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#talk about homey and cozy and inviting and-I can go on and on
harryspet · 9 months ago
Hey hun! 😊😊 For the holiday dark fics can I request a dark Neighbor AU for Steve with the prompt 41) “You were never supposed to find out...”
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a/n: hope you enjoy!! thank you for requesting :) @opheliadawnwalker3
You sat across from Steve in a comfortable loveseat that sat in his living room, the fireplace warming the two of you. You only meant to stop by, to give him the plate of brownies, but he’d insisted that you come inside. You had to admit that his home was quite cozy, decked in lots of Christmas decorations, and the grin on his face was even warmer than the room. 
It was a wonder that he was the only one that lived in the house,  him being the only single bachelor in the entire neighborhood. Every time you came home for the holidays, your mother tried to set you up with him and you imagined the brownies were her strategy this year. 
“I didn’t think we’d get any snow this year,” You heard him say and you sipped at the hot cocoa he’d provided you. You could see through the window behind him that the snow was starting to fall lightly. 
“Me neither,” You agreed, “It’s gonna be a perfect Christmas Eve, I can already tell.”
Though he smiled, you noticed a longing in his eyes, like he was suddenly transported somewhere else, “I’m sure your mother has a lot of festivities planned.”
“Right,” you nodded, “She’s a bit crazy but she puts me in the spirit so it's fine … you’re not having any family over?”
Again, though there was a grin on his face, his eyes told a different story, “No, I don’t have much family,” He looked down at his own mug of hot cocoa, “But it’s still my favorite holiday as you can tell.” 
You laughed politely, “Yeah, I think the snow globes give it away,” You hinted at the fireplace which was beautifully decorated. You wondered if he’d invited you inside just because he wasn’t going to have anyone to talk to this year, “You should come over for dinner … tomorrow, I mean.”
His eyes widened and for a moment he seemed happy until he brushed it off, “Oh, no. Thank you though-”
“I’m serious,” You continued, “I know my Mom makes things a little awkward with us but I’ll tell her to tone it down. You shouldn’t be alone on the holidays.” You could imagine your mom jumping up and down in happiness right now. You weren’t interested in Steve, you lived an entire other life for most of the year, but you couldn’t leave without offering. 
“That would … that would be really nice,” He said, “Speaking of your Mom, I picked out some things to give to her. I was hoping to get a second opinion, they’re just in my office-”
“Yeah, sure,” You agreed, “Do you mind if I use your bathroom first?”
“Uhm,” He stood up just as you did, almost startling you, “Yes, let me take that from you-” You smiled awkwardly as you handed him the mug, “You can use the one upstairs. It’s the second door to the left.”
“I’ll be right back.”
You could’ve sworn you felt his eyes on you as you walked up the stairs. You brushed off the feeling and focused on handling your business. The upstairs was just as homey as the downstairs. He was like an alien to the rest of the male species, everything seemed so together that now you understood why your mother liked him so much. 
Things were going normally but you noticed a bottle of shampoo sitting in the shower. Coconut oil and cocoa butter. That was your favorite scent and you couldn’t remember the last time you used a different brand. You paused to think about it only for a moment. 
After washing your hands, you were using a hand towel when you smelt something familiar. Feeling crazy, you brought the hand towel to your nose to smell it. You could’ve sworn it smells exactly like your favorite winter perfume. At least, your old favorite, because they stopped selling that gingerbread and brown sugar mix a few years ago. 
Your eyebrows were still furrowed in confusion when you left the bathroom. After two weird coincidences, your curiosity was piqued and maybe that's why you approached the bedroom with the cracked door. It was just a peak but you found much more than you bargained for.
Scatter around the room were a bunch of your things, or replicas of your things. Your old blankie, some of your jewelry and knick knacks from your childhood bedroom. You even picked up your graduation photo which sat in a photo frame atop of a dresser. You held your breath, knowing you couldn’t spend any more time investigating, and you’d stepped back slowly but you’d already crossed a line. 
Like you’d tampered with a precious object in his dollhouse, he knew where you were. You moved quickly out of the room only to run into the wall that Steve called a chest, “Steve-” You smiled, hoping you could play pretend, “I’m sorry, everything is decorated so nicely that I had to look-”
“You were never supposed to find out,” His voice was solemn and a bit disappointed. Your heart was in your stomach and, looking in his eyes, he knew that you knew his secret. 
“Find out what?” You were still smiling though it was taking all the strength you had, “Can we go back downstairs?”
He moved forward, urging you back into the room and you knew then you had to decide what you were going to do. You could fight it, or you try and run, but you found yourself freezing, “Steve, you’re scaring me …” That was an understatement, “I thought we were going to look at gifts …”
“I never touched you,” He said and you nodded.
“I-I know.”
“I was good. I never crossed the line,” You started to realize that you weren’t talking about the same thing, “I watched from afar, that’s it, and I could’ve- I could’ve crossed the line many times but I didn’t.”
You kept nodding, “And you still don’t have to,” Your voice was small and, for a moment, you thought he might listen but he grabbed the door and shut it, “I’ll pretend I never saw anything! Like you said, you were good and you’re a good guy, I know that.”
“Did you ever … feel the same way?” 
Lie. 
“Yes, o-of course. I just never thought it would work with me living in another city,” He didn’t believe you. That much you could tell by the way his hands were tapping at his sides. 
“Your Mom always thought we would be together,” He said, “She probably would be overjoyed if we started seeing each other.”
Lie.
“Yeah,” You agreed, “She’d think it was a Christmas miracle. We could … we could tell her together, you know.”
Steve sighed, “I know that can’t happen. You think I’m crazy, I can see it in your eyes,” With great force, he grabbed you by your upper arm, pulling you into him. It seemed that he was breaking all his old rules and you were afraid he felt like he had nothing to lose, “I’ve loved you for a long time, do you know that?”
“Y-You have?” His grip relaxed and he seemed to savor your touch. He pulled you closer, his hand wrapping behind your back side, leaning down to press a kiss to your forehead. A shiver moved down your spine as you realized he was smelling your hair.
Lie.
“I don’t think you’re crazy, Steve.”
“You will,” He spoke bluntly, and you knew there was no talking him down. You tried to push away from him though he held you tightly, “But that’s okay! Time heals all things.”
“Let go of me, please,” You begged, tears staining your cheeks, but you felt your feet lift off the ground as he carried you over to the bed, “Please!”
He climbed on top of you, holding down your kicking limbs. His blonde hair fell messily over his forehead, his breathing was heavy but not from the physical exertion. He was breathless because he was looking at you, touching you, and soon he’d have you in more ways than one. 
“I don’t want to hurt you, doll, but it’ll be better if you relax because I’m gonna take my time with you.”
When he kissed you, he made sure you felt all of his love.
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finn-ray-nal-beads · 7 months ago
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Afternoon Delight
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A/N: Hey everyone! I finally have another update for these two! We’re thankfully out of the drama that was Woodstock and headed to prep for the last half of this lil’ novella! I hope everyone has enjoyed it so far! So much more to come! As always please lmk if you would like to be added or removed from this taglist and as always, ya girl has songs added into this chapter that are linked and on my Flip Playlist located in my Masterlist. Thank you all and I love the support and love on here! I will update again when I have the time! 
Warnings: face fucking, Dom!Flip, gagging/choking/coughing, aftercare (because our soft mach man can’t stand not taking care of us), mentions of floofs (we do something... naughty), mentions of BJ’s, mentions of handjobs, mentions of children, dirty talk, slight daddy kink (not very much and it’s not DDLG), smut smut smut and more SMUT, cum swallowing, cum eating, diddling your own skittle, copious amounts of fluff, and a dash of razzle dazzle
(6 months later) 
The sun peeked through the ivory curtains, revealing the chirping birds and the alarm clock as it sounded through the quiet room. 
“Mmmm,” you mumbled under a mess of crisp sheets and a down comforter, feeling out for the ringing on the nightstand to switch it off, “Ugh, fuck, Phil,” you groaned, knowing full well he had set the alarm so you’d wake up at a better time than you previously would alone. 
Your messy hair appearing from under the clouds of pillows to punch the clock off, rubbing your tired eyes as you stretched out to see the glorious morning showing through your huge window. After the drama-filled weekend in Bethel, Flip insisted you move in. The truck halted at your house in a frenzy as he loaded boxes of your stuff into the dusty tailgate to which you offered help but were snubbed because he was a man for God’s sake and couldn’t have you lift a pinky even if he did need assistance. 
It was both endearing and suffocating to have such a macho man in your presence, but of course, you got used to it as the months trudged on. He was so helpful, making coffee in the morning before the sun rose, chopping wood in the backyard for the gorgeous fireplace in the living room, and you returned the favors by being the doting wife-to-be. Decorating the house with kitschy knick-knacks, throws, pillows, and shifting the vibe to become more ‘homey’ as you called it. Flip had never been one to decorate, nor knew what a down comforter was before you both went shopping for one on his very few days off. 
______________
“Honey, why would we get a white bed?” he gestured to the set you’d been eyeing in the department store for months, the matching sheets a crisp white as well, “this has got to be the worst color to pick,” he groaned, rubbing his goatee as you smoothed out the display, motioning the checker over to ring up the prices for you.
“It’s the style I’m going for, cowboy,” winking at him and looking around for some accent pillows, curtains to match, and a rug to put the whole room together, “it’s gonna go so perfect with the wood in the bedroom honey, I promise!” gripping his shirt collar to drag him down for a kiss. 
“Please?” whining with puppy eyes as you made him feel a furry pillow you’d been holding, “we can stain test it if you let me buy it?” biting your lip as you set the pillow in his arms. 
He rolled his eyes, picking the back pocket of his jeans where his wallet laid and handed you the cash to get whatever you felt would decorate the room the best.
“This,” he flailed the money in your lit-up face, “is your budget honey,” glowing amber eyes staring into your smile as he handed it to you. You squealed, turning around to find the rest of the accents to compliment the bedding and settling on just enough to fix it up just right for you and him. 
This, of course, was how you got the entire house decorated the correct way. Buttering him up with dirty ideas, hand jobs in the car rides to various places, the occasional road-head when needed for a large purchase like the sectional couch that adorned your living room. 
“Can I smoke in here?” he panted, sweating from the price tag of the couch, “fuck it I’m gonna do it, holy fuckin’ shit,” grunting as he lit a filter in the showroom, feeling relief as he saw the salesman light one at his desk before approaching you both with the numbers. 
“Honey don’t you worry,” patting his thick chest as he exhaled a plume away from your face, “I’ll give you a nice sloppy one on it once we get it home,” tugging his collar as you kissed that special spot on his ear, sending shivers all the way to his dick. He loved it when you went shopping for this shit, but of course wasn’t going admit it for fear he’d go bankrupt over the carnal sex you were having. It was all a give and take dance, after all.
The wedding preparations were also going fairly smoothly. You’d both decided the best place to ‘do the deed’ would be in an outdoor setting, booking a gorgeous Cheyenne Mountain Campground for the hoards of guests who had been RSVPing since the invites had been sent out. 
The wedding dress you’d picked was found out of the blue when walking down the street past a local shop. The gown was a perfect ivory tone, the lace cinching just right in the fitting for alterations. It was a vision and it made you and your mother cry when she visited from out of town to see her daughter try it on. 
Things were just perfect. Flip was perfect. The house was perfect. The wedding was coming together in every way. A sigh of relief since the Woodstock incident.
_______________
You finally got out of bed after your second round of coffee, enjoying the spring morning as you sipped and read a few chapters of a book. You had put on The Led Zeppelin album via the record player in the living room. The echoing of the guitar riffs floating in an effervescence through the home as you danced on the hardwood floors. 
You went to turn on the shower, singing along to Stairway To Heaven, seeing the steam emanating from the glass box as the water heated to the perfect temperature. You loved your morning showers, taking the time and effort to wash every nook and cranny as it had been most likely railed the night before in a sweaty fervor of teeth, tongue, and inevitable cock shoving. You had to make sure you were perfect. Not just for him, but yourself. That’s the one thing your relationship with him had brought out. 
In the previous years, you were always worried about the pleasure and satisfaction of everyone around you, bowing and catering to every whim a boyfriend asked for. Losing yourself in their personalities and suffering as you cowered in your low self-esteem. But with Flip, it was wholly different. 
He was as independent as one could get. Survived on very little and bowed to no other person to get ahead in life. He was tough, rigid, and knew what he wanted out of life. His tenacity struck a chord with you. His drive made you want to be better for him and even more so, for yourself. Whether he knew it or not, he changed how you saw yourself. You would wake up in the morning feeling a better sense of purpose, shying away from the temptations of being absolutely rebellious, and focusing on things that made you happy and a better person. 
Hell, he even changed his stubborn ways… mostly. He learned to be patient with you, to take you as you were, and to love you with everything he had, which wasn’t hard for him. 
So, you cherished being life partners. Loving the cozy little home you’d made together, the laughs, the love, the sex, and the very few fights. It was just kismet. 
“What should we do today, Y/N?” sipping your third cup of coffee as you glazed over the guest list, making sure to check off the people who had mailed in more RSVPs the day prior. 
You picked up the ads in the paper after going through the list for the final time, folding it so you could look for a decent catering company to go up to the grounds and serve the wedding. You glazed over them, looking for signs of any restaurant offering deals when you came upon something. 
“Oh my god,” putting a fingernail in your mouth to bite it, looking at the ad staring you in the face, “Y/N don’t fucking,” grabbing the scissors to cut the thing out of the newspaper. 
You stuffed the paper in your purse, getting up to dump your coffee out and place it in the dishwasher as you grabbed your shoes to rush out of the house.
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The car screeched to a halt in the parking lot, your tinted sunglasses shimmering in the bright sunlight as you slammed the door. Platforms hitting the pavement as you pulled your top down and adjusted your purse on your shoulder. 
Looking in the rearview mirror to place a little more gloss on your lips, and fix your windblown hair as you went to your full height to walk into the building. 
“Good afternoon ma’am!” a happy clerk greeted you as a chorus of howls cascaded through the hallways, “what can I do for you today?” he smiled, placing his hands gingerly on the counter as you fumbled through your purse for the paper. 
“Hello there, sir,” smiling a bit uncomfortably as you rummaged through your bag like a crazy person, “I am here to see these,” handing him the crumpled mess as he cleared his throat to unfold and read it. 
He paused, looking at the print on the page, finally nodding as he read the information regarding you being present, “oh of course ma’am,” he stuttered, coming around the counter, “follow me this way!” cheerfully fast walking to the end of the long hallway, hearing the howling become even louder as he led you to a private room. 
“Take a seat right here Miss...?” he gestured to get your name as he inched towards the door.
“Oh shit, I’m sorry, I’m Miss Y/L/N,” extending a hand out to the man before he shook it vigorously. 
“Well, it’s nice to meet you! I’ll go get them right away!” shutting the door behind him to leave you bouncing your thigh on the bench, looking around at the small room as you set your purse down to pat your knees. 
A few minutes went by before he returned with them, putting them down on the floor for you to see, touch, kiss, and feel. Instantly falling in love with them as you gripped their cute little faces, and baby licks. 
“So, what are we thinkin’?” bending down to grab a little ear in his fingers as you wriggled with the other in a fit of giggles and kisses. 
“I-I love them!” practically being suffocated by the little thing as he gave you lick after lick, “I’ll take ‘em!” a huge grin spilling from your face as you grabbed the sweet little things in your arms to walk out of the small room. 
“Wonderful!” he chimed, leading you to the counter as you bounced them in both arms, not a care in the world as you paid for their shots and effects to go home with. They continued their licking and whining as their little tails wagged in your hugs, their puppy breath sending you into overdrive as you cuddled them at the counter.
“Thank you so much!” waving with both babies in your hands as the man saw you off, placing them in your car. They loved the ride, getting attention from you as well as many other people passing by at lights and stop signs. They were so precious, whining and barking as they toppled over each other the entire way home. 
The second they arrived you made sure they pottied outside, having bags ready to pick up any poop before Flip came home to step in it and gripe. Bursting through the door in a fit of leashes, bowls, beds, food, and other groceries you heaved it on the counter, watching your little angels rummage and sniff through their new home.
“Oh my sweet boys!” pandering as they waddled towards you, giving your fingers kisses and loves as you pet their baby-soft fur, “your daddy is gonna freak the fuck out when he sees you both,” speaking in baby-talk as you squished their little faces. You went to put everything in its place, resuming your activities like emptying the dishwasher, taking the trash out, switching the laundry, and keeping an eagle-eye out for any signs of an accident waiting to happen with your pumpkins.
Luckily the day went as smooth as you could have hoped, taking them outside to do their thing while you sipped on some lemonade, perched on a lawn chair while reading a book. They finally tired themselves out, taking a big sigh and plop under your chair to get a nap in the shade while you finished your book. 
Glancing down at their cute little bodies entangled with each other as they rested. Your heart was so full, wanting to scoop them up and cuddle them like children, but wanting them to get some good rest before the grump got home. 
_______________
“Y/N, honey, I’m home!” his booming voice echoed from the front door, the sound of his boots hitting the mat as he shrugged his jacket off.
“Honey?” looking around the empty living room as he searched for your pretty face, wanting to fuck the shit out of it like he’d been dreaming of the entire day. His dick straining in his jeans as he conjured up the images of your mascara running down your face while he held your head flush with his pelvis, plunging his seed down your open throat. 
“Butterfly?” looking in the kitchen to smell the roast cooking in the oven, still no you to be seen. He ducked into the fridge, grabbing a Coors as he cracked the cap open, hearing your melodious voice in the backyard of all places. 
“Y/N?” he opened the back door, seeing you standing on the deck, looking out into the yard. 
“Hey honey!” cheerfully smiling as he descended to wrap his arms around you, wondering what on Earth you’d be looking at back here. 
“Hey, cowboy,” grabbing the back of his head as he pulled you flush with his front, rubbing his hard-on on your ass and dipping his head to kiss the side of your neck. 
“Well, someone’s excited to see me, huh,” whispering as you turned around in his arms to see his handsome face, “I missed you too,” running your hands on his chest as you kissed him passionately. 
“I love you,” he whispered, kissing you again as he wrapped his arms around you even more.
“I love you too, honey,” whispering on his lips as a faint jingle penetrated the air, followed by a light scratch on his boots. He looked down to see four pairs of puppy eyes gazing up at him. The sight practically making him jump out of his pants. 
“What the fuck are those?!” the babies cowered, whining as they ran behind you. 
“Honey! You’re scaring them!” going to whisper sweet nothings to the angels as you picked them up in your arms, their kisses covering you as he watched in shock.
“Y/N? Who’s fucking dogs are those?” gesturing as you looked him dead in the eyes, “and why are they here?” 
“They’re our babies honey!” laughing as his jaw dropped to the floor, “I got them for us… aren’t they adorable?!” nuzzling their little faces as they licked you even more. 
“Honey,” he rubbed his temples, completely dumbfounded, “why the hell did you get not one but two dogs? And why did you even get them in the first place?” placing his cold beer on his head as the migraine had begun to set in. 
“I wanted some company at home and I saw them in an ad this morning and… well I bought them!” bouncing them in your arms, “look at these faces and tell me they aren’t the cutest babies?” kissing their soft heads as you pet them. 
“Butterfly, we don’t need them though,” sitting down as he pulled a filter from his pack, “it’s like having two kids in the house,” exhaling a much needed plume to rub his temples again. 
“Well, it’s practice for when we have kids running around this house then!” putting them down to go sniff his boots as he stared them down. Their cute little bodies wiggling as they took in his scent, jumping on his jeans while he smoked the rest of his cigarette.
“Why am I even asking this,” he sighed, knowing the answer already, “did you name them already?” not even wanting to hear the inevitable answer as you lit up like a Christmas tree. 
“Mhmm!” so giddy knowing he’d obviously approve if you were attached already, “this one here,” lifting the spotted one up as you gave him a pet, “is Checkers, because he looks like a checkerboard, and this other one I named Waddles… because, well, look at how he walks all over,” the baby running towards you in a wobbly direction as he flopped into your lap. 
He chuckled, finishing his cigarette as he watched you love and kiss on them, his cold heart melting over the affections you were giving them.
“Here,” plopping Waddles on his lap as he smelled the bottom of his flannel, then propped his tiny front paws on his midsection, “love on him daddy,” winking as he choked on the nickname. 
“I’m sorry, what did you just call me?” grabbing the baby to pet his little head with his huge hand, to which the puppy immediately cuddled into his arm, making Flip feel all warm inside. 
“You heard me… daddy,” whispering as he shuddered from the words. 
“Bedroom,” he darkly asserted, getting up with the dog to bring him in the house, you following sheepishly with Checkers as you placed them both in the training kennel in the laundry room.
“We’ll be right back boys,” he pointed, slapping your ass as you raced upstairs with him right behind you. 
The second you were in the room he lifted you from your ass, throwing you on the bed in a fit of sighs and moans. 
“You must really like the new name, huh?” gripping his flannel to unbutton it as he tore your clothes off of you. 
“I’ve been wanting to fuck you since the second I woke up, butterfly,” gritting out as he shed you down to your bra and underwear, running a finger down the length of you as you shuddered from his touch. 
“Then fuck me, daddy,” moaning as his eyes turned even darker. 
“Get on the fucking bed,” he pushed your ass as you crawled beginning to lay down with your pussy facing his front, “not tonight, honey, daddy’s gonna fuck your face,” forcing you down so your head was dangling just enough for him to line his cock up with your pretty mouth on the edge of the bed. 
“I want you cryin’ on my cock tonight,” gripping the sides of your head in fistfuls of hair, hearing the moans emit from you mouth as it opened for his weeping tip, “after all, you’d obviously been a very naughty girl today, huh, butterfly?” circling his tip with your waiting tongue as you gulped his precum with all the effort you could muster. The sight only causing him to edge you further as you pushed your hips up into nothing.
“Such a greedy thing,” whispered as he slapped the side of your face with his erection, the wail emitting sending shockwaves through his spine, “you love my cock don’t you, mama?” the name going straight to your cunt as you whined for him to enter you in any way. 
“Answer me,” slapping your face again with his tip, the precum smearing all over as he lined himself up with you again. 
“I always want your cock, Flip,” kitten licking the underside of his tip as he rolled his head back in pleasure, the streams falling from the opening like a faucet. He couldn’t take it anymore, finally shoving head to hilt down your throat, the imprint of it seen in your windpipe as he grunted out a feral moan. 
The gag emitting making him hold you for a few seconds before he punished your throat relentlessly. Your tongue brushing his underside as his balls hit your face in utter pleasure. 
“Good G-God, I love your dirty fuckin’ mouth,” he panted, speeding up as he heard your muffled cries under him, feeling your nails digging into his thighs as he pummeled your gaping throat. 
“Fuckin’ love this perfect m-mouth,” gasping as he came closer and closer to the edge, “I-I’m gonna cum down this pretty throat of yours honey,” gritting as he sped up even faster, “touch yourself for me,” a pained cry emitting from you as you lowered a hand to push away your panties, the friction from the fabric had rubbed you almost to the edge as he pulled and pushed your body on the bed.
You encircled your stiffened bud, feeling your mouth tighten even more around his painfully hard cock, the tears streaming in pools down to the hardwood floor as he mercilessly face fucked you. 
The pleasure of it all becoming too much for the both of you as you rolled your eyes back in an Earth-shattering orgasm. The stimulation pushing your hips up as he felt the release emit into your esophagus. He pushed in until there was no more to squirt out, the cries from under him causing him to pull out as you gasped for air. A string of spit hanging from his tip to the edge of your mouth while you coughed and brought yourself to the upright position on the bed, knees shaking as your arms found the sheets to grasp. 
“Holy shit, honey, I’m so sorry, I don’t know what came over me I-I,” you held a finger out as he tried to grab your waist to pull you into the fetal position on his lap, petting your head while you both tried to come down. 
“I-It’s o-okay,” stifling as you gulped the air down, the tears coating your cheeks in black as he pushed your hair back, “I-I was pretty n-naughty,” chuckling and coughing as he did too. 
“Are you okay? Did I hurt you?” whispering as he kissed your forehead, rocking you in his arms like a child, “we don’t ever have to do that again.” 
“No, honey,” you shook your head, grabbing his face to look into his eyes, “that… was fucking amazing,” smiling as you kissed him deeply. 
“You sure?” searching your face for any kind of lie. 
“One hundred percent certain,” smiling as he placed more kisses on your cheeks, wiping the smeared tears off while you wrapped your arms in this thick midsection. 
“I love you, Y/N,” he whispered, kissing the top of your head. 
“I love you, Phil,” in the same tone while he rocked you again for a few seconds, only to hear maul wails chorus through the house. 
“Told you it’s like having two kids,” he chuckled, patting your thigh as you smiled up at him. 
“But they’re our kids honey,” moving to get up as you kissed his cheek. 
“Whatever you say, butterfly,” he shook his head as you both walked down to save the babies from their prisons, giving them kisses and cuddles until it was bedtime. 
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I THINK I’LL GET FIVE MORE DOGS IF IT MEANS FLIP WILL FUCK THE EVERLIVING SHIT OUT OF MY FACE.... 👀
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bowieexaminprogress · 4 months ago
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Directorial nuggets.
Vrijdag 19:40
We are finally at the kot. The amount of bikes at the front is indicative of the amount of students living inside the building.
Elias is an absolute stoned mess and I like how Younes is taking him up the stairs by himself. He is such a gentleman towards Yasmina even through her brother’s mess.
And then the door opens and we enter Younes’ living space. I adore when in film and tv we have a chance to discover the living space of a character because they say so much about them.
So let’s dissect what we see in this particular clip:
Vinyl covers and family photos on the wall, books everywhere, small Moroccan style mirrors and a Moroccan rugs on the floor, plants, a basketball on the tablet in between books and post it notes. The space of the room even though small appears homey, cozy, inviting, warm. The colour palette is very warm we have warm light, an orange sofa, wooden floors and table, green plants. It is organic. The room appears clean and generally tidy apart from the books that are placed on top of each other without thought. It is very indicative of someone that is a book warm. Someone who is probably reading multiple books at the same time. A guy that enjoys a relatively tidy space but is not too anal about it.
Yasmina in this sequence appears again quite judgy of Younes. She blames him for her brother’s condition, she immediately makes assumptions about him being stoned as well. I love how Younes calls her out on that but does it in a very sweet way. He looks at her from down up with his huge almond eyes and jokes about the fact that he is a lover of brownies, velvet cake and brésilienne. No wonder this boy has a sweet tooth. He is a dessert himself. (Elias here is just a riot he wants in, in that convo😂. Like boy go to sleep already).
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Younes again here is the problem solver. He has the solution. Our baby knows how to deal with situations like that making it clear that it is not the first time he dealt with a stoned as fuck friend. I love how Yasmina again follows what he says. There dynamic is amazing. Yasmina all throughout the clips tries to appear strong and mature but shows the immaturity of her years and her lack of experience of life in that situation because again she might be book smart but she hasn’t had the chance to gain life experience yet. And Younes is just chill offering his wisdom to her again and showing the fact that he is more mature and he knows what he is talking about.
The next part, I mean I have to give it up for Yasmina. If you can put your finger in your siblings mouth in order to make them vomit so they get sober, that’s love bitch.
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eclectic-confusion · 9 months ago
Text
Neighbors - Sherlock x FtM!Reader
Hey y'all! This is my first ever x reader fic and I'm super excited to share it!!! Also, my asks are open for any x reader requests you might have! I won't do smut, tho. Enjoy!!!
Part One - Part Two
AO3 and Wattpad links.
Word Count: 2147
Chapter: 1/?
-------------------------------------
Interesting Meetings
~ Reader POV ~
You sigh deeply as you set the last box on the floor, wiping the sweat from your brow. You looked around your new flat with a small smile. It was an amazing space; you could barely believe your rent was so cheap here in cozy little 221C Baker Street. After taking a quick drink of water you got to work unpacking. 
It didn't take long since you didn't have too much to begin with. You'd only brought the essentials, and planned to have the rest of your belongings mailed to you by a friend back home.
A loud crash rang out from above as you broke down the last of the boxes. You paused for a moment as someone yelled. 
"SHERLOCK! WHAT THE HELL?!" An agitated voice questioned. 
"BORED!" Another, more monotone, voice responded.
There was a long pause and you wondered if the two people were having an angry staring contest.
The landlady, Mrs. Hudson, had vaguely warned you about the upstairs neighbors, but you hadn't had a chance to meet them before moving in. After the little domestic they'd just had, you figured some homemade cookies would do them good, as well as give you an opportunity to introduce yourself.
With a decisive nod you tucked away the (now flat) boxes and walked to the bathroom to shower, thinking about what type of cookies you were going to make.
How about chocolate chip? That's kinda basic...sugar? Not too hard to make, but a bit plain. Oh, wait! Gingerbread cookies! Yep, that's the one.
One quick scrub later, you stood in front of the mirror and admired your outfit. Black jeans and a graphic tee - absolutely perfect, in your opinion. You ran your fingers through your (h/l) (h/c) hair and smiled, heading out to the kitchen.
"Shit..." You muttered, realizing that your kitchen was void of anything edible, let alone cookie ingredients. "Right, new flat. Guess I'll have to go grocery shopping." 
As if on cue, there was a firm knock on your door. You opened it to see Mrs. Hudson with a oddly mischievous smile on her face.
"Hello dearie, have you eaten yet?"
"No, not yet; I need to go shopping. Why do you ask?" You said as your stomach grumbled loudly. "Or maybe I'll order in." You chuckled.
"Oh, nonsense! I was just about to make dinner for the boys, why don't you join us?" 
"I wouldn't want to impose..." You said, not sure if it was okay that Mrs. Hudson was inviting you to someone else's flat. "Besides, I haven't had the chance to introduce myself yet."
"No time like the present!" She said, grabbing your arm and whisking you up the stairs.
"A-Are you sure this is okay?" You stuttered, confused by her behavior; Mrs. Hudson wasn't the pushy type.
"Of course! Besides, I think you and Sherlock will get along very well." She said with a wink. You blushed brightly as you reached the door to the other flat. 
Oh my Gallifrey this sweet old lady is trying to set me up with someone-
Your thoughts were cut short by Mrs. Hudson pulling you into the flat with her.
"Yoo-hoo! I'm here for dinner!" She said happily, letting go of you.
The room you were in had a warm, homey feeling to it. Looking around you saw a comfy-looking couch on the back wall and a desk littered with piles upon piles of papers between two windows overlooking the street below. Two armchairs stood in front of a fireplace - a black one to the right and a brown one on the left. Looking to the kitchen you saw...lab equipment?
"Who're you?"
Your eyes landed on a pale man with dark, curly hair and piercing blue eyes, looking at you with an emotionless expression.
"Oh, hi! I'm (Y/N), I just moved in downstairs."
"I invited him to dinner, Sherlock. Be nice." Mrs. Hudson warned softly as she passed him, patting his shoulder.
The man, Sherlock, rolled his eyes and looked back down to the microscope in front of him. You shuffled awkwardly, watching Mrs. Hudson bustle around the kitchen.
"You can sit, you know." Sherlock said without looking up.
"Right, thanks." You walked over and sat across from Sherlock, giving him a quick once-over.
He's not very polite; he barely noticed my presence. Must be tired; he's still in his pajamas. There's callouses on his left hand, obviously left by strings - plays an instrument. Violin, maybe?
You were pulled from your thinking as a cup of tea was set in front of you.
"Thank you, Mrs. H."
"Of course. How does garlic chicken pasta sound?"
"That'd be amazing." You said with a smile, taking a drink of your tea. Somehow, it was just the way you liked it.
Whoa, Mrs. H is a friggin' magician.
"Where's John? I thought he'd be joining us." Mrs. Hudson asked.
"He went on another date."
"Oh, good for him! I hope this one clicks."
"Doubt it."
"Why do you say that?" You asked. "Were they rude or something?"
Sherlock sighed deeply, looking at you with annoyance.
"There was a slightly faded tan line of a ring on her left hand, she must've recently taken it off after wearing it for a long time, most likely a wedding band. So she's going through a divorce; but she had a chain around her neck, barely visible above her shirt. Now why would someone wear a necklace without showing it off? Sentiment - she kept the ring, meaning she stills cares for them and wants to get back together. It's possible they're taking a break, but doubtful since she's dating. And going by the state of her knees she's been sleeping around, hoping to make her former spouse jealous. Her and John won't last more than two dates."
"Wow." You breathed, shamelessly staring at the man in front of you. "That's...that's bloody brilliant."
"I know." He said as a small smirk grew on his face.
His gaze lingered on you a moment more before he ducked his head to continue working with the microscope.
I've never met someone like this...he has the same talent I do.
"You know Sherlock, (Y/N) here's starting his new job at Scotland Yard tomorrow. Isn't that right, (Y/N)?" Mrs. Hudson asked, winking at you over Sherlock's head.
"Yea! I'll be head of the forensics team." You smiled brightly as you spoke, feeling quite proud. Sherlock's head shot up, his brow furrowed.
"You're replacing Anderson?"
"Yea, but he'll still be on the team from what I heard."
Sherlock grinned brightly and you felt your heart skip a beat.
Oh fuck he's cute
"Lestrade finally decided to fire him. Took him long enough, I've been telling him to that for ages."
"What do you mean? Are you on the forensics team?" Sherlock scoffed and shook his head.
"No, I'm much too intelligent for a job like that." You bristled at his statement, but he didn't seem to notice. "I'm a consulting detective. Scotland Yard calls me when they need help - which is always." He finished smugly. You swallowed your indignance and strained a smile.
"So I suppose we'll be working together, then?"
"Most likely. Just try not to be too stupid and we should be fine." You looked at him incredulously, all thoughts of politeness flying out the window.
"Excuse you?" You said, seeing Mrs. Hudson put her face in her hand out of the corner of your eye.
"What?" Sherlock asked.
"I've been here for ten minutes and you've already insulted my intelligence twice." You seethed, crossing your arms.
"Did I? I hadn't noticed." He said casually, returning to his microscope. You stood and turned to Mrs. Hudson, who was now staring at Sherlock disapprovingly.
"Sorry Mrs. H, but I'll be heading out now. Thank you for the tea." You said before turning your gaze back on Sherlock. "And I've got a bit of advice for you, since you were so eager to give me some. Next time you're bored, trying playing your violin instead of breaking things. Much less destructive."
You left the flat quickly, striding downstairs and out the door into the crisp London evening after grabbing your coat.
Who the hell does that guy think he is?
You started walking, hoping that some fresh air would help you calm down. Before long you found yourself in a small park a few blocks away from Baker Street. You wandered for a bit, admiring the scenery until the sky had become properly dark, at which point you decided to go home.
Sherlock thinks he's all high and mighty - how dare he insult me like that? And now we'll have to work together? Ugh.
A loud ring from a nearby phone booth wrenched you from your thoughts, making you jump.
"What the hell...?" You muttered, looking curiously at the booth. With a quick glance around you opened the door and stepped in, picking up the phone on its last ring.
"Hello?"
"Hello, Mr. (Y/L/N). Do you see the camera on the building to your left?"
"Yes." You watched in awe as the camera moved until it was no longer facing you. Then another camera ahead of you moved, as well as one behind you. "Who the hell are you?"
"Get in the car and find out." The snide voice said, the line dying after. A black car rolled up in front of the booth as you hung up the phone.
Aw hell nah that's how people die nope no thanks
You exited the booth and ignored the car, continuing your walk home instead. To your horror, the car began to follow you. The window closest to you rolled down, revealing a young woman.
"Aren't you coming?"
"Nope. Not today, Satan." You replied, picking up your pace. The car sped up as well, easily matching you.
"Why not?" You sighed and stopped, turning to her.
"Don't you realize how creepy this is? I don't know you! I don't even know who called me, or what they want!"
"If I tell you will you get in the car?"
"Depends." You said, raising your eyebrow.
"The man on the phone was Mycroft Holmes. I'm his PA, Anthea. And he wants to talk to you about Sherlock." She said curtly, opening the car door and scooting over to make room for you.
"Am I supposed to know who this 'Mycroft' is?"
"No, but you know Sherlock, don't you?"
What does he have to do with this? This Mycroft guy must know him. Wait - what was Sherlock's last name? I don't think he told me. But I have a sneaking suspicion it might be 'Holmes'. So they're related, or this guy's his enemy. It'll be interesting either way.
"Fine, alright, whatever." You huffed, getting in the car. The girl next to you smiled and began typing on her phone. The ride was painfully silent. Before long you pulled up to an abandoned warehouse.
"He's inside." Anthea said, still not looking up.
"Alright then." You sighed, getting out of the car. Just ahead you saw a man in a beige suit leaning on an umbrella.
He doesn't really look like Sherlock, but the fashion choices are similar. Kinda has an evil vibe. He's well-dressed, he must have a good job. CEO? Corporate executive?
"Hello, Mr. (Y/L/N). I'm glad you decided to come." Mycroft greeted, his voice posh and condescending. You gave him another look,
CEO's usually have security personnel, but it's only us two here, unless you count the driver and Anthea. His posture's relaxed; he's not nervous or scared, so he saw no need for security. Wait, that's not a normal umbrella; it's a sword - oh, and a gun. Only a government official could have a hidden weapon like that with a cocky attitude to boot.
"What does the government want with me?" You asked, standing with your arms crossed a few feet away. After all, this guy basically stalked you and brought you here - you couldn't trust him.
"Ah, I knew you were clever." He said with a smile that sent shivers down your spine, not that you showed it. "As you know, I wanted to speak with you about Sherlock Holmes."
Ha, I knew it! So they are related. Mycroft's too close to Sherlock's age to be the Dad or an uncle, so...brother?
"What about him?"
"I'm prepared to give you a large sum of money every month in exchange for...information about him."
"You're offering me money to spy on Sherlock?" You grimaced. "Look dude, I might not like him that much, but that doesn't mean I'm gonna spy on him. That's really creepy." You stated, turning around and walking towards the car.
"I'll be in touch if you change your mind!" Mycroft yelled. You ignored him and got in, asking the driver to take you home.
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waveypedia · a year ago
My good fellow could I possibly request some *ahem* fenro?
you totally can my dude! tysm!
(Can’t Get You) Outta My Head
Three forty-two AM.
It is three forty-two AM and Gyro’s brain is completely blank.
He lowers his head slowly into his awaiting palms. Blueprints swim behind his eyes. Even in his imagination, they make no sense.
He bangs his head gently on the desk through his hands. He has no ideas. No ideas. No ideas. No ide….
“Dr. Gearloose?”
Gyro jerks awake. He fumbles with his glasses and smooths down the wrinkles of his shirt in vain in an attempt to appear somewhat functional. To pretend he hadn’t just been sleeping at his desk on the job.
Oh, who was he kidding. This is Cabrera, the duck who had seen him chug six consecutive Redbulls and two pots of coffee in an attempt to stay awake for a week during crunch time on a project. There was no point in pretending.
Still, Gyro’s pride demanded that he not fall asleep during the conversation, so he slowly spun around in his desk chair to face his former intern and did his best to not drop his head in his hands. “Cabrera.”
The aforementioned duck stands in front of him, hands clasped behind his back, nervous energy radiating off of him. “Dr. Gearloose, you look…”
“Horrible?” Gyro supplies dryly. “Like death himself?”
“Eh, Mrs. Beakley showed me a picture of Death after training one day. He doesn’t look too bad,” Fenton says, offhandedly. Gyro is too tired to fully process what that means.
Gyro is losing his internal battle. His eyelids are drooping. He props up his hand up on the arm of his chair, and his internal battle only rages for a few seconds before his head falls into it. (It feels like utter hours.)
Fenton pauses from whatever tirade he’s about to launch into and reexamines Gyro with a new fervor. “Dr. Gearloose?”
“Mmph?” Gyro replies, too tired to come up with a coherent response. It’s hard enough to form his thoughts into strings of words and sentences that make sense to everyone else on a good day. Today, he’s too tired to come up with words in the first place.
“Are you sure you’re alright to keep working?” Fenton questions, a little bit hesitantly, but he knows his boss well by now. “I can get out the cot. O-or drive you home?”
Gyro blinks hazily up at Fenton. “You can drive?”
It’s not really what he intended to say, but it gets the focus off him and his energy level. Besides, Gyro can’t drive, so he tends to assume no one can until proven otherwise. It’s not his best trait; it’s just how his brain works.
Gyro realizes while he’s been processing his thoughts to himself, Fenton replied, and he has no idea what Fenton said.
Maybe that’s for the best. It’s not like he would be able to form an eloquent reply anyway.
“Dr. Gearloose,” Fenton says, a little more firmly this time. Maybe whatever Fenton said was important. “Gyro.”
“Hmm?” Gyro replies. His eyelids are slipping closed. They can’t close, he has to stay awake, he has to stay awake-!
“Ooohkay,” Fenton mutters, more to himself than to Gyro. Gyro doesn’t reply. At the silence, Fenton steps closer, closer, too close-! and kneels next to Gyro’s desk chair. He slips an arm around Gyro’s middle and starts to help him up.
Fenton, pressed against him, is soft and warm, and Gyro might fall asleep right then and there if not for the spurt of internal panic and adrenaline that comes with Fenton’s proximity. His figurative internal processor restarts panickedly, but it sputters and won’t function. Gyro is left with panic coursing through his body but unable to do anything about it. He just stares at the hazy, soft figure of Fenton. It takes every ounce of strength in his body to not lean his head on Fenton’s shoulder, no matter how soft and warm Fenton is, and how inviting his shoulder looks.
Gyro somehow lets Fenton haul him to his feet, and they take slow, wavering steps over to the cot at the end of the lab. At some point during all of this, Lil’ Bulb had hopped off of his charging station, grabbed a pair of snap glowsticks (where the hell did he get those?), and is leading them over like a traffic conductor.
As they reach their destination, Gyro’s brain suddenly kicks into high gear as he realizes what Fenton’s intentions are. “Wait! Waitwaitwaitwaitwait! I can’t sleep, Cabrera, I have a job to do-”
“You and I both know Mr. McDuck hates that we stay in here off the clock,” Fenton reprimands him, not shaken at all, and Gyro feels heat rushing to his cheeks. Cabrera is significantly less bumbling than he remembers, and when the hell did his awkward little intern become so comfortable with him?! 
Akita never would’ve-
Wait.
I will not be like Akita. I will not be like Akita. Akita was horrible to me, and Boyd. He is not a good role model. I will be a better mentor for my not-intern. I will not be like Akita.
It is with that thought in mind that Gyro refrains himself from struggling as Fenton eases him onto the chaise, and ohhh the chaise is so soft, nothing like his uncomfortable desk chair, and suddenly Gyro’s not regretting this as much as he thought he would.
The one thing he misses is Fenton’s warmth as his coworker eases away. Gyro resists the urge to shiver as he slides his glasses off his nose and puts them down next to his head. He’s pretty sure Fenton picks them up and puts them in a more secure place (good thinking), but his eyelids are already slipping closed and the fight to stay awake is long, long lost. 
The relationship that Akita and I had is nothing like the relationship Fenton and I have, anyway.
Gyro freezes. Panic shoots through his body. All thoughts of sleeping are now gone.
Where the hell did that thought come from?!
It’s true. Gyro won’t contest that. But it’s… it’s weird to think about his relationship with Fenton that way.
But he does miss Fenton’s body heat. Yes, that’s it. He’s cold. The lab is underwater, and the sterile lights are blinding. Not a good environment for sleep. Not homey and cozy. Fenton is.
“Fenton?” Gyro mumbles. Without his usual sharp precision, it comes out more like Fen-uhn, the way Huey says it.
Between Gyro’s fatigue and lack of glasses, Fenton is simply a mere brown blur. Gyro almost misses how the blur stiffens and startles at the sound of his voice. “Yes, Dr. Gearloose?”
Gyro suddenly realizes he doesn’t have the energy to translate the abstract idea of what he wants into words. He doesn’t even know what he wants. Just… Fenton. Fenton’s presence.
When Gyro doesn’t reply, Fenton comes over, worried. “Dr. Gearloose? Gyro? Oh what am I doing, he probably fell asleep.”
Gyro grumbles indignantly at that, making Fenton chuckle. The scientist hovers awkwardly at the edge of the cot, unsure. Gyro isn’t sure either, but he’s too damn tired to doubt himself.
Fenton starts and yelps with surprise when an arm shoots out from beneath Gyro’s lump of body mass (that’s exactly what he feels like right now) and wraps ungracefully around his waist, like a petulant cat. “Umm… Dr. Gearloose?”
Gyro mumbles again and tugs the lump of soft and warm in his arms closer.
“O-okay… um… I guess we’re doing this,” Fenton mumbles, more to himself than to Gyro. He sits down delicately on the chaise, on the very edge as to not disturb Gyro. No longer pulling Fenton towards him, Gyro’s arms sag and flop into Fenton’s lap. He no longer has the energy to pull Fenton in, but his arms still rest around Fenton all the same.
For a couple minutes, they sit like that. Fenton perched on the very edge of the cot, ready to jump off at any minute, but as the time passes he slowly relaxes into Gyro’s arms. 
It’s not enough for Gyro’s sleep-addled sense, and slowly, oh so slowly, he tugs Fenton just a little closer.
He doesn’t want to disturb Fenton, but also he’s tired, so so tired, too tired to be polite. Fenton is warm and soft, and that’s what Gyro wants.
So when Fenton doesn’t respond to his too-subtle tugging, he sighs and yanks Fenton into his arms.
Fenton squeaks with shock, but Gyro’s too tired to notice the social faux pas he’s just made. With Fenton close in his arms, he promptly falls asleep, Fenton still entangled in his unbreakable embrace.
Fenton slowly twists his head as far as it can go, trying to gauge Gyro’s level of wakefulness. After successfully deciphering that he probably can’t get up without disturbing Gyro, he lets out a soft sigh and relaxes into Gyro’s embrace.  
It’s… surprisingly comfortable. Not surprisingly. Fenton doesn’t know why he would be surprised. It makes sense. It’s almost four in the morning and he’s curled up on a chaise lounge with someone cuddling him.
But that someone is Dr. Gyro Gearloose, and that’s panic-inducing enough for Fenton on its own.
Fenton’s eyelids are drooping closed, and as he’s slipping into sleep’s waiting arms he recognizes the irony of him trying to get Gyro to go to sleep and falling asleep himself as well.
Manny comes into the lab promptly at seven AM, takes in the picture before him, and promptly leaves. But not before phoning Mr. McDuck and taking Lil’ Bulb out for a boys’ night on the town.
As for Mr. McDuck, he borrows Launchpad’s phone to snap a couple blackmail photos (which inexplicably get sent to Della, no she has no idea how that happened) before banging his cane against the wall.
“Oi! Wake UP!!! I’m paying you to work, not cuddle!! Bless me bagpipes…”
Scrooge leaves to do his own job and gets back to haggling with the Board, leaving the two very flustered scientists to sort themselves out.
Gyro buys time by fumbling around for his glasses, trying to hide the bright blush that colors his feathers. Luckily for Fenton, he can’t see the matching one on Fenton’s face.
“Here,” Fenton mumbles, passing the glasses to Gyro. “I put them on your desk.”
“Thanks,” Gyro replies, stilted. “That was… nice of you.”
They both know he’s not only thinking about the glasses.
“Should we… I don’t know, talk about this?” Fenton guesses, rubbing a hand awkwardly along the side of his arm. His usually meticulously ironed tie is wrinkled and rumpled like he just got out of a fight or an experiment, but the day has barely started.
Gyro rubs at his eyes under his glasses, still blinking sleep away. “I don’t know… I barely remember what happened. I was at my desk, and… an’ you helped me to the chaise, I think…?”
“Yeah, that sounds right,” Fenton replies. After a beat, he continues, hesitantly and warily. “And then… you, you, um, hugged me. And wouldn’t let go.”
Gyro’s head snaps up, panic sparking in his gut. “I- Huh?”
“Yeah.” Fenton rubs awkwardly at the back of his neck. He won’t meet Gyro’s gaze. “You’ve, um, got an awful tight grip when you’re sleeping.”
“I… um… thanks?” Gyro hedges. The cards did not cover this. 
He takes a deep breath.
“Listen, Cabrera,” he begins. “I… it’s not always easy to fall asleep here. Especially on that couch. It always feels so… exposed.”
Silence hangs heavy in the air for a few moments before Gyro continues.
“I guess… you made me feel safe enough to fall asleep. So… thank you.”
Fenton’s been working for and with Gyro far long enough to know that thank-yous, second only to apologies, are not easy for the scientist to get out. So it means even more. He ducks his head awkwardly, hiding his blush. “Um, you’re welcome. It was actually really nice.”
“Yeah,” Gyro echoes softly, fondly, then freezes, wishing he could take the words back. But when he chances a slow glance up at Fenton’s face, the duck doesn’t look all too bothered by the sentiment. 
“So… what now?” Fenton wonders, half to himself. None of his M’ma’s telenovas or his superhero comics from boyhood ever taught him what to do in these kinds of moments.
“Get back to work, I suppose,” Gyro shrugs, although he’s not very enthusiastic. Truthfully, he’d much rather spend his day cuddling with Fenton - which is saying something, since Gyro’s one true passion is inventing. “We don’t want Mr. McDuck to come down here and yell at us again.”
“Yeah,” Fenton replies, disappointed. He slowly turns away, gathering up his blueprints from where he scattered them a few hours ago. 
One of his blueprints is currently residing on Gyro’s desk. Fenton saves that one for last, not wanting to face more awkward moments. But once all the rest of his blueprints are safely piled on his desk in the former bathroom, he has to face the music.
Fenton takes a deep breath and strides up to Gyro’s desk.
Gyro had been massaging his temples, trying to fend off a headache, but he glances up at Fenton. He’s not annoyed like he usually is when Fenton interrupts him, but doesn’t look happy, either.
“Cabrera,” Gyro breathes. Maybe he is annoyed. “What do you need?”
To Fenton’s credit, he has every intention to simply grab his blueprint and go. Today would become a moment he’d tuck away in his brain, trying to forget it and cherishing it at the same time. 
But instead, some other desire takes over. 
When it’s done, he can’t explain his actions, but he doesn’t regret them, either.
Fenton reaches for his blueprint, which is right by Gyro’s hands. Then he stops. 
His hands turn to Gyro’s instead, and before he knows what he’s doing, he’s pulled Gyro into a kiss.
It’s already happening when Fenton finally processes exactly what is going on. Gyro’s eyes are blown wide behind his glasses, but neither of them pull away. At least, not right away.
When they do, Fenton’s hair is ruffled and Gyro is gaping like a fish. His mouth opens and closes, but no sound comes out.
Fenton doesn’t say anything either. Neither of them know what to say. They just keep staring at each other.
Gyro was never too comfortable with silence, though, not like this. At long last, the inventor clears his throat. “Um. So.”
Fenton’s brain kickstarts at the sound of Gyro’s voice, hesitant and shocked, and immediately a million apologies fly to the tip of his tongue. But they never get a chance to see the light of day.
“I could get used to that,” Gyro mumbles, then immediately snaps his hands over his bill, slamming it shut. But the damage is done.
If the two scientists weren’t blushing before, they definitely are now.
“Me too,” Fenton replies before he can stop himself. The corners of Gyro’s bill quirk up in the faintest of smiles, just for a moment.
This time Gyro’s the one to grab Fenton by the tie and pull him close for a second round.
~
okay this is all over the place haha but i just kinda wanted to get it done! it was supposed to be for fenro week, but that’s over now, so oh well. i might try to do something for weblena week since that’s happening now but idk.
definitely projecting a lil on gyro here with the bit about not being able to directly translate your thoughts into words that other people understand all the time, and how it gets worse when you’re tired. gyro definitely reads as neurodivergent to me, and i hc him as autistic (projecting lol), so that’s how i write him! i had a conversation today with some friends about kins and hcs today and one of my friends reads him as adhd, which is totally valid too. he’s definitely neurodivergent coded.
idk where i was going with that lol but enjoy!
title is from outta my head by somi. it’s not really all that relevant to the fic itself but it just kinda stuck with me while i started the fic. anyway i hope you like it! @fenro-week
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kotoplasm · 9 months ago
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𝗱𝗮𝘆 𝗳𝗼𝘂𝗿:. 𝗯𝗮𝗸𝗲𝗱 𝗴𝗼𝗼𝗱𝘀 𝘄/ 𝘁𝗲𝗻𝗱𝗼𝘂 𝘀𝗮𝘁𝗼𝗿𝗶
synposis.: in which satori tendou is determined to make your christmas feel a little more homey when home was literally a ten hour flight away.
warnings;;;;; none ;))
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tendou satori. jersey number 5. owner of the projectively red hair. infamous "guess blocker". manga obsessed teenager... there were many names that he went by. and unfortunately, observant was one of them.
it was odd how his gift per day was one which could at times be a blessing and so land him in situations where it would be a prominent blessing and times when it would land him in tricky dilemmas.
one of them happened just a few days ago. inoue sato. very very very red hair, borderline ginger perhaps. but she insists that it's strawberry blonde. there was no debate about that.
one day, she decided to dye it lighter (don't ask why, she'll give you a stone cold glare for asking) and some parts hadn't been toned properly.
that's what reon said to tendou during english and satoru being the kind soul he was decided to tell her that.
"you're such an idiot," you told him, lightly dabbing the cut on his cheek, left by the dictionary she had thrown at his face. the others scowled in envy as they watched the pair of you: tendou fixating on each negligible movement; tendou's eyes flickering up to your eyes and then back to his feet; tendou falling deeper into a pit known as infatuation.
"well at least she got kicked out of class for hurting one of her precious classmates," he replies, extending the last few syllables for emphasis.
you scoff. "precious doesn't even begin to scrape the surface of your personality, satori."
another incident had occurred in another classroom. semi had his earphones in, not connected to his phone for preface. he was probably too absorbed by the music to even notice that his phone had started vibrating, playing a questionnable ringtone.
"semi." no response. "semi." no response again. "semi-semi." the red head impatiently tugs his earphones out of his ears, drawing him back into reality to listen to the sound that suddenly had everyone staring at him.
although it hadn't been his fault, semi didn't speak to tendou for a few days, making sure to send him rather powerful serves during practice.
unfortunately for him, the ball hit his face with a rather satisfying painful smack.
fortunately for him, that meant that you had to spend another twenty minutes stopping his nose bleed and tending to another bruise.
revenge was sweet but came in the form of a double-edged sword.
to summarise, his "gift" wasn't appreciated by his peers.
it had only been announced yesterday that students were allowed to visit home for the holidays, something that he wished he could celebrate but couldn't.
for one, his dad was out of town again, meaning that he had to spend the holidays with his mother who was always too tired to celebrate. so staying in his room was inevitable, using his free time to read his favourite manga or finish the stash of chocolates that his grandma sent when she couldn't come and visit.
last year was a mess. his cousins, probably turning twenty one if he could remember correctly, were always bragging about their significant others, interrogating him about his, or rather lack of, when they could fit it into their busy schedules.
so when he received a text from his grandma that they couldn't make it, he took the news a little better than what they hoped for.
"thinking of visiting my aunts in hawaii," one girl said, another following the comment with her own plans and how they were planning to travel overseas before the weather got too bad.
everyone wishes for a white christmas in naivety, never realising that others have to pay for the drawbacks.
and to his displeasure, one of the people who had to suffer from the drawbacks was you, a western exchange student who was staying in japan indefinitely.
tendou's phone vibrates once, twice, thrice before he gives into the temptation, opening it to read through the messages that were piling up.
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"erm we don't have any guest rooms so you can stay here in the meantime," he points to his bedroom, pulling your suitcase into the very room.
you insisted that you could handle the luggage. naturally he declined your offer (it was a statement actually) and took your bags in hand, trying his best to ignore the flutter in his stomach when your hands brushed against each other.
"i'm surprised tendou," you say, falling back onto his bed. "the last time i came to your room, you refused to let me go anywhere near your room."
"that's because you were with semi." and he'd probably tease the hell out of me about my obsession, he mumbles to yourself.
"is that all?"
"yeah, that's all to it." there's an oddly sounding pause that follows, to which he frowns. "why what else were you thinking?"
"oh nothing! don't worry about it," you reply, waving your hand. "just give me a few minutes to change and i'll meet you downstairs."
he wasn't convinced at all.
***
tendou leaves his room more often now, sometimes finding himself watching you fit right into his family dynamic. the conversations that were had between you and his mother felt natural and barely forced.
she's genuinely smiling, he tells himself as you laugh at another one of her jokes. she was telling you about all the many times that tendou *insert scenario* which you apparently found oh so very amusing.
can't wait until that's used as some sort of blackmail.
during the night, he lays awake on the couch, legs sprawled in an odd position to provide some form of comfort. satoru wonders if you like his room, if you like the smell of his bedsheets *spoiler, you do. it feels comforting, almost as if he's with you at that moment.*
what semi says still plagues him. maybe he does like her a little more than he had hoped. and who could blame him?
the moment you passed by his classroom, he couldn't look away. not now at least, when every single prepubescent boy and their mother would be caught staring a little too long at your ivory coils or glossed lips.
it was hard not to look when all he could think about was getting to know you.
unfortunately, semi got to you first and befriended you, eventually inviting you to their lunch table one tuesday afternoon.
a flare of red hair was the first thing you pointed out about him, eyes falling to meet his before he plumped his head back onto the table.
"he's just tired," says ushijima in hopes to ease his friend.
"he'll be back in commission after lunch," semi adds, mentally taking a note of his odd behaviour.
it took weeks of observations and teasing for semi to conclude that he had a crush and it didn't show any signs of fading.
the next morning, he's greeted by his cousins — yes, those cousins — and he looks anything but pleased. for one, haruki was rather fond of you, doing anything in his power to be as close to you as possible. though you enjoyed the flattering compliments and the occasional flirty glances, you couldn't help but feel distant from tendou who was trying his best to manage the seven children that were climbing on top of him.
"need some help?" you ask from beside him and you swear he jumps.
"i thought you were entertaining your new boyfriend," he replies. it's supposed to be teasing but you can vouch for it being anything but that.
"you're not jealous are you?"
"why would i be? who wouldn't want to be with the high school sweetheart l/n y/n ?" the comment comes off a little rude, he notes. he confirms this as your face shifts into a deeply rooted frown.
"so that's what you think of me?"
"well if the shoe fits.."
then you get up and leave, dismissing some of the children to disappear into the kitchen.
"i'm such an idiot."
he wakes up to an insanely sweet smell, surrounding him in an aroma that was unfamiliar yet cozy.
he hadn't found the time to apologise to you for saying something so insensitive so he hoped he could find you in a house that had suddenly become the centre of a family gathering.
it's technically christmas eve. just a few minutes until christmas day. he took notice of a few presents with his name on a few of them. probably some new games or perhaps more socks. maybe it was the latter.
"these taste amazing! is it a western dish?" it's his mum speaking. who it was that the question was directed to remained unknown.
"oh um yes actually! my parents are originally from west africa so a lot of the food we eat has roots from that region, but my mum would make this for me whenever i was feeling sad or during the holidays as a treat for the young ones."
"i bet satori would love this," she replies, mouth mostly full. "he's always been a sweet tooth."
"yeah i know," your voice trails off into a quiet murmur.
she takes notice of it. "is something wrong? did anything happen between you and satori?"
"well we had a little disagreement. but it's probably nothing. maybe i'm just overthinking things."
his mum smiles knowingly, turning the heat on the hob down and taking your face in her hands.
"you know, he never stops talking about you.. as much as we'd all love for him to stop. and he can be a little bit of an idiot sometimes despite how observant he is."
"yeah, i can definitely agree on that last statement," to which the two of you laugh. tendou scowls bashfully.
"considering that he hasn't left his room since this afternoon, maybe you want to go and see if he's feeling alright? he might even want to try your um... i'm sorry, what did you say they were called?"
"puff-puff. but there are plenty of other names for it."
"ah okay."
you bump into him soon after the conversation, somehow managing to keep the fried dough on its plate without dropping them. tendou takes a whiff of them...
they smell really good....
he realised that he's been standing awetruck for a few moments now and you've been waiting for a response or rather trying to think of a response. music blares from the living room and you spot his cousins making a beeline for the two of you.
"let's go outside," you tell him, tugging his wrist to the front of the house, still keeping the puff puff in tact on the plate. the door closes on the children as tendou turns it lock, awkwardly smiling down at you with his keys in hand.
he should apologise. definitely. but his throat feels dry and his hands are sweaty. the reason was unknown considering that for one thing, he was outside in negative degree values so there was no reason for his hands to be so profusely moist. he doesn't usually get nervous around you unless it's just the two of you.
then in that case, he realises "oh... it's just the two of us."
rather than keeping silent, you hand him one of the fried dough balls and nod, signalling him to eat it.
"it tastes really good," he gushes in between bites. "i bet your siblings must have been obsessed with these."
"yeah, i used to make them when my parents were working. i wonder how they're doing.."
"eh? why haven't you called them? it's almost christmas!"
"timezones exist tendou."
"oh... right."
"that and i don't think hearing their voice will make me feel any better."
of course you were homesick. a holiday that's reserved to be spent with family was one which you were spending with strangers. snow was truly a blessing and a curse.
"then don't call them. if it makes you feel any better, everyone in that house thinks of you as family. so in case you ever feel like you're alone during these holidays, just remember that you're not. afterall, you've got me!"
you snort. "yeah, i'll remember that for the future." it was a sarcastic comment but you were genuinely laughing about his comment, forgetting how just being around tendou was enough to lift your spirits again.
"i'm sorry for earlier."
"don't sweat it. i was just being stupid."
"no you weren't."
smirking you ask, "so you were jealous?"
"as if!" he scoffs. but quietly he murmurs "haruki is too good for you anyway."
"really?" it was loud enough for you to hear regardless. "then tell me tendou satori, who do you think is good enough?"
he's sweating again. even more than before because you've gone and the plate of puff puff have been pushed aside allowing you to move closer and closer towards him. he's only millimetres away from you when he realises "oh crap! i'm going to kiss them! i'm going to kiss y/n! i haven't even checked whether my breath smells or combed through my hair a couple of times!"
but it happens regardless and its quick, ephemeral to be accurate but it's enough to send him into overdrive. he felt stiff under your hold and you couldn't help but laugh.
damn that laugh.
the pair of you hear the alarm go off for midnight. christmas day, your phone reads.
"we should probably go back inside before your mum gets worried," you mumble against his lips. all he could manage was a nod.
tendou satori was observant for the most part. afterall his gift always managed to land him in sticky situations that were always due to his gift.
call it defective if you want, but despite how keen his eyes were, he never realised that maybe there was that 0.000001% chance that you liked him as much as he liked you.
+ bonus:
"oi satori!" his older cousin, that cousin, calls him over with his fiancé in arm. she's pretty.
"you never told me that you brought your girlfriend over! i thought we were close like that?"
not even in the slightest.
"it's just because he hasn't had the time to!" you reply, stepping to stand beside him, your arm moving to wrap itself around his. tendou turns to look at you.
"girlfriend?"
"i mean if you want me to."
"are we interupting something satori? we can always leave." his cousin smirks knowingly.
"um n-no!" he hums a response. "in fact, we can take this to the kitchen!"
i'll take you up on that offer.
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(+) 𝘁𝘄𝗲𝗹𝘃𝗲 𝗱𝗮𝘆𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝗺𝗮𝗱𝗻𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝗺𝗮𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗿𝗹𝗶𝘀𝘁
(+) 𝘁𝘂𝗻𝗲 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗼𝗺𝗺𝗼𝗿𝗼𝘄 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗻𝗲𝘅𝘁 𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗼𝘁𝗶𝗰 𝘀𝘂𝗿𝗽𝗿𝗶𝘀𝗲
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mrs-hollandstan · a year ago
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Make Me Love You || Frat Boy!Tom [sixteen]
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Warnings: language & a little bit of angst. Most of it is just fwuffy fwuffy
Word Count: 7,024
Author's Note: Ngl, I hated this chapter a lil bit I'm excited for the next chapter. :) I hope you guys enjoy not only this part but the series and let me know!
Series Masterlist || Add yourself to one of my taglists
Week Three
Monday- Y/N
Starting to text Tom again was like escaping a stuffy room and taking in that first breath of fresh air. There was something about it that made your heart ache, like you should be home in this moment, time never stopping, you never coming up to New York, you should have gone with your friends to Oregon. But life isn't always perfect. 
You had text most of the day Saturday, Tom in amazement at how much you responded to him, but you had confirmed you were coming back and you had to face him sometime, why not make it a little easier by talking to him, opening the floodgate at least a little to ease some of the tension. 
Monday morning you found Keaton in the kitchen with your father and step-mother, laughing and cooking. Keaton looks up at you, greeting you with a smile and moving his foot from the bottom ring of the chair beside him for you to sit at the island with him. When you do, you're greeted by your dad, Keaton's hand coming to rest at the back of your chair. He continues the conversation with the two other people in the room. Heidi confirms what you want for breakfast before she and your father plate it and you digress to the table in the dining room. Your dad and Heidi sit across from you and Keaton, his knee rested against yours comfortably. As you eat, you can sense Keaton's comfort with you. His hand comes to rest over your leg, so simply, so naturally. And for once it feels wrong,
"Y/N..." Your father refocuses you. You blink up at him, 
"Oh, sorry, what?" You pose, looking up into his eyes. He wipes his mouth on a napkin, 
"I asked if you were okay." He repeats. You glance at Keaton, crossing one knee over the other and smiling as he reaches out to rest his hand over your knee, rubbing his thumb over the cap. You nod, 
"Yeah I'm just... I'm uhh, just thinking about a lot of stuff." You reply with an airy laugh. Keaton squeezes your skin, 
"About what sweetheart?" Heidi asks with a tilt of her head. You glance down at the half eaten food on your plate,
"I uhh, you guys... all three of you have been great. You're great people and I love you all equally, but... I- I dunno. This uhm, this doesn't... this doesn't feel like home." You admit. All three people at the table that you look between show sympathetic smiles, understanding exactly what you say. Keaton gives you a wider smile. You reach up to tuck hair behind your ear,
"I've been... texting Tom back, I got a letter, and... there are a lot of factors that go into going back to Seattle at the end of this week at latest." You confess, continuing to look between the three. You play with the rest of the omelette on your plate, 
"I guess it's just... me telling you guys forefront that I'll... be leaving before the week's over." You confess, feeling a weight being lifted from your shoulders. Keaton gives your knee another squeeze in reassurance, smiling when you look up. You give it back, reaching down to place your hand over his. Your dad clears his throat, 
"So if you're going back, why do you sound so disappointed?" He asks. Heidi tilts her head when you look at her. You look back to your father, 
"I'm not disappointed, just... you three have been so welcoming and it just sucks that three weeks is all I gave you. Not even three weeks." 
"Like you said though," Keaton starts, "your life isn't here. Your life is all the way across America in Washington. Your school, your friends, your brother... your soulmate." The way he says it is everything. Your heart feels so free with the way he speaks about all of this. You smile, curling your hand around his. He rubs his thumb over your knuckles as Heidi and your father look to each other. You swallow and tuck hair behind your ear, 
"Keaton is right. You came here for a temporary escape and we provided you with that. He did at least. We kinda came to the conclusion you'd go back. Keaton is right, you can't transfer, he's your only friend here, it was inevitable." Your father tells you. He cocks his head, the same color eyes Cole has boring into you as he takes hold of Heidi's hand, 
"If what Keaton says is true, and from what I've been told, he is, this... Tom character is someone that made a mistake, but everyone does Y/N/N and I think it is very mature of you to be so forgiving and going back to him." He adds. More mature than your own father as Cole would say. He ran from his problems as to where you've taken a break and you're coming back. Keaton runs his hand across your knee again before it returns to the table, lifting his fork to his mouth again. You nod, 
"Yeah... I guess I just... I want to be here, that's for sure but... New York is way too... fast paced for me. Seattle... I can take it at my own pace and it's cozy. It rains ninety-five percent of the time and I just... California was different and of course I'll love California, but Seattle is where my heart is now because it's the second chapter of my life and my people are there." You voice. All three people at the table nod in agreement, 
"You have to be here longer than three weeks to get used to New York." Keaton admits. Heidi and your father agree quietly as you look to your only friend. You nod again, 
"Yeah... if I'm honest... I hate it." You reply,
"It's not for everybody sweetheart." Heidi quickly implies. You take a deep breath, staring at her for a moment before you nod again, feeling the tears in your eyes, 
"I think you're right. If Cole were here I could do it but... not alone like this." You say, all three around the table giving you a sympathetic look. Turning back to your plate, you sigh, 
"Sorry to disappoint." You mutter,
"You didn't Y/N. Just because you don't like it here doesn't mean you disappointed anyone." Your father reasons. Keaton agrees, reaching up to rub your back. You smile, leaning in to lay your head over Keaton's shoulder, his head laying over yours. You turn your head up to kiss his cheek, 
"I do appreciate my whale though Ke." You tell him. He smiles, biting more of his omelette off his fork, nuzzling you into his neck. 
After breakfast you head back upstairs as Keaton and your dad retreat to your father's office. You close yourself in your room, flopping on the bed and grabbing your phone. Opening the mostly unused group text between you, Cole, and Ivey, you type up a text, taking a deep breath and sending it before overthinking it, 
Me: I don't think I've ever been more sure of something than I am right now of coming home. I just confessed to my dad and Keaton that I'll be gone by the end of the week and it was the realest thing ever. 
Just then, a text comes in from Tom, 
Tom: Sooooooooo just........ just asking for a friend, what kind of baby names do you like?? :)
Tossing the phone on the bed beside you, you can't fight the smile. Laying beside your phone, you buzz in a boiling pot of emotions. You rub across your face, listening to your phone buzz again. You flip it over, 
Ivey: We're so ready for you babes. Whenever you come back, we're ready :))))
The way the text makes you feel homey. It makes your eyes burn with want. You wish it was as easy as driving an hour to be with them and not a long flight. You sigh, holding your phone to your chest. And then another text,
Tom: Personally I like the name Jack for a little boy and for a baby girl I quite like Julia. You think we could have twins?? Jack and Julia??
You giggle, rolling onto your stomach. Turning your read receipts back on was the smartest and dumbest thing to do. He knows you're reading his messages. He knows you see what he's talking about. And of course he expects an answer,
Me: I like floral names Thomas. At least for girls. But I do like the name Jack. ;)
He replies almost immediately,
Tom: Okay, sooooooo like Violet, Poppy, Daisy, Lily, I'm into it. 
You can't help but giggle again, rolling back onto your back, 
Me: Absolutely. 
                                                     ---
Monday- Tom
His smile hurts his cheeks as he scrolls through the site of apartments. The smile is in reference to your texts of course, but he can't help but imagine your life in these different rooms he clicks through. A bright kitchen he can see you both making breakfast and dinner in, inviting your friends over and hosting meals. A living room he can see you lounging on a couch you fight over in a shop, watching Netflix and eating takeout or studying at the coffee table. A gorgeous shower he can see you sharing, slipping around and laughing in, stepping out into a fantastic bathroom where you get ready for the day with stolen kisses. A closet with your own sides but it smells like the both of you. He can walk into your closet and browse your clothes and smell you on them and make him want you more. You can walk in and pick something of his to wear while you wait for him to get home. And the bedroom is where you'll cuddle and spend time in bed in the morning just wrapped up in each other. Laying in bed naked like you'd both always wanted, just staring at each other. He misses you tracing his freckles, poking his nose and playing with his hair. He sighs as he scrolls through apartment after apartment, gauging the prices based on the square footage before the door clicks open and Harrison enters. Tom's brightness allows Harrison to see exactly what he's looking at before Tom clicks out of the window, turning in his chair to face his best friend,
"Hey." Harrison raises an eyebrow as he sits at the edge of the bed closest to Tom, 
"What uhh, what're you lookin at there stud?" Haz asks. Tom chews the inside of his lip, glancing back at his laptop which reflects his screensaver only, 
"Nothin." He mumbles. Harrison's eyes narrow as he places his hands over his knees, 
"Mmhmm. C'mon lover boy, what are you lookin at?" Haz asks. Tom purses his lips, glancing away from the steel blue eyes of his best friend for a moment before he looks back to him, 
"Apartments." He admits silently. Harrison smiles smugly, 
"Awww, are you thinking of getting an apartment for you and your little girlfriend Tommo?" He poses in a sing song. Tom laughs, a blush creeping up his neck and cheeks, 
"Shut up. I was just... thinking about it. I still have to get her back here and talk to her about it. I just figure... I won't be at the frat house as much and I'll completely avoid the whole frat party bullshit and we'll be doing what we've talked about for months. Just living together doing what we want and all." Harrison has nodded along, understanding exactly what Tom is saying. He leans his elbows on his knees,
"You think she'll want to?" Tom shrugs, 
"We've talked about it. I dunno, she wants it to be us but... maybe it is too soon, I dunno. Like I said, I've gotta get her back here and talk to her about it." He admits, Harrison nodding. The blonde rubs his hands together, 
"Speaking of... how are you feeling about it? About her coming back? No one has been asking you how you're feelin about all of this?" He asks, tilting his head. Tom sighs, tucking his hands between his knees. He glances up at the ceiling and shakes his head, 
"I uhm... I dunno. I know it'll be awkward and who knows, ya know, she's responding to me and she loved her letter but... is it enough, ya know? Will she be disappointed or want to be alone when she gets back, I mean... I fucking... ruined our relationship before we even made it to a year. All for a fucking kiss that I could've gotten from her and it was because of something so fucking stupid. I let my pride get in the way and I seriously... I don't deserve a second chance that she's going to give me." Tom admits. Harrison purses his lips, humming to himself before he sighs, 
"I have to ask... what happened? What was said that night that the two of you fought?" He asks. Tom stares at him for a moment before he sighs, 
"She... admitted to me she wanted a relationship like yours and Ivey's." He says lowly. Harrison's eyebrows raise, 
"What?" Tom nods,
"She was jealous that night when you two were all over each other. She told me she wanted the uncomplicated life that you and Ivey have. You don't fight about parent issues, you know, you guys have a healthy relationship and you regularly have sex and it isn't one sided. It isn't her trying to make sure she doesn't have to tiptoe around you before she fucking says what she wants." Tom says. Harrison cocks his head as Tom nods, 
"And she was right. I mean shit, you're about to propose to yours. Apparently you do have the perfect relationship." Tom says with a scoff. Harrison stares at him for a moment before he licks his lips, 
"So fix it. Fucking... go to therapy or call your dad and give him the what for. But here's a tip... do things you normally wouldn't. Paint her nails, do her makeup, pamper her. Make her feel like she's the most important person in your life. She should always feel like that." Harrison tells him. Tom stares at Harrison, 
"Really?" 
"It's the little things." Harrison says as he nods. Tom leans back in his chair. He sighs, leaning his head back,
"I'm just ready for her to get back here. I just fucking want a hug." He says. Harrison laughs, 
"Well... if she says no about an apartment just... do all the things you were thinking when you're at her dorm and she's at the frat house once everything settles. Ya know, improvise and fuck everyone else. Fuck what everyone else thinks. Fight to keep her here no matter what it takes." Harrison says, watching Tom nod. Harrison nods in return. He stands from the bed, 
"If I'm honest... I don't see you with anyone other than her. It's just her Tom, I can see it in your face, in your eyes, in the way you look at her." Tom stares up at him for a moment before he nods, 
"Yeah, I like to think so too." He admits lowly. Harrison sighs with a knowing smile, 
"Anyways, I'll let you get back to your house hunting Tommo. Be proactive. Find the perfect one for your girl." He tells Tom as he heads for the door. Tom smiles, fingers threaded together over his stomach and head tipped back as he stares at the ceiling, processing everything Harrison has said. His phone dings behind him, Tom swiveling in his chair to pick it up,
LOML Y/N♡: I've honestly always wanted boys so I think we should plan more boys names >.<
He can't fight the smile before he bites his bottom lip, more than ready for you to come back. 
                                                      ---
Tuesday- Y/N
No one lied about the bathtub in the master bathroom. A big marble bathtub sat practically in the middle of the room shadowed by a huge open shower with a rainfall showerhead. Plants are all over the room, surrounding you in a very forest feel, comforting considering all the thoughts running through your mind. 
Heidi suggested a lavender bubble bath which you took her up on, tying your hair up and climbing in. You lay in the warmth, your phone beside you but you aren't using it. You stare around at the different greenery that had been placed around to bring the bathroom to life. It's nice and it allows you a guilt free, comfortable, safe space to think, to breathe and escape all of the responsibilities that are accompanying you everywhere you go. 
The sound of Keaton's shoes on the tile break you from your silence, your eyes following the noise to the blonde standing in the doorway now. He has his lips pursed, 
"Sorry, I uhh, I- I wasn't sure where you were." He turns, starting from the room but he stops when you call out to him. You turn over, watching him enter the room and walk towards you. He sits on the closed toilet lid, clasping his hands together with a sigh. You watch him, his eyes avoiding yours for a moment before he looks up, 
"So uhh, have you made your decision on when you're headed back?" He asks, scooting from the toilet to sit beside the tub when you reach for his hand. You play with his fingers as his eyes watch your face, unwavering in emotion. You shrug, 
"Uhh, I- I dunno Ke. I need to at least be back before... Saturday?" You say with a shrug. You shrug once more, 
"Maybe I should be back Friday, I dunno. There's a lot with my relationships, with my ya know, with my life. I gotta get my dorm figured out again, I have to figure things out with the girls, and Cole, and Tom. I have to just get my life back in line. Go back to school and hopefully everything will be... normal... ish." You tell him. He nods,
"How are you doing?" He asks. You shrug once more, 
"I'm alright. I've been... h-he and I have been... talking about kids again." You tell Keaton, his lips twitching as you smile wide at the thought. You find his eyes again and giggle, 
"We've figured out some names I guess." He chuckles, 
"Oh yeah? Keaton doesn't happen to be one of those names does it?" He asks. You giggle and shake your head, 
"No." He chuckles, 
"I don't blame you honestly. Not the best name in the book." You smile, reaching out to brush his blonde locks out of his face. You sigh, 
"You don't deserve this Ke." His eyebrows furrow, 
"What do you mean?" You run your fingertips over his, 
"I led you on and it isn't fair because you deserve someone that will love you and care for you. And that isn't me and it sucks." 
"Y/N, I don't know how many times I have to explain to you that I just enjoyed the company. Whether you were my girlfriend or not didn't matter, it was about having a good time and I did with you." He rants. You stare down at him, 
"But after two fucking weeks, to basically say you didn't try hard enough sucks." 
"It doesn't matter to me. Not once did I think it was me not being good enough. You're a good friend and if that's as far as it goes, then so be it. I really don't care. And even at that, as far as I know, I'm still going back to Seattle with you. Maybe I'll be able to finally fucking settle. Get a girl and friends and a job that I enjoy. I mean, don't get me wrong, your dad is great, but I'd love to be my own boss." He rants, eyes avoiding yours for a moment. When they finally do meet yours again, you can see that he's being honest. Sure, he wants a normal life and if it had been with you, great, but it didn't work out in his favor and he accepts that. You slide your hand into his and squeeze, 
"How did I get so lucky with you?" You ask as he rubs his thumb over your knuckles. He smiles, 
"I dunno. You can thank my mom I guess." He mutters. You giggle, shifting in the tub to lay your head over the edge, closer to Keaton, 
"I appreciate you more than ever. You've been the best thing to happen to me on break." You admit. He smiles wider, scooting closer when you pull his hand. He leans back against the tub, holding your damp arm around his shoulders. He kisses the skin of your forearm, laying his head back against the tub, 
"And you're the best thing to happen to me." He says, tilting his head back to glance up at you. You smile, kissing his temple, 
"I think my friend's'll love you." You admit in his ear, his smile widening, 
"Well I sure in the fuck hope so. That'd be pretty awkward to go back with you and be isolated out by your friends." He jokes. You giggle, placing your hand over his shoulder,
"Nah, they'll love ya. Oh, but Phoebe is kind of a hustler. She's the one you gotta look out for." You admit. He snorts, 
"And she's single? Maybe I'll take her up on that." He jokes again making you let out a loud laugh, 
"Hey, at least it's still a way to stay around me. More power to ya but I just had to warn you." You say. He smiles, 
"Consider me warned." 
                                                       ---
Tuesday- Tom
If Tom was completely honest, the feeling of packing his bags was somewhat revitalizing. The thought of being back in the frat house, possibly with you in his arms was all he could think about. Placing the spare clothes he had in his suitcase, minus the ones he was to wear for Wednesday, he sighs, checking his phone to see if he had any notifications. He didn't but he could dream. 
The door clicks open as he's checking the closet, Harrison entering but he isn't alone. Ivey, Scarlett, and Phoebe follow, Gil is the only one not tagging along and Tom can see the theme. They're all your friends. Phoebe meets his eye, crossing her arms as Scarlett, Ivey, and Harrison sit on the bed, 
"So... what did you do?" Phoebe asks. Tom's eyebrows knit together,
"What do you mean?" He asks with a scoff, 
"Well, we've never seen Y/N get this antsy and all and it's over someone who... three weeks ago, broke her heart so we were just curious what was done." 
"Yeah, she said you guys were texting because of a letter you sent and uhh, ya know, she told us that if you were up for it, you could... tell us what was said in the letter." Ivey adds, draping her arm around Harrison's shoulders, hope and excitement written in her eyes. She lays her head down over Harrison's shoulder, the blonde's eyes meeting Tom's eyes after a moment. He shrugs as Tom stares at him before the brunette walks forward, standing just before the audience. He crosses his arms just as Phoebe has, glancing down at the floor to avoid eye contact as he clears his throat, 
"I uhh, I- okay... so... I explained to her what Harrison... said to me last night. There uhm, there's never been anyone like her. There were girls before her, and you all knew Delilah and... even she was... different than Y/N. With Delilah... after a while she was like all the others but the confidence Y/N exudes is... phenomenal, sexy. She's everything I've wanted and more and I... I told her some of the reasons I love her but I want her back here to explain to her face to face why I do." His eyes burn and he blinks as he avoids all sets of eyes. His body tenses. He's letting people in who don't know, fail to comprehend how hopelessly in love with you. He's always been reserved, closed off, cold to women around him. And then there's you. You're perfect in every way and it's become a thing that if you're there, so is Tom and vice versa and his entire body aches thinking that is a thing of the past. But he knows that isn't. He has all the hope in the world that isn't. A few tears slip from his eyes,
"Through all the bullshit, she's always been my calm. There is something about that girl that I can't get past. She's beautiful, she's smart, she's sexy, she's confident and I just," More tears fall from his eyes, "I know... that I fucked up. No one has to tell me that. I just want to show her how much she matters to me. I mean fuck, my mum loves her and I've always said that if my mum loves a girl that I need to keep her around and I," He fights the urge to sob, tears streaming down his cheeks and it's like a chain effect. Harrison glances up at Ivey who's own tears have soaked through his shirt. He brushes them aside, looking back at Scarlett who stares at Tom with tears in her own eyes and Phoebe has even softened. Tom looks up into the group, 
"I love her more than anything. I've never felt this way about anyone and that's seriously saying something. I love her more than myself and you guys know how that goes. Her and I... ya know when I had sex with girls I'd be over it, chase over and when we first had sex I knew she was scared but she's perfect and I can't express to anyone in words how obsessed with her I am." He admits, sniffling and brushing his tears away. He glances out the window, 
"Everything I've said to her... everything I wrote in that letter is true and I know I can never take her for granted. She's always been there for me even though her own life is fucked and I can't say anyone else has ever done that. I owe her my life and I plan on giving that to her. Ya know, the small stuff, like you said Haz, everything I can to protect her and love her and give her a life she deserves." He adds. Ivey stands suddenly, unintentionally smacking Harrison in the head before she launches herself into Tom, his arms wrapping around her body. He's stunned for a moment before she squeezes him, his face falling into her shoulder. Harrison glances up as Phoebe sighs, 
"Shit." She mutters before she walks forward, placing her hand on the back of Tom's head and circling her arms as best she can around Ivey and Tom. Harrison glances over his shoulder at Scarlett as he hears Tom squeak and his body shakes in a sob. She shrugs before they both stand, walking forward towards the small group. Harrison drapes his arms over Tom's shoulders and Ivey's shoulders, hand resting on Phoebe's shoulder as Scarlett wraps an arm around Tom's waist, the other around Phoebe's, her ear rested against Tom's shoulder. They stand there for just a few minutes, holding each other before the door opens and Gil steps in, 
"Hey are you guys- oh- awww, group hug." He remarks, the other four breaking out into laughter once Phoebe snorts and Gil stretches his arms around the group the best he can, giving a good squeeze before everyone separates. Ivey reaches up to brush Tom's tears from his red eyes, 
"You are amazing in more ways than one Thomas Holland and I know more than anyone in this room that Y/N knows that. And that's why she's replying to your texts and coming back at the end of the week. She loves you more than anything and she will be so excited that you're fighting for her." She lectures Tom who nods. She leans in to kiss his cheek before she turns to Harrison and frowns, 
"Why can't you be that romantic?" She jokes. Harrison scoffs, looking to Tom, 
"Wow. And the only reason you're this romantic is because you cheated." 
"He did not! And we're over it!" Ivey hollers, staring up at Harrison. He raises an eyebrow and her gestures soften, 
"Okay, he kinda did, but we're over it Osterfield." She states. Tom smiles, hugging Phoebe into him when she walks forward, 
"You're an ass but I'm glad you're our ass." She says, standing on her toes to kiss his cheek. He chuckles, letting Gil and Harrison both pat him on his shoulder before they follow the girls from the room, leaving him in silence again. He sighs as he places his hands on his hips and sighs, 
"Yeah, I really do hope we're over it." He mutters to himself, mind wandering to all the things he wants to say to you when you're back. He can't help but smile to himself. Like he always does when it comes to you. 
                                                        ---
Wednesday- Y/N 
The weather reflected your current mood. It poured rain all morning and you saw a lot of the window sill of your room with your phone, a book, and a mug of coffee. But you didn't do much reading. You were preoccupied. The second you woke up it was like a pit in your stomach had opened up, sucking all happiness you were clinging to while here in New York. You were a coward really. You wanted Tom to text you but you weren't willing to text him. And he wasn't. You found yourself fighting the instinct to cry, and just crying off and on all throughout the morning, wishing more than anything you could snap your fingers or click your heels and be home. 
There's a knock on your door around noon, your father cracking the door open and peeking his head in. You reach up and brush your tears from your eyes quickly, sniffling as he looks around the room, the rest of his body brushing through the half open door in a moment, 
"Hey kid, I was wonderin’ if you'd slept til noon. Heidi said she made you breakfast and you didn't come down." You draw your knees up to your chest as he talks, walking towards you. He sighs, pulling the desk chair out to sit across from you. He stares up at you, 
"Talk to me sweetheart." He pleads, watching you swipe more tears that weep from your eyes as you glance out of the window beside you again. You look to him, turning your body just a little to face him more, 
"Dad... how did you... how did you know you had fallen out of love with mom?" You ask, watching his eyes shift in surprise. On the inside you can't help but laugh because no one has ever called him out on it. He swallows, leaning back in his chair with a sigh, 
"I uhh, can I... be honest with you?" You nod and he sighs, 
"They always say that there's two people for everyone in the world. I never fully fell out of love with your mother Y/N. When Heidi started working for me there was a connection. But there was still the connection with your mother. She was the mother of my children, you know." 
"Did you ever... were you ever away from her for a certain period of time and you just felt... lost without her?" You ask, more tears clouding your eyes. Your dad clicks his tongue,
"Of course I did. Especially when we were in the same stage that you and Tom are in. When we dated I was an intern and I had to travel a lot with my mentor. Sometimes for a month or more. There were times I thought of quitting and just coming back to her. Heidi too. Sometimes I'm in the same city, same house as Heidi and I miss her." There's always that lingering jealousy that Heidi isn't your mother, but at least your dad has found love after your mom. Right? You sniffle, avoiding his eyes, the feeling in your heart never wavering, 
"I just... I feel like I can't operate without him. I don't know what it is and it's so sudden. I hate this feeling and I feel bad for Keaton, and you but I just... I can't do this. I told Keaton maybe tomorrow or Friday but I can't. I want to be home." You tell him, lip trembling. He cocks his head sadly, but you know it isn't sadness that you won't stay here. Its sadness for the immeasurable pain that you're going through. He nods, 
"Keaton will be okay. I'll be okay. We both want you to focus on you and what makes you happy and it's obvious that Tom does. And you said it yourself, you can't transfer up here right now. We knew you were leaving by the end of the week." He comforts. You nod, sniffling again before the door pops open again and Keaton's face appears. His smile is wiped off his face at the sight of your father, 
"Oh uh, sorry, I'll-" 
"No Keaton, it's okay. Maybe we should talk anyways." You tell the blonde who disappears for a second before he's stepping into the room. He closes the door again behind him and walks forward, brushing hair behind your ear when he reaches you, 
"I don't like seeing you like this." He mutters, tears continuing to flood your eyes. One escapes the corner which Keaton brushes away. He frowns, 
"You're... leaving soon I assume. This isn't a good look and you can't make yourself suffer any longer Y/N." You look up at him, 
"I think I'm going to pack and be out of here by tonight." He nods, 
"I don't know... if that's too early to come with-" 
"I didn't know you were trying to go back." Your father interrupts, looking up at Keaton. The blonde nods, staring down at you for a moment, 
"Yeah. Her and I had talked about how I didn't have many friends here, don't really enjoy the life experience here. I was gonna use some of my vacation to check Seattle out. Meet this guy that's so special to her." He informs. Your father nods, focusing back on you before he stands. He stares at Keaton who's eyes have drifted to the man standing just beside him, 
"I think that's a great idea. I'll uhh, I'll leave you two alone and... see if I can get Y/N a ticket home." He says, bowing to kiss your forehead before he retreats. Keaton takes his spot, holding his hands out. He waits until you take them to speak, 
"Lemme guess, you're still feeling guilty?" He asks. You nod. He sighs, 
"Well, I'm coming with and your dad knows. He knows how close you and Cole are and he accepts that. Seattle is your new home, not here and he knows that. He told me that." He informs, rubbing his thumbs over your knuckles. You take a deep breath and nod. He nods back, watching you take deep breaths before you nod again, 
"Right... fuck it. I'm over this bullshit. I'm gonna... pack my bags and go home and I'm not gonna be afraid. I'm gonna do me and fuck what people think." You conclude. He nods, watching you brush past him. He turns in his chair, watching you find your suitcase. You lay it on the bed, looking up at Keaton who's still staring at you, 
"What?" He shakes his head, 
"Nothing. I just... I'm proud of you." He says. You click your tongue, walking forward as he stands. He pulls you into his arms, holding you close. He rubs up your back before you reach up to punch his chest gently, 
"Now go pack. I won't wait for you Briggs." He chuckles, pointing to you as he starts from the room, 
"You're the devil, girl." He jokes, smiling at you before he brushes himself through your door, leaving you in silence again. Only this time, it's a little more peaceful knowing you'll be home soon. And in the arms of the people you love. 
Almost two hours later you have a ticket home, butterflies in your stomach and your bags packed. Your nails are chewed to the quick, the inside of your lip, the same. Keaton and your father talk at the kitchen island, unknowing of the growing impatience of being back in Seattle. Keaton looks good though in his normal, street clothes, something you don't see often but you're preoccupied. You're constantly checking your phone, Ivey's Instagram post informing you that they had made a stop on their way home in a beautiful forested area. Tom, of course, is in the pictures, looking beautiful but there's something about the way he stands that tells you he doesn't feel the best. You chew the inside of your lip, zoomed in on his figure. You can still smell him, still feel him around you. You swallow, feeling your eyes burn. You want to feel him again, you want to mend things. 
Glancing up, Keaton meets your eyes, glancing down at your phone which is still frozen on the image. He meets your eyes again, cocking his head. He sighs, standing up straight and checking his watch, 
"We've got a little while til our flight... step outside and give him a call." He tells you. Your mouth opens,
"Ke-" 
"No I'm serious. It'll help. Step out and call him Y/N." You look to your father who shrugs like, who could it hurt? You look back up to Keaton who nods and pulls your hood up and gives your shoulders a gentle nudge towards the balcony door. You sigh before nodding, turning and walking towards the door, closing yourself out in the cold air, drizzle coating you quickly. You swallow, staring at the picture on your phone's screen a moment longer before your heart starts to pound as you find Tom's contact, thumb hovering over the call button. Swallowing, your throat is dry, heart pounding so fast you're afraid it'll explode. 
You groan, head thrown back and eyes closed. But your eyes still burn and your heart pounds because you want to call him. You want to hear that voice, that accent, listen to him tell you all of the things you want to hear. You do want it. And you're going to take the initiative. So you press the call button and hold it to your ear, your heart stopping as it rings. 
                                                       ---
Wednesday- Tom
Music played somewhat loudly through Tom's speakers. The main difference between the drive down and this drive up is Tom feels a little better. He knows you're coming home and he has a second chance he wasn't sure he'd have when they came down. He laughs with Phoebe and Gil, joining in on the fun as he leads the group back home. 
Halfway through a song, Tom notices a buzzing, glancing down at the shallow center console, your face flashing across the screen of his phone as you call him. He glances up at Phoebe wide eyed before he pulls off onto the dirt path at the edge of the road, Ivey's car following as he steps out, phone in hand and jogs just a small bit from the car before he answers the phone and presses it to his ear, 
"Hello." He says somewhat breathless, an excited and surprised buzz coursing through him. There's a momentary pause on the other line, 
"Hi." You speak, voice breaking and tears instantly spring to Tom's eyes. He smiles, 
"Hi baby." He says, letting the tears fall. He hears you breathe over the phone, 
"Hi. Uhm... I- I was... kinda forced to call you if I'm honest," You laugh. He joins in, "but uhm, I... have had this feeling all day like... a depression ya know. And uhm, it's because... I keep thinking of you." You admit, voice cracking again that has more tears flooding Tom's eyes. He purses his lips, 
"And uhm, ya know, I saw Ivey's post and you look good and just... it's been like... I've been wanting you to text me, I wished you would text me and I miss you texting me." He chuckles softly, 
"You could text me if you missed me darling. I wouldn't have... judged you or thought that you trying to curse me was letting up." He tells you. You nod and swallow, 
"I know. I just... I don't know. But uhm, I guess I was... calling to..." You pause to collect yourself, Tom waiting patiently for a minute before he licks his lips, 
"What darling? You can tell me, I promise." He says softly. You sniffle again, 
"I uhh, I was calling to make sure... I wanted to make sure you... still loved me." You choke out, staring up at the sky. He places a hand on his hip, blinking away his own tears. He swallows, blinking a few more times before he nods, 
"Of course I still love you baby... of course." He says, closing his eyes. You swallow, 
"I'll always love you. And I'm ready for you to be home so I can show you Y/N. I love you so much." Tom says, turning, eyes meeting Ivey's who has stepped out of the passenger seat of Harrison's car, staring at him as he talks. You sniffle on the other line, 
"Swear?" 
"I swear Y/N. I will always, always love you. I promise." He says softly, more tears streaming down both of your cheeks. You sniffle once more, nodding and letting the silence reverberate between the two of you for a minute. You swallow, listening to him breath before you sigh, 
"Okay... I'm coming home."
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janisarkisian · 8 months ago
Text
We Fell in Love In December
Merry Christmas @nova-artino !!!! I was your gifter from the discord gift exchange :) I wrote a novissa one-shot for you a little over 2000 words. I hope you like it!!
Word Count: 2189
Pairing: Novissa (Nova Artino x Narcissa Cronin) 
Nova could barely remember what Christmas was like. Sure, she had celebrated it with her family, but the Anarchists had encouraged her to banish those memories from her mind. Acknowledging them would only make her hurt worse. 
“Hey, Nova!” Ingrid called to her hastily from the other train car. 
“Yeah?” She responded. Getting her thoughts interrupted by Ingrid had become a normal occurrence. There was always more training to do, fewer memories to remember. More errands to run, less time to relax. 
“Could you run down to the Cloven Cross Library to get me some bombshells?” Ingrid asked her. 
Nova, fifteen and eager to help, immediately responded yes and grabbed her flimsy coat. She had outgrown being cold long ago. Now she skipped straight to numb. They had never had enough money to go buy a real coat anyway. 
The streets of Gatlon had a new air about them. There were decorations, for Christmas she assumed, and everyone seemed happy. Why were they all out and around? Didn’t these people have to train? It was so easy for her to see why everyone was so incompetent. The Renegades only existed because people were too lazy to help themselves, and to be honest, the Renegades were a dictatorship. They made idiotic rules that they just expected everyone to follow. No one would ever even bother to help themselves because they had the Renegades. What would happen to the poor souls of Gatlon when the Renegades didn’t come? She knew there would be a day. It had happened to her, and she was sure it had happened to others. 
If she were to compare the cheer from the Cloven Cross Library to the cheer of the streets of Gatlon, the competition would be non-existent. There was a huge wreath on the door, and the small pine trees that were in front of the Library had been decorated more than Nova thought the little trees could handle. The white Christmas lights were in just enough areas to really make the aesthetic, but they didn’t overdo it. The whole area just had a cozy feeling that living in the subway tunnels had always lacked. Frankly, it seemed even more inviting than the cathedral had been. Then again, maybe that wasn’t saying much. 
The only thing that didn’t seem to be inviting was the large closed sign that hung over the antique door. 
There was absolutely no way that she could go back to Ingrid without those bombshells, and there had to be other alternatives. If Leroy were here, he could easily concoct a serum that would break the lock, but she was by herself. Normally, she carried a bobby pin on hand, which was very helpful for picking locks, but she had forgotten one in her haste. Her only hope was that maybe The Librarian had left one of his backdoors open before leaving for Christmas. Though it was very unlikely, she went to check the front door too. 
One of the things she had always admired about the Cloven Cross Library were the small windows that surrounded the door in the shape of an arch. From the inside, you could see the dangerous weather and know you were safe. From the outside, you could see friends reading, couples cuddling, and the fire roaring. 
Today, as she peered through, only one figure was pleasant from her cozy fantasy. Narcissa Cronin, the librarian’s granddaughter. She was a sweet-looking girl who was probably a year older than Nova herself. Her speckled, gray eyes were perfectly framed by her flaming red hair that shone under the light of the fire. Her lips looked effortlessly soft unlike Nova’s which were always chapped.
Even though she had initially had plans to try the back doors, Nova suddenly felt compelled to talk to Narcissa. She was curled up reading a book with a mug in her hand and Nova didn’t think she had ever seen anyone look prettier. Slowly, Nova raised her hand to the door and knocked. 
Narcissa looked up and started to shake her head no, but after a moment, Nova could see the realization in her eyes that Narcissa recognized her. She could see the small smile in Narcissa’s eye, the kind of thing that seemed like a dream and a perfect reality all at once. Or maybe she was just imagining it. 
As Narcissa walked to the door, Nova felt her breath hitch and for a moment, she couldn’t breathe. Narcissa started to get closer and she tried to compose herself. She was here for bombshells, not to look at pretty girls. 
“Hey, Nova,” Narcissa opened the door to the library and gestured for her to come inside. 
“Ingrid needed a few bombshells,” Nova replied lamely, unable to fully comprehend everything happening around her. 
“No-can-do,” Narcissa grinned, “Grandpa and I closed the library and the side-hustle yesterday.”
“Christmas?” Nova responded. Why would anyone close a shop for Christmas? To her, it was simply an overly-glorified day of the year and nothing else. 
“Yeah, Christmas.”
Nova watched as a look of something near pity spread onto Narcissa’s face. At first, she was a little offended. She didn’t need anyone to pity her or have feelings for her in general. It was just the Anarchists vs. Renegades and nothing more. Then, she realized Narcissa cared, something she had never felt before either. Sure, the Anarchists cared for her, but not in a way like this. The look on Narcissa’s face was so purely genuine that it nearly made her heart melt. 
Nearly.
“Well,” Narcissa spoke slowly and Nova turned her attention over, wanting to hear her voice, “I was going to do some fun Christmas-themed things before I meet up with Grandpa for Christmas Eve Dinner. Do you want to come?” 
It sounded fun. Fun. It was something the Anarchists would never approve of, but for once, just once in her life, she wanted to do something fun. Something that would piss them off. Something that would show them they didn’t own her, and that she could do anything and everything she pleased. 
“Sure,” she said firmly, though she could feel her face heating up. She had a feeling that this could be one of her best Christmases yet. 
***
Narcissa had taken her to a grimy mall on the South Side of Gatlon. The neighborhoods around here were mostly abandoned, and she felt the Anarchists would fit right in. 
The two of them had been in comfortable silence for a while when Narcissa spoke up. “So all I really came here for was a fluffy blanket, but if you want, we can go to some more stores. Do you have a favorite?”
Nova shook her head no. The only places she had ever really liked to go were hardware stores, and that was strictly for tools. She had never been allowed to buy real clothes of her own, mainly because the Anarchists had never had any real money. They had only ever had just enough to buy basic necessities like food or an occasional outfit. Things like fluffy blankets had always been out of the question, considering they could barely supply themselves with basic needs. 
“Wait!” Narcissa blurted out, suddenly struck with a new idea, “Not to be rude, but this mall sucks. Let’s go to my favorite 24/7 diner and get funnel cakes with hot cocoa or maybe egg nog. I mean, if you’ve never had either before hot chocolate is definitely the way to go. It’s like warm chocolate with whipped cream, and you can get it with peppermint if you like that.” She sounded so excited, and it warmed Nova’s heart. For the first time in fifteen years, she felt good enough to let her guard down. Even with Mama, Papa, and Evie, things had never been that way. She had always fought for survival. 
“That sounds really fun,” Nova felt herself blushing. Slowly but surely, her walls were crumpling and she knew the only reason for that was this girl, Narcissa Cronin. 
***
Walking into the diner, Nova’s senses were flooded with all different sensations. By a normal person’s terms, it might have been considered crappy, fast food. But this was the first real restaurant she had ever gone to and suddenly, she was starving. She hadn’t eaten in over twenty-four hours and she hadn’t intended to eat again until tomorrow. Narcissa walked over to a booth that was relatively far away from where they were standing, so Nova assumed it was a favorite of hers. She gestured for Nova to take a seat, so she slipped in, feeling the comfort and somehow homey feeling of the diner. 
She had expected Narcissa to slide in on the other side of the booth, but surprisingly, she slid in right next to her. Instantly, their shoulders brushed and they were close. Very close. She had never been this close to anyone before, especially people she wasn’t related to. She could practically feel the heat radiating from Narcissa’s body, and she had the urge to move closer. 
“Hey, Narcissa!” An excited waitress approached their table. In a way, the women reminded her of Ingrid, with eyes that could pierce her soul, but the energy was very different. She had an excited air about her, like she wanted everyone to be happy. To Nova, she looked like a huge Renegades supporter. 
“What can I get for you two today? Our Christmas-related specials are on that side menu. Should I go ahead and mark you two down for some of our special hot cocoa? You look pretty chilly.” 
She went to grab the small menu sitting near the wall of their tight booth, but Narcissa was too fast. 
“We’ll have two cinnamon funnel cakes and two hot cocoas with extra whipped cream and add some chocolate drizzle on hers,” Narcissa gestured over to Nova. She nodded in return to Narcissa, seeing that she was doing all the talking. Plus, being around Narcissa had taken away most of her ability to think. All of her thoughts had been mushed, and she hadn’t even taken her normal precautions like counting possible exits or looking for security cameras. 
“Oh wait!” Narcissa added before the waitress left, “Can we get it to go? I want to show Nova town square.” By the way she was grinning, Nova knew that she was in for a treat. 
***
Boy, had she been right. Town square was sparkling. There was a huge Christmas tree, decorated with more types of ornaments than she could ever imagine. The hot cocoa in her hands warmed her whole body, practically making up for the flimsy coat. And having Narcissa near her was the icing on top of the cake. She felt giddy, something that she had never experienced. Narcissa Cronin was the best thing that had ever happened to her. 
“So, what do you think?” Narcissa grinned, curious. 
“This is definitely the prettiest I’ve ever seen it. I don’t really get to come out often, and when I do, it’s with the Anarchists. Don’t get me wrong, I love them. I mean, they’re the only family I have. But sometimes, I want to do things on my own. So thank you Narcissa. You’ve given me an experience I would have never gotten.” 
It gave her a small joy to see Narcissa start to fluster. She looked like she was about to say something, but it ended up just coming out as a small “Thanks” and then her changing the topic. 
“So, is there anything else you want to do before I have to leave? I don’t want to keep Grandpa waiting.” 
Nova racked her mind. “No, I think I’m good.”
“Well,” Narcissa took a step closer to her, “There is one thing I want to do.” 
Suddenly, her heart rate sped up, and her pulse started to flutter. She wasn’t completely oblivious. She knew Narcissa wanted to kiss her. The Anarchists would never approve, but at the same time that was exactly the reason she wanted to kiss her back. 
“I think it’s the same thing I want to do,” She replied, her breath shaking, taking a step closer to Narcissa. 
They were barely inches apart now. As she gazed into Narcissa’s gray eyes, her breath hitched, and whatever knowledge she had left was no longer functioning. All she wanted to do was kiss Narcissa Cronin, and never go back. 
Narcissa breathed slowly. “Can I kiss you?” She asked quietly, her tone sending thousands of butterflies into Nova’s stomach. 
She nodded, but didn’t give Narcissa time to respond before she kissed her. It was a soft, dreamy kiss that sent Nova breathless. Narcissa’s lips were so soft, and they tasted like the hot cocoa they had been drinking. She could briefly taste the cinnamon from their funnel cakes too, a scent that made her stomachs do flip-flops just thinking about it. 
Finally, Narcissa pulled away. She put a firm grip on her hot cocoa and started to walk away. “Merry Christmas, Nova Artino,” She said, walking away, only to leave Nova exploding. This truly had been her best Christmas yet.
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kobayashihatori · 8 months ago
Text
Christmas Cards
This was supposed to be a short ficlet inspired by this post
But it's getting out of my hands and I desperately need to sleep so I'll post the first part here as it is and finish it ASAP, then I might post it on AO3 and edit this post. (for full disclosure I haven't write anything in about a year so please be gentle)
It had been a good year, Will was feeling overall good vibes about this year and he's felt stable for almost half a year now.
He had been fed up with having to commute to and from work in Quantico, it was long and tiresome, he had to meet lots of people on his way. it wasn’t working for him anymore, his time with his dogs has decreased and felt guilty for leaving them alone for so long.
But the money was good, he wouldn’t find such a good paying job near his cabin in Wolf Trap, that was kind of the deal with his cabin, being secluded, and he might be able to go back to a more frugal life, but that only meant less dogs. His dogs needed regular vet appointments, vaccines , deworming, food, beds, blankets and toys, they couldn’t live without those things and he couldn’t live without them, so another job was not the answer.
One morning, Bev, had found him frowning at this thought in his classroom and asked him what was the matter, he could be grumpy but there always was a reason.
-having a good morning, grumpy cat? –
-Who? Oh, Bev! Good morning.
– Will looked at her confused but relaxed his face.
-What’s going on? You are never this distracted in the morning.- she asked as she seated on his desk.
-Because I’m all smiles and sunshines? – he snarked, feeling a bit of like an ass. -Sorry, it’s just the commute here, it’s so annoying –
Bev has always liked how fast Will is on his tongue, she always finds his remarks funny. -Then why don’t you move nearer, sunshine? – she beamed him a shit eating grin.
He deserved it. -You know exactly why, I just can’t deal with people. –
-Ooh, but you have been doing so well lately, why not give yourself more challenge? – Bev was trying to be encouraging but Will wasn’t convinced.
-But where am I going to live with all my dogs? We need lots space –
-How about in the al pig farm just outside town? They moved out to a different location not long ago and the owner is giving the farm for rent-
She was quite excited to help her friend live nearby, he always rejected all kinds of invitations due to the distance of his house.
-Wouldn’t it be too expensive? What about my cabin? – Will wasn’t exactly comfortable at the prospect of moving out of his comfort zone.
-Do you have a come back for everything? – Bev wasn’t letting Will slip away.
-I don’t know, do you? –
-Yes!- she actually jumped down from the desk Gesturing with her hands for Emphasis. – You could lease it out-
-But then I would… -
Bev interrupted him – Deal with the tenants, you’re right… how about you Airbnb it?-
-Airbnb? What is that?- Will seemed confused-
Bev put her arm around his shoulders – You don’t have to worry about it, I’ll take care of it, I can even talk to your tenants instead of you if needed, you just have to do maintenance while it’s empty and have it ready for your next client. –
Will was a little wary but also very thankful for Beverly’s friendship, he would give it a chance and see how it all works.
It had worked out pretty well, he was now living near his job, the pack was adapting well to the new place, even if the woods were better for running around and hunting squirrels and whatnot.
But the vet was nearer, the commute was shorter and leasing his cabin temporarily was good too, he didn’t have to meet his tenants, they booked the property and he agreed to leave the key on the mailbox.
One night just after his holiday break started he was taking a moment to appreciate how things felt better for him, he could have been bitterly getting drunk, alone in his cabin back in Wolftrap with his dogs but now he was happily getting drunk, alone in his farm in Quantico with his dogs.
Life was good, since the farm didn’t produce anything; there weren’t many visitors, just the mailman every month bringing the bills that didn’t arrive by email.
Life was very good, he got a t up from his couch and stumbled a little on his way, accidentally hitting a small table on the hallway, cracked a little and released its small drawer that has been stuck since before he moved in.
Curiosity took the best of him and he opened it, it was almost empty, except for a few promotional Christmas cards from the farm.
He hasn’t written a Christmas card since his dad passed away, not that he wrote many to him or that his dad had replayed or sent any card to him, but once in a while he got drunk enough to remember the first card he wrote for his dad back in 3rd grade.
He took the cards, poured himself another two fingers of his brand new bourbon bottle… - Hey! Who drank my bourbon? Was that you Buster?- He took the bottle with him and sat down at the table.
-Who should we write a card? It’s almost Christmas after all, look!–
He showed the card to Winston, pointing one pig dressed in red.
– This one is dress as Santa, see?- He took a moment to think.
– We should thank Beverly for all her help this year, she really was our champion, but I don’t know her home address, or any coworkers home address, shame-
He sipped his drink and looked Zoe in the eye as the small dog looked back at him –
We can’t write grandpa any more, he’s gone now but that’s the only address I can remember now and there should be someone staying at the cabin for the holidays, we cannot write a Christmas card for grandpa if some stranger is gonna read it. –
Will gulped down the rest of his bourbon and shrugged as he thought to himself
– oh well, they’re my guests, maybe I should at least greet them.-
He scribbled the card, stuck a stamp on it, and put it in the mailbox.
He went back inside and passed out on his bed, that has recently made it to the living room, just like he liked it.
-------------------------------------------------------
Hannibal wasn’t having a good holiday season, it has been a pull and stretch for months now but he wasn’t letting things throw him off balance, but the last two days has been trying.
He had no outlet, he was in a wood cabin in the middle of nowhere and had been stood up by his sister less than a week before Christmas.
It has all started when earlier this year, Mischa has gone to college in Cambridge, she had always liked to travel to Europe, since they moved out to America when she was very young and Hannibal love to indulge her but she felt like he could be suffocating some times, so she studied hard to earn an scholarship in one of the best universities she new about and did everything to convince her brother to let her go.
There she had taken every weekend and small break to travel back to Rumania to investigate everything she could about her family, something in the stories her brother told her just didn’t make sense and he always excused himself blaming his poor memory retention, but if Hannibal had something it was a good memory.
So she dug out every bit of information she could find about their family and then found out that she was supposed to be dead.
It came out to be quite a shock for her, her brother wasn’t her brother, the dead parents that she didn’t remember weren’t her parents at all!
Just who was she and why did Hannibal have been lying to her all her life? After a very upsetting discussion with her brother during summer break, she flew back to England and went under the radar for a few weeks, before she contacted him again, but it was only just for him not to wreck the whole island looking for her.
He sent her emails regularly, telling her about his day, about everything and about nothing but she never replied, then he started telling her about the real Mischa and what had happened to her and his parents and everything he could remember, then she had replied, asking him about her and how had he ended up taking her in.
Then they exchanged mails more regularly but he had to tell the story slowly so she wouldn’t disappear again.
When November finally arrived, they were more or less in better terms but she still felt a little awkward, so she agreed to go back home if he promised that it would be just the two of them, no dinner party, no strangers in front whom she would have to pretend everything was the same as before when it wasn’t.
He compromised and she bought her ticket, he was so happy but also so tempted to host a Christmas dinner party that instead, he booked a cabin in the woods of Wolf Trap, Virginia.
It would be just as Mischa asked, just the two of them, but it would also be the perfect holiday, he went to the cabin in advance so he could turn this “tool shed” in the perfect Christmasy paradise.
So he redecorated the place and made it as cozy and homey as a temporary makeover could achieve, which turned out to be quite a lot since Hannibal Lecter was the one doing it.
He had it all ready and there were still a couple of days before Mischa’s arrive, he would go pick her and then he'll surprise her by taking her to Virginia instead of Maryland and they’ll spend the festivities in this secluded paradise, all he needed to do was fill the pantry with lots of delicious food and lots and lots of wine and then maybe just more wine in case things weren’t as perfect as he imagined.
He felt excited as he unloaded his trunk with all his purchases, a very kind butcher even gave him some cookies and Christmas postcards as thanks for his patronage.
Everything was going great when his phone rang, it was Mischa, she sounded odd, at times she sounded contrite then she sounded excited and Hannibal couldn’t keep up to what she was trying to say.
-Wait, Mischa, you met who? –
-A guy, Hanni, from college, he’s a senior in arts and has invited me to sky in the apennines with his friends-
Hannibal felt even more confused
– And when is this… outing happening?-
Mischa’s excitement banished from her voice.
– Tonight, brother, they’re going tonight, they are spending the holidays there—
Her voice lighted once more
– and he wants me to go with them, Hannibal… I want to go. –
Hannibal felt his heart sink to his stomach and his stomach drop to the floor.
-… and, who is this guy again? –
He knew his sister wasn’t flying for the holidays this year or if he convinced her of doing it she would resent him more than she already did, Hannibal couldn’t afford it, he couldn’t lose Mischa again, not after so many tries.
Mischa told him over the phone how they met and how much she liked him and he seemed to like her even more.
He kept unloading his car without realizing it while Mischa kept talking excitedly.
He had lost this battle, but at least he had lost of wine to compensate, now he had to pack all over again and go back to Maryland, maybe he could even organize a little something to celebrate with friends.
Then he remembered that Mrs. Komeda was out of the country and others of his circle were hard to book, even if they looked forward to his parties; canceling on others to attend his gathering wouldn’t be easy.
The only ones willing to amuse him would be Franklin, Chilton and Chiyo, but she would be happier to accompany him out here in Wolf Trap, maybe he should just stay here and be miserable.
He put a kettle on the stove, then he remembered that he had so much wine and some delicious spices, so he took out a pot and prepared some Gluhwein.
He was waiting for it to be ready, when the lights of a vehicle entered through the kitchen’s window.
He wasn’t expecting visits, something prime awoke in him, he took one of the knives and headed to the door.
Parking on the driveway was a mail van, and coming out of it was the tiniest teenager mailman ever.
-Good evening Mr…. –
The teen gave a side glance to the mailbox
– Graham! I’m Trevor, your new mailman; Leon finally retired and I’ll be taking his route, but he asked me to give you his best regards and wish you happy holidays!.
Hannibal looked at the kid not knowing how to react, this was a very odd situation.
-I beg your pardon? –
Trevor then stopped in his tracks and looked around, as if there was another property he could have confused for the Graham household
– Are you Mr. Graham? –
Hannibal hesitated for a second but show none of it as he opted for the truth
– No, I am only a guest for the holidays-
Trevor’s face lighted as the uncertainty left his body.
– oh! I see, I’m glad Mr. Graham is spending the festivities with loved ones, Leon told me to keep an eye on him every once in a while since he’s living all alone out here, not that he needs any more protection. –
Then Trevor looked around Hannibal as if looking for something, Hannibal grabbed tighter the handle of the knife he was holding behind his back.
-I was hoping to finally meet the pack, I guess it’ll be on another occasion –
He said as he extended his hand with a few envelopes and cards.
-He’s the mail Mr… -
Hannibal took the bundle of paper pretending he hasn't heard the question in Trevor's voice
- thank you…-
-Sorry for the hour, I got a flat tire but didn’t want you to wait for your mail. –
Trevor smiled coyly.
Hannibal looked at him, assessing the kids intentions, when a whistle surprised the both of them.
-oh! Your kettle is boiling, you should go inside. It's pretty cold outside. –
Hannibal was surprised at this boy, so thoughtful but a little over familiar.
-Would you like a cup of tea, or mulled wine? – He asked.
-Thanks, but I’m not old enough to drink, and I got a long drive ahead of me, I should hurry back.-
Said the tiny post worker.
-I could put some tea in a to go mug, I got a spare one- Said Hannibal, remembering the one he got for Mischa.
-Thank you! That would be awesome! I’ll wait here if that’s OK? –
-You can come in if you want to. I won’t be long- said the older man.
-It’s fine, sir, I really musn’t. –
-Very well, is chamomile and vanilla to your liking?-
-that sounds very yummy-
-honey? –
-Yes!-
Hannibal prepared Mischa’s mug with tea leaves and a spoonful of honey, took the mug to Trevor and sent him on his way.
After the encounter he went back and served himself a cup of gluhwein, as he came back to the living room one of the cards cached he’d his eye.
It had a piglet laying on a bed of lettuce and assorted vegetables and another piglet dressed as Santa saying “you’ve been very naughty this year”.
Hannibal smirked a little to himself, took the card and turned it around. It was a card from a pig farm there in Virginia and the message read:
“Hey, I used to live in that cabin, I’m drunk in Quantico and it’s the only address I know. Happy holidays. WG.”
Hannibal had this strange but warm sensation inside , maybe it was the gluhwein or maybe it was this ridiculous card, then he realized that he was feeling a little lonely.
This was going to be the first year in about two decades that he wasn’t spending the holidays with Mischa, or with his acquaintance; he had even invited the mailman to step inside the moment he was sure it was safe to let a stranger into his living space.
Hannibal thought that he was being childish, he could survive a holiday on his own just fine, he could rest, catch up with his reading list, relax and bask in his memory palace if boredom proved to be a challenge in this secluded place.
He was drinking the last cup of gluhwein when he sat down pen in hand, looking at the corny postcard the butcher gave him earlier.
It was a gingerbread house with a plaque decorated with the name of the butchery and a small Santa wearing a white apron, waving a cleavered hand at the reader.
It was a bizarre image but it was the perfect one for the even more bizarre cannibal Santa piglet that was sent to him.
He wrote a thanks you card to WG, whom he was convinced was his tenant, or at least hoped he was, he had spent a lot of time moving around the furniture to not have notice how well taken care this house was, it was in tip top condition, some of the finishing touches look to be done by hand. It was a well loved house.
He imagined that the person that had lived and taken care of this house would be the one missing it enough to wish a happy holiday to the one inhabiting it at the moment.
So he thought of sending this person a card of his own, he would send it in the morning alongside the more tasteful ones he already prepared for his acquaintances, clients and friends.
Thanks to @charming-young-woman for this prompt
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Sorry if it wasn't exactly what you wanted to read.
Happy Holidays!
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seamistan · a year ago
for a prompt, how about sea hawk puts mermista to bed after a long day of work?
 Okay I love this so much 🥺
This uh. got angstier than i expected but there’s hurt/comfort so. I hope that’s okay! It’s also way, way longer than I expected it to be skjssdn
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The fire in her office had begun to smolder, leaving behind nothing but smoke and ash.
The princess of Salineas was hard at work at her desk, determined to finish her first set of tasks to begin to rebuild Salineas. The day's work had largely consisted of paperwork to review- blueprints, citizen requests, permits, all part of the exciting life of ruling a kingdom that had to be completely restored from the ground up.
The clock in the corner continued to tick menacingly, warning her that every second spent not doing her duty was a second she was failing her kingdom. The words in front of her had begun to blur, and her memory of her purpose reading the document had become fuzzy. Her brain was very quickly becoming a slippery mass of information that not even she could untangle or understand. The day had been among Mermista's first in working from Bright Moon to preplan for all the reconstruction and every single detail had to be correct. She considered for a moment if it would be too unreasonable to get a third cup of coffee from the Bright Moon kitchen. She decided it wasn't.
Strolling outside of the office that Glimmer had been so kind to offer her that was only a short walk from her suite and to the kitchen, Mermista heard the sounds of too-eager footsteps around the corner. Silently cursing him, she attempted to hide around the corner of the marble column. Sea Hawk had been insistent for the past few days that Mermista get a proper amount of sleep if she were to continue to be the most capable ruler that she could possibly be. However, He had been unsuccessful in his campaign to get his dearest to go to bed at a reasonable time, resulting in his current sleep protest, in which he had refused to go to sleep until she did. It seemed, though, even loving pirates needed snacks in the middle of the night.
Mermista tried to tell if he would go the other way, or simply disappear, but it seemed he wouldn’t. So, she resigned herself to her fate, stepping out of her hiding spot, running face to ‘stache into her sleepy captain. 
Sea Hawk fumbled with the bowl of kombu pesto he was currently mixing in his hands, closing and opening his eyes in a fit of drowsiness. “Mermista! You’re still awake!” He says,  a glint is his tired eyes reminding her that he had already been fully aware of that. “Was it the smell of my famous Sea Tangle alla Sea Hawk that drew you to the kitchen?” his confident air suppressing the previous exhaustion she had run into. 
She rolls her eyes at him. “No, you goof. I came out here to get some coffee but was rudely interfered with before I could.” She looks behind him and sees that he, was in fact making his signature dish. Her stomach rumbles at the smell of it, reminding her she had not had a full meal all day outside of the various cups of double shots of coffee. “...Buuut I guess I could stick around for a plate of your dumb pasta or whatever.” She said, feigning nonchalance. 
Sea Hawk’s face lit up at this and gestured toward the kitchen. 
Spiritedly, he leads her to where a pot of kelp noodles was threatening to boil over, the pan on the burner next to it sizzling with some chicken and that was smelling heavenly. Sea Hawk strides over to her and pulls out a chair in the little table in the corner of the kitchen, his face shining with the glee of a child. The Kitchen is not small by any means, but the way it’s decorated, presumably by Glimmer, gives the room that would otherwise be foreboding or sterile a homey feel, the pink walls and bright colors managing to also give it an edge of dollhouse chic Which is, like, somehow Glimmer’s entire personality. 
Sea Hawk is at the stove now, pouring in the bowl of pesto he was holding older onto the chicken, whistling some silly shanty to himself. His stance relaxed and carefree, as if ready to start dancing at any moment, flitting through the spice rack looking for water mint of all things. Mermista’s tired mind takes a second to admire the way his fingers moved expectantly through the shelf, and, when he finally found it, the way his entire form seemed to sparkle with joy at this simple finding. Watching him in this little adventure almost threatened to make her smile. Almost. 
Mermista’s idle brain suddenly returned to a state where she could remember finally, what caused her to leave her office in the first place. Leisurely getting up, she makes her way to the pot of coffee that she had made earlier in the day, ready to pour herself a cup when Sea Hawk stops her, and the look he gives her threatens to shatter her heart. “Please, Dearest. Don’t.”  His pleading gaze boring into her very soul. He’s silent as he returns to the stove, resuming his quest to finish his pasta. His steady hands pouring the sauce onto the mountain of pasta he had set onto the serving plate. 
She realizes she still hasn’t poured her cup of coffee.
She kind of doesn’t want to, anymore. 
Sea Hawk pads over to the cabinet where the plates are held and set down two plates on the little table. His solemn look continuing to make her heart seize. “Please, just sit with me. Have some pasta. Then.. you can go back and keep working while I try to keep your side of the bed warm.” His steady gaze faltered at the mention of her retreating back into the office. 
They both knew that she had been working overtime to prove to herself and to everybody else that she was a functioning ruler, unencumbered by her time as a slave to a space fascist. It had been weeks since Mermista had a functioning sleep schedule, with the end of the war inhibiting sleep up until a week or two ago when her new tactic of fighting the nightmares that threatened her every night was hours and hours of work.
Mermista leaned against the counter, hand still ghosting over the coffee pot, deciding if she should go sit down when Sea Hawk produced two water lilies and lovingly set them on top of each plate of Kelp noodles. 
Then the tears started. 
She walked hesitantly over to the table, wordlessly picking up a plate and staring at the blue flower he had placed on top of the pile of Kelp noodles and sauce.
She choked out a small sob, glassy eyes alight and the very ghost of a smile on her face. “You remembered.”
He gave her a slight chuckle, getting a faraway look in his eye. “I just thought that.. maybe if I reminded you of her, you’d remember to take care of yourself”
She let herself retreat back into her head for a moment, memories of her mother making her lunch before attending her Princess training, reminding her to be strong and brave for her and her kingdom. Long talks discussing her role in Salineas, her future,her fears. The last time her mother had made this for her she was getting ready to begin to take full control of the runestone. Before she passed. Before The Horde got to her. She was just a kid then, thinking she was on top of the world. She and Sea Hawk had been in one of their “in-between” stages where she wouldn’t admit she liked him despite his constant saying he liked her. So she’d invite him over to meals with her family as a sort of compromise. Let him into her life bit by bit. He had gotten along so well with her mother, laughter filling the room. It made her heartache now, remembering it. 
Her eyes were misty with tears now, throat caught in a sob. Sea Hawk set down the plate that was still being held in her trembling hands, and held her in his arms, his embrace pulling her back to reality. “Mermista, My dearest. I need you to take care of yourself. Please.” he pleaded, his eyes meeting hers, then down to her lips, then returning to her gaze. “For Salineas. For your people, For your Mother.”  His gaze returned to her lips.  Her stomach fluttered, and she was suddenly aware of his body holding hers, his scent surrounding her- the sesame oil he had been using to cook, the tingling smell of the citrus soap he always used, and the lingering smell of saltwater and ash that just made him hers. He was staring at her now. His concern etched into every feature. He pressed his lips to hers, holding her close, calming the waves that threatened to overtake her. “And for me.” 
Okay, now she was absolutely sobbing. Tears flowing down her face in rivulets, no longer being able to refuse the onslaught of emotions she had been keeping locked inside her for weeks. “I- I don’t.” the words were not letting themselves out. “Look. I just. I. I really have no idea what to do. These nightmares won’t stop keeping me awake. And the citizens I don’t think they trust me and I just-” She broke down in sobs. 
Her pirate, ever the Savior, held her face in his hand and simply said “You don’t have to do anything.” His words rang through her ears. “I mean at least. Not right now. We can just enjoy a late meal together. And then, you can go to sleep. I’ll watch over you.”
She sniffled in his arms. “You would do that for me? Stay up all night? Just so I could sleep?” Her voice cracked, threatening to send a new wave of tears down her face. Geez, if she could just stop crying for a minute she could get some of her dignity back. She cleared her throat. “Because I mean, that would be, like, super lame of you. I mean. You need to sleep too, I guess.” 
He laughed his big, airy, laugh and shook his head. “Misty, I would fight 500 horde prime soldiers so you could rest well for a single second. I would sail all over Etheria three times for you slumber in peace I would-” 
Mermista felt heat rush to her cheeks. She pats him on the chest, releasing herself from his tight embrace. “Okay, knock it off, I have noodles to eat!” Mermista 
She sat herself down at the cozy table, and he in front of her. He delicately lifted his Water lily sitting atop his mountain of clear kelp noodles and carefully reached over and placed it behind her ear. She rolled her eyes. “There was sauce on that, you know. You got sauce in my hair now. Thanks!” But the look that she gave him, the glint in her eyes told him she didn't really mind
They sat together for a while after both of them had polished off what was left of the tremendous meal (Sea Hawk’s words) he had made. They quickly did the dishes as to not receive another stern word from Bright Moon’s chef about Sea Hawk’s late night cooking misadventures and then headed off to their room. 
As he was curling up in front of her, in a voice that only he could ever hear, she murmured “Thank you.” 
Smirking to himself, he let out a sigh of relief and said, full of certainty “All in a day’s work, milady, all in a day’s work.” 
She groaned. “How many times do I have to tell you to not call me that?!”
He silently chuckled, and off to sleep she went. 
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Okay this was going to go in a much, much different, shorter direction but then @nepptoon and I started talking about what kind of late night snacks Sea Hawk would get and then. Well, it just spiraled from there. 
so take this as my first ever published fic?? I Guess?? sdjnsdkdns
anyway leave me prompts and you, too might get a very long winded fic featuring keke and I’s convoluted conversations 
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jarofrebuke-transcripts · 9 months ago
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Jar of Rebuke Episode 3 Unofficial Transcript
Season 1 Episode 3: Cherry Tobacco
INTRO
The following audio recording is classified documentation for Case [audio distortion] with the Enclosure. Unauthorized access to this information will lead to immediate intervention. Progress further if proper clearance has been given.
JARED
I really need to get into the habit of doing this more often. Dr. Daman keeps asking how this is going, but I rarely have anything to tell her that she seems to want to hear. She really wants me to do this regularly, but sitting at my desk with a sore back didn't sound too appealing, especially if I didn't have to. Even though my back is feeling a bit better after the snipe hunt tournament incident, I'm actually recording this from a bed and breakfast. And I'm tired. Not even a vacation, it's more of a work trip. Not terribly much has happened since my last update. Darius's birthday was recently. He had a little get-together with some friends and he even invited me along, which was really nice. I made sure to get there a little early especially since it was a day off of work for me. We met up at Waytooth, a restaurant that his dads and him frequent often. I got there and just sat outside for a bit fiddling on my phone, then Darius showed up. He was so excited for the party, I could tell. He smiled the second we made eye contact. He jogged over to me and we talked for a bit. The weather is still pretty nice, it's finally starting to get chillier, which is actually nicer, I prefer the layers. So we sat outside and enjoyed the weather as we talked until his other friends showed up. They were all nice, but I kind of stuck by Darius most of the day since he was the only one that I really knew.
After lunch, we all went to a drive-in theater that they've got set up here in town, which is mostly just a projector and a large painted brick wall, but it was still a nice time. His friends all sat in different cars as we watched the movie, but Darius and I sat in the bed of his truck and ate snacks that he had packed. Darius is a really good cook. He's learning a lot of cool stuff from that class he's taking. I gave him a little gift, of course. Well, two things. I got him a new wrench set since he'd been saying that he needed a new one, his old one's been a bit worn down for a while. Uh, gifts to give him in front of his friends, since he really plays up the whole inheriting the family farm shtick around them. But we, when we were in his truck, just the two of us, I gave him his second gift. He said he had really gotten into cross stitching recently and he seemed a little embarrassed about it. But I wanted him to know that I thought that was interesting, so I got him a little pack of stitching patterns and some thread organizers. I wasn't sure what kind of patterns he'd like, so I just got him a couple of different kinds. He was quiet for a few moments after he opened that gift and I kind of panicked for a moment honestly. But he then gave me a really big smile and put his hand on my shoulder. He gave me a really soft thank you and I told him it was my pleasure, as long as he made me something. It was an obvious joke, at least I hoped it was obvious. But he asked what I'd want. I told him I like birds. Birds have so much freedom to just fly around and always sing such pretty songs. Besides geese, I don't like geese. He asked me if I had any favorites. I said I like blue jays. Major assholes, but beautiful. He laughed and he said he'd give it his best shot, but I told him that I’d hang up anything he made me. And that was about it. We barely watched the movie, we spent most of the time quietly talking actually.
What else have I done? Well, Dr. Castillo and I went and investigated the energy signatures from the cornfields after Todd told us to do so and you know what we found? Corn. That's it. Oh, and more corn! No energy spikes, no signs of tomfoolery of the natural or supernatural kind, nothing. It was almost strange how untouched by supernatural energies it seemed. We investigated during the day and at night. No changes. So we've been keeping tabs on the fields but nothing that's been too notable has happened when we're out there. We've been passing a lot of our time in the labs reorganizing files going over the energy spikes that have been recorded and theorizing what we could possibly be dealing with there. But until we can further examine it, there is not much we can do. Ever since they replaced my old lab partner my workload has been much lighter. I actually prefer to be busy than bored, and I think Dr. Castillo isn't used to having idle hands either. They only ever give me small menial tasks and it's becoming more annoying than anything else. But I did recently see my old lab partner, Dr. Lomax in the hall this morning. I've seen them in passing a few times but we haven't been able to catch up much since the sudden change. Dr. Lomax also has no idea why they got suddenly switched to a different lab. Seems that none of us know why the change was made. All Todd said was “just had to rearrange some staff, don't worry about it!”
Speaking of, before I left work today, I got another email from Todd. Typically his emails are him asking us to do something and then him talking himself up for multiple paragraphs and making it seem like it should be a privilege to do what he's asking you to do. But this email was him actually giving me lodging information for the local inn, and explaining that I had to pack up a bag and go. They apparently planned to do renovations or something on my house due to a concern of faulty plumbing. I'd mentioned to Dr. Daman about the less-than-stellar heating system when I wanted to take a bath or do dishes, but I didn't expect anyone to actually do anything about it. But a night without weird tapping on my door sounded nice, and even though I replied to the email basically saying “oh no, you really don't have to, I can live with it”, Todd insisted. I could just see his smug smile on the other side of the screen. He'll subtly hold it over my head for later, but the rule of one denial for good polite measure then acceptance of an offer had been met and I was off home to pack a bag. And here I am now.
The Chronicle Inn bed and breakfast is run by an older married couple, Ester and Laura. I'd met them a few times before my stay here but I hadn't spent much time with them. This place is mostly a restaurant and homemade goods store rather than an inn, considering we don't get many outsiders who stay here any longer than to grab a bite to eat and get gas. But for times like these it's nice to have an inn available. Even if it's only a few rooms, it's much better than staying at the facilities that the enclosure has on site. Work would have likely put me into a temporary on-site lodging space if the inn wasn't available. To be honest I'm surprised they actually put me in the end instead of just tossing me into some temp lodging room for a night. Maybe they remembered how much I hate that place. It's nearly impossible to sleep with the buzzing lights and the beds really aren't made for comfort and the bathrooms are all so claustrophobic. I swear, they make that place as uncomfortable as possible so people want to leave. That, or they just skimped on the prices for a comfortable setup to focus the money elsewhere at the Enclosure. I'd believe that. Though maybe they booked me at this place to have me investigate something while I'm here. Can't even enjoy this nice little one-night getaway, huh? They expect me to work? Do they plan to pay me for looking into things overnight? Probably not, not like they ever pay me for the full work I do anyways.
The room I’m in is kinda known for weird happenings. The whole town knows but there's not a huge fuss over it. No one's died from it, so why be too concerned? Ester warned me about these weird happenings while I was checking in. There's word of a spirit that haunts the upper floor of the building. Been here for as long as anyone can recall. She explained it all to me with a smile and a jovial tone, so she doesn't seem concerned. After the literal run-in with the deer a few weeks ago, I really just wanted some rest. Her wife Laura told me that they serve breakfast at 7 am but they'll be at the desk to take my key as early as 6. Thankfully tomorrow my shift starts at 8 instead of the usual 6 so I might be able to actually get some real food in me before work.
Didn't take me too long to get up here and settled in. I decided to just relax today instead of going out into town. So I did some reading in bed. Not that I could really focus much, the bed here is nice and cozy, but there's definitely a vibe about it. The room, not the bed. The rest of the inn is very homey, lived in, but in a good way. But the second I got to the top of the stairs it was like the air got barely but still noticeably cooler. When I came into the room I saw a little baggie of homemade beef jerky that Ester made and gave me. She's known around town for her jerkies and her woodwork. She's always so hands-on with everything she makes, whether it's snacks or a new set of chairs. She may have actually made the chair I'm sitting in right now, actually. I sat outside for a bit. There's a nice balcony that looks over some gardens and in the far distance I can see the vast fields. The evening felt so nice and I could see the little lightning bugs flying around as I got darker. I've always liked watching their dances. I often watch kids running around catching them in jars and then letting them all go just minutes later, but I prefer to watch them do their own thing out in nature. I watched the stars and the flicking lights of the lightning bugs for a bit, sipped on some sweet tea that Laura had brewed and offered me, ate some of the jerky that Ester made, and relaxed. I let my mind wander to wherever it went off to which as usual was all over the place. But no tapping on the doors, no weird deer staring at me, it was nice. But I keep feeling like something, or someone, is watching me. I feel that pretty often but this is different. It feels closer, if that makes sense. Like right now I'm sitting in a plush chair by the window in the room looking over the nice herb garden out back. The stars are still twinkling, the wind is just slightly blowing, and I've been able to crack the window open for some breeze. But I feel like something is watching me from the doorway. I swear to gods if I turn around and someone is standing there... (deep inhale) nope, nothing.
When Ester was telling me about what I could possibly expect, she said that a spirit had been wandering around in the room I'm staying in. Sometimes the spirit watches people. Sometimes the spirit just walks around and ignores the tenants. Must depend on her mood. But apparently something about the blue lamp by the bedside table really draws her out. Considering my line of work, and that my boss sent me here, I'm obviously going to turn on the light. Even if she's not rumored to be particularly dangerous, if they're just wanting to keep me busy then I could see Todd throwing me here to look into it a bit more. Okay. Hold on, give me a sec, let me see what happens. [lamp clicks on] It's a pretty light. I don't think I've seen a light this shade of blue outside of some of the lights they put up around town in the winter. It's nice. Oh, uh... hello? I don't know if she can hear me but I do see someone standing by the door, on the other side of the room, and um, [sniffs] tobacco?
THE BLUE LADY
I can hear you just fine.
JARED
[startled] Ah! Sorry about that. how are you?
THE BLUE LADY
Why do you ask?
JARED
Manners, I guess? Should I ask- who are you?
THE BLUE LADY
I don't think it really matters now. Besides, it's better I ask who you are.
JARED
Oh, uh, Dr. Jared Hel. I'm a scientist with the Enclosure on the edge of town. I…
THE BLUE LADY
WHO you are, not what you are. I know what you are.
JARED
...What I am is a person who would like to get some rest.
THE BLUE LADY
No, what you are is different. At least different from what I remember.
JARED
From what you remember? Have we met before?
THE BLUE LADY
Not exactly. “Met” isn't the word I would use. But we've interacted.
JARED
How so..?
THE BLUE LADY
I've watched you from afar, I've seen what you do. I guess our paths have more indirectly crossed.
JARED
I've never studied you before. You're not exactly the kind of thing that the enclosure typically sends me to study.
THE BLUE LADY
Then why are you here?
JARED
Well, work decided to fix the plumbing in my house so they put me up here. To get some rest.
THE BLUE LADY
And yet you're not here to study me?
JARED
Well that's actually unclear, I guess. I mean, if they're going to book me in the most haunted room at an inn, I guess they're having me investigate. Or Todd's just messing with me. That seems like something he'd pull.
THE BLUE LADY
Messing with you? [scoffs] When did you start putting up with the antics of people like that?
JARED
Okay, I'm gonna be upfront- if we met more than two years ago I have zero memory of any of that time. So this vague, cryptic talk is going to get you nowhere.
THE BLUE LADY
What are you doing with that thing?
JARED
[rustling sound] This it's an audio journal. It takes less focus and energy than writing. Are you just gonna keep staring at me or..?
THE BLUE LADY
People don't usually understand me this well for full conversations, so it has been quite a while. It isn't as if Ester and Laura can clearly understand me, even if they have tried.
JARED
How long have you been here?
THE BLUE LADY
Longer than I can remember. The rumor is that I've been here since the establishment of this town, whenever that may have been.
JARED
And when did we meet? I mean interact indirectly.
THE BLUE LADY
For the first time? It was many, many years ago. But again, you've certainly changed.
JARED
But again, I don't remember. You keep saying that and, [winces in pain] oh god my head!
THE BLUE LADY
We won't be getting very far right now.
JARED
No wait wait wait no hold on hold on.... and she's gone. [slams fist on table] Damn it! Why won't anyone just tell me anything outright? Oh my head... it's always like this. They disappear for a while and then come back so suddenly. Oh I hate this flesh prison! I'm done recording for now I need to try and nurse this headache now and recover from whatever the hell… oh it seems she left a little gift. Some blue ribbon? It's maybe four or five inches long, a little frayed at the ends. It's the same color as the lamp. There's something written on it. The handwriting's a bit hard to read but it looks like “you need to remember”. Remember what? How am I supposed to remember if no one ever tells me anything? Everyone always pushes me to try and remember but there's nothing to remember if they're making me grasp at thin air! They say they support me, they say they want to help, but what do they do to help, huh? All of this performative support is getting me nowhere. [facing away from recorder] And how is this ribbon supposed to help? You couldn't have given me something a little less vague? [groans] Why is everyone always so damn vague? Are they scared to just say something concrete? Why can't anyone ever give me a straight answer! No, it's fine. It's fine. I'm just… I'm going to go to bed. Right. I'm going to get some sleep. No tapping, no knocking, just sleep. I'm gonna go turn off the lamp and get some rest. Right. Ugh. Whatever. This is Dr. Jared Hel, signing off, I guess.
OUTRO
Jar of Rebuke is written and produced by Casper Oliver, who is also the voice of Dr. Jared Hel. Voice of The Blue Lady provided by Misha Bakshi. The intro is read by Vanessa Rosengrant, and credits are read by Ashley Craft, who has created the podcast official graphics. Music was created by Luke Menniss, spelled m-e-n-n-i-s-s, who you can find and support on Bandcamp, Spotify and Twitch. Find us on Twitter, Instagram and anywhere else you get your podcast fix for more Jar of Rebuke and also to get updates on upcoming official merch for our show. Support projects by this crew on Patreon to further other queer-lead projects and get neat perks. All donations are appreciated and will grant further clearance to special Jar of Rebuke content. You can also make one-time donations on Ko-fi. And special thanks to our patreon supporters Becky Thompson, Perry Bruns, and Tristan Fraud.
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dayasbun · 2 years ago
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Fame - Angus Cloud (3)
Summary- a luckily timed audition leads to you falling for your new and unexpected co-star.
Warnings- okay HI welcome to my first multi chapter series woah?! this is actually so exciting for me like wow especially since angus doesn’t have any fics yet im just really really excited- so warnings! smut for sure, bad words, lotsa fluff, angst- everything in one basically. here comes a ride and I hope you enjoy :)
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3 {reading now}
-
Well, needless to say you got the role.
The final run through with Drake was successful, he started spewing off about how talented you were. You did your usual which was smile and nod, and Angus told you to "Stop being so shy mamas. You gotta get used to this."
Time flew as you turned in forms, focused on moving closer to set, and grew your social media audience. It was all exciting but also overwhelming, however you already loved it.
You and Angus seemed to be getting more comfortable with each other, the tension was wearing off and a simple friendship was forming. The luxury apartment you were moving into for when filming ceased was conveniently just a few doors down from his apartment, you two were going to be in the same complex. You talked quite often and filming hadn't even started yet, and you almost felt silly for feeling intimidated, if that was even the word, by him before. He'd offered to come over to help you move in- and even though the tension had faded, your {sometimes} inappropriate thoughts of him hadn't.
But today was the day everything kicked into gear, because today was the first day of filming.
You and Angus decided to meet up at a small, locally owned coffee shop before heading to set. You could both go together, and since he offered to drive, you could save some gas.
You got there early, you two were to meet at 7:30 am, you were there at 7:25 due to leaving time to dodge the traffic. Angus came through the door yawning at 8:17- due to oversleeping.
"Do you always do this?" you laughed sliding a donut over to him as he sat down across from you in the booth.
"Do what?" he asked, eating half of the donut in one big bite.
"Are you always late- like on set? Because most of my scenes are with you and I-"
"You think ahead a lot, I just like sleeping, you should like it too you feel what I mean? Sleep is just that bitch...if there was a girl like sleep then I would have a girl."
Half of the time the things Angus came up with made zero sense to you, but you always just agreed and moved along. For example, yesterday night he called you at 12:32 am just to let you know that the Frosted Flakes box had 'of corn' in small writing under the bold logo. You said you'd never noticed that- which was the truth, and then that led to him telling you the complete history of Mandela effects. You didn't get back to bed until 1:54.
"And to be fair Y/N, you kept me up last night with that Mandela effect shit." he said with a smirk as he finished off the donut.
Your mouth fell open as you rolled your eyes "Boy as if! You wish I-"
"So you quoting 90s movies now? That's new, don't really know how I feel ab-"
"Lets go," you shook your head standing up and tossing your coffee cup into the garbage.
You two walked out and into the warm LA air. "You read the scripts at all?" He asked you as you headed to his car.
"I did! We have a lot of scenes...some are quite different."
"What you mean? Not boutta lie I didn't read anything past the first episode cuz them other shits too far away."
"Well, sex is always a given in Euphoria."
"Yeah them nude scenes finna make me feel a bit violated if you know what I mean."
"You'll be fine, all you show is your ass but I have to-"
"Oh shit I gotta show my cheeks? For real? On television- aw nah I gotta talk to somebody about tha-"
"I have to show everything except my baby maker so...who really has it worse?"
"Yo' baby maker? Is that them gorgeous eyes cuz it sure does make me want to make a baby wit' you."
Was that a joke-
He did this alot. You never knew if he was actually flirting or if it was just him joking around, but you always assumed it was the latter.
"Was that a...was that a joke from you Angus? How rare!"
He flipped you off with a goofy grin at the next red light and you laughed. "No all jokes aside though Gus, I gotta show my whole body, titties and all. Like my parents are going to watch this how do I? Explain?"
“Well we can fuck wit’ all that when we get to it.”
“Oh baby...” You said sarcastically. “You didn't actually read the first episodes script did you?”
“What you mean?”
You pulled the script from out of your tote, clearing your throat before you started to read. “Jess looks at Fez with a gleam of interest in her eyes. ‘Its been awhile tiger’ she says in a certain way, a way that makes Fez adjust his- yeah I’m not reading that- ‘It has’ Fez says biting his lip. He wants her, but he doesn't know if she wants him too...he thinks she doe-”
“We gotta have sex the first episode? Nah you lying.”
“Episode 1, 3, 5, 7 and 8.”
“Holy shit what?! Aint nobody have that much sex last season...”
“Yeah but its because of our storyline. Jess and Fez constantly want each other and they think the only way to let it out is through sex- they are both terrible with commitment and Jess is afraid of Fez’s dealing; even if she wants to be with him that's keeping her away.”
“Damn, my manz Fez gettin’ the short end of the stick.”
“Jess is the only one getting a short stick Angus.”
It took him a minute to understand what you said, but as soon as he comprehended it his eyes widened. “Girl no you didnt- you know I’m packing- how you gon’ do me like that?!” he said defensively as he parked. You couldn't help but to laugh as you hurried out of the car. “Imma get you back for that!” He yelled after you. You shook your head and walked to the main trailer where everyone was to gp.
Walking in you saw only Z and Storm, Queen Bey played softly in the background showing the girls in front of you were in their element. “Hey girl!” Z said giving you a quick side hug. “Dont worry about being late, its all good. You came with Angus didn't you?”
You nodded whilst rolling your eyes and took the key she was holding out, walking back out and to your trailer.
The trailer was cozy, comfortable and not too small. It had quite a modern look to it, and the look on the outside didn't match the inside at all. You smiled as you sat on the sofa, seeing a white envelope on the glass table. On it was scribbled ‘Angus and Y/N’. Before you could get up to go over to his trailer, he walked in- no invitation, no knock, no anything. “Gee!!!! Good thing I wasn’t naked!” You said sarcastically as you glared at him.
“Yeah whateva. We gotta read this letter together I guess.” He said plopping down beside you.
“Yeah yeah okay, I can read it out loud.” You said cracking open the envelope and pulling out the bright white printer paper. “Okay here we go...it's from...Drake?”
“Ah shit.”
“Don’t worry yet, it's probably just- let me just read.”
Angus nodded and got more comfortable on the sofa as you started to read. “Angus and Y/N. On behalf of your upcoming roles I wanted to tell you guys to loosen up. Theres alot of sexy time to film, and I don't want the viewers to feel the sexual tension from Angus and Y/N, I want them to feel it radiating from Jess and Fez. Make kissing casual, make being naked around each other casual too. Don't make that shit weird. And Angus, make sure you can get it up. If it takes...oh-” you stopped for a moment.
“What?” Angus looked at you and you cocked your head to one side still inspecting the letter.
“Okay- here, he said: If it takes walking around each other unclothed then do it, take care of that tension between you two. I could feel it in the final run through, meaning that the viewers would be able to sense it as well. I'm only saying all this cuz its your first time filming together. I need art, not high school production shit. You guys have the passion, and you click. But there's something missing. Make the fuck out and get this show on the road. I'm always a call away if its not working out-- Drake.”
“Well damn. What he tryna say?”
“Angus it's clear what he's saying- I mean come on I feel the tension between us too, and I don't know what it is but hes right, whatever it is we need to get over it, and move on from that. This is business- an art form we have to work through. Ight?”
“Ight. So what I’m hearing is we gotta make out and get naked.”
“We aren't doing anything until ya girl takes a nap.”
“How you sleepy we just got here and you woke up 3 hours ago?”
“Listen man it is not my fault I only got 4 and a half hours of sleep-”
“SO you tryna say it’s mine?!” “It is! With your mandela effecr loving ass.”
He chuckled under his breath. “Okay okay, fair. But lemme sleep wit’ you.” “What? Why?”
“You the one that read the letter, we gotta drop this tension lil mama. And if we legit just sleeping, ion see nun wrong wit’ it, do you?”
You thought it over, and he had a point. There was nothing wrong with it, sleeping is sleeping...and besides, you two would have to do much worse.
“Whatever, come on.”
“Let’s go to my trailer though.”
“What? Why? Ion wanna walk come on Angu-”
“I can carry you then. But my place more homey, you just got here and your bed ain’t even got sheets.”
Damn, why is he always right? “Okay fine but carry me.”
He hunched down in front of the sofa “Get on my back and we can go.”
You grabbed your phone getting onto his back and holding on tight, your arms around his neck and your thighs squishing his sides. “Go go go!” You giggled, feeling safe as you rested your chin on the top of his head.
He ran to the trailer, causing you to laugh and hold on even tighter. Dropping you onto the bed, he looked around the small trailer-bedroom for more covers.
“You know girl,” he said looking into the closet “You kinda cute. How you was laughing out there had my heart beating fast and shit.” He found a throw and turned back around to ask you if it was good, but you were already out, completely sound asleep, and cuddled into a pillow. “Damn so you ain't hear none o’ that huh?” He sighed. “Probably better on my end. Can’t be catching feelings and shit.” He covered you over and lay beside you.
In your sleep your body detected the body heat, so you unknowingly turned over, cuddling into his chest. A smile formed on your lips as you moved closer, practically wrapping yourself around him.
The man sighed placing his lips to your forehead and leaving a light kiss. “Yeah. No catching feelings.”
-
taglist:
@nikkixostan @melaninmarvel @celiajrs @siriuslycollins
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thecozywhaleshark · 2 years ago
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“I like it here”
A/n: OKAY so FUN FACT. I have recently found out that Tumblr has been a little shit and has deleted the three soft and fluffy fics that I submitted to @taetaesbaebaepsae over the past month when I was trying to decide if I wanted to start writing fanfic on a more regular basis. Luckily, I write all my fics in Word so I still had them and can re-post. Sorry if you have already read these, but I thought I would just re-put them up now. Okay, rant over. Enjoy! (1/3)
Word Count: 1263
Summary: Min Yoongi decides he likes your place
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When you had first moved into your apartment, you admit, it looked unappealing. You were fresh out of college and had just begun a new job. It didn’t pay much, but it paid enough for you to have your own place. It was small, the ceiling was cracked, the floors scratched up, and the pipes often backed up due to age, but it was yours. It had a bedroom, a bathroom, a kitchen and a small living room, and that was all that you needed.
You had quickly made it as homey as possible for yourself, taking your bits of mismatched furniture and giddily organizing your space. Your space. You couldn’t get enough of it. You had bought the denim couch from a thrift store and salvaged the old fashioned floral armchair from the side of the road. Luckily your parents had let you keep your bed set so you didn’t need to worry about a mattress or a dresser. You had been so determined to make it a cozy space you figured out how to DIY colorful throw pillows from the sale fabric at JoAnn’s, hung fairy lights along the walls, put up your own bookshelves (with the much needed help of youtube), and arranged your plants around the sole window in your little living room. You put a basket of blankets in the corner, the top one which you had knitted yourself with the help of your grandma. You were only a beginner, and you were very proud of the mismatched squares and bumpy edges. You put your dollar store silverware in the drawers, your mugs and plates in the cabinets, and plugged in your coffee machine. Done.
When other’s started hanging out at your house, it wasn’t exactly planned. You and your friend Namjoon had become friends at a coffee shop you had both frequently attended, as you always ended up showing up at the same time. Eventually you two began to drink your coffees together, and you told him about your new job and he about his tours and what it was like to be the leader of a popular band. Your friendship quickly grew, and soon you guys were hanging out at each other’s places. Movie nights at his place, quiet at home work days and Sunday brunch at yours.
When he asked if he could bring a friend one time you didn’t think anything of it, and that was the day you met Min Yoongi. He was polite but so, so quiet. Nevertheless, you welcomed him with open arms and invited him into your small home. He quietly sat down next to Joon on the couch and they worked on their project, while you busied yourself doing your own thing.
With time, Yoongi started showing up at your place without Namjoon. It became routine. He would knock, you’d let him in with a bright smile, and slowly, he started to smile back. It took a lot of gentle touches and whispered words (because for some reason you felt like you would spook him if you talked too loud while he was working), but eventually he no longer went straight to work when he came over, and would take the time to have conversations with you over coffee at your kitchen counter (the coffee pot was always running at your place, lets face it, you had an addiction.) On the days he didn’t want to talk he would come in, sit in what had become “his spot” on your couch, and grab a blanket out of the basket, especially when he stayed late working on his music. When he wrapped them around his shoulders it made your heart happy, he had finally gotten comfortable.
 You had gotten so used to Yoongi sitting in your house with you every day after work, that when the boys went on tour, you missed his presence. He skyped with you on occasion, but otherwise, you didn’t hear from him much. It was heartbreaking, but you understood. He was busy.
~
He knew he should try to talk to her more, but he didn’t know how. How do you tell someone that you miss them when you barely know them? Okay, yes, he had invaded her house to the point he was there every single day, and being cut off from her and the safe space she had created hurt like hell. But she was Namjoon’s friend, she had let him in out of courtesy, she was probably just too nice to say no when he knocked on her door. He was probably annoying her, she didn’t want him in her space every day. And as often as he told himself not to go back, the more he found himself there. Truth is, he just liked it there. It was cozy, there was always coffee going, on Tuesday’s there was bread day and thick cut sandwiches, and it smelled so much better than the stuffy air of his Genius lab, and… he would be lying if he said he didn’t like the company.
You weren’t one to be loud either, often putting on some soft soul music and working on your own things. He liked those days, where you both sat in your own silence, doing your own things, in the living room or at the kitchen table. He just liked being in your presence. He found himself starting to come over more and more during the day, and more often than once he stayed the night, falling asleep on your couch while working. You hadn’t minded you had said, but still, he hesitated. 
He cut his contact with you short on tour, hoping to clear his mind, but every time he wanted to work on his music, he found his mind drifting, back to you and your leaky, dinky apartment.
~
Days turned to weeks, and weeks turned to months, and eventually you began to think he had all but forgotten about you. You do miss Yoongi, but at least you still talk to Namjoon.
The day they are supposed to get back from tour, there is a knock on your door. When you open it, you find Yoongi, his luggage next to him. He had come straight from the airport.
~
He hadn’t planned on coming straight here after tour. He had plans to go to his own apartment, take a hot shower, pass out in his own bed. But when he hailed a taxi, the address he gave was yours. He just wanted to go home… but he knew this wasn’t his home. And the way he had treated you over tour, he didn’t know if you’d accept him. And yet he still found himself knocking.
“Yoongi?” you say, surprised. 
 When you opened the door, his heart jumped. You were in your pajamas, he could see the fairy lights were on behind you, casting the apartment in a soft glow. It looked warm and cozy and like heaven.
~
 “Can I come in?” his voice is so soft, and you notice his body is slumped slightly in exhaustion.
 “Of course you can,” You say, opening the door wider with a soft smile and helping him bring his suitcases inside. As soon as they’re inside the doorway, he’s pulling you into a soft hug, letting his eyes close briefly as he breathes you in.
 “What brings you here?” you ask, pulling away from him, questioning.
He shrugs as he moves past you and slumps down onto your couch, pulling one of the knitted blankets over his shoulders. “I like it here.” 
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Text
Tortured Souls. (End)
With: Bucky Barnes x Reader.
<<
Warnings: Fluff.
Word Count: 2,000
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Bucky took off the instant he saw Tony walking you to your quarters.
He knew it would do no good, so snubbing Steve’s and Clint’s calls he walked out of the Compound and jogged as far as he could.
Later the day Clint searched for him while his wife and kids stood with you in the Compound.
Clint found him and invited him to go back to his farm, Bucky declined but Clint said he would use a extra help with all the gardening and it would do good for his mind.
Clint believed that fresh air and maybe the children would cheer the man up.
Which it did.
A Week Later.
Steve and you were training, small exercises since your body was still sensitive and well, you didn’t have super soldier serum to cure your body.
The conversation with Steve was awe-inspiring as always, Steve was one of the best people in your life.
He kept in touch with Buck and you smiled when Sam said that he was making appointments in the psychologist and trying to clean his mind while you were gone.
It made a week since the barbecue and you craved to see him again, for real this time.
The house Bucky took care of near the Compound was your spot, you knew he would go there as a safe haven and you wanted to be alone with him.
Following your extinct you went to the cozy place and stood there waiting for him, apparently, while you were healing he took even more care of the place. The walls were covered with dark blue paint, the fireplace re-made and all so… homey.
You sat on the couch and took deep breaths trying to calm down your nerves. It took a while but Clint told you he left his house hours before, Buck wouldn't go straight to the Compound.
The door opened and you saw him. Him.
Dark circles under his eyes, but even with all of the tiredness, he looked beautiful as always in your eyes. “Hey.” You blurted and got to your feet.
“Hi.” He answered and closed the door slowly, he stood there with his hands on his pockets and just gazing elsewhere avoiding your eyes. “We need to talk.” He mumbled.
“We do.” The tension was growing but you were sicklily tired of it. “Bucky listen, I’m tired. I’m so tired of all this that encompasses us, I truly love you, you are the only man I can see myself with, the only man that I could ever let touch me the way you do. I love you.” He looked at you with glassy eyes. “I’m so sad that life took the path it did, I truly am. I hate Artem, I hate what he did.” What he made you do. “But it's done now, we can’t erase that. But I forgive you, and if I do you can do too.”
Buck nodded silently.
You walked near him and he gave two small steps backs, even unintentionally. You went to his reach. “Bucky…” Inclining to his reach you gently placed your hands on his jawline as your thumbs lolled on his cheeks. “We are here now, I’m right in front of you, I’m loving you.” You kissed the side of his mouth and closed your arms around his torso, placing your head on his chest. “I love you, Bucky. I love you so much. Please, let's not waste our time, I'm better with you, happier. Please, we can move on."
His arms interlaced around you and he kissed your head. He missed you so much, your scent, your warm body, the height difference.
Everything.
You were his, just as he was yours. “And I love you, Y/N.” You smiled against his chest, it has been so long that you heard his voice.
You looked up at him and placed your chin on his chest, seeing the details you adore so much.
In Bucky’s mind, it still hurt to look at you, the fact that he almost killed you in a fraction of minutes made his heart swell. “We got this?”
You nodded. “We do.” You promised.
That night you two slowly approached each other again, it took time for him allow himself to fully touch you, but with a small step, you two started a new path together.
Four Years Later.
Life could be tricky, the same way you were sad about your past, sad about the dangers that followed the life you picked, that picked you, you loved it nevertheless.
You loved Tony, you loved Steve, you loved the animals you helped, loved the lives you saved while missions and you loved Bucky Barnes.
The man that lived through torture and still held his golden heart, he truly owned yours.
Fours years after all the confusion, every day was a slow process of healing.
You came clean with Tony about your relationship, of course, it was harsh at first.
He was truly mad and sad, you understood that but you wouldn’t ignore your heart, you apologized but explained how much Bucky meant to you, how much he was the one for you.
A few weeks later Tony got back to regular with you, and even though he stood being the way he is with Bucky, you were happy he didn’t start to avoid you.
Looking at your makeup in the mirror and darting your eyes to see Wanda and Natasha sat on the edge of the bed, you smiled. The white dress wasn’t too formal, but also it wasn’t too short.
Three months ago Bucky got on his knee and proposed. You didn’t believe at first, marriage wasn’t something you expected, and something you surely didn’t expect him to want.
Steve? Possibly. 
Sam? Surely. 
Bucky? You’d never saw it coming.
You smiled at the memory, of how things changed for better.
It was after a mission in Spain, gladly Hydra slowed down and was almost erased from the end of their miserable organization’s life.
The mission was basically to grab some data from some gun traffic.
You and Bucky went covered with fake identities and when it ended he invented you to meet the town.
He showed every spot and you two were walking around midnight over the rustic parts of the towns eating ice cream, one hand on his and the other holding your delicious candy.
The place was beautiful, you loved how some people kept the vintage characteristic.
When the ice cream finished and you two sat on a bench gazing around the flowered garden being enlighten but the moon, you almost choked when you saw Bucky on his knee.
His eyes teared up and he shook his head with a shy smile. “Mmm, I didn’t intend to cry.” He explained and you smiled at how nervous he seemed, your hand touching his shoulder. “Y/N. You are simply the reason I keep going. The reason I wake up every day and find the strength to fight. You’re the light of my life and every day I thank God for giving me you. For providing a second opportunity to be with you, to love and adore you. No one would be able to make me happy as much as you do. You’re the angel that saved me, my sweet Y/N.” His words made your heart melt, your eyes filled with tears, your heart was hammered so fast, everything was too ethereal.
“Scott Fitzgerald once said that ‘We all have souls of different ages.’ And is completely true, I’m inhumanly older than you and even that I suffered so long on Hydra’s hands, I’m somehow grateful.” You shook your head ready to correct him. “Let me finish… If it wasn’t them, if I had the normal civilian life I wouldn’t have met you, I never believed in soulmates, I always found this was some weak story people liked to tell to ease their minds, but you’re mine. I love you so so much, I could do anything just to make you happy. I would do anything to save you, Y/N.” A tear fell on his cheek and you dried it softly, his smile and blushed face was something you wanted to save forever. “And sorry I truly made something smaller and easier to say but.” You laughed. “I could spend the whole night here opening my old heart for you, but in the end, you know all of it already. Y/N Y/L/N do you wanna give me the pleasure to be my wife? Will you marry me?”
“Yes!” You exclaimed. “Yes, yes, yes.” He placed the ring on your finger and you hugged him close not caring about the ring, he could give you a rusty ring that you wouldn’t mind. “I love you so much. You’re the love of my life."
You were in tears and just shook your head nodding, you couldn’t find words.
“Yes?” He asked hopefully get in on his feet.
He kissed your forehead. “And you are the love of mine."
Cutting your memory Natasha placed her hands on your shoulders. “You look beautiful.”
“Thank you, thank you two for being in here with me.” You stated and Wanda got on her feet hugging you.
You blushed, your hands found their way to your dress, as if anything was anything but perfect. “Too much? Or, too... little?”
Someone knocked on the door and Nat ran to it, she surely believed that was bad luck seeing the bride in the dress before the wedding. “Let’s go?” Steve said and looked at you up and down.
“Uau.” Steve was speechless.
He placed his hand in his pocket and shook his head. “Is perfect. You are beautiful.” You thanked him and Wanda and Natasha left the room.
Steve gave you his arm and you two left the room.
You wanted Tony to walk you to the altar, but of course, he wouldn’t do it with Bucky being the one waiting for you there. So you picked Steve.
The marriage wasn’t big nor luxurious, it was something small and on a beautiful farm in a silent place in Italy, the cabin was huge and beautiful.
The people around were the significant ones and everything would be excellent, hopefully.
But yet, you were nervous.
Even though the people there knew you and you trusted them… it wasn’t simple. But as cliche as sounds, when you stepped in the flowed yard, holding Steve’s arm for dear life, everything stopped when you looked Bucky waiting for you.
His hair tied back neatly, his suit on a dark blue color highlighting the diamonds he called eyes.
Everything was amazing.
The party afterward was just as beautiful, delicious food and champagne here and there. Fury sang, which everyone got surprised.
The toasts were amazing but Steve’s was the one that would always be on your mind.
Steve was handsome in his black tux and made the speech on his calm voice and charming smile. “I’m Steve and you all know me.” He chuckled and everyone laughed. “I just want to say it’s an honor to be here. I’ve delivered many lectures but never a best man’s speech, so please bear with me. Bucky and I have been through a lot together. Happy times and sad.
I didn’t expect to have him back, and I thank everyday for having my best pal back.
I remember when Buck called and told me he would propose, and I remember asking him. 'Can you make her happy?’ Because as much I was happy, Y/N is my friend just as important; and I must look at her well being. The thing is, if something in that horrendous world could show me what love is… it would be these two. Y/N is the definition of a best friend, the girl literally stood with me five days straight when I was in a coma."
After all the speeches you heard a sound out there, Fury grabbed a gun in his holster and ran outside, it was Tony.
"The girl saved hundreds of lives without getting the credit. The girl cares about animals as everyone should do if they hadn’t their head over the asses only caring about money. And Bucky? James Barnes? Buck is the definition of forgiveness. He went through a lot we and yet here he is, surrounded by people that truly love him. If someone traveled in time and told me i would have my best friend back? I wouldn’t believe. The thing is… you two are perfect for each other. You two are the representation of good people in that life, the representation of strength and love. Well without further ado, cheers to Y/N and Bucky. My best friends, and two of the people I love the largest. Cheers.”
Tony entered and said everyone could go back to their previous spots, of course people were worried he would make a fuzz but he just went to hug you, Bucky excused himself letting you two have a moment alone and Clint and Peter went with him, the atmosphere wasn’t tense, Bucky knew it was an important day and you would like to have Tony there, he was actually happy Tony appeared.
“You look beautiful.” Tony said and you smiled.
“Thank you, and thank you for coming.” It meant a lot, even though you knew it would be hard, you called him asking him to go, he found some excuse and you knew you hadn’t the right to protest about it.
He took his red glasses off knowing you hated when he used those to talk with you. “I wanted to come earlier, but…”
“But you didn’t.” Finishing his words he nodded his head shyly.
“Well, sorry about that.”
You grinned but held his hand squeezing it. “Is okay, I’m glad you came nonetheless.”
“The house is ready for you two, a housekeeper is there but I gave free days for you two…” He moved his hands in the air, fully trying to avoid the ’sex’ subject.
Since the wedding was in Italy you thought that the mansion Tony had bought would do great as a honeymoon.
“Thank you.” It would be good to replace the memories on the house with new ones, the first days you stood there was all about a healing process after all the mess, now it would be replaced with delightful ones.
Always the one to avoid displays of sentimentality.
Tony smiled and looked around, he darted his eyes at your ring and smiled.
“I’m glad he knows you enough to not buy some huge diamond ring.” The ring was vintage, but you loved, it would be a ring Bucky would buy back in the day.
“I’m glad you are happy, and whatever you need, I will always be here for you.” He stated and leaned to kiss your forehead, you spotted a few tears on his eyes which he quickly covered with his glasses. “Where is the champagne?” He yelled and walked to Fury’s table.
Bucky.
It was the happiest day of his life, he was literally marrying the woman of his dreams, you.
He was beyond words to express his emotions. The tied hair was sort of annoying but Clint warned him that if he took it off he would have to cut the hair.
You were beautiful and even if he couldn’t promise that the future would be filled with nothing but happy days, he surely would at least try his hardest to make you smile every single day for the rest of your/his life.
Peter nodded and left leaving Bucky and Tony alone. Tony darted his eyes but took a deep breath. “I just want to say that I’m happy she is happy, and even though we have our differences and everything… mmm… I’m glad she found someone that loves her.” Tony said truthfully, even though his eyes couldn’t stop at Bucky’s face. “I used to think it was some sort of destiny joke, joining you with the only family I have left, but the day of the explosion when I thought I had lost her and you just there fully knowing the place would blow, I realized how much she means to you. Y/N is the most important person in my life, and I will kill you if you ever hurt her, in any sense. So,” Tony raised his hand and placed in Bucky’s front. “Welcome to the family.” He stated and Bucky was surprised.
Peter was happy to be in the place surrounded by grown-ups, he was talking with Bucky about Star Trek when Peter felt someone patting him on the shoulder.
He looked up and saw Tony. “Why won’t you go on and call May to tell everything is okay?”
Knowing Tony wasn’t patient he raised his hand and shook his, Tony bowed his head and walked out of the place.
Bucky stood there not believing what just happened, someone else could probably say that Tony was a dick, but Bucky knew how hard it must be for the man to face him.
Steve entered the room and smiled at the vision of his friend’s smile.
When he saw Peter leaving he went to talk with Bucky but saw Tony there, with the music around he knew people wouldn’t hear the talk but his super audition managed so, and even that Steve didn’t want to eavesdrop, he needed to make sure Tony wouldn’t kill his friend.
Steve was happy about Tony’s words, he knew Bucky needed that
                               …
The honeymoon was marvelous. The following months too, Bucky was worried things would get difficult, if as dating it was already tough, married? Would it be worst, right?
Wrong.
With Hydra erased from the earth things got better, of course, the world would always be broken, but you two were invincible together.
There was a priority to spend all the Fridays in the “abandoned” house, which you bought and was legally yours, just the two of you.
It was still hard to believe.
You and Bucky had just finished a steamy lovemaking session, and were laid on the floor with only a sheet above letting the fireplace warm your bare bodies.
He was staring at you lovely, your ring shining, he couldn’t stop looking at you, it was like you were the moon that his sea blue eyes called for. “I love you.”
“I love you too. I guess this isn’t new.” You giggled.
“It’s always good to hear.” He leaned his head to kiss your forehead. “Y/N?”
“Mmm?”
“I’m so glad you never gave up on me. So glad that you found love in your heart for me. We have been together for years and married for months and I still feel like one day I’ll wake up and you will be another missed memory.”
“It won’t.” You adjusted your body and hugged him, your head on his chest.
He interlaced his arms around yours and your head was hearing his heartbeat.
The slumber came right after, the next day Fury had assigned a small mission. You two would face it and kick ass as the amazing couple you two were.
Bucky was happy, after all the years of pain he endured, all the years you endured. The universe brought you two together. Bodies and souls. Both have been tortured, such damage that didn’t not only hurt each other bodies, but also souls.
But with the love and empathy of each other. It would gently, and slowly heal.
                …
@buckybabybaby​ @soshewrotestories​ ​ @cutie13​ @salimahbicharara-comun​ ​
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snickerl · 2 years ago
Text
Of Monsters and Men, and a Woman - Part II.
- Wine smells better than smoke. -
I was asked to write a sequel. I’m sorry it took me so long. Life, work, and a three-week-vacation in Scotland got in the way but here it is now. If you want to familiarize yourself with part I, you will find it here. 
Tagging @today-in-fic
————————–
Jackson didn’t know how long he had been looking outside lost in thought. Next to him in the back seat of the car, Dana was sleeping peacefully. Her head was tilted to the side so her face was turned to him. Jackson studied her face and recognized features he saw when he looked in the mirror: the freckles on her nose, the high cheekbones, the angular jaw. His hair had been reddish as a child but had become darker once he had hit puberty. The color resembled Mulder’s more now, who was sitting in the front steering silently. Jackson looked at the back of his birth father’s head and realized their hair was pretty much alike: dark brown, thick, shiny. He hadn’t shared any resemblances with his mama and pops. Of course not, they had been his adoptive parents, these were the parents whose genetic material he shared. 
Maybe he should stop talking about them like this, labeling them his adoptive versus his birth parents. Maybe it was time to accept he had two sets of parents. One that had raised him and had given him the best childhood he could think of, and one who had always been there and had always cared about him but only now had the ability to act as parents. It broke his heart when he thought about how cruelly the Van De Kamps had been murdered but it also filled him with immense relief to know that he wasn’t alone. And this Mulder-and-Scully duo (he still found it a bit weird that they called each other by their last names) gave him the impression they knew what they were doing. They seemed capable of standing up to his enemies. They sure stood up against that smoking jerk, especially Dana, no matter how hopeless their situation had appeared to be or that she was so much smaller physically.
The car was coming to a halt in front of a steel gate. Mulder turned around and looked at him. “Would you mind opening that gate for me, Jackson?" 
"Not at all,” Jackson said unbuckling his seat belt. “Do you see the input box at that pole over there? The code it 1013. And close it again behind us, please. Make sure it’s securely locked.” “Yes, sir,” Jackson couldn’t help replying to the more than explicit request. He jumped out of the car and pushed the gate open. It was heavy and creaked quite a bit. He wondered where they were. It was pitch dark, the headlights of the car were the only source of light, they hadn’t come by any sign of human habitation for the past half hour, and now these security measures. Jackson asked himself where they were taking him. Mulder drove slowly through the gate Jackson was holding and waited until he had pushed it back shut. The boy heard a click and rattled it a little to check if the bolt had latched completely. The light at the input pad, which had turned green when he had typed in the code, switched back to red. Everything seemed fine, so he hopped back in the car. “When Dana said you had a house in the countryside I didn’t expect it to be that far away from human civilization,” Jackson deadpanned while buckling up again. He had no idea how much longer the trip would be. Mulder chuckled. “Yeah, well, we’ve come to appreciate a certain quiet and isolation from the rest of the world. There was a time we didn’t want to be found. By anyone.”   Jackson let the words sink in. What was he to make of them? Had they been in a situation like this before? Having to flee and hide from people pursuing them? He didn’t have time to ponder about it much longer as a few minutes later a house came into view. A nice two-story building with gray roofing shingles, green wooden window frames, and a porch. A lamp illuminated the steps leading up to the front door. The place looked cozy and inviting. It actually reminded Jackson a bit of his first home, the Van De Kamp farmhouse in Wyoming, only that it had been much larger with stables for cattle and pasture lands surrounding it, but the place had evinced the same emotions in him: homecoming, comfort, safety. 
Mulder parked the car in front of the porch and cut the engine. He turned around in his seat, looked at Scully who was still sleeping, smiled, then squeezed her knee gently. “Hey, sleepyhead, wake up. We’re home.” It was inconceivable that she was able to sleep after what had happened, Jackson thought. She either had been totally drained or so full of trust for that Mulder guy. Said Mulder guy obviously knew what Jackson was thinking. “She can stay awake for more than 36 hours straight if need be, on a stakeout or at a patient’s bed in the hospital, but in a car when she’s not driving or reading a case file, she’s asleep in no time. It’s a gift. I wished I was able to do that. I am a notoriously bad sleeper.” Mulder got out of the car, opened the door in the back and bent down to pull her sleeping form out when she stirred. Her eyes opened abruptly, she lifted her head and straightened herself up. “Mmmm, I must have dozed off for a second,” she said, her voice a sleepy mumble. “Yes, sure, Scully. Just for a second, as always,” Mulder said. Jackson bit back a chuckle. This was obviously a well-known, recurring pattern in their lives. Scully shook her head a little to get rid of the last remnants of sleep and swatted Mulder’s hand away from her knee. “Now let me get out. You weren’t thinking of carrying me, were you?” Mulder put his hands up as if he had been told to freeze. He got up from his bent posture, stepped back and sighed. “No, of course not. Heaven forbid that you are not in charge for a split-second.”   Mulder was annoyed for a moment. Why was it so difficult for her to let him carry her, either figuratively or literally? She had allowed herself to be weak in his arms a few times lately: in the morgue after she had given her speech to what they had believed was their long-lost son in a body bag or in the motel when she hadn’t been able to sleep during that hangman case. She had even admitted her fear that he might find someone else one day. Someone else…what nonsense! As if there could ever be anyone else for Mulder than Scully.   Jackson noticed the slight tension between them but was distracted from thinking about it by a high-pitched barking. “You have a dog?” he asked, his memory going back to the dog he had as a child: Champ, a Golden Retriever who had followed his every step.
“Yes,” Mulder answered, “his name is Daggoo. He’s Scully’s actually. She stole him from a crime scene.” “I didn’t steal him. I saved him from the animal shelter,” Scully defended herself. “Secretly scheming to move him in with me because you weren’t allowed to have pets at your place.” “Oh come on, you’ve got so much more space and you can’t deny that walking him three times a day is doing you good.” “I’ve always loved how you’re able to manipulate people into thinking something’s good for them when it’s actually good for you,” Mulder said with a smile on his lips. “I don’t have to remind you what happened to Queequeg, Mulder, do I? You owed me.”   Mulder only sighed at Scully’s stern look. 
Jackson had followed their banter, glad on the one hand that the moment of tension had subsided, but also irritated that they had been talking of my place/your place. He had thought they were living together, that they were a couple. They had had him, made him ‘in an act of love’ as Dana had said, they had to have been together at some point. Had they ever been married? Their different last names left him guessing.   Mulder had opened the front door in the meantime. A white/brown terrier was jumping down the stairs yelping happily and wiggling his tail so much that his whole body was shaking heavily; as if he knew they were coming home from a dreadful endeavor and needed some cheering up. Jackson’s eyes lit up when he saw him and because dogs sensed instinctively who liked them and who didn’t he made toward the boy immediately and jumped up against his legs. “Daggoo, down!” Scully berated him but Jackson wasn’t minding the animal’s affection one bit. “It’s okay, I love dogs,” he said kneeling down petting him behind his ears. “Good boy,” he cooed, “you’re such a beauty, do you know that?” Daggoo licked his hand in return. It was love at first sight between them obviously. Mulder and Scully exchanged a short glance, relief written on their faces. Their dog (they could banter as much as they wanted about 'my dog/your dog’, he really and truly was theirs) had conjured a bright smile on their son’s face for the first time since they had been reunited and they enjoyed seeing him so cheerful. Each of them made a silent promise to themselves to do everything in their power to make Jackson’s life happy and carefree again. They watched the boy and the dog for a moment longer, then Mulder ushered everyone inside. Jackson looked around and felt instantly at home. The living room wasn’t tidied up, there were magazines lying around everywhere, a greasy pizza carton resided atop a coffee table and a blanket had been thrown haphazardly on the couch, but that was exactly what made the place homey. Scully saw it slightly differently though. “Goodness, when did you last clean this place up, Mulder?” Bang! Another sign she wasn’t living here. Jackson slowly familiarized himself with the idea that his birth parents - his parents - weren’t a couple. What would this mean for him? Would they take turns caring for him? Like his best friend Pete spent his weekends alternately at his mom’s and dad’s? Maybe it hadn’t been such a good idea to have called for them after all. But where would he be now without them? With the Smoking Man? Believing this asshole was his father? Jackson’s insides tied a knot. No, he was definitely better off with them than without, no matter what the status of their relationship was. In any case, they were on good terms with each other, that much was clear. They would have to join forces to make this work for him. They owed him that much after they had given him up for adoption, didn’t they? “I don’t mind the mess,” he came to Mulder’s rescue. “No, of course, you don’t,” Scully mumbled more to herself than to Jackson, “you’re also a man. I will never understand how one can live in such a mess. What has gone wrong in evolution to burden us with such a neglectful gender when it comes to housework?” She sighed deeply, picking up the pizza carton and throwing it into a trash can. She opened a cabinet, took a cleaning rag out, opened another one which contained the cleaning agents, soaked the rag with water and dishwashing liquid, wrung it out above the sink, then started wiping the coffee table. At least she knew her way around the place, Jackson thought. If she really didn’t live here, she was a frequent guest at least. She definitely moved around as if she was at home. She was folding the blanket now and placed it on the couch’s backrest before she took care of the throw pillows, shaking them out and arranging them in an orderly fashion. “See, this is something we men will never understand. What is the purpose of an exact arrangement of pillows on a sofa?” Mulder asked shedding his dirty jacket and throwing it carelessly on a chair. “Can you explain to me the scientific nature of pillow arranging, Dr. Scully?” “It looks nice and tidy, Mulder. It’s aesthetic. It makes the place appear maintained instead of neglected and run-down,” she explained slightly irritated. And as if to strengthen her point, she lifted the jacket off the chair with two fingers and left the room. A moment later a loud thud could be heard, most likely the door of the washing machine.  
Jackson threw Mulder a glance who only shrugged. This was all very familiar to the boy, he had witnessed interactions like this a million times between his parents. His other parents. Jeez, having four parents instead of two wasn’t easily put into words. Scully re-entered the living room where Mulder and Jackson were still standing at the same spot, only Daggoo had moved and was making himself comfortable on one of the cushions she had just arranged. She looked at him and sighed, “et tu, Brute?” Jackson didn’t know what that meant and he also didn’t care that much. He was hungry. He hadn’t had a decent meal in days having been on the run from his pursuers. “Uhm, you said we could have something to eat,” he reminded them. “Right, sure. I’m afraid the fridge isn’t well-stocked,” Mulder said and Scully chuckled loudly enough to strengthen her point about men and housekeeping. “But we can order something in. What would you like, Jackson? Italian, Thai? Or a burger maybe?” “A burger would be great. With bacon and cheese, if it’s possible.” “Sure. Fries?” Jackson nodded and watched how Mulder pulled out his phone and dialed a number. Wasn’t he going to ask what Dana wanted, he wondered. She didn’t seem to ask herself the same though. Uninvolved in the process of deciding on the food, she slipped out of her shoes, put her feet on the coffee table, reached over to Daggoo and started petting him gently. Jackson listened as Mulder placed his order. “Two deluxe double bacon cheeseburgers, please. Onion rings, two large orders of regular fries and one of the sweet potato fries. Make the sweet fries unsalted. A mixed salad with extra arugula instead of the radicchio, no onions but mushrooms, and the non-fat Italian dressing. …  Deliver, please. The name is Mulder. 227700 Wallace Road, Farrs Corner. …  Yes, I know how far out it is. Tell Pete to give me a call when he’s at the gate. I will meet him down there. He knows the procedure. … Thanks. Bye.” He winked at Jackson when their eyes met and added, “Pete knows he gets a generous tip.” It didn’t go unnoticed by Jackson that Mulder knew exactly what to order for Dana, and her choice wasn’t exactly mundane. The sweet potato fries were also for her, he presumed. Which real guy ate sweet potato fries? Unsalted, to top it. And if messy homes were typical for men, salads with non-fat dressings were typical for women. No wonder she was so tiny and thin. If her diet had consisted more of greens than anything since her youth, her body had simply lacked the nutrients to grow. At least that was what mama had always told him. “Eat your steak and potatoes, Jackson, so you grow up fit and strong!” He was glad he had inherited his height from Mulder and not from Dana. Small women were cute and evoked a man’s protective instinct (Jackson was sure though that she hated her stature had this effect on men) but small men were a target of mockery. He was even taller than Mulder, and he was only seventeen. Maybe he would still grow a couple of inches. When Mulder got back with dinner, Scully and Jackson had already laid the table. They ate mostly in silence, Mulder and Jackson eating with their hands gobbling down their food like hungry wolves, Scully picking listlessly at her salad with a fork. The unsalted sweet potato fries remained untouched but Jackson watched how delicate manicured fingers made their way into the box with the regular fries. She put a handful of the salty, greasy food into her mouth, chewed and swallowed, licked her fingers with relish, which was then followed by a satisfied hum. Mulder didn’t even look up as all of this happened, he registered it out of the corner of his eye and just smirked slightly. Jackson couldn’t help but think that they acted so much like a married couple; as if they had known each other for years and years. How could they not be living at this place together? Well, he would get more hints about their relationship once the sleeping arrangements were discussed. When they had finished their food and Scully got up to clear the table, Mulder grabbed her wrist and made her sit back down. “Nuh-uh, Scully, let the neglectful gender take care of this. How about you make yourself comfortable on the sofa with Daggoo?” “Nice idea, Mulder, but someone has to change the sheets in the guest room. I can’t see you taking care of this after my last sleepover.” With this, she vanished into the hallway and left Mulder and Jackson alone with a very uncomfortable silence. Finally, Jackson addressed the elephant in the room. He needed clarity anyway, he might as well ask. 
“I thought you guys were married.” “Uh, no, we’re not.” “So you’re divorced.” Jackson simply assumed they had to be divorced if they weren’t married. They had a child together, him, so they had to be married sometime in the past. He wasn’t prudish or anything, he knew people had sex without being married, but where he came from people got married when they wanted to have children. “No. We…erm, we never got married.” “Well, it makes sense then,” Jackson said. “What makes sense?” “That your last names are different.” “Our last names don’t have much to do with it, actually. Even if we had gotten married, I doubt we would ever have been Mr. and Mrs. Mulder. I guess we simply missed the right moment to tie the knot. I asked her once to marry me but she didn’t believe I was serious.” “Were you?” “Hmm…I don’t know. Maybe not a hundred percent. But if she’d said yes, I wouldn’t have regretted asking.” “And the topic has never come up again?” “No.” “Not even from her?” “No.” “Strange. I thought all women wanted to get married and have kids.” “Scully isn’t like other women. Her independence is very important to her. We weren’t any less committed to each other because we weren’t married, that’s for sure. Maybe that’s why. Our commitment to one another was so strong, we didn’t need a wedding certificate to prove it.” “Whatever, you spared yourselves an ugly divorce with your separation.” “What makes you think we’re separated?” “Well, you’ve been talking about 'mine’ and 'yours’ a lot, like separated people do. Daggoo is her dog that cannot stay at her place but needs to stay at yours. The mess we stumbled into also was yours, Dana made that clear. And she sleeps in the guest room. All of that cries out 'separation’. I have a good power of observation.” Jackson had seen it happening to a friend’s family. Everything that had belonged to the family before became branded with 'mine’ and 'yours’ all of a sudden. His friend’s mom even sawed through the leather couch with a chainsaw just to get even with her former husband who had cheated on her. “Hmm, you have a point but…uhm, how is the fact she’s called this our house when we were in the car fit into your theory?” “Freudian slip?” Mulder chuckled. “That would never happen to Scully.” Looking at Jackson’s puzzled face he added, “I’m sorry, pal, this must all be very confusing. This is our house, we bought it together and lived in it together. We lived like a married couple for many years and people mistook us as married many times but we never actually were married.” “Lived. Not live. Like in we did that in the past but not anymore.” Mulder sighed heavily before he answered. “Right, that’s over. Look, Jackson, our lives have always been…difficult and complicated. Due to our work. There was a time we thought we could leave it all behind us, at least Scully did. She wanted a restart so badly. She’d lost so much because of our work, most importantly you, and all she wanted was normalcy. A job, a home, a partner to share her life with. And I tried to give it to her, all of it, but I failed her. I couldn’t let go of my quest for the truth, and I ruined everything. So, one day the inevitable happened: she packed her things and left to save herself from being pulled underwater with me. She needed to get out of here to be able to breathe. But Scully wouldn’t be Scully if she left me to my fate. She still cared. She looked after me and helped me find my way again.” “And what’s your status now? I mean, you take care of her dog, you know exactly what food to order for her, she stays over…” “We’ve never stopped being friends. We’ve never stopped…caring deeply for each other. She just doesn’t live here anymore.”   Mulder felt a bit awkward talking to his son so openly about his romantic feelings for Scully, that they had never stopped loving each other, but the boy deserved to know, didn’t he? “I just don’t want to impose.” “Impose?” Mulder didn’t understand. His face apparently showed his puzzlement because Jackson explained, “I don’t want to force the two of you together, you know. I don’t want you to think you have to do all this,” he was fidgeting with his hands in the air making clear he meant what was happening at this very moment in this house, “just because of me.” “Just because of you?” Mulder parroted, disbelief threaded into his voice. “Are you crazy, Jackson? You are the best thing that ever happened to us. You’ve been our miracle. The time you were with us was the happiest time of our lives. It was much too short, especially for me, but neither of us ever wanted to miss it. We’ll figure this out. We’ll figure us out. You simply have to trust us. I know it’s not easy after what we’ve done but…” Mulder stopped abruptly when Scully’s purposeful steps could be heard on the floorboard. She was making her way back to them and he wasn’t sure he wanted her to know of Jackson’s concerns about their relationship and his staying with them. “Your room is all set, Jackson,” she said entering the living room. “It’s upstairs on the right. I left a towel on the bed in case you’d like to take a shower. Is there anything else you need?” The delight in her eyes told Mulder how much she enjoyed doing this and the thought that their son felt uncomfortable about it clasped his heart with a cold fist. “Thanks,” was all Jackson mumbled. He didn’t even look at Scully. She either didn’t notice or didn’t want to acknowledge it. She continued undeterred, “if you need anything, we’ll be down here. Just ask.” He did ask, laying his finger right into the wound. “Where are you guys sleeping? Just in case I need something at night.” The question was dangling between them for a moment, both Scully and Mulder taken off guard by the directness of it. Jackson held his breath, quite aware it was a delicate issue. He wondered who would take the initiative and answer, and, of course, how. It was Mulder who was able to find his voice again. “The master bedroom is also upstairs, at the other side of the hallway,” he answered, avoiding the issue of who would be sleeping in there. He wasn’t sure what Scully’s sleeping arrangement would look like. They had shared a bed a few times recently - platonically and two times not so platonically - but she hadn’t moved back in. On her nights over she had always insisted they slept apart, Mulder in the master bedroom and her in the guest room. They were far from resuming their romantic relationship. He wasn’t even sure if they were in anything other than a relationship of friendly co-workers. Or co-working friends? Well, they were co-working best friends formerly lovers, if he was precise. To him, she was still his constant, his touchstone, that had never ceased to be the truth, but he wasn’t sure what she saw in him. Well, he could go around the status of their relationship over and over until he went mad, whatever it was, it was so them: complicated, in-flux, undefined. Mulder caught Jackson’s questioning look and held it, hoping he would leave it at that. He didn’t want Scully to feel obliged to explain or even defend herself. They were all exhausted from what had happened in the factory, now wasn’t the time to discuss their long-term future. They needed sleep and when they were replenished, they could have a talk. To Mulder’s immense relief, he watched how tiredness was overwhelming Jackson. His eyelids drooping, he yawned extensively. Mulder let the breath out he had been holding when Jackson finally acquiesced. “Okay, I think I should get some shut-eye.” With this, the boy turned around and headed for the stairs. Mulder and Scully looked after him. Their eyes remained trained at the top of the stairs until their son disappeared from their view. They listened to a door open and close and eventually to the shower being turned on. “Goodnight, my son,” Scully whispered to herself, hiccuping a sob which awakened Mulder from his trance-like state. He looked at her and realized she was shaking. The last few weeks were finally taking their toll on her. Mulder knew how much it took to make Scully break down. What had happened since she had realized her seizure was caused by her lost son who tried to communicate with her definitely was enough to make her falter. She was inches away from shattering into a million pieces, like a crystal glass bursting to a high note sung by an opera singer. Mulder turned toward her and pulled her into an embrace. The willingness with which she was giving in told him he had assessed the situation correctly. She melted into him, laying her head against his chest. She wasn’t wearing her heels anymore and their height difference was at its maximum expression. Mulder had always loved it when she was like that, bare of all the paraphernalia of Professional Scully. She allowed only a handful of people to see her without the makeup to hide her freckles and the sensual mole on her upper lip, the business suit to cover her feminine curves, and the heels to make her taller than she actually was. And he was lucky to be one of those few people. They stayed like this, mute and still, for a long time. Eventually, Scully took a deep breath and pulled back, a clear sign she had regained her strength. But she didn’t let go of Mulder completely. She looked into his eyes and smiled. “How about a glass of red wine, Mulder? I think I’m too stirred up to be able to sleep although I’m totally drained. Do you have a nice bottle somewhere?” “What about the one Skinner gave us when we signed the sales contract for this house?” “You still have that bottle?” “It’s a Châteauneuf-du-Pape, it needs to rest a long time. Wine of this quality gets better with age. Just like us,” he added with a smile. “I’ve waited for the right moment to open it and if this is not a good moment to have a first-class wine I don’t know what is. You make yourself comfortable on the couch, I’ll go and fetch it.” He knew exactly where the bottle was, where he had put it all those years ago when Skinner had handed it to him with a smile on his face. Their boss had been as happy and confident as them that settling permanently into a house would be the beginning of a new life for them. It hadn’t come quite as they all had hoped. With Mulder sliding into a depression and Scully thriving as a doctor in her new job they had slowly grown apart. Funny that a relationship so unique as theirs had been susceptible to a development so cliché. But that had been then and now was now. Their son was sleeping peacefully upstairs, they were on the right track repairing their relationship, this was the perfect moment to open this bottle. When he returned from the pantry where he had indeed found the 2008 Châteauneuf-du-Pape exactly where he thought it would be, Scully had already resumed her place on the couch next to Daggoo who was snoring slightly in his sleep. A corkscrew and two red wine glasses were waiting for them on the coffee table, most certainly placed on coasters. Scully hated stains on the table’s surface. Mulder placed himself next to her and leaned his back against the backrest. He was holding the bottle in his hands and looked at the label. Skinner had written something on it which had faded over time and was hardly legible anymore. He pulled his new glasses out - progressives, no bifocals - and tried to decipher the words. He had never been good at reading Skinner’s scribble, Scully was so much better at it. “Scully, can you read this?” he asked, passing the bottle to her. She looked at the label and squinted. “I think so,” she said. She didn’t even need glasses. “What does it say? Are you going to tell me?” “It says, 'Always remember who your friends are. Skinner.’ That’s it.” Mulder took the bottle back to open it. He carefully inserted the corkscrew, cautious not to damage the cork which could be brittle after such a long time. After he had pulled it out, he checked for a corky smell but it seemed fine. He poured some of the red liquid into their glasses, the rest into a decanter. The wine would need time to breathe to develop its full taste. He handed a glass to Scully, they clinked, then put the glasses to their lips. Scully only hummed when the liquid was running down her throat, Mulder clicked his tongue. “Jeez, this is good,” he said. “It sure is,” she agreed. “What he wrote on the label makes me think, Mulder.” “Think what?” “That Skinner has always been our friend. That we’ve been unfair to him probably, having thought he betrayed us. Remember when he came to the hospital after my seizure and you started a fight with him?” “He’d acted weird and he did smell like smoke.” “Yes, he did, but we should’ve given him credit instead of assuming he’d be working against us. Looking back at it now, I believe that he was indeed coming to us after a meeting with the Smoking Man, a meeting where he had probably been told about Spender’s deluded idea that he was Jackson’s biological father. Skinner tried to keep this information from us, Mulder. He tried to protect us from it. He has always been our friend, and we were too paranoid to see it.” “We weren’t paranoid, Scully. The threat was real. I had just stopped a man from suffocating you by cutting his throat and then Skinner came stumbling in after having been unreachable for hours, smelling like smoke and wearing a face so explicitly blank…what were we supposed to make of it?” “And still, we should’ve known that he would never switch sides. He’s an honest soul who’s covered our asses more than once.”
“That’s true enough, but when it comes to you, Scully, I will never risk trusting the wrong people.” “Trust no one, huh?” “That motto saved our lives a few times.” Some of the occasions he was referring to came to Scully’s mind. She put the glass to her lips with a sigh and took another sip. The wine had breathed enough already to develop some of the rich, red-fruit aroma and herbaceous note for which it was famous. Scully hummed delightfully. “This really is a good wine, Mulder. I’m glad you remembered you had this in your pantry. You’re not stocked as badly as I thought,” she teased him.   Under normal circumstances, Mulder would have taken her remark as the opening of one of their casual banters but the circumstances weren’t normal. His son was resting safely upstairs in the guest room, or rather the son he had always believed was his. He had heard things tonight that made him doubt his fatherhood. “Is it really true, Scully?” he asked abruptly without any adequate introduction. “Is what true, Mulder?” “That I am his father?” Scully took a sharp intake of breath. She set her glass aside, turned toward Mulder and looked him in the eye. She then took his glass out of his hand and placed it next to hers on the coffee table. Taking his hands in hers, feeling his slight tremor, she gave them a reassuring squeeze before she started speaking.   “Yes, you are his father. I’d been feeling it so strongly from the moment I was told that I was pregnant. You were missing, then gone, and for so many months I believed the baby growing inside me was to be my only connection to you. I knew it was yours.”   “But you ran multiple tests anyway.” “You know me, I seek proof of what I want myself to take as fact. And I got myself proof. I am a thorough scientist, Mulder, my proof is one hundred percent reliable. You are Jackson’s father, the DNA doesn’t lie. If you want, and if Jackson is okay with it, we can do another paternity test.” “No, I trust your scientific evaluation, Scully. I always have.” They smiled at each other briefly before Scully’s expression changed. Mulder’s face had been the one marked by worry a moment ago, now it was hers. “Do you think he will stay with us?” she voiced her concern. “I hope so.” “We just got him back,” Scully whispered close to tears, “I don’t want to lose him again.” “Me neither, but I guess him sleeping upstairs is a good sign. He trusts us. He protected me when he…erm, got rid of those Purlieu people coming after us.” “You mean when he made their bodies explode?” “Yeah, well, our son does have extraordinary abilities. Given all the weird stuff I’ve seen, this wins first prize but what I was getting at is that he made sure I wasn’t harmed. And today he also got us out of there. He wants us to able to be there for him.” “I hope you’re right. If I could be his mother again…” Scully hiccuped. “You have always been his mother, Scully. Maybe he isn’t aware of it, but I am.” “Thank you, Mulder.” They gazed at each other and Mulder’s heart was overflowing with compassion for Scully. How much had this woman had to endure? How come she was still sane and hadn’t gone completely mad after what life had burdened her with? He admired her so much for her strength.   “Jesus Christ, I so want to kiss you right now, Scully. May I?" 
Anxiety over possible rejection was creeping up Mulder’s spine when a tear started running down her cheek but he had to finish what he had started. When she nodded, more tears spilling, he brought his lips to hers and kissed her as softly as he could. This wasn’t about passion but about companionship, about a life lived together, about an unwavering feeling of love for her. 
"We will make this work, Scully. I am sure of it. You, me, and Jackson. We will make this…this family thing work. Maybe he will never call us mom and dad but somehow we will manage to be parents to him.”
Scully leaned into Mulder and put her head on his shoulder. She hummed silently and took another sip of wine. 
“This is nice, Mulder. You and me together here on this couch, this wonderful wine, our son upstairs in the room I had always thought would have been his if things had been different.” Mulder thought back to his earlier conversation with Jackson, how insecure the boy had been about their current relationship and how he fit in. 
“Let’s give it try, Scully. Let’s give Jackson a stable structure, something which comes close to what he had with his adoptive parents. He still is a kid, he shouldn’t have to doubt where he belongs. I want him to feel he belongs to us. Move back in.” His words echoed in the silence that followed. Mulder couldn’t see her reaction to his bold suggestion as Scully’s head was nestled against the spot where his shoulder met his neck. He already feared he had pushed too hard when he heard her whisper, “but there’s no extra room for me anymore.” “Do we really need an extra room? The guest room has always been intended to be his, not yours. Our bed is too big for me alone, it never felt good sleeping in it on my own. I wish for nothing more than us being together again. Not only as co-workers but as partners. Life partners. We could make it legal even, maybe adopt him back if we can. We could be a family. Officially, for everyone to see. The Mulders. Or the Scullys, if you want. I don’t care. I only care about us, us three being together.” Scully straightened and pushed herself back from Mulder. She looked at him with wide eyes. Putting her hand on his forehead, she stammered, “are…are you running a f-fever, Mulder?” “I’m in my right mind, and I am serious.” “Fox William Scully?” she offered, giving him her trademark arching eyebrow. “Mr. Dana Scully,” he replied with a boyish grin, “sounds good to me.” Scully brushed a tear off her cheek and laughed. “I’ll ask you again tomorrow when you’re down from your high; whatever caused it.” Mulder left it at that. He knew there was no use arguing now. She probably needed time to let his suggestion sink in, or rather his proposal. He had really and truly proposed to her! How many years had he waited now to pop the question a second time? What an irony that again she didn’t believe he meant what he said, that he was under the influence of something clouding his judgment. She couldn’t be further from the truth. He was as sober and clear in his head as humanly possible and he had no problems at all asking her again tomorrow. He would ask her as often as necessary until she considered his proposal to be credible. Scully nestled back into Mulder’s side and put her feet on the coffee table. He placed his long legs alongside hers, his thigh touching hers. When her head was back at its prior resting place on his shoulder he kissed her hair. This was exactly how it was supposed to be, he didn’t need more to be happy. Scully in his arms, hopefully, his wife-to-be, his son upstairs in the second bedroom, and the prospect of a family life. It almost ached physically to imagine a happy future was waiting for him around the corner. And then Scully said something that made his heart skip a beat. 
“You should ask Skinner to be your best man.” Now it was Mulder who dissolved their snuggling position. Sitting up straight with eyes wide as saucers and his heart in his mouth, he stammered, “what? Was…was that a yes, Scully? Do I have to check you for fever now?” She laughed wholeheartedly, a sound which had always made his heart swell. “If you could only see your face, Mulder! There’s terror written all over it. You haven’t seen this coming, have you, Mr. Scully?” “You always keep me guessing.” Mulder resumed his prior position next to her. He took her free hand which rested on her thigh and intertwined their fingers. “So? Are we engaged now?” he asked tentatively. “I think so,” Scully answered. “Wow.” “Yeah, wow.”  
On the landing at the top of the stairs, there was another person thinking the same: Wow! They are doing this for me! Jackson had been on his way down to get a glass of water when he had heard his name. He was touched by how anxious they were about him and how much they wanted to make this work. And suddenly they had been talking about marriage and Mulder had even suggested reinstating their parenthood by reversing the adoption. Jackson wasn’t sure what he thought about it, if it would feel like he betrayed the Van De Kamps if he became a Mulder. But no, wait a minute, if at all, he would become a Scully. Jackson Scully…it sounded unfamiliar but okay. Another idea sneaked itself into his mind on its own accord. What if…? No! That wasn’t really an option, was it? Maybe, it was. Maybe it was exactly the right thing to mark this new phase of his life. What if he took his old name? His birth name? If Mulder was willing to let go of his name to mark their family bond, he could do the same, William Scully didn’t sound so bad. William Jackson Scully. He let the name roll off his tongue in a whisper. Fox, Dana and William Scully. The Scullys. It would be the three of them against the rest of the world. It was a soothing thought that made Jackson smile. He abandoned his plan to get some water and retreated to his room. He didn’t want to disturb them downstairs. If they were to kiss again, he didn’t want to be ogling. Jackson had just left his observation post and was closing the door to the guest room behind him as Mulder was cupping Scully’s face and leaning in to kiss her. The boy had escaped his parents’ caresses for now but was doomed to witness them over and over in the time to come.
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aithilin · a year ago
Hello, may I request Nyxnoct +winter + 8?
At AO3Seasonal Prompts are Here-------
Nyx had learnt early that holidays were hard so far from home.
With every glance at the calendar, he thought of a thousand ways things used to happen back in Galahd. He thought of summer festivals on the beach with their feats of skill and strength, and the spring blossoms with their garlands string across every storefront and road. He thought of the bright gatherings as the leaves turned, and his family gathered close. How Selena had helped decorate the bar for their first everything, insisting on streamers and garlands and the shining lights he was convinced she’d hang regardless of the season or festival. He missed the smells of his mother’s kitchen, and the squabbling of Libertus trying to ‘help.’ He missed the coziness of the winter warmth at his family home; mint and lavender and rosemary wafting through the air as rich meats roasted in his mother’s oven and they played games for the honour of carving the first slice of the meal.
He even remembered the gatherings when he was small, watching the sea-born winter winds from the dark front windows of the house. His father always started the longest nights off with an orange in hand, a soft smile as he deftly peeled the fruit as he told stories best suited for the midwinter dark. Nyx remembered the smell of the orange peel on the hearth, drying and cracking beneath the heat while Selena protested the ghost stories by asking for the lanterns to be lit.
It had been hardest the first few years away.
No one had really felt like celebrating. No one actually knew how to, in a foreign city like Insomnia.
Even in the depths of midwinter— when homes back in Galahd would be hanging lanterns and stoking fires to last the longest nights— it seemed the entire district was at a loss. Shrouded in a somber reminder of what lay behind them on the road; the traditions set aside in the blazing neon glow of the Lucian festivals instead.
He didn’t blame the younger generation for not knowing what the colourful lanterns sold throughout the district were for.
“How are we even going to do this?”
“We don’t need a fireplace for it.”
“But we need a fire.”
Nyx had never pegged Crowe as the traditionalist.
“No we—”
“Why not use one of the Citadel rooms?”
They had gathered in Libertus’ apartment to plan. To get ideas and see if they could do something, anything, now that things in the world had settled enough to make them think of home without the sting of loss. Without the clawing grief that had driven them there settling over them.
They— he, Crowe, Pelna, Libertus to host, and Noctis— had settled around the apartment with notes and plans and stories of the midwinter lanterns back home. Noctis had settled apart from them to watch, to listen, to spoil Libertus’ bad-tempered monstrosity of a cat— Fira— with soft strokes and softer praises until she was purring like a kitten in his lap. The purr from the cat was the only noise between them as the suggestion registered.
Nyx cleared his throat; “Noct, I don’t think his Majesty—”
“If not, he doesn’t get a say in it,” Noctis asserted to the scoffing bemusement of the others. “I’ll host it.”
Pelna was always the gentle one, the logical one. The one with big, soft eyes and easy words to let someone know just how stupid an idea was. “Highness, we couldn’t impose. Hosting is more than just providing a meal and lighting a couple of lanterns. There are traditions that need to be followed for it.”
“Bullshit,” eyes turned to Libertus, where he had been making the lists of supplies and things we would need. “We got ten years without even marking the day, and you want to whine about tradition now? The kid— no offence, Highness— has listened to us talk about this for hours. If he wants to host, let him host and we can figure out the duties later.”
“It’s not about want, Libs,” Noctis shifted enough to disrupt the cat in his lap. He leaned forward to examine the notes Nyx had made about the necessities for their festival. “We’ve already been bad hosts, and this is supposed to be about making a home right? Why not do it in the biggest way possible? I can open the Citadel to this. There’s a ballroom with a giant fireplace that no one ever uses, it’s yours for the night.”
There was a hesitation in the looks shared between them, and Noctis rolled his eyes.
“I’ll take care of Dad. It’s just a family gathering, right?”
None of the Glaives expected it to get further than the planning stage. The year before, they had all marked the festival with texts shared through the night and a candle in the windows. The year before, they had gathered around the ornate hearth in the Kingsglaive barracks with the recruits— sharing stories and drinking before they remembered to light the fire. Despite Noctis’ confidence in his ability to open the royal home for this year’s gathering, they all prepared for another midwinter with candles and mourning.
None of them expected the King to embrace the idea as enthusiastically as Noctis did.
The room had been cleared of the usual Lucian finery— the sigils and decorations meant to impose and impress on the guests staying there. Nyx recognized it as one of the odd conference rooms— one wall dominated by the grand fireplace with its hearth as tall as Noctis, the singular long table that usually held the space pressed against a wall opposite the wide arched windows and laden with the boxes they had allowed Noctis to collect through the week. The room was shorter than a ballroom, and more homey than a conference room. It had been meant to greet friends and families, gather visiting royals and dignitaries that maintained friendly ties to the royal line.
It reminded him of Libertus’ family parlour back in Galahd, despite the gold and silver accents set around the room’s dark walls.
Their last midwinter festival had been in that parlour, with its big fireplace; the windows opened to the cold winter airs while the grills outside worked through the night with the food they took turns making.
Here, in the heart of a foreign city, Ignis was setting up layers of grills over the dormant hearth. Libertus beelined for it to discuss the handiwork, a secondary, portable stove already tucked aside and waiting for a spark in a corner. The boxes of their collected and mismatched decorations had been set out on the table, Gladio and his sister already laying out the garlands with Pelna and Crowe while Prompto started to snap his pictures of them all. It wasn’t unheard of for the decorations to go up the day of the festival; it was a family affair to get the home ready, to designate the important windows for the events, to set the mood for the night.
And Nyx suspected that none of them had given the Amicitia siblings any thought, as old decorations— garlands, ornaments, suncatchers— joined the mismatched things carried in. He had forgotten that Lady Amicitia was Galahdian.
Noctis stood at the windows, watching the snows float around them like ashes caught on a breeze. He smiled to Nyx at the approach, “Does this work? It faces east.”
“It’s perfect, little star.” They were earlier than expected, the sun out of sight on the other side of the Citadel, but the golden glow of the world still shining in reflection of the buildings below. “Selena would have loved this.”
She would have loved being so high above the city, watching the lights below as Libertus muscled his way into cooking duties and scolding the host for trying to light the fire before sunset. She would have been elbow deep in the decorations with Iris and Crowe, cooing over the suncatchers wreathed in glittering tinsels. She would have been teasing and playing and enjoying the magic of those moments between dusk and night, when the winter moon was a sliver behind the snow heavy clouds.
“Good.”
The fire was lit moments before the last reflection of the sunlight faded from the window’s view— a careful co-ordination between Ignis and Libertus as the meats foods were wheeled in, and cuts and spices were the new topic of debate. Compromise was made to allow for their varied tastes, and Ignis settled for his corner grill while Libertus commanded the open flames of the fire. Nyx was called on to use his height with Gladio, stringing up the garlands that would hold the lanterns they made that night— the papers and wood and twine all set out with a note from the Marshal. It was mid-decorating that the King peeked in on them.
Despite the invitations to stay— enthusiastic from the Lucians, polite from the Galahdians— Regis excused himself to let them celebrate, offering his congratulations while his Shield stole samples of Libertus’ cooking and nodded his approval.
By midnight, they had gathered around the hearth with drinks and caffeine, food offered up to the group in big bowls and plates set between them. And the ghost stories to pass the long night had started, with Noctis in Nyx’s arms (definitely ruining the spooky effect, Nyx thought) to listen and add his own.
Lanterns were built and lit with false candles, hung across the garlands to brighten the room.
When the sun rose beyond the grand windows and across the winter swept city, the gold and crystal suncatchers spread the first rays across the dark room in a burst of dawn— a new day and new year reflected in their little room first. They watched the sunrise with tired eyes and the fading stories still ringing around them— echoes in the dark stone walls of the Citadel they had stolen for a single long night as a mismatched little family.
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taetaesbaebaepsae · 2 years ago
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"I like it here"
This is my first attempt at some fic writing, but I really wanted some soft Yoongi. So enjoy i guess? and thank you momma thot for grammatically checking my errors :) - @thecozywhaleshark 
When you had first moved into your apartment, you admit, it looked unappealing. You were fresh out of college and had just begun a new job. It didn’t pay much, but it paid enough for you to have your own place. It was small, the ceiling was cracked, the floors scratched up, and the pipes often backed up due to age, but it was yours. It had a bedroom, a bathroom, a kitchen and a small living room, and that was all that you needed.
You had quickly made it as homey as possible for yourself, taking your bits of mismatched furniture and giddily organizing your space. Your space. You couldn’t get enough of it. You had bought the denim couch from a thrift store and salvaged the old fashioned floral armchair from the side of the road. Luckily your parents had let you keep your bed set so you didn’t need to worry about a mattress or a dresser. You had been so determined to make it a cozy space you figured out how to DIY colorful throw pillows from the sale fabric at JoAnn’s, hung fairy lights along the walls, put up your own bookshelves (with the much needed help of youtube), and arranged your plants around the sole window in your little living room. You put a basket of blankets in the corner, the top one which you had knitted yourself with the help of your grandma. You were only a beginner, and you were very proud of the mismatched squares and bumpy edges. You put your dollar store silverware in the drawers, your mugs and plates in the cabinets, and plugged in your coffee machine. Done.
When other’s started hanging out at your house, it wasn’t exactly planned. You and your friend Namjoon had become friends at a coffee shop you had both frequently attended, as you always ended up showing up at the same time. Eventually you two began to drink your coffees together, and you told him about your new job and he about his tours and what it was like to be the leader of a popular band. Your friendship quickly grew, and soon you guys were hanging out at each other’s places. Movie nights at his place, quiet at home work days and Sunday brunch at yours.
When he asked if he could bring a friend one time you didn’t think anything of it, and that was the day you met Min Yoongi. He was polite but so, so quiet. Nevertheless, you welcomed him with open arms and invited him into your small home. He quietly sat down next to Joon on the couch and they worked on their project, while you busied yourself doing your own thing.
With time, Yoongi started showing up at your place without Namjoon. It became routine. He would knock, you’d let him in with a bright smile, and slowly, he started to smile back. It took a lot of gentle touches and whispered words (because for some reason you felt like you would spook him if you talked too loud while he was working), but eventually he no longer went straight to work when he came over, and would take the time to have conversations with you over coffee at your kitchen counter (the coffee pot was always running at your place, lets face it, you had an addiction.) On the days he didn’t want to talk he would come in, sit in what had become “his spot” on your couch, and grab a blanket out of the basket, especially when he stayed late working on his music. When he wrapped them around his shoulders it made your heart happy, he had finally gotten comfortable.
 You had gotten so used to Yoongi sitting in your house with you every day after work, that when the boys went on tour, you missed his presence. He skyped with you on occasion, but otherwise you didn’t hear from him much. It was heartbreaking, but you understood. He was busy.
~
He knew he should try to talk to her more, but he didn’t know how. How do you tell someone that you miss them when you barely know them? Okay, yes, he had invaded her house to the point he was there every single day, and being cut off from her and the safe space she had created hurt like hell. But she was Namjoon’s friend, she had let him in out of courtesy, she was probably just too nice to say no when he knocked on her door. He was probably annoying her, she didn’t want him in her space every day. And as often as he told himself not to go back, the more he found himself there. Truth is, he just liked it there. It was cozy, there was always coffee going, on Tuesday’s there was bread day and thick cut sandwiches, and it smelled so much better than the stuffy air of his Genius lab, and… he would be lying if he said he didn’t like the company.
You weren’t one to be loud either, often putting on some soft soul music and working on your own things. He liked those days, where you both sat in your own silence, doing your own things, in the living room or at the kitchen table. He just liked being in your presence. He found himself starting to come over more and more during the day, and more often than once he stayed the night, falling asleep on your couch while working. You hadn’t minded you had said, but still, he hesitated. 
He cut his contact with you short on tour, hoping to clear his mind, but every time he wanted to work on his music, he found his mind drifting, back to you and your leaky, dinky apartment.
~
Days turned to weeks, and weeks turned to months, and eventually you began to think he had all but forgotten about you. You do miss Yoongi, but at least you still talk to Namjoon.
The day they are supposed to get back from tour, there is a knock on your door. When you open it, you find Yoongi, his luggage next to him. He had come straight from the airport.
~
He hadn’t planned on coming straight here after tour. He had plans to go to his own apartment, take a hot shower, pass out in his own bed. But when he hailed a taxi, the address he gave was yours. He just wanted to go home… but he knew this wasn’t his home. And the way he had treated you over tour, he didn’t know if you’d accept him. And yet he still found himself knocking.
“Yoongi?” you say, surprised. 
When you opened the door, his heart jumped. You were in your pajamas, he could see the fairy lights were on behind you, casting the apartment in a soft glow. It looked warm and cozy and like heaven.
~
 “Can I come in?” his voice is so soft, and you notice his body is slumped slightly in exhaustion.
 “Of course you can,” You say, opening the door wider with a soft smile and helping him bring his suitcases inside. As soon as they’re inside the doorway, he’s pulling you into a soft hug, letting his eyes close briefly as he breathes you in.
“What brings you here?” you ask, pulling away from him, questioning.
He shrugs as he moves past you and slumps down onto your couch, pulling one of the knitted blankets over his shoulders. “I like it here.” 
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seminalstudy · 2 years ago
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Hey everyone! I recently completed my first semester of college with a full course load (18 credits) and all As, and I thought I could share some of the things that have (and haven't) worked for me these last few months. This is just going to be on dorm life, but I'll probably do some on organization and school work in the future. I do go to a pretty small school so my experiences may not be applicable to everyone, but I hope somethings on this list may help!
Roommates can be pretty hit or miss, and if it's the latter, talk to your resident assistant! My first roommate was nice enough but we had very different ways of living. I had become closer friends with one of my suitemates so we talked with our RA and managed to switch with little issue. If you're not satisfied with your roommate situation, it won't get better, so get help!
A great habit to get into is making your bed every morning. If you're rushing to a morning class, at least make it once you get back to your dorm. Your room can be spotless, but a messy bed can ruin the effect. A made bed will also make it less likely for you to get back in bed when you should be doing something more productive!
Make sure you talk with your roommates/suitemates about shared living spaces - when the bathroom gets cleaned, where everyone gets to store their stuff, etc. This will prevent future conflict if sorted out early in the year!
Leave your door open as much as possible! I know a lot of people recommend this, but it's really amazing how many people will stop by and chat, I've made a couple good friends because of doing this (plus it helps keep the room cooler if your window is open in the summer because the air can circulate).
A Keurig and/or a hot water boiler are really useful. Coffee shops on campus can get expensive even with the flex cash, and it's really nice to make a cup of tea at the end of a long day.
Fairy lights are your friend. My roommate and I hate the harsh, fluorescent lights the college gave us, so we picked up 5-6 strands of white lights and swooped them from wall to wall across the ceiling. They illuminate the room with warm light and make it really cute! We're a little extra sometimes but a couple of strands can go a long way.
Pillows are a must have. Whether your bed is on the floor or lofted like mine, they make the room so much more inviting and your bed way comfier!
You don't need a TV or a microwave, but the latter is useful. TVs just take up precious storage space and it's honestly easier to stream shows on your phone or laptop. Microwaves are super useful, but lots of people have them, so you can just make friends with other people on your floor - most of the people I know are really chill about letting others use theirs.
Get some shower shoes, please. I fortunately don't have floor wide communal bathrooms, but I do share a shower with three other people, and that floor is a breeding ground for bacteria.
On that note, make sure the bathroom gets cleaned at least once a week. Shower, toilet, sinks, the works. This really helps reduce the likelihood of getting sick, which can really cut down on your productivity. I really like Clorox or Lysol wipes - they can be used on practically anything!
It's also important to wipe down surfaces in your room every 1-2 weeks, plus it makes your room smell better!
College vacuums are nasty and smell bad, so it's a good idea to pick up at least a small hand-held vacuum to clean up your area each week. You'd be surprised how much can accumulate on the floor.
This one's optional, but a cute, durable rug can really make your room nicer. I got mine from Home Depot for around $40 which is a bit of an investment, but it's so much nicer than the old college carpet.
Lofting your bed(s) really does save space. I've grown up with a loft so the small under space for my desk and shelves isn't a problem for me. My current bedframe doesn't allow you to raise it up, but if yours does and you have enough floor space for your other furniture, that can be even more precious storage space.
Open your window shades! It's nice to get natural light, and if you get enough, you can even keep little plants on your window sill!
Some RAs put in more effort than others, but make an effort to go to floor or building wide events, you might have a great time. These are often on weeknights, so they're a nice break from studying.
Beware of air freshener. Yes, college dorms often don't smell great, but you will quickly be desensitized to the scents you choose, so it can start to smell too strong to others. I like using linen spray, it keeps your sheets and room smelling fresh but isn't too overpowering.
Make your desk area your own. My roommate and I are different in that she loves to be minimalist, whereas I love cozy clutter. I have lots of pictures and art of family, friends, and home on my walls and shelves whereas she has everything in neat containers or drawers, and a single tapestry on the wall. Do whatever makes you happy.
Your room should ultimately be the place where you can chill after a long day, so try not to do as much of your studying there. It's nice to get out and go to the library or a new coffeeshop for work so your room can just be for relaxing in. However, your room should still be set up in a way where you can be productive - especially during finals or when the weather is too bad to go out in.
This one applies to me mostly, but you don't need to bring all of your stationary and notebooks with you. There's not necessarily going to be enough room for it all. I'm still working on this, but you probably don't need eight sets of pens for college.
Invest in a speaker or speakers if you haven't already. I've made my room super homey, and one of the biggest ways is by having music almost always playing - not necessarily loudly but just enough that I'm not sitting in silence all the time.
It may be tempting to stock your mini fridge with ice cream and microwave meals but try to fill it with other things! Frozen berries, yogurt, chia or flax seeds, milk (or almond milk if you're lactose intolerant like me), some water bottles or cans of pop. It's nice to be able to reach for a healthy snack without having to trek over to the dining hall or campus store.
Decorating your dorm for the season or holiday can be really fun and a nice break from studying. My roommate and I hung tons of ornaments from the ceiling for Christmas which looked really cute, and we decorate our door for each month. It can be a bit time consuming, but it's just a fun thing to consider.
Take time at least once a week just to tidy up. Wash dishes, put laundry away, file papers, vacuum. For me, cleaning up helps reboot my brain, and I find myself to be way more productive with a clean area.
Those soft fleece blankets are really great for cuddling in when you're sick, tired, it's your time of the month, etc. (I have two but you probably just need one)
Don't do you laundry over the weekend unless you've gotten up early. Everyone does it then, so try to find a free morning or afternoon during the week to do it.
On that note, a drying rack is super useful. You can save money by not putting your clothes through a drying cycle, and just let them air dry. This also makes your room smell good!
I live in Michigan so summers get hot and winters are freezing. Fans (plural) are a must have if your dorm has no AC, I have a desk fan and a tall room fan. Blankets and warm pjs and slippers really help in getting through the cold season.
Make friends with someone who has a car on campus if you don't have one! This can be really useful especially for late night trips to Meijer.
At the end of the day, your dorm should be your happy place. Keep it clean, well stocked, and cute, and your college experience will be even better!
I hope some of these tips were useful! Keep an eye out for the next post in this series, and good luck in the new year to all of you!
-B
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A Girl’s Best Friend (Peter Parker x OC) - Part 2
Synopsis: Diamonds are man’s best friend- or dogs are girls’ best friends, wait… how does the saying go again?
Warnings: Family issues; Peter has a crush and it’s complicated; mention of assault; good dogs; College AU; aged up! characters; TONY STARK IS ALIVE AND WE ALL LIVE IN A HAPPY PLACE CALLED DENIAL
A/N: In this story, Peter has Tom’s dog, Tessa.
Word count: 2.5k
Part 1<<< >>> Part 3
MASTERLIST
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                Peter didn’t know how to feel about having been yelled at by the daughter of the mayor, but he had an inkling it wasn’t good. There was a point in his life where he had hoped that one day he might receive the keys to the city – he just really wanted to know if they opened anything or if they were merely symbolic (it would be greatly disappointing).
That dream had gone down the drain this morning, though.
No wait, he was getting mixed up again. She had bumped into and yelled at Peter Parker. Peter Parker would never stand in front of the mayor and the whole city to be gifted the keys of New York City. If such a thing ever happened, it would be Spider-Man standing on the stage outside the Townhall. And Emmeline Gerard had never met Spider-Man – which was mostly due to the fact she did not live anywhere near Queens.
A week later, he was ashamed to say that he did know where she lived. He was even more ashamed to admit that he followed her home one night during his Spider-Man shift. It wasn’t premeditated at all, she just came out of what he could only assume to be a late-night study session, the light at the library’s door hitting her face and giving it a golden shine.
Since moving to Manhattan, Peter had changed his habits quite a bit, but he tried to center his action on Queens. Nobody needed to know that Spider-Man lived in a college dorm now. Ned and Peter had gotten accepted in Columbia with full-ride scholarships – that Peter highly suspected were curtesy of Tony Stark – and even got lucky enough to get individual rooms. How oddly convenient for someone with a double identity, ugh.
The way to Queens was a short one when Peter swung from building to building, but he didn’t see why he couldn’t keep an eye open from here to there, just in case someone needed his help. He saw her coming out of the library when he was about to sneak out of his window, and he didn’t know what possessed him, but the next thing he knew, he was on the roof of her building, overlooking central park.
“Fancy,” Peter said with a whistle, admiring the tall, modern building.
                So this is where well-off kids live, he thought. While it did look flashy and awesome from the outside, something still tugged at his heart, and his mind jumped to the homey feeling of aunt May’s little apartment in Queens. He wasn’t sure he would trade that cozy atmosphere for anything in the world. This building reminded him of Stark Tower.
                He had once asked Tony what floor he lived on, and he had paused and gauged the kid.
“I don’t live here, Spandex.” He rolled his eyes. “This is my workplace. I have a house you know? Several, actually. I’ll invite you next time Pepper and I host a barbecue.”
                That was it. This place looked like a workplace. Maybe the headquarters of a fancy magazine like Vogue or Vanity Fair, where fashion icons walked in and out of all the time, but no one ever stayed the night. All windows, no ugly concrete walls. Shiny in the afternoon sun, brand spanking new.
                In a sense, it fit her, he mused. A lonely princess living in a fancy glass tower.
                Without wasting any more time thinking silly thoughts, Peter continued his way back home.
  *
                  No more milk. All of this happened because there was no more milk.
“I swear to the fucking gods, I’m sure I still had an extra bottle!” Emmeline said before slamming the refrigerator door shut.
                She needed to work on her language, she was growing more vulgar every day.
                It was half past ten, most stores were closed apart from the small hole-in-the-wall convenience stores – which couldn’t be found that easily when you lived in the Upper East Side. She whistled and Bella came trotting into the kitchen, looking at her with expectant eyes.
“We’re going shopping,” she said, and Bella knew what it meant. She ran to the front door, barely holding in place even though she had had her walk only a few hours ago.
                Emmeline mechanically slipped on her dog walk shoes, very worn out sneakers, her jacket, and clipped on Bella’s leash. Her dog practically dragged her out and into the elevator before she could even lock her door.
                As much as she complained about it, she never minded going for a late-night walk – even if she couldn’t really relax while walking New York at night. You just never knew what creep roamed the streets.
                The blue neon light blinking in the night appeared around a corner, and she hope to God they had her oat milk. A girl needed her oat milk.  She walked in there confidently, thinking she could will the store to have what she was looking for. The owner sent her a sharp look when he saw her strut in with a beast of a dog behind her.
                Bella was the sweetest thing, but she did look intimidating, which was the whole point.
“Let’s see…” She scanned the refrigerated shelves at the back of the store, looking for plant-based milk when suddenly, her shopping was interrupted in the rudest fashion.
                A man catcalled her.
                The whistle made her ears ring and she froze, ready to ward off whoever thought this was an appropriate setting to chat up a girl. Or worse still: whoever thought catcalling was okay in any form or shape.
“That’s a big dog for a small girl,” the man said, already approaching.
                Emmeline refused to turn her head to look at him, but she glanced from the corner of her eye to see who she was dealing with. He was in his late twenties – probably – and looked like the kind of person you didn’t want to hang out with unless you were looking for trouble.
“That’s a big mouth you have for such a small dick,” she scoffed. Bingo! Oat milk. She opened the glass door to get her bottle.
“What did you just say?” The man took a step closer, visibly trying to make himself look taller by puffing out his chest and raising his chin.
                Emmeline was not tall, but she stood her ground, not letting herself intimidated by this dude. She couldn’t let him see she was scared. Bella barked suddenly, making him jump back, out of surprise.
“Let me through,” she asked rather politely - she was proud of herself. “And a piece of advice: don’t hit on girls doing their groceries, it’s rude. We don’t want to talk to you, alright? We just want our fucking oat milk.”
                So much for not cursing anymore. Life just couldn’t give her a break these days, nothing had gone smoothly since the blood donation last week. Maybe it was the universe making her pay for being rude to that boy who hadn’t even done anything wrong.
“You fucking-“
                He tried to step closer again, but Bella barked louder this time. At night, Emmeline didn’t walk Bella with her muzzle on, she’d rather pay the fee than take the risk. Her dog growled until the shop owner came to see what was going on. He made it clear to the young woman that he would not allow her dog in anymore.
                The rebuffed man stomped out, and Bella paid for the milk, then left the store. She did not expect to be yanked into an alley as soon as she stepped on the sidewalk.
“You think you can talk to me like that?!” The stranger pushed her backwards, her back hitting the wall sharply and knocking the air out of her lungs.
                Bella barked as a warning again, growling at the man’s feet. She was already biting the hem of his pants when he put his hands on Emmeline again, popping the buttons of her blouse in one swift pull. They all scattered on the pavement.
“Help! Hel-“ He slammed his hand flat on her mouth to stop her from alerting the shop owner.
                Bella growled once more and lurched at her master’s attacker, going for the leg. When her sharp teeth sunk into his flesh, he yelped in pain, his scream way louder than any call for help Emmeline might have shouted.
                Her eyes went wide with fear and her tough demeanor was gone within a split second. Not again, not again… The pitiful yelp she heard made her heart sink. Not Bella… He kicked the dog again, making it cower a bit but not give up on defending her mistress. She began to bark like crazy, hopefully attracting someone’s attention.
                Emmeline tried to push her attacker off her, struggling to wiggle out of his grip but he was pressing his body onto her to keep her trapped between him and the wall.
“Stay still you little vegan bitch! I’ll show you some meat!” she hissed against Emmeline’s ear, making her skin crawl.
                Tears began to sting at her eyes, and she couldn’t breathe probably with this man’s hand still covering her mouth while he reached into his pants with the other. There wasn’t much doubt in her mind what he was going to do to her, which only sent her into hysterics. She closed her eyes, praying for help, hearing nothing but Bella’s barks and growls as she once again bit the man’s leg, momentarily making him let go of Emmeline. She took the occasion to scream her lungs out, when suddenly, he was gone.
                Bella stopped barking and walked to Emmeline, who slowly collapsed on the ground, stunned into silence. There wasn’t anyone with her in the alley anymore, she was alone with Bella. She nudged her gently with her nose, whining and licking her arm.
“Are you alright?” Another voice that she had never heard before broke her out of her reverie.
                Emmeline startled but didn’t stand up when another figure stood before her, entirely dressed in blue and red. Her jaw hung open and she couldn’t do anything but stare at him. It was Spider-Man, that much she could tell, although she never thought she would see him one day, not in the flesh.
“You’re Spider-Man,” she stated the obvious, just to be sure.
“Oh good, you’re not in shock or anything,” he said, sounding relieved – it was hard to tell with the mask. “This really isn’t my scene, I never know what to do when people stare blankly at me and start shaking and crying – not that it’s not a natural reaction-“ he began to ramble.
                Emmeline scrambled to her feet, Bella standing between her and the superhero, on her guard more than ever now.
“Oh sorry, let me help you-“ Spider-Man reached out for her hand to help her up but instead Emmeline bent over to gently pat her dog’s head in order to calm her down.
“Thank you for saving me,” she told him, not looking away from her dog.
Her heart was still pounding and watching Bella’s soulful eyes eased her nerves. That asshole had picked her in the face! She cradled Bella’s face.
“Do you need help getting up or-“
“No,” Emmeline snapped. “No,” she repeated slowly, in a softer voice and with a sheepish look. “Bella is trained to protect me from strangers, you can’t touch me unless I initiate the contact and she knows you’re not a threat.”
“A fellow defender of the innocent then,” Spider-Man teased, looking at her dog with a kind of amusement mixed with some admiration. “I’m sure she did her best tonight.”
“She’s still a little young,” Emmeline admitted, never stopping to pat her dog’s head. In truth, she was starting to feel that backlash Spider-Man spoke of, and her eyes soon began to prickle. She didn’t want to cry, he literally just admitted that he didn’t like when people starting crying on him. If she focused on Bella, she would be fine. “But she did her very best,” she continued, having swallowed down the tears. “That jerk even kicked her, but she did her best.”
                She still hadn’t initiated contact, as she put it, and Peter irked to reach out and make sure she was fine, because she didn’t look fine to him. She looked like she was about to burst in tears. Her blouse still hung open and her eyes looked glossy.
                Bella whined again, leaning into her mistress’ touch.
“She looks like a sweet dog,” he observed. Whatever he said, she did not look away from Bella and he thought maybe that was how she dealt with being assaulted. Looking at something familiar and comforting could be very helpful.
“Yes,” she finally said before standing up, having collected herself. “She’s the sweetest.”
“Maybe too sweet to take walks at night?” he asked carefully, not wanting to upset the girl further.
She hiccupped.
“Maybe, yeah… I just- I was out of milk,” she confessed, feeling the blush rise to her cheeks.
“… out of milk?” Peter asked. That was when he spotted the bottle that had rolled on the ground. He picked it up. “Oh, so that’s where the ‘vegan bitch’ thing came from!” he exclaimed, as if he just had an illumination. “I didn’t get it at first.”
“Yeah, apparently it’s an insult now.” Emmeline laughed a bit. They say even faking a laugh could trick the body into producing dopamine. “I’m not even vegan, I’m just lactose intolerant.”
                She paused and pressed her eyes shut. Gosh darn, why would she tell Spider-Man that she was lactose intolerant? This entire evening was chaotic at best, but it took a sharp turn for the ridiculous just then.
“Not that it’s relevant in any way.” She held her hand open and Peter gave him the bottle, watching Bella twitch nervously but stay sat at Emmeline’s feet. “Sorry, I’m just a little shaken up.”
“No, no, don’t apologize, it’s not your fault. Usually I’d offer to bring you home, but I can’t take Bella swinging in the air.” He scratched the back of his neck in a mechanical gesture, although he couldn’t feel a thing through the material. It was made to stop bullets after all.
“That’s fine, you already did more than enough for me.”
“Still, I want to make sure you get home safely. I’ll follow you at a distance in case anything happens.”
                Emmeline didn’t really know what to say, the words were stuck at the back of her throat, creating a knot. Having Bella by her side was a great comfort already but knowing that Spider-Man watched over her brought her immeasurable relief.
“Thank you,” she managed to croak out.
“You can walk home in peace now.”
                She picked up Bella’s leash and tightened her grip on it, ready to walk out of the shadows but suddenly, she lurched at Spider-Man, hugging him because nothing she could say would properly convey the way she felt right now. He had saved her.
                Bella woofed as a warning but didn’t seem to be ready to jump at Peter’s throat, which he was glad for because he really didn’t want this particular dog to not like him.
                The hug didn’t last long and soon Emmeline pulled away, an embarrassed smile on her face.
“Thank you again,” she muttered before going on her way.
                Bella lingered a bit in front of Peter, gauging him. Peter crouched down and gave her a quick pat on the head.
“Take good care of her, will you?”
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