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CONCEPT!!! zukos a librarian at a community library, does story time for the kiddos, sokka’s friend toph works at the same library, and he likes to listen in on the children’s story time and draw the cute guy who makes funny voices and acts out the best parts of the stories. zuko catches him staring and gets flustered, demands to see what he’s been drawing, sokka is embarrassed and self-conscious of his artwork and doesn’t let him.

zuko misinterprets his ramblings and thinks he’s making fun of his scar and verbally eviscerates sokka. sokka is absolutely embarrassed and crushed and just doesn’t know what to do to make it right!! so he finds him after his shift and apologizes profusely and is like wtf can i do to make up for this and zukos all like “actions speak louder than words”.

so now zuko’s got sokka following him around like a duckling when their class and work schedules align, sketching him when zuko decides to let him, stocking the shelves, sorting books, helping pick out books for story time, getting to know him a lot better.

*cue the montage of adorable scenes of these absolute goofballs, at first super awkward-turtleduck, sokka slowly getting zuko to relax and have fun around him, sokka getting jealous about zuko’s coworker jin, zuko unknowingly getting jealous cause he thinks sokka likes yue due to toph’s teasing, sokka bringing zuko coffee and then tea when he hears stories about uncle iroh, the boss (who is definitely the cabbage merchant) getting mad at sokka for hanging around for no reason, zuko and sokka hiding in the shelves and shushing each other pointlessly cause neither can stop giggling and it’s obvious where they are (toph is just distracting the boss, and man sokka, you owe her for protecting your flirting time) and zuko realizes crap i really like him and goes back to being awkward, except this time sokka just doesn’t let him, he keeps them together as friends even tho sokka is so freakin interested!!! he’s used to zukos weirdness and doesn’t expect anything more than friendship, really toph, there’s no way zuko likes him and he’s fine with that. totally fine. and every so often sokka’s other friends drop by and chat for a bit and zuko just keeps falling harder for him but doesn’t wanna risk everything cause now he’s not just friends with sokka, he likes all of his friends too, so he just pines from afar*

they get to be friends, duh, and then finally zuko gets to work one morning that sokka said he would be at and can’t find sokka anywhere, and he’s like ??? but decides to let it be (cause no one he ever wants to stay does besides his books and his uncle)

(he’s very clearly freaking out and trying not to, but toph just smirks when he asks where sokka is and says “around” so he’s assuming things are fine. things are f i n e, stupid brain)

however, when he goes to sort the books from the drop off bin there’s a quick lil sketch done of sokka holding up books with ridiculous titles and zuko laughing his ass off from last week. zukos in like shock at first cause he really thought sokka was never gonna let him see his art!! so he’s in shock, and he texts sokka a picture with ?????? but gets no reply.

zuko leaves it cause he’s still got a job to do, sorts all the books, goes to put them on the cart and taped to the side of the cart is a detail sketch of a hand on books, a hand with long fingers and perfect nails and a scar across two knuckles and wtf that’s zukos hand?? and so zuko tries to call sokka and there’s no response, so he’s like well okay. (he’s not overthinking this, he’s not getting his hopes up, he’s n o t)

zuko goes about doing his thing, reshelves, and then in the war book section he finds a little cartoon-style sketch of he and sokka when they re-enacted a battle on the tables and chairs of the big reading area and at this point zuko just takes a picture and sends it off with “okay but i clearly won the battle”, keeps moving.

today’s not his day to read to the kids, so he moves on to check out duty, where he finds a little doodle of sokka holding the scanner up to zuko’s face, captioned “yes, i’m checking you out.” zuko does his picture thing and says “hilarious.” (but internally he’s freaking out and doesn’t know if sokkas being serious or making fun of him and he doesn’t know what to do with this and no he is NOT freaking out he’s just mildly concerned)

zuko says hi to all the kids as they’re coming in for story time as they’re passing by. and then toph is like “oh shit, i think yue forgot to grab the books for today, can you bring them to her?” and zuko is like yeah sure, grabs the stack of books off the spot for children’s time and heads over to the kids area.

where he’s stopped short when he sees sokka telling a story to the kids. and he’s like wtf is this what’s going on?? but sokka sees him and just grins and is like ah yes children!!! here is the prince, come to save the peasant boy!!! and all the children cheer!!! sokka winks at zuko takes the books, goes back to the front of the room, and is like “okay kids ready for the actual stories?” but then a kid pipes up and is like “hey!! i thought you said the prince was in love with the peasant boy!!” and sokka just blushes really hard is like “no! i didn’t say that!” but another kid is like “fairy tales end with a kiss!!! mr. zuko has to kiss you!!!”

and sokkas just like total blush face, gaped mouth, then snaps his mouth shut and hisses “kids this isn’t the plan!!”, his eyes are going from the kids to zuko to the kids like he’s not sure who to be worried about more, but zuko’s been hit by his clue-by-four and is like ahhh i see, and kisses sokka on the cheek for the kids sake, then whispers something like “after my shift, can a prince get the real reward for saving you?” and sokkas just gaping before nodding frantically.

and so zukos laughing, says bye to all the kids, and goes back to check out duty. (and he’s still not freaking out, cause this time he’s got hope and confusion and he really can’t wait to see sokka again and figure this out).

story time ends, the kids all head out, last kid is overheard telling his mom about how he wants to be a prince so he can kiss the peasant boy while the mom is just like sure honey, sokka wanders up to zukos check out station like… hi? and zuko just completely straight face, looks him up and down, and then clicks his scanner in his face. and sokka just sputters “hey that’s MY joke!!!” and zuko rolls his eyes and pulls him down and kisses him over the counter, and in the distance toph yells “SUCCESS” while she and yue are holding the boss back from interfering.

(and later, zuko stops abruptly and is like “what did you mean when you told this kids this wasn’t the plan?” and sokka blushes again and mumbles “i might’ve had a plan to convince you i like you through book selection” and zuko is quiet and then he’s just laughing so hard, and he’s like “thank GOD the kids came up with a better plan, i’m entirely too oblivious for that buddy”)

(toph and yue bribed the kids with lollipops to force zuko and sokka together. the pining was exhausting to watch/listen to.)

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“i said i loved you so i could try and get some sleep” (ethan x f!mc/madi)

prompt: “don’t tell me the rules and then break them” from this list (requests are still open)

word count: ~860

a/n: this fic takes place after this fic and this fic. you can read those if you want, but i think the drabble itself is pretty self-explanatory 

tagging: @empressazura

Going into Ethan’s office when he was alone used to be one of Madi’s favorite parts of the day. She got to watch him hunched over his desk, engrossed in his work, glasses threatening to fall off his face. Blues eyes trained on the stacks of papers, blue eyes that didn’t look when she entered the room. He probably didn’t even hear her come in. It was attractive how much he cared. He cared as much as she did. When she caught his attention, he barked a harsh “what?” But then he noticed it was her, and he softened. The icy stare would thaw, and he would almost smile at her presence. It was like her being there at all would make the room warmer. It was attractive how much he cared about her. 

Now, she hated bringing him charts. She would find an excuse to peddle it off to Baz or June, or even a nurse if she was getting desperate. She would feign a patient crisis, or even that Esme needed her. It was June who finally caught onto what she was doing. “Trouble in paradise, huh? Edenbrook’s hottest couple over so soon?” Her heart trembled at June’s words, but she pulled out a light-hearted laugh. June gave her sympathetic smile, and handed the charts back. “I know the struggles of work exes, believe me, but you’re going to have to face him at some point.” Whether or not Madi wanted her to be right didn’t change the facts. So she sucked in her pride and went to his office herself. She knocked. 

As she had suspected, there wasn’t even a noise on the other side. Cracking open the door, the scene before her was laid out as it always was. Instead of taking a moment to enjoy his quiet concentration, and the way his body tensed under the focus, Madi cleared her throat. 

“Madeline,” Ethan looked up almost instantly, “I feel like I haven’t seen you all week.” 

His eye contact caught her off guard. He was good at pretending like nothing ever happened. He always had been. Something in him shifted, but it wasn’t like it was before. “I have Mr. Bailey’s test results back.” 

“Did you have a look at them?” he took his gaze away finally, and Madi took a breath she didn’t realize she was holding in. He walked over to his coffee machine, and turned it on. His casual nature was going to kill her. 

“Yeah, it looks like exactly what we thought it was,” she dropped them off on his desk, turning around to walk out the door without looking back. 

“Madi, wait please,” he spoke, and Madi’s limbs pulled her to stop before her brain even had a chance to think about it. He never called her by her nickname.

“What?” she turned around to face him. He was standing a few feet in front his desk. Whatever guarded expression he had been wearing earlier had tumbled down into something that made her breath catch in her throat. He had no right to look at her with such affection.

He closed the gap between them, holding her shoulders in his hands. His gentle expression ripped whatever insult she had wanted to say out of her throat. Before Madi could even blink, Ethan’s lips were on her’s. Thoughts all floating away, she put a hand on the back of his head deepening this kiss. His hands found their way under lab coat and the top of her scrubs. The feeing of him consumed her, what she had spent months pining after finally right in front of her. Everything felt so right and so wrong all at once. But when he broke the kiss to take off her lap coat, the wrong outweighed everything else. Her first instinct was to push him away. Ethan blinked in surprise. Madi struggled the find the right words, her mind filled with anger and lust in a jumbled frenzy. 

“What the hell?” she was still breathing hard, half of her brain didn’t even think that what had happened was real. “You can’t- you can’t just do that!” 

“Madeline, I-” there he was back to the full name thing.

“You were the one who made the rules, Ethan! You can’t just break them whenever you want to. Do you know what hell i’ve been in for the past week?” 

“What do you want me to say?”

“You know exactly what I want you to say. And you can’t do that without saying it. You know exactly how I feel.” 

The anger had been replaced with hurt. Tears that weren’t there a second ago threatened to spill over. No matter what it was that he felt, he couldn’t say those three little words back. At this point, Madi wondered what hearing him say that he loved her would even mean. If it would even mean anything. She couldn’t keep doing this. 

“Madeline, I-”

“Let me know if you need anything else, Dr. Ramsey. I have rounds now,” nothing would stop her from leaving this time as she shut the door to his office and knew better than to turn around. 

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Unpopular opinion:

I don’t need my whump and my angst to have a “happy ending”. In fact, I hope it doesn’t. That’s not what I read this stuff for. If I wanted fluff, I’d go straight to fluff fics. Except I don’t want fluff, so I won’t.

I want to see characters I enjoy, as well as new fan made characters and Y/N’s struggle and suffer and get through their problems. I want to see them break. I want this because that’s what I relate to. That’s what my reality has been like. Reading characters in similar situations makes me feel, for just an instant, that maybe I’m not the only one who hurts or has problems, and that maybe having a hard time is ok.

I cannot relate or feel comfortable reading something where characters get their fluffy romantic happy endings, because I’ve never experienced that or even seen it irl in others. Doesn’t matter how good the writing is. Fluff doesn’t feel real or normal to me, so I don’t want it. You show me fluff, and the first thing I’ll do after getting nauseous is look for the flaw or the foreshadowing for the doom of the newfound happiness. It just does not compute. (Also, certain fluff concepts are triggers for me, but that’s a whole other story I’m not sharing)

As an aside, I actually quite enjoy smut. I can read that all day and then beg for more.

I don’t care how many tags or warnings an author uses or doesn’t (although they are appreciated), I will go through the comments and reblogs to figure out the fluff level. And then, I’ll also probably ask a friend for a fluff warning on a piece before I read it. If something has fluff? (Most fics around here do) then I just leave well enough alone, mind my own business and move along.

Don’t @ me

And don’t try to twist me or my post.

Matter of fact, just don’t touch this post.

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Summary: Kuwabara falls through a dimensional rift he has created, and it leads him somewhere unexpected. (Hiei/Kuwabara. 5,800+ words. I’ve lost my damn mind, that’s what I’ve done. will be on ao3 better edited lated)


“Kuwabara don’t!”

It’s too late he’s already doing it.

Done it.

It’s happened.

Kuwabara wraps his arms around the demon’s body and oh… it hurts. The demonic bastard is covered in spikes and they stick into him, piercing him as Kuwabara pushes the demon into the rift Kuwabara made with his Jigen To. He’s bleeding, and he feels a spike scrape over a bone, and it hurts, hurts, hurts, hurts-

But he must push him away from Hiei’s unconscious body, he must.

A cruel whisper in Kuwabara’s mind says, ‘What’s the point in saving him? He has already rejected you. He does not love you.’

Kuwabara ignores it. His heart roars over this nagging, vicious voice. He loves Hiei and that is enough. Kuwabara did not need to be loved in return by the person he desired. That was not how love worked. Kuwabara had just hoped that he could prove his love in some way, some action… with time.

Kuwabara doubted he’d ever have the time now…

Kuwabara gives one last push, and the demon fell through the rift taking Kuwabara with him. 

It was exactly what Kuwabara feared would happen.

Keep reading

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oml i finally finished writing the new iron dad and spider son oneshot for hair dye… it’s 57 pages handwritten 🤧 i hope to start typing it soon! (it was not NEARLY supposed to be so long but im pretty fond of the end result and i hope you guys will like it too!)

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fckedupnerd mentioned you on a post “Okay so Michael and David are two people who are 100% aware that there…”

@ingravinoveritas I’m so sorry that happened to you… you are entirely in the right, IMHO. People (particularly anons haha) really do suck sometimes. For what it’s worth, I LOVE your writing and, frankly, can’t wait to read much more of it (I hope) in the coming months! ��❤️��

Thank you so much! I’ve honestly been floored at the response to my most recent piece, especially since it’s not even a full-fledged fic, but a ficlet (or “fucklet,” which the amazing @faggghaggg came up with last night and which I am totally stealing). But I’m so glad that you enjoy my writing, and this encouragement means so much. I really do appreciate it!  💗

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I’ve never liked the trope where a character’s father or brother goes “If you do anything to my Baby Girl/Baby Sister that I disapprove of, I’ll hunt you down” (or variations thereof), but lately, it’s turned from a pet peeve to really making me super uncomfortable and almost making me want to abandon the fics where that happens. 

It’s just so sexist and presumptuous, and although it’s even worse when everyone in the story (including the girl in question) doesn’t question that attitude whatsoever, it’s still quite bad when the father/brother acts this way when the girl tells them that it isn’t up to them, because that shows that they don’t really respect her ability to make her own choices.

It makes my skin crawl.

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hi angel! 

first of all, that’s so exciting! i am super stoked for you and i hope i can provide a little bit of help and encouragement! 

i just started posting here in feb after not writing anything for like…eight years so i am still learning too but i am just gonna share some of the things that have really helped me with writing and sharing my works on tumblr in particular. if you have any questions about any of this though please always feel free to send me an ask or a dm!

  1. write for yourself! i cannot stress this one enough, because writing can be hard and disheartening at times and even more so if you are writing to please anyone other than yourself. write the story you want to tell, write it about whatever you want, and be as self-indulgent as you like. take full advantage of the creative freedom this medium gives you because at the end of the day, producing something you genuinely enjoy is going to be the best motivator and reward.
  2. give yourself permission to suck! writing is a constant evolution, especially as you are just starting out and beginning to develop a style and a method. but if you don’t allow yourself to be a beginner and recognize that not everything you write is going to be the most incredible thing you’ve ever created, you’re just going to hold yourself back. i look back at things i posted two months ago and cringe because it’s a constant process of growing and getting better and it’s not always linear. sometimes things will click and a chapter will feel effortless, sometimes you’ll struggle with a paragraph for two hours and want to throw your computer out a window. allow yourself to feel it all, take breaks as you need them, but write through the highs and lows because like with any other craft, it takes practice to get better.
  3. but don’t tell us that you think your fic sucks! i see this a lot with new writers putting stuff like “i know it sucks so please be gentle” in their author’s notes and stuff and i have definitely been guilty of it in the past but seriously, even if you think your work isn’t great, don’t tell us that in the summary! for one thing, it may turn a lot of people off from your work before they even give it a chance and for another, just because you think it sucks doesn’t mean it does! i have had people tell me a fic i thought was atrocious is their favorite piece of mine and vice versa, so even if you feel critical of it don’t introduce it that way.
  4. allow time for revisions! this is a difficult one for me and probably a lot of other people, because as soon as i finish a fic i want to share it with everyone but as much as you can, give yourself time between completing a work and posting it. you’d be amazed at how many different things you’ll notice about your own work after giving yourself a night away from it and it’s really helpful for editing because if you try to edit as you write, it’s very difficult to want to cut any of the words you just worked so hard to get into a document.
  5. properly format your work when posting! it’s unfortunate but most people will skip over fics that aren’t formatted properly or read them but not reblog them. i use archive of our own to format my fics before posting to here, here is a tutorial on how to do that! this will save you so many headaches because i used to copy from google docs into here and then have to go back and reformat everything and it was a mess so this is a godsend.
  6. make it eye-catching! i am much more likely to read a fic that has a clear title with the pairing, and a summary that includes rating, word count, warnings, and maybe a short author’s note than i am to read something that just jumps right into the story. it also helps to include a GIF relevant to your story to help it stand out in the tags, but if you do this please make sure to ask the user who created the gif if it’s alright to use for your fic and credit them with a tag! i usually put everything after the summary & gif beneath a read more, but you can include a paragraph or two before putting the rest under a read more if you like. 
  7. use tags! i read somewhere that only the first 20 tags you use will be assigned to your work, anything past that is just for show, so choose them wisely! check out similar fics in the fandom you write for and see what tags they use if you aren’t sure what to tag it with. also, if your post contains any external links (to a playlist or anything other than another tumblr post) it will NOT show up in search results so make sure you don’t have anything that could prevent your work from being searched!
  8. interact! especially when you’re just starting out and don’t have a huge following, it might take a second for your fics to gain some traction but don’t get discouraged! don’t be afraid to interact with other writers by commenting on their fics, reblogging them, and sending them asks. a lot of my best friends on here i discovered through a mutual appreciation of each other’s fics so even if you’re shy, i promise it’s worth it to interact with writers you love! if you show support and appreciation for other authors you are much more likely to get it in return. i won’t speak for other authors here but you’re also always welcome to message me if you would like me to read a fic of yours if it is for a character i write for or post about often!

i think that’s about it as far as my tips but i am just gonna share some of my favorite resources as well because why not –

writing ambience: i won’t stick links in here because of the whole tag issue but mynoise offers a bunch of background noise options, and ambient worlds on youtube has a ton of amazing playlists for fictional worlds. i write to their star wars ones but they have a bunch of amazing ones.

help with words: power thesaurus is a crowd-sourced english thesaurus with synonyms for literally every word you could possibly imagine & word hippo offers synonyms, atonyms, and even rhyming words. both super helpful when you just can’t think of the word you need!

random resources:@lets-get-fictional has a ton of resources neatly organized under the ‘tags’ page, i haven’t had a chance to browse through all of them but there is a ton of helpful info on this page!

✿ i hope this helps and happy writing! ✿

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From @mlb-shit-post‘s prompt list

Day 26: pancake mix (yall best believe I was waiting for this one)

Word count: 1093

“Okay, we watched a movie, gave each other manicures, and played never have I ever,” Adrien said, “What else do people do at sleepovers?”

By some miracle Nathalie had allowed Marinette to spend the night at Adrien’s house- Adrien’s first sleepover ever. Since it was Adrien’s first sleepover, Marinette decided to do as many dumb sleepover things as she could think of.

“Hmm… what time is it?” Marinette asked.

Adrien checked his phone for the time.

“Midnight,” he said, “Oh no, does that mean we have to sleep now?”

“Absolutely not,” Marinette said, “We’ve still got hours ahead of us before we sleep. Normally midnight means it’s time for a kitchen raid.”
“But we just ate dinner a few hours ago,” Adrien said, confused.

Marinette grabbed him by his jacket and whispered, “That was then, this is now.”

Marinette grabbed Adrien’s hand and led him out of his room, only to stop once they crossed the threshold.

“I… I realize now that you should probably be leading me seeing as I have no idea where your kitchen is.”

Adrien laughed and guided her down the hallway to the biggest kitchen she had ever seen. Marinette gaped in awe at everything before her.

“Now, the chef has already gone home, so-”
“Shhhhhh,” Marinette said, “I’m the goddess of sleepovers and kitchen raids. I don’t need a chef.”

Adrien stared at his girlfriend lovingly as she went into the pantry to try to find midnight snack material.

“Damn,” Marinette said, “I know your dad is rich and all but I’d expect at least ONE bag of chips! Truly disappointing.”


“Don’t you ever apologize for anything that isn’t your fault you beautiful angel,” Marinette yelled from the pantry, “Besides, I can work with what we’ve got. How do you feel about pancakes?”

Adrien’s face lit up and he rushed over to the pantry where Marinette was.

“I’d love pancakes!” he said, “But we don’t have any mix.”

“I’m a baker’s daughter,” Marinette said, “I can make my own mix.”

Adrien watched starry-eyed as Marinette gathered up the ingredients for the pancakes and a mixing bowl. As it turned out, Marinette didn’t even need a recipe, she had just made these pancakes so many times.

Adrien was falling even more in love with her, if that was possible.

Marinette was putting in the ingredients when she caught Adrien staring at her. She laughed.

“Do you wanna help out?” She asked, smiling.

Adrien nodded aggressively.

“I’m almost done putting everything in so you can mix the batter,” Marinette said, “Wait, do you know how to crack an egg?”

“Probably,” Adrien said.

“That… doesn’t give me much hope. The good thing is that this recipe calls for two eggs, so I can crack the first one and you can follow my lead.”

“What if I mess it up?” Adrien worried.

“The pancakes are only for us, Adrien,” Marinette said, “And I’m not gonna care if I have to eat a bit of eggshell because my dorky boyfriend has never cracked an egg before.”

Marinette went over to the fridge and came back with the eggs that the recipe called for.

“Mk, you just put the egg on the edge of the bowl and hit it hard enough that the shell cracks,” Marinette said before cracking the egg, “Now you try.”

Adrien took the second egg with shaking hands. Ever so carefully, he hit it against the edge of the bowl. But, the egg didn’t crack.

“Here,” Marinette said, “I can help you.”

Marinette put her hand on Adrien’s and used the right amount of force to crack the egg.

“There we go!” she said, “Now, take the two parts of the shell and pull them apart over the bowl.”

Adrien did as she said and the egg yolk fell into the bowl.

“Did I do it right?” Adrien asked.

“No shell in the bowl and no egg on the counter, I’d call that a success.”

Marinette kissed Adrien on the cheek and he smiled.

“Now you have to mix the batter,” Marinette said, “It’s pretty self explanatory, you just… mix it. I’ll get a spatula.”

“But… when do I stop mixing it?” Adrien asked.

“When all the ingredients are blended,” Marinette said, spatula in hand, “But I’ll tell you when you’ve mixed it enough.”

Adrien took the spatula from Marinette and started mixing the batter. While he was mixing it, Marinette wrapped her arms around him from behind and he smiled to himself.

This is probably what married life is gonna be like, he thought to himself.

Adrien blushed at the thought of actually marrying Marinette, but he also knew that the two were so close they might as well have been married anyway. His mind began to wander as he thought more about his future and Marinette’s place in it. He was only snapped out of his thoughts when Marinette told him he had mixed the batter enough.

“There’s just one thing,” Marinette said.
“What is it?”
Marinette dipped her finger in the pancake batter and smeared it on Adrien’s nose.

Adrien blinked, completely baffled and Marinette laughed at his expression.

“There’s no reason to look so shocked,” she said, smiling.

Marinette kissed Adrien’s nose where she had put the pancake batter and it vanished without a trace.

“There we go,” she said.

“Well, if you’re going to kiss me wherever the pancake batter goes,” Adrien said, trying to recover from moments before by being smooth, “I might need to have a little taste test.”

His attempt at flirting had nothing on Marinette, who laughed at him.

“Well you don’t want to eat too much, Adrien, there’s raw egg AND raw flour in here,” Marinette said, “Wouldn’t want you to get salmonella or E. Coli now would we. But as far as the kissing goes, we’ll see what happens.”
Marinette ended her sentence with a wink and Adrien blushed once more. How had their whole dynamic turned around since the beginning of their relationship?

“Alrighty,” Marinette continued, “I’ll need a pan, some butter, and a spatula. Not the kind I have now but the flat kind for flipping pancakes.”

“Hey, why do you get to boss me around all of a sudden?” Adrien asked, trying to be difficult.

“Because it’s your kitchen and I don’t know my way around it,” Marinette retorted, “And besides, I’m the one making the pancakes.”
“You make a fair point,” Adrien said, “I’ll get the stuff.”

Marinette smiled at Adrien before kissing him.

“I love you,” she said.

“I love you too.”

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For This Chapter:
Rating: Teen and Up
Warnings: Non-descriptive demon fighting
Additional: Blood mention
Word Count: 1407
A/N: Reader is a tough badass and curses a lot. That’s the premise also lyric titles are a lifesaver cause I hate making titles lmao

Part 1/Part 2

AO3 Link: Part 1/Part 2

Whoever decided that your city would only have street parking and no parking lots or garages was on your shit list. Having to walk more than a mile to get to your car after work was the last thing you wanted to do when you left, but your only other option to get home was to walk the 5 miles there, but since the idea of walking just over 1 was terrible, the idea of walking 5 made you concede to your fate of walking down your city streets.

Keep reading

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It was all ripped away. In a flash of light and a cascade of fire, her world was ripped away. 

“And on that cheek, and o’er that brow - So soft, so calm, yet eloquent - the smiles that win, the tints that glow - but tells of days in goodness spent - a mind at peace with all below - a heart whose love is innocent!”

Poem by Lord Byron (George Gordon)


Hunger, pain, the fear of not surviving the day. Things Nellie never had to encounter in her past life. She had endured an occasional fight as a young woman, usually ones she fought for others, but it was nothing compared to being whacked with a spike board by a seven foot tall Super Mutant… yes. Those exist now. Everything she used to know was nothing, it was all gone - changed by radiation or turned into dust by time. There was always a constant ache that would never let her rest. The constant reminder that there was a gaping hole where her family used to be… where she used to be. The person she once was just as dead as the rest of the world.

The fire in front of her popped, knocking her away from her thoughts. She was sitting on hard, rocky ground and that would soon become her bed, in a clearing in no place in particular. The sun had set an hour or so ago, but she had kept her fire going - despite the fact it would only draw threats to her. She held a 10mm Pistol in her right hand, ready to face anything that wandered too close. But deep in the back of her mind, she wanted to use it for something else. Something that would end the nightmare, withdraw her from the scorched, irritated landscape that surrounded her. What she really wanted was to ease the ache and finally rest.

The clothes she wore smelled like dried sweat and blood that had been fermenting on her for weeks. The old, blue vault suit had stitched-up patches that covered old bullet holes, and the armor she had on her limbs had deep dents on them. It was as if she had been on a battlefield, and perhaps she still was. Her life now was filthy and blood soaked. Death was an unwelcome companion, everyday she saw it… and saw it caused by her own hands. She suffers everyday. And today, she goes hungry. 

There was no food in her small duffle bag. Nellie had run out the day before and had eaten a wild irradiated plant in the early morning. All that was in there was some ammunition, stimpacks, and some personal forget-me-nots. She took out some old photos that were protected by a plastic bag in a tin box and held them to the light. The top one was of her and her husband with their baby, it was the first day out of the hospital. They were so happy. Love used to surround them, they were soul mates. And it was all taken away by a bullet to the chest. 

Revenge was not enough to right the wrong that had been done. She could kill the man who shot her husband a thousand times but nothing would change, Amber would still be dead and his ghost would still haunt her. She needed to find their son. He was still out here, she knew it. She could not die yet, no matter how much she longed for the release. She was the only survivor of a deadly vault malfunction, she alone survived. 

“Now, there’s a reason for that.” An unexpected familiar voice toar her from the depth of her mind.

“Pops?” She stood. Looking for the face of her father. 

“Maybe Shaun isn’t the only reason you are outch-here.” The familiar southern twang and joyful tone - there was no mistaking it. 

“Pops, come out of the shadows.” She twirled around, trying to find him. “Sit by the fire with me.”

“I’m already sittin’.” There he was. Sitting on a metal stool by the fire. He wore his usual loose collared shirt and trousers. One of his boots untucked and that big smile of his. “Now, you sit with me?”

She did so, her gaze glued to him. “How are you here?”

“Nevermind that. But I will tell ya why.” He leaned towards her, closer to the light of the fire. “I want you to promise me something, Chickpea.” 

“You came all the way out here for a promise?”

“No, I came because you needed me to.” He paused, observing his daughter’s condition. “You look like you been dragging yourself through the muck, Nell. And I don’t just mean physically. I know you ain’t had much choice, and if I could I would take you back home to Summersville. I’d throw you over my shoulder and off we’d go! But the truth is… I ain’t here anymore.”

She huffed, “I know that! … But you are HERE.”

“Because you need help! And because you need to help others too.” He pointed at her, “Chickpea, you are a smart woman. You been taught how to make use of the land - though I know it ain’t the same land it used to be - but nonetheless you been taught how to build, tinker, modify, hell you went to college and learned how to code computers!”

“It was one class, I can’t -” 

“Now just listen. I have a lot I wanna say.” He signed, and leaned back on his stool. “What happened to this world was awful. It destroyed so much, and took so much away. But it did not take everythin’. You are still here. I want you to stop feeling sorry for yourself! There is so much more to do. What about these folks who are still out here survivin’? How bout you share that knowledge! You know how to read and write, hell, teach them and pass on your knowledge that way!” He smiled, “And your baby… He needs you, Chickpea. The only way you’re going to get to him is if others help you do so.”

She put her head in her free hand, her other hand gripping the pistol tight. “What if I can’t find him? What if I fail?”

“There is nothing wrong with being afraid, but you can’t let it paralyze ya. These last few weeks, what have you been doing? Wandering around, fighting, killing, and all for what? Why don’t you stop for a moment and use the skills of a Fraser and build a healthy place to settle for the folks you help in passing. And maybe, they will help you too.”


“You are an educated, pre-war woman. You have suffered loss, but that won’t keep you down.” George stood up and held out his hand. “Pick yer-self up, Nell.” 

She looked at his hand, and grabbed it tight with both of hers and pulled herself to her feet. “Now promise me somethin’.”

“Anything, Pops.” The fire was getting low, it’s light did not illuminate his face any more. It was only a shadow that she could only see the shape of.

“Promise you won’t end your own life. Not tonight, or any other night.” 

Nellie held her breath. Her rational mind told her this was all in her head, and this whole conversation was fabricated by her own mind. But her heart only heard her father speaking. Like he really did come from the grave to build her up again. “I promise.”

“Don’t you go forgetting what I said. I meant e’ery word.” He wrapped her in a quick embrace, one that was not warm like they used to be. “Stay strong, Chickpea.” 

She felt his arms fall away but did not hear any steps. The fire was just red embers now and the half moon only revealed stillness around her. He was never really there. 

Fatigue creeped up on her, and she sunk to the hard, rocky earth. She loosely grabbed her 10mm Pistol in her hands and cradled it in her lap. That feeling deep in her still remained, but her and Pops never broke their promises to each other.

She stared at the stars. Knowing that she had to go back to her hired gun, MacCready. She had left him alone when they both needed each other, and if she were to need anyone in this Hellish place. It was him.

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