#so it's fun to think about at the very least
Episode! One! Reaction!
Oh wow I am not used to the 1 AM thing any more, I got so used to actually sleeping, wow.
Okay just rattling some thoughts off, here we go:
I love all four of our new characters so much? Like, so much that I almost regret the returning characters we also have, not because I don't also love them but because what if we had more of this. (But soon they'll all be this together, whatever this turns out to be.)
I am so serious about class as a major theme of this campaign. Like, obviously it's only episode one! who knows! But I'm feeling something-something-solidarity-something out of our new characters, and Bertrand Bell intersects with that in some really interesting ways, and I think I really want it?
Because right, you could tell from episode one of the last campaign that this was an outsider narrative! This overarching, constant theme that we carried through for a hundred and twenty-odd episodes was that this was a motley group of people who don't fit anywhere. The goblin in the mask, the cleric of a forbidden god, the traveling carnival that nobody trusts which can only stay so long and not longer -- it was about social isolation, about being alone, and having the chance to find a handful of other people to be weird outsiders with. (And yes, of course the final big bad at the end of the campaign was assimilation. Of course it was.)
And the thing is: that's not what we have, here.
(oh no, episode one meta got long, Read More after the cut)
Our characters starting out here -- and I'm leaving the EXU trio to the side for a moment, I'll get to them later -- are poor. And they're poor in a different way than newbie adventurers often are. They're not just temporarily strapped for cash until they take the next easy-to-come-by job that will set them up for life. They are poor in lifestyle, in resources, in connections, in socioeconomic power, and in a way that suggests this is and has been and, were it not for today's events, would continue to be a long-term thing.
And also: They are not wealthy, they are not important, they are not respected. But they are also, even outside their own party, not alone.
I love Imogen and Laudna so fucking much, already. Everything about their vibe speaks to long comfortable companionship, not of the 'we rely on each other for codependent survival' way (which, face it, is as much pre-game Vax and Vex as it is pre-game Nott and Caleb), but in a 'we know and share each other's problems' sort of way, a comfortable sort of way. They're not busy trying to caretake one another or step in front of each other's bullets, they're just on the same page about goals and steps to reach them.
They're not set up in opposition to the world. They're very much part of the world. They buy groceries for their landlady, they do her dishes, she knits them socks! They try so hard to go through official channels for these university resources. And yes, they're different, they're not from around here, they're a little weird, Imogen hears thoughts and Laudna looks like death, but. "We've done well for ourselves here," they say, and they mean it. And what that means to them is, we have a warm and comfortable place to call home, and a person who welcomes us there and doesn't charge more for rent than we can afford. We have enough to live on and we haven't been chased out of town on a rail.
And like, just that, just with that, we're already making class statements. We're already setting up a situation where these two ladies, who don't have money, who don't have influence or relations, who aren't important, can't get access to a resource they need (for whatever reason). (Which--it sure seems like the resource they're looking for is knowledge about their own magical powers, which, y'know, fun magic bonuses aside, sure seem to work a lot like disabilities for them in at least a couple of ways. Socioeconomic gatekeeping access to disability resources? In my fantasy fiction? It's more likely than you think.)
And then we get Ashton and FCG, and the fucking queer punk group house that is inhabited by too many people with not quite enough money to pay the cheap-ass rent that doesn't quite cover repair work for the holes in the walls, not really enough of anything to go around, but also someone found a half-broken robot in a pile of dead bodies and brought it home and now we have one more roommate because sure, why not, right? Ashton's all surface cynicism and sour bite, but they know people. They network! They live gig-economy style, one payday to the next, and they know who to talk to for the possibility of work, dozens of people know Ashton by name and general skill set. Ashton knows them all by name right back. And for all their cynicism and pretense of not caring, they've adopted FCG entirely: here, this is my new robot friend, this is the new guy, this is what they can do, this is what they're looking for. Here, let me show you around town, let me tell you what to expect, you're cool, I like you. (And right, part of this is Taliesin, who is literally incapable of creating a character that doesn't have a place and a community, family or otherwise, broken or otherwise, to belong to. But Percy's family was dead and Caduceus's family was gone, and Molly's circus broke and shattered and left him. Ashton's community is an entire neighborhood, is businesses and individuals and fundamental socioeconomics. He may have to leave it for a while, but it's going to still be there, unless the entire neighborhood burns. In which case we really are looking at total class warfare.)
And ok, let's talk about class warfare for a minute. Let's talk Bertrand Bell.
I am so fucking fascinated by the choice to revive Bertrand Bell, of all characters, for this campaign. And I love the role he's playing here.
Bertrand Bell is a con man. He's a charlatan. He once got dragged through literal Pandemonium and back because he bragged too much and got called out on it. He has always pretended to know more than he really knows, to be able to do more than he really can, getting by on bluff and swagger and a very impressive sword. But now? Well, he's older, now. He's not level 18 any more. He's a level 5 fighter. He's got to work to stay up with the lifestyle to which he's accustomed, let alone grind towards the lifestyle to which he's always aspired to become accustomed.
So he drops names, he makes deals, he tries so damn hard to ingratiate himself to the upper class, the people he wants to be with. And they don't respect him at all, because of course they don't, because they're elderly in secure luxury and he's elderly but still on that hustle, because he doesn't have the resources to put it down. And his solution to his dilemma, very pertinently, is to prey on people with even fewer resources than himself.
I absolutely believe the aspersions cast on 'did Bertrand Bell set up the whole animated-objects debacle to try and lure some promising adventurers'. One hundred percent, I believe it. He jumped on them the instant the fight was over. He was obviously desperate, given his reception at Lord E's manor. It is painfully transparent how much he thinks he needs this, and it doesn't even seem to be a case of blackmail or gambling debts or threats hanging over him or any of that. Lord E would've been happy enough to never see him again. The only bad thing that happens to Bertrand Bell if he doesn't summon up this group of baby adventurers to sacrifice on the altar of upward mobility is that...he doesn't get what he wants. Doesn't get the resources he thinks he needs, the money, the clout, the status, the attention.
And that's an interesting story! That's a really interesting force to be putting up alongside a team of people who, for the most part, largely just seem to be trying to get by. I can't wait to see where they go with it.
I did promise to come back around to our EXU trio, too, so let's get into that. They've got a lot of interesting potential here, maybe especially Dorian, though we'll see how long he's sticking around for. (He's a born-and-raised very rich kid, from this general region of the globe, who left his family for Complicated Reasons and clearly has unresolved feelings about the wealth he came from. Interesting.) Mostly, though, what we see from Fearne and Orym is an outsider perspective on the entire system. Fearne and Orym aren't part of the class structure of this city. They're tourists. Foreigners. Adventurers, and if we've seen anything over on Tal'dorei, it's that "adventurer" is its own socioeconomic class entirely. (The details of which I think are due when it's not two in the morning.)
Adventurers don't worry about the day-to-day basic economics of survival -- there's always another monster to kill if you need cash, or a wealthy patron to spot you an airship or an inn, or a vault to loot, or something. Fearne steals a man's earring for fun and shinies, not money. An adventurer doesn't have to rely on the goodwill of one city's community just to live in, because they can travel anywhere. They bring their own community in the form of their party, and never leave home without it.
Orym and Fearne especially don't come from socioeconomic backgrounds that look anything like this city even before they became adventurers. Druid communes or feywild villages don't have a lot in common with urban class stratification! Which means that they're going to be learning a lot of this stuff for the very first time, seeing some of it reflecting on their fellow party members, and building their relationships with it anew. How do tourists fit in with a local socioeconomic system? Either they fund it from the outside with their presence, or they assimilate.
Anyway. Maybe I'm wrong! Maybe none of these themes or ideas will ever come back again. But I'm feeling very 2021 right now, with all that entails, and it's making me think that maybe-just-maybe this story's feeling it too. Why not tell a story about eating the rich before the rich can devour the poor? I'd be up for that. I'd be up for watching CR do that.
(Of course, given that it's a quarter after two in the morning and I still care enough to finish this post, I'd be up for watching CR do a lot of things. Still. The point stands.)
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I'm Chinese American and I was wondering what your east asian mods (and followers) think about non east asian writers using slurs when depicting racism against east asian characters.
I don't like it, but idk. When I come across slurs it's kinda uncomfortable and jarring. But I also get wanting accuracy. I've looked through your other posts on slurs, most regarding the n word, and the consensus seems to be "you don't need to, and it's triggering for your readers" but I'm wondering if there are any scenarios where it would be necessary for a writer to do, and how to tell.
It's one thing if the author is making money off of the work - but what about fanfiction? If they're writing it just for fun, and not profiting off of it, does that make it any different?
Also, I'm wondering if an AO3 tag like "period typical racism" feels sufficient for warning readers about slurs (I'm relatively new to ao3 so I'm not sure if it's my fault for reading fic with that tag that contains slurs lol). Especially when it comes to worlds that aren't our own, that might be based on a certain time or place but aren't exactly that time/place.
I understand that most people come to this blog for questions pertaining stories they're writing, and my question is more of something that I've just been debating in my head lately. So no pressure to answer if you don't want to. Either way, thank you for your time!
Using/Depicting Slurs Against East Asians in Writing
TW: Uncensored slur in third paragraph
Slurs should not be used for the sake of using them, or shock value. I’d strongly suggest censoring it, especially if you aren’t a member of that group. Readers will know what the word is. Content warnings should also be present.
However, censorship is not a substitute for critical analysis on why you want to include a slur and if it’s truly necessary.
Additionally, depending on the time period, terms we would consider “slurs” - or offensive - were commonly used or colloquial terms at the time. For example, during the 1900’s in the PNW and California, the colloquial term for Sikhs was “raghead” - something I now reclaim. There’s a news article from the 1920’s where the author interviews a Sikh family and that’s what she calls them in the title. Today, most people consider it a slur, or at the very least offensive and bigoted. In a historical context, I personally would not care if it was uncensored. If you’re attempting to demonstrate racism in a modern context, I think censorship is, at the very least, worth considering.
Regardless, power dynamics, privilege, and even personal experiences will affect the reactions. I tend to shy away from uncensored slurs, and if I do include them there’s a specific purpose, because my first experiences with racism involved hearing them used towards me. Others will see it differently and I think all perspectives are important to consider when writing.
Agreed. Huge emphasis on the appropriate content warnings.
With period typical racism, I do understand how going for historically accurate language will include slurs. However, I wouldn’t use slurs that are directed to groups that I’m not a part of, at all, coming from my own background as an East Asian. Nor would I feel comfortable about non-Asian authors using anti-East Asian slurs.
~ Mod Em
Ask published Oct 2021
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Tying You To Me — Part 2
Summary: Lonely hearts meet at a bar and one thing leads to another. Can broken hearts and burned bridges be mended while twisted up in bedsheets?
Content Warnings: MINORS DNI Casual drinking, mentions of hook-ups/one night stands, running themes of infidelity, sexual innuendo. SMUT: dom!Spencer sub!Reader (will be Switch for both eventually), Pet Names: Good Girl, Sweet Girl (don’t yell at me because I used that one 11 times, it’s my FAVORITE), Praise, Light humiliation/degradation (slut/whore), ingestion of cum, Oral Sex (female receiving), Penetrative Sex without a condom, Birth Control (Shots) mentioned
Word Count: 9,700 (it's my longest fic yet!!)
Author's Note: Well here's the next part!! Thank you to @reidslibrarybook for being the best beta I could ever ask for! And thank you to everyone who read the first part! This is where things start to speed up! As always, every comment & reblog makes me so happy! I hope you all enjoy this part, it was a lot of fun to write
Part I- Illicit Affairs | Series Masterlist | Part III - TBD |
PART II - Motion Sickness
“You are going to get hammered or laid. Or both. At least buzzed, Y/N,”
“Liz,” Y/N says, holding her temples in anticipation of a headache, “is a Divorce Party really necessary? I mean is it really a celebration that I wasted 10 years of my life on that douchebag?” she laments, flopping on the bed next to her sister.
“It’s been, what a year since you’ve known he was fucking your neighbor? And you’re finally done with him. Now it’s your turn, Y/N, your whole life, you’ve been perfect,” Liz eyeing a group of man playing darts in the corner of the bar, “You deserve to let loose and get with a hot guy who’s name you won’t remember in the morning,”
“Liz, I think you forget I’m a mother,” Y/N says, reminding her sister that she’s the only responsible parent her daughter has.
“So? That doesn’t mean you don’t deserve love, Y/N,” Liz consoles, smirking when Y/N rolls her eyes at her, “or at least treated very generously for one night by an attractive stranger,”
“One drink,” Y/N barters, fixing her work blazer as she settles on to the barstool, “And only because mom agreed to be with Aster. James is too busy trying to get his dick up to even think about a plan for childcare. I mean, does he actually expect me to do this by myself,”
“Y/N, I love you. But let’s forget about James and what he did to you. Please, just get drunk and forget about that asshole,” Liz orders, waving over the waitress, “We’re so getting pretzel bites,”
“You give excellent advice, Liz,” Y/N says, sarcastically as she looks over the drink menu. Her sister means well, but doesn’t fully understand the complexity of a husband being unfaithful. On top of an already rocky marriage, it’s hard to explain that she’s almost happy he finally fucked up so badly that a divorce was acceptable.
Now she’s the sad little wife that got cheated on, but before she was the nagging wife who complained that her husband never did the dishes. Now, the world can sympathize with her. But before she would’ve been the villain. She'll have to be whatever version of herself that's most palatable to the world.
“Y/N here will have something strong. Lots and lots of alcohol,” Liz says as she orders their drinks and snacks, “Oooh how about a Mojito, you always liked those in college,”
College, the days when James’ impish smile and young spirit charmed her into believing that what she needed in her life was a little youth.
“Whiskey Sour, actually,” Y/N smiles, thanking the waitress, “Tonight is not a night that I want to be reminded by my college mistakes,”
“Sorry,” Liz apologies, realizing the misstep and what her sister was referencing, “I should have realized-”
“Lizzy, it’s fine. You mean well. You all mean well. You, mom, even dad. But it’s hard when you can’t actually feel what I feel. He humiliated me. Made me feel like I was crazy and I hate who I’ve become when I was with him,” Y/N whispers, circling her finger around the rim of the water glass.
Liz nods her head, unsure what to say to comfort Y/N, as she munches on the ruffled chips the waitress dropped off.
“ ‘Would Fuck My Dickhead Ex’ Shots fix this situation?” Liz asks, an coy smile, not unlike James’ on her face, but it’s a smile that’s more comforting than aggravating when it comes from her sister, “Indulge me, Y/N,”
“Fine,” Y/N says, pretending to be annoyed and give into Liz’s wishes, even though she knew it’s hard to resist her younger sister’s shenanigans, “but only because it’s you,” Y/N adds, smiling as she picks at the bar chips.
“First round is on you,” Liz says, holding her hands up in faux innocence, “Hey, you’re the corporate lawyer, I’m the artsy one in the family,” she laughs, “And there might be some cute lonely hearts at the bar that you can practice flirting with,”
“I’m not practicing flirting with anyone,” Y/N says, noticing the way Liz emphasized practice, “But what do you want? Peach Tart?”
“Whatever you want, you’re paying,” Liz says, “And hurry back, our pretzels are back!” she announces as the waitress brings over their pretzel bites and drinks.
Y/N had never been to this bar before. It was new, built in the last 2 years or so, which was just around the time when she became a partner at the law firm. An accomplishment that seemed to not even elicit a congratulations out of James, despite him being very excited about the pay raise. The bar’s soft lighting hung way above their heads. The Edison light bulbs gave it a quieter feel than louder bars. In a way it was even more lonely than a louder bar, kind of like how large parties are more private.
The bartender takes care of a couple of college kids, getting them their beer before asking Y/N what she wants. Two men sit a couple feet away from her, talking quietly amongst themselves. And a familiar mop of messy brown hair and hunched shoulders sit two seats away from her.
Spencer Reid, the only soul who knows exactly how complicated her life is.
His shirt smells like expensive perfume. The kind that women wear when they want men to notice them. She doesn’t blame her for wearing it, it’s nice to be noticed. It’s nice to lock eyes across a crowded room and wait for everything to start to move in slow motion. You get motion sickness from it. The feeling of his eyes on you, only you. The rush, the adrenaline, the way you’ll cast your gaze down. Playful, bashful, sexy. You’ll be anything he wants you to be because he notices you.
She probably wore it just for him. Picked it out because he’d liked the scent of it on her skin as he kissed her neck, leaving her mark on a taken man. Was that part of the thrill? Like wild animals marking a tree, is this expensive perfume a sign?
Y/N wants to wash away the smell of it. The evidence of his infidelity on his clothes lingers even when the act has ended. All that remains is the smell of his treachery, the bonds broken and vows severed. She should be mad, scathing mad. She should be ready to burn bridges until they’re torched, just ashes.
But all she feels is humiliated. Her husband, the man that stood up in front of her promising love and loyalty to the very end, decided that those very same vows weren’t worth it anymore. Y/N throws the shirt on the floor. It burns in her hands, leaving invisible scars on her skin.
It’s all over her now. The smell of James’s infidelity. The humiliation of his mistakes. Y/N isn’t a cowering lily. She doesn’t back down from a fight. She won’t let James have the satisfaction of thinking he hurt her, even though he did.
Yet, when she sits down on their bed she feels like it can swallow her whole. She feels tiny in the sea of messy blankets and wrinkled sheets. The perfume scent, expensive and potent, stains her skin. It’s dizzying and that familiar motion sickness creeps up on her. Her throat goes tight, tears threaten to sting. She won’t let him have this power over her. She won’t let him have her spirit after destroying her heart.
“Spencer Reid, in a bar,” Y/N says, quickly glancing over towards her sister before bringing her attention back to her neighbor, “that’s something I never thought I’d see,”
“Well neither was your husband fucking my wife, yet here we are,” he says, taking a sip of his beer. He grips the bottle like a lifeline, like it’s the only thing keeping him on this barstool. There’s a loneliness in his shoulders that Y/N recognizes, but it’s something they’ve both carried long before their spouses’ infidelity.
“Touché, Dr. Reid,” Y/N muses, sitting next to Spencer at the bar, “And she’s not your wife anymore?”
“The neighbors talk,” he observes, neither confirming or deny the status of his marriage, “and for the record, Y/N, you’re not the bar type either,”
“Alcoholic, workolichic, both end marriages. And I guess in the end it doesn’t really matter which one you are, does it?” Y/N speculates, thanking the bartender for her shots. The warm yellow and orange color is cheery and happy, a contrast to their dull and dim conversation. She slides Liz’s shot over to Spencer, thinking to herself that he probably needs it as much as she does.
“To workolichics whose spouses never quite understood them,” she says, looking Spencer straight in the eyes as she raises the shot to her lips. He mirrors her, bringing the glass to his lips, eyes never leaving her face. They burn as he stares, looking so intently at her. It’s like she’s under a microscope.
Neither of them say a word, yet they communicate. They notice each other. And it takes one to know one when you haven’t been noticed in a while. He drinks the shot with her, making a face at the tartness of the drink. The sweet peach flavor evens it out, coating her tongue with sweetness that masks the sourness of the lime juice.
“Is that what you think happened? Is that why you think they did what they did?” Spencer asks, his voice but a whisper. His finger runs around the rim of the shot glass, tracing it over and over as his mind races, “because I’ve been thinking about it. I actually can’t stop thinking about it. I thought I was a good husband, I thought she loved me,” he adds, his voice raising up an octave.
“I’m sure you were, Spencer. I’m sure you were the kind of husband that never forgot birthdays and gave gifts for anniversaries. Or the kind that would do the dishes and make dinner just because,” Y/N says, thinking her sister was right to get drunk tonight, “But have you considered that Rebecca was a shitty wife?”
“No,” Spencer says, waving the bartender over for another beer perhaps, “I love my wife. I love my wife so much that I was blind to how she was. I ruined our marriage. I hurt her by not being there,” Spencer murmurs, “Another Sierra Nevada, please,” he tells the bartender, thanking her as she takes away their empties.
“You give her too much credit,” Y/N remarks, “You’ve been through so much, more than I know. I’ve been through so much, more than you know. But do you know who does? Rebecca and James. They knew exactly what they were doing. Fucking us up let this. Fucking up our lives to what get laid?” she scoffs.
“Like we’re not already fucked up, Mrs. Young,” Spencer teases, an uncharacteristically dark smirk coming to life on his life.
“It’s not Mrs. Young anymore. Dr. Reid,” Y/N comments, staring directly at Spencer, similar to how he looked at her moments before, “but I don’t even feel like Y/N Y/L/N anymore. I’ve been with James since before law school. It’s hard to be my old self again when I don’t even know who she is,”
His eyes are dark with something that Y/N can’t quite pinpoint, but it draws her in. His hair is tousled, maybe he’s coming home from a case and hasn’t had a chance to shower yet. He licks his lips, studying Y/N’s face. She doesn’t know much about his job, except that he’s some sort of detective for the FBI. Spencer reads people. Reading their microexpressions, their body language, their silent expressions that reveal so much. It must be what he’s doing right now.
“Like you said, it takes one to know one,” he toasts her non-existent drink as he sips his beer. He’s cryptic and guarded. A very different man than the friendly neighbor that she’d cross paths with at late hours, both coming home late from their demanding jobs.
But under that dark glimmer in his eye, Y/N, if she looks hard enough, can see that man. The man that would bring her trash to the curb because James always forgot or helped her shovel the snow off her sidewalk when James would refuse to do it. He’s still there, he’s still neighbor Spencer and somehow, she’s still neighbor Y/N.
Maybe it’s the shots, Spencer’s dark glimmer pulls her in closer. Like a fish caught on a line, she’s reeled in closer and closer.
“And I didn’t qualify for the friends and family discount,” Spencer whispers, his voice breaking the silence and bringing her back to Earth.
“Oh really,” Y/N says, mirroring Spencer’s playful tone as she leans in closer, his pink work shirt with the top buttons undone and sleeves rolled to his elbow, showing off his forearms. On his wrist is a tarnished watch, it’s so old that Y/N wonders if it’s more for sentimental value than everyday use, “I could swear that your wife sleeping with my husband would qualify you for at least 10% off,”
“Was that a joke?” Spencer deadpans, “From you, you’re even more serious than me,” Spencer muses, tapping his fingers rapidly on the counter. He still wears his wedding ring, even though the divorce has been finalized for weeks. Rings, like the vintage watches that don't work, are more sentimental than practical, despite not meaning that to Rebecca.
“There’s an awful lot you don’t know about me, Spencer,” she whispers, talking low in the quiet murmur of the bar. It’s well past 11, meaning the drunk college kids have left, probably searching for 24 hour diners to fill up on greasy cheese fries and sodas that help their inevitable hangovers.
It’s quiet in the bar, the regulars close their tabs and a few tables remain filled including Liz, who chats with a redheaded woman who sits alone at a high top table.
“You’ve always been one who’s hard to get to know,” Spencer observes, “I always thought you were lonely, like me. Never understood by James. Maybe that’s what it is, maybe they never got us,”
He’s not drunk enough to be having sober thoughts, but buzzed enough to be looser than he would anyway. Before Y/N can respond, Liz and a woman, following close behind her, rushes to Y/N and Spencer at the bar.
“Y/N, Y/N,” she says, “Ooo, so you are talking to a man, I knew a divorce party was what you needed-”
“I’m not talking to a man. This is just Spencer, he’s my...we’re uh. Spencer’s my neighbor,” Y/N stresses, hoping that her sister has enough clarity to realize what she’s implying.
“Divorce Party?” Spencer intjects, “Huh, Penny didn’t throw me one of those, and what I think Y/N is trying to say, without being impolite, is that woman James cheated with is, or rather, was my wife,”
“Oh,” Liz says, “So you’re Spencer,” she smiles, wearing her reactions on her sleeve, unlike Y/N, who hardly ever lets anyone in, “Well, uh, you good to drive? Gwen and I are going to go to her place,” Liz tells Y/N, giving her a sly look and looking directly at Spencer.
Liz has never been one for subtly, but at least Spencer is polite enough to ignore her antics.
“Be safe, Lizzy,” Y/N says, kissing her on the cheek, “And I’ll take your car to mom’s and you’ll have to Uber because I have to leave for work by 6,”
Waving away her sister’s constant worries, Liz turns, still holding the woman, Gwen’s hand as they walk out, “Love you and use protection!”
Feeling her face heat at Liz’s lack of filter, Y/N refuses to meet Spencer’s eyes. She doesn’t know him that well, but from what she does, he seems like a very reserved, quiet man. And reserved quiet men don’t particular care for sex jokes about the woman who’s husband slept with his wife. Even as complicated as their situation is, that would make it even more complicated.
“I am so sorry about my sister. She is, she’s just-” Y/N starts, looking for the right words to apologize for Liz.
“She has a point,”
“Excuse me,” Y/N says, her eyes going wide as his words process, “That’s highly inappropriate. That you would...that we would...-” she stammers, unable to even articulate what Spencer and Liz insinuated.
“That we would sleep together?” he asks, way too comfortable about this for a man that she assumed to be reserved and quiet. Maybe he’s hiding secrets under all those soft cardigans and kind eyes.
“Why not?” Spencer says, shrugging his shoulders. The dark glimmer in his eyes washes over his face again. It’s not threatening, but enticing and inviting, “We’re both single now, work terrible hours, and are ridiculously lonely. And what’s better than a little revenge,”
Sleeping with Spencer as one final screw you to James, and especially Rebecca. It's a slippery slope, but that glint in his eye latches on to her, pulling her in. He notices her. Spencer notices her because he recognizes himself in the shattered pieces of glass. He sees his own fractured heart in hers and for their last act to be revenge. It’s revenge against the person that hurt them with the other person that they hurt. For a moment, maybe they’d let go, pretend to recognize their old selves as jagged and broken as they are.
But she can’t
“You’re out of your mind, Dr. Reid,” Y/N says, taking her purse and tossing a couple five dollar bills on the counter for the bartender, “I’ll need to get you a cab, because there’s no one you can drive. You’re probably drunk out of your mind-”
“I’m not drunk, Y/N,” Spencer says, his voice steady and strong as he looks at her with that dark glint again, “And I’ve not been so sure of something in a very long time,”
“Spencer,” she starts, “You’re a kind man. And maybe if it wasn’t the way it is. Maybe if Rebecca wasn’t your wife. And fuck, maybe if we meet ten years ago, maybe things would be different. But I can’t. I can’t get involved in something with someone as broken as me. Not when Aster needs me,”
“Of course, Y/N,” Spencer says, slipping his cardigan over his shoulders. He nods good night, but Y/N stops him before he can leave. She squeezes his hand in some sort of abandoned spouses solidarity and kisses his cheek. Her lips brush over his days old stubble, and it tickles her skin. Letting go as quickly as she held him, their eyes meet again, only for Spencer to squeeze her hand back again.
“Good night, neighbor,”
“Good night, neighbor,” he says, slipping past her and out into the misty night.
She’s alone again, sitting at the bar. Maybe it’s a bar thing because all she can think of is the regrets she has. Marrying James in the first place. But at least that gave her Aster. Letting James take tiny pieces away from her with each fight, each snide comment, each critique until all the pieces were gone. She has a lot of regrets, a lot of maybes, a lot of what ifs.
Maybe Liz is right. Maybe Spencer’s right. Maybe he’s exactly what she needs. And she won’t deny that the dark glint and controlled smirk made her want to know more about her mysterious, quiet neighbor. For a man who’s so controlled and quiet on the outside, she can’t help but wonder what makes him tick. What he would be like when the mask of composure comes off and the Spencer she’s never known comes out of hiding.
She’s on her feet and out the door before she can even realize. The buzz of liquid courage no longer coursed through her veins, only the temptation of something a little scandalous, a little daring.
He’s getting into his car, an old Volvo that’s parked in front of her house many times before. He must see her standing out in the rain because he slams his door shut, jogging over to her in the parking lot.
“Are you okay?” he asks, “Do you need a ride home?”
“Yes,” she says, her heart thumping in her chest. She doesn’t do things like this, but neither does Spencer Reid. And here they stand in the drizzling rain, “I need a ride. But to your place. So you can fuck me in the bed that you once shared with your wife,”
“Are you sure?” Spencer says, taking a step forward, not touching her as he gazes down at her, reading her micro-expressions for even the slightest bit of hesitance, “I want you to be very sure, Y/N,” he whispers, tucking a stray piece of hair behind her ear.
“I’m sure, Spencer,” she says back, not backing down from his intense stare, “I’m not made of glass. So don’t treat me like it,”
“You’ll be eating your words, my dear,” he says, darkly, running his thumb over Y/N’s lips and across her jawline.
She’s not sure who leaned in first. And in the end, it doesn’t really matter. Spencer’s hand, large on her cheek, holds her steady. Just as his lips are ready to brush across her's in a heated kiss, he pulls away. Leaving her dizzy and desperate, a whimper of annoyance and frustration escapes her lips.
“I want you to be sure, Y/N,” he whispers, tracing her lips. Their almost kiss makes her head spin, making her wonder what kind of drunk she’ll be when he finally kisses her.
“I want you, Spencer,”
Nodding, Spencer drops his hand from her cheek. He gives her a small, almost shy, smile. Staring at each other, standing in the parking lot, neither of them are daring enough to make their way to the car. Spencer’s hand, the same one that warmed her cheek, makes its way to the small of her back, guiding her to his car. His steady hand and lingering tingle of the stubble on her cheek is tantalizing. And though James shattered her glass heart, something small, yet hopeful tells her it might be repaired again one day.
She didn’t even get a chance to kick off her shoes before Spencer practically rammed her up against the wall. Behind is lanky stature, he hides a lot of strength. His hands wrap tightly into Y/N’s hair as his shoulders pin her against the wall. The pictures rattle when he moves. His fingers and hands gripping her face tightly to control the kiss. Everything about the way his lips move against her mouth is calculated. Spencer knows exactly when to nip at her bottom lip, tugging and biting in a way that sends shivers down her back. Somehow, despite barely knowing each other, it’s like Spencer has her body memorized.
In an effort to get his cardigan off, Y/N pushes against Spencer. No longer pinned against the wall, she waits as he slips off his cardigan, his shirt even more wrinkled now. His gaze, in the dark hallway, burns her. The way Spencer looks at her lights her aflame. His eyes burn into her skin, making the spots he touched miss his fingers and long for bruises to remember him by.
“Tell me what you’re thinking,” Spencer whispers, drawing his finger up the side of Y/N’s jawline. His eyes study her face, moving rapidly, proving that his mind that’s constantly on overtime, “Tell me what you want, sweet girl,”
She can’t help it. The pathetic little whimper that slips out of lips, which only seems to entertain Spencer even more. He grins devilishly, his fingers still lingering on her face, just giving her the tiniest taste of what’s to come.
Leaning in so her breath is hot against his ear, Y/N whispers, “I’m thinking about how you’re going to fuck me like you should’ve been fucking your wife,”
His reaction, though immediate, is calculated like everything he does. Slowly, he leans back down, blocking Y/N’s view of everything, except for him. He brushes his lips against hers, talking in a gravely tone that makes Y/N want nothing more than to obey him for the rest of the night.
“You sure about that?” he says, mirroring his words in the parking lot just minutes before. He smiles as Y/N nods, giving him even more confirmation, “Go sit on my bed and wait for me,” he orders, his hand catching Y/N’s as she walks away.
Spencer stops her, pulling her body flush against his as he kisses her again. It’s impossible to not get lost in the way Spencer kisses. He knows exactly where to rest his hands with one on her waist and the other on her cheek. She vows to herself that if it’s only tonight it's okay to let herself get swept up in the way Spencer’s fingers tickle her skin or the way his lips pressed up against burn into her heart.
“You’re very distracting,” Y/N says, their lips brushing, neither wanting to go too long without having some physical contact.
“You’re the one that’s distracting,” Spencer says, smiling widely as his hands sneak up Y/N’s shirt.
Slipping away from his grasp, Y/N finds her way to his bedroom. The layout is simple and she navigates her way around the books and clothes clutter the floor of his bedroom, but his bed is neatly made with a soft looking duvet. Carefully, she sits on the bed, trying to talk herself out of the plethora of nerves that threaten to send her running back to her mom’s.
“Well looks like you can listen, after all,” Spencer says, shutting his bedroom door behind him as he walks towards Y/N on his bed.
Just like in the bar, Spencer’s intense gaze makes her feel like she’s under a microscope. Except, she doesn’t feel judged, but noticed. And after a long time of not being noticed, it’s more than nice to be seen.
He kneels down, his hands resting on either side of Y/N’s thighs. Her work skirt and blazer make her feel so out of place with Spencer’s tousled hair and wrinkled button up. His watch catches the moonlight that drips in through the cracked blinds. Spencer looks up at her, his lips dark and swollen, begging for her to kiss them again.
He slips in hands under Y/N’s skirt. They are cold against her warm skin, the contrast making her lean her head forward against Spencer’s forehead. He must like that because he continues to graze her thighs with his hands. His calloused fingertips linger on skin long after he’s moved on.
“You don’t get touched often,” Spencer observes, not a single drop of judgement or even pity in his voice, but understanding, “How? God, you’re so beautiful like this. All needy for me, and I’ve hardly even touched you,” he muses, removing his hands from inside her skin. She’s cold without him, already hating being deprived of his touch.
“Spencer,” Y/N whines, dizzy from him and wondering what his next move is, “Please,”
“Shh, be patient, Y/N. I’m going to take my time with you,”
His words from before ring in her head.
You don’t get touched often.
The way he said it, it’s like he knew exactly how it feels to be neglected. To be so starved for intimacy that the tamest kiss will leave you desperately needing more. A taste, when it’s been so long going unnoticed, isn’t enough to quench the thirst. She wonders how he’ll react when she gets her hands on him. Will he call her name out, begging for her touch? Will he whimper sweetly as he comes undone all because of her? Will he forget the pain he’s been through, even if it’s just for a night. Will their broken hearts be shoved into drawers for the night, not neglected, but noticed.
“Let’s get that blazer off, Y/N,” Spencer says, sliding the navy blue jacket down Y/N’s arms and tossing it towards the pile of clothes in the corner of the bedroom. Now rid of the blazer, Spencer’s cold hands travel up her arms, down to her waist before untucking her silk shirt from the waistband of her skirt.
His frigid hands are icy on her hot skin. Spencer’s hands move up to her bra, squeezing her breast lightly through her bra. He closes his eyes for a second, enjoying the feeling of his skin against his and the tiniest noises she makes as he continues to touch her.
“I’m on the shot,” she says, waiting on the bed for Spencer to do something, “And I’m clean,”
“Good,” he says, short and sweet. Unbuttoning her shirt, Y/N watches as Spencer moves with a quicker pace than before, his fingers fly down her shirt, unbuttoning before he helps her slip it off her shoulders.
“Come here,” Spencer orders, flicking her fingers forward in the wordless motion. She listens like a Marionette following the words of her puppeteer. He holds her chin, forcing her eyes to stay on him as she leans forward. He kisses her yet again, even more dizzying than the last. She can taste the faintest taste of peach and lime on his tongue, proving that this night is actually happening.
“So you can be a good girl,” Spencer observes, “here I thought you would be a little brat. But all you want is some to take care of you. Is that right, sweet girl?” he says, his voice laced with fake pity. One hand grips her wrist, holding her in place and the other remains on her chin, keeping her attention on him.
“Yes,” Y/N stutters out, her body growing hotter and hotter, the longer Spencer holds out on her, “please, just please,” she whines, no longer caring about keeping her composure. He unfastens her bra, watching as her bare breasts sit before him.
“Lean back, baby,” Spencer says, “and scoot up to the pillows,”
Following his directions, Y/N frantically slides up his bed. His soft duvet cover under her and his plush pillow under her head. Spencer slips off his shoes, still fully dressed compared to Y/N who remains only in her work skirt. Crawling up the bed, Spencer’s arms rest on either side of Y/N’s head. His lips dip down to her collarbone as he places wet, open mouth kisses all the way down her bare skin. Unlike his cold hands, his mouth is hot, drawing out moans of pleasure as he gets closer and closer to where she wants him most.
Fueled on by the promise of pleasure, Y/N grips onto his wild hair, hoping he’ll get the message to stay where he is. Leaning on his knees, Spencer slowly slides her skirt down her legs. Words of praise tumble from his lips as he peels back her skirt, leaving her only in her underwear.
“Spencer, please,” Y/N begs, feeling him spread open her legs when his hands grip her thighs. He draws shapeless shapes on the soft skin of her inner thighs, chuckling darkly as her breath hitches when he skims over her underwear.
“So responsive,” he coos, drawing with his finger along Y/N’s hip bone before looping her waistband around his finger, “you can be as loud as you want, sweet girl,” he whispers, leaning her head down to kiss her soft stomach. He peppers the lightest kisses along her belly, smirking proudly to himself at every whine and whimper.
“I need you, Spencer. Please, I need you,” she says, getting more and more desperate by the minute, “I need you,”
As much as it’s nice to be wanted, it’s even nicer to be needed. And from the familiar glint in Spencer’s eye, Y/N doesn’t doubt that Spencer needs her as much as she needs him. Her heart thumps in her chest, an unfamiliar pang of excitement and adrenaline brought on by another soul does something to her. Like it’s an instinct she picked up years ago, Y/N’s hands travel to Spencer’s hair, gripping tightly. He must like the sensation because as he kisses the inside of her thighs, he moans into her skin.
Kissing and nipping, he leaves marks for the morning, the only proof for tomorrow that tonight actually happened.
“Are you okay?” Spencer whispers, worried in his voice as his finger loosen their bruising grip on Y/N’s thighs. Her hands, still tight in his hair, loosen as well. Paralleling the way he gently stroked her cheek outside his bedroom door, Y/N’s index finger moves up and down his sharp jawline. His stubble tickles his fingers and his pink lips tempt her to touch them.
“I’m perfectly fine,”
“Good,” Spencer says, before drawing his finger along her inner thighs. His fingers ghost up towards her clit, rubbing small circles. He looks up at her, daring her to play a strange, adult staring contest. Spencer’s palm hovers over her pussy, encouraging her to rut against him as he smiles with delight. Despite being naked while Spencer is fully dressed, Y/N doesn’t mind.
“That’s it,” Spencer encourages, “But you look too good to not taste,” he mutters, lowering his head as his face grazes her sensitive clit. His large hands hover over her thighs, holding her in place as his tongue flickers, tasting her. Taking his time, Spencer nips and sucks, making his own sounds of pleasure as Y/N nears the edge herself.
“Oh, god,” she moans, gripping Spencer’s hair as another wave of pleasure crashes into her. She can feel it in her toes. The relief melts away the tension.
She’s not the sad single mother, she’s the overworked attorney, she’s not the neglected and ignored wife. She’s Y/N.
He’s not the lonely, mysterious neighbor who went to prison, he’s not the exhausted agent, he’s not the misunderstood husband. He’s Spencer.
They're broken hearts, fractured and jagged, seeking a ill-thought out, albeit, erotic rebellion against the people who promised to love and cherish them forever.
It’s twisted and sick that it takes another man to fuck her for Y/N remember her old self again. With the way Spencer’s groans of pleasure grow and his hardened dick rubs against her leg, it’s no hidden secret how this is going to end for both of them. It’s no secret that all people want is to be wanted, noticed, needed.
“Did your husband fuck you like this?” Spencer whispers, his voice cutting like shards in the room, otherwise quiet, except for whimpers and whines coming from Y/N.
No, he didn’t. He never wanted tasted her like this. He never tried to get her to come to the edge over and over. He never nipped and sucked and kissed her thighs before he ate her out like a starved man. He never wanted to, yet Spencer needs to.
“No,” Y/N says, honest to Spencer, because who can lie with a beautiful man in between her legs, “Never, he, ugh, Spencer,”
“God,” Spencer says, taking a break as he look her in the eyes, “I knew he was dumb, but that’s just fucking foolish,” he says before swirling her tongue over Y/N’s clit again and sucking softly. He searches for her hand, finding it in his hair. Holding her hand in his, he squeezes as her moans of pleasure grow more and more frequent.
“Are you going to come? Hmm, are you going to come all over my face like a good girl?” Spencer asks, the condescending tone fitting him surprisingly well, “good girls ask for permission, sweetheart,”
“P-please,” she whines, not caring how pathetic she sounds. She clutches onto Spencer’s hand, holding him like a liferaft, “Please, Spencer. Please let me come,”
“Come, Y/N. Come on my face, sweet girl. I know you can do it,” he says, humming encouragement. The vibrations spur her on, her legs shaking as she comes undone with Spencer’s mouth still working on her clit. His hands gather up her release, slick on his long fingers.
“What a good girl,” he muses, clicking his tongue, “You want to see how good you taste?” Spencer asks, bringing his slick finger to her lips.
Y/N takes his long middle and index fingers into her mouth. Swirling her tongue around it, tasting herself on him. Keeping eye contact with Spencer is hard, but especially when his fingers are buried in her mouth and his puffy lips still wear her release. A trail of spit ties her lips to his fingers as he removes his fingers.
Spencer’s eyes flicker up to Y/N’s. Her legs lay lazily on his and his hands hover hesitantly over her shoulders. Sitting with him in silence it’s awkward, but almost peaceful. They move in simultaneously, as if pulled by an invisible string. Eyes meet and then flicker away shyly, a touchless kiss shared even before lips meet. The distance grows shorter, spurred on by the promise of being wanted, of being noticed. It keeps that familiar motion sickness feeling away. In this quiet little bedroom far away from the mistakes of neglectful husbands and disloyal wives, steadiness and peace thrives.
“It’s not fair,” Y/N huffs, adding levity to the quiet, Spencer’s lips work down from her mouth to her shoulders and down her arms.
“What’s not fair, sweetheart,” he asks, still kissing her skin. Maybe it grounds him, maybe it reminds him that this is all real too. That there’s something after you lose everything.
“That you’re not naked,” Y/N says, bringing her fingers up to unbutton his shirt. Smiling, Spencer stands up from the bed, happy to rid himself from the confines of his clothes. His pink shirt and dark pants get tossed into the void, long forgotten with Y/N’s shirt and skirt, “You’re taking too long,” she says, pulling down his boxer briefs.
“Maybe you’re just impatient,” Spencer jokes, kicking his underwear down his legs and crawling back into bed. He attacks Y/N’s neck, kissing and nipping the sensitive skin. She giggles at the sensation of his stubble tickling her neck. The momentarily sweet gesture is only that, before can feel Spencer’s ever pressing erection against her leg.
“We don’t have to go any further, Y/N,-” he starts, but is cut off by Y/N planting a kiss to shut him up. For someone that really short circuited her brain by barely touching her, Spencer is awfully unsure that she wants this as much as he does.
“I want you to fuck me Spencer. Fuck me like you wanted to fuck you wife. You don’t have to hold back,” she says, licking her lips in anticipation as Spencer’s eyes darken with something that looks like jealousy. He leans back, resting in between Y/N’s legs, pumping his erection.
He looks down at her with so much intensity that Y/N can’t help but feel like the bed is going to swallow her whole. She’s wonderstruck, watching him hover above her. She anticipates his every move, wondering exactly what he’s going to do next. His hands cover her stomach, ghosting over her skin.
“More what?” Spencer asks, playing the fool, when they both know he’s the master of all, “You need to use your words, sweetheart,” he mumbles, mouth latching onto her breast as he swirls his tongue around her nipple. Proud of her response to his ministrations, Spencer decides to give into her wants, which elicits more whimpers.
“So good, baby,” Y/N says, finding home in his messy hair again, “So good, Spencer. Please, fuck me now,” she begs, the whimpers of pleasure tumbling from her lips as Spencer cuts her off with another kiss. She wonders if he can taste herself in the kiss and if that makes him want her more.
“Are you sure, you’re ready for me, sweet girl,” Spencer whispers, his mouth brushing against Y/N’s neck, leaving trails of marks that will be puffy by the morning when their little escapade is nothing but faint memories in the back of their heads.
“So ready, so ready, Spencer,” Y/N chants, not beyond begging for Spencer to fuck her. He smiles to himself, secretly enjoying the feelings of being wanted by someone you want.
He kisses Y/N as he buries himself deep inside her, letting the sensation of his mouth and the stillness of his movements make her dizzy with anticipation. It feels so good with him deep inside her, not moving, just breathing in slowly and steadily, that Y/N swears to herself she can get drunk off the feeling. It’s sweeter than motion sickness, which only leaves you empty with dread. But this- this makes her feel full, complete…
“Shh,” Spencer coos, slowly moving as he begins to thrust in and out, taking his time. He kisses up the side of Y/N’s face, leaving opened mouth kisses on her cheeks, collarbones and shoulders. Spencer leaves no stone unturned, kisses every inch of her body as she clutches his back, “Let me take care of you, sweet girl,” he mutters, seeming to finally lose himself in the feeling of her wrapped around him.
“Spencer,” Y/N cries out, unsure what to say exactly. Words can’t quite describe the feeling of his body flush against hers, holding her steady as he moves in and out from the place where their bodies join as one. Words don’t do him justice.
“Please don’t hold back,” she says, wondering if she’ll regret the words in an hour or so when she makes the awkward walk back to the bar.
It’s like a coil snapping. The shift between the slow, languid thrusts and sweet kisses that Spencer leaves. His hands hover over his waist, ghosting along her soft skin and moving quickly to latch onto her nipple. He sits up, resting on his heels as he gazes down at Y/N, spread out before him, wanting- no - needing his next command.
“Did your husband make love to you? Hmm,” Spencer says, dragging his fingers down to Y/N’s clit as he begins to rub dizzying circles, “Did James fuck you sweetly?”
“Yes, yes, he uh,” Y/N stammers, her face flushed with humiliation as James’ name slips between Spencer’s lips. She doesn’t want to think about him right now, because thinking about him will only make her realizes that James could never compare to Spencer, “not like this,”
“No, not like this. I’m not going to make love to you, sweet girl. I’m going to fuck you,” Spencer says, his voice oozing with false pity. His fingers don’t let up, as Y/N squirms in place, trying her best to get off without Spencer permission.
“Don’t be a brat,” Spencer orders, “I don’t like when good girls pretend to be brats. Your husband must have been so pathetic. I’m hardly even touching you. And look at you. You’re a messy, messy little whore,” Spencer observes, his finger sliding up her and much to her excitement all she can do is let out mangled cries of his name and curse words.
“Aww is it too much? Is it too much for you, slut? I can stop right now. I can stop right now and call James up. Maybe he can finish the job?” Spencer asks, saying the forbidden name yet again.
“No,” Y/N says, finding her voice amongst the dizzying sensation of Spencer’s fingers and voice, “I want you,” she cries, “I need your cock inside me, Spencer. Please I need it,” she begs, humiliation growing in her belly as Spencer taps her cheek patronizingly.
“What a good girl. Looks like I don’t even have to fuck the brat out of you. You’re so eager you do that without being told,” he coos, leaning down to kiss her cheek and forehead.
It’s a mixture of sweet and sadistic that she knows she can get drunk off. His searing kisses and his wandering fingers force all her energy to focus on him. The way his tongue flicks across her bare chest, giving her just enough to be hungry for more. Sex must be an adult version of the teacup ride. You know you’re going to be all dizzy and woozy, but somehow it’s worth it all. Her skin tingles and she swears that Spencer’s touches are electric.
“Please fuck me, I need it, I need it so bad. So bad,” she pants, gripping Spencer’s forearms, pleading with him to take mercy on her. He listens, for once, kisses her forehead sweetly before thrusting in exponentially more quicker and faster than before.
She can feel him everywhere. His hands on her scorched skin and his thrusting in her sensitive sex. Spencer is calculated. He knows exactly how powerful to make the thrusts, he knows how to make her squeal and squirm with delight. His arms are on either side of Y/N’s head like a protective shield. She wonders if he’ll hold her sweetly after this, as if that wouldn’t make their relationship even more complex.
“Oh, god, Spencer,” she stammers, “More, more,” she pleads, knowing she’s signing her name to the devil if he’s going to fuck her like this.
“Oh, sweetheart, I’m taking it easy on you tonight. You’re a lucky girl,” Spencer whispers, his sweet, albeit patronizing words conflicting the way his hips snap meeting Y/N’s in fast paced, unrelenting thrusts or his fingers on her clit or his mouth against her skin, “My lucky whore,”
“No one can fuck you like this,”
The words- and their very salacious meaning- ring in Y/N’s ear. And even though her cheeks and chest flush with embarrassment, she knows that Spencer makes a point. Sex with James was more of a chore. Something Y/N felt compelled to do because maybe it would make him want her more.
Wanting. Being wanted. Wanting someone that wants you back. It’s what got her here in the first place, with her legs stretched out and her recently divorced neighbor fucking the life out of her.
“Say it,” Spencer orders, though it comes out more of a strained beg, his thrusts, once calculated and precise, grow more sloppy and slower as he reaches his climax, “Tell me no one has fucked you like this. Say it, I know no one could fuck you like the slut you are, sweet girl,”
“No one,” Y/N starts, trying to concentrate on stringing the words together. It proves to be difficult when Spencer is hell-bent on making walking difficult the next morning, “No one’s fucked me like this. Not James. No one can fuck me like you do, Spencer,” she calls out, clawing towards him and latching on to his hair.
Layers of sweat and tears cover their skin, a dizzying cocktail of desperation and despair. For a moment in time they forget about the heartbreak. For a moment, they let themselves simply feel good, even for just one night.
“Never forget that, sweetheart. It will be like no one else has ever fucked you after me. They won’t measure up,”
They won’t. It couldn’t even if they tried.
She’ll hate the way his fingerprints are shadows on her skin. Tattoo kisses, once wet and fresh, but now long forgotten. She’ll crave his touch more than her husband’s. She’ll rewind the tape, pausing at the moments when she sees them unmarred with neglect, but golden with temporary joy. She doesn’t particularly like the idea of “ruined for other men” but, again, Spencer has a point. Y/N wonders if that neighborhood gossip of him being a genius is actually true.
“I’m going to come, Spencer, please,” Y/N cries out, coming undone for a second time tonight. She can feel her toes tingle in anticipation. The alcohol far gone from her system, but drunk off Spencer. He’s worth the regret flavored hangover that she might nurse tomorrow, “I need you,”
“You’re so cute, all messy like this. Messy little slut for me. I bet you want to come all over my cock, huh? Gonna let me fill you? Fuck you so hard that you’ll always feel me there,” he whispers, his hot breath foggy up her mind.
“Yes, please. Oh god yes,” she chants, his name on her tongue like a prayer. She’s a sinner and if he got even an ounce of saintliness in his pinky, she’ll worship him in the dead of night.
“Look me in the eyes as you come, sweetheart. Remember how I fucked you,” he dares, his lips latching onto her neck leaving marks, “just like that, sweet girl. Such a good girl for me,” he praises. His words stick to her like glue, daring to burrow deep inside her heart.
“So fucking cute when you come,” he muses, his thumb rubbing quick circles around her clit, simpering as Y/N bites her bottom lip as her climax approaches. Spencer, leaning down so his lips capture her bitten bottom lip. He tugs, smiling when she whines at the sharp pain of his teeth against her puffy lip.
She lays blissed out in his bed transfixed as the white milky substance leaks out from Spencer’s cock onto her stomach. His large hand hovers over her hip bone keeping her still as he reaches his release. Like a domino effect, as soon as Spencer meets his climax, her second one of the night hits her like a tidal wave.
“Come for me, sweet girl,” he commands, yet again conducting their salacious dance, even to the very end.
Y/N can feel the coils loosen deep her belly and tingle all the way down to her toes. Her head spins, drunk off the smell of Spencer’s spicy cologne and the sight of him relaxed as he kisses along her shoulders, whispers sweet nothings as she comes undone at his hands.
“Oh, fuck,” she says, cursing as she feels her muscles ease and the tension from her neck melt away, “Holy fuck. I didn’t think you had that in you,” she teases, pushing Spencer’s hair from his forehead. It sticks to his skin with his sweat. And in the moonlight, he looks younger and more carefree than he actually is.
“Are you okay?” Spencer asks, back to the reserved, cautious neighbor that always made her wonder, “You should use the bathroom, you know while it’s not medically proven, it’s highly recommended that you urinate after engaging in penetrative sexual intercourse to prevent UTIs,” he states, rattle off the factoid like he’s reading from a sex-ed handbook.
Sexual intercourse. Didn’t this man just say she was a good girl when she came when told? And he’s too bashful to say sex.
“Is that true?” Y/N asks, silently wondering how much longer she has until he inevitably wants her to leave. While there’s no hand book for fucking your ex-husband’s mistress’s ex-husband, cuddling and waking up to pancakes isn’t the expectation, “as much as I’d like to avoid that, I think I need you to help me up. My bones feel like they’re made of jelly,”
“Guess I did fuck you that good,” Spencer whispers darkly, sliding his arm under Y/N’s back to help her out of his bed, “it was good for you though?” he asks, worry in his big, sad eyes.
“Are you kidding me? Spencer, I’m not kidding when I tell you that I’m struggling to walk here. You were more than fine, you’re hiding an awful lot behind those cardigans and sweater vests,” Y/N teases, standing up and putting her hands on Spencer’s shoulders as his legs dangle from the bed.
His hands find home on her waist and his eyes silently thank her for the reassurance.
“You can stay,” he whispers, “I’ll help you clean up and we can go to sleep. For the first time in a really long time, I’m not dreading going to sleep. And I think that has something to do with me not being alone,” he reveals, quietly retreating into himself.
“Of course,” she tells him, trying to conceal that staying the night is exactly what she hoped for, “I’ll be right back,”
“Let me get you a towel first,” Spencer says, squeezing her hand as she sits back down on the bed. He comes back in with a warm damp towel that he drags up and down Y/N’s legs and across her stomach.
Silently, brazenly, he places kisses that make her skin goosebump and prickle. She licks her lips, watching him care for her. The dark glint in his eyes, the one she noticed in the bar and then when he hovered over her, is gone. It’s replaced by something sweeter and a little sadder. Eyes, they say, are windows into the soul. She speculates that Spencer must be a sad one to have eyes that shine like glass and are bittersweet like haunted dreams.
“I think you’re good,” Spencer whispers, his voice breaking the silence, “the bathroom’s to the left. And I’ll have some clothes for you to put on,” he says, standing up to help her out of bed.
As she uses the bathroom, she doesn’t let herself think about the strangeness of this. She always wondered about the shy neighbor who she would stand near during neighborhood get-togethers and events. And especially after he went away for a while and came back quieter and even more secluded. Now, she supposes that lonely hearts find each other.
Finding her way back to Spencer, she finds him sitting on his bed. His lamp is on, lighting up his room with a warm glow. He leans back on his bed, his glasses resting on his nose. He looks at peace like that, relaxed in his own space that he offered to share with her, even if it’s for just one night.
“Hey there, neighbor,” Spencer says, “As much as I enjoy the view, I think you’d be more comfortable in some pajamas,” he offers, holding out a pair of men’s boxers and a faded gray tee-shirt, “And I have lots of cardigans if you get chilly,”
“We’re technically no longer neighbors,” she says, putting on the tee shirt and boxers, “But thanks for the shirt,”
“I guess so,” Spencer observes, watching her from under his glasses, “You’re getting the house, I presume,” he says, “I don’t mean to pry, but I am the person to talk about this stuff, you know,”
“You, me and like 35% of marriages,” Y/N teases, amused by Spencer’s baffled expression, “What? You’re not the only one who can memorize statistics.”
Spencer spreads the covers over Y/N’s shoulders and leans over to turn off the lamp on his nightstand. He lays flat on his back, his eyes refusing to meet Y/N’s as she turns over on her side. Neither of them dare to move, even though it’s like there’s an invisible magnet pulling them closer and closer together.
“Good night, neighbor,” she whispers into the dark, feeling that dizzying feeling again when Spencer finally turns to face the same way she does. His face hovers above hers, his hands ghosts on her waist, not touching even though she wants him too. It would be nice to be held as she sleeps.
“Good night, Y/N,” Spencer answers back, closing the gap and pulling Y/N in close.
He holds her in his arms, flush against his chest. She can feel his thumping heart on her back. Trying to steady her heart rate, she tries to count her breaths.
One. Two. Three.
In and out.
Slow and steady.
Pretending this is real. Pretending that she’ll wake up and this will all be real. His warm body against hers is real. And the teacup ride will stop, the motion sickness will melt away, and all that remains is the dizzying sensation of being wanted by the one you want.
The last thing she remembers before she falls asleep is the smell of Spencer's sheets. They smell like sea breeze and salt air. His breathing is like the ocean calling out her across the short, yet vast, distance between them. They're castaways lost at l
She’s up before he wakes. Like he did last night, Spencer looks younger when he sleeps. His wrinkles from stress and worrying are less prominent, and a small smile is etched into his lips. Spencer’s arm is heavy against her upper torso. He’s warm and his shirt smells like clean cotton. Y/N wishes she can ignore her responsibilities and let herself melt into the sheets with Spencer’s arms wrapped around her waist.
But she can’t. She’s not his to want, he’s not hers to want either.
Slipping from the bed, she searches for her clothes that are scattered around the floor. Liz will know exactly what happened when she goes to her mom’s to get Aster wearing the same outfit she went out in. As much as she hates her sister being right, she doesn’t regret their night.
Before her fears get the best of her, Y/N scribbles her phone number on loose sticky-note on Spencer’s dresser. She’s not even sure if she wants him to call her. Or if this was a one time thing, and she’s nothing but a notch on his bedpost.
Turning the door, Y/N sneaks one look back at Spencer. His sleeping form threatens to call her back into the warm bed. Selfishly, she wants coffee-breath kisses and jokes shared while listening to morning news with the only man who can’t give her that. Painfully, she walks through the door, deepening the distance between them and ignoring the way her heart races at the sight of his curly brown hair messed up along his pillow case.
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Male werewolf x female character - Chapter One (sfw)
Hello lovely folks! Thank you so much to those of you who contributed to the post which somehow now has over two hundred notes, indicating your interest in this story! I only hope I can live up to your expectations!
Here is Chapter One, in which our protagonist leaves the city behind on a whim and travels north to a cabin retreat in a small town. I promise we’ll meet our werewoofer protagonist soon. If you can believe it, I’ve got nearly 10,000 words of this written already, though not all of it is in the order it will be told, unfortunately, so I’ve still got my work cut out for me, but I’m feeling good about writing again, which is fun. Anyway, I hope you enjoy it, and will consider reblogging it and letting me know if it’s headed in the direction you hoped! It’s become a rather personal project for me, so I hope you’ll be kind at the very least!
And so, without further ado and a-waffle here is Chapter One:
She might very well have been a good deal warmer with the car’s sputtering little heater cranked all the way up, but the scent of pines and the crisp, mountain air beyond was too delicious to shut out after what felt like years of recycled office air and polluted city streets. So instead, shifted her old VW into fifth and let the curves of the wide road take her through the forest, with wild, damp, green-tinged air whipping in through the windows and tangling her hair into a matted brown bird’s nest.
The thing about this holiday was that she hadn’t even intended to take one at all until three days earlier, when she’d booked a tiny cabin in the woods on a whim, without telling anyone that she’d done it.
They would have thought she’d gone completely off the rails if she’d brought it up anyway — most of her friends already seemed to think as much after she’d quit her job seemingly out of nowhere two weeks ago.
And yet, this was the first thing to feel truly ‘right’ in months.
The mess of the past year seemed as inconsequential as the previous bend in the road now, and she vowed silently as she entered the quaint little town of Pinewatch, with her car boot full of walking gear and waterproofs, that she was damn well going to enjoy herself for a change. This was going to be something purely, completely, and entirely, for her.
In person, the town itself felt even smaller than it had looked on Google Maps as she slowed to drive up the main street, but she couldn’t keep the grin off her face. It was perfect. Old houses and wooden shop fronts lined the road, with cafes and a traditional looking bar dotted amongst more practical businesses like a grocery store, post office, and doctor’s.
Spotting a space, she parked the red VW up outside a veterinary clinic and stretched the muscles of her back and shoulders out, letting them pop and creak blissfully after a three hundred mile drive north. Outside, an older lady with a Pomeranian left the clinic and began their tottering way up the street together with almost matching gaits.
Glancing at the time on her phone, she scrunched her nose up and sighed. A couple of hours too early yet to check into the little cabin just outside the town, she locked her car and meandered along the pavement in the sunshine, thinking vaguely of grabbing a coffee and something to eat to kill the time.
After browsing in the windows of a few artisan craft shops though, she found herself at the end of the main street — the length of which seemed to be the extent of the town. A metal sign just a little way ahead announced the Information Centre for the National Park which stretched around the town in a dark green blanket for miles in all directions, and with another hour to go, she figured she might as well check it out.
Gravel crunched beneath her scruffy old boots as she crossed the muddy car park and a bell tinkled above the glass panelled door as she pushed inside. Set back from the main road, the Information Centre was an old cabin, log-built and cosy, with the feel of having been someone’s home before the reception desk and leaflet stands, posters, employee photos, and bookshelves had been installed.
Behind the counter, a woman in a pastel pink hijab looked up as she entered and smiled broadly at her. “Hi. Can I help?”
“Hope so,” she said with a shy answering smile, approaching the counter. “I’ve booked a cabin nearby and I’m looking to do some hiking in the area. Nothing super adventurous — no more than ten miles or so at the very most — but I figured I’d get some local information before I head up to the cabin. I’m kind of early.”
“Sure,” the young woman said, standing up. “You must be staying in Trapper’s Lodge?”
Her slight frown was met with a friendly chuckle.
“It’s basically the only holiday rental around here.”
“Of course, I forgot it’s owned by the park service,” she laughed.
“You’re the first person to rent it this season, and it was ready yesterday so you could head on over whenever you like. We don’t get too many visitors on this side of the mountain,” she went on. “People who come for the famous views tend to go to the other side of the park, where Three Peak Falls are — you know, the ones you see all over Instagram?”
“Oh, I see,” she said, grateful to her late-night self for picking this part of the park then. Hordes of people all chasing the perfect Instagram photo weren’t exactly what she was looking for out here.
The young woman turned to fetch some leaflets from behind her. “Anyway, I’m Tala. How long are you here for?”
“Odessa,” she replied, and shuffled and rocked on her heels for a moment. “I’m booked in for two weeks, but it already feels like the kind of place I could stay forever.”
Tala chuckled wryly and handed a small stack of information leaflets and hiking trail maps out to her across the counter. Her eyes glittered playfully and she said, “Careful; the forest tends to hold on to people like you.”
Odessa raised her eyebrows and took the proffered leaflets. “That’s not ominous at all,” she snorted. “Thanks. I’ll take a look at these tonight over some supper.”
Tala nodded. “If you’re hiking solo — even if you’re in a group, actually — we recommend checking in here before you head out,” she said and indicated a trail book lying open at the far end of the wooden counter. “Just so someone knows where you are and how long you’re intending to be.”
With a nod and a warm smile, she thanked her and added, “I’ll be back tomorrow after I’ve settled in.” She waved the leaflets for emphasis and added, “Thanks for these.”
Back at her car, she stashed the maps in the front of her bag on the passenger seat, and started up the engine. A big, red Toyota pickup paused to let her pull out ahead of it, and she thanked the driver with a friendly wave and set off with her phone balanced precariously in her lap while it dictated directions to the cabin.
In fact she hadn’t needed them at all, and after just a few minutes’ drive north out of town through dense pines, she spotted the painted white stone that marked a twisting drive through the trees to the former trapper’s lodge.
As she halted on the small, gravelly patch of ground in front of the house, she stared through the muck-flecked car window and her breath caught.
In person it looked even more like a fairytale than it had on the website.
The place had clearly been recently renovated, with new plants still establishing themselves in beds around the walls, and new windows to keep the cabin insulated, but it had the feel of a standing stone; of something deeply rooted in the landscape; as much a part of it as the trees and rocks on all sides.
Stepping out, Odessa inhaled the cool damp of the forest and a short, nervous laugh bubbled out of her.
“I can’t believe this is real,” she muttered, looking around with hands on hips. A moment later she rolled her eyes and laughed again, though this time it carried a slightly hysterical tinge to it. “What the fuck am I even doing?”
No steel-frame building nor wall of glass was to be seen; just a cosy wooden cottage and the endless peace of whispering pine needles and chittering birds. Somewhere far off to her left, a rushing stream sounded in a gully, and she couldn't decide if she wanted to explore inside or out first.
Hefting her rucksack onto her shoulder a few minutes later, she unlocked the key from the little safe on the wall and shuffled into the storm porch like a tinker with a hundred groaning packs.
Inside, the cottage was everything she could have dreamed of and more. Someone, presumably Tala, had left a small welcome basket on the scrubbed kitchen table, with freshly-baked scones, a loaf of bread, some local cheese and a jar of local honey, and a note with some contact information. There was milk and butter in the fridge too, which was another nice touch.
She tramped back out to the car to bring in the last of her gear, leaving her walking boots in the enclosed porch and dumping her rucksack on the wooden boards of the cosy bedroom just off the living space.
That night she ate the slightly squashed sandwiches she’d brought with her, and afterwards, stepped outside in the dark to stare up at the patch of endless, starry sky above the cabin’s clearing. Night skies like that just didn’t exist in the city or outside of the movies, and she lost track of time as she gazed up.
Eventually, her breath started to fog in the autumn air and it wafted around her like a drifting ghost. Off to her right, the loud, mournful hoot of an owl made her jump and she turned instinctively but saw nothing in the endless dark between the trees. A twig cracked and she twitched. Taking it as a sign to head back inside before she got too cold, or too freaked out, she scuttled back inside, closing the chill of the largely silent night out behind her.
Odessa didn’t turn her phone back on once all evening, and as the wind wafted in through the open curtains later, brushing across her body in a cold whisper where she lay on her back in bed, it felt like the start of a brand new chapter in her life.
At that, she found herself almost too excited to sleep.
To be continued...
If you enjoyed this first taste, I hope you’ll consider reblogging as well as leaving a like, and if you’re excited about it, you can always let me know with a comment and/or an ask. Take care, and I hope you have a lovely day/night wherever you are, and whenever you read this.
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Pick A Pile #1 - Who are you?
Take a deep breath and relax. Take your time to ground yourself and connect with your insight. Once you feel ready, choose the picture or number that calls you the most and check the description. If you feel called by more than one, there might be more messages for you. Being a general reading (and my first try too), take what resonates and leave what doesn’t. This is only for fun and entertainment.
Please notice that all I am writing is only based on my intuition.
Any feedback is more than welcome to help me grow.
All the photos belong to me and you have no permission to use them.
I feel you might be strong soldiers' pile. You are someone pretty straightforward and determined in whatever you do. I sense a lot of fire and earth energy here, but mostly fire: you may have fire in your chart or embody the characteristic of the corresponding signs. You take pride in your successes (and for a reason, I’d say!). You don’t let others and life take you down too easily. You know when and how to fight. You are also very smart and choose your battles wisely. You stand up for yourself and those you care about. You like to solve problems and are up for any new challenge that may come up into your life: you know you can win them all, or at least learn a new lesson. I can picture you working with a lot of concentration, putting all your effort to reach your goal, and I see you making it too. I see a lot of red and dark tones in your image. I see you wearing glasses (it may or not resonate with all, it could just be a symbol for the word "focus" or smth) and carrying a book or some papers in your hands. You may be a student or have a job or work/study/planning to get a job or willing to open your own business. I also see a dark suit, so many of you might work (or want to work) in finance, advocacy or similar fields.
I sense a cute, smiling and playful group of souls here. I sense some air and water energy among you, but you don’t have to have a lot of them in your chart. You might only embody these characteristics within you. You are a funny ball of sunshine, always up for taking spontaneous trips somewhere with your friends, or just go to a concert or a movie night. You also love your friends/loved ones deeply and like to be near them and cheer them up. You actually love to make your friends laugh especially when they are down. They know they can count on you for whatever need they may have. I feel your smile is contagious. You also like to be in the spotlight, and don’t mind playing the fool in parties or during your nights out. I see you hanging around in your room, walls filled with posters and photos, with a lollipop in your mouth, jumping, dancing and singing along to your fav songs. You energy is so welcoming and plenty of light that fills up every little dark space around you; that’s one of the reasons why people loves to have you around: you make them feel better just by being there. Yellow and white clear light + beige/warm/earthy pastels tones are very strong in your image.
I think this might be the pile for little sweet shy empaths. I sense a lot of water energy here, but maybe you just embody this energy. You don’t trust others easily, you might have been hurt in the past or simply fear getting hurt. You also may pick up others’ energies before they even speak or make a move (try to make boundaries, pls). You always try to give your love, affection and help to all those you care about, and are very kind, and you are loved for this. At times though, you feel left out because of the difficulties you have in opening up to others: they perceive this as if you’re being a little stuck up even if you are not. I see a little more dark/grey color here, but it’s not a scary dark, it’s more a nostalgic/sad feeling, and I bet it’s because of all these misunderstandings between you and your friends/close ones. I’m so sorry, I would love to hug you all. Know that you are very special and that it’s not your fault. It’s nobody’s fault. Forgive yourself and forgive your friends too. The day in which you’ll feel like sharing more about you with someone special is not that far. I can see that, I can see you at night, smiling, a beer or a drink in your hand, talking with someone who really really likes you.
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Man, I'm just tired of female servants wearing nothing, it's just so boring at this point. At least Barghest has some cool armor on her first ascension, gimme more of that.
Ok. I wrote like... 10 different test responses to this ask that I deleted because I thought I was coming across as 'prudish', but... yeah. You're right. It's boring.
And I think this whole Zenobia thing- if only for me- highlights some very different sides of the Fate/GO fanbase. The horny people, the people who care about the historical figures, and everyone in between.
Because listen. Sure, Zenobia's artwork isn't ugly by any means. But the design is in such poor, poor taste for both FGO and just the very concept of Zenobia. You take this proud, ambitious warrior queen who stood against the Roman superpower and... slap her in some ripped clothes and a string bikini, shackle her, and call it... 'empowerment'. And the people who just want hot anime girls are fine with that. But most of my interest from Fate came from the idea of seeing various historical figures fight, and seeing how they're represented, and using them as a springboard to learn more. And this Zenobia is... terrible representation.
I mean, and I could talk FOREVER about the fetishization of dark-skinned women in FGO and gacha/anime as a whole. Look at Nitocris. Look at Scheherazade. Altera. Serenity. Hundred Faces. The Queen of Sheba. And, considering how most of the fanbase treats Caeneus as female, look at him!
Nzambi from Fate/Requiem would be pretty neat, until you pull up her wiki page and see her flashing her string bikini under her incredibly intricate shawl.
Lakshmibai is the only dark-skinned woman dressed somewhat respectfully, and the fanbase and Takeuchi only care about her to the extent of 'Choco Jeanne'.
And this is basically a consequence of Type-MOON's biggest 'lore machine' being a gacha game. They need to get people to spend Saint Quartz. They need to get people to buy Saint Quartz. And so they do what every other gacha does- make scantily clad girls. But, uh oh, all of these scantily clad girls/super promiscuous are INCREDIBLY LORE IMPORTANT, and so yes, we are stuck with 'Balloon Boobs Minamoto no Raikou' as the official design, and YES every work that features her now has to use that design.
Lostbelt 6 was great, but it's not like the female Servant designs were really that great. Personally, I think Barghest's 3rd ascension is awful, Baobhan Sith is only really good in her 1st ascension, and Melusine's 3rd ascension is a mess. It's just that they were well-written, so they got a pass.
If you look at the designs from the Fateverse light novels like Strange/Fake and Requiem, the designs are so much more varied and unique. Huwawa is a giant Babylonian mecha-monster. Pale Rider is the PALE RIDER. Voyager's design is so fun, and Kijyo Koyo is a dinosaur oni!
I'm a bit all over the place- these are basically a bunch of separate post concepts that I crammed into one ask, but... uh...
Yeah. Shit sucks.
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Tyrion is Grrm's favourite character and also the one he wishes he was . Why wouldn't he let his fave end up with the romantic princess ?
(post being referenced)
Right, so let's take a look at that claim shall we?
GRRM: Well, Tyrion is my favourite, there's no doubt about that. You know, he's the easiest to write, at least for the first three books he was the easiest to write. He got harder to write with book five in particular because he's in a very dark place right there. But he's witty, and he's intelligent, and Tyrion is almost what I wish I could be, because I'm not a witty as Tyrion... Oh I am as witty as Tyrion, because I invent all the witty things Tyrion says! The problem is of course that Tyrion tosses off these witty lines, you know, with ease in the moment of conversation. And I of course, in real life, think of witty things to say a week after the conversation has ended. Oh goddammit that's what I should have said! That would've been really funny, and cutting, and things like that. Yeah, so I don't think of these things as fast. [1.52–2.41]
So, yes, I agree that Tyrion is certainly GRRM's favourite character, as the above illustrates. But where I think there's some disagreement between us is that second part to your statement, that Tyrion is "the one he wishes he was." Because let's be real for a second, by the end of ADWD, Tyrion is a murderer, molester and a rapist... he's done some terrible things and is poised to get much darker still. Indeed, it's interesting that the darker Tyrion gets, the harder GRRM admits it is to write him... almost as though he is moving further and further away from the Tyrion he may have wished to emulate, into something quite the opposite, someone instead to condemn, no matter how "fun" he is to write. Villains tend to be pretty fun to write and read, they can even be your favourite character, as Tyrion is for GRRM... but that doesn't mean they shouldn't get their comeuppance.
Amazon.com: Do you have a favorite character?
GRRM: I've got to admit I kind of like Tyrion Lannister. He's the villain of course, but hey, there's nothing like a good villain. [source]
But anyway, from the first interview answer, it seems clear to me that Tyrion's quick-fire wit is what George "wishes" he had, and that's about the end of it, because Jesus H. Christ... think about what he'd be aligning himself to if he went any further than that. And regardless, in that same interview GRRM goes on to mention other characters he feels he is similar to, and in a way, that's more enlightening than a character he may somewhat wish to be:
[...] but Sam, yeah, there's a lot me in Sam too. [2.41–2.46]
This comment about Sam has been made elsewhere, notably preceding another character George would want/wish to be:
The character I’m probably most like in real life is Samwell Tarly. Good old Sam. And the character I’d want to be? Well who wouldn’t want to be Jon Snow — the brooding, Byronic, romantic hero whom all the girls love. Theon [Greyjoy] is the one I’d fear becoming. Theon wants to be Jon Snow, but he can’t do it. He keeps making the wrong decisions. He keeps giving into his own selfish, worst impulses. [source]
So, I think there is a distinct difference in stating characteristics of a character you might wish to possess, as opposed to stating that the entirety of a character is someone who you would wish to be. GRRM would like to be as fast with his quips as Tyrion, and in terms of Jon, he'd like to be a young romantic hero rather than the older man, getting on in years, that he now is perhaps. Plus maybe there's something about Jon's bravery and courage that George admires but doesn't necessarily see in himself? I don't know. What's interesting to me is that he mentions Theon as a sort of cautionary tale, commenting on how "he keeps giving into his own selfish, worst impulses", an observation that could be equally applied to Tyrion circa ADWD... At the end of the day, these are complex characters and I think GRRM knows which traits in them are admirable, even desirable, and which are in fact deplorable... and those two things can even coexist within the same character, e.g. in Tyrion.
But moving along a bit in that interview, very interestingly GRRM has this to say about other characters that bear similarities to himself:
All of the viewpoint characters I have to put something of myself into it to make them come alive, even the ones that are, you know, very unlike me on the surface like, you know, eleven year old girls. You know, I've obviously never been an eleven year old girl. I have known an occasional eleven year old girl, especially when I was an eleven year old boy. Although, when I was an eleven year old boy I was too scared to talk to eleven year old girls. So, I was more like Sam in that regard. [3.01–3.31]
Again, we have this reiteration about his similiarities to Sam, but we also have this repetition, and therefore emphasis placed on an "eleven year old girl." And who is that I wonder?
This offer did surprise him. "Sansa is only eleven." – AGOT, Eddard I
For more on the ways in which GRRM and Sansa Stark overlap check out this great piece of meta by @butterflies-dragons:
GRRM has projected his love for medieval tourneys, heraldry, pageantry, knights and chivalry on Sansa Stark
But to answer the second part of your ask — "Why wouldn't he let his fave end up with the romantic princess?" — let's continue on with that interview, shall we?
Interviewer: It's interesting because Elio [M. García Jr.], who George mentioned earlier, and you know, created Westeros.org, I met him in London and we were talking about how we both thought that Tyrion was your favourite [...] and we were musing about... is that a good thing for Tyrion? Because you put this guy through hell and back again! So, does it benefit Tyrion that he is your "favourite"?
GRRM: No, probably not. It doesn't help him at all. And really, in A Dance with Dragons, he goes through the most hellish stuff yet [...] so you try not to play favourites, I suppose. But I put all the characters through horrible things! [3.31–4.13]
This very much brings to mind the idea of "kill your darlings" for me. So, leaving out how much on a thematic and character level I strongly disagree with the idea of Tyrion ending up with Sansa (because that would be a whole other post)... I think it's important to consider that GRRM is an experienced writer, and as he says above, he puts "all the characters through horrible things" regardless of who his favourites are, and likewise we can apply that to who he "rewards" as well. Tyrion may be his favourite, but does that mean he deserves "the romantic princess"? From a moral standpoint, does a murderer, molester (of that same girl!), and a rapist deserve "the romantic princess"? No, of course not. But if you give that ending to him anyway because he's your "favourite" what does that do to your story? What does that suggest about your narrative values, the values of the story? How does that affect the narrative ethos?
Stephen King had this to say on the art of writing in his book On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft:
Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.
It may break GRRM's heart to potentially kill off, or at the very least punish or avoid rewarding, his favourite character, but a good writer would do that regardless of their fondness, because it is what serves the narrative best. It is what serves the narrative ethos, or message, best... because I don't think the message of ASOIAF is that those who inflict suffering on others, without self-reflection, without conscience or compunction, should come out on top in the end. And the way things are headed with Tyrion... redemption, or a seeking of penance, does not look on the cards for him, not by a long shot.
Thanks for the ask.
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Critical Role Predictions: Campaign 3 Edition
So I caught up with CR during quarantine, and now I have brainrot. This will be the very first time I start a campaign at the same time as everyone else. So for the future, my posts regarding critical role will be tagged as “CR spoilers”. I am sorry for everyone who follows me for something else. I am sorry that you have to witness the person I will become tomorrow. But I’m not going to apologize for becoming that person, cause nerdy ass voice actors playing DnD make me very happy. Also, no race predictions here. I just don’t have enough knowledge of what races the cast like to play and what they like about the races to make a prediction I’m happy with. With that, onto my guesses.
Ashley first. I think she’s gonna go with Paladin. Pike and Yasha were both heavy hitters very connected to their deities. I think Ashley enjoys giving damage, and the strong religious associations help her build her character. Of course, I could be wrong, Fearne didn’t have the religious associations, but it’s nice to try something different. In terms of subclasses, I think there’s gonna be a lot of Tasha’s rep, so Oath of Glory would be good.
Laura now. I think Laura absolutely loved Jester’s trickery abilities, but wasn’t the biggest fan of the cleric’s base abilities. She’s shown a preference for mixed classes (Ranger, Cleric, Four Elements Monk with Farriwen) I think Laura would make a fantastic bard. Specifically I think Creation or Whispers would suit her playstyle. Laura can be a mastermind if the situation calls for it, and just loves doing insane stuff.
The one, the only, Mr. Sam Riegel. I could see him doing a Life cleric purely to dunk on Laura for Jester not healing, but more seriously, I’m thinking Sorcerer, possibly Aberrant Mind or Wild Magic. Sam brings a special kind of chaos to the table, and while Nott/Veth got some of that good magic as an Arcane trickster, I feel like he missed the amount of spells Scanlan had during campaign 2. Plus, we haven’t had a sorcerer since Tiberius, so I wanna see at least one person try it.
Travis, I’m thinking he got a taste for spellcasting with Fjord. Druid maybe? Circle of the Shepard, just because I love the thought of Travis with an animal companion.
Taliesin, in my heart of hearts, i’d love for him to play a Warlock. I don’t think he will though, just because it’s too obvious, King of the Goths being a warlock. Since Tasha’s revamped the Ranger, I think it would be great if someone took another crack at it. I‘d love to see Tal do Horizon Walker or Fey Wanderer, I think that’d be fun. Or he‘s gonna do another Matt Homebrew Class, cause he seems to really like them.
Liam, I wanna say Blood Hunter. He seems to like both martial and magic classes equally, he had as much fun with Vax as he did with Caleb. Order of the Lycan, because he just seemed so happy with being the big strong guy in Darrington Brigade, and I feel like he wants a break from super-squishy Caleb.
Marisha is a wildcard. I feel like she hasn’t found a playstyle she really really likes yet, so she could go with anything and it would make sense. She’s gonna romance a goth with wings though. Girl is consistent in that respect.
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Hello there!! I was wondering if you could make a nct dream (mark and 00 line) reaction to find out that his s / o can give himself pleasure with the shower head
(I just felt as if I needed to add my boo Shotaro & I did this one in a different way because the paragraphs were annoying to look at it)
- shocked is an understatement
- at first he was confused whenever he got into the shower after you and the shower head was adjusted to the water pressure was almost violent
- just assumed it was how you liked to shower, same difference as you showering with boiling hot water while he prefers lukewarm
- it wouldn't hit him until he accidentally walked in on you
- all he wanted to do was grab his cologne and accidentally saw you 'using' the shower head
- might feel a little upset, will definitely ask you if it's because he doesn't pleasure you enough, or if there's anything more you want from him during sex
- once he finds out it's purely because you like to have a little fun at times he'll relax
- if you ever leave the water pressure high again he will leave the bathroom either smirking or giggling
- has no problem with it, but now if you ever share a shower he'll be sure to prove that he's better at pleasing you than some powerful water
- minds his business
- same with mark he'll ignore that obvious signs of it, but purely because he wants to give you privacy
- he always his private time, so would have no problem letting you have yours
- might be a little confused how you can find so much pleasure from something so simple, but won't ever fully question
- will make slick jokes at you about it, especially if you leave the shower head done or the mode on jet
- is one to use it on you whenever you share a shower, back to his chest as one hand wraps around your waist to keep you steady, the other carefully aiming the shower head
- isn't one for marking but will place open mouthed kisses on your shoulders
- one and done for sure, will let you cum once before finishing up your shower
- definitely will finish it back in the bedroom
- confused pikachu face
- just everything about it confused him
- I feel like it could go two ways with him
- upset because you didn't ask him to shower with you, or upset because you showered alone only to masturbate with the shower head
- like why masturbate when you have a perfectly hung boyfriend right there who's always willing to please you
- definitely a little jealous over it but won't show it
- maybe a little bit
- always asks to shower with you for now one, refuses to use the shower head on you
- much like mark will show you that he's better than a shower head
- I can see him instead of eating you til you cry he'd just slide in and fuck you against the wall
- completely ignoring that the water is started to turn a little cold, and the fact that if he slips you'll both be injured
- purely there to show you that he's better than it
- he's dramatic
- he also walked in on due to him never giving you any time alone
- flops onto the bed after you exit the bedroom, mumbling that you don't love him anymore
-throws jabs at you for at least two weeks over it
- why fuck me when you have a perfectly good shower head
- this man is just
- let him be dramatic, he needs to get it out his system
- once it's out his system he's the third member to show you that he's better than the shower head
- next time he catches you using it he'll just pull you out of the shower
- wet, and butt ass naked
- before pushing you onto the bed and either edging you until your cry or overstimulating you til you cry
- either way he'll leave your clit so sensitive that you won't even THINK about using the shower head again
- that is until he leaves for tour
- that's sexy
- first thing that comes out of his mouth
- the both of you are very open about your private time
- he's almost always working, and you get lonely when he's away
- is the only way to actively encourage you to use it, even going as far to shower with you just to see you use it
- wrapping his arms around you to help you keep up
- the opposite of Renjun as in he loves marking, so he'll be sucking bruises along your neck and collarbone
- this has the opposite effect on you, due to him encouraging it so heavily you only end up begging for him
- will use the shower head at a punishment after that, forcing you to use it whenever he's away or just whenever you're being particularly bratty
- yea the shower head is only fun when you don't have a sexy boyfriend that takes way too much pleasure in watching you please yourself to the point he will punish you by forcing you to please yourself before he'll touch you
- this man truly doesn't care, he knows he has a hectic work life and can't always be there for you
- might encourage it, but not to Jaemin's extent
- he could care, maybe a little bit
- but whenever you send him videos of you playing with yourself he could truly care less
- only thing he can focus on is the fact that he's not there with you, and that he wished he could leave the studio early to go be with you
- if you tease him too much with it however
- he truly won't care where he is
- he'll make up some stupid excuse like his fish is drowning on his stove before rushing out of the building and to your apartment
- one hundred percent will eat you until you cry, making sure to play careful attention as he fingers you
- obviously reaching deeper and being more detailed than the shower head ever could
- will definitely make you regret using it, until the next time he's working late
- then the cycle continues
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Haiiiiii, soo I dont know if you already done this, but how would Brams, Jason, Michael, and the leatherfaces react to a buff s/o? Like strong enough to carry the slashers with minimum difficulty?
a/n: I decided to leave Thomas out of this one hope you don’t mind too much!
— He’s into it, like more than you might think. Brahms wants to be carried around like a princess and the first time you demonstrate being able to do so, you’ve doomed yourself. I imagine he’s giving you some trouble one night and in your frustration to just get him into bed you lift him up and right over your shoulder.
— he’s s t u n n e d.
— I swear to god he isn’t happy unless he’s in your lap or in your arms, and he will throw fits over it.
— He gets that childish glee of being picked up and thrown around that he never really got to experience with his parents. It’s inherently non-sexual. Until it is.
— demonstrating your strength is bound to get him in the mood so watch out 😳 if you can lift him so easily, he can’t help but wonder how else you can overpower him.
— Jason is a big boy, and he’s very aware of this fact. Low door frames and narrow spaces are his worst enemy. So when you scoop him up in your arms like he weighs nothing he is in shock, tense and gripping at your shoulders, surely you couldn’t be carrying him? Surely he was too heavy?
— Jason has mixed feelings about being picked up. He appreciates the gesture but doesn’t understand why you want to do it, and is usually too concerned about hurting you to really enjoy it. Even though you’ve told him it’s really no struggle for you.
— He does appreciate your strength however! And is much more likely to let you wander out and about without him ecorting you, since you can likely handle your own. He still worries of course and gets antsy after dark if you’re out on your own.
— Lets you help out a bit more since heavy-lifting isn’t a problem for you.
— Please uh… don’t try to pick him up. He does NOT like it. Unless you want to piss him off I would keep his feet on the ground and demonstrate your strength another way. If you do unfortunately lift him up he’ll struggle even if you warn him. Very much a grumpy cat that doesn’t like being picked up.
— Michael’s pretty indifferent to your build if I’m being completely honest. He knows you put a lot of work into your physique and the more he sees that work the more appreciative he’ll be.
— Watches you work out like a creep <3 often without you knowing he’s even there. Is easily distracted when you’re stretching in the living room or weight lifting. The type to pour coffee all over the table because you caught his eye doing a squat or something, doesn’t care that it’s burning the hell out of him.
— Most of his appreciation for your muscles carries over to the bedroom I’m afraid, he likes to feel and trace them. And since you’re not a pushover he likes that you fight back, rough-housing is a fun pass time.
— He’s overjoyed that you’re able to pick him up!! No one’s been able to lift him since he was a little tot and he’s very enthusiastic about being picked up and carried around when you’re willing. He feared that he may be hurting you at first, but as soon as you say he weighs nothing to you he’s swooning.
— very into being held <333
— Likes to watch you lift heavy objects and do your exercise. Always tries to help you out with your workouts or at least be somewhat involved. Will happily go grab you water when you need it.
— He likes that even being so strong you always know when to be gentle with things.
— You don’t get a lot of lip from Drayton since you’re more than capable of helping around the farm and helping them move bodies. Even if you don’t like to be too involved with the killing you’re expected to pitch in every now and then. And you’ll be easing Bubba’s workload so it’s worth it.
— You’re a bit intimidating so you won’t get too much fuss from Bubba’s family.
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Prompt: Life after the events of False Reality. Everyone was ready to move on, but you weren't. You needed your family back, and you finally figured out how to do it. You were going to get them back...no matter the cost.
It's been almost a year now, since the day you released the town you took hostage. You kept your head down, and avoided being noticed. You along with Damian moved out to a peaceful countryside where you wouldn't be bothered if you were spotted, by the media.
Your son thought that you had moved on, and started focusing on healing yourself....
You have been doing the opposite...
Night after night you were hovering over your son while he slept, combing through every memory of his mind trying to get every word he read from that book that Klarion had. You knew the book contained more about your powers, and it could have the answer to get your family back. Apart of you felt horrible for doing this to Damian, but you couldn't think clearly.
John held his promise to Bruce this time. He regularly checked on you, and helped you with your powers now that you've unlocked your full potential. Every time he tried to get the sparkle back in you eye, but it was just a soulless void. Anytime you smiled it was fake.
Now you were tired of sitting around. You were sick of sitting in the same rooms, and living a normal life when nothing about you was normal at all. It was time you took back the life that was taken from you.
During the times of John's visits he would briefly mention being apart of a team of time travelers. He talked about how they protected the timeline, and sometimes changed it if needed. All of his stories sparked an idea in your mind. It was stupid...and could end very badly, but it was a chance you had to take.
"Pocus? I have a question." You asked John as you handed him an ashtray so he would stop getting ash on your carpet. He took the ashtray then turned towards you. It'd been so long since he heard his nickname come from you. Honestly that was the most you've spoken to him since he started visiting you.
"Could I join the team...the Legends?" You ask biting your lip. John frowned hearing that question. Normally he would be all for you joining the team. Having someone in the same area of power as him would have been nice. Also having one of his closest friends with him would be much more fun.
"I'm not a fool Y/N. You can't change the past love...at least not this one." He replies standing up. You clench your jaw at his rejection then slammed the cup you were drinking out of while standing up as well.
"Why not?!? You said yourself that not all events in time were fixed points. What if that night isn't one? I could bring them back!" You exclaimed throwing your hands up.
"Yes, you could...but you could erase this version of you from time! Or worse! That one change could cause many drastic effects Hocus!"
The arguing startled Damian who quickly ran back into the house, "Ummi? Is everything alright?" He asks ready to fight John if needed.
"Everything is fine Damian...John was just leaving." You say glaring into John's eyes. He glares right back at you before opening a portal and stepping through.
Later that night you were sitting on the porch of your home staring up at the sky. Ever since John left you hadn't stopped thinking of a way to get your family back. You knew that you could just use your powers to take you back in time, but now John was expecting you to do that. You knew that as soon as you vanished from this time period, John would comb through every second of the previous years searching for you.
Damian walked outside to sit with you, "Ummi? I'm worried about you. You don't seem like yourself anymore. I know what has happened is the main reason, but something about you is not the same. It worries me." He says as he holds your hand in his.
You look over at him then an idea hits your mind. It was bad...very very bad, but what other choice do you have. You smile softly resting your hand on his head and pull him into a hug, "My sweet boy, I'll be just fine..." You whisper as your eyes slowly turn black. You pull away before standing up, and walking into your yard. You turn to your son as black magic envelops your skin, "Forgive me Damian..." You whisper then blast your son with magic causing him to vanish in front of your eyes.
Damian felt his body being thrown around before he landed in the woods. He looked around frantically trying to figure out what happened to him, and where he was. He heard voices in the distance and started making his way towards them.
His eyes widened as he watched a horse and carriage go by him then a couple wearing clothes that didn't match the time he was from...
"Ummi...what have you done?" He whispers backing up. He had no clue where he was...and now he didn't know when he was...
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Eyes That See Part Twelve
Eyes That See Summary: Your life consists of caring for others. This is a story of you learning to care for yourself.
Eyes That See Part 12 Summary: After you get bad news from your mother in Virginia, things with Justine boil over when you tell her you have to make an emergency trip back home. You get the feeling that Sy isn’t very happy with you while you’re gone, so when you get back, you try to make things normal again by going on a fun motorcycle ride with him. You have a panic attack instead.
Words: 20k, the usual, sit yourself down with a blanket and enjoy
Warnings: reader with anxiety and self-esteem issues, mental health issues are more vividly discussed in this part with a bigger emphasis on depression than before, executive dysfunction, poor conflict-management, hospitals/medical issues, Justine being a bad friend and awful person in general, angst, **vivid description of a panic attack**
A/N: This will be the worst chapter of the entire fic. Just know that it gets better. I hate to say I cried while writing this. I don’t know what else to say. It’s really personal for me, so...I’m just gonna post it. (Also, if there is anything confusing about what happens in this chapter and why, it most likely will be explained in Part 13. I love interacting with you all about this fic, though, so feel free to ask or comment or anything you’d like if you want!) Thank you all for reading!
@sillyrabbit81 Thank you so much for your help with the motorcycle questions! I was being Y/N and didn’t want to bother you too much though so if you (or ANYONE) sees anything that I included that is just blatantly wrong, please tell me and I’ll fix it lol. Also, I included one little line for you in the motorcycle scene, see if you can find it.
Tag List: Tagging people at the bottom. Let me know if you don't see yourself or want off.
Previous Parts Here
Like any other morning, your alarm wakes you up the next morning at five forty-five, and when you hear the rude sound blaring by your head, you groan and blindly reach out until you feel the empty space beside you. Then the side of your nightstand. Then the top of your phone. You manage to hit snooze, or you think you do, at least; all you care about is that the noise has stopped.
Seconds later, your body relaxes again so you can get a few more minutes of peace, but it’s short-lived. Finding yourself butt-ass naked, you abruptly open your eyes and look around the still-dark room. Sy isn’t in bed with you anymore, and it’s not even six in the morning yet.
By now, you’ve gotten a little used to what happens when you two share a bed, but it’s still weird how, without fail, he always just...slips out without even waking you up. Without you even stirring.
When you sleep with Sy, you normally have some type of memory of waking up in the middle of the night and feeling him beside you, or waking up and seeing him awake at that very moment, too, smiling, or waking up and feeling his hand on yours or something. This morning, however, you’re overcome with memories of what happened before falling asleep.
Dear God. This really is a dream. There’s no other way for you to wrap your head around it, any of it. And with Sy gone from the room right now, it really does feel that way. Almost imagined.
You sit up, figuring you ought to just fully wake up now that your brain’s already awake, plus you have to shower and get dressed before waking the kids up and taking care of them. Next week resumes Justine’s regular day-shifts at the hospital, but for now, she’s still on overnights, and she won’t be home for another hour or so.
Making sure your alarm won’t go off again, you check your phone before showering, and that’s when you see you’ve got a text from Sy. You immediately open the message and see that it’s time-stamped at 5:20 a.m.
SY: come across the street before you go to work. ill be in the driveway
Without putting on clothes, you drop your phone and walk to your window to peek out the blinds. It’s too dark outside to actually see anything across the street, but you notice that Sy’s grandmother’s living room light is on. Unless she’s like her grandson who apparently only needs a few hours of sleep per night, you know that’s gotta be Sy. You quickly throw some clothes on just for modesty and head to the bathroom to get ready for the day.
After you’re done, you get all the kids up and ready, and Justine arrives as you’re at the kitchen table finishing up breakfast with them. Walking inside with messy hair and wrinkly scrubs, she looks exhausted. You tidy up the kitchen and clean up everyone’s dirty plates while she tiredly greets everyone and then takes over collecting Daniel and Luke’s belongings for school.
“So, last night went good,” you tell her, though she hasn’t asked yet. “Everyone loaded up. They all wanted to separate their candy, so I put four big bowls up on the fridge.”
“Oh, cool,” Justine says, smiling at everyone. She walks to the refrigerator, reaches up, and pulls down the first bowl she sees. “Looks like y’all had a real good night. Mmm. Reese’s, Kit-Kats, Skittles. Oooh, Mommy might need to borrow some’a this.”
“Can we take some to school, Mom?” Daniel tugs on her shirt and asks. “Pleeease?”
“Sure,” she replies while she sets the bowl on the kitchen table, and you briefly pause in front of the sink where you’re rinsing off plates. Everyone’s gonna be hyper as hell all day if she gives them candy right now. They’re already hyper just digging through the bowl, magnetized to it like animals.
They’re not your kids, though, you remind yourself. And tonight, they’re also not your responsibility. Since Justine’s finally going to be off this evening, you’re picking up a shift at Johnson’s. You fix yourself a cup of coffee to go, kiss all the candy-crazed kids on their heads, and offer a weird little wave to Justine before you start walking through the living room for your purse and jacket.
“Leavin’ early today,” Justine comments, and you just say, “Yeah.”
Outside, the sun is just rising above the treeline across the street, and like he said he’d be, Sy’s already in his grandma’s driveway, tinkering with his sister’s motorcycle. You shiver as you cross the road, and when you start walking up the driveway to meet Sy, you tightly wrap your jacket around yourself.
Sy’s wearing a big mossy-green coat, dark blue jeans, and a pair of boots. He was wearing shorts last night, so you guess he’s got clothes here at his grandma’s house and everything. He’s even showered already. You can tell by the smell of him as you get closer. He’s got some small collapsible table next to the bike with a few tools on it, a dirty rag, and a mug of steaming coffee.
“Mornin’,” Sy wipes his hands on his jeans and greets you as you approach. After smiling at you, he turns his face a little and taps his own cheek with his index finger. You walk forward, get on your tip-toes, and kiss the side of his face.
“Up before the sun this mornin’,” you comment with a little matching smile as you lower yourself back down to earth. Sy follows you down with his face to give you a proper kiss, and his lips taste like coffee.
“Ah, yeah,” Sy stands upright again, putting his hand on the back of the motorcycle. “Sam needed some stuff looked at. Might as well help ‘er while she’s here.”
You sip your coffee and stand there while waiting for him to explain exactly what he’s doing since you have zero knowledge about motorcycles, but he doesn’t. His attention is gone entirely from the motorcycle. He’s giving it all to you instead. You fidget with your purse straps on your shoulder.
Realizing you’ve been zoning out while staring at the bike, you blink a few times and quickly nod. “Oh, yeah, yeah,” you reassure lightly. “Just tired. Stayed up past my bedtime,” you try to joke.
“Worth it, I hope,” he murmurs, and you just barely keep yourself from biting your lip as you smile at him.
“Yeah,” you softly answer. “Worth it times three.”
Sy lifts his coffee cup and takes a sip from it, and afterwards, a little sliver of Sy’s tongue peeks out as he wets his lips. It’s charming but suggestive at the same time; he knows exactly what he’s doing. That fucking mouth.
There’s not much to talk about this early in the morning, and as you stand around sipping your coffee, you fear that you’re somehow making something weird like you have the unfortunate tendency to do. If you are, Sy doesn’t comment on it.
Justine eventually walks outside with Luke and Daniel and waits with them for their school bus, and Sy gets a little more quiet then, a little more aware of his surroundings. As the big yellow bus eventually turns down the street, flashes its lights, and comes to a stop in front of your house, you and Sy watch Danny and Luke get on the bus together. You wave at them when you see them sit down inside, and Sy lifts a hand up, too.
“Better get goin’,” you say after that, and Sy gives you a nod. “Guess I’ll see ya later.”
Sy finishes his coffee and places the mug on the little bench he’s got beside Sam’s bike. “You workin’ tonight?”
You nod before making a face. “Back to the bar.”
“Prob’ly ain’t gonna see you no more today, then, huh.”
“Yeah,” you reply, sighing. “Workin’ tomorrow, too, so. I’ll text you.”
Instead of replying, Sy just nods, and you figure it’s in a dismissive way, so you murmur a final little “bye,” give him a wave in a shyer manner than you intend to, and start walking to your car.
“Hey,” Sy calls out, and you turn around with your eyebrows raised, pausing. Sy takes a few steps forward, just barely touches your face with his fingertips, and leans down to give you a goodbye-kiss. “Give ‘em hell today, babe.”
You just smile.
The smile lasts for as long as it takes to get out of Sy’s eyesight, worry instantly creeping in when you get in your car and start driving down the road. This is really becoming a lot with him. It’s bigger than it needs to be, and you know you’re making it more than it needs to be, but fuck, you just can’t do casual. You just can’t. You can’t be casual. And you know if you jumped into an actual relationship with him, that wouldn’t work, either. First, he’s not a relationship guy, and second, your long-term relationships never last. You’re doomed either way.
For the entire commute to work, you find yourself worrying even more and berating yourself for it. You’d been so happy last night, and--and--you’re still happy, you guess, but this is really going far with Sy. You have no chill.
You’re self-aware enough to know that you’re actually just in disbelief, but this is somehow more than that. It’s something you can’t put your finger on, something...negative. It’s just too good to be true. So good, in fact, that your brain is trying to reject it.
As the saying goes, though, all good things must end.
A little while later, you arrive at work, and as you open the door to your cubicle, you instantly sigh while witnessing the mess you’d left from yesterday. There are stacks of paperwork everywhere, things you need to either fill out or file or fax. Next to your rapidly-blinking telephone, there’s a call-log of phone calls you need to return. By that is a planner covered with sticky notes reminding you of other little tasks you need to do when you have time.
You’re just tired. Tired and unfocused. The added nighttime duties you’ve been doing for Justine’s kids have really been taking a toll on you these past two weeks, and you thought it’d be easier than this. You don’t even get this tired after you work at the bar during the week.
Around lunchtime, Amelia opens your cubicle door without knocking to find you staring at your own unmoving hands resting atop your keyboard.
“You okay?” she asks as she slightly steps inside, and you whip your head up, startled.
Instantly, you look at your computer for the time, and you see it’s already one-thirty in the afternoon. Shit. You’ve been sitting at your desk all fucking day not doing much of anything. Above the start-bar on your computer screen telling you the time, you’ve got three Word documents open for three separate cases. All morning, you’ve been hopping from one document to the next, adding a few notes here and there but never completing anything entirely.
It’s too much on your desk to do. There’s too much in your brain to get out.
“Lost track of time,” you mutter while you dig your fingers into your eyes a little. They hurt from staring at your computer screen for so long.
“Same here,” she tells you. “Gonna be a late lunch.”
You lock your computer before standing up and stretching. “Not really hungry, anyway.”
“Had a late night, I take it?” she asks. “How was trick-or-treatin’?”
“It was fun,” you tell her as you begin walking to the break-room together. After yawning, you share how the night went, first starting with what the kids dressed up as and how cute it was watching them walk around in their costumes, then eventually moving onto how your night ended with Sy.
Even though you’re eating late enough that you have the entire lunch-room to yourselves, you wait until you’re sitting down with your lunch before really sharing anything detailed. As you pour dressing onto the salad you packed, Amelia finishes unloading her own lunchbox and indulgently looks at you from across the table.
"I, uh. I don’t even think I can say it.” You look towards the door before lowering your voice. “He made me come, like, three times."
"Shut the front door,” she exclaims in a voice much louder than yours. “What the fuck! You're so fuckin’ lucky!”
You take a drink from your water bottle as she immediately comments, “Aaand...you don’t look happy about that. Why aren’t you happy about that?”
“I am,” you maintain, and she gives you a look.
“Hey.” Amelia kicks your foot under the table. “What’s up, dude?”
You shake your head. You feel like you're about to start your period. Your stomach sort of hurts, your brain is foggy, and you’re moody.
“You look depressed.”
I am depressed, you want to tell her, but you don’t. She won’t want to hear it. No one does. You literally have no reason to be depressed. Not after last night.
“What’s wrong?” she insists. “You had a great night with him, you said.”
“Then what is it?”
“Things like--things like last night just don’t happen to people like me,” you mutter, deciding on honesty.
“But it did,” Amelia grins and excitedly comments. “It happened. I know you’re probably overthinkin’ the hell outta this by now, but try not to. Try not to and just feel.”
It’s just not that easy. It’s not that easy at all. You want to open up to Amelia and tell her more, but it’s the same old shit you always say, so she’s not going to want to keep listening to what she’ll refer to as excuses when they’re actually very logical reasons instead.
After last night, after being so happy--after Sy made you so happy, made you feel incredible--it made you realize something this morning. Abruptly. And that’s the fact that you don’t think you can take this much further with him.
You can’t actually have sex with him. What would actual sex be like if his mouth alone is as good as it is? If he managed to make you feel so fucking good from just his mouth and fingers, then what’s next? What more can you possibly feel? Pure bliss?
Already having the knowledge that someday this entire thing with him will stop, you couldn’t take it if you actually slept with him. You absolutely couldn’t. It wouldn’t be a kind thing to do to yourself.
“Y/N,” Amelia says, whining it a bit in the way that happy people do to cheer other people up when they’re being stubborn. She’d probably shake your shoulder if she could, like her touch alone could be magical enough to unnerve all the doubt settling upon you.
“I’m just gonna be a Debbie Downer,” you tell her before taking your first bite of food.
“Well,” she replies with her mouth full, “that’s okay.” She wipes her mouth, now looking concerned. “What’s goin’ on?”
“Since I’ve been here, I haven’t been in a relationship with anyone. You know that.”
She nods while she takes another bite of food and chews.
“It’s for a reason,” you go on.
“What reason, though?” she asks. “I see you as this total long-term relationship kinda chick. I really do. Get with a man and stay with him, you know? Like me and Johnny.”
You make a funny noise. That’s what you’d like to be. It just never works out that way.
“You just haven’t met the right guy since livin’ here,” Amelia goes on. “But now there’s Sy.”
“It doesn’t matter,” you shake your head and tell her. “Every relationship I’ve been in has ended the same way.”
“What way’s that?”
“The guy leavin’,” you explain. “That’s what happens. That’s what happens every time. You know that. You used to try to hook me up with all types of men back in the day. I’ve told you that before.”
“And I told myself when I moved down here I was gonna forget about dating and shit so I wouldn’t even have to worry about this. Wasn’t even gonna think about men. Even if I was attracted to someone.” You break eye-contact with Amelia. “I moved down here to try to get a fresh start, you know? To finish up school, to help out my friend who was goin’ through a divorce.”
“I always got my hopes up before,” you go on. “Stuff would get far enough with a guy that I’d think it was somethin’ more than it was, then I’d just get blind-sided when they’d end it. Then after that happenin’ enough times, I started to prepare for it.” You take a sip of water and look at the table. “Even bein’ prepared for it, though...still hurts when they’d leave.”
“That’s fair,” Amelia softly replies, “but what I’ve been tryin’ to say is that Sy’s different. He’s crazy about you. I’m sure if y’all just talk about this--”
“There’s nothin’ to talk about, though,” you interrupt. “He’s not into long-term relationships. This isn’t gonna amount to anything, anyway.”
“...He told you that?”
“Not directly,” you evasively answer. “But from all the bits of information I’ve put together, I know he’s not. He’s had his pick of the town for the past however-many years, and he’s stayed single. He’s just had a bunch of flings from what I understand.”
You know that some random woman spouting off five sentences of drunken nonsense at the bar that one night should not have this big of an impact on your thoughts regarding Sy, but you’re you, and it has.
“So you think this thing with you is just a fling for Sy?” she asks, and you nod, because you do.
You feel dumb, and you hate it, but you can’t help imagining that maybe there’s some type of ulterior motive for him in continuing to see you. Maybe he made a bet with someone or something, like in the movies. You know you’d sound like a total nutcase if you said that out loud, though, so you stick with your other thoughts.
“I think he sees somethin’ in me that’s, like...I don’t know, Amy. Like, I think he sorta feels sorry for me. He looks at me like--” You clamp your mouth shut and shake your head, leaving your sentence unfinished. “I just think he thinks I’m this sad, inexperienced girl. Poor her. Let me show her some good sex and rock her world.”
“And that’s…fine. But...I don’t want to actually…” You sigh. “Okay, so after last night, I don’t know if I can take this farther, ‘cause, like, actual sex is gonna fuckin’ blow my mind, I know it is, there’s just somethin’ about him…” You’ve been jittering your leg under the table, and you make yourself stop. “And then whenever he decides to leave after that happens, it’s gonna fuckin’ suck.”
Amy stops eating and sighs. “You’ve had time to come up with all this just this mornin’?”
“No,” you say, even though you’ve been at your desk practically all day reliving everything that happened last night moment-by-moment. “You know this is what I’ve been sayin’ from the start. From the very start.”
“Yeah, it is,” she mumbles. “I just wish this could be different, y’know? For both of y’all. I’m really rootin’ on you here,” she finishes with a sad little chuckle. “I mean, when you told me he made you come that many times...girl…”
“I mean. You know how it is when you’re hookin’ up. You don’t really think. It’s, like--your faces are all close, and your bodies are all close, and you don’t--I don’t know. I can’t think when he--” You shake your head. You felt so happy last night. You wish the emotion could be bottled for you to carry around instead of whatever wretchedness you feel now.
“I think that’s your body’s way of sayin’ you can let go enough to stop thinkin’ for once and just enjoy it,” Amelia pointedly comments.
“But that’s what I can’t do,” you tell her just as pointedly. “I can’t just let my body go and do whatever it feels like ‘cause that’s what always gets me in trouble. I’ve got to use my brain this time. Guys like him don’t get with girls like me.”
“That’s what your brain’s tellin’ you?” Amelia asks. “When Sy tells you the exact opposite, I’m bettin’?”
You roll your eyes. “Women drool over him. Any time we go anywhere, he’s bein’ watched. You shoulda seen it last night, Amy. It’s like any woman we’d see--women with families, even!--they’d side-eye him, then they’d side-eye me, and it’s like I could read their thoughts. Like they were all thinkin’, ‘What’s he doin’ with her?’”
She shakes her head at you. “He gives you three orgasms in one night, and then the next day you’re sittin’ here sayin’ all this.”
“Amy,” you sigh. “I don’t know how else to make you understand...Even if he somehow changes his mind about relationships and does want to settle down with someone, he deserves someone better than me,” you mutter. “That’s all I’m sayin’.”
Amelia listens to you attentively, and when you’re done, she’s quiet.
“You make me really sad sometimes,” she tells you when she finally speaks up at all, and you stare down at your salad.
“Hey, there, buttercup,” Cole greets you that night, and you don’t even pretend to be polite as you look at him across the bar with a blank face. You feel like shit. “Missed a helluva night last night.”
“Oh, I’m sure,” you comment evasively, wondering how crazy things got with it being Halloween.
Tons of people probably dressed up and went bar-hopping around town. They all probably had the time of their lives. They all probably got so drunk they forgot all their worries.
Not you, though.
But you adore Justine’s kids, so you don’t let any type of ugly jealousy enter your head. You’re just having a bad day.
“Thursdays are becomin’ absolutely nuts in here,” Cole tells you while he steps up to the bar. “We’re rakin’ in business with my genius dollar-beer campaign. Startin’ to get some regulars.”
You continue wiping the bar. “That’s good.”
“Yup,” he says, reaching his hands high in the air before dropping them both and clasping them behind his back, stretching out his chest next.
Sy does that sometimes. He does it a lot when you’re already looking at his chest.
“You gonna be workin’ evenings next week again, right?”
“Um, yeah,” you answer, thinking about Justine’s upcoming schedule. “I should be.”
“Good. We really need your help. Missed you around here.”
No, you didn’t, you think. “Can’t say I feel the same,” you reply with a little smile, but then that makes it seem like you’re flirting, so you frown again. Then you fear you’re only coming across like you’re a bitch, though, so you just hide your face as you keep cleaning the bar. You can’t win.
“So with some of the extra revenue,” Cole leans forward and says while taking out his phone, “I’m gonna get some uniforms for all y’all.”
You finally look across the bar at him. “...What kinda uniforms?”
Cole turns his phone to you, and you see a picture of a woman wearing tight black shorts and a tight black collared shirt. It’s low-cut.
“Cole, c’mon,” you chide. “That’s awful.”
“Just the shirt, not the shorts,” Cole corrects, but that doesn’t make it any better.
“Still,” you mumble, not very happy. Not having a uniform is one of the things about Johnson’s that makes it feel like...Johnson’s.
As the door to the bar opens and a handful of people begin to walk in, Cole walks away while whistling. “Order forms for the sizes are in my office,” he calls out. “Cost’ll be deducted from your next paycheck.”
“For fuck’s sake,” you mumble to yourself.
You go through the motions of work that night and make minimal tips, even for a Friday night. You don’t have it in you to be fake-nice to get more money. You just want to make the fucking drinks and give them to the fucking people.
You’re tired of being surrounded by people yet feeling so alone all the time.
Even when you go home and see a few texts from Sy, including a few hot pictures of him working on Sam’s motorcycle, it doesn’t ease the ache that’s been forming all day in your chest. Last night was good, yeah--it was great--but stuff like that just doesn’t happen to you. And it doesn’t happen to you for a reason.
You can feel the depression taking over in your head, and even though you are actively aware that that’s what’s affecting your thoughts like this--plus your upcoming period--it doesn’t matter. It’s not like you can stop it now that it’s here.
You get in bed after that night and snap a return-selfie to Sy of just your face. You make sure to make yourself look happy so he’s not suspicious about anything.
It rains outside Saturday, so you do schoolwork most of the day, using that and the weather as good excuses to stay holed up in your room. Like usual, you and Sy message one another back and forth all afternoon, and things are nice between the two of you, things are normal. You haven’t made things weird. Yet.
If you push back your depressing thoughts about how this thing with him is doomed to fail, you can suck out as much happiness as you possibly can from it before the end.
You get through the day by avoiding Justine as best as you can while at home, and you get through the night by avoiding Cole at the bar. Sunday morning, you even ignore the noises in the house in favor of actually sleeping in, and though it’s loud enough for you to want to get out of bed and deal with it (meaning: play with the kids because all they need is some attention), you’re too tired, and you stay in bed.
You’re premenstrual as hell. You’re bloated, your head hurts, and your boobs hurt. Last night you even saw two new red spots on your face--one directly in the middle of your cheek and a weird one over your eyebrow--and you’re worried that if Sy wants to do something this evening like you’ve gotten used to doing together on Sunday nights, you’re honestly not going to feel up to it.
It doesn’t help that it’s still raining outside, either. And it’s cold rain, November rain. The type of rain that’s nothing but a friend to your depression, feeding it. Giving it an excuse to go on.
Sy’s jacket is still on the back of your computer chair like it’s been for weeks now. Apart from that one time you actually wore it to sleep in, and the other time you wore it while going to the library, it’s remained draped over the back of the chair. Because no one will see you, anyway, you get out of bed and put it on, and you get under the covers of your bed wearing his scent, feeling warm and comfortable.
With your laptop on top of your blanket, you stay in bed all day. The day passes just like Saturday had, with you going between working on your assignments for school and texting Sy. He keeps sending you random pictures, and it’s making you feel a little better.
SY: roosters got himself three ladies today
You open Sy’s text to see a picture of the chicken coop behind his house. He’s made really good progress since the last time you’ve seen it, and it’s wide enough for all the hens to huddle inside to stay dry from the rain.
Y/N: oh boy
Y/N: think its time for you to get some pigs to go with all that mud sy
SY: your plan to get me to start a farm aint gonna work
Y/N: you need a little wilbur
Y/N: a babe
Y/N: a piglet
SY: so 3 pigs now?
Y/N: yeah. 3’s good
SY: then itll be a cow. then 3 cows. then a goat. then 3 goats
Y/N: youre catching on!
After turning your attention back to your laptop, you have a few minutes of silence before your phone buzzes again beside you, but this time it’s not Sy. It’s your mom. She’s calling you.
You’re sure she’ll have at least thirty-minutes’ worth of news to share, and you really need to keep doing your work, but it’s been a while since you’ve actually gotten the chance to have a real conversation with her. Slightly sighing, you settle back in bed and answer the phone.
“Hey, sweetie,” she greets you back, and through some type of weird mother/daughter telepathy, you can tell simply from the tone of her voice that something’s wrong. “...What’s the matter?”
“Got some bad news,” she tells you, and while you wait for her to share it, you don’t blink your eyes. “Nanny had a heart attack this morning.”
You gasp. “Oh, my God.”
You sit up straighter, your stomach suddenly feeling like hot coals are inside. Nanny. Your mom’s mom. Your grandma. You spent every weekend of your entire childhood over at her house. You haven’t seen her in months. You remain still as you wait to hear more from your mother, but you’re only met with silence.
“Mom,” you utter, your voice a whisper. “Momma…”
“She’s in the hospital now,” your mom finally tells you, and she’s crying. That’s why her replies are taking so long. You let out a huge sigh of relief. “And they think she’ll be okay.”
“Okay. Good.” You nod like she can see you. “Good. That’s good.”
You hear your mom sniff through the phone. “They’ve got her in the ICU now, and they’re gonna keep her here to do some tests ‘cause of her age.”
“Okay,” you murmur, feeling helpless. “But you said they think it’s gonna be okay, you said?”
“Yeah,” she replies, and you hear her sigh.
You’re both quiet for several moments. “I don’t--I didn’t know if I was gonna come up for Thanksgiving or not,” you eventually say. “Now I feel like I should.”
“We might end up cancellin’ it this year,” your mom tells you. “Or just doing something small. If you can come, that’d be great. If not, we understand.”
“I mean, I’d rather visit now if I can,” you honestly tell her. “I know you said it’s lookin’ good, but still.”
“That’d be really nice if you could,” she responds, “but I understand if you can’t, honey. You’ve always got so much goin’ on.”
You can call off work tomorrow. You never call off. You can call off. You can miss one lecture tomorrow evening. You can email your professor.
“I’m here with her now,” your mom goes on. “It’s been a long day.”
“Well, who’s home with PaPaw?” you ask, now worried about your grandfather.
“Theresa and Judy are taking shifts off and on, but we don’t know how long Nanny’s going to be here, so we’re not really sure what the long-term plan is. Hopefully she can be discharged soon, but I hear these things can be a few days for more elderly patients.”
Okay, so your mom’s sister’s are taking care of your grandpa, and your mom is in the hospital with your grandma. But your mom’s sister’s--your aunts--have families of their own they need to take care of. If you were there, you could be with your grandpa instead.
“I’ll come up tomorrow,” you instantly decide.
“Are you sure?” she asks, but you know she’s relieved.
“Yeah, Momma, definitely,” you immediately say. “‘Course. Just--just keep your phone with you, and I’ll let you know tomorrow when I should be gettin’ there. Probably in the afternoon sometime.”
“Okay, sweetie,” she says. “Just be safe. I know it’s been rainin’ down there, and you know the crazies come--”
“The crazies come out in the rain,” you finish for her. “Yeah. Love you, Mom. Tell Nanny I love her, too.”
“Alright,” she says, and you hear her sniff once more. “Love you.”
You end the call and put your phone beside you, brain now on overdrive.
Okay. So. What to do, what to do.
You aren’t gonna leave until tomorrow, so you can still technically get some more schoolwork done right now, but you don’t think you have it in you after that phone call. You’ll have to pack your laptop and take it with you to Virginia. You’ll just have to get caught up while you’re there.
You’ll have to call into work at both your day-job and the bar. The problem is, you don’t even know how many days you’ll actually be gone, so you don’t really know what to tell Monica or Cole.
Don’t worry, you tell yourself. Try not to worry. This is a last-minute emergency. Emergencies happen. Other people are in charge of dealing with things like this. Don’t stress.
After you email your professor to inform her that you’re not able to be in her class tomorrow evening, you close your laptop and figure that the next thing to do is talk to Justine.
You wish you knew more about medical stuff in general so you could have some type of a rough estimate for how many days your grandma will probably be hospitalized. While you make your way to Justine’s bedroom, you consider just asking her, but you don’t know if you’re even going to tell her the actual reason you really need to visit Virginia. You kind of want to spare her. When you were both little, her grandmother had a heart attack and immediately died from it, and then, only a few years later, her other grandmother passed away, too. You really wouldn’t want to stir up any sort of sad memories for her.
Also, another part of you--the part that never stops coming up with endless scenarios for what might happen in any given conversation--fears that she’s going to use her nursing background to try to talk you out of going at all. “She’s in the hospital, the best place for her to be,” she might say. “With doctors and nurses and people who can actually do stuff to help her. What are you gonna do?”
As you silently walk from your bedroom to Justine’s, you feel anxious, like you’re a child about to walk into the principal’s office or something, or like you’re about to hand in a resignation letter to your boss of over a decade.
Justine’s door is open, and as you get closer, you see her laying on the bed, scrolling through her phone. No one, not even the dog, is in the room with her. They all must be in their bedrooms playing. You knock on the side of her door-frame to announce your presence.
“Hey,” you say quietly, and when she lifts her head, you give her a tiny smile.
Justine lowers her phone and copies your little smile. Historically, you’ve always been the first person to make things right when there’s any type of rift going on between the two of you. She’s probably thinking this visit is some sort of truce on your behalf, that you’ve come to apologize. Dreading what you’re actually about to do instead, you hesitate for a moment and clear your throat.
“I’m gonna have to leave town for a few days,” you tell her, and her expectantly-raised eyebrows fall a little.
“Oh,” she says slowly. “Where you goin’?”
She squints her eyes in confusion and puts her phone down. “Virginia?”
You give her a little nod.
Justine sits up taller. “When? Like, this week?”
“Prob’ly tomorrow,” you answer before briefly biting the inside of your cheek. “I’ve got to--”
“Shit,” she interrupts as she swings her legs around and gets out of the bed, and you almost wince.
“Yeah, I know,” you say while stepping to the side to let her pass you, “so I was hopin’ you could maybe call up Rob or someone else to watch the kids while I’m away.”
“How long are you gonna be there?” she asks once she reaches the kitchen. She begins looking at the calendar taped to the side of the refrigerator as you walk down the hallway.
You meet her in the kitchen while wringing your hands. “I’m honestly not sure. I might be there for a few days, might be there for a full week.”
Justine looks at you over her shoulder, and her eyes widen. She doesn’t say anything--yet--but you know she’s stressed about this. Who wouldn’t be? You get it. You get the stress. You’re just about always stressed, so to be the cause of someone else’s unease...it sucks. Even though you’re not on the greatest terms with Justine recently, you still don’t want her in this situation. You don’t want to be the one to put her in this situation.
“What the hell am I gonna do,” she mutters to herself, slapping her hands on top of her head.
“I’m really sorry,” you mumble. “Tomorrow’s okay, though, right? ‘Cause I normally would be in my night-class, anyway, and you got a sitter lined up already. So we just have to consider the other days of the week.”
All of a sudden, Justine has the appearance of a person who’s trying very hard to remain patient with you. You’ve seen the look before--not just from her but from all types of other people when they’re trying not to lash out when you become too much for them. It’s sort of a breath-holding appearance, a tenseness, a closing-the-eyes so they won’t snap at you like they really want to. That’s what it is. Justine even holds her hands out to her sides like she’s trying to keep them still. Like she’d use them to bang the table or something if she didn’t force herself not to.
When she finally speaks, it’s with force-calm. “Not to bring this up again, but do you understand what I mean now about you waitin’ ‘til the last minute to tell me stuff?” she asks, and you’re...dumbfounded.
You’re so dumbfounded you don’t even know how to reply. At all. You stand there with your mouth open for what feels like forever.
“I literally just got off the phone with my mother,” you explain. “Literally just now. And I--I know this sucks for you ‘cause you’re goin’ back on days this week, but I was just thinkin’ maybe Rob could--”
“He works, too,” Justine almost snaps while making her way back towards her bedroom, and your mouth falls open again.
You’re so, so close to giving in. You’re right there. You slowly walk back down the hall, and as you reach Justine’s door again, you’re just about to say, “Okay, Justine, forget it, I won’t go.”
You’re not needed in Virginia. You know you aren’t. You’re requested. Your mom said you could come if you’re able to. Your grandma is doing okay, she said; she’s in stable condition. And what can you actually do up there, anyway, besides offer emotional support? Cook and clean a little bit for the other family members on visiting-rotation in the hospital? Sit with your grandpa? He’s fine. He’d be fine without you there.
But no. You’re not doing it this time; you’re not giving in to Justine. This is your family. Your family. And if your mom wants you to come up to be with your family, even if it is only to cook a meal or help out around your grandma’s house while she’s sick, then you’re going. You do so much for Justine’s family and hardly anything for your own. You’re going.
A vindictiveness you’re not used to flows through you. It’s most likely because you’re premenstrual, but everything Justine’s saying is serving to make you feel angry rather than guilty.
“You’re a nurse with benefits,” you tell her, raising your voice a little. “Can’t you use a little paid leave?”
“It’s not that easy,” she says from the side of her bed. As she picks up her phone and begins texting someone, she doesn’t look at you. “I’ve got people relying on me there. I can’t just reschedule my little appointments like you do. I have people’s lives on the line. There are only a handful of nurses there as it is.”
You take a deep breath before your body tenses. She’s right. “But--It’s just for a few days, Justine.”
She finally looks up. “See, you don’t have kids, Y/N. You don’t know how stressful it is when one of ‘em gets sick and I can’t go into work and then it messes up the bills for the whole month. This is just like that.” She leaves you no time to respond before continuing, “And you clearly don’t get how expensive childcare is. If I get a sitter just for the evening until I get home from the hospital, those few hours alone would prob’ly be just as much as the entire day at the actual daycare.”
“Maybe that shoulda been somethin’ to consider before gettin’ pregnant four times,” you comment, and when she looks over at you and puts her phone down on her bed, you know it’s on. You’re never this rude. You just don’t care anymore. You want to be the selfish person for once.
“Y/N, don’t be a bitch,” she tells you.
“That’s me,” you sarcastically say while walking back to your own room. “Mega-bitch. Just an awful person, really. I really fuckin’ suck.”
“Look, it wasn’t in my plan to have two husbands leave me,” she follows you and says with a harsh voice. “It’s hard. They barely pay child support as it is, and you know I could charge you more to stay here, but I don’t.”
“If you’re really hung-up about the rent, Justine, then just up it,” you snap as you open your dresser drawers and start blindly pulling out articles of clothing. Without looking, you throw random shirts on your bed. “Stop holdin’ it over my head. If you want me to pay more, I’ll pay more.”
Justine folds her arms by your door. “I’m tryin’ to be nice by not chargin’ you to stay here.”
You squint your eyes while you drop your jaw. “You act like I don’t pay anything.”
“It’s not even half the mortgage,” she counters.
“And all the utilities,” you counter right back. “With six people in the house, it evens out. Plus I’m payin’ on that new washin’ machine you got without askin’ if I had money for it in my budget, so. Yeah.”
“Y/N! If I wrote out all the bills, you don’t pay as much as me!” she argues, almost shouting. “That’s all there is to it!”
Taking deep, controlled breaths, you stare at Justine for a long time. “What happened to you?” you just ask.
“What does that even mean?”
“Why can nurses be some of the rudest people?” you mumble to yourself while pulling out a big satchel from your closet. “Why even go into the profession at all...”
“What the hell does that mean?”
“Nothin’,” you answer, shaking your head at yourself. You hate how you’re acting. “Just being crazy, bitchy Y/N. Sorry. Forgive me.”
You close your eyes and sigh.You really are being a bitch. Here you are stressing her out by springing this on her last-minute, and without childcare, of course she’s stressed. Of course she’s letting it out on you, the only person in proximity who she can project onto.
“I’ll pay you for the time I’m gone, okay?” you suggest quietly. “For whatever you’re payin’ someone to watch the kids until you get home from work this week, I’ll cover it.”
“Whatever,” she mutters, and then you feel angry again. Forcefully, you start to shove stuff inside your bag--your laptop, your laptop charger, your phone charger, all your clothes.
“Are you leavin’, like, right now or something?”
You shrug. Sorry, Justine, you’re gonna have to give your own kids baths tonight, you think, and it’s on the tip of your tongue to actually speak out loud. You’ve been mean enough tonight, though.
“Where are you goin’?” she asks again. “You’re really goin’ to Virginia now?”
“I don’t know where I’m goin’,” you murmur in annoyance, “but I’m not stayin’ here.”
“Where, then?” she pesters. “Sy’s?”
Sy...needs to stop being an option for you. You’re going to have to start letting this thing with him go. You’ve been hung up on it for days because it’s really gonna fucking suck, but...it’s gotta happen. If you let it go on longer, it will suck impossibly more when it ends. You shake your head as you continue to throw random articles of clothing into your bag.
“Well, where else would you even go?” she goes on. “You don’t have any friends.”
And you freeze. Staring into your messy bag, you gasp a little, but you remain still.
...There it is. One of your deepest insecurities. Not having friends. Not being important to anyone. And you hate that she’s right.
Justine, for what it’s worth, appears somewhat guilty after she says it, and she takes a step forward into your bedroom. “Y/N--”
You hate that there are already tears in your eyes. Seriously, what the fuck. You angrily wipe them away.
“Fuck you,” you mutter, and the second it’s out of your lips, you already feel bad. But you shouldn’t feel bad. You shouldn’t feel bad. She’s hurt you and you want to hurt her back, and that’s all there is to it. You shouldn’t have to be the only one who hurts all the time.
“Look, Y/N, I didn’t mean it like that--”
“Leave me alone,” you tell her while zipping up your bag, and you throw it over your shoulder. You don’t even look at her as you quickly walk down the hall and into the living room, and once there, you slip on a pair of shoes, grab your purse, and walk out the front door.
“Look, I’m sorry!” Justine hollers at you from where she’s followed you onto the front porch, but you’re already marching to your car. The rain outside has turned into a sort of mist, and it’s damp on your face as you ignore her.
She’s right, though, you think, while you get in your car and start it. You’re gonna have to go to Sy’s. Where else would you go? Who else do you even talk to around here? There’s Amelia, but she’s just so fun all the time, and you wouldn’t want to ruin whatever exciting evening she’s probably having with Johnny by showing up on her doorstep crying.
Shit, you really don’t want to show up on Sy’s doorstep crying, either. As you pull out of the driveway, you realize you’re still wearing his fucking jacket. Jesus. You’ve got to get your shit together.
Windshield wipers steadily swiping back and forth, you drive in the vague direction of Sy’s house while pulling out your phone. Before actually calling him, you take a few deep breaths to calm yourself down, but it’s pointless, anyway; the phone doesn’t even ring when you actually make your call.
You try two more times, but there’s just no reception. The weather mixed with the already-spotty service out in the country isn’t in your favor.
“God dammit,” you curse, but you guess it’s for the best that Sy is unreachable right now. You really don’t need to bother him with this at all, let alone by visiting his house unannounced.
Where the hell are you gonna go, though? A hotel?
Maybe you should just fill up your car with gas and drive all night to Virginia. Do it now, get it out the way. Just like how you drove alone from Virginia to Georgia without stopping a few years ago. A new start, you’d told yourself back then.
It’s only a seven-and-a-half hour drive. And who’s stopping you?
Seriously, who the fuck is stopping you? Besides yourself?
You can do it. You can go to Virginia. You can call into work tomorrow. Your supervisor will be unhappy, but she’ll get over it. With you gone for a few days, they’ll just have to figure something out to keep program operations running. Your job at the bar isn’t important, and even though Cole really did seem to need your help this week, he’ll manage. He managed last week with you gone, and he’ll manage this week, too.
And Justine’s an adult. She can figure out her own shit, too.
You just hate being so bitter towards her because after all, she’s right. You don’t have any friends. You really don’t. And it’s for a reason. She herself doesn’t even like you, and you’ve known each other since you were kids. After everything you do for her on a daily basis, you’re still unlikeable. You wait until the last minute to tell her things.
Truthfully, your biggest problem is communication in general because you’re always just so damn nervous about how people will react that you end up keeping everything inside, and you know this. While you’re on the topic of truth, the real truth is that people only want you around because you can offer them something. Besides that, you’re no good for them. You just aren’t likeable.
You know this drive by heart, so when you get on the highway, you empty your head and just drive. You drive and you drive and you drive. You finally stop for gas somewhere close to the North Carolina border, and it’s then that you look at your phone for the first time since you took off and notice you’ve missed a few calls.
Justine’s called you, but you have no messages from her, so you quickly get rid of that notification. Going through the other missed calls, you see that Sy’s tried to reach you twice. There’s no voicemail from him, either, since he typically doesn’t leave those, but...he typically doesn’t call you, either. Not unless you’ve made a plan that he’s either cancelling or following up on.
You blink rapidly. You really don’t think you’ve made any plans with him this evening, but what if you did? What if you did and you’ve forgotten? You’ll have to text him now to make sure, or else you’ll worry the rest of the trip.
After you pull out your debit card from your purse, you get out of your car and lock it. Justine always makes fun of you for it--for locking your car while getting gas and for only taking your debit card with you and not your entire purse--but you read somewhere that single women are targets for carjackings at gas stations, especially at nighttime, so--screw her. You put your keys in the pocket of your jacket and check out your surroundings before you approach the fuel dispenser. At least it’s stopped raining.
Your phone lights up in your hand as you’re filling up your tank. It’s Sy’s calling. Again. Damn.
He never calls this much. You really hope something bad didn’t happen. You’re almost worried. Accepting the call, you nervously put your phone up to your ear. “Hello?”
“Hey,” Sy says, sounding normal, and--good. That’s good. You release the tight breath you’ve been holding.
“What’s up?” you finally ask after a few beats.
“Went over to MaMaw’s tonight,” he says. “Took my chances to see ya. Your car ain’t there.”
Continuing to pump gas, you answer, “Oh, I--uh. Well, my mom called, and--” You clear your throat. You don’t even want to think about Justine, let alone talk about her. “I’m sorry if I said I’d be home or if--”
“You didn’t,” he tells you. “You a’ight, though? I’m just now leavin’ and still don’t see your car. Texted you a few times but wasn’t sure if you were workin’ tonight. Didn’t think you did on Sundays.”
“Oh, shit, I didn’t see the texts,” you apologize. “I’m off tonight, though. I’m, uh. I’m actually on the way to Virginia right now.”
“Do what now?”
“I’ve gotta visit my family.” As the gas handle moves in your hand, signaling your tank’s full, you put it back on its holder and then tighten the cap on your gas tank. “I just found out my grandma’s in the hospital.”
As you press some buttons on the screen beside you so you don’t have to worry about getting a receipt, Sy’s quiet. He’s quiet for a long time. Even though he doesn’t ask, you figure you’ll let him know what’s going on. “She should be okay, but she’s in the Intensive Care Unit right now. She had a heart attack.”
“I’m sorry as hell to hear that,” he says.
“Thanks,” you murmur, and you close the little door to your vehicle’s gas tank. It’s ironic that both of your grandmothers have been having health issues lately. It fucking sucks.
“Where you at now?” Sy asks. “You ain’t drivin’ an’ talkin’ to me at the same time, right?”
“Uhh.” You look around as you unlock your car and get back inside it. Truthfully, you don’t even know where you’re at. “No, I just stopped for gas. I’m not really sure where I am, actually. ‘Bout to cross into North Carolina soon, though.”
“And you’re alone?”
“Yeah,” you answer quietly, feeling more and more like he’s disappointed in you or something. You’ve been so lost in your thoughts you didn’t think to check your phone. Keeping it on silent all the time, you never actually hear it, anyway.
“So, you gettin’ a hotel for the night or what?”
After you lock your car doors again, you stick your keys in the ignition and start it up. “No, I’m just gonna drive straight to my grandma’s house. My grandpa’s there by himself.”
“Y/N,” Sy says, and he sounds serious.
“I’ve done the trip straight through before,” you explain, knowing how people always react when you tell them this. “It’s nothin’ new. It’s an easy drive.”
You think you hear a sigh through the phone, but you’re not sure. You sit there frowning, just sure he’s upset with you.
First Justine, now Sy.
“You ain’t gonna get there ‘til past one in the mornin’, then, dependin’ on where you even are right now,” he eventually speaks up.
“Yeah,” you reply. “Somethin’ like that.”
“You could’ve--” Whatever he’s about to say, he doesn’t go through with it. “You sure it ain’t a better idea to get a hotel tonight and drive the rest’a the way tomorrow?”
You think about the money that would waste--over a hundred dollars, probably--for a room you’ll occupy for only a few hours. You don’t want to spend any more than you absolutely have to on this trip, and gas alone is already starting to add up. Plus, if you’re going to end up having to pay Justine for lost wages when you get back to Georgia, then it’s just not worth it.
“Nah. If I get tired, I’ll stop at some twenty-four hour place for some coffee or somethin’,” you assure him. “I’ll be fine. I promise.”
“Okay,” he finally replies when he decides to reply at all. “Okay.”
You sit in your idling car feeling upset that it slipped your mind to tell Sy your plan to go to Virginia tonight. Truthfully, though, you made the plan rashly, and if you had told him, he’d probably just talk you out of it. But--you did make an attempt to call him, you’re just now remembering. The call just didn’t go through.
Jesus. Everything that happened earlier tonight is already a blur. You’ve been attempting to forget what happened to such an extent that it’s left you feeling completely empty inside. Now everything’s coming up again.
“Tell me when you get there,” Sy asks of you next, shaking you out of the memory of your fight with Justine, and you have to take a breath to make sure your voice doesn’t get messed up. You’re not really a crier, but if you’ve already been crying earlier in the day, sometimes it doesn’t take much to get you going again. “Don’t matter how late it is.”
“Yeah,” you answer, rubbing your right eye with your free hand. “Yeah, of course.”
“Alright, darlin’,” he just says, sighing, and he sounds about as tired as you do. “I’ll--How long you gonna be up there, ya think?”
“I really don’t know,” you answer. “I’ll have to see how it all goes once I get there.”
“Hopin’ for some good news, then” Sy comments. “Let me know if you need anything.”
“Mkay,” you quietly say. “Thanks.”
Your visit back home doesn’t necessarily go as planned, but it’s not in a bad way. You just had thoughts in your head that you’d immediately step in and do a bunch of tasks for your family to ease the burden of stress off them, but instead, it’s mainly a lot of sitting around. In the hospital, you sit around, and at your grandpa’s house, you sit around, and at your mom’s house, you sit around.
“You should see your father while you’re up here,” your mother suggests on Tuesday after your grandma is moved to the main part of the hospital, but you shake your head. “Y/N, you know he’d like to see you if he knew you were here.”
“Then he should prob’ly pick up the phone and call me sometime,” you say politely, and you go back to doing your homework. It shouldn’t be funny, but it sort of is: you get more schoolwork done in a hospital in Virginia than in your own home in Georgia.
You end up staying in Virginia until Wednesday morning. By that time, your grandmother is discharged from the hospital with a clean bill of health, and things among your family are relatively normal, no stress at all. Literally the first thing your grandma does when she gets home again is walk around from room-to-room, fixing the placement of little objects that all her recent visitors have messed up.
“Nanny,” you chide, “you need to go lay down.”
“Been layin’ down for three days,” she brushes off when you hug her goodbye. “Don’tchu worry ‘bout your Nanny, now. I’ve got nine lives.”
“Alright, alright,” you tell her while discreetly wiping the side of your eye. “Just take it easy, alright? I worry about ya. Stay out of those hospitals.”
“Trust me, Y/N/N, I will,” she laughs. “There ain’t any privacy, an’ the food is the pits.”
You say goodbye to your mom, your grandma, and your aunts next, and then after an extensive routine of hugging everyone and saying goodbye and then hugging everyone again, you’re back on the road to Georgia. Just like that.
You should probably come back up for Thanksgiving so you can actually have a somewhat happier visit.
Before you get on the highway, you actually remember to text Sy, but it’s not like it matters this time, anyway. He seemed to be more upset about you leaving in such an abrupt way compared to just forgetting to tell him. You think that’s what it was, at least. You haven’t been texting all that much while you’ve been away, so you’ll have to feel everything out when you get back.
You don’t expect to feel everything out immediately after arriving back at Justine's house, but when you pull into your driveway after an entire day of driving, though, he’s right there to greet you in person. You get out of the car and watch as he makes his way across the road, marching up the lane using those giant steps he always takes.
With his arms held out, he smiles at you, and after you close your car door, you walk closer to him and accept his hug. He’s in a check-patterned flannel shirt today with a regular pair of blue jeans. Taking a deep breath, you fully take in his scent. You’re gonna miss that the most, you think. How strongly he smells. How nice.
“You don’t have to say anything,” you mumble as you break the hug and give him a half-hearted, tired smile. “I already know I look like shit.”
“I’d never say that,” he seriously says, “let alone think it.”
Shut up with these lines, you want to say. That’s not true. You’ve seen yourself in the rearview mirror. You know you look exhausted. How could you not? You’ve been driving for literal hours.
After Sy unnecessarily carries your satchel to the front porch for you, you both sit down and catch up in the brisk air. The sun’s just starting to set, but it’s still pretty early. The days have just gotten short.
You tell him about the mostly uneventful visit, mentioning some things about your family that you’ve never told him before, and you assure him that your grandma’s fine. Much like his own grandma, she’s a spry lady. Sy watches you intently as you talk, and eventually it gets so intent that his eyes turn heavy.
You nervously rub the side of your face. “What?”
“Good to hear your voice again,” he just says, and you let a little smile through.
“Yeah,” you agree, tilting your face up to Sy’s approaching one. “Same.”
He kisses you, and it’s soft and slow.
“Takin’ the rest of the week off?” Sy asks next, and you shake your head.
“Oh, God, no,” you answer. “I’m behind enough.”
Sy makes a little noise, and after he puts his arm around you, you rest into the embrace. You don’t want him to let you go. You don’t want him to leave you. Not now, not ever. This sucks.
Thursday at work, you play catch-up all day, then it’s Dollar-Beer Night at the bar that evening, something you entirely forget again until you get there. Your brain is so fried from everything that you fall asleep still wearing your contacts that night, and on Friday you do it all over again, only you start your period, making your day even more awful.
You’re assigned to beeper-duty for the entire weekend, meaning you can’t drink alcohol or work at the bar in case you’re called for a transport, and Cole’s not too happy with you when you tell him; you’ve essentially only worked at Johnson’s for a few days in the past three weeks.
Because you’re on-call, on Saturday you just stick to studying in your bedroom all day, and you can actually get it done without any disruptions because Justine’s gone on a weekend-trip to Florida with the kids. Good thing you’re home to watch Molly. The only reason you change out of your pajamas at all is to take her on a walk.
Around noon on Saturday, you’re distracted by the loud sounds of motorcycles outside, and you walk onto the front porch to see what’s going on. Side-by-side, two motorcyclists are driving to the end of the road together, turning back around, then racing down the long and straight road again. You smile as the bikes pass your house. It’s Sy and Liana.
Jeez. Even Liana can drive a motorcycle.
After going back into the house to put on a pair of boots and a jacket, you quickly grab your phone and your set of keys, lock the front door, and scurry across the road to where you see Samantha already on MaMaw’s front porch recording her siblings with her phone. Behind her are Liana’s kids, Chance and Chase, and after saying hello to everyone, you stare ahead at Liana and Sy. Sam whoops, Chance and Chase holler, and you bite your nails. The other neighbors must love them right now.
A little while later, Sy and Liana pull into their grandmother’s driveway, turn off their bikes, and use their boots to tap at the kickstands to secure them. They both take off their helmets, and as they walk up the lane together, you notice they’re both grinning.
Sy looks so happy. It’s endearing, you think. He’s happy with his family. This is where he belongs. With them. This is his little world.
“Hey, Y/N!” Liana calls out after taking off her helmet.
“Hey,” you greet back, waving at her while smiling. Her happiness is infectious.
“Glad the roads’re dry,” Sam comments while Liana starts walking up the porch to take her helmet inside.
When Sy whistles, Liana looks back, and he tosses her his helmet, too. She catches it in just one hand and says “Tell me about it” as one of her kids--you still can’t keep them apart--opens the front door for her.
You get off the front porch and walk down to where Sy’s taking off his sunglasses and leather gloves by the driveway. As he does, you look at the bike he’s just gotten off of.
You don’t know a thing about motorcycles, but it looks nice. It’s chunky and entirely black, and just standing next to it, Syverson exudes some primal masculine energy, his body almost an extension of it. He alone owns this motorcycle. He alone controls it.
“What’re you thinkin’ over there?” he asks when your staring goes on too long, raising his eyebrow a little bit exaggeratedly.
It’s always his right eyebrow that goes up when he does that. Never the left. These are the things that you’ll remember the most about him. These little quirks. You’ll miss them.
“I like it,” you decide, flashing your eyes back over to Sy.
“Yeah?” he asks, smiling, and you smile back.
“Yeah,” you repeat.
“You ever been on one before?”
Touching the back of the bike, you shake your head. You make your way all around it, looking at all the details, touching what you dare to.
“...Wanna change that?” Sy asks.
You pause and look up at him with big eyes. “I can sit on it?”
Sy’s eyes bore into yours, and you clear your throat. That sounded...not how you intended.
“You can,” he answers with a little twinkle in his eye. “You can ride on it with me.”
Sy continues watching you in amusement. He wordlessly nods.
“I dunno, Sy,” you mumble, having a slight change of heart. “It’s really nice…”
“What’s that gotta do with anything? Afraid you gonna break it?” he chuckles. “You’d just be along for the ride, darlin’.”
A small smile has formed on your face, and as it begins to grow, you look over at Sy. He’s watching you like he’s waiting for an answer, but there’s a certain look to his face. “What, like--right now?” you ask.
“If you want. Before the sun sets.” He shrugs. “You got on the right clothes for it.”
You look down at how you’re dressed--blue jeans, regular brown boots, a thick jacket. Your eyes dart back the bike.
“Oooh,” Samantha excitedly says from the porch. “Do it, do it, do it.”
She and Liana’s kids start a small little chant to cheer you on: “Ride it, ride it, ride it.”
“Forget ‘em,” he gets closer to you and says quietly. “Relax. You ain’t gotta do it if you don’t wanna.”
“I do,” you insist. “It’s just new to me, and--” You shrug a little to convey what you think Sy understands about you by now: You’re just like this with new things.
“How ‘bout this,” Sy suggests. “I’ll take you through town. Won’t be nothin’ fast, just a little stop an’ go. Then I can turn on the parkway from Main Street and take you on a ride by the mountain.”
“You don’t think the parkway’ll be busy?” you ask. Every year, northerners consistently visit down here around this time of year to drive around and take pictures of the leaves changing colors in the mountains. It’s sort of amusing to you, but you know the scenery is beautiful, so you can’t really blame them.
“Shouldn’t be on the side we’ll be on,” he says, “but if it is, I’ll just turn right back around. Sound good?”
“Yeah,” you answer, biting your lip through your smile, and Sy keeps watching you. You’re sure you’re imagining it because you’re about to get on a fucking motorcycle with him, but you feel like he’s looking at you...softly. Or something.
“Here, lemme getchu a helmet,” Sy mumbles.
“Oh, I can--” you start to say, but he’s already walking up the porch steps. Sam playfully slaps his leg as he walks by her. He flicks her on the side of the head.
“Exciiiitement,” Samantha sing-songs after hitting Sy one last time. He goes inside the house.
“Yeah,” you smile and say. You’re gonna do it. You’re gonna ride on a motorcycle just like she and Liana did. You’re actually gonna do it.
“Don’t be nervous,” Sam says, reading your expression. “It’s just a bicycle with a motor.”
“Bein’ a passenger ain’t hard,” Sam looks to you and advises. “Just stay natural. Don’t wiggle around or anything, and you’ll be fine.”
“Got it,” you say. You take a deep breath, and even though Sy’s sisters can see and hear it, it’s not weird. It’s just regular nerves. You’ve never done this, after all.
A few moments later, Sy’s back on the porch holding two open-faced black helmets, and his grandma, using her cane, follows.
“You’re goin’ out on the motorcycle, Y/N?” MaMaw asks you with wide eyes, and you nod. “Oh, my word. Y’all and them bikes. I’ll liketa never relax ‘round here.”
“Just takin’ her out on the parkway, MaMaw,” Sy says while putting on his helmet, and you go down the steps to meet him out in the front yard.
He holds out Sam’s helmet in front of you, but when you reach for it, he playfully snatches it back and holds it above your head. It goes on like that two more times until you jump up to grab it, and when you do, he watches you with a little smile on his face as you stick out your tongue and pretend to huff. After moving your hair away from your face, you put Sam’s helmet over your head.
“How’s it feel?”
You clip the strap under your chin, tighten the band, and move your head to the left and right. The helmet is heavy. “Like I’m an astronaut.”
Sy’s lips just slightly move into the shape of a familiar smirk. “Tight enough?”
Sy still checks the tightness of the strap by putting two of his fingers together under your chin. “Good.” When he’s satisfied, he removes his hand. “You absolutely sure you wanna do this, now?”
You quickly nod, even flashing Sy a bright smile. You won’t tell him that you’re secretly betting with yourself that you can be fun. You can be a fun person. You aren’t always a downer, boring and serious all the time. You can be like his sisters.
The adrenaline blooming inside you is graciously keeping all your true anxiety at bay, and you’re grateful. Right now you feel like you’re waiting in line for a fast, new rollercoaster, edgy yet excited at the same time.
“Alright, then, quick run-down.” Sy says, almost getting captainly with his voice. He puts on his sunglasses before using one of his hands to point to the motorcycle. “There are bars down here you can hold onto after I take off, or you can lean a little on the back-rest and keep your hands to your side.” You begin to nod as he goes on, “Now, like I said, I won’t be goin’ fast since it’s your first time, but just hold onto me. Try not to knock my helmet with yours, and be easy if you gotta shift at all.”
“Okay,” you say, and your voice waivers embarrassingly. You clear your throat. “Got it,” you confidently say next.
That’s basically what Sam was telling you. Be a good passenger. It’s starting to sound more and more like you might fuck this up, though. But you won’t. You can do it. Everyone in Sy’s family can do it, so why can’t you?
“Last thing,” Sy tells you while he puts his driving gloves on. “It’ll be too loud to really talk, so if you need to communicate with me at all, you can just tap my arm or somethin’. If you see me holdin’ out my arm in traffic, I’m just makin’ turn-signals.”
“Oh, so you won’t be tryin’ out any tricks today?”
Before getting on the bike, Sy gives you a smile hidden from his sisters, and you smile before slowly looking behind you. You’re feeling watched.
Because you’re being watched. Samantha and Liana are on the porch together, staring at you and grinning in your direction, and when Samantha sees you look back, she enthusiastically holds two of her thumbs up.
“Give ‘em hell!” Samantha hollers.
“Have fun!” Liana shouts next, waving vigorously.
“Be careful!” comes last from MaMaw.
After you get on the seat behind Sy, the first thing you’re reminded of is being on a regular bicycle, only higher up and with something more cushioned to sit on. As you get situated, your hands naturally find the belt-loops of Sy’s jeans, and then Sy turns the motorcycle on.
“Ready?” Sy calls out, and you lean in closer to him, securing your hands around the waistband of his jeans.
“Yeah,” you immediately shout back, and you feel the motorcycle tilt a little, and then there’s air hitting your face, and then you’re off.
Immediately, it feels weird, but you guess everything sort of feels weird the first time it’s done, so you breathe and try not to grip onto Sy too tightly. You just gotta give yourself some time to get used to it. If you pretend it is an actual bike, it’s easier.
Sy is pretty slow at first, going down the road at a nice speed before rolling through the useless stop-sign at the end, but even so, the motorcycle’s loud. That’s obviously to be expected, though, so you try to relax into everything.
It’s still a lot to get used to for you as the bike goes a little faster, but you’re more concerned about being a bad passenger for Sy than your own experience, honestly. As long as you can get this done and say you’ve done it, that’s all you care about. You can do this. You want to show Sy that you can do this. The further into town he goes, however, the more you become actively aware that your hands won’t stop shaking. At least Sy can’t differentiate it from the movement of the motorcycle. It’s okay. The only thing you don’t like so far is that at every stoplight Sy comes to, people in vehicles beside y’all stare at you.
That’s okay, because before too long, you’re on the Parkway. The Parkway, another name for the long, long road on the biggest mountain in the area, is a great drive to make in a car, let alone a motorcycle. The sights are gonna be stunning.
Sy gains enough speed for you to have to lean onto his back and hold onto his sides. The road has curves, and even though they’re gentle, every time Sy takes one, the motorcycle naturally leans to the side. Remembering what Sy and his sisters advised you, you force yourself not to move, and as you do, you begin to worry that you’re somehow staying too still and messing Sy’s driving up that way.
Normal people wouldn’t worry about this shit, wouldn’t let the anxiety of being a bad passenger take away from the experience altogether. They’d be thrilled at the sensation of such freedom, they’d be excited, they’d be alive. They’d tightly hold onto the sexy man in front of them and grin as the cool air surrounding them kissed their face… Or, then again, maybe it’d be nothing special at all to some people, too. Maybe it’d be just another form of transportation, no big deal. Maybe they’d even put their head onto the person’s back and just fall asleep as they travelled along.
But not you. Of course, not you. You’re not normal. You’re not normal, and as Sy takes another turn, instead of smiling, you gasp, instead.
But--yes, you are normal, you tell yourself. You’re perfectly normal. And, more than that, you’re cool. You’re a cool person. You’re laid back. Things don’t bother you. You listen to classic rock music. You play with Justine’s kids. You don’t complain. Things don’t bother you. This thing with Sy is easy. Just two people having casual fun together. You’re cool. You’re so cool, you’re riding on the back of a fucking motorcycle. Wooo!
After another winding curve, though, when it suddenly feels like you could easily fall off the motorcycle as it barely tilts, you succumb to the fact that you’re not cool. At all. You’re a fucking loser.
You’re a fucking loser. You worry too much, and you’re a fucking loser. You’re beyond certain of that. Your next certainty is that you’re suddenly not safe, and alarms inside your body begin telling you to get off this bike. Now. None of it is rational, but it’s instant and it’s all-encompassing: the image that suddenly spreads throughout your head is not of the beautiful scenery surrounding you. It’s of you making a wrong move and causing Sy to crash. It’s of you both being projected from the bike, airborne until you plummet down to the road, tumbling around, dirty and bloody. It’s of a boulder then falling off the top of the mountain beside you, landing directly on top of your body.
Fingers now fidgeting against Sy’s jacket as they clamp and unclamp the leather, you take a deep breath and fight the shit your brain is rapidly coming up with. Mentally and physically, you fight it. You fight yourself.
Why are you even thinking like this? Where is it even coming from?
Sy’s not even going that fast. You know he’s not going fast. Logically, you know that. He’s looking out for leaves on the road. He’s looking out for traffic. There isn’t any traffic. He’s not going fast. The road isn’t wet. He won’t let anything happen to you. Just like earlier when you’d felt that same apprehension of waiting in line to ride a rollercoaster, this is now the feeling of being on the actual rollercoaster and discovering you don’t like it. Eventually, though, you know the ride will stop. That you know. You just gotta hold on.
It just--God, it really fucking feels like something bad’s gonna happen, and you want this to stop. The engine is really, really loud, though, and you know if you say something, he probably won’t even be able to hear you, not until he slows down. Truly, the only option you have is to wait until he turns around and heads back to town again, but, having no idea how long that’ll be, the anxiety within you only builds.
You continue to fight it. You fight it for as long as you can, squeezing your arms around Sy as tightly as you find yourself suddenly squeezing your eyes shut, but that does nothing to help; not being able to see anything just makes you feel nauseously dizzy. Opening your eyes again isn’t good, either, though. The second that you do, everything starts whirling by. When your vision inevitably starts fucking up, turning those pretty autumn colors around you into one continuous, ugly blur, your stomach drops and your hands fidget against Sy. It’s--it’s happening.
No. Oh, shit. No.
It always starts with your vision, probably because your eyes always dilate when you’re afraid, and then next, your heart always starts to pound. Then, your chest feels tight, and after that, sometimes your throat swells so much that your lungs can’t even fill with air.
But that isn’t happening right now.
It can’t be happening. That’s not what this is. You’re just nervous. You’re just a little nervous. That line’s worked for you so far with Sy, and it’ll work for this, too. This is a new experience. Your hands are shaking ‘cause you’re just nervous.
In the next instant, like cold water being dumped on your head, the thought of staying on this fucking motorcycle for one more second has you feeling desperately, abruptly ill. Fuck. You didn’t want it to come to this, but over the screams from your body to get off now, you try to speak up over the thunder of the engine, too. As you try to shout something, though, you find that your throat can’t produce sound.
Panicked already, you plan to tap Sy’s side next--that’s what you need to do, you’ve got to tap him, he said--but you find that your body is rejecting movement, too, so you’re left just holding onto his jacket for dear life. Oh, fuck. You need to give him some type of signal.
Sy takes another little curve, and as you feel your body tilt into it, your world goes almost upside-down, all of the weight of everything going on in your life just piled heavy on your shoulders, pushing you down. What the hell did you think this would be? Why’d you think that this would bring out some super fun side of you when that side doesn’t even exist?
Justine basically hates you, Sy’s grandmother is in poor health, and your grandmother is in poor health, and Sy’s dog’s gone and he won’t ever talk to you about it because you’re not important, and he always leaves the bed before you can ever wake up together because you’re not important, and his poor family is going through so much and they’re so nice and you don’t belong, and you never have a day off to just do nothing, you’re always doing something, you’re always thinking about something, you’re always worrying about something, there’s always something to do, there’s the bar you have to think about because no one else gives a shit, and all your clients who need help desperately, and all the meetings and all the appointments and all the things to do with Justine’s kids because you just want them to be happy and cared for, but you’ll never be able to meet anyone’s expectations for you, not at all, and definitely not your own, and what the hell did you think this would be? Like you could ever be as fun as Sam, daring and carefree and happy, or even like Liana, smart and sweet and humorous. You’re fucking not. You’re not carefree. You care too fucking much, about everything, and no one fucking cares about you, and you can’t do this anymore. You don’t--You--
You can’t keep your whimpers inside any longer. The helmet you’re wearing is weighing you down so much you can’t breathe anymore, and you can’t take it anymore. You can’t take any of it. You want off. You manage to move your hands to actually grip Sy’s stomach instead of just the flaps of his jacket, and maybe that’ll work. You hold on as tight as you can, getting a death-grip on him.
This has got to fucking stop. You feel a dip, and you almost squeal; it’s just your stomach dropping that makes you feel like a noise is being pushed up your vocal cords. Somehow, you’re able to let go of Sy long enough to hit his ribs, then his back, then again, then again, rapidly. A vibrating noise comes out of your mouth before you desperately get yourself to form an actual word.
“Stop! Stop! Get me off! Stop!” you let out, screaming it fast and all-at-once, and that’s all you can say, just that. You pray that it was loud enough for Sy to hear because you don’t think you can speak again, you can’t.
You don’t feel the bike slow down, not really, but you feel the air around you change. By the time Sy pulls the motorcycle over to the side of whatever road you’re on, your arms are too stiff to disentangle from him. It’s not until he cuts the engine that you force your brittle arms and fingers to unwrap themselves around his jacket so you can get free, and with just-as-tense legs, you practically fall to the ground. You can’t breathe.
Your legs are rubbery when your feet touch flat earth again. Clawing at your helmet until it’s off and carelessly dropped on the ground, you find that even with the constraint off you, you still can’t breathe. There’s air everywhere. It should be entering your lungs right now. There’s wide open space all around you, but you can’t breathe, and you stand there heaving like you’ll be able to. You’re off the bike now, so you should be okay, but you’re not. Moving scenery keeps flying by you though you’re standing still. Your lungs aren’t filling up correctly. They aren’t filling up at all.
You start shaking your head at this, at your own body. No. No, no, no. This isn’t fucking happening. By now, your heartbeat’s in your ears. It’s grown a hundred times its regular size, and it’s now overtaken your entire chest, beating like it wants to shoot out between your lungs that won’t fucking work. This isn’t fucking happening, you think again, but it really fucking is--it’s happening right now--and because you can’t do anything to fix it, you uselessly flap your hands in the air. You know that won’t communicate anything to Sy but fucking craziness, though, so you close your eyes. You close your eyes because everything’s too much and you can’t breathe.
And then everything starts closing in on you, and you’re forced to open your eyes again lest you get stampeded in the heaviness. Whimpering now, you’re at a loss for what the fuck to do.
You know Sy’s off the motorcycle now because you saw movement after you fell off it. You saw Sy take off his helmet and you heard Sy speaking, and you still hear him speaking, but it’s just a deep sound; there aren’t words. The echo from the engine’s vibrations is still inside your head. A billion radios with screaming voices are in your head, and everything’s off-kilter. As Sy comes closer to you, it’s still a deep, deep sound you pinpoint coming from his mouth, and you turn your body to the side to look at the guard-rail you’re standing near.
Sy moves to step in front of you again. “Jesus Christ, your face--”
You don’t know what’s worse: what’s actually happening right now or the way Sy looks and sounds as he witnesses it. You spin around again to put your back to Sy, and you look at the road. It’s empty. He’d taken you on an empty, long road with nothing around. You whimper again.
‘Cause of the--’cause of the--there were no leaves, he said. No leaves around here. Just the rocky mountainside and the highway. No trees. No leaves to mess up the tires. No danger for the motorcycle. But there’s fucking danger for you, though, because no scenery means there’s nowhere to go. And Sy can’t see you like this. He can’t.
You look around frantically, heaving, but there’s nowhere to fucking go. No car for you to scurry to, no structures for you to hide behind. No gas stations, no old shacks, no traffic. Not thinking, you start walking along the side of the road, but you only can take a few steps before sitting down in the dirt. Some rational part of your brain at least knows you need to be still right now, but you still want to fight it. Being still means Sy’s going to be able to see you. Shit.
Immediately, you pull your knees up to your chest and put your head in the crook between your legs, hugging them, rocking almost. It’s the only way to be alone right now, and it’s just going to make you appear even more crazy, but your heart’s just so loud, and you want it to stop, and your lungs burn, and your throat burns, and your face is somehow wet, and you want to hide so fucking bad. You want to breathe. You still can’t fucking breathe.
Sy’s deep voice is close again. Keeping your head down, you open your eyes to peek at the dirt under you, and you somehow see the dark denim of Sy’s jeans. He’s on his knees in front of you. Already feeling smothered, you scoot back a little. You don’t want him to touch you, don’t want anything but air.
Thankfully, Sy keeps his hands off, just cradling them right outside the aura of your skin like he could grasp your arms but isn’t. You can still feel his body heat, though, and you push yourself back even more. You put your shaking hands onto your knees which further hides your face from Sy. Fuck.
Fuck. Fuck. Fuck, why can’t you remember how to make this stop. You used to do a thing, you used to do a thing that would help, your old doctor who didn’t care about you told you that you needed to focus on reality--something about mental lists--but the fucking reality right now is that Sy is witnessing you utterly unravel, and there’s nowhere to fucking go to stop it from happening. A weird noise escapes you, and it resonates out like some sort of distressed, primal whine.
“It’s safe,” you hear. “You’re safe.”
His voice. You want to fucking disappear. You want him to go away so badly, want this night to never have happened. Why did you think you could ever be cool like Sy’s sisters? Why did you think that? You’re fucking Y/N.
“I swear you’re safe.”
Everything’s fucking hot. You’re panting into the crevice of your legs, hyperventilating.
“I swear you’re safe,” you hear again. “It’s just me. You’re with me.”
Count. You always count. That’s supposed to help. That’s what they say. You need a paper bag. Your chest keeps heaving.
“You’re havin’ trouble breathin’, but it’s gonna be okay, ‘cause I’m gonna do it for you. You just gotta match me.”
You shake your head. You can’t do that. That’s the reason you’re struggling so much to begin with. Go away.
Sy purposefully makes himself make noise as he deeply breathes in his nose, and he makes noise again as he exhales from his mouth.
“That’s all you gotta do, is match me,” Sy says, and he breathes again.
This is bullshit. He’s not going anywhere. You move your hair to cover more of your face and try to breathe. You purposefully try to make your breaths slower, but your fast heartbeat is still telling your body to panic.
“It’s me and you on the side of the road. There’s nothin’ around us. No one’s here but me. You’re safe.”
“Breathe with me again, baby, match my breathin’. You’re safe.”
Sy isn’t hindered, and he keeps breathing in these big, deep lungfuls of air for you. It’d look and sound stupid if someone was on the side of the road looking in on this. Because it is stupid. Your body can’t even do the one thing it’s supposed to automatically do on its own.
“Do it slow, like me,” Sy murmurs, and he’s not going away, so you try to do as he says so that maybe he’ll leave.
You can’t take breaths that are as big as the ones Sy’s making, but you try to take slow ones, and you manage to do about five in a row before you can then take a long, deep one. It ends in a jerky way, but when you do it, at least you feel oxygen enter your lungs.
You take another deep breath. And another. And then you kind of slump over onto your legs.
“You gotta keep goin’ with me,” Sy instructs. “Breathe in through your nose, darlin’, out your mouth.”
“I can’t,” you whine.
“Yeah, you can,” he tells you with feeling. “You can do this.”
You feel like a child. Sy won’t go away, so you keep your head on your knees and breathe with him. He’s taking exaggeratedly-loud breaths so you can keep his pace, and after a while, it becomes your own rhythm. When your breathing gets as normal as it’s going to get right now, you keep your forehead down and wait.
You don’t know what you’re waiting for. You’re waiting for Sy to get on his motorcycle and leave you, but he doesn’t. You’re waiting on your heart to decide to start pounding too strongly again, but it doesn’t; you’ve moved your hand on top of your chest, and you can feel it beat normally now, still there but at least slower now. When that realization abruptly comes to you--the knowledge that your heart’s finally stopped beating so fast--your eyes widen, just expecting it to start again. You don’t want to scare your own body into panicking again, though, so you force yourself to breathe again. Slow and deep.
“Good,” Sy murmurs, and then again: “Good.”
After a long, long time passes, all you can do is lift your face. You’re not crying, but your face is wet, which sucks because you’re not fucking crying right now, you would be able to tell if you were crying, or if you had been crying, and you hadn’t been--you weren’t, you’re not. Your hair is still sticky when you push it back from your face.
Sy’s still there in front of you. No longer on his knees, he’s sitting down on the dirt with his legs in front of him, close enough you could reach out your foot and poke his jacket. You don’t. There’s nothing playful about what’s going on.
You don’t want to talk. You don’t want to say thank you, you don’t want to say sorry, you don’t want to hear your voice or any other voices or any sounds at all. You don’t want to be taking up space. Right now, you just don’t want to exist.
Maybe you’ll go to a seedy motel tonight. Maybe you’ll push forward your ID and your debit card so you don’t have to speak, and that person would push back a room key, and you’d just...go. And enter the room. And fall on the bed. And sleep. In a room with no sounds. You’d sleep for days, for weeks at a time. The curtains would be shut, and it’d be dark all the time. You’d throw your phone into the river so no one could contact you. They wouldn’t even be able to locate you. No one would come looking.
“They’re here,” you hear some time later, and you lift your heavy, throbbing head to see a silver sedan slowing down to stop behind Sy’s motorcycle.
Sy’s looking at you, so you finally dart your eyes at him, and then you just look back at the car. Liana’s in the driver’s seat, and in the passenger seat is Sam. Both of his sisters are here. Both of them. Plural. Sisters. With an S. God dammit.
“Gonna get you back home now.”
Sy stands up with a grunt, and, hating every second of it, you accept the hand he holds out to you and shakily get up, too. As Liana and Sam get out of the car, you find yourself being escorted along the side of the road by Sy, legs feeling every bit like jello. You manage to walk to the back of Liana’s car all by yourself, and after you open the car door, you duck your head, sit down, and pull the door shut.
You feel ridiculous.
You’ve chosen to sit behind the driver’s seat so you can be somewhat hidden from Liana whenever she gets in and starts driving, and you contort your legs a little so they won’t dig into her back. You buckle your seat-belt, close your eyes, and, in defeat, you rest your head on the window.
It’s all over now. It’s out there. It’s happened. What you’ve been hiding from Sy is now out in the open. And now his family knows, too.
Time passes. You know everyone’s out there talking about you, either feeling sorry for you or judging you for being stupid. After this, you really don’t think you can bear to show your face to any of them ever again. Sy included.
When you hear a knock towards your right side, you look over and see Sy rapping on the window beside you with the knuckle of his index finger. You blink while looking around for the door’s lock, but he’s only giving you a heads-up; he wordlessly opens the door himself a moment later. After maneuvering his huge body into the seat beside you, he lowers his left hand to rest on the spot between the two of you. In his right, he’s got his helmet. Your own hands are folded tightly in between your own contorted legs, and you keep them there.
Sy stretches around a bit to place his helmet on the passenger seat. “Sam’s takin’ my bike back so I can ride with you,” he tells you in a steady, deep voice.
That’s unnecessary, you want to say. Please don’t, you want to say.
When Liana gets in the driver’s seat, it’s too embarrassing to speak to her, and it’s too embarrassing to let her see your face, so you hide it with your hair. Besides telling her “no, thanks” when she asks if you’re sure you don’t want to sit in the front seat, you’re so emotionally drained that you don’t speak whatsoever during the drive home. It’s all you can do to keep yourself from throwing up due to the motion sickness you’re still experiencing, and the weight of Sy’s unwavering gaze covering you like a cloak the entire trip is a lot to deal with, too.
After a silent and relatively short set of minutes, Liana’s car slows down in your driveway before coming to a full stop, and when you see your house in front of you again, you should feel relief, but you don’t. This isn’t your house at all; you’re only renting a room in it. Nothing belongs to you here except some food and the things in your bedroom, and that’s where you immediately want to retreat to, surrounded by your unbiased possessions.
Sy keeps looking at you, and you know he’s finally realizing for himself that you’re not really who he thought you were. You’re not that woman on his couch, you’re not that woman in the bed of his truck, and you’re not the woman he’d recently seen in your own bed, even. You’re the woman on the back of his motorcycle now. That’s how you’ll be remembered.
You’re practically nameless at work. You’re worthless in this house. You’re friendless and alone, far away from your family who you grew up with in Virginia, and even if you moved back there, what difference would it make? Besides your mom, no one there truly misses you. No one gives a fuck. They pretend, but they don’t.
And you don’t blame any of them. Not one bit.
You’ve got to get in your bed. You can’t deal with this for a second longer. Your purse is still over at Sy’s MaMaw’s house, but at least you’ve got your keys in the front pocket of your jacket. You’re lucky.
Muttering your thanks, you unbuckle your seat-belt, open the car door, and wave to both Liana and Sy before you get out and start carefully walking towards the porch. The next few actions you take are choppy, like the way you heavily lift your feet up each individual step and then shakily pull out your keyring to go through each and every key for the correct one. Sy’s there beside you before your clammy fingers can even turn your house key into the lock of the door.
You don’t give the keys to Sy; he removes them from your hand and takes over what you’re doing. In seconds, the front door opens, and he pushes it a little wider so you can step inside. As Molly runs outside and immediately jumps on Sy, you stay where you’re at.
You feel like the world’s rudest person for not appropriately thanking him for talking you down from your stupid panic attack just now, but you don’t have it in you at all. You’re drained.
“I’ve gotta--” You gesture vaguely inside the house to where the bathroom is since that’s where your medicine’s at, but Sy doesn’t even know you take medicine, so. “I’ll call you,” you weakly say, still standing by the door. You’ll lock it behind him when he leaves.
Sy pets Molly briefly then snaps his fingers at her to get down. Surprisingly, she listens--just from that wordless command--and she stands there between the two of you wagging her tail, her excitement a clear contrast to the exhaustion you’re feeling.
“I don’t want you to be alone right now,” Sy tells you, his way of asking to come in, and you close your eyes. Being alone is the one thing you want more than anything at the moment.
“I’m gonna be fine. Really,” you open your eyes and say, trying to sound confident. “I just need to be alone for a little bit. Gotta get some sleep.”
“I’ll stay here in the livin’ room, then, while you go lay down.”
You shake your head. You’re not going to just go lay down. You’re going to take your medicine, get in bed, and pass out for the rest of the night. You’ve got to entirely reset your body.
He mutters something under his breath as he turns around to face the front yard, hands now on the back of his head. “Y/N. Let me do this.”
You shake your head again, this time more vigorously. “I’m fine. I’ll be fine. You don’t have to go outta your way to make sure I’m alright.”
“I’m not goin’ out of my way.” He drops his hands and sighs so heavily you hear it. “Nothin’ I ever do for you is goin’ outta my way.”
“We can talk about it tomorrow, I promise, but now--just--please. I’m fine.”
Sy turns back to you. “An’ you can say that all you want, but it don’t make it any more true.”
Audibly, you sigh in loss, and you walk inside the house while leaving the door open. You make your legs trudge through the living room until you reach the couch, and then you completely fall back on it. You want to go to bed, but you have medicine you need to take, and you can’t do that until Sy leaves.
Before he comes into the living room, Sy carefully shuts the front door behind him, and Molly stays by his side looking up at him the entire time. He approaches the couch you’re on and sits down on the opposite end of it, and when Molly tries to jump up in the middle, he gently but firmly sticks his foot out to hinder her.
“Tell me what you need,” he looks at you and murmurs. So quietly. Like you’re glass.
You almost scoff, but it’s only to keep yourself from crying. I need to not fucking feel so stupid all the time, you want to answer.
“I think I--” You take a deep breath and focus on a spot on the coffee table in front of you. After you shift a little so you’re fully sitting up, you pull your phone out of your pocket and toss it carelessly on the table. “I think I just need to get some sleep.”
Just once, Sy nods. You see it from the corner of your eye. When you dare to actually look over at him, he stares at you, and it’s the most vulnerable look you’ve seen on his face ever. His eyebrows are high, and his mouth is parted open, and it’s like he’s asking you with his eyes, almost begging you with them: Don’t push me away.
Fuck. You could fucking cry. Why is he continuing to pretend like this? Why is he still putting up with you at all? After how much you frustrated him by going to Virginia without letting him know, and now after you did what you did tonight, you’re sure he’s fed up. And if he’s not fed up yet, he’ll get there soon.
What type of extensive and excruciating fucking military training did he put up with to give him such a huge duty to ensure the safety of the people? Why isn’t he just giving up on you already? You’re fine.
Well, you’re not. But you will be.
“You said you need to sleep,” Sy prompts when he notices you haven’t made any movement, and it’s almost a whisper. It’s almost a question, too.
“I--” Your voice is thick and scratchy. You look at your lap. “Yeah. I really will be okay tonight. You don’t--I know you gotta get back to your place.”
“I don’t gotta get nowhere.”
His meaning is clear.
Telling Sy that you’re fine isn’t working; he can see right through it. Telling him that you need to be alone to sleep isn’t working, either; he’s going to give you your space, no doubt, but he’ll probably stay in the living room while he does it. You have no other options right now but to firmly tell him he needs to leave the house entirely, and that would only cause an argument. Plus, you don’t have it in you to do that when he’s just trying to uselessly help.
You also don’t have it in you to let him sleep on the couch.
“If you really wanna stay here,” you say quietly, “you can.”
Putting his hands on his knees like he might stand up, Sy continues to look over at you, waiting for you to say more. He won’t ask it, but you know what he wants.
“I think I’m gonna go change clothes in the bathroom real quick,” you murmur, “but if you wanna…” You clear your throat, not knowing what to say or how to even say it. You don’t feel like talking anymore right now, but more than that, it’s like you’ve entirely lost the ability to formulate sentences.
After your silence goes on, Sy softly comments, “It’s up to you,” and you’re shaken out of your blankness.
You blink a few times without looking in his direction. You don’t want to explain to him that you’re about to take medicine that’ll knock you out and that if he wants to share your bed tonight, he’s going to be bored. You don’t have a television in your room. You have nothing to entertain him.
“Uh. I’m--I’m pretty exhausted now, so I’m probably gonna go right to sleep once I get in bed.” Your mouth is dry, and you swallow. “But you--if you’re gonna stay here, you can come with me in my room,” you settle with. “If you want.”
Sy nods again, and you chance a peek at his face again. He looks almost stern now, that earlier softness in his eyes gone. It takes you aback a little, but you know it shouldn’t. The more of this side he sees of you, the more he’ll grow to eventually despise you. You just don’t understand why he’s still pretending.
Wordlessly, you stand up, and as you begin walking towards the hallway, Molly stays next to Sy instead of following you. Even she prefers Sy over you, and it’s solidifying in a way that your thoughts aren’t crazy at all. They’re valid.
You aren’t likeable. You aren’t a likeable person. Not even to a dog.
You step into the bathroom and switch on the light, and after shutting the door, you stare ahead at the mirror. Within seconds, your dim reflection repulses you enough to open the medicine cabinet so you don’t have to look at yourself any longer, and you pull out your prescription bottle and twist it open. So Sy won’t hear any pills shaking, you stick your finger inside and drag one up the side, and you pop it into your mouth before swallowing it dry. A pretty stupid decision, you know, but you guess all of your decisions are. Mechanically, you put the medicine top back on the bottle, place it on its tiny little shelf again, and quietly close the cabinet.
And then there’s your reflection once more. You huff and walk out of the bathroom.
When you enter your bedroom, Sy isn’t in there yet, but instead of quickly changing clothes before he can see you, you take your pajamas into the bathroom like you told him you were going to do. Even though Sy’s seen you entirely naked already, you don’t want him seeing you like that tonight. He’s seen too much of you this evening as it is.
Sy’s still not in your bedroom when you walk back inside, so you turn on your lamp for him before crawling into bed. You’re now in a pair of loose sweatpants, an oversized black shirt with no bra underneath, and your hair is thoughtlessly tied back. You’ve taken out your contacts and are wearing your glasses now, too, and as your eyes begin to slip closed behind the lenses, you vaguely think you should probably take them off. You don’t.
Some time later, Sy steps into your room, and you feel it more than hear it as he sits down on your computer chair. When you open your heavy-lidded eyes, you watch as he places your phone that you’ve clearly left in the living room onto your desk. In his other hand, he’s holding a bottle of water and a banana.
“If you’re hungry, I can heat you somethin’ up,” you tell him while trying to sit up. “We’ve got stuff here.”
“It’s for you,” Sy explains. “You should eat.”
You frown. Knowing he’s right, you don’t argue, but you don’t feel like eating.
“Thanks,” you murmur, and Sy finally approaches the bed. He takes the spot to your left, unpeels your banana for you, and hands it to you.
Feeling watched again, you take small bites of the fruit. You can’t even finish the full banana, but when you get about half of it eaten, you hand it back to Sy. He just puts it on the nightstand before untwisting the bottle of water he’s been holding this whole time and offering that to you next.
You wordlessly accept the water, and as you gulp about half of it down, your thoughts about Sy wander. He’s probably got so much to say, you know, but it’ll probably all come out at a later time after he’s collected his thoughts. After he’s decided which particular words to use to let you down easy. Because men like him don’t like to come across like dicks when they’re breaking up with women.
Or maybe he won’t say much at all. Maybe he won’t use many words at all. Maybe being quiet is how he deals with negative emotions. When Aika passed away, that’s how he handled that situation.
“Fuck,” you curse under your breath, and Sy whips his head over to you. “I need to let Molly out,” you explain.
“I already did,” he tells you, and you relax a little.
“Oh,” you utter. “Thanks.”
“Don’t mention it,” he says, and he looks at the water bottle in your hand. “Done?”
You just nod, and Sy takes the bottle from you and puts it on the table next to your bed. After that, you both shift around a little, laying down all the way, then Sy covers himself with your blanket, jeans and all. After you’re both flat on the mattress with pillows underneath your heads, he stretches out to turn off the bedside lamp, and then there’s darkness. Your room is only illuminated by the little night-light plugged in by your desk.
In a similar scene to a few weeks ago, you and Sy sort of just lay there looking at one another, but the moment is starkly different than it was on Halloween night. After Sy takes off your glasses for you and puts them on your nightstand, he settles back into his earlier position, leans forward, and gives you a chaste kiss.
“Feelin’ okay?” he asks, and you nod. “You havin’ any more trouble breathin’?” he follows up with, and you shake your head.
Sy’s eyes travel around your face a little, and you wonder how much he hates what he sees now.
“Tell me if you do,” he tells you next, and, feeling like a child, you finally utter out a little, “Okay.”
Once more, he leans forward and kisses you, but this time it’s on your forehead. After giving him a little smile, you end up rolling over to face your wall, and he instantly gets in close to you.
He’s unsettled. You can tell.
He spoons you from behind with a casual arm wrapped around your waist, a position you’ve grown to almost covet when you’ve been able to sleep next to him these past few months, but you can tell he’s not actually ready to fall asleep beside you. The cadence of his breathing is off. His body is too stiff.
Of course he’s not ready to fall asleep. No one but you goes to bed this early. They’re out doing fun things. Going to bars with their friends. Going to parties. Riding motorcycles. Not taking benzodiazepines and pretending they don’t exist.
Even with your medicine dissolving in your mostly-empty stomach, you’re not much better off than Sy. You’re relaxed in the sense that your body now feels heavy, but since you’re never truly relaxed, you just lay there waiting for sleep to finally take you. Waiting for yourself to stop thinking for once. Waiting for this hell-of-a-night to end.
Behind you, you feel Sy move closer until his head is on the same pillow you’re using. His nose touches your hair.
“You wanna talk about it?” an eventual whisper sounds out, and you almost wince.
He must be so uncomfortable right now, feeling obligated to check on you so much. Not as uncomfortable as he’d feel if you were to actually start talking about what happened, though. You’ll spare him that. You shake your head so that he feels the movement on the pillow.
“I’m here when you’re ready,” he says next, his voice sounds so raw and genuine that you could almost believe it.
With a sleep-distorted voice, you reply to him, but your voice is a little louder than the steady tone he’s been using to whisper in your ear. Before you stop talking altogether, you want him to actually hear how much you regret what happened tonight.
“I’m really sorry you didn’t get to be on the Parkway that long, Sy. I’m sor--”
“Y/N, don’t--” Sy lifts his head from the pillow and interrupts you, but he ends up cutting himself off. After he lowers his head again, you then feel him slightly lift his hand from your waist, but then he puts it right back down, too. As he does, he heavily sighs. “Don’t say sorry.”
You can’t just not say sorry when you are. You’re sorry for everything. You’re sorry for being how you are. You’re sorry for ruining everything, again and again and again.
“Just want you to be alright.”
“Are you, though?”
You nod. “I will be. Just gotta sleep it off.”
A few minutes later, you disentangle yourself from Sy, murmuring something about your neck getting sore, and after that, he puts a little space between the two of you. While you fix your pillow, you feel him take off his jeans under the blanket, and he settles himself again on his back. Now being alone as you’re gonna get tonight, you finally let your tears free, and as you face the wall, you’re entirely quiet as thick tears fall sideways out of the corners of your eyes.
What’s been in the back of your head since you first agreed to give Sy your phone number has finally caught up with you. Ever since that first day, you’ve supplemented every single thought you’ve had about Sy with “when this thing ends”. Might as well make the most of this while this lasts. Might as well savor this before it ends. Might as well be selfish and take what you can now.
You’ve always known this to be temporary, and after what happened tonight, you can already see the future play out like a movie in your head. If the experiences with your exes are anything to go by (which they are, because there’s been a consistent pattern with each man--every single one of them), after this, you and Sy will almost-but-not-quite fall into the same routine you’ve been sharing.
You’ll still text, you’ll still visit each other, you’ll still do your little dates. He might even want to keep advancing in the bedroom, figuring he at least deserves to get off while he has you around. But he’ll start becoming wary of your behavior now; you’ve shown him too much. So you’ll put on an act to appease him and show him that you’re normal, but something else will undoubtedly happen, something beyond your control. And just like before, you both will bury the crazy incident in some sort of shallow grave in your minds, covering it with more false terms of endearment and affection, big smiles and “no worries”, covering it with anything that will make it not exist.
You both won’t forget it, though. And that dirt you’ll both try to cover the shallow grave of your craziness with won’t serve to hide anything at all. It’ll just build up and build up until it’s a mound as tall as the sky, caked on with mud, worm-ridden and impossible to ignore.
When he catches you crying in the shower because you’re too damn loud in there this time. When he hears you gasp one-too-many-times as a passenger in his truck because you just can’t get used to not being the one driving. When you take the kids to the playground and have to visibly keep yourself from hovering over them so they don’t get hurt. When you’ve bitten your nails ‘til they’re bleeding but just don’t have the ability to stop.
When he just wants to have a good night on his motorcycle and you ruin it for him.
These things won’t be brushed aside forever. They’ll start to seriously get on his nerves because it’s not fucking cute. You aren’t just a little nervous. You fucking aren’t. You’ve got a full-on disorder, and you can’t hide it anymore.
Over time, these things will build up and build up and build up, until he’ll want to take a shovel to the mound of mud you’ve both been trying to deal with, until he’ll want to tear every bit of it up with his bare hands, until he’s screaming at you to just fucking cut it out already! Stop it! Stop fucking crying! Then he’ll see that there’s nothing to be done to fucking fix you.
And then he’ll leave.
Because that’s what happens.
It’s the worst feeling you think you’ve had in a long, long time--going to sleep with wet eyes. Not even that, but going to sleep with wet eyes next to a man who would probably make you feel a little better if you were selfish enough to take it from him.
Your medicine kicks in and drags you under sometime after that, leaving behind for you a headache and a handful of bad dreams.
When you wake up the next morning to the sound of bedroom doors slamming across the hall, you’re in your bed alone, because of course you are.
It’s sort of metaphorical in a way, you guess. Sy won’t stick around. He won’t stay. Not even the deadbeat men you dated in the past stuck around, and they had literally no redeeming qualities to speak of. So why would someone like Sy?
Sy, who can charm the clothes off a nun. Sy, who has single women--younger women, pretty women, normal women--lining up to please him everywhere he goes. Sy, who quite literally is a fucking fantasy come-to-life.
In its little place, Sy’s jacket rests on the back of your computer chair. After staring at it for an unknown amount of time, you get out of bed, march to your desk, and rip the jacket off the chair.
Staring at it with the vague realization that it doesn’t smell like him at all anymore, you realize what you have to do.
You’re going to have to end this thing with him. Now. Before he inevitably does it first.
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begging on my knees for chis/gn!reader/leon smut headcannons. i need to know who calls the shots in the bedroom.
STOP WHATEVER I'M DOING! THIS IS MORE IMPORTANT!
Anon, you don't have to beg. I'm so here for anything with these two, especially spicy smutty goodness~
Chris Redfield x GN Reader x Leon Kennedy Smut Headcanons:
Things in the bedroom get heated real quick. Both Leon and Chris have a lot of pent up stress by the time they come home from missions, not to mention all the sexual frustration that builds up while stationed in the middle of nowhere, miles from their loves. What I'm trying to say is... reunion sex happens routinely. And it's awesome.
As far as preferences go, Leon is a switch that leans towards dom as he gets older (and grumpier), while Chris is a full-fledged dom.
Chris will allow you and Leon to seize some control, but no one is foolish enough to think he's not in charge. Something about not constantly giving makes Chris less enthused. He enjoys your touches, no doubt, but it's more fun for him when he can make one or both of you fall apart at the seams. Whenever he does yield and let go, he's usually still whispering orders and once he's at his limit, he'll flip the script and do as he pleases.
With Leon, it's sort of up to his mood. Some days, he needs to feel like he's got at least some control - it's related to his anxiety. He needs the security of calling the shots. Other days, he's run down and wants to feel safe, like he isn't responsible for anyone, including himself. It helps that Chris is physically and mentally capable of protecting both of you. Leon doesn't have to worry about your wellbeing, so he can focus solely on what his body is feeling.
Now listen, I'm going to be completely self-indulgent here, so let's say you're either a switch or sub. Granted, you could easily fit into the dynamic as a dom, but getting submissive is the simplest option here. Why? Because these guys EAT. IT. UP. And if you're usually an obedient sweetheart that wants to make them happy? Mmmmm, that triggers something in them. They want to spoil you fierce.
Praise... oh fuck, do these boys live to praise. Leon can get a little more attitude with Chris, but they want to tell you and each other how good they're feeling, how happy you're making them, and how much they love you.
When Chris is the only one giving orders, it only takes a few minutes for the room to get filled with yours and Leon's noises. Chris prefers not to drag things out. He'd rather give you two multiple orgasms than edge you. He'll use those thick fingers to get you off at the same time, making you watch as the other loses it. Sometimes he'll instruct you to please each other while he fucks one of you. That way no one gets left out of the fun.
You and Leon have tag-teamed before to spoil Chris. You had to plan in advance, set the mood so he'd be in the right mind frame for it, but you convinced him to lie down with one of you on each side. You and Leon gave him tons of soft kisses, gentle touches and explored a couple new spots you found to be sensitive. Trick is, when Chris is willing to take, it's gotta be the sweet kind of sex. He's got to see it as a sign of care that he can't refuse. Afterwards, he made sure both of you got a couple good orgasms on his tongue - your reward for being so kind.
One of the best subby Leon moments was when he got back from a very chaotic mission. After a bit of time to settle down, Chris pulled him to his chest, fucked him slowly from behind and played with his nipples, all while you went to town on his dick and ass. Leon was basically jelly by the time it was over, a blissed out mess from the sheer euphoria you two pushed him into. He still gets wet dreams about it.
Now when Leon and Chris decide to team up and dom you together... listen, I'll pray for your body. They get the same level of near-telepathic communication they do on the battlefield and you won't get a chance to guess their next move because they are so in sync. Leon and Chris take turns being in front/behind you so that they can each get to watch your expressions twist. They also both want a chance to play with your sex, teasing the tip until you're in near tears. Over and over again. That's not even getting into the sensation of them fucking you, stopping for the other to hop on, until they can both cum on your trembling body.
Leon tends to be a little rougher than Chris... usually. Leon likes leaving hickies and other assorted marks, but Chris can have his moments when one of you misbehaves. He loves the sound of skin on skin, so when Leon gets mouthy or you act like a brat, he'll get you over his lap for some old-fashioned spanks. His other form of punishment is to have the guilty person ride his thigh, just enough to get turned on before he switches his attention to the one in his good graces. The punished one will have to wait their turn until he's done making a mess of the well-behaved sweetheart.
Leon's also the most likely to bring toys into the bedroom. 9 times out of 10, you three will forego things like dildos or vibrators in favor of each other and possibly a bit of rope, but sometimes the temptation to stick a wand on your crotch is too much for him. Vibes are also the only way he can get the drop on Chris, getting him to completely topple over the edge without snatching control back. The only cost is a particularly stern punishment and a very sore ass.
There's a few rules in place for when one or both of the guys are gone. If both are gone, you aren't supposed to touch yourself. They don't get to have fun, so neither should you. Unless you give them a show on a video call. Then they may reconsider. Similarly, if one is home with you, then that person can touch you on camera for the one abroad, but that's where it ends. You only get to cum on his hands, tongue or toy - no fucking until all 3 of you are together. (Same goes in reverse - you can suck/jack off them, but that's it.) The rules help make the reunions that much more special.
Obviously, before any of this sexy time happens, you guys discuss boundaries and things like safewords. Chris is happy to get rough, but is not comfortable with choking. Leon will let you and Chris fuck his ass all day, but your hands are the only thing allowed to pin him. Getting tied up brings back bad memories. Every so often, you make some tea/coffee/cocoa and check in with each other. Is everyone still having fun? Are there any new hard-no's or fantasies you want to try? Communication is hot. Pass it on.
Aftercare is also an important part of your dynamic. Chris tends to do a lot of the clean-up since wiping you down is just a very soothing thing for him. You and Leon remind him that he did a great job and made you feel very special. If Leon dommed too, then he'll be the one helping you drink some water and wrapping you up in the blankets. If he subbed, then he's as needy as you, begging to be held and cuddled. None of you would dream of skipping that step. It's the best one! Unless they both dommed you, in which case you lay in the middle with a guy on each side, Chris lies on his back with an arm around you both. You and Leon sleep on his chest, usually holding hands as you drift off. It's very cute and everyone should be jealous of your preciousness.
Final note for this one - if you want to get your guys going, dress in their clothes. Wear Chris' shirt with one of Leon's leather jackets. Watch them get hot under the collar immediately and struggle to keep their hands off you. Just be prepared for when you're out of the public eye. I can guarantee you'll be in for twice the punishment as these two go full-force. It's probably worth it though. I mean, who really needs to walk throughout the course of a week?
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keithtober💢🎃🔪 day 21: mullet💇🏻
🔗read on ao3
content included: vaguely suggestive theme, pillow talk, klance, mullet discussion. it's just cheesy tbh
“So…why do you have a mullet, anyway?” Lance asks, picking and prodding at Keith’s hair from his place on the bed next to him. Keith’s just starting to get cold—neither of them are dressed from their…activities yet—so the warmth of Lance’s touch is welcome.
He leans into it and hums. “I dunno. Easy to take care of.”
“Is it, though?” Lance raises an eyebrow and tugs lightly on a strand of hair framing Keith’s face, making Keith scrunch his nose and glare. “I feel like it would be harder. Like, all I gotta do after showering is, like, comb my hair. You have to brush it. And I know you style it a little in the morning.”
Keith makes a tch noise, still burrowing into Lance’s warmth. He’d just spent the better part of an hour pulling at Keith’s hair; is that not enough to get him to stop questioning it? But Keith knows all too well that Lance has a fascination with his hair, and sometimes it benefits him, when Lance gets distracted by it when they’re practicing sparring, or whatever, so he lets it be.
Besides, this time, Lance’s questions are conversational, curious. He’s not making fun of Keith for having hair like he does, for once. Keith counts that as a win.
“It’s not that hard,” he replies, shrugging as best he can when he’s laying down. His skin sticks to the sheets bundled around him, still. “I use a comb too, actually. It’s really not that different.”
Lance gives a doubtful noise. “If you say so. Emo boy.”
“Oh, shut up,” Keith says, but there’s very clearly a smile in his voice; Lance giggles at him, leaning in and pecking his nose lightly. “You like it. I know you do.”
“I’ll deny it if you ever tell anyone,” Lance promises, reaching forward and cupping the side of Keith’s face in his hands. Keith lets his head rest there, even though Lance’s hands are sticky, too. “For real, though. I think you have a mullet because it makes you look, like, alternative. 80s emo boy.”
80s emo boy. The title makes Keith laugh, if only because it’s surprisingly accurate to the kind of look he goes for, even if it’s not conscious. Well, it’s kind of conscious. Nobody really needs to know that, though.
“At least I don’t have a Billy Ray Cyrus mullet,” Keith points out, arching a brow. Lance gives him a stricken look.
“Oh, man,” he says with a shake of his head, snuggling closer into Keith. “Yeah. That’s a pretty horrifying thought.”
“Hey! You’re supposed to say I’d look good no matter what, aren’t you?” Keith asks, amused.
“Do you want a relationship built on lies?” Lance responds emphatically. The dramatics of his voice draw a snicker out of Keith, and he falls in love all over again.
He shuffles forward, pressing his palms against Lance’s smooth, sweaty chest. “As if our relationship is built off of my hair.”
“It’s the first thing I noticed about you,” Lance says, his eyes fluttering shut as Keith absently brushes his hands across his skin, warm and supple. “H-Hey. Mmm. Sensitive skin, yeah?”
“So?” Keith hums under his breath, leaning forward and kissing across Lance’s jawline. “You got plans today?”
“Other than making fun of your hair? Guess not.” Lance means to be sarcastic, but his voice is too breathless to fully pull it off; Keith smirks against his neck, feeling like he’s achieved something.
Quickly and quietly, Keith rolls himself over on top of Lance, tangling the sheets up even more. Lance exhales a sigh, his hands automatically falling to Keith’s hips, thumbs rubbing into them soothingly. Keith purrs.
“There are better things we can do with my hair than you mocking it,” Keith says, pulling himself down so that their noses are touching. Lance snorts, but his cheeks are colored dark, and Keith can tell he’s receptive.
“I guess there are,” he murmurs in agreement, letting one of his hands tangle into Keith’s hair. He shifts slightly, causing Keith to gasp on top of him. “If you’ll let me.”
At that, Keith breathes out a laugh, tightening his thighs around Lance’s middle.
Their lips meet in a kiss, and the soft rustling of the sheets hums through the room, peaceful and happy.
☕️ko-fi - so i can afford a haircut 😩
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You make me wanna die
Baby’s first smut (I guess.) This is my first smut story & my first reader insert too! I hope some of you will enjoy this, even if it got a bit long and might be clunky at places. Song that inspired this here
PG 18. Really.
Ao3 Link [x]
Just 5 weeks ago you have broken off a half year long relationship+ with Gojo Satoru in thoughts that it might be healthier for you to be without him. Unfortunately you're friends have dragged you out to this garden party of the Jujutsu School you work at and Satoru is most likely to be there too. This is fine, you think, no way he will start something in public. Right?
Your eyes - I can see in your eyes - everything in your eyes - you make me wanna die.
Just another horribly unpleasant hot summer day in central Japan and you have to attend a garden party at the Jujutsu school in Tokyo. There is no way to combat the heat any more than you already do, wearing a short skirt - as short as possible without being inappropriate-, a thin top and your hair in a bun over your head to keep the neck free from sweating. Still, you feel too damn warm and you can’t help but fantasize about the beaches of Okinawa. If only you were there right now instead of here, surrounded by way too many people and forced to make a good face and conversation.
You move your cold glass against your cheek in vain hopes that its cold can cool you down only a little. Inside the school building, in your infirmary, there would be air conditioning, but the party is happening outside and your friends already made enough fun of you for hiding away with your work every so other day. “Recently you have been working so much. Do you even know who you work with?”, they said, “You should get out more”. So you did.
Leaning against a standing table you look around among your peers. What your friends say is not true, you do know your coworkers well. Most of them go to see you regularly after missions when they need patching up and you are good at casual conversations with them. Your own cursed technique being a healing power is a god sent gift for the school and the many sorcerers that still use it as a home base, but it also means that you have no offensive powers to speak of. You stay by yourself during your work hours.
Of course the heat is not the only reason you wanted to avoid this party. Afraid to run into him you’d rather skip the whole ordeal, but you’d be bound to meet him sooner or later so it would probably be better to do this in public. At least he wouldn’t try anything this way. “And I,” you think, “I also won’t start anything.” You can’t trust yourself around him.
After downing your second glass of wine and hanging back at the very corner of the garden to avoid being spotted, you can finally see him entering the scene. Wherever Gojo Satoru appears he immediately is the center of all attention. He is wearing a white dress shirt and black pants, both probably more expensive than your yearly earnings, and sunglasses. You know what it means when he ditches the blindfold in favour of the glasses and wears his hair down. He is hot and he knows it too. “Is there even a girl of age in this institute that he hasn’t yet slept with”, you wonder silently.
Gojo’s eyes move over the crowd to scout who came to the party and your first instinct is to hide behind your table, but you can stop yourself from ducking. The six eye is always awake and if it wants to see you, it will find you. Even if you try to hide behind a piece of plastic. And even still, it's fine if he came over, you are in public, right? There is nothing he could do to you here, right? His charms probably won’t have any more effect on you. Nervously you bite your lips and watch him look around. God, he looks good in this shirt. Unsurprisingly, every woman in his radius glances at him. He can have whomever he likes, and damn, if he doesn’t know it.
Finally, his eyes find yours. Even if the glasses hide the blue in them, you can feel them piercing into yours- “The six eye will always find you, if it wants to”, you think to yourself and fidget with your wine glass. You plead with him not to come over, but when you look up you can see him make his way through the crowd with big steps and head right towards you, a big, shit-eating grin on his face. You frown. Man, how can such an ass be so hot.
“Hey sweets,” he says, dropping his arms on the table in front of you. Instead of a drink he carries an ice cream cone with 3 scoops and whipped cream. He never drinks if he can help it and you are well aware of his obsession with everything sweet. Like a child he loves nothing as much as sugary food. You’d make fun of him getting diabetes when he is older, but you don’t believe that something as trivial as that could even hurt him. Gojo’s cursed technique makes him an undestroyable god.
“Gojo”, you say back, trying hard to sound as casual as possible. The last thing you need is for him to know how nervous you really are. Under the table you put your left hand into a fist.
He gives the whipped cream a lick and makes a sound of pure enjoyment. “So tasty~”, he hums, then, in a completely different, more serious tone: “Didn’t know you would address me this way”
Ugh. What a stupid thing to say. “Oh, excuse me. I forgot to add the “-san” honorific, Gojo-san”, you say sarcastically. You look around yourself in the vain hope that one of your friends could possibly come by and save you from this awkward situation. No. You are alone.
Gojo looks up and you can see his blue eyes shining over his sunglasses. He raises an eyebrow in amusement. “I see,” he says and takes another big lick of his ice cream. You catch yourself watching his tongue move along the scoop and over his lips. You always wondered if these lips felt as soft as they looked. Feeling embarrassed you avert your eyes.
“I liked it way more when you called me Satoru,” he says, finishing the last piece of the ice cream cone by swallowing it whole. You just shrug your shoulders: “Does not matter to m-”
With a sudden movement that leaves you no time to step away he is closer by your side, the usual devilish grin on his face. “You know”, he says, moving forward so his mouth is right by your ear, “I loved when you said it like this-” imitating your voice he breathes out, “ Satoru.” Hrrg, you can feel goosebumps on your neck. “I was wrong to think he wasn’t gonna try to start something in public”, you think, regretting not just hiding from him in the first place.
He pulls out a hair from the bun on your head. The touch makes you blush slightly. He is only gentle because he tries to get you to do his bidding. You know him well enough to see through the strategy. It would be easy to just turn your head and walk away, but you like your hair between his fingers, you’ve always liked it. “I had ice cream, but now I’d really want dessert”, he purrs into your ear. Gojo hadn’t even bothered making much small talk with you before getting to the point.
This is how it had been from the beginning. Before the day he ended up actually injured in your infirmary you had only ever heard stories of the man with the six eyes. The god in human form, not only strong beyond compare, but also handsome on nobody else's level. He was legendary. So many rumours were flying around about him. Some said he must have a foreign parent to explain his height and his silky, white hair. Others said that he must be half curse, otherwise his power and his looks would be incomprehensible. Most of all though your female friends talked about his exploits. Gojo Satoru liked sex. He liked it a lot. He’d get any woman he’d want and he’d only ever want them one time.
One after another of your friends was given the privilege of being with this human god and they would tell you stories of how it went. Nobody ever complained. Gojo left only satisfied customers behind. Apparently he knew what he was doing. It made you curious about him. Not that you really needed sex, but there was no reason to not at least try it once. “You taste the Six Eyed one time and you’re addicted for life”, one of your coworkers was saying with a dreamy look on her face. “However, you only get one taste, one time.” The power he still held over these women that had “tasted” him was terrifyingly huge, but still, you also wanted a taste.
Then one day there he was. He walked in, hair turned up and blindfold wrapped around his head. He had only minor injuries and when you asked him why he hadn’t healed them himself a big grin appeared on his face: “I was totally beat, plus I would have never seen that our nurse is so hot in her little outfit.” You weren’t easy to be caught off guard, but he had still managed to do it within minutes of meeting you. You had heard that Gojo was a flirt, but this was a direct way of flirting you were not used to.
After you had taken the time to look at all his little bruises - some of them already healing before you even got to them- he suddenly got up, gripped your wrist and pulled you closer to him. “We haven’t had sex before, have we?”, he asked and again his direct way of doing things took you by surprise. “N-no”, you said, unsure how to react in this situation. “Do you want to?”, he hummed into your ear and you could feel yourself aroused at the idea of it. It was all so very sudden, but you had always wanted to taste the Six Eyed. So, why not?
So you found yourself with your mouth around his cock, taking it in as far as you could. He would not let you touch him otherwise, not to stroke his leg or even hold yourself on his knees. This is how you found out how the limitless technique of his worked and that he could restrict your movement around him as much as he pleased. He pulled your hair tighter each time he enjoyed a movement of your tongue, and you loved it. You swallowed all of what he gave you, exactly as he requested and after he had pulled his pants back up all he gave you was a pat on the head: “Sorry, I need to go somewhere else, Sweets, but I will get back to you, I promise. This was not the real thing.” And out he was, just like that. You were forced to lock your office to give yourself some relief.
It was only about a week later when he hit you up with an email, probably getting your address from one of his students, who more often came to visit you (fights between students was a usual occurrence and they always needed some sort of patching up), asking for your apartment place and number. Of course, someone like him was not gonna let someone like you into his own private space, but you shook your head at his request anyway. Gojo wasn’t even buying you courtesy dinner first, he was just getting straight to the point. Well, you had already decided to go through with it all, so you sent him the address. Every fiber of your being was excited for the night.
He came an hour later than he said he would, you offered him a beer, and in this way found out he wasn’t drinking alcohol at all, but he didn’t want anything. “I just had food”, he explained, “and I very much like to have dessert now.” The way he pronounced the word made his intention behind it very clear. This whole situation weirdly raised your excitement. He wasn’t even pretending to care about you personally, he was just here for one thing. Truly, he was a predator trying to eat you alive.
You tried to unbutton his shirt, but could not touch him, instead he did it himself. He was clearly in control even if you were the one on the receiving end this time. None of your friends had been lying about his qualities. His touch between your legs drove you crazy, filling you with pleasure through fingers and tongue touch alone. You wanted to pull his hair the way he did with you, you wanted to scratch his back bleeding, but he would not let your hands close to him until he threw a condom at you. It was like being handcuffed without handcuffs.
When he finally inserted himself in you it felt like he was rewarding you. His eyes behind his sunglasses, that he hadn’t even taken off for you, watched your pleasure with intense pride. Gojo really was an asshole, but your brain was too foggy to be angry at him. He thrusted into you, until you were completely out of breath, unable to say or think anything, but his name. Satoru. He ordered you to say it out loud and you complied: Satoru. It was like he filled up your entire being, head to toe. Once you taste the Six Eyed you are addicted for life.
“I knew you’d taste sweet”, he said, licking his lips as he prepared to leave your apartment. During it all he hadn’t even taken his shirt fully off. You wished he had allowed you to also taste these lips, but no, he had not kissed you. He had bit you, he had used his tongue between your hips, but no kiss. Frustrating. You wondered if he never did that or if it was just you. And then he left and took with him all the heat of the night. Part of you wished he had stayed to just be close to you, although it had always been clear that he would give you one night only. So you went back to your regular business, you told your friends about your one night of fun and got back to work. This had been the arrangement from the beginning. Gojo was moving on to other women now.
Technically this is how the story should have ended, as it had with so many of your female friends and colleagues, but Gojo Satoru had a mind of his own and so it didn’t take more than 2 weeks until he messaged you again, this time quite late in the evening. “I want some more dessert”, he wrote and you knew exactly what it meant. Of course, you let him come over. “I thought you only do those things one time with a woman,” you asked him as he carefully unbuckled what was probably an incredibly expensive designer belt, but he just waved the question away. Then he bound your hands together with his blindfold, which gave you your first real look at his deep, ice blue eyes. It was like you were being hypnotized.
For the next 6 or so months this is how you came to be regularly fucked senseless by the strongest jujutsu sorcerer in the world. Satoru came by every few days when he was in Tokyo either to your apartment or to your office. He usually called him his dessert or did similar puns about sweets. You liked it, you wanted it to continue, he loved sweet things after all. You couldn’t help but wonder, however, why he wasn’t kissing you. Why weren't you allowed to take the lead? And, if you were the dessert, who was the main meal? Thinking about these things led you nowhere and as soon as he was with you again - in you again - you forgot about them immediately. Hopelessly addicted. For some reason you decided to keep these visits to yourself. For all your friends knew, you only had had him one time.
Your out happened only about 5 weeks ago. On a friday night you found yourself alone in your apartment waiting for Satoru to call on you, but he never did. To be available for him you had cancelled on a friend's birthday party this very evening and then he didn’t even show up. Not like he had said he would. You suddenly got very aware of the fact that he was not bound to you, that he had nothing to answer for if he wasn’t coming over and that you were the only one that cancelled plans to be free for him. Gojo Satoru might not be able to fall in love, but you definitely were. By morning you made up your mind to end it. You could have talked to him personally to tell him all this, but you worried he might just seduce you again with just the look in his eyes and so you chickened out and just sent him a text message. He did not reply, but he also didn’t call on you again.
So now you had spent the last week aggressively trying to not think about him and managed well enough to go on with your daily life without him. You only came to this party because your friends pushed you to come and because you -falsely- assumed he would hold himself back in public. Clearly that is not the case.
Gojo pulls another strain of hair out of your bun, completely pulling you back to reality. “Uh”, you say, stalling for time. His finger is still playing with a strain of your hair. Keep a level head, you force yourself. How can you get out of this situation? You look around once more and spot Nanami walking in your general area. You know him. He is often injured and needs support. Plus, he is very nice and cordial. This is your chance to get away.
“Nanami-san”, you jump forward to catch Nanami’s arm to have an excuse to leave your table, and Gojo with it, behind. He turns around in surprise, looking from you to your arm clutching his and back to you. “Oh, are your wounds doing better?”, you ask to explain your odd behavior and he moves his muscle slightly to show he can do it without pain. “Yes”, he says in his silent, calm voice and even though he still seems confused by your actions, he does not ask further questions. Yes, Nanami is a good person. You walk away with him and dare not look over your shoulder to Gojo. Who knows, maybe you’d get hypnotized by his eyes again.
Nanami takes you over to the refreshments table and offers you another glass of wine. You accept happily. If there is one way to get through the day it is definitely by being drunk. Nanami is not the type of guy who would take advantage of a drunk woman and he would also not just let you go away with Gojo if you weren’t of clear mind. It was probably best to stay close here. So you do. And meanwhile you down another glass of wine and another, and another, and one more. Ah, the wonderful feeling of alcohol fogging up your brain. Before you know it the ground beneath you feels uneven. “Is everything okay with you?” Nanami, who has until just now talked to a colleague you don’t know, is throwing you a concerned look. Really, such a good person. You smile back: “I think I just need to step out for a second.” You gesture to the school building and whisper: “Toilet” then giggle at yourself.
Tomorrow you will quite possibly be embarrassed by your behaviour, but right now you can’t really help yourself. You stagger back to the building, trying your hardest to not seem as tipsy as you are and find yourself in the toilet. Everything spins a little as you sit down on the toilet seat. Shit. “I might have overdone it”, you think. What might Satoru be doing right now? Did he find another girl to fuck? Probably, you conclude and before you can scold yourself for it, you feel bitter and jealous about it. Whatever. He is an asshole and you are better than him.
You leave the bathroom and before you can make two steps forward you crash into an immovable black wall. Has this wall been here before? You look up and realise that you did not in fact walk into a wall at all. It is a person. You follow the large chest up the neck and over the sunglasses to the white hair. Of all people you could have run into in this situation it is Satoru! You take a step back, but fall over your feet. “Uh, slowly there”, he laughs as he catches your arm to save you from falling down. “Did you drink?” That fucking grin on his face. The way he holds your arm. The fact that he is so close. You hate it all. Hate, hate, hate. Or whatever.
“Excuse me, sir”, you say overly formal and wiggle your arm out of his grip. Before you can step aside and once again escape out of Satoru’s reach he has moved forward and smashed his hand into the wall next to you. The sound makes you take a step back, leaning against the toilet door now. Once again you are trapped like a prey he is trying to hunt. And once again it kind of excites you, even though you know it shouldn’t. Obviously, he did not really punch the wall with his hand. Instead he had his infinity crash with the brickwall and then after putting his hand down.
Satoru leans forward to you, his head towering over yours, and grumbles: “I did not appreciate the way you tried to make me jealous before.” You huff at that: “I can talk with whoever I want”
“I don't like sharing”, he continues, as if he hasn’t heard your retord. “You don’t own me”, you snap back. His eyes behind the glasses narrow. He put his hand into a fist: “Fine. You win. What do you want?”
“What? What do you mean?” You have to put your head into your neck to be able to look up into his face. No idea what he is referring to, you think. Alcohol is hammering in the back of your mind. He licks his lips. “What do you want so I can have dessert again?” Oh? Oh! He is desperate. Desperate for you. Now this is exciting. This is great. For the first time you are in the driving seat. “I want you to turn your limitless technique off”, you order and can’t help but smile triumphantly.
Satoru takes a step back so he can look closer at you. He searches your face for something you can’t place, but you feel your insides shiver at the way his blue eyes look all over you. “You try to kill me or something? Are you a hired assassin?”, he asks, eyebrow raised. He is just trying to find an excuse not to do it, you think. “Can’t you feel that I don’t have that killing intent?”, you reply back. He sighs. “Fine”, he says again. “Fine?” You can’t believe he actually agreed to do it. “Yes, come here”, he rolls his eyes a little, seemingly annoyed.
Slowly, as if you still can’t comprehend what you and especially what he just agreed to, you raise your hands and touch him. You crawl your fingers in his shirt, overwhelmed by euphoria about the win you just scored for yourself. There might have been a voice in the back of your mind which would have reminded you that you really didn’t want to sleep with him again. How hard it was to get him out of your system, but this voice had been thoroughly silenced by alcohol.
Fearing that he might change his mind any minute now you take one hand and reach into his hair. You need to stand on your tiptoes to even reach his head (god, how can he be so tall?) and then you pull his head down to you and finally, finally, you can press your lips on his. You’ve kissed before, other guys, but nothing compares to this. Just like no other sex had compared to the one you’d have with him. His lips are exactly as soft as you expected and when his tongue touches yours you can taste the sweetness of it. He probably ate something sweet, unhealthy again. Even after the big ice cream. You move with your hand through his hair and he uses one hand on your back. It is clear that he likes your touch as much as you enjoy his. Why had he never allowed this before?
Somehow he finds the door handle behind you and head spinning, thoughts foggy and lust rising inside you like a hot vulcano, you both stagger back into the toilet. He locks the door behind himself, then he kisses you again, hands on your face and your hands fly to his shirt. Better to get him out these clothes quickly, you think. Once again he is filling up your entire being. This is how it is to be an addict. You only feel good when you get your drug again.
Then, as you try to open his shirt buttons you can feel Satoru’s hesitation. He pulls away and takes a step back. “I’m not gonna destroy it. I will be careful”, you assure him. He shakes his head: “That's not it.”
“What is it then?”, you ask, curious to learn more about his weird little habits. It had been odd, that you had never been able to touch him before, after all. And you’d always wondered why. He walks past you and sits on the toilet seat. “Nothing”, his grin is back. “Open your hair.” You do as he says and pull the hair band out of your hair. “My turn,” you walk over to him and pull the sunglasses off his face, “No sunglasses. I want to be able to see your eyes.”
“Are you sure you might not just want to kill me?”, he moves his head to the side. “Maybe in different ways”, you retort and admire your courage. Alcohol might have made you weak to his advances, but at least it made you bold. “Come here”, he pulls you onto his lap. Your lips find his and the heat between you immediately returns. He pulls your shirt over your head and you unbutton his shirt as quickly, but carefully as you can. First the right and then the left arm you help him get out of it and then you finally see him shirtless in front of you. Such a day of first times.
You trail with your hand down his chest and he shivers as you pass a large scar. He licks your ear, moving his hands on your back to get rid of your bra. “I don’t like showing it to others”, he says, masterfully unhooking your bra so it falls loosely from your shoulders. “Makes me feel weak.” Never guessed there was anything that could make him feel weak, you think and peel your bra completely from your body. “Didn’t you kill the guy who did this to you?”, you ask, pressing your skin against his. It's a marvel that a man with such white hair and cold eyes can feel so warm. He grins at you: “Yes, I sliced that motherfucker up good.”
“So you are not weak. You should be proud of them.” Satoru humms in agreement and kisses from your jawline to your neck downwards to your breasts. You run your hands through his hair, along his scalp and can tell by the goosebumps on his neck that he enjoys your touch. He licks over your left nipple, touching the other with his fingertips. In these last 5 weeks without him you have often fantasized about something like this. Mostly in dreams when you had no opportunity to keep yourself in check. It was even sweeter now that it was reality again.
He sucks and licks your nipples until you feel hotter than you felt in the outside sun. Of course he notices the reaction this all has on you and with his usual shit eating grin he moves one hand down, touching your belly with long, pale fingers until he reaches the hemline of your skirt. “I like this skirt”, he murmurs into your ear. “It’s short enough to give me easy access.” One hand still on your breast he pulls down your panties just far enough so he can reach your sensitive parts.
You can’t stop yourself from softly moaning as his finger brushes over your clitoris. With directed force he rubs over you and you can feel the electricity pulsing through your body. “I see you wanted me after all”, he says, pulling his fingers back and forth over you. Yes, you had been wet for quite a while already. Being kissed, touched and licked by him had done its job. Also it had been a while now. And you really, really had missed him. Of course you had wanted him, who would not want someone like him. He was a god.
Knock knock. Someone knocked at the door. Does somebody know you are here? Has Nanami followed you? “Is this taking much longer?”, a voice asks through the door. Satoru, a hungry look on his face, now inserts two fingers into you. You gasp. What is he thinking! There is someone at the door. “Answer”, he whispers and begins moving his fingers in you. You can feel the heat rising. “Eh”, you speak up, trying hard not to sound too out of breath, “Yes, probably, I’m sorry. I had..”, you bite your lip to suppress a moan, “..too much wine.”
His movements intensify. You bite down hard on your lip to stop yourself from making too many sounds. The taste of blood is on your tongue. I hate him, you think. “I see,” is the reply from the person outside. “Don’t give us away”, Satoru whispers again, both hands now between your legs. One hand still inside you and the thumb of his other hand brushing up and down your clitoris. Ah, damn. He is such an asshole. You scratch over his back. “I wait then?” The person outside just doesn’t give up. Just leave, you implore him, but you can feel that he is still there.
“There are”, you say, breath heavy now, “some more down the hallway.” Your face and body run hot now, you can feel the feeling of your first orgasm coming in fast. “Just keep walking”, you press out and finally you can hear the person walk away. Satoru purrs into your ear again: “Well done. Want to be rewarded?” He increases his pace once more. “ Yes, please” , you beg and he gives it to you. Body twitching and pulsing you finally come around him. Biting down on his shoulder and hands in his hair you let the sensation fill you up and enjoy every second of it. He has done this to you before, but now that you can touch him it is so much better. “Good sweet girl,” he praises you, a grin still plastered on his face and part of you wants to hit him.
After a bit he pulls his fingers out and pushes you from his lap. Your body is still slightly pulsing from the orgasm, but you can stand upright. Your eyes meet his blue, cold, beautiful ones and you wonder why he had you get up. “Now I can do what I want”, he growls, again looking at you like you are the next meal to be devoured. Your eyes are still fixed on his. “Take that skirt off”, he orders, getting up, “and the underwear.” He towers over you now, eyes looking down on you and you follow his orders without further question. “Now,” he gestures to his pants, “you take this off.”
Under Satoru’s watchful eyes, the eyes that always see everything, you unbuckle his belt and pull down his pants. He is still wearing shoes so you just leave it hanging between his legs. His cock is now pressing against your face hard and ready for you. You lightly touch it with your fingertips, moving over the shaft that is already wet with precum. “What next?”, you ask, feeling all too at ease in your usual subordinate role. His eyes light up and he pulls a condom out of his pocket. As he used to, he throws it at you and with fast fingers you pull it over his cock. You’ve never seen a penis as beautiful as his, fitting to the rest of him.
He puts his hand under your jar and forces you to come back up to him. Kissing you once again he lets his fingers run over your back. He cups both of your ass cheeks into his hands and, to your surprise, lifts you up to push your back against the wall. The tiles behind you are cold against your naked skin, but it's a welcome cool. You stare at him, eyes now on the same level. He licks his lips. “Satoru, am I not to hea-”, you try to ask, but before you can even finish your sentence he has pushed himself inside of you.
You cling yourself around his neck, his lips on yours, as he slowly, but steadily thrusts inside you. It is easier for him to go deep inside you, as the wall prevents you from moving backwards yourself. Once again you are entirely locked between him and concrete. “I don’t appreciate when people take my sweet things from me”, he whispers against your lips, thrusting harder. It almost sounds like a threat. Every part of your body is now electrified, unable to do anything else but crawl your fingers in his hair. “I don’t want you to cut me off again”, he continues, increasing his pace. He is threatening you. The rational part of your brain knows that you should be alarmed about this behaviour, but unfortunately there is only one part of it active currently. And that one just screams Satoru at the top of it’s lungs. Your ears are ringing.
Satoru moves his head forward and sucks on your neck until it bruises. It’s like he is marking you. Harder and faster he is now moving his hips forward into you. Your breath is heavy, fast and you can’t keep the moans back. “Tell me, you won’t do it again.” Your eyes cross and you almost lose yourself in his. “Satoru..”, you begin, but he cuts you off: “Tell me.” Fuck, you think, fuck. Sex is just powerplay after all. His pace is now almost unbearably fast and you can feel your second orgasm of the day approaching fast. His eyes stare yours down. How to say no to this? How could anyone. “I won’t cut you off again”, you reply dutifully and he thrusts so deep in you that you almost scream out.
“Right answer, Sweets”, he grins, eyes shining at you. “Now do you want me to push you over the edge?” He slows down. Leaving you right before the finish line. “Yes”, you press out, breath too heavy to speak clearly. “Say my name. The way I like it.”
“ Please, Satoru”, you beg once more and then finally he speeds up once more. “Fuck yeah, that’s what I’m talking about”, he purrs into your ear and kisses you. When his lips touch yours it finally throws you off the edge. Your body feels like it is exploding. Heat rising from the center to every tip. A squeaky sound escapes your mouth. You open your eyes slightly and can see his eyes watching you again. Unable to keep your head on your twitching, pulsing body you throw it on his shoulder.
You lick his neck and his ear, enjoying the waves of pleasure his movements send through your body. Breathing into his ear you let out a moan, unconsciously helping him climax himself. He speeds up into you one last time and with a long Ahh, finally comes too. You can feel his cock moving inside you, filling up the condom to burst. Satoru slows down his thrusts, riding the sensation out while trying to also catch his own breath and then you kiss again. His soft lips gentle on yours. You wonder if there could ever be anything sweeter than the way he tastes.
He carefully pulls himself out before letting you down. You can’t believe that he held you up for this long. Did his power give him unlimited strength too? As he turns around to throw the condom in a tiny trashcan next to the sink you can see the carnage your fingernails have left on his back. You’d always wanted to scratch him bloody and now you finally have. You feel oddly satisfied at the outlook.
Quicker dressed as you can even scout for your clothes he is already buttoning his shirt when you are just about to put your skirt back on. “I go out first”, he nods with his head to the door, “You can go after me. Wait 10 to 15 mins.” For a moment you wonder why that would be necessary, but then it comes back to you. You are at the school, there is a garden party going on. There were so many people outside! And you just had sex in the toilet. Classy. “I need to fix my hair anyway”, you say absentmindedly, watching him straighten his shirt out.
“So I will call you”, he says, already fiddling with the door handle. “When?”, you ask, naively hoping anything had changed about him. “Sometime when I’m hungry again”, he grins. He unlocks the door, but before he steps out he instead walks back to you, presses your chin up with his right hand and kisses you once more. “This was fun.” His eyes hiding behind the sunglasses again. Then he is out, the door closing behind him.
Again he had left you alone to deal with his aftermath. Like a wildfire he comes and goes, leaving nothing but burned ash behind. What had even been the point of walking out on him? You were so easily reeled back in. A fish on his hook. Hopelessly attached the heat in his icy eyes. Once you’ve tasted the Six Eyed you are addicted for life.
You make me wanna die - I’ll never be good enough - and everytime I look inside your eyes - you make me wanna die
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What is 1D Song Fest?
A fest for fics based on One Direction song titles, lyrics, and music videos!
It’s been ten years since 1D released their first album, and what better way to celebrate than with a fest?! With almost a hundred songs to choose from, there are many fics just waiting to be written!
Modded by @larry-hiatus
All the info you need is below!
Only songs originally recorded by One Direction are allowed. This means:
No solo songs
No covers (the only exception to this is if the fic is based on the music video for One Way or Another)
No songs written by them but recorded by someone else
Songs that are allowed:
Anything off of the five albums
“Extra” songs like Na Na Na or Another World
Leaked/unreleased songs like Just Can’t Let Her Go and Half the World Away
Any of their official music videos
Prompts can be based on a specific lyric, the entire song, or the music video. Here are some examples to give you a better idea of what this means:
Based on the Infinity lyric, “How many nights does it take to count the stars?” Harry and his boyfriend Niall have a tradition of laying under the stars every Saturday of summer and seeing how many constellations they can find.
Based on the music video for Drag Me Down, Liam and Louis are astronauts about to go into space on their first mission.
Based on the song Through the Dark, Zayn helps Harry deal with his recently developed depression.
You can be as creative as you would like when coming up with prompts and writing fics. You can follow the song/video very closely or just use part of it for inspiration. As long as the relationship to the song can be identified, you can come up with whatever you’d like!
Multiple prompts per song are allowed as long as they are different enough. For example, based off of the music video for Night Changes, you could have the prompt, “Harry breaks his arm ice skating and falls in love with the cute paramedic Louis,” as well as, “Zayn takes Liam to the carnival, and Liam tries really hard to win him every prize.”
It would be ideal to stay away from multiple uses of the same idea, so we wouldn’t want two fics based on Liam at the carnival, even if they took a different approach. If you really want to write your own prompt that you think is similar to one that has already been submitted, feel free to message me, and we’ll see what we can do.
You can write any pairing or even no pairing as long as the fic contains at least one of the five boys, Harry, Louis, Liam, Niall, and/or Zayn. Girl Direction, smut, omegaverse, polyamory, and trans characters are all allowed if you wish!
This fest is for people 18+ only. The fics will not be moderated, and any content is allowed to be written as long as it is appropriately tagged on AO3.
The word count minimum is 2k and there is no maximum. You can write multiple fics, but please make sure you can handle the extra load. Co-writing fics is also allowed.
Your fic title does not need to include the song title or lyrics that inspired you, but it can if you want it to!
Having your fic betaed is preferred. Links to beta and Britpicker lists will be posted at a later time.
Please only submit completed fics. If you need to drop out or you would like an extension, please send a message to let me know. I understand that things can happen.
The fest is not anonymous, so feel free to share snippets and other fun WIP posts. Tag @1dsongfest if you want me to share your post!
Communication about the fest will happen on Tumblr instead of email, so keep an eye on your messages after you sign up. You can send asks or private messages with your questions, and I will be happy to answer them for you!
November 2 to November 16: Prompt submissions
November 18 (the tenth anniversary of 1D’s first album release!): Author signups open
*Closing date for author signups is to be determined*
March 26: Fics due
March 28: Authors will be told what day their fic will be revealed
March 30: Fics begin posting
Feel free to share this post! I appreciate it :)
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PLSS Fake dating with Kakashi with Prompts 40 and 51🥺🥺🥺
AN: Here you go 🤗 Hope you like it 🥰
51. "This is a one time thing, got it?"
40. "No, like... It’s just, I can’t believe you’re actually wearing my clothes.”
Helping a friend
When Kakashi came to you asking for help you would never have imagined what he truly asked for. "ok, let me get this straight... You want me to act as your girlfriend for the weekend because your ex is in the village?" You studied the ninja in front of you as you still prossesed the information he had given you. "Yes, and the students overheard it too.. Meaning they will also be lurking around.." Kakashi sighed, as he looked over it allready. "and you think one weekend is enough, maybe for you ex.. But your genins Hatake are known to be presistant when it comes to theese kind of things.." You sighed.. Of all the things your friend could have asked for, this was the worst. "I know.. But you know how to change your looks a little, like you did on the mission we did back in the hidden grass"
You groaned a bit as you remembered that mission. "This is a one time thing, got it?" You looked at him and made sure he understood the warning in your voice. "I promise I will not ask for this again." You nodded as you noticed he shifted in his seat, clearly uncomfortable about this whole situation. "Ok, I will come over tonight, and stay for the weekend.. Just know from the moment you open the door I will be in characther" Undercover missions were your specialty, soo at least kakashi were lucky having a friend in that field. "ok, I will be ready to see you around 7? And you don't need to change your apperance too much.. If anyone asks later we just broke up" With that he left your appartment.. Soo much for getting drunk this weekend.
At least he gave you some hours to pack, and all.. And figuring out how to play your role.. You knew Kakashi fairly well.. But you had never seen a romantic side from that man ever.. Which trying to figure out a good girlfriend persona for him would be harder the more you thought about it. In the end all you could to was just follow his lead.. That was the most logical solution you could find, that didn't make you frustrated. Maybe this was harder than you first thought afterall..
When you got everything ready and packed you started to leave for his appartment. You decided to go for your own apperance for this little weekend mission.. People always took you for a cupple anyway, so better go with the safe option. When you got close to his appartment you could feel someone was watching you.. Apperantly his students were as stubborn as you thought they would be. With a small sigh you knocked on his appartment door, getting ready to see how he would behave since his students were around. When Kakashi opened the door you were met with the typichal smile of his before he took your hand and pulled you inside. "The students are lurking?" he tilted his head before you followed behind him to the livingroom. "offcourse, isn't that a part of the package?" You teased, knowing very well Kakashi's experience with kids were minimal, and he often asked for help when it came to understand them.
"How would I know? Still getting used to it all" he chuckled and shaked his head before dragging you over to the couch. "But It is fun that they think I can't sense them in the three outside my window" He pulled you up on his lap, which was suprising at first.. But atleast you were able to hold yourself calm. Your head rested on his shoulder like it was something you normally did, as he took out his book and started to read.
"don't fall asleep on me now.." He spoke after a long time making you open your eyes. "It has been a long week, and I didn't know you were going to be this warm and comfortable" The way his eye closed let you know he was having a smirk on his face, he was really going to tease you about this in the later. "I am going to take a shower, maybe you would be kind and make us some tea while I do that?" kakashi perked your lips with his masked ones, making you actually blush a bit.. Atleast when you didn't feel like anyone were spying anymore, and he still pretended the relationship thing. "I can do that, just going to put my bag away" you got up from his lap and grabbed the bag before walking thowards his bedroom, not missing the chuckle that was heard from the livingroom, the game was on.
He wanted to play the relationship game, well then he was gonna get it. You know how to be a perfect girlfriend if you wanted to. You waited until you heard he had left for the bathroom, before going throught his closet, finding some of his comfy clothes you knew he wore from time to time and changed into them. You looked at yourself in the mirror and decided to drop the pants of his as you looked better in his faveourite shirt anyway.. You put the pyjamas shorts on underneath and walked back to the kitchen to make the tea. He was really gonna have a suprise when he came back out.
You hummed softly as prepared everything, and got done just in time for him to walk out. Kakashi looked almost confused as he had on the typichal black top with no arms and his jonin pants. "The tea is ready" You smiled for yourself as you could hear his sudden stop. You looked over and tilted your head a bit, noticing how he stared at you. "Everything alright?" the teaseing in your voice were hard to hide as you could see his cheeks turn pink. "No, like... It’s just, I can’t believe you’re actually wearing my clothes.” He kept looking at you, before walking over, but not to grab the tea, no.. He wrapped a arm around your waist and pulled you close to him as he leaned down." I kind of like it, It looks good on you" He whispered into your ear. "The weekend has just started, Hatake" It was on, if you both couldn't act like a cupple in his appartment, no way any of you would fool anyone in the village. At least it seemed like you both could suprise eachother soo far.
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Anderperry Week Day Two - Blind Date
Heres day two! Idk how I feel about this one, I think its fun but I do think I could've done a little more with it, but nonetheless enjoy!
Tags! @aedan-mills @cupiiid @maisietheweltoncow @justarandompjofan @mentalthisone @iguanamuppet (does this @ work?)
Summary: Blind dates are already awkward, but when you’ve spent the entire week complaining about the other to their face? Well, that's a slightly different story.
“And our final pair for this project is Mr Anderson and Mr Perry.” Keating said, walking around the room. He stopped at the front of the class. “Well, mingle with your partners!”
Todd turned, Neil Perry practically appearing at his side. He didn’t know Neil very well, but he was well liked. He was sorta like Jeff - a golden boy.
“Hey.” Neil said.
“When are you free to start the project?” Neil asked, leaning against Todd’s desk.
“Um. Tomorrow? Around five?” Todd said, shoving his books into his bag.
“Cool! I’ll see you in the library tomorrow at 5:30?”
Todd nodded. “Sounds good. See you.”
“Charlie! Why would you do that!” Neil groaned, flopping onto his back. “I didn’t consent to this!”
“Okay, maybe I should’ve asked if you wanted to go on a blind date, but you’ll love the guy! You guys are perfect together.” Charlie replied, crossing their arms. “Like, it's some soulmate bullshit.”
“You don’t get to decide that, Charlie!’
Charlie snorted. “I do when your love life is about as successful as your career as a doctor.”
“Shut up.” Neil sighed. “Who even is this guy?”
“Well, that defeats the purpose of it being a BLIND date, doesn’t it, Neil?”
Neil rolled his eyes at them. “Can’t you tell me anything? At all?”
Charlie stared at him. “Will you shut up if I do?”
Charlie shrugged. “I don’t know… he's in our year.”
“Wow, thanks. That narrows it down.” Neil hated his friends.
“Cameron! I can’t do that!” Todd stressed, pacing around the room.
“You can.” Cameron responded, not looking up from his textbook.
“No, I can’t!” Todd said. “I can’t just go on a date with a complete stranger.”
Cameron shrugged. “Well, you are.”
“No, I’m not.” Todd shook his head.
“Yes, you are. It’ll be fine.”
“Do I even know this guy?”
Cameron hummed. “I don’t think so? Maybe you know of him?”
“What's he even like?”
“Well, he's pretty loud.”
Todd rolled his eyes. “Ugh.”
“Hey, Todd.” Neil smiled, sitting down across from Todd. “Ready to work on the project?”
“I’m glad I’m paired with you, English extraordinaire.” Neil laughed.
Todd chuckled nervously. “Thanks. I’m just glad to get a chance to clear my head.”
“What's up?” Neil asked.
“It's nothing. My friend sorta set me up on a blind date and I hate it.”
“Oh, god. Same.”
Todd blinked. “Jeez. What a coincidence.”
Neil laughed. “Yeah, both our friends suck and we need new ones.”
“Definitely.” Todd nodded. “It's just- the guy they set me up with seems like. Not my type.”
“Why? Isn’t the point of a blind date that you, y’know. Go in blind?” Neil said. “At least, that's what my friend said. They’re terrible.”
“Yeah yeah. I know, but like. Apparently he's loud?” Todd shook his head. “I don’t know how to deal with loud people.”
“Yeah, I get that. Apparently mine is in our year. Which again, my friend is terrible, because that gives me absolutely nothing.” Neil rested his head against his hand.
Todd hummed. “Well, don’t our friends seem like a match made in hell.”
Neil’s eyes lit up. “Oh my god, when our blind dates absolutely crash and burn, we should set them up. Uno reverse card them.”
Todd laughed. “Oh, that sounds great.”
“That sounds terrible.” Neil deadpanned, sitting on Charlie’s couch. “Like- in public? At a cafe? With some guy in our year I don’t know?”
“Neil, please stop whining.”
“Tell me more about this guy and I’ll consider it.” Neil bargained.
Charlie flipped him off. “Fine. Hes… hes… hes an absolute nerd.”
Neil furrowed his eyebrows. “How so?”
“Can’t say.” They replied.
“I hate you.”
“You love me.”
Neil sunk in his seat. “Not for long.”
Cameron spun around in his seat. “Todd, will you stop worrying if I give you more information?”
“No promises.” Todd responded.
Cameron scoffed. “Well, he's popular.”
“If you set me up with a jock this friendship is over.” Todd threatened.
“Well, it's a good thing he's not a jock then.”
“Mm. I might still end our friendship depending on who this guy ends up being.”
Cameron spun back around. “Trust me, Todd. You two are gonna hit it off.”
“I’ll believe it when it happens.”
“And like, a popular guy? Have you met me?” Todd complained, sitting across from Neil in the library. “He's gonna think I’m such a loser.”
“You’re not a loser, Todd.” Neil said.
“At least you think that.” Todd sighed. “Any news on your date?”
“All I got was that he's a nerd, which, once again, doesn’t give me much to work with.” Neil sighed. “I just hope he doesn’t think I’m an idiot.”
Todd shrugged. “Well, you’re not an idiot.”
“Thanks Todd, hopefully my date thinks that too.” Neil shook his head. “Anyway, so. What poet do we wanna look at for this project?”
Neil was getting really sick of Charlie Dalton, which wasn’t the most uncommon thing in the world. They kept telling Neil vague, very random traits about his blind date and honestly, it was becoming a nuisance. He didn’t want to go on a date with somebody who at the moment, was just a concept made of weird, out of context ideas.
“Wear the green sweater.” Charlie said, smoking a cigarette.
“I will. One thing about this terrible day has to be good, and maybe if this blind date goes wrong at least I’ll be wearing my favourite sweater.” Neil huffed, fixing his hair in the mirror.
Charlie sighed, sitting up. “Look, Neil. I think that you’re being really negative right now and you’ve just gotta trust me.”
“The last time I just trusted you we were almost arrested for breaking and entering.” Neil deadpanned.
“It was my house!” Charlie complained. “Whatever, Neil. Just have an open mind about this, okay? I really think you’re gonna like this guy.”
“Whatever you say.” Neil rolled his eyes. He needed to get Charlie a hobby that wasn’t trying to ruin Neil’s love life.
Todd really didn’t know why Cameron thought this would be a good idea. His blind date sounded like Todd’s complete opposite, and not in a compatible way, which didn’t bode well. He trusted Cameron, of course, but the closer and closer to the day of the blind date, the more and more he was starting to worry.
“Todd, stop messing with your hair. You look fine.” Cameron said, not even looking up from his homework.
Todd shot him a look. “I’m stressed, Cameron. You’ve set me up on a date with a complete stranger and you’re expecting me to, what? Be calm?”
“I’m expecting you to give him a chance. If you get to know him, I’m sure you two will get along great!” Cameron exclaimed. “I wouldn’t set you up with an asshole, Todd.”
“I know you wouldn’t, I’m worried I’ll screw it up.”
“You won’t.” He said. “I’m telling you, you two are made for each other.”
“I hope you’re right. If this goes wrong, I’m naming Pitts my new best friend.” Todd messed around with his hair as Cameron laughed.
When they both entered the cafe and saw each other, the dots connected immediately.
Neil laughed, approaching Todd. “Oh my god. We’re stupid, huh?”
Todd smiled. “Yeah, yeah we really are.”
“Holy shit, we’ve been trash talking each other, to each other.” Neil realised. “All week.”
“Oh, oh yeah. We’re really stupid.” Todd snorted. "Like, incredibly dumb."
“So, after this date… wanna set up Charlie and your friend?” Neil reached out his hand.
“Definitely.” Todd laughed, taking Neil’s hand.
Maybe blind dates weren't so bad.
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IM IN SHAMBLES OVER EVIE 😭😭 She's so cuteee
Ahhhh just imagining her interactions with the other nxx members 🥺
Her having Very Serious conversations with vyn about what's the better dinosaur, helping artem with cooking and learning to cook from him, wanting to be just like MC when she grows up so sometimes imitating MC's mannerisms and outfits.
And Marius is just a big child himself, they would have SO MUCH FUN teasing each other and Marius letting her play in his studio with his art stuff afahsjsks
Idk theyre JUST ONE BIG HAPPY FAMILY 😭🥺
sorry for rambling so much ASFSHSJS pls take ur time and looking forward to this whenever you write it! :) have a great day!
irt to my 4895834th fanfic idea where luke has an adopted daughter
same disclaimer: dont take this idea and write it. my idea. imma do a full fic of this when god allows me to.
HI SNAKE!! im glad u think evie is cute, i actually love writing kids despite the fact i havent been in speaking proximity of a child in a very very very long time (i think i held a baby two years ago? that baby liked me, he hit my face while laughing a LOT) BUT YES YES YES EXAAAAACTLY!!!!
hhhhh like luke in this au would be so worried protective over evie. but also hes SO PROUD OF HER. so hes torn between yelling at everybody in the grocery store "HAVE YOU SEEN MY DAUGHTER WHO IS SO AMAZING AND THE BEST THING IN MY LIFE??" or wrapping evie in 5km of bubble wrap. he loves the nxx investigation team but if anybody 1) is mean to her or 2) does not like her, luke pearce is going to go feral
thankfully in this au, the team LOVE HER TO BITS. AND ALL THOSE SCENES U SAID MAKE MY HEART MELT INTO HAPPY GOO!!!
vyn would be so kind and gentle, a little sneaky tho, getting evie to really develop the argument for her candidate of best dinosaur. also evie likes stealing vyn's glasses and going all "ooooohhh vyn your eyes are so bad!!! how do you even see without these!!!" and vyn would let her run off with his glasses, fondly resigned to losing the ability to read for a while
artem does NOT let her go near the stove or the the knives or anything that can possibly hurt a human being until she's like, 12 years old at least, but she does like sitting on the counter and playing taste tester ("artem, dont tell dad but...your cooking tastes a loooooot better...can you teach him too?") but artem has been scolded by luke for ruining evie's apetite. artem CANT SAY NO TO HER!! shes like "taste test, please!" and artem gives her so many bites that shes not hungry for the actual meal anymore.
MARIUS IS BASICALLY BIG BROTHER TO EVIE!!! SO MUCH TEASING!!! it's because of marius that evie learns some snark and bite (and luke suffers that from her now, WHY, MARIUS, WHY DID U TEACH MY DAUGHTER THE WAYS OF TAME ASSHOLE-ERY??) and yep yep yep she gets her hands in his paints and makes a MESS. marius is so happy
and PLSSSS mc bringing evie to the law firm because luke is busy with a thing and evie DEMANDS to have an outfit like mc so that shes office ready!!! mc sends luke pictures and luke starts crying
sometimes a family is 2 attorneys, a psychiatrist, a ceo, a super spy, and a very happy little evie
(oh and peanut!!!)
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Hey, do you think everything about Outsiders vol 3 (Dick’s run as the leader) was completely in character? I personally see his asshole behaviour as extremely in character and wouldn’t expect anything else, but...not his leadership.
I think he would not take on any team, regardless of them being strangers, and that if he did he would be MORE careful and not less. (Mostly because he’s been a leader for a long time, great at compartmentalising and has always been stressed about being responsible for others lives and I don’t think those things would just disappear when people he cares for die). Like, he would still be a jerk and isolate himself but also plan ahead more and take the least risks possible (which would make him a worse leader than usual but not a downright bad one).
Idk just wondered how you see it.
Yeah, I actually view BOTH his time with the Outsiders and his time with the 1999 Titans lineup as being a case of like....characters configured into situations the editors and writers want them in, regardless of whether that makes sense for them at that particular point in time.
Tbh, I hate Dick being leader of both those lineups, and don't think he should have been on either team at those times, period. And I agree that his behavior in those periods made sense for all the shit he'd been through and was currently going on in his life, and like most importantly....
HE DIDN'T WANT TO BE THERE.
He repeatedly kept TELLING people he didn't want to be there, and that it wasn't a good time for him at EITHER point, and people who claim to know him best kept GUILTING and flat out manipulating him into being there, insisting they were doing so because it was for his own good, and they knew what he needed to snap him out of his funks, etc, etc....
EXCEPT THEN THEY KEPT GETTING MAD AT HIM FOR BEING MOODY AND AN ASSHOLE AND Y'KNOW.....NOT WANTING TO BE THERE.
Its like....hey guys, HE TOLD YOU. What did you expect? Its the same issue I have with the classic fight with Donna in NTT #19, where even if you leave aside the fact that he was brainwashed at the time, something that's always grinded my gears is how their fight takes place at Dick's apartment and before it escalates, Dick REPEATEDLY asks Donna to leave, and even tries to leave HIMSELF - from his OWN apartment - because he KNEW he wasn't in the right frame of mind to have the conversation or argument she wanted to have at that particular time.
And people NEVER listen to him! They never let him like have the definitive word on what HE needs, WHEN he needs it and what his needs look like.
And that bugs sooooo much, especially when coupled with how much flack he gets for being manipulative like Bruce or doing what he thinks is best without regard for what others are feeling or want.
Its like....if you're going to hold that against him, it needs to be acknowledged that people do this to him too, like ALL THE TIME. Including his closest friends like Donna, Wally and Roy.....with Wally being the one who pressured Dick to join back up with the Titans, after he'd literally been FORCED OUT of the group before the disbanding of the previous version, and like, still very much was not over all the deaths and injuries that had occurred during Titans Hunt, so reminiscent of previous disastrous events like Judas Contract and the Church of Blood......but Wally was CONVINCED that what Dick needed was to be back with the team again, back where he belonged, and he refused to listen when Dick repeatedly said he was under too much stress and pressure as is.
And like, Wally's intentions were good, but they have very different views of their times with the Titans because Wally has NEVER been in a position of leadership there! There's always been someone else to pass the buck off to when things go wrong, but there isn't that possibility with Dick! It stops with him, and he's always owned that.....which means like....joining back up with the Titans isn't a fun stress relief adventure time with old friends like Wally was picturing it as.....its stressful! Its life or death! Its the lives of his friends in DICK'S hands with nobody else to blame when shit goes south, as it always does.
And Dick KNOWS that, AND he knows his limitations, and so he tried to bow out gracefully from all that, but Wally kept pressuring him, made a big deal about only joining the team himself if Dick joined back up and acted like HE needed it for himself, and even though Dick CALLED him on this being bullshit and a blatant manipulation tactic, Dick still eventually joined up.....and just as he knew, Wally quit to focus on his family and the JLA within like ten issues, the second he was confident that Dick was at this point too INVESTED in the team to bail on it once Wally was gone.
And that's really shitty, tbh. And its not on Wally the character in the sense that they played it that way - the writers - because they wanted Dick back in the driver's seat of the Titans, but like.....the end result is still the end result, y'know? The takeaway is still that Dick was basically manipulated into taking up a job he no longer wanted, BECAUSE of how shit had blown up in his face with it before, and BECAUSE of how much else he had going on, and he KNEW it wasn't what he actually needed....but everyone else made it about what THEY decided he needed instead of listening to what he actually was saying and like....working with that instead.
Like, god bless the collective reasoning skills of Dick's friends and family who keep looking at everything the dude habitually keeps on his plate at his LOWEST settings, and thinks okay, what this guy really needs, I feel, is MORE responsibility.
Instead of like, trying to figure out how to help him take on LESS.
And then it all blew up in Dick's face exactly as he knew it would, and when more Titans died - Donna and Lilith this time - of fucking course Dick blamed himself for it, like literally anyone who knew him should have seen coming. But what were his friends and loved ones' reaction this time? What did they decide he needed?
The same thing they always do! More responsibility!
And again Dick tried to tell people this wasn't going to end the way they wanted it to - mostly Roy this time, as now it was Roy trying to get him to join up with the Outsiders using the specific pitch of them NOT being a family, like ENCOURAGING Dick to not get himself emotionally attached to the team so it didn't hurt as much if things went south with them -
Except again, this was blatant manipulation of the very same variety everyone gives Dick shit for, because in Roy's own words, the entire reason he did things this way was because he was convinced based on how well he knows Dick Grayson, that Dick wouldn't be CAPABLE of staying so unattached, and that he'd eventually invest in his new teammates despite his best efforts not to, and thus 'snap out of' his self-imposed isolation and like....form new connections via them.
But like....shockingly, it didn't play out that way? Dick deliberately tried to do exactly what he'd said he was going to do, KEEP himself from getting attached emotionally, with this being a very bad idea and absolutely something that led to teammates getting hurt, and yes that is on him and decisions he made out of an effort to focus on what HE needed rather than what was best for them - but like.....the problem I have here is like....this is precisely WHY Dick should NOT have been in a leadership position at this time, like you said!
And Dick was like the literal first person to make that argument?!??!
Roy was the one who pushed past it and said no I get it, and its okay, which HE shouldn't have done EITHER, not because Dick's choices were on Roy - they weren't, to be clear - but because Roy wasn't being straight forward about what his own intentions were. He wasn't ACTUALLY okay with Dick's approach to leadership of the Outsiders, he just didn't think it would ever actually get as far south as it went, because he was convinced it wasn't going to matter, because Dick was going to 'snap out of it' long before it became an actual problem. And THAT'S the part that's on Roy, because like....Dick TOLD him this wasn't a good idea, and WHY. And like, Dick literally just did exactly what he said he was gonna do, and that doesn't make it right, especially as a leader, but like......if people had actually listened to what he was SAYING rather than what they believed they KNEW about him and 'what he needed' then like.....they would have backed off and validated his concerns that he wasn't a good fit for a team right now and found some OTHER way to help him, rather than like...try and force it on their terms.
And so that's the part that bugs. Like, I don't think Dick's behavior during a lot of the team stuff of that period - even if it wasn't pretty - was like, out of character or even unreasonable - he was fucked up! He KNEW he was fucked up! He kept TELLING people, like hey guys, just FYI, I'm kinda fucked up at the moment.
But nobody would just....accept that. He's never allowed to just be HUMAN. Its the same thing with Dick as Batman and everything during Red Robin, like....other characters are so ready to jump on him for not being perfect the second he starts fucking shit up because he's reeling from stuff that hits EVERYONE hard, and him even more than most specifically BECAUSE of how much responsibility he normally shoulders (as well as how much blame others usually heap on him).....we barely ever see other characters being like okay, what do YOU need, how can we HELP.....
Instead of just....impatiently waiting for you to 'get back to normal' and be the Golden Boy we all both resent you for being while simultaneously EXPECTING you to be at all times, no matter what.
So no, I don't view his behavior with the Outsiders as OOC unfortunately, but I just think like....it would have been so different if he'd just been allowed to grieve in his own way at that time instead of being pushed and guilted and manipulated into getting back in the saddle right away or what the fuck ever, lol. Even his leadership fuck-ups at the time weren't out of character so much as they were proof that he SHOULDN'T HAVE BEEN LEADING ANYONE at that time....
The trick of it is just like....he was 100% of that same opinion himself! Its just the writers wanted him as a leader anyway, and the characters were shoved into positions more about getting him to lead than getting him support.
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