Totally forgot I animated last night. Also for @jthmaau
piercings with ateez
a/n: so the title says piercings with ateez but in most of it it's them reacting to your piercings uhh it doesn't make sense but i didn't want to confuse anyone lol and HELLO i'm finally back(again) with something new since it's my first time writing a reaction hehe i hope you enjoy
warning: mention of drinking/alcohol in mingi's part
Hongjoong loves having his ears decorated with pretty compositions of earings on display for everyone to see. But something that he adored much more was when you would give him a pair of this fancy jewerly as a gift on special days so he could wear someething related to you.
Unlike him, you’ve never got your ears pierced. While talking with Hongjoong the other day you said you would like to finally do it so you can have your ears looking pretty like his but was always too busy with other things or simply forget about that.
After finishing his schedule for the day, Hongjoong texted that he will pick you up and take you somewhere. You didn’t ask anything because you thought that he will most likely want to go to some reastaurant since it was near lunch time.
He entered your apartament using his spare key and sat in your living room, assuming that you were still getting ready. When you came out from the bathroom, you found him on your sofa, playing with a little box in his hands.
“Hi” you announced your presence “why did you walk all the way there? You could just call me and I would have left, you know the elevator's broken” you whined
“I know” he smiled and got up “but I wanted to give you something before we leave” he opened his hand for you to take the box
Opening the little box, you saw a pair of silver earings shining your way. They didn’t have anything special but you felt touched by the gesture
“Ah Joong, thank you for the gift, but you know I still haven’t like... pierced my ears, right? It will take some time for me to wear them” you looked up at him apologetically only to find him smiling at you
“Actually you can wear them much sooner than your think” you had a puzzled expression on your face at this point “What do you mean?”
“I’m taking you to get yours ears pierced so we can look fabulous with our matching earrings”
You let the last remaining garment on your body slip on the tiled floor of your bathroom, joining the pile of Seonghwa's clothes, who was currently standing over the bathtub checking the water temperature.
With each passing second you felt more anxious about his reaction to your surprise; when he was away working you decided to do something you haven't even mentioned before and go in for nipple piercings
"Okay, I think the water's good. I'll get in first so you-" he turned over and was met with your bare chest, his mouth turning in 'o' shape in span of 0.01 second
He lowered yourself on the level of your chest to precisely see the metal studs in your nipples. After he zoned out for a bit he came back to reality and turned in full mom mode
"Does it hurt? Are you in pain? Don't move too fast so you won't hurt yourself accidentely and-"
"Hey, hey, hey, Hwa look, I'm perfectly fine" you laughed "I got them after you went on tour, so it was a few months ago. Maybe they're not healed in 100% but I feel much better now, you don't have to treat me like a porcelain doll, you know" you said and got on your tip toes to match his height and kissed him
"For sure I'm not complaining" he cringed at the fact how much it must have hurt you at first but found it attractive and hot. He always took good care of you but used this situation to his advantage and babied you more whenever he could
"Please Yunho, I promise it's not as hard as it seems!"
For a quite long time now you were trying to persuade Yunho into braiding your hair. He almost gave in, but lost all his confidence after watching a video which explained how to do braids, afraid he will hurt you, tug your hair or made knots with his slender fingers, and on top of that the video he just saw was kinda complicated
"I'm not sure now.. I still don't get it and I don't want to hurt you or something... " he mumbled, staring at the floor defeated looking like a lost puppy at this point
You sat on his lap and put your hands on his cheek, making him look at you "It's fine, don't beat yourself for something like this. If you want I can show you how I do it.." you stopped the eye contact, kinda sure that he won't want to continue but then he nodded his head energetically, pleased that you didn't give up on him.
You got off of him and situated yourself in front of the mirror in your guys' bedroom so you could see what you were doing, with Yunho beside you.
After dividing your hair in two parts you got into work and started making braids. Yunho sat awfully quiet but you shushed it with that maybe he just didn't want to distract yourself and miss something from your little tutorial.
"And... Done! It was quite easy, isn't it? Do you want to try again? Or maybe you want me to show it once more? " you smiled, satisfied with your final work and turned around to see little smirk displayed on Yunho's face
"But there's something else you didn't show me" he said, his eyes landing on your nape. What show was he putting on? You got confused and put your hand where his stare was boring into and realized what he was talking about.
"Ah, you mean my nape piercing! I thought you saw it already, but I tend to forget I have it since I have my hair down most of the time and I don't see it a lot..Do you like it?" you explained. You thought he already saw it but didn't say anything even when you were dating for quite a long time now.
"Of course I like it! How could I not see it sooner when you look so cool with it?"
You were rumagging through your drawers searching for your pajama top after taking a shower, impatient to join Yeosang who was already in bed. It was his first time staying at your apartament for a night and you didn't want to waste time you could spend together.
You were getting frustrated as it seemed all your tops were dirty in a washing machine since you couldn’t find any. When you were about to give up you found the patterned clothing hiding in the back of your drawer and left a sound of victory.
Meanwhile, Yeosang put his phone down and started observing you to see what this commotion was about. You turned around, holding the shirt to your chest when he suddenly noticed something shiny poking out of your navel. You followed his eyesight and laid your eyes on your lower belly and chuckled.
Since your relationship was still quite fresh you haven't got intimitate with each other yet and he haven't got to see much of your exposed body so you weren't shocked about his reaction at your belly piercing you didn't mention before.
“Oh, my piercing.. I got it back in high school with my friends as a bet, don’t mind it”
By the look on his face at first you thought that he didn’t liked the piercing and had planned to take it out tommorow, but turned out that for the rest of the evening he was holding you close, hands under your shirt so he could play with it
“For sure I will mind it”
San wanted to surprise his fans with Ateez’s nearing comeback and after thinking about what he could try to surprise his fans this time he decided to go for a eyebrow piercing.
He booked an appointment in a studio and wanted you to come with him. You agreed without thinking, wanting to give him as much comfort with your presence as you could.
When you both arrived at the studio San had to sign some papers and after few minutes a middle aged lady came for him and told to follow her.
When you were about to get up and go with them, you got an idea “I think I’ll wait here” San nodded and kissed your cheek, not asking you about your sudden change of mind.
After 15 minutes San came into waiting room, now with piercing popping out of his eyebrow, but didn’t saw you there. He took his phone out to see if there was some emergency that made you leave, but there wasn’t any notifaction from you. He simply assumed you went to the restroom and sat on a chair you were sitting not a long ago.
He didn’t have to wait long for you to come out, not from a restroom but a room similar from where he got his piercing from. His vision went black due to you putting your hand over his eyes, but immediately knowing who the owner was.
He gently put your hands down and turned around, laughing at you being silly. Happy expression suddenly changed into a shocked one when he turned out and saw your septum pierced.
For the next couple of days he was looking after you, reminding to take care of your fresh piercing, ignoring that you got it at the same time and were feeling as good as he did.
You, Mingi and his members were supposed to have a calm, relaxing movie night at their dorm but after Wooyoung offered to make some drinks, which later turned into shots, for sure it wasn't calm.
Now you were laying in your bed, and your head was pounding like it got hit with a hammer. Wait, did Mingi got you home last night? He was at least in the same state as you, if not worse. Even when he is taller and larger than you, his alcohol tolerance is worse than yours
You laid like that, staring at the ceiling for a few minutes when your phone went off, the loud sound making you wince in pain.
You answered without checking, knowing no one you didn't know wouldn't call this early.
"Hello-" "Y/N-ah! What happened yesterday and why there's a piercing in my nose" Mingi cried out into the phone
"Yah! Don't shout, it's like 7 in the morning. And what the hell are you talking about, are your eyes not tricking you? I know we were drunk but not to this point where you would not remember if you got your nose pierced or-" you stopped talking after seeing your own refelction in mirror.
"What do you mean 'Are your eyes not tricking you'!? My sight's perfectly fine and there's a freakin metal stud coming out of my nostril!" he was freaked out at this point. He seriously got out of control with drinking this night
"Uh, Mingi, I think your eyes not fooling you because my nose is pierced as well..." you said, confused about your memory loss.
You really got drunk to this point where you didn't remember that you and Mingi got piercings on the way to your apartament. You sobered immediately at this thought
"Oh my God! It's so cool, we even have matching piercings now!~" said Mingi, obviously happy about what happened
(please remember to be always careful of how much alcohol you take because they obviously weren't)
Wooyoung had come to your apartament after finishing his practice late at night. He went straight to your bed and now it was nearing 1PM and it was still for him to wake up yet.
You weren't trying to do things quietly to not disturb his sleep anymore, smell of the food around the apartament didn't budge him, hell, if there was a hurricane he would be laying still.
How else can I wake him up?
You lowered yourself to the level of his neck and started leaving a trail of kisses down to his collarbone and it worked. His nose scrunched when he felt wet sensation on his neck dragged along with something harder and colder, but didn't give it much thought as he opened his eyes to be met with your face right in front of his.
His face lit up as he suddenly remembered how he missed waking up like that, using the proximity between you and put his lips on yours. But he felt the cold feeling he felt earlier against your warm, plush lips again and laid aside to see your face from a different distance.
His stare went straight to your lips and saw that you decided to put in the piercing in your bottom lip you had mentioned before. He only saw you wearing it on some pictures because you weren't allowed to wear it in your job so you didn't bother putting it in everyday.
"You look so cool! And kinda hot too.. But you made me shiver with it so now you have to cuddle with me~"
You were wearing braces since young age and finally got to take them off a few months ago after having them on for the most of your life. After your last visit at orthodontist's you went straight to book an appointment in tattoo & piercing shop to do something you thought about for a long time, which was a smiley piercing
Jongho was rummaging through the dephts of his sport bag in front of your door, searching for keys you gave him when he realized he must’ve forgotten them.
He made a mental note to look for them when he will be at dorms and knocked, not waiting long for the door to open since you were expecting him to come.
You dragged him inside, not even letting him take his jacket and shoes off and basked into the comfort of his embrace you missed so much due to him practicing so much lately.
After a few minutes you took a step back and flashed him a smile, he smiled back but then realized something. Of course, he knew you weren’t wearing braces anymore but he didn’t know about the shiny item above your front tooth.
"You're so cute"
You whined at his reaction "Is that all? I wanted to do this for a long time you know"
He patted your head and said "Of course you look good. It's a nice addition to your pretty smile"
♡ 10:56 am ; safe space
set in the domus amoris universe !
genre/s: comfort, angst > fluff, established relationship au, hyunjin x gn reader
warnings: non-sexual nudity (mc, not hyunjin; vague descriptions of body parts), anxious/depressed/self-deprecating thoughts, in-depth description of a panic attack, mc has hair that’s long enough to brush
a/n: this one’s based on a suggestion by the lovely @crscendoforsung !! i wanted to make it a bit angsty for ya since,,,, i Know You :) it’s also a pretty exact account of an experience i had as well so.. that’s fun... lol. if you ever have a suggestion for the series feel free to check out the suggestion box !!
there are always going to be times where nothing seems to be going your way. sometimes days, sometimes weeks, sometimes years… and it’s hard opening up about those things. those things that eat away at your psyche until it seems as though there’s little to nothing left; the things you never say out loud for fear they might manifest themselves; the things you even dread telling the man you love for fear of worrying him. it’s times like these where you don’t want to be heard or seen, but rather to curl up into a ball and let everything you need to out of your system. it creeps up on you. right now, as beads of hot water pierce your back and your face rests in your trembling hands, you’re reminded of this feeling. it plagues your body, haunts your thoughts… and honestly, you’re not sure how it happened. but you know that if hyunjin sees or hears you, he’ll take on your troubles as if they’re his own. so you stay quiet.
you’re honestly just confused. angry at yourself. frustrated. you’d caught yourself staring into space again. it happens every so often, but each time it does you get more and more fed up with your lack of self control. your dazed, dissociated mind will get the best of you at times. it can get to the point where, like today, you can be in the middle of a simple, everyday task - taking a shower, brushing your teeth, sometimes even doing work - and you’d just be stripped of your attention span. and, it can last for as short or as long a period of time as it so chooses. it makes you feel like you’re out of control of your own body; as if the vessel in which your spirit is contained is caving from the outside in, crushing your spirit in the process.
heart racing against your thoughts, shallow breaths rising and falling at a staggering pace, fingers trembling as you fold your hands together and squeeze them closer in a weak attempt to make it all go away. you begin to wonder why you’re like this. how you can go from applying shampoo to your hair to feeling the water grow lukewarm as your mind wanders into oblivion. oftentimes, you blame yourself, citing a simple lack of intelligence for the way your head takes over like this. you don’t even know when it began. prior to moving in with hyunjin, of course, but… were you always like this? was this always how your brain decided to occupy itself? have you always been so spacey… so vacant, so stupid? why are you like this? why are you so broken? why won’t it all just slow down or stop? why don’t you just-
whoa. where did that come from?
these thoughts strike you, almost as if you’ve been slapped in the face. your cheeks heat up as a stinging sensation overtakes your eyes. tears. droplets of disparity, dripping down the drain. what feels like a chill courses through your body, making your bones shake and joints buckle. seeing stars, your knees give out, sending you to the porcelain floor of the bathtub. you sit with your legs folded, leaning over with your face in your hands. heaving breaths, hot tears, piercing beads of water shooting out from the showerhead to the sensitive skin on your back. shaking, shuttering, ashamed. especially since you’ve given up trying to stay silent.
you hear the bathroom door creak open. shit. but just like any other instance, you can’t seem to stop convulsing nor crying.
“baby…?” you hear hyunjin’s soft, youthful voice calling to you over the running water. “baby, are you okay?” he must’ve heard you fall.
you try to catch your breath. and, of course, you fail. just like you failed to pay attention to the task at hand, failed to conceal the breathy sobs over which your lover must now worry… you’re choking on your own futility. “no,” you whisper, your face still contorting in your hands.
before you can object, a hand reaches into the shower and shuts the water off before hastily pushing the shower curtain to the side. now, more than ever, you’re hyperaware of the volume at which you’ve been sobbing. the chill of the air rises over your naked form but is quelled by hyunjin’s warm hand against your back. he’s taken a seat next to the tub, a look of concern and shock spread across his face. you can’t even look at him. you can’t bear the fact that he can see you right now. your physical bareness doesn’t even concern you. it’s the emotional nakedness that sends you deeper into your descent.
but oh, what it’s doing to hyunjin.
he feels so helpless. so terrible. so guilty. he doesn’t even know what happened, and yet his only wish is to be able to go back and stop it from happening. guilt, responsibility, fear... it’s enough to force a tear from his own eye, as well. “what’s wrong,” he whispers, his voice trembling as his face tightens and lips quiver. you can’t help but let out another bout of choked sobs and convulsions. he leans into the tub, gently pulling your wet hair out of your face and draping his arm across your bare back. he presses a kiss to your spine, then rests his cheek against you. as more teardrops emerge from his eyes, he strokes your hair. “breathe,” he murmurs. under his breath, closing his eyes, he adds, “please, breathe.”
mind you, this isn’t the first time he’s seen you like this. maybe not in the same circumstances, but you’ve had similar episodes while out in public, while doing work, or even while trying to fall asleep. however, when he’s around, he’s able to help calm you down before things get this extreme. many times, his prolonged embrace alone is enough to drag you out of your daze and back to reality. but every time he holds you close enough to feel your heart fervently pulsing within your chest, his pangs for you. whenever your heartbeats are not aligned, he wants nothing more than to trade.
you do as he says. you try to concentrate on your breathing. though your mind is still fuzzy, you rely on your senses. with the aid of hyunjin’s caresses and directions, you’re able to begin breathing at a semi-regular pace. though a stutter remains in your breathing pattern, everything seems to have slowed. he lifts himself from you, leaning toward your face to get a better look at you, regardless of the agony your aching expression puts him through. “you did so well,” he mutters. you sit up, wrapping your arms around yourself as the air hits your wet skin. “here,” he says, quickly rising to grab a towel from the metal rack on the wall. wrapping it around you, he holds onto your arms as you use the side of the tub to lift yourself up to a standing position. he helps you step out of the tub and onto the floor. despite the humidity of the confined room, the tile beneath your feet is chilling.
you sniffle, wiping your face with your hands. he takes two fistfuls of the towel and replaces your hands, patting your face dry. that’s when you notice he’d been crying too. you look into his pink tinted eyes with an overwhelming twinge of guilt. “i’m-” you croak. but he knows what you’re going to say.
“don’t be sorry,” he interjects, looking deeply into your eyes and cupping your face in his hands. “please?” you nod, averting your eyes from him. he makes you so happy. so comfortable. so at home. and yet, you feel so embarrassed. he’s seen you like this before. but the feeling never seems to lift. he licks his lips, placing a kiss against your cheek before travelling across your jaw and down to your neck. then, he begins patting you dry with the towel, gently brushing over your skin with the cotton fabric.
you’re so grateful for him. he shouldn’t have to do this for you. he shouldn’t have to care for you as if you’re a child; you should be able to do basic tasks. it’s all you can think about as he travels down your body, blotting the water off of you. so much so that it brings back the wetness in your eyes. you think you’re undeserving. you think you’re hopeless.
he stands back up, getting ready to towel dry your hair. that is, until he sees the single tear dripping down your cheek. his stomach drops. he wonders if his efforts aren’t enough. he wonders if he deserves to be the one who takes care of you. if he can’t do that, what can he do? at least that’s what he’s made himself believe.
so much unspoken.
“love, what’s wrong?” he asks, tilting your chin toward him with his thumb and forefinger.
“i…” you start. you don’t even know where to begin.
you glance away, eyes flicking to the clothes you’d picked out to wear after you showered - the main component being one of his t-shirts. he follows your eyes, hastily setting the towel down and grabbing the garments. “let’s put these on. i’ll help you.” you nod, sniffling. he gives you a bittersweet smile, crouching down to help you step into your underwear. once your undergarments and shorts are on, he picks up the t-shirt and smiles to himself. he didn’t quite recognize it as his own before. it’s a mixed feeling. he helps you into the shirt, his warm fingertips pressing against your waist as the fabric settles atop your form. his thumbs rub back and forth against the material. it’s a small gesture, but it’s soothing.
you shakily place a hand against his chest. “thank you,” you mumble, your voice still small and strained.
he gives you a half-smile before taking your hand in his and pressing a kiss onto your knuckles. you know he’s trying his best. and he knows you are too. that’s why he doesn’t prod. instead, he grabs the towel from the counter and a hairbrush with his other hand. “come on,” he says, leading you out of the bathroom and into your shared bedroom. he takes a seat on the bed, his back resting on the headboard. he taps a hand to his thigh. you climb onto the bed, then onto his lap, facing him. “close your eyes, baby.” and so, you do as instructed. his efforts are beginning to elicit more endearment than guilt out of you. it’s dawning on you that he’s enjoying the surface level elements of taking care of you just as much as you’ve relished in receiving them. he wraps the towel around the back of you, placing it atop your wet head. as he massages your scalp with the towel, rubbing and compressing your dripping locks, you hum in relief. it feels so warm. he makes you feel so warm.
you take a deep breath. he smiles at you, even though you can’t see it. he thinks you’re adorable. and he’s relieved you can breathe again.
after he’s done drying your hair, he tosses the wet towel down onto the floor beside the bed and grabs the brush. placing his other hand on your waist, he says, “tell me if it hurts. if i’m hurting you, i’ll stop.”
opening your eyes, you let out a small giggle. “you could never hurt me,” you reply. and, it’s true. he never has, and he never will. you pinky swore on it a long, long time ago.
a breath escapes his nose as his smile grows wider. “ok.” he tilts your head to the side. ever so gently, he begins brushing through your still-damp hair, carefully and slowly untangling any knots. eventually, he turns your head to the other side so he can reach more of you. once your hair has been fully detangled, he places the brush down on the bedside table in favor of wrapping his arms around you, pulling you closer to him. “all done.” you encase his neck in your arms, resting your head against his shoulder. the pads of his fingertips roam all over the expanse of your back, lulling you into a relaxed state of mind.
“thank you,” you whisper into his neck.
“you don’t need to thank me.”
“yes i do,” you respond, sitting upright. “you shouldn’t have to do all of this for me. but you did. but you do.”
he cuts you off slightly, hands passionately gripping onto your hips. “i do this because i want to. we take care of each other. you would do the same for me.”
you roll your eyes. not because you’re angry or annoyed, but because what he said is true. you would do the same for him, any time. but that’s because he deserves it. why do you? “yeah, but…” you trail off, eyes drifting to the side as that familiar tingling arises in your face. your lip trembles, signalling to hyunjin that, once again, his efforts were ineffective.
“baby, what’s wrong?” he whispers, placing a hand on your cheek to draw your face back to center. you look at him, your brow furrowed and a tear escaping your eye, reaching up to hold his hand as he strokes your cheekbone with his thumb. he wipes the salty remnants of your pain off of your skin, though the sentiment remains.
you climb off of his lap. he lifts the covers and blankets so the two of you can slip inside. laying down and facing him, you let out a deep sigh.
“it’s just… it happened again,” you say. he pulls the covers over your bodies and shifts closer toward you.
he tucks your freshly brushed hair behind your ear before placing his hand upon your side. “mhm.”
“and i couldn’t concentrate on anything else. i forgot where i was, and what i was doing…” you sniffle. you don’t want to send yourself back into such an emotional state, but you want to help him understand how you’re feeling. so, you do your best to explain. everything. everything from zoning out to your body becoming fragile, and even to the feeling of worthlessness that accompanies it all.
he comes close to crying again, but he pulls himself together for your sake. he doesn’t want you to feel guilty for feeling. instead, he pulls himself closer to you and presses a kiss upon your cheek. “i’m proud of you, you know,” he says before kissing your face again.
“why?” you ask, chuckling with a slight smile spread across your lips.
“because!” he objects. he tickles your side, prompting your smile to widen and laughter to continue. “you were brave enough to tell me.”
“i thought i was a baby,” you tease. you playfully grab his hands off of you… but you know you won’t get too far.
“you’re not a baby.” he climbs on top of you, pinning your arms above your head and placing a trail of kisses along your cheek and neck. then, with his hands traveling back to your sides to tickle you some more, his voice deepens. “but you’re my baby.” you can’t help but giggle, bombarded with kisses and blushing from the contact. your reaction only eggs him on. he smiles into the crook of your neck before leaving a series of kisses against it, tickling you all the while.
sure enough, you’ve forgotten all about what had happened just an hour ago. it’s as if nothing occurred at all. not because you’re distracted, not because you’ve dismissed it, but rather because you felt comfortable enough with your lover to share your deepest, most vulnerable inner turmoil. and he received you with open arms, an even more accepting heart, and a trail of sloppily laid kisses that’ll leave a swarm of butterflies aflutter in your stomach for days to come.
he succeeded, finally. and the both of you couldn’t be more pleased.
another note: if you’ve experienced something similar to this, please know you’re far from alone, and i’m always here if you need someone to talk to. i hope this can comfort you in some way. love u ♡
tags: @magglesx, @crscendoforsung, @stayndays, @hanniiesuckle17, @leggomylino, @freckledberries, @pixielix, @skzctnightnight, @serenityswords-main, @childofthecosmos, @changbinniee, @kpopscape, @skzwriternet, @hyunsins, @sleepylixie, @ncityluvvs (send a 🍓 in my ask box to be added for skz !)
©️ cotccotc 2021 ~ all rights reserved. do not repost my work on tumblr or other platforms.
bao | myg | 2
pairing(s): yoongi x reader
summary: Min Yoongi is always late to start work. He’s late in starting a lot of things. Like telling you he loves you.
warnings: rated M (18+) for language; mentions of parental injury/surgery; SO MUCH fluff; non-idol!AU; (slightly more) jealous deliveryboy!Yoongi x hardworking chef!reader ft. bao fiend, next-door neighbor, model!Taehyung who can’t cook to save his life lol
"What's wrong?" Kim Taehyung asked as he bit into his bao. He asked for an extra sweet bun for his manager today. "Is it your dad?" he added, concern laced on his voice.
"No, not really. He has a checkup tomorrow." You gnawed on your lip as he excitedly chomped into his saucy beef bun. "Hopefully he's recovering well." You rubbed your forehead. Day by day, you could see Yoongi’s black eye healing, but you couldn’t help but worry about him. He had promised not to punch anyone heedlessly, but you doubted he meant it. "Don't get injured, Taehyung."
Taehyung raised his eyebrows. "Why would I get injured?"
"I don't know, but don't. I don't need any more stress," you chuckled dryly, not really amused but unsure exactly how you were feeling.
Taehyung tilted his head.
"Are you lonely?"
You raised your head. "Huh?"
"Have you seen your parents in person?"
You blinked. "Well, no. I have to prep, clean, and do errands on my off day. But I video call them often."
Taehyung shrugged. "You used to work at the counter and talk to people all day. Now you're only in the kitchen and the only human beings you see consistently are the delivery guy and I, right? They're all short interactions too." His brown eyes softened, almost parental. "It must be lonely."
You exhaled, feeling the invisible weight of the days’ past. "Maybe..."
Taehyung smiled. "Tell you what. I got a short day this week, so I'll stop by and help out. Just for fun!" He grinned wider now as you paled a bit at the thought. "You don't even have to pay me. I can do stuff!"
"Like what?" you laughed. "You can't cook, Taehyung."
He paused, realizing that was true. "I can clean!"
"You want to clean all day?"
"... I can eat!"
"Min Yoongi, Kim Taehyung."
Taehyung stuck his flour-covered hand out. "Hello! It's nice to meet you."
Yoongi blinked at his hand and gave him a small nod instead. Taehyung seemed to realize it was dirty and wiped his hands on a spare towel before eagerly grabbing Yoongi's hand and shaking it furiously. "I heard you're really dependable, hyung!"
Yoongi raised an eyebrow as his entire body shook with the force of Taehyung's handshake. He turned to your chuckling form rolling dough out into a circle.
"That's the biggest lie you've ever told."
You smiled as you filled the dough circle with spicy pork. "Not true. You are dependable. Dependably late every morning."
You failed to notice Yoongi's apologetic frown, but Taehyung didn't. The younger man tilted his head, observing Yoongi’s dark eyes watching your hands. You pinched the bun into a neat twist before setting it on the tray.
"Taehyung, that's not a circle," you chided playfully, pointing to the, well, blob on Taehyung's side of the counter.
Taehyung let go of Yoongi's hand. "I tried!" he whined childishly. "It's hard..."
Yoongi washed his hands clean as you wiped your hands on your apron. "Let me make lunch real quick while there's a break in orders and you two are here." You bumped into Yoongi as you headed to the sink, his wet hands colliding with your chest.
"Ack, sorry, sorry," Yoongi mumbled, sounding flustered, but you laughed, brushing the water off.
"And that's why I wear my dad's jacket," you mused, referring to the white chef's coat you wore under the apron and over your clothes.
You washed your hands at the sink, staring at the wide sleeves, remembering the call from earlier. Your father was recovering, but it would still be some time before he could work again and maybe not to his full capacity. Your father had protested, saying he felt fine. He was never one to complain about pain, but you knew he must have been hurting for years. If only he had gotten it checked out sooner. You sighed inwardly, but there was nothing you could do about it now. At the moment, you had to feed the two overgrown kids in your kitchen.
"Wow, hyung, you're good!"
You turned around to see Yoongi rolling Taehyung's dough into a circle, tongue resting on the side of his lips, getting a bit of flour onto his leather sleeves.
You walked up behind him to see. Taehyung's dough was heavily over-kneaded, so the circle wasn't great but it was still a circle all the same. You smiled as Yoongi backed up, holding the wooden rolling pin awkwardly.
"My brother's a chef," he mumbled. "And I've... seen you do it hundreds of times."
You picked up the dough circle and placed it in your palm, cradling it in your hand as you filled it with spicy pork.
"Is it really spicy?" Taehyung asked worriedly.
You shook your head. "No, you should be fine. I remember you don't like your food too spicy." You pinched the top, twisting it prettily as you held it out to them. Taehyung looked it with sparkly eyes while Yoongi seemed embarrassed, eyes shifting awkwardly from the bun to the counter.
"It took three people to make this," you said with a laugh. “Hopefully it tastes good.”
You cut it in half evenly a few hours later, almost closing time. You held out one half to Taehyung and one half to Yoongi, whose cheeks were flushed from running around outside. He had worked hard all day, and you even had clients calling, complimenting on his speed and efficiency. Taehyung, well, Taehyung had been great company, although not particularly useful. A fun change from your usual lonesome day.
Steam rose from the meat and white dough, soft and pliable.
The bun warmed your hands and their faces warmed your heart.
“What about you?” Taehyung said, taking one of the halves from you.
You grinned. “Nah, I’ll pass. I don’t want to get poisoned.”
Taehyung narrowed his eyes. “Hey! You made the dough. All I did was roll it into a circle.”
“Actually, I rolled it into a circle,” Yoongi pointed out.
Taehyung fluffed his cheeks. “I rolled it into an almost circle.”
You recalled the shape of the blob with a scrutinous and amused frown. “Yeah, I don’t know about that.”
You turned your head to see Yoongi chewing. The half-bun was still in your fingers, a bite taken out of it. Had he… eaten it from your hand? You stared at him, but he wasn’t looking at you. His long fingers reached out and gripped the half, fingertips brushing against yours. He was still chewing, nodding thoughtfully.
“Not too spicy either.”
Your hand was still in the air. You quickly put it down and turned your attention to Taehyung, who took a huge bite.
You laughed, fanning the space around his mouth. “Of course, it is. I just steamed it.”
Taehyung’s jaw wiggled as he tried to blow the steam off his tongue, panicked noises coming from his throat as you grabbed a water bottle and opened it for him so he could cool it off with a gulp of cool liquid.
“Ah, what am I going to do with you, Taehyung…”
You counted out Yoongi’s pay from the day’s total, calculating quickly. This was the easiest part of the day for you. Math came to you naturally. Cooking was much harder, at least when it came to cooking even half as good as your father.
“Do you like Taehyung?”
You had sent Taehyung home with bags full of buns to give to his parents. He had left with a skip in his step and a huge boxy grin, thanking you repeatedly and almost dropping everything. You had to yell at him to be careful at least three times.
“Of course, Taehyung’s my friend,” you chuckled. “He can be a bit all over the place though.”
“I meant in a more than friends kind of way.”
You stopped and looked up from you calculator. Yoongi was leaning over the counter, one arm perched on it, black leather jacket open and revealing his black-and-white patterned dress shirt. You noticed the first couple buttons were undone. Silver chains hung around his neck, decorating his collarbones. His long fingers tapped on the wood, silver rings glinting against his pale skin.
“Taehyung?” You shrugged. “Not really. Never thought of him that way.”
Yoongi gave you a long, discerning look. His dark brown eyes searched yours, hooded by his black bangs. It was making you uncomfortable. Suddenly, you could feel the flecks of flour on your cheeks, the scent of oil and cooked meat hanging from your clothes and hair. You went back to the calculations, busying yourself with bookkeeping.
This silence was weird. Usually, Yoongi was wordlessly waiting for you to finish so he could leave, but for some reason today it felt bizarre. You furrowed your brow as you recorded the day’s sales and Yoongi’s pay, subtracting it from the total.
“That’s good, because I like you in a more than friends kind of way.”
You placed Yoongi’s pay in an envelope and held it out to him. “Here you go. I added a little bonus for helping me babysit Taehyung today.”
Your gaze locked with Yoongi’s.
Then his words really hit you.
You blinked at him and his completely neutral expression. He wasn’t taking the envelope. Instead, he tilted his head, stare penetrating through your soul. Your heartbeat was suddenly in your ears. It felt like your face was right next to the stove, flushed from the fire.
Yoongi nodded as if this was the expected result. “I figured I should tell you before Taehyung attempts to run off with you.”
You blinked rapidly, the heat increasing on your face. “W… what are you talking about?” you nervously laughed, placing the envelope in the counter and sliding it to him. You shook your head, trying to dissipate the heat. “You’ve gone too far with your jokes.”
Yoongi placed a hand on the envelope.
Then he lifted himself up and over the counter, launching his entire body over it.
You started, pinning yourself back into the wall, eyes widening as his black, thick-soled boots hit the tile floor. He was wearing black jeans again, the ones with a rip on the right knee. He lifted his head, making eye contact with you once again.
“It’s not a joke.”
He looked over to the recordkeeping book and closed it for you. Took the wad of cash that was the day’s sales and tied it in a rubber band, the same way you did it every night. Placed your pen where you placed it every night, next to the pen cup and not actually in it. You watched him, somewhat fascinated that he remembered all these details despite you never thinking about your habits as you did them, either in mid-conversation with him or simply worn out from the day.
Yoongi placed the cash on the recordkeeping book and turned back to face you.
You remembered the moments that you brushed off so easily before. Yoongi’s body hitting yours when you grabbed his cap, the way he felt pushed up against you, breath on your neck. His fingertips touching yours, making you flinch involuntarily. Him eating from your hand earlier that day. The weird silence just now when he asked you if you liked Taehyung.
Your eyes shifted uneasily.
“Well… what I supposed to say?” you asked quietly.
For a long moment, Yoongi didn’t respond. Then he smiled, the smile not quite reaching his eyes.
He turned around.
But before he could walk off, before Yoongi could leave and come back in the morning, late as usual, you grabbed his leather jacket and yanked him back, spinning him back around. His lips parted, startled at your sudden movement, and you pressed your lips to his. His eyes widened.
So did yours.
The scent of leather and pine hit your nose. His lips felt soft. He tasted a little like the spicy pork you fed him earlier. It was a nearly a week after the black eye incident and it was barely noticeable anymore, with only small hints of bruising on his pale skin. He healed fast. You quickly drew back and grabbed the envelope, shoving it at him and pushing past, stunned that you did such a thing, hurriedly running to the kitchen. Or would have, if Yoongi’s arm didn’t block your exit, making you jerk back and hit him in the chest.
Now both your hands were on his black and white dress shirt, holding his pay against him.
You couldn’t look Yoongi in in the face. It was too awkward. You just stared at his neck, at the glittering silver necklaces.
“I have eyes, you know.”
You swallowed, grabbing his hand and placing it on the envelope. His fingers wrapped around yours. His other hand came up, tracing the buttons of his dress shirt. You flinched, jerking your head up as your free hand covered the one on his button placket. His silver rings felt cool against your hot palm.
“What are you doing?”
Yoongi cocked his head. You never realized how raspy and sexy his voice was until now. ‘Well, you didn’t want to look at my face, so I figured I would give you something else to look at.”
Your eyes darted from his hand to his face, flabbergasted.
“Don’t… play around,” you muttered, frowning.
Yoongi leaned down.
And now he kissed you, closing his eyes and pressing his lips against yours, sweetly but firmly, inhaling. You tried to break away, words tumbling from your lips.
“I’ve been working all day; I reek of grease,” you sputtered, but Yoongi grabbed your head and kissed you again, pressing your body against his, dusting flour onto the black leather, your body shuddering at the closeness, falling into his arms. Lips so soft they felt like pillows, not something you expected from lazy, late Yoongi.
“You smell nice,” he chuckled against your lips. “I love food. I especially love all the food you make.”
He kissed you between his words, light, feathery kisses that made you breathless.
“I should have told you every day,” Yoongi murmured. “Thank you for always packing everything so well and making my job so easy. Thank you for always making food for me and giving me the extras. Thank you for not firing me.”
You laughed a little against his lips. “You would have been fired a long time ago if you worked anywhere else.”
He kissed your forehead, a long, delicate one, far too beautiful to not be romantic. You felt your heartbeat slow to a crawl.
“I don’t want to work anywhere else,” he mumbled, so low you could barely hear him even though you were this close. “I want to stay by your side forever.”
What was this? Your hands tensed under his and he tightened his grip around your fingers.
“A little sudden for simply getting free food from your job,” you teased.
Yoongi lifted his face from your forehead, removing your hands from his chest. He turned them around, palms up, pressing his thumbs into them. Smiled down at you.
“It’s not free,” he said softly. “These hands work hard every day.”
Yoongi looked deep into your eyes.
“I never think the food you give me is free, because I see how much effort it takes to make them as delicious as they are.”
Your vision felt a little blurry for some reason.
“You should bring some to your parents. Your father would be proud of you.”
And for some reason, those words meant more to you than anything in the world.
“Is this vegetarian?” Yoongi asked curiously as he chewed.
He frowned a little. “I don’t like vegetables.”
You raised an eyebrow. “What are you, five?”
His eyes narrowed. “I was going to say, but I like this.”
You felt your ears burn. “Oh.”
Yoongi smirked, leaning over to kiss you, smelling like leather, silver rings glimmering in the kitchen lights.
heat waves • stanley uris
(stanley uris x reader smut)
requested: stanley uris fic where he plays baseball and she plays softball please? best friends to lovers if you can! (bonus for borrowing each other's clothes)
warnings: softball player! reader, swearing, smut at the end sorry, oral (male receiving), fluff mostly though, i promise, unedited as fuck i wrote this all in the last few hours LOL
i hope u dont mind i added smut at the end
(this was inspired partly by the song heat waves by glass animals but just a bit idk)
[losers + reader are 18+.]
3.2k words i think
it was hot.
in fact it was boiling fucking hot, in stan's opinion, and despite loving nearly everything about summer, the heat was the absolute worst of those characteristics by far.
he sighs as he flies down the backroads, away from the baseball fields and towards his house. he's pushing his curls back from his face and groaning as he feels sweat beads on his forehead, his eyes catching the dying sunlight and making him itch to wash his hands.
it's june, and there's a deep heatwave that hit derry that's caused all the a/c units at the store richie works at to disappear from the shelves, the public pool that bill and eddie work at the become overcrowded with kids and families escaping the heat, and the baseball fields to be extremely blistering as mike, stan, and you had to stand under the sun all day the last two days.
his lips twitch up faintly at the thought of earlier today, when he'd had a ten minute break and had ran over in his spikes with mike to catch an inning of the softball game on the fields adjacent to theirs.
the only reason they'd gone was to see you play, of course - and to your embarrassment, they'd caught right when you'd stepped to the plate and had hollered "yeah, baby! y/n/n!" loud enough to make everybody in the stands' head turn and embarrassing enough to make you giggle as you waited for the pitch.
you'd hit a double then, which had also scored in two runs and stan had seen your smile as you stood out at second base, breathing hard and brushing the dirt off your pants. and when he'd waved to you, you waved back with so much pride and excitement that he'd felt his heart skip a beat.
he smiles to himself as he turns the corner into his neighborhood, squinting slightly as the air moves in squiggles feet above the pavement. he swears with a shake of his head - he fucking hates the heat, but the double edged sword of baseball season in the summer makes it worth it.
his phone buzzes from where it's placed in his cup holder and he grabs it, smiling at the y/n y/l/n !!!!! that pops up at the top. he rolls his eyes as he answers, remembering the time when you'd called him a psychopath for having your full name in his phone contact, claiming you knew for a fact he somehow didn't know any other y/n's, so you’d added the exclamation points ‘just for flare.’
he answers, "hey, how was the last game?" he asks as he pulls into his driveway. "we lost." you grumble and he hums as he pulls himself out of the car, leaving his bat bag in the trunk since he's got practice tomorrow. "i'm sorry to hear that. d'you want to come over?" he asks casually as he makes his way inside and sighs at the relief of the air conditioning. "yes, yeah. i do." you say and stan smiles down to the ground at your goofiness. as he enters the kitchen he realizes his parents are out, so he asks, "can you bring food?"
you sigh and he can imagine your grin as you say, "god, the shit i do for you, uris. why can't we go together?" you whine. he snorts, "but i have to shower." he tries to reason, but you retort, "i just spend thirteen hours in the heat too, stan, i need to shower as well."
he smiles, walking up the stairs towards his room. "alright, alright. we can go together, just come over and you can shower here."
"did i mention i love you?" you sigh, almost dreamily. stan stops in his tracks, heart stopping and mouth going dry but still grinning as he hears his name yelled by a voice in the background of your line and you hiss back a muffled, "shut up!"
his face is red as he mutters, "yeah, yeah. love you too, y/n/n. i'll see you soon."
your voice echoes in his head as he stares at the tiles of his shower the entire time he's showering. did i mention i love you? as the ice cold water cascades over his sore muscles, relaxing him and breathing energy back into his tired body, he can't get you out of his head.
your voice, your hair, the way you have so much confidence on the field and yet are the sweetest and funniest person he's every met. as his mind wanders, he thanks god that his shower is freezing and he groans, trying to stop imagining his best friend while he's in the shower.
did i mention i love you?
he steps out soon after that, feeling like a bit of a creep. as he ruffles his towel-dry hair, he hears his front door open. opening the door to the bathroom, he's suddenly facing you, clad in your dirty uniform, your visor still on your head and a tired but happy smile on your face. "where's donny and andrea?" you ask and stan shrugs, chuckling a bit at your dumb nickname for his father, "think they had some meeting and went out after." he's not really focused though, because he's aware that he is standing with only a red towel hanging low on his hips as you stand in front of him, your cheeks red and eyes wide, bouncing around him and avoiding eye contact, flustered as you clear your throat.
did i mention i love you?
he grabs his dirty uniform to sweep into the laundry and gets you a fresh towel, gathering clothes for you to change into before residing to his own bedroom. the shower turns on right as he pulls on his shirt and flops back onto his mattress.
he can't get you off his mind, which isn't necessarily a new development, but ever since the heat wave, his mind has been stuck in a loop that's never ending. y/n, baseball, y/n, baseball, y/n, y/n, y/n....
did i mention i love you?
it's hot in his room and he stares at the patterns in his ceiling, lifting a brow as the spots morph in and out of shapes and suddenly it's back to you, your angelic face in his vision and he almost groans. he loves you way too much, he thinks.
he knows every single feature about you; enough so that your face, beautiful and clear as always, appears in his vision and he's fucked because he knows he’s still be able to remember where every feature, mark or blemish on your face is, even when you're not with him.
even though he knows that your relationship is just platonic, he still finds himself imagining his lips exploring the expanse of your neck and he yearns to touch every part of you, to be touched by you. he can't get you out of his mind.
the shower shuts off so he sits up and rubs his eyes - the danger and power the you have over him almost makes him laugh, especially because if you knew half the things he thought about you, you'd probably kill him.
he's smiling dumbly, thinking about the time you and bill got caught sneaking onto the derry golf course and made richie and stan pick you two up, right as you pad into his room.
"i look like a dumbass, stan!" you groan, lifting your arms as you spin a bit, and he almost dies. he has to shake his head to avoid you seeing his blush because you're standing in front of him, wearing his baseball team practice shirt that has his last name on it and his gym shorts, cinched at the waist to keep them on you and neither things fit you very well but he thinks he's going to lose it because his heart feels so warm.
your hair is wet and making the shirt totally wet where the ends of the strands touch, your skin bright from washing off the eyeblack you'd worn all day. he's so lost in the image of you that you have to repeat yourself.
"stan! stop looking at me, oh my god i want to die." you shove your face into your hands and laugh. he shakes his head rid of his stupor and stands from his bed, laying a hand on your shoulder. "you look incredible right now, y/n. let's go, i'm hungry."
he grabs the hoodie he'd insisted you order for him early last year - with your club team's logo on it and a big, white #2 and your last name on the back. he knows it's too hot to actually wear it, but he's going to take it because you always get cold under his car's a/c.
he's not always the best at approaching you in a way that is comforting, but you beam at him as you follow him out towards his car. you're both walking slowly through the hot nighttime air, half because the air is so thick it feels like you're wading, but half from the exhausting day you'd both had.
every muscle in stan's body aches as he pulls himself into the driver's seat, making sure everything was straight and in place. he doesn't even blush when he turns the key twice before starting the ignition, knowing that you don't mind and even show affection towards his compulsions after all this time. his heart thumps at the thought.
"where to?" you yawn as you ask and he can feel your eyes on him as he's leaning back, backing his car out of the driveway. he flushes once again under your beautiful gaze.
stan then finds himself in the back of his trunk at the quarry, the windows still up because you insisted it'd be too hot with the door open. he'd listened to you because you're you - but if it had been bill, or eddie, or ben, or mike or bev or especially richie he would have groaned and complained about how bad it was for his battery to keep the a/c running.
but it was you, so he did it with a smile on his face and a thump in his heart. you're sitting with your knees touching, stomachs full of fries, burgers, and vanilla milkshakes.
you're still working on your milkshake, spooning it into your mouth slowly as you tell stan a story about your day. "-and she slid under the tag - no, don't look at me like that, she was under it! - and the fucking ump called her out." you grumble, glaring into your milkshake. stan just grins, taking in your natural hair and how it's framing your face, the way your legs gleam in the moonlight and showcase the random bruises you have from taking pitches to the legs.
he forgets to respond and you look up at him, lifting a brow. "oh, yeah, i got a few bruises." you mutter, examining your leg yourself. you perk up, "look at this one! it's got stitch marks!" you say enthusiastically, pulling your bare thigh up so it's across stan's lap, scooting closer to him. he gulps, the proximity of you to him making it hard to focus as you run your fingers over the skin.
"shit." he mutters, hingers falling to touch the purple skin that was blossoming in a faint circle, red and purple stitch marks from the softball etching their way onto your skin. "that must've stung." he adds, eyes glued to your bare leg. you hum in agreement and suddenly your eyes are meeting his and he can't breathe at all.
you're closer than he'd expected as you straighten up, leg falling flat against his lap as you stare deep into each other's eyes. yours are swimming with wonder as you watch him, and he almost jumps when your hand lands on his shoulder. "what're you thinking? you're in your head a lot tonight, stan." you say gently, with all the care in the world and he doesn't really feel the usual twinge of guilt he feels for being more reserved than usual - instead he just feels like he may explode if he doesn't just tell you.
"y/n." he says it so quietly that all he can hear is the first part of your name. "uh-i... uh, maybe it's the heat wave, but..." he shakes his head, knowing that excuse with not work. you're too smart to believe a fib that simple. he sighs.
"no. no, i just- sometimes all that i think about is you." he says, his hand falling to rub over your bare thigh. he feels your muscles tense under his palm and he searches your eyes, his stomach tying itself into knots of anxiety as he waits patiently.
"what-what do you mean?" you ask softly, eyes flickering between his and he bites his lips, looking out to the quarry quickly before looking at you. he thinks about the days you've spent together with the others down at the water, all the drunken nights where you find your way to the clubhouse you'd all built in middle school.
he thinks about how you always, always make it to his games when you're not also playing; how you always sit at the far top right of the bleachers and scream his name loud enough that he can hear you even when he's way out in center field, how you always wear his away uniform jersey and give it back to him with a hug after the games. he thinks about all the hours the two of you have spent together at derry's batting cages, competitively keeping tallies of how many line drives you can each hit.
"stan?" you ask again softly, biting your lip. "i think about you too." you tell him, and he shakes his head, knowing that you aren't totally understanding him (but that's definitely not your fault).
"i think i love you."
he says it louder than intended, and it slices through the midnight air in a way that makes the world stagnant. he swears, even the frogs stop croaking, the cicadas stop buzzing, the wind stops blowing through the leaves in the forest.
"like... like you love me?" you ask, your leg still across his lap, hand still on his shoulder reassuring him that you at least weren't completely disgusted by his admission.
"like i'm in love with you." he reiterates, looking straight into your apprehensive eyes as he says it. it takes barely a split second before you're smiling at him in a grin that knocks the wind right out of stan's chest again.
"what made you decide that?" you ask with a huge, breathtakingly sweet smile as your hands slide to hold his neck. he huffs a laugh, unsure still, "dunno. lots of things - everything about you, really." he mumbles, feeling slightly stupid but still incredibly giddy as you lean closer.
"well i'm in love with you, stan." you say, lips ghosting over his. he grins, the feeling of you so close to him making his fingers tingle as one hand stays on your thigh, the other falling to your hip.
he can't speak, so instead he closes the gap. your lips are warm against him - your whole body is - as you come to life, kissing him like you've been doing it your whole life. you whimper lightly and it makes him sigh with pleasure, tilting his head to deepen the kiss, tasting the vanilla of your milkshake on your tongue.
slowly, you slide onto his lap and his hands move up your back, pulling you impossibly closer to him, his tongue swiping against your plush lips. you're straddling him, cupping his jaw with both hands as you accept his tongue, yours caressing his sweetly and he wonders why you haven't been doing this your whole life.
he pushes against you, pulling you closer to him as you pull back for breath. "i've wanted to do that for so long." you mutter lowly as his lips immediately attach to the soft expanse of your skin, his fingers tickling down your bare thighs. he grins as he feels goosebumps form under his palms, biting down and sucking the soft skin on your throat, eliciting a moan from you.
he pulls back a bit, "me too." he says, lips peppering kisses all the way up to your lips and catching them again, your hand sliding into his har and tugging on the strands.
you slowly grind against him and he groans at the feeling of you around him, the pleasure making his mind fuzzy as all he can think about it you.
and then he’s dying because you’re trailing a hand down to palm him through his pants and all he can do is groan a bit against your chest and look at you because holy shit.
you slide off his lap and down on to your knees in the small space between his legs, watching him with those beautiful doe eyes as you slide down his shorts slowly.
he’s watching, lip caught between his teeth as you pull him free from where he strains against his boxers, licking your lips and pumping his base a few times. he grunts as your hand moves, the feeling making him twitch in pleasure. his cock is dripping precum and you slowly reach your tongue out, swirling around his tip. he lets out a dejected moan and grips your shoulders as you slowly take him into your mouth, wet and warm and perfect.”good girl.” he mutters quietly through his bliss and he notices how you flush under the praise, your tongue flattening as you take him further in.
as you bob your head down and try to take as much of him as you can, you look up through your lashes to watch him, the eye contact making his legs weak.
his lips are parted, watching as you suck him off as his hips twitch, hands playing with your hair through his pleasure. "fuck, y/n..." he moans as you start to bob your head quicker, lifting one of your hands to grab his own. he lets you guide his hand to the back of your head and you gently put pressure on it.
he thinks he might faint as he realizes what you want. slowly, he pushes you further down on his cock and he gasps at the tight feeling of you gagging around him.
he groans, “you like that, hm?” quietly as you whimper around his cock, the vibrations nearing him to his high. “holy shit.” he mutters to himself as he moves your head, the lewd noises of his cock in your mouth and his moans filling up the car.
you take him as far into your mouth as you can and he feels you try to relax as he gently pushes you further down on his cock until he hits the back of your throat. you moan, the vibrations pushing him to the edge as his hips buck up slightly.
you choke and pull off of him, catching your breath as you make eye contact, “being so good for me.” he mutters, his eyes glazed over as he watches you pump him. you smile, cheeks pink from the praise and he almost swoons with how fucking perfect you look.
he lets out a low moan at your warm mouth taking him in, bobbing up and down. his hands push you down onto him again and he holds you there while he gently thrusts up, your hands on his thighs. he tilts his head back, eyes squeezing shut in pure bliss.
its only a few seconds and he barely gets out a, "fuck, y/n, i'm gonna-" before he's spilling into your mouth. to his surprise, you moan around him and slowly lick him up and swallow, looking up at him with a tired smile.
“holy shit.” he says yet again, staring at you as you pull his shorts back up and bite your lip. he pulls you into a kiss and he can taste himself on your lips, making his stomach flip.
"date me." he says quickly as he pulls back, his cheeks flushed from the taste of you on his tongue and the post-orgasmic bliss. you pull back, grinning. "well you don't have to be so polite about it." your voice sounds fucked-out and kind of raw and he’s certainly a dead man.
he chuckles, rolling his eyes at your sarcastic tone. he loves you so fucking much. "fine. y/n, please be my girlfriend. i want to be your boyfriend, i want us to date. please, will you go out with me?" his voice is dead-pan, but he's serious about it, and you can tell by his boyish grin.
you laugh, shaking your head. "god, was that so hard?" you ask, your hands rubbing over his chest, where his muscles tense in soreness. he then realizes you're still straddling him and how fucking sore you must be. he pulls you closer.
and then you pull him in for another kiss, both of your teeth clashing slightly from your grins. you didn't even explicitly say yes, stan wants to say, but instead he mutters, "did i mention i love you?"
you smile, cheeks red. “you might have mentioned it.” you say bashfully. he grins, kissing your cheek sweetly, hand running up your thigh slowly. “can i taste you, babylove?” he mumbles against your skin and he feels you shiver as you let out a quiet moan.
you grin, kissing him on the lips, “why dont we go back to your place...can i stay the night?” you ask, cheeks aflame as you look at him. “i want to take our time.” you add.
it’s the cutest thing he’s ever seen and he nods, grinning at you. “fuck- yes, yes you can. of course.” he says, smiling at you. you kiss him heatedly, grinning as you pull back and lean over to crawl back to the passenger seat. stan slaps your ass lightly as you do and you squeal, grinning back at him with a lifted brow, “c’mon, uris. you’re scoring tonight.”
he rolls his eyes at your cheesy words and groans a bit, but he can’t ignore the butterflies that thrash in his chest nonetheless.
you love him.
tag list: @gabiatthedisco @blisshemmings @stenbrozier @simplesammyx @dickology64 @clownsloveyou @baby-yoda-a @moon-shine-baby @daughter-of-the-stars11 @lets-vibe-bro @trashedfortozier @oceandog13 @finnskindofwoman @kait-tozier @upamongthestarss @fiantomartell @beverlyparkerr @beauregard-s @diorbubs
20 First Lines
I was tagged by @buginateacup! Thank you so much~!
Rules: List the first lines of your last 20 stories (if you have less than 20, just list them all). See if there are any patterns. Choose your favorite opening, then tag 10 of your favorite authors!
I don't have 20 since most of my fandom writing has been RP but I'll post what I've got! Most of these are NSFW though lol, proceed with caution!
1. Sick (2010) - The door creaked as it opened, echoing throughout the halls of the lair.
2. Lock The Door Next Time (2010) - Eyes closed, Megamind leaned back into his chair and breathed a pleased sigh.
3. The Chase (2010) - They had danced this dance before.
4. Out To Lunch (2011) - This plan was perfect.
5. Helping Hand (2011) - "S-sir..."
6. Caught (2011) - Roxanne wasn't around.
7. Just Because! (RP being reformatted; will be on AO3 soonish) (2013) - With the sun rising steadily and thawing out some of the snow from the night before, now is the perfect time to try out something fresh… and it certainly has been a while!
8. Wish It Were Me (2013) - Megamind was unsure why he had even saved that link in his bookmarks, but now that he had found it again, he couldn’t help but click on it.
9. Untitled Jail Fic (will be on AO3 soonish) (2014?) - "Oh Miss Ritchie, you really think after all these years I would tell you something like that?" Megamind purred from behind the glass, looking out at the stressed reporter who was currently gritting her teeth in annoyance.
10. The Spikes Stay On (2021) - She yelped in surprise when he put his hand over her mouth and grabbed her, roughly, to pull her into a secluded section of the lair, backing them against the hard brick wall with her back pressed to his front.
11. And Tell Me That You Love Me (2021) - "So, about that list we made…about the things we wanted to try," Roxanne purrs down at him.
12. Getting Laid (2021) - There was nobody else like them on the entire planet.
13. I Can't Believe This (2021 - Ongoing) - As soon as they drove off, it felt like they could both finally breathe for the first time that day.
14. Untitled Smutfic (2021 WIP) - “So, I was wondering something…” Roxanne started, leaning against Megamind’s side at the edge of his underground pool, their legs hanging off the tiled side.
15. Untitled Minion Backstory (2021 WIP - Might not finish because this one is firmly kicking my ass) - Minion used to be a tiny little fish.
So. I'm shit at titles. I'm shit at first lines. I'm shit at having to build backstory. Is what I'm learning here, lmao.
But no uh, best first line imo is from 12, "Getting Laid", as it kinda sums up the entire reason for the scenario in that fic happening. I guess. Listen I don't know how to analyze smut, please do not take any smut I write seriously omg its usually just me being an unfiltered nasty bastard.
I also just like 9, "Untitled Jail Fic". I'm a sucker for Megamind in his villain days. (This is honestly just a section pulled from an old chapter fic I started maybe in 2014, that I'm SO GLAD I didn't start posting because my life got way too out of hand to both write that and try to RP at the same time. I also don't think it would have been very good. I'm glad I waited.)
Okay the real takeaway here is I don't write things to be serious, I write things to throw them into the horny void-- and if I think too hard about any of it I'll panic and not finish/post things (15 being a great example of me caring too much to get something right and panicking myself into a corner).
My chapter fic (13) is actually my first for any fandom ever? And I've been learning a lot in like... speedrunner mode here, so it's clumsy and paced weird and I get nervous about things nobody is noticing. Again. I gotta not be too serious or I panic. So I just try not to allow myself to panic.
Personally, titles and first lines don't draw me into fic. I look for 1) how much the characters are in-character right away, or 2) if there's smut. :x No shade to anyone who does neither of these, you should have fun! What I'm getting at is first lines aren't important to everyone, I guess.
I think most people I know of here got tagged already? So if you haven't been tagged yet consider yourself tagged!
Comfort in the Pain: Chapter 8, Epilogue
Fandom: Sanders Sides
Read on AO3
Masterpost of current chapters
Summary: Virgil has chronic pain and he knows this whole roommate thing is going to be a disaster. The others are so accomplished and he will only get in the way. But despite his best efforts, he finds himself caring about these dorks and even willing to tell them his secret. He just hopes they will not kick him out after learning how broken he is. (Don’t worry they love him and would never reject him)
Chapter 8 of 8: Epilogue
A/N: I finished the first draft of my novel! Decided to finish this too and ignore my finals lol. I hope everyone is staying safe and warm out there
It’s been a year now since they all started dating. Virgil is working at his slow pace through his bachelor’s degree. The others decided to stick around after graduation either for graduate programs or for work.
Logan is getting his PhD and Patton got work in the city. Roman got a book deal and is working full time on getting a sequel written.
It’s Tuesday morning. Roman yawns loudly while stretching his arms out with more drama than Virgil knew was possible. He loves how Roman never ceases to surprise him. Roman has sleep tousled hair and manages to make it stick up at odd angles when he runs a hand through it.
“What?” Roman frowns, looking at Virgil who is hiding laughter behind his hand.
Virgil reaches across the island and smoothes down the locks. “Just admiring your beauty of course.”
Patton shuffles out of his room, his slippers loud against the tile. He blinks sleepily as he scans the room. He shuffles his way to Virgil, giving the other plenty of time to set down his breakfast before being wrapped in a big hug. They stand like that for a long while, eyes closed and breathing slow into the embrace. Patton gets heavier and Virgil clings a little tighter for fear of the other falling to the floor. Eventually Logan comes over and presses a creamed and sweetened coffee into Patton’s hand. The beverage is in one of Patton’s many pun mugs. He tries to drink the coffee while continuing to cling to Virgil, but finally relents to only giving a side hug while he consumes the hot beverage. Virgil picks his now-cold oatmeal back up.
Logan walks over to sit stiffly at the island. They make light conversation. Roman laughs loud and full while Patton giggles at his own pun. Virgil's heart blossoms at the sight. He can’t help but stop and give each a peck on the cheek. I love them so much, I cannot believe that I get to see them every day.
A little later Patton makes a fuss about saying goodbye multiple times and Logan tugs him towards the door, exasperatedly reminding him they will be back in a few hours. Logan drives them both into the city.
Virgil goes into his bedroom and sits on his bed to scroll on tumblr, the familiar weight of his noise cancelling headphones settled over his ears. Eventually he finds his eye drawn to an engineering pad and a graphing calculator sitting expectantly on his desk. He sighs and runs a hand over his face.
I really should be doing homework. But I’m just too tired. He adjusts himself onto his back and lays his phone onto his belly. Music streams through his headphones as he just lies there and thinks. You deserve to rest. Resting is productive too, he reminds himself. He remembers what Patton tells him too, being unproductive doesn’t make you unworthy.
So he shoves down his anxieties and lets himself breathe. He watches low spoon videos while his body recuperates his energy for a bit. A little later he comes out of his room to get lunch. Roman is in the big chair and completely engrossed in a paperback book, not even looking up when Virgil enters the room.
Virgil’s lips quirk. He is feeling bold. He flops across Roman’s lap and the other gasps and fumbles to keep from dropping his book. Virgil looks up at him with a shit-eating grin and adjusts himself against the cushy chair arm. Roman kisses him on the corner of his mouth then rearranges into a more comfortable position to continue reading with his new chairmate. Virgil relaxes into his side and pulls out his phone to scroll.
That bold feeling is a more familiar feeling now. His self doubt and anxiety have been soothed by gentle reassurance. He is several months into a new SSRI, and he dares to be hopeful that it is actually working this time. His anxiety feels more under wraps than usual via breathing techniques and quieting the what ifs in his head.
A romantic or queerplatonic partner is not supposed to fix you, he knows, but just having a healthy relationship with kind words makes it easier for himself to put the work in.
It is dark by the time there is a commotion from the front door. “We’re home!!”
“Greetings.” Logan nods.
Roman has started chicken tortilla soup which makes the entire house smell cozy and warm. Patton almost falls over in his hurry to slip out of his boots before bounding into the kitchen.
Virgil’s pencil scratches on paper as he sits on the couch, the engineering notepad against his knees.
573*11^22. He thinks as he goes to plug it into his calculator. He hits the on button. What were those numbers? He looks back. Okay 573. 573. Even those three numbers slip from his mind by the time he turns his head to type them into his calculator.
“I used to be so smart,” he laments out loud, meaning it to be a statement of fact but sadness tugs at the edges of his voice. He sets the calculator aside and looks up to meet the concerned expression on Patton’s face. That should be enough to shut him up but these thoughts that have been building in him for so long begin spilling bitterly from him. “Math used to come to me like second nature. I was that kid who never had to study. Fuck, it’s all gone now though. I used to row, I used to read, I used to be able to learn random topics. I’m too tired now.”
He locks a hand in his hair desperately. These words have been bouncing around his skull for years. The edges are less sharp than they used to be but they have left so many wounds inside him that it hurts anew just voicing this out loud.
A hand slips over his, and he lets it loosen his grip. Their joined hands drop and he can see Patton’s face again.
Patton is looking deep into his eyes. “You are still you. And who you are is incredible.” He breathes that word as if he is in awe. “You are still smart even if you have brain fog most of the time. Your worth cannot be tracked by grades.”
He nods and something must change in his face because Patton smiles. Patton leans forward to kiss him then stands.
“Want to help me make cookies? I’m in the baking mood.”
I don't know how much good time I have left, but it is better than I could ever have imagined, being in this loving house with the best people I have ever known. And although he cannot fathom it, there is the possibility that his condition might not deteriorate. It could even improve.
These intense thoughts drift away in the mindless process of following a recipe and laughing with Patton. The kitchen is warm from the oven and the setting sun coming in gold through the windows.
Virgil is concentrating on smoothing out the frosting with a knife when something cold touches his nose. He blinks in surprise and turns to see Patton licking blue frosting off of his own finger. Virgil crosses his eyes and finds the same blue on the tip of his nose.
“Why?” He complains.
Patton giggles then in a swift motion leans forward and kisses the frosting off. He pecks Virgil on the lips when he sees his stunned expression, then goes back to cookie decorating as if nothing ever happened. He starts humming as he picks up the ziplock bag of red frosting and drapes a sash across the next cookie. Happiness bubbles in Virgil’s chest and he cannot help the secret smile on his lips as he turns back to finishing the decorations on his own cookie.
Everyone loves the cookies. Patton’s decorations are messy but endearing. The ones Patton made for the four of them are the greatest hit: a deep blue tie, a red sash, a purple and black checkered pattern, and an egg blue cardigan with its sleeves tied around the final cookie. There’s a sniffle on the other side of Patton.
“Princey, are you tearing up?”
“It’s just- they’re so beautiful, how am I supposed to eat this?” He cradles his red accented cookie in his hands. “I want to keep it forever! This masterpiece deserves to be framed!”
“That’s how you get ants.”
He finally gives in after demanding they all set theirs down for an instagram photoshoot and taking an excessive number of photos, which only ends when Virgil snatches his back and takes a bite. They are good, Virgil having caught the cookies before they burnt, and just the fact that they were made with love makes them taste better.
It is a bad day. Like, really bad. Virgil has been able to lie down and save up spoons for a bit but as soon as he gets restless and goes to do something, he depletes them all over again. But he has kept this to himself. He doesn’t see how telling them he is suffering would help. All he thinks about is how they would be sad or pity him or even be angry. He is not in the mindset to deal with that right now.
He smiles as he watches them slowly make their way towards the door. Logan is adjusting Roman’s burgundy scarf, tucking it more tightly beneath his jacket. Patton is tugging on his mittens. The cat ears of the hat are matched by the paws of his mittens. The three of them are adorable and Virgil would happily lean here and watch them all day. His smile is weakened though by the pain and fatigue coursing through him. I really shouldn’t be standing right now.
Roman turns and his gaze lingers on Virgil. “You sure?” He asks.
“Yeah. Have fun.” It is taking too much energy to keep himself upright at the moment and a part of him wants them to leave quickly so he can break unseen.
But that hopeful part of him cries out when they do leave. They go off to their date night without him. His face crumples and he takes a shaky breath. The door latch clicks hollowly through the now empty apartment.
Virgil's hand grasps the door jamb and he stumbles his way into the kitchen. One thing that usually gives him a little energy boost is eating. His mind is swimming and unclear. He mumbles to himself “what am I doing” more than once as he tries to keep everything straight. Blinking dazedly at the bright light from the refrigerator that he doesn’t even remember opening. Thoughts tangle in his mind and he slams the refrigerator shut with frustration.
“Ow,” he breathes brokenly. With shaking hands he pulls down a box of crackers and grits his way through the difficult task of commanding his hands to open the packaging and his jaw to chew. He sinks to sit on the tiled kitchen floor. Even chewing is painful and takes too much energy.
His eyes scrunch shut and he groans miserably. He grits his teeth against the rising feeling of helplessness. A strangled sound escapes him. His breath hiccups and it does not take long before Virgil is sobbing openly while sitting on the kitchen floor. All the lights are on and it’s too bright and the downstairs neighbors are yelling and god, I’m a fucking mess. He gasps between the waves that wrack through his body and steal the air from his lungs. I’m so pathetic. Just fucking stand up! You’ll need to be upright by the time they get back.
He rolls onto his knees, wrapping a shaking hand over the countertop. The room spins and his feet hurt and he just falls to his knees. “Fuck!” He says, loudly because no one is home to hear.
“Virgil?” Roman’s voice comes from the stairs.
… or so he thought. “Shit!” He hisses under his breath. His head shoots up and the room seems to careen sideways. He scrunches his eyes closed. “I thought- you’d gone to dinner.”
“I didn’t want you to be alone on a bad night, so I got takeout for the two of us.”
“I ruined y-your date night.” He speaks deliberately around his clumsy tongue, slow enough that Roman definitely notices. The other kindly waits for him to speak though. “Fuck I’m sorry. Please don’t worry about me. I love you, I don’t want to drag you down and-” He cuts off when a hand grasps around his knee. He gasps for air and the room is still spinning and everything tingles but amid it all, Roman’s face is angelic, even scrunched up with worry.
“You’re not a burden, remember?”
Virgil nods. It is a hard thing to change how he thinks, but with every reminder it gets a little easier. “How’d you know?”
“You had that overthinking look about you. So I didn’t listen to you about being fine alone. Sue me.”
Virgil laughs wetly and fumbles for Roman’s hand, the other easily linking their fingers together when he is unable to. His head tips back against the cabinets as he sinks back to the floor. There is no longer the pretense of wellness to uphold. Roman starts rubbing circles into the back of his hand and his sensitized nervous system makes it feel like the motion is tearing at his skin.
“N-no.” He manages to get out.
The motion stops. “Sorry. Is holding your hand okay?”
Virgil nods, squeezing Roman’s hand a little as if trying to keep him from pulling away.
The hard cabinets at Virgil’s back and tile beneath him hurt more with every passing second, but he still doesn’t want to have to move. When he starts bouncing his leg and gritting his teeth against the pain, Roman extracts his hand. He makes a sad sound but sighs as arms slip around his back and beneath his legs. His eyes crack open when he is lifted and he snuggles closer to Roman’s chest as the other carries him through the apartment. He settles them onto Roman’s soft bed and crawls in beside him. The bed is so plush that Virgil gets lost in the softness. The comforter is fluffed to the max, so Roman has to smooth it down so he can see Virgil’s face.
Virgil’s eyes close and were it anyone else, Roman would assume that he fell asleep. But sleep does not come easily to him, especially on bad pain days which he suspects includes today. It is instead Virgil attempting to recharge. So completely exhausted that he probably wouldn’t be able to listen to music right now. Roman cannot imagine feeling that way. At first he had not believed how bad these symptoms were, but with each little bit Virgil let them in and let them see him not doing well, it has taught Roman how different things can be. Each time has worked to reshape his world view.
He sees the difference now between Virgil’s rest and sleep. He hears how quiet the other’s breathing is, even when so fatigued his anxiety causing him to make his breathing make no noise. He sees how Virgil’s brow is furrowed, his lips closed, his body tense.
He pulls Virgil more tightly against his chest, wishing desperately to protect him from all harm. If only this were a monster to slay and not Virgil’s body misfiring. He feels so useless lying here.
His mind pivots as he thinks of what Patton and Logan would do. They would say to focus on what is instead of what he wishes could be. They would say for him to focus on Virgil and make him as comfortable as possible and simply be there for him.
“Stormcloud?” Roman asks quietly. He is answered by a slow ‘hmm?’ “Do you want to eat? I brought food back for us.”
Virgil’s eyes crack open and he shakily props himself up with one arm. Roman fluffs some pillows behind his back before going to get the food from where he left it in the hallway.
They eat their meals, Roman tangling their legs together and Virgil humming happily. His eyes seem a little brighter after getting something in his belly, his movements a little less slow and effortful.
Roman can tell that Virgil is overthinking something when he stills and gets a thousand yard stare. It is strange to see him still, the anxious man usually having one hand fidgeting or leg bouncing at all times. He turns towards Virgil and waits. After a few minutes he dares to nudge him gently. “Whatchu thinkin about?”
He sighs and his eyes cast downward. “It’s my fault. I pushed myself too hard yesterday and now I’m facing the consequences.”
“You’re not to blame. You just try to do a little better tomorrow. This is not all on you. Your body just doesn’t work right. And you don’t have to carry this all alone.”
“Still…” He is chewing his lip and fussing with the hem of his hoodie.
They put on a low spoon disney movie to fill the time. Virgil snuggles underneath Roman’s arm, so close he can feel the other’s rib cage expanding against his own, and faintly the beating of his heart at the end of each breath.
“Hellooo!” Patton’s voice calls out. The front door slams shut. Virgil scrunches his eyes closed against the noise.
Patton bounds into Roman’s bedroom. “How’s our shadowling doing?”
Roman holds out his hand and lowers it to tell Patton to mind his volume. They have made this motion specifically for situations like these. Virgil cringes, not wanting Patton’s excitement to be muffled or for his sake to feel self conscious.
“Oh! Sorry.” He whispers. Patton gives him an apologetic smile. His cheeks and nose are red from the cold air. He looks around and that smile turns devious. He crawls into bed behind Roman, sliding his hands beneath the hem of Roman’s shirt. The other yelps and stiffens, reaching around to pull the offending limbs away from him.
“Leave me be, you- you ice witch!”
Patton giggles. He reaches his hand out towards Virgil, trying to take another victim. “I wanna hold your haaand. I wanna hold your hand.” He sings.
“The Beatles? Really?” Patton just shrugs. Virgil takes Patton’s cold fingers between his two palms and slowly rubs warmth back into them. When he completes his self assigned task, he hums and snuggles closer into Roman, looping his fingers with Patton’s.
Patton tries to slowly remove his hand but it is just gripped tighter. He giggles. “Kiddo, I’m gonna need my hand back. I’m still wearing my winter jacket.”
Virgil shakes his head. “No. I demand cuddles.”
“How about this. I’ll go hang up my things, change, then come right back. That sound okay?”
Virgil hums an affirmative and lets Patton extract himself.
Logan is finishing tidying up the apartment. He has put away the crackers from the floor and closed the ajar cabinets. He is rolling up Virgil’s heat pack and sliding it into the top drawer in Virgil’s dresser by the time Patton rounds the corner to inform him that they are having a cuddle night if Logan wants to join.
Meanwhile, Roman nudges Virgil, who groans. “You might want to brush your teeth and get changed, my love.”
“Nooo, your bed is comfy and I just want to sleep.”
Roman laughs. “You’ll sleep better if you actually get ready for bed.”
“Dammit I hate that you’re right.”
“Always am.” He smirks.
Virgil rolls to the edge of the mattress. He runs one hand along the wall as he walks but his feet seem steady and the room stays upright. He quickly changes into pajamas and does his hygiene, lastly using a makeup wipe to clear the foundation and eyeshadow from his face. He cringes at the bags under his eyes and turns away quickly.
Roman pulls back the sheets and Virgil slides in. When he gets settled, he meets Roman’s gaze and blinks slowly. Roman leans in and places kisses across his face, punctuated by a lingering press of lips on the top of his head.
Patton comes in and slots against Roman’s back. Logan slides in on Virgil’s other side, putting a secure arm around his waist. They murmur a round of ‘good night’s.
Virgil’s breathing grows heavy, his body slumping fully into the mattress and lips parting. Roman kisses his relaxed brow, whispering “sweet dreams my love.” Virgil is not a graceful sleeper, but Roman wouldn’t have it any other way. He enjoys seeing the other with his guard down for once.
Virgil moves a lot in his sleep, his body seeking out a position in which he is in less pain. He switches between draping one leg over Roman and rolling over to drape over Logan. That is how Roman finds him mostly on top of Logan in the early morning light. The only proof Logan is there at all is his head poking out above where Virgil is snuggled into his neck.
Patton’s arms tighten around Roman a little in his sleep with a deep breath. Roman gives in and drifts off again.
The good days happen more often, although it takes Virgil a while to admit it out loud. It has happened before where he felt better and got excited but later found out it was just a fluke. They work to help each other, Logan admitting his emotions, Patton getting past his toxic positivity, Roman feeling less insecure, and Virgil being more open with the others. They all have their own struggles as all people do. Together they open up healthy communication and try to cushion the blows as they come.
There’s pain in the background still but Virgil is able to ignore it most of the time. And he tries to listen to his body when the symptoms become too much. He lies down or applies tiger balm.
Right now he smells strongly of eucalyptus and hopes the others will not notice. It is only Logan in the living room, sitting on the opposite side of the couch. Virgil zips his hoodie all the way up to mask the smell. Of course that does not work though.
Logan looks up from his computer and inclines his head. “How are you faring?”
Virgil tenses. His instinct is to give a quick ‘I’m okay, how are you?’ But he actually cares about the answer. He won’t be mad at me for not being alright. He takes a deep breath which tugs a little at his ribs. “Um, not great to be honest. The pain is pretty bad.”
“I am remorseful to hear that. Would you like for me to problem solve, to listen, or to distract you?”
He furrows his brow. “Would it be okay for me to vent a little?”
“Of course. That is why I offered.”
And he does. He talks about how the pain is making sitting hurt more every day. How it gets in the way of sleeping at night and he is hesitant to share a bed with any of them for fear of keeping them up.
Logan nods and listens and Virgil can tell that he is not just waiting for his turn to talk. That means a lot. After he is done talking and ends up snuggling into Logan’s side, Logan says he would not mind waking up if it was to be there for Virgil. He reassures the other of fears that he did not even voice out loud about him not being a burden and them not leaving him even if he gets worse or this is his new normal.
Virgil tilts his head up. “Walk?”
“Gladly. Just let me put on my shoes and jacket.”
The yards of the neighboring houses are piled with snow which has wilted from its pristine white fluffiness from last week into a dense, off color thing. Virgil is dreading the next time the sidewalks get icy. The way his body has to hold itself stiff always makes his hips tighten. The cold gets to his joints but the fresh air and sights are welcome.
“And the pregabalin is helping?” Logan asks.
“Yeah. I don’t want to jinx it but I am feeling less fatigue during the day.”
“That is great news. I am glad you did not give up.”
Virgil smiles wryly, thinking about how no treatments ever seemed to work. He thinks about the times he couldn’t cope or thought no one would ever be able to deal with being around someone who is incurable. Even if this improvement is temporary, he has the support system now to help him get back on his feet. “I’m glad too.”
He is leaning sideways on the couch when there is the sound of keys in the lock. Roman coming back from his publishing meeting.
“Virgil! You’ve got mail!” Roman calls from the base of the stairs.
Virgil is up and across the room in a flash. He grabs onto the wall as his vision spots for a moment. He barely notices as he watches a long cardboard box being brought up the stairs. He crouches beside the coffee table and takes his key to the packing tape as he is unwilling to leave the room, even to get scissors.
He unwraps the forearm crutches with a single-minded focus, being gentle with the purple metal. It takes a little adjusting but he gets them to the right height and slips his arms into the cuffs. He stands there and feels the weight of them in his hands. He pushes down and feels how secure they are, feels the way his weight transfers onto them.
There is movement out of the corner of his eye and he looks up. Roman is still standing there, Logan is on the couch and Patton must have come in during all of this. They are watching him.
“Virgil? How’re you feeling?” Patton asks with a hesitant smile.
His hands flex around the soft purple rubber of the hand grips. “I love them.” He breathes. He looks up and a smile cracks across his face. “I’ll be able to go to more places with less pain.”
Patton squeals and wraps his arms around Virgil’s middle.
“This is cause for celebration!” Roman announces.
They order takeout from Virgil’s favorite Thai place. He hums as he bites into an egg roll with a crunch, then happily piles Pad Thai onto his plate until he can eat no more.
Roman sets up his speaker in the center of the kitchen. He selects one of his playlists and an upbeat song comes on. He holds out his hand and bows slightly to Patton, who eagerly takes his hand. They spin about. Patton giggles and reaches out to pull Logan in.
Logan complains that he does not “do dancing” but he is no match for Patton’s puppy dog eyes. He falls into a box step which somehow works with everything going on.
Virgil has been so distracted watching Logan that he does not notice Roman dancing his way until there is a hand extended his way.
“May I have this dance? Only if you feel up to it.”
Virgil does a quick body inventory then takes Roman’s hand. He has no instinct for this, but Roman is patient in leading him and does not mind when he makes mistakes. Virgil is passed between the three of them, everyone switching partners. The rigid steps that Logan is making are difficult for Virgil to follow.
He cringes as he steps on Logan’s foot again, grateful he is in socks. “Sorry.”
“It is no bother.”
“Switch!” Patton calls as he swoops in and steals Virgil away.
His brain is not following the dancing very well anymore, but he is not ready to call it quits or to leave someone partnerless. Patton mercifully switches them into a slow dance. They start with one hand on the other’s shoulder and one on the other’s hip or waist. But they quickly relax and reel each other in. Virgil rests his cheek against the tops of Patton’s head. His hair smells like honey and vanilla.
Virgil feels tears prick at his eyes. He is grateful that Patton cannot see him, but his voice betrays his mistiness. “I am so lucky to have you guys. I love you so much.”
Patton tilts his head. “And we’re lucky to have you, love. We won’t let you forget that.”
Tag List: @thetruthaboutthesun
A/N: Thank you to serotoninDeficient on AO3 for reminding me that mobility aids exist. I’ve been wanting forearm crutches for a while now for myself.
Remember kids: It is okay to take a different path. Self care isn’t selfish. Your mistakes don’t define you. You are deserving of love and rest and help. Please communicate your needs to people around you. Things will get easier. Even if you have a lifelong condition, you can have a better life. Virgil is learning these things and I hope you can too.
I am in absolute awe over how many people relate to this story. It feels very personal to me with my intersecting identities, and I am glad I am not the only one. Thank you for all the kind words and even if I do not respond right away, I do see the comments. I wish you all lots of love and spoons <3
Hey y’all it’s ya boi!!
Here’s my first ever Paterson/Reader fic! dedicated to the sweet @carloswilliamcarlos
hope you like!! R:T, W:3.2k, Paterson cooks for you!
(an AU in which he’s single lol)
You stand outside, waiting patiently as you’re perched on the small staircase in front of Paterson’s house, bunched up under the warm light and shivering to pieces in the chilly night air, the threat of winter on the way.
You’ve only been seeing him for three months now, but those months have been some of the most enjoyable times of your life.
He’s so sweet and funny, and affectionate. You’ve never been with someone who would just hold your hand for hours, simply for the sake of touch, reveling in the softness of your skin, the different crevices in your palm. Even in the simplest of touches, he caresses you. Soft and smooth, like you’re a delicate work of art.
Now you’re aching for more, more of his hands, his lips, just more of him.
Paterson though, ever the gentleman, was rather timid about initiating contact at first.
He’d always make sure to ask you before taking your hand, or putting his arm around you. It was endearing, really, but you found yourself being the one to start most physical activities.
So you were incredibly surprised when he called you a few days before, asking you about coming over for a stay-at-home dinner date.
Him calling you alone was shocking. You didn’t even know he owned a phone.
You walked through your home, mindlessly fiddling with yourself with your phone wedged between your neck and the crook of your shoulder, “Wow, Paterson, you’re calling me?”
He snickered into the phone, “Well, I do have a landline. Y’know, just in case of an emergency.”
“Is this an emergency?”
He laughed, before clearing his throat, “N-no. actually, I was hoping maybe we could spend an evening at my house, I could cook you some dinner.”
“Really? Wow, I didn’t know you cooked.”
He chuckled, leaning against the wall in his kitchen and tangling his finger in the coiled phone cord, “Nothing super complicated, but I’d like to think I know my way around the kitchen. We’ve been going out and it’s nice, but-I guess this time, I’d like to cook for you. It just feels more...real a-and personal. How about Saturday? Would that work?”
You grinned into your phone, “That sounds wonderful Paterson, I’d love to.”
You spent the entire day tearing through your closet, obsessing over just what to wear to his house. It had been the first time he ever suggested something so outside of the box like this, so intimate, and the thought of all the different opportunities you’ll have with him made your heart flutter. The mere idea of being alone with Paterson, in his space, with his rules.
It makes you shiver with excitement.
The click of his front door whips you back into reality. You snap your head forward, frantically adjusting your hair and wiping off anything on your outfit.
It swings open and you smile, bright and cheery.
“Hi there.” He gives you a big toothy grin, before a gust of cold air blows through and he shivers.
“C’mon in. It’s freezing,” he reaches out and pulls you inside.
You gladly take his hand and step through the door, sighing in relief as the warm home heats you up from the biting cold.
“You can set your purse right there on the table. I can give you a tour if you’d like,” he suggests, leading you through the house hand squeezing yours.
“Yes, please,” you beam sweetly
You take in the sights, immediately awed by the space surrounding you.
You look around, absorbing all the different colors and designs interwoven throughout the house. Cream walls with a baby blue accent color as the center, different pieces of unique artwork hung all over, soft green carpet and books riddled on the coffee table and arm rest of the couch.
The couch itself, donning a combination of homemade tiger stripes and diamonds. Sharp in some areas, yet messy in others.
It should clash, all the different patterns and colors, but it doesn’t. It feels unique, homey and comfortable.
And the smell, absolutely delicious, mouth-watering the moment it hit your nose, no doubt coming from the kitchen.
You gaze back at Paterson, “You have a lovely home. Very fitting, and it smells amazing.”
“Oh yeah, that's the casserole. It's in the oven right now, but it’s almost done. It’s chicken, broccoli and rice with cheese. I hope you’re okay with that,”
“Oooh sounds yummy. Of course I'm okay with that.”
He guides you through to the kitchen, surprising you with bright yellows walls combined with white and black accents along the cabinets. A light tile counter separating the kitchen from the dining table.
Paterson hops past you, picking up a thin rectangular object on the counter,“I was thinking maybe after we eat, we could also watch a movie or something...”
“Ooooh, a movie too? Paterson you are just full of surprises.”
He shrugs, “Well y’know, it's a saturday. I figured, why not spice it up a little bit? And y-you mentioned that movie last time we saw each other, the uh flowers one-”
“-Broken Flowers?” You gasp excitedly.
“-Yeah! and... well, you said it was your favorite movie and I've never seen it so maybe we could watch it together?” He asks, hesitant, “I know you've probably seen it a lot, but I- “
“Oh- that would be wonderful!”
He perks up, “Yeah?”
“Of course! I can watch that movie a million times, but uh-,” you look around the living room, “Do you have a TV?”
He winces, “Actually, I only have my old laptop, it still works though! I hope that’s alright.”
That's okay, I don't mind,” you smile, drifting closer to him and playing with the buttons on his shirt, “I guess we’ll just have to sit really close then.”
He stares down at where you're touching him, heart immediately jumping out of his chest at the mere pressure of your hand against his abdomen. Just dusting oh so slightly against his blue button up was enough to set his nerves on fire.
Paterson stares, marveling at just how small and delicate your hand looks against him, taking in each detail, each vein and pore finely laid out under your heavenly skin. He takes his hand, and slides it up and over yours, gently cradling your palm within his own. The softness of your hands feeling absolutely divine, exquisite little fingers dancing against his palm playfully.
You giggle softly, looking up into his eyes. His dark gaze is already on you, smile sweet and playful, but there’s something else there, hidden.
You slowly nudge your head up, closer to him just enough for him to catch on, brushing his nose against yours as he backs you up against the counter, wrapping his arms around your waist and gently pulling you in.
The ding of his kitchen timer goes off and you both blink back to reality.
“I’m sorry, I gotta just-” he excuses himself away and walks over, turning off the timer and opening the oven, taking a whiff.
“Mmm, perfect timing,” he says, “It looks like it’s ready.”
You perk up, “Do you need help setting the table or anything?”
“No, no it's okay, I took care of it. Can you just grab the waters?” He holds the hot tray with his oven mitts, walking around the counter to the dinner table, a small brown circular set-up, pristinely prepared for two. You trail behind him with the drinks as he sets the casserole on the metal trivet in the center, between the two plates.
You stare at the casserole hungrily, stomach growling,“Paterson, this looks absolutely delicious oh my-”
The dish is packed full, chunks of chicken and broccoli peeking through, piled high with gooey cheesy goodness. Savory crispy edges all along the entire dish with rice at the bottom, soaking in all the delicious juices.
Hot and steamy, nearly making you drool onto the table.
He looks up, grinning, “Thank you, it wasn't super complicated, I just dumped it in all the tray and then put it in the oven. Doesn’t have as much of a flair as I’d like.”
He comes around the counter, taking your hand and leading you to your seat, pulling out the chair thoughtfully and scooting it back once you settle in.
“I can cut you a piece,” he offers.
He picks up your plate and a spatula, cutting a square piece of the casserole with the tip and carefully setting it on the plate, picking up and leftover bits and walking over, placing it back in front of you.
You smile at him gratefully, “Thank you so much for this, Paterson.”
He just nods, giving you a small bashful smile, “Of course, honey.”
Paterson turns and goes back to his spot at the table, sitting down and cutting himself a piece of his own; completely unaware of your own reaction. Your face flooding with heat, burning bright red in embarrassment as you gnaw on your bottom lip.
He sits down, setting his napkin in his lap as you hide your face in your hands, stifling a nervous giggle.
“Are you alright?” you hear his voice, deep and silky yet edged with worry.
You lift your head out of your hands, fighting a silly grin, “Yeah- sorry it’s just, nobody’s ever called me ‘honey’ before.”
Paterson’s face falls, “Oh, I’m sorry I won't-”
“No no no, I like it a lot. I do,” you quickly reassure him, reaching out and caressing his forearm.
He looks down at your touch, settling back into his seat with a content smile. Loving the way your thumb gently rubs the soft skin on the inside of his arm, so soothing and heavenly.
You pull back eventually, taking your fork and cutting into your food with its edge, steam trailing up and tickling your nose. You gather a bunch on your fork and take a big bite.
“Wow, Paterson. This is so good. You're such a wonderful cook,” you look at him with wide eyes, impressed.
He mumbles a small “Thank you,” in between his own bites.
You dig in and he watches you happily, pleased that you enjoy his cooking so much. He digs in, savouring the comfortable silence as you both eat.
Just him and you, at the dinner table, having a meal together after work.
It feels so intimate, so domestic and sweet.
He was afraid that inviting you over would be pushing your relationship too fast and make you feel awkward, but you’ve been so open and kind, he loves feeling your presence in his space, it's comforting and warm.
He’s spent a long time alone, so he’s made due with what little things he’s had in the cabinet at times. He’s learned how to live on his own and he’s done pretty well for himself, but he just can't help feeling so lonely sometimes.
You both talk and joke between bites, giggling and telling sweet stories.
You nearly choke on your bite, looking at him wide-eyed, “Wait, you write poetry?”
He waves it off with his fork, shaking his head, “It's not much, but it’s a hobby”
“I don't believe that for a second, I bet it’s wonderful. What kind of poetry do you write?”
“Oh y’know,” he shrugs nonchalantly, “Just whatever inspires me. The sky, people on the bus, anything really.”
“Wow,” you sigh dreamily, “That sounds so delightful, I’d love to see it if you’re ever willing to show me.”
He chews his bite slowly with a playful grin, “Maybe.”
You tried offering him help to put away any dishes, but Paterson just smiled and shook his head, giving you the task of setting up his computer for the movie. You found it hiding on a shelf, pulled it out, dusted off the old dinosaur and started it up relatively easy, but you had to wipe down the disc a few times before the computer was able to read it.
“Okay, it’s ready!”
Paterson strolls out of the kitchen, wiping his hands with a towel before setting it on the counter and walking over to you, plopping himself on the couch.
You mess with the screen, tilting it back and forth until you can see it the best, typing on the keys and staring intently at the laptop.
He chuckles at you, “Wow you work that thing better than me. Then again, I don’t think that's saying much.”
You snort, pulling up the movie on the screen.
“Okay! Turn off the lights, it's movie time!” you announce excitedly. Paterson gets up and flicks off the lights before settling back down in the darkness, sitting next to you with his hand resting on your thigh.
He swears, he tried to watch the movie.
It started off interesting. He liked the plot, that’s why he agreed to watch it with you in the first place, but then as the movie went on, he found himself drifting in and out, his head turning slightly and focusing on you, just to see your reactions to the movie. That’s what he tells himself.
Paterson stares at you, trying his best to be subtle, but he knows he’s probably failing, he just can't help himself. Not when you're smiling and giggling with delight, like an adorable angel.
Something about the glow of the screen, the cool light radiating against your face through the harsh darkness, it pulled him in.
Your eyes shine against the bright images on the small screen, the glow highlighting your wonderful cheekbones, the adorable tip of your nose, your beautifully luscious lips.
He licks his own, swallowing hard.
You stay still, absolutely frozen on the couch as his eyes stay fixated on you. You keep your own eyes trained on the screen, afraid to break contact. His hand on your leg flexes, squeezing your flesh in his hand.
You gulp, nervously smiling over at him, “Are you enjoying the movie, Paterson?”
The deep raging hunger in his dark eyes was all you remember seeing before he was on you.
He slides his hand up behind your neck, cupping your skull and pulling you in. Hungry mouth devouring your own, prying open your lips and shoving his tongue inside, licking into your mouth desperately. You grip onto his shirt, wrapping your other arm around his shoulders, moaning against his lips.
He pulls back, panting against your lips, “Do you want to do this? A-are you sure?”
You just yank him back in, kissing hard, nipping on his plush bottom lip.
You lie back on the couch, spreading your legs and pulling him on top of you. He crawls over you, setting himself on top of you gently, making sure he doesn't crush you before resuming his greedy kisses.
The cool light dies out with a small ending title on screen, but neither of you notice, far too occupied with each other at the moment. His hands touch and grope whatever they can find, your breasts, your hips, anything.
The lewd sound of lips smacking and moaning fills the dark room, pure blackness hiding the most sinful acts. But he can't stop, not when you're just as greedy as him.
Sucking on his tongue while he moans into your mouth, skin hot and tingly as he presses his hips against yours, hard cock full and aching in his pants, pushing right up against your stomach.
You trail your hand down in between his legs, wrapping your hand around his clothed cock, and rubbing lightly.
He grunts in your ear, hissing at the absolutely divine feeling of friction against his cock, before he realizes what he’s doing.
He freezes. Stiff as a board before pulling back frantically, embarrassed.
“I’m sorry I-I don't know what got over me. I didn't mean to- in my pants like that. I jus-”
You scoot towards him, “Paterson it’s alright. More than alright actually.”
“I’ve just-” he puts his head in his hands, “I don't want to push it. I don't want to ruin anything.”
“Paterson,” you pull his face up towards you, cradling it in your hands and looking deep into his eyes, “There is absolutely no way you can ruin this. You brought me to your beautiful home, you made me a delicious dinner, you pretended to watch the movie I like-”
He snorts, “I swear I tried.”
You slide your hands down, softly holding his hands within your own, “I’m sure you did. You made such an effort to impress me with everything else. Honestly, this has been the best date I’ve ever been on.”
He cracks a sheepish smile, before hiding his face in his hands.
“Hey,” you grab at his hands, pulling them away and he chuckles, leaning in and giving you a small peck.
You giggling payfully, pulling him in for more kisses.
He gladly obliges, hands drifting and touching, eventually settling to the small of your back and pulling you close as you spread your legs, crawling onto his lap.
You both sit in the dark, focusing only on each other, kissing and touching, panting heavily into the blackness, until you eventually turn your head, catching a glance at the small clock nearby, the bright numbers piercing through the darkness.
You drop your forehead down against his chest, sighing, “It’s one in the morning,”
“No, it's not.”
He turns and looks, eyebrows shooting up in surprise, “Oh, wow. This is the longest I’ve been up in a while.”
You snort, “Today’s been full of unusual things for you, Huh? I guess I can get out of your hair for now since it’s so late. C’mon,”
You pull yourself up and off of him, standing up and stretching out your legs.
Paterson stands, wincing at the cracking in his knees, “Maybe next time we can watch a movie you haven't seen”
“Yeah, we could, but would we really watch it?” You look at him, smirking playfully.
You move to gather your purse, picking it up off the table and swinging it around your arm, situating your hair just the way you like and smoothing out any wrinkles.
“I guess we’ll just have to see then. Maybe I can find a recipe and we can cook together huh?”
You gasp,“Oh that would be wonderful! I love cooking. I would love to do it with you.”
“Sounds good. Next weekend?”
“Hm. I don't know if I can wait that long,” you snicker, following him to the door.
He chuckles, leaning on the doorframe and sinking his hands in his back pockets, “How about I just call you?”
“Oh yeah! You can do that now!”
“Yeah…” he trails off, contemplating to himself before asking, “You sure you wanna go home? It’s pretty late, and there are some bad drivers out there at this hour.”
You smile gratefully at him, “I’m alright, thank you for the offer though.”
You open the door, turning to him and standing up on your toes, bracing yourself with your hand on his chest and giving him one last peck, “Goodnight Paterson. Thank you for everything. This was truly wonderful.”
“Of course. It was my pleasure,” he murmurs against your lips, “I'll see you soon.”
You step back and finally turn, walking to your car, looking back at Paterson one last time as he rests on the doorframe, waving goodbye.
He watches your car speed off, closing his door and leaning back against it. Setting his head softly against the wood and sighing deeply, running his hand along his chest, remembering where you touched him, before turning and running back into the kitchen, looking for a good recipe to share.
nothin sexier than a man that can cook lemme tell u
January Goals and Thoughts
a japanese refresher plan?
Read Japanese in 30 hours (including the back index of words) - refresher on basic grammar, on common words.
Listen to trimsleur - refresher on sounds: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1bmjPIz8j7_wkRdNq0Jh34bR4nG2dFWIQ
*mainly just the two above, because I would like to have a vague awareness of the basic words I’m hearing so much lately. I do think the big issue above is not enough common words (I’m guessing only 200 in pimsleur because pimsleur is Pathetic when it comes to introducing vocab, and maybe 1000 thankfully in my Japanese in 30 hours book - although potentially more since it has several small-word print pages of vocabulary at the end). ideally, since both of these are just sound based (the book is only in romaji), I won’t run into the issue of confusing kanji and hanzi. I’m focusing on reading chinese so much right now, and it’s going so well, I don’t wanna interfere with that tbh. I just... I am hearing so much japanese lately and if I could comprehend some of the words/sentences I heard, I could refresh the japanese I used to know and maybe pick up some words through listening.
other things I could do?
maybe look at tae kim’s grammar guide? - refresher on more grammar
maybe look at nukemarine’s decks? - I honestly know this will help, but I am NOT in a flashcard mood
cram through the book Japanese in 30 Hours - particularly keeping it around to glance through the vocabulary list at the end regularly (same strategy I used with french vocab way back when). cram through trimsleur audio - can be listening in background. just so when I’m hearing stuff, I have a foundation again ToT
chinese goals remain the same: READ Tian Ya Ke, Listen-Read to Tian Ya Ke and/or Guardian as desired. Any reading in general is fine.
unrelated, notes on my chinese:
I’ve been comparing the english translation of Lord Seventh translated by , and the original chinese Qi Ye. I’ve been trying to make a parallel text for myself, to read and practice. And so among other things making a parallel text is a hot mess! I have to align every paragraph manually T-T It has however made me quite aware I am very good at skimming the chinese text and easily figuring out which paragraph and sentence matches which english one.
Like this line: 乌溪想，连自己养的蛇，对他都是没有敌意的。My understanding of it: Wu Xi thought, even when he himself raised the snake, to him it was never hostile.
I know all of those words already. For a large portion of the sentences, I know most of the words and the english translation just helps me figure out the few words or sayings I’m not sure about. The actual translation by chichi: He thought of how even the snake he raised himself was not hostile towards him.
or, this ending author’s note: 作者有话要说：有木有看出一点竹马竹马的味道？有木有有木有？说木有的瓦都看不见. My understanding: the author wants to say: does it have the flavor a little bit of childhood friends*? has - wood - ? speaking about it is a bit unclear to see yet.
DeepL’s mtl of the line: The author has something to say: have you seen a little bit of bamboo horse bamboo horse flavor? There is wood there is wood there? Saying that there is no tile can not see
Basically, I just don’t know what “have wood” is supposed to mean in this context lol.I already know bamboo horse is usually about close childhood friends.
I genuinely think reading this parallel text will help with my vocabulary pick up pretty decently, as an alternative to intensive reading. I’m finding that as I’m lining up the paragraphs, I actually can comprehend a lot of the chinese itself, and the english translation next to it just helps me with needing to struggle less to figure out the ‘unclear’ portions.
On the topic of my japanese versus chinese study:
Also dang y’all... I have not studied japanese in like 2+ years? And even though I studied japanese FOR 2.5 years before I stopped, I feel like I retained almost nothing lol? I just tried to look at a 2000 common words book for japanese I have and nearly drowned. I forgot how absolutely jarring it is on the brain for me to see hiragana, katakana, kanji with multiple pronunciations, and words sometimes in all kana without any kanji. T-T Hence... my approach above is just... focus on listening right now. Its even more jarring because like? I’m getting to the point in chinese where I recognize a majority of the hanzi I see, at least enough to be unsurprised when I find out its pinyin usually, and so... chinese has much more degree of predictability if that makes sense? I know I will see all hanzi. I know if I see X radicals it might mean Y or sound like Z. I know most words will be 1 hanzi, 2 hanzi, or 4 hanzi. I know all the verbs clearly because I’m familiar with them and the conjugation will not change. It is extremely easy to skim through text and catch sight of familiar “signposts” of things I can use to help guess context - verbs, grammar words, generally regular word size, radicals I recognize, hanzi I recognize. I remember now pretty starkly exactly WHY I used to like japanese particles so much - they clearly marked word ends, implied something, and helped me figure out how to start guessing at the context of a sentence’s meaning. And just like... wow with chinese there is a LOT more I can recognize and rely on now than I ever could with japanese...
It is ALWAYS going to absolutely floor me how much faster I made progress in chinese than japanese. Making decent progress in french was shocking when it happened - because I’d never learned any language even a significant portion of basics before - but in retrospect as long as I’d been consistent and doing moderately useful things I was gonna improve. My japanese progress was so utterly slower, taking 4x or more time than any progress took in french. Now that I’ve studied chinese for a while, I’m just so floored that:
1. for me I think japanese really IS a degree harder for me to grasp than chinese is (even though chinese is also plenty harder than french), and
2. just how bad my study plan must’ve been for japanese that I made such slow progress. Because like? Chinese? it is hard to study, progress is expected to be slower than french and that’s fine and normal. But apparently I’ve had a good study plan For Myself, because in 1 year my chinese is doing around as good as my french was 1 year in. (Which, if I’d had a better study plan for french, could’ve probably been accomplished sooner in french, and certainly could for more well planned people than me). Whereas my japanese after 2.5 years was as good as... my french after 3-5 months. ;-; Truly... my study plan must have been So ineffective for me. I’m trying to figure out what I did wrong so I don’t repeat it in the future.
I think big chunks of what I did wrong for my learning style were: I was a chicken and did NOT challenge myself, sticking to genki and being unwilling to try manga earlier, try novels at all, try video games, try shows, try websites in japanese - and it shows because at 2 years in I finally did Try and that’s when I made any noticeable improvement. I juggled learning japanese with studying french, and at one point russian, and I think simply dividing my time slowed progress which combined very BADLY with already having a poor study plan. I relied heavily on things like Lingodeer and Genki only for a LONG time, as well as trying to learn kanji for 2 years straight - holding myself back from even picking up that much vocabulary. Part of the reason Nukemarine’s memrise deck HELPED me so much, is it forced me to CRAM through 500-1000 kanji in a couple months, CRAM through 2000+ words in several months, and GO THROUGH example sentences in a few months, so even if I brute forced it half-understood, I had MORE exposure to more information! It was much easier after that to pick up a manga and try, to start a video game and try, simply cause half-known things helped me more then not-at-all-known. I learned from that particular mistake with chinese, and crammed that kind of info within the first year - which significantly helped.
And probably, finally, in japanese I made my very usual mistake of trying to perfectly remember and replicate all things I studied before moving on - in 2 years I only got through genki book 1, why? Because I wanted to perfectly know all words in the book, be able to replicate all grammar patterns with extreme ease. It is a bad habit of mine to try and be perfect before moving on, especially if there is no deadline to Force me to move on, and no challenge I need to move onto asap. I’m ok when I was in school, because test deadlines and limited time for studying meant I needed to learn the essential things, try to grasp the rest okay, then move ON to the new stuff as it came up. But with self study, its so incredibly easy for me to slow down and start rereading and redoing the same things over and over, which slows my progress a ton. Reading and engaging with actual content in the language helps me a lot, I think in part, because I MUST progress. A show keeps playing. A book is meant to be read. And the content is so difficult that if I pause and repeat to perfection, I will never get through those stories.
So I suck it up, and start pushing through the material, and accept that I will not understand everything perfectly. And it helps me more to do it that way, because over time if I THEN go back to reread/rewatch, I have learned something from last time and am now focusing on the new things I need to learn since I didn’t pick them up last time. Because native content is Difficult, I pick up easier stuff the first time, slightly harder stuff next time, etc etc. It’s not graded to me, so I am constantly challenged over and over which helps me improve and start focusing on new things I can NOW successfully handle (and lets me stop repeatedly over-focusing on the old stuff I clearly comprehend competently now). While I love graded material and think its god tier... I think for my particular learning style, being forcibly challenged keeps me from both repeating things I need to move on from, and also from being bored. When I get bored because something is too ‘easy’ I zone out and give up - which is a double edged sword with my desire to ‘perfect’. Since it will combine into me wanting to over-perfect something that is Easy for me but I occasionally might still do wrong, so I keep trying to study too-easy material, and because it’s too easy I get bored and give up - and feel like I need to GO finish studying it more.
This is why I think lingodeer, duolingo, pimsleur, tend to absolutely not work for me for very long. As an absolute beginner they can be useful. But the instant I find some of it easy, I fall into the rut of both trying to over-perfect and having no challenge demanding me to move forward or pay attention. It works much better for me to force myself to try and learn hundreds of words in a short amount of time - even though its more ‘exposing myself’ to them than learning them, as i still tend to remember about 100 words a week and that gradually grows lol. And then just throw myself off the deep end into content.
Graded readers work much better for me as an absolute beginner, because they tend to be quite challenging but they have structure and a limited number of beginner and intermediate things for me to learn. So I don’t get overwhelmed by ‘too difficult’ while still being challenged continuously until I’m close enough to intermediate I can throw myself into content in the language once I’m hitting the ‘bored’ stage with graded readers. Similarly, I really Like “Learn to Read” textbooks like DeFrancis Chinese Reader, my French reading book, and “Teach Yourself” books - they tend to have 1000-3000 words that they aren’t shy to quickly introduce learners to, and because they focus on reading they also are not shy to introduce main grammar points early. They help throw a learner into enough material that someone can at least form a decent basic foundation. (Unlike ugh... pimsleur... which introduces only a few hundred words after many hours, or duolingo which takes a LOT of grinding before you’re exposed to 1000 words...)
and for the heck of it, stuff I’m doing in french right now:
I thought it’d be fun to try to play the witcher 3 in french? Which I’m going to try. I don’t know if I’ll do much of it though lol. (The perfectionist in me wants to pick up a graded reader again or Le Francais par le Method Nature and cram through it, but there’s no real reason I need to improve my french in so structured a way right now).
𝙇𝙊𝙎𝙏 𝘽𝙊𝙔 // 𝘽𝙄𝙇𝙇𝙔 𝙃𝘼𝙍𝙂𝙍𝙊𝙑𝙀
(billy hargrove x hopper oc)
warnings: language, smoking, blood
word count: 2,340
authors note: sorry this is kind of a filler lol but the next chapter is something to look forward to ig if ur lame if u like my writing lol. thank u guys sm for the luv, i was honestly shocked u all actually enjoyed this luv u guys ;)
song: there is a light that never goes out - the smiths
BROOKE'S EYES FLUTTERED OPEN against the harsh early morning sun. grey sheets that covered her bare legs were cold from the open window that let in the dewy fall air. a groan rumbled in her throat as she woke, head throbbing and eyes still heavy from sleep.
she rolled over on her side to come face to face with billy. sprawled out on his stomach, muscular arms wrapped around his pillow while his curly hair lay along his bare back.
the girl couldn't seem to get over in that moment how peaceful billy looked when he wasn't awake. no harsh lines creasing his forehead like they always do. no more crinkle in between his eyebrows when he's always pissed off. lips weren't pressed together in a thin tight line.
just a soft, relaxed complexion that even makes brooke want to reach out and caress his cheek. the snores coming from him and the birds outside chirping were the only sounds filling the room. she laid there still sleepy, resting her eyes again and enjoying the scent of his blankets.
but her stomach interrupted her peace, tightening and lurching that made her sit straight up and yank the covers off of her legs. she sloppily climbed over billy, stumbling off the bed to head for his bathroom. she didn't bother to close the door once she was inside.
knees hit the tile floor as she clung to the sides of the toilet, releasing everything from her stomach. she held her hair up with one hand as she continued to throw up anything she's ingested within the last 24 hours.
once the girl was done and the contents inside the bowl were flushed, she closed the lid and onto it rested her head. 'much better,' she thought although her body still quivered a little. thanking god his parents weren't home.
"brooke?" max stood in the open doorway, concerned and utterly confused as to why she was even here. "hey little red." her voice was rough as she wiped her mouth free of vomit, picking herself up slowly from the cold floor.
she cupped her hands in the sink and sipped the cool water to rinse from the horrible after taste. she washed her face and hands while max stood eyeing the irritated and puckered marks on her face.
"please tell me you didn't-" brooke stopped her before she could continue, not even wanted to hear out loud what was suggested. "god no." she grabbed a towel roughly and wiped her face.
"shoot me if i ever do." she ran her hands through her hair when she looked at max in front of her. her red hair was just as disheveled, eyes heavy and wearing nothing but a long tee shirt.
"come on, i don't want you in there with him." max grabbed brooke's wrist quickly and dragged her into her own bedroom. it was just like the rest of the house, white and plain with no sort of decoration. just a bed with an ugly orange floral pattern and carpet littered with unpacked boxes.
max flopped on the bed and brooke followed, turning on the tiny television in front of the them on her dresser. "so what happened? billy didn't hurt you, did he?" she was looking over at brooke, who lay on her stomach and flipping through a few comics she found on the floor. max definitely had quite the collection.
max noticed the marks on her cheek were much harsher in the brighter light from the window. blue eyes trailing down to her tiny hand that held the pages, ugly and scabbed.
she had seen some of the girls that would come out from billy's room after they spent the night or afternoon with him. they would be pretty roughed up too, like brooke.
bruises in the shapes of fingers on their exposed wrists, hips, or even throats were spotted as they gathered up their belongings before he kicked them out the front door.
max was still too young to understand that those marks were from sexual pleasure and not abuse. so, she just assumed the worst and that was that her step-brother was a woman beater. the apple doesn't fall far from the tree apparently.
after all he was very angry. loud and bursting through anything in his way like a raging bull. he had hurt max physically a few times in the past as well. shoving her aside into some furniture or having an iron grip on her wrist during a good scolding. so why wouldn't he be just as abusive as his father? or so that's all the little girl had thought.
"no, no. parties and fist fights usually come hand in hand. plus i was really drunk so he took me back here." she just shrugged, watching the tv in front of her that played a re-run of happy days. max let out a breath she was holding tight in her chest, relieved billy didn't hurt her in any way.
brooke's headache was certainly killing her, same went for her throbbing hand that was severely busted and bruising.
"surprised he didn't do anything. usually girls are always in his bed, but not like you," max side-eyed the girl beside her, lips forming a smug grin.
"i would've heard you guys last night, anyways." she giggled when brooke swatted her arm playfully with a comic. somehow the twelve year old knew more than brooke thought after all. with a brother like billy, it's really not much of a surprise.
"you skate, red?" there was a board propped up on the wall, along with a bunch of different skateboard catalogs and posters on the wall.
"yeah, but billy ran mine over. just need to save up for a new one i guess." max was furious when she came home last week and it was split in half in the driveway. she got it brand new the previous summer as a birthday present. billy had to go and use his temper on it.
"that's alright kid, i got a sick powell perelta at home i'll let you ride." she walked over to the skateboard to pick it up and sat back on the edge of of the bed. her fingers skimmed over the sad duct tape repair job on her board.
"god, what a dick head." she shook her head and placed it at her feet, laying back down on her stomach and picking her magazine back up to read.
the door flew open and startled the girls suddenly. billy stood tall in the doorway, still in his boxers and looking utterly pissed off. "speak of the devil." the red head snickered to the older girl, turning down the tv and rolling her eyes at her sad excuse of a step brother.
"max, the hell?" he ran a hand over his face, irritated that she had brooke in her bedroom instead of his own.
"awe, is billy boy jealous?" brooke smirked up at him from the bed, long legs bent up in the air behind her while she continued to flip through max's wonder woman magazine.
"sorry i like her better than you, hargrove." brooke still didn't forget what he had done for her the night before. but after all, they weren't friends and she still wanted to get under his skin.
"god whatever. get up, i'm taking you home." he shook his head and turned back into the hallway, heavy footsteps leaving to go back to his room.
"oops! woke the big bad bear up. wouldn't want him to get mad." the girls laughed as brooke teased, finally getting up and following him to his room at the end of the hall.
she walked in on billy hopping into his jeans in front the mirror, so tight they were like a second skin. she picked up from the chair what was left of her costume, tattered tights and leopard top stained with blood.
she picked up her boots and left to go out to the front of the house where max was waiting for her by the door. "here." she handed brooke a pair of slip on flip-flops. they were pretty tattered, but they fit her just fine.
billy barged in seconds later with keys in hand while slipping on his shades. "i'll see you later, red." she ruffled her hair a little before walking out onto the porch. billy was already halfway down the driveway and eager to get the girl home.
"arcade, monday?" she called out to max from the bottom of the veranda. the little girl nodded and gave a small wave goodbye, closing the door behind her. she was happy at least one of the girls billy was associated with was nice to her. the other girls only saw her as a pest.
brooke joined him in the car, still wearing his clothes from the previous night and holding her costume. "you friends with many shit head twelve year olds?" he gruffest, flicking his zippo to light a cigarette before turning the engine on.
"yes actually. and max isn't a shit head, she's the coolest kid i know." it was true. max was her own girl who didn't need anyone to tell her what to do. she was smart in the sense where she knew what was going on around her. billy needed to give her more credit.
"yea, right. that little shit gets me in enough trouble." brooke didn't say anything, just gave him a glare as to say he was wrong. she didn't understand why he disliked his step-sister so much. maybe it was because she never had that issue.
he turned iron maiden up loud so there was no conversation needed. windows down as they sped down the long windy road out of town. it was one of the more sunnier days hawkins usually never sees during this time of year.
"where do you live anyway?" he never knew she lived so far from the town. it was a good few miles out of hawkins, but she couldn't give him exact directions. hopper didn't want anyone to know where their cabin was.
"just park over there." the camaro came to a stop at the side of the dirt road, woods stretching for miles.
"you live in a cave or something?" just fields and forest ahead of them. no houses in sight. "or something." she reached back to get her boots from the backseat, tattered costume rolled up in a ball in her hands.
"thanks bill." she gave him a side smile in appreciation, not really knowing what else to say. he didn't anyway, lips turned up a little as he nodded in return.
she quickly exited the car, billy spent no time in waiting for her to leave before going back into the road and making a fast u-turn.
her flip flops weren’t the best choice of shoe while walking down the path deep into the woods. the cabin came into view just below a small hill. ‘great,’ she let out a groan, hopper’s truck was in the driveway.
she stepped up to the cabin and pounded on the old green door. two knocks-pause-once again-three more quickly. the door opened and she stepped inside the warm home. hopper was seated at the tiny table in the kitchen.
immediately at the sight of brooke he shot up from his seat, knees knocking the table upwards slightly. “where the hell were you? and why-“ he walked over and looked down at his daughter, clad in old clothes of a stranger and feet bare in slip-ons. if it was another situation, some could say she did the walk-of-shame all the way home.
“i stayed at robin’s.” it was the quickest and most rational excuse she could come up with. he ran his hands over his face, shaking his head and grasped her shoulders to inspect her more.
“robin’s.” he clarified, “and did you and robin get in a nasty pillow fight? i mean-“ she forgot about the damage from the fight at the party. her cheek was scabbing over and her hand just looked awful.
“dad-“ she whined, trying to push past him to get to her room as fast as possible, but he put a hand on the door in front of her head to stop her. “no you listen. you were suppose to watch el until i got back, which you didn’t. and you didn’t even think to call?”
this was what she was afraid of. her father ordering her around like the chief he is. but it was only fair, with all the events happening a year before with barb and will, his mind could only roam to assume the worst happened when his daughter goes missing for a night.
“if you didn’t show up before noon, i would’ve sent my boys out to scout the whole damn town for you.” he just pulled her to his chest, wrapping his large arms around her shoulders and resting his chin on her head. “just please tell me where you are next time.” he begged and squeezed her tight, giving her a quick peck at the top of her hair.
“i will dad. i’m sorry.” she needed a hug. from everything she just needed a good bear hug from her father.
“you smell like a boy, go shower.” he patted her back and pulled away, pushing her in the direction of the bathroom.
brooke was relieved he didn’t interrogate any further than he did. it could’ve went way worse.
she kicked off max’s dirty shoes and headed to take a shower, almost tripping over a thick black cord. her eyes followed it, traveling all the way across the living area and leading to el’s room. the television was gone.
“what’s she doing?” the flicker from channel to channel was heard from behind the door, and she could only assume she must be trying to contact the wheeler boy.
hopper just gave his daughter a shrug.
“she’s pissed at me.”
TAGLIST - open
@mybarnesmyhero @alongcamedolly @bilesxbilinskixlahey
3 Days of Bliss (a short story made by me)
So I wrote a short story, sadly it’s not a fanfic, I’m bad at those lol. One day I just woke up and decided to write this. English is not my first language so feel free to correct me if there’s any grammatical or spelling errors, I’m always ready to learn more <3
Phoebe, a brilliant name for a radiant person. A good friend of mine. We are on a road trip to a place that Phoebe will love for sure. I made an appointment with an artist. I decided to bring her to the artist's workshop and make some art. Phoebe has been a big fan of art for a long time, as far as I remember she always has been passionate about creating and learning about art since she was a child. My car moves swiftly across the highway towards our destination meanwhile Phoebe just spacing out into the road. We are enjoying each other's company and silence as all friends would do. About half an hour, we arrive at the place that we're supposed to make art for today. The town looks peaceful, almost like there's no trace of humanity compared to the workshop on the other side looks welcoming and humble.
As soon as we enter, a man around our age greets us with a smile on his face. He has long and wavy brunette hair that tied back messily. He is the true embodiment of an artist. The shirt he is wearing is smudged by the paints though it is hidden by the apron. He is lanky although there might be a little bit of muscle hidden behind the shirt, perhaps by carrying all of the art equipment. The building is quite empty but fills with various artworks along with the paints, canvas and brushes. At the centre of the room, something catches my eyes. A large glass platform is placed on the floor. The artist introduces himself as Kyle then tells us to change into the outfit he prepares. He says he is going to teach us to make art using our body parts. Kyle dips his hands in the paint while encouraging Phoebe to do the same. Phoebe hesitates to do so at first, but after watching Kyle spontaneously paint the glass platform using his hands, she starts to do it too. Kyle decides to turn on the music simultaneously doing their masterpiece while I just watch and take pictures of them. I already agree to be the cameraman throughout these three days' trip. Phoebe starts to use her feet to paint. She's suddenly dancing around the platform, each of her steps matches the beat of the song. Her pace is light. Almost seems like she's floating. Kyle and I are mesmerized by her, she shines like the sun on the crack of dawn. Before I even get to take more pictures of her, Phoebe drags me on the platform. We dance together along with Kyle, making art just by our footsteps.
We decide to take a tea break. Three of us are drinking tea while making small conversations to spare our time. While we're talking, I can't help but notice that Kyle never takes his eyes off Phoebe. As someone who is also a man, it kind of bothers me the way he looks at her though I try not to think of it that much. After that, we continue to work on the piece. The artwork actually turns out great! I had never usually held any significant adoration for art until today. Others might think our artwork is just a mixture of paints without any particular pattern or reference. However, art is not all about beautiful sceneries and portraits. It's about the meaning and emotion we put in it. Take the case of Starry Night by Van Gough. Even though he was the one who made it, he thinks of it as a failure though now almost everyone knows and praises his art. Besides, people find his story and the meaning behind all of his art pieces mesmerizing and eye-opening. Both of us thank Kyle for his guidance and willingness to help us throughout the class, he even takes the chance to give Phoebe his number in case we want to meet up again. After saying goodbye to Kyle, we check in to our hotel to rest and prepare for the next day.
I hear knocking on my door early in the morning, waking me up from my deep slumber. It must be Phoebe, she's an early riser after all. Phoebe seems enthusiastic about today's activity. She gobbles up her breakfast while I remind her to drink water, worried that she might choke on her food. Not too far from here, there is a music class that we will visit soon. Phoebe wants to learn to play a musical instrument ever since she saw me playing the piano once. We meet a Chinese woman in her 50s soon after we arrive at the class. She has a bright smile, friendly and sweet too. There are multiple instruments placed in the room, Phoebe obviously impatient to play all of them. I thought she wanted to play the piano though she reaches the violin at the corner of the room instead. The madam proceeds to teach her the right position to hold the violin while I do my usual task. I try to find appropriate lighting to take their pictures, most of it turns out great because of the madam's cooperation. Phoebe also looks natural while playing the violin, she always has been quick-witted. Phoebe exclaims to the madam that I'm really good at playing the piano. I am flustered when the madam requests me to play it though I do not dare to refuse someone's wish. It's been a while since I played the piano, I sit on the chair with caution. I touch the white tiles lightly, almost scared that it might break. Melancholy piano keys echoing in the air, the sound greets my ears like a bittersweet reunion of two soulmates who weren't meant to be. Phoebe sneakily takes a picture of me, making me stop from continuing to play the piano. Both of them give me an ovation even though I don't think I deserve it. I'm sure that they're just being kind to me. "I really want to be good at playing the violin now. It will be nice if I can do a duet together with Neil" says Phoebe in a child-like manner. The madam agrees while I'm flattered by their praises. Phoebe starts to become more persistent in practising after that. A duet with Phoebe as a pianist and violinist sounds surreal, kind of romantic may I say.
It's the last day of our trip. Today we're going to do some photoshoots, as always Phoebe will be the model. We check out from the hotel at 5 am in the morning and drive straight to the destination. It's kind of rough travel because we need to climb the mountain near the town before the sunrise ends. On top of the mount, there are lots of wind turbines that make you wonder how far our technology has developed. The scenery is breath-taking, the greenery soothes my eyes, what's more, my lungs are filled with fresh morning air. It is a wise decision to pick this place as our photoshoot's venue after all. This is also the reason why I choose to be a full-time cameraman instead of a professional pianist. I always have been passionate about photographs more than playing the piano. Phoebe looks beautiful today, she's wearing a white dress that really compliments her ocean eyes. She's stunned by the sun slowly rising up on the horizon. A lot of pictures are taken during the time, she doesn't even need to pose that much. "Neil, dance with me." She whispers while looking at me with adoration in her eyes. I take her hands, leisurely melts away in her gaze. As if all of our concerns are gone like it's actually an ordinary voyage between two soulmates. Phoebe suddenly bends over, she starts to lose her composure. I hold both of her arms, trying to get her to her feet again. No one can ever imagine someone who is as strong as Phoebe is in pain. She's been sick for a long time now. Instead of getting further treatment, she decides to spend her last remaining days with me. She wants to learn and does things that she always wanted to do since forever. There are a lot of activities that she wishes she could do. In the end, we decided to decrease it into three activities only. The trip is going great, she keeps glowing throughout our journey. Every picture I take throughout our journey is magnificent. She reminds me of the star at the centre of the Solar system. The sun that peeks through the clouds during one of those gloomy rainy days. She never fails to bring lights in one's self. Although, her eyes can't hide the fact that she's slowly dying. The trip back to our hometown feels sombre though Phoebe never let her smile wear down until the end.
I didn't come to her funeral today. Instead, I just lock myself in my bedroom accompanied by the dusty piano. I only play it once in a blue moon though I drag the cover on top of it revealing an old yet still sturdy piano. The dust flies around the room. This might help to distract me from the loss of a person very dear to me. I start with a delicate movement though it gradually turns into a desperate for melody of someone who refuses to let go. My slim fingers dance across the white tiles with fury, longing and regret. She was bedridden as soon as we got home. I knew that her body couldn't handle it, it might be risky yet she was still eager to go on with the trip. I should have stopped her, I had the chance but I lost it. I weep silently, the white tiles are drenched by my tears. The way she shines in my eyes, the way every single of her gesture makes my heart flutters. I was in love with her. I was in love with the sun that was no longer here. The rain pours down from the sky as if it's also grieving with me. I stop playing though the rain never stops. The sun is nowhere to be found either.
Yours, always and forever
More of my Untamed Modern AU. This is a loose parallel to the Cold Pond Cave scene. Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji are caught in a surprise rain storm, and take shelter in an abandoned house. Inside, they discover a shocking secret that connects them in a surprising way
(I’m not going to pretend this was prompted by Untamed Winter Fest lol This was going to get written either way. However, it does fit in quite nicely with the prompt for Day 15: Hope.)
“Lan Zhan! I found an old building!”
Wuxian was waving him over. Wangji made his way over. An old building? This far away from the main estate?
“It looks abandoned.” Muttered Wuxian as they approached it.
“We shouldn’t go in.”
Wuxian gave him his signature pouty look.
“Lan Zhan!” he whined. “It’s pouring down. We can’t stay out like this. We’ll drown.”
Ridiculous exaggeration. Still, they had been caught unexpectedly in the rain, too far up the mountain. It would be at least half an hour before the downpour ended. They couldn’t just stand outside.
So, he nodded and headed to the old house. The door was boarded up, but the wood was rotten, and he easily moved it away. They slid the door open and hurried inside.
The room was sun-warmed but both men were wet through. Wuxian blew air from his mouth while shivering.
“I’m soaked.” He complained.
Wangji looked at him and his breath caught in his throat. The white t-shirt Wuxian clung to his chest in an almost obscene way. Patches of see through fabric revealed toned muscle and smooth skin. Heat surged through Wangji’s body.
Forcing himself to look at Wuxian’s face did very little to help his situation. The long hair was clinging in slight curls to his face and neck, drawing more attention to his beautiful features. A drop of water slowly caressed from his cheek, across his strong jaw, down his neck and collected on his collar bone. Swallowing hard, Wangji balled his hands into fists to prevent them from reaching out.
“How long will this last, do you think?” Wuxian was looking at him, and if he found anything odd in the way Wangji stared, he didn’t let it show on his face.
Forcing his voice to be level, Wangji replied.
“Half an hour. Two hours at most.”
Wuxian clicked his tongue in annoyance. He took his phone out.
“Ah! No service!” he flashed the screen at Wangji. “How are we supposed to tell everyone where we are? Check yours.”
Obediently, Wangji got his own cell phone out. True enough there was no signal. He shook his head gently at Wuxian’s inquiring face. Concern twisted those beautiful features.
“When the rain ends, we will return. We will not be gone long.”
Do not worry, he wanted to say. Yet the words felt too intimate. He was relieved to see Wuxian relax a little; his words must have been enough on their own. But then his eyes flared open as Wuxian’s actions took a horrifying turn.
“What are you doing?” he choked out. Wuxian stopped with his shirt half off.
“We can’t stay in our wet clothes. We’ll catch a cold. Come on,” he whipped the shirt off and draped it over a dusty chair, “you take yours off too.”
Faced with the bare chest of the most beautiful person he had ever seen, Wangji felt as if he were drowning. Surely his face must have been bright red. He couldn’t move, couldn’t speak and awfully, regrettably, woefully, he simply could not tear his eyes away.
Wuxian, oblivious to the torment he had just set upon his friend, clicked his tongue at Wangji. He took a step forward. Still frozen, Wangji couldn’t even take his customary step back. Which Wuxian obviously read as an invitation because he simply stepped even closer, so close Wangji could feel the heat emanating off his bare chest.
Then hands were on his chest and Wuxian was struggling with his buttons. This kicked his brain back into gear. He slapped the hands away and backed up several steps. Wuxian blinked at him innocently.
“You should take your shirt off.” He repeated, as if this was a perfectly fine and normal and not at all scandalous and dangerous thing to do in this situation.
“No need.” Wangji all but spat out. It was the best he could do with the way his breath was hitching.
He saw Wuxian’s shoulder sink and that pout came back. This only made the breathing situation worse. Unable to speak, unwilling to explain, he closed his eyes to try to get his breathing under control. When he opened them, he found Wuxian wandering around the house. Wangji joined him.
The house was dust filled, with cobwebs in every corner. Most of the furniture had been left where it was. It wasn’t a large house, but it had obviously been owned by a Lan. There was rich wood carving, tiling, and flaking paint. They all had cloud patterns and were exquisitely rendered.
“Why was such a beautiful house just left to gather dust?” Wuxian asked while wandering into the bedroom. Wangji followed him without much thought.
So they both saw the safe at the same time. It’s door was shut, but the lock on it had been cut off. Ever curious, Wuxian immediately went to open the door. Wangji grabbed his hand.
“Don’t casually touch private things of my family.”
Shock, then a soft smile appeared on Wuxian’s face.
“I understand.” He pulled his hand back.
Wangji opened the safe. Inside were diaries and letters, yellowed with age, but still legible. He pulled out a stack. So engrossed in reading, he barely noticed Wuxian come up behind him, obviously reading over his shoulder.
“Today I met a very interesting girl…..
…even though she and I are the same, she has seen so much more of the world…
San-San and I went shopping today. She did an impression of my father that was so accurate, I couldn’t help laughing….
….she mouths the words she is reading while studying…
…sometimes I just watch her sleep, the way her hair spills around her head like ink swirls….
….it isn’t as though I don’t know what a woman’s body looks like. Don’t I have one myself? Why is that her body should hold such mystery for me? And yet I long to see, long to drag my fingers over her skin…..
…..we kissed. We kissed and my soul was complete. We kissed and I realised I never wanted to stop kissing her”
Wangji’s hands paused there. The diary shook slightly in his hands. He focused on his breathing. A hand reached round him, and pulled a letter out. He made no move to stop it.
“Baoshan Sanren…..” whispered Wuxian.
There was silence as he read the letter. Wangji waited, his heart beating in his ears, unable to continue reading the precious diaries nor able to cast the condemning things away.
“Who was Lan Yi?” Wuxian’s voice was calm, measured, but it sounded forced. Wangji didn’t look at him.
Wuxian spun around in front of him.
Swallowing hard, Wangji repeated his statement. He watched Wuxian’s eyes go wide as he stared down at the letter in his hand. He handed it to Wangji, who took it, handing the diary to Wuxian without a second thought. Out of the corner of his eyes, he saw Wuxian cradle it as if it were a delicate jewel.
His eyes turned to the letter. It was difficult to read because many words had been smudged by water. Rain damage? But as he read, he realised why the stains were so irregular.
I know you told me never to speak to you again. But …. …. not really speaking, is it? I hope you will read this letter.
I am ….. married.
He is a good man. He is like me – he can…both men and women……
I love him….
Even though our last meeting was so full of anger, …. know you have rejected me, heart, body and soul, I cannot escape this simple truth.
I love you
Can a heart so perfectly love two people? …… but what I feel for you and my husband-to-be are the same. He is my heart, but you are my soul. Forgive me for repeating sentiments I know to repulse you.……This will be my last letter…..
I wish you ….. best in your life, my soulmate, and I wish you the love and joy you gave me for those short months we were …..
Yours, forever and always,
Wuxian watched him closely as he read the letter. He waited as Wangji finished, taking a deep, shuddering breath, before folding the letter back up and putting it in the envelope. He watched as Wangji put the collection of papers back in the safe and closed it. That was when Wangji could finally raise his eyes to meet Wuxian’s.
He was shocked to find them so understanding. He had expected amusement, possible disgust, even ridicule. But instead there was a soft warmth that made the edges of his eyes crinkle slightly. The compassion almost made him cry.
“You didn’t know?” the question was asked so gently, delicately.
“Me neither.” Wuxian chuckled softly. Wangji gave him a questioning look. Wuxian smiled before saying,
“Baoshan Sanren was my grandmother.”
Now it was Wangji’s eyes turn to go wide. It made Wuxian laugh, a proper laugh, that shook off the oppressive quiet they had fallen into. It was if the shadows of the past lifted, and suddenly they were back to being two soaked young men hiding from the rain.
“Looks like we’re connected! We could have been cousins!”
He nudged his bare shoulder against Wangji’s, which made him realise that this whole time Wuxian had been shirtless.
So distracted by the revelation of a shameful family secret, he had manage to forget this tortuous fact. Yet now, combined with the staggering information that his grandmother had felt the exact same way, the realisation came back to him with full force.
That she had not only lusted after, but fallen in love with, and had, however briefly, been united in blissful reciprocity with another woman, filled Wangji with fear, belonging, dread, confusion, purpose, anger, and worst of all, hope.
Hope that in this modern era, with someone as openly flirtatious and outspoken as Wuxian, that he may too feel the bliss his grandmother had.
His eyes snuck towards Wuxian, greedily taking in every detail. Selfishly, he hoped that his love would last much, much longer.
The Sims 4 Moschino Stuff - Early Access Build/Buy Review
Huge thank you to the EA Game Changer Program for providing me with the opportunity to play Moschino Stuff early!
Ever since I saw the trailer for Moschino Stuff, I knew the Build/Buy content was going to be the part of this pack that I was the most excited for and interested in and for the most part I absolutely love a lot of it. But, like CAS, Build/Buy is not without it’s issues.
As always, if you have any questions about the pack, feel free to send me an ask!
See a preview of all the new Build/Buy items here
I pretty much love all of the Buy Mode objects. The couches come in some very cool patterns as well as solids, the funky pop art mirror is fun, and I love that the end table is much lower than most end tables we have so it sits nice and flush at the same height as the couches and coffee table.
But my favourite things are probably, as always, the decorative stuff. More specifically the LiBEARian (the books with the bear book ends, get it!), the Simsational Style Stack (the magazine pile) and the Amp Stack (they’re all in the pics above). Even though the Amp Stack is purely decorative, it looks very cool sitting next to a guitar and adds a lot of character to any musician’s house!
I also really like the Repurposed Gear Chest (the trunk with stickers on it) that’s essentially a coffee table and looks very cool and retro, and the Tastefully Empty Bookcase which... is not empty at all? lol I do wish the bookcase came in different heights and widths as well, but at least this time it’s a short one, unlike the bookcases that came with Seasons and StrangerVille that I love but never get to use because they’re too tall for short walls.
Something that’s bothered me pretty much since base game released is that there’s no consistent colour palette for all build/buy objects. I get that each pack has specific themes and there might be colours that fit that theme better than others but I would love to see a consistent palette used throughout every pack — say like black and white obviously, 5 different wood tones, 5 solid neutrals and 5 solid “standard” colours (blue, red, yellow etc) — and have every single item that gets added to the game made in those colours, then if a new pack has specific colours for it’s theme they can be added on top of the standard palette. I like the colour palette that was chosen for the items in this pack but I found it really hard to find anything from other packs that matched it. It bothers me so much that nothing ever matches from pack to pack, half the time objects in the same pack don’t even match! And even now that the 350 new swatches were added to base game doors... they still don’t match anything else!
Sorry, I know I’m ranting and this has very little to do with Moschino Stuff but it just really bothers me that nothing ever matches because whenever I build I spend hours trying to find a floor to match the trim around the bottom of the wall I’ve chosen, then none of the doors match the floor and trim so I have to change it all, then none of the windows match the doors, floor and trim, and on and on until I’ve completely forgotten what I originally wanted the build to look like!
I really like the new frames we got for photos too, and the fact that they can now be placed on tables BUT I’ve had a couple of issues with them. First of all, it’s not possible to turn the frames placed on tables using the alt key, so you can only turn them in 45 degree increments and I hate that. I like to have all my photo frames slightly askew at different angles and it bothers me that these ones can only be places either facing straight forwards or angled by 45 degrees.
The second issue I have with the frames is actually more of a technical one but I’m not entirely sure if it’s the frames themselves, the photos, or the photography skill; I haven’t been able to work that out yet. When I have a sim take photos using the new tripod and camera everything is fine, but the second I exit out of the photography UI my FPS drops drastically.
I thought it was just my computer being stupid at first, until other Game Changers started reporting the same issue. I suspect it might be the photos and frames — specifically the new collage frame — because as soon as I remove the frames from the lot, the FPS goes back to normal. My game normally runs at a steady 60 FPS at all times but as you can see here, it drops down to 8-12 whenever there are framed photos on the lot and shoots back up when I delete them.
NOTE: This was with my game 100% CC and Mod free.
All of the new photography gear is so cool too! The fact that most of the items (like the tripod, camera, and tape markers) can be picked up in your sims inventory is so handy; your sim can just grab their equipment and head out into the world to take photos of other sims, landscapes, pets, and themselves literally anywhere they can plop the tripod down! And the backdrops have some really cool backgrounds for you to take photos in front of... or maybe... some other... uses 😈
I think the thing most people were looking forward to in this pack were the beautiful windows and doors; I’m definitely one of those people lol They are definitely gorgeous but as seems to happen every single time we get new windows and doors, the selection is limit in many different ways.
Every single colourway for both the windows and the doors is either white, black, red, or some combination of those colours. There are no colourways that match any of the other colours used on the furniture for the set (like blue, pink and yellow) and absolutely zero wood or neutral tones.
There are also no other heights for both the door and window other than for the shortest wall height, which absolutely baffles me because they’re clearly a set made to be used in lofts and converted warehouse type builds... builds that are generally made with either the medium or tallest wall height. They also didn’t bother to make single tile versions of any of the windows and doors, or even a closed version for the smaller window!
But what’s even more baffling (at least to me) is the way the door was made. I literally spent a full 30 minutes just sitting here in front of my computer, staring at this door, trying to figure out what could possibly have been going through the head of whoever made it when they decided that not only would it be shorter on one side, therefore also shorter than the windows, but also that it wouldn’t take up the full two tiles it was allocated and therefore wouldn’t sit flush up against the windows it was made to go with!
I saw a tweet by one of the Gurus that basically said “It’s the right height on the outside, just flip it around” but... that still leaves you with one side shorter than the windows, it’s just now on the other side, and there’s still gaps at the side! Why you would go to all the trouble to make the windows fit beautifully together like that and then not make the door exactly the same height and width! It bothers me way more than it probably should but I just don’t understand!
On the plus side, there are some base game doors that fit in with the windows (kind of) that I will probably use instead of the Moschino door... at least until someone makes a build add-on for them anyway lol
Overall, while I have issues with some of the build/buy stuff, this is where this pack makes up for the lack of CAS stuff in my opinion and what would make me want to fork over the $10 for the pack. To be completely honest, I’d pay $10 just for the LiBEARian though 🤣
All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own. I am not paid by EA to “hype” their games; I am given the opportunity to review their games early in exchange for an honest review.
Click here for my Create-A-Sim Review
Gameplay Review coming soon
2 big posts in one day? it’s more likely than you think!!!
Moze gameplay breakdown babey here we go
shit sorry i forgot my tl;dr the first time i posted this: the tablet is big important and might have eridian writing on it, it ties into the temple, the loot gun, the tablet in tannis’s infirmary on sanc-iii, and the planet holograms in Eleseer from TPS. also you get a special melee tool to break the purple crystals that i'm like 70% sure are Eridium and also, you’re never gonna believe this, but I talk about Atlas for a little bit because of it.
“lair of the harpy”
ah harpies. I’m shifting into Percy Jackson mode
just putting this out there
anyway as for what “Lair of the Harpy” means in bl3? Well we’ve seen in the We Are Mayhem trailer a bunch of flying Maliwan bots (i am assuming rn that those are Maliwan, anyway)
these green fucks
(u can tell that’s Jakobs Manor cause of the railing on the left) so i imagine that’s why it’s called the Lair of the Harpy. Could also be the lair of some evil woman character, idk lmao.
Far more interesting than the Harpy thing, to me anyway, is this:
i wonder if that’s gonna lead us to the psycho basement with tv heads being hanged where the Hammerlock siblings are standing in front of the fireplace
nah but for real. I would almost bet money that the Vault on Eden-6 is in that giant volcano/mountain area. It just feels right. we’ve seen it both dormant (the leaked footage) and active (the 3rd trailer) so I imagine opening the Vault would cause it to activate. Tho I’m still hoping onto the hope that it’s a moon pool. Just saying, Randy, if you’re reading this... just saying.
we also see this glowing sparkle icon again, which I think pretty much confirms from the We are Mayhem trailer that those will show us where the Moxxi crew quests are.
we see an enemy called “Shredder Fanatic”, personally I’m a fan of Splinter, but to each their own. Uhhh but for realsies they probably deal some blade damage or have a high RoF weapon.
a cool detail I noticed about the minimap is that elevated areas won’t get discovered until you reach that level. Thank god lol
part of this camp is made out of an old sailboat, which i think is pretty fuckin rad
makes me wonder if we’re ever going to see the areas of Pandora affected by the flash freeze again. How long do seasons last on Pandora again? I swear it was like 5 years or smth. oh well lol
i wanna know what this big thing is!! it looks cool. they mentioned that eden-6 was going to have a shitload of broken-down ships, so maybe this is related to it?
another look at what i'm assuming is Jakobs Manor. this is very hard because I keep getting distracted by the gameplay lol I’ve seen this video seven times! it shouldn’t be that enthralling!! and yet!
the combat music in this area is so fucking solid btw i am jamming the hell out
in awe at the size of this place. I’m digging the elevated hallway. i am very much getting a hogwarts vibe from here. the far right looks like an observatory, even.
“Big Donny’s Chop Shop - Open 7 Days” lmao
a gramophone and it looks like we can interact with it! i hope it plays classical music while we go on a murder spree
some sort of bridge? i assume that’s how you actually get up to Jakobs Manor. that may be why our quest is “go to Jakobs Manor”, we gotta fix the bridge before we can.
A Typhon journal!!!
No audio, though :(
From the radio: “catastrophe lead [???] to a lets play (flay?). Craving some meat in a bite sized package? then try festy flesh meats with a bandit on the go. hey, we know you want it, but do you have the time to hunt it down? ...”
-moxxi speaking about her crew challenge i can’t understand the radio here-
[different voice] “... for an exciting announcement from the CoV’s own ministers of murder: Pain and Terror! Those guys are cooking up one hell of a sh-” [player turns off radio] I gonna assume he was about to say “show” cause they’re a Penn and Teller reference. These are the guys from the arena with the giant skull thing, i think i have talked about them before?
Eden-6′s version of the shock cactus?
El Dragon Jr.
OwO are those the same purple rocks as Promethea?
They look like they are growing out of a stone tablet, i mean look at the green light. also they have that same star pattern inside them as Amara’s arms and Maya’s phaselock!!! Which makes me think it’s raw Eridium just... growing out of a stone tablet. which IS WILD!!!
AND WHAT IS MOZE HITTING IT WITH?!
FUCKING ENERGY BLADE
that is not her normal melee weapon, BY THE WAY
she normally uses her Stab! knife!!!
when u try to break the purple rocks on Promethea, iirc the player character can say something to the effect of “have to come back here later”, so it’s possible later in the story we get something (the glowing red/orange/yellow) energy sword to break the purple rocks (eridium???). and yes you KNOW i pointed out the colors because Atlas.
After meleeing it, Moze says “let’s open you up” so im wondering if maybe those stone tablets come into play later? the (eridium?) crystals explode into sparkly purple powder
glowing green!!!! It’s weird, I feel like these are eridian ruins/tablets growing eridium or some shit. we’ve seen the ruins have lines of color across them before, but never strictly on one side. and also never saw them grow eridium. i wonder if that is a reaction to us opening the second vault on pandora? eridium grew on pandora from the 1st one, now it’s spreading because of the second? I deffo think Eridium is from the second dimension (it started growing on pandora after the opening of the Vault) and it’s our key to getting there.
hey doesn’t that look familiar? I’ll give u like
yeah it’s the symbol from the gun
AND GUESS WHAT
YOU KNOW HOW THE GUN WAS TIED TO THE TEMPLE
YOU KNOW HOW I WAS TALKING ABOUT TANNIS’S FLOOR TILE IN HER INFIRMARY ALSO BEING TIED TO THE TEMPLE AREA???
LET ME GO GRAB IT
AND YOU KNOW I WAS REPLAYING TPS THE OTHER DAY FOR MY ANGEL ANALYSIS AND
THAT’S LABELING A PLANET IN THE HOLOGRAM
AAAAAAAAAAAAA THE ERIDIANS GAVE US A LOOT SPEWING GUN BUT THE GUN MAKES SENSE BECAUSE VAULTS VOMIT UP LOOT ALL THE TIME BUT IT’S NOT LIKE THE LOOT WE GOT WAS AROUND WHEN THE ERIDIANS CREATED THE VAULTS
ALSO I AM VERY CONCERNED THAT CORPSE IN THE TEMPLE IS TYPHON NOW AND THE BOOK IS HIS JOURNAL. WHY WOULD MAYA BE GIVING THE JOURNAL TO THE LITTLE GIRL? IS SHE ALSO RELATED TO TYPHON?
OKAY SORRY I GOT EXCITED but uh yeah idk if that writing/those symbols being the same was intentional or not but it exists and i'm losing my mind over it
i also just wanna know why the rocks are growing eridium and glowing green like what the fuck are your SECRETS
Aurelia shows up as you cross the checkpoint at the bridge, so it’s pretty much 100% confirmed the Hammerlocks are helping us with the jakobs thing. considering Aurelia is contacting us and not Alistar, im REALLY worried about the shot in the We Are Mayhem trailer where he has red eyes. please don’t hurt him. also i love how Aurelia calls herself a rich bitch. she makes that shit rhyme lol
another look at that big tower thing. May be a different one, actually. idk!
round the corner and see a little camp on the left. through that tunnel up ahead leads us here
we head to the right and Zer0 ECHOs us, asking us to kill someone to complete a crew challenge
The target’s name is Heckle (and his rage name is Hyde)
Interestingly he has a megaphone strapped to his mouth
Lots of stuff! Zer0 sends you mail for killing the target and you are informed that the Crew Challenge is completed. You also get a challenge completed for doing it. You ever notice the actual gameplay of borderlands is very tied to yellow and blue? the color of the title is yellow and the vault symbol for it is red (except for TPS). just odd to me idk
looks like a little envelope icon appears under your minimap when you have mail in your inbox!
we can see some cryo freezing the swamp water here! that’s my favorite thing. the electricity is cool, but ice is cooler.
i love the way this dude runs. also we now know that his pickaxe is to burrow his way into the ground
looks like it will create a huge pink cloud so you know when its about to happen, giving you time to stop it. nice.
getting closer. guess that wasn’t an observatory after all. Awww mannn
lootsplosion from the loot tink
bigger lootsplosion from his bag
i believe this is our first look at an ‘artifact’ which are replacing relics from bl2 and oz kits from tps. and like the interviews said, they’ll be effecting movement! this one turns your slide damage into cryo damage, lets you deal more radiation damage overall, and allows you to slide faster and further. i wonder how broken this can get on a downwards slope with a super high level slide relic. let’s break the sound barrier!
anyway, that’s all i saw that caught my eye. I still haven’t completed my Mask of Mayhem analysis, I was kinda hoping something during E3 would help me figure out who those mystery robed maliwan guys are on it, but alas we got nothing of real substance. oh, i also gotta finish that mural piece... aw fuck
danger pt 2
part two appears! not much plot advancement really but hopefully everyone will stay tuned. ♥
(these chapters have names on ao3 but i thought it’d be easy to just label them on tumblr by the overall name.
this is based off an au by @potamikou in which jumin is a mafia boss (because he looks like one in his good ending lol). please go see the original comic on potamikou’s page. link: http://potamikou.tumblr.com/post/177408723273/weekend-draws-ive-always-wanted-to-draw-jumin-in
i was given permission by potamikou to use their mafia au for this.
part 1 | part 2 | part 3 | part 4 | part 5 | part 6 | part 7 | part 8 | part 9 | chapter 10
At first she’d been afraid of going outside on her own. But there was a rumor going around after the accident of Jumin and MC having some sort of relationship. She hadn’t seen him since that night, when he’d offered her the money and she turned him down. It had been over a week now. But because no one knew the true story of what happened, there were extravagant rumors in place. She had kidnapped Jumin upon learning of his arranged marriage and they were running off together to be married. They hit the tree likely because they were trying to share a passionate moment and not paying attention to the road. But they were hurt and forced back home but Jumin still made her his mistress (as it was expected that he would keep a mistress or two during his marriage). It was all a lie but it did mean that MC was mostly left alone as everyone was afraid of her and what sort of wrath she might have Jumin inflict.
MC sighed and slumped over the arm of the chair. She never expected working for the mafia to be boring with but Jumin insisting she not work until she was healed, it was dull. Dull, dull, dull. Her uncle had his own small apartment on the complex and she was staying there during her employment. But her uncle was gone and she was bored. Sunlight streamed in the window and though it was a temporary distraction at best, she decided to go outside for a walk. At first she’d been afraid of going outside on her own. But there was a rumor going around after the accident of Jumin and MC having some sort of relationship. She hadn’t seen him since that night, when he’d offered her the money and she turned him down. It had been over a week now. But because no one knew the true story of what happened, there were extravagant rumors in place. She had kidnapped Jumin upon learning of his arranged marriage and they were running off together to be married. They hit the tree likely because they were trying to share a passionate moment and not paying attention to the road. But they were hurt and forced back home but Jumin still made her his mistress (as it was expected that he would keep a mistress or two during his marriage). It was all a lie but it did mean that MC was mostly left alone as everyone was afraid of her and what sort of wrath she might have Jumin inflict. It was troublesome for her at best. She rarely cared much for her reputation but she didn’t want people to believe there was anything between her and Jumin. But she had promised and she’d keep that promise.
As she was pulling on her shoes for her walk, one of Jumin’s men showed up. She was informed she had been requested immediately by Jumin. Why? What did he want? She hurried over, not bothering to change. It mind end up leading to more rumors as she was only wearing a simple sundress and while it wasn’t revealing or sexy, it wasn’t something to wear in a professional setting.
She knocked at Jumin’s door and was left alone. The door opened and she entered the room.
“Close the door.” Jumin was standing in front of her. She had almost forgotten how tall he was.
She did as she was told and silently shut the door behind her. “Sir? Did you request me?”
“Not you. I asked for anyone who was free. I did not think they’d ask you. It’s frustrating. There are certain things I cannot do with my arm like this.”
Now she understood. She noticeably relaxed but thankfully didn’t laugh this time. “It is hard sometimes, isn’t it? I broke my arm when I was a kid. What do you need?”
Jumin gave her a small list. Mostly odd jobs. Help him sign some papers. Help him shave. Run a bath. As she was working her way through, Jumin was going through his papers, working hard. He obviously worked hard, though he could likely have coasted through and just used his connection. But he put himself into his work. “Sir? I certainly don’t mind doing these things but don’t you have a personal assistant for this?” she asked, unable to stop her curiosity.
“They left. It was unexpected. I am not prepared to hire someone new just yet.” She saw him glance at his arm. Ah. He still wanted to hide that he couldn’t do everything himself. It was silly but she felt bad for him. He must not have been close to anyone there if he couldn’t trust anyone seeing him unable to do everything with a broken arm. It was unrealistic to think he could do everything.
“I see. Well. If it’s not imposing, I could help you. Like this. Until I can resume being a driver, at least.” She caught Jumin looking at her and she smiled a little. “Like I said, I know how hard it is to only use one arm all the time. It’s really frustrating to not be able to do the smallest things. Besides, I don’t like sitting around with nothing to do. I might as well earn the money you’re paying me.” She gave a dry chuckle. “And they’re already talking about me that way, might as well give them more ammo,” she added under her breath.
Jumin suddenly stood up, his chair scraping the floor. He approached her quickly until he was standing over her. How was he suddenly so imposing just when he did that? “What did you say? Talking about what?” he demanded.
MC blushed. “Oh. The rumors,” she shrugged her shoulders. Jumin didn’t seem to know them. “They think I’m your mistress or something. That the car accident was me taking you so we could run off together. That sort of thing.”
“Why do they think that? I was driving.” Jumin never paid any mind to rumors and most of his subordinates were careful to not speak about such things in his presence.
MC met Jumin’s eyes. She seemed much more serious all of a sudden. “I promised I wouldn’t say anything, remember? They don’t know you took the car because you were upset about your father.” She didn’t blame Jumin and wasn’t angry but had he truly not thought that she might have to deal with other consequences?
Truthfully, Jumin hadn’t thought that far. He was a bit shocked, She had suffered salacious gossip simply to keep his secret. Yes, he had asked her to but he hardly expected her to comply when she was the one being blamed. But she had kept her mouth shut.
“You may work for me if that is what you wish. I feel I owe you as you have suffered this gossip because of me. I will put an end to those rumors as well.” Jumin allowed. But he sounded cold and unattached again.
MC cocked her head to the side to inspect him. “You’re used to this, aren’t you? Rumors of women and all that. How many have you actually been with?” She sighed and clicked her tongue disapprovingly. “That’s an awful lot of trouble. You’re welcome to deny them if you want but I find that usually just gives rise to more rumors.”
Jumin watched the girl’s eyes. Something was there, just below the surface. Something she wasn’t revealing. It perturbed him, to be completely honest. This girl acted like she could see through him, even making up some he was certain he didn’t feel. “It is troublesome,” he agreed, studying her reaction. “One I am accustomed to. And if I’m mistaken, one you are as well.” That was it. He saw her flinch.
MC hadn’t expected Jumin to be quite that astute. But he was right. “Yeah. You’re right. They were false rumors, that I was sleeping with my married professor. A lot of people go through it. I fought it, said it was a lie. He went in front of his classes and denied it, too. That just made them worse. But the part that really bothered me was that I was the mistress. That I would allow a married or a coupled man to cheat on their partner with me. I wouldn’t do that. I’m not attracted to men who would.” She tried the shrug the heavy subject off.
Jumin’s eyes narrowed just the smallest bit. “Most girls would hate the rumor itself. You’re a strange one.”
Despite herself, MC smiled. “Yeah. I am. I know.”
She asked to get immediately to work, wanting to clear the air of the conversation. There wasn’t much she needed to do. Lay out Jumin’s clothes, make his bed, just housekeeping things. It wasn’t glamorous but it gave her something to do. MC was the sort to finish a task to completion and had a bit of a perfectionist streak when it came to cleaning. If it wasn’t completely spotless and germ-free, then you didn’t really clean, right? MC busied herself cleaning Jumin’s already pristine bathroom. It was almost ridiculous, how white it was. She wanted to put on sunglasses. The tile was intricately patterned but not in a way to be distracting. There was a comfortable tub for soaking, a shower that could probably fit about seven people comfortably. The sink MC was particularly delighted by. There was a small, unassuming button on the wall. Press it, and water tumbled upward out of the faucet, like a drinking fountain! It was so unexpected, she couldn’t help but laugh at it. In short, MC was quite jealous of his bathroom. But she was thorough and wanted to make sure to clean everywhere. Jumin was busy doing paperwork so… it was okay to listen to some music while she worked, right?
Jumin was concentrating on his paperwork. He never needed to worry himself with such things but he insisted. He always read everything and nothing slipped by him. It made him a very capable heir and many theorized Jumin would be moving the group in a completely different direction. Some even feared he might make them… Legitimate. The horror! But on this day, the papers were particularly obtuse and long and very shortly, Jumin had a splitting headache. He worked through it for a time. But soon, not even Jumin could ignore it. He pushed back from his desk and scowled at his injured arm. What a hassle. He lifted himself from the leather office chair and heard MC in his bathroom. He decided it was definitely time to be left alone so he went to excuse her from her duties for the day. But as he approached, he heard her music playing. And heard her singing along. He rounded the corner and saw her, paying complete attention to her cleaning, singing to her music loudly. Her singing was… Horrible! It was off-key and she even messed up the words. This woman! Who seemed so sure of herself while lecturing Jumin and she was the worst singer he’d heard! He let out a sharp exhalation through his nose which sounded a bit like a snorted laugh. It was a sharp sound that alerted MC to his presence.
She turned and saw him. His expression remained still but she saw the amusement, the mocking nature in his eyes. A blush spread across her cheeks. “Hey! No interrupting! I’m working!”
The lifted eyebrow indicated that Jumin wasn’t about to let her off easy. “Are you? Assaulting my eardrums was not among your list of tasks. I recommend you do not simply add more according to your own wishes. I only expect you to finish what I ask of you.”
The blush deepened and MC’s expression turned angry. Somewhat. Not as angry as she’d be in the car but a pout turned the corners of her mouth down as she tried to glare at him. Finally she sighed, seeing he wasn’t about to back down. “Was there something you needed, sir?” she asked, the last word dripping with disrespect.
Jumin just continued to smirk at her with his eyes yet his face remained with the same stony expression. “You’re done for today. Be back tomorrow at 8 am.” Jumin locked the door behind her. What a strange person. At least she did her job but he just didn’t know what to make of that girl. But somehow, his quarters felt almost too silent now. What a hassle.
As expected, the rumors were making rounds with renewed vigor after MC emerged from Jumin’s quarters. She didn’t enjoy the colorful comments she heard muttered under breaths when she went by. Obviously they knew she heard the remarks. Most were crass and just meant to get a rise out of her, which she refused to give them the pleasure. But she wasn’t sure if becoming Jumin’s personal assistant was going to be the best option now. It was too late for second guessing that decision, though.
Thankfully, another week went by and it was relatively peaceful. Jumin kept his word to dispel the rumors (mostly) though he did it privately and maturely so for the most part, it worked. MC continued to work hard for Jumin, glad to have something to do. She found the man to be a strange mix of childish (the way he refused to believe he had normal human emotions) and extremely competent head-to-be. She couldn’t deny he was impressive and though she tried to keep her place, sometimes he was just too frustrating. For example, his eating habits. With his arm in a sling, it left one hand free to do paperwork. Previously, Jumin had eaten his meals while working. That was no longer an option so he began skipping meals when he was no longer hungry. That would not do! MC caught on quickly (probably too quickly for Jumin’s taste) and began nagging. He frequently became cross with her but the incident repeated itself and each time, MC stood her ground longer. It was something they began to butt heads on frequently.
One day, MC had enough. He was still refusing but she swore it was just him being stubborn more than him absolutely needing to work. She stormed off to his small kitchen, muttering under her breath. “Stupid, spoiled, rich son. Thinks he doesn’t need food. Child, he’s just a spoiled, bratty kid, that’s all. Doesn’t deserve food but he’s gonna get it and I’m gonna give it to him.” MC wasn’t the most amazing cook but she could manage sandwiches. She stomped back to Jumin, ready to force the food down his throat if she had to.
There he was, hunched over his desk, pretending to work. Probably pretending. She put the plate down, letting it clatter a bit. She knew the sound drove Jumin nuts when he was working. He looked up with a stubborn anger in his gaze. She met it equally.
“You’re eating. Now, sir.” Her voice was steady.
“Then I recommend you eat quickly so you can return to work.”
“Leave it in the kitchen. I will eat it later.” He went back to burying his nose in his papers.
Oh, no. He wasn’t getting off that easily. “Fine. You brought this on yourself.” MC picked up the knife she’d brought from the kitchen. She cut a sandwich into little bite-sized squares. “It’s not my job to hand-feed you but spoiled children like you need to learn manners.”
Jumin’s head jerked up at her harsh words. Normally, MC wasn’t so brash. The instant he lifted his head, though, she had pushed the sandwich bite inside his mouth. He was too shocked to fight back. He slowly chewed, his eyes growing darker. He was dangerously close to angry.
But MC didn’t back down. She held up the next piece. This time, Jumin didn’t easily open his mouth. He kept it closed. Tight. MC was annoyed and perhaps that was what pushed her to do what she did. Because it certainly wasn’t in her normal behaviors. She squared her shoulders and leaned a bit closer. She pressed a single finger to his lips (wait, how could a man’s lips possibly be that soft?) and easily slipped it inside. She pressed his lower jaw down and his mouth opened just a crack, enough for her to push the sandwich in again.
Not to be outdone, Jumin made sure to close his lips around her fingers as she was removing them, giving them a split-second kiss. This was her game and he wasn’t a fan. He would have to fire her.
MC felt his lips close around her fingers and suddenly her anger abandoned her. No, that definitely didn’t feel like their stubborn feud over food. That was different. It was intimate. She blushed a dark shade of red and found she couldn’t meet Jumin’s eyes. Her hands fell to her lap. The fingers Jumin had brushed with his lips felt like they were tingling.
“F-Fine. You win. I’ll just leave these in the kitchen,” she stammered, desperate to get out of there as quickly as possible.
What she hadn’t seen was Jumin’s eyes soften when she blushed. His own anger evaporated. Oh? She couldn’t even play her own game to completion. That was… Cute. Thoughts of firing her were gone when he noted how she almost seemed unwilling to let the fingers he’d tasted touch anything else. She didn’t wipe them clean, didn’t even put her hands together. Almost like she was savoring the touch. He noted her sudden shy obedience and he much preferred that MC. “No. Leave them here. I’ll eat them in my own time.”
MC still couldn’t bring herself to look at Jumin. She was horrified by what she’d done. Thankfully, there was no need for her to stay. She scurried out, keeping her head down to hide her deep crimson blush as she ran back to her uncle’s apartment. The same thought thundered in her head the whole way.
What had she done?
BBRae Week 2018: Day 2
Since @abirdandabeast broke all our hearts, here’s some fluff to help heal those wounds, lol.
Raven cherished life — all of it.
She tried to remind herself of the teachings she’d come to learn back on Azarath, even as the loud screeching and yelping filled her ears the moment they’d entered the pet store.
It was like an instantaneous headache, and she visibly grimaced as the sudden loud noise and juvenile emotions overcame her senses. One by one, she began the arduous process of blocking them out until her mind was a little more quiet again.
Too much. Too loud. Make it stop.
Azar, she was trying. She squeezed her eyes shut, desperate to bring a halt to the pulsations throbbing between her temples. Was this what life was going to be like for them, too?
“You alright, Rae?” His voice was — oddly enough — the only resounding calm in the storm. When she opened her eyes and met his familiar, concerned visage, it was like a lull in the otherwise crazy environment she’d willingly strutted into. Everything else became a faded sound — background noise she could suddenly easily tune out in order to focus on him. Even time itself seemed to come to a winding crawl, as she watched him slowly blink at her with worry etched into the lines of his youthful features.
Little did he know how often she used him as a beacon of salvation from her own inner demons and turmoil. Raven liked to think of him as her personal lighthouse, there to keep her afloat in even the darkest, stormiest of nights.
Even the Other seemed to hum and resonate with approval from within her — in a peculiar singsong fashion — as if to be in complete blissful agreeance with how she now viewed him in her life. In fact, her very being resonated with the emotions, making her nerves spark with a familiar warmth that started from the depths of her loins and worked its way to her fingertips, toes, and hairline.
Happy. Good. Love.
She couldn’t help the microscopic smile that annoyingly tugged at the corners of her lips. All the positive emotions bubbled up within her, and they were vexingly contagious, regardless of how basic and primitive they were in nature.
“I’m fine. It’s just...a little loud in here, that’s all,” she confessed, not without a small smile.
Beast Boy relaxed at her reassuring tone, the jade of his irises twinkling again. “If it’s too much, we can go…”
She didn’t need to read his emotions to know that he’d have been devastated if she agreed. Raven shook her head no. “We came here for a reason, and we’re not leaving until we pick out a furball to go home with,” she reminded him quite sternly.
He grinned at her response, the vibrance of his elation surging and consuming in a way that drowned out everything else around him. If Raven had to describe his disposition in one word, she’d choose sunshine. Not only was it all encompassing, warm and bright, it was also equally as blinding and overbearing when one attempted to take it head on.
Beast Boy then extended his hand out towards her, palm open, and waited for her to take it. “Then let’s go find our new Mister Buttons.” He grinned toothily, the deep lines around his mouth accentuating his faint dimples.
He never was one for patience though, and as the empath was currently preoccupied with studying the patterns on his palm incredulously, Beast Boy yanked her hand in his and started barreling his way further into the store before she could even think to utter a word of protest. Raven found herself frowning, brow creased, even as he dragged her down the aisles in uninhibited excitement. “Mister Buttons?” she repeated dryly, evidently unamused. “Tell me that isn’t what you’re thinking of naming it. Besides, who said we’re getting a boy?”
“Fine. Miss Buttons, then. I’m not picky.” Beast Boy was practically running along the bustling aisles now, carefully dodging any salesperson because he knew how uncomfortable it made his girlfriend whenever she was forced into conversation with strangers.
Raven couldn’t help a secret smile at his dismissiveness. A good thing, or he might have started asking questions far too soon for her liking.
At the implication of their hand holding, Raven’s heart swelled and soared with emotion, without any permission at all — the way it usually did these days. It was uncontrollable, how warm and soft everything was when he was so forward with his affections for her. He was hers, and she was his, after all. They were together, and she finally had someone to call her own, in a life that was hers at last. Normally, these sort of sappy feelings were but an afterthought to the rigid empath, but lately, even the smallest romantic gestures set her stomach aflutter, and quickened her heartbeat. The reason for this unprecedented behaviour had become apparent to her only recently, but still, Raven was left at the mercy of her own baser instincts, and so she would have no choice but to allow it. Thankfully, Beast Boy had been none the wiser to her slight change in demeanour. Or, in the least, he hadn’t made to mention it yet. A blessing in disguise, as it granted Raven the reprieve she needed to gather her own courage in preparation for that conversation.
“What about Cotton?” she mused aloud, catching him off guard, but he didn’t seem to really hear her once they’d reached their destination.
They finally came to a stop by the cat adoption windows, and Garfield gave her the eyes.
Raven folded her arms over her chest and clucked her tongue, shaking her head curtly. “That’s not what we agreed on, Gar,” she chided him in her chilling tone of voice. Starfire had always told her that she had to have nerves of steel to withstand the infamous pouty eyes that belonged to Garfield Logan. Even then, the way his shoulders slumped, and his gaze drifted to the floor, made her heart drop to the pits of her stomach.
Not even her demon heritage made her feel as evil, callous, and cruel as she did in that moment, despite knowing it truly was for the best.
“Yeah, yeah. Start with a hamster, go from there,” Beast Boy reiterated the instruction in monotone, his voice dropping an octave lower as he kicked his feet against the tiled floor.
She eased off in her body language, and sighed before heading over to the cages nearby. A few furry critters domesticated the place, in varying sizes and colours. Beast Boy joined her shortly, and they both surveyed the hamsters that seemed otherwise undisturbed by their presence.
“Cute, huh?” he commented with a smile, eyeing the one currently running a marathon on its little wheel.
Raven pursed her lips and scrunched up her nose in mild disgust. Mostly due to the rank odour of feces filtering out from the cage. “I guess so...They kind of look like furrier, fatter rats, though.”
He chuckled at that. “You don’t think they look like cotton balls? Since you want to go with Cotton as a name, I mean.”
She shrugged. “It was a suggestion. And for the record, it’s still leagues better than Mister or Misses Buttons.”
“What about Rex?” Beast Boy ignored her jibe.
Raven had to agree there. “I don’t think it’s a boy…”
“How can you even tell with all that fur?” Beast Boy raised an eyebrow, squinting in at the cage to get a better look at the hamster’s genitals.
“It just doesn’t feel right,” she explained, hunching her shoulders as if a cold breeze had just blown by her.
“Hmm,” Beast Boy scratched his chin. “Dutchess?”
Raven made a face. “You’ve got to be kidding me.”
“I think she could be a Dutchess. Her fur is golden!”
“Ginger? Lady? Precious?”
No, no, no!
Raven scowled. “Those are terrible, Gar.”
It was probably by pure chance that she saw it at all, the sign next to the cat cubicle right next to them. Immediately, it seemed to call to her, and the Other— for once — remained quiet at her internal suggestion. No agitation, no argument.
Raven smiled. She’d gladly take silence as a concession.
“Nalah,” she said, and it was as certain as the day.
Garfield stood up to his full height, a look of confusion muddling his handsome features. “Like, the Lion King?” he clarified, dubious.
He didn’t wait for her to answer. His face lit up and he gasped as realization finally dawned on him. “That’s perfect! The hamster, but as fierce as a lion! It’s adorable for a little fuzzy critter like her!” he exclaimed enthusiastically.
Beast Boy then turned and pawed his finger at a hole in the cage with an eager smile, and the little thing grabbed a hold of him with its tiny hands, and bit down. “Yeow!” he yelped, immediately withdrawing his hand and shaking it.
Raven giggled. “I’m not sure what you expected to happen, especially when she’s named after a lion, of all things.”
He soured and cradled his injured finger against his chest. “She’s got a mean streak is what she’s got,” Beast Boy grumbled, narrowing his eyes at their future new pet.
“Hmm?” The empath was currently busy watching the hamster stuff some food in its ever growing cheeks, like it was some kind of challenge to see how much it could fit in there.
“Why Nalah? How’d you come up with that? Not for anything, but you’ve never been a big Disney fan, and I should know; I’ve forced you to watch the two films you have seen. Lion King was not one of them.”
Raven hummed, enjoying the brief power she held over the changeling in his lack of knowledge. “You could say I had some help deciding.”
Beast Boy fixed her with a look of disbelief — not unlike the first time he’d ever seen her use her powers — before she nodded towards the sign behind him in exasperation. He turned his head to look, and then said, “Ah. I guess it’s also a pretty good name for a kitten, y’know.” He waggled his eyebrows at her in a final attempt to sway her, but Raven’s smile fell and he stopped. There was no wiggle room with her when it came to pets.
“Hamster first, then cat. If you can manage taking care of the little one, we’ll consider something bigger.”
“Worth a shot,” Beast Boy shrugged. “Let me hail down a salesperson and get this show on the road! In the meantime, start looking at cages and food for Nalah!”
Before she could even open her mouth to protest, he was gone, racing down the aisles and swinging his head from side to side in search of a familiar set of clothes.
Raven shook her head, but she couldn’t escape the feeling of unbridled joy that had seeped out of Garfield when she’d told him that she was ready to raise their first pet together. It had stuck with her all this time, and spread through her like a tingling warmth that moved from within her bloodstream itself, like she carried a piece of it with her wherever she went.
She smirked at that; in a way, maybe it was.
“Did you need any help here, ma’am?”
Raven was startled by the voice behind her, and she practically jumped out of her skin, her hand moving defensively to her belly. The salesperson smiled at her, and she was able to gauge that it was genuine. Somewhat a surprising turn of events, since most retail workers often hated their jobs, and oozed with dissatisfaction. The woman glanced down briefly at Raven’s hand, and said, “Oh, are you looking for a future companion for the little one?”
The empath staggered, but the Other — although silent — was still very much present. It felt like a roll call, the way the older woman had announced it, and the tiny life form growing within the demoness seemed to respond as if to say, ‘here’. The truth was, Raven wasn’t even showing. She was hardly in her first trimester, and thus, still didn’t have the courage yet to tell Garfield that she was expecting his child. And yet…
“We’re getting a hamster,” she blurted out, her face feeling flushed and pink suddenly. “Naming her Nalah.”
He wasn’t supposed to have left her there in the first place. This was all his fault.
“Nalah? That’s a wonderful name!” the employee remarked. “You’ve probably got a list of names I bet.”
Raven gulped. “N-not really...just one.”
It was difficult to discern if they were still talking about hamsters.
The employee was going for the keys to fetch the fussy, little critter that both Raven and Beast Boy had picked out. “Oh?” She raised her eyebrows, curious.
Raven stared down at her shoes, after having made sure that the green changeling was still nowhere in sight. She couldn’t help the way both her hands came to instinctively guard her abdomen, just as her thoughts returned to what was growing inside her. “Chaaya...Her name, it’s Chaaya.”
Raven had known she’d liked it the day she’d seen it on the television a few days after she’d discovered the pregnancy. One of the weather forecasters, her name had been Chaaya, and it had flashed on the screen as Garfield was lazing in her lap, too busy tapping away on his phone to be paying anything any mind. An insignificant moment in time, and yet, she couldn’t help but be drawn to it, the same way she’d been drawn to Nalah. It had given her a sense of calm, when her mind had been rattled and chaotic from the information she’d been withholding from her partner. Somehow, the name cemented the presence, and Raven knew that it was right.
“It means shadow in Hindi,” she added, unable to shut up now that she was in this awkward social situation. “My mother, she was part Indian.”
“That’s a very pretty name,” the saleswoman assured her. “It’s probably corny, but I’m a firm believer that moms just know sometimes. When it’s right, it’s right. And when it’s wrong, they’ll tell ya by giving you a swift kick in the gut! At least, that’s what my Ma used to say about me!” The older lady chuckled, eliciting a nervous, crooked smile from Raven that would have probably sent all four of the other Titans recoiling in fear. “Now, was there a cage you two had picked out yet, or did you want some advice?”
Raven absentmindedly tucked some hair behind her ear, still feeling embarrassed from her uncharacteristic oversharing with a total stranger. “Advice would be appreciated,” she mouthed delicately.
Although picking out the right cage for their new fuzzy roommate was also important, Raven would have vastly preferred a how-to guide on telling her oblivious boyfriend that he was going to be a father to a demon-baby instead…
“There you are!”
Much to her relief, she found her in his study. Not that Beast Boy really used the study for anything other than gaming and entertainment, but there were a few books lining the shelves, and a nice, rich mahogany armchair in the corner, courtesy of Raven.
So, to her, a study it was.
He had his back to them both at the opposite end of the room, still too absorbed in his match on his computer to have even heard the girl’s nonsensical sputtering and happy clapping. Once the headphones were on, the world could have crashed and burned around them, and Garfield would be too busy yelling at his screen to notice.
Raven sighed and rolled her eyes before stepping into the carpeted room to scoop the unsuspecting infant up in her arms. Chaaya cooed and wiggled excitedly in her mother’s embrace, happy for no good reason other than existing, it seemed. Raven got a whiff of her diaper and flinched at the smell. How babies could sit in their own excrements would always boggle her mind for as long as she lived.
The empath then strutted over towards her boyfriend to stand before him until she’d gotten his attention, and patiently waited for him to pause the game and remove his headphones. Garfield made to look between both his screen and his wife and child a few times, as if uncertain as to which he should attend to first. Eventually, Raven’s icy purple glare helped him make the right decision with a little more haste.
“Uh, hey, what’s Chaaya doing here?” he asked, somewhat out of breath from his nervousness.
As if on cue, a bubble of spit dribbled down the infant’s chin, and she bounced again, rubbing her small hands together while smiling giddily in his direction. Beast Boy couldn’t help but reach out a hand and tickle her plump little shoulder, to which she cooed louder.
“You tell me,” Raven replied. “One minute, she was playing in the living room while I was reading, and the next, she’d vanished without a trace!”
The changeling smirked up at his lovely wife knowingly. “Got you a little worried, huh?”
Raven shifted the baby’s weight in her arms and sighed, hating — and loving — the way it made her feel when he looked at her like that. Especially when she had other pressing matters to confront him with “Worried? She’s technically another spawn of Trigon’s, so yes. I’m always worried, Gar.”
He had to frown at that. “She’s more you than him, y’know.”
Raven shook her head, irritable. “That’s not the point. The point is, I can’t seem to keep her away from you for even a minute!” Raven argued, changing the subject exasperatedly. Even now, Chaaya screeched and struggled against her mother’s grip, reaching out towards Garfield like he was a raft while she was drowning in an ocean.
He took her from the arms of his frustrated wife, and sat her on his lap before she could whack Raven in the face with one of her flailing limbs.
“What do you mean? She’s perfectly fine when she’s alone with you,” Garfield assured her, nuzzling the soft, dark hair on their daughter’s head.
Raven wiped at her sweaty forehead, and rubbed at her tired eyes, the dark circles beneath them evidence of just how little sleep she got over doting on the baby. “Yes, everything's perfectly fine when you’re not around, but on the occasion that she’s aware you’re somewhere nearby, she doesn’t hesitate to follow you everywhere! She can’t even walk yet, and she’s already made a habit of crawling away from me to go wherever you go!”
“Azar, I wish we stuck to the hamster and cat; she nearly gives me a heart attack twice a day!” As if on cue, Raven glanced to the side where she could hear Nalah furiously working her wheel in blissful ignorance. Their black cat, which they had aptly named Mister Buttons on Beast Boy’s absolute insistence, was currently lounging on a nearby windowsill, cleaning his fur.
Beast Boy chuckled as he helped soothe Chaaya, cradling her tenderly in his arms. With a thumb in her mouth, her eyes half-lidded, and her little head resting contently against his chest, the infant girl was ready for her nap time, it seemed. “She’s only living up to her name, Rae. The name you picked out for her, I’ll remind you.”
Raven had to pause at that, her hands coming to rest on her hips as she pondered his meaning, which seemed to elude her currently exhausted mind.
“She’s my shadow. My little shadow. Isn’t that right?” he explained teasingly, wiggling the tip of his nose against his baby daughter’s as she came to life with a sharp giggle. The slope of her nose was smaller and daintier, but still identical to Garfield’s, making the movement even more charming than it ought to have been.
Raven couldn’t help but watch in adoration, the panic and fear dissipating to be replaced by what she now knew to describe as pure, unfiltered love. Intoxicating and consuming, that was the singular emotion that Chaaya had left within her after she’d been born and Raven had been so afraid of losing her connection to them both.
A sense of unconditional love for her newest family.
Both of which, in this moment, were hers, and no one — not even her father or her brothers — were ever going to take that away from her.
Not without a fight, at least...
hi do you have any tips/recs for someone who’s just starting new leaf? i had it a long time ago but i stopped playing, and now i want to start playing again but i don’t remember it well 🙈
Hi! This might be long but! When I restarted this last time I was worried it would get boring real fast like with my first save, so I planned out as much as I possibly could ahead of time.
Think of a theme that makes you happy! Do you love witchy/fairy things? A specific color? maybe a season? particular villager animal? Aliens??? If you can figure out a theme you can build around (and it can be ANYTHING) then you will have much more confidence when you first step foot in your new town!
Now I’m gonna use my town as reference, so, I really like the Witchy/Fairy aesthetic and I knew immediately thats what i was going to do. I’m bad at town names, but i like Pokemon and remembered they have a fairy town, so I looked it up and got my name and figured why stop there? That’s how Laverre City became one of my sole inspirations for my town. I was inspired to restart because of hackers so even though I cant hack, I think about things I might like to do, or really want to do when/if i ever can and i have some big ideas lol im so sad. So ultimately i settled on a fall themed town (not perpetual fall but looks best in fall and the dreamcode will be of the town in fall) with lots of pink cosmos and regular saplings to give off a resemblance to Laverre City :)I then looked at a lot of forest and dreamy type towns to get some inspiration like mushroom rings, layout ideas, and items or PWPs to use. I also checked sites like animal crossing wikia to make a list of PWPs I might like in my town and chose 30 possible options (you can only build 30) and check the space requirements.
Once I start for real with a vague idea of where I want to put things I look at all the maps available and if they don’t have specific traits i want (secret beach, desirable town tree location, diving cliff, ponds in places that wont get in the way of projects and landscaping ideas, good spot for the cafe, etc) I restart until a map comes up that I like. Once I arrive in town its time to check my native fruit and rock locations and make sure its up to my standards, and if a resident is important for you to have/not have make sure to check the map too!
Once you get a town you’re happy with and you’ve found the perfect place to call home its time to get serious >: |It’s time for your first shovel and axe.Now, I have always been anti-axe in previous games but this last save changed me. I got a hold of that first axe and chopped down every tree that wasn’t a southern cedar tree! (southern cedars are only possible at the start! If you plant them they’ll only grow in the North, thats the top half of your town.) Now your town will feel barren at first and this is the ugliest stage but also one of the funnest -imo- so lets open up your patterns and get started. Now that you have a blank canvas use your green & blue tiles to signify trees/bamboo and bushes, you can even redesign it and write “T” or “B” respectably and start laying them out. You can also use the Yellow to lay down where you want PWPs (make sure to surround two spaces further than the project requires. a 3x3 fountain should look more like a 5x5 area to ensure no one moves directly next to where you want to build). You should have lots of fruit piled up (remember to stack them) so you can layout bush tiles and plant fruit if you’d rather have a better idea of how its gonna look. I planted all my peaches and would later go back and replace certain ones with new fruit i acquired. Its good to have a “this is all a process” mindset because it will take a while to get your town done even if you time travel, but thats good! because the game is all about making your dream town!
So now you have a good amount of the town planned out and probably have some ideas of what to do next. The next few days will be spent checking out how things are growing and making sure you planted things in the right spots. if there’s anything you’re not liking - change it! Your town Your rules!
Now while you are waiting for things to grow and get pretty its time to gather aaaaaallllll the flowers you can find and organize them in a large free space so they are all diagonally touching (XXXX), this way you can get hybrids early on :)Make sure they are the same breed and check hybrid guides so you know which colors work best to make the hybrids you most want and make sure to water them everyday as they will wilt if you don’t have the beautiful ordinance. Hybrids are good to have for trades when you dont have much money.
After all this you should be off to a pretty good start. Try to keep in mind villagers you would like to have and try to make friends online or IRL that you can adopt from (I always post when i have some one leaving and who I am hoping to replace them with and I usually get an offer fairly quickly, even for villagers I was desperate to get out. No matter who they are someone likes them :)) But if your town is set up in a way that you’ll be devastated if your dreamie moves in that one perfectly made up spot, it might be a good idea to plot set &/ reset.Plot resetting is when you make a *NEW* character save to check and see if anyone moved in overnight, and more importantly, if they moved in an undesirable place. If this happens restart and select the new save option until the villager plots in a spot you like. Once they do that build your tent somewhere and save quit. This will make the new residents spot permanent and then you can select the new save once more and delete their home. This could take quite a while if you have lots of “open” space. “Open Space” is how I refer to non-tiled/pwp or house occupied areas and the way I go about this is covering my town in about 75% tiles and spacing out pwps to where there are as few places houses can plot in as possible. Houses wont build over tiles and will plot at least 2 spaces away from other buildings, rocks and projects and one away from clifs and ponds/rivers. They dont care however if there are trees, bamboo, items, bushes, or flowers so be sure to lay out tiles in any place at risk to being plotted on. I refer to this as “Plot Setting” as you can make 3x3 empty plots you surround with tiles which will help villagers know where to plot. If you do a good job and plot everything out just right, you’ll never have to worry about someone messing up your hard work.
Now here’s the kinda sucky part of ACNL and that is The Limitations.Annoying programmed rules that seem to only get in the way such as the 2-space rule between pwps/buildings. This can mess up your aesthetic a lot and sometimes you will have to completely replan things due to a small fact you may have overlooked or not noticed and suddenly your garden isnt looking right so im gonna name off the biggest hassles and how I have gotten around some of them.
Bush + tree + bush: You can line up 12 trees/bamboo and bushes in a line. This works both straight and diagonally. only 12. Now you can leave gaps in some places that will reset the count or do intricate designs like one cedar in the middle of 4 bushes, a line of bushes with trees spaced out directly behind, a pattern of bushes and chopped bamboo, etc get creative. Visiting others towns or looking at pics people post can help you get lots of ideas. Bushes can touch each other but trees & bamboo still have the one space between rule.
PWP 2-space rule: now I’ve already mentioned this a few times but this rule is always the one that I seem to forget when planning. YOU NEED TWO SPACES. I cant tell you how many times i have planned project locations weeks in advance only to not be able to lay them out as i wanted because I got the space requirement wrong or only left one space between other objects :/
Beach Rules: You may have seen cool towns with pwps, cedar trees and hibiscus bushes scattered around their beach and Ive got some bad news; Those are hacked towns. The only thing that can be planted on the beach naturally is coconut and banana trees, flowers, and clovers. Nothing grows on the beach, not even weeds. No pwps can be built there either, even though it was initially programmed to be possible. I currently use the space for hybrid breeding since i have no space to elsewhere ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Tear Down and Build Up: I will say though that even though only maybe 15% of my original plans came to life, my town looks way better than i had ever imagined it would. Don’t be afraid to tear things down and try out different locations or setups you might figure something out that looks amazing compared to your original plans.
Finally, while you can participate in the Happy Home Ratings, you dont have too. Decorate how ever the flip you want. Find new things to do everyday as the game can get old fast and you might get temped to Timetravel (which isnt a bad thing if thats what you want to do, but be careful you dont lose your villagers/flowers! Even though I have the Beautiful ordinance, I water all my flowers incase they pop out a hybrid. I try to earn all the badges, I visit dreamtowns for inspiration, redesign areas of my town, farm PWPs, make patterns, try hunting down items to decorate my house with, etc, this is another area where having a theme can help as you will find inspiration easier, and make you feel more immersed like you’re playing an RPG.
I’ve gone on a lot here and I have more to add but I’ve spent over an hour typing this, but let me know if you have any other questions or need clarification on anything :) I’m not gonna add pics rn but if you need photo reference send another message and I will address it separately and add it here later.
Now heres a bunch of links to help you get invested:MoriBD - A catalog of every in-game item and an option to make a wishlistHybrid Guide - By @nooklingPWP GuideVillager Adoption Further Info on Plot ResettingPWP Farming Towns/interiors I found inspirationalSome QRsHacking info (if youre interested)How to upload your screenshots & Make your screenshot pretty!
Pick the right face when you startOnce you get the QR reader (talk to sable 7 days) you can use these
Please let me know if there’s anything else I can do to help :)Just putting it out there too, I am always happy to help people get whatever they want/need for no cost whether it be fruits, bamboo, mushrooms, items, hybrids, etc, I will always do what I can to help you out, whether you’re just starting or on your 5th year.
hooray I think I was productive today :) friends can read this time (except cassidy, you gotta leave, birthday spoilers) but if you figure out my secret project dont tell anybody
uhhh I dont remember much of this morning other than I just wanted to keep sleeping and my cat was probably clawing at my sheets again. I knew I needed some tape so I could tape together patten pieces for my project and my mom needed meds picked up, so I gathered my things and went to the store by myself with my mom’s card and a short shopping list. all fuckin morning I kept repeating the Minecraft creeper song and the clip from “Korone saying eating Myke Tyson's ass Good Ending” where she has the birthday cake hat. so imagine me, sitting in my car, singing “eating, mike Tyson’s, ass. NOOO” on repeat while looking for a parking space. I ended up walking laps around the store because I didn't know where they kept the fuckin hummus and I had to text my sister and ask. then there was SO much trouble at the pharmacy. basically they didnt have my mom’s insurance on file so I put her on speakerphone while she acted like a boomer not being able to read her own insurance card. the worst part is that because the pharmacy lady was talking to my mom over the phone, I couldn't kill time and be on my phone. so I had to just STAND THERE staring into the middle distance for entirely too long playing with the 2 sets of keys I had clipped to my hand purse wallet thingy. at least I felt cool in my outfit and my boots. eventually it all pretty much worked out and I got to bring home 2 out of her 5 medications and all the groceries. but the lady at checkout thought I was struggling with the machine or an idiot or something (or maybe she was trying to be helpful, whatever) and came over to help me like 3 times. like!! I'm sorry im tired and a little overstimulated and like to take my damn time!! whatever its fine lol. afterwards I drove over to dollar tree to get tape, but I ended up getting a lot of other things too. I saw that they had a brand of tape where you could buy extra rolls without the plastic thing that holds them so I got both. there was also satin ribbon which I was very tempted to get to add to my project, but since I did have fabric to color match to I put it away. instead I got a set of tiny jars, glitter, and craft glue to make into liquid glitter jars. my first idea was to maybe make them into a necklace with fake flowers and shrinky dink fairy wings, but I think they'll just be for decoration. I wanted a snack while I was there and got some crackerjack, like from the baseball song. if you didnt know, yeah its real and its just candied popcorn and peanuts with a little sticker inside. but its really damn good! that's why I ate 2 out of the 3 boxes kn the back and shared the 3rd with my dad. after checkout I sat in the parking lot eating crackerjack straight from the box since I forgot hand sanitizer and watching tiktoks. when I tried to go home there was a huge line of cars outside the entrance to the neighborhood with an ambulance in there and police lights up front, so I turned the other way and took the other entrance. when I came home I found my mom in the process of ripping up carpet in front of her bathroom so she can replace it with tile. we had discussed this earlier today but I thought this would be an eventually project, not a today project. so I spent some time cutting carpet, ripping up foam, sweeping, and prying away the spiky wooden boarders. we need to either remove or hammer down some nails that go down into the concrete before we can start laying down tiles. I spent some time taping together my pattern pieces, cutting 1cm strips off the side of 25 pieces of paper until I got 5 long lines of 5 sheets that I would need to match up and tape together. I didnt have enough space on my bed so I brought it all out to the kitchen floor. it was the biggest clean flat surface in the house I could think of. I got frustrated about pieces not fitting perfectly and my printer cutting off important parts at the very bottom of pages, but I made it work. I roughly cut around each piece and when I brough them all back to my room, I saw my cat had gotten sick on my bed which made me more frustrated. she was asleep on my blankets and very warm so when I picked her up I was worried for a moment that she might have a fever, but she’s fine. I let her out of my room so I could take off the sheet she messed up and ran it and a couple other things through the wash. for the rest of the afternoon I let my cat stay outside without me, and she ended up staying outside for hours, never straying too far from the door but not coming inside when I invite her. I'd check up on her every so often and set her food dish. my sister kept asking me to find my wallet that had mom’s card in it which frustrated me more, and by now I was also getting hangry, so I was fuckin mad and tired and needed to be alone in my room for a bit. I have her card info saved on my phone so I just texted that to her so she could pay for food. I noticed my dad’s boss had called me and I missed it, so I called him back nd he just said It would be a couple days before any updates. I wish he would have just texted me but whatever. I sat outside with my cat while we ordered, making sure she was ok and wasn't hurting her eyes in the sun. I went in the car to pick up food but made my sister go in alone. we ate together in her room while I watched tiktoks and she worked on homework. after that I looked at the stuff u got from dollar tree and started making the 5 mini glitter jars in the bathroom. they all turned out pretty cute, but the pink and red ones are lowly leaking baby oil through the cork stopper. after that I had 2 tiny jars left, so I shoved in dried rose petals and baby’s breath and crushed leaves, all from the flowers my dad got me for valentines day. I think they turned out ADORABLE, and I'm going to borrow some earring making supplies from a friend who bought them in bulk to start a small buisness of reselling aliexpress charms as earrings but quit after a while and still had a ton of leftover supplies. I think I might want to add some twine and shrinky dink fairy wings to the earrings, so I spent a while making 2 test pieces and fucking up a scrap piece to test how to make the hole for the earring hardware. I talked to my dad bout my whole process when he walked in on me preheating the oven, and he agreed to buy the smallest drill bit the hardware store had to offer so I could just drill the hole after baking. luv u papa <3 by then it was getting a little late so I went back to my room. I only have a week or so to finish my project, and I didnt want to get into pinning and cutting fabric tonight, so instead I prepped my patterns. I zoomed into the pattern pdf so it was life sized and traced the missing edges that got cut off by my printer and cut out all the pieces with an xacto knife. I was struggling all day to figure out what the hell these 2 huge shapes labeled lower front and lower back were supposed to be, until I looked through the pdfs again and realized it wasn’t even for the version of the pattern I was using!! so I folded them up and added them to the scrap paper pile. now I have all my pattern pieces nicely prepped resting on an open drawer because otherwise my cat would step all over them. tomorrow I think I'll start pinning and cutting, but not until I read through all the instructions like 3 times and try to look up a youtube tutorial. but its 2:30 am now and im hungry, good night sleep well mwah <3
&&. self para : 001
location : briar and zachary’s apartment
trigger warnings : self harm , strong language
please read with extreme caution . there is no real detail mentioned , but i do use some triggering language . so please , read with caution .
the past twenty four hours were filled with endless amounts of texts, people asking if it was true, wondering if she was okay. all of which she replied to quite simply with a ‘yes. and i’m fine. don’t worry.’ though most people who were caring to text her would - or should know that was so far from the truth. briar rose was the farthest from ‘fine’ someone could be. she couldn’t get the comments left by the fans of her boyfriends band out of her mind. sure, they were just people hiding behind the anonymous benefits of social media, but there was only so many times a person could read ‘i wish it worked. she should be dead.’ and ‘damn. that’s what she deserved, though.’ before the words got to them.
sleep wasn’t something she even thought of getting that night. too much was happening, her mind was spinning too rapidly to be able to lay down in their bed, and pretend nothing was wrong. everything was crashing down, and briar couldn’t figure out how to control it, how to get a grip on it. she spent her night sitting in the living room, staring out the window at the empty street in front of her. as the moments past, she could feel herself growing more and more numb. the feelings became far too overwhelming, too overpowering for her to handle, so absentmindedly, she let them take over. she let her body grow numb to the pain she was feeling, and she let her mind take over, something that was far too dangerous for a person with her mental issues.
the next morning, she put a smile on her face, and slightly convinced her boyfriend that she was okay enough for him to be able to get the things he needed to get done that day. though that was far from the truth, and after her breakdown over accidentally smashing a plate the night before, it should have been clear that she wasn’t. briar was working on auto pilot, finishing the intense cleaning she had started the day before, playing with their kitten, trying to go about her usual, daily activities. but there was this nagging in the back of her head, a voice reminding her of all the things she had read before deactivating all her social media. briar couldn’t handle it, as much as she was pretending like she could, as much as she tried so desperately to ignore everyone and everything. she couldn’t.
briar picked her phone back up to scroll through her text messages, wanting to make sure neither of her parents, or her brothers were worried about her. but she didn’t see any messages from them, she saw a message from a number she wasn’t too familiar with. a name came up, ‘maybe : ashlynn’. briar wracked her brain, trying to recall where she had heard that name before, it was somewhere important, someone that she knew - right, it was jared’s ex-girlfriend. she had met her in passing previously, and it was clear that she wasn’t the biggest fan of briar, so why would she text her now? briar pressed her thumb down on the screen, opening up the messages.
‘ashlynn: lol. i saw what that gossip site said about you. i knew you were some kind of crazy. i just didn’t know it was THAT bad.’
‘ashlynn: i’m surprised it didn’t work. maybe you should try harder next time, hun. wouldn’t be so bad not having you around those boys. you know they don’t need you there.
‘ashlynn: they didn’t need me. and i’m about a million times better than you are. just a thought, babes. love u. <3′
briar froze, reading her words over, and over, and over again. letting them twist and turn countlessly in her mind. there was something different about hearing something like that from a person you know - or know of. it wasn’t someone using social media, and pretending they know every detail about your life. she could handle that sometimes, sure, but when it was someone who was somewhat in her circle, it hit harder, harder than she ever thought it could.
her mind was racing, yet she couldn’t feel a single thing. she couldn’t feel the pain, or the heartache, or immense sadness that washed over her. she was numb. totally and completely numb. briar let her body take over, and she knew what was going to happen. it was the only thing she could ever do to get herself to feel anything in moments like these. thankfully, zachary had gone out to grab them some dinner, so he wasn’t going to get in her way. he wasn’t going to try to stop her from doing the one thing she felt like she needed to do. it was like a drug, and she had a craving. it wasn’t just a want anymore, it was a need.
briar let her phone fall to the counter, not bothering to lock it back up, or delete the text messages. she rushed into their shared bathroom, scrambling around for something she could use, she was so desperate at this point, she would use anything. her eyes were scanning the room, her hands trembling, trying hard to land on something that would be of use to her. finally, she caught a glimpse of her shaving razor. with her trembling hand, she grabbed it along with one of their shampoo bottles. briar set the razor down on the counter, taking the bottle of shampoo up, hitting it down hard, right at the head of where the blades were. after a couple of wacks, it seemed to crack enough for her to pry it open. she let the bottle fall into the sink, and the pieces of the razor that weren’t useful to her drop onto the ground. her actions were frantic, and paranoid, trying to move as quickly as she could before her boyfriend came home. without thinking much further, she did the one thing she knew how to do best, paying little to no mind on where, or how deep. she just did it - and fuck did it feel so good.
after she felt she was satisfied, she grabbed a wad of toilet paper, pressing it over her fresh wounds, trying her hardest to get the bleeding to stop. she knew zachary would be home soon, and she needed to do whatever she could to make things look as normal as possible. she wrapped a bit more toilet paper around her arm, and slid one of his long sleeved shirts on over her body, hoping that the paper would stay wrapped around her am well enough to keep him from noticing. briar had gotten good at this, at being secretive, pretending like she was normal, and okay. she was sure she would be able to convince zachary as well as she once convinced her parents. briar did the best she could with the clean up, putting the shampoo bottle back into the shower, tossing out the remainders of the shaving razor she destroyed, but making sure to flush the blades that came off of it down the toilet. accidentally, she missed the front cover of the razor, thinking that she tossed it into the barrel, though it ended up falling to the tile floor.
she left the bathroom, and walked sluggishly back into their bedroom, sliding underneath the covers, letting her head hit the pillows. a shaky sigh escaped her lips as she her mind wandered yet again, her eyes tracing patterns along the ceiling. she was only snapped out of her thoughts when she heard the front door opening up, and the small jingle of the bell on their kittens collar running to the front door to greet her boyfriend. she made good time, and as far as briar knew, there was no way he was going to find out about what she had done.
I’ve been to Sydney, Brisbane and now off to another popular place down under. Yes, I’ve been to Australia a lot! My latest trip was in Melbourne this time.
Sorry for the very late blog post. Fourteen days plus two more for a cancelled flight back home is not an easy trip to microblog. The best thing I can do is provide the most concise paragraph and just mesmerize you with the photos.
Anyways, here we go!
Direct flight from Manila to Melbourne via Cebu Pacific (not highly recommended). I arrived in Tullamarine - aka Melbourne Airport (MEL). From there, I met my high school bestfriend Cindy is responsible for my trip.
Off to the City Centre. The most convenient way to travel between the airport is by taking the SkyBus Express Airport Transfers. It is a double-decker bus that runs for 24 hours (varying frequencies throughout the day). The journey lasts 30-45 minutes. Riding this will give you a great view of Melbourne.
First thing’s first - get your transportation card. If Sydney has the Opal Card and Brisbane has Translink Go Card, Melbourne has Myki. It is your ticket to travel on trains, trams and buses in the City and many parts of regional Victoria. You can easily buy it at a station and top up at a huge range of shops (including all 7-Eleven stores), Myki machines and station ticket offices.
Southern Cross Station
From the airport via Skybus, we arrived at the Southern Cross Station. This is one of Australia’s most popular destinations - all sorts of enticing things you will see - cafes, restaurants, etc. I think it is a melting pot of people coming from every nation, speaking different languages.
It is actually the most preferred station for various distances and directions from the centre of Melbourne is just a straight-forward train ride away from here, providing perfect day trips for the savvy traveller.
Bird Feeding - Dandenong Ranges
From the City, down to the countryside - just like any other places in Australia, I started my trip by feeding them birdies. Melbourne also offers a variety of birdwatching niches to explore.
Tesselaar Tulip Festival
Then off to somewhere I’ve never been before - Tesselaar Tulip Festival. This festival began in 1954. Held over four weeks. It offers various themed days and weekends including Turkish, Dutch, Food, Wine & Jazz and Irish along with eight days packed with school holiday fun.
When all the tulips are in bloom, there are nearly one million tulips on display. There are 130 varieties of tulips at the farm, so you could literally spend hours ogling and taking photos of them and their kaleidoscope of colours.
Orlinda Heritage Walk
Then we passed by the charming village of Olinda found at the highest part in the Dandenong Ranges. It has craft shops, antique stores, boutiques and cafés. It is renowned for its European influence and features a selection of German- and French-style restaurants and enjoy some of the region’s local produce.
St Paul’s Cathedral
Now off to the City the next day. First off is the St. Paul’s Cathedral. It is located at the opposite of the Federation Square, on Melbourne's busiest intersection.
This neo-Gothic St. Paul’s Cathedral is a Melbourne landmark, built between 1880 and 1931. Designed by William Butterfield, the cathedral’s architecture is described as Gothic transitional, combining Early English and Decorative Gothic styles. Highlights include the fine polychromatic brickwork, beautifully patterned floor tiles and mosaics, banded stonework, fine timbered roof and tiled dado walls.
Your city trip will not be complete without going through these alleyways where you will find awesome graffiti. Artists change it every now and then.
In these alleyways, just say “pssssst!” and they will turn around and look at your camera.. lol!
It doesn’t take long to see how much the locals love sport in Australia, especially in Melbourne. They would even consider it as a holiday.
Australians love a huge number of different sports, including cricket, soccer, rugby union, rugby league and basketball, but nothing quite matches their passion for Australian Rules Football. Originating in where else - Melbourne Victoria, it has spread around the country.
Sunday Church & Community Services
It was nice to be adopted by a Pinoy group for two weeks. They still carries Filipino culture and tradition even if they are in a foreign country.
But then we ate at an Italian restaurant :) Your trip will never be complete without a trip to an Italian restaurant here. Melbourne has a big Italian influence.
Frankston Pier has always been a popular fishing destination along Port Phillip Bay. The pier offers a good range of fishing species for anglers all year round. You just have to deal with the birds and the crows.
Coming from Dubai is another best friend. This trip is sort of a reunion after the last one we had in Dubai. We just like meeting up in different parts of the world. Sleep over in her place is the first agenda :)
Back to the city. Just along the Southern Cross station, you will find Grilld. It is a self-proclaimed 'gourmet burger' franchise Grill'd rolled into hipster laneways and streets across the country. If you want a change from the usual KFC, Hungry Jacks or Maccas, Grilld offers hand-crafted burgers made with high quality ingredients and interesting flavour combinations.
Before sleeping over at Lexie’s, we did some grocers. Of course my fave Honey Soy Chicken Chips.
Just Chill Indoors
Taking a break from all the traveling and sightseeing. It is so nice to just have a chill day and have a movie marathon and do some laundry.
The main reason why we came to Melbourne - to witness my HS bestfriend walk on stage and graduate at Deakin University. Stage bestfriends. It was an experience witnessing a graduation in a foreign country. Best part is the post-ceremony function :)
Great Ocean Road Arch
Off to the Twelve Apostles. Our first stop was the Memorial Arch, which is located just past the city of Torquay. The arch is a symbolic monument as it represents the gateway to the Great Ocean Road. Not only that, but the Memorial Arch also represents a piece of history. It pays homage to the soldiers who survived World War I and built the Great Ocean Road. If you’re an avid history geek, there are actually a handful of plaques on-site which you can read up on.
Oorla Lodge Forrest
Because we arrived almost night time, we had to stop over at the Oorla-Lodge Forrest. It is situated at quiet residential street. Surrounding the area are cool waterfalls, lakes, dams and rivers. We just spent the night chilling at the lounge room over a wood fire and did movie marathon.
Platypi Chocolate Factory
The next day, in Victoria's Otway region, we visited was the Platypi Chocolate in Forrest. It is located on the township mountain bike and walking trailhead, Platypi Chocolate is a great place to break a trip, finish a walk or ride or start a leisurely day. You can sit amongst the trees and enjoy a hot chocolate that comes with a little theatre; sip a wine or an iced chocolate while listening to the birds sing; look for a real life echidna from the balcony while munching a honeycomb-filled chocolate variety.
Stevensons Falls Walk
There is a lot of bushwalking you can do in AU and one of them is walking towards Stevenson’s Falls. These falls are located at the end of a gravel road approx 6 kms from Barramunga. The valley has a campground available from the day picnic area. You can have the 500metre walk on a graded trail.
Port Campbell National Park
The Port Campbell National Park is a national park in the south-western district of Victoria, Australia. It features an array of sheer cliffs overlooking offshore islets, rock stacks, gorges, arches, and blow-holes. As part of the Shipwreck Coast, it hosts several tourist attractions; including The Twelve Apostles, the London Arch (formerly London Bridge), Loch Ard Gorge, the Gibson Steps, and The Grotto.
The Twelve Apostles were formed by erosion. Their proximity to one another has made the site a popular tourist attraction. The harsh and extreme weather conditions from the Southern Ocean gradually eroded the soft limestone to form caves in the cliffs, which then become arches that eventually collapse, leaving rock stacks. These massive limestone structures tower 45 metres above the ocean and were formed some 20 million years ago as the sea gradually eroded the soft craggy limestone cliffs.
Though the view from the promontory by the Twelve Apostles never included twelve stacks. Seven of the original eight stacks remain standing at the Twelve Apostles viewpoint, after one collapsed in July 2005.
Loch Ard Gorge
Loch Ard Gorge is amazing and only a few minutes drive west of The Twelve Apostles. It was one of the most stunning beaches on the Great Ocean Road
Loch Ard Gorge is named after the ship Loch Ard, which ran aground on nearby Muttonbird Island at the end of a three-month journey from England to Melbourne.
Take the stairs down to the beach and sit in wonder. And there are three easy walks you can take to discover the area and getting viewpoints.
The London Arch (Bridge)
London Arch was formed by a gradual process of erosion, and originally was a complete double-span and was attached to the mainland.
The arch closer to the shoreline collapsed unexpectedly in 1990 leaving two tourists stranded on the outer part until they were rescued by a helicopter. Prior to the collapse, the arch was known as London Bridge because of its similarity to its namesake.
The Grotto is perhaps the most enchanting of all the rock formations in this part of Australia. Part-blowhole, part-archway, part-cave, it offers a peaceful place to enjoy the sea views and soak in the wonderful things nature is capable of.
Standing about halfway up the cliff from the sea level, the geological formation is reachable via a decked staircase that leads down from the viewing platform at the top. You can either view the wonder from above, or head down and explore it at eye-level.
Inside, the Grotto is filled with smooth boulders and serene rock pools that have been carved out of the limestone. For the best view, look into the Grotto from the lower viewing platform, where you can see the horizon, the pools, and the jutting rock formations in one go.
San Remo Coastal Circuit
San Remo is the gateway to Phillip Island, a lively seaside town where fishing and dining options abound and pelicans keep watch along the foreshore. Yes, it was my first time to see some Pelicans. The town of San Remo sits at the end of the bridge connecting Phillip Island to the mainland.
If you love yourself some good ol’ fish and chips, San Remo Fisherman’s Co-op serves up some of the best fish and chips in the area. We bought some before heading over to Phillip Island.
Located a few hours from the city, Phillip Island is a weekend hot spot for locals looking to enjoy some beach time. The island is renowned for the nightly penguin parade (when thousands of penguins return from the sea to nest), its koala sanctuary, and the huge seal colony that lives offshore. The island can be visited as a day trip, but due to infrequent buses, I would recommend spending at least a night here!
Panny’s Chocolate Factory
Panny’s Amazing World of Chocolate is a series of experiences, each dedicated to another facet of the story of chocolate. Visitors embark on a self guided exploration of the wonders that come from the humble cocoa bean.
There are machines with buttons to push and levers to pull, games of skill, lots of chocolate exhibitions and attractions and a unique hands-on chocolate making device where you create your own chocolate masterpiece that travels along a conveyor belt and is delivered to you, ready to eat. You can learn everything about chocolate making from the bean to the bar and watch Panny’s creations being made by our chocolatiers.
On top of all this, you can produce your very own extraordinary chocolate bar with Panny’s Amazing Chocolate Machine and fill it with the weirdest and wackiest tastes you’re ever likely to find.
Philip Island Koala Conservation Sanctuary
A trip to the land down under can’t possibly be complete without seeing some koalas. Just a 15-minute drive away from Churchill Island is Phillip Island’s very own Koala Reserve. Here, you can get up close to and observe the koalas in their natural habitat, the Australian bushland. Along these boardwalks, you will have exceptional views and exclusive photo opportunities with the koalas. Not only that, but if you’re lucky, you might even get to spot some adorable wallabies and native birds!
The Noobies :)
The Nobbies is a must visit. Next to the Nobbies centre is a boardwalk. It is a short and easy walk with only a few steps and you are welcomed with some amazing views of Point Grant, Seal Rocks and Bass Straight… From the spectacular view of the boardwalk, you will see nesting penguins in the natural sea bird gardens.
Offshore from The Nobbies are Seal Rocks, home to Australia’s largest Australian Fur Seal colony, so drop a coin into the viewing binoculars and see how many you can spot.
Watching the waves pound against the 50 million year old dark basalt rocks is simply mesmerising and a bold reminder of how formidable Mother Nature really is spectacular!
Back to the City to see more of Melbourne’s Sights and Sounds. First, a drop by to the Post Office to deliver something and the rest.. Just walking around. Here’s more:
The City Circle Tram
More than just a means of free transportation, the City Circle Tram provides “hop-on, hop-off” service between Melbourne’s sightseeing attractions, including Federation Square, the Old Treasury Building, Parliament House, and the Princess Theater. There’s a running recorded commentary as you pass or stop at a place of historical, cultural, or architectural significance.
Right along the route of the free City Circle train and across the street from Flinders Street Station lies Federation Square. This open square also serves up stellar people-watching. I like to take lunch here and just watch the city go by. Below the square on the river are also a number of restaurants and outdoor bars.
State Library of Victoria
Originally built in 1856, the State Library of Victoria is a historic institution that sees 8 million visitors a year. The library has grown into an event space that’s a source of pride for city residents. There is always a queue of people ready to pounce on the open desks. The famous central rotunda with its octagonal shape, original dark wood furniture, and book-lined walls is definitely something not to miss.
Just fixing my baggage
The highlight of my trip was when my flight was canceled. I had to stay in Melbourne for a couple of days more. It was stressful but I just tried to enjoy the free accommodation and food. Anyways, cant really rely on Cebu Pac when it comes to long haul flights, I decided to book Qantas Air on my way back to Manila.
Between all the various day trips and the plethora of activities in the city, you won’t find yourself short on things to do while you’re visiting Melbourne.