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#shattered dad au
griffenuniversesuau · a year ago
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Happy birthday to the author of @corrupted-baby , AKA @krispi-oop . You are so inspiring and I’m glad I found your blogs <3 Coren is very adorable!
Bonus includes Griffen and @axolotluv , @shattered-dad-au Go check them out!
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axolotluv · a year ago
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Snow Race!
PLEASE DO NOT REPOST MY ART (Reblogging is fine!)
A drawing I sketched a while ago and slowly made it a finished drawing. This is from @shattered-dad-au​ run by me and @krispi-oop​! Go check it out of you haven’t already.
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shadow-light19 · a year ago
Hello! I am a huge fan of the borrowers AU, but I've noticed that there are very little stories that use this trope. I was reading some borrower stories for My Hero Academia and I realized I had a great idea for a borrowers concept for Steven Universe. If you've never heard of the borrowers, they are little people about several inches tall, and they live in the walls of people's houses. @moonpaw on Tumblr has a great explanation about borrowers. This one-shot also part of the Shattered Dad AU, by @shattered-dad-au, which is a Tumblr Crossover AU that combines the Corrupted Baby Steven AU, by @corrupted-baby, and the Shattered AU, by @axolotluv.
If you guys really want more, I'll expand more on this story, but for now, I just wanted to write a fun fanfiction for my friends and to bring more attention to the Borrower AU.
Summary: Steven hasn't gotten over accidentally shattering Spinel during their battle on the injector. As the world around him changes, he finds himself unable to swim with the flow. He is drowning, fast. But maybe a little change is what he needs. Maybe he can find the strength to swim with a little company.
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harmonytre · a year ago
I finished my first MAP! I reeeeeeally love how it turned out. <3
They still have many parts to fill, so join below!
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mmvcvs · 19 days ago
did any of you give Adorabat gun? If not, what if I give the Adorabat gun? (Sorry for my English)
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Mao Mao: "Absolutely not."
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british-hero · 9 months ago
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Another round of Bendy Folks: This time, Mr Norman Polk and Miss Susie Campbell! Again this is without some prior Lore but I hope you enjoy!
Susie Campbell: She got on well with most people, even if she did ramble a bit and gets embarrassed about it. She does have a brief relationship with Sammy (and accepts his Asexuality). Has a fondness for Birds and is getting tips on how to look after Budgies from Jack.
As Susie becomes Malice, she gains a Harpy like Nature (And some features) though ends up losing 'Susie's voice' as a result to becoming a 'Perfect' Alice Angel. Strangely doesn't seem to notice another Boris (Wally) in the room and goes for Buddy Boris.
Norman Polk: One of the shorter members in the Studio while being one of the Senior members of the studio. Is more likely able to walk into a room without being detected with how quiet he can be. More likely to end up giving you his lunch if you forgot your own.
- He becomes the Projectionist; but with a Raptor like shape coined as the Projectoraptor. He's a lot more agile but bigger than he previously was (5'2 to 7'4). Is able to speak once he regains his lost thoughts and mind even if his speaker crackles. Keeps a weary eye on Sammy at first when the two reunite.
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help-im-a-gay-fish · a year ago
The Birth of Sun and Moon. Part three (final)
Part 1, Part 2 baby blues
The following in part 3 of 3 of a piece of writing about the birth/spawning of the Dark-Cream ship kids Celestial star and Luna light.
This takes place in a universe separate to @zu-is-here cream story and splits of somewhere around 'the price of happiness'. Any continuity errors should be accepted as being part of an alternative timeline.
Please excuse any grammar or spelling errors, I've proof read it.
Synopsis a few hours after the 'birth' it is time for Dream to confront the reality of the situation. Will he tell Cross how he feels about them?
Shattered didn't wake till much later.
Sleeping seemed to have made most of his pain fade. It was replaced with a low and bitter ache which ran through his bones. Despite the pain, he felt much better now. His soul had been given a chance to rest and it was calm again.
He didn't want to wake up really. The peace of sleep had given him a break from everything and unfortunately as he became more aware, the pain became worse again. Looks like it hadn't faded as much as he'd first thought. Even if it was more of an ache then anything else it was still a bad one.
Eventually, he opened his eye-sockets and looked at where he was. How long had he been asleep? He felt the squish of the pillows of the sofa beneath him, as he pushed himself onto his elbow.
The sofa? The last thing he remembered was being sat next to it. Cross must have put him there after he fell asleep. He let himself smile a little, Cross could be so thoughtful sometimes. Speaking of which, where was Cross?
He looked around the white void, there was no sign of him.
Dream flopped back down, feeling the sofa sag slightly as he did. What a day.
He stretched and clicked his bones. His back hurt more then normal, but all of him hurt.
As he stretched his legs out he felt his foot brush against something. He stopped, pulled him foot away and looked over.
There they were. The twins.
He'd sat up with a start and tucked his knees into his chest. The hell?
Cross' jacket was wrapped up in a little pile and the two where nestled within it. They were peaceful and breathing slowly.
Everything seemed to hit Dream and at once. Cross had left them here? Why would he do that! What if he'd had another nightmare and kicked his legs out? Anything could have happened....
Dream had his eyes once again locked on them. The gloop was gone and he could now see them clearly. One had already formed a proper body around it, a tiny little skeleton with small star shaped freckles covering its bones. The second was still in blob form. It was a bright golden orange and its tiny sparks curled in the air around it.
Something felt wrong. For the smaller there was a slight tinge of grey mixed in with the orange and for the other the bones seemed duller or stained a slight black in places. Dream couldn't shake the feeling that it wasn't right. Their energy wasn't right.
He pulled his gaze from them. He still felt nothing when he looked at them. Surely he should feel something by now. He was their... their parent after all........But- nothing.
Frustration boiled within him. If he couldn't feel anything for them then what was the point!? Why should he have to care for kids he did not want!? He wanted them gone. Plain and simple. That's all. He didn't want them.
But Cross did.
Cross had been so happy.
His frustration faltered. He'd been so, so very happy..... There was no way to get out of it was there?
He jumped at the sound of a portal opening and closing behind him. Cross was home. He turned his head slightly.
Cross had a few bags with him. Clearly containing all sorts of things. Probably baby stuff. Dream looked away from him.
Cross set the items down and looked over. Then seeing that Dream was awake, he happily walked over.
"hey Day dream, you're up"
Dream didn't respond.
Cross carefully sat in between Dream and the twins. He looked at the two babies and smiled. Then he turned his head to his fiancé.
"are you alright? How do you feel"
Dream turned again and lay back against the sofa.
"why did you leave them with me? While. I. Was. Sleeping.?"
His voice was bitter and cold. Cross hadn't heard a tone like that from him in a while, he was upset. Uh oh.
Cross sighed "I...uh...i figured that I needed to get supplies for the babies, and they are too small to take au hoping"
Shattered grimaced and gripped the fabric of the sofa with his hands.
"I. Was. Sleeping. Cross!" he said with his frustration bubbling again.
"I'm meant to be the naïve one! Do you have any idea how stupid that was!?"
Cross didn't reply and twisted his locket in his fingers absent mindedly. Dream was right of course. It was not a good idea to leave a sleeping person alone with two new borns against their consent. But at the time he didn't think that he had much of a choice.
"CROSS! are you even listening to me!?"
Letting go of the locket, Cross looked at him again. Dream was truly angry. He hated to upset him.
"you are so impulsive! This isn't the first time you have done something without thinking!"
"Dream I was only trying to-
"this is all your fault! This is way to much! I never even wanted-
Dream was cut off now by Cross pulling him into a kiss.
No! Hey! He was mad at him! Why....
Dream felt himself melt again. Dam it! Why did he always do this.
Cross palled back and gave him a shy smile.
"I'm sorry I really am..."
Shattered groaned and tried to hide his blush. But it was a bit to late for that.
"why must you always kiss me when I'm trying to yell at you?"
Cross chuckled. Good times.
Dream, who was trying not to smile himself, punched him playfully in the arm.
"stop laughing it isn't funny!"
This just made Cross laugh again.
Dream poked his tongue out and folded his arms "I'm still mad at you".
Cross smiled "yeah.. I know". He leaned in a nuzzled his lover "but you know you love me".
Dream smiled, sighed and nuzzled him back "yeah I know".
Unfortunately the happy moment was interrupted by the sound of crying.
The two pulled apart quickly.
"oh the twins are crying" Cross said turning to them.
Dream felt himself freeze up at the mention of them. What did they want now?
Cross carefully scooped the bundle into his arms and rocked it.
"shh shh it's ok"
Dream just stared numbly.
Cross smiled again as the two calmed down again. He stroked the larger slightly with his finger.
"they truly are perfect aren't they." he said softly.
"i-I..." was all Dream could muster in way of a response.
No he still didn't feel anything.... Was he broken?
".... Dream what's wrong?"
He felt Cross gently cup his cheek with his hand. Dream nuzzled his hand and twisted the ring on his finger.
"Crossy... I'm"
He had to at least try to get him to understand.
"I'm.. just not sure I can do this... I mean look at me."
Cross rubbed his thumb across Dreams cheek. Feeling the gloop squelch as he did so. But he was used to it by now.
Dream sighed "I... I thought you didn't want kids... And.. I'm scared again"
He looked down at his ring and continued to play with it. Cross pulled his hand away.
".... I understand Dream..."
Shattered looked up.
"... But we can do this together, right?"
Dreams heart sank. He couldn't make Cross chose and even if he could he was too afraid to hear the answer.
Cross' emotions were all over the place, Dream could sense that. But one thing he could sense above all was dread and fear. He was afraid Dream was going to ask him to give them up.
In truth Dream would have, in that moment he wanted to. He just wanted to pretend this all didn't happen. But he couldn't, but he just couldn't do it. So instead he swallowed.
"o... ok.." he said quickly taking Cross' hand and squeezing it. "together...."
Relief washed over Cross like a wave. Thank goodness. He kissed Dreams hand. "thank you my love"
A very slight smile appeared on Dreams face, but was gone again in an instant. Despite it all, he just couldn't shatter any more of Cross' dreams. But a twisted voice inside him was whispering....
"maybe you won't be the one shattering them in the end.... Don't you feel it? That energy, you know they won't last the year, his heart brake will be delicious"
He squeezed Cross' hand tighter and pushed those thoughts from his mind. He didn't want to think like that. Maybe if he tried harder to feel something for them, he would.
He shuffled slightly closer, and used his hand to pull back the edge of the jacket slightly. He stared. The baby's big silver eyes stared back. Bright and silver....
"like the moon...."
Cross tilted his head to him "what is?"
"it's eyes...."
Cross smiled "yeah... They are a bit...maybe we should call them moon"
Dream raised an eyebrow "moon? Well it's a better suggestion then an x name"
Cross poked his tounge out "what makes you think i don't have some x names planned?"
Dream gave him an eye roll "of course"
Chuckling, Cross said "well before we decide on names, Do you know the gender?"
Dream stoked his hand across the baby's cheek.
Cross smiled again "I'm guessing it's an energy being thing?"
"........" Dream nodded ".... I might be wrong but I think they both are"
Cross nuzzled him again "two little girls...its perfect"
A small smile appeared on Dreams face again.
"I'm so glad.... I finally have a family" Cross said softly, as he continued to nuzzle him.
A family?
Something about that rang in Dreams mind for a second. His smile dropped.
You finally have a family?.... Finally?
I thought I was your family....
He pulled his hand back suddenly and quickly as if he'd burnt it and got to his feet.
No no no no....
he couldn't do this.
"Dream? Where are you going?"
Dreams paid no mind to his partner's voice. He simply turned.
I was finally happy... Why did they ruin it?
He felt his tentacles come out behind him. He hadn't formed them consciously... They had simply come out on there own.
Normally this would concern him... But he didn't care. He just didn't want to care.
I thought I was done feeling like this.
Cross shuffled away from him slightly. It was rare to see the tentacles out these days, and at this point they were swinging wildly, one very much almost flicked his face.
Its not like Cross could ever be afraid of Dream... But the sight of this made him nervous.
Is he scared of me?
Cross held the children closer to his chest.
"Dream... Are you ok-
"fine!" he snapped.
I'm sorry I didn't mean to snap at you.
Dream's body still hurt but he ignored it and folded his arms. He needed to get away from this. It was like a year of suppressed dark feelings where hitting him at once.
I don't know what's wrong with me..
"I.. I need some time alone... You stay here with your family"
I'm sorry.
And with that he left.
And there you are. That's the set up for the twin's universe. I hope everything is still in character and reads well. Just in case anyone was confused, things written like this are Shattered's thoughts. Even if this was written in 3rd person tense, it is mostly from Shattered's POV, since its his emotions which are more intense in this moment.
Yes the tentacles are out, they are back because the negative emotions and thoughts are back. I've said in the past I believe the tentacles symbolise conflict, and here they still do.
Original cross and dream belong to jakei95 and jokublog
Original shattered dream belongs to @galacii
Dark-Cream comic and story is by @zu-is-here
Dark cream twins belong to me <3
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thembohux · 8 months ago
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I know some people who have read my works love Dad Hux, but we get some love for Dad Kylo in Shatter too
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yeh-this-is-level · 11 months ago
I'm gonna go frickin feral and give human SG TFP Shocky yellow lime hair
Or maybe NEON yellow/green
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harmonytre · a year ago
2 MAPs
Wow. I finished two MAP sketches today asdfghjkl. (Granted, it’s almost 3 AM, but what else is new?)
One is for @shattered-dad-au​ 
@axolotluv​ !
And the other is for @beingmonsterau !
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jamaisjoons · 5 months ago
lavender skies I ⤑ knj | m.
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rewrite of the original titled ‘intro: her’
⟶ 𝑠𝑢𝑚𝑚𝑎𝑟𝑦:〝 namjoon comes into your in one of the most unexpected or ways. but even though you are immediately smitten, he comes with some heavy baggage: a failed marriage, three children, and a company left to him by his father. will you able to stay? 〞single dad au. domestic au.
❥ 𝑝𝑎𝑖𝑟𝑖𝑛𝑔: ceo!namjoon x marine veterinarian!reader
❥ 𝑔𝑒𝑛𝑟𝑒: angst ∝ fluff ∝ smut
❥ 𝑤𝑜𝑟𝑑 𝑐𝑜𝑢𝑛𝑡: 7.8k
⟶ 𝑤𝑎𝑟𝑛𝑖𝑛𝑔𝑠: nothing but gratuitous amounts of tooth rotting fluff
➵ 𝑎/𝑛: it’s here!!!! the long awaited and much anticipated first chapter of the rewrite. i can’t believe i somehow managed to double the original’s word count 😭but anyway!! i hope you enjoy it!!
⤑ beta read by the wonderful beau, as well as my loves @yeoldontknow, @inkedtae, @opaljm, @nightshadevinter, @tricethecharm​
⏤ Series Masterlist | Next
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It’s a late Saturday evening when you find yourself wandering through the Korean National Aquarium & Museum of Marine Biology’s exhibits. It’s only been two years since you finished your veterinarian degree and thanks to your high grades, you’d somehow managed to land a highly coveted job as the Head Veterinarian’s second in command at the research facility. Something you had been extremely grateful for - and completely awed by. Despite the two years that had passed, however, you still hadn’t gotten over your utter enamourment over the beautiful aquarium that the building inhabited.
Stark, fluorescent light filters through the water, softening to mellow hues of cerulean and azure that reflect across the contours of your face. Ripples of water dance along the floor, following the gentle currents of the glass tunnels that surround you; each wave broken only by the shadow of your footsteps. Silence fills the atmosphere, amplifying the sound of your gentle humming and the soft padding of your bare feet against the linoleum flooring; your high heels swinging in your hands by their straps. As you continue wandering through the large glass tanks, you simply lose yourself in the tranquillity of the atmosphere. That is, until a large shadow looms over you.
Stopping dead in your tracks, you crane your neck upwards, only for your mouth to form a perfect ‘o’ as you watch a black-tipped shark swim past. Languidly, it glides along with the currents: the motions of its caudal fin sparse, and wholly graceful, as it indolently propels itself forward. For a moment, you find yourself awed by the creature’s majesty, simply watching as it coasts by, unaware - or more likely unbothered - by your attention. Drawn by the elegant creature, you’re unsure of how long you stand there. However, your stupor is abruptly shattered by the sound of stifled sobs. 
Confusion mars your countenance as the weeping flitters through the air and features scrunching, you peer down the long tunnel towards where the sound is coming from. On a typical Saturday, both the aquarium and museum would be closed to the public at this time. Nevertheless, today, the Museum Trust had invited all its board directors, donors, and sponsors for a thank you gala - meaning that today, the aquarium wasn’t empty. Though, that still didn’t explain the sound. After all, the aquarium portion of the building had been closed off - the gala being thrown in the large foyer of the museum instead. In fact, the only reason you were here was because your new heels were pinching at your feet, and you needed to get away to take them off for a bit.
Nonetheless, tracking the sound, you navigate through the glass corridors, until the sniffling - followed by the quiet sobs - grows louder. Within moments, you find the source of the crying; your eyes widen at the sight of the child crouched down on the floor. Eyes straining in the low lighting of the darkened aquarium, you take in the sight of the small child. Arms crossed over his knees, and head slightly bent down, his face is hidden from you, but still, you can clearly see the inky mop of his hair. Hands clenching into tiny fists, he rubs at his - you assume - tear-stained eyes and the sight of him causes your heart to clench. Especially when he attempts to stifle his cries, only for another one to break through his throat.
Pity churning within your chest, you slowly approach him. Considering the event currently being held inside the building, you weren’t all that surprised to find a child. After all, some of the patrons had brought their children along to the event. Thankfully, due to children often getting lost in the building, the entire staffing body had previous training in how to handle the situation. As you grow closer towards him, the patter of your feet against the ground grows louder, and noticing the unfamiliar noise in the quiet, the small child immediately stops crying; his head snapping up.
Immediately, his posture stiffens - his shoulders noticeably growing rigid. Closing the gap between the two of you, you furtively take in the child. Despite the dimly lit aquarium, you can see the unshed tears that glaze his eyes, as well as the slight puffiness to them. Hesitancy clouds his dark irises, his wide, doe-like eyes seemingly like a deer caught in headlights, and the evident sight of his fear has another inkling of anguish gnawing at your heart. A small smile curls at the corners of your lips, and cautiously bending down - unbothered by the velvet hem of your evening gown pooling on the ground - you lower yourself till you’re eye level with him.
“Hello! Are you lost?” you question, your head tilting slightly to the side, whilst keeping your voice soft so as not to terrify the distressed boy any further.
“Daddy says not talk to strangers,” the boy mumbles, curling further into himself. His words have you resisting the urge to laugh. It was a classic response - one most children tended to answer with.
Smile broadening, “Your daddy is smart then. But, you see, I’m not just any stranger. I work here! I’m a veterinarian,” you introduce. Your words have his eyebrows scrunching, the corners of his nose crinkling in turmoil.
“Vetinarin?” he repeats, unable to properly pronounce ‘veterinarian’. The slight pout to his voice has your face softening and squashing down the urge to audibly coo at him, you nod your head.
“Veterinarian,” you enunciate correctly, “It means I’m a doctor for the animals and fish that live here. Pretty cool right?” you grin. He nods sceptically but doesn’t say anything else. So, in an effort to coax him out of his shell, you continue, “My name is ____. What’s yours?” Once again, the boy looks at you nervously, and uncertainty flickering in his eyes once again, you watch him grow thoughtful, and if you didn’t know better, you could swear you hear the cogs in his brain grinding. It only takes him a couple of moments of thought before he relaxes slightly, the tension in his shoulder dissipating as they ease.
“I’m Jungkook,” he introduces, his voice so low that even in the quiet that enshrouds you your ears strain to hear him. An encouraging smile graces your mouth.
“Jungkook? That’s a cute name! It’s nice to meet you,” you reply enthusiastically, while somehow still keeping your voice calm - so as not to suddenly startle the already frightened boy. “What are you doing here all by yourself?” you gently ask, your brows slightly furrowing.
“... I’m lost,” he responds after a brief pause. Curling further into himself, “My brothers playing hide and seek but they didn’t find me,” he whispers with a sniffle. Face crumpling at the melancholic distress in his voice, you feel your heart break for the small boy for a second time that night.
Drawing to your full height, you smooth out the creases in the skirt of your evening dress before extending your arm out toward him, “Oh no. Do you want me to take you back?” Jungkook hesitates for a fleeting second before tentatively reaching out his hand. Your much larger fist encases his smaller one and, wrapping your fingers around the soft back of his palm, you gently tug so he’s standing up. Smiling down at him, “How about we go find your brothers, hmm?” you suggest.
Jungkook nods in answer, and with his response, you slowly begin your walk back towards the main foyer of the museum. Although, you have to remind yourself to slow down your natural pace so that Jungkook’s little legs could keep up with you. As you both indolently stroll through the maze-like aquarium tunnels, you glance down at the boy. His face is a clear picture of awe, his eyes flicking across the glass as he takes in the various animals swimming by.
“So, how old are your brothers?” you question, your voice breaking the silence that cloaked the atmosphere.
Almost as if suddenly realising your presence, Jungkook startles. Turning his attention back towards you, the small child blinks owlishly before his shoulders huddle; his fingers tensing in your hold. His reaction has you suppressing the urge to giggle. From your short meeting, you’ve already picked up a few things about him. It’s obvious that the boy is shy beyond belief: his eyes guarded and wary despite the way he clings to your side. Moreover, with the way he’s dressed - a Dolce & Gabbana tuxedo and expensive-looking leather loafers - you know that he’s probably the child of one of the wealthier donors, and or sponsors, of the aquarium and museum.
“Five,” Jungkook finally responds, snapping you out of your musings. This time, you blink owlishly. It takes a few moments for your brain to kick into gear, and once it does, you discern what he means.
“Five! Wow, they’re so big! And how old are you?” you enquire, even though Jungkook’s attention is once again on the fish that swim behind the reinforced glass.
“I’m three,” Jungkook answers. However, before you can say anything, “Look! Stingray,” he bursts out, pointing at the manta ray that glides past. You chuckle at his outcry before stopping.
“That’s actually a manta ray,” you gently correct him. Turning towards the glass, where the ray is languorously gliding by, “Manta rays live in the open ocean just like that one. But stingrays live closer to the seabed,” you continue in explanation. “They are related though; from the same family. Did you know rays and sharks are also related?” you question. With wide eyes, Jungkook raptly listened to you - soaking up the knowledge. That is, until your final question, when his eyes squint in disbelief.
Pulling a face, “Sharks and rays related?” he repeats, as if he couldn’t possibly fathom the thought. “You’re lying! They don’t look like each other,” he cries in indignation. His child-like scepticism has you exhaling in amusement. Silent laughter colouring your features, you pull your lower lip between your teeth.
“I’m not lying,” you playfully argue, “They really are! Both of their skeletons are made of cartilage instead of bone… Just like what your ear is made of,” you inform while flicking his ear teasingly. Despite your actions, Jungkook narrows his eyes, his apprehensive gaze taking you in. Though, it only lasts a few moments, before he relents and turns his attention back to the exhibit.
You let Jungkook bask in the balletic grace of the manta ray for a little longer before once again guiding him through the tunnels of the aquarium and towards the exit. The entire time, you continue pointing out random sea animals to the toddler, educating Jungkook on small facts that his child-like mind could understand; the young child practically spellbound by your words as he ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’. Simultaneously, while also navigating back to the museum’s foyer, you keep a sharp eye for any little boys running around looking for their younger brother. However, you have no such luck. Just as you begin approaching the way out, Jungkook stops you by tugging on your hand.
“Hey! Do you have crabs here?” he enthusiastically asks.
Giggling, you shake your head.
“We don’t, sorry little man,” you answer. Then, remembering the crab exhibit in the museum portion of the building, “At least not here,” you laugh sheepishly. When his face contorts into the most dejected-looking puppy dog expression you’ve ever seen, you feel a small part of you die inside, and briefly, you wonder if you could run to the nearest beach to find some for him.
“Aw… but daddy loves crabs,” Jungkook pouts, disheartened.
Suddenly, an idea pops into your head, “Well, maybe we can check the gift shop? I’m sure I saw some crab toys there. Would that be okay?” you propose. Eyes blowing wide, Jungkook snaps his head towards you before nodding enthusiastically.
“Yes! Let’s go,” he cheers, his hand tugging at yours - with what seems to be all the strength in his body - as he tries to drag you towards the gift shop. With a laugh, you allow him to pull you towards the exit; though, concurrently making sure that he is pulling you in the correct direction.
It takes you twenty-five minutes to get to your destination. Usually, the walk would only take you a fraction of the time, but with Jungkook’s tot-like curiosity getting the better of him - paired with his small legs - you’re both often waylaid by the boy stopping to look at the various different exhibits. At some point, Jungkook stops to press his face against the glass - his nose a mere sliver away from the surface - and his free palm flat across it as a pufferfish approaches. You watch - mirth written across your face - as Jungkook tries to grab the fish’s attention, only for your amusement to morph into raw, unbridled glee as the fish puffs up. Instantly, Jungkook jumps to the side, almost tripping over his legs. In fact, the only reason he doesn’t fall over is thanks to your steady grip on his hand.
“Bad puffy fish,” Jungkook mumbles under his breath, his plump cheeks flushed with embarrassment.
Squashing down the peal of laughter that bubbles up at the back of your throat, you sagely nod at him, indulging in his wallowing about the ‘puffy fish’. Then, tightening his grip on your hand, the three-year-old practically storms off once again. Once again, the two of you carry on your stroll through the aquarium, and once you get towards the exit, you let out a little sigh. Halting for a moment, Jungkook looks at you in curiosity and you smile at him reassuringly before bending down to slip your heels back on.
“What you doing?” Jungkook asks, his head tilting to the side as he watches you buckle the strap of your right heel.
“I’m putting my shoes on,” comes your laconic response.
“Why you take off?” he prods.
“Because they were hurting my feet,” you explain, your face wincing when you feel the sharp sting at the bottom of your toes once more. Eyebrows creasing, Jungkook looks at you in befuddlement.
“Then why put back on?” he asks, his head tilting even further to the side. Giggling at his question, you smile at him gently.
“Well, because I work here, and we’re at a fancy party. It wouldn’t be appropriate,” you answer.
“Why?” he persists. Amused breath exhaling through your nose, you shrug your shoulders.
“I don’t know. Why do you think?” you respond, passing the question back to him as you move to put your other shoe on. Jungkook ponders your question for a moment, his nose crinkled in thought. A few moments later, once you’re finished strapping your heel, his face lights up.
“Cause… Cause then your- Cause then your daddy will be mad and… and won’t give you have dessert for- because you were bad?” he gasps in shock, repeating his words over again in the way most children do when they’re trying to form a coherent thought. Unable to stop yourself, you let out a short giggle.
“Sure, buddy. Something like that,” you agree, omitting the fact that it would be your boss who was mad rather than your father. A look of pride crosses Jungkooks face as he nods. Clearly, the three-year-old was happy with his own conclusion. “Come on, let’s get going,” you say whilst extending your hand out to him. However, rather than taking your hand, Jungkook looks at you with a slight pout.
“But I’m tired. My legs hurt,” he whines.
Visage softening at his words, you bend down and pick him up into your arms. You expect Jungkook to fight you a bit, after all, despite the time you’ve spent together, you’re still a stranger to him. Nonetheless, contrary to your expectations, Jungkook easily lets you lift him into your arms; even going as far as wrapping his arms around your neck and snuggling his head into the crook of your shoulder. Something which - for the umpteenth time - has you resisting the urge to coo at him.
Once he’s safely nestled in your arms, you begin walking once again, and thanks to your - much longer - legs, it only takes you a few more minutes to get to the gift shop. Stepping into the colourful store, your attention is immediately honed onto the opposite end of the room. Wooden shelves, divided into large squares and rectangles, make their home against the wall, each caddy filled with various plush toys of a range of sea animals. Shifting Jungkook into a more comfortable position, you wander up to the wall and scour the different toy-stuffed grooves - looking for anything that looks like a crab.
To your disappointment, you don’t find anything that resembles a crab. Although, before your displeasure can settle into your bones, you spot something out the corner of your eyes - in one of the wired barrels just to the left of you. Face lighting up with joy, you spot an orange crab plush. Swiftly, you make your way towards the container, and after rifling through it, you pull your hand out with a victorious ‘aha’. Then, you angle your head to look down at the young boy in your arms.
“Look! A crab!” you exclaim cheerily. Immediately, Jungkook shifts in your arms, and pulling his head from the crook of your shoulder, he reaches out for the toy with one of his chubby hands.
“A crab! Daddy loves crabs,” Jungkook grins, repeating his earlier sentiments.
“Mhm. Do you want to get it?” you ask. Eyes widening, Jungkook fixates his doe-eyed on you.
“Can I?” he asks shyly, his gaze flicking longingly to the plush in his hand. Laughing, you nod at him.
“Of course. Come on,” you smile while walking towards the cashier.
Thankfully, with the gala, the museum had kept its gift shop open - merely so that they could, hopefully, sucker some parents into buying something or another for their children. Though, in your case, it somehow seemed to have worked out for them. Putting Jungkook back on the ground so that you can pay, you hand the toy over to the store clerk. However, before he can ring it up, you feel Jungkook tug at the skirt of your dress. Angling your head down to him, you quirk your eyebrow.
“Can…” he begins before biting his tongue. Eyes downcast, he shuffles from foot to foot, before grinding the base of his toes into the ground in a circular motion. 
Apprehensiveness wafts off of him in thick droves, and easily sensing his shyness, you place the crab plush onto the counter and turn to him. Crouching down to his eye level, you smile at him reassuringly.
“What is it?” you coax gently.
“Can get something for brothers too?” he mutters, his gaze locking onto yours through the thick of his lashes.
You blink slowly at the unexpected question, and after deliberating on it for a few fleeting seconds, you finally relent with a nod. After all, the profit from the gift shop went towards the museum and aquarium anyway. Though, you only hope that whoever the boys’ parents are don’t find it weird that you’d bought toys for children you barely know.
“Sure, bud,” you agree, “What do you think they’d like?”
At your agreeance, Jungkook’s umber eyes light up with delight. Small fist still gripping at your skirt, his free hand points to the small display on the counter; specifically at the small loggerhead turtle soft toys. “They both like teen turtles,” he says proudly. You nod your head at him, and grabbing two of the toys, you hand them to the cashier.
As the clerk rings you up, you rummage through your beaded clutch, and pulling out your employee ID, you flash it at him. His eyes briefly scan across the plastic card before he nods in satisfaction and applies the discount to your purchase. Handing the won for the item, you complete the transaction and grab the small bag of toys from the employee. Then, with a brief thank you, you hand Jungkook the items before taking him into your arms once again. Jungkook clutches the paper packet tightly, only to take the crab out once the two of you have left the store.
Peering at the small boy, “Are you going to name it?” you enquire curiously. Awed gaze shifting to you, Jungkook shakes his head.
“It’s for daddy,” he replies. Eyebrows furrowing slightly, you cock your head to the side.
“And the turtles are for your brothers?” you reaffirm, causing Jungkook to simply nod his head. “Then what about you?” you prompt. For a second, Jungkook simply blinks before shrugging.
“It’s okay,” he says cheerily. Once again, and probably not for the last time, your heart grips at the adorable little boy. You have to wonder just what his parents had to be like, especially for the boy to turn out so kind and thoughtful. However, despite his altruism, you find yourself placing the boy back onto the ground once again, causing him to look at you in confusion.
“Will you be a good boy and wait right here for me?” you ask.
“Where you going?” he questions, his small palm fisting your dress once again as he looks up at you with large eyes.
“I forgot something in the shop. But I’ll be back really quick, okay?” you reply. Jungkook looks unsure at your words, but nods nonetheless; moving to stand at the side of the gift shop’s entrance. Swiftly, you walk back into the store, only to return a few short minutes with another bag. Immediately, Jungkook’s eyes drop to the paper pouch, and smiling at him brightly, you hand it to him.
“What’s this?” he asks.
“It’s for you,” you reply. Jungkook’s looks at the bag, his face a picture of inquisitiveness. Taking it from you, he slips his small hand into it before pulling out a medium-sized manta ray plush.
“For me?” he gasps.
“Yes, for you,” you reassure. Carefully, Jungkook strokes at the soft texture of the toy, before looking at you with his large, chocolate eyes.
“Thank you,” he whispers before turning his gaze back to the toy. With his attention preoccupied, you once again pick him up; the little boy easily finding a comfortable position in your embrace.
With all the purchases in Jungkook’s arms, you begin your journey back to the museum foyer once again. The harsh clacking of your heels echoes across the barren hallway, the high ceilings and tall arches emphasising the sound. Eventually, however, the two of you enter the hallway that leads to the main entrance, as well as the museum foyer, only for Jungkook to shift in your arms. Startled by his sudden movement, you turn your attention at him, only to see him pointing at two young boys.
“Chimmie! Hyungie!” he calls out. Quirking your eyebrows, you watch as the two boys sit on one of the benches, their faces downcast and their lips pulled into a pout.
“Are those your brothers?” you ask, causing Jungkook to nod frantically. When he begins struggling in your arms once again, you put him down on the floor, only to watch him run off - as quick as his little legs can carry him - towards the two boys.
“Chimmie! Hyungie!” Jungkook squeals for a second time, and this time, hearing his call, the two boys immediately snap their heads around. Eyes lighting up, they hop off the bench, and after running to the smaller boy, they pull him into a hug.
As you watch them reunite, your gaze coasts over the entrance hall, only for your features to twist into a frown. Contrary to your expectations, there’s no adult near them, other than one of the museum’s security guards. Though, you do note that he has his eyes firmly fixated on the boys. Perhaps their parents - or even guardian - had left them in the care of the employee while they went off to look for Jungkook.
“Gukkie! There you are,” one of the boys yells.
“Gukkie, where did you go?” the other asks, a slight whine to his tone.
“I got lost playing hide seek,” Jungkook pouts. Then, lips twisting into a bright smile he turns around and points toward you as you come up behind them. “But Noona found me and brought me here,” he grins. At his introduction, you smile down at the two boys. One of them smiles shyly with a wave, the other approaching you confidently with a beaming smile.
“Hi! I’m Taehyung! Thank you for looking after Gukkie,” the boy introduces himself with a bow, his lips pulled into a boxy smile. Similar to Jungkook, Taehyung is also dressed in a designer suit - Gucci this time - only reaffirming your assumption that their parents are one of the many donors of the aquarium and museum. Dissimilar to Jungkook, however, Taehyung is a lot more open and outgoing; the little boy already grinning as he hugs your leg.
From behind Taehyung, “I’m J-Jimin,” the last of the boys introduces, a tentative smile on his face as he waves at you. “Thank you for looking after Gukkie,” he continues, reiterating his brother’s sentiment. When Jungkook had mentioned his brothers were five, you hadn’t thought much of it. However, now, as you look at them both, you finally realise that they’re twins. Though, they’re definitely not identical.
“Oh, of course! It wasn’t any problem. But where’s your father?” you question.
“Daddy went looking for Gukkie with Uncle Jin. He told us to stay here and wait for him.” This time, it’s Jimin who responds, his voice somewhat high-pitched and whiny. A wave of relief washes through you at his words and nodding in relief, you let out a sigh.
“Oh. Okay, that’s good. Do you know when they’ll be back?” you ask, only for both twins to shake their heads.
A frown of thought mars your face at their response. Technically, you’d found Jungkook’s guardian and you could probably leave now - especially since the security guard had a firm set of eyes on the children. Yet, in spite of that, you can’t seem to bring yourself to leave. Perhaps it was because the children were unsure of when their father and uncle would be back, and you felt uneasy leaving them alone; even with the guard watching them carefully. Maybe it was because since finding Jungkook you felt like you had a sense of responsibility to make sure he was reunited with his father. Or perhaps… just maybe, it’s because in the short time you’d known the toddler, he’d somehow wormed his way into your heart and you didn’t want to part ways with him just yet. Nonetheless, before you can make up your mind, you’re dragged out of your musing by two tugs on the skirt of your dress.
“Are these for us?” Taehyung asks, his pudgy hands holding up the turtle toy Jungkook had picked out for them.
It wasn’t a large plush by any means. In fact, it was fairly small; just something displayed on the counter as a means to rope children into begging their parents for it. However, nestled in Taehyung’s small palms, the toy looks much bigger. Though, most things would look big in his tiny hands, you figure. Genial smile tugging at the corners of your lips, you nod your head and take a seat at the bench you’d found them on.
“Yeah, it is. Your brother picked it out for you. Do you like it?” you ask, causing both of them to nod at you eagerly.
“Cool! Just like Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles,” Taehyung cheers; Jimin simply thanks you with a shy smile.
“What are you gonna call them?” you ask.
“Mikey!” Taehyung calls out.
“Leo,” Jimin chimes in.
“Wow! Those are some nice names. Just like the Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles,” you gasp, as if it were the most interesting thing known to man. Though, of course, neither of the boys catches your exaggerated tone.
“Yeah!” The twins cheer. Nodding at them with a smile, you turn back to Jungkook, who in the time you’d spend talking to the twins, had crawled up onto the bench and nestled himself into your side.
“And what about you? What did you name your manta ray?” you ask.
“Mantine!” Jungkook grins. Taken aback by the name, you cock your head to the side.
“Like the Pokemon?” you question, causing Jungkook to nod enthusiastically.
“I like Pokemon,” he happily claims, his small feet swinging as they hang over the edge of the bench.
“Daddy also likes Pokemon,” Jimin says, his hand mindlessly stroking his own turtle’s head.
“His favourite is Dragonite. We watch it on Saturdays when daddy is home,” Taehyung adds with a toothy grin. You haven’t met their father yet, and yet, you can already tell that the boys adore him. Just as you’re about to open your mouth to respond, however, you’re cut off by a sudden call.
“Jungkook! There you are,” a deep voice booms, the sound echoing across the empty hall. Whipping your head to the side, your eyes widen as you take in the frazzled man running up to the two of you.
Not wasting a moment, Jungkook hops off of the bench and runs towards - who you assume to be - his father. Instantly, as if the gesture were second nature, the man is bending over and opening his arms wide, allowing Jungkook to run into them. The moment his son is in his embrace, the man pulls the toddler into his chest and drops a kiss onto the boy’s head. You don’t know the man. Yet, you’d have to be an idiot, or incredibly oblivious, to miss the thick waves of worried panic that exude off of the man; not to mention the sheer relief that paints across his chiselled features.
Once he’s checked over his son, and after he’s made sure Jungkook is unharmed, “Where have you been? I’ve been looking all over for you,” he reprimands, his tone gentle yet firm.
Ignoring his father’s concern, Jungkook thrusts the crab plush into the older man’s face instead, “Daddy, look what got you.”
“Kook... I appreciate the gesture but you know it’s not nice to take things that don’t belong to you. Put it back where you found it,” the older man says with a soft, but stern voice. However, instead of doing as his father says, Jungkook stomps his foot, his lower lip jutting out in a pout.
“I no take it! Noona bought for you,” Jungkook argues, and despite the aggravated tenor to his voice, you can’t help but internally coo.
Jungkook’s father gawks at his son in surprise, and just from his facial expression, you can tell he’s bewildered by Jungkook’s behaviour. His astonishment is fleeting, however, because looking up, he fixes his stare onto you - as if noticing your presence for the first time since he’d arrived. Briefly, his gaze skims over you, his eyes raking over your figure from head to toe. Under his scrutiny, you find your body tensing, the surface of your skin flashing with heat as butterflies erupt from the bottom-most depths of your abdomen. When his gaze reaches your legs, you see him quirk an eyebrow at the way the twin boys are clutching at your dress.
While he takes you in, you take the opportunity to do the same. The first thing you notice is his height. Or perhaps, more than his height, the first thing you notice is his sheer size. He towers an entire head taller than you - even with your heels boosting your own height - and paired with the corded muscles that bulge through the greyed-blue tweed of his blazer, you could swear he was some sort of giant. Moreover, his defined stature is further emphasised by his three-piece suit: the buttoned-up vest clinging to his torso, the jacket hangs off of his broad shoulders before clinging to his biceps, and the trouser legs emphasising the length of his long legs and thick thighs.
Lutescent ivory light gleams down from high ceilings, the saffron rays reflecting off of his luscious bronze skin and encasing him in a gilded halo; the deep gold hues highlighting the deeper undertones of his complexion. Silk-like lavender locks are partially slicked back, a few strands falling onto his forehead, the tips kissing the strong arches of his left eyebrow. Burnet eyes stare at you through hooded eyes, the heavy, deep-set crease at the inner corners highlighting their sharpness: both literal, and metaphorical. Rounded cheeks and a soft sloping nose are juxtaposed by the elegant slant of his cheeks as well as the sharp definition of his jaw. He’s stood casually, and yet, despite the nonchalance of his demeanour he radiates an air of power.
All in all, you think that he is, perhaps, the most handsome man you’ve ever had the pleasure of laying your eyes upon.
His gaze snaps back to your face. Instantly, your eyes connect, and lightning sears through your veins. For a fleeting moment, you find yourself sinking into the umber pools, their inky darkness swallowing you whole. Before you can fully lose yourself into the turbulent depths, however, you manage to pull yourself together. Sucking in a sharp breath, and ignoring the heat that flushes to your cheeks, you force a shaky smile onto your face before awkwardly waving at him. 
“Noona?” he mutters. Oblivious to the tension between the two of you, Jungkook drags his father towards you.
“Yeah! Noona! She’s a sea doctor! She helped me,” Jungkook introduces. At the excitement in his son’s voice, the older man’s face softens.
“Hey, it seems you found Jungkook while he was lost. Thanks for taking care of him,” the man greets appreciatively. Eyes widening slightly, you quickly raise your hands before shaking your head.
“Oh! Oh my gosh, no it’s okay. I was just in the right place at the right time. You don’t need to thank me,” you furiously wave him off. Then, after a short pause, “Besides, I work here and all staff are trained to handle situations like this,” you find yourself explaining.
“Still. I completely panicked when Jimin and Taehyung said they couldn’t find him,” Namjoon mutters, then releasing a long sigh, he runs his hands through his hair. “Really, thank you so much,” he repeats.
“Ah. You’re welcome,” you sheepishly respond, unsure of how to respond to his gratitude. Suddenly, realising that you hadn’t properly introduced yourself, “Oh! I’m ____, by the way,” you blurt.
“Kim Namjoon. A pleasure to meet you,” he greets, a lazy smile curling at the corners of his lips. It’s a subtle gesture, and yet, you can’t help but notice how attractive he looks when he smiles.
“You too,” you smile back, cringing internally when you find yourself tucking a stray lock behind your ear. You don’t know what it is about the man, but something about him has you acting like a teenage girl. Perhaps it was how handsome he was. No, scratch that. It’s definitely how handsome he is. Really, was it humanly possible for someone to be that handsome? A father no less? Surely that had to be illegal. Somewhere.
While you’re caught in your internal musings, “Where is Uncle Jin?” Namjoon asks, directing the question to his twins.
“I don’t know. He said he was gonna help you,” Taehyung shrugs. Taken aback by his son’s answer, Namjoon frowns.
“He left you both alone?” he questions, bewilderment dripping from his voice.
“Do my ears deceive me? Are my favourite nephews badmouthing me?” a newcomer calls out, and though you only hear his voice, you can clearly make out the mock dismay in his voice. The five of you turn your head, only for your eyes to blow wide open when you spot Kim Seokjin, one of the Korean National Aquarium & Museum of Marine Biology’s most prominent board members walk up to you. Technically, this guy was your boss. Not really, but he certainly had some sort of sway over the board.
“You left them alone?” Namjoon questions as he cocks an unamused eyebrow.
“I’ll have you know that I actually left them in the care of Mr. Seong, one of our lovely security guards,” Seokjin defends himself, causing Namjoon to snort in disbelief.
“For what reason?” he snaps.
“So that I could find the security team and see if they could check the cameras. However, by the time I got there, Miss ____ had already brought them back here,” he explains. Namjoon’s eyes narrow suspiciously, almost as if he didn’t truly believe Seokjin. Nonetheless, before he can open his mouth to argue, he’s cut off by twin tugs at the fabric of his trousers.
“Daddy! Look at what Noona got us!” Taehyung says, thrusting out his new stuffed toy in his father’s face; Jimin copying his actions. For the umpteenth time that night, surprise colours Namjoon’s features, and once more, he turns to you.
A timid smile forms on your own features, and you quickly move to explain yourself, “I’m sorry, I hope I didn’t overstep or anything. Jungkook wanted to see some crabs, but we don’t have any in the aquarium. So I suggested the gift shop, and well…” you trail off, mentally kicking yourself for the impulsive decision.
“You bought my sons - and me - some stuffed toys?” Namjoon finishes. The corners of his lips twitch, and something unknown flashes through his chestnut eyes. Something almost akin to amusement. Still, you nod your head sheepishly.
“All profits go to the aquarium and the museum, so technically, it was for a good cause,” you weakly argue. At your words, a large smile breaks out onto Namjoon’s face, and you find yourself awestricken when his cheeks indent on either side, a pair of prominent dimples making themselves known. Well, that was simply unfair. A wonderful father (or so you assume from what you’ve seen so far). Devilish good looks. And now dimples? Surely, it was impossible for this man to exist. Whoever this man’s partner is, is one lucky person.
“Thank you. You really didn’t have to do that. I can even pay you back if you want,” Namjoon suggests, already moving to pull his wallet out.
“Oh, no! It’s okay, really. Consider it a gift. Your sons are really sweet. I enjoyed spending time with them,” you smile, causing Namjoon to return his own genial grin.
As the two of you look at each other, Seokjin looks between the two of you, and cocking his eyebrow, “So what’s going on here then?” he questions, and though his words are innocent, neither of you miss the suggestion laced in his tone. Immediately, both your gazes snap towards him; your cheeks heating up while Namjoon rolls his eyes.
“What is your problem?” he mutters, causing Seokjin to let out a deep-bellied laugh. Throwing his arm over Namjoon’s shoulder, Seokjin pokes him in the side.
“I’m just looking out for my younger cousin. You’ve only just gotten back to Korea, and it’s been a while since you’ve been on a date, you know,” Seokjin teases. His words have you spluttering in shock, Namjoon elbowing the older man before shrugging off his arm.
“Would you be quiet?” Namjoon hisses. Then, turning around to you, “I have to apologise for my cousin’s behaviour,” he excuses with a bow.
“Ah, it was just a joke, I’m sure,” you reply, laughing nervously. Though, despite your words, you find yourself pondering on Seokjin’s words. If he was talking about dating, did that mean that Namjoon was single? And where did his wife go? Or whoever his partner was.
As you lose yourself in your musing, a heavy silence falls between the three of you - the children, having gotten bored of the conversation, moved to play with their new toys between themselves. Seokjin looks at the two of you, an expression of glee clearly plastered onto his face as he looks between you and Namjoon. Meanwhile, the two of you stand quietly, your eyes meeting awkwardly every now and then, only for you to break the stare and look away.
“Alright, it was nice meeting you. But I think it’s time we head home,” Namjoon finally says, breaking the silence.
His words have your stomach dropping in disappointment. Only for you to quickly shake the feeling off. You’d only just met the man, there was no reason to feel disappointment at the thought of him leaving. Though, you can’t deny that you’d miss his sons. You’d only spent a small amount of time with them and yet, their adorableness had immediately captured your heart. Of course, there was even a small part of you that would miss their - handsome - father. But, you’d never admit that. At least, not out loud.
“Aww, do we have to?” Jimin protests, his lower lip jutting out as he hears his father’s words. Meanwhile, Jungkook scurries back towards you, his hand fisting at your dress.
“Have to go, daddy?” Jungkook imitates his brother’s sentiment, directing his puppy-dog eyes at his father.
“Yeah, Kook. I’m sorry, but it’s late. And already past all your bedtimes,” Namjoon replies gently. His words only have Taehyung’s nose scrunching in displeasure.
“I’m not tired!” he protests.
“Me too,” Jimin chimes in. At his sons’ objections, Namjoon simply sighs.
“Maybe not now. But you’ll soon be tired,” Namjoon replies, a knowing tone lacing his voice. Then, squaring his shoulders, “Besides, don’t you want daddy to read you a bedtime story?” he questions. It’s a bribe. You know it. Seokjin knows it. And Namjoon knows it. Yet, it seems to work like a charm. Because, immediately, the twins are cheering.
“Let’s go home!” Taehyung happily cries.
“Goldlocks! I want Goldlocks!” Jimin squeals, bouncing up and down.
“Goldilocks,” Namjoon gently corrects. “But yes, daddy will read you Goldilocks for a bedtime story,” he promises. Then, after a brief pause, “But only if we leave now,” he continues. Sold by the idea, Jimin and Taehyung nod without another protest. However, Jungkook still stands beside you, unconvinced.
“Noona come with us?” he questions as he looks at his father with large, doe-like eyes. His words have you freezing, Namjoon’s own eyes blowing open in shock, while Seokjin tries - and fails - to resist the urge to laugh.
“I’m sorry Kook, but ____ can’t come with us. She has her own home to go to,” Namjoon explains as you awkwardly stand there. Because really, what could you say to that.
“Awwww. Please?” Jungkook pleads, and for a moment, a look of conflict crosses Namjoon’s visage. You have a feeling that it’s not often that Namjoon finds himself saying ‘no’ to his sons. Finally pulling yourself together, you smile kindly at Namjoon before crouching down to Jungkook’s eye level.
“Noona can’t come home with you, sorry bud,” you reaffirm, your heart breaking at the way Jungkook’s eyes start glistening with tears. However, before he can start crying, “But, you can always come and visit me. I work here Monday to Friday, 9 am to 6 pm,” you suggest. You mean it as a way to placate the young boy, though, from the way he sniffles, it only barely seems to work.
“Then can Noona come to our party, daddy?” Taehyung questions, your eyes widening slightly at the unexpected suggestion.
“Well… that’s up to her,” Namjoon hesitantly says, his gaze flicking towards you from the corner of his eyes. “Why don’t you ask her yourself?” he finally suggests. Without a moment's hesitation, Taehyung bounces over to you and places his pudgy hands on your knees.
“Noona! Come to our birthday party! Me and Jiminie are turning 5!” Taehyung enthusiastically invites, not a single sliver of hesitation in his words. “Say you’ll come! Please. Please, please, please,” he begs while jumping up and down. Unlike Taehyung, you find yourself hesitating, unsure what to say. You briefly look at Namjoon for help, only to be met with a carefully blank expression. Turning to Seokjin doesn’t help either. In fact, seeing his victorious grin only has you scowling internally. Thus, you turn back to Taehyung, only to be met with a set of puppy-dog eyes. Instantly, you find yourself melting into them, and before you know it, you relent with a nod.
“Of course, I will. Just let me know the details,” you reply. Your answer causes Taehyung and Jungkook to cheer, Jimin smiling at you shyly from his position beside Namjoon’s leg. Meanwhile, you wonder what you’ve gotten yourself into. After all, you’ve only just met this family, and yet, you’ve already found yourself invited to the twins’ fifth birthday party.
“Here, give me your phone number and I’ll text you the details,” Namjoon offers, stepping closer to you as he hands you his phone with a smile. You ignore the slight flutter of your heart at the deep wells in his cheeks, and instead, reach out to take the device from him. Unhesitatingly, you input and save your number into his phone before handing it back to him.
“Cool, I’ll text you once I’m home and have put them to bed,” Namjoon grins. Then, turning to his sons, “Come on. Let’s go home,” he beckons. 
Taehyung and Jungkook immediately run to their father, the former walking up to his uncle and motioning for the older man to pick him up. Seokjin does so without question, the five-year-old wrapping his arm around the man’s neck as he finds a comfortable position in his embrace. Meanwhile, Namjoon takes Jungkook into his arms, and supporting him with one of them, he takes Jimin’s hand in his free one.
“Say bye to Noona,” Namjoon prompts, and right away, you’re met with a chorus of ‘byes’ as the three children wave at you.
You return their waves, and once they’re out of sight, you find a small smile curling onto your lips. The last thing you had intended to do when you’d attended your work-hosted gala was for you to meet a handsome single dad and his three - incredibly adorable - sons. Yet, life seems to have thrown them into your life. Or well, you into theirs. Either way, you have no idea what really happened the past hour or so. After all, it somehow seemed to have passed in a blur. Nonetheless, as you think of attending the twin’s birthday party, and seeing the children again, you can’t help the excitement that bubbles up within your chest.
Of course, that excitement also includes their father.
Perhaps life was about to get infinitely more interesting.
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a/n: ahhhhhhh and that’s it for now!! im not sure when the next chapter will come out but hopefully sooner than later!! also i know there are a LOT of changes, more than i anticipated, but im definitely feeling much better about this rewrite hehe! also!!!! for those missing yoongi and hoseok... don’t worry, they’ll definitely be making an appearance in the next chapter!! anyway, for now, i will see you later!!! also please don’t forget to reblog and leave some feedback hehe 💖
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sunnyjae · 8 days ago
hoodwink [part one] ♡ jyh
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pairing ♡  hitman!jaehyun x fem!reader
genre ♡ non-idol!au, angst, smut, fluff
warnings ♡  blood, murder, bruising, violence, familial death, guns, cursing, threat, dysfunctional family, mentions of mental health issues, wanting to be killed, daddy issues, suggestive scenes?, implied daddy kink, jaehyun being a sick fuck getting off on people's fear (yikes), eventual smut
word count ♡ 2.6k
summary ♡ when you end up on the wrong side of your family's smuggling business, your father hires a hitman on you. little did you know he wasn't the character you were expecting.
note ♡  my fictional depictions of these characters don't have anything to do with their real-life counterparts, nor do they constitute their personalities or how i or others view them :) thanks
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your apartment reeked of blood and the acrid stench of fired bullets. five figures lay sprawled out on the lounge floor, puddles of red surrounding their heads: the security, the chefs and your own mother. a man stood looming over them, his gun resting comfortably in his right hand, still pointing at the bodies, loud rounds of bullets firing one at a time into their limbs and stomachs. they flinched involuntarily each time they were hit.
you didn't think your position in the pantry was very safe, let alone in the situation you were in.
you didn’t feel like sobbing, and you couldn’t cry. you just sat hidden in a corner, your breath faltering every time you heart another shot.
the man's hoodie was up over his head. he muttered a short "fuck." when he noticed he'd used up his first round. with a few metallic clicks, he'd slid in more bullets and swivelled to stalk around the kitchen.
you held your breath when he passed - you were trained in this. at this point you'd opted to leave your phone in the upstairs office in order to create a distraction of some sort (whether it would work or not), but you knew he was too smart for this kind of childsplay.
his breathing was heavy yet slow as he approached the island in the chef's kitchen. just a few meters shy of where you were cooped up. you felt a migraine coming, a sort of fear and anxiety induced ache that dulled every few seconds when he seemed to turn away.
he swung the cabinets open one by one, only to be met with emptiness and/or the odd wine cupboard.
your father had definitely sent this man to finish the job. you'd disgraced your family. you'd lied your way through it all. you'd betrayed your only living relative. the amount of times he'd threatened you with a gun to your head was impossible to count at this point. your father had seen you as an asset to his alliance with the world's most infamous cartels and trade organizations, yet now you found yourself on the edge of a cliff where you'd get your head blown off if the hitman in your kitchen heard you breathe at least.
"i know you're here. get out." he sighed, clicking back his gun. "get out from where you're hiding right fucking now."
that would be a bad idea you thought. the hitman smirked under his hood, and your heart rate sped up. he shot once, twice, thrice into the glass cabinet next to the pantry door, the shattering of your mother's prized glasses and china sets breaking the silence instantaneously.
he came up to the pantry door. you swallowed quietly, biting your lip. "so you're in here, huh?"
you finally felt a few tears slip and your eyes became blurry. "don't be scared darlin', i'll end it all quickly with a bang." and the gun fired again, this time through the door.
"c'mon sweetheart, be a good girl and come out." he teased. you felt yourself stiffen. you'd be lying if you were to say the offer wasn't tempting at all. "i'm not paid to run around and play nice." the hitman added.
you were right. your dad must have set this up.
The man gripped your arm firmly.
next thing you knew, your back was pressed against his chest and the barrel of the gun was pressed to your temple. his hand wrapped around your neck. "naughty, not listening to me. your daddy was right: you never do as you're told."
And he took a good look at you. oh. it was you. you were his daughter.
you finally spoke. "so you want to kill me?”
“That’s correct, but it’s not really a choice - it’s my job.”
"For a few thousand my dad’s throwing at you?"
He laughs, “Yeah. Relax darlin’, it won’t hurt.” he smirks, “that much”
"relax as in die? you sick fuck." you spat, feeling his fingers tighten their grip at your words when he forced your head to stare into the tiny mirror in the now shattered glass cabinet. the barrel of the gun was pressed so hard to your skin that you wondered if it would leave a mark, would it be a bruise or would it be a grey impression in the skin?
"you know, i like bratty girls. they make it fun." he tells you, eyes piercing into yours through the reflection. The hitman is attractive, but it’s not the time to fawn over good looks, especially if that person is waiting to shoot you in the head.
the barrel moves to the bottom of your jaw with a quiet click. "how about i blow your brains out like this?" he lilted, amused by your jitteriness. Obviously he was playing with you, but you didn’t know that.
“uh, you’re asking me?” you squeak, the previous confidence you had building up inside you, quickly dissipating.
"cute." he laughs, leaning in to whisper to you. his soft lips were pressing against your ear. you shiver at the contact. "you always this defiant? make me want to teach you a lesson. you know, the thought of killing you doesn't seem all that exciting anymore."
“It seems pretty quick - killing me. Just do it, please.” you sighed.
"it really isn't that easy sweetheart. for example," he leers. "i like talking to my victims before i do it most of the time." he responds, "you seem like a good one."
"huh. so my dad doesn't make it easy for you then."
"with you it might not be easy, but it sure is entertaining." he tells you, pressing the gun harder into your skin. "fucking look at yourself. pathetic girl with daddy issues."
You swallowed at his degrading comment, looking at yourself through the mirror again. You didn’t know why you were following his instructions at this point.
"my dad never cared. not like you'd either." he felt his blood rush in his ears. was he angry? he knew your dad was a sick piece of shit, and to be fair jaehyun had issues with his own parents himself.
"oh no darlin' please do tell me." he muttered, "i'm listening."
you gulped down your saliva. "he sent you to kill me. doesn't that say enough?" his chest was warm against your back.
"daddy not caring doesn't mean you're not a daddy's girl." the hitman responded, there was a hint of teasing in his tone.
"so if i were to break and say i'm a daddy's girl with daddy issues, what's that going to do?"
his chest rumbled as he chuckled.
"hm. i dunno. that depends on what you want me to do with that information sweetheart."
"i don't want to say anything to that. i don't even know your name." chest tightening, you felt a wave of something surging up through your lower abdomen.
"my name's jaehyun." he told you
"aren't professional hitmen supposed to hide their names, or use some kind of alias?" that was protocol, unless he wanted to be caught.
you almost laughed. "your name is jeffrey? like jeff? your name's jeff?" you asked incredulously.
"yes. now shut your mouth before i pull this trigger. your dad's sending more men over right about now sweetheart, so unless you want to end up dead at the feet of some other fucker then i suggest listening to me."
"uh- okay,"
"good girl. get into the office upstairs and sit under the desk. i don't want any noise. i'll be there in five minutes." he whispered, the sudden loudening of hushed voices making panic flood your veins and jaehyun turned you around to face him. he raised his brows nodding towards the stairs. "go."
his gun was still on you as he watched you climb the stairs quietly, urging you on with a flick of the weapon.
you slipped into your father's office and crawled under the desk. the sound of those same voices growing louder, among those you picked up jaehyun's.
"the girl's dead. you don't want to see it, yuta" he cleared his throat.
"you did it?" yuta asked, glancing around and cringing at the putrid smell coming from the bodies nearby. jaehyun affirmed the question with a nonchalant grunt. "great. that'll get that old sack of shit off our back, then."
"she fell out the top window into the pond." he smirked. "it was a sight to see."
"i can imagine." yuta added, grimacing at jaehyun's reaction. "anyway, finish up here, i'm going downtown."
"yeah. oh and i'll just go upstairs, old bat needs his papers for some bullshit he forgot."
jaehyun's heart sped up. if he was caught lying, to his best friend, he'd be properly fucked. "the office? sure. i'll come."
yuta and jaehyun opened the door of the office. jaehyun sat in your dad's chair, his knees in front of you. he glanced down, pointing his gun at you subtly. his gaze so indifferent you were wondering what was going through his mind. why was he keeping you alive?
his accomplice, yuta, stalked towards the painting of a lemon tree on the right wall.
"they're in this shitty safe. oh-three, seven-two," yuta muttered, clicking the safe open and taking out the necessary files. "kun and winwin are downstairs. they're watching the cars. you're fine getting back by yourself?"
"uh-huh." jaehyun nodded, swiveling left to right in his seat.
yuta quickly left with a tired salute and jaehyun waited until the doors closed, making the apartment totally silent again.
you glanced up at him, knees pressed to your chest. jaehyun did nothing for a few seconds, still aiming the gun at your head.
not only were you excessively sweating, your heart was beating out of your chest. he motioned upwards with the barrel of the gun, expecting you to follow through with his silent instruction.
you stood up between his thighs, hands shaking.
"this is quite fun, don't you think?"
"why are you doing this? you could've just killed me."
"you do make a good point. i could have." he shrugged, "but that wouldn't have been all that exciting, am i right?"
you bit your lip under his intense gaze, jaehyun scrutinised you. fingers fidgeting, you didn't know what to do with them.
a good thirty seconds of silence went by again until he finally spoke up. "come here." his head tilted, almost puppy-like. jaehyun tapped his thigh.
"s-sit?" you stuttered.
he blinked slowly, nodding his head again, tongue prodding at the inside of his cheek.
you swallowed, watching him spread his thighs further, inviting you to straddle him.
no words were really said. you just nodded and moved onto his warm thighs, clad in black jean material that was surprisingly not stained with blood. from this position you could focus more on him. his musky spice scent that probably got any victim figuratively and literally falling at his feet.
"hm. those tears look pretty on you sweetheart. crying is a good look on you." one of his hands went to the base of your spine to press your chest closer to his. the hand with the gun unceremoniously pressing against the base of your jaw again. "looking all pretty on my lap."
he wanted to wipe the tear streaks off your cheeks, but saved the sappy shit for his own dignity.
"what do you want?" you whimpered.
"what do i want? oh no no honey, what do you want?" his head rested back on the chair as he waited for your answer.
this timing and situation was awful, given you'd meet in different circumstances, you probably wouldn't spend that much time thinking. this man killed your mother. he killed the people you knew. and now he's been tasked to kill you, under the orders of your own father. could it get any worse?
"surely such a good daddy's girl should know what she wants?" he mock pouted.
your cheeks heated at his comment. "you're here to kill me. i don't care at this point. just do it."
"should i? i guess i could pull this trigger right here." he muttered, subtly checking he had the safety lock on to your obliviousness.
"i don't see why not."
"why not? you're sitting all pretty on my lap for me, followed my instructions like a good girl - i think that's some reason for reward, right?" he smirked, straightening his back to whisper in your ear once again. you'd noticed the gun on your neck had disappeared, and was now replaced by his hand.
"look at me." the command was sudden, deep and demanding.
you did so, wide eyes flicking up to his. "good girl."
"now, i don't wanna get you in trouble sweetheart. your daddy thinks you're dead. and well, clearly you're not. so, you have some options." he tells you. "one: come with me, i'll take you. two: i kill you right here. three…" he grins, "there is no third option."
your soft lips were so enticing to him he wondered how sweet they'd taste. but not now. he was awaiting your decision. "tell me what you want."
"i-if i come with you, you'll keep me safe?"
"i'll be the daddy you never had, darlin'." he tells you, and you shudder under his gaze. he wishes you'd call him that. "you'll be so safe nobody will hurt you."
you don't know what to do. this is a sick, sick decision to make. and it's stupid. you're fucked either way.
"think about it sweetheart. you have ten seconds to make your decision before i make mine. i hope we have the same one." the hand he has on your lower back now moves up and he presses you to him even further. your face is pressed into his neck and he waits.
"one." he starts, the hand previously on your throat now reaching for his gun behind you.
"i-" is this even right? you either die now, or you get left with the unpredictable hitman murderer assassin (whatever his job specification is) who could turn on you at any moment. and he vows to protect you?
fuck. fuck, fuck, fuck.
"i'll do it." you tell him, but he doesn't stop counting.
"i'll do it jaehyun, stop!" you beg.
what does he want you to say?
"i'll come with you jaehyun, you can take me with you, please stop counting!" you plead.
the please does it for for him - the way your wide eyes gaze into his.
"good choice." he breathes out, "we're going to my car. i'm taking you somewhere."
"and don't ask where." he finalised, noting you opening your pretty lips to add something.
"get off me." he straightens, and you immediately slide off him and awkwardly rock on your feet.
you watch him stand up with a blank expression. "we're using the fire exit, c'mon." he starts towards the door, finally turning around to give you a look. "if you fuck up don't expect to get away from me alive."
author’s note - here’s to my first nct miniseries!
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wherethebuttercupsgrow · 5 months ago
Based off @sabertoothwalrus ‘s ml left au! I. don’t watch Miraculous Ladybug. But your art grabbed me by the throat and threw me into google docs. Anyway, hope you enjoy!
Here’s how it starts: You’re fourteen and you’re kneeling on the dirt, cold. Hawkmoth stands in front of you with wide eyes, as the curve of your spine curves further, as the delicate white of your ribs fuse with your knees. You think you might be in shock. You think: That’s Gabriel Agreste. He is staring down at you, wide eyed, and your arm is in his hand. You think: That’s Gabriel Agreste. That’s my father. I’m Adrien Agreste. I’m his son. He cut my arm off. I’m his son. He’s holding my arm, like a war prize, and I’m his son-
You’re repeating yourself.
You might be in shock.
(You shouldn’t be shocked.)
“Adrien?” Hawkmoth says. He’s still holding your arm. Butterflies flit about his head. The bruise from Ladybug’s yoyo is darkening on his temple. “No, how-“
Here’s how it starts: You’re fourteen and it’s mothers day. You leave flowers in the atelier, and you wait for your father to come home. The grief keeps you company, the brush of petals against your hand like an unspoken prayer.
Your dad comes home. You smile because your dad’s eyes are red, and you know this is hard for him. You both eat dinner together- you squeeze your father’s hand and he squeezes back, and maybe your chest feels hollow, the sadness eating you alive, but you smile and keep the misery locked squarely behind your teeth. You crack jokes, and you eat your dinner, all of it, and you wear that jacket that you know your dad commissioned for your birthday, and he smiles through the lines of his eyes, and you feel like you can fly.
Here’s how it starts: You’re fourteen and it’s fathers day. You wait at the hall, and wait, and wait, and wait.
The loaves you bought from Marinette’s bakery grow cold. You grow cold with them, too big for your body, too small for your keening sense of loss.
Here’s how it starts: You’re fourteen, and your father is tired. He snaps at you. 
Here’s how it starts: You’re fourteen, and your father calls you back to apologize. You forgive him immediately. It’s your fault for making him so angry in the first place, you know.
When he pulls you into a hug, he calls you Emilie.
Here’s how it really starts: A woman with blonde hair and a smile that shines like the sun all light and warmth and love, and a moth. A man with wings, flying, flying, flying, Icarus with nothing between him and the sea but the wide expanse of air.
(Here’s a lesson he wasn’t ready to learn: You can’t love the sun unless you’re prepared to burn.)
“If he’s a boy,” Emilie had said, her torso swollen: “We’ll name him Adrien.”
Hawkmoth- Gabriel Agreste- is downed. Ladybug is victorious.
You can’t hear it. You can’t hear much of anything, through the pain, through the shock, through that slow creeping grief- your forehead, digging into the skin of your knees, and you’re screaming. You’re screaming your throat hoarse, and crying, because-
-Because it’s all those choked words you’d swallowed back in the face of your fathers shattered glass eyes, all the signed report cards Nathalie picked up from school, all the times you’d limped to a shoot, all the bruises and he is your father and you are fourteen, Paris stretched out under your feet, and everything is tinny-
And Ladybug is there, your hand (your left hand, because your right is somewhere splattered across the pavement, dropped-) in hers, and she’s cupping your cheek and holding your head in her lap and telling you it’ll be alright. Her eyes are wide and wet.
You crack a joke. Her lip wobbles. You shut up.
You’re warm in her arms, her fingers twined with yours, and you keep your eyes open and smile. 
Here is how it ends: The quiet horror permeating a city, rain dripping down from above and washing away the red in neon reflections, colorful gutters. The howls of Gabriel Agreste, caught between horror and grief and anger.
Adrien and Ladybug, sitting on a rooftop- the quiet shower of red sparks as she changes. Adrien Agreste and Marinette Dupain-Cheng in the rain, in the silence, her forehead against yours, your hands in hers, blonde and black and red.
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mrblueberry · a month ago
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Was listening to some Steven Universe songs and mind mmm yes this would fit with toh characters
Also got enough brain rot to start the making of a new au lmao
( I only made two designs cuz I got tired :P) 
But Steven Universe AU!!
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(hehehhee banana boy)
Some of the plot is different from the show but the concept is the same.
Luz takes the place of Steven in this AU. She lives with the gems Eda, King and Hooty. Eda, a jasper gem, King a late bloomer amethyst and Hooty an abandoned spinel. Luz gave Hooty and King their names when she was young and it kinda just stuck throughout. Eda got her name from during the gem war. Her and her companions had a joke about how she pronounced human words back then and how she would pronounce “eat the” as Eda.
King takes the place of Amethyst in this au but he’s younger than her in the show.
Hooty is younger than Eda but older than King. He was the spinel of a high official in the gem war. During one of the battles he was abandoned on earth. Eda took him in and they stayed with each other throughout the war. 
Luz has more education than Steven did in SU because Camilla made her go to school but she generally has the same personality as Steven and constantly wants to help people. Her favorite book series is still the great witch azura.
Camilla is around often for Luz and is a vet. Luz stays over at her place during the weekends but most of Luz’s time is spent with the gems. Camilla is a lot more hesitant with Luz going on missions but once she sees Luz can take care of herself she’s fine with it.The gem that gave up their form was a diamond but most knew them as a diamond. It’s about the same as the show so yeah.
Amity, Gus, and Willow are all humans in this au. Amity sorta takes the role of Connie but her parents are the same as they are in Toh and run a business in home security. Willow’s dads run a plant shop in beach city and Gus’s dad is still a news reporter for Beach City. 
White Diamond (or as Hunter calls him, Belos) is the only remaining diamond as all the others were either shattered or bubbled long ago. It was soon after the war the diamonds started their fights amongst themselves. It broke out into the homeworld and caused destruction of a lot of the planet. White Diamond was the one to win and he continued his rule, reaching out farther and farther into the universe. He had a lot more help from lesser gems and gained nobles to help with the running of the planets. Over time he became bored by himself, eventually gaining a hobby in exploration of defected and broken gems. (Like the gem shard experiments, the cluster and putting defect gem like the off colors through trials, basically torture, before deciding whether or not they were useful to him. Most weren’t as they were either shattered and used as gem shard experiments or bubbled away.) Although despite this, differences in gems were still shamed and looked down upon. Most gems who ended up with different ideologies would face the same treatment as the defected gems.
Hunter, a yellow pearl, was amongst these defects but white diamond gained a liking to him, making him his personal pearl. Although he was still put under trials and experiments they weren’t as harsh as others since Belos couldn’t exactly put him through too much without losing the pearl’s ability to be useful to him. Before Hunter was captured he fought for his life on other planets. He learned how to fight other gems this way and how to hijack ships and what not. He helped other gems to get away but if it was going to cost him his life he wouldn’t risk it to help someone. He is a gem that is weaker than most and his powers are lesser than others. But he’s smart and resourceful making it hard to fight and capture him. Belos saw interest in this and positioned Hunter not only as his personal pearl but to lead armies and other things usually left to other gems to do. It’s easy to say that other gems were not pleased with a pearl bossing them around. Most of his jobs he did himself as he was supposed to hunt for new planets and rogue gems.
Belos usually called him his “hunter” when addressing him rather than calling him a pearl, so when he met Luz he told her his name was Hunter as he didn’t want to be called a pearl.
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redorich · 11 months ago
to those who carried on
A fic for @petrichormeraki​ and their Hermit!Tommy AU.
The hermits know Tommy as a quiet young man who is very sad and contemplative. The more time they spend with him (against his will, but they know he needs the company) the more they learn of the little details. His favorite block is cobblestone, he likes building towers, and apparently his favorite woman is the Queen. They don’t ask why he wears a smiley mask even though he never seems happy. They don’t ask why he hides important things in his ender chest. They don’t ask why he wears a shattered compass on a chain about his neck.
(Once, he died in lava and lost his absolute mind. He was so upset about the compass that he didn’t even mention the stack and a half of diamond ore he had on him. Xisuma ended up manually rolling back the server just so Tommy could have it back.)
As time goes on, the tremors in Tommy's hands grow lesser. His dull blond hair seems a bit brighter, his bruises fade quicker, he doesn’t look quite so skinny-- he spends his time serenely building, resource gathering instead of running and fighting. He has a sense of humor under all that trauma, which the hermits unfortunately find out after another massive-scale prank war thought to be instigated by Grian actually turns out to be Tommy's fault.
Tommy starts swearing more. Doc gets the stink eye from Stress for this, but Doc insists he’s never once sworn around the young man. (That’s an absolute lie, but it wasn’t anything Tommy hadn’t heard before. Tommy thinks Doc is remarkably unoriginal in his cursing. He does take note of the German ones, though.)
Inviting Tommy to PvP minigames can be touchy, they learn. He likes to fight, but he fights like an animal with nothing to lose. Grian once chanted, “It stays in the pit!” and everyone present had to spend the next five minutes wrangling Tommy’s soul back into his body from wherever it’d floated off to.
Tommy likes to glide with his elytra. He claims he’s never had one before, but he flies like such a natural that a few people have their doubts. On a dark desert night, with dark blue eyes watching the night sky, he confides to Cub that it reminds him of the way his dad used to fly. He hates rockets, though. He does not confide to Cub that it reminds him of what his brother did to his best friend. He says enough that Cub can guess, though.
Scar gets fed up with Tommy’s creeper holes and makes Tommy help him fix them. At first, Tommy has no clue why Scar is breaking out things like coarse dirt and birch leaves and making the ground all fancy, but he’s not afraid of a little hard work and Scar makes it fun. He learns a lot about terraforming that day, and awkwardly comes back a few days later asking if Scar needs any more help terraforming. Tommy still hasn’t built a real base, not by Hermitcraft standards, but the small hill he’s built his dirt hut near now has a very beautiful, if amateurish, waterfall. He doesn’t tell Scar about this, but Scar finds out anyway. Tommy wakes up one morning to find that someone has left a shulker box in his house. Instead of iron-gripped paranoia, he just feels wonder that someone would give him a gift-- to the hermits, a single shulker box is nothing. To Tommy, it’s everything.
The shulker box contains coarse dirt, birch leaves, and a silk touch shovel.
Tommy helps Xisuma mine a giant hole in the ground near bedrock, because he realizes that he’s never thanked the admin for getting him his compass back. Well, that and the fact that instamining with a haste two beacon and an efficiency five pickaxe is a novelty. Xisuma lets him keep the cobble, since everyone knows it’s Tommy’s favorite block, but also insists he keep some of the other blocks like andesite and diorite. He pats Tommy on the head and tells him to talk to Bdubs about building a house some time. Tommy nods. He's taken aback by how tall Xisuma is, completely contrasting his mild nature. He reminds Tommy of Wilbur, on one of his good days before... Before. Not Ghostbur, though-- the admin is much too alive.
Tommy waits too long, so eventually Bdubs comes to him. The man is silly and outrageous, playing everything for laughs and unexpectedly tender. Bdubs plays up how beautiful he thinks Tommy’s hideous dirt shack is, then offers to help him build a house that’s better. For Tommy, building a house means settling down, accepting that this is his home now. Bdubs doesn’t know this. Tommy builds cobblestone dicks while Bdubs tries to lecture him about depth and block variation. Nothing gets done and Bdubs feels like he might have failed, but come next week Bdubs is flying over the area and sees the dicks are gone; so is the dirt house. In its place is a spruce-and-cobble cottage nestled near the tiny waterfall. Off to the side, he’s made a cozy doghouse for his fox, Theo. Bdubs doesn’t know how close that fox came to being named Fundy.
He spars with False, and she very pointedly does not mention how his stances are uniquely suited to a piglin. There’s only one renowned fighter who’s a piglin, after all. It's Tommy’s story to tell, if he ever does, why he’s seen enough of the legendary Technoblade’s fights to pick up on his stances, yet he’s not experienced enough to know that they don’t suit him. Instead, False gives him different stances suited more for tall, skinny people like the two of them. She’s got blond hair and blue eyes just like him. (Not that she’d know. She’s never seen his eyes, hidden behind his mask as they are.) Every now and then, he imagines her as an older sister, and the one time he says so, she smiles. When Tommy’s at home, looking at his own distorted reflection in his waterfall (he’s improved it since he built it), he muses that their eyes aren’t the same, their hair colors are subtly off. It’s close enough, he thinks.
Stress dies from fall damage and Tommy goes out of his way to pick up her stuff, because the hermits do these things out of the kindness of their hearts. The thought never even crosses their minds to steal. It crosses his mind. He doesn’t do it. Stealing from Stress would be like stealing from Niki.
He shows up at Cleo’s base unannounced and demands to see the “cool shit”. He is appropriately enthused by the giant armor-stand-bugs. She tries teaching him her armor stand magic, but it doesn’t really sink in. It’s okay, she assures him, most people don’t have the knack for it. He does, however, learn that buttons make excellent decorations. He also learns how to braid hair, bribed by ice cream. He is terrible at it, to the point where Joe has to come by to help the two untangle her hair so Tommy can start again. Watching the two bicker over capitalism and six million armor stands and a whole host of other inside jokes he doesn’t get, he thinks he’s starting to understand what friendship is supposed to be like. Joe and Cleo don’t see him clutching his compass. He and Tubbo weren’t too far off from this, given their circumstances. Maybe...
Maybe Tubbo can be forgiven.
Tommy makes minigames of his own, ones that don’t just kill you and steal your stuff. He builds things that are pretty instead of just functional, brews potions with Stress and only calls them drugs once (again, upsetting her is like upsetting Niki. Best not done), and sets up chicken bombs above people’s bases instead of just lavacasting them. (As Grian saw the hundreds of chickens slowly raining down upon his mansion, he got such a peculiar look on his face that Tommy feared he’d fucked up. The shorter, stronger (much stronger oh god why is he so strong despite being so small) man nearly crushed Tommy’s lungs in a hug, proclaiming how proud he was of Tommy. Tommy was proud of himself for not accidentally murdering Grian out of reflex. Was this what healing was like?)
Yes. It is what healing is like. Tommy knows this because that wound gets ripped open again. Tango shows him how to build the most obnoxious redstone-powered noise machine the two can think of. Tango digs a small pit, and asks Tommy to throw down his axe. Suddenly, Tommy’s in Logstedshire again; it’s not Tango asking, it’s Dream. His hands don’t shake when he tosses his axe into the pit, followed by his sword and his armor. It isn't until he’s placed the TNT down that Tango grabs his wrist and asks him what he’s doing. Tommy’s eyes clear enough that he can see past the blond hair and freckles. Tango isn’t green, he’s red. He's shorter than Dream, and his worried eyes are unhidden. Tommy shudders, then tells Tango everything.
Tango has no pity for Tommy, just understanding and sympathy. He doesn’t push Tommy to talk about it, but when Tommy’s done telling his story, Impulse and Zedaph show up. They all pretend that Tommy’s voice isn’t hoarse, that they all didn’t conveniently happen to look away when Tommy took off his mask just long enough to wipe his eyes. The men bake a cake together, fool around with honey blocks, and don’t talk about it.
Tommy knows very little about redstone, considers himself more of a builder and a fighter than an engineer. Still, Mumbo’s living base is inspiring, and Tommy often hangs around the man’s industrial district just to watch Mumbo work. Mumbo knows that Tommy hasn’t purchased a day pass, but it’s nice having someone around to talk to while he works. It’s not like Tommy is stealing anything. (Tommy totally steals from Mumbo’s industrial district storage system. The man’s farms are so efficient that he doesn’t even notice, so Tommy assumes it’s fine. What Mumbo doesn’t know won’t hurt him.)
Lava still isn’t his favorite thing in the world. He stays far away from it, instead of imagining what it would be like to hurtle towards it. Ren doesn’t really notice this, but he does notice that Tommy doesn’t seem to like his mustafarian base. On a spur-of-the-moment whim, Ren whips up some absurd plotline in which he is a lone weary traveller seeking refuge at Tommy’s base from strange alien overlords. The two have fun together, and the young man cracks more absurd jokes about it than the hermits have ever seen him do. When Ren leaves a week later to return to his own base, Tommy keeps being absurd, if a bit more subdued without someone to play off of. He builds a shrine to the “prime log”, which grows more elaborate each day. Beef and xB pretend to be his acolytes, despite having no clue what a “twitch prime” is.
They can’t see his face, but the smile in his voice is a far cry from the despondency he once wore like a heavy cloak. He is so much more animated and alive, full of motivation. He builds an entire island in three days, and hand-delivers an invitation to each and every hermit for his beach party. Everyone shows up, even those with packed schedules (Iskall) and those with introverted tendencies (Etho). Tommy is nearly moved to tears when they show up in groups of twos and threes, as though he hadn’t expected anyone to come. There aren’t enough chairs for everyone, but there is more than enough cake to go around. Tango brings drinks, Impulse brings meat to barbecue, and Zedaph makes an elaborate jump-powered grill. Keralis brings way too much confetti and several handfuls of cheap, obnoxious party noisemakers. Stress brings Tommy a crown made out of alliums. It shines far less than his brother’s gold crown, and it’ll die in a few days, but he wears it all night and keeps it in his ender chest until it withers away.
He spends five days teaching himself to make flower crowns. Even his best attempt is awful, nowhere near as pretty as the crowns Stress makes, but when he gives it to her, she takes off the one she was wearing and wears his until it falls apart.
He dies fighting a creeper on Grian’s behalf, and doesn’t even panic, because he trusts that however many times he dies, no matter how stupid or ignominious or revolutionary or important, Xisuma will always let him respawn.
He spends a grand total of nine diamonds to buy a single plot of land in the shopping district. He builds a cute little bench facing the sunset, with warmly glowing street lights on either side and a small garden. At the end of the bench he places a jukebox, and buys every single disc that Beef’s music shop sells, including Pigstep. He sits on the bench while Mellohi plays and watches the tiny silhouettes of his friends flying in the evening sky. Tommy looks alone on that bench, even if he seems happy, so sometimes other people stop by to sit with him. Scar declares the bench area a public park, since everyone likes it so much, and refunds Tommy his nine diamonds straight from the throne.
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