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#second of four and youngest of 3
emothirst · 4 months ago
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Ok so imma go on a little tangent here because I noticed something.
Each of the four lords basically embodies a genre of horror in a sense.
First: Lady Dimitrescu
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She lives in grandeur, a big castle, servants, dresses and acts aristocratic. She represents the classic gothic horror. Inspiration can be seen all across the castle, the letters from the servants, her daughters and their weapons, etc.
Second: Donna Benevento
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She represents mainly paranormal horror, but with a touch of psychological mixed in. Creepy dolls that talk and float, the baby creature and the ethereal feel of the graveyard before the house are good points for this. The biggest one in my mind in the radio messages we get from Mia. They gave me an edge of The Omen mixed with The Boy. Something seems paranormal, but it could just be in your head.
Third: Salvatore Moreau
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He represents to grotesque side of horror. Body horror, most likely. Body horror relies on the fear of not being able to trust one's physical sense of self, and the fact its clearly stated Moreau has no control over his mutations is evident of this. He gives me a vibe of Gyo by Junji Ito to be completely honest.
Forth: Karl Heisenberg
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I believe he is considered the youngest because his genre is a bit newer compared to the others. Yes, he is inspired by Frankenstein, but look at his machines.
They give off more of a Saw vibe, don't you think?
He represents the horrors of man playing God, twisting the human body and/or human morals to get the results he wants. The rugged, powerful look of his factory, how bleak it looks and intimidating it seems, it relates a lot to more to man made terror.
But these are just my thoughts. Please feel free to add onto this, as I know that there's more to be explored here. <3
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cjsinkythoughts · 7 months ago
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Inner Conflict
Pairing: Bucky Barnes x Avenger!Reader
Word Count: 3586
Warnings: !FATWS SPOILERS!, Cursing, Some Angst, Some Fluff, Sam and Bucky being idiots, Mentions of PTSD, Anxiety, and Depression
A/N: Here’s Part Three to my FATWS Series, which I’m making a masterlist for that you can find Here. 
Uh…it’s a little long, and I apologize for that. It doesn’t even encompass the whole second episode, only the first half, so a Part 3.5 will be coming out later today probably (it’s my day off work so I have all day to relax and write!) I tried not doing a line for line rewrite of the episode, but there are quotes from the show in here. Mostly it’s Reader’s thoughts and feelings towards what’s happening while conversations are going on around. Reader’s backstory is a bit more unfurled. It’s more action packed and more scene-for-scene of the episode than the previous two. Less emotions shared and less hurt/comfort type of thing, but that’ll be back in the next part probably along with more scenes not in the show. The next part I’m planning won’t be as long, it’ll mainly just be the Couples Therapy scene and a bit more angst with her and Sam and her and Bucky.
Because there’s four more episodes and I don’t know what’s going to happen in them, I’m kinda hesitant on spilling out exactly what is going on with the Reader and what her role was on the original team, but we’ll get there. Also, I wasn’t expecting to be writing multiple pieces for one episode, but if the other episodes are as packed as this one, prepare yourself for more parts than anticipated. We’re already on Part 3 and I’ve got Part 3.5 coming. Just bare with me as I don’t know what’s going to happen in future episodes! Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy it! 
(Not beta’d so excuse any mistakes.)
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!SPOILERS UNDER CUT!
Walking out of the shower, ruffling a towel through your hair to dry it off, you froze at the sound of the TV. A sigh left your lips. It’s all he’d been doing the last few days - watching the news. Keeping up with the tour for the new Captain America.
You peeked out of the small bedroom to find Bucky sitting on the floor, brow creased as he watched John Walker talk to the Good Morning America hostess.
“You shouldn’t be watching that.” You spoke up, leaning on the doorway, still patting your hair dry. He glanced over to you, taking in the towel wrapped around you, before looking back at the TV. Seeing you like that wasn’t anything new. “Buck, I’m serious. Brooding over it won’t make anything better.”
“What do you want me to do?”
You let out a sigh, shifting your feet and biting your lip as you thought about how to respond. “I-I haven’t figured it out yet. But obsessing over the new guy-”
“Aren’t you mad?”
You frowned at his question, his eyes meeting yours once more. “I told you already that I am.”
He tilted his head, which he did when he was confused, his eyes narrowing. “Why don’t you show it? Why aren’t you screaming or cursing or crying or something? You, of all people-”
“Because it won’t help anything, Buck.” You shook your head, pushing off the wall. “I want to. But if I let myself go down that road…” Dropping your gaze to the floor, you take a breath, collecting your thoughts. “This is such a complicated situation, James. I’m being contacted left and right for a statement on the new Captain. People trying to see my reaction. Senators trying to get me to meet with him. I can’t let myself snap. I can’t.”
He scowled. “They’re still bothering you?”
A dry chuckle escaped your lips and you nodded. “Makes me miss the days when no one knew who I was; when I was the behind-the-scenes seventh Avenger. But I made that choice to come out, and I have to deal with the consequences now. Blowing up will only-”
“Even though I never met him…he feels like a brother.”
That one statement stopped you in your tracks. Bucky’s head whipped back to the TV, his jaw ticking, his nose scrunching up.
“Did he really just say that?”
Bucky merely nodded, his chest heaving as he tried getting his breathing under control. “Feel like snapping now?”
You purse your lips as you held in the tears stinging your eyes. After composing yourself, you moved over and grabbed the remote, letting out a tiny sniffle as you did so. You tentatively touched Bucky’s shoulder, silently asking him if he needed anything from you. His response was to open his arms, so you quickly got down besides him to hold him.
“He is my brother, doll.”
“I know, Buck.” You pressed a soft kiss to his head, which rested against your bare shoulder.
Your bare knees are pressed harshly against the wooden panels of the floor, and you’re twisted awkwardly, but you couldn’t bring yourself to care. As long as he was comfortable, you would take the uncomfortable position. As long as he was being held, you would take the soreness it would leave. As long as you could help him be some sort of okay, you would take not being okay in this position.
 You two sat like that for a few more moments before your phone buzzed. You gave a sigh, pulling back and holding his cheeks in either hand. He wasn’t crying, although he was on the verge of doing so. You’d seen him cry before, so you knew he didn’t mind. For you it was a different story.
Bucky had maybe seen you cry twice since the whole Blip thing went down. And one of them was over the phone, so he didn’t see it so much as he heard it. You didn’t let yourself cry in front of him. Or anyone, for that matter. It was a part of you. The only person you ever felt comfortable enough around to cry in front of…wasn’t there. And you couldn’t change that.
“We’ll figure it out.” You told him, nodding gently and letting a small, sad smile quirk the corners of your lips up. “Okay? We’ll figure it out.”
The clench in his jaw loosened as your fingers worked circles into the hinge, making him relax and nod back. You pressed a tender kiss to his forehead before standing up, moving across the room to where your phone was on the counter. You assumed it’d be another government official or news reporter, so you were slightly shocked to see ‘Sammy’ flashing up at you.
Your eyebrows furrowed as you read his message, a slight pout forming on your face. 
“Doll?” Toned arms wrapped around you, warm and cool, his chin setting on your shoulder. “What’s wrong?”
“It’s Sam. He needs my help with something.”
“I’m coming with you.”
You turned in his arms, eyes narrowing in suspicion. “Why?”
He shrugged, licking his lips. “You might need help.”
“Bucky, you can’t go if you’re just going to yell at him.”
“I won’t.”
You studied his features. He was lying, you knew that. Of course he was going to snap at Sam for giving up the shield. He was mad and they got on each others’ nerves every chance they could find, so of course he was going to.
But you still found yourself saying yes and telling him to go pack a bag. You were never able to say no to Steve and it seemed that got passed on. What a nuisance it was.
****************
And you were so right. It was the first thing he said once Sam came into view coming down the stairs.
“You shouldn’t have given up the shield, Sam.”
“James.” You squeezed the hand he was holding, voice pleading for him not to do this right now. He huffed, stepping back to let you greet Sam properly, giving the man a hug. “Hi, Sammy.”
“It’s been a while.” Sam commented, pulling back and holding you by the shoulders. “You look good. Not that you’ve ever looked otherwise.”
You gave him a small smile. “You do too.”
“Thanks for coming. I know it’s short notice, but-”
“It’s fine, Sam. Really.” You insist.
Sam nodded, before eyeing Bucky. “Did you have to bring him?”
“Samuel-”
“This is wrong.” Bucky cut in, staring Sam down, falling into step besides him as the man started heading outside.
“James-”
“Hey, hey. Look. I’m working, all right?”
You rolled your eyes as the two started arguing, stopping your stride to take a breather. You used to joke about babysitting them, but it didn’t feel like a joke anymore and you were getting tired of it. All the bickering for no reason. The contempt they held for one another. Steve made you promise that you would look out for them, and you were trying, but they weren’t making it easy.
When you joined them again, you raised an eyebrow at the direction the conversation turned. How the hell did they get from arguing about the shield to what a wizard is?
“Ahh! Haha! A sorcerer is a wizard without a hat!”
You gave Sam a look as he babbled about how he was right. “Sorcerer Mickey has a hat. Isn’t that, like, how he gets his powers and everything?”
Bucky grinned at you. “Thank you!”
“Excuse you!” Sam scoffed, pointing an accusing finger at you. “We were having a conversation!”
“Yeah. A stupid conversation I just ended. Now I’m gonna be in the plane. Feel free to join me when you’re done being idiots.”
They both spluttered, but you were already walking away, leaving no room for arguments. As you loaded onto the plane, you spotted the Lieutenant whom Sam mentioned who had been helping him out with missions. Torres, you thought, remembering his name from a previous phone call with your friend.
“You Lieutenant Torres?” You asked, walking up to him.
He blinked, before his eyes widened, a grin appearing on his face. He seemed young, which you were perfectly okay with considering you’ve been working alongside old men for the past decade. It was always nice to work with a fresh face, which you found after you started working with Wanda and Peter.
The thought of the two youngest members made you falter, not having heard from either of them since Christmas almost six months prior, but you quickly recovered yourself, shaking away the worries you had for them.
“You’re Y/N Y/L/N! I’m a huge fan! I’ve read all your files!”
Chuckling a little, you held out your hand. “Most of those are heavily classified.”
He ducked his head with a little blush, rubbing the back of his neck after shaking your hand. “I, uh, I might’ve…used connections.”
“It’s okay.” You reassured him, throwing him a wink. “I won’t tell. Can you tell me what’s going on? Sam didn’t exactly explain the situation.”
He nodded, getting into ‘work mode’, something you’ve seen in most military men, informing you of their recent missions and the group known as the Flag-Smashers and giving you a file on them. He was in the middle of telling you about his solo mission in Germany when your two fellas came in, sending each other small glares, but remaining quiet.
Bucky caught your eye and sent an apologetic look your way, to which you just smiled at before turning back to Torres.
“Well I’m glad you’re okay.” You told him once he was done.
“Oh yeah. It wasn’t that bad.”
You laughed and nodded. “I’m sure. You seem like a tough kid.”
He smiled, before looking around and jabbing his thumb behind his shoulder. “I-I’ve gotta go, but-”
“We can talk later.” You promised with a grin.
“Really?!”
“Of course! I have a feeling we’ll be working together more, and I like getting to know who’s gonna have my back.”
He beamed and nodded, walking backwards. “That’d be awesome! Talk to you later then!”
You giggled as he turned around and jogged off, pumping his fist in the air. You turned to a grinning Sam and nodded towards where Torres left. “I like him. Seems like a nice kid.”
“He is. Very energetic. A little reckless, but he’s got a good heart.”
You hummed, the smile falling from your face as you flipped through the file Torres gave you. “So…Munich?”
“Yeah. Listen, I’m sorry again for taking you away from the search, but-”
“Search is off.” You informed him quickly, not looking up. “Until further notice.”
The plane went quiet, before Sam cleared his throat. “So…no sign of Wanda yet, then?”
You shut the file, looking up at the men whose features were laced with concern. “I’m gonna go talk to the pilot. Behave while I’m gone. No pushing each other off the plane.”
“Doll?”
You were stopped by the hand that grabbed your wrist as you passed Bucky. You shot him another smile, knowing it wasn’t convincing enough for him, but it being the best one you had. “I’m okay. I’ve just gotta ask him some questions.”
************
Opening your mouth to stop him, you groaned when Bucky jumped out of the plane before you could speak. First Sam jumps without sharing the plan, then Bucky jumps without having a plan. Or a parachute. Or wings. Or anything.
Torres looked at you, but all you could do was shrug. “I dunno what to tell you, kid.”
“You’re not gonna do that, are you?”
“No.” You reassured him, shaking your head. “I’m gonna wait ‘til we land like a normal person and take my bike. I just have to pray that they’ll wait to do anything stupid until I get there.”
They didn’t wait. You’re pretty sure they didn’t even think about waiting. By the time you got to them, they were fighting - and losing, might you add - to six really strong people on top of two semi trucks.
Because why wouldn’t they?
Oh, oh. And on top of that, the fake was there, throwing the shield. The shield that didn’t belong to him. The shield that meant so much more than he would ever know.
“Hi, doll! Sorry we started the party without you!” Bucky shouted from where he was hanging off the edge, that close to the street and getting his head torn off by the tire.
“I’m so tired of babysitting you two, you know that?!”
“Oh! Sorry we’re such an inconvenience for you! Blame him! He jumped the gun!” Sam shouted, coming to fly next to you as you rolled up your sleeves, standing on your bike, using one hand to steer.
“Can I get a little help already?!”
“Sam-!”
“On it!”
Knowing that no matter how much they pissed each other off, Sam would make sure Bucky was okay and vice versa, you focused on getting to the top, where Walker and a buddy of his were struggling a little bit.
You climbed up to the roof of the semi no one was on, wincing when you heard your bike skidding across the pavement. There goes half your salary.
You couldn’t dwell on it for very long, considering one of the guys appeared in front of you. You recognized the fighting - the strength - and faltered, a memory resurfacing at a very bad time.
~
“C’mon, honey. You can do better than that.” Steve grinned at you, holding out a hand to help you up.
“Excuse me for not having super strength, Rogers.” You huffed out, taking it and letting him pull you up.
“You don’t need to be stronger than me. You just need to be smarter.”
“That’ll be easy.” You teased, stretching your arms before getting into your stance again. “You’re a dumbass sometimes.”
“Yeah, well, who chose to be friends with this dumbass?”
“Everyone needs a dumbass for a friend.”
He cocked an eyebrow. “So I’m your dumbass?”
“If you want.”
The grin he shot you made your heart skip a beat. “If you’ll have me.”
~
You blinked, but Steve wasn’t in front of you anymore and you weren’t in the gym in DC. 
The guy caught the punch you distractedly threw and twisted your arm, making you cry out, kicking him in the back of the knee and flipping him over your shoulder.
You went to kick him again, but he caught your leg and threw you against the side of the other semi. You were able to grab onto where Bucky had ripped through the side, but you winced as the metal cut through your palm. Sam had just flown under the trucks, taking Buck with him, and you knew when a fight wasn’t worth it, so you quickly moved around the truck, letting Walker and his pal distract the Flag-Smashers, before letting yourself fall onto the side where the grass was.
You wanted to lay there, to catch your breath and curse yourself for getting distracted. You hadn’t had a flashback like that in a while. But you didn’t let yourself. You had to make sure the guys were okay.
Standing up made you cringe; you could feel the throbbing in your shoulder from where it was no doubt dislocated and your leg was aching, the muscle probably pulled when the guy threw you.
“Doll!” You turned, seeing Bucky and Sam sprinting towards you a few yards down the road. “Hey, hey.” Bucky immediately had his hands hovering over you, scanning your body. “Are you okay?”
You nodded, shoving his hands away. “I’m fine.”
“What’s wrong with your shoulder?”
“I think I dislocated it.”
Sam frowned. “What the hell happened?”
You gave him a weird look, starting to limp across the field to where you noticed a side road earlier. “They were super soldiers, Sam. And we got our asses kicked.”
“Yeah, but you know how to fight a super soldier-”
“It’s been a while.”
“Bullshit.” Sam side stepped in front of you, making you stop. “What happened?”
“I-I just got distracted, okay?”
“Y/N. Look at me.” Bucky took your face between his palms, eyes worried. “Are you okay?”
You nodded. A tired sigh left your lips and you looked anywhere but his eyes. “Yeah. I’m fine. Just hurting. My leg, I think I pulled it or something-”
“C’mere.” Bucky turned and crouched down, making you blink.
“What?”
“You shouldn’t be walking. We don’t wanna make it worse.”
“But it’s just a strain, it won’t-”
Sam rolled his eyes. “Just get on the man’s back, Y/N.”
You bit your lip before sighing and carefully climbing on his back. He shifted you gently, making sure to hold your leg with caution, leaning his head into yours when you hooked your chin on his shoulder. “You-you don’t have to talk about what happened. Just-just know that when you do…I’ll be here, okay?”
You nodded, moving to press your nose against the column of his throat. “Okay.”
But you could never tell them. How could you? How could you tell the world’s longest POW that you were having nightmares? How could you complain to an Air Force vet who served two tours in Afghanistan and watched his best friend get blown out of the air that you were having flashbacks?
You weren’t sure if it was PTSD or anxiety or depression. Maybe all three. It didn’t matter, though, because you didn’t want to admit it. You wouldn’t admit it. No one thought the Blip messed you up that badly. No one thought Steve leaving did that much damage. And you were okay with that. You were okay with them thinking you were healing - that you were fine - because they needed to see that it could be done. That they could be fine, too. Especially the men walking, Sam teasing Bucky per usual.
It wasn’t until a horn honked that you allowed yourself to be pulled out of your thoughts. A scoff left you when you realized who it was, switching the side you were laying on so your cheek pressed up against the cool metal of his left shoulder, facing away from the jeep.
You tried ignoring the guy as he talked about working together and shit, taking a shuddering breath, making Bucky squeeze your uninjured thigh. There was no way you were working with him. You couldn’t. It’d be like betraying Steve and you didn’t need that on top of all the other things you were dealing with.
You couldn’t deny the need for a ride though. The airport was 20 miles away and you were hurting pretty bad. You suspected that was the reason the guys relented, Bucky tenderly setting you down in the jeep between him and Sam, careful of your injuries.
You stared at your lap as Walker and Sam talked shop. You understood where they were coming from, you were always able to see both sides of the coin, but it didn’t mean you were going to willingly work with him.
“I got mad respect for all of y’all, but you were kind of getting your asses kicked till we showed up.”
You scoffed at that, finally raising your eyes to meet Walker’s friend’s. “Like you were doing any better?”
Bucky reached over to grab her hand that was resting on her lap. “You know, I’ve been trying to get in contact with you.” Walker faced you, eyes raking down your form. Bucky shifted in his spot, but you ran your thumb over his knuckles before he could do or say anything stupid.
“Yeah. I know. My phone hasn’t stopped blowing up for a week. Thanks for that, by the way.”
Walker frowned. “If you just answered-”
“I don’t care who you are. I don’t care what you’ve done. I’ve been a little busy doing my job to blow smoke up your ass on national television. Sorry if my saving people’s lives has been an inconvenience for you, but some wannabe playing dress up isn’t my top priority.”
Walker’s brows furrowed and he was about to say something, when Bucky cut in, asking his friend who he was. You were already that close to jumping out of the jeep, when the guy, Hoskins, told you three that he went by ‘Battlestar’.
If the situation wasn’t so aggravating, you would’ve laughed when Bucky immediately told the driver to stop, opening the door before the car even stopped. “C’mere, doll.” He murmured, lifting you up into his arms bridal style, before walking off, tuning out Walker as he shouted after you two.
You pouted a little when you saw Sam still talking to the guy. “What’re they talking about, Buck?”
“Some nonsense about him not replacing Steve. Just trying to be the best Captain America he can.”
You laid your head against Bucky’s chest. “The best Captain America is Steve. He can never be Steve.”
“I know, doll.”
“Steve told me once that all he was trying to do was be a good man…it’ll always amaze me that he didn’t see he was the best.”
You missed the distraught look Bucky shot towards you, the look in his eyes almost heartbroken while you talked fondly about his best friend. The tortured scrunch to his features seemed to melt away at your next words, though, and he held you tighter as you curled into his hold.
“Just like it amazes me that you don’t know how important you are to me too, Buckaroo.”
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bibblelevi · a month ago
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𝐅𝐨𝐫 @leviverse’s “𝐒𝐮𝐦𝐦𝐞𝐫 𝐄𝐜𝐥𝐢𝐩𝐬𝐞” 𝟓𝟓𝟓𝟓 𝐂𝐨𝐥𝐥𝐚𝐛:
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Soccer Team Captain! Levi Ackerman x fem! Reader // Chapter One
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Summary: Levi Ackerman becomes the youngest Captain of Trost University’s Division I soccer team. You’re studying to be a sports journalist. He knows you as the girl he’s been in English with all four years of high school. Then he knows you as the only girl to ever break his heart.
Content/Warnings: High school! AU (only for this chapter), emotional angst, unrequited crush (that’s not really unrequited), alcoholism and death, emotional angst, heart break, allusions to grief
Word Count: 11.1k
Author’s Note: Hello friends and welcome to part one of my new mini-series for Levi!! This is me experimenting with writing rom-com, so expect this series to have less smut. Also, I am by no means a sporty gal so please forgive me for any inconsistencies. Check out the series masterlist for more information on what Hey, Hemingway is going to be about so you’re aware of triggers beforehand! Thank you Claire for letting me participate in your collab - be sure to check out the masterlist and read the other participants work!
Series Masterlist | Buy Me A Coffee | AO3 | Next
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SENIOR YEAR
Levi Ackerman is fast as hell.
That’s the first thing you notice about him.
The second? He’s fucking gorgeous. Black hair falls in coarse strands over his forehead, his nose is straight, his lips are rosy to match his flushed cheeks, and his pale flesh is ridden with muscle that ripples whenever he runs. A pair of black shorts with a 3” inseam cling to his thighs, hugging the strong and firm planes of muscle. Even his calves are carved out and nearly bulging out of his skin as his cleats slam down on the field. You want him to step on your neck with those exact cleats.
You’re pretty sure earlier you heard a few junior girls gush about how gorgeous the varsity players are, especially “that Levi Ackerman guy”, and you don’t disagree.
It’s the soccer semi-finals for the Shiganshina High School varsity soccer team, and Levi Ackerman is the Captain. You, with your crumpled up list of questions and half-broken recorder, are supposed to fill out this week's sports column for the Shiganshina Chronicle. You also don’t know shit about sports, and are only doing this because fucking Nifa dipped out for the sake of going out with some blue-eyed kid from your Government class. Now, here you are, thumbs up your ass, wondering how the hell a “foul” actually works.
Though, it’s not like soccer is that complicated of a sport.
The objective: Kick the ball in the other team’s goal.
The result: Everyone screams their heads off if you make it, or collectively groans when the goalie blocks the attempt.
Simple enough. At least, that’s how Levi makes it look.
You can’t blink when you watch him. If you blink, you’ll miss him. The sun beats down on his upper back, illuminating him as if the heavens are shining down on this God of an eighteen-year-old super-athlete. Admittedly, you think he’s the reason for your unexpected interest in this game.
It’s the way that he moves. Dribble. Kick. Pass. Capture. Kick, again. Goal.
Goal, goal, goal.
He doesn’t miss.
Shiganshina is up by ten. Karanes obviously doesn’t stand a chance in these final minutes.
Number twenty-two, a kid named Erwin Smith who you also know from your Government class, passes to Levi. Levi doesn’t even have to look down to know the patterned ball is at his toe. He just goes. He runs, swerving around an opponent, eyes narrowed ahead. Everyone is punching their fists into the ear, screeching his damn name at the tops of their lungs.
Levi kicks. Levi scores. The rowdy pack of animals behind you explode, and Mike, number eighteen, claps Levi right on the back. A grin slowly curls on your lips at the irritated scowl that immediately darkens his features like a heavy gray cloud. You’re pretty damn sure that signature scowl hasn’t evaded him since freshman year when you first saw him in English I.
And the only reason you know that for “pretty damn sure” is because, well… you find Levi interesting.
The buzzer groans obnoxiously loud but is overshadowed by the choir of overenthusiastic (and sweaty) freshmen. You just plaster a smile on your face and pretend like you know what’s going on.
Right, the interview. Nifa gave you a couple of pointers when it came to this integral part of the early evening.
Number one: Locate Hange Zoë. They’re the manager of the team, which means they should already know there’s a school journalist floundering somewhere about in the stands. It’s not uncommon for the athletes to be interviewed after games; it’s just more common for the STV kids to pre-record a segment for tomorrow’s morning announcements.
Honestly, no one fucking reads the Shiganshina Chronicle. You don’t even think that Pixis, who’s the teacher advisor of the club, reads it, either.
But, hey, it’s still something to put on the resume.
Anyway, number two: After Hange approves (and they will approve), you talk to a) the Captain, or b) the Officer, who mostly works alongside the Captain crafting plays and corralling the rowdy boys, or c) both.
(You pray for the third option.)
(Mostly because Levi is absolutely terrifying with that perpetual scowl, but you definitely don’t want him to know that you think that.)
Finally, number three: Ask the questions already prepared by Nifa herself that are currently crumpled up in the back pocket of your jeans.
Alas, you have a mission.
By the time you’ve broken free from the tiny hoard of freshmen waiting for their parents to pick them up, half of the bleachers have already been emptied out, and most students (mainly the juniors and seniors and some sophomores who want to feel included) are probably heading to Scouts for post-game grease and milkshakes with a side of nicotine.
You could go for a plate of fries.
Later, you remind yourself. Right now, you’re up and walking the edge of the bleachers, following the metal railings. The players are striding across the field, smacking hands with the opposing team in a display of good sportsmanship while you are surveying Shiganshina’s side for a certain person with glasses and a high ponytail up-do.
You know Hange. You had AP Chem with them until you dropped the class two weeks in and managed to squeeze into a Filmography course after gaslighting your counselor. But Hange still remembered your face every time you passed them in the hall, and they remembered your name, too.
Sure enough, squished between the Shiganshina coach and number eighteen, they’re standing with their arms folded, eyes squinted into half moons. They are thrilled about tonight’s win.
You shout their name and shoot your arm up in the air for the first time tonight, waving it aggressively as if that will catch their attention more than the sound of your voice. Still, they perk up after another deafening belt and turn around, instantly beaming at the sight of you.
They echo your name in response and jog over. You smile and crouch down while they bounce up on their toes to talk to you through the bars.
“No offense, but this is the last place I thought you’d be!” they chuckle, tilting their head.
You playfully roll your eyes. “Me too. Hey, I know Nifa usually does this, but she’s getting her face sucked off by Thomas at the theater off 38.”
Hange hisses, “No way! I mean, good for her. So, I imagine you’re here for the interrogation, then?”
Your eyebrows raise. “Yes. That’s right.”
“In that case, you may follow me, Detective.” Hange’s voice is laced with mirth as they gesture around the fence, and after a snort on your behalf, you’re hurrying down the steps and past the gates until you step onto the asphalt track. The rubber rims of your white converse are quickly smeared in black.
Hange begins leading the way, hands tucked in the pocket of their windbreaker.
“I imagine you’re looking for Levi? And Erwin?” they confirm.
You swallow, “Uhhh, yeah. Yeah, Levi. And Erwin.”
Levi. Le-vi You’re testing the name on your tongue to see if you like how it tastes, and your cheeks are warm because it’s embarrassing how much you enjoy it. Levi. God, does he really have to have such a cool fucking name? And it suits him, too. It’s always suited him. Levi for the kid with hair so black it almost looks navy beneath bright light. Levi for the kid with a sullen disposition.
You smile to yourself.
“Levi’s uh, a bit of an asshole, but he’s more like a kitten once you really get to know him,” Hange informs with a hint of caution. They tug on their collar. “Erwin will probably guide the conversation. Just remember not to take anything Levi says too seriously!”
Your brows pucker and suddenly you want to limit any and all interactions with Levi to four-person discussion groups in English class.
A few feet ahead of you, you see him. Sweat clings to the neckline of his shirt and to his back, and his black hair is slick across his forehead, the ends dripping in what you assume to be water sprayed from his water bottle. He dabs at his flushed cheeks with a clean towel, then tugs the hem off his shirt up and uses it to fan air against his very flat and very, very toned stomach.
You try to keep your mouth closed. Your fingers pale around the strap of your back instead.
When he looks up, you see a striking pale gray and a flash of recognition across his face.
Out of nowhere, Erwin slides in beside him, capturing his attention. He’s probably muttering some Captain-officer soccer business that you wouldn’t understand.
“Leviiii!” Hange sings excitedly, slinking into a sashay. Levi frowns like a muppet when they plant themselves in front of him, with you standing behind them, staring at the back of their shoulder rather than Levi or Erwin’s faces.
“What do you want, Four-eyes?” That deep, familiar voice that you hear muttering tangents during Socratic Seminars settles softly in your chest. You feel oddly at ease despite how fucking mean that nickname is.
Except, Hange just breaks out into a fond laugh. “The detective has a few questions to ask you guys.”
“Detect— “
You step out from behind Hange and awkwardly lift your hand in a half-hearted wave. Immediately after you’ve done so, you want nothing more than to recoil into yourself and never see the light of day again.
However, Erwin just barks your name in that rich tone made for politics. “We’re in Gov together. I didn’t know you wrote for the school paper?”
Your face settles into a softer, more relaxed expression. “Yeah! I’m covering for Nifa tonight.”
He makes a noise that alludes to his understanding, and says, “Well, we’re happy to help. Levi will cooperate.”
Levi, who still hasn’t said anything, shoots his blonde friend a pointed glare.
Hange leans in, cupping her hand over your ear so the boys can’t see what they’re muttering. “Actually, he’s more like a uh, feral cat who found his way into the dumpster only to realize there isn’t anything worth eating aside from a moldy can of tuna stuck to the very bottom.”
You lean in and respond, “That was very specific— “
“ —and not as quiet as you thought,” Levi finishes. His expression still hasn’t changed. You want to tell him he’s going to get wrinkles and that maybe he should invest in some Cera-ve or a sunscreen so—
“We can take a seat on the benches over there,” Erwin interrupts, lifting a finger to point towards a more secluded corner.
“Great idea! You kids have fun. Levi, please find me before you head home, and Detective— ” Hange meets your gaze. Your eyes open up expectantly, but they simply bring their fist to their heart in some mock salute you recognize from a show you watch. “Best of luck!” You’re gonna need it, they want to add.
You wave. “See ya.”
Levi watches them skip away. Dotingly, he murmurs, “Freak of nature.”
Erwin leads the three of you toward the quiet area with the bench and some scattered folding chairs. He sets one in place for you and takes a seat, Levi following in his footsteps.
“Just bear with me,” you hum, pulling out your notepad and a beat up recorder.
(Pixis insists that you use it because it’s a long-standing “tradition” amongst Shiganshina students who wrote for the paper in the past—but you mostly do it because he’s old and fragile and you’d feel terrible if you didn’t.)
“Do you guys mind if I record the convo? It’s just in case I need to dig back for some information later.”
“We do.”
Erwin laughs lightly, waving his hand. It’s a silent gesture to tell you to ignore his friend. “Not at all! Go ahead.”
Your eyebrows are raised as you look at Levi. His lips are pressed into a firm line and it seems like he’s wearing a perpetual scowl on his face that only ever seems to shift into one of concentration when he’s studying or on the field. You almost laugh. Almost.
“Right,” you huff. “Uh, okay, so you guys just won the semi-finals, which means you’re heading to State. Last year, Shiganshina only made it to the semi's before we lost. So, I guess I’ll ask the obvious: You planning on taking home a trophy in two weeks?”
“Yeah, if Oluo doesn’t—“
Another awkward laugh from Erwin cuts Levi off, and he grips the shorter man’s shoulder. “Absolutely! All the guys have been working really hard. Levi’s done a good job leading the team, and we’re just hoping to see all of that hard work pay off at State.”
You nod. “Yeah, I noticed the teamwork on the field. Everyone seems really close to each other. It’s a lot different from last year when Fritz punched Berner right across the jaw for making out with his girlfriend under the bleachers.”
“Who even cares?”
“It’s the team dinners every week!” Erwin exclaims. “Hange always organizes those. One of the guys gets to pick a place, and we all meet there just to hang out. It’s a lot of fun. Lots of inside jokes.”
Levi shakes his head.
“Oh, what’s your favorite place to eat?”
“Well, I know for a fact Levi loved Olive Garden! He stole a basket of breadsticks— “
“Erwin, you’d better shut your shitty mouth if you know what’s good for you.”
Your brows shoot upwards while a devious little grin begins to climb onto your lips. “Olive Garden, huh?” So that’s Levi’s vice.
“Isn’t this supposed to be an interview about the game?” he glares.
“Right, my bad. Serious question: Are you normally such a dick?”
Levi gapes at you, and you feel a burst of triumph in your chest knowing you’ve caught him off guard. He closes his mouth after a solid five seconds then slouches back in his seat as Erwin laughs into his palm.
“Maybe I am. And what about it?” he mutters. “That’s not very professional of you. Sports journalist woman. Whatever your name is.”
“We literally have AP Lang together. I have read probably fifteen of your essays since freshman year.”
“I have never seen you before in my life. Do you even go to this school?”
“No, I don’t, that’s why I’m sitting here, interviewing you for the Shiganshina Chronicle. Because I don’t go to this school.”
“Such a smart ass.” Levi huffs, crossing his arms over his chest.
He comes to the rapid realization that he’s doing a terrible job at making a good impression. Not that he would care what anyone thinks of him. But you’re not “anyone”, are you? For some reason, he’s always wanted you to see him a certain way—the one girl who's been in every one of his English classes, who’s read plenty of his writing but hasn’t once critiqued any of it. Who just hands it back to him while forcing down a smile.
But every time something relatively nice lands on his tongue, he wants to shrivel up, so he says, in the most disinterested tone, “Ever heard of a joke, Hemingway?”
You’re silent for a moment before you reply. “That’s definitely not my name, but I think I’ll keep that information private for as long as I can. Self-preservation and all.”
“It’s definitely not private,” he replies. No, it’s definitely always typed perfectly in twelve-point, Times New Roman font, at the top left of every essay of yours he’s ever peer reviewed.
You ignore his response. “So, did everyone actually collectively vote for you to be Captain? I find that very hard to believe.”
“Of course everyone voted for me. Varsity soccer is a democracy.”
“Are you sure they weren’t all just too scared of you not to? Or maybe they were coerced.”
“You seriously think I coerced my team into voting for me as Captain? Actually never mind. Think what you want, Girl-who’s-writing-about-soccer-who-doesn’t-actually-know-anything-about-soccer.”
Erwin is gaping, unable to keep up with the swiftness of the banter. He continues to stare incredulously at Levi who’s being more of a grump than usual tonight. It’s rare for him to speak longer than two minutes at a time unless he’s teaching the team, so he wonders what exactly he’s stumbled upon.
“Hm, wait”—you tilt your head, blinking at the sky as if you're filing through your thoughts—“now that I think about it, you don’t seem like the type to talk that much. But maybe you just glared at them until they caved.”
“Hm, maybe I did. What are you gonna do about it?” he drawls. The sarcasm dripping from his words certainly doesn’t go amiss.
You bare an earnest smile. “I have you recorded, Cap. I can just expose you and all your dirty laundry!”
“To whom? The three people who read the school paper?”
Well. He’s got you there.
You groan, slouching back in defeat. “Fine. I surrender. You win this time. Now can we please just get through these interview questions? I’m missing the season finale of Riverdale for this.”
“Looks like we’re doing you a favor then,” Levi snarls.
Erwin scratches at the back of his neck. He seems a bit worn-down himself. “Ah, yes. Let’s get on with it. Levi,” his voice drops an octave lower, “be nice. Please, ask away, Hemingway.”
Ignoring the fact that Erwin seemed to pick up on Levi’s new and totally random (and fucking weird… but strangely endearing) “nickname” for you, you continue on with the prepared questions. They’re straightforward and good enough to write a cohesive article for a subpar high school journalism club. Somehow, Levi garners the strength to answer any questions geared towards him; short answers, to the point, lacking any embellishments or flowery language, just the way you like to hear it and write it.
You learn quickly that Levi is just as much of a hardass on himself as he is on everyone else on his team.
He does not take compliments. No, he blatantly and outright rejects them.
If Erwin commends Levi for his leadership, Levi grumbles something under his breath and sinks back into his seat with folded arms. If Erwin tells him his footwork was outstanding, he points out the two fragmental, itty-bitty errors he made and continues reworking the play in his head. You wonder what he sees behind those slate-gray eyes. You wonder what little universes exist within that noggin covered in soft-looking black hair.
He’s a perfectionist, you quickly deduce. And almost to a fault. You can tell because it takes one to know one.
The interview takes no more than ten minutes, and Erwin, ever the entrepreneur, shakes your hand. Then you remember this guy won DECA nationals last year. His more-than-firm handshake and piercing eye contact suggest he’s already a renowned CEO.
God, you only wish you could have that kind of experience. Or that kind of authority.
Levi, on the other hand, offers you an exasperated huff and a long, mostly blank stare. Oddly enough, you hold it, because making eye contact with Levi isn’t exactly something you’re unfamiliar with.
The two boys are courteous to walk you back to your car, until Erwin is ensnared by another girl from your Gov class.
That leaves you and Levi. Alone.
You can practically feel him brooding beside you.
“So, like…” You trail off, wracking your brain to fill the stretched silence. “What’s it like, thinking up plays in your head?”
Levi gives a “harrumph” and continues on walking. You just had to park all the way back in the furthest lot, didn’t you?
“I thought the interrogation was over.”
“Just making conversation, Cap,” you grumble.
Levi’s scowl only intensifies. “No need to. It’s not like you actually care, anyway,” he says, but his tone isn’t degrading or harsh. It’s said like he’s deep in thought about something. Maybe, about how he’s going to torture his teammmates before the upcoming match in two weeks. “Why ask people questions if you don’t care what they have to say.”
You shrug. “Good point. But for the record, I do care. Earlier, when you were talking about working with Hange to create plays for the team, I wanted to know how you do it. I don’t know why, but I just did. I still do.”
Levi can appreciate outright candor when he hears it. He contemplates, then sighs, jamming his cold fists into the pockets of his sweatshirt. “It’s nothing special, really. You kinda just… picture the field in your head and imagine your guys in their respective spots. You ever play chess?”
“Do I look like I’ve played chess.”
“You really do.”
You snort. “Fair enough. Carry on.”
He does, “It’s like… You need a strategy. Remembering your strongest players. Pairing them off with others who may cater to different strengths. Sometimes, they work well together, and it pays off later. Or you gotta move people around and see what fits…”
“Oh, I saw that,” you hum, sticking your hands up in surrender. You wave them rapidly. “Sorry to interrupt you!”
Levi is so close to smiling because that was one of the cutest fucking things he’s ever seen.
“It’s fine,” he utters. “What were you gonna say?”
You visibly relax, falling back into your slow stride beside him. A breeze brushes past the two of you and blows your hair over your shoulder so he can see the side of your face and watch your lips move as you speak.
“That last play. Erwin kicked the ball to you and you didn't even look down. Like you already knew the ball would be there in front of your feet,” you finish, and Levi swears he hears your tone going breathy, as if something so simple like that has impressed you.
“Oh,” he hums. “Yeah. It’s not actually a play. Erwin and I have played soccer together since… our whole lives.”
“Muscle memory,” you nod, understanding. It doesn’t take a genius to figure that Levi and Erwin are close friends. “Okay. What else?”
Levi considers for a moment, then continues, “You gotta anticipate the next move. So, let’s say I have one opponent coming straight for me. I lay out my options: Are they gonna steal the ball? How would they? Is there anyone else around me? An opponent I don’t know about? A teammate who I can pass to? Well, I know that Oluo, who plays forward, always makes himself open. He’s probably a safe bet,” Levi takes a breath and glances your way, surprised to see you aren’t staring off blankly. “But the most important part is to figure out their strategies. If we can do that, then we have the game.”
You listen, unaware of how you both have almost come to a stop amidst your conversation.
Levi’s been in a handful of your classes since freshman year. Perhaps you remember a little too well when he was a whopping 4’11” and already playing on the varsity team with his best friend, Erwin Smith. You remember he’s been number fifty-five since that same year.
You know that he hates being the center of attention. You also know that in every class you’ve had with him, he sits in the second row to the front, usually on the side of the classroom that has all of the windows because he prefers when the sun is glaring down on his back and warming him through his shirt.
A kitten, you remember Hange saying earlier.
You smile.
A feral dumpster cat, you also remember Hange saying.
You quickly wipe that smile off your face.
You know that, despite his reclusive and elusive behavior, everyone loves Levi. By default, he’s popular, because he’s Captain of the Varsity soccer team and has black hair and pretty eyes and all the girls love that about him. But it’s also easy to tell that he’s utterly indifferent towards it.
You’ve never had a conversation with him. Not a real one, at least. Only the group discussions in English class, because you have somehow ended up in the same class every single year together, so technically, they don’t count.
However, from said discussions, you know he hates classic literature. He thinks that Heart of Darkness was the grossest book ever written. He also hates formal essay writing (That, you discovered, because when you peer reviewed last year's final essay, his was written entirely in his voice: cynical, sardonic, pessimistic. And you laughed, because you thought it was fucking funny, and interesting, and you didn’t want him to change a single thing about it).
For someone who you rarely talk to, it’s a little jarring that you know him like this, and definitely a little stalker-ish, but when he talks, it feels like you’ve known him for ages. It makes you wonder if he knows you, too. He probably doesn’t. You’re probably just a creepy stalker who totally doesn’t have a fat fucking crush on him like every other girl in this school.
You suppose it’s just something about the guys you can never have.
“I’ve been doing stuff like that—going over shit in my head—for so long, that it’s second-nature now,” he says after a period of comfortable silence.
You laugh. “So, it’s like driving a car and subconsciously remembering to hit the gas, put on your turn signal, and check your mirrors, all at the same time?”
Levi freezes. “Yeah.” Oddly, his throat goes a little dry. “Yeah. That’s exactly it.” But also, you check your mirrors when you’re driving? Maybe he should start doing that, too.
You hum in understanding. “I get it. It’s kinda like writing, you know. Not completely. But it’s all about creating the image in your head. Coming up with questions and figuring out how to assemble the story. Reworking sentences over and over. Wanting it to be perfect.” You offer him a shrug. “Or not.”
Levi swallows the dryness, hoping to lubricate his throat. It doesn’t work. He feels like his tongue is weighing heavy in his mouth like a goddamn brick.
“No, it’s… kinda close, I guess.”
“Also, uh, I don’t know much about soccer or anything,” you add, waving your hand again. “I mean, you said as much. But normally, I write about things like, local events and stuff”—Levi nearly blurts I know that, too but bites his tongue—“and Nifa does the weekly sports column, but… I’m glad I came tonight. Honestly, I think you’re too hard on yourself.”
Shit, now he’s really going to choke on his tongue. He hopes you don’t notice the sudden falter in his steps, or the way his shoulders wilt as if you saying that to him has alleviated him of something heavy he’s been carrying for years. But he doesn’t say anything. He can’t. The thought of stringing together a coherent sentence makes him feel like he’s going to hurl.
“I mean, you really kicked the shit out of the ball, Levi. Scored all of those points for your team. So what, your footing was a little off? Doesn’t mean that you don’t deserve to give yourself some credit. Like, yeah, it’s good to know for next time, especially so you don’t get injured, but still. You’re such a pessimist.” A throaty yet light noise shakes your shoulders, and Levi wonders why he loves the sound so much.
He shakes his head. “And what, you’re an optimist? Whatever. I’m just being a good example for my team. Mistakes are fine but shouldn’t be made twice.”
You roll your eyes, arriving at your car. As you fish your keys out of your pocket, they clatter onto the pavement.
Levi crouches down at the same time as you, accidentally brushing your fingers reaching for your keys. When you look up, surprised by the contact, your foreheads smack together and you fall directly onto your asses.
“Watch where you’re going!” He holds his head where it hurts, like his brain has been rattled in his skull.
And much to his surprise, you fucking laugh. A loud, obnoxious cackle, the same one as earlier, and he just can’t bring himself to frown at you. So it feels a little weird when his forehead smooths over and his rosy lips part. His eyes glaze over, and yours seem to catch the leering lights in the parking lot.
“Sorry, sorry,” you continue to giggle, standing up from the ground. You dust the gravel off your pants and slap your hands together until your palms are clean. When they’re spotless, you extend a hand.
Reluctantly, he reaches up and takes it.
Your hand is warm folded around his. He feels the pad of your thumb digging into the smooth skin, brushing one of his knuckles. There are a few rings stacked on some of your fingers. Too many to count, with weird patterns and crystals and varying thickness to them.
Levi hates holding hands. Girls who like him just grab him and touch him, and they don’t even ask. They don’t reach out, and see if he will take it.
He realizes quickly: you have nice, warm hands. And their weight feels perfect held in his own.
“Well, thanks for walking me to my car!” You unlock the door and slide inside. It happens so quickly that he has to blink twice. He’s still dizzied from touching you.
Tomorrow is a Friday. He has AP Language at 12:14 p.m., and he will see you there, like he always does. He wonders what you will wear. He wonders if your hair will be up or down.
He nods. “Yeah. You didn’t really need it.”
Your car revs to life. Music starts to play gently. Levi instantly recognizes the song over the speaker because he listens to it all the time in his headphones.
Something weird festers in the pit of his stomach. He’s warm all over, too. Maybe he’s getting sick. He has felt a bit odd all evening, ever since Hange brought you over. Maybe you got him sick. That has to be it—your close proximity got him ill and he should definitely stick to watching you from afar to avoid catching it again.
“Get home safe!” you tell him, and then you’re gone.
Levi stands in the gravel. He slowly makes his way back to the stadium and finds that Erwin is still talking to that girl from Gov. As soon as the blonde sees him, he bids goodbye and jogs over.
“Everyone is heading to Scouts! Want to drive together? My treat?”
Everyone sure loves that greasy diner in the heart of town. Levi’s positive that the diner definitely hates everyone else.
He shakes his head. “No, I don’t feel well. I’m just gonna have Kenny pick me up.”
He feels a hand on his shoulder. “She’s nice, isn’t she?” Oh great, Erwin’s talking in his soft voice like he’s the gentle giant or some ridiculous shit, which means he’s trying to gauge a sensitive topic with Levi that often goes unspoken between the two.
“Huh? Oh yeah, Hemingway?”
Erwin chuckles. “You know her name is—“
“I know her name, Erwin.”
Of course he knows your name. How could he not?
When Levi gets home that night, he’s at his desk, cranking out the last few discussion questions for 1984. There’s going to be a Socratic Seminar next week, and he fucking hates public speaking when he’s forced to do it, so the more preparation means the less likely he is to make an utter fool out of himself.
In his headphones, he’s listening to the song that came up on your Bluetooth earlier that night.
Back when he walked you to your car.
Since he got home, he’s felt less sick. But there’s still this feeling in his stomach. It’s something akin to the static of a television set on the wrong channel. Or Rice Krispies when you drench them in milk. And he thinks that his heart has maybe changed channels too, or something like that, because he swears it isn’t thumping the same as it was before. The pattern is all discombobulated and unfamiliar and just not right. It’s like he has to relearn how to breathe again.
Is it panic? No. He knows what a panic attack is, and this isn’t it.
Whatever is it—if it doesn’t fucking stop soon, it’s going to put him in a bad mood.
Distracted, he pulls out his phone. The purple icon for Instagram sits on the last page of his screen, mostly because he rarely ever uses it.
There’s one single picture, or two. It’s of him and Erwin at last year’s semi’s. Erwin beams at the camera, and Levi stares straight-faced, brow crinkled in irritation. When he swipes, a second picture appears. Again, him and Erwin, but this time, ten years younger at their very first soccer game together. Erwin smiles. Levi looks a little less pissed off than he does in the first picture.
There’s a little blur in the top right corner where his mother’s finger accidentally entered the lens.
For the little time he spends on social media, he somehow garnered a whopping eight hundred followers. Most of them are girls from school who he has never spoken to, in just about every grade level, and others are guys he’s played soccer with over the years, club and school alike.
He’s mastered the art of hiding all of his tagged photos so no one can go searching for anything to use against him.
He chalks it up to blatant curiosity as his thumbs twiddle, typing in your name to his Followers tab. Sure enough, the little icon that pops up beside your username is your face.
There it goes. Thump, thump, thump. A new, new rhythm, different from earlier. God, his heart is far too skittish and all over the place. What if this is an early sign of a heart attack? Should he call Erwin? Tell Kenny? He’s probably passed out downstairs on the couch anyway.
Amidst his panic, he taps on your name. Your profile fills his screen to each corner, and he feels a little dirty for looking even though you follow him and it's a completely public profile. Still, he can’t help but wonder if this classifies as stalking. Maybe it’s because he’s never crossed this bridge before.
There’s only eleven photos posted on your account, but all of them consist of tiny galleries in themselves. Some are of scenery and sunsets. Sometimes they’re your outfits, pictures of Nifa, or plants you see, or interesting things you find in public that you feel inclined to share for whatever reason. As he scrolls down, he sees a portrait of you. A black leather jacket flares out near your hips and there’s a smile plastered on your glossy lips. Beside you is a grown man. He looks like you. It’s probably your father.
Levi thinks he’s seen too much. He goes to swipe out and accidentally double taps the screen. A giant red heart appears in the center of the picture.
He wants to die.
“Shit, shit— “
He successfully unlikes then unsuccessfully relikes the picture. He does it a total of three times before he gives up and slams his face into his desk. The spot on his forehead where he accidentally knocked yours throbs dully.
Somewhere, a few neighborhoods away, you’re glancing down at your phone screen, bright light blinding your eyes when the notification pops up.
@captainlevia liked your photo.
You just bust out laughing.
Levi hates these Socratic Seminars.
It’s where all the “smart” kids hog the entire conversation by regurgitating whatever the last “smart” person said, making it nearly impossible for anyone else to add on or gain any points from the discussion.
You’re the only exception. Or maybe Levi just likes the sound of your voice and that’s why it doesn’t bother him to hear you talk about boring stuff.
But what does bother him, is when the “smart” kid doesn’t let you talk.
It’s been twenty minutes of you trying to say something insightful and this one kid interrupting you, pretending like he’s the one who came up with your idea in the first place.
If these kids knew what was good for them, they wouldn’t interrupt you every time you tried to speak. Don’t they get that you’re the one who’s going to get them to pass the test in two weeks? If this kid would shut up and actually listen for once, Levi wouldn’t have to hear him bitch and moan about receiving another B-plus.
That’s what he tells himself when he spits, “You know, if you actually let her speak, you’d realize how wrong you are.”
Your jaw drops. Petra raises a brow at Levi’s sudden outburst. Pixis seems to perk up in his seat (he was probably two minutes away from falling asleep).
“Mr. Ackerman!” he barks. He sighs and slumps into his desk. “Remember what I said about being respectful during these seminars?”
“Yeah, well, interrupting the smartest person in this class isn’t being respectful,” he replies, slouching back in his seat with folded arms and wrinkled brow.
Smartest person in this class? Foremost, you’re flattered, but Levi wouldn't know something like that and neither would you. Snickers are heard amongst the circle. Instantly your fingers move to scathe your cheek. He may as well have set you on fire.
There’s an uneasy churning in the pit of your stomach that seems to intensify as the hole gapes wider and wider. You hope that by awkwardly straightening out all of your papers and pens, that everyone’s gazes will shift away from you.
Pixis huffs through his nose and folds his hands together. “Very true.” Levi grunts, happy to be agreed with. A few snickers are heard amongst the crowd. “Mr. Doc, maybe if you didn’t try to pass off Miss Reader’s point as your own, you wouldn’t be whining about your B-plus.”
Nile gawks in response. A few snickers ring out amongst the group.
“Miss Reader, you may continue.”
“Uhhh, I lost my train of thought,” you murmur, tapping your fingers against the desk. “Sorry, maybe it’ll come back to me in a minute, if, um… someone else who hasn’t gotten the chance to speak wants to go?”
Petra grabs her paper. She spares Levi, who is blushing furiously, a curious glance and simultaneously forces her lips into a straight and professional line. “I’ll go.”
“Thank you, Miss Ral. And Ackerman?” Pixis narrows his gaze toward the athlete.
“Yes, sir?”
“See me after class.”
Levi wants to roll his eyes.
From across the circle of desks, he glances up and accidentally meets your eyes. He can still see your anxiety in the slapping of your sole against the floor and the way you rub at your collarbone.
Still, a small smile tugs up on your lips. Your eyes shine.
There it goes again, the pattering of his heart as it rocks against his chest.
The Seminar ends fifteen minutes later, and when the desks are rearranged, back in order, Levi tries to escape the classroom before he has to suffer a “stern talking-to” from Pixis.
“Ackerman,” Pixis calls. Well great, he didn’t forget. He’s swirling a flask around in his grip and staring at the black-haired athlete a little too intently. Levi turns around. “Good job.”
His brow shoots up. “What?”
Pixis shrugs. “I hate that goddamn kid. Good on you for standing up for your classmates!”
He stands there and tries to wrap his head around exactly what Pixis is saying to him, but decides he doesn’t really care for any compliments for doing the bare minimum and would rather get to lunch before he has to eat at an uncomfortably fast pace.
“Is that all?”
“Huh?” Pixis muffles a cough. “Oh, yeah. You’re dismissed. Just… watch the attitude. I find it refreshing but your superiors will begin to find it incompetent.”
He wants to say he doesn’t care but instead murmurs, “Noted.”
Pixis nods, and Levi disappears.
When he steps out of the classroom into the hallway—which is now mostly empty since the passing period has ended—the last thing he expects is to see you leaning against the wall outside the door. His eyes open wider, interest obviously piqued, then he looks you up and down.
“Yep. It’s really me,” you grin.
Levi flushes, and your stomach grows fuzzy at the sight of his pale cheeks turning pink. He scratches at the nape of the neck like you did earlier, which you find adorable.
“Are you stalking me?”
The corner of your mouth tugs up. “Last time I checked, you, Mr. Stalker, are the one who liked my Instagram photo from thirty-three weeks ago.”
Levi quickly turns from pink to red then begins a rushed walk down the hallway towards the cafeteria.
“You don't have to be embarrassed, Levi! Besides,” you grab his wrist and tug him back, talking to the back of his head, “I thought it was… kind of endearing.”
“Endearing? Don’t condescend me,” he sneers. “Fuck off.”
You frown, “I’m not being condescending. I thought it was sweet.” You hope he knows that you really mean that. “You really think I’m the smartest girl in class?”
Levi continues walking. “I said fuck off, Hemingway!”
You don’t. You continue trailing him on his heels, following him like a duckling to the cafeteria where he makes a beeline for the table crowded with Erwin, Hange, and a couple other teammates who share the same lunch hour.
“You’re still following me?”
“Well, you won’t let me finish what I was hoping to say to you,” you shrug. “I’ll be out of your hair afterwards. Promise!”
Levi stops with a resigned sigh, eyes flitting down to your fingers still wrapped around his wrist. Finally, you seem to realize your mistake and release his hand before taking a cautionary step back. Both of you can feel eyes trained on your interaction.
“Uh, I, uh— “ You pet your hair, swallowing your nerves. Levi waits. “Just, thanks. I guess. I don’t know. For sticking up for me in class. You didn’t have to do that for me.”
Levi grunts, “Yeah, well, I did it more for me than for you. His analysis was garbage, and if I had to listen to it any longer, I would’ve lost all my brain cells.”
A laugh crawls out of your throat, and you shake your head. “Yeah, me too. Still, thanks. I want to… repay you or something. I don’t know.”
His heart slams bruisingly against his chest. It hurts to swallow. Suddenly, he’s getting that sick feeling he had a week ago after he walked you back to your car. Since then, it’s been all sticky palms in class and taking a peek at what outfit you decided to wear that day, but otherwise, your interactions have been limited to as they were before the interview.
You never even said anything to him about liking your old Instagram picture until today. Maybe you thought he was a creep. But you did just say you thought it was cute…
“I might know a way you can repay me,” he starts, confused by where the sudden surge of courage came from, but nonetheless still going with it.
Interest flickers in your glassy eyes. Levi wants to step closer and dissect all of the colors they hold, all the shades and tints, and how they manage to blend together so seamlessly. There’s something about you that elevates the parts of him that have sunk so low he forgot they were there.
You clutch your notebook to your chest. “And what’s that?”
He clears his throat. His cheeks are still red. “You can… come to the match in a week.”
You blink. “Like, State? You want me to come?”
Levi inhales and pretends like he’s smooth. “Yeah.”
You don’t know shit about soccer.
Well, actually, you know a little more about it now.
And you know that Levi makes it interesting, because he’s interesting.
“Okay, sure,” you reply, with your stomach in knots and your heart beating out of your chest. You try to play it cool and pretend like this invitation doesn’t excite you as much as it actually does, so you’re pressing your lips into as much of a convincing line as possible.
“Sure?” Levi repeats.
“Yeah,” you nod, a little too aggressively. “Yeah, I’ll come to the game.”
Silence envelopes the two of you as he processes this. Then he says, “Okay.”
You smile. “Okay.”
He grips the strap of his backpack a little tighter and chews on the inside of his cheek. “If you want, you can wear my other jersey.”
“With your last name and number?”
“Yeah, that's typically what’s on a jersey.”
You grow even hotter at the prospect, imaging yourself draped in a royal blue and white jersey, with the name ‘Ackerman’ spelled across your back in all capital letters. With the number fifty-five printed right below, in an even larger font. You almost want to cup your hand over your mouth and giggle into your palm like a fucking kid.
Instead, you clear your throat. “But that’s like… only couples do that.”
“I liked your Instagram picture from thirty-three weeks ago,” he says, like that fact alone is evidence enough of his fondness toward you.
It absolutely is.
You bite down on your lip and shift back on your heels. “Yeah, that was a real rookie move, Ackerman.”
He rolls his eyes, but they still sparkle. You can’t tell if they’re more blue than they are gray, or if they’re more gray than they are blue. “Shut up. I’ll look for you there. Don’t make any plans for afterward.”
“What, are you gonna lure me into your car and kill me?”
“You listen to way too many True Crime podcasts.”
“I’m a woman. I have to be cautious,” you explain.
“Something tells me men should be more cautious of you.”
You smile at that. “Yeah, maybe. I don’t know if you’ve heard, but I’m a reeaaaal heartbreaker!”
Said nobody, ever. Because you’ve never had a boyfriend. You’ve never been asked on a real date. You’ve definitely never worn anyone’s sports jersey.
You’ve been kissed before. In the seventh grade, during a game of truth or dare, by some random kid whose name you don’t even remember. There wasn’t any tongue. Only chapped lips and foul breath that has scarred you up to this point.
Levi seems like someone who would be a good kisser. Your eyes flash down to his mouth, where you follow the outline of his lips, noticing the subtle way his bottom lip juts out and the prominent Cupid’s bow etched above his upper lip. He has nice teeth, too.
“Stop looking at my mouth, freak,” he mumbles. “If you wanna be kissed so bad just...”
Now it’s your turn to flush. “Adults do not plan kisses.”
He clicks his tongue. “Right, because we’re total adults.”
“But uh, are you more of a mint or a watermelon guy, because I’ll buy gum—“
Levi laughs through his nose, all soft, like he’s really just a body pillow meant to be hugged close.
Actually, no—he’s a cat. Maybe that’s why he likes sitting by all the windows, because he likes the feeling of the sun on his skin and seeping through the fabric of his clothes. You wonder what Levi’s body would feel like warm and pressed against you. You wonder if his hair would feel hotter than his body because it’s black. You are certain that it’s as soft as it looks.
“Okay, well,” you trail off, starting to step back. “I’m already late for my study hall.”
“That’s your own fault,” he says. “See you in English.”
“Tomorrow, yes! See you… see you tomorrow!” The backs of your legs hit the corner of a table, and one of the kids occupying the benches glances up to shoot you a dirty look. “What?” you hiss. “Eat your sandwich.”
Levi’s brows are raised, his gaze never leaving your movements. You spare a dry, awkward laugh before turning around, finally finding feeling in your legs again until—
“Hey, Hemingway!” he barks. You glance over your shoulder. Levi’s silver eyes are sparkling when he adds, “Don’t miss the game.”
A small smile plays on your lips. You nod with warm cheeks. “See you, Levi!”
A week passes in a blur of English class discussions over 1984 and soccer practices that end two hours later than they normally do. Levi goes to school, puts his all into practice, does his homework, eats, then falls asleep, just so he can do it all again the next day. By now, it’s a routine that’s burned into his bones.
His team has noticed something’s different, but they know nothing of Levi’s underlying motivations. They don't know that he invited a fucking girl to come see him play for the first time. They don’t know that he’s giving her his jersey and likely taking her out afterwards instead of celebrating with the team.
Levi pretends like he’s not excited. He isn’t supposed to get excited about things.
He still sees you every day in English class. Only now his eyes are drifting down to your lips, which always seemed to be slathered in some pretty nude tint from the balm you’re always applying. You have nice lips, he thinks. And he wonders how they would feel pressed against his. He imagines them to be soft and plush, a little bit wet, probably warm, too. It’s intimidating because he’s never kissed anyone in his life.
Every day, you follow him to lunch, walking close beside him as you weave through the hallways. Most of the time, he isn’t even the one talking. It’s always you, ranting about English class and how Pixis’ alcohol tolerance is starting to climb toward exponential heights to a point where it’s become both impressive and concerning. Levi always manages a soft grunt through his nose—a sign that he thought what you said was funny, and you take that as an honor and let him walk the rest of the way alone as a gesture of good will.
It’s the night of the state championships. Tonight, it’s Shiganshina versus Mitras. Levi’s sitting on the bench, staring at the jersey folded neatly over his thigh.
He hasn’t been able to find you yet.
The crowd’s a little larger than anticipated. The air is tense. Some of his teammates are running drills and Petra, who’s the Captain of the girls’ team, is leaning over the bleachers conversing with Hange, probably smoothing over any final technicalities.
He needs to get out of his head. He needs to fucking focus. But he hasn’t focused all week, because all he does is think about you.
God, fuck you.
Erwin yells his name and waves him over and they continue to warm up and run drills. Running around seems to grasp his attention, but his blonde friend can’t help but notice that there’s something off in his movements.
Before the game starts, Levi looks for you in the stands. He anticipates the sound of your voice over the crowd.
You still aren’t there.
He tries to curb his disappointment by putting his all into this one fucking game.
It goes as expected.
The game ends with Levi on the bleachers, with the jersey still folded on his lap. Hange places a hand on their friend’s shoulder and hopes whatever funk he’s in will go away.
Shiganshina won by three. Levi’s glad his team doesn’t need him there to pull it off. He’s happy to see Oluo and Eld thrusting Gunther up into the air on their shoulders, and he’s happy to see Erwin slapping hands with the floating athlete.
“Good job, Levi,” Hange says. Their hand comes down on his head to ruffle his hair.
“I didn’t do anything,” Levi whispers back. “They did it all on their own.”
A sad smile falters on their lips. “Give yourself some credit.”
You’re too hard on yourself, he remembers you saying.
Yeah, well. He doesn’t know how to feel about you right now.
Maybe something came up. Maybe you’re hurt. Fuck, he didn’t even consider that as a possibility because he was so swept up in his own assumptions. He feels a burst of air in his chest, then a tightness that can only be explained as the beginning of a panic attack.
“She was supposed to be here,” Levi says, quietly and to himself, but Hange picks up and raises a brow.
“Who?”
“Hemingway. She said she’d come.”
Hange frowns. “Did you text her?”
Levi shrugs. He stands, and people are about to shake hands. “I don’t have her number.”
“Maybe she had a reason, Levi. Don’t beat yourself up over it.” Then they add, “I think she really likes you.”
Levi finds that hard to believe, but he’s already tired of the conversation. “Maybe,” he replies. Then he tries to forget about it.
On Monday, you don’t show up for class. Levi stares at your seat for the first ten minutes and wonders if you’re really too much of a coward to show up and face him after standing him up.
On Tuesday, you don’t show up for class. Levi wonders if maybe he should’ve given you his number. If he did, maybe you would’ve been able to explain to him why you didn’t show up to his game.
On Wednesday, you don’t show up for class.
On Thursday, you don’t show up for class.
He definitely should’ve given you his number. Maybe you actually got sick. He knows that strep is floating around. Do you need anything? He may be terrible company but he knows how to make good soup.
On Friday, you don’t show up for class.
You don’t show up at all next week. Levi can’t fucking take it anymore.
One day, after English class, Levi approaches Pixis. “Hey, old man, do you know why Hemingway isn’t in class anymore?” He tries to sound as careless as possible.
“Hemingway?” The old man in question raises a brow, flask hovering over his white mustache. “Like, Ernest? Uh, I believe that would be—oh. Oh!” Recognition flashes across his eyes, and he settles back into his seat with a light smile. “You mean Miss Reader? She graduated early. I believe she had enough credits to end after midterms!”
“Oh,” Levi says. His shoulders sag. “I didn’t realize the school permitted stuff like that.”
Pixis scratches his scruff. “Well, these were uh, extenuating circumstances. I apologize, but I’m not allowed to disclose any information regarding personal matters of students.”
The scowl is back on Levi’s face. “Oh, so now you decide to do your job? That’s rich.” Levi rubs his forehead and pinches the bridge of his nose. “She… nothing happened to her, right?
His teacher stares at him for a moment. “Levi, relax. She’s fine. And hopefully enjoying her early summer.”
Well, that certainly isn’t as satisfactory a response Levi hoped. It just leaves him with more questions than before.
The next day, he stops by the school paper. Nifa is there, along with a few other students, typing away on her computer.
When he asks what happened to you, she tells him that it’s not her place to say.
Soccer season is over. Finals season is on the rise. Maybe if Levi throws himself into studying, he can forget about the crippling disappointment over never seeing you again, and the painful humiliation of practically getting stood up at arguably, one of the most important games of his life.
You said you’d be there. Why weren’t you?
Now you aren’t in school for the rest of the year, which is really fucking weird, and makes him suspect the worst. When he checked your Instagram last night and debated stooping as low as to direct message, he saw that not only were all of your pictures gone, but your messages were turned off. All of the photos he loved to scroll through—gone. You. Gone.
Gone.
Like you were never there. But you were. You’re still here. Maybe Hange can figure it out. They knew you—or maybe they know people you were friends with that can fill in all the blanks for him.
He wants to scream. He wants to hurt all over his body like he does deep inside his chest.
Levi doesn’t cry. He makes sure that there’s nothing important in his life to cry over in the first place. It makes living a little less painless.
But his eyes are stinging and he feels like he’s suffocating in this stuffed hallway that’s a little too loud for his own comfort.
He opens his locker and stares into nothing.
Graduation rolls around the corner, right after finals.
Levi looks for you in the crowd. He’s almost tempted to look through the row of H’s, but then he remembers that your last name isn’t actually Hemingway. His eyes drift through the crowd where he scans for the first letter of your last name.
He doesn’t find you.
The ceremony lugs on. People are giving speeches that sound the same, and the superintendent rambles on about school spirit and those who worked behind the scenes to make this day possible. He sounds bored and ready to go home, which Levi couldn’t relate to more.
Erwin approaches the stage next. His best friend gives one hell of a speech for a valedictorian. Everyone bursts into applause and he flashes them that winning smile that surely will get him far in life. Levi is happy, but he also wants to sink into the ground and disappear so no one tries to speak to him ever again.
He walks the stage. Shakes hands with the principal. Gets his diploma. He graduated high school because he had to and because it was expected of him, but he’s indifferent towards most things, and that includes graduation.
Apparently, it didn’t include you.
Kenny did his best today. He’s wearing a suit and his shirt is actually tucked into his pants. Just the other day, he went out and got himself a haircut, and he’s smacking on chewing tobacco instead of gum, but Levi’s satisfied, because at least he’s trying.
He’s taking pictures with Erwin when it happens.
There you are.
Across the grass, blue gown swaying by your ankles, white dress hung above your knees. Your hair is down and squashed by the graduation cap, and beside you is an older woman with crow’s feet crawling from the corners of her eyes. She looks just like you, or actually, you look just like her.
An elderly woman takes a picture of you two.
He sees the corners of your mouth quirk up by barely half an inch. Barely half. And then he notices the heaviness below your eyes, and the slouch in your posture; the dullness of your skin; the flat, dead nature of your hair, like a tree when it turns from spring to fall to winter. When the camera lowers, your face drops, and you stare absently at a patch of grass in the field.
There’s no way that’s actually you.
“Oh, you should go say hi!” Erwin encourages, nodding towards you.
A girl jumps in beside you. More pictures are snapped. You smile like Levi smiles, and then he sees it: the perpetual scowl. The same scowl that Levi wears so often that it’s become a part of him. You are fucking beautiful, but he hates it on you. It doesn’t suit you.
Levi swallows. “I don’t know. She stood me up.”
“Maybe she had a reason. She hasn’t been in school at all this quarter,” Erwin shrugs.
Levi turns away. “She doesn’t look like she wants to be spoken to by anyone,” he insists.
“Well, neither do you, but when people do start talking, you listen. Wait, Levi, she’s looking at you!”
Levi’s eyes shoot wide open and he whips his back towards you. “What?! Shut up! She has ears!”
“Oh, she turned away really fast anyway,” Erwin frowns.
“What?!” Now, he swivels the other direction, facing the back of your head. Your mother’s hand smooths down your hair. It’s grown a little longer since he last saw you.
Erwin offers a hearty laugh, eyes pinched and head thrown back. His sandy blonde hair glints beneath the sun, and Levi wonders if he had an ounce of Erwin’s charisma—maybe you would turn around and notice him one last time.
“You obviously still like her, Levi,” his friend offers, gesturing towards you. A couple girls your age stop to meet you, throwing their arms around you, and Levi wishes he could’ve met your friends and that you could’ve come to his game and that he could’ve taken you to that diner everyone loves so much. He would’ve paid, too; would’ve let you steal the fries from his plate. He would’ve done a lot of things. He didn’t realize he was so good at making stuff up in his head, but then he remembers, he does that shit all the time.
Levi grunts, rubbing his nose with the back of his hand. It’s a pitiful attempt at concealing the heat on his cheeks.
“The least you can do is say hello. It’s not weird. Just being polite after you haven’t seen her all quarter.”
His heart is pounding. That does make sense—it’s not creepy, saying hello to someone you were once acquainted with, who you haven’t seen in a while.
Are you even an acquaintance, though?
You’re just a girl he had a few conversations with. You always ended up in the same English class together and you always got high marks on your essays, and for a while, he was almost tempted to ask you how the hell you did it—every test, every quiz, every essay. You made it so easy, you gorgeous, hilarious fucking genius.
You sit in the dead center of the classroom, where the light reflects on all sides of you. You wear converse on Thursdays, and you doodle in all your assigned readings, and you make bookmarks out of folded paper that you can slide onto the corners of the page when you’re done reading for the day.
Does a week of limited conversation count as an acquaintance? As a friendship? Does four years of creepily gawking at you in English count as anything at all?
Who fucking knows.
If it goes terrible, he never has to see you ever again. He’ll unfollow you on Instagram. You’ll just become some girl who stood him up that one time. It’s not like it’s an uncommon experience.
“This is all your fuckin’ fault,” Levi growls, before shoving his cap into Erwin’s chest. He grunts and stumbles back.
Levi runs both hands through his hair. Today it’s slathered in gel to keep it from falling in his eyes. He pushes a couple of strands over his ears and swallows every last bit of nerves.
Kenny calls after him. Something about taking pictures with the soccer team.
He murmurs a “Watch it” as he shoves past a random senior. When the last group of people flock, and his view clears, he sees you. Your head is tilted backwards and a kid he recognizes—Nile Doc, that fucker from English—is wrapping a coil of your hair around his fore finger. He smiles down at you.
“Heming—!” His hand is midair. He’s never spoken so loud off the field in his entire life.
“There he is!” A familiar, annoying voice jeers.
Someone swings their arm over Levi’s shoulder, but he’s still craning his neck, hoping he meets your gaze.
Nile’s arm slips around your back and Levi has never felt something so sinister boil in his gut before. He clenches down hard on his jaw. He doesn’t fucking understand. Are you with him? No, there’s no way.
Eren Jaeger and Connie Springer—upcoming seniors next year at Shiganshina—are flocking Levi. Jean Kirstein is practically strangling him.
His neck hurts. He doesn’t care if you stood him up, or maybe he does. There’s no way you’re with Nile Doc and not him. The guy’s an asshole, and you’re—you’re fucking Hemingway!
His heart skyrockets and he thinks he’s going to fucking explode to smithereens when you slowly glance over your jaws. He notices the outline of nose and jaw and lips from afar, and God, it’s not normal to feel like you’re gonna die when a mere acquaintance meets your gaze, right?
Your name catches in his throat.
He expects you to throw your hand up. Wave at him and flash him that smile and cackle at him all obnoxiously like you did that one night.
He wants to hear you yell his name over the crowd.
But you don’t. You look him dead in the eye. No smile. No nothing. Fucking nothing.
And you just look away. Like he’s dirt under your shoe. He is nothing to you. Just some creep who stared at you all four years of high school English because he was too embarrassed to say hello and too afraid to give a shit about something.
“Fuck, just get lost you guys,” Levi snarls, batting at the limbs tangling around him.
“Of course he’s in one of those moods,” Eren huffs.
Jean hisses at Connie, “You shouldn’t have jumped on him like that, dumbass!”
Levi finds a patch of grass. He stares at it long and hard. You really didn’t want to see him. You really just looked away.
His eyes are fucking burning. His throat is burning. The pit in his stomach opens up to an abyss, and he wants to slam his head against the nearest surface he can find and forget that this ever happened.
Levi goes and takes pictures. He hates it. No one expects him to smile though, even if Kenny prods him like a belligerent father. As if he could ever be a father to him when all he does is drink himself half to death.
He remembers why he doesn’t give a shit about things. He remembers the way you looked at him. Vacant of anything. So fucking empty that it reminded him too much of himself.
He’s having dinner with Erwin’s family. It goes by in a blur.
When he gets home, he finds himself sitting in the dark. Alone. Kenny is downstairs and the television is on, playing some random show as background noise to drown out his drunken snores. At least he tried today. At least he tried. At least he’s still here.
He tries so hard not to care, and he hates that it’s impossible not to.
With a wet face, he tiptoes downstairs and tosses a blanket over Kenny’s legs. He prays to fucking God he will wake up in the morning.
391 notes · View notes
zukuist · 4 months ago
Note
Hi hi just got all 4 of my wisdom teeth taken out and I feel terrible😩😩 do u mind writing something ab todoroki comforting his s/o who just got her wisdom tooth’s taken out and is in immense pain😩😩 nah like it hurts to talk and my face is so swollen and I can barley brush my teeth!!
wisdom teeth pains [hcs]
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“you got your wisdom tooth taken out, and you’re in a ton of pain.”
fandom/s: 僕のヘロアカデミア // boku no hero academia [bnha]
includes: s. todoroki, k. bakugō (added him because yeah <3)
your name is shortened to y/n, gender neutral
side note: i KNOW you sent this a few days ago so im super duper sorry for the delay. though i hope you’re doing better now :)) also.. you got FOUR taken out?? 😟
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todoroki shōto
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okay so..
i headcanon shōto to be that one bitch that was just.. born without any wisdom teeth
they did an x ray for his teeth one day, and they were like 😎 —>😟🕶🤏 “this boy.. has no wisdom teeth!”
like, man was just born without them! (and yes it’s possible, i googled my facts for this 😼)
i headcanon this, because i don’t see rei having any either 🧎‍♂️ the genetics am i right?
moving aside, shōto was already aware of your appointment, and that you were getting your wisdom tooth pulled out
because we tell everything health related to boyfriend! shōto in this house 😎 he approves of this message
which is why he’s patiently waiting in the lobby, the kind receptionist offering him a mini cup of water, reassuring him that your s/o will be okay
she was right.. and wrong
the dentist finishes the job, and immediately updates him, informs him what he should do
“so we’ve pulled out their wisdom teeth, and—”
shōto blinks, “..wisdom teeth?” the plural use of the word shocks him.
“ah yeah, y/n had several, we had to take out all four.” your dentist laughs briefly, somewhat amused by the youngest todoroki’s reaction
your dentist continues explaining what to do, what not to do, and how to give you medicine when the pain comes in
so they finally bring you out of the office, and you’re in a wheel chair 😟 since you’re still kinda out of it
“hey angel,” shōto smiles, when the initial shock clears out “you did amazing. you look super pretty.”
“ugh, stop the lies,” you say, your voice muffled by the gauze, “‘m craving in and out.”
shōto knows he should probably tell you that you can’t eat that, but he just smiles, helping you out of the office, and into his car
5 minutes has passed, and once the car stops at a red light, shōto takes a good look at you, just to see how you were
and you’re already in so much pain “oh no, are you already in pain?” he asks, his impatience making him grip the steering wheel
“yessss,” you whine, tears welling up in your eyes, “it’s like.. bakugō was my dentist or somthin’.. who even hired that bastard? gonna.. give him a knuckle sandwich when i see him!”
shōto can handle your post surgery rambles, but he definitely can’t handle seeing you in so much pain
because one, he can’t relate, and didn’t know the pain for you kicked in that quickly
and two, shōto didn’t know you needed four to be pulled out (because man doesn’t have any wisdom teeth in the first place 🙄)
ever so gently takes off the gauze, and if he sees that you’re even in the slightest bit of pain, he’s immediately peppering kisses on your forehead
“i’m sorry, love. the pain will be there for a second.”
a lot of ice is being set on your cheeks. he makes an ice pack for his left hand, and holds his right hand against your cheek for the other side
he doesn’t use any pressure
on the brighter side, at least shōto can have your face in his hands for as long as he liked
he doesn’t care if he’ll get sore keeping you cold, shōto will not move (and it benefits you too so.. win!)
makes you do nothing during your recovery. like.. all you did was watch tv
sleeps on the chair that’s placed against the side of the bed, just to be prepared for anything you need.
and so he could get them with ease.
congratulates you on your recovery with a bouquet of flowers, or a stuffed animal.
though he wishes he could pamper and baby you like that again, he’s glad you’re not in any excruciating pain anymore :)
bakugō katsuki
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i think he got his wisdom teeth pulled out before you, but he was lucky enough to only have 2 💀
the entire experience was a fever dream.. from him suddenly craving pizza with a chocolate drizzle on top, to him nearly stepping out of a moving car 😟
refuses to see the videos of him being loopy post surgery, so you sent the videos to his parents 😎
their love for you tripled by tenfolds after seeing the videos.
anyways, he’s aware of your appointment, but he couldn’t drive you there
katsuki was doing something important, and he teased you by saying “this is punishment for sending my parents those shitty wisdom teeth videos >:T.”
but then, he heavily insisted that he’s the one driving you back, and he tells mina (the one that drove you to the dentist) that he’ll be the one to bring you back home
oddly enough, he was calmly sitting in the lobby. but you could clearly tell that he was just waiting for some news to be delivered
all of the people there expected him to be shaking the poor, innocent workers about your whereabouts tbh
but they don’t know how much calmer he could be, especially when the time’s right.
the dentist finally exists the office, and he abruptly stands up, “so?? how are they??”
man already knows about what he should do, since he did his research 2 days before the actual appointment.
so he instead, inquires about your state.
“they’re still a bit loopy from the anesthesia, but that’s to be expected. however, we’ve pulled out 4–”
“what?” the blond sputters, “four? you ripped out four?”
“yes, they had four, two on each side. their pain tolerance is lower than most patients, so kindly make sure to check on them when the anesthesia fades.”
katsuki snatches takes the paper bag of medicine from the dentist’s hands, and immediately marches over to where you’ve been discharged
and this man has a good laugh, because you’re sitting in a wheelchair. his state post wisdom teeth removal was worse, but he didn’t use a wheelchair.
but here you are, sitting in a wheelchair.
“you look shitfaced,” katsuki comments quietly. loud enough for you to hear, of course. because you frowned (to the best of your abilities.)
“meanie.” you weakly throw your hand against his chest, but katsuki takes no offense. “but you took it like a champ, didn’t you?”
“of course. the s/o of bakugō.. katsuki has seen worse.”
katsuki holds in a retort, and decides to help you out of the dentist office, thanking the staff as he helps you into his car (much to their surprise.)
i’m a firm believer that katsuki bakugō is a good driver. he definitely looks like a speeder, but i promise you, he’s not.
in fact, he’s much more attentive when you’re in the car with him, let alone if you’re in any pain.
which is why, he immediately steps on the gas, when he hears you groaning from the pain “it hurts already?”
you muffle, “sooo bad, katsu. i might faint.”
he drives faster than before, not wanting to see you in any pain for much longer. it’s a good thing you’re wearing a seat belt.
carries you into the house, and puts you in bed, tucking you under the blankets tenderly, as he rummages through the medicine bag
“damnit, where is it when i need you?”
as much as he would rip the gauze off, katsuki takes it off as delicately as he possibly could. muttering quick apologizes when tears threaten to spill from your eyes.
“see? wasn’t so bad, right?”
makes you take the pain medicine shortly afterwards. only warns you once, before dumping the medicine down your throat, making sure you don’t choke at all.
he’s that one nurse that’s kinda rough, but actually cares about your well being a lot.
like.. he’ll roll his eyes when you ask him to hand you the remote, but he just goes “tell me what show you want.”
will complain about you not moving when you’re being asked to (like.. sitting up for medicine)
but ends up giving you a scolding, when you try going to the bathroom by yourself, and without his assistance.
he’s obviously prepared. there are ice packets sitting in the fridge, and he immediately puts it against your cheek when you fall asleep
wishes he had ‘that damn icy hot’s quirk’ at a time like this, just for more convenience. and so that he could just sooth your pain, by activating his quirk.
he says he’s going to sleep at his usual bed time. but similar to todoroki, katsuki stays up all night just monitoring you
just.. making sure you’re not in any pain, obliterating any signs of discomfort with urgency.
eventually makes a quick trip to the convenient store, when you’re asleep. all for a pint of ice cream.
so when you’re fully recovered, you have a pint of ice cream, waiting for you in the fridge :) that’s also your favorite flavor
if you don’t like ice cream, he’ll just get any other dessert you fancy.
will tease you after recovery, talking about how wimpy you were with an amused grin on his face (yes, that one.)
but really, he likes babying you like that. just maybe.. when you’re not in so much pain.
“anyways, wanna see the videos i took of you while you were out of it?”
“katsu!”
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© zukuist 2021, bnha|mha belongs to horikoshi kohei. do not steal, plagiarize, or modify ❕
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darkveracity · 10 months ago
Text
Presenting, the Complete Locked Tomb Timeline
Because I am a horrible nerd, I’ve compiled a complete timeline of every known event in the locked tomb trilogy so far. This is roughly divided into three parts:
Ancient History - this section is mostly based on the scraps of history we hear from the lyctors in HtN. The events are inferred from pieces or occasionally reconstructed by process of elimination.
Tragic Backstories - this section is based on what we learn about the backstories of the present day characters. The Cohort intelligence files in the GtN appendix were invaluable for getting the dates here.
Present Day - this section is a recounting of the events of the books put back in order and carefully placed on a timeline.
Please note that this contains SPOILERS FOR EVERYTHING including bonus content like The Mysterious Study of Dr. Sex.
The timeline itself is below the cut because otherwise this post would eat people’s dashes for breakfast.
Part One - Ancient History
10,001+ Years Before the Emperor’s Murder
Earth suffers from catastrophic climate change.
Many groups of humans abandon Earth and spread out across the stars.
10,001 Years Before the Emperor’s Murder
The world ends. A bomb is involved. 10 billion people die.
John Gaius is the only survivor.
John resurrects the people of earth, the planets of the nine houses, and the sun. He creates the nine resurrection beasts in the process and they scatter across the universe. The resurrections of the people are somewhat staggered and they don’t come back all at once.
The resurrected planets are thanergenic planets - that is, they continuously generate thanergy without dying. This makes them different from all other planets in the universe which are either thalergenic planets - living planets that continuously generate thalergy - or thanergy planets - dying planets that generate thanergy until they eventually die completely.
John meets Alecto. He calls her First, One and enters perfect lyctorship with her.
John renames the sun Dominicus to symbolize his divinity.
John cryopreserves many of the people he resurrected just in case he needs to recover from another catastrophe later.
10,001 - 9,000 Years Before the Emperor’s Murder
John begins to construct Canaan House as a palace from which to rule the new world.
Ten disciples gather at Canaan House. These are:
Augustine Quinque and Alfred Quinque
Mercymorn the First and Cristabel Oct
Gideon the First and Pyrrha Dve
Cassiopeia the First and Nigella Shodash
Ulysses the First and Titania Tetra
Half of the disciples become the first necromancers. The other half take up the sword and become the first cavaliers.
John uses his divine power to make his disciples immortal as long as they stay by his side.
The houses are founded. In recognition of their roles as founders, the disciples adopt their arithmonymics (number related surnames) :
Gideon and Pyrrha found the Cohort and the Second House on Mars.
The Third House is founded on Neptune without a disciple pair involved.
Ulysses and Titania found the Fourth House on Saturn.
Augustine and Alfred found the Fifth House on Jupiter.
Cassiopeia and Nigella found the Sixth House on Mercury.
The Seventh House is founded on Venus without a disciple pair involved.
Mercymorn and Cristabel found the Eighth House on Uranus.
Some of the children born in the new houses are necromancers. This effect cannot be replicated elsewhere in the universe because there are no other thanergenic planets.
Six second generation disciples who grew up in the new houses come to Canaan House. These are:
Cyrus the First and Valancy Trinit
Anastasia the First and Samael Novenary
Cytherea the First and Loveday Heptane
The disciples develop the secrets of interstellar travel by river and by stele.
Cristabel and Alfred formalize the cavalier oath.
Cassiopeia writes a large number of cookbooks.
Cyrus and Valancy create many nude oil paintings of each other.
Pyrrha and Gideon develop the mind melding transference theorem.
Mercymorn and Cristabel develop the siphoning avulsion theorem.
Cassiopeia and Nigella create Teacher and the other Canaan House constructs by cramming 500 souls into 50 vessels.
The disciples put their work together and create the lyctoral process. Cristabel convinces Alfred to commit suicide with her, forcing Augustine and Mercymorn to ascend.
Gideon ascends. He accidentally compartmentalizes Pyrrha in the process, preserving her as a second person trapped in his body.
Cassiopeia, Cyrus, Ulysses, and Cytherea achieve lyctorhood.
Cassiopeia and Anastasia work together developing a theory of perfect lyctorhood.
Anastasia attempts to obtain perfect lyctorhood. John sabotages her, killing Samael.
The lyctors beg John to kill Alecto. He agrees and they hold a funeral for her (funeral #1).
The lyctors stage their labs and studies so that someday more aspirants to lyctorhood may examine them. They each create trials based on their work.
Anastasia founds the Ninth House on Pluto. She’s ostensibly supposed to roll the rock on top of the tomb and be done with it but instead she creates an enduring cult.
Anastasia dies. The lyctors hold a funeral for her (funeral #2).
9,000 - 5,000 Years Before the Emperor’s Murder
The nine houses begin expanding an enormous empire across the stars. Lyctors set obelisks to expand the stele network and kill planets to make necromancy possible.
The lyctors realize that the resurrection beasts have come to hunt them. They permanently leave the nine houses and begin living aboard the Mithraeum, a space station in imperial controlled space.
Cyrus moves his nude oil paintings and all of Valancy’s clothes from Canaan House to the Mithraeum.
Cassiopeia moves her cookbooks and her ceramics collection from Canaan House to the Mithraeum.
All seven lyctors fight and kill Number Two together.
Cyrus dies drawing Number Six into a black hole. The lyctors hold a funeral for him (funeral #3).
The remaining six lyctors move the Mithraeum to deep space and flee there.
The lyctors try Gideon and Ulysses’ spearfishing idea to fight Number Eight. It goes badly and Ulysses dies wrestling the beast into hell. They hold a funeral for him (funeral #4).
Two more resurrection beasts are killed. These are Number One and Number Four.
~5,000 Years Before the Emperor’s Murder
The expanding empire encounters Blood of Eden who has been searching for them this whole time.
BOE begins shepherding an insurgent movement to fight back against the nine houses.
5,000 - 1,000 Years Before the Emperor’s Murder
The evolving cultural concept of necromancer and cavalier begins to lead some necromantic aristocrats to choose cavaliers for their political value, not their skill at swordplay. This will be an ongoing debate for the next 5000 years.
The Master Warden of the Sixth sets the rules for the Swordsman’s Spire to prioritize genetic outreach potential first and competency second. These will stand unchanged for half a myriad until Palamedes interferes with them during his time in the position.
Cassiopeia explains how to use a relative’s blood to trick blood wards to Mercymorn.
Cytherea attempts to physically plant a bomb on a resurrection beast. She goes mad before she can even reach the surface and has to spend weeks recovering.
Cassiopeia attempts to draw Number Seven into the river physically. She is torn apart by angry ghosts and fails to harm it. The lyctors hold a funeral for her (funeral #5).
~1,000 Years Before the Emperor’s Murder
Matthias Nonius becomes the greatest swordsman of the Ninth. He fights the Saint of Duty and comes to owe him a debt.
~520 Years Before the Emperor’s Murder
Mercymorn and Augustine begin plotting Dios Apate, Major.
414 Years Before the Emperor’s Murder
Doctor Donald Sex dies with his final project - solving a puzzlebox lyctoral artifact made of real wood - unfinished. He is hallowed in the Copper Garden at the Library in recognition of his lifetime of achievement.
~300 Years Before the Emperor’s Murder
The Cohort acquires their last intelligence report on the status of the First House.
208 Years Before the Emperor’s Murder
A Fifth ambassador visits the Library and attempts to commune with the ghost of Doctor Sex but only partially succeeds, allowing Sex to return as a revenant. Sex rides a thanergetic link to possess a skeleton servitor cleaning his coffin and then uses it to break into his own office and solve the puzzle cube he was working on prior to his death.
~108 Years Before the Emperor’s Murder
The Library begins renovations on the basement levels.
101 Years Before the Emperor’s Murder
John leaves the Mithraeum and returns to imperial controlled space.
81 Years Before the Emperor’s Murder
John begins living aboard the flagship Erebos.
~50 Years Before the Emperor’s Murder
The last black friar leaves the Cohort.
Part Two - Tragic Backstories
43 Years Before the Emperor’s Murder
Awake Remembrance Of These Valiant Dead Kia Hua Ko Te Pai Snap Back To Reality Oops There Goes The Gravity becomes the leader of the Edenites. Under her direction they transition from plotting in the shadows to open warfare.
40 Years Before the Emperor’s Murder
Protesilaus Ebdoma is born on Cypris.
39 Years Before the Emperor’s Murder
Magnus Quinn is born on Rhax.
38 Years Before the Emperor’s Murder
Abigail Pent is born at Koniortos Court.
The oldest of the Asht brothers (Colum, Ram, Capris) is born.
36 Years Before the Emperor’s Murder
Ortus Nigenad is born in Drearburh.
35 Years Before the Emperor’s Murder
The middlest of the Asht brothers (Colum, Ram, Capris) is born.
33 Years Before the Emperor’s Murder
The youngest of the Asht brothers (Colum, Ram, Capris) is born.
28 Years Before the Emperor’s Murder
Dulcinea Septimus is born at Rhodes.
Marta Dyas is born on Trentham.
Protesilaus (18) seeks Cohort placement and does tours of duty to three separate front lines.
27 Years Before the Emperor’s Murder
Colum (6, 8, or 11) begins training as a warrior.
25 Years Before the Emperor’s Murder
The Edenites learn the true nature of the resurrection beasts. They kill a herald and make anti-necromantic weapons from its corpse.
24 Years Before the Emperor’s Murder
Naberius Tern is born on Ida.
23 Years Before the Emperor’s Murder
Judith Deuteros is born interstellar.
22 Years Before the Emperor’s Murder
Coronabeth Tridentarius and Ianthe Tridentarius are born on Ida.
21 Years Before the Emperor’s Murder
Pyrrha enters a relationship with Wake.
Gideon enters a relationship with Wake.
Palamedes Sextus and Camilla Hect are born in the Library.
The eldest of Protesilaus and Mia’s children is born on Cypris.
Abigail (17) and Magnus (18) break up.
Magnus (18) briefly seeks Cohort placement before being rejected.
Sarpedon meets Mercymorn.
20 Years Before the Emperor’s Murder
Isaac’s father is killed by terrorists. His children will all be conceived posthumously via vat womb.
Mercymorn and Augustine successfully execute Dios Apate, Major seducing God and stealing his sperm.
Mercymorn sees Cytherea for the last time.
Wake receives the stolen sperm and a number of necromantic vat wombs. The eggs all die so she implants the remaining portion of the sample in herself.
Wake calls the baby growing in her stomach Bomb in anticipation of its role as a living weapon.
19 Years Before the Emperor’s Murder
Wake gives birth aboard her ship.
Gideon and Pyrrha confront Wake one last time en route to the Ninth House. The Saint of Duty wins the fight because Wake is still weakened from giving birth but takes pity on her and allows her to escape out an airlock in a haz suit.
Wake runs out of oxygen during atmospheric entry and dies. Her corpse crashes into the Ninth carrying a living baby.
The necromancers of the Ninth call Wake’s spirit. She shrieks “Gideon! Gideon! Gideon!” at them and escapes to become a revenant bound to her body. They misinterpret this as the baby’s name and call her Gideon Nav.
Priamhark and Pelleamana gas 200 children and channel the resulting thanergy into creating the perfect necromancer baby. An infant Gideon Nav is the only survivor.
Lachrimorta and Aisamorta go blind from their role in releasing the gas.
18 Years Before the Emperor’s Murder
Harrowhark Nonagesimus is born in Drearburh.
Marta (10) joins the Junior Cohort Territorials.
Abigail (20) and Magnus (21) get back together again.
Master Scholar Marygold Shasta dies.
17 Years Before the Emperor’s Murder
Silas Octakiseron is born.
16 Years Before the Emperor’s Murder
Ianthe (6) begins performing necromancy for Corona (6) to create the illusion that they’re both adepts.
Palamedes (5) gets lost and visits the Swordsman’s Spire for the first and last time.
15 Years Before the Emperor’s Murder
Jeannemary Chatur is born on Ops.
14 Years Before the Emperor’s Murder
Isaac Tettares is born on Tisis.
Corona (8) pantses Judith (8).
13 Years Before the Emperor’s Murder
Dulcinea (15) and Palamedes (8) become pen pals. 
Marta (15) is commissioned to second lieutenant.
Juno Zeta marks the unsealing of Doctor Sex’s study on her calendar five years in advance of the event.
12 Years Before the Emperor’s Murder
Judith (11) joins the Cohort Junior Territorials.
Magnus (26) becomes seneschal of Koniortos Court.
Abigail (25) and Magnus (26) get married.
11 Years Before the Emperor’s Murder
Augustine sees Cytherea for the last time.
The youngest of Protesilaus and Mia’s children is born on Cypris.
Camilla (10) and Palamedes (10) are put on duty roster to clean the view screens and have allergic reactions to the panel cleaner.
10 Years Before the Emperor’s Murder
Gideon (8) begins training with the longsword.
Wake follows the thanergetic link to transfer her spirit from her bones to her daughter’s sword.
Naberius (14) becomes cavalier to Corona (12) and Ianthe (12)
9 Years Before the Emperor’s Murder
Judith (14) is commissioned to second lieutenant.
Camilla (12) becomes cavalier to Palamedes (12).
8 Years Before the Emperor’s Murder
Harrow (10) catches Gideon (11) speaking to her mother’s skeleton. They have a brutal fight.
Harrow opens the tomb, bypassing the final blood ward because her hands are still dripping with the blood of the daughter of God. She gazes upon the Body and falls deeply in love.
Gideon tells Harrow’s parents what she has done, prompting Priamhark, Pelleamana, and Mortus to hang themselves. Harrow chooses to live and puppets her parents’ corpses to maintain the illusion that all is well.
Harrow regularly hallucinates The Body speaking to her for the next year. The Body has black eyes and speaks in the voices of people Harrow has known. Afterwards, The Body only appears in her dreams
Palamedes (13) and Camilla (13) examine the study of Doctor Sex.
Palamedes (13) becomes Master Warden. Camilla (13) becomes the Warden’s Hand.
Marta (20) becomes cavalier to Judith (15). They are both attached to the Leviathan-class ship Emperor’s Dominion.
6 Years Before the Emperor’s Murder
Palamedes (15) invents a new flesh magic technique that allows Dulcinea (22) to intubate herself.
Marta (22) is promoted to first lieutenant.
Abigail (32) becomes the head of the Fifth House. Magnus (33) becomes her cavalier.
Dulcinea (22) permanently leaves the public eye.
Jeannemary (9) becomes cavalier to Isaac (8).
The last Ninth House citizens fighting in the Cohort are lost in action.
3 Years Before the Emperor’s Murder
Judith (20) is promoted to first lieutenant. She and Marta (25) are attached to Behemoth-class ship Rigor and see intragalactic action leading the in-ship tactics unit.
Marta (25) is ranked first in the system for her class in duelling.
Isaac (11) and Jeannemary (12) seek Cohort placement. They are denied on age grounds.
2 Years Before the Emperor’s Murder
Isaac (12) and Jeannemary (13) again seek Cohort placement. They are denied on health grounds after catching the mumps.
Mercymorn begins once again working with BOE.
Palamedes (19) proposes to Dulcinea (26). She gently turns him down.
Part Three - Present Day
14 Months Before the Emperor’s Murder
Judith (22) is promoted to captain and returns to Trentham with Marta (27) to attend intelligence training.
The emperor sends letters inviting the scions of the nine houses to gather at Canaan House and become lyctors.
Harrow (17) foils Gideon’s (18) 87th attempt to escape from the Ninth.
Ortus (35) and Glaurica escape in Gideon’s stead. Crux murders them with a hidden bomb.
14 - 11 Months Before the Emperor’s Murder
Gideon (18) spends three months learning the rapier to pretend to be Harrow’s cavalier primary.
11 Months Before the Emperor’s Murder
Cytherea murders Dulcinea (27) and Protesilaus (39), taking their place. She puppets their corpses.
The heirs of the nine houses arrive at Canaan House. These are:
Judith (22) and Marta (27)
Coronabeth (21), Ianthe (21), and Naberius (23)
Isaac (13) and Jeannemary (14)
Abigail (37) and Magnus (38)
Palamedes (20) and Camilla (20)
Dulcinea (27) and Protesilaus (39)
Silas (16) and Colum (32, 34, or 37)
Harrow (17) and Gideon (18)
Cytherea makes an ostentatious entrance by fainting on the landing dock. Gideon catches her and attracts her attention. Harrow takes the opportunity to get a good look at Protesilaus and discover that he is a puppeted corpse.
Harrow makes a complete map of Canaan House, cataloguing every door in the building.
Harrow orders Gideon to fake a vow of silence.
Harrow, Palamedes, Silas, and Ianthe independently discover the hatch to the basement and begin pursuing the lyctor trials.
11 - 10 Months Before the Emperor’s Murder
Gideon discovers the door to Gideon the First and Pyrrha’s lyctoral study.
Gideon meets the other cavaliers. She wins a duel with Magnus then loses a duel with Naberius in a way that makes it clear she would win in a real fight.
Cytherea completes the tooth trial in Lab 6 and claims its key.
Cytherea sends the corpse of Protesilaus to gum up the lock to her old lyctoral study with regenerating bone.
Cytherea sees Gideon’s eyes and discovers her true identity.
Palamedes and Camilla complete the trial in Lab 3 and claim its key.
Palamedes and Camilla complete the tooth trial in Lab 6 and are surprised to discover that Cytherea already has the key.
Silas and Colum complete the trial in Lab 9 and claim its key. Silas decides not to pursue further trials.
Harrow repeatedly attempts the transference trial in Lab 2 but fails to make headway without the help of her cavalier.
Ianthe begins reverse engineering the lyctoral theorems without directly attempting the trials.
10 Months and 5 Days Before the Emperor’s Murder.
Gideon realizes that Harrow hasn’t returned to their rooms for over 24 hours and begins searching for her. She meets Palamedes and Camilla and breaks her vow of silence to ask them for help. They show her the labs and help her rescue Harrow who is passed out in a bone cocoon.
10 Months and 4 Days Before the Emperor’s Murder.
Gideon and Harrow attempt the transference trial in Lab 2. Harrow works out the right approach but they have to return to their quarters to rest before she can solve it.
Palamedes and Camilla complete either the trial in Lab 4 or the trial in Lab 5 and claim its key (they do the other one the next day).
Abigail and Magnus host a party for their eleventh wedding anniversary. At the party Palamedes tells Abigail about the labs and Cytherea realizes just how dangerous a historian could be to her.
Abigail and Magnus complete the trial in Lab 7 and claim its key.
Cytherea murders Abigail and Magnus. She hides the key to Lab 7 inside Abigail’s corpse.
Harrow and Gideon return to the labs, complete the transference trial in Lab 2, and claim its key. On their way back they discover Abigail and Magnus’ corpses.
Silas attempts to summon Abigail and Magnus’ ghosts by soul siphoning Colum. Cytherea pretends to faint and puppets Protesilaus to punch Silas, disrupting the summoning. Colum challenges Protesilaus to a duel in response.
Gideon and Harrow inspect Gideon the First and Pyrrha’s lyctoral study. Harrow learns the secrets of regenerating bone.
10 Months and 3 Days Before the Emperor’s Murder.
Palamedes and Camilla complete either the trial in Lab 4 or the trial in Lab 5 and claim its key (whichever one they didn’t do the previous day).
Cytherea manipulates Gideon and Harrow into completing the avulsion trial in Lab 8 and claiming its key. This should kill Gideon but she survives because she is the daughter of God.
Harrow inspects Mercymorn and Cristabels’ lyctoral study and then gives the key to Cytherea.
Harrow accidentally removes the head of Protesilaus’ puppetted corpse. She hides it in her closet.
Palamedes reveals that there is only one copy of each key to Judith and Corona. Tensions begin to rise.
Cytherea incinerates the corpses of Protesilaus (now headless) and Dulcinea. Jeannemary and Isaac discover the ashes.
Cytherea fakes being seriously ill. The duel with the Eighth is called off when it is realized that Protesilaus is missing. Silas and Colum take keys 6 and 8 from her.
Marta duels Camilla at Judith’s direction. She loses badly.
Gideon takes Jeannemary and Isaac into the labs to look for Protesilaus. Cytherea murders Isaac, Gideon and Jeannemary flee to hide in Gideon the First and Pyrrha’s lyctoral study. Gideon falls asleep and when she awakens she discovers that Cytherea has murdered Jeannemary.
Silas invites Gideon to come talk in his quarters. She refuses.
10 Months and 2 Days Before the Emperor’s Murder.
Harrow and Palamedes agree to cooperate. Harrow removes the regenerating bone from the door to Cytherea and Loveday’s lyctoral study.
Harrow orders Gideon to stay away from Cytherea. They have a serious fight about it. In response Gideon takes Silas up on his offer and learns that Ortus is dead and the creche flu was a coverup.
Gideon discovers Protesilaus’ severed head in Harrow’s closet and tells Palamedes. He and Harrow accuse Cytherea of arriving with a puppeted corpse for a cavalier. She talks her way out of it.
Harrow confesses her tragic backstory to Gideon in the pool. They swear the cavalier oath together.
10 Months and 1 Day Before the Emperor’s Murder.
Harrow picks the lock to Cassiopeia and Nigella’s lyctoral study by reading the psychometric image of the key out of Palamedes’ mind and replicating it in bone. From the contents they discover the secret origin of the Canaan House constructs.
Judith and Marta kill Teacher, destroying the Canaan House constructs, and send for help, Marta dies in the attempt and Judith is grievously injured.
Ianthe discovers the key to Lab 7 inside Abigails' corpse and retrieves it. With the information inside the lab she completes the lyctoral megatheorem, murders Naberius and ascends to lyctorhood. Silas and Colum attack her in response, prompting her to kill Silas in self-defense. Colum’s empty soul-siphoned body becomes possessed by a monster and Ianthe kills him too.
Palamedes discovers Cytherea’s true identity and blows himself up attempting to kill her.
Cytherea chops off Ianthe’s arm.
Gideon sacrifices herself so that Harrow can become a lyctor. Harrow kills Cytherea with her help.
Camilla, Corona, Judith, and Gideon’s body disappear under mysterious circumstances. Camilla stops along the way to collect Palamedes’ skull.
Harrow and Ianthe are taken to the Erebos.
10 Months Before the Emperor’s Murder.
Harrow awakens on the Erebos and confronts John.
Harrow learns a number of important facts offscreen.
9 Months and 29 Days Before the Emperor’s Murder
Harrow lobotomizes herself with Ianthe’s help. She writes 24 letters to instruct her future self on how to live her life. She magically prevents Ianthe from telling her anything about Gideon using a Ninth house technique known as the sewn tongue.
10 - 9 Months Before the Emperor’s Murder
BOE destroys three Cohort warships with three orbital radiation missiles, killing 18,000 soldiers.
Harrow spends weeks convulsing in the aftermath of her lobotomy. She begins to once again hallucinate The Body speaking to her in the voices of people she has known. This time The Body has golden eyes and follows a half-step behind her like a cavalier.
John tells Harrow that he will unfreeze 500 cryopreserved resurrected souls and send them to the Ninth to renew the house.
In the river, Harrow gathers the spirits of those who died at Canaan House on an enormous dream bubble stage.
Mercymorn gets a chance to see Gideon’s body while it is in BOE custody. She fails to check the color of the eyes.
9 Months Before the Emperor’s Murder
Someone tries to kill Harrow in the middle of the night. She defends herself, passes out, and awakens to find the evidence of the attack has been covered up.
Ianthe gives Harrow the letters instructing her how to live her life. Harrow kisses Ianthe in order to check that she has not replaced her jaw to escape from the sewn tongue.
Mercy, Harrow, Ianthe, and John travel to the Mithraeum.
The Erebos travels to each of the Nine Houses to send home the bodies of those who died at Canaan House. It then continues on to the Ninth to deliver its new citizens.
Harrow meets Mercymorn, Augustine, and the Saint of Duty.
The lyctors hold a funeral for Cytherea (funeral #6).
Wake causes Harrow to sleepwalk and stab Cytherea’s corpse with her sword. This creates a thanergetic link that allows her to possess it.
9 - 6 Months Before the Emperor’s Murder
Mercymorn teaches Harrow how to kill planets.
Ianthe struggles to swordfight with her bad arm.
The Saint of Duty begins regularly attacking Harrow on John’s orders.
Pyrrha, possessing Gideon, begins spending time with Wake possessing Cytherea.
Harrow begins spending large amounts of time with Ianthe.
Augustine accuses Mercymorn of cooperating with BOE. He threatens to rat her out to John.
Harrow begins hearing noises from the chapel where Cytherea’s body is laid to rest. Ianthe either does not hear them or decides to gaslight Harrow about them.
In the river Harrow arrives at Canaan House with Ortus Nigenad as her cavalier. She begins hallucinating angry messages from Wake.
6 - 4 Months Before the Emperor’s Murder
Harrow kills her 13th planet.
Harrow confesses how her parents created her to John. He tells her that no one has the right to know.
In the river Wake begins intruding on Harrow’s play in the form of a monster called The Sleeper. She kills the puppets representing Judith, Palamedes, and Camilla.
Harrow catches Pyrrha possessing Gideon making out with Wake possessing Cytherea.
Harrow encounters Cytherea’s body walking on its own. Ianthe refuses to help her deal with it.
4 Months Before the Emperor’s Murder
The Saint of Duty attacks Harrow in the bath, making her so paranoid she stops sleeping.
Augustine issues an ultimatum to Ianthe that she must fix her arm in five days or he will no longer teach her.
Harrow comes inches away from murdering the Saint of Duty with a bowl of soup.
Harrow cuts off Ianthe’s bad arm and remakes it in bone, solving her problems. To thank her Ianthe arranges for Mercy and Augustine to distract God.
Augustine convinces Mercymorn to help him with his plan by promising not to tell John about her dealings with BOE. The two of them execute Dios Apate, Minor seducing God once again and giving Harrow a chance to murder the Saint of Duty. She discovers him being murdered by Wake and instead chooses to save him. Pyrrha takes the opportunity to tell her how to protect herself properly.
In the river Silas kills the puppet of Corona and then leaps into the abyss. Abigail helps the ghosts of Isaac and Jeannemary exit the bubble.
2 Months Before the Emperor’s Murder
Mercymorn works with BOE to arrange for Harrow to encounter Cam, Corona, and Judith while killing her 14th planet. She confirms that Palamedes’ ghost is intact and staying inside a river bubble bound to his bones.
2 Months - The Night Before the Emperor’s Murder
Mercymorn teaches Harrow and Ianthe how to kill a resurrection beast.
The lyctors begin training as a team within the river.
John tells Harrow that he wishes she were his daughter. She confesses to opening the tomb and he refuses to believe her.
Harrow discovers Cytherea’s corpse possessed by Wake beneath her bed. Again Ianthe either cannot see her or chooses to gaslight Harrow about her.
The Saint of Duty makes one final attempt to kill Harrow. She convinces him that it’s not worth it at this point.
The Night Before the Emperor’s Murder
Ianthe begs Harrow on her knees to allow her to undo the lobotomy so she can live. Harrow refuses.
Number Seven arrives at the Mithraeum.
Mercymorn kills Harrow with her own rapier.
Gideon awakens in Harrow’s body and saves her from the heralds.
Mercymorn encounters Gideon in Harrow’s body and realizes the truth about perfect lyctorhood. Mercy tries to kill Gideon but is stopped by Wake with a gun full of herald bullets.
Augustine encounters Gideon in Harrow’s body and realizes the truth about perfect lyctorhood.
Ianthe encounters Gideon in Harrow’s body and gives her a letter with her shades in it.
In the river Harrow remembers her true past. She and the ghosts of Canaan House confront and defeat Wake’s invading spirit by summoning the ghost of Nonius.
Nonius repays his debt to the Saint of Duty by coming to his aid battling Number Seven in the river. Ortus, Protesilaus, and Marta join him. Gideon dies in the battle but not before forcing Number Seven to flee.
Mercy and Augustine confront John while Gideon and Ianthe watch. The truth of Dios Apate, Major, the Ninth House operation, and perfect lyctorhood is all revealed.
Pyrrha destroys Cytherea’s body, banishing Wake.
Mercy attempts to kill John by disintegrating him. He reassembles himself and kills her. Augustine pulls the Mithraeum into the river in an attempt to force him into Hell, Ianthe saves him and lets Augustine be dragged under.
Gideon and Pyrrha swim for the surface of the river and drown.
Harrow seals herself inside a metaphysical tomb, relinquishing her body to Gideon.
6 Months After the Emperor’s Murder
Camilla, Corona, Judith, and an unidentified fourth person live in hiding on a non-imperial planet.
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helliontherapscallion · 7 months ago
Text
Lost Time (The Ashes of Yourself Part 2)
Part 1     Part 3    Part 4
Spotify Playlist (collaborative)
Warnings: mentions of suicide attempts/ideation, swearing, daddy/abandonment issues
Word count: 3,879
You and Techno stared at each other for what seemed like an eternity, both of you not knowing what to say to each other. So much was left unsaid between you two throughout your childhoods and the past four years that you didn’t know where to even start. You supposed a simple ‘how are you?’ would suffice, but that’d be too simple, far too simple for not talking to each other in literal years. But you couldn’t just say ‘hey, I’m incredibly jealous that you are Dad’s favorite and I totally didn’t send you my suicide note that you may or may not have seen’, that’d be way too much trauma dumping for your taste. You couldn’t think of anything else to say, so you chose to sheepishly grin at him and awkwardly wave. 
“Heh uh, how’re you…?” Smooth, (y/n). Real smooth.
You watched as he furrowed his brows slightly before he hesitantly gave you a small wave with his gargantuan pink hand. “...I’m doin alright. You?”
“I’ve seen better days.”
“Right…”
An awkward silence fell over you two as you glanced down at your bloodied hands. “Sorry bout the blood. It won’t really stop until I stop moving.”
He shrugged, “that’s fine. I’ve bled everywhere in this house. Nothing that won’t come out.”
“Alright then.”
You wanted to crawl into a pit and just let yourself die, you hated this awkward atmosphere you created. Your mind scrambled to find something to say to the man other than a stupid ‘alright then’. You haven’t even seen him in four years, surely you would be able to find something to talk about. You were snapped out of your thoughts when you heard him clear his throat.
“I uh got some clothes for you. They’re Tommy’s old clothes from when he stayed with me during his exile. I don’t know if they’ll fit, but I’m guessing that they’re better than the wet ones you’re wearing.”
When he saw you wince when you tried to stand up, he rushed to your side and helped you stand up. You could feel the backs of your knees start to drip blood. “Do you have any spare lava?”
His hands paused on your upper arms, “yes, but why would you need it?”
“It kinda heals me. I mean, just enough that my skin stops cracking open and bleeding everywhere.”
“Why don’t we just take you to a lava lake in the Nether?”
You glanced out the window at the flurry of snowflakes falling to the ground and being whisked off to other places by the harsh wind. You shuttered, remembering what it felt like to be fully engulfed in water. “Water hurts. I don’t want to get burnt out again.”
“Right, I’ll go get a few buckets full. Stay here,” with that, he ushered you to sit in front of the fire once again and draped the large blanket over your shoulders again. You could hear him move to another room and rustle around what you presumed was a chest before you heard his heavy footsteps walking behind the couch. You could hear the billowing of the wind when he opened the door before it was cut off by the door closing. 
You leaned forward and put your hands in the fire, relishing in the feeling of the flames melting away the charred skin slightly. The flames licked and caressed your dark skin slowly giving you more feeling back in the damaged tissue. As you were turning your hands over the flames, you thought about your voluntary near death experience just about an hour before. 
The thought of the ocean finally taking you and dragging your charcoaled corpse into its depths never to be seen again was alluring. After feeling the intense pain and the suffocation that came with chucking yourself into the ocean when you’re part blaze was definitely a deterrent, but you just had to push through the pain. This was something you’d dreamt of doing since you were fifteen and you’d be damned if you were going to let pain stop you. 
You know you felt sort of… grateful that Philza saved you when you were laying on that beach, but now that you had time to reflect on what happened, you felt resentful that he did. Of course he’d take away the only good thing you had going on in your life, he was full of audacity and impudence when you were a kid. He hasn’t changed at all much to your disappointment. You shouldn’t have expected him to change in the first place, that was just something that you knew in the back of your mind would never happen. A large part of you craved his approval and affection, but you knew that wouldn’t happen. 
Your thoughts were cut off by someone pulling you back gently from the fire. “I got the lava. Uh, I can set up an area for you downstairs with netherrack.”
“No, you don’t have to, I just have to put it on my joints for a few minutes.”
“Don’t you want to, uh, fully cover yourself?”
“I can hold off until the snowstorm dies down. It’s nothing too major.” You dipped your hands into the large bucket of lava and sighed in relief, “that’s much better, thank you Technoblade.”
“It’s no problem, but you literally just almost died. How is that something that’s ‘not major’?”
“I’m used to… well, this,” you took a hand out of the lava and gestured to your stone covered arm. “It’s just more than I’m used to. Kinda uncomfortable, but I’ll live.”
“What do you mean you’re used to it? You don’t live by water do you?”
“Yeah, I live by the ocean so I’m bound to get a little charred. No big deal,” you took your hands out of the bucket, shook the excess lava off, and stuck your elbows in. You looked at your now dully glowing hand and wiggled your fingers. There were more blackened scars etched into your skin on your joints, but you didn’t care.
“Heh? Why the hell would you live by an ocean?” 
You wove your hands nonchalantly in the air, “I always liked how the water looked when the sun set. The way that the pinks and yellows would reflect and bounce off the waves? Breathtaking.” You also lived by the ocean so that you had an easy way out of living, but you weren’t about to tell him that. Too much trauma dumping.
“That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.” 
“Have you ever seen the sun setting over the ocean?” You rose a brow at the piglin hybrid sitting on the couch. 
“Well, no but-”
“Then you can’t knock it till you try it. I’ll take you to my old place after I can take a proper lava bath. You won’t regret it, promise.”
“Still, you’re literally made of fire. Look what happened to you… Er, speaking of, how’d this happen?” He looked you up and down inquisitively with his red eyes. 
You sighed as you took your elbows out of the lava and dipped your feet into the buckets. “...Do you still have your communicator?”
You watched as his floppy ear flicked and his eyebrow rose at you, “...Yes, but I only talk to Dad. Why, did you leave me a message?” Before he could stand up to grab his communicator, you stopped him with a hand on his shin. “No, I didn’t. I was just wondering.”
He didn’t look convinced, “...tell me what happened. Were you pushed?”
Your shoulders tensed up against your will before you forced them to relax. “I fell in, got too close to the edge.”
“You’re so lucky Dad was already at your house, you could’ve died. How could you be so careless?” 
You only responded with a blaze-like frustrated grunt that rumbled in the back of your throat and removed your feet from the buckets. Picking up one of the buckets, you took a swig of the lava. The viscous liquid crawled slowly down your throat and soothed your burned esophagus and stomach. Clearing your throat, you looked over to your estranged brother. He was looking at you with disgust, his snout scrunched up slightly and his mouth twisted into a grimace.
“What?” Your voice sounded less strained and scratchy. Overall, it felt better to speak.
“Your- your feet were just in there. That’s disgusting.”
You blew out a puff of smoke and watched as it drifted to the ceiling, “my feet were just in water, remember? They’re clean. And besides, I swallowed and inhaled a lot of water so I needed it. I mean, my lungs are still stone, but there’s nothing I can do about it except wait it out.”
“That’s still gross. Wait, can you not drink water?”
“No- well technically I can, but it hurts. Gimme one sec.”
He was quiet as he watched you take a deep breath and dunk your entire head into the lava bucket you weren’t drinking from. His youngest sibling was… strange, but he found that he enjoyed your company so far. The only company he’s had at his cabin recently was his brothers and dad, which burned him out slightly with their big personalities. You were as awkward as he was and that was refreshing. But he couldn’t help but feel guilty after hearing the majority of yours and Philza’s argument. Now that he thought back on his childhood, the majority of his memories were of him and Philza. He didn’t have many negative memories past his adoption, and that was because he spent all of his time adventuring with Philza. He did everything with his adoptive father and absolutely nothing with his siblings. He knew nothing about Wilbur, well Ghostbur now, or Tommy until they stayed with him during Tommy’s exile. He’s never talked to you or spent any time with you before, and he wanted to get to know who you were. He wanted to make up for lost time.
After you were under for a while, he started to worry that you drowned yourself. Just as he was about to pull your head out of the bucket with a hand close to your forehead, you slowly removed your head from the lava and held it over the bucket so that the excess would drip off from you. Panting slightly, you sat up fully and wiped your eyes clean of the lava. You could hear some rustling in front of you so you opened your eyes to see your brother holding out clothes to you. 
“Go change, I’ll make dinner. There’s a spare room upstairs, second door on the left. You can stay there for now.”
You hesitated before you took the clothes from him, “I… Thank you Techno.” You weren’t expecting him to be so kind to you, he was known as the blood god after all. He was ruthless when he battled, leaving thousands without families. You saw him a couple of times when you were younger coming home with Philza covered in blood with a malicious expression on his face. That always made you try to avoid him; not that you had any difficulty doing that, he was never home. 
He curtly nodded before he turned to walk into where you assumed was the kitchen. You trudged up the stairs and tiredly drug your feet down the hallway towards the second door on the left. When you opened the door, you were pleasantly surprised. You didn’t know what you were expecting to see, but it certainly wasn’t this. It was simplistic, yet it looked like a professional decorated it.
The bed looked incredibly comfortable and soft with a large white comforter draped over the top. At both sides of the headboard, twin chests sat underneath double hung windows with wooden frames that matched the spruce planks that made up the walls. You were sure that once the relentless snowstorm stopped you would be able to see a spruce forest in the distance. Lanterns hung at the far corners of the room opposite of where the bed sat. Glancing at the opposite wall, you saw a framed portrait of a nether fortress. You assumed that it was the nether fortress on the other side of his portal. If you squinted, you could see orange specks that you assumed were blazes. 
After you got dressed, you were pleasantly surprised to see that Tommy’s clothes fit you. Despite the slight bagginess of the pants and the sleeves of the jumper hanging halfway past your hands, they fit relatively well. Humming in satisfaction, you hung up your wet clothes to dry and made your way downstairs following the savory smell of cooking meat and potatoes. Your mouth watered at the smell, it’s been a while since you’ve eaten an actual meal. You’d just been surviving on an apple a day with the occasional potato when you had some leftover from making homemade vodka. 
You walked into the kitchen and looked at your brother standing at the stove, the stove looked miniscule compared to his seven and a half foot tall form. That man was a giant and you wouldn’t be lying if his height alone didn’t intimidate you slightly. If he wanted, he could grab your entire face with his hand. Various light pink scars decorated his muscular arms that poked out from the rolled up sleeves of his blouse. He wasn’t wearing his huge fluffy cloak, instead it was draped over the back of one of the chairs at the large wooden dining table. Every part of your body wanted to take it, wrap yourself up into a blaze hybrid burrito, and take the best nap you’ve ever had. His corseted form moved gracefully around the kitchen grabbing various spices and herbs. 
You saw his ears twitch before he moved his massive head  to look back at you, you could see the corners of his mouth quirk up ever so slightly. “They fit you, that’s good. Take a seat, dinner's almost ready.” With that, you took a seat at the table. You felt like a child again, the table was huge, the tabletop coming up to your lower chest. The table and chairs were made of what looked like dark oak wood. The wood was carved intricately with complex patterns etched into the frame and the back of the chairs. 
You eyed the cape draped over the chair next to you. It was a deep royal red with black speckled white fur lining the border of the fabric. If you looked closely, you could see that the pendant that connected the two ends was made of gold and had a diamond encrusted center. It looked incredibly soft, it would be so easy to just reach out with a finger to pet it. Your brother wouldn’t notice if you did it quick enough so that you could touch it before he turned around. When you gathered the courage to touch the cloak, you reached out with a slightly shaking hand to pet the fur, watching Technoblade the entire time. 
Everytime he would move to grab a spice, you would quickly retract your hand and try to act as innocent as possible only to try again after he didn’t turn around again. Just as you finally touched the fabric, you were in awe with how soft it was. It was like petting a newborn puppy but better. You truly couldn’t put into words how soft it was. 
You were snapped out of your trance by a small chuckle, “soft isn’t it?” You jumped, quickly retracting your hand and smacking your head against the back of your chair in the process. You could feel your cheeks heat up more than they usually did, you could see the glow of orange intensify at the bottom of your vision. Your brother was staring at you with amusement, his mouth quirked up in a small smile. He was carrying two plates full of steak and potatoes, putting one in front of you before walking to sit opposite of you. 
“Uh, yeah. It- it’s really soft.” 
“I got it from a nation thousands of blocks from here, it wasn’t easy to get. Those guards were not happy to see me stealing from their king.” He chuckled before he started to eat his food. 
“Is that where you got the crown too?”
“No, Dad got it for me as a going away present when I moved out… You’ve grown up so much since I’ve last seen you. I remember when you barely reached my waist and now you’re only about a foot and a half shorter than me.” 
“You’ve gotten taller also, more scars too.”
“You as well. Are all those from water?” 
“Yeah, it only scars when I crack the stone on my skin though.”
“Ouch. So like you get scars whenever you move?”
You shrugged, “basically.” Turning to your plate, you struggled with not wolfing down the entire thing in one go. You didn’t want to have your brother get the impression you had bad table manners. Wilbur raised you better than that. When you took a bite of the stake, you moaned slightly at the taste. Quickly swallowing your mouthful, you looked at your brother with wide eyes. “Ender Tech, where’d you learn to cook? It’s delicious.”
He gave you a small bashful smile and shrugged, “when you’ve been living alone for this long you pick up on a few things.”
“I’ve been living alone for about a year now and I still can’t cook.”
He raised an eyebrow at you, “well what do you eat then?”
“Just an apple a day, maybe a potato too if I have any to spare.”
He narrowed his eyes, “how the hell are you still alive? That’s hardly enough.”
You blankly stared at your plate, “I’ve been asking myself that everyday, things aren’t… amazing living alone. Uh, let’s talk about happier things. I wanna get to know you.”
He stared at you for a while before he sighed, “fine, but we’re talking about this later. How do you wanna go about getting to know each other?”
“It’s gonna be hard cuz we have like seventeen years to catch up on, but I think we can do it. Let’s… let’s play the favorites game. We take turns naming a category and we both say what our favorite thing in that is. I’ll start, what’s your favorite type of mythology? Like Greek, Egyptian, Norse…”
His eyes lit up at the mention of mythology, “I like Greek mythology. I can talk for hours about it.”
“Nice! I personally like Norse mythology better, we have to exchange myths sometime.”
“My turn, what’s your favorite myth?”
You matched his excitement, “I really like the Ragnarok myth. The fact that the gods know of their impending doom and destruction and are actively working towards it is- is just really intriguing. What’s yours?”
You both abandoned your meals as your conversation diverged into telling each other various myths from your respective favorite mythologies. Your favorite ones he told you were the tales of Orpheus and Eurydice, Persephone and Hades, and Psyche and Eros. You were a sucker for romance even if the thought of you being in a relationship was something you were uncomfortable thinking about. Romance stories just made you happy to see people finding comfort and fulfillment in each other. You told him more about Ragnarok, the creation of Mjolnir, and the murder of Baldur. 
Before you two knew it, hours passed by. Your untouched dinners grew cold and the clock struck midnight startling both of you out of your story telling. You both looked at the grandfather clock then back at each other in shock, “we’ve been talking for four hours Tech.”
“Yeah, we did. It- it was nice talking about mythology. Usually people get bored when I talk about it.”
You rolled your eyes, “Ender, I know. Why don’t they find it as interesting as we do? It’s been a while since I’ve had someone to talk to, it’s nice.”
“We better go to bed, we can just eat a bigger breakfast tomorrow before we take you to the Nether and your house. You probably want to sleep in your own bed.”
You laughed nervously, “yeah about that… I don’t really have a bed anymore. Or an actual house for that matter.”
“The fuck happened?”
“I may have burnt it down accidentally.”
He was silent for a bit before he looked at you suspiciously. “Are you gonna burn my house down?” And there’s the thing you hated most when you told people of your lineage and abilities. They always believe that you’re a being of destruction and inferno. They always grow to not trust you around them or their possessions fearing you would burn them to a crisp. You cursed your biological parents daily for giving you these genes.
You shrunk in on yourself slightly, “no, I’d never do that to you. I’m in control as long as I keep my emotions in check. Can’t get too excited, scared, or happy. I just can’t do anything extreme and my temperature stays low.” 
He grunted, nodding in satisfaction. “We probably should get to sleep soon if we wanna get stuff done before the family reunion.”
“I forgot about that… Have you met the kid Phil’s gonna adopt?”
He drew in a long breath into his nose and huffed it out of his mouth. “Yeah, his name’s Ranboo. And he’s actually only about half a year younger than you are. I don’t know how to feel about him yet, but he seems like he has good intentions.”
You drug a hand through the flames idly flickering on your head, “is Phil seriously gonna adopt another kid? I don’t think it’s a good idea for him.”
“That’s what I thought, I don’t need any more orphans running around here. You, Tommy, and Wilbur are more than enough. We can talk more about this in the morning.”
With that, you picked up your plates and took them to the kitchen. Before you could turn on the water faucet, a hand on your shoulder stopped you. “I’ll get it. You can’t be around this stuff.”
“A little water won’t hurt me. It’s the least I could do, you made dinner.” 
“A little water will hurt you. Go to bed, I’ll handle this. It’s only two dishes.”
You opened your mouth to argue with him, but it snapped shut as soon as he gave you a warning look. “Go to bed (y/n).”
“...Aright, thank you for doing that. I’ll see ya in the morning.”
He grunted as you walked out of the kitchen, up the stairs, and into the guest room. You walked straight to the bed and plopped down onto the surface. You felt sort of bad that you were rubbing soot off onto the white comforter from your still charcoaled skin, but it was nothing that you couldn’t clean in the morning. The bed was extremely comfortable, a stark contrast to your old one. Your old one had lumps and some exposed bedsprings sticking out of the fabric. With the weight of the heavy comforter and the plush mattress, you were out like a light.
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notsoladylady · 2 months ago
Text
Back to You
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Summary: A passionate designer at 19 tried to conquest the shoe industry with her talent in Tokyo. Little did she know she got mixed up in an unusual relationship with Satoru Gojo a certified Casanova and an egocentric man and led her to utter devastation. Four years later she came back to Tokyo and it had open memories that are buried deep down. But this time she didn’t come alone, she came back chasing her dreams once again along with her son. Yet destiny had stirred her up again with Gojo Satoru, her child’s father, her baby daddy.
CW: Modern AU, Romance, Exes to lovers, fluff, angst, hurt/comfort, chasing passion/careers, unestablished relationship, family drama, manipulation
Characters: Gojo Satoru x y/n
A/n: my first series omg! 
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one ♦ two ♦ three ♦ four ♦ five ♦ six ♦ special ♦ Aki’s Journal ♦ AJ Entry 1
taglist: open! (just send me an ask/message)
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Traveling by air wasn’t really your cup of tea. Not when you have to seat in a cramped space for 14 hours straight just to get to your destination a half-assed prepared coffee a lot of boisterous wheezing strangers. Going back to Tokyo Japan after four years was a very risky decision for you. You had left with a baggage of unfinished business and gained a permanent responsibility for life the last time you step foot in that country. But look at you now, crawling on the same roots that either broke you and made you. But what is your choice, really? You needed to grab this opportunity to prove your worth as a rising shoe designer and to redeem your dignity as a daughter. Besides, it is a one-time opportunity a shoe exhibit that features your years-old of labor and hard work. The possibility of having your heels sold worldwide through a multinational brand had made your hopes high and knock you out like a raging wagon. One established company that will take interest in your designs and your all set, and that’s clear as daylight. You had taken some detours and setbacks on your journey but they were never really a hindrance, they shouldn’t have. Not when you lost your father's trust and respect the moment you threw everything he believed you to be and took this path as your chosen career.
Just remembering your father’s word before you left made you lose your focus on the new design that you are creating. Indeed, he stood by his title of being the boldest and most atrocious lawyer in Toronto, Canada. Even without his physical the prospect of him made you shudder down your spine. You can’t disappoint him, you can’t disappoint him for the second time.
“Don’t come back again pregnant” You took the courage to remove your sight on the floor and gaze at your father’s eyes the second you heard him of his response. You had brought the subject of leaving home again and flying to Japan for an exclusive project for the new rising designers across the globe. Fortunately, you were chosen to be one of the designers to showcase your talent. It was an exceptional offer and you couldn’t say No to it.
“Don’t put shame on my name again”
Being the youngest and the only daughter of an Asian-Canadian household had put you on an incredible pressing factor from all the things you have to do. One of which is when you have to follow the footsteps of both of your parents and 3 older brothers on their careers as lawyers. From a very young age, you were tasked to read the newspaper every single day without a miss. Expected to complete at least 3 non-fiction and political-related books a week. Asked to participate in logical arguments, debates, and long-heated discussions with your parents and brothers. You were tested regularly with your critical thinking, sharp reasoning, and expanded knowledge. One could say that you were groomed meticulously to be the best lawyer in your city. Your father calls you as the legislation’s finest scholar and the new light of the court because of your well-built intelligence, unceasing hunger for victory, and incredible strength and resilience. He saw you as a new trance of his work, a piece of himself which was more astute, more grounded, and bolder. You were thriving, you were leading the way smoothly trailing their footsteps with honor and success. Throughout your life, you never backed out nor refused to go beyond their way. So it was a great horror and shock to your father when you decided to quit law school and pursue your passion as a shoe designer instead. Moreover, on how you resolutely led your own way to study in Tokyo without earning their full consent just to come home pregnant 6 months later.
“I let you off once because you gave us an exceptionally sweet and smart grandson. A quick reminder, what keeps you in the family is your kid. But once you stain and put our family name on a laughing shock again. Consider yourself dead, I won’t accept a failure daughter twice.” You purse your lips and lower your gaze again hurt from your father’s words.
Yes, you made a great deal of inept, reckless, and unexpected decisions in your life. Yet, none of them is dropping out from law school and choosing your passion as a designer which made you discover your true self and true passion as opposed to being a puppet of your own parents. And your son, though he was unexpected he gave you the life you could never dream of before. He became your purpose, an individual that made you anticipate seeing the splendid sun each day.
“Leave Aki here”
“No dad, Aki is coming with me” This time you were not looking down on the floor. Your gaze was straight, intense, and solid right to your father’s eyes. Your stance was amplified, it was unbreakable. You are confident that your son is coming with you and nothing and no one could change that. This was likely one of the occasions that the abilities that you gained from a young age are useful. Every time your son is involved the entirety of your soul from law school is coming back to you, ready to annihilate every individual who endeavors to meddle with your
You and your father had a fierce battle of gaze yet you won unyielding when he chose to turn away and draw a hefty sight.
“Fine, but take care of him properly.”
“Aki is my son Dad, I will not let awful things happen to him."
One thing that you are thankful for after having Aki is how your family treated him. Yes, you were considered a disgrace by everyone who knows you when they learned about your pregnancy. You were called awful names behind your back when they knew that you were impregnated before marriage, failed to introduce the father of your child to your family, and chose to become a single mother Be that as it may, your family stood up before you, they went to bat for you and your child. After you gave birth to Aki he immediately became the family’s apple of the eye. Your brothers and your parents showered him with so much love, care, and attention, providing him with everything he needed and wanted. Sometimes you get worried if he is growing up as a spoiled brat from having more than anything that he needs but you get comforted by the fact that your son would never be like that. With your constant discipline and reminder, you believed nothing can go wrong. Being the first and the only grandson of the family had earned him a spot on everyone’s heart. Considering his natural assertiveness, cheeky, forthright, and smart persona everyone loves him. Most especially his tough-hearted grandfather who is ready to go all the way just for him. Your son might not have a father but the love and affection he received from everyone had surpassed one person’s love and somehow you believed that he is no longer needed.
You were interrupted in your thoughts when your son woke up from his sleep when you heard his voice calling for your name. When you turn around to see him your mouth stretched out on a smile when you saw how he gently rubs his drowsy arctic blue eyes, yawning and exhausted from the long hours of traveling.
“Mommy, are we still far away?” Your palms found their way on your son’s milky white hair as you carefully stroke his tangled strands, leaving a small kiss on the tip of his nose before answering.
“No baby we are here, we will land in a few minutes”
Your son didn’t respond, clearly adrift from reality after his hours of sleep. You held his hand tight while you quietly took a glance at the outside window. Wondering how Tokyo changed for the last four years. An ambivalent sight had left your mouth when you recalled what happened when you first step foot on this country four years ago. You were barely an adult, a naïve 19-year-old girl who just dropped out of law school to pursue designing. Your future was not promised. You were lost, jolt with the ideas of your newfound responsibilities. Antagonized by the deranged family you left at home. Your father was ranging in anger once he knew that you quit law to pursue your passion instead. Your mother was convincing you to go home and talked things through.  She was asking you to be reasonable enough to think about it one more time before you decide to jump out of their grasp. Your older brother and your youngest older brother who warned you to go back home before they beat the shit out of you and your second brother who was neither repressive nor supportive. The very person who somehow encourage you a bit on doing what you want by saying “Do whatever you want and just go home when you caused trouble, Tokyo doesn’t need another hard-headed brat like you”
Oh God, Tokyo, you had no idea back then. You didn’t know what was right from wrong in your situation. If you’re doing things appropriately or you are doing things that are practical enough just to pass the bare minimum. You were raging in passion, burning in desire. A new light that is ready to obliterate the darkness. You were young, careless, and living by your f. You made risky decisions, chose ill-devised judgments, crossed borderlines that you wouldn’t dare cross before.  And you fell in love moronically with a man that had resulted Aki. Sometimes you wonder how things could have changed if you made the choice to be a lawyer or you didn’t leave home or then again if you didn't meet him. Would it be different now? Would it make more sense? But none of it matters anymore. You made it now, things won’t change any more. You stood up for yourself, stood up for your passion and you have Aki. You are contented, you are happy with your career and you loved your son so much.
The second you stepped on the airport terminal your eyes found their way on the people who were holding a huge banner and calling out for your name. You walked towards them, exchange some greetings before they guide you in the car and took you to your accommodation. They explained how the project will be work, what are your duties as one of the chosen designers and how long the project would last which approximately 2-3 months from now.
You were silent the entire ride listening to all the things that you have to remember when one of them handed you a small envelope. It was an invitation card from the first event you have to attend as a designer and what caught your attention from the numerous amounts of sponsors, designers, personalities, A-listed individuals is the name of the person you had vetoed to see for the rest of your life.
Gojo Satoru of Gojo Corporation
Your heartbeat spiked up and your eyes lost their focus. You can feel your body heat up from the menacing thoughts that are running wild on your mind. You let out a small exhale before you decided to talk and pose the inquiry that is messing with your mind.
“Why is Gojo Corporation involved in this project? It’s not their line of business.”
The person took a quick glance at the invitation card before they respond. “The gojo corporation decided to sponsor this project at the last minute. From what I heard their CEO had taken interest in one of the designer’s works and he wants to monitor the project first-hand”
Your mouth turned dry, your breath begins to shallow your heartbeat is pounding like crazy. You accepted this project with ease in mind that you won’t ever see him again but now with the newfound information you got you suddenly got scared. You are not ready to face him, no you can’t face him. Should you just order the driver to turn the car around and get the earliest flight back to Canada? Should you just give up this opportunity and try for the next one instead? Should you just leave promptly just like you did four years ago?
You didn’t sleep a blink that day. You were constantly racking your brain, discovering answers for your concerns. What would you do when you see him? How would you act? Why would he take an interest in heels?
You sat quietly on your bed observing your peaceful sleeping son before leaving trails of kisses on his forehead.
What about Aki? What would happen if he knew that you hide the fact that he has a son with you? Are you going to let him know?
Questions over questions are clouding your thought. You were dead tired from the long trip you had but you just couldn’t find yourself to rest. You just literally step foot in Tokyo yet the person you refused to see is one of the people you have to deal with. Well on the other hand why would you even think about him? This is not about him. This is about you and your passion, your dreams, and your future. You just have to meet him no strings attached. You’re a professional designer and he is well, a company CEO a sponsor of the project you are undertaking. Besides what made you think that he’ll remember you? Yes, you were involved in some kind of relationship before but that was ages ago. He may have forgotten about you now. You won’t even be surprised if he can’t remember you. Gojo had dated a lot of women he won’t even remember who is who. And about Aki, he doesn’t need to know him. Your son has been fine all these years without his presence. He’s no longer needed. You just have to meet him, you just have to face him.
Yes, you just have to face Gojo Satoru, that’s all.
324 notes · View notes
sohotthateveryonedied · 9 months ago
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so i’m trying to write duke and i don’t think i’m writing him right. how would you describe his personality because with don’t trust fanon lmfaooo
(this was only supposed to be a paragraph or two i swear to god)
1. first things first, duke is a hardcore gryffindor. don’t let the yellow color scheme mislead you, okay. and while most of the time he’s depicted in fanon as “omg this family is crazy and i’m the only sane one,” it’s actually pretty much the opposite? if anything, i think the other batkids would be like “oh finally, someone who can match our level of chaotic energy. HEY DUKE WANNA BUNGEE JUMP OFF WAYNE TOWER—” and an hour later they’d all be in the batcave getting lectured by bruce for leading poor sweet innocent duke astray when really he was already planning on doing that this weekend.
listen, this is the kid who once jumped off a bridge to escape police. this is the dude who decided to fight criminals while they’re still eating their wheaties at 6am in a bright yellow suit. and while duke seems to be the best at following bruce’s command at the moment due to having been trained by him most recently compared to the others and is still figuring out how to be a hero, i’m positive that if bruce weren’t here to guide him, duke would be running around gotham taking down criminals anyway. i mean, he literally did do that with the “we are robin” kids. plus there was the whole thing when he was like ten years old and decided “i am going to singlehandedly stop the riddler in my light up sketchers and pikachu backpack. try and stop me.” 
duke is headstrong and has a strong drive toward heroism. he’s an extremely enthusiastic and passionate person in general, and i try to capture a little of that when i write him, even with mundane things like trying to beat his siblings to the last cupcake. 
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2. another thing i noticed is that duke swears like a sailor in comics? seriously, this boy could give jason a run for his money with how many “@#!%” speech bubbles there are. i don’t know if this is just a trend the writers added in the comics i’ve read of him, or if it’s a genuine trait throughout every comic he’s in, but that’s something to make note of when writing dialogue for duke. after all, he did grow up in the narrows, so it makes sense that he’d use a lot of swearing and slang in his everyday vernacular.
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3. i would also make a point of noting that duke is fairly young compared to the rest of the batfamily, being the second youngest after damian. duke is still a teenager in high school, and he acts like it. he’s got homework and friends and is eager to make a difference in gotham, trying to juggle everything and make it all work somehow. he’s stubborn and doesn’t give up easily, so it’s important to write him as someone who is trying to save the world while also struggling with finding time to study for his next math test. he's human. he doesn’t get to dedicate all of his time to fighting crime like cass or jason might be able to, since duke is still a mostly normal teenager with teenager problems.
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4. and don’t forget that unlike the other batkids, duke still has two living parents. sure, they’re jokerized and might not ever be the same again, but they’re alive and that’s what holds him back from letting himself get as close to the waynes as he wants to. duke won’t be calling bruce “dad” anytime soon, and i think he’d have some internal struggle over stuff like holidays and birthdays with the waynes, remembering what his parents are missing out on and wondering if joining the wayne family is a betrayal to them. duke is very conflicted over this, even if he doesn’t say it directly. stuff like ducking out of movie night early or feeling a bittersweet pang during thanksgiving dinner makes sense for someone in his situation. 
(i usually ignore that aspect in my fics because i want duke to just be adopted and part of the family already, but not everyone does that, and that’s perfectly fine.)
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5. honestly, duke is such a caring individual and we as a fandom need more of him being a shoulder for people to lean on because he’s?? so soft?? duke can be so sympathetic and rational when it comes to emotional problems. it seems like duke internalizes every bit of advice he gets from the people around him and uses it to inspire others and help them through their own problems. as tough and hotheaded as duke can sometimes be, he really is good when it comes to emotions.
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6. duke is a smartass. he will 100% use sarcasm against any and every authority figure he meets, usually just for the hell of it. 
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7. he’s very frank in general, usually the first to be like “okay full disclosure, we’re about to die right now. that sucks. anyway—” in a situation. he’s honest and tends to be upfront about his fears/anxieties, usually for comic relief, but i think it still counts.
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8. okay i have to add that duke is also kind of a punk? he and jason have a lot in common because of this: they both grew up in one of gotham’s worse areas (jay in crime alley and duke in the narrows) and they’re both highkey deliquents. duke has no problem getting into fights or talking back to authority figures, and it’s gotten him in hot water on more than one occasion. it’s why he kept getting moved around the foster system before bruce took him in because no one wanted to keep him.
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9. he’s also gotten so close with the other batkids and we love to see it!! duke calls cass “sis” and treats damian like the annoying little brother he never had and i adore every second of it. we haven’t gotten a lot of interactions between duke and the others aside from training and stuff, but he and jason have the whole “punk kid who got adopted by batman and is baffled by how rich people live” going for them, so they can bond over that. and duke is a thinker like tim, so they can hang out and do puzzles or play chess or whatever it is that smart people do. (and duke and steph are BESTIES i don’t care what anyone says.)
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10. most of all, duke is still learning how the whole hero thing works. he’s young and he’s trying his best, but he also makes mistakes. he will be impulsive and screw up, and he’ll try and merge the lessons batman’s taught him and that his parents taught him and that other heroes teach him until it all makes sense in his own mind. duke isn’t experienced like dick or even damian, so he’s going to be lagging behind for a while until he grows until the role he’s made for himself.
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other miscellaneous details to include: 
- duke is dating izzy, who used to be part of the “we are robin” gang with him - he used to live at the manor and now lives with his cousin jay, but honestly i just have him living at the manor in everything i write because i like it better that way - he can control shadows and light now! what a king! - duke secretly writes poetry and is good at creative writing in general  - this:
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- duke is super smart?? he figured out that agent 37 was dick grayson without even trying?? i’m so proud of him - his biological father is this supervillain called gnomon so now duke has got four parents: his mom, his dad, his supervillain dad, and bruce (plus selina if you count her as the batkids’ stepmom, which i do) - jason calls him “narrows” and i love that
- and, lastly, the most important panel in the history of comics:
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anxious2dsimp · 5 months ago
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Haikyuu Dads celebrating Mother's Day | Osamu, Iwaizumi, & Kuroo
‧͙⁺˚*・༓☾。・:*:・゚★。*✧・゚:˚۰˚☽˚。・:
Pairings: Osamu x Reader, Iwaizumi x reader, Kuroo x Reader.
Flavor: Fluffy af bby ☁️
Reader: Female Mother!Reader
Format: Drabbles (1.1k words total)
Warnings: None, just fluffy mom (y/n) enjoying her lovely family.
A/N: Mother's Day just really sent me into a Haikyuu dads brainrot and these scenarios have been stuck in my head all day. Enjoy!
‧͙⁺˚*・༓☾。・:*:・゚★。*✧・゚:˚۰˚☽˚。・:
Osamu
You tried to stifle your giggles as you sat at your home’s dining room table, the sound of childish bickering and hushed laughter coming from behind the closed kitchen door. “I’ll take the plates, you take the flowers,” the voice of one of your little boys demanded. “Nuh, uh! S’ my turn to take the food, I pwomise I won’t dwop it,” the youngest of the two boys replied while you could hear your husband’s quiet snorts in the background. Your face of surprise was ready when the door swung open a few seconds later to reveal your two sons holding onto either side of a plate, your husband standing behind them keeping an eye on them and the food so it got soundly to where you sat. Osamu and you exchanged a soft smile at the sight of your two boys working together with a concentrated pout that reminded you of their father’s as they slowly brought the food over. Heart-shaped onigiris of your favorite flavor plated with sesame seeds forming a smiley face were placed in front of you, the oldest smiling proudly as he boasted about how they made them themselves. You ruffled their hair and congratulated both boys who beamed at your comment on how they were greater cooks than their father. The cook in question sharing a knowing grin with you, both aware that in reality, he had made all the bases while the kids ensembled the shapes. “Happy Mother’s Day!” The two kids hugged you tightly in your chair, climbing onto you as you hug them back, feeling your heart swell with pride at what your husband and you had created. “Happy Mother’s Day,” Osamu said as he walked over to you, his lazy smirk paired with eyes full of love as his rough hand lifted your chin to capture your lips in a kiss. “Eww get a woom!” the youngest one exclaimed, as the older one made gagging sounds, you and your husband breaking apart to share a surprised look as you both chuckled, trying to figure out where the little boy learned that, probably uncle Atsumu. That Sunday at home, as you shared lunch with your three favorite people in the world to celebrate, all you felt was warmth.
‧͙⁺˚*・༓☾。・:*:・゚★。*✧・゚:˚۰˚☽˚。・:
Iwaizumi
Your eyes fluttered open at the feeling of your husband’s side of the bed being empty like it usually was early in the mornings, when he went for his run or cooked a healthy breakfast. He had kept this up even since the birth of your little girl, making it a bonding moment between them as he brought her energetic self along. Hajime knew how much effort it took to keep up with work and motherhood along with so many other things, so he loved sharing time with her daughter with the added bonus of it giving you a well-deserved rest. The sound of the bedroom door opening woke you from the gentle slumber you didn’t realize took over you to see your shirtless husband with your 8-month-old daughter babbling happily on one arm, both bathed in the warm sunlight of that beautiful Friday morning. Looking at where your daughter was reaching for before her familiar olive eyes landed on you, you were surprised to find a tray with a fruit smoothie and an omelet along with a bouquet of your favorite flowers. An amused smile appeared on your lips as you raised an eyebrow at Hajime as a form of a silent question. “Happy Mother’s Day,” he said, his voice still groggy and laced with sleep mindfully soft as to not to disturb the peace and quiet that enveloped the three of you like a spell, a love-sick smile on his face. “It’s today? Aww, thank you Haji,” you said wholeheartedly, the idea of this being the first of many years to come celebrating Mother’s Day making you teary-eyed as your husband put down the tray beside you. Giving you a peck, he hummed happily as he delicately took your daughter’s hands and waved them as he exclaimed in his baby talk voice; “happy first Mother’s Day mom, dad thought we should make it memorable.” You giggled at your husband’s antics, which nobody would guess considering his tough exterior. You and your daughter were and would always be his soft spot.
‧͙⁺˚*・༓☾。・:*:・゚★。*✧・゚:˚۰˚☽˚。・:
Kuroo
A huff escaped your lips at the weight of two small bodies landing on top of you on the couch, they had managed to sneak up on you as you were immersed in your laptop propped up in the table in front of you. You and your husband had taken that Tuesday afternoon off to celebrate Mother’s Day, Tetsurou going to pick up your daughter and son from school as you headed home and wait for them there. Between huffs and breathy laughs, the two kids wished you a happy Mother’s Day for a second time that day, and you managed to thank them before you felt a much heavier body pile on top of you three. “Daaad!” The eldest son groaned playfully as he tried to push of your husband who was carefully putting down part of his body weight on all of you. “You’re heavy,” your little girl whined between giggles as she tried to shield herself in your grasp. “Am I heavy or are you three just weak?” You could hear Kuroo’s knowledgeable smirk in his voice, the same one you fell in love with, as you scoffed dramatically in response. “We’re stronger than you Mr. Know-it-all,” you said in a sing-song voice as you started pushing your husband off of you, him only allowing you to when his two kids joined him. Once you had all calmed down you hugged your children and thanked them for the colorful cards and macaroni frames they put all their efforts into making at school. “My turn,” your husband exclaimed with his mouth full as he placed down his slice of cake and plopped down next to you, pulling out a small bag from behind the couch. Inside was a necklace locket, that you opened to reveal a picture of the four of you. “Tetsu, it’s beautiful, thank you,” you said as you hugged him tightly, yet you both knew you weren’t just thanking him for the thoughtful gift, but also for the wonderful life that you had created together. “No, thank you,” he replied, his tone genuine and filled with love as your kids pouted. You spent the rest of the afternoon spending quality time as a family and reassuring your two kids that their gifts were better than their father’s, who cheered them up with his “infamous” science puns, as he liked to say.
‧͙⁺˚*・༓☾。・:*:・゚★。*✧・゚:˚۰˚☽˚。・:
Pls I'm too soft for this😭 hmu with your thoughts and requests! <3
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zodiakuroo · 8 months ago
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Just a Fantasy
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Hinata’s got a bad case of baby fever. 
Pairing: Hinata Shoyo x Fem!Reader
Contains: 18+ characters, dubcon, breeding.... like heavy impreg themes, no prep, mentions of lactation, misogyny and threw in a mating press just for fun and that’s about it really. hinata is the worst but he’s still best boy????
Word count: 2k approx.... uh i planned for this to be a drabble
Notes: uni has been kicking my ass lately but i figured i should write something to celebrate my rename so i did this instead of prep for class enjoy :)  
this is the new and improved version so if you’ve already read this, no you didn’t <3
You find out by accident, on all fours while Hinata drills into you from behind. The second you cream around him, he’s coming inside you too, not able to hold back anymore. There’s too much blood in his dick and not enough in his brain and he lets it slip out.
“Wanna put a baby in you. Fuck.” He groans, lost in the pleasure of his orgasm, not able to actually register what he’s saying.
When both of you are completed sated, you lie in bed, sweaty limbs tangled up in messy bed sheets. With your head on his chest, you look up at him, unable to hide the mischievous grin playing on your lips.
“What?” He asks, smiling back down at you.
“Oh nothing.” You say but the teasing lilt in your voice implies otherwise. “Just didn’t know you wanted kids so bad.”
Almost instantly his smile drops and his face reddens with embarrassment. “Wait! No. I’m sorry I didn’t mean that.” He stammers as he realises what he said out loud accidentally when you were squeezing him so tight that all he could think about was painting your insides white.
This is probably the kink that he’s least proud of. It’s scared off so many of his past partners and after a while he stopped bringing it up, tired of people making him feel like he was gross for being turned on by the idea of getting someone pregnant with his child. “I’m so so sorry. It won’t happen again I swea-“
“Shoyo, relax.” You giggle and place a soft kiss on his jaw. It instantly puts him at ease. “I know it’s just a fantasy.”
Right.
It’s just a fantasy
You’re on the pill so you can’t actually get pregnant. He knows that’s the only reason you let him fuck you raw.
It’s just a fantasy.
You guys have had the ‘kids’ conversation before and you both agreed that you’d like to start a family eventually. Right now however, both of you are so focused on your careers, there’s just no space for a baby in your lives.
It’s just a fantasy.
“Besides,” you slowly move your hand down his toned torso then finally dipping underneath the sheet draped over your naked bodies. “I thought it was kinda hot.” You wrap your hand around the the base of his dick, smirking at the tent forming under the white linen.
It’s just a fantasy.
After that, your boyfriend fucks you all night, until you’re absolutely stuffed with his cum, all the while spewing filth about how badly he wants to give you his babies.
But…
It’s just a fantasy.
And for a while, Hinata is happy with that.
.・。.・゜✭・.・✫・゜・。..・。.・゜✭・.・✫・゜・。..・。.・゜✭・.・✫・゜・。.
The catalyst comes when he least expects it. A grueling Thursday afternoon practice is interrupted by two giggling girls, sprinting into the gymnasium.
“Daddy!” they squeal as Bokuto swoops them up, one in each arm
“And what on earth are my favourite girls doing here?” giving each of them a kiss on their cheek.
An exasperated sigh comes from the entrance, causing everyone to look in that direction. “I’m so sorry. The girls really wanted to surprise you at practice.” She tries her best to sound annoyed but her fond smile gives her away.
He puts down his girls to greet his wife. “There’s my other favourite girl.” He wraps her up in an embrace as the rest of the team swarms around the children, greeting them with high fives and hugs.
She gently swats at his chest. “Ew Kotaro, you’re all sweaty!” Nonetheless, she still lets him hold her, even giving him a quick peck on his lips.
Hinata finds himself distracted for a moment focused on Bokuto’s wife’s stomach and her telltale bump. It’s not very big yet but it definitely wasn’t there the last time he saw her. He’s not proud of the seed of envy that starts to bloom in him. Their youngest is only 3, they can’t already-
“Uncle Sho!” His thoughts are interrupted by the eldest girl running into him with almost enough force to knock him over.
.・。.・゜✭・.・✫・゜・。..・。.・゜✭・.・✫・゜・。..・。.・゜✭・.・✫・゜・。.
That night curled up on the couch watching TV with you. You’re engrossed in the show but he can’t really focus. There’s one certain thought that he can’t seem to shake.
You.
More specifically, how you would look, round and swollen with his child. How anyone who looked at you would know that he did that to you. That you were his.
“Babe,” He starts, trying (and failing) to sound nonchalant. “Did you know Bo’s wife is pregnant.”
He’s not trying to make you feel like you have to or anything. He’s just testing the waters. Trying to see if maybe you feel the same way he does. Maybe you’re ready now to try for a baby. He’s hopeful that you are.
“What?!” you exclaim. “Again? He really doesn’t give her a break huh.”
It doesn’t sound like you share his sentiments , in fact you sound more relieved that it isn’t you.
“Ha. Yeah. But they seem really happy.” He says sheepishly, his hand rubbing at the back of his head. “I can’t wait to have that with you. You know... a family.”
“Oh of course.” Your arms circle his waist, hugging him. “One day.”
You turn back to the TV and Hinata is grateful for that, since he can’t hide the disappointment on his face. ‘One day’ just wasn’t soon enough.
.・。.・゜✭・.・✫・゜・。..・。.・゜✭・.・✫・゜・。..・。.・゜✭・.・✫・゜・。.
Since that day, Hinata has tried to push the idea of babymaking out of his mind. It’s no use torturing himself with the thought, if you weren’t ready then you weren’t ready, there was nothing he could do.
And yet, it’s all he can think about.
When you’re cuddling in bed at night, he slides a hand across your stomach, rubbing circles over the smooth skin, imagining it stretched around your gravid belly, dreaming about feeling tiny feet tap against his hand from inside you.
Watching you do literally anything he can’t help but envision you so heavily pregnant that you struggle to do all those simple tasks. But it would be okay because he would be there to take care of you. Putting on your shoes for you. Running out in the middle of the night to buy you whatever strange food you were craving.
Going shopping becomes almost like hell for him. Suddenly he sees baby stuff everywhere. Clothes, toys, strollers, diapers and god knows what else; all just little reminders of what he can’t have.
The other day he had to play a practice match, praying no one noticed his semi after imagining you cheering him on from the stands, wearing his jersey, a few sizes bigger than the one you usually wear to fit over your round belly.
Soon the sadness and jealousy morph into anger. He hates himself for it. He doesn’t want to blame you. It’s your body and you have the right to decide. But he’s been so patient and it’s as though you refuse to even consider the idea.
To prevent himself from taking his frustrations out on you, he chooses to put more energy into his training. Even on today, his rest day, he was up early for a run, only coming back home long after you’ve left for work. When he’s just stepped out of the shower his phone pings with a text from you.
babe, i have to work late :( could you please stop by the pharmacy and pick up my birth control? love you!!! xx
His brain short circuits for a second, blood rushing south immediately. He reads the message over and over again, cursing himself for the vile places his mind is wandering to. It’s a request that should be easy for any good, self-respecting boyfriend. He grips his phone tighter, using all his will power to steer his thoughts away from that direction.
sure thing! lemme know if i need to get anything else love you too
.・。.・゜✭・.・✫・゜・。..・。.・゜✭・.・✫・゜・。..・。.・゜✭・.・✫・゜・。.
They’re just pills. Tiny, little, pink pills. And yet they’re the only thing standing in the way of what he wants more than anything in the world.
He’s been fiddling with the dial pack for 20 minutes thinking about how easy it would be for him to swap out the real pills with the placebo ones so the next time he comes in you, there’ll be a nice, fertile egg just waiting for his sperm. The idea is enough to make him throb in his shorts, cock aching to be inside you.
It’s also enough to make him nauseous with guilt. You trust him so much and here he is daydreaming about betraying you. You’re way too good for him. He doesn’t deserve you.
Holding them in his hands makes his palms sweat just a little. Maybe all those people in the the past were right, he is gross.
Hinata tries to reason with himself. This is natural right? Your bodies are made for this. To reproduce. It’s evolution right? Eventually you’ll realise that you want this too. He’s sure of it.
He’s sorry. But he swears he’ll make it up to you by being the best husband and dad he can possibly be. You’ll see.
.・。.・゜✭・.・✫・゜・。..・。.・゜✭・.・✫・゜・。..・。.・゜✭・.・✫・゜・。.
It’s been a few days since the two of you have had sex and it’s not because of lack of effort on your part. In fact you can’t explain exactly why, but recently you’ve been more needy than ever. You find yourself craving the burn of his girthy cock stretching you out, the vice grip he has on your hips as he pounds you and most of all, the toe-curling sensation of him emptying his balls into your cunt. It’s more to do with Hinata finding ways to evade your advances. His go to excuse is that he’s tired from training which is understandable, the new season is approaching and your boyfriend has never stopped trying to the best.
Still, you can’t help but worry slightly. Shoyo is known for his boundless energy and on top of that the man has a seemingly insatiable sex drive, so much so that you struggle to keep up with him sometimes.
He thinks he might regret what he’s done but it’s too late to fix it now. He’s scared. What if you find out and you hate him for it? The thought terrifies him so much that he can’t bare to look at you, let alone touch you. Believe him, it’s not easy. To him, you’re the sexiest being on this planet, quite literally everything you do turns him on. Add to that the fact he knows for sure you’re fertile right now, and totally unaware of it... yeah he can’t understand how he’s managed to keep his hands off you for so long.
However, the already frayed strand of his self-control snaps when you send him a video of you with your legs spread wide as you slowly dance your fingers over your already damp panties. Up and down, up and down while the fingers on your other hand tweak at you nipples. Even in the dim light of your bedroom, he can see the dark patch on your crotch grow bigger and bigger with every teasing movement. He’s already salivating at the sight of you and he hears you whine his name, looking directly at the camera, eyes glossy with that fucked out look he loves to put on your face. He decides then and there, regret be damned. 
.・。.・゜✭・.・✫・゜・。..・。.・゜✭・.・✫・゜・。..・。.・゜✭・.・✫・゜・。.
 He makes it home in record time, already tearing off his clothes the minute the front door slams shut. He finds you lying on the bed in nothing but your underwear, just like in the video you sent him. If he wasn’t hard as a rock before, he sure is now. 
He’s on top of you before you can even welcome him home, trapping your body under his and kissing you passionately while his calloused hands grope at whatever flesh they can find. His eagerness takes you by surprise, considering how little attention he’s given you but you welcome it, having missed him just much.  It’s messy and sloppy, tongues flicking against each other while the two of you dry hump like a couple of teenagers. His clothed cock grinding against your soaked cunt has you writhing already and you haven’t even gotten to the good part yet.
He’s tugging at your panties with so much fervour, that he practically tears them off your body. They’re getting in the way.  It’s obvious he’s not in the mood for foreplay tonight, but you don’t really care because neither are you. You need him now.
Still, he’s been holding out on you all week. It wouldn’t be fair if you didn’t tease him, just a little... “Sho, it’s been so long.” You put on that breathy, pornstar-esque voice you know he’s weak for. Your hands reach down to pull down his boxers and fondle his balls, rolling them between your fingers. “They feel so heavy. So full.” You pull your bottom lip between your teeth and bat your eyelashes at him, looking like the picture of innocence despite how lewd you’re being.
“Yeah.” He whispers, barely able to think straight. “Shit. Got such a big load, all for you baby.” This is really happening.
“Please give it to me.” You pout. “Please. Right in my pussy.”
He’s sick. He really is. Here you are, playing out his most coveted fantasy, completely oblivious to how real this all is. You don’t know that when he says he’s gonna give you a baby, he means it.
He’s despicable for doing this to sweet, naive little you, but he pushes those thoughts away and shuts his eyes as pushes just the tip into you. He can’t even lie and say he feels any remorse.  
 “Tight- fuckin’ tight.” He grunts as he fills you to the hilt with one, sharp snap of his hips. 
 Honestly, nothing can compare to the feeling of the way your silky walls squeeze around his bare shaft, struggling to take all of him in.  It’s been less than a week but he promises himself to never go that long without fucking you ever again. Even when you’re knocked up, he’s gonna fuck you everyday.
As dripping and desperate as you are for him, taking Hinata without any prep is no small feat. However, you revel in the way your walls stretch and mould to fit around him perfectly. The feeling of him, hot and throbbing inside you, with no barrier in between more than compensates for the intensity of him splitting you open like this.
You’re clenching so tight, cunt practically sucking him back in every time he draws out of you. “This hole is mine right? I can do whatever I want to it. ’S mine.” He mutters, more to himself than you as some depraved way to soothe his conscience. He shouldn’t feel bad for this. You’re his. 
“Y-yours. Belongs to you.” is all you manage to make out, so cock drunk already. You’re close to your climax and you can’t even find it in you to be embarrassed at how quick your boyfriend managed to get you there. No. You’re too focused on begging him to give you more. To give it to you harder and faster.
He picks up his pace, mesmerised by the way your tits bounce when his hips bump into yours. He pictures them bigger and swollen with milk. They’ll probably hurt when they fill up but it’s okay, he’ll be there to help you out. He wonders what it’ll taste like. Probably, sweet, just like everything else about you. 
His sweet little wife. Yeah, that’s what you’re gonna be. 
“So close. Shoyo cum inside. Need you to breed me. Please!” You whimper.
He’s feral, acting purely on instinct, fingers digging into the back of your thighs, leaving the crescent shape indentations of his nails in your skin. He imagines you waddling around the house, all big and swollen with his child.  You’re essentially folded in half and as he’s leaning his body over you. He thinks about how he messed with your birth control, how you clueless you are and how it might be the best decision he’s ever made. 
“Come for me baby. Wan’ you to milk every drop out of me.” He says ramming his cock into you, getting even deeper thanks to the adjusted position. He fucks you into the mattress relentlessly, focused now on his goal of filling you up with his potent cum and getting you nice and pregnant. He’s gonna mark you from the inside out.
As your orgasm hits, you make the most wanton face, eyes not leaving his, so he knows exactly how good he’s making you feel. The way you lock him in with your legs around his waist as your walls flutter around him is bad enough but when you moan out “Make me a mommy, please.”
That’s it for him. He gives you one last, hard thrust, pressing his balls against your ass, fat head of his cock kissing your cervix as he releases ropes of hot cum right into your gooey pussy. 
He’s flooded your cunt already but he still has more to give you so he ignores the painful aftershocks of his orgasm and starts rutting his softening dick into you again, trying to push his semen into your ripe and ready womb. He can’t let any of it go to waste.
“Shoyo, wait. Hurts.” You slur, unable to move from the grip he has on your thighs.
“I know baby. Me too. But I can’t stop.” He feels himself getting hard again. “Gotta make sure it takes.”
769 notes · View notes
dam1994s · a month ago
Note
Who does bleiss like to cuddle with when jaune isn’t available?
Bleiss’s Cuddle Buddies
1. Whitley
Whitley: S-sister -///-
Bleiss: Yeah lil' bro? 😊
Whitley: Um, aren’t you let down…
Bleiss ignored her formerly estranged baby brother, pulling him in closer enjoying the youngest Schnee’s warmth.
Bleiss: Why the fuck would I be? 🤨
Whitley: Well… Because mister Arc isn’t here…
Bleiss sighed.
Bleiss: Yeah, I do love being in my stud’s big arms, his Bitch Breaker against my legs 🤤
Her pussy quivered at the thought but the Schnee Black sheep was all too quick to put her almost eternal Arc-Thirst to the side in favor of her almost always active big sis instincts.
Bleiss: But I’ve got a shit ton of big sistering to do to make up for all those years apart. 😚
And those two asshole’s shares too.
Bleiss: Now come here my little Atlesian Princess of a brother 😊
Whitley: >///<
-Meanwhile in RWBY’s Dorm-
Ruby: You okay Weiss?
Weiss: I'm Fine 😠
Somehow I feel I’ve been slighted against
-And In Atlas-
Winter: 😠
Ironwood: Specialist Schnee? Is something the matter? 🤨
Winter: Nothing Sir… -///-
What was that sudden wave of guilt?
2. Neon (A VERY close second)
The door to Team FNKI's dorm creaked opened, naturally, the only one to notice it among the four was the only member not snoring with cat-like hearing.
Neon: Hmm? Bleiss?
Standing there the Blacksheep paused as she looked into her Ride-or-Die's glowing eyes as they reflected the monk's light.
Neon: 'Heh' Can't sleep 😁
It wasn't a question, not really. Neon knew her fellow bad bitch as much as herself.
Bleiss: Yeah... -///- Make room Katt.
She smirked shifting aside and feeling the weight of her feather-light bestie move unto the springs. Playfully she moved, pouncing, catching the rude brunette in an embrace.
Bleiss: Whoa Neon!?
The Ginger grinned like the playful cat who'd caught the foul-mouthed canary.
Neon: Got'cha 😉
Bleiss: Yeah yeah -///-
With a smile she cuddled against her bestie, knowing Bleiss was doing the same. Her tail curled, snaking around the Schnee's lithe form and settling Against her head acting as a slight bit of extra warmth and fluffy cushion.
Neon: Night Bleiss 😋
Bleiss: Yeah, you too bitch -///-
3. Ruby
Ruby: Bleiss -///- This is embarrassing….
Bleiss: Hush Hug pillow, I’m trying to sleep
Ruby: I think I preferred you calling me Pedo-Bait >///<
At least I was a person in that case!
Bleiss: And I’d prefer to be the little spoon but we can’t always get what we want, sides, I’m kinda like falling asleep to the smell of roses now -///-
Not as greatas to Darlings but it’s not bad >///<
4. Fiona
Fiona: >///<
Bleiss: ‘Heheh’
Fiona: Stop! I’m trying to sleep you perv! >///<
Bleiss leaned in close biting the mean little sheep’s ear, nibbling on it.
Fiona: O///O !!! S-STOP!!! >///<
Bleiss: Hell No.
Fingers reaching south Fiona squirmed.
Fiona: ‘Gasp’
She twitched and spasmed from the Gelé’s experienced touch.
Bleiss: Oh yeah, I still got it.
I may be my Stud’s Happy Little Bitch, but I’m still a boss for other little sluts.
She felt a wave of pride at that, and went back to task, eager to tease and squeeze her little sheep till Darling got back. He’d be met by the horniest little Faunus he’d ever seen.
Bleiss: Guess we won’t be doing too much sleeping till after your nice and riled up.
Fiona: >///<
5. Penny
Penny: I am so happy Friend-Bleiss, I never thought we would be engaging in intimate sleeping postures 😀
Bleiss:… ‘Sigh’ It’s called Cuddling Real-Doll, don’t make it weird.
Penny: Friend-Bleiss, am I not merely a replacement for Attractive-Friend-Jaune? 🤨
Bleiss: Fuck no, nobody can replace Darling.
Penny: According to my calculations there are 1,963 individuals who met your physical requirements to match boyfriend Jaune’s body type in Vale alone. Would they not be sufficient?
Bleiss: Fuck no.
Penny: But then by what criteria did you determine me to be your partner for sleep.
Bleiss: Gah, does everything have to be math and logic with your shiny metal ass? I just wanted to cuddle is all… It’s not cause I thought you looked lonely or some shit like that…
Penny: Friend-Bleiss, you are a rather poor liar 🤭
Bleiss: Fuck Fine Your Right! Happy Now >///<
Penny: Affirmative, I will now be entering rest mode 😊
Bleiss: Whatever… Goodnight bitch.
Penny: I too wish you a efficient inhibited sensory period 😁
The two went quiet, until Bleiss felt it, a constant, low and somewhat comforting rumble.
Bleiss: Bitch doesn’t even notice that she vibrates in her sleep…
Extra
You know I had to
Jaune.
Jaune: Bleiss no, we're not having sex again...
Bleiss: But Darling! I can still move! 😭
Jaune: Bleiss it isn't the weekend or your birthday, we need you to be able to walk at school, now then we have School tomorr- 'Sigh' Today, in... 3 hours!
Crap Baskets! >///<
I think half the fun of writing Bleiss is deciding how she interacts with others besides Jaune, though her and Jaune is the other half itself ;P
121 notes · View notes
songbirdstyles · a year ago
Text
when the levee breaks
summary: you’re a waitress and harry is being stood up.
warnings: brief smut, angst, fluff, love at first sight <3 kind of
song inspo.: when the levee breaks - led zeppelin
word count: 9.5k
Tumblr media
There’s always a particular vibe you get from people going on first dates.
It’s an easy one to notice and you and your coworkers love pointing it out - it’s an air of hope and romance, people arriving dressed their very best yet still holding some sort of awkwardness. It’s sweet, actually, and quite adorable and they’re always the nicest to you, needing to impress their date and make sure they know that they’re respectful. It’s the same reason they leave such a hefty tip - likely wanting to show they’re, at the very least, wealthy enough to tip 20% on a $100 tab and not have it hurt their pockets, or to prove that they respect waitresses enough to help you pay your rent. They’re always the tables you’re desperate to serve, not only for the tip they leave you but because you love getting a clue as to how the date goes, and most times it’s good. Once, you’d heard the guy’s date inquire about kids before their meals came, and they’d left barely minutes after paying their bill. Another time, a couple had arrived at 6 and hadn’t left until 11 on a Thursday night - nearly two hours after closing, and you’d nearly had to shoo them out the door when they weren’t going fast enough.
It varies often, but still - first date couples are your favourite, and when you see him walk up to the host stand, you know he’s another one.
The uncomfortableness is what tips you off, fiddling with one of the numerous rings on his finger as he leans back and forth on the balls of his feet, waiting behind an elderly couple hoping to grab a table outdoors for some drinks. He’s dressed well, tucking a loose curl behind his ear and rolling up his sleeves and when he makes it up he’s confirming a reservation f’two, under th’name Harry Styles, please. And the girl at the host stand - the youngest host your boss has hired, you reckon, though you’d need to fact check it to be sure - picks up her pen and crosses his name out in the reservation book, a thick line running through his information and phone number before she’s grabbing a stack of menus (specials, wine, beer, and general, respectively) and telling him to follow me this way, sir as she leads him outside.
Well, you don’t see exactly where Brianna takes him before you remember the four waters that table 306 had asked for, and it’s not like you to get distracted like that by a customer - you’ve been a waitress for nearly three years since starting college and yet, no patron has ever caught your eye like Mr. Harry Styles. It’s a damn paradox, really - you only see attractive guys like him when they’re on dates and, by that point, they’re spoken for. There’s no room for you to mosey in and you wouldn’t do that to another girl, anyway, but still. You suppose it doesn’t matter (he looks wealthy enough to leave a good tip with or without a date, truthfully) but it still has you sighing as you grab four glasses, scooping ice into them and beginning to fill them with water.
Distraction is a bad look on a waitress, your manager had told you the last time you’d gotten distracted by a pretty girl and nearly dropped the plate of pasta you were holding. It makes your smile seem forced. And that was the first month you’d started working, before you’d realized that most customers treated the staff like objects to use to make themselves look or feel better - you’d seldom had to use her advice since then. But there’s a first - or second - time for everything, isn’t there? And he is your second time.
 --
 After you’ve delivered your waters, though, you’re made uncomfortably aware of the fact that Brianna had, indeed, seated Harry in your section. And it isn’t a bad thing, per se, except he is the most attractive man you’ve ever met and you can only imagine what his date is going to look like when they show up - probably dressed to the nines like he is, just a tad too fancy for an establishment like this and you’re sure you’ll feel insecure in your work-issued shirt and jeans but you suppose there’s nothing to do about it.
You try not to make it too obvious as you fix your hair, tying your ponytail higher up onto your head because it had been slipping down and you’re really not a huge fan of low ponytails. Normally you don’t mind but - sometimes the circumstances change. 
He’s at table 305, leaning over his phone, fingers drumming against the table when you walk over to him, clutching two coasters in your hands and he looks up at you with a smile as you approach. And it’s easy - giving the same introductory speech you’ve given thousands of times before, telling him your name and how I’m going to be taking care of you tonight. “Can I get you started with something to drink?” you question, eyes flickering inconspicuously to the empty seat across from him. He’d pulled it out slightly, angling it out towards the sidewalk in clear anticipation of when his date enters so she can gracefully sit down without having to make a fuss about pulling the chair out - so he’s a gentleman, and it only worsens your moral dilemma at the situation. 
“I’ll jus’ have a water, f’now,” he responds, smiling up at you and you nod, reaching down to rest one coaster in front of him and the other in front of the other seat. “M’waiting f’someone - then I’ll get somethin’ else.”
“Sounds good,” you tell him, giving him a smile as if you had no idea he was waiting for someone when, in fact, you’d known the second he walked through the doors. Quickly your eyes dart up and down the sidewalk, checking to see if anyone’s walking with their sights set on your restaurant but there’s nobody - perhaps she’s late, or he’s early, but it’s not your place to speculate anyway. “I’ll be right out with that.”
And so you make your way back inside - you have to stop at table 303 because their daughter, so small her legs barely hang off the seat she’s sitting in, has finished her Coke and wants another and you take their dish of risotto balls with you, practically licked clean (in your opinion, they’re the best appetizers on the menu, and you’ve tried just about everything.) 301 got up, leaving nearly half a plate of polpo sitting there and a full untouched bottle of wine and you can recall them specifically declining your request to take their plates earlier, claiming they were still picking at it and clearly they changed their mind - but Brianna’s rushing out to clean everything up before you tell her to, and that’s good of her. She’s new - it’s always good to see the new workers doing well. You’ll tell your manager the next time you see her, you reckon, though you hope it’s not too soon. And then 306 waves you down, seconds away from screaming for you to notice them because the man wants some red pepper flakes to sprinkle onto his pizza and it all stacks up in your mind, but you just smile and nod and turn to rush inside before anyone else can flag you down.
You don’t notice Harry’s eyes on you, but it wouldn’t have mattered anyway.
One Coke and one dish of red pepper flakes later and you’re returning to Harry’s table, resting his drink on his coaster. It’s barely been two minutes since he last requested the water and his initial look of hope and excitement hasn’t faded, even when his eyes flicker down to his phone as though to check for a notification when he thanks you for the water.
Oh, well. Dates are late all the time, and you don’t have time to ponder on it as 304 noisily stacks their plates on top of each other, and you swoop over to grab them before taking them inside. No, it certainly isn’t your place to wonder about the status of his date because you know that you’ve been late to dates too many times than you should’ve, what with classes and work and everything else you have to do in life. You barely have time to date anymore - when you’re not studying so late you can barely keep your eyes open you’re picking up shifts, working your ass off for a paycheck that goes straight to your landlord. You hardly even hang out with your friends anymore and you’re not sure if it’s a healthy sacrifice, giving up your friends to work and study and get far less sleep than the average 22 year old but you don’t quite have a choice, do you?
Maybe his date is in the same situation - you can’t fault her for it. It certainly makes her more relatable to you.
 --
 It’s been fifteen minutes and Harry still sits on his own, nails tapping against his phone screen, turning his head to glance up and down the sidewalk like you had before but there’s no one there to join him. Part of you feels bad as you rest a plate of mozzarella agnolotti in front of the two men at 302 and they dig into it like fucking heathens who haven’t eaten in months, and when you tell them to enjoy they call out thank you with their mouths full, bits of food flying onto the table, and you feel bad for when one of the hostesses has to clean it later.
It’s times like this that you’re thankful to be a waitress and not a host. Those times are few and far between, but they still come.
303 got their entrees and 304 has their check and you don’t have an excuse not to stop back at Harry’s table, even if feeling his eyes on you has your stomach turning and your face heating. Hopefully he can’t notice (and you have gotten fairly skilled at hiding your emotions with a wide smile that’s just about as fake as they come) and your prayers seem to answer themselves when you walk to his table, ducking beneath the umbrella that hangs above the two-top and meeting his eyes.
“You want a refill on that water?” You ask, motioning with a nod down towards his half-empty glass. It’s certainly not low enough to warrant bringing out the water pitcher but you’ll deal with the hassle - going table to table asking if they need refills and all the other shit you have to do because it seems discriminatory when you only offer it to one table. 
He looks up at his glass, tilting his head and screwing up his eyes as though he really needs time to decide whether he needs more water before shaking his head, curls flopping in front of his face as he pulls his glass closer to him. “S’alright.”
“Is your date running late?” And the second the words are out of your mouth you want to smack yourself - you know it’s unprofessional to comment like that especially when it’s that fucking obvious that you’re right. You may as well have asked him if the sky is blue, or if the time really is 6:15. Irrefutable facts are embarrassing to state aloud, especially when it would get you a stern talking to if your manager were to overhear.
But Harry doesn’t seem bothered by it, nor does he seem fazed by your sudden expression like you’d just bit into a lemon. In fact, he takes the comment in stride, resting his palms on the tabletop as he squints up at you - the sun shines behind you and you’re sure it’s in his eyes, and the fact that he took the sunny seat just adds another reason to consider him perfect. “Yeah, she is,” he confesses, twiddling with his rings again, and it’s nearly impossible not to drop your gaze to his fingers and watch him go. “But - y’know - she’s a nurse, an’ all that. Probably just had t’work late an’ forgot t’text. S’alright.”
You’re not sure what to say to that and for a second you stand there in silence as Harry taps his phone, surely checking to see if he’d received a text that hadn’t lit up his phone with the notification but there’s nothing except for the lockscreen - a blurry shot of a black and white cat, face close to the camera and tongue sticking out just so. Instead you clear your throat before saying, “I’ll go grab you some olives.”
“Olives?”
“Yeah - we give everyone assorted olives.” And suddenly, it sounds stupid, like giving your customers olives is something embarrassing when, in fact, it’s customary, but Harry’s looking at you with a certain curiosity, eyes bemused as if you’re entertaining him. “They’re actually quite good. I’m sure you’d like them.”
(In truth, you tried the olives once and had hated them, but you tell your customers that every single thing your restaurant offers is your favourite and the olives are no exception.)
“Oh.” Harry shrugs, then, leaning back in his seat as you duck back out from under his umbrella. “Well, if y’say so, m’sure I’ll like ‘em.”
You smile in agreement and there’s nothing left to add so you head towards the door, wiping your palms on your apron the second you’re inside. You’re sure you’ve had that exact conversation about olives of all things with ten other customers since you’ve worked here but it feels so different with him and it nearly scares you. There’s no reason you should feel so conflicted about a patron on a date who you’ve never met nor seen before but you suppose some things truly are unexplainable.
306 is ready for their check and as you grab a ramekin full of assorted olives you call to ask Brianna to print it out - there’s nobody at the door, anyway, and you need to find an empty dish for the olives, anyway. When you’ve got that and stashed the check in your apron you head back out and Harry’s sitting craning his neck glancing down the sidewalk and you hope, for his sake, that he’s right and she just got caught up at work. (And, for your own very selfish sake, you hope she doesn’t come.)
“I’ve got some olives for you,” you tell him, resting the two ramekins on the table in front of him and he glances down at them with an air of disgust that you most certainly relate to, and your face nearly splits open in a grin. “Well, they’re complimentary, anyway, so if you don’t like them, it’s not too big of a deal.”
“They look divine,” he says, and you know he’s lying but it still makes you smile. “I’ll tell y’how they are.”
“I’ll be waiting,” and that sounds like such a schoolgirl crush response and your face briefly tightens in a cringe before you walk off to 306, pulling their check out and depositing it on their table. None of them even drank their waters that they requested - assholes.
 --
 Holy shit.
You’re really feeling for Harry, now. There’s a new young couple sitting at 301 (certainly not on a first date, you’ll add), holding hands across the table and giggling loudly and they don’t break eye contact even when they place their wine order, and when your eyes flicker over to where Harry’s sitting he’s watching them with an expression that looks just a little like envy. The men at 302 lean over and share a kiss over their pasta and you wish it were socially acceptable to ask every single couple not to fucking look at each other until his date arrives because you can tell it’s killing him - and suddenly, you’re wishing you hadn’t manifested his date not showing up. You’d rather feel the slight tinge of jealousy at watching him woo a girl than feel your stomach turn with every minute that passes without someone taking a seat across from him.
You can practically see the hope leaving his body as a half hour goes by since he’d arrived and he’s still sitting alone, tapping his nails against the condensation that had formed against his glass of water, feet tapping the sidewalk beneath him. The olives sit untouched in their ramekin except for one lonely green out that sits, half eaten, in the empty one you’d given him and after you’ve finished grating parmesan cheese over 301’s calamari and bruschetta, you wrap the cheese back up in its napkin before making your way over to him, ducking beneath the umbrella and sending him a smile that he reciprocates, albeit smaller than it had been before.
“Do you want to put in an appetizer to be here when she arrives?” you ask, pulling your pad and pen out of your apron and watching as he glances down at the menu he clutches in his hands. You know what the answer’s going to be before you’ve even asked the question but it’s unbearable watching him sit doing nothing, and you’re sure he’s hungry. He doesn’t seem like the kind of guy to eat before a date though you’re not totally positive what kind of guy would - anyway, it’s easy realize he’s yearning for food by the way he’d been sucking on his straw just moments before when you’d been taking 301’s appetizer order, even though all that’s left in his glass are a few measly ice cubes.
“S’fine,” he insists. “I don’t want t’order somethin’ and then have her not like it - y’know?” And he trails his finger along the appetizer section of the menu as if to showcase the amount of options, chest rising and falling in a sigh. You nod, giving him a tight lipped smile as you shut your notepad and slide it and your pen into your apron, smoothing your palms over the front of it again.
“Yeah, I know.”
Then he pushes the olives away from him, ramekins sliding against the tabletop and you grin as you look down at them before glancing back up at him, raising your eyebrows with mock surprise. “I guess you didn’t like the olives, then.”
Harry shakes his head, bringing a hand up to wipe his hair out of his eyes and you almost want to recommend that he put his hair in a ponytail (it seems to get in the way of a lot of stuff for him) but, truthfully, you love seeing his hair down. It looks so soft and luscious and you’re sure it smells spectacular, though you’ll never truly know. “I hated them,” he confesses, and you miss the way his lips turn into a smile as you giggle, sticking the full ramekin into the empty one to make it easier to carry. “D’you seriously like ‘em? They’re horrid.”
You’re supposed to say yes, but you can’t lie to him - not when he’s already having a rough night. “I don’t like them, either,” you agree, scrunching your nose as you look down at the variously coloured olives in your hands. “But, according to my manager, I love everything at this restaurant.”
He laughs at that - a genuine one, too, tossing his head back so his hair falls off his shoulders and you can’t stop yourself from laughing along with him. He’s contagious in every sense of the word and you’ve never met anyone like that - you’re smiling with him and feeling your heart break for him all at the same time and you’re not sure you’ve ever experienced it before. “Well, s’good t’know,” Harry says when he’s stopped laughing, swirling his straw around his glass so the ice cubes clink together. “I’ll take your advice wit’ a grain f’salt, shouldn’t I.”
“I’ll be honest with you,” you insist. “You’re special.” Your tone is teasing and to anyone listening in it’s clearly a joke but you gnaw on your tongue after the words are out anyway - he just smiles down at the table, scratching the surface with his nails.
“M’glad.” And your eyes scan the rest of your tables on instinct - 306 is up and there’s a stack of plates at 303 that you need to bring inside, but if it were up to you, you’d spend the rest of your day ducked into Harry’s umbrella, listening to him speak. But - well - you’re not being paid to talk to a pretty boy, most unfortunately, and you step out from under his covering to check out your other tables when - “Wait!”
You turn back around and Harry’s leaning back, holding his hand over his eyes to look at you and you take a step back over to him, bending down ever so slightly so you can hear him over the shitty music your boss insists on playing too loud to your outdoor guests. “Could I have a coke, please?” he questions, and you nod. “Thanks.”
Your other tables can wait - you scurry back inside, heading to the service station because you’d rather die than make him wait an extra second longer for his coke. Lauren - the other waitress on duty tonight - stands unwrapping a cheesecake to prepare for one of her tables and she looks at you with an arched eyebrow. “Who were you talking to?”
You shrug and you hope it isn’t painfully clear how your heartbeat thumps against your chest like a damn drum. “Just the guy at 305.”
“Oh.” Lauren pauses where she’s mixing the tupperware container of homemade whip cream to place on the cheesecake as you fill your glass with ice. “What’s his deal?”
“I think he’s being stood up,” you tell her.
 --
 Your suspicion is confirmed the next time you drop by Harry’s table, when he’s chugged his entire Coke and the rest of his water and he simply sits there, scrolling on his phone, and it’s like you can see how his battery has drained.
“Hey,” you call, voice soft as though you’re talking to a child, but you need to assess how upset he is about the situation before speaking in any other manner. You’d made the mistake before, started chatting too cheerfully to a lady being stood up and she’d shouted at you, called you a wench and a bastard and all other sorts of names you couldn’t recall before storming out, leaving a $20 for her three glasses of wine.
It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
“Has she texted you?” you ask, motioning down towards his phone. It’s certainly not allowed to speak to customers in such a casual manner about things other than the menu and whether they’d like to split the check but nobody’s around to reprimand you for bending the rules a bit - why not? 
He shakes his head - it’s what you’d expected but your heart still aches for him and you wish you could reach out, perhaps give him a hug if he’d want it or listen to him rant about the situation. Anything to make him feel better. “S’okay,” he insists, and to his defense he can play the part well. Doesn’t seem entirely too torn up about it and he’s looking at you like you’re a friend rather than his waitress and it makes you feel comfortable. “But - f’you don’t mind - can I order an appetizer now?” You smile, already fishing for your notepad and your pen (a sparkly black one, just for the sake of being fun.) You’re glad he’s getting something and if his date happens to show up, she’d ought to eat whatever he chooses simply as an apology for being over a goddamn hour late. “Sure.”
“What’s your favorite?”
The question takes you by surprise but you regain composure quickly, feeling your face and neck heat up because Harry’s staring at you as though you’re some sort of God - like you hold the answer to the meaning of life instead of the best thing on the menu and it makes you feel good. Appreciated. “I love the risotto balls,” you admit, shifting to stand next to him so you can trace your finger along the menu in his hands, pointing to the very first appetizer listed on the page. “And the shrimp and broccoli rabe is delicious.”
“I hope you’re not lying t’me.”
“I told you,” you begin, meeting his small smile with a wider one of your own and it achieves its desired effect - his spreads wider, and you wonder if he thinks that you’re as contagious as you consider him to be. “I’ll never lie to you.”
“And why’s that?”
He’s full of questions. “Because you’re a nice customer.” It’s sort of the truth, though you think you’d scare him away if you told him the full entire truth is that he’s the most gorgeous man you’ve laid eyes on in your life. “When some customers are assholes, I tell them to get the vongole - it’s horrible.”
He raises his eyebrows at that with another grin, resting his menu down on the table and gazing up at you with his full attention. “Well, I trust you. I’ll get the risotto balls, in tha’ case. An’ then - whenever she gets here, I’ll get something else.”
You murmur sounds good and you don’t have to write it down in your notepad to remember it. You’d nearly gotten carried away with the conversation, nearly forgotten that he’s being fucking stood up and probably doesn’t want you to flirt with him like an idiot because you’re sure acting like one. God, no other waitresses act like this with their customers and you really, truly never have before - yet it’s something about him. You can’t fucking help yourself.
You take his Coke to refill it - he doesn’t ask and you won’t charge him for it. He simply deserves it, and you think that’s reason enough to bring the glass back inside, fill it to the top with soda and deliver it back on top of his coaster the next time you go outside to make your rounds. Harry’s appreciative, naturally, and has no reason to question why you gave him another drink to begin with. For all he knows, your restaurant has free refills, and you’ll let him think that. There’s no reason to make him pay for another drink - he’s having a bad enough day already - even though, when you’d glanced down at the watch adorning his wrist as you’d given him his drink and seen that it’s Gucci. 
No amount of money can buy a first date, you suppose, and you hate yourself for thinking it. You’d give him a first date. A million, in fact. And it’ll never happen but you can certainly dream, and you hope it doesn’t show in your eyes as the men at 302 order a panna cotta and cheesecake for dessert - 301 is digging into their pizza, looking so hopelessly in love with each other, and you catch Harry looking at them again.
The risotto balls are ready for him when you’ve delivered the desserts to 302, and you grab the plate and a block of parmesan and head right out to him. His eyes are on you the moment you step out the door, gaze looking ravenous and he’s most certainly just excited for his appetizer but you still let his watchful eye make your stomach turn.
No parmesan cheese for him - well, that’s fine. You tuck the block under your arm and tell him to enjoy, and he tells you he most certainly will before digging in and it only confirms your suspicion that he was fucking starving. In fact, by the time you’ve finished chatting to 304 about how delicious their gamberetti pizza was, one of the balls on the plate is gone and he’s staring at the second one like a man dying of hunger, but he doesn’t touch it. Surely waiting for his date to arrive to feast on it while he can talk about how nervous he was that she wasn’t going to show up that he was even entertaining the flirtatious waitress.
Gentleman.
 --
 The next twenty minutes are a blur - 304 is up and two tables in Lauren’s section are, too, and you don’t have much else to do so you help Brianna clear and wipe and set them all. By the time you’ve finished and returned the hostess’s grateful smile 302 wants more drinks and a chocolate mousse to split, and you pick up their empty panna cotta and cheesecake dishes and rush them back inside. 301 decides they want their check and they look like they’ve gotten into some sort or argument and you’re almost glad - though you’re sure they’ll be too angry to leave a good tip, you’ll take it if it means it may make Harry feel a bit better about being alone.
It’s 8:15 PM the next time you risk a glance at your phone. Only forty five minutes until you close and there haven’t been any new table sat for the better half of twenty minutes and you pray it stays that way - or, at the very least, they go to Lauren’s section instead of yours. Brianna is clearing 301 (they got up and left in a hurry and, as you’d expected, your tip is a few measly dollars) and your other tables have no need for your assistance yet so you make a beeline to Harry’s table the second you get outside and he’s watching you, sad smile toying at the corner of his lips.
“How were the risotto balls?” you inquire, drumming your fingers against his table. It’s a silly question because anyone with eyes can see how he’d gobbled half of the appetizer up, the other still untouched in their bowl of sauce, ricotta lazily tossed on top of it. You’re sure it’s cold now but you don’t quite mind them when they’re chilly - may even taste better than having them sizzling hot. “Looks like you liked them.”
He nods, pushing the plate away from him as though he can’t stand to be near it. “It’s really good,” Harry tells you and pats himself firmly on the stomach twice to prove it. It’s a silly motion that brings a smile to your lips anyway and you really, truly can’t help it. “M’gonna save the other one f’when she gets here.”
Hope is a good thing to have, you decide, and he’s clearly still holding onto it. You’d never been stood up before but you’re sure you’d have given up on the idea of a first date long before he had and you applaud him internally for that - he’s patient and kind and understanding, you decide. Much more tolerant than anyone else you know would be in this sort of situation and it only adds to the growing desire you have for him, but you push it down - for the sake of professionalism. “Well, that’s nice,” you tell him and he smiles, the expression tight and complimentary. “Can I get you anything else?”
“M’good,” Harry says, “but - can y’show me where the bathroom is inside?” He motions with one swirling finger to the empty glasses in front of him and his grin looks rather embarrassed when he looks back up to you. “Think I drank m’drinks a bit too fast.”
You laugh out loud at that and if he notices that your giggling goes on for just a beat longer than  appropriate, he doesn’t acknowledge it and wow, don’t you feel like a damn schoolgirl with a crush. Laughing at his joke-that-wasn’t-a-joke and feeling your face burn up when you look at him and having your stomach turn when he stands up to follow you into the restaurant and holy hell, he’s tall. You feel embarrassed walking in with him behind you because you’re not sure what he’s looking at, and what if you have a stain on your jeans? Or the back of your shirt? He’s dressed so nice and your face is fucking flaming and you avoid eye contact with Lauren as you point him towards the restroom.
“Thanks, love,” he says, voice thick and heavy as he maneuvers through the indoor tables to get to the restroom and you send him off with a small wave - just a jerk of your hand - and the second he’s out of sight you wipe your palms on your apron again.
Lauren’s making a cappuccino and so you flock over to her, naturally. You can tell she just redid her ponytail because it sits higher on her head and you think you should do that too, so you pull your black scrunchie out of your hair and work on assembling it into a better ponytail.
“That’s the guy from 305, isn’t it?” she questions.
“The guy I took to the bathroom?”
“Yeah.”
“Oh - yeah.” You swallow, bending down to glance into the metal of the espresso machine to see your blurred reflection, making sure your ponytail is as smooth as possible before tying it up. “Yeah, that’s him. He’s nice.”
She hums softly, grabbing a small spoon and stirring the coffee once then twice before resting it inside the cup, already reaching for another cup to begin another. “Are you sure he’s being stood up?”
You scrunch up your nose, leaning back against the counter and tilting your head in slight confusion. “I’m pretty positive - he’s been here for, like, an hour and 15 minutes waiting for a girl and he’s still hopeful that she’s going to come.” And then you sigh, the noise overly dramatic and your coworker rolls her eyes. “Why?”
“He was checking you out, babe.”
You raise your eyebrows, head turning to the side so fast you swear you nearly get whiplash as you stare at Lauren. She simply stands, making her cappuccino as if she hadn’t just blew you away with her observation and you’re sure it meant nothing but it still has your heart thumping violently against your chest and you exhale. “No, he wasn’t.”
“Girl, I was watching - he was. His eyes never left your ass. He almost ran into the door, too.”
“You’re lying.” “Why would I lie? He’s cute, isn’t he? Aren’t you happy?”
“Laur, he’s being stood up. I know he is. He’s not focusing on my ass - he’s probably crying in the bathroom right now.”
She laughs at that, hooking her finger in the handles of the two cappuccinos, steam billowing from both of them like a fire. “Well, maybe he is being stood up, but - I swear to god - he’s into you.” And then she’s walking back down the aisle between tables to reach the front of the restaurant, headed out the door without another glance as if she hadn’t just dropped a bomb on you and you stare after her, mouth agape and palms sweating and you wipe them on your apron once more.
 --
 Harry returns to his seat and, for a while, you don’t check on him.
He seems fine, anyway. Decently enough. Sure, his drinks are still empty  in front of him and he leaves that one risotto ball alone and, every so often, he glances up and down the sidewalk before bringing his gaze back down to his phone but it doesn’t quite look like he needs anything.
Anyway, it’s 8:30. Even if she shows up they wouldn’t be able to stay very long and, no matter what, he deserves a fulfilling first date. Maybe she did get caught at work and, when he leaves, they’ll laugh about it. Reschedule it for a different day where he picks her up from her house, and then who knows? Maybe they’ll go ice skating or see a movie. And this entire situation will be something they’ll laugh out and forget and they’ll probably get fucking married, with your luck.
You’d be happy for him, of course. And even though you’ll likely never speak to him again after he leaves for the night, you do want the best for him, though you think the best for him would be you and not some girl who stood him up with no text.
303 is gone after spending entirely too long sitting and chatting and you wave them off with a goodbye and a bright smile, grabbing their check just as Brianna runs out to begin clearing it off. Full glasses of water are dumped into the plants and you help her bring them inside before going to deposit the check - it’s a nice tip and you’re thankful. They’d been a kind enough table but sometimes those are the type to screw you over with the tip and you’re beyond glad they hadn’t - you’ve had a strange enough night without the added weight of no tip.
You head back outside with 302’s check and drop it at their table, returning their grateful smile with one of your own. There’s nowhere else to go or visit besides 305 and so you head over to him, ducking underneath his umbrella for what seems like the thousandth time that day and it’s then that you can see his face, ever so slightly crestfallen as he stares at his phone and your heart just about drops into your ass, and without a second thought you pull out the empty seat across from him and sit.
“What’s wrong?” you ask and you’re fairly certain you already know, but there’s no shame in inquiring further - his phone is clutched in his hand and he looks up at you before clearing his throat and that’s enough confirmation for you.
“She’s out wit’ her friends - they’re at a bar.” And, as if to prove it to you, he slides his phone across the table to you and you crane your neck to glance down at the screen and it’s an Instagram story - a boomerang of four girls clinking their drinks together, and you scrunch your nose. “She’s the one on the right.”
The one on the right is decently pretty - blonde hair straightened and falling down her back, drink spilling over the edges of her glass when she clicks it too enthusiastically with her friends. Her dress is tight and sparkly and nearly overpowers the entire story and you can already make your mind up about how you feel about her and, needless to say, it isn’t good.
“Oh.” You watch the boomerang for another couple of seconds before pushing his phone back over to him and he gives you a tight lipped grin. “I’m sorry, Harry. That really sucks.”
“S’alright.” He shrugs and you can tell it isn’t alright but you don’t say anything else until he adds, “I wasn’t tha’ into her, anyway. M’friend wanted to set us up. I guess she wasn’t really into it but - I wasn’t either. S’all fair.”
Your heart hurts for him - she wasn’t into it but you know he was and before you can think to stop yourself you reach over, resting your hand over his and holy shit. You shouldn’t do that. He can lie and say he doesn’t mind but you know he does and you’re still his fucking waitress - you shouldn’t touch him like you’ve known him any longer than two hours. Just as you go to pull away with a frenzied apology he’s turning his hand around so your palms are pressed together and then he squeezes your hand with a soft sigh and you’re nearly paralyzed at the motion.
It can’t be more than a few seconds that you two sit like that, his hand tight around yours and you can hardly breathe, heart thumping in your chest before he says, “What time d’you close?”
“Uh -” you clear your throat just as he releases your hand and you withdraw it immediately - your hands are sweating and you press them on the table. “We close at 9, but - I only have one more table, and they’re about to leave … so …”
“What else d’you have t’do?”
“All my closing stuff,” you begin, sticking up your fingers as you list each one. “I need to roll silverware, get ice, put the glasses away, take the trash from the bathroom. And then I’ll probably get something to eat.”
Harry nods, gazing almost wistfully into the night as though he’s some sort of philosopher and you lean in, waiting to hear whatever he has to say next - “Could y’eat with me when y’get your food? If y’don’t mind.” And it takes you a moment to react as he adds, “S’just - you’re nice t’talk to, an’ all tha’. But y’don’t have to.”
You swallow thickly, already feeling your stomach flipping and your knee jiggling and you nod - first a quick jerk of your head, up and down, and then faster. 302 is arranging their stuff to leave, grabbing their boxes and shoving their credit cards into their pockets and you wish you could tell them to get the hell out because you can’t start closing until they leave and now you really have a motivation to leave. “Yeah. That - that sounds good.”
It sounds more than good, in fact, and you don’t even care if you’re some sort of rebound to him in this moment - you’ll take it. You’ll eat your dinner with him and then whatever comes after - you don’t care. You just want tonight, or, at the very least, right now, and anything after that is simply a bonus and you’ll deal with it later because he wants to eat with you. He wants to hang out with you. He likes you, and maybe even in that way, too.
You’re standing up uncomfortably fast, nearly tripping over the seat you’d inhabited as you rub your palms together. “Well - um. My other table is getting ready to leave, so I’m gonna - gonna start doing my stuff.”
“Sounds good,” and he’s so casual with it that it sends heat blazing up your cheeks, and you turn to head back inside with a newly found skip in your step that’s too full of joy to be embarrassing.
Brianna’s already begun the silverware when you get inside - with only 2 tables left, there’s no need for her to stay, but you tell her that you’ll roll if she does the other closing duties and she accepts because she’s horrific at rolling silverware. They’re always loose and lumpy and too big or too small and none of you want to tell her because it’s easier to just make pretend like it’s your favorite closing duty to do - well, whatever. She’s gone downstairs to get a bucket of ice before she can ponder on your insistence and you settle in your seat, grabbing a knife and two forks and resting them in the middle of your linen to begin to roll.
You have the motion down nearly to an instinct and it gives you time to glance outside. Through the windows you can see just the side profile of Harry’s face, only slightly illuminated by his phone screen as his lips wrap around his straw, surely sucking on the dissolved ice cubes in one of his glasses and it makes your heart beat faster in your chest - you nearly drop a fork when you go to begin a new roll.
 --
 Your pasta is ready entirely too soon.
You’re finished rolling silverware and the ice is filled and the bathrooms are stocked and clean but you hadn’t emotionally prepared yourself enough to eat with him. But your fettuccine sits, steaming on the counter ready for you to pick up and you stab the ticket once you’ve confirmed it’s yours, grabbing the burning hot plate with your one hand and grabbing a spoon with the other.
You can still see Harry’s side profile when you peer out the window and he’s glancing around, eyes darting from the sidewalk to the door as though he’s waiting for you and you know you can’t keep him alone for another second, so you inhale a deep sigh and walk out the door, pasta in hand.
He just about perks up when he sees you, back straightening and dropping his phone onto the table. You swear he’s about to get up and pull the chair out for you, too, but you beat him to it - duck underneath the umbrella and rest your plate on the table, slipping into your chair with ease and a soft cough into your fist.
(You’re not sick - not in the slightest. It just alleviates your stress, you suppose. Eliminates some awkward silence.)
“Hey,” Harry says, elbows resting on the table so he can look at you in full and you can already feel your body flaming as you pick up your spoon, sifting it through the thick pasta on your plate. Alfredo - God, it’s your favorite. You’ve been trying to branch out and try more things on the menu but it always takes you back to your damn fettuccine alfredo. “I hope this isn’t weird.”
“It’s not weird,” you insist, collecting a spoonful of pasta and bringing it to your mouth. The smell is intoxicating and you pause when the spoon is just an inch from your mouth. “I’m sure you had a rough night.”
He shrugs, leaning back in his seat as you take a bite, chewing slowly and thoughtfully as though you’re pondering something important. “It wasn’t too rough,” he tells you, and you raise your eyebrows. “It would’ve been bad - but you helped.”
“Really?”
“Sure y’did.” You take another spoonful of fettuccine as he continues. “It sucks t’be stood up, but you were nice.”
“I could tell you were upset.”
“An’ you couldn’t tell you were makin’ it better?”
You think for a moment - think back on the countless interactions you’d had with the near-stranger sitting across from you, pulling the plate with one lone risotto ball over to him - and then shake your head. “I just thought you were being sweet.”
He laughs, reaching for his abandoned fork resting on the side of the plate and cutting in to the second risotto ball - you can tell how much he’d been longing to eat it simply from the expression on his face when he takes the first bite - with a shrug. “Sure I was,” and you laugh at that, ripping the piece of bread on the side of your plate and half and dipping it in the sauce, “but you must’ve realized I like you - didn’t you?”
“Well, I did think it was curious that you held my hand.”
“Y’did it first.”
“Well, the technicalities don’t matter.”
It brings a grin to your face to hear Harry laugh at you, curls flopping in his face, crossing his arms over his chest as he chews on a particularly large bite of his risotto ball. Your pasta is already nearly gone (you’d vastly underestimated how hungry you were) and you scrape the sides of the plate with your bread, collecting all of the excess sauce on the dough. “Was feeling a bit guilty,” you confess, drumming your fingertips on the tabletop, and he tilts his head at you, “‘cause I was starting to feel a bit thankful you got stood up.”
For a moment you wonder if you’d said the wrong thing - if you’ve ruined this entire thing before it’s even started, because it’s an uncomfortably real risk -, but then he’s reaching out to rest his hand overtop of yours and your body overflows with relief. “I agree,” he murmurs, squeezing your hand, and you swallow. “Y’had me prayin’ she wasn’t going to show up.”
You smile, looking down at the table and your empty plate and his half eaten risotto ball that he’s already taking another bite of and it all seems so surreal - like you’re going to wake up in your bed an hour before your shift starts, cursing yourself out for creating such an immersive reality - but nothing about his touch on yours is fake. It’s all so spectacular - so real - and you exhale. “We’re closing in 5 minutes,” you tell him, and his eyebrows scrunch together like he’s seen something he regrets. “Reckon we should take this someplace else?” “Someplace else?”
Your stomach flips and you wonder for what feels like the millionth time this evening if you’d made a mistake - read him wrong - took things too far. It’s an unfortunate habit you have and you certainly wouldn’t be shocked if you’ve put your foot in it this early into the relationship - you’ll regret it, but you regret a lot of things. In a couple of weeks, you’ll forget about it, won’t you? You’ve done it before. But you simply shrug, motioning with your free hand to the empty tables among you both. “I live - um - a couple blocks up the road. If you want to come over. And - it’s fine if you don’t - just putting it out there.”
Harry stares at you, expression nearly blank, for a beat too long and you shift in your seat - but then there’s a smile stretching across his face, and he pushes his half-eaten risotto ball in towards the center of the table. “That sounds perfect,” he tells you, and your heart thumps in your chest once more.
 --
 For the record, you hadn’t anticipated having anyone over to your apartment tonight, and it shows.
There’s dirty dishes from the previous two days piled in the sink, shoes strewn all over the entryway and when you peer your head into the sitting room, your pajamas are strewn over the couch next the wine stain you’d spent hours trying to scrub out. Your face burns as you turn the lights on and Harry steps inside, head turning left and right as he examines your living space and you wish you’d cleaned up after yourself before you left for work - you’ve been meaning to do the dishes - why hadn’t you done them?
“It’s - um - not much,” you begin, shutting and locking the door firmly behind you and motioning with your arms to the entirety of your apartment. “And it’s kind of dirty. I just didn’t expect anyone to come here, or I would’ve fixed it up a bit.”
He smiles, peering at the photos adorning your walls. “Don’ worry ‘bout it,” he insists, bringing his finger up to trail along the high school graduation photo you’d taken with all of your friends until he spots you, smack in the middle, holding up your diploma with a wide grin - you don’t speak to half of the people in that photo anymore, but you love it. Love reminiscing on a time before college and work and rent, where you could just relax with your friends. “Y’look awfully pretty in this photo.”
“Thank you,” you murmur, clasping your hands behind your back as you watch Harry examine each photo. None of them are interesting enough to warrant his level of attention and you’re sure he’s simply trying to be polite but you still appreciate it - it’s nice to imagine that he has that much interest in a photo your mother had taken of you and your dog on a hike. “Do you want me to - to pour some wine or something?”
“That’s alright,” he says, turning around to face you and you glance up at him with a soft smile as he rests his hand on your shoulder, fingertips trailing up and down your arm and sending goosebumps popping up over your skin. You can’t remember the last time you’d felt like this about a boy and it’s making you fucking crazy, torn between wanting to wrap your arms around him or have him bend you over the counter - you can’t quite decide. 
“Alright.” You roll on the balls of your feet as Harry steps into your kitchen, leaning against the counter with an air of casual arrogance and adoration as he stares down at you. You pad into the kitchen behind him and press your palms to the countertop, lifting yourself up to sit beside him, and you hum softly. “Well - we could talk, then.”
“Y’wanna talk?”
“I wanna do whatever you wanna do,” you confess, and it’s the truth.
He hums at that, tugging his bottom lip between his teeth and you watch him, breath caught in your throat, as he pushes himself from the counter, doing nearly a full spin before landing directly in front of you and your knees part to allow him in between them like an instinct - your face heats as he pushes himself closer to you, thighs closing around his waist. “Y’seem nervous,” he says, palms pressing to the counter on either side of your body and you inhale a shaky breath, shaking your head.
“I’m not nervous,” you tell him, even if it’s a little white lie. “I just haven’t done this in a while -” and that isn’t a lie in the slightest.
“Ah,” and then Harry nods like some sort of therapist, hands already dropping to your waist, fingertips scratching at zipper of your jeans as if testing the waters. “An’ you’re sure y’want this?”
“I’m positive - please, Harry, I really want this. Wanted this from - from the second I saw you.”
It’s all the approval he needs, undoing the button and zipper of your jeans with ease and you loop your arms around his neck, using him as leverage to lift your hips up and he pulls your jeans off and down your thighs, leaving them bunched up by your knees. The next step is your panties, so damp you can tell he feels it through the fabric when he pressed his fingers against you and your hips jerk into his hands, dropping your head into his shoulder as he exhales.
“I’ll go slow,” he tells you, voice low and raspy and you’re not sure if he’s trying to make it sound like that or if it just naturally happens - well, you can’t decide which one is hotter, truthfully. “Jus’ wanna make y’feel good, love.”
“Mhm,” you nod, gnawing on your bottom lip as Harry hooks two fingers in the crotch part of your panties, pulling them to the side and the cold air of your apartment hits your cunt in a way that has your breathing picking up and he pauses, fingers so dangerously close to where you need them. You know he’s going to ask if you’re okay - if you want him to stop - and you don’t, not by a fucking long shot, and you push your hips into his hand as way of answering his unasked question.
Harry takes the hint, of course. He isn’t stupid.
Two fingers circle your clit, spreading your moisture along the sensitive nub like he’s been wanting to do it all fucking night - there’s some sort of desperation to his movements that has your legs tightening around him, head burying further into his shoulder, and his free arm hooks around one of your thighs, hoisting it further up his waist. His breathing is hot against your head as his digits slide up and down your folds and you’re not sure if he’s attempting to tease you or not but, no matter, it’s working. You’re ready to get on your knees and beg for him if you need to, but just as the thought crosses your mind, his fingers dip down to slide in between your folds.
A soft moan emits from your throat as his hand smooths up and down your thigh, fingers dipping just barely into your cunt before pulling out - and he does it a few times, giving you a bit of what you want and then tearing it away and you whine, thrusting your hips into his hands and Harry presses a kiss to the side of your head before sliding his fingers inside of you. Two to start, just to ease you in, pushing them in slow and steady until you can feel his cool rings pressed against your pussy and you throw your head back with a moan.
He pauses, lip still between his teeth as he stares at you, your chest heaving beneath him and body fucking quivering in his gasp. “Tell me how it feels,” he breathes, tongue darting out to lick at his lips, and you swallow your desperate whine for him to move.
“Feels so good,” you murmur, smoothing your hands up and down his neck as he stares at you as though daring you to break his gaze. “Please, Har -”
“Please what?”
“Fuck me - with your fingers, Har, please - make me feel so good -” and just to top off your request you lean in, crashing your lips so violently against his that your teeth clash and tongues collide, and you can taste everything you’d served him that evening and holy hell it tastes delicious. Perhaps it’s just him, dropping your thigh against the table so he can grab onto the back of your neck and keep your face attached to his, lips parted and wild and dominant as he pulls his fingers out and pushes them back in with a newfound vigor -
The levee breaks, then, with your lips mashed together, and you’re more than thankful for it.
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zafirosreverie · 6 months ago
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Must be the eyes (Teacher!Agatha X Fem!Student!Reader) part 6
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(Part 1) (Part 2) (part 3) (part 4) (part 5)
a/n: i regret nothing
- - - - - - - 
"So" Nick smiled, and you immediately regretted saying anything to him, but you really didn't have anyone else (and you loved him).
"Okay yeah! I owe you two trips to the movies" you grunted "can we focus please?!"
"Y/N, I've been telling you since the beginning!" he laughed
"I know, I know!" you sighed "But put yourself in my shoes, Nick, how could I believe that my teacher was flirting with me?" you whispered
"We could all see it, Y/N"
"Liar"
"Okay, only I could, but that's only because the rest of our classmates are too scared of her to pay attention," he said.
"Yes, yes, whatever you say" you rolled your eyes "what do I do now, Nick?!"
"Excuse me?" he raised his eyebrow "... Y/N, I love you but ..."
You cringed when he, out of nowhere, started hitting you with the notebook he was holding in his hands and on which he was writing notes for his essay.
"Ouch!" you said, taking the notebook from him "what the hell was that for?!"
"To get you some common sense woman!" he exclaimed, snatching the notebook from you again "What am I going to do" he said, imitating your voice mockingly
"Nick-"
"You kiss her, Y/N! YOU KISS HER!"
"Are you crazy?!" you yelled
"Stop saying that!" He frowned "Y/N, don't you realize that you are living the fantasy of many?! You have a crush on a teacher, she has a crush on you, the two of you are sharing a room ... And you don't want to kiss her?!"
"Lower your voice or I'll strangle you" you hissed
He only looked at you for a moment, letting you think for a while. You sighed after a few seconds.
"Of course I want to kiss her, Nick ... more than anything" you admitted quietly "But ... I'm scared"
"About what?" I ask
"That I might like it"
Nick looked at you compassionately and hugged you with a sigh. Of all the people, he knew how difficult it was for you to open up to people, to trust them. He knew that your last relationship had hurted you (you had lived with him for a week, crying until you were tired and he had made sure you ate at least once a day). He understood perfectly that you were afraid, not only because of the difference in age or status between the two of you, but because of the possibility that for Harkness it was just something of the moment.
You didn't want to have illusions if you were only going to end up hurt. You didn't want to be a toy.
Nick didn't pressure you to keep talking. He just let you lie down next to him on the grass, and rest your head on his chest. If you were to cry, he would be there for you. He always would be.
______________
Agatha felt her blood boiling as she looked at the two of you lying on the grass hugging each other. She didn't want to admit it, but she felt a big hole in her chest. Part of her, deep inside, she had thought that perhaps last night she had done something for you, that perhaps, you had taken another step in the direction that she so desperately wanted.
But it seemed not. She was wrong again.
"Are you okay?" Wanda asked, carefully approaching the brunette
"Yes" she lied
"Aggie" the redhead sighed "You can't continue like this"
"Like what, Maximoff?" Agatha looked at the younger woman with a raised eyebrow
"Torturing yourself"
"Excuse me?" the other woman laughed dryly "I have no idea what-"
"Y/L/N" the redhead interrupted, causing the brunette to look away and cross her arms
"What about her?" she asked
"Aggie, you can lie to her, to yourself and to the whole world. But not to me" Wanda said
"If you're going to start over again with-"
"Yes, yes I will!" the youngest hissed "You feel something for her, I see it in your eyes, the way you look at her and how much your mood changes around her"
"You're delirious Maximoff" said the other woman, dismissing the argument.
Wanda said nothing, but she frowned and clenched her fists. Her patience had run out and she was not going to tolerate the other's lies. She tightly took her friend's arm (she was sure it would leave a mark on her) and pulled her with her to take her away from there. She completely ignored the other's protests and didn't stop until they were behind the bus. Wanda pushed Agatha hard against the vehicle and glared at her.
"What the hell is wrong with you?!" the brunette almost screamed
"I'm done!" replied the redhead "I'm tired of seeing you like this! You think I don't realize it but you're not very subtle Harkness. I realize how you look at her, as if she was something precious that you can't have, how you follow her, how you care for her, how much you care about her "
"That's not-"
"It's true and you know it!" Wanda screamed, making the brunette jump a bit "Damn, Aggie, even Jimmy noticed!"
"What?!" Agatha gasped. Oh no, she was in trouble. Woo sure would tell Monica and she would go straight to the council, she would lose her job and-
"He won't tell anyone" assured the redhead, as if reading her thoughts "Neither of us will" she promised
The older woman only looked at her for a moment, not sure what to say. She knew she could trust her, and that her redhead wasn't going to judge her, but it wasn't her she was afraid to tell the truth. It was herself.
If she confessed her feelings for you to Wanda, it would make them real. It meant having to face them and not being able to surround them as she had always done. And it was a terrifying idea.
"She isn't subtle either, Aggie" Wanda said, a little calmer "I think everyone knows about her crush on you" she smiled
"It's not the same" the brunette finally said "For a student to fall in love with a teacher is not strange. But a teacher with a student? It's wrong"
"Who says?"
Agatha looked at her like she was stupid "The school laws? The principals?"
"As if you care about school laws" the redhead rolled her eyes "And we both know that not only the students are afraid of you, but the whole staff too"
"I'm not in the mood for jokes, Maximoff" sighed the older woman.
"I'm sorry" the other apologized "I'm just saying think about it. Y/N's a very pretty girl, and she's already an adult, there's nothing wrong in this"
"I'm twice her age" the brunette said "And she's a student, I could lose my job"
"Only if they find out" Wanda winked at her.
"Wanda-"
"Neither Jimmy nor I will say anything, I swear. And I'm sure that you and Y/L/N can keep a low profile until she graduates. She's a senior, Aggie, you can put up with a few months in hiding."
Agatha seemed to think about it for a moment, a spark of hope in her chest. Wanda was right, you could hide for a while, while you graduated. But there was something in the way the redhead said it. She was painting her a beautiful picture, but the brunette knew it was too risky.
Agatha Harkness was not a woman who was afraid of risks, but she could not risk you. If they found out, the worst thing that could happen to her was to lose her job, but it could ruin your career for you. She wasn't going to allow that. She couldn’t.
"I can't risk her like this" she sighed "That's why I need you to do me a favor"
"What?" the redhead frowned
"Switch rooms with me"
"What? Why?"
"Wanda" the brunette sighed "I can't keep sleeping in the same room as her ... I'm already a walking mess and it's only been four days!"
"Aggie-"
"Please"
Wanda looked at her friend for a moment, surprised to see her so vulnerable. If she knew something, since her own school days, it was that Agatha Harkness did NOT beg. And yet here she was, in front of her, begging. For you.
"... okay" she nodded, making the brunette sigh in relief "But ..."
"But what?" the older woman frowned
"But" the redhead repeated "We will do it tomorrow"
"No" the brunette crossed her arms
"Aggie, we can't change the room like this, we have to notify management."
"I can't spend another night with her, Wanda. I don't know if I'll be able to control myself anymore."
"... Just one night, Aggie" Wanda sighed "Just ... hang on one more night"
Agatha looked at her. She wasn't sure she could. But still she nodded in defeat.
"One night" she agreed
"One night" promised the redhead.
________________
"You are a fool" you laughed
Nick had taken you around the plaza (you couldn't get too far, the teachers' orders) in an attempt to calm you down. It had worked, and his banter was always appreciated.
"Well someone has to be the fool in this relationship! You stole the brain" he joked
You laughed again and playfully punched him on the chest. You were so grateful to have him. You were holding hands and so he led you to a bench, pulling you to sit with him.
"Do you feel better?" he asked
"Much" you agreed "thank you"
"Any time, princess" he smirked as you leaned on his shoulder.
For anyone, it would be a beautiful and tender scene. Maybe even the birth of a beautiful relationship. It made sense: best friends who became lovers. Cliché, but beautiful for most. The ideal relationship.
But, for the blue-eyed, tired-hearted woman standing a few feet from you, it was a total collapse of her illusions. And the flame that created the fire.
______________
"Hello little Aggie" you said to the doll in your bed. It was kind of silly, you were too big for dolls, but this one was special and was named after the reason she was so special.
You sighed in exhaustion when you walked into your room. You left your backpack on the floor without a care and went to your suitcase to get your pajamas. You didn't really pay attention to the pajamas you chose, you just grabbed them and headed to the bathroom for a nice hot shower.
You sighed again as the water hit your tired muscles and you couldn't help the moan of satisfaction that escaped you. Despite everything, it had been a good day. You learned a lot at the museum, bought a few more things, and had a good time laughing with Nick. A good day, indeed.
You relaxed more, enjoying the water. Until you heard the door open and you knew that the woman of your thoughts had arrived. Well, time to put the mask back on.
You slowly got out of the shower, toweling off and putting on your pajamas. Only then did it occur to you that you had taken the red one. You know, the one with a pair of shorts that revealed your underwear if you squatted down a bit. You know, the satin one. That one.
"Damn it" you muttered. Why did you think it was a good idea to bring it? You had no idea.
But your other option was to get out with just the towel to find another pajama. Which wouldn't happen in a million years (you tried not to think about the time the brunette had gone out with just her towel). Also, she had already seen you in your underwear (you blushed).
Sighing, you finished dressing and walked out, trying to look casual as you greeted her.
"Good evening Ms Harkness ... am I in trouble?" you asked, taking a step back at the brunette's gaze.
There was fire in her eyes.
Agatha looked you up and down without shame, her eyes tracing the path of your legs. At any other time, it would have been enough to make her blush, to make her stomach clench with shame and lustful desire contained. But now, it only made her angrier.
She had entered the room, ready to unleash a storm on you. She would get rid of your feelings for her, she would make you hate her, so that you would get away from her and she could get rid of your feelings for you. It was the perfect plan.
Regardless if you got hurt, or if she broke her own heart.
But now, damn it, she was furious. Because a single look at you, of what she couldn’t have, had made her rethink everything. You had no right! You had no right to make her feel like this, to derail all of her plans! To show her precisely what was not hers but was Nicholas Jadu's!
That last thought rekindled her anger.
She completely ignored your question and the frightened look in your eyes as she strode toward you. In fact, the more scared you were of her, the better.
You gasped as the woman approached you quickly, like a beast attacking her prey and pushing you hard against the wall, trapping you between it and her own body. The pain in your back from the blow quickly disappeared from your mind as you looked into her eyes and felt her hands firmly on your hips.
Agatha pressed herself completely against you, almost blowing the air out of you. Well, maybe that way you would learn how she felt every time you showed her your legs, every time you told her that she could see but not touch, without even using your words.
You didn't know what was happening, nor if you should be scared or excited. Your body settled on the latter, if the wetness between your legs was an indication.
The woman brought her face close to yours. Dangerously close. You could feel her breath on your face, but unlike the last time something like this had happened, she didn't seem to show signs that she was going to let you go.
Agatha turned her head and brought her mouth close to your ear, making you wince. Her breath was hot. And her voice was raspy when she finally spoke, though the words that came out of her mouth confused you, almost killing your mood.
"You and Jadu" she whispered  "are you together?" she asked
You blinked. Too confused.
"W-what?" you stuttered
"Answer me" she pressed you harder against the wall, making you gasp
"No" you answered "no, we’re not"
"Liar" she growled in your ear. You couldn't help the chill that ran through you.
"I-it's the truth" you said "We are not a couple"
"You're too close to be just friends" she growled again.
You could feel her nails dig into your hips, even through the satin and your hands unconsciously rested on her shoulders, maybe to push her, maybe to pull her closer, you didn't know.
"I wouldn't even believe you if you told me you didn't kiss him" she whispered and you swore you had felt her tongue on your earlobe.
"I-I" you swallowed ... because it was true "... Yes, yes, I did" you admitted.
You hissed in pain when her nails dug harder into your flesh. Agatha pulled away a bit, so she could look at your face. Her voice dripped venom, but her eyes were filled with pain.
Without knowing why, you felt the need to clarify everything quickly.
"It was only once" you said "But neither of us felt anything. So we decided to remain just friends"
The woman looked at you and you knew immediately that she didn't believe you. Although, to be honest, you didn't understand why she would care.
Agatha felt a new wave of jealousy and anger hit her. A part of her had hoped that you would calm her jealousy, that you would tell her that all the stories that she had made in her mind about you and that little friend of yours were a lie. But, as always, it hadn't turned out as expected. Well, she would have to teach you that actions had consequences. And that if you played with fire, you burned.
"I'm afraid we're not understanding each other, Miss Y/L/N" she whispered, brushing her lips with yours and smirking at the soft moan that escaped you.
"Ms Harkness" you gasped. She was taking your breath away in more ways than one.
"There is only one pair of lips you can like" she said, looking into your eyes "... mine"
_______________
You didn't know what was happening. Your mind had gone blank the moment you felt her lips collide with yours. In all your fantasies, you never imagined that her lips would be so ... soft. Soft but at the same time demanding.
Agatha was getting impatient at your lack of reaction. You hadn't moved at all, you just froze in her arms. She needed you to do something, to kiss her back or push her. Whatever!
The brunette broke the kiss after a few seconds of getting no reaction. She looked at you, you were puzzled. Your lips were parted and slightly swollen, your breathing was ragged, and your eyes were wide. You looked messy and totally gorgeous.
The older woman leaned in again, desperate to try your soft lips again. But, she tried another strategy this time and she kissed you softly, almost tenderly.
Your brain was having a short circuit. You were confused, excited, and totally lost. Both kisses were totally different from what you had dreamed of, and yet they were both so ... Agatha Harkness.
And you didn't know which one you liked the most. One made you feel loved, the other as if you were burning alive.
This time, the brunette got a reaction. She smiled slightly when you shyly kissed her back and tentatively wrapped your arms around her neck.
You separated to take a breath, and then kissed again, this time coordinated and with the understanding that it was what the other wanted.
It was a totally intimate dance, and little by little the kisses became hotter, until she was again kissing you fiercely and demanding everything from you. You would happily give it to her.
Agatha felt brave and decided to take a chance. She broke the kiss and quickly turned her head to attack your neck, loving the gasps she drew from you.
You tasted delicious. She was thankful you didn't pull away and she was thrilled when you buried your fingers in her hair. Unfortunately, she had to break the spell.
She hated herself for a moment, when she finally broke away from you, looking into your eyes. She loved the confusion on your face and the longing in your eyes.
"We can't do this Y/N" she whispered. You felt your stomach drop for a moment, but she kissed you again gently to calm you down before continuing talking "Not by mere impulse ... I need to know that you want this too" she told you
You looked at her for a moment, letting go of all your insecurities and the red flags of alert that rang in your head. You nodded slowly and kissed her again, letting her know that yes, you wanted this more than anything.
Agatha felt butterflies in her stomach and she smiled at you. But she didn't move. She didn't let go of you or kiss you.
"We have to be quiet" she whispered against your mouth "no one can hear us"
You nodded again. You knew that this ... this was wrong. And if someone found out, you would both be in terrible trouble. But it was too late to turn back.
The woman smiled when you nodded again, understanding all that was at stake.
"Good girl" she murmured, kissing your head.
You gasped in surprise when she suddenly pulled you, guiding you to her bed and throwing you carelessly. She wasted no time in foreplay, almost ripping your clothes off and attacking your neck again.
"I hope you packed higher-necked tops" she murmured against your skin
You were about to ask, when you felt her suck hard against your collarbone. You were sure she would leave a hickey.
"From now on, only I will be able to see your skin from the neck down, love" she whispered, letting her tongue soothe the pain of the fresh hickey "I want you to understand something Y/N"
You looked at her expectantly, completely ready to accept whatever was to come out of her mouth.
"After I’m done with you" she whispered dangerously, giving you an almost evil smile.
"You will be completely mine".
- - - - - - - -
Tags: @midnight-lestrange @bloodyfool @annie-mit-ie @amethyst-bitch @juliejules-089 @novohyde @shinkomiii @agentbrownierso @swanqueensupercorp @philippaharkness @rainbow-hedgehog @parkerprolly @booklovinbi @marvelseverything @superpearlnerd @rooskaya-yelena @danvers97 @notsosecretlyalesbian @celasteria @thoroughly--confused @tomy5girls @call-me-no-one @teenwonder @paulawand @fallingfor-fics @an-evergreen-rose
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ateezjuliet · a month ago
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showterview with jessi
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juliet’s masterlist
obviously there will be spoilers so if you want to watch the full ep first it’s here <3
notes: words in bold are spoken in english; the gif is mine!!
— taglist: @ateez-elena @shinyddeonghwa @skzfairies @nayuyeons @bat-shark-repellant @nctdream-minji @wayvisionz @atinymonster @mythicalamphitrite @slytherinthedms @atzaria @yunascular @ggukkiedae @woopetals (send an ask to be on/off the taglist <3)
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juliet was so excited to be on showterview like pls she thinks jessi is the absolute coolest 🥺
pls just the greeting alone was so fun to do 😭 the way they just went “hel%#^££\28&:&-@@2@teez” as she kept pressing the button 💀💀💀💀
you bet your ass juliet thought long and hard about what her personal greeting should be bc no way she’s gonna do a boring one in front of The™ jessi
she chose to do the hip sway choreo from deja vu while saying “i’m juliet, in charge of the sexiness in ateez” in a sultry voice
this girl istg—
it was instant regret bc the others were like oh??? and told jessi to keep pressing her button/name tag so she had to do her greeting again and again 😭😭😭 she had to do it four times in total and was a complete and utter flustered mess in the end 💀
san: make her do it again
juliet: 😃⁉️💢
ateez loves their maknae ❤️
embarrassing luv <3
when the boys pounced on mingi bc he said to click on jessi’s button even though she had no name tag juliet was in the back like 🧍🏻‍♀️ i don’t know him
okay so they made jessi guess who was the oldest/youngest and she took one look at juliet and immediately guessed she was the youngest 😭😭😭
so instead they asked jessi to guess who was the youngest after juliet; she guessed hongjoong so of course juliet had to take advantage of that 🤩
2min: hongjoong-ah good job 🥰
hongjoong: you two wanna die 😀⁉️
jessi freaked out when the others told her juliet was born in 2001
jessi: GIRL YOU’RE 13 YEARS YOUNGER I FEEL LIKE I CAN’T TALK TO YOU
juliet: naurrrr 😟💔
when they all spoke informally 😭 juliet was so scared pls the others were all encouraging her to be more casual and she was like 🥶🥶 what about no
jessi was very whipped 🥰
PLS JULIET WAS SO DONE WHEN HONGJOONG STARTED SHOWING OFF THIS SCALP
“😬😬😬😬 everyone come to our dorms he left his dandruff there”
⁉️⁉️⁉️⁉️ literally ko-ed poor joong in one sentence
she’s joking hongjoong’s scalp is v strong good 4 him 🤪🙏
WHEN JESSI ASKED WHAT USE YEOSANG CAN PUT HIS TONGUE TO AND IF HE HAS A GIRLFRIEND PLEASE JULIET WAS CRYING
YOU KNOW SHE’D CLOWN HIM FOR THAT NONSTOP AFTERWARDS 👁👅👁
“…we like to lick each other”
jessi: YOU LICK EACH OTHER ⁉️⁉️⁉️⁉️⁉️⁉️
someone please tape juliet’s mouth shut bc since she’s on showterview her brain thinks it doesn’t have to process anything she wants to say
someone’s already making a “jessi being whipped for juliet for 16 minutes straight” compilation
when she brought the camera over to juliet for her close-up interview she was let’s get a close-up of these visuals 📷✨
“you’re so pretty??? no seriously????? oh my gawwwdddd how is this possible???????”
so true jessi 😌✨
basically juliet was sitting there like 🥺😅☺️😇 while jessi fawned over her visuals and the boys were looking on like 🥰🥰 that’s our baby!!!!!
“i bet boys clamber over each other to give you their numbers, do you have a boyfriend?”
HAJSHAJSBSBSNSN 💀💀
LITERALLY ALL OF ATEEZ WENT 😬‼️‼️‼️ FOR A SPLIT SECOND BC WHAT DO THEY DO?????
okay see this is kinda a dilemma for juliet bc obviously she can’t say yes but she also doesn’t want to say no :((
like she doesn’t want chan to watch her basically not acknowledge his existence even though she knows he’d understand if she said no :(
so in the end she was like “no comment 😏😏” and the boys covered for her like “ohhhh she’s making this fun 🤪”
ateez best boys 😔💗
uh she didn’t really know what to do for her special talent so someone wooyoung very loudly suggested that she do aegyo—
the second hand embarrassment i’m so sorry ma’am
jessi liked it though so it’s okay
while the others went 💀💀💀 when mingi did the impressions and the crow noises, juliet was the only one who was all 🥰🥺 bc ofc she has to support her fellow princess :’)
juliet every time jessi swears: 🤩😍🥰🥺🥵
okay so the expression game
she was between seonghwa and wooyoung and when seonghwa did the thrilled expression with the tongue and everything she was like 🧍🏻‍♀️ boy wtf
literally everyone on and off set cracked up at her face bc she looked so unimpressed 😭
save seonghwa 2021
“is this episode going to get rated pg13????”
she had to do it anyways so wooyoung could guess it and you could practically see her soul leave her body 💀
okay next game 😍 the pose one whhshwsjka
THE LIVING CHAIR TOWER MY STOMACH HURT FROM LAUGHING WHEN I SAW THE SAMPLE PHOTO
they made juliet sit on top bc she was the lightest
a queen on her throne of men aghshwjs 😌💅🏻
the boys being the sweetest and letting her be in the centre aka the least exhausting position for the living fan pose 🥺🥺🥺🥺
she wanted to try the more difficult ones but they wouldn’t let her so she wouldn’t get hurt :(((
hongjoong yeosang and juliet just standing while the others were clenching their jaws from supporting everyone’s weight 😭
jessi screaming when juliet blew a kiss at the camera for her part in the chorus in eternal sunshine 🥺🥺🥺
whipped behaviour ✨✨ juliet’s power!!!!!
in conclusion juliet had a blast :’))) it was literally so fun pls
but also the chaos she caused after this episode aired bc of the “no comment” remark 💀 juliet my baby you will always be famous <3
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[ fan reactions ]
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a/n: guess the top contenders whejhwsj 👁👁 okay but the way jessi seemed to genuinely love them both as performers and as people 🥺🥺 i’m so soft they deserve it so much and this ep was so funny too 😭
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deltas-writing-corner · 7 months ago
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No regrets
Fandom: Jujutsu Kaisen
Pairing: Sukuna x reader (reader is referred to with gender neutral pronouns, but there are slight implications of them being AFAB)
Author note: At a whooping 11.5k words, it’s finally here! Thank you all for your patience as well as those who gave feedback during the initial interest check! I hope the wait was worth it and you enjoy this long piece! A bit of forewarning, this piece is rather dark, so please read the content warnings carefully and only proceed if you are comfortable doing so.
Revisions made on 3/30/2021
Warnings: Implications of noncon | abusive behavior | unhealthy obsession | death | slight gore | Please ask to tag additional content warnings that I have failed to disclose
Minors do not read/interact with this post!
Heian era
It was only a matter of time before the king of curses came to your village and slaughtered you all. It was inevitable, but the village elders were determined to hand over every last scrap of fabric and goods if it satiated the cursed being for a short while, knowing the all powerful curse was an indulgent one. Your village was a well known trading settlement, so gathering and setting aside the best of the best on the market was rather easy with all the merchants coming in and out of the town nearly every day.
Your family specialized in sword crafting, often forging or repairing swords for soldiers or aristocratic families who merely collected them as works of art. Your father taught you a bit of the craft and a few seasoned samurai humoured you and taught you some forms while they awaited repairs, but you mostly spent time helping your mother around your quaint home. Your days with them were peaceful, even with the ever looming and expected arrival of Ryomen Sukuna blanketing your people with constant fear.
The day finally came, yet all the preparations you and your people took to secure a better chance of survival still didn’t feel like it was enough as the four-armed monster of a man easily destroyed several houses with a mere flick of his hand and cut down several innocent individuals who fled last minute due to their anxiety getting the better of them. He was at least willing to see all that was being offered to him when it was made clear your people were not going down without trying their luck, but that sadistic smile of his was all the proof everyone needed to know that their careful efforts meant nothing.
Your village elders remained determined, and to the shock of you and your parents, they grabbed you and offered you up as one final offering. You were young, the youngest in the village in fact, and unmarried too. A perfect candidate for Sukuna’s harem and they knew this when they turned and grabbed you without a second thought. You still remember the way your mother began to smack your elders with her shoe when they yanked you away from her and your father’s side. Bless her heart.
Perhaps a part of you knew that your status as the youngest would be taken advantage of if things weren’t working out. Sukuna’s harem was only a rumor, scary gossip whispered amongst the housewives. Yet the idea of a monster like him having a harem didn’t seem so farfetched. You knew better than to question the validity of the lucky few who got away and were displaced because of Sukuna’s village razing and massacring.
Whether he accepted the last second addition to the offer pile or killed every single one of you right then and there, you accepted that your life would never return to how it once was before he came. You didn’t make so much as a peep of discomfort when the brute began to manhandle you, pulling back parts of your clothes away from your body to inspect you in front of the entire village, in front of your distraught parents. You didn’t wince in pain when he roughly grabbed your cheek between two of his meaty fingers and examined your face like you were merely a piece of art, an object. You just went completely numb.
Everyone, including yourself, was shocked when he agreed to take you along with all the goods your village offered, but not without ordering them to prepare another pile for his followers to collect every following month from now on. He made it clear that if they held back a single grain of rice or gave him anything else but the best, he’d send your body back to them in a bloody sack before reuniting them with you in the afterlife shortly after.
As the king of curses hauled you away like a sack of potatoes, your emotions came flooding back in. You kicked, scream, cried and begged like a moody toddler for your mom and dad to help you, to not let this monster take you away and do know who knows what to you. The last you see of them before you’re forcefully knocked out is your mother suddenly collapsing on the ground like all the energy she had just left her body instantaneously. Your brawny father seemed equally at a loss as well.
When you were brought back to Sukuna’s temple, you were hauled away by servants after he unceremoniously dropped you on the ground and retreated to his chambers. You were thoroughly bathed, skin rubbed raw of outside filth and dressed into a fresh new robe before being whisked away to Sukuna’s quarters by his demand. 
That first week under his roof was meant to break you, but for some reason you kept fighting back because of something a bit stupid. You wanted to keep your old clothes the maids forced you out of and you wouldn’t shut up or keep still under him no matter how much he harmed or degraded you. You don’t know why you kept pushing back against him over something so meager. The fabric wasn’t anything that fancy. The color was faded and you were even beginning to outgrow them. It’s the only memento you have of your home, so maybe that’s why your mind zeroed in on it and refused to yield to his torturous ministrations until you made certain it wouldn’t be taken away from you.
“Again with those rags you call a kimono?” he clicked his tongue with annoyance. “You want to keep them so badly? Fine, but don’t think I’ll be so accommodating next time.”
Living in a merchant town, you know how to tell when someone is trying to swindle you. As much as you hate the man who has been violating your body for literal days now, you can tell that he means what he has stated.
When you finally relax your body, he lets out a disgustingly child-like cackle, but before you can express any sort of rage that bubbled up within yourself, your mind goes numb once more if only to alleviate the pain you’re in just a bit.
There are two types of fates for those in Sukuna’s harem. There are the favoured concubines, who live relatively better than the disfavoured, who are made into servants. Of course, this is all a meticulous set up by the king of curses himself. Those he shows higher favoritism towards are desperate to remain in his good graces if only to make their way of living that bit easier to bear. Those he turns into lowly servants and brushes aside are desperate to rise above their rank and gain the privilege and spoils he grants to the selected few. It’s all an elaborate plan to instill discord between members of his harem so he can sit back and watch them tear each other apart without lifting a finger.
Your fighting back was what earned you an automatic spot amongst his favoured. He thought he had broken you, but just as soon as you yielded to him you flared up and began to fight back once more. It was invigorating, seeing the rage and desperation in your eyes when you were quiet and had a distant, blank look just moments before. How long had it been since a human raised their fist against him? Far too long for him to remember.
You were an outlier. Where all would refuse to meet his gaze whenever he passed through, you would always meet and hold his gaze without fail or hesitation. You talked back, cursing him a thousand ways into the next phase of the moon. You never bowed when others did. Never.
Your disobedience gave him plenty of reasons to drag you to his chambers and attempt to break you once more, only for you to shut your mind down as soon as you were thrown into his bed. Perhaps it's a defense mechanism? A way of trying to disassociate from all the rough treatment you endure under him? A part of him is grateful you aren’t like the others, that you’ve come up with a way of protecting yourself while the others around you, who give into the despair and hopelessness he brings them or lie to themselves that he holds some sort of affection towards them, if only to find some sort of hope through this hell even if it means lying to yourself. Both of which bore him immensely as well as annoy him greatly.
It’s sudden and neither of you can recall when it began, but after he was done having his way with you and you regained your sense of reality and would devolve into the usual episode of flailing rage and crying, he began to hold you against him and whisper soothing phrases like “good job” or “It’s over, you did well”. He kept his many arms wrapped around your shaking figure, waiting for you to eventually exhaust yourself and pass out before doing so himself. When the sun rises you are always gone from his chambers. How you manage to escape right from under him is a mystery, but he doesn’t have much of a desire to ask you about it. He likes waking up surprised. Hardly anything surprises him anymore.
It becomes clear to everyone that Sukuna acts differently towards you, treats you differently than the rest of his concubines. There are even periods of time where the rest of his harem is given little to no attention because he’s completely focused on you. The time he spends with you isn’t anything kind or relieving. He purposely says things that offend you and have you screaming at him. Should anyone else say what you say to him in return, he’d rip their tongues out and swallow it before their very eyes without any remorse. But you? He’s smiling down at you, as if you were an actor entertaining him with an elaborate and well-rehearsed performance.
“Damn you! Damn this temple! Damn your ancestors for existing and bringing you into this world!”
“Yes, that’s the spirit!” he gives you a toothy grin, his sharp canines glinting under the light of the sun. “Damn me and damn the rest of the world for that matter!”
His encouragement only infuriates you more. Without a second thought you began to throw whatever it is you can get your hands on at him. Your comb, your shoes, your untouched makeup products, anything in sight is hauled at the deranged man who dodges everything with ease. Just as you throw a jar of ink at his head and it shatters against the way, bathing the wood with dark ink, he grabs you and you both tumble back into your unmade futon.
As usual, you thrash and voice your disdain as he presses his lips against your neck and aggressively undresses you. He’s high off the adrenaline from earlier, making his ministrations much more excruciating than they normally are. 
To him, it feels like a passionate session of lovemaking and he’s left light headed when he finishes.
For you, it’s just another day under his reign and body, your mind going numb as soon as he puts you on your hands and knees.
Just as quickly as he gave you most of his attention, he turned away and left you in the dust.
You have been his concubine for over a year when it happens. Your village continues to uphold their end of their deal and provide him with all the luxurious goods they can get their hands on each month. You’re not sure if he’s trying to torture you more or genuinely thinks he’s bringing you some sense of comfort and calm, but he personally brings you a small bunch of fabrics and trinkets that your father specifically went out of his way to get for you, hoping you would receive them somehow as a reminder that he still thinks of you. It’s during these small moments of Sukuna passing on these items that you learn that your mother passed after you were taken.
You didn’t shed even one tear when this information was given to you, as a part of you knew that was the case after you saw her collapse. Sukuna expected you to fly into another fit of rage. That was the only reason he told you if he’s being honest. He’s caught between feeling disappointed or worried when you just hummed in acknowledgement as you rolled up the soft, intricate rolls of fabric and stored them away. You never did anything with them, so they were sure to collect a layer of dust like the rest in due time
No one, not even Sukuna or even yourself, expected your village to take up arms and fight back against the followers he sent out to collect his offerings. When word came back of what transpired, Sukuna was tempted to take you with him and force you to watch as he slaughtered your village in retaliation for breaking the accord. He didn’t, nor did he send back your disfigured corpse like he promised he would back then. He simply went out, killed them, and then came right back to wash off all their spilled blood. All within the same day. 
After he killed all the villagers, he attempted to locate your father amongst the scattered corpses, but they were too mutilated and disfigured to discern who was who. Even if they weren’t, it’s not like he remembered what your father looked like. Did you even bear any resemblance to him? He overheard you speaking with one of the other concubines that your father was an armorer and was tempted to grab one of the expertly crafted swords the villagers were carrying and bring it back to you, blood and all staining the scabbard. He decided against it.
He’s demoted many concubines, all with the purpose of watching them try to regain the meager luxury and privilege they grew accustomed to. He did the same for you, eager to see you break character and come crawling back to him with pitiful desperation. 
A part of him knew that it wouldn’t take much effort on your part to have him changing his mind. He’d easily forgive you for the betrayal of your village. All you had to do was put on a show and give him the entertainment he wanted from you. You can kick and scream and deny him all you want, but he’s broken many people like you before. He’s had you under his spell since day one.
Except, you didn’t do anything. When he sent you to live within the overcrowded servants chambers near the far end of his temple, you never put up any sort of fight or caused a scene. Not even when he gave away all the fabrics your father sent you to the other favoured concubines, going as far as to force them to wear the garments whenever and wherever your presence is at. He waited with giddy for someone to inform him of how you lashed out at another girl and attempted to rip the cloth off of her body because they were wearing the fabrics meant for you. But there was nothing from you.
When he dragged you to his quarter and began to violate you like normal, he forced himself to brag and even fabricate details of the day he slaughtered the people from your village. He even lied about how your father asked about you before he was killed, falsely stating that the man had a smile on his face when Sukuna told him that you received all the goods he selected just for you.
Like always, your mind went blank until he finished. There were no twisted words of comfort afterwards like before. He simply ordered you out once he was done, one final attempt to invoke something out of you. You merely redressed and left in silence. He nearly got up and dragged you back, but once again, he decided against it.
One day he ordered a few men to build a crude looking home out back, detached from the main temple, and have you moved in it upon completion. If his normal efforts won’t elicit the usual reaction out of you, then he’ll take a different approach. He’ll deprive you of everything, social interaction, decent and consistent meals, and a stable shelter. He’ll have you isolated for a short while, after which he will visit you out of pity and revel in the sight of you crawling back into his arms. If the time he forces you alone is not enough to break you, he’ll simply extend your stay until you either give him what he wants or die because of your own stubbornness.
It hasn’t even been a day since you’ve been moved from the servant's chamber to your new quarters, and already he’s come to visit you. Within the same breath that tells you that your only other option besides begging for his forgiveness is to rot away in this poorly made shack, he gives you one final chance to change his mind, to beg him to take you back into his good graces.
The tatami is poorly crafted and discolored. The rafters used to construct the frame of the house already show signs of rotting and water damage. Before he allowed himself in, the tiles on the roof appeared to be hastily made and were not properly laid out. It was lightly raining outside, yet you already have a wooden bucket set up to collect leaking water.
“Can I help you?” you ask without glancing over your shoulder. He smirks at the thought of you knowing who he is by presence alone.
“No,” he smugly answers. “But maybe I can help you?”
You look back over to him with a mean glare. “You’re the one that put me here in the first place.”
“No, I didn’t,” he shakes his head to further cement his point. “You’re in here because your people thought they stood a chance against me and broke our agreement. Killing you would be an act of mercy to them. So long as I keep you alive and slowly torture you in both mind and body, they will never know peace.”
“You’re lying,” you say with certainty, with no fear. “I’ve never lied to you once. I would appreciate it if I can at least be given the same courtesy in return.”
He hates when people demand things from. Most importantly, he hates that you’re right. Your neck is always so small within his grasp, his fingers able to meet and fold over one another without strain. He keeps you suspended in the air just enough to where you can balance yourself on the balls of your feet. Whether you were tall or short, it mattered not. He always towered over you like the predator that he is.
“You want to know why you’re in this shitty home?” he sneers down. “You’re in here because you’ve begun to bore me. You amused me so much before, but the moment you started depriving me of my source of entertainment on purpose is the moment I decide to deprive you of your basic needs in return. I take what I want, when I want it, in whichever quantity I desire.
“You want out of here?” He makes a sweeping gesture around the room. “Then you better press your forehead all the way to the floor and beg for me to take you back. I’ll even tell you the exact words you need to say. ‘Please Sukuna-sama. Please allow me the privilege of sleeping under the same roof as you. Please let me breathe the same air as you.’”
He lets you go and grins when you prostrate after regaining your breathe.
“Please Sukuna-sama,” you beg.
“Please what?” he mocks. “Use your words.”
He feels a vein pop out on his forehead when you dare to look up and look at him with yet another angry grin. Without an ounce of hesitation, you say, “Please get out and leave me be.”
He nearly breaks the door from how hard he slams it shut. He abruptly turns around when he hears a roof tile fall over and splat into the muddy dirt. Those followers of his really built you a shitty home, exactly like he ordered them to do.
He feels the urge to gather them and wring their necks one by one, but he doesn’t know why.
Sukuna can’t sleep during those weeks apart. Not because of you, but because right as he drifts off into slumber he’s abruptly woken up by an intense source of cursed energy flaring up out of nowhere. But just as quickly as he feels it and wakes with a startle, it vanishes without a trace. He’ll go out onto his balcony and try to locate where the energy is coming from, but for some reason he can never pinpoint it despite his superior senses. He tries to suppress his own energy in the hopes of tricking the source into thinking he’s asleep and unsuspecting, but it would seem that they’re smart enough not to fall for the bait.
He doesn’t need sleep in the first place, so he’s tempted to just stay up and catch whoever is trying to scare him red handed and be done with them. The idea of someone getting the upper hand at him and forcing him into a position of defensiveness doesn’t sit well with him, so he decides to just let the unknown person have their fun for now and continue this little back and forth with them. Eventually they’ll grow cocky and slip up and he’ll confront them when it happens.
Because your little shack is located near the back of the temple, completely out of sight from Sukuna’s view from his balcony, Neither he nor the others notice the plumes of smoke that rise during the dead of night. No one also takes notice of the bits of metal that go missing throughout the temple.
The rise of the next full moon indicates the end of the month. Sukuna sends for someone to go retrieve you, but they never return and he’s left waiting long enough for the moon to reach its highest peak in the sky. When he orders someone else into his quarters he’s met with more silence that only further enrages him.
Just as he’s about to call for Uraume to figure out what the hell was wrong with his servants, he feels it. The cursed energy that he’s been trying to catch off guard the last few weeks. It’s willingly making itself known, practically begging him to follow its trail and meet with him. Just as quickly as he is able to identify and figure out which direction it’s originating, he notices that it strangely leads him in the direction of your poorly built home.
It’s impossible that it’s you. Cursed energy is born from negative emotions. He’s sure you still have an abundance of negative feelings towards him. Yet never did he feel even a speck of cursed energy resonate off of you. His mind immediately wonders if the individual knows of his strange obsession over you and is using you as bait. It’s foolish on their part, thinking the king of curses would yield for a mere human. 
His pace quickens despite his internal dismissal, failing to notice that everyone is hiding and waiting in anticipation. 
When he discovers that the cursed energy is indeed from you, he can’t help but to laugh like a crazed hyena. The sword by your side further amuses him and he’s genuinely curious as to how you got the proper materials to craft it.
“It took a bit of convincing,” you willingly answer his question. “I made everyone believe I could stand a chance against you and they gave me all the materials and tools I needed and looked the other way. I guess watching all those traveling merchants try to hype up their goods came in handy after all,” you look out in the distance as you briefly reminisce on the bygone days of your former life.
He begins to slowly clap with one pair of hands, the other crossed over his chest in amusement. “This is by far the most entertaining performance I’ve ever witnessed. Bravo. You’ve really outdone yourself this time.”
“I’d gladly accept the compliment, except this isn’t a show,” you stand to your full height and get a better grip of the hilt of your sword. “It’s the real deal.”
He erupts into yet another cacophony of wild laughter. “Do you seriously think you can kill me?”
“No,” you answer, truly throwing him off guard by the way he goes still so suddenly. “But that’s alright. I’m fine with never being strong enough to put a permanent end to you. Only one of us will be walking away from this fight, and I assure you that it’s going to be me.”
You draw your blade out and get into a low, defensive stance. Even under the lackluster light of the moon, he can see how well crafted your weapon is. He’s reminded of the craftsmanship the weapons your people carried when he slaughtered them, no better than a bunch of wooden sticks against him either way. Immediately, he regrets not bringing back one of their weapons and forcing you to expose to him your knowledge of swordsmanship and blacksmithing. Perhaps then he could have had you brandishing your blade under his command rather than against him.
Oh well, it’s better this way. It’s just as exhilarating and head swirling as those instances where you damned him with all of your being and threw things at his head. No, it’s more than exhilarating. It’s downright intoxicating seeing you readying yourself for his first move. How sweet of you to allow him the honor to make the first strike.
“You truly are something else entirely, beloved,” he dreamily sighs. “Did you honestly think you’d have the upperhand against me just because I gave you a little bit more of my attention?”
“Never,” you reply. You press your eyelids shut for a moment, and the moment you open them up the layer of dissociative numbness vanishes into a look of total focus and emotions he cannot discern. “But whether I live or die, I have no regrets about tonight.”
You really didn’t have enough strength to kill him. However, you did have enough to dismember all twenty of his fingers and seal him away. For the first time in years, the sun rises and bestows its warmth to a world in which two-faced Sukuna does not instill fear upon humanity or stain the earth in their blood. You and those who were under his servitude walk out of his temple as free people, hopeful people. As an act of gratitude for becoming their savior, nineteen others take one of Sukuna’s fingers each and swear to scatter them as far as they can so he cannot be brought back into the world.
As for yourself, you set out to rebuild your destroyed village and take up your father’s legacy as a maker of swords. Eventually you meet and settle down with a loving partner and raise children together. You pass on the family trade, your self developed cursed technique, as well as the memories of your time as Sukuna’s concubine. Those who come after you continue to carry on your will, to ensure that Sukuna can never be reborn into the world. Your sword and the old robes you kept after you were taken away are passed down as family heirlooms, but they are never used by any of your descendants.
That is until the year 2018, when Sukuna is resurrected within a compatible vessel.
Modern era
You bear not only a striking resemblance to your ancestor, but many of their memories as well. The family sword that was used against the king of curses is bestowed upon you, now dubbed the next in line to claim the title of clan leader, their preserved kimono now fashioned into a sageo that wraps around the scabbard.
Your family stays out of most affairs within the jujutsu world, but your birth and the strong connection to your ancestor eventually reaches the ears of many prominent figures within this hidden society. They think your birth a bad omen, a sign that the king of curses may return to the world one day. Most are scared, but your family pays them no attention. Even if the damnable curse did find a way to revive into the world, you and most of your family members who have inherited your ancestor’s technique will oppose him just as they did a thousand years ago.
“You don’t look too concerned,” Gojo makes his observation known to you as soon as the two of you settle in the small private room you ushered him to when he came to your family estate. He wanted to confirm the news of Sukuna’s resurrection to you himself. “None of you do, actually.”
“We all knew this day would come,” you calmly tell him as you poured him a cup of tea. “This is the risk our ancestor took when they developed their technique. In exchange for the strength and ability to seal Sukuna away, they willingly gave up the ability to deliver him a fatal and final blow against him.”
“I’m not well-versed when it comes to binding vows and heavenly restrictions,” he takes a moment of pause to sip his now cooled tea, visibly showing his disdain over it’s bitterness. “But is giving up the satisfaction of killing him really a fair exchange for a specific technique and a bit of cursed energy?”
Your lips pressed together in a grimace. “You have no idea what it was like living underneath that monster’s reign. Even if the binding vow had odd conditions skewed against their favor, every bit of what was given up was worth it if it meant regaining their freedom.”
Gojo isn’t moved or even impressed by your admittance. He simply shrugs before taking another sip of his tea, face contorting in displeasure once again as he forces himself to swallow the green liquid. You’re tempted to ask him why he keeps sipping if he hates the flavor, but he begins speaking again before you can voice your thoughts.
“So, about the vessel,” he leans against his closed fist, propped up by the low table underneath him. “The higher ups are willing to postpone the kid’s execution in favor of the opportunity to kill Sukuna, but they want someone from your family, preferably you, to be his second shadow so to speak. You’re the failsafe in case the plan doesn’t play out like I promised and the curse needs to be sealed again.”
“Sukuna’s vessel...is a child?” you ask incredulously.
“He’s about your age,” Gojo admits with a displaced smile, but it soon falls once you suddenly erupt into a fit of uncontrollable giggles.
“That’s priceless!” you say while wiping away a stray tear. “The king of curses, Ryomen Sukuna, stuck inside some teenager’s body? I bet he’s pissed off and swearing up a storm inside the kid!”
You’re not sure who exactly is getting the most amusement at the turn of events, you or your ancestor from beyond the grave. After your laughing fit subsides and you straighten yourself out, you turn back to Gojo to ask him the burning question.
“So when do I get to meet him?”
Itadori Yuuji is the polar opposite of Sukuna. While Sukuna had a smile that both angered and scared your ancestor and those around him, Yuuji’s was like a literal ray of sunshine. He’s nice, energetic, strong willed and even humorous. You’re honestly surprised he can act so hopeful despite all that’s happened to him and has been forced upon his shoulders.
You’re not going to lie, but you honestly expected a timid and somewhat gloomy kid. Someone easy to manipulate to put it bluntly. Yuuji’s friendly personality is welcomed in your book. Though you admit that now that you’ve exchanged a few words with him, you feel bad and pitiful that he’s been marked for death and likely has to deal with Sukuna on a somewhat regular basis.
As Yuuji rambles to you about some childhood incident, the slits underneath his eyes open up and a familiar pair of red eyes meets your gaze. “It’s you,” the manifested mouth on the side of his cheek morphs into a deranged, toothy grin that is so painstakingly recognizable. 
Your heartbeat picks up and your palms are coated with an instantaneous layer of nervous sweat. You contemplate saying something or simply ignoring the curse, not wanting to give him any satisfaction of hearing the voice of your ancestor acknowledge him in any way. Before you can come to any consensus, you’re amazed at how Yuuji easily slaps his hand over his cheek and tells the curse to buzz off.
Itadori further cements that he is Sukuna’s antithesis as he goes out of his way to apologize to you for the inconvenience the curse caused you (How could he tell you became nervous when Sukuna spoke only two words at you?) He even brings you a can of soda as a sort of peace offering/token of forgiveness! You’re grateful for the gesture, but you feel bad for letting him think that he’s at fault for something that wasn’t even that big of a deal to begin with.
“Still, I made you upset,” he looks down to his empty can and pouts. “If you don’t want to be around me-”
“Yuuji,” you interrupt him. “I’m fine, really. My ancestor stood their ground against him once. Surely I can do it again a millennium later.”
“Gojo-sensei was telling me about that!” his eyes sparkle with recollection. “That’s so cool! You’re basically his arch nemesis!”
You awkwardly laugh at his enthusiasm. “That’s one way of putting it.”
“So, Senpai,” he looks at your with a hopeful gaze. “Gojo-sensei seems pretty certain this plan of his will work, but what do you think?”
“Well,” you take a quick sip of your drink before continuing. “Before I tell you what I think about this whole debacle, I need to make a few things thing clear regarding the two of us.”
He obediently nods, face now serious, though it takes you a considerable amount of effort not to laugh from how innocent he still looks. It’s hard to believe he’s housing the king of curses within himself.
“First and foremost, don’t call me Senpai! ” you firmly say. Don’t call me by my family name either. We’re about the same age, so just call me by my first name from now on. Understood?”
“First name, got it!”
“Second,” you put up two fingers. “This is the most important point, so pay attention,” you look at him to make sure he’s ready to commit your words into memory. “Whether the plan works out or not, you must never forget one important fact of the matter. You are not Sukuna.”
He flinches, clearly not expecting such words to be directed towards him.
“I’m sure Gojo whipped up some epic tale about my ancestor’s grudge against that two-faced monster. I not only inherited their technique, but also many of their memories during their initial life. In a way, I suppose I hate Sukuna as well, and based on my reaction from earlier when he popped out, I’m not exactly going to handle moments where he gains control with as much poise as I should.
But remember Yuuji. My discomfort will never be towards you, but the curse you are now bound to,” you reach out and pat his head in assurance. “As the saying goes ‘the enemy of my enemy is a friend.’ Which brings me to my final point!” You excitedly profess. “I want us to be friends!”
“Wait, really?” he sounds almost unsure over your insistence. “I mean, I don’t mind, but I don’t want you to feel like you have to put up with me for my sake.”
“I’m not saying we have to be the best of friends” you explain. “Since we’re going to be around each other so often, I at least want us to be on friendly terms. I want your time left in this world to be as enjoyable and carefree as possible.”
“I guess we can be friends,” he crosses his arms and stares off in deep thought. “I’m just trying to think of a good starting point to get to know you.”
“You can always keep it simple and ask me what I like,” you say, laughing at the way he suddenly has an “ah hah!’ moment and looks at you like an excited puppy.
“Do you like Jennifer Lawrence?” 
Yuuji is almost offended that you didn’t know who Jennifer Lawrence is. He was utterly flabbergasted that you haven’t watched any of her movies either (“I don’t even know who she is Yuuji how the hell am I supposed to know she was in movies?”). He went on and on about every single film, but if you’re being honest his 2 minute summaries (infodumping, really) of the plots didn’t really do them justice. Out of nowhere he proposes that you and him have a movie night so he can show you exactly what you’re missing! Of course, it’ll have to be after the two of you settle into your dorm rooms.
It’s true that you were offered immediate admission into Tokyo Technical college due to your lineage, but no one but you and your family knew about this. Gojo also knew. He was the one that brought up the idea in the first place… 
Oh, Gojo told him. Well now you just feel stupid.
That’s how you found yourself in the dormitory’s common area with Yuuji and your other classmates, Nobara and Megumi. Meeting them wasn’t that bad. Just kidding, it was terrifying! Megumi looks exactly the way your family often describes members of the Zen’in clan to look like, blank and unnerving. You honestly thought Nobara would beat you up just from the way she was looking at you with such an observing glare, completely forgetting the fact that you’re a descendant of the person who single handedly sealed Sukuna away.
Oh yeah, Yuuji told them that! Was he not supposed to?
“Hah?” Nobara scowls at Yuuji, who puts his hands up in defense. “You mean their old ass grandparent turned that ugly ass curse into bite sized pieces?”
“I did,” you answer, but you quickly catch your mistake and correct yourself. “They did. Along with the sword they used to cut Sukuna down I also inherited most of their memories which is...It’s not as pleasant as you would think.”
Her expression softens up a bit and she steps in front of you. She holds out her palm and makes a beckoning gesture. “The sword,” she clarifies when you look at her with confusion. “Let me hold it.”
You make a quick trip back to your room to retrieve it. She nearly doubles over into you once you pass it over to her.
“Damn! How much does this thing weigh?!” she looks at you with disbelief
“It weighs next to nothing whenever I hold it,” you explain, taking it into your hold and tossing it in the air and twirling it around to further drive your point.
“Bullshit! It’s like 50 pounds!” 
“It can’t be that bad,” Megumi comments.
“Oh yeah? Here!” Nobara grabs and tosses it at him, much to your dismay. “See?” she shrills when he nearly doubles over himself. “It’s heavy!”
“Yeah, ok. This is definitely the sword that took down Sukuna,” Megumi gasps.
“My turn! My turn!” Yuuji makes grabby hands, but you push yourself between him and Megumi who’s still holding onto it before he can get too close.
“It’s probably best if you don’t touch it. Y’know?” you point back and forth between him and you.
“Oh, right,” he sheepishly remembers. “Crap, the popcorns gonna get cold!”
You sigh in relief when his attention goes elsewhere before quickly heading back to your room to put the weapon away. When you reenter the lounge, Yuuji greets you with a cheery smile before patting the empty space next to him. He wants you to sit beside him, but Nobara seems to have other plans as she sits right in your intended spot and tells you to sit next to her instead. You were honestly scared and a bit reluctant, but your fears subside once you sat down and she locked her arm with yours and leaned her head on your shoulder for the rest of the night. 
She and Megumi eventually retreated back to their rooms before they could fall asleep on the couch after the second movie concludes.
“Do you want to keep going?” Yuuji asked, hands fidgeting with the next DVD case he had at the ready.
“Sure,” you nod, not tired in the slightest just yet.
“Sweet!” he gave you a toothy smile before standing up to head towards the dvd player. However, the moment he stood to his full height he went deathly still. His body contorts before swiftly relaxing. He rolls his neck a few times and lets out a relieved sigh. Before you can ask him what’s wrong, that’s when you feel that disgusting familiar aura and your heart starts beating like you just did a triathlon in a few short minutes.
“Finally, some fresh air,” he sighs in relief as he arches his back and his spine lets out a few crisp pops. His voice hasn’t changed in a thousand years and neither has your fear and disdain for it. When he turns and looks at you with those familiar blood colored irises, you involuntarily reach out to grab your weapon, but you only grab at empty air.
“Hey,” you flinch when he addresses you. No, it’s not you he’s talking to. Given your identical appearance and even your cursed energy that you manifested out of habit, in his mind he must think of you as your ancestor themself, not a distant descendant. “It’s been a while.”
“What do you want?” you somehow manage to stutter out.
“Nothing,” he admits. “’Just want a good look at you.”
If your ancestor or even your family were to see you now, you’re certain they’d be disappointed in you for going still before your greatest enemy. All those years of hating and experiencing all those horrible memories feel like a complete waste when you can’t even muster the strength to bat his hand away when it takes hold of your chin and turns your head over for him to thoroughly inspect you.
“Did you miss me?” he strangely inquires.
Finally. You feel some control over your body come back and answer with an affirmative, “No.”
“That’s too bad,” he clicks his tongue with mocking dissatisfaction. “Because I missed you.”
His face begins to lean into you, lips slightly parted, and you know that he’s going in to press them against yours. Just as you’re about to gather all the strength you can muster and push him away, his body seizes once more and the black markings cross his face and wrists begin to fade and crumble away. An in-control-again Yuuji blinks a few times before checking his surroundings to regain his bearings.
“What happened?” he looks down at you and asks, not registering the fact that he was kneeling over you and firmly pushing you back against the couch with a painful grip.
A part of you wanted to punch Yuuji and run back to your room so you can wait out the slight panic attack that overcame you once Sukuna vanished, but you had to remind yourself that you would be hurting Yuuji if you went through with your action. In all honesty, that second point you told him of remembering to never think of himself as Sukuna was more for you than for him. While your ancestor would willingingly strike down any and all who have the slightest bit of affiliation with their tormentor, you are not them. Therefore, you will not stoop down to their discriminating level, no matter how justified it may be.
The night ended on an expected awkward note. Yuuji, bless his heart, went out of his way again to make it up to you. How? He bought a bunch of snacks from a convenience store in the city and gave them to you in a pretty, gift wrapped box. Nobara and Megumi, who helped him put together the forgiveness present, thought the gift itself was dumb and lackluster, but he reasons with them by stating how you also come from a countryside town as well and how you’d definitely like to try some of the Tokyo-exclusive goodies.
Well, the way towards another’s forgiveness is through the stomach, or something like that. The exact quote is a bit lost to you since you’re too busy savoring all the odd flavored chips and candies you’ve never had the chance to taste back home. Nobara and Megumi feel the immense urge to punch you in the back of your head over how easy you are to win over, but you look so happy eating your second bag of potato chips and Yuuji looks very relieved that he’s earned your forgiveness- 
Oh wow you’re offering to share your snacks with them? Don't mind if they do!
While all of you try each and every snack Yuuji gifted to you and rate them like you’re all a bunch of snack experts all of a sudden, Sukuna is brewing in his own satisfaction as he watches you through the eyes of his vessel. Nevermind the fact that you sealed him away all those years ago. He’s back now by a stroke of luck that only seemed to strike again when he saw your familiar figure through Yuuji’s vision. The cursed energy that radiated off of you, the sword you carried by your side, even your face, there was no doubt in his mind that it was the work of fate that you and him were reunited in this new era.
He made the mistake of letting you out of his sight back then, and he isn’t going to let it happen again. He wants to take control over his vessel's body each and every time he’s anywhere within your vicinity, but not only does the brat have the convenient ability to suppress him, you’re a rather cautious one. Just when he thinks Yuuji to be alone and susceptible, you appear out of thin air and keep him at a standstill from within. It’s annoying, but at the same time impressive as well.
While you may be oblivious to his vessel’s budding feelings towards you, he sees this growing fondness Yuuji is beginning to garner towards you as an opportunity, a weakness he can exploit to force a small rematch between you and him. He won’t kill you. He just wants to know if your technique that surprised and caught him off guard back then still elicits the same thrill it did then. 
You are his favorite source of entertainment after all, and it’s been far too long since he’s been amused.
Sloppy and desperate. Those are the best descriptors of your cursed energy the first time he detected it. Your sword still remains as beautiful and deadly as it was, cutting through rows of trees with ease with just the slightest bit of cursed energy embedded into your attack. It makes the phantom sensation of his vessel’s freshly ripped out heart, beat faster and his grin widens to the point of his cheeks hurting from the uncontrollable strain.
Precise and brutal. That is how he would describe your energy now. He easily feels the hatred and sudden rage that began to fuel and flare up your aura oozing out of you that only further accentuates its new characteristics. Normally, you would be swearing at him with a mouth so foul that it would make the average curse blush in embarrassment. He can’t say he likes the way you silently assault him. Where is that crude vocabulary of yours?
“Senpai!” Megumi shouts for your attention as he tries to keep up with your fast paced exchange with Sukuna. “You need to call down-”
“Megumi, don’t call me your damn Senpai!” You shout in response, eyes never daring to look away from Sukuna even as you address your classmate.
“That’s more like it!” he cheers with satisfaction. “Oh, how I’ve missed your damning words beloved.”
“Don’t call me that!” you shout as you swing your right arm and impulsively punch him. He easily blocks your melee, though you send him skidding back a few feet. 
With the much needed space set between the two of you, you correct your stance to a more defensive one. Your innate technique has been actively running ever since Sukuna took over Yuuji’s body and activated his domain expansion. Your sudden bout of rage overwhelmed you after witnessing Sukuna rip Yuuji’s heart out, nearly forgetting that you’ve been barred from the ability to inflict any lasting damage against him in your frenzied state.
Your inherited technique allows you to perfectly parry his ‘Dismantle’ and ‘Cleave’, but no damage will be inflicted if you purposely strike with the intention of dealing a lethal blow as you have been for the past few minutes. Your sword is blunt upon contact, evident by the lack of any lacerations upon his skin.
He may have offered the chance to heal Yuuji if you agreed to spar with him, but you know better than anyone that it’s all a bunch of lies coming out of his stolen lips. Yuuji was lost the moment Sukuna came out and set his sight on you, or rather, who he believes you to be. You’d easily blame yourself for being the cause of his demise, but you also know that Yuuji wouldn’t like it if you blame yourself over this from the afterlife.
The least you can do to make it up to him is bring his body back so it can be properly cremated. He at least deserves a proper funeral.
“All tuckered out already?” Sukuna mockingly coos at you. “I suppose that’s to be expected. How long has it been since our last battle? I doubt there was any curse who could live up to my strength this past millennium.” He cackles when you don’t reply. He’s right. He knows he is.
You finally break your silence with an odd comment. “You really think I’m them, do you?”
Though obviously rhetoric, Sukuna gives you a questioning look. “Elaborate,” he commands.
“I’m not who you think I am,” you simply state. “I have the same technique as them, but I am not the one who sealed you away that fateful night. That person is my predecessor, while I am their descendant.”
You state your family name, then your first name, and wait. He willingly takes in this information, cupping his chin and looking up at the sky as he mulls it over before coming to his own conclusion. Unsurprisingly, he doesn’t seem to accept it as the truth, evident by the way he slips his hands back in his pockets and cocks his head at you with a playful attitude.
“Whatever the punchline was, I’m afraid it fell flat,” he lets out a sympathetic laugh. “You mean to tell me that after I was sealed away, you found yourself a spouse willing to take you, a washed up whore, into their bosom and bear children with you?”
The way he shakes his head and clicks his tongue in a dismissive manner pisses you off more than watching him crush Yuuji’s heart in his bare hand. Most of the memories of your ancestor revolve around their time as one of Sukuna’s concubines. The memories you have of their life afterwards are foggy at best, but you do remember the feeling of peace as well an overwhelming amount of bliss and mutual love their spouse gave them despite their history. It was one of the happiest moments of their life and it never once faltered even after they retold their darkest memories to their children and handed down their initial will, to always oppose the king of curses, no matter the era.
People may think it cruel, selfish even, that they did not strive to develop a better technique and pass down such a heavy responsibility to their children and their children’s children. But if there’s anything those hazy memories taught you, is that they do not regret the efforts that they did make to set themselves, and the others under his servitude, free from his tyranny. Had they submitted and gave into his whims, they would have never been blessed with their children and loving spouse.
Had they not done what they did, acted the way they did, you would not be here, opposing the king of curses within this new era of curses.
“I have never lied to you,” you repeat those now ancient words. “The least you can do is give me the benefit of the doubt before dubbing me a liar.”
It happened so fast that you question if it even happened or not. His eyebrows furrowed, the exact same manner when your ancestor severed the first of his twenty fingers on that fateful night.
When he began to approach you, you sheath your blade and returned to a neutral stance, feeling safe to do so as the previous hostile energy he exuded calms. Megumi stumbles in just in time to see Sukuna and you standing nearly chest to chest. He presses his palms together in preparation to summon one of his shikigami to provide support, but he stops his incantation when he notices that neither of you are exchanging blows anymore, though the two of you do exchange unfaltering glares towards each other that puts Megumi on edge even though he is merely a spectator in this situation.
“I am not them,” you firmly state. “This is the truth.”
Sukuna hums, dissatisfaction clear as you repeat your claim from earlier.
“It seems you weren’t lying,” he finally concedes. “Such a shame.”
With one final shrug, the black markings all over Yuuji’s chest and limbs begin to crumble until there's nothing but his unblemished skin. The sharper features his face takes on when Sukuna takes control and taints with his sigils turn back into those belonging to the typically boisterous boy.
“Hey,” his slightly raspy and confused voice greets you so genuinely. 
“Hey,” you greet him back with a relieved, yet sad smile. His eyes follow yours that seemed focused on his chest and that’s when he finally notices the gaping hole as well as the lack of a beating heart and blood trail.
The grey clouds that have been gathering before you all were dropped off at the school finally begin to shed droplets of cold rain down on you. A drop lands perfectly on his face that looks indistinguishable to a shed tear. You instinctively reach out and wipe it away.
“I’m sorry you had to see me like this,” he pouts. 
“It’s alright,” you withdraw your hand away from his cold and sickeningly pale cheek. “I’m sorry I couldn’t save you from him.”
He took a deep breath as if he was about to say something else, but his eyes finally go blank and his upright body gives out and falls forward. You catch him with ease and carefully set him down on the damp soil. He’s officially gone to you, yet you take extra care to cup the back of his head and gently set him down with shaking hands. As you kneel beside his stiff body, another drop falls on his face and trickles down. 
You’re not sure if it’s another raindrop or the first of many teardrops that begin to spill from your tear ducts once your brain finally registers that your best friend is lying dead before you.
A week later
Yuuji is dead, yet it is as clear as the large hole in his chest that Sukuna is still living on within the body, if only barely. Ieiri, Gojo and Ijichi can’t tell, but you can. Call it yet another inherited skill or instinct, but no amount of pitiful words or comforting pats on your back from either of them are going to make you second guess yourself on this matter.
Sukuna is alive, yet for some reason he isn’t staking his claim on the body. You know he can at any moment, but it seems he’s not entirely stupid and is trying to play his cards right.
Perhaps he’s waiting for something? Maybe a certain someone instead? It wouldn’t surprise you if he has allies that are still alive and are well aware of his resurrection. It wouldn’t surprise you either if they were gathering his other fingers in his stead. Those damn things are blinking beacons for other curses, so gathering them shouldn’t be hard even for the most mediocre of cursed beings. Even when he’s made into a bunch of inanimate objects, he can still cause some amount of chaos and grief.
Damn him.
Your claim that Sukuna still lives goes from outlandish and desperate to undoubtedly true when a faint pulse of his energy brings everyone’s attention to Yuuji’s corpse and puts you all on the defensive. It was a signal, specifically for you. He wants you to come to him, within his own playing field and without the prying eyes of your superiors or the chance for any outside interference from your teacher.
Speaking of Gojo, he’s been trying to pull you away from Yuuji’s corpse and usher you out of the room for your own protection.
“He wants to talk to me,” you state the obvious to him.
“Yeah, that’s not happening,” he says with finality. It’s almost adorable how he’s trying to play the role of the stern authority figure when he’s normally such an eccentric man 99% of the time. “C’mon, you need to leave.”
“Gojo-sensei,” you reach up to your shoulder that he’s tightly gripping and gently pry his hand off. “I mean no disrespect to you, or anyone at this school for that matter. But when it comes to matters regarding Ryomen Sukuna, you and the higher ups don’t know a damn thing about that monster.”
Your hand hastily reaches out and your fingertips merely graze against Yuuji’s cold and rigid skin. Just that slight contact is enough to have your surroundings shift from a stagnant and grey autopsy room to a dark and brooding domain. You blink away the dizziness from your sudden shift of reality and the first thing you notice is the pile of ox skulls. You also notice the endless rows of ribs high up in the air that further add towards the domain’s ominousness.
“I’m here!” you cup your hands around your mouth as you yell out. “The hell do you want from me you two-faced bastard?!”
“Quit screaming,” his annoyed yet strangely soft voice startles you. You abruptly turn around to meet him face to face.
“Where’s Yuuji?” you ask with command behind your infliction.
“There’s no one else but us,” he says in a poor attempt to make you drop your defensive body posture. When he notices that you aren’t relaxing, he points behind you with an annoyed glare. You turn to see nothing but the collection of dirtied animal skulls, but at the last second you see an unconscious Yuuji planted face down into the ankle deep water (blood?) at the bottom of the mountainous pile. Upon seeing the familiar tuft of pink hair, you sprint towards his unmoving body. You flip him upwards once he’s in reach, fearing he was drowning or at the very least injured in some way.
As you try to gently coax or check for any sign of life within your friend, you ignore or even fail to notice the way Sukuna observes you from behind. The boy is unconscious only due to Sukuna easily decapitating him earlier as they fought over the conditions of the binding vow he was enforcing in exchange for healing his vessel’s body and bringing him back to life. Just as he was about to uphold his end of the vow, he felt as you entered the room his vessel’s lifeless body was most definitely being stored to be later cremated. 
His reaching out to you was an impulsive action on his part. He now knows that the one who stands before him is truly not you. Your energy and your descendants are near indistinguishable, so his sudden call of you was a mere force of habit and his prevailing desire to chase after you. It’s not his brightest moment, but you tend to make him act beyond what is usually his typical behavior. 
As he watches your descendant talk to a half awake and delirious Yuuji, he can’t help but to examine them with a bit of awe. The one before him is your descendant of a thousand years, perhaps even more. They are your flesh and blood, and yet they retain not only your image, but even some of your memories as well. He doesn’t know what to think of this revelation, truly he doesn’t.
The only thing that’s rubbing him the wrong way is the fact that they are not a product between you and him. It’s not that he has or had any sort of unfulfilled paternal desire locked deep within him. Even if he did contemplate producing a few offspring before his temporary demise, he only wanted children for the same reason he wanted a harem, as a source of amusement that he can freely manipulate however he sees fit. Perhaps he did consider impregnating a few dozen of his concubines to see if any could birth him an heir worthy of his legacy, but the entire process was too much of a hassle that he wasn’t willing to deal with at the time. He had no pure intentions when it comes to spreading his seed into the world.
So why is he angry that you went ahead and did so without him?
“Your ancestor’s spouse,” he idly mentions in an attempt to garner their careful attention. From the way they stiffen up and look at him with that familiar glare of yours, he has it. “What were they like?”
“As if I’d tell you,” they say.
“I see you inherited their stubbornness,” he huffs with annoyance, but deep down in the deepest and most hidden parts of his mind, he feels somewhat glad that your stubbornness continues to live on in the world. “Tell me, and I’ll let you return with Yuuji-”
“Their spouse was just as stubborn as they were,” they cut him off with an immediate answer. “No matter how many times they tried to ignore or downplay their advances, they continued to chase after my predecessor until it was as obvious as the sun that they truly wanted to be together with them and make them happy.”
As he expected, their recollection of your life after him is too disgustingly domestic and romanticized for his liking. What does come at a surprise is that they completely went against their earlier proclamation of remaining silent and divulged him on the information he initially asked of you rather readily. Something must have switched in their mind. Are they trying to get back at him on your behalf by proudly stating that you lived a happy life without him?
“That’s exactly what I’m doing,” they say with a smug voice. “They hated you beyond comprehension, and even if they are long gone from this world, I assure you that their hatred remains just as intense as it was when they lived.”
“Don’t be mistaken, you pathetic human,” he growls, much more angrily than normal. “I could care less who they fornicated with and how many children they produced.”
“For the self proclaimed king of curses, you sure are a terrible liar,” they say, almost pitifully. “You regret the way you treated them, don’t you? Deny it all you want, I know I’m right.”
Your last comment is the final straw. With the flick of his wrist he casts you and Yuuji out of his inner domain and back into the living world. He heals Yuuji to maintain his side of the binding vow before settling back atop his rigid throne of horned skulls. He watches through Yuuji’s eyes how the two of you squeeze each other into a firm embrace after he reawakens. When Gojo makes a comment about how Yuuji is stark naked on the metal table, he feels the immense urge to grab one of the skulls and crush it into a fine dust in his bare fist as the two of you devolve into a fit of awkward but good natured laughter at the realization.
He can’t remember a time when you ever laughed or smiled like your descendant is doing now.
Does he regret never once seeing or hearing you in such a way? Maybe.
But you’re gone, so there is no point lingering on it too much.
There’s no point in having regrets now.
Bonus
Sukuna knew it was only a matter of time before you and Yuuji solidified your relationship as a romantic one. Back in his prime, he behaved no differently than Yuuji did after he brought him back to life, straightforward and without a second thought. Ever since he stole you away from your family and home, every chance you took at defying him and damning his name into the fiery pits of hell invoked something within him. Something no other man or woman can or ever will be able to. And yet, each time he reached out to indulge himself further of you, you retreated into yourself and tried to cast him out of every corner of your mind while he tried to engrave your everything into his very being. Your behavior to his advances differ greatly from your descendant, who accepts Yuuji’s advances with an honest and willing smile.
He watches the relationship through the unsuspecting eyes of his vessel. Sometimes, he gags at how sickeningly affectionate Yuuji can be. Yet despite his behavior, your descendant drinks it all up and returns the hugs and the kisses tenfold. Nobara and Megumi often roll their eyes on the sidelines and comment on how they were practically made for each other. Sukuna can't help but silently roll his eyes as well as agree with their annoyed comments, even if it makes him incredibly irritated. 
Will he ever admit to the latter? Never.
He does not regret the way things turned out between you and him. He cannot regret for the sake of his sanity. Instead, he often ponders about the possibilities. Had he not taken you from your home, could there have been a chance you and him could have been friends despite his reputation at the time? If he courted you properly instead of forcing you into his collection of common whores, could you look at him the same way your descendant looks at Yuuji, with so much love and tenderness that it makes his stomach twist into knots and the back of his throat burn? Despite being a curse who sustains himself on his pure carnal desires, could he have been selfless and put forth the efforts to make you happy?
During nights when they share a bed together, he sneaks control over the body and traces what was once your face with his black painted claws. Could you ever look so peaceful as your descendant does now if you laid beside him? Would you remain in his bed until the sun rises instead of fleeing? Would your body feel just as warm, fit just as perfectly in his embrace as your descendant does?
Sukuna does not regret the path he took. He cannot, for the sake of his sanity. He does wonder about the possibilities.
He wonders, could this descendant of yours have been his as well?
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helliontherapscallion · 8 months ago
Text
Adrenaline Junkie
Part 2     Part 3     Part 4     Part 5     Part 6     Part 7     Part 8     Part 9     Part 10     Part 11     Part 12     Part 13     Part 14     Part 15     Part 16     Part 17
Spotify Playlist (collaborative)
Ages (oldest to youngest):
Philza- 32
Technoblade- 17 
Wilbur- 17
(Y/N)- 16
Tommy- 14
Pairing: platonic!sbi x winged!sibling!reader
Warnings: near death experiences, mentions of depression, OOC sbi (this is my first time writing about them)
Summary: Philza finds out about your little “habit”
Word count: 1,962
You grinned as you flew through the air with your feathers glinting in the low sunlight. You absolutely loved the feeling of freedom you got whenever you flew. It always gave you a sense of calm when you needed a break from your family. You loved them of course, but you needed a break once and a while; you often felt drained if you didn’t take some time to yourself. The cold air rushed past you as you continued to flap your wings to keep you in the air. 
You could not see the ground below you as you soared higher into the clouds, weaving in and out of them. Flying higher, you steadied yourself to look at the sunset. The mixture of pinks, oranges, and yellows blended together perfectly. You always loved the sunset, it was one of the only consistent things in your life. You wished that you could stay hovering hundreds of feet above the ground, but mobs were going to be spawning soon. The last time you stayed out past sunset you had almost gotten killed by a skeleton. Your dad had given you quite the lecture after he made sure that you were alright. You still had the scars on your arms from when it tried to shoot you out of the air.
You angled yourself so you were upside down, put your arms tight to your sides, and extended your wings fully behind you. You dove closer and closer to the earth, quickly picking up speed. The wind whipped around you as you gained velocity, getting closer and closer to the ground by the millisecond. At the last second, you fully extended your wings and drastically slowed your descent to the ground. The extra velocity you had made you soar up once again before you regained control and landed safely on the ground. The adrenaline that the skydive gave you was the most exhilarating feeling you’ve ever felt, and you were always craving it. Your dad didn’t find it as fun or exhilarating as you did.
“(Y/N) (M/N) MINECRAFT.”
Your father’s voice boomed from behind you. You could tell that he was in a lecturing mood without even having to look at him. He grabbed your arm and spun you around. Grabbing your other arm, he looked you up and down with worried blue eyes. After seeing that you were alright, his gaze hardened and he took a deep breath.
“Do you have any idea how dangerous that was?”
He rattled on and on about how you could’ve killed yourself, but quite frankly you didn’t care if you died or got hurt. In your opinion, the adrenaline you got was worth it. You had three lives you could spend, and if you did die, you wanted to go out with a bang all three times. What could you say? You were an adrenaline junkie through and through. 
He started to drag you inside the house mid lecture. Swinging open the door, he pulled you towards the kitchen, where the scent of fresh mushroom stew wafted from the pot on the stove. Your brothers looked at you each with their own different reactions. Techno looked as stoic as ever, Wilbur eyed you with slight disapproval, and Tommy looked at you with awe and excitement. They must’ve seen your little trick through the window. 
“(Y/N) THAT WAS POGGERS! YOU WERE SUCH A BADA-”
Tommy’s excited rant was cut short as he saw the stern look on Philza’s face. After a few moments of hesitation, your brothers were making small talk with each other with Philza occasionally chiming in. Poking idly at your food, you contemplated how you should go about apologizing to your dad. 
You supposed that the best route you could go was telling him that you wouldn’t do that again, but you knew you would do it again. That was the biggest adrenaline rush you’ve ever gotten and you were already craving it again. You couldn’t lie to your dad, your wings always gave you away by twitching uncomfortably whenever you lied. On the other hand, telling him that you felt empty when you didn’t have adrenaline coursing through your veins was not an option. He already has enough to worry about with working to provide for four teenagers. Deciding that your best bet was to lie to him and hope for the best, you zoned back into the conversation around you. Tommy was ranting about how he had broken his favorite sword dueling Techno.
“-do you have any idea how long it took me to find that enchantment, Techno?”
Techno huffed slightly in amusement. “Actually I do because I helped you find that enchantment. We found it in the village together, remember?”
“Tommy,” Philza said tiredly, “we can get you another enchanted sword. Techno, you need to be more gentle with your little brother. You have to remember he’s three years younger than you, so he has less experience in dueling.”
Tommy grumbled to himself, busying himself with shoveling food in his mouth. Wilbur glanced at him with disgust.
“Do you have to eat like that, Tommy? It’s disgusting.”
“Well, Wilbur, it’s not my fault I’m hungry.”
“You’re eating like we don’t feed you.”
You usually enjoyed it whenever your siblings argue back and forth like this, but lately it didn’t make you feel anything. You didn’t feel much anymore if you weren’t pulling off impulsive stunts. Of course, you hid it from your family and acted like you did before. It was relatively easy since you were naturally a quiet person. You thought you were doing a great job at it, you pride yourself on your acting skills.
Dinner went by fast without anything notable happening. Since it was your night to clean up, you got to work after everyone parted ways for the night. You stacked the dishes left on the dinner table and got to work washing them. Luckily, since you lived with three teenage boys, you never had to deal with leftovers. You subconsciously stretched and twitched your wings, feeling restless without feeling the wind moving through your feathers. After you got done with putting the dishes away, you took a deep breath and set out on your search for Philza. 
Walking into the living room, you saw Techno sitting near the fireplace reading one of his mythology books. “Hey, Tech. Do you know where Dad is? I need to talk to him.”
Without looking up from his book, he responded in his usual monotone voice. “Yeah, he’s up in his room. I think he’s going to bed early.” He paused for a second before looking up at you with sincerity. “You know, he was terrified when he saw you earlier. He thought that you weren’t gonna stop yourself in time. Hell, we all thought you were gonna die.”
That made you feel guilty. He already had to deal with providing and raising you four and he didn’t need anything else to worry about. You felt your wings droop slightly as you sighed. 
“...Thanks, T. G’night, love you.”
You started to speed walk to Philza’s room without giving him time to respond. You needed to apologize to him and fast. Out of all your siblings, you were always the one to hate conflict and would always apologize first whenever you got into a disagreement with anyone. You were always the pacifist. 
Walking past Tommy in the hallway, he tried to stop you to talk to you, but you ignored him with a dismissive wave of your wing. You heard him mumbling to himself as he started to walk down the stairs, probably to challenge Techno to a rematch. You nervously fluttered your wings, feathers occasionally brushing against the walls and causing you to shiver slightly at the small touch. Your hands were shaking slightly as you took a steadying deep breath and knocked on Philza’s door. Hearing his tired “come in”, you slowly opened his door. He situated himself so that he was sitting on the edge of his bed and gestured for you to sit next to him.
“Hey, Dad. I-I just wanted to say sorry for worrying you earlier. If I knew that it would stress you out, I wouldn’t have done it.” You sat next to him.
He sighed as he wrapped an arm across your shoulders, pulling you into his side. “I don’t care if it stressed me out. You could’ve gotten killed from a fall at that height. You could have lost a life. I don’t know what I would’ve done if you didn’t open your wings in time.”
“I know, I’m sorry.”
“Then why’d you do it if you knew that you could’ve gotten yourself killed? I just want to understand why you would pull a stunt like that, I’d never expect you out of all of your siblings to do something so dangerous.”
You took a deep breath as you contemplated your next words. You really wanted to tell him about how you felt empty without putting yourself in danger. You wanted to tell him that you didn’t feel like yourself anymore. Unconsciously, your wings started to twitch and pull themselves closer to your body. 
You jumped when you felt something else wrap around you. You looked back and saw black feathers. Looking back up at your father, he looked at you with a concerned expression. 
“Take a deep breath, you’re shaking hun.”
You looked down at your hands and to your surprise, they were shaking. You took a few deep breaths and clasped your hands together tightly while Philza rubbed comforting circles on your back. 
“...It’s just that, I haven’t been feeling like myself lately, if that makes any sense. It’s like I can’t feel anything anymore without doing stupid things that could get me killed. It wasn’t the first time I’ve dived like that. One time I lost control and almost flew into lava-filled ravine.”
“...How long have you felt like this?”
“A few months now.”
Philza felt his heart break, how did he not notice that you were different for months? You could’ve gotten yourself hurt or permanently maimed yourself and it would’ve been his fault because he didn’t notice your mood shift. 
“I’m so sorry I didn’t notice sooner.”
“It’s not your fault, Dad. I didn’t tell you anything was wrong. Please don’t blame yourself.”
“We can help you find something that’ll help you. Something less dangerous.”
“We?”
“Your brothers and I. They’ve been listening this entire time, weren’t you, boys?”
You heard shuffling and muffled voices arguing with each other before the door opened to reveal your sheepish brothers. Wordlessly, they all filed into the room. Tommy grabbed your shoulders and yanked you into a tight hug. You felt Wilbur hug your other side before he pulled Techno into the group hug also. You felt feathers tickle your cheek as Philza joined, wrapping his giant wings around you all. The family hasn’t had a group hug since you all started to hit your teenage years. For the first time in a while, you felt happy without risking your life.
After that night, you were right in your assumption that you’d be grounded (literally and metaphorically) from flying for a while while your family worked hard to find something safe that gave you a distraction. Soon, Wilbur found a book about the intricacies of redstone working and you were hooked. Sure, your family was rambunctious and a strange group, but you wouldn’t want it any other way.
1K notes · View notes
nctream · 8 months ago
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black parade. pjs
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19.8k words | park jisung's one shot [black parade]
» genre: superpowers! au, romance, (faint) mutual pining, angst.
synopsis. Jisung was about to turn twenty and his powers had finally appeared, meanwhile you? Yours were nowhere in sight. You didn’t look jealous, you didn’t look expecting; you just seemed tired. So Jisung kept looking at you furtively. He wasn’t scared of being caught, or at least that wasn’t the proper answer. In his eyes you shined so bright, that if he looked for too long, his retina would have burned to ashes. How funny for someone whose powers were related to fire to be afraid of the metaphorical sun that you were.
» warnings: mentions of parental fighting/family issues, panic attack, human beings are referred as "the normal", but it has no racist undertones, of course.
— disclaimer ➛ This is a work of fiction. I do not own famous character(s) such as idols and my writings are in no way meant to show these people’s real nature and/or offend them in any way. You can not copy or translate my writings without my permission.
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𝑵𝑶𝑻𝑬: i would just like to share a couple of words before you start reading; i haven’t posted a long scenario in forever (quite literally, my last one was in september 2020), but here i am, with my part of @hyucksie‘s collaboration project “ALMOST”. it took me two months to write this, i couldn’t bring myself to sit down and write because while in my head it sounded so perfect, on paper didn’t fulfil my expectations. either way, it’s here and it’s bad... it really is, i’m sorry. it’s quick-paced, overdramatic, but we all knew i’m not good at angst lol. i’d also like to thank @hunjins for proofreading this, with exams and everything i haven’t gotten much time in my hands to do anything and she really saved me with this one. hope you guys enjoy this, please leave some feedback, comments, asks, pms, i don’t care anything you want — stay safe <3
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HAPPY TWENTY. 
If they could have had the possibility to make a “no more virgin” cake, you were pretty sure that they would have done it. The only difference was that Park Jisung hadn’t lost his virginity, no, better — because Jisung had finally found his power. 
It wasn’t unusual for a power to emerge a couple of days before turning twenty years old, but his? His power had really waited the last minute before he turned twenty years old on the birth certificate to appear. 
The day after his twentieth birthday, Jisung rode his bike from the boys’ dorms to the main building of the academia and when Jeno first caught sight of him, his strong arms reached toward the sky and he ran toward the youngest of his group of friends. 
“I can not believe you finally have powers, I was starting to get scared,” the black-haired boy snickered, throwing an arm around Jisung’s neck and pulling him slightly down. Despite being the youngest, Jisung was the tallest of his group of friends and they never lost a chance to remind him. 
“Yeah,” he chuckled awkwardly, threading his long fingers in the mop of champagne hair that he had forgotten to dye that weekend. If there was something that Jisung hated more than loud people and wet socks, it surely was the black roots of forgotten hair — but he also wasn’t the type of person to actually take care of it, especially counting that he shared a room with Zhong Chenle and the kid had even taught him to shower once a week. 
“Park Jisung!” someone shouted from the other side of the school courtyard, making the thin boy jump around Jeno’s arm. Jaemin reached his friends with a sly smirk stretching the sides of his lips and his nose red from the cold. “Congrats!” 
Jisung hoofed when Jaemin’s index dipped between his ribs; a silent mocking for how long it took him to find his superpower. Nevertheless, it looked like the smile on Jisung’s lips didn’t want to leave his reddened face, pulling at his corners and showing the cute gummy smile that had made every one of his friends fall for him. 
“Do we get to know what it is about?” Jeno lowered his voice, making sure that nobody was listening to them. 
Classes would have started in a couple of minutes and the three of them should have started entering the building, but they would have blamed their delay on the knot of inexperienced heroes pooling in front of the entrance, again. Jisung was pretty sure that Mrs. Kim didn’t believe them anymore, anyways — she just closed her eyes and acted blindly to their lies. 
“I can’t!” Jisung fretted. His head whipped around, looking to see if any professor was close enough to hear what they were talking about, but he was only met with Jaemin’s black hair and charming smile. 
Jeno rolled his eyes, “But we’re your best friends!”
“Yeah, nobody is gonna know and you’re going to explicate today anyways,” Jaemin gushed, pushing his shoulder closer to Jisung’s so that the kid was now trapped between the two of them. 
There was a rule in academia that when a student first received their power, they couldn’t talk about it with anybody, not even with their roommates, because it could have been used against them in inconvenient situations and on academic grounds. Basically, Jisung couldn’t tell what his power was to anyone until he spoke to the headmaster and “explicated” it to him first. 
The kid sighed, looking down at his worn-out shoes, “I can’t”. He felt bad for not telling his friends, but the rules were the rules and he didn’t want to risk his position in academia. His parents had spent an incredible amount of money on it. 
See, Park Jisung didn’t come from a family of superheroes like some students did, but rather from a family of supers who had powers, but preferred living a life in the shadow of normality. 
Unlike yours. 
“Park, Lee, and Na” the voice coming from behind their backs made them stop in their tracks and their feet almost turned into ice. The air around them had turned crisp as if the voice wasn’t enough evidence that Mrs. Kim was now standing behind them. 
The trio turned around slowly, Jaemin already rolling his eyes to the sky. With the hundreds and hundreds of students roaming around the courtyard, Mrs. Kim Hosook always had to catch them specifically, bringing the frigid air of aerokinesis with her. 
Her eyes were a shade of grey that almost blended with the white part, while her lips were always painted with the darkest shade of red, making her pale skin stick out. 
She scanned them, looking at Jisung in particular as the voice of him finding his power had already run around campus. The youngest only hoped that she hadn’t heard his friends spur him into telling them what his power was. 
Mrs. Kim raised a long finger, her red nail shining against the pale sun of a February morning. “How about you,” Jisung gulped when the finger pointed at him, “go explicate before Mr. Oh’s class starts and you,” she moved her finger between Jaemin and Jeno, “go to class”. 
A second of silence followed the four of them, while other students were laughing and greeting each other in total ignorance of what was going on between them. Then Mrs. Kim slightly raised her voice, “Now!”
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JOB OF SURVIVING. 
There had been a sheet of snow covering most of the courtyard for the past week, but that day the sun had decided to grace the sky and try its best to melt the white flakes away. It was too cold outside for it to do a consistent job, but at least you didn’t break your head in half trying to walk from the girls’ dorms to the main building that morning. 
You had survived another day, good job! 
The laboratory was empty when you first had stepped inside, making you feel a little bit more comfortable. The place was freezing and even turning the lights on hadn’t helped much, so you kept your jacket on as you took your PC and the book out. 
If you only hadn’t procrastinated the whole week, ending up with having to do your part of the project in less than a day (an afternoon and a night, to be exact), you would have probably been in the comfort of your dorm at that time — and not sat on a frozen chair, dying of envy as the last students passed by and left the labs building. 
You weren’t sure when you had started not caring about school, maybe you never did to start with, but that year everything seemed to move at a pace that was way too slow for your likings. 
“Oh, hi,” someone murmured, making your head whip up and away from your work. Jisung’s eyes were wide, he surely wasn’t expecting anyone to be there on a Thursday afternoon (after classes), when usually everyone was already in their rooms, excited for the Friday to come and planning whatever to do on the weekend. 
Your eyebrow slowly raised as Jisung stood still, looking at you for a couple of seconds too long. He was lost in his own thoughts, but to you, it looked like he was planning an escape. His dirty blonde hair framed his slim face and you could see a couple of red freckles dotting the sides of his nose, making you wonder where you had already seen him. 
It was after classes, specifically a week after Jisung had finally found his power and explicated it. When the word first had come out, people were confused and had started whispering between each other. Despite Jisung’s parents being a nobody, it was still known that they bottled up two powers of water and ice in their small bodies, so when Jisung’s hands had first lightened up on fire, he too had to double take and make sure he hadn’t just burned himself really badly — no, Jisung’s skin was totally fine, if not for a couple of dark spots. 
The boy cleared his throat and awkwardly made his way towards an empty spot, not sure if he should have said anything else. Was it impolite to ask how you were doing - I mean, he didn’t even know who you were to start with. 
You cleared your throat and looked back at your laptop, your eyes switching from the word document to the book spread in front of you. You weren’t too bad at history, the only problem came when you were sitting in an academia that wasn’t right for you — the kind of history they taught you there was quite different from the normal history other people studied. 
Old superheroes, old superpowers, the creation of electricity in humans’ bodies: things you wanted to keep as far from your life as possible. Unfortunately enough, you were born in a family of supers, where their only care was to save the world from evil and have a future of children that would have done the same. If you concentrated hard enough, you could still hear your mom’s voice as she prayed to the gods to give you a physical power that would have been just as powerful as theirs. 
Being a superhero had never been in your plans to start with; you had enjoyed going to a normal high school, with normal students and normal teachers, where the weirdest history was of a man leaving to battle the war for a God that didn’t even exist. Now, you were about to turn twenty, you were without a speck of a superpower and you had been thrown into an academia where the only thing that could be labeled as normal was the water coming out of the shower. 
A dry gasp shook you out of your thoughts. The Google document was still plain white, with just your name written at the top when a weird smell started tickling your nose. 
Your eyebrows were furrowed as you inspected the place slowly, trying to understand where the smell of burnt plastic was coming from. Until a couple of seconds before everything seemed normal, but now you were starting to notice that the laboratory wasn’t as cold as it had been when you had first entered. 
A gasp cut your throat and you opened your mouth to talk. The student that had arrived later was holding a vial of the laboratory in his left hand, the green liquid inside was bubbling white, but he was completely focused on something on his phone. 
“I-” you uttered under your breath, not sure what exactly to say. He couldn’t have been so dumb not to notice that the plastic was melting in his hand, could he? The smell was vulgar and pretty much clogging your lungs. 
With your mouth still opened, the plastic vial in Jisung’s hand popped and the low flame that was coming from his hand came in direct contact with the liquid in it. The boy gasped in shock, quickly standing on his feet as the solution lightened up on fire, hitting the floor and quickly spreading to the feet of the white counter. 
“Shit!” he hissed, jumping a foot back. He wasn’t completely used to handling fire yet (of course), so his very first reaction to the flames was still to back away and run from an assured burn. 
You followed his movements, standing up from the stool and taking a step back. You couldn’t believe that a whole fire was happening before your eyes; suddenly Yerim’s words resonated in your ears and yes, maybe you should have gone to the computer lab to do your project. 
Jisung whipped his head around, his eyes meeting your wide ones. No one of you was doing anything, feet glued to your spots. 
“Is that your power?” you questioned in a high-pitched voice. 
Jisung’s mouth opened and closed a couple of times, like a fish out of water. “Y-yeah,” he turned around, staring at the red and green flames. 
The project he had to work on said that he was supposed to warm the liquid up, so he had really thought that doing it with his own hands - now that he had the power to - would have been a good idea, but he had gotten distracted with the new updates for his game so...
Jisung turned back towards you, his hands touching the top of his head, trying to think as hard as he could’ve. What kind of situation was that? He had grown up around water and now his whole body was immune to fire, producing it to a level of being able to light the academy lab on fire. 
Your eyes were looking at him expectantly; you couldn’t understand why he wasn’t doing anything if fire was his power, that should have been easy for him, right?
Wrong. 
“I do pyrokinesis, not manipulation,” he threaded his long fingers through his locks, looking back at the fire. Not to mention, Jisung used to be terrified of a little toothpick catching on fire, seeing part of the floor lighting up was giving him so much anxiety. 
“What does that even mean?” you almost shouted, stressing the last word. You had no idea how elemental abilities worked, but how in the world was he afraid of his own power?
As the question passed through your mind, you felt your heart fall in your stomach and your eyes stilled. You had no right to speak and judge his fear of fire when you were like that too. 
“I generate fire, but I can’t control it. Not yet, at least,” he tried to explain, walking a step closer to the fire and two back away. He knew it wasn’t much, it was not like the whole lab was burning, but he couldn’t find it in himself to touch the flame and try to calm it down. 
You swallowed and looked around the place. There must have been some type of plain liquid or a fire extinguisher. For God's sake, you were in a chemistry laboratory, there must have been a fire extinguisher somewhere. Nevertheless, you had no time to search through the whole place, so your brain went in a fight or flight state and you grabbed your backpack, taking out the bottle of water that you had stolen from Yerim before leaving the dorm. 
Jisung stared at you with wide eyes as you ran toward him, your face scrunched in fear and thought. The fire looked scary, the red and blue mixed with the green colour of the liquid that had caught up on fire and some flames were as high as your hips. 
You weren’t sure if pouring the bottle would have helped in any way, but you still emptied the whole litre of water on the burning fire that had lightened up on the floor. 
Your mind was already planning for other ways, but the next option would have been leaving the lab and letting the kid die in there, so you sighed in great relief when you noticed the fire becoming smaller and smaller until your foot came up and you stomped on it, extinguishing it completely. 
Jisung stared wide-eyed and open-mouthed, your booth coming down the floor not even making him flinch a bit. If Haechan ever happened to see him in that situation, with his hands over his mouth and his heart down his ass, he would have never let him live further. 
You were heaving. You looked down at the burned floor and cringed at the huge black mark that painted its white surface. There was no way in hell that he was going to come out of that situation safe from the professors or even the headmaster — what you knew for sure was that you didn’t want to have anything to do with it. 
You turned around and faced him. He looked shocked, while you were still trying to regain your normal breathing. The adrenaline was quickly rushing to you, making your legs shake and clouding your eyes a little bit. 
Looking at him this close, observing the blue flakes in his dark eyes and the black roots of his undyed hair, you remembered where you had already seen him. He was Park Jisung, in his first year at the academy and he was known for having gotten his powers a minute before turning twenty. 
You looked down at the bottle in your hands and took a deep breath in. “I’m gonna go,” you mumbled, your voice unstable. 
Jisung didn’t say anything. You left the empty bottle next to him, a silent request not to tell anyone that you were there, then grabbed your stuff and left. 
You just weren’t the type to play with fire.
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“... JISUNG WHO CAN’T CONTROL HIS”
You weren’t the type to cry over yourself, or at least you weren’t anymore. For how painful watching love bloom in other people’s lives was, you never wished to be in their place for too long. They must have had other problems, right?
For how excruciating knowing that normal families existed, you never spoke a word about it to your mother — it would have killed her to know that her first daughter would have preferred living in another world. Many others would have killed to live your life, have your family, have the possibility to see a different energy blossom into their body like the love child of what God and Mother Nature couldn’t create in person. Your body, like many other supers’ bodies, was the bottle of a power unknown to mankind. And you were tired. 
“Y/N?” a voice shook you away from your thoughts, your eyes seized and your pupil focused on the blonde hair before you, “Are you listening to me?”
Yerim’s eyebrows were furrowed as she tried to read your face, but despite her telepathic speaking, she had no power over what you were currently thinking. Sometimes she wondered what getting into your head and being able to read you would have been like, despite knowing you for so long, you still were a completely white sheet to her. 
You shook your head no, looking down at your paper and then back up at her. To be fair, you were listening to her when she had first started speaking, but when the conversation diverted to the nail appointment that she would have missed that afternoon, your brain had stopped interpreting her words. For how much you loved Kim Yerim, she still was incredibly frivolous to you — you guessed that was the reason why the two of you clicked so much, she was the stop button to your overthinking mind. In other words, Yerim was your best friend. 
“I said that I ended up being paired with Sooyoung for the practice test,” she repeated and your eyes widened at the name. 
“Sooyoung? The body manipulator?” the shock in your voice was evident - just in case your face wasn't a mirror of your emotions enough - and a couple of other students turned around to look at you. 
The class had been over for a good five minutes now, but since it was the last one of the day, most of the students were taking it slowly, stopping to talk to some of their friends to decide what to do that Friday night or the weekend to come. 
Yerim grunted and hid her face in the palms of her hands, nodding wildly and whimpering against her skin, “What am I supposed to do? Talk to her through my mind while she can quite literally dissolve from place to place?” she whined. 
She wasn’t wrong, people with manipulation powers were the worst because most of the time they did everything with the snap of a finger. Yerim herself didn’t have the best of powers, telepathy was mostly useful in safe situations, while during combat she should have only relied on the physical practice she had gone through. 
Biting down on your bottom lip you tried to pat her back, awkwardly searching around for a way to help her. 
“You’re not gonna get actually hurt anyways, so don’t worry,” you assumed. Being that you were without powers, you had never been present to practice, if not for the times that Yerim had invited you, but mental abilities’ practices were much different from physical abilities’ practices. 
“Worse!” she cried out, finally coming out of her hiding, “I will get an insufficient grade and end up having to redo the test God knows how many other times”
“Um…” a new voice interrupted, making you flicker your eyes up and toward the owner of such a deep and warm sound, “is it a bad time?”
In front of you stood the one guy that had lit up the chemistry lab the day before. You had heard that the headmaster had gone absolutely out of his mind and that Jisung almost got expelled, but since it hadn’t been long since he had found his power, the headmaster had tried to close not one, but both eyes. Jisung stood in a grey sweater and black, skinny jeans — a pair of round glasses was perched upon his nose and his eyes were flickering from Yerim’s face to yours continuously, showing just how nervous he was. 
“Do you need something?” Yerim almost growled. The one time that she needed to spend a couple of serious words with her best friend, someone always had to interrupt them. 
Jisung’s mouth opened and he lost the courage that he had to build up to come and find you. The boy felt so bad for what had happened the day before that he started searching for you everywhere, having to ask around if someone knew who you were, your name, and the classes that you frequented. It had been a miracle that Renjun followed Yerim on Instagram and that Yerim had a couple of pictures with you up in her highlighted stories, with your name in big exposure. 
Now the owner of the account sat in front of him, looking like he had just interrupted something extremely important, while you watched him with raised eyebrows, expecting. 
“Y-yeah,” Jisung faltered, pointing one of his long fingers at you while his eyes remained on the blonde girl. 
Yerim’s head whipped toward you, then back at the tall student. It took all of her patience not to roll her eyes so hard that they would have remained stuck into the back of her head. She huffed loudly enough for Jisung to feel like he had committed a crime, but she then gathered all of her things from the desk and stood up, leaving you with an annoyed look on her face. 
You, on the other hand, had to bite down on both of your lips to keep the laugh in your throat. Not only Yerim was red from how mad she was, but Jisung’s cheeks were blossoming from how embarrassed the whole situation made him feel. You found it in yourself to giggle just when Yerim had left the class, catching Jisung’s attention. 
You stood up as well, starting to gather your books and pushing them in the small backpack that your father had bought for you before academia started. There was something about it that bothered you and you just wanted to throw it away. 
“Hey, um… I’m Jisung,” he raised his hand, pushing his long fingers toward your body. Your eyes left your stuff and you observed his skin, the same one that had heated up so much that a whole fire had started from it. 
You looked up at his face, “Yeah, I know who you are,” you tried your best to smile. It had been a while since you had spoken to anyone who wasn’t Yerim or your professors. 
Jisung awkwardly put down his untouched hand, whimpering slightly and thanking the Gods that you hadn’t taken it. He brushed his damp palm against his black jeans. 
“You do?” he wondered, his voice cracking slightly under the pressure of it being a good or a bad thing. I mean, he also knew people around the academia, but most of the names went from mouth to mouth because of the dumb bullshits they had done and not for great things. 
“You almost killed us yesterday, the whole school is talking about it,” you cracked a smile, this time a genuine one. 
Jisung’s cheeks were starting to become so hot that his whole face felt like it could have lit up on fire. He had never tried to, but something told him that if he wanted to, he could have been able to create fire from a part of the body as weird as the face. 
You grabbed your backpack and walked around your desk, on the other side of Jisung’s body. 
Clearing his throat, he started following you out of the class, “Right… regarding that,” he scratched the back of his head, “I wanted to apologize, I acted like a chicken and froze on the spot.”
The images of what had gone down the day before flashed before your eyes and you almost wanted to laugh in his face. He had literally done nothing, creating the perfect flight or fight situation for you to almost die in. Well, maybe not die — but still. 
“Mh,” you pretended to think, patting an index against your chin, “yeah, you did.”
“I wanted to apologize,” he repeated, feeling even worse than he had a couple of minutes before. 
You could sense how bad he felt through the tone of his voice, but there was nothing to apologize for. You had lied before, you knew Jisung not because of what had happened the day before, but because the whole school talked about how long it took for his power to appear — he shouldn’t have felt bad, he had no control over his power and it was just normal for a kid to be afraid of something as dangerous as fire. 
You stopped in your tracks in the middle of the school hallway and turned toward him, “It’s fine, Jisung. It’s over now, I’m glad nobody got hurt.”
Jisung’s eyes were shining and his lips were slightly agape. In such a normal situation, you both could finally see what the other looked like up close and there was something about Jisung’s height that made your chest flutter. 
Battling your eyelashes to cast out the thought, you cleared your throat and turned back around. Your eyebrows were furrowed and your mind was reprimanding itself: why in the world were you thinking about how cute Jisung looked when the day before he had been about to kill you. 
Jisung smiled to himself like a fool, noticing a beat too late that you had started walking again. 
“What… what’s your name, by the way?” he quaked, jogging a moment to catch up with you. He perfectly knew what your name was, but didn’t want the conversation to end so quickly. 
“Y/N,” you hummed. You weren’t even thinking about where you were going anymore or in which direction the exit for the main building was. 
Maybe you should have tried to make more friends around the school, especially if the first reaction of your body to the first male student talking to you was to think that he was cute and start heating your cheeks. 
“I-I like your name,” Jisung stammered, moving his hand around to conceal just how awkward he felt. 
You stopped in your tracks again and looked up at him with furrowed eyebrows, “Thanks?”
Your name was not much special, you had no idea why Jisung liked it. Or maybe your brain was just incredibly slow and it took you a whole week to understand that Jisung was desperately trying to hold a conversation with you. 
“What’s your power? Mine is fire, I guess you noticed,” Jisung sighed, happy that you had stopped moving around so quickly and that his chase could have come to an end, “I mean, I told you yesterday already… sorry.”
Jisung's brain moved quicker than most students around the school. In Mark Lee’s humble opinion, Jisung had awkwardness and embarrassment running through his veins instead of blood. See, Jisung was a mess of apologizing, moving hands around, hiding shaky eyes behind a fringe, and pressing cold hands against cherry-stained cheeks. Jisung was so unbearably adorable that it hurt his friends to have him around for too long. 
“I don’t have a power,” you shrugged, trying to push him away from the awkward situation that he had put up by himself. To be fair, if he hadn’t pointed out, you wouldn’t have remembered that he had told you about his power the day before. 
“Oh, shit!” he raised his hands, eyes widening and finally looking connected to reality, “My power showed up last minute too, so… don’t worry.”
For how kind Jisung was trying to be, your mood suddenly dropped and you felt your chest heaving. You never liked when people asked you about your power, because it was a question that always resonated through your mind in your mother’s voice. Whenever she called you, it was never to know how you felt and how your studies were going, but rather to know if your power had shown up. 
And your answer was always the same — it had been the same for so long that your mother’s calls had started becoming less and less, first once a day, then once a week, now once a month. You couldn’t tell if she was losing hope, interest, or the memory of having a child. 
“I don’t,” you pulled your lips in a tight smile, looking up from the floor and into Jisung’s eyes. They looked so pretty. 
“Oh,” he opened his mouth, gasping for air and new words, “Well, thank you for saving me yesterday, Y/N who still doesn’t have a power!”
You softly huffed a laugh, “You’re welcome, Jisung who can’t control his.”
And Jisung’s smile had seemed to lit up the hallway on fire, but this time it was only to your eyes and not for the whole school to notice.
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ZHONG CHENLE.
Yerim was nowhere in sight and so was Sooyoung. You were starting to wonder if maybe the second had completely destroyed your friend at the examination; it wouldn’t have been the first time a physical-power had broken a couple of bones to a mental-power. You didn’t want to go to the infirmary, the nurse wasn’t the kindest lady around and you really didn’t have the guts to see your best friend reduced into a pulp. 
You reached the exit of the main building of the academia and fished your phone out of your pocket, writing a quick text to Yerim, asking her how she was doing and how come she hadn’t arrived yet. It was almost two in the afternoon and you had been waiting for her for the past twenty minutes after all of the morning classes had finished. You didn’t want to go eat by yourself, the students at the diner were too obvious and never too nice, but you also didn’t want to reach the dorms only to have to walk back for your one afternoon class of the day. 
You hated the academia, you couldn’t wait for the moment in which you would have finally left. Being that you were one of the not-so-many people without power yet, you could only join theoric classes and for as much as you were okay with studying, you were getting tired. 
As soon as you sent the text to Yerim, you locked your phone screen and pushed the exit door, making your way out of the building. February was approaching its end and the first rays of sunlight were finally dignifying the school grounds with some warmth. 
The students were already talking about the last exams and most importantly the end of the academic year, while you counted down the days to your twentieth birthday.  
“Hey, Y/N without powers!” a sudden shout chimed into your thoughts, breaking the pattern and stopping you in your tracks. 
You raised your gaze away from the stairs that you were walking down and you had to cover your eyes not to have them burned. You definitely weren’t used to so much sun anymore; especially since the academia was known for the foggy air that always surrounded it. 
“Jisung who can’t control his,” the smile on your voice was quite obvious, but you hadn’t seen the guy in more than a week. 
You almost gasped when you watched him slightly jog toward you, his hair wasn’t blonde anymore, but rather a shining black, while he was wearing an Adidas’ suit of the same colour. The closer he jogged, the taller he grew, until you had to look up at him, still covering your eyes from the sunlight. 
“I don’t like that name,” he groaned, swiping his fringe back once he had stopped. The mop of hair fell back at its place, unbothered by his actions. 
“Well, you’re shouting that I don’t have a power yet in front of everyone when not having a power is quite taboo around the academia, so,” you justified, shrugging once his smile fell to the floor. There was something about Jisung that was unusually endearing, as if he never actually thought about what he said or did, until after someone had pointed it out to him. 
“You’re right, sorry. I’ll just call you Y/N,” he scratched the back of his head in embarrassment.
Biting down on your bottom lip to hide the growing smile, you lowered your hand from your forehead and started walking again, “Thank you, Jisung.”
Jisung stood still a second, smiling dazed — he couldn’t believe you remembered his name. 
See, now — Jisung had girls going after him. He was part of one of the “coolest” groups of friends around the academia and most of his mates pulled girls like they were magnets; especially Jeno, Jaemin, and Haechan. So, yes — Jisung also pulled his fair amount of ladies, but he wasn’t the type to care or go after people he wasn’t interested in. On the other hand - for some unknown reason - he had grown quite an interest in you; maybe because you had saved him from assured death, maybe because he saw himself in your lack of power, maybe just because you were nice enough not to ask him about his friends and if you could have met them sooner or later. 
Jisung licked his lips, trying to hide the smile and shake himself out of his thoughts. 
“So, no power yet?” he chatted, walking quick steps to keep up with you.
Your eyes rolled to the back of your skull, answering Jisung in no time. You needn’t have answered him with your voice. 
“Don’t worry, don’t worry! You’ll find it in no time, you just have to hope.” he tried to assure you. You raised an amused eyebrow as Jisung turned around, marching backward just to look at your face as you kept walking. 
The cheap romance novel scene made your tummy blossom with warmth. Your mind was already moving through paths that you wouldn’t have walked with any other person, but you couldn’t blame yourself, Jisung was charming in his awkwardness and shy need to talk to you. 
You smiled at him and opened your mouth to answer back, but a new voice interjected from afar. 
“Jisung, are you coming or not?” a young guy with pitch-black hair shouted toward the two of you, cupping his mouth so that his voice could reach you better. 
Suddenly you stopped in your walking, looking back at him and grasping your backpack. You hadn’t thought about it, but Jisung had been standing with his friends before running to you, so you were basically stealing him from them. 
Jisung raised his hand, signaling that he had heard him, and then turned back to you, “Oh, I have practice right now,” he murmured, his voice quietly regretful. 
Part of you also felt bad that he had to leave so soon, but practice was mandatory, especially for someone like Jisung with his newfound power and especially because his was a physical one. You tried to outline a smile on your face, feeling sad that the only person that could have replaced Yerim’s absence had to leave so soon. 
“Really? I have never seen a physical practice, have fun and stay safe,” you urged, clearing your throat before looking back at his friends. You felt your cheeks warm up, knowing that they were looking so intensely and curiously. 
Something lit up in Jisung’s mind and his eyes widened slightly. 
“Hey, you could like… come with me.”
“And watch you practice?” you took a step back, also widening your eyes at the suggestion. You had never seen a physical practice in your entire life; what if something happened and Jisung threw a fireball at your head?
“Yeah, if you want to,” he avowed, clapping his hands together and quickly looking back at his friends. He was grateful only Chenle and Renjun were there, if Haechan had happened to see what was going on between the two of you, he would have never shut up about it. 
I mean, Jisung’s shyness could be perceived for meters on end — as more and more words left his mouth, he felt his soul join them and butterflies replace it in his stomach. 
“Are you sure?” you uttered, also looking at Jisung’s friends. You had always tried your best not to make friends in the academia and now Jisung was suggesting you to join him and his mates, which meant having to have conversations with other students your age. The whole idea made you shiver. 
But then again, you didn’t want to stay alone until your afternoon class, whether it being alone walking around campus or alone in your dorm-room — and counting that your phone hadn’t ringed at all, Yerim hadn’t probably answered your text yet. 
“Definitely. If you have never seen one and want to come, join us.”
You bit your lip and nodded, grabbing the side of your backpack even harder, “Well, thank you.”
Jisung turned around, walking back towards his friends with you a couple of steps behind him. What you couldn’t see were Jisung’s fired-up cheeks and the way his pupils shook. He couldn’t actually believe that you were joining him for a practice, especially because he had thought all week of a way to ask if you maybe wanted to grab something together or study at the library in his company. 
When you had finally reached his friends, Chenle sent a mischievous smirk at Jisung, while Renjun tried his best to look elsewhere not to laugh. 
“Hey, this is Y/N, she’s joining the practice,” Jisung cleared his throat, looking at his friends in a silent beg for mercy. The last thing he wanted was for Chenle to spill all of the things he had said about you in his shared dorm-room. 
“Just watching,” you quickly corrected, holding your hands up for a second to stop any incomprehension. Practicing with them would have been impossible either way; what were you supposed to do? Kick Jisung while he shot fire your way and killed you? 
“Hi, I’m Chenle,” the black-haired guy that had shouted before raised his hand. He was smaller than Jisung but taller than you, but the cheeky smile on his face made him look way more breezy than his friend. 
You shook his hand under Jisung’s confused gaze; you hadn’t shaken his hand back when he had first introduced himself… but he couldn’t overthink something so frivolous, could he? Maybe you hadn’t been in the mood last time. 
“Aren’t you Kim Yerim’s roommate?” the other guy asked, his hand replacing Chenle’s before you could finally bring your fingers back on your side. 
“Oh, you know her?” you raised your eyebrows in wonder, even though it shouldn’t have shocked you that much. Yerim wasn’t popular, but she was pretty enough to cater many other people’s attention — beauty didn’t go unseen, especially in your academia, where everyone cared about it only. 
“Just saw her around,” he shrugged, avoiding to tell you that he had been following her on Instagram for a while now and that it was thanks to her if Jisung had managed to find you, “I’m Renjun, nice to meet you.”
Jisung was stealthily looking at his friends, trying to calm down his blushed cheeks as they had no desire to turn back to their normal colour; then he turned to look down at you, “Yeah um… let’s go.”
The practice building was far from the other buildings, mainly because many professors were afraid of some physical powers being able to tear down more than the place itself, taking with them the other buildings too. Since you had joined the academia nobody had ever destroyed the practice structure — or not all of it, at least. 
The four of you started walking away from the courtyard and toward the edifice, going quite unnoticed to professors and students alike. Chenle and Renjun were walking ahead, while you and Jisung were a step behind, but this time he didn’t dare speak a word. Renjun was too busy on his phone and Jisung was trying his best to remember the exact words his practice professor had told him in the past three weeks of training. 
“How do you know Jisung?” Chenle wondered, pushing his way behind and on your other side. Renjun hadn’t even noticed that he was now the only one walking ahead. 
You turned to look at Chenle with raised eyebrows. You didn’t have to think too much about the answer, how could you forget your first encounter with Jisung when he had almost burned you alive?
“I met him during… a laboratory,” you almost snorted, not even looking back at Jisung on your other side. 
Chenle’s eyes glinted as if he didn’t need to hear your answer to know — as if he already knew. 
“I have never seen Jisung talk to a girl in my entire life,” he claimed, pushing his body a little closer to you, his breath fanning on your cheeks, while his eyes were looking directly into the boy’s on your other side. 
Your lips pressed together, you tried your best to stop the amused smile that begged to creep onto your face. You didn’t need someone to tell you, Jisung seeped awkwardness without the need of specifications, but the way Chenle had said it tickled something in you. 
Renjun pushed open the main door of the practice building and pressed his back on it, keeping the door open for the rest of you to come inside. 
“Chenle!” Jisung whined at his friend’s assumption, making you whip your head toward him. The face of pure regret had to be the funniest thing you had seen in a while. 
Chenle bursted in joyful laughter, joined by your own silent mirth and Jisung huffed. You followed them up the stairs, holding the railing tight, especially when Chenle started walking right in front of you up the stairs, looking your way from time to time. 
“What? It’s the truth! I didn’t even think he knew how to speak to girls,” he exclaimed, still swimming in his blissful amusement and teasing. Once Chenle reached the top of the stairs, Jisung patted his shoulder, trying to stop him from saying anything else. 
Renjun was right behind you, his phone still in hand, but he was smiling at the scene in front of him like a proud father. You fell at his own rhythm, looking at the two boys in front of you walking and pushing each other. 
It looked like they adored one another almost as much as you and Yerim did. Chenle probably knew Jisung like the back of his hands and Jisung probably relied on Chenle as he did with no one else. Your chest warmed up at the scene. 
Finally, you reached an empty practice room and entered, turning the lights on and taking your shoes off. 
“For that matter, I do have friends who are girls,” Jisung affirmed, turning around to look at you with a raised finger. His cheeks were finally turning to their normal shade, as if he was slowly getting comfortable around you. 
You smiled and this time Renjun interjected. 
“Haechan shapeshifting doesn’t count.”
“I-”
Chenle bursted into a loud laugh, almost making the mirrors on the walls tremble. You watched as he clutched his stomach, falling to his knees and Jisung deflated; shoulders hanging and face hidden in his hands. 
Your eyes widened and you pressed a palm against your mouth, stopping the loud laughter that wanted to join Chenle’s. There was no way in hell that such a conversation was taking place in front of you. Jisung looked up at you after a beat, biting his lip when your eyes met and he saw just how funny you thought that whole situation was — he could at least praise himself for making you laugh. 
It took Chenle more than a minute too long to regain some self-control. You watched him stand up and fan himself, taking off his jacket only to pat his chest down in a feeble attempt to forget about the conversation that they just had. 
“Let’s sit down, Y/N,” he heaved passing by you. His voice was still stained with amusement and laughter, it looked like he needed a couple of more minutes to completely come back to his senses. 
Shaking your head and trying to remain serious, you turned around and followed him toward a small, black couch. 
“You don’t practice?” you wondered. 
Chenle threw his jacket against the back of the couch before plopping down with a loud sigh and patting the spot next to him. You turned around for a moment, spotting Renjun as he was calling Jisung over and spotting the latter’s eyes on you for a second before he could hurriedly join the other friend. You sat down next to Chenle. 
“Not anymore. I have had my power since I was six, so I don’t practice anymore,” he shrugged nonchalantly. 
The last sentence made you shiver — six years old, he was just a child when his power had appeared, which probably meant that he had a mental power. Mental powers were the ones to appear sooner, even though most children never spoke about them until their parents started noticing weird behaviours. 
You started wondering what his power might have been, how hard for him it had to be to survive with it since such a young age, but you didn’t want to ask him. Asking a power in your world was as normal as asking for someone’s age or name, yet he hadn’t asked yours and you hadn’t asked his. 
“I know what you’re thinking,” Chenle interrupted your train of thoughts, making you look back up at him. His jaw was strong now that you were admiring his side better. 
“What am I thinking?” you asked in doubt, not sure what he meant. 
“You’re wondering why I’m not asking you about your power,” he smiled, this time a softer one. Your eyes widened and you felt your stomach fall to the ground; could it be…? I mean, it wasn’t impossible for two people to have the same power, right?
“Mind reader?” you asked. You tried to sound as nonchalant as possible, diverting your gaze from his to Jisung’s figure in the distance. 
The boy was laughing at whatever Renjun was doing. You could see the red of flames into his eyes, while Renjun’s ones had turned slightly clearer, almost lighter and his hands were wet. 
“Pain inducement,” Chenle shrugged, not even questioning you. “Jisung has talked about you since the accident at the lab. He told me you don’t have power yet”
Your breath got caught in the middle of your throat and you widened your eyes, taken back by the sudden confession. You had to hold your breath to make sure you wouldn’t have started coughing in Chenle’s face; something about his eyes told you that your expression was way weirder than spitting in his face would have ever been. 
You cleared your throat and turned to look at Jisung, trying to maintain a decent look of disinterest on your face. He was finally holding fire in his palms, moving the small flames from the center to the pads of his fingers, like a tall candle spurting fire. 
His mouth was opened in a toothful smile, his gums making an appearance and making him look even more handsome than he had been until a minute before. 
“He spoke about me?” you finally yelped after a long moment of silence. You had spoken just when you had finally thought that your voice would have endured the pressure, but it still shook with amusement and… excitement?
Chenle raised both hands to show his innocence to your glittering eyes, “Hey, when a boy has never spoken to a girl and then he suddenly does… crushes are a human emotion that even Gods have.”
“A crush?” you almost screamed, making it resonate through the whole practice room. Both Jisung and Renjun stopped whatever they were doing, whipping their heads to look at the two of you. 
You felt your cheeks warm up, so you cleared your throat and looked back at Chenle, pretending not to see the look of enjoyment glistening off the sides of his eyes. Chenle looked like the perfect cartoon character, with his good looks, long legs, and irremediably big-mouth. 
“We spoke two times, three with today,” you shook your head, looking at Chenle as if he had just said that he believed the Earth was flat. Looking at him — it wouldn’t have been too shocking if he actually believed so. 
Crushes took time to develop, or at least you thought so. You couldn’t remember the last time you had a crush on someone, you never liked growing too close to other people. You looked back at Jisung, noticing the way he was back in his training; he indeed looked cute and the idea of him having a crush on you made butterflies soar in your stomach and - to be fair - Jisung was exceptionally handsome. You knew many girls liked him, despite his friends saying he never spoke to any of them, so what Chenle was saying to you sounded too unreal. 
The boy sitting next to you shrugged, “He knows all of your classes.”
“What?” a burst of surprised laughter bubbled out of your mouth. 
It did make sense that he knew what class you were in the week before, since he went looking for you. 
A playful silence fell over the two of you and your eyes landed on Jisung playing with fire. Renjun’s power, the exact opposite of his friend’s, was quick to kill the flames everytime Jisung shot some on the floor, reminding you about your first encounter. So you watched them practice for another fifteen minutes, Renjun creating water from his fingertips and Jisung whispering prayers to the fire that came from his own body. 
Your body was floating, filled with a new giddy sensation. Everytime Jisung’s eyes met yours through the mirrors of the practice room, you could feel your ears warming up and droplets of cold sweat kiss behind your neck. You weren’t sure if you were flattered after Chenle’s words, or amused. 
Chenle smirked and licked his cherry-lips a couple of times, also catching your gaze in the mirror, but when you turned to look at him with raised eyebrows, he was already watching his two friends approaching. Your head rushed to the side, looking just in time as Jisung’s tall body hovered over your sitting one. 
After Chenle’s confession, your heart seemed to pick up in pace when Jisung’s bright eyes met yours; he was heaving a little and he smelled of burnt marshmallows. 
“I’m getting better, right?” Jisung tested, looking between you and Chenle with expectant eyes. To be honest, Jisung had looked at you more than once during his practice, mostly finding you talking and laughing at whatever his roommate was talking about. 
He knew he could trust Chenle, he would have never tried his chances with you knowing that Jisung liked you, but he couldn’t trust Chenle with his secrets. He kept shivering at the idea of his roommate telling you everything he has said and thought about you. 
I mean, that he wanted to be friends should have been obvious by now — he had tried to stretch the first conversation with you and he had jogged after you that morning, you must have understood something, right?
“Should I be honest?” Chenle started, tearing him away from his thoughts. Jisung hadn’t noticed, but he was yet again staring at you. 
The younger boy rolled his eyes, not even wanting to listen to his best friend, “Y/N?”
“You didn’t light up everything on fire, so definitely,” you trailed off, trying to joke around, but your eyes couldn’t hold his. 
“You’re too nice with our Jisung, just be honest,” Renjun pushed, winking in Chenle’s way. You chuckled. 
“I will get better, okay? Give me time,” Jisung whined, turning toward Renjun. The older boy just kept smiling at his friend, a kind look in his eyes despite the friendly mocking. 
Chenle jumped on his feet and pushed his shoulder against Jisung’s, almost making him lose balance. The chuckles coming out of their lips made you smile as well, the warm feeling in your chest never leaving. You also stood up from your sitting position; looking at your phone, Yerim hadn’t texted you back yet and it had already been almost an hour. 
Jisung turned toward you, his mouth opening to speak but his throat closing at the sight of you by his side. He just wanted to have a little bit of time alone with you, he had to find a way to make his friends part. 
Yet, before Jisung could have said anything, you sighed and looked up at him. “I should go now” you smiled awkwardly, not wanting to break the moment.
The boy’s expression mutated into a surprised one, Renjun and Jisung looking at the two of you from behind their lashes, “Oh, of course. I’ll walk you” he smiled another gummy one, making your stomach hurt. He didn’t want you to leave so soon, but he was glad he could have a minute with you then. 
That had been the plan, right? Spending time with you and he was glad you were (unknowingly) helping. 
You bid your goodbyes to the other two boys, receiving a rather mischievous wink from Chenle to which you answered with a silent snort. You still couldn’t believe his words. You waited by the door while Jisung grabbed his things, adjusting your backpack on your shoulders only once he had reached for you, closing the door behind him. His height made your heart flutter, especially when he stood that close to you and - despite the practice - the perfume of his skin was sweet and gentle underneath your nose. 
“How long has it been since you found out about your power?” you asked, feigning ignorance. Most of the school knew that Jisung had just found his power, you just wanted to… talk to him a little more. 
“Three weeks now. I know I’m not very good, also I was a little bit embarrassed because you were watching… I hope Chenle didn’t say anything weird,” he awkwardly chuckled. 
You turned around to look at him, your arms wrapped around your chest while you continued to make your way down the stairs and out of the building. The place smelled of sweat and deodorant mixed together, the usual combination of teenagers and young adults mingling at the gym. 
“No, don’t worry about it,” you smiled tiredly. His eyes on you were expecting, surprised — as if Jisung was constantly waiting for you to do or say something. 
You felt oddly at ease around him. 
“Hey, um…” he cleared his throat, scratching the back of his head, “like, do you maybe want to go grab lunch together? If you want to,” he quickly pushed his hands in front of him, trying to reassure you. 
You stopped your walking right in front of the exit of the building. You had to rush to your afternoon class, you didn’t want him to walk out of there without his friends only to have to walk back inside. 
“I have a class right now, I’m sorry Jisung,” you pressed your lips together in a sad smile, “We can do another time, though.”
You would have been lying saying that you didn’t want to spend more time with him. You wanted to know him better and it was clear at that point that he wanted to share more time with you as well. He continuously asked you to join him, whether it being conversations or practice with his friends. 
“Yeah, sure. Sorry, I-” he widened his eyes, clearly embarrassed with your answer. 
You felt your heart jump in your throat once Jisung stopped and looked into your eyes, so you tried your best to croak out laughter. “Think about it,” you shrugged, pushing your backpack higher on your shoulder. 
Admiring Jisung’s blushed cheek, an idea hit you, remembering Chenle’s words. 
“Catch me around the academia when you’re free for dinner. You know all of my classes, right?”
Jisung’s eyes widened. With a chuckle you opened the exit door and made your way out, leaving Jisung with an opened mouth and blushing cheeks. 
“Huh?” his voice got caught in his throat; he saw his life flash before his eyes, “Zhong Chenle!”
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FIRST DATE?
Park Jisung had a crush on you. 
If his own best friend telling you so wasn’t enough of a proof for you, what he himself did next surely erased each one of your doubts. 
“I had to see you,” he heaved, coming from a rather long run from his class to your own. The hallways in the main building of the academia, where most theory-classes were, were known to be rather difficult to navigate. 
Your eyes were wide and Yerim’s mouth was agape. There were a couple of girls pooling behind you and you liked to think that it was because you were clogging the exit of the class and not because they were ecstatically staring at the boy in front of you. 
“Is that Park Jisung?” a girl from very far behind you whined, jumping on the balls of her feet to have a better look. 
Yeah — they definitely weren’t there because of you clogging the way out. Either way, you couldn’t find it in yourself to feel anything else, but a weird emotion of warmth and sparkles bubbling in the depth of your chest. Jisung was looking down at you, his eyes wild and shining and his hair messed up from the run; he looked beautiful. 
“So you really know my classes,” was the only thing that you managed to say, scoffing with mirth. Jisung smiled even wider, showing you two strings of pearly, white, and small teeth — his eyes formed two small moons. A silent “yes, you caught me red-handed.”
“Um, I’ll see you at the dorm?” Yerim scratched the side of her head, looking at you before smiling a tight-lipped-one at the boy standing before you. 
You hadn’t managed to say one word back to your friend, but she didn’t need any answer. You had been talking about Jisung nonstop since you came home the afternoon before (for the matters, Yerim managed to pass the test). Well, you didn’t care much as the only thing you could do was stop in your tracks in the middle of the dorm-room and smile like a stupid school-girl. 
You hadn’t said it out loud, but from the way your chest had bloomed when Jisung had stepped in the classroom to come and get you, once your last class of that Friday had finished, Yerim could say quite firmly that you were starting to like Park Jisung. 
Everyone liked one of those boys at one point in their academic-life, Yerim knew it quite well as she and Renjun had spoken a couple of times and the boy had managed to leave her quite literally speechless, but you… 
She didn’t want to act like the mean girl of your little movie, but you weren’t going to last at the academia. And the worst part was that you knew it too. 
“Dinner together?” Jisung asked, making a couple of girls in the close-distance gasp. 
Your heartbeat was going like crazy, you could feel it in every part of your body, ‘til the back of your knees. 
“Since when are you so confident?” you asked with a small laugh. You finally started walking, a silent agreement to the boy’s sudden offer. 
Well, not so sudden when you had been the one to tell him to look for you when he had some free time to go and eat together. You weren’t expecting Jisung to come to look for you that soon, basically the day after you had spent the afternoon watching him practice. 
“I’m not,” he chuckled, scratching the back of his head, “I just thought that since Chenle probably didn’t spare himself and spilled every small secret I have-”
“He didn’t,” you interjected, looking at Jisung with an amused expression. Just how much he trusted his best friend. 
Jisung - as if he had read your mind - sent a look your way, a silent “I know you’re lying”. 
“I’m being honest!” you raised both hands to the sky, pleading your innocence, but that looked like it wasn’t enough for Jisung. 
Nonetheless, Jisung knew that Chenle was good at making other people keep his secrets, so what if he had bribed you into not telling Jisung that yes, you indeed knew everything. 
You shook your head with the ghost of a smile painting your lips, “Where do you want to go eat?” you softly asked, noticing how Jisung was once again lost in his thoughts. 
“The academia’s diner? I don’t really know many places unless you want to come to the boys’ dorms canteen,” he shrugged. The options weren’t many, of course — you guys weren’t allowed to leave the campus grounds for any reasons, despite how important those were. If you ever needed to leave the academia, you had to first ask the headmaster, who would have called the parents or a professor to accompany you. 
In Jisung’s mind, that was going to be your first date together. A professor wasn’t the best company, for sure. 
You pretended to shudder at the idea of going to the canteen of the boys’ dorms, “Diner, that is,”
Jisung smiled warmly down at you, excited to finally be able to spend some alone time with the person who had been stuck in his mind for almost three weeks now. 
The diner of the academia wasn’t much better than any other canteen, but it was the only way for students to mix together without having to showcase any kind of “permit”. You weren’t sure what your academia was afraid of, maybe another “pregnancy scare” that had costed the fame of the school, but it wasn’t like people didn’t have sex anyways — they should have just given out free condoms to those who needed them. 
Jisung opened the door of the diner for you to enter first, feeling some kind of happiness at the domesticity of it all. He had never walked in there with a girl, or at least not one that didn’t drool over him like a dog in front of a piece of meat — Jisung felt at ease knowing that you had no expectations of grandiosity from him. 
There weren’t many people in the diner, but as soon as the two of you entered, everyone’s eyes were on you. 
Outside the sky was turning pink, preluding to a moonless night. You had finished your last lesson at five in the afternoon and the walk had taken almost fifteen minutes, tiring Jisung more than it should have. Since he had gotten his power, he seemed to get easily tired — or maybe he just needed to stop playing video games until four in the morning when he had classes at eight. 
You sighed, slightly turning to look at Jisung, “We have spectators,” you mumbled. 
Jisung hadn't even noticed the people who had turned to look at you, too blinded by the only thought that was you. He had been thinking about your sweet face for so long that he couldn’t waste a second now that he could finally have you in front of his eyes. 
“Just pretend they’re not here,” he slightly lowered his face to come and meet your ear, whispering. You weren’t expecting for Jisung to be so warm on that day, or ever to be fair. The little attention had made you shiver comfortably. 
You looked up at him and smiled a kind one, not feeling it in yourself to crash the moment of gentleness that had come out of him. It was so obvious why girls crushed over him. 
You turned around, part of you just to calm the crazy beating of your heart, leaving Jisung staring at the side of your face in amazement. He couldn’t quite believe how hard he was… falling? It was too soon to use such a word — he couldn’t believe how hard he was crushing on you. 
Scanning the diner, you grabbed Jisung’s hand in the heat of the moment, “Let’s sit there,” Jisung’s hand was damp, but you couldn’t care less. 
For once, he didn’t care either. He felt his stomach plunge down to his knees, he hadn’t expected for the first time holding hands with a girl to feel that way, but it did — it felt like he was now part of some dumb teen-coming-of-age movie, where the protagonist felt all of those emotions so vividly that Jisung felt like he could pass out. 
The tall boy followed you around the diner, staring curiously at the people who were watching and noticing that they weren’t looking at him, as usual, but rather at you. You knew why, it was obvious in your eyes, but Jisung knew nothing about your personal life, while you knew about his through other people’s mouths. 
Finally reaching the empty spot, Jisung noticed that it was hidden enough from people’s gazes so that you could have shared a breathtaking kiss and nobody would have noticed. Jisung sat down in front of you, looking at your face like a starved man; you let your hands come apart, pushing your backpack in the booth where you were sitting, looking back for a second to make sure that nobody was near enough to bother your time with Jisung. 
You weren’t even sure why you cherished it so much, knowing that it could have slipped from your hands in such a short amount of time. The beating heart, the frenzy of your blood rushing through your vein — everything about you having a crush on Jisung was wrong. 
You were going to leave too soon. 
“Everyone is looking at you,” he pointed out. His voice came out as a whisper, as if he had been afraid of someone listening, despite you being far enough. His eyes fell on your hand on top of the table, suddenly feeling his cold — now that you weren’t holding his hand anymore, it felt naked. 
With a sigh, your head almost automatically looked back, catching just a couple of people still looking at you and talking in hushed voices. In moments like those you wished you had some sort of physical power to be able to hear what they had to whisper too fervently about. 
Not that you needed to know any further, the reason was obvious to you. 
“Jisung, do you know who my parents are?” you turned around to meet his eyes, but you couldn’t seem to catch his gaze since he was looking at your hand on the table. Suddenly feeling afraid, wondering if maybe you had something stuck underneath your nails, you retracted your hand and swiftly looked at it.  
“Your parents?” he questioned, finally looking up at you, “Why would I know?”
Jisung cocked his head to the side at the odd question. You weren’t too surprised, otherwise, he would have already brought it up to you — not maybe people knew that you were their daughter anyways. Someone without powers, yet? How embarrassing. 
“They’re pretty famous,” you drily chuckled, clearly not amused. Jisung observed as you played with the box of tissues on top of the table, not sure what you meant with ‘famous’. 
Then it hit him like a wave of water. 
“Don’t tell me you’re the daughter of-” he gasped. His eyes grew in size and he slammed a big hand against his pretty lips, making your eyelids flutter in disdain. 
“I am…” you interjected; you had no interest in hearing their names being pronounced out loud, “Odd, right? I don’t even have powers yet,” your tone was bittersweet, which made Jisung doubletake. 
He slowly brought his hand down, looking at the way your fingers were nervously playing with (well, tearing) a stray piece of paper. He wanted to say something, anything — to be honest, he felt like he truly didn’t know how it felt to be in your place. 
He too didn’t find his powers until a minute before he had turned twenty years old, but you were the daughter of two superheroes, two of the most important (to be precise). While Jisung’s parents had always told him that it didn’t matter if he had no powers, because they lived a normal life anyway, he was pretty sure that it did matter to your parents if your powers didn’t show up. 
It had happened other times, you had told yourself. Maybe other supers never got their powers in the end, but for your family that would have been a huge loss. Your mom had been planning to show you and your power, introducing you to the world of superheroes since forever.
Jisung’s eyes got suddenly distracted from your face when two girls walked past the two of you, holding a cup each and the perfume of warm cake made his stomach churn. “How about we share a milkshake?” he perked up suddenly, grabbing your hand. 
Your fingers lost the hold you had on the poor paper and you allowed Jisung’s fingers to wrap around yours, feeling butterflies well up in your stomach. 
Your heart swelled as he tried his best to change the topic to make you feel at ease. His cold fingers wrapped around yours made your knees feel like jelly and you were glad you were sitting down. 
“Depends on the flavour,” you pretended to think it through, making a face. 
Jisung’s eyes lit up, “I’ll let you choose,” he murmured, coming closer over the table and toward you. 
“Strawberry?” you raised an eyebrow with a question in your tone. 
Jisung rolled his eyes to the back of his skull and let out a groan, “God, I knew you were perfect from the first second you had started screaming at me that day,” and with that, he brought the hand he was holding up to his lips before making a beeline to the order-desk.
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FIRST DATE!
You weren’t sure if you could call that the first date, but it sure felt like one. You spent the evening talking about everything and nothing; sharing stories about your dorm lives and how much you adored Yeri, despite her bringing boys over to your room every time you had exams. 
Jisung, on the other hand, told you everything about his group of friends: he told you about Jeno’s kindness despite him looking very sulky, about Renjun’s incredible intelligence, Jaemin’s soft “mom-act”, Mark’s weak spot for the youngest and Haechan’s incredible wits. He hadn’t forgotten about Chenle, of course — letting you know that he had said “hi” because he knew Jisung was going to come to pick you up from your last class that Friday. 
The sky had already turned dark when you left the diner, your breaths tasting of fries and your lips tasting of strawberries. Jisung couldn’t help himself but wonder if the strawberries on yours tasted better than his, but he knew it in himself that he couldn’t kiss you just yet. 
You liked each other, or so he liked to think. You let Jisung walk you back to your dorm, holding against his arm while he hushedly spoke to you, smiling down at you all the time; he didn’t bother to look ahead as the only thing that matter to him was to keep a new version of your expressions embedded in the back of his eyelids, so that when he would have fallen asleep, he could have seen you again. 
“Thank you for the...“ you dragged out with a hum, not sure if the label you had given that evening together fit his own. 
“Date?” Jisung cocked his head to the side slightly, also not sure if that label suited your taste. You nodded quickly, taking away any doubt. 
“Date,” you confirmed, your chest swelling in happiness. 
Yet, that happiness was stained in bittersweetness — it felt like you were doing something wrong, not much for yourself as you were experiencing the juvenile and breathtaking bites of a shy first love, but for Jisung, who looked so invested in you that it felt like it would have broken him once he ended up knowing the truth. 
And Jisung knew that he had promised himself not to try anything that night, but your perfume was so delicate and your eyes so precious, calling him in like a siren to her pirate. Jisung’s head lowered slowly, his lips parting just enough for your bottom lip to fit between them. 
You held your breath and closed your eyes shut, begging your chest to stop feeling so guilty and just enjoy the moment — just enjoy your first kiss. 
“Park Jisung!” someone shouted from the entrance of the girls’ dorm, cruelly tearing the moment apart. 
Jisung screeched silently and you whipped your head to the side, covering your mouth with a hand even though the kiss hadn’t even happened. Jisung’s hands that had been hidden in the pockets of his jeans came out in a rush, slapping against his thighs. 
“Lee Haechan, it’s always you!” he groaned loudly. 
Your heart was beating loudly in your ears and you could feel your cheeks so warm that you might have raised a temperature on the spot. A slight chuckle left your covered lips. 
“I gotta go,” you turned back toward Jisung, “Thank you so much for today’s date.”
“Y/N, wait.”
You still shared a kiss that night though. You pressed your lips against his warm cheek, the cold wind of March doing nothing to soothe the frustration of almost being able to kiss the girl he liked. With a light kiss on his cheek, you turned around, with the dumbest smile on your lips, greeting Haechan like a fool high on the effects of love. 
“And you’re the famous Y/N!” Haechan winked your way, keeping the door to let you in the welcoming light of your dorm building. 
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PEACE OF MIND.
The first thought that morning had been a boy. The memory alone made you want to scoff, but as your eyelids fluttered open, your heartbeat started to pick up in pace and the first thought that went through your mind had been your date with Jisung, the night before. 
Yeri didn’t like the situation one bit, but she loved you too much to say anything even remotely heart-wrenching — or true, it depended on the perspective. She had managed to get along with the idea that her best friend was crushing on someone and sat on your bed, enjoying your hushed story of how you and Jisung had grown close in the past month. 
That Saturday had been the first day you had woken up with a smile on your face. 
The smile didn’t last long though when Yerim reminded you that the clock was running faster each second, your twentieth birthday was creeping closer and you were bound to leave the academia as your power was nowhere in sight. For everyone else, Yerim’s words might have sounded hurtful, because it seemed like she didn’t believe in you enough to hope for your power to appear in the very last moments of your nineteenth year of living — yet, you both knew better than that. 
On Monday morning, your mother had called you, but you hadn’t answered her for the sake of not ruining your mood further. 
Jisung had called you the whole weekend, only the horrible rain stopping him from coming to your dorm and ask you on a second date right then and there. Not to mention that Chenle suggested him not to be too much of a “simp”, whatever that meant.
Monday classes stretched unfathomably boringly, reminding you that maybe - and just maybe - leaving the academia was going to give you some peace of mind at the end. You exited your mind-powers class and thanked God as you had the day free on Tuesday, as most people had some kind of powers-related-test. 
“A study-date.”
You gasped, reaching for your chest as your head whipped toward the voice. It wasn’t a usual occasion to have some random passerby talking to you in the hallway, especially not at the end of classes. 
“Jisung,” you broke into a small chuckle, “what are you talking about?”
The tall boy smiled back at you, closing the distance and gleefully invading your personal space. You couldn’t find it in yourself to stop him or push him further away like you did every time Yerim (for example) threw her arms around you. 
You had noticed that Jisung’s warmth brought you that peace of mind that you would have sought somewhere away from the dreadful place that the academia was. You almost rolled your eyes at yourself, feeling a new burning in the deep chambers of your chest. 
“I’m not saying we should already go on our second date when we had our first one on Friday, but a study date?” he cocked his head to the side. You bit down on your bottom lip, noticing how some heads turned toward you and Jisung. 
It was a sight for gossip-harpies or just “fans” of the little group of heartthrobs. Everyone there envied you to the bones; some because your parents were the famous superheroes of the decade and most because Jisung didn’t seem to be able to look away from you. 
“A study date?” you hummed, trying your best to sound normal. The last thing you would have wanted was for Jisung to notice the discomfort you were in, the evening before replaying in your mind. 
You just really hated people and the stares they enjoyed sending your way, the hushed whispers that you seemed to catch every time — attention, the one thing you dreaded the most. 
“Yes! You’re not busy, are you?” he innocently wondered, his eyes opening into big circles. You amusedly looked up at his face, almost laughing loudly when he pushed his hands together in a begging stance, “I beg you, please. Chenle forced me to watch a horror movie yesterday and I don’t want to be all by myself in my room.”
With a snort, you pressed your own hands against your lips, not managing to stop the laughter when the sentence spilled out of his mouth. Jisung’s shoulders deflated at your reaction, almost losing hope in spending the afternoon with you. 
The image in your brain - on the other hand - was irreplaceable. You had no idea what his dorm room looked like, but you couldn’t erase the sight of Jisung clinging into Chenle while a horror movie played in the background and the second boy laughed his heart out of his chest. The best-friends dynamics that Chenle and Jisung had, were to be the best thing that you had witnessed in the whole year at the academia. 
Taking a couple of deep breaths you calmed down, noticing the way Jisung had stopped to look at you in concentrated amusement. 
“Where are the others?” you lightly shook your head, regaining a normal breathing pattern. The hallway was slowly losing its life, students running out of there as fast they could, not caring about staying in that prison for a second longer than necessary. 
“Jeno, Jaemin, and Mark are playing basketball. Renjun has a “secret” art appointment and Chenle has a test,” Jisung shrugged, silently wondering if maybe you had other things to do — he should’ve asked first. 
“So I guess I’m the last man standing,” you sighed, clearly not disappointed at all to be spending another afternoon with Jisung. 
For as much as you knew that you were leading him into a dead-end street, you also couldn’t act as if your own emotions weren’t important enough. You adored spending time with Jisung, God you almost loved it. Jisung made shivers run down your spine whenever you spotted him around, his mop of hair called for your fingers to thread it and his hands looked empty without yours. 
Jisung made your knees buckle, your chest heat up. You burned for Jisung in the most innocent way possible, a feeding crush that he reciprocated and the insatiable need to spend as much time as possible with one another. 
“I guess you are,” he licked his lips, feeling almost as breathless as you felt after the thoughts went through your mind. You wondered if maybe he shared the same line of thinking, if maybe your minds were as connected as your bodies were. His breath was laborious for a second and you flickered your eyes downwards, leaning against his arm at the same moment he extended it to grab you. 
“What about Haechan?” you asked, trying to sound as calm as possible. 
Jisung felt his belly explode as you leaned closer into him, his right arm wrapped around your shoulders. He would have never thought that something so movie-like could come out as natural as it did, making you only feel giddier than you did. 
“How would I know? He’s always somewhere new,” Jisung cracked a smile. You started walking out of the hallway and out of the main building. 
“Mh…” you hummed. 
There, underneath the excruciating warmth of his arm, a thought ripped the peace that Jisung had brought you. Just as your own emotions were important, Jisung ones were too. The way you were leading him, knowing that you would have left the academia in less than three weeks, made your rational self furious. 
You were agreeing to spend the afternoon with him and then what? Were you going to disappear into thin air without telling him the truth? Were you going to stop him on your birthday and say “Hey, I’m leaving tomorrow,” and then kiss him goodbye? For as much as you loved tragic romances, you couldn’t feel it in yourself to break a heart as pure and kind as Jisung’s. You were starting to like each other a little too much — a little too hard, a little too strongly. 
“I’ll cook!” he pinched the side of your neck, tearing you out of your thoughts. 
“Cook?” you looked up at him with raised eyebrows, walking down the stairs to the garden with him a step ahead. 
The sun was shining bright in the afternoon sky, some of the remaining students were laughing loudly, planning where to eat before crashing into one’s dorm room. 
“Ramen in my bedroom,” he shrugged, his shoulder dragging next to your cheek as he pressed you even further into him as if he couldn’t believe that he had you again skin-on-skin. 
“That sounds indecent,” you pinched his side, swallowing the guilt and with the feeling, even the thoughts of two broken hearts. 
“I was a minor last month, nothing changed,” he kissed his teeth, throwing his head back in a dazzling smile. You kept looking up at him, enjoying the blush of burning excitement on his cheeks. Jisung’s eyes were sparkling and his arm weighed heavier on your shoulders; he looked unreal. 
You swallowed and smiled, noticing that you had lost your breath. 
“For the sake of saving your room, I think I should cook,” you bit on your bottom lip, not even caring to stop the smile from spreading even further. You wanted to let him know that he was causing so much joy in your power-less body. 
Jisung laughed, the memory of your first encounter still vivid in his mind.
He looked down with a dreamy smile and shining eyes, “Deal, you savior!” and as he looked down and you looked up, your noses brushed.
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THE TRUTH (Part I).
Just like most humans had legends and myths, even supers had their own that had been passed from person to person, mouth to mouth, whisper to whisper. One of the most famous ones (if not the) said that back when Earth came to be and when the first super learned about their peculiarity, he had the possibility to choose which power to have. 
Yes, the legend said that there was a time in which supers could choose the power that best suited them, making it impossible for someone to despise the newly gotten ability. Centuries after the first super, came one whose heart had been broken so severely that he couldn’t stand the idea of emotions so when the time to forward his request for the power came, everyone had to stop in their tracks and reconsider free-choice. 
You were never one to care about legends more than needed, but for a moment you started thinking that if you had the power to choose what power to have, you too would have wanted to stop your heart from beating so fast. 
It seemed as if it had fallen sick and you had no clue what medicine to take to make it calm down. Yet, you knew what the cause of your ill heart was — well, who: Park Jisung. 
It had been a week since your last date, call it a second or a study one, but the whispers you had shared that afternoon felt like anything, but friendly. The days that followed hadn’t been any different. 
Jisung had learned to kiss your cheek first thing when he saw you and while the gesture tinted his cheeks red the first few days, it had now become his strength, making him smugly smirk whenever you yelped. 
You were both irremediably affected by one another, but while Jisung felt on cloud-nine, quite literally drawing hearts on his academic-books, you were slowly drowning in the realisation that you had grown feelings for someone, one week before your birthday. 
“I saw you started packing,” Yeri grabbed your arm, lacing hers around it. She had just come out of her practice class and had strands of hair attached to the side of her sweaty face; she looked exhausted. 
“My birthday is in six days,” you sighed, not even caring to look around to see if anyone was listening into your conversation with your roommate. 
Yerim pressed her lips together in a pensive smile, “I’m sorry, Y/N.”
“I didn’t think I would have ever said this, but I also am,” you mumbled. You looked to the side and out of the big windows that skirted along the hallway. The practice building might have been uglier and it might have smelt way worse than any other building, but the light that came naturally from the windows just hit differently. 
A small silence filled the air, complete stillness only occupied by the sound of your shoes hitting the floor and by the sound of students hitting whatever equipment. 
“Is it Jisung?” she hummed tentatively, her eyes looking at you with innocence. 
You bit your bottom lip, not wanting to tell her what was going on in your mind because she had told you from the start that the whole thing that you were building with Jisung - whatever it be - would have ended up badly for the both of you. Yet, she still was your best friend and you couldn’t keep the weight on your chest anymore. 
“I really like him, Yerim,” your voice almost came out as a whine. You both stopped in your tracks,  “And it makes me feel so dumb to talk about it out loud, in my mind, it sounds so much less cheesy,”
Yerim pressed her lips together again, clearly feeling bad for you. She knew nothing about love and she took quite some pride in it, not having a broken heart at twenty was a huge goal in her humble opinion, yet she couldn’t help but feel a sting in her chest. You were her roommate, her best friend — she had grown to know you like the back of her hands and she knew that you would have never wanted to end up in such a situation yourself. To fall for someone had never been in any of your plans. 
“He clearly likes you back,” she tried, patting your shoulder.
You groaned, “That’s the problem,” you took a step forward. 
“Y/N, you leaving the academia doesn’t mean you guys can’t still be friends.”
“He’s twenty, he’s gonna see some new girl next year and fall for her in no time.”
A rather loud scoff left Yerim’s lips, her eyebrows raising, “What are you talking about?”
She had to give credits to you: you held so much creative power in your little brain, you could have written a whole book based on your overthinking. 
“I’m not right for him. He has a huge physical power - it’s one of the most important ones in our world, while I jus-” you tried to reason, but your voice died in your throat.
“Y/N!” someone called from afar. 
Both you and Yerim whipped your heads back, looking at the new company with different expressions. Your eyes lit up for a second, before your eyebrows came down in a thoughtful frown, while Yerim couldn’t help but think what was the real reason for you to be acting that way. 
There was no way you had to stop talking to Jisung just because you had to leave the academia unless you had other plans in mind for your future. 
“Talk about the devil...!” she rolled her eyes before they could come any closer and notice her disappointment. With a quick movement of your arm, you elbowed your roommate right in the middle of her ribs, stopping her from making any more faces.
“Hey, Jisung. Renjun, hi,” you cleared your throat, smiling a tight-lipped smile at the two boys. Yerim quickly threw on a smile, completely turning to look at them and regarding them with the fakest air of joy she could muster. 
“Yerim!” Renjun exclaimed, not even sparing you a look. 
You didn’t even care, to be fair. Jisung’s eyes were bright and shining, looking around your face for your own gaze. When you met his, you felt your stomach fall to your knees, the stones turning into butterflies with just one look. 
“Boys…” she murmured through her teeth, the act of endurance not lasting half as long as you would have wanted, “Well, I’ll get going,” she turned to look at you before sending another fake-smile toward the two boys, “Renjun, walk me.”
The boy battled his eyelashes a couple of times, the words sounding much more like a command than a suggestion or an invite, but it didn’t matter much to him, “Oh, sure.”
For a brief moment, you and Jisung watched your two friends walk down the hallway with quick steps and hushed whispers coming from Renjun, probably wondering why the hell he was supposed to walk her to her dorm when he had other things to do. You chuckled. 
“It’s almost time, birthday girl,” Jisung poked the side of your neck, making you turn toward him with expecting eyes. 
Your shoulders deflated at the reminder, “I guess it is.”
“No sight of your power yet?” he wondered, his voice turning much more serious than it had been before. The two of you started walking slow steps toward the exit of the building. 
“Not really. I’m actually starting to pack,” you mumbled, casting your eyes down. Jisung furrowed his eyebrows for a second, clutching the bag hanging from his shoulder with one hand. 
“Don’t say that,” he whispered, casting his eyes down, “Your power will appear, you can’t leave the academia.”
Can’t — such a small word, that somehow turned the whole meaning of the sentence around. Jisung hadn’t even thought about the possibility of you leaving, now that you were talking about it, it sounded to him like a foreign language he had no ability to understand. 
You knew that most of that was your fault, the way you had led Jisung on - you wouldn’t have blamed him if he started cursing you out in that exact moment - but you had loved every single emotion you had felt toward him; you deserved to fall in love just any other super, or any other human. 
You sighed and stopped, grabbing Jisung’s arm to stop him and turn him toward you “Jisu-”
“Look at me, I’ve got my power at the very last minute before turning twenty,” he shrugged, trying to lighten the mood up, but he knew you had noticed the way he couldn’t hold your gaze anymore. 
For the rest of his friends, Jisung was a crybaby. He hadn’t been able to stand a month away from Jeno and Jaemin back in the days, so if you thought that he could have forgotten you and let you go so easily, you were incredibly wrong.
“It’s different for me,” you bit your lips together, looking toward the ceiling and then outside of the windows; wherever, but Jisung’s pensive face. It was as if reality was slowly creeping onto him and you couldn’t stand to know that you had known it for so long, but had decided to keep him in the dark. 
Jisung’s eyebrows furrowed, the question on the point of his tongue. He regarded you with a look of pure confusion, “Why?”
Someone laughed in the distance and you turned around to look at whoever had crashed your bubble. A couple of students were coming out of a practice class, looking sweaty and drained, but with the biggest smile on their faces as they laughed the fatigue away. 
“Nevermind, I’m-” you stammered, shaking your head and looking back at Jisung. 
They hadn’t noticed you and either way they wouldn’t have spared you a second glance. Jisung too; he hadn’t cared enough to look at them, inspecting your face as if expecting for the answer to appear written on it. The usual quirk on his lips was nowhere in sight, which wasn’t a usual scene for you — you couldn’t quite remember the one time you had seen Jisung so serious in the month you had known him. 
The tall boy squeezed the bridge of his nose before trying to smile, “Let’s talk about it alone. Do you want to come by my dorm? Chenle shouldn’t min-”
“I’m tired, Jisung… maybe another day, okay?” your heart ached as the words left your lips. 
The sting in Jisung’s chest was obvious to the eyes, his lips falling in a loose line and his gaze shaking around the floor of the hallway. 
“Oh… um,” he scratched the back of his head, not quite sure what to say, “I’ll walk you.”
“Don’t. It’s fine.”
Jisung swallowed. His jaw ticked. He just wanted to spend a minute with you, wasn’t that obvious enough? Were you guys back in that one situation where he was trying his best to be obvious while you turned a blind eye? 
You, on the other hand — for how dumb it sounded, you wanted to cry. You couldn’t stand watching Jisung’s hurt face a second more. You started walking in the same direction as Yerim and Renjun had gone.  
“Y/N, wait. Did I say something wrong? Or do something wrong?” Jisung called, jogging a second to catch up to you. 
You felt your heart jumping in your chest, somehow happy that he wasn’t just letting you go. 
“No, you’re perfect Jisung. And God, I wish I could tell you but,” you groaned, making Jisung feel even more confused. 
“Tell me what?” his hand grabbed your arm, trying to stop you in your steps, but your brain was working faster and your legs were following. 
Jisung wasn’t understanding at all; okay — you were keeping something from him, but what was it? Did you have a boyfriend? Were you going to leave because of something major? Why couldn’t you tell him? You guys had shared so many secrets sitting in front of your dorm, your legs on his as you sat on the steps of the entrance — you knew you could have told him anything, 
You stopped in your tracks. 
“Do you like me, Jisung?”
The question hovered in the air like fog, making Jisung’s eyes double in size. He was glad you weren’t looking at him. On the other hand, you had no idea where that question had come from and why it spilled out of your mouth so easily; all those daydreams you had spent wondering if you were just imagining things or the blush on Jisung’s cheeks was proof enough. 
“As-as-as friends or l-like,” Jisung stammered, the words getting caught around his tongue. He couldn’t quite believe you were asking him such a question (as if the answer hadn’t been obvious enough, all that time). 
Clearing your throat and puffing your chest, you turned around, “As more than friends.”
“Oh, wow… Do girls ask that? I don’t know how it’s done,” Jisung awkwardly chuckled, taking a step back; your heart sank “Y-yeah, I do. I like you more than friends, I actually thought it was obvious? We went on dates and I almost kisse-”
“I’m leaving the academia, Jisung.”
The relief on your chest was unbelievable. You weren’t sure if it was from Jisung admitting that he had liked you back for all that time or because you had finally told him the truth. You were leaving and there was no way to stop it - no more hope for late-night powers showing, no more hope for lessons together, no more hope for a shared kiss in front of your dorm. 
“What? When?” Jisung’s voice raised, his eyebrows shooting up in disbelief. 
“In seven days,” you cleared your throat. The relief didn’t last for too long as Jisung’s face turned from shy to hurt and the truckload of questions came crushing on you (as expected). 
“Why didn’t you tell me?” he argued. His hands slapped against his thighs, making it obvious that he wasn’t enjoying what you had just told him. 
“Because I never thought we would end up in this situation,” you admitted, holding your hands up in innocence. 
“What situation? What are you talking about?” the admonishment in his voice and expression was enough to make you cower. His shoulders were deflated in the realisation that you had known all that time, but never told him. 
Suddenly the evenings spent with Chenle teasing him and planning to go out altogether made no sense anymore. 
“Liking each other!” you barked with an obvious tone, opening your arms as if what you had just told was obvious. Your eyebrows were furrowed.
“You like me?” he almost screamed, making a couple of students in the back gasp loudly. You scoffed in disbelief, looking back at them before shaking your head. 
You couldn’t believe he hadn’t noticed all that time. Why would you even ask him if he liked you like that if you didn’t return the feelings? 
“Oh, my Gosh Jisung,” you pressed your hand to your forehead, not caring to stay there a second more. Your heart was beating like crazy again, your cheeks felt hot and your head hurt, you just wanted to go back to the dorm and sleep.
“Goodnight,” you sighed. 
Jisung’s mouth was wide open, his eyes blinking one too many times. He watched as you turned around and made a bee-line for the exit, your steps falling silent to his deaf ears. He couldn’t hear anything but the blood washing around his organs. 
“No, Y-” he tried, but his voice came out as a whisper. 
If you had told him before that you had liked him back, he wouldn’t have wasted all that time talking and hoping to catch you around the buildings. God, he would have already kissed you a long time ago.
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(NOT SO) HAPPY TWENTY.
Your phone had been ringing all day long, your friends wishing you a happy birthday, your parents trying to get a hold of you to ask the fatal question, Jisung to talk to you. 
As expected, you were now twenty years old and your superpower hadn’t appeared, not again at least. It was eight in the evening of your twentieth birthday, a day you had spent on your own. You didn’t need a cake, you didn’t need a present — that morning you had booked a practice class for yourself, staying in there the whole day. 
If it were anyone else, they would have tried their best to make a damn power pop in their body, but not you. You hadn’t seen Jisung that week, avoiding him like the plague, but still keeping a kind eye on him. You were going to leave and you wanted to cherish every little expression of the boy you had learned to adore. You couldn’t go away without his face printed underneath your eyelid. 
With a sigh you walked the stairs up to your dorm room, keeping the keys in one hand and your phone in the other. You wouldn’t have missed those beige walls and the constant smell of women’s perfume, as if anyone was going to care enough to point out that Heejin had the last Chanel and Yexily had the newest Prada one. 
Yet, what you were going to miss was Yerim’s laughing face whenever you entered your shared room. 
“I’m back,” you sighed, opening the door and closing it behind your back with a silent thud. There was a lingering smell of ramen and something familiar that you couldn’t pinpoint. A new perfume, one you had smelled on Jisung’s sweatshirts whenever he hugged you or jokingly pressed your face against his chest. You bit your lip at the memory, wondering what he might have been doing at that time if everything went alright. 
You couldn’t blame anyone but yourself for the pain in your chest that past week; you hadn’t managed to live Jisung as powerfully as you would have wanted. You hadn’t even felt his lips on yours once and now you were bound to go home. 
You turned around with a sigh and threw the keys on your bed, but as soon as your eyes met the person sitting on it, you jumped on your feet.
“Jisung, what are you doing here?” you yelped. You pressed your hand against your chest, not sure if the increase of your heartbeat was because of the scare or because you had missed seeing Jisung’s face so up close. A shaking breath left your lungs and Jisung stood up on his feet.
“I haven’t seen you in six days, Y/N,” he began. His tone was serious, his eyebrows furrowed as if to tell you that he wasn’t accepting any excuse. 
That must have been the first time you had seen Jisung genuinely mad at anyone and knowing that it was you who he was angry at; it broke your heart. 
“Um… yeah, I know,” you cleared your throat, clearly caught in headlights. You could barely look at him in the eyes as you took off your shoes. 
Of course, you had tried your best to avoid him, it wouldn’t have hurt him as much if he didn’t know the exact day on which you were leaving. And - to be fair - it wouldn’t have hurt you either; your tactic was that if you detached from Jisung slowly, first only being able to look at him, no touches or giggling words, then all at once, leaving the school, then it wouldn’t have hurt as much. 
“You know?” he snapped, a scoff leaving his throat, “You tell me you’re gonna leave after I tell you I have a crush on you and then you tell me you like me back, for what? Did you pity me? Was it a way not to completely break my heart because you were gonna leave anyway?”
Your eyebrows furrowed at his words, the way his arms were slapping around the air as if he had thoroughly thought about his words. He couldn’t really believe you had told him you liked him just because you pitied him, could he?
“Jisung we met a month and a half ago. I had my time to grow feelings for you,” you squeaked, pointing a finger at him. You couldn’t believe you were fighting with the boy you had feelings for and on the last day there. 
“Then what is it? Why do you suddenly disappear and the next thing I know you’re packing?” he accused, moving his hand to show you the pile of boxes you and Yerim had filled. 
When Jisung had first entered the room, it all looked so bare. Sure, Yerim’s side was still a pretty shade of red, but on your part of the room, there was nothing that reminded him of you. And quite frankly, Jisung could take a bit of you from everything that surrounded him. The moon reminded him of you, the perfume around the hallways reminded him of you, even that stupid laboratory class reminded him of you, his own power did. 
Your dorm room didn’t remind him of you anymore, it was just a bare space left behind — like you were leaving him behind. 
“Jisung, I’m twenty,” you whimpered, your voice softening and breaking and your arms slapping against your sides, “today.”
Silence filled the place, Jisung’s mouth hung open for a second before softly closing. He straightened his posture slowly as if he was afraid of scaring you away and the room became warmer and warmer as if the anger had subsided away from his body.
In the standstill, your thoughts went to Yerim, to where she might have been; to your mother, who by that time must have known, and to Chenle, who had known all along.
“Happy birthday,” he whispered. His eyes were searching yours, skimming your face along with your neck which he had always loved to caress, such a gentle and soft place where he could hear your increasing heartbeat.
“And I don’t have a power,” you finished, softly. 
“Y/N,” Jisung took a step ahead. 
“See, you’re the one pitying me now. I don’t want that,” you raised your hands up, your tone following. 
Jisung’s eyes rolled to the back of his skull and he took another step forward, “I’m not pitying you, for fuck’s sake! Can’t I feel bad that my other person doesn’t have a power? You’re gonna leave me now,” he screamed. His eyes were wide and your mouth was hanging open — one thing you were sure was that you had never heard Jisung shout like that. You could bet that all the girls around the dorm had stopped doing whatever they were doing just to listen to your conversation. 
“It was my choice!” you snapped back, also raising your voice. 
You hated how close he was getting to you. With each step forward you felt more trapped and your resolution of not telling him the truth was slowly slipping away from your control. 
Yerim had suggested you not tell him, because she thought it would have hurt him less. Telling him the truth would have meant telling him that you had known from the start and that you had pretty much used him just to feel some emotions, but part of you knew that you couldn’t keep him in the shadow for longer. He deserved to know the truth. 
Jisung’s expression fell before his eyebrows could raise in pure question.
“To leave?”
You groaned and clutched the sides of your head, walking past him, “to not get a power.”
“Stop screaming, Jesus Christ,” the sentence left his throat in a roar. Jisung turned toward you with a renewed realization on his face, your revelation hitting the last piece of his heart that you hadn’t shattered in the previous days; one piece had gone when you hadn’t smiled back at him, one piece had gone when you turned around after he had waved, another when you had run out of your classroom, leaving Yerim to deal with him. He was hurt. 
And so were you. The tears that started falling down your cheeks weren’t caused by Jisung, or at least not only — it was the buildup of everything that had happened in the past week. The last thing you would have expected was for you to grow feelings for Jisung, when you had first started the academia you just couldn’t wait for the moment you would have left, while now you just begged for a power to show up. 
You started sobbing, the image of your parents’ stern looks printed against your eyelids. You didn’t care about being a delusion for them, the child of two of the most important superheroes coming out powerless, but you didn’t want to leave Jisung. You didn’t want to leave Jisung, Yerim, Chenle — all those people who had managed to make your life a little less insufferable. 
In the pit of your sobbing, you hadn’t heard Jisung approaching you. His voice met your ears like a soft melody, one to calm children during their weeping. 
“Why are we doing this?” he sighed, his arms enveloping you into a tight hug, pulling you closer to his chest, “I thought we were doing so great… I was levitating, we were falling in love so naturally.”
Falling in love — the mere idea had your stomach twisting and turning. Two months before meeting Jisung you had dreamt about falling in love with a random human, wanting to live a normal life out there, growing powerless children, but now that Jisung was part of your life the normality wasn’t as enticing anymore. 
“I’m sorry,” you sniffed, cuddling your face closer to his blue sweater. It was soft and warm, it smelled fresh, with a hint of seasoning because Jisung had told you that he was trying his best to learn to cook (he had told you he wanted to cook for you, for a date). Jisung’s arms were long, wrapping around your shoulders in a secure grip, making you feel safe — for a moment, there, your parents’ were a distant memory and the academia your home for the next couple of years. 
You two stood there for a couple of silent minutes, Jisung’s chin rested on top of your head, his nose taking silent sniffs of your perfume to try and not forget it. Your nails drew sketches on his back, making him shiver and sigh. Only once he was sure you had calmed down, your tears dried against his sweater, he spoke up again. 
“Do you want to explain to me?” he whispered, his mouth coming closer to your ear. He didn’t dare take a step away from you, waiting for the moment you would have detached from him. 
You nodded against his stomach, sniffing and walking out of the hug. Your warm bodies felt cold in the empty room. You guessed the time to tell him the truth had come, there was no need to hide it — you two had shared too much at that point. 
You took shaky steps away from him and toward your bed, sitting on it as to prepare what was coming, “When I was six, I started hearing voices in my head. But they weren’t just voices, they were those of people around me.”
Jisung’s eyebrows furrowed, his heartbeat was so fast just by looking at you. You observed as he took a step closer to you, not sure what to say. 
“My power showed when I was still a child, pretty much like Chenle. My problem was that the power I had reflected everyone’s thoughts in my own head. It was excruciating, I didn’t know how to tell my parents mostly because I didn’t know what to tell them,” you pointed out. The whole story felt foreign coming from your own lips, it was a constant radio in your brain, but you had said it out loud to a couple of people only; not even your parents knew. 
“You’re a mind-reader?” Jisung probed, curious as to where that was going. 
“Were,” you specified, “All those thoughts made my head explode, but that wasn’t the worst part. I could hear my parents’ thoughts — I mean, God; we all want a loving family, I thought my parents loved each other and were happy with one another, but their thoughts said otherwise.”
Jisung felt his heart fall into his stomach, his eyes widening, “Y/N.”
It was difficult to believe for himself too. Your parents were known everywhere around the world, since he was a kid Jisung had had figure actions and books about them, wondering how come his own parents weren’t as powerful as them. In the public eye, your parents shared kisses and hugs, fighting against evil hand in hand, but the reality was different. 
If you closed your eyes and concentrated hard enough, you could still hear your mother’s thoughts in your head, the vile words she had shared in the privacy of her mind. You could still see the way your father looked at her in the four walls of your house - or better, the way he didn’t even look at her -. They weren’t the lovely superheroes the world had learned to love. 
“I repressed my power, Jisung. I repressed it when I was seven and it won’t show up anymore,” you swallowed. Jisung observed as you shrugged, trying to look as unbothered as possible, even though the way your shoulders shook under the pressure of such a secret was obvious to the eye. 
Jisung wetted his lips, breathing hard and pressing a hand to his mouth, completely shocked. As far as he knew, he didn’t even recall ever hearing about someone repressing their powers. 
“Did you ask for help from someone?” he tried to reason, drawling in pure confusion and… illusion — he couldn’t believe those two heroes he had loved almost as much as he had adored his parents were so vile and false. 
“Jisung, I don’t want it,” you agonized, cocking your head softly, “I want to live a normal life, like all the other human beings on Earth,” you stood up, looking at the pile of boxes waiting to be brought back home and then out of that place, into an apartment of your own, “I don’t want to have a power, I don’t want to learn to fight and one day decide whether to play the good or the bad part.”
The words leaving your mouth were hurting Jisung more than anything. He had never heard anyone say that they didn’t want a power, but that wasn’t even the thing that mattered to him. 
“So you’re definitely leaving…”, his shoulders deflated. Like a gelid shower, realisation had completely hit him that time — your speech had been even more of a proof than the many boxes sitting in your dorm room, more of a proof than Yerim’s venomous eyes too. 
“I’m sorry for not telling you and feeding into whatever we have known that I was going to leave anyway,” you mumbled. You took a step forward, touching his shoulder in a cold attempt to let him know how bad you felt. 
At that point, there wasn’t much you could do, you only hoped to let him know that it hurt you more than it hurt him because your whole reality and the things you had been so sure of for the past years had come crashing down, just because of a tall, lanky boy whose hair was as damaged as your heart. 
“So I was just delusional,” Jisung shrugged, biting the side of his cheek. He hadn’t even noticed how close you had gotten, blushing scarlet red only once his hand had found its own place against your side. 
“Jisung, I never felt the things I feel with you. You made me feel like a normal human,” you whispered. You knew that your words might have hurt most of the supers, but Jisung had only felt his heart jump in his throat. 
You closed your eyes, pushing yourself on the points of your feet and cocking your head just slightly. Jisung felt like almost crying, his legs were shaking and his head was screaming at him that it was finally coming. He wanted to enjoy it to the fullest, despite knowing that you would have disappeared as soon as the whole thing was over. 
“Supers fall in love too, Y/N,” he blurted out, but before you could have said anything to that, Jisung closed his eyes and gripped your free hand, pushing it against his cheek. 
He bent down and smashed his lips against yours, making you yelp at how aggressive the kiss was. You breathed into each other’s mouths, your gelid hand caressing Jisung’s boiling cheek; both of his hands gripped at the sides of your body, pulling you flushed against him. He thanked the many movies Chenle had forced him to watch instead of playing video games, the only way he could have learned how to kiss. 
Jisung had never kissed before, as the action felt too intimate for him to just give it away to some random person, but as your tongues touched and your lips sucked against the other’s, Jisung couldn’t have helped himself but fall into the spell of languid thinking. He hoped he was taking your breath away half as much as you were taking his. Detaching yourself, you took a deep breath in, pressing your lips to Jisung’s chin, to the corner of his mouth, and the side of his jaw, giving him the time to catch his breath as well. 
The boy smiled, feeling dizzy - and not because of the mind-blowing kiss he had shared with you - but because of those little kisses of endearment, just to show him that yes: supers fell in love as well, you had realized that on yourself. And Jisung kept smiling, even when he lowered a bit more, capturing your lips in his again, eating the air out of your lungs. 
“I realized,” you gasped between kisses, your voice coming out as a whisper since you couldn’t trust your vocal cords enough, “Jisung.”
And Jisung died, lips against lips, in the black parade that was the realization of how quickly you had slipped away from his fingers. 
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THE TRUTH (Part II) - THE END. 
The next morning Jisung hadn’t seen you anywhere, too scared to come to your dorm room. He knew that you were gone, tasting your tears against his tongue. 
His eyes met Yerim’s in the hallway, she was walking with Renjun toward the group of friends, but her gaze was fixed on Jisung. 
He wasn’t sure what he was expecting from her, or anybody really, but the words that left her lips hurt even more than the simple acknowledgment of your departure. 
“It’s refreshing, you know?” she smiled a tight-lipped one, “you gave each other sweet, sweet first love. If it comforts you, it never lasts.”
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ginnyweasleymybeloved · 6 months ago
Text
summer breezes / george weasley
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hi crew :) idk why i wrote this but i was in a george mood so here we go ;)
summary: george acts like he hates you, he doesn’t really hate you. you act like you hate him, but you don’t really hate him. chaos ensues.
slight neville x reader for a second
word count: 6.9k
warnings: swearing, george being mean, lil angsty, fluffy at the end, reader’s house is not specified <3, mentions of food, kissing
let me know what you think ;)
“And what do you expect me to do? By the time I’d even realised I was falling I’d already landed face first on the proverbial concrete,” you groaned out in exasperation, while your best friend looked at you with so much distaste that anyone would’ve thought you’d murdered his family pet.
He shook his head, a scowl as clear as day splashed across his lips as he reprimanded you for your heart’s foolishness, “Of all people…” he scoffed in disgust, “Honestly, Y/n.”
“You know, you shouting at me isn’t going to fix anything,” he rolled his eyes at your statement and racked his eyes over your disheveled state. You’d obviously been battling with yourself over your—unfortunate—crush for some time. As your best friend, Ron Weasley knew he’d have to soften up on you eventually, but honestly, it was your own fault for falling for one of his disastrous siblings.
You were currently sprawled out on Harry’s bed, across from the red-headed boy you’d known since you were in nappies, your arms hanging off the edges of Harry’s four-poster. Neither you or Ron had a clue where Harry, or Hermione, had disappeared off to today. Harry was probably on the quidditch pitch practicing while Hermione haunted the library, you supposed as you listened to Ron’s rantings, wishing they’d been there to mediate.
“—of all of my siblings too! You couldn’t have picked, oh I don’t know, Charlie? Or Fred even? Merlin, even Ginny! But no! You just had to go and bloody fall for the only Weasley who actively cannot stand you.” You only caught that portion of his rave, having gotten lost in the idea of being coddled sympathetically by Harry or Hermione. You adore Ron, really, he’s your loyalist and longest friend, but Merlin was he a total drama queen.
“Charlie is five years older than me, Fred is my wingman and honestly, I snogged him on a dare last summer and I wasn’t that impressed and in case you’ve forgotten, Ronald, Ginny is dating Harry,” you lectured, ignoring how he rolled his eyes as you continued, “Also I’m well aware that he hates me. You don’t need to keep reminding me.”
His composure cracked after hearing your depressed mumble, and with a sigh he moved from his spot on his own bed and made the short trip over to Harry’s. Ron gently pulled you into a sitting position on the edge of the mattress and sat himself down next to you. He let out a heavy sigh, still slightly shaking his head—he couldn’t seem to stop—, then he dropped a heavy arm around your shoulder and pulled you into his side, finally offering you the comfort you’d been seeking out in the first place.
“S’alright, Y/n. Maybe he’ll get hit in the head with a bludger and forget he’s hated you since he was four.” Ron encouraged, very weakly.
You released a sigh of your own at that, “I feel like I’m betraying myself here. Like I’m letting that stupid git win.” Ron couldn’t stop the laugh he let out at your grumble.
“I’ll be honest, I thought he’d be the first to crack. You can be quite scary when you get going.” Ron divulged, shuddering at the memories of when he’d been on the receiving end of your rath.
Your family and the Weasley family had been extremely close since before you or Ron were even born, which meant you’d grown up alongside all of the Weasley children. Of course, because of your ages you and Ron had been attached at the hip as infants and remained that way even now, late into your fifth year of Hogwarts. Most of the Weasley children simply adored you, as you did them. However, there was one boy who, for whatever reason, hated you to your very core and as far as you could remember; he always had.
He is none other than the younger of the two twins; George Weasley. Despite the fact that Fred was actually quite fond of you, his twin refused to warm up to you in any way, shape or form. No, the tall and annoyingly attractive boy had made it his life’s mission not to get along with you, but instead, wage a war on you that spanned for the entirety of your childhood and adolescence.
“When did things change? When did it stop being a challenge? When did it start affecting me like this? I used to take his insults like a champ! I used to get him back worse!” You wondered out loud, letting your head flop onto Ron’s broad shoulder as he let out a puff of air through his nose.
“You still take it like a champ, numpty,” he chastised you gently, recoiling ever so slightly when you lurched forward in complete defeat. Your hands shot up to cover your face as you rested your forehead against your knees.
“No! I don’t,” you murmured dejectly, lifting your face from your hands to make eye contact with Ron. “Do you remember the other night in the Great Hall? When Neville told me he thought my hair looked pretty? And George, out of bloody nowhere, comes over and says and I quote, ‘I wouldn’t waste your time on this one, Longbottom. You’d have a better time kissing that toad of yours.’ Do you remember that?” Ron raised an eyebrow and nodded in confusion, your voice seemed to be steadily rising in octaves as you recalled the events of the other night. He had to admit, it had been an unusually unnecessary comment on George’s part, but the youngest Weasley boy wasn’t really sure where you were going with it.
“Well do you remember how I had said, ‘how’s that girlfriend of yours, Georgie? Figured out a way to make her stop being invisible yet?’ and then remember I rushed off? Do you wanna know where I rushed off to?” You pressed, watching intently as Ron nodded his head, unsure if he even wanted to know. “I went to the bathroom and I cried! I cried, Ron! Over something George bloody Weasley said to me!”
His eyes widened at that. Never once had George ever managed to properly upset you.
“And over something as small as that? I’ve heard him say a lot worse to your face.” Ron said in disbelief and you nodded, expression mimicking his as if you couldn’t believe it yourself.
“Right? And it’s like everytime he says something mean to me now my stomach drops and it actually hurts,” Ron regarded you softly, his eyes sad while he rubbed your back as you buried your face in your hands yet again, “Do you know what’s worse though?”
Ron opened his mouth to hazard a guess but no sound escaped as he drew nothing but blanks.
“I actually care what he thinks of me now. As if I actually value his idiotic opinions of me.”
It was at that moment that Harry entered the room sporting muddy quidditch gear and a confused expression, “May I ask why we’re having a heart to heart on my bed?”
Ron shrugged, continuing to rub soothing circles into your back as he told Harry mournfully, “Y/n likes George.”
“Merlin.” Harry whispered, as horrified to learn of your crush as Ron had been. “But, Y/n, he hates you! I mean he really hates you-“ the chosen one was cut off by a pillow making contact with his face. Ron had chucked it at him the second he felt your form begin to shake beneath his touch.
“Bloody hell, Harry! You’ve gone and upset her even more!” He whispered harshly. Harry quickly set his broom down and plopped himself down beside you, leaving you trapped between himself and Ron. The green-eyed boy rested his cheek against your lightly shaking back and managed to snake his arms around your torso.
“Sorry. Shouldn’t have said that.” He told you genuinely. “Should we go and find Hermione?”
You only shook your head. Embarrassment quickly overtook you as you realised your were crying in front of your two best friends over George fucking Weasley.
“No. No, I’m okay. It’s fine,” you sat up and hastily wiped your tears away.
“It’s okay to be upset, Y/n,” Harry spoke softly, squeezing your middle in a short hug, getting mud from his quidditch practice all over you.
With a resolute shake of your head you stood up and faced the boys, who each looked at you with pity filled eyes, then you spoke as steadily as you could, “I’m not upset. He hasn’t upset me,” you weren’t fooling anyone, really. Your eyes were bloodshot, your cheeks and nose were red and your voice was slightly hoarse when you spoke. The boys entertained you anyway, nodding in agreement.
“I’m telling you this as his brother and your best mate; you can do better.” Ron told you honestly, he wasn’t lying either, you were the type of girl who could get any boy she wanted without lifting a finger. Well, not any boy—obviously— but that wasn’t anything to do with you. Ron had his suspicions in regards to why his brother acted like such a knob towards you, however he’d been thrown off his scent recently when the older ginger stopped being mean to you teasingly in favour of being just plain mean.
You gave Ron the best smile you could muster at his words, “You are absolutely right, Ronald.”
Harry snorted before making his way over to Ron’s trunk, he rifled through it for a few seconds before pulling out one of Ron’s jumpers. He casually tossed, what you recognised to be Ron’s Christmas jumper from Molly, over to you with a grin, “Put that on. I got muck all over you.”
You had plenty of your own Christmas jumpers made by Molly Weasley but they were all the way over in your own dorm. Besides, you liked stealing the ones made for the boys as they were usually far too big for you which made them extremely comfortable to wear.
So you happily pulled the maroon jumper over your head, the wool effectively covering your dirtied t-shirt.
“Oh yes, by all means, you two just work away.” Ron grunted sarcastically. In all honesty, he didn’t care if you stole every piece of fabric he owned, if it made you feel better, he couldn’t care less.
“Right,” you said, making your way to the door of the dorm room, “I think I’ll go for a walk before the sunsets, calm myself down a bit.”
The boys nodded, “See you at dinner?” Ron asked and you gave him a smile and a small nod of confirmation before you set off out of the Gryffindor common room.
Thankfully, you didn’t run into George on your way out. You walked peacefully through the gardens and behind the greenhouses, it was around five in the evening and the sun was beginning to stoop low behind the tree line. The days were beginning to take on a chill as October approached quickly, you’d gone out without grabbing a jacket and you couldn’t deny that you were beginning to feel the cold nipping at your skin despite Ron’s jumper. Pulling the sleeves further down your wrists you carried on, trudging forward through the fallen leaves of the garden, you weren’t ready to go back inside yet. Going back to the castle meant you’d have to look your problem in the face, literally. You settled on the fact that you’d rather endure the physical cold rather than the emotional coldness you were sure to receive from George at dinner.
When you’d reached the back of the third greenhouse you could faintly hear someone humming to themselves and a soft smile found your lips when you saw who it was. Neville sat on a chair in the greenhouse, right by a plant that you hadn’t a clue what it was called, seemingly humming the little tune for the plant in question. Despite his undeniable clumsiness, there was something about Neville Longbottom that soothed you greatly. He has a good soul and his heart is usually in the right place, even if his head is sometimes screwed on slightly loose.
Gently, trying not to startle him you knocked on the closed door of the greenhouse before you opened it and walked in, “Hi, Neville. Mind if I join you?”
Neville blushed slightly but nodded his head, “Course! There’s a spare chair just there,” he pointed nervously to the chair. Once you settled yourself beside him, he let himself relax slightly.
“What sort of plant is this?” You asked him curiously. You really liked plants but you weren’t the best at keeping them alive, Neville though, seemed to be something of a green thumb.
He beamed at your question and quickly began to explain everything about the plant before you. You didn’t absorb a lot of it but listening to Neville speak so freely, something he rarely got to do amidst the other Gryffindor boys, filled you with a sense of serenity. Between his voice and the light wind that blew against the glass building, you’d completely forgotten about your red-headed problem.
“—sorry, I’m probably boring you. My nan says I have a tendency to ramble.” He cut himself off, cheeks heating up as he rubbed the back of his neck bashfully.
With a small giggle you only shook your head at the brown haired boy, “You’re not boring me at all! I quite like listening to you speak,” you admitted although you felt a bit silly after saying it out loud. Neville seemed to grow even more flustered after the words left your lips.
His eyes searched your face for any sign that you were teasing him, but all he saw was your kind eyes and comforting smile. Not exactly sure about what to say to you, Neville made an observation, “You’re cold.”
You gave him a nonchalant shrug, “I’m okay.”
Completely unsatisfied with your answer, Neville shook his head in protest and shrugged off his jacket. He was used to spending a lot of time in the garden so he was usually sporting far more layers than necessary, just in case. “Here, wear this. You’ll catch a cold otherwise,” he fretted and you didn’t have the heart to turn his offer down, you didn’t want to turn it down either, you were absolutely freezing. Gratefully you accepted the jacket and wasted no time in pulling it on.
“Thank you, Neville,” he looked you over for a moment, you could tell he was debating with himself on whether or not to speak, after a long few seconds of his eyes running over you he spoke.
“You look nice- I, uh, the jacket. You look nice in the jacket- I mean, the jacket looks nice on you-“ another giggle left your lips and effectively put the boy’s fumbled ramble to an end.
“Again, thank you, Neville. You are unbelievably kind.” You told him sincerely, quite enjoying the blush that adorned his cheeks.
“We should probably head back to the castle for dinner now. It’s gotten dark,” Neville said, standing up after giving his plant a loving pat.
The walk back to the castle with Neville was nice. The pair of you chatted idly about school subjects and house drama, but you had to admit, you weren’t paying a huge amount of attention to the conversation.
“Thanks again for lending me your jacket,” you said sweetly, shrugging the jacket off as you reached the main hall of the castle.
Neville, who seemed to be in a perpetual state of bashfulness, took the jacket back gently, a rosy blush painting his features, “It was no problem, really.”
Neville had always been incredibly kindhearted, sometimes to his own detriment. He treated people with respect and never turned anyone away if they needed help with anything at all. He is sweet, honest, loyal and, whether you liked him or not, he is indisputably adorable. And you found yourself thinking about how entirely better your life would be if your heart had chosen Neville to have a romantic fondness towards.
After separating from Neville, you made your way towards the Great Hall. On your way you bumped into Fred Weasley, who surprisingly, wasn’t accompanied by his twin. He greeted you with a wide smile and, as he always did, he ruffled your hair.
“So! I have a proposition for you,” the look on his face as he spoke was nothing short of wicked, a pit of nerves began to form in your stomach with the way his eyes were lit up excitedly.
“What are you proposing?” You encouraged exhaustedly. Whatever it was would probably end with you running from Filch.
Fred lopped his long arm around your shoulder, effectively pulling you along with him as he walked in the opposite direction of the Great Hall. Any chance of you getting fed this evening had gone out the window the second Fred clapped eyes on you, you’d made your peace with it. “I’m glad you asked, princess- “ at the sound of the pet name you let out a guttural groan.
“Freddie, please, I’m not in the mood to help you make some poor girl jealous just so you can get a snog,” you whined weakly only for the boy to ruffle your hair and tug you closer to his side.
“Let me finish! As I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted,” he paused to glare at you jokingly and you smiled apologetically, “I have a plan to make George stop acting like a prat.”
A disbelieving scoff left your lips, “Yeah that’s likely,” Fred laughed and pinched your cheek lightly before carrying on.
“Angelina told me that she heard you crying in the girls toilets the other night,” he informed you. Your eyes widened in shock and confusion, you didn’t think anyone was in there with you and you also couldn’t piece together what your moment of weakness had to do with Fred’s master plan. “And before you start, I know it’s because of George.”
“That’s ridiculous, Fred.” You lied, unconvincingly.
Fred laughed again, it was a gentle laugh that let you know he hadn’t come here to tease you but to help you, “I know it’s ridiculous and that’s exactly why I know you’ve been so down in the dumps the last few days.”
“Besides,” he started again when you remained silent, “Why else would Ron be giving his brother the silent treatment?”
“What does any of this have to do with your plan?” You asked, eyes sad and heart heavy for the second time that day. You’d only just managed to get the whole thing out of your mind, and yet, here it was again.
“Well I happen to know why George acts the way he does,” you met him with a raised eyebrow and a bored expression.
“Because he hates me, I know.” Fred’s lips grew into a wicked grin and he shook his head, coming to a stop in the middle of the hallway.
“That’s where you’re wrong. He doesn’t hate you,” he lowered his lips to hover right by your ear before he whispered quietly, “He loves you.”
With a roll of your eyes, you pushed the boy away, fixing him with a hard stare, “Come on, Fred. That’s not funny.”
“I’m not joking!” He exclaimed desperately, “We were in potions making amortentia, yeah? And Slughorn called George up to tell the class what he smelled and do you know what he said?” Fred retold madly, knowing full well that this was possibly the only opening he’d get to make the two of you realise your own feelings. Fred was well aware that you developed a crush on George, he picked up on it the second you began looking crestfallen when hit with a snide remark from his twin. He knew long before now that George had loving feelings towards you too, but their recent potions class was the only hard evidence he had to support his theory.
You shrugged helplessly in response, and Fred grabbed your shoulders and looked down at you urgently, “He said it smelled of cloudberries, daisies and-this is a direct quote-‘summer breezes’,” you stared at him numbly, not exactly sure what to say as the description did match the perfume you’d been wearing regularly since you were thirteen.
“That’s you, Y/n!” Fred confirmed and you pulled your lips between your teeth before shaking your head in complete denial.
“Lots of girls wear that perfume-“ Fred cut you off, ruthlessly.
“Name one.” You racked your brain but you genuinely couldn’t name another person who wore the same perfume as you. “You can’t, can you? Because it’s your smell!”
“Ok fine! So it’s my smell, what exactly do you expect me to do with this information?” Fred rolled his eyes in exhaustion at you.
“Blimey, you’re as daft as he is sometimes, do you know that?” Fred ran his hands down his face in exasperation before looking at you softly, “I except you to come with me so we can drive him mental for a bit and if he gets nasty I’ll embarrass him because I’m an incredible brother.”
You let him lead you towards Gryffindor Tower all while complaining about how you were starving only for Fred to hush you each time you let out a hungered whine, “We can raid the kitchen later on, love,” he promised and you sighed in defeat, “That’s the spirit.”
When the pair of you entered the Gryffindor common room, George was already there, probably waiting for Fred to return it. He sat one one of the sofas that faced the fire, completely relaxed and you hated the fact that you thought he looked amazingly ethereal with the way the flames from the fire lit his skin in an orange glow.
He hadn’t noticed you yet and Fred took notice of this. The older twin subtly slid his hand into yours and intertwined your fingers with his before turning his head and shooting you a mischievous wink. Fred Weasley was a nightmare, but when he was on your side, he never failed to make you smile.
Accepting that whatever Fred was about to drag you into would result in nothing but chaos you took a deep breath and followed Fred over to the sofa.
“What is she doing here?” George practically seethed, despite the intensity of his glare, you didn’t miss the nervous look he shot in Fred’s direction. What you had missed, though, was how harshly he’d clenched his jaw upon noticing your intertwined hands.
You decided that tonight you’d play the game slightly differently, if what Fred was saying was true, it would make things all the more entertaining. So, instead of your usual menacing glare and ego-shattering insult you met George with an innocent smile, “Was just hanging out with Freddie, thought I’d come say hello,” you said, sitting in the middle of the two twins.
George stared at you suspiciously, “Hello. That all?”
“Hi. No, actually, I think I’ll sit with you for a while. If that’s okay?” Fred was smirking from his spot beside you as he watched George’s face contort.
“You’ve never wanted to sit with me before.” He told you, squinting his eyes and trying to decipher what you were up to. He couldn’t lie to himself, he definitely wouldn’t mind you staying so close to him for a while, however he’d also sooner die then let you think you had the upper hand.
His and your composure cracked simultaneously at your next sentence, your truthful and somewhat vulnerable mumble of, “Well, you’ve never given me a chance to.” He knew you were right so he didn’t say anymore, opting to shift his gaze to the roaring fire, trying his best not to let his mind linger on the fact that you were wearing his brother’s jumper. His nose perked up at the scent that drifted from your spot, unusually close to him. There was no doubt in his mind that he’d fancied you for a long time, but, there was also no denying that he’d done a perfect job of making you hate him. Yet, as much as he wanted to just cut the crap, tell you that he thinks you’re the most insufferably beautiful girl he’d ever seen and kiss you and never ever stop, his pride would never allow him to cave. Especially not when you challenged him so effortlessly.
“So how come you were headed to dinner so late anyway?” Fred piqued up, growing tired of the lack of hostility between yourself and his twin.
“Oh. I was sort of worked up earlier so I decided to go for a walk ‘round the greenhouses. I bumped into Neville and I suppose I just lost track of time,” you explained halfheartedly.
Fred let yet another smirk overtake his face, “Longbottom, eh?” He wiggled his eyebrows and you let out a short giggle while shaking your head, sure, it would’ve been a good topic to tease George with, however, Neville was simply too sweet to be used as a pawn.
“Don’t get me wrong, he’s very sweet. But he’s just a friend,” George looked almost satisfied with that answer, his usual scowl making an appearance once again.
“He could do better.” It was a barefaced lie. Neville couldn’t do better than you. In fact, George was of the firm belief that nobody could do better than you.
“Of course he could, he’s quite the charmer,” you spoke wistfully, finally giving Fred the show he’d been hoping for, as you egged George on.
George pretended to think for a moment, “I’m sure he is. Personally I think you’d be more suited to Filch, although, I’ve heard his standards are quite high.”
You took the boy by surprise when you laughed, the airy giggle left your mouth had such a profound effect on George that he almost wished he’d kept his mouth shut. His heart was leaping and there were butterflies beginning to form in his stomach, he physically had to will himself not to stare at you in awe when your eyes turned to meet his. The glow of the fire only aided in showing him how gorgeous those stupid eyes of yours are. “Mmm, yeah I suppose I should lower my expectations,” you paused briefly and mimicked George’s earlier motion of pretending to mull over your options. Your next action had Fred practically howling with laughter.
“You’re available, aren’t you Georgie?” You’d asked in a mock sultry tone, leaning towards him and lightly brushing your hand down his arm. Loving the way he choked on air you got up from the sofa, not before shooting him a wink, and sauntered towards the portrait hole, “I’ll be in the kitchens. See ya later, sexy.” You directed the last part at George, who looked as though he’d been frozen in time as Fred’s laughter grew in volume.
Upon entering the kitchen, the house elves had fussed around you, handing you food at any given opportunity. You had finished eating a while ago, you were currently nursing a hot cup of tea while chatting away to one of the house elves, only to be interrupted by someone else entering the kitchen.
He set his sights on you and quickly moved to the seat across from you, a look of urgency on his face that reminded you of Fred, “Whatever he told you. It’s not true,” you raised an eyebrow, sipping your tea uncaringly.
“Mind elaborating?” You asked tiredly.
“Fred.”
“Thank you, George, very clear and helpful,” you grumbled sarcastically and the boy let out a huff.
“You were acting different. You know something. What did he tell you?” George demanded through gritted teeth and you only deflated against your chair. It always boggled your mind how everyone described George as the nicer of the twins.
Not answering, you decided to start asking your own questions, “Can I ask you something?”
“Seems like you’re going to no matter what I say,” he sighed out as an elf pottered up to him and handed him a cup full of hot tea. He took it gently and thanked the elf with such sincerity that you wished you hadn’t seen the exchange, simply because it stung to know he’d never treat you with that level of sincerity.
“Why do you hate me so much?” He sat frozen for a second. Your tone of voice took him by surprise. It was needy bordering on desperate, nothing like he’d ever heard you speak before, not to him anyway.
George took a sip of his tea and shrugged as if the question was a stupid one, “I don’t.” A cold, humourless laugh came from you in response, the kind of laugh that made his stomach drop.
“Bollox. I’m being serious, George. Tell me what it is about me that makes me so insufferable to you!” You exclaimed, heart rate increasing and tone raising in octaves as you felt yourself growing more upset by his reserved expression.
George let out a heavy sigh, the jig was about to be up. You were upset and merlin was he tired of pretending that he didn’t want you in every way, shape and form.
“Do you really want to know?”
“Yes.” There was no trace of hesitance or uncertainty in your voice, at this point you didn’t care what the answer was you just had to know.
“Fine,” he said all too casually and you knew by his tone that he, as per usual, wasn’t taking you seriously. “I don’t hate you. The only insufferable thing about you is how annoyingly gorgeous-“ you cut him off right then, with a scoff of pure disbelief.
Shaking your head rapidly, you stood from your chair and all but stormed out of the kitchen. His footsteps began to echoed behind you a few corridors later, he would’ve caught up to you sooner had your response to his would be confession not left him completely immobile. He called your name but you didn’t stop. You couldn’t stop. Tears stung your eyes and you absolutely refused to let him know that he’d managed to bring you to the point of tears. Not that it was the first time.
“Bloody hell, Y/n! Hold on would you?” He called, finally getting close enough to reach out and grab your wrist. He spun you around to face him and quickly placed his hands on your upper arms to stop you from doing another runner. When he took you in he swore he’d never hate himself more than he did the moment he looked at you to see your eyes filled with tears, small drops escaping and carving a trail down your cheeks while you sniffed miserably.
“What?” You snapped, hostility the only thing you felt like offering the ginger in the moment. His brown eyes bored into yours with so much intensity but they held something you didn’t recognise. They looked sad, almost.
“I wasn’t making fun of you.” He stated honestly but you furrowed your eyebrows, your eyes set in a glare.
“Then what were you doing?” You croaked, letting your tears fall freely as the damage was already done. The sinking of your stomach and the tightening of your chest didn’t do a thing to ease your mind as George’s hands squeezed your arms.
He licked his lips quickly, he felt they’d become unbearably dry, and then slowly, he let his hands trail down your arms and took your smaller hands into his own. He hoped you were feeling the same electricity he was when he touched you.
“I’ve been a prick to you. You didn’t deserve it and I’m sorry.” He sounded sincere, but you second guessed him. For all you knew it was just some elaborate prank, Fred was probably in on it too.
When your gaze didn’t soften, he continued to speak, “So I understand why you wouldn’t believe me when I tell you that I don’t hate you. But I just-“ he cut himself off with a heavy sigh.
“You just what?” You squeaked when his eyes spent a moment too long observing your lips. You hardly had time to register the feeling of his hands leaving yours before they were cupping your cheeks instead. “What’re you doing?” You wondered, completely dazed by the way he stared at you. His warm hands holding your face causing your stomach to jolt in an entirely different sensation than before. As much as you wanted to push him away and tell him to shove his apology, you couldn’t help but take him in. His lips were parted ever so slightly and his cheeks were flushed, probably from chasing you through the castle, his hair was disheveled and merlin he looked like he wanted to kiss you.
Your question floated in the air, completely unanswered. Next thing you knew his lips were on yours. He kissed you as if you were oxygen and he’d just been drowning and you couldn’t help but move your lips harmonically against his too. Your hands clutched his wrists as he continued to cradle your cheeks. In all honesty you weren’t sure at what point he’d backed you against the wall, or at what point his tongue had entered your mouth or when exactly his hands had migrated to your hips, yours now tangled in his hair. His body was pressed flush against yours and the small groans he’d let out when you tugged at his hair or ran your tongue against his made you realise that you couldn’t care less if this was one big prank or joke. It was happening and that’s all you cared about.
Even as he reluctantly pulled away, he chased your lips with several shorter kisses before separating entirely. He rested his forehead against yours, his guard completely down now as he admired your swollen lips and heaving chest. The feeling of your fingers in his hair made it nearly impossible for him to keep his lips detached from yours, “You’ve no idea how many times I’ve thought about doing that.”
Your eyes searched his face for any sign that he was lying, when you found none you finally let yourself smile. A similar smile formed on George’s face, “I meant what I said earlier. I really do think you’re annoyingly gorgeous,” the boy silently praised himself when you let out a cute giggle.
“You’re quite cute too. When you’re not running that massive mouth of yours,” you teased although you weren’t really joking, to your surprise George let out a bellowing laugh before placing a fluttering kiss against your lips.
When he pulled away again he looked around the hallway, as if he only now realised where he was. Luckily nobody was wandering the halls since curfew was fast approaching and the unwelcoming cold that occupied the hallways left little reason for students or staff to be out and about. George slid his hand into yours again, this time intertwining your fingers with his. He gave you a hopeful glance and asked, “Do you wanna go somewhere?”
You nodded your head and let him tug you into one of the abandoned astronomy classrooms on the upper floor of the castle, Filch rarely ever patrolled up there which is why George decided on it. As well as that, since the classroom, which had been out of use for a good few years, had been used for astronomy the ceiling was bewitched to reflect the night sky.
George hadn’t come to this particular class in a while but thinking on his feet he remembered the cupboard at the back of the classroom used to hold blankets, he remembered when the classroom had been in use during his first year, students would be all but freezing during the winter, so they’d stocked the classroom with blankets to be brought out during the colder months.
He made his way over to the cupboard and grinned happily when his hand landed on a rather large woollen blanket. The material was scratchy but it would do for what he needed it for. He grabbed one more blanket from the dusty press before he made his way back over to you.
George suppressed a chuckle as he watched you, your face completely turned up, watching the stars on the ceiling with awe in your eyes. He busied himself with laying the wool blanket out on the bare floor, the room was devoid of tables and chairs so he didn’t have to worry about finding a space. Once he was finished, he plopped down on the blanket and expectantly patted the empty space beside him, “Come on then, sit down,” he urged and you finally tore your eyes away from the charmed ceiling.
A small laugh left your lips when you settled yourself down beside him, he wasted no time in covering the pair of you in the second blanket. With an exaggerated sigh he laid back and waited for you to do the same, he turned on his side to face you when you did. In contrast to earlier, George had an air of nervousness about him as he deftly took your hand and began playing with your fingers, not meeting your eyes. “Just out of curiosity,” he began quietly, making eye contact with you now, “What exactly did Fred tell you?”
His question forced a somewhat smug smirk to crawl onto your lips and you couldn’t help but take the opportunity to tease him. You leaned up on your elbows and twisted slightly so you could look down at him, trying not to waste too much time admiring the view, you answered him, “Oh, nothing really. Your lovely twin just happened to mention that you had a very eventful potions class the other day…” you trailed off, biting back a smile as he groaned.
“Mhm and what was it that he said you smelled from the amortentia?” You poked his cheek and he closed his eyes, a tiny smile growing on his face despite his blushing cheeks. “Cloudberries…oh! And daisies, now, what was the other thing? Let me think-“ you pretended to ponder before George cut you off by pulling you down on him and pressing his lips to yours in a kiss much softer than any of the others.
“Summer breezes,” he whispered against your lips before connecting them again, “It smelled like you,” and with that his hand snaked to the nape of your neck as he pressed his lips against yours, pouring all of his feelings into it, hoping it was enough. In all honesty, now that he’d felt what it was like to love you, he didn’t think he’d ever be able to go back to pretending to hate you.
Once he pulled away you were completely breathless, however, George seemed to have more to say. “I don’t want us to go back to the way we were,” absentmindedly you brushed his hair out of his eyes, stroking the red strands soothingly as he continued to confide in you, his voice, face and body completely vulnerable to you. Something about him trusting you with his feelings reassured you that his intentions were pure and banished any notion you possessed of the whole thing being a joke, “I didn’t like it, acting like that but you were always so unbothered that I felt like I had keep one upping you,” he confessed.
“You always gave me this feeling in my stomach whenever you’d come over to the Burrow with your parents when we were little and I didn’t understand it. I just thought that it must’ve meant I didn’t like you…” George seemed to get lost in his own mind as he gazed at you regretfully, his fingers trailed the length of your spine sofly, “By the time I realised, we were both older and I suppose I just thought you couldn’t feel the same ‘cause I made you hate me,” you hummed in acknowledgment, your fingers still working his hair, keeping it out of his eyes that looked at you so intently that you could’ve drowned in them and died happy.
“But then the other night after dinner Angie slapped me upside the head and talked my ear off about how out of order I’d been—obviously I agree with her! You weren’t even talking to me but Neville was complimenting you and I don’t know… just got possessive,” he muttered the last part, losing some confidence but regained it upon seeing the little smile on your lips. “Then Ron looked about ready to push me off the astronomy tower when I saw him this evening. Blimey, I knew it had to have something to do with you since Harry was snippy too.” You had to laugh at the exhausted look on his face when he recalled your two best friends.
Mockingly, you gave him a stern look and clicked your tongue, “Well, perhaps if you weren’t so mean to me all of this could’ve been avoided,” George groaned once again, feeling guilty he pulled you even closer and buried his face in your neck.
“M’sorry,” you carded your fingers through his hair, pressing a soft kiss to his head. Your lips against his head caused him to lift his face from the crook of your neck, “Forgive me?” He asked, a cute pout on his lips.
“I’ll think about it,” you teased, giggling at the offended look on his face. George let out a dissatisfied sigh, he pushed a strand of hair behind your ear before giving you a toothy smile.
“Don’t worry, love. I plan on making it up to you.”
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tubboslittlebee · 4 months ago
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So what if like sbi x reader (platonic ofc) like the reader is the youngest and they (sbi) accidentally makes reader feel bad (like taking a joke too far— maybe it happened during a recording/stream) and reader gets so sad and they're all like "I don't want to play anymore :(" And they don't notice it until the chat pointed it out?
I know it's long lmao ndicnsis but ;-; idk man, U can ignore it if ya want ヾ(^-^)ノ
Wanna be 🍓 anon...please?
oooo my first anon I'm so excited haha. Thank you for requesting <3
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𐐪𐑂 "we were just joking.."
request above!
character(s): cc!sbi x reader
warning(s): none?
a/n: I can't really think of a whole story so it's just a small drabble, I'm very sorry for that :(
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It was Wilbur's late night chill stream, but somehow the whole sbi just shows up "Oh yeah chat, I almost forgot to mention, we are meeting up with Techno next week, which is very exciting!" The chat just goes wild when they heard the news. "Yeah!! All four of us will meet up! Isn't it amazing and cool and awesome?" Tommy said excitedly, "What? 'four of us'?" you're confused. There was just silence for a couple of minutes, "Oh yeah, y/n, sorry mate but you can't come to the meetup" "What? Why?" Why can't you come with them? You are part of the family after all. "You are too young y/n, what if people think we kidnapped you? We could be in so much trouble for that, which is not very good" Techno explain, even though the chat couldn't see him, they still know that he was smiling and joking because of how he sounds.
You noticed his attitude but weren't sure if he was joking or not, "Stop messing with me guys, I'm just 1 year younger than Tommy", "We're not y/n, what do you mean? Why should we be joking about such an important event? I mean, look at chat!" Tommy said slightly winking at his camera. The chat was playing around with you too which makes you even more concerned. "Oh okay then.." You said as the conversation goes on. You were very quiet all the way through the conversation but none of them notices, "Yea okay Tommy stop babbling for a second so I could read what the chat is saying, they just panicked for some reason". The chat is just spamming 'where's y/n?', 'Y/N IS QUIET',... "Oh shit, y/n I'm very sorry, it's just a joke, we were just messing around" "Oh no y/n", "Oh god, I told you not to do that" "Wait, they fell for it? BAHAHAHAHAHAHA I mean, I'm sorry y/n we shouldn't do that". "Never joke like that again, it's not funny" you were mad but their obliviousness just makes you smile.
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knifepatron · 2 months ago
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Day 4: the Forest Queen
cw: blood, self-cutting for magic purposes
@margaretweek
(thanks so much to @margaretweek for the image description!!) [id: a four page black and white comic featuring Margaret, The Forest Queen, and Travis. Page 1: The first panel shows a silhouette of Margaret running through a black forest with the narration “Margaret had heard the stories” in front of her. The rest of the page is a shot of Margaret’s booted feet running and the bottom of her skirt, with the narration “She knew the trials of women who challenged gods and fair folk” on the ground.
Page 2: The top of the page shows Margaret running, exchanging dialogue with someone off page.”Margaret! Margaret help me!” “William?!” “Is that you, darling?” “I’m here, where are you?” The three panels below all show shots of hands, a hand emerging from water with an overflowing cup narrated “Psyche crossing the Styx for Eros’s hand in marriage”, a hand holding a nettle like a needle narrated “A youngest daughter sewing up nettles to break her brothers’ swan curse,” and two hands clasped to the chest narrated “Janet scorching her palms on the red ember of Tamlin’s body.” The bottom panel shows Margaret standing at the edge of a river with the offscreen voice saying “across the river- please hurry!”. The narration around her reads “The Maiden does not fear pricks or burns or the waves at her feet. The maiden is brave and good. She is in love and willing to die for it.”
Page 3: The full page shows Margaret reaching into the water, desperate, with two panels showing how she drew her knife and cut across her palm. A dark cloud of blood surrounds her hand in the river. She says “Allow me safe passage, just once, and you can have me when I return”, and the narration adds “she pleaded with the river”.
Page 4: The first panel shows Travis with a giant hand over his face muffling his attempts to speak. The words in the speech bubbles coming from him are unreadable save for a few exclamation marks. The narration reads “But for all our heroine’s devotion and determination, there’s one thing that never occurred to her.” The second panel shows The Forest Queen, holding travis to her side while calling with his voice “Can you hear me, love? Can you hear me, love?” The third panel pulls closer to her face, her hand still raised, but now she looks directly at the viewer. “I know the stories too” /end id]
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