#maybe one day ill draw recent content
whumpsday · a day ago
I wanna whump captive Jim. I want him to wake up with a nightmare, crying and screaming so it wakes Kane up
takes place about 4 years into jim’s captivity
content: imagined/dreamed abduction of a minor (no actual whump), imagined/dreamed lady near-whump (no actual whump), vampire whumper, begging
Liz looked up at Jim with fear shining in her eyes as Kane threw her to the floor. Jim rushed to her immediately, putting himself between her and Kane, arms outstretched protectively.
"What- where- how did you-" Jim's voice was shaking as bad as his hands.
Kane smirked, his glinting fangs looking larger than usual. "You weren't good enough. Too ill-behaved. So, your sister's going to be my new bloodbag. Maybe she'll make a better one than you."
Jim's breaths came fast as he panicked. No, this couldn't be happening. She was just a kid. No, no, NO.
"Please," he begged, beginning to cry, "Not this. I'll be better, I swear. Just leave her out of this. Please, Kane, no. Anything but this!"
The vampire rolled his eyes. "You had your chance. You had a thousand chances. It's been years and you still defy me. You are out of chances, human. It's her turn now."
Kane was too quick, darting behind Jim with lightning speed and grabbing Liz before he could even blink. "You're too late."
Kane leaned in to bite. Liz squeezed her eyes shut and whimpered, but Jim had never heard her whimper before. It came out in his own voice, a sound he'd become overwhelmingly familiar with.
"NO!" Jim screamed.
And suddenly, he was in his bed. Awake.
Jim sobbed loudly, drawing the blanket closer around himself as he curled up, heaving deep, quick breaths.
Liz was safe. She wasn't even a kid anymore- the image in his mind was outdated, he hadn't seen her in years. Her nineteenth birthday had just recently passed.
The same age Jim had been when Kane had taken him.
His crying wouldn't stop. Jim was no stranger to nightmares: he'd been getting them regularly since his parents died, and they'd increased exponentially since he'd become Kane's. But this one was different, somehow. More terrifying. The worst thing he could imagine.
The door clicked open.
Jim gasped, scrambling into the corner of his bed, blanket wrapped tightly around himself. Kane looked extra menacing only illuminated by the glow from the night-light Jim had requested.
"Why the fuck are you screaming?" Kane asked, irritation palpable in his voice, still in his pajamas.
"S-sorry." he whispered, hiccupping through his tears. "I had a nightma-are. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. D-don't, don't hit me?"
"It's the middle of the day. Be quiet." Kane ordered, rubbing his eye sleepily as he exited the room. He slammed the door shut behind him, causing Jim to flinch with a whimper just like the one from his dream.
like this one so much i'm putting the taglist on it
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skzsauce01 · 10 months ago
Angel Sent From Up Above
Anniversary Request Special
Synopsis: Hyunjin, a new guardian angel, has fallen in love with a human. His human’s girlfriend, to be precise. Angel AU, background college AU and skater AU.
Warning: violence
Word Count: 8.3k
Pairing: fem!reader x guardian angel!Hyunjin; fem!reader x human!Jeongin
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“Is she healed now?” Hyunjin asks the moment Jisung flies in. He knows Jisung is probably exhausted from keeping maladies away from you, but he needs the answer now. “Is her flu gone?”
“Yeah.” Jisung’s wings are tinged gray with ruin, but he keeps them on display for all the other guardian angels to see as he walks past them. They are proof that he has been doing his duty. They’ll return to white soon enough anyway. “Your human’s her boyfriend. Why didn’t you try to check through him? He visited a few times even though she told him not to.” Jisung sighs and shakes his head. “What an idiot. He’s going to get sick himself.”
“He hasn't visited recently, so I haven’t been able to check through him. The Archangel’s forbade me going to Earth unless it was something serious. I think he’s worried I'm spending too much time with humans.”
Jisung shakes his head. “I think he’s worried that he’s going to have to Seungmin you.”
“I'm not going to get expelled.”
Jisung shrugs, and ruin falls from his wings like ash. “You better watch out. You checked up on her too much last time she got sick, so he's probably trying to make sure you won't abandon your human. He's banished people for less. Case in point: Seungmin.”
“She's important to Jeongin, so she's important to me."
Jisung sighs. “Sometimes I think you’re more protective of her than I am.”
He says it as a joke, but Hyunjin knows it’s the truth. He cares deeply about you, maybe even more than his own human, but he will never say that last part aloud.
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Hyunjin used to believe that becoming a guardian angel was the best thing that ever happened to him. All of his afterlife, he had wanted to be promoted, to be granted the pure white wings and the crown of sun rays. Regular angels had wings and halos but never white wings and golden halos; silver and silver was the “regular” combination.
Watching over a human was considered the highest honor an angel could receive, and everyone clamored to gain the attention of the Archangel. Hyunjin was not immune. He worked as a messenger for years, delivering even the most inane notes between the higher ups. He endured the attacks, verbal and sometimes physical, and kept his mouth shut. Eventually, the Archangel recognized his efforts, and before dawn broke on Earth, Hyunjin was named the new guardian angel of a baby boy, Yang Jeongin.
“You will protect him. You will guide him,” the Archangel said. “He is your responsibility now and yours alone. Do you understand?”
From Heaven, Hyunjin could only look at the wet, wrinkled face of his human. His human. “I understand.”
Then the Archangel flew off, and Hyunjin flew to Earth for the first time to meet the baby. No one noticed him as he phased through the hospital walls nor as his giant wings folded back. Only Jeongin would be able to see his guardian angel.
“Hello there, little one,” he whispered to the swaddled baby. The boy was fast asleep, and Hyunjin gently stroked his face. “I just wanted to introduce myself. I’m Hyunjin, your official guardian angel. I’ll always be nearby now, and I’ll always make sure you’re safe. Sometimes you won’t be able to see me, but I’ll always be watching over you. I promise.”
Jeongin stirred awake and stared back at Hyunjin. Two sets of eyes blinked at each other, one full of curiosity and one full of tenderness.
“Go back to sleep,” Hyunjin said. He drew his hand over the baby’s face, and Jeongin’s eyes fluttered shut. “Sweet dreams, little one.”
Guardian angels talked about their humans like parents, bragging about how gifted they were and sharing complaints about what unbelievable thing they did the other day. Hyunjin mostly did the latter. Jeongin was an adventurous child, which was just a nice way of saying that he liked to play with danger. Hyunjin often had to fly in to save him or to redirect the threat somewhere else. The other angels joked that Hyunjin stayed on Earth more than Heaven sometimes. He didn’t mind though. Even with his human’s shortcomings, Hyunjin adored him. He watched from above as Jeongin said his first words, attended his first day of kindergarten, and got into his first fight.
“He’s a troublemaker,” Minho observed.
Minho was a guardian angel as well, but he tended to lurk on the outer edges of the realm as the other angels avoided him for a reason Hyunjin hadn’t figured out yet. Hyunjin liked him well enough and treated him like a mentor, sometimes a friend.
“Hey, you’re not one to talk. Your human started a black market of candy at school.”
Minho shrugged. “I didn’t say it was a bad thing.”
Jeongin didn’t end up growing up into a troublemaker, to Hyunjin’s relief. The impulsive streak was still there, but he utilized his judgement more now. There were no car crashes or cases of alcohol poisoning, and when Jeongin asked out girls, it was with daisy bouquets and a suggestion to get lunch. Hyunjin slowly stopped making routine trips to Earth and chose to view Jeongin from the comfort of Heaven. It was there that Hyunjin noticed you.
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“I think she’s upset with him,” Jisung abruptly says. “She cried after a video call with him, so if your human starts acting strangely, that’s why.”
The news makes Hyunjin stop mid-step, and he turns to his friend. “She cried? What? What did she cry about?”
“I don’t know. I was too busy trying to lower her temperature. Can you believe that she almost hit—”
“Why didn’t you tell me earlier?”
“I just got back! There is no ‘earlier!’ Besides, we aren't allowed to interfere in anything that isn't dangerous. Heartbreak, if this is even what this is, is temporary."
“Humans do drastic things for love.” The movies has seen while watching Jeongin have told him that much.
“Which we will attend to when it happens. You’re a new guardian; you’ll understand them better over time. Not everything is life-threatening, fragile as they are.”
Hyunjin turns away from Jisung and glances down at Earth. The clouds part, and all of the brick buildings of the university rush towards his eyes as he focuses on Jeongin. He’s asleep at his desk, his lamp still burning bright above him. How long has it been since the video call? Or perhaps he’s just tired from the events of his day. But he looks so small and vulnerable in his chair. Jeongin isn’t fragile — the amount of situations he has gotten out of covered in bruises and blood is astronomical — but he is mortal.
“But she loves him,” Hyunjin softly says, “and he loves her.”
“Exactly. Humans fight over small things all the time, and this is one of those times.” Jisung places a hand on Hyunjin’s shoulder to placate him. “Trust me.”
“... I trust you.”
“Good. I need to rest, but we can catch up and see what stupid things they do after.”
The moment Jisung flies off to the rest area, Hyunjin goes against the Archangel’s orders and flies to your apartment. When he peers inside your bedroom window, he spots you sitting in bed in the dark, your phone screen illuminating your face. He phases inside and sits at your desk chair, resting his forearms at the top rail. You can’t see him, but he wishes that you could.
You mindlessly scroll through messages, sniffling every few seconds. Whether it’s from your crying or your illness, he doesn’t know. He can’t hand you a tissue or tell you comforting things or hug you like Jeongin can. When you wrap your blanket tighter around your shoulders, he wraps his wings around himself as well.
Suddenly you throw your phone beside you and let out a heavy sigh. “It can’t get any worse than this,” you say to yourself.
Hyunjin waits for you to say more, but you only stare at the ceiling with blank eyes. He can’t compel you to talk; only Jisung can, but he’s not here. So instead, Hyunjin knocks over the glass of water on your bed when you shift into a more comfortable position.
“Of course it can,” you sigh again and blot as much water as you can with your tissues. You pull another one out of the box with more force than necessary and furiously dab your sheets. “First I get sick, then I miss a homework deadline that I can’t make up because my professor lost his heart thirty years ago along with his hair, then my boyfriend breaks up with me for like no reason, apparently I have an exam tomorrow, and now I’ve spilled water all over my bed, so I can’t even sleep. Thank you, universe. I really needed this.”
He immediately regrets his decision.
“Worst freaking week of my life,” you mumble as you throw away the wet tissues. Hyunjin almost reaches out for your arm when you pass by, but he retracts it just in time.
When you climb back into bed, you draw your blanket up to your chin and begin murmuring numbers. They come out calm and even at first, but they become more tense as time passes. Hyunjin half-listens as he scans the contents of your desk. A laptop, a shopping bag, an open notebook with doodles on the margins, an uncapped black pen, and a pack of gum. He presses his forefinger to the point of the pen, drawing a tiny heart by touch. Then he stamps the heart among all your misshapen stars and imaginary flowers. You might just think it’s an ink smear, but he hopes you look at it and smile.  
You hit three hundred and forty-seven before you begin to sound drowsy. Hyunjin stands at the foot of your bed, watching as you finally drift off in the middle of three hundred and ninety-three. Serenity settles across your features.
“I’m sorry for what I did earlier. Good night and sweet dreams,” he whispers. He pats the corner of your bed before flying off into the night.
He needs to see Jeongin.
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It was hard not to notice you when you were on a collision course with Jeongin. You were going too fast, and Hyunjin’s wings couldn’t carry him to Earth in milliseconds. With horror, he watched as you sharply turned the building corner on your skateboard and just barely jumped off in time when you saw Jeongin about to make the same turn.
“You okay?” Jeongin asked as he hurried to stop your runaway board.
“I should be asking you that!” you exclaimed as you followed him. “Sorry, I shouldn’t have veered that close to the wall. You’re not hurt or anything, right?”
“I’m fine, don’t worry.”
“Good. I can’t risk getting sued again.” Unsure of how to respond, Jeongin nudged back your board to you. You neatly stopped it mid-roll with your foot. “Thanks, by the way. See you around.”
“Yeah, see you.”
You kicked off, but before you left the area, you turned around and gave him a wave. Jeongin waved back, albeit more shyly than you. After a moment’s hesitation, he yelled out, “Be careful!”
“I’ll try!”
Jeongin laughed and turned the corner, looking at the brick wall with more wistfulness than most people usually did. Before he entered the building, he peeked around the next corner, as if he expected you to come speeding by again. You didn’t.
After that, he noticed you more often, usually swerving around strangers as you cut through campus. Whenever he had the opportunity to say hello, he did so with a smile, and you returned it with a waggle of your fingers before disappearing into the crowd. Once, you nearly crashed into a railing. You laughed it off and gave him another wave along with a funny face. Hyunjin felt something inside him melt. Jeongin must have too since he headed to his next class with the most lovestruck expression Hyunjin had ever seen on him.
It was then that Jeongin began forming a plan.
Two weeks after the first meeting, Jeongin waited in the quad for you to show up. Just as he hoped, you came walking down the steps fifteen minutes later, skateboard tucked underneath your arm. It was supposed to seem like a coincidence, but Hyunjin had followed Jeongin as he scoured nearby skate spots, asking around about you. Yesterday, he had learned where you liked to practice tricks. He got up from his bench, hands hidden behind his back, and approached you with the same moves and confidence he had rehearsed in the bathroom mirror.
“Hey! How have you been?” he called up from the very bottom.
Meanwhile, Hyunjin groaned. Jisung, who Hyunjin had tracked down two days prior to this, also did so.
“You said he was a charmer,” Jisung complained. “Look at him. He can’t even charm dogs with a treat.”
“For your sake, I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear that. Just wait though. It’s going to get better.”
Jisung huffed. “It better. She deserves the best.”
Fortunately, you took it all in stride and waved hello at Jeongin. When you were finally beside him, you answered, “I’ve been good, thanks. You’re not here to sue me, right?”
“No! I was actually wondering if you could teach me how to skateboard. If you have time, that is.”
“Really? But I almost killed you that one time. I mean, I’d be happy to, but it’s kind of weird after what happened.”
“I’d rather skateboard than walk, and you seem pretty good at it.”
You shifted your weight to one foot, and Hyunjin chuckled when he saw Jeongin’s eyes wander to your jutted-out hip. Jisung made a noise of disapproval.
“Okay, what is this really about?”
“Skateboarding,” Jeongin said. Then he took a step closer and held out a bundle of daisies towards you. “And lunch, if you want.”
You broke out into a grin. “I am a little hungry right now. L/N Y/N, skateboarding extraordinaire and ramen enthusiast, at your service.”
“Yang Jeongin, also a ramen enthusiast. Nice to officially meet you.”
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Jeongin is still sleeping at his desk when Hyunjin arrives. He shifts and exhales when the wind from Hyunjin’s wings create a small breeze but does not wake.
“How could you break up with her?” Hyunjin says. “She’s amazing and wonderful, and you decide that you don't want to be with her? Sometimes I wonder what’s going on in your head.”
“If I were human, I would have never done that, but…”
Jeongin shifts again, burying himself deeper into the crumpled hoodie he’s using as a pillow. The table squeaks, and a mechanical pencil rolls off the desk. Hyunjin quietly places the pencil back to its initial place and shuts off the lamp.
“Take care of yourself, and make good choices, okay? I can’t do that for you.”
Instead of flying back to Heaven, he perches on the roof of the building across from Jeongin’s. Jeongin finally wakes up and notices that his light is off. He glances at it confusedly for a few seconds, wondering if he misremembered leaving it on. In the end, he decides it’s not worth the effort and falls into his bed. He didn’t even spare you a thought, a crime in Hyunjin’s eyes.
Then he realizes he may have a bigger problem on his hands.
Jisung is going to be very upset when he finds out about this.
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Over the weekend, you brought Jeongin to the quad to learn the basics.
“Put both feet on the board now,” you said as you walked alongside a skateboarding Jeongin. He was borrowing yours to practice, so he treated it with more reverence than a well-used board would need. Even though he was pushing with his back foot, he was going at a snail’s pace.
“I can’t.”
“Why not?”
“I’m going to lose my balance and fall.”
Perhaps it wasn’t reverence after all.
You shook your head. “No, you won’t. You’re not going that fast anyway. You can just step off if you really feel like you are. Give it a shot.”
To his credit, Jeongin lifted his foot a few centimeters off the ground before planting it back. “I’m going to lose control.”
While you did your best to persuade Jeongin to give it another try, Jisung gave Hyunjin a dissatisfied look. “I remember you telling me he was a daredevil. What is happening?”
He didn’t exactly know either. “He’s in front of his crush; give him a break.”
“These two better not end up dating. She deserves so much better than him.”
Hyunjin gave him a dirty look, Jisung gave him a “What? It’s true” type of a shrug.
You step in front of the board. “How about this?” you said. “You stand on the board with both feet, and I’ll pull you along so you can get used to the feeling and be less of a scaredy cat.”
You took both of his hands and slowly guided him backwards. At the same time, you instructed him to put more weight on one side to change directions. Jeongin was surprisingly stable, and Hyunjin watched proudly as his human suggested that you increase your speed a little.
“See? It’s not bad?” you said. “Keeping balance isn’t that hard, right?”
“Yeah. Also,” he grinned, his meek demeanor completely gone, “we’re holding hands now.”
Your eyes widened as you glanced down at your joined hands, and you let out a delighted gasp. “You sneaky little—” Much to Jeongin’s alarm, you let go and smirked. “If you go past the bench without constantly pushing, I’ll let you hold my hand when you walk me home.”
“Kind of presumptuous of you to assume that I would offer to walk you home,” he teased, resting one foot on the floor. “Or is that what you want me to do?”
“You asked me to lunch with flowers. You were going to.”
“Yeah, you’re right.” Then he kicked off, skating past the bench with ease. Still going, he looked over his shoulder and shouted, “Do you want to grab doughnuts before you head home?”
“Watch the lamp!” you yelled as you ran towards him. “Jeongin, stop looking at me and turn around!”
The collision with the lamppost was unavoidable, so Hyunjin simply watched as Jeongin took a flying leap off your board and took a tumble on the concrete. While you fumbled for band aids — Jeongin’s knee was scraped and bloody — Jeongin patted his pockets to check that his phone had not fallen out.
“So doughnuts?” he sheepishly asked.
“Sure. I’ll buy.” You finally found one hidden in the bottom of your backpack along with an alcohol wipe. “Guess you get to hold my hand after all.”
“How are you so prepared?” he asked, nodding to the contents you had unceremoniously dumped out whilst rummaging. “You have tweezers and gauze?”
“My mom made me carry a first-aid kit with me when she found out that I skate to class. It comes in handy.” You ripped open the package. “This might hurt.”
“You can kiss it to feel better.”
You laughed and pressed the alcohol wipe to his knee. “You’re such a flirt, I love it. Does it hurt?”
“Yeah, hurts a lot.”
You opted to kiss the band aid instead, causing Jeongin to pout and Jisung to sigh in relief. When you stuck it onto his skin, Jeongin made a big production of being relieved from pain, which made you laugh and shove him.
“No! She’s in love with him,” Jisung groaned. His wings drooped, and Hyunjin swore his halo actually dimmed when you kept your hands in Jeongin’s after you pulled him up. “Well, Hyunjin, looks like you and I are going to be best friends.”
Hyunjin personally saw no issue with that. Like Jeongin, he had been charmed by your antics and your easygoing nature. Protecting his human’s friends, family, or lovers wasn’t part of Hyunjin’s duty, but he felt compelled to watch over you too.
Because if he were human, he would have fallen in love with you too.
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In the midst of his lamenting, Jisung flies down and sits beside him on the roof. His wings are still slightly gray, and Hyunjin strangely begins to feel self-conscious of his pure white ones.
“Didn’t the Archangel forbid you from doing frivolous things?” Jisung says in lieu of a greeting. “I saw you at her apartment earlier.”
“I just wanted to check up on her. Not that I thought you lied,” he hastily adds. “I wanted to see for myself. She’s a little… distraught.”
“She got into a fight with her boyfriend. It’s normal.” When Hyunjin doesn’t reply or even make a sound, he grows concerned. “Is it something else? She’s getting sued, isn’t she? I knew it was going to happen someday. When I find that smug richie-rich, I’m going to—”
“Jeongin broke up with her.”
Hyunjin repeats his sentence, trying to block the view of Jeongin’s bedroom with his body. Jisung looks like he’s ready to rain judgement onto him, and while Hyunjin is rather good at his job, he’s not sure if he can hold back an enraged guardian angel. Jisung takes several deep breaths before regaining the little composure he can muster.
“I knew I hated him for a reason. I knew he didn’t deserve her,” he spits out, though the venom in his voice wavers. “Why would he even break up with her? She loved him so much.”
Hyunjin shrugs. “That’s what I want to find out.”
“When you find out, let me know. I’m going to see her now.”
Hyunjin stays on the roof until sunrise. Jeongin sleeps without any trouble, and when he wakes up, he looks fresh-faced, no guilt hanging over his head. Hyunjin feels something inside him cracking apart.
You truly don’t deserve this.
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“Do you think they’re going to crash and burn?” Jisung asked as he studied you and Jeongin walking through the park, practically glued to each other’s sides. “I think they’re moving too fast. It’s only been a month.”
Hyunjin really didn’t care about that. As long as you and Jeongin were happy, he was happy. “A month is a pretty long time for them. Mortal lives are short.”
“Exactly. They should be more selective about their life choices.”
Hyunjin only rolled his eyes and turned his attention back to you. You were pointing at the tiny carousel in the middle and tugging at Jeongin’s sleeve. You dragged him over and pushed a coin into the slot for the ride. The lights lit up and a carnival theme played while you struggled to wedge yourself between the saddle of an elephant and the roof of the carousel. Jeongin sat on the edge, beside the tiger, and chuckled at your flailing limbs.
Hyunjin suppressed his own laugh. You were something special. Just last week, the two of you had made it official and started dating. You had done it in the sweetest possible way.
You had taken him to a local skateboarding shop to help him pick out his first board. Once he had chosen one — the ‘one’ being a light blue deck patterned with multicolored doughnuts — the staff at the shop sent him to the back to try it out. Meanwhile, you made the age-old excuse of needing to use the restroom when you were actually getting the flowers you had hidden in the back.
Hyunjin had turned into a pile of fluff when you gave Jeongin the daisy bouquet and asked if he wanted to officially be your boyfriend. You were so earnest. Jeongin playfully pretended to think it over, a feat Hyunjin knew he wouldn’t have been able to do if he were in his position. There were no fireworks or confetti when Jeongin finally said yes, but the staff did clap and cheer. Jisung looked on with contempt. Hyunjin looked on with envy.
“You know,” Jisung abruptly said, snapping Hyunjin back to the present, “when her last boyfriend broke up with her, she had ice cream for dinner for a week.”
“You see why I’m being wary of him now?”
Hyunjin did, but Jeongin was different. His previous relationships always ended well, and on one occasion, he remained friends with his ex. He sighed and decided that a change of topic was necessary so he wouldn’t have to potentially endure a tirade. “Did you hear about Minho’s human? The bank he worked at got robbed, and he got held at gunpoint.”
That caught the overprotective Jisung’s ear. “What? Is he okay?”
During Hyunjin’s recountment of Minho’s recountment, the carousel ride ended. You squeezed out of your spot, hitting your head on the roof, and Jeongin pulled you in for a forehead kiss. The world grew brighter when you smiled, he realized.
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Hyunjin shadows Jeongin around all day, hoping to learn the reason for the breakup. Unfortunately, Jeongin doesn’t say anything. He does show some regret though, as he scrolls through past messages and old pictures. When he heads to classes, he opts to walk instead of skateboarding like usual and avoids the quad whenever possible.
In the evening, while Jeongin is chewing on his salad like a cow to cud, Hyunjin pays you a visit. He finds in the freezer section of the grocery store with three pints of ice cream in your basket. From the looks of it, you’re about to add another three to your haul. Peanut butter pretzel sounds equal parts delicious and confusing.
Hyunjin studies your expression, frowning at the same time you do. Your eyes are ringed with red, your jaw tight, and your eyebrows seem permanently furrowed. When he follows you back home, he half expects you to start crying on the way, but you hold fast and manage to open a pint of the salted caramel flavor before the tears finally come. There’s no wailing, just sniffling and the sound of you furiously wiping at your face with the sleeve of your hoodie. In the midst of it all, you find the strength to reorganize the freezer to make space for the other pints. Something about that makes Hyunjin’s heart drop.
By the time your roommate discovers you in the kitchen, the entire refrigerator has been reorganized and the ice cream finished. You sit in a dark room, your finger hovering above the ‘SEND’ button of a message to Jeongin. Hyunjin can see it if he flies above you: “Can you please just tell me why? You keep saying you did something wrong, but I don’t even know what it is. Please let me decide if it’s worth breaking up over.”
“Rough day?” she gently asks as she flips on the switch.
“Do you wanna talk about it?”
“Maybe tomorrow. I just wanna process it right now,” you hollowly say. You grab your skateboard — the same black, paint-splattered one you had last year — and unlock the front door. “I’m going out for a ride, but I’ll be back in an hour or so.”
“Stay safe.”
After you leave, Jisung phases through the kitchen walls and hisses at Hyunjin, “What are you doing here? Shouldn’t you be with Jeongin?”
He nearly forgot about him. Eating dinner isn’t a dangerous task anyway though. Besides, if Jeongin does get physically harmed somehow, Hyunjin will feel an echo of the pain. Hyunjin glances at the door, and Jisung shakes his head.
“I’ll take care of her. Go back to Jeongin, and make sure he’s okay. You can’t keep leaving him all the time.”
“Fine, I’ll go.”
Hyunjin reluctantly goes back to Jeongin, who is still eating his salad. His resolve from last night is clearly gone as evidenced by his melancholy expression as he scrolls through even more photos. The one of you in mid-air makes him clutch his phone.
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“Let me get one of you when you’re really high up,” Jeongin suggested. He was comfortable gliding around on a skateboard now, but nowhere comfortable enough to try any tricks. Nevertheless, that didn’t stop you from trying to get him to learn. The “pop shove it” was your favorite, solely for the amount of height you could get.
As you did over and over again for your enthusiastic boyfriend who was unfortunately not that great of a photographer, Hyunjin observed from a rooftop behind Jeongin. Sometimes you looked like you were flying. He could imagine wings protruding from your back, and if the sun hit you just right, there appeared to be a halo as well.
“I got one!” Jeongin exclaimed as he held up his device to you. “Look.”
Hyunjin couldn’t see for himself, but your mouth dropped into an ‘o’ once you took a first glance. A flustered smile made its way onto your face, and everything about you turned soft.
“This looks amazing,” you said. You sidled up to him and rested your cheek against his shoulder, turning your head towards him. “I love you.”
The words hung in the air for a few seconds as both Hyunjin and Jeongin tried to process them. This was the first time you had ever said them, and it came seemingly out of nowhere. Hyunjin recovered first.
“Say ‘I love you’ back, you moron,” Hyunjin whispered, like Jeongin would be able to hear him from this distance. “‘I love you too.’”
“I wanted to say it first,” Jeongin finally said. “Ugh, I had it all planned out too. We were supposed to get doughnuts after this, and I was going to buy you one of those heart-shaped ones.”
You kissed him on the cheek and intertwined your fingers with his. “We can still do that.”
At the doughnut shop, he said the words second, and you kissed him again, leaving a crystal of glaze on the corner of his mouth. Hyunjin licked his lips as if you had left it on him instead.
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“Did you find out?” Jisung asks when Hyunjin leaves Jeongin to check up on you. You’re skating around the city, making sharp swerves and weaving in-between lampposts. Jisung is trailing behind you in the sky, but he slows when he sees Hyunjin approaching.
“No, but—”
“Then go back to him. Hyunjin,” Jisung sighs, “I know you care about her, but she’s not your human. Jeongin’s your responsibility.”
“I know but—”
“Go back. And I’m telling you this not as your friend but as your senior. You’re a guardian angel, and you need to take your responsibilities seriously. I’ll get the Archangel involved if I have to. Do you want to get Seungminned?”
The threat of the Archangel strangely doesn’t scare him anymore, however. In fact, the Archangel being involved may solve many of his current issues.
“I’ll find you again when I find out,” Hyunjin slowly says.
Jisung nods in approval before racing after you again. Hyunjin heads to Heaven, not to keep an eye over his human but to become human.
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Ten months into Jeongin’s relationship with you, Hyunjin asked Minho, “Is it possible to give up your divinity?”
Minho gave Hyunjin a curious look. “Is being a guardian angel that taxing for you? You haven’t even experienced a full lifespan yet. I know, twenty year-olds are annoying, but it’s not nearly as bad as forty year-olds and their mid-life crisis.”
“I’m just curious. Or, as a last resort,” he added, hoping that Minho would stop being suspicious if he joked about it. “My human’s been making some dumb choices.”
A lie, but Minho fell for it.
“I told you he was going to be a troublemaker!” he cackled. He sympathetically patted Hyunjin’s back. “If I’m being honest, I thought about it a few times. I always get assigned to the troublemakers. Probably because the higher-ups hate me for not tolerating their BS. They’re always playing favorites. Anyway, the easiest way is to get expelled by the Archangel. It’s happened a few times before.”
“Can’t you just ask him?”
Minho smirked. “You don’t think other angels have tried that? He only expels the ones who don’t want to be. It’s supposed to be a punishment.”
“What’s the hard way then?”
“Same thing minus the Archangel getting involved: your wings getting cut off,” he matter-of-factly answered. “The halo will break once your wings are detached. It’s only been done once, by the way.”
Hyunjin absentmindedly rubbed the area where the bones of his wings met with his shoulder blades. All he needed were two clean cuts across his practically impenetrable back.
“How do you do that?”
“With the Archangel’s sword. Another angel has to cut it though; you can’t do it yourself.”
The Archangel would likely banish him to Hell for even asking about his weapon. If Hyunjin ever did manage to steal the sword away, Jisung would never agree to it. He couldn’t just ask any angel to help him.
“How do you know about all this?” Hyunjin asked.
Minho hesitated, something he rarely did. He quickly recovered, hiding his sudden apprehension with his usual devil-may-care nonchalance. “I can’t give away all of my secrets.”
“We’re friends, aren’t we?”
Friends. The word hung in the air like the sun, and Hyunjin knew that Minho would tell him because underneath all of his bluster was loneliness. Because no one liked Minho, or if they did, they still avoided him anyway.
“Yeah, we are,” Minho answered, smiling for a second before a strange expression crossed over his face, pride mixed with a touch of sadness. “Do you really think the Archangel would have expelled one of his favorite guardian angels that easily?”
“Who are you talking about?”
“Seungmin. He asked me to cut his wings for him.”  
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“I need you to cut my wings,” are Hyunjin’s first words to Minho after not speaking to him for days.
To his credit, Minho is only speechless for a few seconds. The dove in his hand pecks at him for more headpats before he recovers. “Well, do you have the sword?”
“No, but I think I can get it. When I do though, would you do it? You’re the only one I trust.”
Minho sighs and tosses the bird out of Heaven, grimacing a bit when he hears it squawk. When he faces Hyunjin, he smiles the same smile he did when he talked about Seungmin. “It’s always me, huh? I’ll do you one better. I’ll steal the sword for you. The Archangel’s been pissing me off anyway.”
For once, Hyunjin’s thoughts are not on you but his friend. He imagined that Minho would be willing, but perhaps he’s too willing. “Are you trying to get expelled as well? We can go together.”
“No, I like being immortal. I hate all of the BS I get put through sometimes, but the Archangel can’t kick me out. He swore an oath to me a long time ago before he got promoted, and it’s pretty much unbreakable. Besides, even Heaven needs a scapegoat.”
That explains why virtually no angels interact with Minho, Hyunjin being the exception. He has never heard of the Archangel being oathsworn, though it seems likely that the Archangel wants to keep that a secret.
“How are you going to get it?” Hyunjin asks. “How did Seungmin even get it? The Archangel always has it with him.”
“Seungmin was one of his favorites,” Minho reminds him. “He had easy access to him, and the Archangel trusted him enough to let him borrow it for ‘a study.’ Don’t worry about me though. Just wait for me on Earth. Somewhere where no one goes. I’ll find you, slice off your wings, and the Archangel won’t even know what happened to you.”
“That’s not possible. He always keeps it on him.”
Minho shrugs, a gleam in his eyes. “I’ve done it before. Why do you think I’m the scapegoat?”
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Seungmin. For Minho and now Hyunjin, being Seungminned didn’t mean being expelled for being frivolous anymore; it meant leaving of your own accord.
“What happened to him?” Hyunjin asked. “Why didn’t the Archangel grant his divinity back? Someone should have spotted him on Earth.”
Minho’s wry grin was back. “You think the Archangel wanted everyone to find out the golden boy of Heaven no longer wanted to be an angel? Plenty of angels already saw him roaming Earth. It was easier to let everyone think that Seungmin was banished. So when they saw him on Earth, he was just a fallen angel, nothing important.” He nudged Hyunjin’s arm, and the solemn atmosphere vanished. “A troublemaking human isn’t all that bad. Like I said, the twenties are annoying, but they’re manageable. Is he one of those partying types?”
“He goes out sometimes,” Hyunjin carefully replied. Jeongin liked hanging out with his friends and you — mostly you, now that Hyunjin thought about it — but he wasn’t getting blackout drunk every night. At least, Hyunjin hoped he wasn’t. He usually watched over you if you were ever in the vicinity. “Speaking of which, I should check up on him.”
Minho said his goodbyes, and Hyunjin flew back to Earth once he saw that you weren’t with Jeongin. You were studying at your desk, rolling a pen between your fingers, reading through a document on your laptop. The desk light casted a warm glow on your face. You frowned, and your lower lip swelled outwards.
He wished he were human.
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Just as Minho said, Hyunjin waits for him to arrive in a secluded part of the university campus. The building rooftop is devoid of anyone, and the area surrounding it is empty as well. The evening turns into night, then night into the early morning when the sky begins lightening. Still, Minho has not come.
He distantly wonders how Jeongin is faring and his promise to Jisung. When he’s human, he’ll ask Jeongin directly, maybe in disguise of a survey: “Why did you break up with your last partner?” Even to him, it sounds stupid. However, that’s not the real reason why he’s giving up his divinity, so it hardly matters to him. Jisung is resourceful; he’ll find out eventually.
Finally, when the sun peeks over the horizon, Minho descends from Heaven, a familiar silver sword in his hand. He lands beside Hyunjin, a triumphant smile on his face. But his usual humor has been replaced with solemnity.
“You’re sure about this?” he asks as he rests the blade on the top of Hyunjin’s wings.
He has never felt so sure of anything in his life. “Yes.”
“It’s going to hurt.”
“Then make it quick.”
Searing pain shoots through his body as the sword pierces through the thin skin and into the bone. The process is not as nearly as seamless as Hyunjin hoped it would be, and Minho breathes heavily as he pushes the blade down. Bones snap, feathers drift to the floor, and blood trickles down his back. The pain only grows greater near the end, but Hyunjin grits his teeth and keeps quiet. Dawn breaks when his wings finally fall to the floor, no longer white but splattered with red. Soon they fade into dust, and the remnants scatter into the wind. His golden halo shatters into sunlight. The world dulls as the last of his powers disappear, but everything feels much better than when he was an angel.
“Thank you,” he whispers to Minho, who he cannot even look at anymore. His eyes would be burned.
“You’re fallen, not quite mortal and not quite divine. You won’t be affected by all of an angel’s power.”
When Hyunjin cautiously glances at him, Minho waves the bloody sword at him. “See?”
“Yeah.” He wanted humanity, but this is good enough for him. He just needs you to be able to see him, hear him, touch him.
“I need to go back before Heaven becomes Hell, but find Seungmin if you can. He can help you figure things out. Last I heard, he’s living somewhere in the mountains.”
“Thank you,” he repeats. “Minho, I can’t even put it into words about how much this means to me. Thank you for everything you’ve done.”
Minho pats his shoulder before stripping off his clean shirt. “Clean yourself before you leave. No one wants to witness a walking crime scene this early in the morning.”
When he flies back to Heaven, the last thing Hyunjin sees are his wings, still pure white.
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“Hey,” you said as you laced your fingers with Jeongin’s. He had just finished class, and you had waited for him outside the building. Hyunjin had sat on the other end of the bench, savoring the proximity. That was the closest he would ever get to you. “Are you busy tonight? The skate shop just announced — literally an hour ago, those jerks — that they were doing a midnight drop, and I kind of want a new deck.”
“Ugh, I’ve been meaning to buy new trucks, but I have to meet up with my group tonight. Send me pictures though.”
Disappointment only momentarily flooded through Hyunjin. If it was anything like the last two meetups, it would be at the library, and the library was a safe place. Jeongin would be fine there. Hyunjin would be free to shadow you as you went to the skate shop.
“I can get it for you,” you offered.
He shook his head. “It’s fine. Maybe I’ll just wait for a sale.”
“Don’t be surprised if I do get you new trucks,” you warned. You let go of his hand and held his arm. “I still owe you for last month’s dinner.”
Jeongin shook his head again, a smile making its way onto his face. “You don’t owe me anything but a kiss.”
“Flirt,” you laughed as you pressed your lips to his cheek. “Never change, Yang Jeongin.”
That night at the skate shop, Hyunjin hovered above you as you stood in line, chatting with others. There were no unscrupulous characters around, but he stayed with you, only going back to Jeongin when Jisung insisted. However, by then, Hyunjin had already seen you eyeing the shiny teal trucks through the window. Hyunjin knew nothing about skateboards even after all those months, but you seemed pleased by them.
“You’re only getting trucks for sure?” your brand new acquaintance asked. “This is, like, the biggest drop they’ve ever done.”
You shrugged. “I’m kind of on the fence about the decks I saw on the email. I don’t know. Maybe wheels too?”
Meanwhile, Jisung hissed, “Hyunjin, go before something happens. What if a fight breaks out?”
Hyunjin sincerely doubted that one would happen at the library. He lingered around, taking his time unfolding his wings and stretching them.
“Your boyfriend’s lucky,” your acquaintance sighed.
“Nah, I’m the lucky one.”
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Daisies, that’s what he needs right now. Choosing the rooftop of a building was not a smart decision, but the access door is thankfully unlocked, and Hyunjin races down all of the emergency stairs. However, with no form of currency on him, Hyunjin heads to the quad, hoping that he can pull up some dandelions for you. You need to be supported, and bright yellow flowers are just the thing.
What he doesn’t expect though, is to find you doing pop shove its at your usual spot. It’s so early in the day; did you even go back to your apartment to sleep?
“Good morning,” he calls as he walks closer. He waves at you, and you can see him! You tentatively wave back and give him a halfhearted smile. “How are you today? You look beautiful.”
“Thanks, and I’m fine,” you politely reply as you take a step back away from him. “What about you?”
Hyunjin curses in his head and takes another step towards you. “I’m good. Really good, actually. I was wondering if you could teach me how to skateboard. I’m new here, and skateboarding seems like an efficient way to get around.”
You flinch at his words, and he desperately wants to take them back. How did Jeongin do it? Why do his statements come out so stiff? “You seem pretty good at it.”
“Are you not cold?” you blurt out. Hyunjin curses again as he realizes that he’s shirtless. His old one was stained, and Minho’s was as well as the result of his cleanup. This isn’t how it’s supposed to go. “You know, I have to get going, but it was nice meeting you.”
“Hyunjin. My name’s Hyunjin.”
“Nice meeting you, Hyunjin.”
You grab your board and immediately head off to the direction of your apartment. Hyunjin is tempted to follow, but he stays where he is. A bad first impression isn’t the end of the world. The only thing holding him back is his lack of a shirt.
He wanders through the quad, scanning the grass for some flowers. Most of them are the white, fluffy dandelions, but he needs the bright yellow version. However, he takes the white ones anyway in case he can’t find any. The wind scatters the seeds, and he—  
“Hyunjin, I told you not to come back.”
Hyunjin turns around, dropping his bouquet onto the ground. To his horror, not only is Jisung present but also the Archangel. His sword is strapped to his side like usual, not a blood splatter tainting it. Minho did an excellent job of cleaning up the crime scene.
“Jisung, Archangel,” Hyunjin nervously greets. The Archangel frightens him now. “How can I help you?”
“Jisung, why did you bring me here?” the Archangel asks. “I have other things to attend to.”
“He’s abandoned his human too many times, and I don’t think he’s fit to be a guardian angel anymore.”
The Archangel grasps the hilt of his sword and studies Hyunjin, up and down, back and forth. He circles him, and Hyunjin can almost feel his mortality-divinity shining through his body. Jisung hasn’t noticed yet, but there is no doubt the Archangel hasn’t.
“Normally,” the Archangel begins, “the punishment for not fulfilling your duties as a guardian angel is being expelled from Heaven. But you have already fallen.”
“What?” comes Jisung’s shocked voice.
“It was a mistake,” Hyunjin tries. Minho’s words ring in his ear: He only expels the ones who don’t want to be. “I thought I wanted humanity, but I’ve realized that being a guardian angel is the best thing that has ever happened to me. Please. Grant me my divinity back. I will never abandon my human again. I will swear an oath if I have to.”
The Archangel smiles with no teeth, and a chill runs down Hyunjin’s spine. “I’m in a forgiving mood today, so I will do just as you ask. Your divinity will be granted back, but you will no longer be a guardian angel. I’m stripping you of those powers and those duties. You will be replaced immediately. It was my mistake for tasking you with such a large responsibility when you weren’t ready yet.”
With just a snap of the Archangel’s fingers, Hyunjin’s senses sharpen, and the world comes hurtling at him. Nothing is dull anymore, but everything feels so dark and wrong. You will never be able to see him, hear him, or talk to him again. And he will never be able to either. Power surges inside of him, and new wings burst through his shoulder blades, fanning out once they reappear. A silver halo hangs over his head. There is no physical pain into becoming immortal again, yet he wishes there was something. Everything he and Minho did was erased with ease.
Hyunjin swallows the lump in his throat. “Thank you,” he chokes out.
“You’re very welcome. Come along now. Only guardian angels are allowed to be on Earth.”
Hyunjin follows the Archangel back to Heaven while Jisung goes after you. The Archangel loudly deliberates on who he should be replaced with, and Hyunjin knows that his request was not granted with kindness. The Archangel informs that he will be a messenger again. Hyunjin barely hears him as he takes one last look at Earth. Jeongin is there. Jisung is there. You are there.
Hyunjin avoids Minho’s eyes as he flies inside the realm behind the Archangel and hides among the rest of the regular angels until he is called to send a message. The higher-ups recognize him, make snide remarks about his demotion, and make pitiful faces at him. He barely registers them. There is a hollowness in him, and no matter how many memories he recalls, it isn’t enough to fill the void.
A few weeks later, Jisung approaches him, but even he stays a healthy distance away. “Hyunjin.” The disdain is clear.
“You knew about the reason all along, didn’t you? You were there when it happened.”
“When what happened?”
Realization dawns upon Jisung, and he shakes his head in disgust. “I should have known. You weren’t with him that night because you left him like you always did! You could have done something. Make him fall off his chair or something. Make the girl lose her balance. Instead, both of our humans suffered because you weren’t there.”
“What happened?”
“A girl from his group project randomly kissed him, and he thought he had been leading her on and cheating on his own girlfriend, so he broke up with her because he thought that would be the right thing to do instead of just telling her what actually happened. They’re back together now because he finally got the nerve to give her closure. It took nearly a month. They were miserable for a month. All because of you.”
It stings. “They’re okay now, right?”
“They’re fine, no thanks to you.” Just when Hyunjin thinks he’s going to leave, he takes a step forward, lips curled into sneer. “You know, angels and humans aren’t allowed to be with each other. It’s been forbidden for millenia.”
“I know,” he whispers. “But I loved her, and I had to try.”
“She would have never chosen you anyway.”
He never had a chance, did he?
~ ad.gray
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Yes, you did! I remembered it and wondered if you were going to come back! Hope you enjoyed this! <3
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mimicofmodes · a year ago
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“The Ladies Waldegrave” by Joshua Reynolds, 1780 (NGS NG2171)
I’ve complained before about two very big pet peeves of mine - corset stuff and Regency women being dressed in 1770s-1780s clothes - but one that may dwarf them because of how frequently it comes up in historical and fantasy fiction is the oppression of embroidery.
That’s probably putting it a bit too strongly. It’s more like ... the annoyance of embroidery. Every character worth reading about knows instinctively that sewing is a) boring, b) difficult, c) mindless, and d) pointless. The author doesn’t have to say anything more than “Belinda threw down her needlework and looked out the window, sighing,” to signal that this is an independent woman whose values align with the modern reader, who’s probably not really understood by her mother or mother figure, and who probably will find an extraordinary man to “match” her rather than settling for someone ordinary. To look at an example from fantasy, GRRM uses embroidery in the very beginning of A Game of Thrones to show that the Stark sister who dislikes it is sympathetic and interesting, while the Stark sister who is competent at it is boring and conventional and obviously not deserving of a PoV (until later books, when her attention gets turned to higher matters); further into the book, of course, the pro-needlework sister proves to be weak-willed and naïve.
Rozsika Parker, in the groundbreaking 1996 work The Subversive Stitch, noted that “embroidery has become indelibly associated with stereotypes of femininity,” which is the core of the issue. "Instead embroidery and a stereotype of femininity have become collapsed into one another, characterised as mindless, decorative and delicate; like the icing on the cake, good to look at, adding taste and status, but devoid of significant content.” 
Parker also points out that the stereotype isn’t just one that was invented in the present day by feminists who hated the idea of being forced to do a certain craft. “The association between women and embroidery, craft and femininity, has meant that writers concerned with the status of women have often turned their attention towards this tangled, puzzling relationship. Feminists who have scorned embroidery tend to blame it for whatever constraint on women's lives they are committed to combat. Thus, for example, eighteenth-century critical commentators held embroidery responsible for the ill health which was claimed as evidence of women's natural weakness and inferiority.”
There are two basic problems I have with the trope, beyond the issue of it being incredibly cliché:
First: needlework was not just busywork
A big part of what drives the stereotype is the impression that what women were embroidering was either a sampler:
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sampler embroidered by Jane Wilson, 14, in 1791 (MMA 2010.47)
or a picture:
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unfinished embroidery of David and Abigail, British, 1640s-50s (MMA 64.101.1325)
That is, something meant to hang on the wall for no real purpose.
These are forms of schoolwork, basically. Samplers were made by young girls up to their early teens, and needlework pictures were usually something done while at school or under a governess as a showpiece of what was being learned - not just the stitching itself, but also often watercolors (which could be worked into the design), artistic sensibility, and the literature, history, or art that might be alluded to. And many needlework pictures made in schools were also done as mourning pieces, sometimes blank, for future use, and sometimes to commemorate a recent death in the family. A lot of them are awkward, clearly just done to pass the class, but others are really artwork.
Many schools for middle- and upper-class girls taught the making of these objects (and other “ornamental” subjects) alongside a more rigorous curriculum - geography, Latin, chemistry, etc. At some, sewing was also always accompanied by serious reading and discussion. (And it would often be done while someone read aloud or made conversation later in life, too.)
Once done with their education, women generally didn’t bother with purely decorative work. Some things that fabric could be embroidered for included:
Bed coverings and bedcurtains
Collars and undersleeves 
Neck handkerchiefs and sleeve ruffles 
Purses, wallets, and reticules
Book covers
Plus other articles of clothing like waistcoats, caps, slippers, gown hems, chemises, etc. Women’s magazines of the nineteenth century often gave patterns and alphabets for personal use.
(Not to mention late nineteenth century female artists who worked in embroidery, but that’s something else.)
You could purchase all of these pre-embroidered, but many, many women chose to do it themselves. There are a number of reasons why: maybe they wanted something to do, maybe they felt like they should be doing needlework for moral/gender reasons, maybe they couldn’t afford to buy anything - and maybe they enjoyed it or wanted to give something they made to a person they loved. That firescreen above was embroidered by Marie Antoinette, someone who had any number of other activities to choose from. It’s no different than people today who like to knit their own hats and gloves or bake their own bread, except that it was way more mainstream.
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embroidery patterns from Ackermann’s Repository in 1827 - they could be used on dresses, collars, handkerchiefs, etc.
Second: needlework wasn’t the only “useless” thing women were expected to do
Ignoring the bulk of point one for now and the value of embroidery - I mentioned “ornamental subjects” above. As many people know, young women of the upper and middle classes were expected to be “accomplished” in order to be seen as marriageable. This could include skills like embroidery, drawing, painting, singing, playing the piano (as well as other instruments, like the harp or the mandolin), speaking French (if not also Italian and/or German), as well as broader knowledge and abilities like being well-versed in music, literature, and poetry, dancing and walking gracefully, writing good letters in an elegant hand, and being able to read out loud expressively and smoothly.
This wasn’t a checklist. As the famous discussion in Pride and Prejudice shows, individuals could have different views on what actually made a woman accomplished:
“How I long to see her again! I never met with anybody who delighted me so much. Such a countenance, such manners! And so extremely accomplished for her age! Her performance on the pianoforte is exquisite.”
“It is amazing to me,” said Bingley, “how young ladies can have patience to be so very accomplished as they all are.”
“All young ladies accomplished! My dear Charles, what do you mean?”
“Yes, all of them, I think. They all paint tables, cover screens, and net purses. I scarcely know anyone who cannot do all this, and I am sure I never heard a young lady spoken of for the first time, without being informed that she was very accomplished.”
“Your list of the common extent of accomplishments,” said Darcy, “has too much truth. The word is applied to many a woman who deserves it no otherwise than by netting a purse or covering a screen. But I am very far from agreeing with you in your estimation of ladies in general. I cannot boast of knowing more than half-a-dozen, in the whole range of my acquaintance, that are really accomplished.”
“Nor I, I am sure,” said Miss Bingley.
“Then,” observed Elizabeth, “you must comprehend a great deal in your idea of an accomplished woman.”
“Yes, I do comprehend a great deal in it.”
“Oh! certainly,” cried his faithful assistant, “no one can be really esteemed accomplished who does not greatly surpass what is usually met with. A woman must have a thorough knowledge of music, singing, drawing, dancing, and the modern languages, to deserve the word; and besides all this, she must possess a certain something in her air and manner of walking, the tone of her voice, her address and expressions, or the word will be but half-deserved.”
“All this she must possess,” added Darcy, “and to all this she must yet add something more substantial, in the improvement of her mind by extensive reading.”
Mr. Bingley feels that a woman is accomplished if she has the ability to do a number of different arts and crafts. Miss Bingley feels (or says she feels) that it goes beyond specific skills and into branches of artistic attainment, plus broader personal qualities that could be imparted by well-bred governesses or mothers. And Mr. Darcy, of course, agrees with that but adds an academic angle as well.
But what ties all of these accomplishments together is their lack of value on the labor market. A woman could earn a living with any one accomplishment, if she worked hard enough at it to become a professional, but young ladies weren’t supposed to be professional-level good because they by definition weren’t going to earn a living. All together, they trained a woman for the social and domestic role of a married woman of the upper middle or upper class, or, if she couldn’t get married, a governess or teacher who would share her accomplishments with the next generation.
(To be fair, almost none of the trappings of an upper-middle/upper class male education had anything to do with the kind of career training that college frequently is today, either. Men were educated to know the cultural touchpoints of their class and fit in with their peers.)
There are reasons that an individual person/character might specifically object to embroidery, but it was far from the only “useless” thing that an unconventional heroine would be required to do against her inclination by her conventional mother/grandmother/aunt/chaperone. Embroidery stands out to modern audiences because most of the other accomplishments are now valued as gender-neutral arts and skills.
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“The Embroidery Frame”, by Mathilde Weil, ca. 1900 (LOC 98501309)
So, some thoughts for writers of historical fiction (or fantasy that’s supposed to be just like the 19th/18th/17th/etc century):
- If your heroine doesn’t like embroidery, she probably doesn’t like a number of other things she’s expected to do. Don’t pull out embroidery as either more expected or more onerous than them. Does she hate to sit still? I’d imagine she also dislikes drawing and practicing the piano. Would she prefer to do academic subjects? She probably also resents learning French instead of Latin, and music and dancing. Does she hate enforced femininity? Then she’d most likely have a problem with all of the accomplishments.
- If your heroine just and specifically doesn’t like embroidery, try to show in the narrative that that’s not because it’s objectively bad, and only able to be liked by the boring. Have another sympathetic character do it while talking to the heroine. Note that the hero carries a flame-stitched wallet that’s his sister’s work. Emphasize the heroine’s emotional connection to her deceased or absent mother through her affection for clothing or upholstery that her mother embroidered - or through a mourning picture commemorating her. There are all kinds of things you can do to show that it’s a personal preference rather than a stupid craft that doesn’t take talent and skill!
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mourning picture for Daniel Goodman, probably embroidered by a Miss Goodman, 1803 (MMA 56.66)
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httpjeon · 2 years ago
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synopsis. you find yourself on izo huen, home to the sehebon. luckily for you, you've arrived at an interesting time.
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pairing. taehyung/reader genre. angst, fluff, smut au. alien!au wordcount. 16,580 contents. Huge Dick Tae, cocky!tae, soft!tae, protective!tae, lowkey possessive!tae, human!kink, slight harrassment, dom/sub themes, size kink, size difference, sensitivity kink?, orgasm kink?, cunt slapping, breath play, dry humping, cunnilingus, fingering, cumflation, belly bulging, lowkey consent kink, unrealistic sex but it’s aliens what do u expect, lots of mention of humanity note. tae just wants to learn human things ):
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blog masterlist. made of stardust masterlist.
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© httpjeon 2020. do not repost, modify, or translate.
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It had been a little over a half a year since your move to the Vela System of the Fanet IV Galaxy courtesy of the Interplanetary Relations Commission had begun. You were still adjusting to your new environment, Izo Huen being a vastly different place compared to Earth in terms of culture and climate.
"So, to wrap up the events of this past week," you shifted in your chair, staring into the lens of the camera you used to send reports to your superiors, "I met with the head of the Embassy for a dinner in order to meet the head of Izo Huen's military. The only way I can describe the whole interaction is...tense. Warrior Sehebon are truly another level of terrifying. Horrible burns across their bodies correlate with the information we had about their rituals. They wear the burns with pride, however ― a mark of bravery I suppose. The middle of the week was rather uneventful," you shifted in your seat, leaning over just out of frame to take a sip of your water. You stared at the arched ceiling, thinking of anything that could come to mind of importance to note. Outside your window, you could see people walking through the streets, laughing and chatting with one another.
"Oh!" you sat up straight again, "The monthly market came back once again. This time it was mostly vendors from Liana. They had the most amazing fruits I'd ever seen ― nothing like Earths. They were delicious too, so sweet. I wish I could send some back for everyone to be able to taste. You know," your gaze shifted out your window again, to the people bustling about, "Things got really hectic here in Fia recently, I don't know what it is. They're hanging banners up and there seems to have been an extreme increase in population of the city. I'm not completely sure what's going on."
After ending your weekly log and sending it to your fellow researchers on Earth, you downed the rest of your water and groaned. Izo Huen was sweltering hot, the two suns that hung in the sky upping the temperature past comfortable.
You couldn't wait for night to come, the freezing cold giving you a wonderful excuse to cuddle under the wool blankets.You decided to take a bath to pass the time, as it would be night in just a few hours. Plus, you desperately wanted to wash the days grime off your body.
By the time you woke up the next day, you were acutely aware of how incredibly loud it was outside. Shouts and cheers emanated from just outside your window. So with sleep-filled eyes you hurriedly dressed yourself and rushed out to see what the fuss was all about.When you stepped out of the door, you were shocked by the incredible crowd of people filling the streets.
Banners and streamers, even balloons, decorated every inch that could be covered. The alphabet was one you hadn't yet learned to decipher so the meanings were completely lost on you.
"Excuse me?" you asked a nearby woman. She was much taller than you ― a key trait in both men and women of their race. She turned and looked down at you with surprise in her eyes, "What's going on?"
"It's the pre-celebration," she answered as if it were the most obvious thing in the world.
She turned her back to you once again and quickly disappeared into the crowd and you sighed. Sehebon citizens were still getting used to their planet being visited by other races outside their own solar system ― they were the newest planet to be opened for visits by the Interplanetary Commission.
It unfortunately resulted in some of the citizens to hold ill feelings towards those entering their cities.
Sighing, you decided to follow the flow of the crowd to appease your own rabid curiosity. A lot of the cultural information on Sehebon had yet to be discovered or disclosed, as a race that held their own traditions close to their hearts.
You were surprised that the place everyone was flocking to was the massive Colosseum that was centered in the very middle of the city. Larger than any stadium found on Earth, you'd never had the opportunity to find out what it was for.
In your excitement to get through the crowd of large Sehebon, you stumbled over your own feet and hit the ground hard ― knocking the air out of you. The crowd didn't wait, stepping over you and for a second you were scared you would be literally crushed under a stampede.
However, strong hands grabbed your arms and lifted you up, grabbing your wrist and dragging you out of the crowd. You stumbled trying to catch up, with his large steps while trying not to end up slammed into unsuspecting people.
The person tugging you pulled you out of the crowd and rounding the stone walls until you realized the amount of people had dissipated. You had the opportunity to look at the person who had helped you ― a male Sehebon finding a safe spot for you and finally slowing down.
"I...thank you," you muttered when he didn't say anything, his back still facing you.
"You're a human right?" he asked, finally turning to you. You choked on your own spit at the sight of him ― black hair hanging over two pretty dark eyes. He was tall, probably a little above average for his race and he was absolutely gorgeous, "I heard there was one staying in Fia but...damn."
"Uh...I'm an advocate for the Interplanetary Commission," you sputtered out, unable to break your gaze away from his face. He had tanned skin, smooth as could be with a jaw so sharp it could cut glass, "I'm from Earth, yes. My name is _____."
"Incredible," he moved closer, having to lean down to look at you how he wanted. You could feel his breath on your face and you could see the way he had one mono-lid and one double ― which was absolutely adorable, "My name is Taehyung...you know, you're so...small."
"I-I'm actually quite average," you refuted, glancing away under the power of his gaze.
"Maybe by human standards but..." he straightened up, looking around, "You should be careful. You can get hurt easily, you're lucky I saw you fall and bothered to help you."
"Bothered..." you whispered with a soft scoff. You could still feel his eyes on you, burning into you as if he was analyzing every inch of you, "Hey, so what's going on anyway?"
"You don't know?" he asked, cocking an eyebrow when you shook your head.
"I asked someone and she just said it was a pre-celebration," you shrugged.
"Yeah sort of," Taehyung gnawed at the inside of his cheek, jaw cocking to one side at the action, "It's gonna be our lottery in a few days so we come to the stadium to get our tickets."
"Wait...lottery? Like a money thing?" you asked, "You guys have that?"
"What?" Taehyung shook his head, staring at you like you were stupid and you suddenly felt embarrassed.
"O-On Earth we have this thing called a lottery and...you scratch these little papers and you can win money," you explained, hoping to help him make sense of you assumption.
"Huh, that's interesting," he actually did seem interested and maybe a little impressed, making you feel weirdly proud, "But no, that's not what we have. Once a year the government holds a lottery here in Fia, in the stadium. You draw and if your number is picked you gotta fight."
His words made you blank out.
They had to fight?
"What the hell?" you sputtered before you could stop yourself and Taehyung cocked his head to the side.
"Have you not read any of the banners and information sheets floating around?" he asked, shoving his hands in his jeans pockets, "They put them up to inform new visitors of what's going on, you know."
"I..." you cleared your throat, suddenly feeling embarrassed again, "Can't read the alphabet."
Taehyung went quiet for a minute before he snorted, beginning to laugh way too much for the simple problem you had. Your cheeks burned as he held his stomach, no doubt aching from how hard he was laughing.
"Oh my gosh!" he choked, wiping under his eyes, "Y-You're illiterate!"
"I am not illiterate!" you gasped, ears beginning to burn now at his accusation, "I-I just haven't had a need to read the alphabet! Since we speak the same language, you know?!"
"Okay, okay," he sniffled, finally calming down from his outburst. He looked down at you and cooed, placing his hand on your head, "Aw, don't-don't pout, I'm sorry. You're so cute!"
"St-Stop making fun of me!" you whined, petulantly stomping your foot which just made him coo more at you, calling you cute.
"I'm not making fun of you!" he argued, standing at his full height again, making you look up, "Isn't it only natural that I find the small little human girl cute? You're so...small."
"So you keep saying," you mumbled, crossing your arms over your chest, "Are you going to go into the stadium?"
"Yeah, probably a little while later," he shrugged, shoving his hands in his pockets, "It'll calm down soon enough and it'll be less hectic. You're welcome to wait with me, if you'd like."
"I might as well," you sighed, leaning back so you rested your shoulder against the wall, "I'll probably literally be killed if I try to go in there at this point."
"Probably," he agreed, looking away from you when you squinted up to glare at him, "Say..." He looked back at you, head cocked to the side curiously, "Is it true Earth has a lot of oceans? And only one Sun?"
"Eh? Yeah, that's right," you nodded, making him hum, "You've never been to Earth?"
"Nah, can't afford to make that trip," he sighed, sliding down the side of the wall to sit on the ground, "I read about it when the news that we'd be open for visits from them, though. Here sit," he tugged your hand until you were finally sitting beside him.
"About this...fight," his head lulled to the side as he gazed at your through his lashes, "What...why do you guys do it? How's it work?"
"Well," he rested his hands on his bent knees, head resting against the wall behind him again, "You know majority of our planet is uninhabitable right?"
"Yeah, dominated by deadly deserts that will kill even Sehebon," you replied mechanically, having studied their landscape immensely on your voyage from Earth.
"Then you also know there's only a few, select places suitable for us to live," you nodded and he continued, "We have three cities on Izu Huen, Fia our capitol, Veles, and Holis. That isn't a lot of room for an entire planet to live, right? We have to stay within the habitable zone and fit every person on the planet in the cities. Excluding those that have the means to move to Vimoldara, that is. That's a lot of people, isn't it?"
"Wait," you sat up straighter, jaw dropping open, "You mean, it's a form of population control?"
"That and," his gaze turned much darker, sending a chill up your spine, "It's a chance for us to show each other how strong we are. That we're the best and we deserve to live, we offer more. Those who lose are killed and only the winner can stand."
"That's..." you cleared your throat uncomfortably, "That's scary."
"Not for us," Taehyung shrugged, casting a sideways glance your way, "It's a celebration. We're all excited and ready to do it. We get to make our families and ancestors proud as we fight."
You hummed, still weary of the lottery but kept the rest of your opinions to yourself. You and Taehyung dissolved into talking about things he was curious about on Earth, deciding it would be worth it to travel there simply after hearing what a cheeseburger was.
The suns began to set when Taehyung stood, helping you to your feet.
"We should be able to get in easily now," you followed him to the large entrance that you'd been unable to see past when you had first approached.
With the smaller influx of people, you could see fully inside the stadium. There were banners and decorations strewn about everywhere, a wash of white, red and black colors seeming to be the theme. In the very center of the stadium was a booth with a man standing inside, handing things out to the people in line.
"I hope he doesn't think I'm here to pick a lottery," you mumbled to yourself as you stood in line with Taehyung. He was still holding onto your hand as you waited, large fingers wrapping completely around your wrist, making the size difference more apparent.
He really was right when he said you were small. But his hand was so warm and comforting against your skin that it made you feel...cute.
"Nah, they won't assume a foreigner is here to participate," he said, not breaking his gaze from the booth.
By the time you reached the booth, the suns were down to just peeking over the horizon and the moon was, instead, shining large in the sky. The temperature was dropping and you couldn't help but move closer to Taehyung for warmth. You weren’t dressed to be out at night, you’d only anticipated spending the daytime hours out.
"Thank you," he said, tucking a slip of paper into his pocket after folding it up. The man behind the booth nodded, waving the next person forwards.
He began to walk when he paused, looking down at you with wide eyes. You scrambled to detach yourself from his side, not realizing just how close you were to him. However, you were quickly brought back when he pulled you flush against him again with a small smile.
"You humans are so fragile," he breathed, beginning walk, keeping you tucked into his side. Your face was burning with embarrassment but you also felt a strange sense of pride flowing through you at the prospect of such a good looking man treating you like he was.
"I-It just gets really cold here, you know?" you mumbled, trying to defend yourself albeit weakly.
His chest vibrated with his laughter, tightening his hold around your shoulders, "I guess if you're not used to it. You live around here?"
"Uh yeah," you pointed in the general direction of where you were staying, "I live down this road a ways."
"Alright, I'll walk you there," he offered, though he left no option to refuse.
You both fell silent as you walked, every once in a while another person would pass and stare at the two of you. Their eyes followed you even as you passed, turning back to stare at you and you began to feel strange about it.
"Why is everyone looking at us like that?" you asked suddenly, making him look down. The moonlight cast a soft glow on his face causing the shadow of his lashes to dust his cheeks.
"Probably because you're a human and you're with me," he answered as if it was the most normal thing in the world, "It's not exactly common for Sehebon and foreigners to be together yet."
You swallowed thickly, cheeks burning for the thousandth time that day it seemed.
It wasn't long before you reached the stoop of your house and you dislodged yourself from Taehyung, wrapping your arms around yourself to keep in the warmth you now missed.
"Um thanks for walking me home," you said, shrugging your shoulders self-consciously as his eyes scanned over your body.
"It was my pleasure," he leaned closer to you, "Hey, why don't you come to the celebration in a couple days, hm?"
"You mean the fighting?" you asked, feeling uneasy at the invitation. He nodded eagerly, eyes bright in excitement, "Taehyung, I do understand it's an important practice for you...it's your culture. But humans and Earth...it's punishable to kill someone. It's against the law. We find the concept of death scary...you know?"
His head cocked to the side, brows furrowed and the excitement in his eyes gone, "You're scared to die? And you don't like to see others die?"
"Exactly, it's...it's a very negative thing for humans," you attempted to explain while trying not to upset him.
"You know being invited to a fight is a very special thing," he muttered with a frown, leaning close to you so his nose was touching yours. Your eyes grew wide at the fire burning in his eyes and you swallowed nervously, "It's very offensive to reject an invitation to a fight. I want to show you how good I am, how well I can fight. I want you to be proud of me. Impressed by me."
Your mouth grew dry at his words and the way he uttered them, deep voice dark and no hint of the gentleness he had spoken with before. You attempted to move back but found your back pressed against the door. He loomed over you, leaning on his forearms above your head ― caging you in. Strangely, the only thing you could think of was how good he smelled; like the fruits you'd eaten a couple days ago.
"I-I'm sorry, Taehyung," you whispered, licking your lips in an effort to rid yourself of your nerves, "I just...Y-You don't need to kill someone t-to impress me, you know?"
"Then how can I?" he squinted, "I find you fascinating. A cute little human girl, smart and charming. I want to...what is it you humans call it...court you?"
You wanted to smile at the sound of the outdated term he used. But it was stopped by his confession, of what he thought of you.
"W-Well...you're trying to court a human girl..." you spoke slowly, meeting his eyes in faux confidence even though your heart was beating a mile a minute, "Why don't you try...a human method?"
"A human method," he gnawed on the inside of his cheek ― apparently a habit he had while thinking, "What are human methods?"
"Well um..." you noticed that with his body covering yours like it was, you weren't affected by the cold and that your trembles were no doubt excitement, "Like...dates. Do you guys have dates?"
"Usually an invitation to fight for someone to see is sufficient enough to begin a relationship," he explained, making you sigh. He frowned at the sound and leaned closer to you to meet your gaze, "Tell me what to do and I'll do it."
"F-For humans usually a man will ask a woman on a date," you explained simply, "Like...you would ask to take me to see a movie or take me to dinner."
"A dinner," he repeated, seeming to mull it over for a moment before nodding. The dark look was gone and he smiled the cutest boxy smile you'd ever seen in your life, "Then I'd like to take you to dinner, _____."
"I'd like that, Taehyung," you smiled, feeling your cheeks burn under his soft gaze.
"After my fight, to celebrate my win I'll take you."
"Alright, Taehyung, I look forward to it," after what seemed like an eternity, his eyes flickering from your lips to your eyes, he finally stood up straight. The cold immediately began to sink into your bones and he stepped back off your stoop.
"See you soon, cutie," he waved, twiddling his fingers before spinning on his heel and walking in the direction you both had just came from.
You opened your front door, slipping inside and relaxing once the warmth hit you. Leaning back against the door, you pressed your hand to your chest and sighed.
"Not how I expected my day to turn out," you mumbled, taking a seat at your chair in front of the camera, turning it on so the red light blinked indicating recording, "I know it hasn't been a week yet but I've found something interesting. I met a man named Taehyung and he told that they're about to begin a planet-wide lottery. Everyone draws a number and they're picked to fight. It's a...form of population control and some kind of cultural flex on each other to show who is the toughest and bravest. The fights are set to take place in a few days and I was invited but...I had to decline. The prospect of watching it was just too much for me to consider so I apologize for that."
You went quiet for a second, deciding to leave out the fact that the invitation was an attempt to ask you out. You greeted the people who would be watched goodbye and shut off the camera, turning to your computer monitor and hurriedly sending the video before shutting everything down.
The city was quiet for the next few days, everyone packed into the stadium. You would frequently hear the thunderous roar of the crowd but ultimately did your best to block out the prospect of the death no doubt going on.
You laid on your bed, reading a book you'd read several times already but lacked the means to acquire a new one. You wouldn't be able to read the books in an alphabet you couldn't read. Though you could take the time to learn but, you were in no mood to study.
As expected, you found yourself thinking of Taehyung. He was charming, no doubt, and you were surprised by how much you ultimately enjoyed his company. It was quick that he decided he wanted to date you, by human standards anyway, but Sehebon were very fast-moving people as more than half their race were warriors who could be killed in the blink of an eye. No doubt a cause for Taehyung's rush to be with you.
You couldn't deny the complete attraction you had for him; he was incredibly good looking and had the cutest smile. His voice was hypnotic, smooth as whiskey and as deep as the ocean. Dating someone of a completely different species wasn't the strangest thing by far ― plenty of humans had counterparts from different races. Dating a Sehebon, on the other hand, was different since the brand new introduction of their race to humans.
There was no fear that Taehyung would bring you any harm or have ill intentions, there was just a lot of confusion about him. You didn't exactly know much about who he was as a person rather than his race.
The date would no doubt clear things up and open doors for you.
Remembering the fact you would be going on a date with him set butterflies off in your tummy and you bit your lip to hold back the gleeful grin that threatened to spread across your face.
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It was a full week before the streets became the same again. The population of Fia went back to normal as visitors from other cities left and went back home. The banners were taken down from around your street and before long everything seemed to have returned to the way it was.
Unfortunately, you were running out of food so you needed to go food shopping. As the suns were beginning to set, with the temperature steadily dropping, is when you decided to go shopping.
You slid a sweater on to keep you warm before stepping out the door. It was still a little warm but you knew you'd be grateful for your choice later.
In the past, you'd made the mistake of forgoing something warm and had to quite literally run home before you froze to death.
You carried a bag, an effect from when you lived on Earth and refused to use plastic bags in fear they'd end up in the oceans. When you first presented the bag at the local grocers, the cashier had looked at you like you were stupid ― making you feel just a tad self-conscious.
Fortunately, they'd now grown used to your practice and barely batted an eye in response when you brought.
The shop wasn't busy during that time of day and you were thankful to be able to navigate the aisles without having to avoid the giant Sehebon people that easily blocked your shelf access. You packed your bag with things you were vaguely familiar with. There was a lot of food you didn't dare try ― you couldn't read what it said or it was just gross looking.
Unfortunately, however, the shelves were so damn tall that you sometimes had to scale them to actually reach the things you needed. Standing on your tippy-toes using one of the shelves to grab a simple box of noodles ― something you were very pleased to find on Izo Huen.
You chose a lot of fruits and vegetables ― trusting them more than their alien-meats. You were basically the alien version of a vegetarian at that point.
When you stepped outside, you were immediately grateful of the sweater you wore. The cold still seemed to seep in a bit but it was tolerable despite the light shivers that took you. Carrying your bag, you hummed a tune to yourself as you navigated the darkening streets. The lamps were lit to illuminate your way but there were no other people in sight, making you feel calm.
"Hey, you a human?" scratch that, there were people.
You paused, looking into an alleyway separating two residential streets. A small group of young men were smoking cigarettes. Part of you wondered if they were cigarettes or some Izo Huen-version.
"Yes I'm a human," you replied, pulling your bag off your shoulder to hold it in front of you.
"You want a hit?" one of them asked you, offering you what he was smoking off of.
"N-No thank you," you backed away slightly to get away from the smoke emanating off the burning end, "I really should be getting home...I have things to put away."
You turned to walk away but a hand aggressively gripped your arm to stop you, startling a gasp out of you.
"Hey, that hurts," you mumbled, attempting to tug your arm free but he tugged you closer to him, "Let go!"
Before he had the chance to speak, a hand was violently wrapped around his throat and slammed him back. He pulled you with him slightly, knocking you to the ground as the man was pinned to the wall. Looking up, you could see Taehyung leaning close to him ― whispering something that had the man's eyes widening.
"Do you understand?" Taehyung growled, loud enough for you to hear. The man nodded so hard you were sure he was going to give himself a headache. Taehyung held him still for several more seconds, looking over him to make sure he was telling the truth.
When the man was dropped, he took off down the alleyway with his friends following, none of them daring to look back.
"Are you alright?" he asked, crouching down to where you were sitting on the ground. He cupped your cheek ever so softly, thumb grazing beneath your eye, "I didn't mean for you to get knocked down."
"It's alright," you muttered, using his shoulders to pull yourself back to your feet. He remained crouched for a moment, just gazing up at you silently, "W-What is it?"
"You should be more careful, _____," he said, picking up the bag of groceries you had dropped, tucking some of the things that had been knocked out back in where they belonged, "Didn't I tell you that you could get hurt?"
"W-Well yes but that was different― "
"It wasn't," he snapped, moving close to you once again. Fingers hooked beneath your chin to make you look at him, "Don't you understand how much people want you? How they look at you when you walk around?"
"N-No..." you blinked as you tried to recall any staring while you were on your own.
"Everyone finds you alluring here, _____," Taehyung's voice dropped and he stepped even closer so your foreheads were just barely touching, "The cute little human girl. And I'd be very disappointed if I had to kill someone for hurting you."
You were speechless, lost staring in the fiery blaze within his eyes. He held your gaze for several seconds before stepping back and smiling.
"I'll walk you home, I was on my way to see you anyway," you sputtered in shock as he tugged your hand in the direction of your home ― his rapid change of demeanor no doubt going to give you whiplash.
Your feet pounded the pavement as you struggled to keep up with his large strides. You were running out of breath and stamina, though he appeared unaffected.
"T-Tae...can you s-slow down?" he halted in his tracks so suddenly that you fully ran into his back.
"What did you call me?" he looked over his shoulder, staring sharply down at you.
"I-I..." you pulled yourself away from his back and stuttered, "I called you Tae. I'm sorry i-it just slipped out...h-humans like to make n-nicknames, you know?"
He was quiet for a second before he turned around completely, cocking his head to the side.
"Say it again," he commanded.
"Uh...T-Tae?" the name sounded more awkward than it had before coming out of your mouth.
"Hmm," he made a noise akin to a moan, rolling his head back in response before looking down and smirking, "I like that. You're the only one allowed to call me that, yeah?"
"A-Alright," your heart was racing from the way he had reacted to the nickname but you didn't get to dwell on it long before he was tugging you along once again.
You stood on your stoop again, looking at Taehyung, a small smile on his lips as he watched you. He held your bag of groceries out for you and you had to hold back a gasp when your hand brushed his.
"Shit, your hands are freezing!" he gasped, taking one of your hands in his and bringing them closer to him.
"U-Uh yeah it's...pretty cold," your words came out a whisper, reveling in how warm his hands were against yours.
"Poor thing," your eyes widened as he pulled your hand up to his lips, pressing a soft kiss against your fingers.
"T-Tae," the nickname had his eyes flicking up and he hummed, pressing another kiss against them.
"Did you like that?" he dropped your hand from his lips but continued to hold it, smiling at you, "I read in a book about common human practices for courting and it said a kiss to the hand will make her heart flutter. Did it work?"
"I..." you swallowed thickly, nodding your head ever so slightly, "I-It was nice, Tae..."
The two of you fell quiet, his hand enveloping yours and his soft gaze fixated on you. Your groceries hung in his free hand and he slowly reached out to hand them to you once again. Once the bag was in your hands, he released your hand from his hold and shoved his own into his pockets. He stepped backwards off the stoop but continued to stare at you, bottom lip tucked in his mouth.
Your eyes danced over his body ― never really looking him over that much besides his face. He had a black button-up tucked into tight fitting jeans and boots that made him even taller than he already was. It surprised you how thick his thighs were but how small his waist was ― it's like he was sculpted by actual gods.
"Well," he smirked, no doubt having caught you staring, "See you around, cutie."
"Hey, Tae wait!" you called before you could stop yourself.
He halted immediately, turning to look at you once again, "You alright?"
"I just..." he jogged back to the stoop, stepping up and moving close to yours.
He cupped your chin between his fingers and made you look up at him.
"You can tell me, sweetheart," his brows were drawn together in concern.
The pet name causing a shiver to go down your spine, "What is it?"
"C-Can...Would you...like to stay for a while?" your cheeks were on fire and you couldn't meet his gaze after whispering the words.
Taehyung's eyes softened and his lips quirked up, running his thumb over your lips for a split second ― so light you almost missed it. He stood up straighter, removing his fingers from your face. You found yourself missing the touch and your heart was pounding at the possible rejection you could face.
"Were you nervous to ask me that, baby?" your core lit on fire at the new pet name and you held in a whimper, "I'd love to stay with you."
"O-Okay..." you reached behind you, turning the knob and pushing the door open.
Warmth hit you from the inside and you scurried out of Taehyung's view as fast as you could to the kitchen. You could hear him walking, the sound of his boots on the floor seeming deafening in the silence of the house. Leaning against the counter, you took a few deep breaths to steady yourself.
You began putting your groceries away in their designated places, noticing that Taehyung's footsteps had gone silent.
"This place given to you by your job?" he asked suddenly, making you jump.
"Um...yeah," you cleared your throat, "It's nothing special but it's cozy."
"It's nice," he muttered before falling silent.
You placed the box of noodles in your cabinet, steeling yourself before moving to the living room. Your brain nearly short-circuited at the sight before you.
Taehyung sat on your couch, legs spread wide and arms stretched out on the back of the couch. His head was tilted back, exposing beautiful expanse of throat. The way he sat was so confident and commanding that you had to clench your thighs together to control yourself.
"Um...are you okay?" you whispered, stepping forward as he lifted his head to look at you.
"I'm perfect," he responded, scooting to the side to allow you to sit beside him, "I think I've figured out a place to take you on our date."
"Oh?" you'd nearly forgotten about the date, "So you're ready to take me?"
"I'm thinking tomorrow, if that's okay," he looked down at you and you smiled.
"I'd love that," your gaze fell to your thighs, noticing the size difference between his and yours ― reminding you of how large he was.
Flicking your eyes up, you were frozen by the sharpness in his own as he stared at you. As you kept his gaze, you felt one of his hands find its way to your thigh and you bit your lip to keep from outright whimpering at the feeling.
"You're so soft," he muttered, shifting to turn more towards you, "And absolutely breathtaking..."
His lips drew closer to yours, his hair brushing your nose as he dipped down. When he pressed them completely, his hand tightened around your thigh. You whimpered, seeming to set Taehyung off as he cupped the back of your head with his free hand ― deepening the kiss.
Your hands clutched at the front of his shirt, losing yourself in the feeling of his lips and hands on you. The hand on your thigh traveled up, grazing your hip, drifting up your stomach and over your breasts before wrapping around your throat. You gasped at the feeling, lips parting from Taehyung's just slightly before you surged back forward to reconnect them.
He groaned against your lips, giving your neck the lightest squeeze before he released you and reached lower to cup your breast through your sweater. You arched your back into the muffled touch but he didn't linger for long because his hand was diving between your legs.
Your jeans impeded you from feeling his touch properly and you whimpered, grinding your hips forward in hopes to remedy the problem. You reached down, holding his hand against your core as you whimpered into his lips.
"Do you want me to touch you, pretty baby?" he asked, kiss parting until your lips just barely brushed his.
"P-Please Tae," you whimpered, feeling your eyes sting with tears of desperation ― having never wanted to be touched so badly in your life.
Taehyung didn't reconnect the kiss, instead he tilted your head back to press his lips to your neck. His long fingers unbuttoned your jeans and hurriedly tugged them off your hips until you finally reached down to pull them off completely, tossing them away.
The way you cried out when his hand cupped you again, this time through your panties, was nothing less than lewd. He tugged your thighs open further, one of them resting across his own, leaving you completely open to his fingers.
"Sound so pretty," he mumbled, teeth grazing your neck where he continued to mouth at you.
You wrapped one hand around his wrist, dragging his fingers up ever so slightly until you were able to push them past the band of your panties. He immediately took over, fingers diving between your folds to find just how wet you were for him. He groaned, pulling away from your neck to meet your gaze, his lips open just slightly as he brushed against your clit. Your hips twitched and you found yourself clinging to his arm as you whined.
"So sensitive, little one," he whispered, wrapping his free hand around your thigh to pull you even closer to him until you were completely in his lap with your back tucked to his chest.
"Tae..." you whispered, eyes fluttering closed when he began to press kisses to your shoulder ― the sweater not allowing you to feel it properly but enjoying it nonetheless.
"Yeah baby?" he cooed, resting his chin on your shoulder to watch his hand move beneath the fabric of your panties.
"C-Can..." you trailed off, feeling your cheeks burn and he tsked.
"Tell me what you want and I'll do it, baby," he assured, fingers now running across your folds without dipping between ― teasing you.
"Can you...take them off?" you asked, turning your head slightly to meet his gaze.
"If that's what you want," he pulled his hand out of your panties and you whimpered at the loss, making him chuckle, "So needy, huh?"
His thumbs hooked into the band and he pushed them down your thighs. You pulled your legs up to help him take them off ― tossing them off somewhere else to join your jeans. He gripped your knees, roughly tugging them open until your cunt was completely exposed to him ― glistening in the dim light and flushed swollen with your arousal.
"Fuck, babygirl..." he breathed, reaching down to run his fingertips through your parted folds, "Such a pretty little pussy, hm?"
Deep in your mind, you wondered where he learned such delicious dirty talk from ― seeing as he didn't even know the proper word for courting. The thought was completely wiped from your mind, however, when he used two fingers to spread your folds open. Your hole clenched around nothing and Taehyung let out a choked groan.
"St-Stop staring!" you whined, snapping your thighs closed around his hand.
Taehyung growled, wrapping his hand around your throat again and pulling the back of your head against his chest. You whimpered, eyes flicking up to briefly catch his glare. His jaw was set, glaring down at you with a gaze that made you feel incredible small.
"Spread your fucking legs," he ordered, tone making your eyes flutter slightly. When you hesitated to do as he said, he leaned closer until his mouth brushed your ear, "I said...spread your legs."
You whimpered, bottom lip trembling as you pouted, slowly opening your legs back up. Too slow for his liking, he jerked one open and pinned the other down until you were just as exposed as before. His hand cupped your entire core, middle finger sliding between the folds.
"That's more like it," he sighed, finally releasing your neck, "You better act right, baby, or else I'll have to punish you."
His words made you tremble, thighs twitching ever so slightly. He raised a brow at your reaction, an almost detached look coming across his face.
"Would you like that? To be punished?" when you only whimpered, he smirked, "I see...how would you like it, hm? To be choked until your lungs burn for air? Or maybe if I spanked your little cunt?"
"Tae..." you felt your hole clench, sending a gush of arousal to meet his fingers.
"Oh?" he chuckled, making you cheeks burn, "You'd like to be slapped, huh?"
Before you could even think up a reply from your foggy brain, a sharp pain right against your clit had you crying out. Your eyes found his face but he was watching as he smacked your cunt again. His fingers ran over your folds to soothe the sting and he laughed.
"Interesting..." he hummed, middle finger circling around your clit. Your eyes fluttered and your hips arched into the touch more.
His index and ring fingers spread your folds, his middle finger swirling over the hardened bud until you were moaning. He pulled the hood back, exposing it even more to his sensitive touches. Your eyes rolled back in your head and you choked out his name.
"Does that feel good?" he asked, pressing a kiss to your shoulder, "Does it feel nice to have your little clit touched?"
"Y-Yes!" you squeaked, reaching down to take hold of his wrist. Your body was practically vibrating as you trembled beneath the almost too much stimulation. Suddenly, his touch was gone and you were left still trembling with the remnants of his fingers lingering.
"It's alright," he cooed, wrapping one of his arms around you to hold you tighter against him, "I've got you, little one."
"Please, Tae," you begged, burying your face into his arm, thighs trembling still spread.
"What is it?" he asked, voice soft as silk.
"Your...Your fingers," you canted your hips up ever so slightly and he hummed.
"Want my fingers inside?" he asked, although he already knew before you nodded.
He hummed, two fingers finding your spasming entrance, coating them in your juices. You held your breath as he finally sunk them inside you, stretching you deliciously even though you were plenty wet enough. His fingers were big, filling you up nice and deep. Gasping against Taehyung's arm, you mindlessly ground your hips up as he slowly pulled them out. You didn't get to mourn their loss for long because he was quickly pushing them back in ― slick sounds accompanying the movement.
"You're so fucking tight," he muttered, "So small...Shit, how long has it been since you've been fucked, pretty girl?"
"Ah-Never..." you gasped, hand circling around his wrist as you squirmed.
His fingers paused, halfway inside and you whined, "You've never been with somebody?"
"N-No, Tae," you whined, using your hand on his wrist to push his fingers back inside, "J-Just you...only you!"
He cursed under his breath, wrapping his arm tighter around you before he began to finger fuck you wholeheartedly. The sounds pouring from your lips only spurred him on, your cunt tight like a vice around just two of his fingers.
"This little cunt won't ever be able to take my cock, sweetheart," he growled, crooking his fingers up to nail that little spot that made you sob, "I'm gonna be too big for you."
"W-Want it a-anyway, Tae," you cried, nails digging into his wrist. Tears welled up in your eyes, trickling down your cheeks as your body was sent into overload.
"Yeah? Want me to fuck you open until you can't take anymore?" he groaned, "Watch your virgin cunt get stuffed full of a cock you simply can't handle...have you make those pretty noises while you cream all over me..."
His words seemed more self-indulgent than aimed at you but you whined and nodded anyway. His palm ground against your clit as his fingers filled you up so nice and you found yourself teetering on the edge.
"I-I'm gonna cum," you panted, thighs twitching erratically in response to your pleasure."Go ahead, cum for me," he commanded, groaning alongside you as you tightened up around his fingers.
"Tae! 'S so good..." you slurred, eyes closed as you buried your face in his arm to ride out the pleasure he was giving you.
"Coming so prettily, little one," he whispered into your ear, fingers beginning to slow as your orgasm died down, "You're such a good girl."
"Ah...Tae," you whimpered as he pulled his fingers from your still-clenching pussy, sensitivity hitting you like a brick wall. Your thighs clenched shut, trembling uncontrollably in the aftermath of the most pleasure you'd ever received.
Taehyung slid his cum-soaked fingers into his mouth, eyes rolling back at the taste of you on his tongue. His arm still held you tight as you continued to whimper against him.
"Taste so so good," he whispered, mostly to himself.
Once his digits were clean, he glanced down at you. It was clear you were still a bit overwhelmed and he cooed, shifting you in his lap until you were facing him. He pulled you into a hug and couldn't hold back a chuckle.
"Humans are so fragile," he whispered, "So overwhelmed...even that was too much for you, huh?"
You didn't respond, simply tucking your face away in his neck. You let your weight drop fully on his lap but froze immediately. You hadn't realized while you were being touched, how hard Taehyung's cock was against you but with a clear mind you could.
He was fucking big.
He chuckled darkly, lips finding your neck as he slowly made you grind against his covered length, "I told you, babygirl, I'm too big for your little pussy."
When you whined and tightened your grip on him, wanting to avoid the painful overstimulation, he simply chuckled. He let you cling to him and lay with him until your eyes fluttered shut ― sleep quickly and eagerly overcoming you.
Just as you sunk into darkness, you felt him press the softest of kisses against your forehead.
"My cute little human," he whispered, voice fading out as you finally fell asleep.
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When you woke up, you were tucked cozily in your bed beneath your wool comforter. The sun was up and you groaned, kicking the blankets off as you grew warmer with every passing second.
You had on your sweater from yesterday and a pair of panties you hadn't been wearing. Looking beside you, you found the bed empty and sighed.
Despite yourself, you found yourself feeling disappointed he hadn't stayed the night. He had shown you such a sweet, caring side before you fell asleep. It had made your heart flutter, how he treated you so delicately yet used such a sharp tongue to fluster you.
"He's such a strange dude," you muttered, staring at the ceiling as you spread starfish on your bed.
There was a dull ache between your legs, reminding you of the night before. Feeling your cheeks flush, you sat up straight and hurriedly crawled out of bed intending to take a cold shower.
Drying your hair with a towel, you hunted around your closet for a cute outfit for the date. Briefly, you wondered if he was still planning to take you out. Excitement thrummed through your veins, a giddy smile lighting up your face and making your cheeks ache.
After choosing your outfit, you took a seat in front of the vanity you had set up. You had found a mirror at the monthly market a few ones back and decided it was the best purchase ever. You hadn't known mirrors were scarce on Izo Huen for whatever reason until you desperately needed one.
Deciding to leave your hair down, too lazy to try and make anything of it, you mindlessly spun around in your chair.
A strange feeling bubbled up in your chest that made your heart race. Leaning your head back against the back of the chair, you ran your hands over your face with a groan.
"I actually miss him," you scoffed, leaning forward to rest your head on your vanity counter, "What is wrong with me?"
The day seemed to drag on longer than any other as you waited for Taehyung to arrive. The heat hadn't even bothered you, your mind too muddled with thoughts of your date. You wondered if he would hold your hand and where he planned to take you.
As the sun finally sunk beneath the horizon, you were more antsy and began to pace your living room. Every once in a while, you'd glance out your window in hopes a passing man would be Taehyung. Unfortunately, you were mistaken every time.
Before long, you began to realize that he simply wasn't going to show up. You changed into your pajamas, rejection burning in your veins before sitting on your bed. The streetlights and the moon cast a decent glow around you.
Your feelings were hurt. You’d been stood up by an alien.
Your heart ached and you felt your eyes sting with unshed tears. You flopped over, covering your face with a pillow before screaming into it.
"What a jerk!" you shouted in the material.
By the time you went to sleep, your simmering anger gave way to pitiful dejection. Your eyes were wet with tears as you closed them.
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He was polluting your mind, everywhere you went you found yourself hoping that he'd turn up around the next corner. You’d hoped he would come knocking on your door with a sheepish smile, apologizing.
Though as the days passed and you had seen neither hide nor hair of him, the prospect of an apology made you angry. You didn't want his stupid apology anymore.
A week lapsed and it was time, once again, for your weekly log.
Sitting in front of the camera, you sighed, "The...friend I had made seems to have disappeared. It's weird, I was perfectly content by myself but once he showed up and vanished ― it's made me lonely," you gnawed on your bottom lip before sighing, disappointment becoming a common feeling in your life by then, “Maybe I need to make some friends but...I can't explain it; the Sehebon are such a strange race that it feels like it's going to be really difficult to make friends. There's really nothing eventful that happened worth logging besides my own problems so...I'll sign off."
A couple clicks on your computer had the log sent. You'd be getting paid again soon, perhaps you'd be able to go out and find something to do for yourself. Maybe you'd hit the jackpot and find someone who would want to be your friend.
It felt childish, the need for friendship you had. But with Taehyung's absence, your loneliness was at an all time high.
It was beginning to get dark and you decided to say 'fuck it' and get dressed. You'd find something to do ― you hadn't really checked out nearly all the districts of Fia and you knew there were some popular places to hang out.
It was a long walk to the area they dubbed the Social District. The second you stepped onto the rowdy street, you were blown away by the flashing lights and heavy bass emanating from the various buildings.
They had their own clubs.
You suddenly felt out of place and awkward, weaving through the giant people blocking the streets as they talked with friends. It seemed like no one saw you, as if you were just invisible to them. You moved to the sidewalk, being able to squeeze by the people and avoid the large crowd that filled the street.
You slipped into a pub ― judging by the tables and bar. You couldn't read the sign but you still walked in anyway. It wasn't very crowded, a few tables still open. The vibe inside was much cooler and calmer and you felt yourself begin to relax.
Walking up the bar, you took a seat, grabbing a menu without thinking about it.
"God dammit," you muttered, staring at the alphabet you still couldn't read.
"Can I help you?" the tender asked, moving to stand in front of you.
"Uh...I can't read this," you admitted, feeling your cheeks burn.
"That's alright, what do you like?" she pulled the menu from your hands and looked over it herself.
"Do you have any good alcohol?" you slumped against the counter, chin resting in your hand.
She regarded you with furrowed brows, closing the menu, "You do know alcohol is poisonous, right?"
"Wait what?" your head snapped up and the woman laughed.
"Alcohol is poisonous to us. We don't drink it," she placed the menu back where you got it and smiled, "We have some Soda."
"You do?" you perked up at that, not tasting soda since you'd left Earth. You watched eagerly as she filled a glass with brown liquid, placing it in front of you.
"It's not...Earth's soda but it's basically the same," she smiled, "It's got seltzer and sugary syrup in it."
You thanked her before she was whisked away to take care of another customer, leaving you by yourself. You sipped out of the straw, sighing at the taste. It was slightly off compared to the soda you were used to but bubbling seltzer had you smiling.
"_____?" you jumped at the sound of your name, choking on your drink and erupting into a fit of coughing. A hand carefully patted your back until you calmed down, "Are you alright? I didn't mean to scare you."
"I-It's fine," you choked out, clearing your throat and swallowing a few times to rid the feeling. Your eyes flicked up to meet Taehyung's and you felt a frown fall over your face before you realized it, "Taehyung."
His brows furrowed at your using his full name but he didn't say anything, "I uh...didn't know you came around here."
"It's my first time," you muttered, turning back to sip on your drink. When you didn't offer another opening for a conversation he let out a sigh and slid up next to you between the vacant seat beside you. You didn't have any choice but to interact, seeing at he wasn't going to back off.
"I'm sorry I missed our...date," the word still sounded foreign on his tongue, "I had urgent business to attend to in Holis."
"You don't owe me anything Taehyung," you muttered, failing to mask the hurt in your voice.
He sighed again, "I had to go visit a friend of mine, he was stranded and couldn't get home on his own. I promise that's all it was, _____."
You sighed, feeling your hurt and anger soften. Turning to look at him, you opened your mouth to reply but were interrupted.
“Whoa, is this the little human?” a loud voice from behind you made you jump. Twisting around, you saw a large man with biceps so big his t-shirt was stretched taut, “Oh you are a cutie!”
“U-Um...hello,” you greeted timidly.
"Uh yeah," Taehyung smiled, placing his hand on your shoulder, "This is _____. And _____ this is Wonho."
"N-Nice to meet you," you held out your hand, gasping when he leaned down and pressed a kiss against your knuckles.
"It's my pleasure," you could hear Taehyung let out a long sigh, "Bartender, I'll take a Blue Ice please. I gotta take a leak," he muttered the last part to himself, fingers lingering on your shoulder before he disappeared.
"You drinking a soda?" Wonho asked, peering into your glass, "Mind if I have a sip?"
"I guess not," you shrugged, watching him wrap his hand around the glass and bring it to his lips.
He was good looking, you couldn't deny. He had cute ears that stuck out just slightly and pretty teeth as he grinned at you. You found yourself comparing him to Taehyung ― deducing Taehyung definitely set your heart racing the second you looked at him.
"You know," Wonho placed your glass back down in front of you, "I was surprised to hear Taehyung was fooling around with a little human. I never thought he'd be the type."
"What do you mean?" you asked, brows furrowing as you mindlessly stirred your drink with your straw.
"Well I just can't believe he's actually giving in to it," Wonho said, pulling out a menu to look over it.
"I have no idea what you're talking about," you muttered, quite blunt.
He seemed surprised, chuckling and waving his hand, "Just the whole human kink that's going on. You know, since humans have started coming here it's become like a game to see who can actually manage to bang one. Can't believe Taehyung managed to snag one."
Your eyes drifted to your glass, the ice melting in your soda ― watering it down. A human kink?
"So...I'm just a conquest?" you whispered, though you were sure Wonho didn't hear as he was ordering a drink.
So many things bubbled up inside you; anger, humiliation, shame. Humiliation at the fact you'd been used, shame over the fact you fell for it and were so close to giving in, and anger of the audacity he had to do such a thing to you. Tears stung your eyes and you bit your lip to hold them back.
"Oh man, that looks delicious," Taehyung groaned, grabbing his tall glass of blue drink and taking a sip.
"I'm leaving," you muttered, sliding off your stool and moving to walk away.
You were stopped by a hand grabbing your elbow. Taehyung stared at you, brows drawn together.
"You just got here," he muttered, obviously confused by your sudden change.
You scoffed, "I'm going home, Taehyung."
You snatched your arm out of his grip and stormed out the doors and onto the busy streets. You could vaguely hear your name being shouted but it was quickly covered by the noisiness of the people. Crossing your arms over your chest, you weaved through the bodies. Tears were burning your eyes but you held them back.
"Hey a human!" you heard someone shout but you didn't stop, "Why don't you come party?"
'The whole human kink.' Wonho's words echoed in your mind, making it harder to fight your tears. 'It's become a game to see who can bang one."
By the time you reached your front door, your jaw was aching with keeping your tears in. Slamming the door behind you, you immediately burst into tears ― bringing your hands up to cover your eyes with your sleeves. Sniffling, you dropped onto your couch and let your sobs out freely.
Hugging one of your throw pillows, you attempted to calm yourself down. Just as you were about to drift off to sleep, eyes fluttering against your will, there was a series of sharp knocks against your door. You didn't move, silently waiting to see if they'd go away.
Unfortunately, the knocks became harsher and more frantic. Deciding that they weren't going to go away, you stood up and dragged your feet to the door.
You already had a feeling who it was and you weren't wrong ― Taehyung standing on the other side. His fist was raised like he was going to knock again and his hair was a complete wreck. His shirt clung to him with sweat and his breathing was a little heavy.
"What do you want Taehyung?" you muttered, crossing your arms around yourself.
"You've been crying," he whispered, moving to step forward but stopped when you moved back, "I knew you were upset. What's the matter, sweetheart?"
"Don't!" you snapped, turning on your heel and storming into your house.
"What?" Taehyung whispered, closing the door gently behind him.
"Don't call me that," you said, keeping your back to him so he wouldn't see your tears.
It felt so nice to have him call you pet names so gently. But you remembered it was just a ruse to lure you in ― and it was so hard not to fall.
"Why not? I thought you liked being called that?" he sounded so confused and you could imagine he looked akin to a kicked puppy.
"Because it's not fair!" you shouted, finally turning around, "You can't just play those games with me because I'm a human, Taehyung!"
"I really...What are you talking about?" his voice was so soft, so gentle. He took a couple steps towards you, hands outstretched, "I'm not playing any games."
"Oh yeah?" you scoffed, wiping away a few stray tears from your cheeks, "Wonho told me about your disgusting kink! You don't care about me, you just wanted to be able to say you fucked a human!"
"Wh―" he stumbled over his words, irises desperately scanning over you, "That's not...true."
You scoffed, shaking your head., "You're so unfair, Taehyung." he cocked his head to the side curiously, "You made me like you and I trusted you. But you just...you really aren't any different from men on Earth, huh?"
"What do you mean? Of course I'm different!" he argued, his own eyes growing glassy, "I never lied to you, _____. I promise!"
"You just wanted to use me as a conquest, something to brag about," you breathing stuttered as you sobbed, "And I almost fell for it!"
"Would you listen to me?!" he snapped, suddenly moving and pinning you against the wall.
He was caging you in, scent overwhelming you and making more tears fall from your eyes. You refused to meet his gaze, even though you could feel his eyes burning into you. You sniffled, staring down at your cardigan sleeves that were functioning as sweater paws.
"I never once intended to use you like that," Taehyung growled, voice giving away his frustration, "Everything I have said and done for you is real and not because you're a human. I don't want you as a...a...conquest," the word sounded foreign on his tongue, "And I certainly am not like your pathetic human men on Earth. I am better in every single way."
"Stop calling me that!" he snapped, making you jump, "I-I want you to call me Tae!"
"I don't think..." you shook your head.
"Why won't you believe me?" he sighed, voice going soft, "Is it really so easy to lose trust in me when I haven't even done anything? You heard my friend say some stupid nonsense a-and you're suddenly convinced I'm evil!"
When he put it like that, you felt silly. Your own insecurities caught up with you and you shifted awkwardly in your place against the wall. You sheepishly looked up to find him staring at you, eyes dark beneath his long bangs. They were damp from sweat and you swallowed thickly at how good he looked.
"I'm sorry Tae..." you mumbled, nibbling on your lip beneath his glare, "I just...I really like you and I don't want you to―
"Listen to me," he tilted your head up, making you look at him directly. His eyes were much softer now and your eyes felt hot once more, "I have no intention of hurting you. You can trust me, _____. I promise."
It felt like all self-control slipped through your fingers as you suddenly surged forward to press your lips against his. Standing on you tippy-toes, you wrapped your arms around his neck. He eagerly kissed you back, arms wrapping around you ― teeth nipping at your bottom lip to make you whine.
One of his hands traveled lower, cupping your ass and pulling you closer to him. You could feel his length hardened in his jeans ― and it was just as big as you remembered. It made you whimper, feeling him so hard against you. You squeaked when the floor was suddenly pulled out from beneath you and you found yourself pressed against the wall with your legs wrapped around his waist, his weight supporting you.
You whined when his lips found your neck, trailing his lips over the sensitive skin beneath your ear. He smirked at the feeling of you shuddering against him.
"Are you wet for me, baby?" he asked against your skin. You whimpered and nodded, feeling your pussy clench and gush into your panties, "Do you want me to touch you? Tell me."
"Yes please, Tae," you begged, blushing when he chuckled at your desperation.
The wall was pulled out from behind you and you scrambled to hold onto him around his shoulders, "I got you," he reassured, turning to walk through the open doorway of your bedroom.
You were deposited onto your mattress, making you bounce slightly on it. Taehyung was covering your body once more, however, as he met your lips for another kiss. Resting his weight on one forearm beside your head, he used the other to push your shirt up.
Getting the hint, you pulled your cardigan off and tossed it off the side of the bed before tugging your shirt off as well. Taehyung groaned, his lips kissing the swell of your breast above your bra. His fingers trailed over your bra ― cupping you and sighing softly.
You were surprised by your own boldness as you reached behind you and unclipped your bra. Before you could tug it off, however, Taehyung pinned your arms above your head and growled.
"Why are you so eager?" he asked, making your blush further.
"I-I just want you to touch me..." you confessed, lashes fluttering when he leaned down to brush his lips against your lips once more.
"There's no rush, little one," he cooed, "I'm not going anywhere until I've made you cum for me."
You clenched your thighs with a whimper at the pressure in your core. He pulled off your bra, finally, tossing it away and sitting back to admire your body. You were laid out beneath him, breasts heaving in your arousal.
His head dipped down and you held your breath as he enveloped a perked nipple into his mouth. Your hands flew up to clutch at his hair, back arching. His teeth grazed the bud, and groaned at the way you whined.
"Fuck, you're so responsive to everything I do," he gasped, pulling his lips away from your nipple. His fingers found it and brushed his thumb nail over and you choked out a sob, "I love it so much..."
"T-Tae please!" you whined, arching your hips up.
"Alright, baby," he cooed, flicking the button of your jeans open and tugging them down. Your panties went with them but neither of you cared, "Look at that. So wet."
"Please touch me, Tae," you begged, spreading your legs wider around him.
"You ever been eaten out, sweetheart?" he asked, watching the way your breath stuttered at his question. When you didn't answer, he gave your cunt a swift smack. You cried out, clutching at the blankets desperately, "I asked you a question."
"N-No I've never― " you were cut off by his fingers sliding over your clit softly.
"Do you want to?" he asked, cocking his head to the side.
"Yes, yes please, Tae!" you gasped, eyes wide when he shifted down the bed until his head was positioned over your core.
"So pretty, baby," he sighed, spreading your folds open to expose the pretty wet hole that clenched desperately around nothing.
Your mouth fell open, a stuttered breath escaping you when his tongue slid over your entrance up to your clit. He hummed, licking his lips to chase the taste. He looked like he was in heaven, swirling his tongue over your bud and chuckling when your whole body trembled.
"Love how you react to me," he whispered, mostly to himself. He tongued at your hole to taste your juices once more before dragging up to your clit once again, "I don't think I'll ever get enough of you."
"Tae!" you cried, tugging his hair harshly though he didn't seem to mind.
His lips wrapped around your clit, sucking the bud into his mouth. You keened, eyes rolling back into your head at the stimulation. You nearly screamed when you were suddenly filled with two long fingers.
"Fuck!" you cried, back arching. You abandoned your hold on his hand to wrap your hands beneath your knees ― keeping yourself open for him.
"Good girl," he praised, making you smile down at him.
He pressed a kiss against your thigh before diving down to take your clit into his mouth again. His fingers stretched you open, catching your g-spot every chance he got. He reached so deep inside you with just his fingers and you suddenly remembered how big his dick was. Just the thought of it had your walls clenching around his fingers. He groaned in response, the vibrations against your clit making your thighs twitch.
"A-Another finger, Tae, please," you begged, voice not above a whisper.
"Can you handle that, sweetheart? Your little cunt’s already stretched around two," he teased, his index finger beginning to nudge against your entrance.
"N-Need it," you gasped, "Need to take it for you cock."
His fingers froze and you felt him exhale sharply against your core ― as if the air had been punched out of him. Glancing down, you saw his jaw was clenched and his brows were furrowed.
"Don't say things like that, little girl," he growled, finally pushing the third finger into you, "Don't make promises you can't keep."
"Tae I― " your words died on your tongue when he enveloped your clit once again.
You felt stuffed with his fingers, the digits making your entrance stretch deliciously. You lost your grip on your knees and let them fall open once again. Taehyung's tongue danced over the sensitive nerves, eyes closed as he relished in having your cunt wrapped around his fingers. You were gushing, coating the digits in your juices and he couldn't wait to have them in his mouth.
"W-Wanna cum, Tae," you gasped, reaching above you to grip desperately at the pillow.
He reached up, pulling on one of your hands until you released the material. You felt your walls clench tight when he urged you to put your hands on his head.
He wanted you to pull at his hair.
Not one to reject such an offer, you tangled both your hands in the soft locks as he began to fuck you with his fingers eagerly. The wet noises were obscene, mixed with your moans made an incredible melody for Taehyung.
The fact he was the only one who had ever had you like that made his cock throb. His hips moved mindlessly against the bed beneath him to get some stimulation. His cock hurt in the confines of his jeans but he didn't dare try to pull it out.
Suddenly, your walls clenched tight and the grip on his hair began to sting the harder you pulled. Sobbing out his name, your entire body began to quake beneath him. The pleasure was overwhelming and you snapped your thighs closed around his head. He didn't pull away, however, keeping his lips attached to the throbbing bud through your orgasm ― milking every spectacular second until you were whimpering from overstimulation.
He gasped as he pulled away, sitting back on his heels before pulling his fingers out of you. He spread your folds, groaning at the way you gaped slightly from being stretched open. Sliding his soaked fingers into his mouth, his whole body trembled and he reached down to palm himself through his jeans.
The feeling of a smaller hand covering his had his eyes snapping open. He pulled his fingers out and stared down at you as you shyly palmed him through the material. He groaned, head falling back.
"C-Can I..." you trailed off, not quite sure what you were asking.
"I...I don't know..." he bit his lip, apprehensive.
"Please Tae?" you pouted, looking up at him through your lashes.
"Shit, alright," he whispered, switching your positions. He scooted up until his back rested against your headboard, shoving your pillows aside to make room for himself, "Come here. Sit on my lap, pretty girl."
Your hands were trembling as you did what you were asked, swinging your leg over his lap until you were straddling him. As you pressed your full weight on him, he tossed his head back in a groan. The pressure of you sitting on him felt spectacular.
Gripping his shoulders, you suddenly felt shy with his eyes on you. He gazed at your body on top of him like you were a goddess, hands drifting up your sides and cupping your breasts. Thumbing your nipples, he smiled crookedly when you shivered at the feeling. He cupped your cheeks, finally, and pulled you down for a soft kiss.
"Go ahead and grind on me, baby," he cooed, gripping your hips to urge you to move.
The first grind against him had him releasing the most beautiful moan that you felt yourself gush in response. His head leaned back against the headboard, watching through lidded eyes the way your cunt ground against his cock through his jeans. He wishes he could take it out and feel your wetness drip all over him ― to feel you cream against him as you came. He swallowed the urge down and continued to guide you.
"D-Does it feel good?" you asked, biting your lip as you watched his jaw tense as he held back his moans.
"So good, babygirl," he groaned, feeling his heart stutter when you proudly grinned down at him, "You're so fucking cute."
"D-Don't call me cute when I'm doing this," you hissed, narrowing your eyes at him.
"Doing what?" his head rolled against his shoulder and he smirked at you, "Go on and say it."
"No..." You whispered, clutching his shirt. Leaning forward, you wrapped your arms around his neck and held him close.
"Why so shy, little one?" he chuckled, kissing your temple and trailing his hand up your back before cupping the back of your head, "Grinding your wet little cunt against me like this...wanting to make me cum. And you want to act shy?"
You whimpered, gasping into his ear so prettily that he shuddered. He felt his orgasm coming and he groaned through clenched teeth.
"Close..." he whispered, fingers digging into the soft skin of your waist while he other clenched in your hand, "You're gonna make me cum, baby."
"Please cum, Tae," you begged, gasping when he wrenched your face out from where you were hiding in his neck.
"You want my cum?" he panted, mouth falling open as you fastened your pace. You nodded as best you could with his hand in your hair, "How about you cum first for me?"
Your eyes fluttered, realizing with his words how close you were to another orgasm. You leaned forward, pressing your lips against him. He hummed in response, smiling in the kiss when you started trembling in his lap.
You pulled away from the kiss and tossed you head back as you cried out his name, gushing against his jeans. Taehyung cursed, his own hips stuttering beneath you.
By the time you came down, you realized how wet his jeans were beneath you. You whined, falling off the side of his lap. He still sat up, chest heaving as he caught his breath. With his eyes closed, he didn't see you cupping his softening length through the wet material. He hissed, brushing your hand off of him.
"I-Is that all your..."
"I should get home," he interrupted. You frowned, watching him stand up and shift uncomfortably.
"Can't you stay?" you asked, finding yourself not wanting him to leave.
"Sorry, baby," he leaned down and pressed a kiss against your forehead, "Maybe another time." With a final, departing kiss, he turned and stepped out of the door. He paused, however, and looked back at you, "Be ready tomorrow, 8PM. I'll take you for dinner."
You were left alone on the bed with a little smile on your lips ― the promise of seeing him tomorrow making you giddy.
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You felt apprehensive when 8PM rolled around and there was no sign of him ― the time blinking on the screen of your computer. You sat on your desk chair, watching the moments tick by.
It was nearing 8:30 when there were a series of knocks on your door. You jumped to your feet and raced to the door, pulling it open to see Taehyung with a guilty smile and a handful of flowers.
"Sorry I'm late I uh..." he cleared his throat and held the flowers over to you, "I had to go a bit out of my way to get these."
"Oh Tae..." you smiled, taking them from his hands and bringing them up to your nose to smell, "They're beautiful."
"They're imported from Liana," he smiled, shrugging sheepishly.
"How'd you think of this?" You asked, motioning for him to enter your home as you went to your kitchen to put the flowers in water.
"Well..." he cleared his throat, "I just...I've been reading about human dates and just human things like that, you know?"
"You've been studying for our date?" you giggled, putting the flowers on your counter before turning to him. He looked shy, keeping his eyes averted from you, "I really appreciate it, Tae."
"Really?" his eyes lit up and he grinned his adorable smile.
"I think it was very thoughtful," you led him back to the door and out into the cool night.
"There's this place I really like around my place," he suddenly explained, taking your hand in his as he helped you down from the stoop, "I like to go there with some friends. I think you'll like it!"
"I'm sure I'll like anything, Tae," you admitted, smiling when he squeezed your hand in response.
The two of you made simple talk as you made your way to the restaurant. You hadn't had the opportunity to go to one in the time you'd lived on Izo Huen.
It was a simple, small building with an Open sign in English. You grinned, bouncing inside tugging Taehyung by his hand excitedly.
"Pick a seat, little one," Taehyung cooed, nudging your back.
It was set up exactly like a restaurant on Earth and you slid yourself into a booth, grinning. Taehyung took the spot across from you, lounging back as he looked at the menu. You followed his lead and opened the menu yourself. Eyes wide, you realized you were able to read everything.
"Hey...It's in English!" you muttered, eyes scanning over the words. They were translated underneath into what Taehyung could understand ― the characters and symbols lost on you.
"Yeah it's the only place around here that does it," he shrugged, "I figured you might enjoy that."
"You're..." you grinned, shaking you head, "You're so thoughtful, Tae. I really appreciate it."
He shrugged, though you could see that his ears were tinged red.
You both ordered drinks and food, the atmosphere dissolving into one of calm company. You both chatted idly about anything ― Taehyung asking a lot of questions about Earth and him trying to teach you the different characters for his alphabet. He gave up when you just couldn't get a hang of it ― teasingly calling you illiterate and cooing when you pouted.
"Hey Tae," you muttered, picking at the salad you had ordered. He hummed, mouth full of some type of steak ― though the meat was of a consistency that made your stomach turn, "How did you learn to speak so...casually?"
"What do you mean?" he asked, sipping his soda.
"You know..." you blushed, realizing the question wasn't really something to ask over the dinner table, "When you talk you use a lot of slang terms. Like...in bed," You whispered the last word and picked at your salad again.
"Oh," Taehyung chuckled, "See, I have a friend who has been to Earth a few times. He has a lot of...interesting material that he let me read. And he kind of taught me some popular slang on Earth."
"You didn't have to go to so much effort, Taehyung," you whispered, although you were grinning. Your heart fluttered in your chest nonetheless.
"I wanted to," he suddenly set a hard gaze on you, "I want you to like me and I want you to feel comfortable around me. I want to be good for you."
"Tae..." you reached across the table and cupped his hand in yours, "I already like you very much. You make me feel comfortable and you make me feel very happy."
He grinned, looking away from you shyly but squeezed your hand tightly.
The walk home was peaceful, you found yourself wrapping your arms around one of Taehyung's ― wanting to be close to him. He didn't seem to mind in the slightest, squeezing your hand tightly and staring down at you with sparkling eyes. It felt like he looked at you like you hung up the moon ― it made you feel fluttery inside.
"Do you want to come inside, Tae?" you asked, opening your front door.
He hesitated for just a moment before stepping inside. He kicked his boots off along with you, watching as you tucked both of them away in the corner. You went to your bedroom to change into something comfortable ― settling on some pajama pants and an oversized sweater. When you walked back out, Taehyung was sitting at your desk looking at your computer.
"What's this?" he gestured to your setup with your camera.
"It's where I record the logs needed to send back to Earth," you explained, "I update my superiors every week on things that are happening. When I learn something new about the culture or something interesting happens."
"Interesting," he muttered, sitting there for a moment before standing up and navigated over to your couch.
You dropped into the seat beside him and molded yourself against his side. He wrapped his arm around you and pressed a kiss against the top of your head. The silence was comfortable and you rested your head on his chest ― listening to his heartbeat.
"Hey Tae?" he hummed, looking down at you when you looked up at him, "Can I have a kiss?"
His gaze softened and he quickly leaned down to press his lips against yours. He went to pull away but you followed him, pulling him into a deep kiss making him moan. Swinging your leg over his lap, you straddled him boldly. He seemed surprised by it but didn't say anything, just moving his lips against yours.
"Tae," you whispered against his lips, "I want to touch you, please?"
"_____― " he pulled away from the kiss, pushing you back slightly by your shoulders.
"You keep saying I can't handle it, but I can!" you argued, pouting at being pushed back.
"I don't want to hurt you, _____," his brows came together in a deep furrow, "It wasn't just talk when I said you couldn't handle it. It's too much, you're too...small."
"It turns you on though doesn't it?" you teased, noticing how he was growing hard beneath you, "Can't we at least try, Tae?"
"I-I..." his head fell back when you ground against him, "Fuck, we can try."
You held in a squeal of joy when he scooped you up in his arms and carried you to the bedroom. He dropped you on the bed and stripped his shirt off.
It was the first time seeing him naked and you sat up to admire his body. He was fit, as you expected. His stomach was flat with a small trail of hair leading beneath his jeans. On his shoulders were patches embedded in his skin that reflected off the dim light of your bedroom.
"What..." you sat up on your knees, brushing your fingers over them. It felt like normal skin, and you hummed in wonder.
"They're...light-sensitive patches that we just...never evolved out of," he explained, "They were useful for survival when we dominated the deserts. Now they're just...here."
"Interesting," you muttered, trailing your hand down his chest and stomach to the button on his jeans.
Before you could flick it open, however, he grabbed your wrist and pinned you back to the bed. His gaze was dark, making you shiver underneath it. He smelled wonderful and you reached up with your free hand to brush his bangs out of his eyes.
"You've got another thing coming if you think you'll get anywhere near my cock before I think you're good and ready, little one," he growled, making your thighs clench at the sound.
You whined when he rushed to discard your clothes, not wasting a single second in getting you bare for him. He palmed himself through his jeans as he looked down at you, licking his lips.
"So pretty," he whispered, smoothing his hand down your body. Smirking, he pinched one of your nipples to hear the way you whined, "Spread your legs for me."
You hurriedly did as you were told, shame and inhibitions thrown out the window. You felt nervous under his gaze but with every compliment and soft touch ― you began to feel better. Mouth falling open, you gasped when his fingertips brushed against your folds.
"You're so wet," he mumbled, more to himself, "Are you always so wet, baby?"
"Y-You're the only one ― "
"I know that but when you touch yourself, pretty baby," he glanced up when you tensed, "I know you do. Tell me do you get this wet?"
"O-Only when I think of you," you admitted before you could think twice about it. You felt your cheeks burn at your own admission but Taehyung cursed and grunted as he squeezed his cock.
"You're such a good girl," he praised, fingertips trailing up your body again. Goosebumps ignited across your skin and you arched your back to get more of the feeling of his touch.
His fingers eagerly dipped back between your thighs to find your entrance. You whimpered when he immediately slipped a single digit inside. It felt nice but unfulfilling.
He pulled his finger out and circled it over your clit ― using your own juices to lubricate the movement. You hummed, eyes fluttering as he circled the bud several times. When your thighs began to tense, he pushed his finger back inside.
He continued the teasing until you were whining beneath him. Suddenly he pressed his thumb against the bud, circling and pressing against it relentlessly.
"I'm gonna cum!" you warned, your eyes squeezing shut.
"Go ahead, pretty baby," he urged, not pausing in his torture of your clit.
You came quickly, arching and trembling on the bed. Your cunt was empty, gushing and clenching around nothing. His touches on your clit slowed until they stopped all together.
You figured he'd give you a moment to recover but, he was suddenly sliding two fingers inside you. You were so wet from your orgasm, your cum slicking down his fingers and onto the bed. You sobbed, grinding your hips into his touch. He didn't try touching your clit or your spot, showing that much mercy. Instead, he leaned down to envelop a perked nipple in his mouth while he scissored his fingers, stretching you a bit more.
You hummed, cupping the back of his head to keep him in place. He didn't seem to mind, beginning to fuck his two fingers into you faster.
"A-Another, please," you requested, whimpered when he immediately did so.
There was a slight, tiny burn that immediately gave way to pleasure. His palm pressed against your clit ― still so sensitive that it made you tremble. As he fucked you with his fingers, he switched to give your other breast attention.
Your hips jerked with his every movement, following the pace he'd set. Every time he brushed your g-spot and you whined, he would laugh.
He took so much enjoyment in your pleasure it was almost baffling. You were always sure that men would be selfish and unsatisfying in bed but Taehyung was nothing but attentive.
Perhaps he was right; he was better than any human man.
"Cum again for me," he purred, swiping his tongue along your chest before meeting your neck.
The feeling of his fingers and teeth on your neck had you inching closer to the edge of the abyss.
"T-Tae, please," you whined, grinding your hips down, "T-Touch me, please."
He hummed, moving his thumb to press against your clit. The simple touch set you off and you were coming once again beneath him. Your body was on fire, sweat sticking to you and making you pant. It crested beautifully and faded out into trembles and whines.
He didn't remove his fingers, instead beginning to nudge a fourth into you ― his pinky finger. His eyes met yours, keeping his eyes on your face as he stretched you further than he had before. The width of his hand was bordering on painful but you found it highly enjoyable. His thumb continued to circle your clit even as you sobbed in overstimulation. Your spasming walls eagerly accepted the new stretch and you found yourself relaxing into it.
He was quickly going to send you to another orgasm but before you could fall off the edge again, he removed his thumb. You whined, grinding your hips to chase the feeling. His eyes drifted down to where his fingers were buried into you, smoothing two of his fingers from his free hand over your folds.
"Stretched so wide," he muttered, scooping up some of your cum on the digits and popping them in his mouth. Your walls squeezed his fingers in response to his display.
He suddenly pulled his fingers out and you cried out at being empty so fast. Your walls weren't able to close properly and you closed your thighs at the feeling.
Instead of stopping you, Taehyung stepped off the bed. Your mouth went dry when he unbuttoned his jeans and began to shuffle them down his thighs.
You realized he wasn't wearing underwear when his cock popped free ― flushed incredibly red at the head and leaking precum down the shaft. He visibly shuddered when his cock was free from its confines and he quickly wrapped his hand around himself ― giving himself a few good squeezes.
He was just as big as you thought. His fingers didn't meet when wrapped around the girth. He was wider than his four fingers and so long that you found yourself whimpering at the thought of him drilling into you that deep.
"You still think you can take me, little one?" he asked, crawling on the bed to kneel in front of you still clenched thighs.
"Y-Yeah...want it," you let your legs fall open, showing him your flushed and swollen cunt.
Her cursed, tapping the fat head of his cock against your cunt. You whimpered when you saw just how big it was compared to your own pussy. He was surely going to rip you in half but damn if you wouldn't enjoy every second.
His precum mixed with your cum as he slid his shaft between your folds, getting the underside of him nice and wet. You whimpered, feeling him grinding against your clit bringing you close to the orgasm you'd been denied.
Before you could fall into it, he positioned his tip at your entrance. Prodding ever so slightly, he sighed at the feeling of your heat against him. You spread your legs wider for him as he began to press inside.
You cried out, clutching the sheets beneath you as he stretched you wide open. The head of him was so thick, bordering on painful. You reached out to stop him from going any further, gritting your teeth at the feeling.
"You're okay," he whispered, shifting back so he pulled out of you.
You breathed heavily, relaxing once more as he circled your clit with his thumb. As your eyes fluttered, he began to press back inside. You whined as he pushed past what he had been, thumb not letting up on your clit. You walls spasmed around him, making him groan as you began to tremble.
The head of him popped inside and you cried out as you were sent over the edge. Taehyung's body fell over yours, catching himself on his hands beside your head. You sobbed, tears filling your eyes at the pleasure of being stretched as you were.
Taehyung's mouth fell open as he felt you cum around the head of his cock. When you calmed down to just little sniffles and whimpers, he leaned down to press his lips against your neck.
"You okay, baby?" he whispered. You nodded, reaching up to cup his cheeks and pull him into a soft kiss.
He took that as his cue to sink further into you. The flare on the head of his cock was the thickest part of him and it felt much easier for the rest of him to slide in. He nudged your cervix and when you flinched at the pain, he pulled back slightly.
"Look at that," he chuckled looking between your bodies. Following his gaze, your eyes widened, "You can't even fit all of me inside you, little one."
He was right, you'd only managed to fit half his cock inside you. Your walls clenched around him at that.
"Feels so good, Tae," you whispered, feeling his cock twitch against your walls.
He grinned, moving his hips gently, sinking in as far as he comfortably could before pulling back out. Although he wasn't able to fit in you completely, he still found himself groaning against you
"Such a tight little cunt," he growled, nipping at your jaw, "Took me so well, like a good girl."
You began to grind your hips up as he sunk into you and he growled. Sitting back on his heels, he soothed his hand over your body to soothe you.
You cursed loudly when he snapped his hips much harder into you ― testing how much you could take. When you gushed and spasmed around him, he took that as a sign to keep going. You moaned so beautifully for him, body reacting like a dream to his every touch and movement.
Cunt stretched wide and stuffed full of cock, you couldn't even think of anything else. You felt drunk, dizzy and lightheaded. Taehyung cooed when you slurred out his name, swiping his thumb over your bottom lip to collect some drool there.
"You're so cute," he grinned, breaking out into a moan when you clenched him tight, "All you can think about is my cock, huh?"
"'S so good..." you whispered, the words coming out almost breathlessly.
"I know, baby," he replied, licking his lips as he moved to his cock pounding you open wider than you should have been able to take, "You're gushing and squeezing me so nice. Are you gonna cum? Can you cum for me?"
You swallowed and nodded, whining when he hit your cervix. It hurt but it blended in with the pleasure. Mindlessly, you reached down to find your clit ― intent on sending yourself over the edge.
"No, no baby," he cooed, brushing your fingers away, "You'll cum without touching your pretty clit, yeah?"
"C-Can't," you sobbed, tears leaking out of the corner of your eyes.
"I think you can," he muttered, smoothing his hand over your lower stomach. "Fuck, look at that, babygirl."
You lazily followed his gaze to where his hand laid. Your cunt clenched at the sight of your stomach bulging every time he sunk in ― his cock literally molding you around it. You gasped, your high bubbling in your stomach.
"Wanna cum!" you cried, attempting to reach down and circle your clit again only to be stopped once more.
"I said no, little one," he snapped, pinning your hands above your head as he loomed above you, "You can do it. Cum for me."
Your body went still, focusing on the feeling of his cock filling you and stretching you. His cock was so big that he didn't even have to try to reach any good spots within you.
Astoundingly, you shrieked as your orgasm finally washed over you. Taehyung cursed in your ear, fucking you ruthlessly through the high. Distantly, you felt wetness splatter between your thighs and coat both of you. You chanted his name as you squirmed and writhed at the overwhelming pleasure.
"Shit, I'm― " Taehyung's warning was cut off by a groan.
His weight fell on you fully and he hid his face in your neck as he came. You hugged him against you, still trembling as he pumped his hot cum into you. There was so much, his cock keeping his cum plugged inside you. You gasped and twitched as you felt your stomach bloat over so slightly. You walls clenched around him, the idea of him filling you so much sending you into another quiet orgasm.
It was less spectacular than the others, but still left you gasping of air. Taehyung groaned in your ear as he felt you cum around his sensitive cock once again ― forcing a couple more spurts out of him to add.
It seemed like forever until his body finally relaxed. He continued to hold you, pressing kisses against any place he possibly could.
"That was...nice..." you muttered, making him laugh as he rolled off of you.
Your mouth fell open as he pulled his cock out ― it ached, there was no denying it. There was a gush of his cum, so much of it that it formed of pool beneath you. Your cheeks felt hot as Taehyung watched his cum pour out of your abused hole.
"Who knew my little human girl could take so much?" he teased, enjoyed the way you squirmed in embarrassment, "Want to take a shower?"
"Only if you will with me," you offered with a tired voice, watching his face morph into an expression of confusion.
"Is that some type of human thing?" he asked, sitting up and stretching his muscles.
"Apparently so," you whispered.
"Hey..." he paused from getting off of the bed. "You...you'll be here a while, right?"
"What do you mean?" you asked, clenching your thighs shut as you felt your core begin to burn and ache as you came back to yourself.
"Like...you won't have to go back to Earth any time, right?" his voice sounded small, almost fragile.
"I'll stay as long as I want to," you reassured, leaning over to kiss him but freezing before you could.
"What is it?" he asked, frowning.
"I'm just really fucking sore," you mumbled, flushing when he burst out laughing.
"Ah, my cute little human," he cooed, kissing your nose.
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jitterbugjive · 11 months ago
Something I wish more people would understand is how unhealthy and misguided I was in my early 20s. I came out of a life of mental and sexual abuse, for a bit I had a much older boyfriend than me that I didn’t realize until fairly recently was grooming me since I was 14. I was a hyper sexual teenager due to the exposure I had in childhood and I sought people out constantly to ERP with, even adults, without really thinking anything was wrong with that. I had an old friend who started running away from home to look for random adult men to sleep with so my understanding and feelings towards that kind of situation got all twisted and confused and I didn’t know how to help my friend. I had another friend who was pulled in to a 3 way by another minor and an adult, and the other minor was also the sort who actively looked for adult men who would be sick enough to sleep with her. And my best friend had a sister who was also exhibiting this behavior despite my friends’ many protests, because their mom didn’t give a single fuck about anything. I had an older babysitter, by older I mean in his 60s, who would bring up conversations about sex with me and show me porn on TV from when  I was 10-13. I was dealing with unchecked PTSD which made me overly reactive, prone to fits of anger and anxiety.
My point is, back then I didn’t have any kind of professional help or anywhere I could go for answers on things I didn’t understand or had a limited understanding of. When I ask the question ‘what do you do if a kid is seeking out adult sexual attention’ it’s not because I’m trying to blame kids for this, it’s because it scares me when kids are unknowingly, maybe even knowingly, exposing themselves to danger for whatever screwed up reason they may have. And no one wants to talk about that kind of situation, so I couldn’t find any answers. I couldn’t find an appropriate way to process my feelings on the matter, my understanding of it, the way I viewed it, I couldn’t find what the correct way to feel or deal with it was. Again, because no one wants to talk about it. With my naivety and personal experience, I at first held resentment towards kids like that, because I remember being put in danger because of them or they put my friends in danger, and those kids seemed very sure of their choices even when they were perfectly aware it was wrong. One of them I knew, even as an adult, didn’t ever think anything was wrong with what they did, they didn’t come with that regret you hear most people talking about. I regret the way I’ve reacted to these situations and I regret the way I phrased things when I was trying to come to terms with this issue that I’d been honestly traumatized by.
Another thing I didn’t understand in my early 20s was appropriate boundaries, because I wasn’t given appropriate boundaries as a kid I only knew one big basic thing: Don’t do anything sexually explicit with minors.
And when it came to RP, I thought that meant PG13 content was okay. I thought if there was a fade to black, or a time skip, or an implication, it wouldn’t be a bad thing. Now, there are literally only 2 instances I can think of where there was any sort of implication of sexual acts between characters with a minor, I still made sure nothing explicit was shown or explored and I was of the impression that I was just letting the other person have fun because that’s what they were in to. And that was a mistake. Not as big of a mistake as it could have been, mind you, but I’d never cross that line. I thought I had a good line drawn in the sand but I didn’t really understand where it was supposed to be. Because if we’re gonna be honest here, looking back I know now even romantic fluff RP between an adult and a minor isn’t okay, even if it’s through characters and not as ourselves.
I know now how much of an emotional impact RP can have on a person, considering most of my romantic relationships started with RP. When you have a character you deeply connect to interacting with someone else’s character, it’s really easy to start mistaking your character’s feelings for your own. You could believe because your characters get along so well that maybe the two of you can get along romantically too. I’m not saying that RP shouldn’t lead to romance, but that it can easily blind a person from how their RP partner really is. So it’s dangerous to RP with kids like this. I should know, my abusive ex that groomed me until I turned 18 in order to date me certainly had me convinced we were meant for each other just because our characters clicked and my character happened to be a representation of myself.
Something I’m really ashamed to admit as well is a serious misjudgement on my part, where for some reason I assumed bodily fluids weren’t NSFW. Probably because I’ve seen people get away with censoring out naughty bits but leaving the spunk in an image, or just drawing the character with spunk on them or something. Point is, people were getting away with it not being flagged as porn, and my dumb brain was like ‘okay so it’s not that bad’. I need to make something clear here, I don’t entirely remember what happened or why it happened, but it’s true that Bedeviled Derpy had a post that showed spunk in 2 of the images and it was drawn from some sketches of mine by a teenager. I don’t believe I would have requested such a thing, I certainly didn’t script it to say ‘draw spunk here’, in fact the sketches don’t show any indication of a mess anywhere. I just remember being given the finished images with the spunk being added, and I was dumb enough to think “oh yeah this is totally okay for a SFW blog” and my brain didn’t even register like ‘hello yes a child drew this maybe ask them to remove the spunk also spunk isn’t sfw or child friendly in any way shape or form’
Some people, maybe only a handful, or more, I don’t know, but some people have this assumption that my mindset in all of this was like “Hahaha I’m taking advantage of a minor” and that’s just... not it?
I’m a colossal dumbass, I admit that, and I was really irresponsible, but it was NOT because I had any intentions on preying on a child. I just don’t do that.
The things I said and did, I did out of ignorance, and most of the bad stuff people talk about me saying was from 5+ years ago, before I got any help, before I had anyone to walk me through these incredibly complex emotions and opinions that were ingrained in my head since childhood.
I just wish that people could see I had no malice or ill intent, I wish people could realize they’re way overthinking my actions and taking things a lot more personally than they were ever meant to be. Maybe if they could see this for what it is rather than assuming I’m a villain who purposefully did everything wrong, they could learn to move on in a healthy way.
I understand I did a lot of harm and there’s no undoing that.
But I do NOT deserve to be accused of pedophilia. Pedophilia has literally ruined my life and my perception of the world. I’m a victim too, and just because I became an adult doesn’t mean I suddenly know right from wrong. That’s not how becoming an adult works. You’re allowed to make mistakes as an adult, being an adult doesn’t mean you won’t make mistakes any more. Yes it’s easier to say to someone ‘you were just a kid, it was a mistake, you didn’t know any better’, but adults have a hard time knowing ‘any better’ too. We’re always growing and learning and I’d like to think people are smart enough to see that I have grown in to a better person.
I hope people can find it in their hearts to forgive me, but I fear some people are too far gone down the rabbit hole of being convinced that everything was on purpose and from malice, that I’m some evil mastermind who thrives on manipulation and taking advantage of kids. I’ve only ever associated with 2 minors since becoming an adult and I have no intention of associating with any more that aren’t directly connected to my family or my friends.
Anyone who actually knows me would know I have a 0 tolerance for IRL pedophilia, when I found out a member of one of my groups was showing nudes to minors he was immediately kicked out and I kept tabs on the situation to make sure he’d be caught by police. When a member in my server was exposed for ERP and orbiting with a minor, I kicked him out too.
I worry about kids to a point that it’s part of my PTSD, I have anxiety attacks just worrying about how a kid might be getting harmed, the last thing I want to do is bring harm to them.
And I did cause harm, I didn’t know that was what I was doing, but I did, because I wasn’t mature enough to understand how to interact with kids as an adult. And again, I’m just incredibly sorry things had to even come to this. I’m not lying when I say I think about this every single day, and sometimes spiral in to really bad anxiety because of it. It affects me heavily.
I want to move on.
And I want the people affected to move on too.
Because dwelling on this isn’t going to do anyone any good.
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hajigumi · a year ago
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pairing: tsukishima kei x gn!reader
genre: angst
warnings: smoking, probably toxic relationships, stoner!tsukki, and swearing
word count: 1.1k words
note: might keep the new layout, might keep fucking around w it. i just wanted to try smth new hehe. also sorry my pieces are all over the place recently, i consider them breaks from my longer works
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 Smoking wasn’t a habit that you really considered anything other than off-putting. Specifically when it involved cigarettes, because they significantly lowered one’s life expectancy and just weren’t all that aromatically attractive—you found men that smoked were not as attractive as literally anyone else.
Now, did you smoke occasionally when the week was just too rough and you wanted something to soothe the ache of loneliness that seemed to chase after you? Yeah, but at least it wasn’t a cigarette, of course.
So, when Tsukishima Kei walked up to you outside the bar as you were waiting for a ride, asking if you had a lighter on hand with a cigarette between his lips, you blamed the alcohol you’d just drank for pulling the lighter out of your pocket to light him up.
“Got a light?” The cigarette squished between his lips bobbed with every word he spoke, and your eye seemed to be drawn to the way his mouth formed each word.
You made a noise of affirmation, your throat had suddenly gone dry as you fished around your pocket for the lighter you’d just used at a friend’s house. Flickering it a few times, you held it out to him and watched him dip low to catch the end of it in the flame.
The fire cast a warm glow across his features, and you just watched the way the shadows licked and kissed across his cheekbones, the pale features of his face more accentuated since the bar’s lights added as a backlight. The flame of your half-empty red lighter reflected in his glasses, hiding his eyes minutely.
He leaned back with his cigarette now lit, the end red with embers and flickering softly as he breathed in, holding it for a second before he turned his head away to blow the rest of the smoke out towards the street. His jawline was as sharp as his attitude, so you’d learned, and with a few clipped words, he offered you little in terms of conversation.
Yet he didn’t turn you down when you asked for his number.
Since then, you’d forced yourself into his life in the smallest ways—usually just whenever he needed someone to provide a bit of comfort when the weed hit a patch of loneliness, or even to be there when him and Yamaguchi were too out of their minds to make good decisions.
You think it’s the way his smile seemed to grow softer when he got high, off of regular cigarettes just to get the edge off or smoking weed to feel lighter than air. The harshness of his face seemed to disappear the more he inhaled and exhaled, and just watching that process was enough for you.
Or so you’d thought.
Before you knew it, you wanted to watch him fall apart under your hand, to be nothing more than a follower of your religion.  Not for any malicious reason, but only because he was so guarded.
In a sharp contrast to Yamaguchi, who seemed much more outspoken and vibrant, Tsukishima seemed to keep almost everyone he didn’t know at bay. This included you on even your best days with him, unfortunately.
There was something about him that was so magnetic, however, and you could never seem to ignore the draw to him. The curve of his smile was better than any drug anyone could offer you, so you chased the high like an addict who didn’t know when their next fix was. And you didn’t know, really. You didn’t know when the next chance you’d get with him was because of how far he kept himself from you.
“Oi,” he looks at you with a strange gleam in his eyes, “did you hear a word of what I just fucking said?”
When he smokes, it’s always apparent that he came from a smaller, country town, his accent spilling from his lips as if he’d trained himself to sound like someone from the city. You consider it a blessing to know him like this.
“‘Course I wasn’t.” You mutter it under your breath as you watch Yamaguchi roll another joint, hands nimble and agile. You wonder idly when Tsukishima stopped using cigarettes—you haven’t seen him buy a pack in a while. “Y’know I don’t like to think too much when we smoke.”
Tsukishima had gotten the end of the last blunt, and was now smoking it idly while you waited your turn. He’d invited you over for a session with him, Yamaguchi and Yachi, though the latter was somewhere in the kitchen getting bottles of water for the four of you.
“Idiot,” he throws it out at you with no ill intent, before muttering something else that you can’t quite catch.
His hand grips your jaw, turning your gaze from watching your friend licking the paper to make it stick to itself. His eyes are a bit bloodshot, but otherwise alert, and if you knew any better, you’d see a bit of jealousy around the edges of his expression. Before you can even think to decipher the look on his face, and what it possibly means for you, Tsukishima is shoving a thumb on your bottom lip and forcing your mouth open.
Like a parody of the first time you met, Tsukishima leans down towards your face.
Opening his mouth, he exhales smoke straight into your slack-jawed mouth, his eyes never leaving yours. Your breath in is less of a reaction to him doing it, and more instinct as you reach a hand out to hold onto his wrist, as if needing something to ground you to this moment.
When he’s satisfied you’d taken enough, he lets his thumb drag against the bottom of your lip with a content smile on his lips, like a cat that got the cream. Your hand is still on his wrist and you can feel his pulse drum steadily against his skin, a rhythm of his body and his person.
“Don’t go looking at me like you love me, now.” 
And maybe he means it jokingly, but there’s a part of you that stills a bit, as if he’d just unearthed some great secret you’d been keeping from him. It’s hardly anything to hide, if the way you love him is written on your sleeve like you think it is.
“Who’s gonna stop me?” You whisper back, and the sharpness of his face seems to even itself out a bit as he leans over you, arm sliding across your shoulders and providing a soothing weight.
The familiarity and intimacy of it, combined with his last words to you leave a bad taste in your mouth, like a drink not mixed quite enough. Yet there’s nothing in you that wants to push him off, instead content to curl closer into the warmth of his body as Yachi comes back into the room, bottles of water in her hand.
If smoking cigarettes was Tsukishima’s bad habit, he was yours.
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cherrywoes · a year ago
dark sun. (ryoumen sukuna x fem!reader x oc)
xiv. boketto.
— the act of gazing vacantly into the distance without thinking.
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You came back into your body with a quiet crackling of the air around you. You could feel the way you acclimated back to your own body, having been pulled from it without Shion to occupy it while you were gone. You were stationary, your fingers still gently pressed to Yuuji’s forehead, and it took you a few moments of blurry vision and confused thoughts for you to realize the boy was very much awake and staring at you with a wide, surprised gaze. You lowered your hand from his face cautiously, wary of earning some sort of lash back for invading his mind, but all he did was look at you with slow, even blinks to convey his mental game of confusion.
“Um… What’s going on here?” He questioned, eyes flicking from you to Gojo and back again, as if his teacher had an answer for what you had just done. He watched you reach up and gently touch the baby at your chest, frowning for a moment. “Shiraishi-s...san?”
“I apologize for invading your mind without permission.” You smiled and bowed your head, trying to resist the way Shion was attempting to work your connection back. It seemed he was struggling more than usual and it was causing your chest to twist and ache unpleasantly; likely a result of his leftover anger. He was still likely angry, you knew, but he couldn’t resist staying away from you for too long. At least an hour was his record, at least, you believed it was an hour—you couldn’t be sure when domains worked differently in terms of time. It was probably longer, you supposed, but you couldn’t stand around and wait to see how long it would take him to establish that connection. “And I also apologize for… hurting you, before. You must know I didn’t mean it, Itadori-san.”
He looked more befuddled than before, eyebrows shooting upwards in surprise. You wondered if Sukuna was talking to him somehow, telling him to befriend you—or something along those lines. “Oh, uh… Yeah. The god in your body did it, right? Not you? So, consider it water under the bridge, I guess.”
You couldn’t blame him for his hesitance. He was, after all, a vessel, the same as you, and he knew as well as you did that sometimes the actions of vessel and curse aligned at times. You weren’t sure about Sukuna in Yuuji’s case, but Shion’s actions aligned with your beliefs and wants perfectly. He didn’t doubt you for a second, and nor did you him—except for recently, perhaps.
The tampering with your connection was growing too irritating for you to bear and you could feel bile cresting in your throat. It wasn’t much, but you were going to purge you stomach’s meagre contents, and soon, so you fixed Gojo with a grateful smile; one that was laced with warning for him not to stop you.
“I’m afraid I have to go now,” you said, bowing low to Yuuji and Gojo separately. It was only the polite thing to do, and well, it didn’t help settle your nerves in the least. Shion twisted at the connection again and your smile became a little more pained, a little more tenuous. “I apologize for the intrusion, Satoru-san. Thank you for bringing me here.”
With little else to spur you on than the pinpricks of pain crawling up your belly and chest, you breezed past Gojo and up the stairs, slamming the door when the wind vacated the space behind you. The basement was silent for a few moments, maybe more, with Yuuji and Gojo staring up the staircase where you had vanished, as if you had never been there to begin with.
“What was that all about?” Yuuji asked, reaching for a half drank can of soda. He grimaced at the flat taste and the sickly sweet artificial aftertaste that came after, putting it down on the table with an audible clink. “Oh, gross.”
Gojo hummed and declined to answer, pulling another move from the generous pile he had donated to the cause, and cracked open the case. He spun the disc around the holder a few times, thoughts whirling as he considered your words from before, about the higher ups. The distaste in your tone as you spoke. He didn’t think you would have been one to be loyal to the higher ups in the first place, of course, seeing as you had been hidden from the world for almost your entire life—it wasn’t such an issue to assume that you were, in fact, harboring the same ideals he was: get rid of the higher ups. Your views, however, might be inherently more selfish; you had no care for any of the other sorcerers, not even for the woman who had been at your side since you became a vessel. You seemed entirely focused on escaping the confinement, the pressing holds, of the old crones that made up the circle of higher ups; at least, that was what he was able to read from you. Without that god hovering over you like a ghost, you were surprisingly human, and vulnerable—not that he had expected anything less. Yuuji was much the same in that regard. However, while parallel in origin, you and Yuuji were not the same, not really; your curse would protect you until the day you died, that much was obvious. Sukuna was much more malicious in intention, without a doubt.
“Gojo-sensei,” Yuuji whined, drawing his attention back to his student. He huffed and slumped over on the sofa, almost knocking over a stray can. “Are you even listening?”
“Of course,” he laughed, inserting the CD into the disc drive. It was a low budget horror film, he recognized, but he didn’t watch it personally. He had scooped up the cheapest selections he could find, with some more widely known titles like Lord of the Rings, but Yuuji didn’t seem to mind them as much as he thought. “I was just thinking about our new ally.”
“Ally?” the pink haired male gawked. “Who?”
Gojo tipped his head to the side, a large grin on his face. “You just met her.”
While Gojo shoved his student back to the test, you were worse off—perhaps even more so—your eyes darting across buildings and streetlights to gauge your location. Your stomach rumbled unpleasantly and you almost swore Shion was doing it to you on purpose, but you could feel his anger preventing him from unraveling the block completely; or he was conflicted, and was going back and forth on his decisions. It was wreaking havoc on your body, that was for certain, and you almost wanted to reach into his domain and pull him out yourself. If that was possible, you didn’t know, but for now, you could be content with a toilet.
You had to sprint to make it to your building before your stomach betrayed you. You had sense enough to lean over in a group of shrubs and hide your evidence, heaving your stomach’s contents onto the grass, and when you opened your eyes, spent, tears glazing your eyes, you noticed that it was entirely black; as black as ink, as black as the night sky in full midnight. You didn’t think you had eaten anything that color and when you rolled your tongue in your mouth, you tasted something sickly sweet and with the tang of iron.
You wiped your mouth with the back of your sleeve, feeling it smear across your cheek. You couldn’t be bothered with it now; you had to get back into your room and make sure Shion was none the wiser to what you had been up to. Your stomach cramped painfully and you barely made it up the tree and across the roof, biting the inside of your cheek to prevent yourself from groaning at the pain. You wern’t certain if it was Shion or the blood you had vomited up that made you feel so awful, but you could attribute it to both if you wanted, and you did. You slipped through the window once more and locked it behind you, snatching up a book and cradling Ayako to your chest despite wanting nothing touching you at the moment.
Cold sweat dripped down the back of your neck and you were certain it had nothing to do with Shion now. You felt… ill. Sick. Diseased. Your heart was beating a little too fast; your pulse pounded in your ears; you felt anxious, panicky; you half wondered if you were having a panic attack, but pushed it aside when the connection finally unraveled like the petals of a lotus—slowly, and then all at once.
“Shion,” you croaked, breathy and light. You sensed his alarm at the growing pain in your body and a flush of energy breezed through you, dulling the pain bit not completely suffocating it. “Thanks.”
What happened? He materialized almost instantly afterwards. His hair was haphazardly put into a knot at the back of his head and stuck up in a million different places, as if he’d spent hours running his hands through it before tying it back up and leaving it as was. His horns even protruded from his skull, longer than you recalled them being, and he had dark circles under his eyes, deep and ominous against the pallor of his skin. He looked almost as sickly as you did, if not worse. Your gut told you that something more was going on here, something deeper. “[Name]?”
His vocalization of your name ripped you out of your thoughts and you looked up at him, sweat beading your brow. “I… I don’t know. I threw up, and then my stomach started—then the sweating…”
“I’m sorry,” he whispered, gathering you into his arms. Your book flopped to the floor, uncared for, even as the page fluttered open to the ‘A’ section, the name ‘Ayako’ highlighted by a streak of moonlight. “If I had known my anger would make you so ill, I would have never cut off our connection. I could have stopped this.”
Your own guilt overpowered his. You patted his arm, just above the crook of his elbow, and grimaced at the way your skin stuck to his with the cooling sweat. “It’s alright, Shion. It isn’t your fault—your emotions, while new, aren’t something to be brushed aside. You can’t just ignore them for me. You have to overcome them. I think not sharing them is… making it worse every time.” You silently omitted the fact that his failed attempts at unraveling the connection had started it in the first place. You deserved this pain for betraying him. You deserved everything he gave you, even if it was unintentional. It was the only way you would succeed. “... Help me up?”
When you were safely tucked away in your bed, your clothes changed into something more cooler to deal with the sweat, you allowed Shion to sequester Ayako away in a pillow barricade and steal her side for himself, likely having learned it from passively observing you. He was careful not to jostle you too much, highly aware of the way your stomach was still churning, and rested his ear against your heart, tapping his fingers to the rhythm on your hip. You didn’t fight him off, no matter how uncomfortable you might have been, and played idly with his hair, pulling it from the knot and twisting it around his horns. Other than your breathing and Ayako’s quiet sounds of grunting and squeaking, the room was quiet. You could feel him gearing up to speak in the way his jaw was working.
“You don’t have to say anything,” you reassured him, throat flexing over the gag reflex you were trying to repress. A moment later it was gone, magically repressed—but you could still feel it resisting his power, strangely. “I don’t expect you to explain everything to—”
“But I want to,” Shion interrupted you. He never looked up at you, but continued to tap to your heartbeat still, even noting the slight stutter when your thoughts came to a screeching halt. “That was a… sensitive time in my existence. I admit that. But… I don’t believe I’m ready to speak of it just yet. When I’m ready, I’ll let you know.”
You waited for a moment to see if he would say anything more, to even hint that he was as angry as he was before, but all you felt from him was guilt, guilt, and more guilt, which made no sense; you were the only one who had to feel guilty about anything. His secrets didn’t have the ability to break hearts and fragile trust, after all.
“Alright,” you said, once it was clear he had nothing else to say. “You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to, Shion.”
“And if one day, I want to?”
You frowned slightly at his change in tone. Something was different. Something had… shifted. You couldn’t put your finger on it and shifted uncomfortably, reaching up to thumb the prongs of his horns thoughtfully. “Then that’s your decision, not mine.”
A pause. Then,”I see.”
“Are you alright?” You asked, finally, when waiting became too much. He looked up at you then, green and gold eyes flashing in the moonlight, and though his gaze was gentle, every instinct in you warned you to flee. But like a lamb to a lion, you were doomed to a careful existence with him. “You look, well, awful. And I don’t think I’ve ever seen you sick before.”
He frowned, almost similarly to how you did, and his eyebrows drew down. “I’m not sure.”
“I’m sure it'll be fine then.” You yawned, pressing your fist against your mouth to smother it. You snuggled into your pillow and shifted Shion to be a little more comfy, eyes flicking to Ayako, who was as placid as ever. Shion turned his head again and pressed his ear to your heart once more, obscuring your view of Ayako completely. You were blissfully unaware at the way his eyes narrowed at the child when you slipped into a deep sleep, mumbling,”Goodnight.”
“Goodnight,” Shion whispered. “[Name].”
Ayako froze underneath his stare, dark eyes wide, and remained that way until the god finally vanished upon the first rays of the sun.
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amberlynn666 · a year ago
This post is to warn people about a certain individual who roams the internet in search of people to expose and doxx. This woman is dangerous as well as gross as she has been found guilty multiple times of lying, being authors of fanfics with contains of incestous sex, doxxing people who disagree with her and stalking certain individuals on social media. She has also faked her own death and posted her own death annoucement on tumblr. To give you all insight to this person you would want to avoid, I will need to divide my post into two parts. Here is PART ONE!
(In this post I will share with you some personal experiences as well as experiences told by several fan members of the Bill Skarsgård fandom community. You might also have heard about this individual in other fandoms such as the Hannibal fandom. In the very end I will share a link where you will be able to read numerous of stories and have an insight of her most known accounts and websites as well as youtube channels and spotify channel.)
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This is the individual you will want to avoid if you do not want to be annoyed for the rest of your life with her constant perstering about the same topics and threats again and again. She goes under the name of Tattlecrime, FreddieLounds, EveHabat, MonicaEdwards, RebeccaHabat, Alice, and the list goes on.
She will give you the impression that she is either a psychology, a writer, a screenwriter, an exoctic dancer, a pornstar or a journalist, and she will also tell you about her unique bond with certain celebrities.
This individuals has numerous of accounts. Her routine is as follows.
Find a target/topic/fandom
Befriend some individuals, ask for personal info (info she will use for blackmail and doxxing)
Being very friendly and gives the impression of knowing lots about your common interest, maybe more than anyone else
She will soon tell you in details about all the bad guys you need to avoid (Bad guys = People who has blown her cover and refuses to enable her further.)
She will keep on being on your side, seemingly very supportive. Then....
Her demeanor will change. She will suddenly start an argument and accuse you for lying, keeping her out or withholding things from her.
She starts throwing anger tendrums, and writes blog upon blog about how you mistreated her. She will make space for you on her website, she will make posts of you on instagram, she will construct anons to herself on tumblr to make sure it looks like many agrees with her POV. And if you are lucky she might even waste time doing a video and an audio about you too.
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While this post is not the newest, it shows a bit about how she operates and will not stop at anything. The amount of accounts she owns is just mindblowing, and many new ones has appeared just in the recent year. To name a few Tattlecrime, Tattlecrime.org, Adidasmorebutt, Alidasubuccus, SubuccusAlida, Cheezebot, nolongerfeelinghuman, romancingtheupir, Redqueen, skarsgardspam, adifferentfocus (the most recent one)
She has accounts here on tumblr, instagram, Lipstickalley, twitter, reddit, on discord, youtube, wattpad,spotify and also her own selfmade websites.
(I will hereby call her Eve, to simplify things a bit)
Eve gets jealous very easily. And I believe she suffers from major mental illnesses. Let me briefly tell you about a few people who has suffered because of her. A lot of you might have heard of Illskarsgard (fanfic writer here on tumblr) One of the first things I got to hear about after befriending Eve was how this individual whom she kept calling Jamie was a scammer. I am not going into details about this. But I can only tell you because Eve writes fanfics too, very dark and mature content. Incest. Rape. You name it. And since illskarsgard was getting more likes and attention, Eve felt the need to eliminate her. At one point Eve even went so far as to dig up info of Jamie and contacted Jamie’s mother. This is the level of creepiness of Eve.!!
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She was and still is obsessed about getting at Jamie she has blogs dedicated to her, audios, videos, you name it.
Eve tried to be an artist too.
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At one point she befriended artist Ana Paula who draws and paints portraits of Bill Skarsgård. Very talented. The same happened. Ana Paula was too well recieved by fans and Eve got jealous. Ana Paula became a target as well. She got doxxed bad and was exposed with full name and picture. Eve claims Ana is lunatic and hated Alida. (In return Ana created a fan account of Alida to prove Eve wrong) Eve insisted that Ana was obsessed with Bill Skarsgård and would photoshop herself into pictures with him and called him her husband. Also Ana has been portrayed in numerous of her blogposts, videos and audios.
At some point Eve also involved herself into the fandom’s roleplay community. She portrayed Famke Jansens’s character Olivia Godfrey and called herself theupirqueen.
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Also in the roleplay community she was quick to pick out individuals who has achieved high popularity to pick on. She would make blogs about their language, grammar, choice of character, and so on.... But the grossest thing was here she exposed herself to be a pedophile with extreme lust for incestual sex. And her roleplay partners were often children. At the same time as she roamed the roleplay community, she also runned a fanpage for Bill Skarsgård. Her account back then was romancingtheupir, and later on changed to laceratedbrain. She managed somehow to maintain her fasade for a long periode of time and gained quite a lot of followers on those two accounts but then habitually she got to a point she had a nervous breakdown and tendrum and dismissed those accounts all together.
And last and not least she started joining the anti Alida group. Now at least me and a few of my fellow bloggers do not deny the fact that we are anti Alida stans. We have our opinions, but we also respect others their opinions. Eve started out as Tattlecrime but in a couple of months she ended and started new blogs every now and then. Something we questioned why? She would tell us she deleted accidentally, or she was locked out of her account, etc.... She had quite a few controversal thoughts about Bill’s sexuality at one point. And not everyone in the group agreed to that. That was when she turned sour. She was also jealous by the fact that some blogs recieved more attention than hers and started accusing the group for having secret meetings without her knowing. From that point she started to make new accounts and pretended to be someone else and was paranoid by the fact we were keeping her out in the cold with top secrets we wouldn’t share with her. It was then she started making blogposts against some of our blogs and pretended she had never been anti-Alida. We didn’t pay her dust back then and that made her so angry that in the end she faked her own death!!!! You read it right: she faked her own death.
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She faked her own death and the very day this happened, just in matters of four hours, her obituary was posted on tumblr and fandoms tagged. The craziest thing you will ever see. At that point our group decided enough is enough. This is beyond what we wish to deal with. We are here to discuss Bill and Alida. However people like it or not, that is our topic of interest. But we do not want to be assosiated with that woman ever again. Not even a day has passed before someone made a memorial account on Eve’s behalf (of course everyone knew the death is faked and staged and that person with the memorial blog is Eve herself) In real Eve style, she starts explaining how Eve has come to the conclusion of ending her life because of being kept out of a group and being constant bullied. And she kept tagging several blogs to make sure they see her content eventhough she was told not to tag them in anything. We were simply not interested.
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And as per usual she starts sending herself anons to keep the topic going. (Like another certain individual here who recently got a new account @adifferentfocus, got called out and deleted her blog and now calls herself @acontraryfocus and @crihminals) This is an example ofthe account of romangodfrey007 making a comment about her, and in return she would suddenly be bombarded with anons about romangodfrey007. How convinient.
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At this point we all decided to ignore her and block . She came back with new accounts trying to get access to the group but we blocked her ass. And all of a sudden she resurrected!!!!
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Unbelievable right? The most entertaining part is how she tries so hard to play the victim, wanting people to believe she has been threathened,she has to change her name, address...a bit paranoid. And to say people trying to silence her, for what? as if she is carrying a countries top secrets or NASA’s X-Files. We are talking about fanfics, roleplay, fan gossips, it is hardly something anyone needs to die for.
Thanks for reading Part One. I will be back with Part Two tomorrow🌸
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hoebius · 18 days ago
do you miss your dad in a quantitive way? ive recently lost someone close to me and it hurts but you seem to be coping so well even tho its been years
i think a whole lot of it has to do with some of my own illnesses/disabilities (especially autism and SZPD), actually, as well as a severely trauma-ridden life..so i guess the """""""short"""""""" version (literally this fucking essay IS a short rundown) of the deal is this:
not only was i born with a predisposition for emotional scarcity, but also live the damage done by a life so harsh it just drains you of the more basic human emotions. i think that's why i'm so obsessed with math? everything is an equation to me. now, i loved my dad more than anybody on earth, but i don't know what "grief" means since i wasn't equipped with it, i don't think i know what it means to be "sad" (i'm recalling this old journal entry in which i said i was jealous of people who got sad, cuz like their mom died or they had a breakup or put their dog down etc. because my definition of the word "sadness" portrays it as a state of being with an inherent end-point, and good god did i wish i could be sad for that fact alone (i still have that journal, i can post that page or others if anybody wants, it's probably explained better there). the last time i cried was in drug detox like 3 years ago and that was due simply to the physical pain of opiate withdrawal. otherwise i straight up CANNOT cry, it's like i'm physically incapable of it. i think the ability has been taken.
it would make sense to cry over my dad, that exact moment while i was talking to him and felt life exit and soften the hand i was holding; at the moment we were looking each other in the eye and then suddenly..weren't. no tears; the mathematical equation had just been completed- when you become an adult it is the natural progression of things and has been for millennia. it made sense, it added up.
maybe, for weeks to come, it looked to others like i was repressing my Sadness (my WHAT?), that i wasn't letting myself Mourn (umm i don't think anyone ever taught me that ability?) but i'm still like that to this day. personally i just appreciate that i had him as a father, that he cared for me while my mother worked, taking me out for fun little adventures. i love that i had a father who so openly showed his love for me, was affectionate and never closed-off, and also he was brilliant and hilarious. moving on, i appreciate that the remainder of his life post-diagnosis was bright, that he moved in with us, that he and i got to be close again, that he continued with his passions. i hope you can gather past memories/positive facts to be seen through this kind of lens that eases your hurt.
i'm proud that i was the one to take care of him, driving him to and staying around for every single chemo session, sitting up next to his bed where he'd watch me draw in amazement. i'm delighted that the very last thing he felt while still a living human was my hand on his, that the very last thing he ever saw was my smiling face, that the last thing he ever heard was my voice. that's enough for me. i don't understand why i should feel hurt. i have plenty of "oh man i wish my dad could see this drawing!/hear about this stupid thing i did today!/etc but i mean..hey, i wish a lot of things! i wish i lived with mobius in a little house in maine! i wish there weren't so many dirty dishes in the sink right now! i wish my skin didn't get so dry no matter what i do why is it so fucking dry! i don't dwell. maybe the fact that i can't feel sadness and loss and whatever but am still able to feel love and affection work out in this case.
all that being said though, i wouldn't call any of this "coping well"- i just never HAD to cope. and i wanna make sure this doesn't come off as braggy abt how Strong i am or make you feel jealous for how i handled this loss!! like i come on here for people and content and i cuz i think i'm funny but the downside is it can project an inaccurate picture. like even if you've read the worst of the worst about my life and self i've cared to mention here over the years you've still only read the children's edition. if anybody ASKED for a real rundown i'd be totally fine writing that dissertation and pop some pics in for extra fun but i'm not the kind of person who whines all woe is me on their social media as if everyone cares lmao
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wrenbug · a year ago
You Tried So Loud To Love Me
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Prompt: Hanahaki Disease Relationships:  Jaskier/Valdo Marx Rating: T Content Warnings: Minor blood Summary: Jaskier absolutely could not stand Valdo Marx for even a second. He was pretentious, too pretty for his own good, and had a terrible habit of writing sonnets and songs about the color of Jaskier's eyes and the swoop of his hair that he was absolutely certain were some sort of masterfully crafted insult to his person and reputation.
Tucked under a cut again for Length, though this one is over just over 2k words.
Cross-posted to Ao3: https://archiveofourown.org/works/31171259
There were exactly three things in life that Jaskier was absolutely certain of. Things that he could continue to count on even when the rest of his life was attempting to fall to pieces around him.
That Belleteyn is the best holiday.
That Toussaint is Hot and Pretentious.
And that Valdo Marx is an asshole.
Even when his pockets were empty, his lute strings snapped, or he suddenly found himself caught up in a mild court scandal that he assuredly had no part in, he could always rely on those few things. It was easy to keep moving forward when one was propelled by Pettiness and Lust. Even if he could never give an exact answer as to why he hated Valdo so much when pressed. Really now, you wouldn’t ask why the grass was green or the sun warm, so why would anyone ask Jaskier why he couldn’t stand that fluffy little upstart?
It was assuredly not because the rival bard did indeed stand two inches taller than him and was criminally handsome. Nor was it because he had a perpetual perfect smile on his face that refused to budge even when Jaskier threw his best insults at him. And it most assuredly was not because the thrice-damned bastard had written not one but Two Sonnets entirely about Jaskier’s eyes and hair and he absolutely could read the undertones of mocking that clearly lay within. No, it was clearly none of those things that irked Jaskier to his very core.
What kept his petty hate-fueled animosity going was the absolutely nonsensical crush he had on the bastard. A crush he had worked hard to snuff out with wine, women, and a few other bards who weren’t nearly as annoying as Valdo. A crush that clearly had not gone away with time. A crush that was currently trying to hurtle it’s slimy little self all the way into actual, ugh… Love.
Which made it even more frustrating than usual that Valdo was suddenly not his normal bubbly self, greeting Jaskier warmly and loudly as he strode into their mutually favorite tavern in the middle of Oxenfurt. He looked tired, and quiet, and barely glanced at Jaskier before shifting his gaze back into the pint of ale in front of him. Not wine? By Melitele, what was wrong with him?
“Well, well, look who the alley cat dragged in. Ale will go straight to your gut, Valdo. I’ll steal back the title of prettiest bard before you know it.” He sniped as he leaned against the table’s edge and smiled with too many teeth.
Valdo cut his eyes up and then back down. “Good day, Jaskier.”
The smile dropped from Jaskier’s face and he narrowed his eyes. “Good day? That’s it? Valdo, are you ill? I did take the title back already, didn’t I? That must be it! I’ve never seen you like this. Ah, it must be such a burn to know you’ve finally been bested by a true bard and exposed for the talentless hack that you are.” As he spoke, he gestured grandly with his hands. Valdo only winced once at the mention of being ill and firmly kept his gaze on his mug.
“Everyone already knew you’re the attractive one between us, Jaskier. No need to rub it in.”
Jaskier ceased his obnoxious flailing and took an actual seat at the table with him. He crossed his arms on the table in front of him and leaned in, lowering his voice to avoid being overheard. “Okay now you’re actually worrying me. I was expecting snide sonnets on my unruly mop and ‘lustful gaze’. Jabs, put-downs...anything but this. You are actually sick, aren’t you?”
Valdo slammed back the rest of his ale and stood up abruptly. Jaskier’s mouth dropped open in shock as he was glared openly at by his once-rival turned unnatural crush. “Leave off, Jaskier. Go bother the brothel workers.” And with that final gritted out jab, he stomped out of the tavern.
Jaskier was still staring in shock at the empty spot before him when the barmaid strolled by.
“You’ll catch flies, you leave your mouth open like that, boy.”
He clicked his mouth shut and quickly made his own way out and back to his lodgings.
This just wouldn’t do. What was Valdo’s game? Was he finally making good on all of Jaskier’s assholish attempts to make them public nemeses? Maybe Valdo could read minds; realized the strange feelings the bard had begun to have towards him and decided he was thoroughly disgusted by him.
Jaskier let himself slink into the beginnings of a depression and decided he’d just have to try and shake that off and find out what was going on with his Fri… Rival.
He followed Valdo whenever he could, ambushing him after lectures and hunting him down in pubs. He startled him so fiercely one of these times that the other bard broke down into what sounded like a very painful coughing fit, enough that caused him to pull out a handkerchief to cough into until his lungs settled from the surprise. He found this odd, and then odder still when as he went to ask after his well-being, Valdo abruptly shoved the handkerchief away and growled at him. Growled! Like some angry dog! And left Jaskier once again staring after him as he stomped away, agog.
A month later, Jaskier’s persistence had turned into straight up concern. Valdo was less angry with his antics and instead seemed constantly tired. There were bags under his lovely brown eyes and his hair had turned greasy and less kempt. He consulted these odd symptoms with a friend studying medicine and she mentioned it sounded like some sort of wasting disease. Jaskier was only familiar with a few of them, but none of them sounded like a pleasant time.
So, while still firmly trying to convince his brain that Valdo was still an absolute Arse and absolutely did not deserve his time or affection, Jaskier made soup. Warm pot nestled in the crook of his arm, he marched up to Valdo’s residence and knocked firmly on the door. No one answered. He knocked again. Deep coughs followed by the sounds of mild choking came from within and Jaskier decided basic decorum was right out the window. He pried open the door and rushed inside, looking for the source of the distress.
And there was Valdo; laid out on a lounge chair looking even worse than usual and slowly lowering a cloth from his mouth. There were flecks of blood on his lips and it appeared as if he couldn’t draw a full breath. Jaskier plunked the soup pot right on the floor and went directly to Valdo’s side.
“Why didn’t you tell me you were so ill?” He asked softly, dropping all the pretense of being a rampant jerk.
Valdo just looked at him sadly, too tired to muster up his recent attempts at dismissal. “I did not want you to know, Jaskier. You’re like the sun. So warm and happy. I could not bring myself to have you worry so I pushed you away.”
Jaskier’s eyes went a little wide and he reached out to take Valdo’s hand. It was so cold in his own, and he could make out the fine bones in his fingers. A wasting disease indeed. He rubbed his thumb over the other’s knuckles and shook his head slightly in dismay.
“I’ve been a right arse to you for years. Look at us. Idiots to the bitter end.” He murmured wistfully. “Is… is there anything I can do to help? To ease anything at all? I, uh… I made you soup. I thought it might be… nice?”
Now it was Valdo’s turn to look surprised. He squeezed the hand in his and looked over at the pot on the floor. “You made me soup? You’ve never made me anything.”
“Okay yes. Fine. That is true. I’m a complete and total jerk. My feet should not be gracing your illustrious doorstep, my knees not fit for your carpet. I’m sorry, okay? You’re talented. So talented. I’m at a loss without your poetry to bounce my own works off of.”
At this confession, Valdo cracked a little smile. “Maybe there is hope for you and I after all, dear Jaskier… You see, I ha-” A painful coughing fit cut him off abruptly, the force of it causing Valdo to nearly curl in on himself, clutching the cloth to his mouth as his body attempted to forcefully remove whatever was clearly killing him. Jaskier kept his hand firmly in Valdo’s as he tried to rub the other’s back in comfort. The touch seemed to help in some small way, and the hacking died off. Valdo slumped backwards panting, the hand with the cloth falling into his lap.
There, amidst the spattering of blood, lay small bright yellow flowers. Jaskier gasped loudly and shook his head.
“No, it’s a myth. It’s not real.”
Valdo attempted to clear his throat as he bunched the cloth with the flowers up and tried to hide it from view. “You of.. Of all people… .should know the… power of a story… where they come from...the truths hidden in the tales….We’re storytellers.. It’s.. poetic in it’s own way…”
“It’s a tragedy born of the old stories, is what it is. Wasting away from unrequited love? It’s madness. No one actually dies of a broken heart.”
“I’m not heartbroken, Jaskier. I’m simply in love with someone who is my sun and sky… and who absolutely cannot stand me. It will make the most glorious tragedy. I have already begun to write it.” Valdo smiled brightly as he caught his breath better and shifted to sit more comfortably. He squeezed his hand once more before letting it drop. “With any luck, I will finish it before I can no longer write.”
Jaskier stared into the middle distance over Valdo’s shoulder, taking it all in. It all seemed too outlandish to be real. Things that happened in tragedies and stories never actually happened in real life. Soulmates weren’t real. Kisses didn’t break curses. And people didn’t suffocate slowly on flowers for being rejected. But as he slowly shifted his gaze back to the pale, but still softly smiling, face of the absolute nuisance that was Valdo Marx, at lot of things clicked into place for him.
He had never hidden pithy put-downs into his sonnets. He had never crafted masterful insults through his songs. He had honestly and truly sung from the heart and he had called him his Sun. Valdo had been unashamedly, unabashedly, in love with him from the start. He was coughing up small yellow flowers… Buttercups...and had slipped back into waxing poetic over it all. Lord, the fool was fully gone on him. And he had been nothing but the most righteous arse over it all, so very full of himself and sure that the other was somehow mocking him and jealous of his talent.
Turns out it was Jaskier himself who was the pompous wastrul and talentless hack. He shuffled forward on his knees until he was flush against the lounge. Valdo looked over at him and lifted an eyebrow in question. A beautiful eyebrow set in a beautiful face that Jaskier was tired of pretending he wasn’t also long gone on as well. What was it that the storybooks always said saved the day, woke the princess, broke the curse? Ah… yes…
Jaskier set both hands on the cushion of the lounge and angled himself just right to gently lean forward and press his lips right against Valdo’s own. The man below him went very very still. His lips were soft, but the lack of any response twisted something uncomfortable in his gut and he slowly broke the kiss and moved away, eyes cast downwards.
“I’m sorry, I-”
“Jaskier, what-?”
They spoke at once. Jaskier looked up and noticed color on Valdo’s cheeks, his mouth slightly open and his eyes nearly comically wide in shock. He swallowed around a sudden lump in his throat.
“I’ve been a right arse to you, but I love you, Valdo Marx. And I do not wish to see you suffer a moment longer. It will kill me too.”
Valdo’s eyes fluttered shut and he let out a deep exhale. Jaskier panicked for a brief second, wondering if he had actually killed him, before he sucked in a very long and full breath and opened his eyes again. They shined with unshed tears and Jaskier had a moment to admire the sight and the warm feeling at finally giving in before he was being tackled to the ground in a crushing hug and warm tiny kisses were being pressed to whatever skin the other could find.
A laugh erupted from them, and Valdo’s kisses shifted from surprised, affectionate pecks, to soft and tender kisses meant to explore the other’s skin. Jaskier shifted slightly under him and set a hand to his chin, drawing him back to his own lips to continue the kissing. Valdo hummed happily and nearly melted into what he hoped was now his new Beau. The university community was going to have a field day with this.
Jaskier rolled them over and slowly moved his head away. Valdo attempted to chase after one more kiss, making him chuckle. “As much as I am enjoying making out on the floor like we’re back in year one… are you sure? Are you alright? You were coughing up most of your lung a minute ago.”
Valdo smiled up at him and reached up to run his fingers through Jaskier’s hair. “Yes, my love, I am quite well now. You’ve restored me and I suffer no longer. Now the story I write shall have a happy ending. A proper fairy tale after all.”
“Well, if you insist. Though I would be grateful to continue this discussion somewhere that is not the floor.”
Valdo’s laugh was bright and filled him with warmth as they both got to their feet and he began to tug Jaskier in the direction of a more private space. “Anything for the prettiest bard in Oxenfurt.”
And wasn’t Jaskier pleasantly surprised when Valdo took it upon himself to demonstrate just how much better he now felt, repeatedly and with vigor. As it turned out, stories always had more truth to them than he had ever expected, for this cursed ailment was most assuredly soothed with a Kiss.
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hornsandthings · a year ago
Umm hi I don’t know if you still take ACOTAR requests anymore but if you do can I request an azriel x reader where he’s in love with her and is afraid of rejection but he doesn’t know that she loves him too? 👉🏻👈🏻
hi nonnie, i’ll always accept an acotar request, hehe! did this in headcanon form, hope you don’t mind <3 it’s quite long and a little rough around the edges, but i hope you like it! ps. tumblr mucked up the formatting, some dot points don’t want to be indented. i hope it still makes sense x 
when your and azriel’s paths crossed, it was the mother at work again. after mor, azriel didn’t think he’d ever have the strength for love again. the aching and the pining had taken their toll, and the appeal of the mating bond had faded. to feel it all again, to risk his heart like that again - he couldn’t. and yet, the mother saw fit that he would. 
he first met you in the palace of hoof and leaf, and it didn’t mean anything at the time; a stranger’s kindness, or if he indulged his cynicism, a hawker’s ploy. you were a commoner, a milkmaid who came to sell your products in the markets. he’d been at the neighbouring stall, waiting for the clerk to put together the only tea brew in prythian that could placate his migraines.
“sir, mr. shadowsinger, sir,” you called, “could i offer you a sample of my goat’s milk? maggie-may is very special, her milk can be just as good as a healer’s work, i swear it. try it, try it, sir.” 
azriel looked you over, glad that cassian wasn’t here to make that particular moniker stick. one brow raised in dubiety, he nodded and held out his hand - might as well, he thought, tired and getting ever more desperate for his tea. this didn’t show outwardly, of course; azriel’s face was as neutral as ever, his shadows coiling about his talons. your gaze was expectant as he tried the sample, and while it was a little too earthy for his taste, he nodded all the same. perhaps it had encouraged you too much, because then you asked: “could i perhaps persuade you to buy a pint?”
azriel had no interest at all, yet he couldn’t help but notice the detail: your fraying sleeves, the imperfect glass bottles, the beginnings of dark circles under your eyes. and yet you were smiling, you were sweet, being very generous for someone who had to presumably make a living selling fresh products. not for the first time, azriel made a purchase that only someone of the inner circle could afford, and one that didn’t really benefit him. “i’ll take several,” he said, looking at the handful of wooden caddies, mostly still filled with milk bottles. “i’ll take it all.” 
the clerk then handed azriel his brew while you stood there, wide-eyed and speechless, working through a range of emotions. at first you thought he was mocking you, but when he turned around again, fiddling with his coin pouch, you realised he was serious. “but, sir— maggie-may’s milk sure is delicious, but only in moderation— i couldn’t expect someone to buy it all—”
“as much as you’d let me, then,” he amended, being mindful not to impose or patronise. you bit your lip, trying to tally up the ultimate price, trying to gauge whether this man could even afford it. two gold, you said, trying your luck. azriel merely fingered his coins, placing the expected two and an additional three on the counter. he must’ve noticed your shock; you had frozen, after all, perhaps even stopped breathing. “since maggie-may is so special,” he drawled, earning a disbelieving laugh from you. 
that night, cerridwen, nuala, and elain were very confused at the sight of bottles and bottles of milk laying in wait on the kitchen counter in the house of wind. the note - clearly by azriel’s neat hand - read: use within five days.
from then on, you always engaged azriel when you spotted him in the market. you could never forget his generous first purchase, and so while he waited for the tea master to finalise his special brew, you would entertain him with an endless supply of free samples of new products. over the years, azriel saw your business extend from milk to also include cheese and soap. he learned unnecessary things about your cattle, such as the supposed social dynamics and - mother forbid - adultery that mr. sweet pea the goat seemed prone to. over time, azriel grew comfortable enough to share some of his stories and observations, the things he’s seen in other courts. it took a while to realise you had become more than his mere acquaintance, and perhaps it was because you were outside his usual spheres of the inner circle and his spy network. to have someone outside was new, and a little jarring at times. the different experiences, the contrasting perspectives - it was refreshing, and reminded azriel how far he’d come since his miserable youth. when he was with you, the stakes weren’t so high, the conditions not so dire. you were a spot of calm, a reminder that life could be something other than the court’s defense. 
one time when he visited - his tea no longer a requisite for him to make an effort to come in - you were noticeably subdued. “mr. sweet pea passed away,” you revealed, eyes wet and voice thick. something about that seized his heart, his shadows growing restless. “he was so special.” you actually said that about each of your cattle, something that azriel had started to find endearing, because he knew you really believed it.
social tact was not a strength of his - azriel knew he tended to be rigid and too formal - so he stumbled over some stilted condolences. it felt awkward and impersonal; azriel couldn’t empathise with the death of a pet, but he wanted to make it hurt less. he still remembered what the late goat had looked like the last time you had brought him in - an old thing, with a long beard and a mix of brown and black fur. strong, impressive horns, one which had a sizeable chip missing. 
so that night, he did what he could and sketched that image he had in his mind, of mr. sweet pea looking very wise and ponderous, if a little tired. azriel’s time as spymaster had bestowed him a keen eye and dexterous fingers, allowing him to make the necessary sketches to give his colleagues a clearer picture when necessary - of maps, of creatures, of profiles. they tended to be a little rough and raw, nothing particularly artistic. he thought the same of his current piece, and hesitated over whether it was good enough.
when he finally gave you the sketch the next day, you went very still. he started stumbling over some excuses, but you soon interrupted him with a shaky breath. “this is so thoughtful, azriel. thank you so much.” 
azriel grew bolder, and interactions started to occur outside the markets. he’d invite you for tea, indirectly revealing one of his interests. he was a hard man to read, his expressions subtle when not stoic, but you learned. outside of professional matters, he was rarely straightforward, and tended to express his emotions in delicate, layered ways. his care for you was in the way he listened, how his attention never wavered when you were speaking with him. it was how he kept you close when you two navigated busy streets, how he lifted a wing over your head for cover when it rained, how he was content to spend time with you at your stall - sometimes for hours - despite his preference for quietude. 
when work took him away, you two would exchange letters. azriel didn’t realise how dangerous a thing it was, because you quickly became a very intimate and constant part of his life. the act of writing tricked him, making it easier to truly express his thoughts - there was no pressure of navigating the immediate reaction, no incentive to keep his words short. you managed to draw so much out of him. he was mindful of each letter of yours he received, keeping them safe and tied together with an old ribbon of yours he’d saved before you could throw it away. he would never admit it, but work abroad tended to be overwhelming: while secure in his network’s quality of intelligence, being in another’s territory always meant having to deal with various variables and vulnerabilities, usually unknown. maybe your letters would have made it all a little more manageable if they didn’t elicit such longing within him. your words made him smile, yes, but they also made his heart ache. he missed you.
after a lengthy assignment in the dawn court, azriel was relieved to be back in velaris. his shadows swirled and whispered around his shoulders, eager to feel your presence too. he knew they fascinated you, how playful they could be sometimes. yet, azriel couldn’t find you at your empty market stall. it was odd - you hadn’t mentioned moving in your recent letters, and he couldn’t find you in any of the other market squares either. soon his shadows grew restless, embodying the concern that was rising.
he employed his spy network to find your farm, hoping it wouldn’t be too intrusive to just show up unannounced. you had mentioned some details in passing before - it was a modest place, with a small house and a meagre hill of grass to feed a handful of goats and sheep. the door was answered by two worried faces, who took one look at azriel and grew even more distressed. “our son— it’s not our son, is it? it can’t be— he just—”
“i’m here to see your daughter,” azriel interrupted, too preoccupied to remember polite niceties. they were confused, guarded, but let him through. the hallways were narrow, his wings often knocking against the wall sconces. he listened as they explained your condition - an illness had befallen you, leaving you bedridden for days. apparently a healer had told them it’ll pass with rest and water, and with that reassurance, azriel forced himself to remember his place. right in front of your closed door, he willed his shadows away from his face, called upon his familiar impassiveness. turning around to face your parents, he amended, “may i see your daughter?” 
your room was dark, the curtains drawn. his heart raced as he heard your laboured breaths, and something pulled at him when he saw the small desk in the corner, an unfinished letter atop it. “azriel?” you whispered, voice sounding so small. “is it really you?” 
he neared, taking a cautious seat on the side of the bed. you were shivering, but the thin sheet covering you stuck to your skin with sweat. “yes, it’s me, sweetheart,” he said, the endearment slipping out before he could stop it. his throat closed up immediately after, but your vague movements suggested you didn’t even realise, and that you weren’t all there. he could see the feverish blush high on your cheeks, even in the dim light.
“you’re too big for this room,” you mused softly, making azriel smile despite his worry. indeed, he had to bend down to avoid hitting his head, and keep his wings tucked in uncomfortably tight. he took your hand in his, and even in your feverish haze, you could register the roughness of his scarred hands, but they always handled you gently. “why didn’t you tell me in your letters?” he asked, rubbing his thumb over your knuckles. your discomfort was clear in your frown, in your downturned lips. noticing the basin on the bedside table, he took the damp rag on your forehead and dipped it into the cool water, wringing away the excess before gently placing it atop your head again. 
“i… didn’t want to trouble you with… with something trivial. a few more days and… and i’ll be back to work.” a weak smile pulled at your mouth, and azriel gathered both of your hands in his again. he shook his head at your line of thinking.
“your health isn’t a trivial matter to me,” he said, leaning close and cupping your cheek. in hindsight, it was so obvious that he had been in love with you far longer than he thought. it was all so rueful, the fact that he had let it happen again. despite it all, he pressed a kiss to your hand, trying to ignore how it trembled. your smile strengthened then, tracing a finger over his brow and down the bridge of his nose. azriel took a deep breath to savour the touch, and soon you two were merely watching each other, azriel wondering what thoughts were running through your slightly added mind. your lids eventually started to droop, however, but still he stayed even when you fell asleep, taking care to change the cool rag when necessary. his shoulders slumped when his head fell into his hands, squeezing his eyes shut tight. with such a revelation, what was he to do from now on? 
azriel didn’t think he could be a good lover to you - even if he so very much wanted to be. his job took up so much of time, and it required him to be secretive. azriel wouldn’t ever be able to share everything with you, for the sake of keeping you safe. even if he could, there was just something in his nature that kept him reserved and pushed others away. there were so many things he’d rather leave in the past, and so many more that he wished he hadn’t been part of. there was that, but also his loathsome scarred hands - a reminder of those darker days. no matter how gentle, his touch would always scratch and scrape. once you took notice of how neglected they were, left to dry out and sometimes even scab, you took to work to concoct a nourishing lotion. “you have to be gentle with yourself, azriel,” you had once told him, gently applying the salve to his hands. they were rough but warm against your skin. “you do so much.”
and so, everything he did with you was tinged with a hint of sorrow. he couldn’t bring himself to confront you with the severity of his feelings, but he also couldn’t quite remove you from his life - you had become a friend. you eventually noticed that he started to let his touches linger: when he hugged you, he’d curl arms and wings around you, enveloping you wholly; when you were near, his shadows would stretch toward you, as if revealing a hidden desire. when you reached for his hand, he would always grip it firmly, and when you came very close for some unimportant reason, his gaze would always linger on your face, flicking so often to your lips. 
one night you had invited him over to the farm, wanting to introduce him to the latest addition of your household: a baby goat, just over a week old. she was as white as snow, and kept nibbling at your hair as you held her in your arms. “what should we name her, azriel?” you had asked, too preoccupied to notice how tense he was, hands in his pockets. “i was thinking of marjorie, or maybe miss marjorie… hey, what’s wrong?” his face was unusually expressive, his shadows roiling about his talons as if in distress. putting down the goat, her legs still clumsy and gangly, you stepped closer to azriel, reaching out. he shook his head, trying to school his face but you knew him by now. your shoulders slumped, recalling his strange behaviour over the years - he was present in most ways, but avoidant in others. “i wish you’d talk to me, azriel,” you murmured, taking his hand and hoping he wouldn’t mind the dirt. “you mean so much to me.”
it all bubbled up then in that small barn, the light dim and the smell of earth pungent. you let out a rueful laugh, rubbing your eye. “i’m in love with you,” you said, very quietly at first. immediately you felt so naive to be doing this. the fact was that azriel came from a different life, one that saw him as a leader of the court, who worked with powerful and beautiful people, fae who were richer and stronger and vastly more interesting. azriel’s mere presence in your life was extraordinary enough. and yet, you had found yourself falling in love despite the impracticability of it, found yourself admiring his kindness, his quiet generosity, his strength and resilience and dry humour. you shifted, looking right into his eyes. even if your love was unrequited, he deserved to be told - if only to let him know that he indeed was loved by one more.  “i’m in love with you. i don’t— i don’t expect you to say it in return, but i can no longer keep it to myself. i love you.” 
that threw azriel. he had fantasised of course, indulged in the scenario. but now, as you waited for his response, his thoughts stuttered. what? he wanted to say, unable to believe what he actually so very desperately wanted to believe. you grew nervous as the silence lengthened, azriel’s face as stoic as ever. you shook your head, covering your mouth in regret. “i’m sorry, i— i shouldn’t have said anything—”
he gripped your shoulders tight, gaze intense and voice low. “i also love you.”
“why do you say it like it’s a bad thing?” the solemnity which had tinged your relationship for some time was subtle, but you had felt it, and it had bothered you. 
azriel’s hands came up to cup your face, and he quickly shook his head. “it’s not,” he said, he urged. “it’s not, it’s not.” and then his lips met yours, chapped and rough, kissing you slowly, thoroughly, firmly. the conviction made your heart melt, and you gripped his wrists, feeling his racing pulse and caressing it, kissing him back, standing on your toes, letting him steal your breath. “i love you so much, sweetheart,” he sighed against your lips, nose brushing against yours. you went to reply but then azriel had claimed your mouth again, one hand snaking around to your back and the other to the nape of your neck. the light shifted behind your closed eyes as his wings came down to envelope the both of you, and your fingers reached to tangle in his hair, to trace the shells of his ears.
when you two parted again, his grin was lopsided and a little wry. “i just couldn’t believe it,” he murmured, his eyes shining with emotion. why not? you wanted to ask, wondering what it was that had held him back for so long, but decided to delay it for another day. all you could do was hug him tighter, just glad for the sight of his smile and the feeling of his relief. glad for his happiness.
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caecillia · a year ago
just ranting about dnf here:)) HOW HAVE THEY NOT CAUGHT FEELINGS YET. literally these men read fanfics abt eachother together, make flirty jokes constantly, tell eachother they want to have sex with eachother etc etc. they have been getting more and more bold, theyre literally 'jokingly' flirting off stream, so its not even pandering or to give us content anymore, it's literally a part of their friendship. IM RUNNING OUT OF SPACE ILL TELL U MY THOUGHTS IN A SEC HOLD ON
(2/3) maybe they're confused where they stand to eachother? when q hesitated to say bf, it seemed off bc he's used to making these jokes. i mean they're flirting on and off stream, george acts much different around dream, dream does anything for george (and is aware on how much he is wrapped around his finger, as u can see when he says like 'you cant just say x to make me stay', but in past times it worked). i think shipping friends always has an impact on the friendship -->
(3/3)  and usually negative, draws awkwardness and people apart, but it didn't in their case, which makes it so different. but back to the point, even g hasn't been rejecting the flirting, but being more needy, setting up situations so perfect that he knows d will compliment him. it's just so.. out there rn. like they're hinting more and more and waiting until one of them snaps. but i think its a bit of mental conflict, wondering if it's still a joke, wondering if its mutual. im done now lmao
Hi, anon! Good day~
First of all, thank you for the wall of text, anon. You’re literally my inner “DREAM AND GEORGE STOP CONFUSING ME” thought that just wants to scream at them to either treat each other like normal best friends or just get married lol.
Okay, so, my opinion: I agree with you on the “they’re confused about where they stand to each other”. That’s exactly why they do all of this over the top flirting with each other. It’s to test the other’s reaction, essentially. And they can especially do this freely on stream because everything will just be seen as “bait”. So, flirting on stream is like a safety net to them. They could play it off as “I’m pandering and definitely not in love with my best friend lol”, you know. And therefore they don’t have to face any consequence of falling apart or risking their relationship. 
So, what I’m saying is the moments on stream are said as jokes, but I think there are genuine intentions sprinkled in there as well. However, everything on stream is always seen as “bait” by fans, so it probably also made them confused about whether what is said (even in private) is genuine or not. So now, even off stream, they are like super flirty, just to see how the other reacts. And it’s like a train without a brake, you know, one “railing” tiktok to the next, they’re just pumping up the flirting to see how the other’s gonna take it, but neither of them is backing down because they enjoy it (it’s a trainwreck, literally, no pun intended)
Recently, though, I think they’re more “aware” of each other’s feelings, just like you said, with George knowing how to make Dream bend to his favors. And Quackity refraining from making a boyfriend joke is so “telling” of this. If DNF had been just a joke between friends like before, why hesitate to say they’re boyfriends? It’s just gonna be funny haha right? But Quackity didn’t make the joke. So, that means it’s a delicate matter to DNF now. I think Quackity knows there are complications between the two and he didn’t say “boyfriend” to not complicate things further and I appreciate it lol.
And just a closing thought: I think that even if they feel something non-platonic to each other, it’s kinda risky to jump into a relationship right now lol. I think they would wait to sort it out when they finally meet. So, until then, we’ll just have to wait and see, don’t we, anon?
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nelapanela94 · a year ago
Levi X Fem!Reader
Warnings: Mentions of drugs, abortion, and swearing.
Y/N and Levi had been dating for a year. At the beginning, they had managed to keep their relationship a secret, but one evening, Hange caught them in the captain’s office making out. Y/N sitting on Levi’s lap and their shirts partially unbuttoned. They let out a deep sigh as Hange excitedly ran across the hallway shouting “You all owe me, it’s time to pay”. And it didn’t take long for the rest of the scouts to learn about the two.
Some people found them adorable; and others, who used to flirt with Y/N and send little presents to her, took their distance afraid that Levi might kill them with a glare. Despite their relationship was not a secret any longer, PDA was kept to a minimum. They would walk with their pinkies intertwined, caress their thighs under the table and stealing kisses when nobody was looking. Nonetheless, behind closed doors they couldn’t stay away from each other. Even when Levi was occupied with paperwork late at night, he would allow Y/N to sit on his lap and rest her head on his shoulder.
Everything seemed lovely and perfect, but lately Y/N had been distant to the black- haired captain. Even though she promised she was fine, he sensed the tint of distress in her eyes and voice.
Doesn’t she love me anymore? Is she getting bored of me?
Sometimes, Levi overthought about his relationship with Y/N and gave in into his unfounded insecurities, wondering about what Y/N saw in him in first place. Y/N was a sunbeam, with a caring and approachable personality, she was popular among the scouts. On top of that, she was born into a merchant’s family from Stohess District. Her parents, naturally, expected her to marry another merch’s son in order to expand the business.
At the other end of the spectrum was Levi. An ill-mannered, unapproachable man from the Underground City, without a family name, and last but not least, a former thug.
“Levi, you’re the only one I want” She always reassured him with a bright smile. Yet he felt he didn’t deserve her. What life could he offered? She was raised surrounded luxurious goods, expensive clothing and jewelry, never worrying about how to earn the next meal. He could not give her the life she was used to.
You’re the only one I want. Nobody else. They’re not like you. They’re not you.
Behind that stoic demeanor laid an insecure boy who was afraid of not being enough. Perhaps, that is why Kenny abandoned him back then.
Moreover, he was deadly terrified of losing Y/N. He had lost important people in his life, his mother, his closest friends, comrades, but the mere thought of losing Y/N drove him crazy.
A knock on the door disseminated his thoughts.
“It’s me Levi” Y/N slowly opened the door and came in.
“I need to tell you something” they said in unison.
“You first” She stood in front of his desk.
“You, Levi” He sighed and gave up. Arguing with her would not take it anywhere.
“Do you believe... I mean” he gulped. Why does he have to stutter when it came to her? “Do you think this... we... you and I are going somewhere?”
She raised a brow. “Will you take me on vacations?”
Levi inwardly facepalmed.
“I mean, do you see a future with you and I … together?” The last word trailed.
“What’s with that question? Of course, I do, you silly”
“What about your family? I doubt they want a former thug married to their daughter”
“Well, I can’t care less” She shrugged. “If I have to give up my inheritance, I’ll do it without a second thought” She frowned. “You know you’re the one I want” She leaned and pinched his nose.
“I don’t want you to suffer because of me” he stood up from his chair. “I can’t give you the life you deserve. Not now”
“Hold on” She shook the head and frowned. “What concept do you have of me? A spoiled brat who’ll make a tantrum for not getting a new pair of shoes? Or that I’m only with you to spare time before my parents choose the perfect suitor for me?” Tears of anger and disappointment formed in her eyes. “That’s low”
“That’s not what I meant...”
“Levi, if you want to break up with me for your stupid, unjustified insecurities, do it then” She rubbed her eyes, and restrained from throwing a punch onto his face. “One more request before I leave. Look me in the eye and tell me you don’t love me”
Levi’s eyes held her gaze. It was intensed, but not a single word came out of his mouth.
“Alright” she sobbed. “I don’t need a coward next to me” She turned around and headed towards the door.
“Oi! Wait! What was it? What you had to tell me” his voice was about to crack.
“It has nothing to do with you now” She replied and closed the door behind her. She sped up to her quarters, covering her mouth with both hands, hence nobody could hear her sobbing.
Levi was left agape, his jaw quivering and his gaze still glued to the door. His eyes were teary and red. He clenched his fists and cursed himself for being a jerk.
“Hey, go get some rest Y/N” Moblit said with concern.
“I’m almost done, it’s alright”
Y/N was working with Moblit in the lab, transcribing the most recent findings of one of Hange’s investigations. “You have a nice handwriting”
“Thanks” she smiled. “Well, no one here can top your drawings. I guess we make a good team” she chuckled.
“You could’ve taken more days”
“No, it’d been a week and I was already missing the scouts. Besides, my family is quite suffocating”
Y/N had taken a leave due to appendicitis a week after her breakup. Shadis didn’t want her on the field until fully recovered; therefore, she was assigned to office work meanwhile. And about Levi, they avoided each other. He would take the longest path to his office, and she would sit at the furthest table during dinner.
They couldn’t be more immature.
Y/N grumbled when Commander Shadis ordered her to join Levi’s squad to capture a titan for Hange’s research. Of all available cadets, it had to be her. It wasn’t a difficult task; thus, it wouldn’t take long.
Nevertheless, things didn’t go as planned. Y/N had made a single mistake that almost led the operation into a tragedy. But Levi was there and saved her.
She woke up in the infirmary. Her abdomen was wrapped in bandages, and she whined when she sat up, resting her back against the headboard.
Levi came in minutes later, and judging by the expression on his face, he was far from content.
“What the hell was that?” He sternly demanded.
“Don’t be loud” She groaned, covering her ears.
“You almost fuck it up. Not even a rookie would have made such mistake”
“Sorry” she rolled the eyes. “Why did you come back to save me then? If you wanted me out of your life, you could’ve gotten rid of me for good” She nonchalantly shrugged.
“What’s wrong with you, Y/N?" His brows furrowed. "You're not the same since you came back from your leave”
“My boyfriend dumped me, is it a valid reason?”
Levi grunted. “you’re into opioids because you’re heartbroken?” he approached her bed and drew a small container out of his uniform pocket. Y/N’s eyes wide opened, then scowled.
“Were you sneaking in my room?” She was cold sweating.
“You were too suspicious lately, Y/N. Sneaking out of the headquarters at night, being lethargic and tired during the day.  And don’t get me started with your irritability. I had to follow you”
“Because I still care about you” he confessed, averting the eyes.
“Well, I don’t need you to take care of me” She crossed the arms over the chest, and bit the inside of her cheek.
He took a seat at the edge of the bed. “I won’t tell anyone about this shit.” He put the container back in the pocket. “I just want to know why” His eyes displayed his concern.
“You’ll despise me if I tell you” She looked away.
“It can’t be that bad”
“Believe me, It can. I...” her eyes became watery. “I made a terrible decision Levi, and I just wanted to forget” Her voice trembled.
“You can trust me” He placed his hand on hers.
“Levi” She began. “You don’t have to forgive me. You can hate me. Kick me off wall Rose without gear if you feel like”
“What is it?” He was growing impatient.
“That day, at your office I... I stopped by because I had big news for you” She gulped. “I was dead scared to drop that bomb, but the matter involved the two of us” Heavy tears rolled down her cheeks. She looked up at his steel gray eyes. “I was... I was expecting, six weeks according to the midwife” His eyes went wide. “The appendicitis wasn’t appendicitis. One of the cadets knew someone in Trost who could help me out” Levi couldn’t hold back his tears anymore. A churn feeling invaded his chest, and the pressure made it hard to breath. “I was so angry and hurt I didn’t think twice” She burst into tears. “I was alone and scared. And I still regret it.”
He moved closer and hugged her tight. She buried her face in the crook of his neck, soaking his shirt with tears.
“I’ve been tormented by what it could’ve been. You and I and...”
“Shhh... don’t say it” He caressed her hair.
“I was too scared, Levi. I didn’t picture myself as a single mother and my parents would’ve turned their back against me. Then, guilt was eating my soul; I needed the fastest way to forget”
She didn’t want to see his face. She knew his heart was screaming out in pain, disappointment and ire.
Levi could not blame Y/N, though.
Maybe if he had let her talk first, if he hadn’t been that coward, the story would have been different. He also felt a hint of guilt within himself.
“In my brain, I knew it wasn’t the right moment. In my heart, however, I started imagining and dreaming about what could’ve been”
“Stop tormenting yourself, it won’t change anything” He whispered. He pulled apart and placed a hand on her cheek. “I can’t forgive you because there’s nothing to forgive. I’m not going to lie, it hurts, but I can’t blame you.”
“Mine” Levi growled leaning over, resting his forehead on Y/N's.
“Mine” She whispered.
He pulled off of her with a groan. She laid on his bed, drained and exhausted. Levi settled next to her, both panting, staring up at the ceiling.
“I missed you” She managed to say, still recovering her breath. He took her hand, interlacing their fingers, and placed soft kisses on the knuckles.
“I missed you, too”
“I received a letter from my parents. They want to meet you”
“Do they?”
“Yup! And don’t worry, they’ll like you. Besides, my little brother looks up to you”
She rolled on her side and placed a kiss on his cheek.
Gracias, Arigatou!
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silentfcknhill · 10 months ago
I want to start making Youtube videos about my current interests and stuff. Not trying to get Youtube-famous or anything, I just want a little space for myself where I can create content for my hyperfixations, overanalyze stuff and be self-indulgent.
I suppose it's like a form of self-care after everything traumatic I've been through this year and my recent kidney infection/hospitalization/nervous breakdown.
I'll probably be doing a lot of ranking/tier list videos, character analyzations, maybe some video edits etc. Maybe even personal stories if it feels right to share at the time.
My only issue is that I don't really have any place to record right now. I don't live by myself and I don't have my own room or have any space to myself and I'd like to figure out a way to be able to record my videos alone in peace. I'd also like to have better equipment to record with, but oh well.
I'm gonna do it anyway, somehow, once I am a bit more recovered mentally and physically. After my brush with mortality this year I can tell you, life is too short to put things off forever. It is time to do what makes you happy (to a certain extent, of course, and not to the point of self-destruction or causing harm to others) and make the little moments more bearable for yourself in this time of suffering and uncertainty.
Whether your form of self-care means doing the little passion-projects you've always dreamed about even if they are just for you and no one else cares, or whether it means avoiding things that bring unecessary negativity and doubt into your life, do it!
We all deserve to be happy and safe and comfortable whenever possible, especially if you've got some sort of mental illness or life situation that makes that difficult to achieve normally.
So yeah, make your Youtube videos only like four people are gonna view, write your silly self-indulgent stories and draw your fun art and don't be afraid to express yourself. Art is subjective, it's meant to be a blank slate and serve the audience's own experiences.
Don't let anyone put rules on what is the right and wrong way to enjoy and create content, just do what makes you happy! There is no one truth. If I want to make shitty YouTube videos to satisfy my autistic special interests to make each day a little less painful, then I'm going to, and I won't listen to a single hater calling it cringe because I don't care if it is.
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thetravelerwrites · a year ago
Monster Match 33: Futakuchi-Onna
The Traveler's Masterlist
For @artless-whimsy : “I'm a bi cis lady, she/her. During non-pandemic times, coffee shops are my natural habitat. I'm quite small and get cold easily, but love sweater weather. My passions include cat/kitten rescue, reading, long walks, D&D, writing, and mental health advocacy. I write and edit for fun and profit, and I crochet to help manage my anxiety. I'm shy but friendly, and my family says I talk too fast. :p
In a partner, I love wordplay and being able to talk for hours, particularly about stories, but the most important thing is kindness (whether that's something that comes easily to them or something they work hard at). I'm happy to be the talker that draws someone else out, as long as they give me something back. My love languages are quality time and physical touch, but my partner's don't have to be exactly the same.
Monsterwise, I love creatures that are pretty but deadly (or misunderstood)—think vampires, faeries, ghosts, shapeshifters, demons—but honestly? Please just have fun with it; I can't wait to see what you come up with! As for NSFW-content, I'm happy either way and would rather you write what you're inspired to! I do love kisses, and I think I'd prefer more lime than lemon, if you go that way?”
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You’ve been matched with a Futakuchi-Onna!
A futakuchi-onna, or "two-mouthed woman," is a type of Japanese monster characterized by their two mouths; a normal one located on her face and a second one on the back of the head beneath the hair. The origin of a futakuchi-onna's second mouth is often linked to how little a woman eats. In many stories, the soon-to-be futakuchi-onna is a wife of a miser and rarely eats. To counteract this, a second mouth mysteriously appears on the back of the woman's head. The second mouth often mumbles spiteful and threatening things to the woman and demands food. If it is not fed, it can screech obscenely and cause the woman tremendous pain. Eventually, the woman's hair begins to move like a pair of serpents, allowing the mouth to help itself to the woman's meals. While no food passes through her normal lips, the mouth in the back of her head consumes twice what the other one would.
TW: Eating Disorder, Abuse, Mental Illness, Hospitalization
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“Cute girl!”
“Shut up!”
You looked up from the counter at your favorite cafe and tried to find the source of the voices, but you only saw one woman sitting alone by the window. You could tell when you looked at her that she had been staring at you and had looked away just as your eyes met.
“Talk to her! She’ll leave!”
“Stop it!”
“Hey,” You said, walking over. “Are you okay?”
She sighed and looked up with a strained smile. She was Asian and very pretty, with long, dark hair flowing down her back, though she seemed rather thin, perhaps unhealthily so.
“Yeah, I’m fine,” She said. “I have… a… growth or something.”
“That talks?” You asked.
“Unfortunately,” She replied, turning in her seat. Her hair lifted of its own accord and sitting among the tresses was a mouth, identical to the one on her face, except with sharp teeth.
“Hallo!” It said at you.
You blinked in surprise. “Well then.”
“Yeah, sorry,” She said with a sigh. “I used to hide it, but it’s gotten so loud lately that it’s just easier to explain and wait for people to run off.”
“Well… I mean, it’s unusual, but I don’t see why people would run off in this day and age.”
“If people look human and then aren’t, it weirds people out.”
“I get that, I guess,” You said, sitting down. “So, does it have a mind of it’s own?”
“No, no, it’s just says what I’m thinking but don’t normally say out loud.”
“So you think I’m cute?”
She looked up in shock and blushed hard. “Oh… I was hoping you hadn’t heard that.”
“You’re pretty cute, too, you know,” You said, smiling. “Can I buy you a coffee?”
“Oh!” She said, a surprised, shy smile creeping across her face. “Yeah, thanks, that would be wonderful.”
Her name was Kyoko and she was a yokai, or Japanese demon. She’d apparently once been human and became a demon over time, which is something that happens pretty regularly to both humans and animals in Japan. By the end of having coffee, you’d left with her number and a promise to see each other again.
The two of you went on a few dates together, and it was about a month before you realized something: you’d never seen her eat. Not once. Maybe as a yokai, she didn’t need to eat, but you’d seen her drink coffee and tea and things, so you weren’t sure. You decided to ask her about it.
On your next date, you went to a local park to feed some ducks. The mouth on her head was chattering incoherently. It was doing that more often, you noticed
“Hey, Kyoko?” You began, throwing out some peas and corn for the ducks to peck at. “Can I ask you something kinda personal?”
“Yeah, sure,” She said, holding out a handful of oats.
“Why don’t you eat?”
“Hungry!” The voice in the back of her head said.
“Stop!” She said, smacking the mouth lightly. She took a heavy breath. “I’m a futakuchi-onna. Do you know how my kind are created?”
“No,” You replied.
“It happens after years of under-eating and malnourishment,” She said. “In stories, it’s usually a stingy, selfish husband that causes a woman’s suffering, but for me it was my mom.”
“What do you mean?”
“My mom used to make fun of me because of my weight. I wasn’t even that overweight, but she decided when I was really young that I needed to diet and start fasting. She would make me not eat for days, and then feed me broth twice a day to make me lose weight quickly. She used to say that if I wasn’t thin and pretty, no one would ever love me and that I’d never be worth anything. Around my eighteenth birthday, the mouth appeared. My mom kicked me out when she found out I was a monster.”
“You’re not a monster, Kyoko. Your mother is.” You took her hand and squeezed it. “Why has it been getting so loud recently?”
She looked away. “I haven’t been very nice to myself recently. The mouth eats at night when I’m asleep, so I don’t eat during the day because I don’t want to gain weight.”
“How long has it been since you’ve eaten anything while you were awake?”
She shrugged. “Two weeks?”
Your mouth dropped in shock. “Kyoko, that’s not good! Are you seeing anyone about this? Like a therapist? This is an illness and needs to be treated.”
“I know,” She said, ashamed. “But I don’t want anyone to judge me or…” She stopped when her hair grabbed a handful of the oats and stuffed it in the mouth. “Stop it!”
“Come on,” You said, getting up off the ground and holding out your hands. “We’re going to the hospital.”
“What?” She said. “Why the hospital?”
“You need help now,” You told her. “I’ve been concerned about you since the day we met and this just confirms my fears. I don’t think we should wait.”
“Will you stay with me?” She asked, beginning to cry.
“Of course I will,” You said, pulling her into a tight hug. Her hair wrapped around you. “I’m not going anywhere.”
The doctors discovered that Kyoko was thirty pounds underweight and immediately recommended that she enter an inpatient rehab facility. Kyoko sobbed but agreed to go. You swore you would visit her as often as they would let you.
The two of you visited at least twice a week and talked to each other on the phone every day. Despite the fact that you couldn’t be with each other while she was in treatment, you’d grown very close during that time. After sixty days, she was released. She had lost her apartment during the time she was in rehab, so you moved all her things into your apartment and asked her to stay.
You went to pick her up and take her home, and she threw herself at you, laying a big kiss on your lips. It was the first kiss the two of you had. She looked radiant.
“How are you feeling?” You asked.
“Better,” She said. “The mouth hasn’t spoken in weeks and the staff said it quit trying to sneak food days ago.”
“That’s wonderful, babe, I’m so proud of you.” You gave her another kiss and set her down, taking her hand and squeezing it. “Let’s go home.”
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To get your own Monster Match, buy me a Kofi!
Since my work is no longer searchable, please do me a favor and reblog this story if you enjoyed it. Help me reach a wider audience! To help me continue creating, please consider becoming a Patron or donating directly to my PayPal.
Thanks for reading!
My Masterlist
The Exophilia Creator’s Masterlist
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hope-remnant · a year ago
The Practice Run Killing Game
Content Warnings: guns, violence, murder, manipulation, ableism, blood, weapons, bullying mention, and Dangan Ronpa, which is probably it’s own warning. This is literally 85% murder. 6.5K words.
My talentswap AU now has its own fanfic! for a full list of my talentswapped characters click [here]
Hifumi never thought school life could be so great. He grinned to himself in his dorm, pushing off the floor with socked feet to spin his desk chair back and forth. The pale blue light of his computer’s screen reflected on his glasses, which he pushed up with one finger and a smirk before typing out a last message to his friend’s stream chat.
JusticeHammer: I’ll be back in a few hours!! Have fun Hina!! <3
In his headphones the stream audio played, ambient underwater sounds from the game itself and the excited voice of his friend, the Ultimate Gamer.
“Bye Justice! You other mods better be on your best behavior now that the boss man is gone, okay?” Hina grinned up at the webcam from her side of the screen, waving with one tanned hand before returning to her game, talking about the strange atmosphere of an alien world. 
The chat scrolled by as well, people from all over the world typing out goodbyes to him. Thousands of strangers, but dozens of friends as well, fellow moderators who helped wrangle the random people into order, who would play video games with Hifumi, who would message him and call him.
It was a far cry from where Hifumi had been in middle school, and he couldn’t help but grin again, shaking out his hands as if to shake out an excitement that clung to his bones, that stayed in his heart when he remembered he had friends. 
His phone dinged with a soft chime, and he couldn’t help the quiet huff of amusement as he flipped open his phone and typed quickly.
Sakura: Where are you going Hifumi? Do you need assistance? 
Hifumi: school council meeting! a weird late night one, no emergencies, dont worry sakura!
Hifumi: see you tomorrow, love you!!!!! :) 
Hifumi stashed the phone in the pocket of his blazer- he was unsure what to wear to this sudden late night meeting, when before they had all been just after classes let out. He decided to play it safe and wear his school uniform.
Standing up from his chair, he made sure to plug in his laptop, the stream still running on it, and turned to leave his room. He had seen the interior of the main course’s dorms, they were triple the size, with their own ensuite and everything. 
His own dorm was small, the wall space barely enough to fit his multitude of posters. There was a complimentary cork board as well, full of fanart people had made of his little sona, a kirby with a hammer and glasses, which he printed out and posted up on his wall as big as he could get them.
He pulled once on the lapels of his blazer, making the fabric settle properly on his shoulders and snatched his binder of notes he used in student council meetings. He made sure to lock his dorm on the way out, still smiling softly to himself. He toyed with the small ring of keys in his hand, dorm room key swinging as well as a number of soft cute keychains that Hina or Sakura sent him in their years as online friends.
He entered the cold night air, pocketing his keys and rubbing his hands together. Winter had clung harder than he had ever seen it, or Spring was simply apathetic even in April, biding its time. In the dusky light he could see the timid, barely blooming sakura trees that dotted the expansive main campus of Hope’s Peak Academy as he approached. There was no security on duty, the gates locked at the late hour.
Headmaster Kirigiri had given him a pass once he sent an anxious email talking about how the head of security, Sakakura, had been harassing him whenever he tried to go on campus. Even though reserve course students were barred from entering the main campus, Hifumi had privileges as the liaison between the reserve and main courses, and as a member of the student council.
Hina and Sakura had theorized it was because Sakakura was the Ex-Ultimate Student Council Leader, and was now one of the club’s supporting staff members, even if he had only worked at the school for a few years. The man was resentful of having a reserve course student on the council, a first in the school’s history, even though the reserve course was a relatively recent development.
Hifumi was used to people disliking him for seemingly no reason, it was only a problem that he took to the headmaster when it made him late to council meetings. 
He glanced at his phone as he passed through the side gate intended for just security. He would likely be a minute or two late, but it wouldn’t make him stand out any more than usual. In his black and white suit he was a dark stain in the middle of any crowd of bright ultimates, who were able to wear anything pertaining to their talent and flaunt the rules.
Sakura wearing scrubs some days, Hina wearing garish merchandise for a game and smirking as the Ultimate Hall Monitor from class 77B could do nothing about it. They had told Hifumi about some of their classmates testing the rules, Enoshima in a sporty tank top, the Ultimate Team Manager getting away with it even in December. Fukawa, who didn’t even notice the rules apparently, and wore oil stained jumpsuits to class, no one able to deter the Ultimate Engineer and Ultimate Mechanic.
Yet here he was, in an ill-tailored suit. When he had been accepted into the reserve program and sent a uniform, his older sister had insisted he try it on, and cooed over him looking all grown up, as if she weren’t just a year older than him. She utilized some of her cosplay skills to try and modify the suit to fit him- they seemed to be made for exclusively skinny kids, then just sized up without concerns for body shape. Unfortunately Fujiko typically worked with skirts and dresses, which were more forgiving of hands more used to drawing and the bad eyesight all Yamadas seemed to have. 
Hifumi had to stop for a moment, the breeze rustling past as he stared up at the few stars that began to twinkle in the night sky, faded and choked by light pollution, blurry even with his glasses. Some were simply blocked by the giant building before him, gleaming glass reflecting the lights of the city’s nightlife, aside from one classroom on the second floor, lit up bright white with silhouettes moving across the room.
He held the binder full of notes to his chest and walked into Hope’s Peak Academy, unaware that someone in the school’s entrance hall was hiding in the shadows, watching with eyes of deep scarlet that reflected light like a cat’s would in the low light. 
Hifumi hurried up the stairs and down the hallway to the classroom they held meetings in. He saw Kamii and Kurosaki, two ultimates on the council who were dating, walk into the meeting room, Kamii practically clinging to her boyfriend. It was unsettling to see as he approached, considering Kamii thought PDA was impolite during meetings, and usually sat with someone between her and Kurosaki to avoid it. Maybe she was upset by something, but Hifumi wasn’t about to ask her, considering he was acquaintances at best with the council.
He followed them into the room, the last to arrive. The fluorescent lights were glaring and bright as night settled fully outside of their meeting. Everyone was seated aside from their Ultimate Student Council President, Umesawa, who stood at the podium in front of the blackboard, knuckles white as her blunt nails dug into the wood, her white armband standing out against the bright yellow of her hoodie.
After Hifumi sat down, leaving his notes on the desk, he noticed just how unhappy everyone seemed. Some were fidgeting, others talking but not saying much at all, their tone hurried and frightened, and others sat there and stared at the polished wood of their desk as if the world was ending around them.
“Now that we’re all here- you have some explaining to do Umesawa.” Ikuta, a girl with a famously short temper among the upperclassmen ultimates, had her hands on her desk as she stood slightly, her red hair swaying and catching the eyes of anyone who hadn’t been startled by her shout. 
“Yeah, Aiko, your emails were really panicked.” Kashiki smiled softly at her friend, but she seemed to be trembling.
Umesawa tugged on one of the bright yellow ears sitting atop the hood of her sweatshirt, pulling down the hood and raising her head to look up at the council. Her eyes seemed to draw people in, one blue and one green, both full of an earnestness that made her a good Ultimate School Council President. Now, though, they were rimmed with red, and usually perfect wavy bob was a bird’s nest, brown strands out of place in any way they could be. 
“I called you all here because it was best to be as discreet as possible.” Umesawa said.
Ichino snorted, not even bothering to hide his disrespect, too busy carding his hand through his already messy red hair. “Discreet. Yeah.” 
Just when Hifumi was going to ask them all to explain, because these ultimates always acted as if everyone just knows what’s going on instead of learning things like normal people- the door creaked open and someone Hifumi had never seen before stepped inside. 
The first thing Hifumi noticed were the gloves. One a perfect, unstained white, carrying a large duffle bag. The other a black that blended into her sleeve. The rest of her outfit was just as puzzling, a bright red tie and a white button up, but with a black cropped leather jacket over it. A black miniskirt and red knee high boots as well completed the outfit. But even then, it was almost at odds with pale violet eyes and long lavender hair, only a small portion of that hair in a braid that she toyed with in her black gloved hand.
“Good evening class.” She said, her voice even and her eyes narrowed. 
Umesawa backed away from the podium, staring at the girl. “Who are y-?”
The girl waved off the question, her black gloved hand slashing through the air, making the council president back away further. “Goodness, and they say you’re one of the brightest in the school?” She takes a step closer, heeled boots heavy on the floor. “Pathetic.” She says, a light scolding, a chiming thing that seemed more like a schoolyard taunt than a threat.
But Hifumi could tell this girl was a threat. Maybe she had a dangerous ultimate talent- he knew for a fact that even if an ultimate skill was illegal they could be admitted and given essentially some form of diplomatic immunity while they attended the school. 
“Why the hell are you here lady?!” Ikuta snapped, standing fully with her hands on her hips. 
The girl put both her hands in the air, as if surrendering, but she was smiling, amusement sparkling in those eyes that seemed to dig into anything she laid them on, ferreting out as much information as she could. “I just want to play a game with my fellow ultimates.” She said, placating and condescending. 
Hifumi, who was tired, confused, and could be watching his friend play video games right now, finally spoke up. “Can any of you ultimates ever explain anything, or is being cryptic part of the main course syllabus?” 
The girl turned to him and glared, and Hifumi couldn’t help the small squeak of fear that slipped from his mouth when her face twisted into a sneer. It was a dramatic expression, he had seen it in games and shows, but no one had ever looked at him like that, no matter how many bullies he had faced. Like he was less than nothing, his very existence something to be loathed.
“A. Game. That shouldn’t be so hard for a simple reserve course student to understand, right? After all, you don’t spend your time doing anything worthwhile, if you can’t even manage to get into the main course.” The girl’s voice dripped with malice, and she quickly took over at the podium.
Umesawa backed up even more, now close to the window opposite of the door to the classroom, hands tugging her hood back up so she could pull at the fake rabbit ears in nervousness.
“I will keep it simple.” The girl shot Hifumi another look. “Last man standing wins. Go.”
“That doesn’t make any fucking sense.” Ikuta stepped out into the aisle between desks, pointing a finger at the girl as she demanded answers. “Just who the fuck do you think you are, demanding shit from us? Are you some reserve course kid? We’ve had enough from Yamada-”
Everyone’s eyes had been on Kotomi Ikuta, they hadn’t noticed the threatening girl at the front moving at all, assuming she had been just as stunned by the rant, until Ikuta was cut off by a gunshot.
Hifumi had heard guns before, in games, in animes, in movies. There were different patterns to them depending on the type, and when he and Hina became really invested in a game he would bother to tell them apart, the distinct rapid pulses, the blasts and thunderous booms from all different kinds of weaponry. He had never heard one in real life, had never been in the same room as a real gun, even though he knew there was a shooting range up on the fifth floor for those whose talents needed such things.
It was louder than he expected, and the noise was what made him freeze. In the middle of the classroom, Ikuta fell to her knees, then slumped forward. Shrill screams and rumbling expletives filled the room.
It took a moment, to properly process all of the information and connect the dots. When he did Hifumi couldn’t stop the sharp gasp, even though all it did was make him notice the sharp sulfuric stench of gunpowder, as well as the metallic tang of fresh blood. Things he had never experienced before.
An ultimate had died right before his eyes, by something as simple as the handgun that rested like it was molded to be in the strange threatening girl’s black gloved hand. The girl’s eyes were alight with something Hifumi couldn’t understand as she huffed through her nose in what might have been amusement.
She dropped the duffle bag in her other hand, the thing spilling open to reveal an assortment of weapons from knives to swords, hammers and screwdrivers, guns of all shapes and sizes. They were real, the flash of silvery metal, the dull gleam of tools with a new use branded onto them right before their eyes. 
“If that’s not enough for you, I’ve got more.” The girl smirked, and waved to the still open door. A cart came rolling in, it’s top shelf littered with larger weapons. A chainsaw, a mace, a sledgehammer, all on top of it, all perfectly clean as if even they didn’t know what a dark omen they were, as if they didn’t know their capacity to do harm in the right hands. 
At the bottom of the cart there was a large case which the girl pulled onto the floor with ease after sliding her handgun into a previously unseen holster high up on her thigh. She kicked the case with her boot, walking around it and towards the door. “That holds all the motivation you’ll need.” 
“Everyone stay calm!” Umesawa ordered, straightening up from where she had been cowering. “No one touch those weapons- someone could get hurt!” Her voice was as sweet as ever, even with the urgency, she took out her phone and flipped it open, only for her face to fall. 
Yokō stood up from his place at the back of the room, turning his flip phone around as if to show it off. “No connection.”
Kubo stood up, gesturing broadly to the class. “She can’t stop all of us, just listen to Umesawa!” 
But everyone seemed to be getting up, fourteen students all in one room, some paralyzed by fear, others covering their fear with anger. Hifumi stayed seated, staring, unable to process it all at once, afraid. 
A student who had been at Ikuta’s side the instant she fell, trying to help her even after a gunshot wound to the forehead, lunged forward and grabbed one of the spilled weapons at random. He ran towards the terrifying girl who had orchestrated Ikuta’s death. The boy, Someya, was holding a shotgun that was almost too big for him to handle. The little plushies on keychains at his belt jingled slightly, at odds with the cold metal in his hands. Before he could aim, someone grabbed at him. 
Ichino tried to grapple the weapon away from Someya, but the small boy clung to the instrument of death with a desperation no one in the room had seen before now in a human being. Someya was frantic, eyes glassy with tears, his distinctive blue bowlcut in disarray as he shook his head, saying how she needed to pay for killing Ikuta. 
In the chaos Hifumi finally stood, moving to the wall the door was on, his back hitting the wall quickly as he tried to look around. Umesawa still was at the podium, pleading for order. Gōryoku was shielding some of the others who had broken down into tears with his large muscular body, and some other students had approached the front of the classroom.
Someya was facing the door, facing the girl who had her gun in one hand but was toying with her braid as well, as if bored. She hummed an uneven tune, as if bored, as if waiting for a show to start. 
“Please!” Someya cried, tears falling as the shotgun was wrenched out of his hands, the gun making a sharp cracking sound as it hit the floor.
Then the katana entered his chest from behind, skewering him. As the weapon was pulled out with a wet sucking sound Hifumi wished he could never have heard, the girl holding the weapon sobbed. “My mother- they have my mother- I’m so s-sorry, I can’t-!”
With a sob that devolved into a scream, Kisaragi kicked away the file of photographs she had taken from the case, the motive set out for them. It showed a middle aged woman bound to a chair, screaming into a gag. 
“Karen! Please, listen-!” Umesawa implored, a hand outstretched. “Put down the-!” She let out a small scream when Kirasagi lurched forward, slashing the katana.
The sword embedded itself into the podium. Most of the class either hung back or scattered to grab the motives, and then the weapons. 
Hifumi could only focus on one thing at a time, the sounds. The wet thunk of metal sinking into flesh, into the soft organs of the human body, so fragile even if the person had been deemed ultimate. Gunshots, sobbing, deranged laughter, screams and death rattles.
Hifumi staggered under the onslaught of sensory information overloading his mind with no way to filter it, no way to stop it. All he could do was try to get away.
Blood splattered onto his blazer, up his neck and onto his face as another student died. With a short, faltering yell, he pushed someone out of the way of the door and began to run. 
The moonlight streaming into the hallways washed them in a pale ghostly glow, as if illuminating perfection, as if a spotlight was needed. Hifumi didn’t know it, but he looked similar to when he spoke to his friends in late night chats, his lights off in his room and illuminated only by the pale glow of a computer screen, tired and giggling. 
Pink marred the walls and floors. In the classroom Hifumi abandoned, a boy he had spoken to, someone in a committee with him, was brutally beaten to death with a chair. A girl he knew was stabbed. Another was strangled. The events tumbled together into one big massacre, one big game, one big show, and the girl who pulled the strings to watch this all happen couldn’t help the grin on her usually passive face as she left the scene into her own lair.
Someone stood at her side now, shorter than her, but even more intimidating. A person in a pristine suit and long black hair, almost ridiculous in its length. Their red eyes seemed to gleam as they watched, but their pointed features never twitched from an expressionless mask of disinterest.
“Satisfied, Izuru?” Kirigiri asked once she reached her control room, one of her lackeys nodding to her reverentially and giving her the seat. Another approached her other side, giggling.
“...” Izuru’s eyes slid to the side, towards where the lackey who had been in the chair now cowered, too horrified to watch what he assisted in causing, pathetic. The girl laughing into her hand was small, and with Izuru’s keen sight and ultimate knowledge, Izuru knew that the girl was thirteen at best, too young, yet still an ultimate. She was enthralled by the gore on screen, delighted by it, just as much as she was enthralled by Kirigiri, who put a hand on the young girl’s shoulder, speaking words but never telling her anything.
With a small huff through their nose, Izuru turned and left to see the scene for himself. 
Hifumi didn’t know when someone had got him with a blade. They evidently had, from the wound on his arm pouring blood, pink staining his nice uniform, running through his fingers even when he tried his best to stop the bleeding.
He continued to stumble on, mind overloaded with information, with fear, and he couldn’t help but just blank out on all of it. There was too much to process, too much to bear acknowledging. With a ragged huff, he leaned against a wall of lockers, the cool metal a relief from everything, another nothingness to sink into. 
The wall of windows allowed in so much moonlight, for a moment Hifumi thought it was day, that any moment so many of the best students in the country would come pouring out of their classrooms. Maybe his friends would be among them, Hina tapping on her phone or the newest handheld console, Sakura making sure they didn’t bump into anyone. 
They would see him, and Sakura would hold him. She was so strong, so steady. She could carry Hifumi to the infirmary, could bandage him up and offer him a lollipop with that slight smile she got when she talked to him or Hina. She would fret over him any time she saw him until the bandage was finally gone, she would insist on carrying his bag or his notes for student council-
Hifumi swallowed down a sob, pushing himself onward. Screams echoed down hallways made to carry the voices of the best, the last cries of those who were dead the moment that girl walked into their meeting. It hurt, to keep moving, to keep acting as if just running away would save him, but everything would hurt no matter what choice he made. 
All he wanted was to hang out in Hina’s dorm, his best friends at his side as they all rested on Hina’s bright pink bed, Sakura studying late into the night as he and Hina fell asleep against her.
He wanted so much, and he was never going to get it, not now. Hifumi knew he was going to die here, he just knew it. Was this something other people felt, like a blanket of fresh snow, cold and melting deep into his bones as he realized death was coming for him, an unstoppable force? Was this something that had always been there waiting for him, and he only noticed it now when his head swam and pink dripped from his fingers?
In every game, every anime, every manga, the hero managed to get up and keep going. Whether to escape only to save the day later, or to defeat whatever stood in their way. No one expected that of Hifumi. Maybe they would think an ultimate was capable of it, and there were thirteen ultimates he had left behind to tear each other apart. 
He heard a high pitched, screaming cackle and the revving of a chainsaw, the cut off screams of a victim, far enough away that he wasn’t in danger. 
Hifumi wouldn’t find any heroes here. All he could do was try his best.
The ones who cared for him, his friends, that’s all they had ever asked of him. To try his best, to keep going, to rely on them if he needed to. Hifumi needed them more than ever, Hina’s endless energy and excitement, Sakura’s quiet strength and support. Hina would be in her dorm, headphones on as she kept talking and talking, playing video games for thousands to see. Sakura was studying a new medical journal, sitting on Hina’s bed, out of view of the webcam. 
They were so close but so far, and they were all he could think of. Would they send worried texts when he never messaged them goodnight? Would they wait until tomorrow morning, thinking he had been tired from the meeting? Would they use the extra key to his dorm he gave them, and find his room as he left it, as if nothing was amiss? Would he become another muttered rumor, like the supposed death of a girl in the computer lab of the reserve course?
Would anyone aside from Hina and Sakura notice him gone from campus? He was invisible to the other reserve course students. Maybe they would wonder why there was an extra desk in their classroom, and dismiss it just as quickly as a mistake, never remembering him. 
Tears welled up in his eyes. It was all too much, the noises, the things he had seen. Hifumi had never seen someone die before. He had never seen someone kill before. He had never seen carnage, or gore, or death. He wanted nothing more than to calm his racing thoughts, but they all piled up and screamed until he reached nothing, slumped against some lockers. His left hand was in his mouth, and he bit down harshly on the joint of his thumb, his right hand clutching where he had been injured. 
He screamed silently, throat hurting, tears finally spilling. He was so tired and scared and lost and he just wanted- he didn’t know what he wanted, he didn’t know what to do, it all was piling up, it was washing over him, a tsunami of panic and blood, bright pink and towering over him, until it finally fell and consumed him without even noticing. 
Hifumi continued to dig his teeth into his hand, it was something solid, letting him know that he was here. He brought his knees up to his chest, his legs squishing into his stomach. He let go of his wound, his right hand coming up to pull at his short curly hair as he keened. The wet sticky feeling of blood on his hand, in his hair, was so bad but the grounding pull of pain in his scalp was something that kept him from trying to slam his head into the wall or something equally damaging, because he needed anything to stop his mind from screaming, to stop himself from screaming. He began to rock back and forth, crying. 
He didn’t know how much time had passed. The moon watched on, impassive in its pale glow. Was time really passing, or had the world ended the moment that girl shot Ikuta? Was the planet still spinning? Would the moon ever set?
“Get up Yamada.” 
Chills swept down Hifumi’s spine, he swore someone was talking, but all he could hear were distant gunshots and screams.
“Yamada! Get up!” A polished shoe kicked him in the shin, and Hifumi finally looked up.
Murasame stood before him, leaning on a pitchfork. The dark grey tines were splattered with blood already, dripping down onto the floor. Hifumi stared at the blood, mind numb, lungs and throat pained by the sobs that had wracked his body. 
“I can’t kill a guy who’s crying like a baby. Are you a man or not, Yamada? I know you’re just a stupid reserve course, but c’mon. Get up, die with a little bit of dignity.” Murasame rolled his eyes, a smile playing on his lips. He bent down to look at Hifumi like he was nothing more than a bug on the ground, disgusting. His brown hair shifted to cover his face as he leaned, before snorting wryly and standing up straight again, rolling his eyes.
Hifumi choked on another sob, trying to just breathe. He used both of his hands to brace against the lockers behind him, trying to stand. He didn’t know why he bothered, but it was something to do. Maybe Murasame was joking? Maybe he would help Hifumi?
The moment Hifumi was steady on his feet Murasame backed up, swinging his pitchfork up, an arc of pink that glowed in the moonlight following it.
Hifumi ran again. He turned a corner down the hall, still between a wall of lockers and windows, still in a cold empty husk of a school, and he didn’t stop. 
He bumped into something- someone, and stumbled back, looking at them. A short person with long black hair and pointed features, deep red eyes that stared at him with nothing behind them. “Sorry!” He shrieked, the habit converging against his fear as he quickly stepped around the person and kept running. 
Izuru raised an eyebrow and deftly hid between the lockers as another ultimate passed, this one full of bloodlust, hunting the boy who ran into them. It was different, interesting, but Izuru kept moving. They had more to see than this.
Every breath seared from Hifumi’s lungs, his body ached as he did his best to keep moving. But he didn’t even make it all the way down the hallway. Hacking into his bloodied hands, he ended up falling against one of the massive windows that made up the outside wall of the school. His injured arm burned with pain against the cold glass.
Hifumi whimpered, turning to keep his back to the glass as he heard sprinting footsteps slow and reach him.
“Everyone hated you, Yamada.” Murasame huffed, both hands holding the pitchfork as if it was a staff.
“What?” Hifumi wheezed out, more confused than frightened.
“You waltz in, a useless reserve course, and start telling us what to do. We had a betting pool going on whether you were just that oblivious that you didn’t notice how annoying you were, or if you really were just that annoying.” Murasame sneered.
Murasame let go of his pitchfork with one of his hands to point at Hifumi accusingly, the tines of the weapon scraping against the floor loudly, making Hifumi flinch away. 
“That. Is exactly what I’m talking about. You’re so annoying and don’t even fucking know, do you? Handing out orders, trying to get us to help a bunch of teenagers who convinced their parents to blow their money just to attend Hope’s Peak- it’s a wonder no one offed you before now.” Murasame swung the pitchfork back up, both hands on the weapon as he pointed it at Hifumi.
“No- please-!” Hifumi begged, trying to dive out of the way. 
The sound of cracking glass echoed around the hall as Murasame chuckled. “Really?” 
Hifumi wanted to back away, wanted to run again, but fear paralyzed him.
Murasame just shook his head, pulling back his pitchfork and causing the window to fully shatter. “Get up Yamada. I’m not killing you while you cower. Unlike you, I’m better than that.” 
Hifumi made another noise, a whimpered plea even he couldn’t understand, and stood up. He trembled and breathed in the cold night air that rushed through the broken window. 
Murasame wacked Hifumi in the head with the side of the pitchfork, toying with him.
Hifumi stumbled to the side, now fully in front of the empty window frame, shards of glass still clinging to the sides. Part of him wondered if he should say something cool. Last words were supposed to be cool, right? That was for heroes, and he had always wanted to be one. He had always wanted too much.
Murasame bared his teeth and stabbed forward, the tines of his pitchfork sinking into Hifumi’s abdomen. For a moment all Hifumi could feel was the force of it, like a gut punch, something he hadn’t been a stranger to back in his middle school days. But sharp pain quickly followed, spreading, and he staggered back, the heel of his shoe hitting open air. He grabbed at the long handle of the pitchfork reflexively, unable to do anything about it.
Murasame lunged forward, trying to grab the handle of his weapon, but he missed. The revving of a chainsaw grew steadily closer, as well the unhinged laughter of an ultimate pushed to the edge. Hifumi’s killer didn’t bother watching him fall, instead running in search of a new weapon.
Hifumi gasped raggedly as he tipped out of the window, the world swinging away until all he saw was the sky. The black of night was endless, the faded stars twinkled, the moon still shined. They wouldn’t change with one boy’s death. They wouldn’t care.
As he fell, all he regretted was not giving Hina and Sakura a better goodbye. He felt the slight scrape of leaves and then his body slammed into the ground, rendering him unconscious. 
He wouldn’t wake for days. When the school’s security would find him during their sweep of the grounds, it would be an hour after they already found the unresponsive, unconscious body of Aiko Umesawa, her yellow rabbit hoodie stained pink. She would be taken to a nearby hospital, and she would be silenced before she had a chance to wake.
Hifumi was found later, a pitchfork still stuck in his stomach, and that was for the best, as it staved off the worst of the bleeding as it stayed in the wound. He had sustained a head injury and a cut to his arm, but it was better than the twelve dead students littering the second floor of Hope’s Peak Academy. A dozen bright, beautiful students all dead, their lives destroyed before they could truly live.
The school board of Hope’s Peak knew another factor to the puzzling killing game. Their pet project, Izuru Kamakura, was missing. The Ultimate Hope, the Ultimate Ultimate, was gone and most of the staff who attended to the project were dead or had been enjoying a day off in the peace of their own home, unknowing that their colleagues were being slaughtered like animals. 
It had to have been Izuru Kamakura that unleashed this bloodshed. The project ensured that the Ultimate Hope had every talent and skill ever recorded, the school board knew how easily their little project could kill, could hide bodies. They assumed it was a vengeful sign to the board, thinking themselves worth the carnage. The school board thought too highly of themselves. They underestimated just how easy it was to bring an ultimate to  a breaking point.
An entire life that culminated in a title, and ultimate, until that was all they were known for. They had to constantly one-up themselves, to constantly prove to others, and to themself, that they were the best. Years of effort, years of blood, sweat, and tears. Everything relied on their ultimate. Their world revolved around it, until they became the embodiment of their ultimate, until their ultimate became them. 
When tasked with murder, with letting go of any inhibition and just committing violence, just causing harm, something any human being was capable of, they took to the task with an almost inhuman speed. Some would need a push, but even then, their calculating mind would whir and they would frame everything to their advantage. They would come out on top, they had to. They were an ultimate after all.
But the school board only saw the brightest of their students, children. The blame was placed on Izuru Kamakura, and they quickly moved to cover up any signs of the incident. 
Hifumi Yamada would have been placed in the same hospital as his student council president, and would have been silenced just the same, two birds with one stone, but that didn’t happen. The Ultimate Nurse Sakura Oogami demanded the school fly her best friend to her clan’s clinic. She would take care of any medical need, or else she and her girlfriend, the Ultimate Gamer, would drop out of Hope’s Peak permanently, and Asahina would use her global fame to ensure that the reputation of their former school was dragged through the mud.
The school board didn’t care much if the reserve course student died, but it was best if the kid died out of their responsibility, so they used the school’s helicopter to fly Hifumi, Sakura, and Hina all to the Oogami clan’s isolated compound. 
Days passed where Sakura tended to her best friend’s wounds, and he awoke. His shifting had roused Hina, who had been sleeping at his bedside, and she ran to get Sakura.
Hifumi couldn’t help but cry in Sakura’s arms, crying himself to sleep within minutes of waking, but this sleep was far more restful. He knew he was safe. He knew he would be cared for. He knew he’d never have to go through something so bad like that ever again.
Two weeks would pass from this incident, and Hifumi would find himself locked in Hope’s Peak Academy, working with the 78th class to bolt over any window and make sure they could never, ever escape. He would agree to lock himself into the building where the worst thing to ever happen to him occurred. He agreed because Hina and Sakura would be at his side. He agreed because he knew they would be safe, together. 
Hifumi’s memories of the School Council Killing Game were unclear. He would wake from nightmares gasping for air, never fully remembering the faces of his fellow students who died, only remembering the indifferent moonlight and the gleam of deranged eyes. 
When Hifumi would ask Kyoko Kirigiri if they had ever met before, the Ultimate Lucky Student would smile awkwardly, shrugging her shoulders and saying that he must be thinking of someone else, and he would believe her, unknowing of the deep, undying loathing she carried in her heart towards him. Unknowing that she had sworn to kill him with her own hands one day. 
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sneakydraws · a year ago
Well, here it is - a lengthy explanation of each card in my mdzs major arcana deck and what I meant to convey/what i would have changed in retrospect/what alternatives i considered! It’s a bit messy and my typing style is lazy but hopefully it will be an interesting read to some of you :)
And so you don’t say I didn’t warn you - jiang cheng’s section (11 justice) is absurdly long lmao
0 the fool  I elaborated on this in the post itself but yeah basically jin ling is kind of representative of all the damage and trauma caused by the past, and there’s a kind of danger there of him falling victim to the same vices as the older characters and repeating the same mistakes and perpetuating the cycle of war and misery (the cycle that we already see with how the jin sect became the new wen sect, and later with how jgy became the new wwx) and he has a lot of room to grow! He grows so much over the course of the novel, comes to realise the complexities of the past and gets a harsh life lesson in how nothing is as black and white as it seems. But ill save talking about his progress for the end, for now whats important is that he has room to grow and also a dog. I don’t really have a justification for the sun, i mostly just thought it looked sick? It made its way to the next card as well, where it makes a bit more sense, but then i realised it was a dumb motif to include 1 the magician I still very much like wwx for the role, and that illustration would have probably had him raising a corpse on his left and pointing threateningly to the sun on his right. I considered including the table as well, with some mdzs relevant items replacing the card suits. Anyway, like i said wwx got a few cards to himself already so i went with the alternative wq design, since i think she fits the card as well. Both she and wwx are highly skilled people, extremely driven once they set their mind to something. The card to me symbolises the creative mind as well as a general drive for action, which fits them both - wwx was famously a prolific inventor, and wq came up with a previously unheard of surgery, after all. This card strays pretty far from the rider-waite deck design, largely because i was still figuring out how i wanted to approach this series, but you can still see the influence. 2 the high priestess I was actually going to skip this card at first because I couldn’t think of a fitting character, but once i considered a qings character post death, it all fit pretty well. She was already a highly intuitive person in life, and in sharing her memories with wwx she is, in a way, relaying a kind of secret knowledge. Anyway she’s one of my fav characters so im glad i got a chance to include her. The coffins could be interpreted to be xxc and sl or xxc and xy 3 the empress Theres other mother figures in mdzs who got to be mothers for a longer time, but jyl definitely embodies the positive aspects of this card the best. She’s nurturing, kind, emotionally supportive, she already mothered wwx and jc quite a bit when she was young. Plus i liked that the rw card had both water and flowers, making an easy lotus connection. In retrospect the stars look kind of out of place and i should have replaced them with something more relevant... Also, i should have had her hold a lotus seed pod instead of a flower, haha 4 the emperor Like i said I considered jc for the role but hoching bullied me into admitting that nmj was better… they’re both more of an inverted emperor than an upright one but then again theres hardly any character in mdzs who would fit upright emperor so. Jgs was also considered but he’s even uglier than nmj so i couldn’t bear to draw him 5 the hierophant It was pointed out to me that lqr would have fit this card better and the truth if that statement haunts me to this day. Unfortunately I have no space in my brain for lqr so lxc got the role instead. My main reason was his role during the wen destruction of gusu lan, when he ran away with the contents of the library - this is why there’s bookshelves behind him. The keys, take, from the rider-waite deck, are meant to represent the gusu pendants that allow you to enter 6 the lovers Im sure many people would have chosen wangxian here but I uhh don’t really care abt wangxian personally? And also their love story is so convoluted that jyl and jzx seem idyllic by comparison lol. Also i didnt really have an idea for who to put in the angel’s place for wangxian… mme jin certainly did not get these two together in the end but undeniably she and mme yu did initially give them a chance to fall for each other so. Thats something i guess. Anyway the trees became their sects’ flowers and the mountain became the burial grounds - an omen of their tragic fate, basically 7 the chariot There might have been other characters who fit this card better but i couldn’t really think of another card for lwj and i thought it would be weird to not include him… anyway i don’t really care for current timeline lwj BUT i do like that he was clearly influenced by wwx to walk his own path in life based on his moral convictions rather than follow his sect’s rules blindly. The chariot is to me a card of self control, self determination and focused action, so it seemed fitting. The composition felt kind of empty without the actual chariot so i padded it out with the guqin, the cloud recess in the bg (it doesn’t look great but i tried to replicate the drama design….) and the bunnies which conveniently fit the colour scheme of the sphinxes in the rider-waite design 8 strength Like i said before, my interpretation of this card is more… morally ambiguous than the quote unquote official meaning, so i thought about manipulative or duplicitous characters more than kind characters whose strength is expressed through gentleness (though i did consider jyl briefly for the latter interpretation). As such, i considered both jgy and nhs, but ended up going with jgy largely because i couldn’t pass up the opportunity to put the nie sect’s beast as the lion. 9 the hermit My thoughts immediately went to bssr lol. It may be an overly literal interpretation but whatever, i like it just fine. And i like that i managed to echo the rider-waite silhouette in the mountain and the tree (and even in bssr herself) 10 wheel of fortune God i love the parallels between these 2… this card to me is about how you cant trust your current situation, good or bad, to last forever, and these 2 embody that perfectly imo. Wwx went from son of a well off servant and a powerful cultivator, to street rat orphan, to adopted son of sect leader jiang, to double orphan, to MIA, to terrifying but admired warrior, to terrifying and despised traitor, to dead, to, at the very end, suddenly respected and trusted again. The dishonesty and cheapness of whatever the public’s current opinion of him is is portrayed beautifully as far as im concerned. And jgy of course claws his way up to power only to instantaneously become public enemy number one, to the point that he’s probably blamed for stuff there’s no reason to believe he had a hand in. Wei wuxian’s silent astonishment at how quickly the cultivation world turns against jgy and towards him again is a delicious moment of thematic resonance.  11 justice I settled on this card for jc after he got booted from the emperor seat but i do think it fits, in a somewhat convoluted way. I turned both the sword and the scales into visual representations of the golden core transfer (can you tell im obsessed with it). According to biddy tarot, the justice card is partly about searching for the truth, and the scene where jc finds out about the transfer is of course a big deal. I was also very influenced by the reversed meaning again - which is about being reluctant or unwilling to face or accept the consequences of your actions. I feel on an intuitive level that this fits jc but I’m not sure how well i can explain it - it’s something about how he’s a little too comfortable scapegoating wwx for things that were also, if much less so, influenced by his actions, and also something about the way he keeps wwx at an arm’s length emotionally but still leans on him and accepts his support when he really needs it, and somewhat hypocritically expects wwx to put the needs of him and the jiang sect before the needs of others. And also something about the core exchange is the consequence and proof of wwx’s deep - terrifyingly deep, even - love and care for him, which is something jc doesn’t seem to let himself acknowledge. Maybe even something about how you could argue that the way all of the jiangs acted around wwx - jfm’s favouritism that left him with the feeling of a debt he needs to repay, mme yus insistence that he be a servant more than a brother to jc, prepared to give his life for jc, and jc’s own unwillingness - or inability, he was a child after all - to clearly acknowledge wwx as an equal to himself, enabling wwx’s self sacrificial and protective tendencies - that all of this was what caused wwx’s complete and unquestioning willingness to do whatever it took to protect jc, and therefore paved the way to the golden core transfer. And i don’t mean this to be scapegoating jc - especially considering how young he was when this all went down, it wouldn’t be fair to expect this level of emotional perceptiveness, awareness and maturity of him - but i think adult jc has to grapple with the fact that the chain of cause and effect was not as simple as wwx fucking everyone’s lives up to be a martyr, and that both jc and his parents had a role in that story as well. I don’t even necessarily think this is something that jc only realised in the current timeline - i think it’s something he felt on some level this whole time, and it probably led to a lot of feelings of guilt - but the suibian reveal definitely puts it in sharp focus, and i think he’s now better equipped to handle this introspection than he was as a recently orphaned, traumatised teenager, lol. ANYWAY the window with the fabric is both a nod to the rider-waite design and a reference to the destruction of lanling - i actually did some basic ass research for this, and it seems that in ancient china fabric would indeed be hanged in a window if the normally used paper was damaged. The design of the window, as well as the very idea to use it to imply the reconstruction of lanling, was taken from this great piece of jc angst by my pal moroll1! Oh yeah also the covered window kind of works as a denial of forgiveness for jc because it’s like a halo but covered up... Also I completely forgot to put a blindfold over his eyes which would be perfectttt because blind justice and the core exchange......... ok moving on 12 the hanged man I always have issues with this card because i cant find a satisfactory summary of what it’s really about. Best i can tell it symbolises a need to hit pause, surrender or let go of something… ive also seen it tied to sacrifice? So mo xuanyu doesn’t fit perfectly, but sacrifice is definitely there in a surface level reading kind of way, and the idea that you have to surrender or let go in order to achieve your goal does fit the whole deal of getting revenge but giving up your life in exchange and not being there to see it 13 death This is probably one of my favourite cards, definitely not because I have huge issues with change or anything…. I see this card as signalling the necessity of change or putting an end to something / leaving something in the past in order to start anew? At first i considered putting past wwx, mxy and current wwx here as a kind of transformation and one cycle flowing into the next... But firstly, I’d already used mxy in the very previous card, so putting him in again would feel like overkill, and secondly, the longer I thought about it the less convinced I was that this would even fit with the card’s meaning? Because coming back from the dead doesn’t like... trigger an internal transformation within wwx or anything? Anyway, fun fact: the design I ended up going with was actually originally intended for judgement! I thought I was being very clever with the whole “figure plays an instrument and the dead rise” parallel, but apparently I’d just completely forgotten that the judgement card had a completely different composition... Truly I was boo boo the fool... But yeah anyway at the end of the day I figured the design would kind of work for death as well, with Wen Ning and the theme of transformation, (since in his case coming back as a fierce corpse does actually mark a certain transformation in behaviour) and Wei Wuxian’s protection of the Wen people essentially signifying an attempt to break the cycle of oppression if that makes any sense? Like, wwx is trying to revolutionise the way the world works a bit, if you catch my drift 14 temperance  The centrist card! Again this is probably going off track from the “official” interpretation, but to me this card has a certain “don’t commit fully; do everything in moderation; don’t take either side” flavour to it that i personally find infuriating irl and that i very much assign to lxc. It’s entirely possible that I’m misinterpreting his character because i didn’t really pay him (and the 3zun in general) much mind while reading, but hell, I’m allowed to pick favourites and choose who i want to interpret deeply vs shallowly. Again, i wish id chosen lqr for hierophant because its so annoying for a character i don’t care about to get two cards…. But oh well 15 the devil My alternative idea for this was jgy as the devil and lxc plus nmj as the figures, but since all three had been featured already (multiple times, even!) i figured I’d go with xy instead, especially since he’s among my faves lol. I think the devil signifies something along the lines of unhealthy attachment, obsession or addiction, which isn’t 100% accurate in the case of xxc and a-qing, but if i stretch it a bit to cover toxic relationships in general, and especially manipulation or negative influence, i don’t think it’s half bad. My main struggle here was to choose who amongst the xxc/sl/aq trio to choose for the human figures. 16 the tower Arguably jin zixuans death and the following massacre of nightless city were the final and most direct reason for the siege of burial mounds, and the tiger seal is good shorthand for wwx’s loss of control over his powers, which led to the deaths of jzx and jyl. When reimagining major arcana i like to feature some kind of building in this card (spoilers for a possible future project but in my rose of versailles major arcana set the tower is bastille) and even if it’s not a tower, the image of wwx looming over the gathered crowd from atop a rooftop is so good i couldn’t resist 17 the star Struggled with this one - considered both jin ling and lsz for it, as symbolising a hope for the future, but that was kind of covered by the world so it wouldn’t make sense to include here as well... As usual when I struggle with interpreting a card (as opposed to understanding it but struggling with matching a character to it, like with death or moon) I went to biddy tarot and read all the details about its meaning. What i got was that this card signifies an incoming period of introspection and inner peace following a time of turmoil, as well as a general moving on into a new, better phase of one’s life or finding new meaning and purpose. The figure also suggests someone vulnerable, but possessing a keen sense of intuition as well as a good degree of practicality and common sense. Given all those, I settled for mianmian because IM LOVE HER..... I also kind of see her as a prelude to the “just one person is enough” theme present in tgcf!! And i think her decision to abandon her sect because she saw the toxicity and corruption in it is a very inspiring action - even if it didn’t make a large visible impact, i think the appearance of her and her idyllic family at the very end of the novel - paralleling and mirroring wangxian - implies that at the end of the day, it was a meaningful one 18 the moon Another card i ALWAYS fuxking struggle with - this time less because i can’t grasp its meaning and more because I can never find a character that fits it well. I usually get fixated on the “dreams and subconscious” part, but if i lean more on the “disguise, deceit, anxiety and fear” part, i eventually figured the whole yi city arc wouldn’t be a bad fit. I say the entire arc because it really does encompass all those themes if you include both the past and the present - xue yang’s disguise, his tricks with the villagers, a-qing’s lies and even xxc’s reluctance to talk about his past as well as xue yang pretending to be xxc all fit the disguise and deceit angle, and the general mystery and creepiness of the current timeline yi city work well with the anxiety and fear - the mist, the slow uncovering of the past, even a-qing being revealed to be an ally after scaring the shit out of the protags. I definitely struggled with including all the elements and characters, and even moreso with making them vaguely fit the rider-waite composition, but i think it ended up okay ish. OH and i completely forgot to draw mist swirling around them :( 19 the sun I was considering mianmian’s family for this one, but since I used her for star, I ended up with wwx and his parents instead. Once again I’m reinterpreting the card a bit - normally I think it symbolises incoming times of pure happiness and abundance, as well as a connection with the inner child, but I gave it more of a nostalgic or sentimental twist - wwx looking back at the brief glimpse of his happy childhood. 20 judgement another card that i struggle to interpret a bit... Here i actually used the tgcf tarot zine as a reference! In it judgement is summarised as “rebirth, following duty, absolution” SO i figured that nhs, mxy and wwx all together would fit pretty neatly... wwx achieving (public) absolution through clearing his own name after being reborn, and nhs sort of calling on wwx to expose jgy’s crimes... It’s a bit messy but not bad I think! 21 the world This ties very closely to my read on mdzs as a story - which is that it’s, at the end of the day, largely about cycles, and about how hard it is to break them, but how we gotta keep trying and have hope anyway. Or maybe more precisely, that the people directly involved with and influenced by the trauma of the past might not be able to get over said trauma and that the hope for healing from it will be shouldered by the new generation. Or something like that… Basically what i mean is that jc and wwx and lwj and lxc and nhs and jgy and all these people who were in the thick of the sunshot campaign and the siege are so profoundly affected by it that it genuinely feels by the end of the story like there is little hope for them to ever truly overcome that trauma and build a better future without repeating the same old mistakes - but there is a glimmer of hope in the new generation, specifically in jl and lsz. And it’s a bit paradoxical, because they have also been directly impacted by the past tragedies - lsz having his entire clan wiped out after wwx failed to protect them, jl losing both his parents to wwx’s mistakes - but despite that loss, and despite coming from arguably the two opposing sides of the past conflicts, they are both, in the end, capable of moving past that tragedy, of recognising the complicated nature of those conflicts (jl’s moment of clarity at the end is both heartbreaking and hopeful) and forging friendships between clans in the process. I honestly think that the extra where jl is struggling to assert his authority as sect leader, to treat his subjects well and to cooperate with other sects in a truly amicable way is the single hopeful ending note for the larger themes of the novel - it allows us to imagine that maybe these kids can learn from the mistakes of their elders rather than getting sucked in by resentment at those mistakes, and actually build a brighter future for the cultivation world. And sidenote, this is also why i have a soft spot for jin ling and lan sizhui as a ship... speaking of which their poses were directly referenced from the lovers card ehehe
Looking back, I’d like to add some symbol of jin ling’s trauma so that it mirrors baby wen yuan in the tree stump... maybe his father’s sword? 
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letterboxd · a year ago
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High Ground.
Australian director Stephen Maxwell Johnson tells Letterboxd’s Indigenous correspondent Leo Koziol about his revisionist new meat-pie Western High Ground, working in a ‘both-ways’ style, and how he approaches the question of story sovereignty.
“Maybe we’re all feeling a little more vulnerable, a little more open to thinking about who the fuck we all are in this world.” —Stephen Maxwell Johnson
Note: this interview may contain images and stories of people who have passed away.
Not every Western has a ‘Croc Spotter’ in its production credits, but Australian Westerns are in a league of their own. The genre has long been a staple of Australian cinema; the world’s first narrative feature film is considered to be Charles Tait’s 1906 bushranger yarn about the Kelly Gang. While the likes of outlaw Ned Kelly have made good Western fodder for more than a century now, recent entries in the sub-genre—known colloquially as meat-pie Westerns—are starting to look a little longer and harder at the relationship between British colonizers and the Indigenous peoples of the Great Southern Land.
This year brings two such tales: Leah Purcell’s feminist western The Drover’s Wife: The Legend of Molly Johnson, which made our Best of SXSW 2021 list, and Stephen Maxwell Johnson’s High Ground, which was executive produced by a community of Aboriginal activists, including Witiyana Marika, one of the founding members of groundbreaking Aboriginal band Yothu Yindi. (Marika is also in the film as tribal elder, Grandfather Dharrpa, taking on a role that was intended for Aboriginal great David Gulpilil, who has retired from acting due to ill health.)
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Simon Baker as Travis and Jacob Nayinggal Junior as Gutjuk.
Set in Australia post World War I, and based on true stories told by the traditional inhabitants of Arnhem Land, in north-eastern Australia, High Ground opens with—content warning—a brutal massacre by white Australian police of an Indigenous family. The story soon pairs Gutjuk (Jacob Nayinggal Junior, in his impressive screen debut) with bounty hunter Travis (heart-throb Simon Baker, in gnarly outback mode) in a manhunt that brings the opposing forces of colonizers and inhabitants to a head.
Nayinggal Junior, the grandson of Arnhem Land traditional owner Jacob Nayinggal, was not yet born when Johnson, who is a white Australian, began the long process of developing High Ground with his Indigenous partners, whose oral histories informed the film’s plot. Johnson’s connection to Yothu Yindi and his partners’ community goes back over 30 years; he directed the original music video for the band’s 1991 international hit ‘Treaty’, the first Indigenous-language song to chart prominently in Australia.
This is Johnson’s second feature film connected to the Yolngu communities in north-eastern Australia; the first, Yolngu Boy, is a coming-of-age story of three young friends on a journey to Darwin after one of the boys lands in trouble. It has been twenty years since that debut, and High Ground has been a labor of love in the time since.
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Simon Baker in ‘High Ground’.
The film takes its sound design from the land and its inhabitants, turning the volume up on birds, insects, snakes, gunshots and Aboriginal song. Expansive cinematography makes sure to place characters within the context of their surrounds—a constant reminder that the land is bigger than anything happening on it. “Brutal in all the right ways, and as honest as an Australian colonial Western should be,” writes Coffeenurse. “It’s really something how the Australian Western has become the way for Australian cinema to explore the weight of colonialism and imperialism in our history and culture,” agrees Smoothjazzlord. “Stephen Johnson doesn’t shy away from complexity and I appreciate that,” writes TheEllamo.
I spoke to Johnson at length about his “both-ways” journey of bringing the film to the screen through collective research, song and storytelling.
Notes: ‘Blackfella’ and ‘whitefella’ are informal, self-descriptive terms often used by Indigenous and Aboriginal Australians and their friends. Johnson makes several references to ‘makaratta’, an intricate Yolngu term that describes the process of coming together to face wrongs, reconcile and make peace, and to ‘Country’, which is an Indigenous colloquialism describing one’s association with one’s own land and family.
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Witiyana Marika (second from left) and Simon Baker (on horse) with Yolngu cast members.
Tell us how the story of High Ground came about. Stephen Maxwell Johnson: I was very fortunate in my life to have had two parents who explored the world. I grew up in the Bahama Islands, in Africa and they came to northern Australia. My father was an educator of the Yolngu people, and really, my friendships and my associations in my life have been about growing up with Indigenous cultures and people.
I've never really been disconnected from that, and the stories I grew up with—things I’ve heard, ceremonies I’ve seen—were very much a part of my education. I went to school and the stories I’m hearing, all the whitefella stories about Captain Cook and the invasion and what happened, no one ever wanted to go any deeper or open a story book to where it all began, and how old it actually all is.
As you know, it’s the oldest living culture on Earth, it’s an amazing connection to Country and the stories and the songlines. So, we came together, we made a decision to tell a story of the resistance that became High Ground, over many years sitting on Country with old men and women and family and drawing inspiration from true stories and true characters, then putting together what was obviously a fiction (but so is history).
It was about wanting to tell a deeper truth, but to create a film that was entertaining, so it really drew you in, and allowed you to come out the other end to perhaps reflect and rethink the Australia story, and, really, the greater human story about who we all are.
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Witiyana Marika (front, seated) on the set of ‘High Ground’.
A unique aspect of your film is that Yothu Yindi band member Witiyana Marika is a producer. How did you connect with Yothu Yindi and establish those friendships? Well, I did pretty much all of the Yothu Yindi stuff, I made ‘Treaty’ and ‘Djäpana’ and all those clips that the band did. I directed and photographed all of that stuff. For many years, anything that was Yothu Yindi, I was there doing it. Witiyana and Mandawuy [late Yothu Yindi frontman Dr. Mandawuy Yunupingu] were two of my dearest, dearest friends—my father actually knew Mandawuy back in school days, so there’s a deep and long connection there. Witiyana picked up the mantle after Mandawuy passed away. It even goes back further than that, to discussions with old man Bill Neidjie and Jacob Nayinggal, who sort of drew up the battle lines and helped create Kakadu [National Park].
Jacob Junior Nayinggal, he’s been born and became the lead actor; his grandfather would be so pleased that his grandson ended up being the lead actor in this film. ’Cause it was always about getting a Yolngu hero leading the story of the resistance, which was what it was called back in the day.
It’s really been a both-ways journey. That’s what everything that Yothu Yindi sang about, was that idea of bridging between two cultures, that idea of coming together and sharing knowledge and respecting each other. That balance—makaratta. That’s been my journey. That is the journey.
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Callan Mulvey as Ambrose in ‘High Ground’.
A big issue for people in the Indigenous film community is storytelling sovereignty: “nothing about us without us”. Do you feel that the community working closely with you to make this film meant that you were telling their story in the way they wanted it seen and heard? Well if you have a look at the credits it sort of says a lot about the process. Twenty years working together. As I said to you, I don’t see myself as a whitefella over here and they’re blackfellas over there, I see [us] as being human. They’ve been my dearest and closest friends all my life. This is us sitting down, together. Listening. Learning both ways. Bridging the gap and wanting to tell the bigger story about this country.
In this country there’s a very big story to be told. It has two different perspectives and it was about getting that right and spending the time together right. It is very much a Yolngu story; everything has been meticulously researched, and spoken about, and sung. The producers, the executive producers, all the creators in the film are predominantly Yolngu people, right across. Everything is ultimately connected and it is very much the voice of this land that we wanted to shine through in the story of High Ground.
That sort of thing came back in the day, when I made ‘Treaty’: “What’s a whitefella telling [our story]?” Are you kidding me? Mandawuy had the same reaction, he said “We’re doing this together”. Christ almighty we’ve known each other for a lifetime and we’re working together creating and telling stories. There you go. Simple as that. If anyone’s got a problem with that then I think they’re the one with the problem.
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‘High Ground’ director Stephen Maxwell Johnson.
Certainly, Yothu Yindi itself was comprised of both blackfella members and non-blackfellas. Exactly. Exactly. Look. I’ve grown up with blackfellas from right across Arnhem Land, and it’s been nothing but a deep and beautiful, profound friendship. I’ve never seen it as me and them. We’re just humans. We are one. We share, we care, we love, we laugh. There is so much to be learned from the ancient culture of this country. And the land and the language and the people.
It’s a beautiful thing having that kind of connection and immersion in that world. And that’s been my life story. I’ve been very fortunate to have had that. A lot of people don’t get that experience… being able to work so closely and so deeply with my friends—and family; I was adopted in, as well.
And can I tell you, every single person in Arnhem Land is so proud of this film, it is their film. Their story. It’s been their creative process as well. Every person who is involved in the crew and the journey of the film has had a life-changing experience, for the better. We just hope that the film and the story do help contribute to that bigger conversation, that idea of makaratta and sorting out the shit and getting on with a bit of truth telling.
How was the reaction in the Aboriginal community? Have you had the opportunity to take the film back to the people in Arnhem Land, to have screenings there? First thing we did. With the elders, that’s what we all planned. They said, “right, as soon as we’ve done this, the first thing we’re going to do, we’re going to bring this back to the families and show it to the families first.” And that’s precisely what we did; we took a big screen out into Arnhem Land, and put it out in the bush, for the families to watch. It was an amazing experience.
Let me tell you, the screams and the applause, and the laughter and the tears, when they saw the film, on their Country. Their film. Their story. Obviously they can listen to the language and the songlines in the film in a completely different way. It was beautiful. I almost couldn’t stop crying. That sense of pride that everyone had in the film, they just own it. It’s theirs and it’s everyone’s. It’s a beautiful way to create something.
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The community screening of ‘High Ground’ on the Gunbalanya football field in West Arnhem Land, Australia.
Did you manage to have those screenings happen before Covid-19? Well, no. The Northern Territories, as you know, was clear. I had to go into quarantine and once the Arnhem Land bio-zone was relieved just a little bit, we took the film out. We had to hit the pause button with Covid, but [then] we did it. People just drove, and flew, and walked from hundreds of miles to come to the place where we blew up the screen and projected the light.
That’s a wonderful story. What’s the reaction been from mainstream Australia? Look, very, very good. [The film’s distributor] Madman said it made double what [they] thought it would in box office. I think we were fortunate maybe in some respects coming on the back of Covid-19. Maybe we’re all feeling a little more vulnerable, a little more open to thinking about who the fuck we all are in this world. There is this kind of turning of the tide, now, of people and of a new generation wanting to learn and understand about our connection to Country.
We’re blessed with, you know, what we have right here. We need to nurture it, take care of it, respect it, celebrate it, dance it, sing it, talk it. It’s a beautiful thing to be able to tap into.
Thank you Stephen so much for your time. I just want to say I was thoroughly engrossed by your film. It was powerful, it was important. I found particularly the scene in the middle, where a Treaty signing was hinted at: that would have been a cathartic moment for the people of Arnhem Land? To think ‘that could have been what our people had done in the 1930s’, instead of the lack of a Treaty, which Australia has never had. All power to you and everything you’ve done. That’s beautiful mate, and I will say, just one lovely parting thought here, you know yes, it’s my work, but honestly it’s such a team effort. Such trust, such great friendships and collaborations to create something like this. It’s no one fella’s effort, it’s an incredible team effort.
Related content
Meat-Pie Westerns, Kangaroo Westerns, Australian Westerns: a Letterboxd HQ list
Always Was, Always Will Be, Aboriginal Land: Troy’s list of the best of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander “Australia” in film and television
Australian Aboriginal Movies: an extensive list by Wayne
Australian Films Worth Your Time: Jacob’s list of Ocker cinema
My Name is David Gulpilil: Molly Reynolds’ new film celebrating the actor’s extraordinary life
Follow Leo on Letterboxd
‘High Ground’ is available now on digital and VOD via Samuel Goldwyn Films.
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oveliagirlhaditright · 10 months ago
“Neku, do you miss my being a redhead?” Shiki asks after Neku had gotten back to her in the RG after three years. And what Neku had thought was pillow talk with Shiki, might be the result of an underlying issue there.
“Neku, do you miss my being a redhead?” Shiki asked, nearly as soon as Neku had gotten back to her.
The two of them were chilling in Shiki’s apartment when she said it, even though Neku was pretty sure he had his own one too, thanks to Joshua—and memories of another self to somewhat go along with that place—but for now, it still felt more natural to be at Shiki’s. More real.
And, well… to say that they were just chilling was a bold face lie, Neku allowed. The two of them had gotten done making love just a little while ago, and it had been… amazing? Spectacular? Perfect?
All those cheesy things that people said about sleeping with their supposed soulmate: Neku thought that was what it had been like to be together with Shiki. And he wouldn’t trade it for the world. And he knew she wouldn’t, either.
But since then, the two of them had eventually sort of ended up doing their own thing, as the day had gone on—not awkwardly, like they were ignoring each other or bored of each other—but since Neku knew you had to be pretty close to someone to be able to sort of split off during your hangouts, and still be good friends (or more of course, since he and Shiki were definitely that). And he and Shiki could definitely manage it. But then, they’d always had a good sync rate, huh?
…Which was why Neku was so flustered by her sudden question now, as he sat on her bed with her. Neku had thought that Shiki was wrapped up with her fashion magazines, like he was with this tin pin game on his phone. But Shiki couldn’t have put up a guise in reading them—while deep down, she was upset about something—could she have?
Neku decided to go for the lighter approach in broaching the topic here. And really… he didn’t think Shiki was being too serious, anyway. So, he pulled her from the foot of the bed, and back closer to him and kissed the crown of her head once. “Of course not, Chic. I knew you were a brunette from before!”
“Yeah…” Shiki trailed off now, as she fidgeted with her hair that she had just cut recently shorter, “but we didn’t get to spend that much time together before… I worried that maybe Game-me would have been stuck on your mind. And sometimes, people think couples with the same-colored hair look good together for some reason. I don’t know. I probably am just being silly here.
“But fiery redheads are a thing. You’re that, Neku. And maybe I still am, I don’t know—even without my hair matching who I am—but would you miss me if I’m now not as blunt, as when I was trying to be Eri?”
“Clearly,” Neku argued—pulling Shiki underneath him now, so she couldn’t escape him and would have to look into his eyes and see only truth there, while he smoothed her hair back—“if you don’t think brunettes are fiery in their own right, you don’t know how scary you all can be, in being so smart and knowing everything.”
And when Shiki laughed at that, Neku kissed her nose afterwards to make her giggle even more… and maybe it was even a reward to him, for his getting her to laugh, that he allowed himself to kiss her nose. Because Neku thought that you couldn’t have a nose as fucking cute as Shiki’s one, and not kiss it.
“But in all seriousness,” Neku rued now, being somewhat bold and placing kisses onto Shiki’s arms now, however you want to look is fine by me. I, uhh… love you for your soul, I think. Especially since I can read those now. So don’t ever change that, please.”
And while Neku had started out that last confession to Shiki so well, he’d somewhat tripped at the finish line there, and was being like his fifteen-year-old self again, in awkwardly running a hand through his hair and wanting to avert his eyes from her now. Even after everything. Oh, well. Some things would come with time, Neku knew, and that was fine. He had had three years stolen from him, after all…
And Shiki was really chortling now, before she wrapped her arms around Neku’s neck to bring him in for another kiss. And who was he to complain?
Shiki tasted like strawberry bubblegum… and kissing her was like having had vertigo your whole life, but finally having your world righted when you were with her... or being told that you had a terminal illness, but that now you had the chance to live—as you looked into chocolate eyes of such warmth and life themselves—and Neku could never get enough of it. And it was certainly the case now.
He was loath to pull away for air. But Neku ended up being glad that he did, when Shiki immediately began joking with him again: “If we don’t care about looks in this relationship, does this mean you’ll look however I want you to? Like, bald, perhaps… or with blue skin, from putting on that one sunscreen that turns your skin that color… and with you wearing a floatie as shorts?”
And now it was Neku’s turn to guffaw. And he rolled off of Shiki as he did so, to make sure that he wouldn’t hurt her with his weight, as be absolutely lost it here. But they’d both heard recently that Hishima was thinking of going bald… and Neku had seen those commercials for that kind of suntan lotion in the 90’s… And, hey. He had to wear a floatie in the most recent Game once—and had told Shiki about it—and she’d never let him live it down. Leave it to Shiki to make a joke out of all of that, and to leave him dying, trying to catch a breath of air.
Thankfully, Shiki was very much an angel now—gently breathing into Neku’s face, so he might catch his breath—and calmly holding his shaking form until it calmed down.
With all that settled, Neku reached up and moved a strand of stray hair out of his lovely girlfriend’s face and continued their day: “I’ll even let you take my shirt this time, instead of my pants, if we end up in the UG again, Stalker. How’s that sound?”
And Shiki hummed, satisfied at that, as the two of them laid back down together again, while the sun started setting through the window and Shiki began using Neku’s chest as a pillow.
He had the most content feeling in the world at that, as she began drawing circles on him, that almost had him humming, as well.
“And a very good thing that you’re giving me that, Neku, since we’re sexually active now. I may want your shirt off all the time and might take advantage of this if we ever wind up in the UP again.”
“Tch. ‘A very good thing I’m giving you that’, indeed,” Neku echoed back to his girl, and thinking that he probably sounded a little bit like Rindo while doing so. Or maybe even Joshua.
And Neku had wanted to come up with a better snipe towards Shiki than that—since that was apparently what they were doing right now: like week one of their Game, but for fun now, and with their hearts in harmony with each other—but he instead thought better of it and kissed Shiki’s hand. “And… thank you for that, Shiki. Thank you for you.”
“Mmm. And thank you for everything, Neku!”
And there was really nothing better they could do or say than that, was there? Especially not when they were getting tired here, as it was getting late for these midnight owls.
So, it really was just another perfect day in the RG.
 Author’s Note: This came out a little different than I planned. With them being more playful than I’d imagined… maybe because I’m writing this late and am sleep deprived.
 Oh, well. They deserve this fun. Hope you all enjoy it!
 Happy NeShiki Day!
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that-damn-girl · 2 years ago
(5) Bucky and The Bed
Chapter 4
Bucky and The Bed Masterlist 
Pairing: Bucky Barnes x (cis)fem!reader
Words:  3700+
Summery: You and Bucky are stranded in the middle of a snowy nowhere when there is an 'electronic blackout' during your mission. With no back ups or any way to contact your team, you take refuge from the worsening weather in the only cabin you find  in miles. Not to mention, with no power, Bucky has become your personal heater and there's only one bed.
Chapter type: Fluff.
Chapter/Triger warning: None that I can think of except for ‘highly self-indulgent’.
A/N: This is in submission to the lovely @sweater-daddiesdumbdork​ ‘s Any-Fucking-Fandom Fic Challenge. Check it out! My prompt is below.
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Calloused fingertips ran slowly through your hair, absent-mindedly drawing varied patterns with gentle prolonged strokes. Eyes closed, you basked in the alleviating motion. The faint pressure of his tips combing through your scalp lulled you into a deep state of relaxation. Not that you'd been stressed before, but you welcomed the calming drift with open arms.
Head perched on Bucky's lap, you laid comfortably along the width of the bed on your back. The headboard of the bed supported Bucky's back as his legs were stretched, ankles crossed.
Flesh hand racking through your locks, his metal one was encompassed in the heat of your hold. It felt cool to touch, much cooler than the rest of him, but it had a certain aura of warmth. Languidly, you traced the smooth plates making up his palm and fingers and the back of his hand, committing every cranny, every nook to memory.
Your tips climbed up and down the dips of his knuckles, rounding the impeccably curved tips now and then. They seemed crafted as well as the natural human ones. With the whole of his metal arm being that way, you didn't know why you were so amazed by the uncanny resemblance.
Sweeping over the sleek black and gold plates over and over again, mapping the blend of contours and arcs, you said, "Never did I ever think I'd be tired of being uselessly free."
From studying the simple joints of wood panels on the ceiling, Bucky's eyes drifted down to you when you spoke, trailing over your delicate features and then again. Just because. He never thought he'd ever get tired of admiring your beauty anyways.
Eyelids shut, you looked content and yet dejected as your head rested on his lap. He knew you felt bored, hence the look of dejection maybe. He only hoped his presence was the cause of the slight contentment you felt.
It had been a couple of days since Bucky was able to contact Sam; three since they took refuge in this small cabin. There really was nothing to do except for eat, sleep, and repeat.
Chuckling, Bucky said, "It kinda reminds me of the time in Wakanda."
Opening your eyes and slightly craning your neck, you glanced at him. Though he looked at you, his eyes held a faraway gaze, as if having found a distant memory and reminiscing in it. Closing your eyes, you settled in more comfortably. You loved hearing stories about his experience in the astounding African country.
"Tell me about it."
Though you couldn't see him, you knew he wore a bright smile as he remembered the days. You interlaced your fingers with his metal fingers as his flesh ones occasionally twirled a few locks of your hair.
This was new, the touching at every moment, only for more to be followed in the next. Bucky Barnes was a reserved man. He did want a soft and comforting touch, but there weren't many people to give him that.
Steve, yes. Sam, sometimes. It wasn't as if he was open to letting others touch him either. He sought out the familiarity in the amiable contact, the assurance of no ill content behind it.
The past decade had taught him to believe a touch only meant one thing. Pain.
You had been with him as long as Sam had, but he was only able to open up to you in the recent few years. He had become comfortable with you. Didn't have any qualms about feeling your skin on him.
But there was always a limit. There was always a limit to how much he'd let someone in.
In the past few days, however,  you and him seemed to literally keep in touch at all times of the day. Asleep or awake. It happened involuntarily, really. As if your hearts made decisions of their own, claiming what they desired.
Bucky had noticed that and so did you, but neither dared to comment on it. Afraid of making the other more conscious. Of losing the closeness it had brought along. Of losing the joy it brought to your hearts with just a touch.
Bucky tried to convince himself that it was because you needed it, the warmth the super soldier serum provided him. But what was the explanation of the warmth you gave him, without any enhancements?
You needed him, but he was no longer able to deny that he needed the feel of your touch much more desperately. He needed it every second of the day since he'd had a taste of it. A taste of what it felt like to be around you at all times. A taste of heaven which you brought to him.
From every fortunate moment he woke up with you in his arms to sleep in the same way, he'd cherished it deeply. He loved cuddling with you and being cozy. Whether you cooked, or ate, or just were together, you'd always found a way to touch each other.
Your touch had become familiar to him in such a soothing way; he'd been accustomed to it so well, he didn't even want to imagine how being without it would feel like once you'd return.
But he didn't want to burden the pleasant moment by worrying about the future. Choosing to savour it as long as he could, he clutched your hand protectively in his as your fingers linked. Warmth spread across his metal arm and it tickled as the heat made its way through his heart.
Sighing contentedly, he began, "After Shuri was able to get the effect of the words out of me, I was free to live outside the palace and with the crowd. I'd go to therapy daily at first, but the frequency decreased eventually.
"My only purpose there was to recover, to relax, so I didn't really have anything productive to do. The children would play with me and braid my hair, but there's only so much of that which could be done.
"I felt so useless there, I begged T'Challa to give me some work." He paused, laughing before he continued, "I remember the look Okoye gave me. She thought I was a dumb old bitch. Wanting to work when free time was gifted to me on a gold platter."
Bucky looked down at you when you chuckled. A beautiful smile graced your face, lightening up the glow already there. His pride swelled up a little, knowing and liking the fact that he could make you smile.
Beaming widely, he added, "I did the work they already had machines for. Loading and unloading. Carrying things from one place to the other. Just helping anyway I could, even if they didn't require it." He sighed, "Maybe I really was a dumb old bitch."
Chuckling again, you tried to imagine as you said, "Ah, city boy turned farm boy. What a sight it would have been."
"Picture oily, greasy hair, and mud ridden clothes. That's how it was like." He said.
Opening your eyes, you cheekily grinned at him, "I bet you still looked damn good, Bucky."
Feeling colour rising to his cheeks, he was sure he would've stuttered had he spoken anything. You saved him from that, "I've always wondered if the serum prevented you from being ticklish."
"Why?" The word wasn't even out of his mouth when your fingers teased the sides of his torso. The furrow of his brows instantly morphed into a merry stance as he snickered.
"Stop," He wheezed when you sat up and tickled him with all your might. Hands roamed over all the tickle inducing spots you could reach.
"Y/N, wait," His eyes crinkled as he laughed. Seeing him squirm under you, you giggled along with him, enjoying the elated mirth on his face.
Pleading requests reached your ears between huffs of gleeful laughter. His hands tried to reach yours, swiftly shifted out of his reach. Not for long though.
Soon the tables were turned. His hands caught up to you. When he started tickling your spots, you tried to shrunk into a ball.
"Bucky!" You cried, eyes closing as you laughed joyfully.
"Nuh uh, doll, you brought this on yourself." Snickering along, Bucky said mischievously as his hands lightly stroked your sides and under your chin.
You wiggled under him, but he didn't let you escape. His fingers danced along your body. You shrieked with mirthful laughter when he reached a particular spot.
Your arms thrashed about as you tried to stop him. Bucky caged your hand in his when they hit his chest. Laughing still, he placed them by your head bent over you.
Giggling softly, you slowly opened your eyes as you calmed down from the high. You saw Bucky holding you down, a light chuckle playing on his lips. Suddenly you realised how really close he was.
Long dark locks framed his features as he leaned over you. His scruff had grown in the few days you were here. You decided you quite liked the look on him.
You wondered if he was open to the idea of growing his beard again. Bearded Bucky was a spectacular look after all.
Delight was clear in his expression as his blue eyes stared into your own. Upon such close inspection, you realised there was a bit of greyish touch to his eyes. Almost as if they could be called ocean grey.
How many before you had realised it? Or if it was your mind making you see things because it was clouded with the fact of your close proximity?
Bucky's lips were plump and pink. They seemed much more bright and colourful against his pale skin in the extreme cold. Did his lips look this rosy before?
Bucky saw your eyes drifting across his face as a realization struck them. Your smile faded slowly but the dazzle in your made up for it as they took in every feature. When your eyes dropped to his lips, they stayed there for a while.
He couldn't help but glance down at your lips. Slightly parted, they looked so soft. He wondered how sweet they tasted. Overcome by an urge to kiss you deeply and find out for himself, he looked at your eyes and back down at your lips.
It was only then that he realised how close he'd gotten to you. His breath hitched at that moment. He became nervous all of a sudden.
Yes, you two had been close ever since this fiasco started, but never like this. This was new to the both of you.
Something must have given him away, because he felt you stiffen under him. You too had realised close proximity.
He was worried you'd pull away. Not that you could with bed beneath you, but you could always turn your head sideways. You didn't. Instead, your lips only parted a little more.
Only inches apart, he could feel everytime you exhaled. His heart raced with the possibilities of every outcome if he leaned down just a little more. How it could turn out, just like he'd dreamed about it. How he could finally have you as his.
And then the negative outcomes swarmed his brain. What if he was reading all the signs wrong? Granted he was an expert in body language, yet he wasn't a mind reader.
If he did close the gap but you didn't want it to happen, he could lose a good friend to awkwardness. There were also days to be cut until either of you would separate from each other.
The tension would be unbearable if you rejected his advances. He couldn't let that happen. He couldn't let any of that happen at all.
Bucky Barnes was a fucking coward and so were you.
Reluctantly, he pulled back. You didn't want him to, but you didn't stop him either. Freeing your hands, he sat on his knees beside you. Leaning on the heel of your palms, you sat up too.
Bucky couldn't meet your eyes as he looked down at his lap. You were much the same beside him.
The tension was so thick you swore it could be cut with a knife. Bucky didn't want to make things awkward, but it had already gotten so.
After spending a pleasant time together, you didn't want anything to become a thorn between the two of you. Without thinking, you quickly spoke, "Let's dance."
Bucky furrowed his brows, confusion overtaking his expression, "You wanna dance?"
"Yeah, let's." You shrugged, "It's not like we got anything better to do."
Bucky opened his mouth but closed it when nothing came to his mind. If you were trying to steer the two of you away from the unwanted tension, you were definitely succeeding. There was just one problem though. "I don't remember how to dance."
"It's okay. It's not like I'm Micheal Jackson either." Bucky was glad the reference wasn't lost on him. The spider kid was doing a good job updating him with all the highlights of the past century he'd missed.
Getting off the bed, you extended an arm towards him. Figuring just rolling with your idea would be easier than acknowledging the moment earlier, he followed you suit.
As he stepped in front of your form, you were unsure where to place your hands. Keeping some distance, you kept arms on his shoulder and linked your fingers behind his head. He brought his hands to your sides, holding you loosely.
You were close but not like before. He seemed to be fine with it and so were you.
You started with shifting your weight on either of your legs, proceeding to sway your body gradually from side to side and moving about in the small space of the room. He directed his body along with yours, going at it with the pace you set.
"There is no music, you know." He remarked.
You pretend to give it thought, "I would be all poetic and say the birds are chirping and that's music enough, but the thing is there are no birds around. Or any living things for that matter."
Bucky scrunched up his nose, "Sounds a little creepy, doesn't it?"
You nodded, "Yeah. Why don't you sing?"
"Uh, no. I don't want your ears to bleed." He chuckled.
You tilted your head, "Come on, you can't be that bad."
"Well, I am that bad. Deal with it." He said
You rolled your eyes comically at him, "Fine."
He raised a brow, "Why don't you sing?"
Not wanting to disclose your singing abilities to him, or rather the lack of it, you said, "Oh, just shut up and dance with me."
Snickering, he replied, "As you say, Ma'am."
Bringing your hands down to his side, you encircled them around his waist and placed your head on his shoulder. Swaying softly to the beat of your own heart, you enjoyed the rhythm already set.
It wasn't really dancing per se, but it sure was relaxing. His warmth seeped into you through the embrace and. You relished in the feel of it. His heartbeat was clear under your ears, lulling you into a tranquil state.
Bucky liked the weight of your head on his shoulders. The way your hands were clasped behind his back. He felt whole in a way he couldn't really describe. Resting his cheek on your head, his hands tightened their hold around you.
The quiet around you was comforting instead of unnerving like you had anticipated. You didn't complain.
You spent a long time swaying in each other's arms. It felt good, being held like this in Bucky's warm embrace. You enjoyed the moment as long as you could.
Slowly, in a voice so low he thought he might have missed, you said, "I miss Sam, you know."
Bucky felt a pang of jealousy hit him. Not that he had anything against Sam. In all honesty, he missed their banters and the constant quipping at each other. He missed his friend too, but a sense of insecurity followed as well. Would you have preferred Sam over him to be here with you?
Oblivious to his inner turmoil, you continued, "Ever since we were active paramilitary, it was I, him and Riley, together everywhere. When Riley..."
You trailed off. Memories of the wonderful times with your late friend surfaced up. A lump formed in your throat at the onslaught of pictures flashing before your eyes of Riley pummelling to his death.
Closing your eyes, you took a deep breath and tried to calm down. You bit your lower lip to prevent it from trembling. Years later, the guilt of not being able to save him still lingered.
Who else would know better than Bucky how it felt losing your best friend? The constant guilt which ate you up when you thought it was your doing. The rethinking of every decision made which led you to lose them. The never ending 'What if's.
He had fallen down that rabbit hole too many times, and you were always there to pick him up. He wasn't about to back out when his turn came.
Feeling a warm hand pet your head softly, you looked up at Bucky. He didn't say anything, but he smiled sweetly, encouraging you to continue.
"It was hard to deal with it, but we coped up together. Sam and I, we got closer than ever. He became like the brother I never had."
Bucky knew it wasn't the time, but he sighed in relief. It was all brotherly and sisterly and platonic love between you and him. Before he could celebrate though, you proceeded.
"Sam and I were inseparable after that, you know. Imagine my surprise when the one time I don't go on a morning run with him and he meets Captain fucking America."
You laughed at the memory of how mad you'd been at yourself for oversleeping that particular day. Sam had had to do quite some work to cheer you up.
"After the both of us became Avengers, we usually went on missions together. If we weren't on the same missions, or when I was on one while he was at home, the work to be done didn't let my mind wander. Even after he took the mantle, it was the same between us."
You sighed, "It just feels weird, spending all of my free time being away from him."
Glancing up at him, you kept your chin on his chest. Displaying a cheeky grin, you said, "But I am glad I have you here, Bucky. I like spending time with you, getting to know you better."
Bucky felt his heart soar within his chest. He couldn't contain the joy he felt at hearing that. Smiling widely, he tightened his arms around your waist, "I like spending time with you too, Y/N."
Placing your head on his chest once again, you said, "I think I'm gonna miss this when we get back. All these moments. This closeness we've had." You added for good measure, "You were the best cuddle pillow I've ever had, after all."
Bucky chuckled softly, his chest reverberating as he did. Perhaps the intimacy you'd developed was only because of the circumstances you were put in, but he didn't want to lose it. Only if as friends, the two of you had grown much more closer than before.
Just like you, he feared that when you'd be back to your normal lives, this connection would be lost. He didn't want to squander all the progress he had made with you.
But he also didn't want to fritter away the time he had with you right then only to worry about what would or could happen. He promised himself to appreciate and cherish any moment he had the chance to spend with you.
Softly, he said, "Don't worry about it, doll. We got enough time for that later. All we have is now."
"All we have is now." You repeated, snuggling closer to him, luxuriating in the feel of his arms around you and savouring the warmth of his embrace in the cold.
The bliss didn't last long though. There was a petty itch in your eyes, promoting you to bring your hands up to rub your lids.
Bucky pulled back when he felt the movement against him, "Hey, what happened?"
Face half covered with your palm as you tried to get rid of the itch, you said, "Something got into my eyes maybe."
"Don't rub your eyes. You're only going to worsen it." He tried to pull your hand away from your face.
Whatever it was, it irritated and burned the sensitive tissue of your eyes. You had to forcefully will yourself to let Bucky drag your hand away.
Leaning into you, he cupped your face in his hands and puckered his lips to softly blow on your eyes. Hot puffs of air hit you as he tried his best to relieve the itch. Keeping your eyes open was hard, but soon the unwanted particle was driven out.
"Better?" He asked.
"Yeah, thanks." You muttered.
You realised a little too late the close proximity between you too. It was that moment again , rekindling the fire which wasn't really put off before.
Your breaths slowed and your heart thumped loudly in your ears. Bucky could feel the erratic beats of your heart against him. He heard you gulp as you stared intently into his eyes which looked hungry yet gentle.
Your pupils dilated as your gaze fell down to his lips, lingering there before coming back to his eyes. Pushing your tongue out, you tentatively licked your lips teasingly slow.
Your lips glistened as Bucky glanced at them. They looked soft and delicious, and Bucky had never wanted to taste anything as bad as them.
He had stopped himself from doing exactly that for a reason before, but with his brain clouded with thoughts about you and your lips, he couldn't remember why. It was as if his mind had stopped working, which he didn't doubt it had.
Bouts of confidence hit him in that moment, overhauling his senses and preventing him from thinking about anything else. Would it really be wrong to have your lips on his, to taste the sweetness of you? It was all he'd desperately wanted to do since a long time but never dared to.
Throwing all caution to the wind, he finally leaned down...
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The divider is made by @writeyourmindaway​
Chapter 6
I think you all know ensues next. 😏 
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