𝐇𝐎𝐖 𝐃𝐎𝐄𝐒 𝐘𝐎𝐔𝐑 𝐌𝐔𝐒𝐄 𝐂𝐀𝐑𝐑𝐘 𝐄𝐌𝐎𝐓𝐈𝐎𝐍𝐒?
𝐑𝐔𝐋𝐄𝐒. please repost, don’t reblog! bold and italicize what applies accordingly.
BOLD + ITALICIZE: sometimes.
𝐀𝐍𝐆𝐄𝐑. jaw clenching, hands balling into fists, teeth grinding, yelling, going nonverbal, stuttering speech, rushed speech, slow concise speech, rambling, quiet, arms crossing, shaking head, tearing up, animated, expressionless, projects, internalizes, vents, withdraws, passive aggressive, direct, physical outbursts, verbal outbursts
𝐉𝐎𝐘. easy smiles, fighting back grins, suppressed laughter, loud laughter, giggles, chuckling, smirks, whole body laughs, covers mouth when laughing/giggling, throws head back when laughing, slaps leg, touches people around them when laughing, looks down when laughing, looks for eye contact when laughing, sparkling eyes, bubbly happiness, quiet subtle happiness, obnoxious happiness, wants to spread joy, quietly savors joy
𝐒𝐀𝐃𝐍𝐄𝐒𝐒. crying, bottling it up, seeks distractions, wallows, meditates and processes, avoidance, seeks out comfort, withdraws, talks it out, internalizes it, sad smiles, depression naps, uses alcohol, uses drugs, seeks out sources of joy, fidgets with sentimental item, sits in silence, broods, gets moody, wants someone to share the misery, tries to hide negative emotions, nurtures others to make themselves feel better
𝐄𝐌𝐁𝐀𝐑𝐑𝐀𝐒𝐒𝐌𝐄𝐍𝐓/𝐒𝐇𝐀𝐌𝐄. blushing, looking away, rubbing at back of head, covering face, laughing nervously, laughs it off, overthinks, lets it go, self deprecating humor, deflects, gets irritated, smiles, withdraws, crossing arms over stomach, crossing arms over chest, hands in pockets, shoulders sinking, shrugs, falling into silence until comfortable again, talking a lot to compensate
𝐆𝐔𝐈𝐋𝐓. avoiding eye contact, shoulders sinking low, head hanging down, crying, chest aches, lashes out, internalizes, apologizes, deflects, communicates, withdraws, grand gestures for forgiveness, accepts fault easily, punishes themselves, martyrdom, victim complex, over-active guilt complex, healthy conscience, internalizes even after forgiveness, seeking redemption, moves on easily, denial, lack of guilt/conscience, sorry they got caught more than caused harm, can’t handle knowing they hurt others
𝐅𝐄𝐀𝐑/𝐀𝐍𝐗𝐈𝐄𝐓𝐘. trembling, crying, sarcasm/sass to cope, rambles, goes silent, gets angry, fidgeting, clenching jaw, picking at nails, chewing at lip, pulling at clothes, adjusting jewelry/clothing, swallowing thickly, eyes widening, over-reacts, under-reacts, calm, logical, panic, irrational, overthinks, carefully analyzes, talks to themselves, breathing exercises, flight, fight, withdraw, fawn
tagged by: @skelemos
tagging: @oplitis @ghospoke (both boys) @towercursed @grownumb @dethqveen @wildwcmen (rosaaaa) @slwdancing (erin) @cordiibus (sully boiiiii) @nirgama @the-sleuthy-one @spiriitum @spiritheart @airxn @origcmibird @solarbloomed
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🧸 and 📚 for apple?
🧸 - A soft plushie
📚 - A bedtime story
Totally dropped off the face of the Earth yesterday aside for a few likes. XD Sorry about that!
Anyway, it’s a long boi, and it’s also the first real piece I’ve written about Apple’s time with Jimmy! Therefore, I’m taggin’!
CW: Broken whumpee, clueless caretaker, clueless whumpee, crying, implied past abuse, lack of boundaries, mentioned temper tantrum, pet whump, referenced past neglect, starvation mention, Stockholm Syndrome, whipping mention
Tagging: @happy-whumper, @milk-carton-whump, @sideblogformindtrash, @whumperfulart, @unicornscotty
(I lost my list, so if you want to be tagged or if I forgot to tag you, please let me know!)
Sweet Dreams Are Made of This
A week in and Jimmy’s feeling pretty terrible at this whole caretaking thing. He shouldn’t have said it. He thought he was helping.
He shouldn’t have told Apple that Clay didn’t have his best interests at heart.
The tantrum lasted an hour, and after he exhausted himself, Apple stormed into the living room and hid beside the couch. Not even the bedroom he painstakingly prepared for him, Jimmy thinks exhaustedly.
But that’s not really important. At this rate, Apple’s never going to warm up to him. He needs to do something to gain his trust. Not that he’s exactly sure what that would entail. Words won’t be enough. Apple’s still terrified of him. Pissed at him now, too. So…
“Apple?” Jimmy hears a sniffle from behind the arm of the couch. “Listen, I… I have to go to the store real quick. I need you to stay here.” He would bring him, but he doesn’t think he’d be able to handle a busy supermarket so soon after, well, everything.
“I’m not expecting any company, so.” Jimmy shrugs on his coat. “So don’t open the door for anyone. Just… if anyone knocks, ignore them.”
His keys, his keys… There they are. Jimmy scoops up his wallet and keys and unlocks the door.
“Keep this door locked when I leave, Apple. That’s…” Jimmy sighs and braces himself. “That’s a command. Stay here, okay?”
He knew what to expect when he used that tone, but it still stings when Apple replies, “Yes, Master Jimmy.”
He nods to himself. “Good. I’ll be back soon.” Then he walks out, closing the door behind him.
The moment the door closes, Apple rushes to the door on unsteady legs, unlocks it, and wraps his hand around the doorknob. Just a few minutes. Three, tops. Three minutes until he rips the door open and runs back to Master Clay.
Master Jimmy doesn’t know what he was talking about. No, not Master Jimmy. Just Jimmy, because Master Clay is still his owner no matter what he says.
Apple puts his ear to the door and listens to Jimmy’s receding footsteps. Around the doorknob, his fingers shake. What if Master Clay doesn’t take him back? Apple was bad. No, he was horrible. He left. He left Master Clay. Why did he do that?!
Because Benji told him to—begged him to. They made him promise he would run and never come back.
Apple….he has to keep that promise.
This, this whole staying with Jimmy, it’s temporary. Temporary Master Jimmy. Temporary until Apple can find a way to get back to Master Clay without breaking his promise.
Apple can do that, but until then, he has to wait. So he lets go of the doorknob, flicks the lock closed, and he stays.
Less than an hour later, Temporary Master Jimmy walks through the door with a plastic bag. He waves Apple over to the bedroom, not Temporary Master Jimmy’s and therefore the extra bedroom. Apple’s chest tightens at the notion, but he does as he’s told.
Crawling into the carpeted room, it’s not at all what Apple expects. Instead of empty corners and glaringly bland walls, it’s… oddly homey. There’s an enticing bed in the corner of the room and beside it a simple but lovely wooden nightstand and lamp. At the front of the room, there’s even a little dresser. And… the room itself is a beautiful shade of olive green.
Temporary Master Jimmy’s already in the room, sitting on the floor against the foot of the bed. He wordlessly pats the space beside him.
Apple’s hands start to go numb with fright. Still, it’s a command—even if Temporary Master Jimmy didn’t state so explicitly. Hoping his hesitation doesn’t show, Apple crawls until he’s kneeling where he was gestured to and sits, careful not to let his back touch the bed.
Temporary Master Jimmy lets him get settled, then pulls the plastic bag from earlier into his lap and looks at Apple.
“I know we don’t know each other all that well,” Temporary Master Jimmy starts slowly, “but I noticed you have a kind of… affinity for apple stuff, so I— I got you something.” Apple watches, half excited, half terrified as Temporary Master Jimmy reaches into the bag and pulls out whatever’s in there.
Apple sees the felt stem first, then a dark green leaf sprouting from the top of the round bright green fabric shape. And then he sees legs. Eight to be exact. And eyes.
“It’s an apple octopus plush! Or a… an apple-pus?“ Temporary Master Jimmy laughs a little. “I just… I saw it and I thought it was kind of cute and, you know, figured you might like it. Given… everything…”
Apple’s staring. It’s an octopus, but—but it’s green and it has a leaf and a stem like an apple. And it looks so soft...
But Apple knows It’s a trick. It has to be. People don’t get him things, not without a lot of convincing. Certainly not unprompted. But… but Temporary Master Jimmy’s just holding it out to him expectantly, and every second that passes by, the itch to grab it grows. Soon enough, Apple doesn’t care if it’s a trick. He moves to take it, fully expecting to have it wrenched out of his reach the moment he gets close enough for it to hurt him.
Only it isn’t.
When Apple reaches out to grab it, Temporary Master Jimmy doesn’t snatch it away. He lets Apple take it in his hands. He lets Apple touch its perfect fluffy fabric and hold it to his chest. It’s soft, so much softer than he imagined it’d be.
For the first time since arriving here, Temporary Master Jimmy makes Apple smile.
“I-I got a story, too,” Temporary Master Jimmy continues, smiling like this is the best thing to ever happen to him. He pulls a little hardcover picture book out of the bag to show Apple. “So… so I’ll make you a deal.”
At the words, Apple freezes, and the smile on his face drops in a flash. The look he shoots Jimmy is one of pure horror.
How could he have been so stupid? The rewards, the kind words—of course there’d be a “but.” The salesman never let him off that easy either.
“Okay,” Apple squeaks, because he knows he has no real choice in the matter. He just hopes his behavior earlier won’t influence the severity of the punishment.
What is he thinking? Of course it will.
“I’ll read you a story tonight, but only if… if you sleep on your bed tonight.”
Now he’s just confused. Apple… wasn’t expecting that. He expected to be starved or to receive a whipping, not to sleep on a bed. An insanely plush, comfortable-looking…. bed.
Apple nods because he’s expected to. “Okay.”
Apple doesn’t understand why Jimmy’s face lights up when he says that, but he does know watching Jimmy jump up with the book in hand makes him nervous. Master Clay never let him on the furniture, nevermind a bed. He never told Apple why, but Apple assumes it was the filth that covered him. Besides, Apple wouldn’t want to ruin Master Clay’s lovely couches.
Which is why when Apple stands up with the plushie held to his chest, he hesitates even touching the bed.
He looks longingly over it’s big fluffy pillows and soft, clean green-striped white comforter. Then he peeks at Jimmy, who’s watching him expectantly.
This is what your temporary master wants, Apple reminds himself firmly. It doesn’t matter if he hurts you afterwards. Do as you’re told.
Apple swallows hard and lays a shaking hand on the comforter.
He cringes, waiting for the inevitable yelling, waiting for the punishment. But it doesn’t come. Rather, Temporary Master Jimmy says, “Good! Good. Okay, come on, Apple, you can do it. Get under the covers and I’ll read you that story.”
A story. How long has it been since someone’s read to him? Ages.
So Apple puts his other hand on the comforter, the one holding the plushie, ready for any reprimand he might receive. When he doesn’t get one, he pulls the covers back, crawls onto the mattress, sits himself up amongst the pillows, and covers himself again with the blanket. It feels… foreign. Oddly enough, just a little familiar, too.
Temporary Master Jimmy hides a smile behind his hand, not very well and definitely not in a way that’s reassuring for Apple, before climbing into bed next to him, staying on top of the blankets instead of getting under them.
Still, the proximity makes Apple freeze—well, aside from his hands. Those are shaking uncontrollably despite clutching at the covers by his lap.
Temporary Master Jimmy gets all but comfortable before noticing Apple’s discomfort. “Geez, sorry, I should’ve asked. Is… is it okay for me to be on your bed?”
“Of course,” Apple says without hesitation. His hands continue to shake.
But everything is okay. Whatever his master chooses to do with him is okay. His salesman knew that, Master Clay knew that. Why doesn’t Temporary Master Jimmy get it?
“Here.” Temporary Master Jimmy scoots further to the right, away from Apple, until he’s sitting on the corner of the bed. “Better?”
Apple exhales shakily. “Y-yes?” Is he allowed to answer?
Temporary Master Jimmy shifts until he’s comfortable. Apple takes the octopus plush and pulls it back into his arms, snuggling deeper into the blankets as discreetly as possible.
Beside him, Temporary Master Jimmy smiles. Then he clears his throat and grabs the bright red picture book from his lap.
“Right. So, uh, get comfy.” Temporary Master Jimmy flashes the cover at Apple, who can’t help but watch him with wide, fascinated eyes. “This is Corduroy. I loved this book when I was a kid.” Temporary Master Jimmy flips to the first page. “I mean, I don’t know if you’ll think it’s too kiddy or boring, but… just tell me if you want me to stop.”
Apple nods, barely perceptible, even though he knows he has no intention of doing so. Temporary Master Jimmy chose this book. Of course Apple will be grateful.
“Okay.” Temporary Master Jimmy nods. “I’m… I’m starting now. Uh, Corduroy is a bear who once lived in the toy department of a big store...”
As he reads, Apple finds himself hanging onto every word. He kind of likes how Temporary Master Jimmy’s voice gets huskier when he reads. It reminds him of Master Clay.
With the image in mind, Apple finds his eyes drifting closed against his will.
“...‘You must be a friend,’ said Corduroy. ‘I’ve always wanted a friend.’’
“‘Me too!’ said Lisa, and gave him a big hug.” Temporary Master Jimmy turns the book to Apple to show him the final picture, but he’s almost completely asleep now, curled up on the bed and clutching that apple octopus tightly in his hands.
Temporary Master Jimmy brushes a strand of faded green hair out of Apple’s face and pulls the covers up to waist. He does it so gently, so carefully. He doesn’t know the slightest of touches are enough to rouse Apple.
Temporary Master Jimmy slips out of bed and heads for the door.
Behind him, Apple pipes up, “Thank you, Temporary Master Jimmy.” It’s soft and a little hoarse from the screaming fit he threw earlier, but his appreciation is clear.
“Temporary Ma—? Uh, you’re welcome, Apple.” Temporary Master Jimmy chuckles quietly. “Goodnight.”
On his way out, he flicks the light off and closes the door behind him.
Without Temporary Master Jimmy around, Apple lets himself get truly comfortable. He buries himself in a mound of blankets and pillows and cuddles the apple octopus stuffie against his cheek, for once not worrying that it’ll be taken away from him.
That night, Apple sleeps the most peacefully he has in years.
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