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#prepare your asses for late november/early december
cappucino-commie · 11 months ago
Blaming China on corona is racist? How? Im not blaming Asians, im blaming the fucking leaders. But you're a commie so they get a pass
I was going to not answer this because it is very obviously racist bait that came from my engaging with The Latest Discourse, but the outlined answer may actually be useful to some.
  Let’s start with the facts:
  The idea that SARS-COV-2 “came from” China is bunk. Complete nonsense. Scientifically invalid. Studies have found that SARS-COV-2 had spread all over the world before the first cases were discovered, so it is near impossible to pinpoint patient 0.
   Second, once we have pinpointed patient 0- what use is “blaming” their country of origin? It is a highly infectious respiratory virus that involves a lengthy asymptomatic period and many infections that spend the entire infection period asymptomatic. Its spread was inevitable, and we can prevent it only now because of comprehensive testing infrastructure, widespread knowledge of it, and testing/quarantine legal requirements. The only effective answer is “shut down the country, shut down travel, immediately and for several weeks while we figure this out”. Which is exactly what China did when it discovered a new novel coronavirus in the general population.
Let’s also look at the World Health Organization’s timeline for what happened.
  In late December, China identified a number of clusters of a pneumonia like disease spreading in Wuhan. While outwardly presenting as pneumonia, it was obviously viral from the spread rates and the government reported it to the WHO. 10 days later, January 9th, they had identified the virus responsible for these infections. By January 11th, the virus genome sequence had been determined by the Chinese government and released publicly. (Early February, I sent an email to my germaphobe friend containing the plaintext genome, titled “I’ve given you the coronavirus”, it was in poor taste). Around the same time, Wuhan was locked down as Chinese officials began to understand the danger of how infectious SARS-COV-2 is. I am not sure how far back your memory goes, but I’m sure I could dig up posts from many Western leaders and politicians from January talking about tyrannical China was for the lockdowns, and how unnecessary they were. I certainly remember them.
  Then, in March, 2 months later, 2 months of Western nations doing nothing to prepare for the dangerous infectious disease China had warned them about and reported to any health organization that would listen, the first lackluster “lockdowns” were implemented in America and Europe. They failed, obviously. Australia had decent success, because it followed China’s strategy with lockdown procedures. Because China was very successful in eliminating SARS-COV-2 from the general population, and in fact most of China is currently back to living “normal life” using basic quarantine tactics, public knowledge, and testing infrastructure- while the West has crashed the global economy and many Western nations are experiencing massive recessions and unprecedented unemployment because their governments refuse to use the very basic strategies outlined by successful nations.
   Let’s recap: SARS-COV-2 was spreading silently around the world as early as November of 2019, detected only as “a particularly bad flu or pneumonia”, and in December China identified that it was actually a new threat. Within days of detection, they had identified the virus, sequenced its genome and released it publicly, and demonstrated a comprehensive strategy for effectively managing it in populations while pouring millions into vaccine research. The West, in contrast, ignored warnings for months that the virus was a danger, only taking half-ass measures once the first wave was impossible to ignore, and has failed for 9 long months to effectively tackle the problem.
   So no, China doesn’t get a pass cause I’m a commie. They don’t need a pass. It was never their fault, and they handled it much better than we did. Now go die in a hole you racist asshole.
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gladiatortale · 11 months ago
My DEPRESSION BEATING, fandom obsessing, shit-tastic FANTASTIC year in review!
TL;DR: I’m fixing my mental health and figuring out WHO THE FUCK I AM one fandom filled day at a time! Thank you to everyone who’s been there for me along the way. xoxo
what’s up HEATHENS.
stating the goddamn obvious here, it’s been a HELLUVA YEAR. One emotional rollercoaster after another but we’re ALMOST DONE. I know things aren’t gonna magically get better the second it flips to 00:01 on January first, but I’m excited to put this year behind me, and (SHOCKINGLY) a bit sad to see it go.
It was a year where the whole world completely stopped, we realized what is really important, what is really worth fighting for, and took a GODDAMN SECOND to just breathe.
For me personally, the year (which I’m counting off from November 1st) started out UNBELIEVABLY SHIT. I had just been kicked out of the country I called home for the last four years (thank you Brexit), I had ZERO job prospects, my depression was the WORST it had ever been, and I just didn’t want to get out of bed in the morning. And in the beginning, the pandemic felt like salt in the wound, an extra kick in the teeth to my early twenties that had already “failed to launch.”
But I tried to embrace the madness, really take advantage of the world (that I always thought moved to fast) properly slowing down, and take time to try and become myself again. I wanted to figure out what I loved and try and become a bit more like the person I was before my depression got so bad.
I often say I became that Manic Trash Planet Lady™ you see in sci-fi adventure films; a bit zany to say the least, with a million ideas and a very eclectic fashion sense, but embracing the insanity as it comes...
*cough cough* audrey, get to the goddamn point!
Right. lol. THE POINT IS! 
I’m not 100% “healed”, I’m not sure if I think depression is a “oh look you’re officially cured! hooray!” type of disease, but this year I let myself ENJOY SHIT for the first time in god knows how long. I still don’t know “wHaT i WaNt To dO WiTh mY LiFe”, but I’ve got a better idea and I’m heading in (what feels like) the right direction. And most of all, I can look back and say I am better than where I was a year ago.
So I wanted to say T H A N K Y O U to the mad lads on this website that introduced me to the fandoms, shows, movies, fics... THE SHIT that made me happy this year and were there to be one (BIG) piece in my healing journey.
AND SO, with out further rambling ADO! Here are the highlights of the year marked by my ridiculous hyper-fixations and OBSESSIONS. Thanks for putting up with me ya fiends, xoxox
November 2019  The Arcana (Visual Novel)
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I had just gotten home and I was in a LOOOOOOW place. Randomly decided to download this app when it came up and it proceeded to ruin my life (and my bank account...) for pretty much the rest of the year. It was exactly what I needed to get me through a tough time and I was thoroughly, horse-blinders-up-to-the-rest-of-the-world, OBSESSED. These gorgeous magical fiends ruined me and all I could say was thank you.
Joined the fandom: November 2019 Obsession peaked: Late November Obsession faded: December 2019; I started a new job AND my bank statement came in and I realized I had accidentally spent over SIXTY BUCKS on this stupid app. No ragrets, but I definitely started to phase out at that point. Fandom friends: Velma, (@lanavxds on insta) miss you girlie xx Fanfics you NEED to read: ‘Second Mistake’ by DeathBelle on AO3, because DAAAAAYUM SON. Favourite moments: Basically the whole of the Julian arc. That gangly himbo OWNED my ass for a month.
December 2019 Hazbin Hotel (TV Series)
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Y’ALL okay here me out. Am I proud of this one? No. Is the show crass as hell? OOOOOOOOHHHH YEAH. Did my angsty ass love it at the end of last year? DAMN STRAIGHT IT DID. Goes without saying, but this is NOT FOR EVERYBODY, but it definitely helped me along the way to becoming more comfortable with myself and being open about being the massive geek that I always was, and watching things I enjoy regardless of what people say about it.
Joined the fandom: December 2019 Obsession peaked: Shortly there after. Fandom friends: None. Dipped one toe in fandom discourse and then promptly YEETED the fuck outta there. Obsession faded: January 2019. Still curious to see the full series if A24 actually ever does produce the whole thing, but I have def moved away from it. Fanfics you NEED to read: Haven’t read any. Maybe I’m a pussy baby piece-o-shit, but I DID NOT want to go down that rabbit hole, NO MA’AM. Favourite moments:
Discovering the Hunicast podcast. These guys are a riot and Ashley is a flustered GEM. Even if you don’t watch the show, go watch an episode of these fucking LADS just dicking about and your day will get better.
Watching the first episode with my partner and watching him realize his girlfriend is a total freak.
January 2020 Lore Olympus (Webtoon Comic)
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*Officially* discovered this one thanksgiving weekend in 2019, but my Arcana phase was still raging pretty strong at that point so I didn’t really get in to it until later. EVERYBODY AND THEIR MOTHER NEEDS TO READ IT. It has everything and handles the reality sexual assault and it’s aftermath EXTREMELY well.
Joined the fandom: Late November 2019 Obsession peaked: January 2020 Fandom friends: KELLEY. MA GIRL XOXOXO Obsession faded: June-ish 2020. I’m like 10 chapters behind now, but I still love this story so much. Fanfics you NEED to read: SO MANY ON MY ‘MARKED FOR LATER’ LIST AAAAAH. I have to get to that... NEW YEARS RESOLUTION lol Favourite moments: Having a drunk conversation on New Years Eve in 2019 with one of my oldest friends from high school about how much she loved it too. Helped me see how popular fandom and fandoms, are especially after feeling like I needed to hide my enthusiasm through high school and uni. (THAT WAS A MISTAKE BUT I’LL GET THERE IN A MINUTE).
February 2020 Versailles (TV Series)
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SO FUCKING GAY Y’ALL. Oh my god everyone in this show is so gay. Even when they’re not they still are a little bit. AND BEST OF ALL!! it’s very historically accurate (except for the demon satanic nonsense in season 3, what was that???)
Joined the fandom: February 2020 Obsession peaked: Like??? The SECOND I finished episode one. Fandom friends: none... WHERE ARE ALL OF YOU??? Obsession faded: March 2020. It was a fast and passionate love affair, what can I say? Fanfics you NEED to read: IF YOU HAVE RECS, GIVE ‘EM TO MEEEEE. Favourite moments: 
Showing the first episode to a friend of mine and the *ungodly GASP* that came out of her throat was... PRICELESS.
The ENTIRE throuple(???) relationship between the Chevalier, Philipe, and Palatine. PLATONIC/ ROMANTIC LOVE G O A L S.
March 2020 Yuri!!! On Ice (TV Series)
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*deep breath* ...y’all knew this one was coming.
Was I ready for this show to ruin my fucking life? No.  Am I so glad it happened??? FUCK YEAH.
NEVER IN MY LIFE have I fallen off the deep end so quickly with a fandom. HOLY SHIT. This blog didn’t have much of an “identity” before, but I you said that this is a Yuri On Ice blog now I wouldn’t even be mad (nor could I really defend myself to the contrary... bc??? like??? just go LOOK at my archive). Craziest thing is I watched the first two episodes like?? a solid TWO YEARS ago, but I didn’t continue watching because I was just not in the right head space for all the love and silliness and positivity.
I could do a whole separate post about how much this show and how this fandom has changed my life (DON’T TEMPT ME I JUST MIGHT). But I’ll stick with the highlights for now ;)
Joined the fandom: March 2020  Obsession peaked: Has it peaked?? Went straight up and it still going lol Fandom friends: Sandra, my mentor, my queen @aeriamamaduck, my fandom ride-or-die. Thank you for taking this internet bby under your wing. RACHEL @idancewiththefairies I TRAPPED YOU HERE. MUAHAHAHA xxx Obsession faded: ON GOING. CAN’T STOP, WON’T STOP. Fanfics you NEED to read: jfc, SO MANY.
‘Until My Feet Bleed and My Heart Aches’ and ‘Of Bright Stars and Burning Hearts’ by Reiya @kazliin​ -- Rivals AU companion pieces. Longest fics I’ve ever read and JESUS CHRIST these two fucking SENT ME. Most popular YOI fics on AO3 for a REASON.
‘Tell Me Where Your Love Lies’ by @aeriamamaduck -- Royalty AU, trope-breaking ABO. Ah sweet, TMWYLL, how you’ve killed me over and over again. This BEAUTIFUL wip has SUCH amazing world-building idk where to start (Congrats on passing 50,000 hits!) EVERYONE GO READ IT.
‘Blackbird’ by sixpences -- WWII/Coldwar Spy Fic. I don’t have enough words to describe how amazing this is. It’s elevated to a higher plane beyond fanfic. Just go read it. Thank me later.
‘Zanka’ by rinsled05 @dreaming-fireflies -- The geisha fic that ruined me. *deep breath* AAAAAAAAAAHHHHH *gasp* I’m fine. lol I sooooo not ready for this fic. Holy hell, Aoyagi had my heart in his hands from the first chapter. “’Please’ [...] ‘Don’t give me hope.’“ FUUUUCK.
‘Echoes’ by Reiya @kazliin -- Future fic. First fic I cried at... BOI. I was NOT ready for this. Shouldn’t be surprised given the author, but MAN. “‘A love like that, a love like what they had together, it never leaves completely.’ Yuri spoke again, eyes still staring out onto the ice, lost in memory. ‘There are always echoes.’” JUST FUCK ME UP.
Favourite moments: Oh good lord, where do I begin??
Having two (count ‘em TWO) main characters with mental health issues (Yuuri and his anxiety and Victor with burn out and depression) and NOT MAKING IT THE ONLY ASPECT OF THEIR PERSONALITY. CLAPS FOR KUBO AND YAMAMOTO!!
Everything about Yurio (ESPECIALLY HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH YUUKO AND HIS GRANDPA), that tsundere motherfucker is too pure for this world.
This fandom *properly* introducing me to smut on AO3...
Thinking I was going to get Rachel to like the show... NOT being prepared for her to fall off the deep end and START LIKING REAL SKATING TOO!!
Staying up waaaaaay too late waaaaaay too often to plan out plot points for TMWYLL with Sandra. Love ya dearie.
The warm fuzzy feeling I get every time I think about Victor and Yuuri.
April 2020 Bungou Stray Dogs (TV Series)
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I had a hunch I was gonna like this show considering ALL of the characters are based off of famous classic authors from around the world... what I was NOT prepared for was just HOW MUCH I was going to love it. HOLY SHIT. The art style? Love it. The plot?? Bonkers, but so fun. THE VOICE CAST??? AMAZING. Highly recommend to anyone who wants to get in to anime, great place to start.
Joined the fandom: April 2020 Obsession peaked: Probably this summer? But we have DEF plateaued in a VERY high place. Fandom friends: FIJI. MA BOIIIII @lil-1nsane  Obsession faded: Hasn’t. Hope it doesn’t Fanfics you NEED to read: So so so many. The smut in this fandom is *chef’s kiss*, but here are a few...
‘He Works Hard For the Money’ by CataclysmicEvent @cataclysmicevent2019​ -- Sugar Daddy AU. FUCK MAN. I was not expecting to like this one, but bloody hell. This fic grabbed me by the throat and WOULD NOT let me go. Praying for chapter 16! But the author is working on another STELLAR fic so I’m okay for now.
‘Everything or Nothing’ by CataclysmicEvent @cataclysmicevent2019​ -- University AU. FUCK THIS FIC. Started reading it as I was waiting for HWHFTM to update and BOI, this fic ROCKS. The alternating POV fits so well with the enemies/idiots-to-lovers vibe. Solid 10 outta 10.
‘The City Where Wind Blows’ by @raven-rein​ -- Cancer Death fic. *pained shriek* AAAAAAGUUUUUUUHHHH *gasp* aaaaaaAAAAAAHHHHHHHH, FUUUCCCCCCCCCKKKK MEEEEE. THIS FIC. Only the second fic I’ve ever cried to but I BAWLED MY GODDAMN EYES OUT. FUUUUUUUCK. I was not ready, never would have been ready. This is so tremendously well done, it killed me so beautifully, 
‘Haunted by Hatred’ by DeathBelle -- Canon compliant Soukoku. It is a CRIME that DeathBelle doesn’t have more BSD fics on her page, but this one is still brilliant.
Favourite moments:
The first three episodes. Soooo many break neck plot twists.
Every insane hypothetical conversation with Fiji.
Every time Atsushi or Tanizaki is on screen bc I LOVE THESE LIL BEANS.
June 2020 Trash Taste (Podcast)
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Goddamn I love these chaotic lads so much.
As I became more and more comfortable with myself and my love for anime I stumbled upon these three goons, -- Joey, Connor, and Garnt, -- best known for there SUPER successful (mostly) anime YouTube channels. Even if you don’t watch anime, WATCH/LISTEN TO THIS PODCAST. The focus is mostly on their lives and the overall expat/immigrant experience, with a bit of anecdotal anime references sprinkled in. 
This show is both wholesome and heathenous in equal measure, and after having lived abroad for a significant portion of my (admittedly still quite short) life, it was such a breath of fresh air to hear people talk so openly about how living outside your home country is both wonderful and terrifying. They’re wonderfully candid about the fact that even if you love a place dearly, no where is perfect, and you WILL hate somethings about your new home even if the majority of the experience is fantastic. I cannot rate this show highly enough.
Joined the fandom: June 5th 2020, loved it from the first episode. Obsession peaked: July maybe? I was RELIGIOUS about watching the episodes as soon as they came out. Still watch every week, but less “on time.” Fandom friends: None :( but I have tricked my partner in to listening several times :) Obsession faded: It’s dimmed from where it was, but still going strong. Fanfics you NEED to read: NONE. NEVER PLAN TO. Hard and fast rule, I don’t read fics about real people. Characters played by real people, even that’s a maybe for me. But real-real people? FUCK NO. (some of my) Favourite moments:
Any time Garnt and Connor get into a big-brain-monkey-brain argument and Joey is just LOSING his GODDAMN MIND in the corner.
Bringing a retired Japanese porn star in the show for an honest conversation about consensual sex work and showing people can have more than one career in life.
Everything about the, ‘Are Online Friends Real Friends?’ episode. GO WATCH IT, it’s brilliant.
Garnt making “chotto-THE-FUCKING-matte” an expression
August 2020 Great Pretender (TV Series)
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Spent most of the summer marinating in my BSD and YOI bubbles, until THIS BAD BOI came up on my Netflix recommendations. HOOOO BOI. This is some Anime Of The Year shit right here. Has a pretty original concept (Catch Me If You Can by way of Oceans 11-ish) but generally starts out like most other shounen (sans the super powers). AND THEN EPISODE FIVE HAPPENS. Not gonna spoil it but they TOOK THAT SHIT UP A NOTCH. Brilliant, even with a bit of an insane ending. GO WATCH THIS ONE.
Joined the fandom: August 2020 Obsession peaked: Pretty much as soon as I started watching it. Fandom friends: What’s up Fiji ;) @lil-1nsane Obsession faded: Naturally faded, but so glad I watched Fanfics you NEED to read: None so far! Little scared about this one, heard mixed reviews, but maybe someday. Favourite moments:
Edamame’s “madness arc” at the end of season 2. HOOOO BOY.
Laurent getting fucking WRECKED when Edamame punches him mid way through season 2, kills me every time.
Introducing my partner to anime with this show.
October 2020 Attack on Titan (TV Series)
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In my quest to find an anime that I can watch with my partner, I turned on season 1 of this bad boi. Holy hell I forgot how much I loved this show, NO WONDER everyone lost their goddamn minds when this show first aired. I NEED to catch up before all the season four spoilers come to get me...
Joined the fandom: Winter 2016 Obsession peaked: Basically as soon as I started watching it. Fandom friends: None yet, but I know you’re out there... Obsession faded: 2017, JUST BEFORE SEASON TWO... I should have stuck around longer I know, but it’s slowly coming back. Reeeeeally need to catch up on seasons two, three, and four. Fanfics you NEED to read: GIVE ME YOUR RECS HEATHENS. Favourite moments:
Watching my partner FREAK OUT about Eren’s “death.”
Getting in a conversation with a die hard fan after I hadn’t watched it in three years and saying... “Who’s that blond bitch that cries all the time?”/ “Armin?”/ “THAT’S THE ONE!”
November 2020... kind of. Figure Skating (Sport)
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Okay this one is a bit hard to explain. 
I have been a DIE HARD figure skating for A LOOOOOONG time. My grandmother got me a hat from the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City and I remember watching even then. But I first became consciously aware of different skaters, my faves, etc. from about 2010. I vividly remember watching Plushenko skating in 2014 while on a school trip to Hawaii, and my friends laughing at me as I yelled at the TV.
But I didn’t TRULY get involved in the fandom side of it until this year. I had all this knowledge bottled up, but didn’t have any skating friends to talk to... UNTIL NOW. Super ironic that this happened in a year with almost NO skating, but I’ll take what I can get ;) Also did I stay up until FOUR-GODDAMN-THIRTY IN THE MORNING a few nights ago to stream Japanese Nationals on my phone??? YOU BET I DID.
Joined the fandom: Three times; 2002, 2010, and 2020. Obsession peaked: 2014? 2018? Idk it peaks any time someone does something amazing. Fandom friends: Rachel, my girl @idancewiththefairies​, WHY DIDN’T I INTRODUCE YOU TO THIS SOONER??? Obsession faded: Hasn’t. Won’t. lol Fanfics you NEED to read: NOPE. NONE. NOT GONNA HAPPEN. No fanfics about real people. Never gonna change that. (some of my) Favourite moments:
Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir doing THAT routine at the 2018 Olympics.
Rachel​ sheepishly admitting to me that Shoma may have replaced Yuzu as her favourite, and me being SO DAMN PROUD of her for growing and developing her own skating opinions apart from me.
Yuzu’s 2012 ‘Romeo and Juliet’ routine and Worlds. THE RAW FUCKING POWER OF THAT SKATE.
Plushenko, cheeky bastard, changing his 2014 Team Event routine AS IT WAS HAPPENING.
The worlds friendliest rivalry between Yuzu and Nathan.
Any thing the Shibutani’s do, and all they do to break up the stereotype that all of Ice Dancing has to be rOmAnTiC and SeNsUaL to be good.
Watching my early faves become coaches and the D R A M A.
Honorable Mentions:
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Coco (Film): I watched this the weekend I came home and I owe this movie a lot. It is so sweet an heartwarming, and it a roundabout way it brought me back to Tumblr (needed somewhere to vent my feelings considering I watched the movie a solid THREE YEARS after it came out, Tumblr seemed like the place to go lol). Watched in again in 2020 and it’s just as amazing.
Jekyll and Hyde (All media): Loved this book from the first time I read it in my first year of uni. But in December 2019, my fandom understanding reached its PEAK. The musical?? The comic?? YOOOOOO.
Dear Evan Hansen (Musical): I have BARELY engaged in fandom discourse, but the MUSIC. She fucking SLAPS.
Sirius the Jaeger (TV Series): This show is such an underrated gem. It literally has so much; "dead” family drama? Eclectic international group of monster hunters? Cowboys and vampires?? Yes, yes, and YES. And the main character has the same Japanese voice actor as Atsushi from BSD!
Studio Ghilbi (Films): My love affair with Ghibli goes back to when I was about 5 and BEGGED my mom to take me to the library so we could rent Kiki’s Delivery Service on DVD. But that love has been FULLY rejuvenated this year when I went to the Ghibli Film Festival in New York City (ironically in the last week in February). If you haven’t seen them, go watch From Up On Poppy Hill, Whisper of the Heart, and The Wind Rises. Spoilers, you’re probably gonna cry.
If you’ve made it this far, THANK YOU FOR READING! 
And thank you to all the amazing people that made my 2020 not so horrible. Good riddance 2020, don’t let the door hit you on the way out!
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xiaokoo · 12 months ago
Lights On {Seokjin}
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Neighbour!Seokjin X Competitive!Reader (Part of the Christmas Spectacular)
Genre ~ Flooof. Jin is like an idiot but a cute one. Reader is equally an idiot but a cute one. I guess slight e2l does it count if it’s only one sided??? Jimin as the nervous best friend that will support y/n every step of the way!
Word Count ~ 3.8K
Rating ~ pg
Warningd ~ mild swearing
Summary ~ Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year and to you and your family it was the time of the year you guys would whip out the lights and dazzle. So when the Kim’s move in next door with their handsome ass son trying to out do you with Christmas decorations you don’t know what to think. Messing with the enemy is never a good idea.
A/N ~ first christmas drabble is up! Thought I’d start with Jin since it was his brithday on Friday! Happy belated birhday Kim Seokjin! Credit to @dnrequests​ for the lovely banner! Enjoy!
Christmas lights had always been a tradition.
You know covering your house head to toe in fairy lights and big blow up snowmen. The usual.
Your family was obsessed with them and naturally so were you.
Could people really blame you though???
Lights were so bright and colourful making your house always stand out like a sore thumb. Which was obviously what your family were trying to do. Every year around the month of December you, your parents and your little sister would dig up the famed Christmas lights blow up the huge snowmen, reindeers, and Santa to place in front of your lawn.
Your neighbours didn’t like the idea at first because apparently the decorations were too ‘distracting’
Like excUSee me karen but who asked you???
No one so therefore your comment is irrelevant.
Soon enough your neighbours just learnt to deal with it.
(after about 5 years)
Your family had this tradition going on before you were born, and you and your little sister had been participating ever since you both could blow up a balloon.
Talent right here folks!
Normally your neighbourhood didn’t really consist of any avid Christmas decorators.
Old Sue and Howard down the street decided to put fake snow on their roof once, let’s say that year your family had to bring out the snow machine. Scared the old couple away. Your sister reckons it’s was probably the reason they moved.
Your family seemed to hold a ‘competition’ every year on December for exterior décor on the house. You couldn’t really call it a competition if no one else was competing though.
To be honest it was fun not caring want others thought about your bizarre house and how it would always be blinding at Christmas time.
So over time you got used to being the only house on your street that had fairy lights and huge Christmas decorations up. And to be honest you were the most competitive in your family.
Key word is used.
That was until that wretched Kim family moved in next door. Stupid Kim’s and their stupid life trying to ruin yours.
Thinking they could beat your family at Christmas lights huh????
Hun, I don’t think so.
It all began in the end of November.
You know when it’s winter and the cool weather is preparing you for Christmas and all that jazz.
A moving van was just parked next to your house and obviously you were surprised.
“I can’t believe someone actually moved into Betty’s old house. That thing has been inhabited for years!” your sister exclaimed.
“It’s no big deal alright, mum will probably make her famous strawberry shortcake again,”
You didn’t expect much from the new neighbours. You thought them to be another old couple since your street was full of them.
The usual.
Well guess what you were wrong!!!!!
One fine morning you were taking the bins out dressed plainly in your pyjamas with cute eggs on them because why not???
Your hair was a rat’s nest, your eyes were crusty and you had the worst case of morning breath. Basically, you looked like crap.
Neighbours had seen you like this multiple times. I mean who’ve you got to impress they were a bunch of old pensioners that had nothing left to do with their life??!!! You weren’t expecting a change!
But like your dad always said.
‘beware of the unexpected’
Thanks dad!
You weren’t naturally clumsy sometimes Jimin would catch you tripping on flat surfaces but that meant nothing. However he still insisted it was because you had two left feet which is not true you have two perfectly capable feet.
That was what best friends were for.
In the mornings you were usually distracted. Why? Simple because you hadn’t actually woken up yet you were still in a state of daydream and therefore just hadn’t focused in on what was going on in your surroundings. That was hardly your fault though????
So when you finished dumping the rubbish you simply spun around on your heel and walked straight onwards not knowing what lay ahead. Or who…?
what the hELL was that? A frigging brick wall? You don’t remember a wall being built right there? How on earth did it appear in the 0.385 seconds you were turned around for??? Was this magic?? Was this the crazy voodoo Jimin had been ranting on about??? Has it finally gotten into your head???
hOly shIT…
hello handsome
damn dad was right beware of the unexpected.
Cause this was surely a gift sent from heaven to congratulate your Christmas decorating skills!
Just standing there, perfecT to the T!
hair swept perfectly,
eyes a brilliant shade of brown.
shoulders as wide as the fricking pacific ocean
soft, pillowy lips that were tinged the slightest pink
The guy was wearing T-shirt and sweatpants and he looked like a literal god sent from heaven.
It was 8 am far to early to be dressed that nicely.
And you…
You looked like you had gone through a fricking sandstorm.
Then got dunked with swamp water.
Before getting hit multiple times with snowballs.
Overall, NOT GOOD!
“Hey you must be our new neighbour I’m Seokjin,” his smiled legit dazzled the life out of you. Pearly teeth blinding you with the utter radiance.
You reckon you must’ve lost your ability to speak because all that came out was.
Then right there and then your traitorous body just gave up on you and you combusted in a fit of coughs!
Bruh they weren’t even coughs more like hacks of agONY!!!
“Hey, are you alright, what’s wrong?” this seokjin guy just runs up to you, his beautiful face all full of worry.
“I-I’m…*cough cough cough*…”
And gurl if you think that stopped the terrible situation you were in well then, you’re wrong!
In fact, it actually made it worse!
When you felt his hand pat your back you flinched and turned around so fast that you tripped over your own feet. And consequently, you planted your dumb ass onto the ground. Maybe Jimin was right, maybe you really are clumsy.
All in all a really bad first impression.
When you told your sister, she had the audacity to laugh at you. lauGH. Full on cried because it was so ‘hysterical’ yeah right. Hysterical your ass. (she did treat you too some cookies afterwards because the girl felt bad, which she should)
You were determined to make up for the terrible first introduction you gave seokjin so you stayed late one night baked something that looked like a cake. You were sure the Kim’s wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. The amount of frosting covered the ugly appearance so it was alright. Then the morning woke up bright and early. Remembering to brush your hair and dress appropriately since you were about to see the love of your life.
Imagine your surprise when you ring the doorbell and seokjin comes tumbling out holding very familiar Christmas lights in his hands.
“Hey you’re our neighbour! I still haven’t caught your name.”
You cleared your throat, “It’s y/n,” you tried to extend your hand but then realised you still had the pathetic excuse of a cake that occupied your arms.
“Is that for us?” seokjin pointed to himself and you nodded, “great come in, we were just putting up the decorations for Christmas.”
Now it wasn’t like you imagined what his house looked like. But you imagined what his house looked like. Technically, because you were neighbours you would have the same house architecture on the outside but god knows what’s on the inside. Maybe it was like a palace? Or it could be a weird shack though you doubted that someone like seokjin would live in a shack. What you saw however could never have surpassed anything your mind had conjured up with.
The house was
Fairy lights strung from wall to wall all multicoloured and bright twinkling. Their Christmas tree was up and big baubles were hanging off it, tinsel wrapped snuggly around the branches. The place looked like a winter wonderland.
“We have to decorate the outside too so this isn’t the final product.” Seokjin took the cake from your hands and you instantly fell slack.
They wanted to decorate the outside?
Where your family wants to decorate???
Their house already looked like something out of a frigging fairy tale they don’t need to decorate the outside.
Now the competitive side of you came out but you had to keep composed and calm. The enemy has no right to know the likely murder you and your family were going to deliver to their peaceful household.
Right now, you needed to collect as much intel as possible.
“So seokjin, what are you planning to put on the yard, anything big or fancy?” you smiled innocently.
“Just some lights and we’re probably going to bring out the life size reindeer this year again or maybe the huge candy canes we bought from Tesco, you never know, or we might whip up something new.” He seemed so nonchalant about it that he didn’t see you smirking like the minx you are.
Life size reindeers? Candy canes? That was so last year no one does that anymore. And if they planned to do something different well sabotage was always on your list.
That evening you held a family meeting and told your family about the neighbours that were threatening your throne. No one just comes barging I and then is allowed to casually announce that they were trying to dethrone you guys. Absolutely not.
An agreement was made that the next day you would go shopping for more Christmas goodies to beat the Kim’s and their pitiful attempt at decorating. Let’s face it your family could out decorate theirs in a second regardless if they had life size reindeers.
“Y/n are you telling me you dragged me out of my bed because you wanted to get some Christmas decorations?” jimin stood outside the store mouth open like a goldfish, “You already have enough why do you need more?”
The thing about your best friend was he never could understand this competitive side you had. Honestly if you were competitive about a sport, subject or something educational he would get it. But Christmas decorations. That’s not it.
“Need to beat the new neighbour,” you mumbled rifling through the shelves to find what you were looking for.
Jimin stood shocked. He was dragged out of bed at 6am in the morning because you wanted to beat some old couple that probably moved in next to you. Oh no, hun that was not it. The poor guy could be spending his time on his gaming console not out here with a mad woman.
“Y/n I seriously doubt that this neighbour is a threat to you,”
Huffing you emerged from the pile of tinsel, “You don’t understand jimin, they are intimidating it’s like world war two but worse. Like world war three but this time add aliens and monsters!” your hands were now waving around frantically.
“You’ve been watching too many sci-fi films,”
“Jimin I-” you stopped in your tracks when you saw who was in the exact aisle you were in. Oh god no no no no!
This cannoT be happening! Not here not now!
You quickly grabbed jimin by the wrist pushing him away as you followed trying to get out hoping that you wouldn’t been seen.
“Y/n hey!” seokjin voice was like a delightful melody sinful sound. You tensed up and jimin looked at you confused.
Turning around you waved awkwardly, “Hey Seokjin, fancy seeing you here.”
“Just getting some decorations, my mum’s crazy about it.” He chuckled.
“mhm, can’t wait to see what your house looks like.”
“Hi I’m Jimin,” your best friend butted in completely ignoring the high tension that was going on, “and you are…?”
“I’m Seokjin, y/n’s new neighbour.”
Jimin’s eyes widened and his jaw fell slack.
Well this certainly was a surprise. He didn’t expect this snack to be your new neighbour.  He could work with it.
“Oh are you getting decorations as well?” seokjin’s question seemed innocent enough but not to you. You knew what was going on in that brain of his.
“Yes I am.” you replied tersely, “We’ve got to get going byeee!”
Jimin let himself be dragged along by you as he waved goodbye at a confused seokjin. Once safely at the other end of the store you let go of him.
“So that’s who you’re competing with huh?” your best friend grinned stupidly, “I’ll say the guy doesn’t need decorations to light up his house, his face would do fine.” 
You groaned.
“Right let’s just pay and get out of here before my head explodes.” You grumbled hurrying to the cashier.
“For the record, he is really cute!” Jimin called after you.
Humming contently, you prepared yourself a nice warm hot chocolate making sure to add the whipped cream and marshmallows because let’s face it hot chocolate without whipped cream and marshmallows wasn’t actually hot chocolate.
It was a no-good imposTER
All of a sudden something caught you eye and you had to look back at through the kitchen window to check if your eyes were playing tricks on you.
There in plain sight was seokjin holding a bunch of sparkling lights that were shaped like stars. They seemed to taunt you and pry a reaction out of you.
You fumed! Nearly breaking your favourite mug that Jimin had gifted you for your birthday. (The only reason you didn’t break it was because you knew that he would slaughter you if he found out)
Glaring out of the window you scowled as you saw seokjin putting up his darned lights.
Who does he think he is??? The kinG of Christmas?!!!
You don’t think so.
Already plotting his murder until someone just had to interrupt.
“Y/n, mum’s been looking for you everywhere, it’s time to set up the tree.” Your sister said.
The trEE you forgot about the tree!
“Great let’s get going!” you sprung up quickly, whipping around and marching straight to the living room.
“Are you still obsessing over that boy?”
“One, I am not obsessing over that guy. Two, I don’t know who that boy is and three I wouldn’t be seen fraternizing with the enemY!”  your voice raised the end.
“Whatever you say, y/n.” she sauntered off.
That little brAT! You were older than her where was the respect??? Blandly, dissing you like you would actually like seokjin which would be incredulous. Just because he was handsome, kind, generous, charming, polite doesn’t mean you like him.
Does it…?
Of course, it doesn’t.
This was war and there is no love in war. Only hate!
You stopped what you were doing and turned around to seokjin.
“Yes,” you said sweetly plastering a huge fake smile on your face. Like you’re trying to blow up this huge elf, you can’t afford to be distracted by some boy. Muc less a good looking one.
“I was wondering if you were free this weekend, you know maybe we could go get a coffee or something?”
“I don’t like coffee,” you turned back to blowing up the elf.
Seokjin bit his lip nervously, “O-Oh…how about a bite to eat you know…?” he laughed awkwardly.
“Look, seokjin,” you turned around to face him, “You’re a great guy and I’m sure you’re a catch with the girls but right now, we’re at war with each other and frankly it’s improper to date the enemy.”
Seokjin was absolutely befuddled. He was sure he hadn’t declared war on you. Or did he???
You sighed exasperatedly, “There’s only one family that will win this Christmas decoration war. My family’s been doing this for over a decade.” You moved onto blowing up the next elf, “Sorry but I don’t do friends with the opposition.” You shrugged.
Seokjin stood mouth hanging open. You were threatened by Christmas decorations??!!! Christmas decorations that his family were putting up for fun???
He looked at the string lights he was holding and looked at the fake icicles hanging off the edge of his roof. Then he looked over at your house. Yep, definitely threatened. He caught the determined look on your face. Damn…he hates to admit it but…god he might have a thing for girls who were competitive.
Seokjin smirked knowingly at your figure. Looks like this ‘war’ was going to be fun after all.
Finally, the day of Christmas Eve came and your family hosted this big party inviting all your family and friends as you guys did every year. You thought it was a little over rated but hey who were you to judge?
Smoothing down your dress you perked up when you heard the doorbell ring signalling that Jimin had arrived.
“Jimin…” you flung the door open but your voice faltered when you saw who was actually outside, “what are you doing here?”
“Well, y/n, your parents invited us over you know because we’re friends.” Seokjin smirked smugly as you glared at him.
“Fine, whatever, just get inside.” You ushered him in before slamming the door shut. Couldn’t believe it!
By the time Jimin had actually arrived you had a full plan on how to take down Kim Seokjin and those decorations. You had observed, to your upmost hatred, that the wretched guy had the audacity to put up a huge as ice sculptor!
An ice sculptor!
The thing would melt in less than two seconds what was the point???
Either way, you weren’t going to let that thing take away your victory. You would have the last say in this war before it ends.
Jimin couldn’t say a word before he was dragged outside again by you. He was utterly bewildered at the behaviour you were showing. Sure, he knew you were competitive but not this competitive.
Worst thing you’ve actually done was when you wanted to win a game of musical chairs so badly you glued the thing to your butt. But that as when you were seven and you were nineteen now. Though he as sure your mentality was of a seven-year-old.
When he saw the chainsaw and huge rope that you carried followed by a huge ass sack he freaked out.
“Oh my god, y/n, I can’t believe you’d go as far as killing mister shoulders but I was wrong you really would! Oh my god I’m best friends with a murderer. Oh my god I’m going to jail! Oh my god! Oh my god! Oh my god!” Jimin freaked out running around like a headless chicken and you scoffed.
“Jimin, I’m not killing Seokjin.”
“Then why do you have a chainsaw? Wait forget that how did you get a chainsaw?!”
“Taehyung leant it to me,”
“Why would you trust that guy?!”
“Taehyung is no threat he’s a real softie just because he’s covered in tattoos and piercings doesn’t mean he’s intimidating.”
“You tell yourself that but who was the one who nearly shit their pants when he came and tapped you on the shoulder?!”  
You rolled your eyes and continued to drag Jimin to the Kim’s yard where the giant ice sculptor was placed. Cogs were turning in your best friend’s mind and you could see him trying to figure out what you were doing, eyes darting from the things in your hand to the huge ice statue in front of him.
Jimin gasped and turned to look at you in shock.
“You’re not going to do what I think you’re going to do are you?” he stuttered.
You grinned widely and started up the chainsaw as your answer.
vrrrrooommm vrrroooomm vrrrooommm
Jimin sighed the things he does for friendship.
You giggled and approached the sculptor grinning evilly.
Just as you were about to cut a piece of ice from the obnoxious thing a voice interrupted you.
“What on earth are you doing?”
You switched off the chainsaw and whipped your head around to face Seokjin. His face looked confused but a happy confused. No like a smug confused. He looked…proud…? WhaT?!
Wait did you…
Did you…
Was this a trap?
“I’m just going to go,” Jimin quickly scooted out of the scene, boy knew what was up!
Before you could grab him, he ran off in the direction of your house leaving you and seokjin together.
“Are you going to answer me?”
Your eyes narrowed, “I told you I never lose so if I have to chop down some ice then so be it.”
Seokjin chuckled cutely and your glare intensified.
“You’re adorable you know that?” he said striding up to you and pinching your cheeks.
A blush overtook your cheeks and you stood dumbfounded. Oh god. You had fEElings this was bad so bad. You can’t like Kim Seokjin.
“S-Shut up,” you muttered trying to avoid his piercing gaze.
You could hear the faint sounds of cheering and laughter coming from inside your home and tried to focus on the trees behind Seokjin instead of him. All of a sudden, you felt plump lips on yours and your eyes nearly bulged out of their sockets.
Seokjin’s soft lips moved perfectly against yours and you could smell the faint scent of his cologne. You slowly reciprocated the kiss unsure about the whole situation. One minute you were about to hack an ice sculptor and the next you were making out with the owner of said ice sculptor.
Life was confusing.
When he pulled away your entire face was red. He giggled when he caught the sight tugging you into his chest, hugging you tightly. You buried your head into his neck.
“I like you a lot and my offer for that date still stands.” Seokjin said running his fingers gently through your hair.
“That was meant to be you asking me on a date?” you asked cheekily.
He flicked your forehead, “Dummy,” he teased.
You gulped, “I-I like you too, even if you did declare war on me.”
“I did not declare war on you,” Seokjin looked at you, “I clearly remember you stating that there was a war between us and frankly I’m not into some Romeo and Juliet shit but here we are. Also, declaring a war on someone because they can out do you in Christmas decorations is a bit dumb. I had no clue-” you cut off his rant with a soft kiss and you felt his body shiver.
“Shut up,” you smiled and seokjin’s face broke out into a grin before enveloping you into another hug.
“I believe we have a party to attend to,”
“I believe we do,” you said letting your hand be intertwined with his as you both walked back to your house. Both a giggling mess.
Maybe this one time you were allowed to date the enemy…
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Teenage Wasteland (Sriracha, Part 20.)
Description: A problematic college student gets the worst summer job of the ‘83 - Jim Hopper, the Chief of police in your hometown will have you as his secretary since his old lady Flo has two months lasting holiday. It was agreed so Hopper could let you far away from all the trouble
Part Summary: The relationship seems to reach it's top by the November of '83 - but you're not one of those who would've Jim walk away without explanation.
Warnings: Angst, more angst and a child.
A/N: And after the whole relationship thingy, we've finally arrived at the destination I was most excited about. Inspired by Cold As Ice by Foreigner and Baba O'Riley by The Who. 
Word Count: 6.5 K
Tagging: @nemodoren​, @creedslove​
Master list: H E R E
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That morning, you got out of bed really late - it was Saturday, a few days after December had started, so neither of you had to leave early for work or school. Your nearest shift at the bistro started on Sunday evening, so you had all day just to hang out around each other.
And you could just tell that something's bugging Jim of since the moment he let his feet slip out of the bed. It was the start of December and you knew that it could be the incoming Christmas. Also, you agreed to have dinner at your parents' next weekend, so that could be adding up to his stress as well. You visited Joyce and both her boys just the weekend prior, training for the Christmas Eve.
You helped her with cooking the potatoes and baking the turkey, preparing all of the cookies and even drank one shot of a weird Brandy she offered you. It was an awesome dinner - Will brought his whole party over, Hopper spent most of his time talking to Jonathan and when the dinner came by, eight persons were sitting at the table without anyone realizing, since Nancy Wheeler came by as well, picking the kids up. You really enjoyed the whole night and Hopper seemed so as well.
When he didn't speak to you a word during the whole morning, that was when you started to get irritated by his behavior as well.
"Something bit your ass in the bed?" - You looked at him when he came back from having a cigarette, closing the terrace door behind him. - "I swear it wasn't me." - You joked and continued preparing the lunch, checking out the burning stove in the corner as well. 
You could pinpoint the exact moment when you knew something's off - he didn't even smile at your remark. You wouldn't want to let him walk away with such an attitude. If he thought he can fucking just walk away without explaining himself, boy, wasn't he wrong?
And yes, there was, in fact, much to talk about. But how the hell should he tell you without making you upset? He found a little girl in the woods who was scared out of her mind and who needed home. He didn't want to break up with you, under any circumstances - once he found the happiness, why should he give up on it? But at the same time, he knew that he can't make Eleven trusting him with you being around. All he needed was some time. 
“Partners.” - Suddenly, you stood up in front of him, looking him in the eyes, obviously having another of you monologues, just as you used to when there was an argument incoming his way. And again, he surely didn't hear more than half of it. - “Do you know what that word means?” 
“Two people loving each other?” - Jim guessed and took a beer out of the fridge. You stood there with the cloth you were using for cooking on your shoulder and you had both your palms on your hips. You opened up your mouth and furrowed, not expecting such an answer. 
“Yes, basically. But don't you try to beer me out or outsmart me, Jim Hopper! But you know what else partners should do? Share feelings, talk about things that are ailing them? Have you heard that before?” - You slowly walked next to the couch, following him, kneeling next to him. He felt your palm slowly tracing his shoulder and neck just before you turned his face at you. 
He knew that he's dancing on thin ice because you were literally everything he got at the moment. You were a person that meant home, warm arms when he needed a hug, kind words when he needed to brighten up his mood, lips that always accepted and gave him the sweetest kisses. And you knew him - he told you everything. 
You knew everything about Sara, he told you about Vietnam, about Diane, his time in New York. And you didn't stop listening for a moment - once he was done, you just held him in your arms for a little longer than the previous time, letting him know that it's still isn't late for him.
You let him understand that he still has the right to love and to be loved in the first place. 
“Come on, Jim. Just tell me.” - You begged before stealing his breath away with a kiss. He smiled when you leaned your forehead to his with a calm expression.
“I'll be moving out of the trail.” - Hopper started slowly. You almost smiled when he told you that, but then you realized that he said he's moving out. There wasn't any we are moving out. There was no you in that plan. With a stiffed smile, you moved away from him. The tears started to gather in your eyes and Jim almost gave himself a smack. So much for not making you upset, huh?
“That's great, I suppose. Good for you.” - You nodded and stood up, facing away so he wouldn't see you crying. 
“No. It's not what you think.” - He stood up, catching your shoulders in his palms, gently massaging them. - “I just need to be alone for a while. I think I've discovered something and I just need to test it out. I need some time.”
“And where exactly in the sentence I'm moving out you hear the word we?” - You asked back, making his hands let your shoulders go. - “Because I can't hear no matter how hard I try, Jim.” 
“Y/N, come on...” - Hopper followed you to the bedroom. He was watching you running around that room, abruptly packing all of your clothes while you started to cry. 
“Jim, if it's just that you're not happy or feeling safe with me anymore, you can just tell me. If it's just another woman, come on, tell me. If you're worried about that we are going to end up like you and Diane, I did all I possibly could to show you otherwise. Just...” - You stood up, looking him in the eyes. - “Don't give me the famous I need time excuse. I beg you. Just tell me that we are breaking up, make it quick, painful and hard to swallow. At least, make me hate you.” 
Really, so much for upsetting you. He fucked up grandiosely, Just as Jim Hopper always did. There was no way that all of this could go any worse than it already did.
“I don't want to do any of that, you crazy woman. Did you even listen to a word I said?” - Hopper opened up his mouth and your eyebrows rose rather quickly. He already upset you and now he was calling you crazy? Oh dear Lord. You stood up, exhaling loudly, putting your hands on your hips again. You, my dear, you were a piece of art in his eyes. 
Because no-one could make him feel like a little bitch as you were capable of in five minutes of your free time.
“You selfish bastard.” - You laughed ironically and continued with packing your things. Now, he turned on an engine inside of you and he could be sure that you're not going to leave a single string of his clothes dry. - “Are you planning to add me to your tragic backstory? To tell women in pubs how you had a crazy ex-girlfriend who left you all alone, brokenhearted, in your trail and never came back? That's what you want?”
“Y/N, calm down, this is...” - “You won't be telling me when to calm down, James Hopper. No. I gave you five months of my life, I found a part-time job so I would be sure that I have my own money to help you paying food, rent, clothes. I patched you up mentally when you came back home after the whole Will Byers thing, I tried to give you everything I could. Don't you even dare to tell me to calm down!” - You yelled at him while you packed the stuff you got in the bathroom and pushed it inside the bag, taking your shoes on.
Fuck his lunch, his trail, fuck him. That was what you repeated to yourself when you put the jacket on and ran into the snow in front of the trail. It looked beautiful - snow was covering every inch of the driveway, the trees, the grass was nowhere to be seen and the quarry behind the house was frozen down. Such a beautiful look, but you didn't have the time to look at it.
“Stop!” - Hopper ran after you only dressed up in his shirt, jeans, and socks. But you walked further and further away from him, showing him your middle finger. - “I love you, okay? I love you, you lunatic.” 
That was what stopped you from walking further away, taking a short breath in. He never said that. Never. You could feel it in his touches and looks, yes, but he never told you just as you never told him. You turned around to look at him, watching him walking to you only in his socks. He must've been so cold and you just knew that he's going to be sick after that. 
“I love you, yeah, I guess. I mean, I've never been good with my words and you know that.” - Hopper mumbled and caught your face in his palms. He felt so warm, but you felt how much he was trembling. No wonder, Hawkins was always freezing during winter. - “But that's just how the things are. How they are supposed to be, I guess. And you better believe me when I tell you that there is anyone who would I rather spend every minute with. But I really need some time.” 
At that moment, you smiled dreamily and caught his sides, letting the bag fall on the ground. It wasn't the biggest or the greatest feelings sharing you have seen, but that didn't matter. All that did matter was that he wasn't lying, which you could easily say. What other lunatic would run after you in socks? 
“So just... Don't leave me, alrite? And when it's goin' to be the right time to come back, I'll let you know.” - Hopper smiled at you when he saw you crying again. After that, you almost pushed him to the ground when you leaned for a kiss. 
“How much time do you have on your mind exactly?” - You led him back inside and made him change his socks and tugged him into the blanket on the bed. Now you were believing that maybe he really just needs some time. 
“Hard to say. Just wait for me a while?” - He asked, pulling you in for another kiss. You knew it's time to leave even if you wanted to undress him and make sure that he's all warmed up. 
“I'll ask my mom to take me back for a time. At least, I'll have time for studies, because there ain't going to be anyone who would distract me with fucking.” - You mumbled, sticking your ice-cold fingers under his shirt, having a sick smile on your lips. 
“You love to be distracted with the fuckin', baby.” - Hopper mumbled back while he undid the zipper on your jacket, ready for a few rounds. But you stopped his hand and kissed his forehead. 
“I do. And I do love you too. But this has to wait.” - You rose your eyebrows, leaning in again. - “I'll do wonders to you once you tell me that you're ready, baby.” - You whispered, stealing him one last peck from the lips. Hopper was smiling as he watched you leaving his driveway in your car. He could only thank Gods that such a wonderful and nasty woman found him and made him hers.
On the other hand, your mom was rather surprised to see you at home with your things packed into a bag. She was still pretty sour about the thing, as she called it, happening between you and the Cheif, but she somehow managed to keep her face straight during all of your family dinners and she even defended your choice when someone asked her about that relationship.
“Oh, honey.” - She opened up her arms as soon as she figured out you must've broken up. You let her hug you, but you chuckled nervously. - "It didn't work out, did it?"
"Mom..." - You waved her off and took your shoes off while she closed the door behind you. It was freezing outside. But you knew that she still had something to say. - "It's natural, it happens sometimes. The things just don't work out. I'm not even surprised that you and the Chief... That wasn't a healthy relationship for you, darling. He's a complicated man with a complicated past. Don't blame yourself. You're so young and you'll find a man to love you properly."
"Mom, we didn't break up." - You told her with a big smile while you put your jacket on the back of a chair. Your mom turned back at you and she started to apologize, but you just laughed again and hugged her. You knew that she's worried and that she doesn't like seeing you falling for a man so older than you were, let alone falling for a man with past as complicated as Jim's was. It wasn't that she hated him or whatever, she was just worried that he breaks your heart one day.
"I got your point mom, it's fine, really." - You hugged tighter and kissed her cheek. - "We just talked like two responsible adults and agreed that Jim needs some time for himself. Also, he said that he wants to move out to something bigger than the trail is."
"Oh, wow. Chief really means it seriously." - She said and you could say that she's really surprised. And pleasantly surprised. - "You can just start to call him Jim already, it's been five months since we started dating. He won't take that as a disgrace of his Chief status." - You mumbled to her and stood next to her by the sink, helping her with cooking the lunch.
Your brother did something that you didn't expect at all - as soon as he got home from hanging out at his best friend's, still Steve Harrington's, he hugged you so tight that you almost couldn't breathe. Even your father was glad to have you home around Christmas.
You did as you were told and went to work, studied for exams and overall really tried to move on with your life while Jim was up to his business.
He called you on Christmas Eve and wished you Merry Christmas, repeating you that he loves you and how much you mean to him, promising you a big gift once you come back. The call on its own was already a big present for you.
But that was the last time you heard about how he's doing and his whereabouts. Days passed from Christmas Eve, weeks and then months. January flew past you so quickly that you had barely any time to notice the time. Hopper was in your mind literally all the time, naturally, but the loneliness really hit you on Valentine's Day. You watched all the couples going for a dinner to their bellowed fast-food bistro, Marty's, girls were carrying chocolates and roses they got from their lovers and you?
Hopper didn't even call you. There was no call, no message on the recorder, no letter or a goddamn card. Not even a piece of paper with a stamp on it. That was the day when you've had about enough.
Hopper was literally just fucking around with you - and he should know better than doing that. You were a lady that didn't take any shit. His shit, your brother's shit, Harrington's shit, just no-one's.
The other day, you literally stormed into the office of the PD, looking as pissed as never before. When the boys saw you, they knew that the boss is in some serious trouble. They noticed that you hadn't shown up for a time - in the fall, you stopped at least twice every week with something homemade for them, but haven't visited the station for months at that point. And when they asked Hopper, he never gave them valuable answers. But your face at the moment you walked in and, holy damn, even Callahan almost pissed his pants.
"One question." - You looked at each one of them. - "Where is James Hopper?"
"Did something happened?" - Powell slowly got up and tried to at least... Negotiate with you. You rose your eyebrows.
"So he stands me up for almost three months and you dare to ask if something happened?" - You told in an ironic voice. - "Nothing happened, yet. But when I get my hands on him, either I will smack the fuck out of him, kick his balls or just straightway kill him. I haven't really decided yet."
Calvin looked at Callahan and gulped. That man brought a storm upon himself. The first few weeks, they made fun of him having a full-on blown relationship with you, but they accepted it as a matter of fact. In the end, there was no wonder why Hopper fell for you with your character and witty remarks. There were a lot of people actually wondering about why the fuck you've chosen Jim as your partner, but it worked out somehow. And everyone who wasn't blind saw it. But when he pissed you off and clearly did, the officers wanted to be as far away from you as they possibly could.
"He took a few days off. We thought you're together and you have some plans, you know, all the Valentine stuff going around..." - Calvin spoke to you and he saw you grinning. That bastard. That ass. That jerk. Oh, you had about hundreds of names for him and you'll yell each other at him once he'll stand in front of you.
"Try to look for him in the trail. If he's not there, drive to the cabin on this address. But don't give it to anyone, it's for cases of emergency. It's in the woods about fifteen minutes from the town." - Florence gave you a small piece of paper with an address and you knew that you'll have to buy a map to find that. You nodded. She really meant the part about the secret, whispering it to you.
"If he stops by, tell him that I'll kick his little sorry ass as soon as I see him." - You mumbled to his boys and left the station, walking to the car as cold February wind messed up your hair.
"Well, normally tell I would like to have her at home." - Callahan told to Powell as they both turned away to sit down again at their tables. - "But I wouldn't want to be Hopper right now."
"If you're going to thirst about boss' girlfriend again, leave me out of it, I beg you." - Powell told him, looking at his crosswords again.
First off, you stopped at the trail just as Florence advised you. Jim's car wasn't there, but you wanted to look inside - when you took the key from under the big mossy rock, you got into the trail easily.
You stopped for a second and looked around. It was just empty, not the home with the burning stove you remembered. So, Jim really did move out - there wasn't anything remaining after him or you, or your relationship.
There were no dishes, no clothes, the bathroom was completely empty. You could see yourself walking out of the terrace just two months ago, giggling as you run through the trail, James laughing and following you. That was the first day it snowed and you stood there and laughed before the first snowflake fell on your nose.
The pictures he had there had disappeared as well - even the one where you've had a beautiful dress and you were giving James a smooch while you were in a police department party together, it was when November was ending. He looked happy as he was holding a beer to the photographer, telling him not to take a photo of you, smiling from ear to ear.
Even his album of nasty photos of you has disappeared - for example only wearing his shirt or you in the shower, or the photo he took on the day you were supposed to leave Hawkins. There was no clue remaining after you ever being there - or that he ever was there.
You felt brokenhearted and used. You didn't leave the goddamn town just because of him. You threw the chance to study at an elite university out of the window just to be with him. You had already sacrificed so much for that man - you whole dignity which you just threw away because you were crazy for him, the whole town just having straightaway fun of you now. You hid in the trail for two months only to spend time with him, not leaving it for the whole day so nobody would know. Every night of those two months, he had a plate of food finished minutes before came home, his laundry was done, you ironed his clothes and took care of the whole trail...
And James repaid you with this. Just disappearing into the thin fucking air. 
You looked at the piece of paper Florence gave you and for a while, you searched it on the map. You've visited a few wrong locations on the search and smoked almost half of the pack of cigarettes. But when the night came, you stopped at one place that indeed looked old, but the lights were on. After a short walk, you've noticed his Blazer. And you got mad again.
While you walked in the direction of the cabin, preparing a speech for him, you stumbled upon a wire, making a loud shooting sound when it ripped apart. It was a bang sound so loud, that it scared the birds away. Before you picked yourself up, you saw movements inside the cabin, lights going almost immediately off, and shortly after, James himself came out of the door.
And when you saw him standing there, the bomb inside of you just went off.
"Hey!" - He yelled at you, certainly not being able to recognize you in the darkness. Slowly, he was walking to you and you noticed a gun in his hand. His personal gun. - "Who's there?"
Without hesitation, you ran to him, smacking his cheek and pushing him back. Then you grabbed some leftover snow and threw it at his shirt. Yeah, at the moment James perfectly knew who you were.
"You selfish, fucking, arrogant, ignorant dickhead! You jerk! You idiot! You motherfucker!" - You yelled at him at the top of your lungs, crying hysterically. James slowly exhaled, messaging his nose, lowering the gun. He should know better - he should know that you're capable of tracking him down. He should give you a call or something, but he needed to keep distant and radio silent.
One of his sides was happy that you were there. He missed you so much that it often kept him awake all night long. Sometimes, when he sat at his office all alone, he almost dialed your number just to hear you asking who's on the other end. He missed you sleeping next to him, the way you talked and poked fun of him. He missed you as a whole.
The other side was straightway terrified. You were already in a hysterical state and he knew he fucked things a lot by what he has done. Jim knew that he should explain rather quickly before losing everything that was remaining of your we.
"How can you fucking explain this, James?! How?! You stood me up for almost three fucking months, you left me all alone without a clue whether you're alive or dead, you haven't called, send me a letter, you haven't done anything to let me know!" - You pushed him again and Jim closed his eyes for a while, licking his lips. - “Was it a fucking guessing game for you? Huh? Because I didn't find any of it exciting or fun.”
Yeah, he fucked up badly. You even called him James and you barely have done that before. This is going to take a lot of talking, step by step trust re-building and a load of eating out before you'll be able to trust him again.
"Baby, listen..." - Jim tried to calm you down, but you made one of your hissing sounds, warning him that if even dares to come closer, you'll hit him again with no problem.
"No, you listen! If there's another woman in there, I swear to fucking God, James! You're dead if I find someone out there. I will cut your fucking balls off and wear them as a necklace!" - You pointed at the cabin and at the exact same moment, someone else came out. But it wasn't a woman, just as you would've expected. It was a boy, presumably, looking at you with their hand risen up. You saw James looking at him, snapping as soon as he saw the risen hand.
"Down. Put the hand down, immediately. She's not evil or dangerous." - James stood up in front of you, pushing you behind him, covering you with his body. - "She's just very angry."
After a minute, the boy straightened up and put the hand down, looking at you with interest. What the fuck was happening? Since when did James have a child? Or at least another one which was at least ten years old? Since when it lived with him? What on the world was going on? - "Angry?" - The child asked back and at that moment, you realized that it's not a boy. It was a small girl with short, curly hair, dressed in an old sweatshirt and sweatpants that were too big for her.
"Angry." - She repeated once again before disappearing into the cabin once again, presumably thinking about something.
You stood outside for a moment longer, your arms were still holding Jim's sides and his hands held you in once place.
"Let's just say we have a lot to talk about." - Jim muttered slowly before letting go of you to take a good look at your face since he hasn't seen it in months. He looked at your photo on his nightstand every night since you separated and even though, he forgot how beautiful you were. Especially when you got mad at him. The curve of your nose, opened up lips, and wide eyes. You were stressed and you didn't have any idea of what to think, but it didn't take away any of your beauty.
Without him barely realizing what he's doing, his palm went to palm your jaw, his thumb drawing a circle on your cheek. You were a person who meant the world to him and for the first time in the last three months, he finally felt complete again.
"Will you come inside? We're just havin’ dinner." - Hopper whispered to you and you nodded, wiggling out of his arms, walking to the door. The girl was cautiously watching every move you made, her finger was put on a word in the vocabulary. She was reading the definition of the word angry. That situation was making less and less sense.
Jim helped you out of the jacket, putting it onto the couch. The couch he had in the trailer. Actually, you knew a lot of things in the cabin apart from the couch - you also knew the TV, the fridge and the bookcase. But where did the child came from, you had no idea.
You sat down onto the reaming chair between the girl and Jim. The girl moved further away once you sat down, keeping a safe distance between you. The dinner was rather quiet since you and Jim needed to talk and the girl he got there wasn't really talkative at all. When the main dish was over, Hop served you and himself chocolate ice-cream and a cup of coffee while he gave the girl a frozen Eggo and sent her to the room, telling her not to get the food all over the bed.
"Start talking, James, because this shit is just ridiculous." - You mumbled and watched the wall in front of you, drinking the coffee, not even trying to pay attention to the ice-cream. But you made sure that the girl's doors are closed. - "Do you have any more daughters I should know about?"
"She's not my daughter, Y/N... Or... It's complicated. Remember the Will Byers disappearance incident?" - He asked and you just nodded with a quiet hum, still watching the wall. - "She had escaped the lab nearby. They held her there like a little biology experiment, can you imagine?"
"No, Jim, I can't, but I'm sure that that won't stop you from continuing your story." - You mumbled ironically as a clap back, which made Jim pause for a second before continuing. He was getting everything he deserved, after all.
"She lived in the woods ever since. I was giving her food into a small box every night and one day, she appeared there and started followin’ me. The government is after this girl. And they would do her terrible things once they would find her. I couldn't let that happen." - Jim finished quietly.
He was saving a little girl while you thought he's back to his fucking everything that moves schedule. He was there with her the whole time.
"But not telling me wasn't a solution. Leaving me in the dark wasn't a fucking solution." - You whispered back, not able to look at him. Saving a girl was a good excuse to disappear from the surface of the earth for three months. It was. You couldn't argue with him because of that. But that didn't mean you're over it. Not that easily.
"I know. I should've told you. It was a dick move and I'm really sorry. For everythin'." - His palm found yours on the table and entwined his fingers with yours. - "I'm really sorry."
At that moment, the girl opened up the door again. You almost tried to drag your hand out of the table, but Jim just tightened the grip. Once you knew about Eleven, she should know about you.
"Angry?" - The girl pointed at you with a question. Jim smiled and shook his head, motioning her to sit down with you.
"She was. At me, not at you." - He answered and you nervously looked at her sitting down next to you. She was watching every inch of you which really made you nervous.
"Pretty." - She said simply before turning her face to Jim. She looked at your entwined fingers and furrowed a bit. - "What's that?"
"Holding hands, that's somethin' you do with a boyfriend or a girlfriend, you know, kiddo? This is my girlfriend, Y/N. This is Eleven." - Jim introduced the two of you. For a long time, you just stared at the girl without any movement before you rose your palm to shake hers. Small steps at a time, you reminded yourself, small steps at a time.
The girl was definitely weirded out by the gesture, her hand reached out for yours with suspicion before she caught it. It was a ten seconds lasting handshake before she quickly fetched the hand back on her lap. Clearly, the trust between you two was on point zero and lower.
Then, when this awkward part was finally over, she turned back to Hopper, clearly having more questions on her tongue. For a while, there was silence as Eleven tried to think about some meaningful sentences.
"What is a girlfriend?" - Eleven asked silently, giving too much caution on every syllable.
"Someone you love. A member of your pack, just like the lonely wolf in the fairytale we read yesterday. A member of a family." - Hopper enlightened Eleven in a quiet voice, smiling at her.
"What is a love?" - Eleven asked, being completely caught up in the topic. Her eyes were curiously shining.
"Fetch the vocabulary, this is the word of the day." - Hopper said and as you watched Eleven disappearing in the only room with a proper door, bringing the book she had there before, you realized that you're completely silent, barely breathing. You were afraid to talk or move - Eleven finally calmed down and at least ignored your presence. You didn't want to disturb her and Hopper having their time. Also, from a psychological standpoint, it was seriously interesting.
Finally, Hopper let go of your hand and looked at the word love, just as Eleven did.
"Deep and affecti-cti-onate emotional at-tachment to a person." - She read slowly and really, she was far behind the kids of her age. She looked at Hopper as if she read a spell, and Hopper nodded, licking his lips before continuing.
"It's a feelin’. A feelin’ inside of here." - He pointed at his heart and Eleven mirrored his actions. She nodded, which made him continue. - "You feel happy and safe when the person is around. They make you stron’ and they care about you."
Eleven nodded, looking away for a while before she first pointed at Hopper before she pointed her finger at her chest. - "Love?"
"Yes, this is love." - Hopper stood up and packed her vocabulary, messing her curly hair up. - "Say good night."
"Good... Night." - Eleven mouthed slowly, looking you in the eyes. You smiled back, wishing her a good night as well. With a grin, Hopper led her to her door, making her dress up into her pajama.
"Are you goin’ to stay here a while?" - Hopper asked with hope in his voice, walking behind you. His palms circled around your shoulders, massaging them. - "Here? With me? I have a bottle of good wine in the fridge, I'll give you a ride home, I've missed you..."
"A little while won't kill me." - You bought his offer and a contained smile appeared on your lips. Hopper was still caressing your shoulders and the back of your head leaned into his belly when Eleven opened up the door, standing there, cautiously watching you. She never stopped looking around for a second, didn't she?
"Ready." - She nodded at Hopper and he left to tug Eleven in. You walked around the cabin and cautiously looked at every corner of it, listening to a quiet small talk going on before you saw his shadow sit down to read her a bedtime story.
The cabin seemed oddly impersonal. Hopper was trying to hide his life away from Eleven. It was for Eleven to feel like she was the only one in his life, the center of his small universe. Hopper was focused on Eleven and their bonding and you knew that, but it hurt to see Hopper completely erasing everything you two had. He should've told you right away. You weren't a bitch and this was a completely understandable situation.
Then you looked into his small room in the back of the cabin, repressed by only a doorframe and a piece of dark cloth. And Jesus fucking Christ, you could straightway tell that this room is Hopper's doing. It was ultra messy, his clothes were everywhere, there was an empty can of beer here and there, some leftovers, dirty and fresh clothes, unmade bed - yes, home sweet home.
And there you saw it - his old detective books, the album of naughty photos and the photo you loved so much directly on his nightstand. You walked through the mess and looked at the framed photo, having a small smile on your lips. When you put it down, you bent over to pick up his shirt, covering yourself in it.
You've missed him so much. Oh, you closed your eyes, breathing in his smell mixed with cologne and cigarette smoke. Dear Lord, the smell on its own made you smile.
After a while, you went back to the living room, still seeing his shadow reading the bedtime story, you've heard his voice changing rhythm and depth depending on which character he was reading as.
You didn't even know how, but during your waiting for Hopper, you've fallen asleep. When he entered the room, looking at sleeping Eleven for the last time, you were sitting on the couch, your legs were folded below you.
A smile spread on his lips when he walked to sit on the couch next to you. Hopper didn't mean to wake you up, but he couldn't stop himself as his fingers reached out to smooth the hair off your neck. Before he could stop himself, his lips were traveling on your neck. He heard you sleepily giggle, your palm smoothing one of his shoulders while he laid you down.
"Well, hello there." - You murmured into his ear and hugged him, while he pressed his body onto yours bringing you even closer. - "I've missed you." - Hopper sighed and continued with kissing down a trail between your breasts.
"Oh, did you?" - You mumbled back, slowly waking up. You've been sleeping for only twenty minutes, but since you've been on the edge of breaking down the whole day, you've been really tired.
"Every damn night." - His face appeared in front of yours and that smile... Made your heart pound faster. Your fingers were caressing his jaws and you finally rose your knees to rest them on his sides, pressing himself closer.
"Jim, Eleven..." - You mumbled and looked on the door while Hopper worked on kissing your neck, unbuttoning the shirt you had on. - "She's asleep. I swear."
"You also swore that you have a bottle of wine. Empty promises." - Your fingers caught his chin and you brought his face back to look at you. - “It will be better not to take things quickly. What about me coming here tomorrow? Its Saturday and maybe, I can find some things both me and Eleven like.” 
“No. For the first few times, I think it shouldn't be for too long. Before you both get a hold on it.” - Jim sat up and you immediately followed him. - “What about Monday night?” 
For a while, you kept quiet. Eleven was definitely a special girl, but now, she was somehow a part of your life as well. It was up to Jim and you to find a way to make all of this work. Slowly, you reached out for his hand and held it tightly. 
“Yeah. Monday evening sounds about right. I’m usually ready to go at eight o’clock precisely. Do you want to pick me up at Marty’s?” - You asked innocently, a smile appearing on your lips. 
“I'll be there. Eight o’clock, not a minute late.” - Jim answered and you nodded, standing up, ready to go for your jacket. Both you and Hopper knew that you have his shirt on, but you weren't giving it back by any chance. Of course, he walked you to the car, where you gave him a short look before opening the door. 
“See you on Monday. I'll take some food from the bistro so you won't have to cook. That girl is already enough of a wretch.” - You smiled and almost got in, but an arm stopped you. Hopper leaned in, cathing your waist and giving you a deep kiss. You got caught up in the moment for a while, but after a while, he let go off you.
“Monday, at eight o’clock. not a minute later.” - You whispered, stealing the last peck before you drove home.
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henrylevesconte · 2 years ago
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@hungry-hobbits @fellowshipofthegay @kswizzz86
Because you’re going to let me indulge in my weird ass connections, let’s continue on the Franklin Expedition/Donner-Reed Party parallels
Similar time line (1845-1849 vs. 1846-1847), major events happened during the fall of 1846 (Erebus and Terror frozen in vs. Donner pass closing earlier out of Truckee Lake/Alder Creek.)
Tuberculosis taking out early member(s) of the expedition. Beechey mummies/men sent back on Baretto Junior vs. Luke Halloran. In both instances they passed away early on in the journey/were some of the first to die. John Hartnell and Luke Halloran were both 25 years old when they died and both died in the same year (January vs. September 1846).
Both ventures began later in season than they should have and both began in May (1845 vs 1846). It takes up to six months to cross on the Oregon Trail into California, so May was pushing their luck in weather to begin with.
Belief in an existence of a miracle passage (the northwest passage vs. Hastings Cutoff) that would benefit the collective financially (quicker trade route, easier path for emigrants to move into the Californian territory [even if it still technically belonged to Mexico], Westward expansion and imperialism).
Cold weather conditions because of a global cooling period trapped both groups around the same time winter of 1846 into 1847. November was the cutoff point for the Donner Party as the Sierra Nevadas became packed with snow/impossible to cross by foot/wagon. Meanwhile the arctic was going through a severe cooling period that kept the crew trapped in the ice until their leave in 1848.
Things got even worse when they went on foot aka this is when the cannibalism begins. Though the Franklin Expedition left their ships in 1848, the overland passage and haul obliterated the remaining 105 crew members (maybe some survived for years later.... but only if you believe...). There’s plenty of evidence (archaeologically and oral history wise) for cannibalism with the Franklin Expedition and it shocked and horrified the Victorian rescue parties. The Expedition survived off of left over tinned supplies, meager rations, and hunting until they could no longer do so. They were better prepared for the long haul than the Donner Party (wagons can only carry enough supplies after all). The Donner Party in mid December of 1846 were in a world of shit, having run out of supplies, a volunteer group of 15 members of the 79 camped out decided to snowshoe overland what they predicted was a 40 mile (more like 70 if they knew how to traverse the terrain) distance to Johnson Ranch, an emigrant friendly rancher in California. The hiking group quickly fell apart due to starvation, exhaustion, snow blindness, hypothermia, madness (literally some of the men/children went insane on the hike and ran off into the woods naked or tried to bite the other members), or murdering one another. As food ran out, and all other food options were exhausted including oxen bones boiled until they didn’t exist and oxen hide rugs on makeshift cabins were consumed, the surviving camps and hikers took turns cannibalizing the dead. Only four of the original hikers made it to Johnson Ranch.
Both had multiple rescue attempts with loved ones rallying for the survival of their families (Lady Jane Franklin and James Reed who was exiled from the group for murdering the teamster John Snyder [ask me about it, it’s a mystery too!]) The rescue parties for the Franklin Expedition came many years too late but the Reed rescue parties managed to save 48 men, women, and children.
Incredible James’. We all know about the James Fitzjames and his bravery and leadership, James Reed, the other leader and main family in the party did some incredible and daring things to rescue the party that wanted him dead. After being exiled and left for dead, his step-daughter snuck him a horse where he rode to California to fetch supplies for the Party before the pass was blocked by snow. There he fought in several battles as payment for his rescue party and petitioned the US Navy for help in rescuing the trapped Emigrants. He made several journeys to rescue and care for the people who had threatened to lynch him just months earlier (pictured below JFJ and James Reed).
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Sir John Franklin and George Donner were both respected and wealthy leaders of both expeditions. They both died close in age (61 vs 62) and in the same year (June vs. March of 1847).
Anyways that’s what I’ve got for now! Sorry for clogging up your dashboards
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emisonme · 2 years ago
PR time line.............
Some can't seem to understand, how Shmila could have helped Camila get out of the PR with the con man. Let's explore the time line and maybe you'll have a better understanding of where I'm coming from.
Camila's debut album, had an original release date, of September 2017. She would have signed a PR contract with Ew, probably late August. These PR contracts are usually for a period of time, but the start and end dates, are flexible, because of the release dates of the Artists music being flexible.
Camila probably found out, sometime in late August, that her release date was being pushed, to November. That's why she followed the con man on SM, in October. They were preparing to unleash the PR, after the release of her album, in probably early December. Just in time for the holidays.
But, her album got pushed, yet again. The new date was January 12, 2018. She does the Elvis Duran radio show, on January 11. That is the first time we hear her or anyone else, utter that fuckers name.
The next morning, she does GMA. They schedule Con to appear on the same show. Why? To give us a PUBLIC reason for them meeting and the ensuing "relationship".
Three days later, Camila does Beats 1, with Zane Lowe. That's when we got the "maybe" when asked if she had a special someone in her life. Also, the whole, "I can't say your name without smiling" bullshit.
Then on February 9. 2018, we got the E-News exclusive Mexico beach photo-shoot. That's the day the actual PR began. They had signed the actual contract, MONTHS before, but because the album kept getting pushed, so did the start date for the PR.
That being said, I'm almost certain, they only signed a 1 year contract. I'll explain. We got their one year of public bullshit, but it really got laid on thick towards the end. If you notice, they did the same thing with Lauren and Tyrone. (It stayed pretty much SM until closer to the end, when they started doing red carpets and showing up to Industry events together.)
They did the "family" holiday thing, with both families, in December and January. Then on February 1, we got the pap pics of them leaving the movies, where Camila looks upset, and Con looks pissed. We also get turfers and "fans" taking to SM saying they had been arguing and Camila had been crying. That was the start of the "trouble in paradise" narrative.
The 10th was the Grammy's. After that, they both left for Dubai, and Camila's performance at Red Fest. They spent a few days hobnobbing around the Arabian Desert, taking lots of pics. Supposedly all happy. Then on February 25, Camila took his ass to that Vanity Fair shin-dig. That was their supposed public coming out, together. Camila had zero desire to be there with that fucker, and it showed.
Then, we got Camila's birthday post, on March 3. The things she learned when she was 21. A very interesting post, indeed. Number three, on that list, was talking about how complicated life and relationships are. How the right opportunity comes at the wrong time, and having to do something hard and uncomfortable, to be happy. (yeah, like PR)
Then she talks about how falling in love is the best thing ever. That leads us to number 8. There she says, life is to short, to hang with people you don't like, be in relationships with people that don't make you happy, or do things you hate. (yeah, like PR with an asshole)
Then MFP was released on March 25. In a song, with a video dedicated to people in relationships, Camila tells the world, she dedicated MFP to her favorite person, her little sister. (that's so sweet...but also very telling)
Why are those two things important? Because I firmly believe, the "split" announcement, and the official end to her PR, was supposed to happen in March.
So, what happened? Just like there is no official start date in a PR contract, there isn't an official end date, either. It's just a suggested time frame, of 1 year, 2 years, 3 years, etc. There are no hard dates built in, because in the Music Industry, everything is about timing.
Here's how I think it was supposed to go down. I think the announcement was supposed to come, just before the release of MFP. That would have explained the dedication to her sister, and would have given that song more promo.
But probably more importantly, It would have been perfect timing for FYA, if things had played out the way they were supposed to play out. She recorded that song with Mark, back in January. I think FYA was the song Mark was planning to release, with the pre-order link, which was on April 12. It would have been the best song to release with the link, and a public "split" would have been perfect timing for the release with the pre-order link. It would have gotten a shit load of media attention.
Instead, Epic got pissed, because Camila wasn't doing what they wanted her to do. It wasn't a damn song with Canada, Camila didn't want to do. She's game to collab with Canada, and just about anyone else who wants to collab with her. It was a PR relationship with him, they wanted her to agree to, but she didn't want to do.
When are some of you going to open your eyes and realize that. Her and Canada are real life friends. She'd probably agree to release a collab a year with him, if that's what he wanted. It's just music. A PR relationship, on the other hand, is a completely different story.
Epic, Island, and maybe Andrew, didn't JUST want a song. They wanted that song, to come with the bullshit we are getting now. Camila agreed to the song, but not the PR. So, what did Epic do? They delayed the official "split" with the dickhead.
Camila bought her house in April. They delayed the announcement of the purchase, until May 13, and had his name inserted into the damn article. Making it sound like she was going to be sharing her house with his ass. Did he ever step foot in her house?
Camila went to Italy in early May. They made it look like he went with her. He may have been there, but he didn't go "with" Camila. He was there to promote one of his books. She was there to get away from all the bullshit. They did have her walk through the airport with him, when they arrived back to LA, on May 12. The 13th, we got the article about the house. May 14, was the last pics we got of the two together.
On May 20, Camila posted one of the saddest pics, I've seen. You could tell, she was anything but happy. That's the day they want us to believe Ewmila "broke up". So, what could have happened between their supposed happy romantic trip to Italy, and the 20th? Absolutely nothing...with Ewmila. They were nothing to each other. Camila just wanted that motherfucker out of her life.
On May 24, we got the post saying, "the calm before the storm, with the 6 tornado emoji's. 4 days, after that very sad looking pic, she warned us this shitshow was coming.
On May 27, we got the pics of Camila and Canada eating outside, and the first media hits, asking "are they dating". Publicist planted that shit. May 30, FYA was released. June 8, Camila went to perform on stage with Alejandro Sanz, with no con artist in sight. June 18, she went to have her little chat at Cannes. She posted a pic, with the caption, "looks put together on the outside, but a mess on the inside". (or something close to it) That's also the day we got the first teasers of Senorita. The song and video was released on the 21st. Nothing but PR bullshit after that.
That's the time line, of how all this shit went down. That sad emotional pic, on the 20th, was a genuine sadness. She was an emotional mess, and NOT because of a "break-up". I think, that is the day, she gave in to the pressure, and made the decision to do the PR with Canada.
She wanted out of that PR shitshow with dickhead. The Label could have kept it going, as long as the dickhead agreed to keep it going, and why wouldn't he. It was getting him the attention he wanted. He didn't give a shit, it was causing her anxiety and emotional distress. (Matthew Hussey is a NARCISSISTIC PRICK, that's all about himself. The Label didn't give a shit, either. They just wanted their artist to do what they wanted her to do. IN MY OPINION!!!)
It really doesn't take that long to record and master a single. By the time they were seen eating together, on the 27th, they had probably already recorded the song, and were discussing the visuals for the video. They filmed it the first week of June or so.
I'm pretty sure, in my thoughts, that Camila only agreed to do this shit, if it was the song of her choice, the video visuals of her choice, and her team doing it. The song she chose, was HER song, Señorita. It wasn't difficult to figure out who that song was about. That's why Epic wouldn't allow her to release it, on her own. But, in a duet with Canada, they were fine with it.
This was all decided on, and done very quickly. That's how they were able to keep it a "secret". From agreement to roll out, it was all done in a months time.
So yeah, that's how I came to my conclusion, that Canada actually "helped" her get out of her PR shitshow with the Con man. How it was her song that was chosen. Her Label was pressuring her, to do this PR stunt with Canada, since 2018. Island and Epic, both wanted it. The song was just the pathway to get the PR started.
Camila is getting shit on, for something BOTH sides were pressuring and down right manipulating/coercing her to do. SHE DIDN'T WANT TO DO IT!!! Canada didn't really want to do it, either. But he's so damn scared of getting publicly outed, and it ruining his career, that he was willing to do anything to keep that from happening.
The only BAD GUYS, in all this shit, is Epic, Island, Andrew, and Roger. THEY are the ones so hell bent on keeping their clients "straight", and making a shit load of money off them, while they are being locked in their glass closet.
Roger should have put his foot down, and told Epic to make the public announcement, of the "split" back in May. Hell, he should have "leaked" the shit himself, on the 20th, when Camila posted that pic, if nothing else. That's why I place blame on him, for the way Camila is being portrayed by others.
The Sun, had the information for a while. They were told to sit on that information, until Epic was ready for the public announcement to be made. That's why the report started with, "I can reveal ...". Not, "this just in", or "Sources have confirmed", but "I can reveal".
The definition of reveal, for those who aren't sure...reveal: make (previously unknown or secret information) known to others....Yep, they sat on the info, until they were told to "reveal" it.
Agree or not, believe or not, that's my take on all this shit. This is how my mind connected all the fucked up dots.
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justasupersonicwoman · 2 years ago
On The Frontline Pt 1
WWIISoldier!Joe Mazzello x F!Reader, WWII!Gwilym Lee x F!Reader
Summary: You and Joe grew up as best friends in Brooklyn but when he is drafted to join the army, he leaves and you decide to join the nurses corp. Keeping in touch with letters, you communicate with your best friend but what happens when lines start to blur and feelings evolve beyond friendship?
A/N: This is going to be my first series and I am so excited to write it, I have big plans. I am always open to suggestions and comments so please give me feedback and this will be a love triangle, I`m not sure who the reader will end up with but it will be a wild ride.
Warnings: Swearing, there will be angst! Eventual smut in later chapters.
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“Promise you will write to me” you plead, grabbing onto his hand and he nods, shifting his bag further up his shoulder with his other hand.
“I will Y/N, I promise” he squeezes your hand and gives you a sad smile.
Wiping a tear from your eye, you return his sad smile and with a deep breath you tell him, “go kick Hitler`s ass for Brooklyn” 
“Yes ma`am” he salutes you and with that, heads off to join his infantry.
“He will be okay darling” your Mom strokes your arm while you watch your best friend head off to join the war.
“I hope so” you wipe another tear from your eye.
November 12th 1941
Dear Joe,
I know you only left a few days ago but I already miss you, I hope training is going well.
Mr. Smith next door mentioned to my mother that the street is quieter without you, what with you being the neighborhood menace and all, but I miss the chaos. 
Everything is so boring without you here.
Speak Soon,
After Joe left, you decided you couldn`t just sit around and mope so you signed up for the Army Nurse Corp, you had already started medical training prior to the war to be a nurse so it was a good fit and allowed you to contribute to the war effort.
December 1st 1941
Dear Y/N,
Training has been difficult but I made it! I have made some great friends in training but I am getting my assignment tomorrow so I will likely be traveling over to England before heading to the frontlines. 
Mr. Smith needs to stock up on some good whiskey, we only drank his supplies because he left them on his open window seal! Oh the times we got drunk in the community garden on his cheap booze! I haven`t had any alcohol during training but the boys said we will hit the pubs as soon as we dock in England.
I miss you bug,
You grin at his nickname for you and carefully fold up his letter, tucking it inside your keepsake box.
“All okay honey?” your Dad inquires as he comes up behind you and you smile softly, “yes just miss Joe”
“I know you do” he nods sympathetically and pats your shoulder, shuffling around the kitchen to grab a glass of water.
When your dad leaves the room, you take the letter out of your box and re-read it, caressing Joe`s name and the nickname he had given you when you were five. 
You had met Joe during a street party on the 4th of July when you were both six, he ran into you and accidentally tripped you up. You started to cry and he slowly helped you up, hugging you and saying “sorry” over and over again.
Once you calmed down, he smiled and announced his name with pride, “Joseph Francis Mazzello III” you told him your name and he gasped, “oh look!” he pointed to the ladybug that was resting on your shoulder.
“I will call you ‘bug’” he reaches for the bug but it flies off.
His smile drops and before you can say anything, he gasps again, hugging you again and declaring, “I will call you bug” and from that moment on your were best friends.
Snapping out of your memories, you place the letter back in the wooden box and stand up, deciding to get a head start on preparing dinner for your family.
December 24th, 1941
Dear Joe,
Merry Christmas! It is snowing here and the city is dull and withdrawn because of rationing. The war may have dampened the Christmas spirit but people are determined to have a good time, Mr Smith even offered some of his whiskey for us to celebrate. 
My medical training is complete so I am shipping out to London next week then I will be assigned to a unit.
Let me know where you are as I might be able to telephone you while I am in London and we can meet up.
Thinking of you,
The day before you were set to sail to Southhampton, a letter arrived for you and you practically ripped open the envelope to see it was from Joe.
December 30th, 1941
Dear Y/N,
I might be too late on this letter but Merry Christmas! I am not sure how long this took to get to you as I just arrived in London and we are waiting on our orders.
The pubs here are amazing, I don`t think I have ever drunk so much beer in my life and the “pints” flow all night. Some of the men from the Royal Army and Royal Air Force are with us on a joint base and I have met some swell fellas, one called Ben who is now my new best friend- sorry!
Just joking! You know you will always be my best friend, bug.
Look me up when you are in London and we can meet up before we are assigned.
Safe travels,
With a smile, you fold the letter up and put it in your wooden box, packing that in your suitcase for safe keeping. You didn`t have much with you but you figured it was better to travel light as you would be getting a uniform once you arrived in London.
“Be safe my darling and write to me all the time” your mother kisses you and hugs you close despite the movement of the crowd at the dock.
“Write to your mother and let us know when you see Joe over there” your dad kisses your forehead, tears swimming in his eyes.
You wipe a tear away and nod, bidding your parents goodbye, “I love you” you tell them and pick up your suitcase, heading down the walkway to the ship.
“And tell Joe how you feel!” your mother shouts causing you to frown before waving at her slowly.
Heading onto the boat, your thoughts whirled with your mothers words, “how I feel?” you mutter and sit down on the bottom bunk bed that would be your home for the journey.
The next few days on the boat, you dissect your mother`s words to see if you can figure out just exactly how you feel.
“Tell Joe how you feel” you groan and re-read the letter`s you and Joe had been exchanging during the early morning hours. Still, nothing changes for a few days and you are none the wiser to what she means.
Deciding to not dwell on it any longer, you enjoy the fresh sea air and before you know it, you are docking in Southhampton.
“Welcome to England Miss Y/L/N” the border patrol agent stamps your passport and you smile, grabbing your case before heading off to the buses awaiting the new arrivals.
It was a short trip to London and when you arrived, you were set up in a boarding house for the trainee nurses. Mrs Agatha, the landlady greeted everyone and assigned the rooms for your short stay with strict rules on how to live in her house. You were to staying with two girls called Betsy and Harriet who were ready to hit the town before the blackout curfew set in.
“Ready Y/N?” they called and you nodded, putting on one last swipe of red lipstick.
“How do I look?” you ask and they giggle, “like a girl from Brooklyn” you roll your eyes at their comment.
“Well we can`t all be from fancy smancy Manhattan” you prod Betty`s arm and she laughs.
The pubs were busy and bustling during the evening rush, you arrive in a cloud of smoke and watch as male eyes swept the forms of you and your companions. 
“Alright love?” one winks at you, adjusting his hat.
“What a blinding bird” one shouts and you blush a little at the attention.
“You`re popular tonight” Betty jokes and takes a sip of her Dubonnet.
“I-I`m not used to attention. Back in Brookyln, I was never the prettiest dame on the block so this is unusual” you shrug.
“Well get used to it, the fellas like you here and you sure are a doll” Harriet grins and winks at a Sergeant who was eyeing her across the bar.
“Another drink for the lady?” an American comes over to you and you freeze, he`s handsome: blue eyes, dark brown hair and tall. He has a confident smile and his uniform fits him perfectly, you redden at his attention and nod.
“Whiskey” you inform him and he chuckles, “I like a lady who can drink the good stuff” he calls for the bartender and gets you another drink.
You spend about an hour talking with the soldier who introduces himself as Adam Whitaker from Chicago and you notice how he steps closer with each passing minute.
The pub clears out as time goes by, drinkers stumbling home to their beds and you are left with Adam while Betty and Harriet have found their own soldiers for the night.
“So how about we head out of here?” Adam asks, tracing a finger down the length of your arm.
“I-um- I don`t” you clear your throat, “thanks for the offer but I`m going to head back to my room, I`m tired from traveling” you try to take a step back but he grabs onto your arm.
“Come on doll, I bought you a few drinks” he reminds you and says it like you owe him and he now owns you.
“And I thank you but I must go” you push on his chest but he presses you against the bar.
“Fuck no, you are mine for tonight” he growls, grabbing your upper arms.
“Get the hell away from her!” a voice shouts and pulls the soldier away from you, immediately landing a punch on his face.
Adam stands up and clutches his jaw, already turning purple from the impact.
“Listen pal-” he stumbles but stands straight, ready to punch his attacker.
“Joe?” you gasp.
“Hey bug” he waves but turns back to Adam, shoving him and threatening him for forcing himself on you.
“Oh yeah? What`s a small punk like you gonna do? Where`s your backup?” Adam chuckles and swings back, ready to punch Joe.
“His back up is right here mate so I suggest you fucking leave” a blond-haired man grabs his wrist and twists it behind his back, escorting him out of the pub.
“Fuck you both” Adam spits and leaves the “Dick Turpin”
“Are you okay?” Joe rushes up and cups your cheek in his hand, eyes scanning you for any injuries.
You nod and notice the change in him, he looked more muscular than when he left, his arms bulging and his hair cut shorter than before, he still looked as handsome as ever.
“I`m fine Joey” you reassure him.
“It`s so good to see you bug” his thumb caresses your cheek and you look into his brown eyes, both of you filled with happiness at being reunited.
A cough breaks your eye contact as you both look over to the interrupter.
“Am I going to be introduced mate?” the blond man winks at Joe who blushes a little and nods, “right, er, yes, Y/N, this is Ben Hardy, we met on the army base, he is in the Royal Army, and Ben, this is Y/N Y/L/N, my best friend from Brooklyn” 
“Pleasure to meet you” you reach across and shake Ben`s hand.
“Oh the pleasure is all mine love” he smirks and you don`t see Joe rolling his eyes at his new friend`s flirtatious antics.
“Right, I think you need a tipple to recover from that bastard, whiskey was it darling?” Ben asks and you nod, watching him head over to the bar to buy drinks for the three of you.
“It`s so good to see you bug” Joe smiles, reaching over to squeeze your hand.
“I missed you Joey” you squeeze his hand back and relax in the presence of your best friend.
A moment of silence passes between you before you clear your throat, “thank you for saving me from that asshole, I didn`t know how to react. I`ve never been noticed before so I think I enjoyed the attention but then he wanted to-” you feel the tears coming and one escapes, rolling down your cheek.
“He was an asshole and I`m so glad Ben chose this pub to walk into for a drink because I would never have forgiven myself if...” Joe trails off and wipes away your single tear with his thumb.
“And to say you`ve never been noticed before” Joe scoffs, “I had to fight off half of the neighborhood as soon as you turned sixteen because the boys kept commenting on how beautiful you were” he smiles and you roll your eyes.
“As if you did that for me” 
“I`d do anything for you bug” Joe declares with an utter seriousness that halts your breath.
Just as you were about to tell him the same thing, Ben walks over and places your drinks on the table.
“Here you go mate” he sets a beer down for Joe and hands you a whiskey.
“Calm your nerves down a bit, bloody lucky we came in here and found you. What are the odds of that?” Ben smiles and pats your hand.
“So now that the drama is out of the way, can you give me any embarrassing stories of Joe so I can entertain the chaps back at our barracks?”
“Oh where do I start?” you straighten up and begin to tell Ben all about your childhood with Joe.
Last orders were called and Joe offered to walk you back to your boarding house.
“I best get back, early start tomorrow. Lovely to meet you Y/N” Ben kisses your cheek and you blush a little, much to the annoyance of Joe.
“See you soon Ben” you wave as he walks down the street and you turn back to Joe.
“London is certainly different to Brooklyn” you laugh and Joe shakes his head, “you have no idea. You haven`t even been here a day, wait until you begin speaking with the locals, it`s as if they are speaking a completely different language” 
“I guess I will learn as I go, especially if I am to be treating them on the frontlines” 
“Don`t remind me, I thought I was having a heart attack when I read that you were joining the nurses corp” Joe sighs, “but I am so proud of you for wanting to do your part”
“Thank you” you smile and turn to look at Joe, the street are pitch black because of the blackouts and your eyes adjust to seek out your best friend.
“I worry about you too, out there fighting...what if you don`t come home?” you whisper.
“I will always come back to you bug” he promises.
“How can you promise that when the Nazis grow stronger everyday?” 
“Because you`re my best friend and I will always be there” he tells you.
Best friend - the word spun around your head and as you stood on that dark, damp London street, you had a revelation.
“Tell him how I feel” you mutter and Joe frowns, “what did you say?”
Your head hurts and you don`t even think when the words leave your mouth.
“I love you” you confess and Joe`s eyes widen.
Silence shrouds you both and you shrink, regretting your untimely admittance and wish you could re-do it with more romance than a semi-drunk confession in an alleyway.
“Y/N-” he pauses, “you`re my best friend. I love you but...not like that” he reaches for your hand but you take a step back, your heart aching.
“I meant in a friend way Joey” you fake a laugh and smack his chest, his answering chuckle was weak and you already felt the tears coming but you composed yourself.
Your breakdown would have to wait until you were alone in your bed and able to process your feelings and his lack of them for you.
“Oh...okay” he sounded disappointed.
“I`ll see you tomorrow?” you ask and he shrugs, “I`m not sure, I`ll head over here if I can get some time off”
“Okay, goodnight” you turn and open the door to the boarding house, regret seeping deep within your bones.
“Goodnight bug” Joe replies and immediately wants to kick himself for his reaction.
Tomorrow was another day, maybe things will work out.
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cnc-oh-boi · 2 years ago
CNCO Werewolf AU | Mating Headcanons
And here are the headcanons!!! Enjoy y'all!! Also, I have scenarios planned for each coming soon!! @cloudfiveclub tagging you because I know you've been waiting for this
Werewolves go through a mating cycle, from mid November to mid December. During this time, alphas become more aggressive and territorial, especially if they do not have a mate. Without a mate, they look for a mate, instincts telling them to impregnate (or at least fuck). With a mate, that extra energy is used to please their mate throughout the cycle. There are peaks in this time when they're extra horny, but this usually happens when they have a mate since it riles up their instincts. Alphas can experience multiple peaks, called ruts, which can last anywhere from two to five days.
Note: This is them with a mate, though. I'll be posting them without a mate at a later date.
Christopher: He is so fucking handsy during his mating cycle, more than normal. Usually, you sit next to him, his arm around you or at least holding hands. But no, not during this time of the year. He pulls you to his lap, arms keeping you close, lips ever so softly ghosting your bond mark. He gets a bit possessive, glaring and sometimes even growling at anyone who stares at you in a way he doesn't like. Has the self-control to act normal(-ish), so he can be in public without raising any questions during this time.
His ruts lasts around four to five days, and he usually has three ruts, only taking breaks for food and showering. Though he will fuck you in the shower, so not much of a break. His rut won't hit in public, so no frantic semi-public fucking, though if you really want that it doesn't have to be a mating cycle to convince him. As his birthday is in late November, he tries to time it so his rut hits then. He'll make you cum for every year he turns. Have fun.
Has the control to not immediately pin you to the bed and fuck you so hard the bed breaks. He will be a bit whiny, his instincts telling him to fill his mate up. Despite this, he won't until you're ready. After all, you're about to let a beast into your bed, best you're ready for it. Once his mate is ready, now is when pins you down, lips pressed hard against yours. He claws off both of yours clothes, growling as he drags his mouth to your neck.
He bites more, and loves to bite your bond mark. He breaks skin now, never doing so outside his mating cycle, liking how you'll have something more longer lasting than a hickey. He bites your bond mark as he fucks you hard, too, especially as you both cum. You can see the trail from your neck, down your chest, you stomach, your thighs, until it reaches that place between your thighs where he starts.
Likes to go down on you before fucking. Loves how you pull his hair and say his name and how his tongue and lips and fingers just make reality a suggestion. He usually loves blowjobs, but he tends to go a bit too hard during his mating cycle, getting lost in the feeling of your mouth, so go at your own risk. Gets a little sad if you spit though.
He'll fuck you in any and all positions. Prefers seeing your face as his cock unravels you, but does like taking you from behind every so often and giving your ass a few smacks. He has stamina for days now, so know he won't be stopping until either his rut is over or you tap out. Prefers fucking you on the bed, that he breaks, or even the kitchen counter, that's he's cracked as well. Likes against the wall too as it has you so close to his body.
Doesn't like coming on you. His instincts are telling him to fill you up, and yeah sure he likes the sight of his cum on your chest, but at that moment he needs to fill you up over and over and over. Literally, he won't pull out after he cums, he'll just keep fucking your cum filled hole until he's satisfied that you're filled. After that, likes watching it drip out and will use his fingers to push it back in. If you're walking around after (which as if you can after all that), he'll love seeing his seed drip down your thighs. And you know he's going to comment on it with a teasing smile and a mischievous glint in his eye.
Richard: Okay y'all, I know about this breeding kink thing and here is the au for it. Very possessive, in fact, he even gets upset if one of the guys look at you. He's self-aware of this and of course, the guys are also aware that it's that time of year so it's nothing personal. Don't expect to see the outdoors unless it's from a window as he fucks you into oblivion. Seriously. He want you all to himself.
He has shorter ruts, two to three days, but he has around four ruts total. Hates when his rut hits in public, but his self-control has improved a lot so this hasn't happened in quite a while. Prefers to not have people see him so worked up like that. If his rut does hit in public, however, he'll immediately take you home. Doesn't want to give others the chance to hear and see the things only he can.
He respects that you need a moment to prepare before spending the next two to three days fucking over and over, any good alpha does, but his instincts are yelling at him and he paces as you get ready. Once the word leaves your mouth, your naked with his mouth between your legs before you can even blink. Won't stop going down on you until it's driven you crazy.
Like blowjobs, but during his mating cycle, he prefers to cum inside you and not in your mouth. Feel free to get on your knees any other time of the year, though. Actually, please do because he will be more than grateful and will fuck so good for it. Not much of a biter, but will bite your bond mark as he fucks you.
For positions, he loves taking you from the back. Give him great access to smack your ass. Against a wall, where he cracks it with how hard his hand hits the wall as he thrusts into you. Against a mirror so he can see how his cock stretches you and pleasures you so much. On the bed, where he's broken headboards. Anywhere really. Fucks you facing you towards the end where he gets more sensual and loves seeing your face as you cum on his cock.
He will ONLY cum in you. Doesn't like coming on you regardless of mating cycle or not. Every cell in his body demands that he fill you up to the brim and then some. He grips your hips, fingertips bruising your skin, thrusting as deep as he can into you as he cums. Even if you two don't want to have kids at that moment, he still wants to plant his seed as deep as possible. After he pulls out, he makes sure nothing spills out. He'll tip your hips up, keep you from standing, hell even plug you up with his fingers. Maybe even his cock. Leading to more fucking.
Zabdiel: Having the best self-control, you didn't even realize he was in his mating cycle until you got home and he pinned you to the wall. He takes you right there, rut hitting him like a brick, deciding that the bedroom is way too far. After fucking you into the wall, he feels a bit guilty not making sure if you were ready for this time of year. Not that you mind, seeing him lose some control is hot when his usual is so calm and collected.
Won't stop biting and leaving marks on your skin. Not because he's possessive, but because he likes how it looks and how you moan as he marks you up. After the wall fucking, carries you to bed and takes care of you by eating you out. Won't fuck you until you beg for his cock, having the control to resist the ache. He wants you pleased first.
Once you do start begging, he'll hook your legs around his hips and slowly thrust his cock into you. Unlike Christopher and Richard (who are jack rabbits), he likes slower paces and feeling his cock drag against your walls. Of course, you love it too. He will pick up the pace if you ask. Not super rough either, as in he doesn't break furniture like the others do. Might rip a shirt or a pair of pants though.
His ruts are shorter, three to four days, and has two per cycle. Makes sure it only hits at home. Even if he's full of hormones and instincts, he will not fuck you in public. You can beg, but he'll tell you to save it for home. Only he gets to see you moan and writhe. No one else. His birthday is in early/mid December, but doesn't like to spend his birthday in a haze of hormones and fucking.
Not picky on position. Will do whatever position feels right at the moment. Missionary, cowgirl, doggy style, spooning, against the wall, whatever. Slight preference for positions that give him access your chest. If you have boobs, loves seeing them bounce as he fucks you. If he's hitting it from the back, he reaches around and grabs them.
Prefers to cum in you, but if you're going down on him, he'd like to cum on your chest if you'd let him. Yes, his instincts are telling him to fill you up, but he also likes seeing his seed on your chest. And trust me, he'll fill you up. A lot, like a lot a lot. If by any chance you're able to stand after all that and it makes his cum spill out of you, he's more than happy than to sit you on a counter and clean you up. With his mouth. Yeah, he'll eat you out when you're filled with his cum. All your moaning as he eats you out again makes him fuck you again right there on the counter.
Joel: This is when he's at his most dominant. As said before, he doesn't give much off an alpha vibe, so being overtly dominant like that is rare. Even when takes total dominance, it's playful and still the smiley man you know. But during his mating cycle? This isn't Joel with a playful smile telling you to please get on your knees. No. This is your alpha and he only needs to look at you to get you exactly where he wants you.
His self-control is alright. Unless his rut hits. Unlike Christopher, Richard, and Zabdiel who have the control to time their ruts so their at home and avoid possible scandals, Joel not so much. For example, at a club where he just sees you swaying those hips he loves and boom, his instincts and hormones spikes and he throws caution to the wind. His hands are all over you, he's biting your bonding mark, and his clothed hard on his pressed hard against you. The guys do have step in and make sure he doesn't just fuck you on the dance floor. At least in a semi-private place, man.
Now. He does not like sex in public/semi-public places. He greatly prefers privacy and he'd just die if anyone walked in on him. But, if his rut hits him while at that club with you, he will drag you to the back of the place and fuck you hard enough to crack the wall behind you. He can't help it. If you're wearing a skirt or dress, he'll love watching his cum drip down your thighs as he takes you home to really indulge in his rut with you.
His ruts last around three to four days, with two ruts per cycle. Doesn't like how it makes him lose control, he quite likes keeping his composure. Especially if it hits in public. He wears more tighter pants than say, Christopher, which hides nothing, and the internet exists. Would prefer no one but you know what he's packing. His first mating cycle with a mate, he'll hold back, not wanting to be too rough. That lasts about three hours as you notice the strain as he's fingering you. Doesn't hold back after that when you assured him it's okay to let his instincts take over.
For positions, he loves having you ride him. Don't get it wrong, he's still in charge, the tight grip on your waist remind you of that, but he loves seeing you unravel above him. He'll be in control of the pace, which can be slow or fast depending on what he wants at that moment. You can beg for one pace over the other, but he might not do it. Towards the end of the rut, he's on top, legs on his shoulders as he fucks you deep into the mattress. Other than that one time semi-public fuck, prefers doing it in the bed than anywhere else. Might break the bed, depends on how riled up he is.
He's like Richard as in he will not cum on you, only in you. This is where his alpha possessiveness comes out. He'll mark your skin all over with marks and bites and he'll fill you with his cum as his way of marking the place his mouth can't reach. He'll go down on you as a way of teasing, but he won't let you cum unless it's on his cock. Doesn't pull out for a while after coming, not wanting anything to spill out. If you tease by moving your hips during this time, expect him to give a smack on the ass and his hands to firmly hold you in place. If you persist, he might fuck you again if it riles him up enough.
Erick: Oh poor baby. His self-control is a work in progress, leading to unfortunate issues of his pants suddenly being very tight anytime he sees you, private or public. Will fuck you backstage before AND after the show, much to the guys disdain. You can see the desperation and need in his eyes and don't hesitate to take him home after the concert. The internet may or may not have exploded depending on the pants he wore for said concert.
If you need to get ready, do it quick because Erick is about four seconds away from fucking you on the couch after you close the door. You end spending the first few hours on the couch, getting fucked so hard you need a new couch. Hope you were ready for the beast because he can't hold back now.
His ruts can last two to three days to five days, with around two to three ruts total, as he's still settling into being a werewolf. Takes about two or three cycles to get regular. Feels very embarrassed that his rut hit before a concert, but he tries to joke it off. The guys do reassure him that it's happened to all of them at some point. You do too, promising that once you two are home he doesn't have to hold back and can let go.
Doesn't bite a lot, leaves some marks and will bite your bond mark when he cums, but not mouthy like say Christopher or Zabdiel. If you ask to eat you out, he will, but his instincts will take over and he won't finish, and instead start fucking you. Gets inpatient with blowjobs too, no matter how much he likes them, and won't finish in your mouth.
Likes any position that has you close to him and facing him. Loves seeing how you moan for him and ask for more. His pace is hard and fast, and won't slow down as he doesn't have the control to. He needs to fill you up and work out all the hormones raging in his body. Won't object if you want to ride him. You're gonna have his fingertips bruised on your hips from how hard he grips you. Feels a little bad afterwards, but you don't mind and may he secretly like how his fucking leaves marks on your skin.
He prefers to cum inside you, but also likes coming on your navel. Mostly inside though. Won't stop until he's satisfied that you're all filled up, which varies day by day. Makes jokes/comments on how good you take his cum and how you love being filled up. He likes the sight of his cum spilling from you, and will just let it drip. Sure his instincts tell him to keep it in you, but it's hot to see you so filled your body has no choice but to spill some out. It riles him up so much he's fucking you again.
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the-canary · 2 years ago
Sugar Plum - N.R
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Summary: She’s off chasing dreams and you’re along for the ride, in whatever way she may need. (Modern AU!Reader/Natasha Romanov)
A/N: this is for @blackwidownatalia for @itsbuckysworld secret santa challenge. this is also my first time writing for nat, so hopefully it isn’t a complete mess? thanks to @isavuu for helping me with the brainstorming <3
Feedback is always welcomed.
“I’m going to try out for the ballet studio down the street,” she tells you one night after you get home. Her voice is soft but determined as you nod from across your small kitchen table.
Natasha never spoke to you, in all the years you had known each other, about her younger years as a ballerina. Steve often mentioned it -how great she was as a teenager- here and there, but if Nat didn’t bring up you didn’t talk it, but since you started living together you had caught her once or twice looking at the ballet studio with some type of longing. However, you didn’t think she would go this far.
“What play,” you question, not knowing the exact term,”Or musical is it?”
“The Nutcracker,” Nat gives you a small smile as you cross the table top and give her light peck on the cheek.
“I know you’ll do great,” you grin, giving her all the confidence that you can for the both of you as she nods.
Natasha comes back to you after two weeks of training and practicing for the role she was aiming for. You aren’t used to not seeing her for an extended period of time, but once she is dedicated to something  -- she pushes through with it the whole way with all the crazy stubbornness and determination she seems to have.
You miss her terribly, but to have her smiling with a small card declaring her role in the December event you can’t help, but get caught up in the excitement of it all.
Natasha Romanoff -- Sugar Plum Fairy
“Ah man,” you starts with laugh as green eyes look at you waiting for your response, “I’m gonna know the most kickass fairy.”
Natasha smiles at your comment and that’s when she knows everything is alright between the two of you. It’s also the same night when you start looking up everything you can about The Nutcracker.
You end up watching the old PBS specials first because those are the easiest for you to find, as you soon realize that Natasha’s character doesn’t come out until the second act of the play. You try your hardest to make it through the first half time and time again. However, you soon realize that the more updated San Francisco Ballet is easier to watch than the black and white ones they used to show, and it’s one nights when Natasha is working late at the office, that’s you finally make into the second act.
You watch the Sugar Plum Fairy dance her dance with her cavalier and you can’t help but wonder how beautiful Nat might look all dressed and swirling about.
Over the next few days, you find yourself humming a familiar tune and if Nat finds some of your designs of a certain fairy with red hair she certainly doesn’t say anything about it.  
Autumn is in the air when Nat starts coming home a bit more annoyed and with aching feet, as she mumbles about her cavalier -- some guy from Brooklyn that has some productions under his belt with the company that thinks he’s just a bit too charming. You rush from your drawing room with a bucket of warm water, as she gives you a commiserating smile. She keeps talking, as a sudden idea comes into your head about this mysterious man’s attitude.
“Maybe, he’s just trying to get your attention,” you laugh as Nat groans in annoyance, as you are sure she knows what you are getting at, “You know what they say about boys.”
“Yeah, and I’m not into that,” Nat lets out a laugh before giving you a light peck on the cheek. You spend the rest of the night on the couch, listening to everything she has to say about the production so far as you can’t help but love the smile on her face.   
It’s near mid-November when it happens just like always, though Nat decides to work through her illness rather than take a break until she almost passes out during one of the last reherals. You end up leaving your advertising meeting early and heading to the little studio with food and medication. Old blue eyes is there watching over her when you finally get there, as Nat groans in annoyance at the sight of you.
“Didn’t I tell you to take it easy,” you murmur softly as you feel her forehead softly with the back of your hand. She says something, more likely than anything a curse, in Russian because she knows you are right. However, you are not here to reprimand her, as you tell the tall, broad man if he can get you a cool towel.
“Is that your cavalier?” you question, trying to move here away from thinking about her flu and not being able to perform for a couple of days with a silly question, as green eyes flutter in annoyance that you barely catch. She was always good at hiding it -- it was just that her being sick made it easier to do so.
“No,” she answers back with a hoarse voice, “You are.”
You pause for a moment and look at her, but she’s already asleep. You let out a nervous laugh as the man comes back and you thank him. You stay by Nat’s side until she wakes up and you make her eat, and even though she wants to get back into practicing the director --an older man named Fury--  tells the two of you to to go home for the rest of the week.  
Nat recovers in said week and pushes through the end of November and the beginning of December with unbridled determination that you barely see her at all, though you are there through messages to remind her to take it easy and drink plenty of water. You even got Bucky’s --her cavalier in the show-- to keep an eye on her, just in case.
It’s December 10th when it finally happens -- opening night.
This time you do make it through the opening act, front and center, without falling asleep and that’s when you get your breath taken away. Natasha as the Sugar Plum Fairy, and you can’t take your eyes off her of her for the rest of the night as you even hum with the dance. The act ends too quickly in your opinion as you find yourself clapping with the rest of the audience, as green eyes meet yours in the crowd as you give her a thumbs up.
It isn’t until little later, when everyone stops congratulating her and she pushes you into her little dressing room that you are able to gush about how much you loved the whole thing, as Nat just laughs and shakes her head as she prepares to take off her outfit.   
“What did I tell you,” you can’t help but grin at the sight of her in her glittering outfit as she gives you a weary but excited smile, something you had never seen before, “Most kick ass sugar fairy I’ve ever seen.”
“I’m the only sugar fairy you’ve seen,” she remarks looking at you through the mirror, as you give her a soft smile.
“And I wouldn’t have any other way,” you admit with all the love you have for her as she shakes her head.
Because she wouldn’t have anybody else, but you standing by her side when the curtain falls.
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nobeliumoxygenoxygen · 2 years ago
Class 1A || The annual UA Hunt
For the BNHA Gen Secret Santa exchange at @bnhagensecretsanta. My secret santa was @mymusicismylife77. It was nice meeting you (if talking to you on anon counts...) and I hope you enjoy this!!! 
WORDS: 16k (It got a bit long)
NOTE: You might need to pay attention to the times. Nothing really important but I jump around a bit and have really long time skips whoops. (And I’m so sorry I’m late!! (It’s the 24th where I am)) (pls excuse the mistakes I’m going to come back to edit more properly lol)
The snow piled on top of the dome. On a sunny day, they would have been able to see past the glass to the sky, but now, all they saw was the white nothingness. Though even if there had been no snow, it was too early in the morning for the sun to shine. 
It was unsettling, to say the least. Especially when the students of class 1A felt quite alone in their designated areas. Though they stood with their team, the silence was almost unbearable. The fact that the teachers were supposedly somewhere near them did not help their nerves.
The timers on their watches beeped.
Uraraka Ochako rechecked her suit, fighting off shivers and chills. Asui Tsuyu gave her an encouraging nod, mentally fighting off the cold. Iida Tenya and Midoriya Izuku shared a quick, soft smile. Todoroki Shouto scanned their area, the landslide looking exceptionally dangerous. It may have been early, but Team Christmas Tree was ready for the Hunt.
Hagakure Tooru bounced on her toes, the movements of her gloves and boots giving her away. She refused to think about the cold, refused to think about how much she hated her “hero suit” at this moment, as she lifted a gloved hand. Her teammates, Ojirou Mashirao and Sato Rikido high-fived her.
Jirou Kyouka leaned away as Aoyama Yuuga twirled around her and Yaoyorozu Momo. He was literally creating sparkles from his laser; from nerves or excitement or plain “Aoyama Yuuga”-ness, Jirou couldn’t tell. As impromptu her team had been, she was confident they’d be able to adapt to each other quickly enough, especially with Yaomomo in their team.
Kouda Kouji whispered to the small ant on his hand, his initial fear of the insect subsiding as he spoke with it. Tokoyami Fumikage and Shouji Mezou watched as their friend let down the insect and as it crawled out and away from them. Kouda straightened, a shy smile on his face as he nodded; it was done.
Bakugou Katsuki nudged Kaminari Denki and Ashido Mina, giving them a fierce glare as they jolted awake. They yawned loudly, the silence around them enhancing any noise. Sero Hanta shuffled away from some falling gravel, grabbing Kirishima Eijirou, sweating as he realised just how precarious the structure they were in was. It was too bad they’d been sent to the Ruins zone--with Bakugou’s quirk, it was all too easy to imagine everything crumbling down.
In unison, class 1A tensed as their timers counted to zero.
Their watches beeped, signalling they were allowed to move.
An announcement poured into their ears, the familiar yell of Present Mic over the intercom. 
And as one, class 1A jumped into action.
Their Hunt had begun.
“Sensei! What do you mean it’s only twelve hours? The poster said it was twenty-five!” 
Aizawa Shouta stifled a sigh. It’s okay, he told himself, they just want to know. It’s not their fault they didn’t wait for you to explain. He paused. Oh wait, it is.
He intensified his stare, silencing the mumbling going around the class, Ashido slowly sliding lower into her seat.
“For the first years, your Hunt is only twelve hours. Next year, it will be eighteen. And in your third year--if you make it, that is,” He couldn’t help but add, enjoying the way some of them blanched too much. None of them had forgotten Mineta, though his expulsion had been a relief. And a reality-check. “Your Hunt will be twenty-five hours long. It’s to prepare you, slowly but surely.” 
Another hand shot up. 
“Yes, Kaminari?” He called tiredly. How many questions could they possibly have? Everything should have been explained in the posters damnit. All he was meant to do was explain the date, time, and the short paragraph he’d been given to read out. 
“Why is it twenty-five hours?”
Bakugou scoffed, causing Kaminari to look at him.
“What? It’s a good question!” 
“Like hell it is. Why do you need to ask? It’s Yuuei. They’re not gonna stop at two or twenty four hours. They have to go that extra fucking mile.”
“Plus Ultra, and all!” Sero added.
Aizawa nodded, already feeling his eyelids droop. He shouldn’t have stayed up so late with Hizashi making those stupid posters. Actually, Hizashi shouldn’t have left those damn posters so late in the first place. Actually, he should have just left him to deal with it on his own; Nemuri was right, he had a soft heart. “I’ll answer any further questions after I tell you this.” He cleared his throat, looking at the paragraph Nedzu had written. It was far too short to be informative, but the principal did have a knack for surprises--and he definitely wanted to surprise the first years.
Aizawa opened his mouth to read it out. “Number one. You will form groups of three to five, no more and no less. Two, food is provided in the neutral zone of the entrance and water is located in the drinking taps around each area. Three, teachers will be out to cuff and eliminate you. If you are caught, you will be brought outside to watch your fellow classmates succeed where you failed.” His lip twitched at that. Nedzu was being quite straightforward. ‘For fun and stress-relief’ his ass, he knew as well as anyone that this was going to be a test of ability for the students. It was merely poorly disguised. “Four, you will be given watches that will provide a timer, a button for help, the list of items you may be able to find, and your point counter. Five.” Aizawa raised his eyebrows slightly. “Good luck.”
The class was silent, eyes either on him or focused on the desk--great, the problem child already looked like he was planning something. Even greater, Bakugou was grinning like he planned to blow up the Simulation Joint. 
“Well, I guess you all want to talk about it.” The sheer energy some of his students were emitting--namely Hagakure, Ashido, and Kaminari--told him enough. As soon as he dismissed them, they’d be on their feet chattering on and on. He might as well give them mercy. “You may talk about it for the rest of homeroom.”
As he’d expected, half the students were out of their seats, gravitating towards their friendship groups, probably creating their teams already. Aizawa sighed, slipping into his sleeping bag before shutting his eyes.
The temperature was much nicer indoors, better than the cold outside. 
Aizawa fell asleep much faster than usual, to the sounds of his students’ chatter.
Uraraka scanned the rocky area, looking down at the slope and the buildings that jutted out. She found nothing in particular but still knew that something had to be there. From up high in the air--courtesy of her quirk and Asui’s tongue wrapped around her torso--she could see some of the other areas. She could even see the Central Plaza and make out the glint of the Golden Sack--though maybe that was just her imagination. 
She twisted in the air, trying to spot something--anything, really--but found nothing that screamed out to her. She sighed, tapping Asui’s tongue to signal she was done.
There was a sudden tightening around her waist and she was slowly pulled lower and lower. When she touched down, she released her quirk, the effects of gravity returning, and Asui pulled her tongue back.
“Did you find anything?” Midoriya asked. She shook her head sadly. 
“There wasn’t much. There’s lot to see on the grounds, but not here. Nothing, well, nothing really stood out enough to check it out,” Uraraka explained, shrugging. “No bots either. I guess it’s too rocky to have a bot roaming around this place.”
Iida stepped forward, a hand on her shoulder. “No need to worry Uraraka-san! We’ve only just begun the Hunt! We can explor--”
A burst of ice exploded from the ground, Todoroki suddenly yelling. “Move now!”
The other four ducked down, scrambling away as Todoroki blasted another wall of ice before following. 
The ice triggered a landslide, rocks and debris raining down on them.
“What is it Todoroki-san?!” Iida called out, slowing to allow the boy to catch up.
“Midnight,” He said simply, all the explanation they needed. They nodded.
The hour they’d spent without seeing a single teacher had been far too quiet--suspicious, even. They shouldn’t have been surprised, and yet they still were. How she had managed to come up close enough that Todoroki had had to use his ice quirk in such a large burst...
At least they were on full alert now, eyes darting to every crevice in the landslides area.
They moved into formation; Todoroki in front, Iida and Midoriya at the back, and Uraraka and Asui in the middle. They’d planned that formation in case they ever needed a quick getaway from a threat, either from in front--which Todoroki would take care of--or the back--which Midoriya would take on. Putting Uraraka in the middle was so that she could use her quirk on the others, and in turn, Asui would be able to latch onto her and Todoroki, and then Iida would activate his engines to run, picking them all up on the way.
They continued to run for a good few more minutes, unsure of how fast Midnight was. Would she be able to catch up? Was she stuck in the ice? They doubted it; their teachers were craftier than that.
Todoroki swerved into a dark overhang, the crevice deep enough to hide the five of them as he created an extra layer of ice to protect them in case the overhang collapsed. 
Uraraka leaned against a wall. The run had been rocky and dangerous--one wrong move and they could have gone sprawling down the hill.
“Do you think we’ve lost her?” Asui asked, staring worriedly at the entrance of the cave. 
“For now, yes, but not for long.” Todoroki used his flames to light the cave more, moving his arm to look around. 
Midoriya gasped, stopping Todoroki’s arm to leave it in one spot. A bauble sat in a hole, hidden enough that unless someone had been standing right where they were, it wouldn’t have been seen. Uraraka eagerly walked to it, snatching it and grinning triumphantly as she showed the glittering ‘2′ painted on it.
“We’ve found something! Finally!” She cheered, rubbing the bauble affectionately. When she remembered the others, she blushed, shyly handing it to Iida. 
Their watches beeped. Their point counters now all said ‘2′. Their first points.
Iida smiled. “Well done Todoroki-kun! You found this cave, and so, you have found this bauble too!”
Todoroki shook his head, a small smile on his own face. “It was just luck. I did not see anything from the outside.”
“We should leave the cave now. There wouldn’t be anything else in here. If Midnight finds us, we’ll be trapped, kero.” They nodded, turning when a new voice spoke.
“It won’t be Midnight trapping you inside.”
They tensed, eyes landing on a familiar figure who stood at the mouth of the crevice.
Ectoplasm. Or, at least, one of Ectoplasm’s clones.
“I’ll be eliminating you all now.”
The sound of crashing and explosions filled the air--but it was distant, echoing off the dome. 
Jirou looked above, aware of the way the rocks were suddenly all around them. She glanced behind her, meeting Aoyama’s distressed eyes and Yaoyorozu’s worried ones. 
“Where do you think that came from?” Yaoyorozu asked, hand braced on the rocky wall. “It sounded terrible.”
“Perhaps it was Bakugou-san,” Aoyama suggested. 
Jirou shook her head. “No, that was too...rocky, not like Bakugou’s explosions. It was a landslide.” 
“Ah!” Yaoyorozu gasped. “That’s right! The mountains area is right next to the landslides!” She nodded. “It was probably from there.”
The other two agreed silently and left it at that. No one really wanted to think about the implications.
Truthfully, the sounds had been one of the few things they’d heard. It was jarring, being in almost utter silence save for the sounds of their own footsteps and the falling of small rocks and gravel, to hear the loud booms. But it reminded them of the outside.
Had USJ always been so big? Jirou swore it hadn’t been so big before--not even during that USJ attack, and she obviously knew how isolated she had felt, being so far away from everyone else except for Yaoyorozu and Kaminari.
They’d been walking for so long, her feet were beginning to hurt, no matter how much she refused to acknowledge that. An hour and--what? Ten minutes?--her feet were already aching.
The worst part was that they hadn’t found anything but a candy cane, which had only been one point. 
“Oh finally!” Aoyama suddenly cried out, pushing his head over Jirou’s shoulder to see the opening of the gap they’d been walking through. It hadn’t seemed so long and narrow when they’d first squeezed into it. They’d glimpsed the other side and had thought it would only be a good five minutes walk--it had ended up taking ten minutes. “I have never been so glad to see more rocks!”
Yaoyorozu and Jirou cracked small smiles. That was true. 
But Jirou still held up a hand as she stopped a few feet away from the opening, plugging her earlobes into the rock and sending sound waves. 
Nothing, nothing--wait.
She turned, looking up. 
“Yaomomo, can you look behind you a bit? There should be something back there.” Yaoyorozu nodded, stepping back and looking up to see a small rock jutting out from above.  
“Is it on that?” 
Jirou nodded. “I can get it, though.” She extended an earlobe, reaching up and over, brushing against the surface of the rock--
She furrowed her brow, then sensed the slight beep within--
“TRAP!” She screamed, jumping backwards into the open. 
Jirou’s eyes widened as she fell backwards, eyes on Aoyama as he lunged for her. 
They wouldn’t make it.
The explosion knocked Aoyama to the ground, his hands instinctively reaching up and over his head. It rocked them and though his eyes were shut, he recognised the moment something fell over him, covering him from the light.
Oh non oh non--had a rock landed above him? Was he trapped? What about Yaoyorozu-san?
He risked peaking his eyes open, lifting his head to see a sort of metal roof above him. 
Yaoyorozu coughed. “I-I just managed to get something out before anything hit us. Aoyama-kun, are you alright?” 
He nodded, blinking rapidly. “Merci Yaoyorozu-san!”
“Guys!” Jirou called from the opening, ducking down to see them. “Are you alright?”
“Oui Jirou-san! My sparkle is fine too!” Jirou nodded slowly at that, slightly confused. 
“Can you crawl out?”
“Yes Jirou-san!” Yaoyorozu said from behind. “Aoyama-kun, do you mind?”
Aoyama started crawling forward, his face scrunching in distaste as he noticed how much dirt and gravel had lodged itself in his suit. But he kept going forward, shaking his head to rid his hair of the excess dirt as soon as he made it out. Yaoyorozu followed suit and the team stood out in the open. 
Aoyama turned, seeing the red in the corner of his eye. “Oh! Is that a candy cane?” 
The other two stopped, turning to see the candy cane resting on top of Yaoyorozu’s metal sheet. Smiles broke out on their faces. Aoyama reached forward, eager to grab the candy cane when--
Ectoplasm leapt down, landing on top of the sheet, his boot crunching down on the sweet. 
Aoyama lurched backwards, bumping into Yaoyorozu and Jirou, all their eyes trained on the teacher.
“Come on, can’t you give us a break?” Jirou muttered lowly, eyes narrowed. 
He stayed silent--it was probably a clone--but charged forward and the trio dived to the side: Aoyama and Jirou to the left, Yaoyorozu to the right.
Ectoplasm’s leg snapped out, catching Yaoyorozu in the stomach, sending her rolling away. 
She stopped rolling a few metres away, pushing herself up and squinting as Ectoplasm quickly ran after--her eyes widened, readying herself to produce something else when he suddenly swerved to the side, Aoyama’s laser shot missing.
He stood, hands behind his head as he shot laser after laser at the teacher, forcing Ectoplasm to dodge dodge dodge--
It allowed Jirou to come up from the side, her earlobes out and racing towards him--
They landed, sticking into the clone’s body and she let out a sound wave large enough that it melted back into, well, ectoplasm.
The three of them panted, left alone in the clearing. Yaoyorozu stood up shakily, dusting off the gravel from her cloak. Jirou walked over to her, helping her steady as Aoyama approached, trying to ignore the way his stomach ached. 
“That was...” Yaoyorozu began.
“Terribly rude.”
The girls looked at Aoyama, who smiled. “Honestly, right after an explosion too!”
“I suppose we should expect nothing less from Yuuei.” Yaoyorozu said, nervously laughing. The other two agreed.
“Still.” Jirou twisted an earlobe around her finger. “It’s only the first hour and--” She glanced at her watch, “--fifteen minutes. What else will we have to face?”
They looked at each other, the reality check slapping them in his face. 
Aoyama twirled on the spot, startling the other two. “Well, let’s not waste time then!” He stopped, grinning, almost sparkling. “We’ve got candy canes to find now!”
Jirou and Yaoyorozu glanced at each other, then back at Aoyama, who was already looking around the open mountainous space. They smiled.
None of them noticed that their point counter had gone up by three.
Midoriya didn’t hesitate once as he ran forward, using a small percent of One for All to push him forward; his arm pulled back as he charged it up, aiming straight for Ectoplasm.
“GO NOW!” He yelled.
Iida spurred into action, activating his engines as Uraraka used her quirk on her and Asui, Todoroki too far back to reach. 
Midoriya was close--so so close. He waited until he was just a foot away, until his fist was a foot away, and heaved it towards Ectoplasm, the teacher having kept still.
He ducked and Midoriya punched the air, cracking the ground slightly from the force. 
He couldn’t dodge Ectoplasm now and with the teacher jumping straight up and landing his head right into Midoriya’s stomach, he was forced to take the blow, eyes bulging.
Though it allowed Iida to run past, Uraraka and Asui holding on. 
Asui shot out her tongue, wrapping it around Ectoplasm and pulling--
Their teacher was thrown into the air, spiraling down down down the slope, rolling and rolling until he disappeared below. 
Iida gritted his teeth, hard, as he forced himself to stop before he followed Ectoplasm down. 
It wasn’t enough. He was going to fall and bring the two with him damnit damnit--
Uraraka pressed all five fingers to shoulder and Iida went weightless--the three of them weightless together--
They slowly floated forward, Iida’s legs leaving the ground before Todoroki reached out and grabbed his foot, pulling the three back down. 
When their feet were firmly on the ground, Uraraka released her quirk, her stomach only slightly upset. She sighed in relief--both in evading Ectoplasm and in her stronger stomach. 
Then their attention was taken by the groaning Midoriya.
“Midoriya-kun! Are you alright?” Iida called, marching to the doubled over boy. 
Midoriya raised his head, a shaky smile on his face. “Y-yep! Just...just fine.” He dropped his head again. “That was just a really, really strong headbutt,” He said, voice wobbling.
“It’s okay Midoriya-chan, we can stay for a bit while you recover,” Asui said, crouching down next to him.
“I don’t think so,” Todoroki spoke up suddenly, getting their attention. “Our watches haven’t gone off. We would have gotten three points if we had defeated Ectoplasm, but we haven’t. I don’t think he’s incapacitated.” 
They blinked, all looking at their own watches for confirmation. 
“We’ll be on the lookout for him!” Uraraka declared, pumping a fist in the air. 
“And Midnight-sensei!” Iida added.
Midoriya shook his head, straightening slightly. “No, it’s okay, I can handle--” His cheeks puffed out.
“Midoriya, you shouldn’t push yourself. You’re clearly still recovering.”
“It’s just a headbutt guys, I’ll-I’ll be fine after I stand up.”
“A headbutt from Ectoplasm,” Asui corrected. “Though, I admit, I am a bit surprised. He must be stronger than expected to get such a reaction from you, Midoriya-chan.” She tilted her head. “After all, you manage with broken arms and--”
“Annnd that’s good Tsu-chan!” Uraraka interrupted, smiling apologetically at the other girl. She made to put a hand on Midoriya. “Don’t worry Deku-kun! Just relax--”
“Oh? So you were here all along?”
They tensed, blood freezing.
Midnight stood above them, perched on a ledge high up. She smirked down at them, holding her flogger whip from her shoulder. 
Midnight licked her lips, her eyes narrowing. 
“Seems like you were just attacked.” She rolled her shoulders. “Well, it’s not my problem.” 
The atmosphere thickened as she shifted her weight.
“It’s so early to be eliminated.”
“Bakugou, if you growl one more time you’re going to turn into a dog.”
“Shut up pinky.”
“Hey! I thought we graduated from stupid nicknames!”
“Not when you’re being annoying.”
“Hmph! You’re the one being annoying, growling like a dog at this and at that!”
“Well, maybe if we’d start doing something I wouldn’t be so restless.”
Clang clang.
“Guys!” Sero yelled, eyes widening at how loud his voice had been. The bickering two stopped to stare at him; Kirishima nudging Kaminari to wake the blond boy up more. “Didn’t you hear that?” 
“Hear what?” Kirishima asked, looking around them at the creepy buildings.
“I don’t know, like, something moving?”
Bakugou scoffed. “We’ve been hearing these buildings fall apart for hours. That’s nothing new, damnit.”
Sero shook his head, determined to make them hear it too. “No, no it was new. Not like something had broken. Like something had been pushed off.” He held up a finger. “Just-just wait, yeah?”
They waited for a good twenty seconds, though some more begrudgingly than others.
“Oh come on!” Sero groaned, throwing his arms into the air. “So when I need them to hear it you don’t make a sound!”
Kirishima patted his shoulder. “Don’t worry Sero--”
“Oof, you alright there Sero? Not going crazy?” Ashido poked his helmet. Sero sighed, stepping away. It was no use. Unless he heard it again, unless they all heard it, they probably wouldn’t believe him.
They continued walking, eyes on all sides.
The ruins were creepy. They’d nailed that aspect of this area, at least. The buildings were tall and leaning against each other precariously. There had to be more around here, but so far they’d found only three candy canes and one bauble--their points adding up to four in total.
It wasn’t the same as before--during the USJ attack--Kirishima had to admit. It was quiet, so so quiet, so unlike the way they’d been attacked from all sides by villains back then. He was happy to be with his friends.
Kaminari yawned again--getting him another harsh nudge to the back.
“Goddamn, how tired can you be?” Bakugou huffed.
“I’m sorry okay!” Kaminari said, raising his arms in surrender. “I’m not used to waking up at the buttcrack of dawn!”
“It wasn’t even that early!”
“For you!” He retorted. “No normal person wakes up at five to do morning jogs you know.”
“Hah? What do you mean no normal person? People who want to fucking exercise will do that.”
“Ughhhh, we already do so much exercising at school. I can’t figure out how you want to do more--”
“Okay that’s enough,” Ashido interrupted, pushing forward to lead the way through the streets. Or fake streets. She still wasn’t sure whether she was impressed by the authenticity of it all. It seemed too real to be fake. Had it really been built like this? Or did Yuuei just build around a ruined--
“Wow, it’s not like it was you and Bakugou fighting just a minute ago,” Kaminari mumbled, pouting.
Ashido simply smiled as they broke into a crossroad, a few cars piled up in the middle.
As they neared it, she gasped excitedly. “Oh oh guys guys! I think I see a candy cane! Finally!” 
She raced forward, Kaminari hot on her heels. There hadn’t been a rule about not eating the candy canes, and so far, they’d all given the lollies to him. Apparently, they were trying to ‘wake him up’ with sugar. He’d keep faking his sleepiness if it meant he got all the candy canes.
The other three followed more slowly, looking around.
Sero’s gut clenched. It was too easy. Right in the middle of the road. He fingered his helmet, using the new upgrades the support department had added--heat vision, night vision, to name a few--since the start of winter.
With the heat vision activated, he turned as he walked, looking at the buildings, down the road, the roof--
The roof!
“Ashido! Kami! Duck!” 
The duo did as told without question, ducking and diving to the sides as a few bullets shot out towards them, shattering one of the car’s windshield.
Bakugou grinned, crouching. “Snipe, huh?” 
“Hm? Yeah, why?” Sero turned--
Just in time to see Bakugou running forward, the bullets narrowly missing him as he propelled himself with his explosions.
“Bakugou!” Sero and Kirishima yelled. They glanced at each other, before clenching their jaws and rushing after him. 
Bakugou raised his arm up high, in the direction of where the bullets were coming from--
He smirked at the explosion, the satisfying recoil of his shoulder as he continued forward, leaning down to grip Ashido’s collar and heave her up.
“Let’s go damnit!” 
She swayed but steadied herself, following him across the road and behind the building. They glanced back to see Kirishima and Sero yank Kaminari up, running after them. 
“So what do we do?” Kirishima asked when they regrouped.
Bakugou’s grin was near-feral. “We take him out, of course.”
Kaminari stared. “Do we even get points for getting him?”
Sero tapped at his watch, scrolling through the activity sheet quickly. “Uhhh--” He reached the end, the last activity glaring up at him: ‘FIND SANTA AND THE GRINCH!’ He looked above it, finding what he was looking for. ‘INCAPACITATE A TEACHER WITH THEIR OWN CUFFS - 20 POINTS!’ “We get twenty points.”
“Hell yes!” 
“Oh hell no, do you think we can take him?” Ashido said, incredulous. 
“What? You think we can’t?”
“Well, I mean, it’s Snipe and--” 
Bakugou cut off Kirishima. “And invisible girl and four-arms--”
“--won against him during exams. This’ll be a piece of cake.”
Sero shook his head. “Sorry, I’m not convinced. They had quirk suppressants and weights on back then.”
“And they were only two against him. We’ve got five against one.” Bakugou sighed, irritated. “Do you really think we’re all that fucking weak?”
Kirishima smiled at the phrasing. “We can’t slip up this early in the game.”
But Kaminari was nodding, a grin forming. “You know what, I think we can take him on.”
“Hah! See?”
“Yeah,” He said absently as the idea grew on him. “Yeah! Come on guys! Let’s do it!” Kaminari stood straighter, his arms raised in excitement. “We’re class 1A! If anyone can take him on, it’s us! Five against one!”
Ashido raised an eyebrow at him as she murmured to Sero, “Motivational speech much?”
Bakugou clapped Kaminari on the back--probably a bit harsher than what was normally deemed affectionate. “So you do have some guts!”
He turned to the others, his grin downright feral now. 
“We’ve gotta go plus ultra, right?”
Sero looked at Ashido, then Kirishima. He wasn’t sure they were sold yet, but he knew if the two kept at it, they probably would be soon.
“Brave words for people standing around unguarded.”
The five shots were impossibly loud in the otherwise silent ruins.
Aizawa grimaced as the familiar screaming of Yamada filled his ears. Well then, he thought bitterly, it seemed he was on the move. He wasn’t sure if it was a bad thing.
No one had made a move on the golden sack. Which was good. He didn’t really want to fight this early in the Hunt; didn’t want to eliminate any of his students this early. Of course he wanted them to have fun--god, did they deserve to have fun--but it didn’t mean he was going to go easy on them.
Nevertheless, as Yamada’s screams echoed from the Flood zone, Aizawa felt a shift in the Simulation Joint.
Yamada’s voice would be heard from all over.
It was a wake-up call for everyone.
Maybe he would need to prepare.
“See anything?” Hagakure called out to Sato, a few metres away on her left. She refused to let herself shiver, knowing that if she started, she probably wouldn’t be able to stop. Ugh! She really hated her ‘hero suit’ right now. No, actually, she hated that the USJ wasn’t heated properly. Come on--did the teachers even care about them?!
Sato shook his head, sighing. “Nothing! The water’s too dark. Was it always this dark?”
Ojirou jogged back over. “I don’t think so. I think they made it darker for the Hunt.” Sato groaned.
“That makes things so much easier for us.”
“If only we had Tsu-chan with us!” Hagakure said as she walked over. “Hey, Sato, are you sure we can’t eat the candy canes?”
Sato looked thoughtful for a few moments before shrugging. “Well, they didn’t really say anything about eating it. Or not eating it. So...”
“So can I eat one?” She asked hopefully, clasping her hands together. “It’s already nine thirty! We’ve got the points from the candy canes, they can’t take it away right? Because, technically, we still have the candy canes--it’ll just be in my stomach!”
The boys glanced at each other, smiling at Hagakure’s logic. It was...technically right.
Her stomach rumbled. Loudly.
“Oh! That’s-that’s embarrassing!” Hagakure squealed, hands on her face. “Don’t look at me! I’m just starving! Ahhh!”
Sato scratched the back of his head, reaching into one of his pouches. “I guess we should have some. To keep our energy up.” He pulled three candy canes out--three of the five they had--and handed one each to the others, keeping one for himself.
So far, Team Spirit had eleven points. They had probably exhausted the supply of candy canes and baubles in the flood zone, having found most of the candy canes as they went down the water slide.
That had been a disaster. The water slide had had an explosive halfway through, and as Ojirou slid down, he’d triggered it, collapsing the slide. He’d splashed safely in the water though, but not before giving Hagakure and Sato mini heart attacks.
There’d been three candy canes in the slide alone. They weren’t complaining, it was a good thing, especially since they hadn’t found anything else after that.
Ojirou had seen something glittering underwater though, and he’d attempted several times to swim towards it, only to come up sputtering and coughing. It was too deep but he had sworn it was a bauble--a shiny, golden one too.
So now they were peering into the dark water, trying to find more, closer baubles but with no luck.
“Should we just leave? I don’t think there’s a chance of us getting whatever’s down there unless you’re sugar rush gives you bigger lungs,” Ojirou said, looking at Sato.
Surprisingly, the boy blinked in thought. Then shook his head. “Man, I got really hopeful there but...” He sucked on the candy cane resentfully. “Even if I did get bigger lungs, I’m not confident that I’d make it back up safely--cause I get sleepy and all.” Ojirou nodded, understanding.
“So!” Hagakure started. “What should we do? If we leave, where do we go?”
They looked around.
The conflagration and ruin sections were next to them, but they were sure some of their classmates had been put in those areas. Would it be a good or bad thing to run into them? Would the competition be too intense? Would there be anything left in those areas?
“Maybe we should try just going down into the general area? And take down some villain bots?” Sato suggested. The other two thought about it for a few moments.
“That sounds like a good idea! But...well…”
“What is it, Hagakure?” Ojirou asked.
“Like, is anyone else down there? It’s silly, never mind!”
“No no, go on, it’s okay,” Sato insisted.
“Well, I just think if no one else is down there, does that mean we’re doing a bad job? Only because that means they’re all still looking and haven’t given up on their areas!” She added hastily.
The boys nodded slowly. She had a point. They glanced at each other. Were they giving up too easily?
They froze momentarily, turning to see Present Mic standing on top of the rocks, staring down at them.
“YOU KIDS ALRIGHT?!” They swallowed, Sato finishing the rest of his candy cane--it wasn’t his pure sugar, but it was still sugar. “WELL EITHER WAYYYY! I’M GONNA HAVE TO TAG YOU ALL NOW, YEAH!”
Present Mic opened his mouth.
“COVER!” Ojirou yelled, bracing himself.
The scream was piercing. It hurt and made their heads ache no matter how hard they pressed their hands to their ears.
Ojirou gritted his teeth as he pried his eyes open, staring at the water. It was rippling--but would it muffle the sound?
At this point, anything was better than the screams.
He let go of his ears--loud loud loud--and lurched forward, grabbing Hagakure’s gloved hand and Sato’s torso with his tail. Sato opened his eyes, wordlessly asking the question.
“THE WATER!” Ojirou yelled. He doubted they heard, but Sato nodded, and all Ojirou could do was hope Hagakure had understood too.
They ran forward, leaping into the air and splashing into the cold water.
Instantly, it filled their ears--good, oh thank goodness it really did muffle the screams.
Present Mic stopped, watching the trio disappear underwater. He grinned. “Ah, smart kids. Really, why’d they put me in the water area?” The grin darkened. “Ah well. I conquered water a long time ago.”
He leapt down from his perch on the rocks, stepping into the water until he was knee deep. He sighed. “Man, and I just got this dry-cleaned too.” Shaking his head, he inhaled deeply.
Hagakure gasped, bubbles escaping her lips as the water rippled. The other watched her worriedly as she began to thrash, swimming up and up, losing her hold on Ojirou’s hand. They followed--it was probably a better time than any to get a breath of air in.
As soon as they broke the surface, the screams returned with full force, their gasps of air lost in the noise. 
Hagakure ducked back down, the vibrations in her skull making it hard to figure out where the screams were coming from--she hadn’t had the nerve to stay above water for too long.
They swam as far as they could, breaking the water to breathe and duck back down. 
How long was the lake again? How long had they been swimming for?! Sato thought tiredly. He glanced at the other two, meeting Ojirou’s eyes. We have to take him out. He wasn’t sure if the message was conveyed, but the boy nodded.
Hagakure gurgled something incoherent, pointing ahead.
A dark mass loomed just in front--the ship!
Bracing themselves, they waited until they were right next to it before swimming up.
Present Mic frowned, stopping to rest his throat. He hated having to push that hard to be heard underwater. Now, where were they? “Great job Hizashi--you lost them.” Probably for the better, he added to himself. He didn’t really want to have an underwater battle--his clothes were far too good for that and this early in the Hunt? He was not going to fight the other students sopping wet.
Meanwhile the trio were slowly swimming around the boat, finding a ladder to get on or at least hold onto.
“It stopped. He stopped.” Sato huffed out.
“Not for long though. I’m sure he’s gonna start any time now.” They nodded.
Hagakure looked down, squinting at the water. “I’m going to see if there’s any baubles on the hull!” She breathed deeply and ducked down before hearing their responses, using her hands to propel herself forward through the width of the ship. 
Nothing nothing nothing. Dangit! There had to be something right? The ship had been the one thing they hadn’t checked yet, considering it was out in the middle of the lake and she really hadn’t wanted to jump in--it looked way too cold for her, and well, it was. She was shivering already.
You know what? Stuff it. I’m asking for a cloak or a jacket next time, she thought, resolved. Invisible girl or not, she wasn’t going to freeze for the next few months.
Her hands hit a spherical object, the ball-like thing attached to the hull. She brightened--a bauble! And a pretty, sparkly one too!
She shoved it out, pulling it from the hull just as more screams rippled through her brain. Argh! Could he just stop already? It was beginning to force a harsh headache.
The bauble sunk as it ripped from the hull and Hagakure turned it over in her hands, her eyes widening at the painted ‘4′ on it. 
Four points! That was great!
She was reminded of her limited air and hurried to push herself forward when suddenly the bauble opened--opened to reveal four robotic arm-like things that latched around her hand.
She winced, but continued swimming--whatever it was, she’d inspect it above water, her lungs were beginning to--
Something was pulling her back--no, not her, her hand--the hand with the bauble attached.
She struggled, pulling her arm as far as it could but it was like-was like a magnetic force!
The bauble was still attracted to whatever it had been attached to.
And now it was pulling her along.
Oh no no no--Hagakure fought to keep her mouth closed, fought to stop herself from screaming. Oh no--was she going to drown? No, no she wouldn’t, Yuuei wouldn’t let her.
But if she didn’t get out soon she was going to pass out.
She stopped resisting and instead focused on the bauble--the robotic arms were skinny, but metal and strong, it dug into her hand painfully. 
She used a nail to pick at it, gave up, and went to shove it off, the way she’d shove off a bracelet that was too small on her. It scratched her hand as it moved--but it moved! And that was the main thing. 
Pushing pushing pushing, Hagakure tried not to let the squeezing of her chest affect her. One arm of the bauble was nearly off--and it was gone! It left a stinging line on her hand and even though she couldn’t see it, she knew it’d be there. 
Using the now free arm, she pulled at it, getting the second one off--good good, just a bit more--and then she used both to pull it more effectively. 
She was turning blue--well, she couldn’t see herself turning blue but she hadn’t held her breath for so long before. If she wasn’t turning blue then she didn’t know what she was. Was she even making sense? Her panic increased, but she tamped it down, refusing to let it surface. If she panicked now, it would be all over.
She was hero! She wouldn’t panic!
With one last, desperate, heave, the bauble ripped off of her hand and she sent it sinking away. Did they get the points? Agh, who cares who cares--she did, she didn’t want to disappoint her friends--she needed to breathe!
A large arm caught her on her back and suddenly, Hagakure rushed forward, water streaming past in bubbles.
Sato! And by the looks of him, he’d devoured some sugar!
Sato kicked his enhanced legs, his mind slightly furry around the edges, but he knew he had to get Hagakure up and breathing--how long had she been down there? They hadn’t realised--Present Mic had been so loud--until too late, until it had been at least thirty seconds. Maybe more. He couldn’t tell.
They burst through the water, Hagakure immediately breathing in a lungful, maybe two, of air, coughing and wheezing as she clutched Sato’s arm. 
Sato glanced hazily at her, unsure of what to do now.
Luckily Ojirou had made his way around the ship, finding his teammates and letting out a sigh of relief.
“You guys okay?” He called, swimming over to them. 
Hagakure nodded, then coughed. “I-I--” 
Ojirou shook his head. “It’s okay, take your time. You got us four points! That’s great Hagakure!” 
Blinking the watery tears away, she beamed--thank goodness! At least it hadn’t been for nothing.
“You okay there, Sato?”
“Hmm? Yeah...just...” He shook his head, blinking rapidly to wake himself up. He couldn’t get sleepy this early. “Good job Hagakure-san! That was a good idea.”
She smiled again, her coughing subsiding. 
“Wait, what’s that?” 
They all stopped, peering at the small metal stick still hanging onto Hagakure’s hand.
“Eep! Gross gross!” She shrieked, shaking it off. It didn’t sink immediately, so Ojirou took it in his hand, looking at it closely.
Tiny golden letters shone on the side--Hatsume industries!
He blinked. Wasn’t that that...determined support department student? The one that had used her gadgets during the festival? And helped make most of their suits?
“Looks like they get support students in on the fun too!” Hagakure said, somewhat less bubbly. “That was a really scary invention though.”
“What did it do?”
“I think it was magnetic! It grabbed onto my hand and pulled me back!” She shuddered. “I do not want to know how she comes up with these things.”
They started; Present Mic had moved, standing half in the water but still relatively close to the shore. 
He watched the trio. He had been starting to get worried. From what he recalled, none of them had underwater breathing like quirks, so not seeing them for a while had been concerning. Plus, Thirteen and Recovery Girl would kill him if he had just stood around doing nothing--Hunt or not.
They didn’t respond, merely swimming away and behind the ship. He frowned. He was being considerate! “WELL I GUESS YOU ARE THEN! GET READY!”
He continued to scream, almost bored. No matter though, he was not going in the water either way. He knew he’d be getting an earful from the other teachers as soon as this was done. Aizawa and Kayama were sure to ask how he’d gone. His fights were never quite interesting. All he could say was--
He dived to the side, sloshing water out of the way as a--was that a lawn chair?! As a lawn chair was launched towards him. 
“WHAT THE HECK?!” He looked up, his glasses askew, at the team that had made it onto the ship--how fast had they climbed?!--and now the yellow one was chucking probably whatever was on the ship at him. He groaned. He’d been too soft and now look at him, cowering at furniture!
He waded out of the water quickly--hating how soggy his pants felt, damnit, there better be no cameras around here--and dodged another lawn chair. His only comfort was that they had to run out of furniture soon.
Oh wait.
He crouched, waiting until something else was thrown--this time a lamp, were they going below deck too?--and then popped up. 
The yellow boy visibly winced, crouching down and behind the railing of the boat. He did not stand up for a while and Yamada did not see the other two.
Maybe he should stop for a bit. If their eardrums got shot, Recovery Girl would be on his ass about it for weeks.
He relented, resting his throat for a bit, hands behind his head as he whistled. 
Eh, they could spend the whole day like this unless either one of them made a move.
Yamada turned his head slightly, keeping an eye on the boat to see the Central Plaza--
“Oh man! Someone’s out there!” 
He glimpsed a group of students running out and towards the Central Plaza. From where he stood, he couldn’t see where Aizawa was but the teacher was probably somewhere in there--
Yamada fell to the side, his face pounding as it hit the ground. Damnit, how had he missed--what had he missed again?
A shadow loomed over him and he froze--oh no.
“Sorry sensei, but--” A jingle of metal and Yamada tensed, ready to get up when-- “Oh. That’s a big caterpillar.”
Yamada’s blood curled.
Where? Where?!
He screeched, jolting up and butting heads with the student--Ojirou, that’s his name--and frantically roamed his hands over his own body, feeling the hated tingling of bugs crawling over him even through clothing. 
“Sensei--wait! Are you--”
“AHHHHH!” He screamed, unintentionally activating his quirk. 
He couldn’t find the caterpillar but ooh something was crawling on him, the sensation tickling his hair--his hair!
“It’s in my hair isn’t it?! ISN’T IT? MY HAIR!”
A click of metal and suddenly his arm was cuffed.
How’d that get there?
He looked up to see the other cuff floating in the air along with a watch. Ohhh. The invisible girl.
“Good thinking Ojirou! You took advantage of his fear of bugs!”
The tailed boy blinked. “His fear...of bugs?” 
“Mmhmm! Jirou told me he was scared of bugs! I completely forgot about that until now!”
“Oh.” Ojirou looked at him, suddenly guilty. “I’m sorry sensei, I really didn’t know. It was just a really big caterpillar.”
Yamada clenched his jaw as he tried to smile. 
Their watches beeped.
“Oh my god! Thirty five points guys! THIRTY FIVE! SATOOOO!” The watch bobbed up and down--maybe she was pointing at it. Yamada smiled at the weak yell. He tried to squash the thought. Get on my level, kid. 
Ojirou helped him up, smiling apologetically. “Really, sensei, I’m sorry. I didn’t know--”
“Ah it’s okay kid.” It really wasn’t. How could the world hate him so much. “Good job you two.” He was going to get such an earful from Recovery Girl. “Now I gotta take myself to the Entrance.” A walk of shame. “Better spend this time wisely while I’m not here to bless ya with my voice.”
Ojirou and Hagakure glanced at each other--blessings, huh? 
“Good luck with the rest of the Hunt, YEAHHHH! I’ll be coming for you all!” Yamada savoured their pale faces--well, the boy’s paling face. He turned swiftly, hurrying away to the Entrance through the back of all the areas.
He did not want the other teachers to see him.
Team Spirit met up on shore again as Sato used his strength to swim fast.
“AWESOME GUYS! YOU DID SO GOOD!” Sato grinned, high-fiving his teammates. 
“So did you Sato! You have good aim!” Hagakure replied.
He blushed, shaking his head. “Nah. I was honestly worried I was going to chuck you two out of the zone. How’d you manage to get him in the end?”
Ojirou turned away, looking down as he scratched his cheek. “I...I said there was a caterpillar and Yamada-sensei...well...”
“He freaked! He freaked sooo badly Sato! Jirou wasn’t kidding when she said he was scared of bugs!”
Sato raised his eyebrows, glancing at Ojirou. Clearly this win wasn’t the type he’d enjoy; even if he had unknowingly taken advantage of their teacher’s fear. He patted Ojirou on the shoulder. “Don’t worry about it, Ojirou. They’re not gonna pull their punches, so why would we?”
“Yeah Ojirou-kun!” Hagakure added. “I nearly drowned back then! All’s fair in love and war!”
Ojirou smiled weakly, thinking, Is this a war now?
“Anyways, we’ve got sooo many points now! I think we can go get something to eat!”
Sato checked his watch, eyes bulging. “Whoa! It’s ten past ten! We fought for a while!” 
As one, their stomachs all rumbled, eliciting various degrees of embarrassment. 
“Yeah, let’s just get something to eat now.”
“Mmhmm! Before Yamada-sensei comes back!”
That got a shudder from all of them.
As cheerful and boisterous as their teacher had been, the way he’d said ‘I’ll be coming for you all!’ did not reassure them at all.
Not one bit.
“Taken down by some bugs?! AGAIN?” 
“Ehehe, well...”
“Don’t you ‘well’ me Yamada! Pathetic! You’re a pro! Your students are braver than you!”
Yamada sunk into his seat as Recovery Girl roughly unlocked the cuffs, practically fuming at the ears. 
“That’s a good thing! You know...for be...” He stopped talking as she gave him a glare.
“You know just as well as I do what I meant! Hmph!” She bustled over to the cameras. “So early in the Hunt too! Look at them all! Aizawa’s managing with a whole flock of those students!”
Yamada grimaced. He could only hope the old woman wouldn’t tell anyone but that was unlikely.
“Wait till they hear about this!”
Kayama sighed for the fiftieth time. 
What a time to be stuck in ice. 
She wriggled her arms, stretching them over her head. She really shouldn’t have underestimated them--shouldn’t have underestimated the fact that the winter cold would help Todoroki’s ice powers in this way.
Though, she supposed, they had put up a good fight. If it weren’t for Todoroki’s surprise at the end, she might have eliminated them all. She smiled; how terribly cruel that would be, eliminating them when the fun’s just begun. She’d cut off their youth-fueled energy just like that.
Still, she gripped her flogger whip tighter and continued her chipping. It was such a tedious job, the ice wouldn’t give way at all, and when it did, only the barest fractions fell away. And with Ectoplasm out of commission--or at least, one of his clones--she wasn’t going to get any help anytime soon.
She glanced up at the camera drone hovering above and waved.
“I wouldn’t mind a little help you know!” She called out to it.
It bobbed away.
She sighed again. Recovery Girl was probably huffing and puffing at her ‘incompetence’. Well, she thought in defence of her imaginary argument, at least the kids hadn’t been able to cuff her. 
Todoroki had been too focused on stopping her from eliminating his dazed teammates that he hadn’t been able to hold back and, though it was kinda a win-lose situation, he’d frozen her all the way up to her neck, leaving her head out. They hadn’t been able to cuff her, unfortunately. Fortunately for her though.
Kayama glanced around, searching for anyone.
And when she found no one, she let a bit of her composure slip.
“Damnit just melt already why are you so freaking cold what is this ice made of--”
A mechanical but familiar voice spoke from the side and she froze.
“Maybe you should have been more on your guard instead of being so caught up in their ‘youth’! Hmph!”
Kayama smiled at the drone that made it’s way around her, waving. “Nice to see you too, Recovery Girl.”
“You can’t see me! But I can see you! Stuck in that pile of ice.” Incoherent muttering came from the drone, and Kayama could only imagine the scorn. “It’ll take another half hour to get free of that by the looks of it.”
“It could take shorter--”
“Good luck Kayama.”
Kayama slumped, pouting. She lifted her whip, saw that it was being worn down instead of the ice and clenched it tighter.
Those kids were going down.
“Split up damnit! SPLIT! UP!”
“No Bakugou I don’t-don’t leave me with him!”
Bakugou grunted in irritation as he rounded the corner, stopping short at the half-crumbled doorway. Beams were placed haphazardly across it, and there was only one opening he could try. Everywhere else was too small. He took off his gauntlets, pushing them through first. 
Kaminari bumped into his back, winced as he clutched his nose.
“Is your head made of rock?! Dang that hurt!”
“Maybe you should watch where you’re going damnit.”
“Why have we stopped? He’s right behind us!”
Kaminari glanced behind him, fearfully waiting the moment Snipe would round the corner and shoot them dead. He still thought the bullets were real, no matter what the others said. They broke through the road and shattered glass--real or not, it would hurt!
“Bakugo--” He stopped dead as he turned back, finding Bakugou’s foot slipping past into the crumbled doorway. “Wait wait wait! How am I supposed to fit through? Bakugouuuuu!”
“Just fit through. Bend or something, I don’t care. Hurry up, or you won’t be able to catch up.”
As his footsteps receded, Kaminari’s panic increased. First of all, he wasn’t as flexible! Second of all, how was Bakugou that flexible in the first place? 
Kaminari jumped as a shot hit the wall. Snipe was coming oh great Snipe was coming near.
He hastily jammed a foot through the opening he’d seen Bakugou fit through, gritting his teeth past the pain as it scratched against his clothes. He lowered as he got the rest of his right leg through, using the wall to support himself as he twisted to fit his shoulder.
“You’re being incredibly slow.”
Kaminari jumped. Snipe stood at the corner, watching him with guns raised. He lifted his left arm.
“Please don’t shoot me I’m innocent!”
“What?” Snipe muttered lowly. “Never mind.” He cocked his gun up higher, walking forward as he took out a pair of cuffs from behind. Kaminari’s heart raced--no no no he couldn’t get out. 
He sped up, pushing the rest of his body through and getting his head and other shoulder out. But his left leg was still on the other side and--
Another shot rang out and a beam fell, trapping his foot.
“Oh crap.” His face blanched. “Oh craaaaap! No no no! Get off get off get off!” He pulled at his leg uselessly, twisting his foot this way and that but it didn’t budge, in fact it only made the beam slip lower, putting more pressure. Kaminari turned his head. He was in another room, but there was a hole leading to the next one over. Was Bakugou in there? “Bakugou! Bakuuu! Gouuuu! Please help me please please please--”
A shadow fell over him and he yelped as he glimpsed Snipe through the beams. He could electrocute the teacher--he knew that--but what if Snipe cuffed him first? Who’d be faster? And what if Snipe jumped as he shocked the ground? And then he’d be out of commission for the next few hours?
He didn’t want to find out. Not if it meant risking that much.
But Snipe was looming closer and with a resigned expression, Kaminari shut his eyes, mentally preparing himself for the shock--
The explosion rocked him to the side, his arms reflexively being brought up to protect his head from the smoke. 
Another explosion rocked the ground, but smaller. His foot was free but he didn’t feel safe yet. 
Kaminari blinked his eyes open, peaking through his arms to see the beams blown away, Snipe all the way back down the hallway again, the window illuminating Snipe in a dark shadow, Bakugou standing beside him.
Bakugou standing next to him!
“I knew you wouldn’t leave me to die!”
Bakugou scoffed, rolling his eyes. “Yeah? And what was that look then? You were about to shit your pants.”
Kaminari grinned, waving his hands as he stood up. “Just for the theatrics!”
“Sure,” Bakugou mumbled, eyes trained on the teacher. His arms were still raised, probably ready to set off another explosion in the event the teacher shot them.
“Hm. I would have gotten you if it weren’t for your friend.” Kaminari grinned wider, giving Bakugou a thumbs up and a thanks at that. “Too bad.”
Snipe pulled out his other gun, returning to wielding the two guns when a different shadow lurched up from the window--
The remaining glass shattered as Sero leaped inside, tape pooling from his elbows as it shot out and wrapped Snipe up. The teacher grunted, his arms uselessly tied back but refusing to let go of the guns. 
He flicked his wrists, angling them.
Sero glanced down just in time to see the guns aimed at his feet, his eyes widening--
Ashido slid from behind the corner, her acid destroying the floor. She reached out a hand and slapped the gun away, shooting some acid to it for good measure. 
Snipe still had the other gun though, and without hesitation he shot once, twice, thrice, at Sero, who jumped backwards in a flurry of movement his tape getting cut off. 
Snipe used that moment to break himself free, the tape falling away. 
He sensed Ashido’s kick before he saw it--ducked, stepped back once, and rammed his elbow out, catching her in the other leg.
She yelped, sliding into the wall, her last image of Snipe being him jumping out the window.
The four rushed to the window, seeing him land on the ground where Kirishima stood, hardened, but the man merely ran back inside the building, shooting bullets at their friend.
Kirishima made to follow, but saw them and stopped. “You guys okay?!” He called out.
“Yep!” Ashido yelled back.
“We didn’t get him buuut.” Kaminari held out an item--the cuffs--and beamed. “We got these! I think they fell off when you exploded him Baku!” Bakugou turned away, scoffing, but with less venom that normal. Below, Kirishima grinned, giving them a thumbs up as their watches beeped.
5 points for getting the cuffs of a teacher. Of course, it wasn’t the twenty they’d been hoping for, but it was better than nothing.
“We should start exploring the buildings better. I saw so many candy canes while we were running, but I didn’t have time to pick them all up,” Sero suggested as he created some tape to help them down.
They nodded when they reached the ground, a new fire burning in them after the fight as a result of the adrenaline.
It was early. They’d had a slow start but...
They were going to win this.
The bot’s arm came crashing down, it’s weight forcing Tokoyami to steady himself as Dark Shadow pushed it back up. It was the same bots they’d fought during the sports festival, but something told him that there had been upgrades made. And in the dome of USJ, there was a lot of light, so Dark Shadow was sufficiently weaker than usual.
But as Dark Shadow held the bot’s arm in place, Shouji leapt up, jumping onto the arm and pounding down onto the bot, sending it’s head flying off. It jerked around a bit, it’s other arm turning in an erratic circle, digging into the ground as it passed. 
Shouji brought his arms down on the exposed wiring, ripping them out until the bot stopped moving.
He jumped back onto the ground as their point counter went up by one. 
Kouda came running up to them, smiling and signing, though a bit shyly. “Good job guys!”
“It was nothing. The burden of my wrongdoings is heavier than any monster,” Tokoyami said quietly. Kouda smiled, nodding along.
“We should get moving to the Entrance before any more bots attack. I admit, I’m hungry. Now’s a better time than any to get going.” Shouji advised, looking around. They’d gained two points by taking out two bots but now the rest of their attention was being taken by Team Riot who were charging forward towards Central Plaza.
Tokoyami shook his head. “Are they taking on Aizawa-sensei now? Have they even eaten yet?” 
“I don’t know, but while all the bots are distracted, we should go.” 
They nodded and rushed forward, Dark Shadow and Shouji keeping an eye on their backs. They broke out of the trees, feet running on concrete once again.
They skidded to a stop, staring up at the looming robot. 
A three-pointer bot from the entrance exam swiveled it’s head towards them, the lens swirling and zooming in.
Like before, it’s arm swung high, but this time the arm spun as it lifted and--
It froze, electricity sparking around. A laser beam cut through the middle and it broke apart in two, revealing the team behind.
“Hey, sorry for taking the kill.” Jirou smiled, her earlobes retracting. Aoyama had his arms wrapped around his middle, leaning against Yaoyorozu for support. The trio looked particularly beat up, dirt on their faces; Yaoyorozu’s and Aoyama’s cloak ripped.
Despite that, there was a gleam in their eyes; burning bright and strong.
Shouji nodded at them in acknowledgement. “Are you going to the Entrance too?”
“Yes. It’s already been several hours since we begun. I am feeling quite famished,” Yaoyorozu explained. Indeed, she looked pale, maybe even thinner than before, though they couldn’t be sure. 
"Let’s go then.”
The two teams started up the stairs, a swift jog in case any robots decided to follow them up, though it was unlikely considering it would be harder for them to drive up stairs.
But then again, in the course of the part five hours, they’d learnt not to underestimate Yuuei.
Several times.
“We moved to the Conflagration zone to dry after we stayed in the Downpour for a few hours. Cementoss-sensei was there but we managed to evade him long enough.” Tokoyami looked to Kouda. “Kouda’s quirk is quite good for finding things--his insect friends told him the whereabouts of ‘strange objects’. It’s thanks to him that we found most of our items without running into Cementoss-sensei.”
Jirou turned to him. “That’s great Kouda! You’ve gotten over your fear!”
Kouda blushed, shaking his head and signing quickly. “Only a little bit!” He returned his teammate’s looks. “And you two did so much work too! Shouji-kun-you’re great at getting information! And Tokoyami-kun too!”
Shouji ducked his head, one of his arms creating a smile. Tokoyami and Shouji thanked him for the compliment.
“What about you three? Where did you come from?”
Yaoyorozu smiled weakly. “The mountains. It’s lucky we had Jirou-san otherwise we would never have dodged half the traps in there.”
“But even with me, we couldn’t get away from them all.” Jirou replied bitterly, clenching her jaw. 
Yaoyorozu gave her an encouraging smile but it was Aoyama who said, “But you still did wonderfully Jirou-san! It is not your fault we were attacked by several Ectoplasms!” He huffed--the sound still encompassing some of Aoyama’s usual flare. “My hero suit has been ruined so terribly! It’s hard to keep up my sparkle!” 
Jirou shook her head, her lip quirking up. “Yeah, that reminds me, how many Ectoplasms did you guys have to fight?” 
Team Eclipse looked at each other. 
“We fought four, but one of them might have been the same one,” Tokoyami answered. Team Sparkle nodded, grimacing. He noticed their looks and asked, “How many did you fight?”
“Seven,” Yaoyorozu replied immediately, resentfully. 
“And they weren’t the same ones!” Aoyama added.
“At that point, I was wondering if he was just out to get us or something. I stabbed my earlobes into so many Ectoplasms I had to clean it off.” Jirou suppressed a shudder.
They slowed as they reached the top of the stairs, the smell of food making it to their hungry noses. More than a few stomachs rumbled, but no one mentioned it. As they stepped up, they were met by the sight of three Ectoplasm’s.
The stairs to the Entrance had two flights. They had only made it pass the first.
“If you want food, you will have to get past us.” The Ectoplasm in the middle spoke. Something about him told them that that was the real Ectoplasm. The way he spoke and kept unnaturally still. “Of course, you could always let yourself be eliminated.”
Both teams readied for a fight.
Jirou clicked her tongue, sick of the sight of that particular teacher.
“You really can’t give us a break, huh?”
Ashido stepped forward, onto Kirishima’s back--the boy using his quirk--and leapt into the air, willing herself to stay aloft as Kaminari readied himself and activated his quirk. She shot acid out of her feet to give herself a few precious moments more.
The ground sparked, electricity travelling into Ectoplasm and the three-pointer bot and Ectoplasm and--
No, not Aizawa-sensei. 
“Sorry guys! He’s-he’s hard to control!” Sero gritted his teeth, digging his heels into the ground. Aizawa-sensei was currently in the air, using Sero as a way to swing him around. His torso was wrapped in the boy’s tape but his own capture tape was out and shooting straight for him--
Sero ducked, stepping a bit too close to the area where Kaminari’s electricity ranged and felt a striking zap go through his body. His teeth clattered together, and he tasted blood--crap, he’d bitten his tongue. 
The zap was over just as quickly as it had begun, Kaminari feeling the aftereffects come on and deciding to stop before he truly went out of commission.
A few metres away, Bakugou stood blasting at advancing robots; three-pointer bots, a pain. He barely glanced at the rest of his team, trusting them to do good enough not to get cuffed.
Team Riot were currently in Central Plaza, having made an effort to go for the Golden Sack (worth forty points). They’d charged in, a semi-plan made to lure the Ectoplasm clones away using Sero’s tape so that Kaminari could zap them all in one go and make it easier for Ashido, Kirishima, and Bakugou to take on Aizawa-sensei.
But it had all gone wrong.
Though maybe it hadn’t gone wrong. Their plan had just been rushed and slightly loose.
Aizawa-sensei had been fast--faster than they imagined--and even though they’d timed it so that their homeroom teacher was on the other side of the fountain, where the Sack sat upon, he’d managed to swing himself over to them, landing in front and erasing their quirks.
They’d struggled evading their homeroom teacher--who knew almost all their strengths and weaknesses--and the three clones without their quirks, but through a series of running and ducking, they’d managed to split Aizawa-sensei’s focus, allowing some of them to get their quirks back.
Sero had been the first to get away, and he’d instantly shot out his tape to catch all the clones in one go. It had been a massive effort to pull them altogether but when done, he’d yelled at Kaminari to get ready.
Aizawa-sensei had heard that though, and he’d returned to erasing his quirk but the tape was already out. 
Kirishima and Ashido instead used a few harsh, strong kicks to finish off one of the clones but then a bot had come up from behind Sero and they’d been forced to run, leaving the other two to escape.
It had been at that moment that Kirishima had come running to them, Bakugou leading Aizawa over to the other side as he made a run for the Sack--whether he knew he was helping by distracting Aizawa-sensei or he genuinely thought he could reach the sack, they didn’t know.
But it helped.
It had been the moment they’d needed.
Their quirks returned.
That brought them to the present.
The robot malfunctioned, it’s movements jerky and strange until it collapsed onto the ground. Ashido threw a wad of acid to the clones for good measure--they’d started to melt down but they could never be sure--and she rolled onto the ground.
Kaminari wobbled on his feet, a shaky smile on his face as he gave them--or he gave what he hoped was them--a thumbs up. It wasn’t them.
But Sero and Bakugou were still locked in battle.
“Oh c-come onnnnn--” Sero hissed, feeling his hold on Aizawa-sensei loosen and the teacher slipped free, using his own tape to swing down to safety.
A large blast shook the ground--Bakugou’s howitzer. It had sent all the bots away though and allowed him to focus back on their battle. 
He snarled in joy as he beheld Aizawa-sensei’s falling form--falling in front of where he stood, their teacher’s back to him.
Without wasting time, Bakugou blasted himself off the ground, racing towards him fast fast fast--
Aizawa twisted in the air, kicking his legs around to meet eyes with his students behind his goggles. Bakugou’s explosions sputtered out, but he still had the momentum--
Aizawa sent out his capture tape to trap the boy’s arms.
It had worked--but Bakugou was still grinning.
Aizawa’s eyes widened--the Sack.
He looked down--the ground coming up fast--, and sure enough the rest of team Riot were speeding towards the fountain--Ashido especially fast with her acid. He used his quirk on her and she stumbled but continued, none of them bothering to look up. 
He couldn’t help the twitching of his lips.
They all had that much trust in each other. A development, he supposed.
But their success wasn’t going to last.
Before he released Bakugou, he swung the boy to slam him onto the ground and rolled. Aizawa snapped up immediately, returning his capture tape to get it to catch Kirishima in the ankles--and the boy went falling.
Sero spared a glance.
“GO!” Kirishima yelled, yanking his foot away but ultimately letting himself get pulled backwards. 
That left the other three.
Aizawa felt a headache start. Damn, this was troublesome.
Yanking Kirishima far enough, he sent his capture tape out past Sero and Kaminari--to Ashido, the closest. 
He smirked.
It grabbed onto her legs, trapping them together as he pulled her back, making sure to give the tape an extra jerk to get her spiralling backwards, knocking into Sero and narrowly avoiding Kaminari. 
Kaminari stumbled sideways. His head was still stinging and his stomach ached from the emptiness but--crap, now he was the only one left. Damnit Aizawa-sensei! You couldn’t have taken me out?! This pressure’s too much!
He gritted his teeth and pushed forward--ten metres, eight, five--
The Sack was blindingly bright--gold, too. Probably fake, but who knew with UA? And so close, so damn close--
He reached out, stepping into the moat around the fountain’s main section.
He barely registered the beep in time.
The fountain blew up.
Something wrapped around his waist and he was pulled backward, the pressure around his midsection too strong--too strong too strong he was going to puke up his empty stomach--
The heat seared his front, his face; he turned his head, his arms lifting uselessly to cover his face.
He was thrown backwards, landing near Kirishima, the redhead scrambling towards him.
His ears rung, but he could vaguely make out what he was saying.
“Are you okay? Kami--talk! You okay man?!” 
Kaminari tried to nod.
A shadow passed over him and he was being lifted by strong arms--Bakugou. One arm slung over the explosive boy’s shoulder as he was dragged away. 
He didn’t know where they were going, but they were going away--away from Central Plaza.
And the Sack.
The ringing subsided, only to be replaced by a different kind of sting.
He’d been so close. 
And he’d ruined it.
“‘M sorry guys. Coul’n’t get it,” He mumbled, hazy.
He heard a scoff. “Tch. You got closer than any of us dunce-face. Don’t sell yourself fucking short.”
“Yeah Kami! That was amazing! You can’t blame yourself for not knowing they’d blow the whole thing up!” Ashido chirped from somewhere behind.
Kirishima appeared in his line of sight. “That was super manly dude!”
“Hey Sero, say something.”
“What? I mean you guys all said it already!” A pause. “Okay! You did great Kami. Seriously. Rest up, we’re bringing you to food.”
At the mention of food, his mind focused a bit more, his vision narrowing. Yes, food, food food. Finally.
Though it still felt like forever until they made it, Kami’s feet hitting the stairs over and over until it finally stopped only to start up again--how many stairs did the USJ have? He couldn’t remember but surely it hadn’t been--
“You made it. You can relax now. You’re in neutral territory.” He was being moved somewhere else, laying on a soft surface. “Kaminari, if I heal you, you’ll feel tired. Are you okay to risk that?”
“Yeah yeah, just heal him already.”
“Hmph, patience Bakugou.”
Instantly, his body relaxed, sinking into the soft mattress. He felt better, but he did feel tired now.
Kaminari opened his eyes, meeting Kirishima’s eyes. He grinned at him, giving a thumbs up.
“So where’s the food?”
A packet of something both hard and soft landed on his chest.
Kaminari turned to look at Jirou, her eyes uncharacteristically narrowed. She was glaring at him furiously.
“What’d I do?” He asked, confused and slightly intimidated.
Yaoyorozu appeared next to her, putting a hand on Jirou’s shoulder. “Jirou-san, I don’t think it’s a good idea to glare so much.” Her eyes softened, but she still frowned.
“I can’t help it. We had to fight through three more Ectoplasms just to get up here and they could walk through free. Fantastic,” She said flatly, slumping on the ground. 
“I guess being first isn’t always the best, huh,” Sero added unhelpfully, as he received another glare.
Kaminari looked around, finding the two other teams--Eclipse and Sparkle. Ashido laughing at Aoyama’s ripped cloak, the blond boy clearly trying not to pout. Sero talking to Shouji and Tokoyami. Kouda sitting against a wall, nibbling on an apple as Bakugou chomped on a banana next to him.
Though everyone was beaten up considerably, bruises and scratches that hadn’t healed, there was a spark in their eyes.
For once, they weren’t fearing for their lives. For once, they were having fun.
Recovery Girl smiled at the cameras, shaking her head. She could hear the students’ chatter from behind the door.
She watched as Aizawa reset the fountain, the Sack slung over his shoulder, bots roaming the area.
A softie through and through, she thought.
You could have cuffed and eliminated them all, Aizawa, before going to reset the fountain.
And yet you didn’t. 
“Are you sure this is a good idea? Do you really think it’ll work?”
Hagakure nodded, taking off her boots. “Well, maybe not! But we have to try at least! If I can’t get past Aizawa-sensei, I won’t be able to get past villains in the future!” 
Ojirou and Sato smiled hesitantly, nodding slightly. “It might be a bit different than that, Hagakure-san. Aizawa-sensei is a pro at stealth too.”
“Exactly!” She piped, ripping off her gloves. She shivered. Now the cold could really attack her. “If I can get past him, this’ll be a true show of my skills!”
Sato pointed at her watch. “Are you going to take that off?” 
Hagakure looked at it, poking and prodding before relenting. “No. I don’t want to risk disqualification or something, but I’ll be careful.”
She peaked over the tree, staring at the new fountain. After it had blown up a few hours ago--it had been one huge explosion--something had opened up below and a new fountain had popped right up. The only sign that it had been blown up in the first place was the debris scattered around.
“There’s no more Ectoplasms too! This could work out great for us guys!”
Her teammates looked at each other, before resigning to the fact that she wouldn’t give up.
“Be careful out there.” 
She nodded, grinning.
She waited until Aizawa was on the other side and ran forward, keeping low so that her floating watch wouldn’t be too visible. 
The run was longer than she’d anticipated, and by the time she made it to the cut hedges bordering the fountain, she was panting. But she’d made it!
Aizawa was walking back over to this side. She could tell by the sounds of his footsteps. 
Closer, closer, closer--he should be walking away by now--closer, closer--closer?!
Hagakure’s heart raced. Why was he coming closer? Had he seen her? She glanced at Ojirou and Sato--her heart dropped.
Their eyes were wide, even from a distance she could see that, and they waved frantically at her.
Someone was standing over her.
She looked up, a squeak leaving her lips as she stared into Present Mic’s eyes.
Was he always this scary?
“Told ya I’d come for you!” Present Mic opened his mouth. “SHOUUUUTAAAAAA!”
“What? There’s no need to shout,” Aizawa-sensei grumbled, coming over. 
Hagakure scrambled away from the hedge, stumbling up as she spun to face the two teachers. 
“So you thought you’d be able to sneak past huhhhh? Well, that’s too bad man!” Present Mic yelled, the second sentence in english. Hagakure swallowed, continuing to step back--dangit, why did she have to have a stupid watch? That gave her such a disadvantage!
Ojirou and Sato appeared at her sides in defensive stances.
“We should run. I don’t think we can take the both of them,” Sato murmured from the corner of his lips.
Still, the two teachers heard him.
“Really?” Aizawa-sensei muttered. “I would have hoped you three knew you were at an advantage.” They stilled. “Two of you have quirks I cannot erase. And the third is sufficiently trained in combat to put up a decent fight.”
Present Mic grinned. “And you know! You’re all pretty close! You could get to me before I shot your eardrums.”
Team Spirit looked at each other.
They came to a silent agreement.
Stepping back--
They ran.
“AW COME ON MAN!” Present Mic sighed, running a hand through his hair. “I was really looking forward to that you three! Yeee-AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!”
The trio winced--they hadn’t gone too far yet and the effects of Present Mic’s quirk could be heard all over USJ. It was a piercing as they remembered from a few hours ago.
Aizawa elbowed him. 
“OW! Man that hurt!”
“You’re hurting my ears.” He clicked his tongue, turning away.
Team Spirit made it back to the trees, running past for good measure. They slowed, stopping and resting on the grass.
“He thought we’d forget about the capture tape or cuffs? I feel underestimated,” Sato huffed out.
The other two smiled wryly. 
“Though without those two things, we really would be at an advantage,” Ojirou said, straightening.
“I’m not taking any chances! We’ve only got five more hours to go! We can do it!” Hagakure cheered, still out of breath. 
“Yeah. Just a few more hours to go.” Sato looked at Ojirou, smiling. “Plus ultra, yeah?”
They nodded.
Kouda waited until the ant had finished speaking before standing to tell his teammates. He also couldn’t believe it, but then again, he really should be able to. It wasn’t something out of reach for UA.
“What is it, Kouda?” Shouji asked. 
“There’s some in the dome. Wedged between the glass and taped to it. They’re saying it’s the same thing as our candy canes.” He looked at Tokoyami. “Can you..?”
Tokoyami nodded, Dark Shadow already wrapping over his body. “I’ll do my best.”
He flew into the air, climbing higher and higher--the ground lower and lower. It would have been dizzying and despite his training with his special move, the day’s events wore down on him. Eight hours, one meal, and no sleep since the beginning--he didn’t want to think about his bed.
From in the air, Tokoyami could see much of USJ. The mountains zone had been half-destroyed, smoke piling up high; the waterslide in the Flood zone had collapsed; bots roamed the grounds, looking for students to attack. From that height, Tokoyami felt untouchable from the threats of below. 
“Dark Shadow--keep an eye out too!” The beast nodded, and they swerved close to the glass--though he couldn’t see out of it anyway, snow covered the outside from view. They’d been walking behind the Flood zone, keeping to the edges of the dome to get easy candy canes and baubles. It had been a fruitful excursion and they’d barely run into anyone--friend or foe.
Tokoyami scanned the dome with his eyes. Nothing yet, but he trusted Kouda and Kouda trusted those ants.
Dark Shadow flew them closer, almost skimming against the dome.
There! A bauble, black to blend into the beams, hanging. 
“Do you see it, Dark Shadow?”
“Yeah! Grab and go!” 
Tokoyami reached out his hand--his fingers grazed the bauble--he latched onto it, ripping it free.
“Good, we got--”
Electricity sparked through his body and Tokoyami hissed--what the--?
A second set of shocks rippled through him and he looked closer at the bauble, eyes narrowing at the circular object stuck to it’s skin. 
“What is it? A taser or something?”
“Something like that.” With a grunt, Tokoyami scratched the device off, letting it fall to the ground. “I should have realised there’d be traps. Even up here, they’re not going to go easy on us.” Though if the rest are just like this one, we won’t be able to tell there’s traps til it’s set off. Tokoyami thought bitterly.
He shook his head. It’d be fine if they were just zaps. 
He checked his watch--their point counter at forty-eight now. The bauble had been worth four points. 
“Tokoyami! Is that an item?” Dark Shadow asked, and Tokoyami looked up to see a pair of red glasses attached onto the side of a beam. Midnight’s glasses--worth seven points. He smiled. 
“Yes. Good spotting Dark Shadow.”
They repeated their routine, though more carefully now.
And yet it still did not prepare them for the burst of pink gas.
No--Midnight’s gas!
As Tokoyami had pulled the glasses away, it had triggered the trap--releasing a shocking amount of Midnight’s gas. Somehow they’d stored it up here.
Dark Shadow dropped to escape it, but then something shot out of the glasses and latched onto Tokoyami’s hands. He felt a pull and his arm went up, towards the beam where it was slowly but surely being encompassed in the gas.
“Tokoyami! What is it?”
“Some-something is pulling me back up! It’s strong,” Tokoyami gritted out, clenching his jaw. He shook his hand, but the rod-like things on the glasses were unyielding. “Keep going Dark Shadow!”
Dark Shadow charged down, leaning more to the left as a result of the force of whatever was pulling Tokoyami’s right hand. He tried to pull his hand down, make it easier for his shadow beast to fly. 
They were hurtling as fast as they could go, but still it pulled them back--
The pressure released, sending Tokoyami’s hand shooting forward and then his whole body, the same feeling when someone would step on the brakes--
They were nearing the ground faster than he knew they could control--no, nearing the Conflagration zone’s dome. Somewhere in the back of his mind, he swore he heard Shouji yell over the sound of the wind rushing past. 
“Tokoyami! Duck!”
He ducked his head deeper into Dark Shadow’s arms, gritting his teeth as the inevitable impact arrived--
They collided with the dome, Tokoyami thankfully safe from most of the impact, though his head still rattled, but Dark Shadow absorbed the most of it.
Dark Shadow gripped a beam to prevent them from sliding off, then slowly went back, using the beams like a fireman’s pole as they slid towards the ground.
Shouji and Kouda ran to meet up with them.
“Are you alright Tokoyami-kun?”
He nodded, standing up, refusing to let his wobble be shown. “Yes. That gas...” They looked up at the still-spreading pink gas. “It surprised us. And then there’s this.” He lifted up his right hand, the glasses still attached to it.
“What is that?” Kouda asked, shyly stepping forward to peer at it. Now that he could see it better, it resembled something of legs. Or arms. 
“I don’t know. But it latched onto me and kept pulling me up. Something was pulling it towards the gas.”
“Magnets?” Shouji supplied. Tokoyami nodded. That was probably it.
“Thank you Tokoyami-kun! You got us eleven more points even with those traps!” Kouda beamed, smiling. Tokoyami blinked, lowering his eyes. Yes, he supposed he had, even after all that.
“I can go back to searching up there after a few minutes rest. There’s clearly more to find up there.” 
They nodded, looking up. The gas was was a reminder to be more careful, but Tokoyami wasn’t going to let his team down.
He’d fly up there and get them all the points.
Exhaustion battered them down. 
Midnight had been out for blood. Wherever they went, she followed. They’d moved from the landslides to the mountains to the stairs--and still she’d followed!
Now team Tree was in the Conflagration zone. With Todoroki’s quirk, they assumed they would have an advantage in there, but the flames raged on around them--and sweating buckets did not help. They’d dressed for the cold; their extra layers of clothing becoming an enemy.
“Should...should we just leave?” Uraraka asked weakly, pulling at the collar of her suit uselessly. “It’s really...really hard to see anything in here.”
Midoriya pursed his lips, thinking. They’d been in here for half an hour and they’d found enough items to make it seem like no one else had gone through this zone--too hot or too dangerous? 
He didn’t want to give up, but looking at his team, some of them were looking bad: Iida, in his elaborate hero suit, moved with less energy than usual. Asui was sweating, her eyelids drooping, and he himself felt groggy and sticky with sweat. Todoroki was the only one who looked decent, and even that much was a stretch, when he kept ocnstantly freezing his left side.
They’d already stacked up to seventy-four points. That was probably good, right? Yes, there was no need to push everyone to their limits, especially since they’d gone deep inside the zone now they’d need to take a while to get back out.
“Yeah, that’s a go--”
The pillar of concrete came out of nowhere.
Well, not nowhere, but the ground.
It brushed right up against Todoroki--the one who’d been leading--and a second on on their left started growing.
“It’s Cementoss!” Iida called, grabbing Uraraka and Midoriya and running to the right with them. 
Asui leapt sideways, her tongue already half out when Todoroki used his ice to destroy the left wall and propel himself to the right.
They regrouped against a burning building, Todoroki freezing over the section nearest to make it safe.
“So it was you after all,” A deep voice rumbled out. They tensed, for once the searing heat replaced by a deep focus. The flames made it hard to find Cementoss, but the sound had come somewhere from ahead. “Only one other team made it in and out of this zone. They lasted fifteen minutes. I’ll try to make this quick.”
Concrete spiked up from the ground, heading straight for them--they had to split--
Midoriya and Iida leapt to the right, Uraraka, Todoroki, and Asui going left.
The concrete smashed into the frozen building, the ice shards shattering and falling upon them. 
Todoroki gritted his teeth, activating his right and sending ice shooting in the general direction the concrete came from. He heard a shatter, and clicked his tongue--Cementoss must have shielded himself.
Uraraka tapped his shoulder. “We should go--he can obviously see us--” The ground wobbled underneath them and it was only with the help of Asui did they get pulled back in time before concrete shot up, right where they’d been standing. 
“I don’t think we can win without risking too much, kero,” Asui said as they ran around the building. The flames leaped out at them but Todoroki iced the path as he led the way, pushing through. 
Uraraka nodded. “Yeah. He must have something--maybe some sort of heat vision goggles to see us?”
“Whatever it is, we’re at a clear disadvantage,” Todoroki grunted. Damnit--and he’d been so confident in his ice quirk too!
They ran around, the building longer than they’d realised. 
Uraraka glanced to the sides, watching as Todoroki iced the ground and walls for them--
Her eyes widened. She slid to a stop, stumbling uncouthly as she stared through the ice to what was inside.
A star--or, it looked like a star. 
She racked her memory for what she remembered it from, squinting and scrunching up her face--what was it what was it?
“Uraraka-chan!” Asui hopped back to her side. “What is it?”
She pointed at the star. That’s it! “The star for-for the christmas tree! It’s worth like-ten points guys!”
Todoroki slid back over to them, eyeing it. 
Uraraka turned to him, eyes eager. “Can you get it, Todoroki-kun?”
He nodded. “Keep an eye out for Cementoss, though.” He put his left hand onto the ice and melting it away as fast as he dared--he didn’t want to risk damaging the star, and thus losing the points.
The ice melted quick, and when he broke through a violent burst of flames escaped.
He stepped back with his right, letting his left take the heat. Uraraka and Asui stepped back, the flames large enough to melt the rest of the ice, making way for more fire to be generated by however way the school did it. 
“Todoroki-kun! Are you okay?” Uraraka called.
He clenched his jaw and nodded. “I’ll take it out--be ready to run if it’s a trap.”
Uraraka and Asui stepped away, but not before Asui wrapped her tongue around Todoroki’s midsection. The heat stung, but in the event it was a trap, she wasn’t going to leave him to it’s mercy.
Todoroki touched the hot metal--his teeth were going to break with how hard he was gritting them--and found the pointed section, running his finger down until he could get a better grip. Bracing himself, he yanked it out--
Asui threw him backwards, the explosion shattering the rest of the ice until he created more to stifle it. Still, the ice cracked at the force.
Uraraka gasped--Cementoss!
They ran, pushing past the flames now that Todoroki was still being pulled by Asui. 
The end of the alley approached, a wired gate separating them from Midoriya and Iida, the former ripping it open--
The ground shook--they refused to stumble--
It wasn’t wide enough for them to leap through--not yet not yet--
Midoriya activated One for All, using what was probably more strength than necessary to rip the rest of it open--the whole fence crashed down, but on their side.
“URARAKA!” Iida yelled, hand outstretched--and she understood.
Reaching backwards, she clapped hands with Asui who held out hers--the girl went weightless, still clutching Todoroki--and Uraraka ran forward, stretching to reach Iida--
In the end, the concrete bursting behind them was what gave them the speed to reach him.
They flew forward, Todoroki slamming into Uraraka’s back as she whipped her hand out and used her quirk on him too. 
Bracing herself, she used it on Midoriya and her too, the nausea growing. 
But now Iida could run.
They all gripped onto him, whether it was an arm or his torso--
He crouched, activating Recipro Burst and--
Rushing past the flames, Iida maneuvered carefully, knowing he had limited time to get them all out of there--ignoring the flames that reached for their bodies--far, far--
They made it a considerable distance before his Burst ended and he stumbled to a stop.
Uraraka released her quirk’s effect, and they all collapsed onto the grround, adrenaline pumping through their veins at the wild ride.
“We should...go...before he catches up...” Iida panted out, staring at his engines.
Midoriya grinned at him. “Do you really think he’ll be able to catch up with your Recipro Burst?” 
Iida looked up at him, a proud smile growing. “Perhaps not,” He admitted. “But we need to make sure.”
“Well it’s a good thing we’re near the exit then,” Asui croaked out, looking in front. 
They turned, the doors to leave the zone right in front.
“And our points too!” Uraraka piped up suddenly. “You did it Todoroki-kun! We’ve got eighty-four points now! That’s so much!” She threw her arms in the air, exhilarated, and threw an arm around the boy, who stiffened.
“So that’s what got the points?” Midoriya asked, pointing to the star still in his hand.
He nodded. “But it was Uraraka who found it. If it weren’t for your quick seeing, we would have missed it.” He looked down, clenching his right hand. “I was too focused on icing the area I didn’t think about the items we could have found.”
Uraraka shook her hands dismissively. “Don’t worry about that Todoroki-kun! We got the points so that’s good...” She trailed off as the ground shook again. 
They all glanced at each other, standing.
“We should go...” Midoriya began nervously.
“Before Cementoss does catch up, kero,” Asui finished.
They all nodded, making their way to the exit. 
When the cooler air of the outside hit them, they couldn’t help but sigh. 
Sure it was cold, but it was much better than the searing heat of those flames.
They looked up.
And froze.
Toshinori hated that smile of Nedzu’s. It’s the smile that told him the principal was planning something. 
Something that probably wasn’t going to be good.
Nedzu completely ignored him, too deep in thought.
It had been hard work getting all the puzzle pieces into place. His students were unpredictable, but it was the teacher’s who’d nearly messed it up. Especially Midnight and Present Mic--he’d have to talk to them about holding grudges with their naive first years. 
But finally everyone had been gathered onto the grounds. 
And by the looks of their confused faces, none of them knew what was coming.
Nedzu lifted his tea cup and took a sip. 
He put a paw on the button. 
And with another, darker smile, he pressed it.
Toshinori couldn’t help but wish his students good luck with all his heart.
The fountain split into four, the Central Plaza opening up to pull it in. The ground as class 1A tried to figure out what was going on--were they still doing the Hunt? What was this part all about? 
The Golden Sack was the first thing that came back out.
And then a giant Ectoplasm followed suit, the Sack perched on his head.
(Yaoyorozu put a hand on Jirou’s shoulder to stop her from screaming. She was sick sick sick of that teacher!)
He loomed above them all, casting a menacing shadow. Once his upper body was out, the teachers seemed to follow, rising from the ground.
(Midnight smirked darkly at Team Tree; the five getting chills up their spine. She still hadn’t given up.)
(Hagakure subtly stepped behind Sato, hiding herself from Present Mic--despite the fact that she was the best hidden in the first place.)
As the ground closed up again, around Ectoplasm’s giant clone, snow poured out, filling the area around and piling around the teachers.
“Well well class one A,” Nedzu’s voice spoke all around them. “You’ve all managed to last until the final hours of our Hunt! Impressive! It’s been rarely done.”
“Hmph.” A distance mumble huffed somewhere. “If someone hadn’t been so stupid they would have eliminated some of them.”
(Midnight and Present Mic’s smirks twitched--the elderly lady was not getting over their earlier mishaps anytime soon, it seemed.)
“Yes yes. But in the end, class one a made it. It’s been so long since I decided to do this!” Nedzu laughed giddily, the sound chilling. “Now, you might want to take cover.”
“You won’t warn them hm? Of course you wouldn’t.”
“Where would be the fun in that?”
The sound of screeching and creaking pierced their ears and as one, the class looked up to see the glass receding and--
Snow fell.
And not the soft, beautiful snowflakes. 
It fell in harsh, loud thumps.
(Tokoyami called on Dark Shadow to shield team Eclipse as the snow weighed on them.)
(Kirishima pulled Bakugou back, under the cover of trees, in an effort to stop the boy’s obvious desire to Howitzer impact the snow.)
When the snow finally made it all down, the class emerged from their covers.
It was thicker than they’d have thought, piling up as high as their shins in some areas. But it was uneven too; the domes of the Conflagration and Downpour areas taking up a large chunk of it.
Nedzu returned to the intercom. “So! It should be rather obvious now, I’ve left so many clues, but...” A low chuckle. “It’s a snowball fight!”
Simultaneously, they froze in surprise.
A what?
“I’m sure you all know what a snowball fight is. But…” A pause that shouldn’t have been as menacing as it was. “You don’t know what a plus ultra snowball fight is.
“If you want the sack, you’ll have to get past all of the snowballs and your teachers. But I warn you…” Nedzu pitched his voice higher in excitement. “If you get hit, you’re out! You can’t make any more attempts on the Sack nor can you help your teammates!”
Nedzu giggled--this was so fun! “One more thing. If any one of you gets the sack, you will win. Even the lowest scoring group can win with the Sack now. Any one of you could win the sixteen thousand yen cheque.”
(Uraraka’s eyes flamed. The amount of food she could buy with that!)
Nedzu put his paw on another button. “Good luck everyone!”
This time, class 1A was not facing the imminent, stressful threat of death.
This time, they were merely children once more, teaming up against the silly but real threat of snowballs.
Some of them smirked, grinned, smiled; others ducked their heads, and dug in their feet, tensing their muscles.
They were teenagers. And they were heroes-in-training.
They were going to defeat these snowballs, even if it meant using their stupidly powerful quirks for something as trivial as a snowball fight.
Plus Ultra, after all.
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sapphicscholar · 3 years ago
November 2024
“And CNN can now project that former Governor Catherine Grant will become the President Elect of the United States. By our estimates, she now has more than enough votes to become the 47th president, the country’s second female president, and the first out LGBTQ president. Folks, this is a historic moment.”
The rest of the commentator’s words were drowned out in a roar of cheering as Cat strode out on stage in front of a room packed full of her supporters. Miniature American flags waved in outstretched hands. Red, white, and blue balloons bobbed through the air above them and fell, scattering across the stage. And rainbow confetti—the one “fun” choice Cat had allowed Kara—floated down from the ceiling. Cat kept one hand on Carter’s arm, her other hand clutched in Kara’s, her fingers trembling slightly, still not quite sure whether she could believe the results. After all, it had only been four years ago when she had walked out on stage to give a rather different speech after a long night of contested results and too-close-to-call-it-yet moments that finally ended after 4 in the morning with a slightly uncertain calling of the election for General Lane.
“It’s real,” Kara murmured, and Cat squeezed her hand just a little harder at the reminder that Kara had always been the one to know exactly what she needed to hear. With a quick peck for Kara and a tight hug for Carter, Cat strode forward to the podium, waving at the crowds and calling out her thanks until the tumultuous applause finally died down. She smiled as it quieted, adjusting the microphone and glancing down at the speech she had prepared, hoping but not quite believing she would have reason for it this time.
“Thank you!” Cat shook her head the slightest amount, still wondering if perhaps it was all some dream she would wake up from, finding the election night still to come. “Thank you all for your support and your donations and your hours and hours of tireless campaigning. And now—now we’re here.”
Kara threw an arm around Carter’s shoulders as they watched and listened from the wings, cheering and laughing and clapping at the lines they had listened to Cat practice the night before. “She’s pretty great, huh?” Kara whispered, earning a low chuckle from Carter.
“Think I can get off work tomorrow since my mom’s president and all?”
Kara shrugged her shoulders. “I’m calling off work tomorrow with a case of First-Lady-itis.”
With a snort, Carter shook his head. “You’re the boss. Of course you can call out.”
Not that Kara took off many days. Or any days, really. After the last campaign ended, she had turned down several offers to return to the Senate as a chief of staff or to manage another campaign. The work with Cat had been enjoyable and meaningful, but after watching and living through the dirty smear campaigns and invasive personal attacks, Kara decided she needed to step back and return to the kind of work that had inspired her to turn to politics in the first place. After a year as a senior researcher at one of DC’s progressive think tanks, Kara had applied for grants and gotten seed money from L-Corp’s philanthropic arm to found an NGO dedicated to advancing alien rights and promoting interspecies dialogue—something she saw an increasingly urgent need for in the face of the Lane administration’s attempts to roll back protective measures like the Alien Amnesty Act. But now the country seemed ready to arc back toward justice, and Kara knew, no matter how late they were out that night, she would head into the office for at least an hour or two the next day to be sure they had put out a statement about Cat’s victory.
By the time Cat finished with the speech and started working her way through seemingly countless interviews with the press, most people finally headed home, leaving the large venue quiet after a night of nervous chatter and raucous applause. At a certain point, Carter snuck in for a hug and yet another congratulations while Cat was between interviews, excusing himself to get a nap in before he had to fly back to the West coast.
James likewise caught an early flight back to California after Cat sent him off with a teasing admonishment to “keep my legacy alive, Jimmy.” Even with assurances that he had CatCo’s best reporters on it and had vetted the proofs of the front page himself, James still ended up heading back out, sighing about how the work of a CEO was never done.
Around the time the sun was beginning to rise, bathing the city in a soft pink light, Kara found a very drunk Alex and an only marginally more sober Maggie making out behind the bar and celebrating the return of a liberal to the White House. After taking a few photos for posterity’s sake, Kara shuffled them outside and instructed two of the hired security guards to take them back to their house, leaving them both with stern reminders to drink plenty of water.
“Can you take us to Shake Shack?” Alex slurred as she flopped into the back seat behind Maggie. “They got great fries. Maggie likes fries. Didja know that? Veg’tarians can have fries at burger places.”
“We’ll get you fries at some point today,” Kara promised as she shut the door behind Alex, rolling her eyes as Maggie dropped her head into Alex’s lap, already half asleep.
While Kara waited for Cat to finish her final interviews, she scrolled through her texts and emails, smiling at all the happy messages waiting for her from Eliza, who promised that she had been watching live from the Grant campaign headquarters in California, and Winn, who included several photos of Americans following the coverage in Germany with the caption: “SO PROUD OF YOU!! Time to go: they’re buying shots. Gonna be so hungover for day 3 of the conference…”
Kara’s phone rang with a call from Lucy and Vasquez as Cat sat down with the last of the interviews that Jasmine had arranged. With a little wave to Cat, Kara gestured at her phone and the back corner of the room before wandering away from the cameras to take it. As she slid her finger across the screen, she couldn’t help the excited squeal. “Good news?”
“Double good news!” Vasquez cheered. “Don’t think we didn’t watch the coverage just because we couldn’t be there in person.”
“Little asshole had to choose the most inconvenient time to arrive,” Lucy grumbled in the background, earning a loud bark of laughter from Vasquez.
“Don’t mind her. She’s still a little grumpy from the 18 hours of labor.”
“‘A little grumpy?’” Kara had to hold the phone away from her face as Lucy yelled. “You try shoving a 7-pound lump out of your—”
“Congratulations!” Kara cut in.
“Thank you!” they both called back, and Kara had to chuckle at the dramatic shift in tone.
“Got a name?”
“He’s baby X for now.”
“And he’s really fucking cute.”
“Okay, well, he’s kinda weird-looking, but they promise that he’ll be looking a little less alien in a couple of days. No offense, Kara.”
“None taken. I guess.”
“He’s so little. Did you know how little they are?”
“But he’s got, like, these itty-bitty fingernails and everything. Like…he’s a full human, only miniature.”
“But with big blue eyes. I don’t think they’ll stay blue, but they’re beautiful for now.”
“And so much hair. I kinda hope it falls out…might be nice to start again without a big shaggy mop of it.”
“They said it would.”
Kara snorted at the back-and-forth, wondering how long the two of them had been awake at that point. “I think Cat’s wrapping up, so I should probably go, but congratulations again!”
“Congrats to Cat too!” Vasquez cheered.
“Yes! About damn time.”
“Hopefully we’ll make it out to see the baby in the next couple of days, if you don’t mind a big team of security stalking out the perimeter of your house.”
“Go for it. And you know, if they want to take out the trash or pick up some diapers while they’re at it, I hear we’re gonna want all the extra help we can get.”
“Well I’m sure baby X’s godmothers will be more than happy to babysit once they’ve recovered from their collective hangover from hell,” Kara snickered.
“That bad?”
“Oh, I took pictures. Don’t worry.”
Lucy let out a little hum. “Can always count on you for that.”
“I think I might save these ones for the next big birthday party, though…” Kara grinned at the thought of the sheer number of humiliating photos she had saved up for that moment. “Anyway, I’ll let you go, but have a safe trip home from the hospital and give baby X a kiss for me okay?”
“Of course!”
Once Kara hung up, she ambled back over to where Cat was gathering her things and stretching after too many hours spent standing in heels. Throwing Cat’s bag over her shoulder, Kara extended her free hand. “Can I take you home, President Grant?”
December 2024
“God, accounting for a security detail for the president-elect is such a pain in the ass,” Alex grumbled as she pulled out the pegs of the seating chart for what felt like the hundredth time.
Maggie laughed as she wrapped her arms around Alex’s waist and pressed a kiss to her shoulder. “Still better than accounting for the security detail of the actual president, isn’t it?”
“Oh yes, because bumping up the timeline for the wedding by four months was so much easier.”
“You’re the one who insisted on having Kara as your maid of honor, and you can’t just not invite her wife.”
“We should have gotten married before them.”
“Please, you had so much fun giving Kara shit for U-Hauling with Cat after only a year. You wouldn’t have given that up for a slightly easier go of it ourselves.”
Alex let out a long sigh. “Maybe not.” After a moment she added, “But I still think Kara should be doing some of this work.”
“Well then tell her so over dinner.”
“Oh yeah, let’s think about how that’ll go. Hey, Kara? Be a dear. In between running an organization and preparing to move into the White House and making decisions about the inauguration and the ball, could you also figure out this seating chart?”
“You forgot to add in that we could really use the extra time for ourselves since your fiancée is kind of irresistible.”
“Mm yes. That too.” Alex’s eyes fluttered shut as Maggie kissed her softly, their hands twining together.
A knock at the door interrupted them. “Coming,” Alex called out, squeezing Maggie’s hand one last time before making her way over to the front door. She swung it open to reveal Lucy and Vasquez, both of them looking a little worn for wear. Lucy had a diaper bag slung over her shoulder, and Vasquez held an infant carseat in one hand, a bottle of wine in the other.
“Hey! Come in, come in, it’s so good to see you.”
They followed Alex inside, waving at Maggie as she rounded the corner. As Vasquez set the carseat on the ground, Lucy grimaced at the sound of a little whimper.
Alex leaned forward, unbuckling the straps and lifting the baby up, settling him into the crook of her elbow as she cooed at him. “Oh, come here, little Alex. Your godmother’s got you.”
Lucy pursed her lips and glared. “It’s A.J.”
“Mm, but I believe one of those names could be shorted to Alex. And really, I’m still so flattered that you named your son after me.”
Vasquez’s lips twitched as Lucy groaned. “It was a family name.”
“Say whatever you want to, Luce, but me and little Alex are always gonna know the truth.”
Lucy raised her eyebrows at Maggie. “She’s insufferable, you know that, right?”
“Considering we’re getting married in a couple weeks, I think I know that by now.” Maggie raised herself up to her tip-toes to kiss away the crinkle in Alex’s forehead. “But I love you more than anything.”
“Yeah, yeah. You’re lucky I’m holding a baby.”
“And you’re welcome to borrow him anytime you want.”
Vasquez shook her head. “She says that now, but she’s secretly a big softie with him at home.”
Before Lucy could respond, the sound of several SUVs pulling up drew their attention outside. “Cat’s here!” Alex called out. “Maggie, can you deal with the security team?”
Eventually Cat and Kara made it inside, and after a round of passing A.J. around to everyone, Lucy got him to fall asleep in his carseat in time for dinner. When she got back, Vasquez patted the seat next to her, throwing her arm around Lucy’s shoulders and kissing her temple.  
Alex raised her glass in the air. “A toast to little Alex!”
“Also known as A.J.,” Maggie chimed in, winking at Vasquez across the table as they clinked their glasses.
“And to the soon-to-be-married couple for hosting us tonight,” Cat added, earning another round of clinking glasses.
“And, excuse me, let’s not fucking forget,” Lucy cut in, “to the next President of the United States of America.”
“Cheers!” the table chorused.
“Here’s to an overdue victory!”
“And eight long years in the White House!”
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kookie-vith-suga · 4 years ago
The Christmas miracle
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Word count: 1992 // I had to make some cuts so it fits into the 2000 mark :D
Warnings: A little bit of everything ;)
Author’s note: Hey I just found this lovely contest idea by @hobigolightly and wanted to participate :) I hope the rest of you like this as well as an attunement for christmas
I hope you are familiar with the concept of an Advent calendar because it is mentioned. It is just a box filled with chocolate or other stuff and you open one door each day. From the 01.12. till the 24.12. I hope this is understandable :)
–> Masterlist
Recent: Lost on you 
She was not the type of girl you just walk up to and say “Hi”. You would rather avoid her gaze and change direction when you encounter her. It was some kind of dark aura that was engulfing her. Quite intimidating…at least at first.
It was the second day you lived in your new apartment. Well it actually only consisted out of one room and a small bath. You rolled around on the airbed you arranged temporary till you manage to built up your bed. The scene presented in front of you nearly let you cry out in frustration. To see that everything was a mess and the fact that your limbs felt numb from carrying all the boxes yesterday. You hid your face under the blanket and decided to not do anything today when you heard a knock on the door. You groaned. Who is this? I do not know anyone here. Heavily you stood up and stomped to the door.
A light haired boy came in sight as you opened the door. He smiled gently. “Hello. I’m your neighbour and wanted to pre-”
With a swift move you closed the door in front of his face. You turned around hearing some murmering from the other side. You were ready to lay down again when it knocked again.
“Go away!”, you yelled, “I don’t need no friends.”                                                                                  
“I never said I wanted to be your friend. It’s just a form of courtesy to great your neighbours. If you have ever heard anything about that!”, he retorted.
“Of course but I think I’m free to choose to whom I want to be polite to. Besides this I clearly don’t need intrusive neighbours who want to chit chat with me everytime we see us or borrow my sugar.”
It was silent for a while so you thought he would have left but then you heard a bitter chuckle. “I feel sorry for you. What a sad life you must live.”
You tore open the door. “My life is none of your business!”, you screamed enraged. Anger tears were burning in your eyes.
“Well isolated like this you must be pretty lonely.”
You gulped. “No I’m not lonely… Have you ever heard about independence?!”
“Oh is the small girl away from home for the first time living of off mommy’s and daddy’s money?”, he questioned sarcastic.
Suddenly it felt like someone had kicked you in the gut. You were so taken aback that you did not noticed the first tears that were rolling down your cheeks. Out of reflex you wiped over your face. Only then you noticed it. You hated that your body was reacting like this, displaying your vulnerability for everyone to see.
“Who are you to judge anyway?!“ You slammed the door shut.
Third person’s POV
Yoongi just came back from the studio were he had a rather unproductive day. He just couldn’t really focus the whole day. It basically had been like this the whole week. Additionally it also had started to snow. A little to early for his taste since it was still November. Yoongi entered the apartment building brushing off the snow that had not melted already. He made his way up the stairs and as he reached his floor he stopped in front of your door. Yoongi had never been the guy to intentionally hurt others so seeing you cry made him feel like the worst. Walking by your door every morning and evening he quietly hoped you would open so that he could apologise. But he wasn’t brave enough to just knock.
“I don’t think she is at home”, someone informed him. He spun around to spot the renter. A woman in her mid sixties, who carried her age well. “Probably at her third job. What a poor thing right? She is always working till late in the night.”, she seemed lost in her thoughts for a second, “But who am I telling this. I’m sure you know it. Are you two friends?”
“Well…umm you could say that.” He scratched the back of his neck.
“That is good. She really needs someone. Normally I would say that there must be a greater reasons why people are punished with such a misfortune…But in her case…Taking a young girls parents…Both at once. Really is too cruel.”
She has lost her parents?! Remorse spread in his chest. 
“How did it happen?”, Yoongi asked rueful.
“Oh she hasn’t told you yet”, the renter was surprised.
He shook his head hoping she would still answer.
“Maybe I have talked too much again. She should tell you the rest. So have a nice day.” She quickly hurried upstairs.
“You too”, he murmured automatically. He entered his apartment. I need to fix this. Yoongi’s eyes fell on a few small boxes that were tossed in one corner of the room and suddenly an idea stroke through his head. He looked at the clock at the wall.
I should go. The shops are closing soon.
This was one of these days you would have loved to stay in bed. First you were scolded by your boss at your second job and then you got fired from your third job.
“Reduction in staff my ass”, you murmured out loud wiping your nose with the back of your hand. “And I also caught a cold. Awesome.” You slowly climbed up the stairs.
Your eyes widen in surprise when you saw a package lying in front of your door. Who’s is this? It can’t be mine. You looked around but no one was in sight. Then you picked it up. Your name was written on it and the number one. You shook it lightly. Rumbling was heard. But I have not ordered anything. You had to admit that the curiosity was killing you so you quickly grabbed a knife and cut it open.
Inside of it was a box of chocolate and not any kind of chocolate but pretty expensive looking ones. Whoever send me this has a really good taste. Eagerly you tore the box open and put one in your mouth. Immediately your eyes rolled back. It tasted like heaven. This is by far the best thing that had happened to me today. And probably the best chocolate I have ever eaten. You took another one and inspected the package further. A small piece of paper lied at the bottom. The letters “tw” where written on it. Tw? What is that supposed to mean?! You looked into the box again. But there was nothing else in it. No letter. Nothing.
Third person’s POV
“Dude why are you doing this again?”, Hoseok was lying on the sofa watching Yoongi. Yoongi was busy preparing the fifteenth package.
“Because I want to apologise.”
“Then go over there and knock on the damn door. It would save you a shit tone of money and time.”
“It is not that easy. You can’t understand this.”
“You are right. I can’t understand why somebody is working himself up for a stranger”, Hoseok made a meaningful pause, “Or do you want to fuck her? Then I could-”
“Not everything is about sex.” Yoongi threw a pillow at him.
Hoseok catched it. “But it should be..Tell me please what are you getting out of this then?”
“I can make her day better. Isn’t that enough?”
“No not really. You don’t even know her. You can’t just walk around and make people’s lives more enjoyable. It’s weird.”
“You know I really don’t need your unnecessary comments. Either you gonna help me here or you can leave.”
“Chill prince charming. You know I am always at your service.”
Yoongi laughed. “Then get your ass over here.”
It was driving you crazy. It had been over three weeks and you still didn’t know who put the packages in front of your door You already thought about intstalling a camera in the corridor but that seeemed kinda over the top. Besides this you did not even have a camera.
You have created various scenarios in your head about who it could be. Maybe the old renter? She is always so nice to me. Or maybe a secret admirer? But the only clues you had were a various collection of different sweets, sometimes a self cooked meal or a little present. And of course a bunch of white papers with two letters written on it. You had already tried to bring them in a logical order but you always failed. You had to admit that you were hoping to meet the person. Since it was the 23th December already you had to hurry up or else it could all end tomorrow .
That is why you decided to take the day off today. Your goal was to stay inside the whole day. Near the door of course.
Half of the day had passed with you sitting close to the door waiting for any noises at your door. But there had been none and you were grewing impatient. You sighed out loud and since you really had to use the bathroom, you went.
Just when you washed your hands, you heard something had bumped against your door. 
“I’ve got you”, you yelled while opening the door.
“What are you doing here?!” Your eyes wandered to the box in his hands and then back to him.
He stammered something incomprehensible while straightening up.
“It was you? The whole time?”, every sign of excitement has left your face.
“Listen I am very sorry for what I said. I did not knew about your parents and I feel terrible”, he tried to explain himself.
“Oh and that is why you choose me the orphaned girl as your little social project for the holidays?”
“No it is not like-”
“I’m fine. I really don’t need your help.” You slammed the door shut.
Third person’s POV
“Wow that really sucks. I am sorry”, Hoseok patted his shoulder. They were sitting in a bar. Everyone around them seemed to be in a happy-tomorrow-is-christmas-mood.
“It is alright you know. It was just a stupid idea anyway. Like you said we don’t even know each other.”
“Since when are you listening to me?! Come on I really think it was a good idea. You should bring it to an end.”
“No I don’t want to. It is useless. She hates me.”
“Christmas is probably the only day miracles are possible.”
“Shut up. Since when are you talking like that?!”
“Since my always optimistic best friend started moping about a girl he likes even though he did not even tried everything.”
“I never said I like her”, Yoongi protested while blushing a little.
“Dude, you can lie to yourself but not to me.” Hoseok stood up. “Let’s go.”
It was christmas. I could not care less. Impatient knocking had woken me from my nap.
“I am coming!” you opened the door. A boy with a huge bouquet of roses in his hands stood there.
“Are those for me?”, you questioned surprised.
“Yes, they are.” He handed them over and you stumbled a little back under the weight. Now the face of the deliver boy was visible. He looked somehow familiar. “Please read the card in it because a friend of mine really put a lot of effort in those presents to see you smile everyday and I don’t think it should go to waste.”
“Goodbye ma’am and Merry Christmas!” He left without hearing what you wanted to say.
You put down the flowers and searched for the said card. It stuck in the middle. It said: “This is the beginning: I’m.”
What is this suppose to mean? You read it again and again. Then your eyes wandered through the room and stopped on the white paper pieces in your trash can. You had thrown them away yesterday since you were so angry. You quickly turned it around and collected them all. It took you a little to sort them but then it made sense.
“I’m sorry. Do you want to spent Christmas eve with me? I’m Yoongi”, you read out loud.
Immediately you jumped onto your feet and ran out the door. You knocked on the opposite door. A little too hard maybe.
“Yeez Hoseok it-”, He had opened the door and stopped instantly.
“Hello Yoongi. I am Y/N.” You wrapped your arms around him and your lips landed on his. It took him a second before he kissed back.
After what seemed like ages you pulled back.
“Merry Christmas!”
Whaa I have finished it! I am pretty content! :) I hope you all like this as well ♥
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momandbeebee · 3 years ago
I’m not very good at journaling, but this is a time in my life that I think I really want to try to remember. Thus, this blog.
Today is Thursday, June 28th, 2018. I’m 26 years old and next Tuesday, July 3rd, I’m going to go talk to my doctor about having a baby. On my own. Without a partner. 
Granted, yes, I have partners. I’m in three happy, healthy relationships. They’re wonderful partners and I love them very much. They’re also all on the East coast, more or less, and I’m ready for parenthood at a time when I just don’t have a partner in town. Honestly, I figured I’d at least begin this adventure by myself.
Twenty-six was actually the age that I decided, if I don’t have a partner, I’m going to go ahead and start trying to have a baby. I’ve known I want to be a parent for several years now, after going through a phase of “no thanks, I don’t want one of those” when I was in my late teens. When I think about what I want from my life, a bouncing baby who grows into a confident and wonderful adult human is pretty high on that list (right next to: get off my ass and publish my book that I’ve been writing for two years).
The plan originally was to have this kiddo with my longest-term partner. We’d planned on getting married and then starting planning for trying maybe in the spring. However, we decided that we wanted to go on a different path with our relationship - which is to say we decided not to get married, and that I’ll have this kiddo on my own with emotional support from others but I’ll be their sole parent. We are, however, still in a relationship. I think that’s hard for some to wrap their minds around, but if there’s curiosity, I’m happy to explain why this works better for us and why it’s not a bad thing.
Now that the wedding isn’t a thing, I can start this journey whenever I want. And I wanted to make sure that firstly, I was taking care of myself. If I don’t take care of myself, I won’t be taking care of anything growing inside of me, so I needed to feel confident that I wouldn’t do anything that might hurt my body. That meant being careful of alcohol consumption. Paying closer attention to how I’m eating. Making sure I’m taking my vitamins and my anxiety meds like clockwork every morning. Getting myself to a healthier weight. Paying off any and all (granted, small) debts. And I’ve done all of those things (though still classified ‘overweight’ and still planning on losing more, but not to the detriment of any child). 
So, on Monday of this week, I called my OBGYN. Not just for a check-up, but to discuss fertility options as a single person with a uterus with no sperm-makers around that I’d want to use. I don’t kid myself that this will be an easy (or cheap) process. But I’ve prepared myself as much as someone in my position can. I’ve saved up some money. I’ve been doing what I can to take care of my body to make sure it will safely house a child. I’ve been taking care of my mind and making sure to be kind to myself when I’m frustrated. 
And on Tuesday (five days!!), I’ll be finding out how I begin this process. 
I want to write down this process not only for myself, but for anyone curious about doing this themselves. This will be applicable for just about anyone who for whatever reason is going to try to conceive using a donor. Whether you’re doing it on your own, with a partner who cannot for whatever reason (cis or trans or nb) produce sperm, or any other circumstances, I hope this will shed some light on the process. 
If this becomes a difficult process, I’ll write that down too. If I have a difficult time conceiving, if I need to use IVF or other methods, if I can’t conceive at all - I’ll write it down as best as I can. And if, fingers crossed, this ends up being a very quick process to conceive, I’ll write about that as well, and what it’s like to create a life on my own and to take care of that life. 
As much as I say I’m doing this on my own, I do have wonderful support from not only partners, but my family as well. I think my mom might be almost as excited as I am; her granddaughter lives across the country from her and she’s thrilled that she’ll have another grandchild in town. My dad is my boss, so we butt heads pretty often, but I know he supports me as well. 
And, if I do end up pregnant soon, I’ll probably write a whole thing about what it’s like to be in the early stages of pregnancy in Disneyland; my mom and I are going in early November. I can also write about going to Oregon to see other family members in December and whether I’m going to tell them then as well. 
For now, I won’t be using names on this blog, simply because I know how easy it is to find the blog of someone who already spends a decent amount of time on here, and I’ve had family members find my main blog easily (I don’t really try to hide my name on there, though). Just in case this becomes a difficult process, I want to take my time in talking to (especially extended) family about all of this.  However, everything else here will be completely real and honest. And hopefully, helpful. 
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First Loves, Gentle Kisses, and Families (Sriracha, Part 28.)
Description: A problematic college student gets the worst summer job of the ‘83 - Jim Hopper, the Chief of police in your hometown will have you as his secretary since his old lady Flo has two months lasting holiday. It was agreed so Hopper could let you far away from all the trouble.
Part Summary: Eleven bringing more people to your life was something that was terrifying, yet fun and full of adventure at the same time. And there were more exciting news about to come from the Hawkins Lab.
A/N: The Snow Ball is approaching, romance is in the air, everyone is feeling good, this is going to be fluffy.
Word count: 2.3 K
Tagging: @nemodoren​, @creedslove​, @missdictatorme​
Master list: H E R E
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It was just a matter of time before you found your way to at least respect the children Eleven was friends with. There was this Sinclair boy, Lucas, who always had some dumb jokes that made you at least chuckle. There was Dustin, who sometimes had the front teeth and sometimes he hadn’t got any because of some weird illness he had. There was also Maxine, who was quiet, but she liked to cook with you and Eleven. You already knew Will and his Dungeons and Dragons and you’ve seen Mike around already, so there was no surprise there.
Just before December was about to start, you first noticed that Mike and Eleven maybe are a thing. You noticed those careful touches that you shouldn’t see, you could notice how aware Mike is around you and how El blushed every time he looked at her.
Once, you asked Hopper about that when you were about to lay in the bed.
“Hey, I feel like you’re keeping some secrets away from me.” - You furrowed and put on your pajama pants, putting your hair in a comfortable hairstyle, so it wouldn’t bother you during the night. Hopper's eyes closed as he tried to guess what you're talking about. His eyes popped out then, figuring out that you had found out about the lab stuff, and his arm hugged the blanket a bit tighter. - “You do?” - Hopper mumbled, his voice cracking a bit.
“Obviously. I feel like there is something weird every time I get back to Hawkins, like, you know, there’s something different. Almost… Almost as if you and El are keeping some secrets and other things away from me. Did you know anything about that?” - A clear amusement could be heard in your voice, which made his testicles crawl back inside of his belly. Was he about to be bitched down as a fourth-grader who came home late? Were you about to turn into a furious, yelling, plate-throwing demon he was used to? - “Do I know about what, exactly?” - The man asked as he watched your body laying down next to him, cuddling to him in the ice-cold late November night.
“You didn’t see that? El and Mike? You hadn’t noticed?” - You giggled, turning your head at him, smiling. Hopper could feel the damn relief falling off of his back. It was just El and Mike… Well. It was his daughter and that little Wheeler bastard you were talking about. That was when his eyebrow got a spasm.
“Oh, come on, don’t be a jackass. First love is the most beautiful one, James.” - Your laughter could be heard when you watched Hopper having a facial expression of rock. His hand was thrown over your waist, yet his body was ridiculously tensed. - “Hopper, stop this, don’t act like a fucking idiot. She is our princess, yes, but this would come over the time either way. And I like this Mike Wheeler. I know him since the day he was born, he’s a good kid.”
With that, Hopper shoved his face into the pillow, grunting annoyedly at you supporting Eleven’s damn choice. This battle was lost even before it started - he knew that he could go against you and your opinion, theoretically speaking, but you would pull out such arguments that it would make him sit on his damn ass. - “I’m with these two together way more than you. I know how Mike acts around her and I know he’s damn sweet to her. Let it be Hopper.” - You whispered to his ear before you slowly brushed your fingers under his t-shirt. Yes. This argument and battle were lost long before it even started.
The life went on, how much more could you possibly say? You went to work, studied in your free time, took care of Eleven, her friends and Hopper - the life in its entirety has never been better when you thought about it. Eleven was properly happy for the first time in forever and you couldn’t be happier about that.
It was a week after December started - and a week remaining to Snow Ball. Early Christmas, Hopper called it jokingly, but he was right. When he came home that day, you hadn’t expected him to be there that soon. You were pleasantly surprised because you and the kids were just in the half of a karaoke marathon and you were just staying Ghostbusters with a small help from Will the Wise himself. Hopper watched you with an amused smile - there was something magical about watching you work with children; whether it was studying with El or making dumb things with the whole gang, you always made it fun for both sides.
Last time he came in and you were just doing stuff, you played D&D. And oh my, you were just lost - visibly lost at what the hell was happening. Mike and Lucas helped you with building a character and you even got pretty far into the story, with the help of the boys, of course, but you still didn’t have any idea about what the goddamn hell is going on. You only knew that some kind of Minotaur had sliced you in half and just like that, you were dead and out of the whole story.
So this time, seeing you slaying Ray Parker’s song, that was a pleasure. And it was damn sweet when you repeated Who you gonna call? and the gang yelled back Ghostbusters! with lots of laughs as the melody slowly faded away.
“Would you mind if I steal Mr. Parker here for a minute or..?” - Hopper asked once the song ended.
“Only if Lucas and Dustin won’t cheat during Never Surrender. Mike, you’ll watch them and if they do cheat, points down.” - You said, a bit sad that you won’t see Dustin and Lucas chaotically yelling the romantic song. They were bickering about something, but you just walked to Hopper, smiling at them. - “Yada yada yada, can’t hear you. Do your best and don’t cheat or you’re out. I’m not playing games with karaoke.”
Hopper took you to the bedroom, sitting you down on the bed even if you said it’s completely pointless. Only when you finally sat down and heard Corey Hart and Dustin in sync yelling the first verse, Hopper gave you a completely normal envelope. You smiled at him before taking it out of his hands. And boy, when you finally opened it, you were taken away, watching that piece of stamped paper in your fingers.
“Merry Christmas, baby.” - The man kneeling in front of you whispered, smoothing both your thighs. You started shaking with excitement. Your eyes were scanning the paper to see if it isn't fake. But it seemed to be real.
“Is… Is this… Are you for… Is it even real? Are you telling me..?” - You whispered, watching the adoption certificate of Jane Hopper, presumably Eleven, in your palms.
“You’re now officially a proud mom.” - Hopper smiled with tears in his damn eyes. It was so pleasurable to see you as happy as you were in that moment. You were crying like a baby, let’s face it, but you tried to contain yourself just because there was only a piece of cloth between you and a room full of teenagers.
This was something huge, something you thought you would never achieve. That piece of paper was saying that Eleven is yours and no-one could deny that. And the document was even official, which was just breathtaking. You cried along with Jim in the backroom for the next ten minutes before you walked into Lucas and Max performing Material Girl from Madonna. And Lucas was just slaying the whole text while Max performed the backup vocals.
Not an hour from that, while Hopper decided to read something, the moment you didn’t like came by - Steve Nanny McFee Harrington came to pick up the boys and Max to drive them home. But you weren’t quite done with the contest, so you walked into the cold evening and looked at him. That was a thing you haven’t done before. You haven’t spoken to Steve in almost a year, which was crazy to think of since he was a big part of your life before.
“Hey, wanna come in? It’s freezing out there!” - You called in the direction of the car, smiling at the boy. He watched you like a dear in the headlights, trying to make out if you’re making fun of him or not. But when your smile widened even more than before, he stopped the engine and walked to the cabin, hearing first notes of Runaway, Max's song of choice.
“Hi there.” - You whispered with a smile, looking at the boy. Steve seemed to be mature. You didn’t know why or how was that possible, but the boy in front of your eyes looked… Really like an adult.
“Yeah, h-hey.” - Steve got out of his lips before you closed the door after him. The kids waved at him before continuing with their little karaoke. You, without hesitation, prepared Steve some warm chocolate so he wouldn’t freeze. The cabin was warm enough, but that boy just seemed to be cold. - “Haven’t talked to you in a while… How… Are things?” - He asked awkwardly as he looked around the cabin.
There was Eleven’s drawing hanging on the fridge, a lot of her pictures, there were even pictures of her and her friends there - you especially loved the one where Dustin was pretending that he had rabies when you made them Hopper’s triple-decker extravaganza one evening. There were pictures of you and Hopper side by side, pictures when you were alone with El - like hugging her on the couch or cooking with her. It was obvious that you had a family life and that you’re happy with it. It felt strange to see his former best friend’s sister, and his past crush, to have such a life at such an age and to be happy with it.
“They’re going just great. A year ago, I wouldn’t ever think that I can have a life like this, yet, here we are. It’s kind of a miracle.” - You smiled, giving him the mug, making yourself one as well. - “How are you? You and Nance are still hitting it off?”  - You smiled wickedly, but as soon as you could see his miserable face, you knew that you hit some soft spot in steve.
“No. I was, in fact, a terrible boyfriend and she started dating Jonathan Byers a month ago, they seem happy, tho. A terrible boyfriend, would you believe that? Just as you always told me.” - Steve turned the awkwardness into a joke, but you punched his shoulder with a giggle.
“I have never told you that you’d be a terrible boyfriend, Harrington. I just told that you and me? That wouldn’t work. And I told you a million times, again and again.” - You told him, looking him in the face with a smile on your lips, feeling a bit better around him each passing minute.
“Turned out I’m the best single mom Hawkins High basketball team had ever seen.” - Steve said proudly, which made you laugh again.
“Listen, dude, I love you and I always did. But not in the way you desperately wanted me to. You’re like a little brother to me - whatever happens, call me, we can hang out, talk things out, yeah?” - You offered him a sisterly hug and Steve accepted, smiling into your shoulder. - “Don’t you forget I’ve seen you running naked around our pool when you were small.” - You whispered, making him hug you even tighter.
He got over the crush some time ago, but the shock of you dating Hopper was just so huge, that he never brought himself to say hi to you when he met you in Hawkins. He couldn’t wave at you or look you straight in the face. It was just so hard - you were turning his offers down him for years at that point, but you fell in love with a total shit like James Hopper? That wasn’t fair.
But now, it felt just good and natural to hug you as a friend only. It didn’t feel pressured or weird. Steve started to see the value of a true friendship after he started hanging out with Dustin Henderson and his douche friends. And he could see why you and Hopper were making things work so well - when he looked at your mutual relationship without his jealousy, he could see why your bitching-down nature could hold a man like James grounded in reality and why his nature could make your head make fly in the skies.
“But we’ll sing karaoke now and we’ll show these teens how to slay a song hm?” - You asked, more like told him straight forward, and dragged him in front of the couch. Steve tried to resist with laughter, but in the next minute, you were yelling the text of Total Eclipse of the Heart into the hairbrushes like the whole mattered on this performance. Hopper was standing there, in the doorframe of the bedroom, watching as you made Steve laughter on many occasions when you just fucked the words up because you wanted to.
And for the first time, Jim wasn’t a bit jealous when it came to Steve - because no matter if the boy was a prick, they get to know each other during the second incident in Hawkins. And no matter how hard he tried to get under your skirt previously, that kid had a heart of gold. He just needed friends because, in reality, Steve was lonely. And it felt right when Hopper saw you two jamming to the song.
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