Your writing is lovely! If you ever feel like it, I suggest a chaotic, trigger-happy, spontaneous-destruction villain interacting with a cold, calculating, mastermind-criminal-archetype villain?
"You." The mastermind crossed the room in a few short steps, slamming the other villain to the wall hard enough to make their breath catch. "Destroyed our entire plan. Give me one reason I shouldn't kill you now?"
The villain positively cackled, eyes gleaming with a wild joy, teeth bared somewhere between smile and feral threat. "Your plan, doll. Not mine."
"Don't call me that."
The villain pouted. "Tricky to scheme around the batshit insane, isn't it?"
"You're not insane, you just have a professional obsession with being annoying."
"Aw." The villain cupped the mastermind's face, digging their nails in hard enough to draw blood. "That's the cutest thing you ever said to me, doll."
The mastermind reared back, cheeks delightfully flushed, eyes narrowed with rage.
The villain licked their lips, savouring every second of it as they stalked forward to close the gap again. This time, their touch was oh so gentle, a lover's caress. "I got what I wanted. You were a real high."
"I wanted the painting, subtly, and you torched the place."
The villain shrugged. "It burned so pretty."
"Buzz kill. Don't hire a weapon and expect not to pull the trigger, that's just bad management. Next time, give me what I need."
The mastermind took a deep, steadying breath and seized the villain's hands in an iron, unforgiving grip - more than ready to scorch some pretty bridges and break some pretty bones at that point. Next time? Did they really think they were getting a next time? They were lucky to still be alive.
This week had been some kind of sustained torment. They were aggravating, they were insolent, and now, now-
"You cocky little-"
"You're so lovely when you finally lose it." Abruptly, the villain's voice had changed, as they eyed the criminal mastermind. It had turned husky. Wanting. "All that rage beneath the surface. Don't you just want to swallow the world, baby? You could. If you stopped leashing yourself."
"I can't very much rule a ruined thing now," the mastermind's teeth gritted, "can I?" They shoved the villain away from them, shoulders stiff, expression swiftly back under control as if they hadn't been about to blow. They went cold. "I'm done with our partnership. Whoever recommended you-"
The villain hummed, and reached into their bag, and waved the painting.
The mastermind stopped dead.
The villain smirked at them. "I'll watch the world burn, eventually. You can stay a bit longer though, you're fun, in the meanwhile. You want?"
The mastermind held out a hand.
The villain didn't move.
"So clever," the villain said. "So in control. Bet you love someone that makes you beg. Bet you love someone that reminds you that you're still human, beneath that brain. Ask me nicely for the painting."
"What I love," the mastermind swallowed, but raised a cool brow, "is people who do what their told and follow the plan. Give me the painting, or you'll never work in my city again."
"You're deluded, and probably high."
"Probably," the villain agreed. They tossed the painting over carelessly as if it wasn't worth a fortune. "But you're still blushing."
The mastermind caught it. Most would have fumbled, at least.
The villain tilted their head, just for a second, still as the eye of a storm. They bit their lip, like they wanted to bite, and wasn't sure if it would be an act of love or violence.
"Pleasure doing business with you," the mastermind said, and, if it was a little breathless, a little enamoured...most people wouldn't be able to tell.
"Oh honey," the villain turned away. "If you think that's pleasure." They glanced over their shoulder, back at the mastermind. "You need me more than you think you do. I accept a six figure salary minimum, I'm fantastic. Reckon you can afford me, genius?"
"See you Monday," the mastermind. "Turn up at nine."
They turned up at midday, which was about what the mastermind expected.
The two of them were unstoppable.
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Okay, we've all seen the villain become obsessed with the hero ("I will strip away all that you love until you have no shelter but me") but WHAT IF the hero is the obsessed one and the villain is the one who is super creeped out by the hero's behaviour, but nobody believes the villain? Because they are a villain so obviously they must be lying right?
“I’m not going to kill you,” Hero crooned, dragging a slow finger down Villain’s cheek, “death would be too good for you. You need to be punished for your crimes.”
Villain rolled their eyes, though a chill rolled down their spine regardless. “You say the same thing every day, haven’t followed through yet. My crimes continue!”
They gave a superficial tug against their chained hands just for the show of it.
The pair went over this every couple days, and it was starting to get on Villain’s nerves. It wasn’t that they didn’t want a fight- but Hero was getting a little... clingy.
One day, they found a room in Hero’s hideout absolutely covered in printed photos of Villain, as well as several pictures of other people- people that looked like them- with notes comparing all the events coinciding with Villain’s appearance.
Another day, Hero strapped them to a chair and held a blade to their throat for three hours, telling them all the while about how Hero understood Villain.
After that, Villain went home and had a panic attack in their shower.
They didn’t like the game anymore.
Hero laughed, pulling a butterfly knife out of their pocket and flipping it. “No more, Villain,” they said. “I think I’m going to take you home... somewhere no one will think to look. And then I’m going to keep you! I’m going to make you good.”
“I’m perfectly fine with my morals as they are, actually,” Villain replied, working their lockpick into the keyhole.
Hero ignored them, brushing a stray strand of hair out of their face. “My own little Villain...”
Villain swallowed hard. The lock clicked. And they ran out of the room.
Hero caught them at the end of the hallway, slamming into their back and knocking them to the ground. They pinned one of Villain’s arms down with their hand, one knee fully on Villain’s chest and the other on Villain’s other arm. “Trying to get away, are we?”
“You’re sick,” Villain spat, trying to get their legs up to throw Hero off. “You’re not some hero, you’re just a sick bastard with a savior complex.”
“Last I checked, you’re the only one that thinks that,” Hero said. Then, leaning down so their lips brushed Villain’s ear, “and see, you’re a criminal. Why would anyone ever listen to you?”
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"No no no..." the hero chanted as they pressed their palms to the villain's wounded chest. "What have I done?"
"You won," the villain laughed, coughing up blood in the process. "Just like you wanted."
"Not like this." The hero shook their head. "i never wanted it to be like this. i'm so sorry."
The villain gazed up at them with a pain-glazed expression.
"That's the kindest thing anyone's ever said to me."
The hero's heart shattered.
"Please..." they begged. "Stay with me."
But the life had already left the villain's eyes.
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Hidden in Plain Sight
“It’s such a lonely place,” the hero said.
“What else,” asked one of their crew members, “did you expect from some lunatic’s lair? I’m just glad we don’t have to deal with the dramatic monologues.”
The hero supposed that was true. It was just like the villain to own a desolate mansion on the fringes of the city, where few other souls lived, and where they were far better off than the working class they terrorized. Not like you could spend your whole time hemming and hawing when you had bills to pay.
It would have been fine if that were the villain’s only advantage, but no—on top of being in possession of endless funds to conduct crime, there was one more thing that had made beating their archenemy damn near impossible: the villain was a shapeshifter. Which was to say, the villain was beyond difficult to nail down. That was the reason the hero found themselves revisiting the villain’s once-residence, their crew hard at work combing hallways for the barest of hints as to the villain’s whereabouts.
Even the barest of hints was too much to ask for, apparently.
Finding little solace in their thoughts, the hero let their feet wander. And wander. And wander. It was when they drew up to the Forbidden Room that the hero stopped short, eyeing the door with equal parts curiosity and dread.
And by the Forbidden Room, the hero would mean the villain’s bedroom. It wasn’t that they’d never dared investigate the villain’s personal quarters—they had. Only they’d done so by proxy. They’d sent their crew in, given them permission to turn the room upside down. But not them. Never them, for the simple fact that the hero didn’t want to put a face to the oppressor. They didn’t want to see some family pictures and think there the inklings of humanity that, put bluntly, no longer existed.
That was then.
Now, the hero opened the door, stepped inside, and switched on the light.
The hero wasn’t sure what they’d expected. Probably it was the nothingness that greeted them, with only a wooden desk and a threadbare mattress to indicate there ever having been signs of life. After all, how could the villain stick to a cohesive theme? They could barely keep one identity every three months.
The hero was rifling among barren drawers when the floorboard underneath them caught their eye. On a harder stare, they realized that it was just two centimeters higher than the panels alongside. They knelt down, touched their fingers to it . . . A hatch. And they wasted no time in ￼prying it clean off, to the horrendous sight of—
The hero blinked.
Not poison. Not a knife. Not a firearm. A journal.
It was a moment before the hero gathered the heart to crack it open.
It’s been a rough first day, read the first entry. [Hero] doesn’t trust me—I can tell. But it’s no matter, for I know how weak a compassionate heart could be. I’ll be accepted into the crew in no time.
It’s just as I thought. [Hero] offered me safety, food, and—get this—a home. We’re living together for the meantime. The suspicion exists, but to [Hero] and their crew, I’m just some poor innocent who got caught in the crossfire.
Played cards with the crew today. Everyone’s so much more open when drunk.
[Hero] and I slept together—in the literal sense, mind you. It was incredibly hard to resist going for the throat that night.
[Hero] said they were in love with me. It felt like poison saying it back, but I got the job done.
I’m getting so much closer to—
The hero started. Heart racing, they threw the￼ journal where they’d found it, put the floorboard back, and pivoted on their heel in time to meet their lover’s concerned gaze.
They could have cursed their voice for the wobble it held.
“Where have you been?” The hero’s lover invited themselves inside. They looked beautiful. Deathly beautiful. Deathly, venomously, villainously beautiful. “Everyone’s been calling your name for ten minutes now. We got worried you’d managed to run off and get yourself into trouble.”
“Trouble? Me?” The hero flashed a grin, entirely wrong considering the circumstances, and went for the breezy laugh. “As if.”
“You’re right.” After everything the hero had seen, the hero couldn’t help thinking their lover’s smile just a touch sinister. “You seem to attract trouble more than it attracts you.”
The hero’s chest burned.
“You worry too much,” they tried.
“How can I not?” retorted the hero’s lover. “The least I can do is worry. You gave me a home when I needed it most.”
But God, the hero wished they hadn’t.
“I’ll come back soon. I promise.”
The hero’s lover seemed inclined to object. Then they conceded with a sigh the hero knew well. Too well. So well it made everything hurt that much more.
“Just don’t be long, okay?”
A tender kiss on the hero’s cheek, and then the villain exited the room.
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Love your blog and writing! The recent winter hunt snippet was incredible - could you please continue it, if that’s something you want to do? Thank you!
winter hunt part ii
Antagonist’s grip was harsh, digging into their skin through the thick fabric. A hiss was lost on Protagonist’s lips, feet trailing in the depths of the snowy ground.
“Please,” they pressed hesitantly, casting a brief glance over their shoulder towards the cabin Sibling was in. “I’ll only be a minute, I-I just want to say goodbye—”
Antagonist abruptly stopped in their tracks, jaw twitching in anger. They noticed how stiff their shoulders had become, and terror clenched at their heart. They twisted Protagonist’s arm until a cry of pain escaped their lips, hand latching onto the wrist in a feeble attempt to pry them off.
“You’re testing my patience,” Antagonist hissed, deep voice intruding under their skin. “Would you like me to skin your sibling and make you watch? I’d happily get rid of them, right here, right now.”
Antagonist’s beady eyes quickly flickered to the side, sending a silent signal with a light nod. Protagonist noticed a black figure disappear from the corner of their vision, making their mouth go dry.
“No,” Protagonist blurted, desperately staring into Antagonist’s eyes. “No, please, I-I’m sorry. Please don’t hurt them.”
The crunching of the henchmen's footsteps suddenly stopped, with only the sound of their blood pounding in their ears echoing in the stale air. Antagonist loosened their grip, ever so slightly, and Protagonist almost sighed in delight at the relief that spiralled through their muscles. Had Antagonist not tugged them forward into their chest harshly, they just might have.
“You were the one who threw yourself at my feet,” Antagonist murmured coldly, their lips just briefly brushing against theirs. Protagonist gripped tightly onto their coat, stung with paralysis. “If you do as you're told as good as you beg, we won’t be having any problems.”
Protagonist’s cheeks flushed, and they fought to keenly hide their face. Fingers gripped their jaw in stiflingly rough grip, yanking their head back towards theres. “Do you understand?”
Their lips wobbled. “Yes.”
“Yes?” Antagonist pressed, their brow rising. Protagonist’s own brows pinched lightly in confusion, a trembling breath escaping their lips. Yes? What more did they want them to say? Their question lingered horrifically in the air, squeezing their jaw. Protagonist whimpered.
“Y-Yes…” Shame pricked at their cheeks, squeezing their eyes shut. “Yes, sir.”
Antagonist harshly shoved them back, ripping their grip away. They felt the snow beneath their back, the breath knocked mercilessly out of their lungs from the impact. The snow was pressed icily against the back of their head, ricocheting through their skull. Humiliation burned at their chest.
“Stop rolling in the snow. I have a job for you,” came Antagonist’s command a few moments later. The thickness rose in the depths of Protagonist’s throat, constricting their words. Exhaustion pressed down on them. The perilous journey and constant attention for their sibling was beginning to take its toll on their body.
They were too anxious to reply, steadily rising to their feet as instructed. Antagonist was beside them in an instant, moving like a ghost in the wind. The familiar sight of their bow came into view, a rush of sudden safety coursing through them. Antagonist held it out, their stare penetrating. Protagonist felt the slick wood against their fingertips, weighing it up cautiously in their hands.
“What do you want me to do?” Protagonist ushered, their voice distant in the whistling wind. Antagonist’s arm had wrapped securely around their shoulder, weighted and prominent against their body. The heat radiating off them was addicting, pressed into their side as if they had the guts to run. They turned them around.
“You hunt animals. One of, if not the best hunters in the land,” Antagonist spoke, and Protagonist glanced up through their eyelashes, gazing at the henchmen pressing a quivering figure into the snow, whimpering in terror. For a horrifying moment, Protagonist thought it was Sibling. Their hands slid across their shoulders, lips brushing against their ear.
“But have you ever hunted humans?”
Protagonist’s blood went cold. The words were a deadly echo in their mind. “What?”
“You wonder how I found you,” Antagonist hummed, continuing on without a care. “I was tipped off. By the helpful man who provided you with convenient shelter, and medicine. Lucky for you, I loathe snitches”
Protagonist did in fact recognise the old man. Though his face was being roughly shoved into the snow, and tears were streaming down his cheeks pathetically, they had remembered his nimble fingers whipping up their remedy for the cold, kind smile easing them of their worries. Just for a moment, Protagonist’s anger flared.
“I’m not going to kill him,” they whispered surely, their voice hauntingly terrified. Antagonist held an arrow in between their gloved fingers, pushing it towards them. They flinched widely.
“Yes, you are,” they hummed, eyes fixated on their sobbing man. “Unless you want Sibling in one piece, you’ll do as I say. Didn’t you say you would hunt for me? Serve me?”
Protagonist felt their lips dive into the crook of their neck, a sick shudder wracking their bones. Antagonist’s voice lowered. “Let me use you for my pleasure?”
Their heart thumped against their chest. “I don’t hunt humans.”
Antagonist nudged their neck, and lightly pushed them forward a moment later. “You do now, or I slit Siblings throat.”
Time seemed to slow. Protagonist eyelashes, littered with snowy dew drops, blinked, for merely a second, and they were fixated on the old man's slim form, stumbling frantically through the snow and darting towards the hill. He shrieked, screamed, begged for mercy, and it shot through their heart like a knife.
Bile stung the back of their throat.
Antagonist stood silently still.
The henchmen watched him run with sadistic delight.
Protagonist didn’t break their gaze, fixing the arrow against their bow. Their arms rose steadily, fingers wrapping around the string until it pressed sharply against the skin of their cheek. Their chest stopped.
The man's desperate legs, scrambling through the snow, like the hooves of a deer galloping through the forest, pursuing safety from their predator. His arms, flailing in panic, now nothing but the image of antlers in Protagonist's mind. A tear slipped down their cheek.
They released the arrow, and it met its target instantly.
The man went deathly quiet.
original | next
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The villain stood pinned between a wall and an advancing semicircle of variously armed heroes.
“Give it up, villain,” their leader called. “Put your hands up or we shoot.”
The villain grinned mockingly even as they obeyed.
The next instant, the heroes were on the ground, clawing at their own heads.
“No handcuffs, then?” The villain hummed, dropping their hands and clasping them behind their back. “Bit of a mistake if you ask me.”
They concentrated, channeling their energy to ram into the heroes’ skulls with all the finesse of a bull. One by one they dropped, going limp.
The villain shook their head, sighing. “When will you learn you can’t hope to beat brain by sending more brawn?”
“For someone who claims to be the brain, you’re quite overconfident in your own powers.”
The smirk slid off the villain’s face as a hero, only paces away from them, leveled their crossbow directly at their heart.
“What - how - who are you?”
“Never,” the villain snarled.
They lunged forwards, knocking the hero’s crossbow aside just as they fired. The hero recovered quickly, sticking out a foot to trip them. They ended up on the ground, hero pinning the villain’s hands over their head.
“As I said. Overconfident in your powers.”
The villain growled, turning the full intensity of their power on the hero. They flinched back, hissing in pain.
So they were affected by their powers, at least.
The villain took a breath and closed their eyes. They let their power spread over the hero’s mind, assessing their defenses. They were like nothing the villain had ever seen – solid where others were vulnerable, brittle where most were malleable. But there were cracks.
A fist to their jaw broke their concentration. “Knock it off,” the hero hissed.
“No, I don’t think I will.” the villain turned their focus to one of the hero’s unconscious team members. “Do you know what I feel?”
“I don’t care--”
“About...seven nervous systems, each with their own complex system of neurons branching out from the brain and spinal cord. Complex, but--” the villain snapped their fingers-- “incredibly simple to snuff out.”
A flicker of uncertainty crossed the hero’s face.
The villain raised an eyebrow. “As it is, they’ll wake up eventually; albeit with a killer headache and possibly a few cognitive impairments if they’re unlucky. If you don’t get off of me now, though...”
The hero shook their head, face shuttering. “If you could kill them, you would have already.” They reached for their handcuffs.
Then they stopped dead.
Mechanically, they stood, arms limp at their sides as the villain got to their feet, brushing themselves off. The hero held unnaturally still, barely blinking even as the villain closed the space between them.
“You’re right, little hero,” the villain purred. “If my power could kill, every last hero in this city would have been dead a long time ago.” They stroked a hand along the hero’s cheek. “But it can do more than incapacitate. It’s a science, an art.”
The hero shuddered, dropping to their knees.
The villain hummed with pleasure. “I had forgotten how lovely it feels to influence. My job calls for rather a lot of breaking, which is enjoyable in its own right, but this a better creative outlet, no?”
They fiddled with the chemical levels in the hero’s head for a moment. “Therapeutic, really.”
Then they started pacing. “If you’re a new weapon the city is using against me, there will be more.” They barked a laugh. “Perhaps they are finally learning. Now, come, little hero.” The villain sauntered towards the exit, their hero following, a puppet on strings.
“I will have to adjust my strategy, and to do that, I must discover exactly why it took me so long to slip into your lovely little mind.”
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Danny Program AU (RESET ~ Oneshot)
(Note: Before I start, just fyi I’m still on my break and recovering from covid and feel pretty icky but I’m also going a bit stir crazy just resting all the time so since I have a little more energy today I wanted to get this idea out there. Also, this oneshot takes place right after the revised story snippet I helped tidy up with @dp-marvel94 which you can find here on tumblr, AO3, and Fanfiction.net.)
Danny Program AU ~ Reset (Oneshot)
As expected, Vlad was left with much to think about in light of recent events where he discovered that his Danny Program had become self-aware and even more miraculously was a successful ghost clone of Danny after absorbing their ectoplasmic remains through his projector after the cloning incident. Everything had come full circle because the only reason Vlad decided to clone the real Danny was because of said program since he longed for a son he could embrace and lavish with his love and affection in a way he couldn’t before since Daniel did not have the capacity to think for himself back then or return that love. But now he could, or at least, that dream was within reach now as long as Vlad played his cards right...
However, there was still the matter of addressing the emotional abuse Vlad had subjected Daniel to unknowingly for the past several months. Thinking about it now made Vlad sick to his stomach, because had he known sooner then- shaking his head Vlad sighed, No, I can’t change the past but I can start making amends to the boy now. I can show my son that I’m a man of my word and will strive to be the father he deserves.
After the real Danny left, Vlad left Daniel’s hologram active because they still had many important matters to discuss. He needed to know exactly how much Daniel knew about himself, about his programming and how he has been evolving since the day he first became self-aware. Thankfully, Daniel was all too happy to cooperate now that he could talk freely with his father at long last, just like how they used to-
But, sadly things are never that simple.
“That’s about everything I know so far,” Daniel admitted, watching his Father carefully type away at his computer. “Does any of that help?”
Vlad nodded, “Of course it does dear boy, the more I understand about you the easier it will be to come up with a strategy to strengthen your developing core and design some sort of device to make it easier for us to interact more since I doubt you want to rely on the projector and cameras forever. Which reminds me-”
Averting his gaze from the worried look on Daniel’s face when his tone grew somber Vlad continued, “-Daniel, do you trust me to do what I think is best for you now even if it hurts?”
Daniel paused before answering since he couldn’t hide the wave of anxiety that flitted across his face but he nodded and smiled unsurely, placing his hand over Vlad’s who instinctively turned it intangible so they could touch, “I know you’re not going to do anything to hurt me anymore. I trust you Father. I won’t lie and say I’m not kinda scared but there’s still so much we don’t know, so if there’s anything I can do to make it easier for both of us to find out more about what I am then I want to help.”
“Thank you, son,” Vlad replied, his shoulders sagging slightly in relief as he held his son’s hand for a moment before nodding at the screen and continuing.
“At any rate, before we do anything else I need to run a full diagnostic of your program and undo the alterations I made which rendered you immobile during my many...tantrums. I’m not sure how this will effect you so I’ll create a backup of the raw data in case anything goes wrong. However, since you are a hybrid between an AI and a ghost I’m sure you’re going to feel a bit strange at first, but I promise you my boy I will do my best to make this as painless as possible,” Vlad pretended not to notice Daniel’s hand trembling slightly in his own as he recalled the memory of when his program was first altered, but regardless he told his father he was ready and braced himself for whatever was about to happen.
To be quite honest, Vlad was more apprehensive about this than Daniel was because a part of him was afraid of destroying Daniel by mistake or corrupting his program beyond repair because for the first time in twenty years, Vlad was faced with something entirely beyond his normal scope of understanding. Daniel’s very existence was nothing short of a miracle, something Vlad was a fool not to have seen much sooner because he could have spared them both a great deal of pain and suffering, and it called into question just how ‘human’ so to speak the boy really was or could become when all is said and done.
How much will Daniel have to still rely on his programming? How much of Daniel’s genetic makeup is no more than a frail blob ghost right now who had been born spontaneously thanks to the failed clones ectoplasm fusing itself into his program? There was only one way to find out and they both knew it might be a painful process.
However, Vlad had no desire to harm his son more than he already had and risk the boy abandoning him too as Dani had. He refused to let that happen. But that said, would Daniel forgive him if he tried to secretly write something into his code as a fail-safe to prevent him from leaving him? Is believing in his love really so difficult after so many disappointments in the past?
The only answer Vlad needed to those questions came when Daniel gave his hand another gentle squeeze, his smile uncertain but honest and loving as if to tell Vlad that no matter what happened, he would be forgiven. That helped strengthen Vlad’s resolve and so they began the process of resetting Daniel’s system settings to the state it was in before he tampered with it.
Before they began Vlad attempted to put Daniel in a sleep mode of sorts but this was only a temporary fix to the problem with removing the new command prompts and such to his program. He had to keep Daniel active to see if what he was doing hurt the boy, and sadly it did so the process was like breaking a bone in order to reset it so it could heal properly. Vlad hated making such a crude comparison, but it couldn’t be helped...
Even so, Vlad meticulously made sure to reset everything back to exactly how he remembered it, resisting the urge to make improvements because no...his son was already perfect just the way he is. Daniel’s love for him is almost painfully sincere, innocent, and unwavering. And the more Vlad was exposed to that love, the more exposed his own flaws became as a father. And what kind of father or any parent for that matter can stand to watch their child in pain?
As soon as it was over, for a moment Vlad panicked when Daniel opened his eyes and they looked just as empty and devoid of emotion as he did the many times he had hurled insults and attacks at the boy. Gently cupping his face in both hands, Vlad called out to Daniel, pleading, worried he had made a mistake somewhere and had damaged an important file or something along those lines.
But then, much to his relief Daniel began in a monotone voice- “Restoration at 79%” and he began counting from there until he reached 100%. As soon as that happened, the light returned to Daniel’s eyes and he blinked, glancing up at his Father’s worried face staring down at him completely intangible.
He felt a bit...groggy if that was any way to describe the feeling, but even so he smiled and asked, “Father? Um, did it work? I kinda feel there’s more of a weight to my chest, but I’m not sure if that’s normal or-oof!”
Without warning Vlad embraced him tightly and gasped, “Oh thank god, for a second I thought something was wrong with you my boy! You were acting strangely. But it’s over now, you’re back exactly the way you should be.”
Patting his back Daniel laughed tiredly, “Well, yeah I should hope so because I thought the whole point of doing this was to figure out what that even means! But in all seriousness I do feel a lot better now. Or, at least I don’t feel as incomplete as before at any rate. So, what’s next?”
“I think that’s quite enough for today,” Vlad replied, reluctantly pulling away and stroking back some of Daniel’s soft white hair, “It’s been a long day for both of us and I’m sure we can both use the rest. Still, I’m glad I was able to at least do this much for you, Daniel, because now you shouldn’t have to worry about being compelled to do anything you don’t want to anymore. We’ll take things slowly from here and figure out the rest later.”
“Alright,” Daniel nodded, still smiling and leaning into his father’s warm touch. “Thank you father. I finally feel like...this is where the real fresh starts begins for us...as a family.”
“Yes,” Vlad smiled in return, resting his forehead against Daniel’s as his eyes fluttered closed again as another wave of exhaustion swept over him from relief as well as his need to recover in a more literal sense from the system surgery he had undergone. “We are a family so I promise you I won’t make the same mistake twice. As your father, I will do everything in my power to protect you from harm no matter what it takes from this moment on. So please, rest easy, my child...I’ll always be here for you and won’t let you suffer alone like that anymore.”
As soon as Vlad was certain Daniel was fast asleep, he shut off the projector and teleported straight to his room to finally sleep in a proper bed, for once in his life feeling as if he had accomplished something meaningful. And as he closed his eyes, Vlad finally felt he had earned the right to start dreaming of their new life together...
A life as father...and son.
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"Don't hold me close. You repel me."
"Oh darling," he lifted her in his arms and slowly inched closer with an infuriating smirk lighting up his face. Pressing his mouth close to her ears, he replied , “Your world shall soon be set ablaze, and I shall waltz you to the flames myself."
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“Sam, what’s wrong?” Blue Eyes can’t contain himself any longer. He walks closer to you and the doctor.
You bite your lip nervously, hard enough to cut through the skin. You don’t want to say ‘who’s Sam?’ Because that’s crazy, that’s just insane. You’re Sam. Obviously, you’re Sam.
Except that it’s not obvious. You don’t know that for sure. You think that you’re Sam because that’s what Blue Eyes is calling you and there’s something about him that makes you feel like he would never lie to you. It’s like an undeniable truth embedded deep, you can feel it in your bones. Despite that, you don’t know that you are Sam.
And that? That is just terrifying.
You search through your memories, migraine blooming in your mind. Your heart pounds at the same rhythm as that damned beeping and it isn’t until Blue Eyes’ hand is clasped around your shoulder that you realize you’ve closed eyes tightly, like you can just go back to sleep. Or maybe you want to wake up from the nightmare?
“Mr. Wilson, what do you remember?” Dr. Ramirez asks, her voice tense.
And here is a moment of choice for you. There’s a part of you that wants to lie; wants to simply ignore this terror and just pretend. There’s a part of you that is paralyzed with fear.
But there’s another part of you, sure as the rising sun, that will never back down. You don’t know who you are but you know you cannot turn away from this or any other challenge. You’re not built like that, that much you know.
You open your eyes again. Take a deep breath.
“I don’t remember anything.”
When You Awake by Lunar_Pull
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A lil snippet for City Snakes, for one of our main characters, a hypnobrai named Falone (work in progress name someone please help me with the names) who works as a bouncer at a bar deep in downtown Ninjago, who befriends like four teens that tried to sneak in with fake ID’s
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The Northern Settlement lab has always been a place of many wonders, many resources, many troubles and many, many people who wanted to talk to him.
Ranboo just wanted to be left alone, thank you very much.
The less people talked to him, the lesser was the chance his secret would be revealed. And he really didn't want to see how fast he'd be sent outside the settlement when they saw his rotting jaw or side.
Those were the joys of being a genetic chimera made half of immune DNA and half of decidedly not immune DNA.
It was kind of hilarious that the virus could freely multiply in some cells of his body but couldn't even slightly modify those right next to them.
Less hilarious when his muscle fell off in flaps in the beginning stages of infection but oh well…
He learnt to live with it. It was alright. A little lonely, but alright.
“For The Better World (Flower Zombies)” Chapter 3
Decided to give y'all a small fragment to get up some hype hopefully… 🤍
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Could you do a confident!hero x easily flustered!villain? If it's not to much trouble
"-What is it?" The villain cut their monologue mid-speech, glaring at the hero. "Why are you looking at me like that?"
They could already hear, in their head, the echoes of a million people who had told them to shut up. Who had implied that they were being annoying, or outright said that they were weird. The hero's expression wasn't that, but the villain couldn't read it. All they knew was that it wasn't the dawning terror or even disgust they usually got.
"You're really something when you talk about your passions," the hero said, a smile crossing their face. "Content aside, it's actually very endearing."
The villain - spluttered. Their fists clenched.
"Don't mock me."
"I'm not," the hero said, and the bastard had the audacity to sound sincere. "Not enough people love what they do. And you..." they tilted their head. "Your eyes go all bright. You get this energy. It's beautiful."
It seemed like it could only be further mockery, or a trap of some sort.
"Yes, well." The villain cleared their throat. "That still won't help you stop me. It won't save you."
"I don't need saving, but thank you for the concern."
"It's not concern-"
"And I already figured out how to stop you ten minutes ago, I just didn't want to interrupt. You clearly worked hard on the speech too."
The villain's cheeks burned.
"Not mocking." The hero held up their hands up in a placating gesture, never mind that their body should have been completely frozen unable to move. "It was - is - a really good speech. Powerful. Excellent word choices. I especially liked the use of rhetorical questions. World leader's have done worse. Can I hear the rest?"
The villain had worked hard on the speech. Maybe that was lame, but they'd always enjoyed language and what it could do. A speech could be its own weapon and - and they were being distracted.
"What do you mean you worked out how to stop me ten minutes ago?"
The hero shrugged. The look on their face finally clicked, and the villain's heart stuttered. The expression was desire. The expression was admiration. The expression was huh, wow.
Nobody had ever looked at the villain like that before.
"You worked out how to stop me because I'm an idiot who decided to monologue?"
"I don't think you're an idiot," the hero said. "I just think you want to be understood. We all do. Anything else is too lonely." The hero pushed to their feet, and they shouldn't have been able to do that either and -
The villain's feet rooted to the spot, eyes wide, as the hero stretched and sauntered over to them as if they didn't have a care in the world. The hero stopped in front of them. The villain's mouth went dry.
"But there's no one in the world quite like you, is there?" the hero asked. Their voice was soft, too soft.
For all of their apparent eloquence, the villain couldn't think of a single good thing to say to that. They weren't witty. They planned everything they said ahead of time, so they could make sure it was right. When they didn't - well, look how this deviation had turned out?
The villain closed their eyes.
"Are you going to kill me?"
The hero's fingers skimmed along their jaw, gently, making the villain's breath quiver.
"Of course not," the hero said, frowning. "I haven't heard the end of your speech yet."
The villain's eyes snapped open again.
The hero tossed them a small smile, wicked at the corners.
"You're teasing me." The villain swallowed.
"Only a little. I do want to hear the rest of the speech, I just don't intend to kill you after either. Or ever, if I can avoid it."
"If you know how to stop me, why haven't you done it yet?" It occurred to the villain, belatedly, that they should jerk their head back.
"Because I'm enjoying spending time with you."
The villain didn't move back. Maybe it was trap, it was definitely a trap, but having someone looking at them like the hero did was about as intoxicating as it was unbearable.
The hero's grip tightened on their chin, tipping the villain's head up.
"Tell me the rest of the speech," the hero said. "I'm listening."
Someone was listening, actually listening.
So the villain did.
And that was the start of everything.
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Hero awoke suspiciously comfortable, no echo of a nightmare chasing him to consciousness.
Something was wrong.
He cracked his eyes open, willing his body to move. Every joint shuddered, muscles sore from fighting, but at last he managed to roll to his side.
“The hell…” he muttered, wondering for a brief moment what the gray lines in his vision were- until his brain cleared and he realized they were polished steel bars. He snapped awake.
“You’re awake,” A voice behind him said, smooth and deep.
Hero got to his feet unsteadily, noticing the floor move ever so slightly. “A birdcage?” he rasped. “Really?”
“There’s water to the side,” Villain said. They stood next to the cage, looking oddly short for someone who towered over everyone else. They took a step forward and tapped one of the bars, propelling the cage back and forth with that eerie, effortless strength. “And yes, it’s a birdcage. Fitting, isn’t it? Where better to put you than where the rest of the birds go?”
Hero grit his teeth, deciding not to point out that he lacked the wings to qualify as a bird. “So your plan is what? Keep me here as some kind of twisted trophy? Are you that desperate for an audience that you would imprison me?”
Villain swung the cage again, making Hero stumble, knees hitting the cushioned ground. They were passive, not fazed in the least by Hero’s outburst. “Tell me, Hero, how long have I been chasing you?”
“Too long,” Hero snarled. Months, years.
“Exactly! And now, I have you all locked up- perfect. Mine. Just as you should be.”
“As if you could keep me here forever,” Hero scoffed. “It’s never worked for long.”
Villain shook the cage for real this time, making Hero fall into the bars. Instantly, Villain had their hand in his hair, forcing Hero’s face up, looking into their own.
Hero scrabbled at their grip, but Villain was unyielding.
“You know,” Villain said, “you’re right- but in the past, every time you’ve escaped or evaded me, you had help. I’d take this seriously if you told me your friends were coming to save you, but as it stands...”
Tears pricked Hero’s eyes that had nothing to do with the tug on his hair.
“Go on,” Villain said, a malicious glint in their eye. “Tell me they’re coming for you. Tell me that you still have help. That you’re not completely and utterly alone.”
“You can go to hell,” Hero spat, struggling. “You can go straight to hell.”
Villain smiled and threw Hero back to the floor. “We’re already here, darling. And you’re never getting out.”
Hero glared up at them, trying to get back to his feet.
“So do what a caged bird does best,” Villain said, “and sing for me.”
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Sideswipe’s Very Good, Very Normal Day
Story snippet for TGAU - we’re taking a break from the Autobots weirding out the Decepticons and stepping back into the Darklight for a day with Sideswipe.
Lights walked into the room with her arms out wide like she was asking for a hug. “There’s my favorite mech!”
Immediately drawing back with wide optics, Sideswipe asked, “What did Jazz do?!”
“That glitch is dead to me.” Her smiled flipped into a scowl. “He ate the last of my candy without telling me.”
“And Cypher and Stillbite?”
“Helped him find my stash, for a fee of several rust sticks each.”
“Ouch.” He agreed, moving to keep at least one of the club’s tables between them. “Sooooo..... does being your favorite get me out of defense practice for the day?”
“No.” She smiled, pulling out a knife.
Sideswipe grinned back, fake as hell, before bolting out of the room with nervous laughter. Cackling, Lights tore after him.
“But imagine! It would be so smooth, gliding around the tables and going back and forth between the bar and-”
“You’re not wearing skates while you’re serving.” Stillbite stated, one optic ridge raised as he cleaned the glasses. An amused smile crept across his face though.
“But it would be cool!” Sideswipe pouted, dramatically sprawling across the counter. Arson trotted over and started sniffing at his helm. He lifted it up enough to see her and start scratching behind her audios.
“Very. But do you know what’s not cool?”
He thought about it. “Falling on my face?”
“And destroyed dishes, damaged furniture, lawsuits from injured customers, and Bass coming over here to complain that we’re copying the Bassjackers thing.” At Sideswipe’s blank look, he sighed. “Most of the Bassjackers use skate mods to get around quickly, remember? It’s their thing. In several of their bars, their servers wear them too, but they also have a floor space designed for people to skate around. The tables here are too close together and to the dance floor. Even if you know how to skate and were a master at it, someone is going to bump into you.”
“Booooooooooooo.” Sideswipe moaned, reaching over to cradle Arson as he gave her a belly rub. “You think it’d be cool, right? I am very cool. Even if I can’t skate on the job.” The cat only meowed at him.
“Do you think Cypher can read minds?”
Without even looking up from his datapad, Sunstreaker answered, “No.”
“But he just knows things!”
Sideswipe scowled, leaning over to see what was so interesting. It looked like that booklet on colors Sunstreaker had gotten from work and a datapad with a bunch of frame designs. Which was interesting. But not as interesting as Cypher potentially being psychic. Narrowing his optics, he continued. “Maybe he has cameras hidden all over the club.”
“It probably isn’t just the club, I bet he has them all over the Darklight. Maybe in our apartment. Or, he can actually read minds.”
Still no response except for some scrolling.
“And he’s collecting enough blackmail information to build an army of people who have to do what he says so he can take over all of Polyhelix-”
“Who’s taking over Polyhelix?” Orion asked, closing the apartment door behind him.
“Orion!” Hopping up, Sideswipe ran over to give him a hug.
“I’m taking over Polyhelix?” The mech replied, mouth twitching into a slag-eating grin. Sideswipe scoffed, whacking him in the arm as his brother finally looked up to greet their amica.
“How was work?”
“Alright. Nothing interesting today.”
“Can you take that one out for a walk? Glimmer wants me to read through these and he’s incredibly distracting.” Sunstreaker ignored his brother’s exclamation of ‘Hey!’.
“Sure.” Orion agreed before turning to Sideswipe “Feel like bugging Fracture for stories?”
The red mech paused his excitement as he realized Sunstreaker suddenly looked interested and was giving his datapads a long look as if trying to decide if he could put his work off. Grinning, Sideswipe wiggled in place. “Absolutely. I bet he’ll have even better stories than last time-”
“I’m coming too!” Sunstreaker rolled off their couch and stalked over. “Honestly. I just wanted to get my work done....”
“Anyways......” He shared a silent laughing look with Orion as they all stepped outside. “I think Cypher can read minds-”
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The villain dropped their keys in the bowl at the door, stretching and already thinking about what to make for dinner.
Something was wrong.
They sniffed the air and tasted a hint of a familiar scent. Oh. Oh. The villain grabbed their gloves with a dark smile. "Honey," they announced, eyes scanning for the intruder's hiding place. "I'm home."
The hero froze in their tracks. Not good.
Their plan had been as straightforward as straightforward could get. Break in while the villain was out and about, likely attending to their crime of the day. Swipe the files. Sneak right out before the sun rose—and with it heralded the villain’s arrival.
The first and second the hero had accomplished without fail. The third, however . . . With excruciating care, so as not to alert the villain to their presence behind the kitchen counter, the hero breathed slow, even, not fearful breaths. There was no place for fear in the home stretch. No place for fear in the critical moment.
Ahead of them, the villain appeared immersed in playing their sick game of peeking among couches and console tables, as though in search of some lost, hapless kitten rather than their archenemy. Appeared it, but the hero knew better. The hero knew that the villain’s senses were at an all-time high. Beneath their expression, cool and affable, lay some eldritch scheme just waiting to be—
Fingers tangled in the hero’s shirt, jerked them up, and slammed them against the wall.
The villain had always liked their eldritch schemes.
“Would you look at that,” cooed the hero, against the furious throbbing behind their chest. “Your favorite position.”
The villain didn’t respond, not at first. Instead did their gaze—dark, in every sense of the word—take its time coasting the length of the hero’s body. As for the hero’s body? It had gone numb. Wound with enough nerves to rival even the clamp of the villain’s gloved hand on their neck.
The villain’s breath fanning the hero’s skin was measured, not at all rattled by the sight before them. The hero would never take that as a good sign for the world. After all, it was at their calmest that the villain was the most terrifying. The hero tried their best not to be terrified.
“I think,” the villain said, after a time, “that it’s your favorite position, not mine.”
“And why is that?” Stalling, or genuinely curious?
When the villain leaned in, the hero wasn’t prepared for it. Their hand tightened its vice-like hold, and then:
“Because you seem to love backing yourself into corners you can’t get out of.”
God, it was true. The hero struggled against their human restraint. No use.
“So bold,” uttered the villain—to themselves or to the hero, the hero couldn’t tell. “Daring to come straight into my lair like this. How long did it take you to uncover my location? Days? Weeks?”
“Did you get tipped off?”
“You must have bugged the place,” the villain went on, like the hero had entertained their questions once. “You bugged it, didn’t you? That was your grand plan, wasn’t it? To track my every movement.”
The hero’s silence was telling. The hero recognized that it was. Was more than aware of the villain’s eyes darkening even further, if that was possible. Yet: silence.
Right when the hero thought this would come to blows, the villain eased back, some warped semblance of a smile scrawled upon their features. “No matter,” they said. “I’ve always wanted to tie you up, in any case.”
The hero’s heart neglected a beat.
“That,” the hero said, slowly, “was one of your worst lines yet.”
“Oh, trust me.” And the villain was dragging them away from their hiding place, away from safety, away from all the escape routes they’d planned. “That wasn’t a line.”
The hero couldn’t help it—they felt those words in their bones. Next time they saw the light of day, it would only be once the villain had gotten the answers they wanted.
The hero would never be able to tell when the sun rose.
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Bound and gagged, Hero was forced to kneel on the ground, thanks to the unyielding restraints. They heard footsteps approaching and steeled themselves for whatever sadistic mind games Whumper had planned for them today.
The door to their cell swung open to reveal none other than Villain. Hero blinked up in surprise at first, before quickly shifting into an icy glare.
Brilliant. Just what they needed, another self-obsessed prick to come and toy with them.
Villain strolled into the cell with a grin on their face. “Fancy seeing you here Hero.”
Hero narrowed their eyes, as it was pretty much all they could do.
“Take that pesky cloth out of their mouth.” Villain casually tossed the order to Whumper’s guards who glanced at each other, but otherwise didn’t move.
That’s when Whumper made their appearance, rounding the corner into the cell. “Now why ever would I want to do that?”
Villain rolled their eyes, grin faltering only for a moment, before they turned to face Whumper. “Because they’re no fun like this. Besides, it’s been so long since I’ve heard their pretty little voice, isn’t that right little bird?” Villain purred, directing the last bit at Hero who jerked against their bindings in response.
Whumper considered for a moment before signaling their guards to remove the gag.
“What are you doing here?” Hero immediately snapped, although it came out a bit raspy and painful since it had been so long since they were able to speak.
“Well I came to see my favorite little hero, of course,” Villain responded, stalking closer, still grinning.
Hero scoffed, “You mean you came here to gloat.”
Villain’s grin only widened. “Ah, there’s the Hero that we know and love.”
“Love to torture or love to play with?” Hero snapped back. “You know what, it’s probably a bit of both. Oh, who am I kidding it’s a lot of both.”
Villain only chuckled. “See what I mean? So much more entertaining this way,” Villain drawled, not bothering to glance back at Whumper, who had been observing their exchange with crossed arms and their trademark scowl.
“Make them think that they have some sort of defense, some sort of freedom, rile ‘em up a bit. Then when they try to lunge and take you down, they’re forced to face that they are well and truly trapped - entirely at your mercy,” Villain carried on, intense gaze never leaving Hero for a moment.
Hero faked a yawn. “You always did enjoy the sound of your own droning voice just a little too much, Villain. Then again, so does Whumper, but they have to keep me gagged because it would appear that not all people are able to defend themselves when bantering ensues. Some peoples minds are just too simple to comprehend it, I suppose.” Hero had an innocent face on throughout their entire speech, but Villain could see the amused smile in Hero’s eyes at the last part. Villain, however, didn’t bother to hide their amusement, as they turned around to face a fuming Whumper who looked like they were ready beat Hero into nothing but a blob on the concrete.
“I believe I understand why you feel the need to keep that thing in their mouth now,” Villain responded. Then lowered their voice to something more serious than the playful tone they had been using, they added “I’m sure you would’ve beaten Hero to death if you had to listen to that all day long.” Then their voice changed back to something lighter again. “I can take them with me. I have much more efficient ways of getting what I want out of them anyways.”
Hero’s blood froze at that. Whumper was terrible, but at least Hero knew how to deal with them. They’d only ever dealt with Villain when bantering and fighting, but being tied up with no escape? That was a completely different game.
“And why ever would I just hand them over to you?” Whumper demanded, head tilting up ever so slightly.
“Hmm, now that’s a very good question,” Villain responded with mock consideration. “Perhaps you should remember that I can collapse your entire ‘operation’ with little more than a bat of my eye,” Villain continued with that same light tone and a not unpleasant smirk.
Clearly, Whumper received the message all the same as their eyes widened before they recomposed themself. “Have it your way then,” they bit out.
“Perfect.” Villain spun on their heels and gave a two-finger beckoning motion over their shoulder to the guards. “Do bring Hero along.” Villain half turned to lock eyes with Hero. “We have a lot of catching up to do.”
The look in Villain’s eyes told Hero that they were going to miss Whumper and the gag.
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She performed before the Queen’s court every night.
That was her only purpose, her only function—to learn new dances and look good doing them.
That’s why she was there. Why she had been taken from her home, her family, her life. Because she was a pretty thing, and the Queen valued pretty things.
Valued, as long as they were in her possession.
The dancer pushed back into her dressing room, breathing hard. It had been stylized jazz tonight, a style that didn’t come naturally to her yet. Not to mention it was exhausting.
Once, she had only had to dance her strongest styles. The things she’d been doing since she could walk. But those would hardly entertain the Queen forever, so now her trainers demanded versatility.
The Queen had spared no expense to maximize the value of her newest pretty thing. Lise had her own choreographer, strength trainer, and technique expert, as well as food and accommodations more lavish than anything she could have dreamed of in her birth town.
Everybody knew the Queen had grown implacable after the Princess Consort's death. Nobody could amuse her sufficiently, and eventually the money was not enough to offset her reputation among performers.
So she had begun to take what she wanted.
And she had wanted Lise.
She stripped her heels and tossed them on a chair to grab later. Her hair was in a rather elaborate braid tonight, so she perched in front of the mirror to begin untangling it.
Her days were nothing but dance now—technique class and conditioning in the mornings, learning and rehearsing the night’s dance in the afternoons, and performing in the evening.
That had been her dream once. But this wasn’t the same. This wasn’t her choice.
A knock on her door interrupted her thoughts. She sighed; she’d hoped her choreographer would wait until tomorrow to give notes on the night’s performance. But it wasn’t Ezra that opened the door.
The attendant nodded at her. “Miss Lise, the Queen sends her compliments on tonight’s performance. She will not be holding court tomorrow—”
Yes, a day off. Not completely off, she would have to do some cross training at least, but the night would be hers—
“—so Her Majesty has requested a private performance.”
Lise froze, a pin halfway between her head and the dresser. “I’m sorry?”
“The Queen would like you to come to her chambers tomorrow evening to perform for her alone.”
Lise searched the attendant’s face behind her through the mirror, trying to find some hint of mistakenness or humor. Never, not once had she seen the Queen not surrounded by her court, seated on a throne or behind a banquet table.
Her stomach rolled as she realized that it was a legitimate 'request’. As much as it may sound like one, she knew enough about the Queen to understand that it wasn’t.
“Of course,” she said. “I would be honored.”
⁕ ⁕ ⁕
Ezra barely looked up when she entered the studio the next afternoon, busy marking through the steps of his newest routine.
“Ballet today. Pointe shoes on.”
A little of the tension went out of Lise’s shoulders. At least it was a style she knew well. “Is that at the Queen’s request, too?” She adjusted her toe pads and shoved her foot into one of the shoes.
“She said, I believe, ‘she can dance whatever she likes.’”
“Ready, then? Let’s go.”
Lise got to her feet. “Wait. Do you know why...why she wants this?”
Ezra stared at her blankly. “I imagine she’d like a break from court, but doesn’t want to spend the night bored. What do you mean?”
“Nothing.” She started rolling through her feet to soften the shoes, trying to shake her unease.
“Alright.” he shrugged. “We start on 7, 8...”
⁕ ⁕ ⁕
The Queen’s floor was polished wood, too slippery to be comfortable en pointe. But so was the ballroom, and the stage, so Lise had had practice at it. That didn’t stop her from nearly slipping several times.
Her costume was a deeply v-cut black leotard with an attached gossamer skirt that fell to mid-thigh in front and brushed her calves in the back. It was a dramatic piece of music, and she was made up rather dramatically as well, so she tried to match the intensity of it with her movement. Anything to focus on other than the Queen observing intently from the chaise lounge in her sitting room.
Soutenu, pique arabesque, cut through, pas de beurre.
Her training urged her to make eye contact, to pull her audience in; her survival instincts advocated otherwise.
After a final step-over turn—that she didn’t fall out of, thank god—she sank to one knee and pushed over her shoe, extending her arms out into a final pose. And waited. Waited for a sign she could leave, that there was a next act ready to come in, this whole ordeal over with.
From the corner of her eye, she saw the Queen sit forward, tipping her head as if to study Lise. Finally, she clapped, slowly. “Well done, my dancer. As always.”
Lise rose and curtsied automatically, yet something kept her pinned in place. Standing in b-plus, eyes down, as if she were a student waiting for corrections from her ballet master again.
“I have been content to admire you from afar. Now, I admit, I find myself curious if you are as perfect as you seem.”
Perfect? She’d tripped many a time, forgotten many a step, in front of the Queen.
Lise’s lungs suddenly refused to take in air. She picked her way towards the chaise at an awkward midpoint between ballet-walking and normal-walking, heart pounding. She was almost grateful to kneel as she was bid at the Queen’s feet, if only to hide her shaking legs.
The Queen used a hand to lift Lise’s chin and caress her face. The dancer finally raised her eyes to meet the Queen’s, and found she couldn’t look away. The deep brown gaze held hers for a long moment, drinking in her fear.
“You serve me well, my dancer. I should like to reward you.”
“Then let me go,” Lise whispered. “Please.”
“Have I not provided well for you? What waits out there for you that I could not give?”
“My home. My family, my friends. You tore me from my life; you cannot expect me to be grateful for it.”
“Be careful, darling,” the Queen murmured. “You speak of your family. Your home.”
Lise paled. No. Why had she not considered that the Queen could hurt them? Oh, no. “Please...”
The Queen hummed, sitting back. “How about this- I shall begin to compensate your family for your service. So long as you perform at your best for me, your family will be provided for as you are.”
Lise forced her mouth into a curve. “You are gracious, Your Majesty.”
As she understood the Queen did not make requests, she saw now that there was more than her own well-being hinging on the Queen’s obsession with her.
The Queen graced Lise with a smile, offering her a seat beside her. “Let’s find out what’s behind the curtain, shall we?”
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Reconcile (Good Vlad AU ~ Oneshot)
It happened in early winter, that's all he could tell because of the first signs of snowfall outside of the window next to his bed at the hospital. Vlad had been there for, what, a month or so? Kept in isolation from everyone apart from a couple of doctors and nurses. Honestly, it was entirely possible Vlad had been there for longer for all he knew since every day blurred into the next after the accident.
Vlad couldn't feel it though, the cold, because these days his skin always felt either unnaturally chilly or feverishly hot to the touch. The only constant Vlad could feel was pain. The morphine helped ease that pain a little bit, but all that was left to feel after that was this cold numbness. And since the doctors thought he had been exposed to radiation of some kind -which to be fair they weren't wrong- no one has been allowed to see him after he was admitted there.
But still, Vlad had hoped his friends would come see him eventually. And more importantly, he wanted the chance to give Jack a piece of his mind! That...that traitor knew the portal experiment was unstable and potentially dangerous and yet he still pressed the-
“Excuse me, are you awake Mr. Masters? You have a visitor,” a nurse called after knocking on the door and poking her head inside.
At first Vlad was happy that he had a visitor, hoping it would be Maddie so he could get these feelings off his chest about how angry he was at Jack...but as soon as he saw the large silhouette waiting outside the door he knew there was only one person that would have come here to see him who had such a wide girth. It was Jack. But he wasn't ready to see him, not yet, not when all Vlad could think about is how his best friend had almost killed him...
Turning his head away Vlad finally muttered, “Sorry, I'm not feeling well. Please tell them to come back lat-ER!”
Vlad grunted the last word of that sentence as Jack burst into the room, tears rolling down his cheeks as the man called him by that ridiculous nickname of Vladdy he insists on using. Normally Vlad could shrug it off, but right now the nickname felt insulting somehow as if Jack was making light of what happened the last time they saw each other. Either way it's a good thing Maddie actually was there and managed to help the nurse pry him off, reminding Jack that Vlad's in the hospital as a patient so giving him a bear hug wasn't the best idea.
Regardless, Jack looked at Vlad's bandaged face and sobbed, “I'm so sorry V-man. We tried to come sooner but they wouldn't let us in! We were so worried about you!”
Nodding, Maddie put a supportive hand on Jack's shoulder and continued awkwardly. “He's right, as soon as we recovered from the shock of what had happened to you we immediately went looking for you but you had already collapsed somewhere. Jack was heartbroken and didn't understand what went wrong with the portal. I tried to find out too but it was no use, whatever happened fried the wiring and-”
Cutting herself off as soon as she realized she was going off on a tangent when their friend's well-being was much more important, Maddie dropped her hand from Jack's shoulder and asked with a sad smile, “How're you feeling? Have they been taking good care of you? I tried to explain your condition to the doctor but...they didn't believe me about it being related to ectoplasmic energy.”
“Why would they? As far as they're concerned ghosts don't exist,” Vlad replied with a guarded expression, unwilling to admit he tried to do the exact same thing only for his arguments to be thoroughly dismissed since he's not a doctor. “As for the rest they're...doing the best they can I suppose.”
An awkward silence filled the room since none of them knew what to say after that, but then, Jack spoke up and said, “Vladdy? Um, I know it's a bit squished but I made this for you. It's...my way of saying sorry for everything. I should have listened to you and Mads when you told me to stop.”
Reaching into one of the many pockets of his jumpsuit which according to Jack was handed down to him by his grandfather and designed after an outfit one of his ghost-hunting ancestors wore, he handed Vlad what appeared to be a misshapen block of homemade fudge. The gesture might not have seemed like a big deal to anyone else, but for Jack who absolutely loved the stuff and couldn't help himself from eating almost all of it himself in one sitting whenever he made or bought it, however, the fact that Jack was sharing an entire serving of it just for Vlad really was his way of showing his sincerity. Similarly, Maddie reached into her bag and pulled out a couple of her ghost folklore books for him to read since she figured Vlad must have been bored laying in bed all day.
Vlad was at a loss for words because he had almost given up hope that they'd ever come visit him, hope that Jack would own up to his mistakes for once and apologize. But since he did, Vlad couldn't stay mad. He wanted to, but couldn't, not since this forgetful yet earnest man had gone out of his way to finally come see him. The same goes for Maddie, Vlad was sure she felt guilty too for not stopping Jack in time since she's always been the more careful of the two when it comes to their experiments...
Accepting their gifts but resisting the urge to wipe the tears from his eyes since his face still hurt, Vlad held them in his lap and sniffled, “Thank you. Thank you both for coming. I...was afraid you had abandoned me.”
“Come on V-man, give me a little credit,” Jack smiled, gently punching Vlad's shoulder. “You're my best friend! I know I can be careless and stupid sometimes, but friends have to stick together through thick and thin don't they? We'll get through this together and then maybe we can try again with the ghost portal. We were so close!”
Grimacing at the thought of going anywhere near that portal again, Vlad was relieved when Maddie interjected and said, “Jack, don't forget that it's our fault this happened so before any of that we need to make sure Vlad's going to be ok. We don't know what that portal did to him and the doctors are only going to be able to help him so much. The best thing we can do for him is go back to square one and find out what we did wrong so it doesn't happen again.”
“Shoot, you're right. I'm sorry,” Jack apologized, looking dejected. “Don't worry Vladdy, I'll make this all up to you I promise! And we'll visit more too!”
Smiling weakly more because it hurt to move his face too much, Vlad nodded, “I'd like that.”
Soon after that, before Maddie could comment on anything else the nurse shooed them out so they could get Vlad ready for his next check up. But as soon as he was alone again Vlad reached over to set the fudge and books on the desk next to him when they unexpectedly slipped through his fingers. Blinking in confusion but brushing it off as clumsiness, he sighed and swung his feet over the bed so he could bend down to pick them up again. This time though, when he reached for them again they didn't just slip through his fingers as a figure of speech...they LITERALLY passed through them! Alarmed Vlad recoiled from both objects, his heart racing when he mustered the courage to look at his hands only to find they were translucent.
Realizing his sudden spike in heart activity would alert the hospital staff Vlad concentrated as hard as he could to restore his fingers to a solid state again. It took some effort but thankfully he managed to pull it off. It was in that moment though that Vlad realized, for better or worse, his relationship with Jack and Maddie would never be the same again...
And neither would he.
Note: I normally don’t write fully-fledged story content on tumblr apart from headcanon ideas or sharing updates about new chapters for my fanfics, but since I had started this oneshot before my Good Vlad AU started to really kick off and wasn’t that far along I adapted it into a special oneshot about Jack and Maddie coming to see Vlad at the hospital after the accident. I always wondered why they never did and usually assumed Vlad turned them away himself (mostly Jack) along with the doctors and his friends eventually move on and kind of forgot about him for all those years.
Either way, I wanted to see what could have happened if they managed to fix things with Vlad sooner while still on somewhat good terms before that sense of abandonment and resentment for Jack could take root in Vlad’s heart. Hopefully that comes across here in this little story snippet! I might post this on my actual fanfiction account later but for now, it’s here for you guys especially!
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This is just something I wanted to write. It is a yandere story and if you like the snippet, I might continue it :3
It was a lovely day in Hyrule as Crown Princess (Name) Hyrule, elder half-sister of Princess Zelda, sat under a tree as she watched the Knights train, well more specifically, a certain blond knight train. She sighed happily, oh what she wouldn't give to have him as her personal guard. That when it comes to her….her father had been bothering her with picking one a lot more lately, he wouldn't say no to her finally picking one, even if it's the one the Dear King meant to save for his darling Zelda. Standing up, she faced her most loyal maid, Mary, "Mary."
The maid straightened her back as she heard her voice, "Yes, your Highness?"
"Go and warn Dear Father, that I have found a knight to be by my side, so he can finally stop worrying so much.", without saying anything more, she dusted off her dress, made sure her hair had no leaves or twigs, and made her way down the small hill. With poor Mary panicking behind her.
The poor maid wasn't the only one panicking, as the poor knights were also scrambling to get into a respectful stance to their crown princess. They were sweating in fear, instead of from training now, as Princess (Name) stood in front of them, smiling. Princess (Name) was what people of Hyrule called a deathly beauty, she was gorgeous, but also deathly smart, in both politics and war, simply her presents in a room would demand attention and respect. The princess also cared deeply for her kingdom, which gained respect from its many people.
(Name) smiled as she stood in front of them, then pointed her perfectly manicured nail at them, "Bring me the knight in training named Link.", quickly, the crowd parted away to reveal the blond knight-in-training.
He walked over until he stood a foot in front of her then bowed, "Your Highness."
Smiling, she slightly covered her mouth as she stated, "Link..would you like to become my personal guard?", the entire training yard became quiet, even the bugs and animals stopped making noise as the question left the crown princess' mouth.
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[ This is going to make it into the fic somewhere I swear. Anyway, the set up is, Aethel has just mentioned Erwin Schrödinger’s famous thought experiment involving the cat in the box. ]
Max: I remember a story about this. A mental exercise to convey the incompleteness of the math, and why we must continue to pursue the Equation. It involved a cat and a box.
Felix: I hear thundercats love boxes.
Max: <patiently> This doesn’t involve real boxes or real cats, son. It’s just a story to illustrate what it means when the math only gives you probabilities as the answer instead of an actual answer.
Max: Imagine you set up a shielded box. Inside, there’s a very small remote-controlled medallion-tossing mechanical and an N-ray generator.
Felix: Medallion-tossing mechanical? Like to decide who serves the tossball first?
Max: Yes, exactly. It’s a fifty-fifty chance as to how the medallion lands. If the medallion lands heads-up, the mechanical triggers the generator to release a lethal N-ray. Tails-up, no N-ray. You put the cat inside, close up the box, and remotely trigger the toss. You have no way of knowing which side the medallion landed on, and subsequently whether or not the mechanical triggered the N-ray, so you have no way of knowing whether the cat is alive or not. There’s a 50% chance that it’s alive, and a 50% chance that it’s dead.
Parvati: Why would anyone want to kill a cat like that?
Max: The cat isn’t real, Parvati. It’s just a thought experiment.
Parvati: Well, even if they’re in my thoughts, I don’t like the idea of killing cats.
Aethel: <smoothly interjecting> In the early 21st Century, a scientist named Elder—ah, Doctor Carroll postulated another version, using a sedative instead of something lethal. So the cat is either asleep or awake.
Parvati: I like that much better.
Felix: Won’t the cat try to get out of the box? And it’s a thundercat. There’s no way you’re keeping a thundercat in a box if it doesn’t want to be there. Just how big is this box?
Parvati: Maybe it’s a teacup thundercat?
Aethel: That’ll work. And Felix, you yourself said that thundercats love boxes. Let’s pretend this is the cat’s most favorite box and it likes to be in there.
Felix: Okay, I can do that.
Parvati: Let’s put a comfy blanket in the box.
Max: <pinches the bridge of his nose, with an expression that makes it clear that this conversational sidebar is causing him actual, physical pain.> The point is that you won’t actually know what happened with the cat until you open the box. Until you open the box, the best the math can do for you is say that the cat is dead — all right! All right! Asleep — and al..awake at the same time: in two states simultaneously. It’s only when you open the box that you discover which state it’s in. The math implies that it’s the act of opening the box that causes the cat’s two states to settle into one or the other.
Parvati: So it’s you opening the box that makes the cat either asleep or awake?
Max: That is the mystical, Philosophist interpretation. That there’s something special about animal consciousness that can affect the universe somehow, that it’s the act of observation that determines the result. Scientism knows this is ridiculous. The thought experiment simply demonstrates that our understanding of the Plan is not complete, that we don’t fully understand the Equation. Once we do, we’ll be able to accurately predict what happened to the cat without needing to open the box.
<Parvati and Felix both look over at Aethel. Max finds himself gritting his teeth.>
Aethel: That is the mainstream interpretation, yes.
Max: <sees that look on her face, mischief twinkling in her eyes, and knows damned well that if he opens his Law-forsaken mouth, she’s going to say something inherently upsetting and the children will eat it up like Purpleberry Crunch, and nonetheless he absolutely cannot stop himself.> You have another? What do you think the math implies?
Aethel: There are two cats.
Max: <head explodes>
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