Tumgir
#single hot dad alert
dokidreaming · a month ago
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return to childhood extra... good
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shnuggletea · 6 months ago
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The full chapter will release next week but here’s a tease for the weekend! I know you’ve read all of chapter one @knowall7k​ but for your b-day, I’ve been working on the rest. And it’s not in the google doc WAHAHAHAHAHA! Surprise!!!
I owe a lot to @knowall7k​, they gave me the idea for Cell Mates. This ficlet was a request from them so I know they’ll like it (hopefully). I hope you all enjoy it when it comes out on the 13th. Until then, let me know if this tease gets you interested!!
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This was it. True bliss. She had her stretch book, beautiful scenery, fresh air, and bright warm sun. This was what all artists craved. Of course, the solitude wasn’t her favorite, but if she wasn’t alone and left that way, she’d never get anything done. 
Spring had sprung, and the flowers were too bright to ignore. So Usagi didn’t, feeling restless that day anyway. Leaving her acrylics behind, she only grabbed her sketching stuff and ran out the door. Not really knowing what she was looking for, she wandered around her neighborhood, letting her feet take her wherever they wanted until she ended up at an endless green park with a huge rose garden.
Her fingers were cramping; it’d been a long time since she sketched like this. It was going on two hours, and she still hadn’t stopped. Her soul never led her wrong, taking her to just what she needed for some inspiration. 
Although, she partly stayed so long because she was lost.
“You’re really good.”
Jumping, it was lucky Usagi didn’t mark across her current work, a bundle of daylilies. If she were to paint them, it would look like they were on fire. 
At some point, a young boy had happened upon her and had watched her work for an unknown time. “Um...thanks.”
It wasn’t that Usagi didn’t like kids; she just didn’t know kids. She babysat once back in High School, and… let’s just say she only did it once. But this wasn’t a baby; Usagi wasn’t sure how old this kid was. Old enough to appreciate her work but not to be all alone.
So she searched for an adult to go with him.
The kid’s dark hair wasn’t a rare color in Japan, but his bright blue eyes were, meeting too many eyes for her to feel comfortable with. “So...Um… where’s your adult?”
The boy had come around the bench she occupied and sat down next to her. His eyes were focused on her hard, and it had her very confused. “Are you an angel?”
Blinking a few times, Usagi let his question settle before bursting out laughing. She was lucky again cause the kid didn’t appear to be offended. “No, I’m not. I’m Usagi.”
The kid didn’t need her last name; he could call her Auntie for all she cared. He complimented her art and herself, so she didn’t mind if he lingered. But if he started to cry, that would be a problem. So Usagi looked around again for someone to claim him, and he caught on. “I’m not here with anyone.”
Now she scowled back at him. “Aren’t you a little young to be out on your own?”
“I could say the same to you.”
“I’m twenty-three years old. I don’t need a chaperone.”
“I’m eight. So why do I need one?”
She rolled her eyes at the incredulous boy. “Eight isn’t anywhere near twenty-three!”
“I know that I’m not stupid!” He pouted like a six-year-old. “I just meant that age doesn’t have anything to do with it. I can take care of myself, so what does it matter how old I am??”
“You can take care of yourself? I highly doubt that!”
He had his little arms crossed over his chest and an indignant look on his face. “Like I’d listen to your opinion! You just told a stranger your name.”
Her mouth popped open in response but then in shock. The kid hardly counted as a stranger-danger in her book, but she had given him her name without prompting. And he had yet to tell her his name. “Okay, kid, you got me there.”
“Don’t call me kid then!”
“Well, I don’t have a name for you now, do I? I’m just a stranger!”
His strong man bravado slipped a little as he hesitated. “Alright...I’ll tell you, but only because I’m far smarter than you and could get out of anything weird you tried to put me in.” Usagi didn’t take the bait and waited patiently. “Toru. Chiba Toru.”
Tags:
@kagometaishostory @master-ray5 @sailorlolo @jayangel10 @zelink-inukag @malditamigs @liz8080 @infamousblueskies @jjwalla12 @gofoulpuppycollector @carbidopa-lynseydopa @witheykd @yeagro @preciouslyours @angelarin @pia-bartolini @blairex @somebodysvillian (If you’ve asked to be tagged and your name is here but you still don’t get a notification, that’s cause your profile won’t let me tag you. Idk if that tumblr being naughty or a setting on your page)
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there-must-be-a-lock · 4 months ago
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What You Need
Bucky x Reader
Word Count: ~3810
Warnings: Edging, orgasm denial, age gap (not an illegal one), bratty reader, dirty talk. I won’t say daddy kink but she calls him daddy during sex? And he’s a total dilf? And... yeah, okay, bit of daddy kink. Bucky is a businessman/single dad, reader is his nanny, it’s all sorts of inappropriate. He’s like “gah this is wrong” and she convinces him to stop caring, but I wouldn’t really call it dubious consent. He consents pretty fucking enthusiastically once he gets over the moral dilemma. This is absolute shameless self-indulgent filth.
A/N: for @sweeterthanthis​ and her “Quote Me On It” challenge, except it’s over a month late, because I have had zero creative energy lately. Better late than never, I hope! My quote was “How about you take a sugar-frosted fuck off the end of my dick?” from Blade: Trinity. 
As a reminder, I don’t do tag lists any more! Follow @there-must-be-a-lock-fic​ and turn on notifications if you want fic alerts. 
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When you check on her again, Becca is still sound asleep, whistling slightly on each exhale through the gap in her front teeth. You close the door carefully and tiptoe down the stairs, past the floor that contains the office and playroom, down to the main floor of the immaculate Barnes brownstone. 
You already cleaned up the kitchen — it was a mess after your cookie-baking venture this afternoon — but Becca’s sippy cup half-full of juice is still waiting on the counter. You pick it up and pour it down the front of your shirt without hesitating. 
It’s not like you can take the subway all the way back to Manhattan with your tank top all wet and sticky, right? 
You put the cup in the sink and head down to the garden level to the laundry room. When you strip off the dirty tank top and put it in the machine, you’re left in just super-short cutoffs and a bra. You grab one of Bucky’s button-downs from the laundry basket. 
You have to wear something, after all.  
It’s one of his casual shirts, faded plaid, worn thin and soft, and you can’t help but sniff it, breathing in fancy cologne and a barely-there whiff of sweat. 
This better fucking work. You’re about ready to blow a fuse. 
You know you’re not imagining the way he looks at you. You figured it was wishful thinking, at first, but as the summer went on, it got harder and harder to ignore the chemistry between you and your boss. Bucky flirts as easy as breathing — you’d swear he’s never met a person he couldn’t charm — but it’s a playful sort of charm, usually: over-the-top flattery, tongue-in-cheek compliments delivered with a wink, rakish but never rude. He just likes seeing people smile. 
It’s different with you, though. When he’s at home, when his guard is down, he lets his gaze linger on you just a little too long, watches you a little too intensely, stands a little too close… his eyes go hot and heavy-lidded, and there’s something dark and hungry in his smile. It feels dangerous, when he looks at you. 
He wants you. You know he does. 
But James Buchanan Barnes is nothing if not a goddamn gentleman. You know he would never make a move, and you haven’t wanted to jeopardize the best summer job you’ve ever had by making a move of your own. After tonight, though, there’s nothing to stop him. It’s officially your last night as Rebecca Barnes’s nanny. 
You check yourself out in the guest room mirror. The shirt is long enough that your cutoffs barely show under the hem; if you tug them up slightly, it looks like you’re not wearing anything underneath. You’ve buttoned it enough that it’s not exactly indecent, but when you lean forward, you can clearly see the thin white lace of your bra. 
Perfect. 
You’re on the stairs back to the main level when you hear the door open. Right on time. 
When you step into the entryway, Bucky is shucking his fancy suit jacket, leaving it crumpled on the table. He loosens his tie, tugging at the black silk so he can open the first button of his crisp white shirt, and you have a crazy urge — not for the first time — to lick the hollow of his neck. His cheeks are flushed, ever so slightly, and there’s a sort of soft, careless quality to his movements like he’s had a couple drinks this evening. 
Even from the other side of the hallway, you can see the moment he notices you. He does a blatant double take, blinking like he’s not sure he can trust his eyes, and then he swallows hard. 
“That’s my shirt,” he says softly. 
“This is super embarrassing,” you say, all coy and sweet, batting your eyelashes for good measure. “I spilled juice all over myself, I totally made a mess. I’m so sorry, it was right there and it was the only thing I could think to put on while I wash my shirt. Is this okay?” 
He raises an eyebrow, and there’s a hint of a smile tugging slowly at the corner of his mouth. 
“Yeah,” Bucky says, low and knowing. “This is okay.” 
“Thanks,” you say, and you were aiming for confident but your voice comes out breathy and flustered.  
Bucky runs a hand through his hair — messing up the neat combed-back look he goes for when he has to put on his business face — eyes still fixed on you. “Gonna have a drink. You want one?” 
“Please.” 
Neither of you mention the fact that there’s another year, technically, before you’re old enough to drink legally. There’s a fluttery, swooping sort of sensation in your stomach as you follow him into the living room. 
He goes right to the bar cart in the corner while you take a seat on the couch, and he pours you each a glass of something amber-colored. When he passes it to you, you see him hesitate for just a fraction of a second before settling next to you, slouching back, legs sprawled. It’s not a big couch; his arm, draped over the back of it, is tantalizingly close to your shoulder when you curl up, angled toward him.  
He raises his glass in a toast, and you clink yours against it gently. 
The alcohol burns on the way down, but you barely notice it; you’re too busy staring at the way his Adam's apple bobs as he swallows. He still has his tie loosened over his unbuttoned collar, and the exposed hollow of his throat seems startling, framed by silky black and crisp white. 
It takes a second before you realize he’s staring too; his gaze is fixed on your mouth. When you lick a drop of whiskey from your lower lip, his eyes track the movement.  
For a moment you’re sure he’s about to lean in and kiss you. 
Then he seems to catch himself, blinking suddenly. He lets out a slow sigh and sinks back against the couch, raking a hand through his already-messy hair. 
“We can’t do this,” he says, staring down into his glass. 
You blink, startled. “I have no idea—”
“Don’t,” he interrupts hoarsely. “You know exactly what you’re doing, don’t try to pull the innocent act with me.”
His bluntness catches you off-guard; you pause, cheeks hot, and take another sip of whiskey to hide your discomfort before setting your jaw stubbornly. 
Apparently you’re talking about this. 
“Why?” you ask. 
He rolls his eyes and gives you a wry half-smile. “Do I really need to state the obvious? C’mon, sweetheart. You’re smarter than that.” 
“You’re not my boss any more.” 
“Doesn’t make it right. You’re too young for me, doll.”
“I’m old enough to know what I want,” you retort. 
“Not sure you are,” he says, not unkindly, but your temper flares at the hint of condescension in his words. 
“I’m old enough,” you repeat, trying not to sound petulant. “I want this. I want you. Are you honestly telling me you don’t want me?” 
“Of course I —” he starts, but he cuts himself off, shaking his head. 
Your heart is racing. “You do. I know you do.” 
He gives you a sarcastic quirk of a smile. “Like the great Western philosopher Mick Jagger once said: you can’t always get what you want.” 
“But —” 
“Don’t.” His tone is sharp and sure, and part of you knows you should let it go, give up, but the rest of you just hears a challenge. Before you can say anything else, though, he asks, “What did you and Becca do today?” 
“We made cookies,” you say sulkily. “Wait, hang on.” 
You set your glass down on the coffee table and hop up, hyper-aware of Bucky’s eyes following you as you go into the kitchen. He doesn’t say anything, just waits while you grab his cookie from the platter on the counter and come back in. 
“Just for you, daddy,” you say sweetly. 
Bucky’s reaction is unmistakable; he inhales sharply, eyes glittering with something dark and feral. 
You give him an innocent smile and hold out the cookie. He looks at it and notices the messy For Daddy spelled out in wobbly icing letters. 
For a second he just gapes. Then he lets out a little huff of a sigh, shaking his head as he takes the cookie. 
You sit down next to him, closer this time. He doesn’t move away. 
“Jesus, that’s sweet,” he mutters, chewing the first bite. His tongue flicks out to catch a stray sprinkle. 
The things he does with his mouth should be illegal. 
“It’s basically sugar-frosted sugar,” you reply. “Good, right?” 
“Perfect.” He takes another bite and then holds it out to you. 
You grab his wrist, grinning, holding eye contact as you lift his hand to your lips and take a delicate nip right from his fingers. 
“What part of no don’t you understand?” he says, but his voice is fond. 
You shrug, wondering if you look as smug as you feel. He’s fighting a smile as he tugs his wrist away, like he can’t decide whether to laugh or scold you for your brazenness.
“Missed a spot,” you tell him, as he swallows the last bite, and you reach out before he can react, swiping frosting from the corner of his mouth with a fingertip. You lick it off, deliberately slow, looking at him through your lashes. 
His chest rises with a shivery, unsteady inhale. Without a word, he lifts his hand, rubbing his thumb across the pillow of your lower lip. 
You let your mouth fall open, and he slides his finger in, pressing the pad of it down on your tongue. When you close your lips around it and suck, you can taste a lingering sweetness, followed by a hint of salty skin. 
He lets his hand fall, but he doesn’t move to put any distance between your bodies. 
“God fuckin’ dammit,” he growls. “This is wrong.” 
“I don’t give a sugar-frosted fuck,” you say flippantly. “Told you. I want you.” 
Bucky’s lip curls in a sneer. His expression goes wild and intense, almost predatory. 
“You’re a goddamn spoiled brat, aren’t you?” he snarls. 
There’s an edge to his voice that you’ve never heard before. 
For a split second, you’re terrified you mis-stepped — pushed too hard — crossed a line... your chest feels too tight for your pounding heart. 
Then Bucky is cupping your cheeks, hands sliding back and tangling in your hair, letting out a wordless sound of frustration as he pulls you in. 
It takes a second for your brain to catch up. You can barely process the sensations: stubble scraping your chin, teeth sinking into your lower lip, fingers tugging your hair hard enough to sting. The kiss is fierce and almost violent with its urgency. 
Your head spins, and you’re still reeling with shock when he hauls you closer, into his lap. You groan at the heat of his body against yours, the smell of his cologne, the slick slide of his tongue as it curls into your mouth. You’re lost in it, moving on pure animal instinct, dizzy with lust. 
You’ve imagined this so many times, but the reality is so much better than any fantasy. 
Bucky runs his hands up your bare thighs and then under your — his — shirt, thumbing your nipples through your bra, and you moan helplessly. 
He fumbles with buttons until he can get his mouth on you, sucking and nibbling at the hard peak and through the thin lace. He leaves a wet patch when he pulls away, and in the absence of his warm mouth, the air feels shockingly cool on your tingling skin, making you hiss and wriggle in his lap. 
“Get these off,” he says, popping the button of your cutoffs.  
You slide clumsily off his lap, standing so you can shimmy out of your shorts, and Bucky watches you, eyes dark. His swollen lips curl up in a slow smile as you push your panties down and let them fall to the floor. You open the last button of his shirt, and you’re about to shrug it off when he grabs your wrist. 
“Leave that on,” he says, in a low, authoritative voice that leaves no room for argument. “Let me taste you.” 
He pulls you forward so that you’re up on your knees on the couch and he simultaneously slouches, sliding down until his head is tilted back against the back of the couch and his face is level with your pelvis. Your breath catches. 
He grabs your ass with both hands, tugging you toward his mouth, and nuzzles against your center, burying his face between your legs like he can’t get close enough. The first drag of his tongue is slow and lingering, and he groans low in his throat like you’re the best thing he’s ever tasted. 
You’re hesitant at first, self-conscious as he explores, figuring out what you like. He takes his time, caressing you with the flat of his tongue and then flicking your clit with the very tip of it, trying different things until he finds the spot that makes you whimper. When he goes for it again, targeting that spot with relentless accuracy, your legs start to shake, and you brace yourself with a white-knuckled grip on the back of the couch. 
It doesn’t take long before you’re shuddering, rolling and twisting your hips into the wet-hot pressure of his mouth. You half-collapse forward, down on your elbows while you bite the heel of your hand in an effort to keep quiet. 
Bucky makes a rough, wordless sound that vibrates through you, and then he’s gripping your hips, forcing you down and away while you squirm. It takes a conscious effort to open your eyes and focus on him, and even more of an effort to bite back your pathetic whine. 
“Fuck, why’d you stop?” you gasp. 
“Did you want to come, sweetheart?” he teases, and before you can answer, he pulls you down for a kiss, sitting you down so that you’re straddling him. 
You rock your hips instinctively as he nibbles his way down the side of your neck. You can feel the thick shape of his hard cock through his dress pants, and you grind down with a frustrated whimper, trying to get some friction. 
He works a hand between your legs and curls two thick fingers into you, crooking them, pumping them in and out, kissing you slowly as he works you up again. When he rubs them back and forth slightly, teasing your g-spot, you can hear the wet obscene sound it makes.
“Listen to that,” he murmurs. “Dirty girl. Is there something you want?” 
He does it again, kissing you, letting out a low moan against your lips as you clench around his fingers. You can hear the filthy, undeniable proof of how badly you want him. 
Your cheeks burn and your voice cracks when you say, “Yes.” 
“Up,” he orders, and he smacks your ass lightly as he pushes you back. You almost fall, stumbling on wobbly legs, but he stands and steadies you. Then he clamps a hand around the back of your neck, pushing you toward the stairs with gentle but firm pressure. It’s a possessive touch, and it sends a shiver down your spine.  
For a second you think he’s going to guide you upstairs, but he urges you down instead, and you realize he’s heading for the guest room. 
“Want to hear all the pretty noises you make while I take you apart,” he mutters, answering the question you didn’t ask out loud, and your belly twists with immediate arousal at the words even before you remember Becca sleeping upstairs. 
Your hands are shaking, and your skin is on fire, and as you walk, you can’t help but wonder if this is a fever dream. 
Bucky presses you against the wall for a dirty, bruising kiss, and then he lifts you, carrying you through the door, turning the lights on as he goes. He half-tosses you onto the bed, like you’re nothing more than a rag doll. 
“Stay,” he orders, when you start to squirm up toward the headboard. “Stay right there. Spread those legs and show me where you need me.” 
Fuck. 
Your feet are still dangling over the end of the bed, so you plant them flat on the mattress, bending your knees, exposing yourself. Your cheeks burn as you do it, but Bucky grins, smug and sure, stripping his tie and shirt off to reveal skin and muscle that make your mouth water. Then he unbuttons his slacks and pushes them down, along with his boxer briefs. When he straightens up again, you get a good look at his cock, the thick length of it flushed red. 
He sidles closer, standing at the foot of the bed and looming over you, stroking himself a few times. He lets out a low chuckle, and you realize you must be staring. 
“Is that what you want?” he asks. 
“Yeah,” you breathe. 
Without warning, so fast it startles you, he grabs your ankles and yanks you down the bed. You let out an undignified sort of squeak, disoriented, and before you can recover he’s got your ass to the edge of the bed, his arms hooked under your knees, leaving you wide-open and exposed. 
“I don’t give a sugar-frosted fuck what you want,” he says, low and sweet like a purr. 
It takes a second for you to recognize your own words, and you gape at him. 
“Wait — what?” 
“I’m gonna teach you a lesson, baby,” he says softly, pressing your left knee back and out with one hand, pinning you. With the other hand, he rubs the head of his cock against your entrance and then slides it up your center, hot slick pressure teasing your clit as he continues, “It’s like I told you: you can’t always get what you want.” 
You whimper, looking up at him as he smiles.
The first inch is the most incredible stretch, a perfect pleasure-pain you’ve never felt before, and the wave of friction rolls out through your whole body, making you arch your back and tilt your hips up for more. He works himself in a little deeper before thrusting a few times, just a couple inches. He’s fucking you with less than half of his length but it’s already overwhelming, iron-hard and searing inside of you. 
He presses deeper, dragging against something inside that sends a jolt of heat up your spine, and you moan, twisting and grabbing helplessly at the duvet. He presses the heel of his hand down on your lower belly, right over that spot, increasing the pressure as your eyes roll back in your head. 
“There, huh?” he asks, with a wolfish grin. 
Then he moves, fucking you with quick jabbing thrusts, and you have to cover your own mouth to stifle your desperate shout.  It’s so fucking good but it’s so fucking much, this bright electric sensation rocketing through you with every movement, winding you up… 
Bucky slows just as you feel the first teasing wave of your orgasm tightening in your core. You let out a sob, writhing under him, desperate, pulled back from the edge again. 
“Look at me,” he orders, rocking into you at a torturously slow pace. 
He’s staring down at the place where his cock splits you open, and he’s flushed, the muscled expanse of his chest sheened with sweat. He looks almost as wrecked as you feel, but his eyes are flinty and intent.
Unlike you, he’s in complete control here. 
“Did that feel good?” 
You’re too close to be coherent; all you can manage is a few choked-off vowel sounds.
“Try that again,” he says, with a smirk. 
“Yes,” you groan. “Fuck, yes, please. I want —” 
“Not yet.” He pulls out without warning, and you whimper. “On your knees.” 
Before you can process the command, he’s manhandling you, flipping you onto your stomach, gripping your hips to get you in position. He grinds against you, wet cock sliding along the crack of your ass, and smacks the side of your thigh, making you twitch and groan. 
He holds you in place while he lines up again, but you arch your back helplessly when you feel the slick pressure again, trying to urge him on. 
“Jesus fuckin’ Christ, you really do want it, don’t you?” Bucky growls. “Look at you tryin’ to fuck yourself on my cock.” 
“Please,” you manage.  
He thrusts into you with one smooth movement, hips snapping forward, filling you all at once, making your eyes roll back and your arms give out. You collapse forward with a shout, face-down on the duvet, and he doesn’t give you a second to adjust; he slides out slow, a long steady drag, and slams back in, so deep it feels like he might split you open. 
Bucky grabs you around your waist and tugs you upright, holding you against his chest, his arm like an iron band around your ribs. 
“Had enough?” he teases, right up against your ear. He rolls his hips slowly, tiny circles that press against some incredible sweet spot inside you.  
“Please, daddy,” you whisper. 
You can feel his reaction to that, the way his chest heaves as he sucks in a breath, the way his cock throbs inside you, and you half-sob as you squeeze around him. 
“Did you learn your lesson, princess?” he says raggedly, hips working in little figure-eights like he can’t help himself. 
“Yes,” you gasp. “Promise. Fuck, please, I need —” 
“Don’t worry, babygirl, gonna give you exactly what you need,” Bucky says, his voice gorgeously strained and raw. 
He slides a hand down between your legs, rocking forward again as he pushes the heel of his hand against your clit. The intensity of the combined sensations is blinding — exquisite fullness and blunt friction all at once — molten heat surging in your core —
“I’ve got you,” Bucky growls. “Come for daddy.” 
It builds hard and fast, tension coiling up, winding you tighter, stripping away every rational thought and every scrap of shame until all you can do is let it crest and break. 
Everything goes white when the first wave crashes through you. You’re distantly aware of Bucky half-shouting your name, grinding in deep as he comes, cock twitching inside you, so close you can barely tell his orgasm from your own; it’s just one slick pulsing rush after another as you shudder through it together. 
“Spoiled rotten,” he murmurs, kissing the round of your shoulder as you both try to catch your breath. 
You don’t bother to deny it. 
.
.
.
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storiesforallfandoms · 11 months ago
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backstage ~ pete davidson
word count: 1960
request?: yes!
“Can you do a Pete Davidson smut on the set of SNL”
description: in which a backstage tour turns into something a little more
pairing: pete davidson x female!reader
warnings: swearing, smut
masterlist (one, two)
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“And this is the writer’s room,” Pete said as he led me into a room with a large desk surrounded by multiple chairs. “This is where we come up with the skits and the jokes. There’s John, being the loner he is.”
“You say that like it’s a joke but you’re my best friend so what does that say about you?” John asked, not looking up from his laptop.
Pete chuckled and wrapped an arm around my waist. “Moving on - ”
“Hold on!” I cut him off. “We are not just sweeping past John Mulaney like that. You know how much I love him.”
This made the older comedian look up from his laptop and smile at me. “Oh, I like this girl. She’s got good taste.”
Pete rolled his eyes at the two of us. “You can come back and talk to John before we start filming. This is a big set and I told you I’d show you all of it.”
I playfully pouted at him before waving goodbye to John and continuing to follow Pete through the unfamiliar building.
Pete had been dying to give me a tour of the SNL backstage basically since we had started dating. Our schedules never lined up enough to be able to, but I had finally managed to get a full weekend off and Pete decided to take advantage of that.
The set was much larger than I thought, with every castmate having their own dressing rooms, plus special rooms for the hosts and musical guests. So many rooms for writing and editing, and the massive set where everything was filmed, usually in front of an audience. I didn’t understand how Pete didn’t get lost every day, even if he was familiar with the place.
“And finally,” he said once we neared the end of his tour, “my home away from home.”
He pushed open the door with his name written on a wooden plaque. The room definitely screamed “Pete”. Besides the smell of weed smoke that seemed to linger no matter how long Pete wasn’t there, the room was also littered with little things he liked to have with him at all times: pictures of his dad, his mom, the two of us, little gifts I had always given him for every season premiere, little things from his other friends.
There was a comfortable looking couch along the wall that was begging for me to lay down on it. I sighed in relief the moment my back touched the couch, my legs and feet aching from the heels I decided to wear.
Pete chuckled at my reaction. “I told you to wear something comfortable.”
“And I told you I wanted to make a good impression on your co-stars, which includes a nice outfit.”
I had decided on a long sleeved white shirt and a short, plaid skirt to wear on set, with a pair of black booties that were nice when I put them on, but now that I had been walking around in them for almost an hour I was regretting my wardrobe choices.
Pete smiled and came to lay down on the couch on top of me, his legs between mine and his hands on either side of my head. “Baby, you could wear a garbage bag and everyone here would still be impressed by you.”
“Well, I’ll do that next time then.”
He chuckled and lowered himself so he was kissing me. It was a quick kiss on my lips before he dipped his head to kiss my neck. I giggled as the slight stubble he was starting to grow tickled my neck, followed by a moan as he found the spot on my neck that always drove me wild.
“The skirt does give me some easy access, though,” he mumbled against my neck as one of his hands traced up my bare leg and dipped under my skirt. I gasped as he ran a finger over my clothed clit - or, just barley clothed as I was wearing a G-string. “God, baby, I’ve barley touched you and you’re already soaking wet.”
I moaned as his finger slipped under my G-string and inside of me. He was quick to cover my mouth, a cheeky grin on his face at my reaction.
“You have to be quiet, baby,” he said. “Anyone could come catch us at any time.”
I bit my lip to try and keep quiet as his finger slid in and out of me, first at a slow pace. My moans came out as squeaks and whimpers of pleasure as his pace began to pick up and he slipped another finger into me. I was basically writhing underneath him, which I could tell he was taking a lot of pleasure in.
With two of his fingers in me, he pressed his thumb against my clit and began to rub painfully slow circles, causing my body to arch against him. It was becoming harder to hold back my moans and I had to cover my own mouth with my hand.
“God, this is so fucking dirty,” Pete commented. “Finger fucking my beautiful girl on the couch of my dressing room? Where all my co-workers come in and hang out with me? Man, I’ll never be able to look at this couch the same.”
“It’ll be a nice memory of me,” I said, trying my best to smile up at him but another whimper being let out instead.
“I’ll never not think of you when I’m in this room again,” he confirmed, lowering himself to kiss my neck again.
I was already nearing my climax when Pete’s fingers were removed from my wet core. I looked up at him with puppy dog eyes and my lips pouting. He brought his wet fingers to his lips and took them in his mouth.
“Fuck,” I breathed. I didn’t think it were possible, but I managed to become even more wet at the sight.
“Flip over on your hands and knees baby,” he told me.
I excitedly did as he told me, spinning to be back on to him on my hands and knees. I started reaching for my panties to take them off, but his hand caught hold of my wrists before I could.
“Leave them on,” he said. “I think it’ll be extra hot to fuck you with your skirt and panties still on.”
I nodded excitedly and got back into my position. Pete stood for just a moment, long enough to undo his jeans and let them, and his underwear, fall to the floor. My heart was racing as I felt the couch dip behind me again and Pete pulling my panties to the side as he lined his head up with my entrance.
As he pushed himself inside of me ever so slowly, his other hand came to rest on my back, pushing me down till my head was buried in the couch cushions.
“Best way to keep you quiet,” he said. “I don’t intend to go easy on you.”
“I don’t want you to go easy on me,” I responded.
I looked over my shoulder to see the smile on Pete’s face. He took hold of my waist with both hands and started to thrust slow at first, making sure I was comfortable and fully stretched around him. Once he was sure I was okay, his thrusts gradually got quicker and rougher until he was pounding me so hard that the only sounds in the room were that of skin slapping against skin.
I buried my face in the couch again, trying my best the muffle the moans that were basically turning to screams of pleasure. However this process was basically moot as the sound of our skin slapping against each other and Pete’s own moans and groans of pleasure would definitely alert any passersby of our activities.
Being adventurous with our sex was definitely nothing new to Pete and I. Whenever one of us was in the mood, we’d initiate it wherever we wanted. In bathrooms, fitting rooms, in the back of his car, wherever we could get some form of privacy while also being a little too out in public.
But there was just something different about having him rail me in his dressing room mere minutes before he was set to go live. At any moment someone could walk past, or one of the producers could come knock on the door. Or, heaven forbid if he didn’t lock the door, someone could just walk in and catch the two of us. All of that just made our secret rendezvous a little more naughty and sexy. While I didn’t want to be caught by any means, the thought that it would be so easy to be caught drove me wild.
Pete’s thrusts became so rough that I could hear the couch legs scraping across the floor as it moved. My legs were already feeling like jelly and I had a feeling I was going to have trouble walking to set with Pete when this was over.
His hand ran up my back and through my hair before giving my head a rough tug back. I yelped at the sudden pain that I felt in my head before it dissolved into a moan. Pete pulled me back till my back was against his chest and leaned in close to my ear.
“You feel so good,” he breathed into my ear. “God, even after all this time, you’re still so tight around me.”
“You keep talking like that and I’ll cum around your cock in no time.”
The hand in my hair crept around my front to grab me by the throat. “You say that as if it’s not what I wanted.”
His other hand slipped between my legs and began rubbing at my clit, causing all sorts of pleasure to run through me. My body started to tremble as I felt myself nearing my climax. The hand around my throat squeezed slightly as I let out a cry of pleasure, my walls tightening around him.
Pete grunted in my ear a few more times before I felt him filling me up as well. I took a deep breath in when he let go of my throat, although my head was still spinning.
Pete pulled out of me just in time for a knock to come on his door. “Give me a second!”
He quickly pulled his pants and boxers back on as I adjusted my skirt and panties. Although I was sure whoever was at the door wouldn’t notice the wet spot that had suddenly appeared on the couch, I still decided to cover it with a pillow just in case.
One of the producers was stood at the door. “Hey, I just wanted to let you know that we’re starting in roughly five minutes!”
“Thanks, I’ll be there soon,” Pete responded. He shut the door and looked back at me. His eyes travelled down to my legs as an amused look crossed his face. “You got something on your leg there hun.”
I looked down to see a single string of warm liquid running down my inner thigh. “Oh fuck.”
I reached for a tissue but Pete stopped me. “Wait, don’t clean it yet. I’d love to know you’re in the audience watching me with my cum running down your legs.”
“Okay, that’s hot, but I don’t want your co-workers thinking I peed myself or something.”
“I’ll tell them the truth if you want.”
I rolled my eyes and shoved him towards the door. “Go to set! Let me clean up. I’m sure there’s more there that can fulfil this fantasy you have.”
Pete smiled down and gave me one last kiss before rushing to set.
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x-chubby-reader · a year ago
Note
Oh MY GOD what about Bakugou, kirishima, and sero who get hit by a quirk who turns them into a lil toddler or whatever and they’ve got the biggest crush on their chubby/plus size classmate 🥺🥺
A/N - I literally love this idea so much, thanks to @fandom-fander for helping out with this headcannon.
Not Prof Read
Lowercase Intentional
Cursing
Toddler!Bakugo, Kirishima, and Sero x Plus size reader
Bakugo
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aizawa sure as hell didn't feel like dealing with the angry pomeranian in minature form
he decided to leave the boy with the class and let them decide among themselves on who should watch the little firecracker for the day
extra credit anyone?
everyone immediately pinned the responsibility on you
kirishima, he didn't feel like getting screeched at by a small bakugo and needed to apparently go study
he also knew that bakugo had a fondness for you in his teenage form, so why not see if he still has it
fr little bakugo pretends to hate your guts
somehow this little toddler has the most hurtful insults
“you can't even get a boyfriend? that's pretty sad.”
suddenly choking out a child is okay
do it… no one has to know how it happened
even though he had pretended to hate you, he still kept trying to show off to you 
you decided to take him out on a little bike/tricycle ride? homeboy flipped it trying to show off how fast he could go and then proceeded to complain about scraping his knee
hey at least he got your attention
he is a literal leash kid fight me oh my god
bakugo will simply run away
you expected him to listen? oh you're in for a surprise
the only option that you give him is to either wear the embarrassing monkey pack or to hold your hand
he immediately grabs your hand and is literally so giddy and its adorable my lord-
smiles for days my heart i can’t-
he may seem all happy and nice, but that can flip in a minute
he’s the biggest brat sometimes and you are literally this close to punting him across the room
you don't get him something that he wants? little pomeranian boy will turn into a velociraptor child in an instant
the decimals that that kids voice can reach up to is kind of impressive not going to lie
“no bakugo, you can't have that right now maybe later-”
screech
thankfully he tires himself out quick enough to set him down for a nap
but nothing is ever simple, is it?
he wont go to sleep without you though, claiming that there are monsters and he needs to know where you are so he can protect you
no matter how many times you had explained to him that there weren't any monsters around, you slowly succumbed to his pleas
almost feeling bad for him, he just looked so serious about how you could get hurt that it made you feel bad
you didn't notice how much taking care of a kid took out of you until now
you had made a mental note to apologize to your mom for having to deal with you when you were younger later
As soon as you settled down on the couch with the toddler laying on top of you, you almost instantaneously passed out
oh boy were you in for a surprise when you woke up to a teen bakugo, still curled into your torso
he looked up to you after feeling you stir, he almost had a smirk on his face before burying his head back  into you 
mostly to hide the redness spreading over his face, he wasn’t going to admit that he was blushing
no way in hell
he just mumbled a “later” before his breaths softened into a steady pace
yeah, you may be stuck here for a bit
Kirishima 
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you were there for the whole thing
red-top had pushed you out of the way of an incoming quirk blast and suffered the consequences
he became young again, almost too young
you felt bad
and who wouldn’t
so of course you took it upon yourself to watch him until the effects wore off
the thing you learned about him was that he was an even touchy-er child
homeboy just wanted to be held all the time
just climbing up and latching himself onto your calf
it was adorable but hard to walk with
If you pick him up, you’ve basically sworn an oath with the devil himself
you cannot put him down 
ever 
he gives the most pitiful looks when you do and drags his feet when you walk
he also wont leave you alone
so curious in whatever your doing at that exact moment
and he is impressed by everything you do
“what are you doing?”
“reading”
“wow so cool!”
a bug came in through the window and he screamed
you walked in all nonchalant, grabbed your shoe, and smacked that some of a bitch into a next dimension
he lit up omfg
“wow y/n, that was so manly!”
you brought him in to class since it had been a school day and were too afraid to tell aizawa about the incident
the girls were literally all over him
i mean, who wouldn’t be all over an adorable and friendly (looking at you bakugo) kid?
and the pebble boy was lapping up the attention like a thirsty dog on a hot day
you never expected him to act like this
shy maybe, but then again he was pretty outgoing in his teenage form
he was grinning from ear to ear
literally posing like a mini body builder and making little huffing noises
even you couldn’t help it, letting a little aww out like most of the other girls
this had been causing a slight disturbance to the class
so the whole going to school thing was pointless as aizawa sent the two of you home anyways
he is already a tired dad, he dosen’t need to be dealing with a toddler right now
putting the little strongman on your back you began to walk
you had been hoping that the effects would wear off in a few more hours 
but nothing ever goes to plan dose it?
while you had been walking, you noticed a significant weight increase, but just decided to ignore it
hey you were more sturdy and thicc, you wern’t no pussy, why stop all of a sudden because of the extra weight?
the only single thing that had alerted you to kiri being fully back was the whisper in your ear
instead of a sqeaky and mousy voice, you heart a more smooth and even comment
“hey stranger”
girl you dropped him and ran, him having to catch up to you
he has the audacity to give you a heart attack, he better suck it up
Sero
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this was the same situation as bakugo, aizawa just didn’t want to deal with the kid
and especially a kid who kept mixing up two languages
he really was just so one
aizawa gave him the option to go to anyone
of course he ran straight to you, clinging onto your calf, as that was as high as he could reach
hey you looked the most inviting and least scary
he was literally terrified of bakugo and almost started to bawl is eyes out when he went near him
though he calm down slightly when he went down to get to a similar height as him. 
why wouldn’t you take the opportunity to watch a cute little kid and skip class
hey, aizawa said whoever watched him got extra credit
but there soon was a slight problem that you noticed
well not really a problem, but more of a hurdle
with sero being raised in a household that spoke both english and spanish, he started to mix the two, not knowing any better
he would be asking for “leche” and you would just stand there trying to understand with your limited vocab
just the loading circle above your head whenever he started to talk
but you managed with google translate and going off of the vast amount of spanish soap operas you watched at 3 am once a week
surprisingly, he was a very artistic kid
at least every ten minutes he would walk over to you and hand you a squiggly picture of a flower, you, or him and you holding hands
and he would just giggle before running away to make another
bro heart go melt 
being pre occupied with some papers that the father teacher had sent home with you, sero couldn’t get your attention
he might of forgotten your name and got stuck in a predicament
then the most rational thing popped into his head
well his dad called his mom “mi amor” and you and his mom were both pretty ladies
it made total sense to him so he went with it
“hey...”
nothing
“hey...”
nothing again
“hey... mi amor~”
your head shot up immediately
since he noticed that the name had gotten your attention, he just started using it
when he had shifted to being a teen again, the two of you never mentioned the name again
until a few days later when he was back to normal in class
homeboy was trying to get your attention and the multiple taps on the shoulder weren't cutting it
he got an idea
“hey... mi amor~”
yep that got you immediately
and he still uses that nickname for you
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annathesillyfriend · 9 months ago
Text
Anna's April Fic Recs ✨
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Hello everyone, wellcome to my April fic recommendations (part 1) masterpost! This is a new thing I want to try to do and create a list like that twice a month. It really pains me that the amazing authors out there don't get the recognition they dereserve so I'm gonna do what I can to spread my love for them. I also hope more people will get to experience the joy of reading all these wonderful works!
To all the writers - I love you and I appreciate you so much! To all the readers - please, share the fics you read and love. The reblog really makes the change! It's the least we could do to show our gratitude.
Without further ado, here are the fic I read this month and adored
MARVEL
Bucky Barnes
Take a chance on me by @jurassicbarnes
one-shot, single mum!au, fwb to lovers
Bucky's game nights by @eurynome827
series, slow burn, they're playing games with their hearts
Baby fever by @youlightmeupfinn
one-shot, who wouldn't want that man as their baby daddy?
All yours by @babyboibucky
one-shot, 18+, tfatws!Bucky
A single thread by @jobean12-blog
one-shot, coffeeshop with Buck
New adventures by @celestialbarnes
one-shot, best friends to lovers
Beautiful girl by @borkingbarnes
one-shot, a morning with Buck
Erase every trace by @angrythingstarlight
one-shot, 18+, tfatws!Bucky
What you need by @buckycuddlebuddy
one-shot, 18+, best friend and roommate!Bucky, a cam is involved 👀
Cookies, kisses and such by @sweetbucky
one-shot, friends to lovers
The Match by @/babyboibucky
series, ceo!bucky
Policework by @jurassicbarnes
one-shot, police detectives!au
Eyes on you by @kleohoneyao3
one-shot, 18+
Take me as I am, whoever I am by @/jurassicbarnes
one-shot, 18+
Greedy by @/babyboibucky
one-shot, 18+, hot hot hot!
Destructive by @buckybarnesdiaries
one-shot, Bucky's scared of his feelings
Sunday kinda' love by @msmarvelwrites
one-shot, 18+, some things are more important than breakfast
Separation, connection (part 2) by @firefly-in-darkness
two-shot, 18+, the angst is strong in this one
Angel on her knees by @/babyboibucky
one-shot, 18+, Bucky gets some love hehe
Feelings are fatal by @sunmoonandbucky
series, steve leaves to be with Peggy, reader deals with the loss
It's messy inside, let me take your coat by @/divine-mistake
one-shot, 18+, plus size!reader
Beautiful people by @nacho-bucky
series, plus size!reader, the most real, beautiful, human story
Sam Wilson
Dancing with Sam Wilson would include... by @certifiedskywalker
head cannon, the title says it all
Positions by @luciilferss
one-shot, 18+, Sam's a gem Monday through Sunday
Identity by @samwilsons-pillowpecs
series, Sam loses memory and they say he wanted to kill Bucky
Amartment 3C by @/bohemianpages
series, Sam comes back from the snap to find his flat occupied
Honest by @xbuchananbarnes
one-shot, tfatws!sam
The first time you realise you are in love by @barnesnroses
part of a mini series, the fluff 😫
Walk me home by @whisperlullaby
one-shot, Sam comes to the rescue
Memory loss by @/captain-kelli
series, Sam and reader are on a hunt for winter solider
SamBucky
Cratures of habit by @callitdreamland
miniseries, sambucky x reader
How sweet it is by @indyluckycharlie
series, sambucky modern!au
The therapist by @holylulusworld
mini series, y/n helps them with their problems
Steve Rogers
Glitter by @sarahwroteathing
one-shot, elementary teacher!Steve x single mom!reader
Error by @buckysknifecollection
one-shot, de-serumed!steve
Words whispered in the dark by @anika-ann
part of the Attached series or stand alone, modern-college-professor AU, 18+
Corrupting a good boy by @donutloverxo
series, ceo!steve x desi!reader
Cash rules everything around me by @/slyyywriting
series, stripper!steve
Where the love light gleams by @/sunmoonandbucky
series, social media!au
Sharon Carter
Permanent by @/samwilsons-pillowpecs
one-shot, tattoo artist!sharon
Loki Laufeyson
Steam by @the--sad--hatter
series, slowburn, enemies to frenemies to idiots in love
Peter Parker
Love sick and a little bit drunk by @spideyspeaches
one-shot, collage!peter
Invisible string by @peterbenjiparker
series, soulmate!au
Don't hold back by @hollandcrush
one-shot, 18+, college!peter
Dancing with our hand tied by @/justeclipseblogs
series, stark!reader, enemies to lovers
My medication by @/kelieah
one-shot, broken teens in love
HOLLAND & CO.
Tom Holland
Lockscreen by @cherrycheridarling
one-shot, famous!reader
Monday mornings by @blissfulparker
one-shot, professor!tom x professor!reader
Written in the stars by @ptersmj
one-shot, fuff!!!
Hooked on your feelings by @heyhihellowhatsup0
series, fwb!tom
Ski date by @tetralea
one-shot, 18+, idiots in love, friends to lovers
Take sugar? by @/hollandcrush
one-shot, carpenter!tom x ex-best friend!reader, 18+
I swear to God I never fall in love by @hazofmyheart
one-shot, fratboy!tom, 18+, spoiler alert: he does
Break up with your girlfriend by @rosyparkers
one-shot, 18+, frat football player!tom, cheerleader!y/n, fwb au
Perennial by @peeterparkr
series, sequel to Perdify, the biggest oof moment yet
All for her by @screamholland
series, single dad!tom
Royal convinience by @/poetrcy
series, royal!au
Kiss me slowly by @/storybookholland
one-shot, soft frat!tom
Harry Holland
Always by @/multiholland
series, best freind!harry
Sam Holland
'tis the damn season by @/unsaidholland
one-shot, ex boyfriend!sam
Our night by @/storybookholland
one-shot, jealous!sam
Harrison Osterfield
No way by @soft-haz
one-shot, friends to lovers
Second self by @/soft-haz
one-shot, 18+, reader gives Haz a hand wink wink
Harrison mastelist by @allegra-writes
lots of great Haz things!
Bet on it by @storybookholland
series, fwb
THE IRREGULARS
Whole masterlist by @uglypastels
these all wonderful!! you should also check out the amazing art works at the bottom of this masterlist
LEO
The Fountain of Ichor by @thegirlintheswivelchair
series, leo x lady-in-waiting!reader
OTHERS
Anthony Bridgerton
Sham, pride and illicit affairs by @/peeterparkr
series, quite possibly the most poetic fic ever written
Coming home again by @/misstonybridgerton
series, old friends reunite
Spencer Reid
An Interesting Electronic by @/homoose
one-shot, 18+
Frank Adler
I ruined our sweet tune by @/rodrikstark
one-shot, kinda professor!frank
Ransom Drysdale
The Five Times You Told Ransom Drysdale You Loved Him (And The One Time He Said It Back) by @just-one-ordinary-fangirl
one-shot, childhood friends to life gets in the way to lovers
Sacrilage by @the-iceni-bitch
one-shot, 18+, you'll have to shower in holy water after this
Okay, I might have gone a little overboard but hey, there's no such thing as too much good fanfiction!
Enjoy! 🥰
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favoniuscodex · 6 months ago
Note
scaramouche + a next door neighbors au ,,, thinkin abt it,,,
next door neighbor au headcanons -> scaramouche, zhongli
notes: gn!reader, apartment living implied
scaramouche: the elusive neighbor
scaramouche is the ideal neighbor. he minds his own business. he stays quiet. he will alert you of suspicious neighborhood activity but otherwise keep to himself.
however, this also means he’s a tough egg to crack when it comes to getting to know him
it isn’t until you quite literally bump into him in the hallway that the two of you actually interact beyond small conversation. even in his gruff nature, scaramouche can tell you’re having a bad day.
out of the kindness in his heart that is most definitely there (and not because he finds you cute), he offers for you to come over to his apartment and relax with a cup of tea
this becomes a ritual for the two of you. if you keep up with the gossip about the rest of the neighbors, scaramouche will eagerly listen. he doesn’t talk to others much, but loves to know about their drama.
he’s far nicer to you than he is to most other people. you don’t even realize people perceive scara as mean until you talk abt him to some of your other neighbors.
zhongli: single dad neighbor
you meet zhongli not long after you move in. you learn three things about him. one: he is obscenely hot. two: he has two daughters, ganyu and hu tao. three: he looks perpetually tired.
obviously, you want to worm your way into hot dude’s life, so you do the best thing you can think of: offer to watch his kids. ganyu is the sweet older sister, while hu tao is the mischievous younger sister looking for trouble.
however, the two of them are generally good kids and you don’t mind watching them on occasions zhongli has to work late. they’ll come over to your apartment and the three of you will make dinner together.
of course, the girls can’t get enough of you which means they put in a good word about you to zhongli. a lot. frequently. it’s almost as if they’re interested in setting the two of you up.
in order to get his own children off his back, zhongli invites you to dinner and is pleasantly surprised to see how well you interact with his children but also with how well you interact with him.
his heartbeat speeds up a bit whenever he sees you in the hallways or drops his daughters off at your place... oh no... is this a crush? isn’t he too old for this type of thing?
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hcneyjean · 8 months ago
Text
out of love.
hegenre┊ angst, slowburn
pairing┊ gojo satoru x zenin!reader
wordcount┊ 2.1k
warnings┊ slight manga spoilers
author’s note┊ hello oomfs. i present to you yet another angst are we even surprised lol anyways hope you guys like this one :D [i recommend listening to out of love by alessia cara :p]
[-]
GOJO ESTATE, DECEMBER 2010
[ 5:00AM ]
YOU SAT ANXIOUSLY IN THE KITCHEN. Five hours. That’s what he told you. Five hours and he would be home. The clock on the wall made a sound, chiming the hour. Dawn had barely broken through the sky, patches of red and orange blotting the night. 
Twelve hours, you counted in your head. Where is he?
Your tea cup was cold, the warmth leaving hours ago. The cup across from you had done the same, though it was untouched. Your phone was silent, the usual buzzing absent. Your fingers tapped against the counter nervously, and your lips were pressed into a thin line.
This had been a repeating occurrence, him saying he would be home at a specific time but coming hours if not days later. A million thoughts clouded your mind. Was he hurt? Did he need help? Was he lost?
Was he with someone else? You thought suddenly. 
You forced it to the back of your mind. Gojo was a lot of things but he sure as hell wasn’t a cheater. He wouldn’t abandon you, especially now with Megumi under your guys’ care. You took a sip from your cup, the cold tea jolting you awake. 
The numbers on the clock changed. Half past five. 
Deciding that sitting around wasn’t going to help, you made your way to Megumi’s room to check on him. You had taken him in two months ago, nearly three years after the accident with his dad. He was your nephew, and you couldn’t abandon family. Not after what happened. 
You slid his door to the right, peeking your head through the opening. His room was neat as always, books arranged neatly on the shelf, toys organized into different bins. He lay on the bed fast asleep, no sign of discomfort. 
Stepping in quietly, you crouched at the side of his bed. His hair was messy, almost like black ink against the stark white pillows. You reached to tuck the strays behind his ear. You needed to get him a hair cut soon. 
He stirred, brows furrowing. “[Y/N]?” He whispered in his sleepy voice. 
“Shhh, just checking on you. Go back to sleep.” You said reassuringly in a motherly tone. 
You stood back up, quietly stepping back out into the hallway. Early morning rays had started to pour through, now illuminating the dim hallway. You could hear the melody of the birds, the chimes outside ringing against the wind. 
It was almost time for Megumi to get to school, so why wasn’t he home yet? You grabbed your phone, tapping his number. It rang and rang, yet no response. You dialed again. No response. 
It wouldn’t hurt to go outside, right? The Gojo estate was heavily guarded, security on each side of the property. Slipping your jacket over your shoulders, you made your way to the door.
The air was cool, the smell of various plants filling the air. You dragged your feet down the stone steps, carefully avoiding the slippery areas. You gave the guard a nod, alerting her to open the gate. 
“Good morning Mx. Gojo, where are you off to?” The guard asked politely. 
“Just for a walk. I’ll be back in an hour or so. Please make sure Megumi’s okay, alright?” You requested.
The guard nodded and closed the gate behind you. Campus was a five minute walk, and you would have no trouble getting back in time to help Megumi get ready for school. 
And so you walked. 
JUJUTSU TECH, DECEMBER 2010
[ 6:27AM ]
You had waited nearly an forty minutes on the steps of the main building. Maybe campus wasn’t the best idea. He would go home, not to Jujutsu Tech. Your phone was on it’s last bar of battery, the red line prominent on the corner of your screen. 
Twenty missed calls. You counted once again. 
Maybe his phone had died? Maybe he lost it? Excuse after excuse popped up in your head. Anything to keep you from thinking the worst. You dusted yourself as you got up, wiping the dirt away from your sweats. It didn’t even occur to you that you went out in your sleepwear, baggy sweats and an oversized shirt that you stole from him. Your jacket hung loosely on your shoulders. 
The path to the entrance of campus was long, the old stone road lined with various statues and greenery. The sky was a bright now, pastel oranges blending in with the clouds. You walked in silence, head down. 
You slid your hands into the pockets of your jacket, feeling the warmth from the soft fabric. The ring on your left hand was cold, the gold band wrapped around your finger as if it was enchanted to fit perfectly. 
You sighed deeply as past memories flooded into your mind. You married young, only 19 and just barely becoming a first grade. Satoru, you remembered, had proposed the day you were promoted. The wedding was small, just a few friends at the ceremony. You didn’t care. You had the whole world in the palm of your hand that day.
Now a year later you had become a parent, a spouse, and the second most strongest sorcerer in jujutsu society. Together, you and Satoru were invincible. Missions went buy in a breeze, cursed spirit activity at an all time low. Megumi had become your priority, and soon enough you found yourself working less and less.
Then the disappearances kept happening. You would wake up alone, his side of the bed cold and empty. He would come home, barely sparing you and Megumi a glance. Every time you entered your shared suite, he would already be fast asleep. It was as if a wall had built between the both of you, a wall you wouldn’t be a to break down or climb over.
Too lost in your thoughts, you barely noticed the voices that grew louder and louder as you neared the gate. You hastened your pace, hoping you heard correctly. There was no way you wouldn’t be able to recognize his voice, he was your husband for Christ’s sake. 
In front of you now was Satoru, his white hair prominent even in the winter season. Relief poured through your veins. He was safe, unscathed and alive. Then you averted your gaze to his left. 
The feeling of relief was no replaced with regret, as well as confusion. Shoko stood next to him, hands in her pockets and her lips formed into a big smile. It wasn’t unusual for them to be seen together, they had been friends for years. But at six in the morning?
“[Y/N].” He said. “What are you doing here, it’s freezing.” The faintest hint of concern lace his voice, though it was gone as fast as it came.
“I was worried. Satoru you were gone for nearly thirteen hours.” You said, now stepping closer to him. Your eyes rounded, looking up at him. You wondered if he would notice the distress on your face, skin dry and eyebags deeper than they already were.
He was silent, face blank. “So? I’ve been gone longer, [Y/N].” He argued back, almost as if he saw no wrong in what he was doing.
“That doesn’t matter! What matters is that you’re never home any more. When you are we barely see you.” Your voice started to get louder, though it remained inaudible to the people passing by. 
“Why do you care? I’m still here, aren’t I?” He protested, hands leaving his pockets to pinch the bridge of his nose. 
The words hung in the air, his expression the same. 
“I’m gonna go back to the morgue. Seems I forgot something.” Shoko said suddenly, cutting through the thick tension. 
You spared her no glance, your pained gaze still on your husband. You felt a million emotions run through your body, anger, relief, confusion, sadness. 
“Why do I care, you ask? Have you forgotten that we’re married?” You accused, brows still furrowed. 
“And if I have?” He shot back almost immediately, as if he was waiting for that exact response. 
The words struck your heart. It felt as if a million knives had simultaneously stabbed you, letting all emotion bleed out of your body. You shook your head. Perhaps you heard incorrectly. Maybe he meant something else. That definitely had to be it. 
“No. No you don’t mean tha-” 
“I do. And I’ll say it once more. I don’t want to be with you anymore.” He said, his own voice shaking. 
You felt a tear fall, leaving a hot path down your face. Your head felt light, as if you were disoriented from the words that left his mouth. I don’t want to be with you anymore. The words repeated themselves in your head, like an annoying presence. 
“Toru.” You whispered out. The nickname left your lips almost immediately. You hadn’t called him that since high school. He looked at you now, and you could see his eyes peek through the tops of his glasses. 
“Why?” You barely managed to get out. The warmth of your breath was visible in the air, small clouds of fog forming as you spoke. 
He didn’t move. Didn’t say anything. He kept his gaze on you, hands clenched at his sides. 
“How long, Toru? How long since you no longer felt the same?” You wanted his answer, excuse or not you just wanted to here him say something. Anything. Anything to distract you from the lingering words in your head.
No response. 
“Is it because of me?” 
No response once again.
“Is it someone else?”
Nothing. Not a single word. He stood still, unmoving and his lips pressed into a tight line. 
“Your silence leaves me to assume the worst.” You said, wiping the tears. You steadied your voice as best you could, not wanting to look weak in front of the man who had fallen so hopelessly out of love with you. 
“We’re done here then?” He finally said, his voice bored and uncaring. 
You bit back the sobs and nodded your head. “Megumi can decide where he wants to go. You may not see it but he looks up to you as a father as well.” 
“I’m going back to Kyoto. Rumor has it that their short on staff. Don’t contact me unless it’s related to legal issues.” He looked almost relieved after you stated your plans. It pained you even more. 
“Farewell then.” He said and quickly turned away from you, as if he wanted nothing more to do with you. 
Once he was gone from your sight you propped yourself against the wall that surrounded Jujutsu Tech. Your body was tired, and your heart felt heavy. He was gone. You lost him. He was no longer yours, and you were no longer his. 
JUJUTSU TECH, DECEMBER 2010
[ 7:00AM ]
“Did that amuse you, Zenin?” His voice was cold. How could it not be? He had lost you and possibly Megumi as well. 
“Oh very much so, Gojo. Well done.” Naoya smirked, arms crossed as he leaned against a tree. 
Naoya had approached him in secret, just a few months after Megumi moved into the estate. He told him about the line of succession, that he was willing to do anything in order to maintain his spot. The only thing keeping him from ascending as the successor was you. 
You were next line as the Head of the Zenin Clan, and with you being married it made it totally acceptable for you to take the spot if anything happened to your father. He knew you wanted nothing to do with that family, so it confused him as to why your idiotic brother was so worried about the title.
 Naoya argued that Naobito would have still chosen you, seeing as you would’ve been the perfect image in jujutsu society. Married, successful, and powerful. Now with your reputation tarnished, it gave him a chance to persuade your father once more. Gojo had nearly killed him after he threatened to take matters into his own hands if he refused to help.
Gojo glared angrily at the man in front of him. “You take so much as a step towards [Y/N] and I’ll have your head delivered to Naobito himself.” 
“Lover boy is so protective, how cute.” He stated, snickering to himself. 
“Don’t worry about [Y/N]. I won’t go near them. They no longer matter to me.” He turned to face him once more before walking away.
“If you don’t uphold your end of the deal, Gojo, I might have to intervene.” He stalked away, dragging his feet. 
Gojo watched as he faded away into the winter air, vanishing as if he were a ghost. He twisted that the gold band on his left hand, suddenly remembering its presence.
One day he could be with you again. One day he could tell you everything. 
One day. 
233 notes · View notes
hangovercurse · 9 months ago
Text
Like Father Like Daughter
You meet Colson while visiting your dad, Tommy Lee, on the set of The Dirt and the rest is history.
Request: “Have colson(mgk) meeting tommy Lee’s daughter(reader) on set of the dirt and they fall in love and she meets casie scared that casie won’t like her but casie loves her”
Colson X Reader
Warnings: Cursing
A/N: I wrote this 3 different times because I didn’t like the first two…
Word Count: 2558
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Day One
Stepping out into the New Orleans air for the first time was shocking; the smell of cigarettes, liquor, and swamp mixing around in your nose. But there was something in the air; something electric, exciting; something new. You headed towards the studio where your dad told you he was working for the day. A young woman with an earpiece and a clip board found you at the entrance, a kind smile on her face. “You’re Y/N, right? Tommy’s daughter.”
You nodded, letting her lead you through the maze of sets until you walked into a large room with lights and cameras surrounding an area of floor that was set up to look like the set of one of Motley Crue’s old music videos. Your father was on the set, talking to two men who looked around your age and Jeff Tremaine, the film’s director. You hesitantly walked further into the space, but not past the cameras, to alert him of your presence. This process was made much easier by your Uncle Nikki spotting you from across the room and shouting “Little Lee!”
Your dad, along with the men he was talking to and a few other people in the room, turned to look at you. You smiled shyly, sending a small wave to your dad’s best friend. Your dad beckoned for you to join his conversation, wrapping an arm around your side once you landed next to him. “Hey kiddo, how was your flight?”
You leaned into his shoulder, “it was fine. Longer than I’d expected but, at least I’m here.” You took in the unfamiliar faces of the men surrounding you, eyes lingering on the man with bright blue eyes and a drumstick twirling around in his hands.
“Oh, shit, right. This is my oldest, Y/N.” Your dad introduced you to the guys. “Y/N you know Jeff, this is Douglas,” he motioned towards the guy with long black hair and two painted stripes under his eyes, “he’s playing Nikki in the movie.” You nodded, sending the man a smile which he returned brightly. “And this is Colson, he’s me.” He pointed to the man your eye had caught on, who sent you a wide grin.
“Nice to meet you.” You said, towards all the men, but your eyes still trapped in Colson’s blue ones.
The rest of the day was spent uneventfully. You watched the boys film scenes over the monitor with your dad, him feeding you commentary on what actually happened. Even though you’d heard most of the stories growing up, you let him retell them.
You kept finding your attention drifting towards the man with bright blue eyes, a long black wig, and a set of drumsticks always at hand. Your dad noticed, teasing you every chance he got. “He’s hot, right?”
“Dad!” You huffed.
He chuckled, “Just spitting facts. At least I’m not the one drooling over him like a teenage girl.”
You rolled your eyes, “I am 26 years old: I don’t drool over boys.”
“Oh, well, Colson’s a man.” He elbowed you jokingly.
“You’re annoying.”
“Passed it down to you, kiddo.”
Later on, he’d swear he had nothing to do with it, but you’d always suspected he told Colson about your attraction for the man, as after filming wrapped for the day, Colson asked you to dinner. It was quite honestly the best date you’d been on in a long time, and soon you were agreeing to another the next night.
With Colson everything seemed naturally easy. He was one of the sweetest, funniest guys you’d met, and you wouldn’t have to worry about your dad not liking him. The only problem was that you were only able to spend a week in New Orleans with him.
Day 6
“You live in LA, right?” He asked on the walk back to your apartment, his jacket slung around your shoulders.
You looked up at him with the same smile that had been on your face the entire night, “yeah, why?”
He let out a nervous chuckle, “well, I was hoping that when I get back to LA in a month, we could do this again?”
Your smile turned into a smirk, “are you asking me to wait for you, Colson Baker?”
“When you put it like that I sound like a fuckin dweeb.”
“I thought I was making you sound romantic.” You whined jokingly, hand reaching out to intertwine with his. “But if you were asking, I would say yes.”
“It’s a date.”
“You better call me while you’re gone though.”
He looked down at you with a confused expression, “what do you take me for, an idiot? I am going to be texting and calling you so much you’ll be begging me to stop.”
“Good.”
You swung your hands back in forth the rest of the way home, comfortable silence enveloping you. Colson walked you all the way to the door of your hotel room, leaning against the wall as you unlocked the door. You turned to him before making your way into the room, a sad smile on your face. “I’ll see you in a month?”
He leaned off the wall and moved to stand directly in front of you, hands grazing your hips lightly, hesitantly. “One very long month,” he mumbled, trying to burn your image into his memory.
“Well,” you started, “maybe you should give me something to remember you by.” Colson raised his eyebrow at you, feeling somewhat taken aback by your boldness. But then he remembered who your dad was and was much less surprised.
His grip on your hips tightened as he leaned in, lips colliding with yours. Your arms moved up his arms slowly, landing finally around his neck. The kiss was sweet and slow, something you would have never expected from looking at the man. His lips felt intoxicating, like you would die if you pulled apart. It had only been a single kiss, but you were already addicted.
You were broken out of your trance by cheering from the end of the hallway, a familiar voice calling out “that’s my girl!” Your face turned red as you pulled apart, finding your dad and his fiancé, Brittany, clapping at the end of the hallway.
“You are so fucking embarrassing.” You told him as he approached you and gave Colson a firm pat on the shoulders.
“It could be worse. If it was anyone else, I probably would’ve kicked his ass for even thinking about kissing you.” Tommy said, an innocent smile on his face. “But Colson, I will kill you if you fuck this up.”
The blond boy gave him a small salute, “yes sir.”
Day 34
Your text tone rang from your phone as you sat on your couch, watching TV.
Colson:
Be ready in 45
Even though you’d spent the last 4 weeks facetiming him, you weren’t fully convinced that Colson would keep good on his promise to see you again once he got back in town. You’d been pretty convinced he wouldn’t as the days dragged on with no mention of his return or a reunion. But here he was, telling you to be ready for something.
You texted him back
Wait… are you serious?
When he responded with a
Flight just landed, yes I’m serious.
You squealed, rushing around the house to get ready. The simple thought of seeing him in person, of hopefully tasting his intoxicating lips again, made your heart flutter. And then he was knocking on your door. When you opened it to see him standing there, a single rose in his hand and a nervous smile on his face, you wanted to jump into his arms.
He was a gentleman the entire night, opening your door for you, pulling out your chair, complimenting you. Everything just felt so perfect. And when he walked you up to your door and kissed you goodnight, you swooned.
Day 50
You were sat on his couch, your back resting against his chest as some movie played on the TV. One of his hands was wrapped around your waist, the other intertwined with your own. You’d been sitting in relative silence for a while, save for the noise from the TV.
But that was broken when Colson spoke softly, “I know this is lame but like, I gotta make sure. You’re my girlfriend, right?”
You chuckled lightly at his lame attempt to ask you to be his girlfriend. “No, I’ve just been going out on dates with you and not talking to anyone else for shits and giggles.”
He let out a breath of air from his nose humorously, “Okay cool.”
“That was a yes, by the way.” You turned your head and leaned up to press a soft, strained kiss to his lips.
“Cool.”
Day 96
You were half asleep, wrapped up in Colson’s arms on his bed. Your head rested on his chest, eyes struggling to stay open. Colson was just as tired of you were, his words slowing when he said, “I think I’m in love with you.”
You mumbled out a lazy “really?” too tired to be shocked at the gravity of what he was saying. Truthfully, you weren’t all that surprise at the admission, as you had been looking for the right way to express the same sentiment.
“Yeah. I’m pretty fuckin’ in love with you.”
“Sweet” You mumbled, pressing a small kiss to his bare chest.
His chest shook with a silent giggle, “Cool.”
“I love you too.” You said, snuggling closer into him.
“Sweet.”
”Cool.”
Day 102
You were making pancakes at your stove, Colson’s arms wrapped around you from behind. He’d been staying the night at your house for almost a week, simulating the feeling of living with you. You couldn’t admit that the thought wasn’t attractive, having him around almost all the time was amazing and something you were afraid of ending.
“Hey, could I ask you something?” He mumbled as you watched the pancakes cook. You hummed a response and he continued, “my daughter’s gonna be in town next week. I was hoping you’d meet her.”
You bit your lip, a grin growing on your face. You knew meeting Casie was a big deal to Colson, he had told you many times how important she was to him. He didn’t let her meet just anyone in his life. “Yeah, I’d love that.”
But then that thought crossed through your mind; the one that would raise your anxiety levels for the next seven days. What if Casie doesn’t like me?
If Casie didn’t like you, things with you and Colson would be over. He didn’t even have to tell you that, you just knew. And you couldn’t blame him; she’s the most important person in his life. But you loved Colson, and you wanted him to be around for a while. So, if you made a bad first impression, everything would crumble down.
And that’s exactly what you told him a few days later while you lay in bed, Ferris Bueller playing in the background as you traced the outlines of his tattoos.
Day 106
“What if Casie doesn’t like me?”
“Babe, she’s nine years old. She’ll get over it.” He kissed the top of your head lightly, fingers running up and down your spine.
“Yeah, but what if she doesn’t? I know you won’t wanna be with me if she doesn’t approve. And I don’t blame you. I don’t want to be with you if she doesn’t want me to be.”
He grabbed your chin, pulling you to look at him, “you worrying right now is exactly the reason she’s gonna love you and the reason why I already do.” He kissed you softly, your eyes fluttering closed. He still manages to take your breath away.
“I love you too,” you whispered, “I’m just scared of losing you.”
He chuckled, “Casie’s tough, I won’t lie, but she’s going to see just how amazing you are and fall right in love with you. And, if you want extra brownie points, you should let her help you bake something.”
“Was that accidental or were you trying to make a really bad pun?”
He pressed another kiss to your lips, chuckling slightly, “they don’t call me comedy genius for nothing, babe.”
“No one calls you that.”
Day 109
Colson had decided it would be best for you and Casie to meet at his house, mostly because he hated taking Casie out in LA. He’d ordered dinner to be delivered and told you he’d stocked up on baking supplies for you and Casie. Now all you had to do was show up.
He answered the door, pulling you in for a long kiss as soon as he saw you. “I love you.” He whispered, trying to ease your nerves. You spoke the words back to him, letting him take your hand and lead you inside. “Hey, Case, there’s someone I want you to meet.”
You’d seen Casie through pictures that Colson had shown you or from around the house, but she seemed so much prettier in person. You could tell by the way she moved that she took after her father, just like people always said about you. “I’m Y/N.” You said shyly, a soft smile on your face.
Casie beamed up at you, “I’m Casie. Dad talks about you a lot.”
You chuckled, turning to him, “he does?”
She nodded, “he thinks you’re great.”
“I think he’s pretty great too.” He pressed a quick kiss to your cheek. “He tells me about you all the time.”
“Really?”
You smiled at her excitement, “heck yeah. I was so scared to meet you because of how cool he makes you sound.”
The three of you ate dinner, chatting conversation. You were less nervous than before; Casie seeming to like you, but you were still on edge. When you finished, Colson announced, “I happen to know that two of the best cookie makers in California are sitting at this table and I am not one of them.” He looked between you and Casie, a smile on his face. “So, I believe cookies are in order.”
You raised an eyebrow at him, an amused smile on your face. “You’re helping us.”
Casie nodded, “every master chef needs an assistant.”
“She speaks truth.”
Colson pouted at both of you, “I was gonna be the judge.”
Casie giggled, getting up from the table and dragging her dad by the arm to the kitchen. “Too bad!”
You stayed at the table, picking up dishes and taking them to the sink before joining the other two at the counter in front of a large bowl and a variety of ingredients. Colson was currently holding a bag of chocolate chips over Casie’s head as she jumped to reach it, failing miserably. “Y/N he won’t give me the chocolate chips.” She whined.
You gave Colson a stern look, “hand them over, noodle boy.” You held out your hand and he placed the bag into your palm, a pout on his face. Casie laughed, repeating the phrase “noodle boy” to herself as you handed her the bag.
“So, are you two just gonna team up against me the whole night?” He asked, looking between you two.
Casie and you made eye contact, firmly shaking your heads, “absolutely” you said at the same time.
276 notes · View notes
gohyuck · a year ago
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part 1 | part 2
pairing: single father!surgeon!na jaemin x surgeon!reader
genre: fluff & angst, there will be smut in part 2
word count: 27.7k
warnings: may be numerous inaccuracies pertaining to surgeries and how hospitals are run; descriptions of surgical procedures and things such as blood and broken bones; alcohol consumption; minor character death; mentions of fires and car crashes and cancer and seizures and freak accidents resulting in death  
glossary: link
playlist: link 
special thanks to @neostruck​ @jensungf​ @neocitybynight​ @txtdiaries​ @waithyuck​ for reading through my bs and motivating me to keep going <3 alright,,, here goes nothing.
You hadn’t thought through volunteering with kids. 
There’s definitely glitter in your hair and glue staining the edges of your jacket sleeves, but you can’t afford to lament either of those things right now. You’re far too strained trying to keep busy a pair of 4 year old twins who, through twin telepathy or otherwise, have simultaneously decided that they’re bored with making crafts on paper and would much rather transfer their beautiful artwork to the walls surrounding them. As you manage to convince the two boys - Jimin and Taehyung are their names, you remember distinctly - that the walls might get their revenge and they shouldn’t risk it, you catch a little girl dumping an entire bottle of glitter glue out onto a paper plate out of the corner of your eye.
She misses the plate, but at least a decent amount of the tile floor of the library’s arts & crafts room is a stunning cool blue now. The girl finds this absolutely delightful, clapping her hands together haphazardly at the mess - sorry, masterpiece - she’s made. The other girl - Dahyun? - sitting beside her finds it equally as brilliant, going so far as to squat down and stick her entire right hand into the glitter glue. Luckily, your co-volunteer Jennie sees the imminent disaster coming from a mile away, swooping in just before the girl starts to eat what she must see as a tasty blue curiosity. 
You volunteer at the library because you love the kids, you tell yourself as you ferry the twins back to their seats. Taking care of them provides a great way to destress from your otherwise crushing workload. Your days off from the hospital are few and far between, but when they exist, you do your best to spend them volunteering. They really are angels, and you can’t imagine a better way to spend your time. 
The tell-tale sound of someone getting smacked alerts you, and you turn around just in time to see Jongin, a typically quiet and reasonably respectful 6 year old, burst into tears while his friend Sehun laughs at him. It’s obvious as to what has transpired - Sehun’s left hand is covered in bright green paint, and, now, so is Jongin’s forehead. You wince before rushing towards them, soothing Jongin while your other co-volunteer, Yeonjun, gently reprimands Sehun. As you take a wet towel to Jongin’s forehead, you can’t help but recognize that, even if the thing you spend your time off doing is high-energy (and, sometimes, stressful as well), at least it’s never boring. 
♕ ♕ ♕
You’ve been sitting across Jaeeun for some time now, keeping her company as she waits for her parents. The rest of the kids who’d attended the library’s weekly craft day have already left, filing out one by one with their guardians in tow. You’re sure it’s been at least fifteen minutes since the last family had left, and you’re hoping that whoever’s responsible for Jaeeun has a good reason for being so late. 
While you grow more and more worried, the 4 year old at your side seems unaffected, happily coloring in whatever she’s drawn on the sheet of paper in front of her. There’s random flecks of glitter strewn across it - all you’d managed to salvage after cleaning up the great glitter glue spill of 2020. You glance over at Jaeeun’s paper and find that you can vaguely make out two shapes that look like people, and something that may or may not resemble a heart. Your heart melts ever-so-slightly - it looks like she’s drawn her parents.  
Before you can compliment her on her work, she’s shooting out of her chair like a rocket, bounding towards the front of the room. You stand up, prepared to catch her if she falls, only to find her clinging affectionately to the legs of whoever’s just walked in. You lift your head to meet their gaze and - oh. 
Oh no.
He’s hot. 
His hair is dyed a bright blond, pushed back to expose his forehead. You figure he must have just come from work because of the black sports coat that adorns his shoulders and the cream colored sweater he’s wearing under it. A bracelet hugs his right wrist while a watch adorns his left. 
“Daddy!” Jaeeun screeches, making you tear your eyes away - though not without your cheeks tingeing themselves darker- from the person she’s identified as her father. He laughs with equal enthusiasm before picking her up with practiced ease. 
“I made this for you,” The child says, brandishing her drawing - now slightly crumpled in her haste to get to her father - in front of him, and he pries it gently out of her fingers. “it’s me and you!” She points out, leaning closer to the picture in tandem with her dad. 
“That it is,” he beams, pressing a gentle kiss to his daughter’s forehead. “I love it, sweetheart.” 
He sets her down and waits until she busies herself with looking at the bears that are painting along the bottom of the wall before finally turning to you. With Yeonjun cleaning out the back room and Jennie having left early due to prior commitments, you’re the only volunteer left. 
“Thank you for waiting so long,” Jaeeun’s dad winces apologetically as he outstretches one of his hands. You take it, but not without noting one, how he wears no wedding ring and two, how elegant his fingers are, followed by you mentally beating yourself up over finding one of the kids’ dad’s attractive. “My interview ran late and I couldn’t find anyone else to come pick her up.” 
You do take note of how his hair is mildly disheveled and how his watch is just slightly askew on his wrist. He must’ve practically run from the parking lot to the room you’re in now, you realize. 
Right now, of course, he’s just waiting patiently for you to reply. 
“It’s alright - I mean, it’s fine.” You respond quickly, dropping his hand in a manner that’s almost expeditious. “Jaeeun’s a great kid.” 
His face lights up at the mention of his daughter, and he turns to look at her, his face falling into as gentle an expression as humanly possible. He sticks his hands in his pockets before looking back at you.
“I hope she didn’t give you any trouble. I know she can be a little…”
“Animated?”
“I was going to say straight up rowdy,” He chuckles, and you allow yourself to laugh with him. 
“But yeah, animated works too.”
“She did accidentally spill some glitter glue -”
“- Some?”
“... A whole bottle,” You give in, and his eyes widen. You find yourself rushing to assure him. “But it’s fine! It was a pretty easy clean-up, honestly, all things considered. It’s no biggie.” He chuckles at this, though not without another apologetic wince. 
“I’m sorry on her behalf,” He grins, and you smile back easily, willing your slight blush away for the second time in five minutes. 
“You’re good…” You trail off, furrowing your brow slightly at him. He picks up the hint. 
“Jaemin! Jaemin Na. And you’re…”
“(Name).” You smile.
“Well, (Name), thank you for taking care of my girl and for waiting so long for my stupid a-” he pauses, catching himself before swearing in front of his daughter. “... stupid self.” You laugh, before shaking your head. 
“It’s fine, really. You ok to take her home?” 
“Probably,” Jaemin responds as he leans down to scoop his daughter up, much to her delight, judging by how she bursts into laughter. “We should probably get going, but it was nice meeting you.” He directs his next words to the girl in his arms. “Say goodbye and thank you to (Name), Jaeeun.”
“Goodbye and thank you!” Jaeeun says happily, and you can’t help the huge smile that lights up your face. 
“Bye, Jaeeun,” You give her a little wave, and both her and her father wave back before he pulls open the door. He sends you one last glance and one final smile before making his way out, and you return them the best you can. 
Once he’s completely out of sight, you collapse into the nearest chair, letting out a deep sigh. Yeonjun, his timing impeccable, finally walks out of the back room. 
“Was that her dad?” He asks, pulling a chair in front of you before settling down in it himself. “There’s no way, right? He’s way too hot to be a dad. We’re sure he’s her dad?” 
“Looks like it,” You say, not elaborating further. Even so, your mind is already running wild from your short meeting with him. 
Jaemin. 
It has a ring to it. 
You’re sure - or maybe you’re just hoping - you’ll meet him again some time. 
♕ ♕ ♕
You shrug on your lab coat and grab an iPad simultaneously, immediately accessing your schedule for the day while doing your best to tie your hair up in a workable bun. While you’re frantically trying to balance both your hair-tie and the technology, the latter slips, though you barely get out a worried gasp before a hand, appearing almost out of thin air, catches it. 
“It’s been, like, four years since you’ve been an attending and you still don’t know how to show up on time? For shame,” The voice teases, and you roll your eyes before you look up to see Renjun. Before you can speak, he nudges your shoulder with his and moves the iPad from your reach. “Tie your hair up first, and then I’ll give it back. I have your coffee, too, by the way.”
“How can you terrorize me and give me the juice of life in the same breath?” You groan, unable to keep your grin at bay. Renjun watches as you pat your bun once, twice, thrice to make sure that it’s steady before nodding in approval at yourself, only handing you both the technology and the drink when he’s sure you can handle it.  
“First of all, I’d argue that blood is the juice of life. Second, it’s best friend privileges,” He finally says, taking a sip from his own coffee that he’d set down on the counter in front of him earlier. “Now hurry up - Taeyong’s introducing us to the new Chief of Peds.”
“Like... now? Right now? The new - didn’t they hire whoever it is, like, yesterday?” Your best friend and you fall into step beside each other as you make your way to the elevator. Surprisingly enough, it’s only the two of you; wincing, you realize it’s possible you’ll be the last ones there. If you are, you hope Renjun doesn’t kick your ass too badly.
“I mean... we have been in dire need of one since Hansol moved, so it shouldn’t be too surprising. You know what’s insane, though? I heard he’s young as hell.” Renjun presses the button to the floor that holds Chief Lee’s office before pressing the button to close the elevator doors, settling in comfortably beside you as the contraption jolts awake, pulling you two upwards. There’s a ‘how to tell if you have an UTI’ poster stuck to the corkboard on the left wall, right in between a thumb-tacked, lime green sticky note that says ‘in need of a place to stay? Contact Chenle Zhong (Peds) or Jisung Park (Neuro)’ and an old hand sanitizer ad.
“(Name)?” Renjun asks, and you tear your gaze away from the note (though not without reminding yourself to tell one of your residents, Jeongin, about the roommate offering from Park and Zhong). 
“How young are we talking?” The elevator doors slide open at the tail end of your question, and you let Renjun walk out ahead of you before you follow. 
“Like my age… so a few years older than you, I guess.”
Your fears are confirmed when Renjun pushes open Taeyong’s office door - the two of you are the last ones there, other than Taeyong and the new Chief of Pediatric Surgery. Doyoung - your boss, as the Chief of General Surgery - raises a perfectly molded eyebrow at you as an exaggeration, though you see his barely-there smile when you send him an apologetic wince. While Renjun goes to stand by his own boss (Jaehyun, Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery), you shoot him a smile - that he, someone who loathes being late with a passion, returns with a glare - before making your way to Doyoung.
“I thought they’d have all the chiefs meet them first - after all, they’re your direct colleague.” You state, and your boss nods his head slowly before side-eyeing you. 
“You want to know why you and Renjun - and a couple of the other non-chief attendings - were invited to meet him with us?”
Him - it’s a guy. Interesting. This is filed away in your mental storage before you have the decency to blush slightly at Doyoung having figured you out so easily. If he were anyone else, he’d assume that you’re fishing for compliments, but this is Doyoung - the same Doyoung who you were assigned to as an intern, and the same Doyoung who would tell anyone who would listen that you were like an extension of his own hand in the OR when you were a resident under him, too. Just as he’s been harsher on you than anyone else ever has or ever will, he’s also commended you more than should be humanly possible. Still, you’re a little too embarrassed to speak for the moment, so you just nod. 
“You have a good head on your shoulders, (Name). That, and he’s closer to your age than he is to mine, which is why your entire posse is in here.”
“We aren’t a posse -'' You go to protest immediately, though you do realize that the only non-chief attendings present are Mark, Renjun, Jeno, Donghyuck, Chenle, Jisung, and yourself… your closest coworkers (and friends). The words die in your mouth, and Doyoung can only chuckle before giving you a faux-condescending pat on the back. 
“Having a self discovery, I see,” He says, a grin dancing on his lips. “You guys are almost a clique, at this point, but without the mean-ness or whatever.” 
“I can show you mean, if you want.” You scowl at Doyoung. It’s all you can do to glare at him before raising your coffee to your lips, staring your boss down as you drink from it. You’re mid-sip when the door to Taeyong’s office swings open, and you turn, still drinking, to face it.
… Only to choke on your coffee immediately. 
“Are you okay?” 
His voice is as nice as - no, nicer than - you remember it. As you’re still sputtering, you nod your head yes. Doyoung leans over to pat your back roughly, but you put your hand up as a motion for him to leave you be pretty quickly. After all, Doyoung’s a lot stronger than he thinks he is.
“You’re - are you sure you’re okay?” The new Chief of Peds repeats, and you nod even more violently before taking a deep breath, forcing your coughing to die down. 
“Yeah, yeah, I’m fine, sorry guys.” You manage to croak out, your tongue feeling as if you’ve swallowed it. Your eyes meet your colleagues, roaming around the room quickly before meeting the new chief’s gaze. 
Jaemin looks even better in scrubs and a lab coat than he had in a sweater and sports coat.   
♕ ♕ ♕
Much to your luck, you make it through the rest of the brief meeting with no issue and, surprisingly, no stains on your dark blue scrubs. Ignoring the concerned glances from all of your friends easily enough, though escaping Jaemin’s heavy gaze is quite a bit more difficult. Although you do your best to listen to Taeyong’s short rundown of Jaemin’s history - transferring from MassGen, certified prodigy, sure to get along with everyone, well-liked by Leden who was the interim Chief of Peds - it’s hard when his subject is looking you directly in the eyes the whole time. 
Yet you can’t force yourself to look away. 
Before you know it, your empty coffee cup is in the trash and the meeting is over, the ending rushed because of reports of injured victims coming into the pit due to a building fire. Taeyong realizes that delaying his best surgeons is a terrible idea, letting all of you go with a quick thanks and a flurried movement of his hands, directing you all out of his office. The trauma surgeons - Donghyuck at the forefront - rush out first, practically sprinting to the elevators, while everyone else follows, doing their best to keep up the pace. You’re part of the second group to get an elevator, and as you move yourself into a corner to avoid getting crushed, you hear multiple pages go off. 
“Shit,” Chenle swears from right next to you as he checks his phone. “There’s a ton of kids involved with the fire. Not many are burned but there’s definitely debris injuries.” 
“I can take the pit,” Jaemin is quick to speak. “I don’t have any other imminent surgeries for now, and it… anything that involves a huge group of people is serious. Chenle, you’ll do pit with me - I think you should go ahead and give your liver resection to Dr. Leden.” You whip your head around to follow his voice, only to realize that he’s standing directly in front of you. Just as you’re about to speak - what will you say? You don’t know. - your page goes off as well. 
General Surgery: Pit. Family 1: Patient (43) left arm second degree burns, in transport.; Patient (10) right leg heavily bleeding wound, right arm first degree burn, in ER 3. 
“Doyoung -” You start, though he cuts you off immediately. 
“Take the kid, (Name),” He says, just as the elevator doors open. “Figure out the bleeding leg wound. The dad is going to go straight to the burn unit, anyways, but I’ll look over him during transportation. I already just gave your lap chole to Somi.” 
It’s all you can do to nod before you both rush out of the elevator, Doyoung going left as he spots his patient already being wheeled, screaming, in a gurney towards another elevator while you rush to ER 3. You feel a presence behind you but pay it no mind - there’s a child that needs your help. As you near the bed, a resident - Beomgyu Choi, you believe - falls into step beside you. You vaguely remember that he’s on your service today. 
“His name’s David Weston, he’s 10 years old with -”
“-A nasty leg wound and first degree burns, right?” You wince apologetically at the fact that you’ve interrupted Beomgyu, but he understands. You pass him off your tablet with ease as the two of you hurry. Your brain is running at a mile a minute - lidocaine and some gauze for the burn, almost necessary laceration repair for the leg wound - as you try your hardest to help the boy before you even reach him. As you round the corner into the room, however, the sight in front of you causes you to stop abruptly in the doorway, forcing whoever it is behind you to run directly into your back. 
“Sorry,” Jaemin says, and you turn to him in mild surprise before moving aside to let him in, forcing your focus back to your patient. A resident is on top of the gurney David is on, straddling the boy’s limp form while frantically administering CPR. 
“What the hell happened here?” You ask, brows furrowed. 
“His blood loss is extreme, he passed out the moment the gurney got through the pit doors.” The resident explains, raw panic in her eyes as they meet yours. 
“Get him on the monitor,” Jaemin says, and you realize that he’s speaking to Beomgyu, who jumps into action. As he’s the highest ranking hospital official in the room, David is officially Jaemin’s patient and not yours, meaning that you’re free to find someone else to help if you’re no longer needed. Still, you stay, knowing that two doctors is usually better than one. You catch a glimpse of the leg wound and take a sharp intake of breath - it’s deep enough that it’ll need surgical sutures. There’s lap pads everywhere in and around it, but you know the squares of gauze won’t hold for as long as you need them to. 
“We need to fix this leg,” You say, looking up at the resident. “I’m going to need you to continue CPR from his left side. I’ll take over for the time you need to get situated. In 3-”
The resident counts with you before lifting her hands, letting you replace them with your own as you take over. She swings her legs down before hopping off of the gurney, careful to avoid Beomgyu as he moves closer to the front of the room once more. Once she gives you the okay, the two of you switch back, and you move to examine the leg. Even though the gauze packing isn’t perfect, it’s all you can do without an OR. 
“How soon can you book an OR?” You ask Beomgyu, and you watch out of your periphery as the latter swipes through numerous screens on the iPad before letting out a sound of disbelief. 
“They’re all being used right now.” Beomgyu says, his brow furrowed as he looks at Jaemin, and then at you, and then back to Jaemin.
“... We’ll just have to make this ER an OR, then.” Jaemin responds. “What’s your name?” 
“Beomgyu,” The resident in question says. “It’s Beomgyu Choi, sir. First year resident.” 
“Beomgyu, get lidocaine and gauze and treat David’s burns. It’s a routine first degree burn procedure, so you shouldn’t have any trouble doing it yourself. You?”
“I’m Sadie.” The other resident in the room states, tone clipped as all her focus is going towards maintaining CPR on David. While she does so, Beomgyu grabs what he needs from the cabinets before settling down beside the monitor and gently pulling the boy’s arm towards him. 
“Sadie, just keep doing CPR. And (Name)... help me with the leg, please. We’ll need surgical gowns and masks and all the tools necessary for a deep suture.”
You can see why he’s a chief already, despite his age. He makes eye contact with you, and you nod in response before speaking up. 
“Already paged someone to bring the stuff down. I need to find a ligature in the meantime.”
“No need,” Donghyuck bursts into the room, gloved hands holding a surgical tray. Mark is right behind him, arms laden with masks, gowns, and gloves. “We have your shit. O-Neg blood is on its way. Save a life.” 
Jaemin takes the tray and sets it aside, holding his hands out to take some of the materials you grab from Mark. You pull your gown on first before tying your mask on and finally pulling on gloves. Once you’re done, you turn towards your friends. 
“Thanks-” The door slams shut, interrupting you. Through the room’s windows, you see both trauma surgeons sprinting off down the hallway, no doubt making their way back to the pit to help out. 
“I’m done with the burn.” Beomgyu announces, hurrying to put away his materials so that you can take your place by David’s leg. You look at him and then at the other resident, who’s been working tirelessly this entire time. 
“Are you sure you can keep doing CPR?” You ask Sadie, only getting a grunt and a nod in response. There’s no reason to press further, it’ll only slow you all down. 
“Make sure the blood gets here.” You tell Beomgyu, tilting your head towards the door. He nods before rushing out without a second thought. 
“Are you ready to save your first life here, Dr. Na?” You ask, holding your hand out as Jaemin - dressed similarly to you, now - hands you surgical scissors. There’s no way to tell through the mask, but you think he shoots you a smile in response before he grabs everything necessary for a multiple layer closure and takes his place beside you. 
“Ready as I’ll ever be. Straighten the leg out entirely in 3, 2, 1-”
♕ ♕ ♕
“You can see David, but he’s sleeping right now - he’s been through one hell of a day.” 
You watch as Jaemin speaks to David’s mother, her expression morphing from worried to one of relief as he explains exactly what had happened in ER 3. You’d been worried about losing the boy, but David had eventually pulled through, his heart rate and pressure stabilizing halfway through the suture, in part due to Beomgyu getting the much-needed blood down to your room as fast as possible. Both residents had left to help out with other victims after getting Jaemin’s okay, and you and the Chief of Peds had finished everything up yourselves. 
Just as Jaemin leads Mrs. Weston away, talking expressively with his hands as he further explains everything, Renjun comes up beside you. 
“You have about three minutes to explain.” 
You turn to face your best friend, expression evident in the way your brows are furrowed. There’s a small idea of what he’s referring to percolating in the back of your mind, but you ignore it. Renjun rolls his eyes and puts both of his hands on your shoulders, forcing you to face him. 
“Chief Na. Coffee. Go.”
You sigh, stretching your neck out before you start speaking. 
“His daughter was at the last crafts day at that library I volunteer at. He came in late to come get her - probably because he was interviewing here - and that’s how we met. I was surprised to see him again, is all.” You try to keep your tone even and your blush down, though judging by the way Renjun quirks an eyebrow you fail epically. 
“So… he’s married, then. With a kid.”
“I think he’s single. No wedding ring, and he mentioned not having anyone to look over her.” You’re quick to clarify, wincing immediately after your small outburst. The grin that spreads slowly over Renjun’s face is a testament to how readily you expose yourself to your best friend, and you mentally curse how easy you make it for him to read you like a book. 
“Looks like someone’s got a crush.” He grins, wiggling his eyebrows. You look around to make sure that no patients or family members are watching before you jab him in the stomach with your elbow. 
“Ow- shit, (Name), I’m a surgeon. How am I supposed to save lives with my own ruptured spleen?” He groans, doubling over slightly. Before you can say anything mocking him or saying that you aren’t in grade school anymore and the term ‘crush’ is childish, a voice behind you interrupts your discussion with Renjun.
“Do you need assistance, Dr. Huang? I can book an OR for you if you want. As for you, (Name), you know you can’t go around assaulting fellow doctors like that.” Doyoung’s smirk is evident in his voice, and you emphasize your eye roll so he sees it properly. 
“Very funny, Chief. Renjun here deserved it. I was about to get back to my rounds and he decided to come up and terrorize me.”
“As one does,” Doyoung nods sagely, and you aren’t sure whose side he’s on here. “I thought I heard our new Chief being mentioned.”
“Just guess which one of your star general surgeons has taken a little liking to him.” Even as Renjun groans out his words he manages to sound smug, and you have half a mind to elbow him again. 
“This is false information-”
“Oh?” Doyoung raises a hand, effectively shutting you up. He’s both your friend and your Chief, and you hate how he uses both to his advantage as necessary. “Do tell me more, ‘Jun.”
Renjun shoots you a wicked grin before launching into his explanation.
“First of all, before I even summarize the summary I’ve been given, (Name) definitely thinks he’s hot-”
“Thinks who’s hot?” Speak of the devil. Jaemin’s returned without Mrs. Weston, so you can only assume that she’s sitting at her son’s bedside. Considering how busy the hospital had been earlier, you can’t believe your bad luck at how Jaemin, Doyoung, Renjun, and you are all coming up to breathe at the same time. 
“Nobody. I think nobody’s hot.” You’re quick to speak, sending Renjun a pointed look. 
“You said I was hot last time our department had a get-together.” Doyoung says, and you throw him a disgusted look. 
“That’s because you were drunk crying over America’s Next Top Model reruns. You asked me if I thought you were hot enough to be the next top model, and what was I supposed to do? Say no?” 
Jaemin snorts in laughter at your rebuttal, though he’s quick to hide it behind a closed fist. He doesn’t press any further about what he’d heard initially, and you’re extremely thankful for it. Just as Renjun is about to pipe up and embarrass you or Doyoung further, his page goes off, causing him to heave a small sigh. 
“This isn’t over,” He looks you directly in the eye before starting to walk away, and you can’t help but give in and nod in agreement. “I’ll see you later!” Renjun calls over his shoulder as he speeds towards an elevator. Once he’s out of sight, Doyoung turns to look at you just as you turn to look at him.
“What are you looking at? You have a job to do.” His expression is peeved, though his eyes are mirthful. You grin and nod, sending him a small salute as a way of responding.
“Whatever you say, Dr. Top Model.”
“That’s Chief Top Model to you,” He throws back, and you laugh out loud this time as he, too, turns around to get back to his cases. You check your watch - 11:17 - and sigh: 13 minutes until you’re needed in OR 5. 
“It was good working with you today,” Jaemin says, drawing you out of your thoughts. You smile at him, nodding in agreement. 
“I can see why Taeyong - sorry, Chief Lee - hired you so quickly.” You return, and he almost bashfully smiles back as he lifts a hand to scratch at the nape of his neck. “I have a surgery pretty soon, so I have to go, but I hope the rest of your first day goes well. See you around, Chief Na.”
You turn to start walking away, only to have a gentle hand on your bicep stop you. 
“Jaemin,” He says, and you must look shocked and confused because he continues speaking. “You can just call me Jaemin, if that’s cool with you. Chief Na sounds too formal for someone who I’m not the boss of. Anyways, yeah, I’ll see you around.” The smile he gives you is radiant, and you’re still basking in it as he leaves, going in the opposite direction of you. 
You blink in surprise before lifting your hand to where his had just been. This, you tell yourself, is going to be one long week. 
♕ ♕ ♕
“We’re having a wine night.” Is all Jeno says as he rushes past you just as you’re exiting the OR. Your cholecystectomy had gone fine, and your patient was already on his way back to his bed and room, now gall-bladder - and pain - free. You check your watch, only to see that it’s 1:30. You have 2 more surgeries left in the day, and, after the morning’s trauma work you’d been looking forward to relaxing in the comfort of your own home, keeping company with a bottle of Laurent-Perrier and Good Will Hunting. Still, you already know that you’re expected to attend, so you have to ask.
“Wait, what?”
“It’s at our place! Bring Stella Rosa and something crunchy. 2100 sharp!” With that, your friend is gone, rounding a corner into a different OR. 
It takes you longer than you care to admit to translate 2100 into 9 P.M., and you mentally curse the fact that Jeno had been an army surgeon for a couple of years before transferring to Neo City’s teaching hospital. ‘Our place’ is very obviously his shared apartment with Renjun, and it’s becoming glaringly evident that the older has called this wine night, most likely to discuss you and Chief Na - Jaemin, you remind yourself - even though there is no you and Jaemin. Assuming he’s told everyone else what tonight’s wine night is for, there will be full attendance: trauma surgeons Donghyuck and Mark, Jeno from ortho, Jisung from neuro, pediatric surgeon Chenle, and, of course, Renjun representing cardiothoracic surgery and you representing general. Mark, Donghyuck, and Renjun had all been interns in the same year, with Chenle and Jisung being in your year and Jeno not interning at Neo City at all. You aren’t sure how all of you have ended up being close enough to be called a clique, but you can’t say you mind. 
After all, they’re the best friends you’ve ever had. 
It’s this fact that forces you to pull out your phone and set an alarm for 8 P.M.: you’re going to need to go on a Walmart run for snack food. 
♕ ♕ ♕
“You hate us.” Chenle’s tone - excited when he’d opened the door to find you - shifts to flat almost immediately as he looks inside the bag you hand him. You ignore him at first, rating your rideshare driver a 5 on the app as you step inside. You’re going to get drunk and you know it, so you’d opted not to drive to wine night. 
“I don’t hate - is this because I got pretzels?” 
“Is this because I got- yes it’s because you got fucking pretzels.” His voice is high-pitched and whiny as he mocks you, his brow furrowing as he responds. You simply laugh, kicking the door shut behind you with the heel of your boot. Chenle’s smile breaks his faux angry demeanor as you walk past, and as you move to place your wine on the kitchen’s island with the rest of the bottles, you can hear him laugh at Jisung’s upset reaction to the pretzels as well. 
Maybe you had gotten pretzels instead of chips or anything else out of spite, but considering what has to be the hot button topic tonight, you find yourself justified. The six men will be ripping your love life to shreds in moments - their tongues may as well suffer a little because of it. That, and you have no personal vendetta against pretzels.
Renjun hates them the most out of everyone. Speaking of…
“Where’s ‘Jun?” You ask Jeno as he walks into the kitchen in full post-shower wet hair, grey sweatpants-wearing, shirtless glory. “And put a shirt on, you menace.” 
“Got called to scrub in on a CABG a few hours ago, but he’ll be home soon. I think he’s gonna shower there… hopefully. And I’d ask you if you like what you see, but considering recent developments…”
“I miss when you were, like, shy and shit.” You glower at him, and all he does is chuckle in response before leaning over, ruffling your hair, and walking back out of the room, likely to go put on a shirt like you’d said. The doorbell rings again, and you walk out of the kitchen just in time to see Jisung let Hyuck and Mark walk in, the former carrying two bottles of Marcassin Chardonnay while the latter has arms laden with bags of storebrand Cheese Puffs.  
“This is what a snack looks like, (Name), take notes,” The neurosurgeon says, glaring at you as he ushers your other two friends in. All you can do is roll your eyes. As Mark and Donghyuck set their things down in the kitchen - Jisung drops the bag of pretzels into Mark’s arms as he passes by, an obvious look of disgust across his features - Jeno comes back out into the living room, a well-preserved F1 t-shirt stretched across his shoulders. 
Everyone’s dressed casually, you realize, though you don’t know why you’re surprised. Even though you typically see all of them in scrubs and lab coats, it isn’t as if you’ve never seen them out of work - the seven of you tend to spend a more-than-decent chunk of your time together. Still, it isn’t every night all of you are in simple sweats - like Jeno - or basketball shorts - like Hyuck - or track pants - like Mark. It’s nice, you think to yourself, to be normal people sometimes.
“I heard you’re sampling the menu.” Hyuck says, swinging an arm over your shoulders as he comes out from the kitchen. He’s already taken the liberty to pour himself a glass of red wine, and it’s balanced between two of the fingers on his other hand. He takes a swig before turning his gaze back to you, exaggeratedly arching an eyebrow as he does. Nationally accredited trauma surgeon Dr. Donghyuck Lee, who’s intelligent and meticulous and creative and quick, is nowhere to be seen, replaced entirely by Hyuck, one of your closest friends, who you’re entirely convinced was a court jester in a past life. 
“That’s the dumbest way of saying ‘I heard you’re into someone’ I have ever heard.” Jeno ridicules before you can, his face halfway between distaste and confusion. 
“Be nice, he doesn’t know what it’s like to act like a person yet. He’s still getting accustomed to Earth.” Mark sets himself down in the center of Renjun and Jeno’s couch so he’s directly in front of the TV (which is currently playing one of the Fast and Furious movies, you aren’t sure which one), armed with a bowl full of chips and cheese puffs (there’s a very obvious absence of pretzels) and his own glass of what must be your Stella Rosa. 
“Chief Nakamoto’s pretty convinced that you’re the alien here, buddy,” Hyuck retorts, pulling you with him as he goes to sit on the couch, effectively sandwiching you between him and Mark. “He made ‘Is Mark Lee An Alien?’ in bright green comic sans against a black background his phone wallpaper.” 
“What the hell goes on in the trauma department?” You ask, and Mark and Hyuck shrug their shoulders in unison before both turning to you.
“So,” Mark starts, and you groan before he can continue, sinking into the back of the couch and letting your head fall back over the head rest. He forges on, ignoring you entirely. “Chief Na, huh?” 
“I’ve known him for barely 12 hours more - thanks, Lele - than you guys have, it isn’t that big a deal.” You defend yourself, shooting Chenle a smile as he hands you a glass of wine while you’re in the middle of your sentence before settling down at your feet. He’s always had a habit of sitting on the floor, and after all these years you’ve come to think nothing of it.  
“We’re all woefully single - especially you, Hyuck, before you say anything - so you might as well entertain us for a little bit, dude. Some people find love at first sight, or whatever.” Jeno counters, his volume rising as he speaks in order to drown out Hyuck’s noises of protest. 
“That, and, considering the way you literally choked on your drink this morning, I’d say it’s a little bit of a big deal. Like, a medium deal. At least.” Jisung points out, finally joining the rest of you. He’s dumped all the food out into two massive serving bowls, begrudgingly allowing pretzels to mix with salted popcorn in the bright orange monstrosity of a vessel Renjun puts out for halloween every year.
“Let me get this straight,” You sit up, looking at each of your friends in the eyes before continuing. “You guys want to live vicariously through my love life, which literally doesn’t exist?”
“Doesn’t exist... yet.” Mark points out, leaning back and putting his feet up on the coffee table in front of all of you. Jeno, who’s situated on his other side, is quick to kick him in the shin, forcing him to yelp and drop his feet back to the floor. 
“At least admit that you think he’s attractive.” Chenle says, craning his neck to grin teasingly up at you. You flick him in the forehead before taking a sip of your wine, swishing it around in your mouth for a while. The men all stare at you with almost bated breath, and you swallow and heave a sigh before responding. 
“... I mean, yeah, he is pretty hot.”
They all whoop immediately and collectively, and it’s all you can do to run a tired hand down your face while groaning. You’re a full-time professional, but you suddenly feel like a high school sophomore again. 
“Junnie said Chief Na’s single.” Hyuck says, tone heavy with implications, once everyone dies down. You glare at him before haphazardly tossing a piece of popcorn at him, which he catches easily and drops onto his tongue, winking at you as he does. 
“Jaemin’s also a dad to a little girl,” You respond, taking another sip. “So he’s got other priorities.” 
“Did you just call him by his name? Damn, how close are you two?” It’s Chenle, who’s always been annoyingly observant, who points this out. You feel rather than see everyone lean towards you, interested in your response. There’s no way out of this one. You curse yourself for not calling him by his title.
“He… said I could call him by his name. Since he isn’t my boss, and all that.”
Instead of hollering, there’s silence this time. You look around, confused at the lack of reaction. 
“The situation is more dire than I thought.” Jisung finally says. You furrow your brow as your confusion grows. Jeno leans over Mark to place a gentle hand on top of your knee, forcing you to look at him.
“Chief Na - sorry, Jaemin - is putting the moves on you, you big idiot.” 
“How the hell does that constitute putting the m-” 
The doorbell rings, and your friends are safe from your oncoming wrath. You stand up to go open the front door, though not before scowling at your friends. It rings again, and you realize that Renjun’s likely forgotten his keys or left them in his locker at work yet again. You’re prepared to chew him out when you swing the door open to reveal Jaemin.
“Jaemin?” You voice out loud, your shock evident. 
He smiles brightly at you, raising an arm to showcase the bottle of wine he’s brought with him. Right behind him is your devil of a best friend, smirking at you in a way that tells you he’s very pleased with himself. 
“Renjun insisted I come, and I’m guessing it’s because of the whole ‘all the other Chiefs are practically a decade older than me’ thing, although he denies it.” Jaemin explains, and you nod while stepping aside. 
“Happy wine night.” Renjun whispers into your ear as he passes you, pressing his lips to your cheek as a way of saying both ‘hello!’ and ‘what are you going to do about it?’. That’s all it takes for you to snap out of it and shut the door carefully before turning around to face everyone. You’re quick to note that there’s no shock on anyone else’s face.
Renjun, that snake. 
You’ll get to him later. Now, you find that you want to help Jaemin assimilate into your group of friends as best as possible. At the worst, he’ll be just a coworker who’ll sit awkwardly and watch the other seven of you banter for a couple of hours before excusing himself. At the best… you blush to yourself before pushing the thought out of your mind. Instead, you turn your focus back to reality. 
“What about Jaeeun?” You call, stepping into the kitchen. Jaemin, who’s adjusting to the climate remarkably well, pours a glass of red wine before handing it off to Renjun. You notice that he takes none for himself.
“She’s with her aunt tonight,” Jaemin says, smiling at you. “Mina thinks I don’t have any friends, so she jumped at the chance to take my girl for the night when I said I’d been invited somewhere.”
“You’re welcome,” Renjun tells the other man as he grins and makes his way to the living room. Jaemin laughs, his gaze moving from the back of Renjun’s head to the almost empty wine glass in your hand.
“Refill?”
“Sure,” You say, pushing yourself off of the wall you’d been leaning against. “It’s the Stella Rosa. Yes, that one.” 
He doesn’t bother taking the glass from your hand, instead pouring directly into it while you hold on. You smile appreciatively at him before you take a sip, and when he still doesn’t pour himself anything you know for sure that he isn’t much of a drinker. 
Still, you raise your glass, and he raises his eyebrows.
“Cheers,” You say, before taking a step back. Jaemin watches as one corner of your mouth quirks up before you spin around; you’re back into the living room before he knows it. It’s only once you’re gone does he realize he has a stupid, uncontrollable grin on his face.
He runs his hands through his hair, suppressing a small groan even as he smiles. It’s going to be a long night.
♕ ♕ ♕
“This doesn’t even count as horror, it’s just jumpscares -fuck!” Hyuck squeals at the demon that pops up in the onscreen painting, throwing his arms around Renjun, who’s quaking silently in his seat. Everyone looks at least mildly afraid - that is, everyone other than Jeno, the crazy bastard. His expression is stoic, but one look into his gleaming eyes lets you know that he finds everyone’s pain funny. 
“Insidious is literally all jumpscares.” Mark points out, though you note that he’s cowering behind Chenle and Jisung. Once Jaemin had arrived, Mark had been quick to slide onto the floor, giving up his seat. He’d only smirked at the glare you’d sent his way, his grin growing as he watched your expression switch from pissed off to neutral and even kind as Jaemin sat down next to you. For his part, Jaemin has assimilated easily, falling into conversation with the other men without any struggles. Hell, it had taken all of thirty minutes for him to make plans to go on a bike ride with Jeno, and another half hour to get the details of Donghyuck’s wine tasting group, though Hyuck conveniently forgot to mention that he almost never attends meetings. Chenle has given Jaemin the phone number of the daycare his nephew goes to. Mark makes another indignant noise, and you realize some other terrifying thing must have happened onscreen. 
“We literally see worse at work everyday,” You try to reassure yourself and your friends, though your muscles are stiff as you anticipate the next jumpscare. “That, and we’re literally adults.” Nobody stops you from continuing voicing your thoughts, though you suspect that’s because they’re too busy being scared shitless to listen to what you’re saying. 
“I know that, but somehow my brain hasn’t internalized any of that,” Jaemin mumbles beside you. You look at him in surprise - turns out that someone is listening to you. “Good thing Jaeeun’s with Mina. I won’t be sleeping tonight.” 
You start laughing in response, but your mirth is woefully cut short by something jumping out at you from the screen. You aren’t quite sure of what it is exactly though - mostly because you find that your face is suddenly buried in a black cable-knit sweater. When the realization of your position hits you, your face burns up; you sit up immediately, cheeks red, as you extricate yourself from Jaemin’s grip.
His face is equally as scarlet. You can feel some of your friends’ eyes boring holes into your skin, and even though you refuse to look at any of them you can sense their growing smirks. The screams of the movie’s characters pull everyone out of the oddly tense moment one-by-one, though, and you find that you’ve never been happier about hearing people get psychologically terrorized before. 
“Sorry about that,” Jaemin tells you with an apologetic grin, his blush subsiding slowly. “Forgot about my tendency to grab the nearest thing when I’m scared.”
“It’s fine,” You assure him, mirroring his smile. “Horror movies are just like that.” You mentally beat yourself up at how stilted you sound, but Jaemin doesn’t seem to notice, instead turning his focus back to the tv.
Neither of you say anything about the way his arm remains slung over the back of the couch, his hand dangling gently over your shoulder as your head is centimeters away from resting against his chest. That’s the position the two of you maintain for the rest of the night, right up until it’s time to leave (see also: Renjun’s fallen asleep on the couch and Jeno decides it’s best to kick everyone out). 
Jaemin waits with you as you call a rideshare - “Are you sure you don’t want me to drop you off, (Name)?” “You have a shift tomorrow and I don’t, Jaemin - it’s best if you go home directly.” - and watches as you look into the Toyota Corolla that pulls up to make sure they’re specifically there for you. You wave goodnight to him and he waves back, trying not to look too in awe of how you look in the moonlight, and he makes sure you’re safely within the car and it’s pulling away from the apartment building before he gets into his own Benz.
As he drives home, his thoughts are full of you. For the first time in years, he puts his mind towards more than Jaeeun and his work.
He finds that it’s a nice feeling. It isn’t something that he minds.
♕ ♕ ♕
It’s been a little over a month - 39 days, but who’s counting - since Jaemin joined Neo City Hospital, and he’s starting to become a good friend to you, let alone the spectacular asset he is to the hospital itself. The kids love him… but only almost as much as his coworkers do. He’s quickly become Jeno’s workout partner, Chenle’s and Jisung’s ‘work mom’, Donghyuck’s gossip buddy, Mark’s new confidant, and, much to your chagrin, Renjun’s partner-in-crime when it comes to messing with you. 
“Your order is… awful.” Jaemin says as he comes up beside you, handing you a steaming cup of coffee before taking a sip out of his own. Renjun makes a noise of agreement from the other side of you, and you don’t know who to turn to to roll your eyes at. As you catch a glimpse of Jaemin’s own see-through cup, though, you can’t help the expression of disgust that crosses your face. 
“You’re one to talk. I’m pretty sure that’s the stuff I fuel my car with.”
“I’m gonna have to side with (Name) on this one,” Renjun says, mirroring your expression as he looks over at Jaemin’s pitch-black drink. “That’s not safe for human consumption.”
“You guys just aren’t evolved yet.” Jaemin throws back, taking an extra long, slurping drag of his coffee to emphasize his point. His face is entirely stoic as he does so. You can’t say the same for your own. Before Renjun can throw a scathing response towards the Chief of Pediatrics, someone else joins your small group as you walk down the halls. 
“I heard I’m on your service again, Dr. (Name),” Beomgyu says, and you try your best not to act startled at his voice suddenly materializing out of thin air above your head. You nod, though you don’t hide the fact that you have to check to make sure he’s right when you pull out your iPad. Beside you, Renjun does the same, moving to show Jaemin what’s on his screen. 
“We’ve got a ventricular septal defect on a kid today, which isn’t usually advisable but might be necessary here.” Renjun says, and Jaemin nods before responding. 
“It’s Jeanie Mason, she’s 12. Cracks jokes about everything, but it makes her even more endearing. What about you, (Name)? What are you and Dr. Choi up to today?” 
“Our first surgery of the day is a - wait, what the hell?”
You stop in your tracks, absolutely dumbfounded as to what you’re seeing. Jaemin leans over your shoulder to look, and you can’t ignore the shocked laugh he attempts to stifle. Beomgyu’s face contorts as he, too, tries not to show his amusement. 
Renjun doesn’t even try, snorting loudly into his fist. 
General Surgery: Patient (37) removal of solid object from rectum.
The small pop-up in the corner informs you that both you and Mark are running point on this surgery, and you can’t help but wonder what trauma has to do with it. Before you can raise the question, though, you find yourself in a speak-of-the-devil moment. Mark practically runs into you from the side while your focus is on your tablet, causing you to yelp loudly, though he does catch you before you fall into someone else.
“Thank God I found you,” He says, and then shifts his gaze to Beomgyu. “You too. It’s insane.”
“As much as I’d love to know how this plays out,” Renjun starts, interrupting Mark. “Jaemin and I have to go save a kid’s life, if you’ll excuse us.” He grabs onto the other doctor’s elbow, pulling him away. 
“Have fun with your ass gasket!” Jaemin calls cheerfully as they leave, and you really, truly hope they can feel your glare burning holes into the backs of their perfectly spotless lab coats. 
“You have 10 seconds to explain this to me, Lee.” You turn to Mark, who looks more excited than a 4 year old on Christmas morning. His eyes are bright and shiny, and you don’t know if you should be concerned or not. 
“This woman came in with her husband, said he was having stomach issues. I had him get an x-ray, and… well… you’ll see in the imaging room. We’ll have to do surgery to remove whatever it is that’s up there… and it’s way deeper than it should be.”
“God,” You groan, rolling your neck back on your head before looking at Mark again. Beomgyu’s snickers grow louder beside you, and you don’t even have the heart to tell him to quiet down. “What does it look like’s up there? And why is trauma involved?”
“Looks like a pretty hefty bottle, of some sort. Shampoo, maybe? And the pit is awfully slow today, so I’m scrubbing in on the ass gasket - er - rectal removal. I did my residency in general, remember? It was my fellowship that was trauma. How are you feeling, Choi?”
“That someone should ask his wife about pegging.” The resident responds, and this time it’s you that chokes on laughter. 
“Alright, well, I’m going to go check on my appendectomy patient from last night before I come with you to see… yeah. My bet’s on hairspray, or something, though I really hope I’m wrong.” You eventually say, rolling your shoulders back. “Dr. Choi, go ahead and talk to the patient with Mark - er, Dr. Lee. See if you can get him to talk about it.”
“You got it,” The resident nods before pulling away from you, Mark close behind him. Your friend shoots you a grin before moving back down to the pit, and you find yourself having to close your eyes for a beat longer than usual to get ahold of yourself. 
At least today will be interesting. 
♕ ♕ ♕
“All right, Jeanie, how are you feeling today?”
“Empty,” The little girl starts, causing Jaemin to raise an eyebrow in concern. “You know, like there’s a hole in my heart.”
“Jean!” Her father admonishes from her bedside, in tandem with Renjun’s mildly incredulous laughter from behind Jaemin. She cracks a smile at seeing the cardiothoracic surgeon’s own grin, and her smile grows once Jaemin allows one corner of his mouth to lift up. 
“You’d make a great stand-up comedian,” Jaemin points out, situating himself at the foot of Jeanie’s hospital bed. “Although I’m guessing your dad doesn’t want that.”
“Dad’s just too serious.” The 12 year old grins, leaning slightly to poke her father’s cheek in an effort to make him smile. He glances at the doctors apologetically, though both of them smile kindly back at him. “I think he needs to lighten up. At least, that’s what my mom always said.”
“Maybe dad just needs to hear about the procedure one more time,” Renjun speaks up, and Jeanie’s father looks equal parts scared and relieved at the suggestion before nodding. The cardiothoracic surgeon pulls up Jeanie’s information on his tablet, projecting it onto the screen he’d had wheeled into the room before they’d come in themselves. 
“Since Jeanie has a perimembranous VSD, we’ll have to perform it while she’s on cardiopulmonary bypass with ischemic arrest. I’ll put in a bovine patch, then we’ll close her up and monitor her closely to make sure that all goes well and stays well.” Renjun explains, using the chart of Jeanie’s heart that’s projected on the screen beside him to more carefully emphasize what he’s saying. Jaemin nods along, waiting until his partner is done speaking to add on. 
“Dr. Huang is one of the best of the best at this procedure, and I’ll be right there with him,” Jaemin says, the first part being directed at the father and the last at Jeanie. “And we all know that I’m, like, the coolest guy alive. You’ll be safe.”
Jeanie’s father nods slowly, and so does the girl herself before she grins cheekily up at the doctors. “Coolest guy alive is a little bit of a stretch, don’t you think?”
Jaemin pretends to stagger back, clutching at his own heart. “You wound me, Jeanie, you really do. God, raising kids these days…” 
The girl dissolves into giggles at the pediatric surgeon’s apparent theatrics, and even her father allows himself a small smile. Jaemin straightens himself before smiling brightly at both of them.
“We’ll start prepping her soon, we stopped by to see how Jeanie’s doing,” Renjun says, turning to the girl’s father. “And to see how you’re feeling.”
“Scared,” Mr. Mason admits, letting out a long sigh. He glances over at his daughter, who’s currently bantering with Jaemin - “No, really, that hurt! I really do think I’m not like the other doctors… I’m a cool doctor…” “Now you know what it’s like to have a hole in your heart.” “Oh, low blow!” -  before looking up and meeting Renjun’s eyes. “Ever since my wife died, Jeanie’s all I have left, so I’m terrified. I’d be terrified even if Sarah was still alive, of course, but… I don’t know. I’m scared, but I trust you guys as much as I can have faith in anything.”
“Dr. Na’s a good guy,” Renjun starts, smiling sympathetically at the man in the chair in front of him. “And an even better surgeon. Same goes for me. We’ll do everything in our power to help Jeanie.”
“Hey, Dr. Huang,” Jaemin calls, and Renjun turns back to look at his partner on this surgery. “Let’s go ahead and make sure the OR is ready.”
“Copy that, Chief,” Renjun mock-salutes his friend, eliciting both a grin and an eyeroll from Jaemin. “You’ll be fine?” He looks at Mr. Mason. 
“We’ll be fine,” The father says, voice wavering slightly, and Renjun nods in understanding before placing a gentle hand on Jeanie’s dad’s shoulder. He says nothing, but he doesn’t need to. As he leaves the room, he’s mentally going through all of the steps of the suture he’s going to have to do on Jeanie’s heart.
The surgery has to go off without a hitch, he tells himself. He tells himself this every time. 
♕ ♕ ♕
You’re barely out of the OR after surgery - it had been a quick removal, hardly an hour, although Mark’s continuous wisecracks (or wiseasscracks, as he’d referred to them, forcing you to remind him that’s he’s a fully grown adult) made it feel like an eternity - when one of the interns, Yuna, almost careens into you while you’re both trying to turn the same corner, albeit going in opposite directions. Your hands grasp her shoulders to steady yourself and her, and you’re about to reprimand her when your eyes meet hers. 
She’s positively frantic.
“What the hell happened, Shin?” You ask, and she shakes her head as if it’ll organize her thoughts. When she regains her bearings she, much to your surprise, grabs on to your wrist.
“It’s Yvonne. We might have a heart for her.”
Your breathing hitches immediately, and you unconsciously straighten yourself up to look directly into Yuna’s eyes. In the same way her hand is wrapped around your wrist, you grab onto hers as well.
“Tell me how while we walk to her. Beomgyu, too, since he’s also on Yvonne’s case.” 
The resident on your service, perking up upon hearing his name, half jogs to catch up to you, reaching the two of you just as Yuna begins speaking.  
“This trauma came in - freak accident, part of a metal music stand went through his head and he went braindead post-removal - and he’s a perfect match for her. She’s high enough up on the UNOS list that I think we can procure his heart for her. His mom’s already consented.” She explains, almost breathless in her excitement. Yvonne’s only been a patient at Neo City for a week or so, but she’s a bright, hopeful young woman and you’re excited at the prospect of her getting a new heart so soon. 
“Let me know what UNOS says, keep me updated constantly.” You let Yuna know, making eye contact with Beomgyu to let him know that the order goes for him as well. Beomgyu takes the iPad from your outstretched hand right before the three of you stop in front of Yvonne’s room, and you steel your excited nerves before pulling open her door. 
You’ve never been good at hiding things.
“It’s something good?” Your patient asks, her eyes roving your face as you make eye contact with her. No matter how much you try to force the corners of your mouth to stay down, they can’t, though Yvonne’s gasp of incredulity is worth it.   
“Holy shit,” She swears, eyes widening. “It’s actually good news, isn’t it?” 
“We might’ve found you a heart, right here in this hospital,” You say, finally allowing your face to split into a wide grin. Yvonne practically squeals, grasping her hands together at the news. Behind you, you can feel Beomgyu’s smile heating up the back of your head. Yuna’s stepped outside for the moment being. “The heart is a match, now we’re just waiting on UNOS to-”
“We’re not waiting on anyone,” Yuna interrupts you, barrelling in through the door. Her grin is wider than everyone else’s in the room. “UNOS gave us the go ahead. We just have to get an operating room, tell Dr. Lee when we need to harvest the heart, and then we are good to go.” 
You clap your hands together, not bothering to stop the elated laugh that escapes you. Yvonne reaches up, and you grasp her hand tightly in your own. Pinpricks of tears form at the corners of your patient’s eyes. 
“So I’m really… I’m really getting a heart? And it’s good, and everything?”
“It’s in perfect condition.” Beomgyu, who’s just speedread the trauma patient’s file, assures Yvonne.  “No underlying anything. You’re getting a good heart.”
“God,” Yvonne chokes out, overcome with emotion. You squeeze her hand tighter, and she squeezes yours back. Her smile rivals the sun.
“Do you know the donor’s name?” She manages to ask eventually, and you look over at your residents. Yuna nods, pulling the tablet from Beomgyu’s hands, much to the latter’s chagrin. 
“Yes! His name is Ved,” Yuna states, and Yvonne’s eyes widen even more.
“Damn,” She says, laugh even more incredulous than before. “That’s my boyfriend’s name! I guess he really is my guardian angel, huh?” Her eyes crinkle at the corners as a tear or two finally slip, and you can’t help but get misty-eyed as well. “I’d call him,” Yvonne continues. “But he’s probably practicing with the campus marching band right now. I’ll let him know after everything happens. You guys are really sure that this is it?”
“This is it,” You nod down at her, and she lets out another happy cry before cupping your hand in both of hers. 
“Thank you, Dr. (Name). Thank you so, so much.”
Ten minutes later, when you leave her room, OR booked and time set, you can’t help but feel uneasy amidst your elation. Some coincidences are just a little too big to ignore.
Still, you push it aside. Instead, you pull your phone out to page Donghyuck. 
♕ ♕ ♕
“She’s cooled down enough - 28 degrees exactly, and she’s all prepped and ready.” Renjun says, voice only slightly muffled beneath his surgical mask. His surgical cap is bright orange - he’d had Jeanie pick it out before having the anesthesiologist put her under. Jaemin’s smile at the garish color is hidden behind his own mask, though he’s quick to remember that his own cap is a pale yellow with happy blue whales dancing across it. 
“How about you - are you ready? Do we need to power-pose it out?” Jaemin asks, voice as playful as it can be before a surgery, his eyes meeting those of the cardiothoracic surgeon. Renjun quirks an eyebrow, though for a moment it seems as if he seriously considers taking his friend up on the offer. The moment passes, and he shakes his head before the switch in his brain flips, changing him from Renjun to Dr. Huang, double board certified cardiothoracic surgeon. He leaps into action. 
“10 blade.” Renjun asks, eyes sharp and honed in on the surgery ahead of him. The surgical nurse beside him hands him the scalpel, and Jaemin watches, waiting for his cue, as Jeanie’s skin, then muscle, then bone, then right atrium are all exposed. Once that’s done, Jaemin calls for a retractor, using it to pull apart the tricuspid valve septal leaflet. 
It’s as he’s opening up Jeanie’s chest that Renjun decides to drop a bomb. 
“So… you and (Name)?”
Jaemin, out of sheer shock at the location, timing, and content of the question, pauses for the tiniest fraction of a second before continuing. He takes a deep breath as he finishes retracting the part of the valve, though it’s more related to figuring out his answer than it is to the surgery he’s currently performing. 
“(Name)’s nice,” Jaemin says, trying to sound as nonchalant as possible. Without even meaning to, he thinks of you cleaning up his daughter’s spilled glitter, of your head nestled into his chest. He should be smelling blood, but he’s suddenly hit with the scent of your perfume. Jaemin blinks rapidly, trying to empty himself of you. Renjun, hawk-eyed as ever, notices this. He internalizes it, storing it away for a later date. After all, he’s already started a bet with Donghyuck: how long will it take Jaemin and (Name) to bite the bullet and fuck, already?
“‘Nice’ isn’t why you two were practically cuddling on my couch on wine night.” The cardiothoracic surgeon points out before telling a resident to give him the bovine pericardium patch. Jaemin can’t help but roll his eyes at this, if only to save face as an unwarranted blush rises to his cheeks.
“That was literally over a month ago, man, it wasn’t a big deal then and isn’t a big deal now. I’m done retracting.” 
“Give her a minute to stabilize,” Renjun states before turning his steel gaze from Jeanie’s heart to Jaemin’s eyes. “We can forget about the couch thing, then. What about the time you two went on that bike ride through the city park? Or when (Name) goes with you and your daughter to her piano recitals?”
“Jeno - my usual biking partner -” Jaemin emphasizes ‘usual’ almost unnecessarily here, and if Renjun wasn’t about to put his hands into a child’s heart, he’d be rolling his eyes back into his head right about now. “- had an early shift while (Name) and I were free for the day. And Jaeeun adores (Name) because they see each other at the library all the time. They have a good relationship, so it makes sense that we go together to watch Eunnie perform. You can put the patch in, now.”
The two surgeons work side-by-side like a well-oiled machine, and when Jaemin moves aside Renjun, choosing not to speak any longer, immediately sets about placing the bovine patch in place over the tiny hole in Jeanie’s heart. His fingers are quick and exceedingly nimble as he carefully but diligently attaches the patch with running polypropylene sutures. Jaemin keeps their patient’s chest open, knowing that, once Renjun is finished, he will need to start venting blood through her heart in order to de-air it. 
He does so with ease, his mind fully on the surgery. It’s only after the girl’s heart is shown to have returned to normal function that Jaemin ultimately gives the go-ahead to Renjun to close. They pull her back together piece-by-piece, and Jaemin thinks that his whales now have a good reason to dance. Though Jeanie remains under, too frail to allow back to the real world so quickly, it’s evident that the surgery has gone well. 
It’s also evident that whatever kind of conversation that was going on in the operating room is most likely over, for better or for worse. Jaemin hates that, now that he’s out of surgery mode, his mind is wandering back to you. He wonders if you’ve finished your coffee yet, if your right lapel is folded the wrong way on accident again. While stuck in his thoughts, Jaemin misses the way Renjun sizes him up before coming to a conclusion - one the Chief of Peds is unaware of - that makes him grin. 
Neither Jaemin nor Renjun speak of the surgery once they’ve de-scrubbed after sending Jeanie back up to her room. They do, however, share a genuine smile and a solid high-five. To Jaemin’s eternal gratitude, Renjun really does choose not to bring you and Jaemin - is there a you and Jaemin? - up again. 
Unfortunately for Jaemin, his mind keeps doing it on his own.
♕ ♕ ♕ 
“How long should the transplant take?” Beomgyu asks as he gloves himself. 
“Why, got a date or something you don’t want to miss?” Yuna teases, and you can hear them descend into a friendly squabble beside you. You remain aware of it, though you tune it out - your focus is wholly on your patient, who’s laid out and under anesthetics in front of you. Donghyuck is in an adjacent operating room, preparing to harvest Ved’s heart. Ved. Ved and Yvonne. You hope the connection you’ve made doesn’t exist, and that it truly is simple coincidence, just as Yvonne believes it. 
You don’t know how you’ll live with yourself if giving Yvonne’s heart becomes synonymous with carving it out of her chest and soul. She’ll live, but she’ll be empty. 
God, you really, really hope that coincidences exist in the way you want them to.
You shake your head to clear your thoughts. 
“Four hours,” You finally say, and both your residents look at you in confusion. “It’ll take about four hours. Where’s Dr. Jung?”
“I’m right here,” The Chief of Cardiothoracic surgery pipes up, and you turn to see him just over your left shoulder. He’s getting OR scrubs put on, but he smiles at you as he speaks, and his famous dimpled grin puts you slightly at ease. “Had to put in a stent, sorry for the delay.”
“We have Choi and Shin for the assist today,” You nod your head towards your residents, who both give Jaehyun mildly awed smiles. 
“I see they’re learning from the best of the best,” Jaehyun responds, and you grin.
“Thanks, Chief,” You say, pulling your mask on as you do. Jaehyun does the same before his eyes curve into crescents prior to speaking.
“I was talking about myself.”
You roll your eyes, and Jaehyun’s eyes shine as you regain color. He knows you’re nervous - organ transplants are always difficult to process - but you’re a professional, and you’re renowned in your field. Paired with Jaehyun’s award-winning hands, you two are unstoppable. 
Just as you’ve all gotten settled, a resident rushes into your OR, making sure not to cross the sterile zone as the hold a mask over their mouth.
“Dr. Lee says it’s best that you open her up now. They’re going to be done harvesting very soon.”
“Thank you,” Jaehyun responds, before turning to you. “We got this?”
You inhale and then exhale, mask fluttering against your mouth. You’re going to give Yvonne her life back. As you look up at Jaehyun, you can only nod. 
“We got this.”
You use a 10 blade to open her chest, and you let Beomgyu retract it far enough to expose her entire heart. Donghyuck rushes into your OR with the new heart on ice at the exact moment Yvonne’s heart meets the sterile air of the room, and you’re grateful as he stays to assist you. 
“Alright,” You say once everyone is finally ready. There’s numerous people watching from the gallery above you, though you pay them no mind: this is about Yvonne, and Yvonne only. “Let’s get her on the heart-lung machine.” Turning to your residents, you make sure to explain to them what you’re doing. “The heart-lung machine is going to work like her heart as we put her on cardiopulmonary bypass - it’ll filter blood through her body so her heart can end up staying still so we can remove and replace it. This takes the strain off of her lungs. Got it?”
“Got it,” They both say in unison as they take their places by Yvonne’s side. You all fall into a rhythm easily as Yvonne is set up on cardiopulmonary bypass.
It’s when you’re two hours into the surgery, careful as anything but settled into your rhythm, that your trauma surgeon friend reminds you why you continuously want to strangle him outside of work.
“When are you gonna tell Chief Na?” He asks nonchalantly, using lap pads to subdue a small bleed he’s found and clipped. You look up immediately, your eyes meeting Donghyuck mischief-filled ones. 
“Tell Jaemin - Chief Na - what?” You ask, mentally swearing as you realize you’d called the pediatric surgeon by his name and not his professional title. Jaehyun raises an eyebrow at this, though he says nothing as he continues working on removing Yvonne’s heart. Hyuck lets out a subdued scoff, and you’re sure that, underneath his surgical mask, he’s smirking. 
“That you like him. Duh, what else would it be?”
You let out a strangled cough at how casually he exposes you to everyone. Still, you maintain your composure - you do, after all, literally have your hands on a heart. 
“Of course I like him. We’re good friends.” Is the response you have ready, and you can feel, rather than see, Donghyuck roll his eyes. 
“Alright, we can take it out,” Jaehyun finally says, interrupting the brewing argument between you and Hyuck. You immediately remove yourself from where you are in Yvonne’s chest cavity, grateful for Yuna, who takes over where you were. Jaehyun waits as you rush to the iced bowl and wait for your cue. Donghyuck, who’s assisting on removal, makes eye contact with you as him and Jaehyun extract the diseased organ from inside your patient. It takes a quick nod from the trauma surgeon for you to pick up the new heart, cradling it gently as you hasten to get it into Yvonne. 
Beomgyu holds out a separate metal bowl full of ice for Yvonne’s heart to go into, and you pass her new heart - Ved’s heart - to Jaehyun and Donghyuck, watching as the two of them very, very slowly and very, very carefully set it in place. 
“It’s a perfect fit,” Jaehyun states in mild awe, his eyes searching yours before he speaks again. “I’ll begin sewing it in.” You nod almost imperceptibly, but he gets it. You take to watching the monitor as the cardiothoracic surgeon works in his element, finally connecting blood vessels together. Donghyuck and you both check for leaks before giving Jaehyun the go-ahead to allow blood into the heart and remove the heart-lung machine. 
Jaehyun steps aside, allowing you to take your place. He allows you to take the small paddled defibrillators, watching as you yell to charge them before shocking the heart back to life. You watch with a bated breath as, slowly but surely, a small blip or two turn into a steady, stable heartbeat. Everyone in the operating room lets out a whoop simultaneously, and you can’t help but laugh, elated. 
Donghyuck checks for leaks one more time before he okays you to rejoin Yvonne’s skin over her sternum. You sew it back together and in place, your focus entirely on completing the surgery. Nobody speaks - hell, it feels like nobody breathes - as you finish with your sutures to close the incision for good. Beomgyu and Yuna are allowed to connect the suction device to Yvonne to ensure that her fluids drain properly, and, once that’s done and sterile dressing has been applied, you step back for good. 
The natural high you get right after successful surgeries is unrivaled. 
Of course, Donghyuck can’t let you bask in the light for long. 
“Now that we’ve fixed someone else’s heart,” He says, following you out to wash your hands. “Let’s talk about fixing yours.”
“Mine isn’t broken, dummy,” You say, though you can feel your face heating up even as you speak. Hyuck, ever-perceptive, just grins at this. It dies out quickly, though, and you watch as he takes a deep, deep breath.
“(Name)... the heart we gave her…” He trails off, though you can see what he wants to say in his eyes. Suddenly, tears spring to your own, and you swallow harshly, not knowing what to do with yourself. 
“It’s her boyfriend’s?” You manage to ask as you wring your wet hands out over the sink. Hyuck passes you his towel, and you take it as he nods more regretfully than you’ve ever seen him do so. 
“His mom asked the name of the person his heart was going to. She - once she got over the shock, and after she confirmed that they’re... she was... she seemed happy. She seems happy, at least. It looks like she adores Yvonne.” Your friend swallows, and you can’t help yourself from letting out a low groan before grasping onto the edges of the sink. Donghyuck gently places an arm around your waist, pulling you into his side comfortably. You sink into his touch, though it doesn’t stop the tears that bud at the corners of your eyes. They don’t fall, but their existence still plagues you.
“Yvonne’s going to be devastated.” You whisper eventually, and Donghyuck nods. “I - this could break her. I need her to live, Hyuck,” You stutter out, and your friend wraps his arms fully around you. He says nothing, for once, and you’re grateful - grateful as he holds you while sobs wrack your body. 
Once you’re done crying, you pull away, and he smiles gently at you. 
“I’ll be the one to tell her when she wakes up and asks for him,” He says, and you can’t imagine the kindness it takes. “Now go - you’re off after this, I know you are, and Jaemin was looking for you after I told him about whose heart your patient was getting.” 
“He was not,” You sniff out, indignant and mildly confused. What does Jaemin want with you?
“He was, seriously,” Donghyuck responds, nodding his head erratically as if to emphasize his point. “Go, really - I’ll handle it.”
You nod, extracting yourself from his hold. As you place your handle on the door, you turn to look at your friend. 
“You’re the best, Hyuck,” You say, and he beams back at you even as his eyes show stress running through them. 
“Of course I am. I’ll see you tomorrow, okay?”
“Okay.” You give him your best watery smile, and he makes a shooing motion in response. 
Donghyuck watches you go, heart heavy but smile genuine. He’s worried about Yvonne, but he’s also hopeful about you and Jaemin. He’s never seen two people more obviously perfect for each other, even if they’ve only known each other for barely over a month. Hyuck finds your ‘friendship’ adorable. 
That, and he has a hand in the bet Renjun’s made. 
Donghyuck personally thinks that you’ll get together within the next two weeks, and he really, really doesn’t want to lose $100.
♕ ♕ ♕
He’s in the attendings’ locker room on floor 3, already dressed out of his scrubs in favor of a plain white t-shirt, black jeans, and a brown leather jacket that he’s shrugging on as you walk in. Jaemin looks up, smiling upon seeing that it’s you, before shutting the door on his locker. 
“Hyuck said you were looking for me-” You start, only to get interrupted by the man in front of you. 
“Are you almost ready to go?” His tone is straightforward, clean, and you wonder if you’re missing something. Are there plans you’ve forgotten about?
“Huh?” You even sound taken aback when you speak, and Jaemin can’t help but chuckle at how lost you look. He tilts his head before looking you directly in the eyes. 
“Ready to go? Back to my place? I’m driving, of course.” He fishes the keys to his Benz out of his jacket pocket, holding them out as if to prove to you that they’re real. You just blink at him, flabbergasted. You’re going back to his place? You obviously look absolutely flummoxed at the moment, but Jaemin, never one to back down, takes it in stride before he continues explaining. 
“You’ve had a hard day - I heard about the lovers’ hearts - and Jaeeunie got into a fight at school, so you guys could use each other’s company. That, and Jeno took their car for today, so Renjun broke into your locker earlier to take your car keys. He’s definitely already back at their place by now. So, will you get changed? It’s getting late, and I really need to take her off the nanny’s hands.” He still has the same calm tone, and you start to wonder if you’re going insane when you’re completely shaken by every word that comes out of his mouth. 
“Jaeeun got into - hold on, Renjun stole my car? Wait, why did Jaeeun get into a - I’m going to yours - Jaemin, what the hell is going on?” Your voice comes off as shriller than you’d like it to, and you see worry flash across Jaemin’s eyes before he crosses the room to set his hands squarely on your shoulders. You’re forced to look him in the eye.
“You need a break, (Name), and my daughter needs to spend time with her favorite person - other than me, obviously. I’m just killing two birds with one stone, here. Okay?” His voice is soft, genuine, and gentle, and as you look into his eyes, you realize he’s right - you do need a break. 
That, and you can’t deny Jaemin anything. You’re figuring that out very, very quickly. 
You exhale slowly, letting air escape out through a small separation of your lips, before nodding even slower.
“Okay.” You acquiesce, and Jaemin’s megawatt grin could power a country. 
“I’ll be outside,” He assures you, stepping away so you can make your way to your locker. You watch as Jaemin walks out, his fingertips lingering on the door for a moment before he lets it shut. As you shuck your work clothes and pull on your sweater, you can’t help but think back to your surgery, and to everything Donghyuck had said to you. 
Jaemin’s just a friend giving you comfort in a time of need, right? There’s no reason to read into the fact that you’re about to go home to him and Jaeeun instead of to your own pet goldfish. You settle on this as the only plausible reason for how you’re about to spend your night - friends, doing friend things. 
You do your best to suffocate the small corner of your mind that begs for it to be more.
♕ ♕ ♕
“Jaeeun punched him in the face? Is he okay? Anything broken? God, what the hell goes on in preschools these days?” Your questions are rapidfire as you walk through the parking lot, following Jaemin to his car. He only laughs in response, turning to you before he says anything. 
“He pulled on her pigtails even after she told him to stop! When the Principal called me I told him that I found her ‘very justified in her manner of proactively dealing with things’.” Your friend replies, and you can’t help but laugh at his anecdote.
“Did you word it that way exactly, Jaem? Holy fuck,” You giggle, and he grins as you reach his car.
“Of course,” He says, unlocking his car and opening the passenger’s side door for you. “Best way to get the point across.”
“Her Principal must hate you,” You tease, sliding into the seat and setting your purse down by your feet. Jaemin only grins before closing the door on you. 
“You know what’s funny?” You start speaking once Jaemin starts the car, and he hums in acknowledgement as he backs out of his parking spot. “You kind of seem like you were the one who pulled on little girls’ pigtails when you were 4.”
“That’s because I did,” He says, glancing over at you as he gets onto the main road. “But only once.”
“And why is that?” 
“My mom gave me absolute hell for it when she got the call to come pick me up for getting slapped. Said I should never touch anyone if they told me to stop. Heavy stuff, obviously, for a four year old, but better early than late, or worse, not at all. I never did it again.” His voice is suddenly softer, and you know his mind is drifting to his daughter. You vehemently hope the boy’s parents are as good as Jaemin’s mother was at that moment - you’re sure Jaeeun is going to get a good hug and a decent discussion on consent from her father when you reach her, but you know full well that, someday, she’s going to have to get the full version of the talk every girl gets.
It shouldn’t have to be this way.
You don’t mean for the mood to dampen, but you can feel the air start to weigh heavier on your chest. As Jaemin pulls onto the highway, you can see him visibly relax, even as his smile slowly drops off to give way to his resting face. You settle into a comfortable silence, staring out the window to gaze at the city lights as they pass you by. 
It’s Jaemin who breaks it.
“You can talk about it, you know,” He says, his eyes flitting to you shortly before regaining their gaze on the road. “We can talk about it. I know we haven’t known each other for long, but- ”
“You’ve become a good, trusted, close friend, Jaemin,” You interrupt him, knowing full well that he deserves to know at least part of the worth he has to you. “Time is relative. That, and seeing you so constantly definitely helps.” You tease, and the corner of his mouth quirks up. You smile gently at this before continuing.
“It’s just - it’s me, honestly. I’m not the greatest at talking about patient dea- about patients, I guess. Even when it doesn’t violate HIPAA and is hard to keep in.” You sigh, hanging your head slightly. Your thoughts drift back to Ved and Yvonne, and you wonder how she’s taking it. You wonder if she even knows, yet. A couple of unshed tears spring up abruptly, blurring your vision, and you chuckle weakly in response to them before raising a hand to wipe them away.
Jaemin gently places a strong hand right above your knee, giving it a light squeeze that’s meant to soothe you. 
“It’s okay,” He says, voice feeling like it’s booming even though he whispers his words. “She’ll be okay. You’ll be okay.”
As you gingerly place your own hand on top of his, all you can do is nod slightly. You turn back to the window, turn back to tracking the lights. Your tears run their course, regardless.
By the time Jaemin parks in his driveway, you’ve quietly sobbed all the water out of your body. Jaemin says nothing as you compose yourself, only handing you the refillable water bottle he keeps in his driver’s side door and waiting while you down it entirely. He shushes you when you try to apologize, only smiling warmly in return. 
Once you get out of his car, he’s quick to pull you into a much-needed hug. As you sniffle softly into his jacket, you can’t help but think about how far your friendship - ‘friendship’? - has come in such a short time: where you’d once been bashful about holding onto him during a horror movie, your arms wrap around his shoulders easily now. He runs a soothing hand down your back for what feels like an eternity, and when you pull away, you find that the glaring ache in your heart is slightly reduced. 
Before you can thank him - you realize, now, that you did need to be held even if you couldn’t speak - his front door opens. There’s barely any time for either of you to react before Jaeeun, in full pink tights, white sequined shirt glory, barrels out of it, rushing towards her father. You watch fondly as Jaemin, equally as enthusiastic, scoops her up into his arms with ease, uttering a sweet ‘Hey, princess!’ before pressing a kiss to her forehead.
“Look who I brought, Jaeeunie,” Jaemin coos, bouncing his daughter up and down gently in his hold. He swings around to show you to her, and her face lights up immediately, causing a grin to erupt across your own face. 
“(Name)!” The little girl squeals, outstretching her arms to you. Jaemin hands her over carefully, and you smile down at Jaeeun as she settles into your hold. While you speak to her, Jaemin waves goodbye at the nanny, a sweet older woman who’s walking to her own car. She always parks out front, you note - rather than in the front-facing driveway. You suppose it’s because she  knows Jaemin will always come late, and it’s more of a hassle to have to have him move his car when it’s 10 p.m. rather than 6 p.m. 
“I heard you punched someone in the face,” You tell Jaeeun seriously, and she winces, one of her eyes accidentally closing entirely. The urge to giggle at how cute she is bubbles up inside of you, but you tamp down on it as she - very seriously - begins to explain to you what happened. Jaemin, now halfway up his porch steps, motions for you and Jaeeun to come inside. 
“Jaeeun, sweetheart, you already had dinner, right?” He asks his daughter as you carefully set her down on the floor. Jaemin closes and locks the door behind you, shrugging his jacket off as Jaeeun nods enthusiastically in response. You suddenly feel warm breath against the back of your neck, and you realize with a blush that Jaemin is helping you shed your own outerwear. He hangs both of your jackets on the holder right by the door, and you follow him in slipping your shoes off and placing them in the corner. 
“Does that mean you’ll sleep now, hm? The nanny says you’ve been staying up too long.” Jaemin slips very naturally into the soft, higher-pitched and lilting voice he uses with his daughter. It isn’t quite baby-speak, but it’s a very obvious testament to his endearment. You’re absolutely enamored with it. 
“Daddy…” The little girl’s whine is long and drawn out, and you can’t help but chuckle at it. You watch as she turns her gaze to full puppy-eyes mode - something she’s no doubt inherited from her father, who uses it constantly on you and the rest of your friends when he’s too lazy to get up and get himself a snack or doesn’t agree with what someone else has said - and pouts at her father. “No school tomorrow.” 
“It’s still way too late, princess,” Jaemin reprimands her gently, completely unaffected by her gaze. She turns to you, and you shoot her a sympathetic grimace. 
“What does (Name) think?” She finally asks, and Jaemin raises an eyebrow before looking over at you. Jaeeun’s gaze is trained on you, too. 
“How about… you can have some warm milk first and then you have to sleep?” You ask when she stays staring at you, doing your best to stay grounded in the face of cuteness overload. It seems that you’ve said the right thing, because both Jaemin’s and Jaeeun’s eyes light up simultaneously. 
“Can I?” The young girl asks, tugging on her dad’s pant leg. He chuckles, reaching his hand down to grasp her tiny one. 
“Sure, why not. Why don’t you go and show (Name) where the milk is while I get your bed ready, yeah?” Jaeeun agrees eagerly, already letting go of Jaemin’s hand in favor of grabbing onto your own outstretched one. As she starts tugging you towards the kitchen, Jaemin calls for you before he goes up the stairs. 
“Only half of her special glass - she’ll show you it - and heat it for about 40 seconds,” He says, and you can only nod before being spirited away by the bright-eyes knee-height kid in front of you. 
“You’re a life-saver, (Name)!” Jaemin calls from halfway up the stairs, and you can only chuckle because, for the first time since the morning, you really do feel like you are one. 
In the kitchen, Jaeeun has already set a glass adorned with Frozen decals on top of the island, and you catch her trying to drag a gallon jug of milk out of the fridge just in time to take it gently from her and set it down safely. She’s a little indignant - “I could’ve done it myself!” “I know, Jaeeunie, I just thought that I could use the practice since it’s hard for me.” “Oh… well I guess that’s okay.” - but this is dispelled as she watches you half fill her glass and stick it in the microwave. She climbs up onto a chair at their breakfast nook table, swinging her feet happily as you bring her warm milk over to her before sitting down in the chair beside her. 
“Daddy’s lack toes… something that doesn’t have toes,” Jaeeun tells you matter-of-factly, and it takes everything in you to keep yourself from grinning too widely at her innocence. So Jaemin’s lactose intolerant, you think to yourself. It’s not a huge aspect of his personality - or of his life, really - or anything, but for some reason having this knowledge makes you feel closer to him. 
“He says he can’t have milk or else his tummy will hurt,” Jaeeun continues, now sporting a brilliant milk mustache after taking a big fumbling sip from her glass. “And that sucks.” She nods sagely after saying this, and you can’t help the small smile that adorns your face as you nod along. 
“That does suck,” You agree, and she nods again before taking another sip of her drink.
“What sucks?” Jaemin enters the kitchen, arms laden with a set of pajamas, an empty water bottle, and a picture book. You get up, taking the water bottle from his arms easily to go fill it up from the fridge. Jaemin can’t help but notice how second nature it seems for you to keep up with Jaeeun, and his heart swells at the realization. 
“It sucks that you lack toes.” Jaeeun pipes up, finally done with her milk. While you take her glass from her, her father’s face morphs into one of unadulterated confusion, and you snicker as you hand the water bottle back to him. 
“Didn’t know you were lactose intolerant.” You tell him, a teasing lilt to your words. He finally understands what Jaeeun means, rolling his eyes at you discreetly when he knows his daughter isn’t looking. 
“I always keep Tums on me,” He throws back, and you well and truly laugh at this. “Here, I can do it.” 
Jaemin reaches for the Frozen glass, but you’re too quick for him, easily sliding out of the way to head over to his sink. When you finally look up and over at him, already rinsing the glass out, his smile is soft even though his eyes are hard to read. At the table, Jaeeun’s eyelids are starting to droop and her head is starting to sway, and you realize that she’s falling asleep.
“Go,” You tell Jaemin, inclining your head towards upstairs. “Leave the water bottle and book here and get her and her pajamas to bed. I’ll clean up here and follow you up, if that’s okay.” 
“You sound like such a surgeon right now,” Jaemin teases, though he does as he’s told, scooping his daughter up out of the chair and into his arms. The milk is having the effect you’d hoped it would have on her, and this is evident as she blinks blearily at you before raising a small hand to wave. 
You wave back. 
Once you’re done with the glass, placing it in Jaemin’s dishwasher, you grab the things he’d left behind before walking to the foot of the stairs. You find that you have to steel yourself before walking up them - suddenly, everything feels much more intimate. The idea of Jaemin trusting you enough to let you help him tuck his daughter into bed has your heart pounding. 
He’s such a good father. He’s a good father, a good doctor, a good man. He’s gentle, he’s kind, he’s considerate, he’s intelligent, and he’s very, very balanced. It doesn’t help that he’s so very easy on the eyes either. You’re suddenly hit with the truth right as you’re about to head up the stairs: you’re into Jaemin. 
There’s no time to dwell on this eureka moment, however: Jaemin’s already heading back down the stairs. 
“I’ll take the water bottle, but it looks like we won’t be needing the book tonight,” He chuckles, reaching up to run a hand through his straight blond locks. “Out like a light. You’re a genius, you really are.” 
“You only realized that now?” You raise about eyebrow in faux offense, and then you’re both laughing. 
“Here,” You finally get out, realizing that you still have his things. “Water bottle. Does she drink a lot during the night?” 
Jaemin raises an eyebrow at your question before wordlessly taking the bottle from your grasp. You watch as he unscrews the lid before downing half of the water in it in one gulp, all while not breaking eye contact with you. It’s as he places the top of it back on that you realize there’s no way a 4 year old could ever open the bottle without help. Your friend doesn’t say a word, not having to with the blush that spreads across your face at your late understanding. Instead, he gently pries the book - The Story of Ferdinand the Bull - from your hands, tucking it under his arm as he gives you a light grin. 
As you look at him, his features soften. 
“Are you feeling a little better?” He asks, voice naturally lowering to a whisper now that his daughter is most definitely in dreamland. You realize with a start that you haven’t allowed your mind to stray back to Ved and Yvonne since you’d gotten to Jaemin’s house, and your gratefulness to the pediatric surgeon doubles in size as you nod in response to his question. 
“Yeah,” You start, giving him a genuine smile. “Yeah, I do. Thanks, Jaem, this… it meant a lot. I haven’t had much time to volunteer at the library lately and that was always my stress relief, so… yeah. This was good.” There’s not a word of falsehood in your simple statement, and you know Jaemin can see this as his gaze zeroes in on your own. He nods, half in appraisal and in acknowledgement, before motioning to the kitchen with a tilt of his head.
“Wine? I got a new red I’ve been meaning to open, it’s been sitting on my wet bar for weeks now,” He smirks as he changes the topic smoothly, and you can’t help but find it hard to see him drinking alcohol with a picture book in the crook of his arm. “You can lead the way.” Jaemin says cheekily, and you can’t help but raise an eyebrow at him even as you hold out your hand for him to take. Somehow, simultaneously, both nothing and everything about it is friendly. 
As you watch Jaemin pour out his Bordeaux into two wine glasses after you’ve settled onto his couch, you can’t help but think that you could get used to this. 
♕ ♕ ♕
“What the hell is a wine night?” Doyoung asks in response to your own, quite firm, statement, confusion etched across his features. 
“We call wine nights when we need to talk about something objectively - at least, it’s objective most of the time - important,” You explain, though there’s no lack of haste in your tone. You’d forgotten that Doyoung, not being a part of your direct friend group, has never attended one before. You suppose there’s a first time for everything. “Everyone isn’t invited all of the time - there’s plenty that I haven’t been asked to go to. It just depends on what the person who called the meeting wants to talk about.”
Doyoung internalizes this information with a thoughtful look on his face, although it’s softened by the way he chews on his salad. He swallows, neck bobbing, before looking at you for a long, long moment. You scratch an itch behind your ear as you wait for his response.
“Yeah, sure, I’ll come,” Your Chief says, and you can’t help the relieved grin that spreads across your face. “Who else is going?”
“It’s just me, you, Renjun, and Jeno by extension, since it’ll be at their place. Bring your favorite wine and a snack! This might take a while. I’ll see you tonight after work.” 
Doyoung blinks, processing everything you’ve just said as you stand up, your tray cleaned of any and all food. The hospital cafeteria is very, very good, and usually you’d savor the break, but you’re in a rush today - you have at least two appendectomies to get done today, and you don’t want to keep your first patient waiting. Even though Doyoung seems confused and a little behind now, you know that he’ll show up to wine night. After all, everyone shows up to wine night. 
He’s the one who opens the door of Renjun and Jeno’s apartment for you when you knock at 8 p.m. sharp, Stella Rosa white wine and salt & vinegar chips in hand. Your boss Doyoung and your friend Doyoung are not far from being the same person, and you’re grateful for this as seeing him outside of the hospital is just as comfortable as operating alongside him is. 
“Sit down,” Renjun says when he catches sight of you, glancing over at the couch as he speaks. You only nod before handing him the things you’ve brought. He appraises the chips positively, still stinging from the pretzels from last time. 
“Why’s Jeno invited, again?” Doyoung asks, always ready to tease the surgeon in question. Jeno squawks indignantly from the kitchen, though not before Renjun responds for you. 
“Because he happens to live here,” Your best friend says, drawing forth another annoyed sound from his roommate. You can’t help but laugh as you sit down, though you find yourself disputing the statement for Jeno’s sake.
“Nah, Jen’s valuable tonight. He’s, like, Jaemin’s best friend here.”
“I’m his best friend in general, dude, he’s like a platonic soulmate-” Jeno starts, though he’s quickly interrupted by both Renjun and Doyoung, who simultaneously screech out ‘This is about Jaemin?’
You heave a sigh, though you can’t help the way one of the corners of your mouth upturns of its own volition. Doyoung, with his hawk eyes, notices this immediately as he scrambles to sit down beside you, his own glass of wine already half downed. 
“Hey… (Name)?” Renjun’s the first one to ask a question, realization dawning in his eyes. You hum in acknowledgment, motivating him to go on. “How did you get home that night I borrowed your car? Like… last Friday?” 
“You mean the night you stole my car keys and then fucked off with my car?” 
“The night I borrowed your car.” Renjun says again, with more conviction, and you can’t help but roll your eyes even as you actively choose not to argue with him. Jeno finally comes out of the kitchen, a glass of wine in each hand, and gives one to you before he sits down on the other side of you. Renjun, not one to lose the upper hand of eye contact during a conversation, sets his glass down on top of a coaster on the coffee table before settling down on the floor between the tv and the table itself, facing the three of you on the couch once he’s done shifting around. 
“Jaemin drove me-” Jeno makes an inquisitive noise, only to be quickly shushed by Renjun. Doyoung, in preparation, starts to take a sip from his glass. “-to his house.”
The effect of your words is instantaneous - Doyoung chokes on his wine and squeezes the stem of his glass so hand his fingerprints are evident even when he finally relaxes, Jeno launches into a coughing fit and doubles over and in on himself, and Renjun - well, Renjun does nothing, most likely because he can see the truth in your eyes. 
“Don’t get so excited,” He says, dropping eye contact to look at the other two men individually. “They didn’t do anything. Did you?”
“We just put Jaeeun to bed and talked about life over some wine,” You concede, and Doyoung and Jeno both groan - though you suspect Jeno is still simply trying to clear his airway. Doyoung’s brow is deeply furrowed when you glance over at him, and you can’t help but feel just a little bad for having led all of them on, no matter how accidentally it was. You feel the need to explain yourself. “He’d heard about a difficulty I’d had with a patient’s… outcome… and figured that it would be good for me to spend time with his daughter. That, and she’d punched a kid earlier that day - he deserved it, Doyoung, don’t look at me like that - so he thought that, maybe, Jaeeun and I’d be good company for each other.”
“That’s what you called a wine night for?” Renjun says, finally exasperated with everything you’ve said. He’d been so close - so damn close - to being able to call Hyuck and tell him to cough up his money, but he’s well aware of the fact that he can’t do that now. 
“No, you idiot,” You say, pausing to take a long, drawn out sip of your wine. It sits against your tongue for a moment, and you savor it for longer than usual if only to see the three men around you sweat it out as they wait for you to speak up. “I called wine night because I realized that I might… have feelings for Jaemin.”
There’s a pause.
One.
Two.
Three beats, and then Jeno groans again, for real this time, surging forward as he downs more than half of his remaining wine. On your other side, Doyoung mutters something about Jeno not following the social norms that come with drinking wine - ‘You can’t take that big of a sip, you neanderthal!’ - but none of you pay it any mind. You’re too focused on the fact that Renjun has stood up and is staring you down with a fire burning behind his eyes that rivals the heat of ten suns. 
“I went out and bought wine,” He says, and you watch as he slowly circles his living room rug until your head is fully tilted back because he’s standing right beside you. “I went out and bought wine,” He reiterates. “Just so you can tell me something I’ve known for weeks?” Before you can answer, your best friend leans over, pulling you into a modified stranglehold. You aren’t really choking, but you can’t help but wonder exactly how much is holding Renjun back from changing that. As Doyoung works to pry the other doctor off of you - although you can’t help but his efforts seem to be weak on purpose - you manage to process what Renjun’s just said to you. 
“For- for weeks? He’s been here for less than two months!” Your words come out in a sputter, mostly out of incredulity, but your best friend lets go off his hold anyways. 
“So? Just because you aren’t used to loving anything outside of your work doesn’t mean love doesn’t work fast on you.” Doyoung pipes up, and the indignant sound you make is unbridled. 
“Love? Who the hell said anything about love? I think he’s interesting, is all, and I could see myself spending more time … alone together.” 
“Fuck,” Jeno groans, running a hand down his face. He’s wishing alcohol affected him easier, right now - it would be less difficult stomaching everything if he was already tipsy. “You want to bone my best friend.” 
“(Name) wants Jaemin to do the boning, actually,” Renjun clarifies, though he rushes past that before you can comment. “But it isn’t just about sex. Is it?”
“I like talking to him,” You say, shrugging your shoulders before launching into the explanation you feel you owe your friends. “At least, I think I do. We haven’t gotten, like, deep yet - I think he reads me easily, since he didn’t let me go straight home after Yvonne’s transplant, but we didn’t talk much about it, mostly because I didn’t feel up to it. We go to Jaeeun’s piano events together and stuff, and now I’ve been to his house, but we still haven’t gotten too one-on-one with each other yet. I guess what I’m saying is that… I’d like that one-on-one.”
Your three companions just gape at you once you’re finished. 
It’s Doyoung who breaks the silence eventually.
“You just monologued about him, (Name),” He says, looking you right in your eyes. “You don’t just like him. You really, really like him.”
This time, it’s your turn to be silent. A realization is dawning on you, and dawning fast, and you don’t know what to make of it. After a long stretch of silence, it’s Jeno who finally speaks.
“Fuck,” He says again, voice even heavier this time. “You really want to bone my best friend.”
♕ ♕ ♕
“Incoming trauma! MVC, single car rollover.”
Yuta’s voice rings through the pit, loud and clear. He’s already pulling on trauma scrubs, readying himself for when the ambulance pulls into the ambulance bay. The intern closest to you, definitely part of the group that’s been newly hired, looks extremely confused, so you mutter a ‘motor vehicle crash’ into his ear before rushing past to aid with the trauma. You pull on your own scrubs before joining Yuta, who’s already waiting in the bay by the time you get there.
“Do you know anything?” You ask the Chief of Trauma, though not before shooting him a small grin. Yuta, ever jovial even in the face of such a demanding job, make sure to shoot you one his famous ‘healing’ smiles back before allowing his face to morph into a far more serious expression.
“Adult female, mentioned fractures,” He says, wincing in sympathy for the unknown victim. “Gonna need ortho, so I already paged Jeno. He should be on his-”
“On my way?” A voice interrupts Yuta, and the orthopedic surgeon in question pats the trauma surgeon on the back, pulling on his gloves right after. “I’m right here, Chief.”
“Speak of the devil.” You quip, earning a faux glare from your friend and another smile from Yuta. Before either of the men can say anything, a siren displaces the sense of stillness in the air, forcing all of you to get ready for the incoming trauma. The bright red ambulance speeds into the bay, stopping just feet ahead of you. Its doors are pushed open, and both you and Yuta each rush to hold one open while Jeno helps bring the gurney down. 
“Did you get her name, Johnny?” Yuta’s quick to ask the paramedic who’s hurrying the gurney down about what he knows. Johnny nods, though he doesn’t answer until she’s safely on the ground. 
“Akari Singh, 28. Clavicular fracture, bruised and slightly swollen abdomen. She knocked out while we were getting her here, but she’s breathing just fine. Her phone’s in the bag of personal effects - uh, here, I’ll just follow you guys in with it - in case you need to call anyone… she was talking about a husband before she kind of conked out, so I’m guessing you can start from him.”
“God, she’s so young,” You mutter, moving properly to the side so you can help run the gurney to the nearest open ER. Jeno’s beside you, with Yuta on the other side. Johnny yells for the other paramedics to close the ambulance doors before jogging inside after you, Akari’s personal effects in hand. Once you get to the emergency room, a nurse helps hook the patient up to a monitor, Jeno orders for the necessary x-rays, and Yuta checks her heartbeat and breathing. You have a resident - Sadie - grab Akari’s phone and, using the patient’s limp thumb to unlock it, call her husband. 
Sadie steps out of the room a few moments after you begin examining Akari’s abdomen, missing the way the patient groans before stirring at your gentle prodding. You smile at her, trying to soothe her before you tell her why she’s at a hospital, but she doesn’t give you the chance. Upon seeing that your hands are on her abdomen, she panics.
“How’s my son? Is he okay? And my- my baby, too. Please tell me he’s-”
“Your son?” You ask, not hearing of anyone else being brought in. Just as you speak, the second part of her plea hits your ears. 
“Your baby?” Yuta’s voice is incredulous as he says what everyone in the room is collectively thinking. She nods frantically, tears starting to drip down her face as she screws it up in pain while trying to speak. “My son is - is 4, he was in the backseat. And my baby- I’m far along, I- is my baby okay?”
Just as you’re about to open your mouth to say something, anything, Sadie bursts into the room, brandishing Akari’s cellphone. Her eyes are blown wide in alarm, and you already know what Akari’s husband has told her. 
“Page OB,” You say, making direct eye contact with the resident. “Now. Get Chief Na in here, too. And someone, for the love of God, find this woman’s son. Now! Go!” Your voice rises towards the end of your command, but you find that you can’t help yourself - a woman is in pain, her young son is lost, and you aren’t sure of the state of her baby. On top of that, there’s almost definitely fluid in her belly, and although you haven’t taken an ultrasound yet, you’re almost entirely sure it’s blood. 
“I need an ultrasound,” You voice out loud after steeling yourself for a second, and Yuta yells it out louder for one of the nurses to hear. The next few moments are a blur as you slip into what you truly consider your ‘work mode’ - the moment the ultrasound is wheeled in, you set about placing the gel against Akari’s stomach while Jeno, in an effort to divert her focus, tells her about her broken clavicle - it looks like she’ll likely only need a sling. You pay no mind to any of the conversations around you, not as the ultrasound confirms what you’d been thinking: there’s fluid, likely blood, in the upper left quadrant of her abdomen.
“We’ll have to stop the bleeding, I’ll have to do an ex-lap on her to see where the leak is coming from. It’s the only thing that’ll stop the swelling, and it’s the best bet we have for the baby,” You murmur to Yuta, who’s been awaiting your results just as you have. “Speaking of, where the hell is-”
“I heard you’re expecting!” A voice rings through the ER, and you turn your head just in time to see Dr. Manoban - though you admit you know her better as Lisa - walk in, a big smile on her face as always. You suppose it’s what comes with mostly working with mothers and babies, though you don’t miss the slight worried wrinkle of her brow. Thankfully, Akari herself doesn’t seem to see it, instead smiling as brightly as she physically can at Lisa.
“Yes! I’m about 34 weeks along, but apparently I don’t show as much as most people do.” She responds, and Lisa nods in understanding. You hold out the ultrasound wand to Dr. Manoban, who, in turn, grasps it nimbly before switching places with you. Both women fall into conversation easily, discussing all of the appointments Akari must’ve had, and Jeno pulls you aside as you watch on. 
“Look, my timing might be terrible, but this could be the only time we have today, and something about this woman and her husband and everything just made me think-”
“Spit it out,” You interrupt your friend, your mood soured by Mrs. Singh’s case. The fact that her four year old is not yet accounted for looms over you like a dark cloud, and you grow more and more terrified for him - and his mother - as every second passes. You doubt you’ll be entertaining anyone much today. 
“It’s been two weeks since you confessed that you’re into him, and you haven’t done anything about it yet. Life happens, evidently - this woman’s son…” Jeno’s words die in his mouth as you grab ahold of his lab coat, subsequently dragging him out of the emergency room. Luckily for both of you - mostly for Jeno - only Yuta seems to notice how quickly you leave, and you know he won’t waste brainpower looking too deeply into it. 
“I’m a reasonable fucking person, Dr. Lee,” You start once you’ve properly pulled him into the hallway, tone clipped and eyes narrowed. His shoulders tense and eyes widen at the way you address him by his professional title, and you’d feel bad on any other day. 
It isn’t any other day, and everything about this case has you on edge. You continue chastising your friend as he deserves. 
“I’m reasonable,” You reiterate. “But I’m not infallible, and I can feel emotion, and I do so heavily. You know this, we’ve known each other for ages. Honestly, that’s why I’m not as pissed at you as I should be - I know that everything you’re saying is to try and keep my mind off of just how stressful Mrs. Singh’s situation is, and I appreciate the sentiment. What I don’t appreciate, however, is you attaching my love life to this poor woman’s accident - and to her missing fucking kid, Jeno. Are you hearing yourself? Usually Mark’s the dense one, damn it.” 
Your volume remains steady for the sake of the nurses and doctors and patients and families around you, but you hiss your last few phrases out through your teeth. You’re right - Jeno knows this - but he also knows that most of your anger isn’t directed at him, not truly. Your friend says nothing, only nodding in agreement. His expression looks less taken aback and afraid now, though it’s more difficult to read. Before he can say anything - apologize, from the looks of it - a soft hand on your shoulder forces you to look away from him. 
It’s Jaemin.
“I didn’t come right when you’d paged because trauma brought in an MVC victim - 4 year old Akira Singh. He came in talkative and happy, told all of us to call him Ra which… helps with Akari and Akira, but is also worried about his mom. Seems fine other than some bruising, but I’ll have to do a more in depth diagnosis. I figured I’d let his mom - and you - know first.” His small spiel is directed at you, and it’s only when your breathing stabilizes under Jaemin’s slightly disquieted gaze that you realize it’d ever been rushed. It’s all you can do to nod and give him some semblance of a reaction as you process everything he’s said. 
“You told Mrs. Singh already, right?” The question is the first thing that comes to mind, and you blurt it out before you can refine it. Jaemin gives you a gentle smile - the same one you’re finding yourself getting attached to - before uttering a quiet but sturdy ‘yes, of course’ to put you at ease. He turns away from you to look at his best friend, who looks expectant. You aren’t surprised - after all, it’s a car crash. Ortho has work to do. 
“Jeno, can you check out Ra’s x-rays? Just to be on the safe side? He’s in the pit, bed 8.” Jaemin’s request is met with a tight smile from Jeno, though you can tell that he’s also stressed about this particular case by the way his eyes remain trained on Jaemin rather than forming into half-moons. The orthopedic surgeon nods once, and before anyone can even think of speaking again, he’s off, pulling his tablet from the large pocket within his lab coat to look up Ra’s scans even before he gets to the boy. 
“I left your coffee in the lounge on floor 4,” Jaemin says, breaking the silence that’s starting to settle on the two of you. “I doubt you’ll get to it before it’s too cold, but…”
“Thank you.” You say quietly, affording him a small, albeit stressed, smile. The fact that Akari’s son has been found has lifted only a miniscule amount of what’s weighing on your shoulders, and it’s evident Jaemin sees this in the way he hasn’t let go of your shoulder yet. Another realization suddenly hits you, and you turn your head to look Jaemin in the eyes. He finally drops his hand, moving to stand in front of you rather than beside you. 
“Wasn’t it my turn to get coffee today?” You ask, furrowing your brow as you look at your friend. He raises an eyebrow in the characteristic way you’ve gotten used to. 
“You left Hyuck’s house after I did last night - I doubted that you’d remember coffee, so I chanced us both getting two doses of hell instead of one.”
“You’d think medical professionals would ingest less caffeine,” You remark offhandedly, and Jaemin hums in agreement. The smile that’s been growing on your face stagnates as silence settles between the two of you again, and Jaemin watches it fade from your face in tandem with your shoulders slumping. You want to say something, anything, while you wait for Lisa’s examination to be over, but you find yourself coming up empty. It looks like Jaemin is as well. 
The two of you wait like that, in complete silence, until Yuta pops his head out from ER 6, a small smile on his face. 
“Looks like the baby’s coming out today,” He says, and you can’t help the surprised expression that crosses your face as you walk back into the room. Jaemin follows, and the two of you are met with Mrs. Singh’s exhausted but happy grin, and Lisa’s genuine smile. Yuta’s phone vibrates as he keeps the room’s door open, and once he checks it his face falls immediately. 
“I have a trauma, the case is yours and Manoban’s,” He mutters into your ear, pulling you aside to do so. Before you can question him about his new case, the Chief of Trauma leaves, all but running out of the ER. Your patient’s eyes follow the leaving doctor, but Lisa is quick to begin speaking to bring her back to her own reality. 
“I was thinking that we could do a c-section into an ex-lap? The baby is - miraculously, honestly - still perfectly healthy, and the chances of deficits post-delivery are low enough at this stage. Akari knows about the risks, too.” Dr. Manoban explains her thought process to you, and you listen intently as she goes on to name any and all possible dangers that come with the surgeries she recommends that Mrs. Singh undergo.
“Do you also think - augh - that this is the best thing for me to do?” Akari asks, question directed at you. She attempts to shift around while she speaks, prompting you to start forward to get close enough for her to see properly. 
“Don’t move - you don’t want your abdomen swelling even more,” You warn your patient, though you do so with as kind a smile as you can muster. Her case is looking up now that all three family members who were in the accident are accounted for, and you can feel your worry ebb away just slightly. She steadies her gaze on you, expecting something from you. You continue speaking. “Yes, I agree with Dr. Manoban’s expert opinion.”
“...And my son?” Mrs. Singh’s question is trained on Jaemin this time, as her eyes look directly past you. “He’s okay?”
“We’re getting his x-rays checked just to be sure,” The Chief of Peds responds easily, his tone crafted to put people at ease. “But as of right now, Ra is very alert and lively, although, of course, he’s worried about you and the baby.”
Akari looks thoughtful for a moment, glancing at all three of her doctors individually before speaking again. You can tell that she’s terrified - her son’s only just been found, and even if her baby’s fine, her abdomen isn’t. Her husband isn’t here yet, though he’s on his way. 
“You know,” She finally says, pausing partially out of pain and partially out of thinking through her next words. “Ra’s a good kid. I know young kids are hard to raise and look after and stuff, but… he’s easy. He makes loving him easy, and makes parenting even easier because of that. You know?”
The question is, you’re sure, rhetorical and open-ended at the same time. Even so, you’re unsurprised when Jaemin answers it, his eyes warm and smile calming. You’re sure he’s thinking of Jaeeun at the very moment. 
“I do know,” He says, and Akari’s eyes light up.
“You have kids?”
“One,” Jaemin moves closer to your patient’s bed as he speaks, standing right by her side near her monitor so as to see her better as they speak. “Jaeeun. She’s four too, and she’s real feisty. Loves arts and crafts, but loves making messes with the supplies even more. Thinks my lactose intolerance is the funniest thing in the world, and thinks stuffed animals are for babies and that, of course, since she’s a big girl, she shouldn’t carry them around anymore. She sleeps with at least four plushies every night.”
Jaemin pauses before he says the next bit, likely because he can see any and all apprehension leaving Akari’s eyes. The smile he gives her is so gentle, so genuine and inherently kind and understanding that your own heartstrings tug. You have to will them to calm down. 
“She’s the light of my life.” Jaemin finally finishes, words quieter this time. As Mrs. Singh looks into his eyes, she finds herself nodding as well, slowly but surely.
“Tell Ra that mommy loves him, and that she’ll see him soon, yeah? And, uh… tell my husband that it’s okay that I didn’t wait. It’s best for the baby if I get the surgery soon, right?” Her brow is furrowed as she speaks, and you can tell that it’s more from pain than fear. She’s confirming the truth behind her own question.
“Yes,” You validate, just as Lisa makes a noise of agreement. “Are you sure?”
Akari takes a long, shaky breath, and Jaemin delicately rests a hand on top of her own. She looks up at him, one parent to another, and as he levels her gaze back at her, she nods again.
“Yes, I’m sure.”
♕ ♕ ♕
By the time Jeno gets there, Lucas, one of the other orthopedic surgeons, is already laughing and talking with the four year old Ra, who’s been changed into a hospital gown to appease schematics. Jeno raises an eyebrow, only to receive a thumbs up from his colleague before both of them settle, crouching down in front of the hospital bed the young boy is sitting on. A nurse - Dejun, Jeno’s sure his name is - looks the two of them over before moving on to the patient in the next bed, finally sure that Ra’s in good hands. 
“Hey, Ra,” Jeno starts, beaming at the young boy. “My name is Dr. Lee, and I’m friends with Dr. Huang, here. How are you feeling?”
“I’m okay!” Ra responds to the inquiry with a grin that matches Jeno’s own in wattage. Both doctors visibly see the boy stiffen slightly, though, and his shoulders drop slightly before he continues speaking. “I want my mommy. I cried earlier but then mommy says that I should be pre- be pre- be ready and strong so I tried to help and that made me stop crying.” 
From the way Lucas nods along diligently to Ra’s rambling, Jeno can only assume he knows what’s going on. From the way Jeno’s brow furrows, Lucas can only assume he has no idea what’s going on. He pulls Jeno close to give him a quick, whispered run-down of what Ra means.
“They couldn’t find him originally because he got out of the damn car after the crash,” Lucas mutters, muted disbelief still present in his tone and in the inquisitive, shocked noise Jeno makes in response. “He was relatively unscathed but I don’t think Mrs. Singh was responding to him, so he went to go find another person, I guess, and ended up meeting someone who called 911 for them. That’s why he got brought in after his mom did. It’s kind of insane for a kid that’s so damn young. How’s his mother doing, by the way?”
“Your mommy’s okay, Ra,” Jeno turns to the young boy, his voice as soothing as possible. He gives Lucas an almost imperceptible nod to show that he’s processed all the information he’s been given. “I’m sure she wants to see you too, but we just gotta fix her up a little bit, okay?”
“Okay,” Ra nods slightly, though Jeno doesn’t miss the wince the boy makes at moving his head. The doctor’s smile droops slightly, and he stands up. 
“Have all of his scans come back-”
“Ra!” A booming, harried voice interrupts Jeno, forcing him to look away from his patient to see what must be Ra’s father bounding towards them. His grip is tight around his cellphone, so tight that Jeno can see the individual tendons moving underneath the skin. Still, he gives his son a strained, but elated, grin upon seeing him. For his part, Ra smiles back at his father easily, though the wince he allows himself this time has Jeno and Lucas both focused once more.
“Haven’t gotten his cranial ones yet,” Lucas states, and Jeno can feel panic rise in him. Still, he turns to the terrified father first, working quickly to get over with his bedside manner necessities before getting back to work.
“Mr. Singh, I’m Dr. Lee, an orthopedic surgeon. I know you have many questions about your wife and children, and I’ll be happy to allow you to speak to them, to me, and to the doctors on your wife’s case soon, but I’ll need you to step back for a moment so I can inspect Ra more closely.” His tone is soft, calculated, and he makes sure his gaze is as softened and as gentle as he can make it. Mr. Singh only nods, teeth gnawing at his lower lip, before he listens to the doctor and steps back. Lucas, after sharing a quick glance with Jeno, moves to stand by the father, engaging him in quick conversation while Jeno inspects his son. 
“Ra, I’m going to need you to stay perfectly still for me, okay?” He requests of the young boy, getting a quiet ‘yes’ as a reply. Jeno moves so he’s looking at the side of Ra’s face, and immediately sees the one thing he’d been ardently hoping against. 
He practically jumps back, not knowing if he’s ever moved this quickly before in his life. 
“We need to get to an OR, now!” He yells out, his blasting voice and frantic gaze immediately drawing nurses and residents to him. Jeno registers Mr. Singh’s panicked questioning behind him, but doesn’t acknowledge it just yet, his first priority being saving Ra’s life. He squats down again, eye-level with the now scared child.
“All right, Ra, you’re going to have to lie down very, very slowly, okay? These nice men and women are going to take you up to a room and we’re going to look at some things and fix you up, okay? Don’t worry,” Jeno whispers, his hands engulfing Ra’s tiny ones. “Can you be strong like your mommy told you to be earlier?”
“Yes,” Ra manages to get out, eyes darting over to his shaking father. “I’ll be okay, daddy!”
Jeno steps back as nurses get Ra to lie down, pulling the sides of the gurney up so they can transport him easier. Before Mr. Singh can even ask, Jeno whirls around to face him directly, to make it a little easier to hear.
“Ra has bruising behind his ears and some bruising around his eyes. I’m worried that he has a basilar skull fracture, although I hope I’m wrong and he’s just obtained some surface level contusions due to the crash.” Lucas draws in a sharp intake of breath, and Jeno’s eyes flit over to him before settling back on his patient’s father. 
“A basilar skull fracture can potentially be very serious,” Jeno continues, making sure to maintain eye contact. “It could lead to a cerebrospinal fluid leak. Again, I’m hopeful that I’m wrong, but if that’s what he has, I’m hoping that we found it in time. I cannot promise you anything, but I will tell you that he’s under the best care possible. Dr. Huang can answer your questions and take you up to your wife, but I need to go with your son.” 
He waits until the man nods very, very slowly, before turning on his heels and practically sprinting after Ra’s gurney. Lucas is already on answering Mr. Singh numerous questions - Jeno can’t blame the man, he’s just been through some heavily traumatic news - so Jeno allows his mind to focus on the boy, and solely the boy. 
There’s no limit to the miracles his hands have performed. He can only hope he’ll be able to pull one off today, as well. 
Lucas is left to console Mr. Singh when he finds out that his wife, too, is already in for surgery, leading the poor man to the family waiting area as best he can. He can only hope for the best, but it’s impossible for him to ignore the sinking feeling coming from the depths of his chest.
♕ ♕ ♕
Lisa’s just snipped the umbilical cord and handed Jaemin the new baby, and you’re waiting on stand-by to start your ex-lap, when Dejun hurries in, face mask held over his mouth as he starts speaking. 
“Mrs. Singh’s son has a basilar skull fracture - he started leaking brain matter through his ears right after coming out of the CT. Drs. Park, Mark Lee, and Jeno Lee are operating on him right now, but they wanted Chief Na on standby if he’s available.” The nurse’s words are rushed, and rightfully so. Jaemin glances over at you, and then Lisa, and once more at you before you nod. He places the new baby - safely delivered, without deficits, just as all of you had hoped - in the warmer before slowly walking backwards, only turning on his heel and shucking off his surgical gown and gloves once he’s fully capable of doing so. You move into the place he’d been occupying, watching Lisa finishing the repair of the uterus as you wait to move in and perform your own surgery. The placenta’s been safely removed as well, so all you need to do is allow her to complete her repairs. 
Jaemin’s just about to leave Akari’s OR in favor of Ra’s when her monitor starts beeping far too quickly, signalling a rapid decrease in her health. 
“Shit,” You swear, and Lisa immediately moves out of your way as you start to inspect your patient’s abdomen. “BP’s dropping, she’s bleeding out. Hang a unit of O neg immediately! We need to stop this bleed.”
“(Name),” Jaemin calls out, and your eyes flit up for a quick moment to see that he’s still standing at the door. You shake your head before dropping your gaze back down and holding your hand out for clamps. 
“You’re past the sterile zone, and your part in this surgery’s over, Jaemin,” You call out, not knowing whether he’s still there or not. “Save her son’s life, we got this.”
You’re too preoccupied to see it, but he nods, tearing his worried gaze away from you with more force that he would typically need. The baby, at the very least, will be completely fine, but he can’t help from uttering a small prayer in the back of his mind just in case. 
“Tell Dr. Zhong he’s on the Singh baby’s case now,” Jaemin says to Dejun, knowing he’ll reliably relay this information to Chenle. “Which OR is Ra in?”
“OR 2,” Dejun responds, heaving a heavy sigh right after. They both stop in front of the door to the operating room in question, and Jaemin takes in a deep breath. As Dejun leaves, racing to find Chenle and tell him about the new development, Jaemin steels himself. He has to dispel any kinship he feels towards the Singhs, any relatedness he’s found between his Jaeeun and Ra, before he can walk in through the door he faces. It takes but a millisecond for him to do, but even taking that time has him feeling guilty. 
Whatever you do, you don’t get attached to patients. It’s one of the things he’d had to internalize, had to live and breathe during his student days at Harvard medical school. It’s something he’d had to learn to put into practice as an intern, a resident, and attending at MassGen. Be kind, be genuine, care deeply, yes. Do not get attached. 
Jaemin intakes a deep breath again, ignores the way Ra’s laughter echoes alongside Jaeeun’s in the back of his head, and pushes open the door in front of him. 
♕ ♕ ♕
He is both too early, and too late. 
Jaemin leaves too early to be able to try and save Akari Singh, 28, MVC: single car rollover. She dies in the same room her newborn breathes for the first time; the baby’s cries join the tone of the flatline to create a cacophonous wail that feels like it will last through the rest of your lifetime. Your head is completely empty save for that flatine and that high-pitched cry as you go through the motions of calling time of death, de-scrubbing, and washing your fingers, palms, wrists, forearms, elbows. Chenle passes you as you exit, going into the operating room you’ve just left to take care of the baby. He does not stop walking, only lets his fingers brush against your elbow as a way of saying ‘I know. I’m here.’.
You’re grateful. 
Jaemin arrives moments too late to help Ra Singh, 4, MVC: single car rollover. He’s leaked far too much brain matter, suffered too much damage to his tiny body. The surgeons are all forced to watch as the little boy’s heart beats on, but his brain shows no function. It’ll be hours until they officially call him as braindead, but Jaemin knows it’s just a formality. Mr. Singh will eventually have to unplug his four year old son. He will have to play God in the way even doctors - even surgeons - do not. As Dr. Na stares at the monitor, deeply willing for it to say something, anything else, he hears Ra’s laughter in his mind again. 
Jaeeun’s runs parallel to it. 
“I’ll tell the father,” He manages to mumble out, and Jeno, Mark, and Jisung - all looking as stricken as Jaemin feels - look at him in surprise. After all, Ra isn’t Jaemin’s case, though his mother is. Jaemin knows, though, what it’s like to deal with child deaths - he hasn’t had many, and he’s grateful, but he also knows that, as a pediatric surgeon, it’s likely he’s had more than the other three men in the operating room, save for maybe Mark. 
That, and he himself has a child. He thinks it’s best if Mr. Singh receives the news from the person who understands the feeling best - another father. Jaemin’s friends must realize this, because none of them say a word aside from Jisung muttering that they need to close. 
♕ ♕ ♕
You’re waiting outside the OR for what you pray is good news when Jaemin walks out, head hanging. The heavy, heavy sigh that leaves your mouth is impossible to stop, and you feel your heart sink past your feet and through the floor. 
“What was it?” You ask, voice barely audible as he comes to stand next to you against the wall. Neither of you look at each other, both staring straight ahead instead. 
“Braindead.” Jaemin finally manages to get out. It sounds as if it physically pains him to speak, and as he lifts his very obviously shaking hand in front of his face, you understand just how completely affected he is. Without thinking, you reach up to grab his hand in yours. He looks over at you at the same time you turn to see him, and as your eyes meet his, he asks you the damning question. 
“What about his mother?”
The sharp intake of breath you take is enough for him, and Jaemin’s shoulders droop in tandem with him squeezing your hand tightly. He shifts, drawing his hand out of your grasp to instead set his arm over your shoulders, pulling you into his side as he does. There is, for the moment, nobody else in the hallway - Jaemin had been the last one out of his OR, and all other surgeries are ongoing, so everyone is inside a room. 
“We can cry,” He mumbles quietly, hand rubbing your shoulder. His own voice wavers, and you suddenly find it difficult to swallow due to the lump in your throat. “We should cry before we- before we tell Mr. Singh.”
“God,” You choke out, curling on yourself ever-so-slightly. “The poor man. He’s - he’s with his new baby right now, and he hadn’t gotten to see his wife before she went under. Jeno mentioned in passing that Ra had been fine at first when Mr. Singh had seen him. God...”
“It’s not your fault,” Jaemin says, voice low as his hand rubs over your shoulder absentmindedly. “I know you know that it isn’t, but sometimes we feel - just, it isn’t your fault. None of this is your fault, (Name).”
You nod, swallowing the lump in your throat as best you can and reaching up to run your thumb across your cheeks, collecting your tears as you do so. It’s obvious that Jaemin is crying as well, considering the way his shoulders shake, rising and falling with you in his grip. No words are spoken - there’s nothing to say as the both of you cry it out, feeling the loss of people you never had to lose. You cry for Akari, for Ra, for Mr. Singh. A part of you cries for Jaemin. Another part of you cries because you need the catharsis, and the biggest part of you cries because it’s the only way you can respond to such a tragedy in the moment. 
Finally, once you’ve collected yourself as best you can, you glance over at Jaemin and train your gentle gaze on him before speaking. 
“It isn’t yours either.”
“What?” Jaemin shifts his eyes towards you, and you can’t help but notice how red-rimmed they suddenly are. You give him the best reassuring smile you can muster. 
“It isn’t your fault either. None of this is. We’re just the poor bastards that have to take it on, but it isn’t our fault - it isn’t anyone’s but fate’s.” Your voice is weak, but your conviction is strong. It isn’t everyday that you allow yourself to feel the full pain of patient loss, but you find it just a tiny bit easier to shoulder when someone is sharing the burden. 
After a long moment where both of you have bated breath, Jaemin lets out a long, low sigh. 
“Let’s go wash our faces,” He says quietly, drawing his arm away from you. Jaemin tilts his head towards the nearest bathroom, and you nod before pushing yourself off the wall. You lead the way, though Jaemin isn’t far behind. 
There’s no trace of tears on either of your faces when you get up to the NICU, where Mr. Singh - whose name you now know to be Mandeep, upon filling out all of the forms that came with his wife and son - is holding his newborn baby. Upon seeing the two of you file in, eyes empty but hearts full in the worst way possible, he sets his child down, cooing gently at the baby boy with a smile that doesn’t quite reach his eyes. 
He knows - the moment his gaze meets yours, you know he knows. Still, he waits to hear it from the horse’s mouth. 
You’re beaten to it by your colleague, whose words drop from his tongue like an omen before you can even open your mouth. 
Jaemin might have been too early to save the poor man’s wife, and too late to save his son, but he’s at the right place and time to catch Mandeep as he falls to his knees, stuck in a moment he will re-live for the rest of his life. 
♕ ♕ ♕
“Jaeeun’s with Mina and her girlfriend tonight, right?” The words sound more hollow than you mean for them to, but if Jaemin feels this way, he doesn’t let it show on his face. He nods silently, not looking at you as he ties his sneakers’ laces. For a moment, you wonder if the question you’re about to ask is even worth asking. You’ve never seen Jaemin so vulnerable before, and even though he hasn’t shown any signs of emotional pain since crying it out, you know the ache is eating him up on the inside. 
Still, you press on. He’s done the same for you before, after all. Been there for you when you needed him. 
“Come over.” You blurt out, your words unrefined and hastened due to the fact that, thus far, you’re the only one who’s spoken. Neither of you had said anything after departing from Mr. Singh, neither of you had said anything on the walk to the locker room, neither of you had said anything upon changing out of your scrubs and lab coats. It’s uncharacteristic for Jaemin to be so quiet, and you’d be lying if you said his silence didn’t bother you. Just because it’s understandable and justified doesn’t mean that it makes you any less nervous. 
“Huh?” Jaemin asks, finally looking at you. His eyes are dark, unreadable, and the bags underneath them are telling. You glance away, wary of their sad intensity, before steeling yourself and making eye contact with him. He’s waiting patiently for you to explain yourself. 
“Come over,” You repeat, shutting your locker door. “Drive yourself to my place, and you can come inside, have wine, and talk about life. You deserve it. That, and I’m worried that going home to an empty house isn’t what’s best for you right now. Before you even try to argue - it isn’t what’s best for me, either.”  
“Your house isn’t empty,” Jaemin responds, though the slight quirk at the corner of his lips - one that disappears as soon as it appears - tells you that he’s easily swayed by your reasoning. “You have Goldilocks.”
“My fish isn’t much of a talker,” You throw back easily, and Jaemin really does crack a slight smile this time. He shuts his own locker, following suit after you.  
“Don’t know how much of one I’ll be, either,” He admits, and the sadness in his eyes seems to double. Still, something is keeping him from retreating into himself, and you’re thankful for it. Jaemin already has your address, so you have nothing else to speak to him about as the two of you exit the room and, eventually, the hospital in silence. Jaemin affords you a quiet ‘see you soon’ once he leaves you at your car - his is across the parking lot. 
Your drive home is quiet, and you try to avoid how stifled you feel alone - how stifled you feel without Jaemin by your side. To your surprise, he’s already parked out front and standing on your front porch by the time you get to your own house - you make a mental note of asking him what route he’d taken. He waves at you as you pull into your driveway, and the genuineness in his grin makes your heart jump.
For a moment, you feel awful at the adoration you feel for Jaemin - how can you have happiness when, not an hour earlier, you’d told a man the two loves of his life were gone? You’d had to take Mandeep to Ra’s bedside, had to lay out the grieving father’s options while gently letting him know that the earlier the plug is pulled, the more viable the boy’s organs are for donation. Both you and Jaemin had watched silently from the corner of the room as Mandeep said his teary goodbyes, as he asked Ra to take care of his mother in whatever came beyond. Finally, you’d taken the young boy off of life support - refusing Jaemin the ability to do so in private - and watched the life drain out of him for good. 
A quiet rap against your car window pulls you out of your sorrowful trance, and you quickly morph your expression into a smile before looking up at Jaemin, whose eyes show concern even as his lips curl into a grin. He’s trying not to let today get to him for your case - you should afford him the same grace. You park your car, reaching over to grab your purse before Jaemin pulls open your door, ushering you out. 
“I have that totally awful red wine you love,” Is the first thing you say, not bothering to preface your statement with anything. Jaemin chuckles at this, waiting for you to shut your door and lock your car before following you inside your house. 
“It’s not even that bad,” He objects, though you let him know your opinion with a well-timed eyebrow raise that’s balanced exquisitely between incredulity and teasing. Jaemin locks your front door behind him, placing his shoes beside your own before letting his jacket slide down his shoulders. You hand him your own coat, grateful smile adorning your face as he hangs both of your outerwear on your coat rack.
There’s something familiar about the way the two of you exist around each other. 
“Sit,” You say, gesturing to one of the couches in your living room as both of you walk into it, not finding anything else to really discuss. Goldilocks’ tank is on top of a low bookshelf against one of the walls, and Jaemin only stands and watches as you feed your fish a few pellets and make sure its tank is clean.
You notice that he hasn’t sat down, but you say nothing about it. 
“This is awkward,” Jaemin voices out loud just as you straighten your posture, looking from Goldilocks to your friend. He sports a sheepish smile, and you can’t help but return it.
“It’s only awkward if we make it awkward, and, besides, it isn’t like you haven’t been to my house before. I have leftover chicken in the fridge, by the way, if you’d like. Haven’t cooked much this week, if I’m being honest.” By the time you’re done speaking, you’re definitely coming off a bit prattle-y, but you find it hard to stop. The endeared look Jaemin gives you alone manages to keep you from flushing in embarrassment, and he nods in agreement with everything you’ve said. Before you can keep telling him his - not very varied, you must admit - food options, Jaemin beats you to speaking, already looking just a bit more relaxed than he had been earlier. 
“If this is the first time I’ve ever been awkward around you, I think we’re doing pretty good.” He notes, and you hum in agreement, your own smile starting to reach your eyes. It fades just slightly, though, as you look at your friend: maybe you do need to bring up the elephant in the room. 
“Do you…” You start, trailing off when you find that you’re unsure of what you want to ask him. 
“I don’t want to talk about it,” Jaemin responds, and your shoulders relax at how he knows exactly what you’re about to say. “I’m guessing you don’t either.” 
“We’ve already lived through it once, we don’t need to do it again,” You concur. “Chicken?”
“... What do you have in your fridge?” 
♕ ♕ ♕
“You know, if you’d have mentioned a craving for ramen earlier, I would’ve made you some,” You let Jaemin know from where you’re sitting on the couch - same spot you’ve been in for an hour now, - face flushing slightly as he only looks at you to raise an eyebrow in questioning. “I’m serious! I can cook.”
“I can probably cook better,” The houseguest manning your stove responds, his self-assured smirk both annoying and appealing at once. “Besides, you’ve been grouching about how you could’ve cooked for me but haven’t actually helped me with cooking for the past-” He darts his eyes over to the time on the microwave. “-50 minutes.”
“... You looked like you had a handle on everything.” The words are more whiny and sheepish than you’d like for them to be, but Jaemin just finds this amusing, laughing at your expense as he turns off your bottom left burner and then turns off the overhead light. 
“Because I do.” He says, and you push yourself off of the couch with both hands to stand up. “Don’t beat yourself up too much - you did get the chicken from the fridge for me earlier. Where do you keep your plates?”
“We can eat straight out of the pot,” The gesture you make with your hand is flippant, and Jaemin suddenly feels foolish for considering doing anything else. “As long as you don’t mind eating near the stove, of course. No need to wash extra dishes, you know?” 
He does know - it’s just been a while. Every parenting book he’s ever read mentions ‘emulating functioning members of society for your children’, so it’s been four years of dinners on plastic Dora the Explorer plates and hours spent scrubbing questionable things off of dishes because he doesn’t trust the dishwasher to do its job. You’re waiting expectantly for his verdict - he is today’s star Chef, after all - and the elated grin that splits your face when he finally nods is one he wishes he could imprint into his mind. 
“I’ll pour the wine,” You tell him, already halfway to setting two glasses and a bottle down on the counter beside the stovetop as you speak. “Where did you learn how to cook so well? Med school honestly robbed me of, like, 50% of the cooking ability I was meant to have.”
“I was straight up useless at cooking anything before I had Eunnie,” Jaemin responds, taking the half full wine glass you’re reaching out to him with. The way he casually slips in his daughter’s nickname doesn’t escape you, as doesn’t the sudden fondness in his eyes. “Had to figure out how to fend for her real quick. That, and I didn’t want her to grow up too picky, so we eat everything… or almost everything. Mina cooked a lot for us at the beginning, though, what with being in culinary school and all. I think I only got the hang of it past the baby food stage.”
You’re lucky your cutlery drawer is close to your stove, as you find yourself not wanting to be too far from Jaemin at any point in time. He graciously accepts the utensils you hand him before standing aside, waiting for you to take the first forkful of ramen. It’s only once you’ve given him a satisfactory reaction - eyes closed, soft ‘mmm’ falling from your lips, a picture he’s imagined before but not quite in this setting - that he digs in as well, expertly scooping up part of a sunny side up egg, a mushroom, and plenty of ramen in one go before shoveling it all - albeit daintily - into his mouth. 
“You’re lucky to have such a close sister,” You point out between bites of ramen and sips of wine, doing your best to make small talk. The atmosphere isn’t awkward anymore - rather, it’s quite comfortable now - and you’re glad to be able to relax after such a godawful day.
“Hmm?” Jaemin asks, befuddled gaze meeting your own. 
“Mina?” You prod, covering your mouth as you speak around a bit of mushroom. “She’s a good sister and a good aunt.”
“Oh!” Jaemin laughs, sounding slightly shocked, fork hovering between the pot and his mouth with noodles hanging precariously off it. He allows himself to finish off his forkful before speaking. “I forgot that I never told you. Mina isn’t my sister - she’s my ex’s.” 
“Oh - oh!” It’s your turn to make an exclamation, face suddenly burning. “Shit, I’m sorry - I shouldn’t have assumed. Sorry, that’s my bad -”
“It’s okay, honest mistake,” Jaemin interrupts, quick to reassure you. The glass beside him is empty, and he reaches for the bottle at the same time you go to hand it to him. You ignore how his fingers brush against yours - I’m not in high school, damn it, get it together! - and instead turn back to the wine you’ve been nursing, not quite sure what to say after your blunder. Thankfully, Jaemin seems none-too-offended, only continuing to defend you to yourself. “If Eun’s mom isn’t in the picture, nobody would expect that her mom’s sister would be.”
“Still…” You trail off, wincing. There’s nothing more for you to say. Fortunately, Jaemin seems to feel as if he owes you something for making you feel conscious in your own home, and, for the first time since his breakup with Maria, he offers up information about her. He isn’t sure if it’s because he has wine in him, or it’s one hundred percent because it’s you he’s speaking to.
He does know that he would only do this for you, only bring up his old pain to alleviate even your smallest embarrassment. The realization makes his heartstrings contract. 
“Maria and I didn’t mean to have a kid - we were actually in the middle of breaking up when she told me she was pregnant. She worked in accounting at MassGen, and we dated on and off while I was a resident and then again when I finally became a legitimate surgeon there. When we realized Jaeeun - the ball of cells that would become Jaeeun, I mean - was an inevitability, it… it made our relationship stronger, actually. For a while, I thought we were going to make it.” 
Jaemin sighs, looking down at his alcohol before looking up again, only to stare straight at the wall behind the pot of ramen. You say nothing, only waiting with bated breath. 
“About two months after Jaeeun was born, I came home to Mina sitting in my living room holding my daughter. She was visibly confused, asking if I knew where Maria was - she hadn’t told Mina when she’d be back. That’s when I knew. Went looking and found a note in my bedside table’s top drawer saying she couldn’t do it, and that she’d gotten a job in another state and booked it out of our lives on a flight that had left a couple hours earlier. Told me to apologize to her sister for her, and that she’d be in touch with Mina but probably not with me. Didn’t say a word about Jaeeun. Haven’t heard from her since.”
A silence settles between the two of you right after he gets the last sentence out, sounding as if he’s lost steam by the end of his spiel. Jaemin is poised as ever, of course he is, but you know he’s frazzled by the way he takes a gulp of his wine instead of sipping. It isn’t your fault - he’d spoken of his own volition - but you still scramble to bring his mood back up, not wanting either of you to end the night upset. You settle for asking questions, if only to keep him talking. 
You close the bottle of red wine before either of you can go for a third glass, though. Jaemin had driven to your place. 
“It’s good that you and Mina are both in the same place again now, too. Did you both choose to move here?” Your voice is soft, inquisitive, and Jaemin realizes that you’re genuinely interested in what he has to say. It’s a first for him, he feels. You’re a first for him.
“Both her and her partner got relocated here, and after talking to Mina about it we figured I should job search here, too. Neo City actually reached out to me first, and pretty much hired me over the phone before saying we needed to have an in-person interview for paperwork purposes. Got a job, bought a house, found a good preschool… all within a few months. I still think it’s the best decision I’ve made in a long time. Mina’s a good aunt, takes care of Jaeeun when I can’t - like, this past week, Eunnie had a pretty bad headache one day while I was at work and Mina took a day off to take care of her. It’s a good decision for Jaeeun… and, selfishly, for myself too.”
“It isn’t selfish to need a couple hours away from everything while your daughter is in the hands of someone you trust,” The reminder you give him is gentle, and the smile he shoots you in response is brilliant. 
“I know. I meant that it’s selfish because I got to meet you.”
Your reaction is instantaneous: jaw drops imperceptibly, hands freeze, shoulders tense. Opposite you, Jaemin’s eyes widen as he realizes what he’s just said.
“I mean the general ‘you’, of course,” Jaemin hurriedly rectifies the situation he’s put himself in, and he watches as your shoulders slump in relief. He’s sure he imagines the slight disappointment in your eyes.
“Of course,” You reply, nodding your head on reflex. “Now, let’s go sit,” If Jaemin notices you’re sudden hastening, he says nothing. “I’m getting tired of standing around.”
“And I’m getting tired of talking about myself,” Jaemin quips, following you out to the living room before settling down opposite you on one couch. “I don’t know enough about your dark and jaded past.” He teases, causing you to roll your eyes before taking another sip of the dwindling amount in your wine glass.
“Well… It all started when I was born - ow, Jaemin, don’t throw my own pillows at m- fine, fine!” You giggle, fending off another softly tossed pillow from the man in front of you before acquiescing. “What do you want to know?”
Jaemin sets his now-empty wine glass down on the nearest coaster on the coffee table before hugging a throw pillow close to his chest and leaning in towards you, his gaze catching yours. Even though the smile playing on his lips is teasing, there’s something truly earnest in his eyes. It’s why you know that he means exactly what he says when he responds to you. 
“Everything,” Jaemin begins, words softer than expected as his eyes lock on yours. He doesn’t know that this moment is pivotal for him, that hearing you talk about your childhood pets and your teenage antics with your friends will make him fall even harder for you. He doesn’t know the emotional clusterfuck he’s about to get the two of you into, and, worse, how Jaeeun ties into all of it. In the moment, all he sees is you - you and your kind eyes and bright smile. Jaemin can’t see the future, and he’s lucky for it. Ignorance is bliss. He continues, delving deeper into a hole he’s going to build for himself. 
“I want to know everything about you.”
link to part 2 here
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stealerz · a year ago
Text
walkin’ in time ▫ sangyeon
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➳ pairing: single dad!sangyeon x female kindergarten teacher!reader
➳ genre: fluff, angst, single dad!au, kindergarten teacher!au
➳ warnings: mentions of divorce
➳ word count: 11.6k
➳ fic playlist: walkin’ in time - the boyz | run away - txt | memories - sabai | full of life - fairlane | 8 letters - why don’t we | this feeling - the chainsmokers ft. kelsea ballerini | red - taylor swift
➳ special thanks: @fullsunsays​​ for helping me to proofread and offering her invaluable opinions when this fic was still halfway done + @ateez-little-star​​ who i have cameoed in this fic for being such a sweet mutual and a lovely friend of mine here on tumblr!
a/n : only semi edited!
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“Goodbye, Miss y/n!”
You flashed Sungchan a warm smile despite the tired look in your eyes and your less-than-presentable appearance with your messy, tousled hair and paint splattered clothes from a long day at the kindergarten. The boy flashed a toothy grin at you as he held onto his mother’s hand, tottering away cheerfully and at the corner of your eye, you caught Chanhee looking at you with admiration in his expression.
“Wow, the kids sure do like you a lot. Much more than the rest of us for sure.”
You felt your cheeks grow hot at the compliment as you lowered your head shyly. You are not one to be used to receiving compliments but ever since you started your job here at Sunny Hearts Kindergarten, it seemed as if everyone had nothing but praise for your performance - both parents, fellow teachers and students alike. Since you were a high schooler, you had always known that you loved working with children. There was just something about the little ones with their bright smiles and lively mannerisms that warmed your heart. To be able to be in a job that allowed you to light up the lives of the future generation and possibly make an everlasting impact in their educational journey, it all felt extremely exciting to you.  
“Thanks, Chanhee.” You said softly, a sweet smile gracing your face. Just then, you became briefly aware of a presence lingering behind you and you swivelled around to see Jeno, a doe-eyed boy from your art class. Instantly, you could tell that there was something wrong. His eyes were red and you could tell that the polo tee he wore was tear-stained and you could vaguely hear light sniffling from him. He tugged nervously at your skirt and you knelt down until you were level with him.
“Hey buddy, why are you crying?” You asked in a concerned voice, ruffling his soft hair lightly.
He lifted his head tentatively, peering at you from beneath his eyelashes where a stray teardrop hung and you very gently rubbed it away as he remained silent as though he was too shy or upset to speak. Looking around, Jeno’s eyes swept the room and you realised what was going on. The lobby was almost empty by now with all the cubicles for the children’s bags all emptied and shoes from the shoe cabinet all gone. The sky was darkening with every second as a low, eerie rumbling sound came with a looming patch of dark clouds. The familiar sounds of chatters and laughter had completely disappeared by now only to be replaced by a lonely, deafening silence. With a backpack that was clearly too large for him, Jeno’s shoulders were slumped over and his expression drooped sadly, causing your heart to ache for him.
“It’s ok, your daddy will be here really soon! He’s probably just busy but he’ll be here.” You coaxed, holding and rubbing his tiny hands in yours and feeling the tension dissipate slightly from his being.
Beside you, Chanhee shook his head in disapproval, tutting.
“The man is always late.”
You didn’t say anything in return as you bite down on your lower lip, unsure of what to say. You knew that Jeno’s father was a busy man and the times you had actually been able to meet him in person, he looked exactly like a man overworked in his office job. Lee Sangyeon was almost always late to any parent teacher meeting or closing time, sometimes even entirely failing to show up as evident from the times when Jeno’s grandmother showed up instead. The few times you had seen him, he had bags under his eyes and had an unkempt appearance with a mangled tie and wrinkled office shirt almost every single time. As a single father, it was obvious to everyone how hard he worked just by the way he looked so deeply exhausted yet so alert for the next call from his office. There had been quite a number of times when Sangyeon had had to excuse himself just to take a call in the middle of fetching Jeno.
Although you try to keep your work separate from your personal feelings, you had to admit that many times, you had felt your heart beat just a tad too quickly whenever you did see Sangyeon. From the way his smile would grow wider and the way his eyes lit up whenever he came to pick up his son on the few occasions he did, anyone could tell he loved and adored his son very much. It was the sort of look you saw on a man that would do simply anything for his child. With his dashing good looks and the air of a mature, responsible working man, Sangyeon was also quite easily sometimes the subject of gossip among the mothers though he did not seem to have noticed it.  You didn’t blame them, you too found him deeply attractive. If anything, the years did a good number on him.
You swallowed thickly.
You never told anyone at work about this but you had known Sangyeon back in high school when he was a senior and you, a freshman. Even back then, he had his good looks and was easily one of the most popular boys in school with his exceptional talent in the sport of volleyball and stellar grades. In a way, he felt almost untouchable and so deeply out of reach to everyone besides his own group of friends. That cheerful smile of his would light up any classroom and field he walked into and both the student body and teaching staff alike adored him for him. The boys used to want to hang out with him while the girls used to send him love letters every other day. You on the hand, kept mostly to yourself. With very little friends, life in high school was quiet and uneventful yet you would never forget the way Sangyeon made you feel. He was after all your very first love… As much as you hated to admit it.
You gritted your teeth at the memory. No, it won’t do to bring up past grievances.
All you could be thankful for was that since Sangyeon was a couple years older than you were, it meant that he had graduated earlier than you did. Not seeing his face around school was probably the better part of your high school years. With how busy school was, it wasn’t very long before you found yourself pushing him out of your mind but somehow at the back of your mind, you knew he always did claim a part of your heart for himself… Even as those memories continued to linger as well.
So imagine your shock when you first saw him a little over a year ago at the gates of the kindergarten you worked at. It felt weird seeing him again but at the same time, you could stop the warm, soft feeling of excitement coursing through your veins. It was like clockwork, the same sensations you felt all those years ago coming back - the fast pounding of your heart and the growing heat in your cheeks. Yet right after, there was that sense of dread that came back stronger than ever, sort of like a bad aftertaste. With the good memories, also came the bad memories from back then and just seeing him in the flesh after so many years was enough to break open the dam and allow these memories to come rushing back. Tried as you might to block them out, it wasn’t easy but you managed to keep your personal feelings at bay.
When you found out later that he was divorced, you couldn’t help but feel a jolt of happiness in you which you quickly stifled, shocked at yourself. Somehow it felt wrong to still harbour feelings for him but you tried your best to convince yourself that those were just because of your memories from high school. You probably don’t actually still have feelings for him… Or do you?
Shaking your head, you decided you weren’t going to think about it despite the growing anticipation in your heart as you turned your attention back to little Jeno. It wasn’t like Sangyeon remembered you anyways - He didn’t mention a single thing when the two of you met.
Quickly, you reached into your back pocket and drew out a toffee candy. You always had some at hand, both as a snack and for cheering up the children whenever they were upset. It worked almost instantaneously and you watched as Jeno lit up, his cheeks turning rosier by the second as he smiled brightly at you before grabbing the sweet. Maybe it wasn’t really a good thing, to always cheer your students up with sweets since it could cause cavities but you knew Jeno loved them and he looked so sad that you just couldn’t bear to leave him be.
“Hey, y/n?”
“Yeah?” You turned to Chanhee and immediately frowned when you saw the expression on his face. “What is it?”
Chanhee shuffled uncomfortably on his feet, his hands fiddling with the keys as he cast you a sheepish look. In his other hand, he held his phone and as he waved it awkwardly at you, you could only sigh in resignation.
“Your wife?”
Chanhee’s face grew slightly pink as he scratched the back of his neck awkwardly, his eyes looking everywhere but you.
“Y-yeah… Duty calls. She’s forgotten her keys again so I have to go home and open it for her.”
You peered outside at the darkening sky and little Jeno perched comfortably on the stool, sucking lightly at the toffee sweet in his mouth as he watched with a child-like interest at an ant trailing across the floor. Glancing at the clock, you decided maybe this week’s episode of ‘The Stealer House’ (which was your all time favourite show) could wait. After all, you could always ask for updates from your best friend, Jasmine.
“Alright. Go on, I’ll lock up.” You smiled, extending your hand.
“Thanks, y/n! You’re a lifesaver! Coffee. On me. Tomorrow. I’ll see you!” Chanhee said gratefully, slinging on his messenger bag before making a beeline for his car.
As Chanhee drove off, you and Jeno could only sit and watch as the first drops of the evening rain began to fall upon the earth in soft pattering sounds. You sighed deeply. The rainy season was here. Over the past few weeks, there have been downpours after downpours. At first, they happened on alternate days before it became more and more frequent. It had rained earlier this morning but it seemed as if it might start again any time soon.
A short moment of silence befell as you simply sat next to Jeno, who fiddled with his tiny fingers as his legs dangled above the ground from the stool.
“Well, would you like to do anything before your daddy comes?” You asked good-naturedly, peering down at him.
Jeno turned to look at you, his eyes big and bright.
“More candy!”
You chuckled softly, shaking your head.
“Too much candy isn’t good for you, Jeno. Plus, your daddy will get upset if you get a toothache because of it.”
Jeno pouted, huffing a little as he turned away, swinging his legs.
“I wish I could eat as much candy as I want without getting a toothache.” He murmured petulantly.
“Same, Jeno. Same here.” You smiled before a sharp knock on the door caused the two of you to look up.
Sangyeon was standing outside, absolutely drenched from head to toe, his hair clinging onto his face and neck in wet strands. The white collared office shirt he wore was absolutely soaked and clung on uncomfortably to his skin, the rainwater still dripping from the ends of his hair and clothes. His hand which held his briefcase was shaking and you could see his chest heaving up and down as he trembled ever so slightly from the cold.
“I’m… I’m here.” He panted, his voice shaking as the chilly wind bit harshly through his freezing skin and into his bones.
“Oh my god!” You exclaimed, eyes wide with alarm as you rushed over and immediately opened the door. Upon entering, Sangyeon collapsed in the tiny stool which was sitting by the door, the wooden material creaking slightly under his full weight. His face was pale and you could tell that he had ran the entire way here under the unforgiving, violent storm outside. Quickly, you hurried into the locker room, throwing open the towel cupboards.  Frowning, you rummaged through the piles of fabric until you found one large enough for him. Rushing back, you handed Sangyeon the towel, which he accepted gratefully through chattering teeth. Amidst the commotion, Jeno could only sit and stare blankly at his father.
“D- Daddy?” He said, confusion in his expression. Jeno had never seen his father in such a bad state before even when he was really sick so this was all very worrying for the little boy.
“Hey, l- l- little guy. Sorry… Daddy… W- was a little l-l- late.” Sangyeon stuttered, still reeling from the cold but trying to keep up a strong front as he plastered on a weak smile.
“Do you need something hot to drink?” You asked, concerned. Your heart skipped a beat as Sangyeon looked up at you, his eyes dark yet unintentionally intense. He smiled softly at you despite the cold that racked his body.
“T-That will n-not be necessary. I j-j- just need to s-sit for a m-moment,” he said before continuing, “D- Do you mind?”
“No, I don’t. Please take all the time you need. The storm out there is insane, I’m sorry you had to go through that. I noticed you didn’t drive over today?”
Sangyeon shook his head, looking down.
“Some people borrowed our car! Daddy said they will return it to us soon.” Jeno piped up, a huge smile on his face as though announcing an exciting piece of news. “They had a really cool robot like a fishing rod-”
“Jeno!” Sangyeon scolded and the colour on his cheek returned. Jeno stopped mid sentence, his face crumpling ever so slightly. You looked on, flustered.
“It’s fine! I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have asked.  I um… I’ll get you a mug of hot tea anyways, it helps with the cold.” You said, waving your hands in front of you frantically before running off to the kitchen.
As you waited for the kettle to reach a boil, you found your mind drifting to what happened earlier. Did their car get towed? Why? Sangyeon didn’t seem too happy when Jeno mentioned it… Was it because they could no longer afford it? The loud squeaking of the kettle shook you from your reverie and you hurriedly prepared the tea.
“Thanks.” Sangyeon mumbled, receiving the mug with both hands. He looked considerably better than he did earlier, having stopped shivering and the colour returning to his face and hands. You couldn’t help but realise how large his hands were as you handed him the mug of hot tea and when his finger lightly grazed against yours, you almost withdrew instantly which would have sent the mug crashing. Handing Jeno a small packet of banana milk, you sat opposite the father-son duo and stared out at the rain which hadn’t eased up at all. At this rate, neither of you would be able to go home. The wind outside was so strong that the trees looked dangerously close to snapping and the number of times a flash of lightning zapped across the sky was terrifying.
You turned to look at the clock.
7:06pm.
Usually, you would have been on the way home if not for the rain. You were so transfixed at the clock that you failed to notice Sangyeon staring at you.
“Do you have to be somewhere?”
You jumped, looking a little frazzled, not expecting him to strike up a conversation at all.
“Um, no. I don’t.” You forced a smile despite your nerves which were kicking in.
“Oh.” He said quietly as he took another tentative sip of his tea.
“How’s the tea?” You smiled, lacing your fingers together. The awkwardness in the room was almost suffocating and you would have given anything to get yourself out of this situation. It didn’t help that you found the man sitting across from you so deeply and hauntingly attractive even if he looked as if he just went through some sort of hell with his scruffy appearance. The all too familiar melty sensation from high school was coming back and you had to hold yourself back from relieving those teenage girl tendencies.
Get a grip, y/n.
“It’s pretty good. You make really nice tea.” He smiled, his eyes crinkling into crescents and you felt your chest tighten.
“Doesn’t look like the rain is going to stop soon.”
The carpark lot outside was practically mildly flooded with rainwater while dark clouds continued to loom over the earth outside. It would be impossible to venture outside without getting completely soaked even if one had an umbrella or raincoat on. The nearest bus stop and subway station was about a good 20 minute walk away and that was on an ordinary day. With the rain outside coming down so relentlessly, it would likely take more than 45 minutes.
“Yeah… If only I had a car.” You said, only to immediately regret it. Sangyeon’s eyes darkened and he sank into his seat.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to-”
“It’s fine, please don’t apologise.” He replied in a kind manner, though he wouldn't meet your eyes out of embarrassment. “We… Couldn’t afford it anymore. You know… The um, road taxes are getting pricier and pricier. If only I still had the car, I could have sent you home. Instead, you’re stuck here with me and Jeno. I’m sorry for coming so late, I should have planned my time better...”
“Ah, please do not apologise! It’s ok, I understand it completely!” You spluttered, feeling anxious. It was odd to see him so down and come to think of it, it was probably the most emotion and actual conversation you had gotten out of him since the first time you’d seen him again here at the kindergarten. Even then, it wasn’t the kind of emotion or type of conversation you had envisioned having with him and you disliked seeing him like this. In a way, it also struck you that the Sangyeon that was sitting in front of you was different from the one you knew back in high school.
The Sangyeon now seemed much more guarded, defensive yet weirdly… Mature. It was like he grew up and experienced so much more of adulthood than most would at his age. At 28, many guys his age would still be enjoying the remaining years of their supposed youthful years - going to clubs, travelling with friends and going on dating sprees. Yet here he was, having married young, had a son and then divorced all before he even hit 30. It was definitely surprising to know that this was the very same guy that everyone in high school thought had it all going for him. As the school’s star volleyball player and captain of the school team when you both were still students, most were willing to bet that he would be signed by a major sports league of sorts but it never happened. Instead, he went to university to study accountancy and met his now ex-wife which he had clearly divorced. The Sangyeon in high school was exuberant, outgoing and full of life. You distinctively remembered how the two of you had crossed paths the very first time in school.
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“Can’t we just go another time?” You whined to your best friend, Jasmine who dragged you by the wrist down the corridor.
Swivelling around to look at you with an indignant expression on her face, Jasmine rolled her eyes before smirking. Her hair flowed gracefully behind her as the two of you glided down the hallways, much to the confusion of some who watched the two of you pass.
“Nope. You won’t regret this, trust me.” She winked.
“What about volleyball could possibly be more interesting than watching my favourite twitch streamers play Minecraft and Pokémon, the two greatest games ever created?”
Jasmine stopped short, her mouth hanging open.
“You can’t be serious.”
“I am.” You replied huffily. “If you don’t mind, I’m going back to my laptop.”
“Oh no, you’re not. You’re a teenage girl. It’s not everyday you get to live your teenage years so you’re coming with me!” She snapped, grabbing you and running down the stairs. You tried to keep pace with her, your feet moving quickly in line with hers so you wouldn’t fall and break your neck or something. Sometimes, you forgot how unfit you were as you struggled to catch your breath. Maybe it was time to stop bingeing YouTube and those delicious chocolate bars you have stashed under your bed so your mother wouldn’t find them.
As you guys entered the volleyball court, you could see crowds of students from all grades cheering from the bleachers, some with banners in their hands and others with inflatable plastic sticks and their phones to document the ongoing match. It was the start of the sports season in schools and on this particular afternoon, the volleyball team was supposed to have their very first preliminary match against another school from downtown. The atmosphere was chaotic with the sound screaming and cheering almost deafening you. The thumping of trainers against the waxed wooden floor was irritating your ears and the huge scoreboard on the wall above felt intimidating with its large flashing red numbers counting down the match. The players in the court were so involved in their game that not once did any of them look up to check the timing, their eyes all firmly trained on the ball as they hurried to serve. Nobody seemed to notice you and Jasmine either as the two of you took your places at the side of bleachers.
Everything was moving so quickly that you didn’t even know what was going on exactly. To be honest, you didn’t have a clue which team you were supposed to root for either. Are the guys wearing the white jersey shirts the ones from the school’s volleyball team? Or was it the ones in red and black? It was all very confusing. Nevertheless, it took almost no time for you to get bored out of your mind. Your head was pounding from the loud noises that surrounded you and you wanted so desperately to go back to the tranquility of your homeroom. You didn’t understand volleyball either which meant that nothing really made sense to you.
Looking at Jasmine, you could see that she was engrossed in the game. Following her eyes, you held back a chuckle at you realised who she had her sights on. Of course, it was Younghoon. You must have heard her gush over the volleyball team’s vice captain over a million times by now. Even as someone who abhorred sports and never kept up with the sports news in school, you knew Younghoon simply because of how many times she had talked about him. You could understand why she would though. There was no denying that he was an attractive guy, with shiny raven hair and a firm stance that exuded coolness. However, you had other things on your mind. Like Minecraft… And Pokémon.
Quietly, you inched away, careful not to alert her. You were so close to the double doors when you suddenly felt an ominous feeling strike you. It took you a split second to turn around and see a ball hurtling towards you at about a million miles per hour.
THUMP!
You felt yourself fall down onto the floor, your head throbbing. Your vision was blurring up and you could feel the dizziness set in as the court gasped collectively. You felt your cheeks heating up. How embarrassing! You could vaguely hear a woman (most likely a medic) ask you how you were feeling but you couldn’t get yourself to focus. All you wanted to do was get up and remove yourself from this humiliating situation.
“I am so sorry, are you okay?”
Suddenly, you became briefly aware of a strong, rough hand gripping onto your forearm firmly but gently. The touch felt soothing and it sent a jolt of electricity down your spine and immediately you snapped your head to look up at the owner of the voice. What you saw, made the words at the back of your throat hitch.
Never in your life have you ever come face to face with such a handsome face. His coffee brown hair cascaded in soft locks over his dark eyes and as he knelt down to help you, you felt your breath hitch. Was it even possible for a guy’s lips to look that… Soft? The red and black jersey fit him perfectly and the sleeveless cutting brought out the muscle definition of his arms and you could feel yourself getting shy. It wasn’t long before mortification set in. You must look like a complete idiot in front of him!
Instantly, you reeled back as if burned, withdrawing your hand away from him. He stiffened, his eyes widening in surprise. The medic tutted, shaking her head at Sangyeon.
“She needs space. I’ll take care of her, you go and play your match, be more careful while you’re at it!” She snapped and Sangyeon took a tentative step back, a sheepish expression on his face and uncertainty in those dark eyes. You could sense the hesitation as he debilitated whether to help or not.
“Hey, Lee Sangyeon! Get back in there! The girl will be fine!” A portly man screamed at him from the sidelines, most likely his coach.
“Sangyeon.” You mumbled his name under his breath. You had heard his name only in passing, sometimes Jasmine would go on about the volleyball team and at times, you’d heard her mention that very name. This guy was the volleyball team’s captain?
Sangyeon turned back to you, an uncomfortable look on his face as he mouthed the words ‘I’m sorry’ before bolting back into the court and to his teammates who patted him reassuringly on the back and casted you looks of guilt.
“Oh my god, y/n! Are you feeling alright?” Jasmine hurried over, her brows furrowing together with worry.
“Y-yeah… I’m good.” You could only reply dumbly, your sights still fixed on the boy who had most certainly captured your heart for his own.
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Ever since that day, you remembered how you would always run down to the volleyball court with Jasmine even without her asking. It was real funny how just a single gaze could have you so smitten with someone. When you did see him playing, you would try to make yourself comfortable at the bleachers, trying not to look too conspicuous. In the hallways, you would run the other way whenever you saw him but peek around the corner just to catch a glimpse. It was all a very new feeling to you, the exhilaration and nervousness you would feel whenever you saw him around school. Sure, you still loved Minecraft and Pokémon but there was something about Sangyeon that made you feel some type of way. It was like the warm feeling in your chest you’d get on a cold, winter morning when you sit by a fireplace with a mug of hot chocolate in your hands. It was like the feeling of momentary happiness you would get when you win a prize at the claw machine. It was like the slight tingle you would get when you experience static.
It was your first love.
Maybe it was love at first sight then. Cupid had finally pulled its arrow on you. Suddenly, it seemed as though everything about Sangyeon was interesting to you. You would perk up whenever you heard his name in a conversation and when you saw him, you couldn’t even hide the bashfulness in your expression. Smart and caring, he was perfect. Many people seemed to have thought the same, what with his insane popularity in school. He was always surrounded by people that it made it difficult for people like you to even get close or attempt to befriend him.
“...Y/n? Are you alright?”
You snapped out of your thoughts as Sangyeon waved a hand in front of you, trying to get your attention.
“Sorry! What were you saying?” You asked, embarrassed at having gone off on a daze like that. Sangyeon regarded you with curiosity, a little unsure of what to make of you.
“Um, nothing much. You just stared off into space.” He said slowly. Beside him, Jeno was fast asleep with his mouth slightly ajar and a bit of drool leaking from his lips to his shirt.
“Oh, he’s asleep!”
Hurriedly, you took off the cardigan you were wearing and placed it gently over the boy’s sleeping form. There was an unexplainable look in Sangyeon’s eyes as you did but he remained silent.
“I… Sorry, I guess I’ve just been thinking about some stuff.” You smiled, feeling the nerves kicking in. Sangyeon raised an eyebrow, holding the hot mug of tea closer to himself. The rain outside was still as violent as ever and it didn’t look as if it would be easing up anytime soon. A beam tugged at the corner of his lips.
“Well, would you like to talk about it?”
Looking at that smile that made your heart flutter, it was almost laughable how he had almost no idea the effect he was having on you. Quite honestly, you surprised yourself with all these emotions that were now bubbling up once again. In a way, you didn’t think you still had it in you but your crush on Sangyeon even from all those years ago must have had a huge impact on you. Your heart was picking up its pace and if you weren’t careful, he might be able to hear it. Sensing your apprehension, his smile dropped.
“Sorry, I must have crossed the line. I was just trying to make conversation.”
“Ah, no. You haven’t. I just… It’s something very personal to me.” You mumbled under your breath and Sangyeon nodded weakly.
“I understand.”
At that moment, he let out a large sneeze and very nearly tipped the tea he had in the mug. His nose was becoming redder by the minute and it was clear that he was close to catching a cold.
“Are you alright?” You asked, reaching forward and placing a hand on his shoulder.
Sangyeon waved his hand, looking slightly embarrassed.
“I’ll be fine.”
It was at that moment the both of you became aware of your hand on his shoulder and just how close your proximity was. Your hair was just brushing against his face and your lips were mere inches away. His eyes seemed to hold entire galaxies, bright and luminous as they were, especially so under the dim lighting while the storm raged outside.
Quickly, you leaped back and he cleared his throat awkwardly, his eyes looking everywhere but you. You could feel the heat rapidly rising up to your cheeks and you could feel your words getting stuck at the back of your throat, unsure of what to say. That was when you noticed that the office shirt Sangyeon was wearing was still sticking uncomfortably to him, the wet and cold fabric causing him to shiver ever so slightly. You briefly remembered Chanhee stocking up some extra shirts, towels and slacks for the staff just the other day when a painting class went out of hand.
‘For convenience’s sake’, he had said when questioned. At that time, you had laughed at him for being too cautious and overreacting. To think they could actually come in handy now was extremely ironic, though it might not have been for the situation you had in mind.
“We have some extra shirts and pants in the storeroom if you need. The shower is just right there.” You said softly, still feeling a little rattled from what happened earlier.
Snapping his head up, Sangyeon wrinkled his nose.
“You have extra shirts and pants here? Of my size?”
“Um yeah, one of the teachers thought to buy some cheap ones when we had an unfortunate painting incident  the other day. We had a bit of a paint fight in the nursery classroom,” you said, laughing a little just at the memory of what happened.
Sangyeon smiled warmly, the amusement shining in his eyes.
“That must have been some paint fight.”
“It was!” You bobbed your head up and down. “Wild.”
“You sure it’s not a problem for me to just use the shower?” He asked, a little hesitant.
“Not at all!”
As he stood up, you couldn’t help but notice that he towered over you. Sure, he had always towered over you but it still felt so nerve wracking to have him standing before you like that with his wet hair slicked back and the white shirt clinging onto his body. You tried to keep your sights trained firmly on the ground, trying your best not to look as you led the way. The feeling of him just trailing behind you sent shivers down your spine that had nothing to do with the cold. Yet somehow despite the fact that it got your heart doing some pretty intense backflips, his presence was also weirdly... comforting.
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The tantalising aroma of convenience store fried chicken and corn dogs hung in the air as you stepped in, pulling the hood of your jacket furtively over your head, your eyes scanning the area. The snacks were displayed beautifully on the metal racks and the frosty machine whirred softly in the background over the melody of the then trending pop song played on the radio but you had no eyes for it. Pulling your jacket over your body to conceal your uniform, the tension in you only dissipated when you found no one but the bored cashier standing by the cash register who was too busy filing her nails to even care that you stepped in.
Had you found a teacher in here, you would have been toast. Walking idly down the racks of delectable snacks, you could barely hide your glee as you took in the vast variety of junk food in front of you. Barbeque chips, white chocolate biscuits, animal shaped gummy candies… It was heaven on earth. You scrunched up your nose as you thought of the standard fare probably being served back at the school canteen. No doubt, it was probably the same old stale carbonara pasta and salad made from withered up lettuce and soft tomatoes. Just the thought of it was enough to strike disgust in your heart. Rounding the corner, you almost jumped at the sight of a group of boys seated at the far corner of the store. It took you about a second to realise that they weren’t teachers but rather fellow rulebreakers from school and relaxed.
It must be nice to have a group of friends to do such lawless things together. Jasmine would always chastise you for leaving, refusing to come with you. Easy for her to say, she always had such beautiful packed lunches from home. You, on the other, had only your own allowance to rely on and there was no way you were going to spend it on the food offered in the school’s cafeteria.
You were so engrossed in the selection of snacks before you that you failed to even notice the overlooming dark clouds outside and the light, methodic pattering sound of tiny raindrops against the glass windows. As you stood before a choice of either a ham and cheese sandwich or turkey sandwich, you wondered if you brought enough money. Whipping out your purse, you did a quick check only to cry out.
Pouring out a few pennies onto your palm, you could feel your heart crumpling. How could you have forgotten to bring money of all things? Your stomach growled audibly and you whimpered, feeling like you were about to cry. Grazing your fingers over the wrapped sandwiches longingly, you started to make your way out of the store, dragging your feet as you did. Looks like it’s back to measly school meals.
Yet as you opened the door only to be greeted by a now heavy downpour, the urge to curse out loud had never been stronger. You had completely forgotten that it was now the rainy season. Now, you were not only going to be hungry but also cold at the same time. How did things turn out so badly?  Turning back to look at the cashier who didn’t even glance up, you decided there was no right way about it. Your choices were either to brave the rain or be late for classes.
As you stood despondently staring at the rain and reflecting on your life choices, the group of boys from earlier stumbled out of the store, laughing as they did.
“I’ve honestly never seen him like that!”
“It’s definitely something new. Oh hey, it’s raining guys.”
“Wow, it happened so suddenly though. Just a moment ago, it was fine.”
Glancing at them, you felt yourself subconsciously inching away. You never were very good with people, especially boys. To say it felt awkward was an understatement. It was embarrassing as well, knowing that you’ve made an empty trip and got caught in the rain. There was no way they’d know what happened but it didn’t stop you from feeling self conscious about it.
“Well, I think I’m gonna make a run for it! Last one back to school pays for lunch tomorrow!” One of them called out, dashing out into the rain.
“Hak, what the fuck!” Another yelled before the rest of them set off, their shoes splashing against puddles as they did. Some of the rainwater splashed over onto your own shoes and you gritted your teeth but said nothing.
There was the tinkling sound of the convenience store’s door charm as the door swung open.
“Hey guys, I- Oh, hell no. They did not just do that to me.” Someone said breathlessly  from behind you.
You froze. That voice…
Turning around slowly, you found yourself staring at the one and only, Lee Sangyeon. Instantly, your cheeks began to burn and your heartbeat began to pick up its pace. Of all places and of all people, why him?! Looking away quickly, you tried to calm yourself down. It’s a mere coincidence, maybe if you don’t say anything he won’t-
“Um, hello?”
This cannot be happening.
You swivelled around to look at him as you tried to calm your beating heart and as you did, you could feel that warm feeling you felt ever so often whenever you saw him around school despite your nervousness. With him just right in front of you, it all felt extremely nerve wracking. What do you even say?
“H-Hi?”
“Did you happen to see a group of guys out here?”
“I…” You thought of what had happened earlier. “Um, yeah. They just left though…”
Sangyeon sighed, looking resigned. Keeping his head down, you thought you saw a tint of pinkness in his cheeks before he snapped his head up, his hands planted firmly on his hips as he stared at the torrential downpour. Shooting him furtive glances, you noticed that he had nothing on him either.
“Do you not have an umbrella too?” You asked tentatively.
“...Yeah, I don’t.” He said sheepishly. There was a moment of brief silence where neither of you uttered a single word. Checking his watch, Sangyeon clicked his tongue.
“What is it?”
“It’s 1:15pm, time’s almost up.” He replied, holding up his wrist to show you the time. The butterflies in your stomach disappeared instantly only to be replaced by an uncomfortable gut wrenching feeling instead. You couldn’t afford to be late! You have a math quiz right after lunch! You were already barely scraping by Mr Moon’s class and if you flunk or god forbid, miss the test entirely, it would be a guaranteed fail for the class which would mean that you would have to retake it next semester.
Sangyeon must have noticed the sickly palour on your face and the sheer fear in your eyes because his voice had taken on a gentle tone as he asked, “Do you have something urgent to get to?”
Nothing could have hidden the anxiety and shakiness in your voice as you replied, “I have a math quiz at 1:30pm.”
For a moment, Sangyeon didn’t say anything. Then, he took off the jacket he was wearing and in an instance, he had draped the jacket over your head. Surprised, you looked up at him. He wore a warm smile on his face as he said, “Ready to run when you are.”
“But..! You-”
“I’ll be fine.” He stared out at the pouring rain. “Well, a little rain won’t hurt.”
You could have thought of about a billion different ways to reject him but the fear over missing your math quiz quickly overwhelmed all those thoughts and you had no choice but to dumbly agree. You didn’t like inconveniencing people, especially not Sangyeon but there just wasn’t any good way to turn him down, not when he was looking at you so kindly and so expectantly at that. Sangyeon must have sensed your hesitation because he shot you a reassuring look.
“I’ll be fine.” He reiterated, smiling.
You didn’t say anything but you could feel a sense of warmth growing in your heart despite the cold outside. Somehow, his voice had a calming effect on you and you began to break into a run. He followed suit, the both of you dashing out into the rain with you shielded under his jacket.
While the two of you ran, you couldn’t help but sneak a few looks at him, feeling the butterflies in your stomach flutter more whenever you did. His side profile highlighted his strong, handsome features and the shadows brought out the definition of jawline and darkness of his eyes. The rainwater gave his skin an almost shining look, water droplets dripping from the tips of his fringe. The water had seeped through the white material of his uniform and the fabric stuck his skin, bringing out his athletic shape. He looked almost as handsome as he did the first time you saw him, that one memorable moment despite the hard hit on your head.
As you stared, he suddenly turned to look at you and for a split second, the two of you made eye contact before you turned away rapidly, your cheeks burning. Why is it that you feel so warm even when it was freezing? Your heart felt like it was about to burst and for a moment, you wondered if he could tell you had feelings for him. Did he remember you? He must have. You don’t just give your jacket to someone… Right? Perhaps it was his way of apologising for the hit though to be quite honest, having him talk to you seemed like enough already. You never were very lucky in love or around your crushes and many times, you would have never exchanged even a single word with your crush out of shyness and fear. This was probably the furthest you’ve ever gotten with someone you liked.
As the two of you finally stepped into the school lobby, Sangyeon was soaked through, the water droplets still dripping down the side of his face. Shaking his head to get the water out, he ran a hand through his hair and you tried not to look. He shot you a grin which you returned.
“Hey, it’s only 1:24pm. We made it.”
“We did, thank you so much for that.” You thanked him shyly to which he brushed off, chuckling.
“It’s alright. No problem at all.”
‘I… I guess I’ll get going?”
“Ah, alright. I’ll see you, y/n.” He smiled before he gasped, suddenly remembering something as he ruffled through his pockets. Drawing out a chocolate bar, he handed it to you. You stared at his outstretched hand, confused.
“Take it.”
“Why?”
“I saw- I have an extra one and I’m not exactly allowed to eat chocolate right now because of competition season. I thought you might want it?”
When you didn’t say anything, he continued quickly, “I mean, that is if you want it of course.”
You could feel your stomach growling just looking at that sweet, heavenly bar of chocolatey goodness and it suddenly came to you that you have not had lunch. Normally, you would have flat out rejected an offer like that but the way he was looking at you with those kindly eyes made you think twice. There was no way you could say no to Sangyeon.
“Thank you.” You mumbled, taking the chocolate bar from him and his smile widened.
“By the way, I-”
Before he could say another word, the same group of boys who you had identified to be his friends came from behind the lockers several aisles down. Some of them were laughing as one of them slapped him across the back. They seem
“You’re finally back!” An upperclassmen you recognised as the school’s baseball team’s pitcher, Changmin said, patting him on the back. “See, guys? I told you guys he’s going to go for it. He’s not as big as a coward you guys think he is!”
“Fine, fine. Take your bet.” Another who you knew was referred to earlier as ‘Hak’, grumbling and slapping a wad of notes into Changmin’s hand.
“Didn’t think you’d actually do that, Sangyeon. I should have bet that she wouldn’t accept-” A red-haired friend of his stopped mid sentence, his face palling as the group began to notice that you were still standing there. The rest of the group seemed to have noticed at the same time Sangyeon’s face had turned properly red by now and his lips were moving but you couldn’t hear a single word he was saying. The shame of it all was blocking out everything and your face was growing hotter and hotter by the second until you felt almost positive that you could explode. Biting so hard on your lower lips that you were almost sure you were going to bleed, you shied away as he took a tentative step forward.
“Y/n, please…” He reached out to hold your hand but you shrugged it away, keeping your head down and trying to keep your breathing steady.
“Please. Please don’t.” You choked out, taking another step back like a wounded child. Quickly, you turned and bolted out of the lobby and into the corridors. The chocolate bar you had in your hand dropped to the floor with clatter against the linoleum floor and you didn’t even care to see if it broke into fragments just like your heart just did.
As you ran along the noisy walkways where students were chattering among themselves and enjoying the last minutes of their lunch break, you couldn’t help but keep your head down, your thoughts lingering on what happened earlier.  
The shame. The humiliation. It was all too much.
Sprinting into the restroom and locking yourself in the cubicle, you had to take a moment to just breathe. Did that really just happen? How could you have been so gullible? You should have known that that was too good to be true - who would have been that nice? You almost wanted to laugh out loud at yourself just like those guys are probably doing now. God, you were such a fool. It was over before it even began.
Sniffling, your vision was beginning to get blurry from all the tears and softly, you whispered, “Lee Sangyeon, I’ll never forgive you.”
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Since that day, you would avoid Sangyeon whenever you saw him around. No matter how far he was, just the slight indication of his presence was enough to send you running off in the opposite direction. It was difficult to say the least, to avoid someone within such a small neighbourhood high school. You would hide behind Jasmine or bolt off to the nearest restroom whenever you saw him walking towards you and after a while, she got the message as well, assisting in your escape attempts all the way till Sangyeon’s graduation. The last time you ever saw him was up on that stage with that warm, kind smile of his receiving his graduation certificate up until this year when you met him again when he came to pick up his son, Jeno.
“Hey, you okay?”
You blinked, shaking yourself out of your thoughts and looked up to see Sangyeon staring down at you. His hand was planted against the door frame of the shower making his build seem so much larger, with the other hand outstretched and it took you a moment to realise that he was waiting for you to hand him a spare shirt you had in your hands. Outside, the rain was still pouring down on the earth. The light above had begun to flicker and the room was growing dimmer by the second, the only source of light coming from the moonlight, the flashes of lightning and the dying light source from the ceiling.
Looking at his outstretched hand somehow triggered memories from the past and despite your determination to keep the past in the past, the bitter feelings still resurfaced and with it, it brought anger and frustration. You were no longer the meek girl you were in high school, you were stronger than this. While you fought these feelings that threatened to take control, Sangyeon peered down at you with concern, sensing that something was wrong.
“Y/n?”
The sound of his voice calling your name was just about enough to tip you over the edge.
“Why did you do it?”
You could see the flicker of shock that crossed his face, having been caught off guard at your question. It took you about a second to realise what you had just said. Covering your mouth, you stared at him with wide eyes. You could have kicked yourself. How did you let your feelings get the best of you? He probably doesn’t even remember and you might have just made a fool out of yourself. Again.
For a moment, Sangyeon said nothing and the only sound that broke the silence was the sound of the storm outside.
“It was a misunderstanding.”
You were not expecting a reply. Taken aback, you could only look at him, speechless. The words were stuck in the back of your throat and your palms were beginning to get calmy. It felt like you were being transported back to that very moment in high school.
“You remember?”
Sangyeon’s eyes were full of regret as he whispered, “Yes. Yes, I do.”
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Sangyeon couldn’t help but let his eyes drift back to you throughout the remainder of the game.
It was getting increasingly difficult to focus on the game and although he knew how badly the team needed to clinch this victory, he couldn’t help but keep looking out for you.
Were you all better? Did the ball hit you too hard?
These were the sort of questions that floated around in his mind as the match went on and every so often, he’d turn to check if you were still there and every time he looked, you would be watching and just the thought of you having your eye on him was enough to give him the boost he needed to perform his best.
It was weird. He barely ever felt this way around anyone else. The many girls that have come forth professing their crushes on him never even came near and here he was being completely smitten by a certain someone. My, how the tables have turned. There was just something about you that simply… Struck him. Your beauty to him was astounding in a very heartwarming and comfortable way. It was like one of those moments when you meet someone and you just knew that you liked them.
It was as if he had fallen under the spell of Cupid. The captain who had never had a crush and always prioritised volleyball and studies was now seen keeping a conscious lookout for the girl who had captured his attention for herself with just a mere gaze. He would look out for you during recess, around school and sometimes during practice when he knew admirers of the volleyball team would come to watch. His heart always soared whenever he did catch a glimpse of you. It was funny how he normally had no problem talking to people but when it came to you, he was as shy as a mouse.
Sangyeon’s friends had caught on relatively quickly, jumping on the rare opportunity to tease the no nonsense, studious volleyball team captain about his little crush on you. Many times unbeknownst to you, his friends would drop a few hints here and there, implying at his supposed crush on you. It was definitely unsettling and embarrassing to say the least but he did not dare jump in for fear of exposing his secret - the fact that he did in fact fancy you.
“Guys, are you actually kidding me right now?” Sangyeon asked, simply radiating with what felt like an intense mixture of anger, frustration, disappointment and dejection. Watching that expression of dismay and sadness on your face did terrible things to his heart, akin to someone pushing a dagger into it and twisting the blade. Part of him did not want to believe that had actually just happened before his very eyes but the sight of the broken chocolate bar on the floor confirmed his worst fears that this was indeed the reality.
When he saw you in the convenience store, it took everything in him not to act like a lovestruck teenager. He tried his best not to pay you any attention but it was practically impossible. It was like whenever he turned away, there was this irrepressible urge to turn back and he just didn’t seem to be able to keep his eyes off you. It was embarrassing to say the least, even more so when his friends caught on.
“Are you ever going to talk to her?” Juyeon asked, rolling his eyes.
“... What do I even say to her? I want to talk but I don’t want to look stupid.”
“Since when have you ever?” Haknyeon chipped in.
“Hey, she’s leaving.” Changmin said suddenly and quickly, Sangyeon turned. “Did she not get anything?”
“I saw her looking into her wallet earlier and I think she probably didn’t have enough money.”
“Is she really skipping lunch?” Sangyeon thought, frowning. Imagine making the effort to sneak out the school and then not having enough money to buy a filling lunch. As the group began to clear up, he stared at the row of chocolate bars on display on a nearby rack. Was this going to his chance? As he stood pondering, Changmin nudged the others. Instantly, they exchanged a knowing look.
“Hey, Sangyeon. We’ll be going out to take a stretch, can you help to clear the rest?” Haknyeon asked.
“Wha-? I uh, yeah sure.” He waved them away without a second thought. Do girls like chocolates for lunch? It’s definitely not your conventional lunch option but he had read somewhere that gifting someone chocolates was romantic and girls liked them as gifts. Sangyeon had zero experience in such things so all he could do was trust the advice he’d read online.
It had taken everything in him to not freak out when he found that his friends had left him alone with you but almost as soon as he talked to you, he couldn’t be more grateful. This was his one opportunity. He didn’t know if you remembered him but he didn’t care. All that mattered was this moment. His heart fluttered and it felt like he was on edge, fearful of making a fool out of himself. He didn’t even think twice about shielding you from the rain. Sangyeon was never one to tolerate the cold very well but for you, he felt more than willing. As the two of you ran, he had been extremely conscious of himself. Were you well shielded? Was the pace of running okay for you? Could you… Hear his heart pounding?
This was not how he envisioned things to go. Just when he thought he finally had a chance, it was ripped away from him. Weeks. For weeks, he had been confronting his own confusing feelings for you. For someone who always knew what he needed to do and what his goals were in everything he did, his feelings surrounding you were the one thing he was never able to comprehend. In a way, you were an enigma he struggled to figure out. Feelings were always a complicated thing to dissect but especially when they came to you. Was this how the people who confessed to him felt when he rejected them? Sangyeon had never thought too deeply into how they might have felt - all he knew was that rejection was supposed to be a  natural part of life. He never thought himself as someone who feared rejection yet this time, it was the one thing he dreaded. Rejection would have been terrible but what was even worse was the fact that you were hurt… By him. He had destroyed his own chances once and for all.
The urge to lash out at his friends was strong - he wanted to yell and go off but he knew deep down it was all a misunderstanding and a terribly unlucky case of ‘wrong time, wrong place’.
“We… We are really sorry, Sangyeon.” Changmin apologised quietly, not even daring to look him in the eye.
“Please forgive us.” Haknyeon added, his voice full of remorse and guilt.
Taking a deep breath, Sangyeon closed his eyes and tried to ignore the sinking feeling in his stomach. He couldn’t possibly blame them. He knew they meant well.
“It’s okay. I’ll try to… Fix this.”
Except he couldn’t. Whenever he came close, you would run off in the opposite direction as if you’d just seen the devil himself. There was no way of coming close to talking to you. His friends had tried to come close but you pushed them away as well. You no longer came by to watch his matches and the growing guilt and sadness had a profound impact on his performances. He didn’t feel like he played as well as he did when you were around. In a way, you were the Daphne to his Apollo. You were the one person he couldn’t have and it pained him. Knowing that you were hurt as a result of his own actions pained him even more. Eventually, he knew he had to give up and as graduation drew near, Sangyeon kept his heart and feelings locked away. He was more invested in his studies and games but none of it felt like it really mattered. He was doing it for the sake of doing it.
Even as he went onto university, it felt tortuous to carry with him the knowledge that he had hurt someone he genuinely never meant to hurt. It might seem childish in hindsight but perhaps… That might have been first love that never was. Many nights, Sangyeon tried to push you out of his mind, trying so hard to convince himself that his feelings were merely fleeting but deep down, he knew they weren’t. Yet as time went on, he began to gradually lock away his memories and even found someone who he married thought as much as he’d never admit it, that strong feeling of comfort, warmth and joy he felt around you was just never there. It wasn’t really any surprise that he had gotten divorced barely a year into the marriage. Communication between him and Mina broke down completely, with regular verbal fights almost every other night. He no longer saw things the same way she did and they disagreed on virtually everything. The screaming, yelling and crying just wouldn’t stop. It was a relationship that drained him both emotionally and mentally. Many nights, he would fall asleep on the couch and wake up with intense back aches that only worsened as he carried around a heavy backpack to work every other day. The two of them went from being best friends and a couple to being almost completely strangers in their own home.  Eventually, Mina had barely spared a second thought before packing up her bags and leaving him with a barely 3 month old toddler. It was definitely a union he regretted but the one thing he never did regret was his son, Jeno.
Jeno was the one constant in his life. For a long time, it was just the two of them while he struggled to make ends meet as an accountant for a small paper supply company. Life was average to say the least, it wasn’t fantastic but it wasn’t bad either. He was living in a different part of the country with his son and a small, secure studio apartment. There was nothing out of place and everything was on track. Though, the good times wouldn’t last. When his company went bust, it felt like everything was collapsing right before his very eyes again only this time, it was worse. He had a 3 year old son with him and was unemployed with the threat of eviction trailing closely behind them, breathing down his neck. It felt like the walls were closing in fast around him, leaving them both no room to breathe. He would have been left homeless if not for his friends and connections.
It was a blessing truly when Juyeon hooked him up with an accountant job with a medical supply company. The only problem was the fact that he would have to move back to the very town he had attended high school in, the very period of his life when he had suffered his first heartbreak. As he packed up his bags on his very last night in the city, he wondered briefly if you were still there.
Sangyeon sat at the edge of the bed, looking at the packed suitcases that sat at his feet. Beside him, Jeno was fast asleep. Softly, he ran his fingers through his son’s hair and he smiled. Did it really matter? Even if you were still there, things weren’t like how they were back then when he actually still had a chance of salvaging things. He never did get to know how you really felt about him but he was almost certain that you might still hate him. Maybe you might have forgotten or maybe you might have even moved away. For some reasons as much as Sangyeon didn’t want to confront his past again, he still felt his heart sink at the prospect of not seeing you again when he went back. He never did acknowledge it but you had always claimed a part of his heart for yourself all these years. Even as he alighted from the plane back at his old hometown, Sangyeon had very little expectations.
He never expected much but the shock that hit him was still almost numbing when he first showed up at Sunny Hearts Kindergarten with Jeno. There you were, in the flesh after almost 10 years. You were still as beautiful as you were in his dreams and although he wanted so desperately to talk to you, he knew he should keep his distance. It wouldn’t be right to bring up such memories. He wasn’t sure if you recognised him but he most definitely did. When you looked him in the eye, it took all his power not to do anything stupid. It felt like coming home in a way but to a home he wasn’t familiar with.
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“I… I had no idea…” You whispered breathlessly as he told his story.
The room was dark, the power supply having malfunctioned, leaving the two of you in the dark. Hearing Sangyeon’s story in that voice you loved so much was surreal and almost even a little overwhelming. It felt like you were knocked out of your wind. For a moment, there was only the sound of the raging storm outside while the two of you sat in bated silence in the locker room. There was a weird yet familiar tension in the air and after a while, you managed to choke out.
“Why didn’t you tell me?”
Although you couldn’t see Sangyeon’s face, you could hear the softness in his voice.
“You didn’t give me a chance to.”
A flash of lightning zapped across the sky and for a brief moment, you saw the pain in his eyes and it was like something in you clicked. It was the lock you had kept on all those repressed feelings you ever had over the years. Deep down, you knew you had felt the same. You loved him, you loved him so deeply it hurt as did he. The both of you were just two souls in love yet too obstinate and clueless to fight for the love the two of you so deserve. It wasn’t resurfaced feelings - it was feelings that had been locked away for too long, waiting for the right opportunity to be freed and expressed freely.
Sensing the tension, Sangyeon grew flustered, stammering as he did.
“Look, I-I get it if you still don’t-”
His eyes widened as you crashed your lips on  his. His soft lips moved slightly against yours as he stiffened. Slowly, he melted into the kiss, his hands coming up to cup your face. Your hearts were beating in unison as the two of you became simply locked in the moment, two long lost lovers locked in a tight embrace. As he withdrew, he whispered, “This. This is what I’ve been yearning for since Day one.”
There was so much affection, love and longing in his voice that it almost made you shy. Bowing your head, he chuckled deeply as he tilted your face up ever so gently with 2 fingers, making you look him in the eye. The moonlight from outside made his eyes seem all the more reflective and it felt like for a moment the two of you were back in that volleyball court, exchanging that very first gaze that led to so much hurt, misunderstandings and repressed feelings over all these years.  
Suddenly, the lights flickered back on and you were so surprised, you jumped back. In the bright light, the redness in Sangyeon’s face was all the more apparent and instantly, he cowered back.
“I-I… I’m sorry! I don’t know what came over me…”
“Um…” You bit down on your lower lip, unsure of what to say. You knew you wanted to say something but what exactly do you say to a long lost first love who you just shared an intimate moment with?
“Hey, the rain has stopped.” He remarked, looking out and you had a slight inclination that he was trying to cover his blushing face.
“Yeah, it has.” You said slowly.
“Daddy! Miss y/n! Where are you…!” Jeno’s cries from the lobby resounded through the corridor.
“Oh, he must have woken up!” You cried, getting to your feet and making your way over with Sangyeon following closely behind. There was an almost giddy look in his eyes which you felt your heart tightened at the sight of before you realised, you might be wearing the very same expression.
As you locked up the Kindergarten later, you felt Sangyeon standing just beside you, shuffling his feet as if there was something on his mind. Behind him, Jeno was busy jumping into puddles and you lowered your head, like a shy schoolgirl in love which was honestly how you were feeling.
“Would you… Would you be down to join us for dinner?” Sangyeon asked quietly, peering at you with those eyes that seemed to carry entire galaxies in them.
As you looked at him, it all felt like homecoming. This was what everything came down to. A failed high school first love up until this very moment. The man before you felt both so familiar yet so foreign in the best way possible. There was just so much you wanted to talk to him about. All those years the two of you missed, the lost love that the two you could have had… Thinking about it all almost made you emotional all over again. 
Finally. After all these years, you have found it.
“Okay.”
496 notes · View notes
bloodcoatedeclipse · 10 months ago
Text
Making Daddy Proud
Stepdad!Duncan x Female Reader
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After moving in with your estranged mother and her new husband, Duncan Shepherd, you started to grow very close to your new stepdad. The two of you had a great relationship and he was doing his best to be a good father figure for you, knowing you missed your dad so much. But there was a problem, you found yourself insanely attracted to him and were starting to notice little things indicating he might feel the same way.
Warnings: very inappropriate relationships, Stepfather/stepdaughter relationship, Cheating is ofc implied, 20+ year age gap, daddy kink, unprotected sex (but I kinda imagined the reader to be on birth control so is okie😌) fingering (female receiving), choking, vaginal sex, oral (male receiving) and face fucking😃
Notes: Okie sooo I know some people will hate this fic and ofc I understand that, but if you do hate it then please don't send me any hate!! just don't read it🖤 anywayss I got dis ask saying "Concept: Stepdad Duncan x naive reader😉" nd omg i LOVE the whole concept of Stepdad!Duncan sm, like if you've been in the fandom for a while you'll probably know the fic "The Hand That Robs the Cradle" by Langdonsrapture nd that fic was my holy grail when it came out!! so you know I just had to go all out here nd get carried away writing it hehe:')
word count: 5.4k
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The opportunity to study political science at American University in Washington DC had been one you simply couldn’t pass up on, but unfortunately it meant moving away from your father to stay closer to campus grounds. You knew it was worth it in the long run, I mean you had been waiting on this chance for years and wanted to make your father proud, but you would miss him.
He was never home too much, always busy working, but he meant the world to you. It had been just the two of you for a long time now. Your mother had moved away once their divorce finalised 7 years ago, impulsively leaving you in his custody as she ran off and gallivanted around the world, meeting all sorts of interesting men she would tell you about.
Luckily for you, she had settled down with one of those interesting men in DC recently, and upon discovering your acceptance into the prestigious university she had offered you a place to stay whilst you studied.
It was a frightening move to make, but staying with your mother in DC had actually been pretty interesting. You hadn’t spent time with her in so long and it had been nice to catch up with her, I mean sure she had been a little distant, but that was expected with having not spent any real time with her in so long.
You were just grateful she had let you stay with her in the first place, thinking she would have probably preferred to be left alone with her new husband, Duncan Shepherd.
They had been married about four months when you moved in and from what you could see, things were going well; especially considering she had sprung the engagement on everyone pretty fast. You were just happy knowing she was happy.
Though you had only met the man in question once before moving in, he really seemed like a perfect partner. He didn’t have a single obvious flaw to him, but see that was the problem. He was completely flawless to you.
You had tried to find things you didn’t like about him, even just tiny things, thinking hating him would be far better than thinking of him the way had been, but no matter what you did, you just couldn’t seem to fault him. And the longer you stayed with them, the worse your little problem became.
You weren’t 100% sure of how old he was. You only knew he was in his early to mid forties. But being at least 20 years your senior, you knew he was definitely old enough to be fulfilling the role he was as your stepfather. It felt strange to have a new stepdad at the age of 20, (almost 21) but it was even stranger with you being so blindly attracted to him.
And it wasn’t even just his looks. Though, yes, they were quite the spectacle, it was more than that. He was confident and cocky, always knowing exactly what to do and say to make the people around him do whatever he wanted them to. He could make you laugh until your stomach was in cramps, and not just through telling dad jokes. Charisma rolled off of him in waves.
He was intuitive and crafty; smart to put in plainly. And his interests appeared to be more intellectually based than anything else, which was quite the opposite of your mother, so it baffled you as to how your mother had managed to snatch him up so easily in the first place.
Now it’s not that you were jealous, really. It was more that you didn’t understand how these two polar opposite personality’s had ended up colliding together in the manner that they had.
Whenever the three of you would sit and have an evening meal together, Duncan always made you feel welcomed in the conversation, which was a great comfort to both you and your mother, being the relationship you had was so strained. Because of this and the fact you both had quite a lot in common when it came to your interests, Duncan and you had become almost good friends in the small time that you had been living there.
It was obvious he was doing his best to be some kind of fatherly figure to you. knowing that you were missing your actual dad, he did his best to help you with the things he knew your dad usually would. Whether it was school work or just having someone to joke with from time to time. He was there.
Sometimes when he was there, though, you felt like maybe, just maybe, he felt something more too. Such as the moments where his stares would linger on your form for just a little too long, or the way he would sometimes fix your hair for you if it had strayed across your face the wrong way. Just small things he did that fatherly figures didn’t typically tend to do with their daughters; especially when his wife, your mother, was right there. Sure, she seemed oblivious to it, but you certainly weren’t.
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Taking your now lukewarm cup of coffee from the breakfast bar counter, you brought it to your lips and gulped the bitter liquid down, fighting viciously to stay alert. It was nearing 3am and you had been writing for hours. Concentrating was no longer your most favourable asset and your half lidded eyes were growing wearer by the minute, but you just had to finish this paper.
It was 17 percent of your grade and due in two weeks. A persuasive essay on propaganda within the current American political climate and you had been slowly working at it for weeks, but you knew if you left it hanging over your head any longer it would drive you insane.
Sitting back in the stool you resided on, you took quick solace in the many noises coming from the ajar kitchen window, listening to a low rumble of thunder, accompanied by the constant pitter patter of rain falling from the gloomy DC sky above. It had been hot and humid all week, eventually cultivating into large clouds that had now given in, spilling out showers for almost the entire day past.
You recalled all the time you’d spent by the pool with your mother and Duncan in the past week, enjoying the current heatwave by sunbathing next to it on one of the many loungers. The house was kind of set up like a hotel that way. With Duncan always needing to be prepared for any events he may have to hold for his company’s business associates or press, he had furnished the home with what was to the three of you, unnecessary seating and tableware; amongst other things.
You stirred, returning your eyes back to the last few lines you had written and attempted to go over them in your head, but quickly realised you couldn't even manage that without stumbling over them or jumbling the words up beyond comprehension.
Abruptly interrupting your confused stream of thought, was the kitchen door groaning open. So with a frown plastered to your face, you shot your head up to recognise the intruder. But your frown was quickly blown away at discovering that it was Duncan who had entered the balmy room, and he was in more glory than you had ever seen him.
You had seen his silhouette whilst he showered before. Having gone into his and your mother’s shared bedroom whilst searching for earrings, you had seen him through the whited out, frosted glass of the on-suit bathroom door. But this was something entirely different. This was him, stood in kitchen doorway with nothing on but his grey Calvin Klein boxers.
“Y/N? I didn’t know you were still up.” He quirked a brow at you, wondering why you were still sat in the kitchen so late at night. You swallowed deeply at the sight of him. Your eyes magnetised to his body, dilating with such a sultry image before them. Pulling your eyes back up to his face, you hoped he hadn’t seen their little detour down to his crotch.
“Uhm.. i’m, uh.. w-working on an essay.” Fuck! He’ll definitely know how nervous you are now. You looked away from him, too embarrassed to face him and cringing at your own attempt to speak. “It’s due in next week and I wanted to get it finished.” Okay that’s better, you thought. Maybe he’ll just think you’re just too tired to have a proper conversation or something.
“Oh, right,” he trailed off, looking you up and down a bit as he walked further into the room. You watched the back of his head as he opened the fringe, holding it open and scanning the contents of it. Deciding on a small bottle of water, he retrieved it from the middle shelf before closing the door and walking over to lean on the opposite side of the counter from you.
He didn’t seem too bothered by the fact he was practically undressed in front of you. Of course, you weren't complaining, but it was interesting. You tried to think of something else you could add to your open word document, wanting to distract yourself from his displayed body. But thinking as hard as you possibly could, your mind still brought you nothing.
You awkwardly pulled at the sleeve of your oversized ‘American University” sweater and hoisted it back up onto your shoulder. It had ridden down your arm whilst you were aggressively fiddling with your fingers - a nervous habit you had developed in your early teens. People would often point it out to you, but it was just one of those things you couldn’t stop doing.
There was a deafening silence stuffed between the two of you. So looking around the room, you tried to focus on anything in your line of vision that wasn’t him. It was just too hard seeing him like; his plump lips wrapped around the bottle’s mouth as he drank, his sleepy un-styled curls falling just above his perfectly manicured brows and wearing nothing but those fucking grey boxers. He was making it unbearably hard not to stare.
Deciding to speak, you cleared your throat. “So did you just wake up? Or could you not sleep?”
“Just couldn’t sleep. I kept thinking about the most random shit.. and you know how your mom is, she snores a lot.” He chuckled. His eyes never leaving you, beginning to feel as if they were boring holes into your soul as you kept full eye contact with him.
“Yeah, that must get pretty annoying.” You nodded slowly, thinking about how many nights you had spent wide awake when you were younger, all due to her roaring, loud snores passing through the paper thin walls of your childhood home.
“It does.” A smile played on his lips, taking another swig of water before speaking again. “so what’s the essay about?”
“It’s that one I was telling you about a few weeks ago, if you remember. it’s a persuasive on propaganda within the current American political climate.” You reminded him of the conversation you had about it when he dropped you off to class one morning not too long ago. The two of you often carpooled together, with the University campus being so close to his office, it made for an easy drive on the days he was needed in.
You guys would listen to playlists together on the drive and make fun of each others music taste, that was when you weren’t too busy being amazed by how similar they could be.
“Are you struggling with it? I mean, it is getting pretty late now.” He turned to check the clock which hung on the wall behind him, then looked back at you questioningly.
Duncan was good at helping you with this kind of thing. He was extremely well versed in politics, with his family’s background and all. Your mom had told you he used to be very involved with the white house, saying when he was younger he even went to prison for a short time before president underwood had pardoned him.
“I just can’t concentrate, but I really need to get it done or it’ll stress me out.” You lifted your bare feet up onto the stool seat, your knees coming up to your chest so you could rest your chin on them. You were only wearing panties with the sweater, it being too hot to wear anything more.
“Can I come over and check it?” He closed his bottle of water, tightening the lid with his muscular arms as he spoke. You had almost forgot he wasn’t wearing much before he said this, but watching him screw the bottle cap on as he asked to could come round to your side of the counter? It had you weak for him all over again.
“Uh.. yeah, course.” He padded his bare feet over the white, tiled flooring towards you, placing the bottle down on the counter and moving behind you to read the most recent paragraphs you had written. His hand was stretched over to the other side of you, resting on the edge of the breakfast bar as the skin of his arm grazed across your back.
Even with you being sat on such a tall stool, he still managed to tower over you. His hight was usually intimidating as it was, but with the added factor of him being almost completely undressed it was even worse. A small waft of air blew his expensive cologne towards you, creeping past your nostrils and possessing your senses completely before you started to feel his breathe on your upper neck. It wasn’t heavy, but it was enough to make your cunt start pulsating.
You were disgusted by yourself. He’s your mother’s husband! And your Stepdad! What the fuck was wrong with you? You could only imagine what people’s reactions would be if they knew of the truly sinful thoughts you had about him, and you hated yourself for it.
He was your type, yes. A rich, older man who wasn’t actually an asshole, and they were hard to come by, but that wasn’t relevant. You needed to control yourself. No matter how hard that may be.
“What you have so far is really good. Your argument is strong and as always with your work, it’s written well. You’re smart, Y/N. It’s impressive.” He humoured himself with a scoff, his voice interrupting your lewd thoughts.
You blushed at his compliment, hiding your face behind your knees slightly and looking up at him. “Thanks, Duncan.” You knew he was just trying to be a good dad figure to you, but you couldn’t help being attracted to the way he was so caring for you. Maybe it’s fucked up, but it’s not your fault all you need is an older man’s approval to become turned on.
“I mean it.” He looks so sincere as he talks to you. His face would be intimately close to yours if you hadn’t hidden it from him earlier. You notice his eyes flicker down to your lips for a split second, and then back up to your eyes again. His stare no longer felt friendly, but more.. lustful. Were you crazy or was he really doing this?
Suddenly he looks away from you, moving his eyes back to the laptop’s screen. “Maybe you should just get some sleep. I know you said it’ll stress you out, but if you get some rest you’ll be able to get back into it tomorrow with better concentration.” He does his best to steer the conversation back to where is once was, reminding himself that you’re his fucking step daughter and that he has a beautiful wife sleeping just upstairs.
“I know that, its just..” You sighed, blinking up at him. You brought your legs back down you hang over the edge of the seat, but you couldn’t stop thinking about how close he was to you, wanting to do nothing more than to drape your arms behind his neck an-.
“Nope I won’t listen to it. From what I can see it’s an incredibly strong piece of work already, so just go get some sleep and come back to it in the morning, okay sweetheart?” He laughed a little, looking down at you again.
That nickname. Sweetheart. He called you it all the time and yet it always managed to take your breath away. But the thing is, he usually wasn’t this close to you when he did. So when you squeezed your legs together and bite down on your bottom lip, doing your best to ease the overwhelming desire you felt for him in that moment, there was no way he hadn’t seen it.
You were frozen staring at him, his face static and unreadable. You hoped he didn't choose to shout at you for how repulsive your behaviour was, or maybe he would kick you out? Your mind began spiralling, wrapping itself in intricate knots as you held your breath, awaiting a reply from him.
“Do you like that? When I call you sweetheart.” His voice was deep, sultry and dripping with desire. Shock coursed through you. That was definitely not what you had expected him to say. He seemed even larger now, his confidence making you feel small in comparison as your mind scrabbled to find the words you were supposed to use in your current predicament, but it never found any.
"You like it when daddy gives you nicknames?” He moved his hand up and delicately grasped the skin where your neck met your jaw, his eyes half lidded with lust. Your heart was beating so fast now and your breathing had grown shallow. You were so lost for words, only able to whimper out a weak “yes” before looking down to his boxers, trying to avoid his eyes but still wanting him just as much as he now appeared to want you.
He lifted your chin and kissed you roughly, drinking in your lips as if you were the water he had ventured down stairs for all along; and you began to wonder if you perhaps were. Maybe you were what he had been craving, just as you had been craving him.
He pulled the stool closer to him with his spare hand, leading you to wrap your legs around his torso as you tangled your tiny fingers through his sleep rustled hair. It was passionate. His kiss was sloppy, yet perfectly executed as his tongue slipped past your lips to glide over your own. His greying stubble dug into your skin, burning it with pure contact.
You parted to breath; and for just a moment, though it felt like hours, you stared into each others eyes with a ferociously neither of you could nor wanted to tame.
He tuts. “You really shouldn’t drink so much coffee little one, it’s not good for you. And it’s all I can taste.” He couldn’t help but reprimand you for the little habit, he had just gotten so used to doing it over the past three months, and using it to tease you sounded even more appealing.
You opened your mouth to speak, but were cut off when he lunged at you again, kissing you viciously. He began to move his hands all across your body, his fingertips grazing over every inch of you they possibly could as he started to undress you, pulling your oversized sweater above your head and taking handfuls of your breasts. He was kneading them, leaning down to kiss and suck on them whilst he watched you throw your head back, completely enthralled by him.
You were taken aback by how quick things had escalated, your sense of control had deteriorated far too rapidly and was ebbing away even further with each little kiss he left on your skin.
His large hand slid down to your panties, playing with the lacy bow that was centred on the waist band. He hovered his hand over your heat, cupping it and feeling just how sticky you had become for him. You let out a moan, all sense of wrong and right leaving you completely as you uttered a soft “Daddy” and ground your cunt into the palm of his hand.
“That’s right. So desperate for daddy.” He mused, ripping your thin underwear off and dropping it down onto the floor beneath you. Bringing his face to yours again, your noses bumped and leant on each other for some kind of purchase, the both of you watching his hand as he rubbed his fingers through your folds, gathering a fair amount of slick on them before pressing two inside you.
“Ahh!!” You let out a moan, it was louder than you expected and reminded you of what was really going on here. Having been too caught up in the moment, you hadn’t even thought about how being complete fucking naked with your step father between your legs would look if your mother had decided to come downstairs.
“Ah, ah, shh baby. We don’t wanna get now caught do we?” His breathe was hot on your lips, whispering as to not alert anyone. “So tight.”
You whispered back. “I’m sorry daddy, it was an accident- mmph!” You muffled your moan.
“That’s it. Who’s my good girl?” He lay a gentle peck on you lips, only stopping as to allow you to answer his question.
“I am daddy!! I’m your good girl!” You spoke with urgency, but did your best to keep the volume low, which was quite the struggle in between moans. Duncan could see this, so he pressed your lips together. Kissing you into a muffled silence.
You felt his spare hand on your neck, squeezing it just enough for you to still breathe okay when he pulled away from your mouth, moving his lips to the shell of your ear and biting the lobe. He murmured in your ear. “Do you know how hard it was, this week? Having to sit there next to your mom at the poolside and see you just lying there like that?! That fucking bikini. It took everything in me not to cum right there.”
His fingers were moving slowly, going in deep and curling up against your g spot, making you cry out and lean on his shoulder, biting it to keep yourself quiet. he started to rub your clit in hard circles. He was so experienced. It was mind-blowing.
“Would it have served you more pleasure to know, I only wore it for you?” It was true, you had only worn it for him and it had obviously worked. You certainly had his attention now. He growled at this, pulling his fingers out and slapping your cunt.
He yanked your neck closer to him, speaking down to you. “Just for that? Get on your fucking knees.” As soon as he let go of your throat you were climbing off the stool and onto the floor. The heat of the room, and of your acts too, made the marble tiling feel like ice pressed onto your flushed skin. But you didn't care.
You watched him pull his boxers down, cock springing free, adjacent to his stomach. Never having been with anyone of this size before, you had never seen a cock this big. You reached out and touched it, feeling just how hard he was. He hissed at the contact, looking down at you as you watched his facial expressions with wide eyes.
You played with it in your hand, stroking it with one and palming his balls with the other. He stroked his fingers through your hair, giving you a reassuring look as you licked the tip. The salty taste hit your tongue, making you crave his cock even more. So without another second going to waste, you took him into your mouth as far as you could.
“Ahh fuck!” You began bobbing your head, your eyes fixed on him as a groan left his lips. He was watching you intently, threading his fingers through your hair and onto your scalp to get a good grip on your head. You let your jaw go loose, knowing what he was about to do and preparing yourself for it.
He started thrusting his hips into your face, his cock hitting the back of your throat with almost every shove. You had honestly impressed yourself, I mean you knew you gave good head, but taking a cock this big as it fucked into your throat was something to be proud of.
“Mmm that’s it sweetheart.” Your stomach fluttered at his approval. The gagging noises you were making giving him even more pleasure. “You just wanna make daddy proud, don’t you princess?” You mumbled a wet “yes daddy” around his cock, sending sweet vibrations through it as he pushed himself as far as he could into your throat.
You couldn't even fathom how this was happening. You had pictured this moment late at night with a vibe pressed to your clit far too many times to count, so it finally happening was something hard to comprehend. Somehow he looked even more handsome from down on your knees than you had ever imagined he would. His stubble contouring his face perfectly with the ‘o’ his lips were forming.
Suddenly pulling you off of him, you gasped out for oxygen and tried to wipe away some of the saliva dribbling down your chin. It was like a snapshot from one of Duncan’s wet dreams. You looked so incredibly fucked out. He thought it was beautiful.
“Come on little one, stand up. Daddy wants to fuck that tight little pussy of yours.” You moaned as he talked down to you, stroking his calloused thumb over your bottom lip and pulling it down just to watch it bounce back up again.
You stood up, finally wrapping your arms around his shoulders like you had wanted to all this time. He pulled you in for a kiss, one much slower than the rest, communicating something more to you than just pure sexual carnality. His embrace was comforting, making you feel protected and small in his arms.
His hands grabbed at your ass as he picked you up, sitting you back down onto the bar stool and adjusting the hight while his lips stayed connected to yours. Once the seat was low enough for his liking, he picked up your thighs, shelving them onto his hips and laying you back just enough so that you could lean on the backrest.
The room was sweltering, your body hot against his and anticipating having him buried inside you was getting too much to handle. He dragged his cock through your lips, teasing your clit and moving back down to almost enter you, but he never would. Just wanting to get you all worked up and loving the way you would squirm when he did.
“Daddy.. please.” You steadied yourself by holding on to the sides of the seat, hoping he would end his tournament and fuck you already.
He slid the head barely into you. “Hmm… Since you were so polite, suppose daddy should reward you.” He spoke calmly before snarling and stuffing himself into you, pushing as deeply as he physically could. He felt your walls clamp around him as he set his pace. It was a lot. Having never taken a cock this big and the fact he didn’t even let you adjust, you couldn’t help but wail out.
He shot his hand up to cover your mouth, needing to keep you quiet and seeing you clearly couldn’t do it yourself. “Wouldn’t want to wake up mommy now, would you baby?” you attempted to utter a “No daddy”, but his hand kept your lips glued shut.
He fucked you. Like really really fucked you. He was making the stool shuffle underneath you, the powerfulness of his thrusts causing you to slide down in the seat. The only reason you didn’t slip off completely being the barbarian hold he had on your hips.
It actually surprised you how rough he was. A pleasant surprise, of course, but he had been so delicately caring towards you since becoming your step father and now here you were, receiving the best of both worlds.
The closer you grew to your high, the more incoherent your thoughts became. His eyebrows were scrunched together, lips trembling as he picked you up off the seat and held you closer to him. Supporting your ass, his hips ricocheted up and off yours as he tried desperately not to yell out.
His thumb was brought back down to your clit as he pressed you up against him, swiping at it hellishly, trying to hurry up your release upon feeling your legs begin to quiver; and knowing his own was approaching rapidly.
“That’s it sweetheart, come around daddy’s cock… Gonna cum so fucking deep inside your cunt. Would you like that?” You could see a thin line of perspiration cascading down his cheekbone, he was almost breathless and his thrusts were messier now.
“Yes da-AHH!“ you whipped a hand up to your face, holding your mouth shut as you came. You dug the hand you had placed on his shoulder deep into his skin and was quickly reminded of his marriage to your mother. You hoped you hadn't left any nail indents she might see.
You felt his hot seed spurt onto your walls as he rested his head on yours, mouth open wide and letting out a silent groan. His release was long and powerful. The both of you were left panting, the only noise in the room being your own breaths and a small creak from the stool when he softly set you down onto it.
He pulled out, your mixed juices gushing out of you along with the sexual haze you had been overcome with. The severity of what you had just done began to settle in. His head still resting on yours as you started freaking out, contemplating what would happen if your mother was to ever find out what had just occurred.
You wrapped your arms around his back, needing his comfort and squeezing him in an urgent hug, which he returned. his fingers stroked the sweaty skin of your back, trying to ease the thoughts he too had running through his mind. He lifted your chin up, the look he had in his eyes telling you everything would be okay.
Kissing you cautiously, he savoured the feeling of your lips on his and prayed he would get a chance to feel them again. “Are you okay?” He whispered
You didn’t really know if you were. On one hand, that was something you had wanted for a long time and it had been far better than you ever imagined, but on the other you had just helped your stepfather cheat on your mother. “I don’t know. I think so.”
He stood up, grabbing your sweater and panties, handing them to you before putting his boxers back on. “Well, at least that paper won’t seem like such big problem now.” He chuckled, doing his best to find humour in a humourless situation.
You giggled a little, hurrying to throw on your sweater and being reminded of how he had ruined your panties. “True. Now this can hang over my head instead.” You wiped any left over salvia you had on your face onto your sleeve and thought about how you would probably need to shower after this. “At least the sex was worth it, right?”
He sent you a dark smirk, picking up his bottle of water and walking towards the kitchen door. “It was. hopefully it'll be just as good next time too.” You opened your mouth, faking shock at his confidence as you watched him open the door.
“Goodnight Y/N” He gave you one last look as he sauntered through the door, getting ready to close it behind him and leave you alone in the kitchen with no one but your thoughts. The thoughts of your acts. Remembering all the little moments you had just shared together.
In that last moment before he left, you struck eye contact with him, chewing your inner lip and speaking.
“Goodnight, daddy.”
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Thank you sm for reading!🥺🖤
Tags: @dark-mei-rose @sojournmichael @ntxoza @blakescoven @ghostangels @jimmason @fernfiction @brattylovee @7-wonders @angelicmichael @melodylangdon @instincts-baby i'm so so sorry if you don't like this kinda fic or it has triggered you in anyway, but just let me know if it has and I won't tag you in this kind of thing ever again! You can also let me know if you wanna be added to the tag list too:)
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shnuggletea · 6 months ago
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Chapter One is now LIVE!
Happy birthday @knowall7k!
Fanfiction
AO3
Patreon
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@kagometaishostory @master-ray5 @sailorlolo @jayangel10 @zelink-inukag @malditamigs @liz8080 @infamousblueskies @jjwalla12 @gofoulpuppycollector @carbidopa-lynseydopa @witheykd @yeagro @preciouslyours @angelarin @pia-bartolini @blairex @somebodysvillian (If you’ve asked to be tagged and your name is here but you still don’t get a notification, that’s cause your profile won’t let me tag you. Idk if that tumblr being naughty or a setting on your page)
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smilesjeon · 8 months ago
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Hi there can i request a smut fic with dilf seokjin and reader basically she's had a huge crush on him since she saw him at one of the parent meetings at the preschool (she's one of the teachers there) and they talk often all the other teachers tell her he likes her but she doesn't believe it until he finally asks her out...
Thank you 🖤
↳ Genre: Smut
↳ Word count: 1k
↳ Warnings: dilf!seokjin (yes pls mmm), kinda public, blowjob, swearing, praise, degradation, (tell me if i have missed anything!)
note; hi! thanks for the request<3 i havent proofread so ignore any mistakes. i hope you enjoy! (req's are open so ask me anything! i will write pretty much any kind of smut EXCEPT things such as rape and so on. have a good day! <3)
(Jin's outfit is based on the picture)
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He were the only male teacher in the school. You swore the other female teachers drooled over him when they looked at him, but you couldn't blame them. You had a bit of self-control though when it came to men.
Today he wore the usual. He wore a tightly fitted suit, his jet-black trousers stuck firmly to his thighs, making his bum look peachy, according to the other teachers words. A black, long-sleeved shirt with the first two buttons undone the sleeves rolled. His hair were slicked back, exposing his glowing forehead, wearing a pair or rounded glasses.
He had always been the finest man you had ever seen, and what really topped him off were how he treated his little girl.
Byeol were just as beautiful as her dad. She had long, brown hair that matched her dads. Unfortunately, Seokjin's wife had passed whilst giving birth to their daughter, Byeol.  Seokjin had been alone for the past four years, raising his daughter alone, which didn't really bother him; when he were with his daughter, he was the happiest.
The other teachers didn't care if he were over his deceased wife or not, all they knew is that he were single. They came in everyday, boobs pushed up, makeup coated on and their legs on display, all trying to catch Seokjin's attention.
You couldn't lie, you were interested. Who wouldn't be? A hot, single, dilf. Of course, you'd take a chance if you could, but unlike the other female teachers, you had respect for yourself and him. If he wanted you, then he would come to you.
You were brought out of your thoughts in the staff lounge by someone whispering, "Doesn't he just look... yummy today?" She made the two other women, who were sat at the table with you, giggle.
After exchanging some smug looks with each other, you oblivious, one of them spoke up, "Hey, ___, don't you think Seokjin is so hot today? I mean when is he not?" She rolled her eyes, giving a fake chuckle at the end of it.
You played along with their touch starved brains, giving them the answer they all want. "Yes, he has cleaned up nicely." You nodded along, finishing off your lunch.
The bell rang, alerting teachers that it's time to go back and teach. You, luckily, had a free period and so, didn't have to go to class. All the staff fled out of the room, getting ready to finish the day off with one final period.
You looked up, catching Seokjin's eyes. He sent you a wink, causing your cheeks to flame up almost instantly and causing you to choke on the last mouthful of your food.
"Uh hey, could you possibly cover my lesson? I'm gonna take Byeol home, she's not feeling too great." The female teacher he had just asked looked so sympathetic, agreeing to cover his class.
You were marking papers until you heard a 'click'. Looking up, you saw Seokjin locking the door, his hands finding the blinds and pulling them down to cover any windows that people could see into.
"Mr. Kim, what are you do-"
"God, ___, you're driving me fucking crazy."
You were speechless. Was he mad at you? Was he upset with you? By his tone he sounded frustrated. But you were confused on what had made him frustrated. Weirdly, the way his voice rasped when saying your name had only caused you to get wet, your panties already sticking to you.
"But I-" You were at a loss of words, stuttering and stumbling over your words.
He unbuttoned an extra button, his neck and part of his chest on display as he slumped into a chair, manspreading as he adjusted himself by thrusting up into the air and moving down. You were stuck in your thoughts about how he were frustrated until you saw why.
A clear line of his now hard dick were imprinted in his pants as he grabbed it and palmed it. You were shocked at the size. It must've been at least seven inches, if not more.
"I need your help, ___. Please..." His voice trailed off into a little whine, and you were human too. You were also horny, so you did the only logical thing. You walked over to him, getting on your knees as he unbuttoned his trousers, pulling them down along with his pants, letting his cock hit his stomach as it bounced up.
Before you could even prepare yourself, he grabbed a handful of your hair, shoving his cock down the back of your throat, past your gag reflex as he were using your mouth as a fuckhole for his dick.
"Fuckkk, your mouth is so wet, so fucking wet for me." You looked at him with big, innocent eyes. He were resisting his head being fully thrown back, his hips were slightly bucking into your mouth, causing you to gag slightly as his cock reached the back of your throat.
He brought his other hand, grabbing more of your hair and transferring it into the hand that's already got your hair into a makeshift ponytail, grabbing it with more desire as he forced you down on his dick faster and harder.
He started bucking up into your mouth, you were sure that your throat would be bruised for the weekend. "Holy shit, ___, take it- take it all like a good fucking slut." He moaned out, whining slightly when his cock came out of your mouth, before going back into it with a big thrust.
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purplerose244 · 9 months ago
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My thoughts on Seabound!!! 🌊🌊🌊 (1/4)
SPOILERS ALERT!!!
Finally Nya's season! Our queen, our water goddess, our amazing girl gets what she deserves! 😍😍😍
What I know about the season beforehand is that Nya's powers apparently are getting problematic for some reasons? Which is a pretty common topic in other shows but it's a first in Ninjago, usually the elemental powers don't have focus and I LOVE that we now get to see stuff like that 💕💕💕
I know there should be Wojira involved, trusting The Island to deliver that little foreshadowing at the end of the episode 🤷‍♀️ Also Maya is back... MAYA IS FINALLY BACK AFTER SEVEN SEASONS YES!!! 😭😭😭
I have nothing else to say, I have no idea what this will bring, hopefully something as good as Master of the Mountain! 🖤
Alright, here we go!
GENERAL THOUGHTS
Warning reader, I might be fangirling to an extreme because I love mah girl Nya and I've been wanting Kai and Nya's parents to be back ever since Hands of Time ended. So yeah... screaming alert 😅
At this point I don't doubt that the intro is great, we reached such a level of animation and we got The Fold 😍😍 Love the marine vibe and how it's similar to The Island, because it's a great intro 👌
NOW I like the writing! Maybe they rushed the dialogue's quality for The Island to get here? It's just fun and in character, maybe it's just me but I'm enjoying it a lot for now
How many episodes are in this? Wiki says ten, then I checked again and it's sixteen like with Master of Mountain... eh, it looks good so far so it's fine whatever happens 🤷‍♀️
A BIG SPLASH
Oohhh, new villain! One that uses... flames... huh, does she know there's literally a master of fire in the ninja team? Eh whatever she looks cute, give it up for Miss Demeanor!! 👏👏
Wait... OMG IS THAT ERIN MATTHEWS??? WE GOT MACY!! ❤❤❤
Whoa, we're finding out where did the order of the vengestone from season 13 come from?? YAS! CONTINUITY!
Yep, there it is, Nya lost control... her attacks look so cool 😍
Lol that kid trying to be a nindroid and Zane being offended 😂😂 Sorry hun, you're that popular
Aaahhh, thank you Ninjago! You gave me back Nya the perfectionist 😂 I was worried her reaction to her powers wasn't going to be in character but it looks fair so far. Brings me back to Possession, my favorite season 💙💙💙
WE GOT BACK THE FACT THAT SHE CAN MAKE IT RAIN!!! YAS!!! I might be easy to please but I love these details 🤩
🤯🤯🤯 Okay they are definitely going somewhere this time and I LOVE IT, because wow. WOW. Are we actually addressing the forever questioned fact that wind and water weren't elements that Chen needed at the Tournament? Are we giving a reason for them to exist outside the main set of elements and the elemental masters?? Duuuude, season 15 don't let me stop you, keep going 😍
Mm, so water and wind are connected to Wojira (now I see the connection with the special). Are we setting the ground for a new master of wind? 😏😏 It's risky going for a Morro replacement but it's a super intriguing idea! Oooor Edgy Boy TM might come back? WHO KNOWS I'M CURIOUS ANYWAY 🤩
Love how it is universal knowledge that Nya is super indipendent 👌
YES YES FINALLY WE'RE TALKING ABOUT MAYA!!! 😍😍😍 Is it too much hoping into a Ray cameo as well?? Pleaaaase? Also addressing Krux after so many seasons, this feels exciting!! 😊
This is what I'm talking about, training, fighting scenes, show me everything that water goddess can do! 🌊🌊🌊
Aaahhh, Nya flexing her mightiness through anger, just to remind us that she is the descendant of a water master as much as of a fire master 😅
YES YES YES YES IT'S HAPPENING FINALLY AFTER SEVEN SEASON THE FIRE WATER PARENTS ARE FINALLY BACK!!! 🔥🌊🔥🌊🔥🌊 I'M SO HAPPY I'VE BEEN WAITING FOR SO LONG!!! 😭
RAY IS THERE TOO HECK YES!!!! 😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍 I shouldn't get this excited at only the first episode... WHO CARES RAY IS BAAAAACK!!! ❤❤❤
Omg Maya is definitely different from what I expected, turns out Kai's enthusiasm came from her 😂
Oh look at my flame babe 😍
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He's so happy his parents are here, he's a total family man ❤❤❤
Nya is maaaaad... 😅
THERE SHE IS
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WELCOME BACK JILLIAN I MISSED YOU 💚💚💚 Would it be too much having a "Your voice sounds familiar" moment with Maya and Lloyd? 😂
I'm so stoked for this! I want all the interactions I've missed for all of this time, asap!! HECK yes!! 😍😍😍😍
Oh, are we looking over the Miss Demeanor, vengestone situation? Mm... for now at least... WHO CARES FIRE WATER PARENTS!! 🔥🌊🔥🌊🔥🌊
THE CALL OF THE DEEP
Imma just slow clap for The Fold because this is another amazing intro, one of those things in this show that stays awesome no matter what happens 👍👍
So Maya gave Nya her discipline and perfectionism, but not the passion behind it 😂 I like this, it's not your conventional master of water, although I'd say it's different from the impression she gave me back in HoT. Maybe this is how she is when she's not trapped for fifty years? 😅😅
Is it too much asking for Kai and Ray bonding while the water women get the work done? 😅😅
Is this the sequel of Green Eggs and Ham?
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Green Pancakes and Ham? 😂
Oh it's seaweed nevermind... at breakfast? I'm all for sushi rolls but this is a little 😅 Although since Maya missed their childhood she probably never cooked meals for them... how did I get myself sad 😢
Whoa, Maya is a strict teacher! I got flashbacks from my first and only dance lesson, teachers nitpicking every single pose, uuurrrggg I feel ya waterlily 😡
Again, not a fan of Misako, but coming from her the whole speech about wanting to be there for her child makes a lot of sense
Yes. YES.
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YEEEEESSSS KAI AND RAY FAMILY BONDING THIS IS EVERYTHING I'VE EVER WANTED I'M GETTING ALL OF MY WISHES GRANTED FOR THIS ONE ❤🔥❤🔥❤🔥❤🔥❤🔥❤
AND MY FLAME BABE IS SO GLAD HE GOT HIS PARENTS!!! 😭😭😭
Lol with Kai's new hair they look even more related 🤣
Ray also sounds so happy he gets to have his moment with his son 😢 I feel so blessed in this moment 👍
Also this scene makes a lot of sense. Nya grew up to be indipendent, one that succeed in most of stuff without problems, she built her life without any help and doesn't look for it. Kai grew up more insecure, he got some walls up but loves to take care of others and be taken care of. With a childhood lost he looks forward to a bit of softness ❤❤
Did Maya make real bacon for that sandwich? Do I smell some favoritism? 😅 Or maybe she really wants Nya to get onto the water mind setting idk 🤷‍♀️
Little tiny complain, why isn't Jay doing the fixing? Did he give up mechanics completely? It feels like we haven't seen him do tech stuff in so long, I miss techy boy in action 😞
And no, having to check on the bathroom doesn't count 😅
Aww robot date 💜🤍💜🤍
AAAHH ROBOT DISASTER 😱😱😱 ZANE DANG IT YOU WERE DOING SO GOOD NOT TRYING TO DIE IN THE LAST TWO SEASONS!!
Oh that was weird, weird magic purple wave thingie?
I DID NOT ASK FOR A SEASON WITH A BEST GIRL AT THE EXPENCE OF ANOTHER BEST GIRL PIX DON'T YOU DARE DO THIS TO ME 😱😱😱😱😱
"Well this is troubling." I love this samurai so freaking much 💜💜💜
GUYS THIS IS ONLY THE SECOND EPISODE, I'M A LITTLE SCARED NOW 😢
Okay Nya admitting that something's wrong looking so apologetic, girl you don't need to do that you already own my heart 😭
Alright, I'm guessing this is Wojira's power or something, and they will have to go down below and find out why... just throwing this in, maybe Maya did something? Because she wanted to finally be with her family and needed an excuse? JUST A THEORY WITH NO BASE I REALLY HOPE I'M WRONG!!!
Okay, two episodes and I'm BEYOND engaged, let's keep it up! 😍
UNSINKABLE
Getting an idea how this episode might end already 😂😂
Look, I love best girl Pixal, but I'm kinda sad that she seems to be the only one tinkering at this point. Like, I saw Nya fix little stuff, while Jay dropped engineering altogether, I miss my engineers team 😭
Aww, the guys didn't want to crush Pixal's dream of an unsinkable boat 💜 But honestly yeah, I agree with Cole, this might end badly 😅😅
Thank goodness
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I was worried they forgot about Jaya ❤💙❤💙 Jay is such a cutie omg
Nya: Mm, going on a potentially dangerous mission with unstable powers in the heart of my element or... mom's tofu pancakes... *yeets herself over the ship*
I'm making too many screenshots of the Smith family... WHO CARES THEY ARE BACK AND THEY ALL LOOK SO GOOD!!! 😍😍😍😍
Aww Ray wants to play with his son and his friends so CUTE ❤❤❤ Still can't believe they play Prime Empire after everything that went down 😂😂
Whoa whoa whoa, Kai and Cole are sitting this one out? That's actually interesting, I'm pretty sure I saw Cole's scuba suit in the sets though so I didn't expect it... lol it's actually kinda fair that the two that used to be afraid of water aren't going 😂😂
Bet Kai is happy to stay behind because he gets to spend time with his dad 😭
Also studying the fire elementals?? Uhm, yes please?? TELL ME EVERYTHING ABOUT MY FLAME BABE!!! 😍😍😍😍
I'm sure this one scene...
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... made so many lavashippers happy ❤🖤❤🖤 Cole you got Ray's blessing
Ninja team acting cool while Jay is being Jay, it's how it always goes, it's the entire show's description and I absolutely love it 😂 That wink though 💙
PIRATE ZANE IS BACK 😂😂😂 Haven't seen him since Possession, and this time he's not even malfunctioning 👌 Pixal is so done with his dorky boyfriend 😝
Of course Jay already has a ghost butler theory going on 😂
OF COURSE IT'S MAYA 😂😂
To be honest muffins would sold me too 😅 Not sure if she will make them out of tofu again though...
It's actually really interesting that we still haven't met the actual enemies, it does build up excitment! Very curious about these squid guys 👍
Well what do you know, the Unsinkable sank. Who would have thought?
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... yeah same, sorry Pix 😅
FIVE THOUSANDS FATHOMS DOWN
Aaaahhh, Nya fixing stuff! That's more like it!! 😍😍
Oww, that one speech, I've been waiting for so long for that! Maya just wants to catch up with her daughter and it's not her fault she was separated from her children, but Nya did everything on her own with Kai. Only fair she isn't seeking for her help right now... still sad 😢
Pff, with this ninja team there's not a moment of privacy 😂😂
Maya cleaning his future son-in-law's laundry what the HECK 😂😂😂 To be fair Jay has a bit of a history of having to change underwears during sea travels 😝
Zane was attached to a battery? When?... are you talking about that one scene in Prime Empire? Cause that's not really a flashback I wanna ha- whoops never mind got the flashback 😱
Maya looks more calm now, I think she's trying to act more reasonable and she's got good points 👍 I know people were a little weirded out by how more cheerful she looks in comparison to Hands of Time, but I think she gets the most serious and rational when time needs. That's actually fascinating of her 🤔
CALLING OUT AN ATTEMPTED MURDER
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THIS GIRL IS TOO GORGEOUS MY HEART CAN'T TAKE IT 🤩🤩🤩 Like my gosh that smirk, what the heck Pix 💜💜💜
Okay but Jay looking at Nya until the doors are completely closed?? CAN YOU FEEL MY JAYA HEART BEATING?? ❤💙❤💙
Whoa green gas I thought this was Nya's season 😂
MAYA WHY ARE YOU SAYING THIS STUFF YOU'RE SCARING ME 😱😱😱 I SWEAR LEGO IF YOU BROUGHT BACK WATER MOM JUST TO KILL HER OFF I'M GONNA SUE YOU 😭😭😭
I really REALLY like the atmosphere of the entrante of the temple! Super sealike and ancient! 🌊🌊🌊
Maya: off we go, into the spooky old temple! (Why does it feel like something Kai would say? 😂)
Oh gee, someone sleeping in the deep, who could that be? Coff Wojira coff
Whoa the jellyfishes look pretty lifelike!
HERE HE COMES
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WELCOME BACK GILES!!! ONCE AGAIN ON A LEGO SHOW I MISSED YOU SO MUCH YOU AND YOUR GODLIKE VOICE!!! 😍😍😍😍 Gosh he's a villain but he's got Clay's voice, how can I even try to hate him?? 😅
Alright, knocking down my water girls, that is pretty hateful material... BUT CLAAAYYY 💙💙💙
So they need the two amulets to wake up Wojira? Isn't one on the island? Fire dad and son coming to the rescue? WHO KNOWS BUT I'M ENJOYING THIS A LOT SO FAR KEEP GOING SEABOUND 😍😍😍
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nyahstrg · 9 months ago
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yuuji dating nanami‘s daughter
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cw: grammar errors, making out, mention of hickeys and love bites
genre: fluff, slight nsfw
format: headcanon, drabble
pronouns: she/her
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how you met;
- okay so WHAT has this boy got himself into?
- the first time he laid his eyes on you he felt like in a romance manga
- immediately asking megumi who this fellow classmate is
- boy lost his social skill by approaching you immediately
﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋
"hey! i‘m ita-" the pink haired boy tries to say why he walks over to you, already lifting a hand.
"oh, hey." you elegantly turn around. is the sun brighter on your skin or is this shinning around you normal? "i, ehh..."
you giggle and hide your mouth quickly with your hand as you see the pink haired boy blushing.
﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋
- yuuji.exe stopped working
- boy is a isjp pisces, he WON‘T be rational
- from there one he follows you everywhere around, not that you mind, it‘s cute
- he just loves your warm aura and smile, and laugh, and the way you would talk about your interest, the way you would listen to him even though he‘s stammering or talking nonsense
- sukuna makes fun of him for running behind a woman like that but yuuji couldn‘t mind less
- since you grew up in tokyo, you show him all your favorite shops and restaurants
- insist in paying for your food and carrying all you shopping bags
- always tries to go alone with you so it feels more like a date
- being pouty when megumi/nobara joins since he likes to be alone with you
- everyone including you knows about his huge crush, it’s public knowledge
- you‘re not the mean type so you don‘t say no, you even enjoy getting his attention (bro, i would)
- he even arranges a WHOLE picnic date for you, which his brother todo suggest, guaranteeing he will get you with that
- yes you develop a pretty cute relationship and faster than you know, you start dating ♡
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him finding out your nanamis daughter;
- boy was never this shocked/surprised in his life, not even when he found out he got possessed by a 1000 year old curse
-was definitely after the time nanami tutored him so he knew this man and your personalities were quite different
- you always talked about your lovely dad, who adopted you when you were 10, made you these cute lunch boxes with panda formed onigiri, would sing you lullabies, spoiled you and were literally such a softy..................for you
- yes, all these things were about the nanami kento
- even gojou didn’t knew you were his daughter, literally nanami told non of his fellow sorcerer about you
﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋
"[y/n]....does he know, we date?" yuuji asked you, still shocked about the reveal. you chuckled slightly and then looked shamefully away.
"[y/n]!"
"i‘m sorry...the thing is, he‘s just really protective of me and to convince him attending jujutsu high was already hard, but to get a boyfriend...." you sighed, remembering how he would literally flinch when he heard some stranger male name come out of your mouth.
yuuji hide his face frustrated in your chest, while you were going with your hand through his fluffy hair. "don‘t worry, he will be maybe a bit mad that i didn‘t told him earlier but he won‘t do actually anything." you tried to ressure your boyfriend.
he lifted his face a bit and smiled sadly. "and what if he kills me?" you cupped his cheeks. "he won‘t, because i love you."
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how nanami finds out yuuji dates you;
- lemme prepare my tee, because the drama is getting hot in here
- there were many times nanami almost caught you...
- one of them: when you were in your room, making out, you on his lap, bruising each others lip while leaving love marks on your necks. what you didn‘t see coming was nanami heading to your room to check up on his little daughter. so when you heard him talking in the corridor with gojou you two went apart faster than sukuna could cut pizza slices, re-arranged your clothes and placing yourselves both apart as far as you could — it was close, too close.
- so a reminder to the hickeys, yuuji did them all the time despite you telling him to stop
- BUT this boy LOVED touching you, and hugging you from behind while you sit on his lap, kissing your neck and do them love bites and spots
- and you weren‘t innocent too, since you always caught yourself moving your mouth to his perfect jawline and throat, doing more than just kissing
- so nanami wasn‘t stupid, silly of you two to think he wouldn‘t connect the dots
- yuuji having these dark spots on his neck once in a while when he sees him, scolding him for walking around like that
- seeing you having the similar spots on your throat, just that you always tell him it was your heated curler
- as i said, he‘s not stupid
- and a pattern of events showed when he sometimes wanted to check on you whenever he was in the jujutsu facility just to find you 'studying' with yuuji in his or your room, being busy jogging with him or currently hanging in the city
- it was always yuuji, rarely megumi, nobara or some other student
- and yuuji having these marks on his skin but never been seen with a girlfriend or rather a different girl than his precious daughter
- and you having these similar dark spots
- you two are dating in secret in front of him but not making it look really secretive
- so when he was sure his assumption were right he did was had to be done and called gojou for a meeting who happily accepted
- he asked his white haired colleague straightforward
﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋
"is itadori dating y/n?" the seriousness in his voice was impossible to miss and even though gojou wasn‘t any of them both, he felt caught and like he was in trouble.
his face was answer already answer enough. "nanami...i wanted to tell you, hehehe." gojou laughed nervously and started to panic eat his mochis.
the anger built up inside of nanami, he felt fooled. "no you didn‘t and they too."
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how nanami confronts you tw0;
- it was a nice afternoon on a weekend
- your lovely dad invited you to a dinner, just the both of you like always
- different than your usual dinners, he insisted to cook the food alone
- you didn‘t think much of it, assuming he wanted to surprise you with something so you happily arrived in front of your apartment
- but when you entered your dinner room you were surprised to not only see that perfect cooked food but also your boyfriend, sitting on the table, uncomfortable looking down
- "hey, ba- ahem, i mean y/n." he looked so pale you had the urge to check up on him but you couldn’t move, not with this stare on your side
- nanami pulled the chair beside yuuji back "common, sit down y/n."
- nanami smiled slightly making this whole scenario more frightening
- you looked at yuuji while you sit down, meeting your panic with his
- yes you two were f*cked
﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋﹋
"you didn‘t bothered to inform me of your relationship?" nanami took a sip from his drink, enjoying the position he was in.
you chocked on air. there was no way you would get out of this easy. yuuji‘s palms were sweating while he rubbed them against each other. like a reflex, you placed your hand on top of his to get him calm, just a little.
"dad, i...." you squeezed your boyfriend’s hand. "i really wanted to tell about....us, but-"
"but what? you forgot? never had the right moment? for 7 months?"
yuuji and your gaze met again. Gojou!
"listen dad, when we started dating so suddenly and i knew how you felt about me having a boyfriend...i just really was afraid." this time yuuji squeezed your hand, hoping the comfort would make you feel less anxious right now.
"you shouldn‘t be afraid to tell me the truth and hide a relationships." his tone was less angry or threatening, more soft and you felt safer. nanami‘s gaze went to yuuji. "and to you itadori."
itadori startled. not his turn. "i won‘t forgive you that you didn‘t told me and as my daughters boyfriend, you have to earn my trust, until then i will have an extra eye on you." his eyes were piercing yuuji‘s soul and he felt like losing it.
he already got his girlfriend‘s dad on his bad side and it was also his tutor.
you felt more than just relieved. a warm smile slipped up your mouth. "thank you, dad! thanks for your forgiveness, your the best." you stood up and walked up to him, hugging him tightly. he stroked your lower back, while he was still glaring deadly at yuuji.
just when you were about to sit down, your dad continued . "you two will come to dinner every two weeks, no skipping or excuses." you eagerly nod, with a big smile on your mouth, while yuuji just nod, still pale. i have to do this again....
"but." you two eye pairs shot to nanami‘s. this but had an undertone which screamed alert.
"if i ever again see one of you with one of these shameful dark spots on your skin, walking around like that in public like that, and espacially you y/n, then i promise that next time we won‘t just have a normal dinner and i will make sure you two will never have the chance to spend a single second together, alone. do you understand me?
the hickeys. how embarrassing.
you hide your face in you palms, not daring to met your father‘s eyes right now.
"yes, mr. nanami." yuuji chocked out. they didn‘t even start easting and he already had 2 silent panic attacks. this would be a long evening.
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your relationship since nanami knows;
- since that one dinner your relationship didn‘t change much
- nanami started always asking if you‘re with yuuji right now before he went to your room
- lowkey he started dislinking and liking him more, it‘s hard to describe
- nanami still don‘t trust yuuji for dating his daughter behind his back but likes to see how happy he makes you
- he knew he had to accept that you would someday be in a relationship it was just so suddenly for him and the fact that you tried to hide it for 7 months
- yuuji took the hickey rule seriously and since that day he had a fear of kissing your neck
- you had to convince him that as long as he wouldn‘t suck or bite your throat/neck there won‘t be anything
- he also didn‘t touch your throat or neck for like a month since when he once laid his hand on your neck while you two were cuddling, sukuna‘s mouth appeared and he just bite
- yes, he bite you.
- you had to cover that mark with make up and yuuji even brought you a scarf in panic nanami would find out
- and oh how yuuji feared the first few dinners u have
- it felt always like a subtitle interview and he thought with everything he said he would mess up a little more
- after a few times they became better and it started to actually be more relaxed
- yuuji even started to celebrate some holidays with you two
- so yeah, after nanami started trusting that boy again he could sleep peacefully at night, knowing his daughter was dating a faithful guy
- still he wouldn’t tell yuuji that he was completely okay with that to keep him humbling
- he definitely hesitates before he touches you for a time because he always sees this glare
- yuuji would also definitely be the type of guy who asked for your dad’s permission before he proposes[in the future] and he would definitely asked nanami
- yuuji is definetly the type of guy who ressures your dad every time he sees him that he would die for you
- nanami totally likes that yuuji see‘s him so much as an authority, even in your relationship even though you tell your boyfriend he don‘t have to be so formal in every situation
- not having to hide your relationship anymore[even though it‘s just for nanami] took a burden of you two
- so yeah, you’re relationship evolved and also yuuji‘s with nanami’s made a shift
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dreams-in-blk · 4 months ago
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15 years ago, back in the early 2000s, I was dating a genius makeup artist, sparkle and light incarnate, the brilliant colorist Rhonda Jackson. Rhonda would often have to intervene in makeup disasters, as they were happening on the sets of professional gigs. Models near tears, and brides near meltdown as they confronted do-or-die makeup situations.
It was shocking in 2005 how ignorant and cavalier most makeup professionals could be about darker skin tones. In my experience, almost all white makeup artists just completely messed up the faces of deeply melanated black women. And older camera technologies were notoriously inacurate with blue undertones. A combination of don't know and don't care, a dearth of good colors and a lack of understanding about how to apply what colors there were most often resulted in giving darker hued Black women grey ghost-like masks that made them look like zombies.
So, fast forward to today and same problem: professional black models, some of the most recognized and celebrated, whose skins show Blue undertones under intense light (it's an evolutionarily protective adaptation against UV radiation that also happens to be gorgeous. And the reason 'black don't crack')
These amazing women still have to stomp in with their own makeup and foundations to professional shoots! Wow! (Just goes to show you how dumb racism makes us!)
Let alone the everyday challenge you face today just trying to look professional and create a more elegant, so-called "nude" daytime look. Which, in terms of color can be even more challenging because, you have to completely rely on your base coverage. And maybe there still aren't enough good foundations for the range of richly-hued Black women out there (opportunity alert!). I don't know. And if you're going for a daytime professional look you can't just throw bright color on top to hide a terrible foundation. All this, now in the context of even more pressure to keep that look tight. But, Thank Goddess there are many more black-owned beauty brands than there used to be tho.
Now, why am I concerned. Some regular chocolate cis, no-toppings-added serial monogamous fully-binary "he/him:" Well, I very well may end up with beautiful blue-toned daughters or nieces someday. If I'm lucky. How am I gonna help them? What if I'm a single dad? What about you single dads out there now? What do you say? Dude! Do you even know what an undertone is? Let alone a blue undertone. Seriously! We're supposed to know s*** like this now.
Lucky us. Enter black-owned companies like MENTED (finally)! And I'm sure there are others. Hell! I'm new here. So, I'm going with the Black-owned first. We can check the MAC counter later.
Here's a first primer: Be prepared for complexity and variation. It gets tricky real quick. There's depth, chroma and contrast levels. There's the oily/dry continuum to consider. Plus something called "oxidation"! 🤯 F*** if I know. Yo. We might need to develop some AI powered app for this: Where that Future/T.I. money at? Where my Georgia Tech Urkels? Meanwhile...do your best.
1. Know your undertones.
2: Completely woke/geek out and read: an excerpt from the Routledge Companion to Beauty Politics which was just released. The second essay (available as a preview) Neoliberal Beauty by Rosalind Gill is a mind-bomb! 🌋🤨🤯🤬🥃 Whew!!
3: Go deeper: Riddle me this. What's the difference between the undertones displayed by the skin of these three stunning Black women below? "Bruh, close your jaw." "What?" You don't know." It's ok. Neither do I.
Something about hot and cool overtones. But that's all I got. So. How about for now we just stick to known facts and say that the answer is "Black is beautiful!" - rp
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baku-writes · 11 months ago
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Omgggg I just love the hawks request you did it was amazing and sooo good imma request something similar to it but with DABI/ Touya todoroki can you do where the reader and Touya as children like yk childhood friends both grew up with parents who abused them and one day Touya was about to get beaten badly in training and the reader took it for them ( timeskip when they learnt Touya died they were absolutely sadand almost suicide? And DABI finds her in time and they just talk and confess? <333 :)
AAAAAA I LOVE THIS IDEA!! Personally, even though Dabi isn't my fav character I love his backstory. I just find it so interesting.
Touya todoroki x gn!reader (mostly children versions so angst and fluff)
TW: Abuse, fake suicide (?), suicidal thoughts, minor bodily injury (mentions of burnt skin, bruises and blood). ANGST, spoilers (?)
Back from the dead
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Summary: you and touya todoroki grew up together and were both victims of brutal parenting. However, when you took the punishment for Touya it was the final straw... he wasn't Touya anymore...
Life was difficult.
It always had been.
Your entire life you were told you would be nothing, your parents beat you into submission until no motivation ever sparked within you other than to be what they wanted. They wanted a hero. The next number one, just like allmight. They didn't want another version of endeavor, but a capable young hero who could fight any villain and take them down with ease.
Your parents weren't pro heroes, both were rejected by UA and didn't pass the hero course for any other school. It crushed them. But also drove them to insanity. Everything they had ever worked for in their childhood come crashing down within a short period of their lives, that is how the both met. However, when they had you they saw a sadistic glimmer of hope. Hope that their 'spawn' could do what they couldn't and hope that their child could live out their dream for them.
And so they would train you. And train you. And train you. Until you couldn't walk, talk and sometimes even eat due to exhaustion. But once they realised they could no longer give you any more training boosts due to their lack of experience, they handed you off to the number 2, endeavour. Even though they despised him, if that is what they had to do to make you strong.... they were going to make you do it.
And there you met Touya. A young boy, the same age as you, with aspirations and dreams of becoming the hero his father wanted him to be. However, like your parents, they taught this motivation through sadistic punishments and abusive training.
It was obvious the kid was worn out. Burn scars scorched his arms and even his face. It confused you, but also made you protective of him. You hated how overworked he was. You hated to see him get hurt. Ofcourse you wouldn't tell anyone this, knowing your sadistic parents they would threaten his life to motivate you.
One day it was the usual training. Your parents dropped you off at the number 2's house, with only a single bottle of water and a small dirt kids towel. Your overgrown and unkept hair was in an uncomfortably tight messy bun and your limbs ached from the previous days grueling training.
The day started off as normal: using your quirk until you couldn't do it anymore or collapse from exhaustion. Your quirk is called manipulation, it allows you to manipulate the shapes of near by non living objects, fir example you could make a smooth rock spiky. However, your quirk took a lot of focus and energy, so far you could only use your quirk on objects as large as a vase, you were only young.
Touya was next to you, hot flames spewing from his hands and arms. Singing his skin and burning the near by area... that was until he noticed his dads near by ornament fall and shatter on the ground.
Was this ornament important to endeavor? No. But would he still be pissed? Yes.
Fear immediately clouded Touya's mind....
"Nonononono" his panicked cries began to fill the room as you ran over to him, his cries would only alert endeavour sooner. Not because endeavour would be worried for him, but because endeavour would be angry at whatever he had done.
"Touya calm down. Here, I'll sweep it u-"
You barely had time to look up when you hear the sound of the door slam and angry heavy footsteps head towards the training room. Oh no. He's heard.
The door slammed open and silence cascaded over the room. Everything went still as time began to slow, the only sound you could hear was your heart thumping against your rib cage. Touya was going to get hurt.... and you hated that.
"Touya..... did you break the ornament?" He was calm at first. Some may see this as a good sign, but you two know better. He was going to explode any minute, he was a ticking time bomb waiting to blow.
"DID YOU BREAK THE FUCKING THING?" His voice was raised, his steps heading towards the two of you.
He raised his hand, ready to hit his son until your voice chimed in. Weak and unconfident you stood in front of your chest friend as you spoke.
"It was me... I broke it."
Silence filled the room. The scowl on his face grew deeper as he grabbed onto your arm with force.
"You know what's going to happen. Don't tell a fucking soul, you hear me?"
.....
After around 10 minutes you left the backroom, beaten and bloodied. Ofcourse, it wasn't to a severe extent, but still enough to hurt and be noticed by any possible strangers.
Touya didn't speak to you for the rest of the day.... and the next day training was cancelled...
Touya was dead.... death by fire. It was suicide. You knew it.
(TIME SKIP, CURRENT TIME)
The fall from the bridge seemed welcoming. You had got no where in life, running away from your parents at the age of 16 you found yourself helpless and homeless years later.
Recently, you discovered everything was a lie... Toiya wasn't dead... well the Touya you knew was. But the body if him was alive, just being controlled by a man who goes by the name "Dabi". You didn't want to accept that ot was your friend, you didn't want to accept the fact that you still liked him. He was a murderer... you should hate him. But what you hated even more was how you pitied endeavour, the abuser who tortured you two and lead his own son to 'suicide'. He had changed, but you will never forgive him.
The hopelessness and confusion in your life was too much. You let the cool air whip against your face for the final few minutes, you might as well enjoy the last moments in your life. Ironically, it was peaceful, you never really got peace before. And it had to be your final moments that ot decided to make an appearance.
Now was the time. The time to end this miserable life. The time to end the memories and pain that tormented you for years. You would never have to get hurt again, the pain will just stop and never appear. No one will miss you, your friend is gone and your family was never there. Tears began to pour down your face as you realised your life was nothing but a misery... you never even lived. You just survived...
You took a step closer to the ledge.
Until you felt a harsh tug pull you back and force you onto the concrete floor.
"OW WHAT THE HELL?!"
Your head shot up to glare at who ever pulled you down to the ground. But your blood ran cold as a white haired 5'9 figure covered in burn scars stood in front of you...
"D-dabi."
Shock overwhelmed your system, the tears ran down your face faster as you come face to face with your 'dead' best friend. The boy who abandoned you all those years ago..... the man who you never got over...
"Come on now, you know that's not my name." His smile creased his face and wrinkled his scars a little and his held out his hand to you. Warily, you took his hand and allowed him to pull you up. Should you trust him? He was a murderer.... but he was your friend.....
"Long time no see, huh?" He chuckled a little bit. Was this a fucking normal meeting for him. Is he making a guxking joke out of this.... after he abandoned you all those years ago, just to become some low life thug who murders people. INNOCENT PEOPLE.
"What the fuck? Is this funny to you? You think this is funny? Laughing when you left me all those years ago. Laughing when you become this.... a- a... A monster, a freak who murderers out of revenge? Fuck you."
Anger shot through you. You don't care if this gets you killed, either he will do it or you'll do it yourself. He was a monster. A killer. Everything you ever despised in one person. A person you used to love turned into a revenge crazed maniac who kills the innocent.
Surprise flooded his features as you rammed a finger into his chest.
"YOU KILL INNOCENT PEOPLE. YOU HAVE PROBABLY KILLED FUCKING CHILDREN! Who the hell do you think you are coming to see me after what, 5 to 10 years? FUCK I don't even remember anymore because I don't see the point in keeping track of the days I had to live thinking you died! You're a monster...."
Your figure began to crumple, your tough exterior caving in as your pent up emotions broke free from their cage. You collapsed into his arms as he ran a soothing hand down your back. You were so confused.... you were angry yet happy. Sad at what he had become but proud of his strength to fight back...
"Why did you leave me Touya? I c-could of saved you..."
The cool breeze blew against the two of you as Touya continued running soothing strokes down your back. Suprisingly, he was guilty. But he wasn't here to see you upset. He was here to get you, save you, help you. He was here to take you to the LOV, his new family.
"I know I left, but I'm here now. I'm taking you to the League, but I promise they won't hurt you. They are family, you want to change the world right? Fix society? That's our goal too. We have all been hurt one way or another.... but please. Come with me. Let me make up for the time we have missed out on so far, let me be the man you need."
You looked up at him, your eyes sore from crying and nose running. Slowly, you nodded. His warm embrace was welcoming, the first hug you have had in at least 5 years.
"Okay...... but you have to take ms out on a date first." A small goggle escaped your lips as you expected a disgusted face to scrunch his features.
But instead...
"Sure, but we're heading over to the LOV hide out right now sweetheart."
Surprise filled your features as be smiled again, his smile just like his old self.
....
Maybe the new Touya wasn't that bad... maybe the old Touya never left...
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Never wrote for Dabi before so I hope this is good enough!!! Sorry if it took a while to write, I've had a few mental health things pop up within the last 2 days but I'm going to be okay <33. Let me know if this is what you wanted 💞💞
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mammonshuman92 · 8 months ago
Text
- Watched -
Mammon & GN!MC
** TW: Stalking, cussing, religion (ish? I guess?)
| part two | | part three |
It’s been nearly 6 months since you left the Devildom. You picked up where you had left off in the human world: college, work, home, repeat. Sure, you missed your family while you were away, but now your heart aches almost constantly for the new family you loved so much, that you had to leave behind. (Not that you really had a choice in the matter.)
 As much as it hurt to leave the brothers, Diavolo was right. Establishing harmony and unity with the three realms won’t go over too well if one of the human representatives doesn’t go back to the human world, now will it? Still, it sucks. Life is so boring without all of them.
And quiet.
It’s not like you don’t talk though. Yeah, Diavolo has that rule in place where they have to take turns talking to you because “human’s lives are short” and they were “taking up too much of your time”, but that’s not really going to stop them, is it?
Well kinda, actually.
You can’t really argue with a direct order from the demon lord, after all.
-
Is it Asmo's day to call? You thought to yourself, trying to remember (not that you ever could) the schedule Lucifer came up with. Your own schedule was hard enough to remember.
You had been picking up extra shifts at work and staying late to study at school when you could. Finding any reason to stay busy or get out of the house. The deafening silence was too much to bear.
"I wonder when I can go visit? I should call Diavolo.." you said to yourself quietly.
You were walking home from your shift at the coffee shop near campus. The sun was just starting to set and the air was slightly crisp, causing you to pull your jacket a little tighter.
If it weren't for the brilliant pinks and warm oranges cast on the sky by the setting sun, it would've felt like a regular night in the Devildom. Memories of your last few days spent there came flooding back, bringing the sadness along with them.
In just one year, you had gotten so close to everyone, but you had gotten especially close to Mammon. He was responsible for you in the beginning of course, but the connection was undeniable (no matter how much he did deny it). He was a total simp for you, and you for him. It was rather cringey to everyone else. He could be a handful at times, but that tsundere really is a great boyfriend. Leaving him behind was... well, there's no words for it.
Rounding the corner, you could see your house perfectly. Now that the sun had gone down a bit more, it was getting darker and you were suddenly thankful that you remembered to turn on the porch light before you left.
You pulled your keys from your jacket pocket while climbing the few steps to your front door, and something caught your eye. Your stomach dropped.
Not again..
You plucked the folded piece of paper that was stuck in the screen door and quickly made your way inside, locking the door behind you.With a heavy sigh, you tossed your keys on the table by the door and dropped your bag on the floor beside you. You immediately went to shower and change not giving the paper a second thought.
Not everyone in the human world agreed with the Devildom exchange student program. After you and Solomon had arrived in the Devildom, there were numerous protests by a group much like the Westboro lunatics. They were without a doubt against the program and called for it’s immediate termination. Thankfully, their personal hatred was no match for the opportunity for the realms to find peace.
 When you had returned, you noticed people whispering about you, calling you names and giving you dirty looks. You've even received quite a few pieces of hate mail. Granted, the people opposed to the program were very small in numbers, even if it didn’t seem that way. It didn't bother you though. Demons ended up being some of the most important people to you. Not to mention you were kinda in love with one of them. People could say what they wanted about the Devildom and about you, their words didn't bother you.
You were still towel drying your hair when your phone rang. Tossing the towel, you rushed to the living room to fish it out of your bag, Asmo's face popping up on the caller ID. You were right, it was Asmo’s night. You were secretly hoping it was a certain greedy demon’s turn to call (not that he doesn’t text you almost constantly.)
Asmo was the same as usual. Talking animatedly about this and that, gushing over new beauty products and outfits, filling you in on all the gossip you were missing. While he was rambling, your eyes fell onto the paper that was in your door. Might as well look at the newest piece of hate mail, right? 
You began unfolding the paper, quickly giving Asmo an “omg!” about the gossip he was dishing (even though you hadn’t been paying attention.)
Upon seeing the contents, all the color drained from your face. You were sure your heart sank into your stomach, but you could hear the rapid beating in your ears. You suddenly felt hot, and the air around you seemed thick.
Then the adrenaline kicked in.
With shaky hands, you quickly checked the front door making sure it was locked, and headed to the back door to do the same. You rushed around checking the windows and pulling all the curtains closed. Everything seemed fine, nothing out of the ordinary. Still, that didn’t settle your nerves any.
“MC, dear? Did you hear me?” The sound of Asmo’s voice brought you out of your frantic state.
“Huh? S-sorry Asmo. I guess I s-spaced out.” You tried your best to keep your tone normal and steady your breathing, as to not alert him to anything. You really should give him more credit, though.
“MC? Is everything alright?” His tone was different, no longer playful and flirty. You could hear the concern.
Shit.
“Yeah, I’m fine. More hate mail is all. No biggie.” You lied. Maybe he would believe it..
There was a pause on his end, “You’re STILL getting it? Don’t they have anything better to do?” Good, he bought it. For now, anyway.
After about 10 more minutes Asmo said his goodbyes, leaving you alone with your thoughts.
This piece hate mail turned out to be something much worse than the run of the mill stuff you usually received. Inside there were pictures. Of you. At work, at school, the grocery store, ...outside your house. There was also a newspaper clipping that had a picture of you and your family, from when your parents first opened their bakery a few years back. There were red ‘Xs’ marked through everyone’s faces...
The only words scrawled inside read, “I’ve been watching you. You will pay for what you’ve done, whore. And don’t even think about telling your demon fuck buddies. I know everything about you and your family. It’d be a shame if anything happened to poor old Mom and Dad because their child is an unholy slut.”
You read it over and over, tears streaking your cheeks. Hate mail was nothing new, but now this? A stalker? 
Maybe I’m just over thinking it. The other hate mail was spicy too. But these pictures... There is NO way I’m over thinking this..
“Regardless, I can’t tell the brothers.” You shuddered at what their reaction would be like. It would definitely make all of Diavolo’s hard work on the exchange program obsolete. It wouldn’t be good for any of the three realms. There was still a long way to go, but the program was a giant step in the right direction to obtaining peace and understanding. If dealing with some backlash and hate mail could help get closer to that goal, then for the sake of the greater could, you could handle it.
“For now, I will bear this burden myself.”
- {3 weeks later} -
“Are you okay?”
The simple question nearly made you squeak and nearly jump out of your skin. You turn and meet the worried gaze of your lab partner. You weren’t super close with her, so you knew your current state had to be bad if she was picking up on it.
God, do I really look that bad? You got a good look at yourself this morning, and yeah, you absolutely look that bad. But then again, you haven’t really slept in a few weeks. You had gigantic purple eye bags, your hair looked like a family of birds took up residence in it. Your skin was pale and lifeless, and you began skin picking at your nails due to the anxiety. You’d even lost about twenty pounds.
“Sorry, I guess I was spacing out.”
“It’s alright. It’s just- no offense, but you look awful. Have you been sleeping?” She asked, eyes scanning your face.
“Huh? Oh yeah, I'm fine. Promise.” You lied. She nodded and gave you a weak smile, dropping the subject for now.
You hadn’t really been paying attention to class today. Well, for the last several days, really. You’ve been putting in less effort for a lot of things lately. You’ve been slacking off bad at school and barely keeping up at work. Not to mention you never sleep anymore. How can you though?
You left class early and although it was still early in the day, you decided to skip the rest of your lectures for the day. You’ve always been a fantastic student, so taking a day off wouldn’t really hurt anything. And seeing as today was Thursday, you didn’t even have work today. Same as every week.
 Upon arriving home, you were relieved to see that there weren’t any notes left for you. Yet, anyway.
Ever since the first letter a few weeks ago, they’ve been showing up constantly. Only a few times the first week or so, but now you get at least one every single day. They’re also increasing in severity. The sender seems to be becoming more and more unhinged with every passing day.
“Dirty demon whore!!”
“You’re a HUMAN!! How dare you taint your body with demons!”
“I will cleanse you and make you pure again.”
There was so, so much more. All of it growing more and more explicit with each letter.
The whole thing was taking a huge tool on you, but what could you do? Your family’s safety was on the line. You so badly wanted to tell Mammon of even the cops, but you couldn’t live with yourself if anything bad were to happen. Whatever this psycho had planned, you would gladly put yourself in the line of fire to save those closest to you.
The whole situation has also affected your relationship with Mammon and the rest of the brothers as well. At first, you tried to hide what was happening, but they started getting suspicious and asking questions. Always wondering why you sounded so tired and why you kept cutting their phone calls super short. You always rejected their face time requests, knowing that your drastic change in appearance would be alarming and alert them that something was wrong. Lately, you’ve barely talked to any of them. Especially Mammon. He’d be the first to figure out something was wrong with you and come here ready to fight.
That honestly didn’t sound too bad. You wanted nothing more than for him to hold you while you ugly cried. Breathing in his scent while he rubbed soothing circles on your back.
Your heart started to ache.
-
When you got home you decided to take a nice, hot shower to hopefully help ease some of your tension and possibly begin to get a handle on your quickly deteriorating self care status.
Once you felt somewhat normal again, you put on your comfiest pj’s (which included one of Mammon’s shirts) and plopped yourself on your bed in the fetal position. It was the only thing that kinda helped ease a tiny bit of the feeling that everything was spiraling out of control. The warm scent of your most favorite demon helped calm you.
*bzzz* *bzzz* *bzzz*
Damn. I almost fell asleep..
You sat up, rubbing your eyes and reached for your D.D.D. on your nightstand. The called ID made your heart rate accelerate and your palms sweaty.
It’s him.
“Mammon..? I thought it was Beel’s turn to call?”
“I don’t care about Lucifer’s stupid schedule. I need to talk to ya.” His tone made him sound like he was on edge.
“Oh, ok. What’s up?”
He scoffed, “Really? You’ve barely messaged me back in three days. The last time I called, ya hung up after five minutes.”
“Oh. I’m sorry, I’ve just been busy.” Every lie helps break your heart just a little more. 
“You’ve never been too busy before. Besides, shouldn’t ya be in a class right now or somethin’? It ain’t even noon.”
“I left class early and I’m skipping the rest of the day.” You explained.
“..Hmm.” He replied, you could detect suspicion in his response.
It was quiet on his end for a moment.
“MC?”
“Yeah?”
“..Do ya got another boyfriend? Cause The Great Mammon is definitely better! And-and, I’ll kick their ass!”
“What? Mammon, no. One boyfriend is almost more than I can handle.”
“Wha- hey!”
For the first time in who knows when, you actually giggled. It felt so good.
“So, you swear nothin’ is wrong? You’ve been actin’ so weird.” His voice was heavy with concern.
“Yeah, I swear.” Lie.
As good as it felt to talk to him, you needed to end the call before he ended up dragging the truth out of you. If any one could figure out what was wrong with you, it’d be him. The two of you had spent so much time together, that you can practically read each other like a book.
“I gotta go, ok? I have work later and I need to get ready.” Lie. But, you needed to get off the phone with him before he suspects anything.
“Yeah, sure.” He sounded so defeated. You could almost hear him pouting.
After a quicker goodbye than you usually have when getting off the phone with Mammon, you fell back onto your bed with a heavy sigh.
That was a little rough, but he seemed to believe it. I hope this will all be over soon.
With that, you quickly fell asleep, lulled by the memory of your demon’s voice. Although you wouldn’t sleep long, at least you got to fall asleep to the thought of him.
-
*bzzz* *bzzz* *bzzz*
Geez, are ya gonna answer or not? Ya always pick up on the second ring when I call ya.., Mammon thought.
Finally, on the sixth ring, “Mammon..? I thought it was Beel’s turn to call?”
Man, hearing your voice is like music.
“I don’t care about Lucifer’s stupid schedule. I need to talk to ya.” His tone made him sound a little rougher than intended, but it was all the same. He needed to hear you voice.
“Oh, ok. What’s up?”
He scoffed, “Really? You’ve barely messaged me back in three days. The last time I called, ya hung up after five minutes.”
I miss ya like crazy. Ya keep avoiding me..
“Oh. I’m sorry, I’ve just been busy.” 
Huh? But, MC is always busy doing somethin’ and it never stopped em’ before..
He started getting an uneasy feeling deep in his stomach. He could tell something was off, but he just didn’t know what it was.
Is it ...someone else? Nah, MC wouldn’t do that. ...Right??
“You’ve never been too busy before. Besides, shouldn’t ya be in a class right now or somethin’? It ain’t even noon.” He didn’t try to hide the pout, that he knew you could hear, in his voice. His own thoughts were beginning to hurt his feelings.
“I left class early and I’m skipping the rest of the day.” MC explained.
“..Hmm.” He hummed. Thoughts started swirling around in his head.
MC never skips school, not even at RAD. Somethin’ is definitely going on. And what’s with the short answers? MC always talks like crazy. Maybe they’re mad at me?
It was quiet for a moment while he tried to sort through his thoughts.
“MC?” He asked, finally breaking the silence.
“Yeah?”
“..D-do ya got another boyfriend? Cause The Great Mammon is definitely better! And-and, I’ll kick their ass!”
“What? Mammon, no. One boyfriend is almost more than I can handle.”
“Wha- hey!” You giggled at his response. It was small, but he heard it. It made his heart swim.
All joking aside, he did believe you. Something was definitely not right with you though.
“So, you swear nothin’ is wrong? You’ve been actin’ so weird.” His voice was heavy with concern.
“Yeah, I swear.” Those three words caused his heart to sink.
That was a lie.. MC only says ‘I swear’ while tryin’ to act like somethin’ ain’t wrong..
He pushed his thoughts aside for the time being and continued the conversation. It only lasted a few more minutes before you started saying your goodbyes. Again, cutting the call short.
“I gotta go, ok? I have work later and I need to get ready.” 
Hmm. Why does that seem weird?
“Yeah, sure.” He sounded so defeated.
There was, without a doubt in his mind, something going on. Something that would make you lie to him..
One way or another, he was going to find out.
-
“Mammon? Are you alright?”
Mammon was sprawled out on the couch in the common room. After talking to you, he was lost in his thoughts and feeling rather down. Beel passed by the common room on his was back from the kitchen when he saw his older brother. Noticing that he looked sad, Beel went to investigate.
Mammon looked up to meet Bee’s concerned gaze and with a sigh, he sat up.
“Yeah, I’m fine.” Mammon said, as he stood up to leave. Beel could tell he was obviously lying, but decided not to press the issue.
Mammon stopped a few paces away from Beel, and turned back around to face him.
“Hey, Beel. Was MC actin’, I don’t know, “off”, the last time ya talked to em’?” He asked the sixth born, thinking maybe you had accidentally let something slip.
Beel’s face seemed to twist up a little bit, and he nodded.
“Yeah, kind of. MC used to sound excited when I called, but now they hardly talk at all. And they used to send me pictures of the food they were eating and new recipes, at least twice a day, but it’s been about two weeks since the last one they sent.” He explained, sadness in his voice. While in the Devildom, you were his favorite person to eat with.
Mammon nodded at his brother, getting lost in his thoughts again.
So, it’s not just me. MC is actin’ strange with Beel too..
Neither of them had paid been paying enough attention to see Asmo enter the room.
“Mammon, there you are. I’m going out, and I need my new bag from Majolish. The one I let you borrow. And i swear, if you sold it-” Asmo stopped mid sentence when he noticed the sad state two of his brothers.
“Is it about MC?” He asked, nonchalaunt.
Mammon’s head snapped toward his brother.
“What do you mean? Did they say somethin’ to ya?” Mammon asked quickly, taking a few steps closer to his brother.
MC and Asmo always gossip with each other, so maybe they’d tell him somethin’..
“Calm down. MC really hasn’t talked to me much in the last month. I’m so hurt! Who else am I going to talk beauty products with? Lucifer? Goodness, no.”
“Asmo!” Mammon said loudly, trying to get the fifth born back on track.
“Oh, right. Let’s see.” He put a finger to his chin and thought about it. “Hmm. The only thing I can think of was during the last normal conversation I had with them. They said something about receiving a piece of hate mail. They said it was no big deal, but I distinctly remember MC seemed flustered by it. Which I thought was weird, considering it’s definitely not the first one they’d received..” Asmo explained.
Hate mail? MC has only mentioned it to me a couple times. Do they really get it that often..?
“How long ago was that?” Mammon asked. He felt like he was on the brink of something. Just a few more puzzle pieces..
“Hmm, it was right before MC started acting distant toward me. So, about three or four weeks, maybe.” Asmo explained. That’s around the time you had started acting weird with Mammon too.
“So, maybe something happened to MC.” Beel suggested.
“No, MC would tell us. ..Right?” Asmo questioned.
Mammon was so confused.
What is goin’ on with you, MC?
-
After talking with his brothers, Mammon holed himself up in his room. He didn’t really want to be around anyone at the moment. His thoughts were driving him crazy and giving him a headache. What was he not seeing? What piece of the puzzle was he missing?
He started going over your last conversation again, for the millionth time, looking for any kind of clue. But, you seemed normal. Well, your new normal, anyway. Distant, short answers, not giving too much to the conversation. What were you hiding?
It was something about the end of your conversation, but what was it?
He remembered your small giggle. The memory caused a smile to break out across his face. It gave him a tiny bit of hope that you were still there. That you still loved him. That whatever was troubling you, wasn’t making you forget them completely.
It was after that though. You had said “I swear”, which was a red flag, considering you only say it when you’re trying to convince him you’re ok when you’re really not.
He sighed, and rolled over on his bed. He looked at the alarm clock on his night stand, numbers glowing an angry red.
MC is probably at work right now..
Something caught his eye.
Today is Thursday... MC never works on Thursday. I guess the schedule coulda changed. No, cause MC specifically requested to always have that day off for some reason. Delivery day at their family’s bakery, I think. ...MC lied, again..
Then it hit him.
The small little lies. Avoiding all of them, even him for weeks now. Barely talking when you do answer the phone. The way you always sounded so tired and out of it.
It had something to do with what Asmo said about the hate mail.
“Hmm. The only thing I can think of was during the last normal conversation I had with them. They said something about receiving a piece of hate mail. They said it was no big deal, but I distinctly remember MC seemed flustered by it. Which I thought was weird, considering it’s definitely not the first one they’d received..”
Mammon didn’t even know that you’d been receiving that much hate mail. Sure, you’d told him about it a couple times, but he didn’t think it was that bad. Maybe it was actually pretty serious. Is that why you’d been so distant.
Mammon got up from his bed, and began pacing around the room. He almost had it figured out, he could feel it.
Asmo said MC seemed flustered, so it had to have somethin’ to do with the hate mail they received that day, since after that is when MC started actin’ weird.What if it’s somethin’ bad. Like, bad bad. 
He stopped pacing.
The thought of MC being in danger was...
Mammon grabbed his jacket, where it was thrown onto the pool table and left his room in a hurry. He was on his way to Lucifer’s study, mentally preparing himself on the way. He was sure he knew what his brother’s answer would be, but he wasn’t going to just sit here. He needed to know that you were, in fact alright, with his own eyes.
I’m going to the human world. Whether Lucifer allows it or not.
| part two | | part three |
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winchesterxxi · a year ago
Note
Maybe Poe and Skywalker reader being married to each other. Their life together, struggles and everything in between
(force awakens to rise of Skywalker)
WARNINGS: Non-canon content for the sake of the request; Focuses more on the Reader x Poe relationship, so many plot points are left untouched (as in, Reader doesn’t know Kylo is her brother)
THE FORCE AWAKENS
You were stationed in Jakku with your dad and Chewie when a girl and a guy board onto the ship;
“Who the hell are you?” you ask, you and your dad with blasters pointed out to them.
They throw they’re hands up and from behind them rolls out BB8 and you immediately drop to your knees.
“BB! Oh my God, where is Poe? We lost his TIE signal two hours ago, we’ve been worried sick!”
“You know Poe Dameron?” Finn asks you, lowering his hands.
“I’m Y/N Skywalker, his wife.” you eye him, only now noticing he is wearing your husband’s jacket “W-Where is my husband?”
That’s when he gives you the news of the crash and you latch onto your dad, crying.
Days later, on Takodana you are under an attack by the First Order and just as you thought there was no hope left, a fleet of X-Wings come in and save you.
After the fleet landed, you went to meet you mom, knowing that she was the Commander behind this offence against the First Order.
“It’s not me you have to thank honey.”
“What do you mean?”
“Your husband’s the one behind it this time.”
“My...?”
She just nods your head and cups your cheek, stroking your teary eyes, knowing how you’ve been grieving, thinking that Poe had died
“Go find your husband.”
You run past her and your dad to the the landing site trying to spot Poe in the crowd, heart beating hard in your chest
“POE?” “POE!?” you scream is name, trying to find him.
Then
“Y/N?” you stop in your tracks and turn around, spotting your husband.
Your run to him faster than you’ve ever ran until you crash into him in a tight hug, crying.
“I thought you - I thought you had -” you sniff between the tears.
He cups the sides of your face “I know, but I’m here, honey. I’m sorry to worry you. You’d never get rid of me so easily!” He smiles into the crashing kiss.
He helps you blast the FO’s base's thermal oscillator after you witness Kylo killing your father, tears stinging your eyes as you charge ahead.
Afterwards, him being your shoulder to cry on as you mourn your loss.
THE LAST JEDI
Flying alongside him on the dreadnought attack;
“Y/N, FIRE NOW!”
You do as you’re instructed, your shot igniting the explosives that had been set inside the dreadnought making it light up like the 4th of July
“THAT’S MY GIRL!” he shouts over the intercom
When back at the ship, reunited with your mother, you’re the one that spots the Star Destroyer in the radar grabbing Finn’s forearm, alerting him to the map.
“We need to jump to lightspeed!” he states running to your mom, awaiting clearance to do so, hot-headed as always.
“Poe, we can’t do that! We only have enough resources for one jump and if we do so, they’ll just track us again and be without fuel.”
You eye your mother, looking for some help.
“Permission to jump on an X-Wing and blow something up?” he addresses your mom.
“Poe w-” you start
“Permission granted!” your mom agrees as Poe darts running
“MOM!” 
“Go get on one as well.” she comes forward and kisses your forehead “You’re a team now.”
Just as you and Poe are about to reach the X-Wings, him slightly ahead of you the FO manages to blast the platform, sending him flying against you as you both crash to the ground.
He his also next to you when you spot your mother floating in space after the attack and he grips your hand tightly.
You insist on pushing her to the medical wing but he stops you before you can do it
“Poe, I need to be with my mom please.” you grip his arms, sobbing.
He kisses your forehead
“I’ll go with her, you stay here please.” you nod, teary eyed at him “Finn, take care of her for me while I’m gone”
*FASTFORWARD TO HOLDO’S EVACUATION PLAN*
You believe her plan won’t work either so you lead the mutiny alongside your husband
That is until he is stunned against the wall.
You throw yourself on your knees beside him, cradling his head.
Turning back you spot your mom, alive, holding the blaster
“MOM? WHAT THE HELL?”
“I know you love your husband but for once, just drag his ass out.”
You are holding his hand when he springs back to life.
“What - What happened?” he is shaken
“Poe I-”
He pushes past you running to the nearest window
“NO!” he slams on the glass and you come up behind him hand on his shoulder
“Honey,...” he shrugs his shoulder off, facing you, hurt tainting his face.
“Don’t... Call me that.”
“Poe...”
“No! I thought we were in this together!”
“This plan is gonna work, you have to trust me!”
“How can you ask me that after what you just did.”
First serious married fight... yay.
You look at him, biting your lip, tears in your eyes before walking away.
“Poe.” he turns around and finds your mom, calling him and that’s when she shows him Crait and explains him the full and he realizes he was just an asshole to the person he loved the most.
“Oh my god, I’m such an idiot.”
“Yes you are. Now go apologize to my daughter.”
“Yes ma’am.”
*Cue romantic, cute and awkward apology scene*
When the time comes to face the First Order he boards on a speeder and you on your father’s Falcon alongside Chewie
And of course you then help him lead your people out of the cave
THE RISE OF SKYWALKER
So...you’re kind of the captain of the Falcon
Despite Poe being an undeniably better pilot than you, he insisted that you were the rightful captain of the ship now that your dad was gone.
And he loved to call you captain
It made you smile every single time
Fastforward to Kijimi when Poe has a blaster pointed to his head
You are quick to point your own to the armored woman behind him
“Blaster off him, now.”
“She won’t ask twice, I would listen to her”
“Who are you?” you ask, blaster still up as she hadn’t let hers down
“Honey, this is Zorii. Zorii, this is my wife, Y/N”
Her helmet turns to you “Wife? There are actually people out there who go along with what you say.”
“Oh, you’d be surprised.” he retorts and you snap a look at him
“I could pull this trigger right now.” She says, pushing the blaster harder against Poe’s head.
“You do that, my blaster is the last thing you’ll see in this life.”
“We’re trying to find Babu Frik.” Poe tries to ease the situation
“He only works with the crew. That’s not you anymore.”
“What does she mean crew?” you ask him
“Oh your wife doesn’t know?”
you look between her and him confused
“Funny he never mentioned it...”
“Married people are still allowed secrets Zorii - “ he tries
“Your husband was a spice runner.”
Your eyes almost pop out of your eye sockets
“You were a spice runner? In almost 5 years of marriage NOT ONCE did it occur to you to mention that!?”
Once again, next to him when one of the stormtroopers blasts him in the arm inside the Star Destroyer
“POE!”
Standing in line next him, Chewie and Finn
“Were you ever going to tell me you were a spice runner?”
“You’re still on that?”
“OH I’M SORRY, IS THIS A BAD TIME?”
“IT KIND OF IS, YEAH!”
“Well, because later doesn’t really seem like an option right now -”
“You don’t say -”
“And if my husband has some other important life information before meeting me that I should be aware of, I would like to know becasue for all i know, you could’ve even been a stormtr--”
BAM
Troopers dead, you all alive
Hux admits to being the spy
“I KNEW IT” he points out
“No, you didn’t.”
 While on one of the Endor’s moon your mom uses her last breath to reach out to you trough the Force
You are a few feet behind Poe on the grass and fall to your knees with a thud
He looks over at you, face dropping as he runs in your direction
Your face is white and your look is blank and he is trying to shake your shoulders to gain some attention from you
“My mom...” You look up at him and he immediately understands, gulping hardly. He doesn’t say a word, simply pulling you into a crushing hug as you scream into the ground, tears running down.
Later, back at the resistance base, after you’ve said your goodbyes to your mom, Poe is the one sitting next to her linen-covered body
“I... I promise I’ll take care of her. Not just now, or in the near future, just... forever. I’ll stay by her side, always, Leia. Your daughter... Your daughter is the love of my life.”
After you defeat the First Order, during the celebrations Poe pulls you aside to a quiet place and tells you that he wants to settle down.
You agree with him, teary eyed, kiss kiss, you know the drill
BB8 beeps at your feet
POST TROS BONUS
The both of you settled on Yavin 4, his home planet
You are blessed with kids, first a baby boy and then a baby girl, 2 years apart
Who you name Kes and Leia, after Poe’s dad and Leia’s mom, who devoted their lives to the resistance and in one way or another were behind the reason your life path’s ever crossed
Poe cried like a baby when you told him you wanted your first born to be named Kes
Occasional visits form uncle Finn and uncle Chewie
When it’s just Finn, him and Poe tend to go out and do “guy stuff”
While you sit back at home with the kids and BB8 who loves to entertain them 
And it isn’t rare for sometimes you being sitting on a bench, watching the three of them play in the distance, head on Poe’s shoulder, his arms draped around your waist
And you look to the side to be met with the Force ghosts of your family members looking down at you
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