#she makes her costumes by hand and she puts in the effort for fucks sake
halloween time!!!!! im late looking at these and boy are they hard to see so i took some liberties for the aesthetic….catgirl ibuki is real <3
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In the Afterglow | 1 | F.W.
moodboard by @minty-malfoy.
Summary: The reader is married to George Weasley, and for all intents and purposes, he is the perfect husband. But, despite her best efforts to resist, Fred presents temptation she never knew she’d fall for.
Pairing: Fred Weasley x Fem! Reader; George Weasley x Fem!Reader
Alternate Universe: No Voldemort AU
Rating: Mature, Future Chapters will Feature Explicit Content
Trigger Warnings: Angst, alcohol, cussing, mild sexual content
Author’s Note: I want to start off by thanking @oh-for-merlins-sake for being my sounding board for the past several days as I’ve prepared this fic! Also, to @sunflwrnarry for giving me an opinion on whether or not to go ahead with penning this. I cannot tell you how much this idea lives in my head ABSOLUTELY rent free. This might be my favorite fic I’ve written to date. PS: I have a taglist! Let me know if you’d like to be added for this story, all Weasley twins content, or for all Harry Potter content. Thanks loves!
*✧･ﾟ: *✧･ﾟ:*✧･ﾟ: *✧･ﾟ:*✧･ﾟ: *✧･ﾟ: *✧･ﾟ: *✧･ﾟ:*✧･ﾟ: *✧･ﾟ:*✧･ﾟ: *✧･ﾟ: *✧･ﾟ:
Summer mornings always felt particularly comforting. However, the mornings spent on a beach vacation felt especially wonderful. Heading out onto the balcony, you smiled contently, taking a sip of the coffee you had just brewed. George, your husband, was inside still asleep. The night before had been quite tiring as you’d spent all day on the beach before returning to your hotel to play board games and drink. It was the annual vacation you, your husband, and his brother took. It provided days worth of laughter and a much longed for break from the daily grind of work. Occasionally, Fred would bring a lady friend along, but not this year.
You worked for the Ministry of Magic, using your academic skills to contribute toward the greater good of Wizarding society. Meanwhile, your doting husband and his brother worked tirelessly in their joke shop. They actually fared quiet well, despite never completing their classes at Hogwarts. George was able to spoil you to absolute bits. Your wedding had been charming, complete with a send off of blue butterflies before you entered the reception. Everything about your marriage to George was a fairytale.
You watched the waves lapping against the shore. The smell of sea salt and wet sand tickled your nostrils. You pulled your tan cardigan closer around your torso, noting that it was still chilly in the morning, despite it being August. The silence gave you time to reflect on the beauty of the past two years. It felt as though barely any time had passed since you kissed George at the altar, vowing your forever to him. You had developed a calm and comforting rhythm to your life together. It consisted of cozy mornings with your cold feet touching beneath blankets. Your nights would end with dinner together and then finding some sort of movie to watch. You never felt thrilled anymore, but in a way, that’s what you had always dreamed of.
Settling down comfortably in the deck chair, you opened up the novel you’d been reading. Just then, the deck door slid open and your husband walked out. His red hair was messy from sleep and his voice was still raspy, not yet fully adjusted to the morning. He bent to kiss you softly on the head.
“Morning, Mrs. Weasley,” he smiled, moving to lean against the balcony railing. He crossed his legs and took a sip from his coffee mug. His nickname for you always made you smile. You adored it, because you were still head over heels about the idea of being his wife. George was safe and strong. He loved you in the ways other men had failed to. His adoration was clear through bouquets of flowers that would show up on your work desk, lavish birthday presents, and the sweet nothings he whispered to you in bed. George was never pushy. He never spoke out of turn. In fact, you couldn’t even recall a time he had raised his voice at you. George was - as a husband - predictable.
“Mr. Weasley,” you chirped back, turning to the next page of your book. You two sat in silence for a while. George watched the waves crash into the shore, thinking to himself that this was bliss. Even if he wasn’t at the beach, he reasoned, it would be paradise because he was with you.
The sliding glass door opened again and Fred appeared. “Mornin!,” he announced, stretching.
Fred was quite the opposite of George in a number of ways. You knew of Fred’s romantic escapades, which often ended in him bedding girls in his flat. He sometimes had a short temper and still lived on the high of getting into bits of trouble - even as a grown man. His spirit was more untamed. Where George craved peace, Fred strived for adventure. You would be lying if you hadn’t sometimes thought about what Fred would be like as a lover. But then the guilt would hit you. He was your brother-in-law, for Merlin’s sake.
“How do you have this much energy in the morning?,” George chuckled, watching as Fred sat down in the other armchair.
“I just like the beach,” he shrugged, looking over at you. Placing your book onto your lap, you glanced over at Fred. His brown eyes twinkled back at you affectionately. You and Fred had always been close, even before you started dating George. It was Fred that you had befriended first at Hogwarts. But of course, where one Weasley was, there was the other. Fred was thrilled when you began to date George. He thought you were - as he put it - ‘a total fucking catch, George’. Fred had even helped George pick out your engagement ring. He was over the moon to have you as a permanent part of his life - for you to finally and officially be a Weasley.
You looked out at the beach, eager to get some sun and finish your book.
“Then, let’s go.”
George had made the choice to stay at the beach house, wanting to hit the golf course. He had begged Fred to join him, but his twin was craving some time in the sun and surf, so he declined. George grumbled a bit as he packed up his golf bag. He tried until the very last minute to get Fred to come play at least a round but it was to no avail.
You were lying on your back, trying your hardest to catch some color. The normally dreary days at home wouldn’t provide the tan you wanted. Fred was walking back up to your umbrella. He had gone down into the water for a while. You realized then that you probably should reapply your sunscreen, but couldn’t reach yourself.
“Hey, Freddie, can you get my back?” You had thought nothing of it. Fred had obliged, picking up the tiny bottle next to you.
Fred knelt down in the sand, sitting back onto his heels to keep from tipping other. He squirted a bit of the sunscreen into his palm, rubbing it together quickly to warm it up. You had to press your tongue to the roof of your mouth to keep from gasping as you felt his calloused hands hit your bare back. He was being painfully slow, moving to massage the sunblock into your shoulders. The man’s concentration seemed to have drifted from assuring you didn’t get burnt to making you feel good. Fred kneaded a bit and that time you couldn’t resist, letting a tiny gasp escape your lips. It was painfully obvious that you had been wound up tight due to work and it felt incredible to feel your muscles loosen up.
Fred’s fingers danced beneath the strap of your bathing suit and you felt your heart rate quicken. He took a moment to run his finger across the thin, damp strap. You swore you heard his breath stop for a moment. You shook it off, assuring yourself it was you who was making this into something it wasn’t. Just then, he slid his hands down to the center of your spine before getting dangerously close to the elastic of your bikini bottoms. Neither of you were speaking, and for some reason, you felt a familiar feeling between your thighs. Shit, shit, shit, you thought. Thankfully your head was laying in your arms, face down, or else Fred would no doubt see you blushing.
“Okay that’s good, Fred, thanks,” you said quickly, moving so his hands were no longer on you. You couldn’t tell if the sun had reached its brightest point or if you were sweating because of your brother-in-law. But either way, you rolled back over to stand up, leaving Fred confused as you headed out toward the water to distract yourself.
George was standing up front at the cash register of Weasley Wizard Wheezes, counting the nightly deposit. Halloween was always a particularly busy day as both old and young wizards alike grabbed their last minute bits of mischief.
You were sitting in the back room, giving Fred your opinion on his Halloween costume. Each year, the Weasley twins put on the best Halloween party, complete with costumes, outlandish decorations, and overflowing fire whiskey and butterbeer. Getting an invite to the Weasley Halloween Bash was something highly sought after. Therefore, the twins always made sure their costumes were up to snuff. Fred was close to you, showing off his ensemble for that night. A black velvet cape was draped over his shoulders, complete with a white button up shirt and black pants.
“What is it you’re supposed to be?” You cackled, adjusting the middle button on his shirt, which he had overlooked. Fred swallowed hard as your hands touched his abdomen. You noticed how as you laughed, your eyes locked on one another. You diverted your eyes quickly, cursing the butterflies that were some reason threatening to burst in your belly. The redhead stepped back a little, doing a little twirl so that his cape swooshed.
“A vampire!,” he sounded exasperated, using his hands to gesture to himself. You cocked your head to the side, figuring he just didn’t have the makeup or fangs on yet. It was decided in your mind that once that was all done, the costume would look much better.
“It looks great, Freddie,” you finally conceded and he grinned.
“I’m going to vuck your vlood,” Fred joked, wiggling his fingers as he leapt closer to you. You shrieked, jumping back as he attempted to begin tickling you. Once you had both stopped giggling, Fred began to speak again.
“What are you and George going as?”
“Pirates,” you said excitedly, clapping your hands together. Fred rolled his eyes.
“I know you picked that out.” “I always pick. George is horrible at decision making, and if I’m being honest, his ideas are sometimes quite stupid.”
The bells on the back door jingled as George entered. “Oy, we getter get going if we want to set up for tonight,” he said to you, coming over to wrap his arms around your waist. A smile graced your lips as he planted a loving kiss on your cheek. He smelled like warm cinnamon - the perfect addition to fall.
You descended down the stairs, your heels clicking with each step. Fred was at the bottom of the stairs, busying himself with filling a tray up with some sort of side dish. He heard you coming and turned, his jaw going slack.
You were wearing black fishnets complete with thigh high leather boots. Your dress was candy apple red with a tight black corset. It left little to the imagination as it showed off the perfect teasing amount of cleavage and sat just below your bum. The look was complete by a black pirate’s hat and flawless makeup, which you were certain to spend at least an hour on. You had taken the time to curl your h/c hair as well, which lay perfectly on your shoulders.
“Aye, aye, captain,” George gawked, coming around the corner. His costume was a little less detailed, but none the less fitting to match yours. You giggled as he swept you up in his arms, giving you a few kisses on your face. “Please make me walk to plank tonight,” he whispered in your ear, giving your lobe a little nibble. You giggled, pushing him off a bit. “Now, now, sailor. We have company,” you gestured to Fred, who appeared to be blushing redder than your dress. You ignored it, pushing back any thoughts that began to stir in your mind. You had hoped, somewhere deep down inside of you, that Fred was just as taken by your look as George was.
Fred had doctored up his costume quite a bit, adding eyeliner smudged around his eyes, a bit of face powder, and some fake blood below his lip. He had gelled his hair to look more Victorian, too, which gave the perfect finishing touch. “You look awesome, Fred,” you remarked, giving him a pat on this shoulder. You began to help finish the snack table. The tension could be cut with a knife, you noted. There was something different between you and Fred ever since the beach. A lust hung in the air whenever you two were in close proximity. It was enough to strangle you, and the worst part was, you were convinced it was all in your head. It was bloody wrong, too, you had told yourself.
The night went off without a hitch. Ron and Hermione had shown up, dressed adorably as a cop and a robber. Ginny and Harry had come, too, of course, wearing their most ghoulish ghost bride and groom attire. Even Draco Malfoy and his wife Astoria made an appearance. Dozens of other witches and wizards had passed through the night, sharing in the imbibing and laughter of the evening. By midnight, the party had thinned out. For those in attendance with children, trick or treating was over now, which meant it was time to return home.
You had had quite a few shots of fire whisky, which had now left you sleepily sitting on the couch. George had gone up to bed due to the fact that the shop would still be open in the morning and it was his turn for the morning shift. You yawned, stretching out to lie down. Fred was still over and he sat down, pulling your boots to sit on his lap. This closeness normally would be nothing but platonic, but tonight the tension began to rise again. Maybe it was the alcohol, but you suddenly felt a wicked dizziness in your head. Your heart felt like it had risen into the bottom of your throat when Fred began to talk.
“You know, y/n, I’ve always thought you were very, very....gorgeous. Even when those stupid, snotty Slytherins would pick on you in school. Too beautiful for me, but perfect for George,” Fred was mindlessly watching a horror movie you’d put on the television. His words were slurred. “And tonight, I mean talk about a smoke show.”
“Thanks, Freddie,” you smiled, thankful for the compliment.
“Do you ever wonder...what if it would have been us?”
The question caught you off guard and you sighed a little, looking up at the ceiling. “Sometimes,” you had never admitted it out loud. But it was often that you did wonder - what if you had fallen in love with Fred instead of George?
“My feet hurt,” you allowed the words to tumble from your mouth. You were never one for a filter when drinking, either. It was just one more thing you and Fred had in common.
“Lemme help,” Fred whispered, reaching over to unzip your leather shoes from the top of your thigh to the ankle. He pulled each of them off, and then looked up at you. He placed on hand at your ankle and ran his hand up to your thigh, feeling the fabric of your fishnet stockings. Again, he ran his hand down your leg. He cleared his throat, clearing coming unglued by the feeling of your smooth legs and the course, patterned fabric of your fishnets dancing beneath his hand. Instinctively, you allowed your legs to open, tempting Fred to move his hand up further. But just as he moved his hand toward the inner part of your thigh, you swung your legs around and sat up.
You bent over quickly, grabbing your shoes and standing up. “You should go, Fred,” your throat felt dry. Nothing happened, you told yourself. You’re overreacting. He was just helping you take your boots off.
“Right, it’s late,” Fred said awkwardly, standing up and grabbing his keys off the coffee table. He didn’t drive, luckily, because it was apparent the he had also had a few too many beers.
[To Be Continued.]
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Brightest Blue (series)
Pairing: Josh x reader
Warnings: talk of sex and such, feelings
Summary: Things are changing. New state. New school. New roommate. You just pray things are going to click into place.
Notes: alright, this is terribly late again because im a depressed snail at heart, but its longer than usual, so i hope that makes up for it. If you read my fic at all, i love you. If you interact with this fic in anyway, i want to wed you.
taglist: @valleyd0ll @satingrass-maidensfair @guitarfingers @thebohemianpenguin @peaceisouranthem @oblvions @hansonobsessed @myownparadise96 @anditsmywholeheart @kill-fear-the-power-of-lies @bigblack-catattack
You woke up in a daze of fuzzy but pleasant memories. You were trying to blink the sleep from your eyes when Josh entered your line of sight. He had emerged from the hallway, completely naked save for the necklace he’d been in the night before, little water droplets slipping from his curls to his shoulders.
You shot up in bed, and as you did, the comforter fell away from your body. It took you a moment for you to realize that it was the air hitting your bare skin that was making you feel chilled, but it didn’t last long. Your face turned beet red as you quickly picked the sheet back up to cover yourself.
He was giving you an odd look - somewhere between amused and concerned. “Are you alright?” he tried cautiously, still standing there stark naked.
“Josh! You can’t just walk around naked,” you complained, stuttering on your words as they came out.
He snorted a laugh. “What? First of all, this is my room. Second of all, it’s a little late to try and protect your modesty.”
You rolled your eyes at him until you realized what he was talking about. “Oh my god, we had sex last night,” you whispered to him like it was a secret, a tiny smile on your lips.
He nodded, breathing a laugh. “Yeah.”
You experimentally shifted in your seat before grimacing up at him. “That would explain why I’m sitting in a damp spot.”
You could only describe the laugh that escaped him as a cackle, honest and unabashed. “Gross.”
You had to say you agreed with him.
There was a cautious moment, where you stared at each other, both unsure of what to say.
“Are we good?” he tried quietly like he was a little scared of what you were going to say.
You patted the spot next to you and he clambered in as he was told. You leaned against him as he wrapped his arm around your shoulder.
“Of course, we are,” you assured, nuzzling your head into the crook of his neck.
“If it’s going to make you feel better to pretend it didn’t happen, I wouldn’t be mad.”
You pulled away and looked up at him with a frown. “What are you talking about?”
He shrugged, sporting a nervous smile. “I just don’t want you to be uncomfortable.”
You heaved a big sigh, shifting to look into his eyes. “Josh, I want you to listen to me really carefully, okay?”
You slowly reached up to cup one side of his face in your hand. “I don’t regret it - actually, I had a really nice night. I just think that it would be best for everyone involved if it didn’t happen again. We probably shouldn’t be romantic...or naked around each other.”
The expression he wore seemed like an understanding one, at least to you.
“You want me to make pancakes? Maybe chocolate chip banana?” you offered, giving him a cheeky smile.
He couldn’t help but match it. “Yes. You’re probably going to want to put your tits away first though.”
“You first,” you quipped, smacking the back of your hand against his peck.
The rest of the weekend, the two of you spent watching Christmas movies on the couch (even though the holiday was more than a month away) while you worked on sewing the costumes. Josh had offered to ask the theater department if you could borrow a sewing machine, but you had been way too afraid of it to try and use it, so it sat in your room alone. That did, however, leave you to sew 26 costumes by hand. Well, more like 24, since Rachel had two of them mostly done.
You were finding it oddly fun though, even though your fingers hurt by the fifth stitch or so. The hardest part was making sure you worked on the basics of every costume first - your instinct was to work on one at a time until it was perfect, but you knew you had to be smart about time management. Luckily, even though it was only near mid-November, Michigan’s weather was lovably unpredictable. The weather station had called for snow only through the weekend, but, in reality, it was Monday evening by the time it was done dumping snow - giving you a full three day weekend.
Kate had been sending you pictures of the pieces of the set she had taken home with her to work on, and you couldn’t hide how impressed you were with her work. You would almost be offended at how good it looked if you hadn’t known she was an Art History major with a heavy side of sculpture work.
In the last two weeks before the production, you barely got to see Josh. He would walk you to school, but then you usually wouldn’t see him for the entire rest of the day. You tried to wait up for him on Thursday night, but you ended up falling asleep on the couch, and woke at 1 am to him gently patting your shoulder.
“Hey, you should get up and go to your bed.”
You blinked up at him, sitting up and brushing your sleep-mussed hair from your eyes.
“You’re home so late,” you scolded half-heartedly, pulling your borrowed sweatshirt closer to your face.
“I know, sorry. There’s still a lot to do, especially after we got snowed in last weekend,” he replied, sitting gingerly on the armrest.
“I told you that I’m happy to help however I can.”
He smiled at you, but you had to admit that he looked over-tired. You’d been watching him burn the candle at both ends for three days straight. “It’s a lot of stuff that only I can do. Like going over the music and making the final set diagrams.”
You hummed in understanding as a response.
“Want me to carry you to bed? You can come sleep in mine if you want,” he offered through a crinkly-nosed smile.
You grinned back at him, genuine at first, but it quickly turned melancholy. “Josh,” you said under your breath. “I’d love that, but I don’t think it’s good for us to share a bed anymore.”
His expression fell, face turning blank. He nodded at you, standing and giving you a disappointed smile. “Sleep well,” he wished, patting your shoulder again once before retreating to his room.
You stayed on the couch for a while, your knees tucked up to your chest, as you sat in your guilt. You had known it was stupid of you to have ever let things turn anything other than platonic with him - it had been undeniably fun, but he was your roommate, for fuck’s sake. You had to see him every day, eat your meals with him. Had you not selfishly let yourself go there in the first place, you’d be cuddled up beside him tonight.
It had been so lovely having any kind of affection - platonic or otherwise - that you let yourself get carried away.
When you finally got up and went to bed, Josh’s light was still on, his door shut for one of the first times since you moved in.
Kate took you out for breakfast on Saturday morning to a local hole-in-the-wall that she swore had the very best pancakes she’d ever eaten. She had shown up in a puffer jacket that looked so warm, it made you jealous.
You’d been chatting easily about your classes and the play, but when you had finished your first cup of coffee, there was a lull in the conversation.
You hadn’t meant to say it, it just bubbled out. “I slept with Josh.”
She glanced up at you through her jet black lashes, stony-faced. “Yeah,” she replied, way too calm, sounding like she was wondering why you were even telling her.
You blinked at her for a moment. “Did you hear me? I had sex with Josh.”
She nodded. “Do you want me to pretend like I’m shocked?”
You grimaced at her, and in a whiny tone, responded, “Yes, please.”
A nervous laugh escaped her as she fixed her features to display a surprised expression. “You did what?!” she asked - purely for your benefit.
You groaned at her. “Okay, I get it. I feel so bad about it, Kate.”
Her cherry lips shaped into a puzzled frown. “Why?”
A deep sigh filled your ribcage - you had been hoping it would clear your head, but no luck.
“Because I desperately miss being able to be platonically intimate with him and it not being awkward. Before this, I was sleeping in his bed from time to time when I got too cold and we would cuddle.”
“Why can’t you go back to that?”
“Are you listening? I slept with him,” you groaned. “All I can think about is him on top of me now.”
She scoffed, her chipped nails tapping against her glass of diet Coke. “Imagine how he feels - Josh had real, honest to god feelings for you, I think. Like for a while.”
“You said that, but I don’t know. How do you know that he didn’t just want to sleep with me? Like not in a conscious way, but what if he just wanted affection? What then, Kate?”
She had one dark eyebrow raised at you as she sipped at her straw. “Because I know that’s not true.”
“How would you be able to know that? Because you see him sometimes at school-”
She cut you off with a confident smile. “I know because I talked to Jake about it.”
You almost blew past it - that is until you realized what she had said. The two of you shared a long, silent moment as you stared at each other.
“You’ve been talking to Jake?” you asked, trying to keep your tone even so she didn’t know how excited that made you.
“I have talked to him in the past, yes. He said that he already knew, but he was able to pry it out of Josh when he was drunk once.”
You stared at her. “Okay, there’s a lot to unpack here right now, I think we can both agree with that. But can we start with you and Jake?”
She huffed a disbelieving laugh as she set her hand on yours on the table comfortingly like she was trying to cushion the news. “Josh has some feelings for you - the real kind.”
In an effort to prolong the moment that it was time for you to speak again, you picked up a bite of your breakfast and popped it in your mouth. The moment always comes though, no matter how long you try to put it off.
“I can’t,” you said quietly, shaking your head in disappointment. Then when she prompted you with a confused look, you finished. “I can’t risk it. I mean, maybe there could be something there, but he’s my roommate. And my best friend - there’s no way I’d ever get lucky enough again to find someone I connected with like that if things went sour and I had to move out.”
She licked her lips absently. “My advice would be to think about it - for literally as long as you need to. I’m confident that you’ll figure out what you want.”
You nodded, not entirely convinced one way or another. “It’s hard because he’s so fucking cute,” you said in faux disgust.
“And sweet,” she added. “Don’t forget that.”
You shot her an accusatory look.
After a long pause, a smile found its way to your lips. “How cool would it be though if we were both dating one of them?”
She laughed, picking a syrup-covered strawberry off her plate and chewing it with care. “Not me, I can’t be tamed. Jake is really hot and everything, but I got shit to do, you know?”
You scoffed at her.
“I’m definitely keeping him in my contacts though,” she said with mischievous eyes.
You didn’t directly see Josh for the rest of the weekend, though he left evidence of his presence scattered through the apartment. He had left his hair mousse out on the sink and the toothpaste cap off of its tube in the bathroom, some crumbs of a sandwich he packed for lunch in the kitchen, and a note on his bedroom door.
Can you please feed Penny a couple of flakes for dinner? If you have any time today, I’d appreciate it if you could spend some of it with her. See you sometime soon! - J
You plucked the paper off the door where it was barely hanging by a thin strip of green floral tape and smiled as you read it again.
His bedroom was dim, hid away from the sun by his closed blinds. The desk by his door was covered in books - textbooks, music books, books for his English lit class, and one you’d seen him reading for fun on more than one occasion. On the hardwood floor next to his bed was a stack of papers, and even though you knew you shouldn’t you crouched to peek through them.
They appeared to be rough drafts of plans for the play - nothing too exciting, but they were charmingly eccentric. He had done little doodles of his ideas for sets and props, even a whole sheet of costume ideas that caught your eye. You pulled it from the messy stack and folded it into your pocket.
Careful not to spill any water, you moved Penny in her globe to your bedside table, but as you stared at her through the glass you frowned.
You pulled your phone out and snapped a picture of her, trying to make sure you got an accurate portrayal of her size. She looked at you, sticking her lips out of the water in search of food. You remembered Josh’s warning about overfeeding her the first day you’d met him and it brought a genuine smile to your lips. You promised her you’d be back, holding your finger just above the water and letting her press her mouth to it.
On the ride over to Petsmart, you had called your mom, asking if it would be okay if you borrowed some cash, to which she agreed to after her usual line of questioning. When you pulled into the parking lot, you checked your bank account just to make sure it transferred okay, always nervous that you’d get to the register and your card would decline.
You spent longer than you should have reading articles online as you studied the tanks, all set up in rows for purchase. They weren’t as expensive as you’d expect a water-sealed glass box to be, and after you were confident you had picked the right one, you still had plenty left in your budget for the dressings.
You picked a couple of fun decorations - a fake log for her to hide in if she wanted to and one that looked like part of a broken Greecian statue. The part that took you the longest was picking out the healthiest-looking plants. You had read that goldfish often like to eat live plants, but you couldn’t bring yourself to buy fake ones - the plant lover in you knew it was a cardinal sin.
A very kind cashier agreed to help you carry your haul to your car, even helping you shift it all correctly so you could make it fit. You left him a secret tip, even though he denied at first, and thanked him profusely.
Getting the tank into the apartment was the hardest part. You realized just how lucky you were that you didn’t live above the first floor.
By the time you got the tank situated back on his dresser, your muscles - especially in your legs - were protesting, but you weren’t done yet. You grabbed an empty ice cream pail and started to fill the tank, one trip at a time until it was about 3/4’s full of water.
The decorations had to be shifted multiple times before you liked their position enough to start pouring in the gravel around them. A Youtube tutorial taught you exactly how much of each chemical to add and how to put together the filter, and then you left it to cycle as you returned to your room.
Perched on your bed, you pulled the sheet of costumes from your pocket and studied it. You pinned it to your corkboard. Undeniably, the cutest design he had come up with was for the door mouse - grey fabric, huge ears, and a rope tail.
The rest of the unfinished costumes were in a cardboard box by the side of your bed - you hadn’t moved it anywhere because you knew you’d be back at it before too long at any given time. You bent down off the side of your bed and rummaged through the different fabrics until you found the one you were looking for - a grey-blue faux suede deal. You were pretty sure you had enough to make it work.
You fished your phone out from where you had buried it under the covers when you shifted and called the one person that could help.
“Hello?” Kate mumbled, sounding like you’d just woken her up despite it being noon.
You giggled at her. “Hi, I’m playing my best friend card. I know you’ve helped so much, but can you please please come work on these costumes with me?”
She hummed and then went silent for a good, long moment. “Give me ten to wake up and get dressed.”
A beaming smile spread across your face. “Kate, I love you so much. I’m going to Venmo you money to get coffee and donuts, okay?”
“Hmm, I do like donuts.” She sounded pleased.
“Good! Bring Jake too.”
The knock on your door came a half-hour later. You jumped from your bed, racing to let them in. Jake was dressed in the softest-looking flannel shirt you’d ever seen, a drink carrier in his hands that housed three drink cups.
“Okay, so there are three jobs that need to be done. Measuring and marking, cutting, and sewing. If we each take one of those jobs, I’m confident we can finish a couple of the costumes today. I’ll let you guys pick first,” you informed as you lead them into your room.
“I’ll take cutting,” Kate said, prompting Jake to reply that he’d like measuring.
You handed Jake the notebook of measurements with a grin. “Rachel,” you started with a sneer. “Did a lot of the calculations for us, thank god. All you have to do is measure out the fabric. The tricky part is making sure you do it in a way that will leave enough fabric for the rest of the costumes.”
“Not a problem,” Jake responded with a smirk. “And I think her name is just ‘Rachel’, not ‘Rachel’.”
Kate shot him a look on your behalf. “I think she was just making a referencing the fact that Rachel left your brother with a huge ass list of things to do completely alone, not that she was jealous.”
“Jealous of what?” you asked accusatorily, a scowl painted on your face.
Jake put both of his hands up in defense., but he didn’t appear apologetic in the slightest. Smugly, he said, “I’m just saying-”
Kate reached out and smacked his chest. “Jake, shut up. Okay, what one should we start on?”
“I’m going to have Jake start with this one.” You turned to the page in the notebook that showed the measurements for the door mouse, laying it out by him. “This is the main fabric. Kate, I have a lot of the Queen of Heart’s fabric measured and marked already, so I’ll have you start cutting that. There’s a lot of little pieces to that one.”
Kate looked at the six different fabrics you’d laid out for her, one eyebrow cocked at you. “Have you been getting any of your own homework done at all?”
Your cheeks flushed as you nervously rubbed at the back of your neck. “Let’s stay on track, shall we?” you replied, pretty much answering her question. “We’ve got one week until the production, and I know the costumes have to be done at least a day ahead of time.”
They both just stared at you in varying stages of disbelief.
“Don’t look at me like that. We can do this,” you assured, sounding a hell of a lot more confident than you actually were. “Now let’s get to work.”
When Josh got home, you were nearly sleeping on the couch, the remains of your current project in your lap. You peeked at the clock.
“You’re home so late,” you whispered, for no particular reason.
“I know,” he agreed, wiping his hand over his face after he took his jacket off.
“Come sit with me a minute,” you requested, shifting so he would have space. He gave you a grateful smile, immediately crossing the room to do as he was told.
After a moment, he cautiously wrapped an arm around your shoulders. “Is this okay?” he asked quietly.
You gave him a smile. “Yeah, it’s perfect.”
You knew he must have been tired because he wasn’t talking a mile a minute like you were used to after not seeing him for long.
“Are you hungry?” you asked.
He hummed, sounding like he was close to passing out. “I am, but I can make myself something.”
You scoffed, “Absolutely not. You got get into bed and I’ll bring something to you in a second.”
He reluctantly got up off the couch and clambered into his room. You waited patiently for him to notice the surprise, grinning to yourself when you heard him gasp.
You listened as you made him a sandwich, and you couldn’t hear exactly what he was saying, but you knew he was talking to Penny just by the tone of his voice.
As you rounded the corner into his room, he turned and gave you a smile as bright as the sun.
“Did you do this, or did Fish Santa come early?” he asked, his finger pressed against the glass of the tank.
“Well, kind of both,” you responded through a laugh as you sat next to him on the bed and delivered his sandwich to his lap. “You can consider it your early Christmas present.”
He stared at you for a long beat, looking like he might cry. You knew you’d never be able to handle that, so you pulled him in for a hug, tightening your arms around him when he hugged you back.
“You’ve been working so hard,” you whispered. “I miss my best friend.”
He turned his face, pressing his nose into your cheek in a move that felt a step or two farther than friends.
“I’ve put everything I have into this,” he admitted, and you were too scared to ask if he meant the play or something else. You sat like that with him for a long moment before he pulled away, giving you a thankful smile.
“I’m sure you need time to decompress, so I’ll leave you be. Eat and then get some sleep, okay?” You stood and headed for the door, turning when he called your name.
“Thank you,” he said.
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PPG One-Shot: Mall Santa (Boomer/Mike and Brick/Blossom)
Summary: To earn a little extra cash over the holidays, Brick, Mike, and Boomer agree to help out their buddy Todd at a Mall Santa gig. Shenanigans ensue.
This one is for @snailbutters, @genovah, and @hanaokm. Merry Christmas and happy holidays! Enjoy some Boomike, Blossick, and Capri Sus on me.
[Cross-posted to AO3]
There were a lot of things Todd needed: a haircut, for one. His black hair was getting too long for gel and it was really pushing the boundary between greaser sexy and sad trash hobo. Money, for another. But like any other 21-year-old townie with a high school education and two restaurant jobs, he always needed money.
A new best friend, for yet another.
“I’m not your best friend,” Brick snapped as he tied a black tie around his neck. He needed to leave in ten minutes if he was going to be early for his dinner meeting with Oliver Morbucks.
Todd put a hand over his heart like it might fall out of the wound Brick’s words had stabbed there. “Dude, of course you are. I’m totally sorry if I ever gave you the wrong idea.”
Brick grimaced so hard he was sure he’d end up constipated. “No, you idiot. I know you think I’m your best friend. You’ve never shut up about it, even after we graduated high school. I’m pretty sure the whole fucking Peninsula knows it the way you go around shouting it when you’re blasted.”
Todd looked like he’d just received news that his favorite nana wasn’t dying of cancer after all. “Oh, cool. For a second there I thought I really hurt your feelings. You know you’re kinda sensitive, right?”
“What do you want, Todd? I have a really important meeting and I’m not missing it for your bullshit.”
Brick checked his reflection in the bathroom mirror in his one-bedroom apartment in downtown Townsville. It was a shitty hole-in-the-wall kind of place, but Brick was used to squalor. His break was coming, he could feel it. If tonight’s meeting went over well, he’d have a more steady revenue stream and, more importantly, the connections and clout the Morbucks name brought to open doors. All the long days at Red’s Auto Shop saving and scraping by would finally pay off, and just in time for Blossom to graduate from college. It was perfectly planned, meticulously manipulated, all down to this last pivotal dinner.
“Cool, no big deal! I just need to know if you’re free this weekend.”
“Free to do what?” Brick indulged him, because Todd was one of the few people on this planet who wasn’t 100% intimidated by his very presence.
“To help me with this Mall Santa gig I got. Harry Pitt was supposed to be my number two elf, but he ate some bad prawns and they had to, like, airlift him to Citiesville General.”
Brick stopped everything he was doing and glared at his second-to-best friend, which was a key fact because second was not the same as first. “What the fuck did you just say to me?”
“I know, right?” Todd knew his way around Brick’s embarrassingly small bathroom, opened up the hair wax, and fixed Brick’s styling job. “Dude always had a weak stomach, you remember. But you don’t fuck with bad prawns. I mean, obviously.”
Brick swatted Todd’s hands away and checked his reflection. It was definitely an improvement. “Not that; the Mall Santa thing, obviously!”
“Oh, yeah. So you’ll help me out?”
“Aw, Briiiiiiick,” Todd whined.
Brick grabbed his dinner jacket from the closet barely big enough to fit a small, starving child. Todd, who had latched onto Brick in the seventh grade like a goddamned barnacle and never let go no matter how hard Brick tried to push him away, followed. “Not if you paid me.”
“You’ll get paid! It’s $20 an hour!”
Brick hesitated over the threshold. “That’s higher than minimum wage.” It was higher than his hourly rate at the garage too.
“Seasonal gigs, man. That’s how you win.”
“It’s seriously fucking not.”
Todd, one of three people in the universe who actually cared about Brick on a personal level even though he wasn’t obligated by blood, made his blue eyes big and wide in a way that reminded Brick of Puss-n-Boots from Shrek, Todd’s favorite movie. “C’mon, bruh. Do your bestie a solid? Just this once? I really need the money and they won’t let me keep the gig without two elves to fill in. So please? Pleeeeeeease?”
And Brick, former scourge of Townsville, a Super with the power to literally raze the planet if it so much as tickled his fancy, and the dictionary definition of the boy every father dreads his perfect, pretty little girl falling for against her better judgment, cracked like an egg.
“For fuck’s sake,” he groused. “Just text me the time and place and get out of my face already.”
Todd punched the air with both fists. “Yes!! Oh, hell yes! I love you so much, dude.”
“Blow me.” Brick checked his watch. Shit, now he was merely on time.
“I’d consider it an honor,” Todd said, probably literally serious.
Boomer rolled glitter on his cheeks and around the edges of his dark blue eyes with the help of a compact as he huddled behind the North Pole set on the first floor of the Townsville Mall. When he was satisfied that he sparkled like the tinsel-festooned Christmas trees in Santa’s twelve-by-fifteen-foot “forest” themselves, he discreetly re-emerged just as the latest child slid off Santa’s lap.
“Merry Christmas, Dan!” bellowed a red and white-clad Todd behind an enormous, curly beard. “Remember to brush your teeth!”
The little boy ran back to his parents, who were having a word with the photographer about purchasing a picture of their son on Santa’s lap. Before Boomer could follow them, Brick was quick to cut him off.
“Where the hell were you?” he demanded. Sour as an un-sugared plum in his festive, candy-striped elf costume, Brick may have absolutely intimidated the seven-year-olds waiting in line with their parents for a turn on Santa’s lap, but Boomer only allowed him a bemused smile.
“Why, I was making toys for the good little boys and girls who came to visit us here at the North Pole,” Boomer said in a raised voice. He looped his arm through his brother’s and let his power surge with enough force to turn Brick around and face the crowd that was definitely within hearing range. “Isn’t that right, Elf Mursten?”
Brick pushed back with inhuman force, but Boomer held his ground with a smile as bright as the glitter on his cheeks as a little girl in overalls trotted forward.
She giggled. “I like your hat.”
“Thank you!” Boomer gushed, and he tipped his pom-pom-topped cap. “And what’s your name?”
The little girl giggled again. “My name’s Alynn.”
“Well, Alynn, why don’t you step right up and take a seat on Santa’s lap? I’m sure he has a great present for a cool girl like you. Right, Elf Mursten?”
Brick glared medieval torture at him, and he managed a smile that showed too many teeth to be anything other than life-threatening. “Of course, Elf Buller.”
Boomer’s smile tightened.
“Ho ho ho! Come on over, Santa doesn’t bite,” Todd said.
“What a psychotic reassurance,” Brick said soft enough for only the Super brothers to hear.
“Hey, Brick?” Boomer said, just as softly. “Cheer the fuck up.” He gave his brother a bone-crushing squeeze around the arm and broke from him. Brick could be a sourpuss when he wanted to be (all the time), but he wouldn’t mess up Todd’s Mall Santa gig when he’d bothered to show up and actually put in the effort at all. Complain as he might about Todd’s exuberance, Brick had always come through for his best friend since the seventh grade.
Boomer, on the other hand, had been very happy to accept Todd’s offer to work the two weeks leading up to Christmas. The hours were reasonable, the pay was good, and Boomer loved children. It was easy money in between local shows he and his garage band had booked over the holidays.
Plus, the photographer had a nice rack.
“Okay, Santa, Alynn. Look over here and say ‘jingle bells’!” A flash went off, and Mike Believe stood to his full height behind the tripod he’d set up for the day’s pictures. Even in reindeer antlers and a bright, red-painted nose, Mike filled out every fold of his brown Rudolph outfit almost to the point of popping a button. His broad chest puffed out when he put his strong hands on his hips and grinned brightly like he wouldn’t pick anywhere else to be right now.
Their eyes met, and Boomer flushed and smiled like a fool.
When Mike winked back at him coyly, his heart leaped into his throat. Mike had gotten home from college just two days ago, but the three weeks he had off for Winter Break would surely fly by like they did every year, and Boomer was determined to spend every moment together.
A tug on Boomer’s green tunic drew his attention. “Can I take a picture with you? Please?” the little girl asked.
Boomer beamed and scooped her up onto his hip. “Of course you can. Hey, Mike? Can you take one of us, please?”
“You bet! Get in close, now.” Mike readied his camera.
“Oh, wait a sec. Why don’t you take this too?” Boomer removed his festive hat and put it on Alynn’s head. It was big on her, but she laughed happily.
They posed for the picture, and Boomer hugged her cheek to cheek.
“Thanks!” The little girl tried to give him his hat back, but he pressed it to her chest.
“You keep it. Merry Christmas. Remember to be good, okay?”
Alynn’s father was waiting with a hand for her to take when she ran back to him, yammering about how she’d met Santa and his super cool elf friend, and Boomer watched them go.
“You know you’ll have to pay for that hat,” Brick said.
Boomer sighed and ran a hand through his cornflower hair. “You know I look better without it.”
Brick frowned deeply. “Uh-huh.”
“If you keep frowning, your face will stick like that.”
He always had to have the last word. Brick went to stack the empty boxes wrapped in bright, shiny paper, which was probably more productive than blowing up the entire display. Boomer left him to it. It was time for their mid-morning break, anyway.
Todd got up to stretch. “Man, who knew sitting could be so tiring, huh? Whack.” His phone buzzed, and he grinned when he saw the caller ID.
Boomer, however, had eyes only for Mike as the latter turned off his camera and put a sheet over the tripod to protect it. “Working hard, I see.”
When Mike smiled, his dark eyes crinkled in the corners. He had a face made for smiling. “Oh, you know. Just helping out some friends.”
Like Brick, Todd had asked Mike to help out behind the camera for this gig. Mike didn’t exactly need the extra cash given his lacrosse scholarship that covered his college expenses, but the three of them had been as thick as thieves all through high school no matter what Brick said when he was annoyed. No way was Mike going to bail on the chance to help out a bro.
“This is cute,” Mike said, running a thumb over Boomer’s sparkly cheek.
“If only I could convince Brick to wear some,” Boomer said, lacing his fingers in Mike’s as they shuffled to the side of the exhibit behind a blinking Christmas tree for a bit of privacy.
Mike chuckled. “That’ll take a Christmas miracle. But anyway, I don’t want to talk about Brick right now.”
Their kiss was soft and mostly chaste, considering the venue, but Boomer didn’t mind at all. He rose up on his toes to lean into his boyfriend’s superior height and smiled into their kiss. Even in the middle of the Townsville Mall with shoppers mere yards away, for a few seconds Boomer got lost in the fantasy of the forest and the snow drifts, bright lights and magic that came around only once a year and had always touched his heart in a way nothing else quite could.
“Babe! You got here quick!” Todd’s excitement and a small commotion around Santa’s throne drew the lovers’ attention, and Boomer reluctantly broke the kiss. His Super hearing quickly picked up on what was going on.
“What is it?” Mike asked.
Boomer smiled wryly. “That Christmas miracle you wished for. Come on.” He took Mike’s larger hand in his and pulled him back toward the front of the display, where Todd had scooped up a very small, very fashionable Asian woman in his arms.
“Oh my god, don’t do shits in front of the innocent children, Toddy.” Hana patted her high bun and smoothed out her oversized black jacket once Todd released her.
“Hey, I just missed you is all,” Todd said with a genuine smile like he had really, truly missed his girlfriend since this morning when they had last seen each other.
“You guys are too cute,” said Bubbles with a giggle. As usual, she was adorable in blonde twin tails and a holiday-appropriate sweater dress. Shopping bags hung from both her arms, also as usual.
“Right?” Hana said, her deadpan façade melting completely as she beamed at her closest friend.
“No contest.” Bubbles set down her small nation of shopping bags. “Oh! Hi, Boomer!” She dashed to hug him in a flash of blue, and he caught her easily. “Oh my gosh, I love your glitter. You look like a supermodel!”
Boomer laughed and hugged her back. “Thanks for letting me borrow it. I really owe you.”
“Don’t worry about it. Oh, but you definitely need some touching up. Here, let me just…”
Mike had wandered over to Todd and Hana. “Hey, Hana. Are you staying for the holiday?”
Hana shrugged. “Yeah, my art show isn’t until after New Year’s. You know, I’m always looking for more models.” She raised her eyebrows suggestively.
Mike laughed. “I’m honored, but I’m really nothing special, honestly. You might try Butch.”
Todd guffawed. “Oh man, Butch is, like, one of her top models! She painted him for what, six weeks last summer, babe?”
“Seven,” Hana said, dead serious.
Mike smiled nervously. “That’s a lot of inspiration.”
“He is very inspiring,” Hana said, deader and more serious.
“That dude is goals,” Todd said, totally unironically.
“I guess I can’t argue with that,” Mike said.
“Aaaaand done.” Bubbles stepped back to admire her handiwork. “Honestly? You’re the most beautiful elf the North Pole ever employed.”
Boomer snickered. “Don’t tell Brick that.”
“Don’t tell me what, now?” Brick emerged from his useless empty box stacking task, glitter-less and severely lacking in Christmas cheer.
Bubbles gasped, right on cue. “Brick! Where is your glitter? Get over here.”
Brick made a weird face. “What are you talk—hey!”
Bubbles all but accosted him with the glitter pen. Hana cheered and applauded, and Todd joined in because he liked to cheer and applaud in general.
“What are you—get off!” Brick shoved Bubbles hard, but a flash of pink caught her before she could crash into anything.
Blossom peered around her totally unfazed sister, a tray of lattes in one hand and her perfectly sculpted eyebrow raised. “Brick,” she said.
Brick swallowed. “Blossom.”
She looked nice in leggings and a sweater dress that matched Bubbles’ style, except where Bubbles’ was white, Blossom’s was a scarlet that rivaled the shade of Brick’s eyes.
“I brought you guys coffee,” Blossom said, her eyes trained on Brick even as she held out the tray.
Mike took the tray before it could become collateral damage in whatever was going on between the two of them.
“Here you go.” Mike offered one to Boomer, who gratefully accepted it.
“I thought you weren’t getting home until tomorrow,” Brick said, as if he and Blossom were the only two people there.
“Change of plans,” Blossom said. “Problem?”
Brick seemed to remember what he was wearing and snatched his elf hat from his head. He bunched it up between his hands like that would hide his imagined shame. “It’s fine.”
It wasn’t fine, clearly. But it wasn’t Boomer’s place to intrude. He would have been extremely happy for it to end there, but sadly Blossom, like his brother, had a flair for the dramatic and an affinity for the center of attention.
She sauntered up to him and smeared the bit of glitter Bubbles had managed to draw on his cheek before he’d shoved her off. “Good,” she said, half an invitation and half a challenge.
Brick didn’t bend easily. Boomer knew his brother as well as he knew himself, and he knew Brick didn’t relent, never gave in unless he was well and truly beaten, which was rare. But he slackened now, lips parting and eyes falling. Even though his arms stayed stubbornly at his sides and he didn’t do something as scandalous as hold his girlfriend’s hand in public, he melted under her touch and attention.
“All right! Bloss, you’re back early! This is massive, like, supernova massive,” Todd said. “Hey, I know! Let’s throw a party at mine tonight! Brick said you weren’t coming back for another couple of days, so this is like a cool early Christmas present to all of us.”
Bubbles gasped. “Oh my gosh, yes! Let’s all go to Todd’s tonight, just like we used to. I’m calling Robin right now.”
“We can make it a real Christmas party,” Blossom said. Somehow, she’d gotten ahold of Bubbles’ glitter pen and now smeared a generous amount on Brick’s cheeks until he gleamed without suffering a nuclear meltdown. A Christmas miracle, indeed.
“You’ll wear the Santa suit,” Hana said. Demanded.
“Ho ho ho! You got it, babe.”
“That thing’s a rental,” Brick said. “And it’s, like, 75 degrees outside.”
“If he gets too hot, I’ll hose him down,” Hana said.
Brick smartly decided not to press her on that one.
“I like your elf costume, Brick,” Blossom teased. Maybe.
“I’m burning it as soon as I get paid,” Brick said.
“I thought it was a rental like Todd’s?”
He hesitated, trapped by his own logic, and she laughed softly and kissed the side of his mouth. Brick froze and played it off like it didn’t affect him, but his eyes were drawn to Blossom’s lips for the next six whole minutes. Boomer really didn’t get why he had to make everything so damn complicated.
“Hey, hombres, our break is up and I see a super cute kid waiting to sit on the softest lap in Townsville,” Todd said, sinking back onto his candy cane throne and patting his lap.
Brick visibly cringed.
“It could be worse,” Mike whispered to Brick. “At least this time we get to keep our shirts on.”
Boomer smiled at the memory of Todd’s last seasonal gig he’d roped Brick and Mike into over the summer. The shirtless carwash had admittedly been one of his more rewarding part-time jobs, and Boomer had the photo evidence to cherish the memory extremely fondly.
Blossom and Hana retreated behind Mike while Bubbles finished up her phone call with Robin and Brick admitted the next child on set.
“Welcome to the North Pole,” he said with all the cheer of an old tire. Nonetheless, his cheeks dazzled. “What’s your name, kid?”
She looked up at him but didn’t say anything. Boomer noticed her shyness and decided he better intervene.
“Hey there,” he said, taking a knee so he could be on her eye-level. “Merry Christmas.”
That alarmed her even more, and she hugged Brick’s leg.
“What the—” Brick put his hands up like he didn’t know what to do with them. “Great.”
The girl’s parents were busy talking to Mike about the picture packages and didn’t seem to notice what was going on.
“Uh,” Boomer said, ready to flag them down before the little girl got scared or started to cry. They’d been lucky this morning with only one child throwing a temper tantrum out of the tens they’d seen.
“All right, kid. I hope you have a good grip.” Brick floated off the ground with the little girl clinging to his leg and flew over to Todd’s throne.
Boomer was so flabbergasted by his brother’s gross disregard for this child’s safety in front of her parents that he was momentarily stunned where he kneeled. It was over in about two and a half seconds, with her parents none the wiser and the little girl still in one piece, miraculously. Brick peeled her off him and dropped her on Todd’s lap.
“Name,” Brick demanded. And then, reluctantly: “…To check you off the Nice List.”
The little girl looked up at him with wide-eyed wonderment, or maybe fear. “Morana.”
“Morana. Super. Tell Todd—I mean, Santa—what you want. And smile for the camera.”
Todd didn’t miss a beat and wrapped his arms loosely around her to hold her safely in place. “Morana, that’s a pretty name. Wanna tell me what you want for Christmas?”
Morana pointed at Brick. “That one.”
Brick turned as red as his messy man bun. Todd wheezed.
“Oh, yeah? Well, that one’s taken, but I bet I can get you a picture together. How ‘bout it?” Todd asked.
Boomer was up and moving in a blue flash. “That can be arranged.” He shoved his brother with a healthy burst of Super strength, and Brick all but fell on his knee next to Todd’s throne. Boomer waved back at Mike for the picture.
“Big smile now!” Mike said cheerfully, and snapped the picture.
“What the hell is up with these kids?” Brick asked when Morana skipped back to her parents and started chattering at them in a language Boomer didn’t recognize but assumed must be all good things from the way she grinned from ear to ear. “They get bolder every year.”
“Or you’re just getting softer,” Boomer teased.
Blossom laughed at something Hana said on a nearby bench, drawing both their eyes.
“Whatever you say, man,” Boomer said.
Todd’s party was a nostalgic and long-overdue affair later that evening. Unlike Boomer, who had to make do in a small studio apartment on the outskirts of Citiesville where the rent was more manageable and his commute didn’t matter when flying anywhere took only minutes, Todd lived in a big house he took care of for his often absent, globe-trotting parents. Blossom, Bubbles, and Robin had taken the initiative and strung up Christmas lights, while Boomer created and managed the playlist for the night. They had a good crowd with old friends from high school and new ones from work and college gathered for no excuse other than to have a good time.
Butch, Buttercup, Mike, and Todd had set up beer pong in the basement, where most of the festivities were taking place. As usual, the shit talking and macho bravado had soared to ludicrous heights.
“Come on, BC,” Todd goaded. “Money shot, right here.” He fluffed his Santa beard, the ends of which were damp with beer. Buttercup had one cup left to hit.
“I’m about to straight-up tea bag you with this ping pong ball, Todd, I swear to god.” Buttercup tried to focus on her aim after too many beers and the distraction of Todd’s stupid Santa beard.
“Do it, fucking do it,” Butch said, bobbing on the balls of his feet and slightly manic with the competition and holiday cheer, probably.
“I’m gonna fucking do it!”
“I don’t think you can fucking do it,” Mike said.
“Ohhhhh!” Butch hollered when Buttercup lost her temper and threw the ball too hard. It bounced off Todd’s beard and fell on the floor, leaving the last cup untouched.
“Mike, you cheater!” Buttercup shouted.
Mike burst out laughing.
“All riiiiight, the Toddster’s final shot. You filming, babe?” Todd asked.
Hana, across the table from Boomer, had her phone out and poised. “Kick their asses, Toddy.”
“Yeah, bring it on, Toddy,” Butch jeered.
“Oh, it’s about to be brought.”
“Oh god, please, you peaked in high school,” Buttercup said.
“Hey, he plateaued,” Mike said. “There’s a difference.”
“Just take the damn shot!”
Todd shot, hit the rim of the solo cup, and missed. Buttercup and Butch threw up their hands and whooped. They were still in the game, and the stakes were even higher now.
Boomer squeezed Mike’s arm in a silent excuse and went to change the music…only to find Brick and Blossom making out in the hallway like it was their last night on Earth.
The music was fine, he decided. No need to interrupt Brick and Blossom trying to fuse with the wall and face his brother’s cock blocked wrath. Discreetly, Boomer snapped a picture on his phone and texted it to Bubbles.
Bubbles’ reply was lightning fast.
[Bubbles: More like shattered!!]
[Bubbles: Better get out of there before they catch you lol 💀]
After another hour (and Brick and Blossom’s reemergence from the wall in one piece with not a hair out of place because god forbid), Boomer and Mike decided to head out early. They went back to Boomer’s apartment, where a very excited Pomeranian welcomed them home.
“Hi, Pumpkin!” Mike brightened like the sun and scooped up his favorite girl, left in Boomer’s care while he was away at college. “Who’s ready for a walk?”
They walked Pumpkin and let her tire herself out running around the suburban neighborhood where it was too late at night for any cars to be out. A half hour later, they were curled up on the loveseat with Pumpkin snoozing in her fuzzy bed at their feet and an old black-and-white Christmas movie playing on low volume on the television.
“Hey,” Boomer said, lifting his head from Mike’s chest to look at him properly.
Mike set aside the hot chocolate he’d been drinking and pulled Boomer up by his waist. “Hey, you. What is it?”
Boomer smiled. It was silly, really. “It’s nothing.”
“Oh?” Mike returned his smile and leaned closer. He smelled like soap, a hint of chocolate, and something else that made Boomer want to bury his face in his neck.
“Just happy,” Boomer said.
“Really? I can’t tell.”
Boomer sat up a little higher. The neck of Mike’s old lacrosse jersey he wore dipped down his shoulder, too big on him and softer than a cloud. He pressed a chaste kiss to the underside of Mike’s jaw. “How about now?”
“Hm, nope, I don’t think I quite got that.”
Boomer threaded his fingers though Mike’s short, dark hair at the nape of his neck. Feeling coquettish, he gave his ear a nip. “How about now?”
Mike shifted on the couch and pulled Boomer’s bent legs onto his lap. His voice was as warm as the hot chocolate he’d been drinking. “I think I’m starting to get a vague understanding.”
Boomer laughed and painted a trail of kisses along Mike’s jaw, up his chin. He pressed a strong hand to his chest and put a little power behind it. Centimeters apart, he could taste the lingering heat of the hot chocolate on Mike’s breath. “And now?”
Mike’s eyes drooped and darkened. His hands slipped around Boomer’s waist, under the jersey, a silent entreaty. “I think you can do a little better than that, Angel.”
The secret nickname broke Boomer’s resolve, and he kissed his boyfriend full on the mouth with all the confidence and shamelessness he couldn’t give him that morning at the mall surrounded by children and their parents. Mike’s shirt soon found its way to the floor along with Boomer’s borrowed jersey. The loveseat was too short to accommodate Mike’s height comfortably, and after a few moments Boomer held him close and flew them to the bed in a flash.
“I’ll never get over how hot that is,” Mike said, breathless.
Boomer blushed, unable to help it. He was careful with his strength around Mike, but sometimes the X bonded to his bones pushed him to the raw, carnal boundaries of humanity. Mike’s hand on his cheek drew him out of those spiraling thoughts.
“I mean it,” Mike said. “I love that part of you. And I trust you completely.”
Words did not come easily, nor did they seem appropriate in that moment. Boomer bent to kiss Mike again and pull him as close as he could get. Wrapped up in the warm sheets and each other, Boomer’s silly little thought that he had never been happier grew and swelled to heights he never could have imagined before Mike. They lay there together, lazy and sleepy, as the credits of their forgotten holiday movie played on the television.
“One more semester,” Mike said, “and then I graduate.”
“I can’t believe you’re almost a college graduate,” Boomer said. “It feels like you left ages ago.”
“Four years is a long time, but it’s not forever. And you should get ready.”
Boomer looked up at him. “Ready for what?”
“To move, of course.”
“Hey, I love how cozy your apartment is, but I’m pretty sure Pumpkin would appreciate her own room once we’re living together full time.”
Boomer sat up properly. “You… You want to move in together? With me?”
“Of course! The only question is, where do you want to go?”
Boomer covered his mouth. Of course he had thought about getting a place with Mike, but that always seemed like the distant future. What if they didn’t stay together? What if the long distance was too hard? What if Mike met someone else at college? Brick didn’t talk about it much, but after a few too many drinks one night the year Blossom and Mike both left for college, he’d confessed how afraid he was that he would lose her forever. How can the old be exciting and fun compared to the amazing, new adventures she would be having?
But from the way Boomer had caught them all but absorbing each other at Todd’s tonight, Blossom seemed perfectly happy to keep him. And Mike…
“You’re serious,” Boomer said.
“I’ve never been more serious.” Mike took his hand and kissed his knuckles carefully. “I can’t wait to start our lives together.”
Boomer could have cried. He almost did. Life was hard, even for a Super like him. With endless bills to pay and the occasional monster to dispose of, sometimes he felt like he was being pulled in too many directions without anyone there to help pick up the slack. But this… This was his.
“Me too,” Boomer said. “And I don’t care where we go, as long as it’s together.”
“Well, cool. In that case, if you’re not opposed to it, was thinking farther north, like Metroville. There are some great photography jobs there that I want to apply for, and the music scene is bigger than it is here—”
“Yes! A hundred percent yes, let’s do it. When do we leave?”
Mike laughed. “June 1st, as soon as they hand me my diploma.”
Six months. It had a date now. Unthinking, Boomer threw his arms around Mike’s broad shoulders and hugged him tight. “I’ll mark my calendar.”
“It’s a date.”
Incidentally, they did not get much sleep the rest of that night.
I told myself I wasn’t going to do a ton of fluff, but damnit all, Boomike is SUPER CUTE and I couldn’t help myself. Let them have the happy ending they deserve. Thanks for reading!
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Request: Tom being SUUUCH A DIRTY TALKER the first time him and the reader fuck. And bonus points if their best friends and Tom just confessed, leading up to him being such a sweet dirty talker as he fucks the reader slow and good
(Frat!Tom Holland x reader)
Warning: smut, language, Halloween, angst, hella dirty talk
It’s not your fault PERIOD!
It all happened so fast.
First your helping him set up the party with the guys
Then your placing all the drinks in the fridge
Then you were talking in his room
Then he, he—you know—said it
And you bolted
It’s not your fault!!! what was he expecting! Your best fucking friend told you that he likes you more than a best fucking friend!
You rubbed your face, as you groaned into the couch. What made it ten times worse is you can hear your roommate fucking in her room.
You finally decided to get up and shower. You didn’t bother looking at your phone. And soon your earphones were on and you were sleeping.
— two days later (Halloween) —
You haven’t talked to him in two days. two fucking days. Why? Well maybe because your confused. Your confused because you weren’t mad. Your confused because he’s your best friend. Your confused because….because….beca—
“You coming?” Riley called from the kicthen, snapping you out of your thoughts.
“Y-Yea, just taking a piss!” You yelled from the bathroom. Finishing up and flushing the toilet.
You washed your hands, not really taking a glance at yourself. Dressing up wasn’t your thing, costumes weren’t your thing. Basically anything that had to do with effort and looking decent wasnt your thing. And everyone knows that.
“I really thought you were gonan dress up this year.” Riley said as she picked up her jacket.
“I did dress up.” You said, making her scoff, and look over you.
“Please tell me.” She said, making you smile, and twirl.
“Well as you can see, I’m a tourist in Hawaii.” You said making Riley chuckle. It wasn’t that you looked bad, you looked perfectly fine so she just shrugged, letting you wear your army shorts, black bra and unbuttoned yellow Hawaiian shirt. You quickly slipped on your socks as they reached your chins, then tied your converse and you were both out.
“This won’t be awkward right?” Riley said as you both neared the house.
“Nope , not at all.” You lied, Riley nodding.
“Kay good cuz I don’t think I can take your ass back home cuz I’ll probably be fuckin somewhere.” She said, making you hum and nod. It wasn’t anything knew, Riley use to be in a sorority, she obviously quit cuz the girls thought of her as a hoe. Even though all of them are, she just showed it too much. And she knew she was a hoe but she’s okay with that, and she looked good in her devils costume.
And so, you both stepped in to the frat house.
Aka Tom Holland’s frat house.
Aka your best friend, Tom Holland, who’s leaning against the wall shirtless with red suspenders holding up his loose firefighter pants. You quickly brought your hand up to your face making a beeline to the opposite side of the house. You knew all the ins and outs of the house, honestly the guys saw you as part of the frat cuz of how often you spend your time here. And you would too. But you’d never live in a house with sex crazed guys, even though most of them are sweethearts, they also like getting their dicks wet.
Tom was standing in the best spot. Why? Well because he had a perfect view of the front entrance and back entrance. And his eyes quickly fell on you as you walked in. His cheeks heating up quickly, his eyes looking over you with a smile, biting his lip when he noticed your unbuttoned shirt—but then you locked eyes with him and were swerving away.
“Y/n/n!” Tom shouted only causing you to duck down, and crawl until you were hiding under a table. “Y/n/n?” You closed your eyes hearing your name again. “Y/n/n.” And you didn’t have to open your eyes to know he found you. “You can’t ignore me.” He said kneeling by the table, looking at you.
You opened your eyes, squinting slightly as you gave him a crooked smile, making him smile. “I didn’t hear you.” You said, looking eyes with your best friend.
“Can we talk?” He said, speaking loudly so you can hear him over the music.
“I’m really lovin the party, didn’t even get a drink yet.” You said making Tom clench his jaw slightly.
“Y/n/n.” He pressed—
“I love the decorations, all the joker and It stuff, pretty dope.” You said only causing Tom to bite his bottom lip.
“Y/n/n, please get your ass up before I throw you over my shoulder and take you myself.” He said making you look anywhere but him. “Fine.” And so his hands came under your knees, pulling you forward, before he was lifting you over his shoulder and standing up.
“Woah!” You yelled at how fast that happened. Tom ignored everyone cheering and yelling Tom to smack your ass. You managed to steal a beer from Harrison, as Tom took you upstairs and into his room.
He put you down, before taking a few steps back watching you drink the beer looking around the room avoiding his eyes.
“Is there somethin new? I feel like you added something from the last time I was here—wait those are new bedsheets—“
“There the same ones.” Tom interrupted.
“Really cuz I fe—“
“Stop.” Tom snapped. “Fucking stop with all this bullshit small talk shit. Your my best friend and I’m sorry I made things awkward. I’m sorry. I-I just couldn’t hold it any longer and I needed to get it out. But I don’t wanna loose you y/n/n. I said something because I don’t wanna lie to you anymore and you’ve been asking me why I have so much fucking sex—well that’s cuz of you! your always in my fucking head y/n/n, and I can never get you out! the amount of times I’ve called your name while having my dick in some other girl is too much to count, and it’s not because I think of you in ways a best friend should be thinking about, but for fucks sake I can’t keep my feelings for you inside anymore. Fuck! I’m sorry okay, I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m sorry, just forget about it, all of it. I just—ugh I just want you back. I want it to go back to before I fucked this up. Please.” You stood frozen, biting your lip as you twirled the end of your Hawaiian shirt. Shaking your head no. You watched as Toms eyes fell.
“It can’t—go back to how it was before Tom.” You said, making Tom tug his hair, as he covered his face with his hands, groaning.
“Y/n/n please, please please don’t leave me.” Tom said, his hands still over his face, his chest clenching trying to hold back how much it’ll hurt when you walk out. But that doesn’t happen. Because he feels cold hands against his bare chest. You always have cold hands.
“I’m not leaving you.” You said, your hands traveling up his arms, before they locked around his wrists pulling his hands away from his face.
“Your not?” He said, feeling his body grow hot at how close you were, your bra grazing his chest. You shook your head, your hands going under the suspenders before you leaned in, connecting your lips to his shoulder blades. Tom exhaled a little too loudly, but you didn’t mind, especially when you felt an arm hesitatantly wrap around your waist, holding your bare skin.
“W-What’re you doing?” Tom asked nervously, as he felt you rub your core against him, causing his abs to flex.
“This is your chance.” You said as you sighed feeling his bulge press against your shorts rubbing your clit. And at that very moment a flip went inside his mind, and your body was against the door, your hands pinned against them by his hands. .
“I’m giving you thirty seconds to walk out now y/n/n. Thirty. Seconds. And if you don’t that means your—your telling me I can do this.” Tom said breathing harshly he tried hard not to grind his bulge between your open legs. He just watched as your chest heaved, your lips parted slightly, and your eyes locked on his. “Twenty seconds.” He pressed, his heart beating quickly.
“I’m not going anywhere.” You said, causing Tom to drop his head on your shoulder, turning it to your neck as he felt the warmth from your skin.
“Darling things are gonna change, ten seconds.” He said, feeling you buck your hips slightly, causing his abs to clench, and lean forward, squinting his eyes shut.
“I want you Tommy.” And those were the only words he needed to push his hips against yours, making you moan until he silenced them with his lips. You desperately tried to get more friction over the shorts, but Tom now pinned your wrists with only one hand, his other on your waist, moving up until his thumb was rubbing your nipple through the thin black fabric of your bra.
“Take it off.” You said breath like, as you continued to push your hips into his.
“So impatient. I can feel those perky nipples of yours.” He said before grinding up, causing you to whimper and push against his hand. “You avoided me.” He said nipping at your neck. “For two days.” He continued. “And now you show up like this.” He said forcing your lips open with his tongue. You moaning.
You couldn’t respond. Only light moans coming when you felt his fingers pinch your nipples through the bra. “Uh uh uh.
“Want me to let go of your hands baby?” Tom said licking up your throat, causing you to nod eagerly, goosebumps rising on your skin even though you felt your body burning.
“Y-Yes, yes.” You said a little too desperately, and Tom couldn’t deny his long time crush. So he let go of your hands, feeling them go straight for his curls, your leg instinctively coming around his waist, Tom holding it in please as he grounded his hips harder into you, your head hitting the door as you moaned. “Please.”
“Please? What do you want?” Tom said with a smirk, as he pulled away slightly to shrug your Hawaiian shirt off. Your hands quickly got back onto him after the shirt was off. Your hand slightly tugging on the curls making him grunt. “Want me to touch you?” He said licking your lips, before sucking on your jaw waiting for you to answer.
“Cmon,” you groaned, as his hand squeezed your ass. Tom smiled against your neck, slowly pulling away, your eyes looking over him panickly, before you were wrapping your arms around his neck. “No, no, fine take your time just don’t leav—“
Tom chuckled lightly, wrapping an arm back around you. As he pushed his clothed cock against you. “I wasn’t gonna leave you.” He said capturing your bottom lip, his hand coming up your back and unclasping your bra. “Now lets see those pretty fucking titties of yours.” He said as he took the rest off, tossing it aside. He leaned back slightly, so he can get a view of your breasts pushing up, as it rose and fell with each breath. “Oh fuck.” He said, his chest clenching trying not to get too excited from seeing his best friends tits. You held on to his wrist, not wanting him to go any further.
“T-Tom,” you said trying to squeeze your thighs together but he quickly placed his leg, stopping you.
“What’s wrong?” He said cocking his head to the side as his thumb rolled over your nipple, watching your eyes flutter shut for a second. “Ah I see, want me to touch you, down there angel?” He said licking his lips as he watched you nod. “Want me to take those shorts off you?” He said leaning in closer and pushing his thigh up against your core, and rubbing it. You moaned, your head moving to the side letting Tom kiss your chest, and pinch your nipple.
“Please.” You let out softly, grinding slightly on his thigh. Tom bit his lip, exhaling against your neck.
“Want me to see your pretty pussy?” He said, rubbing his cock against your thigh. Your hand clutched his suspenders, as you moaned.
“Tommy.” You moaned. Tom bit his lip, letting his hands go down, and soon his mouth was sucking your nipple as the other held the inside of your thigh, his thumb pushing against your clit through the shorts.
Your hand tugged on his hair, making him look up. “Cmon babygirl, let me take my time, wanna feel you.” He said, looking up at you with innocent lust blown eyes. You sighed letting him lap at your breasts until he started untying your shoes and taking them off and your socks, and soon you felt your shorts go, leaving you in your thong.
“Fuck, I see right through this y/n/n.” Tom said staring up at your white see through thong. He groaned seeing the wet patch, his mouth kissing right above it. You moaned, your head going back. “So wet, because of me?” He said watching you moan a yes as he pushed a thumb against it. Tom pressed a kiss against the thin fabric, his tongue pushing and tasting. And before you know it, no warning, he pushed the thong aside, his tongue diving in quickly, you moaned loudly, your hand on his shoulder as you brought your leg up higher to let his tongue go in deeper.
“Fuck, so sweet.” Tom said pulling back to take a breath, his finger going in to replace his tongue. And he was picking you up, your legs wrapping around his waist. “You taste so good, my tongue deep in that pussy of yours. So wet for me.” He said his tongue going in your mouth, two fingers knuckle deep in your pussy, as you moved against the door. “Cmon I need you to cum now, right here with my finger moving inside that tight pussy.” He said curling his fingers up as you arched your back. “Cmon lovey,” he said going faster.
“I-I’m Gonna cum!” You moaned out loudly, his fingers were covered, and he was still pumping through your high. Before you know it he was laying you on the edge of the bed, kneeling on the floor taking his fingers out, his tongue going inside, and lapping at your arousal. You couldn’t help the yelp that escaped your lips, your legs trying to close but he pushed them open. “Keep em open wide darling.” Tom mumbled, before his tongue entered you once again.
“T-Tom, I’m gonna cum again!” You said tugging his hair, making him moan into your core.
“Then come all over my face, you can do it, wanna have you on my face.” He said causing your back to arch from his words and pussy grind on his face. Tom didn’t seem to mind, in fact he loved it. The girl that he’s known since high school, is rubbing her wet pussy against his tongue, fuck if something couldn’t turn him on more. And soon you were cumming. Toms eyes locked on your face as you screamed his name. He smiled at the taste, swallowing and taking more. “So fucking good.” He said his hands still holding your legs open, pulling back to see your pussy clench and some more arousal coming out making him smile.
“More.” You said making his eyes shoot up, brows raised. You leaned forward, sitting up, legs on either side of his body as you tugged his hair back so he can look up at you. “I want you baby.” You said making Tom smile widely, his arms wrapping under your legs, as he leaned up more to kiss you.
“So can I fuck you?” He said in your mouth. “Really wanna fuck you y/n/n.” He said as you moaned.
“Yea Tom, fuck me.” You said moving back to slide his suspenders off. Tom was smiling as he stood up, pushing you back slightly on the bed, but before you can close your legs, he opened them again. “Keep em spread for me darling, love the view.” He said his eyes going from your face, to your breasts, to your pussy, open and dripping. You watched as Tom struggled to get his belt off the firefighter pants.
“Do you need some help?” You said chuckling slightly. And you were going to help until Tom shook his head.
“It’s okay I got it I got it, just, wanna touch yourself for me?” He said smiling when your cheeks turned pink. “Cmon I know you touch yourself, I mean I’ve heard you touch yourself.” He said smiling when your mouth fell agape.
“When?” You said, your pussy clenching slightly knowing that Toms heard you touch yourself.
“Many times, like last week, came over to drop somethin off, heard you moaning and when you came out you were sweating and there wasn’t anyone with you. Those moans got me off for days after.” He said smirking palming his hard cock still trying to get the pants off. “Now cmon, let me see those fingers on your pussy.” He said.
You didn’t answer only bringing a hand to your breasts and start pinching. Tom bit his lip as he watched your hands go down your body until you were massaging your clit.
“Fuck Tommy.” You moaned, Tom smiling at your words. “Talk baby, wanna hear you.” You said to Tom, as you continued to massage your clit. Tom licked his lips, getting annoyed with the stupid firefighter pants but listening.
“Your doing good angel, now spread those legs out more and get your finger in.” He said smiling when you listened and did as he said. Your moans were light, your eyes locked on Tom as he bit his lip and you slipped in a second finger. “So wet.” He said hearing the sounds of your arousal as your fingers moved. He finally got the belt off. “Cmon baby you can put a third finger in there.” He said tugging the pants down, giving you a view of how strained his cock was agaisnt the briefs.
“Ah ah ah—“ your moans started to rise once adding another finger, Tom squeezed his cock through the briefs, you could see the wet patch at the end.
“Keep going lovey, lick my hand.” He said and you did as he said, licking his hand that was in front of you, and watching his briefs fall to the floor and his cock spring free. It was so fucking hard, the head pink, the veins popping and his hand wet with your saliva pumping it and watching you moan.
“Oh fuck—gonna cum?” He said, slowing his movements waiting for your to cum. You nodded moving your fingers faster. “Can I help?” He said seeing you struggle slightly.
“Yes-Yea please.” You said, Tom was smiling, taking his hands away from his cock, and putting a hand on your wrist to help your movement as his thumb rubbed harsh circles on your clit, and soon you were coming while he tugged on your nipples with his mouth.
“Fuck three times baby, and my dick isn’t even inside you yet.” He said smiling, and pulling your fingers out. You were breathing harshly, your body sweaty, but Tom only saw you glowing. “You wet enough?” He said, kissing your lips. You nodded, feeling Tom take your hand still covered in your arousal and place it on his cock.
“So hard.” You said smiling and wrapping your hand around him getting his dick wet for you. He moaned dropping his head against your shoulder.
“C-can’t wait to fell you up.” He grunted, as you pressed his tip against your clit causing you to buck your hips. He soon removed your hands away from him and moving your hands up, so you can wrap them around his head. He rubbed his cock agaisnt your wet core, pushing his tip in slightly.
“Please Tommy.” You moaned, opening your legs wider.
“I got you babygirl, gonna stretch you out.” He said pushing in more, smiling when your hands held his shoulders tighter. He was breathing hard, feeling his cock going inside you.
“Feels so good.” You moaned, feeling Tom go deeper and deeper until he sighed bottoming out. Tom waited for your to adjust until you bucked up telling him to move. And he did, pushing himself up so he can see your face and pull back. He pushed back in dreadfully slow. You moaned loudly, arching your back, and letting him continue. Tom took his time. If this wasn’t the best moment ever, he didn’t what was.
“So tight, and wet.” He moaned biting his lip, feeling you lick up his throat, your scent surrounding him and making him moan. “Your amazing.” He moaned, not being able to hold that back. You smile, your hand tangling in his hair. Tom soon started to pick up speed, his pelvis meeting yours with each thrust.
“Taking me so well.” He moaned, kissing your cheek repeatedly, and lifting your leg up on his shoulder to open you more. You moaned loudly, and Tom felt himself hit you deeper causing you to scream. “Right there?” He said with smirk.
“Y-Yes! Right there!” You moaned as he continued to hit it. Tom licking his lips looking down to see his cock disappear into you, making him twitch.
“Y/n/n.” Tom moaned closing his eyes and opening up, struggling not to cum. But you felt so good. “Y/n/n, baby, you close, I need you to cum, need your pussy to cum.” He moaned, sucking on your collarbone.
“K-keep going.” You said scratching his back. Tom went faster, bringing a hand to rub your clit. “I-I’m close!” You moaned.
“Me too, baby.” He groaned, wanting you to cum. “Let go, cmon y/n/n, cum all over my cock.” He said into your ear causing you to scream his name, and you were cumming. And just as your walls tightened around him, had him cumming.
He collapsed on top of you. Hugging you tightly, his face buried in the crook of your neck, breathing you in. You sighed, coming down from your high. You let your hand, smooth out his hair, calming him down. Making him exhale, his soft cock still inside you.
“I’m sorry.” He mumbled against your skin, making your brows furrow.
“Why?” You said, kissing his temple.
“For this, for ruining our friendship.” He said, kissing your neck, his arms wrapped around your tighter.
“Well you gave me the chance to leave, I didn’t, so I wanted this too.” You said, making Tom shift slightly, rubbing inside you. “I think about you too, yes you’ll always be my best friend Tom, but i wanna try this out.” You said causing Tom to lift his head. “Wanna try being more than friends.” You said smiling when you saw his goofy smile.
“Really?” He said, rubbing his nose agaisnt yours. You nodded your head, smiling as Tom kissed your lips. “It’s not just cuz of the sex right?” He said pulling back.
“That’s some of it.” You said seeing his mouth fall agape. “I’m kidding, I like you Tommy, your dick is just a bonus.” You said, purposely squeezing him causing him to groan, and drop his head slightly. “And who knew you were such a talker.”
“Sorry.” He mumbled, making you chuckle.
“No I liked it. It was hot.” You said, licking his jaw making him sigh in pleasure.
“Your warm.” He admitted, making you smile.
A/N: this was dirty dirty, like damn bro didn’t know I could make it like that hehe :)
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Dirty mision - Captain Rex
Warnings: Mentions of war, dirty sex, sexual tension, semi-public sex, dirty talk.
Tag: for my queen @hxldmxdxwn
Requests are open my darlings c;
"You won't leave me here, asshole!" She cursed, digging his nails into Rex's arm and looking directly into his eyes, killing him with her eyes.
"I wasn't running away, I was just going to check if the shoreline was clean," he whispered, rolling his eyes.
"Of course it's not damn clean, there are separatist droids all over the damn place, asshole!" her heart beat erratically as she kept digging his nails and looking at him.
"There's no need for that, you know!" he scolded her, while she whistled for him to shut up.
"And there's no need to run out to be killed, either," she replied, pulling his large male body quickly along with her, as she opened the door to a storage room and pushed him inside, closing the door behind her.
"What the fuck are you doing?" The blond clone furrowed his eyebrows and she clapped her palm against his mouth. He was about to protest, but heavy footsteps were heard on the other side of the door, easily about 50 B2 droids ran past, all shouting orders to find you.
She lets out a sigh as she withdraws her hand from the man's face and frowns at him, "You were saying, genius?"
The blonde giggled and shook his head, didn't even say a word. There was something about her that made him anxious, furious. Being close to her sent him to the edge of his patience (already scarce), and being alone with her in such a small space would be his end.
Rex watched as she turned her body to her back, being able to feel her back against his chest, the girl leaned her hands against the door, catching her breath a little.
"Why are you moving?" The man frowns
"Your face was too close and unfortunately for me, your breath smells like bantha's ass today." She complained, didn't even bother looking at him.
The captain sighed and shook his head, too tired of arguing with her and trying to fix things, so he leaned his head against the wall, looking up at the ceiling and ignoring how exaggeratedly close his body was to her. The problem was that she could not contain herself and let her mind run free, no matter how much he hated her, she was attractive and he would lie if he said that she was not the protagonist of his fantasy nights, and she hated him.
Rex hated how her suit clung to her body like a second skin, just like those dresses he used to go out with the boys when they were on leave. Those stupid pieces of fabric that framed her curves so elegantly. The poor man did not feel how he hardened against her pants, he was so absorbed in his thoughts with her, that he did not realize how much until he heard the small gasp that came from the lips of the young soldier, just after, the girl made her butt pressed against his erection. A small moan left Rex's lips and his hand grabbed her waist quickly to keep her pressed against him.
He hated, really hated, camouflage missions, especially when they had to go civilian, like this time. At least, in his armor, the woman would not tell that he had noticed the large erection between his legs.
"Does being in danger make you horny, Captain?" The soldier asks, with a giggle, rubbing her ass against him. The man frowns.
"Just shut up," he hissed, taking her stronger waist in his hands, "and stop moving for god's sake" and it was at that moment that Rex was thankful that the room was so small, so she wouldn't see how flushed his cheeks were.
The silence that enveloped them was ironically deafening as the captain tried to find the right words to apologize, but all he could think about was the itch of his hard cock.
Holy mother, you are huge "she whispered, Rex opened his eyes surprised," I mean, at the time I had a couple of encounters with Jango, but yours is frankly impressive "
"I ... I mean ... did you really just tell me that?" he stuttered, losing control for a second.
With a chuckle, she nodded and tried not to rub against the super soldier, "You're the damn Captain Rex, we hate each other, so obviously I've thought about having rough sex and being mad at you," she whispered, leaning her head forward to the door, as she pushed herself toward him, enjoying the way Rex's fingers dug into her hip, "Practically every time we argued, actually."
The blonde narrowed his eyes as he stretched out on top of her, as she pushed against him. "I ... have thought of you too," Rex admitted, unconsciously pushing his hips towards her, trying to release the tension from his pants.
The heat built inside him as he bit her lower lip. "Really, Captain? Do you want to bury your cock in me, the way I want it too?" he whispered and began to rub against his erection.
A muffled moan was all that came out of Rex's mouth, his eyes digging into her bottom and as she moved against him, sending all her senses to the edge.
"Do you want to screw me captain? Here where anyone can catch us at any time?" She teased him, turning her head slightly to look at the soldier with flushed cheeks.
Rex looked at her and bit his lip, his hand moving slowly down her back to tangle his fingers in the woman's hair, "Don't even think about moving," he murmured, reaching out to open the suit. As soon as he zipped down, his hands landed on her chest, Rex let out a moan emitted from his chest as he felt her boobs in his big hands after months of fantasizing about them.
Biting her lip, she pushed her suit to the floor when the blonde began pinching her nipples between his fingers, sending heat to her already wet pussy
Rex rubbed the soft skin and squeezed them, dragging his lips over her shoulder and biting gently, listening to the little moans she tried to mask. Reluctantly, he let her whine, until she looked back, watching Rex undo his pants from his "costume", to reach inside and take out his long hard cock. Eyes wide, she looked up at his cock rising in attention, "Good heavens," she whispered, before the captain stepped in the middle, putting his hand over his mouth from behind, keeping her quiet.
She couldn't help but spread her legs further by pulling her ass back to place his penis between her folds and slowly slide down her slit, covering it with her juices. She silently thanked him for the hand over her mouth as the head of his cock pushed against her clit, sending a volt of electricity through her body as the moan was stained by her palm. Rex growled and rubbed against her, looking down at her bare pussy, licking her lips at the wetness she could see, almost pleading for him to try it. Before she could tell him to hurry up, he shifted his hips back and slammed his cock against her cunt, causing the girl to stab her teeth into the man's hand, to stop the scream coming out of her mouth. Rex sank her teeth into his shoulder and started to shove into her pussy, the heat surrounding his cock almost making her legs buckle, "fuck shit, you're fucking tight," he hissed, watching his cock disappear inside her repeatedly. , leaving covered with slippery humidity. She moaned against his hand, found the rhythm of his thrusts and pushed her butt against him, the sound of his thighs hitting Rex's. He couldn't help but slam his hand against her ass, leaving a faint hand mark on her soft skin, marking her as his. The soldier reached his big hand to her throat and held her, pulling her against him as he growled at her ear, getting a perfect view of her bouncing bounces with every thrust he gave her, "Now you're mine, damn mine. I'll fuck you everywhere and as I want, I will cum all over those beautiful tits and fuck, I'm going to cum on your precious face" he moaned, burying his face in her hair as the words seemed to escape his mouth.
Hear Rex speak dirty and his hand around her throat was enough to ignite the fire in the center of her stomach, his walls tightening around her. She pushed her butt against him, nibbling at the skin of his hand and she lost control, his orgasm ripping through her, Rex held her tighter to keep her pressed against him.
The blonde could feel her pussy tighten around him, just before his balls tightened almost painfully, that's how he started to empty inside her, his hand tightened on her throat and his abs tightened with the effort of remaining silent.
She leaned her forehead against the door in front of her again, and smiled slightly when she felt Rex bury his face in her neck, his heavy breaths hitting her skin and causing chills. Silence surrounded them as they both tried to calm down and compose themselves in the small room, praying that they had not attracted any unwanted attention with their actions. Suddenly, a voice startled them both, "so it would be great if they got back on the mission now."
She looked with wide eyes at Rex, he was equally surprised. They had both forgotten the headphones they were wearing, "Fives, did you hear ...?"
"Oh yeah, Rexieboo, I heard all of that. Who knew you could be so dirty?" He said mockingly, making her blush. Rex looked up at her and smiled slightly before turning his face to kiss her on the lips, "Tell someone and I'll make sure to fuck her in your bunk and leave a mess, got it?" He said making Fives growling and choking dramatically "Stop! Stop! Just stay away from me shit when you do it" Fives muttered and Rex couldn't help rolling his eyes. He looked at her and smiled, keeping his hand on her cheek as his thumb rubbed absentmindedly on her skin, "are you okay?" He asked, his compassionate nature returning to him. She nodded, and reached for the door before opening it, "the faster we get it, the faster you can ... what was it? Oh, cum on my face" she purred before moving away from his sight. Rex gulped just before a voice broke the silence
"You're a lucky bastard," said Fives. "Shut up!" Rex sighed, before running after her.
She would be Rex's death and Fives was damn jealous.
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King Taeyong | 3
Taeyong x ballerina!reader // SMUT, FLUFF, ANGST, fantasy!au
Summary: You welcome back Taeyong in your life after he left you for almost a year. Maybe its because your feelings never left in the first place. Now that he’s back, he’s more transparent and honest with you. Promises over promises, is he going to keep his promises this time?
Word count: 5k
Warnings: Unprotected sex, swearing, mentions of other idols, pairing of other idols but not too much, death of someone
-The fantasy part is already here. I tried to keep it short and simple, didn’t want to overdo it.
-Imagine a Narnia kingdom setting hihi
Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4
Seeing Taeyong again after for so long was something you’re not looking forward to happen. Even though you imagined him coming back to you, now that its real you’re like a statue. You have million things to say to him but non came out in your mouth. You wanted to yell at him, curse at him but you can’t. It’s been a long time but what you feel for him never left.
You made coffee for the both of you still trying to escape the gaze from Taeyong’s eyes. Those beautiful eyes that will make you fall in love with him again any second. Those beautiful eyes you used to lock eyes with while he’s making love with you.
“Y/n, I’m sorry” he broke the silence but his voice was almost a whisper. It made your heart sink, suddenly you’re hurt again. Tears falling because you don’t know what he’s sorry for. Are you sorry because you went away? Are you sorry because you’re breaking up with me?
“But can you please, come with me?” he added. You were so confused because you thought he’s here for closure. “Baby please, just please. I’ll explain later. ” the pet name gave you shivers, hearing him call you with fondness again makes your heart warm. Out of respect and curiosity, you grabbed any coat you could find. Putting the cupcakes to the fridge, and leaving a note to Jaehyun, ‘I went out with Taeyong.’
Seeing Taeyong with his two bodyguards Jungwoo and Lucas is something normal, but seeing more than two bodyguards in front of your apartment sure is not. You try to count them in mind and they were at least eighteen. Why does Taeyong has eighteen bodyguards today?
His bodyguards addressed him as “Your highness,” as if he’s really a king or someone from a royal family. “The car is at the back of the building” a man in black suit informed Taeyong without any expression. Just a stern look in Taeyong’s eyes. What is happening. Is this some kind of joke.
All is settled inside the car and you sit as far from him crossing your arms and biting your lip from time to time. He came closer to you touching your knee with full bravery but you moved it away. “I promise all will make sense later” he said, keeping his hands to himself not trying to touch you again. Everything thats happening right now looks like a joke to you, some sick prank.
“I missed you. so much” he started talking again, annoying you with his sweet gestures. You still gave him the silent treatment that he deserves but deep inside you wanted him to know how much you missed him too. And that you waited for so long but he never came back.
Finally, the car stopped. When Taeyong opened the door, the light coming from the outside was weirdly different from your perspective. You got out of the car still squinting trying to recognise where on Earth did he take you.
Everywhere you look seems so foreign in your eyes, you’re positive that you’re not in your own country. Impossible, you cant believe what you’re seeing right now. Is this a dream? A castle is right in front of you, one that looks like it came from a storybook. Tall, wide and overwhelming for your eyes but nonetheless it welcomes you. Seeing people bow before Taeyong, convinced you that this might be a dream, or a nightmare because Taeyong is in it.
This cant be real.
When the two of you are finally alone in his so called office... in his kingdom, you wanted to wake up. Thinking about opening your eyes over and over again, forcing yourself to wake up. Seeing Taeyong in a dream hurts so bad it makes your heart heavy, you cant take it anymore.
“you’re not dreaming” Taeyong surprised you with a kiss being brave again. You slapped him in the face, hard. Your hand burns from the slap “it’s hurts right?” Taeyong asked, “That means you’re not dreaming”
No, it cant be. Taeyong? A king?
Everything that’s happening right now is like a big pill that’s hard to swallow. The moment you saw Taeyong on your doorstep, asking you to come with him, his kiss, the castle, is all too much and hard to believe. You asked Taeyong again what is this place but you get the same answer, “My kingdom.”
“Oh please Taeyong, not that bullshit again” you said hard and stern. He rolls his sleeves and let out a heavy sigh. He’s not forcing you to believe him but he wants you to believe on every word he’s about to tell you now. He clears his throat, and made you sit on the couch with him.
“I was away for a friend’s wedding. He’s a good friend of mine and I couldn’t miss his wedding” he breaths in and exhales sharply, “the wedding was perfect and everyone was having a good time, until… someone shot the groom, my friend, Taemin, right before my eyes. His wife... died too” his steady voice is not so steady now, you see his hands shaking while telling you more of what happened and to be honest you dont know if you should believe it.
“It was a fucking massacre we should’ve known better. Johnny lost his girlfriend too” he reaches for your hand and smiled when you didn’t nudge. “I was thankful… Really thankful that you were far from me during that time. Many people died that night. A lot of kingdoms right now are facing big problems. My kingdom needed me y/n, thats why I couldnt go back to you.”
Feeling his touch again made you want to wake up more. Praying that you really wanted to open your eyes now. Too much, everything about this dream is too much. “Doyoung, Johnny and Yuta are now looking for the last assassin, and it’s in your world. We figured, its there to hurt me, to kill you” there was a moment of silence, he came closer to you, his lips touched yours again. You didn’t slapped him this time. His soft lips made you want to stay in this dream more, if this is a dream might as well drown in it.
You hugged him tight, you both fell on the floor with a loud thud. He chuckled but you see tears in his eyes, “look babe were on the floor again” you dried the tears on his eyes with your thumb and laughed with him. Suddenly happiness hits you like a truck again just like the day you met Taeyong for the first time. “Can I kiss you again?” this time its you who initiated the kiss, you kissed him deeply with love.
He asked you to changed your clothes so people in his kingdom wont think your clothes are weird. The maids picked a simple beige garden dress for you though It was kind of long for your liking but it was surprisingly lightweight and beautiful. In other words, you looked like a princess. Get it together y/n, you’re a ballerina for goodness sakes think of it as a costume.
The place looks exactly how fairytales described it. High ceilings painted with clouds and angels, open roof for the everyone to admire the beautiful sky, fresh breeze, people wearing fancy dresses, knights guarding every corner of the palace and Taeyong....looking like a prince fresh out of a story book. You wait at the big balcony watching the sun set in front of you almost looking like a painting. “Im sure you have a lot of questions” Taeyong interrupted your thoughts.
You scoffed, “Lee Taeyong, you have no idea”
“Im sure I can answer them all. Fire away”
“Well, you can start by telling me the truth and tell me stuff I need to know. Parents? Siblings? ....Allergies?” You shook your head, “personal stuff Taeyong”
He’s calm expression melts your heart, he’s always like that. You felt him kiss your exposed shoulders his arms encircled on your waist. “I’m still your Taeyong. Just add the word king” he let out a soft chuckle but you gave him a look telling him you’re serious. “Okay, tiger. chill” he hugged you tighter letting his warm breath hit the shell of your ear, “I lost my parents when I was 8 from the same assassins that killed my friend Taemin. I have a sister but she’s in your world living peacefully without any memory of this world. I dont have any allergies” he turned you around so you’re facing him, he missed being this close to you. He doesn’t say it but he’s so turned on right now, his gaze never leaving yours.
“In your world, you call my world... a fairytale. There is magic lurking in this world but nothing too crazy don’t worry. No harry potter type of situation.” He winks.
“I want you to meet someone very important to me, one of these days I’ll bring you to her. She’s someone special and she helped me shaped my life and with my duties as king” you nod silently.
Taeyong secretly worries about you, to be honest he worries for you and your mental state while living with him here in his kingdom. Is it really okay with you? Do you still see him as the Lee Taeyong as your number one fan and not as the highest king in this world?
“Y/n.. please be honest with with me. Dont hide what you really feel right now.”
“Baby. You were gone for almost a year, it was a lonely time for me. I appreciate your effort for explaining everything even though its too much. I’ll get there. I hope you understand that.” he nods changing the subject and showering your face with kisses.
“How are you?” Taeyong asked sweetly like how he usually do.
You let out a small laugh, and told him everything he missed. That you were devastated, sad and lonely when he was gone and that he missed the opportunity of meeting your parents during Christmas eve. “Im sorry. Im sorry for not being normal enough to make you happy and provide normal stuff-“
“Dont say that” you cut him off, “You’re more than enough for me Taeyong. Dont say stuff like that” he’s still guilty but you comfort him nonetheless you never want to feel sad anymore. Not now that you’re in each others arms again.
Taeyong prepared dinner for the both of you while you’re out roaming the castle grounds. He made a picnic style dinner setup at the balcony of his chambers making you comfortable on your first night here in his kingdom. “Yum!” you let out a groan out of excitement and told him you missed his cooking.
“You know, I planned to have my own bakery. I already took care of the loan and the bank will help me make my dreams come true” you sounded really excited while telling him what you’ve been up to while he was away. He was happy that you had everything under control and you made the planning all by yourself. “Actually I could help you out. Forget about the bank, I can help you. Let’s find a decent place for your bakery when we get back” Of course your super rich boyfriend will help you out because he loves you so much.
You knew Taeyong loves seeing you do what you love, and you know Taeyong offered help because this is his way of taking part in your life. Again. And you love him more for it. “Yeah. Lets do that” you accepted his offer with a smile, feeding him a potato chip with a mouthful of guac. Just how he liked it. “How about you Taeyongie, whats new?” you made him think hard. “Hmmm. Well, do you accept interns?” You laughed hard and loud your giggles echoed in his room.
“What Im serious! I can taste everything you make, clean tables, anything you like me to do” There’s the Taeyong that you know. The simple man with a great sense of humour that you fell in love with. Now that you’re talking about dreams, you confidently told him about the life you wanted to build with him when all this is over, telling him you cant wait to go back and be with him again.
“If you’re going to marry me someday. I want a baby girl... now, I know you need a prince as an heir....” Taeyong laughed so loud enough for the whole castle to hear. Brave of you to tell him that you want kids in the future.
“But I want to have my own mini me. And maybe if we get lucky, you can have your own mini you” you continued and Taeyong is still laughing.
“I’ll help you buy our house when I save enough from the bakery. We will make love from sun up until sun down. Never ending happy mornings with you. Tie my hair until we grow old and everything in between, I just want to be with you until I die” Even though it made Taeyong laugh so hard, he can’t help but have butterflies in his stomach the whole time you were talking. He wanted the same thing too.
“I promise. We will have a normal life.” he kissed you to seal his promise.
After dinner you took a shower in Taeyong’s garden bathroom. Never getting used to what this castle can do, it really surprised you how a bathroom can be so magical. Taeyong’s bathroom smells like fresh flowers everywhere, maybe thats why Taeyong smells good all the time. It feels good to be in Taeyong’s comfortable clothes again. He gave you his favorite sweater and a pair of comfortable sweatpants. You only wore the sweater and underwear, not bothering to wear sweatpants.
As you got out of the bathroom you see Taeyong laying in bed with a book on his hand, topless and flashing his wide broad shoulders. You remember nights at your apartment when he waits for you in bed while he’s playing games on his phone. He looks so handsome. You crawl towards him feeling his soft bed and snuggles beside him comfortably. “Finally. Some alone time with you” he kisses you softly, carefully nibbling your neck and slowly tugging the sweater that he gave you as if he’s testing waters.
You were impatient so you removed it already showing off your breast to him. He gently kisses your body marking it like how he used to. His touch and kisses are still the same you thought. Oh how you missed this feeling. You crave for Taeyong and he can see that you’re eager “Slow down baby. We have all night” he says while drawing small circles on your thigh. It makes you crazy how he’s taking time with you and how he slowly devours your skin while you crave for him entirely.
He quickly switched positions with you, now kissing your lips slowly going down to face your pussy. Gently spreading your legs in front of him, you let out a gasp and a choked moan when Taeyong blows cold air at your slit, making you shiver. He smiles at you before he finally licks your pussy, slow and deep. His tongue starts from the bottom slowly goes up to your clit and gently kiss it. Catching your first orgasm for the night, Taeyong overstimulates you while you ride your high. Your moans are load and sharp he cant help but smirk and feel proud of his work.
“Baby are you planning to wake up the whole castle?” leaving wet kisses on your left breast and bites your nipple.
“Babe just fuck me already” you beg, feeling his hands kneading your breast, playing with your nipples with his thumb. You’re so focused on what he’s doing with your breast, you didn’t notice he’s spreading your legs wide for him preparing you before he finally fucks you. Without warning he inserts two fingers already to stretched your cunt. You yelped and tried to grasp anything from bed, you feel like your energy was slowly fading until you surrender in his touch. He chuckled.
This is not funny Taeyong. “Lee Taeyong im almost the-“ you warn him but he lets you cum on his fingers. You whisper sweet words to him expressing how much you missed him and it made the sexual tension more intense. Lining his cock on your pussy, coating it with your essence and slowly he gets deeper and deeper inside you. It feels so good. He fucks in slow pace, taking his time before going faster. You let out a string of moans, encircling your arms on his neck feeling his back muscles.
Slow, fast, deep and sharp thrust. He’s taking his time, fighting his urge to cum before you. Little did he know you cant take it anymore, you’ve cum so many times when he was fucking you slow. You tried pushing him away but you’re too weak. Taeyong fucked you again and again until you don’t respond to him and he let’s you sleep. He took care of you before joining you, made sure you’re clean. “I love you y/n” he whispers before sleeping beside you.
Taeyong slept like a baby beside you. It was his first time getting a good sleep from months of longing you. Telling himself he will never let anything come between the two of you ever again.
And it went on like this for days, weeks, even months while you’re stay in his kingdom. You became used to the castle grounds already, roaming around as if you’ve live there for a long time. On your way to Taeyong’s office, you see Taeyong with a beautiful woman almost your age wearing a beautiful dress, she has gorgeous long straight blonde hair and her skin is as fair as Taeyong’s. You got jealous for a second but maybe he’s Taeyong’s cousin or whatever.
Taeyong saw you and quickly introduced you to the beautiful princess in front of you.
“Y/n, this is Sorn. My fiancé”
Your what Lee Taeyong?
You gave him a look. A look thats saying you’re confused, mad and at the same time you want to punch him. Then you remembered the time when Jaehyun introduced himself as your future husband, you think this is his way of getting even. But he wasn’t kidding at all.
“Arranged marriage when we were both still young. I hope you understand” the princess speaks and reached out a hand full of sparkling rings. You wonder which ring Taeyong gave her. You didnt have a choice but to be nice.
Taeyong and Sorn are now talking inside his office about some royalty shit you thought and you can’t help but sulk. Yuta noticed that you’re bothered by the thought of Taeyong having a fiancé, hoping he could help you feel better he explains the situation further.
“Don’t worry y/n, it’s only for formality. This royalty shit is crazy and Taeyong needs a “queen” to rule here so he can be with you from time to time in your world” you thought that the idea was fucked up. “What was he thinking?” You almost shout but Yuta laughs at you. “I told you. This royalty shit is crazy. A lot of sacrifices needs to be done”
“I love her y/n” Yuta finally confess. “To protect this world. To protect my kingdom, I have to let go of Sorn” your heart aches for what Yuta just told you. How can the world of royalties can be so cruel to good people?
Yuta and Sorn were young and in love for as long as they can remember. So deeply in love, that they plan to help each other’s kingdoms by marriage someday. But Sorn’s family faced problems and they needed help immediately, so the royal court’s decision is to arrange her for marriage. The royal court is so obsessed with finding Taeyong a queen and they saw Sorn as a good opportunity. “Duty before self” Yuta explained.
“Why didn’t you volunteer your kingdom? Is that too selfish?” You asked, trying not to sound rude.
“My kingdom is not that rich to solve her kingdom’s money problems. Thats why I’ve been saving money in your world and be as rich as possible. That’s how I help my father with being king for now “
You cant believe this tragic love story that you’re hearing from Yuta. Just the thought of it makes you scared, that even though two people deeply love each other if fate is not in their favor, you can’t do something about it. Feeling bad about oversharing his feelings, Yuta told you not to worry, for Taeyong loves you so much and his kingdom equally.
You didn’t notice that you fell asleep while waiting for Taeyong to join you in bed. You felt soft kisses on your cheek, Taeyong waking you up in the middle of the night. Softly stroking your hair telling you to shush and follow him. Guiding you as you follow him to dark places that you’re not familiar with, you finally arrived to where he’s taking you.
You squint a little, seeing candles lit up, different flowers scattered on the floor, you’ve guessed you’re walking on an aisle with Taeyong. Doyoung, Yuta, Johnny and....a priest is waiting at the end of the aisle. Gasping as you realised, you’re about to get married.
“I was actually going to ask you to marry me over dinner tonight but-“ you cut him off and kissed him. “I’ll marry you.” You sad with a smile and hugged him tight. Crying tears of joy already.
You both proceed to this secret wedding that he organised. It was simple, just like you’ve always wanted. Genuine like him and sincere like his love. Taeyong promised to give you a proper wedding when you both get back to your world, but you told him you wouldn’t trade this wedding for anything.
Doyoung, Yuta and Johnny are happy for the both of you. They’ve seen Taeyong suffer enough without you and they all think that you both deserve to be happy. The three princes congratulates the both of you and telling them they’re more than happy seeing their Taeyongie marry happily someone he loves.
“Just dont be too loud fucking tonight or the castle will know somethings up” Johnny jokes making Taeyong punch him on his arm.
You spend your honeymoon enjoying the cold breeze around the palace. Sitting on the grass while watching how the castle turn yellow because of the soft sunrise. Taeyong got you beautiful flowers from his garden, tying it in a perfect knot making a small bouquet. He told you that the last assassin is dead and finally you can go back to the human world.
Just like the sunrise, you watch Taeyong be happy beside you. Remembering every detail of this beautiful moment. He noticed you were staring at him for a while now and he cant help but make you laugh by showing his wedding ring. Reminding you that he’s your husband from now on. Taeyong completely changed your life.
It was almost afternoon when you finally wake up from your sleep and still couldn’t believe that you’re married to this handsome guy kissing you. For the second time, Lee Taeyong is waking you up from your beautiful sleep by kissing you until you acknowledge him. “Lee Taeyong what do you want?” You asked him forcing yourself to open your eyes.
“Good morning... wife” and that alone made you smile. Taeyong thought your smile was so bright but it never hurts his eyes.
“I need you to meet someone important today” he’s now kissing your neck. Seriously this guy. “Last three days before you leave this kingdom by the way” he chuckled. “Everything will go back to normal once we go back. I promise.” He gave you one good kiss before leaving to prepare for breakfast.
He told you that you’re meeting the kingdom’s witch, a nice witch who helped him to be the king that he is. “Ruby is like my secret weapon. She warns me and gives me knowledge with all the decisions that I make for the kingdom.”
Ruby is a witch that tells Taeyong what the future holds for his kingdom. She never tells what will happen entirely. She didn’t want to ruin the natural order of the universe, she can only warn his king and give him choices to make good decisions.
When you arrived at where you believed Ruby lives, a pond inside a cave, you thought that maybe Ruby likes fishing. You peeked at how deep the pond is and you see coins and, random things under the water that are all solid gold.
“Anything you throw in this pond turns into solid gold” he winks after he explains.
You saw the water shine as Ruby comes out of the pond with all her glory turn into this gorgeous human in front of you. From being a mermaid with golden fishtail. A mermaid witch, you thought. And she is naked in front of your husband with only her golden hair covering her boobs. Wow.
“Y/n, this is Ruby.” Taeyong broke the silence. When Ruby took a step further out from the water, she turned in a much decent human, “It’s a pleasure to finally meet you y/n. Congratulations.” She smiled sweetly to you.
Ruby was nice to you and she offered to read your future. You didn’t want Ruby to show you your future to be honest, but you did it for Taeyong. She asked for your hand, holding it while she looks directly in your eyes. You saw what she saw. And there’s no need to tell Taeyong about it. You both giggle like little girls after you both saw your future, leaving Taeyong really curious.
In the future that Ruby showed you, you will have a little girl. And you will live like how he always promised for the both of you. Its pure happiness. “Thank you Ruby. It really means a lot” you told her with sincerity.
But little did you know, Ruby just showed you the future that you wanted to see. Not showing you your true future. She asked to speak to Taeyong privately and you respectfully left them talking.
Ruby did the same thing to Taeyong, but without the filter. She showed Taeyong the challenges and pain he will put you through if he continue this married life with you. “Your highness, Im afraid you’re not going to be the father of the child” Ruby showed Taeyong what you saw in her eyes earlier. It made him smile but he felt a pang of pain at the same time.
“Don’t get me wrong your highness, the child will come from you. But you will not be present as her father in her life.” Taeyong was confused. Ruby continued showing him more, and his world crashed. His heart feels heavy, he feels broken than ever. Taeyong is scared to the bone right now, but he trusts Ruby with his life and he is positive that Ruby wants what’s best for the kingdom and him.
Taeyong saw how his kingdom suffered from a famine while he was away from the kingdom living his life with you in the human world. He will have no other choice but to leave you again for the kingdom needs him. The famine will last for a year, and your pregnancy will not be the healthiest. You will lose the child and it will drive you to killing yourself. He saw how Doyoung told him the news that you passed away and it made him crazy. Taeyong turned into a mad king and the whole kingdom suffered in other words.
“Your highness now I ask of you.... to do the same thing as we did to your sister and prevent everything whats about to happen. We will create a life for y/n, a beautiful life without you in it” Ruby explains with a heavy heart.
Taeyeon. Taeyong’s sister is living well in the human world without any memory of the kingdom. Taeyeon was with their parents when they were killed and the incident traumatised her. To save her from being crazy, they gave her a potion for forgetting everything about the incident, the kingdom, Taeyong, everything.
Taeyong didn’t have much choice. He didn’t want to hurt you and kill yourself that will indeed make him crazy for good. Although its wrong for him to decide on his own, he still agreed to Ruby. He told her all about your dreams, the normal life you long with him, and the bakery you wanted to be successful with.
“I want her - I want her to have a peaceful life when she wakes up. A life without sadness, make sure she’s never alone or lonely. Be sure to never let her give up dancing because she loves her craft so much. Let her explore new things” Taeyong sniffs and continues to instruct Ruby. “She wants a bakery, let it be so successful customers will always buy every masterpiece she bakes. Please let her be with someone who truly loves her the same way I will.”
It really hurts him to pass you on to someone, it breaks his heart thinking of another man having you. “Please let that man be Jaehyun” he could only trust you with Jaehyun. Ruby hands the potion to Taeyong with a heavy heart. “I know you just got married. I’m sorry my king”
Your husband cant look you in the eye right now, but he stayed brave and put the small bottle in his pocket. “I’m still curious on what she showed you babe” Taeyong said, faking a smile. You let out a loud laugh without knowing what he really feels.
“Oh its a secret” you told him with a big mocking smile.
“I love you, y/n” he smiles ever so sweetly before your eyes.
Noticing his beautiful rose scar, and gently stroking it with your thumb. “I love you too, Lee Taeyong.”
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Tied in Green
Content Warnings: Food, Lonliness, Magical S//H in a weird way?
Characters: Remus (POV), Roman, Virgil
Genre: Emotional Hurt/Comfort
FFN Mirror - Playlist
Remus isn’t ashamed of himself. He agrees that sometimes he doesn’t like the things that suck him in. The things that he can’t get out of his head and make him feel horrible for even thinking. Those things upset him, too. But ultimately, he’s not ashamed of who he is or what he likes. But he’s pretty certain everyone else is.
He doesn’t keep friends for very long. His mom pushes him aside more often than not. Remus can be himself in private, but not here, she says. It’s what she always says. People will laugh at his jokes in school, but they never actually want to hang out. Remus is alone again, listening to his brother and friends laugh in the other room. They sound like they’re having fun and he’s jealous. But he knows better than to ask to join. He would do something to ruin it for Roman, anyway. Remus knocked twice at his desk.
Roman gets all awkward and weird and it’s clearly just a pity invite even if Remus did ask to join. They don’t make fun of him, but there’s not much of an effort to include him either. Roman and his friends don’t let him in on inside jokes, don’t ask his opinions, and sometimes talked like he’s not there. They acknowledge him if he talks, but that’s it. Remus doesn’t get included, which hurts more than sitting alone, sometimes.
Remus only wanted to spend time with his brother. His friends are always over and Remus never has the chance anymore. He’s too busy with his homework when they’re not over. He missed Roman. And Remus couldn’t deny that it hurt that Roman always seemed to make time for his friends, but never for Remus.
They used to be inseparable. His mom used to joke that they were twins because Remus never acted his age and they looked so alike. They weren’t supposed to grow apart. When they were kids, they planned on having adventures together. But this was the third time this week alone that Remus is stuck listening to Roman playfully bicker with his friends the next room over.
The headphones weren’t enough sometimes, and tonight was one of those times. Remus sighed and dropped his computer headphones on his desk. He wasn’t paying any attention to this book, anyway. They were playing a four-player game with three players and kept lamenting that the game was too hard. But they never asked him to join. He kept hoping they would. He considered just going over and inviting himself, but he didn’t feel like being pitied today. And what if he said something? What if he did something? Remus rapped his knuckle on the desk again.
Remus slipped on his boots and a windbreaker and headed out of his room, glancing into Roman’s open door as he passed. They were laughing at a TV show together. He headed down the stairs with a sigh. “I’m going for a walk, ma,” Remus called into his mother’s office as he passed and she held her finger over her lips while she was on the phone. Right. Remus headed out the front door and locked up behind himself.
The fall night was enchanting. It was somewhat chilly for a windbreaker, but Remus welcomed it. Remus enjoyed having sleeves to play with, so he liked fall and winter. This windbreaker has a zipper on the cuff that Remus fiddled with while he walked down the street. He didn’t have anywhere in mind to go, honestly. He just wanted to get out of there. It didn’t feel right.
He could go to the corner store that was near his house that had a great selection of weird gummy candies. He could also go for some pizza-flavoured chips. This was a stomach ache waiting to happen, but Remus wasn’t exactly known for self-control. He was known for taking dares from strangers and getting suspended for scaling the wall of the school just to see if he could.
He kicked at an acorn as he walked down the sidewalk with his hands in his pockets. He was going to eat an entire package of pizza chips and he knew it. And they always made his breath smell like throw up, which Remus thought was incredibly cool that the flavourings could taste so good and smell so bad as soon as they got wet.
No one else liked his pizza-chip breath, though. Actually, he was the only one he knew who liked those pizza chips. Sour cream and onion sounded good, too. He liked to eat them with the pizza chips. If you got the right brands of chips, it was like eating pizza and ranch. His mom might get mad at him for just leaving to buy snacks at the corner store, so he’d need a way to hide the bag from her.
Remus wished he knew how to reign himself in, he honestly did. He was always running his mouth and getting himself in trouble before he even knew what was happening. He knew he could be unpleasant, too. And he was worried about what he was capable of. Remus had some bad thoughts and dark knowledge and he didn’t want to act on them, but they were there. He knew how to do lots of bad things. In a weak moment he could, right? He didn’t want to… but…
He tried his hardest, but he wasn’t soft and cuddly. Roman’s friend Patton was sweet and nice and Remus would give anything just to sit with him and watch a movie sometime. Patton talked through movies, too. They could whisper to each other and split a bowl of popcorn. It would be amazing. Patton smelled like fabric softener and made Remus feel bubbly with delight.
But Remus unsettled Patton. He was too nice to say it, but Roman asked him to dial it back for Patton’s sake more than once. Logan at least was interested when Remus brought up interesting things that popped into his head. But Remus had seen Patton recoil before. And Roman would sigh and roll his eyes and tell Remus that they shouldn’t talk about that. Patton would apologize sometimes.
That generally made Remus feel worse because it’s not like he intended to freak out Patton, but it wasn’t Patton’s fault for not liking the subject matter, either. They just came out of Remus’s mouth and it was his inability to not run his mouth that was the cause. Remus pulled at the zipper a few times, feeling bad all over again for it. It had been a while since Remus’s last fuck up with Patton, but Remus never forgot. He knew he should stop pining pointlessly.
Someone was coming up on the sidewalk drew Remus’s eye and out of his self-pity pit. It looked like there was a fellow weirdo out tonight. Someone in a stylistic fox mask and a trench coat was coming down towards Remus on the sidewalk from over the small hill Remus had to walk up to get to the corner store. The outfit reminded Remus of a comic book villain. Actually, if they flipped the fox mask for a kabuki one, they’d basically be Yokai from Big Hero Six. Remus wondered what a cosplayer or whatever was doing on a nighttime walk, and also if Remus could join them. Remus had a mostly put-together Deathstroke cosplay in his closet he could go put on.
“Hey, can I ask what the costume is? It looks great,” Remus waved when he got close enough for the stranger to hear.
“Thanks, but this is just me,” The stranger shrugged, walking up to Remus. “How would you like to be someone else, though?” The stranger asked out of absolutely nowhere.
“I’d give anything,” Remus replied before he even considered it.
“Even your soul?” The stranger asked, and Remus stopped to weigh his options. What was Remus doing with his soul, anyway? “I kid, you don’t actually have to think about that,” The stranger chuckled out a deep rattling noise that shook their whole torso while they shook their head. “Nothing so permanent. How about some time?” They offered again, an amused smile barely peeking out from under the mask.
“Like sitting through a seminar or something?” Remus asked, shifting his weight on his feet and furrowing his eyebrows.
“No, that’s so dreadfully boring. Just a bit off the end for as long as you use what I’m offering. It’s a very fair trade,” They reassured him dismissively. This was red flag central for some grade-A weird, dangerous shit. Awesome. Not awesome? Remus wasn’t sure. He still wanted to be someone else.
“Oh, is this some deal with the devil shit?” Remus hummed curiously, still not sure how to parse this situation.
“No, no. Not affiliated. Just someone that gets called the devil often. I’m sure you can relate,” The masked stranger waved their hands.
“Boy, do I ever,” Remus agreed and crossed his arms. Remus’s stupid suggestions often got him in the hot seat. Not that he didn’t deserve it, but… “The exact amount of time? Not some stupid equation where I’m getting screwed like a prom date?” Remus did the smart thing and double-check for once instead of his impulsiveness taking the wheel.
“Damn, who are you dealing with usually? No, the exact amount of time. Second per second off the natural lifespan. If you started taking better care of yourself, you’d barely lose a thing,” They shrugged, speaking as if they didn’t understand the distrust.
“What’s in it for you?” Remus furrowed his eyebrows at the masked stranger, tapping his finger on his crossed arms.
“I get the time and the entertainment value of it all. The paranormal gets boring without doing this kind of thing every once in a while,” The stranger twisted their hand in the air and leaned on one leg. They put their hand on their hip and looked Remus up and down.
Remus was still suspicious about the whole thing. Something-something and deals with the fae? Not that this looked like a fairy or anything. Actually, how would Remus know how to identify the fae? The fae could look like anything, and Remus doesn’t have any iron on him.
“Iron does nothing to me, anyway. Soft and cuddly, right? Something Patton would like? I’ve got just the thing,” They held up a finger and a bright green ribbon materialized around it.
“Ah, didn’t realize you were listening,” Remus chuckled to himself. The stranger clearly knew what Remus wanted. He hoped that was the only thing they heard, though. “You know what, fuck me up, fam,” Remus declared, holding up his hand in the air triumphantly. The ribbon appeared in Remus’s hand and he gripped it enthusiastically.
“Just tie it onto yourself. Take it off to be human again, so put it somewhere easy to reach. And if it goes more than a small distance from you, it’ll show up in your hand again. This is only yours, so don’t bother trying to use it on someone else or giving it away. It’ll never work. If you try to show it off, it also won’t work, because that’s a fucking headache. You’ll have to change somewhere private. Have fun and try not to get yourself killed, please. That sucks for the both of us,” They sounded delighted while Remus looked at the silky ribbon. It was a bright green, like fresh leaves in spring and not subtle at all. Exactly his style. Remus shoved the ribbon in his pocket and bowed deeply, twisting his hand in front of him and stepping one leg to the side.
“So what does it do?” Remus asked, looking up to the masked stranger from his bow. They had lifted their mask just enough for Remus to make out a sharp-toothed grin as they faded from existence. Well, that was delightfully creepy. “Oh, points for style,” Remus hummed, and he made out the faintest deep cackle that also faded away.
What a nice… whatever that was. Mysterious entities that could read thoughts and create things from nothing were good in Remus’s book. He felt the ribbon between his fingers in his pocket. It felt pleasantly warm. He could find out what it did by putting it on. But this probably wasn’t private enough to use it. He was out in the open. Maybe it only mattered if people were looking at him? Well, he still had his chip-acquisition duty to get to.
Remus resumed his walk down the street. He couldn’t have anticipated a depression walk resulting in a deal with a demon or whatever, but it certainly was a better outcome than usual. He continued to feel the toasty ribbon in his pocket as he walked down the road. The possibilities filled his mind as he trekked on. Soft and cuddly, huh? Another Patton? That would be weird. A bear? Bears probably aren’t cuddly for very long. Remus would love to be a bear, though. Remus, but capable of fighting his impulsiveness? Unrealistic, even for magic.
Were there… weird magic people always listening to his thoughts? He really hoped not. Remus had some awful thoughts. Terrible, horrible, sickening thoughts. Thoughts he was always thankful that at least no one could hear. And someone heard. Magical beings probably wouldn’t listen all the time, right? If they were listening to all of his thoughts, they never would have talked with Remus. Or they would have treated Remus way worse. He also couldn’t imagine some weird magical entity wanting to listen to Remus thinking about what cooked stink bugs might smell like and what he would look like with a giraffe neck even when he wasn’t having shitty thoughts. Maybe they only listened out for random wishes. Was that a genie? No, there weren’t three wishes and the fox mask demon got something in return.
He should be more concerned about literally cutting his life short with a magic ribbon, but he wasn’t. Remus couldn’t think out that far. Every time he questioned if it was the right idea, he wondered what he got to turn into. It was something non-human, and it seemed like the random magic stranger didn’t like things that would make a big kerfuffle, so it was probably something that would blend in. It made the most sense with what they said. Unless it was all a trick, anyway.
Remus opened the convenience store door and made a bee-line to the snacks aisle. He grabbed some gummy brains and rats and examined the shelf for anything else. Candy moustaches? Sure, why not? Remus turned aisles to grab chips and headed up to the register, also tossing up a bottle of soda from a cooler near the register.
The cashier kept one eye on the TV while checking Remus out, not even acknowledging him. That was normal, at least. Remus waved after he picked up his bag of snacks, but the cashier was staunchly watching the TV again. He cracked open the bags of chips to snack on as he walked down the sidewalk, taking a handful of each flavour and shoving them all into his mouth at once.
It was a tasty combo. If Remus ate them down enough, he could roll the bags and make them easier to sneak past everyone, and since they were open, he’d have to eat them evenly, anyway. It was a win-win. Maybe not for Remus’s life span, but that was years out and Remus didn’t know how to even conceptualize that. He could start jogging or something. That’s healthy, right? Probably not enough to cancel out eating an entire bag’s worth of potato chips on the way home. But he already planned on doing that and just because he got a magic ribbon didn’t mean he needed to go changing his very important impulsive plans.
How did his lifespan work, anyway? Mm, chips. Remus decided he didn’t care. Was that an awful thought? Well, maybe as long as it was only Remus’s life span. It’s kind of like deciding to only eat fast food or something. He could ask the mysterious fox mask person if he ever saw them again, but otherwise, there wasn’t much else to do about it. He had more important things to do, like make sure he ate the same amount of chips from each bag.
The walk back to his house went much faster as Remus gorged himself on chips. He rolled up the remaining chips bags so they wouldn’t stick out of the shopping bag. Perfect, now he shouldn’t have to share if Roman saw and his mom won’t see and he won’t get in trouble. He still had a random grocery bag, but maybe luck would be on his side. He didn’t want to share any of this. It would throw off the balance of the bags.
The front door unlocked with a click and Remus stepped in, locking up behind himself. He glanced at the wall clock and realized the trip took a solid forty-five minutes longer than it should have. Does talking with weird demons warp time? He hoped he wasn’t in trouble. He could legally be out, but his mother didn’t like him wandering around at night getting in trouble. Remus walked down the hall, waving to his mom in the office. She didn’t even look up from her computer. What was she doing working that late, anyway?
Roman’s bedroom door was closed as he passed it. Remus sighed as he stepped into his bedroom and closed the door behind him. He had no reason to worry; it seemed. Nobody cared that he came home safe. Remus kicked off his shoes, which thudded on the floor, and dropped off the snacks bag on his desk.
Remus looked around the room and reached into his pocket. Well, it was the moment of truth. Did Remus hate being perceived in the manner he was so much he was willing to literally shorten his lifespan to be something else? He stared at the ribbon. Finding out what it was he could turn into would help him decide, right? This should be an important decision. Or something. He didn’t care anymore. Remus put his foot upon his desk chair and tied the ribbon into a bow on his ankle. As soon as the ribbons pulled into place, Remus felt overwhelmingly dizzy. Like he did a backflip into another dimension and out again.
His brain wasn’t working at first. There was so much new input he didn’t expect that it took him a moment to settle into even comprehending. Things were brighter and louder and stronger smelling. And… taller. Or he was significantly smaller. He did not know yet. Remus stumbled and fell over, reaching up for his head. There were no fingers, though, only a paw pad pressing into a damp nose. Huh. Remus closed his eyes and tried to get his bearings. He swore he had better senses and spatial awareness. Remus wobbled over to the floor-length mirror after he pulled himself up.
That was the largest cat he’d ever seen, staring back at him with bright spring-green eyes in the mirror. It was not a cat breed he’d recognized. He was thick with fluff and had tawny grey fur spotted with black tabby markings. Remus swished his tail and spun around, looking at himself before turning back to the mirror. A big fluffy cat certainly fit the bill. Remus wanted to pet himself, even.
Walking on all fours didn’t take any adjusting to after he gained his bearings, and there was no pile of clothes where he was, so magic must have been helping Remus to adjust. His tail was weirding him out, though. He could only control it if it consciously focused on it, but otherwise, it swished about without his input.
He licked his paw and ran it across the top of his head to make the big gray tuft there stick straight up. Other than being probably three times the size of his nana’s house cat, Remus was pretty cute. He sat on the floor and examined himself. He should turn back, right? No, he should check stuff out to help him decide. Remus headed around his room.
Things were bizarre at this height, but it was an interesting type of strange. Remus weaved under his desk chair and went under the desk. It was a nice hidey-hole as a cat. He disliked small spaces less; it was comfortable under here. He pushed his head on the corner of the desk and his eyes widened. Fuck, that feels nice. No wonder cats do it all the time. Remus pushed his head against the side of the desk a few more times.
Remus looked up at his loft bed. Could he get up there? Remus backed up across the room to get a running start and had to swerve to dodge the bed frame. Fuck, he was faster than he expected. He backed up to jump on top of his dresser instead and made it easily in a single leap. Remus primed himself for the wide gap at the edge of the dresser and bounded, landing easily in the middle of the bed. Wow, he could leap farther than he thought, too. It might have helped that he was big. He dug around in the sheets and curled up. Being a cat wasn’t the most fun possible choice when magic was involved, but he was loving every second of this.
He hopped down with silent ease off the bed and jumped up to work the knob. It took him multiple tries to grip it, but he got the door open and walked next door to Roman’s room. The door was closed, but that was no match for his monster kitty paws now that he knew the trick. Remus opened the door with ease and strutted into the bedroom. Roman was doing homework with his headphones on at the floor-height table. He bounced his knee while he sat bent over the textbook and his notebook, humming along to the music.
“Yeah?” Roman’s eyes moved to the door after a lag while he finished writing something. “Oh!” Roman chuckled to himself. “Did Remus bring you home or something?” Roman asked, holding out his hand. Remus walked up and sniffed Roman’s hand to keep up the act. It smelled strongly of pencil graphite and notebook paper, but there was a faint hint of some sugar cookies under that.
Remus bumped his head into Roman’s hand and Roman pet him. Remus thought it would feel more like a massage, but it was mostly that the motion was soothing. It made Remus feel safe and comfortable and loved. The petting was smooth and made his brain tingle in the best way. Remus flopped down on the floor next to Roman, who kept petting him. Roman leaned to look into the empty hallway.
“Re?” Roman called out, and Remus meowed in reply. “Hm. You’re very smart to get the door open, but stay out of my mom’s office. She won’t mind if you visit us, but she doesn’t like pets,” Roman warned Remus. He was well aware. Can’t please everyone. Remus laid his head against Roman’s leg and started purring. It must have been reflexive because he couldn’t stop even if he wanted to.
Roman continued petting Remus slowly while he went back to his homework. Remus’s ears twitched at the small noises the pencil made against the paper. He wouldn’t mind just sitting here doing homework quietly with Roman as a human, either. Maybe he could try again. But not right now. He couldn’t describe how happy he was to relax with Roman and get affection like this. It was honestly worth any minutes he lost off the end of his life.
What were minutes, anyway? They didn’t make a difference in the long run. Remus wasted minutes of his life on absolute shit. This was worth it. Remus closed his eyes and relaxed, listening to the muted sounds of Roman’s music and the rustling of pages while Roman worked. The time passed and Remus never second-guessed the use of his time again.
“Hey, kitty. I’ve got to get ready for bed. C’mon, let’s get you back to Remus,” Roman alerted him, standing up. Roman stretched out his legs. Remus meowed in objection and rubbed against Roman’s jeans. Roman moved past Remus and headed out his bedroom door into the hall. Remus followed, rolling his eyes. Roman pushed open Remus’s door the rest of the way and stuck his head in. “Remus—” Roman stopped talking and looked around the bedroom.
“Huh. I wonder where he is,” Roman hummed. He squatted down and signed, picking up Remus. “I guess I’ll take you back out myself,” Roman told him, and Remus meowed in objection again. “Sorry, kitty, we don’t have food or a bathroom for you. You can come to visit again, though. I don’t know exactly where Remus found you,” Roman explained evenly and headed downstairs. He unlocked the backdoor and dropped Remus outside. Remus spun around to glare at Roman before bolting back into the house.
“Cat, no!” Roman shot quietly, holding out his hand. Remus bounded up the stairs and rushed into his room. He couldn’t pull the door closed, so he rushed under his loft and yanked at the curtain before pulling off the ribbon with his teeth.
That dimension-hopping sensation overwhelmed Remus again, and he fell against his desk while the world did a triple somersault and took him with it. Remus ran his hand through his hair and exhaled hard, the air hissing through his teeth. He held his head with both hands and filled his lungs completely. The world didn’t smell as strong as a human. He let out the air slowly.
“Kitty,” Roman whispered, sticking his head into Remus’s room. “Kitty, where are you?”
“I’ll handle it, Ro,” Remus informed him, pulling open the curtain on his loft bed to look at Roman.
“Oh! I didn’t see you in there. Cute cat. It’s almost bedtime, so hurry,” Roman waved and stood up straight.
“G’night,” Remus waved back.
“Oh. Yeah. You too,” Roman sighed and turned into the hall. Remus slowly pulled himself up to his feet. The dizziness was all gone, but he was still disoriented from the missing senses and the height. Remus was so tall. How did he never notice?
Remus needed some contingency stuff. He pulled a fashion scarf out of his dresser and tied it onto the doorknob so Remus could pull his door closed. Well, there was still the potential of getting locked out if he left and couldn’t turn back… Remus glanced at the window. It’s the second story, so it’s not a big deal if he left it unlocked, right? Remus didn’t know how he’d get up there just yet, but maybe he could jump from the tree? The gap was wide for a human, but as a cat, he should be okay. Maybe he could change back and move some stuff around in the backyard. Remus unlocked the window with a small nod to himself.
He started to get ready for bed but ended up glancing at the window again. Maybe he should make sure he can make the gap, right? Remus kicked off his socks and opened up the window enough to get out, pulling out the screen and leaning it against the wall. He crawled through and sat on the slanted roof and closed the window again. He took a deep breath of the night air and looked up at the moon.
A good night to prowl. He tied the ribbon on his ankle and turned into a cat again. It was much easier this time, though it was still extremely disorienting. Remus waited to regain his sense of up and down before standing up and walking along the ledge of the roof towards the big honkin’ American Elm in the backyard. Roman and Remus’s tire swing still hung from a low, thick branch.
Remus primed himself and took a running leap of faith towards the Elm. He soared across the gap easily and ended up overshooting just barely able to sink his claws in another branch in time and avoided hitting one that was on his lower left and tumbled to the ground. Remus scrambled to pull himself up and took a deep breath for his pounding heart.
He looked down, and it looked like he was miles from the ground. He suddenly understood how cats got caught in trees because this was freaky. Remus knew intellectually that he could hop down to a lower branch or jump for the tire swing. The branch he was on didn’t allow for much mobility, so he made a hail-mary for the tire swing, landing in the net over the hole and getting his paw caught while the tire swing swung from the motion. Remus hissed at the net and pulled his foot out carefully before hopping down to the ground.
Well. That was scary-awesome. But Remus was a free cat right now who happened to be able to jump farther than Remus could even comprehend. Remus made a run for the fence and used his back claws to propel himself up the fence and bounded over easily. He jumped down into the grass and ran for the sake of it.
All the fun of running away without actually doing so. There was a playground they used to go to as kids that Remus wanted to check out. It was long since not fun anymore, but as a cat, who knows? Remus wanted to feel like a kid again. He was too amped up to sleep anyway, and he was once again at a height he could enjoy a playground at and it was all he could think of.
He bounded across yards and down the lane. The public park was between Remus’s neighbourhood and the apartment complex next door, so Remus had to make two blocks on much smaller feet. He was moving much faster, though, and had more endurance. He enjoyed the wind in his face as he ran down the lane.
The playground’s parking lot was lit, but the playground itself sat shrouded in darkness. That was no problem for Remus’s cat eyes, though. They adjusted almost instantaneously as he stepped into the shade and walked into the park. The playscape was probably not comfortable on his paws, but there were other things to check out, still. Remus walked past the play structure. The web might be fun. That was still kind of fun as an adult. The park was technically closed, though, and he couldn’t play on it while kids were here. He could hurt one of them or someone would think he’s a pervert, and he’d get in trouble and go to jail.
Remus wasn’t alone out here. There sat a person who looked Remus’s age sitting on the swings. Their head hung limply, and they held onto the chain at eye height. They were barely swinging at all. It was more like a minor despondent sway. They looked really miserable. Remus couldn’t swing as a cat, but he also was curious about the other stranger. One stranger tonight gave Remus magic powers, so random night strangers were much more interesting now.
That fact alone made Remus also wanted to return the favour to the universe if he could. The fox-masked being cheered Remus up. Maybe Remus could cheer up the sad person who appeared to be 70% hoodie by volume and kicking at the pebbles under the swings. Remus walked up in front of the person and sat down, meowing. Their head was down and their hood was up, so Remus couldn’t see their face.
The stranger didn’t look up from soundlessly staring down at nothing. Remus stepped closer, meowing again. He looked up at the stranger’s face from the ground. They looked empty. Their eyes were unfocused and their expression was somewhere between numb and desolate. Remus meowed louder, and the stranger blinked. They recoiled their head and rubbed their eyes, blinking a few more times before their eyes focused enough to notice Remus.
“Oh. Hey,” The stranger greeted Remus. Remus rubbed against the person’s legs. He hoped they weren’t allergic. They watched Remus weave around their legs for what felt like an eternity, but they never sniffled, so it seemed okay for now. “You’re really friendly, huh?” The person reached down their hand and Remus bumped into their hand right away.
The sad person let out a weak chuckle through their nose and scratched at Remus’s chin. Remus froze for a moment and pushed down into the stranger’s hand to help them scratch harder. That was better than pets. That made Remus feel like his entire body was tingling with elation. The stranger stopped scratching and sat up on the swing. But Remus wasn’t having that. He jumped up and deposited himself right on the person’s lap.
“Woah,” The stranger seemed amused and went back to gently scratching behind Remus’s ear. Remus purred like a motorboat idling on a lake. One that might explode and kill twenty bystanders and sink a dinghy named Frank. Remus’s back leg twitched automatically as he settled down. He was probably vibrating the entire stranger he purred so hard.
When the stranger stopped again, Remus meowed and licked at their hand, sitting limply next to Remus again. “You’re kind of needy,” The stranger sounded amused, switching to petting Remus with their other hand instead. Remus carefully laid down and licked the stranger’s hand again.
Remus liked it when cats did this, so he hoped this person would, too. They reached up to rub their eyes again and paused, sniffing the air. They sniffed again and tried smelling where Remus licked them.
“Fuck, cat, that’s noxious. What the hell did you eat?” They snickered, putting their hand back down. Remus tried to say ‘chips’, but a weird meow came out instead, so he rested his head on the stranger’s hand.
“Do you belong to someone?” The person asked curiously. They sat up more and looked around the area. They dug around at the thick fur on Remus’s neck and hummed in dissatisfaction. “A nice cat like you deserves a good home. It’s not safe out here for you,” They shook their head and went back to petting them. “But thanks for visiting,” They smiled down at Remus. “I’ve got school, I should get going,” They sounded sad, but Remus jumped off and spun around to sit and watch them get up.
The stranger dragged themselves off the swing and waved to Remus. Remus meowed and waved a paw back, which made the stranger give a small smile in return. Remus had school too, so he should probably get home. But he got them to smile, so it satisfied the need to do something nice for the world in return as he bounded down the street back towards his house.
personal taglist: @elizabutgayer @ollyollyoxinfree
The Taglist Repository (ask to be removed):
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Remus-Centric: @thatgaydemigodnerd @aceawkwardunicorn @hekking-happy-nonsense
Hurt/Comfort:@callboxkat @nonasficcollection @supernovainthenightsky @evoodo123 @idont-freaking-know @hekking-happy-nonsense @cottonwoolsocks @aceawkwardunicorn @somehow-i-got-an-account @enby-ralsei
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Put Me In a Movie
Keanu Reeves x Reader (A/n- Did I really just get the name of my own fic wrong? If you saw it, for the sake of us both, pretend you didn’t)
Summary Prologue 1 2 3 4
Chapter 5- Skewed Clarity
That night, Y/n had gone back to her room, dried off and plopped back into bed, more awake and before and irritatingly sexually frustrated. She’d tried dealing with the situation herself, but her efforts were fruitless and unsatisfying; her fingers were small in comparison to Keanu and all in all, she just couldn’t sink into the moment. For the briefest second, as Y/n had laid a top her unmade bed, the softness of the fluffy duvet caressing her skin, she had considered shrugging on her robe and trekking to Keanu’s room, uncaring if he was awake or not and demanding that he’d finish what he started, but Y/n had quickly deduced that she’d need a few drinks well to muster up that kind of courage. Besides, she wasn’t desperate. It was just a matter of politeness really, how dare he leave her like that, with silky moisture between her thighs and an ache to be touched?
After several failed efforts, or perhaps it was just one long one, Y/n had decided that she was through for the night, opting to quickly wash up, get back into her pajamas and crawl back into bed. It had taken almost two hours after that for her eyes to even start drooping and when Y/n finally fell into a fragile slumber, it was past five am.
There wasn’t enough caffeine in the world to rectify the heaviness in Y/n’s eyes and as hard as she tried to stifle them, a yawn would escape her lips every few minutes or so. Figures that the night that she’d had the worst sleep of her life would lead to the first time they’d be filming at seven am.
Really, she blamed Keanu. Who, coincidentally looked far more refreshed than she felt. Maybe it was irrational, but Y/n couldn’t help but be a little annoyed with him. First, he’d been on her mind so much that she couldn’t fall asleep, then he’d interrupted her alone time and gotten her worked up, just so she couldn’t fall asleep again.
Walking from her trailer, already in costume with her hair and make up done, Y/n tried to chug yet another cup of scalding hot, black coffee before she got to set. It burnt her tongue and the bitter taste was the reason she usually added milk and sugar, but still, she needed to be as energetic as possible, and if her sixth cup of coffee for the morning was what it took, then so be it.
They were shooting in the large parking lot that morning, which meant that Y/n would have to pass through the studio, to get to the open area at the front, where everything was probably already set up. It was the kind of walk that she ordinarily took with Keanu, but alas, Y/n had been avoiding him since their initial though very brief run in at hair and make-up. She had been heading in just as he was opening the door to leave. Small talk had been a must, though neither of them brought up their earlier encounter, what was there to say anyway? Y/n didn’t know if it had been a joke, if Keanu had actually intended to make her feel ‘some kind of way’, or if all in all, she was reading too much into it. It was awkward and Y/n hated awkward, she hated not knowing and she desperately wished that things with Keanu weren’t so confusing.
The studio was quieter than it had been most days, though, that should have been expected considering they were meant to spend the next eight hours or so working outside. Jackson had predicted that in one long take, they could cover the entire scene in just about three hours, but that wasn’t accounting for the human factors; mishaps and bloopers.
By the time Y/n was spilling out into the large, outdoor set up, the morning sun was stinging her eyes again and there was an energetic buzz in the air that had been absent from inside. Y/n began wondering if she’d be able to keep up with the way she was feeling. Why hadn’t she just downed some cough syrup and called it a night?
“Hey,” an unsteady baritone broke Y/n’s thoughts and she immediately clutched her chest, jumping in surprise when he gently touched the center of her back.
“Fuck,” the fright was enough to wake her up a bit, though it didn’t last long. Keanu came to stand next to her, closer than he did before things got complicated and Y/n had a feeling that it was intentional. She could smell the coolness of his cologne, mixing with the enthralling aromas of ground roast and cigarette. Y/n hated when he stood that close, it always got her flustered.
Though, she didn’t want him to move either
“You scared the shit outta me,” she sighed, letting her hand return to her side. Her gaze once again to the ongoings before them, not wanting to lock with his chocolate orbs for too long. Why couldn’t she ever successfully avoid him?
Keanu chuckled beside her, the throaty sound like water over rocks; smooth and soothing, “Sorry.” He seemed totally unaffected by their run in from the night before but Y/n couldn’t tell if he was faking it or if by some hellish miracle, his short term memory had been erased. It was bad enough that it had cost her a few hours of sleep, she couldn't be the only one with that memory. “I hate to be that person, but you look terrible. Everything okay?”
Scoffing, Y/n folded her arms and rolled her eyes. As if he didn’t know! “I’m fine,” she mumbled, slightly begrudged. With the toe of her block heeled ankle boot, Y/n kicked a rogue pebble, watching as it skipped out of her foot’s reach. The shoe scraped noisily as she dragged her foot back childishly, “Is that what you came over here to tell me?”
Unstirred by her mood, Keanu chortled again, “Somebody’s cranky.” Again, Y/n rolled her eyes, preferring to wallow in her sour, awkwardness instead of asking him anything about the previous night. When Y/n didn’t respond, his grin softened and his words were twisted by flirty undertones, “This is about last night, isn’t it? Don’t tell me a few little words made you all pissy,” Keanu’s breath was hot on her ear as he leaned in and Y/n hoped the set photographer wasn’t nearby to capture the redness painting her cheeks.
Gritting her teeth, she finally turned to face him, her hair whipping his shoulder as she did, “How dare you? First its oh Y/n this was a mistake, then you’re all up in my face, with your stupid smile and your good looks, telling me that you can fuck me real good and then you’re walking away. And-” the ‘v’ in Y/n’s forehead became more pronounced and her mild irritation turned into flustered anger, “Are you laughing at me?”
Tilting his head to the side, “My good looks?” He quoted, taunting her and Y/n groaned, frustrated. Still though, Keanu didn’t look like he had any intention of ceasing his quiet chuckles. Slipping his hands into the pockets of his character’s battered jeans, Keanu dragged his lower lip through his teeth, “I’m sorry,” he looked down for a minute, and Y/n could feel his eyes travel appreciatively up her body as he raised his head again, “You’re just….really fucking cute when you’re mad.”
“See?” Y/n huffed pointedly. It was so hard to tell what they were doing, what he was doing. Was he actually flirting, or was he just plain out fucking with her? “This is too confusing Keanu. You’re just…..”
It didn’t take too long after that for Keanu to lapse into his usual seriousness, hissing in hopes that no one would hear, “You think you’re not confusing too? One minute you acting like you regret what we did and avoiding me like the fucking plague the next we’re in a pool together and you’re basically asking for it.”
“Do not put this on me,” her finger jabbed into his chest and Keanu caught her wrist, his fingers easily circling it with room to spare, “This is not my fault.”
“I never said it was anybody’s fault,” Keanu countered, still holding onto her hand. It had been so long since he’d last touched her, in any way, he’d missed the softness of her skin and Y/n his calloused touch, “I’m just saying, maybe neither of us are as blameless as we want to be.”
His admission left Y/n scrambling for words. The truth was that Keanu was right, they were both active participants, worse yet, Y/n would be lying if she said she wanted to stop. The thoughts of Keanu were consuming, her quelled longing for him was hard to deny even to herself. Swallowing thickly, Y/n watched as Keanu’s grip slipped from her wrist to maintain a gentle hold on her fingers. They had forgotten their surroundings a while ago, not noticing if anyone was looking at them. “This is…..” Y/n didn’t know what it was, and she couldn’t really think of it while he was standing that close.
Keanu bent his head, a contagious smile curving his lips and a mischievous glint in his eyes, “I-”
“Places everyone!” Jackson snapped and they sprang apart. Keanu passed one had over his hair, the other going to his back pocket, while Y/n, who didn’t really know what to do with her hands, immediately grabbed the hem of her leather jacket, sucking in a breath.
Stuttering, Y/n’s lips quivered, about to speak when, in a frenzy a hair and make-up team surrounded her and Keanu, picking and pulling at their outfits, freshening their make-up and giving them one last look over before the scene. There was a faceless hand in her hair, fiddling with her extensions while someone else passed a powder brush on her cheek, “Can we….?”
Meanwhile, there was a woman freshening a cut on Keanu’s jaw while two others gave his outfit gentle tugs to ensure perfect placement, “Yeah,” he assured her hurriedly, hoping that the aids wouldn’t suspect anything.
By the end of the day, all Y/n wanted to do was face flop into her bed, and she was pretty sure that she could sleep then. Her caffeine high had kicked in right in the thick of their first scene of the day; where her and Keanu’s characters were supposed to be ‘ambushed’ by operatives and subsequently engaged in a shootout, where she’d acquire ‘minor wounds’. It had taken three takes to get the end right, but just as midday approached they did. Afterwards, she had taken her lunch break while Keanu shot a brief solo scene and then vise versa.
They weren’t done for the day until the sun was resigning past the distant horizon and nothing further could be done outside. Thank heavens they weren’t needed on set again until past lunch the next day.
As she packed some things into her handbag, Y/n could feel the wear of her muscles with each movement and the heaviness of her eyes every time she blinked. The crash after the caffeine had worn off had hit her hard and if there were something bigger than a small sofa in her trailer, she might have showered and slept right there.
With a huff, Y/n zipped the bag and reached for her coat draped over a throw pillow, when someone knocked on the metal front door calling her attention, “Y/n?”
Even if they’d spent most of the day together, they hadn’t gotten back to their earlier conversation, though Y/n didn’t know what she’d say if they had. Still, she answered the door, hoping he’d be braver than she was.
Keanu had absolutely no idea what he was going to say. But nonetheless, his anxious feet had led him to Y/n’s trailer, and possibly, by his fist’s own admission, he hit the door three times. It was hardly his best idea; to show up at her trailer, without a clue on what he was about to say all while knowing that Y/n must have been dog tired. Though, he was already there, so the least he could do was rack his brain for a quick remedy.
When she pulled the door open, standing before the entrance looking a bit worse than she had that morning, Keanu frowned, that was definitely the worst timing in the history of things being timed. “Hey,” he waved briefly, only coming up the two metal steps when she waved him inside. Upon seeing her bag, packed on the counter of the small kitchenette, Keanu scrubbed on hand over his groomed beard, stuffing the other into his pocket, “Is this a bad time?” Maybe if she said yes then he could return to his uncomfortable state of not knowing, trying to figure things out until he, well, knew.
But alas, there was nothing as unforgiving and he internally cursed when she quickly quipped back, “No, I don’t have anywhere to be.” With a tired huff, Y/n dropped onto the small, rich brown, leather sofa, patting the spot next to her, “What’s up?”
“I……” What was up? Quickly, he scanned his brain for anything useful, though eventually came up short and let his mouth go on autopilot, “I wanted to talk about this morning, about us.”
Keanu couldn’t help but smile lightly when she absently scrunched her nose, testing the word on her tongue as if it were foreign, “Us?” Sighing, Y/n shifted in the sofa, bracing an elbow on the back cushion and pulling one leg under herself, “Is there an us?”
“I don’t know,” he cleared his throat, speaking as the ideas came, with no room for thinking them over or polishing them up, “But I think at this point it's more there than isn’t, if you know what I mean.”
It took a minute, and Y/n seemed to be mulling on it, but eventually, she gestured her agreement, moistening her succulent pink lips before, “Yeah, yeah, I guess you’re right.”
“Right,” Keanu stalled. He wasn’t good at that, letting people in and letting himself feel. It wasn’t like he couldn’t, he could, he did. Even if it was all a jumbled mess, he did feel something, or rather several things for Y/n. Things he couldn’t quite decipher, but also things he wasn’t ready to lose. But it didn’t make sense and Keanu didn’t know what to do with those things. Besides, his relationship track record had never been on for the ages, he was always giving too much or too little, typically the former; a commitment-phobe at heart.
Y/n looked at him expectantly and Keanu felt terrible for making her wait, but he really didn’t have a clue on what he should say next. How could you explain what you felt if you didn’t understand it?
Maybe he didn’t need words.
Swallowing thickly, Keanu reached out, letting his thumb caress Y/n’s jaw, awed at how she leaned into his touch.
Maybe it wasn’t just a sex thing. Maybe it was something more, merely covered up by something primal, because still there with Keanu, Y/n didn’t feel they way she had in the pool, or that day after their sex scene. Instead, she felt a fullness in her chest, it was warm, and she was very surprised that a feeling like that could be physical. Her heart didn’t beat a mile a minute, her palms weren’t sweaty and she wasn’t anxious about his next move. For the first time in two weeks, she knew exactly what to expect from Keanu.
It didn’t feel much bigger than their friendship though, it was merely an extension. It was the tranquility he brought, paired with the warmth of his touch. The thought was barely there and fleeting, but somewhere in the back of Y/n’s mind registered that Keanu’s was completely unlike Luke’s touch; a couple fingers on her cheek able to do more for her than arms around her waist.
Intently, Y/n watched as Keanu leaned forward, licking his lips just before he laid them on hers. Coffee, cigarettes and something sweet. The taste was one she quickly committed to memory. Slowly, Y/n tilted her head, allowing him better access, letting her eyes slip closed. One hand moved to cup his cheek, the rough hair tickling her palm.
What she felt right then was unmatched, the completeness morphing with a sense of serenity. Like the first breath of spring air or sipping chilled Rosé in the heat of summer, refreshing and light. The sensation in her chest spread, traveling to her finger and toes while the inner working of her head simply stopped. It didn’t matter what the road to lead them to that moment looked like, how much hurt there had been, confusion, despair and anguish, gone, just for a few savory minutes, letting them be in their own little bubble.
Butterfly wings fluttering against his lips, that was the only thing Keanu could liken that kiss too. It was so unlike anything they had shared before then and Keanu felt as if that was the last thing he ever did before he died, it would be okay, because even if he couldn’t say it, he’d shown her. Shown Y/n that she wasn’t just a body to him, that every touch he’d laid on her wasn’t a mistake, it could never be.
What they had, whatever it was, was still in its infancy, but he liked it. Keanu wanted to show it off and protect it all at once. Keanu had always been afraid of relationships, and he could tell that Y/n was the same- there had always been an understated caution that hung in her words when spoke of Luke, like she was never really sure that sharing herself outside the realm of what was tangible was what she wanted. No doubt, they both had their flaws, but maybe, they could try together. Keanu wasn’t sure if it was what he wanted, but by then, he didn’t think he could firmly say he was sure of anything. Anything except for the fact that kissing Y/n felt right.
When they broke, their breaths were still shared for a minute, Y/n and Keanu smiled softly. “Is this what you want?” Y/n’s voice was meek and unsteady, she didn’t even know if it was what she wanted.
Humming, Keanu lingered on the question for a minute, relaxing into the cushions. Acting on the urge, he pulled Y/n against his chest, her ear over his heartbeat. The blurry thoughts clouded his vision and Keanu knew his answer would change everything between them forever. But arguably, that had already happened.
Suddenly plume of fear bloomed in the center of his chest; fear that he would hurt her, fear that they were too different, but most prominently, the paralyzing fear that she would hurt him. If Keanu let her in, chances are, he wouldn’t want her to leave. But it happened, it always did, they always left.
Then again, what was life without fear? What was happiness without suffering?
“I…..” Keanu sighed at the way Y/n relaxed against him, absently tangling his fingers in the ends of her hair, his glazed eyes trained forward, “I think.....I think that maybe we could try. I mean, this is so confusing, and we didn’t exactly have the best start, but maybe it could work. I don’t really know how to do this,” he chuckled, usually asking a woman out came on instinct; Keanu would just do it. But the effort needed weight with Y/n, she deserved more than just a random offer for coffee, they got coffee together all the time. Keanu was about to start tripping over his words again when Y/n shifted against him, burrowing her nose deeper into his chest, “What are you-”
All it took was one look down for Keanu to realize that Y/n was far gone, and probably hadn’t heard a word of his ramblings. Huffing his quiet laughter, he shook off his thoughts, tightening his hold on her waist as he leaned his head back. Maybe he’d have something more worthwhile to offer her the next morning.
Tagging- @harrisongslimited @paanchu786 @thesadvampire @fanficsrusz @fickensteinn @ladyreapermc @babygirltaina @septimaseverina @snatchedbylele @omg-imagine @21stcenturyyfoxx @magnificentclodpiebanana
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i’ve had a love of my own [ch 1]
Summary: Despite everything Neil could’ve imagined for his life, he never thought he’d be here, finally giving the world the interview they’ve always wanted.
It’s been decades, but even with his numerous accolades and sports wins, he finds that they’re the least important thing about his life.
Neil can’t help but laugh. Andrew would be so annoyed if he were here.
Of course, Neil only wants to talk about him, and the life they spent together.
Tags: interviews, post canon, major character death but not how u think I swear lol, neil is an old man retelling his memories about andrew, cheesy romance, post retirement, see more tags on ao3
Read on ao3!
Neil pricks himself on the old Palmetto pin as he fixes it to his collar, jabbing the same spot on his thumb he hit just a week before.
He hardly winces at the feeling these days, and for a long time, Matt joked about how he really couldn't go a day without attracting some form of violence. Neil smiles at the thought, because it's far from the truth. He stands by the claim he never asked for fights, simply had no problem finishing them.
"You mean letting me finish them," Andrew would quip, and they'd go back and forth all over again in a never-ending argument. It's so never-ending, Neil goes through the motions of it even now, however many decades later.
This pin tends to start it, since it's the only remotely dangerous thing he owns now. The orange is still bright and obnoxious, with criss crossing Exy racquets in a bright white. He's memorized the raised edges, tilted from old age. The once silver backing has rust spots, but no one ever sees that part. It has its reputation intact, and Neil smiles sardonically.
It's not the only thing that's been worn down, but he likes to think he doesn't look as bad as he could too. Laughing at his own joke, he taps the pin lightly. It's apparently vintage now, according to Allison, since the new Palmetto merch has drifted into neon territory.
Neil is glad he kept his own. It's especially important today, he thinks, that he shows as much fondness for the past as possible. Though, it's not for his sake. His room is nothing but littered with the tokens of the past.
Sighing, he stares fondly out across the living room, the walls haphazardly decorated with old, signed jerseys his friends used to wear. He has one from each of their old teams, but picked his favorites to go up on the wall. The rest sit in storage, ready to be auctioned off whenever he decides living is too much of a chore. Above the mantle, Andrew's racquet from his last team hangs in a shadow box. Then below it, framed pictures which Neil tries to rotate as best he can, some of them shitty ones converted from his phone camera. Mostly, they're of his Foxes at various points in their lives. The only two photos which stay the same are the one he took with Andrew and Kevin at the Olympics, and the snapshot of him and Andrew at the airport in his first year at Palmetto.
If he had to catalog the room, that would barely scratch the surface. He's pages away from mentioning Nicky's terribly made mugs, Betsy's first editions, and cookie tins filled with postcards Katelyn and Aaron sent twenty years ago.
Most of the time, the untidy collection of junk surrounding him is a comfort. It makes the small apartment feel like home, or as close as he can get when he's by himself. He swears some of the items still carry the unique scents of grass stains and floor polish, or Allison's perfume and the glitter glue from Dan and Matt's kids.
When that fails him, the candle he has in every room does the trick to fill in the blanks. Andrew used the same scent for over half their life together: breakfast pancakes. It's sickly sweet and stains the furniture, and Neil loves nothing more than to bury his face in the cushions after a day of having them lit.
These are the things that ground him, that keep him in place, but today he feels fidgety for the first time in years. He shouldn't be, he thinks, laughing to himself. He planned this after all, it's just...
Well, he's never been the best at talking to people.
There's a knock at his door, and the cuckoo clock on the wall (shockingly, that one is his fault) tells him it's right on schedule. Neil sighs, slipping his feet into the white slippers beneath him. "Come in, Sydney."
The nurse on his floor opens the door to his apartment with a smile, too fresh faced and early for this time of day. She’s young, and she's always been a bit cheery for his taste, but she reminds him of Katelyn and he allows it. In the last few years, when Andrew's migraines prevented him from reading, she'd bring him audiobook gift cards.
She smiles bright, and he gives her that look for her to cut it out. At this point, she's less put off by it and more amused. He only tells her to save the smiles because if she doesn't she'll have wrinkles like him years from now. He hates how much he sounds like Allison.
Neil hardly looks in the mirror anymore, but this morning he put in some effort. He looks as perpetually tired as he always looked back in the day, except now his eye bags are accompanied by wrinkles that form their own topographical map on his face.
At least he didn't lose all his hair.
The only thing is his blue eyes are as piercing as ever, so coupled with the grandpa look, he's quite intimidating. Not that he needs to be, but it's nice to feel a little capable when he can barely walk by himself anymore.
"Morning, Mr. Josten," Sydney greets, untucking the wheelchair from behind the door and pushing it over to him. He makes sure to grab Andrew's favorite crochet blanket. He hates messing with it, but he thinks the smell of nicotine it carries will help him today. Refresh his memory.
Neil grumbles, but lets her help him into the chair. He has on his good lounge pants, without holes, and his old Palmetto sweater. "I told you years ago I hate being called that."
"Because it makes you feel old," she jabs, teasing lightly. Even still, she's gentle when she places the blanket over his lap and hands him his glasses. "I have to keep you in line somehow."
As she wheels him out of his room, he starts fidgeting again. He's used to exploring the luxury nursing home on his own time, not because he has somewhere to be. He hasn't had somewhere to be since...well, he hates thinking about that, lest he run into a memory that hurts more than helps.
Today isn't the day for that.
Some other, more able-bodied residents pass by him on foot, waving amicably and knowing better than to expect a wave back. Shockingly, he's well liked here, probably because he doesn't have rowdy grandkids who break the peace. Plus, he's pretty sure some of them are old fans.
Sydney leans down as they pass through the common area and into one of the meeting rooms, the spotless linoleum floor throwing him off as usual. He never would've picked a place so expensive and fancy for himself, but Andrew was always someone with classy tastes. "Ready for today?"
At the reminder, Neil wrings his fingers together. Not advised by his doctor, but fuck that guy. "As ready as I'll ever be," he says, glaring at the glass doors ahead. Sydney laughs, placing him at the end of a large table. The meeting room creeps him out, since it's mostly used for family meetings or will planning appointments. Sound proof, silent.
"Oh hush, you're a famous athlete, I'm sure you've faced worse," she chides, pouring him a glass of water without any ice. Because he's a fiend. Neil rolls his eyes; she has no idea. He's threatened countless reporters before for stepping even a toe out of line, but some recent college grads from an indie publication are making him sweat more than an Exy game. Sydney makes a show of whispering behind her hand. "Besides, I heard from Gabe at the front desk they look terrified, so go easy on them, yes? Can't have another cafeteria incident."
Ugh, not that again.
"You have no witnesses," he waves off, leaning back in his seat while Sydney sets the break in place. Only then is he hit with a wave of calm, fondness even. His quivering hands curl as best they can in the blanket, the ghost of a grip, and he smiles out across the room. Ah, he can't be doing this already, but it's hard to help. He itches for the smell of a cigarette, a press on the back of his neck. Closing his eyes, he tries his best to feel it. "Besides, once they know why they're really here they won't be nearly so stressed. Hell, they might even be disappointed."
He tries not to grimace at that, but for the time he's giving them and the paperwork he made them sign, they're going to sit and listen to his old man ravings all day or so help him--
He feels a hand brush against his, and when he looks Sydney is there. She squeezes his fingers in hers, smile fond and weighed down with a sadness so foreign, he nearly regrets telling her to cut it out. But no, he understands. He's the one who understands the most. She grazes the fabric of the blanket as she pulls away, breathing in the same smoke he can for just a moment. "No, I don't think that's possible."
She doesn't give Neil time to doubt himself, not that he could. He can never doubt anything when it comes to Andrew, no matter how much the blond secretly doubted about himself. Neil always teased him for that, and his living oxymoron ways.
Neil's biggest goal of the day is to piss off Andrew's ghost as much as humanly possible, and his grin is nearly splitting at the thought. Fine, mission active.
"Good luck!" Sydney calls as she leaves the meeting room, and he watches her gesture to his guests once they arrive through the glass doors.
Oh shit, they really do look terrified.
The two interviewers see him through the door and Neil can only assume they shit a brick. They're young, can't be more than a few years out of university, dressed way too professionally for someone as uncaring as Neil. They could've shown up in clown costumes for all he cared, at least he would've gotten a good laugh.
The young man fumbles with the door and his companion rushes forward a little too fast before correcting herself. Jeez.
Neil does his best to hide his laugh, not that he's ever been polite. It's more...
Their terror is Neil's fault. He started declining interviews soon after he retired, letting his name and lifestyle fade into mystery and speculation with the public. Kevin had not been happy about it, since to this day he and Thea are in the public eye, commentating on Exy games, doing talk shows, helping curate museums, blah, blah, blah...
Neil didn't have time for that.
He never thought he'd be okay with slipping back into unknown status after so many years of being seen, being cheered for, but when the time came it was an easy choice. Andrew made it so. Neil had his time to be free, to do whatever he wanted and play the sport he loved. But ultimately, when he no longer could, fucking off to do whatever he wanted with Andrew sounded way better than dealing with reporters and overzealous fans.
Just because he became an unknown though, doesn't mean he faded into obscurity. According to Allison, his life has been quite a hot button issue in the community for over a decade. People want to know where he's been, what he did during those years, how he looks back on the past, everything. It's been obnoxious.
Popular sports magazines and large publications have practically been clawing for a piece of him for years, and he's never given in no matter how many fruit bouquets they sent or how many checks they tried to write him. Though, one almost got him purely because they kept sending gourmet chocolates, and if Andrew was a glutton before, old age only made it worse.
So, Neil Josten is back to being a subject of interest for some reason, someone people want to know everything about. For him to randomly call up a dying indie magazine and offer them full rights to an interview under his specific terms surely threw the sports world into a fucking whirl.
He's going to share what he wants to share. Nothing more, nothing less.
"Mr. Jo--" The first reporter clears his throat, passing his notepad and phone over to his other hand before outstretching one to Neil. "Mr. Josten. It's such an honor to meet you, um, wow. I'm Blake, and this is Rayah. We're so grateful for being granted the opportunity to interview you. You're a legend!"
Neil stares at the outstretched hand like he doesn't know what to do with it, and as much as he does know what's expected of him, part of his hesitation is equal parts his disinterest and the fact he doesn't talk to anyone but his remaining family these days. Well, and Sydney.
Blake swallows and drops his hand, surely admonishing himself for his own stupidity.
Rayah saves him. "Um, we really are appreciative, sir," she says, laying out some notepads and setting up her recorder. Old school, Neil appreciates it. It's better than cameras and microphones. "We're still in shock honestly. We were theorizing on why you picked us the entire drive up here!"
"Neil is fine, and don't bother with small talk I know it's not why you're here," he says then, smiling at her words. They both flinch, taken aback. He's not sure why they'd be expecting a Kevin Day type. He has a record for being too blunt and argumentative for his own good. He's right though; they're here for answers, not discussions on how he's doing or what he does for fun in his not so humble nursing home. In much the same vein, he promised honesty, so he'll give it from the start. "I picked you precisely because you're unknown and failing."
They freeze, but they're clearly not Foxes. If they were, they'd immediately get indignant and glare, hold themselves back from punching a helpless old man. Oh, those were the good ol' days.
When Rayah fumbles for a response, a logic, Neil simply shrugs. "I like the underdogs."
He doesn't intend it to be, but it's a tension breaker. The stiffness in the reporters' shoulders deflate with a laugh, and they finally get back to organizing themselves without looking like they want to run for the hills and beg ESPN to take over.
"As your history suggests," Blake jokes, and Neil rewards him with a grin, tapping his Foxes pin.
He doesn't mention the fact Andrew would've never spoken to him had he gone to some trashy magazine, and that Andrew was always a bit of a rebel himself, though he hated to admit to any kind of urge that didn't involve Neil, sweets, or fancy cars.
Neil takes the free moment to wrap his blanket around his shoulders, letting the ingrained smell of ash permeate around him. Much better, he can think so much clearer like this.
As they finish setting up and take their seats across from him, Blake taps his pencil against the rim of his notepad. It looks like he almost wants to launch back into small talk, but thinks better of it when he remembers Neil's words. Considerate, a good listener. Just what Neil needs today.
Blake clears his throat, cutting through the bullshit. "Now, we know you have specific terms for how you want to lead this interview, which we're completely fine with. Wherever you want to start, we'll follow."
And with that, they sit back, unsure but ready to catch whatever morsel of information might fall from Neil's lips. Again, he finds himself fighting a smirk.
Of course, he led these people astray a bit, but he doesn't see the problem with having a little fun before revealing his true intentions.
He nods, pushing down the giddy feeling that always comes with talking about Andrew. Not yet, but soon.
"Hm, I assume you prepared some questions just in case," Neil asks, taking a sip of his water.
Rayah blinks, exchanging a look with Blake. She rifles through her notepad to a page in the middle, scribbled and stained with ink. There are so many questions on it, some of them curve over the others in a painful word twister. "Uh yes but, we didn't think you'd want to answer them," she guesses.
Neil loathes interview questions, because they're predictable. But in this case, he'll let the first one lead him down the road.
Neil relents, leaning back in his wheelchair. "Well you're mostly right, but why don't you ask me your first one?" He offers, and they look positively ecstatic. "That'll get me started."
And once he starts, he doubts he'll be able to stop.
"Sure." Blake clears his throat, making sure his recorder is functioning properly. When he's satisfied, he leans back, mirroring Neil's posture, though the rigidity is still there. If he doesn't lighten up, he's going to have back pains for days. "Now, there have been a lot of milestones in your career as a pro athlete. No one would dream of disputing your skill in the sport, or how you earned any of your countless awards--"
"Flattery," Neil warns, raising a single finger. That's not what he's here for either. In fact, as much as this is his interview, it's not about him at all.
"Right," Blake says with a huff of a laugh. "But surely one of your brightest moments was your historic win at the Olympics. It was talked about for months within the community. Of course, any true Exy fan knows the details of the game, it was only covered by every major publication. So, I guess our question is, what do you most remember about that moment? Was it as monumental for you as it was for Exy fans?"
Ah, a predictable question, but also not a bad place to begin. Neil doesn't fight the edge of the smirk that appears, though he does raise his thumb to swipe at it. It's been a while since he's felt so mischievous, it's so difficult to be, well, difficult when you're being wheeled around all day.
It was a monumental moment for him, though maybe not for the reasons everyone else would think.
"You certainly did your research," he comments, humming as he sits back in thought. He already knows his answer, but he's weak, and the feelings the memory evokes barely need to push him to send him careening off balance. Swept up. "Not sure what I was expecting from people so young, but my apologies for making assumptions."
He's glad they didn't ask the question in the stereotypical format, fishing for ways to brag and make it all about him. When he thinks of that time, as proud as he was, it's not his own praise that comes to mind.
With that in mind, Neil sighs.
"I don't think it was an exaggeration to say that was one of the best days of my life," he admits, and it's the truth. He's not here to lie. Come to think of it, he hasn't lied once since Andrew ran on ahead of him. Smiling, Neil lets the words flow.
"It was important to me, but not all because of the Olympics themselves..."
Neil rarely has time to pay attention in Exy games, as horrible and inefficient as that sounds.
His feet move on their own accord like a well-oiled machine, cogs and steam rushing through him to propel him across the court at record speeds. And they are record speeds.
That's why he's here isn't it? To run, to score.
It had been overwhelming when he first arrived, the sheer size of the Exy court at the Olympics. It's surrounded by flags from all over the world, bright neon signs and sponsorships. The lights at the entrance had been so vibrant, he made the mistake of looking up at them.
All aspects about it are, because as much as Neil knows this is his life, it can't possibly be reality.
The crowd makes the one at the Ravens' stadium seem minuscule, out of its league with seats and aisles that almost climb up to the heavens. The crowd roars and Neil feels every cheer and stomp echo against his bones.
He never thought he'd be here, but despite the gravity of it, he no longer has the time nor want to dwell on it. All that matters is his team, and getting them the gold.
Being with Andrew afterwards...getting to see Wymack smile proudly at Kevin.
Letting Kevin be proud of himself.
And Neil is an Olympic-qualified player, so with all that in mind, he delivers the second best game of his life. Even in the final seconds of the second half, even when he's been body checked so many times the nuts and bolts he imagines inside him must surely be worn and off-kilter, he doesn't stop moving. Everything is instinct, from the force of his steps to the last minute shifts he needs to intercept the ball.
It's not Kevin's perfect strategy, it's not a map or an out of body experience where he can see where every player on the court is.
He has no idea what's going on outside of what's in front of him, no awareness of anything but the immediate threats and a certain beacon, standing in the goal.
And that's the hardest part of it all, not being able to look over at Andrew for even a moment after he scores, because the game is fast and ruthless, and he has twice the energy of anyone on this court.
It's a stupid way to play, if he's really supposed to be Kevin's double. But they all long since established he is far from it. He has his own passion, his own drive, and Kevin trusts Neil with his life on the court.
Probably through anything.
So when he sees the perfect opportunity for a final interception, a chance to get them the last winning goal of the game, he's surprised that it's the one moment where it all comes to a stop. He's never had the experience before; normally his body snaps into action. He's not used to comprehending things until they're said and done.
He thinks his body is still following through though, turning in just the right way, making sure he's lined up.
But Neil is aware of so much more, his eyes train like a predator's on the goal, and he understands. He has a choice.
Choices are a weird luxury now, but he's gotten so used to having the freedom of them, he's forgotten the sheer magnitude they can carry.
His eyes snap to the goal, and then to Kevin. Kevin, who is so much closer, and already looking right at Neil.
And Neil never describes himself as fond towards most people, but he can say it proudly in that moment. This is the Kevin Day he likes to see.
Green eyes stare back, blown wide with a fire that can't be matched by anyone, probably not even his own mother, maybe not even Neil. A true, unadulterated love for this violent, freeing sport. Kevin catches Neil's eyes through his face guard, forehead drenched in sweat but his entire being rings with energy, ready and unwilling to quit until the buzzer sounds.
A Fox, at heart. Neil knows Andrew can see from where he's standing in goal, and Neil knows he's just as satisfied, deep down. It might give him some peace of mind too, to know Kevin kept his spine.
Neil puts all of those emotions into his last movement of the game.
He inclines his head just so, and that's it.
As Neil's racquet intercepts the ball from the other team's striker, he can't help but be a bit smug as he takes a powerful step forward. He can hear the painful slide of his shoes against the court floor, the heat of being too close, too exposed.
His legs will surely be shot after this, but no matter.
Kevin Day was always meant to be the greatest player in the history of Exy, the reigning queen, despite the arrogance they'll surely have to hear non-stop about. Fine. It's only fair that Neil help him achieve that goal here, at the biggest stadium in the world.
(By no means the best one, but still).
The clock gets down to five seconds, the beats resounding off the walls of his skull. Neil swings his racquet with such force the strings whistle, and the ball moves in a straight line directly into Kevin's. The other striker has zero time to react, the force of Neil's brutal cut off sending him stumbling. The ball hits Kevin's strings hard, Kevin's grip tightening around his racquet to keep it close to him.
Kevin doesn't hesitate longer than that.
He shoots at the goal in one fluid arch, and scores.
As confident as Neil is in Kevin's aim and skill, he'll admit his stomach swoops. It's a feeling that never truly goes away, much like the instincts that keep him moving. He wouldn't trade it for anything, that millisecond exhilaration before it comes together.
Because well, at one point nothing ever fell into place for him.
In the flash where the ball hits the net, Neil feels the ghost of a key in his palm, reminding him when that changed. The buzzer of the countdown blares, and all that anticipation meets a well-deserved end.
The stadium erupts until not even the buzzer can be heard. There's a swish of plexiglass doors, the sounds of their coach yelling in triumph, but Neil's body is too spent to react.
Neil's heart constricts in his chest as he tries to get air in, but it's impossible. Satisfied doesn't even begin to cover it, though he's sure he looks just as breathless as Kevin does, staring at the goal as it lights up. The world moves around him, respecting his moment of privacy when they should be hoisting him up and not allowing him a minute of disbelief. Neil's glad they don't; Kevin deserves to look surprised once in a while.
His teammates pile on each other, clapping him as they pass. A lot of them are still in shock, a few fall to their knees right away, but Neil feels nothing but fulfilled.
He made the right call.
His body sags, stinging, and he feels Andrew's gaze pinning him upright from across the court. It's the only thing that gets him walking, but he wills himself not to look in his boyfriend's direction.
If he does well...nothing else will matter, and there's one thing he has to do.
In a haze, he goes over to Kevin, who turns, sensing him. Neil shakes his head at Kevin's arrogance to this day, because even though Kevin is the one who made this possible for him, who came to him first...
Well, he still lets Neil do all the work. Neil laughs and hugs Kevin fiercely, barely keeping himself upright, and they trade the trembling in their bodies. Kevin drops his racquet, their height difference making them look all the more pathetic. He can hear Andrew's voice already, telling them they're too emotional about a damn sport.
Somehow, that makes Neil even happier, and he leans back as Kevin pries his helmet off, eyes wild and smiling.
Yes, the right choice. Absolutely.
"We did it," Kevin says, but not in disbelief. He had to have known they'd always make it here. "We did it."
Neil squeezes his friend's shoulder and grins, uncaring of what camera catches it. He's too damn happy to care. "Guess we did."
The crowd cheers so loud Neil can't hear more than a faint buzz in his ears, and the sticky scent of gatorade and sweat is an unfortunate addition. The cameras flash and shine obnoxiously through the double plexiglass to bathe them in light and attention.
Yet, with his legs feeling like jelly and his muscles stretched to the limits, there's only one thing he really wants. What he always wants.
Warmth, safety, something to lean on and keep him sheltered from the world before facing it alongside him. Neil hates that before, the only thing he yearned for was to play Exy. He thought that was bad.
This is so much worse.
Biting his lip, Neil turns to where Andrew is standing in the goal, already looking at him from across the court. And Andrew, with all his control, keeps himself planted there. Neil's breathing hiccups loudly, and Kevin's probably the only one who hears it over the cacophony.
Neil doesn't think he can cry anymore, but his eyes tighten up, he has to blink the pain away.
Neil wonders if Andrew's gripping his racquet hard enough to damage it, if he's digging his heels into the ground like Neil is.
Neil swallows down the lump in his throat. Suddenly, he hates the cameras more than usual; he's torn between wanting them to vanish completely, or wishing they paid as much attention to Andrew, because god, he's earned it.
Neil digs his heels in harder.
I want to be with you.
It's such a simple string of thought; it has crossed his mind so many times before, but never has the urge hurt so much. It has nothing to do with all he's worked for, with the fame and recognition this win will bring him. It's just Andrew.
He hasn't had a knife to his skin in years, but this reminds him of the piercing of flesh, lighting his nerves on end and sending him towards the source of his relief, his contentment.
Andrew played so well, so well, not just here. He worked his way through the pros until he got to Neil, worked his ass off for his reputation. He qualified with the rest of them to be here.
And tonight, he blocked almost every shot at his goal.
Neil closes his eyes, willing himself to calm down but he can't. This is one of the best moments of his life. If he can't share it with Andrew to the fullest, what was the point of everything in his past?
They're not out. That's the problem, he knows, as much as he doesn't give a single fuck. No one outside their family and management knows anything about them, apart from some tabloid rumors about their intense dislike of one another. If that doesn't prove how clueless the media is, Neil doesn't know what does.
And as much as they value privacy, as much as their peaceful bubble is enough, it's moments like these where Neil wants to take and show no matter the consequences.
He looks to Kevin, unsure. It's always been him, the one who warned them about the backlash they'd face despite his acceptance of their relationship years ago.
Neil expects the same thing here: the subtle shake of Kevin's head, the concern in his eyes for their careers and future. It used to piss Neil off to no end, but Kevin communicates all emotion through Exy, even concern. Neil's learned to read between those infuriating lines. The importance of career translates to 'without your career, there is no you.' Sometimes he forgets he's not entirely free.
And if he weren't around, then Andrew...
'You can't leave him.'
And so, knowing Kevin's language, Neil stayed in line, and he expects that same advice today. To his surprise though, it never comes. Kevin is looking at him, tired smile firmly in place as he nudges a shoulder in Andrew's direction. Neil's mouth falls open, and yes, he's convinced now. It's a dream, it's all one big dream. Except--
Kevin shakes his head. It's not resigned, or worried. He's just happy for them both. He pushes Neil away, straightening his back in preparation for his fans. Royal snob. "Go on already. You guys are gross."
And despite the laugh that falls from his mouth, Neil's breathing stutters, and he hadn't realized how wound up he truly was until it happens. His lungs fill with air and he throws his racquet to the ground. His self-control is poor, they all know that. Encouragement is all he needs to break him and send him where he belongs.
He takes off in a full sprint towards Andrew as the rest of his teammates crowd Kevin, looking after Neil in confusion.
Huh, so his muscles still work after all. The tendons are on fire, but it's the least of his concerns. He runs like his life depends on it again, faster than he ran during that whole game.
And to Neil's absolute delight, Andrew's body language screams 'finally.'
The blond takes a step forward, throwing his racquet to the side like it's worthless. Oh. Andrew's bracing to catch him, and Neil laughs at the realization as he throws off his helmet. One day he'll actually make Andrew fall over, but for now he enjoys the strength.
He jumps into Andrew's arms effortlessly, feels calloused hands wrap around his waist as Neil reaches for the clips of Andrew's helmet. Despite knowing the barrier is there as he fumbles with it, he leans forward, lips grazing the metal guard. Andrew huffs, and Neil claws until the helmet clatters to the floor. He throws it a bit far, and it hits the goal post with a clang, but he doesn't care in the moment. If all eyes are on them now, he can't feel them. They're in a vacuum, a side effect of being so taken with Andrew at times. Unaware, vulnerable. The rush of sound from before goes dead around them. His fingertips can feel overheated skin, can trace the barely-there freckles on Andrew's face.
Andrew isn't in the mood to let Neil admire today.
Neil barely gets to see the color in Andrew's eyes before the goalie's hand grips in between Neil's shoulder blades, pulling him down.
It reminds him of their first kiss; Neil catches Andrew's lips and, as if not believing they're real, that something could feel so wonderful, he pulls back. His eyes widen, the first hit of a drug. He breaks the kiss only to dive right back in, uncoordinated but so sure of himself. And he doesn't get how, but Andrew smells the same as back then. Less like cigarettes, but the same smell of leather and earthiness. Neil doesn't read nearly as much as Andrew does to have the capability of describing it, but it's refreshing, like soil after the rain. Through the sweat and exhaustion, Neil would know him anywhere.
Andrew opens his mouth for him first, breath hot but movements predictable. Neil will tease him later for that. You're getting old. Because the dance is so familiar, the way Andrew pushes Neil's tongue back first. 'Come and get me.'
Neil obliges every single time, because he can't back down from a challenge, and maybe he's getting old too.
Neil knows the kiss can't last forever, especially not here, but he allows himself to pretend it's not the case. Andrew hums into him, and Neil's hands feel all the vibrations from where his hand slips down to Andrew's throat. It's bared completely for him, and Neil gives a little squeeze.
He sighs into Andrew's mouth when his boyfriend's eyes open to glare at him, pulling back before kissing Neil again, and then one more time, and maybe just once...
One more, Neil thinks, brushing his lips against Andrew's so lightly they stick for a moment, and he licks his own slowly when he pulls back for the final time. His heart beats in his ribcage, or maybe that's the pounding of the reporters' feet as they rush through the stadium, he's not sure.
Again, it's always best for him to not look at Andrew if he's supposed to be doing something else, because in that moment, the blond has all Neil's attention.
They're already pressed chest to chest, but Andrew squeezes tighter, almost painful, keeping Neil there through the flashing of cameras and shocked cheers.
And while Andrew's expression gives nothing away for the public, it speaks volumes to Neil.
Neil didn't know what old meant back then, now that his legs give out after a good walk or his spine aches under the weight of nothing.
But they were predictable, that much was true.
Neil isn't looking at the reporters anymore, too focused on trying to weave the fraying threads of the blanket back into place. From their silence, he can guess they're as shocked as he expected them to be.
Unaffected, Neil reaches over for his water, taking a sip as he confronts their slack jaws and wide eyes.
Now, that might have been a bit unfair of him as well, to jump into such a blatant romantic recollection about Andrew. Again, Neil never took interviews, rarely took questions, but the subject of his relationship with Andrew was especially off limits for decades. What they had was theirs, and only theirs, even after outing themselves that day.
People naturally tried to pry, tried to dig up their past in hopes of justifying what they saw as a nonsensical relationship or gossip fuel.
Neil made them fear for their lives after that.
He eviscerated publications, reporters, top sports officials, talk shows hosts, pretty much whoever he needed to. Anything to keep Andrew's name out of their mouths. A lot of them sealed their place in the land of irrelevancy, media outlets were slammed by a combination of their fans, and Kevin's too, once he stood up in support.
Andrew always hated it, Neil's desperate need to protect him from words that no longer phased him, but Neil didn't care. It was one of the only things they fought about in their adult years.
It worked though; soon, all the major outlets aside from the tabloids stopped talking about it, knowing mentioning it in any way that wasn't positive or neutral would land them in a ton of hot water.
Even those online sources who refused to let up eventually fizzed out from lack of material; they tried their best to be nosy, but pretty much got nothing but some rare paparazzi photos a few times a year of them kissing in the park or on a date.
In short, it's a bit of an unspoken rule that you don't talk to Neil Josten about Andrew Minyard unless you have nothing but good things to say, and a lot of people are too chicken shit to take the risk and potentially insult him. That's the only disappointing thing, none of them have a shred of courage. Neil really would talk all day about Andrew if people just approached it correctly.
Not that Andrew would've allowed it when he was alive.
Despite all the fear Neil instilled in the media, it never stopped the other famous Foxes from talking about how gooey and devoted he and Andrew were, but Neil let that slide.
The things he does for family.
So it makes sense that these reporters seemed to have forgotten Andrew's importance at all, another offense. Not just because he was the best goalie in Exy history, but because Neil was first and foremost, Andrew's.
Blake's mouth opens and closes, pen dangling precariously from his hand. "Are...are we allowed to ask about Andrew?"
Blake even flinches after he asks it, afraid that perhaps it's only okay for Neil to bring up.
If you only knew.
Neil laughs, too relaxed to hold back anymore. The reporters stare, exchanging nervous glances with excitement tingling below the surface.
Yes, he supposes details about his relationship with Andrew are more secretive and sought after than even Neil's opinions. The reporters weren't even going to try.
But now, there's morsels of information dangling in front of them, and Neil need only give them permission. It's their lucky day.
Neil's smile fades into something gentler, wistful. It's the closest he gets now, to how he looked at Andrew. But it's still different, because that expression...
Well, Andrew is gone. What more is there to say?
Neil leans back, wringing his hands softly. "I guess it's only fair that I tell you the real reason I accepted this interview."
The reporters lean forward, holding their breath, but Neil doesn't feel like making them wait. It's all about Andrew now, like he wanted it to be. "I want to talk about Andrew, plain and simple."
Except when it's not.
Their relationship was anything but simple but Neil cherished each memory, and he wants to speak them aloud so no one forgets. He wants everyone to know how important this person was to him, so when he's gone and can't defend them, people can't speculate or taint it with their unasked for opinions.
"I've never had the opportunity to really reminisce about Andrew, not even with my family," Neil admits. He and Aaron and Katelyn would sit around the fireplace at their home sometimes, telling stories, or Kevin would send him old pictures or clips of Andrew playing. But never the intimate details, never the raw, and at times complicated feelings. "It never felt right, even after he was gone. I wanted to keep it close still, so I wouldn't betray Andrew's trust."
Neil takes a deep breath, and it shakes his small frame, a cough escaping his lungs. His voice is rough, but no less sure when he continues. "But I know now what he'd say to that. That I couldn't, even if my dumb Exy brain tried really hard."
But he'd never.
He smiles, wiping his eyes when they aren't even wet. That's another thing he misunderstood back then. Neil thought he couldn't cry, but he's sure today he'll prove his younger self wrong.
Rayah and Blake stay silent through all of Neil's pauses, and the respect means more than he can say. Andrew would approve, he'd be okay with Neil's choice. That's what matters most, he thinks.
"For once I just want everyone to know how I felt, I want to tell you everything as I saw and felt it, so you can tell everyone else," Neil says, and hopes they can read between the lines for the rest. Ultimately, when he's dead he'll be nothing but bones in the dirt, his legacy won't mean much in the long run. But...if nothing else, he wants this to remain, for as long as it can.
He never cared before about it, but he guesses age really can put a new perspective on things. Neil sighs, and taps the table with his finger for lack of anything better to do. When he looks back up, he has their undivided attention, Rayah's brown eyes shining with unshed emotion. None of that, not yet. "Anyways, now that you know I misled you, I hope you're still alright with listening to me ramble for the next few hours."
If not, they can kindly fuck off, but Neil has his suspicions at this point that they'll stick around. As much as Neil prides himself on reading people's intentions well, he's quite horrible at reading people's feelings. But maybe he's improved in that arena too.
A price for everything, he thinks ruefully, reminding himself there's a break in between this session for him to take his pain pills.
Eventually, it's Rayah who stutters a response. "Of course it's alright! We're so honored! And not just in the...bullshit way."
She closes her mouth immediately after at the unprofessionalism of it, but it only makes Neil feel more at ease. He smirks, satisfied. "Noted."
"Mr. Jo--Neil, we really are happy to write about you and Andrew but I have to admit," Blake says, flipping through his notepad with a tight look on his face. "The questions we did prepare as backup don't exactly lend themselves to anything about your life with Andrew."
It's precisely why Neil stated he'd mostly be doing the talking initially, but their first test question actually did end up helping move him along, so...
Neil shrugs, gesturing to the notebook with fierce determination.
These people are about to learn...
He can make anything about Andrew.
When he smiles at the two of them again, they must feel it deep down. They return it tenfold, and then Rayah clicks her pen.
And with the pleasantries out of the way, Neil opens up to everything he's been keeping locked away.
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Description: Harry performs at Kacey Musgraves show, and Y/N goes to find him backstage after - only to realise that he’s dancing around as a Storm Trooper from Star Wars.
Rumour had got around that a very special someone was playing at Kacey Musgraves show in Nashville. That special someone being Harry Styles - it had all started when a picture of him supposedly backstage at the arena, was posted to Twitter. Fans grabbed a hold of it quickly and everything just escalated from there. Would he sing Lights Up? Was he even at the show? Was the picture fake and from ages ago? No one knew. And the rumours happened to be true. But no one knew that until Harry stepped out on stage, in a black suit, ready to sing Space Cowboy with Kacey.
Y/N, his best friend was sitting somewhere in the crowd. Surrounded by thousands of fan girls who had cheered wildly when Harry came on stage. She herself went mental, as she was unknown to this. She thought that she was just having a night out to see Kacey.
But, seeing Harry back on stage was something she had missed dearly, as it was his passion. Since Live On Tour, his voice and grown so much and he was able to hit different notes, and she knew that fans were going to be in for a shock when he next toured. His voice matched so beautifully with Kacey’s and even though he only performed one song with her, it was still amazing. Y/N had laughed at the fan girls around her, who went even more insane than she did. Not being able to speak, fumbling for their phones that they had put in their back pockets to savour the moments without it. Some cried, as they hadn’t seen Harry in a year. It was nice, seeing how his fans were still there for him. Y/N had missed it all, to be honest.
Now, the concert was over, and all of the audience had filtered out of the aren, and Y/N had gone to find Harry and Kacey.
“Have you got a pass, ma’am?” A security then asks her as she tried to access backstage.
Y/N nods, pulling the land yard from under her Treat People With Kindess hoodie, that Harry had gifted to her, and that she loved to wear. The security checks her pass, before nodding and letting her through the black curtains. The first thing she heard was loud music.
As her brows furrow, she walks down the hall and the blasting music gets louder with every step. She had no idea what was going on, and was confused as to why there was music. It dawned on her that clearly something was going on when she stopped near a black door, where the music was basically drowning out all of the other noise coming from backstage - people moving stuff like the stage setup. Hearing laughing, and having all of the other rooms and the hallway being quiet, she assumed that this is where everhone was. Y/N pushes the door open, and it was basically an adults disco. That’s what she gathered from her first look at the room before her. She laughs slightly as she steps in and closes the door after her.
There was, what looks to be a bouncy castle, a bunch of people dancing, and disco lights on the ceiling. Not the mention the loud music which people were singing along and dancing to.
Not being the most outgoing person, Y/N felt slightly out of place being in this ‘disco’.
“Y/N! You made it!” A female voice then yells.
She looks to the side and sees Kacey walking over to hear, phone in hand with a huge smile on her face. Once she had reached her, she gives Y/N a huge hug, and when she pulls away she rests one hand on her upper arm delicately. “How are you?” She asks.
“I’m great!” She smiles, still feeling slightly on edge in a room full of people who she didn’t know. Speaking of, she hadn’t spotted Harry yet, and she wondered if maybe he was looking for her so they could have a catch up. Then she looks back at Kacey and grins, “you absolutely killed it tonight! And then you brought Harry out?! I was so shocked, like my jaw dropped,” she giggles and Kacey laughs along with her. She shrugs her shoulders in a joking way.
Harry had introduced Y/N and Kacey to each other about a year back, and Y/N wasn’t going to lie, she was incredibly nervous the day she met Kacey. She didn’t really speak about it much, but she was one of Y/N’s favourite singers, so when she met her she was a little (more like insanely) star struck by Kacey. Her favourite song by Kacey was ‘Lonely Weekend’. She and Harry sing it together all the time, whether it be 1am and neither of them can sleep, or in the car when they’re driving round - they belted it out together, using random objects as their microphones. Harry’s goofy side always came out more when Y/N was around, and maybes that’s due to her being goofy also. Maybe it was something else, like his crush on her that he was too scared to open up about.
Kacey smiles. “Yeah, he completely killed it tonight. I’ve never heard one of my crowds scream like that before,” she laughs, still remembering how wild they all went when Harry stepped onto the stage.
“Speaking of the idiot - where is he?”
As she laughs, all Kacey had to do was turn around and point to the two Storm Troopers dancing around the large room.
Y/N scoffs. “Is one of them Harry?”
All Kacey had to do was laugh loudly, and Y/N had the answer she needed. She watches as the two Star Wars characters dance around all the people, and she had a hard time working out which one was Harry because they both had helmets on. “Come on over, he’s been doing this since we got back here.” A laughing Kacey tells Y/N, before grabbing her hand and leading her over the group of people that Harry - or the Storm Troopers as she still didn’t know which one was him - was dancing. She felt her chest tighten smignrkt at the thought of having to talk to people who she didn’t even know, but she knew that Kacey would end up starting the chat somehow.
She watches as the Storm Troopers dance, that was until one looks directly at her and points.
Harry. Y/N thinks to herself.
He makes his way over, and just before he’s directly in front of her, he takes off the helmet and smiles. “I dance good, don’t you think?” He asks Y/N and Kacey as he stops in front of them. Y/N rolls her eyes as she nods her head, and giggles.
“Better then how you dance when you’re drunk.”
“Hey,” he whines, stretching out the ‘y’ sound at the end. “I think that I dance brilliantly, even when I am half cut and can barely see straight,” he jokes, running a hand through his hair. Y/N just couldn’t help but stare at him when he did that. But, she is quickly distracted from staring at his stunning face, when he tries to put the helmet on her. She shoves him off lightly, and he laughs. “Come on, love. Don’t be such a downer. Come to the dark side and dance with me,” he humours yet again, holding out the helmet to Y/N, his eyes pratically begging for her to take it and put it on. Y/N just shakes her head at him.
“I don’t want to dance… especially not in a Storm Trooper helmet,” she refuses, and Harry raises a brow at her.
He pouts. “Please?”
“Come on Y/N!”
“Harry…” she warns.
She pratically couldn’t say no to him when he pouts again, sticking out his bottom lip, his arm still stretched out to her with the Storm Trooper helmet in it. “Fine, for fucks sake,” she mutters as she takes the helmet from his hands. Kacey laughs and claps as she takes Y/N’s bag so she can dance with Harry. He smiles, watching her put on the helmet. Once it was over her head, and although he couldn’t see, she was scowling at him under the mask, her arms crossed over her chest. “Can we go and dance now?” She asks, but Harry stops her, getting his phone out.
“Not before I do,” he pauses, and when a flash goes off, she realises that he’s taken a photo of her. “That. That’s a good one Y/NN, might have to post that to my private story, or better yet, post it for your birthday,” he muses, and Y/N rolls her eyes, giving him the middle finger as he grabs her other hand.
She was still feeling slightly nervous, like everyone in the room was judging her. After all, she was wearing a grey hoodie, jeans, Vans and a bloody Storm Trooper helmet. Y/N felt a fool. Though her and Harry were best friends, she definitely wasn’t as outgoing or as confident as he was, and felt as thought it held her back from having fun with him sometimes. “I just know that you’re scowling at me under that mask,” a very mischievous Harry then speaks, stopping Y/N’s thoughts in their tracks.
“Oh my god Harry, well done! You’re so smart.” She sarcastically tells him, giving his chest a pat.
He just laughs, grabbing her other hand and starting to dance with her. She definitely wasn’t feeling this. But, Harry being in the other half of the costume made her feel a little less self conscious, as her and Harry (apart from the other Storm Trooper who was dancing with a few other people) had missed the memo about this not being a fancy dress party. Then he spins Y/N around, making a small smile break on her face as she blushes. That was the only time she thanked the heavens that she had a helmet on, so Harry couldn’t see her blush like a year 4 girl whose hand accidentally brushed against her crushes hand. He continued to move them both, clearly putting in more of the effort as Y/N wasn’t enjoying it as much.
Suddenly, he’s got her in his arms, and he dips her like they do in those old fashioned movies. That’s when she felt a few more eyes on the two of them, and Kacey smiles at the two of them, thinking that they would make such a lovely couple.
Only if the two of them would just own up and admit their feelings.
“I fucking hate you right now Harry,” she mutters as she continues to dance with him.
He laughs. “Yeah, okay. Whatever you say, angry little Storm Trooper.”
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Summary: Bucky and you spend your work days pairing your costumers up. Modern AU.
Pairing: Bucky Barnes x Reader
Word Count: 3.3k
A/N: For @buckyofthemyscira, Merry late Christmas and Happy New Year! May 2020 be all you want it to be✨, I hope you enjoy this lil gift😋.
Thanks to @bucky-smiles for organizing this Secret Santa thingy and for being patient, you’re awesome💕.
The gif’s a lil sexy but there’s no sexy times in this fic!
Warnings: Fluff? Pining? A lot of clichés and bad pick up lines. Bickering and stuff. Maybe a couple newbie mistakes because this is my first time writing. Bear with me pls!
Mornings were boring, but what else could you expect from a wrong placed Starbucks? The investors overestimated the interest of locals in overpriced coffee. Something about urbanizing the area, attracting more people and eventually creating a central, more commercial zone. That happened a year ago and the reason the shop was still up and functioning was mainly the horde of teenagers coming in the afternoons after school to have a taste of the “city life”. The mornings however, the mornings were a complete different story. There were two regulars, a large black coffee with a muffin at seven thirty and a hot chocolate at nine, and from time to time some clueless visitant who had gotten lost in the nameless streets of the maze-like town and came across the isolated, kind of hidden, coffee shop.
That Monday morning in particular there was a surprising amount of five people in the shop, three being costumers. Black Large had arrived half an hour later than her usual time and Hot Chocolate had apparently decided to start his day earlier than he was accustomed to, both of them taking quite a while to finish their orders. An occurrence that has turned into an usual one after the first time Black Large seemingly slept through her alarms and entered the coffee shop in a hurry to fetch her order and throw some cash on the counter at the same time Hot Chocolate was enjoying some polite small talk with the barista while waiting for his order to be made. An amazing moment happened then when, just like in the romcoms, they glanced at each other casually but their eyes glued to the other’s and for a moment it was just the two of them, until his order was placed in the counter and the world began to turn again. It was fun for the two baristas to watch how, since that day, they started coming to the shop with a bounce to their step, their gaze more alert and the tables they chose to sit in more close to the other’s each day. Fun. Yeah. At least at first.
“Oh my god, this is ridiculous, that was the fifth time in 20 minutes that they smiled at each other!” She told him as she put her hands in the air, making him chuckle. “This is not funny Buck, we gotta help this poor souls!”.
“Remember what happened the last time you helped some poor souls get together?” Bucky crossed his arms and she huffed.
“That’s not fair, how was I supposed to know? They seemed so in love!”
“He took her money and ran away!”
“Okay, okay, not my best work, but I introduced Steve to Peggy and they’re doing amazing. Besides, we know these two, doesn’t she work with your mom? And I’m sure I saw him in that big Christmas party last year. There’s no way either of them is that bad.” She argued and gave him puppy eyes. “Prithee help me help them?”
She knew the answer way before he made up his mind. That’s how it would always go between them. If he was being difficult, she would tell him that nothing happened in that goddamned town and that he was denying her the tiniest amount of fun she could gather from her boring life, that she could be doing drugs and riding motorcycles but she just wanted to be her selfless self and help someone to find love, and he would then comply to whatever she was asking of him. She would think it was because her amazing persuasion skills and excellent arguments, for she was blind to the loving look and affectionate smile she would receive from her coworker.
“Wow there, doll, no need to go shakespearean on me. I’ll do it, but the beers are on you tonight, I’mma need some alcohol after helping you chase away the only two regulars of this fucking place with your plotting.”
She squealed, took his hand in hers and squished it against her heart, “I like you so so much, do you know that?” He gave her a pained smile that she didn’t notice because she was already scheming. “I’m thinking maybe we can put a message in her muffin and say it’s from him?”
He rose an eyebrow playfully. “Do you know how to letter with icing?”
“No, but I do have an amazing, handsome, crafty coworker who does.”
“I’m soy into you.”
“You are just the way I like my coffee. Tall, dark and strong.”
“Bean thinking about you a latte.”
“Affogato? Afforgeto where I am when I look at you.”
“Hey, I just met you, and this is crazy, but here's my number, so caramel me maybe?”
“That wouldn’t even fit in there! And it has a sexual innuendo that I’m not sure she would appreciate much.” He said with an amused smile.
“But it’s genius!” She punched his arm as he laughed. “You’re awful at brainstorming.”
“I just don’t know why you’re putting so much effort into this, you don’t even know these people!” He questioned jokingly, and it was just for the sake of it, because he loved how stubborn she could be when she wanted something, and he knew he would do anything he could to help her get whatever she ever wanted.
“I’m projecting onto them the kind of corny as fuck romance my life is lacking.” She deadpanned and then chuckled. “Look, if I can’t have a love story with my guy then I’m gonna help them have theirs.”
Bucky’s heart clenched at her statement but he still joked. “You mean all it would take to win you over would be to throw a lame pick up line at you?” That earned him a glare from her. “You know, someday you’ll have to tell me who this guy you’re always mentioning is,” and he actually, desperately wanted to know who the fuck was this man that had everything he wanted and didn’t do anything about it. Y/N had casually mentioned him a couple times but when Bucky asked about it, she just said that the guy was way out of her league and that she wouldn’t do anything about it anyways so there was no reason to reveal his identity.
It was Tuesday morning and that meant matchmaking time for Bucky and Y/N. It was six thirty and there weren’t any clients to serve as it was expected. She was sitting on the counter with a notebook in her lap while she chewed on a pen pensively, unaware to the effect this little action had on Bucky, who was leaning on his elbows by her side. They were using a notebook to draw a representation of the chocolate muffin that was destined to get the missive across, and trying to find the perfect line to catch the attention of Black Large without it being creepy. It needed to be precise, flirty but appropriate and the correct amount of funny. Bucky seriously doubted that a cheesy pick up line would attract the very professional looking woman, but Y/N was certain that she had to have a playful side to her in between all that business attire, and she was sure that the soft personality and cheery attitude of Hot Chocolate was the perfect combination to bring it out. All of this was on Y/N’s mind when it came to her.
“I got it!” She screeched and jumped off of the counter to scribble something on the paper that she then held in front of her for Bucky to see. There it was, in the middle of the wonky lined muffin. He left his position on the counter to fully face her and stared blankly at the words for a couple seconds only to immediately double over with laughter.
“We would make a great mocha together? Really?”
“I don’t know what you laughing at, this is honestly the finest piece of art my brain ever produced.” She rolled her eyes at him. “You just don’t get it, it’s because she orders a coffee and he has th—”
“Oh no, I do get it.” He continued to laugh and she gave him an offended look, so he put his hands up in surrender. “Okay fine, seeing that you’re the Cupid here and I’m merely one of your arrows, I’m gonna trust your oh so ever magnificent wisdom in the love field. But you owe me for this, specially if it fails and they sue us or something.”
“They can try,” she scoffed, “but since you don’t trust my amazing plan at all let’s make this into a bet, shall we?” She looked at him mischievously while crossing her arms. “If it works, and it will, you have to take my morning shift this Friday. If not, then you win.”
“What do I win exactly? When I win.” He leaned on the counter again and smirked at her. “And please define ‘works’ in this context. I’d feel lucky if she doesn’t start screaming at him or walks out immediately but I don’t think that’d be enough to call you a winner, doll.”
“If you win, you can choose whatever you want, and that’s if they don’t at least exchange numbers.” She extended her hand to him. “You in?”
He shook her hand and sighed, “I am.”
“Amazing! Operation Mocha-Love is on! To the cave!”
“Explain to me why is it me who has to do the delivery again?” Bucky asked her.
It was eight in the morning already and it wasn’t long before the subjects arrived. The Glorious Cupid’s Arrow (code for the muffin) was sitting on the back counter behind the display racks where the coffee was made. It was your normal chocolate muffin, except it had the words ‘We would make a great mocha together’ written in small cursive.
Y/N stopped sweeping the floor and leaned on the broomstick with her head over her hands. “You have to buy us a little time in case Hot Chocolate decides he doesn’t want to come early today. If he’s not here when we give her the muffin she will smell the distinct smell of bullshit don’t you think?”
“I get that, but why me?” He suddenly stopped wiping the counter and looked at her. “And what did you just call him?”
“Hot Chocolate? Codename for Carl, because he orders a... well, a hot chocolate? You know?” She hesitated but smiled when she saw that Bucky was grinning at her and continued sweeping. “And about her, I don’t think she likes me that much since the first time she came here and I gave her a cold coffee by accident.”
“She as in... Black Coffee?” He guessed.
“Large Black.” She chuckled.
“Nice, and what’s my codename?”
“Right now and for the sake of this mission you're Icing Arrow and I’m obviously Cupid.” He laughed and they went silent for a while as they finished their tasks.
“By the way, I know what my reward’s gonna be once this fails miserably.” She looked up at him from her new place behind the counter and rose her eyebrow inquisitively. “I want you to tell me who the guy you like is.”
She huffed in annoyance but before she could reply to his request, the sound of someone entering the shop broke her focus on him and put the plan in motion. Her eyes went wide and she silently hurried him to take position, as he was sat at the table in front of her. She got excited and Bucky even started to feel a little nervous. Though surprisingly, it wasn’t who they were expecting to arrive. Carl walked to the counter where Bucky was waiting for him already and ordered his usual, then sat in the table at the center of the place when Y/N handed him his chocolate, just beside Large Black’s table.
Before Bucky had the time to comment on how this was perfect timing, the second subject came in through the doors and started walking towards an awaiting Bucky. Y/N could barely contain her enthusiasm while Bucky told the woman, Amanda, Large Black, that he had a special muffin for her as requested by the only other person present in the shop. Her resolution faltered when Amanda furrowed her brow but it came back stronger when a goofy grin slowly made its appearance in her face as she read the inscription in the sweet treat. She subtly did a victory dance when Amanda went to sit with Carl at his table.
Bucky showed up for Y/N’s shift on Friday with a defeated look on his face and dragging his feet. This was his sleeping in day. He worked Fridays in the evening, when no one came by, not even the teens, seeing they were getting ready to go out since it was Friday’s night after all. The cherry on top, he couldn’t even see Y/N like every other day working the early hours because he was covering her shift. With the silence that the morning and the solitude allowed, he indulged in the comfort of daydreaming about her. His coworker. His friend. His everything-but-what-he-wanted-her-to-be.
He kind of disliked her at first. She was clumsy, loud, and didn’t have any boundaries whatsoever. She treated him as a friend since she started working there, a month after him, and his shy reserved self didn’t trust that kind of behaviour coming from a stranger. She would punch him in the arm when laughing at something, call him all sorts of nicknames and rely information on him that he wasn’t sure what to do with (why in hell would he want to know that she could recite all the words to the Kanye West classic Gold Digger or that she could tie her shoelaces in 3 seconds?).
But she slowly grew on him. Her weird impressions and the way she quoted The Simpsons on a daily basis, how she started working in a coffee shop despite the fact that she hated the smell of it just to prove a point still incomprehensible to him, her temporary fixations on stupid things like pairing two strangers together or the Star Wars franchise (which she made Bucky watch with her in one sitting).
He fell for her in between days of playing Alphabet Categories and nights of drunken karaoke.
They were friends. She was in love with someone else. There wasn’t much to it and Bucky didn’t like to sulk in it, so he just thought about what it would be like to kiss her. To be the reason she had a dreamy look on her face. To wake up with her and to hug her whenever he wanted and kiss her when she was funny like he always wanted to. He thought about this often, and that was what he was doing when Amanda entered the shop followed by, much to his surprise, Carl himself.
“Hi buddy,” he greeted Bucky once they reached the counter, “where’s your partner in crime today? Tricking some other pair of fools maybe?”
Bucky’s eyes went wide and he started apologizing, “I’m sorry sir, we meant no harm and...” but he trailed off when he noticed how Amanda was containing her laughter while intertwining her arm with Carl’s. “Wait, you two are— it worked?”
“Let’s say it did.” The woman smiled at Bucky knowingly and took out her wallet to put some cash on the counter. “Charge me our usuals, add a muffin to his and let me return the favour, please tell her you like her.”
Bucky just stared at her dumbfounded and she chuckled, but Carl was the one to continue. “You think you’re the only ones with eyes?” Bucky kept silence now worried about Y/N not being as oblivious as he thought. The man in front of him caught that. “She doesn’t know. A two way street apparently... I think we’ll leave you to it and you can bring us our food when you’re ready.”
And with that, they walked to their table.
It was Saturday. Y/N walked into the shop to see a nervous Bucky fidgeting in his seat at one of the tables.
“Sup dork.” He jumped from his seat and stood in front of her. “Wow there, everything alright? You seem a little off.”
“All good, doll. Want some breakfast?” He was already walking behind the counter while she took her backpack and jacket off. “I put extra work into this one, you’re gonna love it, made it myself.”
She scowled but didn’t say anything. She came out of the employees closet with the apron on and leaned on the counter with her elbows supporting her. “Well hit me with it then.”
Y/N saw Bucky falter a little, but he still placed the dessert in front of her and watched her closely while she examined the piece of food.
It was a muffin. A big as fuck muffin, clearly homemade to make the long phrase written on top of it fit, apparently by Bucky, and Y/N’s breath got caught in her throat when she read the words of a beautiful pink color. She thought it was either a joke or maybe another Cupid’s Arrow to light the way of some other lost idiots to love. Though when she looked up at Bucky, the look of utter adoration and hope on his stupidly, impossibly blue eyes left no doubt in her mind. However, she kept her expression as blank as possible. He was desperate already, wondering if he should have said something instead, if he should talk now, but she interrupted his thoughts by saying “You know, it doesn’t work if you already have my number and we’ve known each other for almost a year. I guess it’s fair to tell you who I fancy.” And, before she could actually see his heart breaking, she brought him closer to her by his shirt and kissed him with the counter between them.
“You know, you didn’t actually say anything.” She told him while keeping her eyes in the frapuccino she was occupying her hands with.
It was funny, like watching Large Black and Hot Chocolate pining after the other for weeks, how the largest amount of clients in months decided to come to the wrong placed Starbucks just when Bucky was finally able to taste the lips of the woman he wanted for so long. Even before he had time to properly react, the door opened and a procession of seemingly still drunk gals and pals walked in the shop. This happened from time to time, when hungover people would walk in after a busy night to the only coffee shop open so early on a Saturday.
Bucky smiled and turned her around by her hips to face him. “I like you.”
“How much?” And even if he didn’t expect her to ask him to marry her, he wasn’t expecting that answer either. But then she saw the cheeky grin on her face and cackled. “Are you really going to make me say it?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” She bit her lip to keep her smile from showing.
He laughed and kissed her cheek. “I like you a latte.”
She kissed him again, conveying her answer with the fervency of her lips and the desperation of her hands in his hair. Bucky brought her even closer to him by her waist and slightly bit her lower lip to gain more access to her and— someone clearing their throat from behind the counter. “Do you mind not making out over my cup?” Said the man with an annoyed tone.
They went back to finishing the last orders with big smiles and hearts aching to embrace the other. “Can you pass the coffee and sugar?” She asked from behind him and Bucky dropped the cup he was working on when she walked to him and stood on her tiptoes to whisper in his ear, “Because you just made me cream in my pants with that kiss.”
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Ninjago Unpopular Opinions
Following on from my watch of the entire old series (combined with already having seen the last two series), I have enough material to work with to make a sort of unpopular opinion list. Some of these are lightweight, some of these are...uh, not so much.
These aren’t in any particular order, this is more of a “I’ll just put them down as I remember them” sort of deal. That’ll be why they appear so messy.
-Even after all this I prefer the newest seasons to the older stuff. There have been a surprising number of good to great older seasons, but I just love that hit of S1/S2 campiness with the more developed writing of later seasons.
-Cole sucked as a leader, aside from in the pilot episodes. In the series proper he varied from complete meathead I hated (first part of S1), to having the same mentoring personality as everyone else (S1 - S2), to being consumed by the love triangle which made him pull a really shitty move (I don’t need to tell you what that refers to). He eventually gets ironed out in season 4, but Lloyd had already taken over as leader at this point. And rightfully so, even if Lloyd’s material got knocked from season 3 as a result.
-I couldn’t really warm up to Ronin that much for some reason. I get the reason why he’s popular, since it was pretty obvious he was supposed to be like an off-beat mentor figure to Nya, but...I dunno, unlike with Dareth, it felt like his skeevy moments were more off-kilter, plus I didn’t really like his arc in Skybound (even if that was written out of reality). That being said, his was strong in Possession even with said moments. Maybe I just need a future appearance to see how I ultimately swing with him.
-I mentioned this in my Hunted overview, but I think Skylor’s just bland. Part of the problem is that she’s mainly just wedged in as an action girl and doesn’t have too many moments to interact outside of that. That’s mostly reserved for moments where she acts as Agony Aunt (which is fine, that shows that being supportive is in her nature), but she needs more to work with. And as an obvious offshoot, if Kailor is the intended endgame it sucks in its current form. They don’t have chemistry or a decent dynamic.
-The other Ninjago ship I don’t particularly like out of all of them is...actually Geode. Yeah, Rebooted obviously wasn’t good for it considering the love triangle, but what actually did more damage to it for me was Skybound. It went so far in trying to oversteer back that it beat you over the head with the fact they were making Cole and Jay best friends after said love triangle (made really obvious when Jay is worried about Cole’s reaction to him seeing Nya in his reflection in both Possession and Skybound, when Cole isn’t even phased when he’s told). It was just really off-putting.
-Jay is a better big brother figure to Lloyd than Kai. Yeah, Kai’s true potential moment in Rise of the Serpentine hinged on realising he (and the others, mind) were supposed to protect Lloyd, they all spent Legacy of the Green Ninja’s first half being Lloyd’s proper mentors, Zane’s death prompted Kai to hover with thoughts of the Green Ninja again (which seemed to me for different reasons to being envious of power at the start, although its handling was very clunky after that), and he had the first episode in Possession which was arguably the strongest showing of a dynamic with Lloyd, but Possession didn’t have much about it outside of said episode, and the show seemed to just forget it from that point beyond some very, very fleeting and sparse bits. In the more modern seasons, it feels like Jay’s stepped up to be more supportive of Lloyd on a more consistent basis (which would make sense with the common fanon that Jay is the youngest of the original Ninja, he’d be closer to Lloyd’s age). It’s something I kind of want tapped into in a proper way at some point.
-Sensei Garmadon is a bit overrated. Just a smidge. When he’s good, he’s good, but most of the time he’s no more interesting than Wu would be in the same position. And I feel like they didn’t really develop his fatherly bond with Lloyd too well despite that being what his character was there for. Again, aside from moments where he was really good.
-Most underrated season of the old batch for me was the last minute shock, March of the Oni. I did enjoy Day of the Departed (which has a worse reputation), but I can understand why someone wouldn’t like it considering how bare it was. March of the Oni is far from my favourite season but I thought it came together really well, so the fact it’s generally panned legitimately confuses me. I guess Hands of Time would be a contender too, but I think opinion on that has swayed in its favour after the new seasons came out (and Secrets of the Forbidden Spinjutsu would be here if I included the new batch) so that’s why it’s edged out.
-Most overrated season for me was undeniably Tournament of Elements. It’s not my least favourite season, but Rebooted and Hunted are pretty maligned to begin with, while Tournament of Elements is usually considered one of the top ones. It starts strong, has an interesting premise and there are ideas that are executed well. The thing is that the elements that people tend to praise the season for are ones I actually think the writers dropped the ball on, hence why this ended up the toughest season to get to the end of, even more than Hunted. It’s a shame, but it’s just not for me.
-Best ninja suits...honestly, I don’t really notice the suits unless they’re really bad, because I’m used to franchises where costume changes mark radical permanent redesigns, and are not just par for the course of the brand (it makes perfect sense with a toy brand who want to sell you the same characters over and over again but still). Not counting the S11 suits since they weren’t part of the old batch, I guess I’d honestly say the ZX suits, maybe? They’re simple, but they’re cute and very distinct. Also Sons of Garmadon Cole channelling the Movie costume was a very good move (and arguably looks even better ripped up in Hunted aethetically), and Kai’s suit was bleh in Sons of Garmadon but its overhaul in Hunted was way better. Also, just as a wildcard, Rebooted Lloyd looks like a more finely tuned ZX suit.
Actually, just one last bit on a tangent to note a difference the show makes to the figures that demonstrates the figures’ limitations. For Kai and Jay’s S11 suits, their figures invoke similar feels (because underneath the accessories they do have a lot in common), whereas they feel very different in the show because while Jay sticks to the figure and looks snug, Kai has a lot exposed around the neckline, as if his gi is hanging loosely on the shoulders and should join Cole in the “For fucks sake it’s an ice realm wear a jacket please” club.
-Worst ninja sui--what the hell happened to Cole and Nya in Hands of Time?! Nya’s main issue is that it’s trying to work too many colours and they just don’t mesh well. I think this was the time they were partially adapting the movie’s change, but they were clinging onto her having red to both represent Samurai X and her ties to her brother, but they should have just picked one or the other because it just doesn’t work the way it did in Skybound. And Cole’s outfit is just hideous. Its balance of colours and accents is all off-kilter, and to top it off the shoes just don’t work and somehow look like socks with sandals. I didn’t know that was doable with a whole suit. Finally, on a general note, I’m not a fan of when the suits are all very similar bar some very, very minor differences. One could argue that it makes them look more like a team, but I prefer the individual personality to come out.
-It’s hard to judge the best and worst episodes, honestly. The seasons from Tournament of Elements onwards are done so tied to each other that picking an episode is rather difficult outside of designated finales (or the odd Jay-focused/Zane-focused episodes that happened in seasons 7, 8 and 9). I guess for best I’d say stuff like The Quiet One, or The Fall, or Grave Danger, or stuff like that would be up there. Worst episodes in those seasons are even harder, because usually it’s how arcs over episodes are written that get to me, not individual episodes.
This all being said, it’s much easier to do this with the more episodic first three seasons, and to that end I would still say that Tick Tock is my favourite standalone episode still, and Home is still my least favourite. For all the times the writing has dropped the ball, nothing has legitimately pissed me off more than what this episode did because it’s in its own category of bad writing.
-There have been some concepts thrown in that, while they definitely wouldn’t work out in the long term, make for interesting snippets of what-ifs. Like, I loved the bit where Jay was a show host and got around the stage using his lightning powers. That seems like such a natural fit outside of his ninja identity I wish I’d thought of it. Imagine Bradley Walsh using lightning to get around the studio, that would be metal as fuck.
-On the other side of that coin, the bizarro Ninja are the single most overrated concept in the show. I don’t like Scourge the Hedgehog to begin with, but he at least had some efforts to make him unique (that fell flat, but eh). The bizarro Ninja are the equivalent of Evil Sonic; cliche and undeveloped. They’re not even useful for the cliche idea of framing the actual Ninja since even though they’re seen doing delinquent behaviour, this is never addressed. Heck Nadakhan was more effective with this idea.
Thing is that I can’t blame the show at all for this. While the concept is naff, the show itself treats them as they actually were; Garmadon’s puppets and the scheme of the episode. Aside from bizarro Jay’s behaviour to Nya being full of unfortunate implications, there is no greater purpose for their existence, and the show never tries to do it again. It’s really the fans that have inflated their appearance in this case because I guess the idea of “take this nice character and give them an evil version” is just so appealing to the teenage demographic. Screw that, corruption is way more fun and interesting.
-What I can blame the show for is the single worst execution of an idea, because to this point I still consider Kai’s green ninja “arc” in Tournament of Elements to be the single worst executed arc (yeah, even worse than the love triangle, but that one is still bad). The sad thing is it managed to convince me that it wasn’t such a bad concept when they explained it by being an offshoot of his depression following Zane’s death (before that I was very sceptical it could fit it in naturally after the last three seasons). But then it was used once when Skylor tried to get Kai to stab Lloyd in the back during the skating match (which Kai completely rebuffed and seemed over his depression-rooted negative vibes on Lloyd), and once more when he was overcome by the power of the staff. The latter is especially infuriating since this would have been the perfect opportunity for a character moment. Like, Lloyd and/or Skylor could have fought to get Kai out of the trance of the staff and see that his friends mean more to him than having power. It practically writes itself and is a perfect set-up.
What happens instead is that Cole is technically the one to save Kai from himself as he rams the Roto Jet into the chamber and makes the rocky serpentine structure come crashing down on Kai. Maybe interesting to read into if you want a Lava reading of the show, but in that moment is just a wasted opportunity. Come on!
-Actually, also talking about other bad concepts, I don’t miss those weird energy dragons they could summon starting from Tournament of Elements. The dragons in Rise of the Serpentine/Legacy of the Green Ninja were fine because they had a logical reason for being there and actually were integrated into the plot (so you got to watch them being maintained and having moments with the ninja). The energy dragons in Tournament of Elements existed for one character as a plot thing (Zane’s, because he always had the good plots in the earlier seasons), but then everyone else suddenly could do it too and they became convenient plot devices and nothing else. Airjutsu I was more okay with because it seems more like a tool they’d use and could be integrated better, but I can also see why that stopped being used (outside of that one bit in Prime Empire).
-The Elemental Masters are both over-hyped and underdeveloped. The normal civilian cast really got the shaft once the series decided it wanted to explore this lore, yet the only ones I really got interested in in any way were the villain EMs and Karlof. And even Karlof is overlooked by the fandom, by the looks of it.
-Jay actually came off the best in the Rebooted love triangle. He’s not entirely perfect, but he is essentially the biggest victim as a result of it in that season, and what Nya and Cole did either bordered on or was outright callous for different reasons. I think if people gave Jay the biggest shtick for Rebooted’s events, it’s influenced with how Skybound botched trying to patch it up.
-The movie was a net positive influence on the show. Aside from me preferring the designs of the movie anyway, it forced the characterisation to actually pick a lane for each character and stick to it, mitigating a lot of the haphazard characterisation issues. The inconsistency in later seasons is tone instead, which is maybe why people thought the characterisation was inconsistent between Sons of Garmadon/Hunted and March of the Oni/SotFS (when really, they weren’t that different if at all). The show also made a good call in ignoring movie Zane’s characterisation; as much as I enjoy it in the film, it really didn’t gel up with what the show had done with him, so trying to force it in would have been more of a characterisation jolt than any of the early season stuff.
-I’m generally fine with Jaya and Pixane. The former I can see why people would be off about it because there have been some badly written periods for them, but I think on the whole it manages to hold it together. The latter was written in surprisingly smoothly given the circumstances, so it’s no wonder I don’t see discourse about it.
-Oh yeah, I don’t get Wu/Faith as a ship. Like, she was the cool drill instructor/aunt to everyone, including Wu. This is a quick one because it’s just a very small aside.
-Also I can’t really get behind Polyninja either. If the characters had a fairly even spread of interaction and moments between each other I could, but the spread ends up like lots of moments between Cole and Kai varying from little moments to huge dollops, and Cole and Jay having a whole best friends affirmation arc due to the fallout of the love triangle, to Kai and Jay having barely anything to work with and anyone with Zane getting a couple of table scraps occasionally. It’s not even enough.
-Following on from that though, Zane feels the least integrated with the group dynamic in general. He’s has some of the best plots and stories in the show, but nearly all of them have been focusing on him solo. And not even SotFS or Prime Empire helped with this one. Hopefully MoM can smooth this one out a bit.
-Finally for this post, after going through all those seasons I still prefer Nya’s movie voice to her show voice by a significant margin. Sorry Kelly Metzger.
I think that’s it. I’ve actually been on this for a week but I’ve been allowing time for more thoughts to come to me, because there have been a lot of thoughts coming in batches. I think I’ll leave it at this though, because I think most of it is covered pretty well.
I have at least two more text posts like this planned, but they’re not strictly about the old seasons so I’ve left them for after. I’m looking forward to them though, because they’re on specific topics and that is my bread and butter pudding.
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House Wife AU part 5
Pyrrha, wearing a cowboy costume: *handing out candy* Oh my goodness, what are you supposed to be, sweetie?
Little boy, happily: I’m an astwonaut!
Pyrrha, giggling: Well you have to be the cutest little astronaut ever. Here you go. *puts candy in bag.
Boy's parents: What do you say to the nice lady?
Little boy: Thank you, nice lady.
Pyrrha, smiling sweetly: You’re welcome, sweetie. Have a happy Halloween! *shuts door and yells towards her stairs* Hey kids! Are you guys almost ready for trick or treating?
Troy’s voice, from up stairs: Yeah hold on! Almost done!
Pyrrha: Please hurry! Uncle Roman and Mercury should be here any minute no—
*Door bell rings*
Pyrrha, grabbing bowl of candy: Ope, more trick or treaters. *opens door* Happy Halloween!
Roman, chuckling: Oooh, we get candy too?
Mercury: And here I thought this holiday was only for kids.
Pyrrha, chuckling: Oh, it’s you two. I’m sorry. I thought you guys were trick or treaters. Please, come in. The kids are getting ready.
Mercury, walking in: So, are the kiddos excited to go trick or treating?
Pyrrha, smiling: They sure are. They been waiting all year for this. They were too excited to go to sleep last night actually. They were too busy talking about how much candy they were going to get. It was adorable.
Roman, smiling: Yeah, I'm sure it was. So, where’s Cindie?
Pyrrha, frowning: Hmm? She should be around here somewhere. Where is she? Hey sweetheart, come here! Roman and Mercury are here!
Cinder’s voice, sighing in the other room: Hold on! Just....give a minute.
Mercury, raising an eyebrow: What’s wrong with her?
Pyrrha, smiling: Oh nothing. Our kids’ picked our costumes and she’s....she’s not the biggest fan of hers.
Roman: Oh really? How bad is it?
Pyrrha: It’s not even bad. She’s just being a little grump. Cinder, sweetheart, are you coming?
Cinder’s voice, approaching: Yeah, hold on! I’m on my way.
*Suddenly Cinder grudgingly walks through the door with a Bo Peep costume on, including the pink polkadotted dress, hat, and even cane*
Cinder, glaring: You shut your god damn mouths!
Mercury, laughing: Nice costume. Where's your other toy friends?
Cinder, gritting her teeth: Shut up.
Roman, laughing: Are you trying out a new look or something? It really suits you.
Cinder: I swear to God I will fucking shove my foo—
Pyrrha: Hey, language. Just calm down and ignore them, okay? Besides, I think you look really cute in that costume anyway. *kisses her* You're my cute Bo Peep.
Cinder, sighing: Where are the kids?
Pyrrha, smiling: They should be coming down. *Yells towards the stairs* Hey kids! Come down, uncle Roman and Mercury are here!
*Loud footsteps are heard*
Achilles’s voice: COMING!
*Achilles and Troy excitedly run down stairs in sheep costumes*
Pyrrha, cooing: Aww, look how precious you two look. You’re my two little precious lambs. *kisses their heads*
Mercury: So, I see there’s a theme going on.
Pyrrha, smiling: Yeah, they just saw toy story last week and loved it. So they picked our costumes and we picked theirs. *Cooing* And I'm honestly so happy I picked these costumes, but they are absolutely adorable, I swear. Whose mommy's little lambs? *Kisses their heads a bunch againi
Achilles: Mooom! You're embarrassing us!
Pyrrha, punching Achilles cheek: Oh nonsense. There's nothing embarrassing about a mother's love. Now scoot together so I can't take some pictures.
*Pyrrha snaps a bunch of pictures of her kids, while slightly getting teary eyed and mumbling about her "precious lambs"*
Roman, crouching down: So are you kiddos ready for trick or treating?
Achilles, jumping: Heck yeah I am!
Troy, shaming with excitement: I can’t wait! We are going to get so much candy!
Mercury: You got that right! We marked all the rich people’s house that give the best candy out! So your bags are going to be packed!
Achilles: Yes! I can’t wait!
Troy: Lets Go!
Cinder: Hold on, guys. Let me have a word with your 'uncles' real quick. Comm’ere for a minute, you two.
Mercury, sighing: Oh great.
Roman, sighing: Just give us a minute kids. This won’t take long.
*Cinder escorts Mercury and Roman to the living room privately*
Cinder, deadly serious: I just want to tell you guys that if you lose our kids, or if ANYTHING happens to them, I’ll kill you both.
Roman, rolling his eyes: Yeah Yeah, I know.
Cinder: I’m serious. I will kill you both with no hesitation at all. No matter how far you run, and where you hide, I will find and slaughter you both like the dogs you are.
Mercury, groaning: We know already. You literally tell us this each time we baby sit them at all.
Cinder, growling: And I mean it each and everytime too. Don’t let them out of your sights, or so help me god I’ll—
Roman, rolling his eyes: Kill us, we got it. Can we go now?
Cinder: Yeah. Get out of here. And don’t make me regret letting you do this.
Roman, smiling: Right. See you around, farmer’s daughter.
Cinder: Dont you fucking call me th—
Roman, leaving with the kids: Let’s go guys. Say bye bye to your mommies.
Troy/Achilles, waving: Bye bye!
Pyrrha, smiling and waving: Goodbye, we love you! Have fun and be safe!
Roman, waving: We will. See you later.
Pyrrha, smiling: Well the kids are gone now. So you know what that means we can do finally~
Cinder, smiling: Oh most definitely.
Pyrrha: Time to watch a bunch of bad horror movies!
Cinder, chuckling: Yep! Ill make the popcorn! Let's go!
Roman, walking down the street: Man, I can’t believe that Cindie doesn’t fully trust us with the kiddos yet.
Mercury: I know right. I mean, we’re great babysitters.
Roman: We’re the best! And we’re doing this for free too! She should be greatful!
Mercury: She really should! But no, she thinks we're nothing but idiots.
Roman: Tell me about it. We're not that dumb. We are actually very two smart men!
Mercury: You can say that again! Plus the kids love us! Don’t you guys?
Mercury, concerned: Hey, are you kiddos alright? Wait, did you guys change bags or something? *crouches down* What’s goin—.......
Roman, worries: What? What’s wrong? *crouches down* Do they have candy on their mouths or som— *gasps* O-oh my god.
*Roman looks and sees two confused kids wearing identical sheep costumes, but being completely two different kids, both of them being cat faunuses*
Roman, panicking: Oh my fucking god!
Mercury, panicking: Please tell me I’m going insane! Please tell me that I don’t see two cat ears on them right now! Tell me anything but—
Roman, nearly crying: Jesus Christ, we somehow mixed up kids! We got the wrong ones!
Mercury, voice cracking: Anything BUT that!
Roman: Oh my god! This can't be happening?! We just accidentally committed two kidnappings! How is this even possible?! How did we manage to do this?! The chances of this happening is comically and astronomically low! Oh fuck!! This is so stupid, even for us! Oh my god! This doesn't happen to normal people! This is like some three stooges level of stupidity! Cinder's going to kill is!
Mercury: Stop jumping to conclusion man! We might not die! Look, maybe....just maybe, Cinder might not notice if we show up with these two instead. L-like, we could dye her hair red and boom, it's essentially Achilles and Troy! That's possible, right?
Roman: NO, YOU DAMN IDIOT! WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU?! DID YOU SUDDENLY GROW SHIT FOR BRAINS OR SOMETHING?! FOR GOD SAKE, ONE OF THEM IS A GIRL! A GIRL WITH CAT EARS! HOW THE HELL ARE WE GOING TO CONVINCE THEIR PARENTS THAT THEYRE ACHILLES AND TROY?! AND WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO WITH THESE TWO KIDS RIGHT HERE?!
Mercury: I DONT KNOW BUT STOP YELLING AT ME, IM GRASPING FOR STRAWS! I'M DESPERATE!
Roman: OH MY GOD! SHE’S GOING GO KILL US!!! SHE’S ACTUALLY GOING GO KILL US! WE’RE DEAD! WE’RE SO DEAD! OH CHRIST, WE NEED TO MOVE AWAY, FAR AWAY TO A PLACE WHERE SHE CANT FIND US! CHANGE IDENTITIES AND LOOKS! ROMAN AND MERCURY NO LONGER EXIST ANYMORE! WE’RE NOW GRAY AND YURI! GROW A MUSTACHE WHILE I GROW A GOATEE OR SOMETHING, I DONT FUCKING KNOW–
Mercury: GET A HOLD OF YOURSELF, MAN! WE GOTTA CALM DOWN! WE CANT JUST GIVE UP HOPE RIGHT AWAY! HOPE IS ALL WE GOT! LOOK, WE JUST GOTTA FIND THESE KIDS’ PARENT AND THEN WE’RE FIND OUR KIDS! OKAY?! ALL IS NOT LOST!
Roman: YOURE RIGHT! ALL WE GOTTA DO IS FIND THEM AND WE ARENT DEAD! YOU'RE BRILLIANT!
Mercury: Okay, uhm....Heya kiddos, uhm.....do you think you guys can show us to your house? You have any idea where you live?
One of the kids: *nods quietly*
Mercury: Yes yes yes yes! We aren’t going to die! We are going to survive! Okay, let’s go!
Pyrrha, eating popcorn: I honestly don’t understand why everyone in these horror movies are so dumb. Like, does common sense don't exist in these worlds?
Cinder, chuckling: How else are they supposed to die in these easily avoidable ways for our amusement?
Pyrrha, giggling: Yeah, I guess you’re right. But couldn't they just make the killer smarter?
Cinder: Yeah, but then they would have to put effort into the writing.
*Phone rings in the kitchen*
Cinder, standing: I'll get it.
Pyrrha: Can you make some more popcorn while you’re at it?
Cinder, smiling: Yeah, hold on.
*Cinder walks into the kitchen and answer their phone*
Cinder: Hello?........Yang? Yang who? Oh wait, you’re one of Pyrrha’s friends, right?....oh, okay. How can I help you?........wait, slow down. You're talking to fast.......what do you mean your wife’s going to kill you if she finds out. What’s going on?......uh no, why would we have your kids?......a mix up? What mix up?.......why do you have Troy and Achil— OH MY GOD, I’M GOING TO KILL THEM!!!
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Thelreads, Vigilantes 7.5, Replies
1) “Oh, this one will be about Knuckleduster’s gritty, terrifying looks, isn’t it?”-I’d have said more ‘rugged, badass’ looks myself, but yeah, the man could defiantly do with a good PR manager.
2) ““Exactly” could be changed to “in any way whatsoever”, but let’s not waste time on details, right?”- Well, ‘technically’ so long as Koichi doesn’t attack anybody directly using his quirk in plain sight of a hero, and Knuckleduster doesn’t commit acts of violence around a hero, they can’t be tried and prosecuted for ‘heroics’ if nobody has any proof of them going over the line that separates heroes from civilians, right? (remembers Knuckleduster strangling enigma) oh shi-
3) “I believe Koichi is nowhere near his max speed, and even so that guy couldn’t even see him moving around him, he was just a blur.”- It’s not just speed, but sheer manoeuvrability combined with his ability to now safely accelerate and de-accelerate all at once. With his prior poor handling, Koichi’s only real option when pushing the speed beyond what he could safely control was to try and find a long enough stretch of road to safely coast down until his speed dropped to manageable levels.
Now he can safely stop himself whenever he wants, Koichi can add short, sharp acceleration bursts to his movement repertoire allowing him to speed up massively for short distances and instantly stop and change direction however he wants. Koichi’s top speed is something to ponder, given its implied his quirk is more about sheer freedom of movement rather than speed like the Tenya Family’s’ but in enclosed streets like this he’s the king of the road. Ironically, in learning to apply the brakes, Koichi’s unlocked a new level of FAST to go with his vigilante activities.
4) “HOLY SHIT KOICHI JUST STOPPED THAT KID FROM GETTING ISEKAI’D
JESUS CHRIST KOICHI ALREADY SAVED ANOTHER PERSON FROM DYING, AND WE’RE ONLY AT THE THIRD PAGE”-
Koichi: there will be no accidents today whilst the Crawler’s on the streets, Truck-kun!
Truck-Kun: ‘Honks Angrily’
5) “But, not gonna lie, I love that even though he has a lot to deal with, college and work, not to say the “night work”, Koichi still makes his voluntary work to help the community in the small ways. Koichi is truly the one that embodies the best qualities of a hero, and he would be worthy of inheriting One for All.”- On that note, given how OFA absorbs and amplifies the quirks it encounters in its hosts, can you imagine what Koichi would be capable of with a OFA-boosted Slide and Glide? Or if Koichi had been one of the Previous wielders, and Midoiria ended up gaining access to Slide and Glide himself? He’d be unstoppable in moving around the city, even without the movement boosts already afforded to him by Full Cowling’s lesser % usage
6) “AND THE WORSE THING IS THAT WE CAN’T EVEN GET MAD WITH THEM, BECAUSE THEY AREN’T MESSING WITH HIM, THEY GENUINELY BELIEVE THAT’S HIS NAME, AND THEY ARE TRYING THEIR HARDEST TO MAKE HIM BE KNOW AROUND TOWN, SINCE THEY ARE ALSO KIND OF FANS OF HIM.”-
Scottsuke and Jamestaro: We’re helping!
Koichi: Please…. Stop
7) “It’s not a matter of being cool or not, Pop, it’s something that needs to be done, and Koichi won’t let it slide. Being a hero is so much more than punching bad guys and appearing on TV, you know?”- On that note, I wonder how many people do community service and such around town in their world? Given how destructive the fights between heroes and villains can be, and everybody’s focus on heroes as ‘cool crime fighters’ not to mention how All Might indicated a lot of people miss the point about being small-steps heroes in their infatuation with the concept, I guess a lot of people just don’t see the point in spending the effort of something that appears so meaningless. Might explain all the Trash Piles Knuckleduster keeps using as a landing pad…which might actually prove troublesome if Koichi keeps cleaning up the streets like this.
8) “OH MY GOD IS THAT ALL MIGHT SHOWING UP TO REVEAL HE’LL GIVE KOICHI ONE FOR ALL SO HE CAN BECOME HIS SUCCESSOR AND THE NEW SYMBOL OF PEACE?”-Well, technically, Knuckleduster is the All Might stand-in for these lower decks episodes, so….
9) “See? Knuckleduster waited all day long so he could spend some time with his kid, c’mon Koichi, go with him, it’s going to be fun!”-And then he had to restrain himself further when Koichi and Pop ruined the mood by being ‘logical’ and ‘smart’ about hunting for trigger users. Small wonder he started acting out- it’s like the kid waiting all day to go to the candy store, only for the family to park outside the candy store and start reading books in the car instead.
10) “OH MY FUCKING GOD IS THIS WHAT THE CHAPTER TITTLE IS ABOUT? KNUCKLEDUSTER PUNCHING PEOPLE BECAUSE THEY APPEAR TO BE VILLAINOUS? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?”- Well, in fairness, you also thought they were super-villainous looking as well, but hey, can’t judge a book by its cover all the time- except for old man Knuckle, he’s pretty much exactly what you get on the label.
11) “Also, “unintended casualties” was such a hilarious way of putting it, but it pales in when put against Knuckleduster’s deadpan way of saying that its their fault for having a punchable face.”-The same excuse was also given when they investigated lawyers, reporters and politicians who might have had connections to trigger, though the vigilantes had to bail whenever their targets started to come around, lest they get used for assault- which would have caused Knuckleduster to assault them again, creating a vicious cycle- an ‘Assault Spiral’ if you will.
OH GOD WHY
KOICHI, WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU”- He tried out a vigilante’s mascot costume as an experimental attempt to boost their PR. Test results were not positive, as many children who saw him in that get-up were traumatised by his freakish looks.
13) “1-People with the black tongue will definitely try to hide it, since its a weird enough thing that would gather attention from others
2-The profile of people we saw using the drug so far is only tangentially related to the profile of people that would follow this trend. Or any trend, for that matter.
So, sorry, I don’t think it will work.”- On the other hand, it’s implied that the users may not be initially aware of their black tongues unless it’s pointed out or they see themselves in a mirror, so a causal user might not be aware of the distinctive mark that they’re using trigger- not to mention that if they try to hide it, it would be suspicious to their friends and such, which might trickle back up the grapevine to Pop, giving them more clues on the likely location of a trigger user-since those who’d hide their tongues are the one aware of the change, but have likely still kept using trigger even despite that, since it’s implied the marks fade after a while, meaning a freshly black-tonged individual who’s attempting to hide that is somebody with access to regular supplies of trigger to shoot up, and is also someone of the unsavoury sort, since they’d be taking trigger despite knowing it’s an illegal drug, and is leaving noticeable marks on their bodies, thus being more likely to be closer to the suppliers like Kuin.
14) “OH MY GOD I FEEL SO BAD FOR KNUCKLEDUSTER, HE’S GETTING ANXIOUS
KOICHI PLEASE, YOU FATHER WANTS TO HAVE SOME FUN, MAKE HIM COMPANY FOR CHRIST’S SAKE”-Old Man Knuckle is a simple man. He came here to kick ass and Chew Bubble-gum. And Koichi hasn’t bought him any bubble-gum yet.
15) “AND NOW THAT KOICHI SAID, THE VERY NEXT PAGE SOME VILLAIN WILL SHOW UP RIGHT NEXT TO THEM, MARK MY WORDS”- Wish granted, except not really. Can’t assume every person with a villainous-looking face/agenda is a bad guy- that’s the same assumption Phelps is making when he lumps the vigilantes into the same groups of criminals as the Trigger Ring- though given the subsequent assault upon Enigma, he might have a point about calling the vigilantes ‘dangerous’ even if they’re not technically criminals.
16) “MOTHER OF ALL CONTRIVED CONVENIENCES, IT IS A VILLAIN LIKE I SAID, WHO WOULD’VE GUESSED
AND NOT ONLY THAT, BUT A REALLY BIG ONE, THAT SEEMS TO BE GETTING BIGGER.”- Given the subsequent rubberyness enigma demonstrates, I guess her quirk involves turning into a human bouncy castle? It makes sense she’d join up with Tensei’s hero team then, since we’ve seen how he gets a lot of mileage out of airbags, and her quirk also allows her to function as a cushion for people falling off high places and also a possible ladder if needed? Like, with the growing and shrinking to get up and down.
In fact, it seems to be a primary rescue-focused quirk, with pretty much zero combat capabilities, hence presumably why she didn’t retaliate when Knuckeduster tried to beat the hell out of her and choke her out.
17) “OH MY GOD THIS MEN IS LOSING HIS SHIT OVER THIS, HE’S SO FUCKING HAPPY, LOOK AT THAT PRECIOUS, MURDEROUS SMILE OF HIS
HE FOUND THE PERFECT FATHER-SON BONDING ACTIVITY FOR THIS AFTERNOON”-Three things that makes Knuckleduster smile like that: Violence, Villains and the free beer he bums off of Koichi. And he just finished cleaning out his fridge that morning.
18) “Actually, Knuckleduster, I believe that’s the expression of someone that is stoned out of their fucking mind. look at that fucking face, what is that?
This one definitely is a drug user, although not a Trigger one.”- Hmm, guess enigma can also create ‘satellite’ eyes for extra vantage points- though presumably only when she gets to a certain size once in ‘bouncy’ form, otherwise it’d have been pretty stupid of her to transform into her more menacing-looking form to get a better look when she could have created some smaller ‘eyes’ in normal form….unless being baked out of her mind impeded her thought process….
19) “Knuckleduster just mentioned the potential loss of innocent people in such a casual way that for a moment I thought I was seeing Gendo and Shinji here.”-
Knuckledster: Won’t somebody please think of the Civilians!!!
Koichi: (Deadpan as hell) yep, sure, I’ll be all about that, you go do your thing, whatever floats your boat, master.
20) “FOR FUCK’S SAKE SHINJI GET BACK HERE AND PILOT THE GODDAMN ROBOT”-Alas, cool as it would be for koichi to pilot a giant crawler-based mech, the trio don’t have the budget for that, but I’m still holding out hope that Koichi eventually runs into his own version of Mei Hatsume/ The Tinker, who can build and design his own hero suit for his vigilante activities, even without the kind of supplies official heroes have access to. The Iron Crawler suit.
Now, I don’t want to point fingers and accuse people without any proof, like my sister does, but I think it’s number 4, alright? Something in those eyes just doesn’t sit right…”-The LARP session of Amoung Us did not test well in MHA’s world, because when you die in the game, you die for real.
22) “IT KEEPS GETTING BETTER
SHE’S A FUCKING HERO
THEY JUST TRIED TO FUCKING BEAT UP A HERO IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET”-
Koichi:…. Dah-du-Dah!! We’re dead!!!
Knuckleduster: Oh please, she’s so stoned out of her mind she didn’t feel a thing there! Heck, I’d bet money she doesn’t even see us clearly! (to enigma) Hoy, float-head! How many fingers am I holding up?
Enigma (Peers and squints at his hand) That sure is a lovely potato you’ve got there mister, but you’ll wanna cut those roots off before it goes bad.
Koichi: But that just raises bigger concerns….
23) “OH MY GOD SHE WAS ON HER WAY THERE WHEN SHE GOT LOST, SO SHE USED HER QUIRK TO FIGURE OUT WHERE SHE WAS, AND THEN THEY JUST SHOWED UP AND BEAT HER UP
THIS POOR THING
SHE’S ALSO ABSOLUTELY TERRIFYING GOOD LORD”- Apparently, she’s supposed to be a ‘country girl’ stereotype, as in just come from the country to the big city for the first time, so her spacy look and somewhat ditsy dialogue is supposed to reflect that in the original Japanese? Kansai dialect or something. Certainly helps with her image as a regular weed-taker though.
24) “Also, I think that Tensei will be happy to hear that his friend helped his new sidekick to find her workplace after she smoked one too many blunts.”-He will, however, be less pleased when she refurbishes a good quarter of the team offices into a greenhouse for her ‘medicinal’ herbs.
25) “OH MY GOD KNUCKLEDUSTER PLEASE
YOU HAVEN’T LEARNED A SINGLE THING FROM THIS ONE, DID YOU?!”- If he had, he’d have cleaned up his own image a little. Knuckleduster’s method of attacking people based on how suspicious or shifty they look could equally apply to himself, but he’s too focused on the moment-to-moment method of getting from one punching target to another to consider the hypocrisy.
26) “Alright, that’s really cool, the fact they are fan submissions. We have Big-sleeves, Batman Endeavor, and that thing.
Enigma, huh… Yeah her head most certainly is an enigma. And it seems she’ll be a regular character, since the author enjoyed her gimmick enough to giver her a chapter.”- Horikoshi’s not the only one who uses fan-submitted designs in his mainstream manga. It’s actually really cool that both mangaka do this, showing how connected they are to their fan base and in touch with what their readers are looking for and expecting from the stories they draw.
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Heyyy, please gimme that good TodoDeku angst with prompt 95! :))
You want angst, I humbly deliver. Prepare tosuffer as I cry in a corner
Prompt: “Sometimes, memories are the worst torture.”
Summary: The life of a Pro-Hero isn’t what Todoroki dreamed of and he’s lost more than just himself in the process.
Being a hero meant sacrifice, to abandon what made you human for the sake of the greater good.
Todoroki had to abandon his privacy. From the day he uttered the words ‘Hero in training’ the press were breathing down his neck. Desperate for a scandal — to craft a story or to simply drag him down. He learnt he couldn’t go in public without people gawking or flat out stalking.
He had to hire a helper to do his shopping for him, to take care of the intricacies that gave life a sense of normality. She paid his bills, did his taxes, cleaned the house and shopped for whatever he needed. He felt bad, so she was paid handsomely for her efforts.
Still, he was deprived of the little things in life. He didn’t get to wander down shopping isles and simply browse, he couldn’t complain about the traffic or make small talk while in line at the coffee shop. Everything was done for him – his life was lived on his behalf.
He had to abandon the idea of tomorrow. In his line of work, it was never a guarantee. He had to treat every day as his last, every breath as the last he would take. The future wasn’t certain, the only thing he could do was living in the present.
He never made promises, and he never made plans. There was never a promise he could keep them.
He had to abandon his past. He wasn’t allowed to think about what could have been or what he should have done. To truly live in the present, he was to be left without the restraining shackles of memory.
Shoto Todoroki the person and Shoto Todoroki the hero were two different people. The person didn’t exist, abandoned along with the rest of his past. He could afford to keep track of old friends and contact his family, lest they become a target.
He finally understood why his father was so distant when he was a child.
He had to abandon his health. There was an idea that he wasn’t meant to exist outside of his heroic persona. He belonged to the public and no one else. He was to respond to their every beck and call, to bend himself over backwards to please their ever whim. He didn’t have time to maintain his own health. He couldn’t spend a night out with his mates or even so much as take a break. He was always expected to be working.
“Why weren’t you there?” Someone snapped from the forming crowd when he arrived at a crime scene a moment too late. The victim had been done away with and he wasn’t there to help. He had been across town, passed out on the couch after a twelve-hour patrol shift.
He stopped sleeping soon after that.
He couldn’t lie down without guilt clawing at his consciousness. He wasn’t allowed to relax when someone out there could be in danger. He wasn’t allowed.
He worked himself flat for days on end, only stopping when his body collapsed in on itself. He’d be out of commission for mere hours before he slapped himself back into work, chugging down whatever energy drink he could get his hands on before starting the cycle up again. His record was a week of straight patrol.
He lived off microwave meals because cooking too much time and he didn’t have the time. His house devolved from a home to a collection of walls long ago. It was a place he was forced to go to shower, shove food down his throat and pass out when his body couldn’t take any more.
He had to abandon love. Platonic, romantic, it didn’t matter. It was off limits. There wasn’t a set rule about it, but it was something all hero’s abided by. The first two generations of heroes had learnt the hard way that the significant others of heroes were the first targets in villain attacks. A generation of lives cut short, and every hero began to independently make vows to swear off dating.
Todoroki and Izuku had assumed they were different, that if they worked hard enough, they could make it work, like everything else in their lives. It didn’t work out, not for the lack of trying – they just simply weren’t meant to be.
He had to abandon himself. If his childhood self-looked at who he had become, it would disgust him. He was a hero, the person he had always dreamed to be, and yet he wanted nothing more than to abandon it all.
He wanted to come home from a long day of work, sigh about his nine-to-five job in the office and watch TV while his partner cooked dinner. He wanted to royally fuck up and have no one there to judge and gossip about it. He wanted to learn from his mistakes without having to draft a public apology and attend countless press conferences where he was publicly and violently ripped apart by complete strangers who felt entitled to his every thought as if it was their own.
He wanted to hold Izuku in his arms again.
Lying awake at night, his mind racing, he always thought about the green-haired boy from his childhood, his first, last and only love. The one that got away.
The now number one hero and envy of all, he could happily say that he knew Izuku before everything else. Is his troubles as the number three were already putting him under that much strain, he couldn’t imagine what it was like for his old classmate and lover.
Izuku hadn’t dated since the two of them broke it off two years ago – he hadn’t either. It was a mutual understanding. They loved each other more than they could ever really explain, but their careers were pulling them in different directions, and they couldn’t afford the added danger that relationships brought forward.
Longing after someone out of your reach was impossibly painful. Sometimes, memories were the worst torture. He told himself to stop longing after what could have been, but occasionally he allowed himself the small pleasure of sinking into the fantasies.
In his mind, everything was fine. He and Izuku were pro-heroes, partners, lovers and before anything else, themselves. He’d come home after a long day, beaten and bruised, and Izuku would be there to patch his wounds and support him through anything. Todoroki would be there to do the same, tending to his wounds, emotional or otherwise.
They’d share chaste kisses in public and heated ones after battles. They’d face the press together and go shopping in domestic bliss. Maybe he’d bake cookies on their anniversary – Izuku was always fond of chocolate.
A distant gunshot rung through the city and Todoroki sprung into action. He ripped the doors of his closet and pulled out the first thing he saw; it didn’t matter what, all he owned were carbon copies of his hero costume. He changed and rushed out the door without a secontd thought, fantasies abandoned on the dusty floor of his apartment.
Maybe he’d run into Izuku there. A smile graced his lips as he slid down the street on a shard of ice. There was always hope. They ran in the same circles after all.
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foul mouth | kth ceo au
∷ Cursing out and not recognizing your boss earned you his constant (and annoying) attention alongside a new nickname.
Taehyung x Reader
∵ ceo au ,,, e2l au
“Um… you,” a hand was pointed towards your face, “photocopy 2 of everything then man the desk,” now a tonne of papers was slammed in front of you, sending a gust of wind backwards and shocking you from the force they were dropped at.
Getting bossed around was something you had to get used to being a junior secretary at a huge up and coming company- a new junior secretary who also only started three days ago.
There were also nicknames; they were rather degrading as most people never bothered to learn your name until they decided you could last at least four months here. Nothing too special; most people opted for: ’hey you!’ or ’thingy’ and the most welcoming- ’newbie’.
You had to take it on the chin, this was your job -a well paying one- that you weren’t planning on losing any time soon. So the workload and rude coworkers are something you’ll have to get used to, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t annoying as shit.
”It’s Y/N,” managing to wrap your tiny hands around the blocks of paper, you lifted up the weight, ”you should know; you’re the one who hired me Amanda,” your boss or head secretary, Amanda, didn’t have time for ’casual’ conversation (somehow, knowing your name was casual) and anytime anyone brought up anything other than work she shut it down. So making friends was out the window.
”Alright then Adrian,” not even close, “can you stop messing around and photocopy these for me quickly. I want to go to lunch,” you did admire her however; the way she managed to talk with you, the person on the phone, the person in front of her, all while clicking the mouse to add another tab onto the already filled screen on her computer was multitasking skills beyond even your own mother. And the fact that she still managed it with impeccable slicked back hair, untouched skin and a perfect pantsuit combo was some sort of sorcery.
”Chop chop,” Amanda waved her hand in your general direction and went back to her multiple conversations.
The sigh that fell from your mouth was heavy enough to even worry the man standing behind the desk, but nonetheless, work was work and you were willing to commit until this job inevitably kills you.
The walk to the photocopy room wasn’t that far, so you didn’t bother thinking about the fact the trip back you were carrying double the weight until you were there, smacking your head against the photocopier for your sheer stupidity of not doing this in two trips.
”Finally,” Amanda got up from her chair, not to help, but to grab her purse, ”I’m going to get some food and I’ll be straight back as I still don’t trust you here alone. Put the papers on my side of the desk,” oh, that’s a nice feeling.
Being bashed and then ordered around again. You stood there, loads and loads of paper somehow balanced in your hands as you watched Amanda walk away, heels clicking against the tile floors with every self-entitled step.
You set down the papers with a slam next to her computer, the pens laid on her desk dispersed and you didn’t make an effort to pick them up. A favour for a favour.
Expecting a clear desk, you sat down in your chair with the annoyingly squeaky wheel and gasp at your computer screen. You stared at what was normally a flawless sheer black, clean screen that had transformed into a mood board for yellow and pink post-it notes, all similarly decorated with a neat ’A’ at the bottom of the task set on each one of them.
”Fuck sake!” You bang your head onto the keyboard; unintelligible combinations appearing onto your Microsoft Excel and stretching the collum as your profile stays firmly pressed against the board.
”I know the feeling, but maybe keep the language to yourself, you’re in a public space,” an unfamiliar voice ringed in your ears, the tone of was deep, but it was smoother than caramel; you could fall into it and listen to it all day… but once the words registered in your mind your head shot up, hair flying everywhere and out of your pathetically tied bun.
“There you go,” the man watched as you appeared from under the desk like a bunny coming out of a magicians top hat, “you need to let me in. I’ve lost my ID and can’t get through the turnstiles. You have to let me in, I would jump over, but I don’t want to rip this suit.”
Not only were you the secretary for this building and company, you also were the ’gatekeeper’- as you liked to call it. You and Amanda decide who goes in and who doesn’t; people who work here have an ID to get them past the turnstiles, and others, who have scheduled appointments, are given a temporary guest ID to let them in. This guy, however, has neither of those things and Amanda made it very clear: ’never let someone who doesn’t have an ID or appointment through. Or else’.
And as a new employee under her care, you didn’t want to embarrass you or her.
“I can’t do that sir. You don’t have an ID or an appointment so you can’t go through,” you say with a monotone voice a shuffle through papers to make yourself look busy.
The look he fires back to your remark is either completely disgust or shock, ”my face should be ID enough.”
Wow, what a cocky little shit. You scoff and smile, shocked by his attitude.
”Your face? Sorry, but as a person who works here, I’ve never seen you around,” you roll your eyes and turn away, sitting back down in your chair, ”you can’t go through.”
“You’re just a secretary, who have you seen around and what do you do anyway?” You could see the self-entitlement dripping off of him.
Your blood starts boiling and you slam your hands on the desk, rising slowly and building up and ready to burst like a volcano. At first, before you took this job, you would’ve thought the same thing, but finally having the experience of being a secretary and the workload, you were ready to punch this guy square in the face.
”Just a secretary? Sorry, sir,” you over pronounce the sir, ”but i’m not just the fucking secretary, I also manage the damn gates.”
”Revolutionary. You hold the company on your shoulders,” you didn’t much enjoy the sarcasm or smile that this man’s mouth is showing.
“Alright you fucking listen here mister,” you lean over the counter while pointing a finger, officially done with today and this random dude, “I work fucking hard, this job is hard as shit I hope you know that. Also, I’m not letting you in the bloody building, okay?”
The fact that he was still grinning was all the more frustrating; you wanted to slap it off his face.
”You have such a foul mouth,” he speaks softly, but with a teasing smile which aggravates you further.
”You have a foul personality. Don’t come over to me and demand stuff I can’t give you like a spoilt child,” you spit at him. Honestly, if he caught you at any other time, you wouldn’t be this fired up.
”Actually you can because I’m-”
Both you and the frustrating man turn to see Amanda, standing there, half-eaten sandwich in her left hand, ”are you here for your afternoon meeting?”
Confusion struck; Amanda knew him? Who’s mister Kim? What meeting?
Your confusion wasn’t exactly hidden; it was pretty obvious to Amanda what happened as she clicked her heels back around the desk to your side to look for the guest IDs, all while shouting/whispering in your ear, ”he’s the CEO of the company, Kim Taehyung. And you’ve made him late for a meeting”
The expression on your face was priceless; Taehyung had to let out a small snicker as your eyes slowly but surely widened and your back straightened up. Words were on the tip of your tongue but came out as stupid stutters instead of the calm and sweet, honey voice he had.
Amanda handed over the ID and shook her head, apologizing on your behalf, “sorry, they’re the newbie,” you could feel the cheeks redden and you hoped he wouldn’t point it out, but after talking to him for only 3 minutes, you felt like he’s a person who would.
“Alright foul mouth, think you can remember this face for next time,” the way you tried to hide the incredulous look on your face only made Taehyung smile wider.
Taehyung bid farewell to Amanda and walked over to the turnstiles, letting himself in and running to the elevators.
”Hey y/n,” Amanda nudged your arm; you were expecting a scolding for not knowing who the owner of the company was, but you got, “I think he likes you,” you see her smiling for the first time as she walks back to the seat.
You were left in a daze… he likes you? And Amanda knows your name? It got you blushing even more than usual… Taehyung did, not Amanda.
“What?” You blinked at her. Too many thoughts that ’what’ was the only word you could let out.
“Well, he fired the last secretary because they couldn’t remember his name… so I guess he likes you,” Amanda shrugged.
You visibly gulped. You were in for it. This guy was bad news. And he was your boos.
“Should I get my dog the banana costume or the Dorothy costume for Halloween?”
It had only been a month since you had started work here and Amanda had taken a complete 180. The two conversation topics you and Amanda fall back on when the awkward silence fills the desk is her dog, Grumples (which you didn’t mind, like, at all) and Taehyung, the CEO (which you did mind, making it Amanda’s favourite subject topic)
”Those Dorothy shoes look like they’re from build-a-bear,” you lean over and give your input as she shows you her phone.
Amanda nods in agreement and keeps scrolling, “banana it is,” she copies you and rests her feet on the desk next to yours.
Over the past month, yours and Amanda’s computers slowly got closer and closer together -as did your friendship- and now you were reading a magazine and resting your feet on the desk.
Old Amanda would’ve erupted if she saw the both of you. Maybe once Amanda found a conversation topic that was mildly amusing (Taehyung, unfortunately) she got attached to you.
At least she knew your name now.
“It’s September, why are you ordering now?” You questioned
“I don’t trust delivery services at all,” Amanda responded.
”I can pay for next day delivery for you,” the deep, honey voice had shocked you once again- at least Amanda was there to flinch too.
As Amanda keeps her cool and places a hand on her chest to calm down her heart, you, on the other hand, jump up in your chair with a, ”what the fuck!”
”Wow, foul mouth has foul feet too,” Taehyung poked your big toe on your foot, which is sprawled out the desk; you flinched away while yelping- his hands were incredibly cold.
There was no one in the lobby and your feet hurt from the heels, who really would blame you for taking them off and relaxing- letting them breathe perhaps.
”W-what are you doing down here? Get back to work!” you struggle to fumble off the chair and stand up, blubbering uncontrollably as you slip slightly while trying to maintain some composure.
”You’re the one who’s resting their dirty feet on the front desk foul mouth!” Taehyung retorted, causing a small gasp to fall past your lips in offence; the nickname and him calling your feet dirty somehow cut deeper coming from his lips.
Amanda, like always, sits at the side and watches you and Taehyung’s usual ’run-ins’ with an amused look on her face.
These ’run-ins’ have been occurring more than you would like them to. It seemed to start happening after you embarrassingly didn’t recognise him as the CEO of the company you work for (you have brushed up your knowledge on the company after that incident) and then cursed him out.
The ordinarily quiet lobby (apart from mornings and rush hour when everyone leaves) now always -what you thought- had a scampering child running around in it. Taehyung was constantly there, popping up unexpectedly to get a reaction out of you- specifically a reaction to get you cursing at him again just to tell you off.
Just when you thought you got rid of the insufferable nicknames, another one came out of nowhere. ’Foul mouth’. So what you had a slight potty mouth? It wasn’t a big deal. But when Taehyung pointed it out, it became some sort of horrible thing you should stop doing. Obviously, you didn’t.
Every time the name dropped from his lips it was always spoken as a hum; a horrible nickname sounded sweet with his voice; like he was singing a beautiful song every time he said it, and you hated it. You were sure he didn’t know your name as that’s all he ever called you.
He shouldn’t even be down here; he should be in his office, a hundred feet away from you.
”Mr Kim, leave before I fucking drop kick you,” you slammed your hand down on the stapler, connecting the two papers and showing hostility in your irises.
”I love it when you talk dirty to me baby,” Taehyung rested his elbow on the desk, cheek resting in his hand as he stared at you lovingly; the look in his eyes was bewildering, it looked so real, but you knew it was just some tease.
“Go upstairs,” you hiss as a warning.
“This is so cute,” Amanda chuckled and was practically eating popcorn as she watched you both. Witnessing you and Taehyung squabble was her new favourite pastime.
You knew because she told you.
Amanda chirping in was ignored and Taehyung continued the conversation, “if you actually read my schedule, you would know I’m going out to negotiate a business deal so-” Taehyung showed his mature side by flipping you off with both hands.
”Of course I read your schedule!” no, you didn’t. You read ’Mr Kim’s sc-’ and tossed it into the trash.
“I know you didn’t, but i’ll forgive you,” Taehyung flashes a bitter smile as you watch a sleek black car pull up in the street through the lobby windows. You didn’t want to guess how much it was, but it looked expensive. The tinted windows and paint job looked as if they cost more than your monthly rent.
Taehyung notices the car too and starts walking backwards slowly, keeping his eyes on you, “bye foul mouth,” a wink was directed at you, as was a shit-eating grin before Taehyung turned around and left the building, pulling a large coat on to cover his already large frame.
A wink. How cheesy.
”Did you see that? Mr Kim winked at you,” Amanda chirped in, poking your sides playfully.
”It was cringey.”
”Why are you blushing then?”
“Should I get my dog the elf costume or the reindeer costume for Christmas?”
“Those hoofs look deranged.”
”Elf it is.”
“It’s November, why are you ordering now?”
You and Amanda looked over at each other- you’ve had this conversation before.
Smiling at the infamous deja vu, you loosely chuck your wallet into the handbag that was definitely too big for the things you normally carry and grab your phone, ”do you want anything?”
”No, just be quick y/n,” Amanda’s workaholic side was evident in that sentence, wanting you back from your break as quickly as possible.
You nod and circle round the desk, quickening your pace as you don’t want to face Amanda’s wrath if you’re late.
”Wait! Y/n!” you whip your head around, expecting to be faced with Amanda’s face, but instead, a thick coat harshly smacked into your face and fell into your arms, ”you forgot your coat.”
Saluting to Amanda, you dash out of the door and give her another reason to scoff at you. You carelessly scramble to pull the coat on; the soft fabric touching your skin as you pulled your arm through the sleeve, tips of your fingers visible at the end.
The doors at the exit automatically opened once you were close enough and you swiftly stepped out, smiling to the bodyguards before doing so.
Cold air breathed into your skin once you stepped outside, hitting you like a truck; red cells rising to your cheeks to protect you from the harsh breeze. Your coat was already wrapped around you, adding another layer of protection as your flimsy dress and wool tights are useless against this weather.
It wasn’t unbearable, but you wanted to get out of the bitter weather and find something to warm up your hands; the nearest cafe to the building was a safe bet.
The place was small and quaint, so whenever someone walked in, the bell would ring and almost every face would turn to you, checking the arrival of the new person is acceptable enough to stay here.
That’s exactly what happened to you; not only did the warmth from the heaters hit your face, about 8 different eyes burned holes into you too- effectively heating you up more.
Looking down, you sauntered forward, avoiding the looks as you neared the counter. The man in front who had just finished his order turned around and- oh fuck.
The egregious smirk etched its way onto Taehyung’s face -insufferable and handsome as always- as he finished his order with, ”-oh, also a latte for foul mouth too,” he spins around, smile still present, ”you like lattes right?”
”I hate them,” you keep lying so he wouldn’t have the satisfaction of being right, ”and you’re not paying for my coffee- why are you even here?”
”It’s my day off. You really don’t read my schedule do you?” Taehyung looked slightly hurt, but the teasing kind that suggests he’s upset you aren’t obsessed with him. Like you’ll be obsessed with someone so full of himself to think like that.
”I did!” that was true. You eventually looked.
You tried resting on your tiptoes, looking past the tall man, but your view was blocked by his annoyingly becoming face, “and cancel the damn latte!” you shout to the barista, unable to get past the wall that is Mr Kim.
You let out a heavy sigh at him rotating his head around and gesturing at the poor barista to make it anyway.
Stumbling back, you finally got a good look of Taehyung in casual clothes. Well, casual enough for a businessman like Mr Kim. A striped, collared red shirt layered with a navy cardigan and a trench coat you really didn’t want to guess the price of.
Everything looked seamlessly exceptional on him, wearing it with so much confidence is what made him all the more attractive; any piece of clothing that was worn by him gained value by 100% just because it touched his skin. You shamelessly got too lost starting at him to notice the hand waving in front of your face.
”Foul mouth?” a look of genuine concern crossed his face, “stop spacing out.”
The nickname brought you back- does he even know your name?
”A cappuccino and latte to go?” the barista called from behind you, holding the plastic cups towards you.
There was no way you were letting Taehyung pay for you; your pride wouldn’t let you- even though it was just coffee.
You swatted his hand away that held a wad of money and dug into your oversized handbag to pull out your flimsy wallet. You handed the barista a 10 and refused the change.
“I was going to pay for that,” Taehyung held up his arms.
“Tough,” you grab onto both coffee cups, harsh pricks of warmth stabbing at your fingertips and tickling up your arm. To say it woke you up a little was an understatement.
Forcing the coffee into his open hand, Taehyung tried resisting, ”but-”
”Just because you’re ‘rich’,” you used air quotes with your free hand, ”doesn’t mean you have to pay for everything.”
Normally, Taehyung was not one to show when certain words affected him -being a businessman it could come in handy- but those small, simple words struck a chord within him. He never noticed; everyone always expected him to pay; everyone always waited until he reached for the bill first. It was refreshing to hear it.
Taehyung just froze up; a smile on his face and coffee in hand, the heat from the plastic cup is not the only thing sending tingles of amiability up his spine.
It took you a second to notice Mr Kim was staring at you. You couldn’t help but tease, waving a hand in front of his face and smiling at him, ”are you having an embolism?”
You had got him to laugh, which you were curiously happy about.
”No… thank you,” Taehyung looked down at the ground while holding up his cup, grinning just to glance back up at you with that boyish smile that would make any girls heart flutter. Including yours.
”No problem,” the air gets awkward so you step back and out of it, ”I should get back to work before Amanda kills me.”
”I could walk you b-”
”No! I’m fine!” you rush out the door; heart at a pace that wasn’t what anyone would call ’normal’ and cheeks completely burning. The cold breeze was barely doing justice in cooling you down.
”Guess what,” Amanda grins as she looks up at you as she sits on the other side of the desk.
”What?” it was like you knew what she would say, but you ask anyway because you had just arrived and slumped on the customer side of the desk.
”I cancelled the elf costume and went for the reindeer anyway.”
You roll your eyes at Amanda- of course she would.
Amanda greeting you by talking about her dog didn’t cheer you up like it normally would. This morning had been unbearable and it hasn’t even started properly. All it took was one thing -that one thing is waking up late- to screw up the rest of the day.
”We have Mr Kim’s new schedule for this week,” Amanda held out the piece of paper whilst typing on the computer, once again showing off her prodigious multitasking skills.
The paper flew out of her two fingers as you snatched it from her and speed-walked around the desk. Crashing down onto your leather seat you read through it with gleaming eyes that didn’t go unnoticed by your desk buddy.
Things between you and Mr Kim have been… friendly? What was once teasing and cursing back and forth turned into genuine conversations every time he came downstairs, (there was still a little teasing and cursing) becoming significantly uninteresting to Amanda, which was a plus for you- although he did still call you foul mouth, proving your suspicions that he didn’t know your name to be true.
Running your fingers over the ink on the page, you memorized as much as you could on first glance, however, it came to a halt once it landed over the end of today.
Monday 5:30 - Dinner date.
A date? The words tasted strange on your tongue and you haven’t even said it out loud yet. You didn’t even know he had time for dates, but you knew it didn’t sit well with you; a grip was on your stomach and the fact that you felt like that, felt wrong entirely. He was basically your boss.
Your upset face was obviously more noticeable than you first thought as it attracted the attention of Amanda, ”something wrong?” she notices the placement of your finger and smirks.
”Jealous?” she spoke in that annoying mocking voice again.
”No,” you slammed the paper onto your desk, becoming engrossed with your computer screen instead, ”why would I be jealous?”
”Because you secretly like your boss and he’s going out with someone who isn’t you,” she had pinned the tail onto the donkey. The donkey was you and the tail was the cold hard truth.
You scoff at Amanda as you continue to indeed, pout.
You promised yourself you wouldn’t get that upset over it, it wasn’t a big deal at all; he could even have a girlfriend for all you know. What you were really pouting over was the fact that Taehyung had not come downstairs at all today. It has become a habit and you had got used to it, getting comfortable with his presence being there.
You let out one big, final sigh as you start packing up; you hurriedly shove everything into your handbag, mumbling curses to yourself when you accidentally dropped your phone to the floor.
Bending over while praying it didn’t smash, you retrieve your phone and stand back up straight to meet a face you say you’re comfortable with, but still get scared of every time it appears unexpectedly.
”Mr Kim!” you place a hand over your chest and try to calm down from another jumpscare, ”what are you doing down here?”
”You really don’t read my schedule, do you?” Taehyung studies your every movement as you walk around the desk, ”I have a date.”
You press a smile together and raise your eyebrows, ”have fun,” lowering your face, you start speed walking for the door.
As you listened to your heels click against the floor rapidly, another sound of steps close-by catches your attention. You stopped abruptly and whipped your head to the side to see Taehyung.
”Mr Kim what-”
”I prefer it if you would call me Taehyung.”
”But you’re my boss-” you tried speaking again, but inevitably got interrupted.
”And you’re my date y/n,” your heart sped up and somehow slowed down at the same time. He said your name and date in one sentence, ”so let’s go,” your hand was taken from you as Taehyung dragged you away; Amanda excitedly waving you out of the door.
”Mr- Kim, what’s going on?” Taehyung somehow managed to get you into his car before answering your constant questions.
You were both in the back seat and you could not be more confused. You were his date? He knew your actual name?
Taehyung slowly reached over you, grabbing the seatbelt and helping you strap in; the close proximity was deadly as you held in a breath. You could feel his breath tickling the peach fuzz on your cheeks, which were bright red by now.
”You’re my date,” you felt the seatbelt click in place, ”because I like you. You stand up for yourself, which is hot, and are more caring than you think… and I wanted to take you out.”
You were a stuttering mess, words failing to get out, but you managed a small, ”w-wh-well what if I-I don’t want to go out?”
By the smirk on Taehyung’s face, you could tell he was planning something, ”tough,” you watched his dilated pupils getting closer and closer to you; hands nervously sweating and gripping onto the seat once his lips collided with force onto yours.
You felt two hands softly hold your cheeks, easily covering each one with how huge his hands were.
Just like everything else, Taehyung effortlessly got whatever he wanted and you relaxed, kissing him back; fluttering your eyes shut, your hands fell on top of his, softly caressing them as your lips worked together as if that was their sole purpose.
Everything was still confusing for you, but this felt right. It felt comfortable.
Taehyung was the first to pull away, causing the tiniest whimper to fall from your lips once he did. Your foreheads gently lean against each other; his cheeky grin still visible as you gulped.
”You know… for such a foul mouth, I didn’t expect you to taste so sweet.”
Taehyung may have got a smack around the head for that, but, he still pulled you back and enjoyed the taste of your lips for the whole ride to the restaurant.
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Hand in Glove - Chapter 21 | Ben Hardy x OFC
A/N: I know y’all probs forgot about this, but I haven’t. Life has just been kicking my ASS relentlessly, but I decided to kick its’ ass back and here we fucking are. Took me about 4 months to finish, but it is what is it. Also, I am a bottle of wine and a half down and not sure how this is going to end up, but let’s pray to the gods that Tumblr ain’t gonna fuck shit up. Dropping mic now.
Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9, Chapter 10, Chapter 11, Chapter 12, Chapter 13, Chapter 14 , Chapter 15 , Chapter 16 , Chapter 17 , Chapter 18 , Chapter 19 , Chapter 20
Word Count: ~fucktonK. Don’t judge me.
Warnings: the usual? idk. Ben gets quite frisky, I’ll tell you that much. Also not sure how much of this was beta’d or proofread so fucking forgive me father if I have sinned.
The shrill sound of the alarm and Ben's low, gravelly swearing snapped Annie back to reality. Her eyes fluttered open in the soft light of dawn. She fumbled for her phone on the nightstand to shut the alarm off and look through her notifications. Ben stirred behind her, snuggling as close to her as he possibly could.
"Mornin'..." he murmured and pressed a kiss to her shoulder.
"Go back to sleep, Benny." Annie smiled when he pulled her in and engulfed her in his embrace. "It's too early."
"Frankie needs a walk." Ben yawned. "And you need breakfast."
"I can do both of those on my own."
"You can," Ben nipped at the curve of her neck, "but I won't let you."
The bedroom door edged open, revealing the tip of a snout poking through. A soft whine alerted Ben and Annie that Frankie had heard the two "magic words" Ben had just said - "Frankie" and "Walk" - and was making her presence known. Ben clicked his tongue three times and Frankie came scrambling onto the bed, her entire body swinging from side to side as her tail wagged. She dove right in to Annie's face, licking and whimpering excitedly.
"Oh God!" Annie shook her head from side to side, trying to escape the assault. Frankie had other plans. With a paw on Annie's shoulder, she tugged at her until she was flat on her back and climbed onto Annie's chest, pinning her down. "No! Stop!"
"Franks, I was actually hoping to be the one to give mum a morning snog..." he grabbed the dog and kissed her nose, earning a few licks for himself. "Aw."
Annie seized the opportunity to sit up and stretch her arms high over her head. She slouched down with a slow exhale and gave Frankie a rub behind her ears. Out of the corner of her eyes, she spotted Ben's Suitcase and duffel bag. She sighed and stood up, scratching her cheek as she marched over to the ensuite bathroom and flicked the light on.
"All done packing?" She asked as she examined her sleepy form in the mirror.
"Mhm." Ben shuffled behind her, pulling his sweats up over his hips. "I know, I'm a freak for doing it a week ahead of time."
"You're a freak for a whole myriad of reasons, Mr. Jones." Annie rolled her eyes and chuckled as she squeezed toothpaste onto her brush and then turned to Ben, who waited patiently with his toothbrush in his outstretched hand, nonverbally asking her to please put some toothpaste on his brush, too. "So you're that desperate to leave, huh?"
"On the contrary, my love." He winked at her and squeezed her bum before brushing his teeth.
Annie shook her head with a smile and leaned into his arm, resting her head against it. When they both felt their mouths were foamy enough, they took turns rinsing. Ben decided to finish this morning's ritual with a searing kiss.
"I plan on spending every waking moment that I have left with my girls." He mumbled against her lips before pulling away and walking to the toilet. Lifting the toilet seat up, he pulled his sweats down to his thighs.
"You're taking a piss when I'm right here?"
"Love, I've watched you give birth." Ben smirked. "Peeing is not half as nasty as that."
"Do you want me to watch you pee, Benny?" Annie smirked back, crossing her arms tauntingly. "Is that a sex thing?"
"Want you to?" Ben pretended to mull it over. "Nah. But if you want to hold it for me..."
"Freak." Annie scoffed and walked out of the bathroom.
"So no?" He called after her.
If there’s one thing Annie hated, it was not knowing where time went. One minute she’s shoveling eggs in her mouth in a hurry to leave for work, the next she’s got a baby attached to her boob again and it’s night outside. Annie walked into the bedroom, groggily rubbing her eyes after feeding Rory in the middle of the night. A full moon illuminated Ben, laying sprawled across her side of the bed.
"You stole my spot!" Annie huffed and collapsed onto Ben's side of the mattress.
Ben's arms quickly snaked around Annie and pulled her to him, squeezing her as close as he could to his body. He tucked her head under his chin and mumbled incoherently, wrapping a leg around her as well. Locking her in.
"Ben, I need air!" Annie squeaked against his chest and tickled his sides in a futile attempt to make him move.
"Shh." Ben pressed a kiss to the top of her head. "S'night time. No talking. Just sleeping."
"No," Ben grunted and rolled over, right on top of Annie, careful not to put all of his weight on her. "Imma Human blanket now."
"Hey!" Annie flailed under him before giving up and relaxing, letting his body squish her into the soft bed. "Fine."
Ben sat with Rory on his lap, both looking at the phone with goofy smiles on their faces. He'd just gotten the notification that Annie's series had posted a new story to the Instagram page, followed by a text message that simply said "show Rory".
The story was a boomerang of Annie in full costume, blowing a kiss at the camera lens. The next story was another boomerang, this time of Annie doing 'finger guns' and winking at the camera with her lopsided grin. Rory tried to grab the phone out of Ben's hands, babbling happily.
"So much for daddy-daughter time..." Ben murmured against Rory's soft tufts of blonde curly hair.
While he'd usually spend his day with Rory on Annie's set or with his mates, Ben decided that he needed some alone time with his baby. His departure was mere days away. Although on the outside he was his usual self, internally, he wasn't handling this too well. He knew Annie could sense that and he appreciated her efforts in trying to play it down and pretend everything's alright.
With a sigh, Ben turned the screen off and chucked his phone aside, much to Rory's dismay. She tried to crawl off his lap in pursuit of the device, but was captured and tickled by her father. Ben gently tossed Rory in the air, smacking a kiss to her cheek every time he caught her.
"You know what?" He cooed at Rory, who clawed at his face with her fingers. "We're going on an adventure! You wanna go see uncle Joey and uncle Gwil?"
At the mention of Joe and Gwil's name, Rory squealed. It was so high pitched, Ben couldn't help but blink in awe.
"Did Roger teach you how to do that?"
"How are you holding up?"
"I'm absolutely devastated." Joe lamented. "The mere fact that we only have a few days left is just -"
"I was asking Ben." Gwil rolled his eyes, interrupting Joe's rant.
"I'm fine." Ben shrugged and took a sip from his beer. Rory and Frankie played on the floor at Gwil's flat. "Gwil you have to duck, okay? You'll ruin the fort."
"Who's idea was this, again?" Gwil groaned, adjusting the corner of yet another blanket he managed to mess up. "Also, why are we in the fort?"
"If you're going to be grouchy, you can leave the fort, Mr. Lee." Joe stuck his tongue out at the tall man. "No grouchy people allowed."
"I'm not grouchy." Gwil retorted. "Plus, this is my flat, meaning that this is my fort, so I make the rules."
"You do realize that Rory is the actual baby here, yeah?" Ben raised an eyebrow.
"How are you feeling?" Mike asked between bites of ravioli during lunch break. "Jonesy all packed?"
"Mhm." Annie sighed and pushed the food around on her plate. "Got his passport extended today, too. Took Rory with him."
"Seriously?" Clara snorted. "He's taking her everywhere?"
"It's sickening." Jamie chimed in. "It's like they're siamese twins."
"Aw," Mikey drawled. "Bet he's gonna miss her terribly!"
"Do you think she'll even notice?" Jamie mused. "She's, what, five months old now? She just figured out she's got hands. She'll be fine."
"She loves her daddy." Annie poked Jamie in his side. "She figured her hands out two months ago, you knob."
"Could've fooled me," Jamie muttered.
"Don't be ridiculous, James." Mike pointed at his co-star with his fork. "She's going to daycare, she'll only see her mama in the early mornings and evenings. She'll notice there's an entire human missing."
"She'll have her uncles and aunties to keep her distracted." Clara winked. "Lucy and I already planned a whole Girls' Day."
"What?" Clara blinked innocently at her best friend.
"Why wasn't I invited?"
"Because you have more work than I do." Clara shrugged. "Gonna do it on my day off, Banana."
"Well, it's just you, Rory and Lucy, then?"
"Well," Clara looked at her plate sheepishly. "And Joe. And Rami. And Gwilym."
"What the actual fuck, huh?" Annie threw her fork down and huffed.
"Hey, you'll get to hang out with these two delicious chunks of mankind all day!" Clara smirked.
"Clearly, the superior chunks of mankind, mind you..." Jamie added, tongue-in-cheek. "We haven't had "us" time in forever, Banana."
"Don't you Banana me!" Annie hissed and turned to look at Jamie. He flashed her his best puppy dog eyes. "Oh, not the face."
"What face?" He feigned innocence.
"You know what face. Don't do the face."
"What," Mikey sighed, mimicking Jamie's expression. "Don't you want to hang out with your own brother and husband?"
"Oh, for fuck's sake."
The next day was an entire mess. It started off well enough for everyone involved, really. It’s during the afternoon when things took a really, really bad turn. Ben tried to contain himself while Rory was napping, but his mind was racing. It was a chill day with "the band", as they now liked to refer to themselves.
None of them gave a second thought to the familiar sound of a notification rang through the living room. Then, it was dead silent for what felt like an eternity.
"Well, then!" Rami was the first one to break the silence, turning his screen off and tossing his phone on the coffee table. "Anyone see any good shows lately?"
"Ben? Buddy?" Joe shook Ben by the shoulder. "Dude, you haven't blinked in an hour."
Ben stared into space, his thoughts running wild. It was just a silly, candid, behind-the-scenes picture. Nothing more. However, he couldn't help the bubbling rage. There she was. His girlfriend, snuggled up to her ex-boyfriend turned reconciled-best friend. Her head resting on his chest, tucked under Jamie's chin. Her arm flung around his waist, his arms holding her close. One hand laced through her long hair. They looked so peaceful.
Ben knew how hard they worked. How tired Annie was all the time. How early she got up and how late she came home, trying to get as much work done while Ben was still around to be with Rory. He'd visit the set often, only to find her catching a snooze in her trailer. Stifling yawns between takes.
Yet he couldn't help but feel jealous. There was something beautiful and serene about the picture, especially when both Annie and Jamie were in full costume. The caption was what got to him most - "marital bliss".
"Mate, it's a picture." Gwilym brought Ben back to earth, cutting off his train of thought. "God knows, Clara had her pictures taken snuggled up to just about anything and anyone."
"Marital bliss?!" Ben sneered. "Marital fucking bliss?!"
"They're in costume!" Gwil retorted. "Those aren't Jamie and Annie. Those are Henry and Anne."
"That's Annie." Ben pointed at the screen. "That's how we always fall asleep."
"You're reading too much into this." Rami quipped. "Jamie isn't a threat to you."
"I'm going to be a continent away, while this arse is just lurking around..."
"He's engaged." Rami reminded him.
"It’s a bloody farce of a PR stunt and you know it just as well as I do. It's a sham."
"Why are you so riled up?" Rami's eyes squinted in confusion. "It's a stupid picture. They look pretty in it. End of story."
When Annie arrived later that night, Rory was fast asleep and Ben was losing his mind - slamming drawers and cupboards shut in the kitchen, cursing under his breath. He didn't even hear Annie come in.
Annie got a heads-up from Joe earlier that evening, letting her know that Ben had seen the Instagram picture. "He's definitely, 100%, not okay. Brace yourself."
Ben's eyes shot up and looked at her. He wasn't just angry - he was positively fuming. Annie squared her shoulders, prepared for impact.
"I'm going out for a run." Ben muttered and walked right past her.
Annie followed him to the door, her arms crossed. Her brows knotted, she tried to figure out what to say. It was almost midnight. Ben never pulled an "Annie" before. He never walked out on an argument.
Before Annie could form a coherent sentence, Ben was out the door. She heard him stomping down the walkway, opening the gate. A shrill ringing startled her - he left his phone behind.
Annie took a deep breath and climbed up the stairs to check on Rory. After rubbing Rory's back gently and tucking her in, Annie went about tidying up. She picked up toys - baby's and dog's - and random articles of clothing. She straightened the sheets, organized the mail, stacked the coasters neatly. Anxiously waiting to hear the front door open again.
When it did, Ben walked right up the stairs without giving Annie an acknowledging nod of his head. She was prepared for an onslaught of accusations, but none came. Feeling perplexed, she absently followed him, wishing her stalking presence was enough to make him turn around to look at her.
It wasn’t. Taking his sweaty clothes off, he tossed them in the hamper and went in the shower, leaving the door open. Ignoring Annie's existence all together. Her guilt - not that she really knew why she should feel guilty - was quickly replaced with seething anger.
She stomped into the bathroom, stopping right in front of the glass shower doors. She glared at Ben, her hands on her hips. He started whistling and turned his back to her as he washed himself, suds forming on his skin. This wasn't just a cold shoulder. This was a butt-naked, frigid silent treatment.
"Are you joking?" Her voice bounced off the tiles. "Is this a bloody joke?"
"Had a good nap?" Ben snarled, still not facing her. "Looked refreshing."
"It was, actually." Annie raised a challenging eyebrow. "Woke up feeling recharged."
"Oh, yeah?" Ben turned the water off shook his hair. "Glad to hear."
"You're unbelievable." Annie scoffed as Ben reached for his towel and wrapped it around his hips. "How dare you?"
"How dare I?" Ben's eyebrows were so far up, they almost merged with his hairline. "I'm not the one snuggling my ex!"
"I also snuggled Clara!" Annie hissed. "Let me know when your little hissy fit is over, okay, love?"
"Fuck you, Annabelle." Ben loomed over her, his green eyes boring holes into her very soul. "This isn't a hissy fit."
"What is it, then?"
"I'm leaving, Annie. Leaving. In two days." Ben pinched the bridge of his nose and closed his eyes. "For months."
"I'm aware." Annie said through gritted teeth. "You're also coming back."
"Will I have something to come back to?" Ben opened his eyes. "You've already replaced me as your sleep-aid..."
"Have you gone absolutely bonkers, Ben Jones?" Annie barked out a laugh. "What are you on about?"
"I'm fucking scared, alright?" Ben hissed.
"Me?" Annie's eyes were wide. "You're scared of me?"
"Annie, I'll be gone. You'll be fair game."
"I'm not some deer you can hunt!"
"I won't be here to protect -"
"Protect me?" Annie laughed, cutting him off. "From what? The Big Bad Wolf? Jamie?"
"Well, thanks for mocking me." Ben brushed past her, bumping his shoulder with her. "Real mature."
"Ben, you're throwing a fit over nothing!" Annie followed close behind him. Ben unwrapped the towel from his hips and dried off his torso. "I'm not mocking you!"
"We've been going through every aspect of me leaving." Ben chucked the towel to the floor. "What to do with Rory, what to do with Franks, when I'll be back for a visit..."
"I know." Annie sat down on the bed. "We've got this. We're prepared."
"Every aspect except our own bloody relationship. And all this time, you've been so calm about this!" Ben grabbed his head as he sat down next to her. "You've gone on a few benders, yeah, but even then - you were so calm."
"Annie, I'm going crazy over this. I'm devastated. Freaking out. I don't want to leave." Ben laid back. "And you? You're acting like everything's fine. Having cuddles with your ex. Looking like…” Ben sighed and balled his hands into fists. “Do you even care that I'm going away?"
Annie took a shaky breath and shook her head, running a hand through her hair.
"You'll have Joe, Gwil, Rami, Clara, Lucy, Mike..." Ben rubbed at his eyes. "Jamie. I'll have no one."
"You know they'll leave for the press tour soon."
"Yes, which I'll miss out on." Ben chuckled bitterly. "You'll still have your own mates with you."
"You'll make new friends."
"I bloody know I’ll make new bloody friends, Annie, It’s not that!" Ben scoffed and mumbled incoherently under his breath. "See? This is what I'm talking about!"
"It's like you're not even sad about it all!" Ben waved his hands about as he spoke. "You're out there, snuggling your cast-mates, working for hours on end, living your best life -"
"You think I'm not sad about this?" Annie spoke through gritted teeth. "Really?"
"Well, are you?"
"Of course I am!" Annie climbed onto his lap and straddled him. "Ben, are you having a psychotic break right now?"
"You're so cheery and positive and -"
"Because I didn't want to upset you!" Annie smacked his chest. "You blithering idiot!"
"Really?" Ben's voice oozed snark. "Seems like it backfired, no?"
"You're an arse." Annie smacked him again. "You're an idiot and an arse! Who on earth leaves his wi-" Annie huffed just as the word slipped her lips "-girlfriend alone with a baby for months?"
"Annie, stop hitting me!"
"No!" Annie punched him in the arm. "You wanted to see me upset? I'm fucking upset!"
"Annie!" Ben grabbed Annie's wrists and pulled her to him. She braced herself on her haunches to avoid head-butting him. "Stop. It."
"Do you honestly think I'd replace you?" the hurt in Annie's voice was evident. "Do you really think I'd go fuck someone else while you're gone? Jamie, of all people?”
She stared into his eyes, waiting for his answer, but there was none. Annie nodded and started to pull herself up, only to have Ben's grasp on her wrists tighten. She bit the inside of her cheek and tried to pull away again. Ben restrained her, not taking his eyes off hers.
"Ben, let go." Annie's voice was low as she tried to shake her hands free. She stared down at Ben's hands holding her wrists.
"Look at me." Ben squeezed her wrists tighter. "Look. At. Me."
Annie fixed her eyes on him. His usually bright green eyes were clouded and darker, a mixture of sadness, anger and need. He bit his bottom lip as he lowered his gaze onto their hands. All of his sadness, all of his tension had finally reached a boiling point. A crimson flush crept up from his chest to his neck, his muscles clenching with ever jerk of Annie's escape attempts.
"Let go of me. Ben, I’m deadly serious. I hate you right now." Annie hissed, still tense under his grasp. Ben snarled at her choice of words. Annie noticed it and pouted tauntingly. "What, did that hit a nerve? Is that all I needed to say to get a reaction?"
"Oh, poor Benny. Did I hurt your feelings?" Annie's voice lilted condescendingly. A vicious glint danced in her eyes. "Did you really think you could call me a cheater," Annie's voice was so sweet as she said that, "that you could call me a slag?"
"I never called you any of these."
"You didn't have to." Annie chuckled. "It was heavily implied. Especially when you didn’t even answer my bloody question.” Annie smirked bitterly, tongue in cheek. “So right now? I. Hate. You."
Ben felt as if his entire body is on fire under her. Pins and needles raked through his body, a tingle rushing over his naked skin as they stared each other down.
"Who in their right mind," Annie tilted her head to the side, "leaves their girlfriend and 5-month-old baby for three months and then has the balls to be paranoid about her moving the fuck on without him? Hm?"
Ben clenched her wrists tighter, his upper lip curling up.
"I know who," Annie murmured. "The same guy who'll fail to appreciate his girlfriend's efforts to keep morale high, even though she's hurting. The same guy who's so afraid she'll cheat on him when he's gone, for no fucking reason, other than his own fragile ego, it seems."
"No, fuck you. Fuck being careful." Annie retorted. "What will it take for you to stop being an undercover jealous prick? Huh? What, do you actually need to mark me as your territory?"
Ben's cock involuntarily twitched at the thought, grazing the crotch of Annie's leggings. Making their eyes lock on each other again. Sending a flurry of butterflies loose in both of their bellies.
"Oh, you can't be serious." Annie scoffed and rolled her eyes. "Unbelievable."
Ben licked his lips and made his move. Now that Annie was distracted, he used his body weight to roll them over and pin her down to the bed under him. His green eyes burned with raw need.
"Shut. Up." He grunted as she tried to wriggle her way out from under him while he held both of her wrists in one hand, up over her head. "Stop it."
Annie's breath hitched when Ben ground his hips into hers, his erection rubbing her inner thighs. He kissed her searingly and growled when she moved her head, pulling her lips away.
"Did I say you can move?" He whispered, his grip tightening on her wrists as his hand worked its' way to her legs. He kissed her again, physically taking her breath away, pushing her leggings down. She pulled back, gasping. "Do. Not. Move."
"Air!" was all Annie could whine before his lips crashed onto hers again, muffling her moans.
"Do I need to punish you?" He whispered against her lips, his free hand snaking under her t-shirt. "Don't move. Be quiet. Don't want to wake the baby, now, do we?"
Annie shook her head slightly, looking up at Ben with big, doe eyes.
"Good girl." Ben cooed and nuzzled the crook of Annie's neck before pulling her shirt over her head, bunching it on her arms. "Do you hate me, still?"
"Mhm." Annie smirked.
"Guess I'll have to change your mind, then." Ben ground his hips down again.
After waking up all alone in their bed in the wee hours of the morning, Annie's sock-clad feet padded softly on the hardwood floor as she shuffled to the living room. She paused at the doorway, looking at the back of Ben's head. The soft, colorful light from the TV illuminated him like a halo. His head propped up on his closed fist, his arms on the back of the sofa.
Sensing her presence, Ben glanced over his shoulder and nodded his head, beckoning Annie to come to him. Smiling, she closed the distance between them and curled up on the soft cushions next to her boyfriend. He wrapped his arm around her and pulled her onto his lap before pressing a kiss to the top of her head.
"Baby monitor?" He mumbled against her hair and smiled when Annie reached in her hoodie's pocket and pulled it out. "Did she give you a hard time?"
"My arms are dead."
"She wouldn't let you put her down, then?"
"Does she ever?"
"What are we watching?" Annie blinked at the bright screen in front of them and groaned when her face appeared on the screen. "Oh, no."
"I have a lot to catch up on, okay?" Ben tickled her sides as she buried her face in his chest. "I'm not sure I'll have time to binge on this while in Arizona, you know."
"Why do you need to binge on this at all?" Annie's muffled voice whined.
"Because." Ben shrugged.
"Right, then." Annie leaned back and grasped at the fabric of his long-sleeved shirt. "You won't mind me binge-watching East Enders, then?"
"You do what you gotta do." Ben sighed and leaned forward.
He grabbed his cup of tea off the coffee table and took a long sip. Annie's gaze followed his every move.
"Ben?" Annie tilted her head as she bit her bottom lip.
Annie caressed his cheeks as a million thoughts stormed in her mind. A sad smile tugged at the corners of her mouth.
For the life of him, Ben couldn’t figure out how on earth it was night again. It seemed like everything was moving on double speed, nonstop. Exhausted, he laid sprawled on the bed like a starfish, with Frankie gently nibbling at his toes. One arm draped lazily over his eyes, the other tucked into his sweatpants waistband ever so slightly. The TV was on but on a low volume. Background noise.
He felt Annie's presence while his eyes were still closed, lurking at the doorway. He opened his eyes just a crack, enough to catch a quick glance of her face, and could feel his how his heart is breaking just from her expression alone.
"Don't give me that look."
Annie blinked and shook her head lightly as if her mind was an etch-a-sketch and she could just erase whatever thoughts popped up so Ben wouldn't see what they were. Considering that this very night would be Ben's last night at home, they both walked on eggshells, high on the tips of their toes.
"What look?" Annie asked sweetly and walked over to the bed. Ben stretched out his arms, inviting her in for a cuddle. "I wasn't giving you a look."
"Must've been imagining, then..." Ben mumbled with a sigh. He raked his fingers through her hair lazily, enjoying the warmth her body radiated. "Banana?"
"Hmm?" Annie purred and snuggled up as close as she could.
"I know." Annie propped herself up on one arm. “I’m sad too.”
“I need to you promise me something.”
“Ben, for the last time, I’m not going to cheat on you with Jamie!” Annie poked his side. “I swear, I’ll only cheat on you with Joe.”
“That’s not what I was going to say and you would never!” Ben grabbed her wrist gently. “Promise me you’ll always text me good night and good morning if you can’t call.”
“I promise.” Annie smiled.
“You know what?” Ben stopped in his tracks on his way to queue for his flight check-in, “I think I’ll stay.”
“The hell you are, Ben!” Annie moved Rory over to her other hip. “She needs toys! And food! And diapers!”
“But Arizona is so bloody far!”
“Jesus Christ, not this again.” Gwilym chimed in and handed a bottle of Coca Cola to Ben. “Be a big boy, now, Benny.”
“God, I’ll miss you.” Ben sighed, his eyes closed.
“I’ll miss you too, babe.” Gwil replied instead of Annie.
“Do you two lovebirds need a minute alone?” Annie snorted. “I’ll miss you too, Ben.”
“And I’ll miss you the most!” Ben cooed and grabbed his baby, kissing every exposed inch of her skin.
“Thanks, love.” Annie sipped from his Coke. “I really appreciate that.”
“Ben, you’ll miss your flight, mate.” Gwil scratched his head as he looked at the huge departures sign. “You better hustle.”
“Go!” Both Gwilym and Annie barked at him.
“I love you.” Ben murmured, his lips pressed to Rory’s cheek. “Take care of mum, yeah? Be a good girl?”
“Are you -” Gwilym tilted Annie’s head up to get a better look, “are you crying?!”
“Oh, fuck.” Ben’s eyes locked in on Annie’s face, prompting a wave of tears from his own eyes. “We said no tears!”
“Stop it, Ben!” Annie pawed at her cheeks to wipe off her tears. “No crying!”
“Goddamnit!” Ben hissed and shrugged one shoulder, wiping his tears on his hoodie. “Alright. Alright. No crying.”
“I think this is the perfect moment to separate the two of you.” Gwilym said, taking Rory from Ben’s arms and bouncing her on his hip. “Come on, children. Just like we practised.”
Annie leaped up and wrapped her arms and her legs around Ben, holding on for dear life. They kissed, one last time, their tears mixing together. Ben squeezed his girlfriend as close to him as he could and inhaled her scent as he pressed a thousand kisses all over her face.
“I’ll call you as soon as I land.” He whispered in Annie’s ear. “I love you.”
TAGLIST: @ramibaby @xgoingdownx @qweenly @violetpond @sweeterthancheese @drummerqueenrmt @westansstuff @justgivemethekeys @blondecarfucker @cheeseedreams47 @rogerspoison @deacy-dearest @pinkmarvel @onceuponadetectivedemigod
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Demon Claws and Crossbow Bolts -- [chapter one]
chapter one is here ! hope you enjoy this little project of mine. i’ve fancast most of the young justice team as live action actors and actresses. this takes place in an alternate story after the end of young justice : season two.
yes, i know bex is in the cw arrow series. yes I know she plays an established character. Yes, I know colton haynes also plays roy in that series. yes, I know this, and this doesn’t take place in that universe.
warnings : swearing , violence , injuries , dark topics
rating : 16+
Central city had been a disaster as far as she was concerned, but being honest, most things that happened with her could be considered as such. She kept a low profile as best she could. Riley walked through the streets of Gotham now, she’d been city hopping since her fight with the Inventor by hacking her way into the Justice Leagues Zeta Tubes. Sure, she wasn’t the best with tech, but having Fenris whisper in the back of her head about how to bypass the whitelist had its pros. It didn’t help however, that he was now complaining about being hungry. It was early evening, the darkening sky stating as much, and Riley hadn’t eaten since the day before, something she regretted at the moment, but it wasn’t like she could just walk into a diner and order whatever she wanted. Her stomach complained but her empty wallet just laughed at her mockingly.
The Barbarian suit - more of just a red army vest - was hidden under her jacket, the holster vest was in the bag slung over her shoulder, along with a few various necessities and the set of dull golden coloured brass knuckles that acted as her main weapon. The bag wasn’t heavy for her, though she had seen others have trouble with it, it was simply awkward to carry for such a long period of time.
“food. now.” the growling voice had grown in anger inside her mind for the past few hours.
“You’ll get food when I can find somewhere to eat for free” Riley grumbled to herself. A nearby lump on the ground, now revealing itself as a person sleeping on the side of the street, moved, the man looking up at her in confusion. He had bags under his eyes and a wild puff of black-grey hair that looked like it hadn’t been brushed in weeks. Which might of just been true.
“Steal. then Food” Fenris growled again. Riley tore her gaze away from the homeless man and continued her walk.
“we can’t steal here, we’ll have the Bats on our ass if we do”. Riley didn’t hate the Batman and his little followers, but she would have rathered not to run into them while she was in Gotham, already on the run as was. Fenris seemed to go quiet for a moment after this, perhaps questioning whether he really wanted to deal with any more enemies after Central City.
“alright. Wait then.” The demon sounded reluctant, but it wasn’t like he had a choice in the moment. The Gotham streets were almost completely empty, which was good, Riley didn’t need people with a direct line to the news station to see her muttering to her hidden companion. She would be on the news within hours being branded as one of Gothams new crazies. “not happy” Fenris continued, and her stomach complained again.
“I get it Fen, you’ll live, just give me a heads up if you start to feel murderous.”
Riley was in downtown Gotham now, more isolated, but certainly not quiet. Someone ahead of her, down the street and around the corner, was talking, loudly and in a mocking tone to someone else. The secondary party was silent, seeming to take the verbal abuse without any qualms. Curious, Riley walked closer to the corner, steadying her breath and peaking around the edge of the concrete. Riley didn’t recognise the villain, but as she looked at the second party, she certainly remembered seeing those colours before. It was a minute or so before Robin got tired of the villain talking, and moved in to fight. A quick silver staff hit with a crack against the villains knee, sending him down to the ground, then another hard tap on the mans head and he stopped moving, though the rhythmic movement of his chest betrayed that he was still breathing, simply not unconscious.
Robin spun the metal bo staff around again, securing it on his back, bending down and nudging the villain with his hand. When there was no reaction, he deemed it safe and raised his hand to his ear, talking to someone unseen from Riley's eyes.
“Bats, I found Kite-Man trying to cause some trouble downtown, should I drop him off at Blackgate?” There was silence, but Riley assumed that someone was talking through a comm link. The woman moved slowly, walking from shadow to shadow to stay out of sight of the costumed hero. Fenris growled in the back of her mind to attack, but Riley didn’t exactly want trouble with boy wonder. He continued to talk, and Riley moved from the edge of the building, back into the almost empty Gotham streets.
Three minutes past of walking, her destination was the next known Zeta tube, down by the border line between Gotham and Bludhaven. She was heading to Starling City next, hopefully permanently. Riley turned another corner when she heard it. The faint scraping of metal on metal. A creak, a groan and some clicks. All faint, as if the source was keeping itself hidden on purpose. She turned her head.
She couldn’t see anything for a moment, the shadows obscuring anything from view. Within seconds however, something large and metallic lurched out of the night. It was humanoid, giving homage to some old steampunk movie with pipes and steam and glowing clock like eyes.
“Oh for FUCKS SAKE” Riley yelled, turning and taking off down the road. Turning into an alleyway, she raised her hands, leaping and grabbing the base of a fire escape, hauling herself onto the landing and crawling up the stairs with haste. She was on the roof in a few moments, racing across the concrete landings. Riley reached her hand awkwardly into the bag on her back, shuffling through different things until she found the cold metal she was looking for. The woman pulled out the set of dull brass knuckles and secured them around her fists.
As she passed another fire-escape, something grabbed at her from the edge, one of the machines trying to grasp at the bag on her back. It succeeded, snatching the fabric and tossing Riley back against the lip of the building with a thud. The breath knocked out of her, Riley pushed herself to her feet quickly, eyeing the creature crawl its way towards her.
She let it strike first, slashing out with sharp metal fingers, Riley ducked to the left, loosing her arm in a quick jab, catching it across the jaw and sending it reeling to the side, a quick cross with the other hand and the machine tumbled back to the ground with a sharp and echoing clang. When it did, Riley looked up to see two more shuffling their way across the rooftops.
“Come on man” she sighed, stepping back and dipping her hand into her pocket, and pressing her thumb on the ink pad located there. A quick wipe across her face, along her eyeline and she deemed that it was sufficient enough encase she ran into some unwanted attention. Not that this wasn’t unwanted. Barbarian raised her fists, Fenris growling in her head for blood - not that he was getting any from this fight - and she swung a punch at one of the approaching machines.
It was good fun, until the enemies she had put down, ripped apart, started to reassemble. Conglomerations of metal, welding themselves together like some sort of messed up surgeon. Barbarian stepped back, watching an awed horror as a metal husk grabbed a discarded arm from the ground, dented and bent the wrong way, and smashed it into it's empty shoulder socket. The arm wasn't even originally from that mech and was a much darker shade of silver, but she doubted it cared about appearances. Another of the metal monstrosities dragged itself along the ground, a leg bent the wrong way, causing the grinding metal-concrete sound to grow louder as it limped forwards, arms outstretched and a blank look on its metallic face.
It almost made it more unnerving, these things moved towards her with no sound apart from the scraping of metal and clicking of gears. Their footfall made no sound, and they made no effort to vocalise their mission. Just clicks, squeaks and scrapes. The city even seemed quiet, which was always a worry.
Barbarian had already taken a good beating from these things. Fresh bruises littered her skin like freckles, sliced scars were here and there. A well placed punch had left the young woman with a bloody nose and cracked lip. Her head hurt, most likely from being shoved into a wall a few minutes before, and she could hear the faint growls of Fenris in the back of her mind. She didn't look good was the point, Barbarian was sure she wasn't going to win any beauty awards in this state.
"I know I said zombie movies were cool, didn't mean I wanted to live in one!" making the connection between the robots undead-esque movements, and the films she watched as a early teen, Barbarian turned on her heel and started running towards and open gap between buildings. She was in Blüdhaven, as far as she could remember, having crossed the border a few minutes earlier. Ever since the fight in Central City she was moving, it became hard to keep track after a while. These things followed her, even able to recognise her in her civvies, which was never good. She barely turned up on the radar of high class villains, but if someone knew her identity, anyone would want it. Barbarian continued running, vaulting over an exposed air vent and sending a glance back at the crowd. It was moving faster now, chasing her. Where was Nightwing when you needed him? Not that she needed help, but it would be nice to take step back and watch someone else work. Wasn't this his city? Pick up the slack bird brain, there's killer robots in your city!
A rush of wind past her head made Barbarian stop and look at the crumbled concrete ground. One of the mechs heads was dented and laying at her feet. With a confused and accusatory look, the black haired vigilante addressed the moving crowd, her left hand seized, the muscles clenched and complained, leaving her with cramping pain up her arm as her arm morphed to a deep black, sharpening at the end of each finger.
"ok! which one of you fuckers threw that?"
The response was a barrage of thrown metal limbs and body parts. There were six of the creatures now, each with their own collection of injuries and damages, and each finding a part of their kin to throw in her direction. Barbarian dodged a thrown arm, only to get hit across the top of the head with a metal hand. The blow sent her to the ground, couching and blinking, confused. The world started to spin and she realised to late that she was being dragged. Her movements sluggish now, she tried to fight against the creature pulling her to no avail. It took a split second to figure out what was happening. Her blood soaked hands tried and failed to grasp at the lip of the building before she was falling.
Fuck, the ground hurt. Especially when she had hit the metal fire escape on the way down. If Fenris hadn’t been inhabiting her body, she most likely would have died from the fall.
Groaning as she lay in the bottom of the alleyway, Barbarian, tried to move her arms to support herself, only to cry out in pain from the stabbing feeling in her chest.
“One broken rib, two cracked”
“Thank you Fenris, that’s so fucking helpful” Barbarian winced, clutching her chest carefully and leaning against the wall as she slowly rose to her feet. Lazily rolling her gaze over where she had landed, she found herself just where she wanted to be, the Zeta tube located just beyond the false wall. It was slow, moving along the wall so she had some support, Riley reached the door, easing it open and slamming it shut behind her.
The crashing of metal against the door was ignored partially as she drapped herself over the control panel to give her legs a break.
“god, I need to get a new job”
“being beat up , not a job” Fenris added helpfully, making Riley scrunch up her nose and let out a long breath. She leaned up, imputing her destination of Starling City into the panel.
“Just need to get out of here. get to the next city. no issue” each statement showed her growing delirious nature, her words became continually breathier, and more slurred as she stumbled towards the zeta platform, now lit up.
Her last memory was landing on the platform, and a white light that passed her to her next destination. Remembering nothing afterwards.
hope you enjoyed I suppose? I needed something to upload today, so I split up chapter one of DCACB to make this and make the chapters a little shorter.
cameos of characters and people are open! If you want to be seen in an episode, shoot me an ask.
requests are open! tag list : @silverdecepticon93 @izzieg3987 @starr60
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MEDITATIONS ON A STRONG MAN... (REPOST)
Since this is the last episode of a series that has taken years to release, I asked (or attempted to anyway) pretty much every person who was involved in this project if they'd like to say a few words regarding their thoughts on this series and working on it. So without further ado:
HeatMetal - Founder of Over-Time, Translation checking for last dozen or so episodes, Coolest Dude in Town
stronger is good even though his costume is weird
Steel A Jeeg - KITsubs co-founder, Lead Editor for post-sjutton eps, occasional timer, old person
"Jeeg may have won the battle, but the war still rages on. Onward down the endless road of battle."
sky79 - Timing & Lead Translation episodes 23-39, translation checking for 1-22 v2s
(ANY COMMENTS MOCKING HER SPELLING WILL *NOT* BE TOLERATED)
Something about Stronger? Hmmm.. actually I think it's one of the borest KR series. Especially in the middle, when they revived Titan. But on the other hand, it shows some good scenes, when "villians" are fighting (or at least they try) between themselves for the position they have (or which they could have). I was disappointed when they showed Tachibana as comic chara. .mean, he doesn't deserve it. He is someone, who fought with all Riders after all, so I thouhgt it's somehow
And Shigeru .. he alone is a chara, I wasn't sure how I should feel about at beginning. Sure, he is hero, who protects the world, but the way he uses is a little too "showy". Like he thinks, no one is better than him. But there is something heroic about him. Would you be able to remodel yourself for the sake of your friend? Or something else? He threw all his life away, since the result was him being a cyborg. What could mean, he is immortal in some sense. So he lives forever, even when all his friends or people he knows aren't here.
And in the end, he stays alone. That's sad, don't you think? I think, the decision to remodel oneself takes courage to do it. In the end, when I knew the actor is dead, I've started to like him. Because, we will never see him like that. The actor is dead. In the last episodes, he was similing so brightly and happy, that I could only cry. We will never see that smile again. And the feeling which he gave with his smile at that time was really nice for me.
What I am thankful for is, that this serie brought all the Riders together. This is something I like. I still think the Riders are living in one universe so they should know each other. Going Fighting only alone is something I don't prefer. Showing, that there are others fighting with you for the same goal, is the thing I imagine, when I hear the word "Rider".
About Yuriko. I was crying when she died. Really. It was such sad ending. And something I thought it's useless. Why couldn't she stay alive? It would be nice to see, how are both of them living after the end. Happily ever after? Or living apart, and remembering the fights they fought together? Since they both liked each other, is there a way they could have lived together? This we will never know.
I'm not sure if I said everything I wanted I've never thought about talking about it
Abigail - MCS co-founder, Editor for first half of series, occasional timer
I truly enjoyed this series. A fun main characer, fun villians, and silly Showa plots come together in a good way and puts this up there with Black as my favorite Showa Kamen Rider series.
It was fun working on what little I actually did to help sub Stronger (which really wasn't much at all to be honest), and I hope you all had as much fun watching it.
I want to give a special thanks to Jeeg and the KitSubs guys for helping us finish this after real life happened. You guys are amazing.
So with that, I end this post of my thoughts that no one actually cares about with this.
RIP Titan and Shadow, you were too good for this world and I really wish you would have got to fight with each other the entire series. Finally, may Stronger continue to fuck with people forever more.
Zetta - MCS Co-Founder. Belgian, Translation checker for episode 1 and first few post Sjutton episodes.
Stronger is a cool guy and I'm happy he's completely subbed.
Ryoma - Editing for first half dozen eps, All around Deutschbag
I never thought I'd see the day where Stronger is fully subbed... also screw you, Cas.
Sandy - Timer involved with v2s of episodes 2-21
As a series, Stronger has a dedicated spot among my favorites of the Showa era. As a hero, Shigeru has a dedicated spot among my favorites, ever. Stronger is an exciting, emotional ride, from beginning to end, and I’m beyond thrilled that it’s finally been completed for everyone else to enjoy. Soar through the sky!
Bunny Hat - DVD Encoder, timing assistance, master of DVDs
[Don't really have anything to say] other than how much I hate it when Toei uses laser-disc masters for DVD releases.
Kilo - Project Organizer, distro & Editing, useless
I can almost remember it like it was last month when Abi was talking to me about stuff he had going on and I offered to help with a certain project that was giving him minor technical headaches. I didn't really know what Kamen Rider was aside from references in Kururu Gunsu. But I just fell in love with the persona of Jo Shigeru. The actor portraying him had this (to use a now overused phrased), arrogant swagger that exuded strength and confidence. Along with delightful side characters like Tackle and Tachibana and over the top villains like MISTER TITAN, it started me on this path to obsession with tokusatsu, kamen rider and fansubbing.
I've made friends, I've lost friends, I've lost sleep, I've laughed and cried. I'm not sure if I'd do it all over again, but I'd definitely be drawn to and etertained by Stronger no matter how my life turned out.
I'm extremely thankful to everyone who... well "assisted" is too light a word to describe all the manhours and effort put into this project, but I'm happy to have known them all and that in the end it wasn't all for nothing and that now lots of people can potentially enjoy this show as much as I did!
Champstice - Timer involved with v2s of episodes 2-21, Irish Person
Stronger is a show of firsts: First time a rider had a powered-up form, as opposed to just having a sound effect play. First time the antagonists truly fought amongst each other, as opposed to the occasional internal quarrel that usually ended with an evil character that appeared only in that episode being killed off. And the first time we had a female Kamen Rider (Frankly, SPIRITS only explained why she wasn't considered a Kamen Rider after she died, not why she wasn't considered one while alive).
At the same time, it's full of the same spirit and energy that makes Kamen Rider so enjoyable to watch. At least to me anyway. I hope everyone that's been watching Stronger since it was first picked up by MCS truly enjoys watching it's finale. And to those of you that plan to watch it at some point, whether it's soon or not for ages:
Honestly, you're in for a treat.
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