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#natalie roar
commedessgarcons · 9 months ago
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Rina Sawayama for Rolling Stone Magazine, February 2021
Ph. by Chieska Fortune Smith
Makeup by Ana Takahashi
Styled by Natalie Roar
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smileytiger28 · 7 months ago
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loki bts facts i think you all should know! image id’s are quite loose, as i prefer to give my commentary over high fidelity to each detail of the image.
image 1: season 1 of Loki is directed by Kate Herron and written by Michael Waldron. The stars of the series include Tom Hiddleston, Sophia DiMartino, and Wunmi Mosaku.
image 2: a screenshot of Kate Herron’s Instagram, @herronthatkate. The profile picture is of Kate, a white woman with brown hair and rectangular glasses, petting her brown chihuahua, who is blocking her chin from the camera. Her bio reads:
“She/Her 🏳️‍🌈 • Writer-Director • Dir & Exec #Loki for @marvelstudios • Dir Season 1 of @Netflix @sexeducation • Your friendly neighbourhood dork blacklivesmatters.carrd.co”
image 3: a screenshot of the title card of Kate’s short film Smear from her official website.
image 4: a description of the film Smear begins with the following paragraph: “SMEAR is a lube-tastic horror-comedy inspired by Gremlins, Tremors and Little Shop of Horrors, about a woman going in for her first pap-smear test starring in the lead, Sophia Di Martino of the BAFTA-nominated Flowers and Nick Mohammed (Mr Swallow 4**** The Guardian).” The name “Sophia DiMartino” is highlighted; she plays who many fans presume to be Lady Loki in Loki.
image 5: Michael Waldron, the writer of Loki, wrote Season 4, Episode 2 of Rick and Morty, titled “The Old Man and the Seat”, which is best known as the episode featuring Rick’s secret toilet seat.
image 6: a wikipedia article begins: “Leading Lady Parts is a 2018 short film directed by Jessica Swale. Inspired by the Time's Up movement...”
image 7: still on the Leading Lady Parts wikipedia article, the cast list includes Wunmi Mosaku, who plays Hunter B-15 in Loki.
image 8: Wikipedia’s synopsis of Leading Lady Parts reads: “Several A-list actresses are auditioning for a film role known as the "leading lady part". The casting directors ask increasingly ridiculous requests of the actresses, including for them to lose weight, smile more, undress, put on more makeup, and, in the case of British Asian actress Gemma Chan, if she could "be more white". Finally, Tom Hiddleston auditions and is immediately cast.” Yes, that’s right, Tom Hiddleston, i.e. Loki, is the final gag in this.
image 9: a screenshot of the Wikipedia page for Loki. The composer for the series is Natalie Holt.
image 10: on the 10th of June, 2013, Natalie Holt wrote an article for The Guardian titled: “Why I pelted Simon Cowell with eggs”. Discussing the time she threw eggs at Simon Cowell on live television (really!), she writes: “I made a Britain's Got Talent protest because I care deeply about the power Cowell and reality shows have over the music industry”.
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aroaringlioness · 10 months ago
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tag dump
you’re gonna hear me roar (ooc)
pull the strings baby (mun ash)
she’s got the look (aesthetic)
it's the nighttime that flatters (dash dish)
I live among the creatures of the night (drabbles)
oh the night is my world (headcanons)
dear diary this is my story (long post)
living in the forest of my dream (memes)
frame it and take it (mobile)
they’ve got the look (muse aesthetics)
love songs on the radio (music aesthetics)
lets hear it for the boys and girls (promos)
listen to the words coming from my lips (rules)
down the street of my soul (update)
city light painted girl (wishlist)
the devil wears prada (gloria)
just a firecracker waiting to explode (natalie)
you take my self you take my self control (nikolai)
hitting like a hammer she’s a miracle man (main)
all we ever wanted was everything (college)
I know there’s something going on (celeb journalist)
here comes the rain again falling like a new emotion (aqua witch)
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auswomensfootball · 3 years ago
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As we celebrate rebel Female Football Round, we ask our players about their journey to the Westfield W-League.
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cosmic--dragon · 4 months ago
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not me forgetting that two of my favourite authors follow me now on tumblr and freaking the FUCK out when i see them in my notifications
i just :')
i love them
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delxcour · 3 months ago
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she’s a rainbow- natasha romanoff x reader
a/n: this was loosely requested by anon, inspired by a song of the same name
The first time you see her, she is dressed in blue.
You’re at one of Tony’s parties- and you don’t want to be there, you’d rather be anywhere else in the world in fact, but you work for Tony and more than that, you’re worried for him.
Though you both had worked closely on things regarding the Iron Man suit, he had been pulling away from you without any explanation as to why. The closest that you had gotten to an explanation was whenever he got drunk and started mumbling about a new energy source or something.
You stood in the corner of the party, nursing a drink as the lights flashed and the music played loudly, so loud that you could barely hear yourself think over the music, much less have a conversation.
You made your way outside of the house and even there, a small part of the party seemed to have spilled out of the house and you weren’t able to find the peace and quiet that you were looking for.
Someone touched your arm gently and you spun around, not knowing who to expect, though it certainly wasn’t her.
She had long, dark red hair and she was wearing a beautiful midnight blue dress to match, her hair done in curls.
You didn’t believe in love at first sight but looking at her, you thought that maybe you had been wrong.
“Oh, I’m so sorry- I thought you were someone else,” She said, smiling sheepishly. “What’s your name?”
You told her your name, momentarily losing your train of thought.
“What about you? What’s your name?”
“Natalie Rushman- I’m Ms. Pott’s personal assistant at Stark Industries,” She smiled, extending her hand out.
You extended your own, taking her hand and shaking it.
“It’s nice to meet you, Natalie- and welcome to Stark Industries.”
Were the two of you technically coworkers? If you dated each other, would you have to tell HR about it?
“So, what do you do? Famous model, actress?” She suggested and you laughed slightly.
“Now you’re just flattering me, I mean if anyone’s the model here, it’s you. I just work with Tony on the Iron Man project and things of that nature.”
Her eyes went wide as if she was more impressed by that than any of the things she mentioned before.
“Just? Don’t downplay how smart you have to be for that, humble isn’t a good look on you.”
“You’re right, I guess… just a force of habit.”
She smiled softly.
“It must be a strange work environment if he’s always this… impulsive.”
You glanced back towards the inside of the house, seeing several models on each of Tony’s arms.
He was clearly drunk.
“He wasn’t… it’s been different these past couple of months. I don’t know, if Tony’s good at one thing besides engineering, it’s bottling up his feelings.”
She nodded intently, hanging onto every word that you were saying.
“I’m sorry. That must be tough for you.”
You sighed.
“It’s harder to see him like this than it is when he ices me out.”
She opened her mouth to speak but before she could, Tony stumbled out of the doors.
“There you are, Natalie- come back in and enjoy the party!” He beckoned before being pulled back inside.
Natalie looked at you apologetically.
“I should… it was nice talking to you though, really,” She said, giving you a small smile before she entered the house once again.
As you would later learn, that was the only honest thing that she told you that entire conversation.
The crowd roared as she entered the home and she did not look back at you once.
The next time you see her, she is dressed in black.
All pretense of meekness was gone and what was left was a woman with the same red curls as before, her midnight blue dress traded in for a black jumpsuit with long sleeves.
She is sitting on Tony’s front porch step and given the way her eyes are following you as you made your way up the drive, you guessed that it was you who she wanted to talk to.
“You lied to me,” You said, almost wincing at how childish your accusation sounded- of course she had lied to you, that was her job.
She was a spy, she didn’t owe you an explanation or an apology.
“I’m sorry,” She said, her words careful. “If it was up to me, I wouldn’t have.”
You don’t believe her.
“Why are you even here, Natalie? I-”
“It’s Natasha,” She corrected and you didn’t say anything for a couple of moments.
You truly knew nothing about her and more than that, you trusted nothing about her. After all, what was stopping her from lying about being named ‘Natasha’ as well?
“As for why I’m doing this… I don’t know. I didn’t want you to think that it was all fake, I guess.”
You crossed your arms.
“So what was real then?”
Another pause.
"I really did like you,” She said softly and even though you desperately wanted to be angry at her, you couldn’t help but melt slightly. “And you are too good for him.”
“We’re not…” You took a step back from her as if she had just slapped you. “Are you just trying to manipulate me into joining SHIELD?”
She blinked, as if the thought had never even crossed her mind.
“What- no! I think you’d be a good fit for SHIELD, but I wasn’t…” She fell silent, studying you once again. “That’s all you think I am now, isn’t it? A spy.”
You shrugged helplessly, tears pricking your eyes.
“You haven’t given me much else to go on.”
“Forget it. Just… go back to someone who completely undervalues the work that you do and just forget that I exist. I’ll do the same for you.”
She stormed off without saying anything else, getting into a black unmarked car and driving off.
When you see her again, her hair is shorter and although you aren’t positive, you think you’re on a plane.
You also have the worst headache of your entire life and vague memories of the past couple of days, all of which seem to be tinted in blue.
“I liked your long hair better,” You mumbled and she rolled her eyes, though a small smile appeared on her face.
“You didn’t take my advice about forgetting me.”
“Can you blame me?” You said before you winced, your head throbbing. “What happened? I remember… a portal opened, I think. And some guy… walked out. The rest is fuzzy.”
“That guy… Loki… he mind-controlled you. A bunch of people, actually.”
“Wait,” You sat up straight, causing a wave of dizziness to rush over you. “Loki, as in Norse mythology Loki? That Loki?”
“Yes.”
You sat there for a second, thinking.
“Hm. That’s interesting.”
She blinked.
“You’re handling this surprisingly well.”
You shrugged slightly.
“I’m a scientist. It wouldn’t do me any good to ignore the evidence that’s been presented to me.”
She didn’t respond, handing you a cup with medicine in it.
“For your head,” She said and you nodded, looking at the pills before taking them with the water that was just off to the side. “I didn’t take my own advice either, you know. I didn’t forget about you.”
You stayed silent for a couple of seconds.
“Why not?”
“I already told you, didn’t I? I really did like you,” She said, not meeting your eyes.
“I liked you too. But I don’t… I don’t know if I can trust you again.”
She thought about this for a minute.
“What are you doing Thursday night?”
“If the world hasn’t ended by then? Probably going back to work.”
“Have dinner with me. I might not even make it out of this alive, but-”
“Yes.”
A small smirk appeared on her face.
“That didn’t take long.”
“Oh shut up,” You said, a small smile on your face. “Don’t you have a city to save?”
She glanced towards the door before looking back at you.
“I suppose I do. I’ll see you on the other side?”
“I hope so,” You said softly and she smiled before walking out of the room you were recovering in.
The next time you see her is on Thursday, outside of the address that she texted you.
You are nearly twenty minutes late because of all the damage that had been done during the Battle of New York, but when you arrive, she is standing there in a pale gold dress, her hair curled and styled like she just walked out of the 1920s.
You are rendered speechless by her beauty and she just looked at you and smirked.
“Something catch your attention?” She asked innocently and you rolled your eyes, though you felt heat rise to your cheeks. She offered you her hand and you took it. “I feel the same way about you, you know. You take my breath away.”
The two of you walked into the restaurant together, hand in hand and as certain as you had once been that there would be no relationship between you and Natasha, you found your own doubts about your relationship with her slowly slipping away.
And they continue to slip away.
Her dress is emerald green when she tells you about her adopted family, about Ohio and about Yelena, and it’s silver like moonlight when she stands up on her tiptoes to kiss you on the doorstep of your apartment.
It’s sky blue when she introduces you to the rest of the Avengers as her girlfriend and it’s a black, oversized hoodie when she first tells you that she loves you, laying next to you on the couch, half-asleep and fighting off a cold.
(You say it back, but she’s already fallen back asleep. You don’t worry though, because you know that you have all the time in the world to say it.)
Her dress is white when the two of you finally get married and her hair is longer, curled like it was the night you first met.
Tony is drunk again and is taking credit for your love story in his toast, but you don’t care, not as long as you’re with her.
You can face anything, you think, as long as you’re with her.
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hollandcrush · 9 months ago
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hi, i don’t know if your doing requests or not but if you are can you do one with tom where the reader buys the ‘tik tok’ leggings and records toms reaction and posts it on tik tok? if not ignore this, i love your writing also :))
afgsjdlkl omg yes !! thank you for requesting this. my boob man tom people got a blurb earlier (confrontation), so this is for the fellow ass man believers. sorry for any mistakes and bad writing. enjoy :)
starstruck
word count: 1,073
warnings: fluff, tom being an ass man, marking, one sexual innuendo.
Everything was set. Camera placed and hidden, leggings on and plan well thought out. A trend had been circulating around the internet; my boyfriend reacts to my leggings. These specific leggings worked miracles. The intricate, dimensional design enhanced the curves of your behind. The temptation to do this trend was too great to reject such an opportunity.
It was Sunday, Tom had the day off from shooting, the perfect chance to lure the vulnerable prey into your trap. He got back from the golf course around an hour ago, his mood cheerful following his wonderful performance- which he had told you all about during dinner.
Following the meal, you went upstairs changing into a lazy attire, hoodie and the honeycomb leggings. They were bright pink, hard to miss. Once everything was set up, you channelled your inner Natalie Portman, ready to give an oscar-worthy performance.
“Tom! Come here, what is that?” You shouted, voice echoing off the walls through the modern house, reaching your boyfriend who waited for you downstairs.
“Darling, if this is a spider, I’m not fucking helping!” He roared back, causing you to roll your eyes. Spider-Man is scared of spiders. How ironic.
“It’s not I promise. Quickly you div.” You assured, voice laced with a hint of panic, selling the authenticity of your pleas. You fixed your posture, arching your back slightly, ensuring the hoodie rested on your hips. Not concealing anything.
A sequence of thuds was dispatched as he ran up the stairs to your aid. He ran to the master bedroom, entering the room in an emphatic fashion. His socks sliding on the wood making him lose friction, sliding and losing his balance. It was hard not to laugh at his clumsiness, but you did it. ‘Maybe this acting shit isn’t hard after all.’
“What is it darling?” He queried, eyebrows furrowed as he joined you at the floor length window. You were pointing at the distance, acting as if you saw something strange. His eyes squinted as he tried to get a look.
“Well it’s gone now. So slow.” You muttered causing him to pull a playful frown. “I was on the couch darling. I came as fast as I could. What was it anyways?”
Shrugging your shoulders, you sighed. “I don’t know, that’s why I asked you to look.” You chuckled, going back to folding the throw blankets. He kissed your temple, giving you a tight squeeze as he wrapped his strong arms around your waist.
“M’Sorry darling, the dinner you made was so good. Little heavier on my feet now.” He joked, letting go of his grasp. “Time for a nap I believe.”
And with that he turned on his heels. A wave of disappointment flooded your body. Tongue poked at the inside of your cheek, lips pursed. Was he that oblivious? They are bright pink. You weren’t mad, just upset.
Too caught up in your own wandering thoughts, you hadn’t realised Tom stopped in his tracks. Head hanging over his shoulders taking in your appearance. The vibrant colour had flashed in the corner of his eyes when he turned to leave.
His bottom lip tucked between his teeth, body spinning around to face your back. Eyes nearly popped from his sockets, mouth slightly agape. He cleared his throat, gaining your attention.
“What is that?” He questioned, stalking over to your still body, eyes glued to your behind.
Kicking your back leg out a little, you turned your hips, innocently emphasising the curve. His hand roamed the material that covered that back of your thighs, feeling the ripples against his touch. You laughed at his starstruck behaviour. “They are new leggings. Got them a few days ago.” You answered nonchalantly.
“And you are only wearing them now?” He exclaimed, eyebrows laced with confusion. “They look great darling. I think you should get some more of them.” He chirped, flashing you a quick smile.
To edge on the reaction, you swayed your hips. “Tommy, they are just leggings. There really isn’t anything special about them. Waste of money.” You huffed, trying your hardest to conceal your smirk. However, his eyes were only focused on your ass.
“Darling, I will buy you all the pairs in the world. Cause, bloody hell, I’m a little flustered here.”
His hand travelled further, now resting against your tempting curve. He kneaded the plush skin through the material, watching it move against his touch. Bending his body slightly forward, he got a closer look. Inspecting it with respectful eyes. “Tom.” You giggled, watching your boyfriend pull and feel the material that stretched over your ass.
“Yeah, just wanna make sure it’s good quality. You know? Make sure it can handle some impact.” He stated, causing you to become confused by what he meant.
The sudden harsh smack to your ass clarifying his statement. It evolved into a sequence of smack then squeeze, playful and light. You inhaled sharply, taken aback by the action. On exhale, a fit of laughter escaped. “Is it Tom approved?” You teased.
Dropping to his knees, a sweet, sensual hum vibrated against your body. “You did this on purpose didn’t you. Little devil, darling.” He hissed, his hands gently placed on your outer thighs, thumb tracing the under curve of your ass.
His tight grip held you still, preventing you from turning around. “Tommy me? How dare you jump to such conclusion.” Your dramatic manner caused him to snicker. “Okay, you got me love. I- Tom!” You gasped.
Taking the opportunity the position had offered him, his teeth gently sunk into your soft skin. Effectively marking it, and the leggings. But a soothing kiss planted afterwards helped aid any burning sensations to simmer. Jumping back onto his feet, he spun you around. Your fingers clasped around his biceps, steadying your body against his. His hands pressed into your lower back, anchoring you.
“Sorry love, the opportunity presented itself to me. I’d have been a fool not to take it.” He defended, lips grazing over yours before giving you a loving kiss. Holding you tight, as lips collided passionately.
That innocent moment didn’t last long as his hands gravitated to cup your behind once again. You smiled against his lips, utterly bewildered. This man could switch moods in a fraction of a second.
“But yes, these are Tom approved. But, I can see them spending more time on our bedroom floor than on you.”
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kram6496 · 4 months ago
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Returning Home Part 1
Yelena Belova x Venom!Reader
PART 1 | PART 2 | PART 3 | PART 4 | PART 5
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You should've joined the Avengers. If you did, maybe the love of your life Yelena and your two children Natalie and Alex wouldn't have been dusted. The last thing you remembered was their own looks of horror, how you wished you were dusted too. Venom snapped you out of it, we can undo this, call Steve now!
A phone call later and you were off with the Avengers into deep space to hunt down the maniac who did all this. When Thor severed the guy's head it didn't give you much solace. Not even the taste of Thanos' brain helped to ease our suffering.
Those five years went by so fast. You and Venom chose to stay with Natasha, she was the only family you had left. An Avenger by choice but still people feared you as they should. Cleaning up the chaos was not much consolation, even Venom didn't take as much joy in eating bad guys as he normally did.
One night it all just exploded within you. You scream out in agony and spikes of Venom shoot out, piercing the room around you. Venom's roar takes over for a second. Crying, you collapse to your knees as Natasha puts her arms around you.
Steve stands some distance away, he looks down depressed
"I was told never to cry," Natasha tells you, "but you need this."
"I just want them back. Yelena and I would be celebrating eleven years together. Natalie would've been ten. Alex, he would've been seven." I want my family back!!!
Your sister in law hugs you close, Venom's tendril runs over her hand. "We got to live for them now." she whispers to you.
For a moment, living seems possible and then there's a ringing at the compound's doorbell. The feed comes on and standing at the door is a man you haven't seen before.
"Hello? Is anyone home? It's me Scott. You know Ant-Man. Can you buzz me in?" The frazzled man says.
"Is this old?" Steve asks confused.
"This is live." Natasha responds as she runs out to answer the door.
Wasn't he counted among the dusted?!? Could there be hope?
TO BE CONTINUED...
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midnightsconspiracy · 7 months ago
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Blame
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Blame - @midnightsconspiracy
Summary: Having a baby without telling their father was hard, what was harder was when that baby’s father was Hank Voight
Warnings: None
Word Count: 1900
Requested: Yes!!
‘Hank and the reader had a small fling 2 years ago Hank called it off but what happens when he finds out that the reader son isn’t just hers but his as well.’
A/N: It doesn't really follow the timeline of the requests 2 years, but it's along those lines anyway :):)
Masterlist
Yours and Hank's relationship had seemed perfect at first, well to you anyway. Nothing seemed as though it was out of the ordinary until the man had unexpectedly broken it off.
It had originally started when you had first met him on a case. Originally, you had attended a police scene after his unit had called for a paramedic crew, the sergeant in question having hit the offender a little too hard. Your partner was assigned to look at the perpetrator's wounds, him having come out of that scuffle worst for wear, you on the other hand were sent to look at Voight's beat-up hand. Admittedly, you were a little wary at first, having heard of his tough reputation through the firehouse. But he seemed to be kind to you anyways, and so you ignored those rumours, choosing to decide for yourself instead. And so your relationship grew from there, secretly spending most of your free nights at his place, learning to trust each other implicitly.
As time went on, the two of your learnt to love each other, both scarred from the outcome of previous relationships. Your days were filled with shy smiles from the texts you'd send to each other, and nights with the feeling of one another. Everything had seemed perfect at the time, blissfully unaware of what he was feeling. Yes, he did love you, but the insecurities and comments were eating away at him. Each day he would come into work or go out to his local gentlemen's club and receive judgments on your relationship, about how you were much younger or better looking than him. He took most of the comments to heart despite you telling him otherwise, but who was he going to believe, over 10 of his closest friends and colleagues or his girlfriend? Eventually, he chose his answer, breaking it off before you could object otherwise.
Distraught was the only word that you could use to describe yourself. You were absolutely heartbroken knowing someone you believed loved you threw it all away because of the opinions of others. Not only were you emotionally broken but also physically, feeling like absolute crap, constantly throwing your guts up and in an ever-changing mood. At first, you just blamed it on the stress you were facing, the breakup had been rough and you'd tried your best to change his mind. But it continued on day by day even after you'd accepted what had happened. Confiding in Sylvie about your problems, she seemed worried for you, urging you to go to the doctors for advice. Although you were apprehensive at first, you followed her instructions, seeking Natalie out to check you over.
You played with your hands nervously as you waited for her to come back with the results of the blood tests. At first, you just thought it was the flu, but after each symptom of yours she checked off her list, your mind knew where this was all going. And so as she confirmed what you were thinking, you froze, tears springing to your eyes not knowing what would happen to you or your baby.
That day you had made one of the most important decisions of your life, you would move back home to Virginia and raise the baby with only the help of your family. And so that's what you did, packing your things up into a moving van, putting your apartment for sale and driving to your new home. It was a little challenging at first to adjust to your new life, you missed your friends overwhelmingly having spent nearly every day of the last five years within the walls of that firehouse. But, you knew you had to move on though, probably never going back to Chicago to allow your child a better life. It had crossed your mind once or twice that maybe Hank would want to know about this, be a part of their life, but you just couldn't chance it. He had let you go over the opinions of others so what would stop him from doing similar with this child? You couldn't take that risk though, so as soon as any thought of him would appear, it would disappear soon after.
It was a struggle being a single parent, going through each trimester of your pregnancy alone. Sometimes you wished he would go through the milestones with you, the first sign of a baby bump, the first kick. And you had your family there with you too, but it was never the same as someone you loved. The worst was when you gave birth, all alone, with no one to hold your hand as you experienced the worst pain of your entire life. However, it had led to the best thing, your son, Jackson. Your life had changed overnight, now you not only lived for yourself but also your son.
As he grew up your happiness also increased, loving life just you and your child. Most of the time it was perfect laughing and playing but others you wanted Hank to be there, helping you out with the hard moments. Things with your family worsened as Jackson grew as well, things becoming rocky as they helped you less and less. And so just after you celebrated your sons third birthday, you decided maybe Chicago wasn't so bad. You could reunite with your friends, have some help with Jackson and potentially get your job back at the firehouse. So that's what you did, once again packing your stuff up and moving the both of you into a shared apartment with Sylvie, your rock in all of this.
Your life had suddenly gone back to normal overnight, picking up your career as a paramedic at 51 whilst you got a babysitter from Jackson. The only people that were aware of your presence were those at the firehouse, trying to keep your return in house so as not to raise any unwanted attention. But that had all changed as you and Brett were once again called to a police crime scene. And your prayers weren't answered as you rolled up to one led by intelligence.
As soon as you exited the ambulance you were faced with the entire team with two people needing assistance, the perpetrator and Hank. Sylvie gave you a knowing look as you grabbed the equipment, allowing you to take the bad guy. But as you walked towards the guy, Hank raised his voice, telling Sylvie he wouldn't be treated by her, wanting to talk to you instead. So you both complied, wandering over and grabbing Hank's head to assess his injuries, not wanting to even look him in the eye. You tried to wrap things up as quickly as you could, refusing to talk to him at all.
"You're back," he stated bluntly, needing to know your reasoning behind leaving in the first place. But you wouldn't give him the pleasure, fixing medical tape onto his wound, before packing up your stuff and hightailing it back into the ambulance. Although you were done with him, he definitely wasn't done with you, having heard some interesting rumours about your departure.
Finding out your new address, Hank made it his mission to see you, to explain what he was thinking. Knocking on the door of your apartment, he wished to see your face, having missed you the four years you had been gone. Just after you had moved your life to Virginia, Hank had a revelation, kicking himself for letting go of someone he loved so much. But instead of meeting your beautiful face, he found some random woman, being informed that you no longer lived there. He had been left distraught, leading to months of emotional instability, bottling it up, only to explode with anger and sadness after too long. But now as you opened the door, he smiled, glad that it was actually you this time.
"Why are you here?" You asked, wedging your body between the door and its frame, not wanting him to spot your child who was happily playing inside.
"I wanted to see you, I missed you," he confessed, wary at your suspicious behaviour.
"Missed me? You broke-"
"Mommy?" Being cut off from your angry rant, your eyes widened at the sound of your son, knowing you would have to reveal him to his father. Picking your toddler up, you tried to close the door, hoping to defuse the situation. Unlucky for you, Hank stopped the door from closing, pushing inside of your apartment.
"Mommy huh?" He questioned, confused at how you had a child.
"What's your name buddy?"
"Jackson," your son replied, blissfully unaware of who this man was and what havoc he was causing.
"And how old are you?" The cogs were turning in Hanks mind, could this child be his?
"I just turned three!" The exclamation from the child, confirmed it all, he was this boys father and you hadn't told him. Straightening up he looked you in the eyes, an angry look on his face.
"Hey, buddy why don't you play in your bedroom?" And with that, you brought your son back into his room, closing the door behind you.
"He's mine isn't he?" Hank questioned that eerily quiet voice piercing your ears. Yes, you hadn't told him, but it was to protect you and your son! Not trusting your voice you nodded your head, giving him the confirmation he needed.
"And you didn't think to tell me?" He roared, his anger overflowing, grabbing your arms to get you to look at him.
"It was to protect him, if you could easily get rid of me, what was stopping you from getting rid of him too?" You cried, knowing what you did was wrong.
"And you didn't think I could make that chose myself?" You could see the tears in the man's eyes, his voice crackling as he realised this was as much his fault as it was yours. You had made the choice but he was ultimately to blame. Bringing you into his arms, you both cried, equally regretting your decisions. Looking back up at him, your feeling flooded back, remembering how much you really loved this man. And so at that moment, you decided that Hank should be part of your boy's life, Jackson was as much his as he was yours.
So that evening was spent introducing the pair, watching as they got along like a house on fire. Hank's experience raising a child previously meant he knew how to please a child, allowing them to bond as father and son. Every time he looked at you, your original feelings intensified, understanding why you had originally thought that he would make a great father. In Hanks mind he was feeling overwhelming joy, the last few years had been so tough for him and this, this was all he could ever want. He had loved Justin with all his heart, but since he had died a black void had overtaken his heart. His grandson had briefly filled it, but that had been taken away again as they left as well. Finally, he had something that could fill this hole, a woman he loved infinitely and had made the biggest mistake of his life by letting her go. And a son, that he would hopefully watch grew up day by day, as a nice, happy family.
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lumosinlove · 7 months ago
Text
Relic Keel
Previously on Relic Keel:
Lily and James sneak out to the Lacrosse fields together. Lily learns about the treasure hunt and Luke’s father’s connection with Pascal Dumais. Her and James decide to, if not be together, than have togetherness for as long as they can.
Finn wakes up in Grimmauld and is reunited with Logan. The crew learn that a hurricane is approaching and Dorcas tries to convince Saint and Sirius to go somewhere else other than Grimmauld, which will get dangerous in the storm. Logan is looking forward to Finn meeting Leo, although he’s confused about his feelings for the blonde boy.
Luke and Saint meet in Rowena where Saint reveals he’s been staying up reading Luke’s notes in the books he’s stolen from his room. Luke wants to know more about Pascal Dumais, and learns that he helped raise Saint and Sirius after they both ran away from their homes. They agree to meet at The Lion later to confront Pascal. Saint apparently likes Luke because he hates surprises and Luke is exactly what he expects him to be—mean. He also steals Luke’s sunglasses.
Dorcas goes to Kasey Winter’s ice cream shop—he also is a safer dealer of Crucio, and she tells him she wants out. He was hoping she would go into business with himself and his girlfriend Natalie. They want to create a medicinal, therapy program for Crucio, where people who are struggling can safely use to to deal with past traumas or grief. They want it to be used correctly, not as a quick fix. Dorcas isn’t hesitant about leaving, she wants to follow Marlene, but she likes that idea.
Remus and Sirius run into each other on their way to the meeting at The Lion, and Remus invites Sirius to stay at his house for the duration of the hurricane. Sirius gets proud and angry and declines. They argue.
Pascal reveals to Sirius, Leo, Remus, Luke, and Saint that Luke’s dad, Victor, and Leo’s dad, Wyatt, were hunting the treasure together—Dumo played a smaller role, had less of an interest other than an interesting discussion about history. They figured out that the Voldemort lay off of the Cradle, a ring of rocks and tiny islands off of Hogwarts Island. They learn that there is a current called the Horcrux that escalates during a storm, revealing the bottom of the sea—or a shipwreck. Leo’s dad was killed by the current, Luke’s father was taken away years after, and the map showed up on Pascal’s doorstep a few days after that. Pascal tries to warn them off of going, but Saint and Luke seem bent on it.
Finn and Logan go to Leo’s house, only to find him crying about the truth of his father’s death. Finn learns of the treasure.
***cw: identity issues, not sure how to tag this but wanting to be alive? briefly implied (and happily concluded) past struggles with that, almost death, past death of a father, mention of blood and wounds***
part ix
Saint felt sweat snake down his bare back as he filled sandbags and shoved them up against the far side of the house. The wind already felt bad tempered. Maybe it was just him. Just Saint, the wind, and the ocean that had gone the graying blue that meant a storm. Saint thought the world should catch up already. His storm had been brewing for a long time. The promise of rain brought goosebumps over his bare back, the sun hidden by clouds, and he shoved another sand bag up against the boards, like some sort of parapet. As if they were preparing for a war.
He looked up when the noise of Sirius hammering plywood across the windows stopped. He rolled his eyes.
“Stop staring out at the ocean like a sailor’s widow.”
“Oh, we’re speaking now?” was all Sirius said.
“No,” Saint jammed his shovel into the bag of sand again.
He faintly heard Sirius sigh. “I don’t know what I did.”
Frankly, Saint wasn’t sure what Sirius had done, either. All he knew was that there was rain thrashing inside him, and wind howling in his ears, and there was gold to be had and death to be avoided.
And Luke.
He had let Luke catch him the night of Pascal’s confessions. Or maybe Luke had just caught up. He’d found Saint at the Howler Cliffs. Saint knew he was there, but kept his eyes closed, letting the wind whistle in his ears. Still, the sound of Pascal calling him his son roared louder.
“If I had known that’s all it took to rattle you, I could have saved myself a lot of time,” Luke had said, coming to stand beside him.
Saint had smiled and it felt like it had stretched his cheeks all wrong. “I didn’t know you were trying so hard.”
“You said it yourself,” Luke had replied. “Dumo took care of you.”
“It’s one thing for me to know it,” Saint snapped. “It’s—“ another thing for him to say it.
“Dumo could know more about my father,” Luke said. “Maybe—maybe the treasure can help me find out what happened to him somehow. Why no one will tell me anything. Why I can’t see him.”
“Sure, Deveaux,” Saint had kept his eyes ahead. “Tell me all about your father.”
“I need my father.”
Saint had whipped his head towards him, only to find Luke looking right back.
Luke’s eyes had been more open than Saint had ever seen them. His pain was like the sun coming through a tiny gap in drawn curtains. He didn’t let much of it show, but the mere hint became blinding. Saint felt it push against his own chest. He kept his blinds shut tight.
Luke’s voice was fainter when he repeated his words. “I need my father.”
Saint swallowed. It was nice, somehow, that Luke was self-aware enough to admit it. “What do you expect me to do about that?”
“I can’t—maybe I can’t figure this out alone.”
“I’m sure your Godlings will help with that.”
Luke shook his head. “James doesn’t understand. He’s too…happy.” Luke winced a little, the wind ruffling his tawny hair. “He’s had it too easy.”
“Lupin?”
“Remus only thinks he’s unhappy. Maybe because I am. It’s…abstract for him.”
Saint raised an eyebrow. “That’s a little rich.”
“Maybe I’m wrong,” Luke nodded.
“So, what?” Saint sighed. “Misery helps misery?”
Luke’s smile, so rare, was sad. “If it has nothing better to do.”
“Well?” Sirius said, flipping his hammer in his hand. “Feel like telling me?”
“Is it weird?” Saint asked. “That we aren’t in love?”
Sirius tilted his head at the age old question that they asked each other. It was half a joke. It was half a plea.
“I do love you,” Sirius said. “And I’d be in love with you if I could.”
“I’d be in love with you if I could,” Saint repeated, then sighed.
“We suck,” Sirius said.
“Yeah,” Saint squinted back out at the ocean, where they could see Remus’ boat.
“I do love you, though,” Sirius said, and walked down to sit on the steps, his gray eyes looking at Saint through the splintered, wooden railing. “Don’t do something stupid. I can’t lose you to the ocean. Or to anything at all.”
“And I love you, which is why we need that gold.”
“We don’t,” Sirius shook his head. “The rest of the world isn’t Gods and Hollows. You aren’t nothing or kings.”
“I have nothing better to do. And we have plain nothing—financially speaking.” Saint gestured towards the house. “Dorcas will leave for the states, and then we’ll really have nothing. We both know she’s paying—”
“We’ll go somewhere else—”
Saint tied off a sandbag with a yank. “I’m not leaving.”
“Saint.”
“I’m not.”
“Why?”
“Because I’m not.”
Sirius stood, eyes cloudy. “You’re not talking to me again.”
“Huh.”
“We don’t do that!” Sirius said, voice raising. “Stop shutting me out.”
“I’m not doors and windows.”
“Saint,” Sirius’ voice held a note of begging. “What is here for us?” He motioned towards the cross that hung around Saint’s neck. “That?”
Saint grit his teeth and began to fill another bag.
“Just,” Sirius took a breath. “Just tell me why—”
Saint hurled the small spade at the side of the house, and it made a satisfying crack. “This is the only place anyone would ever know to look for me.”
The waiting storm seemed to crackle in the air around them at Saint’s words, as though he himself had struck the match to trigger it. Thunder rolled mutedly in the distance. Sirius’ eyes matched the sky.
Sirius walked forward, and Saint let him. He let him press a hand to his face, then their cheeks together as he wrapped him up in his familiar arms.
“Stop waiting for her,” Sirius’ voice was gentle in his ear. “She doesn’t deserve you.”
“We need the gold.”
“We’ll find another way.”
“I don’t want another way. I want a hunt.”
Sirius pulled back just enough to look at him. “One that has killed a man?”
Saint pulled away to retrieve the spade. “Careful is my middle name.”
~
Leo was embarrassed, but Finn didn’t seem to know the meaning of that word.
He watched him and Logan work wires into loops to hold together shards of found lost things that his mother had scooped up from the beach, while he sat at a workbench, repairing an old ship clock that he could hopefully paint to get rid of the wooden chips and then sell. Finn, as he had regained his strength, was laughter in a bottle. He was as fiery as the color of his hair, with lean fingers that Leo found himself watching as they handled materials, or helped him in the kitchen, or turned the pages of one of Leo’s many books. He went through them like a forest on fire.
And all Leo seemed to be able to do was cry in front of him, as he had the first night, or stare at the way him and Logan were together. Logan had opened up, his eyes lighter, his grins broader. Only his laughs remained as they had been, a soft sound, almost private. They made Leo feel as though he were being let in on a secret.
Leo blinked and Finn was standing in front of him.
“We’re making you dinner tonight,” Finn said, those same nimble fingers spread out over Leo’s work space on either side of the clock.
Leo couldn’t help his laugh. “Oh?”
“What do you feel like?” Logan asked, standing a little ways back, arms crossed over his chest. He looked like some hot gardener out of Leo’s daydreams in his tight white t-shirt and his borrowed pair of work gloves.
Leo leaned back, taking a breath. “What are my options?”
Finn looked back at Logan with a grin. “Ah…peanut butter and jelly sandwiches?” He raised an eyebrow at Logan.
“Or take-out,” Logan finished with a shrug.
Finn’s smile was teasing. “Aren’t we the best house guests you could ask for?”
Most tormenting, maybe.
Leo laughed. “Better idea—I make dinner and you two stick to clean up.”
Logan put his hands up and walked closer to the work table. “Fine by me. What are you doing again?”
Leo looked back down at the clock. “Trying to fix this. I think it's missing a gear, though.”
Finn just hummed and sat half on the table, knee propped up. It made his cross swing against his neck for a moment, and Leo looked between his and Logan’s. He wondered, not for the first time, why they didn't take them off. They didn’t have a clasp or a tie that he could see, just a thicker area where the two parts of the string had been fused together with heat. They were too short to be pulled over the head.
“Do you want me to cut those for you?” Leo asked.
Finn looked up. “Cut what?”
Leo hesitantly gestured to the spot where the crosses would have rested on his own chest, and then pointed to Finn’s.
It was like cloud cover. Logan actually gripped his protectively in a fist.
“Ah, no,” Finn said slowly. He stood straight again and ran a hand through his hair. It came to rest on the back of his neck. “No, that’s okay.”
Leo watched Finn glance at the wire clippers resting near them, and reached out to put them back in the tool box. “Okay. Just thought I’d ask.”
Logan turned away and Finn watched him, too. He swallowed. “Thanks, Leo.”
Leo flushed. It didn’t feel like a thank you. More like an appeasement. “Yeah…”
“Oh,” came a voice from the shop’s open garage door. Leo jumped a little, and looked to see Saint leaning against the side, and Luke, with his arms crossed, a little behind him, looking like a very grumpy sort of bodyguard.
Saint feigned a shiver. “The room just got colder.”
“Saint,” Finn still said the name like he was tasting something knew, but Saint looked almost pleased each time he heard it. “And…”
“Tweedle, meet Finn. Finn, meet Tweedle.”
“Luke,” Luke snapped.
Finn snorted. “Okay?”
Leo was still stuck on the necklaces, eyeing Saint’s still intact one now. He figured the numbers were a way of keeping track of the kids—but burning the string seemed like a bit much.
“What do you want?” Leo sighed. Seeing Saint made him feel raw about the news of his father’s death all over again.
“Well, you ran a little quickly from Dumo’s,” Saint replied, picking up an old lobster trap that they used for spare wire now. “Should’ve stayed. Missed some good stuff.”
“Don’t act like he’s the only one who ran,” Luke mumbled. He and Logan were eyeing each other suspiciously, no doubt remembering the night in Luke’s father’s study when Logan had nearly burned his father’s letter.
“The first wave will come tonight,” Saint said, ignoring Luke. “But if we really want our shot at the Horcrux current, we’ll need the full throttle. Boom, crack, all that.”
“Full storm hits tomorrow,” Finn said from his place beside Leo. Leo looked over at him. He was still torn between embarrassment about crying and something else. Relief? Thankfulness?
Leo tapped his fingers against the clock. “We should figure out what we need for a trip like that. The shops will be boarding up by this afternoon.”
“Kris will have what we need,” Saint replied. “A boat.”
“Kris?” Luke asked.
“He runs the marina,” Leo said.
“What I was going to say,” Saint cut in. “Was that we should run a test trip. Tonight. Before the storm is at its worst.”
“See what we’re dealing with,” Logan nodded.
“I don’t see why we need this treasure, or whatever,” Finn said. He was still fingering his necklace. “I mean…if the trip is as dangerous as it sounds…why risk it?”
Saint laughed a single note, and looked at Logan. “Oh, Lolo. You haven’t told him?”
Logan stiffened, and Finn blinked. “Told me what?”
Saint made a tisking sound. “Logan. All that trouble to get him out and you’re keeping secrets.”
“Fuck off,” Logan growled.
“Oh, you sound like Luke.”
Finn took a step forward. “Lo?”
Logan sent him a pained look, but turned away. Leo glanced at where Logan’s backpack was resting in the corner of the workshop. It had been there for days, he hadn’t been dealing, but that didn’t mean any of the problems it had caused had gone away.
“I think you’re right as far as boats go,” Leo said carefully, trying to draw the attention away from Saint’s jabs. "But he doesn’t have any equipment. Visual or otherwise. If we need that.”
Saint grinned and clapped a hand on Luke’s shoulder, having to reach up a bit to do it. “That’s where this one comes in.”
Luke scoffed. “This one?”
“We’re going to visit your too-happy friend, Tweedle.”
~
James was staring at his computer, trying to will himself into college, when the sliding glass kitchen door, leading in from the pool, flew open. Saint was there, along with Luke, and three boys James didn’t recognize—or no, he knew the brunette and the blond from the restaurant in The Hollow.
“You have two hundred of my dollars,” he said, pointing his pencil at the brunette. The redhead beside him narrowed his eyes in confusion.
“That you offered,” the brown haired boy crossed his arms.
“Yeah, as part of a bargain,” James looked at Luke over his glasses. “Was the other end held up? Don’t think so.”
Luke just rolled his eyes.
“Well you’re going to have to pay up again, Potter,” Saint said, sliding onto the kitchen island stool across from James.
“Excuse me?”
“Not in money this time.”
James looked around at them all warily for a moment before sighing and knocking his computer shut. “Well, you’re already in my kitchen. And I’m already miserable.”
Luke coughed out a laugh and Saint seemed to bite back a smile, too.
“You need what exactly?” James asked.
“Lights Diving equipment. Don’t go running to Sirius, though.”
James raised an eyebrow. “I’d drive.”
“Ha, ha,” Saint rolled his eyes. “Now, can we borrow it?”
“Is this about that treasure?” James asked. “Because I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the ocean is fucking deep. Deeper than my summer of sophomore year scuba pastime will get you.”
“Deeper than you?” Logan mumbled, and James glared.
Luke let out a laugh and Saint paused in whatever he had been about to say and turned to look at him. It was almost—awkward.
“What?” Luke snapped, rubbing a hand over some stubble on his cheek. “That was a very Potter statement.”
James had never seen Saint stutter before, or fidget, but that’s what he did when he turned back around to face James.
“Can you get it?” Saint sighed.
James snorted and gestured to the TV mounted above the microwave playing the news. “I’m sorry, am I the only one who knows about the quickly approaching hurricane?”
“Details,” the brunette mumbled.
“It’s for later,” Saint said.
“Then I’ll give it to you later.”
Saint scowled.
James sighed and pushed himself from his stool. “You’re not actually going out into that storm with my help.”
“For Luke,” Saint said. “For his father. This might be our only lead, and our only chance. Until the next storm, at least, at which point you won’t be able to stop us because we won’t come to you for help.”
James yanked the refrigerator open. “Don’t guilt me.”
“James,” Luke said and James didn’t look at him. “Please. I—”
“And this will fix what, exactly?” James sighed. He closed the refrigerator harder than necessary, and the sound of rattling bottles from within filled the silence as he turned on Luke. Luke, who he’d known forever. Luke, who he’d tried to help. Luke, who had done everything except try recently. It frustrated James more than he knew it should.
“It could,” Luke bit out haltingly. “Fix something.”
“What?”
He could practically feel the anger in Luke’s next breath. “My dad was all but—stolen away in the night. No explanation. No goodbye. And now this? A letter, a name, a treasure hunt that turns out to be something more than the fucking bedtime story? J, come on, please.”
James cracked the seal on his drink. “Once again. Hurricane.”
“That doesn’t matter!” Luke said. “We need a storm.”
“You need to get a fucking grip,” James felt heat building behind his words. “Luke, this isn’t—you’re just trying to…distract yourself, or something, and I get it, I do, but—”
“You don’t,” Luke snapped, voice raising.” You don't know what it’s like. You’ve been wrapped in fucking silk and fleece for your entire life. Your parents love you more than anything. You don’t understand what it’s like. You don’t understand anything beyond your own fucking front porch.”
Luke’s words sapped the air from the room like lightning and a dead fuse. His brown eyes widened, just a little, the green dark today. His chest moved rapidly, his cheeks flushed. The three other boys glanced at each other from Luke’s shoulder.
James cleared his throat. He set his drink on the counter.
“How long have you been holding that in, huh?” he said.
“I…” Luke began. He pushed his hair off of his forehead, but it feathered back into place. “I haven’t, I…J, I’m—”
“And the Crucio?” James asked.
“I’m,” Luke’s eyes shifted away. “I’m not.”
“Liar.”
Saint seemed to be holding himself very still. They all were.
“J,” Luke had a pleading note to his voice now.
“They’re in the basement,” James cut him off, sliding back on his stool and opening his laptop. “My mom labels everything down there. But I don’t think it’ll help you.”
“Great,” Saint knocked his knuckles on the countertop and was off, the other three following.
James could feel Luke standing there, frozen and hesitant. He kept his eyes trained on his screen, and his blank page, the cursor blinking.
“Just go,” James mumbled, and Luke did.
James didn’t look up when they left.
He didn’t look up as evening turned into night, or when the sky opened up for the winds and rain to begin their thrashing on the island.
~
Kris Lavolie had his boats and his daughter. The marina was shut tight when they got there, Logan running behind the others as they dashed through the rain to the door. Logan expected Saint to pound on the glass, but instead they only used the slight shard of roof the ran along the edge of the building as protection, the five of them racing in a line around the property until they got to the marina. All of the boats were dry-docked and covered tightly with pinned tarps. Saint surveyed them with steely eyes for a moment. His hair looked like molten gold in its drenched state.
Logan shivered and felt Finn press him against his side. He glanced at Leo, who had his arms wrapped around himself.
“This one,” Luke said. “It’s like my dad’s. I can drive it.”
Saint gave a nod and the two of them didn’t wait to see if Logan and the others would follow before they were walking down the swaying dock. They didn’t have to worry about making noise and drawing Kris out. The storm hid them.
Logan eyed the waves as he stood between Finn and Leo. They were rolling and white-capped. He looked up at Leo to see him staring, too.
“Are you sure you want to do this?” Logan asked. He tried to think of a way to tell Leo that, if he did, he was with him. He also tried to think of a kind way to tell him he thought they were insane, now that he was face-to-face with the raging winds. He needed the money, sure, but he wanted his life, too. He didn’t think the Carrows would kill him, but he didn’t know. The wind stung his eyes and whipped his hair off his forehead. He’d lost his hat somewhere, he didn’t know when. He reached up to his temple, his shirt sticking to his skin. He hadn’t even felt it blow away.
Leo shook his head as they approached the boat where Saint and Luke were efficiently untying the tarp.
“No.” Leo took a shaky breath. “He died out there. He wouldn’t want me to—”
Saint looked up, blinking hard against the lashing rain, from where he was shoving the tarp into a storage compartment. “You cannot back out now.”
Leo’s blue eyes matched the dark waves. He put a hand on Logan’s shoulder, a slight pressure to turn him around. “Yes, we can. This is insane, the winds are too strong.”
“Your dad—” Saint began, both of them yelling over the howling wind.
“Didn’t raise me to be stupid,” Leo said. “Or to get my friends killed. I’m sorry, I know you’re doing this for me.”
Saint scoffed. “For you? This isn’t for you. We all do things for ourselves. Bail-outs,” he gestured to Logan, and then to Luke. “Answers. I thought you wanted a few of those yourself.”
“And what would my mom think? Both of us, my dad and me, drowned?”
Saint’s jaw muscles jumped from where he stood beside Luke in the boat. “You wouldn’t be there to know what she thought, would you? What does it matter?”
Logan thought he saw Luke flinch a little, but he kept his head down, fishing the keys from the glovebox.
Logan followed Leo another step back, looking frantically for Finn, only to find him already at his side.
“We shouldn’t,” Finn whispered right in Logan’s ear, breath warm. “Lo…”
“Saint,” Logan yelled. “Leo’s right.”
“Come on,” Finn shook his head. “Let’s go. This is insane.”
“We’re going,” Luke said, eyes on Saint. “We got this far.”
Logan hesitated. He didn’t know Luke. He certainly didn’t like him.
“Don’t be stupid,” he still found himself saying, then swallowed beneath the weight of his next words. “You’re selfish, to risk your friend’s life.”
Logan couldn’t hear Saint’s laugh beneath the wind, but he could see the smile. “Bold words, coming form you, Logan.”
Logan felt Finn’s cold fingers slip into his own and squeeze.
“Come back with us,” Leo shouted over the storm. “Come—”
But Luke pressed the button that would lower them into the water. Logan only just could hear the hum of the machine. Logan watched as Luke jammed the keys into the ignition and lowered the motor. The second the bottom hit water the engine roared to life. Finn took a halting step forward, and Logan had the brief thought of doing the same, prying them from the boat. Leo’s father’s story flooded through him. He felt like he was watching someone die. He gripped Finn’s hand tighter, his other raising on its own to fist the back of Leo’s t-shirt. He didn’t want either of them getting stuck on that boat if they couldn’t get to the keys. The boat rocked dangerously as it tried to get a crest over the violent waves. With one last dark look from Saint, they took off over the wild water.
“They made their choice,” Logan said. “God, they’re going to get themselves killed, I…”
“We need to get the coast guard,” Leo said, and then turned down the dock and ran.
Logan looked up at Finn, whose wild expression matched his own.
“I’m glad we’re not…” Finn said. “I didn’t understand…I don’t understand this.”
Logan pressed a hand to his cheek. “I’m not risking you. Not again.”
Finn pressed his palm over Logan’s. “What aren’t you telling me, Lo?”
Logan closed his eyes. “I will. I will tell you.”
And then they turned after Leo.
It was like the wind was trying to rip the Hollow free of the island. The coast guard boats had been out, and Leo had figured they’d be by the point and so they’d ran half across the islands to The Hollow, where it would be the most dangerous. Sure enough, trees were down, and wires lay in dangerous puddles. Sandbags lay soaked and spilled across the ground.
Logan’s eye caught on the red of the police cars’ lights flashing across Finn’s face, made fragmented and liquid by the heavy rain. He couldn’t help but feel the surreality of having Finn beside him all over again. There had been a time where he had been positive that he would get caught, that he would be sent back to St. Clair in a heartbeat. He had spent so long avoiding any sight of the police. It felt strange to be seeking them now, but Leo was on a mission. His tall frame looked above heads, but the guards weren’t anywhere near their cars. Logan spied Sirius’ familiar dark hair only seconds before Leo did.
“Sirius!” Leo shouted, and Logan and Finn ran after him. Sirius was in the street with so many of the other Hollows, watching the storm try to rip at their homes.
“What are you guys doing out?” Sirius yelled, trying to see them through the rain.
“It’s Saint,” Logan said. “It’s Saint and Luke. Where are the police, where—”
But Logan didn’t think Sirius was listening anymore. Sirius’ face dropped to an expression Logan recognized, one he had felt on his own face when he realized that he had escaped St. Clair, and Finn had sacrificed himself and stayed.
Sirius pushed through them and took off towards Godric at a run.
~
Luke knew they were insane. He could barely keep his footing the closer they got to the Cradle. The wind was skewing the rain so much that it seemed like they were driving through water, too, the headlights making the steam and pellets seem like a solid wall to be breached.
“Third rock from the left point,” Saint shouted over the roar. “Closest to the Salazar coast!”
“We can’t get caught up in it,” Luke shouted back, wrists aching with the effort of keeping the boat on course.
Saint shook his head, hair plastered down and falling in his eyes. “We won’t be able to see any other way. If it can carry us, we’ll be safer from the rocks.”
They hit a particularly brutal wave and Saint was jolted forward, without the stability that the driver’s seat provided Luke, and right into Luke’s side.
Luke caught him with one arm. Saint’s hand shot out to replace Luke’s, now around his waist, on the wheel, and they steadied the craft together.
“We’re fucking insane,” Luke shouted.
“Insanity likes company.”
Luke looked at him, risking taking his eyes away from the approaching rocks for a moment. “That’s misery.”
Saint glanced up at him. “We’re that, too.” Then his eyes widened as he looked out over the dark waves.
“The Horcrux,” Saint breathed, and Luke could barely speak.
“The middle,” he managed. “Look.”
There was bare sand in the middle of the circle of rocks, the wet grains being whipped into a frenzy as if by magic, the water pulling outwards. He didn’t know how that was possible. It was bizarre. It was too strange.
“There,” Saint pointed as they inched closer. Luke’s neck hurt from the jerk of being lifted up by the waves and crashed back down again. Luke squinted, trying to see through the rain and the small sand storm alike. They were right at the rocks now. “Do you see it? Are they planks? That looks like—”
Luke jolted as he felt the steering wheel stutter and then go loose in his hands. He turned it once, twice, but it was as though the mechanism had snapped. The boat lurched forward.
“We’re being pulled!” Luke said, panic clawing up his throat. “I can’t—”
Luke slipped from the wet leather seats, landing hard on his back on the deck of the boat, Saint beside him.
The steering wheel was useless. They were being carried now. By the waves. By the current. Maybe by chance. It was almost like floating, had it not been for the wind and rain. That made it feel like a free-fall.
Luke had his arms around Saint’s waist, Saint’s around his. It felt like they were pinned to the deck.
“Either the storm will pass,” Luke breathed. He couldn’t keep his mouth from brushing Saint’s temple, with the motion and the way they clutched each other. “And the current will slow, and we’ll be dashed against the rocks from momentum.”
“Or?” Saint’s breath brushed his jaw.
Salt sprayed as the boat jostled and knocked them together. “I didn’t think that far.”
“That Greek myth,” Saint said. Luke could feel his fingers digging into his back. “The whirlpool.”
“Maybe a monster would be a quicker death.”
Saint’s laugh sounded strained. “Quicker than rocks?”
“A better story, then,” Luke replied. “No one to tell, though.” 
“We’ll know.”
Luke gripped him tighter as the wind seemed to pick up, howling. His breathing came fast. “You told Leo the dead know nothing.”
Saint picked his head up, looking at Luke through the rain. Their foreheads pressed together. Luke’s eyes burned.
“I don’t want to know nothing,” Luke choked out.
Saint didn’t say anything. Luke had never known him to be silent, but he just stared as the boat lurched beneath them. Then, Saint tilted his chin forward, only a few centimeters, but it brought their mouths together in a firm kiss. It was warm, against the chilling rage above. Luke closed his eyes, and let the feeling of lightning brush through him. Warm heat.
They didn’t pull away so much as were pulled apart then knocked back together, Luke’s lips pressing to the corner of Saint’s mouth, then his cheek. Saint brought his hand up to Luke’s jaw to steady him. For a moment, it had felt like they had stopped spinning round and round.
“Why did you do that?” Luke breathed. He didn’t know how Saint heard him over the roar, but he did.
“What do you mean?” Saint said. His eyes were molten and—afraid, Luke realized. The rain on his face looked like tears, and he traced his thumb over Luke’s lip. “I steal things from you all the time.”
There was a horrible, jagged wrenching sound, and Luke found himself plunged into the water, Saint ripped from his arms.
~
The rain lashed against the windows of Remus’ bedroom, and Remus looked out into the falling dark.
“What a dick,” he mumbled aloud to himself.
He couldn’t figure Sirius out. He didn’t seem unkind—until someone was kind to him, at least.
It made Remus want to kill him with kindness and just kill him period. He’d been so happy on the Wolfsbane. He’d been horrible at The Lion. Proud.
Remus rubbed his eyes, closing his laptop. It was the storm. That was all. He looked towards the direction of the docks. He hoped the planks survived. He’d kept his boat as safe as he could, cranked up the tracks onto the grass, sails down, tarped up.
He smirked. Luke would laugh at him if he could see him worrying like a mother. Sirius, on the other hand…Remus thought Sirius might have worried, too. Remus sighed. There Sirius was again. Popping up.
It was why he thought he must be imagining it when he looked down and saw Sirius standing at the door he had named to him, in the side of Bane Tower, soaking wet and staring behind him, out at the ocean.
“Shit,” Remus threw his computer to the side, and his bedroom door open.
The old wooden tower stairs groaned beneath his quick feet, and he winced as a splinter ripped at his palm as he threw himself around the bend at the bottom and pulled open the door.
Rain hit him immediately. Sirius jolted around. His eyes were like gray moonlight.
“I…” Sirius began, but didn’t seem able to say any more, just blinked at Remus through the heavy wind and rain. Remus didn’t hesitate, just pulled Sirius inside and slammed the door shut again.
“Are you okay?” Remus asked.
Sirius was just staring at the door. Maybe thinking of the rough ocean still.
“Sirius,” Remus pressed, taking Sirius’ broad shoulders in his hands and giving him a shake. He was hot, even feverish, despite the frigid rain. “Are you hurt?”
Sirius just looked at him with wild eyes and shook his head. His dark hair clung to his forehead, his gray eyes cat-like and afraid.
“Is anyone else at your house? In the Hollow?”
Sirius shook his head again—his entire body was shaking, Remus realized. “No, Dorcas went to Marlene’s. The—everyone’s in the street—Saint—”
“Saint?”
“Saint is out there,” Sirius’ words practically tore out of his throat. He pushed his soaked hair out of his face. “He went out there and—and—the treasure. The—”
“The current,” Remus repeated, and Sirius pressed a hand over his eyes.
“I should have know. I should have known he’d never listen. He’d never—”
Remus didn’t pause to listen to more. He swore and snatched two windbreakers from the hooks by the door, plus a fleece. He shoved the fleece and jacket into Sirius’ chest.
“Put those on.”
“We can’t,” Sirius’ words choked off to catch his breath. “How will we follow them? I didn’t think you would—”
“Why else would you be here?” Remus said. He shoved gloves over his hands. The rope would be wet, slippery, and he didn’t want to deal with blisters and ripped up palms for weeks to come. He handed Sirius a pair, too. “I don’t know why I’m doing this for you. We should call the police.”
“Leo is trying to find them.”
Remus shoved a sweatshirt over his head. “Is that how you found out?”
Sirius nodded, zipping the breaker up. “Leo, Logan, and Finn. They came running up, and said Saint and Luke—”
“Luke?” Remus froze. His stomach dropped. “Luke is out there.”
Sirius’ eyes flickered, but he nodded after a moment.
Remus didn’t have the time to try and figure him out. Not now. He reached for the door. “Come on—”
“Remus?”
Remus froze all over again, his hand on the handle. He felt Sirius shift uncomfortably beside him, and then Remus turned to see his little brother standing there on the bottom step, in his pajamas.
“Jules,” Remus breathed. “What are you doing awake?”
Julian’s eyes flicked from Sirius and back. “I heard you. There’s a storm.” He looked at their outfits. “Where are you going?”
“We have…” Remus trailed off. “We have to pick up a friend. I’ll be right back.”
Julian stepped down the last stair. “I want to come with you. Your gloves. Are you going—on the water?”
“No,” Remus said. “No, no, we’re—It’s…”
“I want to go with you. Can I?” Julian looked at the door. “I never get to. Mom says—“
“Jules,” Remus said, bending down and pressed his hand through Julian’s sleep mussed hair. “Julian. You have to stay. You have to stay here, okay? It’s really, really dangerous outside.”
“But you’re going outside.”
“I know,” Remus let his eyes fall shut for a moment. “I know I am.”
“I’ll tell mom.”
“No,” Remus pleaded. “Jules, please. We have to go and you have—you need to stay. Please. I’ll take you out on the Wolfsbane. I’ll do whatever you want, just—Please.”
Julian didn’t look convinced. 
“We have to go,” Sirius’ rough voice came. “Remus.”
Remus rose. “Julian, do not follow us. Wolfsbane, super early, mom never has to know. I’ll teach you. You know I’ve always wanted to teach you.”
Remus ruffled Julian’s hair, and then rose, turning to Sirius.
“Now,” he nodded towards the door.
It was a struggle, getting the tarp off while the wind whipped it back in their faces. Getting the sails straightened, but loose enough so that the mast wouldn’t swing right around once they cranked it back into the water. He kept them low.
Remus peered at Sirius, swiping a hand over his eyes. “We’ll have to use the motor. There’s no way I can control too much of this wind.”
Sirius nodded, but he looked panicked. “They could be—anywhere, already in the water.”
“Well, look on the bright side,” Remus snapped. Sirius was all nerves, and they couldn’t afford that. “At least they won’t freeze to death. They’re not far from the coast.”
Remus was breathing hard by the time they swung themselves into the boat and were jetting haltingly away from the dock. The nose bowed this way and that, and Remus risked raising the sails, just a little. It seemed to straighten them out enough. His fingers already ached from the tight, adrenaline-filled grip he held on the lines. He didn’t dare tie it off, the might need to drop them quickly.
“The Cradle,” Sirius shouted against the wind.
“I know,” Remus yelled back. “We can’t go in the Horcrux. We’ll just get stuck. The boat won’t survive it, we’ll tip.”
“Fine,” Sirius said. He was just sitting there, water splashing over the sides and soaking their shoes.
Remus tossed him a bucket. “Bail.”
Sirius did, and pretty quickly, too, but the waves were high.
“This was fucking stupid,” Remus muttered to himself.
The Cradle rose up as if out of mist, and Remus could see its ring of water, swirling within. It was practically a tide-pool, vicious and smooth. It almost looked inviting, like some water-park ride. Remus eyed the sands swirling in the middle with half a mind going to the bedtime stories his grandfather had told him.
“A desert storm in the sea,” he breathed.
The rocks looked like jagged death sentences, and that was when he spied the two shapes, one on the rock closest to them, and the other all the way on the other side of the ring.
“There!” he shouted, and Sirius jolted up. “On the rocks, can you see them?”
Sirius nodded and tossed the bucket down in favor of catching up a rope. He began to fashion it into a sort of hook, a circle that could be slipped around the waist.
Remus wondered where he’d learned that, and Sirius seemed to read it on his face.
“Dumo,” he said, and wiped his sleeve over his face, trying to clear the rain. “How close can we get?”
“I don’t know,” Remus shouted, turning the boat into the next wave and letting it crest more safely over the nose. “Let’s go around, the rocks could wreck us.”
They came to Luke first.
Remus shouted his name twice before Luke looked up. He was clinging to one of the rocks, soaked to the bone and bleeding from a cut to his head. Remus looked to the water. There was no sign of their boat.
“Luke!” Remus shouted.
“Remus,” Luke’s voice sounded far away, though he was just feet from them. “Saint—I—I don’t see—”
“He’s there!” Sirius shouted, eyes trained on Saint’s figure on the other side of the ring. It was perfectly still. Sirius seemed to shake himself and held the rope high, feet spread wide to keep his balance as Remus kept having to turn the boat this way and that to keep their place in the waves. “Can you grab this if I throw it?”
Luke nodded, and his eyes slipped shut. Remus felt panic seize him.
“Yes,” Luke shouted. “Yes.”
“Hurry!” Remus urged. His arms were shaking already, and he still needed to get them over to Saint.
Sirius tossed the rope out. It was a good throw, but he nearly lost his balance doing it. Remus nearly let go of the sails going to catch him, the rope slipping dangerously through his fingers as he lunged to grab the back of Sirius’ jacket.
Sirius shook him off. “The sails!”
Remus leaned back on his heels to get the rope to stop pulling, his teeth clenched. “Just saved your life, your welcome,” he mumbled.
Sirius didn’t hear him.
“Around your waist!” he was shouting, and kept the rope free of the tiller as Remus brought them about again.
Luke followed his instructions shakily, slipping into the water on the outside of the rocks, where the pull would be straight instead of sideways. Sirius hauled him through the waves, and Luke pulled himself up onto the deck coughing.
“Luke,” Remus’ voice broke. He wanted to go to him, but he couldn’t let go. “Luke, Luke—”
“I’m okay,” Luke coughed out.
“Your head,” Remus couldn’t look to long as he let the changing wind guide them out farther towards the horizon, trying to find a calmer path.
Luke touched his fingers to his temple and looked down at the red that came away with them. “Oh.”
“Saint!” Sirius was shouting, but the moonlit silhouette on the rock wasn’t so much as stirring.
Remus had to weave them out four more times before they got close enough to the rock to see Saint’s face. He had a nasty slice that ran from his forehead to his cheek, the red dripping down his jaw and mouth in jagged, rain-washed lines.
“Saint!”
It was Sirius and Luke’s voice in unison this time.
Sirius cursed and tore off his jackets and gloves, then took the looped rope from around Luke, securing it tightly around his own waist instead. He looked at Luke. “You have to—”
“Pull him in,” Luke said, eyes on Saint. “I know.”
“And me,” Sirius snapped, then shouted Saint’s name again. There was still no response.
Remus was struck with the thought that Saint looked like something out of a myth. Odysseus, washed ashore, or a deadly Siren, luring them in, the passing sailors, for his next meal.
Sirius looked back at Remus, who could only stare back, horrified, as he dove into the water.
He surfaced farther away than Remus expected, carried towards the rocks by the powerful current. Luke cursed as the rope slid quickly through his hands.
“The gloves!” Remus shouted, and Luke tied the rope off for a moment, to shove them onto his hands. He kept it hooked around one of the boat railings, letting the boat bear some of Sirius and the sea’s weight.
There was a terrifying moment where Sirius nearly slipped right past the rock, but he held on, hauling himself up beside Saint’s body.
Remus brought the boat about again and whipped his head back to see if they were in the water yet. Sirius was touching Saint’s cheek, his mouth, and then he was wrapping him up in his arms. He slipped messily back into the water and Luke pulled hard. Remus could see his muscles shaking, his wound bleeding. Remus squeezed his eyes shut, thinking of all the times they’d played pirate. This wasn’t any sort of make-believe.
It was harder, getting Saint into the boat. Sirius had to cling to the side with one hand and try to lift him from the water with the other. Luke reached down and hauled Saint up by his arms, knocking Saint’s head against the rails in the process.
“Fuck,” Luke’s wind-snatched voice came.
Sirius tumbled over a moment later, spitting salt water and crawling on his hands and knees towards Saint. Luke was already there, listening for breath. Remus had never seen him look so scared. Not even when his father was taken away.
“Get us out of here!” Sirius shouted at him, and Remus didn’t waste energy being angry at him.
The closer they got to shore, the more scared Remus felt. Without the wildness of the storm would come the stillness of land. And if Saint—if he was—
“Breathe,” Luke was shouting as he pressed in even strokes on Saint’s chest. He plugged Saint’s nose and blew air into his lungs. “Breathe you fucking thief.”
Remus couldn’t watch. His eyes stung but he looked into the full-mooned dark—and he saw a shape. There was a silhouette of a boat, a rowboat, moving back and forth dangerously with the waves. Its sides were so low that it had to be filled with inches in water. They got closer, and Remus heard someone crying.
His heart gave a painful squeeze.
He knew that cry. He knew that boat.
“Julian!” the shout all but shredded his throat.
Julian’s small figure was barely keeping the oars in their nooks. The sailboat’s weak light lit his face in red. His hair was plastered against his forehead and his face was screwed up in fear.
“Remus!” his voice barely carried. “I—”
Remus didn’t even have time to see the wave before it threw Julian dangerously to the side. He screamed, and Remus thought he heard himself scream, too.
The rope slid along his palms as the sails swung around. He ducked beneath the metal bar and drove for the rowboat.
“Julian! Don’t move! Try to stay in the center!”
Sirius was at his side, rope in his hands.
Julian had his eyes squeezed shut as he felt his way through the water, up to his knees now, in the boat.
“Julian look at me! Look at me!” Remus shouted. “You have to catch this. Sirius is going to throw this to you, and you’re going to slip it around your waist—”
Julian’s eyes were wide and golden. “The sharks—”
Remus shook his head, a sob ripping from his throat. “There aren’t sharks now. There aren’t, now listen. You’re—“ The sails swung and he felt Sirius’ palm cover his head and push him down as the boat came around again. “You’re going to put this around your waist and make sure it’s tight, okay?” Then you’re going to jump in and we’re going to pull you up.”
Remus’ throat ached from shouting, but thin tendrils of relief shot through him when Julian nodded.
Sirius’ aim was true, and Julian almost lost it over the side, but he grabbed it quickly. He put it over his head, and pulled it tight, but look over the side of the boat timidly, then up at Remus.
“I can’t see the bottom,” Julian cried. “I don’t like not being able to—”
“Julian, you jump right now,” Remus said. “Right now, come to me, Jules.”
Julian closed his eyes and leapt.
He disappeared beneath the surface for a terrifying second, and then his head broke through again, gasping and spluttering when a wave hit him right away.
Remus distinctly heard coughing from behind him—Saint—and Luke cursing him out in a broken voice.
Sirius leaned over the side and pulled Julian up and into his arms.
“The sails,” Remus shouted at him, and Sirius took the ropes from his hands wordlessly. Remus dropped to his knees and pulled Julian, larger with his life-jacket on, against his chest.
“The row—” Julian began.
“Let it go,” Remus held onto him, maybe too tightly. “Let it go.”
~
Remus shut the door to Bane Tower too hard. It was blissfully warm inside. Julian was wrapped in every blanket that Remus had been able to find and clutching a cup of hot chocolate from the electric kettle they kept down here. Sirius was crouched beside him, having been holding Remus’ place until he returned from securing the Wolfsbane. Saint and Luke were standing by the stairs, still dripping, with more blankets around their shoulders. There were clusters of bloody paper towels where Luke had been taping up Saint’s gash when Remus had left for the boat after letting them in. Luke’s own wound looked clean now, and more like a bruise.
Remus didn’t look at any of them, just stared at Julian, sitting there with a tear stained face, safe. He’d never known relief and guilt could feel so similar.
“Lupin,” Saint broke the silence softly, then cleared his throat. It was still rough from the salt water that had been in his lungs. He stepped forward “Remus—”
“I almost lost my little brother,” Remus said lowly, and then it was like he really realized it, and he crossed the room to shove Saint backwards. “And you would not have been worth it. You never would have been worth it.”
“Re—“ Luke stepped forward.
“No,” Remus shouted. “No.”
Saint’s lips pressed into a thin line. He swallowed. “I know. I’m sorry, Remus.”
Remus turned his back, trying to catch his breath. Sirius stepped out of his way as he went to Julian, clutching his shivering body close to him. He couldn’t look at them, at Luke. Not now.
“I won’t tell mom,” Julian mumbled through his chattering teeth.
“Shh,” Remus whispered, pressing a lingering kiss to the top of his head. He smelled like he had always smelled, even when Remus had first held him as a baby. Even through the salt of the sea. He felt his own lip tremble. “It’s okay.”
The walls creaked dangerously in the winds. At least it was dry. They were all silent, the only sound their panting breaths, until Remus looked up when Sirius rose. He walked straight at Saint and shoved him hard in the chest, too. Saint stumbled backwards like he had expected it. His eyes looked gold in the dim light, and understanding.
“I know,” Saint said.
“What were you thinking?” Sirius’ voice was uneven. Luke looked down.
“Sometimes I don’t,” Saint replied with his familiar evenness.
Sirius just let out a shuddering sound, pushed Saint again, but caught his blanket hem at the last minute and pulled him against his chest. He cupped a hand against Saint’s cheek and kissed him with a bruising pressure. Remus let his eyes trail over the way Saint’s fingers knotted in the back of Sirius’ shirt. Luke turned away. Remus wished he could, but instead he watched Sirius pull away slowly, then brush their lips together once more, with a pain in his chest.
Remus was so angry with himself for feeling any of that at all right now that he almost didn’t stop them from leaving when it was time. But this was just the beginning, the first wave.
“There’s going to be more and it’s only going to get worse,” he sighed instead. Sirius looked up at him. He was at Saint’s shoulder like he couldn’t move away. “You can’t stay in the Hollow.”
~
Sirius couldn’t remember the last time he’d slept in a room with AC, and, as if reading his mind, Saint suddenly threw their covers back and cracked both of the windows open, just enough to let the humid night air in without the rain. Thunder rolled. Sirius watched his silhouette squint at the thermostat in the dark, and heard the faint beep as he turned it off. He hadn’t realized how loud the machine had been until all was quiet save for the storm, and Saint was slipping back beneath the covers.
They lay there beside each other, a feeling that was as familiar to Sirius as breathing. So, why did it feel so strange?
“You could have died,” Sirius said into the dark.
“I’m sorry.”
Sirius looked over at him. Saint didn’t often apologize. That was twice in one night.
“I don’t even know…” Sirius shook his head up at the ceiling, trying to get the image of Saint’s lifeless body out of his head. “I don’t even know what to say.”
“I kissed him,” Saint said, and Sirius turned his head. Saint was staring at him already. “I kissed him.”
“You kiss me all the time.”
“You kissed me in front of him.”
“And you wish I hadn’t?” Sirius asked.
Saint seemed to be trying to play it all out in his head, eyes far away. He looked back at the ceiling.
“No. I love being with you. Touching you. Laughing or fucking or surfing. I was just scared. You were just scared, though. Maybe I’m always just scared.”
“Being scared isn’t really a just feeling. It’s important.”
“Maybe he’ll get the wrong impression. Go all—soft on me.” Saint flicked his eyes towards Sirius. “You never do that. You just treat me like I’m me. Not a boyfriend or a girlfriend or a best friend or a lover just…two people.” Saint closed his eyes. “Just two people who are doing what makes them happy. What feels good or right.”
“This is what you’re thinking about right now?” Sirius scoffed. “You almost died.”
Saint took a slow breath in. “I didn’t want to. I wanted live so badly. But for what?” Saint looked at Sirius again, and this time, there was fear there. “I don’t even know who I am. Why should I want things if I don’t even know that?”
Sirius let that sink in. He wanted everything for Saint, but, most of all, he wanted to see that cross ripped from around his neck.
“Maybe living is about finding out who you are. You’re allowed to change, Saint. Your name…anything.” Sirius reached for Saint’s hands beneath the covers and Saint held on tight. “And I’m going to love you through it all. In whatever way, in all the ways, we do love.”
Saint stayed quiet for a moment, and then he turned onto his side and Sirius mirrored him. They rested their foreheads together. Saint’s free hand clutched his cross.
“I’m so tired of being number seven,” Saint whispered.
“You were never number seven,” Sirius whispered back, stroking a hand through Saint’s hair. “You’re you.”
~
Remus and Luke lay in Remus’ bed. Remus had Julian tucked against his outer side, sound asleep, and Luke may not have been as close, but Remus could feel his body heat as they stared up at the ceiling in silence.
“Thanks for not making me go home,” Luke broke the quiet.
Remus nodded. “Yeah.”
“Saint’s probably going to steal something from your guest bedroom,” Luke mumbled.
“Hasn’t he taken enough?” Remus replied quietly.
He could see that Luke looked at him from the corner of his eye.
“It wasn’t just his fault,” he said insistently. “I went out there, too.”
“And the others?”
“Leo wouldn’t let them go. He said it was too dangerous. Which,” Luke sighed. “Which of course only made Saint want to go more.”
“And you went with him?” Remus turned to look at him, too. They were so close that their noses nearly brushed. “Luke.”
“I need answers, Re,” Luke whispered urgently. His brown-green eyes were pleading. “I can’t stay in that house, not with the way it is. I need…”
“We need to get off of this island.”
“Leaving won’t help my dad.”
“Neither will getting yourself killed,” Remus snapped, then closed his eyes. “I’m sorry…I’m sorry.”
Luke shook his head. “You have nothing to be sorry about. You’re right.”
Remus swallowed, focusing on the green in Luke’s eye. He reached up with the hand resting between them, and brushed his finger just below it. “Captain Green-Sea.”
Luke blinked, and the faintest of smiles crossed his face. It had been his pirate name, when they were younger, named after the sliver of green that shone out of the brown in his right iris.
“Captain Wolfsbane,” Luke whispered back. “We loved that game.”
“I’m worried you thought it was a game tonight.”
Luke’s brows drew together. “No. It’s the opposite. I feel—like I’m missing something he left me, Re. Like my dad is trying to…Saint helped me.” Luke swallowed and brought his hand up to Remus’ cheek. “You helped me. Thank you.”
Remus didn’t dare move when he felt Luke’s thumb brush his lower lip.
“You know,” Luke whispered. “Sometimes I wish we…”
Remus nodded gently. “I know.”
“You’re my best friend.”
“You’re mine,” Remus replied, then smiled, just a little. “That means more to me than anything else.”
Luke smiled, too, and tapped his thumb twice on Remus’ chin before slipping their hands together and squeezing tight. Remus closed his eyes, feeling more settled than he expected to tonight.
“My head fucking hurts,” Luke said after a while.
Remus snorted and held Julian closer. “That’s your own fault.”
“I do love you, you know,” Luke added after another moment.
Remus squeezed his hand again. “I love you, too.”
“Captain Wolfsbane,” Luke’s voice sounded more asleep now.
Remus just smiled.
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commedessgarcons · 11 months ago
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Rina Sawayama for Gal-Dem Magazine, The Community Issue (2020/2021)
Photographer: Nwaka Okparaeke
Set Designer: Ranya El-Refaey
Stylist: Natalie Roar
Styling Assistants: Emmanouela Megkistou and Tiyana Henriques
Hair: Tomi Roppongi
MUA: Ana Takahashi
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kaunis-sielu · 8 months ago
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A Favor
“Auntie!” Anya says the second you answer your phone, “I need your help!”
“What’s wrong?” You’d learned quickly that her version of an emergency and yours were very different.
“My principal wants to talk to my parents!”
“Why?”
“Because I’m sick of Ted Cramer being a bully so I punched him.”
“Okay, so why are you calling me?”
“My parents are out on a mission!”
“Oh.” Keeping who Anya’s parents are a secret is the only thing keeping her in normal school, which was something both agents had wanted for their daughter. “I’ll grab one of your uncles and come in.”
“Not uncle Bucky okay?”
“Why not?”
“Um, last time he was here the principal called him a terror or something and uncle Bucky got really sad.”
“Okay, not Bucky. Are you in the office now honey?”
“Yeah.”
“Tell the principal we’ll be there soon.”
“Um, could you just say you’re my parents? They haven’t met them and you don’t travel as much as my parents do, and you look a lot like me. Since you work behind the scenes people won’t know.”
“I don’t know if that’s a good idea.”
“Please!” She begs, “otherwise they’re just gonna demand my parents come in and then they’re gonna be recognized and I’ll have to leave all my friends!” She sounds so upset that you cave,
“Okay fine.”
“Thank you! Okay I gotta go, I’ll see you soon.”
“See you soon honey.” You hang up then and grab your purse to head out and find one of the boys. You know that Bucky, Steve, Scott and Bruce are all home. Bucky is already out and you don’t think Scott is around enough to be a good Clint substitute. You round one of the corners and nearly crash into Steve, “ah!” You cry startled at the sudden appearance of the Captain.
“Sorry, you okay?” He asks and you nod.
“Hey, I need a favor. Well, actually Anya needs a favor.”
“Is she okay?”
“Yea, just in trouble and needs two people to come to the school.”
“Let me get changed.” You haven’t told him all the information yet but he’s already ready to jump in and help Anya. It’s one of the reasons you adore the man, always ready to help his family.
“Oh, okay I’ll meet you downstairs?” He nods then disappears into his room, you make your way down to one of the cars and as you’re walking up he appears out of the stairwell. He’s in a black shirt, jeans and a grey jacket that either belongs to him, Sam or Bucky, you’ve seen all three men wear it so you’re not sure who it belongs to.
“You want me to drive or do you wanna?” He asks and you pull open the passenger side door in response. “Alright.” He chuckles then gets into the car and heads for Anya’s school.
“So just a heads up she’s asked me to pretend to be Natasha, well actually Natalie Rushman.”
“Why?”
“Nat and Clint are gone so often and since I don’t go out on missions to fight I’m home more than anyone. If Anya needs someone to come in again I’m the best option, I’m not a familiar Avenger. You might be more of a problem, having to explain how I know Captain America.”
“I wear a mask and I’ve got my undercover hat in the back.” He tells you with a grin and you laugh softly.
“Alright, if asked I’ll just say I work for Stark.” You say as he pulls into the parking lot. You climb out of the car and make your way into the school, Steve’s hat is low and somehow it does make him look less like Captain America and more like suburban dad.
“Hi, how can I help you?” The woman sitting at the front desk asks, it was too easy to get into the school, you glance up at Steve and see a small frown on his face. He must be thinking the same thing.
“Hi-“
“Mom! Dad!” Anya cries rushing you and Steve who you share a surprised look with Steve as Anya wraps her arms around your waist and buried her face in your stomach.
“You must be Anya’s parents, I’ll let Principal Decker know you’re here.”
“Thank you.” You tell her and the second she turns away you conjure rings for your and Steve’s fingers.
“Good thinkin’ Sweetheart.” He mutters into your hair.
“Anya, can you tell us a little more about why we were called in here?”
“Ted Cramer wouldn’t leave me alone, he keeps pulling my hair and poking my side and taking my stuff. When I told Mr. Sanders he just told me to ignore it so when Ted grabbed me at recess I punched him.” She looks up at you and that’s when you see the forming bruise around her eye.
“Anya who hit you?” Steve asks, his voice low.
“Nick Sanders. He’s best friends with Ted.”
“So why are you the only one in the office?” You ask, irritation building.
“Because the boys are in with the nurse.” A male voice says and you look up to see a man in a suit standing in front of you. “You must be Mr. and Mrs. Rushman. Principal Decker.” He reaches a hand out for Steve’s and he shakes it coldly.
“Bradley actually, Clark Bradley. My wife kept her last name and since she did all the work we decided to give Anya her last name.”
“My apologies, let’s move this to my office?” He offers and when he goes to touch you to guide you into his office you shy away, Steve wraps a protective arm around your shoulder and when Principal Decker gestures for you to sit Steve stands behind your chair arms folded tightly.
“So you’ve called the other children’s parents?” You ask hoping that he isn’t going to disappoint you but considering he’s already pretty much ignored you you don’t have a whole lot of hope.
“Considering Anya is the one who started the fight we’re a little more concerned with dealing with her behavior first.”
“That’s not the story we heard.” You tell him, glancing over at Anya who looks furious.
“Well, you can’t always believe everything children say.”
“I’m sorry,” Steve says through gritted teeth, “did you just call our daughter a liar?”
“No, no, I just think it’s unwise to just assume you’re getting the whole story.”
“I told them the whole story!”
“Anya if you can’t be respectful then I’m going to ask you to sit in the office.” Principal Decker warns and she folds her arms tightly over her chest, that’s when you notice the rip in her shirt.
“Anya, turn around please.” You tell her and there’s a large tear in the back of her shirt. “Did this happen when you were defending yourself?”
“Yes.”
“Fighting Mrs. Rushman.” Principal Decker interrupts.
“Maybe Anya should go out into the hallway.” Steve growls and you reach behind you to take his hand.
“No,” you counter, “Anya needs to be here to hear this just as much as Principal Decker does.” Your voice is steady, calm, “we have taught Anya to defend herself if someone has touched her when she has asked them not to. Ted Cramer has been an issues all school year, I know because I’ve already emailed Mr. Sanders about it.” Not a lie, as her godmother Natasha has you in their parent email so that you can step in if needed. He opens his mouth to speak but you hold up a hand, “I am not finished.” His mouth closes again, “We won’t be pressing charges against the school for allowing sexual harassment to continue,”
“Sexual harassment? Hold on a minute, they’re 10!”
“He has been pulling her hair, touching her and taking her things all year.”
“Little boys do that when they like little girls! He just has a crush.”
“I see you’re married Principal Decker,” You say gesturing at his ring, “do you poke your wife? Do you pick on her? Take her things? Touch her when she asks you to stop? Because if you do you’re an abuser.” His mouth drops open. “Am I pleased that Anya felt her only course of action was to hit someone to get them to leave her alone? No, I’m furious that her teacher and principal did not listen to her and made her feel like she had to defend herself. Now, how long will she be out of school? My husband and I have jobs to do and frankly you’re an ass.”
“Mrs. Rushman!” He sputters but you stand and hold out a hand for Anya’s.
“How long Principal Decker?”
“Three days.”
“Very well. Anya go get your things.” You turn then and make your way out of the principal’s office Steve behind you.
“Damn Sweetheart.” He mutters and you give his hand a little squeeze. Then he disappears with Anya to gather her things. You head out for the car, leaning against the sleek black thing in the sunshine. Hopefully Clint and Nat won’t be too upset with how you and Steve handled this.
“You! Are you that little Rushman bitch’s mom?”
“Excuse me?” You ask standing up straight as a woman comes storming toward you.
“You heard me. I’m gonna kick your ass.” She takes a swing at you that you see coming a mile away. You duck under her arm, step behind her and throw and elbow into her shoulder blade throwing her off balance. She stumbles forward and you turn to face her again as she whips around.
“My daughter took on three boys and only had a black eye and a ripped shirt. Where do you think she learned to fight?” You ask calmly as the woman rushes you again, you wait and shove her away as you sidestep her again she goes stumbling. Technically it was Natasha but the woman doesn’t need to know that. This time when she rushes you you don’t move, instead you catch her arm and spin her into the car pinning her against the hood.
“Mom?”
“Hi Anya. Clark.”
“Everything alright here Sweetheart?”
“Yea, this is one of the boys mom. She doesn’t seem pleased with how we decided to raise our daughter to not be a passive little thing who lets boys do whatever they want.”
“Fuck you!” The woman screams and you twist her arm painfully.
“Language. You’re at an elementary school.” You say coolly, “Anya honey get in the car please.”
“Anything you need from me Sweetheart?”
“Mm, her husband doesn’t seem too pleased.”
“Let go of my wife you fucking bitch!” He roars his truck squealing to a stop behind your car. He comes bolting out of the car and Steve sighs.
“Honestly. Who do they think taught our kid to kick ass?” Steve grumbles placing himself between you and the large tatted man.
“He’s gonna kill you!” His wife says from where you still have her pinned to your car.
“Friday, are police on their way?” You ask your watch.
“Yes.”
“Thank you.” You say before a loud crash happens behind you.
“I told you to calm down.” Steve says and when you glance behind you you see the other man groaning against his car, a body shaped dent in the hood.
“Mick! Mick! Do something!” The woman yells struggling against you as the police roll up.
“I don’t think Mick is gonna be getting up anytime soon.” Steve says with a sigh. The two police officers come up and she starts screaming about how you’d attacked her. The police take her from you and when they attempt to cuff you too Steve speaks up.
“You probably shouldn’t do that.”
“Are you threatening us sir?”
“No, but she does work for Stark and the whole thing was caught on that camera so maybe check the security camera before you go slapping cuffs on people.”
The two officers call for an ambulance to check on Mick then one goes inside to see what was caught on the camera. When he comes out with a flash drive you’re free to go.
“Thanks Auntie. Thanks uncle Steve.” Anya says from the backseat as Steve pulls out of the school parking lot.
“Don’t thank us quite yet. You still have to tell your parents that you were suspended.” Anya groans loudly before pulling her phone from her pocket. “On speaker please.” You instruct, she’s a tricky thing.
“What? Don’t you trust me?”
“Considering I just played your mom and Steve your dad, no I do not.” She groans but does as you ask and calls her mom on speakerphone.
It’s not the worst conversation and you’re glad that Nat and Clint found that you and Steve played them entertaining. You make sure to tell them that you’ll make sure she gets her schoolwork done before she goes back next week.
“So, I was thinking we deserve ice cream.” Steve says once Anya hangs up with her parents.
“I think that sounds like a great idea. What do you think Anya?”
“I love ice cream. Uncle Steve you should ask Auntie out.”
“Oh, um.” Steve stutters and you glance over your shoulder at Anya.
“Anya you don’t just get to decide things like that for people.”
“But he likes you, and you like him Auntie.” Before you can say anything else Steve chuckles,
“Well she’s not wrong.” Steve says and your gaze whips over to him.
“What?”
“I do like you. So, what do you say? First date at an ice cream parlor with our niece?”
“That sounds perfect.”
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auswomensfootball · 2 years ago
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Nat Tathem showing the love for Gorry and Raso.
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ladydimitrescuspet · 5 months ago
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Make Me Feel Better - Chapter 3
ao3 link! fair warning, reader gets spanked, it's not like graphic or anything, but it happens. sorry for the wait, but please enjoy and tell me what you think in my ask box on @homoo-wan-kenobi! and apologies for any grammatical errors!
***
You’d told Angelika that you’d be right back after you went to go check on Natalie. You knocked on her door, hoping that she’d be in there.
"Yes?” She answered when she opened the door. “Oh, Y/N, it’s you! Is everything alright between you and Lady Dimitrescu?” Natalie asked as she let you into the room.
“Everything’s fine.” You said. “I just wanted to make sure you were fine. That she hadn’t done anything to you.”
Natalie gave you a small smile. “I appreciate that, Y/N.”
“I should probably get back.” You said. “But I’m glad you’re okay and I swear I won’t ever ask you to do something like that.” You pulled Natalie in for a hug, holding her for a few minutes before letting go. “I’ll see you tomorrow. Good night.” You said before you exited the room.
As you walked back to Lady Dimitrescu’s chambers you ran into Angelika coming out. “Oh, the Lady wanted me to tell you that she’s gone to speak with Lord Heisenberg and she’ll be up momentarily.” You nodded your head. “And your bath is ready.”
“Thank you.” You replied before you entered to get ready for Lady Dimitrescu’s arrival after her conversation with Heisenberg. Poor man, he was in for it big time with her. And you were right about that.
“Heisenberg,” Alcina started, but he cut her off.
“Listen, Al, before you get all huffy and puffy, let me just say this.” Alcina crossed her arms. “Y/N told me what happened with Daniela, what she said. Did you talk to Daniela at all before you shipped her off to Mother Miranda?” Heisenberg asked.
Alcina shook her head. “I saw no reason to, Heis. She lashed out at Y/N and I simply don’t have time to deal with her behaviour right now. If any one is fit to do so, it’s Mother Miranda.” Alcina replied. “Why? Are you questioning my parenting skills?”
Heisenberg shrugged. “Maybe I am, maybe I’m not. All I’m saying is that maybe you should’ve talked to your daughter first.” Heisenberg said. “It’s obvious that Daniela feels like you care more about Y/N than you do her and her sisters. And the fact that you sent her away and took Y/N’s side proves that, Al.”
Alcina growled at her brother. “How dare you?!” Alcina practically roared at him. “I appreciate you getting Y/N here safely, but you have no right to talk to me about my daughters. I care for each of them as I care about Y/N. For you to stand there and imply that my daughter lashed out because I am not giving her enough attention is outrageous.” Alcina said in a dangerously calm voice.
Heisenberg gulped. “I know it’s not my place to judge your parenting and I’m not.” Heisenberg said. “But when the girls get back home, just speak to Daniela. Obviously she’s holding some resentment towards Y/N for some reason. She lashed out for a reason, Alcina. And you, you weren’t there for her. I know Y/N needs you, but sometimes you have to tend to your family first.”
“Get out, Heisenberg. Get out right now!” Alcina yelled, her claws extending.
Heisenberg held his hands up. “I’ll go, Al, but talk to Dani before she does something you can’t reverse.” Heisenberg said. "And go easy on the kid, they were just scared, Alcina." He added before walking away from her.
Alcina allowed her claws to retract before letting out a sigh. “Maybe that idiot brother of mine is right,” She mumbled to herself as she headed back upstairs. When she entered the room you were sat on the bed without any clothes on, but wrapped in a blanket. “What do you think you’re doing?” Alcina asked.
“I got cold.” You replied, snuggling deeper into the blanket that you had wrapped around you. Alcina raised her eyebrow and you removed the blanket. “Better?” You asked.
“Much.” She replied before sitting at the vanity. “I see you didn’t listen to my instructions.”
You shrugged. “I didn’t feel like being in ropes tonight, My Lady.” Alcina raised her eyebrow again at you defying her orders to better suit how you were feeling. “May I say something?” You asked and she nodded her head. “I’m worried about Daniela.”
“As you were before you ran away, though you didn’t explicitly say that.” Alcina said. “Heisenberg’s already given me his opinion and told me that I should talk to her.”
You nodded your head. “He’s just concerned about his niece.” You replied. “And I am too. I mean, I’m still hurt by what Daniela said, but I care about her. And this Mother Miranda you sent her to, Heis doesn’t make her out to be a good person.”
“I wouldn’t call Mother Miranda a saint, but she will certainly know how to help Daniela reign in her emotions.” Alcina said. “You needn’t worry yourself with how Mother Miranda works, it’s none of your concern.”
You frowned. “Who even is Mother Miranda, Alcina?” You asked.
Alcina sighed before she met your gaze in the mirror. “That’s an explanation for another day, darling.” Alcina replied. You cocked your head to the side at the reply. “Don’t give me that look. I am very upset you with you and your actions.”
You lowered your head. “I’m s-“ Alcina cut you off.
“I don’t want to hear it, Y/N.” Alcina said before she stood up and made her way over to the bed. “You put not only yourself in danger, but that of your friend, Natalie. If Heisenberg hadn’t found you… Where were you even going?” Alcina asked.
You shook your head. “I don’t know. I just, I got scared.” You replied softly. “I had to get away for a while. I was going to come back in a few days, promise.”
“What were you scared of?” Alcina asked as she crouched down in front of you. “Were you scared of Daniela? Of me?”
You shook your head. “No, not of you, never of you. And Daniela, yes, I am scared of her, but she’s not even here.” You replied.
“Then what, Y/N?” Alcina asked, her voice a bit more firm.
You looked up at her, your lip trembling a bit. “Last night, I had a dream that I was with the people that kidnapped me. And then when Daniela snapped at me, it just made me remember the terrible things they said to me… and I got scared because what if they’re looking for me? I don’t want them to find me.”
Alcina cupped your face in her hands. “So why’d you leave the castle, little one? They’d get you out there in the village, yes, but in here? On my grounds? They wouldn’t dare touch you. Do you understand me?” You nodded your head as best as you could. “You could’ve talked to me about it, you didn’t have to run. Do you know how worried I was about you?” Alcina asked. You nodded your head. “If anything happens to you… I just can’t let that happen.” She let your face go before she went to go get the box from the other night and placed it next to you on the bed.
“What’s that?” You asked.
Alcina grinned. “It’s a surprise.” Alcina replied. “And I’d let you have it, but you haven’t been good for me. In fact, you’ve been very, very bad and Mommy is not happy with you.” You gulped as your heart race picked up. “I see you’ve grown a little scared of what I have planned for you.”
You shook your head. “I’m not scared.” But you both knew that wasn’t true.
“Oh, is that so?” You nodded your head. “Very well then. Shall I let you choose your punishment, hmm?” You nodded your head again albeit hesitantly this time. “By all means, throw some suggestions my way, draga mea.”
“I could clean the castle by myself.” You suggested. Alcina shook her head. “No sex?”
Alcina frowned. “That would be punishment for both you and me, dear. Try again.”
You scratched your head. “I could… you could have your way with me and then, then you could chain me up or, um, put me in the cellar.” You fidgeted with your fingers while you spoke.
Alcina hummed. “It’s an interesting idea, pet.” She said as she leaned down, placing her hands on your thighs. “But first, we’re going to have a little fun. Crop or paddle?”
Your eyes widened at her question. “Wh-what, My Lady?”
Alcina pursed her lips. “You know I don’t like repeating myself. Either you pick one or I do.” She growled out.
“The, um, the cr-crop.” You replied. Alcina grinned as she pushed herself off of you and headed toward her closet. “Will it h-hurt?” You called out to her. She didn’t reply so after a few minutes you called out to her again. “Alcina?”
“Yes, dear?” Alcina replied. Your words caught in your throat when she stepped out of the closet. “Dear, if you’re not going to speak then please let me concentrate in silence, yes?” You gulped before nodding your head and she smiled at you before she went back into the closet.
You let out a deep breath. She looked absolutely gorgeous in the black slip she had on. You didn’t realise she was changing when you had called out to her and the thought made you flush a bit. You were so lost in your thoughts that you didn’t realise she’d come out of the closet until the crack of the crop made you jump.
“Penny for your thoughts, my dear?” You opened your mouth to answer but no words came out causing Alcina to chuckle. “Oh, cat got your tongue, hmm?”
“N-no, My Lady.” You replied. Your face was on fire from when you’d seen her the second time she exited the closet. She’d change from the black slip to a black lacy corset, her stocking connected to her garter belt with suspenders, and a pair of panties that matched her corset. She’d taken her hair down, letting it rest against her shoulder blades. “You look mesmerising, My Lady.”
Alcina hummed as she walked toward you. “Flattery won’t get you anywhere now, soarece mic.” Alcina said before standing right in front of you. “Up.” You obeyed, standing up face to face with her thighs. “You listen so well.” Alcina sat down in the spot that you’d previously occupied before pulling you into her lap.
“I tho-“ You started, but she cut you off.
“Relax, little one.” She cooed. “To answer your question, yes, it will hurt. But don’t worry, Mommy’s going to take good care of you after.” She whispered into the back of your head before pressing a kiss against your head.
“You will, My Lady?” You asked.
“Of course, darling.” She replied. “Now, shall I have you over my knee or would you like to hold onto the wall?” You sat on her lap in silence as she ran the crop over your thigh in a circular motion. “Won’t you answer my question, dear?” She whispered into your ear.
You nodded your head and bit your lip as you thought about which position you wanted to be in. You let out a startled yelp when you felt the crop hit your thigh causing you to cry out an answer to her. “Your knee, My Lady!” Your lip trembled at the sting of the crop, you hadn’t expected her to hit you.
“I told you that it would hurt.” She chided before she pushed you off her lap. “Over my knee. And if you need to help muffle your sounds, you may bite my thigh. I’m not in the mood to take pleasure in your noises.”
You nodded your head before you placed yourself over her knee. You felt her push her other knee against your legs to lock you into place and you braced yourself for the first hit, but it never came. “My Lady?"
Alcina hummed. “I’m just appreciating you for a moment, pet.” The statement caused you to smile and flush a bit.  “How many minutes until the hour, dear?”
“Um,” You started before you turn your head as best as you could to see the clock. “23 minutes, My Lady.” You replied.
Alcina grinned. “Then you will get 23 hits. I don’t want you to count them. I want you to stay still and be good for Mommy. Can you do that for me?” You nodded your head. “Good.” She said before she raised the crop and hit your right cheek causing you to stiffen. “Was that alright, pet?”
“Yes, My Lady, that was fine.” You replied.
She didn’t reply, instead she took her time alternating between both of your cheeks as she hit you with the crop. By the seventh hit, your fingers were digging into the flesh of her thighs as you had your mouth over her thigh to muffle your cries. Alcina made sure to praise you every few hits, proud of how well you were taking your punishment. By the fifteenth hit, you were silently sobbing into her leg, your bottom had gone numb a bit, and your grip on her had tightened. Lucky for you, there were only eight more hits left. But by the time she'd gotten to 23, your body felt like jelly. Your arm was hanging down her leg and your face was pressed into Alcina. You didn't even realise that she'd finished until she sat you up in her arms.
"Hush now, little one, it's over." Alcina said softly as she pressed a kiss to your forehead before wiping away your tears with the pads of her thumbs. You pushed yourself face first into her chest to cry a little more before you allowed yourself to calm down. "Are you alright now, dear?" You nodded your head slightly in response.
Alcina then laid you down on the bed face first and you whispered at the loss of her touch. "I'll be right back, draga mea." She pressed a kiss to your temple before she got up from the bed and headed to the bathroom. When she exited the bathroom you could see something in her hand and noticed that she now donned a black robe. "I'm going to spread this over your bottom to help soothe it." Alcina explained as she sat back down on the bed.
The ointment she out on you was cold at first, but after a while it became quite comforting, making you close your eyes. "So nice." You mumbled out and Alcina chuckled a bit. When she was done she laid down next to you, pulling you back against her.
Alcina ran her hand down your cheek as your breath started to even out. You felt her press a kiss to the back of your neck as her hand came up to you neck. She pressed more kisses to your neck as she held you against her causing you to moan softly. The pleasure of the kisses only lasted a few more seconds before you felt her fangs bit into your neck causing you to scream out in shock.
Alcina drank from you for a moment before she pulled away, her mouth coming up to your ear. Her breath against your ear caused you to shiver. "You're mine." She whispered into your ear. You whimpered when she pushed you onto your back and leaned over you, her hand still choking you a bit. "Do you understand that, draga mea?" You nodded your head as best as you could. Alcina smiled before she leaned down and gave you a kiss, a bloody one to be exact.
When she pulled away, you had blood on your lips and your teeth from when she had pushed her tongue into your mouth. "M-my Lady?" You panted out. Alcina hummed as she pressed more bloody kisses to your neck and chest. "I'm sorry."
Alcina pulled herself away from you and gave you a smile. "I know, little one." Alcina said. "You've been so good for me tonight, I think you deserve a treat. Don't you?" You nodded your head, albeit hesitantly. "It's in the box, go ahead and open it."
You could still feel your blood rolling down your neck as you struggled to sit up. You reached for the box, opening it with shaky hands, gasping when you saw what was in it. You pulled out a black collar with Dimitrescu written on the middle of it, two red roses on each side of the name. The Dimitrescu family crest hung from a ring connected to the collar. You held it in your hands as you looked up at Alcina with wide eyes.
"Do you like it?" You nodded your head. "Splendid. Let me put it on you." You passed the collar to her and allowed her to place it around your neck, making it as tight as possible. "Now, if you ever decide to pull another one of your stupid stunts again, no one will touch you because you're mine." She growled as she tugged on the collar, pulling you closer to her. "Who do you belong to?"
"Y-you, My La-lady. Only y-you." You replied. There was blatant fear in your eyes that pleased Alcina.
Alcina hummed before she attached the collar to a leash. "That's right, darling. You belong to me." She tugged on the leash as she stood up from the bed. "Grab the blanket, pet, you're going to need it." You did as she told you and followed after her as she walked out of the room.
You didn't say anything, but you knew where you were headed. This part of the punishment was inevitable, being put into a cell. "Do I have to?" You asked in a small voice.
Alcina sighed. "I'm afraid so, darling. I wish I didn't have to send you down here, but bad pets need to be thoroughly punished. It'll help you think twice before making bad decisions." Alcina replied. The two of you walked in silence after that, only stopping so she could unlock the door that led to the dungeon. A shiver ran down your spine as you followed her down the stairs, the moaning and growling from the moroaică making you clutch onto the back of Alcina's robe.
"I don't like it down here." You said when the two of you stopped in front of your cell. The cell was customised a bit for you with a small bed and a desk for you to write at. And unlike the other cells, it didn't have bars, but four walls and a door. It was made that way so you wouldn't see anything disturbing and didn't have to worry about creatures being able to come into the cell. When you entered the cell after Alcina unlocked it, you turned to face her. "Please don't leave me down here." You were crying again and you could see the sadness in Alcina's eyes.
Alcina cupped your cheeks and pressed a kiss to your forehead before she straightened herself up. "I'll send one of the girls down here to check on you when they get back." Was all she said before she closed the cell door in your face, locking it.
You stumbled over to the bed, your shoulders rising as you sobbed. Laying down on the bed, you wrapped yourself up in the blanket to provide you with some warmth and comfort. You had no idea how long you would be down here. You pulled your knees up to your chest as you cried and listened to the noises of the creatures outside of your cell, wishing for this part of your punishment would be over, wishing that you'd wake up from this nightmare soon.
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newtonsheffield · 6 months ago
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Because I'm me I couldn't let Star Wars Day (May the 4th) go without checking in with our favourite Hot Nerd™️ Gregory Bridgerton.
This is of course dedicated to @aspoonfuloffiction whom I know loves Nerdy Gregory as much as I do.
Gregory had been 5 years old when his big brother Anthony had showed him Star Wars for the very first time and it was cool. Anthony had et him sit on his lap, which was always really cool and there were so many lights and colours on the TV and there were space ships and aliens and it seemed just like magic and Anthony had to keep adjusting the straps on his glasses so they wouldn't come off when Greg moved around in excitement, liking how his shoes lit up just like the swords. And When Mummy and Daddy took Greg to the optometrist the next moth and he recognised one of the characters from the movie on a set of glasses he begged his Daddy for those ones. And when he ran home the next week he couldn't wait to show his brother. And Anthony grinned at him, lifting him up roaring happily and said Well look at you Artoo and Greg had never felt so happy.
Maybe a Star Wars Phase was something that you were supposed to grow out of, Gregory wasn't really sure. All he knew was that every time he watched it he still felt that same childlike sense of delight. And Maybe it reminded him of a time before Anthony had to be more than just his goofy big brother who used to to sneak him vimto chews when mum wasn't looking or maybe he still just had a wild crush on Natalie Portman as Padmé Amidala he really couldn't say. But he still loved it, watched it once a month minimum. And then he'd met Lucy Abernathy. And Lucy seemed so, poised and refined in a way that he was more than a little embarrassed by his loved of something that his previous (short-lived) girlfriend had called childish that he'd desperately wanted to hide this part of himself. But it was too late. She'd stood above him in her lingerie and looked down at his Storm Trooper boxer shorts and it had made her... smile. She looked at his Star Wars posters in the living room and chuckled to herself kissing his cheek and Greg didn't really know what to make of it, but he certainly wasn't going to push it. So when three weeks into their relationship she sat, curled on his sofa next to him flicking through a magazine tutting about something or other and her eyes flicked up to him and said I know this is usually your weekend to watch Star Wars Why don't you just put it on? He'd sat open mouthed until she sighed, stood from the couch and started Phantom Menace herself before she settled back against him kissing his cheek lightly. And then when she said, in a perfect mimic of her voice I will not condone a course of action that will lead us to war. Gregory knew they would have to pry him away from Lucy Abernathy with a crowbar. And when he went into work and found a tiny little Han Solo figure glued to the monitor of his computer he couldn't keep the smile off his face. Especially not when he clocked a Leia Organa on Lucy's later in the day.
Gregory had obviously been very excited when his first daughter was born. He loved children, loved being an uncle to his sibling's kids, but something deep in his chest had ached for a child that was one part him and (hopefully) 300 parts Lucy. To hold his child in his arms and know that it was given to him because Lucy loved him, was a moment he would never get tired of. And when Katie was placed in his arms for the first time he hadn't been able to hold back his tears. He was so excited to share everything with his daughter, an entire lifetime of his favourite things to share with her. And yes, he ha watched Star wars with his nieces and nephews but this felt different because this was his daughter. And so, he'd sat, 4 days after they'd brought Katie home from the hospital, his tiny daughter cradled gently in his arms, Lucy pressed into his side and started watching Star Wars, he'd truly thought his heart would burst with happiness. And when Katie marched into the living room years later and said I wanna be Padmé for Halloween He'd thought his heart would burst with happiness as he swooped down and lifted her onto his shoulders Then you can be Padmé Katie cat! And Lucy had tutted and sighed, with a smirk on her face and a kiss on his cheek I should have known nerdy boys like you were the most dangerous. So adorable, they make you fall in love with them and then turn your children into dorks. And her voice was so filled with love and affection that Gregory fell in love with her all over again. Especially when Katie said, in a startlingly close imitation of her namesake If Daddy's such a nerd why did you fall in love with him Mummy? And Lucy's eyes softened as she stared up at their daughter Sweetheart I just couldn't help myself.
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bluedemiknight · 9 months ago
Text
Not What You Thought?
Miraculous Ladybug: Marinette, the class, Chloe
------
It’s been months of constant toxic behavior. She was sick of hearing the name calling and the shoving. They would shove her even when they don’t need to and they would call her out for things she didn’t do. Lecture after lecture after lecture; they would belittle her.
She didn’t yield to it though. She didn’t smile, but she didn’t get angry either. No more caring and certainly no more trying. She put up with everything they did to her, because she can bend but she won’t break. Quietly, she held her head up with a stoic look in her eye. She didn’t stop, even when they wanted to make her cry. She didn’t cry.
She is Marinette Dupain-Cheng, and she is Ladybug. Her fire burns. The flames may flicker and weaken but they don’t get snuffed out. She raises evermore effortlessly as they make her struggle.
 Her moments of weakness and uncertainty only leave her laying blank on the ground. She stares into the void as it stares back, assessing her. Does it deem her unworthy of taking her? She questions. No matter; it’s time to get up anyway.
---------
Marinette, is her name. She’ll say it again; she’ll repeat it as many times as she needs to. Her enemies attack her, to force her back, to challenge her and mock her. She refused, this day is all the same.
She sat in the back of the class, motionless and cold. The coldness of her being brought endless pressure to her classmates. Their misguided anger, quiets when she stares them down. A bile of unnerving fear overcome them when they look into her eyes.
No disappointment.....not hatred or even fear.....in her hollow eyes. Nothing. The emptiness of her eyes pull them in and it sickens them. She brings a void that shakes their very being and at times, the repulsive feeling overwhelms them.
Lila does her best not to be deterred, as continued her charade. It doesn’t always work. The beginning was the easiest before it got more difficult to ruler her. Marinette never played by her rules.
Today was the last, Lila would think, wanting to stop it all. She would finally break the girl and be the queen on top of the school.
---------
“You know.....maybe you should have listened?”, Lila started.
Marinette did nothing of the sort as she spoke, Lila cleared her throat before continuing.
“It would have been easier.....you would have friends....”
Marinette, unmoving as she never looked at her; not a single expression as looked on. Lila bit her lip, she wanted to say something-anything! To get the girl to react, to show her that what she said meant anything, anything at all.
“You know....”, Lila started to feel that maybe she hasn’t actually said anything to being with?
Maybe she wasn’t even there? Who? She doesn’t want to know.
-----------
Marinette wasn’t perfect, she wasn’t anything less either. Lila was trying to harm her again. Her words were starting to fall short, but they weren’t the only things that was losing. Alya lost to the pressure. She couldn’t take the nothing that Marinette gave her.
No guilt, no resentment, all of it! She kepting going now a days because wanted to see something in her. The empty, fire would consume her if she didn’t do something to get a reaction.
-----------
Later that day, most of the class decided to do something public. They would confront Marinette in public and hopefully she would crumble.
Chloe went too. She wasn’t involved with the class much and didn’t really care about Marinette, but she felt that she should be there. She talked to Marinette once. It was more like insulting each other, but that’s the most emotional she’d seen Marinette be in months.
 A slight furrow of her brow and a single “Like you were any better. You weren’t happy, Chloe. I don’t excuse her actions, but I don’t hate her. I never hated you either, Chloe. I don’t hate anyone, I’m not mad. Have a good day, Chloe.”
It was....a thing.... to process. Afterall, she was celebrating with everyone else at time she almost left right? If she didn’t hate her, then what?
------------
Did...did they finally do it? Did they break her? She’s not talking, but she is shaking. Her head is down and she’s shaking. They surrounded her, but backed up a bit.
They frozen when they saw the butterfly. Did they really break her, after all this time? Will she lash out?
Marinette said nothing when she snapped her head up. She remained emotionless as she took her earrings out. It was silence as she marched up to Chloe. They all tensed as she moved closer to Chloe. In the back of Chloe’s mind, she panicked, why her? She wasn’t doing anything! Did she hate her after all?
Marinette took Chloe’s hand and pressed her earrings into her hand. Marinette looked into Chloe’s eyes with a serious expression.
“I’m counting on you.”
Marinette turned around and went back to the spot she was at before. Dropping her bag, they watched her transform.
She hair grew longer and changed color. It took on a white and light blue color as her skin blacked to an inky hue. Her eyes changed to a deep red and irses an accompanying black or blue? as her skin becomes paler and without freckles. She refused to let Hawkmoth design her outfit, he lets her because she threaten to rip his hair out if he didn’t.
(I drew up an idea of it so I don’t have to describe it. I will post it separately.) The colors can be changed to match the aesthetic.
Also I found out Lilies aren’t naturally blue.... so pink it is! Just change the blue colors with something else!
With one glance behind her at Chloe, she left to ready the battlefield. The class and Chloe continue to be taken back with fear and surprise, until Chloe looked down at the earrings in her hands and then to where Marinette was previously. Tikki revealing herself to fly towards Chloe. They stare at each other and Chloe looks down at the earrings again, finally realizing the implications of Marinette’s statement. 
Chole is then resolved. She transforms into ‘The Velvet Lady’.
(I might also post the design later if I remember.)
She gives chase, leaving the rest to eventually come to a realization of their own. After all, who would have thought the girl they’ve been giving a hard time with, was the hero they idolize?
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I can’t do action scenes, so a brief description:
Marinette Akumatized into Tiny Todd I’m kidding but they are cute. Either Monte Negro (Since they are poisonous to cats) or Sumatra or maybe just Lilium? I can’t think of a name, so yeah. 
[Insert Akuma Name Here] had waited for The Velvet Lady to catch up to her before they fought and they (Unknown to Hawkmoth) got closer and closer to the Agrest Mansion. Chat Noir interfered a bit, but was quickly knocked out.
They found their fight end in the secret lair of Hawkmoth, he was startled, but tried to use this ‘chance’. 
“[Insert Akuma Name Here]! Hold her-”
He was punched as The Velvet Lady easily made quick work of the ill Mayura.
“I am in control!”, roared Hawkmoth.
Without hesitation, [Insert Akuma Name Here] takes the brooch and handed it to The Velvet Lady. She then takes her own Akumatized object to rip up and let The Velvet Lady purify it. Then cast the cure.
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I am also not sure how to rap this up so let’s go with:
Emily is awaken (AWAKEN MY MAS-) from her coma and divorced Gabriel, who when to jail in a high security prison in another country. Natalie was put in a hospital as she couldn’t go to a normal jail, considering her health. Gorilla continued to work for Emily as she left the country with Adrian to live near her sister. 
Adrian was cleared as he was targeted many times by Hawkmoth and his fans would advocate for his innocence. There were many examples of how sheltered and neglected he was, so they really didn’t want him to be locked away again.
Chloe, surprisingly didn’t take credit for his defeat and told them all she was only Miraculous that very day. She highlighted that the miraculi have thus been taken away and she doesn’t know who took it.
Since it was public that Marinette was Ladybug via giving Chloe her earrings, she was showered with praise. That joy was overtaken by her collapsing.
Marinette was sent to a hospital and never fully recovered.
----------------------
Years later...
She wanted the last person she sees to be Chloe so they may talk. 
“....Hello, Dupain-Cheng.”
“Hello, Chloe. Thank you for giving me, my miraculous back. You didn’t have too.”
“I wasn’t a right fit like you were, more importantly it clashed with my outfit.”
Marinette laughs as she beacon Chloe closer.
“You, know Chloe. After this....the Miraculous will disappear. Usually, I would live as long as I need to find a replacement, but.....I’ve been put under so much strain that I wouldn’t be really living if I did. I...”
“Dupain-Cheng...”
“I’m not going to ask you to do as I did or take care of anyone for me. I want you find your future for yourself. You don’t have to stop being bossy or mean, or even start becoming kind.”
“Remember when we were kids and I called you unwanted?”
“Yeah, I walked up to you and asked if you wanted to play with me.”
“I... I was jealous....”
“Shush, the past is the past. Have always wanted to be your friend, but I didn’t think it would ever happen so I got angry when you were around.”
“Me too. I was angry and scared.”
“Chloe....Do you still....”
“Yes, I do want to be friends.”
They smile.
------------
A heavy rain made it hard to be where they were, but they continued to be there. A world of people in black, mourning as a casket is lowered into the open grave.
“Thank you.....Marinette.”, Chloe speaks softly.
Hoping that somehow, they’ll meet again one day and become friends.
--------------
psst, some note will be in the seperate picture post of Marinette’s akuma outfit.
The End.
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thran-duils · 9 months ago
Text
Use All of Me (P.11)
Title: Use All Of Me (Part Eleven) Summary: Fem!Reader x Dark Mob!Steve Rogers. The Avengers are heroes saving the world but in this AU, they are also permitted by the powers in charge to have less than favorable business underneath their guise of mere superheroes. Steve and Tony are at the helm, keeping their empire’s wealth in check, both devious and perilous if crossed. Steve takes a liking to the reader at a party and it may be her undoing to her autonomy choosing to go home with him. Words: 2,711 Warnings: Dark AF, angst, emotional/mental abuse, smut, breeding, death Author’s Note: As some of my midwest friends have poked fun at, a freeway to me is an interstate, like I5 and I90. A highway to me refers to state routes or highways with stop lights along it at certain spots. I know it’s not a huge deal but I like to explain cause it’s definitely regional and sets the scene of what I am thinking of when I’m writing.
Part Ten || Part Twelve || Masterpost (mobile) || Fanfic masterpost
“I need somebody, ANYBODY, to get in a car or something and get to Grand Central terminal right now.”
Steve was on multiple way call with the team that answered the phone, sitting in the passenger seat while Natasha sped down the freeway. Tony had separated from them, heading towards the Avengers facility where he could have more cameras which gave him more eyes. Facial recognition was granted at the facility grounds on a larger scale of satellites too unlike his house.
“You wanna tell us what for?” Rhodes asked perplexed.
“Y/N left,” Steve snapped. There was a chorus of murmurs from all ends of the phone call, generally ignored by Steve who was too hot headed to acknowledge their concern. “I don’t know where the hell she is going. But Nat heard her whispering to her friend in the bathroom about taking a train. To god knows where.
“Do we know it’s going to be Grand Central?” Sam inquired calmly.
“No, not for sure! But I want it covered. As soon as possible! They got a half hour head start or so from my house. Nat and I are going to Penn. That’s where the Amtrak is. Tony’s accessing surveillance, using facial recognition.
“What do you want us to do if we find her?” Bucky asked.
“Don’t hurt her,” Steve ordered.
“Well, no shit,” Bucky cut in, unable to hold back his sarcasm. “I meant, where do you want us to—”
“She’s with one – or two, I’m not sure – of her friends,” Steve interrupted, strained. “Try to make it as quiet as possible. I don’t want it all over the evening news. Just—get Y/N away from there.”
“What about her friends?” Clint pointed out.
“I’ll deal with them later,” Steve got out in a surly tone. “Call me if you find her.”
<><><>
You laid across the backseat of the car, examining your nails.
“I really don’t like you having no seatbelt on,” Natalie said for what felt like the tenth time since you had escaped past the gate of your house.
“I’ll sit up when my back hurts,” you responded, stretching one of your legs as far as you could towards the ceiling. You grunted when you felt a pull in your lower abdomen.
“We are out of the gate, Y/N. And away from cameras. We are on a highway.”
“There are still cameras. But I know. It’s been like an hour.”
You were tingling with anticipation, threatening to eat you alive. You half expected Natalie to slam on her brakes at any seconds because Steve landed in front of the car in the lane. You doubted though he would want to put you in danger and that could cause a huge accident.
Would not want to hurt his precious cargo, you thought to yourself darkly.
Yua sighed from the passenger seat and looked back at you around the seat. She had decided to come with the pair of you and had been filled in on the situation after you had successfully gotten through the gate. You almost snorted at the absurdity of the fact all you had to do was wear a hood and one of Steve’s baseball caps to shield your face and make sure to not make eye contact with the guards meandering around the gate. Holding the backpack in your lap had helped to hide your stomach.
“Y/N. Sit up. Please. Stop making Natalie get worry lines, it’s starting to stress me out. It’s not like they won’t be looking for Natalie’s plates in the cameras if they have access outside of New York.” You were sure Tony did. His company was worldwide. “I don’t think them seeing your face is going to make any difference. They saw you get in the car on the surveillance tapes at your house by now.”
You exhaled heavily, knowing she was right. You imagined Steve seeing the tapes and turning around to tear a door of his hinges, hurling it across the room. You would laugh at the imagery if it did not simultaneously terrify you. Sitting up with some difficulty, you patted Natalie’s shoulder who thanked you.
The two of them had turned their phones off – you had left yours behind. You were sure Tony would figure out how to track theirs but yours was definitely compromised. You did not even want it on you, choosing to leave it on the entrance table by the front door.
It was scary. You could not stop thinking about how angry Steve would be – was. It was present tense now for sure. He had to have figured out you were missing by now. Otherwise, Wanda, Bryce, and Patricia were completely inept, which you knew was not the case.
Staring out the window, you watched the trees go by trying to think about the nature walks you could go on without watchful eyes around the cabin. It lulled you into some sense of relaxation.
<><><>
Steve stormed through the terminal, his eyes watchful on the crowd for anything that screamed Y/N from behind or a profile. His eyes zeroed in on the back of a woman’s head and he changed course quickly, coming up to her, shoving his way through the crowd much to some people’s annoyance at being shoved aside. He grabbed her arm and whipped her around when he was on her.
She cried out in half fear and half pain.
It was not Y/N.
“Sorry,” he said not sounding sorry at all. “Thought you were someone else.”
She glared at him, rubbing her arm. “What the hell is wrong with you?”
Steve bit back a comment, turning from her without a word.
“Hey, aren’t you Captain America?” someone asked him from a few feet away. That caught the woman’s attention, as well as others.
Steve shot the kid an annoyed look and said clipped, “Not right now, kid. Sorry. I’m busy.”
He took off again before anyone could say anything else, god forbid ask him for an autograph or a selfie. His heart was hammering, searching desperately. He came to a stop, staring out over the crowd. Hope she was here was dwindling fast. He felt like his chest was going to explode from the myriad of feelings coursing through him right now.
I’m not seeing her, Natasha texted him. He had sent her the opposite way from him, telling her to check the female bathrooms that direction. He was getting similar texts from the group at Grand Central too and he could not stand to look at his phone anymore, shoving it into his back pocket furiously.
He ran his hand through his hair, tugging on it near the ends in frustration. He took one more stroll down the terminal, scouring it to make sure he had not missed her. Natasha appeared and without a word went into the bathrooms to cover her bases.
When she appeared again, she was empty handed. She approached him slowly, with caution, his gaze burning into her.
“I shouldn’t have left the house,” Natasha said, shaking her head. She looked disappointed and guilty.
“You couldn’t have known it was going to be right then,” Steve said tightly. He had little patience for coddling someone else’s feelings right now but extended the gesture briefly because it was Nat. His face hardened, shaking his head slightly. “I’m gonna tell them I’m heading home to speak to that bumbling idiot I call my security guard.”
<><><>
Natasha had barely got the car into park before Steve threw the door open and made a beeline for the front door of his house. The door bounced off the wall with the sheer force he threw it open with. Natasha followed him, far more collected. She grabbed the door, closing it, eyeing the hole the doorhandle had made into the wall. She shook her head before following Steve towards the living room.
Bryce stood up from the couch on sight seeing Steve. Wanda did as well, far less stricken looking than Bryce though. She looked concerned.
“Did you—” she started to ask Steve, but he cut her off, all his rage radiating towards Bryce as he stormed in.
“How the fuck did you let this happen?” Steve roared at Bryce.
“The front gate didn’t catch her—” Bryce tried to pass the buck onto the other men, but Steve was not having an ounce of it.
He was towering over Bryce now, Bryce trying to not fold in Steve’s shadow. “I don’t care about the front gate! She shouldn’t have even been able to get into the car!”
Blubbering, Bryce tried to say, “There were a lot of women, Mr. Rogers. She was starting to say goodbye to them all—”
“You didn’t think to be outside? To keep an eye on her? Not even for a second? That didn’t cross your mind?”
“I didn’t expect her to leave.”
“Now that—” Steve snarled, pointing threateningly in Bryce’s face, causing him to flinch. “I find to be an egregious lie!”
“S-s-sir?”
Steve moved closer if that was possible, his nose inches from Bryce’s. Bryce visibly gulped, trying to not break eye contact with him. Steve’s voice was dangerously low, “Do you have something to tell me, Bryce?”
“I’m not sure what you mean, sir.”
“Bryce. I am giving you one chance to be honest with me: Did Y/N ask you for help to leave me?”
Bryce’s forehead was covered in a sheen of nervous sweat. His eyes darted nervously to Wanda who was standing nearby, watching the scene unfold curiously. She did not move to help, and he was forced to focus back on Steve knowing Natasha would not help him under any circumstance.
He licked his lips nervously and exhaled shakily. “Yes. But—”
He did not get to finish because Steve had taken a step back, cocked his arm back and socked him straight in the face, knocking him backward. Bryce yelped in agony, grasping at his nose as he laid on the ground, blood gushing from his broken nose. Steve unholstered his gun and Bryce saw, his eyes growing wide as saucers. His broken nose was quickly forgotten, holding up his hands in front of him as he pleaded for Steve to not do it, but his sniveling went unheeded. Steve unloaded half a round into his chest.
Steve’s hand shook now, and he lowered the gun slowly to his side. His eyes were absent of warmth, staring down at the man who he had entrusted his future wife and children’s safety to. Bryce’s eyes were still open in fear, blood trickling from his mouth as his head and arms slumped to the ground. His chest stopped moving in a matter of seconds, lying in a quickly forming puddle of red.
Rolling his shoulders back and cracking his neck, Steve replaced his gun, taking a deep breath, exhaling slowly.
“They could have gone anywhere,” he finally said tautly.
“Steve, I’m sorry,” Wanda offered, taking a few steps towards him.
“You weren’t in charge of watching her,” Steve responded, still not looking at the two women behind him.
The front door opened loudly down the hall and there were running steps, putting the trio on the defense quickly. Two of Steve’s security guards came into view, both out of breath. They both visibly relaxed seeing Steve still standing there, their eyes only flicking to Bryce’s body on the ground for a second. To their credit, they both did not blanch.
One offered, “Sorry for running in. We heard shots.”
Steve ignored her apology, beginning to walk. “Clean up the body and get rid of it. Now,” Steve ordered impatiently, moving past her.
“Where are you going?” Natasha asked, moving to follow him, Wanda in tandem.
“Back to the facility. It’s time to brainstorm and make a different plan,” Steve said over his shoulder.
<><><>
The cabin was two stories, an open floor plan on both floors. There was a wall shielding the top loft bedroom from view and a bedroom on the ground floor. Immediately, Natalie said the three of you could sleep upstairs since there was a queen bed and another twin bed. Yua pointed out that there was a back door right next to the other bedroom and you would be able to hear if someone came in there. Plus, people in horror movies always ran upstairs which ended in their demise. She stopped arguing when Natalie said there was a staircase from the upper deck outside the bedroom leading to the backyard.
“Wow, there are some CDs here,” Yua said flipping through a small case next to an entertainment center. “It’s like we are back in the 90s.”
“Hey, that entertainment console was top notch in the 90s. Don’t trash talk it,” Natalie joked.
“Gotta leave things people don’t want to steal since they use this as an air bnb,” you teased and Natalie pointed at you, acknowledging that.
Yua laughed, “They’re all burned CDs too. Oh, look. Top hits ’04. Oh, that’s past the 90s. Upgrading.” You chuckled as she pulled the CD out, opening the console. “Oh, my! And it’s a six disc! We could change albums whenever we want. Is there a remote? Oh, yes!” She chose five more random albums and put them in as well, closing it and choosing the original disc she had put in.
The first song started out and the three of you immediately made eye contact. “Oh my god. I have not heard this song in forever. A true lost Destiny’s Child gem,” Natalie said, unable to stop laughing. “Ooh, I put it right there, made it easy for you to get to…” she began to sing as she moved towards the kitchen to put the bags of food on the counter.
She had stopped at a mini mart near the bottom of the mountain to grab a good amount of food to hold you guys over. Yua and her had left you in the car to be able to cover the store quicker to leave as little time as possible staying stagnant in a parking lot. The whole time you had been on edge, pulling your hood as far down your face as you could while trying to keep a look out. Every car that drove by on the highway made the hairs on your arms stand up, praying it would not whip around and come back to you.
“If Mr. Brightside isn’t on this album, I’m going to be really disappointed. That was a true gem of my childhood,” Yua chimed in. She flopped onto the couch, stretching out. “Feels good to not be in the car. Hey, Nat, can you bring me one of my beers. Please?” She shot you an apologetic look. “Sorry, Y/N.”
“Just four more months,” you said lightly, touching your stomach as you sat down as well.
Yua reached over, caressing your stomach lightly. “Can’t you not drink while you’re breastfeeding too?”
“Don’t tell me that.”
“Sorry,” Yua snickered as Natalie came out of the kitchen holding a beer and a glass of wine.
She held it out to you, and you stared at her in bewilderment that she was offering you alcohol.
“It’s not rosé,” Natalie smiled. “It’s sparkling. A blush kind.”
“How nice of you,” you said, smiling in return. You took a small sip and said, “Hmm. It’ll do.”
“I’ll take that as a ‘thank you, Natalie’,” Natalie intoned, turning on her heel and walking back towards the kitchen.
“Thank you, Natalie,” you and Yua intoned back in unison.
“I’ll make dinner. What’s it gonna be? Frozen meal of mac and cheese or frozen meal of Salisbury steak?” Natalie asked, facing the two of you. “Or… there’s tater tots. Or pizza… and we could make a fruit salad on the side.”
“Thank god for the fruit,” Yua commented, grinning. “I say you make the pizza and fruit. Gotta pretend Y/N is still trying to be healthy somehow.”
Despite laughing, you did think of how Steve would react seeing you eating all this processed food, the same day you had cake no less. Touching your stomach again, you rubbed gently, thinking surely Steve was trying his damnedest to see you too.
~~~
Tags: @imsonick , @alexakeyloveloki, @kvzctam, @ironlady1993, @taintedgenre, @inlovewiththefictionalcharacters @roxyfan14-blog
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