neither one likes to sit on each other's lap so usually they'll just sit in between the other's legs and lay their back against their front, they also do this when they're in need of comfort or just to relieve their anxiety
when they argue they don't talk for days and usually the boys have to drag them into a closed room so they can talk it out
natasha is well read and has a lot of knowledge on many classic novels because that's the way the red room groomed her and so natasha will just drabble on about the books she read and what fascinates her and the important lessons and stuff to wanda late at night while the lights are dim in their room and wanda is just lazily sprawled on the bed between all the blankets and pillow and just listens to natasha talk because she finds it adorable that her badass girlfriend is a huge nerd
they plan road trips together to theme parks because they've never been to one
natasha HATES board games but wanda loves them so she is forced to play them, eventually she'll willingly play because she likes how adorable wanda is when she's winning
wanda started wearing natasha's vest and nat let her because she liked that both her families were kinda meeting and then one day yelena just shows up and she loves wanda but still gives her sister crap for letting someone else wear it
they both give each other hickeys but wanda's really shy about it so she tries to cover it up while nat just walks around in a wide neck shirt to showcase her neck
wanda never gave nat back her red jacket and nat just buys more which wanda slowly starts stealing and nat just lets her
wanda likes to stretch but finds yoga boring so natasha introduced her to twister and now they play it twice a week
both of them like to go to the theatres and annoy people when they're bored, they got banned from 4 cinema outlets and it got to the point that stark had to pay people not to complain about them
wanda never remembers natasha's phone number because she claims she'll always have her phone or she could just use her powers but when she gets lost in the mall between innocent civilians she has to go to front desk and tell them she lost her mom
wanda's english is really rough so she often switches between english and russian and nat doesn't want her to feel bad so she also switches between english and russian
when wanda first came to the compound, natasha was the one who curled/straightened wanda's hairand helped her dye it and wanda loved it so she often got her hair done from nat after that
natasha can't cook so she'll often goes days eating ice cream and pb&j sandwiches which wanda finds unbearable so she cooks for natasha and forces her to eat proper food
hirhuuruhurr step bro shinsou with his sister that loveD him before but now doesn't because they all of sudden ignores him, hates him, and sneers at him if he looks, touches or talks to her, maybe he even brings up how when they were kids she used to love her big brother so much ahurhurhuiirurhurrr if hating shinsou would be a job stepsis reader would be the richest person alive hurhrurhurr😳
Prelude - idek what this is im so sorry man hope it doesn’t disappoint
Pairing - Stepbrother Shinsou X Reader
Prompt - Right at the top babeyy
Warnings - NSFW, noncon, dubcon, blowjobs, cunnilingous, full on NSFW
Music - I listened to https://youtu.be/N8aSrLda8_Q on repeat. Doesn’t really fit the one shot but It’s what I listened to so
You were careful now, took precautions. You had a list of rules that you kept track of in your head, rules that kept you safe, rules that kept you sane. There weren’t many, but you clung to them nonetheless, let them be your mantra.
1. Never be alone in the same room.
This one seemed easy. It was anything but. Always hovering and clinging to your mom had annoyed her after a while, and your dad was almost never home. But you managed the best you could. If you were in the kitchen and heard Shinsou say hi to your mom as he came through the door, headed for the kitchen, you would abandon ship. Leaving half-prepared food on the counters had gotten you in trouble a couple times, but you’d rather get scolded for a minute or two than get cornered by your stepbrother.
2. Always lock your door.
Your mom didn’t understand why you broke down in tears when she denied your request to get a lock on your bedroom door. Thankfully, she backtracked, saying that if it was so important to you, dad would pick one up and install it that weekend. It made you feel better, even though you could never shake the feeling that you weren’t completely safe.
3. Don’t let him touch you.
The most important of them all. No hugs, no high-fives. If you were sitting on the couch and Shinsou happened to sit next to you, you would immediately get up and move to a different seat. Your parents were oblivious, never questioned why. At the dinner table you started sitting next to your dad, where mom usually sat, instead of next to your stepbrother. Once again, your parents didn’t notice, though your mom had commented on your more-sour-than-normal moods multiple times.
She picked up on your refusal to be around your brother, how your face twisted into a frown whenever he got home from working at the carwash, the way you stiffened and got defensive if he was in the room. She chalked it up to a fight, siblings being siblings.
You wish it had been that simple.
It had been a fight, sort-of. You had tried to playfully punch him at first, when he dragged you to his room without telling you why. Shinsou probably just wanted to play video games or something, maybe he had gotten a new game and was excited about showing you?
But when he shut the door behind you two, he got rougher, grip tighter. He led you to the bed, asked you to sit down. You did. He asked you to suck him off, unbuckling his belt and pulling down the zipper of his jeans.
It was vague, you tried not to remember the details. You had hit him, punched him straight in the stomach, rising to your feet. He wasn’t expecting you to kick him between the legs. You weren’t expecting for him to hit you back, the force of his slap making you lose your balance, totter back and sit down heavily on the bed, face burning red. It hurt.
It didn’t stop hurting.
It hurt when he pulled your hair, guiding your mouth to his cock. You didn’t want to taste it, didn’t want anything to do with it. You didn’t like the smell, his pubes were scratchy on your face as he rubbed his cock over your face when you refused to part your lips.
It hurt when Shinsou got tired of that, when he shoved you onto your back and straddled your chest. You couldn’t breathe.
It hurt when he pinched your nose, forcing you to open your mouth or risk passing out.
Tears were clouding your vision by the time he finished, lungs burning, heart hurting.
No matter how hard you tried to forget, the memory was still there, was always there; consuming, haunting you.
You could barely stand to look at him now.
The purple-haired man acted as if nothing had happened, as if he hadn’t forced his cock down your throat, as if he hadn’t violated your trust. You hated him. He would try to talk to you, ask you how school was going or if you wanted to go hang out at the movies. If yours parents were in the room, you always gave him a curt “No”, but if it was just the two of you, Shinsou asking you through the locked door of your room, his questions were met with silence. Your stepbrother didn’t deserve anything from you.
Weeks passed, with Shinsou trying to interact with you and your blatant refusal to even acknowledge his presence. He had tried to pull you into a hug one day, right after you had gotten home from class. You had just come through the door, turning to shuck off your shoes before heading up to your room when arms encircled your chest, pulling you back into a lithe body. It was suffocating.
The second you saw purple hair out of the corner of your eye, you were thrashing, twisting in your brother’s strong grip, wriggling out of his grasp. He had let you go, and you turned, rounded on him like a wild animal - teeth bared, eyes full of fear.
Shinsou was silent, looking at you with an indiscernible emotion in his eyes. The both of you were frozen, staring at each other, daring one another to make the first move. Your brother reached out towards you, hand headed toward your hair as if to push the messy strands away from your face. You slapped his hand away with a flat “Don’t you fucking touch me.”, but your wrists were suddenly pressed together, Shinsou’s large hands trapping them in an iron grip, pulling you towards him before you had time to blink.
It was scary, pressed up against your brother, wrists immobilized, the man looking down at you with furrowed brows. Was he angry? He had no right to be. Without thinking, you were biting on his arm, a exclamation of pain being cursed out by your brother. He let you go, cradling his arm to his chest and you bolted, taking the steps two at a time to reach the safety of your room.
He didn’t try to touch you after that.
Shinsou lingered more often now. You knew the man would hesitate outside your door, hear his gentle, even footsteps falter, pause before moving on to his own room further down the hall. When you were drifting off to sleep, your doorknob would rattle quietly, clicking as it turned, as someone tried to open it. You knew it was Shinsou; your parents would knock and ask to come in. You were so grateful for the lock. Still, whenever the noise was heard, you froze, fear clenching your muscles and making you breathless. It was impossible to relax until the noise stopped, until you heard the soft sigh from the other side of the door, then retreating footsteps.
It was always hard to sleep after that. Why couldn’t he just leave you alone?
“Alright honey, you have our numbers, you know to call if anything comes up! I love you!”
You waved to your mom, biting your lip as you watched your parents pull out of the driveway, watched their car disappear down the road. They were going on a trip, something with your dad’s work. Mom figured it would be a nice little getaway if she went with him, take some time just for the two of them. You knew she also figured that it would give you and your brother to work out whatever little ‘squabble’ that had seemed to sour your relationship. She had told you so, told you that she knew how siblings could be.
“You two just need to communicate, tell him what he said or did that has you so upset. He’s a rational guy, I’m sure he didn’t mean to make you angry with him. I’m sure the two of you can work it out.”
If only she knew.
You wanted to tell her. But how does one start a conversation like that? “Hey, just letting you know! Your son forced me to suck his dick! It was awful lol.” Just didn’t seem appropriate. Neither did “Your son scares the bejesus out of me! I’m afraid he’s going to rape me lol, please help haha!”. You were so ashamed.
And now you were going to be stuck with Shinsou, by yourself, for a full two weeks.
At least you still had school. You could stay in your room when you weren’t at school, maybe you could hang out at the library too? Anything to get out of the house, away from your brother.
Shinsou had work, and you knew the basics of his schedule. Knew he left before you woke up in the morning. Got back around 3 or 4 in the afternoon. Was off Friday through Sunday. It should be easy enough to avoid him.
He was gone right now, it being mid-morning on a Monday. Stepping back into the house, you took a deep breath, sinking down to a crouch after shutting the door. You could do this, stay safe, make it through the next two weeks without your parents around to act as a buffer between you and your brother.
You had just finished lunch, a simple affair of a crappy PB&J, and were sitting down to watch TV. There were some episodes of your favorite show that you wanted to catch up on, and now was the perfect time. Or, it would be if you didn’t hear keys rattling in the door.
A quick glance at the clock had you worried, the time being barely past 1. Shinsou wasn’t supposed to be home yet. Oh well, you figured you could just go hole up in your room, maybe work on homework or play computer games. As you turned off the TV, you heard the front door open, close, a soft grunt as Shinsou struggled to kick off his shoes.
Unfortunately, to get to the stairs you had to pass by the entryway, and the second you did, Shinsou noticed you.
You didn’t answer.
“I know you can hear me. Can I talk to you about something?”
He was following you up the steps, a menacing presence. “Shouldn’t you be at work? Leave me alone.” You were in the hallway now, socked feet padding softly as you quickened your pace.
“I’m getting two weeks off. I wanted to ask-“
“Why the hell are you getting two weeks off?”
You whirled around, bracing yourself in your doorway. If he tried to come in, you could slam the door in his face. But you wanted to know, why was he getting a vacation, especially now?
Shinsou had his hands in his pockets, looking off to the side as he shrugged.
“I dunno…. Don’t really care either. But I was thinking, since mom and dad are gone-“
“I’m not doing anything, going anywhere, or talking to you. Stay the fuck away from me.” You cut him off, moving to shut the door, mind whirling as you tried to think how this impacted your ‘avoid-Shinsou-at-all-costs’ plan.
A foot stopped the door from closing, Shinsou grabbing the door with a hand and wrenching it open, out of your grasp. He looked frustrated, the small crease that showed up between his eyebrows when he was irritated was visible as you glanced at his face.
“Can you let me talk? You keep interrupting, it’s rude.”
“I don’t fucking care, let go of the door.” You grabbed the handle, tried to tug it shut. Shinsou wouldn’t let you.
“That’s another thing - you have such a dirty mouth. Didn’t anybody ever teach you that ladies shouldn’t swear? Your manners are atrocious.”
He was prying open the door, stepping inside, sneering down at you as he talked, voice low and full of venom. Small steps backward, you shot him a glare, staring into his stupid violet eyes. You hated him so much.
“Fuck off, what are you, an incel? Figures. Now get the hell out of my room.” Shinsou was scaring you, herding you further into your room. You wanted this conversation over, him gone, door closed and locked.
The man smirked, crossing his arms over his chest. “Or what? You’ll call mom? Dad?” Shinsou scoffed. “As if they’d believe you.”
Your stomach dropped.
“Y’know, I really did just want to talk.” Shinsou continued, reaching behind him to swing the door shut, clicking the lock into place. You started breathing harder, short gasping breaths. “But you are just have to be difficult, don’t you? Always so disrespectful.”
He was stepping towards you, backing you up against your bed. This couldn’t be happening, you were starting to feel sick to your stomach, dizzy, unable to breathe.
“Shinsou, get out. Get the fuck out, right now.” You hoped you sounded less scared than you felt - but you knew your voice sounded small, could hear the waver of fear underneath each word.
“No. You’ve been avoiding me for weeks now, not saying hi, not letting me hug you, sit next to you. I think you need to be taught some manners, need to learn a little respect.”
You were trapped now, legs pressed against your bed, Shinsou getting closer and closer. You couldn’t just sit there and take it like last time. A split-second decision and you were launching yourself to the side, trying to dodge around Shinsou, run to the door. If you could get out of the house, maybe you could convince your neighbors to let you stay with them.
Shinsou clotheslined you.
He fucking clotheslined you.
A choked yelp left your mouth as his arm slammed against your throat, the force causing you to stumble back, gripping at your throat. That was cheap. He was pushing you, shoving you onto your bed with almost no effort, his eyes boring into you, watching as your face turned red, eyes got puffy.
“Don’t make me hurt you, you know I can.”
“Shinsou don’t you fucking dar-“
“Shut up. Shut your stupid little mouth.” He cut you off, climbing onto your bed, hovering over you. He was breathing hard too, panting almost. “You need to be polite, be nice to your older brother. Stop cussing or else I’ll gag you, got it?”
Shinsou was grabbing your face, fingers digging into your jaw, the pressure too much for you to handle. There was no use fighting him. You nodded quickly, and he let go, leaning back. “Good. Now take off your shirt.”
Trying to think of a way out of this, you hesitated. The purple-haired man noticed. “Take off your shirt, or I’ll do it for you. Choose.”
With trembling hands, you removed your shirt. You hated him.
Shinsou was still sitting on his heels beside you on the bed, looking over your body, pleased. “Good girl. Now lay back, no no, don’t cover yourself. Lay down.”
You did as he asked, resting your back against the soft covers of your bed. You distantly realized you were going to have to throw out your bedding after this. There was no way you’d be able to sleep in it after this, even if you washed it.
Your brother stood, unbuckling his belt and shucking off his pants while you arranged yourself, and you looked away. You didn’t want to see him, see what he had between his legs. Yeah, It had been in your mouth, but you tried to forget about that. It threw you off guard when hands hooked around the hem of your shorts, your head whipping up to see Shinsou fully nude, sliding down your shorts and panties in one fluid movement. You wanted to kick at his face, give him a black eye. You would, if you weren’t terrified of what he would do to you after.
The man climbed back on the bed, patted your face gently as he moved to straddle your abdomen. You closed your eyes before you caught sight of his dick.
“Shinsou, don’t do this. You can’t, I’m your sister. Please.” It was worth a shot, begging him to leave you alone, put his clothes back on and the two of you could pretend this never happened.
“Be quiet. Let me enjoy you and I’ll make you feel good too, alright?”
You flinched when you felt his hands (they were always so cold) grip your chest, push your tits together. When he spat on the space between them, you almost gagged. Eyes still closed, you could feel him position his dick, begin sliding it in-between your chest. It didn’t hurt, but your head did. You wanted to stop.
Shinsou groaned, thrusting picking up speed, his cock dragging smoothly between your tits like it belonged there. He was using his hands not only to squeeze your chest together, but to play with your nipples, running a finger or two around each one, occasionally flicking them. You wouldn’t allow yourself to admit it felt kinda good.
It didn’t take too long, Shinsou desperately humping against your chest and moaning, before warm cum was striped across your chest, some of it landing on your neck. He must’ve been pent up for while - when he made you suck him off he lasted much longer. With a sigh, Shinsou shimmied down your body, noticing your flinch when his cock brushed against your stomach.
“I’m gonna clean you up, then we’ll play some more, don’t worry.”
You hated him.
Your eyes opened when you felt his tongue on your chest, and you realized with disgust that he was licking up his own cum, watching your face while he did so. It was filthy. You tried not to shiver when his tongue laved over your nipples, or when he latched onto your throat, sucking with a gentle intensity that made your insides tingle.
Before you had too much time to feel guilty about that, He was moving again, getting off of your body. Hopefully he was done? As he rearranged himself on his side, pulling you onto your side to face him, it was clear that he wasn’t. Shinsou had his semi-hard cock in your face, had his own face nudging towards your thighs, towards your trembling pussy. This was so disgusting.
He slapped your pussy.
You yelped when his hand came in contact with your cunt, making you buck away from the sensation. Well, at least, you tried to. His other hand had a firm grip on your thigh, kept you on your side facing him.
“What have I told you? Do I really need to shove something in your mouth to shut you up? Put me in your mouth, no teeth or I’ll do something you won’t like.”
With a frown, you obeyed, gingerly grabbing his cock and leading it to your mouth. You had seen a few dicks before, and luckily his wasn’t crazy thick, or long, or thin. Admittedly, he had a nice, normal dick, in perfect proportion with his lean body. You didn’t want to put it in your mouth, but you didn’t want anything to happen to your pussy.
His dick was wet with spit and cum from where he was fucking it against your chest, and you wanted to gag as you licked at the tip, shuddering when Shinsou groaned low in his throat. Before you could think about it too much, you shoved as much of him in your mouth as you could handle, wrapping your hand around the rest that couldn’t fit.
Shinsou’s hips bucked forward, and you almost did gag, not expecting it. But you regained your composure, began sucking gently at his dick like it was a ring-pop, cringing at the salty taste that lingered on the soft skin.
You could feel him lifting up your thigh, leaning forward. You jumped when His tongue began running over your pussy lips, slicking you up with his saliva. Your own hips twitched, trying to resist moving at the heavenly sensation of his tongue running through your folds.
He was moaning into your pussy, tongue fucking you. You could feel him smile whenever he coaxed a noise out of you - could feel the vibrations of each gasp or trembling moan on his dick as you did your best to suck him off. It was becoming increasingly hard to keep your hips still, much more so when his tongue slipped out of your opening and came to flick over your clit.
Embarrassingly, you almost screamed when he wrapped his lips around the little nub, sucking with vigor. It was too much, you had to draw your head back and let his dick slip out of your mouth to give you room to cry.
He kept humming while he sucked, and before you knew it, you were cumming, hands still clutched tightly against his dick while you trembled and wailed through your orgasm. It took a moment for the aftershocks to leave you, before Shinsou relented in his talented licking and sucking. He drew back, sat up - his fully-hard dick slipped out of your hands. You hadn’t even realized you were still holding onto it.
“Felt good, yeah? What do we say when someone does something nice for us?”
Still trying to come down from cloud nine, you weren’t really listening. You came crashing back down to earth when Shinsou reached forward, grabbed your jaw again, squeezing even tighter this time.
“What do we say? Tell me.” His was growling, irritated at your lack of manners. His grip was so tight that it hurt to open your mouth to reply, hurt to whisper out a stuttered “Thank you Shinsou.”. It hurt on the inside too.
Satisfied with you answer, your brother released your face, cooing as he again shifted on the bed. He grabbed you, flipped you onto your stomach, despite the way you whispered out soft “no, no, no.”’s as he did so. You had hoped he would be done after he came on your chest, had hoped he would leave after making you reach your own orgasm.
He was kneeling behind you, grabbed one of your legs and lifted it into the air, twisting your lower body so your hips were sideways. Shinsou lined his cock up with your pussy, not even letting you breathe before he began pushing in.
It didn’t hurt, but you were still sensitive from your previous orgasm. He was gentle at first, your brother fucking you with care and a gentleness that had you crying. Why was he doing this, any of it? Why couldn’t he find someone else, anyone else other than his sister?
It started hurting when his pace picked up, his hips grinding into you quickly, skin slapping together lewdly. You tried not to speak, tried not to let the gasps and moans and whimpers leave your lips. Shinsou was likewise quiet, enjoy the sounds of your lovemaking with his eyes closed. His hands were still so cold, gripping your leg and holding it in the air, the other wrapped around your hip, lifting you so his cock could hammer into you at the perfect height.
He was fucking into you so fast, you couldn’t think, could barely breathe. It was impossible to hold on to the disgust, the revulsion that crawled up your throat when you remembered who it was that was working your pussy so well. It felt good, his cock sliding through the wet of your pussy, the friction smooth and delicous and -
You whimpered as you came, hands clawing at the sheets, writhing in Shinsou’s hold. Your brother didn’t stop, although he groaned when he felt your pussy clenching down on his cock, rhythmically massaging the length. Instead, Shinsou kept his fast pace, despite how you wailed and babbled and twitched, asking him to “Stop, stop! Shinsou, stop stop I can’t!”
“Remember what I said about manners?” His was panting hard, voice low. “You don’t get anything until you say please.”
“Please! Shinsou please, please stop! Please-“
He was still jackrabbiting into you, ruthlessly pounding you into the mattress. Was he listening? You had said please.
“Shinsou! Please oh please I can’t-“
With a disgruntled huff (he was hesitant to leave your tight warmth), Shinsou pulled out, dropping his hold on your lower body. Within seconds, he had his hands around his cock, stripping it furiously over you, eyes never leaving your sweaty, heaving form.
“Say “Thank you Shinso”. Say it. Tell me how grateful you are.”
“T-thank you Shinsou.” You sniffed, trying not to sob. You knew he wanted you to say more, but that was going to have to be good enough.
The man groaned, his hips humping his cock into his hand before he squeezed his eyes shut, and he then was cumming. It shot out of his cock and onto you, over your hip and the flesh of your backside, his hips still working.
When he was finished, Shinsou collapsed onto your bed next to you, breathing hard.
“(Y/N)….” HIs voice cracked. “(Y/N).” He tried again. “You’re…. That was really good. Thank you.” He leaned towards you, placed a chaste kiss on your cheek. You shoved down the need to recoil from his touch.
first he's only a child and he's given pb&j sandwiches with the crusts cut off, but his mom starts crying so he forgets about the food and runs to comfort her instead. next he's caught stealing bread to feed his kid brother and is sent to a boys' home that's warmer than all the motel rooms he's stayed in and the backseat of an old car combined; he likes that place, feels good, normal –but he can't stay. so he's back on the road. and then... then he finally has a home, a steady roof over his head, a bed that remembers his shape and his weight, a kitchen with more than just booze in the fridge and mac 'n' cheese in the pantry. he was given a house and now his own two hands, calloused and skilled and weaponized for so long, are making fresh bread for his family to eat. nurturer by nature and against nature too.
Bloodhound: Basic cooking skills. Can cook any meat over flame, though they know how to use any modern kitchen implements, knows how to season pretty well and their meals can be sometimes creative ‘cause they’re mostly just finding shit in the ground in the woods and heating it up.
Gibraltar: Grillmaster. Your dad is jealous. Veggies are good if they’re on a grill. Seasoning is sometimes too salty but not in a “I’m gonna stop eating this” way, but a “aw fuck, my cholesterol…pass me another rib” way.
Lifeline: She’s better at baking. Knows how to value a good meal, but if she does like, cook-cook it’s usually variations of stir-fry with a pack of ramen added. Drinks a lot of water to counteract how much salt she eats.
Pathfinder: He can usually follow a recipe verbatim out of a book. When it says add a “dash” of something, though, he malfunctions for a moment. Mirage and Crypto at one point teamed up to alter his programming a bit so he just translated “dash” to “1/8th teaspoon” so he’d stop wigging out.
Wraith: She’s average. Can follow a recipe, knows a couple things without a recipe, not very creative. But she can cook, and after coming out of pure hell that’s enough for her.
Bangalore: Look, you get her and Gibraltar together and it’s the best fucking BBQ you’ve ever been to. Between all the William’s family cookouts and a Mama and Nana that made damn certain their children and grandchildren could cook, she’s practically a pro at literally whatever you can come up with, though she’s really good at basically anything you’d eat at a picnic table in the summer. Bonus her dad taught her how to make a lot of Hispanic food as well so she can get really creative with spices and fusion foods. She’s good at balancing spice with pain vs. pleasure. Though if Octane is eating her food, she aims for pain.
Caustic: He can make rice. Likes to mushroom forage. Mostly eats out.
Mirage: Boy is pretty versatile, obviously his strong suit is his porkchops. He likes a lot of sweet glazes and only sometimes burns stuff. Never the porkchops, just other things.
Octane: All he knows is how to use a gas oven to roast marshmallows. Also, instant noodles.
Wattson: Average. Her and her dad ate a lot of simple foods, like rice and chicken, and crunchy is her favorite texture so she eats a lot of cereal and fried things. Wraith got her an air fryer for Christmas that she has since become a verified professional with.
Crypto: Eats out, orders out. He can cook a bit but not a ton. Mystic’s cooking was about utility over flavor, and Crypto is about flavor over anything else.
Revenant: He can’t recall. He did roast a guy to a nice medium over a spit out of boredom once, so he figures he was probably decent.
Loba: She’s…okay. Prefers to make things that don’t require heat, like sandwiches and cheese and crackers. Flavor is not always bad just not enough or weird because she mixed something sour with something that doesn’t really need sour but isn’t ruined by it.
Rampart: Indian food? She’s got you covered. Anything else? She’s on a first name basis with most the take-out places around Witt’s.
Horizon: She can make PB&J. Vegetable platters. Uh, soup…look in the universe where she’s home and raising Newton, he figures out how to cook real quick. She can do the baking though.
Fuse: Who the fuck let him near a fire source? Nah, his skills lie in meat and meat and meat. Veggies optional. Beer required.
Valkyrie: She’s…okay. Her mom always cooked growing up, and would complain about Valkyrie’s ability in the kitchen later on, despite it kinda being her fault. By the point she complains, however, Valkyrie has her own crew, which includes a cook, and is usually on the road. In short, she doesn’t cook much, and usually doesn’t have to.
Seer: Food, like anything else, is a form of artistic expression, and Seer uses it to express himself like anything else. He focuses a little too much on looks, though, and sometimes whatever he makes lacks in flavor because of that.
summary: The day after brunch at Jerry's, Jack and Shitty have a raw, much-needed conversation over the phone. Some issues need to be addressed before they can head down the road to patching things up.
notes: based on the prompt ‘providence + family’ by @atlasthemayor.
read on ao3
Jack’s stomach churns strangely when he sees Shitty’s name flash on his caller ID.
It’s a disconcerting feeling, a slight jolt and twinge in his gut, both reminiscent of when anxiety coils low inside him and distinctive in some way. It makes Jack frown and set his heated dinner aside on the coffee table with the hand not holding the buzzing phone. He’s not sure he ever had this foreign reaction to Shitty calling him before, so after a brief moment of puzzlement he decides to write it off as a side effect of the exhaustion weighing him down.
The phone vibrates once more in his palm before Jack slides his thumb across the screen to accept the call. “Hey, man,” he greets, balancing the phone between his cheek and shoulder so he can pick his food up again. Shitty won’t mind the sound of his chewing, probably. “Staying up late to study?”
It’s coming up to half past eleven on Saturday night. Jack dragged himself through the front door and into the dark apartment at around ten forty-five, his muscles sore and his body beat from over twenty minutes of ice time. He dumped his gear bag in the entryway next to his shoes and headed straight into the kitchen without flicking any of the lights on, shoved one of his frozen meal plan boxes of grilled chicken and brown rice into the microwave without pausing.
The yellow glow of the microwave was the sole source of light in the room as Jack strapped an ice pack to his shoulder, still aching from Ericsson’s high-stick, stuck Bitty’s handwritten PB&J note on the fridge, and waited. The only thing he really wanted to do was fall face-first into his bed, text Bitty that he was home, maybe break down the game over the phone if Bitty wasn’t too busy -- but his regimen had taken precedence. He knew he needed to put in some calories and take care of his pain if he wanted to get up for his six a.m. run. By the time his phone started ringing, Jack was mechanically chewing on his food in the living room. His couch was more comfortable than a dining chair, plush upholstery engulfing his tired limbs, and it only distantly occurred to him that there was something sad about eating dinner alone in the dark.
Shitty’s call, when it came, was unexpected.
“Hate to tell you this, but eleven thirty is not late," Shitty replies, the familiar timbre of his voice tinny due to cell reception. It's an effect Jack is closely acquainted with after months of daily phone calls with Bitty, so he knows that's not all there is to it when he notices something else amiss about Shitty’s voice; like the rhythm of his speech is slightly off. He registers it as abnormal, but before he can figure out if he wants to ask about it Shitty carries on talking. “How’s everything going for ya?”
“Okay,” Jack answers plainly, piling rice onto his fork. He doesn't have the energy to think of anything more gripping than the truth. “Eating post-game dinner.”
Shitty pauses on the other side of the line, makes the creases in Jack’s forehead deepen. Something feels weird, but Jack doesn’t want to make a big deal out of it if nothing is really wrong. Sometimes people act in ways that confuse him for any number of reasons, and he’s not always good at telling them apart.
“Yeah, yeah, I saw,” Shitty says, clearing his throat quietly. “The Red Wings. Great game, brah. Your shoulder doin’ okay?”
Jack’s mouth slows down his chewing on instinct, and he swallows the rice with difficulty. Shitty never just tells Jack great game. Shitty talks about hockey like he’s the narrator in a porn film, with an enthusiasm unmatched by anyone Jack has ever met. Shitty once sang Jack’s praises for half an hour after a game against UND in which Samwell lost 2-0. That, combined with his tone -- something isn’t quite right, Jack thinks. He's more confident in that observation now, but his brain feels slower than usual and he’s too tired to connect any dots.
“Euh, yeah. I’ll be alright. Really have to shake it off and make sure I’m all there on Monday night, eh? We’ve had a good streak, but it’s always about how we play the next game. We’re getting better as a group.”
Jack’s tongue slips into hockey speak naturally before he can do anything to stop it, but instead of chirp him, Shitty makes a vague, throaty noise and doesn’t comment. “Yeah, I get what you mean. You and Mashkov really seem to hit it off out there, heh. Uh, listen -- I know you had to drive back for your practice, but. We didn’t really get the chance to talk much yesterday, and I guess…” Shitty pauses again, and Jack lowers the box to rest against his knee, apprehensive. “Well. D’ya have a moment? Because I’d really fuckin’ like to apologize for some shit.”
Jack’s hand clenches convulsively around his fork, a piece of chicken breast sliding off the tines and falling back into the box with a dull noise.
The early morning and then noon hours of Friday were an emotional blur. From the anxiety spike when Jack stepped off the plane to the car ride on the flooded highway; from the sleep-deprived, tearful conversation in Bitty's narrow bed to the cathartic brunch at Jerry’s with their friends. Jack drove straight home after his nap and stepped out of the car back in Providence to find his phone overflowing with chirping text messages. The chirps haven’t really died down over the weekend, but Jack doesn’t mind them, and he doesn’t think Bitty does either; it feels good to have a subject that’s been burdening them both treated lightheartedly. Trusting their friends with this secret isn't as heavy on Jack's shoulder as he feared it might be.
Shitty is the only one who hasn’t written much in the group chat. He and Jack talked briefly on the lawn outside the Haus after the six of them had returned from brunch, and then they resorted to roughhousing when the mood got too somber. Jack hoped that it’d be enough to put everything behind them, but if he pushes himself to think it through, a part of him has known that this conversation was coming. It wasn’t like Shitty to let things go so easily.
Jack's glad that Shitty can't see his face right now, because he can feel himself grimacing. He hopes his brief silence hasn’t been too revealing. “Shits -- it’s cool, yeah? We’re cool.”
“I don’t think we are, actually,” Shitty argues. His voice is growing strained. “You don’t have to talk, even --”
“C’mon, man, there’s really not much to say. Everything is good now --”
“Jack,” Shitty cuts him off, and the tone of his voice shuts Jack right up. Shitty can get wrapped up in things, can lose himself in long tirades about rights and wrongs and justice, but this tone sounds different than it has through the hundreds of rants Jack has been witness to. Shitty sounds dead serious. Jack blinks, and realizes: this isn’t Shitty being his normal self. He’s genuinely torn up about this. “Just -- will ya let me…? Please.”
“I…” Jack starts, but he doesn’t really know what he wants to say. He’s never been skilled at these kinds of conversations, and the odd feeling he got when he saw Shitty’s name on his screen squeezes even tighter than before, making him feel slightly nauseated.
“It’s -- I --. Jack, what I said in front of everyone during the home opening kegster… and all the other times I... That was some fucked up shit. I fucked up real bad, and I’m sorry.”
“It’s fine,” Jack tries again, but this time the words feel so wrong in his mouth that he has difficulty shaping his tongue around them. It tastes like an outright lie, although he wasn’t aware he was even lying at all.
Jack hadn’t recognized the churning in his gut until now, but Shitty’s steadfast apology intensifies the feeling and dredges up what Jack has clearly failed to notice. He wants to tell Shitty that there’s no need to apologize, but apparently that’s just not true; it’s only now that he realizes the sharp response he had to Shitty’s call is bitterness. Jack’s feelings actually were hurt by Shitty. Maybe he should be startled by discovering wounded feelings he wasn’t cognizant of for over a month, but if this past summer has taught Jack anything, it’s that sometimes he manages to overlook the most substantial of things.
“-- and it’s not enough to be chill about it now,” Jack blinks out of his thoughts and tunes back into Shitty’s distressed train of words, coming chopped and fast through the ear speaker. “I should’ve -- before, too, I should’ve created a safe enough fuckin’ environment --”
“You were always talking to us about creating safe environments, Shitty,” Jack interrupts him. His voice sounds hollow to his own ears, and he puts his fork in the box and the box back on the coffee table to free his hands. He’s still making sense of his own mental state, and he knows that whatever is going to come stumbling out of his mouth will be barely coherent at best. “It’s not -- it was just that -- you’re always saying it’s important, and then, câlice… It was hard enough, hiding, and then with you as well --.”
Everyone was allowed to be queer, for Shitty. Jack remembers how in sophomore year Shitty marched into the Haus, ecstatic about the five different people who had come out to him that same week, babbling about how great it was and how different Samwell was to Andover. He mentioned sexuality labels Jack had never even heard of, had accepted so effortlessly those borderline strangers who had trusted him with their identities. Shitty has always been the most open-minded person Jack knows, the one to talk endlessly about the inherent toxicity of heteronormativity and to lecture the team about never labeling others without their consent.
Jack’s not always good at pinpointing the root of his own feelings, but the moment he thinks of that thrilled look on Shitty’s face almost three years before, he knows, like a lightbulb going off, why he was hurt. Because it seemed like everyone was allowed to be queer, for Shitty -- except Jack. Like Jack wasn’t queer enough to warrant the same respectful treatment. Like he wasn’t really allowed to be queer at all. Jack had never felt particularly close to his sexuality, but when even Shitty assumed so assuredly that he couldn’t be anything but straight, it stung. He just hasn’t registered it until now.
There’s a split second of tense silence, and then Shitty says, “I didn’t even know you were having a hard time, brah,” the pace of his speech slowed down.
Jack’s eyebrows draw together. His right hand, absentmindedly, pinches the fabric of his suit pants and rubs the smooth texture between his thumb and forefinger. “I don’t -- what does that mean? It’s not like you asked.”
Shitty’s breath comes out in a harsh exhale, crackles in Jack’s ears. Jack can hear springs squeaking and sheets ruffling, the sounds of Shitty dropping heavily onto his bed. “Brah. How was I supposed to ask? You never pick up the damn phone anymore. Shit, man, I know fuck all about your life lately."
The fabric of Jack’s pants stretches in the tight grip of his fingers as he blinks, takes in Shitty’s accusation, and realizes he’s right all in the space of two and a half seconds. He can recall a few missed calls that he never got around to returning, but it didn’t seem so important at the time. He was, and still is, in the midst of his first NHL season, trying so hard not to get so lost in hockey and his own worries that he drowns in it and forgets to be a good boyfriend to Bitty.
It never occurred to him that he was investing so much effort into being a good boyfriend to Bitty that he wound up forgetting to be a good friend to everyone else. He knew Shitty and he weren’t talking as often, that things between them haven’t been great lately, but the truth is he had so many other things to worry about that he let it drift to the margins of his mind.
Jack lets go of his pants, rubs his palm down his thigh to smooth the creases away. His momentary bout of anger deserts him with the release of a slow, purposeful exhale. "You’re right. I’m sorry."
"No, no, shit,” Shitty says immediately, switching back from resigned to guilt-ridden in the matter of nanoseconds. “Don’t -- damn it, don’t apologize, oh shit, I’m victim blaming aren’t I, I totally didn’t mean to put this on you --"
There’s the sound of bed springs creaking again and then loud footsteps hitting a floor, which Jack assumes are the background sounds of Shitty rushing up from his bed to pace the length of his room. He’s seen Shitty do it across his small room in the Haus countless times, and it feels strange now, having it happen forty miles away. "It’s just, you know, I tried and you didn’t pick up and I get it, fuck do I get it, remember how in freshman year you forgot to talk to anyone for like a week during the preseason stress?"
Jack cracks a tiny, shaky smile that he knows won’t make it into his voice. His first few months at Samwell were a horrible time, fraught with loneliness and frequent panic attacks, too absorbed in thoughts of the path he was supposed to take to function in the path he ended up taking. His therapist helped with that, later, but before that there was Shitty. Determined to be Jack’s friend for no good reason at all. "Yeah. And you broke into my dorm room to make sure I wasn’t dead."
"So it wasn’t like I was offended you didn’t pick up or some bull,” Shitty hurries to finish, “I know you, I get it --"
But that’s wrong, Jack thinks, frowning deeply. Surely, Shitty must know that. "Shitty."
"What? No, seriously. It’s not the first time it happened, and with the pressure of playing in the league and all, I totally get it -- it’s just --"
"You’re allowed to be offended, Shits." Jack says quietly. His hand reaches up to curl around the phone and tug it away from the crook of his shoulder, but his muscles remain tense even when his shoulder drops down. His other hand is still fisted on top of his thigh and the purple shadows cast by the faint stars outside the windows heighten the grooves of his veins. "I know I -- I know it can get difficult -- with me --"
"No," Shitty interrupts, sounding even more emotional than before, a penitent snowball that keeps on rolling down the hill. Shitty’s capable of rolling on forever, if he thinks something is truly wrong. "No no no, Jack, I didn’t mean --"
"Shut up, Shitty." Jack says firmly. He preserves, reminding himself forcefully that the sentiment he wants to establish is too important to be derailed by Shitty’s atonement. His hands have begun to shake slightly, but he needs to get it out. "I know I’m worthy of love and friendship and all the crap you were about to say. I’m just saying --. You’re allowed to be hurt even if it isn’t new behavior. Just because I -- my anxiety -- y’know. If it hurts you, you’re allowed to be hurt."
The other side of the line goes quiet for a long moment, not even the sound of breathing coming through. Jack closes his eyes, counts to ten, tells himself that it’s Shitty and that the two of them are going to figure it out. Fighting with Shitty has always been mentally hard on Jack, has always felt like shaking the only foundation Jack had to stand on. It didn’t happen often, but Jack tries to remind himself that whenever it did they always came out intact on the other side. Arguing was a healthy way to understand your needs and the needs of the other person, his therapist told him.
When Shitty speaks, he sounds awed. "Christ on a cracker, man. That was fuckin’ wise. That Bits’ influence on you?"
Jack pauses to consider it seriously, taking time to recompose his brain. Being with Bitty -- it has taught him so much, about his own feelings and others' and how to put them into words, the importance of open communication. He told Shitty that the previous day after Jerry's -- feelings could easily not occur to him, even if he felt them very strongly. He coexisted with them without acknowledging their existence a lot of the time, and this phone call is only one example of it. Being with Bitty, having to be aware and give name and give value to his own feelings to make things work between them, has changed the way he interacted with his emotions. Made him understand himself better. He’s not at all sure he would’ve been capable of articulating himself in a conversation like this if not for the progress Bitty and he have made together.
But being aware of his worth as a person, and learning that his disorder didn’t define him but shouldn’t be brushed aside either, that wasn’t Bitty. “No, Shits. That’s your influence on me.”
This silence is even longer than the one before it, and then it’s broken by muffled sniffles on the other side. Jack's heart leaps, panic building in his chest -- but then Shitty says, throat choked up, “I thought -- fuck, Jack, this is gonna sound so motherfucking stupid. But I thought you didn’t, y’know. Need me anymore. I know this is on me too, I’m barely keeping my head above water here and the whole -- fuckin’ Harvard situation, it’s not… but each day we didn't talk and I saw your game scores, or I would see those Falcs vids… it looks like you have this spankin’ fuckin’ brand new life that I know shit about. And you’ve got Mashkov, and St. Martin, and…”
Jack can’t find adequate words for a long moment, and once he opens his mouth he’s surprised to hear his voice is thick, surprised to feel hot tears pooling at the corners of his eyes. “Shitty. Tater is great. And Marty is great, and -- Thirdy, and all of them. But.”
None of them are you, he wants to say, but that sounds too dumb to utter out loud. That’s not how Shitty and he talk to each other, or at least, it’s not how Jack talks to Shitty. Shitty is good at phrasing his feelings in ways Jack can handle, but Jack can’t ever make the right words come out of his mouth.
There’s another pause, his mind blanking, and then he says, “Tater didn’t make me sign a friendship contract.”
Shitty snorts, but it isn’t a happy sound. “Jacko --”
“No. Shits --. Tater didn’t make the effort to be my friend even when I was doing everything I could to push him away. He didn’t drag my ass to the Haus my freshman year after I hadn't talked to anyone but faculty in two weeks. He didn’t argue with Bergey until we were banked together on every roadie and was heartbroken when no one spread rumors about us hooking up.”
That shot goes wide. “Oh fuckity fuck, Jack, I’m a fucking dickhead --”
“Bordel de merde, Shitty, will you fucking listen?” Jack rubs his fingers over the bridge of his nose, feels his skin crease between his brows. “Tater didn’t make me go to Gender in Warfare in Early 20th Century America because he knew it’d end up one of my favorite classes, or learnt my story about the fire extinguisher and the football team by heart, or -- or have been defending me behind my back since the first week he knew me. Tater’s great. I’m -- you know, uh, thankful, for having people on the Falcs. I didn’t think it could be -- after the guys at Samwell, no team would ever be the same.”
“Yeah,” Shitty says, sadly, in the tone of someone who knows exactly what Jack means.
Jack’s throat bobs when he swallows, chest aching. “And they’re great. But Tater -- or Marty, or any of them -- they’re not...”
None of them are you, Jack wants Shitty to hear, gripping his pants in his hand again to balance himself. He doesn’t know how to say it in a way that would make Shitty hear him. None of them could ever be you.
There’s once again silence between them, only interrupted by Shitty’s quiet sniffles and the erratic beating of Jack’s heart. His phone is too warm on his ear, clammy from sweat smearing over the screen, but he can’t bring himself to put Shitty on speaker. It feels like they’re too far apart to have this conversation already, like Shitty should be sitting here on the couch next to Jack in flimsy underwear like he was every time they needed to talk like this over the past four years.
After a long moment, Shitty makes an ambiguous rasping noise and admits, “I was jealous.”
Jack winces. “I’m sorry.”
“No. Yeah, I mean, apology accepted, whatever, just. I was jealous they got to be there for you every day, really be there in the moments I used to live through with you that I now know zilch about. I was used to that being me.” He then adds, much more grimly, “Except apparently I sucked ass at being there for you at all when it counted.”
Jack sighs. They veered off topic to talk about something Jack considers more important, but now they were back to that and he knows in the pit of his stomach that they, both of them, won’t be able to move on until they talk this through. This is a conversation they need to have, even if it would be easier for Jack to not have it at all. “Shitty. I need to tell you something.”
The thing about Shitty is that he has faults like the rest of them, but Jack has always known that he’d drop anything if Jack needed him. He knows because it goes unconditionally both ways. Shitty’s voice goes immediately even and he wastes no time before saying, “I'm listening.”
Jack swallows. It feels -- heavy, on his breastbones. It didn’t before, it didn’t at Jerry's. He doesn’t remember this weight from years ago, when he first talked about it with his parents, and then -- later, too much later -- with his therapist. His chest was so laden with other concerns then that there was no room for anything more, and this burden was only ever an afterthought. At Jerry's he was thinking of Bitty, of Bitty’s happiness and Jack's own happiness with him, and the necessity of the action for their joint happiness. It didn’t leave any space for this weight.
Now he can feel the weight. It’s stupid. Shitty already knows, and besides, it’s Shitty. Jack knows Shitty so well that he can practically predict the exact words he will use, and even if he couldn’t, he knows Shitty would never turn him away. Yet his chest feels tight, like he’s holding in all of his air, and his fingers are again shaking against his thigh. “Shitty, I'm dating Bittle.”
Shitty makes a baffled sound, clearly not expecting this choice of confession. “I -- yeah, dude, I know.”
“I’m dating Bittle,” Jack reiterates determinedly, eager to get it over with. “He’s a guy.”
Shitty goes quiet for a moment, and then he says, voice low, “Okay.”
Jack wasn’t sure he was going to say it, but now that they’re here, this is something he wants Shitty to know. “He’s not the first guy I’ve been with.”
Shitty’s sharp intake of breath at this is audible even over the phone, but other than that he doesn’t react outwardly. Jack's shaking hand lifts up to rub over his chest while he waits for Shitty to say something, and Shitty doesn’t keep him waiting long. “Okay. Thank you for telling me.”
That’s almost exactly the reaction Jack expected to hear, but for some reason he doesn’t feel settled. “It never came up before.”
“That’s okay, buddy,” Shitty reassures him. Jack’s not sure what Shitty is thinking, if he’s thinking anything at all. This probably isn’t as big a deal to him as it feels like to Jack.
Jack frowns down at the shadows of his socked feet in the dark, thinks it over, and then corrects, “No, actually -- no. It never came up with anyone else. But I did think of telling you. More than once. You were the only one… but I had reasons not to. Or, I thought I did.”
“That’s still cool, brah,” Shitty hurries to interrupt. “You don’t have to --”
“No, because,” Jack sighs, trails off midsentence. He doesn’t want Shitty to make this easy for him, to allow Jack to take the exit he’s being offered. He knows they could stop the discussion right there and Shitty would never say a thing, but he doesn’t want this to hang over their friendship for the rest of time, and he knows that it could if he doesn’t force himself to dig deeper. “Because when you assumed that if I had someone it must’ve been a girlfriend, it hurt. I didn’t realize before -- I thought I was upset because Bitty was hurt, and I hurt him even more with my reaction, and it mattered more at the time. But it hurt. And that’s not entirely fair to you, because you had no reason to think otherwise. Because I didn’t tell you.”
There’s more rustling in the background, and Shitty talks over him before the last word is out of his mouth. “Jack, no, you’re under no obligation to disclose your identity to anyone and it doesn’t give them any right to assume -- I assumed and it was so fucking wrong --”
“Yeah,” Jack agrees, because it was. He’s not trying to argue that it wasn’t. Shitty was wrong, but that’s not the point Jack is trying to make.
“I’m sorry, Jack,” Shitty sounds contrite, and Jack can almost imagine the look on his face now. The small wrinkle in his forehead, the downward slope of his mustache, the sharp angle of his jaw. Shitty always looks older when he feels guilty about something. “So fuckin’ sorry.”
“That’s okay, man. Eh. Well, it's not, but it's forgiven.” And it is, Jack knows. He’s already forgiven Shitty, would have to try so hard not to forgive Shitty. They’ve hurt each other in the past and they’ll most likely hurt each other again in the future, but it’s never done intentionally. Shitty’s friendship is worth all of this crap and always has.
“I guess I just... “ Shitty lowers his voice, and Jack has to press the phone harder into his ear to hear him. “Fuck, I don’t want to excuse my actions, this does not in any way justify the shit I said. But I guess, in my mind, even though I know you should never assume about anyone, I did think that because it’s you… that you’d tell me. If there was ever anything to tell.”
“I’m sorry,” Jack says this time. He’s not sure Shitty knows this, but this is what he was trying to get to before. What Shitty is saying is reasonable even if it isn’t ideal.
“Fuck no. What the fucking fuck are you apologizing for, you idiot --”
“I’m not apologizing for not telling you, Shits,” Jack stops him before it becomes another rant. He’s growing tired of using so many words at once, feeling the toll of the unexpected emotional turmoil he’s dragging his overworked body through. “I know what you said was wrong, and I know I didn’t have to tell you. I’m saying I’m sorry if you were hurt by it. And I'm apologizing if it made you feel like I didn't trust you, or. Or some shit.”
Another pause follows Jack’s words, and he has to stifle the urge to collapse sideways into the couch and shove his face into a cushion until everything goes away. This conversation, as necessary as it is, doesn’t come naturally to either of them. They’ve been talking about their feelings for too long now and it’s starting to get awkward and overwhelming.
“I’m not saying I wasn’t super touched by your previous comment,” Shitty says, suddenly. “Because stereotypical masculinity is complete bullshit and I’m not ashamed to admit I teared the fuck up. But Jack -- Bitty has done some serious work on you. Or, like, you know, healthy relationships and all, you two worked on yourselves with each other to be better and all that, but. Man, I don’t think that’s a distinction you would’ve made six months ago.”
Jack considers it. The idea of someone’s hurt being valid even if the reason for it didn’t make sense probably isn’t a concept he would’ve been able to grasp, or at least would not have paid much thought to. Looking back, he was probably hurt dozens of times by little comments in the Haus, or things he heard around campus, or moments of feeling left out by his team; but when the reason for his hurt wasn’t completely logical it was harder for him to allow himself that pain. He would usually distract himself from it, instead. “Yeah. You’re probably right.”
“But can I just say again -- I'm so fucking sorry for being a heteronormative jackass. I’m sorry for hurting you, I’m sorry for hurting Bits, I’m sorry for --”
Esti de câlice de tabarnak. Jack drops his face into his palm and sighs over the string of Shitty’s rapidly escalating apologies. Jack is fully aware that Shitty is just going to apologize until they’re both old and gray if Jack doesn’t stop him. “Shitty, can you knock it?”
Shitty hesitates, but the flood of his words stops. “I miss you,” is what he says eventually.
Jack drops his hand down, leans his weight on his elbows and blinks at the dark room. Shitty used to tell him that all of the time. When they were apart on school breaks; when they were separated on roadies; when Jack had two lectures and a senior workshop on Wednesday nights and Shitty wouldn’t see him for several consecutive hours. Shitty’s affection was always abundant and inescapable, and Jack didn't know it was something he was lacking until he finally hears it. “I miss you, too, man.”
Shitty lets the gravity of it, the seriousness in Jack's voice settle between them, the earnestness he wouldn’t usually hand over easily when they were back at school. And then he says, “It’s hard as fuck, man. It’s hard to admit that it’s hard, too. It’s hard to see Lards’ pics from kegsters I can’t attend anymore, and it’s hard to find friends in this pretentious shithole full of pretensions dicks, and -- Harvard is fucking hard, Jack. And I hate being away from you guys, but I don’t wanna bring you down with my sad. You assholes are my goddamn family, there’s nothing that’s ever gonna replace that. It sucks knowing that I'm stuck here. I miss you so much it drives me fuckin’ insane.”
Jack knows, instantly and wholeheartedly, what Shitty is talking about. He’s living his dream and he loves the Falcs and he’s sincerely grateful for all of it even on his worst days. But sometimes stepping off the ice after a grueling practice and getting pictures of Bitty, laughing with Holster and Ransom on the ice at Faber -- it aches somewhere deep inside him. Sometimes he lies awake in foreign hotel rooms in foreign cities, and while most nights he longs for nothing more than Bitty’s presence, others he closes his eyes and wishes Shitty was there to crawl into his bed again. Sometimes he puts on his jersey before games and imagines the blue and yellow are red and white. His team from Samwell is his family, too, and sometimes missing them feels like missing an amputated limb.
“I wish we got to see each other more,” Jack squeezes out. His windpipe feels strangled, and for a moment he thinks that if he blinks too hard tears might well up again. He doesn’t know if it’s because he’s so tired his body is shutting down, or because he’s been holding on to more emotions than he previously thought. “I didn’t know --. I feel the same way, Shitty, but I didn’t know you felt like that. I’m sorry we didn’t really talk much lately.”
It wasn’t something Jack was consciously aware of, but he more or less assumed that if Shitty was ever struggling he would just reach out for help. Shitty was always the better one of the two of them at communicating his feelings, at saying when he needed something or was going through a rough time. It never occurred to Jack to reach out and ask because he always figured that Shitty would come to him first. It's a startling realization. He really isn’t as good a friend as Shitty deserves.
“‘S not your fault,” Shitty objects, even though in some ways it really is. But Shitty means it, Jack knows, despite the lingering hints of anxiety. Shitty wouldn’t say it if he didn’t honestly believe it wasn’t Jack’s fault.
“Maybe, but you should make time for the things that matter to you, right? I’ll try to be better about that. I wanna be there for you, too.”
Shitty sighs, and the tails of it turn into a breathy, weary laugh. “Fuck, Jacko, this is a fuckin’ sobfest. Shit, man. Yeah. I’ll try, too. We could Skype, even. You know I miss that mug of yours.”
Jack finally pulls the phone away from his ear, wipes the sweat tracks away and switches the call to speakerphone. His calendar app is full of cute little reminders Bitty leaves anonymously, like 06:30 work hard and have fun! or 11:11 someone is thinking of you. He’s developed a habit of checking his calendar often these past six months, counting down the days until he gets to see Bitty next. He’s sure it won’t be easy, especially with the progression of the Falconers’ season, but from now on he’ll have to make every effort to fit more people into his schedule. Bitty makes him happy, but he’s not the only one who does.
Jack scrolls through the events logged into his upcoming week. He’s got a game on Monday and one at home on Wednesday, and then Thursday is American Thanksgiving. Bitty is throwing together a whole meal for the Samwell team. He told Jack that he’s under no obligation to come if practice time doesn’t allow it, but... “Are you going to Hausgiving on Thursday?”
Shitty curses loudly. “Fuck, I fuckin’ wish, but I don’t know if that’s smart. I’ve got this fuckin’ test coming up. But I promised Lar-- uh --”
Jack smirks, even if it’s only to himself in an empty apartment. Lardo texted him after Jerry’s to let him know that the two of them will exchange deets privately like civilized bros, but Shitty still seems to be under the illusion that he’s fooling someone. Like his heart-eyes haven’t been obvious from space -- and Jack is painfully aware that if he noticed, that really says something. “Lardo, eh? Not getting out of that one.”
He can almost see Shitty’s answering furious blush from all those miles away. “Fuck you, Zimmermann, don’t make this about me. What I was sayin’ is, I wanna be there super freakin’ bad -- we all know I will gladly sell my right leg for Bitty’s cooking --”
“And for Lardo’s company,” Jack chirps, incredibly satisfied with this turn of conversation.
“I will fuck you right up, don’t you think I won’t!” Shitty threatens emptily, even though Jack takes him down every single time. “Seriously. Your bro becomes a pro athlete and suddenly he thinks he’s a goddamn comedian. Anyway. For Bitty’s cooking, I will make an effort. You got team stuff?”
“No,” Jack says with finality, swiping his calendar closed. He always feels better when things are put into action. “I think I’m going.”
“For Bitty?” Shitty asks, most likely trying to chirp Jack back.
“Well. Yes,” Jack says, perfectly honest. He’s not in any way ashamed of how much he wants to be near Bitty all of the time. He doesn’t think he can remember ever being less ashamed of anything in his life. “But also for you. Think you can meet me there?”
Shitty’s quiet. And then he says, “For my best friend? I’ll meet you halfway across the universe, Jackabelle.”
After the two of them hang up the call, Jack doesn’t move, his eyes fixed blindly in the direction of the windows across the room. His food is growing cold on the coffee table, but Jack thinks that at this point he might genuinely be too tired to eat. Whatever little energy he had left after the game was spent on this conversation with Shitty. He doesn’t regret it; they needed to say all of those things. Jack needed to hear all of those things, both so he could forgive Shitty for something he didn’t know he was holding onto, and so he could work on being a more considerate friend.
The game plan is solid, though, Jack decides. Thanksgiving dinner at the Haus will bring the opportunity to be completely honest with his friends after months of hiding a big aspect of his life from them. And it’d be fun, too. Ransom would put together actual charts for the seating arrangement, and Holster would draw everyone into a betting pool on the football game results, and Bitty would inevitably prepare insane amounts of food using the frogs as his sous chefs. He would probably insist that they’d hold hands around the table and say one thing each of them wants to give thanks for, as well.
Jack doesn’t mind American Thanksgiving, but he’s never really seen the point of that ritual. He’s known for a long time now what he's truly grateful for.
Seeing Misha maskless all over the place with strangers is giving me anxiety. Is he in such a bad place emotionally that he does not care anymore? I wasn't so concerned when it seemed like he was just filming his show in the north east (where more people are vaxxed and COVID numbers are lower), but now he's going mask-less around people in the south?? WTF? :(
Well, he has to go where the show is slated to film.
I don’t think it has anything to do with him being in “a bad place emotionally” and honestly, I think that’s kind of a dangerous statement.
We don’t know what they have going on. They may only be going to places to eat that have vaccinated staff.
Most productions are requiring vaccinations. Just because it’s PBS, I doubt their rules are that much different…
You know, being human, it didn’t just change my view of food. It changed my view of you.
I know what it means to feel sorry, Sam. What I went through... That PB and J, it...
cas walks away like aw yeah pep talk DELIVERED baby. the new cas is in the building.
meanwhile it’s like... this is a shitty thing to say to sam, who was just trying to use you to kill himself over his survivor’s guilt? on one hand, using the self-deprecating angle here is the best way to get through to sam; if you tell him that the mistakes he made were ones that were justified, or that he was manipulated into, or that things turned out okay so it’s fine and he can forgive himself... he won’t believe you. cas framing it as you made terrible mistakes, but you can do better going forward, just like me is the only way to get through to sam.
BUT. on the other hand. i don’t think cas is doing that deliberately, i think that this is genuinely what he believes because he is a dean apologist and the narrative needed someone to convince sam to get back on the road with dean, so this moment falls flat for me. cas has personally done terrible things to sam, but he doesn’t offer an apology for:
1. letting him out of the panic room
2. consistently treating him like garbage
3. ignoring his prayers and lying about who saved him from the cage, leaving his soul to be tortured for far longer than it might have if he had been honest
4. breaking sam’s wall to keep dean occupied, turning sam into collateral damage (he regrets this later, and takes on sam’s hell trauma, so. reader’s choice whether to forgive it), and
5. not telling sam that dean let him get possessed (again, justifiable, up to you whether to forgive him)
instead, this moment is framed as cas finally seeing sam as a ~whole person~ because he now knows what it means to be human and can forgive sam for... being a pawn on heaven’s chessboard, i guess. good for you, man.
this is what sam needed to hear at this point in the story, but damn, could it have been written better.
I'm about to invade your ask box. Hope that's cool.
Your photography of the grey stuff cupcake made me think of this question. I've only been to Disney World/Land once and didn't try any of the cool food. What Disney food and drinks do you recommend?
Omg INVADE AWAY! ESP about Disney! Okay...I’m doing this by memory, and it’s been a while so I will likely forget things, but lets go park by park:
Magic Kingdom: classic Mickey pretzel, Mickey ice cream bar, Mickey ice cream sandwich, found at most kiosks throughout most of the parks. Pretzels are delicious and come with cheese sauce automatically now, YUM.
-Corn Dog Nuggets from Casey’s corner. They’re exactly what you’d think they are and they are the best meal/snack
-Giant cinnamon buns from Gaston’s Tavern
-Grey stuff from Be our Guest (need reservations, lunch & dinner are very different) breakfast is the most worth the cost, but no grey stuff
-Dole whips, kiosk in adventureland(also have these at Disneyland) pineapple soft serve in a cup or with pine juice in a float! Great to eat while waiting for parade in the sun
-Pecos Bills in Frontierland: has a fajita platter, its HUGE, ask for an extra set of tortillas (will cost but cheap) then go WILD at the free topping bar, more than enough food for two people
-I THINK they might still have poutine at the little kiosk across from pecos, waffle fry poutine but they might’ve gotten rid of it
I’ve heard great things about Star Wars land & Toy Story land food, but haven’t been since they were built...the rest of the food at DHS is crap. Except for the pb 7& j milkeshake from 50’s prime time cafe, it’s a sit down restaurant with great food, but you can get milkshakes to go at the bar that’s walk in
-Avatar land has some great meals and snacks, and some super yummy boozy (or non boozy) slushes
-Yak & Yeti sit down is my fave, they also have deep fried cream cheese wontons on the dessert menu, YUM.
-Harambe market place has great smaller snack/small meal type things.
-Flame Tree BBQ is the best bang for your buck, big meals and portions and lots of choices
-Best food out of all parks, hands down.
-Skip future world food completely, it’s all your basic burgers and fries minus Sunshine Seasons inside of the Land, they’ve got some super delicious, super fresh, and grown in house meals.
-world showcase is WHERE IT IS AT though.
Canada: sit down restaurant Le Collier, their filet mignon is to DIE for, holy shit (they also exclusively use Alberta beef, so you know its good) also peep that pretzel bread, and beer & cheddar cheese soup. You NEED reservations here and it fills up FAST (one of the smallest dining rooms on property)
-Uk: fish and chip stand. Literally the only fish & chips I’ve found since being in Aus that taste good. Beware the seagulls though... the Welsh Dragon drink at the rose & crown is bomb!!
-France: grand mariner orange slush(during flower & garden get the pink slush) amazing baguette sandwiches inside the bakery, along with so many good treats
-Morocco’s quick service has great platters, the vegetarian platter is delicious!!
-Japan: Tokyo sunset drink, their quick serve is super good, but your basic Japanese food you can get anywhere
-Italy: in the wine shop, a glass of rose regala! Inside Tutto Gusto, go to the bar and get a espresso martini. They don’t have a quick serve, but Via Napoli has great pizzas, and during food & wine their food is amazing (duh)
-Germany: grapefruit beer (also a great choice if drinking around the world cause its only 2%) also LIFE HACK: go to the very last shop in the shops on the left, they have cheese plates & wine flights for like $5 a piece! Don’t waste your time on the pretzels, they’re usually stale/dry.
-Norway: people are obsessed with the school bread, but i don’t like it, but their bakery has lots of yummy options
-Mexico: fucking a avocado margarita my friends! (If you want blended) or a cucumber margarita for not blended. If spicy is your thing, get a jalapeño one. They’re all located inside the temple in the small margarita shop also TONS of tequila options, it’s tiny, so there’s going to be a line and chances are you will have to buy one and not get a seat unless you want a long wait.
Advice on drinking around the world (aka, having one drink in each country) ITS EXPENSIVE, budget like $120MIN. Get one drink, drink it between that pavilion while you explore, AND the next one, skip the 2nd country and get a new drink in the third (aka, start in Canada, drink your beer during it and the UK, get a fresh drink in France and so on) repeat this over two loops around world showcase. Also SHARE drinks, and for the love of god drink water, it’s florida after all.’
Starting with my favourite “monorail pub crawl” we usually opt to do this during out MK day and start on the monorail there, heading to....
Contemporary: the Blue lagoon drink from the Wave, it’s a fishbowl drink meant for sharing and there’s gummy fishes in it.
-Otherwise, time it right and head up to the California Grill lounge to watch the sunset/fireworks
Polynesian: the Lapu Lapu upstairs by Ohana is served in a pineapple and super yummy. I prefer to head to Trader Sams downstairs. Inside is tiny and usually busy but they have an outdoor terrace with the same menu, the Zombie head is delicious, but hella strong. The Uh-ohh is meant for sharing and DELICIOUS and they set it on fire and let you throw cinnamon in it, which is bomb. The headhunter roll sushi is bomb
Grand Floridian: grab a glass of wine from the Citricos lounge i usually opt for a blush sparkling but now i cant remember the name. We usually also order a cheese board & charcuterie here and take them to the couches in the upstairs lobby to listen to the live music, but there’s a new bar there now so that’s probably not do able.
Fort Wilderness Resort & campground: Davy crockett’s tavern has some amazing moonshine drinks. Trail’s end is also a super bomb buffet, but the QUEEN of everything here is the Hoop Dee Doo musical revue (again, book in advance) it’s dinner and a show, dinner includes, cornbread, salad, fried chicken, ribs, potatoes, corn (ask for the Mac and cheese too), beans, strawberry shortcake, red or white sangria, red or white wine or beer, or non alcoholic drinks and IT IS ALL YOU CAN EAT AND ALL YOU CAN DRINK. Seriously. And the shows incredible.
Animal Kingdom lodge: the “Mara” their food court, has without a doubt the most authentic dishes and they are delicious, they also have “zebra domes” which are a dessert, they’re like...cookie chocolate, custard, with booze filling? I dont know how to describe them but theyr’e amazing
Disney Springs: Ragland Road. It’s my ride or die. You can create your own beer/cider flights for super cheap and the size of the drinks are decent! The shrimp and scallops on the appi menu are delicious
Also Earl of Sandwich: the holiday sandwich is my go to.
-honestly, overall, way better quick service food than WDW.
-Soup in a bread bowl in California adventure, different flavours of soup, or you can do salad (also check out the bakery next door where they give out free sourdough samples)
-In New Orlean’s square, just like, anything and everything, the gumbo is amazing, you must try the beignets, and the mint juleps
Okay that got WAY out of hand and there’s probably way more things that I’m forgetting or that or more authentic that I just can’t remember right now, BUT, there ya go!
Seems like it's a tweet from a restaurant so they're prob talking about a single episode (in which they'll be featured) and not the entire series.
If that's what the previous anon was basing it off of, that's what I think is well. He was just done with one episode. There may be more. But it still begs the question, when and where is it going to air? What is it's official name? We've had Food Trails and Road Food, yet still no website or official announcement from Misha or PBS.