#making the setting the balcony because the kitchen will be for the canon scene
the balcony scene is extreme foreshadowing of whatever scene they give us for buddie going canon no one can change my mind
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HIGH HORSE — QUENTIN BECK
request: what about fighting with quentin beck for the first time, after he's been all smug and acting like he doesn't care about the reader and him realizing after they leave that he needs them in his life real bad - so he gets off his high horse for once and admits he cares about the reader?
warnings: canon divergent quentin (set in an alternate universe where quentin survived far from home), mentions of janice, guterman and a very out of character victoria, throwback scene (including violence, knives and manipulation), 18+, MINORS DON’T INTERACT.
word count: 1525
gif credit: winterswake
notes: i was listening to dark horse by katy perry, high horse by kacey musgraves, save your tears by the weeknd and the raya soundtrack? weird mix, but it takes what it takes to get the angst juices flowing. thanks for reading, remember to reblog!
“Next time you want to come up with a lame apology, I’d advise against asking Guterman to write it for you.” You finally broke the silence.
Quentin had just dismissed Janice for the next couple of hours, asking her nicely to change some part of his collar. You overheard her say something about knowing how to make the cape even more dramatic, and that was all the sweet talk Quentin needed to soften up and let her do her job without micromanaging.
You would never create a scene in front of Janice, she was sweet as pie. The fact he treated her with more kindness, patience and respect than he treated you made your blood boil. You blamed it on the piling up, the lies and the secrets. Your hands were deep under the water, in the sink. You toyed with your wedding ring, loosened up by the water.
“I don’t want to have this conservation again,” he scoffed.
“Again? You never let me finish it the first time.”
It was Victoria, another of his evil sidekicks, who had broken the news to you. He did not make it. His plan backfired, some kid had shot him.
You don’t remember much from this day, aside from Quentin insisting you did not follow them to London. Aside from Quentin renting a beautiful villa in Greece, where you were at that very moment. Aside from Quentin’s last promise to meet with you, after he shook the Queen’s hand of course.
You were so hopeful, you wanted nothing more than to see his pretty face. Instead, when you ran to open the door, it was Victoria who gave you one of her compassionate smiles. She was as great a liar as Quentin, as you. You could see right through her, although Quentin refused to believe that she was as twisted as him.
“They won.” She had told you, twisting the blade in the wound. It was just a game for her, for all of them. Except, for you, it was not. It was the life of your husband that was at risk (that part out of his origin story was true, it was the part both Hill and Fury fell for), the life of millions of innocent people who ignored just how far he would go to make his own dreams come true. “He fought like a King, it’s truly unfortunate he had to die a martyr.”
You squinted, taking in Victoria’s features. Her smile was turning into an evil smirk. She had one hand on your shoulder, the other one behind her back and before she could move any further, you shoved her against the wall. You saw a knife sliding on the tiles of the villa’s foyer, you rushed to grab it and point it towards her while you walked backwards, hoping the reach the balcony.
“You made him weak. He lost focus. We would be the masters of the world if you did not walk into his life and ruined everything for us. He was just a pawn for all of us, well, all except Janice.” She escaped her villainesque speech to roll her eyes, facepalming herself at the desperation of Janice to always check up on everybody and take care of everyone. Janice had loved you since the beginning, and it rubbed Victoria the wrong way.
Your back reached the railing of the balcony and you looked over your shoulder. You took a deep breath, your knuckles turning white from your grip on the knife. “I understand you, Vicky.”
The brunette frowned, snapped back to reality.
“He’s the charming type, isn’t he?” You noticed her repress a wave of laughter. “He sweeps you up, promises you to fly on a magic carpet and to show you a whole new world. You always wonder... Does he mean it this time? Is he being honest? Or is he smarter than we think?”
Her traits appeared softer.
"You say he’s a pawn, I say he’s the rook, except his ego gets in the way of the Queen. He’s quick and witty, though, can’t take that away from him. And next thing you know... He pulled out a checkmate behind your back.” You walked towards her, still the knife in hand. “I understand you can’t always get what you want, even if that’s all your heart desires.” You walked around her, so that she was now the one aiming towards the balcony.
“He doesn’t deserve you.” Victoria said. “I could have given you the whole world.”
Your jaw clenched. You stepped even closer, so you could feel her breath on her skin. “Too bad I want the whole universe.”
With one swift movement, you pushed her off the railings and watched her as she fell practically in slow motion. You shook your head, deciding to deal with this turn of event later and rushed out of the villa. You could take the car she drove to the house with, and see for yourself if Quentin was the idiot they all believed he was. Dead because of a kid who’s obsessed with spiders? What was next, he would have consented to let Tony name his technology BARF? You knew him better than that. You knew him better than he knew himself.
By the time you reached the door, you heard the splashing sound of Victoria falling in the infinity pool, down there in the courtyard and let out a sigh. The knife, you left it on the bench and let your adrenaline guide you to your final destination.
“I was terrified. I was sick. I was losing hope.”
He looked in your direction, swallowing thickly.
“I waited months to see you, Quentin. To find you.” You washed another dirty glass, paying attention to the noise of his heavy costume squeaking and dragging on the floor while he approached you. You shook your head, and he listened, taking a seat by the kitchen island. “You left without hesitation. You left me without any hesitation.”
“I didn’t leave you.”
You chuckled and turned around, soap dish foam flying around as you spinned on your heels. “Oh, really? Then how come you didn’t even text me where you were hiding? How come you ignored all of my calls? How come you made Janice lie to me? Why were you avoiding me?” You dried your hands with a towel and approached him. “Why were you not searching for me all these months?”
These months he wasted trying to hide from everything, to play dead so that his plan would work out. These months he wasted putting his mission before his emotions first. These months he wasted waiting for the phone to stop ringing while you called him. These months he wasted stepping on his own pride and searching for help, for shelter, which he found in some abandoned head quarters of Stark industries that Tony and him used to build BARF years ago. The months he wasted trying to fix the broken pieces so you could see him as a hero again.
“I know I promised to be there for you through thick and thin, but some promises are meant to be broken.” Your voice cracked and words got stuck in your throat. The sight of his costume disgusted you, but the pain in his eyes made your heart skip a beat.
“I love you.”
You forgot what these three words sounded like when he spoke them.
“I love you so much. More than this,” his arms gestured to show his costume, then moved around his head, meaning something bigger than the two of you. “All of this. It took me all this time to realize it.”
“You deserve so much better. You deserve safety. You deserve comfort. You deserve to go out and not wonder if there’s a witch hunt trying to take you down.” He did not dry the single tear that was falling from his eye. “You deserve that stupid married life we always made fun of. The wine, the cardigans, the annoying kids running around. The only spider you should worry about is the one creeping on our ceiling.”
He was wrapping his arms around your waist, you helped him tighten his embrace.
“I’m sorry, for all the pain and danger I put you through.” You knew it came from his heart, and not from one of his rehearsed scenarios and speeches. “I’m sorry I failed you. You need a prince charming on a white horse and I’m just the royal buffoon.”
You chuckled, the sight alone lit up his whole face. “What I need is for you to get down your high horse. Go out, get some sun. Maybe you could shave, wear a cap and sunglasses. No one will recognize you, that’s how it works when you’re an undercover hero, right?”
“I don’t want to play the hero anymore.”
“Then, stop. Use those fish bowls you wear on your head to adopt gold fishes. Use the cape as a carpet. Kill Mysterio so that Quentin can live.”
He leaned against your hand, which was stroking his cheek.
“So that I can live with my Quentin again.”
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Hargreeves Mansion Layout: Second Floor
Thank you for coming back for part 2! If you haven’t seen part 1 (the ground floor) you can find it here. And Part 3, the third floor, here!!!
The second floor is slightly more complex than the first floor and it has a lot more rooms.
If you haven’t seen my first post; yellow symbolizes doors or double doors, green are archways, the neon pink is the staircase coming up from the floor beneath (same goes for the light pink - its the main staircase coming up from the ground floor.), the blue is the long staircase from the stair race scene that goes through the entire house from the basement to the third floor. The orange and black will be explained later.
So overall the second floor has the most rooms out of all the floors and the most colors so here we go!
So for the ‘home’ section of the house lets start on the far right.
The empty square there is the balcony area above the living room. Its thicker on the bottom since that’s where the bar is and the bar is completely covered. There also seems to be a small sitting area above it.
I’ve realized now in hindsight that the other end of the walkway ends at the wall and does not have the same sort of walkway across the top. I may correct my drawing in the future.
Speaking of the top section, this is where I’ve put Hargreeves personal rooms. I’ve placed the surveillance room here - the room where Hargreeves watches the children’s brainwaves and where Allison watches the tape of Hargreeves death.
I’ve also placed it at the beginning of the hall. We only know there’s a hall since Diego walks down one on the way to Hargreeves’ Bedroom.
I placed Hargreeves’ Study right next to it. I know its not L-shaped as I’ve drawn it but I didn’t want to make the surveillance room super big so I’m just going to run with it.
We see a living room and another room through a second door in the study so I assumed that this was another way into his bedroom.
The dotted line through the main walkway is just how I separated the house into sections so it may be ignored.
Now the central section is simpler.
On the bottom we have the Academy oil paintings. The small tragic things taking place from their debut until there was only Luther, Everyone leaving or dying or disappearing.
A bit further, slightly around the corner, is Grace’s charging station with its portraits. I put a dotted line around it because there are no walls but I wanted to show where it was.
Ignoring the courtyard we now get to the most complicated part.
So Luther and Allison are side by side with their doors angled like we see in the dance scene and a lot of other scenes as well.
Then to the side is the bathroom which we see in the show has its own small hallway lined with attack posters like the rest of the hall (horrifying, I know).
Now to the interesting part.
Klaus and Vanya’s rooms.
In the flashback scene we see both of their rooms. They are next to each other and both about the size of a closet with Klaus’ being slightly bigger.
But in the scene where they are older and Vanya is destroying the mansion room by room, you can see that Klaus now has a bigger room and that the sort-of-brick wall that we only ever see in Vanya’s room is a part of it.
So at some point the wall was knocked down and both rooms were given to Klaus. It even seems to have both doors, as in one scene Five enters through one and leaves through the other. This results in this chaotic mess of the room:
See? Both doors!
Any black sections on my ‘map’ are just thick walls or areas filled up with dirt or cement (though that last bit is more likely for the basement.)
The rest of the layout is sort of only based in canon since I had to change things around for them to fit (this is what happens when you film in multiple locations and not one house)
Now Diego’s room is the one at the end of the hall as we see in the flashback of Grace walking along it. Now I know in this scene we also see a hallway veering off to the left but it doesn’t make sense with the layout of the house, since that’s where the house ends, so I’ve erased it.
Diego’s room is the smallest of the rooms (once Vanya’s wall is removed) and it doesn’t change much at all so I have little to say about it. But its canonical location is interesting.
Originally Diego’s room is diagonal to the third floor staircase (which I’ve striped orange) and has a slight angle to the door. Thing is, for the bathroom to have its hallway and for said hallway to be within the constraints of physics, I had to switch the rooms around a bit.
From the hallway scene we know the bathroom is next to Allison’s room and Klaus’ room is next to Luther’s. But in order to fit the bathroom hallway I had to flip them so I could cut the bathroom into the walkway. That’s why there’s a dotted line through the bathroom since the walkway wall would be there.
The creators also just...forgot??? About the staircase coming up through the floor from the ground floor? so I put the pink stairs right next to the bathroom.
This meant though that I had to put Diego’s room next to Klaus though.
I’ve added a new room for Vanya since she needed one and we are never shown were it is. I’ve put it at the end of the hall, slightly closed off from her siblings since that seems to be where Reginald would have put it.
This is from the hallway flashback just before Reginald comes in frame from that side hallway that doesn’t make sense. The open door we see is Diego’s original (nonsensical) room, which is the room I’ve given Vanya. And the stairs there are from the orange staircase that goes up to the third story. That dark doorway you see is (now) Diego’s room.
Now imagine that the hall just ends with Vanya’s door and that the stairs are folded halfway down to face Vanya’s door.
That’s how I finally got everything to make sense. It took me hours!!!
Now we can finally move on to the training section of the second floor.
The second floor is the main training floor. This floor houses the training and exercise room on the far right.
This room is mainly for overall training. I’ve headcanoned that it has tan oval running track, weights, workout equipment, punching bags, a climbing wall, gymnastics equipment, and an obstacle course in the center.
The sparring and weapons room is exactly what it sounds like. I’ve put it here for a separate space without all the equipment, because there is no way Hargreeves didn’t pit his children against each other. I headcanon it as having a boxing ring style space at the top and empty weapons space at the bottom with targets secured to the wall (the targets can move with a remote). This space is separated from left to right 3/4 of the way by a large metal weapons case with almost every weapon imaginable. There are dozens of types of guns, swords, war hammers, battle axes, bow and arrows, spears, knives, flamethrowers, scythes, clubs, maces, batons, both dual and singular sticks & staffs, num-chuks, shuriken, and even ‘non traditional weapons’ like ropes and chains.
We know from the scene where Five reappears in Ep 1 that they were taught how to use anything as a weapon. I assume this was either tested in the kitchen itself, or he set up a replica of a household room here.
(This is really really sad, look at it!)
We can see the following:
Egg Beaters - Hair Pull
Stock Pot - Explosive Device
Toaster - Use Cord For Strangulation
Coffee Pot - Throw Coffee In Face
Blender - Hand Mangler
Then I added a row of personal training rooms for their individual powers. Each room has an observation room - with a two way mirror and its own entrance - beneath it. I made it like a prison interrogation room on purpose because Hargreeves goes for functionality and trauma over anything else, and he would not like to be in the same room as some of their powers.
As you can see, the seventh room, which had been Vanya’s, has had its wall knocked down (hence the dotted line) and observation door boarded up. Hargreeves changed it all and made himself a small office instead. This was because it was no longer in use and because he wouldn’t want anyone to suspect anything.
And that’s it for this second installment in the mansion layout!!! Thank you so much for reading, id love to hear any thoughts!!!! Stay tuned for parts 3 & 4.
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tag games round-up!
ahhhhhhh! i am so sorry for taking literal ages in doing these tag games. i finally got a “longer” break for the new year and i’m catching up. you’re all so lovely for thinking of me and remembering me in these. please don’t get tired of tagging me because i love doing them... just not in a timely manner these days HAHAHAHA.
2020 Creator Wrap: Favorite Works
Rules: It’s time to love yourselves! Choose your 5 (or so) favorite works you created in the past year (fics, art, edits, etc.) and link them below to reflect on the amazing things you brought into the world in 2020. Tag as many writers/artists/etc. as you want (fan or original) so we can spread the love and link each other to awesome works.
tagged by @yibobibo @vishcount @manhasetardis @inessencedevided @tiesanjiao & @xiaosean
one of my favourite quotes from mdzs in gif form
one of my favourite scenes from mdzs that didn’t make the live action drama but i had to make do. i actually wasn’t sure how people were gonna receive this set just because it wasn’t actually in cql hahaha.
my first tgcf gif set which turns out to be a classic xie lian reaction
another tgcf gif set just because of the feels. hua cheng was sooo sad :<
my jin ling birthday post just because i really liked how it turned out
pretty proud of this mcr x wangxian gif set because it was my first attempt at doing that text effect
gremlin wei wuxian flirting his heart out
purple!!! bunnies!!! feelings!!!
non-gif fandom posts because i don’t do them often! this lan xichen meta and this pacific rim au head canon
Rules: You can usually tell a lot about a person by the type of music they listen to! Put your favourite playlist on shuffle and list the first 10 songs, then tag 10 people. No skipping.
tagged by @lzswy
I copied what you did so these were from my 2020 spotify playlist hahaha
exile - taylor swift feat. bon iver
famous last words - my chemical romance
masterpiece theatre ii - marianas trench
dancing in the dark - bruce springsteen (i literally would like to have this song in my wedding, jsyk)
getaway car - taylor swift
the run and go - twenty one pilots
琉璃-電視劇《琉璃》片頭曲 - liu yu ning
hold me while you wait - lewis capaldi
EOEO - UNIQ
yi nan ping - yin lin
Top 10 favourite male fictional characters
tagged by @yiling-recesses @yibobibo @vishcount @ashenlights (sorry i can’t tag your side blog for some reason ahhh)
not in any particular order because that would just be torture hahaha
lan wangji (mo dao zu shi)
wei wuxian (mo dao zu shi)
hua cheng (tian guan ci fu)
xie lian (tian guan ci fu)
ronan lynch (the raven cycle)
andrey minyard (all for the game)
holland vosijk (shades of magic)
laurent of vere (captive prince)
jolllly (les miserables)
arthur shappey (cabin fever)
tagged by @manhasetardis
found family or soulmates | slow burn or established but complicated | enemies-to-friends-to-lovers or best friends-to-lovers | love at first sight or get back together | morally grey character or unreliable narrator | sunshine character or sarcastic character | fire-forged friends or childhood friends | description-heavy or dialogue-heavy | fluff or angst | flower symbolism or color symbolism | hero from the start or reveal the hero near the end
guess what my fave fanfic combo trope then hahahaha
tagged by @lan-xichens
coffee or tea | early bird or night owl | chocolate or vanilla | spring or fall | silver or gold | pop or alternative | freckles or dimples | snakes or sharks | mountains or fields | thunder or lightning | egyptian mythology or greek mythology | ivory or scarlet | flute or lyre | opal or diamond | butterflies or honeybees | macarons or eclairs | typewritten or handwritten | secret garden or secret library | rooftop or balcony | spicy or mild | opera or ballet | london or paris | vincent van gogh or claude monet | denim or leather | potions or spells | ocean or desert | mermaids or sirens | masquerade ball or cocktail party
waaah i miss london so much t_t also sharks are cool in theory, but i’d be deathly scared to encounter them. snakes are just nope in any way, shape, or form. hahaha.
tagged by @highwarlockkareena
drinking: hot water (trying to cut down on coffee now that i have a couple of days break to idk, reset my body or sthg hahahahahaha)
watching: heaven official’s blessing
reading: nothing in particular atm save for fanfics in my marked for later pile
hobbies: i’m like kareena and giffing is my hobby and my way to relax. like, i would just go on a gif making binge every couple of weeks especially after a particularly busy time in school hahaha
signature scent: pre-pandemic i guess chanel chance and joe malone wood sage & sea salt were my go to perfumes... i don’t wear them when i’m just at home, obv. hahahaha.
listening to: i have one of jack whitehall’s stand-up specials playing in the background right now... does that count? hahahaha
tagged by @leonzhng
Task was to do this picrew challenge
i am a big advocate of wearing masks all the time but also none of the mouth options were working for me hahahaha. masks coming through for me even when i’m making picrew of myself XD
tagged by @yibobibo @vishcount @oneautumnfox
What is the color of your hairbrush? red
Name a food you never eat. anything pickled???
Are you typically too warm or too cold? too warm :< i live in the tropics.
What were you doing 45 minutes ago? cooking lasagna to be baked for new year’s eve dinner!
What’s your favorite candy bar? this dutch chocolate called hands off my chocolate. i tasted it when i visited my cousin in nl and asked him to get me tons of it when he came back for the holidays hahahaha
Have you ever been to a professional sports game? yes! watched world cup qualifier matches when i lived abroad.
What is the last thing you said out loud? “Mhm.”
What is your favourite ice cream? pistachio, mango, and cheese hahaha
What was the last thing you had to drink? hot water!
Do you like your wallet? i guess. it’s a louis vuitton wallet from my aunt. i haven’t changed it in years cos i can’t be bothered, tbh.
What is the last thing you ate? CHICKEN NUGGETS!!! FAVE!!!
Did you buy any new clothes last weekend? nope. i don’t go anywhere so i don’t even buy new clothes or shoes. HOLY SHIT. I DID. idk if this counts but my hospital scrubs were paid for and delivered last weekend exactly hahahaha.
What’s the last sporting event you watched? idk. football, probably hahaha. i don’t watch any other sports apart from F1 maybe haha.
What is your favorite flavor of popcorn? butter and cheese
Who is the last person you sent a text message to? my high school best friend
Ever been camping? yup!
Do you take vitamins? yes because pandemic, but also stress and school so my gp makes me take them.
Do you regularly attend a place of worship? yes. my family is very religious.
Do you have a tan? nope! i am so fucking pale rn, i get teased all the time. i’m already pretty fair to begin with and the pandemic has forced me inside for longer than i used to so now i’m white (for an asian person hahahaha). oh but we went to the cemetery last christmas and it was blazing hot so i got a tiny tiny bit of tan from there.
Do you prefer chinese or pizza? chinese food
Do you drink your soda through a straw? i don’t drink soda to begin with
What color socks do you usually wear? for school, black or tan footsie socks. for casual wear, neon footsie socks hahaha
Do you ever drive above the speed limit? erm, not really because i live in the city so traffic!
What terrifies you? a lot of things. my anxiety knows no bounds.
Look to your left, what do you see? i’m in the dining room so family portrait
What chore do you hate most? washing the dishes :(
What do you think of when you hear an Australian accent? steve irwin hahaha
What’s your favorite soda? ginger ale if i do drink
Do you go in a fast food place or just hit the drive thru? i used to go in pre-pandemic.
What’s your favorite number? 7 and 11
Who’s the last person you talked to? my brother
Favorite meat? chicken
Last song you listened to? a part of me - neck deep
Last book you read? tian guan ci fu
Favorite day of the week? saturday???
Can you say the alphabet backwards? probably if i concentrate hard enough hahahaha
How do you like your coffee? lots of cream and a dash of brown sugar
Favorite pair of shoes? sneakers!
Time you normally get up? depends on my schedule. on weekends, between 10 and 11 am hahaha
What do you prefer, sunrise or sunsets? sunsets because sunrise is too early for life
How many blankets on your bed? just one
Describe your kitchen plates. erm, white and square-ish?
Describe your kitchen at the moment. pretty clean but dishes still to be washed cos i just cooked
Do you have a favorite alcoholic drink? mojito for cocktails, whiskey for hard
Do you play cards? erm, rarely hahaha. does uno count? XD
What color is your car? gold (not like flashy ugly gold)
Can you change a tire? no hahahahaha. i got a punctured tire once at uni and thankfully my brother was in the high school of the same school so i got him and a nice security guard to help me. i know the theory... practice is a little different.
Your favorite state or province? ????
Favorite job you’ve had? i’ve only had two jobs: babysitter and a nurse - babysitting was a lot less stressful HAHAHAHAHA
wow, if you got through all those, i salute you. thanks for coming to my ted talk XD
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New Neighbor (One Piece Fanfic) Christmas Special
May or may not be canon to the story
If she were nervous about a whole bunch of people suddenly showing up to her small holiday party, she didn’t show it. Nami had to hold in the urge to gasp at all of Luffy’s friends crowding her front door, save Sanji, and Robin. She had originally planned on having a small get together for the special day with just her close friends, Vivi, Robin, Sanji, Conis and Luffy. However, her ever so energetic neighbor had taken it upon himself to get everyone she had met it appeared to go ahead and come to her party.
“Hi… everyone.” she uttered as she opened the door wider for the black haired neighbor and the group of people behind him.
“Hi, Nami!” Luffy cheered, walking in, and stopping by her side as his friends came in, “thanks for inviting us!”
His smile is way too precious, Nami smiled back in return before facing the door again, “Nojiko! Gen!” she exclaimed, her excitement overfilling as she let go of the door to hug the two. However Luffy held her shoulder, so she was stopped in her tracks.
“Hi, Nami, how’s it been?” Nojiko smiled.
“But you said you couldn’t make it!” Nami reasoned.
“That was true,” Nojiko smiled, eyeing the large-eyed man holding her sister back from giving her a huge hug.
“Why, what happened?” Nami asked, slightly concerned.
Nojiko leaned forward as Luffy let go of her sister’s shoulder as he eyed the food tray. “Your boyfriend happened.”
Nami’s face went red, and she glanced behind her to see if Luffy had heard. To her pleasure, he didn’t, he was already chowing down on the food she had set up. She inwardly hoped he wouldn’t eat it all. “Luffy and I are just neighbors, Nojiko.”
“That boy better not have made you cry!” Gen stated, butting into the conversation.
“He didn’t.” Nami answered, “He won’t.”
Gen smiled, “After what he did to get all three of us here, I doubted it.”
“Yeah,” Nami smiled, before wrapping her arms around both of them, “I’m really glad you two could make it!”
If she hadn’t hidden her face between their shoulders she would have noticed the knowing glances her family had given each other, but, as it was, she was left staring out the door at a woman in a wheelchair as she tried to figure out a way up the stairs, annoyance at the wheels she had to sit in etched across her face. Nami froze, her arms dropped from the two she hugged, and stared at the red-haired woman.
“Yo! Nami!” Luffy called, running back over to her.
Nami didn’t answer, and nearly fell over as his body slammed behind her, as his chin rested on her shoulder, curious about what she was looking at. She didn’t even glance at his close face, not even getting angry at him for nearly knocking her over. After a minute, she began to take a step forward, as Luffy decided to speak.
“Was I not supposed to bring her?” he asked.
She jolted upright, though Luffy still let his chin rest on her shoulder. She turned her head, her nose touching his, “Not supposed to?” she asked, his wide eyes nearly blurred in their close proximity, “How did you know that I wanted to see her?”
Luffy backed his head off her shoulder and smiled, she was slightly disappointed, because if he had asked, or even leaned in just a little, she probably would have kissed him. She was too happy about his sudden gesture of care. He laughed, “So I did well, then?”
“Did well?” she repeated, and accidentally let her thoughts run out of her mouth, “I could kiss you right now!” As soon as the words left the barricade of her lips, she slapped her hand over them, a blush coating her round cheeks.
“Could you now?” she heard her mother’s voice ask, “there’s a mistletoe, you know, Nami?”
She snapped her head over to Bellamere, a slight scold on her face but it disappeared as she heard Luffy’s words barely above a whisper.
She looked back at him, and noticed his slight curious, yet direct face. It was as if he was telling her ‘no.’ That he didn’t want her to kiss him. She held up her hands in defense, “Oh, it was just a figure of speech, Luffy, nothing serious!” she nervously laughed.
“Then why are you under the mistletoe?” Nojiko asked.
“Kiss him?” she heard a stern female voice say behind her sister.
“It was just a figure out speech! I wouldn’t dare actually kissing him!” Nami defended herself as the tall black haired, beautiful, woman stepped up to her.
“Luffy’s my husband, you cannot kiss him!” she exclaimed.
“I’m not marrying you.” Luffy said to the woman.
“Oh! So direct!” the woman blushed, dramatically holding the back of her hand to her forehead as she nearly fell backwards, “I love it!”
Nami recognized the woman as the Boa Hancock, she was one of the ambassadors, and was the empress of her own kingdom. She felt a little out of place, and not worthy of Luffy if this woman was turned down by him. She gulped, but remembered the woman in the wheelchair that two pink haired girls had helped up the porch. “Bellamere!” she cried, wrapping her arms around the woman.
Luffy smiled, before silently walking back to his immediate circle of friends. Robin was smiling, her arms lightly folded across her chest. Zoro had a smirk across his features as he crossed his arms. Sanji was doing little twirls, repeatedly saying how beautiful the girls that were at the party were, especially one of the pink haired girls. Usopp rested his hands at his hips, and looked at Luffy like a proud older brother. Chopper also held a special smile on his face, as he hugged the black haired twenty-one year old approaching them. Franky yelled out a loud ‘SUPER’ as he posed his arms above his head, and leaned off to the side. Brook laughed a little before swinging an arm around Zoro, only to be shrugged off by the latter’s strong shoulders. Jinbei, the former ambassador of Fishman Island, chuckled a little as he rested his arms in his traditional kimono of his country.
“Pin-wheel guy was right!” Luffy giggled, as he spun around into one of Nami’s bar stools, Chopper letting go as his friend took a seat, “Nami was happy to see her!”
Nami let her mother wrap a delicate arm around her, lightly coming her fingers through the long locks of orange hair. Nojiko smiled, as she proudly glanced over at the black haired neighbor of her sister. Gen looked at Bellamere’s delicate smile, and wanted to let the moment last forever, though he knew that probably wouldn’t be possible. Anything that her sister had previously teased her about suddenly vanished from Nami’s mind as she felt her mother’s caring hug on her back. It didn’t matter if her body was frail, and still healing, the hug felt strong and secure. It felt safe. A mother’s embrace was one of the things she missed the most after she had left Cocoyashi. That, and the mysterious boy who had saved her from the tyranny of her abusive boyfriend of the time.
“Is this Bellamere?” Robin and Vivi asked, simultaneously, as they walked up to the adorable scene.
Nami glanced away from her mother’s shoulder, and nodded lightly, “I’ve missed you so much!” she told Bellamere, as she gazed into the navy blue eyes.
“I wouldn’t have been able to come if it weren’t for that handsome neighbor of yours.” she smiled back, weakly, “gotta say, you’ve grown up so much, Nami!”
“Bellamere!” Nami cried again, as she let her sister join her in the hug.
It was a while before the party actually started. Nami took a chance to step out with a mug of hot cocoa, for a quiet moment, onto the balcony of her room. She was startled when she was met with the famous green haired friend of her neighbor. He was staring out into her orchard with a confused face. He scratched his head for a moment, before turning to leave.
“Zoro?” she asked, “What are you doing on my balcony?”
Zoro looked at her confused, “Your house is confusing!” he accused her.
“Why?” she asked, “Is there a room I can help you find?”
“That stupid cook,” Zoro turned back to her orchard, talking to himself, “He said there was sake in the kitchen, but where the heck is the kitchen!”
“The kitchen is downstairs, next to my living room.” Nami answered.
Zoro glared at her, “I know that.” he said, a light flush on his cheeks.
“Did you get lost in my house?” she asked.
“No!” Zoro responded, “Your house keeps changing.”
He’s lost, Nami sighed, “So what made Luffy bring Bellamere here?” she asked.
Zoro glanced at her, before smiling, light, faint, and pained, but still there, “Sometimes it's nice to meet someone you thought you’d never see again.” he said.
“Did you lose someone?” Nami asked, concerned.
Zoro looked over at her, and though it appeared that the answer was ‘yes’ he didn’t answer, but looked back at her orchard, and leaned against her railing.
“Did Luffy lose someone?” she asked.
Zoro hung his head, ashamed? He seemed pained to remember that moment, too, “Yeah, he did.” he said, “right in front of him.”
“Are they…” She couldn’t finish her sentence, the words failing to come out of her mouth.
Zoro pushed himself off the railing, and turned to leave, “but that isn’t my story to tell.”
Nami opened her mouth to say something, but he pushed open her doors and disappeared into her room. She hung her head, and clung her hands around her hot cocoa a little tighter. The air felt a bit more cold than before. She sighed, her breath leaving puffs in the air.
The wind blew through her hair, and the steam of her drink went into her face as she brought her face closer to the hot mug in her hands. Attempting to take a drink, though changing her mind at the last moment. She sighed, and looked down at the trees. No one was out there, but memories of picking those oranges with her mother, and sister, were brought to her mind. She took the chance to imagine being able to do it again. She smiled and let her hands bring the hot liquid to her lips. She took a sip of the citrus-induced hot cocoa.
“Yo!” she heard above her, and nearly jumped. The cocoa swirling in her mug.
She looked up, to meet large eyes illuminated by the glow of the moonlight. His hair pulled by gravity, as it showed his forehead. The straw hat dangling by the white string that rested on his jaw. He smiled, and she briefly wondered how long he had been there, she hadn’t heard him, not seen him. “Luffy?”
“Yep!” he answered, and spun himself upright, as he perched himself on her railing, “you okay?”
“Yeah, I am.” she smiled, “how’d you bring Bellamere here, anyway?”
“Bella-who?” Luffy asked.
“My mother,” she corrected.
“Oh!” Luffy giggled, “Pin-wheel-guy said you wanted to see her.”
“I did, I do!” she frowned slightly, thinking that it wasn’t Luffy’s original idea.
“So we brought her!” he giggled, and sat down on the railing.
“And I really am grateful, it was a nice surprise,” she smiled, softly, “but Luffy?”
“You didn’t have to bring the whole town.”
“My house is full, it feels like you brought the whole town!”
“I didn’t.” Luffy responded, “I brought Zoro, Usopp, Franky, Brook, Chopper, Yuwahoshi, Rebecca, Soldier, Tra-guy, Jinbei, Iva-chan, Bon-chan, Pin-wheel-guy, orange-girl, Hancock, and…” Luffy’s face went red, and Nami got a little sad he could remember Hancock’s name but not her family.
“Yeah! Her!” Luffy cheered.
“There’s more people you brought than just sixteen, Luffy.”
“Urgh,” Luffy began thinking again.
“Don’t worry about it, it doesn’t matter.”
“Like the kiss?” Luffy asked.
“Yeah, like the ki-” Nami nodded, but suddenly stopped mid-sentence. “You’re still thinking about that?”
Luffy looked at her, like she was an idiot, “Why? Is kissing bad?”
“What? No!” Nami responded, shaking her head, as Luffy hopped off the railing.
“Okay, so why’d you wanna kiss me?”
“I didn’t!” Nami nearly yelled, “Why the hell would I ever want to kiss a guy like you?” it came out a little more mean than she had intended, and it obviously hurt his feelings.
“What’s wrong with me?” he asked. His brows furrowed, and his lips in a slight pout. They looked a little pinker to Nami than usual.
“There’s nothing wrong with you! I just don’t want to-”
“Kiss me.” Luffy finished for her, “Is there someone you do want to kiss?”
“I, uh-” her eyes dropped back to his lips. They were definitely more rosy than before, it was probably the cold. They held a slight shiver in them, though he hadn’t taken notice of the cold yet. “I’ve never wanted to kiss anyone before, I mean it’s just lips on lips, after all.”
“Lips on lips?” Luffy questioned, he stomped his foot like a child, “That doesn’t explain it at all!”
“What’s so important in a kiss? Why’d you want to kiss me? Why-”
“I didn't,” Nami muttered as Luffy continued his questions.
“-did you look at my lips? Is kissing special? Why don’t you want to kiss me? Am I bad?” he continued asking her.
“I…” she was at a loss for words, but he seemed quite hurt for some reason. “Do you have anyone you’d want to kiss?” she asked, “Like Hancock?”
“Why would I want to kiss Hancock?” Luffy asked, tilting his head to the side, as he leaned back on the railing.
“Because she likes you?”
“I’m not gonna marry her.”
“So Vivi? Robin? Rebecca? Conis? Nojiko? Shirahoshi?”
“No! They’re my friends!” Luffy defended himself.
“Would you kiss a friend?”
“Why would I do that to them?” he asked.
Nami raised her brows at what he said. He made it sound more like a burden, when it wasn’t. She opened her mouth to speak again when she watched him droop over the railing, pouting. She brought a hand up, and rubbed it over his back, “if you really like them, I’m sure you could kiss them. Just make sure they like you back.” she said.
“Like me back?” he asked, before raising his head and looking at her, “how ‘bout you?”
“What!” Nami’s face heated up.
“Yeah!” Luffy smiled, “I like you, you like me! It works, right!”
“As friends, friends don’t really ki-”
“Show me how to do it!” Luffy announced, “You said you put lips on lips, right?”
“Yeah, bu-” Nami began but stopped as Luffy’s eyes stared at her.
“So let’s do it!” he smiled.
“But there are tons of other girls who would love to kiss you, I mean take Bo-”
Luffy cut her off again, “but then I have to find them, and you’re right here!”
Nami felt a little pain in her chest. He didn’t want to kiss her, he just wanted to kiss somebody, and that somebody happened to be her. She wanted it to be special, but it didn’t seem like that was what he was intending, “Luffy, if we do this, then you can’t kiss anyone else.”
“I can’t?” he asked, “Why not?”
“Well, because a kiss goes to someone that you really love, so you shouldn’t give it away to other people. You sure you want to do this?”
“Of course!” Luffy responded, “I love all my friends. Stop asking difficult questions!”
“Luffy!” she stated, holding her hand up, as if to stop him from coming forward, though he wasn’t, “Can I lead?” Tons of thoughts were going through her mind, and she desperately wanted to kiss him, but she had a gut feeling that she shouldn’t.
She gently grabbed his soft cheeks, and noticed his eyes widen softly before she slowly began to pull him closer to her, as she slowly puckered her lips. She was about to meet his lips. About to feel how soft they were, and see how red they were. But instead of feeling the soft flesh of his lips, she felt his cheek, and she had to take a step back for a moment. He was staring off at something, and it was probably the meat that Sanji was yelling about being done.
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I did a thing today! I recreated Miyagi’s apartment(Or rather the main room) in The Sims 4! Sometimes, location references are so useful for writers like myself, so I made this as a reference for me and figured I’d share it in case anyone else is looking for pictures of Miyagi’s apartment. It’s not perfect, I was limited to what is in the game and some custom content I have, but I’m pretty happy with it. I’ll break down the room into sections so we can zoom in and analyze under the cut.
The kitchen is pretty basic. I chose as similar counters color wise as I could, but it’s lacking. Microwave is against the back corner, the sink and stove are both across from it. From the wall it goes: Empty counter, sink, counter, stove, counter. The kitchen is free of clutter for the most part which I hate in The Sims but easier to draw/animate I’m sure. I kept the utensil cup by the stove we see in a shot of the first episode. There’s also a built in square cabinet on the last counter that I can’t replicate that we know salt is kept in from S3, so I put in a bread box instead(Interesting note: Miyagi doesn’t even have a coffee maker in the anime, but we know he drinks coffee in the manga). There’s some wall storage and then the fridge, which I feel like the fridge should be wider and there should only be one storage thing(You’ll see two), but fridges are only so big in The Sims so I had to add a second storage thing to fill the space. There’s also no fridges that match the counters(In the anime it seems to be a built in fridge that matches the counters) so I chose a random one. I regret using that one in ways but not enough to retake screenshots.
The lounge was pretty easy, tbh. I had to use CC couches because we don’t have sectionals in game but this one had an orange swatch!!! That’s like classic Junjou Terrorist. The sectional has a loveseat across from it and then the TV in the corner. I don’t know how easy it is to see the TV with this layout, tbh. I honestly don’t even know if it’s possible for sims to sit on the sectional and watch TV. The coffee table was light gray, so I just grabbed my favorite coffee table and left it. Next to the TV is the calendar we see in S2, and then a painting, we see two in the room but the quality of the Youtube video isn’t the best so I just chose a random one with similar colors and used it twice. We know there’s either a window or balcony behind the sectional because we see curtains, I assume it’s a balcony so I added a sliding door but you can’t see it.
I studied the placement of things on the front wall SO MUCH. It’s not spaced out properly, but everything is there. I think the side table should be three tiles wide(You can see the grid placement, each square is a tile), but we only have two wide side tables, so while the plants should be right next to the table, it’s spaced out. The plants aren’t exact, again, I used my favorite plant. The decor on the side table also changes(Two bowls and a plant in S1, a bowl and the plant in S2, pictures in S3) so I used a bowl and plant, and in the lounge pic, you can see I added a picture frame after this shot. In my mind, it represents the picture of Sensei that’s kept in a drawer. There’s also a fire alarm on the wall, I can’t tell what it is in the anime but Sims need fire alarms. We also have no light switches, so that’s a thermostat to represent the lights next to the door. I also wasn’t sure what exact color the door was, so I chose a similar door and color. This one is definitely more of a recreation of placement rather than the most accurate objects. The placement of the side table was something I needed to figure out, I had thought it was behind the dining table so I need to edit a scene.
The dining room/storage area is really bare and simple. For placement, the table seems to line up with the plant by the door, at least the front chair does. The plant is more tree-like than the plants by the door. Two chairs, which still gets on my nerves because who only has two chairs for a 4-6 seater dining table and I wrote a scene yesterday where the table had 4 chairs and it’s set 5-6 years post S1/S2 so I’m keeping it and assuming they’ve gotten a new dining set(Shinobu has Risako and her twin toddlers over for lunch so it needs four chairs) or something. Very basic. There’s a storage closet in the corner, where Shinobu and Risako both look for their things, we can see in the anime that it sticks out, isn’t in line with the kitchen which looks really good, divides the room up a bit. We see that there’s a picture on the wall close to it from the Risako scene, that’s the reuse of the painting. I used one of the in game closet objects instead of trying to find the right doors and making it myself.
And... That’s it. I didn’t pay too much attention to the walls, I think they’re mostly white so I went with my favorite trusty gray wallpaper with trim, but the kitchen and half wall behind the section seems to be brown so I made it an accent wall kind of? Sims Youtubers like to use the term accent wall so I’m pretending I’m knowledgeable. The floorboards are a medium brown wood. And I have no idea about lighting so I just put some basic lights in, S3 has a few wall lights on the front wall but I didn’t see them in S1/2.
It’s nothing special, but I found it useful and I like it so hopefully other people like it too. I have a few other Junjou Terrorist builds that aren’t recreations but just places like the Takatsuki house, the Anderson house(Shinobu’s Australian host family in my mind, I love them) and their RV for a story I have in the works, Miyagi’s apartment where I took inspiration from the canon one but not exact, things like that. I’d be happy to share those too. I think I used CC from IllogicalSims, Peacemaker-ic, Hey Harrie and FelixAndre(Collab packs), and Littledica so thank you to them. They’re all fantastic creators. If anyone wants this on the gallery, I can replace most of the CC with game items and upload it. Might try to recreate the apartment, but that’ll be a lot of creative liberties.
I’ll shut up now. This is long enough.
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Forgotten Memories (Liam x MC)
A/N: So Hi, I never write anything (this is my first oneshot/fic/ drabble?), so don’t expect this to be a regular thing but I got this idea from a photo from my childhood (I was dressed as a princess), and my MC head canon, kind of has a tragic backstory and I felt like this was a good way to discuss it with Liam. I just want to preface that there isn’t a ton of dialogue, because as I wrote this, I realized how atrocious I was at writing dialogue…..Oh also, I mention that they have a VCR, and I’m just gonna need you to pretend that those aren’t obsolete anymore, cause otherwise they wouldn’t be able to watch the tape. so yeah…thanks. ok. enjoy. bye. 🙈🙉🙊
Description: MC(I named her Riley because I’m unoriginal) replays an old tape from her childhood, and shares some memories about her past with Liam.
Riley sat in one of the spare rooms in her and Liam’s quarters. Dozens of boxes scattered the room as the Queen tried to unpack. It seemed comical that after being married to Liam for the past eight months and living in the Palace, she has just found the time to sort through belongings from her past. Though given the renovations on the royal quarters were only recently completed, and then the extended stay in America for the Beaumont/Walker wedding, it really wasn’t a surprise at all.
Most of the boxes went untouched when Riley came to Cordonia over two years ago, and while she still did not have a need for her old Diesel jeans, or black non-slip waitress shoes, sorting through her old life brought up many nostalgic memories. Besides the clothing that took up most of the boxes, there were a few that held mementos of her childhood. An old barbie, that now had tattered clothes, and frizzy hair, it was one of the only dolls that Riley had when she was little, and she carried it everywhere. Holding the doll in her hand, she could recall the time when she was just a child, she’d bring the doll along with her to the park, where she’d find her older brother shooting a basketball, and her neighbors grouped around watching the young children scattered about.
A small smile played on her face as she placed the doll down, and picked up the next object, another memory forming. It was a coffee mug that had a faded floral print and a chip on the rim. While it didn’t seem like an extraordinary object, it held a significant place in Riley’s heart. It was the coffee cup she saw her mother use every day. The same one that would be held in her Mother’s hand as she woke her for school every morning, the floral scent of her mother’s tea rose perfume, reaching her, before she even opened her eyes. Or the same mug that would be clutched in her mother’s grasp as she called for Riley and her brother to come inside, from the balcony of their small one bedroom apartment.
The things that were in these boxes, told more about Riley’s life than any of her accomplishments could, even more than Maxwell’s memoir would.
Riley sat back from sifting through the box, trying to recall her childhood, beyond what these objects were able to bring about, but that was the problem, there weren’t many more. Whether that was because they were insignificant to her, or whether she subconsciously wanted to forget the bad, there weren’t many. But, obviously, her life went on, and while her mother worked tirelessly to provide her with everything her and her brother could want, Riley couldn’t help but be grateful for what had become over her life. Married to a man who loved and adored her, a little baby on the way. Hell, she was Queen of a country, how could she possibly regret anything about how her life turned out. Well maybe one regret, the pixie cut in middle school that had her mocked for months. That may be the only thing she’d change.
Her hand absentmindedly went to her small bump, ghosting gentle circles over where she felt the tiny flutters of the baby’s movement. A happy reminder that her child would have a childhood filled with happy, loving memories, with both of its parents guiding them through life.
Her grin was prevalent as she returned to sorting through the remaining contents of the boxes, mostly old papers and projects from when she was in grade school, a few sports item,-most likely keepsakes from her late-brother, and an old high school sweatshirt that had a faint scent of nauseating axe body spray, most likely owned by an ex-boyfriend that she stole it from and never returned, nor threw away.
As she lifted the sweatshirt, she spotted the last item remaining, an old VHS tape. It’s content even more of a surprise, since there were not many photographic memories from her childhood. And she could not remember a time when her small family ever had a video camera. The quizzical look returned when she saw the unmistakable scrawl of her mother’s hand writing on the label: Riley’s 4th B-Day
Checking the time on her phone, she noticed that Liam would be arriving home from his last meeting soon. She closed up the last of the boxes, deciding to take time another day to sort through the remainder of her past life. Exiting the spare room, Riley walked through the hall of the royal family’s quarters, holding onto the VHS tape, glancing up when she heard her husband enter through the front door.
“Hello, my love,” He says, removing his suit jacket, placing it on the chair beside the entrance. Riley smiles at him, noticing his tired appearance. Liam had taken on more work, and scheduled even more meetings for himself, to lessen the load of her schedule, but also lessen the load of what would be expected of them in just a few short months.
Riley greeted him and he leaned down to press a kiss to Riley’s lips, while also placing a hand on her growing bump. She reciprocated wrapping her arms around his neck and leaning into his embrace.
“How was the rest of your afternoon, feeling okay?” He asked, holding her close, relishing in their embrace.
“Yes, it was very productive. I got through some of those old boxes, most of it can be donated, old clothes and what not, but I found some things from my childhood, random mementos that I had held on to, nothing too special but,” Riley explained, and her giddy joy took over as she held up the tape she found, “Look what was hidden at the bottom of one! It’s from my childhood, though I don’t remember much from my fourth birthday, but how amazing, I thought there was nothing left, but this just comes out of nowhere.”
Liam returned his wife’s joy, while he knew some of Riley’s upbringing, it was always a painful remembrance for her to talk through, as she reminisced about her late mother and brother. This provided a glimpse into her forgotten childhood, that she could keep and remember forever.
“I know we have dinner with our friends tonight, but do we have time to watch it now?” Riley questioned, Liam taking a glance at the time on his watch, “I believe so. We should be able to watch this in our room.” They grabbed the tape and headed to their bedroom. Once in the living area of the suite, Liam put the VHS in the player and turned on the TV and when they were both comfortable on the couch, Liam pressed play.
“Ok, my little love, are you ready for your big day,” a light voice asked. “Yes, Mama, I ready to be a pwincess.” A little voice replied, bringing into view a baby faced-Riley. Liam’s eyes widened as he looked at little Riley dressed up as a princess. The sparkly pink dress with matching crown and glitter wand, were perfect.
“And what is today, Princess Riley?” her mother asked. “My bwirthday!” The eager little girl shouted, showing off a toothy grin, “And how old are you sweetie?” Riley replied holding up four fingers. “How many is that Riley?” Her mother encouraged. Riley touched each finger counting out, “One, two, three, four. Four, Mama!”
Just then, a little boy, dressed in his own princely garments, appeared on the screen, standing next to Riley, “ah, and there is Prince Nicholas. Are we ready to start the party then?” The voice asked. The picture began to shake and shift over the small apartment, landing on the scene of the kitchen table where it was set for an extravagant tea party. With the two kids seated at the table, a woman passed in view, sitting next to little Riley. That woman, being Riley’s mother, Rose.
At the sight of her mother, Riley’s breath caught in her throat as she watched intently, everything about this forgotten moment making her that much more emotional. She never thought she’d be able to see her mother, or hear her mother’s voice again, it had been years since she’d passed. Riley had almost forgotten how gentle and even toned it was, it was like listening to a peaceful lullaby.
The scene played out before them, young Riley and Nicholas both taking moments to tell extravagant tales of their “life” in the castle, until Riley’s exclamation that when she grows up, she wants to marry a Prince.
Liam squeezed his wife’s hand at that moment, stealing a glance at her, smiling, as she watched the home video play out. Liam kept his gaze to her, as looks of confusion rolled along Riley’s face. She didn’t remember much about this birthday. Sure, she remembered the pink dress, and the tiara, and of course, the claims of wanting to be an actual princess, but what little four year old girl didn’t dream about being a princess.
Riley didn’t have too many memories from when she was younger, very few stuck, and there weren’t many reminders of what her life was like before she was able to recall moments from her childhood. And the moments she could remember, weren’t always filled with her mother smiling so much, or her brother and her laughing until their faces turned red.
Tears began to prick her eyes, damn hormones, Riley thought, trying to hold back all the emotions she was facing watching the reminders of her fourth birthday. Liam tightened the hold on his wife as he sensed her reaction to the video. The memories carried on before them and Riley was almost lost in nostalgia until a knock sounded through the old recording.
In the video, Riley’s mother gave a confused look, as her children voiced who they thought the unexpected visitor may be. Rose moved out of the camera frame as she went to answer the door, where a new voice was heard.
Little Riley’s face lit up as she saw the source of the voice, and with a grin exclaimed, “Daddy!” Immediately running out of the camera view to greet him.
Though their joyous reunion was only overheard, the look on her young brother’s face remained, as he rolled his eyes and gave an annoyed huff. Rose, returning a moment later, giving Nicholas a pointed look. Riley could practically hear the tone her mother would use, Play nice Nicholas. It’s your sister’s birthday, it makes her happy.
That’s when the man, that Riley never thought she’d have to see again, stepped into view of the camera. Holding on to his four year old, smiling and laughing. And overall what looked like a blissful moment, only pained Riley to see it even more.
Present Riley immediately tensed, reaching over to grab the remote to turn the TV off. Her breath was heavy, as her heart rate increased. She felt like her world was closing in around her as she reacted to the memories the old VHS tape brought about. Riley’s relationship with her father was a bit troublesome. He was only around occasionally during her childhood, showing up maybe once or twice a year-usually around the summer, and if she was lucky again during her birthday. But the man had disappeared all-together when she was eight years old, only sending a sporadic birthday card or Christmas card, if he remembered. Or at least that’s what she thought. She learned the truth, years later, of what kept his life, his actual, real, day-to-day life from hers in New York.
Riley felt Liam’s hands smooth over her cheeks, not even realizing that her tears were falling harder than before. The tightness in her chest subsiding as she could faintly hear her husband’s whispered words, that tried to calm her down. Take a deep Breathe, Riley. It’s okay, my love. I’m right here. Look at me.
She was able to calm her breathing, realizing her panic wasn’t just affecting her, but the little life inside her. Hesitantly, she lifted her gaze, meeting the bright blue eyes of her husband. They were filled with worry as they began to search her face.
“Hey there, talk to me.” Liam’s thumbs wiped the remaining tears from Riley’s cheeks. She hiccuped at the fetal attempt she made to calm down. “I-I’m fine.” She whispered, fearing her voice would give away the true heartbreak she still felt. She didn’t want Liam to worry, he always worried enough about her. “I just need a moment,” she asked, settling against him as Liam returned the embrace, his hands landing on her bump.
Even eighteen years later, Riley didn’t realize the hurt that she still held onto. How the man who lied to her, and left her, could still continue to break her heart. The memory on the VHS tape wasn’t even a bad one, it actually seemed like a normal jovial moment between her and her father. But maybe that was the issue, of all the memories Riley had with her father, they were always happy. Her second grade graduation where he surprised her with red roses and a trip to an ice cream shop for a giant chocolate sundae, or her sixth birthday where he bought her an American Girl doll and a visit to Manhattan where they ate tiny sandwiches and drank tea.
Yes, the little time she spent with her father was some of the most resounding in her mind, and that broke her heart even more. She couldn’t remember the joyous times with her mother, no shopping trips or grabbing coffees, gossiping over a boy Riley had a crush on, nor could she recall special moments with her older brother, him comforting her over a boy who broke her heart or cheering for her at her high school graduation. No, instead, the materialistic recollections of her absentee father filled her thoughts.
Liam soothingly ran his hand along her back, her head tucked under his chin. Riley was no longer crying, just staring at the space ahead of her. “Do-Do you want to talk about it?” He asked, lowering his gaze to hers.
“It was hard to see them. My mom, my brother.” She paused, shaking her head in a bit of disbelief, “my dad.. it was a bit surreal. I don’t think I’ve ever remembered a time when we were all so happy.” Riley took the time to let it sink in. “I mean, my childhood wasn’t horrible, my mom made sure we never went without, but she worked long hours, and my brother and I shared a cramped bedroom, while my mom slept in the living room. It wasn’t ideal but considering our circumstances, that’s just how it was.”
Liam nodded in understanding, knowing this instance of her life, while it wasn’t a traditional home, it was Riley’s, and he believed that her family’s struggles helped build her into the woman he loved so much. The strong, compassionate, loving, woman.
“But to see my father,” She continued, shaking her head at the thought of him, “My face lit up like someone plugged-in a strand of Christmas lights, I don’t know why I believed that man held the world in his hands, but that’s how I saw him at the time.”
Riley’s voice began to shake near the end, knowing she had to stop. To take a breath, let her husband provide her with a pearl of wisdom that he always could offer to her.
“He was-he is your father, no matter what he decided to do later in your life. I think in the moments he did spend with you, are true and honest to how much he cared for you.” He remarked, not knowing the entirety of Riley’s reality, “Parent’s do crazy things sometimes, some meddle in your life when they think they know what’s best, other’s just leave when they feel like they can’t be their best. And the one’s like your mom, will do everything in their power to make sure that you can become the best.”
He always has a way with words, That was what she needed, Riley knew that Liam always could talk through her jumbled thoughts, to help sort the mess and hurt in her mind, that she couldn’t quite articulate as eloquently.
“Thank you, it helps calm my mind to hear that, and even though I don’t think I can ever forgive him for leaving or for what he did to my mom… thank you.” She tilted her head, capturing his lips. Trying to convey the love she felt for him. He eagerly returned the kiss, only to pull back to rest his forehead against hers, his hand cupping around the side of her neck.
“Anything for you, my love.” He reminded her, placing a kiss to her forehead. Riley leaned into his embrace, wrapping an arm around his neck and she shifted to rest her legs across his lap.
“Can I know what happened? I mean, other than the fact that he disappeared when you were a child, I don’t really know much more about him.- Like what is his name?” He asked, running his thumb along her knuckles. She smirked at his caring nature, feeling herself calm in the hurt she felt towards the man.
“His name is Andrew, Andrew Pierce.” She revealed, sorting through the account of her father’s life “I’ve mentioned before how the last time I saw him was when I was eight years old, but I only discovered the truth about him when I was fifteen, right before my mom passed away.” Riley continued on, to explain how her father had another family in some fly-over state, the traditional white picket fence family, and Rose only discovered the truth when she attempted to serve Andrew with child-support papers. Learning that not only did he not live in New York, he had a wife and child living as a happy family in some upper middle class neighborhood. The nice house, with fancy cars, the extravagant vacations and family parties, while her mother worked 18 hour days, sacrificing time with her kids to make sure they had a roof over their heads and food on the table.
The extravagant gifts that Riley received from her father would be things she would trash later on, knowing how much more he could have provided for her. Not even in materialistic items, but in her school tuition, or school uniforms or lunch cards. Andrew Pierce couldn’t even make sure that his daughter survived on the streets of New York City, his decorum wouldn’t allow for it.
“I’m sorry I haven’t been able to talk about this before. I thought that, that part of my life was over, that it held no baring over who I am right now. But it does, subconsciously, I think that it has always been a motivation to who I am, and who I wanted to become. Thinking that if I was good enough, he would want to be a part of my life.
“No need to apologize, love. I figured whenever you felt ready to share, that you would.”
Liam’s hold on his wife tightened, placing a kiss to her hair, as he heard the recounts of the man who is her father. It easily rivaled and bested his own, surprisingly. He silently wished there was a way he could take away the pain his wife had felt for so many years.
“I wish I could offer more, but I know that we learn from our parent’s mistakes. I know that as much as I admired my father as a King, I wish to not repeat how he was as a father to me.” Liam remarked, trying to soothe Riley.
“I know Liam, you are going to be an amazing father to our little cub, they couldn’t ask for anyone better. That’s one thing I know for sure, I never have to worry that you will leave our child or that you will pass them along to a nanny just because you can” Riley smiled, picturing Liam holding their little cub, her dark curls with his expressive ocean eyes. Running a hand through his hair she tentatively thought of herself as a parent. As a mom. It terrified her.
“I’m scared,” she paused, “I’m scared that I’m going to turn out like him, that I’m not cut out to be a mom, to be a parent.” Liam’s arm tightened around her, “I don’t believe that for one instant, you care for our baby so much, you are loving and compassionate and strong, and I know you, Riley, you are meant to do whatever you set your mind to. You are not Andrew Pierce, you are Riley Brooks-Rys.”
A smile tugged at her lips as she rested her head against his shoulder, her fear subsiding at his words, “ Thank you Liam, Thank you for being you,” She whispered, “I love you.”
“I love you too.”
“And hey, four year old Riley got her wish, she married a Prince- well a King, but same thing.”
Riley laughed at her husband’s antics, a swell of love filling her heart. “Yes she did, and that’s the best thing that’s ever happened to her.” She remarked, planting a kiss on Liam’s lips.
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Once Upon a Time in Thedas update!
You can all thank @schoute not only for that amazing piece of Lanistair art the other day, but also for singlehandedly turning my heart into pure fluffy nonsense and helping me finish up the next chapter of my DA Cinderella AU. Without further delay, here’s chapter four of Once Upon a Time in Thedas! (Under the cut)
Trigger warnings for this series for mentions and scenes of mental/physical abuse.
Once Upon a Time in Thedas - Chapter Four | Cross-posted on Ao3 | DA Cinderella!AU with alternate world canon | Alistair Theirin/Lana Surana | Fairly PG-13 for this chapter |
Lana was floating on a cloud. She had felt that way since the previous night, falling asleep with a dreamy smile on her face and waking up with it still present. She couldn't get the ball out of her head, least of all Alistair. She knew it wouldn't do well for her to dwell on the memory of him and the time they had spent together, but she couldn't help it. She could still feel his hand on her waist, hear his laughter and smooth voice. Maker, she had never seen anyone look at her the way he had, as if no one else at the ball had existed and she were worthy of his attention. And the feeling of his hands. His touch had been so soft. When had anyone touched her that way before? As she swept the floor, Lana swayed side to side, humming to herself as she imagined the two of them on the dancefloor, together once more. Would he be there again that night? Would he want to dance with her again? She barely knew him, and yet she knew she would give anything to dance closely with him again, if only for one more night.
Is this what love feels like?
Her heart fluttered as the question crossed her mind. Red rushed to her cheeks, a smile forming at the corners of her mouth as she floated with the broom. Her feet mirrored his, following the pattern of one of the slower songs they had danced to. If she closed her eyes, it was almost as if she were there…
“How can you expect to see what you're sweeping when your eyes are closed!”
Lana was jarred out of her daydream, reality crashing into her as her mother smacked her ear. She tried to control her wincing as her ear stung, quickly returning her gaze to the floor as she swept faster.
“Sorry, mother,” she said quickly. Her mother huffed, mumbling under her breath as she returned to her work in the kitchen. Lana hummed no more, but the smile slowly crept back as she swept, as the feeling of Alistair's hands on hers returned and led the way.
That evening Leliana returned once more, once the sun had long since set and Lana's parents had gone to sleep. This time Lana was ready, waiting at the window for the moment Leliana’s silhouette appeared in the garden.
“You're awfully eager to return, aren't you?” Leliana teased as Lana quietly climbed out her window and carefully closed it behind her. Lana smiled eagerly as she followed Leliana, waiting until they were away from the house before she spoke.
“I couldn’t stop thinking about it all day,” she said, her voice still a whisper despite how far they had walked into the woods. Leliana led her to the same spot as before, and Lana eagerly changed into the blue dress and golden slippers.
“You danced with that tall man for some time,” Leliana said with a knowing grin. Lana blushed at the mention of Alistair, her heart pounding eagerly. “Is he being kind to you? Sometimes nobility can be a bit pushy.”
“I’m not so sure he’s a noble,” Lana said. Leliana had moved to her back, undoing her braid and resetting it into one looser that ran towards her back. She twisted the hair at the sides, weaving it through the braid.
“No?” Leliana smiled as she finished with Lana’s hair before looping her arm with hers and starting off towards the main road.
“He made jokes about some of the nobility quietly a few times. I’m not sure if that’s something lords do?”
“Is that what you two were giggling about?”
“He is awfully funny,” Lana said. She barely paid attention to everything they passed on the way to the palace this time, too engrossed in her thoughts about Alistair and her excitement of seeing him again. “I hope he’ll be there again tonight. Do you think he will be?”
“I’d be very surprised if he wasn’t,” Leliana said. If Lana didn’t know any better, she would have thought the way Leliana spoke about Alistair sounded almost teasing, as if she knew him. Still, Lana supposed, Leliana was a Sister of the Chantry. She must have known a great many people.
As the two of them walked up the great steps into the palace and inside, Lana looked around the hall, observing everyone. All the ladies seemed to be in dresses and gowns more extravagant than the night before, some glittering with gems while others had intricate embroidery hand stitched to expensive fabrics. One of the women walked by, wearing a gown gold in color with shimmering lace and a skirt that dragged on the ground. Lana felt the judging glance as the woman looked Lana over from head to toe, apparently recognizing her dress from the night before. The woman smirked with a huff and a proudly tilted chin as she walked by. Leliana patted Lana on the shoulder, giving her a quick wave before slipping off into the crowds. As Lana began looking around, she jumped as she heard a loud bark from a door near the back of the hall. Quite a few guests jumped out of the way of something Lana couldn’t see, until a great grey body running on four legs found its way through the crowd and stopped suddenly at her feet. Lana had never seen a mabari in person until then, however she had read about them in books and quickly recognized the face of an intelligent creature pining for attention as it barked up at her.
“Hello there,” Lana said sweetly. The mabari was massive, with its nose parallel to Lana’s chest. She reached out, petting the dog on his head. The dog eagerly pushed his nose up against her hand before directing her hand behind his ear.
“He’s obsessed with ear scratches.”
Lana looked up, her heart pounding as she found Alistair walking towards her with a huge smile on his face. He had completely stepped around the woman from before and a group of others, and for a moment Lana wondered why they all looked so perturbed.
“Is he?” Lana’s voice practically cooed as she looked back at the dog, curling her fingers and scratching behind his ear as his tongue flopped out excitedly.
“He’ll never let you leave now,” Alistair chuckled. “Not many of the guests enjoy when he crashes the party.”
“Well, they don’t know what they’re missing, do they?”
Alistair smiled as Lana gave Bryn another pat on his nose before the dog took off towards the other doorway.
“I had almost thought you weren't coming,” he admitted. Maker, but he couldn’t stop smiling now that she was there. The night so far had been so dull without her. Even something as simple as hearing her voice was enough to raise his spirits and calm his racing mind.
“After last night, how could I not?” Lana responded with a bright smile, looking up at Alistair with warmth in her eyes.
“You left so quickly, I wasn't sure… Did I say something wrong?”
“No! I'm sorry, I didn't mean to… I, well… Had a curfew,” she said quickly. She didn't want to lie, but, ‘My parents don't want me here. Or out of the house, at all,’ was difficult to say. At least it wasn't a complete lie.
“Well, that's a relief,” Alistair said, visibly relaxing as he breathed out the words. “You've only just arrived… Do you want to… Eat something? Have a drink? Dance again -”
“Dance! Yes, that would…” Lana paused to clear her throat, blushing at her own eagerness that had caused her to interrupt him. “I would love to dance with you again.”
“After our practice last night, I think I may step on your toes fewer times than before, but I make no promises.”
Lana was on a cloud again, and this time, Alistair was with her. Everyone else in the hall seemed to fade away as they danced together. Alistair held her closer than the night before, never taking his eyes off of her as they talked, and laughed, and danced as one. More than once Alistair caught Lana humming along to the music, sometimes caught up in a song of her own, and each time he felt his heart fill more and more for this woman who had wandered into his life. As far as Alistair knew she was still blissfully unaware that he had recently been crowned King, and for the moment he was happy to keep it that way. For now, the woman who had more than once rested her head against his chest as they swayed to the slower songs only to straighten with a furious blush when she noticed, she was doing it because she felt comfortable, with him. With Alistair, not the King. Not the man people had been clamoring to speak to only for the hope of becoming his Queen. Somehow, miraculously, they had found one another, and he knew he couldn't let her slip away again.
“You'll be sick of dancing with me by the end of the night,” he joked as yet another song ended.
“I don't think that's possible,” Lana replied. Pink covered her cheeks, flushing towards her ears as she blushed. As another song began, Lana waited for Alistair to lead, tilting her head curiously as he paused.
“Come with me,” he said quietly with a grin. His hand left her waist, though his other gently squeezed her hand as his fingers laced with hers. Lana followed him as he led her off the dancefloor, weaving through the crowds.
“Where are we going?” Lana asked. Her heart was pounding as she bit her lip, her smile growing as he looked back at her.
“I wanted to show you something,” Alistair explained as he gently pulled her to the side. Lana followed him along the side of the hall and out a set of doors that led to a balcony. Outside it was much quieter, the sound of music and merriment drifting in from the hall inside. The night air was cool, wrapping around Lana and causing her skin to prickle. She paid no mind to the cold as she gripped the stone railing, her eyes fixed on the view of the palace courtyards and Denerim beyond, all seemingly peaceful in the light glow of torches.
“It's beautiful out here,” she breathed in awe. She had never seen the city like this from such a height, all the stars in the night sky twinkling down on them. Each night of the ball seemed like such a dream to her. She took her time, gazing out at the world in front of her, storing it in her mind for another day when she would need it most.
Alistair watched her, smiling at the way she looked at the world as if it were her first time seeing anything like it. The way she looked at everything was so innocent. Anyone else may have glanced at the view and turned away, but she was in awe of even the smallest things. Lana turned to look at Alistair, smiling as she found him watching her.
“Is this what you wanted to show me?”
“Yes. Well… Not exactly,” he admitted. He smiled sheepishly as he scratched just behind his ear, his eyes wandering to the stone railing as he tried to find his words. “I… Well, you see, I… And you are so…” He trailed off, huffing slightly as he tried to focus. Maker, but this was more difficult than he had thought it would be. He looked over to the side, regarding a cluster of climbing roses that had reached the railing. He smiled, carefully picking one of the red roses from the branches. Twirling it in front of him for a moment, he finally found what he wanted to say.
“Denerim is large. There are so many people, but… It can be a bit empty. Ever since I came here from Redcliffe, I've had to strain to find anything that stands out from the rest. But, beautiful things seem to hide in plain sight, I suppose. Like this rose. Or… You.”
“Me?” Lana said it quietly, unsure if she should be shocked, flattered, or if he was out of his mind. She flushed from ear to ear as he offered the rose to her with a smile, feeling something akin to electricity run through her as their fingers brushed.
“I don't know if I should be upset, or thrilled that you don't seem to know how beautiful you are,” Alistair chuckled nervously. “But… If I don't tell you now, someone else is bound to, and I can't… I don't want to miss my chance… May I kiss you, Lana?”
“You want to kiss me?” Lana repeated in disbelief. She could feel heat rush to her face as he nodded and stepped closer to her. His hand wrapped around hers that held the rose as he leaned low. Lana's free hand raised to meet his arm as he steadied her, her grip tight as his lips met hers. Maker, but it was as if fireworks had set off in her mind. His touch was so gentle, so warm.
“Maker, I'm sorry,” Alistair mumbled quickly when he gently pulled away, and Lana quickly wiped away the tear that had fallen from her eye without her even noticing.
“No, please, it's not - it's a good thing, I think,” she said quietly. Her heart was pounding in her throat. Against her better judgement, ignoring the warning bells in her mind, she couldn't help herself. She found herself pressing onto the balls of her feet, stretching to get as close to him as possible, and Alistair eagerly met her the rest of the way. His kiss was like air. Each time their lips parted for a moment she would press back, and he in turn, each melding to the other as her lips quivered and his heart threatened to burst from his chest.
“Your Majesty! A word?”
Lana thought little of the words at first. Then, as Alistair begrudgingly pulled away from her, horror set in to her gut as he turned to face the man who had called for the King. Alistair gave Lana a regretful smile, taking her look of shock for general embarrassment from being caught kissing than anything else.
“I'll just be a moment. Don't go anywhere, please,” he said, bringing the back of her hand to his mouth and giving a much longer, warm kiss to it than the previous night. As Alistair walked to the other end of the long balcony to speak to the man, panic took over Lana. He was the King. Maker, but he had made that joke about sharing the same name - she had taken it only as such, a joke. She had just kissed the King of Ferelden.
“You need to spend time with the other noble ladies you have yet to speak to,” Eamon was muttering in a low voice. “You cannot expect to find the next Queen of Ferelden if you spend all your time with one elf.”
“Yes, it would be a shame if I spent the entire evening with someone I connected with, wouldn't it?” Alistair responded sarcastically. “I know you have your list, but this woman is perfect. You should meet her -”
Alistair held his hand out to gesture towards Lana, turning his head and stopping mid sentence as he saw her dashing back into the hall. Not wanting to lose her for one more night, Alistair took off after her, leaving Eamon behind as he shouted after him. Alistair had difficulty getting through the hall, groups of lords and ladies both blocking his path as they vied for his attention. Each time, Alistair would profusely apologize as he ran around each group, trying to keep his eyes on Lana as she grew further and further away.
Lana's heart was pounding. Her watering eyes made it difficult to see as she tried to best remember how to get out of the palace. Maker, she was an idiot, thinking she could sneak out and have nothing bad happen. Her parents may not have caught her, but she had fooled royalty, tricked him into caring for her even in the slightest when she wasn’t fit for anyone. Surely that would carry a grand punishment on its own.
“Stupid, stupid Lana,” she muttered with a quivering voice. Tears fell as she ran, her skin prickling as the cool night air met her. Her feet carried her quickly down the steps that led to the courtyard. She had nearly reached the bottom when she tripped, catching her ankle with her other foot. She cried out as she tumbled down a few steps and landed on the ground.
“Maker, my shoe,” she groaned as she got up. She began taking a step towards the stairs to retrieve the shoe that had slipped off in her fall, but the sound of Alistair yelling her name from just beyond the doors at the top made her stop. One shoe on her foot, she slipped through the gates and ran into the night.
By the time Alistair reached outside, Lana was nowhere to be seen. His heart sunk, confusion setting in for the second night in a row. He walked down the steps as something gold caught his eye, crouching as he picked up the small shoe. He stared at it in silence. Had it been something he said? Had he kissed her too soon? She had seemed to be enjoying it, had she only been being kind when she kissed him back? She hadn't seem to know the first night that he was the King, had it shocked her too much? He held the shoe close to him as he stood, taking one last look around, and praying to the Maker for her return the following night before heading inside.
Lana didn't stop running until she returned home. Out of breath, she removed the shoe and dress before stashing it in the brush near the tree her and Sister Leliana often spoke near - her parents would not venture near there, opting to stay inside as it had been so cold as of late. She would see Sister Leliana the following morning for her lessons, and return it to her then. Climbing quietly through her window, Lana slipped on her nightgown and threw herself beneath her covers. She curled into a ball, hugging her knees as she cried. Maker, but what a fool she had been. She had made a fool of Alistair as well - the King. Both of these nights he had been at her side, not knowing how unworthy she would be of the title of Queen. He had wasted all this time with her when he could have been finding the perfect woman for him. No matter who he had been, it would have been a fairytale to expect her life to change after three nights. She had gotten wrapped up in the fancy of it, of being looked upon so favorably by his beautiful eyes. How could she possibly face him again after that night? Tomorrow would be like any other day: just her, her parents, her curse…
“Maker, forgive me,” she whispered to the dark.
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Chapter 9 - This Time Around
a Daryl Dixon x OFC collaboration written by @xmistressmistrustx
Relationship: Daryl Dixon/Original Female Character
Tags: Friendship, Friends to Lovers, Awkwardness, Awkward Flirting, Awkward Crush, Fluff and Humor, Angst and Humor, Mild Smut, Strong Language, Eventual Sex, Eventual Romance, Slow Burn, Canon Divergence, Some Canon Scenes and Dialogue
It was Daryl’s fourth hour of sweeping apartment blocks in the city. Everyone at the prison urged him to stay put, they needed him, one of their most competent and brave fighters, but his stubborn streak had prevailed and he set off for the city regardless. As he moved from one building to another, he collected any useful supplies he could carry, figuring if he could at least return to the group with some kind of offering it might count for something. He didn’t hesitate long in one place; he was aware that he needed to be with his group but a big part of him wanted to find Jess. He’d planned it all out in his head, what he would say, how he would convince her to go back with him. But first, he’d ask her what her bullshit note was about. The same note that he carried everywhere with him, burning a hole in his pocket like it was made of the cinders of his fury at her departure.
He knew when he’d found it. Stacks of books everywhere, some with wooden planks across them to make tables, graphic novels, hunting guides and medical textbooks. A balcony that was once full of flourishing herbs and fruits now torn down and scattered through the open door onto the carpet. At first glance, it could have belonged to any number of lone survivors in a city as large as Atlanta. But he knew Jess had been there when he saw the pile of neatly folded T-shirts on the arm of the couch. It was the one thing that hadn’t been torn asunder by whatever had transpired before he’d arrived. There was no sign of her now and the dried blood smeared across the interior, in particular the carpet, had darkened and started to crisp, telling him that he was at least a few days too late.
After a frantic search of every corner and his hope of footprints leading somewhere being dashed, he dropped onto the couch and leaned forwards with his elbows on his knees. His mind cast into a detailed flashback of everything that happened at the quarry and guilt gnawed in the background. He thought of her note. Who was she to tell him how he saw her? Where did she get such an idea? He’d tried to make amends and show her that the announcement of the contents of her journal didn’t matter to him. He’d tried and she still left. It bubbled under the surface, that same rage he’d endured when he first realized that she really was gone. Now, he was risking being absent at a time when his group needed him because for some reason, he couldn’t just let her go.
He lashed out, sweeping the entire contents of the coffee table across the room. Candles, empty tins and glasses collided with the wall and sent a spiraling, noisy commotion through the walls of the building and down the staircase. He watched the items from the table scatter and still felt no relief. She was gone, possibly for good. His one and only lead had come up with nothing.
She dreamed of ice, licking at her toes and fingertips and creeping into her bones through sensitive skin. It was all around her, every inch of her tainted by it’s freezing embrace as she thrashed and gasped for air, her breath a white cloud expelling from her weakening body. Her heart, which felt ten times the size it should have been, compressed and struggled in her chest. She shuddered and tried to call out, tried to scream but nothing emerged on the useless huff of air that was all she could manage. Her eyes flew open. Where was she? Was she safe? Why was it so cold?
“Oh…Jesus.” She breathed as she tried to catch her breath, her freezing cold hand resting on her chest and her dream slowly drifting away, most of it anyway.
Her eyes moved up to a window. The Boat. She was in the bedroom on the boat and it was so cold she thought she might freeze to death. The inside of the glass was coated in condensation from the minimal amount of warmth that her body had given off as she slept. She drew the blankets around her and shuffled from the mattress, her socks slipping on the shiny floor. She lifted a hand and rubbed at the window with her fingertips. So cold were they that she couldn’t even feel the damp surface through the numbness in her limbs. She squinted out at the water, unsure if her eyes were playing tricks on her.
“Shit.” She hissed.
Outside on the deck, she stood with her boots on but unlaced, a thick sweater and the blankets from the bed wrapped around her. Unimpressed and irritated by the sight, she sighed slowly, rubbing her hand over her sleepy eyes and brushing her dark hair back from her face. The boat was a safe, albeit unusual choice for a sanctuary during the apocalypse but Jess found it to be everything she wanted. She was far from the shoreline which meant any Walkers or humans had to cross a lot of water to be able to get to her and her weapon-filled, floating fortress. On the roof of the cabin, she grew crops which she moved inside when she noticed the season taking a turn. Now they took up residence in a spare room inside, encouraged by an infra-red light, powered by a small generator which still had enough juice to be switched on for an hour or so every day.
She learned how to fish, catching her meals easily most days after conducting an experiment with a stray dog on the beach that proved the life in the lake was untouched by whatever had turned the human race. The boat was quite the picturesque scene, peaceful and still luxurious even given the situation. But heat was becoming an issue and no number of candles could change the fact that her route to the land was now covered with ice, rendering her unable to fish and eat for the foreseeable future. As far as she could see, the layer stretched from the boat to the shore, the edge of it bumping against the boats hull beneath her feet.
She rolled her eyes and vanished inside, immediately setting about packing her things in order to move on yet again. She told herself she would return once the weather was better and had no plans to move out completely, she kept the key to the cabin in her pocket and eventually climbed into the canoe which split the ice around it into jagged pieces from the movement of the water underneath. With her machete, she smashed at the cold surface between rowing. It was a painfully slow process that left her frustrated and sweating despite the below zero temperature but progress was progress and as she neared the beach, she began to feel a sense of achievement. She climbed out of the boat and onto the jetty, rolling onto her back and cursing under her breath, her machete clattered onto the wooden landing.
It was a peaceful couple of months living on the boat but Jess was smart enough to make sure that she never became complacent or lured into a false sense of security. The world was still full of threats, people that ate people if they were alive or dead. The living reduced to the depths of depravity, stealing, murdering, raping, looting. She’d seen near enough all of it in less than a year of being on the road alone. Death was always part of life, but not in the way Jess had now been witness to and sometimes when it came to a matter of them and her, she’d been forced to commit acts that she didn’t even know she was capable of. After the initial horrendous guilt, she’d been forced to carry on and survive, just like every other person that remained walking the earth with a brain that hadn’t been reanimated.
Being a nomad after leaving the boat was the toughest thing she’d experienced yet. The cold was biting, destructive and relentless and her movement was restricted when defending herself due to her layers of clothing that were needed to shield her against the bitter winds. She hid in frozen ditches for convoys to pass with trucks full of screaming people, their leaders decorated in war paint as If it gave them any more rights than anyone else. She fought off wildlife, ran from Bears and Coyotes and found Deer harder to hunt than they had ever been before. But still, she persevered and soldiered on with a strength and determination that was now cemented in her being. By that point, she knew she was no quitter.
A fairground wouldn’t have been her first choice of homestead but the discovery, one crisp morning after sleeping in a tree, of a small building in the corner between the Ferris wheel and Haunted House piqued her interest enough to draw her inside. The structure was solid enough, protected from the wind by the carcasses of rides around it. A broken sign above the door read ‘Casey’s Diner.’ Jess thought it was the smallest diner she’d ever seen, but once she’d kicked the door in and checked the inside for any dangers, she found it to be quaint and full of potential. She ran her fingertips along the tables and chairs as she walked through the seating area, even the black and red tiled walls were an aesthetic she could live with. The tables could all be removed in favor of more useful furniture that she could find almost anywhere. There was a long counter in the middle that opened up into an open-plan kitchen, some of which could still be used if she could only find a generator big enough to power it. The windows were thick, the outside fitted with bars to deter those wanting to take up residence or rob the place out of season.
Handy. She thought.
Stepping back outside into the cold, she surveyed the area. The wind whistled through the rusting metal of the rides, signs flapped in the breeze and the fence enclosing the small fairground itself needed repairs in certain places, the most important being the main gate, which Jess had managed to unlock using a small pair of bolt cutters from her backpack. She could work with it, the effort it would need not deterring her in the slightest. She needed shelter before it started to snow and the disused diner would have to do.
It wasn’t easy to find the materials she needed to make the necessary repairs to the fence and fortify the building. She walked for miles to and from the next town, having to use her conserved energy to hack Walkers to death and shoot them with arrows until she was left with a mere two hours of daylight to get a huge, heavy bag of supplies back to the fairground. She may have found what she needed but her fingers were raw from making snare traps in the area around the fences to ensnare small animals for food. Her joints ached from hauling the old furniture out and hacking it all to pieces. Finding a truck with gas left in it parked on the dirt track of a farm was just the stroke of luck she needed. A generator awaited her in the barn, the only issue was how to remove the solar panels that fueled it from the roof.
Jess’s senses were more than heightened from being on her own for so long and having to be mindful of any threats so as not to become Walker food. Sounds such as snapping twigs and scuffing on the ground alerted her immediately and within seconds, she was alert, bow readied and eyes carefully scanning her surroundings. It was the sound of breathing on this occasion while she stood in the barn trying to figure out how to get the huge generator out and onto the truck, along with the panels, she had no idea where to start. She pulled the string of her bow tight and straightened her back.
“I know you’re there.” She called out. “Make yourself known or I’ll be forced to find you and kill you.”
The barn was piled high with hay bales, a tractor stood to one side and wooden posts obscured her view of the entrance she’d wandered through, dead set on fetching her generator. There was no way she was about to let anyone else take it. Finders keepers, that’s how she saw it. She’d never robbed anyone or felt the need to when supplies were around, they just took a little patience to find.
She spotted boots on the other side of the tractor, moving past it’s massive wheels and wading through hay dropped from the bales on either side. She aimed as a man stepped into view. His hands were up in surrender, he wore a clean, blue and white flannel shirt with a black wax jacket, his hair was cut and tidy, his skin bore no signs of dirt or injury. He held no visible weapons and on his back he carried something else spotless, a tan backpack.
Jess never went anywhere without her mask and hood, they provided her with extra warmth as well an anonymity to anyone she may meet on her travels. She was now a solitary roamer with no desire to connect with anyone or bear the burden of having to take care of someone else. She peered at the man over the top of her mask, which obscured her nose and mouth, showing only her eyes. She quickly swept one leg back, moving into a defensive stance and lined her aim up with the center of his head.
“Who are you?” she demanded firmly.
“My name is Aaron. I come from a community nearby.” He explained. His tone was calm but Jess could sense the underlying anxiety that came with confronting strangers in the new world. Everyone possessed it, it was just more obvious in some than others.
“Backup.” She spat, jutting her bow at him. He jumped in surprise and held his hands up higher. “This is my generator. I found it first.”
Aaron’s eyebrows raised at her intent to take the generator. It was obvious to him that it was all she cared about, aside from not being killed.
“Fair enough. I don’t need one anyway. I just came to talk to you.” He told her.
She glared at him, trying to read him, to figure out what intentions he could possibly have being so squeaky clean and turning up out of the blue for a conversation. It didn’t add up and she didn’t trust him from the moment she heard his breathing from the other side of the barn. She didn’t want to have to kill another living human and so hoped that distraction techniques and words would provide her with enough time to figure out an alternative.
“You expect me to believe that you cornered me in a barn for a conversation?” She asked
“Uh…I know how strange that must seem.” He smiled.
“Hm.” She grunted. It did seem strange, just like everything else about him. His eyes may have looked kind enough, but she had seen all this before. The wolf in sheep’s clothing. She kept a firm grip on her bow. “So talk.” She instructed. “Or I’ll shoot you in the face.”
A kill count wasn’t something Jess ever wanted to have. But it was inevitable for her to have survived so long into what was now a rotting world full of death. She wasn’t yet in double figures, or so she thought. Who knows how many of the people she’d shot in the legs had failed to escape the clutches of an oncoming herd or a hungry, lone Walker in a small space and succumbed to the turn? She couldn’t dwell on it or more of her soul would fall away. She didn’t cry about it anymore. In fact, she hadn’t cried in months, unable to remember the last time. Maybe she was just numb and that wasn’t good. But it didn’t mean she wasn’t prepared to execute another person in order to protect herself.
“I’ve been watching you. You’re very resourceful and handy with that bow.” Aaron explained with his hands still held aloft. “We could use someone like you. We have a lot to offer. Houses, electricity, hot, running water, medical care…walls and-”
“-Cannibals.” She interrupted loudly. Aaron blinked at her in surprise. “You must be cannibals if you have all that.”
His hands began to lower again as he used them to enhance his argument. He stepped closer but she nudged her head up in warning.
Stay there or I will shoot you between the eyes.
“No.” He protested. “I can assure you. We have food, but we’re not cannibals. Please, lower your weapon. I’m not a threat to you.”
“Yeah? Well, I’m a threat to you.” She warned boldly. “Hold your hands out in front of you so I can see ‘em clearer.”
Doing as he was asked, she couldn’t ignore the puzzled look on his face as she inched closer and observed his empty hands as he held them out, palms down and trembling slightly. He flinched when she suddenly stooped down and collected a small rock from the ground and threw it to him.
He caught the rock effortlessly, still baffled by her behavior and concerned that she may be a little more unhinged than he’d anticipated when he’d observed her fixing fences and hauling tables and chairs around while singing quietly to herself at the fairground. He was impressed by her resourcefulness and skills after finding various traps around the fences that could prove almost lethal to anyone that happened to stumble into them.
“-Kuru. Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease. Prion Disease. Whatever you want to call it. Cannibals have tremors and difficulty grasping things. Slower reactions and poor coordination. Among other symptoms. Its incubation period is usually ten years but with food scarce and dumb folk all over the place, people eating people on the daily is common enough to speed up the process”
“That’s…Interesting.” Aaron offered, mildly concerned by her detailed knowledge.
“Not as interesting as the tremor in your hands.” She shot back, seeing him tilt his head back slightly, a look of worry creeping across his features.
“Forgive me, but I am on the business end of an arrow right now. If I were you, I’d be worried if my hands weren’t trembling.”
Jess huffed with amusement. She couldn’t deny that he had a point and it was delivered a thin lacing of sass.
You’re a funny fucker, aren’t you?
“You’re a smartass too.” She declared.
Aaron finally smiled and laughed. Jess lowered her bow subtly but not enough for him to notice. She wasn’t naïve enough to let him win her trust that easily and so keeping something sharp and pointed aimed his way seemed like a wise course of action, no matter how charming and polite he appeared.
“I was just going to say that about you. Just, in my head. Not out loud. I kind of still like being alive.” He grinned “So, did I pass the test?”
She went back over their conversation in her head. A community nearby, food, water, walls, medical supplies. Even if it was true, it was something she no longer wanted. She was better alone. Safer, cunning, clever. If only she could get that damn generator into the back of the truck. She raised an eyebrow at Aaron.
Jess sat up in bed and rubbed her eyes, it was cold in the room but nowhere near as cold as the boat with nothing to break up the howling wind. She swung her legs from the wooden framed bed, taken from the same farm where she ran into the man called Aaron with the kind eyes and clean clothes. In her newly re-arranged kitchen, she prepared a breakfast of tinned sausages and beans, cooked in a pot on a stove that was powered by the generator Aaron had helped her get back to her new home.
She’d bargained with him; He helped her get her generator and she agreed to scope out the community of Alexandria from outside it’s walls, observing the operations, security and supply run teams from high up in a tree that gave her the perfect vantage point. It all seemed innocent enough, but Jess was still untrusting and guarded and eventually agreed to meet the leader of Alexandria on the promise that it was conducted away from the town and she was allowed to be fully armed.
It wasn’t easy to get through to Jess, but Deanna, the woman who made all the decisions for the community, was very convincing and it became apparent to Jess upon the arrival of a stray Walker where their meeting took place in the woods, that Deanna had not been outside of her community since before the world went wrong. Everything that was explained to her, she was able to corroborate and after weeks of surveillance, she took her first steps inside to meet the wary faces of the townsfolk.
Jess kept to herself and didn’t utter a word to anyone unless she had no other choice. Aaron stuck by her side at first, assuring people that she wasn’t a danger to them and when she began bringing back Deer and small game after the seasons switched again, people started to accept her as the mysterious bringer of sustenance and protector of the areas around the circumference of the walls. In return, Jess had access to medical supplies and a shower with hot, running water at Aaron’s house that he shared with his partner, Eric. She never once, let anyone see her face, going about her business in full protective clothing.
Jess refused to move from the fairground. It was her home and the place that she felt most at ease. She didn’t have fences as large as Alexandria, but hers were sufficient and she knew every inch of them. Living away from everybody else meant she made no connections. No friends, just one or two acquaintances. She wanted to live a life without ties that could lead to more emotional trauma or put her at risk of getting killed. She had a deal with Alexandria, an understanding. On top of that, she also got her generator and solar panels which Aaron had helped to install along with the help of a man Jess didn’t know and didn’t need to know. All she cared about was him being able to make her stove work before she could send him back inside the walls.
Hunting was both a necessity and an enjoyable activity once the weather warmed and the mornings and evenings became lighter. If the Walker numbers were kept low within a mile radius, which was Jess’s job, animals ventured closer to Alexandria to forage and when they did, Jess nabbed them. Sometimes, she’d be out overnight, so engrossed in tracking and taking down something larger than a rabbit that she just couldn’t let it go. That was another good thing about being on the sidelines of a community, the gas for a vehicle. Journeying out further to relatively untouched patches of woodland turned up some great results, especially when she borrowed a hunting rifle from the armory.
Slinking through the trees early one morning with her rifle readied and her eyes cast down across the ground, she followed the tracks of what she thought could be a large deer. Its imprints were deep, suggesting it was somewhat hefty and the foliage it nibbled along the way provided her with the perfect path. She breathed quietly through her nose, kept her footsteps light and her hood up.
This is going to be a good one. She thought, excited at the prospect of her share.
Then, male voices caught her attention and she dived behind the nearest bush; her body locked into such a stillness that she thought her heart might stop beating.
“A bitch got you all messed up. Walking around here like a dead man. She must have been a good’un. Was it one of the little ones? They don’t last too long out here.” A man commented.
There was a scuffle but Jess couldn’t see from her current position. While the noises of scraping boots on the muddy floor went on, she twisted her body just enough to make out the scene through the leaves of her hiding place. She needed to know what she was dealing with if she was discovered.
Clamping a hand over her mouth was all she could do to stop herself from gasping loudly with shock. There, beyond the leaves and with a long-haired stranger in a brutal headlock, was Daryl Dixon. His face was twisted into a rage, sweat slick on his forehead as he used all his might to choke the man in his grip. She almost fell backwards and gave her location away when the man whirled out of Daryl’s arm and swung a punch which Daryl quickly avoided. As he ducked, Jess heard the unmistakable shing of a knife being unsheathed and Daryl lunged with the cold metal in his hand.
Her mind was blank. She had no idea what to do. If she should intervene or stay put. It was Daryl. He’d hurt her and she’d deliberately put what she’d thought were hundreds of miles between them, only for him to show up right in front of her in the woods. Still, she didn’t want to see him get killed.
As he neared the man with his knife raised, someone else arrived. An older, grey man with a much more relaxed attitude stepped in and broke up the fight which, as she learned from the shadows, was over who the dead rabbit on the ground belonged to.
He was different, angrier and war-worn but she didn’t get the same vibes from him that she got from the others, and there were more of them. A whole group of them travelling through the woods, she’d discovered. It wasn’t until she retreated further into the trees and decided to follow them that she could tell their intentions were worlds apart from Daryl’s.
The railway tracks were incredibly difficult to follow along without being seen, but she stayed in the tree line, her dark, camouflage and protective clothing aiding her in her disguise. From there, she could hear what was being said. She didn’t possess one ounce of trust in the men he was with and maybe it was because she was an outside observer, but she was shocked that Daryl didn’t seem to know that they were merely using him. Now, there was no way she was leaving. She followed on until they stopped outside an empty auto repairs place on a crossroads. For a moment, Daryl was left alone while the others checked the building.
It was tempting. Oh, so tempting to signal him from the trees and alert him to her presence. He struck a lonely figure as he stood in the road by himself. He looked older, his hair was longer and he still wore his angel wings on his back, only now they were fading and ripped. She was completely torn, half of her wanted to go to him but she was stopped by the memory of what he’d said to his brother. That she meant nothing to him. So, why would he even care if she was there or not? She stayed quiet and hidden, creeping up to a window when darkness fell and they took shelter inside. Carefully, by peeking through a corner of the window, she was able to look inside without being detected.
From the glass, she sighed and watched him sleep on a black piece of plastic while the others took up residence in cars. For the first time since she discovered him, she had the time to acknowledge how much she missed him. She was still hurt, heartbroken in fact by what she’d heard. But it was Daryl. Once her good friend and if she was totally honest, the person she’d thought about every day since she left the group. He still inspired her and try as she might, she couldn't shake the notion that she still found him to be incredibly attractive.
I might mean nothing to you. But, I’m here. I’m not leaving you with these jackasses.
She slept against the side of the auto repairs building, under the window and shrouded in leaves. Waking only when she heard an argument going on inside. On the verge of stepping in to prevent Daryl from being hurt by the mindless, violent, idiots he’d ended up with, she gripped her machete in her hand and started to think about how she was going to charge in and take on seven men when the aggression was suddenly diverted from Daryl to one of the other men. Jess sank back and breathed a deep huff of relief. She didn’t have to see him get hurt.
When the body of the man Daryl had fought with in the woods was dumped inches from her as they departed, she held her breath until she was sure none of them could hear her and set about following them further. She didn’t know why, but going back was not an option. She couldn’t leave him. Not with this group. Not now. There were too many risks.
They re-joined the railway tracks and Jess was able to silently move along at the back of the group where Joe, the grey-haired man who she gathered was the leader, talked to Daryl and offered him a drink from a hip flask. She saw him hesitate as she carefully climbed over logs and slithered through the trees at a pace that was tough to keep up without being too noisy. He shrugged a shoulder up and accepted.
“I ain’t been lit at dawn since before everything fell apart” He expressed.
Jess couldn’t help it. The way he spoke and his conversational tone coupled with a nonchalant shrug was so typical of him and it stung at her emotions. But at his honest comment, her face broke into a wide smile that she struggled to control. So wrapped up in how much she missed him, she failed to navigate around a large tree trunk and smacked into it, causing a rustle that Daryl heard over everyone else. He paused and Jess was sure he was looking right at her from the tracks as she hugged the tree and wished that she hadn’t just acted with the dexterity of a toddler running through the woods. Joe carried on while Daryl squinted into the dark trees and adjusted his crossbow. Her lungs began to burn, she didn’t want to breathe for fear of being noticed, her knees felt like they might cave in.
You really are a tracker.
After what seemed like hours, Daryl finally moved on, joining the rest of the men at a metal sign on the side of the tracks. They gathered around, talking in hushed tones that she couldn’t quite make out from her position. Then, Daryl stepped back, revealing the word at the top of the sign which made her blood run cold and her eyes well with tears. She knew exactly where they were headed and she had to do something to stop them.
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Malec Fanfic Rec: 3rd Edition
I’m back with another long list of works that deserve some recognition and the writers that deserve validation. You guys are the real MVPs, keeping this ship forever alive.
"I'll make IT fit." by @katychan666
Jace walks by Alec's room and hears Alec saying "It won't fit," followed by Magnus' "I'll make it fit." And when he hears the two of them groaning and the bed creaking... his mind is going places.
Jace thinks he hears Malec fucking, but he misunderstands the situation completely.
Cue a very embarrassed Jace and very amused Malec.
“I’m so cute, I don’t see why you aren’t dating me.” by @shadow-bellum
Alec really doesn't understand why Magnus isn't dating him, like he would spoil him because he really loves him.
50 First Dates by @la-muerta
Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood are lawyers from rival law firms, and they can't stand the sight of each other.
Now, if only the universe would get the memo and stop conspiring to bring them together, goddamnit!
A Moment Alone by mansikka
“That’s it. Just like that.”
A State of Undress by Accal1a
Alec might have just had the best orgasm of his life; but he's not going to take that lying down (so to speak).
It's payback time.
And for a breath of ecstasy by @poemsfromthealley
Nearly to the bed, they'd stopped to kiss with a decadent purpose that, if you asked Magnus, fit this ill-gotten hour. It was the pilfered fruit that tasted the sweetest, after all.
Magnus and Alec steal an afternoon for themselves. (Or, "Is it really an OTP until you've written them fucking against a wall?")
Away Too Long by mansikka
Magnus has been away too long for work. Alec is unhappy about it when Magnus eventually shows up at the Institute.
Bitter Sweet Symphony by DownworldShadow
When young, up-and-coming cellist Alexander Lightwood heads to Aspen, Colorado to attend the prestigious Aspen Music Festival he has no idea what destiny awaits him there. This is an alternate universe Malec love story full of twists and turns, triumphs and tragedies. Asking one of life's most difficult questions... does true love really conquer all?
Blue jeans and blue sky by Evil_Keshi
Magnus was seven years old when he arrived in Colorado to start his new life - with new parents, a new language, a new everything. Making friends would have helped him, except that his first encounter with the neighbours' kids didn't go too well, and Magnus vowed to hate the Lightwoods forever.
Forever. No matter what.
Bounty by flying_pupitre
“What is it that you think we’re doing here? You have always made it abundantly clear to me that this was nothing more than a delightfully sordid but mutual dalliance."
Can you keep me close? (can you love me most?) by @maia-isabelle
Alec has made his choice a long time ago, though he has trouble putting his finger on the when. Maybe when he had rushed out that first, desperate 'I love you' or when he had realized after those painful days apart that he couldn't live without Magnus; when he had let Magnus take his hand and drag him back to the only place he ever called home. Or maybe it had been some other moment, some everyday feeling in the morning light or kitchen or settled on the balcony. However, it takes a demon wound and a day of sleep for him to finally say it.
Confessions of an 'Alcoholic' by @chairmancatsby
Alec never liked drinking. He especially hated the aftermath of it the next morning when he felt like there was a boom box in his mind. But what Alec disliked the most was when the alcohol made his mouth filter magically disappear.
Or 5 times Alec drunkenly confessed to Magnus + 1 time he wasn't drunk.
Conquest by bumblebeesknees
When it comes down to it, the only real mistake Magnus made was letting his guard down during the first round because he had thought Alec believed it when Magnus had said that he was a little out of practice.
This beautiful, infuriating asshole thinks he’s got the upper hand, marvels Magnus, irritation and inexplicable arousal warring inside him at the sight of the smirk that’s started to take form on Alec’s face.
Magnus can’t let him get away with thinking that for too long.
Dearly Beloved by @evillittlebirdie
Anonymous asked: How about for the Malec Prompts: a continuation of that 1x13 scene where Magnus asks Alec if he regrets the kiss and Alec reassures him that he doesn't in his own, cute way? I feel like they should have included that somewhere in the episode <3
Don't break my faded heart by @firstaudrina
It's not entirely unheard of for a Shadowhunter to be in Pandemonium, but it is unusual for one to be here alone. Magnus will have to deal with that, but not yet. He's having too good a time.
Ever Mine (Series) by Infinity (malecfeels)
Malec Human AU
Dominant Alec and Submissive Magnus
And their own quirky love story
Evidence of the heart by @kindaresilient
Magnus hears the greeting as soon as he takes the noise canceling headphones off and can't help but smile in recognition. He turns around and sees Alec standing by the door, leaning on the frame.
"Well hello there. If it isn't my favorite criminalist."
Alec can't help but smile fondly as he straightens up and walks in. "You tell that to every man and woman on this Department."
Forever and Always by @magnusbicon
malec + domestic trailer scene fluff
Fuck Fate by @dontblinkamelia
When Magnus woke up on this one fateful day his tongue felt like it was made out of sandpaper, his head like someone had used it as a hammer and his stomach like he’d swallowed a gallon of soap. He barely had the energy to get up but as it turned out the universe didn’t care that he had a hangover to nurse because it still sent him spiraling down a mess of misunderstandings, lies, and confusion. And honestly? He really didn’t have the nerve to deal with it all.
So fuck social media, fuck trying to help others and fuck being in love.
The only thing that doesn’t seem to work is him fucking Alexander because apparently the whole universe hates him and fate is set against him.
Well, you know what?
Get You Where You Wanna Go by @royaltybane
Alec is a big fan of mundane driving when Magnus is the one in the driver's seat
aka Alec calls Magnus by a pet name for the first time
Goldenrod by kinkymagnus
Most people present their second gender around the age of 21. Some, however, never present- these people are called Betas.
Alec Lightwood had thought he was Beta, up until this moment.
Turns out he's just a late bloomer.
Or: Alec's having sex with his hot boyfriend when he suddenly presents and suddenly things get a lot more... heated between them.
Or: Turns out knotting someone can make them go into heat, even if you weren't previously aware said person was an omega. Who knew?
Gotcha by @robinowich
There's nothing like waking up to the sound of your husband comforting your child.
Unless it's two am and your husband is sleeping next to you.
Graphite eyes by @thealmostrhetoricalquestion
Alec doesn’t know why he’s taking the damn class in the first place, but he sure as hell knows why he’s staying. The Life Model, a man called Magnus, is absolutely stunning.
Happy shiny people everywhere by Fatale (femme)
Alec emerges from one of the bathroom stalls already fully dressed in a gray suit, plain white dress shirt, and hair neatly combed.
He looks like he always does, which is to say: painfully handsome and angry at the world.
A week into his new living arrangements and Magnus has realized that no matter where Izzy goes, she wears towering stilettos that hurt Magnus just to look at them, Jace is a mostly harmless douchebag, and Alec is a big mystery, their very own Phantom of the Loft.
Heat of the Moment by binksybane
Alec stared into Magnus' eyes. He had a choice to make... for once in his life, for the first time in his life, he needed to decide whether to take a risk and take something for himself or to go on as he'd always done - and let chances pass him by.
I need you (do you need me?) by @disc0veries
“I am your ex, you are a cop, and I just got arrested for being drunk and disorderly."
I Promise I'll Knock Next Time by @octoberdecemberwrites
Alec Lightwood is in the closet.
No, like, he's literally in the closet.
Magnus Bane finds out Alec is gay, by stumbling across Alec in a janitor supply closet at Alicante High...
The good news? Magnus has had a crush on Alec since the 9th grade, and Alec playing for The Other Team means that Magnus might just have a chance.
The bad news? Alec isn't really ready to come out of the closet just yet, and as his relationship with Magnus quickly progresses from complete strangers to friends-with-benefits, it seems like Alec might not be ready to come out of the closet at all...
♥ (Shadowhunters Normal-High-School AU with bits of canon sprinkled here and there) ♥
In nomine Patris et Filii by @magnusbaene
The thing Magnus resented the most was the resemblance, the way their relation was an unmistakable fact. Even now he could see himself in the way Asmodeus leaned on his cane, his magic transforming the room with a lazy wave of his fingers.
“Magnus Bane,” Asmodeus drawled, slight grin on his face, “welcome home.”
Magnus negotiates with his father. It doesn't go as planned.
Journey To The Past by @mermaidmaiabelle
Magnus has spent his whole life in an orphanage. He has no memories of his childhood, and no clues to what happened to his family other than a single necklace wrapped around his neck, and three little words - 'Together In Paris'. On leaving the orphanage, it will take a leap of courage to go and chase down his dreams - and a little help from a kitchen boy turned forger called Alec.
aka anastasia au
Just today by @kindaresilient
"There's just no way, Alexander," he begins, ready to reason with him and show him how dangerous this procedure is. "Doctors Roberts and Lewis both agree with me tha--"
Alec interrupts him. "I put you in a little box," he starts. He closes his eyes and buries his face in his hands, taking a deep breath before continuing. "I put you in a little box, and I put that box far away from me, so I could deal with our breakup. I couldn't think-- I couldn't focus with you on my mind every damn second. It hurt so much."
Lay It All on Me by blasphemous
Alec offers Asmodeus a corporate marriage after he realises how much Isabelle loves her boyfriend. Magnus has a girlfriend who he loves with all his heart and tries to fight his feelings for Alec, his arranged husband.
The Arranged Marriage AU where Magnus wants nothing to do with Alec. Camille's a bitch, Alec sasses her to death. And they live happily ever after.
Let Me Show You by @mattdaddorkio
Alec teaches Magnus how to shoot an arrow, and flirtiness ensues.
Life's a Pudding Full of Plums by candidshot
Love is a feeling you feel when you feel you are going to feel the feeling you’ve never felt before.
Life's a Pudding Full of Plums - Snippets of a world in which Magnus begs for some couple's privacy but Alec is just a proud loudmouth in love... and Magnus keeps falling in love with him - but won't tell him so. Yet.
Sorta office AU
Looks good on you by Fatale (femme)
From his vantage point on the bed, Alec hesitates, then asks, “Magnus, am I boring?”
Magnus turns around and blinks heavily-outlined eyes at him. “Certainly not! You’re dependable, responsible, unwavering.”
Alec frowns. “Those all kind of sound like synonyms for boring.”
Magnus crosses the room and sits down next to Alec. “They’re not, and that’s not all you are. To describe everything you are would take a lifetime.”
“A really steady and dependable lifetime, huh?” To Alec, it sounds more like what someone would find desirable in a warranty for tires than a boyfriend.
Lovely Sort of Déjà Vu by @alecfancywood
“This is going to sound terribly rude, especially after all this flirting we’ve had going on. And believe me, I am interested. But I can’t figure out who you are.”
or. Magnus and Alec meet again at their high school reunion
Loyalty is Hard to Find; Trust is Easy to Lose by @astudyinfic
Overhearing his parabatai giving a shovel talk to his boyfriend on the balcony of Magnus' own loft, Alec sees red. He and Jace need to have a chat about boundaries and trust. Now.
Magnus has his reasons by candidshot
When Alec very casually suggested that he officially moved in, Magnus took a pause, the wires in his brain suddenly going haywire imagining Alec 24/7 with him.
prompted by S03ep05 sneak peek
also bits from S03ep03
Muted by Jld71
Magnus casts a spell
Never Again by darkangel86
Alec groaned as he slumped back against the loft door. His head ached like he'd gone ten rounds with a group of Shax demons by himself. Why in the angels name did he drink so much? If this was what it felt like to be drunk, then Alec swore to himself he'd never touch another drop of the vile stuff again for as long as he lived.
No Receipt, No Return by @nancyloumm
Alec works late and Magnus gets drunk.
Ours by werewolfsaz
Magnus gasped as his back hit the cabinet, fingers instantly sinking into inky black tresses to pull Alec in for a scorching kiss, hips hitching forward to grind deliciously against his long, hard body. Alec, not to be outdone, wrapped his arms around Magnus' lean waist and lifted him up, a deep thrill zapping through him when the smaller man's legs locked around his waist.
Paparazzi by @imawriteriwrite
Magnus Bane is a pop star best known for his break up songs and wicked dance sequences. Alec Lightwood is an actor best known for being the object of Magnus' songs.
When Alec’s new tv show gets picked up, a series of events throws Magnus back into his life, bringing up a mess of memories and confusion. Forced to spend more and more time together, will they ever figure their feelings out?
Paper Love by @thealmostrhetoricalquestion
Alec was well aware that he was being creepy. He was well aware that the sight of a tall, built man in all black, standing near the kids section of the local library without a child would send a thrill of suspicion through most people’s minds. He was well aware that he hadn’t turned a page of the cookbook in his hands in the past ten minutes, and he was well aware that he was outright staring.
He was aware of all of this, and yet he couldn’t seem to stop doing any of it, and quite frankly, it was all Magnus Bane’s fault.
Past lives by @firstaudrina
“Alexander?” he tries again, and again there’s a disgruntled noise, but this time it draws Magnus’ gaze down to the space between couch and coffee table, where Alec appears to be laying. Magnus crosses the room and looks down at him, one eyebrow quirked. “Was happy hour very happy, then?”
Quick, Kiss Me by @carmenlire
Alec throws back the rest of his drink, feeling pleasantly buzzed. He has no intention of getting drunk, he doesn’t want to miss a moment-- is trying to sear every second of this day on his memory-- but he’s feeling good and this drink is delicious.
He’s about to turn around and order another, planning on taking it with him as he looks for his errant husband, when a hand wraps around his arm.
“Quick, kiss me! I’ll explain later--”
Alec’s smiling as he mutters, “Wha--”
Magnus’s lips meet his before he gets the word all the way out and then he’s not thinking at all.
Rain and Roses by MidnightAmethyst
When it all comes down to it, Alec chooses Jace.
Set Me In Motion by @lemonoclefox
“Is that your way of asking me to cook for you sometime?” Alec says. “'Cause I will.”
The moment the words escape his mouth, Alec finds himself slightly panicking. Because he does not talk like that, ever―in a way that might even be considered flirting―and he still doesn’t understand what it is about Magnus that brings stuff like that out of him. More importantly, he has a boyfriend.
Magnus, however, just looks mildly surprised as their eyes meet.
“My, my. Master chef, good family name, and charming?” Magnus tilts his head ever so slightly. “Careful, Mr. Lightwood,” he says in a low, teasing voice, mouth curving up in a smile. “You’re gonna make me swoon.”
One night, Magnus spots a handsome stranger in the elevator of his apartment building – which wouldn’t be a big deal if said stranger didn’t turn out to be dating Magnus’s neighbor. The stranger soon becomes Alec, and their paths end up crossing more than once. A tentative friendship develops as they slowly get to know each other, and they both find that it’s effortless in a way neither of them has ever known. It's only when other kinds of feelings start getting involved that things become a bit more complicated.
Sleeping beauty by kinky_bird
Magnus looked beautiful like this.
Slow down by broken_fannibal
Magnus leaned over the back of the armchair and slid his hands down Alec’s chest.
Alec smiled. “What is it?”
“I was just thinking... I’ve been putting up complex wards all day. You’re home. And I could use some... distraction.” He grinned at the last word and waggled his eyebrows.
Alec blushed a little. “O-Oh. Do you have something in mind?” He put his phone down on the table.
Magnus straddled Alec’s lap. “Tie me up. Touch me. Don’t be afraid to get a little rough.”
Strange Situations by @insiemes
When Alec's best friend and her husband die in a horrible accident, their daughter is left to his care. She is also left to her other godparent Magnus Bane, Alec's blind date gone horribly wrong from years before.
or a 'Life As we Know It' AU
Subtextually Speaking by Fatale (femme)
Later, when Alec’s getting ready for bed, pulling on cotton sweatpants and a slouchy green top, pilled and nubby from repeated washings, he gets a message from Magnus that he’s home, he’s ok, and Alec should get some rest. It’s generic and impersonal, and not like Magnus at all.
Alec’s stomach clenches in reflexive fear.
It’s just nerves, he’s acting crazy.
Sway by @lemonoclefox
Alec's small shop has everything the modern witch needs -- and more than Magnus personally ever expected to find there.
Take It Off by @katychan666
Magnus wants to get Alec's shirt off at all costs, because in his humble opinion, Shirtless Alec is the best Alec.
The accident by @kindaresilient
He can't finish his sentence though, as Mrs. Johnson turns around and quickly fires 4 consecutive shots to his chest, point blank. He feels everything in slow motion as he falls down. He hears everything too: the shots fired to Mrs. Johnson, his fellow criminalist cries for help.
The Bed We Made by @carmenlire
His glamour is down like it always is when it’s just the two of them in their space and Alec gets lost for a minute as he watches the last rays of the evening play over Magnus’s face. It only takes a minute, though, for him to realize that something is wrong. While Magnus seems as comfortable as ever straddling Alec, there’s a line of tension running through him that Alec can’t help but notice.
He lays his hands on Magnus’s hips, pulling him just a touch closer and Magnus smiles, faintly.
“What’s wrong, baby?”
The Neon Light of Us by alittlebriton
At some point, Magnus and Alec have to talk. It's just, Alec doesn't quite know how.
“I’m nervous,” Magnus admitted eventually. Alec reached down and found his hands and squeezed them.
“I’m not.” He waited until Magnus looked at him again, and shook his head. “I’m not nervous, Magnus. Not about us. Never about us.”
The look on Magnus’ face was almost awestruck, his dark eyes contemplating Alec’s until he shook his head, brushing Alec’s hair off his forehead.
“You’re so sure,” he marveled. “So sure. And it’s not like I’m not sure, about us, about you, don’t get me wrong, but. I sometimes can’t believe you’re this sure about me.”
The Proof is in the Pollen by @triggeringnotworthit
Sex pollen is injected into Alec and Magnus is the only one who can help.
The Touch That He Planted, The Garden He Left by @royaltybane
set just after the events of 2x10
As soon as the door to Magnus’ loft was opened, Alec was pushing them through it and pinning Magnus to the wall so he could press his body flush against him. He needed to feel Magnus everywhere—needed to positively drown in him.
“You’re alive,” Alec murmured against Magnus’ cheek reverently. “You’re here.”
“I’m here,” Magnus assured, holding Alec’s arms tenderly.
Third time's the charm by @laughingmagnus
“I did dream about it,” Alec finally answers slowly. “For a long time. But –” Maryse hears him swallow, hears the crackle of him switching the phone to his other hand. “It’s not my dream now. I want to stay in New York. I’m happy here, and he can’t – I can’t be anywhere else.”
(or a series of coda ficlets from shadowhunters s3)
This is our world and this is our time by Madalena
“I don’t want to stop.” Alec said simply, pressing his hand into Magnus’ hip. “I… I didn’t exactly plan what I wanted to happen this evening, but I do want to feel you. With me. This is something I am definitely ready for.”
“You’re sure?” Magnus asked, running his thumb over Alec’s bottom lip. Alec nodded wordlessly.
“I want you. I want this. I want us.” He swiped a thumb over Magnus’ cheek, just below his unglamoured eye. “I hope this is something that you want too.”
Timeless treasures by @thealmostrhetoricalquestion
“It’s not what you think,” Magnus says, his heart giving a painful squeeze. “A spell of mine went a little haywire, and it hit you. You’ve – you’ve forgotten me. I promise, Alexander, you do know me.”
Alec simply stares at him suspiciously. He lowers his hand and his gaze darts around the loft, fixing on little things, like the potted plant on the windowsill, or the coffee machine still gurgling away. It’s still early morning, the first rays of sunlight stirring the clouds into soft peaks, visible through the open window. Alec is bathed in a white glow, and even sleepy-eyed and bleeding, he looks beautiful. Magnus feels the same indescribable ache he’s always felt whenever he looks at Alec, but this time it hurts a little more, because when Alec looks at him, he doesn’t feel the same way.
Wanna Go for a Ride? By DarkAliceLilith
“Off, off,” Magnus mumbled between kisses. “Take it off. Take it all off.”
Weightless by @octoberdecemberwrites
“Here ya go. Appetizers on the house.” The bartender turned his focus towards Magnus, his face changing into a slight pout. “You’re cute as hell, babe, but you have to do better. I once saw Alec dump a guy for wearing an out-of-season Patek.”
“What’s a Patek?” Magnus’ question came out genuine, as he peered over at the bar’s menu.
The bartender loudly chucked, while slapping his hand against the counter-top. “Oh my God! Alec, he’s so funny! I get it now. It’s okay that he dresses like that, because he makes you laugh.”
The bartender nodded in understanding, as he made his way to the other end of the bar.
Magnus’ expression was now stoic, as he considered making a beeline for the exit...
This wasn’t going to work out.
Alec Lightwood was out of Magnus’ league. Even with actual magic at Magnus’ fingertips, he couldn’t magically develop a sense of effortless style, and he could never match Alec’s natural charisma.
They were just way too different…
With a kiss by @thesorrowoflizards
Magnus summons a demon for a client and gets a little more than he bargained for.
"It's a mutually beneficial arrangement," the demon purred.
"And what do you get from it?" Magnus challenged. "Why do you want to have sex with me?"
Alexander smirked. "Because you're ridiculously hot, that's why," he said.
With bones unbuttoned by @ohfreckle
Alec may still be figuring out the day-to-day aspects of their relationship, they both are, but this, here—Alec Lightwood was born to fuck.
You are worthy by stupidnephlim
On a child's twelfth birthday a blood test is taken to find out what their second gender is.
Omega's are seen as slaves, and are sold at a young age. Their purpose in life is to please their owners in any way they can.
Magnus has been taught that he is nothing but a thing that is made for being used.
That is until he meets a certain Alpha...
Your Voice by isobel_smy
"He opened his eyes, and stared at the ceiling. Like the day before, and the day before that, and probably tomorrow, the slightly peeling plaster still hung there, desperately hanging onto the little part of it keeping it attached to the ceiling. It hung there, swaying in the harsh breeze from the open window, staring back at him."
-Camille had saved his life, Magnus knew that. Magnus also knew he owed Camille everything- which was why he'd never complain. Not when Camille came home late, not when Camille forced him to make his cat live in a cattery, not when Camille told him he should probably go on a diet. After all, she was just looking after him.
Until something happened- something terrible happened. Something that changed everything, leaving Magnus feeling trapped in a life he never realized he'd been forced into. And Alexander, a complete stranger, might just be the one to save him.
For this time only, I want to take the opportunity to promote my own works because I don’t think there’s nothing wrong with a little self-promotion :)
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10 Aus: do number 10 please that’s so olicity. Canon Olicity even 😂
Oh my gosh, I’m so glad you asked me for this one @muslimsmoak because this absolutely screams Olicity and I was low key hoping to write that AU! It’s so canon it hurts, and if they were neighbors in canon too, I could totally see this happening all the time 😂😂.
This isn’t quite canon, but here’s a cute, funny, fluffy little drabble my brain spat out for this AU.
AU Prompt: “We're neighbors, and you always hear me screaming about my cooking disasters, and swoop in to save me. I probably should start paying you, honestly."
Neighbors Who Cook Together (Stay Together)
BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!
"Frack! No, no, no, please shut up!" Felicity hissed, frantically fanning a towel at the smoke detector. "Please, it's not even that burnt this time!" She begged of the inanimate object.
Biting her lip, Felicity's gaze swung around her loft frantically before landing on the doors to the balcony. Abandoning her quest to fan the smoke away, she shuffled over to the doors quickly and flung them open. Sweeping her arms in front of her, Felicity tried helplessly to encourage the smoke to go towards the balcony instead of the smoke detector.
When Felicity realized her efforts were futile, she scrambled back over to her post under the smoke detector and resumed fanning the air in her continued attempt to get it to stop screaming at her. "Come on... come on..."
Finally, the shrill beeping of the smoke detector faded away, only to be replaced by a loud set of knocks at her door. Jumping at the suddenly different noise, Felicity spun around a little too quickly and stumbled, her socks providing zero traction against the polished wooden floors, a sudden squeak leaving her as she struggled to right herself. When she did, Felicity skidded over to her door. "Officer's I'm so sorry, there's no fire here, just an overly burnt..." She rushed out as she flung the door open.
But, instead of firefighters, her eyes landed on an incredibly broad chest swathed in blue, making the gorgeous blue eyes of her neighbor (which she forced herself to look into instead of gawking at his chest) seem brighter than usual. "Hi..." She breathed out, her eyes wide and her lips parted slightly.
A gorgeous, butterfly-inducing grin curled his lips. Damn him. "Hi." He responded softly.
As he held her gaze, nervousness bubbled up in her. Quickly she started patting down her undoubtedly wild hair, tucking stray hairs behind her ears, and fixed her glasses that where askew from her stumble.
"What's overly burnt?" He asked teasingly, his smug grin barely covering the laughter trying to escape him.
Licking her lips, Felicity's mouth opened and closed a few times before she pursed her lips into a frown, crossing her arms over her chest. "My chicken parmesan." She grumbled, casting a glance back towards the still slightly smoking pan of "fried" chicken.
Then, that sneaky man was moving into her peripherals as he brushed passed her, walking into her apartment as if he owned the place. Spinning around completely, Felicity gaped at him as he left her rooted in place while he sauntered into her kitchen.
Reaching behind her, Felicity fumbled around as she felt for the door, gently pushing it closed once she found it as she gawked at the scene before her. Like the other seven or eight times he had done this, her unfairly gorgeous neighbor was methodically cleaning up the destroyed remains of her latest attempt to cook while preparing to start over from scratch himself.
Padding over towards him, she leaned against her granite island as she watched him in awe. "Oliver... seriously? Again?"
Glancing over his shoulder, Oliver grinned almost shyly at her with a soft shrug of his shoulder. "I can't bring myself to watch you order take out, and you need to eat."
Shaking her head slowly, Felicity got lost in how effortless Oliver looked. From the very first time he saved her cooking and prepared her meal for her, it was obvious Oliver knew what he was doing. But, it never ceased to wow her every time she watched him cook a complete meal without so much as a hair falling out of place.
"We're neighbors, and you always hear me screaming about my cooking disasters, and swoop in to save me. I probably should start paying you, honestly." Felicity mumbled absently, her eyes honing in on the way his forearms flexed as he jiggled the pan with the sizzling chicken. "I mean, it's only fair right. Trading your skills for payment."
Oliver cast a glance at her over his shoulder again, the corner of his mouth quirked up and one brow raised as he observed her.
When Felicity noticed his lingering gaze, her eyes met his curiously. Slowly, her eyes widened and a soft blush of embarrassment tinged her cheeks. "No, no, that's not what I meant!" Felicity pleaded frantically, shaking her hands wildly in front of her. "I'm not using you! And definitely not for that. Though, you could definitely make a living like that too. Oh my god, I have got to stop doing that..." Felicity groaned, squeezing her eyes shut tightly, rubbing at the scrunched-up gap between her brows with one of her hands.
Her eyes flew open to find him facing her fully now, his nervous eyes watching her carefully. "W-what? What was that?" She squeaked.
"As payment." He supplied, his posture relaxing a bit as his lips curled into grin. "Let me take you on a real date."
"Real date? You say that like we've had other dates?"
Crossing his arms over his chest, Oliver swept his eyes over her loft briefly before meeting hers again. "By my count, we've already had seven."
Felicity's mouth fell open. "This was... you've been... oh frack."
Shrugging, Oliver scratched the back of his head. "I guess Tommy wasn't kidding when he joked about my lack of game these days." Taking a few steps closer, Oliver closed the gap between them. Reaching out, he brushed his fingers over her hand before shyly slipping his fingers into hers. "Technically, these haven't been dates, but I've enjoyed getting to know you. You're absolutely remarkable, Felicity, and I want to know everything about you."
Felicity was silent, staring up at the unbelievably gorgeous man in front of her who just admitted that he didn't think she was crazy, but in fact remarkable, and actually wanted to date her. "I hope your idea of a fun first date isn't a couples cooking class." She breathed out, her heart rapidly fluttering in her chest making it hard to form words.
Oliver's eyes widened briefly, and then an eye-crinkling smile slowly curled his lips. Leaning in, he pressed his forehead to hers, gently brushing his nose against hers. "I don't think that fits into my plans, but we'll see." He whispered teasingly, unable to wipe the smile from his face.
And neither could Felicity as she felt Oliver's hot breath on her lips. At least, until an all too familiar, bitter smell hit her nose.
Rearing back, Felicity met Oliver's confused, even slightly disappointed gaze with shock in her own. "The chicken! It's burning!" She gasped, glancing over his shoulder to see the smoke quickly developing in the pan.
"Damn." He whispered frantically before turning around, lunging for the pan and taking it off the burner before more damage could be done.
Once the pan was safely deposited in a safe place, and he was sure the chicken wouldn't continue to burn, Oliver spun back around to face Felicity with a sheepish grin.
It didn't take long before Felicity was full-out laughing.
Soon, Oliver was laughing right along with her, all signs of his earlier embarrassment gone. "Maybe we do need that cooking lesson." He chuckled, walking back up to her, a huge smile still splitting his face as he wrapped his arms around her waist.
Felicity wrapped her arms around his neck with a big grin of her own. "Speak for yourself, mister."
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Different Kinds Of Business Building Clarified
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Rutland Building Ltd.
Creating Buildings Wiki
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Facilities Nationwide Converting to COVID-19 Vaccination Sites - CMM
Facilities Nationwide Converting to COVID-19 Vaccination Sites.
Posted: Tue, 16 Feb 2021 10:45:17 GMT [source]
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This short article presents a list of typical types of building alphabetically with links to short articles offering more information. Investigating the use of a building from the 19th century onwards is usually straightforward, with maps, plans as well as intending permissions, directory sites and census returns to direct us. In earlier centuries building use might appear in deeds, leasings and various other sources mentioned here under details building kinds. Structures are usually produced for a particular objective, which affects its design.
Rutland Building Ltd.
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Developing Structures Wiki
The organizers for an area can make sure that an area doesn't consist of details property types to minimize the number of complaints-- as an example, no pubs. Initially we send one of our procurements managers that will certainly look around the building and take some photos. If both parties want to continue we appoint a RICS report where a property surveyor will thoroughly evaluate the residential property and also discuss any problems they find. A flat is specified as a single family members suite of areas, that includes a cooking area and also a minimum of a solitary bathroom, they are positioned in a building that has numerous comparable suites. Cottages are a reduced down house that has only one story, although they can in some cases have an area upstairs typically a loft space conversion with a dormer.
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Premises where the main purpose is the sale of hot food for intake off the facilities. It recognizes what sort of business they are permitted to relocate right into the properties.
TITLE: What would you consider a trainer, a human, an android?
CHAPTER TITLE:The Hostage
WARNINGS AND RATING: Rated T for Canon typical violence, swearing/
FANDOMS: Detroit: Become Human and Pokémon
How much of the story would change if Pokémon were part of the same universe as androids? (In which the universe shifts slightly right because someone had asked "What if?" And such, Pokémon are introduced, because that's just the natural effect of this.)
There’s -what appears to be- a man, standing in the elevator, playing with a coin.
He looks human enough, with neat, dark brown hair and brown eyes. He’s wearing a jacket with “RK800” printed on the left in neat, white lettering, and a blue triangle on the right. It’s left open, showing a white shirt and a black tie, with a perfect Windsor knot. He wears a belt as well, holding two shrunken Poké Balls, the red and white casings shining in the artificial light.
And that where the similarities to a human end.
On his temple, on the right, is an LED ring that glows a brilliant blue. His posture is too straight, his stance too stiff, his shoulders too square, face not retaining a hint of emotion.
The elevator doors open, and a SWAT officer brings a hand to his ear and says “Negotiator on site” before moving off, presumably to report to someone.
The “man” steps out, and walks towards a small shelf, looking at the pictures on the table.
His scanners recognise all three people in the image. He takes note of the names and faces of the family in the picture, as well as the Pokémon they are known to have, before placing the frame back and continuing to make his way down the hall.
He stops, and turns to see a Wishiwashi on the floor, next to a broken aquarium. It’s breathing, and not in any danger, but it looks rather upset about it’s situation, so he picks it up and places it back in the tank. That’s when a woman grabs his arm.
That’s when he sees Caroline Phillps in the flesh, and not as a picture that he scanned. She’s been crying, her heartbeat is fast and her breathing is laboured.
“Oh, oh please, please” she begs him, grabbing him by the arm, “you gotta save my little girl…”. She begins to say, before her eye catches sight of the LED embedded in his temple.
“Wait.” She says, letting go. “you’re sending an android?”
A SWAT team member grabs Caroline, guiding her to the elevator.
She screams, she begs, she calls him a thing and cries as she’s dragged to the elevator.
He stands there, face blank, before walking to go find Captain Allen. A lot of the men here are complaining, mostly along the lines of “Why are we wasting time sending an android to negotiate?”
“Captain Allen?” The android questions, upon seeing the man. “My name is Connor. I’m the android sent by CyberLife.”
Captain Allen sighs, and his Watchhog follows suit, before going “It’s firing at everything that moves. It already shot down two of my men. We could easily get to it, but they’re on the edge of the balcony. If it falls, she falls.” He turns to look at Connor.
Connor tilts his head, taking in the information, before asking “Do you know its name?”
The reply, it turns out, is “I haven’t got a clue. Does it matter?”
“I need information to determine the best approach.”
Connor receives no answer, so he asks “Have you tried its deactivation code? Or perhaps a Porygon2 or Magnemite?”
“It won’t answer its deactivation code, and none of my men have those Pokémon.” Captain Allen says, before turning back to the screen.
It seems like the Captain won’t answer more questions, so Connor turns to the empty hand gun case on the floor. There’s an empty box of ammunition next to it, and he scans both, before reconstructing what happened.
He can only think of one possibility of what had happened.
DEVIANT TOOK THE FATHER’S GUN
There’s a 56% percent that the operation will succeed. He continues to look further.
He ends up in the daughter’s room and looks at the tablet on the desk. He picks it up and unlocks it, watching the video that’s on it.
“This is Daniel, the coolest android in the world! Say hi Daniel!”
“You’re my bestie! We’ll always be together!”
DEVIANT’S NAME IS DANIEL
When the video ends, Connor sets the tablet back on the table, carefully slotting the information away for future use. He looks down, to finda set of headphones on the carpet. It’s still playing something. Connor picks it up and presses it against his ear, filing away the name of the song and the decibels it’s playing at. There is another conclusion he come to when he does.
CHILD DIDN’T HEAR GUNSHOTS
Feeling like he’s searched the whole room, he leaves.
He approaches the father’s body, and scans it, looking at the gunshot wounds and reconstructs the scene, seeing the father sitting on his couch, looking at something in his hands. He was holding…something, Connor can discern from that.
The father turned around, and was shot by the deviant, sending whatever the father was holding flying into a corner.
Conner finds the object, which happens to be a tablet, this one covered in blood. He unlocks it, only to find an order for an AP700 being confirmed.
DEVIANT WAS GOING TO BE REPLACED
The probability of success goes up to 68%. A SWAT team member is shot. An Herdier barks at the window, ready to tackle the whoever made the gunshots, only to be stopped by a “Don’t worry boy, I’m fine. I’m alive. No tackling. I mean it.”
He finds a dead police officer on the ground, body already in rigor mortis. He scans the body, also noting the Growlithe that is curled next to the body, whimpering quietly.
DPD OFFICER WAS FIRST RESPONDER
He reconstructs another scene, and find’s the officer’s gun under the table. He picks it up, analysing the model and make, before placing it back down, remembering that it was illegal for Androids to possess and use fire arms, while it was legal for Androids to own Pokémon, as long as they do not use them in combat, unless they were part of the DPD.
Connor looks into the kitchen, turns off the stove, and looks out the window, and finds the deviant outside, holding a small girl in one arm, a gun in the other. He looks down, to see a blood-stained shoe, and Connor presses his lips together in thought.
HOSTAGE COULD BE WOUNDED
Connor steps outside.
And immediately, he gets shot in the shoulder, blue blood spraying onto the wall behind him.
“Stay back!” Daniel yells, aiming the gun at Connor. “Don’t come any closer or I’ll jump!”
Emma begs Daniel not too, prompting Daniel to press the nozzle of the gun at Emma’s head.
“Hi Daniel!” Connor yells, hand pressing against one of his Poké Balls.
There’s a faint “How?” from Daniel before Connor goes “My name is Connor.”
“How do you know my name?” Daniel asks, gun in hand.
“I know a lot of things about you. I’ve come to get you out of this.” Connor steps closer, pulling a Poké Ball from his belts and enlarging it in his hands.
A helicopter appears overhead, and success rate drops to 61%. He approaches the wounded officer on the ground, trying to calm Daniel. He applies a tourniquet onto the officer’s arm, using his own tie. Daniel still shoots at him, but the success rate rises to 65%.
“I just want all of this to stop!” he yells, gesturing wildly with the gun in his hands. Then he trains the gun back on Connor, and asks “Are you armed?”
“No.” Connor says, but he holds up his Poké Ball. “However, I do have a Pokémon. Psychic. I won’t use it however.” And he shrinks the Poké Ball back down and reattaches it to his belt.
“They were going to replace you and you became upset.” Connor begins, taking another step forward. “That’s what happened, right?”
“I thought I was part of the family.” Daniel says, sobs cracking his voice. “I thought I mattered.”
The success rate rises up to 79%.
“But I was just their toy! Something to throw away when you’re done with it!” and he aims the gun back at Emma’s head, who whimpers and whispers a “Patchy, where are you?”
“Listen.” Connor begins, taking another step forward. “I know it’s not your fault. These emotions that you are feeling are just errors in your software.”
“No, it’s not my fault.” Daniel says. The probability rate is now at 85% “I never wanted this…I loved them, you know…but I was nothing to them.” He growls out. “Just a slave to be ordered around.”
Daniel suddenly snarls, and waves at the helicopter “I can’t stand that noise anymore! Tell that helicopter to get out of here!”
Connor waves at the helicopter, who immediately move away.
“You have to trust me Daniel.” Connor says, gesturing to himself. “Let the hostage go, and I promise you that everything will be okay.” The success rate is at 99%.
Daniel makes demands, for people to leave and for a car, promising to let Emma go once he gets out of Detroit. Connor tells him he can’t. “Just let the girl go, and I promise you won’t be hurt.”
“I don’t want to die.” Daniel says, voice suddenly small.
Connor placates him with a “You are not going to die, we are just going to talk. That’s all I promise, just let her go.”
The success rate is at 100%, and Daniel lets Emma go, who collapses on the floor, and clutches a Pachirisu to her chest whispering “Patchy I’m okay, I’m okay, you don’t need to shock him, I’m okay…”
Then, a sniper shoots him, before two charge beams and a thunder shock hit Daniel, causing him to collapse.
“You lied to me Connor.” Daniel says, staring at him right in the eyes. “I trusted you, and you lied to me.”
Daniel shuts down, while Emma whimpers, clutching her Pachirisu.
Connor stands there, before turning to leave, letting the SWAT team and their Pokémon to secure the area.
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Never Home (or How Lila Rossi Tased Chat Noir)
A (somewhat) late addition for Week 2 of TOTLS Month. Balcony scenes may not be canon (yet) but here’s a Lilanoir remix of a Marichat staple!
From the moment Lila step foot into her apartment, she knew that she wasn’t alone.
This was largely because she had come home to an empty apartment every day for the last several months, and having grown so used to the empty feeling associated with it, she knew something was just a little off. There was an indescribable presence lingering in the air as she made her way into the kitchen, setting a bag of groceries down and reaching for the small, electric taser she kept in her purse at all times. Her parents would have never let her live alone without protection, and though she had never had the opportunity to use it, she had seen enough horror movies at one in the morning to know how to turn it on whenever the floorboards creaked awkwardly.
Powering the taser on, she made a great show of pretending to be oblivious to the intruder’s presence, stretching lazily as she turned on an Italian news station and made her way from room to room, making a quiet sweep of the small apartment as she went. Humming a tune under her breath, she made sure the bathroom and her wardrobe room were clear before heading into her bedroom, stepping out onto the balcony and breathing in the cool evening air.
After a moment, she turned around, heading back inside with a small sigh, about to slip out of her school clothes when a pair of glowing green eyes caught her attention.
The intruder froze, hand clutched around a can of water that was trickling into the potted plant next to Lila’s desk. It was too dark to see anything but the intruder’s eyes, and Lila wasn’t exactly in the mood to give strange men in her home the benefit of the doubt. As the bandit opened his mouth to say something, Lila’s survival instinct kicked in, prompting her to lunge at the assailant, taser crackling as she launched herself at the intruder like jungle cat. The man dropped the watering can with a clanging splash as Lila threw him to the ground, taser pressed against his neck as she realized she had just threw one of Paris’ resident superheroes to the floor of her apartment.
And not even the one she didn’t like.
“What…the hell are you doing here?!” Lila spluttered.
“Your…fichus…was…dying,” Chat panted.
“Did Ladybug ask you to come here?”
Chat didn’t quite know what was harder to believe; the fact that Lila Rossi had tased him, or the fact that she was now preparing something that he could only describe as heavenly.
“Huh?” Chat asked, shaking his head as Lila fixed him with a deadpan glance. “Oh…n-no, Ladybug doesn’t know I’m here.”
“Mmhmm,” Lila said, turning back to the veal steak unconvinced. “You’re not here to get me back in her good graces?”
“I think that ship has sailed, hasn’t it?” Chat chuckled.
“Sailed, sunk, and sitting at the bottom of the ocean,” Lila muttered, tipping the cutlets onto a pair of plates with a pair of small green salads. Chat blinked at her as she plopped the plate down in front of him, glancing between the cutlet and an amused looking Lila as she looked at him. “Something wrong?”
“No I just…” Chat scratched the back of his head. “Do you usually feed people who break into your house?”
“Color me curious,” Lila said as she regarded her unconventional dinner guest. “I’m interested to know why Chat Noir seems to be so interested in the wellbeing of my house plants, and this seems to be the best way to get you to stay in one place long enough for me to squeeze the story out of you.”
“Aren’t your parents going to be upset that their daughter is entertaining random strangers in the middle of the night?” Chat asked, poking the cutlet curiously before taking a bite, eyes practically dilating as she swore she heard him purr with delight.
“I don’t live with my parents,” Lila said simply, cutting a chunk off her veal and placing it in her mouth with a thoughtful crunch before squeezing a little lemon over the top.
“…oh,” Chat said simply. “I just thought…w-well, I heard you moved to France so I assumed-”
“Mama’s work keeps her fairly busy,” Lila said with a small shrug. “She has to be in the Milan office most days, so it’s easier for her to just stay in Italy.”
“And you’re okay living here by yourself?” Lila’s fork paused between her plate and her mouth for the faintest moment.
“You still haven’t answered my question,” Lila said, leaning across the table with a small smile. “Do you check in on all the former akuma victims like this, or am I just that special?”
“Oh, n-no it’s not that you’re special or…I-I mean you’re special, clearly, but I didn’t…” Chat stammered, fiddling with his food as Lila’s smile became toothy. “I just…your apartment balcony is the perfect landing spot for me to kick off of to land on the building next door and I…may or may not land on it when I’m running home.”
“Wait, that bumping in the middle of the night is you?” Lila asked. “I thought I just had a raccoon trying to get in my window…”
“So I…kinda noticed your plant didn’t look happy,” Chat said, scratching his cheek. “And I may have bought a watering can to…thank you for letting me use your balcony as a springboard.”
“Seriously?” Lila snorted, leaning back in her chair. “You really went out of your way, every day, to water a plant that isn’t yours just to thank me for something I didn’t do?”
Chat shot her a lopsided, somewhat bashful smirk. “I’m a superhero; what can I say?”
“A real knight in shining armor, aren’t you?” Lila chuckled. “Savior of damsel-plants in distress from girls who kill everything they touch.”
“As someone who’s helped slay an actual dragon, I have to say you’re something of a disappointment,” Chat Noir laughed, taking another bite of his meat. “Though your Lightning Bolt attack packed quite a whallop.”
“Mama wouldn’t let me live in a house by myself without protection,” Lila said, narrowing her eyes at Chat. “And I seem to remember knocking someone flat on their tail not an hour ago. I’d say that’s fairly amazing, wouldn’t you?”
“You certainly don’t need a costume to be amazing,” Chat said, causing Lila to frown and glance up at the boy who appeared lost in a world of cotoletta. There was something strangely familiar about him, but Lila couldn’t quite place it, and the fact that she almost realized something about him was maddening.
“…aren’t your parents expecting you for dinner?” Lila asked, raising an eyebrow.
“…Dad’s working late tonight,” Chat said simply, burying a small flash of disappointment with another bite of his meal.
“Too busy for dinner?” Lila asked.
“He’s…got a lot on his plate,” Chat shrugged as Lila chewed thoughtfully.
“Yeah…I understand what you mean,” Lila said softly, wiping her mouth with a napkin. “So…do you plan on continuing to use my balcony as your personal springboard?”
“Unless I want to circumvent this part of town completely,” Chat said. “Which I’d rather not have to do.”
“Because you enjoy spying me changing through my window?”
“What?! No, I-” Chat trailed off as he caught sight of Lila’s smile. “…you’re messing me, aren’t you?”
“You catch on quick, gattino,” Lila said, mopping up the last of her veal juice with the spinach and strawberry salad. “Though I’m wondering if I shouldn’t be charging rent for the use of my balcony.”
“I’m sure whatever price you want, I could pay,” Chat chuckled.
“I’m not hard up for money,” Lila said, chewing on her lower lip. “I would appreciate your usual gardening services…provided your home life doesn’t demand your attention.”
“No real worry of that,” Chat said with a bitter laugh, extending his gloved hand across the table. “Do we have a deal then? You’ll keep renting me your balcony?”
“So long as you swing by every few days,” Lila said, thumb raking over the back of his gloved knuckles. “I’m not exactly a gardener, you know.”
“Clearly; I thought your plant was fake when I first saw it.”
“I still have charge in my taser, you know.”
“Now’s probably a good time to tell you I can’t really feel pain in this thing,” Chat said with a small flex.
“So that means you weren’t even stunned when I threw you to the ground?” Lila said, piling her plate on top of Chat’s as he carried them into the kitchen. “Good to know.”
“Hey, your hip toss is impressive, girl,” Chat chuckled.
“Do you compliment all your girlfriends on their hips, or is it just me?” Lila said, leaning on the counter.
“I don’t have any girlfriends,” Chat said, packing the plates in the dishwasher.
“Certainly not for lack of trying,” Lila said, cocking her head to one side with a smirk. “I’m sure if you looked elsewhere for love, you’d find no shortage of willing young ladies.”
“Do you say that to all the guys you bring home?” Chat said, leaning across the counter with an identically toothy smile.
“Just the ones who break in and water my plants,” Lila said, eyes tracing the curve of his mask for a moment. Seizing an impulse, she reached up, fingers sliding along his mask as she tried to find some seam she could use to pull it off. Surprisingly, Chat didn’t move, stiffening under her touch but still smiling as she pulled away.
“A touch,” Lila said. “Who wouldn’t want to be party to one of the biggest secrets in Paris?”
“As lovely as the meal was, it wasn’t quite secret-identity reveal good,” Chat said, meandering towards the glass door leading out to the balcony.
“Well, I guess I’ll have to get my Julia Child on,” Lila said, following him out into the balmy French evening. “Or break out the cat nip.”
“That’s a misconception,” Chat said, leaning on the edge of the balcony. “Now, if you managed to get me a cookie-”
“I’ll leave some out for you then,” Lila said, leaning on the balcony as the sun set in the distance. She glanced across at him, watching the way the wind rustled his hair as he took a deep breath, turning to her with a toothy smile.
“Thanks for dinner…and not calling the police,” Chat said sheepishly.
“Thank you for the unsolicited landscaping,” Lila said, brushing some hair out of her face as the wind began to pick up. “Though I wonder how your partner is going to feel about your new side job.”
“Ladybug can feel however she wants,” Chat said with wink and a small salute. “But there’s nothing wrong helping out a friend, is there?”
For the first time all night, Lila was at a loss for words, and before she could recover, Chat was off, kicking hard off her balcony and up onto building next to hers. He landed in a low crouch, shooting her a wave over his shoulder before running off into the deepening night. She watched him go for a long moment, his black figure trailing over the rooftops for a few moments before arcing right, continuing to run in a completely different direction, almost as though the stop at her place had been considerably out of his way.
“Oh, so I’m just a stop on your way home, am I?” Lila said, smile playing at her lips as she turned and walked back into her apartment. “Alright, gattino, if that’s how you want to play it...”
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Thank you! Will you please do part 2 of the last dvd commentary?
Ooooh nonny. You like the pain, huh? (It’s okay.. so do I ^_^ )
The room is bright, filled with sunlight and the scent of freshly cut flowers. For the first time today, he is alone, servants dismissed and Mitsuhide’s fussing hands driven away by Kiki’s patient suggestion that they take a walk.
Let Zen enjoy his last few moments as a bachelor, she had deadpanned, dragging Mitsuhide through the door and leaving Zen in anticipatory silence.
Zen smiles, excitement and anxiety curling in his stomach. Everything was coming together. Finally. Soon, he would be married, followed shortly by the wedding of Sir Lowen and Lady Seiran. And then, maybe someday soon his children and theirs would be running around the Palace, filling it with more laughter than he had experienced in his own childhood.
Code: Joanna is being mean again. To everyone. And everything.
I very much enjoy writing Zen with this Calvinistic undertone of “God favors the righteous.” It seems very apropo for him. Things just turn out right because he, and his friends, have made righteous actions throughout their lives and ultimately good prevails. (Disclosure: I have a grad degree in Religion so I have headcanons for the spiritual life of all of the AnS squad and I apply them when I’m writing. It helps me motivate them in the direction I want them to go.)
Ultimately, setting up this scene I wanted to counteract the end of the last scene with the happiness of a man about to marry the woman he has been waiting years for. It really is a joyous day because they have been through so many trails (mostly separately) and now they are finally coming together.
Also, I imagine that Zen’s marriage to Shirayuki is one of the first times that Zen has successfully overcome the requirements of his station and he is getting to balk the status quo. So he is terribly happy, especially knowing that his friends are in the same boat with him. Kiki is also getting the husband she wants rather than the husband everyone expects.
And I would be remiss in saying that Zen had a happy childhood. He most certainly did not. If you look at the canon, it appears the Palace is frightfully empty for the vast majority of his childhood, which is a big reason that he clings so hard to the friends he has made, but he is also willing to go to such lengths to protect his most important relationships.
He dares to dream that their children would serve his the way they serve him.
Let us not forget that even though Zen is, in his heart of hearts, a good, sweet guy, he is also a Prince. A Prince privileged with the expectation that people will serve him. And it makes sense that he would want any Mitsukiki babies to be as close to his own children because there is that familial loyalty that has potential to be passed down through the generations.
Laughing to himself, Zen crosses the room to stand in front of the full length mirror, checking to make sure his appearance was perfect for the hundredth time this hour alone. Everything was in order. Their chambers had been moved, the preparations for the honeymoon complete, Shirayuki had completed her etiquette and decorum lessons for her first weeks as Princess…
Boots thud softly on the balustrade, followed by a cheerful, “What a wonderful day for a wedding, Master!”
…well, almost everything was in order.
Dun dun dunnnnnnnnnn
Really, I spent the majority of this chapter going hnnnnnnngggggggggggg I don’t want to do this. Why am I doing this? This is going to hurt so much. STAHP IT JOANNA YOU ARE HURTING THEM. The next several paragraphs were literally the last bits that I wrote before posting. I edited everything else even before I could bring myself to write it and even then I was in so much pain.
However, I didn’t write (at this point) 45k? to stop now. ONWARD TO THE SUFFERING.
Zen turns towards where Obi perches on his balcony, his dress uniform immaculately pressed and a wide smile on his face.
It was curious. If anyone had cause for this day to be a melancholy one, it would be Obi. But he gave no hints, no suggestions of this day being any less joyful to him than it was for Mitsuhide or Kiki or even Shirayuki.
Honestly? This is actually a happy day for Obi. He has been rooting for them since day one and has gone out of his way. He might be the happiest out of everyone because he expects that Miss is going to get everything she wants and deserves in life and in his mind, Zen is the one to provide it.
On one level, Zen knows and accepts that he is the better out of the two of them for her. On another level, he cannot fathom that sort of selflessness when it comes to people one cares about.
Obi slides from the balustrade, crossing the room quickly with a long gait to stand before him with such affection in his gaze. “Ah, Master, you look so handsome today,” he lilts, reaching up to dust imaginary lint from his collar. “Mistress will hardly be able to wait for the wedding night.”
Obi winks and Zen blushes, shooing him away with false annoyance.
HE’S EVEN MAKING SEX JOKES FOR THEIR WEDDING NIGHT. COME ON. HE’S SO HAPPY FOR THEM (although the thought of it turns his stomach, he’ll never show it).
He puts up with his prattle for several minutes, Obi informing him of everything from the tiff in the kitchens early this morning to a small, but repairable incident in the chapel regarding rhododendron lining the pews.
Google rhododendron. I’ll wait.
It’s when he gets to Shirayuki that Zen starts to truly listen, though.
“I can’t wait to see the look on Masters face when he sees Mistress,” Obi sighs, cocking his hip against the chaise lounge with a soft smile. “She’s absolutely breathtaking.”
Zen glances over at the other man with a question on his face, only to have his breath driven from him when he takes in Obi’s naked expression.
Oh. Oh, that look—
I have the MEANEST idea for a B-side from when Obi sees Shirayuki in a wedding dress, but le sigh… so many ideas, so little time to write them.
But I also wanted to carry over this idea that Obi always sees Shirayuki first when she’s all dressed up. Why would her wedding be any different? And why would Shirayuki expect any less?
Zen blinks, swallowing rapidly as he straightens himself and painting a careful smile on his face.
This must be killing him.
“You are a better man than I, Obi,” he comments as he adjusts his cufflinks, turning back towards the mirror to watch the other’s reflection. “I don’t know if I would be able to do what you were doing.”
Obi stills, his smile wavering for just a moment, but it’s enough. One hand with its tapered fingers and bronzed skin reaches up unconsciously to clutch at his shoulder, and his gaze becomes wistful as he looks at the open balcony doors. “I could never hope to be worthy, Master. It is just my wish to serve you both as long as I am needed.”
I have always wanted to write an honest conversation between Zen and Obi about Obi’s obvious feels for Shirayuki. And this is as honest as it gets. It hurts him on an obvious level to see her marrying Zen, but not so much that it overshadows his love for the both of them and his happiness at seeing them wed.
Also Obi has, from day 1, been waiting for the moment when he is sent away. If you remember that conversation with Torou in canon, there was a long talk about the body becoming heavy when one stays still too long. I believe that for someone who has lived such a transient life, the longer one stays in one place, the harder it becomes to pull up the plant by the roots. And this is done in such a violent way that it of course leaves damage to the whole.
So in this scene, Obi means every single word that he’s saying. He just doesn’t know that Zen’s about to use his words as permission to take the next step.
It would be a mercy. A kindness, really.
It reeks of self-justification, but Zen truly believes that he is being compassionate in doing what he’s about to do.
Zen braces himself for what he knows must come next. “What are you going to do after the wedding, then?”
Obi guffaws, the longing disappearing from his face in an instant as he turns back to Zen. “Likely get drunk,” he replies with a broad grin. “I hear these royal weddings serve only the best!”
Zen laughs. Of course. He would, too, if the situations were reversed.
At this point, Zen and Obi’s understanding of the conversation has diverged. Out of all the days, this is not the one where Obi expects to be sent away, but Zen is seeing it as the only solution for all of them. The rumors labeling him a cuckold can disappear with Obi, and Obi doesn’t have to watch the woman he loves be with another man. It’s a win-win.
“No, I mean, long term,” he clarifies.
Obi tilts his head, questioning. Ah, why was he making this difficult? Obi had always been skilled at hidden meanings, but perhaps he couldn’t, or more accurately, wouldn’t want to understand.
It’s best to remove the bandage swiftly.
And this is where Zen realizes that they are not speaking at the same level and he is going to have to do the unfortunate task of spelling it out because Obi is too loyal to leave on his own.
He glances up to where Obi’s reflection leans against the lounge. His face has gone blank, but the edges of his eyes are tilted downwards, wide and motionless.
There is no way I could have written this scene from Obi’s POV. No way. It’s too much. The level of shock and pain he is feeling in indescribable. He’s realizing that his expectation is coming true, but he’s also realizing that he put so much faith in his Master and his Mistress that there was some small hope that he’d be allowed to stay with them forever.
But, of course, that’s not the case. And he thinks it is his fault because he couldn’t keep his emotions off of his face and he couldn’t squash them down so they didn’t get in the way. He doesn’t hate Zen–he never hates Zen throughout all of this (he does get rage-y about Shirayuki’s suffering, but he loves Zen too much to ever get to the point where he hates him)–he hates himself for making this situation what it is.
Zen clenches his jaw in a bid to keep from taking his words back, pretending that this was all an ill-conceived joke and going about the rest of their lives the way that they had been for years.
There’s a lot of torn emotions going on in Zen throughout this. He has this undercurrent jealousy driving his actions that he refuses to acknowledge as having something to do with his actions. He has his “compassion” for Obi. But he also can see that he has just broke the man and he loves him, too. He entertains the thought of just silently suffering the fact that his wife and her knight might be sneaking around behind his back. But that’s not pragmatic for his station. He doesn’t want to hurt him, but ultimately he is making a difficult choice to do what is best for everyone.
A motion in the corner of the room catches his attention and he follows it to see Kiki standing still by the door, her face grim.
Kiki’s character, throughout all of Ever After, is the most enjoyable silent side story because she stands as silent witness to EVERYTHING. And she gets to be witness to the worst-case scenario marriage that she has always dreaded.
The sound of bells ring through the palace and Zen pulls in a deep breath of air, nodding. “I’ll see you at the reception then,” he says quietly, moving towards the door under Kiki’s watchful gaze.
I have PLANS to hurt you all at a whole new level.
The door opens before him, and Mitsuhide is there, making broad motions with his hands. “Come on, Zen!” he laughs. “You are going to be late to your own wedding.”
While Kiki’s character stands as silent witness, I thought it would be great to pair her with Mitsuhide’s inability to see what is wrong. He is blindly loyal to Zen and even if Kiki were to explain what had happened, it is likely that he would have explained it away. Obviously, Kiki misinterpreted what she saw… which is why she doesn’t tell.
Zen smiles, casting one look back and finding Obi collapsed on the chaise, fingers pressed to his forehead–a dark blotch in a room filled with light.
It’s for the best.
Carrying on with the earlier theme of God favors the righteous… Some small part of Zen thinks that Obi gets what he deserves. He wouldn’t be afflicted like this if he weren’t so deserving of it. He’s seen the scars, the way Obi fights, his willingness to bend the rules… He’s been infected by the darkness that he wears and he operates in. He doesn’t belong in a bright place like this.
And Obi agrees.
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AU Thursday: Londerland Bloodlines -- Prophetic Nightmare, Take 2!
Hey everyone -- remember the fic snippet Prophetic Nightmare from my Londerland Bloodlines AU? I do because I was looking at it recently, thanks to being back into said AU because of the recent sequel announcement. And while I was looking at it, I thought, “I really ought to edit this now that I’ve changed the AU around so Bonejangles, aka Sam Thatcher, is part of the group after the Giovannni raid.”
So I did! What’s the point of being a writer if you can’t improve your old fics? So today I present to you the updated version of “Prophetic Nightmare,” where Victor has a pretty intense dream about the possible fate of his World of Darkness family. As per the first version of the fic, I’m going to warn for blood, gore, dismemberment, and eye trauma. I’m not lying when I say it’s fairly intense -- there is a LOT of horror in the beginning. Fortunately, it also keeps the trip to Victor’s happy place at the end if you need a breather after all the gore. Hope you like this new, “canon-compliant” version of the fic!
"I'm home, everyone! Who wants – hello?"
Victor shifted his grocery bags, peering between them into the apartment. To his surprise, the living room was empty, as was the attached kitchen. "Emily? Lizzie? Sam? Wasn't there anything good on TV?"
No response. Victor frowned. It wasn't like them to just vanish like this. . .had they gone out for some reason after he'd left? But he couldn't see a note anywhere. . .he glanced up toward the loft. "Alice? Are you up?"
Silence. Now thoroughly puzzled, he set the bags on the counter bar, then headed upstairs. The bedroom door was closed, and the little office nook was empty. Victor bent over the computer and wiggled the mouse. The screen came to life, showing the six of them lined up on the couch – Lizzie and Sam each perched atop an arm, and him, Emily, Victoria, and Alice crammed into the middle. He grinned as he took in Emily's enthusiastic wave to the camera, Victoria's shy, almost embarrassed smile, and Alice's sparkling eyes as she hooked her arm around his shoulders. Just knowing a single one of these lovely ladies was a privilege. And here he was, the boyfriend of all three. With an honorary older sister and brother in the bargain. And to think I once thought moving here was a mistake. I really am the luckiest man in the world.
Unfortunately, he couldn't just stand here and stare at his favorite ladies all night – he had a mystery to solve. He opened up the "LaCroix Foundation Secure Intranet" application. "15 e-mails – 3 unread" appeared under the title bar, in all their DOS-y green glory. So Alice, at least, had to be here – she never left the haven without reading her e-mails. Perhaps she hadn't yet risen? But the sun had been sinking below the horizon when he'd arrived back. . .surely she'd be up by now, driven to seek out her first drink of the night? Frowning, Victor put the computer back to sleep and went over to the bedroom door. "Alice?" he called, knocking. "Everything all right?"
Still nothing. Victor opened the door, now thoroughly concerned. "Alice?" he repeated, flicking on the light switch. "Al – ALICE!"
His hand clamped itself over his mouth, holding in a surge of horrified bile. The bedroom was painted in blood and gore, red dripping off the walls and body parts flung carelessly every which way. A leg, dangling over the edge of the bed. A hand, saluting him from the top of the dresser. An arm, lying right at his feet. . .and, sitting on the pillow, a very familiar head, watching him as he struggled to keep down his lunch. No. . .no no nonono –
Dark sister, not dark mistress!
Victor blinked, then forced himself to step over the arm for a closer look at the head. It gaped up at him, an expression of agonized horror on its beautiful features. But – the hair was a different shade of brown, with a fringe of bangs falling across the forehead. The lips were a trifle fuller than the ones he was used to kissing, the nose turned up slightly more. And the eyes were a clear blue instead of a bright green, the sky on a summer's day instead of the grass. The voice was right – not his dearest beloved. Yet someone almost as bad. "Oh no. . .Lizzie. . ."
Tears welled up in his eyes as his fingers traced the contours of her cheek. "Oh Lizzie. . .who did this to you?" he whispered. "I thought. . .didn't we get rid of all the local Giovanni? Who else would – would want this?" He sniffled, wiping his face with his sleeve. "Oh God, I'm so sorry. . .oh, Sam's going to be heartbroken. . .and Alice too. . ."
If they're still alive.
Victor's blood went icy. The whole apartment was silent as a tomb. And just because it wasn't Alice here didn't mean – he tore open the door to the master bathroom, hoping against hope there wasn't a similar scene inside.
There was – but again, it wasn't Alice's face that greeted him. Instead, Emily's broken and bloody visage stared up at him from under the toilet, the rest of her body scattered across the floor. Looking into those dulled blue eyes, seeing them stare sightlessly back at him – dead in a way she'd never been, even during her time in the Underworld – it was more than he could bear. He dropped to his knees, one hand tangled in her freshly-dyed locks, the other gathering up one of her discarded arms – the left, the one he'd first seen as a skeletal "branch" back in Burtonsville, the one that had accepted his ring and his hand and pulled him into this mad, wonderful world beyond human understanding – and cradling it to his chest, weeping openly. "No. . .no. . .Emily. . ."
Victor jumped, head whipping around toward the noise. What – was that the front door? Did I leave it open? I don't think I did. . .and I don't think it would close on its own either. Oh God, is Victoria here? No, I can't let her see this. . . Carefully setting Emily's abused parts on the floor, he hurried out onto the balcony. "Vi – VICTORIA!"
It was indeed Victoria downstairs – or, rather, what was left of her. His living love was lying on the floor of the apartment, skin even paler than his, throat torn open almost to her spine. Victor stumbled his way to the stairs –
And promptly tripped over Sam, flopped across the steps like a rag doll. His legs stuck out at odd angles, and the back of his head was caved in. One arm reached toward Victor in a pathetic postmortem plea for help. Victor turned away, pressing a hand against his heaving stomach. All gone. . .all of them, gone. . .he forced himself past Sam's still corpse, to where Victoria lay. Her bright blue eyes stared past him, full of fossilized terror. He collapsed next to her, sobbing. Why? he mentally screamed. Why? We made it past the Giovanni! We hid ourselves from the Prince! We were happy! We were – we – I – I had so little time with them. . .
Dark mistress still lives, the voice in his head whispered, tone urgent. You must find dark mistress!
Victor lifted his head, touching his chest. Yes. . .Alice still lived. He could still feel her in his veins – weak, faded, but – there. Not broken, not gone. He still wasn't entirely alone. Not yet. But where was she? There was no way she was responsible for this chaos, and no way she would have let it come to pass if she'd been at home. . .he scrambled upright, flinging himself at the front door and throwing it open so hard he broke it off its hinges.
An alleyway stretched out before him, longer than any he'd ever seen. He blinked, then groaned. Oh no. . .not now! he scolded the voice in his head. I thought I'd lucked out just hearing you!
Not me, the voice replied, sounding distinctly confused. Not my luck.
Victor blinked again, staring at the impossible concrete below him. What? But – but if it's not you, then why –
Dark mistress! the voice cried, and Victor snapped his head up to see a figure dressed in blue, long dark hair streaming out behind her, running down the other end of the alley. In pursuit of whoever had inflicted such carnage on those they loved? Fleeing same? Victor didn't know and didn't care. All that mattered was that she was there, she was alive –
and he wasn't going to let anything happen to her. He took off down the street, sorrow and confusion subsumed under a gush of rage. You took my loves, he hissed mentally at the invisible culprit behind the slaughter. You took my family. You took almost everything I had that made life worth living here. But you will not get her. You will not get the one I have left. I am going to find you, and I'm going to tear your heart out and feast on your sweet blood. I'm going to commit as close to diablerie as a human can! I am going to hunt you down and suck you – "Ooof!"
Something leapt on him from behind, dragging him to the pavement like a wolf taking down a deer. Victor fought against its grip, arms and legs flying, but its strength was ten times his, and it easily pinned him to the concrete. "Let me go!" he screamed, reaching toward the far-away figure of his beloved. "Alice! Alice!!"
But she was already gone, almost as if she'd never been. Moments later, so was the light. Panic gnawed at Victor's mind as the alley plunged into deep shadow, leaving naught but the vague suggestion of walls and floor. No. . .please no. . .I-I don't like the dark. . .
Claws caressed his face, a painful parody of Alice's hand against his cheek. "What a yummy little bloodbag," a voice rasped in his ear. "We might keep you a while." Fangs raked his neck, leaving stinging welts in their wake. Victor elbowed the creature, but it didn't even notice. "Let's make you a proper drink, why don't we?"
Victor had exactly one second to wonder what the hell that meant. Then suddenly his eyes were on fire as the claws dug into them, and the darkness deepened to an endless impenetrable void, and there was wetness on his cheeks but it wasn't tears and he couldn't see he couldn't see he couldn't see no no no no no no – "NOOOOOOO!"
He jerked bolt upright, eyes flying open – and thank God, they were there to open, he could see the little lamp glowing in the corner of Alice's bedroom, but his sockets still hurt his neck still hurt everything still hurt and he was afraid to move, afraid that if he got up and switched on the light he'd find himself staring at another disembodied head and no no no he couldn't go through that again once was enough –
A hand touched his knee, and he looked down. Alice was peering up muzzily beside him, her expression sluggishly concerned. "What–"
The door banged open, leaving him and Alice blinking as the light beyond intruded on their darkness. Moments later, it was shrouded again as Emily, Lizzie, Sam, and Victoria crowded the threshold, each trying to be the first get inside. "We heard a scream – what happened?" Emily asked, finally making it to the front.
"Are you both all right?" Victoria added, twisting her hands together.
"I think you woke the whole building with that cry," Lizzie said, glancing behind her.
"Yeah – Jesus, Victor, didn't know you could reach those high notes!" Sam agreed, scratching under his hat. "Seriously, you okay?"
Victor opened and closed his mouth, unable to do much more than stare. They were here. Everyone was here. Everyone was here, and whole, and alive, and – and – and –
The tears were pouring down his face before he even realized he was crying. He curled up on himself, pressing his face into his knees as he sobbed. He couldn't help it. He was so, so glad to see them all okay. . .but the images of Emily and Lizzie's torn-apart bodies, Sam's mutilated corpse, Victoria's violated throat, Alice's back vanishing into the black danced before his mind's eye, tormenting him with the possibility that it could all still be true. . .can't let it happen can't let it happen I can't lose them can't lose them. . . .
A cool arm wrapped itself around his shoulders. "Hey, hey, it's all right," Alice said, voice still a little foggy. "It's all right. We're all here. You just had a nightmare, okay? You're all right."
"Please don't cry, Victor," Emily added, settling down beside him with a squeak of the bedsprings. The others crowded around them, hands rubbing his back or stroking his hair or just laying comfortingly on his arm or leg. "Everything's okay. It was just a dream."
Just a dream. . .he managed a nod, sniffling and gulping down air. He knew that. Knew that the hell he'd just gone through was blessedly unreal. But the biting, gaping sorrow of seeing his friends – his family, his loves – torn apart before him, and the sheer, unadulterated terror of the monster in the dark clawing at his face held him tight, refusing to let him wiggle free. Just a dream, he told himself. Just a dream. . .but God, it felt so real. . .
"Victor." Suddenly Alice's voice was all command. "Look at me a moment."
Victor raised his head. His vision was cloudy with tears, but Alice's green gaze pierced him straight through, holding him still. "Is it all right if I – make you calm down a bit?"
Victor's brow furrowed. Make him. . .then he remembered Santa Monica, pain forgotten in a rush of sweet elixir, and an examination cubicle transforming into his childhood bedroom. "L-like in the clinic?" She nodded. "Y-yes, please." Anything to stop this agony.
Her hand cradled the back of his head. "You're in a safe place, Victor," she said, voice echoing across his skull and blocking out all other sound. "A place where you feel completely comfortable. A place that makes you happy, makes you calm. A place where nothing can hurt you. You're safe there, Victor. You can relax."
The world flashed purple – and just like that, the walls around him were gone, replaced by trees. Victor wiped his eyes and looked around. The six of them were now sitting on a mossy log in the middle of a forest, pines and oaks and birches stretching up to a bright blue sky. Beneath their feet was a layer of needles and old leaves, interspersed here and there with patches of stubby grass and little clumps of bluebells, growing in the dappled light that reached the ground. A stream gurgled away happily nearby, winding its way through the wood, and a robin sang a cheery song on some high branch. Victor sighed deeply, shoulders slumping as as the tension drained out of him. Yes. . .he was safe here. This place, this world – this was all his own. Not even the horrors of his own dreaming mind could reach him while he sat on this log. Especially not while surrounded by the people he loved. He cuddled into Alice, smiling. "Thanks."
She stroked his hair, smiling back. "My pleasure."
Sam looked between them with a puzzled frown. "Okay, guessin' that was one of your party tricks, Alice. . ."
"Is this the same power you used to make Augustus see centipedes all over him?" Victoria asked.
"Yes, though obviously Victor got something rather nicer," Alice said with a tiny smirk. "What are you seeing? I'm not actually privy to what's going on in your head when I use this."
"A forest," Victor told her. "Kind of like the one near Burtonsville, but less – gray." He glanced up at the sky. "It's daytime, but don't worry, we're sitting in the shade."
Alice snorted. "Good. I think me bursting into flames would be against the purpose of this little mental trip."