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#the last status update i did on ya boy
heroquills-a · 2 years ago
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( pltbhplbhbh )
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thatasianstereotype · a year ago
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Damn, You’re Looking Fine.
To my utter delight, my crack writing Fuck. I’m Gay. got a good reception. I was not expecting to write more for this AU/pairing. But why not? I got some ideas and a computer to write them down on.
So this fic is the took-a-while-to-put-together sequel. It’s focused on the downfall of one certain Liar-la, Damian wooing Adrien with all the flair and romantics as his Chaton deserves, and Adrien being a blushing hot gay mess. 
P.S. Damian’s formal way of talking is an utter pain to write but hilarious to read.
P.S.S. Creative liberties were taken. Again. I just feel this needs to be mentioned. 
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So Status Update:
Adrien and Damian are definitely dating (It is totally official. Told you ya boi got game).
Adrien still calls him Hot-And-Sexy from time to time much to his utter mortification (He can’t make himself stop. Please send help). And Dami gets amused by it every single time, that arrogant smug jerk.
Marinette still puts the fear of god in Damian and he is wary of her. She feels very proud about that. Adrien wants to facepalm.
Fuck Gabriel Agreste.  
And Lila Rossi is still a bitch.  
Adrien and Marinette were made aware about Damian’s alter ego —well mostly because he is utterly terrified of Marinette’s seemingly sweet (icy) smile she gave him when she politely asked how he obtained the Butterfly and Peacock Miraculous and partly because of Adrien’s pouting kitten eyes. 
They truly were a pair to reckon with. 
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“I am not sure why the Justice League dismissed your concerns and pleas for assistance. So I am taking the initiative. My name is Damian Wayne, the son of Batman and the current Robin and leader of the Teen Titans.”
He’s a superhero too?! And it’s Robin!!! One of his favorites!! Can you hear him internally squealing in excitement?
Adrien bit his lip to keep from fanboying right then and there. But a slight pink hue spread across his face. 
“You’re not lying.” Mari has gotten pretty good at deciphering through people’s bullshit. Whether it’s because she is now a Guardian or because Lila’s bitchiness made her a human lie-detector remains unknown.
Damian took it in stride. “I am not.”
“Paris is still our city.”
“I am only offering my assistance.” He won’t barge in on their superhero duties to the city. He has more class than that.
Mari didn’t have to look at Adrien to know his decision.
She smiled, a bright genuine smile. “Then we’re allies.” Before her eyes gained a spark of mischief and her smile turned teasing. “Hot-And-Sexy.” 
“Marinette!” Adrien immediately covered his blushing bright red face with both hands, utterly mortified. 
His sister was evil. E. V. I. L. And why is Damian smirking and looking so smug? Fuck! He even makes that look completely hot. Curse his Adonis genes. And curse his teenage hormones. 
He regrets introducing the two of them together. What a pair they make. Truly a couple of fur-midable terrors here. 
.
Back to the matter at hand, Marinette is able to ensure that Hawk Moth and Mayura will never be out again and another akuma won’t be made. She already made sure that the miraculous were better protected. 
Damian has enough evidence to put them behind bars for their crimes but Marinette wanted to go through it and make sure that Adrien won’t suffer the repercussions of having a villain for a dad so they held onto it until they figure out how best to protect their sunshine. 
.
Ah Shit. 
“Duusu? Where are you?” 
Did Gabriel lose the miraculous again? 
But when he looked into the last place he left it, he groaned. Fuck. His brooch was a fake again.
He knew he shouldn’t have made a miraculous fashion line and had replicas of the miraculous jewelries made. It was his most popular items to date. He has gotten lot of praises for getting the details just right and capturing the essence of each miraculous holder. No surprise there. He deals with them on a daily basis. He should get the details fucking right. 
It’s a wonder he only came up with a line because there was talk that he was becoming obsolete with no new ideas coming forth and if there is one thing that Gabriel Agreste isn’t, it is being obsolete. 
The line was just a joke, a parody of the heroes and villains if you will, but apparently people like it. Ladybug and Chat Noir were the most popular obviously (he should’ve seen that coming to be honest). Hardly anyone buys Hawk Moth or Mayura and he is left with boxes of fake brooches. 
It is annoying.
Especially since he keeps fucking misplacing his miraculous. 
.
Adrien felt like he could be a Disney princess and just skip his way to school and sing for the world to hear. 
Now that the Butterfly miraculous were safely with Marinette, he doesn’t have to worry about another akuma. He could just die happy right now. His dad doesn’t have a hold over him anymore. He doesn’t have to put up with Liar-la anymore. But if they put up a fuss? Well, worst case scenario is he becomes a Dupain-Cheng. 
And he doesn’t mind. He’s already an honorary one. 
And if that somehow doesn’t work out (which he highly doubts), Damian offered to make him a Wayne. 
.
Françoise Dupont High School experienced a shock that morning. Specifically Ms. Bustier’s class. 
When they saw Adrien and Marinette walking in class with arms intertwined, laughing and smiling together. 
What the actual fuck?
Did they cross into an alternate universe? Marinette is a nasty bully and Adrien’s a pure sunshine child. Why would they be acting like they were the best of friends? 
Lila glowered darkly when she saw them walking towards the back and sitting at the same table. Didn’t Adrien care about what his father thinks? Doesn’t he want to still be able to go to school? 
She bit her lip and turned on the waterworks, her eyes close to bursting into tears. She made herself be the very picture of a pitiful woe-is-me victim as she cried out in a hurtful and betrayed tone. “Adrien, what are you doing with her? I thought we were close friends.” 
The sheep class instantly catered to Lila, pointing their fingers at the pair. 
Alya, her biggest supporter, led the charge as always. “Adrien! What do you have to say for yourself? How could you cheat on Lila like this? And with her?” 
Adrien narrowed his eyes at his former friend. Bitch, how dare she implies he was in an actual relationship and had feelings for that harlot. 
Wow. 
He has been spending way too much time around Damian. 
"Yeah, bro!” Kim said, raising his voice. “How could you do her dirty?” 
“Okay guys.” Adrien cut in. “I don’t know where you heard that but me and Lila are not dating. Like at all.” 
“Please.”Alya waved him off like he didn’t know what he was talking about (he was highly offended at the notion he didn’t know what his heart yearns for). “We all know you have feelings for Lila. You’re just in denial over them.”
Bitch, what?
Is no one catching onto his chaotic gay vibes here?  
And oh, how his fragile little heart was betrayed yet again when he saw Nino supporting his girlfriend. He still couldn’t believe the first friend he made all by himself was a part of their rabid pack. He deeply mourned the loss of such a great friend in the midst of that deceiving fox’s claws. 
“How many times do I need to say it?” At this point, Adrien was about to throw hands. “I don’t like Lila like that. I feel nothing but pure spite for her. Also, me and Marinette are not dating if anyone’s wondering. We’re just really good friends.”
“But Marinette’s a big bully.” Alix piped up, a hard edge in her voice. “She treats Lila horribly.”
“Marinette didn’t do anything to her. Rossi is lying.” 
“Oh Adrien.” It was Mylene of all people who spoke up. “Did Marinette get to you with her lies?” 
He was done. 
Completely and utterly done. 
He looked over at Marinette who shared his exasperation at the class’ antics. 
Adrien already said it before. But it bears repeating.
Lila Rossi is a bitch.
Luckily (or maybe unluckily), that was the moment Ms. Bustier chose to step in the room and class started. 
When the teacher’s back was turned, Adrien pulled out his phone and proceeded to spend the rest of the time alternating between taking notes and texting with Damian. 
They were currently at the stage of their relationship to be sending animal pics and memes back and forth, with a few puns added from time to time. 
He really does have the perfect boyfriend. 
.
They cornered him after school. 
One: Rude. 
And two: Double rude. 
He was excited to meet Hot-And-Sexy (daMn iT! It’s Damian! Get it right brain) at the bakery and spending time with his two most favorite people in the world (Tom and Sabine don’t count because actual parents don’t have a ranking). 
His former friends were looking all concerned and everything because they somehow collectively came up with the idea that Marinette actually brainwashed him to believe Lila was evil. 
The fucking irony. 
They actually had the audacity to say that Marinette —sweet and honestly badass Marinette— was no good and just wanted to use Adrien to get ahead in the fashion industry (as if Mari actually needed him for that). He shouldn’t be around her. Lila was a much better person to keep as company. 
Adrien laughed in their faces and left. 
.
Onto happier events, Adrien was having a blast hanging out with Mari and Dami. His boyfriend (he still can’t believe he managed to score such a hottie!) fit right in the everything-that-matters siblings’ dynamics. 
They were in Mari’s room. Adrien was cuddling with Damian on her bed. And Mari was at her desk working on fashion designs. 
“So what’s your family like?” He played with Dami’s hair. It was so soft. Like what the fuck. It is so unfair. 
Damian thought about it for a few seconds. “My family is a bit...crazy. We drive each other insane every other day but at the end of the day, I have no doubt they have my back as I have theirs.” 
“You guys sound close.” 
“We were not always. We had an extensive amount of issues to work through before we actually bonded as a true family.” 
It was quiet for a minute until Damian casually said. “I would appreciate it a great deal if you can make time to visit Gotham for the summer.” 
Adrien stopped playing with his hair to look at him with wide incredulous eyes. “Summer’s only two months away.” 
“I am aware.” 
“You really want me to meet them? Isn’t it too early?” 
“I met yours the day we started dating.” 
True but....
Adrien averted his eyes. “Do you think your family will like me? You guys fight criminals and my dad’s a villain.” 
Damian put his hands over Adrien’s and gave them a light squeeze, making his Chaton look back at him. 
“My mother is a villain and I was raised as an assassin. Yet despite of that, my father accepted me. And I am fairly confident he will do the same to you. Mon amour, you have a pure and selfless heart. You are a better person than I am. I have no doubt that my family will love you from the start. 
“Are you being fur real right meow?” Adrien tried to lighten the atmosphere but he could feel his eyes tearing up. 
"I wouldn’t lie to mew.” 
He let out a small laugh, wiping his eyes. How did he ever get so lucky to land such an amazing guy? “You always know the purr-fect thing to say.” 
“We get it you’re in love. It’s amazing. Now stop it with the puns.” Mari rolled her eyes, utterly exasperated at these idiots who just ignored her and pulled out even more cat puns. “You have got to be kitten me.” 
Before she noticed what she said and groaned in faux despair. “Oh you two are so dead.”
Adrien stuck out his tongue playfully. “You can’t catch me. I got a handsome knight in shining armor to protect me.” 
Damian interlaced their fingers. “Always, mon amour. I’ll protect you from everything like your wicked father.”
“Does that make me the dragon here?” Mari joined in. “Cool. I can breathe fire and torch people. Too bad I can’t do that to a certain liar.” 
“Liar-la is totally the witch here.” Adrien said before thinking for a few seconds. “Does this make me the princess?” 
“Well, knights always have to save the damsel in distress.” Mari said. 
He frowned before crossing his arms indignantly. “Dami, I love you more than Plagg loves his stinky cheese, but I’m no damsel in distress.” 
Damian rolled his eyes. “Tt. Of course not. You can destroy things with a single touch. It would be not be in my best interests to downplay your abilities.”
Adrien relaxed and beamed a sunny smile. “Good. Remember that.” 
“Mon amour, I look for an equal as a partner, not some weak spoiled harlot that can not defend their self.” Damian placed a flower crown (that was just sitting on Marinette’s nightstand, must be one of her projects) on Adrien’s head. “Having said that I do believe you are a prince that deserves all the love and care in the world.” 
And oh my. 
Adrien can feel his face burning scarlet and his heart almost bursting at how sweet this incredible, conceited Adonis was. 
He was falling in love with Damian over and over again each time they meet up. 
“You deserve love too, Dami.” 
And sweet, caring Hot-And-Sexy (Ah, fuck it. He will never grow out of that) placed a soft kiss on his cheek. 
Oh dear, he didn’t know his face can burned any redder. 
He could almost hear Mari cooing in the background. 
And in case anyone was wondering, Tom and Sabine adores their everything-that-actually-matters son’s boyfriend. Damian Wayne seems like a responsible young lad. And he makes Adrien really happy which is a major plus. Anything that makes their son happy is good in their books. 
.
Lila was not at all pleased. 
Why was Adrien suddenly hanging out with Marinette? Yeah, he doesn’t buy into her lies but she was confident he will be lured into her charms. Why wouldn’t he be? She was young and way more beautiful than a baker’s daughter. He was supposed to be hers. 
She and Gabriel are going to have a talk about his rebellious son. 
Except when she arrived at the Agreste mansion, Gabriel was apparently too busy to see her. 
He was too occupied with searching through boxes of fake miraculous to find Duusu to bother with her. 
“I don’t have time for you.” 
“Excuse me?!” 
She was aghast. How dare he speak this way to his biggest supporter —well, besides Mayura and Nathalie. 
“You’re excused. Now leave the premises.”
Before the door shut in her face and she was left fuming, her face an unflattering angry red. 
.
Being Damian’s boyfriend, Adrien has come to learn that Damian does nothing by halves. Including asking him out on a date. And the actual dates themselves. 
Today as the sun fell down and night came about, Damian and Adrien were taking a stroll in the park. It was relaxing and it was nice. They talked about everything and anything. 
Adrien did not think Damian planned anything more. 
But he really shouldn’t underestimate the son of Batman. 
Because when the last of the sun’s rays were gone, Damian led him to a gazebo strung up with beautiful lights giving the whole place an ethereal feel. And with the bright moon out tonight, it looked like fairies dancing in the garden. 
He didn’t notice Damian pressed play on his phone and classical music filled the air. 
He definitely noticed Damian bowing with a flourished and holding out his hand with a charming smile. “May I have this dance, Chaton?”
Adrien would have to be a huge fool to say no. 
“I’ll loved to.” He placed his hand in Damian’s and let the Adonis lead him in a simple waltz. 
This was his life. 
His life was one big sappy romance novel. And you know what, he doesn’t care if it is. Between dealing with his shitty father and Liar-la, this kitty deserves some happiness. 
.
It was a scene from one of those Disney fairy tale movies Adrien used to watch as kid. The magic. The love. The romantics. He felt like Cinderella and wished this night will never end, that the clock will never strike midnight. He just wanted to stay in his Prince Charming’s arms forever. 
Under the starry night sky, the lovebirds danced to their heart’s content and when another song ended, Damian tilted his head down to place a tender kiss on Adrien’s lips. 
“I harbor a great deal of non-platonic affections for you, mon amour.”
“I love you too, Hot-And-Sexy.” 
.
What the fuck?!
Seriously. 
What the actual fuck? 
Lila was simply walking home after her disastrous meeting with Gabriel (She was still not over how he simply dismissed her like she was nothing. How dare he). 
When she saw them. 
Adrien and some guy (she’s pretty sure that was a guy) dancing in the park. She can feel that disgusting jealousy just burning in her veins, a cold anger thrumming underneath. 
Things were not at all going her way. 
First, Adrien is back to being friends with that Mari-whore. Then, Gabriel ignores her. Her. And now, she is seeing her Adrien in the arms of someone else. 
Oh this will just not do. 
She took out her phone from her pocket and snapped a couple of pictures, making sure Adrien can clearly be seen. She didn’t care too much about the other guy. He’s probably just another pretty airhead Adrien knew through his father. He’s not important. 
A cruel smirk appeared on her face at the thought of the perfect revenge. Adrien was going to have a rough time at school tomorrow. After all, he should’ve known better than to make a move against her. 
.
“Seriously?!”
“Wow.” 
“I’m sure there’s an explanation for this.”
“Yeah. Adrien is obviously gay. That’s the only explanation.” 
“....Maybe not? There could be another reason.”
Lila had watery eyes and a sad frown on her face but inside, she was fucking smiling like a Cheshire cat. She made sure to be at school early so she can show the class the picture of Adrien’s little date last night. Who —predictably— were shocked at their sunshine child being with a guy and made plans to confront him about his supposed sexuality. 
She glowed at the thought of her plan working. This will teach Adrien to know his place or become a social pariah like his little friend Marinette. 
“I thought Adrien had feelings for me.” Lila wiped the “tears” from her eyes. “How could he lead me on like this when he’s been gay all along?” 
Alya —predictably— comforted her. “I’m pretty sure he’s just confused. He doesn’t know what he’s feeling.”
“I’m sure that’s it.” 
The pair didn’t notice Juleka and Rose glaring at them. 
.
Damian was not at all pleased. 
He was rightfully angry. 
How dare that poor sense of fashion taste trollop tried to shame his mon amour for being gay. How dare she try to say he was simply confused and didn’t know any better. How dare she defame his reputation because he holds nothing but spite for her person. 
How dare she. 
As Adrien’s boyfriend and future husband, it is his duty to correct this travesty and defend his Chaton’s honor. 
.
When the Damian Wayne, youngest son of Bruce Wayne, appeared at Françoise Dupont High School, you know that people are gonna stare and talk. 
When he headed towards the courtyard where Adrien and Marinette were sitting at, boy are things going to get juicy. 
Lila and her followers who were sitting a bit father from the outcast pair were utterly confused. They could possibly get Adrien knowing such a super hot celebrity but for him to be on good terms with Marinette too? How inconceivable. Absolutely flabbergasted. 
“Hey Lila didn’t you tell us you knew him and his family?” Max brought up. 
“Uhhh....” Lila knew she dug herself in a corner here. She never thought that the Damian Wayne would ever visit here. At this second rate school. 
“Well, let’s go, girl!” Alya exclaimed. “I’m sure Damian just hasn’t seen you. That’s why he didn’t walk towards you.”
Before proceeding to practically drag Lila to where Damian was talking with Adrien and Marinette. 
Lila, on the other hand, was cursing out Alya in a bunch of different languages in her mind while trying to come up with something to dig herself out of this mess. If they talk to Wayne, the class will realize she was lying all along. 
She was not going to lose control of her kingdom like this —well, not without putting up a fight. 
But when they and the rest of their classmates walked close to the trio, they were shocked when they saw Marinette playfully punching Damian in the arm. 
“Okay. How the hell are you so close with Damian Wayne?” Straight off the bat, Alya was on the offense as she glared at Marinette as if it was Mari who did something wrong. 
Damian answered before the bluenette could. His face was impassive and his glare cold. “I’m Ms. Dupain-Cheng’s top model for her fashion business.”
What? 
Even Lila was taken aback at the news. She knew that goody two shoes likes designing but she didn’t think anybody would actual buy her stuff. She didn’t think a Wayne would like her stuff. 
She could feel her fists clenched. How dare Marinette steal the spotlight again. 
“I’m also Adrien’s boyfriend.” Damian continued casually as if that wasn’t a huge bombshell. 
Everyone’s minds screeched to a halt. 
They knew about the possibility of Adrien being gay since Lila showed him on going on a date with an unidentified but clearly male person yesterday. But they didn’t think there was actually something there. 
Lila could feel her anger clouding her mind. Adrien was supposed to be hers. He was her ticket to fame and fortune. 
“And what about Lila? Aren’t you guys best friends?” Alya put her hands on her hips. How could Damian just ignore someone he is close friends with but give Marinette all the attention? Lila deserves better than that.  
Damian was unamused. “I don’t know her.”
“Yeah, you do.” Alya ignored Lila’s gestures to stop talking. Lila was too shy about her achievements and she was going to have her amazing best friend’s back. “She’s the one who helped your family out multiple times.”
“She did not. And I am appalled that you believe I would know a harlot like her in the first place.” Damian’s face twisted with disgust as he glanced at Liar-la like she was a mere insect. “Please. I have class and dignity.”
“Take that back!” She screeched. “You are so rude.” 
“Are you honestly going to lecture me on my rudeness when you plebians are being hypocrites?”
“What? I’m not a hyprocrite.” 
“Lila Rossi is a pathetic liar who begs for attention like street dogs beg for scraps. She never once saved Jagged’s cat nor does she help out with green charities. Lastly, she is not on close terms with myself nor with my family.”
“No! You’re lying!”
He raised an unimpressed eyebrow. “Ok then. Look her up on the internet. If she is as grand as you lot seem to think, she should have articles dedicated to her. Show me proof of her actions that isn’t your subpar blog and I will give you an exclusive.” 
Alya’s eyes gleamed at what should be an easy challenge. But when she pulled out her phone and typed Lila’s name and what she did in the search engine, her smile disappeared. 
She spent the next few minutes scouring the net for anything, any mention of a Lila Rossi that wasn’t on the LadyBlog. 
She found nothing. 
Lila Rossi was a fucking liar all along. And Alya and the rest of the class believed her. 
“We tried to warn you.” Marinette said in a soft voice. But anyone who knew her knew she was trying to hold back her laughter. 
“Marinette,” Rose cried out as she realized the class has been total jerks to the one person who always had their backs. “We were horribly wrong. Can you ever forgive us?”
She shrugged. “I forgive you. But this doesn’t mean we’re friends again. Because we’re not. Seeing how easily you drop me for that liar without even looking for any kind of proof hurts and I’m not eager to be friends again. Maybe in the future but not right now.”
“That’s goes ditto for me.” Adrien added his two cents. 
Their former friends classmates wore gloomy expressions, utterly devastated at ruining their friendship with their Everyday Ladybug and Sunshine Child. 
And with that, Adrien and Marinette left the courtyard, with light hearts and heads held high. 
Damian shot the class a razor sharp grin. “Well, it’s been nice to meet you.” 
Everyone knew he meant anything but. 
“I always knew teenagers were prone to be foolish imbeciles. But seeing the collective stupidity of you people today made me realize that the bar can in fact be lowered.” 
.
Adrien was fucking ecstatic. 
Elated. Overjoyed. Jubilant. Drunk on happiness. All the synonyms associated. 
Because Lila was finally exposed. The class realized what utter assholes they have been. His father will receive his due (soon according to Mari and Dami). 
He was happily humming a tune as he swung his and Damian’s intertwined hands back and forth. 
He was entirely grateful that Damian showed up to school today. Although he was a bit mean for Adrien’s taste. 
But oh man. Payback was so sweet. 
He smiled giddily. 
Mister Hot-And-Sexy definitely earned himself a kiss. 
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madfantasy · 6 months ago
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Dear blogging
It's very draining to expect, nd met with silence, by any angle of life.
I want to always bring pleasure
But idk, I continue to be too tired that I don't feel anything..
Last month I wanted to take a full month break and just chill. "They" did payed for the expensive Internet service for once but still I had to open commissions to hopefully and eventually did to pay for groceries, and/or to treat my equally depressed siblings with burgers we first time got. They were awful c':
This month too, refused to pay it, nd me running their bank accounts for them I know that they didn't have much so I payed it yesterday. . their excuse this time? they payed the rent for the empty house next door.. yeah. The house that they rented so no one with 11 kids can live by us. Now I have to gather up for the next one soon. Nd idk.. i feel I can't put out anymore creatively while I'm just on a stressed race to do commissions and still make time to do my own work nd catch up. Like, one colored character with background alone takes me a week to finish. And I try to do my best to be fast by skip living, basically. And by the time I finish, the month was gone nd I didn't get to use the Internet for anything. So I can't see the point of paying it beside making my sibs happy.. (Also I couldn't fix my phone and the lack of notifications enforced that I'm more disconnected tbh)
I wish to be able to save the fruit of my labour for myself without feeling guilty, nd not dish it all out on one thing for an entire family of 8 ppl. Like, yeah what i gather in a month is basically nothing. So they be pressuring me to do something about it and suggest to make my art more lovable nd get more followers nd views and whatever???? While me been trying for years before hand all in secret without mentioning them keep stopping me from talking to ppl online.. nd now I see the numbers on my accounts keeps reflecting that I am indeed failing, nd nothing is working nd I'm just horrible... I don't want to tell people to do what they won't, thats why I took off that 'support me' banner, to like and reblog or follow and whatever.. I feel its only natural to do these things if u like something, or it's just my expectations again that I shouldn't be having
Remember me getting new perfume? To me, it was heaven by smell each time I spray tbh. Yeah they hate it, too. They kept rasing hek on me for using it. On the plus side, every time I came they shoo me off cuz it was suffocating them, so the arguments lessened drastically with this innocent reasoning; they can't talk to me while I'm wearing perfume, and not cuz I don't want to hear it. So naturally i wore it all the time.. sacrificing the only "love" gesture i can give and sometimes receive from them; that morning "awkward hug".. I'm more emptier than ever, tbh..
Anyway..
I'm drawing my bois now, feeling splinded peace.. the euphoria of drawing them again never hit more true.. I mean my characters (a.k.a art) are the embodiment of my aliveness. Just seeing their faces take final form fills me with happiness.. happiness that can make me forget and feel. They r not just drawings, they accompanied my life, ya know. And it's funny to me that when I made them, they were older than me, now I'm older than them. I smile remembering how I used to seeing them surround me at school, how they made diverse remarks on subjects, people and things. Or when I'm upset, act upon or say the things I can't and/or never would. Never directly to me, just.. projected from me but not necessary for me. How they only exist in the limits of my imagination, nd how I am –too– only ever been at the limits of 4 walls, we can't exist without each other. A form of expression that isn't related to me that im so grateful to have.. even if art frustrated me for 80% of the time of making, but when it works, it is an enternal regenerative source of everything one can wish of inspiration, motivation and more.. it is why i do it and wish to do more of.. god just give me those intensive feels
without it I'm probably just an expressionless statue.. I'm trying to practice nd change my zombie voice these days, actually hehe
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Axel need lots more work but now let's wonder what they r up to
It's been forever that I used words and my basic human intelligence to make them, heh. I'm grateful I can spew my vent-like updates here.
I wish you ease and joy everyday my dears. Thabk you for your kindness towards Mani, all my love and prayers 🍀💛
5.4.2021 2 a.m.
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writteninsunshine · 5 months ago
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Heaven’s A Lie - Lucas Baker/Ethan Winters - NSFW
Title: Heaven’s A lie
Author: Reno
Fandom: Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
Setting: Baker Family Estate
Pairing: Lucas Baker/Ethan Winters
Characters: Lucas Baker, Ethan Winters, Mia Winters, Zoe Baker, Jack Baker
Genre: Hurt/Comfort/Romance
Rating: M
Chapters: 1/1
Word Count: 1376
Type Of Work: One-Shot, Part of the For All These Times series, Whump Fic Bingo fill #1
Status: Complete
Warnings: Gay, Slash, Yaoi, MLM, Non-Con Kissing, Gore, Blood, Vomit, Sick Fic, Comfort From Whumper, Whump Fic Bingo, Trauma, Traumatic Experiences, Canon-Typical Violence, Mostly Canon Compliant
Disclaimer: I don’t own anything.
Summary: The last thing that Ethan needed was Lucas’s comfort, but that didn’t mean he was going to deny him. He didn’t have it in him to fight right now.
AN: Hey guys, it’s me again! Just thought I ought to say, if you want vague updates and to talk to me more, I have a writing Tumblr, too! Twitter is Sunshinecackle, and Tumblr is Writteninsunshine! I also have a writing Discord that is currently pretty dead. xD If you want it, please contact me on Twitter!
So, I was looking for a good whump fic bingo I could use for Ethan, since that man can take a beating like no one else. I didn’t find one I liked, so I made one myself. Requests are open for it, and only three slots are taken out of twenty-five, so please give it a look? People on FFN can PM me for the link or search HimboHungry on Twitter. It’s under my pinned! Warning, it’s a NSFW twitter.
Here we go: https://twitter.com/HimboHungry/status/1391276875415269379
With that, here goes nothing!
Resident Evil Fic Masterlist
Ethan Whump Bingo Fic Masterlist
Heaven’s A Lie
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There was no fighting it, now. Fatigue crept into every fiber of his being, and his eyes could barely stay focused and open. Pain wracked his body, and there was a distinct collection of saliva in his mouth, leaving him nearly drooling as he gasped for air like a man drowning, lost at sea.
0Heaving shoulders and a lurch in his stomach had Ethan crumpling to the grass, hands and knees bracing him against the dewy turf. The humidity of the swamp around them didn’t help the sweat dripping from his face, broken pants bursting from his nose. Soon, he wouldn’t be able to breathe out of that. With a painful heave, he gagged, coughed impossibly hard, and spilled the contents of his stomach all over the ground in front of him. It splashed against his arms, staining the sleeves of his shirt and hitting his face; he would have grimaced if he wasn’t otherwise occupied. Nothing but acid left him, as he hadn’t eaten in God knew how long. Dehydration was going to set in soon and only make the pounding in his head that much worse. Blood pumped loud and harsh in his ears, his vision swam and he felt another dry heave coming on. 
For a moment, he begged any God listening to end this torture, but his ardent pleading fell on deaf ears. Nothing reached out to save him, and death was still lightyears away. How could he still be kicking after all of this? Every injury, every removal of his limbs. Jack had seen to it that he wouldn’t die, he thought, and that was the most shocking education he’d ever had.
Eyes watery and nose dripping over his lips after six more emissions, he staggered back to his feet. Swaying for a few seconds, he scrubbed at his face, smearing the tears and mucus up his cheeks, trying to regain control over himself. He had to get to the barn that Lucas was hiding away in, he had to save Mia, himself, and Zoe. That was his main focus, the only driving force to keep him going right now. A one-track mind helped in this situation, and he stumbled forward, the light peeking out from under the door a beacon showing him where to go next. Would this kill him? Maybe. The heaviness in his arms wasn’t helped by the gun in his hand, his arms nearly limp as he fought against the weakness in his knees.
Not paying attention to where he was going, lumbering ever forward, a sudden shout left him and he plummeted to the ground hard. No time to catch himself, the biting pain in his leg too much for him to handle on such short notice, his face hit the mud hard enough to bruise his cheek. With the wind knocked from his lungs, he lay there in agony for a long moment, eyes screwed shut as he tried to catch his breath.
Once he could wrap his mind around filling his lungs again, his eyelids lifted and fell sluggishly as he pushed himself up off the ground halfway, hips still glued down. Turning to look at his right leg, Ethan winced at the sight of barbed wire looped around his ankle, a thin, short leash of it tied to a stake in the ground. It looked like the kind screwed down, meant to keep a dog in the yard. That was him, now, wasn’t it? A dog trapped in a yard that wasn’t his, kept by someone intent on keeping him. Tears leaked down his face again, his nose a snot faucet, the fire in his face unable to compare to the tight grip ripping into his flesh.
Footsteps alerted him to a presence, and he grabbed the shotgun not far from his hands. They quivered as he looked up, expecting a molded to be coming for him in his hour of darkness. Forcing himself to sit up on his hip, he leveled the gun on Lucas, surprised to see the other man out of his control room.
“Aw, look at you, Ethan…” Lucas chuckled, his grin splitting his face nearly in half, “Caught like a coyote in a trap.” 
Ethan was hyper-aware of Lucas’ southern drawl, ‘cai-yote’ leaving his lips, and he clicked another bullet into the gun in his hands.
“Now, now, no need for that,” Sauntering over, Lucas pried the shotgun from Ethan’s hands with more ease than the injured man wanted to admit to, and he watched as Lucas set it aside. Apparently, he had more sense than to simply throw it, and Ethan recognized that all too well. Self-preservation, at best, but at least Ethan wasn’t going to get shot.
“Fuck off.” Ethan managed, his voice wavering, cracking as Lucas kneeled down to take Ethan’s chin in his filthy hands.
“You ain’t in any position to tell me what to do, now, are ya, Ethan?” Lucas shook his head with a happy chortle, leaning in quickly enough that Ethan was stunned, stuck in place.
Dry, cracked lips met his in a violent kiss, and he tasted blood, snot, salt, and bile as Lucas’ tongue strong-armed its way into his mouth. A disgusted grunt left him as Lucas plundered his mouth, taking from him what he wanted and leaving no room to struggle against his advances. Ethan was exhausted, in too much pain to fight him as Lucas tugged him forward by his armpits, straining the limited reach of the barbed wire lacerating his skin. Another cry of pain left him when Lucas bit into his lip hard enough to split his plump, chapped flesh, leaving a trail of blood down his chin.
“There you go, Ethan… Look so good like this.” Lucas was nearly purring in excitement, blood thrumming through his system, “Want to make you mine.” His whispers against Ethan’s lips almost left him bereft, but he was sure he was past that point, now.
“Wh-wh-what do you want, Lucas?” His tone wasn’t as rough, wasn’t as spiteful as he’d wanted, but Ethan had to take whatever he could get at this point. Spitting at him, Ethan glared as hard as he could with= his wet eyes and watery, almost stern frown. 
“Don’t go playing hard to get, now, Ethan. It’s unbecomin’. You’re dependent on me to get you outta this, ain’tcha? You oughta be nicer to me.” Lucas’s smarmy smile almost made Ethan sick again, he felt his stomach railing against his insides, bile rising in his throat.
Another rough kiss met his mouth, his blood mingling with Lucas’s saliva, staining both of their teeth pink. Suddenly, Ethan shoved at him, unsure when he cared not to give him his ire. God knew Lucas deserved it. Turning just enough to feel safe in this moment of weakness, a few dry heaves soon produced more stomach acid to slap on the ground, splattering more against his chest and arms.
“Can’t handle yourself no more?” Lucas asked, absently rubbing Ethan’s back as he spilled his stomach contents again, eyes red and puffy from tears and throat hoarse. Quivering, he leaned into Lucas’s touch, hating himself for wanting the comfort he provided. Elbows buckling, he did his best to fall to the side that his vomit wasn’t on, shocked to find Lucas scooting forward and sitting down cross legged.
Yanking Ethan into his lap, he held him close, wiping at his face and sweaty forehead.
“Pushin’ you too far, baby boy?” Lucas asked softly, his voice almost tender and eyes soft as he took in the sheer amount of pain in his face. Ethan nodded vaguely, eyelashes fluttering against his bruised cheekbones. Lucas was right. If he’d stayed away, he wouldn’t be suffering like this. On the other hand, Mia would have been, and he couldn’t find it in himself to give up on her. Eyes sunken in, he looked like he might pass out, and Lucas took pity on him. Reaching for the shotgun, he held it up above Ethan’s oblivious head, his eyes closed to the world, before slamming it down against his temple as hard as he could.
The world swam for a moment, Ethan’s vision hot and white for just a second before everything went dark.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
AN: Welp, I feel like this vaguely covers another part of the whump bingo, but I’m not going to count it because the theme is still being caught in a snare. At any rate, I hope you guys enjoyed the ouchies. I had fun writing this! It’s partially a vent piece, as a lot has been happening lately and it’s driving me crazy not getting it out.
Prompt: Caught In A Snare
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kyber-crystal · a year ago
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Maybe It’s Meant To Be
Pairing: Steve Rogers x Reader
Words: ~3.7k
Summary: Sometimes, love finds people in unexpected ways. In this case, fate has extra special plans for America’s golden boy and one of SHIELD’s best agents in history. And you know there’s no running away from fate once she’s set out your futures for you. 
Warnings: mentions of violence and blood, angst, and once again, soft steve :)
A/N: I haven’t attempted a soulmate AU in over a year. this is one of my fav works but it’s really poorly written rip. The age gap between you and Steve is ~3 years. 2017 AU where they made up after the Accords :) Steve’s back with his WS look bc that suit was hot af
Tags: @pies-writes-and-more​ this is for you! THANK YOU FOR ALWAYS BEING SO ACTIVE ON MY BLOG AND FOR YOUR SWEET AND SUPER ENCOURAGING WORDS. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH. AND @marvelsswansong BECAUSE YOU'RE MY IDOL AND I LOOK UP TO YOU YOU'RE AMAZING
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Soulmates.
You'd heard plenty about them growing up. Seeing your parents' perfect relationship blossom over the years piqued your interest, and for the longest time, your only wish was to find someone who could love you with their whole heart and soul and mind, like the way your Mom and Dad loved each other.
Unfortunately, as all stories must come to an end, love stories had to find their ending. And not all of them ended on a high note.
Their jobs should've kept them apart from the beginning. Your mother was head surgeon at one of the best hospitals in Brooklyn, and your father was head of SHIELD's navy division. Constantly out and about, they were rarely granted any time to rest. Yet they still found a way to make things work; and it all started because of a run-in at a café around the corner.
Then when you were fifteen, you got word that your father had been deployed overseas again, but this time, he wasn't coming back.
You had to stand there and watch your mother slowly fall apart, breaking down a little more each day until she fell gravely ill. A mere week after her diagnosis of cardiomyopathy, she passed away in her sleep.
A person's soulmark didn't appear at a specific time. It could show up at any point in their lives, when the Gods believed the time was right for them. When those Gods felt the time was right for you to find out who it was, you'd feel a slight tingle where the mark was etched into your skin.
Some people didn't receive the soulmark at all. Along with this came a sense of freedom to fall in love with whoever they pleased, but often times it would end in a loveless relationship. But they were additionally granted the ability of being able to carry on by themselves.
If your soulmate got injured in any way, you would feel the same pain that they endured. And if they died, you would carry a weight around with you for the rest of your life that slowly progressed into a disease. So ultimately, those left in the world without their soulmate would also die in the end, further proving the claim of humans being unable to live without love.
One by one, you watched your friends find their match. They would excited come up to you, goofy grins on their faces as they showed you their marks. You were happy for them in the beginning, of course. But as years went by, and you passed adulthood with still no sign of your designated soulmark, you slowly began losing hope. There was no point in looking forward to the future when you watched one fall apart before your very eyes.
Maybe it was because of your job. None of the Avengers had received their soulmarks either, asides from Tony and Pepper. But they were an exception. Everyone could see it coming from the day they first met, judging by the way they lovingly gazed at each other from across the room. It was a match made in heaven.
You believed that maybe, just maybe, you were destined to be alone. So when you woke up one morning with the burn mark on your wrist, you were taken completely by surprise.
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"Hey, Tony? Bruce?" you asked, walking into the lab with a frown. "I need to ask you guys a quick question."
"Ask away, Killer," Tony nodded, using the nickname he'd given you years ago when you first joined the initiative. "What's on your mind?"
"So, um..." you fiddled with the sleeve of your sweatshirt for a moment, before pulling it up to reveal the mark, "this happened."
"That's a soulmark," he stated.
"Yeah, no shit, Sherlock," you rolled your eyes. "But why would it appear now? I don't see any sign of me meeting them anytime soon."
"When did it appear?"
"I don't know. I woke up this morning and saw it."
"Let me take a look at that," Bruce carefully took ahold of your wrist, squinting as he adjusted his glasses to peer at the mark, "huh. So it appeared last night...have you felt any side-effects?"
"Not that I know of yet, no..."
"If you start feeling any severe symptoms, I can prescribe you some medication to deal with the pain, though I doubt that's going to happen. In the meantime, we need to figure out who this could be."
"Imagine if it was someone who already died, and I'm slowly dying right now," you joked.
"No, if that were to be true, you'd be lying in a hospital bed right now."
"Does the symbol have any specific meaning?"
"That I'm not so sure about," Tony shrugged.
Bruce was silent as he began typing away for a bit, before turning the screen over to you.
"I've checked out over a dozen different sites about this, and..."
"And what?"
"Well...once both people discover their mark, they have a week to find each other before both of them disappear off the face of the earth, forever."
"Sounds like a damn time bomb to me," you muttered. "What the hell? I thought that the point of this whole thing was the gods trying to push us with someone else! Not the other way around!"
"I don't know, Y/N," Bruce sighed. "Feel free to do your own research, but everything I've read up on so far says the same thing."
"So basically, what you're telling me is I'm gonna die if I don't find out who the hell has this same mark as I do," you repeated.
"Unfortunately, yes."
"Well, I'll have to worry about that later. Got a briefing with Cap, Bucky, and Wilson in five. Fury's gonna kill me if I'm late again," you breathed out as you tugged your hoodie's sleeve back down. "See ya."
"Agent Y/N," Nick Fury gave you a curt nod as you burst into the meeting room, breathless. "I hope you slept well last night."
"Of course."
"I need you four to track down a weapons dealer in Skagway," he explained as he handed Steve a black manila file folder, "shut down the base, download the intel onto the flashdrive. You’ll be staying at a safe house in Juneau afterwards for about a week to keep things on the down-low in case something goes wrong. Simple in-and-out job."
"When are we leaving?" Sam questioned.
"You're taking off in half an hour. Suit up."
You sighed. Finding your soulmate would just have to wait, then.
...
"Y/N, look out!"
You quickly whipped around and narrowly missed a bullet whizzing past you, as Steve tugged you around the corner, an arm wrapped firmly around your torso as he hid you both behind his shield.
You gasped as you felt a sharp pain in your chest, and Steve immediately pulled away from you in alarm, gripping your shoulders worriedly. “Are you okay?”
“Yeah,” you panted, trying to steady your rapid breathing, “I’m fine. But we’re gonna have to split up from here if we wanna get the job done faster.”
“Y/N, I can’t-”
“Steve,” you interrupted, the firm tone of voice making him immediately shut up. “I can handle myself just fine.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, I’m sure! Go find Sam and Bucky, and I’ll meet you guys by the rendezvous point as soon as I’m done. Okay?”
“Alright.” He looked around for a moment before stepping away, as if he was hesitant to leave you on your own.
Ignoring the slight ache in your chest, you parted ways, darting down the hall with your guns up and ears alert. 
From there, it was easy to fall into your usual routine. Keep all eyes and ears open; don’t hesitate, shoot on sight unless ordered otherwise. If necessary, engage powers but if not, use your fists or bullets. The mantra repeated itself over and over in your head as you followed through with your job.
You hid behind a tower of wooden crates, back pressed up against the steel walls. “Sam. Status update?”
“Controls room with Barnes, disabling all security systems. Steve’s retrieving intel from the north wing. You?”
“Outside on standby,” you murmured, keeping a finger pressed to your ear. Three technicians were loading equipment onto crates as the other six stood guard several yards away. “I make nine hostiles on the load dock straight ahead at twelve o’clock. Three dozen in total scattered around the area. Most likely preparing for an overseas arms trade. We’ll have to stop them.”
“And...done. We’re heading your way,” Bucky reported. “Be there in three.”
“Roger that.”
Exactly three minutes and two seconds later Bucky showed up, with Steve and Sam in tow. You came out from your hiding spot and began making your way towards the loading dock where the agents were stationed. They were quick to stop what they were doing and noticed the four of you approaching, whipping their snipers out and proceeding to open fire.
...
Your breath came out in white wisps of fog as you got caught in between a fistfight with one of the three dozen men on the docks, the freezing cold slowing all your movements and making them feel more sluggish than usual. If it weren’t for the thick material of your suit and your enhancements, you would’ve succumbed to the harsh weather hours ago.
The man captured you into a tight headlock with his thick arm but despite your frostbite you were too fast; you quickly whipped around and grabbed his wrist, twisting it to the side. His eyes widened slightly as he cried out in pain, the sickening crunch of bone echoing through the frigid Alaskan air as you swiftly dodged each one of moves as he attempted to come at you, countering with a sharp right hook to his jaw. 
His body slumped to the ground with a thump. 
“Why the hell do you even carry around a sniper if your fists do all the work for you?” Sam yelled over the cacophony as he released Redwing, swooping down from the rooftops. “Seriously, you don’t need guns! You’re strong enough as it is!”
“I prefer versatility in fights, Wilson!” you yelled back, grunting as you dodged a blow to the stomach, sweeping out your attacker’s feet from underneath him as his head smacked against the wall, before sliding down to the ground with a dull thud. 
“Y/N, look out-” Bucky called out, but it was too late. You didn’t get to hear his warning in time before you felt something cold and hard hit your lower abdomen. A yell of pain ripped through your throat as you felt a sticky warmth spread across your skin, your knees hitting the ground as you clutched the wound.
At that exact moment, Steve felt a sharp pain flare up his side as well. “Shit,” he cursed to himself, “Buck, cover me so I can get to her.”
You were barely clinging on to life by the time he reached you. Your breathing was heavy and labored, your eyes beginning to roll back as you struggled to stay awake. Everything hurt. Your arms and legs felt like they were weighed down with bricks. You couldn’t move. You couldn’t open your mouth to scream, either - you had no energy left to do so.
“Come on, Y/N, stay with me, please stay with me,” he muttered as he began carefully applying pressure to your wound. You let out a hiss of pain at the same time he did. “Just hang in there for me, please. Sam’s getting the Quinjet ready. We’re gonna get out of here in just a few minutes, okay? Please don’t die on me.”
“Look, if I don’t make it-”
“Don’t say that,” he spoke in between clenched teeth while fighting back tears of his own, “you’re not going to die. Not today, not tomorrow, and certainly not on my watch.”
“Steve…” you croaked out, the stinging from the wound almost becoming impossible to bear. Your eyes were becoming heavier by the second, your body throbbing painfully now that all the adrenaline had worn off. It was a struggle just to take in a single breath and to stay awake. "I'm so tired, I can't do this anymore..."
He disappeared from your line of sight as your began seeing spots at the edges of your vision momentarily, before reappearing and pulling you into his lap, trying to put pressure on the area of injury again in an attempt to stem the bleeding. But it didn’t seem to work. There was so much blood. So much of it, coming out so fast. There was no way you’d last out here for longer than ten minutes before bleeding to death.
"Stay with me..." he murmured as he looked up around him. "Hang in there for a few more minutes, please…Damn it, Sam, how much longer is this gonna take? Y/N’s down. We gotta get her to the safe house as soon as we can. She’s bleeding out.”
"Three minutes, tops. I’m circling the perimeter as an extra precaution," Sam replied. "You guys hang tight for a sec."
"We don't have time!" he raised his voice. "Just hurry the hell over here."
"I'm so sorry," you choked out before going into a coughing fit, blood dripping down your lips and chin much to Steve’s alarm. "I'm sorry for everything, I'm sorry for being reckless and not keeping a look ou—"
"Shhh, it's okay," he soothed, "There’s nothing to be sorry about. Just save your energy for later, okay? You're gonna be just fine."
"Hold my hand," you begged hoarsely.
"I already am," the super-soldier answered, but his look shifted to that of an alarmed one when he realized you couldn't feel it. "Y/N—"
"I'm cold," you said weakly, already feeling your limbs grow heavy and numb and your vision growing blurrier with each passing second. "I'm so tired, Cap, I just wanna sleep—"
"No no no, please don't leave me," he pleaded as he felt his head begin to spin as well. Where had the sudden wave of dizziness come from? "Hang in there for a little longer, please, I l—"
You didn’t get to hear the rest of his sentence before your eyes fluttered shut and everything went dark.
...
When you came to, your throat felt dry and raw, the metallic taste of dried blood around your lips and chin overwhelming your senses as you adjusted your eyes to the harsh bright lights streaming into the room. It looked like you were in some sort of antique coastal house, strangely void of belongings with the only decoration being a plain floral calendar hung on the wall opposite you, above the fireplace.
You were still in your suit, but your wound had been treated and wrapped up in a thick set of bandages. The couch you were on was old but extremely comfortable, so you found yourself not wanting to sit up at the same time you wanted to get up and look around.
The blinds were drawn shut, but the sunlight still managed to shine through. It was light outside, but you  weren’t sure what time it really was. The walls were a dull grey, and if you listened hard enough you could hear the faint ticking of a nearby clock and probably Bucky or Sam talking on the phone upstairs with someone in hushed whispers.
You finally pulled yourself up into a sitting position, glancing around at your surroundings. Someone quietly entered the living room and you looked up to see Steve. His shoulders sagged in relief upon seeing that you were awake.
“Hey,” his voice came out so softly it took both of you by surprise. You moved over slightly to make room for him to sit. “How are you feeling?”
“Like crap,” you groaned lightly, feeling a dull ache in your stomach where you’d been hit. “But other than that, I’m fine. What about you? Did you get hurt anywhere?”
“Body aches that come and go, but I’m fine. It isn’t your place to be worrying about me right now though, Y/N. You got shot.”
The curtains fluttered and a cool breeze rushed in, making you shiver. Steve took notice and stood up to go light up the fireplace, then sat back down and wrapped the fleece blanket around your body. You let out a small sigh of contentment. “Thanks.”
“Are you sure you’re alright? You knocked out for over twenty-six hours .”
“I’m fine, Steve, just tired...hey, how’s Bucky and Sam?”
“Sam’s upstairs radioing Fury on the mission status. Bucky’s taking a nap in the guest room.”
“Oh. Okay. So, I-” you were interrupted by a sharp stabbing sensation in your wrist. “Ow. Fuck.”
“Language,” he joked lightly, but when he saw the obvious pained expression on your face, his face fell. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing. Just...I get those random pains from time to time. I don’t know why, but...they’ve gotten worse since we took off for Skagway and then came here...”
“I’m so sorry,” he apologized, eyes glassy with unshed tears, “I should’ve kept a closer watch over you. I’m so sorry.”
“It’s not your fault. It’s mine...I should’ve watched my own back better.”
You both fell into an awkward silence for several minutes before he spoke up again, the realization finally dawning on him. 
"Y/N."
"What?"
"Your wrist."
Your brows furrowed in confusion as you looked down and saw the star glowing brightly, sending a white-hot pain down your arm. "What about it?"
Steve pulled at his shirt's sleeve for a few seconds before lifting it up to reveal the same exact symbol.
"We're soulmates," you breathed out, the realization hitting you like a flash flood.
"Yeah, I guess we are, huh," he smiled softly.
“W-when did yours appear?”
“Monday afternoon.”
“Mine appeared in the morning...I showed it to Tony and Bruce and they said I had a week to find who it was or both me and my soulmate would die. So I guess we got lucky, huh? Only four more days, then...”
“Yeah, we did,” he exhaled. “I’m glad you’re the one. I can’t imagine living out the rest of my life with anyone else.”
“But Peggy...”
“She found her soulmate decades ago,” he explained, “which explained why our relationship was so short-lived. I didn’t expect to find mine...especially not after coming out of the ice. Maybe I had this coming from the get-go, I’d wonder...”
“Then how come they’d appear now?” Your brows furrowed together in confusion. “I don’t get it. We’ve known each other for years.”
“Because it was only this year that I accepted it.”
“Accepted what?”
“That I’d fallen in love with you, and I kept that inside for far too long.”
“You...what?” You were officially rendered speechless. 
“Yeah,” he chuckled lightly, face breaking into a gorgeous, million-dollar grin before turning serious again, lowering his voice. “Y/N, I’m in love with you. You are my infinity and I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you. You’re my present and my future, and I hate that I couldn’t see that sooner. I should’ve known from the start that Peggy and I wouldn’t work out, but I never understood why...until I met you. I didn’t believe in the concept of soulmates because I felt I was undeserving of that love, but then you came along...and I started hoping and praying I’d find someone who’d love me as much as I love you. So now that I know for sure it’s you, that it always has been and always will be...I couldn’t be more happier that you’re my soulmate.”
You didn’t realize you were crying until he reached forward to brush your hair away from your face and wipe the stray tears that fell, before wrapping an arm around you and gently pulling you towards him.
“God, I made you cry, I’m so sorry,” he choked on a sob of his own. “I’m the worst.”
“I’m not mad at you, Steve,” you sniffed as you wiped your nose with your sleeve, and looked up and cracked a small grin. “You’re just so cheesy.”
“Can I kiss you?” he whispered, so quiet you almost didn’t catch what he said. 
“You can kiss me any day, Captain,” you smiled.
“I love you more than you know.”
“I know. I love you too.”
He then brought a hand up to cup your face, allowing his thumb to lightly skim against your cheek, his warm breath fanning against your skin.
When his lips met yours, it was like you were turning back the clock. Everything in the world stopped and held its breath,  and all the hurt, all the sadness and heartache and pain bottled up inside your body, washed away.
...
BONUS
“HOLY SHIT, Y’ALL ARE SOULMATES?”
The sound of Sam’s screeching made you finally break apart for air. You could’ve been like that for two minutes, two hours, or two weeks, you weren’t sure.
You blushed and quickly averted your gaze. 
Steve’s face was as red as a tomato. “Yeah. We are.”
“I KNEW IT! I KNEW SOMETHING WAS GONNA HAPPEN BETWEEN THEM SOON! PAY UP, BARNES! YOU OWE ME TWENTY BUCKS.”
“Come on, man,” Bucky groaned, reaching into his jacket pocket and pulling out a crumpled twenty-dollar bill. “We’re gonna head back home soon, anyways! And you’re not even poor.”
“A bet’s a bet, Barnes.”
“Of course you two bet on it,” you groaned. “Classic Sambucky activity.”
...
NINE MONTHS LATER
“I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss your bride, Captain Rogers,” Fury announced, a rare smile gracing his normally stoic features. 
Steve did his best not to break down sobbing as he slid the ring onto your finger. With the backdrop of the waves gently crashing against the shore and the sun slowly sinking lower and lower into the horizon, he leaned down and cupped your face in his hands, passionately pressing his lips to yours. Your soulmarks glowed brightly in tandem, lighting up in a brilliant gold hue. 
Needless to say, there wasn’t a single dry eye in the house. 
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rens-room · 6 months ago
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SK8 thoughts (episode by episode commentary version): 
This is so disorganized because I had to start over like three times, Tumblr kept eating my drafts. 
Welcome to the madness I guess. 
Why does this show have such clean animation?? like I thought this was gonna be a meme show? but the animation is actually nice. 
Reki looks like Soul Evans crossed with Lavi or Reno. 
How old is this kid?? Why is he taking on a wholeass adult? in a skateboarding race??!!
oh, we are breaking out the named attacks.
Why do I only log into Funimation for shows like this? last time it was hypnosismic. 
Based on the OP, Cherry is my favorite. 
spotted: blue Hisoka!! I hate it here!
ok, I lied. Langa might be my fave. 
they really said “cool transfer student” and “main character sits in the back row by the windows” tropes. 
He has blue-purple converse and I need them.
Langa is me on a skateboard- immediately falls off. 
Cherry is so pretty I can't! 
sketchy ass skateboarding competition where you need a special pass to get in.
Shadow...scares me.
plot armor can’t protect your DUCK-TAPED FEET TO A SKATEBOARD!!!
OMF YOU’RE A SNOWBOARDER CALLING IT NOW!!!
^ I need y’all to know, I figured this out literally seconds before it was confirmed on-screen. That is how bad I am at picking up foreshadowing clues. 
your villain intro can’t involve dramatic classical music, I won’t take you seriously. 
ok so is everyone pretty?? is that what I’m gonna have to live with?
WHO GAVE THIS SHOW PERMISSION TO HAVE SUCH GOOD ANIMATION AND CUTE CHARACTER DESIGNS FUCK NOW I HAVE TO TAKE IT SERIOUSLY!!
red/blue shippers come get y’alls juice (technically Langa’s hair is more silver than blue but he fits the ice queen to Reki’s fiery enthusiasm on a superficial level). 
Canada lol. 
oop called the inability to stop problem too. 
ma’am, I hate to be the one to tell you but your son accidentally joined an underground skateboarding cult. 
get you a friend who’s willing to make you a custom skateboard. 
dead dad disease strikes again. 
ok, I get massive catboy vibes from Miya. he screams catboy with the arrogance, god complex, and uhhhh literal cat ears on his skating outfit. 
I guess there are no rules for modifying boards because Langa would totally be breaking all of them. 
Langa noooooooo Adam is obviously a creep!
I just want to know how the creator got around the HxH trademark to make Adam because he’s just as creepy as the original. 
when you lose in episode one and are reduced to being a taxi for the rest of the show. 
matador of love...who’s attracted to potential probably + a really extra hairstyle and costume + Spanish sounding theme music =  blue Hisoka. 
oh no the blood thing and the tongue thing and the “main course” thing. 
“love hug” say less, please say less and leave the underage boys alone!
instead of having a loli they made a shota cat boy character. it’s Miya. 
“please” “please” “blackmail threat”
Shadow vs Shadow’s car. two very different aesthetics. 
I appreciate that everyone fails a little bit with skateboarding, makes it more realistic.
The palm trees in the ED are Langa and Reki btw.
Adam is so creepppyy!
hi, I am here to say that matchablossom has consumed my soul and I am a devout Joe and Cherry shipper now.
^ evidence: Cherry showing up and invading Joe’s workplace. the bickering. the childhood friends status.
WHY WOULD YOU ACCEPT THE ROSES!! HE’S A CREEP!
so uhhhhh Hisoka Spanish music intensifies. but on skateboards this time.
What kind of cop-out is having literal cops show up during the race?!
THERE’S GONNA BE A BEACH EPISODE!!!
found family in action: sighted waiting in the hospital for Reki after he raced Adam.
fellas is it gay to have nightmares about your best friend in class? asking for Reki.
IT’S NOT A DATE HE'S A MINOR AND YOU’RE HARASSING HIM AND PLANNING ON HURTING HIM!!
What is this fight club? the first rule of S is we don’t talk about S?
shows up uninvited to an Italian restaurant. attempts to order ramen for the kids you adopted.
Reki and Langa’s communication and acceptance of each other’s wishes. top tier. let them be happy please.
secretary-kun is treated so weirdly by Adam.
red carpet + red roses + red cape = one dramatic entrance
please don’t touch the underage boy, please don’t touch the literal minor, TAKE YOUR HANDS OFF OF THE CHILD!!!
What is up with Adam's eyes and the neon lights?
How much power does Adam have to control the police??!!
HOT SPRINGS AND BEACH? SIGN ME THE FUCK UP! 
ok, so Shadow really did adopt all these children. 
a fun “coincidence” that everyone’s on the same ship.
MIYA FUCKIN SHIPS MATCHABLOSSOM OMG “DAD” “MOM” THE SPARKLY PAN UP ON CHERRY AND JOE’S BLUSH AHHHHHHH!!!
Family dinner! paid for by the totally not married couple inviting other people for free food.
Langa offering to protect Reki! and both of them being adorable in general. 
do not forget your injured friend! especially if he’s scared of ghosts! 
what even was episode 6... it started really cute with the beach, we got a hot springs thing...and then mud masks?? 
episode 6 fed the fandom so fucking well like adorable anime sparkles, ship content, wholesome beach fun.  
^ but why did you have to tear us down immediately after?
so yes this is probably the turning point as Reki is starting to get in his own head and Adam is making his moves but eh it was a great beach episode.
Adam is a creep. He is blue Hisoka on a skateboard and none of those things are ok. please stop touching the underage boys. (how on earth do you skate like that?? I can’t keep my balance on solid ground let alone dipping another person while accelerating forward). 
Cherry and Joe. matchablossom. I ship it. (every time they fight on screen: they’re married, your honor). 
Cherry is literally so many of my favorite character attributes together ahhhhhhhh. 
roses. so many roses. do not accept the roses. 
episode 7 starts off so well but I read spoilers you can’t fool me! (please don’t break my heart). 
^ update: episode 7 is breaking my heart. Reki is a little too relatable ya know. 
rip to secretary-kun. Adam stop being weird with your assistant. 
parachuting down from a helicopter? Adam this is a bit much even for you. (but the part where Cherry isn’t even surprised at this lol).
Adam...has to use hair extensions because his hair is so fluffy in his skating persona but there’s not enough of it normally to have that much volume.  
friendship breakup in the rain. listen, these hurt me more than actual breakups in shows. like I don’t like the end of HxH because the main four characters all go separate ways. 
I need more backstory with Cherry, Joe, and Adam. 
Adam isn’t like your average antagonist, he has Aunt issues. (why can’t he be normal and have daddy or mommy issues??). 
hahahaha Miya’s face! when Adam explained that he loved his victims. 
It is really interesting that all of the characters are introduced as pretty one-dimensional but the show is doing the best it can to flesh them out and add backstory. I feel like most 12 episode shows don’t bother as much so this is nice. 
CARLA CAN CHANGE THE BOARD SHAPE AND SIZE WHAT!!??
Tadashi is a snake in the best way possible. gotta love the secretary plot points.
Who the hell is Harry??
can Joe drop his workout routine because he was skinny in high school, so how did he get buff? 
Joe out here (trying) to fix friendships because he’s actually super observant and understands how people work.  
how Joe and Cherry always find each other/know where the other person is. 
episode 9 WTF!!! is that allowed?! I feel like that shouldn’t have been allowed, Adam wtf. 
you know that feeling when your ex-friend (cough crush cough) hits you in the face with their skateboard? no. me neither, let’s ask Cherry how it feels. 
fellas is it gay to pour a glass of wine for your sleeping friend? 
My friend pointed out that “girl all the bad guys want” by bowling for soup is a pretty accurate rep of Joe pining for Cherry who wanted Adam. 
I want it on record that I considered Adam and Cherry having a past (as more of a crack ship than anything else) before episode 9.
THE PALM TREES IN THE ED ARE LANGA AND REKI AND NOW I WANNA SUE FOR EMOTIONAL DAMAGE PLEASE STOP MAKING ME LOOK AT THEM.
imagine your crush from seven years ago rejecting you with a skateboard to the face.
Looking back, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more informative opening for an anime in my life. The whole plot is there basically.   
The shortcut? Not physically possible wtf. Actually, the entire race is verging into only possible in anime territory 
Joe’s fucking mullet. Dude, did you grow out your hair because Cherry kept his long? We know you had it short once. 
Adam why are you dancing on the fucking stage it’s so weird.
So Adam and Cherry both started their beef by running, is there a limit to how long before the skaters have to get on their board? Or is it like a swim meet where you usually take the first couple of strokes underwater before breaking the surface naturally? 
Rewatched episode 9 (because I’m illegally streaming episodes before they come out on Funimation- this show is having me revert to bad habits) and you know, the pacing is wack shit. Like the first half is this awesome beef with Langa and Joe, and Reki and Langa get some development, etc. but the second half is all Cherry and Adam. It’s just a really chaotic episode and part of me thinks the ending is going to be just as rushed because they spent too much time (through episode 6) being happy and slowly introducing conflict. 
OMG WAIT SHADOW HAS A TONGUE PIERCING!   
I can’t handle the recap of Reki and Langa being happy ahhhh. 
Happy smiling Reki…..
Got palm-tree-ending-song-trolled by a skateboard, thanks Carla. (yes it hurts more than getting rickrolled). 
Omfg, why is this so violent?? 
Don’t start with Cherry’s murder wtf I was in enough pain the first two times I watched it. 
AHHHHH THE BLOND BITCH!!! WHO ARE YOU??
Sk8 really said, “Cherry was only the beginning” and then went after Shadow and Reki. 
How does the manager know Cherry and Joe? Is he also an S skater??!! 
So does everyone like live in that hospital now? Do the staff recognize “ah yes the colorful-haired skaters are back again”? 
I SWEAR TO GOD IF ONE MORE PERSON ENDS UP HOSPITALIZED (that isn’t Adam of course) I WILL SUE FOR EMOTIONAL DAMAGE!!!
Secretary-kun, how much time have you spent in love hotels?? 
Funimation doesn’t use the oxford comma and I think that’s all I need to say on why I don’t like Funimation. 
I think I speak for everyone when I say OH THANK YOU GOD I WAS GETTING SCARED AT THE 6 MINUTE MARK! 
Langa laughing. 
Adam is evil but that’s nothing new. I wish he would keep his creepy pedophile fingers off Reki but whatever. 
ok dancing Adam, not a good start.  
bitch this ain’t a wedding he’s a minor so fuck off!
Y'ALL I STAYED SPOILER-FREE TO WATCH THIS EPISODE WITHOUT ANY FILTERED INFO AFTER WATCHING BL DRAMAS (and day drinking) FROM 3-11 pm. The commitment I have for this show is only made more ironic by the fact I did not want to get attached. 
Reki working on/making another board for Langa is so cute. 
Cherry and Joe driving/escorting the kids to S is so sweet. 
Adam wtf is this course. WHY IS THERE A GRAVESTONE??!! 
I will admit everyone in this show is really committed to their aesthetics. 
Adam, why the death theme? 
oh shit, I like the music during the race. 
don’t bring the zone into this, I already rewatched Kuroko no Basket over the winter. 
I cannot watch someone die!! this was supposed to be a fun cute little sports anime. what the fuck is going on?! 
I love how the message of this show is that you are supposed to have fun and enjoy things with other people. the mindset of sports/hobbies/anything that isn’t for work or profit makes people think they have to be the best and that’s not a healthy mentality sometimes. 
LANGA’S DAD??!! 
did- did they knock each other out? midair collision for “fun”? 
I personally do not desire redemption for Adam, but I guess that’s a nice message or whatever. 
HE WON!!! (oh thank god). 
LANGA JUMP HUGGING REKI GIVES ME LIFE THESE TWO ARE SO CUTE! 
sk8 fam celebration!! bruh these characters are so cute. 
Adam did not need to crash land that roof party. 
family screen time!! 
So did Langa’s dad die snowboarding or…? 
I would kill for all the ending theme clips to be fully animated in an ova or something. 
UM?! Can Adam maybe not call Tadashi a dog? not to kinkshame but that part is still weird. 
so the weird police lady’s story/investigation went nowhere and that’s really sad.
the serious review 
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nagibun · 6 months ago
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Split Apart | Chapter 2 - Savior
wc: 1.2k
warnings: swearing, alludes to death (very minorly), description of wounds.
a/n: I am not dead! I am here and still updating this fic. I had a hard time with this chapter, don't ask me why because idk, and then kept getting interrupted when trying to work on it. I don’t plan on taking this long between chapters in the future. I’m so sorry! Thank you to everyone who waited patiently. Same as before, this isn’t beta-read, and I really did not know how to write this so I apologize in advance if it turned out bad.
s.masterlist | prev | next
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“Holy shit.”
A pair of widened brown eyes stared down at you, eyebrows lifted and forehead creased in shock. A scarf was drawn around their face, concealing everything below the cheekbone, but you’d recognize that bright yellow hair anywhere.
Miya Atsumu - star of the Inarizaki volleyball team, and a complete pain in your ass.
You stared in disbelief. Of all the people in your hometown, he had managed to survive.
But as you blinked up at him, hands rubbing at your eyes to make sure he wasn’t some hallucination from eating bad onigiri, you couldn’t find it within yourself to feel the same annoyance you usually had when you saw his stupid, smug face.
“You’re alive?” Your words were breathless. You had never been particularly close with nor fond of him, but a friendly face was more than welcome. “I thought nobody else survived.”
Atsumu chuckled darkly. “Don’t act so cocky.” Despite the rolls of his eyes, you could see the relief harbored there, the same emotion surely reflected in yourself. “I’m-”
“Atsumu? Atsumu!”
The voice that cut off Atsumu’s sentence was urgent. The bell in the entryway clanged loudly as the doors slammed shut. Glass crunched as a pair of feet trampled over the remnants of the shop windows - steps hurried and heavy against the floor.
A boy with white and black hair burst into your view. His clothes were all sorts of destroyed - dirt and soot smeared over them, with rips and holes littering the pant legs. A metal baseball bat stuck from the top of the backpack he had slung over his broad shoulders, the zippers rattling against it with a persistent clinking sound.
Despite the muddied mask concealing most of his face, you recognized him immediately as your upperclassman and the captain of the volleyball team - Kita Shinsuke.
You could see him visibly relax as he saw his kouhai standing - alive, well, and unharmed - at the end of the aisle. The momentary relief didn’t last long.
Anger radiated off of him as he walked towards the both of you - so strong it was almost palpable.
“Ah, Kita-san, I-” A hand lifted into the air, stopping whatever Atsumu was about to say mid sentence. A bead of sweat rolled down the second year’s face, nervous perspiration pricking at his hairline. A hand lifted from his side, rubbing at the back of his neck pitifully.
“What were ya thinking?” Kita hissed, folding his arms over his chest. You felt yourself shrinking beneath his stony glare. “Runnin off ata time like this?”
Atsumu gave a tense chuckle. “S-sorry, Kita-san.” In the presence of his captain, there was no sign of the usually proud and smug Miya Atsumu. He was reduced to nothing more than a fearful, stuttering mess.
Kita expelled a long, exasperated breath, the heavy frown tainting his features melting away as he forced himself to calm down again.
“We will be continuing this later.” The statement was short, but even you could sense the threatening aura and promise lurking behind it. You felt a pang of pity strike you, despite the victim being one of your least favorite classmates.
The gulp Atsumu swallowed down in response was audible.
Kita took a few strides as he closed the last of the space separating the three of you. He crouched down, bringing his face directly into your view.
“Y/n, right?”
You cleared your throat awkwardly surprised that the renowned volleyball captain knew of you. You nodded meekly. “Yes.”
“Tell me what happened.” He prompted, gesturing to the scene splayed out around you, and the various injuries littering your frame.
You began to relay the events of the last half hour to the older boy, his head bobbing along to your words, certain remarks followed by a click of his tongue or his cheeks sucking in pensively.
“Hmm.” Kita mused, his voice a gentle hum in the still and stifling air. His eyes flickered over you again and again, taking in your state of disarray, and the blood stains stark against the tan and white of your uniform.
“So people are gettin’ violent over supplies, huh?” He placed his hands on his knees, pushing himself back up to his feet. The muscles in his thighs rippled with the movement. “Sounds like we’re gonna be facin’ more problems now.”
Kita ran a grimy hand through his hair, tracks of dirt breaking off into the white strands.
There were several minutes of silence as the he processed the information presented to him before another word was spoken.
“So-” You looked up at the call of his voice. He was staring down at you through a curtain of dirty, soot stained bangs, brown eyes seemingly glowing with a ferocity you’d never seen before in the docile man. “Will you be able to pull your own weight?”
“Kita thats not-” Atsumu tried to speak for the third time, but was once again silenced before he was able to voice his thoughts.
“Well?”
You found yourself nodding frantically, and it earned an approving nod from the former captain.
“Good.” He held out a hand for you to take, his fingers closing around your own as soon as they met his palm. His skin was rough and calloused, but warm to the touch. You found yourself relishing in the feeling, the gentleness with which he handled you as he helped you to your feet a stark contrast to the cold of your attacker’s touch and actions.
“Atsumu,” Kita turned to the blond, letting you go again once you were steady on your legs. “Grab her things and lets get going.”
He didn’t have to be told twice. Atsumu scampered off, retrieving your backpack long since discarded, and any of the contents that had spilled from the unzipped pockets.
You stood there in the center of the aisle - stranger passed out at your feet, classmate helping you gather your things, and upperclassman already walking away. A blank look was on your face, eyes blinking slowly.
Was this all real?
“Kita-san?” You called timidly. It stopped him short, and he turned back to you, tilting his head inquisitively.
“What are we going to do?”
The question was heavy. Everything you and your classmates had known was turned upside down and flipped inside out. What once was was no longer, and you’d been tossed into a world with no sort of aid - completely alone.
The fear gripping at your heart was felt by all who had managed to survive.
Kita was quiet for a moment, still as a statue as he pondered your question. He let a soft, somber smile stretch across his face, the expression not quite reaching his eyes.
“Escape, of course.” His words and voice were nothing short of morbid.
“How? Where?” You could hear the trembling in your voice as you spoke. You couldn’t make heads nor tails of what you felt at that moment, all you knew was that it was awful, painful, and it made your throat clench and eyes burn.
Kita’s eyes only crinkled in response as his sad smile widened just a little more.
“We’ll figure it out, but for now, we’re headin’ to the mainland.”
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Taglist:
@bebetiny​ @itsmeaudrieee​ @kotarousbabyowl​ @kotarosbabygirl 
Taglist is open! Send an ask/message/comment to be added or removed <3
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kaasjee · 6 months ago
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What If There's Another Way?
(A Prequel to “Are You Happy?”)
In which Taehoon and Rumi being a dangerous duo.
Seong Taehoon never liked going to the hospitals, although he’d sent plenty of people there. Both friends and enemies. As a Taekwondo player, he’d learnt basic first aid in his dojang to take care of minor injuries. It must have been awhile, really, since the nasty smell of antiseptic had invaded his nostrils. In front of him, Yoo Hobin and the gang’s constant chatter effectively blocked him from unpleasant memories of that day.
It seemed like they were doing a good job distracting someone else too.
Spectacled eyes stared at five new visitors, “H-how did you guys…”
“We heard from Bomi,” Yeo Rumi answered.
“We got worried about your father too@,” Ga Eul added.
Leaning on the doorway, Taehoon bit down an apple, one conveniently placed inside the “Get-Well-Soon” basket. It wasn’t like that person could eat the damn thing. By the looks of his son, the guy wasn’t in the mood either. Taehoon almost felt bad for him.
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Ji Yeonwoo’s voice broke a little. “I can’t believe it, a hit and run in this day and age. I’m glad he’s okay, though…”
A hit and run, huh? Taehoon thought. Maybe…
But… hadn’t he eliminated the entire biker gang? Would they still be up-and-about with those illegal activities? Breaking heads for money now?
Nah, no fucking way! Those half-assed gangsters wouldn’t dare to touch a government official. Unless…
Taehoon shifted his gaze to Hobin. Not long ago, Yoo Hobin Company had declared war with XJ Company. Viral Hook and OnePunchTV had been exposed. Both times, Baek Seongjoon had been merciless to his ex-members. And now, with Yeonwoo quitting NewTube…
Nah, he was thinking too far again. Was it even his business? The police was still investigating the case, and Yeonwoo was a smart guy. He could figure things out on his own.
Taehoon was so lost in thoughts he didn’t realize everyone else had already upped and left. Dropping the basket down, he cleared his throat. Yeonwoo glanced up, finally noticing his presence.
“Yeonwoo, listen…”
“Huh?”
Up close, the guy looked half dead – part defeated, part guilty. Was it the price for his freedom and happiness?   
Taehoon suddenly felt like shit. He couldn’t help it. Any good feelings from saving this nerd disintegrated before his eyes. Yeonwoo never asked for any of this, and Taehoon’s selfishness had brought him into this mess. At the moment, it was best to keep him from getting involved.
Be careful of that guy, Seongjoon. He wanted to say. If anything happens, come to us.
“Nevermind,” he said instead, clasping Yeonwoo’s shoulder. “Take care, yeah?”
“Thank you.”
Nagging thoughts about Yeonwoo and his father kept Taehoon awake that night.
***
Things got to actions when a murderous Yoo Hobin came for his advice. A few days ago, Taehoon had received two updated messages from Mangi and Rumi, with a NewTube video of Hobin’s mother. One had politely asked him to kick some senses out of Hobin, while the other had suggested to follow Hobin – if the guy suddenly changed his mind and committed homicide. Taehoon had done nothing. Hobin was a big boy. Apart from learning only Taekwondo under Taehoon’s orders, he could do whatever the fuck he wanted.
The video triggered him though. Hobin’s mom was a sweet lady. She’d warmly welcomed him after hearing his status as “Hobin’s good friend”. She’d even invited him for a home-cooked meal, which he politely declined. Seongjoon (and that bald creepy bastard) messing with her was just unforgivable.
“Is this him?” Taehoon asked, feigning ignorance. “Looks like around 180cm, probably over 80kg too. He doesn’t know how to fight, but he’s on a different weight class, I guess.”
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Good thing Hobin had never needed his help from the beginning. His student had evolved from a dweeb to a proficient fighter, that weight class difference was never a problem. Nothing was sweeter than personal revenge on someone who messed with your parent.
“A regular person can’t beat you now.” Taehoon returned Hobin’s phone and smiled proudly. After everything, he’d always bet on Hobin’s side. “Just kill him.”
Hobin marched off, leaving Taehoon to ponder. How cruel a person like Seongjoon could be? What kind of connections a 5M-sub NewTuber could have? They were fighting as frontliners against someone too influential, too malicious. Physical fight was out-of-question. Then… how could he fight in the battle of wits?
“Parents, huh?”
It was time for him to take some actions.
***
Taehoon was the type who’d hit first and ask questions later. Instilling fear and pain was the fastest way for those thugs to open their mouths and confess the culprits. He could have easily pummeled them to a pulp, then grabbed and interrogated their leader. But doing so was too obvious. If Seongjoon found out, he’d no doubt destroy the evidence before Taehoon could get a hand on it.
It turned out Taehoon had to change his tactics – keeping track of them until he found any clues. After that, he would consider the next step.
It was true, those horses followed a beaten track. The SKID biker gang had disbanded, but some of its members still gathered near the foot of Banghwa bridge. Taehoon pulled his hoodies up. He could pretend to be a passer-by, smoking and enjoying the Han River’s breeze.
“…Got a big job from an old client. The guy’s generous, always pays to kill.”
“Damn, how much this time?”
“Ten millions.”
Back at it, I see. Taehoon exhaled. Jeong Chan.
“I’m feeling generous today.”
“Treat us then, Chan.”
Shit! Taehoon got up as they mounted their bikes. Should I follow them all the way?
“Ha ha, why don’t you invite the girls?”
“Fuck no!” Chan spat. “That bitch Minjeong’s a mood-killer. I’d rather play with those girls at the bar.”
“Cuz you hit her last time, didn’t ya? Embarrassed her in front of us?”    
“Greedy bitch doesn’t know her place. Gotta teach her a lesson when I get home.”
It was impossible to catch up to them afterwards. Stepping down the hill, Taehoon replayed their conversation over and over, until an idea popped up.
Jeong Chan had a weakness. A pretty big one. And he’d make sure that fucker pay the price.   
***
He couldn’t. He’d been tailing them for two more days, collecting bits and pieces of Chan’s part-time job, and more importantly, his abusive relationship. Taehoon remembered that girl now. Minjeong could be an accomplice. Given their daily conflicts, there was a slight chance she’d sell him out. But he didn’t know where to find her. He wouldn’t even sure if she’d listen to a guy talking with his fists (Taehoon’s fists didn’t discriminate genders, okay?).  
There were moments, when Taehoon had almost pulled out his phone and messaged Yeonwoo: “Yo, I have some interesting clues about your father’s case. Wanna play detective and catch criminals with me?” In the end, he’d decided to leave the guy be. The nerd had been through enough, no need for him to go along with Taehoon’s bullshit.
“You look troubled.”
“No shit.” He smirked, a thin swift of smoke coming out between his teeth. Yeo Rumi was staring down at him. Somehow she always knew his hiding place in this building. 
“I’m scared for Hobin,” she said. “He’s always had that reckless streak. Unstoppable, yet easily manipulated.”
Oh, right. Hobin was absent today. After Pakgo, he'd stopped going to the office. Everyone knew about the contract of Hobin's mother, but their hands were all tied. Taehoon had been too occupied with his case to notice something was off.  
“But we can’t do anything to help him!” Rumi huffed. 
“Actually, we can.”
Rumi perked up, tucking a blond strand behind her ear. Almost like she said, I'm listening.   
“I know an underaged biker gang who’s going around hitting people for money. I’ve been following them for a couple of days now. Pretty sure the leader, Jeong Chan, is the perpetrator of Yeonwoo’s father’s case.”
Rumi was a brilliant girl. She caught on Taehoon's plan right away. Damn, he'd found the perfect alliance for this investigation.  
“Ah, I get it,” she said. “Seongjoon hired him to hit Yeonwoo’s father.”
“That, I’m not 100% sure, but it’s very likely.”
“What did you find about him?”
He recounted all the dirty details he'd carefully gathered to Rumi. He wanted to tell more about his history with the gang, but now was not the time. Rumi scrolled on her phone for a few minutes, then showed him a Pacebook picture of the couple. 
“Is this the girlfriend?”
Taehoon nodded. He didn't care about social media platforms, but sometimes they came in handy. He also remembered Rumi's offhanded comment about using them to gain subscribers on NewTube. Maybe he should ask her someday. 
“Hmm, Jeong Chan.” Rumi's eyes glinted dangerously. Charming. “We know his weakness now, don’t we?”
“Then how can we find his girlfriend?”
“Well, he's intimidated by you, so you can simply ask him for the address, right? You'll stall him there...” Rumi winked. “And just leave the rest to me.”
“Alright! Let's get to work.” He stood up and held out his hand. “Partner?”
“Partner.”
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utterlyhopeful-fics · a year ago
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Already Gone- Part 3
SOA X Mayans MC crossover
Masterlist
Also, if I keep tagging you and you’re not interested or want to be tagged; please let know!
Word Count: 2450k
Warnings: potential love triangle?, language, angst if you squint 
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***************************************
The wind whipped through the tendrils of her electric blue curls as Y/N lazily watched the enchanted desert blur by. The momentary exhilaration of riding a motorcycle lapsed her most recent of memories and better judgement. But, hey what’s a girl to do? 
Though if she were completely honest Jax hadn’t noticed her, not truly in more time than she was willing to admit aloud. He succeeded in equivalating Y/N to baggage, something only weighing him down further and she hated it…hated him for not caring to see she was drowning right in front of him. Pitied glances and forced smiles of her friends and his brothers transformed into her new normal.
Whether it be the plastered grin she forced every day or the sickening scent of another airbrushed like a second layer of skin. Y/N loved him religiously and undoubtedly paid the price for their happiness. But he never once glanced her way to see the erupting frown slipping through her fragile façade. Jax was a conundrum of a man and she was a goddamn goddess.
Her hazy brain flipped switching back to the present in a flash, completely blissed. Peace diffused amid her fatigued bones. Every fiber alit with curiosity and newfound independence as Y/N tightened her grip around Angel’s muscular waist. The tall and dark-haired handsome hunk who’d literally saved the day threw her into a semi tailspin, but Y/N embraced the chaos deciding to go with the flow for once in her reborn life.
She was seriously hoping she wasn’t snugly hugging a serial killer but they couldn’t possibly be this cute…could they?? Her mind flittered to every true crime series she’d ever binged triggering her pupils to dilate in response. Adrenaline rushed her veins; her very own high as her endorphins pumped fervently. His brother, Ezekiel mentioned it shouldn’t be longer than twenty minutes before reaching the shop soothing her wordless worries.
So, Y/N shut her eyes and welcomed the warm summer’s air thrashing around them more than ready to start anew in Santo Padre. She was in complete and perfect harmony as Angel’s hands guided down towards hers resting atop gently. He squeezed ever so lightly caressing the surface of her right hand with his calloused thumb. Before her mind even had the chance of registering his lingering touch it was long gone leaving Y/N stewing in her own thoughts happily.
Truth be told, the brothers kept their word and pulled up to a timeworn fence. Ez’s echoey whistle signaled the gates to abruptly open. It definitely had the bones of a junkyard feel. She nervously sighed shaking herself free from the clutches of the SOA. Y/N chuckled wondering what the hell she was exactly getting herself into. 
Shaking off her qualms, she swung her leg over the cushioned seat perching her foot firmly on the gravel underneath her. The crunch of gravel alerted her glancing up just in time to meet Angel’s chocolate eyes before noticing their connected hands. Ever the gentlemen.
Her fingers grazed her hair pushing a portion behind her ear, her cheeks blushed furiously as she slyly eyed Angel. A meek ‘thanks’ butted out of her.
His melodious tongue jutted out just enough licking his upper lip bringing himself back to reality before shuddering; “De nada.”
Y/N finally ogled him unable to deny the sheer beauty of the man before her; his auburn locks, perfectly trimmed, the precision of his delectable beard, and the sweetness he hid beneath a layer of grit. What caught Y/N off guard was the kutte he adorned. Mayans, fuck. Her mind reeled into obliterate overdrive as she passively added space between them. Her heart hammered within her chest cavity as her nerves took ahold. How the hell had she not noticed earlier?
“Ah, you’re a Mayan, I see?”
His quizzical smirk betrayed him wondering what the hell she already knew. It took Angel a minute to collect himself before nodding in agreeance; “Si, you heard of us before or somethin?”
Y/N couldn’t contain the laughter launched in her parched throat; “You could say that… I have ...friends in weird places?” Her own statement confused her. Now Angel would officially thinks she’s a crazy person.
“Um, I mean…Shit, you make me kinda nervous.”
“I can see that. What I don’t understand is why.”
Her quick thinking clicked in shifting gears to literally anything else sending a bold smile his direction.
Laughing off his questioning demeanor Y/N swiftly switched subjects; “Don’t worry about it. Got spooked for a minute. New town, new folks. No need to worry. Doesn’t take away from that I’m really glad I ran into you, Angel.”
His radiant smile lit up his devilishly gorgeous features causing Y/N to giggle. Locking eyes with one another, she was transfixed in his mesmerizing gaze unwilling to blink afraid of losing a moments time.  Out of the corner of her vision Y/N remarked the fine man with the ruggedly shaggy hair walking her direction. Y/N coughed in attempt to clear her throat. Holy shit, are they ALL attractive?
“Name’s Coco, sup Mami?”
There was no resisting the eye roll that overtook Y/N as she chortled;” Psh, slick is not your middle name, man. I’m Y/N, nice to meet ya.”
He extended his hand towards her making contact with a strong grasp. Coco brought her hand up to his lips and placed a speedy kiss atop.
“Okay, I take it back. Maybe you do have moves.”
“Hope to see you around sometime.” Coco took his leave of absence and went back to work leaving Y/N stunned briefly. Angel watched on in awe.
“Soo, what’s the damage to dear ol’ Bertha?”
“Bertha? Who the fuck is Bertha?”
Laughter slipped from Y/n’s lips before she could stop it; “My car…” She flushed; “Yes, I named my car. Don’t judge.”
Angel raised his hands in defensive understanding; “I get it, we all name the things we love. Let me check on the status. Give me a minute, yeah?”
Y/N nodded looking around at her surroundings. Her fingers glazed over cars long abandoned as she made her way towards a porch of sorts. She huffed allowing all her stress to leave her body before hearing someone clear their throat.
“Like the view querida?”
Y/N turned in a frenzy at the alluring voice twisting at his tone; “Sorry, am I in the way?” That’s the last thing I’d like to be.”
“No, no. In fact, you’re in the perfect spot. What can I do for ya?”
“I’m new to town. Just needed a tow and luckily ran into your boys, Angel and Ez. Picked my ass up and saved it.”
“If I ran into a sight like you, I wouldn’t hesitate either. I hope you’re finding us more than satisfactory.”
“Of course…Mr.? I just realized I don’t know your name.”
“Bishop. Call me Bishop.”
“Happy to meet ya. I’m Y/N.”
Sparks flew as Bishop locked eyes with Y/N caught in a momentary bubble of bliss.
“So, you own this place or what?”
“You could say that. How did my boys stumble across a beautiful lady such as yourself?”
“Ohh, such an interesting story. My car died on the side of the road. I know, I know, keep the applause to yourself.”
“Well, hopefully we were able to take care of you. Any update yet?”
Y/N scuffed; “I guess that’s a question better suited for you. That is, if you’re not just the face of your company?”
Bishop roared boisterously; “Among many other things. That’s the least of my fears.”
“Ah, a man of confidence I see? No problem, you’re all fairly attractive if I do say so myself. Though I am the newbie here. Don’t dig too deep.”
“Haha! Gotta say I admire that comedic humor of yours. We could use you to raise spirits around here.”
“Oh, so I assume that means you’ll be paying. If not, then no interest whatsoever. I can’t fathom being around so many attractive men.” For a second Y/N didn’t recognize the teasing flirt she’d embodied. Before she could further question her behavior, Y/N shook her head ridding herself of any care.
“Welcome to Santo Padre…Home of the well…homeboys.” Bishop grinned wide and proud. He oozed leadership with a heavy sense of comradery. That much Y/N could pick up on.
An echo emitted across the yard; “Y/N! Good news.”
Angel’s voice exuded as he marched towards her stridently. Her dazed orbs were too busy locked onto Bishop’s caramel ones. She was fascinated by him, by his mannerisms, but most of all by his magnetic drawl.
“Looks like you’ll be outta here in ten, Y/N. Simple fix and all.”
Y/N finally blinked breaking eye contact with Bishop meeting Angel’s hopeful stare. He regarded Y/N and Bishop with mischievous question wondering what the hell he walked into. Y/N broke the silence first facing him with a thankful smile. She was simply captivating throwing Angel completely off his game. Something he definitely wasn’t accustomed to.
“I can’t thank you enough Angel, seriously! You really saved my ass today.”
“All is forgiven if you’d maybe be interested in grabbing a drink?” Angel scratched his neck in anticipation doubting if he’d misread the situation.  
Angel and Bishop instantly locked eyes as the words slipped off the brim of his mouth with zero hesitation. Their stares sent a shiver down her spine contemplating what the actual hell she’d gotten herself into. The stillness of the moment began to suffocate Y/N impatiently awaiting who’d dare speak up first.
Without shifting his gaze, Angel piqued up; “Only if you’d be into it.” Angel adjusted his meaning trusting to interest her; “Friends?”
“Since I’m new to town and all…I’d love a guide of sorts. Sure, I’d love to.”
She side-eyed Bishop wondering if he’d speak up but to no avail, he remained silent almost egging Angel on. He huffed patting his hand against Angel’s shoulder giving him a reassuring squeeze before drawing his attention back towards Y/N; “I hope to see you around, Y/N. It was a pleasure meetin ya darling.”
Y/n admired the sway of his lips, the delicious fit of his tattered jeans, and the cocky grin plastered on his face. Angel coughed gravitating her attention and forcing her to close her gaped mouth.
“Bertha will be ready in the morning. Where are you stayin? Shit, that sounds creepy. Didn’t mean it like that.”
Laughter filtered the fresh air; “You’re good. I get this vibe I might be able to trust you. At least a pinky’s worth?”
“Shit, girl. Hold on for the ride of your life.”
Y/N wasn’t sure when the tone of their conversation shifted but it left her on edge. Y/N knew his words were in jest. She’d been down the bad boy path before and came out badly burned. Her heart was only beginning to heal with the ache that Jax imprinted. Trouble was the last thing she wanted yet it always sought her out so eagerly. Angel sensed her tension like a newborn’s first cry. He opened his mouth to speak but was cut off by Y/N.
“I’m going through some shit right now. Adjusting to this whole fresh start crap. I-I’m not running. Just wanted a clean slate. Ya know?”
Her words pacified the pounding in her chest observing the tenderness he displayed.
“Say no more…not until you want to because you will. I’m smooth like that.” He winked causing Y/N to question why she’d been momentarily paralyzed with reluctance. Y/N easily fell under his enchanting spell and flirtatious nature.
“I appreciate it, Angel. I’m really glad I met you…just in case you didn’t know.” Y/N feverishly blushed batting her eye lashes.
Angel grinned handing over his cell phone; “How bout you add your number and we grab drinks tomorrow…as friends?”
“Well when you put it like that…of course.” She typed in her number flashing him a playful beam.
“Here ya go. Thanks for being awesome, Angel. And for all your help. Lo agradezco mucho.”
“Ahh, Así que hablas español? No hay problema, chica.”
                           -----Meanwhile in Charming-----
4:12am. Another restless night chalked full of booze and bullshit. Jax stewed at the empty bar by his lonesome. His dorm was now his savior unable to bring himself to go back home, to their newly abandoned home. He extended his arm over the bar top reaching for the bottle of Jack Daniels. Not even worrying about finding a shot glass, he opted to pour straight into a clean beer glass.
“Haw are ya brotha?”
The Scotsman filtered through his logic interrupting his noisy train of thought.
“Y/N was right. I fuck up everything I touch. And now she’s gone.”
“Well, ye were kinda a wee bastard. That lass devoted herself to ya.”
Nausea ascended from the depths of his belly to the opening of his throat replaying the past couple months back in his head. He was the epitome of assholery, abusing the love Y/N gave him so blindly and freely.
“She just disappeared, vanished! Cut off her phone, packed her shit and just left.”
“Take it easy lad. We all fuck up.”
“This Galindo shit is comin’ in hot down our pipeline. This fucker’s demands are gettin insane.”
“Shite, laddie. What the hell is friskin’ us?”
“Alvarez assures me this shit’ll all work out but the Galindo Cartel’s nose is buried in places it ain’t got no business being in. They’re dangerous Chibs and I don’t know how the fuck we’re gonna get outta this one alive.”
Jax voice dropped an octave as overpowering guilt devoured his insides. Jax tried is damnedest to legitimatize the club but met resistance at every fucking turn.
“Whaddya sayin ya fuckin know?”
Jax remained deadly silent as the tension built superiorly. Teller cleared his throat; “Miguel called yesterday and wants to set up a meeting. He requested it be on his turf.”
Chibs listened intently detail by detail; “Shite, Jackie. Are ye tellin me the lot of us are goin to Santo Padre at the fuckin demand of the Cartel?”
The stillness of Jax Teller royally pissed off the bearded Scot.
“Oh, you little arsehole…”
“Look man, Alvarez has come in clutch for us in the past. He needs assistance moving Mexican dope. They backed me into a corner, what the hell was I supposed to say? No fucking thank you? I did this for us, for the club, now quit your bitching and get your shit together. Tell the others we ride at noon.”
“Aye ay Jackie boy. I trust ye.”
Unsurety soured both men’s temperament so they stayed motionless deciding to pour forgo glasses and drink straight from the bottle.
~~~~
Tags:  @ifoundmyhappythought @angelreyesgirl89 @carlaangel86 @summertimesadnesswithadashofsass @gemini0410 @reaperwalking @prospectfandom @emmaveale123 @peaky-marvel @kind-wolf @scorpio4dayzzz @starrynite7114 @penny4yourthot @breanime @thegirlwhowritesfics @twistnet @threeminutesoflife @lady-pswrld @woahitslucyylu​ @bigcreatorwombatdreamer​ @carlaangel86​ @mayans-mc​ @blessedboo​ @claytoncardenasbabymama​ @angelreyesgirl​ @enamouravecleslivresetlechocolat​ @cocotheclown​ @trulysuccubus​ @janeexo​ @louiseakalittledevil​ @itsjusttaralove​ @soaronmywings​ @bigcreatorwombatdreamer​ @sarai-ibn-la-ahad​
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xazz · 9 months ago
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Okay now that I’m not always on the cusp of passing out from anemia we can get back to writing and posting
Pairing: AltMal, Altair+Desmond Rating: Explicit Tags: vampires, romance, servant AU, music AU, fluff, angst, flangst Status: WIP
As before Tumblr gets updated before AO3, meanwhile Patreon is like 40k words ahead of everyone. Like Malik and Altair have fucked already lol
-----
Altair was woken with a start to the sound of a slamming door. His eyes popped open and he didn’t know where he was. Then he looked next to him and saw a window, the curtains drawn. It was pitch black out.
He sat bolt upright, all the blood leaving his face.
He’d slept too late. He needed to go get Desmond. Oh the mistress would be furious with him! He was about to scramble out of bed when he realized he wasn’t alone in the bed.
Sitting on top of the comforter, was Desmond. “Altear,” he said when he saw Altair was awake.
“Desmond- what are you doing here— oh where am I?” He looked around in confusion. He was in a lovely bedroom. It hit him like a beam of wood. He was in Malik’s bed. The foreign vampire had insisted he take it and he sleep in the sarcophagus.
“Altear, plaw,” Desmond said.
“Not now,” he said gently. “Just a moment. I-“ he got out of bed as a figure stepped into the doorway. He froze but relaxed somewhat when he saw it was Malik.
“Ah, apologies. Did the door wake you? I didn’t think of that,” he said. Malik was unusually flushed, his skin ruddy and warm looking.
“I should have been up,” Altair said. “What’s he doing here?”
“I brought him here of course,” Malik said. “He’s been fed, its the one thing that useless mother of his does for him,” Malik rolled his eyes.
Altair remembered the conversation from last night. “Did— you talk with my masters?” he asked nervously. It would explain the slamming door and Malik being flushed from an argument.
“I did,” Malik said calmly. “We do not see eye to eye on how to treat the help.” His eyes narrowed. “But that’s not your problem.”
“... Am I going to be punished for what you did?”
“What? No. Why would you? William knows it was my idea alone.”
Altair breathed a sigh of relief. “Altear, plaw,” Desmond said.
“Desmond, I just woke up. Give me a moment here,” he said. Desmond folded his little arms. He ran his hands through his hair trying to think. “What now then?” he asked Malik. He knew Malik had ideas already. “Will you let me alone?”
“Am I such a bother?”
“I would have rather been ignorant than know what you told me,” Altair said. “I can never unknow this now. I know my stay here at the castle will be a long one. And your stay will end before that. I wish you hadn’t told me about the cellar.”
Malik frowned and he walked into his bedroom properly. “You deserve to know, and be treated with some damn dignity.”
“They already basically kidnapped me, Malik. I have no dignity left,” Altair said loudly. “You think I wanted to come here? I had a life, a livlihood. I’m my father’s only child. If he dies before this is over there will be no more luthiers in the valley,” he rubbed his face miserably.
“Do they know that?”
“They don’t care,” Altair said weakly. “They’ll care in twenty years when no more instruments are made and the ones around become broken and no one can fix them and their parties will be only full of brass and percussion. Fiddle players will keep their instruments carefully but they’ll eventually become warped with time and age and wet and they won’t sound right anymore.” Altair sighed deeply. “But right now they don’t care the only heir to the luthier family in the valley is here, in the castle, raising their son because they won’t.” He hugged himself.
Malik came closer. “Can I do anything-
“No,” he sat on the bed miserably. “No one can do anything. I’m stuck here until Desmond is big enough. Who knows when that will be,” he looked at Desmond.
“Plaw,” he said.
Altair sighed. “Alright. I need to go get the violin-
“Oh, I brought it,” Malik said and nodded to next to him. Altair looked and the case was there. “I figured you’d want it.”
“Thank you,” Altair picked it up and put it on the bed. Malik sat on the end of the bed as he tightened the bow and tuned the strings, listening carefully as he turned the pegs. It needed only slight adjustment each time, as he loosened the strings some at night so they wouldn’t have too much tension on them.
“Plaw, plaw!” Desmond cried happily. He immediately became quiet when Altair drew the bow across the strings in a rich chord. He closed his eyes and like last night started with the lullaby with a flourish before breaking off into some riffs he didn’t remember as soon as he played them. But they sounded good. That’s all the two vampires cared about, that they sounded good, they didn’t care if Altair played an actual song or not.
He played for a while before his stomach started to complain quietly. He pulled the bow across one last time as he opened his eyes. Desmond was watching with wide eyes of amazement. Malik was watching with equal intensity. “No,” Desmond complained.
“Yes. I’m hungry,” he told Desmond.
“Plaw, plaw.”
“Later,” Altair put the violin away. He then picked Desmond up and grabbed the case. “We’ll be off now,” he told Malik. “Thank you for letting me sleep here, sir. But please, leave me alone.” Malik frowned at him but he didn’t care if he’d hurt the vampire’s feelings. He’d single handedly upturned Altair’s entire life by telling him he was being treated like less than livestock and he had a miserable existence to look forward to for years to come.
He put the violin in Desmond’s room and carried the child down to the kitchen. Desmond busied himself investigating all the lower cabinets while Altair had a cold pasta salad. It had been in the cool box a while too long and was mushy. It tasted awful. He didn’t finish it and just put his face in his hand tiredly.
Why did this have to happen to him?
He looked down when Desmond pulled on his shirt. “What is it, Desmond?” he asked quietly, looking at the little vampire boy. Desmond made a motion like he was hungry. Of course he was. Just what Altair needed. To look at one of those damn vampires who lied to his face and ask them to go get Desmond a meal from the ‘livestock’. Yeah. Sure.
“Are you really hungry or are you bored huh? You had breakfast just a little while ago,” Altair said and combed Desmond’s bangs from his eyes gently. Desmond just shrugged.
He wasn’t going to ask a vampire for help. He just pushed himself to his feet and stuck one of the chickens. Desmond wouldn’t care and his parents wouldn’t know. Not like Desmond would tell them. Desmond still drank out of the big syringe, not quite coordinated enough to drink from a cup and Altair didn’t feel like cleaning up all the blood when he spilled. He put Desmond in his lap and fed him thinking about what to do.
Moonlight slanted through the thick window into the kitchen. It was well and truly dark out. Dawn was a long way away but he didn’t think it was so late yet really. Once Desmond had finished Altair left the kitchen through the side door and looked down the mountain. Castlesong still had lights on down below.
“Desmond,” Altair called. “You want to play?”
“Plaw!” Desmond jumped over to him, his useless little wings fluttering behind him excitedly.
Altair wanted a fresh, hot, meal damnit. “Okay. C’mon,” and he grabbed Desmond’s hand. “We’re going to go see the people.”
“Pople?” Desmond asked.
“Yes,” Altair stepped outside.
“Awwwww,” Desmond looked up. It occurred to Altair then that he’d never taken Desmond outside before. “Altear,” he pointed up at the stars and the moon.
“That’s the moon, and the stars,” Altair said. Desmond jumped like he wanted to fly but his insectoid wings were far too weak to carry him. Altair just smiled and led him down the stairs away from the castle.
On the road he hoisted Desmond up so he didn’t trip and continued the walk down to the town. Desmond reached up trying to grab the moon and Altair just chuckled. At least his wings had curled back up against his back.
It was late enough that the pub was mostly empty except for the lag abouts and drunks. A half asleep bard was in the corner plucking at his guitar, slumpee over the fat belly of the instrument. Altair sat with Desmond at a booth so he could lock the boy against the wall. Desmond’s mouth was open and he was staring all around in wonder at the building.
The maid came over, looked like she had a snide remark but noticed the vampire sitting next to Altair. Even if she didn’t know Desmond’s teeth still barely fit in his little mouth and hung open they were like little jagged knives behind his lips. She didn’t say anything at all. Altair just ordered the stew and bread, fresh bread, and an ale. The maid retreated, casting a look over her shoulder at Desmond as she left, white as a ghost.
“This place is neat huh?” Altair asked Desmond, propping his chin up with a fist. “It’s called a pub. Can you say pub?”
“Pup,” Desmond said, popping the second p.
“Pub,” Altair said back, popping the b instead.
Desmond giggled. “Pup pup,” popping the p each time. Altair smiled.
“That is a puppy. This is a pub.”
“Pub,” Desmond finally said.
“Good boy,” and Altair gave him a squeeze.
“Pup,” Desmond squeaked and Altair just chuckled. “Pupie? Pupie?”
“It’s a little... dog. But you don’t know what a dog is,” Altair sighed.
“Doug— dougy?”
“I’ll find a book with a dog in it, okay? And maybe a puppy too.”
“Pup pup,” Desmond peeped. Then he leaned back against the seat when someone came up to their table.
It was the bard with his fat bellied guitar. “Eavening,” he said, tipping his head to Altair.
“Morning,” Altair replied and the bard smirked.
“Mind if I join ya?”
“Depends on what you want.”
“Never seen a vampire before. He’s real little,” he smiled at Desmond who sunk under the table.
“He’s shy,” Altair said. “But he likes music.”
“You don’t say?” The bard swung his guitar around to be over his chest. “Well I happen to know a guy,” and he plucked a little ditty as cheerful and bouncy as a new fawn. Desmond’s eyes appeared over the top of the table with interest. “Ah, you like that huh?” he asked Desmond. Desmond nodded. “Good taste you got there, young master,” and the bard played a song Altair recognized.
“Come In, Come In, we'll do the best we can
Come In, Come In, bring your whole bloody clan
take it nice and easy and we'll take you by the hand
set ye down and treat ye 'dasent' I'm a valley man”
Altair felt himself singing along a little as the bard played. Desmond was enthralled. He crawled under the table to sit on the other booth seat to be closer to the bard. As the bard started the chorus the maid returned with Altair’s stew and bread. She eyed the bard but didn’t say anything and also didn’t ask Altair for any money. Good. Fuck her.
The bard had turned to Desmond now as he played and sang, bouncing his foot to keep the beat. It let Altair eat in peace. He hummed along to some of the song. The bard was very good and had a nice voice. After a few songs Desmond started making noises like he was singing along too and the bard started repeating verses so the child could catch on. Altair had by now finished his warm meal and was just watching them. It was cute to see Desmond happily going along with the bard just like a human child would. If you ignored the teeth and the eyes he even looked like a human child.
The bard played a fast song high on the register. A song he probably only sang to show off. He had a good range and could get those high notes that would normally require a woman singer to reach. But reached them. Desmond beeped up there at the high register too, trying to match the bard’s high chords. Then he did something that made Altair go white. He opened his mouth wide, far too wide for a human child, for a moment it looked like he was tearing open his mouth, and displaying a huge assortment of teeth so he could scream at a high octave. So much so that it made the glass of Altair’s tankard sing.
The bard jumped back, the music stopping abruptly. Altair lunged over the table and clapped his hand under Desmond’s chin to close his mouth, abruptly shutting off the sound.
The noise had roused the drunks and the lay abouts. They were all turned towards their little booth. The bard was white as a sheet and looked visibly shaken to really see how big Desmond’s mouth was and how full of teeth it was. “I think that’s enough for tonight,” and Altair got up and picked Desmond up. He protested but Altair paid him no mind. “I’m sorry for the trouble,” and Altair put the money he would have used to pay for the meal onto the table for the bard.
“No. No!” Desmond cried as Altair took him out of the pub.
“Yes,” Altair said sternly once they were outside. “You scared that man.”
“Plaw!”
Altair took some steps away from the front door and set Desmond down, then he took a knee in front of him. “You can’t do that,” he said sternly. Desmond folded his little arms, pouting. “You scared him. You made him afraid. Like when the light comes in from the outside sometimes when we don’t close your drapes all the way? That’s scary right?” Desmond nodded. “These are scary,” he pushed Desmond’s lips open to indicate his teeth. He knew Desmond wouldn’t bite.
“Wha?”
“Why? Because you’re a vampire, Desmond,” he said patiently. “I don’t have teeth like that, see,” and he bared his teeth at Desmond. Desmond nodded. “But outside vampire teeth are very scary to people.”
“Bad?”
“No. Not bad. But if you want people to like you you need to not frighten them,” he stroked Desmond’s hair gently.
“Altear do?”
Altair softened. “Yes. I like you. Do you feel bad?” Desmond nodded. “If you want people to be okay with mistakes you’ve made you need to say sorry. It’s important to apologize.”
“Altear, sowwy,” Desmond said, his little lips pursed sadly.
Altair hugged him. “Apology accepted,” he said gently. “Now let’s go home, okay?” When Altair picked him up Desmond didn’t protest. He just leaned on Altair’s shoulder and watched as they walked out of town and back up to the castle.
--
Hey you, yeah, if you liked it, consider reblogging. It helps me a lot. Maybe leave something nice in the tags idk.
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valkyriesryde · a year ago
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Release the Hounds {6/?}
Chapter Six: Am I Supposed to Fight?
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Pairing: Persephone!Steve Rogers x Hades!Reader
Chapter Summary: Both sides are preparing but the question of whether they will actually have to fight is still standing. And everyone has an opinion.
Word Count: ...2,000ish lol
A/N: Sooooo I’m a slack human being but I’m not giving up on this story! Just have a bit of a busy life at the moment hahah here you go fambam please forgive me. I’m going to try and smash out several chapters in the next week before I go on holiday/school starts back up.
Series Masterlist ~ Masterlist
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As Hades stepped into the home of her brother she slipped off her coat and threw it over the back of the couch in the first living room. 
“Where art thou my dear brother?” She called through the house and a sweet whistle sounded down the stairs and around her. She dressed and presented herself much more casual than when she met with Thor. She no longer adorned her business attire, dressed in black jeans and a loose t-shirt. Her boots hitting the marble as she climbed the stairs. 
Loki’s house is extravagant. The outside something like a greek temple with its decorated ionic columns and statues. The inside much the same in its sense of power. But Loki likes to be comfortable.  His home has a, well, homely feel to it. Art adorns every wall, in every corner but the blanket is thrown lazily over the couch, there’s a pile of books on the coffee table and as she walks down the hallway she can smell the sea salt as if they were right next to the ocean. She can hear the horses in his backyard through the open windows. Hades always enjoyed coming to Loki’s home because thats what it was. A home. It wasn’t a place of work, apart from his office, his children come and go as they please, there’s always dishes to be washed and laundry to be folded. She felt welcomed here.
“Since when do you work this late?” She leaned on the doorframe of his office as Loki looked up from his piles of paper, his long black hair disheveled from running his fingers through it.
“I’m a very hard worker excuse you,” he smiled and offered her the seat in front of his desk, reaching into a draw next to him and bringing out two glasses and a bottle of nectar in a beautifully adorned glass bottle. Hades’ eyes lingered on the bottle as she ached for him to just hand the thing to her so she could pour it down her throat. Lord she needed a drink after this week.
“And I’m beloved by all,” her voice was sarcastic and she drooled as he handed her the glass and raised his eyebrows.
“By me especially,” he winked. Loki, forever the cheeky bastard.
“My biggest supporter,” she smiled and they clinked their glasses. 
Loki looked back down at his work, his forehead crinkled and his lip pulled between his teeth, she had an inkling to rip out the paper from under him but knew better to disturb him while he thought. It could be important afterall. 
So instead her eyes wandered, they moved to the ceiling tall bookcase to his right, spotting some of her favourites amongst his collection. She stood and walked towards the giant fish tank he had to his left and peered in, watching the exotic fish minding their business.
“Why can’t people be more like you,” she muttered under her breath and the red and blue fish with a tail that looked like it belonged to a feather dancer stared blankly back at her.
“They don’t like being stared at,” Loki chimed from his desk, his attention still on his papers. She sighed and fell back into the seat.
“Perhaps if you joined me for dinner and a drink or two I wouldn’t. Why are you working, work is off limits on our nights.” She was getting agitated, her entire week had been filled with work, forgetting about the normal stuff, the addition of the council and that damn god of spring was starting to give her a headache. “I’m sick of work! I just want a night off, please Loki.” 
“Well I’m sick of you being treated poorly by assholes who think they’re better.” His voice was stern and she leaned back for a second in shock at it. Loki was not often passionate about things. Unless someone had spoken poorly against him or, in Odysseus’ case injured his son and was just a “lying good for nothing asshole!” Loki fought when it was his reputation on the line, but this, this was different, the last time Hades had seen Loki fight for someone other than himself was when he went by Poseidon and they fought side by side with Thor, then Zeus, against their father. Hades prayed a war would not come of this strife that was forming between the Olympians.
“Thor told me what you’re doing, why didn’t you come to me about this? I would have told y-“
“You would have told me to stop, that it’s for nothing but I’m sorry to say Hades, you’re wrong.”  
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Steve had his nose buried in his notebook while his mother went on about her campaign to “keep that wicked witch of the Underworld from getting her death grip on the council.” He sketched out the cornucopia from the gates, the flowers that had adorned it. The pages were covered in those sketches, one of her crown, how it was burned into his memory but he didn’t dare draw her face. Currently his pencil shaded a hand, with a vine twisted around it, the thorns piercing its skin and Steve couldn’t help but feel the prickle of the thorns in his own hand.
“Steve!” He jumped at the sound of his mother’s voice. The book slammed shut and he slid into his pocket as she dropped a clipboard into his hands. “Go around the council’s homes, get their signature. Thor needs proof that we will not stand for her to sit with us. We must band together in a time like this. I have no doubt the olympians will agree.” He dropped the clipboard onto the table and shook his head. She paid no attention to him, instead continuing her work as she wrote notes for the debate. “Sing your name too, we can’t forget about ourselves.”
He picked up the clipboard and walked out the door making his way out of the house towards Bucky’s home first. 
Bucky’s house always confused Steve, the interior and furniture changed every couple millennia but the outside, the general idea of it was always the same and it was never extravagant. Most homes in Olympus didn’t change much, they just added things to keep up with the times. Bucky’s home was basically a shack. A cabin in the woods. A beach house with the lake view to match. Made of dark wood with a porch that stretched around the entire front of the house. Bucky’s home was one that matched its owner in its entirety. Bucky was a relaxed man, he took things as they came and he was never very serious. It was one of the reasons Steve enjoyed his company so much because when his mother was up his ass or his work was being exceptionally hard Bucky was there with a pat on the back and a drink in his hand inviting him to watch the sunset over the water. 
They were best friends, could always count on one another no matter what, Steve knew that Bucky had his back always, and so he knew now that no matter how much Bucky disapproved of the situation he would still back Steve. 
“You’re mother is going to kill you.” Bucky sat leaning on his knees on the couch, his beer long forgotten about on the coffee table as he held the clipboard in one hand shaking his head at Steve. 
“Pretty sure she always kind of wants to kill me.”
“Never. You’re her special little boy, her one perfect creation,” Bucky cocked a smile at his friend who rolled his eyes back. 
“Shut up,” Steve leaned back and sipped at his own beer, watching it spin in his hands. It was a solid plan, if he went to the right people it would work, he could go behind his mother and her campaign and plead Hades’ case. Maybe even talk to Loki, though he wasn’t sure if Loki would believe him. He wasn’t overly sure if anyone would believe him. 
“You already know I’m on your side Steve. I know Hades, I remember the last time she sat on the council. She’s smart, she has the knowledge and the authority, she deserves to be there, but the younger gods, the once who have forgotten what she did, the ones that have never worked with her. They don’t know. They eat out of Demeter’s hands with all her bullshit about satan and how we ‘don’t need the dead in the business of the living’,” Bucky mocked Demeter, he was never afraid to do that in front of Steve, at first he felt slightly weird about it, like his mother would know if he ever spoke a bad word about her but he soon realised the Bucky was safe, he could be himself and say what he wanted without consequences, well, with little consequences. 
Steve thought about what Bucky had said, he knew that Bucky would be on his side, Bucky had never not shown support for Hades herself, just, ya know, the stupid shit Steve did in Hades…
But something stayed with Steve. ‘the ones that have never worked with her’, had Bucky worked with Hades? When would Bucky have to work with her? Bucky worked with the sun, he worked with prophecies and medicine, none of which concerned the dead.
“Start with Becca, she and I are one of the same, Pallas-Nat, she’ll be on your side too, I know she’s already talked to Loki about it. That’s who you should go to after, to him, if he knows, if he has confirmation from Nat, I know they hate each other because of Athens and Odysseus but he trusts her word, he trusts that she’ll choose the winning side.” Bucky went on and on about who Steve should see, who he knew that would be on his side.
He listened intently, took note and made a plan of what he should say to each. To Becca, goddess of the hunt, the best way was to talk to her about Bucky, they always fought side by side. To Natasha, goddess of wisdom, it was going to be harder. But if Bucky was right then she already agreed with Steve, they just needed to join forces.  
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Hades,
I don’t know when you’ll get this, I plan on giving it to Peter to pass on, I know I can trust him to get this to you safely. There’s five days before the council debates and I thought you would appreciate an update as to what is happening in Olympus.
I imagine you have your own ways, maybe spies, Loki has probably discussed matters with you also. He said he had told you he would fight whether you liked it or not, how you told him that he was stubborn. You said I was stubborn as well, I guess I am, but I can’t help fighting for what I believe in. I believe in you. I believe that you should have a say and so do many of the others, Loki, Becca, Natasha, and Jane all agree with me. I think we actually have a shot but Loki thinks it will take your appearance to convince Thor and the lesser gods and nymphs that will be present.
I hope to see you there, please. 
Yours,
Steve 
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Hades and Sam sat side by side on the balcony that overlooked the gates. They watched as night engulfed them and there was an eery silence between the two. A fresh argument still sitting between them, two sides of the same fight. 
Hades’ mind was fighting with itself, her guard was being torn down brick by brick as Loki and Steve tried to convince her to stand before the twelve Olympians. But Sam wasn’t a fan of the idea.
“What if it’s a trap,” he argued, “we don’t know what Demeter has up her sleeve,” he said, “we don’t need them!” He raised his voice and she let him get it all out.
“Are you finished yet?” She brushed her hand over her dress and looked at him as Sam nodded. “You’re right.” 
Sam was shocked at what she said, he expected her to rationalise her reasons, he expected her to tell him to mind his own business, to tell him that she would stand up for the Underworld. But she didn’t.
“I’m what now?”
“You’re right Sam. Everything about this is stupid. The living and the dead shouldn’t be mixed, bad things happen, bad things like husbands wanting to resurrect their wives, like people thinking they can make deals in order to mess with what is natural. They don’t respect us or what we do here, you’re right, it could be a trap. Demeter will make it a living hell for myself and the rest of you here if she can. You’re right, we don’t need them, we run things differently here, our systems aren’t the same.”
“Then what…” Sam looked at Hades in awe, there was fire in her eyes and he knew that look, she was sick of being undermined, she was angry, she was determined and if he knew her as well as he thought he did he knew what that look meant. She had a plan. “Then why are you considering it?”
“Because they need us.”
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Chapter Seven: Here Comes Trouble
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willadisastercry · a year ago
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Keep Moving Part 1
tw: depicton of explosions, broken bones, head trauma, vomiting, collapsed building, being trapped.
Keith is on his self sacrificing bullshit again and no one is surprised. The only difference is this time be can’t extricate himself from the terrible situation he very much asked for before it goes horribly wrong. And it just continues to get worse. **also a part 2 has been written but not finished and I may cut it down so there is at least some closure... might also just finish it but willa makes no promises**
“We’ve cleared the red zone, Matt!” Pidge reported breathlessly into her coms on direct line to her brother and the other rebel space crafts that joined them on their mission.
“Copy that,” she said, slowing her sprint to a jog, “they’re waiting until we make some more ground to start dropping their explosives.”
“I don’t know how soon we’ll be on the move, we’ve got two fleets of sentries headed our way,” Keith reminded.
“We’ll just have to make as much distance between ourselves and the death zone as possible before everything goes boom, unless Keith is afraid he can’t keep up with us...”
Keith just stared at Lance blankly, struggling to accept that he did in fact just say what he thought he said.
“Obviously, but the issue is--” 
Lance never got to know what the actual issue was because before Pidge could tell him, he was face down on the floor, butt in the air still smoldering from where he was shot by a sentry. 
The first fleet had caught up to them.
“Bullseye...” Hunk said nearly crying from holding in his laughter.
“Shit!” Keith watched as the fleet descended on them quickly and started shooting at what seemed like a never ending stream of purple and metal.
“owWWWW-”
“Lance, shut up and start shooting.” Keith ordered, hauling the taller boy up by his neck guard.
There was little cover in the hallway and so the paladins had to quickly manuver between blocking the sentries’ barrage with their shields and engaging their bayards to take a few out at a time. Lance had recovered from his owie and was now dropping sentries from behind the cover of Hunk’s legs.
“We need to keep moving!” Pidge urged, taking a couple steps back.
“You guys keep going, I’ll use my sword to push them back,” Keith offered.
“No! We don’t need to split up, just keep moving back I have an idea.”
They all walked backwards slowly still firing shots and deflecting hits while Pidge activated her bayard and then before they knew it she had it wrapped around the upper portion of the nearest sentry and was swinging it accross the width of the hallway, clobbering several of them into each other and successfully congesting their procession.
“Damn Pidge...”
“Keep it moving Paladins!” Allura echoed over the coms.
“Ya know, sometimes I’m terrified of you Pidge,” Lance mused as the four of them took off in a dead sprint down the narrow corridor.
“Don’t know... if I should be flattered... or offended...” she huffed, struggling to keep up with the other three.
“It’s a compliment!”
“Yeah, well who wouldn’t be scared of five feet of pure--”
“Careful... Hunk.”
“... intelligence?”
Keith laughed to himself at his teammate’s menial banter. It lightened the tense atmosphere of battle and action of which he was mostly really greatful for, except when they needed to be serious and Lance was still posing hypotheticals about conceiving with a space mermaid.
But it was his lack of partcipation in the conversation that alerted him to the  pounding of metal on metal somewhere around them of which was very odd.  They had just lost the last fleet and were supposed to be nowhere near the second, but when he slowed down to asses as the others passed by the opening of another corridor, a shot from a sentry’s gun nearly took Pidge’s helmet off. And then before anyone could even react, the hallway they were in flooded with sentries, affectively seperating Keith from the rest of his team.
The paladins got to work quickly, but they were soon overwhelmed. 
And then Keith heard the fleet from before gaining ground behind them and decided that since he was already seperated, he might as well take some of the attention off of his team while he was at it. And so he ran back to the last possible turn he could take between him and the first horde, diverting their focus onto him with a significant section of the new fleet of sentries following suit as well.
“Yeah, so you’re gonna have to find another way out for me when you get a chance Pidge.”
“What? Why?...” and then to his friend’s horror they realize that he is simply just gone and so were half of their assailants.
“May have gotten cut off by that fleet when they dropped in on us, but it’s okay! I can handle them, only issue is they’re pushing me back towards the rebel destroyers, ya know where we just narrowly escaped from... so if you have any suggestions on how to get me out of here before I get blown up... I’d greatly appreciate them,” Keith stated almost amusedly and his team could hear the zip and crack of sentries being taken out by his bayard.
“Ok, ok, ok—Lance I need cover, Hunk I need help, can you configure...” the rest of Pidge’s orders were drowned out by the whining of metal above him and then her voice was frantic over the coms, interrupting it all to tell Keith that a massive bomb had just been dropped directly over him and that he had about five minutes before the structure gave.
Well, shit.
He picks up his pace and focuses on just evading shots from the fleet when he hears a particularly loud groan from above. 
“That doesn’t sound good,” he huffs and looks back to see that as the sentries round the corner, he has put enough of a distance between them that they lower their weapons temporarily because they’re not close enough to lock onto a target.
There’s another groan from above as debris begins to make its way through the metal interrior at the farthest end of the corridor where the sentries are filing in. Perfect. He realizes that he still has a long way to go and can’t navigate via Pidge if he has to worry about being lasered in the ass by a horde of metal minions, so Keith ducks into a doorway and starts firing at the mass.
Over the coms Pidge continues to update him on just how badly he needs to not be in that hallway. The entire ceiling is caving but Keith hasn’t moved, he refuses to. Pidge watches his heat signature and the flashing red light on her scanner letting her know the integrity of the building is waning.
“I have an entire fleet on my tail, gotta at least make a dent!”
“Just another day of Keith on his self-sacrifice bull shit!”
Keith did not appreciate Lance’s tone. His plan was sort of solid. The sentries just need to keep marching and not switch into ‘chase mode’ a little longer and then the ceiling will finally give and smush them. Solid.
“Lance on ur left!”
Zap. Crash.
Karma.
“Thanks.”
“Pidge, I’ve entered the intelligence room.”
“It should be the main panel, shiro”
“Got it, getting started now”
“Pidge get down!”
Keith listened to his team struggling against their own fleet as large pieces of debris came down all around him. He didn’t need Pidge’s fancy scanner to tell him the ceiling was about to go.
He took one last look. The sentries were close enough now to start shooting. He breathed deeply. Just a couple more seconds. And then there was a massive crunch from above and he took off running in a zig zag, the ceiling breaking apart in large pieces behind him and taking out clusters of sentries at a time
Beautiful. 
Glancing over his shoulder as he ran he watched the last sentries disappear in a plume of dust and smoke, turning around only to narrowly avoid a falling spire of shredded metal by toppling over the chunk of ceiling that had crashed down already in an effort to not get impaled.
There’s a loud crack after his foot is stopped against the base of the debris and his body twists away awkwardly, victim to the mercy of his own bodies’ momentum he falls to the floor in a sprawled heap.
Keith didn’t recall screaming.
The coms were soon alight with a flurry of concerned questions and orders for him to declare his status, but he couldn’t make any sense of what they were saying over the white hot pain in his leg.
All Keith could muster the strength to focus on in that moment were the beams  flying over his head. How the fuck--? But before his mind could even attempt to make sense of how any sentries emerged from that, he pulls himself closer to the ceiling chunk he just ate shit on and ducks down to use it as cover before he started returning shots.
Just a hanful left.
Aim. Evade. Drop.
Aim. That was close. Drop
Duck. What the hell? Drop
“Keith if you can hear me, the building is severely compromised, the ceiling is coming down, you need to MOVE.”
He waves his bayard in a spray and lunges forward off of his good leg to scramble behind more debris.
As he lowers himself down behind another chunk of ceiling, he’s stunned when the visor of his helmet is struck by a sentry’s beam, shattering in his face before flying off. 
Woah.
He can’t hear over the piercing ringing in his ears for several seconds after the initial hit and after a minute he becomes aware of the blood dripping down his neck slowly from where the shattered glass of his visor nicked him.
When the ringing dies down he can faintly hear his teammates screaming his name over the coms, the world tilting before him in more ways then one as the section of the ceiling he was just under comes down on the remaining sentries.
Phew. He lets out a huge breath he didn’t know he was holding.
With some effort, he reaches out for his helmet but is instantly nauseated by the exertion as well as the noise coming from it before it’s even on his head, he lowers the coms volume so he could actually comprehend his teammates concerned questions against the sounds of their own battle.
“I repeat: Keith, sound off!”
“If his vitals are strong... then why the fuck aren’t you responding mullet!?”
“I’m good,” he breathed heavily. “Took care of the fleet, but i think my ankle is really stuffed up.”
He slid his hands under his knee and raised his leg to test what mobility he had in his ankle and couldn’t suppress the light yelp that just the movement produced when his foot dangled limply in the air. Keith’s ankle was definitely broken and not some cutesy hairline shit.
“Okay! Working on it! Don’t try and move for now, you’re suit and boot should support it and keep it in place. Tapping into your suit now... authorizing the boo boo protocol... loading... sweet! Okay pulling up the scans, you should hear a beep.”
Keith could hear Pidge feverishly tappin on a screen as well as heavy metal footsteps and thuds.
“Uhh, so minor emergency,” Lance postured just as Keith heard an electronic beep. “There’s only about a dozen sentries left but their closing in fast, we could use that back up right about now Shiro.” 
Lance cried out as a beam caught his elbow while using a slumped sentry as a shield as he picked off the front of the wave.
“Nah, I’ve got it Shiro!” Hunk called. 
“Pidge is all set... breaking out the big guns now, everyone focus on their original tasks!”
“Got it, I’m almost done here,” Shiro replied.
“Sound off when you’re free and I’ll load up directions to Keiths location—shit, Keith your ankle is like mangled do not under ANY circumstance put weight on that!"
"Uhhhhm, and get crushed to death instead?" Keith said already pulling himself up to lean against the wall with a groan.
 “No thanks.”
"~Minimal weight~ then,” Pidge compromised, “or whatever you can withstand, but that’ll be a couple extra hours in a pod.”
“A couple extra hours of beauty rest might be good for those dark circles on mullet.”
“Lance has a solid a point there.”
“Damn, you know mullets hurting when he’s agreeing with me.”
“I’d just also rather live to see another day.”
“Whatever, just get to the end of the hallway. There’s a supporting beam over there that should hold up until we get to you in case things go south.”
“Noted, making my way now.”
The ceiling above him gave another groan and so did he as more metal and ruble crashed down behind him, but he only focused on moving forward, pushing away his mounting concern for how strangely numb his foot was while his ankle was pulsing with an excruciating ache that shoot up his leg. Every hop nearly made him cry out and tempted the black dots threatening to fully cloud his vision.
“How’s it going shiro?” he gruffed while he took a break, he needed some good news.
“96% complete! Should be done any second now and then I’ll make my way over to you.”
“Okay,” he breathed meekly and bit back the bile creeping up his throat as another wave of nausea washed over him.
His head was pounding something awful now, the helmet took the brunt of the hit but his head was still sufficiently rattled. His ears were still ringing, though it seemed to mostly come from his left side.
“Done. Pidge send me his location.”
“5 sentries left. We’ll be on our way to him soon too.”
It was getting harder to stay engaged with all of the different pains he was in. His whole body just wanted to rest, his ankle throbbed angrily, and his eyelids grew heavier and harder to keep open as the pain in his head drew to a piercing concentration above his left ear, right where he took the hit.
“Hey, Keith?”
It was pidge. Everything was really loud suddenly and the thought of his own voice in his ears seemed like it would increase the pressure in his skull tenfold so he managed a groan in response.
“Did you ever take a hit to the head?”
He took a shuddering breath as he stopped again and leaned heavily against the trembling wall. Or maybe he was trembling. He couldn’t tell which it was.
“Yeah... why?” he managed to half whisper, his head felt like it was going to explode.
“Crap, okay.”
“Pidge?” it was shiro. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing bad, I can just see where he’s bleeding from on my scanner. It’s superficial but he’s bleeding pretty well from his forehead.”
“Yeah, my visor is slightly shattered,” Keith gulped.
“Hey, what’s a lil scratch when it could’ve been you’re whole face?”
“Yes it could’ve, Lance. Glad to see you care about Keith’s face. But sadly I can’t tell if you have a concussion from these scans, so just don’t fall asleep until we get to you.”
“I think I can manage.”
“You sure? Vitals say your heart beat is slow. Seriously, just don’t fall asleep.”
“Ok, yeah, got it.” Keith agreed and with a hmph he dragged himself upright and began hopping along the wall once more.
Whether it was his hearing being testy or the haze of pain distracting him from reality, he didn’t hear the loud groans of the metal shifting above him, threatening to fully give any moment now.
His progress was so painfully slow it had been well over 5 minutes and he had still not reached the end of the hallway that pidge recommended.
“Keith you’re haven’t reached the support beam yet, you’ve got to pick it up.”
He didn’t respond. He was trying. But aside from his ankle being in excruciating pain, his head was as well. The nausea had only gotten worse and his vision was getting iffy too, he saw double if he picked his head up too fast and had to turn the volume of the coms all the way down now because he thought his ears would start bleeding between Lance’s shrill exclammations of victory and Pidge’s directions.
Keith had to take a lot of breaks. Everything was so loud and his stomach was so unruly, the effort to even stand upright was becoming too much let alone making the last few feet of progress.
And then the wall that was keeping him up seemed to come away from him, that or he had keeled over on his own, either way he was now on the ground and could feel as another bomb landed on the structure above him and shook everything with a terrible rumble.
In a climax of pain and exhaustion as well as the violent rumbling of the building collapsing around him, it was all too much. The wrenching in his stomach made his eyes water and his mouth was filled instantly with saliva. He shrugged what was left of his visor up to spit it out only for his stomach to clench and his body to be rocked by his heaving. 
His head swam.
He felt so heavy. 
But he desperately wanted to get away from his puddle of sick, so he sort of crawled away from it, careful to keep his hurt ankle up.
“-eith. keith!”
“Shhh, don’t need to scream.”
“Sorry!”
 “You scared us!”
“Almost made me puke, you know I have a sensitive stomach!”
“Sorry,” he muttered hoarsely, “couldn’t really help it.”
“We know, Hunk’s just messing with you. So you most likely have a concussion if you’re vomiting, but don’t be scared, Shiro’s almost at your location and—“
But he didn’t get to hear what other wisdom Pidge had to reassure him with because another bomb had just exploded above him...
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the-real-tc · 9 months ago
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Fic UPDATE! Wide River to Cross: Chapter 23
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A.N.: This chapter took way longer to churn out than I expected, and there will be another update very shortly. We're moved into Episode 713 territory now, so you know that means things are getting even closer to where they are supposed to be. Enjoy!
Chapter 23: Chance Encounter
The drive back from Moose Jaw on Tuesday was its usual eight-hour, mind-numbing slog for Tim Fleming. Shane and Miranda seemed to be doing fine without him, though something in his gut warned Tim there was something going on neither of them wished to speak of in his presence. The visit started off on a positive note. Shane excitedly asked about Pal before politely moving on to inquiring about his half-sisters. By the actual Thanksgiving Monday, Tim knew he was wearing out his welcome, as if Miranda could not wait to be rid of him. Yes, it was true they had called it quits, but there was a distant air about her that Tim could not put his finger on. When he mentioned he would like to come out in a month for the Remembrance Day holiday, he was met with a non-committal sort of answer, but not an outright "no". Shane's sullen resentment over the absence of a father-figure in his life was still brewing beneath the surface. Tim recognized the signs; he just had no idea what to do about it, especially since Miranda was apparently hedging about the next time he could visit his son. How was he supposed to be a father to Shane if he was not even permitted to see him on a regular basis?
By the time Tim reached Hudson, he was exhausted both physically and emotionally. He had half a mind to drop in at Heartland and stick around long enough to invite himself to dinner, but he was not in the mood to hear Jack complain about the sheep again, which he was sure to do. Instead, Tim pulled into the local McDonald's Drive-thru and ordered something he knew he would barely taste, but would otherwise tide him over until the next day. On Wednesday morning, Tim regretfully realised he was completely out of supplies and would need to head into town for groceries.
He was still contemplating what to do about convincing Miranda to allow him to visit again in a month's time while grabbing some steaks from a refrigerated shelf in the Deli section. Maybe the boy could come out to Heartland instead, Tim pondered. After all, Shane was still obviously interested in riding Pal. Amy and Lou would be happy to see their half-brother, of course. Tim also had a feeling Shane and Georgie would get along just fine, if given the chance.
What would he think about Tricia? Tim suddenly wondered as he mechanically loaded his groceries into his truck before starting the drive back to Big River.
What would Tricia think about Shane?
When is the right time to tell her about my "illegitimate" son?
Are we serious enough for that yet?
Those thoughts quickly fled as Tim did a double-take at the unexpected sight of an oddly familiar auburn-haired woman. She stood at the bank of green community mailboxes on the side of the rural road, unaware of his scrutiny. The presence of her nearby silver-grey Porsche SUV confirmed it: the usually blonde Lisa Stillman had returned to Hudson. Tim pulled his truck to a stop—he simply had to get the low-down on this. Lisa was the last person he expected to see here, especially after Lou bought back her share of the Dude Ranch so many months ago. Jack's continued silence on Lisa's whereabouts and the status of their relationship compelled Tim to approach. After all, Lisa was godmother to his granddaughter Katie. It would be impolite to drive past her without a word, he reasoned.
"Hey, Lisa!" he called when he was within earshot.
Her shoulders jerked slightly, causing Tim to feel slightly guilty for startling her when he caught the stunned expression on her face. She recovered in time to respond, though somewhat hesitantly. "Oh. Hi, Tim!" she called back with forced brightness. Her smile, too, was forced.
"Wow, I didn't expect to see you back in town," Tim said as he neared. "How ya been? How was France?"
"Busy. I've been really busy," she replied hastily, closing her mailbox door and snapping the lock shut before stuffing her envelopes into a side pocket. "Um, France was fine. Sorry I can't stay and chat. I just got back from dropping off my sister at the airport, and I've still got lots to do today. As a matter of fact, I have an appointment with someone in less than half an hour."
"Your sister was visiting?" Tim echoed. "Huh. That's nice. Don't think I've ever met her. The appointment wouldn't happen to be with Jack would it?"
Lisa's spirits sank at the mention of the man she loved but was avoiding. She wondered if Tim did it on purpose—honing right in on a person's vulnerable spot and then exposing it.
"Uh, no. No, I'm not meeting Jack," Lisa's voice faltered.
"Then who are you meeting?" Tim pressed.
Lisa felt cornered now. Knowing the news would eventually get out, anyway, she decided to be straight with the man. "A real estate agent," she answered testily. "I've put Fairfield on the market."
Tim's face betrayed mild surprise. Wow, he thought. She really is making that move to France permanent. "You're selling Fairfield. Whoa. Does Jack know about this?"
Lisa exhaled. "Jack knows I love France," she eventually responded as she averted her glance. "I tried to share that part of my life with him, but it didn't work. He hates France, and there's no changing that fact. It's best I make a clean break. For now, he doesn't even know I'm in Hudson, and I'd like to keep it that way, please. So don't tell him you saw me, okay?"
Despite not quite receiving a straight answer to his question, Tim nevertheless made a zipping motion across his lips. "O-kay."
"You promise you will not tell him I'm here?" Lisa said, eyeing him now with skepticism.
"I promise I will not tell Jack you're here, Lisa," Tim proclaimed, raising his hand in a Scout salute.
"Good. Thank you," she said, making her move back to the Porsche. "Now, I really have to go. Take care, Tim. 'Bye."
"Yeah, 'bye," Tim said, absently securing his hat on his head.
Without bothering to look back at him, Lisa raised a hand in a farewell gesture as she climbed into the driver's seat.
Tim called out: "But you are gonna tell him eventually, right?"
The motor roaring to life drowned out the question, causing Tim to frown. Aw, man. Something's gotta be done about those two before it's too late, he thought. I just need to figure out what.
**
Lisa pulled away from the mailboxes in a daze. Now that Tim had seen her, it was only a matter of time before Jack found out she was in Hudson. Of all the people I had to run into, why did it have to be Tim Fleming?! she fretted. And once Jack does find out, what will I do? Guess I'll have to cross that bridge when I get to it.
The real estate agent warned Lisa from the outset her asking-price was high, given the current slump in the market. While she knew this, it was a tactic she hoped to use to her advantage. It was intended to weed out a bulk of potential buyers who would only waste her time. Genuinely interested buyers would be savvy enough to try to negotiate a lower selling price they would both be comfortable with. Lisa was ready to play that game. Besides, if someone did agree to the initial price, the agent stood to make a fantastic commission.
There would be no way to hide the signs or the real estate listing, of course, so even if she never laid eyes on Jack, he would eventually find out about the sale. She was plagued with feelings of guilt. Was it really fair to avoid him? How difficult would it be to make a quick call to say: "Hi, I've returned to Hudson to sell the old place. Thanks for the good times we had; I'm moving to France for good."
Very difficult indeed.
Those thoughts were quickly dismissed when Lisa reached Fairfield and business concerns once again consumed her mental energies. Among those concerns was the sale of Cinders, a horse for which Lisa felt an uncommon fondness due to his resemblance to her long-ago cherished Silver. Riding Cinders out to Lookout Point every morning was part of her daily routine when in Hudson, so she was reluctant to part with the animal. I have Indigo back in Toulon for my morning ride, Lisa thought practically, knowing one fewer horse to transport to France could be good for cost-saving in the long run.
A buyer from Montana was interested; Lisa was awaiting the finalization of that sale before booking transport. Three other horses would be going to buyers in Alberta; two to British Columbia, and one to Saskatchewan. That left several other horses that might eventually need to be auctioned, including the pregnant Rhapsody. The broodmare's pregnancy and the subsequent weaning process once the foal arrived meant travel any time soon would be ill-advised, so having her remain in Canada to be sold made sense.
The clone of Fairfield Flyer—when it arrived—was still a question mark. Dan seemed overly confident it would help them make their mark once they launched their breeding business overseas. Lisa was more cautious and hesitant about the whole idea; in time, maybe she would feel differently about the situation, as her sister Rachel had predicted.
And I'm still quite angry Dan did it, Lisa realised, almost feeling her blood pressure rising just thinking about the whole mess. Why am I even still in business with him? The answer she always arrived at whenever she pondered that question was that they still made good business partners, despite their failed marriage. This time, though, Lisa wondered whether business success in partnership with Dan was a good enough reason.
I have spent more than half my life doing this, Lisa said to herself. I've achieved a lot in that time. I would like to think I have made my father proud of the 'Fairfield' name. That alone should be worth it, right? And it's like I told Rachel: the money I've earned has made it possible to realise a lot of dreams, do things I wanted to do, and see the world. But at the end of the day, I go home to an empty house. What dreams am I chasing now? I always dreamed of retiring to France. And then Jack came into my life.
Lisa reflected fondly on that day at Heartland when she encountered Jack at the Open House barbecue. Amy had just awed the crowd by showing off her work with Promise, and with the way she had risen to Val Stanton's seemingly impossible, impromptu challenge to fix the hundred-thousand-dollar horse that refused to jump.
"You're doing a really good job with her, Jack," Lisa recalled telling him. What she didn't tell him was that she had inquired discreetly about his fifteen-year-old granddaughter after being impressed by her during their first meeting at Fairfield. Since Nick Harwell had sung Amy's praises regarding her work with Star, Lisa called him up. She hoped to find out a little more about this Amy Fleming, daughter of the late Marion Fleming. She had a vague recollection hearing about Marion and Heartland since returning to Hudson from the 'States. Even so, she had at least known of the existence of 'Heartland Ranch' in the same sort of familiar way Hudsonites would know of the existence of any other ranch in the area.
"I read in the Hudson Times about Marion Fleming's passing and how Amy's grandfather is a rodeo legend," Lisa had told Nick during their conversation. "What else should I know about this family?"
"Yes, Jack Bartlett is pretty well-known for his rodeo days. And Marion... Marion was something else," Nick had stated. "And I really think Amy has the gift, too. What did you think of her?"
"It's too early to tell," Lisa had replied honestly, "but I like her spunk. I had my reservations about Promise going under the care of a fifteen-year-old, but she won some points with me. She set me straight when she told me her mother didn't 'whisper' to horses; she listened to them."
Nick had chuckled. "Whatever you want to call it, Marion sure worked magic with horses, and Amy can, too. You just have to sit back and let the magic happen."
"How is Heartland Ranch doing?" Lisa then inquired. "Are they going to be okay without Marion working with troubled horses? That was their main source of income, wasn't it?"
"I'm not sure," Nick replied with a sigh. "Jack does have a herd of cattle, but it's small. His adult granddaughter Lou is back in town from New York to help, but who knows how long she plans to stay... And Jack's wife, Lyndy, died a few years ago. I heard through the grapevine Amy and Lou's dad is a rodeo legend too, but he's also a total deadbeat. So now Jack has got to raise Amy by himself. It's not going to be easy for them. I do believe Amy has her mother's gift, but she's still so young to be taking on the 'family business', if you know what I mean. Jack has his work cut out for him."
"Yes, I guess he does," Lisa had remarked thoughtfully, imagining an elderly man all of a sudden saddled with a responsibility he did not anticipate in the wake of his daughter's tragic death.
To see Jack Bartlett in the flesh was a revelation. The man was nowhere near the 'elderly' grandfather Lisa had envisioned after speaking with Nick. He was tall, fit, and grizzled with irregular features, yet handsome in an unconventional way she found attractive. She would almost have guessed he was Amy's father had she not known any better. So this was the man who was taking care of his teenaged granddaughter. This was the man who had clearly taken the responsibility very seriously, and was succeeding at the task despite the burden of loss and heartbreak. This man, a salt-of-the-earth type, exuding quiet confidence and strength—this man she simply had to get to know better.
He was the first man in a very long time Lisa felt the urge to flirt with; the first man she felt comfortable sending out signals she wanted to know him on a deeper level. Their first real conversation was brief. She paid him a compliment about the burgers he was grilling up, then added she thought he was doing a great job with Amy. She mentioned her own situation with taking on her nephew following his parents' divorce. As they parted company that evening, she brushed her shoulder against his after his offer to help with Ben, hoping the message was received.
Bringing up those old memories of the weeks and months that followed the Open House was bittersweet. Back then, it was Immediately clear to Lisa that Jack was nothing remotely resembling a social butterfly. He was never at any of the parties she attended, nor was he known to folks in her Hudson social circles. She would have to ferret out what his interests were and meet him at that level if she wanted to get closer to him. Lisa would be forever grateful to Maggie for suggesting Amy have a look at the traumatized Gallant Prince, as it provided more opportunities to visit Heartland—and to see Jack.
And then I asked him to accompany me to that auction... and his truck broke down.
It was a deviation in her plan she had not expected, but rolled with it by suggesting they eat right then instead of after the sale. They discussed nothing of consequence during that interlude while they ate turkey-and-swiss sandwiches, but Lisa enjoyed every minute of it.
"Aren't you something?" Jack had asked, clearly not expecting anything like this when she told him she made coffee for him; that she had planned a picnic treat from the very beginning.
The early fall weather was pleasant, a soft breeze fluttering through the leaves of the trees that surrounded them. She seldom had a chance to pause like this, sitting in the company of just one other person, undisturbed by the rest of the world. He complimented her on the coffee, subtly making her realise he had strong opinions about the beverage. Time slipped away much too quickly. After a particularly long stretch of silence between them after the last of the coffee had been drunk, Jack finally spoke up: "Well, I guess I should probably see if that old truck of mine is ready to start. Can't have you missing that auction, can we?"
Reluctantly, they tidied up and trekked back to the stalled vehicle. It started without complaint, bearing them safely to High River for the auction. Lisa mentally skipped over the part when they encountered Dan, knowing what she knew now about how he had the temerity to tell Jack she was still his wife. Lisa remembered her acute disappointment upon discovering Jack had abandoned her there without a word. Something about that scenario did not sit right with her, as she was quite certain he had enjoyed their picnic.
Perhaps another woman might have dismissed him for that perceived slight, Lisa reasoned, but I knew I couldn't let him go that easily. Fortunately, a good friend she ran into at the close of the auction was willing to give her a lift to Heartland so she could retrieve her Porsche. At the time, she was tempted to knock on Jack's door to demand an explanation, but something told her that would be the wrong move. Let this thing play out, she remembered thinking. Let him come to you when he's ready.
And the explanation did come out, confirming for Lisa she made the right choice by not blowing the situation out of proportion, though she had every right to be upset. Handling it with a dose of humour had de-escalated what could have been a very uncomfortable situation. After all, Dan had just sourly peeled out of Heartland, having been told off by Jack, and after being rebuffed by Lisa.
"Well, since men keep driving away on me, would you mind driving me home in your truck, please?" she remembered asking with a smile and a good-natured chuckle. Of course Jack had not minded one bit. She had noticed the look of gradual, earnest relief on his face once he realised she was not married to Dan any longer; that she had not been playing with his emotions or leading him on.
"Jack, I'm sorry for the misunderstanding with my EX-husband," she said contritely during that ride back to Fairfield. "He had no right to do that, and I want to make it very clear I—"
And he had broken in gently then, telling her she had no need to apologize; that he was the one that needed to do the apologizing for abandoning her at the auction.
"Hmm," she had said playfully. "I suppose you have a plan in mind about how you're going to make it up to me?"
"Well, as a matter of fact... I was wondering..."
After a few seconds of tense silence, he had asked if he could have the pleasure of her company at his private cabin in a few weeks' time. She could tell it took some effort on his part to ask the question, but she readily accepted his invitation to try a little fly fishing, despite the lateness of the season, as he told her.
"I would love to, Jack," she had replied, grinning from ear to ear, thinking this reconciliation had gone miles better than she hoped.
Maggie had helped her pick out all the requisite equipment after she realised she would actually need hip waders and rods for the date. Expensive hobby, she remembered thinking when her friend rang up all the purchases at the cash register.
"I'd better catch something, huh?" she had ruefully asked.
"I think you already did," Maggie had quipped.
At the time, the meaning of those words had not been lost on Lisa. Now, after all the time since those early days when they were still practically strangers, Lisa wondered if he was still on the line, or if Jack had pulled loose. Severed from her life, he would be pulled away from her shore, lost to the currents of the passing world.
Despite never using the equipment again since that first date, Lisa had never availed herself of Maggie's promise of a refund.
I always hoped we would go fishing together again, Lisa mused. Why is it we never did? Maybe it's high time I got rid of all that stuff; I certainly won't be doing much fly fishing in France.
Lisa shook her head slightly, knowing she had to cease thinking about such matters and concentrate instead on getting her Fairfield business in order. As if on cue, her office line rang, its call display revealing a Montana area code.
Looks like I have an answer about Cinders, she rightly guessed.
"Lisa, hi! It's Wayne Mosley. I'll make this call short and sweet: We have a deal on your horse. I can have the funds wired to you today."
"That's great, Wayne," Lisa replied, squelching the sentiment that unexpectedly sprang up at the thought she was really going to be parting with the animal for good. "I can get transport booked for Cinders as early as Sunday."
"Perfect. Thanks, Lisa."
"You're welcome. Glad we were able to work something out."
"It's always a pleasure doing business with you. Take care. 'Bye."
"Likewise, Wayne. 'Bye."
**
Lightning almost as bright as day flashed, visible even through Lisa's closed eyelids. That alone might have been enough to awaken her, but the following crash of ear-splitting thunder made it impossible to remain in the land of dreams.
Lisa rolled over in bed, gradually becoming aware of the fact of the storm raging outside. When she cracked open an eye to check the time on the bedside digital clock, she could barely make out a blank display screen.
Have we lost power? she wondered groggily. Another flash of lightning briefly illuminated the bedroom. Her ears picked up on the wind-driven rains beating against the windowpanes. A quick glance outside confirmed Hudson had indeed lost power. Seconds later, the Fairfield generators kicked in, bringing to life the security lights outside. The numbers on the clock now blinked '12:00' a.m. in a rhythmic pattern, its green glow a slight irritant.
With a sigh, Lisa let her head fall back onto one of the many the pillows scattered about the mattress. Installing those generators had come at some expense, but she was grateful for them now and in times past when an outage occurred. She listened to the sounds of the storm, unable to fall back asleep quite yet. Some of the horses in the stables would be restless, and she wondered if Rhapsody was okay, given her expectant state.
Harry and the rest of the hands are going to be dealing with a few grumpy, skittish equines in the morning, she thought as she finally sat up to re-set the time on the clock after consulting her iPhone.
The lightning flashes were less frequent now; the answering thunder a distant rumble. The storm was either moving on or its intensity petering out.
Oh, no. Things are going to be a mess out there tomorrow, this new thought entered her mind, as it dawned on her the power loss was probably caused by downed tree branches. The trees around Fairfield were never spared damage in such instances in the past. The real estate agent would expect the property to be in pristine condition if there were going to be any showings.
Better call the landscaping company first thing... It was the last thought she remembered thinking before drifting off again.
**
Clean-up the morning after the storm that knocked out power at Heartland occupied a fair chunk of the Bartlett-Fleming-Morris family's time. Branches lay haphazardly about the yard. Piles of scattered leaves and twigs littered the ground, blown off by the earlier violent winds.
Tim pulled up in his truck uncharacteristically early to lend a hand, though he certainly had ulterior motives. Lisa made me promise not to tell Jack she was back in town. She didn't make me promise not to tell anyone else, though... He approached Amy, hoping to determine if Jack was wise to the situation of Lisa's return to Hudson.
"Guess who I saw in town yesterday?" he asked his daughter, unable to keep a lid on the information bubbling up to the surface.
The surprise that registered on Amy's face told him everything: Poor Jack was clueless.
**
Lisa's backside smarted. That's going to leave a bruise, she thought ruefully as she checked herself over for any other potential injuries after being unceremoniously dumped to the damp ground by Cinders. But no, every other part of her body seemed just fine. No broken bones or sprains, thank God. That's the last thing I would need right now just as I'm trying to get things sorted out at Fairfield. Now where has that horse trotted off to, and what the heck happened?
Lisa's brow creased as she recalled a sudden uncomfortable, intense buzzing sensation right before being tossed from the saddle. Her eyes sought and quickly spotted something that confirmed a dim suspicion: a downed tree tangled up with the line from an electrical fence erected around the slough Cinders had stepped into.
So that's what that shock was, Lisa realised.
"Cinders!" she called, hoping the sound of her voice would bring the horse back. It was usually an exercise in futility; Cinders was not trained to come when beckoned as a pet dog might. A careful inspection of the sod around her revealed hoof prints.
I hope that horse hasn't gone too far, Lisa thought in irritation. In truth, she was more annoyed at herself for not noticing the downed line. Fortunately, she spotted the dappled grey horse not too far away, pulling at some vegetation.
"Hey, you," Lisa softly chided as she approached him with deliberate caution. "What was that all about? Did you get spooked by that silly electric fence?"
Cinders seemed to bristle slightly when she neared, but he did not refuse when she took hold of his bridle. "Let's go home, huh?" she said, placing her right foot into the stirrup to mount up. With a squeeze of her calves, Lisa cued the horse to begin the return the way they came. Ahead, she could see the muddy banks of the slough along with the energizer and tangle of electrical wiring and branches.
Everything about the ride seemed normal until they were a few feet away from the water. Cinders stiffened as soon as he sighted the pond, stopping dead in his tracks. He balked when Lisa urged him on again; a snort of terror issued from his nostrils before he reared up in protest.
"Whoa, whoa!" Lisa called out, barely avoiding another fall as she regained her balance. "What's the matter with you?"
Without being commanded to do so, the horse backed away, giving his head a few contrary shakes.
"Come on, Cinders," Lisa coaxed, applying more pressure to his sides with her legs. She clicked her tongue loudly twice. The horse eventually got the idea, and he sidestepped the muddy bank, pacing off to the right, giving the slough a wide berth.
**
"Thank you for seeing me on such short notice, Scott," Lisa said.
"You've always been one of my best clients, Lisa," Scott commented warmly. "Happy to be of service. I was surprised to hear from you, to be honest; I haven't had a call from Fairfield in months."
"I know," she said vaguely, "being in France and all meant I wasn't as hands-on here as I have been in the past."
At that moment, Ty ambled in to the holding area. If he was surprised to see her there, he hid the emotion well. "Hi, Lisa," he said casually, as if this were any other normal visit.
"Hello, Ty," she answered back with a wan smile. Kicking herself mentally, she now knew she should have counted on the possibility Ty would be on duty at the clinic today. Oh, shoot. First Tim; now Ty. It's going to be impossible to keep my being in Hudson from Jack.
"I noticed the 'For Sale' signs up at Fairfield," Scott continued. "Don't tell me you're thinking of leaving us for good?"
Lisa bobbed her head, still wary of Ty's presence. "Yeah, I've had a good run here," she replied. "I'm looking at a new opportunity in Avignon."
With that short answer, both Scott and Ty understood she was not going to say anything more on the topic.
"So what's going on with this guy?" Scott asked, looking now at the horse. "You said something about an electrical fence?"
"Uh, yes," Lisa spoke up, re-organizing her thoughts to focus on the reason for her hasty appointment. "Meet Cinders."
The horse's level of agitation had come down since the earlier ride, but Lisa caught subtle cues that told a different story, making it clear to her Cinders was not over the sudden electrical shock they had experienced at the slough. She explained the whole episode while Scott examined the animal, inviting Ty to do the same as a learning exercise.
Presently, Scott declared: "In my medical opinion, there's nothing wrong with him physically, Lisa."
"That's good," Lisa said in relief. She rubbed Cinders' forehead. "It's just that he now absolutely refuses to go near water, Scott. The shock was pretty intense. Even I felt it right before I ended up on my butt. I'm afraid he thinks he's going to get zapped every time he steps into a puddle."
"I wish there was a magic pill I could give him to cure aquaphobia," Scott said with a smirk.
"Yeah, I know," Lisa sighed. "I just sold him yesterday to a guy in Montana. He's being shipped out on Sunday. I can't sell a 'defective' product."
"Want me to ask Amy if she can take the case?" Ty interjected, sympathetic to her situation.
Lisa contemplated. Involving Amy came with a risk. If Jack found out... She was grateful Ty had not asked any prying questions, seemingly aware the topic of her reappearance was verboten, but his suggestion was her best chance at fixing the problem.
"Okay," she eventually replied. "But could you—could you please tell her to keep it confidential...? Jack doesn't know I'm back, and I mean to keep it that way."
Ty nodded at her with understanding; Scott looked at her quizzically, but wisely held his tongue.
"Thanks," she said, blowing out a breath. "I hope she can figure him out before Sunday. But then again, she's always come through for me in the past. Go ahead, Ty. He's all yours."
"I'll get Cinders trailered out to Heartland right away," Ty said, taking hold of the lead rope.
Once Ty was safely on the way back to Heartland, Lisa carried on with some additional errands. As she drove, she came to the conclusion she was simply prolonging the inevitable. Even though I've sworn Scott, Ty and Tim to secrecy, walls have ears. Jack's going to know I'm here before the day is done, guaranteed.
**
Jack's sleep had been restive and uneasy. Katie's fright over the storm in addition to her irritability at missing Lou had not made for a peaceful night. Pete had sheepishly apologized for the toddler's cries, but the older man sympathized. He had been through those same parenting woes when Marion had been a baby, though he had admittedly missed months at a time of her growing up due to being on the rodeo circuit.
As Jack drove out to the town Yard Waste and Recycle Centre to deposit their dead branches and leaf sweepings, he wondered what his grandson-in-law was going to do if Katie continued to regress in her potty-training regimen. Clearly, these new parents had not counted on a lengthy separation between child and mother during this crucial time. Pete was doing his best, but it seemed not to be enough at this time.
He was still pondering this problem on his return trip to Heartland, slowly coming to the realisation there might not be any easy solutions. He was so engrossed in this mental exercise he had a double-take when he spotted a woman he thought he recognized on the side of the road.
Lisa?! he thought in a daze. It can't be.
But his eyes were not deceiving him. This was no case of mistaken identity as in times past when he thought he saw her in town. This was his old flame, quietly checking her mail like any other person. Only she was not any other person. She was the one who somehow managed to slip through his fingers. A subtle heat burned in his chest as he brought the truck to a slow roll before setting the brake.
Lisa is back. What is she doing here? Why is she back? Lisa is here.
Jack very nearly stumbled over his two feet on his approach. He could tell she heard his footsteps though he was trying to be stealthy.
"Hi, Lisa," he uttered, unsure of what to say now that he had been presented with this unexpected opportunity to talk with her.
She looked up almost guiltily at him.
Busted, Lisa thought. Here I am, trying to avoid Jack this whole time, and he has to spot me getting the mail. How silly is that?
Yet, her heart swelled at the sight of this cowboy, dressed as usual in his boots, jeans, plaid-patterned shirt, coat and hat. He looks healthy. I'm so glad. And now that she had seen him, every word she had once hoped to speak to him fled from her mind, leaving her tongue-tied. Her first instinct was to bolt from the scene rather than try to explain why she had not told him she was in Hudson. That same reticence seemed to be reflected in Jack's eyes; this unplanned encounter thoroughly throwing them both into an state of confusion.
They both mouthed meaningless words to each other, clumsily working through some semblance of a conversation that lasted less than a minute. Twin coals that once burned as one had turned stone cold, the former lovers behaving more like passing acquaintances. Absent from this meeting was any sense of excitement or jubilation; no crushing embrace or feverish kiss.
Jack's heart sank perceptibly when Lisa admitted she had been back for maybe a week—and that she was selling Fairfield.
"Well, I guess that was always the plan, wasn't it?" he spoke with an air of indifference, despite the chill brought on by the revelation. Yes, you always said you wanted to retire to France, Lisa. I never figured it would be so soon; and not without telling me, first.
Rather than prolong the sheer awkwardness of the encounter, Lisa excused herself, claiming—truthfully—she had a busy schedule to keep.
"'Bye'," she said, before turning to climb into the SUV.
"'Bye'," Jack managed to articulate, a lump forming in his throat watching her hasty retreat.
No "See you later" or "Let's catch up soon", and certainly not anything close to "I'm ready to make up".
Jack looked on a second or two while Lisa drove away, struck by the memory of another similar departure over a year prior, the one that had come as a sort of coda to their "break". Attempts had been made back then to repair that break; circumstances had not been in their favour.
"Not goodbye," he had corrected her at the time, a sad smile creasing his face. He remembered being heartsick at the prospect of suffering another lengthy separation from her, especially when their relationship was still so fractured.
"'til next time," she had repeated, her eyes misting, almost as if she sensed it could very well be the last time they ever saw each other.
The fact it almost was the last time they ever saw each other was not lost on Jack. His brush with death brought her rushing back. Now, he considered something new: Would she ever have come back if I had not had the heart attack? She did write that letter... But no. Just as swiftly as she had arrived, she had left him.
And now she's driving away again. For a fleeting moment he entertained the notion of chasing her down. No, that would be foolish, Jack thought, idly scratching the side of his face. She gave no indication she was happy to see me; let it go. That whole meeting went over like a lead balloon. Dejected, he paced back to his truck, trying to stem the flood of old memories of happier times with Lisa.
We're driving off in opposite directions. I'm going to Heartland, and she's going to Fairfield. She's selling Fairfield. I must have missed the realtor's signs, somehow. Jack knew how he had missed them, however, as he had taken to deliberately avoiding looking at Lisa's property any time his course took him along the stretch of road bordering it.
He could not help but remember the first time he had seen Fairfield up close. I was driving Lisa back after I told off that jerk of an ex-husband of hers. I was so happy that she still wanted to talk to me after leaving her stranded at the auction. She's so forgiving. Why did she give me a second chance? She accepted my apology so easily. I thought I had blown it.
His brain had been spinning at top speed throughout that drive, reaching for some way of asking her out on an honest-to-goodness date, but could think of no simple way to bring up the subject. Thank goodness she had provided an opening when she playfully asked if he had a plan in mind about how he was going to make it up to her. He had always felt comfortable and relaxed at his cabin, so before he even knew what he was saying, he asked if she was free to go fly fishing with him in a few weeks.
"Well, as a matter of fact... I do have something in mind about how to make it up to you..."
And she said "yes" so quickly, I almost couldn't believe my ears. What was I thinking asking a woman like Lisa out to a ratty old fishing cabin for a date?
Presently, Jack pulled back into Heartland. The sun was starting to go down, splashing golden rays across the open fields, highlighting the tops of the trees. He noticed Amy and Georgie in the jumping pen; the former taking a new horse around the course over what looked like empty liverpools. Heart and feet heavy, he dragged himself onto the porch and sank heavily into the bench, mind still full of that first date with her.
"To whatever it is," she had toasted them, a spark of warmth bursting in those blue eyes he already loved so dearly.
Whatever it was, Jack now thought with a doleful shake of his head. She didn't even tell me she was back in Hudson. After all we've been through, she didn't see it fit to tell me she was selling Fairfield. I deserved that much at least, didn't I?
But the more he tried to take umbrage at Lisa's lack of communication this time around, the more he was convicted of his own behaviour the last time they were together. She doesn't want anything to do with me after that falling out we had over that ridiculous hospital bed. The spark in her eyes was gone today. I never thought those eyes could look so cold... And sad.
It tormented him to know he was the proximate cause of that sadness and cold, impersonal reception.
**
Of all the dumb luck. I can't believe after all that avoidance, I had to run into Jack at the mailboxes. Lisa replayed that disappointing encounter, analysing each careless word spoken, wondering what she might have done differently. I honestly have no idea how to interpret how that went down back there, she thought. I don't know how to read that expression on Jack's face. Was he happy to see me? He didn't sound like it. And he certainly didn't sound surprised when I told him I was selling my place. What did I expect, anyway? That he would break down and beg me to stay? Oh, no. That's not Jack Bartlett's style. In fact, I have no idea at all what he was thinking. It's like we were almost strangers by the way we talked.
Lisa pulled onto the access road to Fairfield, flashing by the 'For Sale' sign. Her heart throbbed after concluding that might very well have been the last time she ever saw Jack. What a sour note to end things on, she mused bitterly. What a wasted opportunity.
Business concerns soon took over once again as she was obliged to inspect the clean-up job done by the landscaping company. Everything looked ship-shape; Fairfield would be more than ready for prospective buyers the realtor wished to bring for a viewing.
Out of nowhere, a distant memory of Val Stanton's mocking voice surfaced. "So, you'll be living at Fairfield, then?"
Lisa paused in her tracks, swept up in the residual irritation of that long-ago exchange. "Jack did hit the jackpot, didn't he?" Val had teased, though she seemed to know she was poking at one of Lisa's private insecurities. "I'm sure you'll have an ironclad pre-nup."
Val's thinly veiled antagonism stirred up feelings of resentment now. Jack and Lisa's hasty engagement was over just as quickly as it had begun, all because they truly had not seriously considered how their lives would come together in a practical sense. Oh, we had the romantic side figured out, Lisa acknowledged, but now even that's gone. No engagement, no marriage. We'll never be together at Fairfield now, and we certainly won't ever have France. Our relationship is officially road-kill, and I'll bet Val the Vulture is still lurking around, just waiting for an opportunity to pounce.
**
Next Chapter: Chapter 24: Things I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You
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nightwingvixen23 · a year ago
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DICKPrettyThingGRAYSON Updated His Status :
To my soulmate.........
BITCH COME FUCKING GET ME😩
8,426 Likes 25 Comments
RedKINGRoy : I pulled up where your ass @ ?
DICKPrettyThingGRAYSON : Dairy Queen
TimBirb : you’re a legit mess
DICKPrettyThingGRAYSON : that’s why your man wants a piece
TimBirb :
Tumblr media
KonElK: I’m not apart of this conversation
TimBirb : you are literally a part of this conversation Kon 
KF2.o : I will bitch slap each and every single one of you who comes near my dick
Stephanieee23 : lmfaoooo try again Wally
KF2.o : I will bitch slap each and every single one of you who comes near my Dick
RedKINGRoy : 🤣🤣
Stephanieee23 : one more time
KF2.o : I will bitch slap each and every single one of you who comes near my Dick Grayson
Stephanieee23 : There ya go! Who’s a good boy !!?
KF2.o : 🖕✋
Jason piece’a’me Todd : first of all....all of you guys can slap yourselves when I tell you to slap yourselves ‘cause I’m predominate bitches. Second of all the stake has already been claimed. end of story. good day.🎩
RedKINGRoy : then why am I about to pull up and feed your boy some ice cream ?
Jason piece’a’me Todd : you’re delusional, we established this weeks ago Roy. You wouldn’t remember tho.....considering you’re delusional 
DICKPrettyThingGRAYSON : no one knows which Dairy Queen i’m at. Besides, for all you know, I could be on a stakeout. Or undercover. 
Stephanieee23 : Major hot crimes goin’ down in the DQ you guys
KF2.o : fuck if I didn’t already know that, my sundae last week had extra nuts when I didn’t ask for extra nuts 
TimBirb : lemme guess, a little too much extra ?
KF2.o : exactly
Stephanieee23 : Major Hot Crimes
DamiWayn : what the fuck kinda shit did I just read ?
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hitchell-mope · 10 months ago
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(Third film. After “losing your memory”. Devie are back in their room and Evie looks beyond haunted. Doug is trying to calm her down but it’s not working)
Evie: why didn’t it work?
Doug: I really couldn’t tell you
Evie: of course I know why it didn’t work. I mean it should’ve worked and it didn’t. I still feel the same. I’m still angry. Why am I still angry? You saw me. I was bawling my eyes out.
Doug: the best I can tell you is that your feelings of abandonment aren’t rooted in unknowing. Perhaps. It’s not him you’re sad for. Maybe you’re just sad about what could’ve been. What you could’ve had. With him and Hadie
Evie: they’re going to be wanting an answer
Doug: so you tell them the truth
(In the kitchen)
Mal: you realise you have meat pulp around your face and on your nose right?
Ben: do I? Hm. (He wipes his mouth and nose with the back on his hand, sniffs it, shrugs and licks off). Better? What’s wrong?
Mal (eyes wide as dinner plates): absolutely nothing wrong at all.
Ben (giggling dorkily): ok
Evie (walking hurriedly into the kitchen): I watched the memory. And I have something to say. (Her father and brother look at her hopefully). I’m not ready to forgive you. I might never be ready. But I am willing to takes very small steps into letting you be apart of my life. You just have to let me set the tone. Alright? If not. Then I want nothing to do with either of you and Mal can keep keep you both. Capisce?
Hades: that sounds more then fair.
Hadie: yes. Much more then either of us deserve. Could I have the hat back now?
Evie: take it. Oh! By the way. I might have interfered with the memory a little bit.
Hades: OH! So that was you then. Your spell work is very impressive Evie
Evie: thank you. I think
(Gil is watching from the doorway. Happy to see his family is somewhat getting along, he goes to the living room and flops down next to Lonnie who’s being used as a human pillow by Jane)
Lonnie: you ok?
Gil: yeah. I like it when they’re happy.
Lonnie: you like it when everyone’s happy
Gil: yah cause it’s the greatest emotion evah (Lonnie quietly snorts). It makes a change from when I first got here though. Remember that. Everyone was so sweet to me. But I could tell I got on their nerves
Lonnie: you could never get on anyone’s nerves. It was just a...really weird time for everyone. Belle was trying to get Adam to agree to the divorce. Ben was ordering Uma’s statue. The memorial was being planned. But you always took precedent. You know that. Right?
Gil: yeah. I just don’t like that I made everyone feel they needed to devote all that time to me. I was really difficult to teach. And I cried a lot
Lonnie: never be ashamed of crying. It’s perfectly healthy.
Gil: I know that now. But remember who my birth father is. One misty eye and it was a punch in the face. But at least mom helped me unlearn all of that.
Lonnie: yeah. (Chuckling). Remember, remember that one time after your first month here
Gil (joining her in chuckling): oh god the car. Doug was so sweet. I can tell what Evie sees in him. Whew. That was. That was a good day.
Lonnie: yeah, yeah it was.
(Flashback time. One month after Gil arrives in Auradon. He’s been officially adopted by Belle. And now Doug is trying to teach him to drive. Belle watches out the window of her quarters as Doug and Gil swaps seats. This is when “strange sight” happens. A few weeks after tne song. Belle trudges back into her office. Elsa’s there at her desk, waiting for her)
Belle (wearily): please get out of my chair.
Elsa: only one in this office I can sit in without fixing it. Chocolate liqueur?
Belle: please. (She takes twenty). You will not believe the day I just had
Elsa: Mal filled me in. Some people just can’t take the hint
Belle: I don’t want money, Ben’ll be eighteen soon so I don’t need custody, I just want him out.
Elsa: about that. I, uhm, got bored, and I rifled through the papers you so carelessly left out on the desk and I found something that might be of interest to you. Here you go (she hands Belle a piece of paper) you own the school.
Belle: I know that. I had to twist his arm to let me sign it in my name
Belle: yes. And while you may not need custody or money, you still need to protect what’s yours.
Belle: he could come after the school.
Elsa: precisely.
(Belle flops down onto a couch. Elsa goes to the wet bar)
Belle: he wasn’t always like this you know. He used to be good. But being elected. It warped him. And I can’t
Elsa: it’s not your fault, here, drink. You changed him from beast to man. But he’s still a selfish brat deep down. Nothing you or anyone could’ve done would’ve changed that.
Belle: I know. It’s just
Elsa: irritating? Yah. I got that. You need to take you’re mind off of all this
Belle: what do you suggest?
Elsa: what did carlos make for you’re birthday last week?
Belle: immersive karaoke machine. Why?
Elsa (proofing the machine into the room): pick the song. Unwind. Then wring your ex’s neck
Belle: anything by Beyoncé. Mal got my interest piqued
Elsa: she was a very impressive entertainer
(Elsa clicks the numbers in and everything gets set up. This is when “if I were a boy” happens. After the song. Mal pops her head around the door)
Mal: asset dividing went well I see? Good song choice
Elsa: thank you dear.
Belle: anything wrong Mal?
Mal: nope. Just enjoying the show. Oh. And the WI Dinner. Scorpio room alright?
Belle: should be more then adequate. Is that all?
Mal: no I don’t think so. Just. Don’t worry about Auradon Prep. You’ll think of something. You always do.
Belle: thank you dear. I like the fringe by the way.
Mal: you would be the fourth
Belle: beg pardon?
Mal: well Ben, mom, Gil, and now you. Four. Jay and Carlos tease. Evie’s threatening to shave me bald in my sleep. Doug has no opinion. Dizzy thinks it’d look better on her. And Lonnie and Jane think it makes me look like a soccer mom
Elsa: well then...uh...
Mal: nah don’t worry. I said I’d have it for a month. And it’s been two days. Hopefully my sisters brain will melt from annoyance
Belle: g-good to know
Mal: aces. I’ll leave you to it then. See ya
(She walks down the hall. Artfully dodging the palace staff. Soon though she reaches the main staircase as well as Ben and Adam who’re are in the middle of an argument)
Adam:...if you had just listened to me then none of this ever would’ve happened!
Ben: yes it would’ve dad! Wether you want to face the truth or not, what happened at cotillion could’ve happened at literally any other time. I’m just thankful it happened when the cameras were on us. Cause at least then everyone could see that it’s people like you that drove Uma to it
Adam: of course, I forgot, I’m the bad man for thinking of the kingdom and you’re the alruist for putting up statues of our aggressors!
Mal (having heard enough from Adam): Uma was not an aggressor. The raccoon, yes, but Uma, no. (Adam starts to growl). Oh don’t look at me like that. What are you going to do? Throw a chair at me? (Her eyes glow emerald green). Go on then. Do it! I can more then assure you that it shan’t be me that it makes contact with. (Her eyes return to normal). Give the word Ben and I’ll turn him into something easily burned with a magnifying glass. If not I’ll be in your room
Ben: nah. He’s not worth it. Besides. He’d just start raving again. And nobody needs that. Please dad, just leave.
Adam: you need me son, you need me, Ben. The half dwarf has no idea how to assist you in running this kingdom
Ben: DOUG, knows a right sight more about the inner workings of the kingdom than you do. There’s a reason he’s my major-domo. And I know what you’re thinking. “He’s gonna be crawling back and asking for my help sooner or later. He’ll feel so stupid. Oh how he should’ve listened to me” (he laughs mockingly). Yeah remember I can read minds now. And I won’t. Don’t worry. I’m not gonna come crawling back. I’m good, we don’t need you, we’re good, I feel good
(This is when “feeling good” happens. Ben leaves his father twitching on the grass, rubs his face in frustration and poofs to his room. Mal’s in the kitchenette looking at a bottle of her medication)
Mal: I’ve got enough to last until the end of the week. But I’ll go into town and get some more later today. Just to be on the safe side
Ben (distractedly): sounds good
Mal: you ok?
Ben: mhmm...no. It’s just. He gets to me. You know. He knows how to push my buttons
Mal: oooh I’ve been there. You know you can always make an appointment with Milo, right?
Ben: yeah. Just not right now. M’not ready
Mal: that’s ok too. If you’re in the mood for it. We could fit in a quick “flight session” before dinner?
Ben: flight session or “flight session”?
Mal: second one
Ben: mmmm...no. Not in the right headspace. But we can fly properly later if ya like
Mal (understandingly): sounds perfect. But we should really do something to take your mind off your father. So how about we practice for the showcase?
Ben: fairy godmother said our song choice wasn’t viable for a school environment. And then paired you up with Evie.
Mal: well. How about we prevtice your one. You know. The one you’re doing with Lonnie
Ben (smiling): that sounds good
(Mal sets up the automatic piano. This is when “changes” happens. After the song Ben notices something)
Ben: hey mom! Hold up! (He pods down to the front of the palace to greet his mother). Watcha doing?
Belle: I’m off to the library
Ben: I thought we had one inside.
Belle: yes. Yea we do. But it’s not been updated apart from legal documents for 22 years. Therefore. I thought I’d take on the duty of updating it. Like it should be
Ben (cracking a wide grin): pick out some for me. You know what ones I like
Belle: will do
Ben: what brought all this on though. I’ve never seen you this happy. I like it.
Belle: getting a divorce can do wonders for a woman’s confidence. See you later tonight.
(She starts to head off)
Ben: hey mom!
Belle: yes?
Ben: Phillipe II’s been looking a little lonely
Belle (realising what Ben means): of course. Now I really must be going. Bye bye
Ben: byeee
(This is when “float” happens. A few weeks later Gil’s at the ROAR arena watching Lonnie lead the team in training)
Carlos: you know, you’re not gonna get anywhere with her just by staring
Gil: I-I am not-staring, puh hoohaa, ehhhh, is it that obvious?
Carlos: only from space
Gil: ah. (Whimpering) help meee. Please?
Carlos: you know what she likes. ROAR. Gossip. And weapons in general. You’ll be fine.
Gil: ok. Ok. I can do this. I’ll be fine
(After practice he approaches her as she’s packing to leave)
Gil: teach me
Lonnie (slightly surprised): hm?
Gil: I know how to fight like a pirate. And I know how to wrestle a grown man until his tendons snap beneath my fingers. But I don’t know ROAR. So I was wandering. Could you teach me?
Lonnie: of course. Only if you agree to do exactly what I say when I say it without argument
Gil: no arguments from me. So when do we start?
Lonnie: hmmmmm. For safety’s sake, considering this this your first time at ROAR, how about now?
Gil: works for me.
Lonnie: alrighty then. Grab that spare sword and we’ll get started
Gil: as you wish captain
(He takes the spare sword and they start practicing. This is when “strangers like me” happens. Well after the song Gil’s whooping down the corridor past Jay and Carlos)
Jay: somebody’s happy
Carlos: yeah I might have given him the final push he needed to ask Lonnie out
Jay: impressive. I’m proud of you. Ya big softie
Carlos: you would’ve done the same. Except you’d have added more beer
Jay: this is true. But still. You did a good thing dear.
Carlos: yeah. At least they get to move on together next year
Jay: ahhhh...wait, what? Whadya mean next year?
Carlos: oh nothing, you’re graduating this year, next year I’ll have a new roommate, and long distance hardly ever works
Jay (turning Carlos around to face him): C, look at me, long distance is gonna work. You know me. I’m lazy as sin.
Carlos: yeah, that’s probably true. But still. It’s gonna be difficult. Like really, really, really, difficult
Jay: what makes you say that?
Carlos: I mean look at you, you’re a freaking genie for gods sake. More to the point, you’re a free genie. People are gonna eat you up my friend.
Jay: ohhhh. You’re jealous.
Carlos: I’m not jealous. I’m insecure. There’s a difference
Jay: riiiight. I know how to deal with jealousy. But not insecurity
Carlos: I don’t expect you to. It’s my problem. And I’m the one who’s gotta deal with it. Not you. And oh Christ there’s the kingdom to consider
Jay: oho kay. I think you’re making a mountain out of a molehill right now
Carlos: it’s fine. I don’t expect you to get it. But please just let me vent.
Jay: sure. Vent away
(This is when “the last of the real ones” happens. That night in the family library, Ben finds Belle at the main table. She’s crying quietly)
Ben: hey, Mal and I are going out for dinner. I just wanted to let you know. Are you alright?
Belle: yeah. Just. I dunno. Feeling sorry for myself I suppose. I uh, I found something that brought back memories
Ben: good or bad memories?
Belle: oh good, very good, that’s what made me sad
Ben (reading the book title): “William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet: First Edition Illustrated”. Ohhhh. Oh you taught him to read with that didn’t you?
Belle: retaught him. He was cursed for almost ten years by then. He’d forgotten. (She abruptly stands up, sending the chair flying). Oh god why am I crying about him. It’s stupid. I’m divorcing him. He’s out of my life
Ben: I hate to play the devils advocate but he isn’t. Because of me you won’t be rid of him until his funeral procession. Which can’t come soon enough in my opinion.
Belle: it’s a stupid memory
Ben: no it’s not, cause it meant something to you.
Belle: I taught you too well
Ben: well it was either you teach me manners or Lumiere teach me flirting. Frankly we’re lucky the only thing I can play on piano is the assorted hits of David Bowie
Belle: you do play a good Starman. What are you doing?
Ben (pulling out his phone): calling Mal. Hey. Yeah it’s me. Mom’s got something going on. But you, Doug and Evie can go on without me. Oooh yes! Jane loves that restaurant. She’d love to go. See you tomorrow morning. Love you. Bye. And now you’re stuck with me for the night Maman
Belle: you don’t have to do this. You’re young. You should be having fun. Not stuck here with your elderly mother
Ben: I’ve got whiskey
Belle: so Downton Abbey, yes?
(Five hours and six bottles later they’re cry-laughing at the season one finale when Ben looks at his phone)
Ben: oh Christ. Is that the time. I should really be getting to bed
Belle: goodnight dear. I’ll keep watching
(Ben heads for the door. Then stops and turns back around to face her. This is when “strange sight reprise” happens. After the song, he leaves and the scene melts away back to the present. Gil and Lonnie are still on the couch looking very confused)
Lonnie: that was, uh, a weird flashback
Gil: I wasn’t there for half of that stuff
(They see something next to the mantelpiece)
Gilonnie: Camelot incense
Lonnie: Mal must have lit them
Gil: serves Evie right for buying in bulk.
Uma: what the fuck are you two on about
Gil: oh. Hey Uma. Didn’t see you there. We were, um, we were remembering what I was like when I first got here.
Uma: like I care. I don’t wanna hear about your perfect little life.
Lonnie: that’s my cue to leave. Or I’ll put your head through a wall.
Uma: ohhhh you could try. You wouldn’t be successful. But you could try
Lonnie: I’ll be in the kitchen if you need me Gil. As you you, you tricorn wearing whiny ass little loser. If you upset him. You answer to me. Capisce?
Uma: I don’t eat anything the bitch cooks. I’d rather die
Lonnie: keep acting the way your acting, that could very well happen
(Lonnie leaves. Gil looks disapprovingly at Uma)
Gil: she’s right you know
Uma: what?
Gil: eventually, everyone will stop trying to understand you. And they will leave you. Again. And you’ll be alone. Again. Is that really what you want?
Uma: I don’t need friends to know I’m right
Gil: BUT YOU’RE NOT! NEITHER OF YOU ARE RIGHT! She did one shitty thing to you ten years ago and what did you do? You let it consume you. You sent Harry after Carlos, the one she sees as her son, then last year you kidnapped and hypnotised the love of her life. And now. When both she and Ben are trying to give you leeway you keep pushing back. Because you are so fucking terrified of showing some much needed weakness that you’d rather push away anyone who gives somewhat of a damn about you wether it’s me or Harry or Ben or Morg
Uma: SHUT UP! JUST SHUT UP! YOU DONT KNOW ME! NONE OF YOU DO! YOU NEVER DID! AND YOU NEVER WILL!
Gil: yeah, cause you won’t let us. And that’s where you fail Uma. You never let anyone in
(Gil leaves the room passing Doug and Celia on the way)
Doug: Ben would like everyone back in the kitchen please. Hades and Mal have something they want to say
Uma: later.
Doug: no, now. Trust me. You’ll wanna here this
Uma: you’re not the boss of me. No matter how good looking you are
Doug: this is my house. Captain Facillier.
Celia: give us a minute.
Doug: you get ten.
(They watch Doug leave. Celia grabs Uma’s arm and practically throws her onto the couch)
Uma: what the hell was that for?
Celia: shut up. Just sit back and pay attention.
Uma: what are you doing?
Celia: relighting the Camelot incense.
Uma: why?
Celia: because dad cares. Just remember. These operate on Merlin’s magic. Which is rather unreliable. So we’ll probably see more then we need to
Uma: what?
Celia: just shut up and let me work. Alright?
(Once she lights the incense then she mutters a quick spell in french and once again the scene gives way to a flashback. This time to Facillier’s arcade on the island. The news is on the tv. Ben looks apologetic. He’s talking about a statue. Facillier’s watching and he looks broken)
Uma: why are we here?
Celia: this is six months ago. Aka; six months after you disappeared and Ben’s just declared you legally dead, highly reluctantly might I add. See Uma, you were missed. Even if you don’t think so. It practically broke our dad. Ah crap.
Uma: what?
Celia: I forgot.
Uma: forgot. WHAT?
Celia: ah, heh heh. Yuh see errrr
Ursula: 🎶OH ANTOINE!!!!🎶
Uma: no.
Celia: I am so sorry
(The door is blasted open and in slithers Ursula in all her slithery cephalopodic “glory”)
Ursula (slurring her words a little): I came as soon as I heard.
Facillier: what? To rub it in?
Ursula: why ever would I do that? I’ve lost my only daughter and only wish to seek >hic< comfort in the arms of the only man I’ve ever >belch< loved
Facillier: my god, you’re drunk aren’t you?
Ursula (giggling and belching simultaneously): muhbe a lil bit?
Facillier: oh Christ I should’ve known. You’re only here to gloat about how I can never see Uma again. Only you can’t be blamed for it
Ursula: oh don’t beat yourself up honey. Who knows. One day she may yet reappear. After (brap) all, every soul lost to the depths makes its way to me. It’s the law of the ocean. I’m like that fiery gent you sleaze around with. Only I’m more important
Facillier: get out
Ursula (stammering): what?
Facillier: get out! Go on! GET OUT! GET YOUR DRUNKEN BLUBBERY ASS OUT OF MY HOUSE! NOW!!!!
Ursula (turning on the, very, very, false, waterworks): but, but, but-
Facillier (having flat out lost his patience by now): BUT NOTHING! I don’t want you here. Not near me. Not near Celia. Get out. Sober your ass up. Or never contact me again
Ursula (actually starting to get nervous now): but this is how we work. I show up here drunk, you join me, then we end up in bed and
Facillier: not this time. If you want to talk to me, then stop downing the sixteen bottles of fermented grog you filch at the pier. And don’t, don’t do that
Ursula: don’t do what?
Facillier: oh god do I have to spell it out for you?
(This is when “call me when you’re sober” happens. After the song he wafts Ursula away in a plume of magenta smoke)
Facillier: you can come in now
Anastasia (sheepish smile): I uh, I saw Ursula headed for you and I thought you might need someone in your corner. How’re you doing?
Facillier: about as good as can be expected. But at least punches weren’t thrown
Anastasia: yeah. It’s just a shame there’s nothing they can do
Facillier: well they already went over the legal requirements and I know enough about the king to know he didn’t make the call off lightly. But it’s still disheartening. She might still be out there. Alone. With no one to help OH SHIT
Anastasia: what is it. What’s wrong?
Facillier (putting his jacket on as he heads for the door): Celia! I’ve got to go somewhere. I might be gone for so time. Ana’s going to stay here to look after you. Be good, behave and please try not to fleece anyone who doesn’t deserve it.
Flashback!Celia (from upstairs): will do. See ya later. Bye
Anastasia: what’s. Wrong?
Facillier: the boy. Uma wasn’t alone. He was with her
Anastasia: fuck. Do you think hades knows?
Facillier: I don’t know. If he does. He’s probably drinking himself into a stupor. Either way. He needs someone
Anastasia: then fly you fool
Facillier: I really shouldn’t have found that disc for you
Anastasia: oh you wouldn’t changed it for the world
Facillier: yeah you’re right
(He poofs away in a cloud of fuchsia smoke. In the shadows Celia turns to Uma who has a pained look on her face)
Celia: this was all I know. Well. What he told me. What happens next will be a complete surprise to both of us. So. Do you continue?
Uma: yes. Fine. I need to know. Just get on with it
(Celia nods her head and the scene melts away into smoke the reappears in a brightly lit, well cared for but still run down bar. The signage says “Kronk’s Tavern”. Facillier approaches Hades (Eva Green) who’s sitting on a barstool and drowning her sorrows in tequila and gin. End of this part of the Facillier flashback)
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sociallyawkwardkitty · a year ago
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Bitbeasts and Demigods Part 25
Disclaimer: I do not own Beyblade nor Percy Jackson.
Author's notes: I'm really sorry for taking this long to update. I'm busy with my original novel that I almost forgot this one.
Kai: Honestly, you could've just said that earlier.
Rei: I'm sure your readers will understand your current situation.
Max: I wonder what will happen here.
Tyson: Please don't kill off Rei.
Me: I'm not.
Tyson: Oh yeah? •pulls down a graph showing the instances where Rei almost died•
Me: •nervous laugh• On with the fic!
The Trojan Cetus made its way towards the ship. For a creature as tall as the Statue of Liberty, its speed was unbelievable. It collided with the cruise ship, causing Max to lose his balance. He slammed against the wall hard. Tyson immediately rushed to his side.
"Whoa, Max! You alright, buddy?"
Max groaned.
"I'm fine. Help me up, will ya?"
Tyson helped Max up. He breathed in and out. The creature let out a terrifying screech. It was about to slam the ship again, but Max was ready this time. With a move that he learned from a character in Avatar: The Last Airbender, he made a huge wave that drove the creature back. It hit the Cetus hard, causing it to reel. Tyson whistled with appreciation.
"Dude! That was wicked! Where did you learn that?"
Max let out a grin.
"Been watching Avatar with the Hermes cabin back at camp. I don't know where they got the original DVDs. It was cool."
Meanwhile, Rei, Grayson, and Kai struggled to keep their balance. The satyr used his nature magic to build a heavier bow. When it was finished, Kai tried to pull the bowstring back. But he couldn't since it has a heavier draw weight than his bow.
"I can't pull this thing far enough. You'll have to do it, Rei," Kai said.
"M-Me?! Dude, I don't know. I'm not much of an archer," Rei responded.
"There's no other way. Just do it!"
Prompted by his teammates, Rei held the bow. Grayson created makeshift arrows out of woodland magic. Rei notched the arrow. He breathed in and out, then pulls the bowstring back with ease. He aimed for the monster. With a defiant shout, Rei let his arrow fly.
It hit the monster right in the eye. It shrieked and thrashed some more. Fortunately, Max was able to keep the cruise ship from capsizing. But things got more dangerous when the monster came straight towards them.
"Shit. Brace yourselves!" Rei warned.
"Hang on!" Max manipulated the water in a circular motion, creating a whirlpool. The monster couldn't find traction, so it was swept underneath the sea. It did not resurface.
The Bladebreakers collapsed in relief.
"I thought I was going to see Uncle Hades the hard way," Tyson spoke. "You all right, Maxie?"
"I'll live," the blonde replied. Kenny continued to heave in a nearby trash can. Kai, Rei, and Grayson went down from the upper deck.
"Are you guys okay?" Rei asked. Tyson laughed nervously.
"We're good," he replied. But his knees betrayed him. He collapsed on a chair.
"You guys need a breather. We're approaching London," Grayson said. To calm the boys down, he played a soothing tune. It helped the Bladebreakers regain their bearings.
The Bladebreakers made it to London. To buy some time, they went to the city to buy food. The sailor told them that they have an hour before the ship sets sail again. This buoyed the boys' spirits. However, they forgot one thing: the prophecy.
When they came back from their shopping, they froze.
"Guys? Where is the ship?" Tyson spoke.
"Great," Kai groaned.
Rei looked around and spotted a sailor. He approached him.
"Excuse me, sir. Where did the ship go?
"The ship? It set sail a while ago," the sailor replied. Tyson almost dropped his bag of goodies.
"The ship set sail?!" Tyson and Max exclaimed.
"Well, the prophecy said we'll end up in Londinium. And I just remembered that Londinium is the name that the Romans gave London."
"Well then... Let's hop to it," Grayson spoke. So the Bladebreakers went to the city in hopes of getting help, not knowing that monsters lay in wait.
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pandawritespoorly · a year ago
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With Time: Chapter 24 - Sick Day
Author’s Note: Hey, look, and update that's on time. Good way to start off the new year I suppose! I hope the decade has been going well for you guys, and if not, I hope that this angst-free chapter can be, at the very least, something that makes you happy.
Chapter Summary: Falling in a snowdrift tends to have negative consequences on one's health, so the Quantics check on their favorite designer.
First | Previous | Saturday
The moment the bakery opens, Allan walks in. He smiles at Tom and Sabine, waving as he heads in the back. He walks a little faster than what is probably necessary, but he’s worried. 
He’s calmed down some - making something helps - but he’d like to check on Marinette himself. Falling in a snowdrift in this sort of weather is not good for your health.
Looking at his phone he sees a text from Felix.
 Felix: Allan, do not wake up early solely to check on Marinette. I am certain she is fine, perhaps she has a cold at the very worst. Her parents would have let us know if she was seriously ill.
 The Mom Friend: to late
 Melodie: Oh Allan.
 The Mom Friend: I just want to check on her quick.
 Kid Mime: ill head over to
Kid Mime: its ok allan
 The Mom Friend: but stil
 He pushes the trapdoor open gently, “‘Nette? You up?”
No response. That’s fine. She’s probably sleeping. She’s fine. She’s just sick. Probably. 
It wouldn’t hurt to check.
He climbs the ladder, breathing a sigh of relief when he sees her curled against the wall, clearly breathing and perfectly fine.
Maybe she isn't fine. She might be sick. It’s just a cold. A flu at the worst.
It could be something worse. She fell into a snowdrift and stayed there for a while.
How long has she been sleeping? Sleeping for too long could be bad. He almost wakes her up, then he hesitates. Maybe she’s only just gone to sleep. If that’s the case, maybe he shouldn’t.
Is there a way to tell how long someone has been asleep?
He’s standing at the top of the ladder, hesitating for too long. Oh come on. She’s fine. She’s fine, you know she’s fine. It makes the most sense given all the facts.
But what if she’s not? He’s no doctor, but when he thinks of the consequences of prolonged exposure to cold he thinks of three things: a cold, the flu, and pneumonia.
Pneumonia.
That can kill people.
Maybe he should wake her up.
He’s still hesitating when the trapdoor opens. He doesn’t have to turn to know Claude has arrived.
“Do you think she has pneumonia?” He doesn't look from her when he asks the question, but Claude can hear the anxiety in his voice.
“No, Allan. I don’t think she has pneumonia.”
“But maybe-”
“Shhh. Allan, she’s fine. Get off the ladder.”
“We aren’t doctors-”
“So we can’t diagnose her with anything. We’ll assume it’s the flu for now, and if it seems bad we’ll get her to a doctor. Come on.” Claude gently coaxes him down the ladder, “How much did you sleep last night?”
“Maybe four hours?”
“Maybe?” “Okay, about two an’ a half…” he sees Claude’s look, “It wasn’t just ‘cause of Mari. It’s just… once I get started…”
“You don’t stop. Oh, Al’.” Claude has safely helped the other boy onto the floor, and they lead him to the chaise, “Sit down at the very least. Mari won’t mind. I understand if you can’t get yourself to sleep, but you deserve to rest.”
“...how long do you think she’s been sleeping? Would it be worse t’ wake her up too early or too late?” he startles at his last words, sitting up further, “I don’t like the sound of ‘too late’ maybe we should-”
Claude squeezes his hand a little, “Allan. Marinette is fine. It’s only a cold. Maybe the flu.”
“Right. She’s fine. Everything is fine.” he doesn’t sound entirely convinced, but he nods anyways.
Claude nods too, claiming the desk chair to work on a few things he’d brought over. They’d only grabbed their backpack, which had only a portion of their homework, but Allan had needed someone. Claude hadn’t been doing anything important anyways - just trying to find the most annoying memes he could possibly send to Felix.
After about 45 minutes, he looks up from the finished packet to see that Allan has fallen asleep against the chaise lounge. He’s rather precariously near the edge, and that just won’t do.
When they stand to move him further onto the longue, they notice that he’s holding his phone loosely. After adjusting his position and putting a blanket over him, Claude swipes the phone quickly, returning to the desk chair as he unlocks it.
He opens to the search results for ‘early signs of pneumonia’.
Allan, sweetie, no.
They close the phone, leaving it on the desk and opening his own to inform Felix, Adrien, and Allegra of the current status of their two most anxious friends.
 Kid Mime: ive ben here for a bit
Kid Mime: al is napping
Kid Mime: hes worried that mari has newmonia
 Melodie: Allan, honey.
 Kid Mime: mari is still asleep
Kid Mime: she seems fine
 Felix: Allegra and I can join you in an hour or so.
 Hug This Boy: I might be able to sneak away around lunch? If I finish the shoots early.
 Melodie: Gabriel does realize you’re a child, not a machine, right?
 Hug This Boy: You already are worried about two of us, there’s no need to make it three.
 Melodie: Watch me.
 Kid Mime: i have 2 say im with her on this
Kid Mime: im gunna kidnap u
 Felix: That’s illegal.
 Kid Mime: that makes it exciting
 Felix: I know when I’m fighting a losing battle.
 Hug This Boy: Do I get a say in this?
Melodie: Of course. We wouldn’t make you do anything you don’t want to do.
 Kid Mime: subtle
 Hug This Boy: What a concept.
Hug This Boy: Maybe I can get behind this.
 Melodie: I wasn’t going for ‘subtle’.
Melodie: More something along the lines of ‘GABRIEL AGRESTE IS A TERRIBLE PARENT WHO WOULDN”T KNOW THE MEANING OF LOVE/CARE IF IT PUNCHED HIM IN THE GUT’
 Kid Mime: pretty close
 Hug This Boy: Maybe putting it a little lightly, but that’s the gist of it.
 Melodie: Oh you poor baby.
---
Felix and Allegra show up, entering the room quietly.
“Good. They’re both still sleeping.” Allegra comments.
“Did Allan tell you how many hours of sleep he had last night?” Felix inquires.
“Two and a half.” Claude says matter-of-factly.
“Honey.”
“And how is Marinette?”
“She’s been sleeping the whole time. She feels a little warm, but that’s about all I can tell without waking her up.”
Allegra hums, climbing up the ladder to check on the girl herself. Marinette hasn’t moved much and is resting contentedly. Putting her hand to the sick girl’s forehead, Allegra can tell that Claude was right. Definitely a little warm.
Marinette’s eyes open slightly, squinting at the braided blonde.
“Hi honey, how’re you feeling?”
Marinette shakes her head slightly, giving a thumbs down.
“Well, I’m sorry to hear that. Are you gonna get up or are you going back to sleep?”
She gives a half shrug. Being awake sounds nice, but her eyes keep slipping shut.
“Alright. We’re all here. Except for Adrien.”
Marinette mumbles something bitterly, but all her friend picks up is ‘Gabriel’. She’s got some ideas of what Marinette might have said.
Allegra turns to the boys once she’s off the ladder, “She’s awake-ish. I’m not sure how long that’ll last, but she’s awake enough to hate on Gabriel Agreste.”
“Is that honestly her priority right now?” Felix asks.
“It’s always a priority,” is all he gets as a response.
Claude has produced a cup of water from who-knows-where, and he carries it up to Marinette.
“Hi sweetie, are you still awake?”
She shrugs, forcing her eyes open to squint at them. Once she sees the water she reaches for it, but gives up halfway.
“You sure you can hold this? You’re barely awake.”
Her glare is probably supposed to be defiant, but when she keeps having to force her eyes open, it isn’t exactly effective.
“Sure. You can have this when you’re sitting up then.” he returns to the ground and places the water on the desk, turning to Felix and Allegra as he spins in the desk chair, “So what have you two been up to?”
“Nothing that you are unaware of,” Felix sits on Marinette’s case against the wall.
“We got back a little early. I’m glad to be back - not that the trip was bad, it’s just nice to be home.” Allegra rests against the chaise, glancing at the sleeping boy on it momentarily.
“What do ya’ think Mari was doing outside?”
“It does seem odd, given her predisposition to staying indoors when it is as cold as it was yesterday.”
“We can ask her when she wakes up more.”
“She might just try to sleep through it. She’ll probably be even more tired than normal so…” Claude shrugs.
Before the others can say anything, there’s a shuffling from above. Marinette props herself up and blinks down at them.
“Hello,” Felix greets her for the first time that day.
She only blinks, still trying to decide if she made the right decision by sitting up.
“You can have the water now!” Claude grabs the water from where they placed it, carrying it up to Marinette, who is able to grab it this time. She’s visibly shivering.
She finishes it off, placing it on a shelf beside her. It takes a moment, but she is able to give a soft, “Thank you.”
“It’s no problem. How you feelin’?”
She sticks out her tongue, “Bad.”
“Could you specify?” Felix calls up.
“Tired. Cold. Ache.”
“Temperature?” Allegra chimes in.
Marinette frowns as she tries to remember, Claude taps her arm and points out the thermometer.
“38.2 (100.8℉),” They read out for her. She’s beginning to slump slightly, probably debating whether or not she should rest.
“Do you want any ibuprofen or anything?” Allegra offers.
Marinette hums, drooping further. She straightens slightly, trying to seem alert and looking apologetic.
“Still tired?” Claude cocks his head at her, smiling softly.
“...no…I’m ‘wake...” she has propped herself up, relying heavily on one arm, and is sitting up fairly straight. If it weren’t for her head resting on her shoulder, she might have looked a little more convincing - if you also excluded all other factors.
“Really?”
“Yup…” She remains sitting, and feigns attentiveness.
Claude is resting against the wall next to her, looking doubtful, but he doesn’t comment.
“So what were you doing outside yesterday?” Allegra asks. If she’s going to pretend she can hold a conversation, then they may as well try.
Marinette mumbles a little, her arm seemingly failing to support her as before. She leans against Claude lightly, as though she is both in denial of her weariness and worried about somehow upsetting them.
“Still with us, Mare?” “Mhm.” She forces her eyes open again, 
“Somehow, I remain unconvinced.” Felix comments.
This time, she doesn’t respond. Leaning forward, her eyes slip shut again, and Claude moves her to lean against him - it’d be more comfortable than falling on her face. The group thinks she’s finally asleep, but she sits up again.
“Alright, that’s enough, Marinette,” Allegra is firm, but her voice is gentle, “You need to rest.”
Marinette doesn’t seem to quite register this, but goes to rest on Claude’s lap regardless. He combs her hair with his hands, hoping to lull her to sleep. 
After a few moments, she seems to have finally returned to rest, and he turns to the two below him, “Either of you have any homework left? I’ve got mine done.”
“No, I finished it.”
“Mine has also been completed.”
“Do you think Allan and Mari got theirs done?”
“He’s probably all set, but Marinette’s kind of up in the air. Usually I would say yes, but with it being winter…” Allegra trails off, giving a lopsided shrug, “We can ask when she’s not sick.”
“We should make sure that both of them get something to eat. Allan likely skipped breakfast, and the chances of Marinette eating without prior prompting are very slight.”
“True.”
“Same goes for Adrien. I wouldn’t put it past Gabriel to starve him if he doesn’t do well enough.” Allegra mutters bitterly.
“Allegra.” Felix warns.
She crosses her arms, clearly not done with it, but willing to put it aside. For now.
---
It’s another hour before Allan wakes up. He sits up, noticing that Allegra and Felix have arrived, “Oh. Hi. How long have you guys been here?”
“A while. How are you feeling?”
“...how is Marinette?” He ignores the question.
“Allan. How are you? Marinette’s fine.” Claude gestures at the girl still napping on him.
“What’s her temperature? Has she woken up? Has she eaten? What-”
“Allan.” Felix interrupts, “Marinette is fine. She woke up not too long ago. We are currently more concerned about you. How are you feeling?”
“Better, I guess. Napping helped. I don’t do well without sleep.”
“We know.” Allegra consoles, “That’s why Claude came over - they knew someone needed to check on you.” “Yeah, Al’. We’re not going to let you worry yourself into a pit.”
“Thanks.” He smiles softly, and they accept the victory.
“Also, Marinette did wake up. She had some water, her temperature was 38.2 (100.8℉), and she said she felt, ‘Tired. Cold. Ache.’ if I quote her directly.”
“Then she fell asleep on me!”
“Alright.” Allan takes a moment to consider this, “That’s not so bad.”
“Mhm!”
“Did you eat at all this morning?” Felix looks at him meaningfully.
“I might have maybe… put it off?”
“I’ll grab some food.” Allegra stands to get something from the kitchen. The Dupain-Chengs have told them multiple times that they’re welcome to eat when they’re over.
Marinette stirs slightly, eventually sitting up properly as Allegra re-enters. Allan looks to Marinette as he accepts the food from Allegra, “Thanks. How you feelin’ ‘Nette?”
She only wrinkles her nose, sticking her tongue out again. She seems to register that he wasn’t awake last time, “Hi…? You’re  ‘wake now?” Everything is spoken questioningly - she doesn't seem to be entirely sure of anything.
“I am.”
“Despite what he may tell you, Allan isn’t very good at self-care. He’s got the idea, but forgets the ‘self’ part,” Claude adds.
“Yah…’ve ‘noticed…” Marinette looks at the boy carefully.
“I’m all good now though.” He reassures her.
She only makes an ‘I’m watching you’ gesture at him, glaring suspiciously.
“Oh, you’re one to talk, missy!” 
“Mom-off.” Claude whispers.
Allegra interrupts the silent dispute of stares, “Alright, both of you have made your point, but I’d like to point out that while neither of you are in perfect health-” Allan makes a noise of protest, but Allegra raises an eyebrow to silence him as she continues, “Marinette is the only one here with a temperature, so…” She trails off, her statement clear. 
Marinette’s response is to stick out her tongue defiantly, Allan mimics her.
“‘M fine.” The girl insists.
“Sure.”
“I consider it unlikely that you will be able to stay awake any significant amount of time in your current state.” 
---
Despite Felix’s guess, Marinette managed to stay awake for a few more hours. Not that they tried to keep her up, or even that she was really trying to stay awake, she just couldn’t sleep. They’d moved downstairs and were watching movies on the couch when Adrien arrived.
“Hey, I got done early. How are you guys?”
“Allegra, Felix and I are average, and currently keeping an eye on the two that are in denial, which is Allan - who took a nap so he’s better - and little miss I-fell-in-a-snowdrift over here - who refuses to sleep. Or she just can’t.”
“Alright. Mari, how long did you sleep?” Adrien looks to her.
“Yes.” Is all he gets as a response from her. She’s clearly exhausted, but sleepy is a different story.
“How are you? I’ve got pitchforks at the ready for your father.” Allegra asks.
“I’m fine.” He shrugs.
Marinette isn’t having any of that. She points a finger at him and says, “Eat.”
Allan checks the time, “Actually, we should probably all eat somethin’.” 
“Alright! Snack time!”
“A meal would likely be a better idea.” Felix interrupts.
“Food time!”
“That works.” Everyone gets something to eat, though Marinette only takes a noticeably small amount of fruit, but no one comments. She’s also given water, which she forgot to get for herself. They finish eventually, moving back to the couch. Marinette is between Adrien and Claude. She isn’t focusing much on the screen due to her exhaustion.
She wants to sleep, but she can’t. Whether due to ladybug-habits, or just being sick she isn’t sure.
The tired girl frowns, she really wants to sleep. Everything hurts and she feels terrible. Not to mention how cold it is. It’s winter, and snowy, and it’s cold and she’s tired.
Well, maybe it isn’t so cold. Especially with all these people. Hibernating in groups is a good idea, and this is a group.
Wait, humans don’t hibernate.
Whatever. Adrien is here too, and he’s always warm, and she’s still tired.
Her eyes keep slipping closed. She’s so focused on the fact that she can’t sleep, that she doesn’t realize that she’s finally on the edge of it.
Adrien does. He sees how often her eyes are closing, and purrs softly - not enough for the others to hear - that would be hard to explain - but enough that he knows that the girl leaning on him will be able to tell.
As he expected, her eyes begin to stay closed for longer, before she eventually dozes off entirely. 
He doesn’t stop purring, not wanting to risk waking her up. He’s glad she’s finally gotten back to sleep. It’s for the best. She needs rest.
---
Author’s Note: Babys. Love these ones.
I'm not entirely satisfied with some of the dialogue in this chapter, but I don't have time to edit it. I'm sorry if you don't like it either.
These past few chapters have been really calm. It'd be a shame if some angst got in.Hey, look who remembered it was Saturday! I can't take all the credit for that, there's been plans coming up for today and so since I know today's the day, I also know that I should be updating. Woo! Not updating at 8:00 pm this time buddies! Speaking of those plans (starting a DnD campaign if you're curious, I'm excited), I probably won't be able to respond to comments as quickly do to that. I've mentioned it before, but I have a seperate account for writing (thanks anxiety), and all the things I'd need for the campaign are on my personal account. After I update I usually stick around and write for a few hours so that I can respond quickly, but I'm not sure how long I'll be able to do that. It depends on how early I get this up I suppose. Anyways, I may be able to respond via my phone, but I promise I'll still be responding to comments, it might just be delayed. I love talking to you guys!
Uhh, I feel like there was something else I was going to add in, but my little tangent made me forget. Oh well, I can edit this once I remember.
Thanks for reading! Feel free to leave any thoughts, theories, constructive criticism, or anything really in my ask box, in replies or through reblogs. I love seeing what you think!
First | Previous | Saturday
35 notes · View notes
demonfox38 · a year ago
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Completed - Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete
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Oh, man. You guys remember playing video games? And not working all the time? I did that for once!
Quick question—have you ever watched "The Princess Bride"?
I'm assuming there's a good chance that you have. It's a somewhat popular cult film known for its lighthearted narrative style and trope-setting lines. Even when it gets dark, it remains pretty whimsical, which is a reason a lot of people are attracted to it. It's a perfectly fine movie! And yet, I literally cannot sit through the whole damn film without getting drunk. I can maybe manage 20-30 minutes at a time before the saccharine levels build up too much and I have to shut it off.
Is it unreasonable? Absolutely.
Is it how I feel about "Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete"? Yeah. Pretty much.
I managed to pick up a copy of this game in an actual store prior to, well, everything vile in 2020 happening. (If you're in the Des Moines area—the Southgate Shopping Center location for "Jay's CD & Hobby" happens to be where I found this. They're priced competitively compared to PriceCharting.com figures, for what that's worth!) This RPG has been on my list to get around to for quite a bit of time, and I try my darnedest to get physical copies where I can. The nice thing about the release I got was that it had a "Making of" disc that included information on the developers and translators for this game. It's a lovely feature, so if you're interested in it, you should totally check it out. There's also a music CD and a cloth map in this release as well, which is an interesting offering. It's nice that the publisher Working Designs really cared about this game. It seems like they had a bit of a family and friends operation going on, at least on the American side of the house. Makes it hard for me to pick on them.
"Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete" is the remake of the Sega CD game "Lunar: The Silver Star." Both games revolve around Alex Noa, Dragonmaster enthusiast and aspirer, and his adopted sister / love interest Luna. (Yeah, it's one of those.) As party members pile up and the plot progresses, a mystery around the previous Dragonmaster and the disappearance of the planet's goddess Althena emerges. Childish ambition gets serious, and the fate of the planet falls on the shoulders of five squabbling dorks. And I do mean that in a very nice way.
The primary draw of this particular remake involves significant plot restructures, as well as animated cutscenes, voice acting, and a whole damn musical solo by the heroine. Ya see, in the original release of "Lunar: The Silver Star", Luna gets basically dumped off at some docks, only re-entering the plot upon her kidnapping. "Silver Star Story Complete" does her the favor of not only gracing her with a song of her own, but allowing her to tag along with the party for that gap in time, developing her relationship with Alex, his friends, and most importantly, the audience. Good call. Good call.
From what I've seen in the developer documentation and IMDB listings, Working Designs did their best to try and keep as many of the voice actors from the Sega CD release as possible. (Granted, that was, like, 4 people, but it's nice they went to the effort.) The voice acting itself is okay. Of the time. There's really only one nitpick I can make here, and it has to do with a very flat line read that Mia's voice actress has for casting spells. Like, it's "Summon elemental powers 😑." Just like that. The emoji is built in. Completely devoid of enthusiasm. Otherwise, everybody's doing their best to keep lip synced and in character. It's a bit of its time, but it's fine.
Also—I suspect there may be a programming flaw based on audio sample retrieval. I had a soft lock with the game when it failed to load that particular line in one battle, and the game just refused to continue without that being played. There really needed to be a timeout for that function.
In addition to vocal work, the game has a plethora of animated cutscenes. Like the voice acting, their style and production are very of their time. Mostly, digitally redrawn from hand-drawn cells and processed with Quicktime/Adobe Premiere. It's not the highest quality animation ever, but for how much is there and the budget these developers had, I think they've aged well enough. There are some 3D models in the mix that aren't particularly great, but at least they didn't put their whole stock into using them, either. It's more in the Rough Draft studios style where they used it for machines or large buildings.
There's a lot of side mouths going on, though. Might drive a few people nuts.
Finally, the game's music has been updated. Of note are the themes "Wings" and "Wind Nocturne," which both feature actual goddamn singing. Between these two, "Wind Nocturne" is genuinely the better song, particularly in English. (The Japanese lyrics for this song are just too on the nose, especially if you know where the plot is going.) "Wings" is okay, I guess. I don't like it because of how tepid it is, especially compared to the Sega CD's "Fighting Through the Darkness." Like, "Wings" is more complex in terms of musical structure, sure. It's a crime to lose the drive and energy from "Fighting Through the Darkness," though.
The rest of the music? Eh. Fine. C. Nothing I'm going to be downloading. Not like "FIGHTING THROUGH THE DARKNESS! ALL IS EVIL, STILL WE MUST PRESS ON—"
Hey. Liking cheese is a part of getting through this game. And the translation is very loose and cheesy. Naughty, too. It reminds me of the days when you could theoretically trick one's parents into buying a hyper sexualized or violent anime at a Suncoast. Not that I did. The nearest Suncoast to me was in Sioux Falls. The best I could pull off was hanging around old Geocities and Tripod sites, trying to figure out what was censored out of the English releases of "Sailor Moon" and "Tenchi Muyo." Oh, and the one time IFC was airing the 1980s "Vampire Hunter D" movie. (Look—for as much as American TV is censored, you will remember the times you saw boobs on air.)
Was that enough dated references for you?
Being dated is a bit of a problem with "Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete." Even as a revamp, the best portions of this game are all easily obtained with either a visit to YouTube or The Spriter's Resource. I mean, bam. Motivation for bromide hunting is literally gone that quick. (Well, unless you're a completionist, I guess.) Not that the game's developers could have predicted the rise of YouTube, but the company mentions its own website in its documents. It was on the beginning edge of the Internet's rise to common use and power, and unfortunately, that same tool can easily share the best parts of the game without the game itself. (Okay, the game itself, too. Let's not pretend to be naïve about that.) It's just something to consider when deciding whether or not to play a game or if you plan on building a game of your own. The game itself has to be good, you know? It can't just be about flashy trappings anymore.
Also, as you may have sussed out, the game's target audience is pervy teenage boys. You know how people today get creeped out by Ariel and Jasmine's ages? The whole emphasis on them being sixteen and being in questionably inappropriate attire/situations for their ages? That problem's here too, but with a fifteen-year-old wearing what may only be erotic to magical clowns getting her brain scrambled into simultaneous ultimate power and complete submission to the villain. Yep. Yep. There's your warning!
The actual game portion of this game was the main reason I struggled wanting to continue playing it. When it's behaving, it's a vanilla turn-based RPG. Keynote: behaving. Several dungeons like to throw either restrictions or status ailments at you. This can be as benign as messing with player controls. It can also include robbing HP, MP, or entire party members as it sees fit. Even the last dungeon has two floors where it inflicts the party with random sleeping, which effectively locks you out of using two party members at the beginning of each battle at random (and possibly, them getting killed if they are targeted for an attack.) And yes, this does persist into a boss fight!
What really pissed me off about this game was something I learned completely on accident. See, I'm a somewhat regular visitor to The Cutting Room Floor. I like learning about what has been changed between various versions of a game, as well as what was intended to be buried by the developers. I know I have no way to prove this, but I accidentally ended up on the "Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete (Playstation)" page by clicking on the "random page" option. (I was hunting for dirt on "Lupin the Third" games at the time and got bored.) And. Well. Why don't you go ahead and scroll down to those enemy statistics and get back to me?
Oh! And the bosses scale to your level! Isn't that nice?
The stat fuckery in this game bit me the hardest for two bosses in particular. I only managed to get past the Vile Crustacean through item abuse, as the party healer Jessica just can't heal enough to compensate for the damage you are taking at that point. (It's like healing 40 points vs. taking 60.) Also, unless you are forewarned well before that fight happens, you're not going to be able to load up two rejoining party members with healing items so that they can actually help in the fight. So, enjoy that.  The other one was the dog pair in the volcano (I think Bronze Dogs?). Not that they were the worst, but you get hard locked into that dungeon, so good luck if you run out of items.
I should also mention being frustrated with the menuing in this game. For some reason, it wants to default your first action on getting into a battle after booting the game to AI. And no. No. That AI? A wasteful parasite. Keep this game on manual at all times.
Also, have fun switching items around when your characters have a full inventory and want to slap on that nice, shiny bracelet you just picked up. I suppose I can't get too mad about the inventory situation because this is likely a remnant of an era where you had exceedingly limited memory for unique item storage. I.E., shit was probably in literal stacks or a hard-coded block. But, it's still annoying to work around.
Also, at the risk of spoilers—did you read on that TCRF page about what the programmers did to make sure that the player never got rid of Alex's Ocarina? That's the kind of hacky crap I'd expect out of freshmen programmers. Key item inventories exist for a reason, you know.
I think I played this game at the wrong time of my life. Not that I could have played it at either variants' original release time, but this was probably a game I should have tackled when I was 16-22 years old. Like, in high school or college. I was trying to use this game to ease back into playing longer video games again. (Working from home for six months fucked with my ability to long-term plan. Also, I spent several days working 14+ hours coding forms in July.) So, my patience for it just wasn't there.
Like, obviously, there are good parts to this game and good-hearted people behind it. (Ya know. Pervy shit aside.) I really liked party healer Jessica in particular. It's always nice to have a cleric that has the physical strength to hit shit until it stops moving. Even if the game is firmly locked in the 90s, that was a pretty fine decade. Probably the best one I've known. So, it's not the story or the older nature of the game that put me off, really. It just comes down to not having patience for a game that wants to drag things out.
I mean, I'm the first one to say not to give up on "Tales of Symphonia" until you meet Zelos Wilder. This game is kind of like that, but that point being hitting Disc 2 of 2.
I do anticipate on getting to "Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete" at some point. Might not be right away. I need a breather. But, I'm hoping my reaction to it will be like how I felt about "Shining Force 2" in comparison to "Shining Force." Hope's gotta spring up, right? Even when the world's screwed.
And no. 🙂 I do not anticipate on playing "Lunar: Dragon Song." 🙂 I saw a speedrun of that. 🙂 I'm good.
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kasienda · a year ago
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Confessions to a Statue - Part Three
I’m on a roll this week!! With two updates! AND I finished something. THIS something. Please enjoy!  Ao3 FF.net Confessions to a Statue: Chapter 3
Marinette had been sitting at the table with her friends for thirty minutes. Alya was showing off some footage she had gotten for the Ladyblog, and Adrien was gushing over it. Nino just shared a look with her and shrugged his exasperation at the antics of the two Ladybug obsessed fans. It was chill, which was nice. But Marinette was on edge because she half expected Alya to grab Nino and ditch her and Adrien at any moment as she had every day that week except today and yesterday. But the moment never came. They made it all the way through the lunch hour without incident. When the boys split away, Marinette turned to her best friend immediately. "You stopped pushing me to confess,” she accused. “Why?" Alya didn’t look at her, and instead stayed focused on gathering the remains of her lunch. “You've seemed stressed lately is all. I thought I was making it worse." "You don't think I can do it, do you?" Marinette said. Alya gave her a flat look, all her patience gone. "Girl! I have long since established that I believe in you!" "Then why? You've always pushed me!" Alya looked away again. "Adrien may have come to me worried about you." The answer caused her to freeze, her mind spiraling with so many possibilities. Was his worrying about her a sign that he liked her? Or did he think little of her after she totally spazzed on him at lunch the other day? "He was worried about me? Why?" "I guess he talked you through a panic attack the other day." Marinette wilted. "Yeah, I guess he did see that. He probably thinks I'm a total spaz." Alya puts a hand on her shoulder and squeezed reassuringly. "He said no such thing. Like I said, he was just worried about you." "He loves someone else!" Marinette blurted. Alya’s hazel eyes widened. She stopped walking and her eyes flashed in anger. "What? He told you that?" Marinette felt her own indignation rise. "You knew?! Is that the real reason you stopped pushing me to confess?" "I might have known yes, but I wasn't lying when I said that he came to me worried about you. And that I thought you might need a break." "I need to confess though! Even though I know I'm not going to get the answer I want." "Why?" "Because I'm so stuck. I feel like this is the only way to move on. I'm going to do it! And I’m going to do it today!" "Wait!" Alya grabbed for her. But Marinette dodged easily out of her grasp. Maybe all that practice in her suit was finally transferring over to her civilian self. ... When their last class of the day ended, Marinette followed Adrien and Nino to their lockers. She ignored the sweat in the palm of her hands and the butterflies in her stomach, and clung to the vestiges of Ladybug courage that she knew had to be in there to face akuma after akuma. “A-Adrien, can you… I mean… can I talk to you for a minute?” She managed. While it wasn’t particularly smooth, under the circumstances she was mostly pleased with how that came out. Nino offered her a wink from over Adrien’s shoulder. “See ya tomorrow, dude!” he said, clapping Adrien on the back before disappearing further down the noisy hall. Adrien turned to her with a patient smile. “What’s up Marinette?” “C-can we sit down for this?” she asked. And he nodded. They both ducked into an empty classroom. He had pulled out a chair from a desk for her before sitting down at her side. Her hands shook, so she clenched them stubbornly. “I…” she looked up into his gentle green eyes that waited serenely for whatever she was going to say. And she suddenly felt calm. Whatever he thought of her confession, he wouldn’t be cruel. It wasn’t who he was. “This may uh… feel like it’s out of nowhere, but I wanted you to ah… kn-know…” she glanced away, over his shoulder. She could finish that sentence however she wanted. She could walk away right now. She knew he loved someone else. She almost did it. But she wanted to move forward. She had to do this. She turned back to his soft gaze with new resolve. “I wanted you to know that I have a crush on you.” She felt freer with the words out of her mouth, lighter like she could flutter away like an actual ladybug. “A-and I know you probably don’t feel the same,” she continued rapidly. “I was hoping that you might… uh… consider us becoming more than friends.” And she ran out of words at that instant. Her hands writhed in her laps like wriggling worms, but she forced herself to look at him again. She had to know his reaction even if it was going to tear her into pieces. He was smiling, but there was a sadness to it. She felt herself wilt. Even though she expected it, it was hard not to feel disappointed. "I'm super flattered Marinette,” he said, his voice soft with understanding. “I think anyone would be lucky to have you. I wish it could be me honestly,” he added. “I’d be lying if I said I’ve never thought about it before. But my heart belongs to someone else. And I care too much about you to string you along." "It's okay, Adrien. Thank you for being so kind about this." It was amazing that she could suddenly speak coherently. It was like all that nervous energy had dissipated into the air. She felt shockingly calm. Like sure, her throat felt too tight and her eyes burned; she was totally and definitely going to break down in tears the second she walked away, but for the moment she would keep it together like she always did under fire. She could and would cry later. "I hope you know that I consider you to be an amazing friend, and I hope that can continue." "I hope so too," she whispered. She started to stand up, but then dropped back down into her seat against her better judgement. "I have no right to ask, but who is this girl?” He hesitated. His hand rubbed the back of his neck. "She’s someone I work with, but I can’t tell you her name. It could get us both in trouble." "I understand. Would you tell me about her?" she asked without thought. What was she doing?! She could picture Alya screaming at her to protect her own heart. But she just had to know. It was like the need to pick at a scab. Except this was a raw and fresh wound. So fresh, she hadn’t realized it had happened yet. So, not like picking at a scab at all. He squirmed at the question, his gaze shifted away from her for the first time since their conversation had started. "You don't have to!" she quickly corrected. "I imagine it's kind've personal." "It's not that. It seems really insensitive to your feelings to talk about another girl." "Please," Marinette begged. "I want to know who could capture your heart.” “If you’re sure?” She nodded again. His gaze turned distant as he remembered. "Umm... we got caught up in the very first akuma attack together." "Stoneheart?" "Yeah, we got tangled... I-I mean trapped together. She was so scared. Completely panicking really." "And you saved her?" Marinette asked, watching the memories play out on his face with her own sad smile. He laughed with such genuine delight and her heart ached. "Not even close! I might have said some reassuring words. But she's the one that saved us. Like despite her fear, she stood up when it mattered. I was inspired. And I just looked up to her so much in that moment and I never really stopped." "I hope she knows how lucky she is to have your affection," she said softly. He laughed again, deprecatingly. There was no joy here, and her indignation flared on his behalf. "No, not really,” he confided. “I think I've confessed too many times. She respects me as a partner on the job, but outside of that, I think I irritate her." "What?! But you’re so genuine!" He shrugged. "She thinks I don't take our job seriously enough because I crack jokes all the time." Adrien suddenly makes eye contact and his face falls into a frown. "Oh God! I'm sorry! I'm sure you don't want to hear all of this! I'm terrible." "You're really not. If you were this would be much easier,” her throat closed up, and to her horror a few tears slipped passed her best efforts to hold them back. "Please Mari, don't cry,” he begged. “I'm sorry. I shouldn’t have talked about her. I knew it was a bad idea. I never wanted to hurt you." "It's not your fault,” she choked out. “You can’t help the way you feel." “But you make me wish that I could. I wish I could say yes. I’ve been in your shoes. I don’t want to hurt you. But I can’t say yes when I don’t feel the same. I don’t want to play around with your feelings. It would be the same as lying to you. I don’t want to do that. You’re more than my classmate, Marinette. You’re my friend. And I never want to lie to a friend.” She froze. Those words felt so familiar, but it took her a second to place it. Those were her words. Her words to Chat Noir. She couldn't breathe. "Marinette?” Adrien called, concerned. He placed a hand on her arm. She could picture the black mask over his face easily now. “You okay? Are you having a panic attack?" She shook her head. "I-I..." She couldn’t get the words around the brick in her throat. Maybe she was panicking. “I-Is that what she said to you?” the question exploded from her like water suddenly rushing past a blockage. “When you confessed to her, is that what she said?” she demanded, not bothering to hide the urgency with which she needed to know. He blushed. “I… Y-yeah, I’m sorry. I’m not very original. She just did such a good job of letting me down easy. I guess she is my role-model in more than one way.” A girl that he worked with. Whose name he couldn’t say. Who didn’t like his jokes… Tears poured unrestrained down her cheeks, but for a wholly different reason. “Marinette?” Adrien was Chat Noir. Chat Noir was in love with Ladybug. She was Ladybug. Adrien was in love with her. "Y-you love me," she sobbed. His face went pale. "Marinette," he started. “I just said…” She pressed a finger to his lips before he could misunderstand. "It's okay Chaton, I won't tell anyone." He went rigid, frozen solid as an iceberg. "H-How?” he babbled. “You can't tell anyone! Ladybug is going to be so mad." "She won't be," Marinette assured. "You don't know her like I do!” he countered, his hand flying through his perfectly styled hair in his panic. She liked it better wild and free, the way he wore it as Chat Noir. “Keeping our identities is like the most important thing!" Marinette grabbed his hand and yanked him down to her eye level. “I’m not mad at you!” she shouted at him. “I only felt that way because I want to protect my family. And my… friends.” She saw the moment when he connected the… spots. (Oh God! Now, he had her punning.) His eyes widened into gaping vats. He breathed in but had yet to exhale. She poked him gently in the side. “Breathe, Adrien.” “My Lady?” he whispered in shock. “That’s me,” she admitted with a smirk. He stared at her for a full twenty seconds and she just kept grinning. “It’s so obvious,” he finally said. “Yeah, I don’t know how I couldn’t recognize you either,” she agreed.
They fell into silence, just staring at one another. Marinette fidgeted, uncertain where they stood with one another, unsure of where to begin, but not being able to take the awkward quiet.
“I…”
“We…”
Then they start talking at the same time, only to immediately stop to let the other speak.
“For the love of all things miraculous!” Plagg whined, his head poking out of Adrien’s jacket. “One of you should be rude and go first!” Glaring at Adrien in accusation.
“Plagg!” Tikki scolded, phasing out of Marinette’s purse. “Let them figure it out.” “Why do I have to listen to this?” Plagg demanded. “It’s always the same! Every single time.” “Don’t mind him. I’ll take care of him,” Tikki promised. She flew up to Adrien’s chest, grabbed Plagg, and they both darted completely out of sight.
And then Adrien and Marinette both burst into laughter. When they finally recovered, Marinette glanced over, and felt the heat rush into her face. “So… uh... does this change things for you, Adrien?” she made herself ask.
“Does it change things for you?” he countered, his frame rigid with sudden tension. “Honestly, Chat Noir is just me without a filter, but you don’t seem to care for him as much.” “Are you kidding me?!”
“Uh… no?” he offered with a nervous smile, as his hand rubbed the back of his neck. She had seen him make that gesture on both sides of his mask so many times.
“Chaton! I adore you! I always have! I don’t know how I would face any of this without you! It’s just…”
“Just?” he prompted when she trailed off. His eyes sparkling with hope again.
“Your timing sucks sometimes! If I think about what you’re saying in the middle of a battle, I’m going to laugh, and then stumble or trip or something stupid and then we lose! And we can’t lose!”
“I make you laugh? You think I’m funny!” he repeated gleefully, rocking backwards into his chair, that insufferable superior smirk bloomed across his face.
“Here, I am catastrophisizing, and that’s what you get out of it?” she demanded hotly. “I can’t believe I fell in love with such a peacock,” she mumbled under her breath.
“I don’t mean to make light of your fears, Buginette,” he said, making an attempt at a sober expression, but mostly failing. “I don’t think you realize how giddy and hysterical I am right now.”
“I get it.” She felt the same. Everything was awhirl. It was too loud and too bright, but it was also too amazing and beautiful with heady rush of adrenaline to go along with it. She felt like a fireworks show was going off in her chest.
“Wait!” his eyes snapped up to hers. “You said you’re in love with me?”
“Where have you been?! That’s how this whole conversation started!”
“Right,” he added softly. “But I didn’t know that you were Ladybug in that moment. Ladybug is in love with me,” he squealed.
“I guess she is,” Marinette repeated, not minding the blush that bloomed across her face.
He took her hand in his own, and pulled her knuckles up to his lips. “May I kiss you, My Lady?”
“Please!”
His lips were soft and so gentle. And she felt like she was ruining it because she couldn’t stop smiling even as he left soft touches on every corner as he kissed her again and again. Until she couldn’t contain her joy anymore, and just burst into giggles. “We need a story!” Adrien interjected, not at all bothered by her hysterically happy display. Their fingers were interlaced, and his firm grip told her he had no intention of letting go anytime soon. “What’s wrong with I got up the nerve to confess, and you finally said yes?” Marinette asked.
“Alya’s what's wrong with that story. She knows that I am in love with someone else that I work with.”
“That’s been me all along…” she whispered in awe. “The story you told about Stoneheart! That was me!”
He laughed. “Yes, I suppose it was! And the other boy you liked, was me! God, I was so jealous of that boy! And so angry with him for being such an idiot! I’m sorry, Marinette.”
“I’m sorry too, Chaton for not seeing all of you either.”
He leaned in to kiss her again, and this time she relaxed, let her own lips go soft as she pressed them back into his. She felt the butterflies of nerves explode in her stomach again. She was kissing Adrien Agreste! The boy she had a crush on since forever!! And she was kissing Chat Noir, her best friend and partner, who had stood between her and peril too many times. She didn’t have to hurt him anymore.
Things could not be more perfect.
“So about that story?” Marinette whispered as he pulled away just slightly, a grin lighting his face.
“Uh huh,” he mumbled, clearly distracted.  
“Maybe you could just say that the girl you were crushing on got into a fight with you. That she wasn’t who you thought she was. And that my confession was just so amazing and heartfelt that it swayed you. That you felt seen and understood, and that you had to give us a chance.”
“I don’t like it.”
Marinette giggled. His pout was so cute.
“Why not? It’s all true!” she insisted.
“But it’s misleading! And makes you look bad!” he objected.
Marinette barreled on as if he hadn’t spoken, counting off her points on her fingers. “We get into fights all the time!”
“Together! We get into fights together as allies!”
“And the girl you liked isn’t who you thought she was.”
“She’s so much better!” he growled.
“And I hope that you do feel seen and understood now?”
“Better than ever before.”
“So just go with my story.”
He sighed. “I have a hard time letting anyone think poorly of any side of you, Buginette.”
Marinette blushed. “Ladybug can take it. She’s tough. Please? This lets us be together now, in front of Alya without having to compromise our identities or take things frustratingly slow.”
He kissed her again. “Whatever you want, Buginette. I love you.”
“I love you too,” she whispered. This day turned out so much better than she ever thought it would. She was so grateful she had found the courage to confess.
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