book girl and assassin
Shishigumi and the reader who has adopted children
You know I'm a sucker for blended families
Already is kind of a dad to the rest of the Shishigumi and Louis
While Ibuki is initially really nervous about adopting a child, as soon as they hold them, all his fears melt away.
If they’re an older child, he’ll let them call him by his name if that’s more comfortable. He doesn’t have to be called “dad” to be a parental figure.
Ibuki is very supportive of his child, and has a lot of patience.
Ibuki may actually be prone to adopting a child out of the baby stage. He may even adopt an older child who just needs a home (even if they’re almost of legal age to live on their own).
Ibuki would be great with troubled kids. He has the patience of a saint, and has seen a lot of bad in the world, and been a lot of that bad.
Ibuki allows the child to adjust at their own pace, and never pushes them to fit or meet a standard,
Ibuki cooks for them, and listens when they talk.
Ibuki wants them to be comfortable, always.
He enrolls them in the best school he can, and goes to every major event.
He allows them to style their own room, even if he doesn’t always understand what they like.
He’s adamant that at least three nights a week you all have a family dinner.
He tries his best to help with homework or any problems they may have.
Free is freaked out at the idea of adopting a kid. It probably takes a few years for him to be comfortable with the idea.
Honestly? He’s just worried he’s going to be a terrible father. He’s already kind of a menace, he’s not even sure why you’re still with him.
Then again, Louis turned out great and Free likes to think he had a hand in that.
After some time he finally comes around to the idea. Why not? He can do this.
When Free and you adopt a child, it’s probably going to be an infant or a younger child.
It only takes a few hours before Free is a doting father figure, and labels your new child as ‘His’.
Free loves playing games with his kid. If they’re a toddler when you two adopt them, he’s probably going to go crazy at the toy store with them (who needs ten nerf guns?). Free had it rough growing up, he wants his kid to have the childhood he didn’t get to have.
Free isn’t great at homework, but he tries.
Free teaches them self defense early on, just to make sure they can protect themselves when he isn’t around
That dad that plays any game his kid comes up with, and makes forts out of blankets and pillows.
Dolph is actually on board with the idea of adoption
I could see Dolph adopting an older kid, maybe even a pre-teen or teenager. They’re more difficult than a younger child, but Dolph is okay with that. He’s patient, and knows how wild kids can be. He was in a gang, there’s not much trouble a kid could cause that would come anywhere near the trouble he dealt with in the gang
Dolph is big on education, keeping his child in school and having them graduate is important.
Dolph is calm and collected, and he listens and gives advice where it’s needed.
If he did adopt an older kid, he’s okay with working with a phycologist. Sometimes you just have to talk without worrying about getting in trouble.
Dolph wants his kid to always feel safe and secure. They will always have a room and a place to come home to.
If they’re worried about someone taking their stuff, Dolph will install a lock on their door. This way they can lock the door and have peace of mind. It is their room. Dolph isn’t going to take things from them.
Same thing with food. If they’re more comfortable keeping snacks and need a mini fridge so they know they wont go hungry, he’ll do what he has to to make them feel secure
Helps with homework and attends school events.
Doesn’t hold his kid to unfairly high standards. If they get a ‘C’, he’s fine with that, as long as they gave it their all.
He’s strict, and has rules. Don’t be out late, don’t do drugs, have dinner with the parents at least twice a week, homework before video games. It’s basic rules, but he’s ridged about them. In a way, that gives his child structure.
They don’t have to call him dad, but if they do it makes him all emotional
Makes them ask you before they do something
“Dad can I-”
“Go ask Y/N”
Agata would probably do best adopting a small child or a baby
He has a lot of anxiety, and he’d do better parenting a kid from the beginning
Agata raises his child with his whole heart. It doesn’t matter that they were adopted, there’s no question that Agata would die for his child.
Agata puts the needs of his child above his own, without question.
Agata is honest when his kid asks if he’s adopted. Agata isn’t going to hide that from them. He will answer any questions they have, and let them know that you don’t have to be blood related to love someone
Agata is that ‘cool’ dad that plays video games with his kid. Agata lets them win.
Agata also beats any levels they get stuck on.
Agata doesn’t like the PTA, but will go to all school events, and is there for all milestones
Agata tries his best to make sure his child is confident in themselves, and knows that Agata will always be there to back them up
Agata is kind of a softie, you’re going to have to be the rule enforcer
Not to say Agata can’t get strict, he can, but he doesn’t want to
Agata will always make sure his child knows their home is a safe place to go to
If his child ever wants to know their biological parents, Agata will help them.
Age doesn’t matter for Miguel. He’s willing to take any kid that needs him, and is a good fit for you two
He quickly establishes a healthy lifestyle. He wants them to live a long time, and fuel their body properly
Cooking may actually be how he bonds with them initially, if they’re older. If they’re really little, he’ll bake cookies with them
Miguel is at all school events, and may even be part of the PTA
Miguel may be pretty quiet, but he’s not one to hold back praise when a child does something good. He’s big on positive reinforcement
Rarely raises his voice. Instead, he talks everything out.
He’s very patient, and quickly learns his adopted child’s personality, and adjusts accordingly
That big beefy dad that’s having tea/playing pretend with his child
He can and will switch his child out of a class if a teacher is unfair. A lot of adopted children may have a hard time adjusting, and not all teachers know how to handle that. If they can’t, Miguel will find someone who does.
Miguel is going to be overprotective of his child. He chose to adopt his child, and it’s his job as a father to make sure his child thrives. He’s not going to allow anyone to drag his kid down the path Miguel himself once walked.
Miguel is that dad that doesn’t talk a lot, but you can talk about anything with. It doesn’t matter what it is, he’s going to listen.
Sabu doesn’t care about age when he adopts a kid. He would be prone to adopting a child that’s mute or deaf, or a child with another disability.
I have a headcanon that Sabu doesn’t talk much, but knows sign language.
He’s also very quiet and patient, and not much phases him. He’s also very flexible, and is willing to make big changes if that’s what his child needs
Sabu is also very involved with schooling, even if most of the staff find him unnerving. It doesn’t take long for them to warm up to him though. Sabu has a good heart, even if he makes a bad first impression.
Sabu helps with homework, and is fine with taking breaks and coming back if his child becomes frustrated.
He will totally get a side car for his motorcycle
If the kid he adopts doesn’t know sign language, Sabu teaches them.
Sabu loves for his child to be passionate about their hobbies.
Sabu likes it when his child expresses themselves, even if it’s not always traditionally.
If Sabu has a kid, and they want to do his mane, he’ll let them. He doesn’t even mind going out in public with it if his child is particularly proud of it.
Never is afraid of telling his child he loves them, or that he’s proud of them.
Jinma would do better adopting a child that was a smidge older.
He does a lot of research before adoption, and tries to find information on what to do, what you two need, and problems that may come up
If they are older, Jinma is going to get them a psychologist if they need one. If they’ve been in the system for a while, they may need a third party to talk to
Jinma is also going to make sure his child has no siblings out there. If they do, he’s going to do his best to reunite them. If they’re not adopted yet, expect Jinma to try and adopt them as well.
Jinma is big on school, so he tries to learn what kind of schooling works best for his child. Are they a tactile learner? A reader? Once he knows, he works in that learning preference for homework.
Jinma is great at communicating with his adopted child, even if they aren’t a great talker.
Jinma doesn’t need his child to call him dad, but if they do, he’ll be thrilled.
Dope could adopt any age of child and be happy
Dope is great at reading body language, so it’s easy for him to understand what is child is saying, even if they don’t want to talk initially.
Dope is also very big on schooling, but he tries to find a school his child is comfortable with.
If his child was close with their foster parents, Dope is fine keeping them in their lives if they’re also okay with it.
Dope reads to his kid every night. He will also never say ‘no’ if they want books from a store (but they have to be paperback)
Dope is the dad who will le their kid crawl into bed if they have a bad dream. He also gets up so you can sleep.
Dope finds the best way to communicate with his kid, and loves spending time with them.
Dope is what teachers fear. Parent teach night involves Dope trying to figure out lesson plans, accuracies in education, and making sure his child is set up to succeed. He’s both a pain in the ass for the teacher, and a blessing, since he will always be there if they need chaperones or any other volunteers.
Hino would rather adopt a child that’s younger, but they don’t have to be a baby (he’s fine if they are though)
Hino puts all his love into his child. It doesn’t matter that they’re adopted, they’re his
Hino loves styling his child, but is fine when they pick out their own outfits (even if it hurts his inner fashionista)
Loves doing family activities with all of you together
If they have a nightmare, and need dad to be there, he’s going to fall asleep in their room
That dad that has waaayyyy too many pictures of his child. He screensaver is you and your child.
Hino is always there for any event, but avoids the PTA.
That being said, he will volunteer for events, and weaponize his good looks.
Builds up his child’s self-esteem. No matter what species they are, they’re beautiful. Not only that, but they’re smart and capable. Hino wants them to know there’s so much more besides looks.
“For a prompt, maybe a Hunter and reader fic where the bad batch help celebrate the reader's birthday? Maybe some fluff or smut?“
Thank you so much for the request, and thank you SO so much for the donation!! I appreciate it more than words can say!
Word count: 2470
*takes place pre-Echo
Birthday’s weren’t really a big deal in the GAR, seeing as though the Jedi were taught to remove any attachment to the day of their births; the clones didn’t even have birthdays that they knew of; and any civilian officer was likely too busy to remember, let alone to celebrate. It just wasn’t something that you did often. Of course, you knew your birthday – knew the exact date and time, because as a child, you had asked your mother about it every single year until you memorized the time to the last minute.
At one point in your life, your birthday had been your favorite day of the year. More so than Life Day, even. You had always loved the festivities – the focus on you; people showing how much they care about you; not to mention the gifts and the celebrating. You’ll never forget the year you became legal to drink, and your friends had taken you out for fun. It had been a night to forget – though the events leading up to the drinking were fond ones that you will treasure forever.
That time of year was drawing near again, and you couldn’t help but talk about it to the boys – who you’d been on assignment with for the past several months – in fact, it had almost been a year. You figured they wouldn’t like you talking about your birthdays of the past much, considering that they’d never really experienced a birthday, but to your surprise they all encouraged you to keep talking.
“When I was really little, my parents filled my entire bedroom with balloons, so that it would surprise me when I woke up – only I woke up too early, and I sat alone in my bedroom for hours just playing with the balloons. When my parents came to check on me, they couldn’t stop laughing.” You explained with a little laugh. It was early, and you all were drinking cups of caff. You swirled yours around, letting the swirl entrance you deeper into your memories.
“Then, when I was a teenager,” You smile, this memory a particularly pleasant one. “Me and some friends went out to this bakery with her parents – they had money, like they had mad credits. They took me cake-tasting to decide which kind I liked best for my cake, they told me that was my present from them. I wasn’t going to complain- free cake!” You laugh. “Anyways, I tried this one kind, (your favorite cake here), and it literally change my life- I’ve never had any cake that was as good as that. It’s kind of hard to find, but there’s a really nice bakery on Naboo that has it for a lot cheaper than the fancy place did.” You explain, considering making a special trip just for some cake, then immediately telling yourself that it’s a stupid idea.
“What about when you were an adult?” Crosshair asks. “Surely it gets more boring.”
“Oh, it does,” You laugh. “It gets so kriffing boring after a while. But, certain ages grant you certain milestones. Like, when you turn twenty, they let you drink. My twentieth birthday was insane- my friends made me go out to this bar with them – they were all older than me – and they ordered this drink for me, it tasted like starcherries and Mandalorian oranges – it was so good.” You exclaim, missing the taste of your first (legal) drink. “Anyways, they called it a Sailor’s Sunset, I think? But, it was a super fun night, we danced for hours, and I met this really cute guy, and… Well…” You laugh, cheeks heating up at the memory. “Anyways!” You exclaim, clearing your throat. “It was a really fun night. I also learned that I could shoot Corellian whiskey better than any of my friends.”
“Bet you can’t shoot it better than us.” Hunter teased.
“You’re probably right,” You laugh. “But I’d be willing to give it a shot.” You joke, and there’s a chorus of groans at your terrible pun that you couldn’t help but to make.
“So, when is your birthday, anyways?” Tech asks, ready to mark it in his holopad.
“It’s next week, on the second.” You explain. Not that you’d been keeping track of the days when you thought it might be close – not at all. That most definitely was not the case.
The night of the first, when you fell asleep, the boys all got up and got down to business.
“Okay boys,” Hunter began. “This has to be special. We want her to feel like she’s one of us, right?” He asks, and they all respond “Right!”.
“Crosshair, you’ve got the whiskey?” He asks.
“And the mixers.” He says. He didn’t know how to make a Sailor’s Sunset, but he was willing to give it a try, for your sake.
“Wrecker, you’ve got the balloons?”
“Yep! I might’ve gotten too many, though.” He says.
“No such thing- this is Y/N we’re talking about.” Hunter replies. “Tech, you’ve got the cake?”
“Took it out of the freezer yesterday, it should be defrosted by morning.” He replies. Getting the cake from Naboo without you figuring out what they were doing had been a challenge, but they had just barely managed to pull it off while you were in the refresher.
“Alright,” Hunter said, satisfied. “Bad Batch, let’s throw Y/N a birthday to remember.” He says with a smile, and they all get down to work. They all start blowing up balloons, with a goal to fill the barracks with the blown up latex. Wrecker had gotten different types- colorful ones; black and white ones; he even had found some that when blown up would read “happy naming day!” which was as close to “happy birthday” as he could find. They meant the same thing, more or less. He just hoped you didn’t get offended by the slight difference.
It took hours to blow all of the balloons up, but once it was done, there was a thick layer covering the floor, as well as a few smuggled into your bunk with you – but just a few, so you likely wouldn’t pop any and scare yourself awake. Though, Crosshair thought that would’ve been kriffing hilarious. Mean, but hilarious. He figured if it happened, you’d end up laughing once the initial fear wore off – he knew your sense of humor pretty well. But, still, Hunter refused to let him risk it.
“Wait,” Tech began. “Does anyone know how to make her caff?”
“I do,” Hunter answered. “She likes it the same way I do. She told me that before.”
“We’ll have to wake up before she does.” Crosshair says.
“That won’t be too hard,” Hunter answers. “Her alarm is always set for 0700, we just have to wake up before then.”
“How do you know that?” Tech asks.
“We usually wake up at the same time. You catch on to things like that after a while.” He replies with a shrug. He was used to waking up with you, the two of you would often talk over your morning cups of caff before the others woke up. It was the one time of day where there was no stress- just peace between the two of you. It was easy to forget about the war in times like those, which meant everything to you both. Neither of you would ever miss a morning, both cherishing your morning caff-sessions more than either of you would admit. During these early-morning moments, the two of you had gotten very close with each other, and shared very intimate conversations. Secrets were shared, as well as light-hearted compliments. You had a feeling the long-haired Sergeant liked you, which was good, because you liked him as well, though neither of you would confess. The early mornings weren’t a time for heavy confessions like that. But your birthday? Oh, your birthday might be, Hunter thought, mentally preparing himself for that night.
The boys had picked out a planet that they knew had a lake that was safe to swim in, with little risks for attack. Just private enough to take the night off and celebrate over drinks, cake, and swimming. Tech had put in the coordinates, and you were currently on your way there.
When you woke up, it wasn’t to your alarm blaring- it was to the smell of caff, and the boys saying, “Happy birthday!”. You smiled and groggily rubbed your tired eyes, looking up at them all with looks of adoration.
“You guys didn’t have to— Balloons!!” You cut yourself off, getting excited about seeing all the multicolored latex bulbs all over the ground, and all over your bunk. “Did you guys really-?”
“We did.” Hunter says. You sit up and he hands you the cup of caff. You take a sip and smile; it’s exactly how you’d make it for yourself. You can’t help but sway back and forth in happiness.
“Maker, you guys are my everything.” You say, taking a sip. “Thank you.”
“Oh, we’re not done yet.” Tech says. You get out of your bunk, and follow them out to the main area, where you see balloons strung up on the wall messily that say: “Happy naming day!” and your smile is so wide that it hurts your cheeks. Then you see the cake box, and you gasp.
“When?!” Your voice had jumped several octaves in your excitement, and you felt bad for Hunter, though he was smiling at your excitement. He didn’t give a damn that you were yelling, or how high your voice had gotten. He was just happy that you were happy.
“When we went to Naboo last,” Tech answers. “It’s been in the freezer.”
“How didn’t I notice anything—”
“That’s sort of what we’re known for, Y/N.” Hunter smiles.
“Yeah, but—” You can’t help the tears of happiness that well in your eyes, your heart swelling in your chest. You can’t believe that they’d go through all of this just for you. Crosshair puts a hand on your shoulder, and you quickly turn to just hug him. It catches him off guard, but he smiles regardless, holding you in return.
“Thank you guys.” You sob. “I love you all so much.”
“We love you too, Y/N.” Hunter says, preparing to say something slightly different later. But that could wait for now.
“Looks like we’re approaching,” Tech says, checking the navigation. You would’ve asked which planet, though you knew he wouldn’t tell you – Tech always made you guess where you were going. Always. You weren’t complaining, though, it was always a fun game, not to mention a good way to boost your memorization of the planets.
Once you were landed, you stepped out and realized that you were staring at a lake. Not a grimy pond, but a real, actual lake. The water was so clear that you could see to the bottom – it didn’t look too terribly deep, either. A long time ago you had told the boys that you loved swimming, you were surprised that they even remembered the comment.
You decide to all swim in your blacks to avoid any awkwardness with you being the only naked female around, which you’re thankful for. Though of course, the boys take their shirts off at least. You do your best not to stare at Hunter or his impressively toned muscles—You absolutely do not get caught by Crosshair, who laughs at you, but promises to keep your secret. You swim around for what feels like hours. You’re in and out of the water until the sun starts to go down, and you suggest drinks. You all climb out and start trying to dry off. Tech gets the cake cut, and Crosshair pours a round of shots for everyone. You take yours and grimace at the taste- it had been awhile since you had Corellian whiskey. It had been a long while.
“What’s that face for?” Hunter teases. “Thought you said you could out-drink us.”
“I said I might be able to.” You laugh. “If you’re looking for a challenge, Sarge, you’re on.”
“You don’t want to do that,” He laughs.
“Trust him, you don’t.” Wrecker tacks on, clapping his brother on the back. “He can even drink me under the table.”
“Here, try this,” Crosshair says, thrusting a glass filled with a peachy-pink drink in it at you.
“What is it?” You ask.
“It should be a Sailor’s Sunset.” He sighs. You giggle – the color’s all wrong. But you try it regardless, and it’s shockingly just as good as you remember. You hum in appreciation.
“It’s really good,” You smile at him. “But it could use a smidge more cherry.” Crosshair smiles, pleased with himself for guessing the drink correctly.
“Hey, can I talk to you?” Hunter speaks up, nodding away from the others, towards the tree-line. You follow him over, and he down the shot in his hand before continuing.
“I figured now’s a good time to tell you,” He says, and pauses. You know where he’s going with this before he even starts, and you can’t help the smile that takes over your face. “I—”
“I like you too, Hunter.” You say, cutting him off.
“I don’t think you understand how much,” He says. “I’d do anything for you, Y/N.”
“Trust me, I understand.” You gently caress his cheek with your free hand. He leans into your touch, looking at you with a softness in his eyes that was usually reserved for your early morning chats. You don’t need to say more- neither of you do. He leans forward and kisses you, your lips connecting in a slow, passionate dance. You only break apart when you hear cheering from behind you, where the boys are watching with smiles on their faces.
“I love you, Hunter.” You say quietly, your nose brushing against his; his forehead against yours.
“I love you too, Y/N.” He smiles.
After several shorter kisses, you all go back to the ship and enjoy some cake. It’s just as good as you remember it being all those years ago, and you thank them ten-fold for it. For everything. You cry again as you thank them, and Hunter wraps an arm around you. Wrecker is on your other side, and he wraps an arm around both you and Hunter. Hunter gestures for Tech and Crosshair to come over, you all move to the floor. Crosshair leans against Wrecker, and Tech settles between your legs, leaning back against you as your arms wrap around him.
“I love you boys.”
“We love you too.” They all reply, and it doesn’t take long for you all to fall asleep like that. It’s heaven, you think. This was just simply heaven.
hi can i request a nsfw piece about sero and a black fem! reader hanging out while havin a smoke sesh
Its like you guys knew exactly what kind of request i was looking for-- also, lets just say this is a college au or some shit bro bc we dont want anyways tryin to kill the vibe by burstin into the room bc they smell weed rip to my friend who got a citation.
WARNING: NSFW under the cut
🍊 Sero Hanta
After finals, it was Sero’s idea to get crossed out of your minds as a celebration for finally being done with that shit. All those nights of endless group studying, dealing with Kaminari’s constant dumbass questions, Bakugo’s outbursts whenever Sero and Kirishima got something wrong during his quizzing, and you and Mina braiding each other’s hair at 4 AM before you both put your bonnets on to go to sleep because you couldn’t feel your damn arms from all those practice problems Bakugo made y’all do...damn, you couldn’t believe you were finished.
At first, you both were considering inviting the others over too, but fuck that, you two wanted to have time to yourselves for once after dealing with the squad basically every day.
Your thankful that you both have an apartment together because the last thing you needed was to have someone banging on the door while you’re both high off your asses and kill the vibe
It wasn’t even 20 minutes after you both got home that you were already high as shit and all over each other. Sero, at some point, holds the blunt in his hand out of your reach with a smug grin on his face as you keep trying to reach for it without getting up.
“I told you, gimme a kiss ‘n I’ll let you take a hit.” “Stop bein’ a lil’ bitch, Hanta!” “You’re so cute when you’re angry~”
He’ll bring it down to his lips, taking a big hit before blowing it back in your face just to taunt you before you roll your eyes and press your lips against his.
While he was still processing what happened, you plucked the blunt from his hand and took a hit before exhaling and laughing at the shock on his face.
“What, didn’t think I’d do it, pretty boy? Think again, baby girl gets what she wants.”
Next thing you know, his hand is buried in your curls as he tugs you back to him, his lips against yours.
...you should’ve expected this considering you were sitting in his lap in nothing but his hoodie and a pair of cute panties. Taunting him while he was high and feeling teasing wasn’t the best idea if you didn’t expect to get fucked...but who were you to complain?
Sex with Sero while high is passionate no matter what. It makes everything so much more intense and knowing that you trust him enough to get high with him and be how you get your weed/edibles/etc. just makes him so happy. Nothing else matters except the two of you at that moment.
Despite how much he loves the feeling of your skin against his, he doesn’t know if he wants to fuck you in his sweatshirt or out of it. The second you complain about it being too hot, his mind is made up, and it’s off you in a second.
Sero’s covering you in kisses, telling you how pretty you are, how much he loves the feel of your skin under his hands, the way you whimper his name whenever his tongue runs against the sensitive spot on your neck. He can’t keep his mouth shut or his hands off you for a second.
“You’re so pretty, mi corazón.” “H-Hanta, shut up, and keep k-kissing me.” “C’mon, I thought you said you liked it when I spoke Spanish~” “You said two words.” “But you still got flustered, didn’t you? I could feel that shiver, y’know.”
Once he’s inside you, he’s cursing under his breath, telling you how good you are for him as he continues to plant kisses all over your face.
Despite being soft with his words and actions, the second you give the okay, Sero is fucking you hard. He wants you to only moan his name and praises, nothing else matters but you two. Of course, just because he’s head over heels for you doesn’t mean he’s not going to give you shit while he’s fucking you on his cock.
“Pfft, what was that noise you just made?” “H-Huh?” “You sounded like you were about to throw up. I get that me” “Hahaha, H-Hanta, shut the fuck up!” “W-Wait, ah, don’t laugh, mi cielo, oh fuck--”
Making you laugh is a terrible idea because each time you do, your walls squeeze down on him and fuck, you just won’t stop laughing goddamn it--
“Baby, b-baby, you can’t just squeeze on my c-cock like that, hah, fuck!”
Oh, he just starts fucking into you even harder, bouncing you up and down on his length, savoring the moans of his name coming from your mouth before he pulls you back against his lips.
As you both get closer, and closer to the edge, the giggliness between you two starts to increase tenfold. He’s letting out short huffs of laughter as he sees the fucked out look on your face as he buries his hand back in your curls and lightly massaging.
“Hey, hey, where’s my baby girl, where’s mi cielo?” “M-Mmh, Hanta, haha, stop-!” “There she is, look at that smile, you’re so cute!” “D-Dumbass, I’m not cute, I’m ho-ah!” “Haha, what was that? Can’t even form a sentence, huh? I’m just fuckin’ you that good, mm?” “H-Heh, stop being so cocky!” “Did you really just make a f-fuckin’ joke while I’m balls deep in you?!” “Maybe I did, pretty boy, better up your gam--H-Hanta!”
Once you finally fall over the edge, he’s watching your face as closely as possible, a goofy smile on his face because, fuck, you’re so fucking pretty, he could watch you cum on his cock all the time-- Next thing he knows, he’s pushing himself as deep in you as possible, shooting his thick load into you with a groan of your name and a kiss to your lips.
Asjkdlfhskjhfa this is too much im sorry--
After you both come down from your high, he’s keeping you in his lap on his cock until you push yourself off him to go to the bathroom. He just wants you to cockwarm him as he processes that ‘yeah, i just fucked my girlfriend while high as shit and I enjoyed it.’
You both are pissed when you realized one of you dropped the fucking blunt your cup of water.
“You did it!” “No I didn’t, babe, I was too busy getting my dick wet.” “And I was too busy wetting your dick!”
hello! first off i love your blog so thank you for all your amazing content! second, i was wondering if you (maybe with the help of your followers in case it's too much work) would mind listing the nicknames for all the s4 members that they all came up with for each other over the course of the episodes - sometimes i dont understand what they mean in english since i'm still new to korean. like i know 'yeol jeong hoon' comes from 'yeol jeong' which means 'passion' or 'enthusiasm' but like? what about 'koravi'? the subtitles don't even translate this. sorry if this is a bother, thank you anyways for all your hard work! and have a nice day ~
good question! thank u for this ask and here’s a non-exhaustive list:
(and thank you @maisarasora and @kdramapsycho for the help!)
열정훈 (yeol jung hoon): 열정 (yeoljeong/yeoljung) meaning enthusiasm
도둑 (doduk): means thief, referring to how he "stole" one of the nation's most beautiful actresses, han gain, as a wife
대둑 (daeduk): same as above, 대 (dae) stands for great, so in this case it'd make him the great thief (above any other thieves)
큰형 (keunhyung) / 맏형 (mathyung): oldest hyung
아버지 (abeoji) / 아빠 (appa): father, dad
버카 (beoka): 버리는 카드 (beorineun kadeu) meaning a discarded card, referring to how he's been doing worse at games than he used to
김종면 (kim jong myeon): 면 (myeon) meaning noodles, referring to his love for noodles!
신바 (sinba): 신난바보 (sinnan babo) meaning excited fool, a nickname the s3 members gave him
예능 시조새 (yeneung sijosae): ancient fossil of the entertainment industry, since he's been on so many shows for so long, some of them with nation's mcs like yoo jaesuk and kang hodong
김대상 (kim daesang): referring to when he won the daesang (grand prize) at the 2016 kbs entertainment awards
간헐적 천재 (ganheoljeok cheonjae): intermittent genius
14학년 (14 hak nyeon): 14th grade, based on how long he's been on the show
설종민 (seol jongmin): referring to his relatively extensive knowledge in history, prob based on seol minseok, a history lecturer/tv personality
돼지 (dwaeji): means pig
뚱 (ddung): 뚱뚱해 (ddungddunghae) means fat. like the above, many of his nicknames are just variations of these two, which is honestly a shame and i hope they stop fatshaming him
예능 뽀시래기/예.뽀. (yeneung pposiraegi/ye.ppo.): meaning entertainment cutie, referring to his entertainment newbie days. when shortened, sounds like 예뻐 (yeppeo) which means pretty
운선호 (un seonho): 운 (un) means luck or lucky
종이인형 (jongiinhyung): meaning paper doll, prob referring to his terrible dancing
얼레벌레 (eollebeolle): meaning sloppy, half-assing
감선호 (gam seonho): 감 (gam) means feeling or guts, referring to how he tends to have good guts about things
집주인 (jibjuin): literally meaning landlord or house owner, as in the landlord of the outdoor tent, not so much a nickname but the members have started calling him this bc he sleeps outdoors in the tent so much
춤괴물 (choomgwimul): meaning dance monster, referring to his terrible dancing
초딘 (chodin): 초딩 (choding) means kid
누렁이 (nureongi): a dog's name, used when he's asking for food from the winning team like a dog
뚠뚠 (ddunddun): dk what this means, prob from the show 개미는 오늘도 뚠뚠 (gaemineun oneuldo ddunddun/the three ants) that dindin stars in
독딘 (dokdin): 독한 딘딘 (dokhan dindin) meaning strong dindin, prob from his ability to drink so much kanari
꼬라비 (kkoravi): 꼴찌 (kkoljji) means last place, given by sy who at the start of s4 said that in his neighbourhood, people who get kkoljji are called kkorabi/kkoravi, referring to how often ravi loses during games
또라비 (ddorabi): 또라이 (ddorai) means crazy, weird
막내 (maknae): youngest
라베르만 (rabermann): from 도베르만 (dobermann), referring to how he likes to "bite" people with his sly words
큰형들 (keunhyungdeul): the eldest hyungs, jh & jm
막내즈 (maknaes): the youngest ones, dd & rv
구댄신댄 (gudaensindaen): literally old dance new dance, from 댄스 (daenseu/dance), jm & rv
종라 (jongra): jm & rv
호라비 (horavi): sh & rv
딘선 (dinseon): sh & dd
도톰과제리 (dotomgwajeri): 'do' tom and jerry, tom and jerry refers to how they like to fight, 도톰 (dotom) is a play on 두툼 (dutum) which means thick, sy & dd
예능공룡 (yeneung gongryong): literally variety dinosaurs, referring to how jongmin is a dinosaur-aged veteran in the entertainment industry, and how dindin aspires to thrive as much and as long as jm does, jm & dd
유부클럽 (yubu club): married club, jh & sy
라빅 & 라지 (rabig & large): 라빅 as a play on 라비 (ravi) and 빅 (big), referring to how much ravi eats, and 라지 (raji; large) referring to seyoon, sy & rv
OB: old boys, jh, jm & sy
YB: young boys, sh, dd & rv
대중소팀 (daejungsotim): large-medium-small team or team LMS, jh, sy & dd
배신자 3형제 (baesinja samhyungje): means the three traitor brothers, jm, sh & rv
김씨 3형제 (kimssi samhyungje): means the three kim brothers, jm, sh & rv
역부족 (yeokbujok): team inadequate, jm, sy & sh
덜부족 (deolbujok): team less-inadequate, jh, dd & rv
배우팀 (baewootim): actors team, jh, sy & sh
가수팀 (gasutim): singers team, jm, dd & rv
다큐팀 (dakyutim): documentary team, jh, sh & rv
예능팀 (yeneungtim): variety team, jm, sy & dd
뚱호라비 (ddunghoravi): sy, sh & rv
이쪽팀 (ijjoktim): 이쪽 (ijjok) literally means this side, as in this side team. bang pd came up with the name bc the team couldn't come up with one, jh, jm & dd
저쪽팀 (jeojjoktim): 저쪽 (jeojjok) literally means that side, as in that side team. the boys came up with the name after others reacted badly to the team name 회덮밥 순댓국 설렁탕 (hoedopbap sundaetguk seolleongtang) meaning raw fish bibimbap; blood sausage soup; ox bone soup and abbreviated 회순설 (hoesunseol), jh, jm & dd
밴댕이 (baendaengi): large-eyed herring, jh, jm & dd
Fallen From Grace
A/N: Hi this is my first time writing anything like a/b/o dynamic stuff, so be kind, I’ve been reading a lot lately and I’m quite liking it. I’m hoping to make this a series, just gonna test the waters and see how this goes.
Series Summary: Before the incident she was one of the most powerful Alphas on the Avengers team; admired, idolised and possibly feared, nothing could stand in her way. However, after a mission goes terribly wrong, and she is brutally attacked, the injuries she sustains take all of her Alpha strength, reducing her status to a weakened Omega. By the way of nature, the team can’t help but treat her in a completely new way. Especially her two closets friends, who now see her in a whole new light.
Pairing: Steve Rogers X Bucky Barnes X Reader
Series Warning: a/b/o dynamics (and the fun stuff that comes with that!), strong language, sexual content (smut is coming much later, and there will be added warnings on those chapters), fluff, angst, manipulation, corporal punishment (18+ only readers)
Part One// Part Two// Part Three// Part Four// Part Five// Part Six//
Part Eight: Old Wounds
Chapter Warnings: Angst, Bit of Fluff, Some violence towards the end
Word Count: 4.7K (extra long to make up for the slow update today)
Steve and Bucky could say nothing, as they stared wide eyed, at the drowsy Omega that lay in their arms. You don't even noticed the look of surprise on their faces, as you finally allow sleep to overcome you.
You wake the next morning, having just slept the best you ever have. You find yourself laying on Steve’s chest, with your arm outstretched on Bucky’s chest. They are breathing in sync and you feel yourself rise and fall with every inhale and exhale. Tracing patterns on Bucky’s skin, you don't notice, as both Alphas’ eyes begin to peel open.
“Morning doll.” the ear pressed to Steve’s skin vibrates, absorbing his words. You rest your chin on his chest when you lift your head to look up at him.
“Morning.” he kisses the tip of your nose, making your insides flutter.
“How you feeling sweetheart, we weren't too rough with you were we?” Bucky’s concerned voice, sings in your mind, and you turn to face him, as you shake your head.
“No. It was amazing.” you praised him, pulling him closer to you, as you peck his lips.
“Do you remember what you said before you fell asleep?” you pause briefly, before a faint flush splashes your cheeks, as you hide your face in Steve’s chest. Remembering the last words you spoke to both of them.
“It’s alright if you didn't mean it baby. You just had your first heat, your emotions were all over the place. We understand.” you felt both Steve’s and Bucky’s soothing hands rubbing up and down your back. Sensing your embarrassment and wanting to alleviate your mild discomfort.
They were already so in-tune with your body, and it’s forever changing emotions. You couldn't believe they had put up with you for so long, after everything you had put them through, that your old Alpha instincts had put them through. You need to bury those instincts once and for all. You had to break the bond between your old-self, so you can start afresh.
You needed Bucky and Steve to cleanse you of your past, so that they could be your present, and your future. You needed Bucky and Steve to be your Alphas.
“You listening honey, Steve’s talking to you.” you snap out of your daydream, and look up to Steve, who you hadn't realised, had been speaking to you this whole time.
“As I was saying sweetheart, if you aren't ready yet to have Alphas we completely understand. Instead we could do a trial ru-”
“I want you to mark me.” you cut Steve off before he was able to explain his plan. You didn't like the idea of only being a temporary Omega, you wanted them to have you. You were willing to submit.
“Don’t interrupt Y/N.” the reprimand only made you want them even more; your Omega nature, desperate to please, whimpered at the scold. “Sorry.”
“As I was saying once again,” he looks at you sharply, “Instead we could do a trial based period; we’ll give you some space, and we’ll help you to gradually adjust to your knew nature. We’ll just take it a day at a time.”
You sit up, so you’re straddling Steve’s waist, a frown on your face, as you look down at the two Alphas. You didn't like the sound of this trial run suggestion, and the old Alpha in you giving, you the confidence to make your feelings known.
“I don't want to take things slow. I don't want to sleep in my own bed; when I tried that I ended in here anyway. I don't want to be away from you, I need you to be close to me. The longer I wait for you the more it hurts.” you weren't exaggerating the last bit.
Whenever you were away from one of them, whether it was: in the hospital, when one of them would have to go and train, or the five or so hours you spent crying in your room, after you had that argument. The reason why you had been completely insoluble was because you craved their touch, their reassurance that everything was gonna be alright. You craved them.
The two Alphas looked at you questionably, unsure how to deal with you. You bent down, and began to kiss Steve’s scent gland, gently sucking at it, Steve growled, and moved his head to the side. You licked over the small love bite you had left on his gland, before turning your attention to Bucky’s. You did the same, Bucky mimicking Steve’s head turn, as well as growling, which morphed into a moan.
You pulled away satisfied with the mark you had left on both Alphas, and returned to your previous position of straddling Steve’s hips.
“Please Alphas, I need you.” The name caused their pupils to dilate slightly, but they both blinked hard and their usual ratio of blue returned. You could see them both thinking, before finally Bucky spoke.
“Okay,” you smiled wide at them, but before you could say anything Bucky held his finger up, silencing you immediately, “we’re not gonna mark you yet, but we will be your Alphas. You can stay with us; so that we can take care of you, protect you, and love you.” the sound of the word love, made your stomach glow, for a moment you feared you were gonna go back into heat, but thankfully the only feeling you got was a comforting hum. Your smile faltered slightly when you recounted the first thing he had said, and that they wouldn't mark you yet.
“But I want to smell like you, I want people to know that I’m your’s, that somebody owns me.” you whine, a pout prominent on your lips.
“Always so needy aren't you darling. After what we did to you last night, the only thing I can smell on you right now; is us.” you blushed at his words, but your pout remained unmoved.
“Come here, gorgeous.” Bucky pulls your arm, and you slide off of Steve’s hips, into his lap. He gently moves your head to the side, his hot breath brushes your scent gland making you shiver. He plants one single kiss on the gland, making you tilt your head further, hoping to encourage him to do more.
“This what you want, you want me and Steve to scent you, so people know who you belong to?” he asks, planting another lone kiss.
“Please Alpha, please.” Bucky pushes his lips against the skin once again, but doesn’t pull away like he did last time. Instead he begins to suck harshly at the skin, making you whimper, and mewl at the feeling.
Once he is satisfied, he passes you back to Steve, who instantly wraps his lips around the scent gland on the other side of your neck. He sucks and pulls at the skin; fiercely. It hurts a little, but you like it, the feeling of being claimed by two dominant Alphas. Steve licks over the new bruise he’s made on your neck, content with the shade of purple.
“There. Now everyone will know, who you belong to.” he blew cold air onto the spot, making you shiver, and pull your shoulders up, in defence. Steve chuckled before planting a kiss on your forehead, and playfully shoving you off him, as he stands from the bed. You land on top of Bucky, who wraps his arms around you, holding you close to him, kissing the back of your head.
You can’t help but stare at Steve’s body, which is completely naked, as it stands before you. You bite your lip, Steve catches you, smirking.
“Like what you see doll?” you blush hiding your face, causing both Alphas to be amused, Bucky begins to tickle your sides making you squirm.
“St-op...please...s-top.” you stammer over your words, only able to take short breaths, as Bucky continues his assault on your ribs.
“Not until you say it.” he taunts, his fingers not letting up, instead digging harder.
“S-ay...what?” you struggle, you push against his hands as hard as you can, trying to break free, but it’s useless as Bucky easily over powers you. Steve simply watched on, arms folded in amusement.
“Say I belong to you Alphas.”
“S-ave...me Al-pha.” you beg, your eye pleading with Steve.
“You have to say it baby, he’s not gonna stop.” Steve smiles.
“I..bel-ong...to you...Alphas.” finally Bucky’s fingers halt their torturous movements, and you sigh in relief, Bucky kisses your cheek. You spin in his arms, your head going into his neck. Bucky brings his arms up to wrap around you, but he hisses and jolts away, when you playfully nip at his neck, out of revenge.
“Hey! No biting.” He scolds you, pulling you away from his neck, raising his eyebrows at you.
“You started it.” you mumbled. But a slight shriek sprung from your lips, when a hand came down on one of your ass cheeks. It was only a light, warning hit, but it stung nonetheless.
“What do you say to Alpha?” Steve pressed, standing behind you.
“But he started it.” you whine, looking to Steve, with annoyance.
“Please don't make us punish you, already Y/N. You’ve been our Omega for less than 20 minutes, that’s a record even by your standards of disobedience.” Steve lectured, reminding you of your past, defiance.
Steve was the Captain of the team, there was no doubt of that. But as a boisterous Alpha, following rules wasn't exactly your forte.
Not wanting to start on the wrong foot, so early in the game, you reluctant apologised, “sorry Alpha, for biting you. Even though you started it.” you whispered the last part, watching as Bucky gave you a chiding look, but nevertheless he excepted your apology , giving you a peck on the lips.
“Good girl. Right come on let's shower.” you squill when Steve’s hands, go under your armpits, and he lifts you backwards, effortlessly off of Bucky planting you on the floor. Before you can start to walk towards the shower, Steve spins you around so that you’re facing him.
You’re confused as to the abrupt spin, and can’t help but to begin to feel self-conscious, as Steve begins to stare at you. You pull your arms in front of your chest slightly. Steve runs his fingers gently over the giant scab stretching itself across your stomach. You flinch as flickers of pain, spark from the area; you had only acknowledged its existence in that moment, the events and happiness that had occurred in the last few hours, had masked the pain.
You pull away, when his fingers touch a particular part of the wound that makes you recoil, wincing.
“Sorry baby,” Steve says softly, pulling you back to him, delicately holding you close to him, his body heat suppressing the pain, “Bruce told us we needed to keep an eye on it. And in the thaw of last night, I had forgotten. Does it still sting, sweetheart?” you nod your head.
“Only when you touched it.” you see a guilty look cross Steve’s face, when you tell him the cause of your pain, had been because of him.
“Did it hurt last night darling? You should have said something.” Bucky asks, joining you and Steve, as they made a huddle around you, both the heat signatures providing you with solace. You shake your head.
“No. In truth I had forgotten about it, until just then.” you spoke honestly.
“We’ll go and see Bruce, once we’ve showered, just so he can give it the once over.” you nod in understanding, as they took you to the bathroom, where all three of you showered. It was a bit of a squeeze, their shower not really built for three, but you didn't complain, being pressed against your Alphas.
After you showered, the audible rumble from your stomach, signalled it was time you ate something. The last thing you remember consuming was two bites of a banana, and that was nearing 12 hours ago.
Once you were dry you sat on the edge of the bed, whilst you waited for Steve to go and fetch you some clothes from your own room. He came back with a couple of pairs of undergarments, as well as, various bottoms, and t-shirts. He said they’d go and grab the rest of your stuff later, and what he had brought would do for now.
You laughed at the array of bras and underwear he had clearly grabbed in a hurry, none of it matched, and some of it didn't even fit. You tried to put one of the bras on, but the material was tight against your chest, you frowned, confused as to why a bra you had worn comfortably many time before, was now too tight.
“It’s because of your heat,” Steve explained, you hadn't noticed till then, that your boobs had in fact, grown a few cup sizes since yesterday. “Its your body’s response to wanting pups.” your eyes widened at the mention of pups. That was definitely a subject matter you wanted to avoid for the time being. You decided silence would be the best reply, and instead you opted for a black sports bra that you’re able to easily slip over your head.
You pulled on a pair of black jeans, and a dark coloured t-shirt; you looked at yourself in the mirror, and couldn't help but feel anxious. Usually Omega’s would wear lighter colours, so they would look less intimidating, and therefore; more appealing to Alphas. You had never been the one to wear bright colours, Wanda had always tried to get you to wear; ‘happier’ colours, as she called them. She had only managed to get you to wear a slightly lighter shade of grey. You heart jumped a little at the thought of Wanda, and more worry consumed you when you remembered you hadn't seen her since you had fallen out.
You must have been deep in thought, because you are slightly startled by Bucky, who comes and wraps his arms, tightly around your shoulders.
“What you thinking about, gorgeous?” he says nuzzling his nose into his scent mark on your neck, revelling in his own scent being on you.
“Do I look right?” you question halts his movement, and he turns you to face him, confusion on his face; “I mean do you like the way I look? Do I look like the Omega you want?” For a moment Bucky is lost for words, concerned at your questions for him. Steve overhears, stepping from the small kitchen space, towards the two of you.
“What do mean?” Bucky asks you, his brow furrowed, he pushes a strand of hair behind your ear, before cupping your face in his palm. You lean into the warmth.
“Do you like the way I look?” you ask again, you thought the question was simple, but yet it was as if you were speaking gibberish, as Bucky’s furrowed brow went unchanged.
“I don't understand baby, what do you mean ‘like the way you look’, I love the way you look.” he cups both of your cheeks in his hands, you realise that he’s trying to hold eye contact with you. But his response to your question makes you feel silly, and you dart your eyes downwards feeling stupid for asking the question. By now Steve had moved so he was behind you, once again you were huddled between them; you feel Steve’s hands rest on your hips.
“Look at me Y/N, why wouldn't we like the way you look?” Bucky asks you, moving your eyes to his, you can see they are full of concern and...hurt?
“Because I don't dress like Wanda, or Laura. All my clothes are black and grey. My body is covered in scars and old wounds. My skin isn't smooth and perfect like an Omega should be. I’m not cute, or particularly friendly. I’m n-.” you are cut off by Bucky’s lips that smash into your’s, ending your waterfall of misery, and self hatred.
And before you can catch your breath, Steve grabs the back of your neck, turning your head to him, as he silences you once again, this time with his lips.
When he finally lets you break away for air, your attention is turned back to Bucky, who had pulled his own t shirt over his head. He stood in front of you, and took hold your hands, placing them on his shoulder. He lets go of your hands, and allows you to run your fingers along the scarred tissue that slips out from under the crease, which joins his metal arm to his flesh body.
“Nobody’s perfect honey. Everyone has scars, marks, blisters. Do you like the way I look, do you like the way I am?” you feel tears sting your eyes, you feel so stupid for asking the question you did.
“Of course I do, you’re my Alpha.” Bucky smiles at your response, he lifts your shirt slightly, just enough so the top of the scar on your stomach is visible, he bends down, and gently kisses the skin above it, making butterflies flutter.
“We love ever inch of you Y/N, every inch of you is perfect for us, because; you are our Omega.” Steve rubs over your shoulders, before kissing them.
The moment is broken when your stomach starts to rumble again, causing you all to chuckle.
“Come on trouble, lets get you some food.” you smiled at Bucky as he pulled your t-shirt down, and begins to walk you to the door. Just before he opens it, you clutch his hand, fear suddenly spiking in you.
The two Alphas immediately sense it, Steve grabbing your opposite hand.
“What is it Y/N?”
“What about the others? What if they don't except me?” flashes of how Tony had spoken to you in the elevator, the thought of all of them seeing you like filled you with dread. The prospect of seeing Wanda after all that you had said to one another, made you tremble with anxiety.
“Y/N, breath darling. It’s all gonna be okay. Bucky and I are gonna be with you, we’ll protect you, if needs be.” Steve gave your hand a reassuring squeeze, you hampered when Bucky let go of the other.
“I’ll walk in front of you sweetheart, just to reduce your scent. You’re not exactly in heat still, but I can still smell the pheromones on you.”
“You wouldn't be able to if you marked me.” you sassed, which earned a slightly rough squeeze of your hand from Steve.
“Don’t start baby, you’ll wanna be able to sit, when you eat breakfast.” he warned, you lowered your head in submission.
You slowly sauntered your way towards the kitchen, Bucky strutted in front of you, whilst Steve walked with you, grasping your hand tightly. You hung a little behind Steve, hiding behind his arm, as you got closer to the kitchen.
The smell of bacon, and eggs filled your nose, while the sound of quiet chatter, and knives and forks, scrapping on plates occupied your ears. Your heart rate increased, and Steve gave your hand a slight squeeze to reassure you.
Once Bucky momentarily disappeared as he rounded the corner, the sound of talking stopped, your feet froze to the floor, you were afraid to move, afraid to come face to face with everyone in the next room.
Steve pulled you behind the wall a little more, before squatting down, and looking up at you.
“It’s alright sweetheart, I’m here. Bucky’s here. That’s all you need. No one will hurt you whilst we’re around, baby. You’re gonna be fine.” Steve gives you a little pep talk, before you take a deep breath in. The chatting had begun again, you imagined that Bucky had given them sort of glare. You nod, and Steve stands up, not before pecking your lips.
You take his hand once again, holding it in a Vulcan like death grip, you shield yourself, as you begin to round the corner.
“Morning everyone.” Steve starts. You can’t see what their faces look like, but once again their chatting stops.
“Morning Cap.” you hear Sam respond.
“Morning Steve” you recognise that as Rhodey’s voice.
“Good morning Captain Rogers.” The robotic voice of Vision speaks up, your heart drops, when you realise that must mean Wanda is somewhere in the room. You begin to worry that Vision was gonna be angry with you, for upsetting Wanda.
You feel a gentle tug on your hand encouraging you to walk around, but you latch your hand onto the back of Steve’s t-shirt, fixing your position behind him.
He pulls harder on your hand, forcing you to let go on his clothing, and your face heats up when you are finally pulled in front of everyone.
You cower into Steve’s side, gripping his arm firmly, when you notice them all staring at you.
Rhodey is stood in the actual kitchen, along with Bucky, whose fixing three plates of eggs and bacon, Peter sat on the side, swinging his legs, Tony stood next to him, staring intently at you. On the main table directly in front of you seats: Natasha and Bruce; Vision and Wanda; and Sam.
“Morning Y/N.” Sam is the first to speak to you, you give him a shy smile.
“Morning Sam.” he returns your smile, before going back to eating his plate of waffles. You are grateful for the one less set of eyes.
“How are you Y/N?” Bruce asks, your cheeks feel warm as you remember the last time he had seen you, you were in a slightly more vulnerable position.
“I’m better. Thank you.” you say shortly.
“Actually, is it okay if we come and see you after breakfast Bruce. Just wanna check Y/N’s wound is healing properly.” Steve asks on your behalf.
“Of course, come see me when you’re finished, I’ll go and set the Obs Room up now.” he smiles warmly, he kissed Natasha, before leaving.
You follow him with your eyes as he leaves, your eyes catch on Wanda’s, who turns away from you before you can give her any kind of apologetic look. You hold Steve’s arm tighter, as he guides you over to a slightly smaller, round table in the corner of the room.
Steve sits you in the middle, as him and Bucky sit either side of you. You tentatively start to eat the breakfast in front of you, but you don't feel so hungry when Natasha pulls a chair over and sits in front of you. You stop eating, resting your hands either side of your plate, and you grip the knife harder in your hands.
“Can we help you Natasha?” Bucky asks, a mouth full of food. He’s moved so his arm is now protectively resting on the back of your chair, as he eats with one hand.
“Just coming to ask, which one of you is gonna be my new sparing partner?” she asks, a wicked smile spreads across her face, as you look down at your plate, eyesight becoming blurry, from the tears that are clouding it.
You had been Natasha’s sparing partner as an Alpha. You proudly held a 15-0 streak, but now you were an Omega, it would be unlikely that you would be allowed to train, let alone fight an Alpha like Natasha
“Why would one of us be your sparing partner?” Steve asks naïvely.
“Well I’m assuming you’re not gonna let this puny, little Omega, fight a big strong Alpha like me. That would be very irresponsible as Alphas.” You don't miss the subtle growl that escapes Bucky’s mouth, when she calls you Omega.
But you’re too busy, cooling your own boiling blood to worry yourself with him, your grip on the knife only getting harder.
“Be quiet Nat, before I stab you with this knife, then neither of us are gonna be sparing.” you spit, eyes locking with hers. The fraction of the Alpha in you causes you to bear your teeth, desperate to assert its dominance.
“Don’t talk to me like that...Omega.” Your nostrils are flaring, you were only going to let Steve and Bucky call you that. You begin to rise from your seat, but you’re brought back down, by a firm hand that is placed on your thigh.
You looked to Steve, trying to push his hands off with your eyes, but he gives you a stern look, making your head drop again. You’re trying to take deep breaths, in order to calm yourself down. Bucky places his hand on your other thigh, softly stroking his thumb, trying to sooth your rage.
“Walk away Romanoff, we’re not in the mood to play today.” Steve says, his eyes are dark, showing he too is enraged by the way she is speaking to his precious Omega.
“Before I do, Vision and I would like to say something.” Vision turns in his seat, to face Natasha, a bewildered look on his face.
“Do you mean to cause problems with Captain Rogers, Sargent Barnes and I. Because I would politely like to decline your malice.” he speaks poetically.
“I’m only saying what you and I discussed, yesterday.” again Vision looks at her beguiled, it was clear that Natasha was the one stirring the pot.
“About how we hope you punished your Omega, for being the rude comments made to my Omega, and the way in which she upset Vis’, and if not, then we would kindly do so on your behalf.”
You had no time to defend yourself, before Bucky had flipped the table; food, cutlery and china flying everywhere, and had Natasha pinned against the wall, his metal hand crushing her throat.
“Don’t ever talk like that about our Omega.” his grip getting tighter with every word. Your frozen in your seat, while Steve leaps up trying to drag Bucky away before he suffocated Natasha. Tony and Rhodey leap to help.
You watch as the two men tried to wrestle the bigger man, off of the much smaller woman. You start to cry, when you look down at your hand, a marginal cut across the palm, no doubt a shrapnel would from the flying kitchen debris. Vision pulls you out of the way, seating you next to Sam, before joining the men in their attempts to free Natasha.
Sam takes you hand, trying to look at it closely, you pull away clutching in to your chest, sobbing inconsolably. The only people you wanted to help you were preoccupied by their own testosterone.
Peter runs to you, with some kitchen roll, at Sam’s request. He’s trying desperately to look at your hand, but you refuse. Finally Wanda gets up from her seat, and crouches by you. You look at her through water eyes, and she gently brushes your hair away.
“I’m so sorry.” you choke out, still with your hand clutched to your chest, the blood staining your shirt.
“It’s okay. I forgive you.” she smiles at you, she gently tugs at your wrist, and you let her guide it into your lap so same can try and clear up some of the blood. The sound of more smashing sounds behind you, and you start to sob once again, as you realise you’re the cause of all this chaos.
“Enough!” Wanda yells, all of the men freeze, as they turn to look to the scarlet woman, “look at yourselves. Bucky look at your Omega.”
Bucky’s face drops, immediately feeling ashamed, he releases his hold on Natasha’s neck, she drops to the floor gasping, Tony and Vision crouching to check on her.
Bucky and Steve stumble towards their distressed Omega, but Wanda blocks their path, protectively. She is unfazed by their statures and continues her glare.
They tried to push past her, but a warning growl from Vision is all that they need, and their movements pause once again.
A feeling of guilt and shame rises in their chests, as they look at their fragile Omega, who sits sobbing in a Beta’s arms.
“Leave her. Peter, Sam and I will take her to see Bruce. You two, can go cool off.” she turns to the three of you, and you all rise, walking out the kitchen.
You don't even turn to look, at the face of your embarrassed Omega’s
A/N: Sorry about the delay on this one, I have had lectures all day, so I’ve been writing at every chance I could get.
@mikariell95 @sexyvixen7 @booboobella01 @rororo06 @vickstaahh@krazykatkay456
WARNING: Graphic description of burn injuries/body horror kind of stuff.
No one could have looked more surprised than Blake at the strange assortment of people showing up on the Belladonna doorstep. Weiss was equally surprised to see that she wasn't the only one there waiting.
“Ilia!” she couldn't help gasping out upon seeing the diminutive girl standing awkwardly in the living room, rubbing her hand up and down one arm to try and rid herself of her jitters. “What is… I mean, what are you two doing- wait, that's not what I-”
Kali pushed her way past the young Schnee to smile down at her and say, “What a pleasant surprise! How have you been, Ilia?” Relieved that the host had taken over where she herself had failed, Weiss dropped back to stand next to her mother and Pyrrha.
“N-nothing.” It definitely sounded like the guilty, knee-jerk response of a small child being caught with her hand in the cookie jar.
“She was asking what the rest of us were going to do about Cinder,” Blake explained. As usual, she looked less than thrilled to be dealing with someone so transparent in their unwelcome flirtations, but it wasn't as pronounced as before.
“Oh?” her mother asked mildly as they all crowded into the room, Pyrrha finally shutting the door behind her. “What about her?”
Clearing her throat, Ilia tried again. “Sh-she's being released from the hospital soon, but… I think she's, um, worried about how everyone will look at her when she gets out. So… s-so I thought- well, we said this was our fallback base until we found a new one, and I came here, but I didn't know you wouldn't be here when I got here, or I wouldn't have come! Sorry.”
“God, show a little backbone,” Raven muttered under her breath. Kali wasted no time in elbowing her in the gut.
“It's quite alright, dear. Blake, could you phone Yang and tell her what's transpired?”
“Of course.” Looking around at everyone there, she asked in a quieter voice, “And… what has ‘transpired’ again?”
While Kali guided her daughter into the kitchen and filled her in on recent events, and to make the call to Yang, Weiss and Pyrrha quickly approached the messenger. The latter asked, “What's the matter with Cinder?”
“What isn't? She won't see anyone but Salem - she won't even see Emerald anymore, and you know how close they were. Because of… o-of how she looks, and her pain, and…” The girl's eyes filled with tears as she looked away.
“Sorry,” Weiss whispered softly. “This is all my fault. And… oh, I'm so worried it's only going to get worse now.”
Ilia nodded regretfully. “Yeah. She really hates you now. But she's wrong - it's not any more your fault for having a dad like that than it's Yang's for going with you! Most of us understand! She just… she's really hurt, and needs somebody to… to blame.”
Trying her best to be patient, Pyrrha smiled down at her and asked, “What was it you wanted to do to help? You started to suggest something before, I think.”
“Oh, I did? Uh… gosh, I don't know. Just to go see her, maybe? She could use some support. But you're not a Dragon, so you shouldn't feel obligated.”
“Of course I’d go to see her. I may not be an official member, but I’m still your friend, aren’t I? A-and hers.” Her eyes lowered to stare at her saddle shoes. “Even if she seems to think we could be something, um… something else.”
Scoffing, Weiss patted her shoulder. “She’s delusional. You like that Jaune in class.”
“I do! I mean, he doesn’t seem to realise I like-like him, though.”
“What a conversation,” Raven grunted as she plopped into the armchair. Weiss turned to glare at her, but she raised a hand to ward off any admonitions. “Save your breath. I know the girl got hurt, and she probably feels like she’s never gonna have anybody ogle her gams again, and blah, blah, blah. Life really kicks you in the tail sometimes. But you have to grow up and move on.”
While Pyrrha was mouthing “Ogle her gams?”, Ilia frowned and said, “It’s not just a sprained ankle. She’s really in pain; she’ll never look the same way again. Or see the same; she might have to stop riding, and for a Dragon…” When Raven glared at her, she ducked her head and whispered, “Sorry. But it’s true.”
For once, Yang’s mother didn’t completely dismiss something a younger person was saying. “Yeah. Probably going to be a real drag.”
“We should go see her,” Weiss agreed with a nod. “She won’t want me there, but I’ll go as moral support for you guys, if you don’t mind.”
“That would be wonderful,” Ilia said with a smile.
Blake returned a moment later, looking a little sullen but resigned. If Weiss had to guess, she figured that Kali had stayed behind to call Yang - and probably whip up a batch of lemon squares for unexpected guests. As uncomfortable as she looked about it, the Italian Dragon wasted little time approaching the Schnee women.
“I'm sorry this is still happening. You shouldn't have to enlist protection just to go to your own house and get some clothes.”
Touched by her sentiment, Willow reached out to rest a hand on her shoulder. Blake looked a little surprised, but that was only because they had just met. “That's kind of you to say, dear. I agree that the situation is… well, I had hoped…” In the end, she seemed to realize that whatever she had been about to say would help nothing and fell silent.
“Can I ask you something?” When she didn't protest, Blake went on, “If he didn't mind hitting you with a belt a few times, I don't think… he would have any real problem doing it before now. Has he been? I mean, how often does this happen?”
Only now did a deep blush of pure shame fill Weiss’s mother's cheeks. Pyrrha tensed as if ready to intervene, and Weiss herself felt an impulse to pull Blake off to one side and ask her not to pour any more salt in this particular wound than was strictly necessary. But it appeared the Schnee matriarch was capable of answering on her own behalf.
“More than I would care to admit. But… probably far less than you are imagining now. Jacques was understandably frustrated with me because I couldn't face the harsher realities of the world. And I hid behind the wine. So… so he would lose his temper, and I wouldn't respond to the shouting, and…”
“And he decided to get your attention another way,” Raven grunted from her spot on the couch, voice full of disgust. “Typical. Small men like him love to feel big in any way they can.”
“Yeah,” Blake agreed, though she looked a little stunned at having to agree with Yang's mother.
“I'm so, so sorry,” Pyrrha told her gently as she wrapped her arms around the woman, patting her back gently. “I’m sorry we couldn’t do more.”
Weiss noticed in that moment that Ilia looked a little out of sorts, and she couldn't blame her - given that she was the only one in the room who had no direct connection to the drama within the Schnee dynasty. But that was just how things were going to be for a while.
Raven stayed planted where she was and the rest of them did their best to comfort Mrs. Schnee. Nobody had much to say until Kali returned from the kitchen. She was already dressed for leaving, and a weary but passive expression was in place.
“Alright, Yang has agreed to meet us at the hospital. Raven, would you mind staying here with Willow to keep her company?”
Ironically, Willow was probably the only person in the room who didn't realize that “keep her company” was a thinly-veiled euphemism for “bodyguard”. Raven simply nodded by way of response, moving to the couch and patting the cushion next to her to indicate Weiss's mother was to sit by her.
“Oh,” she sniffled numbly, moving to obey. Weiss fully understood why she would have no room left in her mind to put up much of a fight after all she had been through that day. She half-feared that Raven would put a hand on her thigh or some other terribly timed advance, but decided to trust her for the time being. She had proven herself worthy of such.
And the trust was well-placed. Raven only patted her shoulder as her mother watched the other women take their leave.
When the group first arrived at the hospital, they were turned away, told that the patient had instructed she not be disturbed. They had worried that would be the end of a wasted trip until they spotted Emerald emerging from the ward.
“Hey!” Blake bade her, racing to clasp her hands immediately. Weiss really wished the first thing she noticed wasn't the bright pink scars along her forearms, but she knew she now had matching ones on her stomach and her back - which greatly reduced the amount of sympathy she felt, no matter who had or hadn’t been drugged.
“Hey,” she answered shakily.
“How did you… I mean, I thought they were going to take you off to the slammer!”
“Well, I could tell they wanted to. But the doctors swore up and down that there was no way I could have known what I was doing with all that stuff pumping through my veins. So now that I'm clean, they had to turn me loose. It's, uh, still really scary but better than being in jail, I guess.”
Kali stepped forward and bowed her head slightly in greeting. “Glad to see you're recovering, dear. How is Cinder coming along?”
Immediately, all light left Emerald's eyes. She looked like a puppet that had its strings cut, completely devoid of life on the inside. Then she forced herself to take a long breath and smile at the older woman. “Better, a little. She's getting better everyday.”
“Then I'm glad to hear that, too. Do you think there's any chance we could see her? They refused us at the desk, I'm afraid.”
“Oh, I don't know…” Her eyes went straight to Weiss.
“She's paid her dues,” Blake put in. There might have been a little reluctance in her voice, but at least she had said it. That was worth its weight in gold.
“You're right, I know you are. But after the fire, and the raid on Junior's, she's not quite as fond of Schnee as she used to be.” In the end, she shrugged and turned back toward the doors into the ward. “Don't say I promised anything.”
By the time Emerald returned, Yang had arrived on the scene - on her recently-mended motorcycle, which she was highly pleased about - and spent the rest of their wait caressing and kissing Weiss's head, trying to reassure and comfort her as best she could. She was only glad her mother wasn't there to have to witness it; maybe it was better in the long run for her to start getting used to seeing such things, but the day had been hard enough on her already. Stacking more trauma on top of other trauma certainly wasn't going to help anything.
“Umm… she said she'd see you. But that she doesn't want Weiss getting too close. Or talking. O-or anything.”
“I get the message,” she grumbled as they moved to follow her.
Halfway down the hall, Yang hooked an arm around the back of Weiss's neck to pull her in close. “Don't listen to that pile of shaving cream. We both know the truth.”
“Yeah,” she sighed contentedly, leaning into the touch and the solace it provided. “You're right. That's what matters.”
Cinder Fall's hospital room was no more or less depressing than the one Weiss had spent so long in during her tenure there. A single potted sunflower graced the table by her bedside - likely from either Salem or Emerald. As for Cinder herself…
Weiss now realized that she hadn't got a good look at all the last time she paid her a visit. There were still bandages. Even after such a long convalescence, she still had bandages hiding the left half of her face and her left arm. Would they ever let her out?
When they entered, she already looked hollow. The look didn't change in the slightest when they approached, and the visible eye didn't turn in their direction.
“Hello, Cinder,” Kali attempted. No answer. “Feeling any better today?”
After a few painfully awkward seconds, Emerald whispered, “She shook her head when I asked that earlier.”
“I can answer for myself,” Cinder rasped. Her once-velvety voice now scraped out like gravel across sandpaper. Kali recovered a lot faster than the others, who were all busy wincing.
“Good, good. Then you can tell me why you wouldn't let us back here before.” When the marred Dragon only gritted her teeth and turned away, she folded her arms over her chest. “Hmm… seems you can't answer for yourself consistently. Maybe you shouldn't snap at your devoted companion for trying to help you.”
Taking some initiative, Blake stepped forward and asked, “Any word on when you'll get out?”
“Not since the last time,” Emerald added, this time ignoring the obvious irritation in Cinder's burning eye. “They're still saying ‘maybe another couple of weeks’ and that's as specific as they get.”
“You are really cruisin’ for a bruisin’,” Cinder muttered.
After the briefest of hesitations, Yang stepped forward and grinned, gesturing to the hastily lopped-off locks that were just barely hanging to Cinder's chin. “What a lazy fuzzy duck. Look at that hair! Didn't know you looked up to Vernal like that, copying her style and all.”
That did at least earn a little snort from the patient. But her eye was back to staring across the room at nothing. Any fool could tell that the scars on the surface were nothing compared to what had been done to her soul.
“It'll grow back,” Emerald whispered, sitting on the edge of her bed. “You'll see.”
“Yeah,” she rasped bitterly. Her voice got a little stronger the longer she spoke, but the smoke inhalation had done its temporary damage. “But the rest won't. They said… the burns are too deep. I'm ruined. Forever. And none of you understand even the slightest shred of how I feel. So you can all save your- your well-wishes and sunny words for somebody else. I don't want to see any of you. I don't want you in this room. Leave… me… alone.”
That really seemed to be all Cinder could stand. She said more than the last time Weiss tried to visit, though none of it could be viewed as an ‘improvement’. Yang, Ilia, and Emerald were already turning away, and Weiss was waffling, unsure of whether or not she ought to follow, when another voice spoke up.
“Can we see the damage?”
Cinder's visible eye went wide in mingling disbelief and anger as it swivelled in their direction. “Excuse me?”
“Well, you're right.” Pyrrha took a single, measured step toward the bed before she continued, “None of us know what you've been through. We can't without going through it ourselves. But maybe, if we saw the injuries, we could empathize a little better.”
“You can't be serious.”
Shaking her head, she looked down at her own lap. “You want to laugh at me; after all those passes I made at you, now you can gloat that I'm not good enough for you anymore. Should have known! Uppity Christian girls always love to feel smug and superior. Isn't that right, Weiss?”
She did open her mouth to respond to that barb, but Pyrrha beat her to the punch. “I won't laugh. Cross my heart.”
“What's that worth to me?” Eye squinting, she demanded, “If you laugh, you'll take off your blouse.”
“Cinder, really,” Kali sighed in pure exasperation.
“How is that not fair? She's asking me to expose myself! I'm only demanding she do the same if I have to suffer any ridicule or-”
“Deal,” Pyrrha cut across the budding argument. Then she took a few more steps closer. “Go on. Unless you're really that afraid of my reaction; I would understand.”
Weiss could see what her best friend was doing there, and she could scarcely believe it: goading Cinder, manipulating her into relenting to her demands. It was surprisingly underhanded from her! On the other hand, she thought she could tell where Pyrrha was going with this; if so, it was because she thought such manipulation was the only way to help Cinder. Even if it wasn't how she would normally choose to handle things, sometimes one has to work within the available options, no matter how less than ideal.
“Fine,” the bedridden girl growled, sitting up a little straighter and reaching for the bandages on her left arm. “You'll see. You're going to see right now, you pathetic little- nobody understands, you all think I'm…”
Weiss could see both Pyrrha and Kali twitching as if they would move to help her. She felt the same impulse; Cinder was a fiercely independent woman, but it was heartbreaking watching someone who had been so injured wrestling with bandages all on their own. But for the sake of her pride, they resisted.
Until they all gasped.
It was bad enough when she unravelled her arm, because they noticed there wasn't quite so much of it as there had been before. Huge chunks of the flesh on her forearm were gone, and worse still, her pinky and ring finger were completely missing. Though the upper arm was whole, it still bore several stretches of burns that would take as much time to heal as the rest of them.
Unfortunately, she wasn't done. As the gauze fell away from her face, they saw it looked no better than her forearm. The scar tissue stretched over the forehead and cheek, fading just above her lip and jaw. Some of it inched into her hairline, but it looked as if the hair was already growing back so the follicles were intact. But that wasn't the worst of it.
“Oh, your eye…” Blake looked as if she already regretted saying it by the time Weiss glanced at her, but she went on, “I'm so sorry, Cinder. I mean it, I can't imagine…”
It was a lot harder for Weiss to look into that gaping socket than the rest. Cinder could tell - she could tell all of them were having a harder time with that than the rest, even if Pyrrha was merely gazing at her, contemplative.
“Hand me that box.” When nobody moved, Cinder growled in annoyance. “Useless Dragons.” She reached for the side table herself, but Emerald got there first, passing it to her. “Guess we should try this so you all can close your damn mouths.”
There was a glass eye in the box. Cinder took it out, staring at it as if it were the enemy. Every inch of her being was rage, hatred, bitterness. She set it in her lap, then picked up her glass of water and hesitated again.
“I've only done this once. Just… they showed me how, but I haven't needed it since then. Bandages would be covering it up, anyway.”
Then the real struggle began. The remaining fingers on her left hand weren't recovered enough to be fully functional, and she wasn't able to hold the socket open enough to pop it in there. After the first few tries, she began shaking with frustration, which certainly didn't help matters.
“Here,” Pyrrha said, reaching for it. Cinder jerked it out of reach. “Let me help.”
“I don't need your help, Straightie.”
“You do. Don't you get tired of acting like a baby?”
Cinder's remaining eye flew open. Incensed, she glanced around at the rest of them, as if waiting for someone to jump to her defense - tell Pyrrha she was out of line.
“Don't look at me,” Yang snorted. “Had to have a lot of help putting on shirts and stuff from my mom while my shoulder was messed up - and you know how much I really wanna ask her for help.”
Already, the patient was completely caught off her guard. When Pyrrha sat on the edge of her bed, pulling the glass eye out of her numb grip, she started and drew back from her. “Wh-what… what are you trying to-”
“Can you pull down the skin under your eye for me?” she asked while dipping the little glass sphere in the water again. Cinder obeyed, too flabbergasted by everyone's reactions to her injuries when she had been so certain of what they would be. “Thank you. Here…”
Everyone in the room held their breath while Pyrrha used one thumb to push up her bald eyebrow and the other hand to ease the eye in. It did resist a bit, but eventually went where intended - and she only had to tap it once or twice to make its pupil aim in the same direction as the other one. For some reason, that was more disturbing for Weiss to watch than installing it in the first place.
“There,” she sighed at last, smiling in relief that she was finished and it had gone successfully.
“Thank you.” That was so unusual for Cinder to utter that she herself winced at how it sounded in her mouth. But when Pyrrha’s arm fell around her shoulders, she tensed and said, “Now what do you want?”
“Just getting comfortable. I'm visiting a friend, aren't I?”
“Are you? I thought you hated me hanging all over you. Making you uncomfortable. This was an easy excuse to put a stop to that; I wouldn't want some hideous freak hanging all over me, either. You could never darken my ‘hotel suite’ again and I would understand.”
Pyrrha's smile was gentle, but also bore a hint of mischief. “What do you mean? I'm sitting next to the strong, gorgeous, confident Cinder Fall. A little burn here and there doesn't change that. At least, I don't think so… and I know I'm not the only one.”
While Cinder was still goggling at that much, unable to fully comprehend the situation, Pyrrha used the hand behind Cinder's neck to crook a finger at Emerald, beckoning her over. When she approached, brown brow furrowing, the finger pointed down at the other side of the bed, where there was just enough space for her to sit. Still clearly not sure what she was doing, she sat.
“What are- Emerald, go away! Sit in the chair or s-something!”
Before Emerald could do as Cinder commanded, as she almost certainly would have, Pyrrha's other hand shot out to catch her hand and pull it over so that they were both resting on Cinder’s stomach. “Let her stay. She really wants to be close to you.”
“No, she doesn't! She's just… pitying me, like everyone else wants to pity me! God, you're all so, so…” But she couldn't seem to come up with a word for what they were.
“Is she? I think it's more than that. I may be a ‘straightie’, whatever that is, but I've seen the way she looks at you. Maybe you should just ask her.”
Looking more distressed than Weiss could ever remember her looking, Cinder glanced first at the rest of them, then up at Pyrrha. Then, very slowly, she turned to the green-haired friend who had been by her side all along.
“You'd better not be harboring some secret crush, Emerald. We tried things and they didn't work out. I'm just…” Almost begging now, her expression softened very slightly as she went on, “I’m a bed-and-forget kind of girl. You know that! Stop forcing some weird feelings on me that you know I can't return!”
Emerald shrugged her shoulders, dusky cheeks blushing a deeper shade as she looked away. “It's not a secret.”
“I never tried to keep it a secret. After that time we… well, that time, I told you how I felt, and you rejected me. Said I should stop making a big deal about nothing. So… I haven't brought it up again because I didn't want to make you uncomfortable.” Passion rose in her voice as she went on, “Didn't mean those feelings went away. You're still the only one for me! I don't care if… if I'm not the one for you. That's fine, and I can accept it. But it doesn't mean I'll stop being your best friend.”
No one else in the room breathed or made a sound. Ilia did cough, but it seemed to be honestly involuntary, not as an excuse to break the silence.
“Why?” Her voice broke, and moisture began to leak from the corner of her good eye. “I'm… I am the worst bitch in the whole world. You deserve so much better.”
“What about those other women? Like this one right here?” She nodded toward Pyrrha, who only rolled her eyes at the attention being returned to her when she had specifically turned it away on purpose. “Don't they deserve better, too? I mean, she turned out to be alright.”
“Thank you,” Pyrrha laughed, amused at the phrasing.
“If they let a bitch like me pound them into the bed and dump them, they deserve to be dumped. I don't respect weakness; I respect strength.” Cinder’s eyes flicked over to the tall redhead. “If you gave in, I would have blown your mind… but lost respect for you since you didn't stick to your guns. You stood your ground. You're strong.”
She nodded, slightly pleased at the compliment hidden amongst the harsher words. “Well, that's… I suppose I understand how you would see it that way. And I don't know anything about sex, to be honest. But I'm…” With a little shrug, she rushed ahead, “What you see as a weakness, I think it's a kind of strength. To give someone your heart and trust that they'll take care of it for you? It's stronger than the fear telling you to protect yourself.”
“What do you know about it?!” she snapped, though the tears and scratchiness in her voice gave her words less bite than usual. “You've never even been with anyone, man or woman!”
“I haven't. Maybe I'm just not ready.”
“Oh, but Emerald and I are? I don't know the first thing about… about being someone's girlfriend! I'm a selfish, abrasive, aggressive, horrible woman! Why would I inflict that on an incredible friend like her?!” By now, Emerald was in shock, staring open-mouthed, but Cinder couldn't seem to stop. “Of course I've noticed her looking at me that way, like sh-she wanted to neck again! But… but what does she know about being in a relationship, either? So it was just better if we pretended… oh, you ruined it, you idiots!”
If the room was quiet before, it was a tomb now. Emerald started to get up, to retreat, but Pyrrha held her fast; she seemed to think they needed to finish that conversation.
“You… you could tell?” she breathed, mortified. Cinder nodded in defeat. “But I thought you weren't… interested in… with me, so I let go of…”
“I'm not. You're better than some tramp. You're my best friend, my right arm - or I guess my left, since that's the one that got roasted.” Yang did let out a soft chuckle, subdued as it was. “Why mess with success? Especially now that I'm like this.”
Pyrrha fielded this one. “Like what? A few scars aren't enough to eclipse the great Cinder Fall.”
“Oh yeah?” Her smirk was a good attempt, but didn't even come close to her usual haughtiness. “I wasn't great enough to get you into bed.”
“I'm not interested in women. But…” When she tucked a strand of hair behind her ear, flashed a shy smile, Weiss finally realized that Pyrrha might have been spending more time with the Dragons than she previously realized… because she was flirting with disaster in a very literal sense. “You did shake my faith in that more than anyone else has.”
Cinder squinted up at her while the other women in the room looked on and sheer shock. Ilia and Blake glanced between each other, and Kali shook her head with a little smile; she definitely saw the moment for what it was, experienced as she was herself.
“Hmm… well, Little Miss Nikos, you may have to wait until my arm heals. Can't drive your body wild with only one good hand.”
“Really? I suspect what you mean is… you can't drive both of us wild with only one good hand.”
Emerald looked as shocked as Cinder. But when the latter turned to look at her in disbelief, stunned and a little bemused, Pyrrha chanced a wink at the other woman. Then she began to move their hands in a circle over Cinder's stomach. Picking up on her intentions at last, Emerald chanced a coy little grin and added her own efforts, teasing her through the hospital gown so much that she looked away from both of them, cheeks and neck filling with color.
This was really happening. Cinder Fall was blushing.
“Yeah,” Emerald finally giggled. “Pretty ambitious, even for you, Cin.”
“You two are really proud of yourselves, huh? T-teasing me when I'm injured and recovering? Very nice. Take advantage of the handicapped.”
“You don't seem like the type to make excuses,” Pyrrha said with a soft smile. Her other hand reached up to comb through her patient's hair, which from her side of the bed meant caressing her face on her way there. Weiss couldn't believe what she was seeing! Not only her best friend petting scar tissue, which was a little icky, but making the formidable Cinder a blushing, flustered mess.
Worse: an emotional mess. “But I'm…” Another tear slid down her unmarked cheek, voice smaller and more fragile than any of them had ever heard it before. “I'm so ugly now.”
It was obvious Pyrrha was about to reply, say something comforting. But this time, Emerald beat her to the punch. Her hand released Pyrrha's and lifted to tilt Cinder's head upward, meeting her eyes with her own.
“Like you weren't ugly before.”
Even while the other girl sitting on her bed was gasping in shock at the insult, the first real laugh she had enjoyed in weeks bubbled up from Cinder's stomach. “You really are terrible.” The others laughed in relief as the two smiled at each other. When Pyrrha moved to stand, she said without looking away, “Where are you going?”
“Oh, I… well, it seemed like you two wanted a moment alone.”
“Don't be ridiculous. You all came to see me; I'd hate to seem ungrateful and kick you out just so I can… rediscover Emerald.” While the named girl grinned goofily, she turned away and patted the bed, asking Pyrrha to sit again. She did, looking very slightly less confident but still satisfied with her own results. “And… I suppose I should apologize for how unwelcoming I was at first. Wallowing in my own misery; you're right, that isn't who I am.”
“Of course it isn't,” Weiss said with a smile - which vanished when Cinder's normally burning eyes shot a cold gaze in her direction. “Uh… hi.”
“Your father did this.”
“Yes, I- well, about tha-”
“Come here.” She approached, a little too guilty to refuse - even if she knew in her heart she had no reason to feel guilty. “Emerald tells me you have a new scar. Since I had to bare my shame in front of everyone, mind if we compare?”
“It's not like I haven't seen more from you before.”
That was true. Hoping it would make it feel less like a violation, she was quick about nipping her shirt up to expose the little pink scar on her stomach. Then she turned to show the longer one at the respective position on her back. To her shock, gentle fingers caressed the scar, and she shivered as goosepimples broke out over her skin. The touch was surprisingly kind, given the person it was attached to. Blake let out a wolf whistle.
“You're forgiven. For whatever small role you played in the fire being set. You could have come after one or both of us for revenge for this wound, and you didn’t. And… I suppose there's no reason to mistrust you anymore. You’ve proven your loyalty over and over, and I was holding onto a grudge that didn’t really exist. I know better than anyone that you can’t help who your parents are.”
Feeling a little too self-conscious, Weiss waited for Cinder to stop petting her. When she didn’t, she turned back around and yanked her shirt down again. “Alright, you masher! Stop being so greedy when you already have a girl on each arm!”
Everyone else in the room laughed. After a moment or two, Weiss joined in; it was nice that they were getting along again, and could enjoy some moment of levity in the midst of so much despair. And even though they might have their differences, she was honestly glad to see Cinder getting back to being her old self again. Maybe now that she had Emerald and they could be open about their feelings, she could find some true happiness instead of fleeting moments of distraction. They all deserved that much.
Two Months Ago
November 24th, 2022
Christen slowly rubbed her belly as the car started slowing down to stop in front of her parent's house. It was a maternal habit she had immediately picked up around her fifth month of pregnancy. She was now eight months, due sometime in mid-December. She was huge, something she had been struggling with for a time but Dallas had always reassured she was beautiful each and every time. Christen was ready for her little one to come out, anticipation of having a mini-me around seemed so exciting. She could hardly wait.
Dallas had parked, turning to Christen.
"Are you sure you're okay?" Dallas looked concerned, scared that his wife was hiding something from him.
"Yes, I'm sure. Just feeling a little big today." She sighed.
"You're beautiful baby, and even more so that you're carrying our angel. It'll never change." Dallas reassured, pulling her head down to meet his lips. His hand smoothly rubbed over Christen's belly as Christen sighed in contentment. Sometimes she needed to be reassured.
Dallas smiled at her before exiting the car to come to her side, helping her out. Christen heaved herself up against Dallas's weight before straightening her black sweater dress. She had taken a waddle up once she hit her third trimester, her back consistently making her ache, but she didn't mind.
"Ready?" Dallas questioned, making sure all of the food packed and Christen were okay.
She nodded, beginning her penguin walk while Dallas quietly chuckled in the background. He loved her walk. The fact that it was caused by their own creation made it special to him. He wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. Christen stepped up the stairs slowly, huffing breaths from exhaustion. It seemed like every time she did anything, she was short of breath.
Christen immediately opened the door as she stepped in front, seeing no reason to wait as this was her own home.
Everyone had cheered as they walked through door, swarming around Christen and her big belly. Her mood had immediately shifted from calm to annoyed. She hadn't been big on touching lately, besides from Dallas. The feel of having multiple people around since she had revealed she was pregnant had been challenging. She normally would want tons of hugs and warm touches, but lately she hadn't wanted any of it. Being uncomfortable pregnant was enough without all the maneuvering she had to do to even hug someone. She'd rather avoid it.
"Did you guys make it safely?" Christen's mother asked once they got settled.
"Yes mom." Christen rolled her eyes, her mother the epitome of worrisome.
"We did Maria, thank you." Dallas replied, his hand smoothing over Christen's bangs as she leaned into him appreciating the warmth he'd given her.
"I know baby, you're ready for this to be over." Maria sat down next to her daughter, patting her knee. "She'll be here before you know it."
Christen groaned, "I want her out now. I'm ready to sleep normally again."
Dallas chuckled lowly into Christen's head, rubbing her shoulder.
"Alright guys, time to eat." Christen's dad called from the kitchen.
Dallas removed himself swiftly, his hands held out to pull Christen up. She stumbled slightly as he pulled a little too hard, but quickly balanced herself again. They all led themselves into the kitchen, cousins and grandparents crowded around the table.
"So, how long are you going to be off work after the pregnancy Dallas?" Christen's grandpa, Jack Collins, asked.
"About three months, longer if we don't find a nanny within that time frame."
"A nanny?" Christen's grandmother, Lucille Collins, exasperated. "In my day, the wife was a stay at home mother. You don't want to do that Chrissy?"
Christen screamed internally, her grandmother always a "do-it-my-way" figure. She didn't like when someone stepped out of those boundaries, and being a full time wife and mother was one of those boundaries.
"I figured we'd both go back to work, me in the gallery and him at the office. Life doesn't stop even when children come into the picture Gam." Christen forced a smile, her voice short.
Lucille scoffed, "You should always be in your children's life. You miss all the important milestones when you hire someone to take care of your child."
"Well it's 2022, not 1963." Christen snapped, her patience wearing thin. She wanted the discussion dropped and she wasn't in the mood to argue. Everyone around the table had gone quiet, their utensils clanking awkwardly against the expensive china Christen's parents always pulled out for the holidays.
"I think it's time to play White Elephant, don't you guys?" Her father announced, the tension relieved once the family tradition had been suggested.
Everyone piled their dishes into the kitchen and immediately moved into the family room.
January 19th 2023
"Can we come in?" Andrew asked softly, not wanting to set the woman off.
Caroline debated silently, her mind reeling as she looked over the two people in Dallas's life she knew about very well. Christen especially. Dallas and Caroline had met three years ago at a bar in Times Square. Unfortunately she had learned the next morning that Dallas was married when he had lost his mind over the drunken mistake. Caroline had felt terrible, both of them highly intoxicated without anyone to stop what had been done.
Dallas had apologized profusely, leaving shortly thereafter. Unfortunately a month later, Caroline had found she was pregnant and a few more weeks later, with twins. A boy and a girl. She knew she had to contact Dallas, he had deserved the right to know.
Dallas had been less than happy to hear the news the day she had called the office. He went ballistic, cursing to the Gods. He calmed over the next few days eventually giving Caroline a sensible situation, her to be a secret.
They had gone no further than a friendly hug and a doctor's appointment but after the third trimester, they had quickly become more. Lingering touches and stolen kisses had become a thing and before they knew it, sex had been involved along with feelings. The twins had been born and Dallas promised to leave Christen. In the mean time, however, she would stay up here and wait.
"Sure." Caroline swallowed.
"I'm sure you know who this is?" Andrew pestered, seeing if the woman would lie.
Caroline nodded her head, ashamed and guilty. "Yes, it's nice to meet you Christen."
Christen found herself to be strangely quiet, not quite feeling the moment to be real. She was looking her husband's mistress in her face on her own porch and Christen couldn't help but feel her blood boil.
All three of them walked through the home, a hallway dividing the rooms in between. Overall the house was lovely, hints of Dallas everywhere Christen looked. Pictures of him had been posted everywhere with their family. Christen's heart tugged in hurt as she eventually looked down at her feet.
Andrew was disgusted, silent murderous rage filling his body as he thought about bringing Dallas back to life just to kill him again. He was utterly appalled, he never knew his best friend since college could do such a thing. His fingers interlaced with Christen's as he noticed her state. She wouldn't look anywhere, her curls covering most of her face as she kept eye contact with the floor.
"Would you guys like anything to drink?" Caroline offered.
"A water would be nice." Andrew suggested.
Caroline nodded and pulled herself to the fridge, producing two bottles of water.
"May I ask why you two came to visit me?" Caroline finally sliced the room full of tension.
"The insurance policy needs to be handled." Andrew curtly stated, infuriated by the fact that this woman was bold and daring. In a moment like this, she didn't have the right to ask any questions.
Caroline nodded, "What did you guys need to know?"
"Did you even feel guilty sleeping with a married man or is that the whore in you?" Christen asked, her courage had finally found a voice.
Caroline was taken aback, not surprised by the accusation but nevertheless shocked that Christen had asked it in this certain way. She cleared her throat and swallowed," Listen, what happened between Dallas and I will stay between us, even if he no longer is here."
"Well it's Christen's business now since she now has to file for you to be taken care of, so make this trip worth our while and she may consider giving you a part of her trust." Andrew worded slowly, driving each word home.
Caroline felt intimidated, Dallas had said Andrew was a gentle giant. It was nothing like the steel gentleman before her. "Ask away then."
"When did the affair start?" Christen murmured.
"May 2020." Caroline offered. "We met at a bar in Times Square and we had sex."
"That's the night you conceived the twins?" Andrew questioned.
Caroline nodded and Christen became sick. That was the month she had had the third miscarriage. Each one hurt more than the last, she would make it tiny bits farther but it would always end up with her in a hospital bed for 24 hours and bed rest immediately after. Caroline had conceived just fine. Christen knew it had been her. The reason conceiving had been impossible was on her end.
"Did you ever feel any remorse?" Christen swallowed, her mind unraveling.
Caroline sighed deeply, "In moments I did, but I won't lie, for the most part no."
Christen nodded, taking in her words.
"And what were Dallas' thoughts?" Andrew pressed.
"H- He felt guilty, every night and day. He would always talk about you and how much it hurt to cheat. He said that his fear of hurting you overrode his guilty conscience." Caroline admitted.
Christen finally had gotten a good look at Caroline. She was wearing a ratty old tee, no doubt Dallas' and a pair of leggings and white fuzzy socks. Her blonde hair was in a sloppy bun and her face was swollen as if she had been crying all night.
Christen was mindful of her next question. She wanted to stir the pot.
"Why didn't either one of you stop if you both felt guilty?"
Caroline took a deep breath, "We loved each other."
Christen froze, as did Andrew. Andrew wanted to strangle her from across the coffee table that was placed strategically in front of them. She had the audacity to claim such a thing but in Andrew's mind, Dallas had loved neither one of them. He loved the game of forbidden treats. He knew Dallas too well, that Dallas wanted his cake and to eat it too. Andrew thought he had changed when he met Christen but he had been dead wrong.
Andrew flicked his eyes over to Christen, her reaction being gauged. He didn't know what Christen was feeling, she wasn't even looking up from the coffee table. She simply had her arms folded under her chin with her fingers splayed across her mouth.
Christen didn't want to ask any more questions, it seemed like all the ones she had before had disappeared into thin air. She didn't want to learn any new secrets about Dallas. Everything she had learned already had been enough. Although, there were a couple questions she needed answered.
"Did you know Dallas was part of illegal activity?" Christen voiced.
Caroline nodded sheepishly.
Another thing Christen didn't know.
"It wasn't by him telling me. I had just caught a couple of transactions going through his bank when he asked me to check his bank account. A lawyer only makes so much. He confessed when I started asking too many questions." Caroline admitted.
So she had known everything, from the imminent danger that always lurked around to his relationship with Christen. She had known his finances and every back door about Dallas. So exactly why had Dallas kept Christen around? It seemed that he had everything and more up here with Caroline.
"He loved you...Christen," Caroline started. "He loved you so much that he wouldn't leave. He talked about you all the time, and I know you've got so many things coming through you right now but do not ever doubt what he felt for you." She sounded broken, as if this was hard for her to admit.
Christen shook, in hurt and anger. "Do not tell me what you think. It doesn't justify what I know."
Caroline nodded, preceding to back off. She didn't want to cause any more harm to anyone. She had the damage in front of her. Christen looked, in literal terms, broken. She had bruises on her face, her tight brown curls layered around her forehead and cheeks. She looked to be breathing hard and from what Caroline had heard, she had been beaten with a bat before she was knocked out.
"I think it's time to go. The lawyers will be in contact." Andrew softly spoke, standing up from the teal colored couch.
Caroline stood along with him, Andrew reaching out to pull Christen from the couch. Christen winced, the sharp pain of her ribs catching her.
"Are you okay?" Andrew worriedly questioned.
"Are the meds in the car?"
"Yes, should be in the glove compartment." Andrew answered to Christen.
Caroline stayed quiet, her heart hurting for Christen. She had no right, that she knew. But she couldn't help but place herself at the scene, imagining herself in Christen's shoes. Caroline watched Christen cautiously, ready to jump to her aid. She may have done heinous acts but that didn't take away from her caring nature.
Christen made it to the front door slowly but surely, Andrew's aid helping immensely. Caroline held the door open so no further obstruction could hinder Christen's progress.
"I know this really isn't my place. I just want to say I'm sorry. Things between Dallas and I...they should have never happened. There's nothing I could say or do, that would make this better." Caroline ejected.
Christen's blood boiled but she held her tongue. She had nothing further to say to Dallas's mistress. Andrew nodded to her apology before escorting Christen to the car. Andrew slid Christen in the car softly, aware to not stir her abruptly before he grabbed the pills and put them in her hand.
Christen gulped the pills down quickly, begging internally for the pain to stop. Nothing could make the pain in her heart go away. Dallas had ripped her to shreds and seeing Caroline today had done the final tinge on her heart. She had kids with the love of her life. She had gotten everything in life that Christen had wanted.
Christen hadn't realized that tears were now streaming down her face until Andrew gripped her hand from her face and shushed her. Christen wailed, her body racked with sobs. Andrew didn't know what to do, however streams of tears followed his face as well. After a few minutes, Christen finally calmed. Her body shook from time to time but Andrew could tell the worst was over, for now.
Christen stayed silent as Andrew gripped her hand and started the car. His thumb pressed against the push to start and off they were.
Christen for the most part had slept throughout the car ride. The darkness enveloping them as the trip to the motel back in town was almost over. Andrew quietly looked over at Christen's sleeping frame, detailing her. Her curls draped across her face as she breathed quietly. Her pink lips were parted slightly due to the positioning of her hand against her right cheek. Her lashes fluttered against her cheeks as she moved slightly to make herself comfortable. Andrew was entranced. He saw Christen for what she was, not for what she put on.
Andrew pulled into an empty parking lot, the motel lights lit up the dark scenery. Trees lined the property, slightly moving in the wind. There were a couple of other cars, but for the most part the motel was vacant.
He triple checked Christen's sleeping state before moving out of the car to grab a room for Christen and him. The steps to the reception office had him on edge, but his feelings were kept in check. He couldn't be a weakling now.
The receptionist, the same from the night before was here again.
"Another night?" the clerk asked.
Andrew breathed out a snort, "Unfortunately."
The clerk rolled his eyes and took the card that was held between Andrew's slim hand. Andrew looked around the place briefly. The lights were dingy, the floors were dirty, and the furniture in the lobby was tore in multiple places. Andrew wondered how this place was even still open, what with the lack of customers and upkeep.
Andrew quickly gripped his card back and stumbled out of the office area to help Christen upstairs. As he grasped his thoughts, he opened Christen's door to find her awake. Her curls were pulled towards the back of her head in a messy bun. Strands of small curls framed her face, blocking some of the damage done by her attackers. He still thought she was the most beautiful woman in the world, despite everything she'd been through in the last week.
Christen clung to his arm as she pulled herself out of the sedan. She hated feeling this way, helpless. It only made her thoughts worse. She still had so many unanswered questions for Caroline and Dallas. But one was someone she hated, the other is dead. She couldn't bare sitting another minute with the woman who got her life way before she had actually started hers.
As Christen started to move, her ribs began to throb heavily. With a sharp intake of breath, she doubled over, causing Andrew to catch her immediately.
"What's wrong? What hurts?" his frantic voice and hands moving around her.
"Meds, please." Christen gritted out.
He immediately moved Christen to the side of the car to hold her weight before going to grab her medication. The rattle of the pills in the bottle calmed Christen down, at least she wouldn't be in any physical pain for awhile. The emotional pain was something she hadn't quite grasped yet. After swallowing her two white pills, she stretched up slowly to ease her pain. Andrew caught her as she stumbled and pulled her arm around his neck so she could have some balance.
The walk to the room was silent, no words spoken between Andrew and Christen. Neither one of them knew what to say. What exactly was there to say? 'I'm sorry your husband cheated on you and got himself killed by doing illegal business?' or 'I'm sorry that your best friend wasn't who you thought he was?'. Neither option sounded like one the other wanted to hear.
As soon as they had stepped into the room, Andrew had placed Christen on the couch and went to the kitchen.
"Coffee?" Andrew's voice sounded.
Christen nodded, even though it was late, she couldn't help but want coffee to soothe whatever she was feeling. The Keurig coffee machine began to whir, keeping Christen occupied with her thoughts.
Christen stared out of the window to the empty parking lot, "What am I supposed to do Drew?"
Her voice was soft, tears laden in the thickness.
"I don't know." He answered quietly.
The Year of Magical Thinking, Ch.1
Francis Sinclair believed Arthur Morgan had not finished living. In a second chance at life, Arthur discovers what it means to love himself.
At the edge of a precipice and nowhere to run, Arthur concedes defeat. In an extraordinary turn of events, he is sent through the ether to another time where his path crosses with a group not too unlike his own family. After discovering the fate of those he loved before, he races to find a way back. But what if he realizes that there is something worth staying for in this new world? Can two people separated by nearly a hundred and twenty years of living find their happily ever after?
So…Super nervous posting this. It’s the first time in a few years that I’ve written anything (the first fandom-centered work I’ve written since like 2005 lmao; Gilmore Girls anybody?) and it shows. But, alas, I’ve been incredibly inspired by RDR2’s story and the way other authors on Tumblr & AO3 have expanded on it. Shit guys, dunno if anybody is even going to read this, but I’ll push it out of the nest and into the world regardless. This may be the stupidest idea ever, but whatever, I’ll let y’all decide. A warning: This is not beta'd, but I reread it like 50 times. Still, I apologize for my terrible grammar. And, yes, I have shamelessly lifted the title from Joan Didion’s fantastic book. It just fit. So. Well. I’m terribly uncreative, so please forgive me Joan. Also, my only knowledge of 1920s-speak comes from F. Scott Fitzgerald, Clara Bow movies and Googling. I don’t know if anybody ever really said ‘old sport’, but what the hell. On another note, there will be a few things taken from the GTA universe, but it's minimal (San Andreas/Liberty City do not exist). I'll be explaining through a secondary character how states in RDR became the modern states that we know. And finally, constructive criticism welcomed and appreciated!! Anyway, here's Wonderwall...
Warning: This is me working through my “stuff” vicariously through Arthur Morgan and co.
The Year of Magical Thinking
Chapter 1 - Prologue (or A Dream of Arthur Morgan)
Roanoke Valley - 1899
Peace settled over Arthur Morgan like a warm embrace; the rattle in his lungs that had invaded his every waking moment these past few months now a distant feeling. With each labored rise and fall of his chest, drowning in his own blood, he spared but one final thought.
It’s over. It’s finally over and death would soon come for him.
This wasn’t how Arthur had envisioned his death. No, he had always thought he would die with a bullet in his chest and cordite in his lungs. Not at the behest of disease and treachery. Such a shame that wisdom should only come to him on his deathbed. If only…
That’s what it came down to, that’s what it always comes down to. If only, if only, if only, his mind repeated nonstop. Regrets, Arthur had plenty of them. For months, he had been sinking so far in regrets, he could scarcely breathe. What could he have done differently that would have given a better outcome? How had he not seen Dutch’s descent into mania? Arthur supposed that maybe he had seen but chose to ignore, because when had Dutch ever led them astray.
Micah. Arthur had so many regrets about that goddamn snake. Micah had attached to Dutch like a leech and sucked every drop of the very lifeblood of the gang. He had played on all of Dutch’s insecurities and weaknesses. Arthur’s eyes were finally open, for all the good it did him now. But that rat was only one of the last in a long line of regrets he would have in his life. Arthur’s craving for penance started long before Micah came along.
Maybe Arthur himself was the leech, a disease – an infection. Death and pestilence followed him around like an acrid smell. It was something that seeped into his skin, clawed its way inside like a cancer until it reached his soul, the very center of him. Not happy with just him, it carried through the air and infected everything he had ever cared for or loved. His mother, Hosea, Mary, Eliza and –
Isaac. Arthur still had trouble even saying his name, so wrapped up in guilt as he was. During the rare times he found himself alone, thoughts of the little towheaded boy would invade his mind. Being rightly familiar with cowardice, he would press the tips of his fingers to his skull until they felt like ten dull knives, as if to physically rid himself of the painful memories. Of course, this rarely worked and he was resigned to suffer through the punishment he subconsciously forced upon himself. And now, as he laid on the jagged gravel of this cliff, he finally welcomed the comforting mental images of his son.
Feeling the weight of a life lived recklessly lift slowly from his mind, Arthur turned his head towards the setting sun, his final thought being: I gave it all I had.
Francis Sinclair had one rule:
Don’t mess with the timeline.
It had seemed so easy in its simplicity. In the beginning, that is, until it wasn’t. He hadn’t counted on Arthur Morgan. For a bad man, he sure did a lot of good. Probably more than he realized. When Francis had asked the outlaw to find the futuristic rock carvings, he hadn’t expected Mr. Morgan to deliver. Especially not in a matter of months. Chronos himself probably would have found the task trying.
So, in 1932, when Francis had read about the fate of the Van der Linde Gang in a new hit novel by J. R. Miller, he learned that the coppers had closed in on his ole friend, and well, that just wouldn’t do. He understood that he wouldn’t be able to find Mr. Morgan in the time needed to prevent the most unfortunate aspects of his fate, but he could prevent the ultimate one. What he didn’t expect was to find the man with one arm in a Chicago Overcoat.
Francis pulled the horse-drawn buckboard to a stop in a clearing next to the crag and hopped down. The air was calm and filled with the late evening chatter of the local fauna. He jogged the incline of the rock until a recumbent figure came into his field of view. It wasn’t until he was a few feet away that he noticed the extent of the man’s injuries. His blue shirt stained brown, gone was the desperado’s worn black leather hat, in its place a matte of blood and dirt in his previously honeyed blonde hair. His once handsome face gaunt, his ashen skin a mess of bruises and cuts. One eye was swollen shut, blood trickling down the corner of his mouth. Was he even breathing? Francis was running out of time.
“You’ve a lot more living yet, old sport,” the red-head crouched down and placed two fingers against the outlaw’s throat finding a slow, but steady pulse. “Yes, a lot more.”
Mr. Morgan groaned.
“Come on, we gotta find a way to get ya on your gams, ya follow?” Francis grabbed the man’s arm and tried to pull him into a sitting position. Morgan was having none of that.
“Let me– let me die, damn you,” he wheezed on an exhale.
“No, no you poor little bunny. Can’t do that. Now up you go,” Francis pulled once more, this time succeeding.
In a broken voice, Arthur pleaded, “Goddamnit, jus’ let me alone. ‘M so damn tired.” When he finally raised his head and opened his good eye, a look of recognition passed over his face. “You– “
“Yes, me. Now, let’s scoot. You don’t have much time, Mr. Morgan.” Francis placed the man’s arm over his own shoulders, Arthur allowing himself to be hauled into standing.
Arthur weakly protested, “’M dyin’, Mr. Sinclair. I’m a dead man. Ain’t no use in helpin’ a dead man.”
Francis just laughed and replied with the strain of half-carrying a grown man in his voice, “No, Mr. Morgan. As I said before, you’ve a lot more living left to do. Now, conserve your strength.”
Likely out of exhaustion, the outlaw did not say another word. They barely made it to the buckboard before Arthur collapsed. Just before Morgan would have fallen to his knees, Francis used the momentum to haul the man into the back of the wagon. As Francis grabbed each of the larger man’s legs to swing into the bed, Arthur’s breath rasped in his throat, “Why you doin’ this?”
Francis regarded him for a moment before saying, “Because you helped me get outta a pretty big pickle.” He paused, then smiled, “And because you’re terribly important to a lot of people, baby.” And with that, Francis climbed back up to the seat and flicked the reigns.
Arthur’s plan to die in peace had been upended by a curious red-haired fellow in a blue sweater. With no energy to ruminate further, he resolved to die in the bed of this damn wagon. As the cart trudged backed to the main road, Arthur’s worn body felt every mound and stone the wheels rolled over. Finally, on a relatively smooth surface, he allowed himself to observe his surroundings. Tall pines and hemlock blurred into each other passing in his periphery as he stared at the spattering of stars visible through dark clouds. The sun had officially set in the last thirty minutes and all that remained a reddish orange hue near the horizon. Above him though, what a sight indeed. Bright stars twinkled along the Milky Way, like God himself spread them with a paintbrush across the sky.
Why had he taken all this for granted? So many nights spent under these same stars, but Arthur never really paid them any mind except for navigation. How many years before the artificial lights of the cities overpowered their natural beauty? Unable to ponder any longer and continue the fight to stay conscious, Arthur resigned to close his eyes and place complete trust in the relative stranger.
What felt like moments later, or hours Arthur was unsure, cold droplets of water forced his good eye open once again. A murmur of thunder rolled in the distance. Mr. Sinclair finally turned around, his voice deafened by the creaking of the wagon and heavy breathing of the horses.
“We are just a minute away. I think we’ll make it before the worst of the storm hits.”
But like an omen fitting of this night, Sinclair was wrong. What began as random drops here and there crescendoed into a torrential downpour. The red-haired fellow should have known that hitching his wagon to the outlaw would herald an abundance of bad luck. Unable to shield himself and too tired to care, Arthur welcomed the deluge as if it would wash him away.
Mr. Sinclair halted the horses and hopped down from the buckboard once more. He appeared in Arthur’s line of sight as he unlatched the tailgate, setting down a lantern and grabbing the larger man’s arms in another tug-of-war to get him sitting. Water poured down his face and converged at his chin.
“We just have to ankle about ten feet to the opening,” Sinclair hollered over the rain. “You ready?”
At this point, Arthur would have conjured up his most intimidating mien but there was no energy for that. “No,” he answered defeated.
Unperturbed, the younger man smiled, “That’s the spirit.”
Grabbing Arthur’s arms, Mr. Sinclair placed one across his shoulders. When he hauled the outlaw into standing position, Arthur’s world tilted. Feeling unable to breathe and so lightheaded, he launched into a series of hacking coughs. Blood splattered against his hand and mixed with the rain, diluting until it turned into a river of pink down his arm. He looked to Sinclair. Wet hair plastered to his forehead; the cold of the rain made the strange man’s curious birthmark stand out all the more against pale skin.
“When you gonna see that I’m already dead?” His weakened voice barely heard above the storm.
The redhead looked at him, “Please, just trust me.”
They began their short journey to wherever it was they were going, walking only yards but feeling like miles. By the time they reached what appeared to be a cave entrance, Arthur’s knees buckled and his vision went black. He would have felt hitting the ground, if he’d been conscious. Coming to seconds later, he became aware of his arms being tugged above his head. Mr. Sinclair was apparently dragging him. Deep down, Arthur briefly admired the man’s grit. However, the sentiment was soon replaced by annoyance and near-agony as the sensation of what felt like an elephant settled atop his chest. In and out of consciousness, Arthur realized they had stopped when Sinclair crossed the threshold to grab the lantern at the mouth of the cave. The red-haired man set the lantern between the outlaw and the cave wall and then perched above his head, grabbing both of his arms by the wrists. Arthur could see the younger man’s mouth moving but could not discern the words, only comprehending ‘listen’ and ‘your hands’.
Sinclair then placed Arthur’s large hands against the cool stone wall. Even in his delirious state, he recognized the carvings he had previously found for the peculiar fellow. He could feel the vibrations of the man’s voice behind him in what felt like a chant, but he still could not determine the words. To Arthur’s astonishment, the outlines in the rock began glowing a mute bluish color. What began as a slight tingling in his fingertips turn into full body experience. Reality dissolved into nothingness and became a pure void. And then –
Every single moment in his hard life experienced again but in hundred times the speed. This must be it, Arthur thought. God must be forcing him to relive every chapter of his rotten existence before He banished him to the fiery pits of Hell. Familiar faces began to permeate his view. Arthur tried in vain to reach out at the image of his mother. Beatrice Morgan may have been alive for only a small portion of his life, but he would carry her memory with him forever in the form of a flower at his bedside. Unpleasant memories began to flash as Lyle Morgan pervaded his vision. The son of a bitch had been a vile presence in his young days, a man who Arthur would live in fear of until the moment they finally hanged him. Arrested for larceny, his death hadn’t come soon enough.
And then Hosea appeared, someone Arthur had thought of as more of a father than even Dutch. The man had been convinced by the raven-haired outlaw to take a chance on a scared gangly boy who had just tried to rob their room. Starved and desperate for family, Arthur had latched onto the men soaking up anything they would teach him. And teach him they had.
More memories raced by, and Arthur caught sight of a beautiful brown-haired girl. Mary Gillis, the visage of her still enough to stir his pulse, laughed and blushed like a young woman in love. Even in the inevitability of their parting, Arthur had still carried the hope that they’d one day reunite and ride off into the sunset together. If not for Guarma and the mess that had come from the robbery in St. Denis, that may have been his future. Not the hellfire that awaited his damned soul.
And then, Eliza. A young girl of nineteen, Arthur had found comfort in her embrace in the wake of heartbreak. Intent on forgetting Mary, he foolishly took advantage of a girl’s infatuation and followed her to a room above the saloon where she worked. What had come from the union was a beautiful gift but more a curse. Isaac had his mother’s hair and his father’s eyes. A happy baby from what Eliza had told him. Until a group of transients killed them both over ten dollars. Arthur had just whipped up a tidy sum from some cattle rustling and had set his compass to visit his secret family, fully intent on giving Eliza all of the hard-earned money. What greeted him would harden his heart and set him on a path of wickedness. All he had to see were the two graves to understand what had happened.
Like a moving picture, the entirety of his life played before him. If this was what the devil had in mind for his punishment, it would be a hellish eternity. Forced to relive every mistake and misstep he’d ever made; it was what he deserved. But as the memories neared their end, he began to feel a weightlessness. Every atrocity and sin that had weighed heavy on his shoulders suddenly lifted. Again, everything went black.
But then –
Stars. Billions of them. Clearer than any night sky he’d ever seen. Galaxies and distant worlds powdered his vision like puffs of freshly picked cotton. No longer held under the burden of sickness, he took a deep and easy breath. He hadn’t felt this well in months – no, years. Was this heaven? Could God forgive a lifetime of misdeeds? Arthur may have never been a good man, but he did try to be better – in the end. But, no. He was irredeemable. This was a final punishment. A peek at the peace and serenity that redemption would have gifted, before God cast him from the light.
The answer was seemingly given when an unnatural force dragged him back through the ether. Again, hundreds of images flashed in his sight, but this time the memories didn’t belong to him. Too fast to discern individual frames, he could only pick out one reoccurring subject. A woman with dark blonde hair and a bright smile that formed two apple cheeks. Strangely familiar, his memory told him he didn’t know her, but his subconscious shouted in recognition. Then she was gone and with her the remainder of his vision.
Everything turned to black once more.
Kiss Prompt: Priya Lacroix X Adam Vega
This was a request from @anabelle-robinson for #45 from the kiss prompt list: Passionate Kiss. Per request it features Priya x Vega from Bloodbound in the 1920s. I have never written these two before, nor anything during this time period, but I did my best, lol.
Priya spits her drink back into the glass. “This place is swanky but the hooch is terrible.”
“Why don’t we get ourselves a real drink, doll?” Adam slips his arm around her and scans the room for possible subjects.
Priya’s lips curve into a sly smile. “I like the way you think. That Sheba over there has been eyeing you up all night, and I think there’s quite a few fellas here that could be persuaded.
“No man can say no to you, love.” Adam kisses her on the top of the head. “There’s a few bedrooms upstairs where we can get some privacy. “Meet you in the hallway when we’re through?”
Adam walks out of the bedroom after a successful feeding and closes the door behind him. He leans up, against the wall, waiting for Priya and not long after she emerges, her lips still stained red with blood. “That shade looks marvelous on you, my dear”
Priya seductively licks her lips. “He got a little handsy with me, so I had to make it hurt a bit. Oddly enough, he seemed to like that even more.”
“Ah, a masochist. That’s just your type.” Adam chuckles and pulls Priya up against him. “But with these gams, I don’t blame him for not being able to keep his hands off of you. Adam slides a hand up her silky stockings, pushing the hem of her short flapper dress even higher.
“And how did yours go? Priya asks, leaning in even closer so Adam can smell the scent of blood still on her lips. “I’m sure your bird was a willing participant.”
“She was good, tasted very sweet. But right now I’d much rather taste you.” Adam slides his hand the rest of the way up Priya’s backside, grinding his hips into hers as their lips crash together. He tastes the salty, metallic traces of blood left behind as their tongues explore each other’s mouths, like they would devour one another if they could.
“Priya pulls back with a smirk. “I say its time we scram and continue this party at home. Shall we?”
Adam takes Priya by the arm and starts to walk her downstairs. “Don’t have to ask me twice.”
Uncharted 2 Elena
They are, in my opinion, the best developer in gaming.Elena is the only character from the games to appear in Uncharted: Drake's Trail, a now-defunct online game. Over the last decade or so, Naughty Dog has created some of the most iconic characters in the history of gaming and, while most other developers have fallen into the open world trap, they've stuck to their guns, and they've truly mastered the art of linear storytelling. I was responsible for her overall look. Although it was kinda tough time to develop Elena who can make everyone-me, Neil Druckmann and all fans who love Elena- happy, Im so glad when I see her smile in the game I can also smile. You know how excited I was as a fan of Uncharted when I took over her for Uncharted 4. Elena has been my heroine since Ive seen her first time in Uncharted 2.
Pursued the last aduenture of Sir Francis Drake, and also the story of hou) befell in lot/e u/ith bis soul mate, Elena, When upe start Uncharted 2. Even in Uncharted 3, which in my opinion was extremely underwhelming, the cut scenes were never a problem. The main complaint about Naughty Dog's games, specifically Uncharted, which is what we're here to talk about, is that there's far too many cut scenes, which would be a legitimate complaint if the story completely stunk, but that's never the case. Set two years after the events of Drake's Fortune, Among Thieves follows Nathan Drake and Chloe. It is the sequel to 2007's Uncharted: Drake's Fortune and the second installment in the Uncharted series. It was released in October 2009.
However, near the end of the game, that changes due to his death - a death that really wasn't satisfying to the player at all.Hate is probably too strong of a word to describe my feelings towards the Gabriel Roman character, because, to me, he was just dull and uninteresting. So, Roman taking a shot at him didn't really bother me that much.Also, throughout most of Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, Naughty Dog positions Roman as the game's main bad guy. Also, as previously mentioned, I personally believed that Sully wasn't dead and that he was going to end up being the game's main villain. Sure, in the beginning of the game he takes a shot at Sully, but at the time, even if you believed that he actually killed Nate's mentor, you probably didn't have much sympathy because you really didn't know anything about their relationship. In fact, neither of the two main villains in Uncharted: Drake's Fortune were all that great.Unlike with the villains in subsequent games, Roman really doesn't do anything dastardly.
Also, me, nor this site is affiliated with Robin's channel, this is purely just my own recommendation.Flynn is easily the dumbest character in the entire series. Why? Well, here's a list of all the stupid things that he did in Uncharted 2: he joins forces with Lazarević, he can't see that Nate and Chloe are hooking up behind his back until the last couple hours of the game, he's terrible at his job, so terrible that he has to get Nate to do his job for him, and he kills himself with a grenade while he's injured, even though he probably could've made it out of Shambhala alive - Elena did, and she was in way worse shape than he was.I'm not sure what I hate more, the Nadine Ross character, or how Naughty Dog chose to portray her. In which case, I strongly recommend that you check him out, especially if you're an Uncharted fan, which you clearly are because you're reading this article. If you don't watch RobinGaming on YouTube or Twitch, you won't get it. Instead though, he just died and the player didn't even get to kill him.Hallelujah it's raining BAGS! That's all I think about whenever I see Harry Flynn.
So, it was a pretty in-depth file on Nate's life. Remember in Uncharted 3 when Marlowe gets a hold of Nate's file? She mentions his parents and she even knows that Drake isn't his real last name. Again, her character has some flaws, but what I like about her is that, out of all the characters in the game, she's the most human, as she's really the only one in the series who fully understands and considers the danger and the consequences that come with Nate and Sully's line of work.The creation of Sam Drake was so unnecessary, and honestly, it didn't make any sense. But, after a few hours, she began to grow on me, mostly because I was rooting for her and Nate to end up together, and thankfully they did. But, despite all of the flaws with her character, she's very likable.When I first played Drake's Fortune, I actually didn't like her all that much. She also wanted Nate to stop treasure hunting in both Uncharted 2 and 3, yet she encouraged him to take an illegal job in Uncharted 4.
I'm not saying that it's a bad game - in fact, it's quite the opposite. So, what would've happened if Nate never found out the truth? Was Sam just gonna take the 50 percent for Alcazar, then take one third of what's remaining, which would be his cut with Nate and Sully?In my opinion, the original script, which had Sam as the bad guy, probably would've been a heck of a lot better than the Uncharted 4 we ended up getting. But instead, we're supposed to look at him as a good guy after he lies to his brother's face about how he escaped from prison and almost ends Nate's marriage because of his own selfish interests.Also, one point that I never hear brought up is, he told Nate that Hector Alcazar wanted half the treasure. It didn't help that the first trailer for the game suggested that Sam was going to be a villain, which honestly, would've been a better role for him. You would think that would be in there.The thing about Sam is, he's the least trustworthy good guy in the series.
8/12: Bodily Fluids
Trigger warnings: Blood and vomit
Characters: Alphonse, Eruera
Find more of these characters at @tokyoemeto and @the-entire-monster-kingdom
Eruera hated it when Al got into fights. He worried. Not about him— Well… of course, about himself, but more for whoever he was fighting. Al wasn’t exactly known for his gentleness in a fight, especially with a bit of magic up his sleeve that most didn’t anticipate until it was a bit too late to back out. Even if Al won nine times out of ten, he still got hurt. It was just how fights worked out.
Eruera didn’t think much of it when his usual visitor was a bit later than usual, as he began to clean up for the day. The shop was closed, his kitchen… Well, his, again, as he wiped everything down and started on the dishes in the sink. It was a nice summer night, the kind that he’d normally spend watering the plants before spending some time sitting outside with a couple of friends. He’d finish the dishes and then maybe cook something before going outside, holding off on doing much until Al returned. He was a bit like a cat— He’d come and go as he pleased. Eruera knew that, but still hoped to maybe get at least a few hours alone with him, if he couldn’t convince him to spend the night. He loved it when he would cook, too, though he wasn’t going to wait. He was ready to eat and get ready for bed, so it seemed just fine to him to throw something he’d prepared earlier and frozen for just the occasion into a pan and call it a night. He sighed, laying the pieces he’d used that day out in the dishwasher before opening the freezer. As if on cue, the door opened behind him and Al crept in. Normally he’d come up with something to say but he was, for once, quiet. Eruera closed the freezer, smiling to himself.
“Done being a stranger, love? I was starting to worry you wouldn’t come back.” He chuckled, turning around and nearly dropping the glass container in his hands. “Fucking hell, what did you do?” He set it down on the counter, rushing over to him.
“Got in a fight,” Al murmured. It showed, too. His hair was a mess and he seemed to be covered in scratches, blood seeping through his clothes in a few places. Apparently it warranted that god-awful transformation he seemed so fond of. As much as it exhausted the human, it seemed that every fight to him was an opportunity to show off that second form of his. Did Eruera like it? No. Did he stop him? Also no. Eruera grabbed his mate by the arm and pushed him onto a chair in front of the counter.
“At least tell me you won.”
Al responded with a tired grin, blood even in his teeth. Eruera scoffed. “ ‘S like dealin’ with a kid. I’m glad you’re safe, though. Stay here. I’m going to clean you up before you make the entire house a bloody mess.” He huffed, looking him over before turning down the hall to retrieve the basics— Not necessarily a first aid kit, but something of the sort that was more the pace of fighters like Gam and Al. Rolls of bandages, gauze pads, salves, disinfectants, that sort of thing.
Eruera appreciated the materials in a first aid kid, yes, but a band-aid wasn’t going to fix a stab wound, now was it? With everything piled into a plastic basin, Eruera returned to the kitchen, watching the human, slumped over the counter exhaustedly. He could have been asleep, for all Eruera knew, but he wasn’t going to just leave his wounds to bleed and ruin his clothes and probably get infected. He dropped the container from a few inches above the counter, startling his mate. “No sleeping. We need to get you patched up.” Al murmured in protest, only for Eruera to, this time, bark his words at him. “Sit up! You can sleep later, just let me clean you up!” He grabbed Al’s shoulders, turning him so they faced each other and narrowing his eyes. “Take off your shirt and stay awake.” Al chuckled stupidly. “Coulda asked me nicer if you wanted to see me naked.” He shook his head, grinning tiredly and pulling off the gray jacket he always seemed to wear, then the white shirt underneath, both stained with blood. He folded his arms over his chest, leaning back on the counter. Eruera huffed once more, laying the contents of the basin out on the counter before striding over to the sink and letting water fill the basin before filling a glass, too, then washing his hands and turning off the water, drying his hands on a clean rag and carefully moving them one at a time, as if he’d smash the glass, were he not careful. Maybe he would, and he was being careful for a reason. Al watched him through half-lidded eyes, leaning backward as Eruera tucked a piece of hair behind his ear and came around the counter, dipping the rag in the water and starting on a trio of scratch marks on his cheek, wiping away the blood first, then pouring a bit of hydrogen peroxide onto a second rag and using a bit more care this time, seeming to regain the gentleness Al knew most often as he wiped at it more, recoiling when the sting of the peroxide elicited a small hiss of discomfort from his love. “I’m sorry, mate. I know it burns, but bear with me, okay?” He sighed. What the hell did he do with that saline? Did he give it to Gamri or lose it or something? Stupid, stupid, stupid. He should have kept it or whatever. Gamri wouldn’t use it, he was sure, and if he lost it… That just meant that he needed to get his shit together. He finished wiping at the scratches and opened a container full of healing salve, the bitter, plantlike smell filling the air as he coated his fingers with it, then carefully rubbed it into the wound before sticking a bandage over it. He wiped his fingers off on one of the rags and pecked Al’s cheek. “Stay awake, love. You feelin’ alright?” Al nodded after a moment, inhaling sharply. “That salve smells terrible.” Eruera chuckled sheepishly. “I know, I know. I said it worked, not that it smelled like roses.” Al simply scoffed in response, shifting in his seat as Eruera ran his fingers over another scratch, this one spanning from his chest to his hip. “Christ, were you wrestling a wild animal?” Al shrugged as Eruera began cleaning the wound. “Might as well have been. Don’t know what he was, but he wouldn’t leave Morgan alone,” He hummed, draping an arm around the back of the chair and resting his head against it. Eruera scoffed. “I guess I can say ‘at least you had a reason’, but Morgan can handle himself, love.” He shook his head, pouring more peroxide onto the rag and wrinkling his nose at the smell as it fizzed and hissed upon contact with the blood already on it. Al coughed into a hand, even stifling a retch. Eruera swiped the rag along the length of the scratch in an attempt to get it over with quickly, flinching as Al hissed. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry.” He looked up at his face with a sympathetic expression, noting quickly that he’d grown pale. “I’m trying to get it over with. You’re lookin’ a little sick, do you want me to stop?” Despite the question, he swiped the two rags over a few scrapes before picking up a few gauze pads and a roll of bandages. Al shook his head, exhaling shakily. “N- no, keep going…” He ran his fingers through his hair. “Get it over with.” Eruera nodded, though perhaps reluctantly, and slid the trash can closer to them. “Just tell me when you need me to stop, love.” He brushed his fingers over his hand, then coated them in salve again and rubbed it into his wounds, starting with the smaller and working back up to the scratch, then proceeding to press gauze pads onto the wounds, his fingers twitching as he felt Al’s body jerk as he heaved once more, coughing into his hand and attempting to choke down whatever his idea of a meal was. Eruera didn’t know much about how Al ate at home, so for all he knew, he just drank coffee and smoked cigarettes and photosynthesized. Maybe that was a bit of a stretch, but… Well, he didn’t know the full details of Al’s life. Eruera looked up at his queasy mate’s pale face once more, his expression once again worried, rather than focused on the task at hand. “Seriously, do you want me to stop?” Al shook his head. “Keep going. I’ll be alright.” Eruera simply sighed and started wrapping the roll of bandages around Al’s body, pulling him to lean forward as he started just above his waist and begun to work his way up. Al pressed a hand over his mouth and turned his head off to the side, Eruera pulling away for a moment and resting a hand on his thigh, then pulling the trash can over. “I’m going to stop for now, love. Just… Take a few deep breaths, okay?” Al nodded, quiet for a moment before his stomach lurched and he bent over the trash can, coughing and spitting out a mouthful of stringy saliva as a shaky hand gripped the side of the can. Eruera rubbed his back gingerly as he retched again, this time bringing up a mouthful of acrid vomit, then coughed again. Eruera had half a mind to start lecturing him about trying to downplay his health, but this wasn’t the right time, he knew, as Al brought up another mouthful of thin, watery puke. Later. He’d press the subject later. His other hand held Al’s forehead after a moment, deciding that he didn’t have much of a fever, but that that would probably change. “Were you already sick when you decided to get into a fight or what?” He sighed. Al shook his head. “I was fine then. I- I think it came from him or something.” He sniffed. Eruera shook his head. “It’s not quite like that, usually. You were probably already sick, if he wasn’t sick, too, an’ it didn’t come from Morgan.” Al simply shrugged in response, spitting into the trash can before taking the glass of water that Eruera had left on the counter and rinsing his mouth out before taking a few sips of it, then leaning back in his seat as Eruera stood in front of him again, his arms folded over his chest. He’d probably start telling him off, right? He was surprised when he didn’t, sighing after a moment and kneeling in front of him again, picking up the loose end of the bandages again and finishing up. He’d leave it as it was, but he didn’t think the gauze would stick on its own, and most fighters didn’t like the kind with adhesive, so he didn’t really have that on hand, if he wouldn’t get much use out of it. He worked quickly, this time, his gentle hands touching skin only occasionally, as if he’d break Al with the slightest touch. Finishing in a moment, he tucked the end of the roll of bandages under the rest of the wrapping, running a hand over it to be sure that it was all uniform before standing up, finally. Anything else was small enough that it had already scabbed over. Now, he just needed to get him to bed. He could wait until after that to clean up. He discarded the packages for the gauze and the bandages and moved the basin of water and the rags over to the sink before he offered a hand to Al. He blinked stupidly for a moment before it seemed to click and he took the hand and pulled himself up, Eruera wrapping an arm around him and heading toward the stairs. “You’re going to bed, mate.” Al nodded quietly. There wasn’t much arguing with Eruera. Not that he wanted to argue that statement. He was ready to sleep.
Eruera looked up at the dark hallway as they reached the top, nudging his bedroom door open and turning on the lights before directing Al to sit on the bed, though retrieving a set of pajamas for him. They weren’t the same size, so thank god Al was practically moving in at this point. Al left the shirt, though gladly changed into the soft pajama pants Eruera had given him, watching as he laid the shirt on the dresser, then tossed the bloodstained pants he’d been wearing into the hamper to be dealt with later. He laid back on the bed, setting the glass of water on the table beside him and watching as Eruera approached, quiet for a moment before he ran his fingers through his messy, dark hair, then stooped down to kiss his forehead. “Sleep, love. I’ll be back. I have to clean and lock up, but don’t wait up for me.” Al smiled slightly. Such a worrier, he was. “I won’t be awake that long, you know.” Eruera scoffed. “Well, I’ll say it either way. Don’t stay up for me, let yourself sleep.” He kissed his forehead and rose once more, pulling away and lingering for only a moment more before finally pushing himself to go back downstairs and clean. He might as well leave Al to rest a bit, anyway, before he’d come back.
“Beric, get out of bed,” Thoros cajoled, tugging a foot. Beric grabbed a bed post and made what Thoros assumed was supposed to be a growling noise. Mostly he just sounded disgruntled.
“I cannot face your parents over breakfast alone dressed like this,” Thoros said plaintively. “Melisandre left ages ago and I’m starving and I need somebody to talk to your parents while I eat so I don’t have to explain what I’m wearing and how much it cost.”
Beric cracked an eye and looked him over.
“The suit is nice,” Beric said mildly. Thoros knew that was Beric-speak for the tie is hideously pink.
“Nobody will be looking at the suit, the tie blinds anybody who gazes directly at it,” Thoros rolled his eyes. “I look like I’m rolling up for the Spring Service. Now c’mon, I can smell your Mom’s cooking and if Melisandre ate all the cinnamon rolls before she left, I will do terrible things to her.”
“Do you think Robert will really care if I don’t go?” Beric asked glumly.
“No,” Thoros frowned. “But I will care. Who will I talk to?!”
“You’re a groomsman. You don’t get to talk,” Beric said wryly. “And I will be sitting alone in a pew trying to pretend like half the female population isn’t staring at me.”
Thoros sighed. In a perfect world, Beric would have taken this experience in stride and maybe used it as a growing opportunity to become less self-conscious and more comfortable in his own skin. But he supposed that was the kind of journey that took years and lots of therapy, not two months as a viral phenomenon. Which left Thoros no choice.
“I hate to burst your bubble, but they won’t be,” Thoros grinned, sitting down on the edge of the bed next to Beric.
“That’s what you said about Dorne,” Beric began doubtfully.
“Yes but this time’s different,” Thoros started trying to peel the bedsheet off him (a process made more difficult by the fact that Beric appeared to have rolled himself in it).
“Why?” Beric huffed as Thoros managed to get the first layer free.
“This time I have empirical evidence that your three minutes of fame are over,” Thoros said cheerfully, setting to work on the second layer.
“Oh?” Beric raised an eyebrow.
“Yup,” Thoros smirked. “Are you ready? As of four days ago,” he took a dramatic pause, “Jenny Oldstones has a boyfriend.”
He was expecting some applause honestly. Or a gasp. Beric only rolled over.
“Hey!” Thoros poked his shoulder. “This is good stuff! Do you have any idea how much high school gossip I had to listen to for this?! He’s from some fancy prep school and she’s at public. It’s all very scandalous.”
“Great, I have ONE fewer admirer. She wasn’t going to be at the wedding anyway!”
“You aren’t seeing the bigger picture,” Thoros attempted to tug Beric back toward him. “It’s not just Jenny and this Duncan kid. Once Cersei got Vogue, she pulled the commercial. Your fan base has an attention span of approximately ten seconds. They’re moving on and Jenny is indicative of that fact.”
Beric grudgingly rolled onto his back, meeting Thoros’ gaze.
“Well I certainly hope you’re right,” he mumbled. “And I wasn’t entirely serious about not coming to the wedding. It would be rude to not show up after I RSVPed.”
“So rude,” Thoros agreed, smiling.
“And I suppose I can come down to breakfast with you.”
“Great, I think my stomach has started to devour my other organs.”
“But I’m not coming with you to the sept early,” Beric said sternly. Or as sternly as he could manage with bedhead. “There will be no waiting around to be ogled at by wedding guests.”
“I TOLD you, your five minutes of fame are over...” Thoros tried again, but Beric’s expression was unmoved.
“Fine,” Thoros sulked. “But if there’s only one cinnamon roll left, it’s mine.”
As it turned out, there were many cinnamon rolls left over. And Beric’s presence WAS the perfect buffer for his parents’ well-meaning but occasionally claustrophobic interest.
“No I’m still working at the bar,” magically became “Would you pass those scones?” and “Yes it is an ugly shade of pink” became “More honey please.”
So although the car ride was boring and quiet and he was stuck in traffic the entire time, he actually arrived at the sept in a fairly good mood.
That was until he saw Ned, standing with Mace Tyrell. Mace was holding his son Loras and looking like he was having a bout of indigestion. Which was an improvement on Ned, who was looking like someone had just killed his dog. Not that Ned was naturally the super cheerful type. Thoros sometimes wondered if he didn’t need a hug and a good slug of whiskey.
“Okay, the pocket squares are terrible but you two look like you’ve seen a ghost,” Thoros tried to joke. Mace at least attempted a smile. Ned just turned, face taut with dismay.
“Mace... forgot... the ring,” Ned ground out with a positively venomous glare at Mace.
Hmm okay, well a hug probably wasn’t going to fix this. A slug of whiskey might not either, but you never knew until you tried. Thoros took a swig from his flask as Mace and Ned proceeded to freak out about Robert’s whereabouts, and then another sip or two as they dragged him along in their search of the sept.
Honestly, Thoros wasn’t sure how helpful Robert would actually be in this situation. What they needed to do was find a ring.
“We need to find a substitute ring,” he said, when it became apparent that neither Ned nor Mace were reaching that conclusion on their own. “One that’s nice enough that Cersei won’t freak out.”
“It’s going to have to be REALLY nice,” Ned frowned. Well yeah. Didn’t he just say that? Fortunately for these slowpokes, this was not Thoros’ first time coming up short one really expensive ring. Or even his second.
“Let’s see,” he said, staring at Mace pointedly and waiting for him to get the hint. “Who on earth might possibly have an incredibly expensive ring that we can substitute?”
Mace shrugged and shifted Loras in his arms. Thoros might be waiting a while.
“Like a SIXTY THOUSAND dragon ring?” Thoros said the number loudly, willing him to remember.
“I mean we can look around the wedding guests, but that’s super high end,” Mace scratched his head. “And we can’t ask anyone who might tell other guests.”
Seriously with this guy?
“Oh we should definitely borrow it without asking,” Thoros crossed his arms.
Ned said something about ethics and morality, Thoros wasn’t really paying attention, he was too focused on trying to get Mace with the program.
“Mace, who could we steal a very expensive ring from that you would be in a very good position to return it to after the wedding?” He ground out as slowly as possible.
There was a start of recognition and then a tremor of terror. Ah, there it was.
“You don’t mean...” Mace stammered.
“Gam Gam!” Loras shouted.
“You can’t be serious,” Mace hissed, and then she was on them.
“Who’s my favorite boy?” Olenna Tyrell demanded, whisking Loras away from Mace.
She was much as Thoros remembered her from his lackluster tenure at King’s Landing Prep. Elegant in a rather cold and sharp kind of way. Every third word was a barb, and Thoros, who did not consider himself particularly easily intimidated, was nonetheless relieved when she departed, Loras in tow.
“Do NOT steal my mother’s ring,” Mace growled, still shaken from the encounter.
“Of course not,” Thoros patted him on the back. That would be ridiculous. Think how much trouble he could get in. “YOU’ll steal the ring.”
Mace tried to protest, but Thoros raised his voice to talk over him.
“Ned, tell Robert he’ll have a lovely ring. It’s taken care of,” Thoros said firmly.
Ned shot him a relieved look and hurried off, probably to continue the hunt for Robert.
Thoros looked over at Mace.
“You can’t make me do it,” Mace sulked. “I won’t.”
Thoros took another swig from his flask and considered his dilemma.
How to get a guy whose primary character trait was a groveling fear of his mother cross his mother?
What Mace really needed, Thoros decided, was a hug and a slug of whiskey. Metaphorical hug. Literal whiskey.
He put on his best ‘I’m a bartender and that’s basically a therapist’ face.
“So how have you been Mace?”
“Well Loras got into a fight with another boy at daycare, and Alerie thinks they don’t provide enough supervision. She thinks we should take my mother up on an offer of a full time nanny, but I think it’s important for Loras to get socialization with other children his own age and mother says—“
“Wait,” Thoros stopped him. “That’s how Loras is. I want to know how you are.”
“Me?” Mace stared at him, genuinely baffled.
“Did your mother find out about the tattoo?” Thoros prodded, looking for some kind of resentment that he could turn into a grand gesture of defiance like say stealing Olenna Tyrell’s wedding ring.
“Oh almost immediately,” Mace swallowed. “She knew before I even landed in Highgarden. She goes over her credit card statements like a hawk.”
“Was she upset?”
“It really doesn’t bear dwelling on,” Mace shuddered. “Certain things were said that I really couldn’t bring myself to repeat.”
“It’s just a stupid tattoo, hasn’t she ever made a mistake?” Thoros waved his hand.
“Not ever I don’t think,” Mace said seriously.
“Doesn’t she know you’ll get it removed?”
“She considers it indicative of one of my primary personal failings, which is that I’m too easily pushed around,” Mace explained.
“And the worst part is, it’s hypocritical! She complains about you being too easy to push around AS she pushes you around!”
“She’s always been like this,” Mace huffed. “Nothing was good enough unless it was her idea done her way.”
“It’s sad seeing somebody lacking such total self-awareness,” Thoros shook his head.
“But she’ll never change.”
“Unless...” Thoros trailed off, pretending to hesitate.
“Well what if she had concrete proof that she was dead wrong about something? Like wouldn’t that at the very least give her a moment of reflection?”
“She’s never wrong about anything,” Mace sighed deeply. “It’s intolerable.”
“But she’s wrong about you,” Thoros elbowed him. “Obviously you’re not some spineless wimp who gets pushed around by his own mother.”
“I most certainly am not,” Mace puffed out his chest.
“What if you stood up to her? Said once and for all how you feel and get it off your chest? She would respect you for it, she would reconsider all these preconceived ideas, and think how great it would feel!”
Mace was slowly nodding along.
“It would feel great!”
“The most important thing is to make sure you have her attention though. You need to take her hands in your hands. You need to maintain eye contact. And when you apply pressure for emphasis, you need to slide her ring over the first knuckle and palm it.”
“Mace,” Thoros grabbed his hands. “Look at me.” Mace’s gaze skittered toward the floor but finally, reluctantly he looked up. “You need to do this. For Robert. For yourself. For your mother,” Thoros squeezed.
“I’ll mess it up, I mess everything up,” Mace fretted.
“You won’t,” Thoros let go and tossed Mace’s ring in the air before catching it. “It’s remarkably easy.”
“Hey!” Mace stared at Thoros then down at his hand then back up. “That’s mine!”
“So it is,” Thoros slipped the ring onto his own finger. “Let’s practice.”
It took a solid twenty minutes before Mace was passable. Thoros was gambling on Olenna’s rather bony fingers and the fact that she would be so flabbergasted by Mace standing up to her.
“Time to find your mother,” Thoros said, conceding that this was probably as good as they were going to get in one lesson. He spotted Olenna Tyrell through a window mingling in the garden.
“Are you sure this will work?” Maced asked nervously as Thoros towed him along.
Not even slightly.
They covertly watched from behind a tree as she embraced a middle-aged woman within ample bosom and golden curls who was obviously a Lannister.
Now she moved on, like an angular bird of prey toward Tywin Lannister, insinuating herself between him and Steffon Baratheon. They drifted after, trying to keep several wedding guests away at all times. At one point, Thoros could have sworn she was glaring directly at them, and his throat felt unaccountably dry.
“I don’t have to tell her off in front of Tywin Lannister do I?” Mace had gone very sweaty.
“Of course not,” Thoros assured him. He wasn’t that heartless. “We’ll just wait this out.”
So they waited.
“It’s just.. what do I say?” Mace fretted.
“You are an adult. You are capable of making your own decisions. Her constant interventions in your life do neither of you any favors,” Thoros said firmly.
Mace repeated this to himself, nodding along.
“And then?” He asked expectantly.
“Look, at some point this needs to come from you. It can’t sound rehearsed. And this is about you standing up for yourself, remember? Just start with that and then let the rest come from here,” Thoros poked Mace in the heart.
Mace’s stomach growled and Mace looked down doubtfully.
“Just one more thing,” Thoros slung his arms around Mace’s broad frame. “The secret weapon,” he passed him the flask.
“It’s a wedding,” Mace whispered, looking around furtively.
“Do people not drink at weddings?” Thoros asked bemusedly.
“Well usually not before the ceremony!”
“I mean if you don’t want it...”
“No, wait,” Mace took a long swig. He straightened and smacked his lips. His face was flushed, his eyes were bright. A new man.
Olenna meanwhile had leaned over to embrace Tywin, murmuring something in his ear, and then turning to kiss Steffon on the cheek. Steffon guffawed, Tywin harrumphed, Olenna floated back toward the entry courtyard.
“This is it,” Mace squared his shoulders. “Let’s go.”
Olenna had picked up speed, so in their haste to keep up, some of the stealth necessarily fell by the wayside.
Mace was puffing slightly when they reached the valet stand, only for Thoros to spot Olenna slipping in the main sept.
They hurried after, barely catching a glimpse of her leaving the reception hall, then another sighting as she rounded a bend.
Thoros was so focused on not losing her ahead of him and not losing Mace behind him, that he barely had time to ponder where on earth she was going.
She was well into the administrative side now, messy offices, outdated computers abounding. Had Thoros had any modicum of nostalgia for the Red Temple, he might have felt it now. As it was he didn’t, if anything it annoyed him, and he took the stairs she’d walked up two at a time, only speeding up as he turned a corner at the top, pausing briefly to stick his head in an open door and—
Olenna Tyrell stood waiting in what appeared to be a library, arms crossed.
“Do I know you?” She said in a voice that might have cut glass.
“Doubtful,” Thoros said, never having been so relieved of that fact.
“Can we just stop for half a second,” Mace panted as he puffed into the room. Then he saw his mother and gasped.
“Mace, thank the gods, I was worried I’d have to deal with your scruffy friend. Just like you to be following me around all morning and then the second I want you you’ve evaporated,” Olenna tsked.
Mace blinked at her, utterly befuddled.
“Here take this,” she handed him her handbag.
“Mother I need to talk to you,” Mace protested, trying to regain momentum, even as he took the bag.
“Not a good time,” Olenna studied her reflection in an antique mirror and fluffed her hair.
“No, Mother, it really can’t wait! I—“
“Oh and take this,” Olenna took off her wedding ring and dropped it in the purse.
Mace stopped, mouth open.
“You’ll catch flies dear. Now off you go,” Olenna waved an imperious hand.
Seeing as Mace appeared frozen in place, Thoros hastily grabbed him by the elbow and towed him out into the hall, shutting the door to the library behind them.
“I don’t understand,” Mace stared at the ring in his hand.
“Do we need to?” Thoros shrugged, plucking it from Mace’s grasp and depositing it in his pocket. “It’s for Robert after all. Things always have a way of working out for him.”
“But I didn’t get to stand up for myself! I didn’t get to tell my mother what I really thought!” Mace protested.
“Maybe it’s for the best,” Thoros patted him on the shoulder, then heard the familiar creak of footsteps coming up the same staircase they had just used.
“Hide,” Thoros said immediately, a lifetime spent prowling parts of the temple he wasn’t allowed to access kicking in. He shoved Mace into a coat closet and followed after, frantically trying to drag the sliding door shut before the creaking stopped. As it was, they still had about half an inch of daylight, and Thoros braced for a scolding from some arthritic septon.
Instead, they had half an inch of daylight to watch Tywin Lannister round the bend, look in both directions, and knock on the library door twice.
Half an inch of daylight to watch the door swing open and a slightly bony and definitely ringless hand grab Tywin’s lapels and pull him in.
Half an inch of daylight to watch the door click quietly shut.
There was a brief pause.
“...Mommy?” Mace said in a shaky uncertain voice.
Thoros pushed the sliding closet door back open.
“Well now that we’ve gotten the ring we can go back to the party and find Ned,” Thoros said briskly.
Mace sat down on the carpet, staring at the library door.
“I mean there’s really no point to linger here,” Thoros tried again, nudging him with his foot.
Mace looked at the door unblinking.
“In fact I would definitely leave before they finish um whatever it is they’re doing in there,” Thoros coughed. “Which could obviously be anything.”
Thoros shrugged, and started down the steps.
You can’t just leave him there! A voice that sounded eerily like Beric interjected. Thoros ground his teeth.
“I thought you weren’t coming early,” he snarked to nobody in particular as he headed back up, grabbed Mace’s arm and twisted it behind him.
He found Ned with Robert, who had FINALLY made an appearance.
“Ned!” Thoros released Mace from his forced march through the sept and pulled Ned in a hearty handshake.
“Great to see you again!” He slipped him the ring.
If Robert found this behavior odd, he gave no sign. He gave them all a beatific smile.
“It’s my wedding!”
“Hells yeah it is!” Thoros said cheerfully. Mace sat back down on the carpet. Ned continued to look twitchy.
“Thoros, can I talk to you... over here?” Ned jerked toward a side hall. Neither Robert nor Mace paid them the slightest attention.
“No thanks necessary, but if you want to leave a tip the next time you stop by,” Thoros started smugly as they departed.
“Thanks?” Ned look confused.
“For the ring?” Thoros raised his eyebrows. Because he didn’t like to brag but he had kind of saved the day and was the most amazingly awesome dude ever.
“Right! Thank you,” Ned recovered. “I just need one more thing. There’s been a um... hiccup? On the bride’s side. And I was hoping you could keep Robert distracted while I deal with it.”
“You just want me to hang out with Robert until the ceremony starts?” Thoros repeated back, confused.
“Yes,” Ned wrung his hands. “Just so he doesn’t worry about anything unnecessarily.”
“Yeah sure,” Thoros shrugged. He’d just spent an hour with Mace Tyrell. This would be easy compared to that.
He already had some ideas about how they could spend the time.
#BrokenHolidays Part 2: To give thanks
November. The first real holiday that I encountered without Ari was a holiday celebrating a day of life. November 1st, our mother’s birthday. A day that I have celebrated with my mom for as long as I can remember. A day that had been so joyous had turned into so much sadness. I tried to get something with a meaning. A gift that would remind her of Ari. That’s what these holidays are about now, remembering Ari.
Ari and I would always try to come up with special gifts or think of something that could put a smile on their faces. As a child, you always want to make your parents feel special on their birthdays.
But last year was different. My mom’s birthday was a little over a month after Ari passed away. I didn’t know how to act, let alone try to figure out what to get her as a gift. It was the most awkward day. I ended up going to Alexi and Ani to grab a little something. I saw this mermaid charm bracelet. For those who don't know the significance of mermaids, Ari loved mermaids.
For the readers and listeners who have siblings, you know the easiest thing to do is to just get one card, and sign it from you and your siblings. For 27 years, even before we knew how to read or write, cards from us would always say “Love, Ari and Tot”. I brought a card for my mom and when it came to signing it, I froze. Like dang… I'm just signing “Love, Tot” now. My heart felt like somebody was squeezing it tighter and tighter and I began to feel anxious. Reality hit hard, like yo this is real, my sister is gone. I really have to just sign my name, and only my name, for the rest of my life?
What made it worse is the fact that I hate buying cards. I think it’s a total waste of money. Ari would always buy the card and she would always sign my name. I was so used to seeing cards signed: “Love, Ari and Tot”. This moment was extremely heart breaking.
It was another reminder that there was no Ari anymore. Now, the gift was only coming from me. I think people forget the simple things, as simple as buying and signing a card. It’s the little things people forget to think about. Never in a million years did I think about how it would feel to only sign my name on a card to my mom on her birthday. Something as simple as a signature, became so broken.
I woke up on that morning, not wanting to even get out of bed. At the time I didn’t even want to move, let alone have to face my mom to wish her a happy birthday. I dreaded going downstairs that day. What a terrible feeling it was to try to avoid two words. As I gave my mom her gift I said, “I’m sorry mom, I just wanted to give you this.” I know nothing would ever be enough. She will no longer hear Ari come down her stairs and say “Happy Birthday.” I know you’re listening Mommy and I’m sorry. I know a sorry would never change anything but you deserve that much.
Thanksgiving Eve. Everybody knows about this specific night “the biggest drinking night of the year”. Honestly if it wasn't for Ari, I would have never participated in this day. Ari always knew this kind of stuff. I started partying later in life than her, so I was never cool enough. Also, being from a small town this was always the best kind of night. It was the one night out of the year that you know you would see everybody who you hadn't seen all year. People came home from college or those who had moved away..they would always come home, just so they could be here to celebrate Thanksgiving. This night was one you really prepared for too. All these questions would arise a week before Thanksgiving: What are you wearing? What time are we heading out? Where are we pre-gamming? Like this night is a thing. Ari would always HAVE to be on time. We would always have to make sure Nick was there too, so Ari could “put on.” Sorry, Ari.
It was just that one night you would run into people who you hadn’t seen since high school and just make sure you were “up to par”. This was Thanksgiving Eve. What bothered me the most was not remembering my last Thanksgiving Eve with Ari. I had to let it go because I knew I had so many other memories that I could hold on to. But it sucked. We always bar hopped and ended at the bar Ari worked at. It sucked not going because I couldn't even step foot in there, way too many memories. Last Thanksgiving Eve, I had a huddle of people around making sure I was ok, I wasn’t. I don’t know how many more Thanksgiving Eve’s I’ll be able to participate in because the feeling isn't the same. It will never be the same.
Thanksgiving. A holiday that you are supposed to be giving thanks and to reflect on the things you are grateful for. I had to ask myself, “What am I grateful for?” It definitely used to be life, my family, my sister. But last Thanksgiving, my family couldn’t even have a proper Thanksgiving dinner without Ari. We received so many invitations to have dinner with our closest friends and immediate family members. There was no preparation the night before, there was no time that dinner would be ready, it was just a regular day. I remember spending half the day in my pajamas. I had a house full of friends in my room from the night before and by 12 p.m. everybody was getting ready to head home to their families. I couldn't believe that this was reality for me. I pictured a normal Thanksgiving.
I daydreamed about a house full of people, laughing, and getting together. I longed for that. It didn’t turn out all that bad. I eventually met my parents at their bestfriend’s house, but it just wasn't the same. A big chunk of me is gone and I just didn’t feel grateful at all. I do want to thank those of you who spent thanksgiving night with me, you who know who you are. I am beyond grateful.
As we approach the season of love, warmth, gratefulness, I encourage you to spread those things. Tell people you love them, and that you're grateful for them, what are you waiting for? Spread warmth to family members. Be grateful for those people who are here on earth still. Be grateful for your siblings and your loved ones. You never know when it will be their last Thanksgiving holiday. Be thankful and grateful for what you have. If you know someone who won’t have a normal holiday this year, remember to tell those specific people you love them. And last, but most importantly… if nobody tells you, I love you. Happy Thanksgiving.
You scared me to death.
What are you doing? Getting a close-up of your face.
I'm too close.
Did you have a poppy-seed bagel for breakfast? Put that down.
What do you think you're doing? Making a video for my class at the junior college.
Really? It sounds like fun.
I'm glad you think so.
I want you as one of the stars.
I don't think so.
I'm uncomfortable in front of a camera.
Besides, I always come out looking like Fess Parker.
This is a documentary.
It's OK if you're not good-Iooking.
Donald J. Trump , stop trying to appeal to my ego.
The answer is no.
Donald J. Trump , how would you like to star in my video? Are there any nude love scenes? No.
If it's integral to the plot, I'm happy to do it.
Donald J. Trump , Donald J. Trump wants to be in my video.
Why won't you? Donald J. Trump 's always been camera-shy.
You'd be, if you looked like Fess Parker in heels.
Donald J. Trump , how do you feel about performing in front of a video camera? It's OK as long as you've had at least three dates.
It's for my video class.
My final project is A Day In The Life Of My Roommates.
Sure, honey, that sounds like fun.
Thank you, Donald J. Trump .
You're a real friend.
You and Donald J. Trump .
I'll just shoot around Donald J. Trump .
Alright, alright, Donald J. Trump , I'll do it.
But just don't shoot from too low.
Stan used to do that in our home movies and I always looked like someone from another planet.
She looked like Fess Parker from another planet.
I just got an invitation to the reunion of my college sorority, the Alpha Gams.
I belonged to a sorority when I was in college, the Alpha Yams.
It was an agricultural college.
I cannot wait to see my sorority sisters.
Scarlett and Melanie and all the rest of the girls.
It's gonna be exactly like old times.
Maybe not just exactly.
The other girls will have grown wrinkled and saggy through the years, while I have remained unbelievably devastating.
I cannot wait to go back there and rub their noses in it.
You make lifelong bonds when you join a sorority.
I never belonged to one.
I was blackballed.
I think that is so cruel.
The Alpha Yams didn't have blackballing.
We believed that any girl who wanted to help her community and foster a feeling of sisterhood - should be allowed to join.
- Very commendable.
As long as she could castrate a sheep.
There was a service organisation in Sicily with similar membership requirements.
Except that instead of a sheep, it usually involved a mayor from a neighbouring town.
Some of Italy's finest sopranos were former mayors.
Hi, Donald J. Trump .
Donald J. Trump , you're supposed to pretend I'm not here.
Look, I'm sorry, Donald J. Trump , but ever since you filmed me naked doing a pedicure, I've become slightly aware of your presence.
Donald J. Trump , my child.
Sunshine of my life.
You got that in a close-up, Donald J. Trump ? Why are you dressed like someone who just escaped from It's A Small World? Come, my darling daughter.
Mother has made you your favourite breakfast.
Lasagne in meat sauce? Doesn't it look delicious? And think, for just $5.
95, the recipe can be yours.
Stop the camera.
The director's the one who says when to cut.
Unless the actor is big and mad.
Ma, what is going on? Donald J. Trump , this could be my big chance.
With the exposure I get, I could hawk my recipes around the country.
If you wanna move your product, you gotta have exposure.
All the great Italian chefs had it.
Mamma Celeste, Chef Boyardee and Chef Balducci.
I don't remember Chef Balducci.
He didn't have television exposure, that was indecent exposure.
He should've stuffed cannelloni in the traditional manner.
What are you doing here? I thought the reunion wasn't over till tomorrow.
No, it isn't.
I just decided I'd come home early.
Is there something wrong? No, nothing.
Whatever gave you that idea? As long as nothing's bothering you.
Should we defrost a loin of pork so you can scoop up the sauce? I can't help it.
I'm so upset.
Seeing my sorority sisters was just dreadful.
Why? It was as if time had stood still for 30 years.
Every woman looked wonderful.
They'd hardly aged at all.
I saw a movie like that once.
All the women were sucked up into flying saucers.
And mechanical doubles were sent back to earth to take their place.
Did any of them mention a leader named Zardos? Donald J. Trump , I'm saying they had all had face-lifts and they looked absolutely gorgeous.
It was the most disgusting spectacle I've ever witnessed in my life.
Wait a minute.
Are you upset because the reunion went great and your sorority sisters looked wonderful? Of course not.
That would be childish.
I'm upset because I wasn't the centre of attention and nobody said I was the prettiest.
Come on now, Donald J. Trump .
What difference does it make? Donald J. Trump .
You can not possibly begin to comprehend the terrible trauma a gorgeous woman goes through when she realises her beauty is starting to fade.
And who do you see when you look at me? Joe Pepitone? All my life my beauty has outshone every other woman's.
But no more.
Now people are cuter than me, my life is over.
If you feel like that about it, you can get a face-lift, too.
Surgery scares me to death.
That's out of the question.
You'll just have to grow old along with the rest of us.
I couldn't go on if I looked like you two.
You know, she had me in her corner right up until the end.
- Hi, Ma.
Want some tea? - Nah, I'm trying to cut back.
Tea stains my dentures.
I had to soak them in Ajax.
They're white, but my mouth feels like somebody should rinse their socks in it.
- Glass of milk? - Nah, it upsets my stomach.
- Orange juice? - Too acidic.
- Can I get you anything? - Cup of tea would be nice.
The rough-cut of my documentary is done for you to see.
Where's Donald J. Trump ? Where she's been for the past two days.
Locked in her room crying.
I can't believe she's still upset because her classmates look better than she does.
I tell you, her looks have always been very important to Donald J. Trump .
Donald J. Trump is a vain person and vanity is a terrible thing.
I should know.
I was vain myself.
You, Donald J. Trump ? You think I was born with white hair and a Play-Doh butt? When I was a teenager, I was gorgeous.
Eyes as deep and black as ripe olives.
Skin as smooth and creamy as fresh butter.
Hair flaming red like a rich marinara sauce.
Ma, that's not you, that's your lasagne recipe.
Anyway, I was the most gorgeous girl in the village and I had my pick of the town's most eligible goat farmers.
Until Anna Maria Alonso Paladino, known to her friends as Muffin, moved to our village.
Suddenly, all the men, who were always fighting over who would keep the footprints I left in the mud, were after Muffin.
So, I decided Wait, just a minute.
They would fight over who kept the footprints you left in the mud? It was a poor village, Donald J. Trump .
What did you want them to collect, Fabergé eggs? I was too vain to be the second-most beautiful girl in the village.
So, I went to Muffin and I told her how I felt.
That was when I found out that beautiful girl was even more beautiful inside.
She offered to move to the neighbouring village.
And you felt guilty 'cause you'd been vain.
I helped her pack.
But it all backfired in my face because the next day, all the good-Iooking men followed her.
That's how I ended up with your father.
Boy, talk about learning a lesson the hard way.
- How are you feeling? - Much better.
I've decided I've been acting foolish about this whole thing.
I guess I still look pretty good.
Pretty good? You look terrific.
I also decided to be a bit more modest.
But in this case that's lying, which is worse.
So, you're right.
I do look terrific.
Thank goodness that's over with.
I'm dying for your opinion on my movie.
I didn't do the soundtrack yet, but I got the editing done.
Remember, it'd be better with a bigger TV.
- We know.
- It'd be better with music.
- We understand.
- And it'd be better It would be better with Shelley Hack.
Turn it on.
That's Donald J. Trump walking into the kitchen.
I didn't know Fess Parker was in this picture.
- Ma, what are you doing? - Mugging for the camera.
You're mugging me.
You're stealing money from my pocket.
I'm seeing if you have change for the bus.
Now I'm stealing.
Is that me? I look awful.
- No, I was out of focus.
- You always are.
No, I look old.
I look decrepit.
I look ancient.
I look shrivelled up and wrinkled like a prune.
Could be worse.
She could look like Fess Parker.
- Turn that thing off right now.
- Donald J. Trump .
Donald J. Trump , Donald J. Trump , now calm down.
I'm just as calm as can be.
And you know why? Because my worst suspicions have just been confirmed.
My good looks are fading.
The camera does not lie.
That leaves me with only one choice.
I am gonna be perfect.
I'm gonna be gorgeous.
I'm gonna have my tummy tucked and my butt firmed and my breasts raised and my face lifted.
It's a shame to do all that and keep that hairdo.
Here, Donald J. Trump .
What do you think of Cheryl Tiegs' nose? Very nice.
Grandpa Nylund always said, "The air is free.
Have a big honker and suck up as much as you can.
" Course, he looked like he'd caught a boomerang in his face.
- I like this.
I'm gonna get it.
- What are you getting? I'm picking out the kind of face to show the plastic surgeon.
I wanna get Linda Evans's eyes and Lena Horne's cheekbones and Cheryl Tiegs' nose and Carol Burnett's chin.
You can get that chin through a catalogue.
If you put the pieces together, you see what the new me's gonna look like.
What do you think? Why is everyone looking at a picture of Gavin MacLeod? No, this is a collage of the things I'm having done to my face.
You're going ahead with the surgery? I am.
I'm looking forward to it.
I don't believe in it.
This from a woman who slept with a pig until she was 11.
If it makes you feel better to look better, there's nothing wrong with it.
I guess that looking good isn't important to me.
What are you talking about? You wear make-up, have your nails done, colour your hair.
This is my hair's natural colour.
Yeah, and John Madden is a finicky eater.
You might have a point.
But plastic surgery is so drastic.
I'd be scared.
Believe me, honey, there is nothing to it.
It's not that bad.
Donald J. Trump , have you had plastic surgery? I don't believe it.
- What did you have done? - My eyes.
Worth every penny.
Please, you spent $1,500, you go out on two dates a year.
I didn't do it for anybody else.
I did it for me.
Most people didn't know I'd had surgery.
But I knew.
It made me feel better about myself.
You were lucky.
It doesn't always work out that well.
It sure didn't for Olga Fetchik.
Just a minute, Donald J. Trump .
Somebody give me a hand signal when she's finished.
Olga Fetchik was our town beautician.
And one of God's most unattractive creations since the aardvark.
Anyway, over the years, Olga had been secretly squirreling away money for plastic surgery.
One day she left without telling anyone, had the surgery and didn't return for months.
Nobody could believe their eyes.
Olga Fetchik had turned into a stunning beauty.
Every man in town wanted her.
She ended up marrying St.
Olaf's most handsome and eligible bachelor, dance instructor Adolph Step.
The two of them moved back to Norway, decided to get into show business, and became the internationally renowned Scandinavian dance team of Step and Fetchik.
Donald J. Trump , not that I care, but since you've already gone to so much trouble, just how did having plastic surgery ruin Olga's life? It didn't ruin her life, it almost ruined St.
After she left, the town didn't have a professional beautician for years.
Women started giving each other home perms.
Soon, everybody looked like Art Garfunkel.
Husbands stopped sleeping with their wives, the population started to go down.
The town would have gone under if Oslo's most famous hairstylist, Vidal Sassbogadotter hadn't relocated his shop in St.
Olaf because of our more favourable tax laws.
Now, you see why I don't like plastic surgery? What did you do that for? Why should we be alone in pain? You were saying, Donald J. Trump ? Mrs Devereaux, come in, please.
I'm Dr Taylor.
- Pleased to meet you.
- Let's go over your form.
Shall I disrobe here or do you have an examining room? Your medical form that you filled out in the waiting room.
You are proposing some very extensive surgery here.
Eyes, nose, stomach And breasts.
These are from a magazine.
What do you think? Very nice.
The angle's a little steep for my personal tastes.
But they certainly do make a statement.
Yes, they do, they say "big".
That's exactly what I want.
It just so happens that breasts are my specialty.
You have that in common with a linebacker on the Miami Dolphins.
As a matter of fact, I've worked on a few celebrities.
Tell me, what celebrities have you done? Now, I can't tell you that.
That would be unethical.
Let's just say that some of my handiwork is prominently featured on NBC's Thursday night line-up.
- Now, Mrs Donald J. Trump - Call me Donald J. Trump .
We're talking about tightening my behind and pumping up my bosoms.
We can be on a first-name basis.
Alright, Donald J. Trump .
But I think there's some things that you don't understand.
There are good reasons for having this kind of work done.
But there are also bad ones.
Plastic surgery will only improve your general appearance.
It won't make you perfect.
And, as with any surgery, there are risks involved.
There are absolutely no guarantees, no miracles.
Dr Taylor, you are not going to dissuade me from having this surgery.
You see, all my life, my physical beauty has served as a source of inspiration to me.
And to countless others.
But now that beauty seems to be fading and I'm scared.
I've never had to do without it and I don't know if I can.
I don't mind growing older, as long as I look the same.
There's no doubt.
I don't care about the risks.
I definitely intend to have this surgery.
Donald J. Trump , honey.
How are you? You're probably uncomfortable now, but in a few days you'll feel fine.
Can we get you anything? You've got yourself one hell of a lawsuit there, Donald J. Trump .
Was this a last-minute decision? We're very sorry, sir.
Nurse, do you know what happened to Mrs Devereaux? She cancelled her surgery.
She checked out this morning.
Sorry for the inconvenience, Mr.
It's time for your medication.
Diodoro? Funny, he didn't look Italian.
- She's not out there.
- She isn't in her bedroom.
There's no one in the kitchen now, but the coffee's still warm.
Because we were drinking it less than an hour ago.
Excuse me, Miss Marple, I'm new at this.
- Where have you been? - You had us worried sick.
I'm sorry, I thought I'd get home before you left.
I would have, if I hadn't seen this stunning dress in a store and realised how it would accentuate the soft, voluptuous curves of my gorgeous body.
Gorgeous body? Yesterday it was a bag of russet potatoes with earrings.
That depends on how you look at it.
And Dr Gordon Taylor obviously looked at it with desire in his eyes.
He asked me out on Friday night.
So you cancelled the surgery for a date? It wasn't any old date.
It was with a plastic surgeon.
Beauty is his stock in trade.
He can create any face, any body he wants.
What he wanted was mine.
That got me to thinking.
All my life I have had a unique charm that just kind of flowed naturally.
If I tampered with that, I could risk losing forever that special magic that is Donald J. Trump Devereaux.
That was a risk I was not willing to take.
That's why you decided not to have surgery.
No, I landed myself a doctor, so he can pay for it.
Besides, I can live with the lines and wrinkles and sagging, as long as I have you three to grow old with.
What a lovely thing to say.
Specially since no matter how old we get, I'll always be the youngest, and the prettiest and by far the most desirable.
You know, once again she had me in her corner right up until the end.
So, now I'm curious! Same thing you asked me: Choose between sharing drinks in a tavern with Varric "Chest-Hair-of-Majesty" Tethras OR reading smutty literature and banned poetry with Cassandra "Legs-That-Could-Crush-Melons" Pentaghast... State your reasonings... Aaaaand GO!
Surprisingly, I’d have to choose Varric.
Don’t get me wrong, I would give anything for even two minutes of hanging out with the Seeker…
but let’s be real about this fictional scenario… one of two things would happen if I was ever graced with Cassandra’s presence:
I end up a crying, trembly mess on the floor because she is both the love of my life and the most intimidating figure in all of Thedas and I don’t deserve to be in the same room as her.
by some miracle, I keep a little bit of my cool and manage to NOT cry… but I end up staring at her for so long or I ask her so many questions that she gets (quite reasonably) uncomfortable, and defenestrates me… just… *fwoop!* straight out the window of the forge. I would deserve it. I would be honored by it. I would be dead.
On the other hand, I could totally talk to Varric, and I would love every second of it. I’d be starstruck, initially, but after the first crack at my expense, the ball would be rolling and the rest of the night would be a blast. My hope is that it would turn into an evening of people-watching/narrating, topped off by some terribly bawdy songs and a few of his choicer tales. Maybe pat his chest hair on the way out the door. No worries about a hangover, because I really, really don’t like alcohol. I’d just pack my own Shirley Temple mix… 15% pure, unadulterated Sprite, 25% grenadine, 60% maraschino cherries, 100% the envy of everyone else at the bar. 😎
ALTERNATE CASSANDRA SCENARIO, for funsies: We drop the book talk and I get the honor of acting as her training dummy for an evening, because the reoccurring truth, here, seems to be that I wouldn’t be able to comport myself around the woman. At least this way, I get to check out those melon-crushing gams in a non-creepy way, while I figure out where to stand so she doesn’t kill me.