#this is a bad poem but I had to get it out somewhere
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Dannymay Day One: Memories
It started small, practically unnoticeable.
“Where are my keys?” Maddie Fenton growled under her breath, searching the kitchen counter. Jack had misplaced them, again, and there was only an hour before the local hardware store closed.
“On the floor underneath the left side of the coffee table.” Danny’s response was instantaneous, he didn’t even look up from his homework.
She gave her son a questioning look when he looked up, eyes wide in surprise himself. There was silence between them, until she moved out of the kitchen.
Sure enough, they were right where Danny had said.
A week later, Danny was caught sleeping in class after a particularly busy week of ghost hunting. It didn’t help that finals were right around the corner.
“Mister Fenton!” Lancer yelled, slamming a book on the desk next to Danny startling him awake. “If you know so much about Emily Dickenson’s poetry that you feel the need to sleep through my class, you won’t mind telling the class the next line in the poem.”
The class around him snickered as Danny shrank in his seat. He looked at the lines already written on the board:
‘I’m Nobody! Who are you?
Are you – Nobody – Too?
Then there’s a pair of us?
Don’t tell! they’d advertise – you know!'
His spine straightened and the words left his lips before he could register them. “How dreary to be somebody,” the laughing stopped, “How public like a frog, to tell one’s name, the livelong June,” Lancer’s mouth hung open, eyes wide in disbelief, “To an admiring bog.”
Danny finished his rendition of I’m Nobody! Who are you? and the class went silent. Danny slouched down into his seat, brought out of his own mind and well aware all attention was on him. There was another beat of silence before Lancer moved to the board, talking about the punctuation and capitalization that couldn’t be portrayed verbally.
Tucker caught Danny’s eye, Tucker’s confusion mirroring his own.
It wasn’t until he recited the periodic table almost verbatim during chemistry class, surprising himself and his friends, that they decided something weird was going on.
Tucker laid out a game of superhero themed memory on his bedroom floor, the cards face up. Danny studied the cards for a minute before Sam and Tucker flipped them over.
Danny got pair on the first try, with the exception of the Spiderman and Captain America cards.
“Fifty out of fifty-two.”
Before the—before Phantom, Danny had what his mom had called ‘the Fenton memory.’ He could barely remember what he had for breakfast by lunch most days, let alone the entire periodic table.
It was just another odd thing to mark down about being half-dead, he guessed.
He didn’t give much more thought to it. Sure, it was bizarre, but it was hardly the weirdest thing to happen to him. He filed it away and moved on, the discovery barely changing his everyday life.
Until he meet Danielle.
At first, the fact that Danielle seemed to know every fact about everything he liked was just weird. He chalked it up to Vlad being—well Vlad. It seemed right up his alley to brainwash his ‘creations’ with information he thought Danny had. How he got that information, Danny didn’t care to find out.
He didn’t realize how wrong he was until after he stabilized her.
This time Danny didn’t let Danielle run off, he knew better. It was clear that Vlad would be out for her blood and the only safe place for her was with Danny. How they went about explaining her sudden appearance was the tricky part.
They sat in silence, the only sound between them the quiet squeak of the old swing set they were on and the cicadas nighttime call. Here, just the two of them under the stars, it was easy to pretend that they were normal for a moment. Just two kids on a playground.
His life was rarely that easy.
“I know it might not be the best option,” Danny looked over to Danielle who looked like the weight of the world was on her shoulders, “but I’m willing to try if you are. You’re not alone anymore, Dani.”
She let out a sigh, much too big for her smaller body, her eyes somewhere distant. He stayed silent, letting her work out her thoughts.
“I—” There was a chock in her voice, like she was fighting off tears, “there are these things, that I remember.” Her face twisted into a sour frown, still a million miles away. “Sometimes just feelings—but most of the time, they’re so clear it’s like I’m watching a movie.”
Danny frowned and reached out to touch her arm. “I think it comes with being a ghost—”
“They’re not mine.” She cut him off, he noticed now that she was shaking. “They’re yours.”
The words felt heavy between them. Suddenly, some things started to make sense.
She loved NASA and Humpty Dumpty—a band that Vlad would never introduce her to—she hated Dash as soon as she saw him. She revealed her secret to protect Valerie—protecting was his thing. And when it came down to it, she had known that she couldn’t trust Vlad. She turned against him, the man she knew as her father, and sided with Danny who she had only just met.
“Wow.” Danny instantly regretted his lame excuse for a replay when Danielle tensed, and tears started running down her face. He panicked for a second before decided to get up and kneel in front of her on the gravel, forcing her to finally make eye contact with him.
“I mean, maybe not wow, I just—” He ran a hand through his hair, feeling lost as to how to help her, “I didn’t know that this memory thing was, I guess, genetic?”
He could tell he was not helping.
“Dear Ancients—I’m sorry Dani.”
It was the only thing he could say. He pulled her forward into a hug, rubbing circles on her back like Jazz always did to comfort him after a bad dream. The action just seemed to make her cry more, but her tight grip on his shirt kept him from letting go.
It took her more than a few minutes to calm down, all the while Danny held her and prayed to the ancients he wasn’t making things worst.
Eventually, her tears calmed and she went silent in his arms.
“I don’t know who I am.” She said quietly into his chest. He could feel something tight coil inside him, he held her tighter. “I have all these memories of home and friends and family, but none of them are mine. They don’t even know me, and I can’t be what Vlad wanted me to be. How can I be me when I don’t even exist?”
She started crying again, and Danny found himself at a loss. He was never very good at comforting people, but this was way out of his wheelhouse. Still, he tried to form some sort of coherent thought that maybe wouldn’t make her cry even more.
“I don’t really have an answer for that, but we can find it. Together.”
She finally looked up at him, her blue irises standing out against the red puffiness around her eyes.
“I meant it Dani, you’re not alone. I will always be your family and I’m not gonna let you do this by yourself. You may have some of my memories, and you may have been made by Vlad, but you don’t have to be either of us. We can find out who Dani Phantom—with an ‘i’—is together.”
She smiled up at him and hugged him again, muttering a small, “together” into his chest.
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His Favorite Shape (Pt 1)
Plot: You’re a student studying for your PhD in English literature. You’ve been taken under the wing of Rosalie Octavius, a former professor at your school who you’ve ended up befriending after she did a lecture for one of your classes. You admire her greatly and value your friendship, but can’t help yourself from falling head over heels for her husband, renowned scientist Dr. Otto Octavius.
Pairings: Otto Octavius X Reader
Warnings: None yet. Will probably have some mild violence and smut in the future. If that’s the case, 18+ ONLY, minors DNI.
A/N: All right ya thirsty hoes, here’s the first chapter. Mind you I’m a slow writer, so updates will likely be sluggish. This story is a slow-burn that follows the plot of the Spider-Man 2 film. I only have a vague idea of where this is going so enjoy the ride with me. PS I’m sorry it’s so bad
きみ嫁けり 遠き一つの 訃に似たり
It’s like a death note
From far away.”
You had never intended to fall for a married man.
It wasn’t like you woke up one morning and decided, “Hey, let’s go catch feelings for your friend and mentor’s husband, won’t that be fun?” It just happened.
You couldn’t quite say when it began, or pinpoint an exact slice of time where your heart began to beat faster around him. It was more like you one day caught his eye from across the living room, and the realization burned in your throat that you been falling for quite some time.
Rosalie Octavius did a lecture for one of your classes on 18th-century poetry during the last year of your graduate schooling around a year ago. You had cornered her after class to gush about your shared love for Robert Burns, and share a laugh about the reference to his poem A Red, Red Rose in Jim Carrey’s film, The Mask.
Friendship quickly blossomed into mentorship, and your most treasured mornings were those spent having passionate discussions with Rosalie in the backs of quiet coffee shops, indulging in melty cinnamon rolls and lavender lattes over the works of Amable Tastu. She taught you more than most of your own professors did, and as time wore on, you had come to value her time over most others’.
About a few months into becoming acquainted, Rosalie had invited you to her home on a rainy afternoon for tea to avoid the crowds in your usual haunts. As you wrung out your umbrella in the doorway, a taller figure rose from the couch in your peripherals, embracing Rosalie with a peck on the cheek.
“Y/N, I’d like you to meet my husband, Otto Octavius. Otto, hon, this is Y/N, she’s the one I’ve been telling you about.”
“Ah, so this is the famed Y/N!” Otto beamed from ear to ear, offering a hand for you to take. “Rosie’s told me a great deal. In fact, I haven’t been able to get her to shut up about you.”
“Oh, hush, you. Y/N, you can hang your coat with the others there. Otto, help me with the kettle?”
There was nothing remarkable about Otto on first glance. He was handsome, donned with dark curls and eyes smooth as espresso, and though the height between you was a smidge intimidating, his easy-going smile quelled any initial unease.
You weren’t the type to buy into that “love-at-first-sight” junk. You also weren’t the type to go to a friend’s home and start drooling over their husband. Besides, it didn’t matter if a guy looked like a literal god if his personality was shit, so you merely greeted him with a friendly hello and carried on about your business with Rosalie.
The warning signs were small but there, had you taken the time to actually notice them.
The way you were slightly disappointed if Rosalie wanted to go out somewhere instead of to her house. The way you became eager to shoot the breeze with Otto while Rosalie fixed your drinks. The way your breaths unsteadied whenever he sat close to you.
The way his smile infected you even on the worst of days.
Perhaps for a while you had been in denial, hoping to simply stomp the little growing buds out of existence before they could grow into anything problematic. Unfortunately, the more you tried to overlook them, the worse the feelings bloomed, until you were tangled up in a garden of heartache.
You were many things, but you were not an adulterer, no-siree. Not that your wrinkled self esteem could even fathom Otto returning your affections, but--strictly hypothetically speaking--even if he did, you would not allow yourself to give in. You were stronger than that, and no desire would ever be powerful enough to make you ignore your principles.
Not that you were a saint, of course. Not by any means. If you were a better woman, you would cut off all contact with Rosalie. Maybe even tell her the truth, so you wouldn’t hurt her feelings. You would tell her you couldn’t help yourself, and did not want to be around him while thinking of him in that manner. It would be the right thing to do.
...But, again, you weren’t that great of a person. There was an ugly, painfully wrong part of you that treasured your time around Otto, that refused to give up on your one-sided romance in spite of knowing it was doomed from the start. It shredded your heart to ribbons, but being a friend was a far cry better than never seeing him at all.
Every day, you hated yourself. You hated the anxiety that filled your lungs every time you made your way over to his home, the tension in your shoulders and the painful thudding of your heart against its enclosure. You hated that, despite your best efforts to bury your feelings deep underground, you still lost all your sensibilities in his presence.
To be fair, he certainly didn’t make things easy on you.
The damned man was constantly doing things that, had he been anyone else, you would have been certain he was doing them on purpose. But Otto was about as crafty as a newborn puppy. He was eons ahead of you in his smarts in science, but when it came to basic human interactions, he seemed to have zero idea of the effect he had on anyone, let alone you.
There was that one time a month back when you had attended a work party with Rosalie and Otto, and he had made a remark about your earrings. Simple but pretty little drops of blue topaz.
Tender digits brushed your hair aside for better inspection of the gemstones, his fingertips just barely grazing your cheek in the process. You gulped.
“Beautiful,” he praised. The comment was not made for you, and you knew damn well that he wasn’t being coy or leaving room for misinterpretation. And yet, thud-a-thud-thud went your heart. “Th-thanks.”
“Are they real? Most blue topaz has often been exposed to radiation to give it that color.”
And that seemed to be the gist of it: He would fluster the hell out of you with simple gestures, and be completely unobservant to your reactions.
It was infuriating, but also probably for the best. Nothing good could come out of him knowing how you felt for him.
You scrawled chicken-scratch notes on a loose sheet of paper, cheek squished into your hand and eyes lidded as you listened to Rosalie carry on about Juan Rulfo. The two of you had been studying for hours in the upstairs loft of her home, from dusk to dawn, so your focus was quickly waning.
Not to mention the fact that you were at Rosalie and his house, and that he had poked his head in multiple times throughout the day to say hi or bring snacks.
You stifled a yawn, and Rosalie smiled fondly. “I think that’s enough for tonight. Would you like some tea? I made a pot just a little while ago, there should still be some left.”
“Oh, I don’t want to impose--”
“Nonsense, since when have you ever imposed?” Rosalie shut the textbook with a snap! and stood, straightening her shawl. “Come on down to the kitchen. Otto’s just meeting with a friend of his; you might know him from the university, actually.”
You gathered up the scattered notes as best you could into a neat stack, cramming them in a folder in your book bag before following Rosie downstairs.
Otto occupied the kitchen table with a younger man, who looked to be a little younger than you, maybe early 20′s. They were in the middle of a heated discussion when you crept into the room, so engaged that the young man’s light cobalt eyes never once spared you a glance. Otto, however, did grace you with his signature lopsided grin, and you cursed every damned butterfly in your stomach.
“Are you sure you could stabilize the fusion reaction?”
“Peter, what have we been talking about for the last hour and a half? This is my life's work. I certainly know the consequences of the slightest miscalculation.”
“I'm sorry. I didn't mean to question you.”
Otto grinned, rolling his eyes. “Rosie, our new friend thinks I'm gonna blow up the city.”
“You can sleep soundly tonight,” Rosie reassured him as she poured you a full cup of black tea, which smelled strongly of peaches. “Otto's done his homework.”
“Come to the demonstration tomorrow, and you'll see for yourself. Y/N, you should come by, too. You don’t have any afternoon or evening classes tomorrow, right?”
You seated yourself between Otto and his young friend, cradling the warm cup of tea in your hands. “Really, you mean it? Yeah, of course! I’d love to go!”
“Consider it an invitation, then. We’ll be happy to have you.”
Rosalie settled beside her husband, resting a hand atop his. “And you need to sleep soundly tonight, Otto.”
Otto huffed. “Did Edison sleep before he turned on the light? Did Marconi sleep before he turned on the radio? Did Beethoven sleep before he wrote the fifth?”
“Did Bernoulli sleep before he found the curves of quickest descent?” The younger boy chimed in.
Otto flashed him a warm grin before raising his cup to his lips. “Rosie, I love this boy. Oh--forgive me, Y/N.” His cup settled back in its saucer with a clatter of porcelain. “This is Peter Parker, he’s writing a paper on me for one of his classes on Nuclear Fusion. Peter, this is F/N L/N. She’s studying for her PhD in English Literature, and Rosie here’s been helping give her some guidance.”
“It’s uh, it’s nice to meet you, uh, Y/N.” Peter offered you a timid smile, looking about as uncomfortable in his own skin as a snake about to shed. Typical science geeks. You grinned back gently in return.
“Likewise, Peter. Are you in your undergrad right now?”
“Y-yeah, undergraduate. Empire State.” He cleared his throat. “Good stuff.”
“Peter, tell us about yourself,” Rosie intervened, and you couldn’t help but fixate on her fingers, which were drawing slow circles across Otto’s knuckles. “Do you have a girlfriend?
“Well...I don't really know.”
“Well, shouldn't you know?” Otto chided teasingly. “I mean, who would know?
“Oh, leave him alone. Maybe it's a secret love.”
Your heart stopped.
“Love should never be a secret,” Otto scolded, turning to look pointedly at Peter and Peter alone, but every fiber of your being felt those cocoa eyes scalding your own skin. “If you keep something as complicated as love stored up inside...gonna make you sick.”
You choked on your tea. Rosie patted you firmly on the back as you coughed and spluttered, feeling embarrassment burn every inch of skin it could reach. “I-I’m fine, sorry! I’m fine.” You coughed into your fist, kicking yourself for reacting like that. “Go on. Sorry.”
Continuing, but with more of a focus on you now, Otto commented, “I finally got lucky in love.” His fingers laced themselves with Rosie’s, and you felt lightheaded.
“We both did...But it's hardly perfect. You have to work at it.” Rosie daintily sipped her tea, and the nausea in your belly rose. “I met him on the college steps, and I knew it wasn't going to be easy. He was studying science, and I was studying English literature.”
“That's right. I was trying to explain the theory of relativity. And Rosie was trying to explain T.S. Eliot. I still don't understand what he was talking about.”
“Yes, you do!”
“I'm serious. T.S. Eliot is more complicated than advanced science.”
“Who then devised the torment? Love,” you blurt out suddenly, unable to contain yourself.
“‘Love is the unfamiliar Name.
Behind the hands that wove
The intolerable shirt of flame
Which human power cannot remove
We only live, only suspire
Consumed by either fire or fire.’ T.S. Eliot.”
You finished reciting the poem, only to realize that the room had fallen horrifyingly silent.
Why the hell did you just say that? You immediately felt like curling inward until you hid completely inside yourself, and sank slightly in your chair. Just what the hell were you hoping to accomplish just then? To show off your knowledge of a subject your crush’s spouse knew far more about? To get the two of them to stop openly flirting in front of you?
Their love life was hardly any of your business, and they had every right as a married couple to express their affections for one another, but fuck, did they have to do it with you there?
“Little Gidding,” Rosie acknowledged, nodding her assent, and you thanked her wordlessly for saving you from the cringing silence. “An excellent pick, Y/N. You remembered it well.”
“I...um, I should get going,” Peter announced, slowly rising from his chair with the speed and demeanor of an awkward turtle. Even he seemed to have picked up on the shift in mood. You had to admit he was cute, in a geeky, schoolboy kind of way. “Thank you so much for having me over, doctor.”
“Otto,” Otto corrected, standing to shake his hand. “Anytime, my boy. We’ll see you tomorrow, then?”
“Wouldn’t miss it!”
You remained rooted on the spot as the others rose, bidding Peter farewell. You exchanged pleasantries with him as well, folding your hands in your lap and listening to the chatter as it subsided toward the front door. Then the door shut, and the muffled conversation continued outside, so you had assumed the three of them were talking on the porch. That being said, Otto’s sudden return to the room caused you to visibly startle.
“You’re a jumpy one,” he commented, his chuckle rumbling deep in his chest. You squeaked out an incoherent attempt at agreement. “Rosie’s giving Peter some poetry recommendations for his girl situation. Speaking of...”
Otto plucked one of the books from the kitchen shelf with nimble fingers, thumbing through the pages a moment before finding the desired one. “Ah! This one. By Paul Eluard.”
He set the book down open-faced on the table in front of you, then towered over you from behind, his chin just close enough to rest upon your shoulder--if he so chose to do so. You worried your bottom lip between your teeth, only barely able to keep your focus on his words as his hand brushed past yours to indicate a chunk of text on the page.
“’Unknown, she was my favorite shape,
She who relieved me of the worry of being a man,
And I see her and I lose her and I suffer
My pain, like a little sunlight in cold water.’
I can’t say I know much about poetry, let alone understand it half the time, but that’s one of my favorites.”
You sucked a sharp breath between your teeth. “Ah. Eluard. Good, uh, choice.”
He’s talking about Rosie, you reminded yourself, hastily crushing any girlish hopes that threatened to bloom in your chest. Not you. Rosie. Obviously!
Still, why he felt the need to share this with you, you couldn’t say.
You cleared your throat, all too aware of his presence still looming over your shoulder, of his warm breath wafting across the tip of your ear. “Y-you know, he had actually written some poems against Nazism! He was called—um, the Poet of Freedom, I think. He’s been considered one of the Founding Fathers of Surrealism, and oh, he also was one of the people to develop the concept of the Exquisite Corpse, which is actually—“ you cut yourself off, realizing you had begun rambling. “Oh! Sorry, I didn’t mean to…to derail like that.”
You could almost hear the smirk behind you. “You should never apologize for your passions, Y/N… I myself find your intensity rather endearing. You shouldn’t hide it.”
Your breath hitched again, and his chuckle faded with him as he backed away with the book in tow. “Sometimes, I swear--you and Rosie could be twins.”
And then he was gone.
A/N: My first writing on here so BE NICE. I may eventually make an archive account to put this on for easier organization. If you notice any mistakes please message me so I can fix them. Hope it’s not too OOC.
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Hii may I request for gemini, the twins + venti + hc scenario + yandere!au + reader is one of the sister in mondstat cathedral ?
Thank you in advance and congrats on ur 1k+ !!
holy (hc scenario)
penpal: ty for requesting ! happy readings anon <3
prompt: gemini the twins, enemy-lover soulmate au
pairing/s: yandere!venti x nun!fem!reader
sypnosis: even with so many chances of escaping from this sufferable romance, you knew you couldn’t get away from the very god that you love and respect to.
includes: yandere themes (i do not condone nor romanticize this topic), manipulation, mentions of alcohol, dark themes, reader has complicated feelings with venti
nuns are.. something to say the least.
venti is quite familiar with some of the nuns due to some particular encounters with them, but none of them interests him much– not like how you interest him.
he was quite ecstatic to finally meet his destined other, it’s even better that the said destined other worships his archon self. although it amuses him to no end that nuns would openly talk about their god to him, not knowing that the said god walks among them; you are an exception.
unlike all the nuns he knows of, he can sense your staring whenever his back is in front of your eyesight, knowing that you’re suspicious of him for something you aren’t sure of. he also notices how you’re the only nun who has ever appreciated his music, despite some of his songs disrespecting his archon self, and had even requested him to sing another one with the price of giving him a bottle of dandelion wine, causing him to feel more interested in you.
the moment venti finds out that you’re his destined lover, he will immediately be attached to you with every chance he gets.
you’d excuse his attachment as him being clingy and his way of showing you his love, not knowing that he’s only doing it to let others around the both of you know that you and him are destined, giving an undertone warning to those who dares to try to ruin your love for each other.
unfortunately he doesn’t get to be with you every second of the day given that you have your own life before you met him, but he lets it be, for he knows that the only times you aren’t with him are times when you are inside the city’s cathedral, praying to your god.
he’ll also stop visiting angel’s share for a while, only because he wants to spend time with you more, which surprises everyone who frequents the place. if you’re busy with your duties though, venti will resort to visiting the tavern for a nice drink before checking up on you once more.
on the other hand, he hides the obsessed side of his by being a super affectionate person. expect mondstadt suddenly talking about certain love poems and songs about a nun and a bard being in love with one another from performances by venti, or one of the sisters dropping off cecilias to you from an anonymous sender (deep down you knew that it came from venti), anything that’s considered romantic: your soulmate will do it all.
as always, you pay no mind to his shenanigans, feeling quite flattered that your lover would do these things for you even though you sometimes feel uncomfortable from certain words that he put in the poems and songs.
unlike most yanderes, venti is in no regards of locking you somewhere to himself because that will make him go against the very thing that he believes from the very start: freedom.
venti’s definitely not as bad as the others, but that doesn’t excuse the fact that he can ruin your life in an instant.
should you ever give a hint that you’re starting to not like him, he’ll manipulate you. he’ll make sure that you feel bad for hating on your destined lover who has done nothing wrong.
however it’s tricky that some of your peers would try to tell you that he’s getting way too suspicious, specifically that nun who also hangs out by angel’s share with the calvary captain, rosaria. he obviously can’t separate you from rosaria given that you two are very close to one another— but he can reassure you that he isn’t what rosaria is telling you about and that your “silly friend” doesn’t understand your relationship with him.
things will change rapidly when he confirms your suspensions on him being barbatos.
venti expected it to happen, despite you always falling for his manipulative tricks, it’s obvious that you’re smart enough to know that venti isn’t just a bard who always drinks away for the night.
“it’s you, isn’t it?” you ask one night during your night stroll with your lover. “are you lord barbatos?”
he simply smiles in response, not giving you a word of his answer, but that was enough for you to know.
and so begins the worst time of your life.
when you found out that he’s barbatos, the very being that you worship and respect to, you can’t go back to being a simple devoted nun who’s always alone in the cathedral. there’s no way out for you to get away from the bard, even though he doesn’t trap you in a place far away, even though he gives you chances to escape whenever he takes you around the nation— you’re forever destined to be with him by the end of the day,
because you can’t refuse your lord, and you have to do everything to make him satisfied and feel respected. besides, the person’s name in your other wrist is obviously an enemy of yours despite not being able to meet them (you won’t be able to, given that venti had dealt with the person), so its even worse if you dare to try to disrespect or think of hating your lover, who you dearly love.
this fact alone pleases venti.
“come with me,” he says in a giddy tone as he intertwines his hand with yours, an act that you’re used to after so many months of having venti by your side. “let me take you to windrise and let you hear my new song! it’s about two soulmates who are always inseparable. im sure you’d love it as much as everyone else does as soon as they hear this, ehe~”
as always you said yes, ignoring your mind that’s screaming at yourself that this is your chance to run away from him and go to liyue harbor for a new life, but deep down you refuse, knowing that this would go against barbatos and disrespect him.
and a nun does not desire to disrespect their own god.
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true lies - s. r. (12/?)
Pairing: Spencer Reid x Reader
Series Summary: Spencer is furious, when you rejoin the team after a year and after you left him, when he got arrested. Little does he know, that you leaving him was the only option to ever get him out of prison.
Chapter Summary: A collection of letters Spencer and you share while you're gone - and then you're gone forever. At least, that what he thinks.
Warnings: some fluff, angst, angst, angst, smoking, slight ptsd, grief and loss
Word Count: 2.2k
A/N: I'm sososososo sorry. please don't hate me. I love you. gif not mine.
Dearest little bear,
two months have passed since you had to leave, and not a day goes by that I don't think of you and wish you were here with me.
We are trying to do everything in our power to be able to bring you back home. But unfortunately, it seems to be taking longer than I would like.
I was told you were working on it as well. You are strong and smart and even though you can't be with me, I'm sure we can do it together.
Take care of yourself.
I was very happy to receive your message. I always carry it with me, although I would rather be in your arms, but I can't.
I can't tell you where I am right now, but still I wish you were with me. It is warm and beautiful and I am sure you would like it here very much.
Except for these letters, I'm not allowed to talk to any of you, but I like talking to you best anyway. We've come this far. And we'll make it.
Thinking of you.
Dearest little bear,
It's been four months and with each passing second it becomes more unbearable. But a light is appearing at the end of the dark tunnel. We think we know who she is.
It won't be long before we can see each other again. And I can't wait to be able to hug you again. To be able to touch you. Or kiss you.
Not much longer. And then nothing can separate us.
Take care of yourself.
It would have been too good to be with you again at last. But it still takes time.
I have found something that can help us, but for now, just know that I will do everything I can so that I can return home. Back to you. No matter what it costs.
Keep your eyes open. We're closer than you think.
I'm thinking of you.
Dearest little bear,
I was given time off to take a break. I was with my mother and she told me that a kind young lady had been here. She doesn't remember you, but she knows you are familiar and that she can trust you. As I do.
I am infinitely grateful. And I'm tired of waiting, but for you I do. For you, I do it all.
Take care of yourself.
I can no longer grasp a clear thought, because whenever I close my eyes I see everything I have done in review. I can hardly sleep and the nightmares plague me.
I just hope that everything will end soon. It has already been a year since we saw each other. I can't promise you anything, but I hope you know that everything I had to do was for you. For us.
Thinking of you.
Dearest little bear,
it's been a few weeks since I've heard from you. I hope you are doing well.
We have found a trail that will take us further.And brings me a little closer to you. And that will bring you back home. I can't wait.
Take care of yourself.
Dearest little bear,
It's been two months since you wrote to me.
Get back to me as soon as you can.
Take care of yourself.
Dearest little bear,
Words cannot describe how much I miss you. Or how great the pain in my chest is.
I can't eat, I can't sleep. I can hardly breathe without you.
Thinking of you.
Dearest little bear,
they hung your picture today. In the portrait you are smiling, proud to finally be part of the team. I can't look at it.
I was sent home, but everything there reminds me of you.
Thinking of you.
Dearest little bear,
I keep your letters in a small box next to my bed. They are a part of you that I don't want to lose, even though I have already lost you. They are a part of you, just as you are a part of me.
Thinking of you.
Dearest little bear,
I went to our bookstore and found a book of poems that you would like. I'll put it with your letters.
No book in the world could have prepared me for the grief I feel. The pain is too engaging for me to talk about it with anyone but you.
Thinking of you.
Dear little bear,
it's been almost two years since we last saw each other. I don't remember what you sound like, or what you smell like. Why can't I remember that? Is it wrong of me not to think it's bad? It takes away my pain a little.
Thinking of you.
Dear little bear,
A lot has happened in the two years we've been apart. Too much to ever be able to write down all the things. I just want you to know that this time was not easy for me. Not for any of us.
I put your letters away safely because you will always be important to me. But I have to let you go. And with this, I release you.
I love you. Forever.
You pinch your leg to wake up. Your neck is wet with cold sweat and you have to blink several times to realize that you are in a cab. You run your hand through your hair as the driver looks at you curiously through the rearview mirror. He says nothing, which is why you glance out the window.
The drive from the airport to Quantico only takes an hour, but you still take the opportunity to close your eyes for a moment and doze a little. You haven't had a decent night's sleep in ages, you don't even know what a healthy portion of sleep feels like anymore, because you haven't had that luxury in the last two years.
As the car comes to a stop in front of the FBI building, you pay the driver and get out with your small bag. The building seems much bigger than you remember. You used to spend every day here, it had once been your home. But now you're not even sure you have a home anymore.
You take a deep breath and enter through the large doors, but are directly approached by a security guard.
"Miss? Are you visiting?", he asks suspiciously, extending his arm to keep you at a distance - something that wouldn't do him much good if you were actually trying to get past him.He eyes you up and down, which you can't blame him for. In your ripped jeans, dirty sneakers, and loose sweater, you don't look like someone who belongs here. By now, you don't either.
You look at him. "I'm here to see Unit Chief Prentiss", you reply coolly. You know he's just doing his job, but you're too impatient to let all this wash over you. You know Emily is already in the office. You know her too well not to. Why doesn't he just go get her? You just want to see your friend.
"Chief Prentiss?" He raises an eyebrow. "And what is your request?"
Your gaze is rock hard and your tone cold as ice. "Tell her Y/N Y/L/N is here to see her."
You wait outside the building, letting the morning sun warm your skin and the cigarette burn between your fingers before you put it to your lips and take a drag. Afterwards, you stub it out on a trash can. As you exhale the last bit of smoke, you turn around. And there she is.
Emily is standing at the door, and when you see her, you drop your bag and wrap her in your arms so tightly that you can't breathe. You cling to her, afraid that maybe this whole thing isn't as real as it feels, but you imperceptibly pinch your arm. And she is still with you.
"I thought - they said", she stammers, and it's the first time in your friendship that she's speechless. You hug her even tighter.
"I know", you answer softly, blinking away the tears that have formed in your eyes. The moment is too beautiful to cry. As you break away from each other, Emily wipes her own tears from her cheeks, but some have already landed on her blouse. There are dark stains now.
"I don't even know what to say", she says, smiling at you as you enter the building together. The guard gives you a look, but doesn't ask any questions as you walk past him toward the elevator. Inside, she pushes a button that takes you to the BAU floor. "I can hardly believe you're really here."
Neither can you.
The office is completely silent because no one is here yet except for you. Although nothing has changed, everything has changed because you are now someone else. It's been a long time since you've been here. Two years, but everything in this room is all too familiar to you. The coffee machine, the law books, the files. It feels like you've never been away. It's déjà vu all over again.
While Emily gets you both coffee, you sit down at the round table and wait for her. Your friend sets the cups down on the table before sitting down next to you. She smiles faintly. "How are you?"
You pucker your mouth. How are you? You haven't been asked that question in ages, and to be honest, you don't know how to answer it either. How could you possibly be?
When you don't answer Emily, she phrases her question differently. "What are you feeling right now?"
Your lips become a thin line. "I don't know. It feels like all of this," you point to the room, "isn't a part of me anymore. Nothing has changed, but it still feels foreign."
Emily nods. "You've been through a lot, I guess." She takes a sip of her coffee. "You're right, Y/N. Nothing has really changed here. But you're a different one now, aren't you?"
You open your mouth to answer her, but you don't know what either. Part of you feels at home here, but a bigger part of you knows your place is somewhere else. You just don't know where exactly.
"Do you want to see the others?", Emily asks. "I'm asking you because it's been a long time since you've seen them. And they think you're...you know. Are you ready for that?"
Are you ready for that? You haven't seen either of them in a long time, and it would probably be better not to see them for now, but to let Emily sort it out first. But the team is your family - the closest thing you have to a family. And you've missed them all terribly.
You nod and take a sip of your coffee as JJ and Rossi enter the room. When they see you, they glance uncertainly at Emily, as if they're not sure if it's just imagination, but she nods at them. And that's when all the dams break for JJ.
She pulls you from your chair and hugs you like the salvation of the world depends on it, and David has to pry her cramped arms from you so he can put his around you as well. They affirm to you how much they missed you and ask how you are, wanting to know what happened, but Tara and Penelope join them and that's when it gets too loud for you.
Penelope cries with joy and Tara also can't believe that you are standing in front of her. They besiege you and ask you questions to which you have no answers, so you just smile weakly at them. They definitely don't mean any harm, after all, you've just risen from the dead for them, but you've spent the last while in silence and are no longer used to this volume. So you turn away from them. They look anxiously after you as you sort of flee from them. You hope that this will make the headache go away.
Without paying much attention to where you're going, you find yourself facing the wall where the pictures of the deceased agents hang. And yours is hanging there, too. You don't know how long you've been standing in front of it - minutes? hours? -until a familiar voice snaps you out of your thoughts.
You turn around and there stands Spencer. His hair is a little shorter and he looks like he's seen a ghost. Well, he sort of has.
You want to throw yourself into his arms, kiss him, and never let him go. Seeing him knocks the air out of your lungs, which is why you can barely breathe. The two years without him had been hell on earth, but you got through them. For him.
For Spencer, who doesn't take his eyes off you as the blonde woman next to him, whose fingers are intertwined with his, looks at him and asks, "Honey, who's that?"
- tags -
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I Did Not Sign Up For This
For @whumptober2021 day nine: presumed dead | tears
Ladies, gents, and nonbinary friends... Speak Out.
CW: Referenced presumed death of a teen child in the past, grief, BBU, referenced pet whump, some references to past noncon and torture, sheer badassery from Kauri and Chris
“Hey, sweetie.” Jennifer Harker sits down on the little bench, leaning back, closing her eyes. “It’s been a rough week. We missed a deadline at work, thanks to Charles. You remember Charles? He started a few months before you went to college.”
The leaves rustle in the tree above her, a breeze moving through them. Sometimes she tries to see it as a sign that he hears her, that he's listening, wherever he is now.
She looks up, watching a robin who is looking right back at her, its red breast visible, in contrast to the green summer leaves. It takes off in a flurry of brownish-gray wings, and she sighs, looking back at the small stone marker she keeps in the yard off to the side of her house.
If the neighbors hear her talking out here, well, they get it. They’ve lived here since before Liam was born, they knew him as well as anyone else did.
It's not the first time Jennifer Harker has spoken to her dead son like this.
“In any case, well. I’ll just say I’m glad he’s going to retire soon. I’m not sure how much longer I can take his nonsense. Bullshit, you’d have said, I think. Keira’s home now, did you know that? She’s here to help me pack up-... pack up some stuff. Put it in storage or something. Honestly, so much of it’s… it’s not like anyone’s going to need your old books.” She gives a little laugh, maybe too breathy. “Keira always says I hold on to too much of you. That I don’t admit you’re gone, but you know, I do, it’s just… I liked having the pieces of you still here. Honestly, I think... I think she's having problems with that boyfriend again. I keep telling her, she deserves better, but she just-... she can't see it. I think she still blames herself for what happened to you."
She swallows, her throat tightening. This many years later and the tears still heat in her eyes. She has to close them tightly and breathe, in and out, until the feeling fades.
“Anyway-... I shouldn't think about it. I might just tell her I put it in storage and... not. If I never get r-rid of anything, Lee-Lee, it’s like you’re still here, right? Like you could come home on break from school any second now. Like maybe it’s just… all been the world’s longest fucking bad dream-”
She groans, rubbing her hand over her forehead, slowly leaning forward. Her throat closes against her grief, which slams into her like a body blow.
They say it gets easier, but they don't tell you that it only does that to lie in wait for the next time. The whole universe within her revolts at what she is, a mother with one missing child.
She looks with blurry teary eyes towards the stone. She'd ordered the little marker because she couldn’t find any reason for a tombstone or even a grave, but she wanted something to visit. It’s just a stone rectangle, vertical, and she has his name carved into it, and a line from a poem he wrote in high school.
Do you fear the lack of love
Or the way love will burn you alive and leave nothing but ashes behind?
Then, at the very bottom, her own words:
You were worth the burning, Liam.
Keira told her it was a morbid thing, but Jennifer had loved that poem so much when Liam showed it to her, and more importantly, he had loved it. She couldn’t imagine any other words for his memorial.
“I’m sorry,” She apologizes to her dead son, or to the tree or the bird she scared away. A squirrel chitters nearby. A lawn mower drones somewhere in the background in the small town. “It’s just been a week. The… the anniversary’s getting closer, that’s always rough for me. You’d only been at school a little while when-... when you went missing. July and August… oh, I hate July and August. You spent all of July out with your friends getting in those last hurrahs before college, we moved you in, and then… then y-you were gone.”
She exhales, slowly, looking at the tree. Memorizing, as she has a hundred times, the pattern of the bark.
“You’ve been gone so long,” She says, softly. “What will I do once you’ve been gone longer than you were here, Liam? What do I do then? Keira wants me to sell the house and move, go somewhere smaller, easier to care for. It’s just me most days rattling around in there, but I can’t-... you wrote your name on the wall of your closet when you were five and a half. How can I-... how can I leave everything that’s left of you behind?”
She shifts around, turning to pull her book out of her purse where it sits beside her.
“Well. I don’t have to make that decision today. I’m going to read for a bit, honey. Do you mind if I sit here?”
He doesn’t answer, but she likes to think he wouldn’t mind if he were still here. They used to sit near each other for hours, each with a nose buried in a book. When he was little he’d snuggle in against her side and fall asleep like that reading, his hands slowly going lax, eyes drifting shut. When he was older, he’d dogear a page or two and she’d pretend not to notice.
As it is, Jennifer sits and reads, enjoying the peace and quiet of the small-town afternoon.
The front door slams open suddenly, making her jump and turn to look over her shoulder. Keira stands on the front porch, leaning on the railing. Her hair is a wild riot of black curls around her face and down her back, and her skin is paper-white except for bright red blotches in her cheeks. “Mom!”
There’s a tone in her voice that rings every damn Mom-alarm in Jennifer’s body and she’s on her feet immediately, closing her book. “What’s up, Kee? Is something wrong?”
“The, the TV… television… Mom, please, you have to come now!”
Before she can ask for clarification, Keira’s already disappeared right back into the house, and Jennifer grabs her purse and book, walking quickly over the lawn. Her mind races - it could be something like a terrorist attack or something, maybe, but it’s unlike Keira to act like that. She’s bitter, Jennifer’s only living child, but she’s also strangely calm.
Jennifer asked, once, what had happened to her previously anxious little girl. Keira had looked at her with the same bright blue eyes Liam had and answered, the worst thing that I can imagine happened when I was eighteen, Mom. My brother was abducted right in front of me and murdered and they never even found a body. Nothing scares me anymore. Nothing could possibly happen to me that’s worse than seeing him get put in that van and not being able to stop it.
The worst part is, Jennifer knows what she means.
Once you’ve lost a child - or a twin brother, the other half of your identity from birth - there just isn’t anything worse than that when it comes to the wound it tears into your soul.
She opens the door and walks inside, veering to the right. “Keira, talk to me, honey. What’s wrong? What’s on TV?”
Keira, standing white-faced with her hands pressed over her mouth, turns to look at her. Her blue eyes are ringed in panicked white. “I, I saw him, Mom,” She says, her voice shaking, weak, barely-there. “I saw him!”
“Saw him?” Jennifer blinks. “Saw who?”
“I swear, I swear I saw him just a second ago, I know it was him, I know it, I-I know it was him, I know-”
“Keira, for God’s sake, who?”
Keira turns to look back at the screen. “Mom, look, look, just look!”
Jennifer follows her gaze, noting dimly that she can see the little symbol for the summer Olympics at the bottom right of the screen. There’s a redhead standing at a small podium, a young man a few years younger than her twins, with a wicked scar across his forehead.
He speaks, stammering through his words, while one of the Olympic athletes for the USA, one Jennifer vaguely recognizes as one of the gymnasts, holds onto one of his hands. There are others seated at the table, other athletes. A girl in a hijab with dark eyes that spit fire through the TV screen holds up a photo of a handsome young man with stubble and curly dark hair. A blond man holds a photo of a pretty girl smiling over one shoulder, what looks like a senior portrait for high school. Every single person at the table, she realizes, is holding a photo of someone.
Her eyes scan the uniforms - Canada, Iran, the UK, South Korea, Brazil, Australia, Mexico...
“We, we, we were stolen,” The young man at the podium says firmly, but even through the TV screen Jennifer can see his knuckles are white from how hard he’s holding onto his friend. “We were, so many of us were stolen. It’s, they lie. WRU lies. They, they, they lie. And, and I can prove it.”
There’s a screen behind him that lights up with a projected image.
On the screen is-
“Christ Almighty,” Jennifer breathes, and her heart hammers through her chest so hard she nearly feels life itself leave her.
Her son, eighteen years old then, stares back at her in a black-and-white image, gagged and bound, glaring daggers at whoever took the photo. He has a bruise on his cheek and a heavy black collar around his neck, the white shirt and black shorts of the stereotypical WRU look from the movies.
Jennifer had always figured that bit was exaggerated.
“Why-... why is he-”
“Mom, I saw him,” Keira whispers, and tears are running down her face. Jennifer slides her arms around her daughter, feels her head slowly move to lean against her mother. They stare at the screen together, memorizing this image of someone they haven’t seen in a decade, someone who died so, so long ago.
Or so they thought.
“I saw him in th-the crowd, I saw him,” Keira whimpers, her voice catching on a sob. “I saw him, I saw him, I saw-”
“Sssshhhh, it’s okay, sweetheart. It’s okay.”
“I, I, I can prove that WRU… lies,” The boy at the podium says again. “Because I, I, I can, I… can remember what happened to me.”
Another person steps out from behind the curtain that backs the table the athletes sit at. Short as she remembers, with a halo of wild black curls to rival Jennifer’s daughter, their father’s hair. She can see how blue his eyes are even through a screen and from a camera that isn’t anywhere close to him.
“My baby,” She whispers, and tightens her arms around Keira, who sobs beside her.
His voice has gotten deeper, but he still sounds like her son as Liam moves up to the microphone, stares into the screen, and says loudly, “And so can I.”
“Lee-Lee,” Keira whimpers. “It’s Liam, Mom, he’s-... I knew it, I knew i never felt him die, I knew it, I knew it I knew it I knew it!”
“My name is Kauri Grant,” He says at the podium. The redheaded boy holds his hand, now, while he speaks. The photo behind him changes to a later one, her son smiling in a pretty, placid sort of way next to a man Jennifer vaguely recognizes as some kind of movie bigwig, but not enough to place his name. “I was told I gave myself away, to be turned into the live-in lapdog for movie producer Owen Grant.”
The photo changes again. This time it’s a soundless video recording of the same WRU-uniformed version of Liam from before, fighting two of those WRU guards who forcefully subdue him. There’s no sound, sure, but Jennifer knows when the small screen body goes rigid and she sees his wide-open mouth that he’s screaming.
Back to another still photo, of Liam in a loose pair of black pants and a blue sweater with a white-gold jeweled collar around his neck, sitting in the lap of the celebrity - Owen Grant? - from before. Jennifer’s stomach turns in sudden disgust.
Her son was-
Had been living as-
“I escaped,” He keeps speaking, and Jennifer feels Keira beside her shivering as the two of them can’t take their eyes off the screen, off a ghost come back to life. “And I’ve been finding my way back from what they did to me ever since. I’m here today before WRU will tell you that I signed a contract, that I knew what I was doing, that I thought it was a better choice than whatever way I was living before. I’m here because WRU lies.”
“WRU lies,” The table full of athletes says in unison, some spitting, some nearly emotionless. All of them hold up the photos of the people in their hands.
“WRU, they, they lie,” The redhead says, tremulously, and Jennifer watches her son’s expression shift to tenderness, as he turns and whispers something to the redhead. The young man nods in return, and Liam smiles, soft and gentle. The two of them briefly lean in together, Liam’s forehead resting against the redhead’s.
He’s still whispering, although she can’t hear what he says.
His smile widens.
“That’s my baby,” Jennifer whispers. “That’s my baby’s smile.” She has a photo of a little boy with that exact brilliant shining smile, those sparkling blue eyes, holding up a wet leaf hanging off a stick while proudly declaring he'd been 'fishing' in mud puddles. When he was born, he and Keira, everyone had said their eyes would change color but no, they’d stayed that crystal blue. Both of them. And there he is, there’s his eyes, his smile, his expression, her dead son breathing and alive. “Please, please, please, Lee-Lee, please-”
He turns back and it’s like he’s looking directly at her through the screen, looking right at her, for the first time in ten years.
When she’d teared up hugging he and Keira after moving them into their dorms in college, he’d given her that look while saying, we’ll be okay, Mom. We’re going to be okay.
And then he wasn’t.
Then he wasn’t.
He wasn’t okay.
But God Almighty, he’s right there on TV and he’s okay now.
“WRU lied about everything,” He says, as the photo behind him changes to show him still wearing the clothes he’d gone missing in, lying insensible on the floor of some white featureless room. A man walks in, and again she doesn’t have to hear Liam to know he’s screaming as soon as the man grabs his wrists and forces them above his head, sitting heavily on his pelvis.
Keira, next to her, gasps. “Oh, my God,” She whispers. “Oh, my God. Oh, my god oh my god oh my god oh my god-”
Jennifer’s cell phone starts to ring. Then her home phone rings. Then Keira’s phone rings.
They don’t move.
They don’t even hear it.
The video shows the man slapping her son across the face, grinning like a demon down at his pain and fear. He twists free and throws a punch, connecting with the man’s cheek only to jerk his hand back and shake it out. Then he’s the one to take a punch, the back of his head smacking hard into tile before he goes still, dazed.
The video catches the WRU guard leaning slowly over him before it cuts out, back to the first photo with the bruising and the defiance in her son’s eyes.
“I am proof that WRU lies,” Her son says, strong and solid and god, he’s alive.
He pauses, and just like the first time when he was eight weeks old, Jennifer begins to cry at the sight of her son’s smile. Beside her, Keira is already crying, and they hold each other so tightly it would hurt if either of them could even begin to notice.
“I know exactly who I am,” He says, and his smile is brilliant and beautiful, his blue eyes sparkle, and Jennifer’s mind screams he’s alive he’s alive he’s alive. “I’m Kauri Grant, but I was someone else, before. My name was Liam Harker, and I did not sign up for this.”
The press conference, until now so silent a pin could drop, erupts in a sudden roar.
@burtlederp @finder-of-rings @endless-whump @astrobly @thefancydoughnut @newandfiguringitout @doveotions @pretty-face-breaker @gonna-feel-that-tomorrow @boxboysandotherwhump @oops-its-whump @cubeswhump @whump-tr0pes @downriver914 @whumptywhumpdump @whumpiary @orchidscript @nonsensical-whump @outofangband @eatyourdamnpears @what-a-whump
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will you write a story about us? | jjk
pairing: jeon jungkook x reader
genre: best friends to lovers, writer! reader, angst, fluff
warnings: just some swearing!
word count: 3.5k
summary: you can’t stop writing love stories long enough to realize that you’re the main character in one.
beta reader(s): @taetaespeaches @ughdangs
a/n: i’m not in love with how i ended this but!!! i wanted to get it up!! i also can’t decide if i want to do a part two to this so let me know if you might want one!
Four months in the making and your novel had now taken over your Friday nights. In college you would at least attempt to slip away from your keyboard to make it to a party every once in a while, it often gave you inspiration anyway. But parties don’t happen quite as much when you’re twenty-three, and you were fine with sitting at your desk ignoring the pain in your back and behind your eyes as you took hours writing a few more pages of your book.
Jungkook used to call you any version of a dork he felt like that day as he pried you from your desk and shut your laptop back when you were still in school. He’d force you to take a break in the form of dinner with the other guys or takeout containers filling your kitchen table or, if you were lucky, he’d insist on taking you shopping.
(Short Story: The Boy Who Reminds the Girl to Breathe)
Is it possible to fall in love with the idea of love stories? Is it possible to fall in love with words on a page? To fall in love with your own words as they spill onto the page? Of the way the writing and the romance make you feel? You think that it can’t be too detrimental to be in love with the idea of love and the stories that are born from the tropes. Romeo and Juliet is a forbidden love blueprint for a reason, The Notebook has withstood the test of time because it’s amazing.
“God, are you saying you like The Notebook?” Jungkook’s face twists, remote almost dropping from his hand.
“Are you saying you don’t?” your voice is incredulous. You knew people thought it was lame, but it still baffles you every time. “It’s iconic!”
He scoffs. “It’s not iconic, it’s tacky.”
“You don’t even know how wrong you are.” You click on the title, explain the beauty of the movie film-major style. You’re a terrible moviegoer, interrupting crucial parts of the movie to explain how amazing the writing is, how it’s a perfect love story.
But you think you must be doing something right because you see Jungkook dabbing away a few tears on his cheeks by the end of the movie.
You don’t mention it though.
(Poem: he made it too easy to fall in love)
You let out a sigh and rub your eyes, vision starting to blur from the consistent view of the computer screen. You haven’t written anything in a few minutes, cursor blinking on the page and taunting you slightly. Your fingers hover over the keyboard. Type a sentence, delete a sentence, type a word, delete two more.
You push your chair back from the desk, running your fingers through your hair as you eye the screen of our laptop. You don’t have any real deadlines, no publisher is waiting for a new chapter and telling you a date to hand in a finished book. The deadlines are self-imposed, marks on your own calendar that tell you when you want each part done by. You suppose it’s not the end of the world if you don’t have this chapter finished by the end of this week, that it’s alright if you ease up on the pressure you have on yourself.
You close your eyes for a moment. What would Jungkook say? He would probably tell you to go to bed, considering it was now past midnight. But when you refused, he would tell you to get up and take a walk, get a snack, drink some tea, and try again in a few minutes.
You settle against the kitchen counter as the mug spins in the microwave. You're too lazy to warm up water in the kettle, instead choosing to take the easier way out. Somewhere behind you, the counter vibrates, and you turn to see your phone lit up against the counter. The lock screen is full of texts, which is rare. You track across to pull the device from the charger, chest pressing against the cool tile as you do so.
Hey where are you? Are you on your way?
Hello? Are you okay?
Earth to y/n!! Are you coming? The movie is about to start.
Wait, let me guess. You're working on your book and forgot we had plans. (9:45)
The microwave beeps behind you, but you ignore it, quickly clicking Jungkook’s contact and pressing the call button. You press your elbow against the counter and the phone rings, praying he picks up. If you know Jungkook, he'll pick up even if he's mad.
“I don't want to hear it, y/n,” his voice comes through the receiver before you've realized he's picked up.
“Jungkook, I'm so sorry, I-”
“You were working on your book, I know,” he says, cutting you off. You hear him sigh, his voice exasperated.
“I really am sorry, Kook,” you insist, guilt heavy in your chest. You hate when he's mad at you, hate when he's mad in general. He’s too good to feel any negative emotion, heart too soft and too lovely for any bad feelings. But it feels worse knowing he's upset because of you.
“It's fine,” he says, but you can tell it isn't. “I'm not really sure why I expected anything different, anyway.”
His words make your brows furrow, your chest burn. “What's that supposed to mean?” you press him, pushing your elbows off of the counter to pace around the tiled floor of the kitchen. “When have I ever missed plans like this?”
He pauses, and you can almost see his eyes widening and lips pursing as he thinks. “It's not that,” he continues. “I'm always, always going to be second to whatever you're writing at that moment.”
It's a sucker punch, straight to the gut. His admission knocks the wind out of you, pulls a few tears to the corners of your eyes. “That's not true,” you protest.
“Oh, but it is.” His voice is heavy and sad, the accusation weighing him down. “If you're not canceling plans you're insisting we hang out in your apartment so you can type away while we watch a movie. And that's when you're not canceling, which you so often.” He takes a deep breath. “We make plans and then you tell me that day that you need to finish a chapter and that we can't hang out.”
You're not entirely sure what to say, words failing you in a way they never have. Perfectly timed monologues in times of crisis have always been your signature, the writer in you winning over in times like this. But, now, your mouth falls dry, lips seal shut. You push your sock-clad foot against the cold tile of the floor as you contemplate his words.
Because he's right. You hate that he's right. You hate that it takes just now for you to realize it.
“Jungkook, I'm sorry,” you try to continue. “Really, I-”
“You know what, y/n,” he interrupts again, a small laugh falling from his lips. “I just can't believe the irony I guess.” You open your mouth to interject, confusion heavy in the way your brows furrow. “You're so obsessed with love stories but don't realize you're practically the main character in one.”
“Wait, Jungkook, what-”
But the line goes dead, and your home screen mocks you when you pull the phone from your ear, the picture of you and Jungkook all but taunting you. It's a photo from earlier this year when he picked you up at four in the morning and insisted on taking you to the coast to watch the sunset. Just as the sun started to come over the horizon, he pulled out his phone and took a picture, going on and on about how he needed a reminder of the moment, something about how it would be the photo he showed his kids if they ever asked about his best friend.
You hadn't thought anything of it, you hadn't thought anything of any of it. Not of the way he pushed you or comforted you or woke up early to take you to see a sunrise. That's what best friends did, right? You tried to do the same for him, though you couldn't quite remember any instance of being there for him in the last few months.
What was it he had said?
“You're so obsessed with love stories but don't realize you're practically the main character in one.”
It's not hard to deduce the meaning there, but it's practically impossible to grasp. Was he implying…was he…
(Poem: how to decipher a cryptic confession from your best friend)
Your knees start to buckle underneath you, start to give out, and threaten to drop you to the floor. You steady yourself against the edge of the counter, head spinning from the thought.
You had been in love with Jungkook for as long as you could remember. But he made it so easy. It was impossible not to fall in love with his wide eyes and sweet smile and everything else about him. But the thought of him reciprocating any of those feelings never crossed your mind. He was Jeon Jungkook, the international heartthrob. You were just a hopeless romantic who had fallen in love dozens of times over.
Not that you had even looked at anyone else since you met Jungkook, but that's beside the point.
But was he implying that he loved you too? How else do you take that?
You finally notice the microwave is beeping, an incessant reminder of the mug that's likely gone cold once again. “God,” you say to the machine, wiping at the tears that had fallen down your cheeks without your permission, “shut up.” You pull the door open quickly and dump the drink down the drain, suddenly not in the mood to do anything but curl into bed and sleep.
So, that's what you do. You trudge down the hallway, slam the laptop closed without even checking if the document is saved, turn off the lights and slip into bed without changing out of your leggings. The duvet brings next to no comfort as you press your eyes closed, a few more tears sticking to your cheeks.
(Short Story: The Girl Who Lost the Boy Who Reminds Her to Breathe)
When you were in college and before Jungkook became a household name, he used to sing the stories and poems you wrote. He would steal your laptop and sing the words on the screen before you had a chance to protest. His voice made the stories beautiful in ways you hadn’t even imagined, made your heartache a little.
You wonder what the song of his absence will sound like.
It’s been a few days now, and the silence has become deafening. It’s Tuesday now, and he leaves early Wednesday afternoon for a month's worth of promo work. You haven’t talked to him since Friday.
A confession over the phone after midnight followed by both parties having too much pride to talk first and a time limit on the need to make up, the story practically writes itself.
But you’re not writing the story. You’re not writing much of anything lately.
You should be the one to reach out first, you’re the one that needs to apologize. It’s not that you don’t want to, it’s just that you’re not really sure what to say. You had made your peace with your heart-shattering, irrevocable, one-sided love for Jungkook, you had made your peace with keeping it bottled up forever. You had never expected to question everything, you had never expected his complicated confession.
(Short Story: The World Stopped Spinning Three Days Ago)
Regardless, you love him too. You do. If that’s what he even meant. And you don’t think you care enough about your pride to stay away if that’s what’s being kept from you. You don’t think you care about much of anything else if the only thing standing between him being something more is the ten-minute ride to his apartment.
You’re in your car before you really realize, clicking in your seatbelt and shifting the car into reverse, driving down the familiar roads that always lead to him.
Usually, the drive feels like coming home, but today it just feels like dread.
He gave you an entry card to the building shortly after he moved in, telling you he hated needing to buzz you in every time. You're thankful for it now, not quite sure he’d let you in if he was given the option.
The thought stings, that he might not want to see you, that he might just close the door right in your face, that he’s leaving tomorrow and he might have no intention of saying goodbye.
But when his eyes finally meet yours and he releases some of the tension in his shoulders, you’re a little less nervous. When he steps to the side and opens the door a little more to allow you in, some of your dread dissipates. You can’t help but feel like the scariest part is over. The talking isn’t what you worry about, the groveling will come naturally, you were more worried that he wouldn’t let you in.
“I’m sorry,” you say as he closes the door. “I’m so sorry, Jungkook. Really, I am,” the words tumble out before you really have a chance to contemplate them. “I’m sorry that I missed our plans and that I’ve been a shitty friend.” The breath catches in your throat and you bite down on your lip to stop yourself from crying. “I missed you,” you say, a little quieter this time. “I’m so sorry.”
He takes a step closer to you, rests his hand on the top of your arm. “It’s okay, y/n,” he says, ducking down in an attempt to catch your gaze.
“No, Jungkook,” you continue, not satisfied with how quickly he gave in. You know him too well for this, know he hates the hurting so much that he’ll sweep things under the rug to stop anyone from crying. You take a deep breath, try to compose yourself. “Everything you said was right and it’s not okay. I just get so caught up in my writing and everything else and it gets so hard to think about anything else. I’ll be better, I promise.”
He lets out a sigh of his own, squeezes your arm between his fingers. “Hey, look at me, okay?” he pleads, and you comply, finally pulling your gaze from the floor. He looks tired, though it is late now, clad in sweats and a hoodie. “I accept your apology,” he continues once you’ve caught his eyes. “I guess you’re right that it’s not okay, it was pretty shitty,” he says with a small smile, trying to lighten the mood. “But we are okay.” He moves his hand to rest on your shoulder. “And I missed you too.”
You nod back at him and move to fold yourself into his chest before you even give it a second thought. There’s still a glaring discussion needing to be had, the matter of the strange confession that you didn’t get a chance to reciprocate, but at the moment you don’t care about that. All that matters is the softness of the back of his hoodie under your finger as you wrap your arms around his torso, the gentle thrumming of his heartbeat against the press of your ear on his chest. And he holds you back just as quickly, cheek pressed against the top of your hair and arms pulled tight against his frame.
You wish this was the world, the familiar feeling of his arms tucked around you, the smell of his detergent soothing the nervous tightness of your chest. You wish this was it, that you could stay like this forever.
“Did you mean it?” you say quickly, quietly, voice muffled by his sweatshirt. You can feel the breath catch in his throat under the press of your cheek. “And before you try it, you know exactly what I’m talking about.” You pull away from his embrace and take a step back to look at him, to lock your gaze with his.
He chews at his lip, thinking over his words. “Yes, I meant it,” he says, never one to mince his words, never one to be anything but blunt. And then, with a small smile, “Will you write a story about us? I always imagined that if I managed to tell you that you would write a story.”
Your breath catches, insides turning warm and soft and your heart beating out of your chest. “Sure, I’ll write a story about us,” you say. But there’s a glaring concern, something holding you back. “I’d be a bad girlfriend, Jungkook,” you say. “I was such a bad friend as it is.”
His brows furrow at your admission, head shaking as his gaze drops back to the ground. “None of that is true,” he presses, taking a small step closer to you. “One missed plan doesn’t make you a bad friend, and doesn’t translate to you being a bad girlfriend,” he says. “If that’s even what you want,” he adds.
“It is,” you say quickly, clammy hands moving to tuck under his chin and force his eyes to find yours. “I can’t remember a time where I wasn’t head over heels in love with you, Jeon Jungkook,” you say finally. “I just never could have imagined you felt the same.”
A smile lights up his face, a shift back to the Jungkook you know and love. He pulls your arms from your sides to rest them around his neck, his own arms finding your slides. “You must have been more oblivious than I thought, then,” he teases as his fingers find the hem of your t-shirt, pulling at the fabric and resting his hands against your heated skin.
You take a step even closer, pressing your chest flush against his. “I think we already established that much,” you answer, your own smile lighting up your features. “Can you promise me one thing, though?” you plead, arms tightening around his neck.
“Of course, anything,” he coos, moving his fingers from your bare skin to comb through your hair, tucking a few stray strands behind your ear.
“If I fuck up, tell me,” you continue, “right away. Don’t let me cancel plans or make you feel like you’re anything less than first.” Your vision blurs at the words, tears welling up in the corners of your eyes. Jungkook presses the pads of his thumbs against your cheeks, swiping them across your skin and drying the tracks they leave. “Promise me, okay?”
“Okay,” he says, “I promise.” He bends down to press a kiss against your wet cheeks, his grip tightening around you.
His lips had met your skin before, your cheeks, nose, forehead. It was his preferred form of comforting you, especially when you cried. This was normal, an instance that had happened dozens of times before.
Except it wasn’t. The feather-light press of his lips against your cheek did nothing to calm you in the ways it usually did, instead causing your breath to catch in your throat and your heart rate to quicken. It was different. Different, different, different. Everything was different now.
“Kiss me,” you say, the words hanging heavy in the air. That was all that was left, right? To seal the deal?
And he does, without another second of hesitation, lips heavy and firm against yours. You had imagined kissing Jungkook more times than you’re willing to admit, fantasized the way his mouth would feel against yours, but nothing could have prepared you for this, for the way your knees buckled and head spun. You’re not sure your feet are even touching the ground anymore, you must be floating.
(Poem: the way he kisses makes the world stop turning)
You think the whole world would be as in love with love stories if all the stories were like this, confessions that knock the wind out of you and kisses that make you feel like you’re floating.
“I don’t want to leave tomorrow,” he says as he pulls away, lips finding yours with a few more quick pecks.
You had forgotten that he needed to leave, that that was the reason you came over so late anyway. “Me neither,” you say, breathless as you pull his lips back to yours, “but we’ll figure it out,” you say between kisses. “I’ll use the time to write you your story,” you tell him with a smile.
He pulls his mouth from yours to settling against your shoulder, nose pressing against the side of your throat. “Will you?” he questions. “What about your book?”
You smile a little wider, fingers carding through the strands of his hair. “I think this story is far better than any of the ones I could come up with,” you say, pressing a kiss into his hair.
“Better than The Notebook?” he muses into your shoulder.
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Hi, sorry to bother u but I was wondering if u cld explain what u meant by “as far as researchers and historians can tell, the original story had Persephone fall in love with Hades and consent to marry him. Being mad at me doesn't change the facts.” There is no ORIGINAL myth & the earliest source addressing hades & Persephone is the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, which depicts it very clearly as non-consensual. Just wondering where u got the idea that in the original it was romantic in the “original”, it’s a common misconception on tumblr so maybe from there???
"There is no ORIGINAL myth" Objectively speaking, there is. It's basic logic that, in every religion, someone, somewhere, at some point in time, was the first to tell a story that would become one of the myths in their religion. The problem is that it is downright impossible to find it because, well, you can't tell when someone's "weird" faith/insanity will some day become the dominant religion of the region where they live.
What we can do however, is look at the recurring things that are present in the majority, if not all, of the oldests found retellings of the myth - be it books, poems, oral traditions, songs, etc.
And that's the main problem with how many people interpret greek myths: they look at Homero's work and nothing else, and assume his version is the "correct" one (almost as if the myths were his creation) when it was simply the most famous one and there was an entire culture that already existed and was already changing (like all cultures do with time) long before he was even born. The oldest versions of the myth, that existed long before Homero, had Hades and Persephone's marriage be fully consensual. "Homero said this" doesn't mean "The greek myths were always like that"
Even the words "The rape of Persephone" don't always mean what people today assume it means, because "rape" used to mean "abduct", and "stealing the bride" (who was fully aware and willing) was a marriage rite in ancient Greece - hell, it is still a tradition in some places. Sometimes people say "Hades abducted Persephone" to indicate that their marriage wasn't consensual, and other times people just give it a passing mention as they would to literally any other part of greek culture because they know what it actually meant.
So yeah, pointing out that the "true" version of the myth is actually just an alternative version that got really popular is just stating the facts. It has nothing to do with "Tumblr revisionism" or whatever.
Also, since we're talking Hades, I'm gonna take the chance to correct some misconceptions about the guy because Gods damn, there's so much people get wrong about him (and of how greek mythology actually worked)
1 - Hades (the god) was not "the greek satan" and Hades (the place) was not hell - people think that because the Christian religion would sometimes use the word Hades to refer to hell, AND because some westerns just seem to assume that every religion is essential just christiany-lite despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
2 - Hades was not a "bad guy". Of all the Gods, he one of the few that would just mind his own business most of the time. He is less the "I'll kill you all if you displease me" type (like his brother Zeus) and more the "Get the fuck off my lawn" type. Him being "the moody god" was literally the reason why Aphrodites went "I'm gonna make him fall in love with Persephone"
3 - Hades was not the god of death. He was the god of the dead. When someone died and their soul went to the underworld, aka his realm, he would decide whether that person was worthy of a good after life or not. The one responsible for making sure all living things would one day die was Thanatos, who was also not the god death, but death itself (like Urano was the literal sky, Gaia was the literal earth) and when he was kidnaped everyone just stopped dying because death had fucking disappeared. Hades has fuck all to do with anything involving actually making death happen - if anything, he's death's secretary.
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50 Shades of Aaron Hotchner -- part four
Oop here we are again (Also I 100% meant to post this earlier today, but I’ve been doing some adulting stuff again...but it’s exciting adulting stuff so I’ll take it) Enjoy!! xx.
Warnings: some anxious thoughts, but that’s about it
Today honestly could not have been a more perfect day to go on a date -- is it a date? Who knows -- with Aaron, behind your roommate’s back.
You hate lying to her. You despise it. Not because she’ll be aggressive about it, but because you have such a guilty conscience. It doesn’t take much for you to cave. White lies have never been your specialty. And Megan is a detective, you swear. It must come with being a reporter.
But today, Megan has a packed day. Thank God she’s feeling better.
It’s nine a.m. when Megan leaves the apartment, and she’s already complaining about being behind schedule. She has to write up the interview with Aaron, do three other interviews and write those up (ideally) by the end of the day, and go to the board meeting for the paper, which usually lasts a couple hours at the very least.
So, yeah. You’re in the clear for sneaking around today.
You turn in your assignment for what would’ve been your first class today, but since an essay was due, the professor gracefully gave you all the day off.
The only problem is now you are waiting anxiously and impatiently for Aaron to arrive.
You fill the time by getting ready. Putting on your favorite outfit (and changing it three times), fixing your hair the way that makes you feel most confident, same with your makeup. Eventually, you’re done and just pacing around the apartment.
You check to make sure you have your laptop packed for your class after lunch, along with the book you’re discussing today. It’s a book of poems actually, Robert Browning.
Your phone buzzes from the counter, causing your heart to jump.
Aaron: I’m currently in a meeting, but I’m sending a car for you now. Is it alright if I meet you at the restaurant?
You try not to let his message dim your mood, but you’d be lying if you said it didn’t.
As long as you don’t stand me up, you reply.
His next message is instantaneous.
Aaron: Never. That’s much below me.
Still, your mind reminds you that you just met him. And that he’s a wealthy businessman. Isn’t it the stereotype that they stand up even their wives on date night? Aren’t the wives used to it? So doesn’t it just happen all the time, like a routine? Who’s to say it didn’t begin when they first met?
You’ve never been good at silencing your mind. And it shows in the text you send back to him.
I hope you’re telling the truth.
He doesn’t reply.
You take that as your answer, and almost begin toeing off your shoes, ready to fix lunch for yourself. You wander around for a few minutes, and then figure you’re better off not going through with this.
I mean, seriously, I know I like older men, but he’s older. Is this even...morally acceptable?
You’ve always had too many thoughts inside your brain. You think that’s why you decided to chase being a writer. This way you can write everything down when it comes into your brain. You can get it all out.
If only you practiced that.
Because right now, all you can think about is how bad of an idea this is. If you can’t -- won’t even tell your best friend that you’re going out with him, then why are you? And if you’re this worked up about it while you’re still in your apartment, is it worth it?
You start to think that it’s not.
Until your phone buzzes again.
Aaron: I’m here
Your eyes widen. You call him without even thinking about it.
“What?” You blurt.
“What do you mean what?” He says, and you almost hear his smile. “We’re having lunch. I said I’m here.”
“You said you were sending a car.” You can’t help but grin, all of your worries washing away as you grab your bag and head to the door. “You said you were in a meeting.”
“And you sounded upset, so I told everyone to break for lunch and we will reconvene later.”
“You--” You pause, shaking your head as you skip down the stairs. “You’re joking. You’re not here,” you start rambling. “There’s no way that you’re here right now.”
“I am,” he replies easily. “Where are you? I hope you don’t doubt me enough to back out.”
“I’m here,” you say, pushing open the door to the main lobby, your smile widening when you see him standing there, leaned up against the car. “And there you are, holy hell.”
Aaron grins and hangs up the phone, lifting himself off of his car with ease. You have no clue what kind of car it is, but it looks like an expensive kind, like the kind that you plug in to charge instead of fill up at the gas station. It’s all black, too, with tinted windows, but you honestly expected that. You wouldn’t be surprised if he has the kind of money to have had it painted and the windows tinted at a special body shop that only does that sort of thing for men like him.
“I told you I was here,” he says once you get close enough.
“My mother always told me the first step in any relationship is trust,” he begins, his tone effectively silencing you. “I could almost feel your distrust all the way back in my office.”
“It wasn’t distrust--”
“It was and it’s alright to admit that,” he says sincerely. “In any event, I did what I should have done in the first place, and I rearranged the meeting for us to have lunch. I’m starving, anyway.”
“Me too,” you confess, getting the sense that he wanted to have the last word on the trust argument. “Taking me somewhere special?”
“Of course.” He pauses to open the passenger door, holding it open for you. It doesn’t open upwards, which disappoints you only a little. “But if I remember correctly, you told me to surprise you.”
“I did,” you nod, stepping closer to the car, but pausing to turn your head, causing your face to be closer to his than what is probably good for you. “So surprise me.”
“I plan to,” he counters, his tone and expression just as even as yours, and he makes no move to back away from how close your faces are. Check mate.
You accept the small defeat and slide into the passenger seat, letting yourself smile at your lap as he closes the door. You place your bag at your feet, a delicious swarm of butterflies settling in your stomach when Aaron slides into the driver’s seat.
“Your class is at 2:45, correct?”
You blink, surprised that he even remembered such a small detail from your email. “Yes. Technically it begins at 3, but I like to be early.”
He cracks a small smile. “I like that.”
He presses the button to start the engine -- because of course it’s too expensive to have a key ignition -- and shifts into drive, taking off at a respectable speed.
Everything about him is respectable. His reputation, the way he dresses, the way he walks, his successful career. Everything about him screams good idea except his eyes.
His eyes tell a different story. One you are dying to read.
The ride to the restaurant is mostly silent, aside from the soft music coming from the speakers -- a Beatles album, if you’re not mistaken. The car is automatic, yet he keeps his hand on the gearshift, and you can’t stop yourself from looking.
You’ve always had a thing for hands. You wouldn’t call it a fetish, but maybe it is, you’re not sure. All you know is his hands are gorgeous, and you have to tear your eyes away before you start drooling.
You don’t know if he notices because you steady your gaze on the passing scenery, determined not to make a fool of yourself.
After a short drive, Aaron is pulling the car up to the front of a restaurant, parking directly in front of the doors.
“Is this even a parking space?” You blurt, looking around as you unbuckle.
He smirks, but says nothing, instead getting out of the car. He walks with impressive speed to your side, pulling your door open for you. And holding his hand out to steady you.
“Thank you,” you murmur quietly, letting go of his hand once you’re on the sidewalk. You watch him hand off his keys to someone, and that’s when you realize they have valet.
But for lunch? You’re not sheltered, you know valet is a thing, but it’s for like...big dinner parties and things. Not just lunch.
Aaron turns back to you, ushering you forward with a hand between your shoulder blades. “This is one of my favorite places,” he says, tugging the door open. “I hope you’ll like it.”
I’m already far out of my comfort zone, you nearly say. But instead you settle for, “I think I will.”
“Mr. Hotchner,” the host at the stand greets your date almost immediately. “Your room is ready for you.”
“Room?” You say without thinking, craning your neck to look up at Aaron.
“Thank you,” Aaron nods to the host, steering you to the left and up some stairs. “Over the years I found that it was too much of a nuance to eat out at a restaurant. Without fail, hundreds of pictures of me would be everywhere the next day.”
You frown. “Wow.”
He nods, guiding you up one more set of stairs. “I avoided restaurants for about a year. Until I realized I could still enjoy them, if I planned in advance.” He pauses to open a door, letting you walk in first.
It’s a small room, but still large enough that at least four more tables could fit inside. Instead, there’s only the one, with two chairs sat across from one another. An elegant set of candles sit in the middle of the table, with two wine glasses next to them. The entire outer wall is a window, but very obviously tinted so that it is more difficult for anyone outside to peek in.
You wander over to the window, looking down at the street. You’re only about three stories up, but it’s high enough to give you a different look at the life below.
“It never occurred to me that something like this existed,” you say.
“Well, now you know,” he says, his tone once again unreadable. “They’ve been my saving grace when it came to getting a slice of normalcy back in my life.”
“This is still pretty abnormal,” you joke. “But I guess if you have the money.”
“If I have the money?”
You turn your head to look at him, finding he’s right next to you at the window. “What?”
“You didn’t finish your sentence.”
You pause, a smile settling over your lips. It’s true, you hadn’t, but the fact that he caught it amazes you. “I guess if you have the money, then it is your normal.”
“It has been for a few years,” he hums. “I think I prefer it.”
“Yeah?” You ponder, looking away from him and back to the street below. “I think you might get me hooked on it. I always hate eating in a packed restaurant or dining hall. Feels like I’m being stared at.”
“You don’t like being looked at?”
You shrug. “Sometimes I don’t mind it. Other times, like when I’m trying to eat, it can be annoying.”
“I completely understand.”
“Yeah,” you snort. “The difference is, though, people probably are staring at you. Mine is irrational.”
“What makes you think no one is ever looking at you?”
You shrug again. “Do I look like someone anyone would want to look at?”
He hesitates for a moment, then softly says, “Yes.”
You look up and find his face in the reflection of the glass. But you can’t meet his eyes because his head is turned, his eyes focused on you.
Slowly, you turn to look at him, and he doesn’t move his gaze.
I could kiss him right now. Just like this.
And you would have, if it weren’t for the waiter knocking on the door.
Aaron turns his head to greet the man, and you try not to physically pout when he does.
“Is what you ordered still okay, sir?” The waiter asks.
“Yes, it is,” Aaron replies.
The waiter nods. “It’ll be out shortly.” He disappears quickly, pulling the door closed behind him.
The interruption effectively wipes away all of the tension from just a few moments ago, shifting the air. And Aaron has shifted too, because now he’s standing behind one of the chairs, pulling it out, and gesturing for you to sit.
Ever the gentleman.
You take your seat, allowing him to scoot you forward as well. As soon as he is seated, the door is opening again and the waiter is back, rolling in a cart that has your drinks -- two glasses of water -- and food.
The food is a lobster pasta dish of some sort, which you’re excited about. You’ve only had lobster once in your life and you liked it, but it’s expensive. You’ve never been able to just...have it for lunch.
Along with the pasta is a steaming bowl of sliced bread, that has some sort of cheese melted on it. You have no idea. But it looks amazing.
Once the waiter is gone, Aaron says, “I told them to skip the first course since you have class.”
“What was the first course?”
“You don’t like salad?”
“I mean, yes. But no,” you grab your fork. “I much prefer pasta.” You stab a rigatoni and stick it in your mouth, your eyes widening at the flavor. “Holy shit.”
“You like it?” He smirks while watching your expression.
You nod. “Oh my god. That’s insane.”
“I’m glad you like it.”
“I told you, I’m not picky.”
“I remember.” He pauses. “So, how is the book you’re writing?”
“Oh, the romance one?”
“Yes,” he nods. “How is that going?”
“Good,” you reply on instinct, then add, “I haven’t written a single word.”
He pauses, his hand halfway to his mouth. “You’re serious?”
“Unfortunately,” you chuckle. “Romance is hard to write when that’s the main focus of the book.”
“What about in your life?” He asks casually, gesturing with his fork. “Don’t you have experiences you can take from?”
“If you count shitty dates in high school, then yeah,” you say, stabbing another piece of lobster with a noodle.
You shake your head, swallowing. “Nothing. It’s complicated.”
You take a deep breath. “Well, it’s kind of hard to write about something you don’t believe in.”
“You don’t believe in love?”
“I don’t know what to believe,” you answer truthfully. “But I know that I believe if it was going to happen, it would’ve by now, and it hasn’t, so.”
“You don’t want it to?”
“I think it further complicates things,” you shrug. “And my life has been complicated enough without love in it.”
“What about you?”
“I haven’t loved anyone in years.”
“Do you plan to?”
“I didn’t think love was something you could plan.”
You shrug. “Maybe not. But you can decide whether you want to or not.”
“Hm,” he ponders over the thought for a moment. “Maybe.”
“Maybe it is something you can decide,” he finishes. “And if it is, then I’d decide not to.”
“Can I ask why?” You probe, and when he gives you a look, you remark, “It’s research. For the book.”
He smirks. “Well, in the name of research, I have to oblige. I’d decide not to because it complicates things. Much more than is needed.”
You nod slowly. “Glad we’re on the same page.”
“Yes. I am, too.”
The lunch ends far too soon for your liking, but you have a class to get to. You’re enjoying Aaron’s company with each passing second. You hadn’t expected to have so much in common with him, yet you do. And even when you have no clue what he’s talking about, he does so in a way that makes you interested. You could watch him talk for hours.
You could watch him simply exist for hours. The moments of brief silence had your mind reeling, your eyes zeroing in on his hands and his tie and imagining the most unholy of scenarios.
Aaron is driving you over to your college campus when he starts talking.
“I have a proposition for you.” His hands are resting evenly on the steering wheel, not gripping but gently holding, and his sleeve has slipped down a little, revealing the Rolex on his wrist.
You raise your eyebrows, shifting in your seat. “Oh?”
“Yes,” he pauses. “You say you’re struggling to write your novel because you have no real-life experiences to pull material from.”
“Correct,” you reply, unsure of where this is going.
“What if I give you some real-life experience?” He asks.
Your eyebrows furrow. “Not that I wouldn’t love the idea, but, I don’t exactly feel comfortable making you do that for me.”
“You’re not forcing me to do anything if I’m the one offering,” he corrects you. “And it wouldn’t be a burden on me. You’d be doing me a favor as well.”
“Doing you a favor?”
“Yes,” he confirms. “I’m a businessman -- a well-known one at that, and with that comes a certain...reputation to uphold. When my ex-wife and I first split up, she stopped accompanying me to different fundraisers and galas. Everyone asked where she was. And now that it’s been a few years, everyone is asking when I’ll move on.”
“So you want me to pretend to be your wife?”
“No,” he shakes his head. “Absolutely not. I don’t want you to pretend to be anyone.”
Your eyes widen, another thought hitting you. “Please tell me you are not proposing to me right now.”
“No!” He replies, just as exasperated. “No, of course I’m not. I’m--”
“Are you asking me out, then?”
“All I’m asking is that you’ll accompany me to these fundraisers and parties, and in exchange I will help you to experience the romance needed to write your novel.”
“So you’re asking me out, without asking me out,” you tease, snickering more when his face darkens. “I’m kidding, relax. I told you, I’m not in the mood for love right now.”
“You can take a few days to think it over. There’s no rush,” he offers.
“Oh, I’ve thought it over already. I’m in.”
“Yeah,” you shrug. “I need to experience some romance, and if that means hanging off your arm to get those questions to stop coming, then I’ll do it.” You pause. “I know how annoying it is to always be asked when you’ll bring a plus one. Story of my life,” you roll your eyes.
“You can still take a few days to think.”
“I don’t understand what you think I need to think more about.”
He parks outside the academic building where your class is, turning the car off as he turns his head to look at you.
And just like that, he kisses you.
You’re stunned to say the least because you didn’t see it coming for a second. And once his lips are on yours, you never want them to leave. You’re leaning closer, pressing a hand to his chest, gripping his shirt, tugging him toward you. And his hand is on the back of your neck, holding you in place while he quite literally devours you.
Breathless, he pulls away, but only far enough to breathe.
Dazed, you blink, looking up at him through your eyelashes. Let the romance begin.
238 notes · View notes
━━━ azriel x reader
✩‧₊˚.༄ meeting azriel and being mates would include...
✧˖*࿐ (a/n: this is far longer than intended, but i got carried away... enjoy!)
- The mating bond didn’t snap in right away, but both of you certainly felt... something.
↳ As soon as he met you, Azriel was inexplicably drawn to you; he didn’t know why, you weren’t particularly extraordinary, he simply was. After your first interaction together, he couldn’t get you off his mind - it would always somehow wander back to you, to the way you spoke, the way you smiled, the way you moved. Azriel found it maddening, he couldn’t figure it out. You weren’t much better, either; you knew you should be intimidated by him - it was, of course, entirely rational. Azriel was the Spymaster, the Shadowsinger; his powers were feared by all. And yet, you found that you weren’t. You were intrigued, if anything. He was a mystery - an enigma - and you wanted nothing more than to unravel him.
- Azriel began to go out of his way in order to run into you.
↳ He started by visiting the bookstore where you had met and hesitantly initiated a conversation with you about your favourite books. You ended up convincing him to read said books after finding out that he hadn’t even heard of most of them. A week later, you discussed them over coffees at the small café that you adored. Soon, you were seeing each other every weekend, going on walks through the streets of The Rainbow, talking about everything and nothing as though you had all the time in the world.
- You both fell for each other long before you knew you were mates - hard and fast.
↳ You found it quite embarrasing how quickly you caught feelings for the male - you thought you had more control over yourself than that. But fate, it seemed, had other plans. Whenever Azriel was near, your heart would beat noticeably faster - you became hyper-aware of him, noticing even the slightest of movements he made. He made you nervous, not because he was scary, but because of the passion he caused to stir within you. And as for Azriel himself, he was even more enamoured than you were. He found himself marvelling at your beauty, astounded that he hadn’t noticed it right away. When you smiled, the stars danced within your eyes; when you laughed, it sounded as though a chorus of angels laughed along with you. Oh, but it was your mind - that wonderful mind of yours - that truly captivated him. Azriel couldn’t believe how one person could be such a visionary, so utterly unique. When you voiced your thoughts, they were unlike anything he’d ever heard - your ideas entirely novel. As he fell asleep, Azriel often found that your voice - your words - were the last thing he thought of before he closed his eyes. To say he was enthralled by you would’ve been an understatement.
- The bond snapped in place for Azriel first.
↳ It happened the night you went stargazing on a warm summer evening. You laid in a small meadow beneath the infinite sky, hands intertwined, so close that you could feel the warmth radiating off of each other’s body. You were talking about all the different constellations, who named them, what they represented etc., and Azriel was just watching you ramble with the smallest of smiles on his face. He could hear you talking - hear the sound of your dulcet voice - but he wasn’t actually following your words. He simply couldn’t believe how lucky he was to have met someone like you. And then it happened - just like that. In mere seconds, his life changed forever.
- It took you feeling the bond as well for Azriel to admit his feelings.
↳ After that night, Azriel became more distant. You barely saw him; he never came to your favourite café anymore, he avoided the bookstore, and whenever you locked eyes with him in the streets, he would disappear before you had a chance to say anything. You couldn’t understand what had changed - why things had changed. It was by chance that you ran into him again; you could barely sleep at night and the exhaustion was beginning to wear you thin, so you went to the apothecary to get something that might help... only to find Azriel there, too. The moment your eyes locked, you felt it - you felt the bond click into place. You stood there gaping like a fool long enough for Azriel’s shadows to inform him of what was happening, and the next thing you knew, you were back in the meadow where you had gone stargazing weeks before, staring in shock at the male whose soul was eternally bound to yours. You talked things through, tentatively sharing your thoughts and feelings, your hopes and dreams, and everything in between. And the rest was history.
- Azriel often feels as though he is unworthy of your love.
↳ You can always tell when he’s feeling like this as he starts to pull away from you. When you notice this happening, you make it known in every way possible not just how much you love him and why you love him, but why he deserves such love. Whether it be in the form of a poem, a love letter, physical affection, or just outright saying it - you always make sure Azriel knows that he is worthy of your love, that he is not defined by that which he fears.
- When you’re together, he’s always touching you in some way.
↳ Whether it be holding hands, an arm around your waist, or just being close enough to you that your arms are brushing, he likes to feel that you’re there, that you’re okay.
- Kissing his scars whenever he feels insecure because of them.
- Azriel playing with your hair as you read with your head laying in his lap.
- Alternatively, him laying his head in your lap and you reading aloud to him as he falls asleep to the sound of your voice.
- A few of Azriel’s shadows constantly swirling around you - a whisper of darkness that feels like a cold breeze on a hot summers day.
- Waking up to see him gazing lovingly at you, his hands softly tracing a line up and down your spine, and giving you the most tender smile when he notices you’re awake.
- It’s a fact that Azriel has the sexiest morning voice ever known to man. It just is.
- Nose kisses.
- Forehead kisses.
- Hand kisses.
- Just kisses. Everywhere.
- Baking together.
↳ Azriel’s hidden talent is baking. On those cosy winter afternoons when the fire’s blazing and the snow is drifting slowly down from the skies, you’ll spend hours in the kitchen together making all sorts of treats. Az tends to take the lead, deciding who gets to do what (and usually cleaning up the mess you inevitably make) but you always end up doing the icing, if necessary. You definately do not intentionally smear said icing on your cheek just so Azriel will scrape it off and let you lick it from his finger. No.... you’ve totally never done that....
- Him calling you ‘love’ or ‘sweetheart’.
- Comforting him when he has nightmares.
↳ Azriel will often wake up in the dead of night struck by terror at the memories of his past that haunt him. During these moments, you hold him tightly in your arms, whispering to him over and over that you’re here, he’s not alone, they can never hurt him again. Some nights, he’ll stay awake until dawn, and you’ll talk to him about anything that comes to mind to distract him from the terrors that plague him. On other nights, Azriel will fall asleep in your arms, feeling safer there than anywhere in the world.
- Azriel randomly buying you little gifts.
↳ Words aren’t something he’s great at, so he prefers to express his love in other ways: through physical affection, and small acts of devotion. His go-to is whichever book you have been wanting at that time, but flowers, jewellery and art are also common gifts he might give you. Or, if he’s visited somewhere special during a mission, he’ll bring you back something that’s unique to that area.
- Blushing whenever he calls you beautiful.
- Being one of the few people who can regularly make him laugh - truly laugh. (It’s perhaps the most wonderful thing you’ve ever heard.)
- Around you, Azriel’s humour jumps right out.
↳ You’re always shocked when someone mentions how aloof Azriel seems, because around you (although he’s still a quieter person than most) he’s so lively. The sarcasm, the sass - it never stops. You and he could go back and forth for hours if someone didn’t stop you. You roll your eyes so much it’s a miracle that they haven’t fallen out of their sockets yet. Not a day goes by where Azriel doesn’t raise an eyebrow and make some kind of witty remark.
- When he’s jealous, Azriel will make his shadows surround you even more so than usual, and - if he’s close by you - he’ll even wrap one of his wings around you to let everyone know that you are his, and he is yours.
- Dancing on the rooftop together, the only music being the sound of each other’s hearts.
- If you’re sad, he’ll just hold you in his arms and send all the love and reassurance in the world down the bond, letting you say exactly what’s on your mind without interruption. If you’re the kind of person who can’t talk about their feelings, he’ll gladly sit and hug you all the same. Azriel sometimes hates that he can’t vocalise all that he wishes to say, but his presence alone is all you could possibly wish for.
- Lots of hugs from behind, with Azriel resting his chin on your shoulder and pressing a small kiss to the crook of your neck.
- Being best friends with Mor, and Cassian and Rhys are like your older brothers.
- Having a strong friendship with Amren also, and no one can understand how you two came to be so close.
- Training together.
↳ Azriel tends to worry a lot about something bad happening to you, which is understandable given that you’re the most important person in his life. He was surprised to find out that you were already rather capable of defending yourself; when armed with two twin shortswords, you were practically unstoppable. Nevertheless, you still train together rather frequently and, over the years, you’ve progressed so greatly that it isn’t uncommon for you to best Azriel in a fight.
- Him taking care of you when you’re sick.
↳ Azriel’s shadows inform him the moment something changes for the worse. He’ll make sure you are properly taken care of and will tend to your every need without complaint. When you’re at your lowest point, he’ll be right there beside you, making that which is unbearable slightly more tolerable. When you start to feel better, Az might become a little overbearing; despite your insistance that you’re feeling better, he’ll still be cautious for a short while afterwards, wanting to be absolutely certain that whatever made you ill in the first place has completely passed.
- Azriel playing the piano for you.
↳ You never knew he could do such a thing, but when you found out, it just made sense. Of course he can, you’d think to yourself - it was, for some inexplicable reason, such an Azriel thing for him to be able to do. He’ll write you the most beautiful symphonies that never fail to make your eyes well up with tears. If you ask, he’ll even teach you how to play, placing his hands above yours as he gently guides your fingers over the keys.
- Being the little spoon and falling asleep with one of Azriel’s wings draped over you.
- Eventually starting a family together, and swearing upon every star in the night sky that you’ll never let anything happen to the people you love more than life itself.
926 notes · View notes
hi, thank you for you!
could you please recommend some of your favourite poems/poets? something powerful
Thank you, lovely 🌼
1. Ocean Vuong (honestly, all of his poems are heart-wrenching)
You can get lost in every book
but you’ll never forget yourself
the way god forgets
Because the year is a distance
we’ve traveled in circles. Which is to say: this is how
we danced: alone in sleeping bodies. Which is to say:
this is how we loved: a knife on the tongue turning
into a tongue.
Because it's summer
you say thank you thank you thank you
because you haven’t learned the purpose
of forgive me because that’s what you say
when a stranger steps out of summer
& offers you another hour to live
Seventh circle of Earth
As if my finger, / tracing your collarbone / behind closed doors, / was
enough / to erase myself. To forget / we built this house knowing / it
won’t last. How / does anyone stop / regret / without cutting / off his
On Earth we're briefly gorgeous
You, pushing your body into the river
only to be left with yourself—
To my father / to my future son
Use it to prove how the stars
were always what we knew
they were: the exit wounds
of every misfired word.
God must be a season, grandma said, looking out at the blizzard
2. Richard Siken
Portrait of Fryderyk in Shifting Light by Richard Siken
What can you know about a person? They shift
in the light. You can’t light up all sides at once. Add
a second light and you get a second darkness, it’s only
fair. He is looking at the wall and I am looking at his
The Language of the Birds
A man had two birds in his head—not in his throat, not in his chest—and the birds would sing all day never stopping. The man thought to himself, One of these birds is not my bird. The birds agreed.
There's a dream in the
space between the hammer and the nail: the dream of
about-to-be-hit, which is a bad dream, but the nail will
take the hit if it gets to sleep inside the wood forever.
The field of rooms and halls
I put my sadness in a box. The box went soft and wet and weak at the bottom. I called it Thursday. Today is Sunday. The town is empty.
Landscape with a Blur of Conquerors
It should be enough. To make something
beautiful should be enough. It isn’t. It should be
3. Charles Bukowski
Raw with love
little dark girl with kind eyes
you have no
knife. the knife is
mine and I won't use it
we forget the terror of one person
aching in one room
watering a plant alone
without a telephone that would never
we forget the terror of one person
aching in one room
watering a plant alone
without a telephone that would never
The Genius of the Crowd
but there is genius in their hatred
there is enough genius in their hatred to kill you
to kill anybody
not wanting solitude
not understanding solitude
they will attempt to destroy anything
that differs from their own
The Laughing Heart
Your life is your life
Don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
Be on the watch.
There are ways out.
There is a light somewhere.
It may not be much light but
It beats the darkness.
4. Anne Carson
The Glass Essay
You remember too much,
my mother said to me recently.
Why hold onto all that? And I said,
Where can I put it down?
To feel anything deranges you. To be seen feeling anything strips you naked. In the grip of it, pleasure or pain doesn't matter.
5. Rainer Maria Rilke (but mainly in German)
Extinguish Thou My Eyes (Lösch mir die Augen aus)
Extinguish Thou my eyes:I still can see Thee,
deprive my ears of sound:I still can hear Thee,
and without feet I still can come to Thee,
and without voice I still can call to Thee.
I find you (Ich finde dich)
I find you in all these things:
all that is good in me and in my brothers,
like a tiny seed you bask in the sun
and in the vastness you greatly give of yourself
6. Joseph Brodsky (but mainly in Russian)
Don't leave the room, don't make a mistake ( Не выходи из комнаты, не совершай ошибку.)
Don’t leave your room, don’t commit that fateful mistake.
Why risk the sun? Just settle back at home and smoke.
Outside’s absurd, especially that whoop of joy,
you’ve made it to the lavatory--now head back straight away!
It's evening, the sun is setting;
boys shout and gulls are crying.
What's the point of forgetting
if it's followed by dying?
7. Marina Tsvetaeva (in Russian)
I am happy simply living
I am happy living simply:
like a clock, or a calendar.
Worldly pilgrim, thin,
wise—as any creature.
Where does this tenderness come from?
Where does this tenderness come from?
And what will I do with it? Young
stranger, poet, wandering through town,
you and your eyelashes—longer than anyone’s.
8. Paul Verlaine
Les sanglots longs
Blessent mon cœur
The long sobs
Wound my heart
With a monotonous
9. Vahan Teryan (in Armenian)
My mother’s hands
My mother's hands were tapered slim
like candles that might burst in flame.
My mother's voice was like a balm
soothing each pain, calling each name.
In that far-off world the song
I sang was one we all knew:
"I love you but you don't love me."
How banal and predictable. Now.
10. Paruyr Sevak (in Armenian)
I know what has changed, my dear,
It’s always like that,
When someone insane and crazy like me,
Opens his heart without words
To someone modest and shy like you…
When i was busy on Mars
When I was busy farming on Mars,
Sitting dreamily in my small city room,
My poor door suddenly underwent a formidable ordeal:
You were knocking.
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Mute. | N.L (Part 3)
in which the reader doesn’t talk, and neville finally changes that.
warnings: bullying, swearing (lmk if there are more!)
word count: 3,504
okay final part hahaha i just really love protective neville PLS
PART 2 HERE!
neville cursed her name as he walked at their meeting spot.
‘damn her for being so amazing.’
if he thought he couldn’t get y/n off of his mind before, this was completely different. y/n was the only thing that ran through his mind. it had gotten to the point where he couldn’t even sleep without dreaming of your face, and your small giggle that he loved so much.
and that smile. that fucking smile.
merlin, he was head over for y/n y/l/n.
the last couple of weeks the pair had hung out almost every single day. at first, y/n went back to not speaking the first couple of days, but finally, neville brought up a story about how he almost fell off of the moving staircases, and she laughed and told him a similar story.
it had only been just the two of them, and neville couldn’t seem to get enough. on days when they wouldn’t hang out, he would just sit in the common room, bored out of his mind. only having thoughts of you and what you were reading the library that day.
as neville looked at his watch, he felt something poking his arm. he turned his head, and met eyes with the girl of the hour,
“oh, hey y/n.” he greeted her sweetly, a smile forming onto his face. he couldn’t help but to always smile when he was around her, he assumed it was just the comforting energy that she gave off.
“hi.” she responded shyly, still getting used to talking all the time. “your tie is messed up...”
neville furrowed his eyebrows for a moment, attempting to snap himself out of getting lost in how gentle her voice was. but he finally looked down at his tie, and chuckled nervously,
“oh, didn’t even notice. thanks,”
she smiled lightly at him, feeling warmth go to her cheeks. in the past few weeks she had gotten to know neville, she realized that she may have developed her first ever crush. she loved how he spoke, how much emotion he put into every word he uttered. and plus, he was absolutely adorable in her eyes. she started to wish that she had met him sooner. but, she also had to remind herself that neville would never fancy her. even though he wasn’t the most social himself, people still liked him. and how on earth out of all the girls that he could be with in this school, he would choose her?
it was simple. he wouldn’t.
the pair began to walk to the great hall, like they had done together almost every morning. y/n informed neville that she had in fact done some research on gillyweed,
“i think it could come in handy at some point. like, in this one poem i read, this boy was trying to find treasure at the bottom of the ocean, but it was really deep and—“
y/n looked over at neville, and noticed his eyes. she quickly stopped her rambling, “never mind. that’s dumb...”
neville almost let out an audible scoff at her words. he wanted to listen to every word she had to say for the rest of his life. “no, keep going. i’m interested!”
y/n hid her face behind her books once again, nervous to show her small smile. “it’s okay. the stuff i read isn’t that—“
“y/n.” he stopped her, and she looked up at him once more. “just keep talking.”
she reluctantly nodded, surprised at how the tone in his voice changed. but, she kept talking anyways.
as the two arrived into the great hall, y/n automatically began to walk away from neville. she hated the thought of him being seen with her, and being made fun of for it. plus, she couldn’t bring herself sit with him and his friends.
neville watched as she walked ahead of him, and he frowned. he had offered to give her a seat beside himself, dean, and seamus, but she turned it down. he had an idea of why, but that didn’t mean it bothered him any less.
y/n stopped on her feet, and turned her body. he walked up to her once again,
“you should sit with me today,”
the simple statement made y/n’s body tremble. no. she couldn’t. she wouldn’t.
“i don’t like seeing you sit by yourself. and, i like to think you’re my... fri—friend now.” he stuttered out, not too keen on just being her friend. “it’s only me a couple of my friends. i promise.”
y/n glanced up at him, and then at the four boys who were sitting where neville usually sat. when she looked at him again, she shook her head.
neville sighed, and pushed her books down so he could fully see her face.
“you can, y/n. i promise.”
for one moment, y/n felt as if it was just the two of them. that this great hall, they had it all to themselves. maybe they would slow dance to no music like she had read in one of her novels. maybe he would kiss her and whisper how beautiful she was in her ear.
a girl could dream.
y/n looked back at neville’s friends one more time, still terrified. but, the look on his eyes assured her that she would be okay.
he smiled widely at her, teeth and all. and he grabbed her bag, and started walking towards the familiar seating area. y/n sighed, mentally preparing herself for what was about to happen. she began to over think as she approached the boys. they hadn’t even noticed her yet, too busy talking about what boys talk about.
neville set her bag down on the table, and noticed harry and ron sitting with dean and seamus,
“hey guys, where’s hermione?” neville asked,
“not sure. studying for a test today or something like that. i don’t usually keep up on—“
ron had begun to answer, but when he looked up, he locked eyes with a familiar figure. his eyes went wide a bit, and he hit harry’s leg under the table. harry then looked up, and smiled at the girl.
“hey, y/n. how are you?”
y/n was a bit shocked from harry’s question, as he was one of the only few people who had ever attempted to speak to her. they shared plenty of classes together, and y/n always felt bad for him when they got paired up for an assignment.
the name rang throughout seamus and dean’s ears, and they looked up as well. she sent them a small wave, still keeping her mouth closed.
she sat down beside neville, listening in on the small chatter between the five boys. but, she decided on reading her herbology book instead. neville wasn’t going to put any pressure on her to talk to them, but he just wanted her to have some company at breakfast.
as time went by, y/n’s nerves seemed to come to a halt. she was too lost into her book to even understand what the boys were saying.
“what book is that?” seamus asked her suddenly, and she looked up at him through hooded eyes. he didn’t necessarily expect a response, but he couldn’t help but to let his curiosity take over.
she flipped the book up, showing him the front cover, “merlin, don’t tell me longbottom has gotten you into reading books about plants!”
the boys chucked, and neville scratched his neck in embarrassment. y/n simply shrugged at the irish boy, still a bit scared to respond. she then reached her hand over to grab a piece of toast, and they watched her intently as she did so. it was the most human thing that they had ever seen her do besides reading a book.
dean furrowed his eyebrows as he looked down at her wrist, “that bracelet is really cool. where’d you get it?”
neville looked over at her, seeing the way her face dropped from dean’s question. y/n looked back at him, hoping to get some sort of comfort. and of course, he provided her with just that. he nodded his head, encouraging her it seemed.
“erm...” she began, mindlessly playing with the same bracelet, “m—my mum... she m-makes them...”
seamus’s eyes practically popped out of their sockets, as well as the other three boys. she had just talked. they felt like they were looking at a blue moon,
“that’s cool! maybe you could get your mum to make one for me?” dean joked, flashing her a toothy smile. y/n smiled back at him, but quickly looked back down to hide her face.
neville nudged her side, and got closer to her ear. “i think you’re doing pretty good.”
the compliment made her cheeks warm up even worse, and the rosy color had to be visible at this point.
for the rest of breakfast, y/n didn’t read her book. she sat up, listened to the boy’s conversations. she even corrected seamus’s grammar at one point, to which he said:
“she talks once and now she’s trying to teach me how to speak!”
neville was about to kick his friend under the table, but stopped when he heard her giggle from the joke. the other boys joined in with her, and neville eventually.
y/n finally felt like she belonged somewhere. and for once, she didn’t mind not being alone.
as the school day went by, students attended their classes, y/n had never felt more happy in her whole life. and, it was noticeable from other students. she didn’t speak, but the smile on her face spoke a thousand words.
y/n skipped out potions, relived to finally be free from professor snape’s grasp. she wanted to go the library and research quidditch. all of the guys had been talking about it earlier that morning, and y/n realized that she knew absolutely nothing about it. she had never even been to a match before.
but, what y/n didn’t know, is that her day was about to change drastically:
y/n stopped in her tracks, already recognizing the taunting voice. she chose to ignore him, though. she kept walking, but she only heard the sound of fast footsteps behind her. she then saw a familiar fluff of white hair, walk in front of her, stopping her once more.
“what are you reading? “how to properly speak?”” malfoy joked, leaning over to read the covers of her books. “oh! a quidditch book, huh? you wouldn’t happen to fancy one of the quidditch players would you now, mute?”
y/n shook her head, as that wasn’t the truth at all.
“i saw you talking to longbottom earlier, today. you guys would make a great couple. the lard and the mute... ha! quite funny, actually!”
y/n of course didn’t respond, only looked down at her feet.
“i’m quite parched, mute. how about you?” y/n looked up at him, and furrowed her eyebrows.
malfoy had always said the most random things to her. she was surprised he was even in the top rank of their class. he was a blithering idiot in her eyes.
“pumpkin juice?” he asked, but it sounded more like an offer.
and in that moment, y/n felt the feeling of liquid pouring onto her head. it began to fall down her face, onto her clothes, just everywhere on her physical body. she heard laughter from the students that had passed by.
there was silence for a moment. y/n wiped the sticky pumpkin juice out of her eyes, and from her lips as well. she narrowed her eyes at malfoy, who stood grinning in front of her as the liquid continued to drip on her.
“still parched? maybe you’ll be able to speak now, mute!” y/n heard from behind her. pansy parkinson stepped beside malfoy, and crossed her arms in triumph.
y/n didn’t move a single inch, her body still relaying in the shock from the situation. her emotions felt as if they were about to burst from her, and she felt like she could scream.
“hey, what’s going on?” dean asked his friends, tapping neville’s shoulder. the three looked down the hall, and saw a large group of students in a circle.
“maybe someone is about to fight! come on!” seamus rushed his friends, already sprinting down the hall. dean and neville followed quickly, and soon enough, they joined in the circle, pushing their way up to the front.
but what they were met with wasn’t a fight, nor a simple argument. it was something much worse.
y/n, covered head to toe in pumpkin juice.
draco and pansy stood right in front of her, taunting her. neville’s fists clenched as he put the pieces together, and he swore he thought he was about to jump on top of malfoy.
“this isn’t good...” seamus muttered to dean, and the boy nodded his head in agreement as they all continued to watch.
malfoy stepped closer to her, the smell of pumpkin filling his nostrils. “hey, at least you’ll taste nice if someone kisses you. which, is highly unlikely, but who knows?”
in that moment, y/n couldn’t swallow anymore. she couldn’t keep the words down. they were coming out whether she wanted them to or not,
students gasped, other’s eyes widened. mute had spoken, and everyone had heard it.
a mantra of “oooo’s” left the mouths of draco’s friends, but malfoy, he was in pure disbelief. “wow! she speaks!” he laughed, still shocked. “guess all you needed was some pumpkin juice to make your mouth move, isn’t that right, mute?”
all of the anger that y/n had pent up due to malfoy was reaching the surface, and if you looked close enough, you could practically see the steam coming out of her ears.
y/n never was impulsive, nor did she ever really fight back in situations like these. but, the simple disrespect of it all had her fired up, and she wouldn’t rest until she did something about it.
“malfoy,” she began softly, and he hummed in response.
before malfoy knew it, the same quidditch book collided into his face. his head fell back, and he ended up losing balance. he groaned in pain, and felt blood dripping from his nose.
students around them bursted into laughter, and y/n’s eyes widened from what she had just done. parkinson snarled at the girl, attempting to help the blonde up. y/n giggled when she saw the blood pouring from his nose, and malfoy caught it.
“you think this is funny?!” he yelled, stepping closer to her once more, and y/n suddenly noticed mcgonagall rushing over towards the large group. she began to dash away, pumpkin juice and all still stuck to her body. malfoy continued to yell vile things at her, making sure to ensure that she would regret this day.
y/n sprinted through the halls, and finally settled on hiding in a prefect bathroom.
she quickly found herself standing in front of a mirror, staring at herself. she let out a small chuckle from how she looked, the pumpkin juice still prominent.
usually in scenarios like this, y/n would run and hide away in the library to cry. but, not this time. as a matter of fact, there wasn’t an inch of her that had the desire to cry. if anything, she felt... happy.
she had finally stood up for herself. it may have been in an impulsive, immature way, but, she still did it. and in her eyes, that’s all that truly mattered.
y/n began to clean her face off, hissing as the paper towel rubbed on her dried skin. she cursed draco malfoy’s name as she attempted to get the sticky liquid out of her eyebrows. because yes, the pumpkin juice had gotten stuck in them.
the voice made y/n jump, and she turned around to see who it was.
“oh... hi, neville.”
he smiled at her, relieved that she was still talking.
“i didn’t mean to scare you. i just—i saw what happened... and was worried about you.”
y/n couldn’t help but to blush from his kindness. he had been worried about her? no one had ever let the thought cross their mind that she might be in some sort of trouble, but alas... neville longbottom was different.
“it’s fine... thank you.”
she turned back around, and began once more to clean her face off. neville stood at the entrance awkwardly, not really knowing what he should do.
“um...” he started, glancing around at the bathroom. “i want to help, but... i’m not too sure if i’m even allowed to be in here.”
y/n looked at his reflection through the mirror, and giggled slightly. “you can come in. no one else is in here.”
neville nodded, but mentally, he was trying to hide the fact that her voice was taking such an affect on him. it had been that way ever since she had first spoken to him. he couldn’t get over how fragile her voice was. how sweet she sounded when she spoke. and the look in her eyes... it was all but pure innocence. and, neville loved every bit of it.
he stepped inside, and slowly made his way over to her. he watched for a moment as she wiped her face off, attempting to take in her pumpkin juice covered features.
“are you alright?” he asked suddenly, and y/n looked over at him with furrowed eyebrows.
“yeah, why wouldn’t i be?”
neville had to stop himself from letting out a sigh of relief,
“well, what malfoy did was really... mean. i just wanted to make sure you were—“
“neville,” she quickly cut him off, “i’m fine. i promise.”
she shot him a shy smile, and tossed the paper towel in the trash bin. she then grabbed another one, continuing once more.
“here...” he whispered, reaching his hand out towards the paper towel, “let me help.”
she reluctantly nodded, nervous to even think about the fact that his hands would be so close to her face. she handed him the paper towel, and to her surprise, he wet the towel under the sink.
“i didn’t even think about doing that...” she admitted, and she clenched her teeth together out of embarrassment.
he chuckled, and began to wipe her face off gently.
y/n felt herself getting lost into the boy’s facial features. his small freckles, his perfectly contorted nose, the way his lips parted a bit as he focused in on her face.
“here, lift up,” he requested, taking her chin in between his fingers, and lifting her head up slightly. the contact made her heart being to beat at an unmeasurable pace, and she swore that he could see how red she was becoming.
“what you did was pretty awesome. i told you that you could do it.”
she smiled at him, “well, i probably wouldn’t have been able to do it without you.”
“why’s that? i didn’t do anything.”
y/n shrugged, “well... you’ve helped me... with... a lot, i think. so... thank you.”
neville stopped wiping her face,
he then threw the towel away, but, didn’t seem to step away from y/n. it seemed as if he had only gotten closer to her, without even realizing it. he looked down at her, his tall figure seeming to completely tower over her.
he stared at her face, and he couldn’t even believe how beautiful she was.
“you got some... on your lip...” he informed her.
“oh...” she went to reach her hand up to wipe it off, but neville’s hand seemed to come up way faster.
before she knew it, his thumb was gliding over her lips slowly, and her breath hitched when she realized what was happening. neville seemed to realize what he had done as well, because he stopped just a few moments after he had started. but, his thumb never left her bottom lip.
y/n gulped, staring into his endless eyes. she had so many emotions going through her body at that moment, she didn’t even know how to react. all she knew, is that she wanted one thing.
neville seemed to see right through her, and honestly, he wanted the same thing. so, as his thumb remained stuck to her bottom lip, their faces began to slowly move closer towards each other. y/n could feel her breathing become unsteady as it happed. but, her anxiety wasn’t stopping her anymore.
their lips collided, and neville finally moved his thumb, but his hand came up to the side of her neck. the kiss carried so much innocence, but so much desire all at the same time. y/n had never had her first kiss, but merlin, she knew that this would probably be the best once she would ever receive in her whole life.
when they finally pulled away, the two were breathless. but, they still couldn’t seem to pull their eyes away from each other.
neville knew, all in that moment, she was perfect for him. the kiss was simply a confirmation.
“your lips taste nice...”
tags: @cc12-02 @mysticlights-blog @sugukui
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FALLING IN LOVE & CONFESSIONS
pairing: asui tsuyu x fem! reader, yaoyorozu momo x fem! reader, uraraka ochako x fem! reader, ashido mina x fem! reader
wc: 3.1 k
content: i don’t think there’s pronouns for the reader but reader is written with wlw in mind, swearing, sparring, food mention, makeup mention, anxiety, mention of crying, kissing, i said the word drunk once but there’s no alcohol just pining
desc: the way they fall in love with you and how the confession goes.
notes: i’m simply a humble woc simp. also this is in honor of lesbian day of visibility - come get your simpery!! also all the readers have slightly diff personalities bc yeah!
she realizes she likes you kind of just out of the blue one day
you’re already friends, and she’s doing your hair in a nice braid and you’re talking about this new album that came out and all of a sudden she just looks at you, really looks at you
and she thinks
“i can want more than this. i want more than this.”
tsuyu isn’t going to let the crushing period last too long
she really doesn’t like dancing around the subject - why bother hiding it and waiting for you or her to figure it out, ya know?
the only reason she waits is because she wants to make sure she genuinely likes you and it isn’t going to be one of those “i like you a lot but it fades after a week” kind of things
she wouldn’t want to play with your heart like that
so she gives herself a deadline - if she continues to like you in the same way that she’s realized she likes you for a month or two, she can ask you out
yes, tsuyu follows self-imposed deadlines
so she bides her time and watches herself and observes her thoughts, tries to make sure she really does like you
she really can’t help it, though, she is slowly inching towards confessing even though she knows she can’t ACTUALLY confess yet
offers you pieces of her lunch
like you’ll be sitting there at the table and she’ll hold up a bowl of something and just “do you want any, kero?” and cock her head
tries to be equally blunt with you as everyone else but is a little scared she’ll confess too early so she ends up clamming up around you
it kind of hurts actually because she’s one of your closest friends, and you don’t understand why she’s suddenly become so aloof and distant
she totally notices how it’s impacting you so she’ll try and make herself seem less closed off by spending more time with you
but walking in the park and studying together and talking in between classes makes her like you more
so the problem just gets worse
and then it’s so bad that every time you laugh at her perfectly timed comments or hug her or catch her staring at you in class, she has to physically stop herself from just telling you
she’s so comfortable with you that she can spend hours with you without having any kind of structured time or event like she usually prefers
but it’s driving her up a wall because if there’s nothing else to focus on except you, she just wants to kiss you and she literally cannot think about anything else
her self-imposed deadline finally arrives and she thinks it’s very safe to say that her feelings have not gone away - they have gotten much stronger, and quite honestly it’s killing her
bubblegum by clairo is playing, the sunset is golden in the humid, late spring air, and the sunlight is making you glow. tsuyu’s cheeks are so hot, her mouth is sticking to itself, her lips feel like they’re burning from how dry they are. she’s curled up against the sliding glass door, staring at you, sitting with your back to the balcony railing, eyes closed, basking in the evening feeling of looseness and calm.
she thinks she could right a poem about you, she could write sonnets and villanelles and manifestos about your eyes and your hair and your skin and that face you make when you’re trying to remember what you were just saying. she’s not very good with frilly, flowery words, but she could write forever about you.
she holds her own hand to stop herself from taking yours. there’s something bubbling up in her throat and her eyes are watering and her chest is bursting with the way she wants your hands in her hair as you kiss.
“[first name], are you awake?”
you hum in response and crack an eye open. your hands are resting on the concrete of the balcony, and she can imagine the little imprints the texture is leaving on your palms.
“yeah, i’m awake.”
“can i tell you something, kero?”
you open both eyes, but you’re still relaxed, and your gaze is so soft on her that it feels like she’s drunk on something warm and soothing.
“i think i’m in love with you.”
you just sink back into the railing, pressing a hand over your mouth, and she can hear you sob, “i’m so glad.”
this is the only time she’ll ever be happy to see you cry.
oh god she’s going to pine forever
the thing is, she likes you from the beginning
literally the second she meets you she thinks you’re so so attractive and your confidence makes her world just tilt on its axis
she’s trying so hard to impress you
she gives it her all in training anyways, but when you’re there she needs everything to go perfectly, she needs to prove she’s good enough for you
she gets a perfect score on an exam and the first thing she does is look back at you, she wants to know what you think of her, she cares so much
she makes you gifts, hand knitted scarves and calligraphy of your favorite poems for your room and tea blends she selects after spending hours smelling each one at the shop
she gives you everything she can make for you without using her quirk; she wants to give you her time and love and energy, all wrapped up in a physical object
she has study sessions with everyone and she tries to be neutral but she pays special attention to you and it’s so obvious
she sits next to you and refills your teacup (trying to pour extra gracefully even though the thought of you looking at her makes her hands shake sometimes)
she checks in with you first on every new subject and section
she puts the snacks and extra study supplies closest to you
honestly no one is even offended by the favoritism, but she loves how red you get when she does little things like that because she really really wants you to notice
but also she wants to keep it a secret forever
and the thing is, you make her brave, you make her so damn brave
momo is good under pressure, of course, but when she’s not focused on the task at hand, when there is no task at hand, she can slip away into her head and get stuck in all of her anxieties
but you’re so confident and fiery and she feels like she’s revolving around the sun and you make her feel like she could do anything, like she’s flying and falling and there’s not a reason in the world to doubt herself
but then she’s by herself and she’s thinking of you and the feeling warps and twists and she shrinks into herself like a dying star
she’s terrified of you rejecting her and no matter how much you tell her that you love hanging out with her and that you think she’s so cool and smart and devastatingly considerate and mind blowing
she really just thinks she’ll never be good enough for you
which is obviously complete bullshit, she’s amazing
but then she sees someone ask you out after class - someone from a different course, someone who neither of you know that well
and she freaks out because HOW could she not have REALIZED
you’re beautiful and magnetic and awe-inspiring and you just shine
of COURSE other people will be asking you out
she needs a plan, and she needs one soon
momo wanted to invite you to a garden or a festival or maybe an art museum, any place that was open and had beautiful scenery and that felt appropriately romantic. she reviewed all the options beforehand. she wanted to confess somewhere momentous, maybe in front of a painting of a woman in a beautiful silk robe, or next to a fountain at the center of a moss garden, or under the cherry blossoms or at a lantern festival.
she settles on a local park that has particularly nice blooms this time of year; it’s more momentous and romantic than all of those other places, because she once heard you say so about a couple you saw in the park.
she picks her best outfit and wears her favorite perfume and makes sure her hair is perfect. she has a confession written out, and it’s all planned and it’s going to go perfectly.
a gentle breeze ruffles your hair, and she watches the way you lean into it; she wants you to lean into her hands like that. you’re smiling and free and you radiate light like white hot iron or magma, so strong and dependable and blisteringly warm.
“so,” you sigh, surveying the flowers around you. “what is it you wanted to talk to me about?”
momo stops walking. her speech, her plan, every meticulous detail that she walked herself through every night as she lay awake for a week, it dissipates in the face of your burning brilliance.
momo takes a deep breath, and tries to be brave.
“i was wondering, [first name], if you might want to go on a date with me, next friday.”
your smile is blinding, and the world tilts on its axis all over again, two binary stars in orbit, as you say, “i thought you’d never ask.”
she really doesn’t have the time or energy to be self-aware, in her defense
you’re her best friend, and you’ve been her best friend since she met you at UA
you share snacks, makeup, secrets, jokes, everything is shared
there’s nothing she wants to hide from you, she wants to see everything about you and wants you to see everything about her
and you’re sparring one day, she wrestles you onto the mat and she’s laughing as you try to kick her off of you
you take advantage of the way laughter makes her limbs weak (the way you make her limbs weak) and pin her to the mat
you’re sweaty and smiling down at her, your hands are wrapped around her wrists and you’re straddling her waist
she’s still laughing and she sees the necklace she gave you hanging down over her and it hits her like a freight train
she loves you
and then everything changes
she offers you some of her sweatpants when you sleep over in her dorm room, and it makes her chest tighten and her stomach flutter and she wants you to be hers (you already are - you’re wearing her necklace, aren’t you?)
you flip bakugo onto the ground in another sparring match and you fist pump the air when aizawa calls your win and ochako feels dizzy from your smile
you’re out with midoriya, iida, tokoyami, aoyama, and todoroki, and ochako gets ice cream on her face and you wipe it off and she almost floats away
you have to grab her and pull her back down, and the way you check over her face, concerned and touching her, it makes her cheeks heat so much she worries her blush is visible from outer space
she cuddles with you and she can smell your shampoo and see the curve of your eyelashes and feel the heat from your skin
it’s torturous and she wouldn’t trade it for the world
she wants you and she wants her lips on your neck and she’s going to cry because
because she needs to dedicate herself to being a hero, that was supposed to be her dream, to help her family
but now you’re in her dreams too and she’s floating away and she doesn’t know how to decide
so she asks iida and midoriya and tsuyu, her other best friends
and they encourage her, tell her not to choose, that she can be happy in more ways than one
at the end of that conversation she knows that it’s not even a question as to whether she can live without ever telling you
you’re already spending time with her and talking to her and smiling at her and holding her hand in crowded places and hugging her and giving her your lunch and telling her she lights up the room - you might as well be halfway into a relationship anyways
sure, it will be different, but she can’t just not try
and she can have both. she knows you’d never make her pick you over her dream, that you’d never put her in that situation in the first place
besides - you’re her best friend, you’d never leave her, even if you didn’t want to be hers
she’s walking with you to your dorms, as always. it’s friday and you’re both ready for a nap before doing any homework. you reach for your door handle and she stops you with a hand on your shoulder.
you stop and turn around to look at her. “did you want to study beforehand, or something?”
her heart thumps in her chest, blood racing through her veins like adrenaline before a big fight, and she has to grip the straps of her backpack to remind herself to keep it together. she looks you dead in the eye. she will not be ashamed, she will not be afraid, she will tell you.
“i like you. a lot. you make me so happy that i could die. you’re my best friend, and i love you, but i love you more than that. i want you to be my girlfriend.”
memories flash in front of her. you, sleepy and warm, cuddled against her after a long night of marathoning disney movies. you, offering her some of her favorite mochi after a test. you, grabbing her hand as you raced toward iida and midoriya after not seeing them on break. you, jokingly making up names for your joint hero agency. you, you, you. it was always you.
you’re standing there, staring at her. ochako feels like her world is crumbling in on itself - she told herself it wouldn’t hurt, that you wouldn’t leave, but now the ground is falling away and she’s trying to plant herself down on something but there’s nothing to grab and-
and you’re kissing her. your hands are cupping her jaw and hers are on your waist and. and she’s kissing you.
“why wouldn’t i?” you pant, smiling against her mouth.
she supposes you’re right.
it crosses her mind constantly at first, but she never commits to it
you’re hot, smart, and your one-liners are absolutely riotous
but you’re reserved, and you’re cold, and she doesn’t understand you
you’re bakugo’s friend, kirishima’s adopted introvert, denki’s tutor, sero’s rock, jiro’s punk buddy
she doesn’t understand how she fits into you
when she buys a new leather jacket, iridescent and silvery and pink and space-age
she likes the balance of it, a feminine aesthetic on a masculine cut of clothing
and she sees the way you look away from her, your teeth sharp on your lip, and she understands a little more
she keeps wearing the leather jacket, and you begin to take shape in her mind
the bakusquad bails on a trip to the mall, probably denki’s doing, but you come with her anyway
she tries to read into it, but you aren’t giving her any ground
she talks as you walk past the stores and you slowly engage more and more until you’re cackling at her jokes and practically interrupting her - not that she minds - to get in your snide comments
that’s it, that’s when she starts falling
you start tutoring her along with denki, and sometimes it’s just her
she struggles and she can’t focus and the words are squirming on the page
so you take the assignment from her and read it out loud, and it gets easier
you explain things in hundreds of different ways until one sticks, you’re so infinitely patient and you don’t make sarcastic comments when you know they would’ve hurt
you tutor her late at night in her room and she’ll take a break, lay on her bed, turn off everything except her led lights
you always open up when the lights are off
she hopes it’s because you feel safe with her
she tells you about her insecurities - her intelligence, how loud she can be, her tendency to interrupt people and how despite all of that, she still tries to be confident, to be happy
you tell her about how to you, it never feels good enough until you are the very best, until you’re unbeatable - but you also tell her that it’s okay to be afraid, and it’s okay not to be happy
maybe it’s the way you dig under her skin, the way you look at her and really, truly see her
maybe it’s the way you compliment - at least in private - her increasingly masculine outfits, ones that make her feel like maybe she can be confident and proud all of the time, or at least most of it
maybe it’s the way she knows that only she can get you to come out of your shell like this, to scream and curse as she propels you down a hill in a shopping cart at 3 am
maybe it’s the way you make her feel like a whole person again after she fails a test - giving her one of your rare, amazing hugs that crush the worry and anxiety right out of her bones
maybe it’s because you spent so long observing, understanding her, that you always know what to say
maybe it doesn’t matter, because all she knows is that she’s falling, and it feels like you’re falling with her
it’s early in the morning, the morning you’re supposed to go home for break. she’s brushing purple shadow onto your eyelids. putting lipgloss on you is torture - moving the brush across your lips, the way you make eye contact with her, branding yourself onto her heart. it feels like there’s a fish hook in her chest, and when she looks at you it twists, pulls, but she doesn’t resist, even though it hurts.
your eyes are rimmed with red from how late it is, and they’re half closed. she thinks you look kissable, like this. she always thinks you look kissable. huggable. loveable.
“mina,” you start, and she narrowly avoids getting lipgloss all over your chin when you speak.
she caps the lipgloss. she really doesn’t want to subject herself to that. “yeah?”
you’re so close to her. it would be so, so easy to kiss you, to tell you how much her chest hurts when she thinks of you. you’re always close, always able to see.
“i think i love you.”
that’s just like you, really, to beat her to it. always so competitive.
but who really won, she thinks, as she surges forward to kiss you; your lips taste like victory.
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synopsis. if you were to ask yourself, ‘when did you realize that you were in love with lee jeno?’, you wouldn’t know how to respond. in fact, there was never a moment where you weren’t in love with him. but what happens when he asks you the same question? you might have to take a rain check, literally.
pairing. best friend! lee jeno ✗ fem! reader
genre. fluff, humor, childhood friends au, friends to lovers au
word count. 1.6k
warnings. none! but highkey though this made me fall in love with jeno :(
song. walking in the rain by chancellor & younha
author’s note. happy birthday @sehunniepotwrites! not sure if this is fluffy enough for you but hope you enjoy this lil blurb! cheers to another one of your milestones and many more in life!
ps. there are two lines in this fic that are from a poem written by e.e. cummings! not going to say which ones or the title of the poem bc it might spoil future plans i have oop
You were one of the few fortunate people on the planet to still be friends with someone from your childhood. To have so many worthwhile memories shared with someone must be cherished at all cost. And many times were you afraid that Jeno might get tired of being friends with you, but being the ethereal person he is, he casted all your worries away and assured you that he had no plans on leaving you any time soon.
And perhaps somewhere down the line, the love you had for him went far beyond what people would label as ‘friendship,’ and dared enough to say, you were in love with him. If a stranger were to describe how you looked whenever you were with him, many would describe you to be enamored.
And if you happened to be enamored for your childhood friend, then so be it.
You fear no fate, for he is your fate, your sweet.
“Can I ask you something, y/n?”
Currently, you two are sat outside of a café near your home: 7 Dreams. It was a beautiful day out, the sun warming the air around you, flutters of clouds scattered throughout the blue sky. You expressed your desires to Jeno earlier that you wanted to sit out on the tables they placed outside their shop. It has been a little chilly from the past few days with occasional rain showers here and there, and you want nothing more than to relish in the warm weather after days of being forced into the solitude of your home.
“Sure. What is it?”
But before you could take a sip of your green tea latte, you’re thrown off by his question.
“When did you first fall in love with me?”
Your fingers stilled at the ceramic handle of your mug. You didn’t know what brought that question to the latter’s mind. Granted, you two have had your fair shares of flirtations and courtship, but never acted beyond past it. It was all done with jest, as you two would put it. You could easily lie to him, saying that you only saw him as a friend, but never to yourself; your heart betrays you with palpitations and inclinations for your best friend from just the mere thought of him.
You forced a stoic expression on your face.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
He huffs out a breath from your response.
“Y/n, there’s no point in trying to hide it. I’ve known you for almost my whole life, so I know when you’re lying to me. The look you give me is different from how you looked at Johnny when you two were together.”
A snort escapes from your lips.
“And what does my ex have to do with this?” You could see a teasing grin poke through his demeanor, prompting an eye roll from you.
“So you admit that you do look at me differently then.”
“No, Jeno, I am not admitting to anything. And even if I did look at you differently, how would you know if I was in love with you?”
“Because you would’ve denied it by now. And right now, you’re just stepping around the question.”
You squint your eyes a little, to which Jeno does the same back.
“Oh, so I’m the bad guy now? How about when I asked you for the name of the person you liked a couple years back?”
And so, his eyebrows rise a little at your bold question, head tilted a little to the side.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he counters.
You couldn’t help but let out an incredulous laugh, your head shaking from disbelief.
“Oh, don’t fake naivety, Jeno. Senior prom, when we were each other’s date because you ‘didn’t receive any prom-posals from anyone’, when I knew fully well that you received many of them from both guys AND girls. You just denied them all.”
You could clearly play the memory out in the back of your head, a movie projector showcasing your youthful-self slow dancing with a bashful Jeno in the middle of the dance floor, your arms wrapped his neck and his hands on your waist. Both of your feet moved in sync with one another, eyes searching within the depths of each other’s soul, oblivious of the whispers and stares around you that spoke nothing short but envy for the sight that laid before them is one worth capturing.
“We were dancing to Hearts Don’t Break Around Here. You know, the one by Ed Sheeran?” you followed.
His smile grows fond at the memory of it.
“Oh, we’re in love, aren’t we?”
“Jeno!” You give a light slap on his forearm and he laughs at your response. “Now is not the time to start saying song lyrics!”
It’s a wonder how you managed to last this long from professing your feelings out to him. You two did almost everything together and experienced many firsts together. First road trip together, first beach date together - you even experienced your first pet purchase together. So what’s stopping you from confessing to him?
“Look, what I’m trying to say is that I have a feeling that you’re in love with me,” you said.
There’s a glint in his eyes filled with mirth.
“And how can you be so sure?”
“Because of the way you look at me?”
“And it’s the same way as how you look at me?”
“Oh, I’m pretty sure.”
“So you admit that you’re in love with me.”
Before you could continue on with your playful banter, you stopped yourself short. You take a moment to process his words in. Wait, did he just? Your words get caught in your throat. Did he just admit that he feels the same way towards me?
He notices your shock and uses this moment to his advantage to continue on, each word laced with certainty.
“If you’re saying that the way you look at me is the same as how I look at you, then that means that you are in love with me, because I don’t know how else to say that I am very much in love with you, y/n.”
Heat resonates all throughout your body. Your heart beats erratically and you’re at loss of words. Flustered you are, but who wouldn’t be? For years, you’ve pinned after your best friend, hoping for the day to come where he reciprocates your feelings. You had an inkling that he had some sort of romantic feelings for you as he always seemed to reject everyone’s relationship proposal, justifying his reasoning to be that there’s already someone he likes.
“Who is it?”
“What’s their name?”
And you just drop the conversation like that, frustrated by his vague answers. But nevertheless, you could never get tired of him. Something about him gravitates you towards him, the feelings you’ve harbored in secrecy burning brighter than ever whenever you’re by his side. He’s not perfect, but to you, he’s the best thing to appear in your life. From the crinkling of his eyes to the sweet smiles of his lips to the red tint of his neck and ears.
You want no world, for he is your entire world, your true.
“Look, it’s raining.”
Breaking out of your reverie, you look up to Jeno to see him peering out on the streets. You follow suit to see raindrops falling onto the pavement. It slowly gains momentum, growing heavier and louder with each passing second. Fortunately, you two are shielded from the rain with the veranda attached to the cafe. The sun peaks through the crevices of the clouds, still lighting the world around you with a subtle rainbow blossoming up into the spring sky.
You hear Jeno let out a laugh, bringing your attention back to him. There’s a wistful smile on his face when he asks you, “Remember when we were little, we would always run out in the rain on the concrete and just jump around? Pretend that we were in some kind of movie?”
You mirror his expression, your mind replaying a distant memory you shared with him.
“Our parents would always yell at us for that, saying we’ll get sick if we don’t stop.”
Your gaze trails back out onto the pavements. Then, you felt an itch in your fingers, an itch in your feet. Not literally, but you have this sudden urge to move. To dance. To celebrate. To relive those moments once more.
It’s almost as if the stars were aligned at that moment and heard your wishes, because you see Jeno get up from his seat and take a step forward and immerse himself out into the rain. His entire figure instantly gets drenched from the falling raindrops, not caring for a single second that he might catch a cold from his actions. Before you could call out to him, he looks back at you with a grin, and perhaps it might be your most favorite accessory he wears on himself.
He offers his hand out to you.
“May I have this dance, ma chérie?”
You’re taken back to the same distant memory again. Every single time, without fail, young Jeno would always ask for your hand to dance with him under the rain, to which you would always oblige with, “Well, of course mon cher.” But this time, you decide to switch it up a little.
You stand up from your seat and step closer to your best friend, a push away from falling victim to the rain with him. Your pupil flourishes with adoration for the man that stands before you.
“Only if you hold onto my hand, mon cher.”
He raises an eyebrow at your proposition. Amused he is, for there is a sliver of smirk adorned on his lips.
“Is that a threat, ma chérie?”
If Jeno were to ask you again when you first fell in love with him...
“It’s an invitation, mon cher.”
… you would say that you were always in love with him.
“If it’s like that, then I’d never let you go.”
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yayy! the ask box is open!!! may I have a request on how the adultrio would do if they wanted to kiss their female crush so bad and lovingly, but their crush secretly likes them so they kissed them back😚? Thank you❤️
Ohoho, anon 😏
Here come the emotional ice cubes melting from a kiss (can you imagine that happening? ><)
Thank you for the cute request and I hope you’ll like it! 🙇
A/N: hope it’s cute enough, I really tried to make it fluffy. One of them is loosely based on a personal experience, he he 😏
whipped to hell and back
now Chrollo suddenly understands all those books and poems about love and romance he’s been reading
he thought they were beautiful, but probably a little exaggerated
how could a human being feel so strongly about another one?
well, turns out, they can
while the Troupe says nothing
not that Chrollo’s expression or mannerisms change much in front of them
when it comes to you, he seems… softer
like he can just breathe a little better, see the brighter side of things
those who have known him for long, like Pakunoda or Feitan, can sense the change almost instantly
Chrollo might try to act like he usually does, but even they can see that he seems a little bit distracted
plus, he spends just a bit more time on his phone than usual and sometimes smiles when he looks at the screen
he’s always amused by what you tell him
or when you send him a photo of something you saw
or thought he might like or that reminded you of him
the Spiders think it’s cute
crush or not, they know that Chrollo seems happier and it always makes them happier as well
he isn’t even sure if you like him back
you’re always friendly and affectionate with him
so he’s happy with what he can get, even if he’d want more
but he’s happy to be able to spend time with you
so when you’re both free, he invites you to hangout
he’d like to call it a date, but he’s not sure if he should tell you how he actually feels just yet
if only he knew that you were in the same situation…
you two always go to pretty interesting places and always have fun, no matter where you are
Chrollo is so happy when you’re enjoying the street food he’s bought for the both of you
you remind him of a little chipmunk
and he’s even amused when he takes a bit of the food from your cheek
which he hopes flusters you at least a little bit because it’s cute how you try to look anywhere but at him
it works, but it makes him chuckle, which you love hearing
so win-win situation
Chrollo insists on taking you home because he’s a gentleman and wants you to be safe
if there was something you’d noticed throughout your entire hangout it’s that Chrollo’s been glancing at your lips quite often
you’d checked your face subtly in the restroom and in reflective surfaces, but there was nothing
if you thought it was what it was, then you were ready
when you reach your door and turn around, Chrollo’s smiling softly
he’s still trying to steel himself to just do something and hoping it won’t make you resent him: confess, kiss you, hold your hand, hug you, anything
he’s been dreaming and imagining kissing you for so long
always replacing the characters in books with the two of you
and imagining all the romance and clichés in poems as he does them with you
Chrollo just feels like his heart won’t be able to go on for long if he doesn’t get to bring his thoughts to life
his eyes automatically go to your lips and you feel yourself smiling
you’re counting in your head until you will hug him
you wouldn’t want to kiss Chrollo and make him uncomfortable, after all
but before you’re done counting, Chrollo’s hands are on your cheeks, thumbs caressing the skin softly
and his lips are softer than you thought they might be
and whether he expects you to be surprised or not, you don’t really wait before kissing him back
well, Chrollo is actually the surprised one
he definitely didn’t expect you to react so well and so quickly
but he can’t complain
it only makes him pull you closer and deepen the kiss
it’s so easy to feel each other smile into the kiss
Hisoka has been “confessing” for quite some time
okay, I’m sorry, but it always makes you laugh
he just says it in such a teasing and eccentric way that it’s hard to believe him
well, that was Hisoka’s intention since the beginning
but over time, it just started becoming a little frustrating
he had thought about whether he actually liked you or not
Hisoka had taken some time away from you
it was because of something personal, but he also saw it as an experiment
during the first few days, when he was significantly busier, he barely had time to think of you, though you were still somewhere there, in the back of his mind
but you were always the last thought before sleeping and the first one when he was waking up
he’d sometimes send you some filtered selfies – his own way of reassuring you that he was okay
he honestly can’t wait to be done and come back to you
maybe he might even take you to some of the places he’s seen one day
Hisoka just realises that he might have a BIG tiny crush on you
the rest of the days he’s gone are spent reflecting and thinking about you
do you like him back?
do you even consider him a friend?
well, those questions will have to wait
as soon as he’s back and taken a shower, Hisoka insists on hanging out at your place
you’d insisted on having movie nights at least once a month
junk food, comfortable clothes, laziness and a nice and invigorating skin-care routine
the two of you pretty much just melt into the cushions after you’ve stuffed yourselves full
despite the invigorating face masks, you’re both pretty tired
not enough to fall asleep, but not enough to clean up the mess around you
you’re laying down on the couch, your head almost touching the side of Hisoka’s thigh while he sits upright, but a little bit slumped to the side, close to you
one of his hands is absentmindedly playing with the fingers on one of your hands
the movie playing for you isn’t the most interesting
well, your tiredness makes it even less interesting
Hisoka looks down at you and smiles a little when he notices that your eyes are closed
his hand squeezes your own before it leaves for your cheek
the touch of his fingers is almost feather-light
Hisoka’s pretty sure that you’re tired enough to answer his questions without really thinking through
(Y/N), are we friends? ♠️
Mm, ‘course we are…
And what would you say if I told you I like you? ♥️
Very funny, ‘Soka…
his expression sours a little at that
What if I’m serious this time? ♣
Sure you are… you always are…
Hisoka is actually a little annoyed
how dense could you be?
he would tease you and always make it seem like you had a crush on him
but he was actually serious for once – no smile, no teasing
too bad he didn’t realise that this was your plan ever since he’d started playing with your fingers
Then can I show you? ♦
he’s a little nervous, but he smirks nevertheless and licks his lips before kissing you
he probably expected you to either be shocked and hit him
or kiss him back sleepily
but you pretty much just kissed him back, a lot harder than he did
your hand cupping his cheek
his eyes were wide as he saw you open yours
and you let go of his lips, grinning mischievously
it barely lasted for a second before he was pulling you upright and in his arms, lips diving in back to yours as he smirked happily
you’d tease him about his so-called confession later
someone help this poor guy already
yeah, so, Illumi had no idea that he even felt anything for you
for quite a while
he was a bit too dense when it came to how affectionate you were
some of your gestures were on purpose
pretty much just testing the waters
but Illumi thought that that’s how you treated everyone
so he didn’t see himself as anyone special in your life
but yeah, you decided that you’d leave it at that
if it happened and Illumi would ever like you romantically, great
if not, then you’d slowly move on and remain only friends
it’s not until Hisoka jokingly asks Illumi if you’re single that he sort of stops
his fingers twitch a little, almost ready to grab his needles
and his bloodlust increases
Hisoka smirks knowingly before telling him that he was only joking
Illumi can’t stop thinking about the moment though
he keeps theorising about what it’d be like if you told him that you found someone you liked
oh, he did not like that at all
he would’ve asked you, but since you were the subject of the new… feelings he was having, it didn’t seem like such a good idea
so, on to the internet
pretty much every site he checked said the same thing: a crush on its way to becoming actual love
next level: denial
Illumi is an assassin
he doesn’t need friends
he doesn’t need love
so how did he fall for you?
not even he knows
but he knows that, as much as he denies it, he likes being around you
spending time with you, hearing you talk, hearing you laugh, especially if he made you laugh
the thoughts of taking you out and actually getting to be the only one for you slowly make him accept the situation he’s in
and the more time he spends with you, the more Illumi starts thinking about wanting to confess
you’re as affectionate and friendly as ever
and Illumi actually glares at anyone who comes close to you with the intention of flirting
that hangout of yours means the two of you go to a little ice cream parlour
Illumi’s treat, as he always insists
he’s listening to you talk about what you’ve been doing while he was away for a mission for a few days
to others, it looks like he’s zoning out, words going in one ear and out the other
but you know better
Illumi is literally hanging on to your every word, watching the way your eyes crinkle in happiness
they way your cheeks almost seem to develop dimples from how hard you’re trying not to smile too much
the way your lips move and how they look so kissable
he absentmindedly takes a spoonful of his ice cream
attention snapping to your laughter as you’re looking at him with a fond smile
you lean forward and Illumi does it too without even thinking
your intention was to wipe the side of his mouth with your napkin since he didn’t seem to have noticed the ice cream there
while he thought that you wanted to kiss him
so he did it for you instead
you were stunned for a fraction of a second before smiling and pulling him closer, hands on his cheeks
Illumi could feel his heart beat loudly in his chest
he didn’t see the shock on the other customers’ faces
honestly, neither did you
you were both a little too busy enjoying the moment
but when you laughed happily because your crush was actually mutual and you even got your first kiss with him
Illumi’s lips quirked in a little smile before he fed you some of his remaining ice cream
holding onto your hand tightly as you continued talking and occasionally kissing here and there
no one said a thing, too afraid of Illumi
good thing you weren’t
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Day 2 for Diverse Tolkien Week: Disability
Elrond’s Diary: The Gentle Touch
Upon my horrid clumsiness,
An error I have made!
I did not see where I was going;
If only I had stayed!
The metal hand lay on the floor,
Knocked down from a great height;
A ringing clang now filled the air,
Enough to give me fright.
Adar Maedros stood so still.
His gaze fixed on the hand.
Along its side was struck a dent;
‘Twas more than I could stand!
“Adar, adar, adar,” I cried,
“Let not your anger flare!
“Forgive me for I did not see
“Your bright limb resting there!”
Misunderstand me not, I beg:
I had no fear of fists,
That he might handle me with strength
And leave my mind in mists.
For he has never hurt me thus,
Yet what I came to dread
Was disappointment in his eyes;
A horrid land to tread.
But even worse, I knew that he
Still grieved the empty space
Above his stump, where long before
A hand once had a place.
Now several metal hands he kept,
And all for different tasks;
For Curufin his brother made
A-many with his crafts.
To treat his brother’s work so ill,
What Maedros valued dear!
My heart did ache; what else to do
But make my regrets clear?
A glimmer then I thought I saw
A-blaze in Adar’s eye!
My breath came short, my hands now shook,
And I began to cry.
I thought that he might turn away
And leave me to my shame,
Yet now he knelt and set me on
His knee, against his frame.
He stroked my hair and held me close,
And kissed my tear-filled eyes;
His voice was low, all woolly-soft,
And soothed my sorry cries.
“My dearest child, I promise you:
“My wrath you need not fear.
“Now please, if you will let me, I
“Will wipe away your tear.”
I thought his left hand he would use.
Oh, I was still so weak!
For he did raise his right and set
His stump upon my cheek.
And gently thus he wiped away
The fear and grief from me;
His stump was smooth, all flesh and bone,
As normal as could be.
"But Adar dear," I said to him,
"Are you not mad at me?
"That hand is dear to you, I thought;
"A gift from family."
Adar then did look at me,
His gaze all soft and sad:
"A helpful tool it is, and look!
"The dent is not so bad."
“I hold no anger for your deed;
“‘Twas just a simple err.
“It’d take much more for me to rage,
“My Elerondo fair.”
He murmured kindly as he worked,
And softly stroked my hair;
While ‘cross the landscape of his face
His smile wavered there.
And yet he did not turn around
To see the metal hand.
Quite soon my tears lay on his wrist
Like foam upon the sand.
I held his stump once he was done,
And leaned against his chest.
“See, all is well,” he said, “and now
“For you, some rest is best.”
And so we went, me in his arms.
I gladly kissed his face;
While his bright limb we left behind
Unmoving in its place.
Whelp looks like I’m doing these days all out of order now loll I initially wasn’t planning to use this for Diverse Tolkien Week, but I ended up going for it once I started the sketch process.
I took inspiration from Gustav Klimt’s “The Kiss” for their poses (which I think most of y’all are familiar with XDD) and put a familial spin to it. I’ve always wanted to draw something inspired by that painting, but I was never able to find the right characters or get the face angles right.
As for the poem itself -- many thanks to @thefifthbattle for giving me feedback on the first draft! <333 For its setting, I imagine it might’ve taken place in Maedros’ quarters or somewhere not so public (otherwise they likely wouldn’t have left his prosthetic lying on the floor in a corridor loll). Maybe it’s getting close to the twins’ bedtime, which is why Maedros is wearing casual clothes and also because I wanted it to not look too much like the last painting loll
This one is already up in my Inprnt shop as a print!
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Perchance to Dream
@aspecarchivesweek Day Three: Drinks
Characters: Jonathan Sims/Martin Blackwood, Tim Stoker, Sasha James
Jon comes out to Martin. Twice.
(Ft. Kiss-Averse Jonathan Sims and Hamlet References)
“Ugh, no thank you.”
Martin pauses. Sasha and Tim titter behind their hands.
And Jon, well. He’s got a look of vehement disgust written across his features, not unlike when he’s laying into what he claims is a fabricated statement. Martin can feel his face turning red at the words.
Getting Jon to come out for drinks had been the hard part. It’s one month into his tenure as Head Archivist, and everyone’s starting to feel the scope of the task ahead of them. Tim thought a ‘monthiversary’ drink was in order, and the only way to get Jon to come out was to threaten him with some sort of ill begotten information, the likes of which Martin couldn’t hear behind the closed door. Ten minutes later, Jon emerged, looking grumpier than usual (and very dashing) with a scarf around his neck. And now he sat next to him in the cozy pub booth, Martin trying very hard to remain stock-still because Jon’s leaning into his side. Perhaps he’s cold? Either way, Martin isn’t going to discourage it.
But then he’d had a few drinks and they all loosened up; even Jon’s laugh came easier. And Martin- well, Martin’s opening up a bit more than usual, chattering about his time in the library and bolstered by the smiles he receives in turn. Tim changed track to the personal, regaling them with his latest outdoor adventure while Sasha and Jon gave witty, sarcastic commentary. But then Tim directed the conversation towards him, and they seemed relatively interested in his poetry. He even felt comfortable enough to rattle out a few lines from his phone in a desperate hope to impress, and he stupidly chose one that referenced ‘lips like a rosebud’ and Jon reacts like he’s read a particularly saucy bit of a smut novel aloud. How embarrassing.
“Whew,” Tim whistles lowly, folding his arms behind his neck with an exaggerated wince. “Harsh, boss.”
“No, that’s not it,” Jon says, shaking his head and putting a hand on Martin’s arm. Putting a hand on Martin’s arm. Putting a hand- “Martin, your poetry is fine, if a bit derivative.” Jon thinks his poetry is fine and he’s got his small, fine-boned hand on Martin’s arm and god, he’s got a poem about that too, somewhere in his phone-
Tim guffaws, slamming a hand on the table and startling Sasha. “What a compliment!”
“It’s just…kissing. Lips. Ugh.” Jon smashes his fork rather violently into a dumpling, sending bits of food flying across the table, one of which hit Tim directly above his eye. “I eat with my mouth.”
“Very astute of you.”
Martin would join in on the banter but Jon’s hand is still on his arm and his warm weight is pressing into his side. Honestly, what’s Jon playing at? He could rip the poetry to shreds in front of him but as long as that hand remains on his arm he’d just sit there, not saying a word. Hell, he’d probably even agree.
“So the bossman doesn’t like kisses,” Tim says, taking an obnoxiously loud sip of whatever fruity beverage he’d decided on. “Is that why you ripped down all of my mistletoe back in research?”
Jon. Mistletoe. Hand still on arm.
“I don’t like any of it,” Jon says, removing his hand from Martin’s arm to make a decisive gesture across the table which nearly sent his drink flying. He instantly misses the pressure but the warmth is still there, burning through his sleeve. Jon looks incredibly drunk, now that Martin’s got a better angle to view his flushed cheeks and bright eyes and lips- “All that touching. I don’t understand why everyone’s so hung up on it. No thank you, not for me.”
A brief flash of understanding lights Sasha’s eyes but Martin’s not in a place to decipher it. He’s not sure if it’s the drink or the Jon-of-it-all that’s impeding him. He’s never seen him so relaxed, so animated about something that’s not work. He can’t even focus on the words coming out of Jon’s mouth at the moment.
But Sasha leans forward- once she’s got an idea in her head, she won’t let go until she’s seen it through. Martin recognizes that look. “You’re asexual, then?”
“Mm,” Jon mumbles, his head tilting back dangerously as he puts on an affected, exaggerated voice. “Man delights not me, no, nor woman neither.”
And then Martin’s gone, suddenly struck by a vision of teenage Jon, silhouetted on a stage by a dramatic spotlight, reciting Shakespeare like a born thespian- look, Martin despises theater, but even he’s not immune to Hamlet. In a dream world he’d be Ophelia, no, not Ophelia, idiot- maybe he’s a stage hand, or no, he helps Jon with his quick changes, that’s a job, right? So caught up is he in this pseudo-high school fantasy that the words being said don’t actually dawn on him until a full minute later, when Tim’s laughter reaches a crescendo.
“Boss, did you seriously just come out via Shakespeare?”
Jon’s not even denying it, giving a lazy, good-natured smile in response. Fuck. Here he is, having some stupid fantasy over his boss who is very much right next to him and very much not interested. God, is he taking advantage? He jumps to the side, trying desperately to put a few more inches of space between them for Jon’s comfort when that small hand comes back to his arm, the sudden and strong grip stopping him in his tracks.
“No!” Jon’s voice is low, those dark eyes so intense. Martin can feel his face go scarlet from his gaze alone. “This is nice. I like it.”
Tim and Sasha share an evil little smile and Martin’s out of commission, the night’s revelations and Jon’s insistent snuggling having taken their toll. He couldn’t tell you what happened after that, how many drinks were shared or how he got home. All he remembers is the feel of Jon’s hand on his arm, his insistent closeness, and the sound of his laugh whenever Tim teased him.
The next day Jon comes in late, looking about as bad as the rest of them felt. From the way he interacts with them, it’s likely that he doesn’t even remember last night, what he did or what he said. Martin tries not to let it sting, and goes back to work, knowing there’s a side of Jon that he’ll likely never see again.
“Martin, we have to...talk, if that’s alright.”
Martin pauses, a lump building in his throat. “Okay.”
He settles in on Daisy’s lumpy couch, trying not to let his apprehension show. It’s been a week since Jon got him out of the Lonely and they’re still adjusting, but Martin likes to think they’re settling into a nice routine. There’s such a natural ease to their domesticity; they had their differences, sure, but he’s never seen the man so soft and unguarded, puttering around the cottage, making sure everything’s nice and comfortable for the two of them. And of course, there’s the bed situation. Only one, like in all the cliché fanfiction Martin had taken to reading back when he lived in the Archives and his biggest problem was worms. Maybe Jon doesn’t want to share anymore? He’s been strangely distant the past day, keeping space between them and hovering about in a nervous manner. He goes back through their interactions, trying to think of what he could’ve done wrong.
Jon sits down next to him, his face showing his own apprehension. “I know we’ve been getting...close, this past week. But if we’re going to ah, have an, er- well, you know, relationship- there’s some things you need to know.” Relationship. Jon thinks they're in a relationship. Martin didn’t want to put a label to it, too afraid it would shatter the fragile trust they built. But to be in a relationship with Jon, well, that’s something he’s always dreamed of, right?
So he relaxes minutely, tries not to show the utter joy he feels at the words. “Alright. What’s up?”
Jon takes a steadying breath, looking so oddly grave that Martin immediately wants to take him into his arms. “I don’t...well, I’m asexual. So I’m not really interested…” he makes a vague gesture down towards Martin’s crotch and then freezes, clearly embarrassed by the crudeness of the action. “I’m not interested in all of...that. Or kissing, for that matter. It’s just a personal boundary for me, if that’s alright.”
Oh. Martin blinks, taking in Jon’s serious countenance and hopeful eyes and while he wants to match it, he can’t control the laughter that bubbles out of his throat. “Oh-oh Jon-”
Jon immediately blanches, his brow furrowing in confusion and probably hurt. “W-What? What’s so funny?”
“I’m sorry! Fuck-it’s, it’s not that, that’s fine, it’s just-” Martin tries desperately to keep his laughter under control and fails. Christ, he can’t breathe. “Man delights not me, no, nor woman neither!”
“Why are you quoting Shakespeare?” Jon’s looking at him like he’s lost his mind. Perhaps he has.
“Because you did, you daft thing!” Martin’s shoulders shake with the effort of containing himself, and he wipes a tear from his eye. He immediately puts a hand on Jon’s arm, a mirror’s reflection of that night at the bar and yet it’s still his hand that burns. “Jon, it’s fine. I already know. You told us over drinks my first month in the Archives.”
Jon’s face takes on that peculiar look of confusion and concentration that Martin loves, as if he’s searching his mind or maybe even the Eye for information. “I-oh. Oh!” He puts his head in his hands with a groan, ignoring Martin’s comforting pats to the back. “How embarrassing.”
“It was adorable.”
“No it wasn’t,” Jon whines into his hands even as he leans into Martin’s touch.
“It was,” Martin assures him, drawing him close to his side and letting him lean his head on his shoulder. “I’m sorry I laughed- you were just so serious, I couldn’t help it-”
“Yes, well,” Jon sighed, settling into his arms, the beginnings of a smile on his face. “It’s fine. As long you’re alright with…”
“More than alright.” It’s Jon, of course it’s alright. Being here with him, in their little shabby oasis- well, it’s more than enough. They sit there in silence for some time, Martin enjoying the closeness of the man he’d fought so hard to protect finally in his arms. He’s starting to think they just might be alright. He smiles to himself, perching his chin on top of Jon’s head.
“To be or not to be-”
“Shut up, Martin.”
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Poem (Kaeya x Reader)
A/N: I’m back! With another Kaeya fic. This is technically set during the Windblume Festival with certain changes. I hope you all enjoy <3.
This could also be read as a sequel to: Forfeit (Kaeya x AFAB!Reader). It doesn’t have to be read before this one really since you aren’t really missing much. You can if you want.
Summary: Kaeya convinces you to write a poem during the Windblume Festival. You refuse to show it to him after hearing his ‘poem’ and avoid him for the rest of the day until you were unable to.
CW: Mentions of alcohol
“Why don’t you try and write a love poem then?” he asked. A teasing smile on his face.
“My way with words is incomparable to yours,” you said. He was the most convincing person that you knew. There was a reason that he was so loved. Just from speaking with him for a little while, a person would totally be enraptured by him. A charming man, truly.
“Didn’t you write that one riddle when I had to arrest those treasure hoarders? The one that could’ve been out of a romantic novel,” he said.
“I was inspired,” you mumbled. That whole setup had been some of your finest work. The maps and the riddles were something that you had dedicated some time to. Of course, he’d given a lot of guidelines as to how they should be. You’d just done a lot of the creative work. Everything just fell into place so well for him in the end. The dinner you earned was nice as well.
“Then be inspired again. I’ll show you mine if you write one and show me,” he said.
A fair trade you supposed as you took a piece of paper. The poem came easier to you than you expected. Maybe your own heart did have some inspiration that you did not desire to admit.
“That’s what you were writing this entire time?” you asked after his poem was read out loud by Venti. You were tightly holding onto your own poem, wrinkling its prior smoothness. Whatever thoughts you had in mind of sharing your own poem had vanished into thin air.
“Poetic, no?” he asked. You glared at him. Poetic? Sure. A love poem? No. Beyond that, when did he even have time to learn the language of the Hilichurl?
“I feel like I have to fail you for this,” said Venti, confused by what he had read.
“Please do,” you said.
“Did you write a poem, (Y/N)?” asked Paimon, pointing at the piece of paper in your hand. Everyone’s eyes turned to you and you could see how the Captain was smiling. Embarrassment filled your body as you folded it quickly and shook your head. He would not manage to win.
“Nope! This is just a list of things I have to do at the moment. Now, if you’ll excuse me!” You stored the poem in your dress as you left the room and the building. You’d rather be outside and help out there than remain within the same room as Kaeya.
“Lumine!” you said as you saw her a while later. You’d been helping out Noelle with carrying around some materials that were needed for the festival. But your friend was much faster and stronger than you were so she was probably at the destination.
“(Y/N)! Captain Kaeya asked us to search for you! He wants to talk to you,” said Paimon.
“Oh? He couldn’t search for me himself?” you asked. A question that probably sounded meaner than you intended it to.
“He said he was too busy finishing up some paperwork for Jean,” answered Lumine, “So we came looking for you.
“You’re too kind. No wonder you’re an Honorary Knight. But I can’t go right now.” You continued, “Tell him that I can speak with him later.” You really did not want to see him. You felt...slightly hurt. You weren’t even sure why you were. Actually, you did know why you were upset. You just didn’t want to admit it. In truth, you had hoped that his poem would actually have meaning. Unrealistically and stupidly, you had hoped that his poem might’ve been a confession.
But that was the thing about your relationship with him. It was more of something that you were walking in the dark, with no real designation of whether or not you were going in the right direction, and hoping that you end up at the right place. For all you knew, Kaeya was probably waiting for the day that he’d drop you and move onto the next one. Even with that possibility, you continued giving your heart to him. Whether that was stupid or not, you were still not fully sure. Some days it was worth it and others, not so much.
“We could help you so that you can talk with him. He said it was urgent,” explained Lumine. You didn’t doubt that he had told her that. He probably believed that if you were told that it was urgent, you’d drop everything and run to see what he wanted to see. You usually did but you felt that you had to hold your ground for a while longer.
“Don’t worry about me, okay? I’ll talk to him when I can. He’ll understand,” you said. You bid them farewell and continued carrying the crate.
You’d managed to avoid him for most of the day. That was until you were called to Angel’s Share and asked to take him home. When you asked why they couldn’t, excuses came flying at you. Sister Rosaria said that she couldn’t as she had business to take care of and Diluc couldn’t either since he had to close up the place. Convenient that they both chose to do that now.
“Thank you, (Y/N).” You only mumbled a ‘no problem’ in response to Diluc’s gratitude as you pulled Kaeya to lean on your shoulder. The promise of free drinks motivated you to get the job done quickly.
“(Y/N)-” “Captain, be quiet. I would prefer if you didn’t get sick on me,” you cut him off. The walk back to his apartment was a hassle. It was either that he continued trying to ramble to you or that he was leaning too much on you and you had to take small breaks. You truly were exhausted from those crates earlier.
“Where’s your key?” you asked when the two of you stopped in front of his door. A fruitless question as his mind was somewhere else you would soon realize.
“How come you didn’t come to me when I asked earlier?” he asked. You didn’t answer as you checked both his pockets and fished out the key from the left one. To ask the question again would probably cause him to start talking about something else and you most definitely did not want to talk about anything.
“(Y/N),” he said.
“What?” Your voice sounded more angry than you meant. You pushed the door open and kicked it to close when the both of you got through. You sat him on his bed and started to look around the cabinets for a glass to fill it with water.
“Have you been ignoring me?” He sounded hurt. A rare sight to ever behold when he was constantly brushing everything off. Kaeya was rarely a vulnerable person. Years of having built up the walls around him to keep people out led him to being closed off from everyone. The fewest times that he was vulnerable was in the dead of night or when he was drunk. Every single thing that he ever expressed during those times had been stored into your heart.
“I’ve been busy today,” you answered as you handed him the glass of water. You turned to start looking for some clothes for the night. You doubted that he’d appreciate sleeping in his work outfit.
“That’s never stopped you before,” he countered as he drank the water. No response came from you since you knew him to be right. There was one time where you had to finish up something for Lisa and stopped doing it because he’d bothered you enough to do something for him. The librarian was upset and you only barely learned your lesson.
“Was it because of my poem?” You wondered how he even managed to figure that out.
“Maybe,” you said, “I just expected a bit more from you.” The poem that you had written for him was still in one of your dress pockets and felt like a stone that weighed on you. You’d poured a bit of your heart into it and the courage to give it to him withered away when Venti read his poem.
“I wrote an actual one,” he said. You placed some clothes on the nightstand and turned to look at him.
“Is that so?” you asked. You steadied him from falling over after you made your question. Just how much alcohol did he consume? The tab he had must be astronomical. Maybe not as bad as Venti’s or what yours had been at one point, but it had to be huge. Though you were jealous of his ability to remain coherent enough with everything in his system.
“Yes,” he said, “It’s here.” He pulled out a folded sheet of paper from his shirt. “Read it,” he said as he pushed the paper into your hands.
You shook your head. For all you knew, it could be another joke and you weren’t sure that you could handle it. At least not with him looking at you while you read it. “Let’s get you to bed, Kaeya.”
“But I want you to read it,” he whined.
“And I want you to sleep because you’re drunk,” you said.
After you’d spent some time convincing him to change and to get ready for bed, you sat down at the edge of the bed and opened up the paper. He’d fallen asleep rather quickly and you breathed a sigh of relief as your eyes traveled to the first words on the paper.
“(Y/N),” began the poem.
In the early morning, Kaeya woke up with a mild headache. Memories of the day before were hazy as the hangover hit him hard. He looked at his nightstand and saw a glass of water and a small bottle of medicine.
Beside the nightstand was a small piece of paper. On it, there were three words: To My Captain.
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why is it so hard to defect from Atlas?
Barbara Dunkelmann said during Comic-Con at Home last year that this season’s theme would be “distrust,” but i’m wondering now if the more appropriate word is “discontent.” since Divide, we’ve had arguments big and small, teams splitting up and recombining, and of course, :( and :/ galore at all the war, all the crimes, all the war crimes, and all the general bad decisions (not to be confused with James Ironwood, General Bad Decisions). we’ve now had our first major defections of the season with Hazel and Emerald, which is...interesting to me; they’re both long-runners, certainly, but part of the reason they’re long-running is because their arcs have ALWAYS been on a slow boil. for the defection to happen around the mid-season mark, a lot of things (particularly for Hazel) had to happen very quickly, particularly since they both skipped out the previous season altogether. this is made all the more interesting by the fact that the Atlesian supporting cast who filled the time in season 7 are similarly discontented, but...well, a generous reading of it would be that they’re still “figuring things out,” but we’ve also been watching them “figure things out” for two seasons now, Winter and Marrow especially. why did Hazel and Emerald defect first when they work for the main villain, when Winter and the AceOps--who have taken up more screen time cumulatively during the Atlas arc--are still hemming and hawing to various degrees?
long discussion under the cut--but the tl;dr is: it’s because they live in a (narratively constructed) society
i’m actually gonna start with the discontent that DIDN’T result in defection, which is obviously the Yang-Ruby split. we’ve known that members of Team Protagonist--most notably Yang and Ren--have had doubts for a while now, and sure enough, when push comes to shove they pick a path separate from their implicit leader. as protagonists Yang and Ren are frequently our POV characters, so we’re predisposed to sympathize with them as they doubt Ruby’s agenda, root for them as they bring it up to Ruby in conversation, and...watch as they...regretfully but cordially agree to disagree...
that’s the thing about Team Protagonist, especially at this point in the narrative: everyone feels safe and secure enough in themselves and in each other to communicate openly, even when they disagree. every time Yang felt uncomfortable she talked to somebody about it, and even Ren--Mr. Weaponizing Repression himself--was able to express how he felt. even if it took some prodding from Nora/Yang, even if the direction of his emotions ended up misfiring and hurting his friends--they’re his friends. his family, even. Team Protagonist is able to act and stay together so effectively because they make open communication a priority: they follow Ruby’s lead, but they also trust that Ruby will LISTEN to them, even if she doesn’t always agree.
(the reason they had this disagreement at all is because of the time they couldn’t talk things through, and just had to uncritically back Ruby’s play--when they first entered Atlas. funny, that.)
Team Salem obviously doesn’t work the same way, and this season has made it particularly explicit just how much everyone lives in a state of constant fear and surveillance. what makes solidarity and eventual rebellion possible (though terrifying), though, are two things: first, Salem--being an upstart herself--actually encourages a level of individual initiative in her followers (well. encouraged; i have a feeling with the Hound being a success and Hazel and Emerald’s defection she’s about to change her tune). she’s a master manipulator, and uses people’s individual wants to sway them to her side; but she’s also not a mind-reader, which is kind of biting her in the ass right now.
second, Salem herself is so many LEAGUES beyond everyone else on her “team” that (unless you’re actively trying to be a tit) there...isn’t actually much of a hierarchy beyond “Salem’s in charge.” Watts and Cinder--both Atlesian to varying degrees, mind--are the two who try the hardest to carve out some authority of their own, but even Watts is at least convivial with everyone (except Cinder). to be on Team Salem you have to accept that this is her world and you just live in it, and that ends up equalizing people from very disparate backgrounds with very disparate personalities and skillsets. no one, not even Tyrian, is under the delusion that Salem cares about them, or will listen to their counsel. so when it comes to the least of her followers--Emerald, who (joke copyright @professorspork) is basically Salem’s grandpet, this gerbil who follows her around now for some reason and occasionally makes weird noises (”you mean crying?” Emerald asks, crying)--it’s actually quite easy for her to escape Salem’s notice until it’s too late, while firming up the solidarities that she has (Hazel and Mercury--not Cinder).
to defect, Emerald and Hazel need a degree of narrative interiority, some sense of security with each other (even if it’s just subconscious), and time. time to work things out from their point of view, pull the wool from their eyes. this season’s narrative has given them all that and more.
our Atlesian potential defectors...haven’t been so lucky, and the most recent episode has made that contrast very explicit.
i’m sure i’m not the only one who assumed, when Ironwood first floated the bomb plan, that we’d be getting some kind of Mission Impossible sneaky stealth shit. we’re used to seeing the AceOps do small squad missions, after all, and the timing felt right thematically too, since we left War with Ren literally expositing to all of them that they do, in fact, have feelings. an extended mission to themselves would give them a chance to air out those feelings away from Atlas’ own system of surveillance, figure out what to do together...
but we didn’t get any of that. instead, we got the whoosh laser kapow version of a Sassoon poem, and the AceOps barely talked to each other at all. the only points of view we got were from Marrow, and Winter.
this isn’t the first time something like this has happened to them this season, either--remember the Penny Retrieval mission that wasn’t? there were also hopes that Marrow and/or Winter would turn at that point, but then Salem invaded. Winter and the AceOps have had the potential to defect for a while now, but the narrative has been actively withholding opportunities for them to actualize on any of that potential. it’s been actively withholding opportunities for them to act as a team, period.
it’s possible to handwave this as writerly convenience--everyone can’t defect at the same time, the episodes don’t have room for it--but the ways that defections have been prioritized so that the Atlesians come after also points to a recurring motif with Atlas, which Elm says explicitly in Witch: you can deal with your issues later.
there’s always some kind of delayed promise at Atlas, isn’t there? the Amity project will help. Mantle’s Wall will get fixed (until it wasn’t). when Penny confronts Winter about leaving Mantle to die, Winter says first that they don’t have time, and it seems like they never actually do, except for in this imagined later, when they’ll reckon with every thing that they’ve done.
it doesn’t exist, of course. fascism is only able to remain effective through the engineering of crisis, and Salem might as well be a crisis perpetual motion generator. you can’t conscientiously object if your conscience is constantly stifled by the next emergency.
what the Atlesian scenes in Witch demonstrate is this: Atlas presses down all around them, at all times. even if the AceOps want to stop policing each other and work as a real team, they can’t right now, because they are now officers in a war, because they’re constantly looked to, because they’re part of an infinitely greater machine that demands their service. and right now lasts forever--you will NEVER have time to talk out your discontent...
and even if you steal time and perspective like Marrow does (like Emerald has been doing, thief that she is) with Winter, there is no guarantee of any solidarity. what makes their conversation so simultaneously fascinating and frustrating is that there is clearly some level of rapport, or at least recognition. Marrow goes to Winter because Winter’s in charge, but Marrow also goes to Winter because Winter might hear him out...and she does. Winter does what Winter has consistently done when a person seeks her out and earnestly asks to be heard, and responds compassionately. but at the same time, Winter does what Winter has consistently done when a person seeks her out and earnestly asks to be heard: she turns away. in a conversation that is supposed to be about a shared trust between the two of them, Winter cannot bring herself to trust Marrow. the Atlesian system is built out of these hierarchies within hierarchies, distrusts within distrusts (well i guess Barbara had a point after all), and Winter, abused kid that she is, has played this game all her life. so she defaults to rank and duty--what they have to do now--and the conversation goes nowhere. Marrow leaves it as alone and bitterly resigned as when he’d entered it.
so when is this moral inertia gonna go somewhere? IS it going somewhere? well, i’m still holding out hope that the AceOps will get some time to themselves as part of Bomb the Whale, and i’m certain that even if it doesn’t fall into their lap Marrow will eventually demand it. the fact that they still work well together on the field as partners should mean something. the question is, though: what will it take to bring that later to the present?
and at what point does it become too late?
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suum ca’nara (rest and peace) || din djarin x reader
Read on AO3 || Masterlist
Summary: You and Din take your baby on a picnic, and rest and peace come more easily with the sun on your face and your husband by your side. || Standalone fic in the Jate’kara (Lucky Stars) series
Pairings: Din Djarin x Wife!Reader
Genre: Fluff | Word Count: 4.6k | Warnings: None!
A/N: So this is quite possibly the fluffiest, sweetest thing I’ve ever written. I’m proud of how it turned out, and I hope y’all like it! (Also, this gif is what I imagine Din looking like in this fic - *swoon*, am I right?) (Also also, if you’re interested, the poem I use in this isn’t mine - god, I wish - but it’s called “Do you still remember: falling stars” by Rainer Maria Rilke) ♡
“Ad’ika, I think mama is going to be madder than a razor cat once she sees the mess we’ve made of her kitchen.”
You smiled to yourself at the tone of your husband’s voice, amusement and exasperation coloring it in equal measure. You hadn’t seen the state of the kitchen yet; you were supposed to be sleeping in, but the sounds of laughter and happy baby coos had drawn you from the bunk to see what your husband and toddler were getting up to so early. You guessed they were making breakfast, if Din’s steady, one-sided dialogue was any indication.
“I can never remember how much honey to put in,” he said. “Your ba’buir used to make uj’alayi when I was little, and he never measured anything. Just threw it in the bowl.”
You pictured little Din in the kitchen with his father, hands sticky-sweet as he learned how to make the traditional Mandalorian cake. You imagined your little one was watching Din with the same reverent attention Din had watched his father with, and felt your heart swell with love for your little family.
“That’s probably good enough,” Din said. “Now we need the nuts.”
Your heard your baby give a questioning coo.
“Yeah, those,” Din said. “Hold on, the bag might be a little too - ”
Thunk. The unmistakable sound of Koja nuts rolling across the floor had you bringing your hand up to stifle a laugh. Poor Din.
“That’s ok, buddy,” he said, his voice sweet and patient as he spoke to your most likely distraught baby. Your little one loved to try and help Din whenever he could - whether Din was polishing his armor, tinkering with the Crest’s control panel, or clearing his weapons, your baby could be counted on to be there to “help”. Most of the time, his help consisted of a steady stream of chatter and attempts to do whatever Din was doing, and Din tried to find little ways for him to contribute. That your baby had been trying to help his dad make breakfast and had spilled the nuts everywhere was sure to be upsetting for him.
His little coo of apology was absolutely heartbreaking, and you knew Din would be gentle with him.
“You didn’t mean to,” Din said kindly. “It’s ok. Do you want to help me get these up so we can finish the cake?”
You backed up from the kitchen door while they cleaned up, wanting to stay hidden a little longer. Din loved being a dad, and it came to him so naturally; you cherished the moments you got to enjoy watching or listening to him interact with your son when it was just the two of them.
Your baby started babbling animatedly about something, and Din responded with “oh” and “hmm” at appropriate times, encouraging him to speak and letting him know he was listened to. They finished up the batter and put the cake on to cook, the nanowave oven crackling slightly as it heated up. It was an old model, like everything else on the Crest, and you’d become so accustomed to its finicky nature that it was more familiar than frustrating.
“Osi'kyr,” Din said, dismal. “Your mama needs a new nanowave, huh?”
Your baby chirped his agreement.
“Yeah, we’ll have to see about getting her one,” Din said. “Maybe Peli knows somebody we can ask. But for right now, we have to get this place cleaned up before mama sees.”
“Before mama sees what?”
You came out of your hiding place around the corner and were met with two guilty smiles, both Din and your baby looking like you’d caught them with their hands in the cookie jar. Your little one was sitting up on the counter, an uncracked Koja nut in hand, his ears perking up at the sight of you. Din was covered in flour - little baby-sized handprints covered his black shirt and trousers, and streaks of white appeared in his sleep-mussed curls. The kitchen was a mess, like he’d said, but it was worth it to see the two of them so happy.
“Hi, cyare,” Din said, his smile a little sheepish.
Your baby added his own coo of greeting, and you couldn’t help but smile back.
“Good morning to you too,” you said. You gave your son a kiss on the top of his head. “What are you and daddy making?”
He waved the Koja nut in his claws for you to see.
“Uj’alayi,” Din clarified.
You smiled. “Cake for breakfast, huh?”
He grinned. “Yeah, well, it’s got fruit in it. It’s healthy.”
He leaned close and kissed you, sweet with the taste of honey and ginger from the batter he’d tested before it went in the oven. He held his flour-dusted hands to the side of you so as not to get you messy too.
“Good morning, Mrs. Djarin,” he said sweetly, bumping your noses together.
You beamed. “Good morning, Mr. Djarin.” You gave him another quick kiss. “Do you want some help getting the kitchen cleaned back up?”
He looked a little distressed as he pulled back. “No, I mean - you don’t have to help. You didn’t make the mess.”
You gave an affectionate shake of your head. “Din. I don’t mind.”
He softened. “Well, if you’re offering. It’s very sweet of you, cyare. Sorry it’s such a disaster.”
“It’s not that bad,” you said, waving him off. “Most of the flour ended up on you and not on the counters, anyway.”
He chuckled. “Yeah, we had a hard time getting it in the bowl.” He took a cloth and began wiping down the counters, scooping your baby up while he did.
“But we’re ramikadyc mandos,” he continued. “Determined, tenacious. Not to be bested by cake batter.”
Your baby chimed in to agree with his dad. You laughed as you filled the sink with hot water.
“How did I get the two bravest Mandalorians in the galaxy on my ship?” you teased.
Din considered that. “I think you’ve just got good jate’kara, my love.”
You gave a pleased hum as he kissed you. “My stars are pretty lucky, aren’t they?”
He smiled. “Not as lucky as mine, cyare.”
When the kitchen was back in order, Din excused himself to take a shower while the cake finished baking. You got your little one dressed for the day in a soft, hand-stitched blue tunic Omera had made for him and tidied the bunk before heading back to the kitchen as the timer went off.
“Quiet a view, cyar’ika.”
You blushed at the teasing warmth of your husband’s voice as you took the pan from the oven and straightened, setting it to cool out of your baby’s reach. You turned and saw Din had changed into a soft white shirt and brown pants, his suspenders resting against his hips, his hair dark and curly from his shower.
“I’ve got quite a view, too,” you said, a little bashful as he smiled and crossed to you. You only had a moment to admire the endearing crinkles by his eyes before he kissed you, all tenderness and affection.
Your little one cooed and you both looked down to see him standing on the top of Din’s boot, tugging on his pants leg and giving uppy arms. Din chuckled and scooped him up, cradling him with one arm and drawing you close with the other.
“Let’s go somewhere fun today,” he said. “This system has some beautiful planets. We can have a picnic or something.”
You smiled. “Okay,” you agreed. You were a little surprised, as Din wasn’t usually very spontaneous, but the idea of a day spent just spending time with him and your baby sounded lovely. “Where should we go?”
He kissed your forehead. “I’ll go look and see what we’re closest to.”
He took the baby up to the cockpit with him to scan the nearby planets, giving you a few minutes for your own shower. You took two slices of uj’alayi when you went to join them; you gave one to Din, and he broke off little pieces to share with the baby.
“I think we decided on a planet,” Din said, indicating the display on the instrument panel.
“Baraan-Fa,” you read. “It’s forested, low population... is it safe?”
He shrugged. “Should be, with the place we’re landing. Most of the population density is around the town and the old Rebel base, so we shouldn’t run into anybody.”
You took your seat, happily taking your baby when Din handed him over to you so he could set your course. You were amused to see that your little one had succeeded in charming Din into giving him the silver handle off the gear shift, and he held it up for you to see.
“Your daddy must love you,” you cooed to him.
Din glanced back at you, his expression bemused before he saw what you were talking about. His smile was a little exasperated.
“Maybe we should get him some actual toys.”
You laughed. “He wouldn’t play with them even if we did, honey. He wants to be like you.”
“Yeah.” Din’s expression was soft with affection, and you knew he didn’t really mind that his son had chosen a part of the ship for his plaything. He turned back to focus on bringing the Crest into Baraan-Fa’s atmosphere, and you and your baby looked out the windows in pleasantly surprised wonder at the beauty of the planet. Every inch of it was green, hilly grasslands with blue rivers snaking through the forests. Din expertly landed in a small clearing in the middle of a wooded area, settling the Crest into a glade dappled with sunlight.
No sooner had the ship landed than you were out of your seat and downstairs, impatiently waiting for the ramp to lower as the welcoming breeze flooded into the Crest’s hull. You set your baby down on the soft grass and let him explore a little, tilting your head back to feel the sun on your face, breathing deeply of the clean air.
“You like it?” Din asked. You opened your eyes to see him leaned against the door frame, watching you with a gentle smile. You would have beamed back at him and told him how much you loved it had it not been for the sudden concern you felt at his appearance.
“You’re not wearing your armor,” you said. Checking briefly to make sure the baby hadn’t wandered too far, you stepped up the ramp towards your husband and made to steer him back inside the Crest’s relative privacy.
“Din - ” you protested when he gave a soft laugh and captured your wrists in a gentle grip, just as you had put your hands on his chest to push him back inside. “What if someone sees?”
He held both of your hands close to his heart. “There’s nobody here, cyare. I checked. It’s sweet of you to worry, but you don’t have to.”
You gave him a doubtful look. “You’re going to be out here without a helmet?” That sounded awfully reckless to you.
“I want to be able to kiss you,” he said, giving you a chaste kiss to illustrate his point. “And I want to swim in the river and feel the sun on my face. Can’t do all that with beskar on, now can I?”
You sighed. “No, but...” You met his eyes. “It doesn’t frighten you?”
He softened. “Sure it does,” he admitted. “A little. I don’t know how long it’s been since I’ve been out of the Crest without armor on. But that’s exactly why I want to. And if there’s no danger of anyone seeing me... I think it’ll be alright.”
He tapped the bracelet on your wrist, a modified version of his vambrace with the same remote controls of the Crest programmed in. “Besides, I told the Crest to alert us if there’s anyone nearby. It’ll be alright.”
You reached up to brush your fingers through his hair. “Well, it would be nice to see your face,” you said. “If you’re sure about it.”
He smiled and kissed you again. “I’m sure, cyar’ika. Come on, let’s go get our son before he wanders right into the river.”
You looped your arm through his, feeling like one of the promenading couples you always saw growing up on Naboo. He was a bit scruffier and dressed more casually than any young man on Naboo would be, but you liked him that way.
As he led you on a leisurely stroll towards the river, minding your little one closely, you took the opportunity to enjoy being outside with him and being able to see his every expression. Din was nothing if not expressive, especially in his brow, and his face was alight with a happiness and peace that made his handsome features all the more alluring.
“Is there a word in Mando’a for ‘very handsome’?” you asked.
He looked over at you with a touch of confusion, either playing coy or just being genuinely oblivious. You suspected the latter, and it was endearing to you.
“No,” he said. “But there’s ‘very beautiful’ - ori mesh’la - and it means the same thing.”
You smiled. “Well then, Din, I think you’re ori mesh’la.”
His cheeks pinked. “Well, thank you, cyare,” he said, endearingly bashful. He smiled. “I think you’re ori mesh’la, too.”
You could have watched his face forever, charmed by his blush and the way his curls looked in the sun, but your baby gave an excited babble and drew you attention. Just in time, too, as he was barrelling full-speed towards the river without a care in the world.
“Oh, ad’ika,” you chided, unwinding yourself from Din and scooping your baby up before he reached the water. His ears drooped as you held him.
“I know you want to go in, my love,” you cooed. “But you have to be careful.”
You saw why he’d been so eager to get in the water - the riverbed was covered in bright, colorful stones, glinting where they caught the sun through the water. You knelt on the bank and held your baby in your lap, reaching into the pleasantly cool water to scoop up a handful of the stones.
“Look how pretty,” you said, drawing them close so he could take a few. He grabbed the biggest one and turned it over in his claws, mesmerized by the opalescent shimmer.
“Batu,” he said, holding it up for you to see. You smiled. You and Din hadn’t quite figured out what “batu” meant, but it seemed to signal his approval, and you were always pleased to hear it.
“I see,” you said, charmed by his enthusiasm. “Show daddy.”
You stood and turned to face Din, who was watching the two of you with a gentle smile on his face. His brow quirked in excitement when he saw his baby holding the stone out to him.
“Look at that, ad’ika,” he said, coming close to examine it.
“Batu,” your baby said again. Din grinned.
“Yeah, ‘batu’,” he repeated. “You want to go find some more?”
At your little one’s happy coo, you and Din kicked off your shoes to wade into the shallow river. Din rolled the hem of his trousers as well as yours, since your hands were full with the baby, and pressed a kiss to your thigh before he rose.
The water lapped just above your ankles with the gentle current, and you spent a few minutes looking through the clear water to find the stones you thought were prettiest. Your baby wriggled to be put down, but the water was a little too deep for him, and you settled on drawing up handfuls of rocks for him to sort through.
“Hey, cyare, look at this one.”
You turned to see the stone your husband had found and were met with a splash of water.
“Din!” you squeaked, a smile crossing your face. Your baby giggled with delight at having been splashed, and the sound mixed with Din’s warm laughter.
“Sorry, love,” he chuckled. “Couldn’t resist.”
“Oh yeah?” you challenged. You bent down and splashed him back, getting him more thoroughly than he’d gotten you; he laughed and sputtered as he wiped his face on the shoulder of his shirt.
“That was so much worse than mine,” he said. “You’re awful.”
“Good thing you like me so much,” you said cooly.
He grinned. “Yeah, lucky you.” He kissed you and brushed the water from your face. You’d grown accustomed to the feel of his leather gloves, but you’d always prefer the gentleness of his hands, rough from years of hard work but always touching you in love.
Pressed between the two of you and impatient to get in the water, your baby patted Din’s chest and babbled up at him.
“Come on, buddy,” Din said, taking him from your arms. “You want to swim a little bit?”
“You’re swimming in your clothes?” you asked.
He gave you a wry smile. “Why not? I’m already half-soaked.”
Your smile was slightly guilty. “I'm sorry about that, actually,” you said. “I didn’t mean to splash you so much.”
He chuckled. “I know. I’m not upset. Besides, it’s warm enough that it won’t take very long to dry off.” He nodded towards the bank where a flat rock jutted out over the water. “I was just going to sit over there and let him play where it’s shallow.”
“Oh,” you said. “Well, in that case, I’ll sit with you.”
You played with them for a long while, sitting shoulder to shoulder with Din while he held your baby’s hands and let him splash around in the shallow water. Despite his excitement, your baby was a little hesitant once he was actually in the water, and held tightly to Din’s fingers. As his fear eased and his confidence grew, he was happy to stay within his dad’s reach and only occasionally grabbed onto Din’s trouser leg when he lost his balance. His outfit was thoroughly soaked within minutes of his delighted splashing, but he didn’t seem to mind; he played happily and kept handing rocks to you, and you cooed over every one.
You might have stayed with them and watched your little one play for hours on end if it hadn’t been for Din’s stomach starting to growl; you realized you were hungry too and playfully nudged your shoulder against his.
“Should I go get us some lunch?” you asked.
His smile was a little sheepish. “If you wouldn't mind,” he said. “I can get it, if you don’t want to.”
You ran a hand over his back. “I don’t mind,” you assured him. “What do you want to eat?”
“Whatever,” he said. “You know me.”
“So, just a whole ori'skraan, then?” you teased. Mandalorians always had big elaborate feasts at their celebrations to make up for the fact that they ate rations more often than not, since they were easier while on a hunt; you’d had the pleasure of attending a few during your marriage, including the one at your wedding.
Your husband grinned. “That’ll be just fine, cyare.”
You kissed his cheek before you stood, waving goodbye to your baby. You heard Din console your little one as you left towards the ship, explaining that you’d be right back.
You found the length of fabric you used for a baby sling and tied it around you like Din had shown you; Mandalorians carried their babies in a birikaad, to keep their hands free for fighting, and this was nearly identical to that style. You filled the sling with food from your pantry, wrapping up a few slices of the uj’alayi cake for dessert, and folded up one of the spare blankets to picnic on.
You heard Din singing as you walked back to the river. You almost didn’t realize it was him, at first - he was usually so shy about his singing voice, and he reserved it for lullabies when your baby was very fussy or drinking songs when he was deep in his cups with friends. He sang to you, occasionally, when you asked him to, and he was always endearingly bashful.
His voice carried over the clearing, mixing with the sound of the river and your baby’s happy laughter, and you drank it in the closer you got to him. It was a beautiful song, full of longing; Din’s warm baritone made it rich and lovely. The lyrics were in Mando’a, and you were too caught up in the sound of your husband’s voice to translate; you let his voice wash over you, warming you from head to toe.
You didn’t know how long he would have kept singing if your baby hadn’t caught sight of you, giving a happy coo of welcome. Din’s voice cut short as he turned, perhaps fearing you were someone else, but his expression softened into a smile as soon as he saw you.
“Hi,” he said.
You smiled. “Hi.” You rested a hand on his shoulder. “Don’t stop singing on my account.”
He blushed. “No, I’d been singing that one over and over. I’m sure ad’ika’s tired of hearing it.”
You knew that wasn’t true; your little one calmed faster to Din’s voice than he did to anything else. You didn’t want to embarrass him, though, and carded a hand through your husband’s sun-warmed curls.
“You two hungry?” you asked.
You baby gave an affirmative babble and gave his dad uppy arms; Din obliged him and dried him off a little as you spread out the picnic blanket. Your little one came and sat in your lap as Din helped you set out the food.
“You missed your mama, didn’t you?” Din said sweetly. You brushed an affectionate hand over your baby’s ears and swapped the bright purple stone he held for a piece of fruit. He watched your hand carefully to make sure you hadn’t really taken his prize away for good; satisfied when you set it next to you on the blanket, he happily ate the bite-sized food you and Din took turns giving to him.
Din took your baby back to the river as you tidied up after lunch, and you were happy to watch and listen to them play as you stretched out on the blanket and read the book you’d taken from the shelf in the bunk. It was a collection of poems that Din had gotten you for your birthday, and even though you’d been excited to read it, you hadn’t had much spare time lately. You were quickly absorbed in the poetry as you read; the sun was warm on your back, and the sounds of your husband and baby playing created a comforting backdrop.
They came back from the river after a while, their hands full of brightly colored stones, their clothes half-soaked, and their expressions as tired as they were happy. Din set your baby down and let him toddle over to you; your little one added his stones to the collection you’d made, his ears perking up as he sorted through them.
“All done?” you asked, giving Din a gentle smile as he dropped his handful of stones into the pile.
He hummed in agreement. “For now, anyways. He probably needs a rest.”
Your husband gave a soft groan as he lay beside you, tired and comfortable in the warm sun. “Your baby is a pretty good swimmer, mama.”
You closed your book and looked over at your little one; his smile was wide at his dad’s praise, and you couldn’t help but smile back.
“I saw,” you said, tapping his nose and earning a giggle in response. “Did you like swimming with daddy?”
Your little one gave an affirmative coo as he abandoned the rocks and climbed up onto Din; with a great big yawn for such a little thing, he lay on Din’s chest and snuggled close when Din laid a hand over his back.
“Tired you out, didn’t it, ad’ika?” you said gently, brushing a finger over his ear. You looked to Din’s face and saw he was already dozing too.
You smiled. “Wore your daddy out too, I see.” His hair was light in the sun, almost golden in some places; his cheeks were rosy and sunkissed under his scruff, his expression peaceful and soft.
You kissed his cheek. “Did you know I love you?”
He gave a soft smile. “Yeah, I know. I love you too.” He turned his face towards you, your noses bumping together, his kisses tender and drowsy. You brushed your fingers through his hair.
“You’re gonna take a nap?” you asked, keeping your voice soft for your baby’s sake. He was already asleep, curled snugly under his dad’s hand, rocked by the gentle rise and fall of Din’s chest.
Din gave a content sigh. “Maybe. Lay here with me, cyare.”
You gave a soft laugh. “I’m not going anywhere, honey.” You kissed the bridge of his nose. “You want me to read to you?”
He nodded, moving his free hand to rest on the curve of your lower back. “What book is it?”
“The one you gave me for my birthday,” you said, flipping through the pages until you found where you’d left off. “Ancient Keltrian Poets, remember?”
He hummed in agreement. “You like it?”
“I love it,” you said sincerely. “Here - I was in the middle of this one, but I’ll start it from the beginning.”
You read to him for a while, pausing to underline or make notes when you found a line you really liked; his fingers drew circles on your lower back as he listened and made a few comments here and there.
“For stars, innumerable, leapt everywhere,” you read. “Almost every gaze upwards became welded to the swift hazard of their play, and our heart felt like a single thing beneath that vast disintegration of their brilliance.”
You traced your fingers over that stanza. “That’s kind of like our vows, don’t you think? ‘We are one when together, we are one when parted.’ Our heart feels like a single thing.”
When you didn’t get an answer, you looked over at your husband. “Din?”
He shifted a little, and you realized he’d fallen asleep.
“Alright, cyare?” he mumbled.
“Sorry,” you said softly. “I didn’t mean to wake you up.”
He ran his hand over your back. “That’s ok, love.” Even mostly asleep, he still comforted you with intentional gentleness. “What did you say?”
You smiled. “Nothing. Just that I love you.”
He tilted his chin up just a little, asking for a kiss; you obliged him, gently pressing your mouth to his.
“Keep reading,” he said. “I love the sound of your voice.”
You softened. “I love the sound of your voice, too.” You brushed a wayward curl from his forehead. “What was that song you were singing earlier?”
A flicker of a smile crossed his face. “Naasad'guur mhi,” he said. “It’s a drinking song.”
“It’s pretty,” you said.
He hummed in agreement.
“What’s it about?” you asked.
“It says, ‘nobody likes us, we don’t care, we are the elite Mando boys from Mandalore.’”
You laughed. “That’s really what it says?”
He smiled. “Yeah. It sounds really nice when you have a bunch of people singing it all together.”
You gently ran your knuckles over his scruff. “Will you sing it for me later?”
“Sure, cyare. If you want me to.”
You settled closer to him and flipped the page to the next poem, reading it aloud a bit more quietly than you would have usually. Din’s breathing evened out until he was snoring softly; you smiled when you saw the way your baby had a fistful of Din’s shirt held tightly in his hand. The sound of the river kept you company as you read about stars and rainstorms and fields of aura blossoms; Din’s warmth beside you was comforting and steady. Days of rest and peace were few and far between for your little family, but they were sweeter for it; you held tightly to them when they came, and always thanked the jate’kara for days like these.
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