AU where Tony's kid asks Bucky's kid if bucky is part robot like DUM-E bc of his metal arm. They fight and Bucky and tony are called into the school office and hit it off.
There’s a hot guy sitting in Principal Xavier’s office.
Which, okay. The hot guy isn’t why Tony’s here, sure, but as long as Tony is here, and the guy is hot, there’s no reason for Tony to not appreciate him. And his hotness. And the—
“Udaku Prosthetics, good choice,” Tony says as he takes the seat next to Hot Guy, nodding at Hot Guy’s arm. “There’s too much Hammer stuff still out there, although I have no idea why anyone would willingly put themselves through that.”
“Had one of ‘em overheatin’ first generation Hammer ones for a while,” Hot Guy says, and pulls a face, absently rubbing at his shoulder. “Never again.”
Tony grimaces in sympathy. “Yeah, no, those things were crap. Still are, trust me. There’s still no—”
“Mr Stark, if I may?” Principal Xavier cuts in, the same look of resigned amusement on his face that Tony’s had aimed at himself with completely unjustified regularity ever since he started at Xavier Institute himself, way back in the day. “We would all like to resolve this issue as swiftly and painlessly as possible, I’m sure.”
Hot Guy turns back to Principal Xavier, a little frown on his face. “Robbie’s never been one for fightin’,” he says, sounding like he’s picking up an earlier conversation. “An’ now you’re sayin’ he pushed a kid?”
“What did Theo do this time?” Tony demands, rubbing at the bridge of his nose. To Hot Guy, he adds, “I apologise in advance for whatever it was. Theo gets—let’s call it enthusiastic, sometimes, when he’s passionate about something.”
Tony isn’t 100% sure, but he thinks he hears Principal Xavier mutter, “That’s one way of putting it,” at that. But when he glances over at him, Principal Xavier is just watching them, not saying anything else.
“Oh, no, don’t get me wrong,” Hot Guy says, one corner of his mouth quirking up, “Robbie’s no angel. He’s normally jus’ way more sneaky about misbehavin’ or actin’ out. There’s been mud in every single pair of my shoes at one point or another.”
Tony grins. “Clever.”
Principal Xavier clears his throat. “According to Dr McCoy, Robert and Theodore got into an argument during science class earlier this morning. It didn’t escalate beyond Theodore breaking one of Roberts pencils, and Robert pushing at him in return, but we do have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to behaviour like this. I have to ask you both to take your children home for the remainder of the day. They’re allowed to return tomorrow, of course.”
Hot Guy nods, and Tony agrees as well, but has to ask, “What were they fighting about, anyway?”
“Apparently,” Principal Xavier says, and he might have his hands folded in front of his mouth, but Tony knows he’s smiling, “Theodore insisted that, due to his prosthesis, Mr Barnes must be part robot. To which Robert took offense, and insisted Mr Barnes was part android.”
It’s Mr Barnes who laughs first, so Tony’s pretty sure he’s not offended, and it’s okay for him to laugh, too. Principal Xavier sighs his long-suffering sigh—another sound Tony knows very well—and leans back in his wheelchair, waiting until they’ve calmed down to snickering before suggesting, “Why don’t we bring in the children, and wrap this up?”
Theo’s through the door first, making a beeline for Tony, and holding out his arms to be picked up. “Daddy! Daddy, Robbie’s got a Lego pirate ship at his house!” he exclaims, almost vibrating with excitement. “Can I go see it, please? Please, daddy? I’m gonna bring my astronauts so we can be space pirates!”
Next to Tony, Mr Barnes is in a similar situation, with Robbie bouncing around in his lap. “Astronauts, papa! Space pirates! Can Theo come play? Can he? Please?”
“Not today,” Mr Barnes says, and doesn’t seem faced at the betrayed look his son shoots at him. “Not after you got suspended for fightin’, buddy.”
“We were having a discussion!” Theo pipes up, turning pleading eyes on Tony. “It was important!”
Tony has to bite back another laugh. “Discussions don’t usually involve pushing people or braking things, kiddo. You know that, right?”
Theo pouts. So does Robbie, when Tony looks over at him and Mr Barnes.
“Maybe,” Mr Barnes says, questioning, “we can arrange somethin’ for the weekend? But only if it’s okay with Theo’s dad.”
“Call me Tony,” Tony says, and shifts Theo so he can hold his hand out to Mr Barnes. “And yes, absolutely. Let’s set something up.”
“Bucky, if we’re doin’ first names,” Bucky says, and then has to be quick to prevent Robbie from falling off his lap when he leans over to high-five Theo, both of them grinning hugely.
Behind his desk, Principal Xavier is definitely smiling, now.
- Potrix | AO3
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"He won't mind," Natasha said, taking a drink from her beer, her mouth tilted up a little at the corners. "Clint is the worst clothes thief I've ever met. You'll probably find a couple of your own sweaters in there."
Bucky considered this for a second. Clint was due back any minute, sure, but with Clint that could mean anywhere up to three hours, and the busted window that Clint hadn't got around to doing more than taping cardboard over meant the apartment was Arctic. Natasha was fine - she'd got here first, was wrapped up in a fuzzy purple blanket and had Lucky sprawled across her to to boot. Bucky had been curled around a cup of coffee since he arrived, but it just wasn't cutting it.
"Okay," he said finally, "but when he asks this was your idea."
Clint's bedroom was up a flight of rickety metal stairs, and was exactly the bomb site that Bucky had been expecting. There were clothes - mostly unidentifiably stained - on every surface, and the bed was a tangle of bedding and blankets and an adorable plush Cap that Bucky was never gonna let Clint forget.
On second look, in amongst all the mess, it was kinda cute how much Avengers merch there was in Clint's bedroom. He even had a cardboard box that appeared to be full of branded boxers, which Bucky supposed saved on the laundry. He had an arc reactor-shaped nightlight plugged into an outlet by the bathroom; there was a black hooded sweater with a big red hourglass on the back hanging on the bedroom door; one drawer in the dresser wouldn't close 'cos of the oversized Hulk hand that was hanging out of it.
Naturally there was also a riot of purple, but a lot more of the selection featured Kate than Clint. Bucky had wandered over to take a closer look at a photo of the two of them, all squished up together, pulling faces, looking cute, when he noticed the little figurines.
Apparently kids wanted their action figures now. Apparently that was a fad. And the first one Bucky saw was Stevie, posed head up and hands on hips, and he'd be a little worried that Clint had a crush - for Clint's sake, 'cos Steve was makin' time with Stark, and not for any other reason - if Clint hadn't posed a little Spider-Man hiding behind a coffee mug, looking like he was just about to shoot webbing at the back of Steve's head. Next to that a tiny Hulk was apparently punching through a crushed Coke can - jeez, this was adorable - and Bucky actually snorted out loud when he saw tiny Natasha dangling tiny Tony off the edge of a shelf by his boot.
At first he didn't see himself which, y'know, it figured. He wasn't exactly hero material, he'd been surprised they'd even made -
But turned out he was there, after all. On a little wooden crate that was serving as a night stand, posed so he was sitting with his legs dangling over the edge, his tiny plastic arm wrapped around a tiny plastic Clint, both of them leaning so they were holding each other up. And wasn't that just exactly right?
When Clint eventually arrived, steaming pizza in hand, Bucky was sprawled on the couch wrapped up warm in a purple hoodie, and the grin that settled on Clint's face when he saw the both of them there, settled into his space -
Bucky spread his arm along the back cushion.
"C'mon," he said, when Clint looked a little hesitant, "get over here and warm me up."
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a comprehensive set of rules (part 1)
light and breezy!! (this is not a b99 au)
“So you’re telling me,” Aaron repeated. “You’re pretty sure this guy is into some organised crime shit?”
Andrew made a noise, rolling over on his bed to press the phone between his ear and the pillow. Usually their calls were short and succinct, as was tradition ever since they departed from college - Andrew heading to Baltimore for policing academy and Aaron to Chicago for med-school - with Aaron doing most of the talking and Andrew occasionally humming in response.
Tonight Andrew was riddled with questions. Usually his moral compass was simple and easy to adhere to, but this was - to put it mildly - fucked. He didn’t care about authority, or loyalty to his police oath, but he couldn’t just screw a guy whilst suspecting him of murder. Or whatever Neil had gotten himself into.
You can’t talk, his own brain reminded him, so kindly, so gently. He made a scathing noise and pinched the bridge of his nose.
“A woman tried to kill him and talked shit about his family. You should’ve seen how bone-white he went at his father’s mention.”
“So - you’re just going to excuse him? On the basis of what, an inclination to murder is genetic?”
Sometimes it was genetic. Andrew almost laughed. Aaron heard the irony in his own words, too and grumbled out a low ‘Shut up.’
“He said he couldn’t date a cop, anyway.” Not that Andrew was interested in dating.
It did appear as though he and Neil was very incompatible: Neil didn’t do sex and relationships, was criminally inclined and had yet to text him since their disaster of a second date.
Andrew was only emotionally ready enough for casual sex, one-night-stands and loveless hookups, and didn’t exactly know whether or not he could ignore Neil’s background, seeing as every day he went in to work and interrogated perps with gang tattoos and blood still drying on their hands.
Andrew still wanted to see Neil. See he was alright. Talk to him. Spend time with him. Andrew still wanted to try and set something up, something that’d benefit both of them, maybe a way that Neil could escape from his current life, a way for Andrew to get invaluable knowledge.
Andrew still wanted to try and have something with Neil. Not romantic. Not a relationship, or sex, or even friendship.
Just - something.
“That’s that, then.” Aaron said, unhelpful. “Nicky was all screechy about it on the phone. Said that the guy was cute. I bet he has no clue.”
“No,” Andrew agreed, making a mental note to check out ‘Allison’ and ensure his cousin was safe. “No clue at all.” He sighed, rolling onto his back and staring at the ceiling of his bedroom. “It doesn’t matter. I doubt we’ll ever see each other again.”
“Shit,” Andrew muttered as coffee dribbled down his vest. The taser tucked into its pocket made an odd sound, as though it were drowning or something. He fished it out and sighed: Kevin, another fresh-faced detective who seemed to think he had the right to criticise Andrew’s every move, wouldn’t let this go. Andrew seemed to always be needing new equipment, so much so that Kevin had decided to photocopy the request forms and pin them snootily to Andrew’s desk.
Andrew hated Kevin. Renee had forced him to be civil, though, and he trusted his partner enough to listen to her advice.
“Didn’t see you there,” came a familiar voice. Andrew’s head snapped up: canvasing the truly miraculous sight that stood before him. “So sorry.”
Neil’d had his haircut since Andrew had last seen him, but he bore purple shadows under his eyes, his skin pale and sickly. A hood was drawn up, the sweater too large on Neil’s wiry frame. His jeans were loose too. He was far from the well-dressed bad idea Andrew had gone on two dates with, just over two months prior.
“Come into this cafe, officer,” Neil said, voice flat. “There’s a bathroom.” With that, he spun on his heel and marched back into the coffee-shop that he had no doubt been waiting outside of for Andrew to pass by.
Andrew followed silently, ignoring the lukewarm coffee that was dripping down his chest. There was a tiny bathroom with two cubicles, of which Neil somehow had the key for. He spun around and leant against the door, eyes dark.
“Neil,” Andrew said. “What the fuck?”
“I can’t be seen with you, or talking to you,” he managed, voice slightly raw. “Things are - not great, right now. I’m sorry I vanished.”
“You have to give me context,” Andrew insisted, stepping closer. “What the hell is going on?”
Neil shut his eyes. “If I promise you that I’ll explain everything, afterwards, will you help me?”
“I take my promises seriously,” Andrew warned.
Neil nodded weakly, wringing his fingers. “I know.”
Andrew sighed, taking some paper towel from next to the sink and patting himself dry. “What’s happening?”
Neil swallowed. “My father’s going to court, based on charges of tax evasion and money laundering.”
Andrew gestured for him to continue.
Neil hung his head. “I’m going to usurp him, him and his closest allies. I need a cop I can filter information through to, so that they can be locked up permanently. All five of them.”
“Someone once told me that they’d never be safe unless the threat was dead,” Andrew said, voice low. “You can’t fool me into thinking you just want them in jail.”
Neil had the audacity to look surprised, like maybe he thought Andrew wouldn’t remember. He’d learn to assume Andrew knew everything soon enough. “He has enough enemies that it’ll be taken care of, for me. Honest enough for you, officer?”
Andrew straightened out. “And when he and his crooks are gone? What then?”
Neil’s smile was almost sad. "Then I will take his place.”
“You could dismantle it entirely,” Andrew argued. “You don’t have to follow his footsteps.”
Neil just shook his head. “There are higher powers at work, Andrew. It’s my legacy: I have no choice." He in a shuddering breath. “If I could abandon it all, I would. I don’t want this life. I don’t want his name, or his smile, or his bloodthirst. I don’t.”
“Neil,” Andrew warned.
The man squeezed his eyes shut. “You know I watched him kill my mom? She didn’t want this life either. He was going to kill me too. Maybe he should have.”
Andrew had the man’s chin pinched between his thumb and forefinger. He opened his eyes.
“I’ll help you,” Andrew said, against better judgement. “Tell me your name and I’ll help you.”
Neil’s swallow was constricted, weighted. He took out a tiny slip of paper and tucked it into Andrew’s pocket. “I'm still Neil.” His inhale was desperate. “I am still Neil.”
Andrew nodded slightly, stepping back and watching as the man unlocked the door and slipped out.
Slowly - carefully - Andrew unfolded the little piece of paper.
It was a business card, the logo embossed into the paper.
Nathan Wesninski and Co. it read, accented with gold.
“How the fuck...” Dan said, flicking through the file. She, Wymack and Renee all sat opposite Andrew, peering over his work with trepidation.
Under a strictly Need-To-Know policy, Kevin was excluded for his previous ties to Riko Moriyama, who was the son of a yakuza boss (though that was not widely known). Matt was excluded on the basis of too many mouths to control, though Dan would probably fill him in. Seth was excluded because he sucked and Andrew hated him. That left his partner, his captain and his sergeant, all of whom were mildly shocked that Andrew had picked up such a large and intricate case independently.
“How did you find all this?” Dan demanded, recoiling from the contents of his file. Beside the many photographs laid a dried chunk of flesh in a sealed bag, of which DNA tests would confirm to be Mary Wesninski’s, who vanished over 14 years ago. Neil said he’d cut it from the branching aorta of his mother’s heart, of which his father kept in a small container, alongside her tongue and eyes, seeing as his father would miss a whole organ, but not a chunk of the underside. He didn’t get his name the Butcher for nothing.
“Unless we have a weapon, or something with prints that connects Wesninski to that-” Wymack pointed to the piece of Mary’s heart. “It’s still circumstantial without your CI coming forward as a witness.”
“They will die,” Andrew said calmly. “I’ll keep working for a connection, but nothing about my CI gets published. Nothing.”
“Okay,” Renee agreed, smiling warmly as she rounded the table. She waited for his nod to drop a hand on his shoulder, rubbing small circles of warmth. “We’ll figure something out, Andrew.”
“I can’t believe we have a chance against Wesninski,” Wymack muttered, rubbing his temples.
“Not yet, we don’t.” Dan reminded him.
Not yet, Andrew agreed.
Neil walked a slow circle around Andrew’s apartment, eyeing the windows and doors, the fire escape, the kettle, probably even the fucking toilet paper. Andrew watched as he toed off his shoes, pulled his sweater sleeves over his hands and finally joined Andrew in the living room.
“Got bored of figuring out the best point of exit?”
Neil scowled, settling on the couch beside him. “I shouldn’t be here.”
“Well, yours wasn’t exactly an option, was it?”
Neil just drew his knees up to his chin, curling into a small ball on the couch. “The trial’s been set for late September.”
“I know,” Andrew agreed.
“You haven’t brought any evidence to the prosecutor yet.”
“Was what I gave not good enough?”
“No,” Andrew grimaced. “A chunk of Mary’s heart tells us she’s dead. Without prints, or a weapon, or DNA evidence surrounding her body, there’s no way to connect Nathan to her death.”
Neil winced, teeth biting into his lip. The minute rocking back and forth was beginning to get on Andrew’s nerves. “I can’t...I don’t know. I don’t know what to do.”
“We’ll figure something out,” Andrew insisted. “We solve crimes for a living. There’s always an answer.”
Neil scoffed, body still shaking. “You’re probably aware of 20% of what goes on in this city.”
“So tell me the other 80.”
Andrew gestured vaguely. “The different gangs, the territory lines, shoot outs and brandings and who’s having an affair with who. I don’t care. Just talk.”
“What good is gossip?” Neil wondered aloud.
“You’d be surprised,” Andrew said lightly, like this wasn’t completely for Neil’s benefit. He needed to get Neil out of his head. It looked like the man hadn’t sleep in weeks, his nails bitten down to the quick and body stiff with bandages. The fact that Andrew couldn’t help him much more than this - at least not now - was putting him through the wringer.
“Fine,” Andrew huffed when Neil wasn’t forthcoming, getting off the couch. From under the TV he grasped a random DVD and shoved it into the player that Nicky had bought for him a few years ago.
“What’s this?” Neil blinked, owlishly.
Andrew just dropped back down onto the couch. “Do you trust me?”
Neil looked at him, eyes narrowed.
Andrew reached out to push the long fringe away from Neil’s eyes. “Neil, do you trust me?”
“I...” he looked down to his hands. They slowly curled into fists. “I want to.”
Andrew tilted his chin up with the tip of his finger. For a moment there was nothing else, just blue and gold and fate and future. “Then believe me when I say I will find a way.”
Slowly, Neil nodded.
“Dimaccio, Plank, and the Romero siblings,” Andrew leant on the table with his fists, the fies splayed out around them. “We lock them up, one by one. Nathan loses his circle, loses his security. He’ll put out the wrong foot without anyone else to fall back on.”
“Who should we start with, then?” Wymack inquired, letting Andrew steer this investigation down to the very last report signature.
Andrew arched an eyebrow, momentarily recalling the jagged scars on the inside of Neil’s elbows.
“She’d wanted to cut my tendons, once,” he said, before yanking down the sleeves again.
“Ladies first,” he told Wymack, picking up the photo of Lola Malcom and pinning it right into the centre of their case-board.
Dimaccio snarled as he was lead away in shackles, hair shaved close to his skull. He was probably double Andrew’s height and width and had three police escorts shoving him into the back of a wagon. Across the back of his hand had been the characteristic X, the one Neil bore, the one Lola had worn too.
Two down, three to go, Andrew thought, something like pride grinning wolfishly within his chest. These were only the bail hearings: proper convictions wouldn’t be till the new year. It didn’t matter: so long as they were locked up, Andrew could move forward. Wymack stood beside him, thumbs hooked into his belt loops.
“Nice work, kiddo,” the chief acknowledged, shaking out a cigarette and gesturing to the exit. Andrew followed.
Leaning against the courthouse’s sandstone exterior, Andrew stared up into the cloudless sky with an accusatory squint, till Wymack nudged him.
“Your phone’s ringing,” he muttered, cigarette drooping with ever syllable.
Andrew fished out the burner that he always kept tucked into his back pocket. He flicked it open immediately: there was only one person who had this number.
“Andrew,” Neil panted. “Thank god. Okay. Hi.”
“N -” Andrew glanced at Wymack before turning away. “What’s going on?”
“The chances of me being able to contact you from now on will be slim to none: with two of them gone, I have to step in.”
“Christ,” Andrew muttered, stubbing out his cigarette. “Where are you now?”
“Bathroom,” Neil muttered. “Some stupid event thing for his business front. I’m not who matters right now. Do you have family that’s traceable to you? A next of kin?”
“You’ve met Nicky and Erik,” Andrew said, suddenly cold all over. “My twin and his wife live in Chicago.”
“They should be alright,” Neil murmured. “But Nicky and Erik have to go. Can they win a flight overseas? I’ll wire you through money if you need it -”
“Don’t be ridiculous. I’ll sort it out.”
“You need to be careful,” Neil insisted. “He’s going to come after you. That’s twice your name’s been on the front of the arrest records. I’ve sorted something out, okay?”
“Forgive me if that sounds less that appealing.”
Neil laughed weakly. “It’s not a pretty solution, but it’ll work. You have to keep working, and if I can’t keep interacting with you without blowing this whole thing over, then our only choice is...”
“Allison,” Andrew muttered. “Jesus Christ.”
Neil hummed in agreement. “She’ll pick you up from yours in an hour. Be ready.”
“How does she know where I live?”
“Like she doesn’t track my every move, Minyard. She’s my accomplice. Gotta go, now. He’ll get suspicious.”
Something twisted in Andrew’s throat. “Stay safe.”
Neil paused, then mumbled “You too,” and disconnected the call.
Wymack was watching him with an arched brow.
Andrew shrugged. “My CI’s quick.”
“Unpredictable asshole,” his boss muttered, shooing him off with a derisive flick of his fingers. Andrew saluted him as he departed, before twisting on his heel and jogging back to his car.
“Guest room, guest bathroom, living room, kitchen, blah, blah.” Allison waved her hand around emphatically, her manicured nails glittering with rhinestones and pearls. They were probably real, if her apartment was anything to go by.
Everything was white, grey or pink, aside from the dark-oak parquetry on her floors. The marble countertops were polished to sparkle, every device in her kitchen practically unused. It was Nicky’s dream penthouse.
“It pays to murder, doesn’t it?” Andrew wondered when he’d inherited Neil’s loose tongue.
The look Allison gave him was withering. “I don’t murder. I clean up.”
“Because complacency is so much better than participation.”
She rolled her eyes. “I can’t believe Nicky didn’t tell me you were a fucking cop. Would’ve never set you up on a date if I knew.”
“I’m going to have his father in max security by the end of the year,” Andrew reminded her. “Don’t make me abandon the case.”
She grinned. “You wouldn’t. He’s got you wrapped around his finger.” At Andrew’s glare, she waved him off. “Don’t worry: he’s just like that. I never said that I ain’t wrapped around his finger too. It’s impossible to not want to shield him away, wrap him in copious amounts of blankets, kiss his forehead and tell him it’ll be okay. I tried it once,” she grimaced. “It didn’t work.”
Andrew didn’t picture Neil, a mobster’s son, wrapped in blankets on Andrew’s couch, smiling (genuinely) as Andrew pressed a kiss to the corner of his eye. He did not picture that. He did not.
“For what it’s worth,” Allison said, in a voice softer than Andrew thought she was capable of as she looked out the enormous windows that overlooked Baltimore’s busiest district. “I’m glad he trusts you. And I’m glad you’re helping us.”
“Don’t get sappy on me, Reynolds,” he pointed at her in warning. “I’ll lock you up too, if you give me a reason to.”
Her laugh was pearlescent, her grin cat-like. “Neil would scalp you before you could even say my full name. Don’t forget, Minyard,” she winked. “I’ve got him wrapped around my finger, too.”
this will continue in p.2 with july-december!! after that we’ll go back to our regularly scheduled softness and humour. i’ve already got another one-shot planned around kevin and neil.... :D
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prompt by @withrainfall: an alternative sectumsempra scene. Inspired by a recent event where the speaker started to cry...and that made the audience teary too.
Harry entered the girls’ bathroom. He could the hear the sound of the tap running...and something else. Shallow, gasping breaths. A step closer, and he made out Malfoy’s hunched back. Harry swallowed.
“Don’t, Draco,” came Moaning Myrtle’s voice. “Tell me what’s wrong,” she pleaded.
Malfoy bent over the sink even more, a shake in his body. “No one...I can’t fucking do it.” A deep, gasping breath. Malfoy’s words were wet and wobbly.
Harry’s chest tightened. Malfoy was crying.
“And—and if I don’t—” Malfoy sucked in a gasping breath. “He’ll kill me.”
“Draco...” Myrtle said, a hand reaching towards Malfoy’s shoulder.
Harry bit his bottom lip. His stomach felt heavy, his eyes felt pinched.
Malfoy flinched, straightening up a little. “They’re going to die, and I can’t—“
Harry lurched, breath hitching. So many people have died—
Malfoy looked into the mirror. And met Harry’s gaze. His eyes were red and blotching, tear tracks down his face. He spun around to face Harry immediately.
“Crying, Potter?” Malfoy snarled.
Harry sniffed. “No!” he denied, trying to breath evenly. But Malfoy was crying, and Harry just—he couldn’t fucking stop the wetness. “Fuck. I can’t—it won’t—”
“What the fuck are you crying?” Malfoy’s voice edged in desperation as he scrubbed at his own eyes.
“I want to help—”
Malfoy glared at him, eyes shiny and wet. “You can’t! He’s going to kill my—oh, you wouldn’t understand!”
Harry started crying in earnest. “My mum. I can still hear her scream.” He turned away from Malfoy, the ache his chest expanding and expanding. “And my dad. And Sirius. And Cedric...” Harry tried to breath, but everything as too hot, and he couldn’t see through the tears in his eyes. “Fuck. Fuck!” He leaned against the wall, trying, trying to claw out of pain. Because, why the fuck was he crying in front of Malfoy?
Except, Malfoy was crying too, tears slipping down his face like rain. “I don’t want my mum to die,” he choked out, his arms wrapped around himself.
Harry sucked in a breath. His throat felt so sore. “I don’t want your mum to die.”
“I don’t want her to die!” Malfoy wailed.
Before Harry knew it, he had crossed the remaining space between them, wrapping his arms around Malfoy. “She’s not going to die,” Harry said fiercely. “I’m not going to let your mum die too.”
“But...your mum died. Oh Merlin, your mum died—”
There was a lump in Harry’s throat. He knew he was starting to cry again. “I know.”
Malfoy’s arms slipped around Harry, hugging tight. And Harry bowed his head and let hot tears slip once more, feeling Malfoy’s tears on his shoulder in return.
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Quick prompt which may or not inspired you: Bucky is back from war and the only good thing in his life right now is his neighbor and his son.
Bucky doesn’t think about how him ringing his neighbour’s bell at 3:17 in the morning might look until Tony opens the door, hair a complete mess and dark circles under his eyes, and starts apologising, sounding resigned, “Hey, look, he’s running a fever, I’m really sorry. I’ve tried everything, but he’s feeling super crappy, and I don’t—”
Instead of explaining himself, like a normal, well-adjusted person might would, Bucky panics, and shoves the glass of applesauce at Tony’s chest. Tony fumbles with it for a moment, clearly surprised, making Bucky wince at himself. He can practically hear Steve laughing at him from all the way across the city.
“Uh.” Tony looks down at the applesauce, then back up at Bucky, brows furrowed in confusion. “What—”
He’s interrupted by a loud wail, followed by a wet, hiccuped, “Dada?” coming from the baby phone in his hoodie pocket.
“Shit, okay, here,” Tony says, gesturing for Bucky to step inside. “Better not wake anyone else up.”
Bucky doesn’t say that he wasn’t sleeping anyway. Tony looks like he’s got his hands full right now, without Bucky dumping his nightmare problems all over him. Tony hurries away down the hall, and Bucky wanders into the kitchen with the intention of making coffee. The counter is a mess of dirty dishes and used bottles, though, so Bucky rolls up his sleeve, figuratively speaking, and gets to work.
He’s putting the last of the bottles into the steriliser when Tony comes back, a red-faced Archie on his hip. “Oh, hey,” Tony says, grimacing, and gently hip checks Bucky out of the way. “You don’t have to do that.”
“It’s not a problem,” Bucky says, but puts down the bottle he’s holding to take Archie when Archie leans towards him with an insistent, “Bu!”
Archie puts his head on Bucky’s shoulder with a quiet whimper, his face fever-hot where it’s pressing against Bucky’s neck. “Not feelin’ so great, huh, buddy?” Bucky asks, bouncing him a little.
“The doctor says it’s an ear infection. He’s going to be fine in a couple of days, but he’s not a happy baby right now.” Tony pulls a face, looking sheepish. “As I’m sure the whole block’s been able to hear.”
“It’s not his fault, bein’ sick is no fun. But I heard him bein’ all miserable, an’ thought, well,” Bucky says, awkward again, nodding at the applesauce Tony’s put on the island. “I know it’s his favourite, so.”
Tony doesn’t say anything to that, just looks at Bucky, an expression Bucky can’t read on his face. Bucky ducks his head, feeling himself blush, and turns away to finally start the coffee maker. Only to remember that, oh, yeah, that’s kind of impossible with his only arm full of clingy baby.
“Okay, let me get this straight,” Tony says, from behind Bucky. “My kid’s been screaming his head off for the last few hours, probably annoying the shit out of the whole floor. And you decided to bring him applesauce. To cheer him up. In the middle of the night.”
If possible, Bucky flushes harder. “It sounds dumb if you put it like that.”
“No.” Tony touches his arm, tentative at first, then curls his fingers into Bucky’s shirt when Bucky doesn’t move away. He’s smiling when Bucky’s finally brave enough to glance up at him. “I think it’s really, really sweet, actually.”
He pushes up on his toes, and presses a kiss to Bucky’s cheek. Bucky’s not sure what his face is doing, but it makes Tony laugh softly once he moves back. “Come on,” Tony says, lingeringly trailing his hand down Bucky’s arm, then goes to grab the applesauce, wiggling it at Bucky. “Let’s see if Archie likes your gift.”
- Potrix | AO3
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Four Senju brothers in a car, and a poor bastard who wonder why on earth these overgrown mooncalves are puttering around in such a small vehicle.
I know there are those of you out there that will recognise yourself ;3 Hello fellow horse lovers ^^
This on AO3
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i lied, 10 minute pq davekat doodle
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he runs hot
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(You Are) Wanted
Part II | Part I | Tag
There’s a crash, and when Will glances up, Nursey’s standing in the kitchen doorway, mouth open, shards from a broken plate on the floor around his feet. “What the fuck, Dex?”
“Nursey!” Chowder gasps, looking scandalised. “Not in front of the baby!”
It’s a nice sentiment, and so very Chowder that Will can’t help but smile fondly, but it’s probably a lost cause, anyway. No matter where Will and the baby will end up living, pretty much his entire circle of friends consists of hockey players who regularly fund Bitty’s baking adventures with their swearing.
And Will really isn’t any better himself, either.
“I don’t think he understands just yet,” he points out, and turns a little when Chowder approaches so Chowder can see the baby’s blotchy red face. “He’s under a week old. All he does is sleep, cry, and shit himself.”
Yeah, so much for that. Oops.
“He’s so cute,” Chowder coos softly, and strokes a gentle finger over the baby’s hair. “Can I hold him?”
Will has no idea what his face is doing, but it must be telling. It’s not that he doesn’t trust Chowder—there are very few people he trusts more, in fact—but the thought of handing the baby over just doesn’t sit right with him, for some reason. It’s stupid, he’s aware of that, but he just—he doesn’t want to let him go. Not just yet.
[more under the cut]
“Maybe later,” Chowder says, easy as that, and smiles at Will’s apologetic look. He gives Will’s shoulder a supportive squeeze before stepping back. “It’s probably better that way, right? Like, he only stopped crying a second ago, I don’t want to upset him again.”
Will nudges his foot against Chowder’s, murmuring a quiet, relieved, “Thanks, C.”
Ransom, in the meantime, has apparently recovered from his initial shock, or enough so, at least, to say, “Congrats, man. Your kid’s adorable.”
“Must be the mom’s genes,” Holster teases, on automatic. Then he frowns, clearly not sure what’s off limits when it comes to the baby.
Will isn’t either, but the chirping is normal, familiar. And he can definitely do with some normality right about now.
Bitty’s mouth twists at the mention of the mother. Will shoots him a look he hopes is enough to convey that they’ll talk about it later, in private. He has zero desire to explain his fucked up family situation right now, and he is nowhere near ready to tell everyone why he isn't on speaking terms with them anymore.
“There isn't a mom,” Will says, and then, when Tango makes a confused noise and opens his mouth, he corrects, “There isn't one willing to be a part of his life. It’s just me.”
“That sucks, bro,” Holster says, and Ransom winces in sympathy. “Maybe she’ll come around?”
Will snorts. “Fat chance.”
It comes out hissed, more bitter than he intended, and makes everyone fall uncomfortably silent. Ransom and Holster turn towards each other, doing their weird eyebrow communication thing, probably trying to figure out all the things Will isn’t telling them, while Lardo watches Will intently, in that way that never fails to make Will feel like she knows more than she lets on. Chowder goes to help Nursey pick up the plate shards, with Bitty hovering close by, ready to jump in in case one of them—meaning Nursey—manages to hurt themselves.
Tango still has a somewhat perplexed expression on his face, but Will can never really tell when he actually has no idea what’s going on, and when it’s just his regular face. Or if he’s really just fucking with them all. Whiskey’s the one who makes an effort to actually meet Will’s eyes, one eyebrow raised in question. He’s the only one, apart from Bitty, who’s found out about Will, but they’ve so far had an unspoken agreement to not talk about running into each other in one of the close by gay bars on occasion. He jerks his chin minutely when Will shakes his head at him, before giving Tango a not so gentle push towards the door, muttering at him in rapid Spanish when Tango starts complaining about being manhandled.
“Uh.” Will hitches the baby a little higher, and starts rubbing his back, mostly to have something to do with his hands. Good thing the baby’s too young to realise he’s being used as a security blanket. “I’ll just,” he says, awkward, inching closer to the stairs. “Yeah.”
With that, Will makes his escape upstairs to Bitty’s room. As promised, there’s a portable crib leaning against one wall, and at least a dozen bags from Babies-R-Us sitting next to it. They look like they definitely contain more than the few emergency diapers and onesies Will’d asked for, and he makes a mental note to send Jack a thank you text later.
“Okay, buddy, here you go,” Will tells the baby as he carefully places him in the middle of Bitty’s bed. He arranges a few pillows around him, even though he’s learned last night that the baby isn’t really moving much yet. Safe’s safe, though. “There. Good?”
He has the crib set up, and is halfway through the bags when Bitty knocks on the door, before poking his head in. “How’s it going?”
“Baby’s asleep. Again,” Will says, pulling a tiny Falconers jersey out of one of the bags.
Bitty smiles innocently when Will holds it up. Will doesn’t buy it for a second.
They unpack in easy silence for a while, Bitty joining Will on the floor to un- and then refold all the clothes to his satisfaction, arranging them in a complicated pile system Will doesn’t even try to memorise. Bitty bats at him when he sees Will try and fail to hide a grin. “Babies are messy. You better get on top of everything right away, otherwise you’ll be lost in no time.”
“Too late for that,” Will sighs, absently playing with the foot of a pair of tiny snowflake tights. Knowing Bitty, there’s a whole outfit to go with them, too, for Haus Christmas. “I have no idea what I’m doing.”
“But you’re trying anyway,” Bitty says, bumping their shoulders together. “That’s what counts.”
Will grimaces. “Tell that to the kid when he hates me in a couple of years because I was too selfish to let him be adopted by some nice people who wouldn’t have screwed this whole thing up completely.”
“William Jacob Poindexter!” Bitty is glaring, and it’s so reminiscent of a Disappointed Parent Look that Will flushes, feeling chastised. Bitty grabs Will by the chin, forcing him to look over at him. “Do not run yourself down like this, I won’t have it.”
“Bitty, c’mon,” Will mumbles, embarrassed. He goes to turn his head away, but Bitty doesn’t let go, and raises an expectant eyebrow instead. Will grunts. “Fine, whatever.”
The way Bitty purses his lips, still scowling a little, tells Will they’ll be coming back to this eventually. Chowder has perfect timing, though, and chooses that moment to peek in through the door that’s still slightly ajar. “Do you need help with anything?”
“Want to help me change the baby for the night?” Will asks, getting up, and has to laugh when Chowder nods enthusiastically. “All right, come here. Fair warning, though, it’s going to be pretty gross.”
Chowder waves dismissively. “I have baby cousins, it’s fine. Like, this one time Vivian had some sort of stomach bug, and I swear, for a solid week, her poop looked like that time Wicks threw up after only eating Cheetos and drinking tub juice all weekend.”
They all simultaneously wrinkle their noses at the memory. Bitty’s the first to recover, reaching into yet another unpacked bag, and pulling out a foldable changing pad. “Here.” He hands it to Chowder, who hands it over to Will to spread out on the bed. “It wasn’t on your list, I know, but I thought it would come in handy.”
“At least 80% of the stuff you bought wasn’t on my list,” Will points out as he unclasps the baby’s onesie. “Tell Jack I’ll pay him back for all of it, by the way.”
Bitty’s, “Sure, honey,” is entirely unconvincing, and Will resigns himself to sneaking cash into Jack’s pockets whenever he comes to visit for the foreseeable future. Bitty narrows his eyes at Will as if he can tell what Will’s thinking, making Will look away quickly, biting back a smile.
“Okay,” he says, once he’s got the baby down to his diaper, gesturing from the baby to Chowder. “You want to do the honors?”
Chowder clearly knows what he’s doing, working fast and efficient, and doesn’t lose his cool when the baby, grumpy about being woken up, starts fussing. Will hovers by his shoulder nonetheless, ignoring the knowing, amused looks Bitty keeps levelling at him.
When he’s done, the baby all dressed again, Chowder throws his arms up in the air, waving them around, and cheers quietly. “There,” he says, grinning down at the baby, “that’s better, isn’t it?”
The baby kicks his legs, still making small, distressed sounds that aren’t quite cries. Yet. Chowder rubs his tummy, which seems to help somewhat, but Will can tell it’s not enough.
“He wants you to pick him up. I mean,” he rubs at the back of his neck, mouth quirked sheepishly, “you can. If you still want to.”
Chowder doesn’t need to be told twice. He climbs up on the bed, and scoots back so he’s reclined against the pillows, then carefully lifts the baby up to lie against his chest. He cups the back of the baby’s head with one hand, and his diapered butt with the other, talking quietly, telling the baby, all earnest and serious, “I know,” and “Yeah, being tired is no fun,” when the baby scrunches up his face.
It makes something in Will’s chest loosen, to see one of his best friends so easily accept this huge—and, as much as Will already loves that baby, inconvenient—turn Will’s life has taken over the last 24 hours. It also gives Will the courage needed to say what he’s wanted to tell Chowder for months, now.
“He’s my nephew, technically,” he blurts, and then, before he loses his nerve, continues explaining, “My older sister’s kid. She didn’t want him, because my parents would throw a fucking fit if she came home with a illegitimate kid. Especially a black one. They’re—shit, C, they’re fucked up, you know? Like, the kind of people who’d make their daughter choose between her kid, and being allowed to come back home again. Or kick out their son for being gay.”
Chowder’s eyes widen in surprise, and he looks distraught when he says, “Dex, oh my gosh, I’m so sorry. I had no idea.”
Will shrugs, jaw clenched, and averts his eyes. It’s been nearly six months, and he’d known, before doing it, what coming out would mean, what would most likely happen. It had been a conscious, planned decision after years of insecurity and fear, in the hope that it would, somehow, make it easier to be honest with himself about what he is, about who he is. And it had helped, in a lot of ways, but the tiny, dumb, foolish part of Will’s heart that had believed that his family might react differently, might love him anyway, is fucking devastated nonetheless.
Bitty knee-walks across the room, hugging Will from behind. “We love you, hon, you know that, right?” he asks, and Chowder immediately agrees, adding, “We all support Bitty and Jack, and we’ll do the same for you. You’re team. And our friend.”
Will nods, but doesn’t trust himself to say anything without doing something horrifying. Like bursting into tears. He leans into Bitty instead, lets Bitty tuck him under his chin, and closes his eyes, breathing slow and deep. Bitty starts asking Chowder about his cousins, arms still tight around Will, and neither of them mentions the way Will’s breath hitches every few seconds.
He only disentangles himself from Bitty once the baby’s fallen back asleep to lay him down in the crib. If having his back turned also gives him the opportunity to discreetly wipe at his eyes, well. He’ll take it.
Chowder makes a quick run to his own room to change into his PJs while Will’s putting the baby down, and Bitty grabs his laptop from his desk, setting it up at the foot of his bed instead, putting on an episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine with the volume down low. Will gets a pair of sweats from his own bag, before he flops down next to Bitty on the bed. Chowder joins them a moment later, squishing Will between himself and Bitty.
Will gets choked up all over again over the fact that Chowder doesn’t even hesitate before cuddling up to Will, like he always does when they have sleepovers or team movie nights. Then he grunts, effectively distracted, when Bitty presses his icicle feet against his legs. Which is also pretty par for the course.
“So,” Chowder asks, once he has burrito-wrapped himself in one of the blankets, “like, does the baby have a name yet? Because I feel kind of bad just calling him the baby.”
“According to my MooMaw, my parents couldn’t agree on a name until I was almost two months old,” Bitty tisks, laughing a little. “And then they named me Eric Richard Bittle Jr.”
“I don’t want to do that,” Will says immediately. When Bitty and Chowder both look at him quizzically, he elaborates, “Name the baby after someone. My parents named me after my grandfather and my uncle, and there were always expectations that came with that, you know? I don’t want that, for the baby. He should,” he gestures a little helplessly, then shrugs, “just grow up to be himself.”
Chowder nods, thoughtful. “That makes sense.”
“It really does,” Bitty agrees, folding his arms on Will’s chest, and resting his chin on them. “Lord knows I could do without my aunties and uncles and cousins constantly comparing me to my Daddy.”
“I thought maybe Theodore?” Will half-asks. “There’s no Theo in my family, no one I know is called Theo, and I kind of like it? Just, like, the sound of it. And I don’t want anything too edgy that’ll embarrass him when he’s older.”
“I like it,” Chowder decides. “Theodore Poindexter.”
Bitty pokes Will in the side, smiling proudly. “See? You got this. One step at a time.”
“Yeah,” Will says, and can’t help but smile back. “One step at a time.”
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Erasermight Soulmate AU where Eraserhead's soulmark was mostly stable as a child then one day it started switching back and forth and then seemed to stay at the second form mostly for the next couple of decades or so, but its started recently switching again and frankly he doesnt have the time to be worrying about his mystery soulmate because hes heard rumors that All Might is going to be teaching next year and he just cannot. Not initially.
Shouta’s soul mark is strange, while it stays fairly steadily on the one he has now, bright and glittering starlight from his shoulder until it reaches the middle of his left arm and the lights turn into black dots, rarely it shifts. It’s not a large change, but the lights are dimmer and the color is different, a washed out shade of blue, just a bit darker than white, and all of the dots glow. He doesn’t know what makes it shift and change, but it does.
“You’re staring again,” Hizashi whispers leaning over his desk and prodding Shouta’s arm. “Still don’t know who it is?”
“It’s certainly not you or Iida,” Shouta mutters tiredly, feeling the aches of another late night training session wearing on him. “It doesn’t all glow that often. Or turn blue.”
Hizashi nods, “I like it. It’s like little blue fireflies.”
“Or stars, if you want to be poetic about it,” Hizashi says quickly catching sight of Shouta’s look. “And you like stars more don’t you?”
“That doesn’t matter,” Shouta answers, because it’s true, he does like stars more than he likes fireflies. “I want to know why it changes, I’ve never seen someone’s soul mark shift before.”
Tensai prods on of the small lights, ducking Shouta’s scarf and grinning, “Maybe it’s a transformation quirk of some kind? Two appearance, means two soul marks.”
“Is there a precedent for that?” Shouta asks around a yawn. “I don’t think I’ve ever heard anything like it.”
“There’s an article about it in a magazine my mom reads, some transformation quirks cause their soulmate’s marks to shift. Was pretty rare though and the science behind it was weird too,” Tensai answers with a shrug. “I like how yours glows. That’s pretty rare too.”
“Thanks,” Shouta sighs, staring at the mark for another minute before covering it back up with his sleeve. “When we start internships, we get to cover these, right?”
“There’s a special polymer that heroes use to cover them up,” Hizashi agrees. “I used it last year and you should be able to use it this year. Why? Don’t want a villain to see you glowing?”
“Something like that.”
Shouta doesn’t actually think about his soul mark much. He makes sure it’s covered during patrols and that no one is going to be able to see it when he teaches, but there’s far to many other things to worry about, like the fact that Nezu was insistent about trying to lure All Might onto their staff. There was too many problems with asking a hero like that to come and look after students.
“It’s blue again,” Hizashi says, interrupting Shouta’s train of thought. “It’s been blue more often, hasn’t it?”
“Is my soul mark really that interesting?” Shouta asks tugging his arm back. “You have your own to stare at.”
Hizashi pouts, and Shouta decides he’s going to shave off that stupid mustache that Hizashi has insisted on growing at some point, “That’s besides the point. I want to see yours because mine doesn’t do anything cool like glow or change.”
“Then take a picture, it will last longer,” Shouta states tugging his sleeve back down. “And grade your English essays, the second years are complaining that you’re taking too long and they’re worried about their grades.”
“Why do you say those things,” Hizashi hisses, pulling open the drawer where he had hidden the essays two weeks ago and looking over them. “How long do you think they’ll give me? I was specially requested on a mission, I wasn’t even here, I’ve just returned.”
“And we know this,” Shouta agrees. “But they want to know their grades.”
Hizashi makes a quiet sound of horror, “So tomorrow?”
“They would prefer.”
“I hate you,” Hizashi hisses, speed reading through the first. “I’m going to find the deepest darkest pit and throw you down into it.”
“Returning me to the void will only make me stronger.”
“Foiled by your secret, you’re an eldritch being.”
Shouta smirks, turning back to his own work and trying not to frown at how badly some of his students were misspelling things, even something simple-
“Attention teachers!” Shouta looks up to find Nezu balanced on the shoulder of a man so thin that he looks like a skeleton. “I would like to introduce you to our new Fundamental Heroics teacher, Toshinori Yagi. Toshinori, please meet the rest of your new co-workers.”
“A pleasure,” Toshinori starts, pausing to cough. “To meet you. I hope that we can get along.”
Shouta isn’t stupid, he’s an underground hero, he does more of his own research than he asks for and Nezu had wanted All Might to join his staff, only to appear with a tall blond man as his newest teacher.
Toshinori chokes, blood spurting out of his mouth like a wound, “Excuse me?”
“If you’re trying to convince us that you aren’t All Might, after Nezu has stated on many occasions that he would like to recruit him, perhaps you shouldn’t wear that suit and react so violently to the name.”
“I’m sure I don’t know what you are talking about,” Toshinori says slowly, more of a question.
Hizashi laughs, “Nope, too late. You’re been unmasked. Shouta, how the fuck?”
“He’s a blond haired man with blue eyes that is the same height as All Might and wearing a suit too big, like he’s going to bulk up or lost weight quickly,” Shouta answers. “Are you even allowed to teach?”
“I have done the needed courses and have the licenses that I need.”
Shouta doesn’t answer, watching him for a long moment before going back to his work, because he did care. He would keep an eye on him, if he did something that endangered the students, then Shouta would make him suffer.
“White lights again,” Hizashi states prodding Shouta’s arm. “Man, you just can’t figure out who it is?”
Shouta sighs, pulling his arm back into his sleeping bag, “I will through you out the damn window if you keep this up.”
“No you wont,” Hizashi states rolling his eyes, even though they both know that Shouta will through him out the window. “May I please see your soul mark?”
“Since you asked,” Shouta yawns, moving his arm back out for Hizashi to look at his mark. “I swear, you’re more excited by this than I am.”
“You’re glowing! I don’t see why you don’t think that....”
“Did you die?”
Hizashi sputters, the screech of feedback loud for a moment, “No?”
“What did you see?”
“Who says I saw anything?”
Shouta opens his eyes just enough to glare at him tiredly, “What did you see, Hizashi.”
“Certainly not All Might turning into Smaller Might as your dots changed color,” Hizashi answers quickly. “Definitely not that.”
“Fuck,” Shouta pulls his arm back into his sleeping bag, “Go away you giant fucking cockatoo, I’m not nearly well rested enough to deal with the possibility of that man as my soul mate, get.” he pauses. “And if you scream this information to Tensai, I will drop kick you off the roof, so help me.”
Shouta closes his eyes and tries to think, but he’s too tired. He’ll deal with this possibility after his nap.
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There are still days when Geralt doesn’t know how to deal with Jaskier’s constant chattering. Conversations that go nowhere, songs that fall flat, stories that are ‘embellished’.
Yes, these days continue to be difficult.
Then comes a day when Jaskier is quiet. Pensive.
What the fuck is he supposed to do with that?
They’re walking. Geralt on Roach, Jaskier trailing a bit behind. His lute in hand, unstrummed.
The quiet sits heavy in the air.
Geralt glances over his shoulder. It takes a long moment for Jaskier to notice he’s looking at him. Once he does he smiles brightly. Geralt blinks. He turns his head to look forward again.
Stops in his tracks.
Jaskier nearly bumps into Roach. “Wh- Geralt? What are you doing?!”
Geralt turns Roach around and starts off in the opposite direction. He knows this road. Knows the area well. If they start now, they can make it before sunfall.
“Wait, you can’t just- just change direction like that without explaining!”
It sounds a little more like Jaskier normally does. But it’s not enough to pull him out of whatever dark mood he’s in. So Geralt continues onward, only half ignoring the loud groan of protest.
Jaskier follows, as he always does. That’s all he needs.
An hour of retracing their steps, Geralt dismounts Roach. He looks around for a moment. Listening. It’s not quiet, but there’s... an angle that’s best for this. Slowly, he turns his head.
He starts walking. There are no monsters or bandits in the near vicinity to worry about, thankfully.
“Geralt. What are we doing here? I thought you wanted... I thought we were going to the... fuck, where was it we were going? Did you even tell me?” A sigh joins Jaskier’s extensive back catalogue of unhappy sounds. “Not that you ever tell me anything. Oh, shit. And it’s muddy, too. I hate when the forest goes ‘squish’.”
The path is muddy, and grows muddier with each step. Frogs croak and there are dragonflies flitting about.. Smooth stones litter the ground. Running water is now close enough that Jaskier should hear it.
And hear it he does. “Where are we?” He asks, his voice softer. “What are-” Another silence hangs in the air.
Geralt turns his head for a moment. The dark cloud hanging over Jaskier’s head seems to have lessened, if only to make room for the curious spark in his eyes.
Jaskier walks faster, keeping pace now. Looking around. Fingers twitching again. The trees break apart, just a few feet away from what Geralt had seen years ago.
Beside him, Jaskier gasps.
A waterfall, tall and flowing shines in the sunlight, a rainbow reflecting off it’s white gushing waters. Vines and greenery growing up the cliff. All ending in a sparkling river with clean drinking water.
“It’s incredible! Amazing! Hidden away like the treasure it is. A true wonder!” The bard watches agape for a moment longer before he turns to look at Geralt. “Thank you. This is...” He shakes his head, but there’s a smile. None of the hollowness it held from before. “Thank you.”
And Geralt finds himself smiling back. There was no contract to be found here, but he feels richer all the same.
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okay look. writer hibernation sucks but i guess i’m awake now cause i just wrote like ten thousand (that’s what it felt like okay it was only like 1,800) words of slightly nonsensical time travel mild-Steter fic. i don’t control the weather okay.
“If I’m invited to any more funerals, I’m going to be featured at the next one.” Stiles said in a monotone.
Lydia’s dead eyes were really the entire reason Stiles did what he did next.
“I’m sorry Mr. Stilinski, I don’t know what else to tell you.” Doctor Smith said as she looked over Stiles’ chart for a third time.
Stiles’ dad paused in his pacing to look at the doctor with his terrified eyes. “Look, Doctor, yesterday I couldn’t have gotten my son to shut up for all the candy in the world and today and he can’t make a sound. How else do you explain that other than a medical emergency?”
Stiles fought back a wince. He had always hated upsetting his dad but it was an unfortunate necessity this time. When dealing with the Powers that Be one had to make certain sacrifice and they certainly didn’t care that it was causing his dad distress.
Doctor Smith put aside Stiles’ chart and adjusted her glasses with a soft sigh. “I really am sorry to tell you Mr. Stilinski, but there really isn’t anything physically wrong with your son.” she paused and gave Stiles a sad glance. “Have you considered...having him speak to a therapist?”
His dad’s jaw and fists all clenched in unison while he looked at Stiles with immense sadness. “We’ve talked about it before...but he’s never agreed to go. And I didn’t want to make anything worse by making him.”
Stiles fought back an eye roll at his dad’s lackluster explanation. He knew therapy would have done him a world of good when he was younger and it would have certainly helped his dad exponentially.
“Well,” Doctor Smith said decisively. “If Stiles is going to refuse to speak to anyone than the only thing I can suggest you do is have him see a psychiatrist.”
His dad’s shoulders dropped and he gave a defeated nod.
Therapy went better than Stiles had been expecting it to. But considering he’d been expecting to end up in an institution that wasn’t really saying much.
The therapist, Doctor Mills, had gone the whole “We’ll just sit here in silence until you feel like talking.” route and had taken notes on Stiles while he’d read his latest book on applied physics.
At the end of the hour he had Stiles’ dad make an appointment for the next week and told his dad that he was a very stubborn little guy.
Stiles rolled his eyes so hard it hurt.
School was were he had the most problems. Considering Stiles had had his ability to communicate through languages taken away he could no longer write. Or speak. Or answer any of their questions in any way. His teachers noticed rather quickly, not as quickly as he’d been expecting but not slowly as they could have.
Doctor Mills kept giving Stiles disappointed looks and made very off handed remarks about Stiles having to be put in special ed if he didn’t get his act together.
Not in those exact words of course, but Stiles could read between the lines.
His dad got progressively more distressed and upped his drinking, much to Stiles’ fury.
Stiles did his best to communicate through gestures his feelings and needs but it wasn’t until he’d poured his dad’s entire stalk of alcohol down the drain while he was passed out on the couch and lined the empty bottles along the coffee table that his dad figured out one thing Stiles wanted.
At Stiles’ next appointment with Doctor Mills he made his dad come in with him and pulled out one of the empty whiskey bottles he’d hidden in his backpack. That got his second point across.
Special Ed classes weren’t that bad. As long as Stiles was quiet, which wasn’t at all hard in his case, and attempted to do the work the teachers gave him he was pretty much left alone. It wasn’t like he ever made any disruptions in class, the less people that paid attention to him the better.
The other students also seemed content to leave Stiles alone. Even Jackson had decided that Stiles was no longer worth messing with if he wasn’t going to react anymore.
Stiles could still have lunch with Scott and that helped him feel more centered than he had been expecting. Scott would occasionally give him worried looks but he’d seemed to have taken it upon himself to fill the silence Stiles now had. He chattered about everything and nothing every time he and Stiles were together.
It was actually kind of relaxing to have someone else do the talking for once.
Someone had told his dad that routine would be good for Stiles so every Saturday afternoon was spent in the gazebo at the local park.
Stiles would work on his terrible art skills while his dad patrolled the park. They’d have a late lunch and then spend the rest of Saturday at home doing their own thing in the same room. Stiles certainly thought that giving up his voice was worth all the time he was getting to spend with his dad.
One Saturday Stiles heard a very familiar voice yelling “Cora Hale, I swear to god, if you beat up one more person while on my watch I’m never taking you to the park again!”
Stiles’ breath caught and he shot to his feet to look around the park, desperately trying to find Peter.
He’d somehow managed to stumble onto a perfect scenario and he definitely had to take advantage of it.
He relaxed slightly when he finally spotted him sitting on a bench across from the swings.
Stiles pulled his folder of Important Drawings from his backpack and flipped through it until he found his clearest picture of a house on fire with vaguely wolf or dog shapes burning on the lawn.
Stiles knew if Doctor Mills ever saw one of his Important Drawings his therapy sessions would increase tenfold so he always made sure to have the really gruesome ones hidden inside the false back he’d put in the folder.
He very carefully folded the paper, just in case his dad happened to see him, and determinedly made his way to Peter.
He took a long deep breath before he lightly tapped Peter on the shoulder. Peter turned to look at him and Stiles was stuck by how young he looked. He was probably in his early twenties and he looked it.
Stiles coughed awkwardly and held out the folded drawing, staring at Peter intently. Peter stared back for a few seconds before taking the paper with a bemused expression.
“What’s this?” he asked, sounding only mildly interested.
Stiles just continued to stare at him, hoping he was coming off as unnerving and memorable so Peter would take the drawing seriously.
Peter unfolded the drawing and stared down at it, taking it in and trying to decipher it’s meaning. His head snapped up and his gaze turned cold when he asked “What does this mean?”
The two stared at each other until Stiles heard his dad calling for him.
“Stiles! There you are! Don’t scare me like that.” his dad said in exasperation. He gently set his had on Stiles’ shoulder and probably would have pulled his back to the gazebo if Peter hadn’t stood up and given him a blinding smile.
“Hello.” he said, holding his hand out to his dad. “Is this your son? Stiles was it?”
His dad looked Peter up and down completely unimpressed with him and Stiles fought back a smile.
“Was my son bothering you?” he asked, frowning at the paper Peter was still holding.
Peter lowered his, no doubt a little disconcerted but not letting his smile drop. “Oh no, he wasn’t bothering me.” Peter said without any indication of what Stiles had been doing if he hadn’t been bothering him.
His dad didn’t look convinced but he also never did anything to discourage Stiles when he was acting like his old self. “Well, have a good afternoon then.” he said lightly pulling Stiles away.
Stiles gave Peter a huge happy grin and an enthusiastic wave as he let his dad pull him away.
Peter dropped his own smile and looked downright suspicious. He didn’t wave back.
Stiles didn’t even try to hide his pleased gloating from his dad as they ate lunch.
Less than a month after Stiles had given Peter a prophetic fourth grader’s drawing Kate Argent was arrested for statutory rape.
Stiles didn’t go out of his way to run into any of the Hales but he still managed to see them constantly.
Cora had apparently seen Stiles hand Peter his drawing because she’d decided that she was going to figure out Stiles and had taken to following him and Scott around, a bit like a puppy but Stiles would never tell her that.
Scott was adorably confused by it all but he accepted her pretty easily.
Laura had tried to convince his dad to let her babysit him and had only quit after Stiles had ripped up not only her homework but also one of her textbooks in a bid to show her that he didn’t need a babysitter.
Derek started sitting at the same table as him at the library. Stiles actually liked this quiet young version of Derek and always gave him a smile and a wave when he saw him.
Derek, Cora, and Laura were all amusing but Peter was Stiles’ favorite. Every Saturday he came to the park and sat in the gazebo with Stiles while they waited for his dad to get off duty.
Peter always brought something to give to Stiles, usually paper to draw on or some sort of drawing instrument. Once he’d even brought a large chunk of oven bake clay.
Stiles always gave him a drawing before he went off to have lunch with his dad, who had long ago given up on making Peter leave Stiles alone.
Most of the time the drawings didn’t make sense to anyone other than Stiles, but Peter always took them like they were incredibly important. Stiles strongly suspected Peter had a folder of his own filled with Stiles’ drawings. For some reason Stiles found that thought incredibly sweet.
Life went on. Stiles never technically graduated high school but that didn’t bother him.
He got better at art and branched out into mediums other than just paper and pencil.
People bought his art.
He got to watch Beacon Hill thrive and his dad live and the Hales take care of the land.
Sometimes he gave Peter a prophetic drawing.
Slowly he learned sign language.
He had no idea why he could sign but he wasn’t going to turn down the gift.
He taught his dad and Peter and Scott and the rest of the Hales.
His life turned out different than he’d been expecting it to be but he eventually decided he was happy.
He never spoke again but he figured his art and his hands spoke enough for him.
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So @stetervault reblogged my tags on that post of @thisdiscontentedwinter about Stiles having a familiar that’s a Chia Pet, and filling out that idea sounded like a better evening than yelling at the next installment of my Empathy Empathy series so that’s what I did.
Blah blah disclaimer that it’s been a long ass day and I literally just say down and pounded this out right now so obvs zero editing has been done LET’S BE REAL NONE OF YOU ARE HERE FOR PROFESSIONAL QUALITY SO WE’RE JUST GONNA ROLL
You Look Familiar
Peter watched Stiles.
It was a thing.
Not a good thing, or a bad thing, or even a particularly strange thing, given who Peter was.
It was just… a thing.
Peter watched Stiles.
No one watched Peter.
It made them too uncomfortable. He’d been resurrected without his familiar and somehow come back more sane rather than less, as was the case with every other documented case of Familiar Death. People could hardly stand to look at him at all, much less watch.
It’s wrong, they whispered. He’s only half a person. Where is his magic, if not kept with his familiar?
They were all waiting for him to snap, waiting for him to return to madness, despite proving that he still had his magic every time he shifted. There was no cure for the willfully ignorant, he supposed.
So rather than dedicating time to worrying about that, he used it to watch Stiles and his familiar, who were currently sitting on the couch in the loft. Stiles patted the small plants sprouting from the turtle shaped Chia Pet he called Aida. He would pat them down gently and watch them spring back, as if he was both petting and playing with it.
Aida sat perfectly still, as always. Never reacting, never interacting. Like it was just a regular Chia Pet.
Peter had wondered, at first, if perhaps Aida were some kind of red herring. Perhaps Stiles’ actual familiar couldn’t travel with him for some reason, so he carried around the Chia Pet to prevent awkward questions. It seemed like a Stiles thing to do.
But Peter had spent too much time with Stiles now, both in his house and everywhere else, to continue thinking that. There were no other familiars in the Stilinski household unless John was home with his ferret, Frances.
The Chia Pet was well and truly Stiles’ familiar.
Derek and Scott continued bickering in the middle of the loft as Peter continued to watch those long pale fingers lovingly brush across the green leaves and terracotta feet.
“Hey Stiles,” Isaac nodded over at Lydia’s goat familiar, “Guinevere's looking pretty hungry, maybe you should give her a snack.” He made a grab for Aida, but Stiles was well used to his jackassery by now, and pulled her away while sending a shock of electricity in Isaac’s direction like a rolled up newspaper.
Isaac yanked his hand away, rubbing the back of it with a sulk on his face. Peter didn’t know why he continued to pull that kind of shit- everyone else thought it was weird, but ignored Stiles’ oddity. Well. Everyone except Peter.
It wasn’t even that Aida wasn’t an animal; that was unusual, but not unheard of. It was just that other plant familiars always exhibited proof of sentience. Vine tendrils that curled around objects, or leaves that shook in morse code- something.
The turtle shaped Chia Pet just… sat there. Chia-ing away.
“No!” Scott yelled, breaking Peter’s concentration. “We have to talk to them, I know they’ll understand us!”
Derek was pinching the bridge of his nose between his eyes.
“I don’t know how to explain ‘zombies’ to you any better, Scott. They don’t understand anything. They’re dead. We need to find the one who’s raising them.”
“They’re not all the way dead, or they wouldn’t be moving around,” Scott said stubbornly. “We have to at least try talking to them.” He looked around the room for support, finding none. “Stiles?” he pleaded.
Stiles shrugged. “Sounds like a double headshot situation to me, dude.”
Scott set his jaw firmly, taking one last glance around the room.
“Fine. I’ll go talk to them alone then. When I come back with a treaty worked out, you’ll have to honor it.”
“Aw, Scott-” Stiles started, but was cut off by the slamming of the door. He sighed, tucking Aida in pocket of his bunny hug and standing.
“Come on, guys, come help me keep him from killing himself.”
Derek’s eyebrows said everything about how much he wanted to do that, but grudgingly got up anyway, leading the others out with him.
Peter, however, stayed right where he was on the stairs.
“I really don’t think we ought to interfere with natural selection, do you?” he said delicately.
Stiles raised an eyebrow.
“Rich words from a guy who died. Come on Zombiewolf, they’re your people! If anyone can pull off Scott’s dumbass idea to communicate, it’ll be you!” He grinned cheesily.
Peter remained unmoved.
“Help me keep my bro alive and I’ll help with the translation of that Polish Bestiary you got last month. I know you’re only three pages in. If Scott doesn’t die, I’ll have the whole thing translated in two weeks.”
He reached out to shake on it and then used the leverage to pull himself up. He leaned in to rub his cheek against Stiles’, conscious of the way Stiles allowed it- perhaps even leaned into it a little.
“You should have held out for at least another two favors,” he whispered into Stiles’ ear. “I’ve been cursing at that book all week.”
He tried to tamp down his smile at the shiver and chuckle that Stiles responded with.
Peter tugged his hand to pull them both out of the loft.
“Let’s go help the idiot squad.”
In a turn of events that surprised exactly one person, Scott was already in trouble when they arrived.
Claws out, eyes flashing, he was tearing away at the zombies as they shambled into his space, slow and unstoppable.
Everyone jumped into the fray immediately, but it was like the zombies were appearing from thin air. There were just so many. The pack could drop one, and three would take its place.
The zombies had little to no motor coordination, but they pressed with their whole body, leaning in to incapacitate while another tried to bite. Fighting while feeling so suffocated led to a panicked defense rather than a planned attack.
Even Peter and Derek were struggling; their arms couldn’t get enough movement for their claws to be truly effective. Dread clogged Peter’s throat- this couldn’t be it, he’d come back from the dead once, he wasn’t going to go out a second time by zombie-
One long arm raised above the mass of bodies, green and tan gripped in the fist held aloft. Everyone in the pack watched as the arm pulled back, flew forward, and Stiles released Aida mid-air.
The moment held, suspended, as everyone looked on in horror, expecting Stiles’ familiar to shatter against the first object she hit. Shards of terracotta, scattered bits of green and seeds- the companion of Stiles’ magic, destroyed.
Orange and black, growing larger so quickly that no one could track it with their eyes. One moment, there was a flying Chia Pet, the next, a mother fucking tiger was landing on the ground with an earth shaking roar.
Rotting bodies flew left and right, the heads being severed by huge claws and an even huger jaw. The sudden breathing room gave everyone in the pack a perfect view on the tiger absolutely shredding the hordes of zombies that had been their imminent demise just a minute ago.
The whole ordeal took less than five.
When they were surrounded by bodies, Stiles moseying along and whacking the heads off of the occasional twitcher, the tiger finally sat down and began cleaning herself. He walked right up to her and ran his fingers through her ruff.
“Thanks Aida,” he said casually. She turned her head to lick his face.
“Oh, gross, you were just using that tongue to clean zombie guts off of yourself!” he yelled, wiping his face with his sleeve.
Aida let out a deep rumbly sound that may have been the tiger equivalent of a laugh, before giving her claws one last lick. Then she turned around and leapt toward Stiles, transforming mid-air once again before landing in Stiles’ arms as a turtle Chia Pet once again.
Peter peered a little more closely.
She was a sheep this time.
Stiles brought her up to his face, nuzzling into her and gently patting the tiny green plants as he usually did. Only this time, everyone watched Aida rub her little terracotta body up against his cheek affectionately.
He tucked her away in the pocket of his bunnyhug again and looked up at the pack, who were still staring.
Stiles smiled angelically.
“I thought she was a fucking Chia Pet,” Isaac burst out indignantly.
Stiles looked at him, eyebrow raised.
“She is. You just saw her turn back into one.”
“Anyway, I need a shower,” Stiles cut in, blatantly ignoring him as he walked away. “Peter, your apartment is closest. You can let me in with a key or I can break in, your choice.”
Peter hurried after him, knowing he wasn’t joking.
“You are absolutely not using my good towels-”
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For your birthday prompt fest (and you are completely free to ignore this if it's not your boat), Steve gets very, very stressed out by SHIELD bullshit and Tony decides that he's going to do something to ease that stress. Take that however you'd like.
Surprisingly, I took this the soft way :P Thank you so much for the prompt!!
“I don’t know how many more times I can say that it won’t work -” Steve’s jaw snapped closed as Hill cut him off yet again.
“But, Cap, we haven’t considered all the angles.”
Tony watched Steve ratchet tighter. It was like every one of his gears was rusting before Tony’s eyes, clenching and catching and creaking. Creases that Steve’s perfect face usually didn’t display appeared at the corner of his eyes. His hands clenched into fists at his sides, then released, then clenched again.
Every time Steve spoke, Hill or Fury or Rumblow would interrupt, and Tony had given up on trying to interject on his behalf, besides, this meeting had gone on way past Tony’s expertise and solidly into military strategy. He wished, not for the first time, that Rhodey were here.
But more, he wished that there was something he could do for Steve.
He didn’t know Steve that well, not yet. They’d been working together for a while, but Steve was hard to get close to. He was closed off and quiet - always polite, but Tony could see more and more the toll that playing everything close to his chest was taking on him. And he didn’t seem to have someone, like Tony’s Pepper and Rhodey, to vent to, to be himself with, to leach some comfort from.
Instead, Steve wound tighter and tighter, and Tony was an engineer; he knew what came next.
Captain America breaking wouldn’t be pretty, might not be something he could come back from. But what could Tony do? He didn’t have anything to give. He didn’t have the answers, and he didn’t have the right words of comfort. He could hardly relate to being frozen for seventy years and waking up in a new world where everything was different and everyone was gone.
Steve slapped a palm flat on the table to punctuate his words, legs tensing like he was going to stand, but he sunk back down, his other hand clenching and releasing again by his side. Hill, Fury, and Rumlow were getting more and more visibly frustrated, and none of them seemed to notice that Steve’s rope was stretched extremely thin.
Tony shifted in his chair beside Steve, itching to - something. Fix it. Tony was a fixer, the mechanic. He wanted to fix Steve, but this wasn’t his strong suit - hurting, angry, lonely people. He was good at being one of them, and if he knew how to fix it, he’d probably have started with himself. As it was, he cycled through everything Jarvis had ever said to him when he was angry. None of it seemed to apply. Steve had the right to be angry; he should be furious.
Tony’s eyes flicked around the room again, the tension a heavy weight in the air. He sighed heavily, but no one seemed to notice. Steve’s legs had tensed up again - whether to fling himself across the table and punch Rumlow or to turn tail and flee for Mexico, Tony wasn’t sure.
Pepper would hug him. Pepper would just take Steve by the shoulder and tug him in and hug him. But Tony couldn’t do that in the middle of a meeting, and he wasn’t sure Steve was going to make it til the end. He also wasn’t sure he’d make it through that unpunched, considering how wound up Steve was right now.
Yet still… Tony’s fingers itched…
Eyes fixed under the table, between them, Tony slid his hand out across his thigh and wrapped his fingers around Steve’s fist. Steve startled, his hand opening out of sheer surprise, and Tony took the chance to thread their fingers together. He squeezed, heart at a standstill in his chest.
Steve turned and stared at him, wide-eyed, the others so distracted by their yelling that they didn’t seem to notice the two Avengers suddenly blinking at one another.
Tony squeezed again, trying to pour into it everything that he could. His cheeks heated under Steve’s startled gaze. Then Steve’s eyes softened, his shoulders drooped, and he let out a shaky exhale.
He squeezed back.
Tony stayed silent for the rest of the meeting. He was offering all he could. And Steve’s hand stayed locked in his the entire time, held onto him almost desperately, a lifeline. It wasn’t much, but Tony watched with deep relief as the rust on Steve’s gears softened and slipped away - not entirely, but a little bit. It was better than nothing; it was all Tony had to give.
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The first thing Kate does when she comes back to Beacon Hills is kidnap Peter. Human!Alpha Stiles, eventual Steter, pre-slash:
“Malia?” Stiles scrambles to his feet, pulling open the window. Malia tumbles in, eyes a preternatural blue, limbs shaking. Her breaths come quickly, as though she had run a very long way or was about to hyperventilate.
“Peter,” she gasps out, staring up at him with big, scared eyes. Her nails were already claws, her fangs pushing out halfway and then retracting. Stiles hasn’t seen her have this much trouble controlling her shift in months. “Stiles, she took my dad!”
Stiles doesn’t have to ask to know who ‘she’ is. They’ve been tracking Kate to the best of their ability since Mexico, but so far there had only been rumors to go off of. Out of the two mercenaries Stiles had hired to kill her, one had been unable to track her down and the other had never been in contact again and was presumed dead. Stiles had flagged the bank account he transferred partial payment into and the money had never been withdrawn, and recently one of the few supernatural contacts Stiles had managed to accumulate over the past year had mentioned a body was recovered along the border to Mexico.
Stiles had been keeping tabs on Peter, too, but it wasn’t like they were close.
He had gone with Malia to inform Peter of Kate’s continued existence, but that was mostly due to the fact that Stiles hadn’t known how the man would react and didn’t want him to hurt Malia in an outburst of aggression. Fortunately, Peter’s reaction to the news had been staring very intently at the wall behind Stiles’ head as if he could ignite it with his gaze, and eventually Stiles had left Malia alone with him after answering all the questions he could.
“Breathe, Malia,” Stiles instructs, pulling her to him. She takes a deep breath into his shoulder, claws puncturing the back of his flannel, and he rubs circles into her back like his mother used to do to settle him after a panic attack. “I swear that we’ll find him.”
He doesn’t - can’t - promise that they’ll find him in time, though. Stiles doesn’t lie to Malia.
Not if he can help it.
It takes four hours after Malia’s burst into his room to track down Peter. They try tracing his cell phone (turned off), smelling him out (he was transported in a vehicle), and finally Stiles resorts to cashing in a favor from a local witch for a scrying spell.
They meet at a hut in the preserve, which is basically the midway point between their locations, and Stiles hands her Peter’s favorite v-neck to use for the scrying. It burns during the ritual, but Stiles figures Peter will prefer his life to the henley, no matter how much it brought out his eyes.
Kate is woefully unprepared for them. She clearly hadn’t expected anybody to care enough to come looking, and she has no clue who Malia is, which is a point in Peter’s favor. It’s not like Stiles really thinks he’d ever spill his secrets to Kate, of all people, but still. That kind of loyalty is something Stiles respects, even if Peter likes to pretend he’s only loyal to himself.
“So,” Stiles says, after he’s put a bullet between Kate’s eyes and burned the wolfsbane out of Peter, “we may have destroyed your favorite v-neck. On the upside, Kate doesn’t seem like she’ll be crawling back to life anytime soon.”
Stiles eyes her corpse thoughtfully. “Though we should probably dismember her or something, just to be sure.”
Malia’s laugh is a bright, victorious thing as she throws herself at her dazed father, nuzzling into his neck. Peter goes from staring at Stiles to blinking down at Malia, seemingly at a loss.
“...The blue one?” he asks eventually. His voice is raspy, quite probably from screaming. Stiles frowns at the thought, passing Peter an unopened water bottle from his pack.
“The blue one,” he confirms, clasping Malia’s shoulder and urging her up. “Get him to the jeep, Lia - there are some granola bars in the glove box. I’ll take care of this.”
Malia stands and pulls Peter to his feet easily, keeping a hand wrapped around his wrist even as she leans forward and scent marks Stiles.
“Thank you,” she whispers into his neck. Stiles smiles, briefly sliding their cheeks together before pulling back to meet her gaze. She looks settled in a way she hasn’t in hours, no trace of supernatural blue in her eyes.
“You’re mine and he’s yours,” he says, because it really is that simple. Malia might not be family by blood, but she’s the family he chose. “Now go.”
“Why did you come?” Peter asks.
Malia had dozed off against his shoulder after the emotional day, and Stiles had just gotten back from spilling her into his bed and piling on the blankets. Peter’s sitting at the bar stool for the kitchen, right where Stiles left him.
“Malia would be sad if you died,” he says, because it’s true even if it wasn’t the whole truth.
“And you?” Peter asks, watching him intently. Stiles licks his lips, eyes darting away.
“I would be annoyed,” he concedes.
Peter looks skeptical. “That you didn’t get the pleasure yourself?”
“Peter, if I didn’t plan on you sticking around I never would have told Malia to give you a chance.”
Peter looks taken aback. Stiles doesn’t trust it; he must’ve figured out how much influence Stiles had on his daughter by now. Or maybe… did he think Malia had approached him without Stiles’ blessing?
Oh, that was so cute.
“Why would you do that?”
Stiles shrugs. “Family is important. I figured the both of you could use some.”
That hadn’t been all of his reasoning, but it was at the core of it. Peter not becoming an Omega and Malia finding a pack and getting the help of a born werewolf with her shifting was just a perk.
“What is it that you want, Stiles?”
“I want to protect the people I care about,” Stiles said plainly. “You’re clever, Peter, and you have knowledge that could help me do that. But I’ve managed so far, and while your help would make some things simpler, I don’t particularly need it.”
I’m just gonna drop this here. Blame @cywscross, I’m on a re-reading binge again and her Human Alpha Stiles story (semper fidelis) is one of my favorites. Not-To-Be-Continued! I’m ‘working’ on my Banshee Stiles stories. Can anyone out there beat 1 wpm?
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Aftr TWS Bucky finds 5yo Hydra made w his DNA. For kids safety lets Steve find & move into Tower, but keeps to self. When Stv goes MIA Bky must go after him. He dsn't know Tony well, but hes been kind when workn on arm & Stv trusts him, so he thrusts his kid on a confused Tony (please details of Tony babysitting!). B&S home safe. Wk latr & Bky's kid keeps askn when they can do more science! w Tony & play w the bots again. Bky caves & asks bemused Tony. Playdates lead to real dates & happy family
Crossing Bridges - Prologue
Prologue: Tony | Chapter 1
“Thank you, really,” Barnes says, again, for at least the tenth time in the last two minutes. He hangs a tiny Phineas and Ferb backpack on one of the hooks on the coat rack just inside Tony’s door, and deposits a bigger, plain black gym bag on the floor underneath it. “Everythin’ he needs is in the bag, his stuff for daycare’s in his backpack. Nat’s pickin’ me up in ten, one of us ‘s goin’ to contact you once we know more. Thank you, for doin’ this. I appreciate it.”
With that, and a brief squeeze of Tony’s shoulder, Barnes is gone. Tony stares out into the empty hallway, blinking slowly, for several long moments after the elevator’s left his floor, before he manages to collect himself, and push the door closed with his elbow.
Because his hands are full, holding Barnes’ sleeping son. Who Tony’s responsible for, now, for the foreseeable future. Even though he never actually agreed to it. He doesn’t think he said anything at all, actually, in the barely five minutes it had taken Barnes to bang on his door, storm into his apartment, explain the situation, and drop a small, vulnerable, breakable human in Tony’s arms.
“Oh, god,” Tony says, then stiffens when that makes the kid—Zachariah, Barnes had introduced him as Zachariah the one and only time Tony had seen him, when Barnes had moved them in two weeks ago—squirm, and frown in his sleep. Softening his voice, Tony murmurs, “Ssh, it’s okay, go back to sleep. Uh. Please?”
Zachariah makes a grumbly noise, and turns his face into Tony’s neck, but, thankfully, doesn’t wake up. He is getting heavy, though, so Tony, very carefully, walks over to the couch, and sits down gingerly. Zachariah stays asleep through it, and Tony breathes out a sigh of relief.
People who aren’t ready for parenthood have kids all the time, and not all of those kids take permanent emotional damage away from it. And Tony only needs to look after Zachariah for a couple of days, probably, hopefully; it’s not like he can screw the poor kid up in that amount of time. He’ll feed him, and do pretty much the opposite of everything Howard did, and they should be just fine until Barnes comes back home.
And if Tony keeps telling himself that, he might even start to believe it, eventually.
Not wanting to risk Zachariah waking up, Tony stays on the couch, happy to discover that there’s one of his StarkPads within reach. If he leans back a little, Zachariah can lie on his chest, and Tony even has his hands free. He brings up the details of Steve’s current mission, and settles in to read.
It’s when he’s going through Steve’s latest status update that Zachariah begins to stir. Tony holds his breath, even though he knows it’s a dumb thing to do—the kid’s hardly going to sleep through until Barnes comes home—but it’s no use. Zachariah lifts his head, looking around, bleary-eyed and confused.
“Daddy?” he asks, sounding incredibly small.
“Hey, buddy,” Tony says, and tries to smile reassuringly. He’s not sure how successful he is when Zachariah’s eyes widen, his small fingers tightening subconsciously in Tony’s shirt. “Do you remember me? I’m Tony, a—a friend of Barnes. Your dad.”
Zachariah doesn’t need to know that Tony and Barnes have exchanged maybe ten sentences since Barnes and Zachariah have moved in, almost exclusively all of them revolving around the logistics of the move, or about pending upgrades to Barnes’ prosthesis.
A little unsure, Zachariah nods. He sucks two of his fingers into his mouth, silently staring up at Tony.
Tony puts a tentative hand on top of Zachariah’s head, stroking it gently over his hair when Zachariah doesn’t pull away. “Your dad had to go, uh. Help. Your uncle Steve. With work. And he asked me to spend some time with you, while he’s gone. Does that sound okay?”
Zachariah bursts into tears.
- Potrix | AO3
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Expecto Patronum (1/7)
I wanted to indulge myself by writing a Harry Potter AU! This is going to be the first work in the series, just seven short chapters of happiest memories of all those characters. It serves a bit to set the scene for the rest of the AU. The AU is going to be mostly about Keith and Lance and their relationship, but I do want to give everyone chances in the spotlight for this one. I’m going to be posting one of these parts every day for a week: Lance, Hunk, Pidge, Shiro, Allura, Lotor, Keith in order. Basically, this first fic is just going to be the happiest memories they all think of when casting their patronuses. Special thanks to @lovely-little-lucifer @weasleywitch394 and @elsiemcclay for letting me talk about this AU before I posted it!
Read On AO3 and look at the ending notes if you want to know the houses I chose/their ages in relation to each other, and feel free to ask if you have questions about my choices. I hope you enjoy!
My happiest memory, Lance thought. One immediately came to mind. Funnily enough, his happiest memory started out sad, which was kind of fitting.
Though Lance's life had mostly been smooth sailing, the shores from which he came had been rocky, and at first it seemed like he'd never catch wind of any luck. But, as Professor Alfor often said, there could never be true joy without the existence of true sorrow.
Maybe that's why this memory was at the forefront of his mind the second he tried to come up with a happy one.
Because the contrast was so strong, when his feelings changed abruptly from hopelessness to hope.
He squeezed his eyes shut, picturing it.
Lance lifted up a hand, as if he could touch the glittering night sky, if only he could stretch far enough.
That night, the stars shined just past the reach of his fingertips.
“What're you up to out here, little dude? There's a storm coming. You're gonna get caught in the rain.”
Lance tilted his head back to see Marco standing over him, a lopsided grin on his face.
Marco was the closest in age to Lance out of his three siblings, and had just returned to Cuba from his first year at Hogwarts, along with Luis and Veronica in their fourth and sixth years, respectively.
Lance hated to be without them for nine months, but he wasn't exactly happy when they came back either, full to the brim with everything they'd learned and gushing to anyone who would listen.
It just made him jealous. And that made him feel guilty. But Lance couldn't help it.
He wanted to go to Hogwarts with them. He wanted to have a wand, and learn spells, and play quidditch.
Lance wanted to be a wizard, too.
But he was eight years old now, and he'd never done anything magical. Long before this age, or so he'd heard, his siblings had wreaked accidental havoc with their own powers. Whenever his extended family came to visit, especially his mom's side, he heard whispers.
“The boy's a Squib. No better than his Muggle father.”
“I told her she shouldn't have married him. What a waste.”
Lance hated his apparent lack of magic. He hated that anyone would compare him to his good-for-nothing, non-magic father who'd left his mom with four kids to take care of on her own.
He hated the idea that he would be left behind by the family he had— all magical, all talented, all so much better than him. He hated that he couldn't do anything about any of it, because he was just a useless kid.
Lance didn't say any of that to Marco, though. He just turned his head back to the sky, and narrowed his eyes. “Stargazing,” he declared, as if it were his job. Marco snorted.
“You've always loved the stars,” he said. “Ever since you were a little baby. What's that thing mom always says? Dispara por la luna, y siquiera si fallas, vas a atterizar entre las estrellas.”
Lance sighed. “Yeah, but I can't shoot for anything, not like this. That's not why I like looking at the stars, anyway.”
“I like them because they sparkle,” Lance said softly, voice barely a whisper. “The stars are like magic.”
“Magic is more than just the sparkles and spells, Lance. It's about what's in here,” Marco tapped a finger to his own heart, then one to Lance's. “Magic is within us.”
“It's not within me,” Lance mumbled, an edge of bitterness slicing into his voice. “I'm just... useless.”
“Hey,” Marco sat down beside him, concern furrowing his brow. “You are anything but useless, Lance.”
“If I'm a Squib like everyone says, and I can't do magic, then I'm useless,” Lance shot back. “Just... just like dad.”
Marco's face fell. “Dad... yeah, maybe he wasn't the right kind of muggle. But even if you don't turn out to have magic, you're still special, Lance. You can still do great things.”
Lance raised an eyebrow at him skeptically. “Like what? I want to go to Hogwarts with you, I want to be a wizard like you. What could I ever do that's as good as magic?”
Marco sighed, glanced up at the stars, and then lied down beside him.
“Listen, Lance,” he said, voice soft. “When you look up at the sky, what do you see?”
“Magic,” Lance repeated, his young mind stubbornly clinging to the idea.
“Maybe that's what you see,” Marco said, with a small laugh. “And that's what a lot of other people thought too, at first. Nobody questioned the presence of lights in the sky. Until someone realized that those lights? They're so much more than that. They're millions of miles away, and the center of their own solar systems. There are whole other worlds out there, worlds we didn't have any idea even existed until someone figured it out, and changed the facts forever. You know who did that?”
Lance gave him a small smile. “Some muggle?”
Marco ruffled his hair, with a huff of laughter. “Yeah. A whole bunch of muggles. Just because they can't do magic doesn't mean they can't change the world. And those discoveries made it possible for people to chart the stars, which is the basis for classes at Hogwarts like Astronomy, which I took, or Divination, which Veronica loves.”
“Really?” Lance asked, and his eyes were so hopeful and bright in that moment that they looked like the stars.
“Really,” Marco told him, with a grin that quickly Lance returned. “Everything is connected, even muggles and wizards. Like the constellations the stars make in the sky.” He pointed up, tracing the invisible lines in the air with a finger, creating pictures made of light.
“Wow.” Lance's voice was hushed. He reached up his own hand once again, fingers outstretched to catch them. The stars seemed closer, somehow.
They were both silent for a moment, just looking up at the sky as if it held all the answers.
And in a strange way, it did.
Marco sat up suddenly, and Lance fought down his disappointment. It had grown late, and Lance knew they should be heading inside. “Thanks, Marco,” he said. “That made me feel a bit better. I guess even if I never develop any magic, it wouldn't be so bad. But I... I still want to go to Hogwarts, like you, and Luis, and Veronica, and mom... I can't help it.”
Lance expected Marco to call him selfish, to accuse him of not listening. He wouldn't blame him, but... even if it was impossible, Lance couldn't help what his heart longed for.
“I don't think you need to worry about that,” Marco said instead, voice awestruck and breathy.
Lance turned to him in confusion. “What do you mean?” But even before Marco said anything, he'd already seen it.
Torrents of water were falling from above, soaking into the sand everywhere. Everywhere, except for where the two of them sat.
Lance sprang to his feet, and Marco looked at him, eyes wide. “This is the only spot where it's not raining.”
“Stargazing is better for clear skies,” Lance whispered, still staring out across the beach. He looked down at himself, trying to make sense of how he could still be entirely dry.
“When... when you said there was a storm coming, I thought to myself that stargazing is a lot better when the skies are clear. But...”
He looked up, and the stars above them were still entirely visible, while other parts of the sky were completely concealed.
“How?” Lance asked, of no one in particular.
He took a few steps forward, and then broke into a stumbling run across the sand. It was wet under his feet, but even as he ran to the place where seconds ago the downpour seemed endless, not a single drop fell on him.
He turned around only to see that Marco was already drenched. He didn't seem to care, though. “Lance...” he murmured. “You... you have magic...”
“Magic?” Lance echoed in disbelief.
His brother nodded. “That's gotta be it. You subconsciously created some sort of shield between you and the rain, so you could keep stargazing. You... you must have magic, and a lot of it too, if you can pull off something like that.”
“Magic?” Lance said again, staring down at his hands. They shook with his excitement. And they were still dry. “I... Marco, I'm doing MAGIC!”
“And you're damn good at it! Mom's going to be so proud!” Marco said, thrilled and momentarily forgetting that he probably shouldn't curse in front of his eight year old brother.
“I'm... I'M MAGIC!” Lance declared, shouting the word again as if it meant everything and nothing all at once. “I'M MAGIC!” He could hear Marco laughing at his sheer joy, and Lance was laughing too.
Laughing, because he didn't know what else to do with all the feelings building up inside him. Everything he'd ever wanted, everything he'd ever prayed for, had just been granted to him in a split second, and it was wonderful, yet terrifying, and so, so exciting he could hardly breathe.
So, he continued to run down the beach, tearing a path through the rain as he went, for it still wouldn't touch him.
The spell was finally broken when Lance ran into the ocean, but he was too happy to care about the sudden water soaking through his clothes and into his skin from above and below. He was too happy to be affected by the chills it brought to his small frame, and he didn't care that the storm clouds finally covered up the stars and sealed off all light from reaching them, descending the night into near pitch blackness.
Because in that moment, everything in Lance's world was bright, and shining, and magical.
Marco hoisted his younger brother up onto his back, and began to walk back up the beach. “Come on,” he said, with a smile. “We should head back. You can tell the others how spectacular you are.”
“Because of the magic?”
Marco shook his head. “I'm glad you finally found it. But like I said before, you're something special, Lance, regardless of your magic. Don't ever forget that.”
Lance opened his eyes, and gasped at what he saw before him.
A dolphin, made out of light that shimmered and sent a pang of nostalgia through him, sailed through the air. It swam circles in an invisible sea around him, graceful, playful, and content to just exist. He reached out hand to touch it, and came away with nothing but light and a feeling of lasting joy as his patronus faded into nothingness.
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#8 roommates au for stevetony pleaaseee ❤💙
save, saving, saved, g, 1.3k | “roommate au” + stony bingo prompt fill “chronic hero syndrome ” | on ao3
Steve pads out of his bedroom and stops when he sees Tony in the kitchen, leaning against the counter as he types on his phone. The kettle is beginning to sing, and Tony huffs and drops his phone before turning off the flame.
“It’s four in the morning.”
Tony looks up at Steve with a start. “I wanted noodles.”
Steve sighs and massages his temples before walking to the fridge and pulling out a bottle of water. “Do you rest? Ever?” He asks, after taking a drink.
“Why are you acting surprised, honestly,” Tony says, not looking at Steve as he tears open a foil flavor packet with his teeth and dunks its powdery contents into a steaming bowl.
Steve stifles a yawn and leans his hip against the counter. “You know,” he starts. Tony’s head tilts to his phone, which buzzes with a notification. Steve very gently lays his hand over it, making Tony look up at him. “You know, you don’t have to do everything.”
Tony’s lips quirk into a condescending smile. “But I can, so.”
Steve slides Tony’s phone closer to himself, and Tony lunges forward, reaching out for it. “Hey—”
“Go to sleep,” Steve says firmly.
“You know I can access my messages from my laptop,” Tony says, taking a step back and reestablishing acceptable space between them.
Steve smirks at Tony. “Thanks for the tip,” he says as he pockets Tony’s phone and runs to Tony’s room. Tony realizes what he’s done a second too late, and he fumbles around the furniture as he tries to beat Steve to his room.
Steve hugs Tony’s laptop to his chest, smiling triumphantly.
Tony narrows his eyes at the abject betrayal. “I have important stuff to do, Steve.”
“Yeah, like eat your noodles and go to bed.”
Tony scrunches up his face and walks back to the kitchen, dragging his feet. Steve follows, smiling all the while.
“I hate you,” Tony says, and begins noisily eating his noodles. “Do you want some,” he asks, tone flat.
Steve shakes his head in response. “No you don’t,” he says, a teasing grin still on his face.
Tony rolls his eyes and turns back to his noodles. “No, I don’t,” he murmurs under his breath.
“How was your day?” Steve doesn’t even turn to look when Tony enters the apartment, can tell who it is from the heavy sigh that follows once the door clicks shut.
“Which part of it?” Tony groans, dumping his bags on the floor then falling, face-first, onto the couch.
Steve reduces the heat on the stove and walks up to Tony. After a few seconds of being disregarded, Steve pokes him in the shoulder. “I’m making spaghetti.”
Tony makes a broken sound, then turns up to smile weakly at Steve. “You’re my favorite, you know?”
Steve grins. “Yeah, I know.” As he continues cooking, he can hear the tell-tale signs of Tony resuming work—whichever aspect of work that may be. Steve knows he’s helping with Stark Industries already, developing designs for his dad. But he knows too that Tony’s helping out with more than a few school organizations; from what he remembers, he’d offered to help automate student council elections, set up the website of the Herald, and was helping some mechanical engineering freshmen with their projects as a favor to one of their professors. On top of that, he managed to volunteer time for the advocacy groups, too—donating money and setting up partnerships.
Tony’s in the middle of a call by the time the food’s ready. Steve waves his hand at Tony, who is standing by the window, pacing.
Tony raises his eyes in response and holds a finger up, and Steve sits down with a sigh. Tony was doing too much. Ever since they became roommates, he was always doing too much, and a small part of him feels that Tony only suggested that they become roommates because Steve had asked. Which is to say, Tony never said no to anyone who asked anything of him.
“Sorry,” Tony says, sliding onto the seat opposite Steve and almost slamming his phone, face down, onto the table.
Tony rests his head in his hands, and sighs again.
“Thanks for cooking.”
“You’re welcome,” Steve grins, and they tuck in. “You still have work to do?”
“Yeah I have a few more lines of code left to do for the website, and then I can send it off to beta testing. Then I can start revisions on the system for elections, and, well. You know. How are you, though? How was your day?”
Steve looks up from his food and cocks his head. “Fine. Working on a new painting.”
“Can I see?”
“Yeah, when I’m done,” Steve says with a laugh.
They’re silent for a while.
“You sure you can’t take a break tonight?” Steve asks.
“Oh, why? Something urgent?”
“No,” Steve says, shaking his head and sighing. “You just seem really tired.”
“Well,” Tony says, noncommittal. “You know.”
“Yeah, I know.”
It’s happened often enough that when Steve finds Tony passed out on the couch, he doesn’t make a fuss. Instead, just gets a blanket from Tony’s room and drapes it over him.
Today he feels a little kinder than usual, so he adjusts Tony’s head on the pillow, and leaves a glass of water beside him.
It’s another ungodly hour in the morning when Steve finds Tony working in the kitchen. When Tony sees him, he turns away and stifles a sniffle.
“Are you okay?” Steve asks, rushing toward him.
“Yeah,” Tony murmurs, still turned away from Steve.
“Hey.” Steve gently turns Tony to face him, recognizing that Tony doesn’t have a cold—he’s crying.
“I’m just really tired,” Tony says, laughing despite the tears running down his cheeks. “But I’m okay.”
“If this is okay, then I’d hate to see what bad is,” Steve says, smiling a little. He hands Tony a paper towel, and Tony blows his nose noisily. “Wanna talk about it?”
“No, it’s fine, I really need to finish this thing,” Tony says, waving his hand around and gesturing vaguely to his laptop.
“No, you don’t,” Steve says, wrapping an arm around Tony’s waist. “C’mere.” He leads them to the couch and sits Tony back down. He doesn’t need to say anything—Tony immediately buries his face in Steve’s shoulder and lets out another soft whimper, like he’s holding it back.
“I know I sound insane because I took all of this on and I’m just—I’m trying, and it’s hard, and it shouldn’t be, and it wouldn’t be so hard if I just stopped crying,” Tony says, all in one breath. “It’s dumb, you can laugh,” he adds wetly.
“I’m not laughing,” Steve says soothingly, rubbing a hand up and down Tony’s back. He’s never seen Tony cry before, and it makes a lump form in his throat, but he pushes past it.
They sit like that for a while, almost tangled together.
“You shouldn’t beat yourself up like this,” Steve says, after a while.
“I know, I know,” Tony says harshly. He pushes himself off Steve’s chest and looks up at him. “But I know that I can, too.”
Steve shakes his head softly, and pulls Tony back, worried that at any moment Tony would scamper away and take his laptop with him. “You need to say no to people, Tony.”
“But I can do it,” Tony insists, but he tucks his head closer against Steve’s shoulder.
“I know you can.” Steve breathes in, steadies himself, and then runs a hand through Tony’s hair. “But not all at once.”
Tony sags against him, letting out a deep breath. They fall into silence, again, and the next thing Steve knows he jolts awake because his head was falling forward.
Tony’s still tucked against him, breathing softly against Steve’s neck.
Steve smiles to himself, settling into the couch and tightening his embrace around Tony. If this is what it takes to get Tony to sleep, then he doesn’t mind at all.
send me a number and i’ll write you a short au
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“Dude, it’s going to work,” Scott urged. Stiles loved his bro, but he was an idiot sometimes. He’s seen too many movies where magic’s gone wrong. “Stiles, you’re magic. You heard Deaton. If anyone can do this, it’s you.”
“We’re talking about cleansing a super powerful Nemeton of its evil. That’s not some parlor trick with mountain ash. I really think we should let the other’s know, at least, so if we blow up the town they know what happened.”
Scott rolled his eyes. “It’s not going to blow up the town. You got that spell, right? Besides, since when are you into asking for permission?”
Stiles rolled his eyes. “I just want to go on record saying that I think this is a bad idea. I’m still going to do it, but I think it’s still bad idea.”
He stepped forward to the Nemeton, standing before it solidly. He closed his eyes, easily honing in on the taint swirling around the magic. He tried to weave his magic into the darkness, thinking cleansing thoughts.
“It worked!” he shouted, surprised, feeling the darkness recede like a falling tide. Scott grinned and held up his hand for a high five. Stiles reached out, but before he could slap it he felt a jerk, like a hook setting into his skin. “What the–” he muttered, just before being yanked into the darkness.
When he opened his eyes, it was dark and he was alone. He sat up, looking down to feel the rough grain of the Nemeton. He frowned.
“Scott?” he called out. Did he seriously abandon him out here after he’d passed out?
He grumbled his displeasure, Allison had probably called, the flake, brushing himself off before heading in the direction back for where he’d parked his jeep.
Stiles froze when he came into the clearing where the burned out Hale house stood, only to see no burned out house. Well, there was a house; it just wasn’t burnt down.
“How the hell…” he murmured, a creeping suspicion coming into his mind. There was just no way though. Time travel wasn’t real, dammit!
The door opened and out came a boy probably just a few years older than him. His eyes held suspicion even as he practically swaggered his way.
Oh no. Stiles knew that swagger.
“Hello,” the boy spoke smoothly. “Long way from home?”
“Oh fuck no,” Stiles stated, serious. “You hear me?” He was shouting now, turning to yell back in the direction of the Nemeton, uncaring if he sounded crazy. “I deal with a lot of shit but I draw the line at time travel!”
“Time travel?” The boy who could be no one but one young Peter Hale asked.
Stiles looked over to see an older woman come out of the house, concern and wariness on her features. She had to be Talia.
“Who is this?” she asked, coming closer.
“Not sure. He’s been talking about time travel,” Peter stated, obviously holding a note of sass in his voice. Stiles whirled on his, pointing his finger at this.
“Oh I don’t want to hear it, zombiewolf. More than half of the shit I’ve had to deal with is your fault so you can kindly fuck off.”
Peter blinked. “Zombiewolf?” he repeated.
Talia frowned. “Perhaps we should go inside and figure out what’s going on?” she suggested.
Stiles sighed, slumping. “Why does this always happened to me?” he grumbled, walking towards the house and mostly ignoring the two wolves who were looking at each other concerned behind his back.
Stiles stepped into the house and immediately went for the dining room, collapsing into a chair and running his hands through his hair. “This is so ridiculous. Fucking McFly shit. Time travel. Ha. My life is a bad sci-fi movie.”
“Excuse me…,um, we haven’t caught your name,” Talia asked, taking a seat at the table. Peter sat next to her, looking fascinated.
“Stiles,” he introduced. “And Talia, right? You’re the Alpha,” he spoke, nodded in acknowledgment.
Talia’s eyes flashed red in surprise, staring at Stiles now warily. “What are you talking about?”
Stiles sighed again. “Basically? I’m from the future. I was trying to cleanse the Nemeton of its darkness, but apparently it brought me back to the time before it became tainted in the first place. Joy. Scottie’s going to love this.” Stiles stiffened. “Shit. My dad’s going to kill me.”
“You’re from the future?” Peter spoke, curiously.
Stiles nodded. “Yeah.” He paused, thoughtful. “I wonder if I’m supposed to stop all the bad shit from happening? That would keep it from being tainted…but wouldn’t there be a butterfly effect? What would happen to my time, I wonder?”
“What’s going to happen?” Talia asked, frowning.
Stiles bit his lip, studying her. He looked around the house. Could he really doom this whole family by not telling them? He didn’t think he could live with himself if he didn’t try. He’d find a way back to his dad either way, he was sure of it. Deaton had said belief was the main part of magic, anyways.
His eyes settled on Peter. “Has Ennis bitten Paige yet?” he asked. Peter’s eyes widened as Talia looked from Stiles to him.
“What?” she demanded.
“Um. No,” Peter answered, shrinking a bit under his sister’s glare.
Stiles nodded. “Okay, cool. Don’t do that. She’ll reject it.”
“Reject it? But she’s perfectly healthy,” Peter denied. “There’s no reason for the Bite to not take.”
Stiles shrugged. “No clue, dude, I wasn’t there. I just know the story. It’s not a happy one.” He glanced around. “Not at all. Trust me. We’re talking mass murder, psychopaths, revenge killing sprees–yes, as in plural–random supernaturals popping up and other not-good things.” He frowned. “Of course, that’s assuming Paige’s death is what lead to the whole Kate thing. I kind of think it was a strong factor, so I’m working under that premise.”
“Kate thing?” Peter asked.
“Mass murder?!” Talia exclaimed.
Stiles leveled a steady gaze on them both. “Don’t ask.”
So of course they asked.
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Stiles growls, deep and fierce. The sound is loud and rough in its inhumanity. Threatening.
Peter looks to him with wide red eyes and sheathes his claws. He’s still half-mad from pain and exhilaration and blood lust.
Stiles will fix that for him.
“Come here,” he commands. He anchors allure in his voice, and everyone sways forward, dizzied. “Only Peter.”
Peter is the one out of all of them that’s actually aware. Maybe it has something to do with his Alpha status, maybe his strong will. Dragons aren’t siren or fae, but Stiles was born a Trickster. He has many talents that lie in twisting the truth, in bending reality, in making others do as he wishes.
So Peter comes, frightened and furious, over-warm.
Stiles smiles at the wolf sharply, settling clawed hands on either side of his head. He smooths them down Peter’s temples, careful not to draw blood. “Calm.”
Peter’s entire body relaxes even as his eyes stay sharp. Stiles hums approvingly, smells a note of sweetness before it fades to bitter fright again.
“You put all that energy into healing your pretty face. What about that mind of yours, wolf?”
He exhales right in Peter’s face, plumes of smoke drifting up into the man’s slightly agape mouth and nostrils.
Peter chokes on it, face contorting with memories and rage, and thrashes out, trying to escape his hold.
Stiles notes that he doesn’t lunge for his neck with some measure of approval.
“Shhh,” he coos. The smoke settles into Peter’s lungs quickly and he falls limp. Stiles catches him, bearing the extra weight easily. Clever honeydew eyes glance to the hunters, who are too dazed to do more than stare back.
Everybody is so very obedient. He hadn’t expected it to be this easy. It gives him a sense of exhilaration, but Stiles tries not to let it go to his head. Arrogance would only get him killed.
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