Is that why you decided to help me? Because I look like some charity case, huh? Because you felt bad that my six-year relationship ended with a third party? Or you just wanted to have fun and laugh at me for being so weak? For being the poor little girl who got left behind because her stupid little boyfriend got bored of her? Or you just—”
“You’re not a charity case and you never will be—”
“Then, why?! Why are you helping me? Why do you care so much—” You yell out with frustration.
“Because I’m in love with you, Y/N. I’ve always been in love with you, but you were always running away. And I was always trying to chase after you. I still am. I figured helping you do this for your parents would give me a chance to—” He confesses.
“What? A chance for me to start liking you again? To fall in love with you again?” You mumble. You shake your head. “You had your chance when we were fifteen, Jaehyun. It’s been six years.”
“You had many chances. You’re nothing but a coward and a fool.” You point at the door. “Now, please leave. I’ve had enough of this.”
“I—” He begins before he cuts himself off. “Fine, I’ll leave. Whatever suits you, I guess.”
You watch him breathlessly as he steps out of your apartment and slams the door behind him. You flinch at the sound, breaking down completely when you sit on the hardwood floors of your apartment. Jaehyun lets out a sigh, hearing you start to cry from outside your door. He fights himself from knocking on your door to comfort you, but he figures he’s the reason why you’re crying.
As he steps out of the building, Jungwoo frowns upon spotting him. 
Something surely did happen.
And it’s surely not good.
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That half-full MOON looks just like me right now. Nothing comes even close to having half of you. If only I had just half of you. If only.
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Two months later…
“I have a delivery for Jeong Jaehyun.”
Jaehyun looks at the delivery man with confusion. He tilts his head, signing the papers before getting a huge box placed into his arms. “I don’t remember ordering anything but… thank you.”
With disheveled hair and wrinkled clothes, his half-awake self places the box onto the table. He rummages through the drawers in his kitchen for a knife to open the box after struggling to open it with his bare hands. He opens the box and immediately spots a small envelope sitting right on top of an LP turntable. He almost drops the knife out of shock. With shaky hands, he grabs the envelope and traces the handwritten letters that spell out your name.
He carefully pulls out the card and reads what you’ve written in it. Suddenly, he finds himself grabbing his coat from the coat rack and rushing out the door.
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A notification pops up on your phone. 
You grab your phone, continuing to brush your teeth. You let out a snort when you hear Jungwoo singing and talking to himself in the kitchen. When you unlock your phone to read the notification, you feel your heart skip a beat. 
Order delivered. Thank you for shopping with us!
You step out of the bathroom after brushing your teeth. “Hey, Jungwoo?”
Jungwoo is in the midst of flipping a pancake, looking over his shoulder. “Oh, you’re awake? Do you need something?”
You shake your head. “No, I don’t need anything. I just wanted to ask if Jaehyun knows that I…”
“Moved out? Moved in with me?” Jungwoo finishes your sentence and you hesitatingly nod. He shakes his head, looking away from you to finish cooking the pancake before burning his fourth one. “No, he doesn’t know. I figured you didn’t want him to know.”
“Ah, I see.” You mumble. 
He stops. “Wait, why’d you ask?”
You shake your head. “Nothing. Hey, do you mind if I use your laptop for something? I just need to clear out my father’s emails. You know him, he always forgets to do it and thinks it’s my responsibility to do it.”
He nods his head. “Yeah, go for it. You don’t even need to ask.”
As you step into your bedroom, you log into your father’s email, only to realize you’ve forgotten the password. You sigh, typing in all the possible passwords from the top of your head, failing to log in successfully. Your last resort is to call your mother to ask for the password.
“And how could I help my lovely daughter on this fine morning?”
“Stop being cringey, mom.” You roll your eyes. 
“Hi, sweetheart. What’s up?” She chuckles. 
“What’s dad’s password to his email? I’m trying to clean out his inbox again. You know, it’s a monthly thing I do for him. I should get more credit.” 
“Alright, the password is your birthday and Jaehyun’s name in capital letters. Funny how your father decided to use that as his password after he needed to renew it during our holiday vacation.” Your mother says and you fall silent. “Speaking of Jaehyun, how are you guys?”
You’re typing in the password and it works. You let out a chuckle. You begin to lie. “Uh… we’re doing alright. It's his birthday tomorrow, actually.”
“Did you get him something?”
You hum in reply. “I did.”
“What did you get him?” You smile.
“Something he always wanted. Something he told me not to get.” You reply, opening a PowerPoint document your father’s client had emailed him. When you open the PowerPoint, you notice another presentation opened on the application. “Sorry, mother, I think I have to call you later.”
“Alright, talk to you soon.”
You toss your phone to the side, clicking on the familiar PowerPoint presentation opened. It pulls up right in front of your eyes and you let out an airy laugh.
Five reasons why Jeong Jaehyun should be the fake boyfriend you’ll bring home for Christmas.
Reason #1: He is a handsome and smooth motherfucker and I’m sure your parents will be very impressed.
There are many times you’ve been left speechless and struck by how charming Jaehyun is. Well, you did have a crush on him when you were fifteen and your parents seemed very convinced when you brought him home for Christmas. 
Reason #2: Johnny is in a relationship, Sicheng is in a relationship and Mark has a crush on your sister. Jungwoo is too obvious and not an option. This makes Jaehyun the perfect candidate.
Jaehyun surely was the perfect candidate. It was almost as if he was meant to pretend to be your boyfriend. It felt so meant to be that a small part of you wished that it was real, but you were too hung up on your last relationship to even notice. 
Reason #3: Yeri and Haechan would definitely approve of Jaehyun.
They both really adored and loved Jaehyun. It’s a huge difference between the awkwardness they felt when you were with Taehyung, especially when you introduced him to them.
Reason #4: You both look good together. You both suit each other. The only problem is that you both hate each other with a lively passion.
From time to time, you would look at the group pictures you took on Christmas Eve in front of the Christmas tree. You would do it to try and imagine a better person standing next to Jaehyun instead of you, simply because you knew you didn’t deserve someone like him. He’s just too good to be true. 
You click onto the next PowerPoint slide and your breath hitches in your throat.
Reason #5: Jaehyun’s in love with you. You just don’t know that he is. But I, Kim Jungwoo, knows. Why and how, you ask? He told me. In fact, Jaehyun’s been in love with you for the longest time… ever since the both of you were fifteen.
You shut the laptop, tossing it to the side and grabbing your phone. It’s almost as if your feet had a mind of its own, dragging you out of your bedroom and straight towards the door. You’re grabbing your coat and keys as you head out without warning—
“Hey, where are you going? We still have to eat breakfast—and she’s gone.” Jungwoo lets out a sigh, looking down at all the pancakes he made and all the burnt ones he placed on another separate plate. He sighs again. “I guess that leaves me with all of these pancakes to eat.”
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“Y/N—you are not Y/N.”
An old lady stands at the door, looking at him questioningly. She blinks once and twice before her eyebrows raise. “Ah! Are you looking for Y/N? The beautiful young lady who lived here before me?”
Jaehyun slowly nods his head. “Y-Yes, I’m looking for Y/N.”
The old lady folds her arms. “Well, I could tell you where she is because I know where she moved in. But I’m not sure if I could trust you enough to tell you. Who are you, exactly? And how are you related to her?”
Jaehyun bites his lip. “I’m her… boyfriend. No, ex-boyfriend—actually, I’m not quite sure—”
“Ah, so you’re the guy she was talking about? The coward? The fool?”
Jaehyun smiles sheepishly. “I—I guess that’s me, yes.”
She chuckles. “Alright, Jaehyun—”
“You know my name?”
“Yes, now listen to me carefully before I forget telling you.” She commands. “She moved out a couple of months ago to move in with her best friend. She left me instructions, actually. She told me that if a handsome man shows up at the door and introduces himself as Jaehyun, I must tell him that he’s a coward and a fool.”
He scoffs. “What is with her?”
“But,” she smiles. “She also asked me if I could tell him where she moved in case he looks for her. She said she’s sure it’s not going to happen, but she asked me to do this favour for her just in case it does.”
“T-Thank you,” he whispers. 
“Now, I’m sure you know which best friend she lives with. But before you leave, I want you to remember one thing.” She continues. “Before you find her, go and grab her some flowers. When you finally find her, don’t chicken out and tell her exactly how you feel. I’m not sure why she calls you a coward and a fool, but if it’s because you weren’t true with your feelings to her, then use this as your second chance.”
Jaehyun chuckles. “I’ll make sure of that.”
She shoos him away. “Now, get going. You might catch her on time.”
And Jaehyun follows her advice. On his way to Jungwoo’s apartment, he drops by a flower shop. He picks up a bouquet of white lilies and pink daisies. He rushes out of the flower shop and starts sprinting to Jungwoo’s apartment a couple of blocks away. 
As he reaches the apartment building, he presses the button for the elevator. When the elevator doors open, he almost rushes into someone until—
You’re looking at Jaehyun. You both look out of breath. You gawk at him with shock that you barely utter a word except for his name. Jaehyun snaps out of it, walking into the elevator and you back up, your back gently pressed against the wall. You watch him as he presses the buttons to all 20 floors of the apartment building before closing the elevator doors. 
“What are you doing—”
“For you.” He hands you a bouquet of lilies and daisies. You awkwardly take the flowers from him. 
“T-Thanks.” You whisper, losing confidence just because you’re not sure what to expect from him. 
You both face yourselves away from each other. As you reach the second floor, Jaehyun closes the doors right when they open. He scratches the back of his neck. 
“So, when did you move out?”
You bite your lip. “Two months ago.”
He hums in reply. Another awkward silence fills the atmosphere. 
“How have you been?” You both ask in unison before smiling sheepishly. You shyly look away from him. 
“I’ve been great. But I could be doing better.” He says softly. “With you.”
You look up at him. He’s already looking at you. “I assume the old grandma told you where I moved.”
He slowly nods his head. “Yeah.”
“Ah, I see.” You say softly. 
The elevator reaches the third floor. The doors open and Jaehyun closes them immediately. You bite your lip. “Look, Jaehyun—”
“You know, I’m still in love with you.” He confesses again. “I mean, I always have. It’s not like I can force myself to stop being in love with you because I tried and it’s impossible to do and so—”
“Jaehyun, you’re rambling.”
“Am I?” He laughs nervously, looking away from you. “Sorry, I do that when I’m nervous and I’m really nervous right now.”
“Did you get the—”
“The LP turntable?” Jaehyun asks and you nod your head. “Yeah, I did. I got it this morning. T-Thanks.”
You smile. “No problem—”
“You remembered.” He mumbles. “I didn’t think you would remember. I didn’t even think you would get me one either, but you did.”
“How could I forget?”
Another awkward silence. Fourth floor, same routine. The doors open and Jaehyun closes them. 
“Y/N, please say something because I feel really nervous right now and I’m not sure if you’re mad at me or if you’re sad or if you just really don’t want to talk to me and if you don’t, that’s completely fine, just tell me and I’ll hop off on the next floor—”
“I’m not mad at you, Jaehyun. I mean, if I am, I would be the one getting off the elevator right now.” You cut off his ramble. “And you’re rambling again.”
“Sorry, it’s a bad habit.” He apologizes. “So, you’re not mad at me?”
“How could I be mad at you?” You chuckle. “Besides, I feel nervous standing next to you right now. It reminds me of how I felt when I was about to confess to you when we were fifteen.”
Fifth floor. “O-Oh? Really?”
You reach out to press the button to close the doors. “Yeah.”
“Well, as I was saying, I’m still in love with you, Y/N. You don’t have to return the same feelings. I just felt like telling you would clear things up. You can forget about me after this, but I just didn’t want you to remember me as the fool and the coward and just—”
“So, you were in love with me since we were fifteen?”
“God, yes.” He sighs. “I’ve been in love with you for the longest time. When I told you that, I knew you wouldn’t believe me and I understand if you still don’t. But I’m telling you the truth—”
“When do you want to come home and visit my parents?”
You ask. 
“Wait, why?” Jaehyun asks, letting out another nervous laugh. Sixth floor and the doors close again. “Y/N, you’re being a bit confusing right now—”
“My parents miss you, actually. I missed you.” You explain. “But you don’t need to if you don’t want to—”
“I can pretend to be your boyfriend again, Y/N. Anything for you—”
“Not as my fake boyfriend, but as my real boyfriend.” You correct him. 
He stares at you. “Are you in love with me?”
You feel your cheeks heat up. “How could I not be?”
The elevator stops at the seventh floor. Jaehyun breaks out into the biggest smile, gently grabbing your cheeks and crashing his lips onto yours. You stumble back from the impact. He walks forward and you walk backward until you're both standing in the corner. He kisses you passionately and gently that it makes you weak in the knees. 
“Y/N? You forgot to bring this—oh fuck, what the fuck?!” Jungwoo sees the both of you making out in the elevator when the doors open. Jaehyun quickly presses the button to close the door. You giggle, pulling him closer, not wanting any of this to end. 
Jungwoo scrunches up his nose in disgust. “Gross. But cute. I think my work here is done.”
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“Babe, I’ll be over there getting popcorn for us. Alright?”
You nod. “Alright. I’ll go and buy the tickets.”
Jaehyun boops your nose with the tip of his finger before heading towards the food court. You’re printing out tickets with the self-checkout booth. Just as you’re about to move to the side for someone else to use the booth, you hear your name being called out but it’s not Jaehyun’s voice. 
You look up from your tickets to see—
“Taehyung?” You squint your eyes to get a better look of the guy approaching you. Indeed, it’s your ex, Taehyung. “Oh, it is you.”
“Long time no see.” He smiles. He’s about to reach in for a hug but you stand still. He chuckles sheepishly. “How have you been?”
You smile. “Better. You? How are you and Injae?”
His smile falters. “We’ve… We’re not together anymore, actually.”
“Ah, I see. Sorry about that.” You apologize. 
“Have you—Have you been seeing anyone, lately? I mean, there must be a reason why we’ve bumped into each other. It must be a sign—”
An arm is thrown over your shoulder and you’re being kept close to Jaehyun, who had come in just in time with the popcorn. “Yeah, I’m assuming that that reason would be to tell you that Y/N’s off the market and will be for a long time. Exes are exes for a reason. And a sign? This must be a sign to tell you to back off.”
“You’re together? The two of you?” Taehyung scoffs. 
“Yes, and?” Jaehyun quirks an eyebrow. “Anyways, it was nice seeing you Taehyung.”
“And I hope this will be the last time too.” Jaehyun smiles, before looking at you. “When did you say your parents were going to arrive, again?”
You chuckle, watching Taehyung walk away with defeat. “They’ll be here soon. I’m sure they can’t wait to see you.”
“There they are!”
Coincidentally, your parents arrive and rush over. Your mother combs out her hair with her fingers and lets out a sigh of relief. “I thought we were late.”
“Nothing to worry about, in fact, you came just in time.” You laugh, looking up at Jaehyun. “Actually, there’s someone I want to introduce to you.”
“Who? Jaehyun?” Your father asks before chuckling. “Silly you, we know who he is—”
Jaehyun extends his hand out to them. “Hi, I’m Jaehyun, Y/N’s boyfriend.”
“But—wait, what?”
And funny as it is, the two of you have a lot of explaining to do.
Baby steps.
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author’s note. merry christmas everyone! hope you’ve been staying safe and healthy! take care always and please feel free to send me feedback! it’ll be very much appreciated! i hope you enjoyed this christmas fic!
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yandere-romanticaa · 2 months ago
i really like your yandere stories so much! if i may can i request an headcannon about yandere! La signora x innocent! dendro vision! female reader?
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♡ La Signora.♡
She is a cruel mistress right from the get go. It doesn't matter that you make her ice cold heart feel even a little warm, she will rough you up and then some. La Signora is attracted to confidence much like any other person would be, but so many people mix up cockiness with confidence and to be frank it's bothersome. All of those fools think they can stand toe to toe with her, but she will bring them to their place - right beneath her heel.
However, she can't help but to let out the airiest of chuckles once she has her darling in her clutches.
Her sweet little pet thinks she can defend herself out there, with a measley little dendro vision?
How cute.
The Harbinger finds the innocence to be refreshing, as she admits begrudgingly. Many of her men are brutes with no sense of proper timing or manners, so having a sweet little thing like that by her side is quite the ego boost. Signora walks the streets proudly, her head held up high and her back straight as a board as she clutches the long, icy chain around her gloved hands. Her darling is right behind her, a shining collar of pure ice around her neck as she whimpers and begs for Signora to go easy on her, to please not to this in public, but the concept of shame and mercy are foreign to the woman. Why should she be ashamed, when her pet is just that beautiful? She sees the other soldiers looking and pride swells up in her chest, a satisfied smirk dancing on her pale lips. There's a barley noticable skip in her step as she drags the strong chains around the streets, darlings little whimpers being the only sound Signora is truly focusing on.
It really is music to her ears.
Chances are, she'll confiscate darlings little vision for a period of time, but this cruelty will mellow out through the months as she begins to see the benefits of having a dendro wielder by her side - healing will almost never be an issue and she can go all out on her enemies, without worrying too much about the consequences.
Her long fingers gently trace the cheeks of her beloved as she looks down at her, a strange glint of pride gleaming brightly within those gorgeous eyes of hers. Signora is fun like that, hot and cold, cruel and merciful, soft and harsh, all at the same time, and her darling is the only one who is ever allowed to see that softer side of hers. As mean as she is, she could never actually bring herself to fully destroy her beloved little thing, her love is too deep to ever go that far. And besides, why go so far when her snowflake is doing so well for her, behaving like an absolute gem around her and her subordinates? Intense frostbite and rusty chains are for rebels, not good little girls who listen to her commands.
She can be quite giving if that happens to be the situation.
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handmaiden-of-mischief · 4 months ago
𝐒𝐞𝐞 𝐘𝐨𝐮 𝐈𝐧 𝐀𝐧𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐋𝐢𝐟𝐞𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞
As announced, I've started writing for Loki as well 🥰 I've been writing for him ever since I fell in love with him 2011, but until now, I've never been confident enough to post any of it. This is a oneshot, but I think I'll turn it into a miniseries 😁 anyway, I hope you enjoy! - Love, Kiki 🖤
𝐏𝐚𝐢𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠 | Loki x female reader    
𝐒𝐮𝐦𝐦𝐚𝐫𝐲 | Loki is forced to watch his life play out on the TVA-screen - and his future catches up with him. (This is the best summary I could do without spoiling the whole plot). Takes place during the first episode of the series.
𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐭𝐨 𝐞𝐱𝐩𝐞𝐜𝐭 | angst, romance
𝐖𝐨𝐫𝐝 𝐂𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐭 | 1.6 k  
𝐖𝐚𝐫𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐬 |  angst, spoilers for episode 1, major character death
𝐅𝐨𝐫 𝐦𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐋𝐨𝐤𝐢 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐧𝐭, 𝐜𝐡𝐞𝐜𝐤 𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐦𝐲 𝐦𝐚𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐥𝐢𝐬𝐭 ♡  
𝐀𝐬 𝐚𝐥𝐰𝐚𝐲𝐬, 𝐥𝐢𝐤𝐞𝐬, 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐫𝐞𝐛𝐥𝐨𝐠𝐬 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐫𝐞𝐜𝐢𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐚𝐠𝐞𝐝   🖤
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Fire. The acidic burn of smoke filling your lungs was the first thing you noticed when consciousness crept back into your senses, its tendrils pulling you out of the darkness first with gentle flickers of light and distant noises, then all at once as if you’d been thrown into the depths of an icy lake. The world around you was being devoured by flames. The screams of Asgard’s people had subsided, making room for the eerie silence of death making its way through a battlefield in slow strides, knowing there was no reason to hurry in the collection of souls. Nobody on this ship would be able to run away anymore.
The only sounds disrupting this eerie silence were the cackling of flames, and the bursts of sparks raining down like shimmering snowflakes where the fire gnawed at the wires running along the insides of the spaceship’s walls like veins beneath skin. Somewhere, an alarm wailed, and the sound filled you with bitter irony when you finally managed to sit up and let your gaze roam over the destruction and the chaos Thanos and his children had caused. The bodies strewn across the space, their eyes forever unseeing and wide with terror. Bile rose in your throat, and you let out a strangled gasp at the horrid sight sprawling before you. You were quick to avert your gaze, but the image had engraved itself into your mind already. No amount of time would be able to erase it for you. But you supposed there was no amount of time left for you, either. Thanos was still here; you could hear the distant rumble of his voice as he gave orders. Smoke burned in your lungs, choking you as if an invisible iron fist had wrapped itself around your throat, and you coughed as you fought for another breath.
Someone called out your name, and before you could manage to turn around, he was already kneeling beside you. His green cape, singed and torn, brushed against the blood mingling with flakes of ash on the floor as he grasped your shoulders to steady you.  
"Loki", you rasped, voice sore with the sting of smoke.
His beautiful ocean eyes fixed on yours and the panic swirling in their depths, the defeat, made your heart break. "The last rescue pod will leave any minute," Loki urged in a hushed tone, "come on. We need to hurry."
It sounded as if he’d been looking for you – instead of saving himself and getting on the last escape pod. Why? There was no time to linger on thoughts about his motives, his allegiances which changed faster than the tides. He helped you get back to your feet with a gentleness you hadn’t believed him to be capable of.
“Can you walk?”, he whispered with a glance over his shoulder in the direction of the voices from Thanos and his warriors. Voices which were drawing nearer with every passing second.
You nodded, but Loki’s hand stayed on your lower back when the two of you sprinted through the debris and rubble, the flames and bodies, headed for the hallway leading away from the huge mess hall of the spaceship and the network of corridors which would hide you until you reached the escape pod. You didn’t dare ask how many of Asgard’s people had managed to flee in the other pods. The number of dead bodies on the ground was indication enough that it couldn’t have been many.
Just as the two of you had reached the entrance to the mess hall, the hallway behind illuminated by the flickering red glow of emergency lights, a voice boomed across the ship’s interior, louder than any thunder, words drawled in a mocking sing-song voice.
“Loki. I wondered where you’d been hiding away all this time. Who’s your little friend?”
Thanos’ voice. Both of you had stopped dead in your tracks, and when you turned to look at Loki, the horror in his eyes matched your own. But amidst all the terror, you could see a spark of fight left in the stunning green of Loki’s eyes when they locked on yours, and a look of determination crossed his handsome features.
“Go”, Loki urged with a nod towards the hallway ahead, “I’ll divert him. I’ll meet you at the escape pod.” No, you won’t.
“For the God of lies, this one was pretty bad”, you said, voice strangled with emotions, and already you could feel the familiar sting of tears in the corners of your eyes. There had been times, not long ago, when you’d wanted nothing more than to see the trickster god punished for the crimes he’d committed. But now here he was, bruised, bloodied and broken, knowing as well as you did that neither a fight with his glinting daggers nor a sly word his silver tongue could spin would grant him even the ghost of a chance against Thanos and his warriors. His verdant gaze conveyed that he knew. Of course he did.
“No. I can’t go without you”, you protested with growing desperation when he didn’t reply, “We can run. We can make it if we just run.” Though you knew you couldn’t. Thanos had already noticed the two of you, but it was Loki he wanted. Loki who had betrayed him – if he stayed, Thanos wouldn’t care to pursue you. “I can’t just leave you here”, you added with a choked whisper. Upon seeing the stray tear rolling down your cheek, smearing the soot and blood splattered across your face, Loki’s expression softened, and a sad smile tugged at his lips.  
“Yes, you can,” he replied softly.
Before you realized what he was doing, Loki’s hands gently cupped your cheeks to pull you closer, and his lips brushed against yours in a kiss as delicate as the touch of a moth’s wing and yet brimming with everything that would forever remain unspoken, a kiss which left you breathless and heartbroken. When he pulled away, you were too stunned to react, to notice the sparks of green glowing at the tips of his fingers, until it was too late. You knew you wouldn’t have left him, and so did he.
“I’ll see you in another lifetime”, Loki said, and a blast of green light crashed into you, slamming you backwards into the corridor and out of Thanos’ sight.
Silent tears were streaming down his face as Loki watched, mute with the horror playing before him on the flickering TVA-screen, showing the girl sobbing over his dead body. The girl he’d kissed. The girl who’d raced back to him despite the obvious effort he’d made to keep her safe, who’d cried his name with the last desperate beat of his heart before the titan’s iron grip had snapped his neck like a twig.
"We need to go," Thor whispered to her now, trying to gently coax her to stand up, but she pushed him away.  
"No," she murmured, over and over again "We can't leave him here. We can’t –“
She never got to finish her sentence. A flash of blinding white light, the ear-shattering boom of an explosion tearing through the room – and the screen went black like the starless sky arching over Helheim. End Of File.
It took a few heartbeats for Loki to register what had happened, for realization to settle in about the path written for him in the map of fates, the horrible death he would suffer at Thanos’ hands. Would have suffered, had he not managed to escape with the Tesseract. Would the TVA bring him back to his own timeline and force him to tread this dreadful path laid out for him?
But beside the panic writhing in his gut like a bunch of snakes, creeping through his veins and gripping his chest, there was the memory of her voice, calling out for him. Despite everything he had seen, every horrid milestone in the path of his cursed life, he couldn’t stop his thoughts from straying back to her. The way she had cried out his name when the ugly snap of bones breaking in his neck had reverberated through the burning spaceship, the way his eyes had found hers in the last seconds of his miserable life...Loki sank to the ground with the force of everything he felt and everything he’d just witnessed. Who was she? Who was the girl he had given – would give – his life for? Loki didn’t know how long he’d been cowering there on the washed-out tiles, a posture so broken and beneath his station as a god, while his tears were drip-dropping onto the ground, staring at nothing, with the pictures he’d seen on the screen flooding his mind. Trying and failing to make sense of them.
“Loki?”, a hesitant voice called out from the doorway, tearing him from the agonizing onslaught of his emotions. He didn’t need to turn around to see who was standing in the doorway. He’d heard that voice calling out for him through the speakers, and he would recognize it in a crowd of thousands. It was her. The girl from the video.
His heart stopped for a beat and time seemed to freeze when he looked up to face the owner of the voice.
“Who are you?”, Loki demanded, disbelief and shock weaving into his broken whisper.
You took in his tear-streaked features and the way he was kneeling on the floor as if a fit of nausea had gripped him, before you frowned at him in genuine confusion. As if you’d never even seen him before.
Raising your eyebrows, you finally replied, “I don’t even know who you are.”
Taglist for Loki (Let me know if you’d like to be added or deleted🖤): @boneheadduluc @spiderhostia @a-midwinter-night-dream-86 @zemosimp05 @justfangirlthingies​
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unhealthyfanobsession · 2 months ago
I have this vision wherein cassian doesn't let anyone touch his hair like no one has ever touched his hair and he's very serious about it so one day the ic is hanging out and then cassian leans into nesta and nesta absent-mindedly starts playing with his hair and mor or rhys is like "is nesta playing with yor hair, you never let anyone touch your hair" and nesta gets all self conscious and stops but cassian just grabs her hand back and brings it to his hair and goes "nesta isn't just anyone" I need a drabble like this in canon-verse
This one really just flew out of me. I’m weak for soft Nessian!!!
It was one of those beautiful nights where they could almost forget what they had been through.
A night where war torn hearts stitched themselves back together and beat soft, hopeful rhythms in centuries or decades old chests.
A night where hands that had once been soaked in blood tangled fingers with the warm, fresh, surface of a lovers matching palm.
A night where wine bottles stacked up in the space many floors below, where the House took them when they were empty.
A night where old grudges were nothing but soon to be melted snowflakes in the February wind and even the lonely souls in the room felt warmed by the roaring fire.
It was a night where Nesta didn’t even notice the fire beyond the way its glowing light bounced off of the gleaming black in Cassian’s hair.
A night where everything was calm and soft at the edges rather than hard and focused and sharp. Relaxed, Nesta felt entirely relaxed.
Something she never would have thought possible in the presence of so many people.
Rhys and Feyre were taking full advantage of Nuala watching Nyx and were already wrapped up in each other on one end of Nesta’s new light grey sofa.
Amren had her legs thrown over Varian’s lap on the other side.
Mor was lounging on the chaise by the fire like a goddess of old.
Elain had gone to bed early, claiming she had to be awake early the next morning, so even Azriel was completely at ease. Not lingering in the doorway. He was spread out across a massive white armchair, the twin to the one Nesta and Cassian occupied, with his legs stretched out in front of him and a glass of whiskey in his hand.
Yes, this was a good night.
Nesta shifted a little on the arm of the chair she had just perched herself on top of and Cassian rolled his eyes, hooking one arm around her waist and pulling her into his lap.
“Brute,” Nesta accused with none of her usual bite.
“Don’t worry, with Rhys and Feyre here we will never be the most sickening couple in the room.”
“Debatable,” Mor sing-songed.
Nesta laughed, such a soft, easy sound that she never thought she’d hear from her own lips. Turning herself a little in Cassian’s lap, Nesta dangled her legs over one arm of the chair and leaned her head against his broad chest.
This place. This person. His chest. His scent. His arms around her waist. It was home.
“Do you need anything?” Cassian was a little drunk, the way they were all a little drunk. Not boisterous, tear things apart, dance and shout, drunk. Something hazier.
Mulled wine and spiked cider drunk. Slow and sleepy and comfortable.
“I have everything I need.” She didn’t mean it to be so cheesy, it was just the truth.
“Hmmm,” Cassian hummed, nudging his head a little into hers with a soft smile. Nesta knew what that meant.
She raised her hands from around his neck and slipped careful fingers between strands of his silky hair, separating a little section of it off into three pieces.
Cassian let out a long, contented, breath.
Nesta felt the eyes on them before she saw them.
Azriel just chuckled and raised his glass. Rhysand looked like he did when Nesta explained the 26 universes theory to him. Shocked, in awe, brimming with question.
“What?” Nesta’s voice sharpened just a little.
“Nothing,” Rhys cleared his throat, trying to be polite.
“No one touches Cassian’s hair.” Mor said, head inclined. “Like seriously. He doesn’t let anyone near it. Not in the 5 centuries I’ve known him at least. Azriel tried to ruffle it once and Cassian pushed him back so hard he cracked a rib.”
“Oh,” Nesta swallowed, hands stilling halfway through the braid. Cassian brought his own hand up to cover hers.
“Don’t stop, please.” Nesta smiled a little.
“And she’s… braiding it.” Mor shook her head.
“Mor,” Rhys warned.
“Is this not weird to anyone else? 500 years of no touching the hair and now he’s about to have a crown braid.”
Nesta laughed, twisting the braided strand up and over so it made a headband through the rest of his hair. “Oh I’m so doing a crown braid next. We can match.”
“Whatever you want, love.”
“What the-“
“Shut up, Mor.” Cassian lulled his head back into Nesta’s touch. “The silence was so nice. And just for the record,” he pointed a finger. “It still stands that I don’t let anyone touch my hair so don’t go getting ideas.”
“Um…” Mor rose an eyebrow at his hypocrisy.
“Nesta isn’t anyone. She’s my mate.”
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