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#thought of this one line of dialogue and nothing else so take it
wujuhour · 3 years ago
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i started my thanksgiving break off right by ignoring all responsibilities and sitting down to watch “kiki’s delivery service” before the sun could set 👍
#i mean it's a good movie to watch during any time of the day (or night)#but there's something to watching it in the hours before the sun starts to set although it's still very much a movie to watch during daytime#and it occurs to me that it's also the movie to watch during summer when you've got nothing to do and am feeling lazy and want to chill#that's just what i feel and i honestly really didn't feel like watching it at first but i'm glad i did i feel healed & i need a little break#the version i found to watch online was also some hybrid of the japanese and american version#because while it was english dub the japanese songs played during the opening and ending credits#and there were some scenes that i know have dialogue but remained silent like it does in the japanese dub#which i don't mind in the case of jiji because some of his lines are pretty salty now that i know how sweet the japanese version is xP#but there are some other lines that i like that weren't there and it's funny how i've seen this movie enough times that i've lost count#and i know missing lines when i don't hear it but if i watch the movie after not having watched it in a while#i don't have the movie down scene-by-scene in order of what's going to happen i sort of just soak it in and watch it#and remember that oh that's how the movie goes and as always the soundtrack fills my chest with joy and i can't help but smile#and i want to post the clip of kiki flying into the town by the sea so bad ugh i love it so much when will i ever get something else like it#maybe next year when i've graduated from university and am taking a gap year i'll get up and go to my own town by the sea...#during the movie i remembered when i visited san francisco last summer and my family stopped to eat at this thai restaurant#after we have visited china beach and there was this one moment where i looked out the window across the street#and saw a window lit above the shops and it made me wonder about the people who live there and wake up to the city every day#and it felt like those are the same people that would live in the town in kiki's delivery service#not to mention now that i'm thinking back to that the sea cliff neighborhood feels reminiscent of the houses by the sea#damn these tags are long i just had a lot of thoughts and feelings after watching the movie <3#i'll probably watch ''whisper of the heart'' tomorrow night and ''spirited away'' on the weekend because i'm also in the mood to watch them#text
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windblooms · a year ago
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liyue boys – how they touch their s/o
headcanons and scenarios of how childe, chongyun, scaramouche, xiao, xingqiu, and zhongli would romantically interact with their s/o.
gender-neutral reader.  sfw scenarios for each character, with additional suggestive implications for childe, scaramouche, xiao, and zhongli (since they’re confirmed legal).  2309 words.
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childe
the Touchiest of the liyue boys
he just really, really fond of touching you, whether it be with his fingers through your hair or having you a hand on your lap. 
the first time he wanted to touch you, he actually asked (yes, verbally) if you were okay with him doing so
at least one of his acts with you could be orthodox, yeah?  although, looking back on it now, he supposes that he was attempting to be a bit more serious and wasn’t sure how to convey the sentiment when his reputation often preceded him
since then, he’s made a habit to have you next to him at all times
you don’t mind, since his attention is admittedly nice, but understandably neither of you want to display affection towards each other in the presence of his coworkers.  
if you were to be in public, such as walking down the streets of liyue, then he’d have his fingers laced between yours
if he were to be in a particularly good mood that day, he’d actually have you hook your arm around his.  you’re not sure why – but maybe it’s because more of you would be pressed against him that way.
an avid displayer of fleeting touches.  some are playful, like tapping his finger on your nose to get your attention, while others are slightly more teasing, like trailing his fingers up your thigh when you’re working and really shouldn’t be getting distracted. 
“i can’t help it.  your expressions are always the best part.”
so long as you’re next to him, he’ll find any excuse possible to have himself on you.
you’re cold?  take his coat, but also a complimentary hug because wow he’s kinda sorta warm for a snezhnayan native. 
got work to do?  he’ll stroll over to you every once in a while, claim he’s checking on you, and then place a kiss on your cheek as “encouragement.”
just got home from a long day out?  take some time to lay on top of him, he makes for a comfy mattress
his favorite ways to touch you: gloves off, thumb rubs against the back of your hand, hands cradling your neck or squeezing your hips in more passionate moments.  especially enjoys contact the more of your body he feels.  not sexual all the time, but definitely sensually pleasing.  he’s reassured when he feels you next to him. 
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chongyun
chongyun is relatively inexperienced in acting out his romantic impulses.  
hand holding?  yeah, sure, he knows it’s what people do, but apparently there something about interlacing fingers . . . ?
also, there are different ways to hug?  he thought that just wrapping his arms around your shoulders would be fine, but is there a specific instance where he should “back hug” you?  
he thinks there should be a lover’s manual for how to go about with physical touch, but sadly there isn’t, and he’s left by himself to make sense of his confusion.
he’ll have to learn first-hand – something he quickly realizes he won’t mind.
chongyun’s touches will reflect his nature: gentle and initially somewhat shy, but he will gradually become more confident as time goes on.
the first time he tries to initiate hand-holding with you, you’re sitting next to each other on the couch
you can tell something’s a bit off by how he’s staring straight into your skull, as if he’s conflicted over something even when there’s nothing to be distressed about –
and he lifts his hand, hesitantly, and you swear that he’s shaking, before he mumbles something along the lines of “screw this” and just
places the tips of his fingers over the back of your hand and
just leaves them there
and you’re blinking, not quite sure what to make of his awkwardness, before connecting the dots when you see him absolutely red in the face. 
he’s startled when he hears you laugh, and especially when you move your hand to securely grasp his own. 
you’re warm, incredibly so, and when he looks up from his lap to affirm that he hasn’t made a complete mess of the mood, you’re there to give him a pat on the head.
“y-yeah.  can we stay like this?  hey!  no, don't laugh – ”
the take-away: soft boy.  will realize that he loves it when you squeeze his hands but will be flustered when admitting it.  also internally enjoys it when you put your chin atop his head, and when you let him put his hand on your shoulder.  will become more confident over time with showing affection, whether it be through light touches or shy pecks. 
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scaramouche
scaramouche is admittedly one of the more destructive harbingers
meaning he wouldn’t be one to be gentle in the slightest
probably doesn't even know that hugging is supposed to be an act of affection and instead registers it as another method to crush someone’s chest
the least likely out of the liyue boy to even be in a romantic relationship 
but in the off chance that he is, 
warm affection won’t be on the menu unless you’re in a dream sequence.
yes, he might not be as irritable around you.  yes, he won’t immediately scowl at your presence, and maybe even request for you to be beside him once in a while.
but that is a far cry from assuming stable, healthy intimacy.
the closest he’s ever gone to touching you kindly is by pulling you towards him – nearly winding you with his forcefulness – and insisting that you play with his hair
(definitely a pushy one, and it would be endearing if not for the fact that he does not know how to interact constructively with others.)
so it’ll take time, lots of explanations and dialogue to tell him that no, he doesn’t have to be so rough with his grasp, and yes, it does bother you and you’d insist that he learn to be gentler before touching you again.
he won’t strike you down for speaking your mind – that’s exactly why he’s with you to begin with, since you were able to back up your wit with fight.
he’ll grumble, as if you had told him the most unpleasant of news (which you suppose you just have), but nonetheless attempts to mimic touches you would approve of.
scaramouche is, admittedly, easy to vex.  while he might generally be a hassle to handle, the only time you do let him give in to his harsh tendencies are when you two are kissing each other a bit too hard or grabbing each others’ clothes too eagerly.
in other words, making out.
it’s obvious that he enjoys these more aggressive instances over the ones you’ve convinced him to be satisfied with.  it’s an agreement that both of you have come to terms with: if he’s to  command  ask for little things, he better be respectful about it.  but when you decide to reward him for exercising restraint publicly, it’s behind his door where you let him go unrestrained. 
“so long as you’ll still let me do this, then i might tolerate your . . . other preferences.”
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xiao
he’s not sure when you became more comfortable with one another, but for some reason he’s certain that it had to be after you commented on his hair
something about it being soft and appealing to braid – not that he would ever let you,
okay, maybe if you ask enough times.  but for now the answer is definitely no.
anyways,
you were actually the one to ask to hug him first.  he was a bit perplexed, wondering what you were thinking that prompted you to ask, but then realized that neither of you had been physically affectionate before.  
as in, not even hand holding.  or hand squeezes.  or anything else that would be considered basic between partners.
as quickly as you asked, he affirmed that it was all right, and has since become attuned to your need for physical assurance.
something about him “feeling like home” and “safe.”  at the time, he wasn’t sure what feeling like a home meant, however through time he realized that you felt like home as well.
soothing.  as if automatic, he fits your body into his and holds the back of your head against his chest, lets you twirl your fingers in your hair, and carries you into bed.
under the covers, he feels more alone with you, as if the closed door isn’t already enough.
even in the dark, his eyes will roam all over your face, and he’ll run his fingers over your cheeks, down your neck, and over your collarbones. 
he can feel you shudder slightly under his touch, and he’ll always stop immediately, concerned for your discomfort. 
but when you take his hand to your lips and press kisses on his fingers, he’s relieved that he’s still doing right by you. 
so long as you’re sure, he’ll continue his ministrations.  whether it be holding your form flush against him as you drift to sleep, or crooking his finger under your chin so he can mold your lips together just the way you like, so long as you both know you’re safe with him.
in short: inexperienced, but always concerned for you.  won’t do anything unless you ask or suggest, and even then, his care for you is more obvious than the wake of day with the sunrise. 
“i’ll hold you as long as you let me – if you’d have me be with you.”
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xingqiu
simple: dramatic.
if you thought that the novels he’s written have gotten to his head, then you would be completely right, because he does not miss an opportunity to add in some flair to your relationship. 
produces a glaze lily out of thin air each time he greets you after your day of work, “fairest, this is for thou,” and has the audacity to look pleased with himself.
a nerd at heart, and you might unironically think it’s cute if not for the laughs he allows himself afterwards.
is always smiling when you touch, even if you’re just bumping into him accidentally.
it doesn’t take much to make him happy, you realize, but that assumption morphs into wow he just.  really loves with his whole heart.
xingqiu’s a magnet when it comes to your shoulder, somehow always leaning against you when given the opportunity
you could be sitting next to each other at the table, or even standing up talking to other people, and he’ll latch onto your shoulder.
“i’ve got you right next to me.  why not capitalize on the moment?”
absolutely adores it when you let him play with your hair.  you’re not sure what it’s about, but after his obvious attachment to your arm, you just decided that he was a very physical lover and you’d be more than willing to indulge him.
if you come visit him when he’s reading or writing, he gets especially excited because!!!  head rest!!!!
and consider yourself occupied for easily the next hour as he rattles off yet another plot of a novel, or attempts to woo you with sappy lines that he decided to mentally bookmark just to tease you with later.
in the instances when he isn’t occupying your lap or shoulder, he actually likes it when you lean on him as well, especially if you’re sleepy.  he finds the whole act endearing, either you being too lazy to move to bed or finding him comfortable. 
so long as you don’t tire of his antics, he’ll be sure to indulge you in the same. 
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zhongli
despite being what some would call oblivious when it comes to human interaction, zhongli is surprisingly romantically competent so long as you give him time to adjust.
he’s quick to notice things you like and hones in on them with relative ease.  admittedly, the first time you hugged him, he was a bit stiff, but was actually the one to initiate physical affection the following time.
 it gives you hope that there aren’t actually cobwebs still in that thousand year-old brain of his. 
already a traditional man, you soon realize that he’s fond of more innocent touches, such as when you slot your fingers against his or unbind his hair to play with the strands. 
he might even fall asleep if you comb his hair long enough, enjoying being spoiled.
forehead kisses!
at least twice a day, he’ll brush aside your bangs and place pecks on your forehead.  if not your forehead, then definitely your cheeks.
lowkey wants to pinch your cheeks.  you’re not sure why.  maybe it’s the childish curiosity that peaks out of him every so often, and he’ll absent-mindedly comment that your cheeks remind him of crystal shrimp balls.
you’d stutter every time, finding his sense in compliments endearing yet flustering at once, and he’d just blink, the sincere man he is.
“but they do.  flush with color.”  a pause.  “could i maybe have a bite?”
ah, yes, when he does want a bite –
his touches will be unbearably soft.  so much so that you’re not even sure he’s real, with the tenderness on his fingers and warmth in his voice.
zhongli cherishes you as if he’s waited a thousand years for you.  in the back of his head afraid that if he’s any more present then he might break you, as if he would ever capable of doing something like that –
he’ll have your thighs around his waist, body above your own and mouth leaving fleeting pressures along your neck
each time his lips press into your skin, he leaves sweet words behind.
he only wishes to enjoy the moments he has with you, so long as you enjoy yourself as well.  zhongli will be attuned to your preferences, and take delight in spoiling you rotten – even if he might be a bit unorthodox with his speech, his sentiment is never in question. 
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astaroth1357 · 9 months ago
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Hello I really love your writing. I’m glad that you decided to open requests for a bit. I have a personal headcanon that the boys are a lot nicer to MC then they are to everyone else. Could you do a headcanon of the boys being out with MC and they are talking with MC happily. Then a lesser demon sees them with MC and says that the seven brothers have gone weak and they aren’t scared of them anymore. Thank you again!!! 😖 (Also the way you write Levi is great)
Aww thank you!! Levi's kind of my favorite character (if that hasn't become painfully obvious) so I try to write him well, you know? This one was a little hard for me to write because I just have a hard time imagining Asmo and Beel as something intimidating to the masses, but I tried my best! I hope you like it!
Lesser Demons Think the Brothers have "Gone Soft…"
Lucifer
If anybody had something to lose by acting sweet on a lowly human, it was Lucifer. His entire image was built on the back of power and intimidation, so really who didn't see this coming?
He knew there were whispers… Mostly in the RAD hallways. Students would see him with the MC and gossip amongst themselves… 
"Did you see them together again in the courtyard?"
"How did some random human even score a pact with him??"
"And I used to seriously look up to him, too…"
He'd always silence their chitchat with a well placed glare, but this was a symptom of something more… troubling. A decay of his social image if you will.
Perhaps it speaks to how well and truly enamored he was with the MC that this proud creature didn't just dump them the second he started looking bad, but still… a part of him really couldn't stand for this...
So maybe it was a blessing in disguise when he finally got an excuse to establish his superiority yet again!
He and the MC were walking the halls of RAD after school hours and they had just made an amusing joke at the expense of of his brothers. Unfortunately, Lucifer collided into a lesser demon student while he was laughing…
On most occasions, he would have expected someone of such station to pay him deference then offer an apology - they had just ran into Lucifer after all - but the student just scoffed at him!
Lesser Demon: "Oi! Watch where you're going, Lucifer! Or were you too busy sucking up to that human to notice?"
This… was maybe not the best response to have (if the "Oh shit" look on the MC's face was any indication) but for as annoyed as Lucifer was, he was also somewhat delighted.
Finally, he had the perfect messenger for just how cruel he could still be!
Lucifer: "MC, feel free to go home without me for now and tell my brothers to save my dinner for later…" *starts pulling out his favorite rope with a cold, but pleased, smile on his face* "I have a feeling I'll be home late tonight..."
The MC left him and his unfortunate victim to their fate and Lucifer later came home in the night with his uniform in a bad need of cleaning...
A new body decorated the RAD entrance hall the next morning - swinging from the ceiling and making an awful mess on the floor - but still alive enough give a very important message to the rest of the students:
"Lucifer hasn't changed a bit…"
Mammon
So, not even lesser demons see Mammon as some kind of high-ranking badass… 
Just to be clear, he is, but it’s hard for him to come off that way when he's begging for his next Grimm... Then enter MC into the picture and he somehow lost even MORE cred.
"There goes poor Mammon… Did you hear he got tricked into a pact?"
"Just look at him nipping at the human's heels! How pathetic is that??"
"Well that's Mammon for you… What a shit excuse for a demon."
Like Lucifer, Mammon wasn’t immune to the whispers, but unlike his brother he was able to push them mostly out of his mind. People look down on him? Yeah, what else is new?
To be honest, he didn’t really feel the need to prove anything to a bunch of lesser demon losers… But insulting his MC takes things a step too far.
He and the MC were out at the Devil's Coast, "enjoying" some of the haunted house attractions and generally having a good time…ish. 
Any time they managed to make it out of one, the MC would have to peel Mammon off their back and hold him to assure him they were back to safety (a process he seemed to like enough to repeat the horror that precedes it).
It was during one of these calm down sessions that the two were accosted by a couple of snickering lesser demons, clearly looking for a fight…
Lesser Demon 1: "Hey look! There's the 'Great' Mammon and his little master!"
Lesser Demon 2: "Guess the master fits the demon… Of course someone like Mammon couldn't even score a pact with Solomon and gets stuck with the weakling!"
Lesser Demon 1: "Well how's the babysitting going, Mams? I bet you can't wait for them to kill over, can ya?"
Lesser Demon 2: "Careful! With his luck, they'll probably get eaten by the end of next week! Haha!!"
Now… an important thing to know about Mammon is that you can fling all the mud and stones you'd like at him… but never at his MC. That's just asking for a bruising...
Mammon: *smiling like usual, but his eyes are practically burning with rage...* "Yo, MC… I'm gettin' a little hungry. Can ya go find us a snack over there? I'll meet ya in a bit…"
MC: "Mammon, are you-?"
Mammon: "Don’t worry 'bout me, babe." *takes his glasses off and flashes a fanged grin* "This is'a piece of cake."
And indeed, it wasn't difficult at all. No matter how fast those demons ran, they could never out speed Mammon and he was looking to give more than a warning…
The MC didn't know what he did while they were waiting in line, but they heard the sounds of pleading go silent before Mammon turned back up with a nice bruise on his cheek. Oh, how they fretted and dotted on him…
Meanwhile, the haunted houses just earned themselves a couple new mannequins!… when rigor sets in anyway.
Leviathan 
Levi has a… mixed reputation in the Devildom to start with. People who only know him for his titles usually expect him to be some kind of sea-hardened badass. Those who meet him are… well let's say less than impressed.
This isn't anything new to Levi. It does take a blow to his confidence sometimes but even still most people aren't dumb enough to say something to his face… most people.
Unfortunately, "most people" have been getting bolder after seeing him with MC - because Demon Lord forbid Leviathan actually look happy for a change…
He and the MC were out and about for once. There was a raffle for exclusive merch at Anidaemon and he brought them along to boost his chances. They were grinning and chatting about anime but well…
The human couldn’t hear this, but he could - sensitive demon ears and all that. There were a couple guys who were tailing him… heckling him just loud enough that he was CERTAIN they knew he could hear them...
Lesser Demon 1: "Is that seriously Leviathan hanging out with a human? Isn’t he an Admiral??"
Lesser Demon 2: "Ha! The whole family's turned into simps, are you that surprised?"
Lesser Demon 1: "Wonder what the human's giving them that's got them all brainwashed…"
Lesser Demon 2: "Well... I've got an idea." 😏
If there were ever a reason for bile to fill his throat, it was now. He might be a shut-in, but those guys were the real creeps…
To be honest, Levi isn't one for public confrontation. Even with how gross and disrespectful those demons were being, he would have let it slide if they had just left it at that… but no…
He and the MC were browsing the ani-music racks in the store when those idiots popped up again. They hovered a while until they MC suddenly left his side to go find a store clerk.
When he saw the other demons move their direction, he naturally put himself between them and the would-be harassers. It was a little telling that despite his ticked off expression, the demons just laughed in his face!
Lesser Demon 2: "Hey look, the puppy's come out to protect its owner! How cute!"
Lesser Demon 1: "I can't believe you're that predictable, Levi… Do you really think we'd be scared of you?"
Well. That settled it.
When the MC came back, they found that Levi had moved from the music racks to the merch tables near the bathrooms. They didn't think anything of it… but...
One body was paralyzed by his venom and stuffed head first in a toilet while the other getting strangled by his tail just underneath the tablecloth… Meanwhile, Levi was cheerfully rambling about the raffle like nothing was happening at all.
Maybe they should have been a little more scared of the shut-in...
Satan
This may actually be a case where the rumors have a point… The MC has made Satan "soft."
Well, if "soft" means actually in control of himself, anyway. 
Satan would probably call their effect on him both a blessing and a curse. Though he loved finally having a handle on his inner rage, it flew in the face of a lot of his public image… and people were starting to notice….
"Do you think there's something off about Satan…?"
"I saw the human step on his toes earlier and he didn't even flinch…! The old Satan would have torn them apart!!"
"He's gotten way too nice all of sudden… Wrath shouldn't be nice."
Was it a little frustrating? Certainly. Especially for someone as image conscious as him. But for as calm as he was now, Satan wasn’t any less cruel and he'd be more than happy to remind others of that fact….
His chance came when he and the MC were together having just left the local art gallery. The two were exchanging a healthy dialogue about a curious sculpture they saw on display when a latte suddenly went soaring through the air and ended up all over Satan's sweater… The culprit was plain to see, being the only other demon on the road that night.
Whether the act was intentional or not, the correct course of action would have been to apologize immediately and beg for mercy forgiveness… but all the demon did was laugh in his face…
Maybe he thought that since Satan had mellowed out and his human was right beside him that he'd be lenient… Oh no. Not gonna happen.
Satan's fist slammed into the guy's mouth with the force of a jetliner and knocked him over two benches before his back bent over a lamppost… To say it was a KO move would be an understatement.
He probably could have done a whole lot worse to the guy while he was down, but you know… the MC being there and "self-control" and what not…
The demon survived (barely) and only had to spend a few months in the hospital, if anything he got off light.
Not a soul would gloss over Satan's temper again and really he preferred it that way.
Asmodeus 
Well, to be fair not a lot of people thought that Asmo was tough to start with… but that's also his intention.
"Scary" is the opposite of "cute" and he prefers to be "cute" at all times! 😊
Buuut that doesn’t mean this scorpion is without a stinger. He CAN be quite brutal when he wants to be, you just have to push him that far and trashing his looks is a good way to start.
Asmo was out with the MC getting his hair done for the week at his favorite salon. They weren't the only people there that day, obviously. There were other customers - one being a lesser demon classmate of theirs - though neither he nor the MC thought much of him at the time...
Well… It was supposed to be a prank. Probably something the guy intended to use for social media clout. While the staff was too busy to notice, he snuck by and replaced Asmo's preferred conditioner with pink hair dye…
Asmo. Was. Furious. And honestly, the dude could have gotten away with it if he hadn't been laughing and recording the whole thing!
When Asmo's ire naturally fell onto him, he hardly looked fazed!
Lesser Demon: "Ah, please! You won't do shit to me with the human still around! You don't want to look any uglier to them do ya?"
Asmo: *freezes, but still furiously eyeing every sharp instrument within arm’s reach* "MC? Darling?"
MC: "Got it..."
Perhaps the prankster should have kept his mouth shut, because suddenly the MC needed to take a looong bathroom break…
They didn't come back out until they heard the sounds of screeching and broken glass finally die down and then they stepped back into a warzone… Broken mirrors and items seemingly flung everywhere in a fit of rage! The guy (and his phone) now nowhere to be seen…
The salon comped Asmo for the botched hair job and touch up… and then billed Lucifer for the property damage (which he got an earful about later). On the bright side though, Asmo actually looks pretty great with pink hair! Silver-linings. 🙂
Beelzebub 
… The concept of Beel "going soft" is almost an oxymoron. He IS soft, but his personality was never what made him intimidating to start with.
Behind all his kindness, Beel packs more firepower than at least 4 for his siblings combined and most people remember that fact. Hell, the guy looks like he could lift a semi and he probably would if he ever tried. 
However, that doesn’t save him from being underestimated completely... Especially when an upstart or two thinks he's too nice to actually start a fight...
He and the MC were coming back from the grocery store with the usual armfuls of sacks when the MC accidentally walked into a lesser demon on the street. Since their arms were full, several items spilled out from the bags and onto the ground…
The MC was quick to apologize to the demon and try to get down to clean the mess, but the asshole just kept walking… and Beel really didn't like that.
Beel: "Hey! Aren't you going to say, 'Sorry?'"
The lesser demon hardly looked over his shoulder to respond.
Lesser Demon: "Why should I? That's your human. Take care of them yourself."
Well it didn't take long for some of Beel's bags to hit the floor so he could lift the demon up by the back of the neck properly. When he turned the guy to face him, he made sure to bring his face reeaal close so he could hear him growl...
Beel: "Apologize. Or I'll eat you."
And like that, the asshole's mood went from "Do it yourself," to "Yessir Mr. Beelzebub, sir!" right quick!
The MC didn't have to carry a single bag another step and Beel got to keep his free hand so he could link it with theirs!... all while Beel kept mushing their new pack-mule forward like a sled dog back to the House. Thanks, Beel! 😊
Belphegor 
Kind of similar to Asmo, Belphie prefers to come off as unassuming on most days. But don't let his, "I'm a harmless sleepy boy" shtick fool you. He will cut a bitch if he's so motivated...
Thankfully for the world, he's generally not motivated. But that can be changed under the right circumstances...
Belphie and the MC were on yet another date to the botanical gardens. It's a peaceful place, though the MC can never go alone because of the frankly concerning amount of flesh-eating plants… Pretty, but also deadly, you know?
The two of them were walking to another rest spot when Belphie heard whispering from a demon behind them, seemingly on his phone…
Lesser Demon: “Yeah, I can see them right now…”
Lesser Demon: “I know right? It's so lame that these guys are in charge of us… They can't even say no to a dumb human!”
Lesser Demon: “What do you mean keep my voice down? Dude, it's fine! This is Belphegor we're talking about, the hell is he going to do if he hears me?”
… Huh.
The answer to the man's question was a simple one. Flash into his demon form for just a moment and whip out his tail... It only took a quick swipe to make him trip and fall right into the foliage. The man-eating… carnivorous… hungry… foliage….
Belphie was back to normal by the time the jerk let out his first scream and the MC almost stopped to see what had happened.
MC: "What the-oh my God!! Should we help-??”
Belphie: *puts his hands on their shoulders to keep them moving, not even glancing back* “Someone else will take care of it. Let's see the roses.”
Even when the desperate cries for help became distant, it took all Belphie had to stifle a smile…
Sometimes, you've got to love irony. 🤷‍♀️😏
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bravefire · 6 months ago
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Feel your words
Chapter 1 of 8
Summary: The boys mess up real bad and make gn!MC's baby brother Luke cry and then mess up some more by making fun of him for crying. MC walks in.
Trigger warning: Bullying, implied overworking of a child, referenced bullied MC in the past, angst, hurt/comfort, MC and Luke have a platonic sibling or parental like bond, the brothers are real meanies
Inspired by @asmo-ds (the best person on this platform). I kept the MC as "MC" and gn so anyone could insert themselves or their MC into this situation. Most of the insults are baised off cannon dialogue so keep an eye out for that, there will be 7 follow-up chapters to this. Enjoy!
MC waited by the door, periodically glancing away from their D.D.D to the door, and then back at the time. Luke was nearly thirty minutes late.
This was strange for the punctual young angel and MC was beginning to worry.  Luke had seemed so excited to be coming over earlier, even calling them this morning and happily speaking of the new treat he wished to make. MC themselves had never quite been one for baking, but they loved to support their baby brother however they could.
MC was torn away from their thoughts as the door creaked open, a now timid young angel stepping through.
"Luke, there you are! I'm so happy to see you!"
MC exclaimed,  standing up and abandoning their D.D.D on the seat. Luke looked up at MC, but not with the happy expression they'd been expecting.
There was a bit of fear in his eyes and a quiver on his lips. MC's expression dropped.
"Oh.. Is everything okay? What happened?"
They asked, in a softer, more concerned voice.
Luke jumped to his own defense, simply out of impulse.
"H-Hey, I'm not a kid. I'll be fine! It's just.."
Luke looked down at his feet, ashamed.
"I forgot to return a report into Michael and he's disappointed in me.. I can't believe I'm such a failure of an angel, I should know better than this!"
MC instantly understood. They had seen this happen before.. Luke always was far too hard on himself when it came to the Celestial Realm. It wasn't entirely his fault, MC had managed to read between the lines and recognize that the place ment to be so heavenly wasn't as perfect as Luke preached. Not to mention the rare occasion where Simeon gave a much more unbiased story.
MC sighed softly, kneeling down just a bit to look Luke in the eyes.
"Come now Luke, you know you're not a failure. Everyone makes mistakes, and that's okay. And it's okay to get upset about it too. Remember that time I cried because I failed my RAD exam and I was worried Lucifer would be mad at me?"
Luke's face got a bit red, both from the kind treatment and from the fact MC could kneel to look him in the eye.
"I'm not going to cry! I'm not a kid!" Luke protested, not sounding at all angry, only defensive once more.
MC shook their head, a light smile tracing their lips.
"Hey, I'm an adult aren't I? There's nothing wrong with having a good cry every once in a while. We all need it at some point."
Luke stammered back a reply.
"Y-Yeah well.. Lucifer is probably a lot meaner then Michael, so of course you'd be scared, anyone would!"
MC laughed, which made Luke pout a bit. They cleared their throat and clarified.
"No, no, you're right. Lucifer is pretty mean sometimes, but he has a nice side too. Just don't tell him I said that."
MC didn't have the heart to tell Luke that when the brothers compared Lucifer and Michael they were pretty much the same with a different mask.
"Come on, I have everything set up in the kitchen, I'm interested to see how to do this."
They began to walk to the house of lamentation's kitchen, when they noticed that Luke wasn't following them. They looked back in confusion, asking Luke is he was coming.
The young angel hesitated, looking down to his feet and thinking of how to explain his problem without sounding babyish...
"Well I... Those demons you live with are big jerks sometimes! I just.. Don't want them to be mean to me.. today.. Normally I'm mature and I can handle it, but.."
MC frowned softly.
"I understand Luke..."
Luke looked back up in surprise.
"H-huh? Did those mean demons do something to you too!?"
MC shook their head, assuring Luke "No, I promise you they're very good to me. But when I was around your age people weren't very good. I'll make sure they aren't too mean. They may be demons but they aren't as bad as you might think.."
Luke stayed silent for a moment, looking down at his feet to think, before suddenly looking back up at MC.
"Wait- but you were never my age I'm older than you!"
He pouted slightly.
MC smiled, shaking their head at the child's defence. They were understanding as they knew Luke well enough to read his reactions as ones he takes when afraid.
"It's okay Luke, I'm here for you, nothing bad will happen."
They assured, finally convincing Luke to follow on their way to the kitchen. 
Luke knew more about baking then MC did, so he did the majority of the set-up and instructions. MC was likely more of moral support then anything, but they didn't mind as long as Luke didn't mind. (Which he didn't.) They started the recipe; It was a new cupcake flavor Luke had learned from Barbatos.
Luke made sure MC followed the steps carefully, and MC made sure Luke stayed in high spirits.
Once they finished, MC was honestly impressed at the results.
"You've really outdone yourself Luke! These look amazing!"
They complimented, patting Luke on the head. The child smiled, and without warning, stood on his tip toes and patted MC on the head right back.
"You did really good too! Thank you for trying to help!.. I really needed this today.
"Oh?" 
MC responded, a but confused.
"Yeah... I've felt a little stressed lately. Not that I don't love doing things for the Celestial Realm! I really do.. it's just a little-"
"Overwhelming?"
"Yeah.."
MC smiled gently.
"Don't worry Luke I'll alway be here for you."
The two shared a comfortable moment of silence before MC spoke up again, praising,
"Okay but seriously, you decorated these really well. I may not have done too much of baking, so at least let me help with the photography."
They reached into their back pocket, only to find that their D.D.D wasn't there. 
"Oh weird.. I must have left it somewhere... maybe my car? Mind standing guard while I go look for it?"
They asked, turning back to Luke who responded.
"I don't mind at all! I can wait."
MC smiled at his cheerful attitude and left to go find their phone.
No sooner than MC had left however, Mammon burst in.
"Oi fido, what'd ya think you're doing?!"
Fairly startled by the abrupt entrance, Luke just sputtered out the first response that came to mind.
"We're just baking! I wanna spend time with MC."
He pouted, having not wanted to run into any of the demon brothers today, let alone Mammon. But of course when Mammon made a commotion, it drew the others in.
"Mammon be quiet!" Satan yelled, walking down the hall. "I've been trying to finish this book all day but you keep interrupting me."
"And I've been trying to get some beauty sleep!" Asmo chimed in. One by one almost all the brothers went to the kitchen to join in the argument. Beel had just got home from the gym too, but he was more interested in the cupcakes then bickering with his brothers.
It all came to a head when Lucifer was finally heard stopping down the hall.
Luke stood there, utterly afraid and just hoping MC was going to come back soon when Lucifer yelled.
"What is the meaning of this!?"
He looked between his brothers and Luke, rolling his eyes in annoyance.
"It's all Mammon's fault!" Asmo called.
Mammon flinched.
"HUH?! No it ain't, fido was taken up all our time with MC!" He protested, pointing to Luke, who responded on impulse "I'm not a dog!"
Luke was promptly ignored when Leviathan spoke.
"What?! MC turned down our season marathon to be with Simeon's pet?! That's so unfair!"
Luke balled up his fists in frustration.
Asmo chimed in "Oh don't be jealous big brother, lots of people carry around chihuahuas in their purse for fun! Oh, Luke if you dress up I'll take you to my next fashion show as a cute accessory!"
Luke's nails began to dig into the flesh of his hands.
"No, I'm not a pet! You mean demons need to be quiet!" He yelled, red in the face.
"Well that wasn't very mature." Satan couldn't help but chuckle.
"Calm down Luke, it was a compliment." Asmo said casually, waving off the complaints.
"I mean he is a pretty cute kid..." Beel chimed in, reaching to one of the cupcakes on the plate.
"H-Hey stop it MC told me to protect those, there's food in the fridge!"
Luke said, pulling the plate away.
Beel sighed in frustration, but soon looked down apologetically and mumbled an apology as he walked to the fridge. 
Belphegor crossed his arms, glaring daggers into Luke. "Hey kid, didn't anybody tell you it's rude to bark at people. Your lucky he hasn't stepped on you yet."
With Beel thoroughly entranced by the contents of the fridge, it was up to Luke to wait it out along until MC could find their D.D.D. This was something Luke told himself he could do, that he was able to handle, until Lucifer stepped into the ring.
"Brothers, don't drag this on further then it needs to. And Luke... I thought that Simeon had trained you better than this."
He had that smug look on his face. The one he always had when he put somebody else down. It infuriated Luke. He was so angry and he couldn't do anything about it.
At the very least they were on their way out, or so Luke thought...
Just as Luke was about to try to let this go, just wait for MC to return, Mammon snatched his recipe card from out of his hands.
"Hey! What are you-"
"Come on fido, we're playing fetch. This is whatcha get for stealin' MC from us."
Leviathan snickered in the background. Belphegor was smirking. They were enjoying this.
"Give it back!" Luke yelled, unable to reach the card. He tried to jump up to it, only to the amusement of the others. They laughed at him.
The sound rung in his ears.
He was so scared, so frustrating so overwhelmed.
He couldn't think straight.
And that's when the dam broke.
Tears began to pour out of Luke's eyes. He bit down on his bottom lip to hold back a sob and covered his face with his arms so that they couldn't see him. They all knew what they'd just done though, and for a split second they were all silent.
"It was inside the whole time?!" MC said with an exasperated sigh. 
"Luke's probably worried about me by now, hopefully fending off Beel wasn't too hard for him..."
They mumbled under their breath, picking up their D.D.D to check the time. That's when they heard laughing.
Not exactly joyful laughter either, the kind that sent a chill up your spine when you heard it. As MC began to walk closer to the kitchen they realized it wasn't only laughing they heard, but crying.
MC waisted no time picking up speed. They were trying to think up a logical explanation for this. A way that what they feared had happened wouldn't be true. As they stepped into the doorway, they looked onto the scene.
Luke, sobbing, just trying to get away, Beel and Mammon panicking, Satan, Asmodeus, and Lucifer enjoying it, and everyone else in total annoyance.
They dropped their D.D.D onto the floor, the clatter of the device on the floor getting the boys attention.
MC looked like they were going to be sick. They felt like they were going to be sick. Memories flooded their mind as they felt rage quaking in their bones.
At that moment, they didn't see the boys as the ones they'd come to grow so fond of.
They saw them as nothing more than demons, hurting the innocent and defenseless.
"Everyone but Luke. Out."
Their body spoke without them, their voice trembling as if it was a threat that they may cry themselves. 
The pinpricks of pupils shakily looked to each of the boys in disgust. A glare that each of them could hopefully feel.
"MC. Who do you think you are talking to-"
Lucifer tried to speak but he was cut off with a yell.
"I SAID GET IN THE OTHER ROOM AND STAY THERE."
Thy used their pact, knowing that they had no patience for this at the moment.All of the brothers looked shocked, but could say nothing as their bodies brought them into the common room against their own will. MC roughly slammed the door behind them.
They paused for a moment, stilling as they were still taking in what happened, before turning to Luke. The poor boy looked terrified, holding back more sobs as his body shook and he looked up to MC in shock.
Without hesitation, MC dashed over and melted to their knees, holding Luke in a tight embrace. Luke flinched before allowing himself to be comforted, wrapping his arms around MC and letting out a sob into their shoulder.
"I- I'm sorry!" He choked. "I'm so so sorry I didn't mean to start-"
MC hushed his gently, rubbing circles into his back. "It's okay, it's okay Luke.. You didn't do anything wrong..." They shook their head in disbelief. "I didn't mean to leave you that long..."
Luke sobbed again, clinging on tighter.  "Those-! Those horrible demons they-"
MC pulled away gently. Luke was breathing too fast, and they were getting worried.
 "I know Luke I saw... I'm so sorry I left you here... But you're going to have to breathe for me, okay? Can you do that? Breathe in really slow..."
Luke sniffled, whipping his tears on his sleeve. He breathed in from his nose, trying to put an end to the crying.
"Good, Luke you're doing very good. Now breathe out slow..." MC assured, rubbing his back as a comfort.
Luke tried to breathe slow, but it was broken and difficult. MC gave him a bit more encouragement, their voice soft and comforting. Soon Luke was finally able to calm down, looking up at MC with sad glossy eyes.
MC felt their rage return, seeing what people they cared about did to someone they saw as a little brother, someone they knew very well couldn't defend himself when ambushed like that.
"I'm so sorry Luke..."
They felt horrible, a sinking feeling in their gut. They really didn't think that the brothers would do something like this... They had promised Luke it would all be okay.
Luke shook his head, telling MC "No, It's not y-your fault! It was those- mean demons..."
Those mean demons.. just hearing that reminded MC of their anger. They tightened their grip on Luke for a moment, holding him close before releasing him, keeping a calm face for the childs sake.
"Hey Luke... let me just make you something to drink. It'll help you feel better." 
They suggest, standing up and calmly walking to the fridge. Luke was a bit perplexed at the sudden shift, but quietly requested a simple cup of water, which MC placed on the counter.
"Don't worry Luke, it will be okay.. You can come sit at the table, drink your water, have one of the cupcakes you made... And please, don't listen to the things I say should I raise my voice at the brothers. I'll be right back and then I'll take you somewhere nice. Is that okay Luke?"
Luke stared at MC in silence for a second. He felt as though something was about the happen.. but in all honesty he didn't think he wanted to stop it. He nodded shyly and said "Okay.. Yeah that's okay."
MC gave him one last comforting smile before leaving the room and shutting the door tight behind them.
Everyone was silent as MC walked into the common room. They couldn't bring themselves to look any of the brothers in the eyes. The first person to speak was Lucifer.
"What is the meaning of this?" He demanded.
MC shot him a piercing glare.
"What the fuck is wrong with you?"
Their voice wasn't loud but it was clearly fueled by anger.
Lucifer glared back, aware of what the problem was but still holding his ground. MC turned to face the other brothers "What the fuck is wrong with all of you?!"
Satan crossed his arms, glancing away as Asmodeus tried to protest.
"Please Darling calm down, it was merely a joke."
"Did it look like either of us found it funny?" MC hissed back, venom in their tone which made both Asmo and Mammon flinch. Mammon quickly got defensive, firing back "Oi, ya really getting this worked up over some chihuahua?!"
"Yeah-! You're supposed to be my player two!" Leviathan added.
"You can't get worked up over some simple teasing!" Satan snapped, huffing and crossing his arms.
Belphegor clicked his tongue before attempting to leave.
"EVERYONE STOP!" MC said once more, using their pact to keep everyone inside the room and quiet. "You aren't listening and I'm not done! How could you not see how wrong this is?!"
Beel bowed his head, looking nervous "I really didn't mean any harm..."
MC gave out a sigh "I know that. But you did harm. You all did harm and you aren't even sorry!"
Beel looked like he was about to say something but the words were quickly lost. It seemed to finally be getting to the boys that this was actually a serious matter, or atleast that is was serious to MC.
The human turned to Lucifer, an unmatched blazing anger in their eyes.
"Like you. You get joy from picking on the defenseless! How pathetic and cruel can you be to where the only way you can blow of steam is making children cry?! If it wasn't for you, nobody would even call him a dog in the first place. You're a prick who hurts people for fun!"
Lucifer looked offended, nearly turning into his demon form at this point, but before he could get a word in, MC pointed at Mammon.
"And you! If anyone should know how Luke feels, it should be you! How could you just stand there and laugh when you know how it feels to be put down like that, when you know how much it hurts? I could not be more disappointed to see you putting a child in a position that you know the pain of. A-And you too!"
Mammon's eyes went wide, his jaw slack as MC turned to Leviathan.
"You know that it doesn't feel good when people make fun of you for being an otaku! You know it doesn't feel good when people pass you judgmental glares! Why would you ever think it's okay to do that to someone so young?"
Levi felt a conflation of anger and shame building up, which soon turned to shock as he saw Satan approaching MC, who snapped their head around to face him.
"That's enough." He said sternly, wrath present in his tone.
"You're just as bad as the others... The way you behaved was whicked and cruel and totally unacceptable! You laughed at him.. I thought you were smart enough to know how wrong that was."
Asmodeus tried to take a step back from the situation, sensing that he'd be next, but MC caught on to quickly, stepping closer to him.
"Don't think I didn't see what you did. You took pictures, you boosted your ego off a that child's tears. You go on and on about your appearance but when I see the way you treat other people I can see how ugly you are on the inside!"
Asmodeus gasped dramatically, covering his mouth. MC merely glanced at Beel.
"You stood by and watched that happen... I expected better from you..."
They then turned the Belphegor.
"And I wish I could say the same for you... You don't even care do you, you don't see what's wrong with this, you don't see why your wrong. What can I even say to you? What am I supposed to do when I see all of you acting like monsters!" 
"We are demons, MC!" Belphegor growled. "What did you expect?!"
There was a pause, dead silence as tear began to well up in MC's eyes.
"You're right... Maybe I don't want to surround myself with a bunch of demons."
They turned on their heels, walking back to the kitchen door.
"Wait- MC we didn't..!" Mammon started, to which MC responded without even turning around
"You hurt him the same way people used to hurt me! I never thought I would see people I cared so much about making someone so innocent feel that alone and helpless... You don't even hate Luke, I've seen you guys get along with him... If this is how you treat other people then I don't want to associate with any of you."
Without another word and despite the boys protests, MC walked into the kitchen to find a very stunned Luke. 
They calmed themselves to smile softly, and told him "We're going to be leaving through the kitchen exit, let's go see Barbatos."
They offered, opening up their arms. Luke stepped forward after a little hesitation, and MC picked him up and carried him to their car.
The drive there was quiet but not awkward. It broke MC's heart every time they saw Luke wipe away an occasional tear, but it only made them feel more assured in their prior words. 
Once they arrived MC told Luke to hang back in the car briefly so they could text Simeon. Luke got very nervous at that.
"I-..."
MC looked to him, not sending a single message until Luke told them it was okay. Luke looked up at them with big eyes.
"I don't want to tell him just yet.. What if he doesn't care? He always tells me to turn the other cheek and keep the peace..."
MC frowned gently, letting out a quiet sigh. It hurt to hear that from someone so young.. that he'd believe people didn't care about him.
"Luke I can assure you Simeon will care. He cares about you, we all care about you... I understand if you aren't ready to tell him about it though.. Would you be ready to talk to Barbatos?" They offered softly.
Luke paused a moment before nodding and MC smiled once more.
"Okay buddy... don't worry, I promise for real this time, I'll make sure it's all okay.."
||Part 2 coming soon||
[Tags: @dexpairs-blog @giaourtopita @Iovethisletters @vintagehedgehogdragon ]
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a-lil-perspective · a year ago
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70 Encouragements/Tips For The Writer:
A/N: Rules don’t exist. These are real and personal and stem from a deteriorating, exhausted Writer who is here to tell you (and herself) that you are amazing and keep going. I hope you find some encouragement within.
Your mental health comes first and foremost.
Indulge and embrace your creative writing pieces when they come (and when they don’t). Especially when they don’t.
Suffering from Writer’s Block or fluctuating hyperfixation? Me too. So is your favorite author. Welcome to the Writer’s Block Party (all my uwus if you see the pun).
Did you spend five hours on this one segment, forget the last time you ate, develop chapped lips, dry eyes, and a stiff back (time to get up and move), bang your head on the wall, laugh, cry, fidget, take your ADHD meds, deviate to watch YouTube, have an epiphany, curse in frustration and wonder why the hell you do this to yourself? Congratulations, you’re a Writer.
Embrace all the not-so-glamorous sides of writing, and accept the fact they’re going to happen time over again.
When you say “just one more line” and it’s 2:00 AM, I’ll be here to remind you to “go to sleep” (because I’m also depriving myself lol).
Actually, sleeping helps your mind feel refreshed, and it’s good for your health. If you’re struggling with a particular segment, one of the best things you can do is just put a cap on it for the time being, put in a placeholder, and get some shut eye. I know you don’t want to. But you will feel so much better and have more clarity and energy to continue when you wake. Trust me.
More often than not, those words you “just didn’t write down fast enough and now forgot” end up revealing themselves to you later in a much more profound way. Give the words time to get ready. They’re just spiffing up before coming to visit. :)
Be proud of yourself and your prose. Writing is an amazing part of who you are.
That trope has been written 1000 times before? Make it 1001.
You’ve already written this scenario? Write it again.
You’ve just written a single sentence. Now sit back for moment and think: you just wrote something brand new, never before seen. Nobody out there will ever write that sentence or formulate those thoughts the exact same way. You are a unique, mind-blowing, awe-inspiring human being.
Bask in the excitement that comes with a completed piece. Reflect on what you learned throughout and celebrate the little victories.
Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback, but also understand that you might not always get it, and that is OK.
Please re-read your work. Be gentle with yourself. You had to write that very first piece to get to where you are now. Love the process.
Your personal writing success is not based off of kudos or likes or reblogs.
There is no right or wrong way to write.
There is no such thing as “good” writing.
Improvement is becoming of everyone so get comfy, strap in. The journey of a Writer is a lifelong one. Here’s to many more works ahead.
Don’t mourn the words you did or didn’t write. Celebrate the ones you will.
One day, you’ll read a piece that will blow you away—and it will be yours.
There is nothing “shameful” about reblogging your own writing works.
I promise you’ll find your “wow” piece—either in something you’ve already written, or something yet to come.
Baby. Please don’t write out of spite. You’re better than that.
You are just as valid/deserving as the next Writer. And you do belong.
If you feel sad/unworthy when sharing your works or interacting with others’, get to the root of why. Writing should be fun, rewarding, and relaxing. Not shameful, embarrassing, or a chore.
Writing (fanfiction, specifically) is labeled as “transformative works”. Self-explanatory, right? However, if you notice the transformative part begin to have a personal effect on you—a negative one—it’s time to take a step back.
Right now, I can name a single quality you possess: diligence. How do I know? Because you’re a Writer, and the two go hand-in-hand.
Got that single scene in your head but you haven’t completed or even began all the chapters preceding? Bruh. Jot that down right now. You don’t need 20k words beforehand.
Embrace your writing mood swings. The stray, sweet and condensed blurbie. The ideal, bridging drabble. The solid, substantial oneshot. The hefty, elaborate 10k word chapter. Appreciate everything in-between, and that you are capable of all of it.
Nobody remembers that extra word or typo or stray speech mark back all the way back in chapter 3. Tell the little monster in your head to go to hell.
You’re not a weirdo for making facial expressions and mulling through your dialogue aloud. You. Are. A. Writer.
It’s OK if the Readers can’t always see exactly what you envisioned in your head, or the full extent of the picture you painted. We all see colors differently.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with your writing.
In fact, challenge yourself to dabble into a new plot/trope/concept every day, even if only for a few minutes. You may discover you love writing it.
There’s no rush to finish/begin any written work. If you take your time, you will make your mark. You’re not falling behind or running late. Slow down and wait for it. :)
Three cheers for hiatus.
Listen to your body and mind, know your limits and when it’s time to take a break.
Actually take a break. :)
If you feel like you’re falling stagnant in creativity, looking to/revisiting other forms of creative media can help encourage the flow.
Ask for encouragement, and be at peace with asking.
Take shelter in fellow writers. Uplift each other always.
You are/will be someone’s favorite author. :)
You don’t have anything to prove. You have something to share.
Someone is thinking about your work right now.
Someone started a series because they drew inspiration from you.
Personal writing style can reflect a lot on the state of one’s mental health. Try to always be attentive to that of your own.
Self-validation must be cultivated early on or nothing will ever work.
Freestyle every once in a while. Write a snippet, timed, and go—without editing. Write the first thing that comes to mind and go from there. Do it all the way through the set time. When it stops, you’ll find yourself unable to. 3,800 words here we come. :)
Not everything needs an outline. :)
It is completely normal to write your story out of order.
Create guidelines for yourself. If they aren’t working, toss ‘em.
Word vomiting can help you feel better (it’s just how it sounds). By clearing all those jumbled thoughts and scattered concepts, you achieve a clearer objective. Try it sometime.
A rough draft is supposed to be rough.
Sometimes the words come to you quicker than others. Be patient. That is merely the construct of a Writer’s mind. You’re a beautiful enigma.
A sentence written is a story progressing.
Writing is an endurance sport. You must pace yourself and exercise it daily.
You are still a Writer even when the words aren’t on the actual page.
You’re not obligated to a writing/posting schedule.
As you progress in your journey and gain more awareness, don’t sacrifice your style. Those beginning works are what define you. Hold onto them and don’t ever let them go.
You’re the only one cringing—
Remember that sometimes words are elusive and you don’t always have control over them, and that is OK. Sometimes they write themselves. Sometimes your characters come to life and break out into dance across your page. Dance with them. You can wrangle them back when the music stops. :)
There is nothing condemning or embarrassing about asking for a beta. Allow someone to help carry the load.
Allow people to cheer you on—even if they don’t read your work.
It’s OK if your writing style isn’t someone else’s preference.
Be your biggest cheerleader. Sometimes you are all you have.
You don’t need anyone’s approval except your own.
You love that trope/concept/story you just wrote? That’s all that matters. The end.
You will never write good. You will write you. And that is good.
Above all else: remember to write for you.🤍
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ialwaysknewyouwerepunk · 7 months ago
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only angel - a close reading
hey guys, gals and nonbinary pals, here is a close reading i did of ‘only angel’ by our babe, harry styles. i want to make it VERY CLEAR that this is just my opinion and my reading, talking from my own experiences and how i’ve learned to interpret art. i’m an eng lit major so i actually am not talking out of my ass on this subject, for once. i am also not cis or straight, if that makes a difference in your reading of this post. yes, this post is about harry being genderqueer. if you are absolutely not open to this possibility, then you can just ignore this post and scroll by. (unhelpful anons will be ignored, but i’m happy to go into dialogue if some things aren’t fully clear. this masterpost can help with a lot of questions too) 
i’ll be using he/him pronouns to refer to Harry. He’s been called both he/him and she/her by close friends and family members, and seems to accept both. for the sake of keeping things clear in this post, he/him is what i’ll go with. 
thanks to my gc friends for the brainstorm session and helpful insights, you’re all so intelligent ily (and sorry ari for bringing harry’s love for bukowski’s poetry to your attention)
if anyone is interested, i also did a (less heavy) analysis of meet me in the hallway!
TW/ alcohol, sex, self-harm
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NOW LET’S GET INTO IT 
(intro, spoken, excerpt from Barfly) I saw this angel, I really saw an angel
Barfly, film with screenplay by Charles Bukowski, introduces the atmosphere of the song. The film deals with alcoholism, adultery, violence. The story is partly autobiographical, with Bukowski representing himself as his alter ego. One of the main characters, an adulteress, at one point proclaims she can see angels.
Angels are usually a positive force in a story, despite being imaginary or appearing in dreams. In Bukowski’s work, ‘angel’ is often used as a derogatory term: 
dogs and angels are not 
very far apart
Bukowski is known as a misogynistic ass - pardon my french - since he loved to depict women as inferior beings he could ‘conquer’ during sex, etc. He was a self-proclaimed “dirty old man”, owning up to his terrible characteristics (that often got the better of him) and this ownership of that part of him that he hates is something to keep in mind. (Bukowski struggled with depression and alcoholism after an abusive childhood but this does not excuse any abuse on his part.) 
My own interpretation of his work, since I do appreciate his poetry because I like free verse, down-to-earth use of words and themes, and I have a terrible soft spot for tortured artists (we all need our flaws, right?), is that he was intelligent but incredibly self-destructive, so with every smart and earnest word that he uttered he felt like muttering two that took all of it back and slapped you in the face while he was at it. “Can't they see through my skin, can't they see that I am nothing?” Self-hate, self-destruction. (sign me up bc i’m a sucker and a fool)
Open up your eyes, shut your mouth and see
Who is this “you”? 
the general public (gp)/media. Open your fucking eyes and stop spewing what you think you know, because if you actually look, the answers are all there. 
“I” talking to himself, who I will identify as Harry from now on
That I'm still the only one who's been in love with me
“I”, H, is the only one who knows who he is. Also an allusion to narcissism: “in love” is usually said to/about someone else, not oneself. “With me” instead of “with myself”; natural phrasing would usually be different. Invested in himself, in his self. (Would he maybe say “I love myself” if he were more familiar with what that self entails?)
“Who’s been in love with me”: continuous tense implies the continuity of these emotions: any other lovers/forms of attention have been fleeting, temporary (or so he thinks)
I'm just happy getting you stuck in between my teeth and there's nothing I can do about it
gp’s opinion of Harry Styles™️: compulsive womaniser, Aggressive Man in patriarchal heteronormative society
him biting into his life, his self, everything that makes him him. He can’t help it, he can’t shut (parts of) himself down.
Broke a finger knocking on your bedroom door, I got splinters in my knuckles crawling ‘cross the floor
again, CisHet Harry, Aggressive Man
basically going mad trying to knock his own walls down. It fucking hurts to try to figure out what’s going on inside of him; trying to fight it 
Couldn't take you home to mother in a skirt that short, but I think that's what I like about it
couldn’t take any of his many ‘conquests’ home bc it’s too superficial, ‘dirty’
this self is not something he shows at home, because it’s about sex and physicality, so not something he’d share with his mom, but it is something he wants to own and embrace (~Bukowski)
She's an angel, Only angel, She’s an angel, My only angel
Het Harry and his latest fling, possessive (~Bukowski)
Harry and the ‘angel’, the ‘she’ who lives inside of him
(verse 2)
I must admit I thought I'd like to make you mine
Very ambiguous, insecure phrasing. Where is the macho, Aggressive Man (1)? 
→ H and his internal struggles (2)
As I went about my business through the warning signs
Het Harry, Aggressive Man pushing through. Relationship/fling with red flags, but lust takes over
making his ‘angel’, his ‘she’, a part of him, embodying her. The struggles that come with that: possible loss of sight of self. At what cost does ‘she’ come out (self-destructive lifestyle)? How deep is ‘she’ buried? (How many drinks does he need?)
End up meeting in the hallway every single time
‘Meet Me In the Hallway’: relationship struggles, loss of self, “I gotta get better”
The hallway is neutral ground: not the bedroom, not the kitchen (themes in H’s other lyrics). No one is dominant here: no Aggressive Man, no ‘angel’. Just Harry, trying to figure it all out. He keeps ending up in the hallway because neither the Man nor the ‘angel’ embody him completely, so he has to start afresh with his self-discovery.
And there's nothing we can do about it
SWITCH. First time “we” is used. 
For H, there is no ‘I’, it’s always ‘we’. He can’t ‘choose a side’ or ‘figure out’ which of his pronouns he is. He is all of the above.
Told it to her brother and she told it to me
(What the hell does this mean? Literally no clue. What are these pronouns doing? The ‘angel’, “she”, isn’t “you”, which would’ve made interpretation (1) make sense. Now, any woman H would be mentioning in verse 1 (when saying “you”) is not “she” in this verse, otherwise “you” would still be used. Either it’s sloppy writing, or it means something else. You tell me, for real. What’s this “brother” doing here? (I think ‘brother’ could easily be replaced by ‘lover’ and then it would at least make sense for the womaniser interpretation.)
That she's gonna be an angel, 
She’s going to be nothing but imaginary. Another interpretation is that “she” is threatening to go so far and actually self-destruct. Implications of s******.
just you wait and see
General “you”, the listener/etc. Taunting message: ‘she’ needs to prove something.
When it turns out she's a devil in between the sheets
And there's nothing she can do about it
Antithesis of ‘angel’ and ‘devil’. Both beings not present in the real world.
→ Even “she” can’t run away from dualities.
Sex, acceptance of his self as a sexual being.
Wanna die, wanna die, wanna die tonight (3x)
Implied ‘I’, but left out
→ metre reasons
→ omission of pronouns as a conscious choice
Heavy sentiment. 
self-destructive - “just you wait and see” - hints at lifestyle that could ruin you, mentally and physically (~Bukowski)
self-harm
SOUND: musically, it sounds similar to ‘Kiwi’, ‘Woman’ and ‘She’; the themes also overlap: the woman as seductive, sexy, devious, imaginary
SYNTHESIS
Harry as a writer finding himself in Bukowski’s writing: womaniser image that has always been projected onto him from a very young age. Harry does not identify with this persona, but plays with it in his mind after years of having to play pretend, and with the knowledge that the gp sees him that way. He deliberately uses imagery that could lead to his songs being easily interpreted in multiple ways. You can hear this song and think it’s about Harry the CisHet Womaniser, who has casual sex all the time, is dominant and aggressive. (After, back tf off)
Or you can think it’s about Harry showing his internal struggle, his fight with himself, his gender, trying to figure out who he really is. Why can’t he identify with this image of Man that’s been projected onto him all these years, an image so accepted in the patriarchal heteronormative society he was raised in? And why is this “she” so unreachable? Why is she only an imaginary being, like an angel or a devil? Why are the doors closed? 
Self-destruction as a theme in this song, with implications of self-harm (breaking his finger, splinters in his knuckles, wanting to die), underlines the heaviness of the lyrics, the difficulty of his struggle. References to Bukowski then hint at alcohol use, which brings out these personas that reside in Harry’s imagination, in how he sees himself and how he knows others see him. 
The references to Bukowski, in my opinion, reveal Harry’s struggle with his self-image. Part of him wants to be famous, to be a rockstar, to indulge in parts of that lifestyle. Does that make him a bad person? Has he sometimes lost sight of who he is because of that? (Harry finding recognition in Bukowski hurts my heart, bc to me it implies H’s self-hate, an inclination/attraction to self-destructive tendencies and his dismissiveness of his artistic abilities. not to be dramatic. brb crying)
The ‘she’ in Harry’s ‘we’, in Harry’s self, is seductive and reckless, and since the release of Fine Line we have been able to see an evolution in his experience of her. Character development, if you will. In ‘Only Angel’, she’s part of a fight, someone who only comes out at desperate times, as a reaction to his forced CisHet persona, or after some sort of substance abuse. In ‘She’ or ‘Fine Line’, her presence is less lethal. 
My interpretation of the pronouns used in this song is exactly that: Harry is every single one of them, either a persona or actually him. Harry is genderqueer in some way or other.
read my other lyric analyses here
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the-illuminated-witch · a year ago
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Tapping Into Your Psychic Senses
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Every single person on the planet has psychic abilities, but most people never realize that they’re using them. As Tess Whitehurst says in her book You Are Magical, “There is almost certainly something you assume that everyone can perceive that is actually a perception that is relatively unique to you.”
For example: you may be a gifted artist. Drawing and painting come naturally to you, and you have an intuitive sense of form and color. You probably know people who claim that they “don’t have an artistic bone in their body” or “can’t even draw a stick figure,” but you can’t bring yourself to believe it. Surely, those people are just psyching themselves out, because if art comes so easily to you, everyone must be able to do it to some extent, right?
Psychic abilities are similar. You’ve probably been tapping into at least one psychic sense all your life, but it feels so normal to you that you assume everyone experiences the world this way.
Once you become aware of your innate psychic abilities, you can start to harness them. For this reason, I think it’s a good idea to become familiar with (and comfortable using!) your natural psychic gifts before you try to learn any kind of divination.
Read over the following list of common psychic senses. Does one or more of them sound familiar? Once you recognize which of these you resonate with, focus on strengthening that gift over the next couple of weeks. You’ll be amazed by how easily you’re able to tap into it once you know how!
Clairvoyance: Clear Seeing
Contrary to popular opinion, the word “clairvoyance” does not describe any and all psychic abilities. Someone with clairvoyance receives psychic messages through their sense of sight. They may see these messages with their physical eyes, or see images in their mind’s eye. Seeing auras is an example of clairvoyance in action.
You may be clairvoyant if…
You often see flashes of light, blurred figures, or other visual phenomena that others do not see. [Note: This is NOT the same as visual hallucinations. Clairvoyants typically see things with their mind’s eye, not their physical eyes, and can differentiate between their visions and what is physically in front of them.]
You often experience random mental images that seem to have nothing to do with what’s going on around you.
Your meditations are primarily visual — for example, if you meditate on the element of water, you may see a bubbling fountain in your mind’s eye.
You are a visual learner.
Ways to Strengthen Clairvoyance
Keep a journal of the mental images you receive “out of nowhere.” Do these images mean anything to you? Do individual visions fit into a larger pattern?
Meditate on the energy systems in your body, starting from the feet and working up to the crown of the head. What does your energy look like? Are the colors bright and clear, or more faded and muddy? Does the energy move quickly, or is it slow and sluggish? Are there certain areas of your body where the energy seems to be tied up or stuck? How does its appearance correspond to your life? 
Do research into auras and what the different aura colors mean. Do you always seem to see or think of a certain color when you’re around a certain person? How does that color represent that person’s energy and personality? Write down your findings.
Clairaudience: Clear Hearing
Someone with clairaudience receives psychic messages through their sense of hearing. They may hear messages with their physical ears or “hear” them in their mind. A medium who hears spirits is an example of someone using clairaudience.
You may be clairaudient if…
You sometimes “hear” things in your mind, as if someone else was talking to you from inside your head. [Note: This is NOT the same as “hearing voices” or auditory hallucinations. Clairaudients usually “hear” messages with their mind, not their physical ears, and they can distinguish between psychic messages and physical, “real world” sounds.]
Sometimes, when you listen to music or watch a movie, a specific lyric or line of dialogue seems to jump out at you, as if it were a special message.
Your meditations are primarily auditory — for example, if you meditate on the element of water, you may hear a babbling brook.
You are an auditory learner.
Ways to Strengthen Clairaudience
Keep a journal of the messages you “hear” out of nowhere. Are they consistent, forming a larger pattern? Do they all seem to be “in the same voice,” or coming from the same source? (If so, this could be a deity or spirit guide reaching out to you.)
Do a meditation with the intention of holding a conversation with a helpful spirit guide. (If you are not comfortable working with spirits, you can set the intention of speaking to your inner self.) What does their voice sound like? Is it different from or similar to your own? Do they speak with an accent or have a unique inflection? Write down your thoughts.
Experiment with shufflemancy. This is a modern form of divination where you put a playlist on shuffle and receive a psychic message from the song that plays first. (You can find playlists specifically made for shufflemancy online, or make your own.) How does the song make you feel? Are there certain lyrics that jump out to you? Write down your thoughts.
Clairsentience: Clear Feeling
Someone with clairsentience feels psychic messages, either through their body or through their emotions. They may feel physical sensations, like an upset stomach, or may be very sensitive to emotional energies. Intuitively picking up on someone’s emotions without needing to ask is an example of clairsentience.
You may be clairsentient if…
You often feel physical sensations, like a hot flash or a cold chill, out of nowhere.
You are able to feel other people’s emotions — you can always tell when someone has had a bad day, even if they’re trying to hide it.
You can sense the “vibe” of a room as soon as you walk in. Do certain buildings feel “angry” or “sad” to you? Can you always tell the energy of a party even if you just arrived?
Your meditations primarily focus on tactile sensations — for example, if you meditate on the element of water, you may feel waves lapping at your feet.
Ways to Strengthen Clairsentience
Pay attention to your “gut feelings.” Do you feel a sinking sensation when thinking about something, only for it to go badly later? Do you feel a warm, fuzzy sensation thinking about something, only for it to go really well? Write down your experiences — and be honest. It’s okay if your gut feeling doesn’t always match the outcome.
Do a pathworking meditation (this is just a type of meditation that focuses on taking a mental journey) to a forest, or a beach, or some other location that appeals to you. Try to feel as many tactile sensations as possible, as if you were really there. Feel the grass or sand under your feet, feel the wind in your hair, feel the sun on your skin. Write down your experience.
Practice feeling the energy of a plant or crystal. Reach out and touch the plant/crystal, and try to feel it out. Does it have a calm, stable energy, or is it more bright and zingy? Try feeling a different plant/crystal and see how it feels different. Write down your experience.
Note: Some (but not all) clairsentients are also empaths, people who take on the emotions of others as if they were their own. All empaths are clairsentient, but not all clairsentient people are empaths. You may be an empath if you often find yourself matching the emotions of the people you’re around — you cry when they cry, laugh when they laugh, etc.
Claircognizance: Clear Knowing
Claircognizence is the gift of psychic knowing — people with this ability often “just know” things, even if they should have no way of knowing. They may know what someone is about to say before they say it, or know personal information about someone they just met.
You may be claircognizant if…
You “just know” what’s going on with your friends and family, even if they haven’t told you. For example, you may suddenly feel like you need to call your sister, only to find out after you call that she just broke up with her boyfriend.
You always know who a text is from as soon as your phone dings, or always know what song is going to play next on shuffle.
You often know things about new people as soon as you meet them, only for them to confirm it later. Did you know your friend was a vegetarian before he told you, even though you’d never shared a meal with him?
Your meditations often include “downloads” of information, where you feel like the answer to your question or some other revelation has just been dropped into your brain.
Ways to Strengthen Claircognizance
Every time your phone goes off, try to guess who the message is from. Keep a tally of how often you’re right vs. wrong.
Do a meditation with the intention of receiving the answer to a specific question. Retreat to a place of stillness and focus on your breath until the answer to the question “just comes to you.” Write down your experience.
This is a game I used to play with my sister before I knew what claircognizance was: have a friend show you a picture of someone they know, but whom you have never met before. Focus on the picture, and see if you get any info about the person — are they a jock? Do they like rock music? What’s their personality like? Get your friend to confirm or deny the info you got from the picture, and keep a tally of how often you’re right vs. wrong.
The Other Clairs
There are two other “clair” senses that are less common, so I’m not going to talk about them at length here. Clairalience, or “clear smelling,” refers to receiving psychic messages through smell. (If you smell roses out of nowhere, with no roses in sight, you may be using clairalience.) Clairgustance, or “clear tasting,” refers to receiving psychic messages through taste. (If you taste chocolate out of nowhere, you may be using claigustance.)
In my experience, these psychic senses are less common than the ones listed above. Most people I know who have clairalience or clairgustance seem to use it as a secondary sense, in addition to a primary sense like clairvoyance or clairsentience.
Conclusion
You are probably using at least one of these psychic senses every day, without even knowing it. Most people have two to three “main” psychic senses, but some may regularly and easily use all of them. For example, my primary psychic senses are clairsentience and claircognizance, but I also find myself receiving messages through clairaudience fairly often. It’s rare for me to receive clairvoyant messages, but it has happened.
Once you’ve identified the psychic senses that you naturally lean towards, you can begin to develop and strengthen them.
Resources:
You Are Magical by Tess Whitehurst [Specifically the chapter, “Reading the Signs.”]
The Fat Feminist Witch Podcast, Episode 68: “Clear Knowing”
The Angel Code by Chantel Lysette [Specifically the section on the psychic senses.]
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acdeaky · 6 months ago
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out of the blue (3am calls)
warning: mentions of nightmares, implications of PTSD, fluff
note: this is (technically) my other submission for @celestialbarnes’ 4k writing challenge! i chose the prompt ‘bed’ and dialogue 9 ‘“was it the nightmares again?” “no” “you suck at lying”’ congrats again, rachel! and enjoy 🤍
read my other submission here!
word count: 1.9k
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“...sorry that i can’t come to the phone right now, but- james?” you picked up, hearing the shaking breaths of bucky’s down the line as he tries to self soothe himself.
“hey,” he sighed down the receiver; you could imagine his metal hand running through his shortened locks, too. “did i wake you?”
“no, no, i’m always awake at...three-fourteen in the morning.” you replied, a teasing tone to your voice as you rubbed your sleep-ridden eyes.
“i just needed to hear your voice,” to ground me, he wanted to say, “i’m sorry, it was selfish.”
“i don’t mind, i wanna talk to you.” you smiled, knowing in a minute or so you’d be leaving the confines of your apartment to walk across the hall to bucky’s.
the other side of the phone stayed quiet for a moment, the only thing being heard was the static of the line. you didn’t want to say anything, knowing bucky usually needed a minute or two to collect this thoughts before he asked you to come over.
his excuse was that he felt like a burden; your response was always the opposite. ever since you had met him, something you always reminded him was that you were there for him, knowing what he had been through. although he was hesitant, the majority of the time you were by his side in the early hours of the morning.
“can you come over? just for a little while?” bucky’s voice was small, quiet, as always when he asked those four words. both of you knew that you’d be there much longer than ‘a little while’, but you didn’t mind when you forever replied,
“of course.”
it wasn’t long before you pulled a hoodie over your head, slipping on some socks before making your way to your front door. you grabbed your keys and opened your door, turning and twisting the lock as quickly as you could.
the hallway seemed darker than usual that night, the chill of the wooden floorboards seeping through your socks and hitting the pads of your feet as you crossed over to bucky’s apartment door. you knocked, waiting for the answer which came only a second or two later.
“i’m sorry.” was the first and only words he spoke as the door swung open.
“it’s okay.” you replied as bucky stood to the side, allowing you to step through the door before he closed it behind you.
the bareness of his apartment always worried you; it felt as if there was little progress happening, but it was. slowly but surely, and bucky knew this, he was just waiting for the right moment to ask you to go shopping with him. help pick out a new sofa, one you found comfortable. maybe even a coffee table, or a dining table so you had a proper place to sit while you ate your various take-outs every week.
it wasn’t like you didn’t see each other enough for him to ask, but he was hesitant; worried you’d say no, that he’d miss judged your friendship, your relationship even, that you were only a source of comfort on nights like this and not a friend who helped make a house a home.
even after that time you’d been with him whilst buying new bed sheets. his mind kept telling him right place, right time, that you didn’t actually want to do that with him, but you’d felt obliged to when running into each other in the store.
he was wrong, of course. your friendship meant the world to the both of you and you adored bucky, but he needed time and so did you. so, your friendship was just that: friends who saw each other the majority of the time, who found any free moment to spend together and who slept next to each other on nights like these...
bucky locked the door behind you before grabbing himself a quick drink, watching your figure as you stepped into the side of the living room and hovered over the blanket and pillow on the floor.
like usual, you said nothing, only following the same route into his bedroom while bucky left his now empty glass in the sink. just as he turned the corner, you were pulling the covers back, pulling off your hoodie and sliding under the sheets.
he watched for a minute, waiting for you to find a comfortable spot with the sheets pulled tightly around your body.
his mattress was cold, still hard, yet comfortable, from when he first bought it. the sheets were soft, too, your choice - of course - colours which you had said complemented his eyes; it was more difficult hiding the blush on his face than you hiding the price tag. he bought them anyway, knowing that you wanted the best for him and hoping that you’d put them to use some time.
and use them you had. there had been many nights since that day which you had spent in his bed, curled up against him as you feel asleep and bucky attempted to. you were the only reason the sheets got washed often; other than you and him on nights like these, nobody else used them.
it wasn’t long before he moved from his place by the door, following your early actions and joining you under the covers. ever the gentleman, bucky stayed on his side while you stayed on yours, him on his back with you on your side facing him.
it took for you to move closer to him, pressing your body into his for either of you to begin feeling any comfort.
the warmth of bucky’s body was a pleasant contrast to the mattress, both of you slowly warming up the longer you were huddled together. truly, you hadn’t meant to lay like this, but after climbing under the sheets next to him for the first time, bucky pulled you into his side and wrapped his arms around you. as if on instinct, your head laid on his bare chest, a hand resting in the middle of his torso as you shifted onto your side.
there were some delicate whispers from the two of you before you drifted to sleep. your kind words soothed bucky’s mind as he allowed himself to relax and settle back into the pillows; a luxury he rarely let himself have. his allowed you to feel them reverberate in his chest, his low hums acting as a settler for your thoughts.
both of you were asleep moments later.
-
“was it the nightmares again?” you asked the following night, your back against the headboard of your bed, the bright moonlight shining through the thin curtains you’d forgotten to pull across the window earlier.
“no”
“you suck at lying.” a light giggle came from you, followed by bucky’s unpleased sigh. you were right; he knew it and so did you, but you wanted him to admit it.
“i really don’t.” you scoffed lightly at those words, knowing that he didn’t even believe his own words.
“james barnes, how have you not yet learned that you cannot lie to me? i know you.” like always, there was a teasing tone to your voice, trying your best to cheer him up over the phone, especially when you could just tell that the nightmares were bad tonight.
for a moment, the other side of the phone feel silent, except for some light rustling of covers. you knew he was laid on the floor, blanket on top of and under him. regardless of how many times the two of you had tried, bucky could never find comfort inbetween his sheets unless you were there by his side.
“buck? you still there?” you hadn’t meant for your voice to go so quiet, but you really didn’t want to stop talking to him; you never wanted to stop talking to him.
“yeh, yeh i’m still here-” his sentence was almost cut off by three rough knocks at your door, making you body stiffen.
“hold that thought, buck.” you replied, moving slowly off of your bed and towards your slightly open bedroom door.
“doll, its okay,” he spoke softly, noticing the slight quiver to your voice. “its only me”
“could you not have told me that?” you laughed, speeding up to open the door as to not let him stand in the hallway for much longer.
“hey.” he smiled as the door opened, dropping his phone from his ear before ending the call.
“hey.” you mirrored his smile, doing the same while moving to the side to allow him in. as you shut and locked the door, bucky went through his usual routine every time he stepped into your apartment this late at night. his keys were dropped into the bowl on top of the cabinet by your front door, then he grabbed a drink fro your kitchen that was adjacent to your entryway, and then he met you in the doorway of your bedroom, your arms open and waiting for him.
he gladly accepted the contact, always relying on you to ground him when it felt like he’d been floating for too long. and tonight he had been.
both of you used the minimal light from the moon to figure out your way to your bed, his right hand never letting go of yours until he finally had to. the covers were pulled back from where you had left them moments ago, the sheets now cold.
the two of you laid in your bed moment later, bucky being the first to be settled on his back as you began to be pressed against his side, your head on his chest. along with the curtains, earlier you had left a small window open, allowing the noise of brooklyn at night to seep through to your room. neither of you would be falling asleep anytime soon.
“i love you, buck.” your whispered confession making its way to bucky just before he closed his eyes.
“love you, too.” he replied, not allowing the true meaning of his words to be heard.
“no, bucky,” you sat up, leaning your weight onto your right elbow as your left hand reached out for his cheek. “i love you, okay? i love you.”
there was no words for him. he truly hadn’t expected the weight of your confession and it has shocked him beyond words. all he could think to say was,
“i love you, too, doll.” his shy smile made an appearance, reminding you of the first time you saw each other. with that, you leaned forward, placing a delicate kiss onto his lips, the corner of his mouth and on his cheek.
bucky’s smile never faltered, only growing wider the longer you planted kisses upon his skin.
after leaving a lingering one on his jaw, you moved back to face him, resting your forehead onto his. “goodnight, baby.” you whispered, pressing one last kiss on to his lips.
“goodnight, doll.” bucky repeated your actions, leaving the both of you in a fit of smiles.
and, just like earlier, you laid on your side, your head resting above bucky’s heart with his vibranium arm around your shoulders. the two of you were asleep a few moments later, the steady beat of his heart bringing about a peace which you always felt around him.
-
taglist (for people who i think might enjoy this): @forever-rogue @buvky @buckys-darling @barnessupremacy @wallflowerbarnes @bvckysmoon @gryffindorwriter @lokiscollar @propertyofpoeandbucky @buckys-bug @aerynwrites
bucky taglist: @marvel-rhapsody @bloomingbucky
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mrlokis · 4 months ago
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love’s scarlet stain
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gif by @conveniently-available
pairing: Pero Tovar x female!reader
summary: Pero finally returns to your village after four years. He wasn’t expecting to see you with a child and with a badge of shame on your chest. [The Scarlet Letter AU.]
a/n: I finally got to write for the Pedro Pascal fandom again, I’m so happy! this one wouldn’t leave me alone and as I was readin The Scarlet Letter, the more I wanted to write this! I hope you like it and let me know what you think!
warnings: medieval time classic misogyny, angst, mentions of adultery, inaccurate medieval dialogue, implicit smut (+18) 
word count: 5.9k
general masterlist
Some would say the winter, for a traveler, is the worst time of the year. For Pero Tovar, it’s the summer. The sweat rolling down his back beneath his armor, the scalding sun hitting the top of his head, the laziness that comes with it would bring as much irritation as trembling from the cold. 
The poor horse whines as Pero leads it to the village entrance. The midday sun is at its peak, the dry earth beneath the horse’s hooves crunching each step it took. When they reach an inn, Pero hops out of the animal and asks for water. A kind woman soon brings a bucket of water for the horse and for him.
Pero breathes out after drinking some of the water and looks around. It seems that the farmer’s market had begun its services for a while, right at the center of the village. People walk around fruit and fish stands, the chattering and talking too loud, the heat too intense.
It’s just like he remembers.
Four years ago, in the winter, Pero and William found lodging in the same village. He remembers the looks people gave them when they walked through the streets. Pero knew this place was very conservative, going as far as being scandalized that two mercenaries were staying the winter there. The looks on people’s faces tell him nothing has changed. They eye him furiously as he walks through the market, choosing fruits and eyeing the bread, counting his coins to buy some of them.
Originally, Pero wasn’t going to return. The plan was to stick to heading west with William, to return home, but something in the back of his head told him to return. A voice.
Your voice.
Four years had passed since those winter months, but he still remembers you like it happened just last week. The softness of your voice, of your skin. Your lips against his, your body pressed to his. He returned for you. In hopes to see you once more, to have you again. William had teased him for it, saying he was in love, but how could he not? How could Pero not fall for your beauty, your character?
You’ve consumed every thought of his during four years, haunted every dream he had ever since meeting you. And he longs to see you again.
“Pearl!” A voice interrupts his thoughts. A sweet voice, too familiar.
A little girl runs past him, a piece of red fabric in her little hands, giggling as her mother ran after her. The woman’s hair is familiar as she runs past Pero, just like her daughter did. The girl stops just a few meters away from him and he watches as the woman finally reaches her, holding her little arm firmly and crouching in front of her.
It’s you. He’s sure of it. But… You’re a mother, now? His heart sinks at the thought of you in someone else’s bed, married and happily having a family that isn’t his too.
An old woman stops by your side and makes a snarky comment about keeping your child in line; you mutter an apology and take Pearl’s hand, finally standing up and guiding her back to the market. Pero’s stomach drops when you turn on your heels and face him again.
You’re just as beautiful as the day he first saw you. Your skin glowing under the sun, the look on your face, your eyes, everything about you makes his heart skip a beat and makes a beautiful feeling bloom in his chest. Something he’s not very familiar with, but that he’s heard in stories his mother would tell him when he was a child.
The embroidered A on your dress shines like a jewel, the scarlet color burning his eyes. He looks away for a brief moment as you walk past him with your daughter’s hand in yours. However, his eyes return to you the moment you have your back to him again, walking in the same direction as you came, away from the market, away from everyone.
“Devil’s child, that one.” The old lady that scolded you suddenly mutters, snapping Pero from your spell. He looks at her to see she’s choosing fruits from the stand too. For a moment he forgot where he was and what he was doing, “The lack of punishment makes it even worse.”
“Don’t you think the scarlet letter and the cursed child is enough punishment for the woman?” The fruit seller responds, with a laugh. Pero pretends to choose more fruits as he listens to the conversation.
“Not punishment enough if you ask me,” the lady grunted, “That witch should’ve been hung for what she did to her poor husband.”
The seller barks a laugh, “Didn’t her husband abandon her in this village? Some say he never joined her after she arrived here.”
“As he should. Perhaps he got words of her adultery and fled.” The old lady laughs, maliciously.
Pero’s heart races as he connects the dots in his mind. You were already married when you met him. And, assuming the age of the child…
“Excuse me.” He hears his own voice saying, “Why did that woman have an A in her dress?”
He wants to be sure, he just needs to know.
“Ah! A foreigner!” The fruit seller exclaims, smiling widely and opening his arms as if seeing him for the first time. “Welcome! Three fruits of your choice for a coin!”
“Shut it, Phillips!” The old woman scolds him and turns back to Pero, whispering as if sharing a secret. “The A in her dress stands for adulteress. Three summers ago, she gave birth to a child that wasn’t her husband’s. By the village’s rules and by what’s written in the scriptures, she must live away from society with a badge of shame for the rest of her life. It’s her punishment.”
Three summers ago… Pero left in the winter and he counted four before he returned. So the child–
The child is his.
His thoughts are so loud as he thanks the woman and pays the seller. Why didn’t you tell him you were married back then? Surely, he would have backed away, he wouldn’t get involved with you. But again, wouldn’t he? Would he be able to resist you if he knew?
He’d be a hypocrite if he said you seduced him. It wasn’t entirely your fault, he knows he played an important part in getting you to bed with him too. It was so cold, and you were so kind. He remembers perfectly, the memory burnt in his brain forever.
Pero walks back to the inn, asks for a room with a tub, and locks himself in to bathe and shave. It isn’t until the sun is down and the moon is making its way to the top of the sky that he decides to confront you.
“Mommy, would you tell the story again?” Pearl asks as you tuck her in for the night.
“What story, my love?” You ask, pulling the sheets to her chest, and sitting on the edge of the bed.
“The one with the mermaids and the pearls…”
You smile, brushing your knuckles on her soft cheeks, “You mean the story of when you came to my life?” You watch her nod. “Again?”
“Please?” You laughed when she stretched out the e in please.
“Okay. Once upon a time, Mommy was very sad and lonely, so she decided she wanted a baby. So, one day, a fairy visited me, saying she heard my cries at night and that would grant me a child. And I was so happy, I thanked her many times.” You see Pearl smile, her eyelids getting heavy with sleep, “Then, she gave me a map, saying that I would have to go look for my little treasure, and so I did. I traveled through foreign lands and I swam in the deepest seas until a group of mermaids found me. They gave me a sealed clam, saying there was a little special pearl inside. They gave me instructions to place that clam under the bed and that a beautiful little girl will be born from it. So I went back home and did as they said. I waited patiently for you.” You poke her tummy, earning a giggle from her. “And then, nine long months later, you were here. It was the happiest day of my life. That’s why I named you Pearl, because you came from the prettiest pearl in the world.”
You smile at her as she takes your hand and presses your knuckles against her forehead, a gesture she learned with you. A few seconds later, her grip in your hand loosens and you know she’s asleep. One day, you will tell Pearl the truth, when she’s old enough. For now, you’ll relish in the time of fairies and mermaids and makeup stories that will impress her.
Your smile fades away as your thoughts go straight to Pero and your time together. Back at the marketplace, you thought you had seen him choosing fruits and bread – this is how Pearl managed to let go of your grasp and run from you. But it was just a traveler, it couldn’t be him.
What you didn’t know as you told the story, was that Pero had entered your cottage and sat at the small table, listening to your soft voice. It’s just like he remembers, soft as velvet, hushed as the wind on an autumn windy day. His heart skips a beat as he hears your footsteps coming down the stairs.
A gasp escapes your lips when you see him sitting at the dining table, in front of the fireplace. You cover your hand with your mouth, sure you’re dreaming. You must have fallen asleep with Pearl and you must be dreaming with Pero again. Because he couldn’t be back, he just couldn’t.
Only when he speaks, is that you realize this is real life.
“That is a lovely story.” The raspiness in his voice is just like you remember and, although it doesn’t hold any anger, there’s a tone of bitterness in it. Regardless, it sends shivers down your spine, “Did your husband help you come up with it?”
So it was him at the marketplace. It wasn’t just a traveler.
“I thought you were dead.” Your voice trembles as you answer.
Pero smirks, laughing softly through his nose. The tension is palpable and it’s almost hard to breathe. You’ve been dreaming about this day since the moment he left. You don’t try to hide the scarlet letter stitched on your dress, it’s pointless. His snarky comment made your stomach drop the moment it left his lips.
“Are you hungry?” You finally break the silence, swallowing back tears as you walk to the kitchen area, looking for a clean bowl to serve him some food. You know you’re trying to distract yourself, avoiding the giant elephant in the room. Your hands shake as you reach for a ceramic bowl on one of the shelves.
Then, Pero says your name. And you freeze in place, clutching the bowl hard against your chest.
“Is she mine?” The question comes in a whisper as if he’s afraid of the answer.
You swallow hard as you turn around to face him.
“I think you know the answer.”
“I need to hear it.” He grunted.
“Yes. Of course she’s yours,” you answer after a silent pause. You see the pain in Pero’s eyes and it’s almost too much for you. The guilt stabs in your heart and you look away, the apology almost slipping past your lips.
The truth is, a feeling he didn’t know hit him again. Something that makes him want to get to know your daughter, to be there for her. And for you. God knows what you must’ve been through on your own. Pero doesn’t know how to deal with these new feelings, so he tried to shove them away, masking them with guilt and anger.
“You should have told me you were married.” Pero closed his hands into fists and took a trembling breath.
“What for?” You shrugged, eyes returning to him. “Would it have changed things between us?”
Pero looks up at you, eyes burning with rage, but you’re not afraid of him. He doesn’t scare you like others do. Because you’re one of the few that know him by heart. When he doesn’t speak, you walk to the fireplace and check the small cauldron for the leftover stew you had made for dinner. Filling the bowl to the rim, you place it in front of Pero.
“Eat.” You command. Pero just grunts at you and pushes the bowl away. You insist, placing it in front of him again. “I know what you’re like when you’re hungry. Eat, and then we’ll talk.”
He gives you a look, but complies, cupping the bowl and placing his lips on the rim to eat your food. Meanwhile, you walk around the kitchen, organizing and cleaning the dirty dishes until the water in the basin turns gray. You eventually have to throw it away, but before you can grab it, a set of hands stop you, handing you an extra bowl for you to wash. When you take it, your fingers brush against his and you feel your heart skip a beat. You have not touched him in four years. You have not touched anyone in four years.
Pero stands behind you as you rinse and washes the bowl, using a worn-out bar of soap. When you’re done, you grab the edges of the basin and struggle to tip it over the open window. He does like you and helps you throw away the dirty water through the opening.
“Thank you,” you whisper, wiping your hands on your skirt. He says nothing as he watches you growing shy under his gaze, a softer gaze this time. The anger has left his body and only sorrow replaced it.
His eyes fall to the badge on your chest and, without thinking, he reaches over and touches it with his thumb. You tense, swallowing hard and watching as he lets his hand fall to his side.
“Do they know?” He asks quietly.
“They all know,” you answer, “I don’t wear this for aesthetic purposes.”
Pero laughs softly, a genuine laugh this time, and it makes you smile softly.
“Does your husband know?”
The smile on your lips slowly falls and you nod, looking away from him. He waits for you to speak again, which you do, reluctantly.
“Everyone thinks he abandoned me here, but–” You sigh, “He’s here. He just changed his name, but he is the governor’s doctor. And he–” You swallow, hesitating. Pero takes your hand and gently squeezes.
“Did he hurt you when he found out?” He asks, concern clear in his voice.
You shake your head, “No, he just– When I refused to reveal Pearl’s father’s name– Your name… He vowed to find out who you were, and– He vowed revenge.”
He laced his finger in yours, squeezing your hand firmly. Tears watered your eyes and you failed to hold them back.
“I’m sorry, Pero.” You whimper, “I should have told you…”
Pero cups your cheek, wiping a tear that rolled down on your skin and lifting your face so you look at him.
“That would not have changed anything.” He admits, “I must confess that I do not hate the idea of having a daughter with you…”
Your mouth curves into a smile, “She reminds me of you. Although she’s… Smarter.”
“Does she?” He smiles too, laughing at your comment.
“Yeah. Full of energy. I almost can’t keep up with her.”
His smile grows wider as he leans over to touch his forehead to yours.
“Why did you not leave this village?” He whispers, eyes closed and thumbs brushing on your cheeks, “If everyone hates you and mistreats you… What are you still doing here?”
Because you were waiting for him. Deep down, you have always been feeding the hope he would come back for you. And here he is, standing in front of you, holding you in his arms like you’ve been dreaming for so long.
Slowly, you pull away to look into his eyes. Those dark brown eyes stare right back at you, with the same intensity. The tension grows, the temperature rises and you feel yourself growing hot under his gaze.
“Are you staying the night?” You manage to say, eyes flickering between his lips and his eyes.
“Yeah.” He whispers, leaning to kiss you.
Before his lips could touch yours, you pull away, taking a breath, “I’ll get the room ready.”
Pero sighs as you walk away, going through a door beside the fireplace, right under the stairs. He wonders if you feel the same, the fear of rejection creeping on him slowly, like a silent stray cat. But he realizes that if you didn’t want him here, you’d thrown him out of the cottage already. So he follows you into the room to find you fluffing a pillow on the bed.
“You can have my bed for the night,” you tell him as you turn around to face him. Lacing your hands together and letting a shaky breath out. “I’ll sleep with Pearl upstairs.”
As you walk past him, Pero calls your name in a low murmur. You stop in your tracks but don’t turn around to face him, because you know you’re doomed if you do. His footsteps are soft, but they still reach your ears as he approaches you.
“Come to bed with me.” His voice is husky and it sends shivers on your skin. Your mouth dries when he gently touches the back of your neck, his mouth so close that you can feel his breath on your skin.
“Pero…” You breathe, closing your eyes and slightly tilting your head to give him better access.
“Please, cielo.” He pulls at the lace of your dress on your back and undoes it, so slow it’s almost agonizing. His lips touch your bare shoulder when he pulls your sleeve down and you audibly sigh, “I missed you.”
You allow him to loosen up the laces of your clothes as he trails a path of wet kisses from your shoulder to your neck. Then, his fingertips trace your collarbone, and his touch leaves you breathless. 
When his fingers reach the scarlet letter on your chest, he detaches the safety pin that holds the badge to your clothes and lets it fall on the floor. Then, you finally turn around. Your lips brush against his shyly at first, unsure of what you want. He gently cups your cheek, brushing his thumb on your skin and it helps to soothe you.
It's you who closes the gap, pressing your mouth against his; Pero brings you closer, gripping your hips firmly and deepening the kiss. His mustache tickled your top lip and you would've laughed if you weren't so lost in him.
He kisses you urgently like it's the last time you'll see each other, leaving a path of kisses on your cheek, jawline, and neck before he starts pulling you to the bed. You're breathless as your back hits the mattress, fumbling with your dress as Pero struggles to remove his shirt.
As soon as he's shirtless, he helps you with your dress, pulling it over your head as fast as he can. Your eyes meet when he does, a quick pause during the tension. You feel your heart blooming with warmth as he stares right back at you, your hands slowly reaching for his face, your fingertips touching his scar on his cheek.
"I have not–" You hesitate, "I have not touched anyone since you left."
A soft smile curves the corners of his lips, "I have not either."
With a smile, you kiss him, pulling him closer and kissing him ardently. He hovers over you as he gathers the skirt of your undergarment, bunching the fabric on your hips and trailing his fingertips on your inner thigh. A quiet whine escapes your lips when he slips his fingers between your folds to find you getting wetter and wetter by the second. He smiles when you sigh his name, spreading his legs to allow him better access, but as soon as you do, he pulls away to help you take off the last bit of clothing you have.
“I have been longing for this, for four years,” you tell him as he aligns himself to your entrance.
“Mi amor, you have haunted every dream of mine since I saw you last.”
With that, he pushed himself inside you, earning a gasp from you. You’ve never felt so complete as you do when he’s inside you. It’s like you're the perfect mold for him like you’re made for each other.
He grinds his hips against yours, slowly at first, then picking up an unforgiving pace and you try your best to keep quiet. You know Pearl is a light sleeper and you really don’t want her to wake up right now. Tears water your eyes and pool at the corner of your eyes as his skin touches yours, sticky with sweat, glistening in the candlelight.
You missed this. You missed him. You missed him entirely.
A warm breeze wakes you up, raising goosebumps on your naked skin. The sunlight peeks through the thin curtains, warming the room as the gentle wind enters the chamber. Soft mumbles come from the other room and you have to take a second to recollect the happenings from last night. The soreness between your legs makes you smile as you roll over the straw mattress but Pero is nowhere to be seen and, for a second, your stomach twists with heartbreak. Then, you hear his low laugh coming from the kitchen and you dress up as quickly as you can.
Your hair is disheveled and your appearance is not the best, but you leave the room to find him sitting at the kitchen table with Pearl on the seat beside him. They’re having breakfast – cheese and bread – and talking like they have known each other for ages.
“Mommy, you’re late today!” She exclaims when she sees you, giggling and pointing at you.
“I know, my little Pearl,” you tell her, walking over and planting a kiss on her head. Your eyes meet Pero’s across you and you give him a shy smile which he reciprocates. “I’m sorry, I’ll fetch the wat–”
You stop yourself when you see the basin full of water and look back at Pero who has a smile on his face.
Before the sun rose, he silently left the cottage to retreat his horse from the inn and took the opportunity to get water from the well. He noticed you don't have a cow, so he figured you needed water for breakfast. Soon after he returned, Pearl descended from her room, looking at him with curious eyes. When she asked where her mother was, he introduced himself as a friend, asking Pearl to let you rest. He prepared breakfast and tried to distract her as silently as possible.
“Thank you,” you say quietly as you sit down next to Pearl.
“Mom!” The little girl interrupts your moment, “My friend was telling me how he ‘flew’ dragons on a big wall!”
A laugh escapes Pero’s lips as he smiles widely, “Slew dragons, child.”
“Slew!” Pearl repeated excitedly.
Your heart warmed as Pearl called him her friend and a peaceful feeling creeps into your body. For the first time in a while, you feel happy. And it scares you for a moment because you don’t know if such happiness will be torn away from you. You don’t know how long it’ll last.
When Pero left, you never felt more heartbroken. You weren’t sure, back then, if you loved him. But today, after he came back, after he learned your child is his too, after the night you’ve spent together… You’ve never been more sure of anything in your life.
You love him. You didn’t know how much until today.
Pero keeps entertaining Pearl through the morning and when she pulls him to her room upstairs, he gives you a look asking for help. You laugh and shrug as you do your errands in the cottage. With Pearl distracted, it’s easier to complete your tasks. After lunch, when Pearl finally succumbs to her afternoon nap, Pero walks downstairs to talk to you.
Pearl is a gem. He loved the little girl ever since the moment she opened her mouth to ask about his scar this morning. She’s full of energy, never stops talking, and wants to hear stories all the time. It can be just because Pero is someone new, someone she's not used to, but he had a feeling they made a connection. He was never one for bonding with children, but with sweet little Pearl, he did.
"Is she finally out?" You ask as he approaches you at the table.
"You were right," he says, dropping on the seat next to you, "She is feisty."
With a laugh, you shake your head, watching his features soften as his eyes land on you.
"I must apologize for last night."
You frown, giving him a sympathetic look, "Pero–"
"I was harsh and rude. I did not mean to." He interrupts you, lowering his eyes to the wooden table.
In a hesitant movement, you reach to take his hand, relieved that he accepts it, holding yours gently.
"You are forgiven," you tell him, and the tension dissipates, leaving a beautiful feeling shared between you two instead. "Pearl seems to like you."
Pero's smile grows as he nods, "I like her too. I never thought I was suited to be a father, but– I'm happy she is my daughter."
You sighed, nodding, "If you're happy, I'm happy."
He nodded, eyes flickering to the embroidered gloves you were working on, A silent pause hangs between you two before he speaks up.
"I have been thinking. You should leave this village."
The suggestion catches you by surprise and you widen your eyes at him.
"What do you mean?"
"People here do not treat you right. You live in isolation and you have to do everything by yourself. I know you have little Pearl, but this is no life worth living."
"I–" You sigh, “I just can’t– I wouldn’t even know where to go.”
Pero says your name and takes both of your hands in his.
"I will not lie to you," he says, quietly, "I came back for you. I wanted– I needed you. I was not lying when I said you haunted my dreams at night. You captivated me and, when I left, all I wanted to do was turn around and come back to you. And then I met little Pearl and everything in the world made sense. I do not think I can–”
He stops himself before he says it. Your heart is beating strongly inside, anxiety flowing in your veins. Does Pero feel the same? Does he love you as well?
“Pero…” You swallow hard, “What are you saying?”
“I’m saying that… You do not have to do it alone anymore, cielo." He squeezes your hands, “Come with me.”
“W-what?”
“I’m heading west. Home. And I do not think I can leave you behind again. Not you, not Pearl.” He then says your name, “If– If you allow me– I want to be in her life. And in yours too. I should have done this four years ago, but… Please come with me. You will not have to hide or sport this badge of shame ever again. Not with me.”
Tears roll down your cheeks which he reaches to wipe away. Affection bursts inside you and you almost feel overwhelmed by it. What other proof of his love for you, if not this? If not affection and acceptance for the child he didn’t know he had until yesterday? If not wanting to take you away from this miserable place?
You smile, “We’ll need a carriage.”
Pero’s mouth curves into a wide smile and he cups your cheeks with both hands and presses his lips on yours. You share a laugh before he stands up and tells you he can get one by the end of the day. You tell him you can get food for the trip in the marketplace and that you have one more commission to deliver. You both agree to leave first thing in the morning tomorrow.
“I promise I’ll be back,” he tells you, “Right after sunset with the carriage.”
“We’ll be waiting.” You nod. Pero kisses you goodbye and your chest bursts with joy. You can’t hold back a smile as you watch him leave. Hope swells your heart as you run upstairs to wake Pearl up.
“Come child,” you tell her, picking her up. Pearl rubs her eyes and lays her head on your shoulder, “We shall go to the marketplace again.”
“Where’s my friend?” She asks sleepy, referring to Pero.
“He’ll be back soon.”
You’re glad you’ve been saving some coins because you spend almost everything on food for the road. Then, with Pearl’s hand in yours, your basket in the other, you walk to the governor’s house to deliver a pair of embroidered gloves he commissioned from you.
The manor is so big that the chances of running into someone else other than the servants are minimal. And certainly, you hand the pair of gloves and take the money for your work from a servant. But as you’re leaving the place, a voice calls your name from one of the windows.
“Come here, my child.” It’s Miss Hibbins, the governor’s sister, an old woman who’s labeled as crazy and the witch of the village. You’re almost sure she hasn’t been executed because of her privileged position. Not that you’ve been rooting for her death, you know she’s not actually a witch, she’s just old and misunderstood. You approach her, holding Pearl’s hand tight, “There’s been a commotion in the manor,” she says. “People think your child is the devil. They wish to take her from you.”
Your stomach sinks at her words, “What for? Pearl’s never been trouble for anyone.”
“It’s that leech doctor.” She snarls, referring to your husband who lives in the manor to take care of the governor. “He’s been plotting ways to get to you since he’s installed himself here. It’s true, I’ve read it in his little black book.”
Swallowing hard, you nod, “Thank you for telling me.”
“You should run far away from here! There’s no time, you should run.”
Whether her words are true or not, they keep hammering in the back of your mind as you walk back home. Once you’re inside, you hurry to gather your belongings in a chest. It’s not much, so you finish packing just when the sun is setting. Pero isn’t here yet, so to soothe your anxiety you explain to your daughter why you are packing and where you’re going.
“What about my friend?” She asks, frowning.
“He’ll take us there,” you assure her as much as yourself, “He’ll be here soon and he’ll take us away from this village.”
But it’s not until two hours after sunset that Pero returns home with two horses and a carriage. You throw yourself in his arms as he enters the cottage, sighing in relief. He notices your tension and frowns at the tears in your eyes.
“You took so long!” You cry out, still hugging him.
“What’s the matter, mi amor?” he asks, frowning deeply.
“They want to take her from me.” Your voice cracks as the tears roll down your cheeks.
“What?”
“My husband! He wants them to take my little Pearl!” You sob, “He wants me to suffer!”
Pero’s face changes from concern to anger, rage bubbling in his chest, but he swallows it down and pulls away to look at you, touching your arm.
“I will not let them,” he tells you, “Lord forbid me if I have to kill someone for even trying to touch a hair on her head.”
“You’ll be hung if you do.” You sniffle, quickly wiping your tears away, “We should leave tonight.”
His eyes soften, “Cielo, the road is dangerous when it’s dark.”
“But if we wait, he’ll come!”
“Why are you so afraid of him?” He asks in a whisper. The question catches you by surprise and you look away from him.
“He’s a violent man,” you whisper, the tears rolling back on your cheeks. Pero pulls you in a tight hug, “I’m scared.”
“I will not let him hurt you,” he says, pressing his lips to your hair, “Whatever he did to you in the past, I will not let him do it again.”
You open your mouth to argue, but Pearl interrupts the moment, calling Pero’s name excitedly and running to his encounter. He lets you go and you turn your back as he smiles and picks her up, not wanting her to see you cry.
“I trust you, Pero,” you tell him in a whimper, “I know you won’t let anything happen to us.” Then, you turn your back to face him again, “I– I want a life with you too. Not just because of little Pearl, but because– Because I love you. And I can’t– I can’t lose you again.”
He closes the space between you two, still holding Pearl in his arms, and wraps his arms around you once more. In the warmth of your lover and your daughter, you feel safe.
“You will never lose me again.” He promises, “I love you too much to make the mistake of leaving you all alone again.” Then, he pulls away to look at you, “We leave soon then. I know an inn down the road we can spend the night at.”
You smile and press your lips against his, laughing in joy.
“Thank you!” You cry out, taking little Pearl from him as he goes to take your belongings to load into the carriage. You pin Pearl’s cloak around her shoulders and adjust her dress.
“Mommy, where are we going?” She asks, a bit confused with all the commotion.
“Pero is going to take us home, my little Pearl.” You smile at her.
Before you get in the carriage, you blow out all of the candles in the cottage and take one last look at it. This was your home for a few years, but you’re glad you’re moving away. You’re glad Pero is back and that he shares the same feeling as you. Just before you leave the house, you catch a glimpse of Pero’s gaze at your chest. You look down and notice you’re still wearing the scarlet letter pinned to your dress.
With trembling hands, you reach to remove the badge of shame and look at the one soul who would never judge you for it. He gives you a smile, Pearl in his arms smiles too. As if she knows what it means.
Carefully, you place the letter on the table, so when they come in the morning expecting to find you and your daughter, the only thing they’ll see is the abandoned token. Then, you walk out of the house, closing the door behind you. Pero helps you get in the carriage and hands you Pearl, who you hug tightly.
“Ready?” He asks. You take a deep breath and smile.
“Yes.”
...
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starshipsofstarlord · 6 months ago
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Hi! So I would like to request a Seb x reader one shot if you have the time ☺️ I just got diagnosed with Endometriosis today and am in need of some soft Seb... Could you write smth where Seb finds out that reader is always in pain during sex and never said anything, though he knows she has Endometriosis and usually cares for her during her period... and he then encourages her to get surgery to try and fix it? Only if it's okay though, I know it's very precise, sorry!
A/N; I am so sorry to hear about this hun, i hope there’s something that can be done, no one deserves to go through that kind of pain. I researched endometriosis and it certainly sounds horrible, I’m sending you all my love and support 💙
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Endometriosis - Sebastian Stan x reader
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Summary; based on the request, I changed it a tiny bit so I hope that’s okay, I just feel like if r was in pain seb would notice, I hope you like it hun 🤍
Warnings; endometriosis, smut, oral sex (male and female receiving), 69ing, mentions of sex toys, illness, mention of alcohol, fluff, pain, swearing
divider by @firefly-graphics
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It hurt like a bitch, there was no way to put it, or at least it was a simpler revelation of description at the prying of your womb had you near to tears. You laid your head down into the pillow, mushing it into the fabric, as you wanted the pain to dwindle down into nothing, and thus you tried to ignore your own suffering, as you turned over to be on your back, severely wincing by the change in position. A groan came from the other side of the bed, as the man that was laid there began to shuffle, in the midst of waking up.
“Morning.” He spoke with a hoarse voice, the steadiness obliterated by his blatant hangover that was haunting his form. Sebastian rubbed a hand over his eyes as he fully awoke, stretching his back as he reached his arm out, swiftly hooking it around the back of your neck as you allowed yourself to lay on the muscle. “Guess neither of us got laid, did we?” He laughed lightly, shaking his head, as he tipped his chin up, blinking his baby blues up to the ceiling.
“Considering that we’re in the same bed, and that you’re not a stranger to me, I guess not.” You laughed to your close friend, whom was aware of your condition, but not the extent of it. “Looks like you’re going to suffer from no morning sex Stan, I’m sure that sucks for you.”
“Usually it’s someone else doing the sucking.” You smacked his arm at his off handed comment, pulling a smirk out from the man as he turned to face you, pulling you closer by the contact that he had upon you. “I’m guessing your disappointed that you’re not waking up to some muscular, blonde haired and blue eyes patriotic punk.”
“If you’re describing Evans, i swear that I will punch you in the dick, I said he was attractive once.” You put emphasis on the amount of time(s) you had ever mentioned it. A pout quivered his lips, as he shuffled beneath the covers, angling his hips in a more comfortable position so that they weren’t being crunched down on the mattress.
“You can punch my dick, on the agreement that you kiss it better.” Seb allowed a hollow smirk to mull over his handsome features, as you swatted his bicep once more, an unhumored frown conforming its position upon your face.
“I’m not one of your hook ups, I’m not gonna get on my knees for you buddy.” You bantered back, raising a brow at his inquisition. No, you were not a past sexual partner of his; it was a constant of him never having a serious relationship, he opted for flings rather than any long engagements, you suspected that he had feelings for someone else, but you were not sure of whom.
The thought alone of him being endeared with the image of one woman brought a pain to your body, separate from your medical suffering. Though your opinion wasn’t fair, considering that you as well, or had your time of sleeping around before the pain in your inner walls became too much, and that was one of the many things that you had given up, more or less.
To support the montage of your body’s self torture, you had a mixture of hormone and tablets that helped reduce the unexplainable sensation that willed around in your lower half, swarming around like an internal snake bite in your own body.
“69 then?” He joked, but it felt so serious. You knew he wasn’t being truthful, it was the relationship the pair of you had, though his face had moved closer, his breath fanning over your face, making your heart prominently race as you thought about such a scenario. “Having mentioned Evans...” he began to change the conversation, having felt the heat that had radiated from your body.
“Go on.” You pried at him, interested in hearing what his friend had opted to say about the pair of you. It wasn't every day that you heard celebrities gossiping about you.
“He thinks we’ve hooked up.” Sebastian stated, making your neck reel slightly back as you took in the fact, of well, the perceived view point of a world renowned, household name, actor. A part of you was slightly embarrassed, you held your own cheek as the words that Chris had passed on sunk in on you.
“We, no, never. Okay, I’m exaggerating, that would not be so bad, but it would definitely be weird. But like, why does he think that, of all things?” You asked whilst partially laughing. It made you partially aware of yourself, and the prospect of you possibly having made your feelings obvious, but that however hadn’t been the case as Seb scratched over the stubble that he had on his chin, and did that awkward Bucky smile that had became humorous in his new marvel show.
“Of all things; it’s like you’re trying to break my heart babes.” With one diverging look from you, he knew he was done for. It always pained him to keep secrets from you, and this was the one that he had been hiding for so long. “You’re really going to make me say it, aren’t you? Okay, fine. I still can’t believe that you haven’t caught on, after all this time, but this just shows that you haven’t noticed how I try and scare away every guy with my money and power.”
“Yeah, I noticed that.” Lightly you scoffed, having many memories of such a situation. It was a pattern that kept repeating itself, but to you it had just become normal, and to say you were fine with it was not incorrect. It gave you hope that he could reciprocate the emotions that you held towards him, though having a wish like that was altogether hopeless. He was just protective, that was all, he probably saw you like a little sister, or something of the sort, that really put a drab annotation on the prospect of romance.
“Ever wonder why?” Ever, more like all the time, but you allowed him to continue without disruption, by doing so more would be unveiled by that mouth of his, and you were eager to learn more, yet a little hesitant. “It is because I am so tired of being your friend, I love it, don’t get me wrong but...” you were dreading what was to come out of his mouth next, you squeezed your eyes shut, almost as if you were unable to see, the pain would not render upon your specimen. “I love you.”
“You what?!” Eyes snapping open, you were blatantly shocked by his confession. “That can’t be right Seb, you’re you, and I’m me, and-“
“We’re us.” He finished for you. As he noticed you relax from his contingence, which allowed him the time gap to slide closer, his warm and soft hand running up the side of your face as he watched you gasp from the sensation. It was not the first time he had touched your cheek, but it was the first instance in which he done so intimately; you were rather fond of the treatment.
You nuzzled your face into the curve of his hand, your brows lightly directed in a downwards motion as you lulled in his touch, and that was when you realised that he had frozen. “Shit.” You stopped him from moving away, pausing the sadness in his eyes for the current second. “I should have responded, that was my bad. I love you too, I’m not just saying that, so you know.”
“That’s a relief.” Sebastian sighed, falling back onto the mattress, bringing his face accidentally closer to your own. The tips of your noses were touching as your eyes ogled deep within the pools of one another’s, it was impossible not to seek a closer vicinity, and thus, you slunk closer, bracing the tips of your nails against his scruff, as your lips worked their way onto his.
“How would you like another kind of relief?” You pulled away, stroking down the smooth course of his shirt covered chest, prompting a suggestive dialogue in your tone. His brow raised as he thought about it for a moment, but then he remembered a rather distinctive matter he didn’t want to cause any obstruction to.
“What about your, you know?” He was referring to your endometriosis, having the knowledge about the unfortunate illness that interfered with your life. Through it all, the doctors appointments, the encouraging you to take your medication on days that you weren’t feeling particularly well, he was there. Now it made sense why.
To reply, you softly shook your head, combing your hands over his shoulders, as you answered him. “If it gets too much, I’ll give you the signal.” You spoke, leaning down to peck his lips, though you still saw the reluctance that was embedded on his forehead in the form of strict lines. “I promise.” You persuaded him, meaning the sentiment, as his eyes trailed down, his hand scourging a fierce, passionate grip upon your hipbone as his tongue weaved its way back into your mouth.
You moaned into the atmosphere of his mouth, grabbing onto his cheeks as you heaved breaths into the internal beyond of this man, rolling on top of him, as you swept your crotch down against his own, extracting a sinister sound out of his guttural throat. It was only turning you on more, and you knew that if you didn’t do something, even despite the recommendations of your doctor, you would be sufficed with a lack of pleasure, and that was all you currently craved.
It wasn’t fair how you had been dubbed with the condition. So many people in the world could have sex whenever they pleased, yet you were forced to commend under the sentence of experiencing a discomfort when all you wanted was the comfort of being intwined with another human being. That connection, it felt mandatory, however you were denied it, for every time that you proceeded to bed a stranger, or a partner of any sorts, the stretch of anything in your walls pursued you with a fracture of pain.
You’d even had to throw out your vibrator, whilst it felt good on the outside, the clenching of your empty walls sparked physical and mental hurt, and reminded you of the fact that whenever you were filled by any length, your body could not function to emit pleasure, instead it was the opposite that you were tasked with contracting. The thought and reminder often spewed tears in your eyes, but you held them back as you got lost in Sebastian.
“I don’t want to hurt you.” He admitted sentimentally, and your heart both became full and broken. It was sweet and scorching to the arousal between your legs to know that he was that concerned about your well being; he wasn’t just prioritising getting his dick wet. He resumed pressing succulent kisses on your lips, he lulled in the notion, he too wanted to be close to you, but he wasn’t willing to do inadvertently so to the expense of you being in pain.
That was the opposite of what he wanted, even as your hand wandered down his firm and pheromone driven body, that bucked in your grip, as your hand hooked around his bulge, your thumb stroking over his round sack as he grew beneath the layers of his soft sweats and underwear. “69 then?” You reiterated his earlier words, causing his pupils to blow wide, and his blue irises to darken into the juxtaposition of stormy skies.
“Will that be okay?” You confirmed it was, even if you weren’t completely sure yourself. The angles, the penetration, it was all elements, that combined gave you an equation that you had yet to figure out. The only way to do so was to try it, even if it concluded in an error, and not a sensible answer. To instigate the next step, you roused your sleep shirt from your body, leaving you in nothing more than your causal panties, but Seb didn’t seem to mind.
In fact he rather preferred the normalcy of your actions and undress, it made the strategy of shifting from friends to intimate lovers into one of relaxation, there was no absurdity nor discomfort yet, for either one of you. Your fingers dipped in the sides of your underwear, teasing the band, as you cocked your head towards Seb, licking your lips as you took in the view of him entranced by your being. “Am I going to be the one naked or...”
You were grateful that he took the hint, and stripped himself from both layers that kept his goods confined. He rapidly removed them, leaving his uncut cock open to your gaze; it wasn’t anything massive which was a relief, but it for now, it was to be attained in the confinement of your mouth, rather than the realm of your cunt, so that slight stretch could await. As you thought of that, you reached your hand out, dancing your fingers lightly over his shaft.
Seb emitted a soft huff from his obtainable lips, he dragged you to be laying atop of him, as your thighs surrounded his length on either side, it was warm, and rested perfectly below your where your cunt was hovering. How you wished to just sink down on it and- “Turn around.” For a moment you took time to refrain your memory to perceive what you had said before. And then, whence your words caught up to you, it was simple to do so, especially with the motivation of what was going to happen.
As you spun around, to be facing his lower half and have your own above his mouth, you watched his cock twitch, as it rested heavily upon his abdomen. You could feel your nerves kick in; it was a substantial difference from anything that you had ever done together, from looking at the stars and watching cheesy movies, to sexual actions, it was quite the leap. But a welcome one, you had waited so long to acknowledge your feelings to him, you'd be damned if you were not going to act on them.
A shiver rippled up your spine as he paved a lick through your slit, it made you tense up for a moment, and you try to register any diagnosis of pain, you coiled when he put one of your lips in his mouth. It felt good, which was a relief, and you took that as a sign to reap your front forwards, and focus on his throbbing hardness that was oozing precum against his perfect skin. The drop of essence looked like liquid moonstone, catching the ambience of the snooping sun that eyes through the crescent opening of the closed curtains, creating a luminescent light against the contrast of his skin.
Leaning forwards, as the initial shock of Seb using his tongue on you had settled in, as a faint plea from inside of you derived away in your eternal being, your tongue glided over the patch of fallen precum, your eyes fluttering at the heavenly, yet rare taste, it wasn’t every day that a man’s cum was relatively nice on your buds. Some perceived eating junk food as a lifestyle, caring not for how the receiver of their sperm would taste within the mouth of a giver on the other end. Sebastian hummed against your slick folds, as he danced his hands around your ass, grasping your cheeks firmly.
His fingers swept through the outside of your cunt, fooling around with your labia as his tongue swirled your bud, making your face grimace on the edge of pleasure, as your warm lips wrapped around the head of his cock, whirling your tongue within his slit, as your hand rested around the rest of his length, jerking it in your grasp, as his hips lightly heaved upwards against your face. He teased a finger around your entrance, running the tip along the wet flesh that mimicked your breaths as it clenched prosperously.
“Shit!” Tears webbed in your eyes as he entered the finger, though he considered that a resonating profanity of pleasure. To your dismay, it indeed was not though, the entry of the digit weighed heavy inside you, prying sorely against your walls as your giving to him paused, as you harshly gripped his thigh. “Shit, that hurts Seb. Fuck!” In an instant, he stopped, extracting his finger out from within you, as it caused you further pain, and helped you turn around, and lay languidly upon the bed.
“Oh my god, fuck, I’m so sorry y/n/n.” He panicked, immense guilt wavering his body, as he grasped your face, staring with sorrow into your seasoned expression. “I didn’t mean to- didn’t want to hurt you, shit, I should never have tried to-“ soothing his conflicting emotions, you stroked his shoulders, kissing him to ease his words into silence. He felt guilty, but so did you, you were the one whom had encouraged to pursue the rhythm of your shared sexuality to one another, deducting the poise of your actions with tear beaded eyes.
“It was my fault; I said it would be fine. I should have known it shouldn’t have, I’m sorry.” You reasoned with him, knowing that you had told him that it was to be something that you could manage, but from experience, you should have had better knowledge of how things would turn out.
“Don’t you ever apologise, you’re perfect, the only thing that I want to ease is your suffering. Is there any news on the operation that can be done, should I get you your medication now?” He wanted to be certain, to ensure that you didn’t put the accountability of your situation completely on yourself, he should have asked if a finger would have been fine, he shouldn’t have been swayed by your persuasion. “I could talk to someone, see if I could get the thing moved up, I can pay for it, get you further up on the ladder.”
“No.” You smiled, pressing an ample kiss upon his scruffy cheek. “I don’t want that, many other people are waiting for the op too, and I can’t have you paying for it. That would just be inconsiderate of me, you have already done so much for me, I can’t ask more. You’ve been there through everything, just wait with me whilst I wait for myself.” You pulled the sheets over your breasts, staring opulently into his serene eyes, shuddering as he swept his lips over your mouth once more, deriving you breathless for a moment.
“It’s okay to be selfish, if any of them had that chance, then they would take it. I can afford it, and I would want nothing more than to pay for it, it’s not just about sex, you know that. I love you so so much, you’re my best friend, the girl of my dreams, I’ve waited for you, I just want the pain that you live through to disappear. Out of all people, it’s not fair that it’s you, but it is, and this is the one way to fix the reductive searing of hurt that you live through.” You gulped, water glazing your irises as you stared at her, trying to diffuse your light sob.
His words brought acceptance to you within the scenario, as you took a deep breath in, confronting the trigger that had set off inside of you. It was difficult to handle and attain to, as you curled in his bare arms, exasperating your soundness close to him, as he competently cupped your face, kissing the tip of your nose. “Okay.” You agreed, nodding sincerely along with your words. “Okay, I’ll do it for me. It’s the right thing to do.” A smile raved his face, as you convinced yourself of doing so. It was to be a long road, but Sebastian would be there holding your hand, travelling down this path alongside you.
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yoonia · 11 months ago
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Blurred Lines | 01
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➬ Title | Blurred Lines
➬ Pairings | Kim Seokjin x reader
➬ Genre | Smut, Sexual Tension!au, Teacher!Jin, Teacher!reader, Tattooed Biker!Jin
➬ Summary | A new place to live, a new job, a new beginning. Six months have passed and everything has been going well for you in starting over. The warm welcome from your students and peers have quickly made you feel at home, yet you still long to have one calm day where you wouldn’t have to walk into the school with a heavy weight on your shoulders and the air thick with tension. Blame it on him—the strict Math teacher who keeps giving you cold shoulders no matter how many times you try to play nice. One night out with your girls and a drunken dare ultimately lead you to uncover what he’s been trying to hide. People do say that the quiet ones always keep the biggest secret.
↳ Ratings | +18 / M for Mature
↳ Warning | Slow burn, mutual pinning, mention of alcohol consumption, hard dom!Jin, sexual tension, tattooed Jin.
↳ Word count | 9.5k words
➥ Cross post | AO3 | Inkitt 
➥ Next chapter ⇢
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➬ Author’s Note | I’ve done it again. I have decided to split this story into a few chapters (hopefully only two) because it seems like I would be rushing it if I force to post this as a one-shot and I don’t want to have you waiting for much longer. I hope you’ll love this one as I have been extremely excited to share it :) | PS. Happy belated birthday, Seokjinnie! 
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“…His door was open, but I sort of knocked on it anyway, just to be polite and all. I could see where he was sitting. He was sitting in a big leather chair, all wrapped up in that blanket I just told you about. He looked over at me when I knocked. "Who's that?" he yelled. "Caulfield? Come in, boy." He was always yelling, outside class. It got on your nerves sometimes.”
Keen eyes looking straight at you as you read through the passages of Salinger’s book from the front of the class.
A rare sight that you wouldn’t normally find on a Friday, especially when it comes to presenting a book which would be a part of their upcoming essay assignment. It pleases you to have your students giving you their rapt attention while staying on their best behaviour instead of looking like they are wishing to have been somewhere else but here, enough to have your words flowing nicely as you continue on,
“…I don't much like to see old guys in their pajamas and bathrobes anyway. Their bumpy old chests are always showing. And their legs. Old guys' legs, at beaches and places, always look so white and unhairy…”
You almost cringe in the middle of reading. You remember hating the nights you spent working an essay on this book many years ago. But looking at the various expressions your students are giving you now, you can already picture how exciting it would be to read their thoughts on this book or to have them talk about them on next week’s group discussion.
Except that the more you read through the bitter dialogues between the passages, pointing up some parts that you want your students to focus on in their essay, a face appears in your head to act as the main character. The familiar face that always looks daunting as he stares at you with so much disdain in his eyes it always put you in the corner, not completely sure just what to make of it. The face that welcomes you each morning when you arrive at school, and the one who is somehow always there despite the efforts you have made to avoid him.
Just then, the bell that announces the time for lunch break starts ringing through the hallways, cutting you off right before you could even finish reading through the rest of the paragraph and erasing the face in your mind to bring you back to the faces looking up at you in class. A collective sound of sighs and overly dramatic groans rumble through the classroom, distracting you from the shudder you have felt while reading with some form of normalcy. You know that your students do this just to fool around with you and you don’t even bother to hide it as you roll your eyes at them.
“Oh, boo-hoo—I know you’re half asleep while I was reading anyway. Remember that you are still going to have to read and finish this book all weekend. Write everything you know about Holden and his ‘glorious’ adventure and your personal thoughts about the book and the whole story. I expect you to drop those papers on my desk next Tuesday before class starts. No cheating. No copying from any random thesis you can find online.” This time, your students actually mean it when they let out another collective groan in a form of protest, making you shake your head and laugh at them.
“Don’t make me change the dateline to Monday morning. Now get out of here,” you chastise them with a sly smile, making at least half of them perk up and start moving faster to leave their seats.
One by one, your students begin to clear up the classroom, some of them taking their time greeting you as they pass by your desk with a simple, “See you Monday, Miss _____,” before joining their classmates outside and start running out through the hallway.
“Have a great weekend, guys,” you call back at the last group of female students walking out the door.
At times, a few students would take a moment lingering by your desk, playfully asking about what your weekend plans would be, and you are not surprised to find that today wouldn’t be any different when the troublemaker trio from the back of the class stop by at your desk on their way out. These three boys from the basketball team have always been the ones who are the loudest and the most active ones to ask you questions during class. More often than not, Jay, the outspoken and who is most probably the flirtiest one between them, would even lean over the desk just to get a bit closer to you as he chats you up.
Just like what he is doing now as he is trying to sneakily invite you to some sort of a senior class party happening this Saturday night. “Come on, Miss _______. It’s going to be fun,” he says, waggling his eyebrows while his buddies are chuckling behind him. “We can go together. I just got a new car so I can come and pick you up. What do you say?”
If this had happened many years ago, when you were much younger and long before you had become a high school teacher, you would have felt your cheeks flushing for catching the attention of one of the popular guys at school. Just like those girls you have seen blushing and flustering each time he throws a smile at them while passing them in the hallways. But this cute boy does nothing on you today, not when you can see through his cocky bad boy act and see him for the curious teenage boy that he is. Though he stills succeeds in drawing out your cheeky side to play along with him. “Mhmm—or perhaps I should put you into detention for flirting with your teacher?”
“Maybe I don’t mind it, as long as you’re the one watching over me at the detention room, Miss _______,” Jay teases you back with a wide smile, right before one of the boys smacks him on the head and pulls him away from your desk.
“Ignore this brat, Miss _____. I think he got knocked over too many times during practice,” says his friend, Jake, as he and Heesung start pulling Jay towards the door.
Shaking your head, you merely wave at them while laughing. “Have a great weekend, boys. Don’t party too hard.”
At this point, Jay is still struggling against his friends’ strong pull at the door, shouting back at you, “I’ll be missing you the whole weekend!” before he is finally dragged away, gone from your sight, leaving you shaking your head and chuckling on your own as you are left all alone in the empty classroom.
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The short, yet playful interaction you had shared with Jay had you smiling and getting your mood boosted a bit more that you decided to stay a bit longer in your classroom and get some work done. You have been feeling exhausted from the back to back classes since morning, but there are still essays and quizzes to grade and lessons to plan.
It also helps that you have a free period after the lunch break that there is no need for you to worry about missing out on lunch and not having time to rest before going through the rest of the day. Though it is not until a few minutes away from the start of the next period when you finally leave the classroom and start heading out to enjoy some free, quiet time in the break room.
Most of the students are either in the middle of heading back from the lunchroom or already packing up their books from their lockers to find their next class, crowding the halls as you walk past them, while you could only guess that most of the teachers would have already gone back to their classrooms to prepare for their next lessons by now. Which would be a pity, since you have always enjoyed those moments shared with your co-workers between your tight schedule to trade in gossips and stories while having lunch and drinking coffee. Something that you would definitely need to be able to refresh your mind a little before the next lesson starts.
This had been a long week and you have yet to be done with it. Five days in a week can feel like ten when you have so many students to teach, with piles of assignments and essays to read and grade at the end of each day. But you have been doing everything with no complaints because you love every second of it. You have kept your workflow going well ever since day one, filling your lessons with interesting reading materials and exciting discussions to prevent any students from getting bored with your class.
But things had never been this easy for you at the beginning of your journey. Despite only been a couple of years off college, it had taken you a while before finding out what you wanted to do and what to do to get them. You had gotten lost in your path during the first year out of college, when you were too focused on pleasing others and living other people’s dreams instead of chasing your own. It took you failing at being a writer, then losing a corporate job, and failing in a relationship with a man who was hard to please, before you finally knew what you wanted to do. You had always wanted to become a teacher ever since you started college and it took you getting bruised and burned to finally remember what your dream had been.
You had never believed in fate before, but there has to be a reason why the opportunity came to you at the perfect time in your life, when your best friends had called you on one faithful day to let you know that there was a job opening in the town they have been working at.
Perhaps it is just as they all said, that good things happen when you least expect them.
It didn’t take a lot of convincing on their part before you left everything behind right away. It was not easy to start over, but you managed with the support of your close friends. The six months you spent adjusting with your new life as a teacher and adjusting to living in this new town had seemed to pass by faster than you realised it would.
These past months of teaching in the local high school had been quite a blast. For the first time after a long while, you feel elated that you are doing something good, something that you love doing and had spent all those years learning, that the time you had spent here no longer matter. You had initially thought you would be teaching younger students at some point, before you realised that this is where you belong. Having the opportunity to teach in this school has been a blessing, helping you to move on from the awful things you had left behind before coming here. It had also helped when you had immediately bonded with the other teachers, making new friends right on the spot when they all had been nothing but welcoming ever since you got here.
Well, all except for one.
Still, the fact that you have developed some sort of friendship with your peers have been helpful. Especially since, even though you have your best friends living in the same town, neither of them are working at the same place as you are that you could barely find the perfect time to hang out with them each month. But that is going to change tonight, as your friends have arranged for a night out after each and one of you had been dealing with an equally busy week.
The thought of finally having some time for yourself this weekend has your mood lifted further that you nearly hop all the way to the break room. While you would miss chatting with your new bestie, Mina, the sweet and bubbly Biology teacher who had befriended you since day one, you are determined to take all the free time you could to have a bit of reprieve to get through the day and before preparing yourself to spend your Friday night with your girls.
Yet, the moment you finally arrive at the break room, something unexpected has you stopping on your tracks before you could enter. You had been expecting to find the room unattended as the next period is about to start. Obviously, you were wrong. As you are standing in the doorway, you can see another teacher at the center of the room, busying himself on the coffee machine and has yet to notice you there.
You would have welcomed his presence there excitedly if it had been any one of your friendly peers who you had been spending a lot of time with. But right there in front of your eyes is Kim Seokjin, the Math teacher, the only person who you wouldn’t be able to include in the aforementioned group of new friends. And sadly, the one who suddenly came to mind earlier to have you nearly losing focus while reading to your class.
You cannot exactly sure how it even happened.
If there is anyone in the entire school that hasn’t been quite open to welcoming you, it would be him. So obviously, it makes no sense for you to even think about him at all.
There is not much on Kim Seokjin that you have come to know about, aside from all the things that people had told you about and all the things that you have noticed on your own during your previous encounters.
Kim Seokjin is mostly known as a strict teacher at school. Stern and stoic. A bit uncompromising whether he is dealing with other teachers or his students. It has been a rare sight for you to see him laughing and being playful with others the way you or Mina would normally do with the other teachers or students at the school.
But the one thing about him that has been bothering you the most is the way he acts around you. Even on your first day, when Principal Min had introduced you to the other teachers, he was the only one who barely gave you a proper welcome while the others had been curiously trying to get to know you better. He didn’t even give you a friendly smile when you met his eyes. You have grown apprehensive around him for how hard you have found it to simply start a conversation with the man, and how you would find him looking at you despite acting cold whenever you are around. He would always watch you closely with that straight up intense look he normally gives you, making you feel vulnerable under his gaze. As if he could easily see right through you.
Perhaps it would have been easier for you to despise him or even ignore his existence if only he had looked way less attractive than he actually is. Because the man is impossibly attractive, much too good looking for his own good that you cannot help yourself but turn to look his way whenever he is around. Your eyes had never had any trouble finding him easily through the crowd most of the times that avoiding him has been quite impossible to do.
And he seems to be doing the same to you whenever you are in the close proximity. Finding you through the crowd as if he has his own radar to find you, just so he could intimidate you with his lingering gaze.
Moments continue to pass by and you suddenly realise just how ridiculous you might seem to others, standing there right outside the teachers’ break room with your jaw dropping and not being able to move. So when he still shows no sign of noticing you there, you clear your throat and muster all the courage you could find to greet him first before invading his space.
“G-good afternoon, Teacher Kim.”
Your voice draws his attention and he turns to you. You are quite surprised to find that the usual stony look that he always wears is not there when he looks at you, which confirms that he didn’t notice you coming until you finally spoke. His beautiful eyes are the ones that betray him, opening wide and failing to hide his surprise when his gaze lands on you.
Within a blink of an eye, Seokjin gathers his composure once more, instantly wearing the cool look on his face when he greets you. “Afternoon, Miss _____. A bit late for a lunch break, isn’t it?”
You give him a smile, hoping that it wouldn’t look too forced, and walk around him to get over to the coffee machine. “I have a free hour after lunch so I used my time to grade some essays while my mind was still fresh.”
He barely reacts to your answer, or to the way you are avoiding his gaze when you step aside from him. He shows no change in his expression except for giving you the usual impassive look in his eyes and his lips turning into a flat line as he hums in response. “Hmm.”
The lack of response he is giving you nearly turns you off, but only before you remember that he is not exactly a man with many words in the first place. You had rarely seen him conversing in public that much with other teachers, and when he does, he would only do it briefly when necessary. The only time you managed to strike a conversation with him, he had ended up criticising the way you have been teaching your classes, commenting on how your students are taking you and your classes too lightly because you have been too laid back on handling them.
It had put you off into multiple accounts of insecurities, before you finally found out that you were not the only one he brought down with his comments. His offhand comments had often led students confiding in you on how hard he treats them, since a couple of his classes are scheduled right before yours. With the lack of positive interactions you have had with Seokjin, you have no other choice but to see him with a lot of aversion on your side, which had later caused you to keep your distance from him even more.
“I didn’t expect to still see you here at this time,” the words suddenly come out of you before you could stop it, your mouth betraying you by voicing out your thoughts to the last person you should be saying them to.
Thankfully, Seokjin says nothing to respond to your blunder, yet he keeps his eyes on you as he raises his mug, calmly taking his drink. His gaze feels so intense that it makes you feel small when you are near him like this. Even the ivory-rimmed glasses that he is wearing could not reduce the fierceness burning from his eyes. The air in the room suddenly feels so heavy with tension as he continues to drag on this silence. And it is making you even more self-conscious as he starts running his eyes down your body.
It makes you feel uneasy that standing there feels wrong somehow. The heat of his gaze makes you shiver, your skin growing goosebumps at a few spots. You resist the urge to look down on yourself and start checking on your clothes or the way you look, just because you refuse to let him win and overpower you with his cold attitude even further. Seokjin licks his lips, dragging his tongue slowly while he takes in the sight of you wordlessly, as if deliberately perusing you with his gaze without hiding it.
“Then may I ask—” he begins to speak, while using a low tone of voice and slowly dragging his words. “What were you expecting to find?”
Just when you turn to him again, you find him towering over you. You have no idea what it is—if it is the close proximity or the way he speaks, or the way he is looking at you—but your throat suddenly feels constricted that both your voice and the words you want to give him only fail you. The only thing you can say to him is—
“Coffee.”
A smirk slowly grows on his lips, while you feel your skin blanching with dread. You hate feeling powerless, and you hate knowing that he can easily pull one on you without you knowing it. The tension lingers for a few more seconds, as he finishes his drinks without looking away. Then the sound of the bell ringing through the hallways is heard, breaking the moment you are sharing with him, and he takes a few steps back, moving away from you.
“Enjoy your break, Miss _______,” he says, as he calmly walks out of the room, the sly smirk still plastered on his face as he leaves you behind in the break room, shaking as the chilling tension continues to run down your spine.
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After having a brilliant time all through the earlier part of the day, your chance encounter with Kim Seokjin had all but rattled you that it had sent you into an off-kilter mode for the rest of the day. By the time the final bell rings through the hallways, you waste no more time and simply wave your students out of the class, then sit back with relief once nobody is no longer around to see you crumpling in exhaustion and defeat.
You are not exactly sure why that man has such an effect on you.
Never once in your life you have had someone affecting you this much, not even your ex, who had given you hell through your past relationship. You had sworn to yourself that you would never let a man do such a thing ever again, to torment you once you have gotten control of your life. So why are you feeling this way just for seeing him?
You cannot really say that you are attracted to the man. If any, you are intimidated by his presence, when you always feel him watching, as if waiting for you to make a mistake. There is no way you can ever be attracted to him, no matter how good looking he is. Not when he is completely insufferable, brooding, always acting like he has so much control of himself and everything else around him and looking overly confidence while looking down on others with his pretty face, his eloquent yet condescending speech, and his strong, broad shoulders that always take over the room to each time he enters your space, or the fact that no matter how rare for it to happen, his smile is too pretty to ignore.
Just as you are thinking about him, you glance out the window, as if there is something out there that is pulling your attention away. As you are looking out towards the parking lot which is growing vacant as most of the students and the teachers had left the area, you see him strolling down the lot without giving any bit of attention to his surroundings. Your eyes follow Seokjin as he walks towards the end of the parking lot, his velvet coat waving along with his long strides of footsteps as he heads on straight to his jeep.
You are completely entranced at the sight of him that you simply cannot look away. Then, without warning, he suddenly turns, as if he could feel your gaze following him the same way you had felt his presence there. Then he looks straight towards you through the open window. His eyes linger on you for a moment longer before he looks away, hopping onto his jeep and starts driving away from the school area while you are still shuddering to the lingering effect of his intense gaze.
One hour later, you find yourself sitting back in your small studio apartment, ready to pick up a full tub of ice cream to drown yourself in until you can start feeling cheered up a little before you could even think of anything else. The weight of Friday’s rush has finally dawned on you, and your double encounter with Kim Seokjin had only elevated things further that all you ever want to do now is to get yourself high in sugar heaven. But right before you ever have the chance to drag your butt all the way to the fridge, your cellphone rings to stop you.
“Are we still on for tonight?” You hear Holli’s voice through the speaker, bypassing any ‘hello’ and getting straight to the point the moment you answer the call, the very same way she had always done it since college.
“Of course,” you immediately answer her as you push away from the couch and head straight to the kitchen. Your eyes are locked on the fridge, even as you answer her with, “I’m going to need to get out and have a lot strong drinks tonight more than ever,” not giving her any further explanation why you need the escape while you grab the ice cream tub.
“Same here,” you hear her sighing into the phone just as you shut the fridge close. “You’re already home, right? We’ll be there in an hour.”
Her words make you halt just as you are reaching through your drawers to find a spoon and you glance towards the nearest clock to check the time. You were sure that you still have a lot of time to get ready and the clock across the room confirms it for you. “What do you mean? Isn’t it too early?”
Holli chuckles almost distractedly on the phone. The rustling sound happening behind her lets you know that she had put you on speaker, giving you a sign that she may be driving as she makes the call. “We’re going to need some extra girl bonding time before heading out. We should have some chance to have some serious girl talk while we’re still sober. Then we’re going to help you get ready to make sure you won’t be leaving home in sweatshirts and flip flops.”
You roll your eyes and scoff at her. “You sure you don’t mean that you just want to start drinking at my place?” you ask her before shoving a spoonful of ice cream into your mouth. You suppress the need to moan at the sugary taste, already feeling slightly better with it.
You hear Holli laughing on the phone. “I’m not the one who said it, and you do keep all the good stuff,” she says, reminding you vaguely on the fact that you had splurged on some expensive liquors during your move to celebrate the new beginning. Only that the celebration has yet to happen. Until tonight. “And dinner. Jennie will be there with the pizza. The pizza place near her condo is way better than the crappy one we tried down your block last time. She also has the dress that would be perfect for you and I have the shoes.”
Of course, you wonder. Leave it to your best friends to do the most even without you asking them for it. You cannot exactly blame them, however, when they have been extremely concerned with your wellbeing ever since you moved here despite never putting it on words since you would always deny it. Sighing into the phone, you choose not to fight her on it and just give in. All while hoping that Jennie wouldn’t get too wild this time—the memory of her dressing you in a backless halter dress that was so short and tight that you couldn’t wear panties or move properly without flashing anyone during one of those college parties still haunts you—or you would start threatening them to simply go out in your sweatshirt after all. “Whatever. Just get here,” you finally answer her while digging into your ice cream, taking a massive spoonful of it.
Perhaps being high on sweets could help you deal with your girls before finally getting some of those numbing drinks.
“Coming, girl. I promise you, tonight we’re going to have so much fun,” you hear Holli speaks a bit too cheerfully for your concern right before ending the call.  
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“Finally. Our first stop of the night.”
Holli throws her arms up in the air the moment she steps out of the cab. It had taken both of your girls a few hours to get you ready, all while passing glasses of rum and coke—courtesy of your private collection—and sharing a few slices of pizza, which was undoubtedly the best pizza you have ever had.
You quickly join her on the sidewalk, looking up at the club you are about to be heading to. And this would be the first stop to start this long, adventurous night.
It was between finishing the last two slices of pizza and after pouring the second round of drinks when Jennie suddenly suggested on hopping between a few bars instead of going to just one. “I mean, come on. ______ is new in town and if we want to help her get to know the town better then we need to start with something fun. And it’ll serve the proper welcome party to celebrate her moving here with us,” she said eagerly through dinner as if the final glass of drink was giving her some sort of epiphany. “Let’s hop on all the hottest places in town and go through them until we won’t be able to walk straight.”
Whenever Jennie is determined to do something, your protest would normally fall on deaf ears. Thankfully, Holli was on your side this time, and you were able to convince her to simply choose three of the best places in town instead of going all around the town for her impromptu bar-hopping event.
The first place the girls are taking you to looks like a new hip club which seems to attract the younger crowd. There is a line right outside of the club, forming almost long enough to reach the next two buildings away from the club. Everyone is wearing bright, flashy clothes that you almost feel underdressed in your black bodycon dress with the extremely low neckline that generously shows your cleavage—courtesy to Jenny, which you had accepted since it still looks way better than the traumatic halter dress—and the pair of Louboutin heels that Holli made you wear. Fresh, young faces appear everywhere you look once you are inside. Not that you are way older than these people, judging from the look of it. It is just the fact that being a teacher who deals with teenagers has been making you feel like you are no longer a part of the crowd. That, and the exhaustion that still lingers in you is making you feel a few years older.
Jennie weaves through the floor with ease, as if she belongs to this place already. Then she easily finds the perfect seats for the three of you around the bar, allowing you to have the perfect view of the entire floor.
Despite the crowded bar and the busy dance floor, it doesn’t take long before the first round of drinks arrives on your table. The three of you make a toast with your drinks, clicking the glasses against one another, celebrating the first free time you have after weeks of labour, before tossing down the sweet drinks and ordering another round to your table immediately.
While you are not someone who enjoys dancing in public or mingling with the rough crowd in clubs like this one, you still let the girls drag you to the center of the dance floor. Instantly, all the weight you have been feeling the whole week dissipates as you move your hips, and you begin enjoying your moment more as you are lost in the moment with the girls around you.
But then, after your body is sweaty from all the dancing, and only after all three of you return to your seats, Holli decides to step things up a little bit more when she adds another suggestion onto the table. You should have remembered just how competitive these girls could be when you put them together, and it seems like they are trying to one-up the other in giving you the most unforgettable night of your life.
“Let’s make it more exciting. How about we go and see who between us can get strangers buying free drinks the fastest? Each of us can try to do the dare in each bar, since there are three of us and three places to go to. What do you say?” Holli challenges you and Jennie while leaning over the table to make sure you can hear her through the music. She already starts glancing around as she speaks, as if she is already looking for her prey for the night.
You open your mouth and begin to decline and try to suggest something else, when Jennie answers her first. “Hell, why not?” she says, hitting her palm on the table, making the drinks shake. “I don’t think we can go through the night just by drinking and dancing.”
“What happens if you get someone to buy you a drink? I don’t think going home with them would serve tonight’s purpose on getting me to places,” you try to ask her, though you can feel yourself swaying a little to agreeing to this challenge with how daring you suddenly feel.
Only for the free drinks. Not for talking to random men.
Jennie merely scoffs and waves her hand at you. “Nah, just take the drink and say thank you, then we can leave the place to go to a new one.”
“Huh,” you scoff in return, chuckling. You look around you, already feeling like this would lead into a bad idea at some point, but the booze you have been drinking is slowly making its way to switch the way your brain is working. And, just like how you always do when you are with them, you simply give in. After all, a new beginning should also mean a new you. “Fine, whatever.”
Holli squeals from across the table, clapping her hands excitedly. “Great. I’ll go first,” she says, tossing down her drink before stepping off from the stool chair. She doesn’t even waste any time to look around anymore and simply starts making her way through the crowd with only one destination in mind.
“Looks like it’s going to be a challenge,” you hear Jennie murmurs beside you as you watch your best friend sashaying her way to the crowded bar.
Taking a sip of your drink, you only chuckle as you watch Holli stealing the only unoccupied stool at the bar which is conveniently placed between two male patrons. “I’m sure she got this,” you tell her, and the both of you are left watching Holli making her move.      
The girl tosses her hair over her shoulder, acting coy as she turns to her left. She must have noticed him glancing her way ever since she took the seat next to him, and had chosen him as her target. The guy she is talking to is wearing an all-black attire, looking as fancy as he could to blend in. Yet the way he dresses still doesn’t hide the fact that he looks a few years younger than you and your friends are that you begin to wonder if the bartender had carded him before ordering the amber coloured drink he is holding in his hand.
You watch them fall into a conversation while you and Jennie continue catching up, using the time together as you wait for Holli to return and claim her win. You glance at the bar just in time to see Holli brushing her hand up the man’s arm, laughing at his words, while the man keeps looking at her with wonder in his eyes, as if he is finding it hard to believe that a woman like Holli would talk to him.
Then, you watch both of them waving at the bartender, before two glasses of drinks are placed right before them. Holli stays a bit longer to enjoy her drink slowly while conversing with the man. Then she slides off the stool, brushing her hand up his arm one more time before she turns and makes her way back to your table, swaying her hips deliberately as she knows for sure that the man is still looking at her as she leaves.
“Well?” you ask her, raising your brow while Holli takes a dainty sip from her drink.
“This sweet daiquiri has been paid,” she says, winking at you while returning to her seat, while you only shake your head.
“You better hope that boy is at least legal. He’s looking at you like you’re his wet dream.”
“Oh, don’t worry. He was carded and I saw his ID. He just looks younger than he actually is,” Holli tells you, looking over her shoulder as she gives the man another flirty wave.
The second place they take you to is located only a few blocks away. This time, the place gives a completely different vibe than the previous one. While the first club was filled with all bright colours and flashy lights, this one looks a bit more sophisticated with its red and black tone spread all over its interiors. Leather seats and private booths fill the seating area instead of stool tables and high chairs. The dance floor is located one level below, allowing the patrons to look over them from the seating area above, while the spacious bar displays more imported bottles of liquor than the one you saw previously.
“This place looks interesting,” you muse as you look around. The drinks you have taken so far had only made you a bit tipsy, but you feel lightheaded enough to make the whole floor seem as if it is spinning and the music sound a bit louder.
“I have to admit, this is the first time for me to come to this place too,” Holli shouts to your ear, before turning to Jennie. “How did you manage to find out about this place?”
Jennie shrugs, the movement seems awkward while she is swaying her body from side to side, already in the mood to dance along to the music. “I came here with some co-workers when one of the girls at the office had her birthday last month. We celebrated here, and it looked really fancy, but I haven’t gone here again since.”
Taking a closer look at the patrons, you notice that the place is filled with men and women who dress way fancier than those at the other club did. Most of them look more like executives, businessmen, wearing tailored suits and expensive watches, and they all look way more mature and professional, making you a feel a bit more comfortable and laid back than before.
“Well, since it seems like you’re more familiar with this place, maybe you should do the challenge here,” you offer Jennie once the three of you are seated in one of the booths overlooking the dance floor.
“You think?” Jennie raises her brows and starts looking around, nodding her head as if she can sense her victory already. “Fine. Let’s order some shots before I do that and we can move on.”
A few glasses of shots and sweet liquors are set on the table in no time. It doesn’t seem hard to get your orders in with the waiters and waitresses moving around the floor methodically, making sure they will be able to see the patrons better and that they wouldn’t miss out on anyone ordering.
After spending some time enjoying the drinks, chatting through the music and confiding to the girls about things that have been happening at work—which includes telling them about the existence of your new nemesis, Kim Seokjin—then finally going down on the dance floor together, Jennie starts looking over to the bar excitedly and opening her eyes wide as though she has located her target. The sly grin she throws at you before downing her shot quickly confirms it. She is ready to do the dare.
“Wish me luck, girls,” she says, brushing her hands down her dress before making her way towards the bar.
You watch as Jennie goes up to a good looking businessman sitting alone at the bar. He seems put together, with his expensive suits and his hair combed back, his fancy watch glittering under the lights to each time he lifts his glass. Jennie seems to be able to strike a conversation with the man so easily, though she isn’t doing it as bold as Holli did before. Then you see him waving over to the bartender, and things begin to crumble from there.
The man looks smug as he orders drinks for the two of them, yet it is clear that he is not allowing Jennie to choose her own choice of drink. He seems like he is too demanding, insisting to choose the drink for her and making her stay with him when she tries to say thank you and leave. Within moments, she starts to look bored, looking over her shoulder to demand rescue with a pained look in her eyes that lets you know that whatever he is talking about is beginning to frustrate her. It finally comes to a point that you and Holli have no other choice but to come to the rescue.
Jennie doesn’t even bother to hide her relief upon seeing you making your way to her. “Thanks for the drink, but—I better go with my girls. Have a good evening,” she says to the man, not even giving him a second glance as she pulls you and Holli away from him and towards the exit.
“God, that man was infuriating,” she complains with a huff right the moment the three of you are outside the club.
Wrapping your arm around her shoulders, you pull her to your side, making you both almost stumble when both of you could barely walk straight now with all those drinks. “I could tell. Let’s get this over with and take me to the last bar.”
The third bar looks like a fancy old-school pub that would have fit more to your style compared to the others before. Except that the place is currently closed due to some renovation happening on its building.
“That’s too bad, I was excited for this place the most,” Holli mutters with a pout on her face as the three of you are standing on the sidewalk, staring at the empty building with the huge mark saying ‘CLOSED’ being pinned on its front door.
You try not to show the relief that you suddenly feel. As much as you enjoy spending the night with your girls, you find it hard to imagine yourself walking to some random man and talking him up until he likes you enough to buy you a drink. You would do anything to avoid that to the point that you would rather call it a night instead of refusing to do the dare so blatantly after you have watched your friends doing it before you.
But the hope for escaping your challenge fades when Jennie suddenly says, “Well, I guess we should move on to the next place then.”
“Wait, I thought this was the last stop?”
Jennie only shrugs. “It should’ve been, but now it’s closed and you won’t have a chance to do the dare. There’s another bar right down the block. It’s a bit different than the places we’ve gone to.” She suddenly stops, then a sly grin begins to grow on her face as if she had just realised something marvellous, while you grow even more agitated as she seems to be getting more excited about the prospect. “And I think that it’ll be the perfect place to go to so we can give you the absolute thrilling adventure tonight.”
“I don’t like the sound of that,” you mumble desperately as your best friends begin dragging you across the street.
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And you had been right.
Not more than fifteen minutes later, despite having to walk with wobbly legs and on life-threatening heels, you are suddenly standing right in front of a bar that looks nothing like the ones you have gone to before. While it looks nowhere near a hole in the wall like any shady bar you have read in your books would, it still looks intimidating when you see the lines of big motorcycles filling up the small parking lot right outside and the rambunctious sounds coming from inside the bar. Not to mention, the men lingering around the doorway are not exactly as delicate or as sophisticated as the men you have encountered before.
There is no line flooding out the front entrance, and the man who looks like the bouncer only welcomes the three of you with his eyebrows raised.
“I’m not so sure about this,” you complain as your two friends barge in through the front entrance of the bar. Though you know that you are losing the fight when they keep pulling you along with them and you have no other choice but to give in when the drinks you had taken so far slowly begin to sink in their claws in you.
Holli wraps her arm around yours so she can drag you with her. “Oh, come on. Our goal tonight is to try on as many bars as we could get in one night and none that we’ve been into looks like this one.”
Of course, they haven’t, since none of the bars you went to had looked anything like a bikers’ bar. And even under the state of tipsiness, you can still recognise this place as the one that you would usually avoid whenever you walk past down this road.
Both of your girls seem like an expert as they weave through the crowd, heading straight to the seating area to find yourselves an available booth.
The bar is nearly packed wherever you look. Only a few empty seats seem to be available, even with many of the patrons standing up, either crowding the pool table, lining up at the bar counter, or gathering in groups on the dance floor. Except that nobody appears to be dancing.
God knows how Holli can manage to snatch a seat at all through all of this, but she does it with ease. Taking one last look around as you take your seat, you are glad to have gotten a few drinks in from the previous bars. You would have never been brave enough to step foot into this place if you had been sober when you came in. Wherever you look, you see big, burly men drinking beer and laughing. Their muscles stretching out from beneath their tops—some wearing tight black T-shirts, some wearing white sleeveless muscle tops, either one had made their bulging muscles look like they are about to burst out of them—while their ink works are peeking out from either their sleeves or their necklines, and they are all wearing matching leather vests with silver studs on the shoulders, with a logo resembling a girl sitting spread-legged on top of a motorcycle and the name “Howlers” embedded at the back of said vests. You can even see that some of the men are sporting matching tattoos on their skin, though not all of them have them on the same spots—some on their necks, their upper arms, or at the back of their hand that is holding a glass of beer.
There are a few girls hanging out with them, some are simply sitting or standing close, while others are practically clinging on their men’s muscled arms. They are all wearing matching leather vests as well, suggesting that they are either members of their motorcycle club or they are here as their lovers, though the vests look much smaller in size and are a bit tight around the chest.
Waitresses with crop tops and tight plaid miniskirts walk around the room with trays that are never empty. They are always filled with glasses of beer that are filled to the brim, almost spilling as they weave their way through the crowd, or bottles of various kind of liquors that you have rarely seen before. The waitresses would occasionally stop at the tables they are tending to in between trips, chatting along with the patrons as if they are all old friends. And even through your drunken haze, you are pleased to find that none of the men are acting like sleazy bastards that might be disrespectful around these working ladies. Nobody is trying to invade their space and everybody looks friendly, making the place look less concerning as you keep watching them all interact with each other.
Damn, even those strong drinks Holli gave you still couldn’t get you out of your proverbial teachers’ shoes, it seems?
You look up just as one of the waitresses comes to your table, all warm smile and polite greetings. The lack of judgement in her eyes as she looks between the three of you sort of eases you down a little, and the apprehension you have been feeling upon entering the foreign place slowly fades away.
“Welcome to Anchor Roadhouse, what can I get for you ladies?”
Jennie leans forward over the table to make the order. “Cold beer for three, please. Oh, and with double shots of tequila on the side for each?”
The waitress nods. “You got it. Be right back.”
“We’re going a bit over the top, aren’t we?” you ask the girls as the waitress turns to make her way towards the bar to retrieve your orders, and Jennie only shrugs. Perhaps the fact that this is the last place for the night had made her decide to order the strongest choices of drinks, when previously, you have been drinking sweet liquors that had taken quite a while to take effect on you.
“This place looks way more fun than the ones we’ve been before,” she says, looking around as she admires the sight she is seeing at all corners. You would have never thought that your best friend would have a liking to tattooed, burly men, but you are finding out all the new things about your friends tonight.
“It sure is. So we might as well have fun while we’re here,” Holli agrees with her, before turning to glance at your way. “But most importantly, we still have someone between us who has yet to do the dare.”
Ah, yes. The dare. You refrain from rolling your eyes as you are reminded of it. You have hoped that choosing to be the last one to do it would be able to safe your ass from actually doing it, thinking that your girls would have been too drunk to notice that you are skipping it by then.
You look around again, perusing the field and making plans, when you suddenly feel the heat of someone’s piercing gaze burning on your back, only to see that nobody is actually paying attention to any of you. But the quick scan around the room have you feeling quite intimidated all the same. Just how on earth are you supposed to get one of these burly bikers to buy you a drink?
You look at all the girls around you and consciously begin to compare yourself to them. Unlike these girls who are confident enough to flaunt their skin while wearing leathers and tight tops, you feel like everyone could look your way and figure out instantly that you are no more than a mousy high school teacher. Not even the mini black dress that you are wearing—no matter how tight and revealing it is—and the killer heels could hide it from the world.
The waitress returns just as you are about to give a closer look at the bar, to find your way in on finding a lone biker to talk to, and you are surprised to see her carrying not just three glasses of beer as requested, but a whole massive pitcher of it.
Everyone at the table looks at one another in confusion, yet the waitress simply sets down the pitcher and the clean glasses around the table, along with the tequila shots, and sets them all up as if there is nothing wrong with the order.
“Um—I’m sorry—” you try to cut in, “We didn’t order the whole pitcher.”
The waitress keeps her smile on her face when she raises her eyebrows. “Oh, don’t worry, Doll. It’s in the house. The owner wants to welcome you girls properly.”
You look at your friends again before asking, “The owner?”
The waitress cocks her hips once she is done setting up the drinks and tilts her head towards the bar. “Yeah, see the sweetheart standing right behind the counter over there? He’s watching over you girls to make sure you’re having a good time.”
You turn back to look at the bar as the waitress walks over to the next table right after Holli thanks her almost too excitedly. As if the night hasn’t gone any weirder yet, the crowd slowly parts way to give you the full good look at the bar counter.
And that is when you finally see him.
Standing behind the counter the way the waitress had described him is a familiar face. The same face that has your spine rigid and your muscles growing tense whenever you step foot into the school in the morning, knowing that your schedules will allow you to cross path with each other. He is now looking at you almost the same way he does it at school, the same way his gaze is locked on every move you make to have you feeling terribly self-conscious in everything you do when you are around him. Like every single move may end up as a mistake.
And now he is there, looking at you closely, though you are surprised to find him doing so without any judgemental look in his eyes when he finds you. He had discarded the ivory-rimmed glasses he normally wears, and instead of wearing his usual long sleeves dress shirt, he is wearing a black tight sleeveless top that puts his perfectly toned arms and shoulders on display, showing off the ink work that marks the length of his arms and all the way up to his neck, presenting you all the drawings and scribbles of words that you have never seen on him before. His fancy velvet coat has been replaced with a leather biker vest which looks exactly the same as to what everyone here is wearing.
You can barely get over the shock of not seeing the usual scowl that he normally wears at school, when his smile slowly grows upon noticing that you are looking straight at him, making your jaw drops even further.
This must be a dream, you wonder to yourself.
Because there is no way you are seeing Kim Seokjin—the strict Math teacher that everyone is afraid of—standing behind that bar as if this is his own home.
But there is no mistaking the smouldering gaze he is giving you now, the same one that has been quite intimidating that you always avoid seeing him in the break room at school. Except that his gaze no longer causes fear inside you when you return the look in his eyes.
And he just bought you a whole pitcher of cold beer.
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whispersatdawn · 6 months ago
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on the rebound | jeong jaehyun social media!au | part 15
↳ In an attempt to finally move on from his ex-girlfriend, basketball star Jeong Jaehyun reaches out to Y/N, who he knows has a crush on him.
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word count: ~2.4k
You continued to stare at your phone, waiting for a response from your date, but there was nothing. When the host had requested everyone to take a seat, you overheard the basketball coach ask some of the team members for Jaehyun’s whereabouts since the team captain was supposed to say a few words. However, no one recalled seeing Jaehyun after the group photo.
Being at the event alone, you felt out of place. You recognized most of the players on the basketball team, but you barely spoke to any of them. Everyone chatted amongst themselves while you stayed quiet, occasionally taking sips of water out of nervousness. Maybe you were overreacting. Other than some of the alumni who had looked forward to engage in conversation with the talented athlete, nobody else really seemed to be concerned about Jaehyun’s disappearance. You looked at your phone for the nth time. Half an hour without sight of or reply from him.
As you continue to think of potential reasons for Jaehyun’s absence, you felt a hand on your shoulder, causing you to jump in surprise. “Woah there, sorry, it’s just me.” You glanced up at the owner and found Yuta, hair cleanly slicked back, dressed in a sleek black suit and bowtie. “Yuta, hey,” you breathed in relief, standing up to greet your friend with a quick hug before pulling away. “Sorry. I was just thinking. You look good.”
“So do you,” he replied, gesturing to your red dress. “I had no idea you were going to be here. I didn’t spot you until I was on the stage a minute ago.”
You blinked, glancing at the stage before looking back at Yuta. He noticed and grinned, slightly amused. “I’m guessing you weren’t even listening, ha. Yeah, Coach had me give a little impromptu speech last minute since Jaehyun’s nowhere to be found. Are you his date tonight?”
You nodded, sighing as you sat back down. “You haven’t happened to see where he went? I can’t seem to reach him. Am I getting stood up or something?” A small laugh escaped as you attempted a joke, but it quickly died down as the possibility tugged in the back of your mind.
“He wouldn’t do that,” Yuta answered seriously, giving a head tilt as if he was judging you for even having such thought. “This is one of our most important events. Even though the money tonight goes towards a charity, we still have to kiss ass to the donors so that we can receive donations for our own athletic funds. Besides, I don’t think he’d purposely miss this, especially with his parents in attendance.”
Following the flicker of Yuta’s eyes to the front of the room, you found an older couple exchanging dialogue with the rest of the guests at their table. Like their son, both Jaehyun’s father and mother stood out among others. They were good-looking, radiating confidence, and they held everyone’s attention whenever they spoke. You tore your eyes away from them as soon as you registered Yuta’s voice again. “How about this?” he suggested as he took a seat in the chair next to you that was meant for Jaehyun. “I know that you’re not used to these kinds of parties, so if it makes you feel more comfortable, I’ll sit with you until Jaehyun comes back. Okay?”
You noticed that waiters were starting to bring entrees out, and even though you were excited to eat before, you barely had an appetite now. You were grateful for Yuta because at least you were no longer alone in an unfamiliar setting. “Please?” you replied, mustering a smile as you accepted your friend’s request to stay. Still, as the night continued on, your hand kept a tight grip on your phone, holding onto the chance that Jaehyun would respond any minute. He went out of his way to invite you, and his parents were present. There had to be a reasonable explanation for him to step out. There had to be.
-
Jaehyun angrily loosened his tie as he pushed his way through the crowd in the  busy bar. As expected, when he approached the middle of the bar counter, Hyejin had a full shot glass in her hand. Jaehyun immediately seized the drink, handing the liquor back to the bartender. “Finally, you’re here!” Hyejin exclaimed, eagerly patting the seat next to her. “Join me.”
“Was there no one else for her to call?” Jaehyun asked, refusing to acknowledge the tipsy girl, directing his question towards the bartender.
The bartender shrugged. “I offered to get her an Uber or something, but she begged for me to look through her contacts and call someone named ‘Jaehyun.’ I’m guessing that’s you.”
Jaehyun closed his eyes, letting out an exasperated sigh as he rubbed his temples. At first, he wanted to ignore the call from Hyejin and pretended like he never saw anything. He was supposed to enjoy his evening with Y/N, replaying different scenarios of how he was going to ask her to be his girlfriend by the end of the night. However, when Jaehyun heard the bartender explain Hyejin’s situation over the phone, it did not feel right to just leave Hyejin in that state since she sought him for help. He also took it as an opportunity to let his ex know that this was the last time he would ever be at her beck and call ever again. Jaehyun checked the time on his watch, assuring himself that he would make it back to the charity event before it was over. “Get up,” Jaehyun demanded as he quickly pulled out his wallet and set down money for the drinks Hyejin consumed.
“No,” the girl refused adamantly, remaining in her seat. “If we leave, you’re just going to go back to Y/N. I don’t want that.”
“You’re better than this. Since when do you act like such a child?”
“Yeah, I’m fucking immature...” That was when Jaehyun heard a sniffle and noticed that Hyejin was crying, taking him aback. She buried her face into her hands as her cries turned into sobs, and Jaehyun tensed, hoping that there were not many spectators. Sensing it would take some time, shoulders slumped in defeat, he finally took a seat beside her.
Hyejin tried her best to wipe her tears, but they continued to fall. “I just want to fix things between us,” Hyejin said in between her sniffles. “What can I do to make things right again?”
Jaehyun almost laughed but fought against it. He remembered how hard he tried to win Hyejin back after their breakup. The constant voice messages, the gift deliveries, the “coincidental” run-ins at social events. It was rejection after rejection, but he convinced himself she was the one. He was willing to wait until she was ready to take him back, and he would have accepted her in a heartbeat. Yet, at the moment, she was doing exactly that, and he felt indifferent. “I don’t think we could ever go back to how things were,” Jaehyun admitted.
Hyejin scoffed, straining a smile, but it wavered. “So you choose her?”
“You can’t stand it when I’m with Y/N, but has it ever occurred to you that I felt the exact same way for the longest time when you were with some other guy? As much as I tried, I couldn’t really do anything about it because it was your choice, and you seemed happy. But what you’re doing right now is hurting Y/N and she doesn’t deserve it.”
“And what you’re doing isn’t?” Hyejin countered. “Have you taken a look at your own actions and considered that despite how much you reprimand me for getting in the way of you and Y/N, you never outright told me to stop? Why? Is it because you were trying to see whether your months with Y/N compared to your two years with me? And if she could not measure up, you would give me another chance and leave her? I took your uncertainty as a chance to make amends. Maybe how I did it was bad, but you...” Hyejin shook her head. “Don’t think you’re the good guy here.”
Jaehyun’s lips pressed into a thin line as her words hit him. Was that how he came off? No... that was never his intention. It was not like his feelings for Y/N were fake. She had to know that he did not think of her as some kind of replacement. Jaehyun stood up. “Come on. Let’s go. I have somewhere to be.”
Jaehyun tightened his grip as his head fell onto the steering wheel in dismay. He had the worst luck with traffic. “Fucking finally,” he whispered, sitting back up, pulling into the parking lot of the charity venue almost 40 minutes since he left the bar.
“Oh, look at that. You made it back to see everyone leave,” Hyejin said as she unbuckled her seatbelt.
Jaehyun rolled his eyes. “If I wasn’t clear before, let me make it crystal now. I like Y/N, and since we’re over for good, I’d appreciate it if you never call me again for something like this.”
“Crystal clear. Thanks for the ride or whatever,” she muttered, disgruntled.
The two of them stepped out of Jaehyun’s car. Jaehyun adjusted his tie and smoothed his jacket. As soon as he looked back up, he froze at the sight of you, and the look on your face broke his heart into a million pieces.
-
“Do you need a ride home?” Yuta asked, shoving his hands into his pockets as the both of you walked out into the hallway.
“If you don’t mind,” you replied softly, gaze on the ground. Two hours later, the event ended, and everyone was saying their goodbyes before heading home. Jaehyun was supposed to be your ride, but since he never showed up, you took Yuta’s offer.
Yuta sighed. “Sorry.”
You smiled sadly. “Don’t be. It’s not like this was your fault. If anything, I should be thanking you. So, thank you. For keeping me company and making this night a little less miserable for me.”
You followed Yuta out of the building and towards the parking lot to his car. At the same time, you recognized a familiar car pull in several spaces across. You watched as the headlights turned off and the car engine shut down. Your heart raced, catching a glimpse of Jaehyun’s car. The passenger door opened first, revealing Hyejin who also noticed you, but she did not say a word and just walked away. Then you heard the driver’s door close, and when you looked over, your heart dropped.
The first thing you thought after spotting Jaehyun and Hyejin together was that you should not cry. There were still people getting to their cars, and you did not want to make a scene in public. So, cowardly or not, you would run. Anger. Disappointment. Betrayal. You didn’t want to speak to him. You didn’t even want to see him.
The moment Jaehyun realized what you were thinking, he immediately started towards you. “Y/N. Y/N!”
“Jaehyun?” his father called out to him from a few feet away. “Where have you been? We’ve tried looking for you. You had your mother worried.”
But Jaehyun could not pay his parents any attention, not when you were picking up your pace to get away from him. “Y/N, please stop!” You almost opened the door to Yuta’s car when the door slammed back to a close right away. You turned around to find yourself face-to-face with Jaehyun, and your eyes started to tear. “It’s not what it looks-”
“I don’t care,” you said, cutting him off.
“Please. I’m sorry. Just let me explain.”
“No, let me explain. It doesn’t matter to me what happened because it doesn’t change the fact that you left me for two hours on my own without a word. I am owed that much. I texted your friends, but they had no idea where you were. I thought you might’ve suddenly gotten sick, or that you were an accident... But this? Somehow this is so much worse.” You furiously tried to wipe your tears away. So much for no crying. “I had no problems with you talking about her because I thought it would help you get over her, but I should’ve known that you never really did. The pace at which we started getting closer, I thought you really liked me, but when it seemed like you would make our relationship exclusive, you didn’t. Her blatantly showing up to the game... the frat party...”
Your fingers ran through your hair as you paused, and the realization sank in. “Oh my god. I’m an idiot.” You met Jaehyun’s eyes. “I’m a rebound.”
“No, Y/N, that’s not-”
“How can it not be? I must’ve been such an easy target knowing that I liked you. Knowing that if you’d asked me out, there was no way I’d decline. Well, you got me. And it worked, right? I helped fill the emptiness as you struggled with your sudden breakup, and because Hyejin wants you back, now the both of you can be together again.”
You felt sick to your stomach. Everything appeared to be an elaborate scheme. Was that why his friends were acting so weird? Did Taeyong, Mark and Lucas know? How have these thoughts never crossed your mind until now? You watched as Jaehyun tried to take a step closer to you, forcing you to take another step back. Jaehyun hated it. He hated how he was the reason for your tears. It pained him that your eyes that once filled with warmth for him were now replaced with sorrow. “It’s not like I expected to be something serious with you, but I wasn’t aware that you were talking to someone else. Your ex, no less. Makes me feel like you lead me on. Like I was a part of some secret competition that I never would have won. I don’t want half of your heart, Jaehyun. I told you that if you didn’t want to be anything more, you could have been honest with me, and we would still be friends... I would’ve been okay with staying friends,” you said weakly, trying your best not to let your voice break. “Now? I don’t want anything to do with you ever again.”
Your hand shook as you yanked the door handle open and entered Yuta’s car. You did not dare look out the window as Yuta locked the doors and backed out of the parking lot. He said nothing during the whole ride, and the car was mostly silent, except when you exhaled deeply, tears welled up in your eyes again, and the suppressed cries finally flowed out.
taglist: @fluffyjaes @hwangful @seeking-faces @urlocalnctstan @justineasian @127-jaehyun @dearjaehyxn @taesty-jams @jeneyesmile @taeiluv127 @mango-bear @marklexleaf @generantionct @tyxsaturn @247byun @yourchasingsunsetslove @2000-september @jaeficrecs @bitchenderyy @thorscrown @leaurcitee @erisxczenie @minavenue @phoenixes-and-wizards @renjunf00ls @notminniie @sanisms @sunflowerhae @jeyyes @ohmy-fandoms @artfulbarnes @anotherfullsun @moons00 @nctlovesme @unmanageable-day @raywishii @thejungjaehyun @venusprada @doyobun @nshitae @andrea-chanel @llamabouquet @joeycheungg @tobiobb @wkhdery @itsdnguyenxoxo @ngayongabi @queen-of-himbos @beemarkie @jackyeongljin @seventeeneration @bdxxbi @joeokotoro @cacaubs @kwanseo @h1acynth @flwrtbz @jaehyunismine @alifethatsonlyonthepage @heheimsoft @m1ss-foodi3 @notsooperfect @ruthiechanumon @ukiyoneo @neo-teenkidz
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kachuusha · 10 months ago
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implied mutual feelings of love between levi and hanji—an analysis based on chapters 126 and 132.
note: this is a more in-depth version of what I have posted earlier.
This post is an attempt to make sense out of Levi’s nuanced dialogue in chapter 132. But before proceeding please read this tweet first to understand the context of this post: link to original tweet 
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Please also read this analysis done by shunkani, explaining the nuance present in the original Japanese text. 
it is important that you read the posts I’ve linked above because what I am about to say here is not gonna make sense if you don’t.
Like always, note that what I am about to say is only my own interpretation of the events and should not be taken as absolute canon confirmation.
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In chapter 132, Levi has a line that lost its nuance in the English translation. As explained in the linked posts above, Levi comments on Hanji’s unrequited love for titans but there is an implication that a mutual love shared with someone else.
What if that someone is Levi? When you think about it, it is not farfetched to assume that it was him considering how close he is to Hanji.
Other than that, there is an incident in the chapters prior to 132 that presents a strong case on why Levi could be referring to himself. Yes that's right—Hanji asking Levi to live with him.
Now I've seen people try to dismiss what Hanji said to Levi in the forest and insist that there is nothing possibly romantic with it and that Hanji was simply expressing their want to run away because they are tired so here is my take on it:
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After tending to Levi's wounds, Hanji says,
"Maybe we should just live here together. Right Levi?"
If Isayama only intends to have Hanji express their exhaustion and desire to run away from everything, why didn't he just make Hanji say something like 《"I want to run away Levi. I am tired."》 ?
Why did it have to be Hanji expressing their want to live together with Levi? It was like Isayama tried to hit two birds with one stone. He had Hanji say their desire to run away and also to be with Levi.
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Another factor in this is Hanji blushing after realizing that Levi heard what they said. Again, some fans have tried to refute this by saying that Hanji blushes all the time.
Yes Hanji blushes a lot but also consider the context of the scene. For second let us pretend tha these two characters are not Levi and Hanji—let's pretend that they are Character A and B.
Character A is with Character B, and the former thinks the the latter is asleep. Character A then takes this as a chance to voice out their feelings for Character B.
A few moments later, Character B brings up what Character A said. Character A realizes Character B heard their confession and so they blush.
I mean look at it, you could easily pretend that what happened in the forest was something that came out straight from a romance novel or a shoujo manga.
And come on are we going to pretend that the run away and live with someone to start anew isn't a common trope in romance?
Another argument I've seen is that maybe Hanji was just embarrassed that Levi heard them expressing their want to abandon their duties. This one is very easy to debunk.
Remember the beginning of Uprising Arc? Hanji shows their hesitation to Levi in continuing the titan experiments with Eren because they are afraid that the MPs might go after the SC just like what they did to Pastor Nick.
In both situations, Hanji was trying to run away and evade something and Levi was present in both situations. But did Hanji blush after showing their want to run here? No they did not.
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Then what else could possibly the reason for Hanji's blush other than a hint for romantic feelings?
Next let's talk about Levi's response to Hanji.
Levi subtly implies to Hanji that he heard what they said by asking,
"If we keep...running and hiding...what will that get us...?"
Some say that this was Levi rejecting Hanji but I disgaree. To me what Levi said sounds more like a We can't run away yet if we still have things to do.
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Levi also said that because he is aware of Hanji's strong sense of responsibility.
"I know you...you're not able to stay out of the action..."
He knows Hanji would't be satisfied in being a bystander.
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Another thing to note here is that Hanji is the one who arrives at the conclusion that they can't.
Levi himself did not really gave a direct answer—and that is expected from someone like Levi who seems to be awkward and inexperienced in romance. It is understandable if he was caught off guard with what Hanji said and thus couldn't give a proper response.
Now getting back to chapter 132.
After seeing Hanji's exchange with Pieck, Levi says:
"...So, four eyes. yet another love for a titan gone unrequited, I see."
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So like what had been explained in the posts above, Levi comments on Hanji's unrequited love for titans but implies that there is mutual love shared with someone.
With what happened in 126 in mind, who would be the most reasonable choice for that someone if not Levi? What if this was Levi's response or way of acknowledging Hanji's words back in the forest?
Just think about it. Hanji gives Levi something like a confession and then a few chapters later Levi suddenly implies that Hanji shares a mutual love with someone. The connection between the two events is not really difficult to make.
Like I said earlier, Levi not being able to form a direct answer is expected considering he seems to be the type who would be extremely awkward at love. Maybe he just needed time to sort his feelings first. Another thing to consider is they are both soldiers in duty.
Also can we talk about how Levi suddenly decided to call Hanji "four-eyes" again? It was like Levi is making an effort to go back to those days of normalcy.
An ambiguous and vague confession is also something that is so in character of Levi because of his awkwardness with words. Another is because he doesn't have to be direct with his words because Hanji and him share a deep understanding of one another.
Before anyone tries to brush this line off as nothing, I would like to point out that Isayama changed the kanji used in the dialogue in the volume release. This was pointed out in the tweet by @/kasumi_kasa as shown above.
The point I am trying to make here is that if this line is something we should just simply brush off, then why would Isayama bother making changes to it in the volume release?
The kanji in the original chapter release was 片思い but was changed into 片想い in the volume release. Both are read the same way (kataomoi) but just like what @/kasumi_kasa had explained, the kanji used in the volume release which is 想い, is indicative of a deeper form of love.
Also take note that the latter is an unusual way of writing unrequited love in Japanese.
Taking that into consideration and the implication of a mutual feeling with someone, does that mean Levi and Hanji share a deep form of love?
See the lengths Isayama is going through just for this one line? It really feels like the is trying to push something here.
Now onto Hanji's side. If by any chance we are correct that Levi was indeed confessing his feelings to Hanji, then did the latter caught what Levi was trying to say?
In my observation, it is very likely that Hanji had caught on to it because of their seemingly flustered and hesitant reply towards Levi. The hesistance is present in the pause (the three dots) before Hanji's dialogue.
"...We"ll be friendly in no time."
Another thing I would like to point out is how Hanji suddenly diverted the subject.
This is actually kind of ironic if you think about it. In 126 Hanji was the one who is seemingly confessing and Levi was the one who brought up their duties. Here in 132, it was Levi's turn to confess but Hanji was the one who brought up their duties.
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My honest take on here is that it feels like Hanji was on the process of moving on and abadoning whatever feelings they had laid down in the forest so they could focus solely on their cause but then Levi suddenly drops something like this on them.
Hanji would be understandably flustered just like how Levi was in 126. Honestly in the end, both of them are just so awkward at romance.
So this is where I am gonna end this attempt at analyzing what was said in 126 and 132. I hope I was able to convey my thoughts properly. If you have made it this far then thank you.
If ever I am mistaken with my assumptions in here, it still doesn't diminish the beautiful bond that Levi and Hanji share.
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spacebarnes · 6 months ago
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does he get deja vu? ✧ t.holland
summary: and when you see them, you always wonder if he gets deja vu.
warnings: sadness, angst, breakup(?
a/n: so this song is pretty famous so i thought about this ya know? send some requests! english it's not my first language so i'm so sorry about any mistake. take care of yourself please <3 (not my gif)
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"Are you paying attention to me?" Hemsworth asked and rested his hand on the table.
"Huh?" you asked, returning your puzzled gaze to him.
"What are you looking at?" he asked and then turned his body to see where your gaze was directed. Soon his eyes collided with Tom and his new girlfriend sitting at another table.
"You almost drop my lemonade!" Anthony arrived next to Sebastian and Evans, making a lot of noise.
"Such a drama queen, oh my god." the blue eyed rolled his eyes and took a seat next to you, while Anthony and Sebastian sat across from you. "What's the matter? Why the puppy eyes?" he asked you when he saw you didn't look too happy.
"Isn't obvious?" Sebastian asked without waiting for an answer. "The spidey boy has a new girl and they are eating like three tables behind us."
"You're sad because that kid?" Anthony asked in disbelief, you didn't answer. "Teenage love it's gross. At your age nothing is real."
"I knew Elsa when I was her age," Chris said, taking a piece of his food into his mouth. Sebastian smacked him lightly on his arm for what he said. "Sorry."
"Just-" the man next to you spoke and put his hand on your shoulder. "Lift your ass, go to a party and fuck some random guy." he said as if it was the most normal thing in the world.
"Chris!" Sebastian immediately scolded him for what he had suggested to you. Hemsworth and Anthony started laughing together.
"What i'm supposed to say?!" he shrugged and looked at him.
"She's 23!" he reminded him and you held in the laughter you had been provoked to laugh. "Ignore him, he's drunk," Stan told you and took your hand so he could talk to you. "Just don't look at them, and don't cry on set because you're gonna ruin your makeup and that would be awful."
The mood had improved a bit until a shout from Tom reached your ears.
"Can you ask them to put sugar in the edges? Thanks, love!"
[ "C'mon Spider-man, c'mon," Tom's voice practicing his dialogue reached your ears as soon as you opened the trailer door. "Oh, hey lovie." he greeted you and smiled brightly at the sight of you.
"What are you doing?" you asked and dragged a chair over to sit across from him.
"Practicing my dialogues," he smiled proudly and diverted his gaze to the drink in your hands, exactly to the edges of the glass. "What's that on the edges?" he asked with great curiosity.
"Oh, it's sugar," you pointed to it and took a sip. "Taste better with this, wanna try?" you stretched out your arm so he could drink from the glass, but he pushed it back towards you.
"Take another sip and don't lick your lips," he ordered you and you did it immediately, not knowing why he told you that. "Great, now kiss me." he stood up from the other chair and put his hands on your legs for support and leaned into you.
"Tastes good?" you asked once you two were separated for a moment. He nodded and took the drink out of your hands, both of you knowing where this would end.
"So good." ]
°•°•°•
"Can you call Tom for us? He's in his trailer." Joe asked politely and you nodded, feeling the nerves coursing through your blood.
You dragged your tennis shoes across the concrete as the wind whipped against your black jacket that covered half of your body.
You knew exactly what Tom's trailer was because of all the times you had spent in it.
The melody of a song filled your ears as you stood in front of the door, took a breath and knocked. No one opened, until the fourth time.
"Yeah?" Melissa opened the door instead of Tom, and that's when you could hear the words of the song well, instantly identifying it. Everybody Talks.
"Can you say to Tom that we need him in the set? We're gonna record some scenes, so yeah." you tried to say as quickly as possible so as not to make the moment more awkward than it already was.
"Sure, he will be there in a minute."
"Thanks." you thanked her and started walking as fast as possible back to the set, as you knew Tom would be out any minute and you didn't want to bump into him.
Tears began to fill your eyes as you remembered the words to that song and the reason why it was so special.
[ "Shut up and listen!" you pushed Tom's body away, causing his body to fall backwards onto the bed.
"I'm listening!" he shouted back and sat back up to listen.
Everybody Talks was playing in the background while you and Tom sat on the edge of the bed, paying attention to the beat and lyrics.
"Why do you like that song so much?" he asked and you leaned your weight on your hands, pressing your palms to the mattress.
"I like the beat, it's fun." You answered simply and started bobbing your head to the beat of the melody.
Tom didn't say anything else and just stood watching you, admiring the little moments passing in front of his eyes. He liked the way it was just you and him in that moment, and always.
"Wait!" The song ended and you immediately got up to walk over to your cell phone and put it back on play. "Let's dance!"
You stretched out your arms and with your hands you grabbed your boyfriend's, helping him off the bed so they could dance properly. His movements were not precise and he was just moving without any sense at all.
It was a sweet moment that you wanted to stay in for a lifetime. ]
°•°•°•
"Y/N!" Anthony called out to you from behind the cameras and you looked up. "Did you call Tom?"
"I did, yeah." you nodded your head and continued to play a little with your feet since you were hanging from the harness.
"Did you really call him?" Chris asked at a volume where only you could hear him.
"I really did," you told the truth without taking your eyes off him. "I don't know why he's not here."
Some five minutes later, a disheveled and agitated Tom appeared in front of everyone. His suit was ill-fitting and traces of lipstick adorned his lips.
"Horny boy." Chris said in a whisper and turned away so he wouldn't see how they would tell Tom that he was misrepresented.
"Oh great." your lips formed a line and you started playing with your hands as you waited for Tom's harness to be put on.
[ "Tom, stop," you said between giggles and kisses as Tom was on top of you and wouldn't let you go. "Someone it's gonna see us."
"The door it's locked," he said in a whisper and with bated breath before moving to your neck to leave wet kisses there. "Just enjoy it, my pretty baby."
Tom's hands were positioned on your hips while yours were on his curls, tousling them a bit. He broke away, seeking your lips to kiss them again. Your legs wrapped around his hips making the separation between the two of you minimal.
Tom's soft lips felt cooler and cooler, his tongue beginning to sneak in between the kiss, asking for access. You opened your mouth a little wider to make the kiss even more intense.
You pushed Tom's chest a little to make him pull away from you, your hands reaching for the edge of his t-shirt, pulling it away and returning to his make out session immediately.
"You're so pretty." you murmured between his lips and wrapped your hands around his neck to pull him closer to you and reconnect your lips.
Your hands ran over Tom's skin slowly as your lips began to swell a little from the intense kisses you shared.
"Tom!" a knock on the door made you two separate instantly. "We need you in makeup in ten mins!"
"Seven more minutes of kisses?" ]
°•°•°•
"Good morning, can i get a hot chocolate with extra milk and whipped cream? Thank you." you asked the cashier for your order and moved a little so you could wait and not get in the way of the line.
"Why i'm not surprised that you always ask for the same thing?" the unrecognizable voice of Tom sounded behind you.
"Hi to you." you turned and greeted him quickly, wanting this moment to end.
"Do you want to go to the set together? Melissa it's not coming today." he asked in the nicest way, was it necessary to name Melissa?
"Sure, just let me get my order and we can go." he nodded and headed for the door so he could wait for you outside.
Thousands of thoughts went through your head at that instant. Where is Melissa? Why is she being so nice? Should you walk out alone?
"So, how are you?" he asked to start a conversation between the two of you.
"Good and you?" you answered as dryly as possible so he could see you didn't feel like talking to him.
"Great too," he smiled and took a drink of his coffee, remaining silent for a few moments. "Can i ask you a question?"
"You already did." you shrugged and he just laughed uncomfortably.
"Why are you avoiding me? Did i did something wrong?" he asked innocently with a tone of concern. You clicked your tongue and shook your head.
"I'm not avoiding you, it's just," you lowered your gaze for a few seconds. "We're not a couple anymore, so."
"Oh, i get it."
"Can i ask you a question?" now it was your turn to ask, he nodded quickly.
"Of course."
"Do you get deja vu when she's with you?"
201 notes · View notes
havesome-blue · 10 months ago
Text
i can’t {c!dream}
Requested by: N/A. This was entirely self-indulgent.
Word Count: 6.1k
A/N: Very obviously in-game. i am very protective of c!tommy and c!tubbo and this fic makes it... very clear. also angst. i’m sorry. slight canon variation but also i rewatched four, 2 hour streams to get dialogue right and accurately describe a couple of the settings.  there are a lot of flashbacks, plus a really long one, which i’m not exactly proud of. but i needed it for setup. also, i’m australian and use british spelling. don’t get on my ass about it please :)
warnings: mentions of abuse, gaslighting and character death, and swearing
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Stood in front of the tall black walls, you second-guessed asking Sam if you could visit Dream. For the three days between saying you wanted to visit and standing in front of the walls, Sapnap constantly asked if you were sure you wanted to visit Dream. He was, without a doubt, the bad guy, the villain. You knew that, of course. You had gone through the nether portal with everyone else the day that Tommy and Tubbo finally defeated Dream. You had been there when he confessed. And you had asked them to tell you everything, from start to finish, about what Dream was really like, and what he had told them before you all arrived. 
You went home and cried that day. Cried that the truth was worse than what you had feared, cried because you had lost the man you had once loved totally and completely. 
-
You laughed as he wrapped his arms around your waist from behind, swaying side-to-side overdramatically. You had been peacefully watching as George chased Sapnap around with a wooden sword, jokingly yelling about taking a canon life. It was chaos but one of those moments where you were truly grateful to have them in your life. 
“Hey.” You laughed out the word as you turned your head to try to look at him over your right shoulder. He pressed his nose to your cheek - his mask was off, something that was getting rarer - and whispered into your skin.
“Hey yourself.” Spinning in his arms, you pressed a kiss to the corner of his mouth. His green eyes were soft and his nose was tinted pink. He leaned down, resting his forehead against your own and your cheeks warmed. Just as you moved to place another kiss, this time to his lips, George’s voice called out.
“Dream!” It was short and almost cut off at the end, and Dream sighed, the slight rush of air warm on your upper lip. You giggled, and moved to look over his shoulder, to where the panicked yell had come from. 
A wide-eyed George lay on the edge of the wooden bridge that led towards the community house, head half hanging over into the water. With his foot on George’s chest, Sapnap was smirking down at him, tip of the wooden sword pressed to his throat. You just stared at them before dropping your face into Dream’s neck. 
“Dream, help!” George called out again, and was distinctly more strained with a foot pressed into his chest. Sapnap cackled at the pathetic plea.
“Help me, Dream!” Sapnap pitched his voice up, mocking George who had moved his hands to wrap around Sapnap’s ankle to try pull his foot off. “I’m terrible at pvp and Sapnap has defeated me so I need help.” You moved back just in time to see Dream roll his eyes before he leant forward and pressed a kiss to your forehead.
“Sapnap!” Dream’s voice was lighthearted as he turned away from you. “Get off him.” You laughed as he pulled out his own wooden sword before sprinting towards Sapnap who had gotten off George and booked it back into the community house. 
-
‘awesamdude whispers to you: Step through the portal when you’re ready, then let me know when you’re through.’ You read Sam’s message as it hovered above your right hand that had appeared once the blackstone had moved and the portal had opened. You took in a slow and quivering breath before stepping forward into the swirling purple. After pausing a second stood on the obsidian block, you stepped forward into a small, completely enclosed room. You turned slowly to observe the dark room, then flicked your right hand back up. A translucent grey bar appeared, white bar slowly pulsing on the left side. With one finger on your opposite hand, you ran it along the bar to write your reply to Sam.
‘You whisper to awesamdude: okay, i’m through.’ There was a brief pause again before you got another message from Sam.
‘awesamdude whispers to you: step back into the portal.’
You tilted your head to one side, confused, but stepped back into the portal. You had no idea how it worked, but you trusted Sam and his genius. 
Another moment stood in swirling purple before you stepped out again. The large room in front of you was lit by redstone lamps embedded into the floor and walls, and in the centre, Sam - mask covering the lower half of his face, but goggles pushed down to hang around his neck - sat behind a desk. There were tall quartz pillars in each corner that were the only thing alongside the lamps that broke up the dark purple-black of every surface. It was intimidating, as one would expect from a prison, and you shrunk further into yourself. 
“Hey, Sam.” You cringed at how obviously nervous you sounded. Sam had to have known you were nervous, he had asked with Sapnap a couple of times to make sure that you wanted to visit Dream, but you at least wanted to put on a brave face so that he could pretend he didn’t know how scared you were. 
“You still sure you want to do this?” His eyes softened as he asked. While you had fought in every war and were more than capable of defending yourself, facing your apparently sociopathic ex was something that nothing could prepare you for. 
You considered your answer for a breath before forcing your shoulders back.
“Yeah. Let’s do this.” Out of a drawer in the desk, Sam pulled out a couple of pieces of paper stapled together. 
“First things first, read and sign this, please.” He put a pen on the pages, then slid it over to you. Carefully, you picked up the pen, then leaned down to read the document. You weren’t surprised, per se, that you had to sign a legal waiver, but it did make your nerves set in further. You muttered the words as you read them, pausing to suck in a breath at the phrase ‘prisoners misbehaving’. While the person you thought Dream was would never hurt you, you couldn’t be sure about who he turned out to be. 
There was a slight hesitation before you signed your name at the bottom of the third page, then placed the pen back down. You pushed the pages halfway across the desk, where Sam took it. He flicked to the last page to check you signed your name before nodding, and placing the document into a chest (you assumed it was an enderchest) that was under the desk.
He turned to his left, where he flicked a small switch on the desk. The sound of echoing thuds caught your attention, and you saw the doors in the alcove closest to the back wall slid open.
“Go in there, put all your items in the chest, then press the button. A keycard will pop out, you need to put that in the enderchest. Got it?” His voice was cold and stoic, completely in warden-mode. That was when you hardened your resolve to see Dream. No matter what happened from that moment, or how many times Sam asked to make sure you wanted to continue, you would not turn back. You would be cold and stoic.
You nodded and walked down the short corridor. It opened up to a small room with a double chest, an enderchest sitting to its left. You opened the chest before twisting your left wrist upwards, opening your hotbar on your forearm. You quickly dropped every item into the chest, before repeating the motion with an open hand and taking the rest of your items from your inventory. Finally, you took off your netherite helmet, the only piece of armour you wore all the time.
-
“You can’t be serious. You only have iron armour?” Dream flicked your forehead as you swatted at him. He had come to your small cottage and invited you on a trip to the nether with him, and you excitedly agreed. You had, of course, been to the nether before, but you rarely got to travel alone with Dream so you took every opportunity that you could. 
“Yeah, I do, what are you gonna do about it?” You folded your arms and looked him dead in the eye, jokingly challenging him. He huffed, rolling his eyes, before placing a hand on either side of your head. You continued to stare him down as he lifted your unenchanted iron helmet off your head. Dream spun on his heel and marched over to one of the miscellaneous chests that lined the walls on the ground floor of your home. As he walked back over, he took off his enchanted netherite helmet, and used his free hand to ruffle his hair. Dream had his mask hanging around his arm, and it slipped up as he ran his hand through his hair.
You tried to continue to be stoic, but his hair looked so soft - he must have washed it the day before - and he had a dopey smile on as he stopped in front of you. 
“Here.” He didn’t give you a chance to respond in any way as he lowered the helmet onto your head, pushing down the helmet hair that had formed when he tugged off the iron helmet. 
“What?” You adjusted the helmet as you gawked at him.
“Keep this.” His voice was soft and his head was tilted a little. “We’ll upgrade the rest later.” 
“Dream, no.” You tried to protest the gift, but he had already slid the porcelain white mask back over his face and was headed out the door.
-
You closed the enderchest, keycard safely tucked between items of mostly sentimental value, but as you glanced at the items before the lid shut you paused, closed your eyes, and took a slow deep breath. 
‘That’s the only thing I care about on this server, actually.’
You squeezed your eyes to rid yourself of the memory. You had only been there to mediate between the impulsiveness of everyone involved in the conversation, and Dream had forgotten that you were there. 
With every moment or memory, your resolve to see Dream was solidified more and more, so you turned on your heel with your jaw set. You had barely made it back to the desk before Sam had flicked another switch and more blackstone, this time on the opposite side of the room, slid away to open a doorway. 
“Okay, you need to walk down there. I’ll shut the doors behind you when you are through.” His voice had lost all warmth, completely in his role of warden. You nodded, and appreciated him warning you about the doors shutting, and you marched across the room. There was a slightly echoed thud as the stones moved back into place. 
Another dark room with redstone lamps embedded in the ground, though there were no white pillars to add contrast. Sam walked from around a wall that cut through some of the room and stopped on a square of the lamps. 
“Take a step back to the centre of the glowstone.” You looked at the ground and noticed that you had somehow missed the glowstone under your feet. Taking one step back as directed, you watched as Sam brought up his chat bar and ran a finger along it. As he did, two thin pillars raised from the ground and slowly rotated around you, glowing ever-so-slightly. He paused for a moment before nodding. “Okay good.” Immediately, the posts descended back into the ground, and he nodded again. He flicked what looked like a light switch on the wall, and a narrow hallway opened to your left. He gestured with one hand for you to walk through, and you didn’t hesitate to follow his instructions. 
Similar to before, shortly after you entered the next room, Sam met you there from the other side of a dividing wall. 
“Now that I know you have nothing on you, we can continue.” You had barely stepped forward before Sam had pressed a button on the wall. Mechanical clicks moved from one end of the long hallway before you, to the other. Your eyes followed the clicks as you stepped towards the ledge before looking down. From the depths of the lava pool, the platform rose and you gawked. You knew that Sam had spent months working on the mechanics of the prison alone, but watching it all unfold was terrifying and impressive. 
On the other side of the path was a tall room. Every time you thought you had entered the final room, you entered a new, bigger or more terrifying space. You knew that the prison had been designed to be completely inescapable, but the sheer amount of security in place flawed you. 
Another switch, another button, and a high and long corridor was revealed. All the way up to the ceiling and as far as you could see were iron doors and barred cells. The building you had assumed to be simply a high security solitary confinement for the individual deemed most dangerous by the people also contained a regular jail. That may have scared you the most. 
You hoped it had not have been intentional, the idea of ‘regular’ prisoners being used as a layer of security - or maybe a distraction - for the worst of the worst. They would be cannon fodder. 
Another platform raised from the ground, though this time it did not come from a pool of lava. 
You blindly followed Sam down the long path before he stopped in the centre of yet another small room.
“We’re at another checkpoint,” he held his hands behind his back as he turned to face you, “please stand on the glowstone over against the wall.” While Sam checked again to make sure your inventory is empty, you looked around the room. Blocks of obsidian started to make an appearance, scattered among the blackstone that made up the walls. 
-
The room was warming as the sun shone through the uncovered windows, creating a square spotlight in the centre of the small bedroom. But you barely noticed the added warmth of the sun, his arm around your waist and chest pressed to your back taking all your attention as you slowly woke. It was rare that he was able to stay for so long - you had managed to steal him away for nearly a month - so you were always waiting for him to leave again. You understood, of course, he had responsibilities, but you sometimes wanted to be selfish and have him all to yourself. 
He shifted ever so slightly to press his lips to your exposed shoulder, and you felt him smile as you sighed. 
“I love you.” His words were breathed against your skin, as if he were afraid saying them would break the peace of the quiet morning.
-
“Stand on that shroom light please.” A single block raised from the ground, trapping you in place. You could see Sam on the other side and watched him press what you assumed to be either another button or another switch on the wall. 
A single splash potion fell from above you, and quickly bought up your health on your right forearm, and you could only watch as you dropped to half a heart.
You follow Sam down a narrow hallway and find yourself in an obsidian room. On the left wall was a desk, that Sam walks over to sit behind, and at the end was a wall of lava.
“Hey, Sam,” he glances up at you, while you continue to stare at the flowing orange, “how has he been since Tommy visited?”
-
“He said he was sad because he lost his friends and stuff and power!” Tommy laughed as he flopped backward over the arm of your sofa to lay on it. “As if it wasn’t entirely his own fucking fault! He told me he pushed everyone away so he wouldn’t have emotional connections! Fucking prick!” 
You were moving around your kitchen, making an afternoon snack for the excited boy. You tried to pretend that your heart wasn’t breaking. Dream pushed you away the same day he pushed Sapnap, the day he yelled there was nothing he cared about other than Tommy’s discs. 
“And then!” There was a thud as he fell off the sofa. “I asked who he missed the most, and he just called Sam to get me to leave! Ridiculous!” He leant on the island counter in your kitchen, muttering how he bet it was ‘probably Gogy’.
“Well…” You were trying to think of a way to respond, but your voice cracked and your eyes stung.
“Wait shit, I didn’t mean…”
“Tommy, it’s okay.” You turned, placing a bowl of cut fruit in front of him. “It’s not your fault.”
-
“He’s been…” he pointedly avoided eye-contact, trying to decide how he should phrase it, “quiet, I suppose.” Sam’s voice lost its stoicism for a moment, unsure of his answer. He wasn’t sure whether you wanted him to be okay, or to suffer. Everyone knew that you loved him, and that you were almost literally heartbroken when you learned the truth. And he was almost unnerved when you simply hummed in response. He dropped his shoulders, and slid two more documents over to the opposite side of his black desk.
“More waivers?” It was clearly a rhetorical question, but he nodded anyway. Both new waivers were a single page, the first included the terrifying phrase ‘hunt me down and kill me until I am completely dead’. Despite fighting alongside your friends on many sides - fighting with Dream against the formation of L’Manberg, fighting with everyone against Former-President Schlatt - you had gotten unlucky only once. 
-
You were visiting for lunch, that was it. Technoblade was a friend who you hadn’t been able to see or spend time with since he was banned by the Government of L’Manberg. 
Though protective of the children on every side, you knew that it was not entirely Techno’s fault for taking Tubbo’s second canon life. Because of this, you were civil with him until you were back on good terms. And good terms meant lunch. 
You had packed sandwiches and fruit, and no armour other than your helmet. You of course had your sword and bow, but nothing else. Why would you bring all your armour and weapons when you were having lunch with a friend? 
The Butcher Army. A name that should not be declared with pride, especially not by the President and his Cabinet. 
“(Y/N), please.” His words were soft, but Quackity’s eyes held bloodlust. “We don’t want to kill you, we just want Techno.”
You were stood beside Technoblade, sword held in front of you in both hands. 
“You just said you were here to bring him back to L’manberg for trial, but now you are talking about killing.” You glared at him, trying to ignore the tall quiet boy who looked unsure of himself, knowing if you did you would immediately soften. “So forgive me for not stepping aside when you want to kill my friend.”
Between the short conversation, and Quackity’s sword through your stomach, you don’t remember much. Just a searing heat at the wound, and a growing numbness that spread from your fingertips. 
-
The second waiver, while less immediately threatening was just as terrifying. 
‘I hereby acknowledge that I could potentially be locked within the cell for up to 7 days’
Over mugs of hot chocolate in your new home - you couldn’t stay at the old one, much like everyone else with their own homes, too many memories - Tubbo and Tommy had sat on your sofa, each with a blanket wrapped around them. Tubbo had been crying and Tommy had clearly been trying not to. They could pretend all they wanted that they were on top of the world about finally defeating Dream, but you could see they were just kids who had gone through so much and had not been given the chance to process any of it. 
Tommy had told you both that day of the manipulation and gaslighting Dream had put him through, and you never wanted to be alone with Dream for an extended period of time ever again. 
You felt a chill and hoped that there would not be a security protocol while you were visiting Dream. If he spent up to seven days with you, alone, you feared he would convince you to love him again. And you would not - could not - let that happen.
Regardless, you signed the bottom of each page and handed them back to Sam. He placed the pages in another enderchest and stood up, potion bottle in hand. 
“Drink this.” As soon as you took the bottle, you felt the familiar warmth of a fire resistance potion. And the swirling iridescent orange streaks moving through purple confirmed it. “Now, step on the honey block.”
Going through lava, no matter how many times you did it, would always feel weird. The closest description was that it was like walking through hot, thick, heavy water. But that wasn’t quite accurate. Because when you walked through water, there was resistance and a weight, but when submerged, you floated and were wrapped in the substance. Lava held you down. Walking through it gripped and held, and being submerged it felt like it was sentient, trying to drown you. 
The feeling was only brief before you were suddenly in a long hallway, lava on either side of you - if you reached out you would be able to run your hand through it - and you listened to the clicks as the block you stood on moved. 
The doorway at the end of the lava hallway has a blue mist, which puts out whatever small fires caught on your shoulders and hair, resting above the thin skin-like surface created by the fire resistance potion. 
The biggest room so far, completely obsidian aside from the ginormous blackstone stairs.
“Holy shit.” The words were barely breathed, but in the almost silent room they were clearly heard. Sam broke his composure for a moment to look at you, the tips of his pointed ears pink under his green hair at the complement of his work.  The stairs were the equivalent of four flights, and were intimidating to both look at and to climb.
“Listen to me very carefully.” You had barely stepped forward at the top of the stairs before Sam spoke again, lowly. “You need to stand on the bridge, and move with it across the lava as it goes to the prisoner. Once you get to the other side I will pull it back, and you won’t be able to get back onto the bridge. Do you understand?” You nodded. “Good, now face forward. I’m going to lower the lava. It will take about 5 minutes.”
-
“...more.” You heard the tail-end of what Punz was saying to Dream as you stepped out of the portal beside Puffy. It was an emotionally horrifying scene. 
“Oh…” He tried sounding cocky, but as more people stepped through behind you, it came out more as just pure shock.
On one side was Dream, in full enchanted netherite armour. On the other, Tommy, with nothing. And stood between the two was Tubbo. Despite the confusion in Dream’s body language, and the relief spread across Tommy and Tubbo’s faces, it was clear that something horrible was about to go down. Dream was about to do something horrible to two, armourless and weaponless children. 
“You came!” Tommy stood up straighter, eyes wide, as Tubbo stuttered his confusion. “Tubbo- Tubbo. Tubbo, over, behind. Behind, behind!” The boys sprinted over to place themselves behind the crowd.
Everyone had come. 
“Dream. Step away from them.” Sapnap swung his axe as he spoke, and you stood beside him, your own axe raised. You heard Tommy tell Tubbo to stick with him as you glared hard at Dream. 
“Discs! The Discs!” You couldn’t tell which one called out first about the discs, but you were glad at least that part was over. They had the discs. 
“You fucked up, Dream.” He finally looked at you as you spoke. “Children. They are just children.”
“Hey guys! Hey guys!” Tommy pushed forward, yelling to get everyone’s attention. “It wasn’t me that blew up the community house, it was him. He fucking said it.”
All you could do was stare at Dream in shock. He destroyed a place that you called home, and for what? Power? 
“Punz, you actually came.” His voice broke as he spoke with disbelief.
“Yeah, I got the message.” Punz’s voice was dark and threatening, not towards Tommy, but Dream. 
Dream had moved from the centre of the large, dark room, to the entrance of a wide hallway. The group moved along with him to continue to protect Tommy and Tubbo. Your friends and allies taunted him, but you would only watch. How had he fooled you into believing he was capable of love?
Tommy pushed forward, and asked Sapnap to throw him a pickaxe. 
“Put your armour in the hole.” The way he said it, and the way Dream reacted, had you realise that something like this had happened before, and it didn’t take much thinking to realise that Dream had asked this of Tommy on more than one occasion. 
“Tommy…” Dream sighed, trying to keep his air of confidence. 
“Can someone make sure Tubbo is okay,” you didn’t hesitate to push the boy behind you, putting yourself between him and Dream, “because he definitely said he would kill Tubbo.” At your movement, Dream looked you in the eye. His mask was still covering his face, but you could still feel him looking through you and into your soul. He knew you too well. 
“You fucked up for the last time, Dream.” Tommy spoke with more self-assuredness than he had in a while as he picked up the many items that Dream had dropped into the hole. You nearly cried at the way Dream talked about how he and Tommy had fun, and when Tommy replied that he was caused nothing but pain.
Tommy took one of Dream’s lives, and as everyone rushed to find where he would come back down, you put your hand on Tubbo’s shoulder to stop him.
“Hey,” your voice was soft as you looked him in the eye, “how are you coping?” His shoulders shook slightly under your hand and you noticed his whole body was all but vibrating. A mix of adrenaline and fear had him entirely on edge. 
“Not great.” He laughed and it broke your heart “But for now I’m managing.” Your eyes soften as his dart around the room.
“You’re staying at my place tonight. You and Tommy.” Your tone was warm but it was clear this wasn’t a question. “We can talk about whatever you want. Or nothing at all.” Tubbo made eye contact with you again, and smiled. But as he opened his mouth to reply, Dream’s voice echoed again. He had completely descended in the elevator when you looked over at him again. 
"Tommy, stop." The way he demands it from Tommy, gravel in his voice, chilled you. He may have been completely powerless, but somehow he was still holding the illusion that he was in charge. But Tommy was done. With one final swing of the sword, Dream's second life was taken.
“Dream, come down. Because if you don’t, I’ll just kill me!” You sucked in a breath. Tommy was willing to take his own final life in order to get rid of Dream. He had his crossbow raised, aiming at the elevator shaft and he yelled. “And then this- you won’t have any more fun.” As Tommy spoke, he threw the armour he stole from Dream over to Tubbo.
“Tommy…” Almost in unison, you all turned to see Dream stood in front of the nether portal. 
Immediately, Tommy raced over, axe in hand, and hit him. And Dream begged. Pleaded with Tommy not to kill him.
“You’ve punished me enough.” There was a softness in his voice that you didn’t know. But it felt off. “Tommy, we were friends.” You could almost feel the rage coming off Tommy as he reacted to Dream saying they were friends. Axe raised, Tommy charged, and Dream got desperate. 
“I can bring people back to life!” You couldn’t tell if he was acting or not, but the desperation sounded genuine.
“The axe of p-” Tommy froze mid-threat. “Wilbur.” He barely breathed the name. Wilbur Soot was many things when he was alive, and to Tommy, the most important of those was the role of brother. He considered for a moment and took a breath. “All you do is lie!” It was almost as if Tommy was momentarily unhinged, raising his axe above his shoulder and screaming at Dream.
“If I die then death is permanent.” The panic in his voice remained clear, but it was hard to tell if he was lying. “Anybody who is dead or will die will be dead forever!”
The axe went limp in his hands, and Tommy’s eyes went distant for a breath of a second. “Are you even fucking worth it?” The quietness of his voice was chilling, a low tone present that aged him years.
“You have to let me go.” He was cornered, completely. 
Sam pushed to the front of the crowd and rested a hand on Tommy’s shoulder. 
“Tommy, there’s another way, you don’t have to let him go free.” You stared at him confused, before you remembered the giant black box sitting behind Skeppy’s home. “You just can’t kill him.”
-
The lava had fallen just enough to see his face. His mask was on, but was pushed up to the side of his head. You watched as his expression moved from challenging, to shock. Tommy had visited, and that was it from what you had heard, so he had clearly been expecting to see the boy again. 
Dream raised one hand to run it through his hair, and as he did, his mask was pulled off completely. The lava dropped slowly, and as more of him and his cell were revealed, the more you realised it would be hard to keep up the indifferent façade you were trying to hold.
You heard a button click and suddenly the ground below you was shifting across the lava. Shifting closer to him. And half-way across the wide moat of lava, a short wall of what looked like netherite blocks with bars on top raised in front of Dream, keeping him from leaving his cell. Stepping off, all you could do was stare at each other. 
It was surreal. You had once loved this man, but instead of the feeling of warmth and excitement, you were afraid. And the look in his eyes was the same he always gave you, one so full of love that you felt like the only person in the world. There was also the slight shock and confusion as to why you were there, but it was overwhelmed by the joy.
You stepped off and almost immediately, the bridge retracted, leaving you trapped on the other side of the biggest moat of lava you had seen outside of the Nether, with the most dangerous person in the Overworld. 
“I’m going to put the lava back down now, let me know when you are ready to leave.” Sam didn’t give you a chance to answer before the lava started dropping again, not that you would have been able to form a reply. 
The barrier dropped but neither of you moved.
“(Y/N)?” Dream breathed your name, and you looked away. The softness in his voice would make you break, so you couldn’t keep looking at him. Instead, you observed his cell. A chest, a bed, a desk and chair, and a thin divider behind which you assumed was his bathroom. “I honestly didn’t think you would come.”
“Neither did I.” You only spoke as loud as you had to, to be heard above the pops of the lava. “But I needed to. For myself.”
“Why?” He’d taken a step closer, unsure as to what grounds you were on. He wanted to hold you, pull you into his arms and just exist in your warmth, but if you didn’t already hate him, he didn’t want to push it. 
“I don’t know. Closure I guess.” You shrugged your shoulders, arms limp. “Find out which version of you that you really are.” It was eerily quiet as neither of you knew what to say. “How are you coping?”
“I’m doing okay.” He shrugged, trying to pretend that he wasn’t stunned by your asking how he was. “You’re only the second person to visit me, so it’s been a bit lonely.” You hummed and nodded.
“Yeah, Sam told me no one else had visited.” Despite everything you had been told, you still felt bad for Dream. The isolation would be maddening. “Can’t say I really blame anyone though.” He sighed, and made a slight nod in agreement. 
“It’s good to see you.” He tossed his mask over to land on the top of the single chest in the corner. “I missed you.” It wasn’t the first time he had said the phrase, but this time it sounded sad. He was genuinely relieved that you were there, stood in front of him, regardless of the situation. 
“Did you ever really love me, or was it all just bullshit?” He froze completely at the turn of the conversation.
“I-” You waved your hands to interrupt him.
“Wait, no, that’s not the question.” Sighing, you rubbed your hands over your face. “Why did you become this… person?” You wanted to say monster, but you were trapped in a room with him, with a 5 minute gap before you could get help. And you didn’t know if you trusted him anymore.
“What do you mean?” 
“Don’t bullshit me, Dream!” You had never yelled at him before, and it shocked you both. “Why?” The question was barely a whisper. 
He sighed and dropped onto his bed.
“I couldn’t let them take the power… my power.” You scoffed. At least he wasn’t lying. “But to answer the first question, I did love you. I do love you. I swear. Do you-?” He seemed afraid for you to answer, but at that point, you were too angry at him to filter yourself.
“Do I still what, Dream?” You march to stand in front of him, standing in the centre of the room. “Love you? I don’t know! I think I do, but there is nothing I want more right now than to not be completely in love with you!” Your eyes stung, and his whole body shrunk. “Because you, Dream, are a horrible fucking person!”
“Oh.” 
“And ya know, let’s make this formal. We’re done, Dream. Whatever relationship we were in, it’s over. Completely.” Something behind his eyes broke.
“What? Yeah, no.” He stood up, towering over you. “Because I know you better than anyone, and I know that you are killing yourself doing this. And if you do this, no one will ever love you the way I do.” His voice was dark and terrifying. 
“Good!” You threw your hands out and took a step closer to him. “Your love was brief and conditional. You are not the man I fell in love with, and maybe you never were. I want to believe that you were once good, but with everything I learn and see, I can’t. I just can’t. There is no way that a man as horrible as you was ever capable of being truly good.” As much as you tried to fight it, you were crying. 
“I had to do this! I had to stop L’Manberg at its roots, stop Tommy with those fucking discs, to keep you safe!” His face had gone red, and if you looked carefully, you would have seen that his own eyes were watering, close to tears. 
“I don’t need protection from anyone or anything but you!” Your finger jabbed into his sternum. “You threatened and manipulated children. You had a hallway for everything that meant the most to the people of this land. And you broke my fucking heart!”
“I never wanted to break your heart, I never meant to hurt you.” Voice soft, he hesitantly raised a hand to wipe a tear. Before he could touch you, you snatched his wrist and pushed it away. “You were the only one I never wanted to hurt.”
“Oh fuck off. I’m done with your bullshit.” You marched over to the edge of the lava before cupping your hands around your mouth. “Sam! I’m ready to leave now!” Tears rolled down your cheeks, and you wiped them with the balls of your hands, while behind you, Dream sat back down on his bed, watching you leave. 
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Tagging: @genesisrose74​ (send an ask if you want to be tagged)
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stellocchia · 9 months ago
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Alright, now that I got some sleep, time for an overly long analysis on Tommy’s second prison visit!
I’m only talking about character in the rp from here on out, not the cc’s unless explicitly stating otherwise
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First of all, a clarification is in order: was it Dream’s plan from the very start to get put in prison to end up in this situation? No. Does this mean he couldn’t have caused this to turn things in his favour? Also no.
Dream has proven before that he’s a rather flexible character (kinda has to be with a nemesis like Tommy), he’s been put multiple times in unexpected situations and managed to come out of top. We don’t know if he expected L’Manburg to be reborn after the 16th, and yet he managed to have the whole cabinet wrapped around his fingers. He didn’t expect Tommy to threaten him with Spirit, and yet he spun it around on him. We also know he didn’t expect Tommy to leave Logsteshire (he was talking about it with Punz, it’s the reason he went to check on him shortly after because he realized he may have stepped too far and broken Tommy out of his manipulation there) which offered him the opportunity to frame him for the community house disaster later on.
He is nothing if not resorceful.
Another thing we have to discuss when talking about the visit is the themes of their relationship:
- Dream’s possessiveness/obsession
- The whole Dream finding Tommy “fun”
- Their “game”
More under the cut
- For the first point, when I say “possessivness” I mean that Dream literally regards himself almost as Tommy’s owner. Don’t believe me? Let’s talk about how he treats Tommy’s canon life then!
Remember all the way back during exile? To keep Tommy in line Dream consistently threatened to take his last life, implying that he would have been fine with Tommy dying, yet, as soon as Tommy showed signs of wanting to take his own life, Dream bust out the line “it’s not your time to die yet”, 2 times in fact. Why? Well, Dream wants control in all things, not only that, but he clearly thinks he’s in the right in wanting it. Of course the life of his favourite toy is no exception. Also let’s not forget about the terrifying scene on top of the obsidian grid where, when Tommy said that their story would be over soon, Dream immediately took control again assuring him it would never be over.
There is also Tommy explicitly stating that Dream was “borderline his owner”, in case we needed an additional affirmation, in the stream where Mexican Dream made an appearance in exile. 
Also, I have to mention that during the first Prison visit Dream, when talking about what he missed, grouped Tommy together with “his stuff”... can’t get much clearer then that
- Dream’s describing Tommy as “Fun” has been a reoccurring creepy theme between them. But is it soley done out of manipulation or does Dream actually feel that way in his twisted world view? I’d say a bit of both to be honest. 
Clearly there is a level of gaslighting with it were he used to say it at the very start of Tommy’s exile to get him in the frame of mind of considering Dream his friend and trying to convince him that they always had fun together (trying to get him to switch his anger from being directed at Dream to being directed at his old friends), but that’s not all. 
Dream, in cutting all his known attachments, is left with only Tommy as an attachment, Jack is right on that one, which is the rason why his obsession seems so extreme. That said, it’s pretty obvious that he does sort of find his relationship with Tommy “fun”. It’s the reson why literally everyone else is a replaceable pawn, but Tommy isn’t. Don’t get me wrong here: he doesn’t see him as a human and, despite him “caring” in his twisted way, there is NOTHING healthy about their relationship. But it is still important to point out that Tommy is extremely important to Dream.
- Their game is something we’re all well aware of. They are regarded by so many people as the hero and the villain of the server, even though neither of them accepts their assigned role. That said they both view the other in the role assigned to them. Dream doesn’t see himself as a villain, but he does see Tommy as a hero and vice-versa. And, just like that, the stage for their “game” is set.
Only problem? Only one of them is playing the game. We know this from the season 2 finale: the reason Dream kept coming down and trusting Tommy was because he thought Tommy was as attached to their “game” as he was, but he was wrong. Tommy HAS other attachments, plenty of them, he’s not dependent on Dream and that’s also probably why Dream is so obsessed with him in the first place: everyone else is predictable, easy to use. They aren’t surprising, they aren’t “fun” (remember that? Remember Dream goning “Tubbo isn’t fun” when Tommy said he had as much value as himself? Because I sure do) they are boring pawns. 
You’d think he may think differently of someone like Techno but, despite him acknowledging his strenght, he has no reason to think he won’t be able to use him every time at the smallest promise of violence as it worked every time before. George and Sapnap? When’s the last time Dream showed them he cared in any way? He used them time and time again and then left them behind when the relationships required work on his side to mantain. He didn’t even speak to Sapnap during his visit! He regards Quackity as barely an annoyance (remember what history left on him in the Lost City of Mizu? Just a Fool). Punz and Sam were both people he paid, only means to an end. They ALL played his game and followed his rules, which is what made them predictable. It's what makes them so replaceable.
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Now that the themes are established, let’s move on to the analysis of the visit itself!
First of all: big foreshadowing from Sam with the missing books (which Tommy admitted to not remembering the content of) and from Tommy saying how much he trusted and appreciated Sam. It doesn’t have much to do with the analysis, but we all pointed it out.
That said, what was Tommy’s objective with this visit? Closure. Tommy wanted to make their game finally stop for good, he wanted to reclaim the control over his life that he hasn’t had for a while now. Not over his literal last life nor over hid day to day life. Both used to be controlled by Dream. 
Dream “loosing” his clock is the first information we learn. But, remember during Bad’s visit when Bad convinced Sam to give Dream one last chance to get his clock back if he behaved? And then again with Sapnap? Dream wanted the clock to go, that’s why he kept burning it despite the warnings. Why? Could it be that he was planning to get someone to stay with him in there? Isolation affects you much harder when you’re not aware of the passage of time after all...
“That’s the Tommy I know!” from the start of the visit Dream is trying to re-establish their “bond” and get Tommy in the mindset of them being “friends” again. I mean, it’s not a coincidence that he’s never been this talkative or friendly in any of the visits from other people. 
Other point in favour of Dream having planned this long stay is the sheer number of potatoes he had stored. Also, may I add that he immediately started giving them to Tommy? He started before the tnt and explosions, before he should have known Tommy was gonna stay. He never did this before during any of the visits we’ve seen. Establishing his role as provider again like back in exile I see...
Dream also started immediately demanding for Tommy to visit him more, but Tommy does turn it down just as quickly by explaining that that would be the last visit (if Dream wasn’t planning to act this time, he changed his mind in this moment. He’s very adaptable remember? And his main accomplice was online...). Of course, Dream isn’t happy about it. 
We already established that Tommy is the only one he finds “fun” (as far as we know), having him stopping visitations entirely wouldn’t be good for Dream. There is also the fact that Tommy is deciding to move on on his own. It’s Tommy’s choice under Tommy’s complete control and Dream has already shown he’s not too kin on that being a thing.
“Anything you want to say to me now, you have to say to me now, because I’m not visiting you again” “Why?” I’m highlighting this piece of dialogue because I think it’s pretty indicative of Dream still being convinced that they’re both still playing the game. Sure, Tommy outplayed him for now, but the game is not over, is it? Tommy can’t just decide to drop him can he? They both have so much “fun” after all... 
Of course though, to Tommy the “why” should be obvious. Because of Dream he’s struggling with severe ptsd. He’s afraid of plains biomes, of lava, of heights to a certain degree, of black stone (both because of the Attachments vault and the Final Control Room on this one), of tnt, of small holes (big enough to drop your items in as he said), of giving up his stuff and of Dream acting Friendly. Dream hurt him a great deal to the point were he’s not managing to settle down even now, he’s still afraid. How can Dream not see how he hurt him? How can he not understand? In Tommy's mind it just doesn't make sense.
TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES (had to add this because it was just funny... why are there always bloopers with this 2?)
Potatoes again. Again the tnt had not started to go off yet. And Tommy eats them again immediately, of course. I can’t stress this enough, but this is done again to re-establish the dependency tommy had on Drem during exile. While he didn’t entirely depend on dream for food (he barely ate and he had Mushroom Henry), he used to be entirely dependent on him for protection, getting to the point where he would hardly defend himself from the mobs when they attacked him even when Dream wasn't around. Of course Dream can’t provide “safety” while he’s in prison, so he has to find something else.
“You had all this shit coming” “I did but... you know... maybe one day” “No! Have you seen this prison? It’s kind of the most secure thing ever” They are talking about two different things here. Dream is implying that, maybe, they’ll let him out in the future while Tommy, having already decided to move on and not worry about Dream anymore, is implying that the only way Dream is getting out is if he manages to escape, which he won’t. Quite different from the first visit were Tommy showed quite a bit of hesitance when asked if he would ever let Dream out.
“Unless you have extreme therapy” Tommy recognizing the importance of therapy I see! No, but, more importantly, this goes to show that Tommy is moving on from his exclusively vengful mindset he had at the start (which was more then understandable, btw). At the start of this visit he said he didn’t think that Dream deserved to die anymore and now he’s recognizing that he needs help, Tommy however also knows he’s not the one who should be helping him, he can’t. Still, he’s empathizing with him, because he can’t help doing so. Despite everything, Tommy always tends to see others as their own individuals, even when the same is often not true in reverse. 
“I mean exile wasn’t that bad... right? I mean, we hung out” again, tying it back to the themes in their relationship, this fits so well. Of course exile wasn’t that bad, right? After all: why would Tommy have needed anyone else when he had his Best Pal Dream? And here’s the thing: we can’t know how much of what Dream says is just manipulation and how much of it he believes, but Dream has shown enough signs of being dependent on Tommy as his only attachment that we can assume there is, at the very least, some level of truth in this. I mean, if you remember back when he blew up Logstedshire, he didn’t even wanna believe that Tommy was suicidal. Tommy told him directly, but was dismissed. Why? Not because Dream wasn’t extremely opposed to him taking his own life, he’d already shown that not to be the case. Perhaps because he actually didn’t think it was that bad? Maybe he didn't want to admit he pushed him too far? Did he actually view himself and Tommy to be Dream’s own twisted version of “friends”? It’s a possibility and it’s what this visit seems to imply. 
“When I’m around you I feel like my brain is conditioned to be your friend, but also when I have a knife I wanna just plunge it into your heart... you don’t make me a good person!” This seems to be a rather recurrent theme with Tommy and the mentor figures in his life. Wilbur trying to convince him (albeit not managing to) to just blow it all up and give in to his aggressive nature. Techno wanting to “bring him to the side of evil” and making him more violent in the process. Now we have confirmation that Dream himself makes him lash out more (though we could see this already when he was in exile in how he lashed out at Jack Manifold without the latter having done anything to deserve it). There is also the confusion to point out. While Tommy is trying to move on he’s clearly in no way “healed”, he’s still very much suffering from the consequences of Dream’s abuse and manipulation. He still doesn’t know exactly how to feel about him because, despite everything, he feels compelled not to hate him entirely. 
“You’re a bad guy” “Well I did bad things, but everyone thinks they’re right from their perspective” “That’s not true” I haven’t seen almost anyone talk about this exchange, but it’s such an important one! As we said, Tommy views Dream as a villain, Dream doesn’t (he admits to having done bad things, but not to being bad because of them). Dream also sees Tommy as a hero, but Tommy doesn’t (Tommy doesn’t even view himself as “the good guy” in his own story, which ties in to his big self worth problems). It’s an interesting dynamic to be sure. 
“Well I think I’m right. I did bad things, but I did them for good reasons” “What good reasons?” “I wanted to bring the server together you know? Make it a big happy family” This is the second time Dream brings up unity as his ultimate goal (the first being with Punz). Of course we know that the “unity” he wants it’s under his complete control. It’s not an objective that we can see as positive, but he does, or, at least, if he’s telling the truth about it, he may actually believe in it. Now, while this is the second time he brought up “unity” directly he did also strongly imply in the season 2 finale that that was his intention when explaining he was doing everything to get the server to “how it used to be”, back in the idealized past with no conflicts that never existed. Dream is deluded in the literal sense of the word, I would say it’s pretty probable there is at least some truth in his declared objective (truth in the form of him actually believing the bs he spews).
At this point Tommy is done. He’s drawing an end to the visit and Dream started getting more frantic. He started insisting on how he’s “changing” and insisting for Tommy to go visit him again. Ngl, I think this was probably to buy time for his accomplice (who is very possibly enderwalk!Ranboo) to get there. Because, if he let Tommy go, their game would truly be over, and Dream can’t stand that.
And cue the explosions! 
So: Dream managed to buy enough time and, by the prison's protocols, Tommy is now stuck with him up to 7 days. He can’t leave which means Dream gets another chance to force him into continuing their game. 
Quite a few people pointed it out, but, from this point onwards, Dream gets much more assertive and controlling in his demeanor. He drops the whole “insecure” act that he had going on in his enunciation and general behaviour and goes back to being like the old Dream (you would almost think that all that talk about “having changed” was just absolute bs, though he keeps insisting on it throughout) 
Tommy’s behaviour also changes. He gets much more paniked (no doubt a combination of way too many of his triggers being present at once) and pliant. He starts calling out for Sam and asking to be let out but, of course, that doesn’t happen as Sam has to take care of the security breach first and foremost. 
Dream starts immediately harping on Tommy being stuck there (probably to increase his panic, as he's easier to influence when he's distressed), first pointing out how “Sam can’t hear him” and then that the tnt must indicate a “security problem” (which he then explains he knows the consequences of because he wrote the book). By now he’s dropped his meek act entirely and he’s showing to be much more smug and self assured (a big contrast with Tommy having a very obvious panic attack). As we already said: he got what he wanted, he basically won already. All he needs to do now is get Tommy back to how he used to be in exile (”when they had fun” in Dream’s words...). 
At this point there is only one question left to be answered: Why did he do all of this? How does this benefits dream?
Clearly this didn’t help him to get out. The security may actually increase because of it. Right? Well...
“I mean... if you want a way to get out, let’s get out together! We can work it out, we can-” “Fuck off” “Then there is no way out” I’m going out on a limb here and saying that, perhaps, Dream may know a way to get out provided 2 people cooperate on it. Tommy wouldn’t help him yet, but, who knows what he may do after spending way too much time locked in a small room, with a lava fall on the side and Dream to top off the list of his worst nightmares... 
“Are you trying to get out?” “I’m not trying to get out, I’m not trying to get out!” a bit of a contradiction here, considering he proposed getting out together like 2 minutes before (coupled with his insistence on “one day...”)... however “I’m not trying to get out (yet)” may be a way to interpret his words more truthfully. If he just needed an accomplice to get out, he would have probably used Ranboo, but there is something else he wants as well... 
(btw, potatoes AGAIN multiple times, especially every time Tommy is particularly distressed, and Dream also brings up Tommy being on his last canon life again in the context of this being “just like exile”... man do be trying hard with those parallels...)
You see, he already told us that he still sees his objective as good. He still wants control. He still wants his game to go on. And there is one person he elected to be the key to everything...
“I’m telling you you’re stuck in here for a little while with me, were we can bond, we can talk, just like old times, right? You know... just like exile” “Tommy this is the best thing that’s happened to me since I got in this prison, because now we can be company, we can stay together!” “Fine, fine, you’re done with me in a couple days, when you get out of here” “Tommy it’s not that bad! We can- we have lot’s of time to bond” Ngl... something tells me his other objective is very obvious... and we talked about it to death by now. But, in case it wasn't clear to someone, he wants to get back what (or who in his case) he considers to be his most cherished possession (again, do NOT interpret this as a "good" thing. It isn't. Dream literally treats Tommy as his toy, it isn't healthy and I've seen way too many people in chat trying to imply otherwise and calling it "cute". It's not cute, it's abuse)
“Tommy you’re stuck in here with me wether you like it or not, ok?! Wether you like it or not you’re in here with me for a WHILE, we’re gonna talk, we’re gonna have lot’s of fun” I just wanted to point out again how much Dream’s demeanor changed from the start now that he’s back in control. He’s not asking Tommy to talk to him, he’s not giving him a choice in it. Tommy already said how he doesn’t wanna talk and “get to know him better”, but that doesn’t matter. He has no power anymore. He doesn’t have the power to leave NOR the power to ignore Dream, as much as he wants to. Also, after this, Dream seriously ramps up the whole “We’re gonna have so much fun!” shtick...
And you want to know the saddest part of the ending? Tommy is already cracking (honestly, not surprising. He’s been through WAY too much by now...) 
He started asking Dream for confirmation of whether all of this was “serious” (just like he needed to ask if things were real back in exile... or generally Dream’s opinion on everything). He also asked for more potatoes in a dejected tone (I know it may not seem that serious, but, as I said, it is just another way to create the dependency that Dream wants), showing a beginning of acceptance for Dream’s role as provider once again. Together with the very obvious “I can’t do this” and the black screen right after it creates a very worrying picture.
In conclusion: Dream is already dependant on Tommy, but the opposite not being true was a big part of his downfall. So, before he can get out, he has to work on getting Tommy back to exile!Tommy only this time he’ll be even more careful not to do some dumb mistake probably... 
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As anxious as I am to see how this will develop I do also think it’s one of the most interesting outcomes they could have had!
Also can we please take a moment to appreciate how WELL cc!Dream anc cc!Tommy manage to handle this incredibly serious scenes? Like, they bounce off of each other perfectly and, as someone who’s done theater themselves, I cannot commend them for managing to do so well in IMPROV enough!
They are honestly so great! Let’s get some serious love and appreciation for them to close on a positive note!
Also @mysweatymakerstudentworld
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pockydays · 7 months ago
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unravel me
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⤷ characters: tsukishima x gn!reader
⤷ synopsis: in which you notice tsukishima struggling to peel the tape off his fingers during study hall. what you didn’t notice, however, was how much he had the ability to find his way into every aspect of your life, until it was too late.
⤷ word count: 6.3k (longest fic to date woohoo!)
⤷ contains: fluff, slight angst, acquaintances to friends to lovers (?), mild language, my (insanely) wordy writing
⤷ a/n: i’m not even lying this took me weeks to write and it’s my baby :] most of the dialogue in this is probably hot shit but if you enjoyed please leave a like/reblog :3: mwah mwah ily all thank you for being patient with my slow ass <3 and thank you to my dear friend abby for beta reading the first chunk of this story, if you read this ily <3
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You've always considered yourself as someone who wasn't especially generous. But you weren’t incredibly selfish, either. You were in some sort of grey area, too indifferent to care about what society says about people who aren't willing to go so far as to sell their souls to the devil for the common good. But you weren't heartless, either. You cared, usually out of mutual convenience. Isn't that what everyone does? Ninety-nine percent of the time, helping others (undeniably) involves genuinely good intentions, but they coexist with selfish motives as well. Then what about that one percent?
That one percent, in fact, came to you in the most inconspicuous of times: during mid-day study hall.
You found yourself going through the motions of your everyday routine: walking into the classroom, saying hi to your friend in the third row, putting your bag on the desk, pulling out your chair, sitting down, taking out your notebook and pencils, and waiting for approximately thirty-nine seconds until a (supposedly attractive, or at least according to whispers among your female classmates, which was bold of them to assume that he even liked girls in that way — you weren’t one to burst their bubbles) tall blond guy with glasses walked through the door, and greet him with a nonchalant "hey" and a wave.
And after that, if he responded with a slightly snarkier tone than usual, you knew he was having an especially bad day (more likely than not, it was because of the volleyball teammates he often complained about). But as for the real reason why, your guess was as good as anybody else's. He probably had piss in his Cheerios every morning and his trousers in a twist until the end of time for all you knew.
But today was slightly different than usual. For one, a full minute had already passed after you took out your pencils and yesterday’s chemistry notes, and there was still no sign of him. For some unknown reason, you couldn't stop the worry gnawing its way into your conscience. You rested your chin in one hand and drummed your fingers on the desk with the other, trying not to think about your classmate with a sharp tongue and a glare that could kill. Of course, trying to not think about something is a form of thinking about it, so that didn’t exactly work out.
The bell suddenly rang, jolting you out of your thoughts as well as your seat. Tsukishima Kei was now officially late, according to the school rules. Thankfully, your study hall advisor was lenient and understanding enough to not mark anybody late if they arrived within a reasonable time as to not tarnish their transcript, but you knew Tsukishima well enough to know that he wouldn’t care about a single unsavory comment that would only have the slightest potential to alarm admissions officers in those money-hungry institutions.
That was one thing you admired about your classmate. His ability to judge what things to put his effort into and selectively choose what he could get away with doing half-assed was unparalleled. As far as you could tell, volleyball was something he didn’t deem as worthy to put his all into. You weren’t usually wrong in such judgements about people, but then again, you’d only been right, let’s say, a total of three out of three times. You weren’t sure if it was considered a really good or really bad track record, so you’d always kept those sort of assumptions to yourself.
“Not going to say hi to me today? That’s awfully rude of you,” a voice said, out of the blue. You tense, wondering who had the audacity to call you rude.
“What?” you asked incredulously before you could realize where the voice came from. “Oh, it’s you,” you said, recognizing his inhumanly tall frame and the pair of white headphones around his neck. I should’ve guessed; of course only he’s brash enough to say something like that. 
You rested your chin in your hands again, the tension in your body visibly dissipating. You were glad that it was just Tsukishima and not some other person, because they would be a pain in the ass to deal with. Plus, he was just about the only person you allowed to speak without a filter; one, because it’s fun verbally sparring with him, and two, it makes his stunned silence after you counter with an especially witty phrase all the more satisfying.
This time, though, he sat down at the desk to your left without a word. Usually, he would never pass up the chance to have another round of firing tasteful insults at you. Today was indeed slightly different than usual. 
As he clicked the top of his mechanical pencil, you couldn’t help but notice a flash of white one his hands out of the corner of your eye. Did he always have that on his hands or was I just horribly unobservant before?
Leaning over to his seat at a dangerous angle, you asked, “Hey, what’s up with your fingers? You have leprosy or something?” in hopes of lightening his supposedly gloomy mood.
“Shut up,” he muttered irritably. “If I had leprosy, my fingers would’ve fallen off by now and I would’ve put one in your lunch as a keepsake,” he added. Shifting away from you in his chair, he tried as much as possible to make his (in your opinion, unconventionally lanky) body as far away as possible from your general vicinity.
“Okay, okay, geez! At least tell me, because now I’m curious and it’s all your fault.”
“If I tell you, will you stop bothering me?” he asked, rubbing the bridge of his nose in frustration.
“Maaybee...?” you replied slowly, trying to find an answer when a simple “yes” or “no” didn’t suffice.
“If you’re not going to stop bothering me, then I don’t have a reason to tell you, so no,” he frowned, crossing his arms self-righteously.
“Alright then, keep your secrets, mister. I don’t care whether you tell me or not.” Which wasn’t completely the truth, since some tiny part of your conscience thought that wrestling the answer from him was for the better. “But just know that I’ll continue to be my annoying self, so don’t say I didn’t warn you.” With that, you turned your attention back to your chemistry notes.
A few silent minutes passed before you leaned back over to his desk on the left.
“Hey mister, do you have some pencil lead? I think I ran out,” you whispered to Tsukishima.
He heaved what you thought was the biggest sigh in the universe before responding, “Point-five or point-seven?”
“Tsukishima, you wound me! I thought you knew that I write exclusively in point-five!” you exclaimed with a hand over your chest, feigning offense. 
He rolled his eyes, and out of the corner of your eye, you saw him count out three pieces of lead. Three, that’s generous, you think to yourself as you suppress a small smile.
“Thanks, mister,” you whispered as you plucked the delicate sticks of graphite from his fingers. Taking a quick glance at his hands, you noticed that his fingers were wrapped in some sort of adhesive tape. Before Tsukishima could catch you looking for too long and make some snarky remark about how absolutely positively beautiful his hands were for you to be staring, you abruptly turn back to your notes and refill your (actually already lead-filled) pencil. If he wouldn’t answer your question, it wouldn’t hurt to take things into your own hands and figure it out for yourself, right? 
You looked back to the notebook in front of you, but with your curiousity still unsatiated, you couldn’t help the thoughts bouncing off the walls of your mind, competing for your undivided attention.
Ask him about it! a voice yelled.
Mind your own business, you creepy fuck! another (particularly foul-mouthed) one screamed.
At this point, you’d probably read the first line of your notebook about thirty times without comprehending a single thing, so you decided to give up and resort to banging your head lightly on your desk.
Apparently, 'lightly’ was an understatement, because a voice on your left hissed, “What’s your problem?!”
Oops.
“Nothing,” you replied softly with your head still on the desk.
Tsukishima sighed in exasperation. “Well, now I’m curious and it’s all your fault,” he scoffed, using your own words from earlier.
Now it was your turn to sigh. Stubborn person number one meets equally stubborn person number two: one of life’s most aggravating experiences. 
“C’mon, let me see your hands,” you demanded, your own hand outstretched. You’ll say ‘no’ no matter what I ask.
“No.” Tsukishima pushed his glasses further up the bridge of his nose and turned away.
Point proven.
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You had always considered yourself to be somewhat generous when circumstances permitted, yes. But being yourself around others was something you considered yourself to be quite good at, as well.
Sometimes you imagined what it would be like if people’s hearts had metaphorical layers of thread surrounding them, winding, twisting, wrapping, and sometimes tangling around and around the ugliest, scariest, or most precious parts of themselves. The people you met would either unravel a bit of your heart, even if just a little bit, or they would cause you to wind the threads of your heartstrings even more tightly. 
You had strings that were (sometimes laughably) effortless to unwind, but once someone got to the last layer of thread, they refused to unravel any further. In other words, you weren’t afraid to be ninety-nine percent yourself around everybody. But that one percent? You’d keep it safely tucked away behind the impenetrable fortress of that last previous layer of thread — for both the good of yourself and everyone else.
Sometimes, you also wondered what the threads wrapping around Tsukishima’s heart was like. Not because you particularly had more of an interest in him than your other classmates, but because he was a sort of enigma to you. You had countless questions: How hard is it to unravel those threads? and What lies beyond those tightly wound strings? and What did he have to hide that is so unsightly? et cetera, et cetera. He was a puzzle you wanted to piece together, although you weren’t sure what the finished product would look like, or if there even was a finished product. 
You had a lot more questions about Tsukishima than you did answers.
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You must’ve been deep in thought for a while, because it took an utterance of some rather coarse language to bring you back to reality.
“Fuck,” Tsukishima muttered, fiddling with the tape covering his fingers. It was evident, after about ten seconds of observing him, that he was getting nowhere. At this point, you were presented with two choices: to help him or to leave him to wallow in his own frustration and suffer. Admittedly, the latter option seemed rather entertaining, but for some unknown reason, you opted for the former.
“Here, let me help,” you said, hand extending in front of you as an offer. “You obviously aren’t getting anywhere, so let me put you out of your misery.”
“You better get it all off then,” he grumbled, outstretching his arm, letting it limply dangle in front of your face. Huh, I didn’t expect him to actually agree so easily.
You gently took his hand, and starting with his pinky finger, you worked your nails under the end of the tape. As the tape unraveled further, you couldn’t help but notice how elegant his hands were. They were long and slender in ways that yours weren’t — the magnum opus of all things relating to hands. If God played favorites, he certainly did when it came to Tsukishima’s hands. Geez, knock it off, you cringed inwardly. You’re literally worshipping his hands at this point.
“So, uh, why are your fingers covered in tape?” You hoped to break the awkward silence between the two of you, and asking him questions that he probably wouldn’t answer (especially to plebeians like you) seemed like the last resort.
“Volleyball practice,” he responded simply. 
Oh. I didn’t expect an actual response.
“This morning? You guys sometimes have practice early in the day, right?”
“Last evening,” he corrected.
“You had these on your hands for that long?! I see you’re finally getting serious about volleyball, my dude, but you have to be able to ask other people for help." People other than me, but if I’m your last resort, then I’d be happily obliged to help.
Tsukishima scowled, which, thankfully, you missed, busy undoing the tape around his fingers. At least you didn’t criticize him for being hypocritical regarding his attitude about volleyball, which was relieving. 
There was a substantial (and slightly awkward) pause as you peeled the white adhesive strip of cloth off of his fingers, working slowly enough so that it wouldn’t hurt, or so you hoped.
“There we go!” you exclaimed proudly as the last of the tape fell away from his fingers. He wiggled them experimentally, not unlike a newly hatched butterfly would flap its fresh new pair of wings. 
“Thanks,” he responded curtly. 
As if on cue, the bell rang, marking the end of study hall. It was time for chemistry class.
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Over the course of your next class, your mind with occupied with thoughts that weren’t even remotely related to chemistry. You almost had a close call with the teacher when he called on you to answer a question, but thankfully, your friend sitting next to you whispered the answer in your ear — though not before giving you a quizzical look. You were too embarrassed to say that you were actually thinking about why the hell you actually agreed to help the guy sitting the next seat over whom you should have absolutely nothing to do with.
I did not just touch his hands no no no — I did not just hold hands with Tsukishima Kei — It wasn’t really of my own volition and he looked like he really needed help and I was feeling generous and it conveniently benefited the both of us, right? He got to finally be free from his misery and I— I got to touch his hands—
Your thoughts spiraled out of control as you buried your face in your hands, and perhaps some of the threads around your heart unraveled themselves that day.
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Thus, after that day, your everyday routine changed in more ways than one. You would into the classroom, say hi to your friend in the third row, put your bag on the desk, pull out your chair, sit down, take out your notebook and pencils, and wait for approximately thirty-nine seconds until a tall blond guy with glasses walked through the door, and greet him with a nonchalant "hey" and a wave. If he still had tape around his fingers (which was quite often), you’d ask him if he needed help; he’d say yes, and you would spend the next however many minutes undoing the adhesive strips of cloth.
Today was no different. You carefully eased the tape away from Tsukishima’s fingers. When you got to the base of his ring finger, he hissed in pain. The skin there was red and raw as if it had been recently injured. Not as if, it had been.
“Sorry,” you whispered, wincing as if you were the one in pain. “How’d you get hurt?” This time, you were genuinely concerned for him, which was rare for anyone, especially him.
“The one time I put some more effort into volleyball as if it were actually worth something, it comes back to bite me,” he muttered, gritting his teeth.
You looked up from his hand. 
“What?”
“I said, somehow I always give the things that I swear off from my life a second chance, it never, ever, works out,” he muttered through gritted teeth.
“Did anyone ever tell you that you can’t get better out of sheer will? You’re bound to slip and fall on your butt at least a few times. Or a lot,” you responded. 
“Nobody told me that falling would hurt this much, though,” he replied. He looked off to the side, too embarrassed to meet your gaze.
“It’ll get better, trust me. You just have to get back off your ass and stand up.”
You left the conversation at that and continued undoing the tape on his other hand. 
I want to kiss his hands like I’m greeting the crown prince of a foreign kingdom, you thought, lips twitching, fighting back a small smile.
Oh my God, stop it! you mentally slapped yourself. You had to restrain yourself from actually slapping yourself in the face. Meanwhile, the uniform you wore began to feel a bit too warm — it was quite convenient that Tsukishima couldn’t see your face at that moment.
Unbeknownst to you, however, Tsukishima's thoughts weren’t nearly as calm as his cool and collected exterior. 
After all, what was he supposed to do when he could feel your breath fanning on his hands (could he tell you were desperately trying to keep them steady?) and your meticulous fingers on his?
I must be going crazy, he thought.
He imagines holding your hand, and not because of that dumb finger tape-
He shook his head, as if to dislodge the idea from his memory. No, I’m definitely going crazy.
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“So, do you like him or something?” your best friend asked out of the blue during a sleepover, the both of you laying in the darkness on your sleeping bags.
“Who?” you asked, though you had an idea of who she was referring to. 
“Tsukishima. That guy who sits to your left during study hall.”
“No, why would I like him? I mean, how can you even tell if you like someone or not. It’s not like there’s a radar that detects crushes and blasts ‘OH MY GOD YOU’RE HOPELESSLY IN LOVE’ on speaker,“ you replied dryly.
“Do you feel different around him?” she asked.
“As in the cliché symptoms of love that you read in romance novels? Like you feel like your heart is going to burst out of your chest and you have to clutch your shirt like it’s gonna pop out onto the floor if you don’t? If that’s what you’re asking, then no.”
“I mean that could be a sign, but you don’t have to feel like that to like someone. I mean in the way that you’re willing to show them who you really are, including all the ugly parts of yourself that you wouldn’t show to other people.”
Of course not! you thought to yourself. There’s no way I would fall in love with someone that I argue with for fun, right? 
“Why do you always complain about those tryhards on your volleyball team? You can always quit, you know,” you asked after Tsukishima was in a particularly bad mood about something, presumably about volleyball (as it usually was). As per your daily schedule, you were unraveling his finger tape during study hall once again.
“Don’t they know that the more effort they put into something, the more it’ll hurt when they find out everything they believe in is a lie?” he asked.
You paused. Oh, it was an a genuine question, you realized. And he wants a genuine answer.
“Such as?” you asked, your mouth acting quicker than your mind. I probably shouldn’t have pried deeper into something that’s obviously his business.
He went ahead and responded anyway, but not before taking a deep breath.
“When I was little,” he began, “I looked up to my older brother a lot. I really respected him, you know? He was my idol; he was perfect and infallible in every way. He played volleyball in junior high, so it was only natural that I played the same sport he did. And he continued playing throughout high school, or so I thought.”
“Or so you thought?” you repeated.
“He lied to me.” With those four words, you heard years and years of resentment and bitterness through his shaking voice, barely above a whisper. 
“To be honest, I should’ve expected it,” he continued, laughing humorlessly at himself. “I was too enamored to realize that when he was trying to stop me from watching his games, he was also trying to stop me from finding out that he was a liar. He wasn’t even a starting player. Instead he was on the bench, cheering for the team he was supposedly on.”
As those words left his mouth, you realized how little you understood Tsukishima. No, it was honestly ridiculous how you could consider yourself his friend when all you did was unwind strips of tape from his fingers for a mere few minutes every day.
Despite that, you held his hands a little tighter.
“If you don’t mind, I had a similar experience in junior high as well. This girl that I was really close friends with apparently had a huge circle of friends outside of school, and she would tell me and my other friends about all the rich guy friends she had and how well they treated her and shit. But I found out years later that they were probably all made up so that she could have something to tell us. So that she could keep us in her friend group. I realized they were fake.”
You let go of his hands, your arms limp at the memory.
“And how are you two right now?” Tsukishima asked. “Your relationship, I mean.”
“Surprisingly, we’re still on good terms,” you said. “She still doesn’t know I found out. But despite her pretending to be someone else in front of us for all those years, I still don’t think she’s a bad person. I’m actually kinda glad she got the attention she wanted. But man, the past still hurts like a bitch,” you chuckled in an attempt to forget.
“I see,” he replied. With that, you picked up his hand once again, continuing to undo the tape around the rest of his fingers.
That day, both you and the once unyielding, stone-faced Tsukishima left the classroom knowing just a bit more about each other.
You didn’t know that day that Tsukishima had his first real conversation with his brother after ‘the incident’.
He didn’t know you gave that friend from junior high a call for the first time in two years.
And the threads around your hearts unwound themselves just a bit more.
“No, I don’t,” you finally responded after a long pause. “I don’t like him in that way. He’s just someone I can rant to about the shit that happened in junior high—”
“Say that again, but slower,” your friend interrupted.
“He’s someone that I can rant to about all the... stuff that happened in the past,” you repeated. Did she not hear me the first time?
“Exactly, that’s my point,” she responded. “You never talk about those things with anybody, and even when I bring it up, you just brush over it.”
The weight of what your friend was implying took far too long for your brain to register, but when it did—
“Oh shit, I think I might actually like Tsukishima.”
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It was in the classroom of your mid-day study hall where Tsukishima Kei stole your heart bit by bit through the conversations you had with him while unraveling his finger tape; it was where you opened your heart and he opened his. 
“You and Tsukishima aren’t a thing, right?” a voice asked you out of the blue in the hallway after the dismissal bell rang.
“What?” you asked, turning your head to see who it was. You recognized her, although you struggled to put a name to her face. “You sit in the back of our study hall classroom, right? And to answer your question, no, we are not a thing.” 
Such questions were becoming all the more frequent these days, and you had the same two-letter answer to all of them (although you secretly hoped you could answer yes, but how Tsukishima felt about you was a whole different story).
“Yeah, I do. But are you sure you two aren’t dating? Like you could just be going out with him and not know it,” she answered.
You held back a snort that almost escaped your lips. 
“No, I’m sure we aren’t,” you said with a sigh, trying to keep your tone remotely cordial. “Besides, I’m not sure if he even considers me as a friend.”
“Oh, I’m sure he considers you as more than that,” she replied with a tone you couldn’t quite decipher. “Trust me.”
You barely knew her, so you couldn’t say how credible her statement was (though you desperately wanted it to be true). You glanced at the clock, itching to end the conversation.
“Alright, then. I’ll take your word for it. I have to get home now though, seeya.”
“Seeya around then,” she replied with a wave. Why does that sound strangely ominous?
“Bye,” you answered, too mentally drained from the conversations that began with the same question: ”Oh my God are you dating Tsukishima?” (Answer: no, no you weren’t). Nonetheless, you couldn’t ignore the nagging voice in your head that you haven’t seen the last of her just yet.
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She appeared the very next day, in the same spot at the hallway after school ended. That’s... strange.
You decided to ignore how off-putting it was. Maybe it was her wide smile — so much so that you could see her dimples and her blinding white teeth. Or maybe it was the way she spoke, like she was trying to get something from you. Whatever it was, you didn’t have what she wanted.
“If you’re asking whether Tsukishima and I became a thing within the past twenty-four hours, then no,” you said in exasperation. She was now walking by your side with an odd spring in her step, a bit too close for comfort despite the empty hallway.
“No, that wasn’t my question,” she said with a chuckle. “You keep denying that Tsukishima doesn’t like you, but I think he does.”
You had to scoff at that.
“In what way?” 
“In that way,” she responded with a knowing glance. “You’re already in the talking stage with him! He never talks to anyone other than that one friend he has, so I’d say you’re off to a good start.”
“And that totally means that he’s in love with me.”
“Please, don’t lie to yourself. You’ve gotten farther than anybody has, even if they tried for their entire life. How did you do it?”
But I didn’t do anything, you thought. 
“I just talked to him about stuff,” you replied slowly. The look she gave you said go on, so you did. 
“I just talked to him about myself and deep stuff and shi— and such. I really didn’t do much, so I’m probably not the best person to ask. Why don’t you try and ask his friend Yamaguchi?”
“No, I think I’m good,” she said with an unreadable tone. “Well I gotta go, so see you tomorrow!”
“....Bye,” you replied halfheartedly. You tried to shake the unsettling feeling from your chest, but you couldn’t help thinking, What if he does like me back?
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The volleyball made a resounding smack against the court behind the middle blocker instead of his hands. Tsukishima clenched his fists, gritting his teeth. Another ball that I couldn’t block?
“Hey, use your smartass head for once and pay attention!” Kageyama yelled across the court.
Tsukishima ignored his taunts. 
“Oh, the smart mouth finally doesn’t have any words left to say? Finally some peace and quiet,” Kageyama muttered. 
Practice continued for far too long, but the whistle finally blew, signaling everyone that it was time to go home. Finally, Tsukishima thought. I don’t have to listen to the King spew nonsense anymore.
He and Yamaguchi gathered their belongings and made their way out of the gym.
“Something’s on your mind,” Yamaguchi commented as they walked back home side by side.
“No there isn’t,” Tsukishima replied a bit too quickly to sound convincing.
“Right.”
A long silence ensued, the two of them kicking pebbles on the road and twiddling their thumbs in the cool night air. The buzz of the electric street lamps felt much too loud, feeding off the tension in the air. 
“How can you tell that you like someone?” Tsukishima was the first to break the silence, but it was the question, not the fact that he was the one that spoke first, that was more jarring.
“So I was right,” Yamaguchi responded after a slight pause. He fought back a small smile and added, “I thought something bad happened that I didn’t know about, but it turns out that you’re just in love.”
The taller one of the two sighed. 
“I’m asking you to tell me if I... like someone in that way, not for you to tell me that I am, Tadashi.”
“I can’t make a judgement if you don’t tell me anything. Tell me.” Yamaguchi lightly punched his friends arm.
“There’s this... classmate of mine. They asked if I needed help peeling off my finger tape during study hall and I said yes.”
“I figured as such.”
“What?” 
“You always come into first period with your fingers still wrapped but it’s gone by the time practice starts. I always wondered why but I never got around to asking you. But I’m even more surprised at the fact that you actually agreed.”
“Yeah, I surprise even myself sometimes,” Tsukishima deadpanned. “Especially the fact that it would become something that they would ask pretty much every day, and I would say yes every time. I just don’t know whether I have feelings for them in that way or not.”
“Well, do you look forward to talking to them everyday?” Yamaguchi asked.
Yes.
“Do you want them to know you for who you really are instead of what people think you are?”
Yes.
“Does your mind wander to them all the time?”
Yes.
“If you flipped a coin to decide whether you do like them or not, would your gut tell you the answer before you looked at whether it landed on head or tails?” 
Yes, Tsukishima answered silently, knowing he’d finally have to accept the truth: he was in love and there was nothing he could do about it.
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One thing you didn’t know about having a crush on someone was that you suddenly realize how often they appear in your life. You knew where you’d cross paths with him in the hallway before and after school, where his locker was, and worst of all, every goddamn love song reminded you of him. 
Even all the little mannerisms people had circled back to him: your friend would push her glasses up her nose the same way he did. Your mother would furrow her eyebrows like him when he was thinking about a particularly annoying math problem. Your English teacher would spin a pen between his fingers, just like him (although you had to admit that you preferred watching the latter do so; his hands were prettier). 
Maybe this was just some twisted manifestation of the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon, but your brain couldn’t recall enough content from psychology class to be sure. Either way, you were going insane.
That is, until one rather unremarkable day; there was nothing out of the ordinary. Everything came and went according to schedule — the same time spent with Tsukishima during study hall and the same boring class lectures. But as soon as the dismissal bell rang, you were surprised to find that the girl who would pester you in the hallway asking about you and Tsukishima’s relationship status (you still didn’t know her name) as if anything had changed (which it had not, of course). 
Apparently, her presence had already become routine enough for you to notice her absence. 
It was a welcome change, though; it wasn’t like you wanted her to be around. No, you absolutely didn’t need her nosy questions. So you just shrugged it off and made your way to the school’s exit like you normally did.
But a very familiar voice from a nearby classroom made your ears perk up — coincidentally, from your study hall classroom. You peered into the room from the doorway.
“Um, I think I like you, Tsukishima! I’ve felt this way for a long time and I just had to tell you!” The same boisterous girl who only had one topic of conversation with you (Tsukishima, of course) now had her hands coyly clasped behind her back, in all likelihood holding something meant for him.
As soon as you heard those words leave her mouth, the world around you seemingly ground to a halt — and so did you. As if your body stopped functioning for a moment, your heart stopped and your brain took much too long to process what she said. 
What did it matter anyway? You didn’t take your chance and look where that got you.
You turned on your heel and half-walked half-ran outside the school.
The second thing you didn’t realize about having a crush on someone, you realized as you laid in the darkness in the middle of the night, is that it physically hurts. Someone might as well have put your heart in a jar of acid and screwed the lid shut — no matter how hard you tried, it still hurt. And hurt it did.
You felt a stray tear slide down your cheek, and you angrily punched your pillow. You didn’t even have the emotional capacity to be angry at the girl who confessed to him. It was too obvious that she liked him, from the way she would stand a bit straighter when you mentioned Tsukishima’s name to the way she seemed a bit too satisfied when you said that you weren’t dating him. Were you too much of an idiot to notice? 
But most importantly, you were angry at yourself. Why were you crying over someone who you knew wouldn’t like you in the way that you liked him? Maybe you were too much of an idiot to not think things through; you’d just assumed that your feelings for him were so intense that he had to like you back. In retrospect, that was a stupid idea. But then again, in retrospect, you were the idiot all along.
It was in the classroom of your mid-day study hall where Tsukishima Kei stole your heart. It was in the same classroom where you got your heart broken for the first time.
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The most annoying thing about the universe was that it was ruthlessly, unrelentingly cruel. The earth kept spinning even if your world stopped mid-orbit, too traumatized by loss to continue. 
This was the brutal irony that you came to realize in the classroom where it all began and ended, supposedly. The very next morning, you had to pick your sorry self out of bed after however many hours of sleep you were able to get and go to school. And now half the school day had gone by — it was study hall time once again. 
“Are you gonna help me get this off my fingers or not?” The voice that you wanted so desperately to get out of your mind after months of replaying in your head plagued you once again. Indeed, the universe was cruel.
“No,” you replied meekly with your head on the desk. “It’s been long enough for you to know how to do it yourself by now.”
“I insist.”
You hesitated. A second passed, then two.
“Fine.”
Ever since you realized your feelings for the other boy with a cold stare and an even icier glare, you couldn’t help but be hyper aware of yourself, and today was no different.
You could hear your own heartbeat in your ears. Could he? (It wasn’t that obvious, was it?)
You could feel yourself getting warmer by the second. Could he tell? (You were too busy looking at his hands; so let’s hope not.)
You knew that your heart was tugging you in his direction, urging you to do something. Was his doing the same? (You scoffed at yourself — you went over this last night and came to the conclusion that no, there was no way he could ever like you back.)
But maybe you wanted to be wrong this time. Being proven wrong wasn’t something you particularly enjoyed, but you would rather take the pessimistic point of view in this circumstance so you wouldn’t get hurt. And yet you still got your heart broken. 
That didn’t stop your erratic heartbeat and staggered breaths whenever your fingers brushed over his, though. While slowly unwinding the tape down his fingers, you wondered how many threads he unwound from your heart for it to hurt so much when it broke. Too many for your emotions to be left undamaged by something like this, you reckoned. Not that it was his fault, of course. It was your own for becoming so naïve and vulnerable.
But, the universe was full of irony. While you had your head down, too embarrassed and dejected to say anything else, Tsukishima was thanking whatever gods existed that you couldn’t see how flustered he was. 
Turns out, even people with hearts of stone can fall prey to the symptoms of falling in love. With a million thoughts collectively running through your minds, he was the first to blurt out:
“I think I’m in love.”
You let go of his hands, the loose end of the tape still dangling. There were too many questions raised at the utterance of a single sentence: With whom? When? How? Why?
Before you could organize your thoughts and form a coherent sentence — as if he could read your mind and peer into your soul — Tsukishima answered:
“With you.”
And as soon as the last two words fell from his lips, the last of the threads surrounding your worn, beaten hearts unraveled themselves, and fell away.
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juniorgman187 · a year ago
Text
Things We Know By Heart (Spencer Reid Fluff)
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Summary: Reader teaches Spencer how to slow dance in preparation for his wedding. The only problem? Reader’s in love with Spencer, and she isn’t the bride. 
A/N: S/O to Kyla who bullied me throughout all of elementary school. Ik you’ve probably changed since then, but you literally traumatized and tormented me for more than six years of my life. So I felt like including you in this story as, “Kayla,” Spencer’s fiancé. Tehe, I’m petty like that.  Couple: Fem!Reader x Spencer Reid Category: Fluff Word Count: 6.5k
✧・゚: *✧・゚:* 
I think we’d all like to believe that somewhere out there is our person. And somehow, someway, they’ll get to where they need to go, right where they belong. 
With us. 
That’s what I’d like to believe. 
I’d like to think that no matter what happens along our journeys to each other, we’ll arrive at the same destination regardless. 
But that isn’t necessarily true, is it? 
Because maybe, my soulmate got lost along the way. They met somebody great, someone they think is their person, and they married that person. They had kids and eventually, grandkids with that person, even though, deep down - they knew it wasn’t right. They stayed with them anyway because their fear of being alone superseded their fear of being with the wrong person for life. 
And what am I to do when that happens? When my person finds a different person. 
Am I supposed to believe that the universe will be so kind as to give my soulmate the courage to leave their relationship behind and forge a new one with me? 
Am I supposed to expect that the world will supply me with another person, the person I’m supposed to marry? 
Or do I simply wait for my person to come to the conclusion that they’re meant to be with me after all and my naive entitlement to a soulmate is validated?
Is life really that magical? 
This is the story of what happens when your person loves a different person.
∙•○⦾☉☼☉⦾○•∙
With his hand at the nape of my neck to support my head and his other hand flat against the small of my back, he dipped me backward, leaning with me as I arched my back and bent the leg closest to the crowd, pointing my foot to elongate my leg artistically. This was our ending position so I remained in it until the song ended. The two of us bowed to thank the audience and to conclude our performance. Roses fell at our feet while the sound of applause echoed in the room. I was never a fan of being the center of attention, but there was something about this overwhelming praise that was particularly blissful. It was intoxicating. 
“I didn’t know you knew how to dance like that.” I gushed to my partner; my cheeks growing pink from the heat and the head rush I got. 
He positioned his mouth right beside my ear so I could hear his words clearly over the rowdy cheering. “There’s a lot of things you don’t know about me, Princess.” said Morgan.
A gauntlet formed to clap for us both when we walked off the dance floor. Hand-in-hand, Morgan led me back to the table through the double file line of people. The team howled with excitement when they saw me and Morgan approaching.
“So this is what you two were keeping a secret from us? That you’re dance partners?” JJ had to ask. 
“Yep. All those late nights and secret rendezvous.” Morgan said, shimmying his shoulders be suggestive of a sexual innuendo, which I was not a fan of. Out of mock offense, I chucked a small towel at him with a grouchy command to “Shut up!” 
He took the towel to the face like a champ, laughing it off and dabbing his sweat away. 
“I don’t know who was sexier up there - Princess or my Hubba Hubba!” Garcia squealed pretending to claw at Derek, reeling him over towards her. 
“You looked like a natural up there, Y/N. Were you a dancer before?” Prentiss questioned while handing me a glass of water that I desperately gulped down. 
“My mom sent me to dance classes as soon as I could walk.” I jokingly explained after gathering my hair into a makeshift ponytail and lifting it off of my neck, cocking my head to the side and fanning the back of my neck to cool down. 
“Maybe you should teach Reid how to dance before the wedding. He’s got two left feet and I don’t think he wants Morgan to teach him how to waltz.” JJ quipped, making Derek throw his head back in laughter. The thought of Morgan and Reid slow dancing would truly be something - something hilarious. I laughed, too, until Reid’s voice interrupted me.
“Yeah, that’s actually a really good idea. Would you mind, Y/N? Kayla would be so happy.” 
I thought he was joking, but his humorless expression told me otherwise. 
“You want me to teach you how to dance?” 
He pursed his lips and nodded, not understanding why I was so confused. 
“Um . . . yeah. I can do that. Sure.” My tone wasn’t very convincing, but Reid’s optimism made him oblivious to my reluctance. He smiled and hugged me with one arm around my shoulder. 
“I have to call Kay and tell her the good news.” Reid dashed away from the table, pulling out his phone to dial his fiancé. 
I darted toward JJ with fury and grabbed her by the arm, dragging her into the bathroom for privacy. 
“What the hell was that? ‘Oh, Y/N, you should teach him how to dance.’ You know how I feel about Reid!” 
Rather than giving me hostility back, she broke into a smile. “Exactly! If you spend more time alone with him, maybe he’ll finally admit to himself that he shouldn’t be marrying Kayla,”
I rolled my eyes and turned my back away from her. 
“We all know Spence would be happier with you.” 
As JJ spoke, I trudged to the nearest sink, holding onto the sides for stability as the ground below me swayed. She followed me, rubbing up and down my back comfortingly. 
“You know how he is. He keeps things to himself, until eventually they’re forced to come out. If you dance with him, maybe he’ll finally tell you he loves you without actually having to say it. Do this for him . . . and for you.” JJ gave me one last pat on the back before exiting the bathroom to leave me to my devices.
Normally, teaching a friend how to slow dance in preparation for his wedding would be sweet. It’d be a selfless gesture and an act of service for him that would show how much love there was in our friendship. In this case though, it was anything but. 
For the six months that Spencer and Kayla had been engaged, the team was relentless in trying to end it. I tried to stay out of it in case all hell broke loose, but I couldn’t escape it. No - I was at the very center of it. 
Before Reid even knew Kayla existed, he was head-over-heels in love with me. He’d ask me on coffee dates, wait by my desk for me, and he would always try to sit beside me at the round table or on the jet. It was sweet, really, but it could never go anywhere. 
I was in a committed relationship with my high school sweetheart Patrick. (Maybe Spencer had a thing for unavailable girls).
I moved in with Patrick after graduating from college, and after years of working in the BAU (and years of Spencer loving me) Pat proposed. At first, being engaged brought me so much joy, but halfway into our engagement, something changed.
I was in Wisconsin, consoling a grieving widow. She was hysterical after I delivered the treacherous news of her husband’s gruesome murder. She eventually calmed down and proceeded to ask me about my engagement when she noticed my ring. I gave her the bare minimum, fabricated a couple things here and there, but then she asked me the million dollar question. 
“Are you in love?” Her eyes glimmered with hope. 
My immediate answer was a habitual “Yes, of course.” But after seeing how deeply this widow loved her late husband, I couldn’t say in good conscience that that answer was actually true. 
That night I went to the hotel and lied on the bed, praying for clarity. 
Perhaps I wasn’t actually in love with Patrick. Maybe we’d been together for so long that it just felt safe and comfortable and familiar. Maybe it was the fear of disrupting the arrangement of my life that stopped me from ending things sooner. 
The fact of the matter was that I’d only ever known a life loving him, but that didn’t mean I was in love with him. Maybe I was settling for something with Pat, because I wasn’t sure if I could have a better relationship with anyone else. With all these doubts, I needed a sign. 
A knock on the door interrupted my inner dialogue. 
When I opened it, who else was standing there, but none other than Rossi.
“We need to talk.” He ordered. 
He followed me back into the room and sat at the foot of the bed. He said he noticed something was off about me, and I admitted that there was. So that night, I took advice I probably shouldn’t have from the man with multiple failed marriages, but it was a sign - and it was good enough.
When we returned to Quantico, I asked Hotch for some personal time, which he was happy to permit. That same night I went home and broke off the engagement with Patrick. 
I felt despicably cold when I watched him tear up and ask me, “Why are you doing this?” 
There was truly no concrete moment in our relationship that incited my decision, but it was merely the realization that being with him wasn’t right, because how could I stand there watching him beg for a change of heart but still feel nothing? 
Maybe I was much less than not in love. Maybe I didn’t feel a thing for him at all. Not hate. Not empathy. Not love. Just . . . nothing. 
Completely indifferent. 
Within the week of personal time I took, I spent most of it moving into Rossi’s guest house. After I came back from work, it took all of two hours before someone brought up the absence of the ring that I used to never take off, and I’d assumed they’d already noticed it the moment I walked in - they were just too afraid to ask.
“I ended things with Patrick.” I casually stated, not even looking up from my portfolio to give it the attention it probably deserved. 
While the rest of the team’s jaws dropped on the floor, Rossi was fighting a smirk considering this wasn’t news to him and having seen everyone else’s reactions was a priceless moment for him. 
There was a brief moment of awkward silence on the jet as the team processed my information, until finally Hotch cleared his throat and started debriefing again. In the seat next to me, Spencer was very poorly hiding his enthusiasm. Hearing I broke off the engagement was like a green light to make his move. And honestly, it was. 
So I waited. 
And I waited. 
And I waited. 
Then I waited some more for him to jump at the opportunity. 
But he didn’t. 
He never did. 
Instead, he introduced Kayla into our lives, and eventually, they’d get engaged, too. 
I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t developed feelings for Spencer while I expected him to act upon his palpable affection for me. And because of my newfangled feelings, I could never tell another soul that I sincerely believed Spencer got engaged just to spite me - to show me just how painful unrequited love was. 
The strangest part of it all, though, was that there was never a moment following the ending of my engagement and the birth of his own that showed me that his feelings went away. He never treated me differently or stopped talking to me. Even in the early stages of his relationship with Kayla, he continued to act like I was the only girl in his life. He was so consistent with his actions that it confused me.
Did he love me or not? And was I in love with him or not?
Evidently, the team seemed to have my answer. 
“He loves you and you love him. It’s as simple as that.” Prentiss explained curtly. 
Agreeing nods came from JJ, Morgan, and Garcia, who’d abducted me as soon as I exited the elevator that morning and snuck me into Garcia’s Bat Cave for an intervention. 
“We need to stop this wedding.” Garcia demanded. 
And since that glorious intervention, the team (minus Rossi and Hotch because Rossi seemed genuinely happy for Reid, and Hotch would definitely tell us it wasn’t our place) began trying to put a wedge in the relationship. I, however, made the smart choice not to be involved. 
If I was trying to get him to love me, why would I do something that would surely make him hate me like breaking up his engagement? Plus, the blind optimist in me believed that if I was actually meant to be with Spencer, it would happen regardless of Kayla. 
So anytime Morgan, JJ, Prentiss, and Garcia suggested something, I refused to participate. I was able to steer clear of any wedding crasher shenanigans up until JJ’s “slow-dance” suggestion. 
If Reid knew the true intentions behind these dance classes, he surely wouldn’t be pleased, but clearly - he didn’t. Because when I walked out of the restroom and back to the table, Reid still had a huge grin that took up half of his face, making his eyes look nearly shut. 
“Thank you again for doing this.” Reid beamed. 
“Of course! What are friends for?” 
Morgan, Prentiss, JJ, and Garcia exchanged satirical glances at my choice of words. 
What are friends for if not to purposefully set two people up in hopes of ending one person’s betrothal?
∙•○⦾☉☼☉⦾○•∙
Later that weekend . . 
“Come in!” I called out, buckling the ankle strap of my heels. 
The door opened partially and then all at once to reveal the one and only. I peeked my head out from behind a wall that was obstructing my view of him, immediately noticing a bouquet of lavender wrapped in twine. 
“Oh my goodness, what is this?” I asked in pure delight as he handed me the pretty purple flowers. 
“It’s a thank-you gift for agreeing to help me.” His lips formed a thin straight line, which was his version of a smile. A smile I appreciated whenever I was lucky enough to have caused it. 
“They’re lovely, thank you.” I told him, hugging him briefly before fetching a vase from the kitchen to put them in.
“Oh, good, I’ll tell Kayla you liked them. She’s the one who picked them out.”
The glass vase nearly shattered the moment he said that, but luckily, my reflex skills spared the vessel.
How big of a fool was I for thinking that he gave me flowers out of the kindness of his heart because he knew lavender was my favorite? But then again I probably needed that brutal reminder of why he was here in the first place - for Kayla.
As I put the vase on the kitchen island, I spun around, brandishing a fake smile. 
“So we should probably get started. I don’t wanna keep you here for too long.” 
“There’s no rush. Kayla won’t be home until late at night.” 
I tried not to think of the potential innuendo that lied within his statement, but Spencer wasn’t type to be disloyal, and I wasn’t going to be the woman to make him such a person.
“You look really nice, by the way.” I heard him say from behind me, catching a whiff of his cologne that was intoxicatingly sweet.
I did my best to not take the comment personally and let it get to my head, but I’d be lying if it didn’t elicit any response. I smiled to myself, which thankfully, he couldn’t see since my back was towards him as he followed me into my backyard. 
“You smell different.” He added. 
“Good different?”
“Yeah, absolutely. Is it a new perfume?”
I furrowed my brows. “No, it’s the same one I’ve been using for years.”
“Interesting,” I could feel him taking in this information, and I could hear the gears in his head turning at an even faster rate to spit out more information. “Did you know that you pick your soulmate by subconsciously reacting to pheromones that transmit their genetic compatibility? Yeah, there’s a relationship between attraction and scent, which dates back to our primal instinct. So if someone smells appealing to you, even if you don’t know it, it could relate to your attraction to them and vice versa.” 
“Ah, then maybe I should consider changing my perfume to improve my love life.” 
“Don’t be ridiculous. I love the way you smell.”
In the back of my mind lied the unanswered question I neglected to voice, “But do you love me?”
When we reached the backyard, I heard him gasp in awe. 
“It looks beautiful, Y/N. You did great.”  
Nestled in my backyard was a dark wooden deck, surrounded by plentiful greenery. Lining the perimeter of the shiny wooden deck were asymmetrical rocks, while above us hung strands of fairy lights that cast a sheer golden glow on the entire scene. The ambiance was not for Spencer specifically, but I was happy that he appreciated it nonetheless. 
“You ready?” 
He signaled yes by putting his thumb up and so it began.
“Alright, so slow dancing can be broken into four easy steps, but first, you gotta know how to hold your partner correctly.” 
Spencer and I took a step towards each other, and I could feel the nervous energy radiating off of him. I tried not to call attention to it, so I simply continued with my process. Outstretching my arms to form a T with my body, I guided him verbally. 
“So I’m the follower. And you’re the leader. Got it?” 
He nodded. 
“Leader puts their right hand under the follower's left armpit and cups their hand around the follower's shoulder blade.” 
He understood my instructions, and in the most awkward manner possible, he fumbled his way into the right position, albeit, not perfect. 
“Now, hold my right hand as high as my eye level without raising my shoulder.” 
Spencer was glaringly anxious, so I gave him a word of encouragement. “Hey, don’t be nervous. It’s just me, okay? And you’re doing great.”
I could see the nerves beginning to settle, translating into the conviction with which he took my hand, raising it at the perfect height. 
“Great. Just like that.” 
My praise brought out that smile in him that only ever came out on rare occasions. The kind where it’s brief, his teeth showing, a light chuckle escapes him, and he’s looking down as if he’s too shy to look at me. 
“Okay, step two is basic footwork. Leader starts with their left foot and takes a step to the left. And then your right foot is going to meet your left foot and tap. The count is one-two.” 
I watched as Spencer tried to process what I was saying. 
“Do you want me to demonstrate first? And then you follow?” 
He nodded rapidly as if saying yes wouldn’t be enough to communicate how much he needed me to lead. We broke apart so that I could turn my back towards him. I felt a cold draft blow under my dress as I spun on the ball of my feet, making my skirt flutter upwards majestically. 
I felt him watching. 
“Alright, so I’ll start and then you can catch on. It goes one-two.” 
Left foot step. Right foot tap. 
“Then three-four.” 
Left foot step. Right foot tap. 
“Then to the right this time. Five-six.” 
Right foot step. Left foot tap. 
“Seven-eight.” 
Right foot step. Left foot tap.
“And back again. One-two. Three-four. Five-six. Seven-eight.” 
My eight count continued until the click of my heels on the patio was joining by the sound of Spencer’s feet shuffling behind me. I knew if I turned around to check on him, it would only psych him out and make him more nervous, so I stayed facing forward so he wouldn’t feel that I was scrutinizing his technique. 
After a minute or so of following me, I spun back around, catching his lingering stare in the region of my hips. He tried to play it off and pretend he wasn’t, but I felt it. 
“You did really well tonight. I’m proud of you. I think that’s a good place to stop for today.” 
He thanked me with another hug, the kind where we nuzzled his face in the crook of my neck. 
God, I could feel him breathing on my shoulder. 
I tried not to not to let myself indulge in it, reasoning that this was just a way for one friend to thank another, but I couldn’t help myself when the hug lasted longer than it should’ve. I tightened my embrace around him, drawing him in closer, and shutting my eyes as if taking my sense of sight away would heighten my sense of touch and magnify this feeling I never wanted to end.
“You take care, okay?” I said, rubbing my hand up and down his back to signal we should pull away, a signal he understood.
I was the first to walk away, merely because of the worry that I might sooner cry if I had to stay under these lights with him a moment longer. 
I wasn’t sure I could do this again unless he was mine. Otherwise, I’d just be under the stars, dancing with the love of my life that I couldn’t have - feeling that feeling again, and not being able to act on it. 
Is this what happens when your person loves somebody else?
∙•○⦾☉☼☉⦾○•∙
I know I said I couldn’t do it, but I did it anyway. 
I guess that’s what love is. Doing things you don’t want to do because your care for the other person surpasses the discomfort. True love makes you do things like that, even if they aren’t in your best interest.
When he came over the next night, we danced again. Undoubtedly, he stumbled - even came close to falling - and yet, I fell in love all over again. After that, it got harder to separate dancing from my feelings. 
The next day, we had a case. He came to my hotel room and we danced in the dim golden light of the hotel room’s chandelier. God, it was so ambient and romantic, I think I fell even harder for him - if that was even possible. 
From then on, every time we were in the same place, he leapt at the opportunity to dance with me. 
“Guys, look what I learned last night! Come, Y/N! Come on, come on.” 
He waved me over eagerly with his hand, even helping me out of my seat in the round table just to speed up the process. All too excitedly, he assumed the leader’s position, and he danced me around the entire conference room in front of our coworkers. He spun me around the table, he dipped me in the doorway, he held me in his arms by the glass board. 
Can you really blame me for falling in love? 
“Wow, Y/N! I’m impressed. You really whipped him into shape.” JJ remarked with a clap. 
I hid behind a faux smile, but Spencer was too elated to recognize the deceit. He was like that now. Maybe love made him more of a fool, more naive and blissfully unaware, whereas love made me more devoted and cognizant. 
It went on like that for weeks. Practicing whenever and wherever we could. 
He’d pull me into the hotel lobby at midnight to dance - not even batting an eye at the looming presence of the receptionist. 
He’d ask me to come to his apartment and we’d dance in his living room or in the narrow hallway, just for fun. 
When we were at Rossi’s, he’d drag me to the kitchen, with Rossi’s gentle music playing in the background, and we’d sway by the fireplace sometimes. 
We danced once in the elevator when it got stuck. I never thought he’d be so fearless to do that, but he looked like he was genuinely enjoying himself, almost like he didn’t even notice we were stuck in an elevator. 
While we waited for the jet, we’d danced on the tarmac, looking like a moving bundle of clothes, our movements stifled by our thick peacoats, layers of clothes, and scarfs. 
After a dinner during cases, when we’d split a cab back to the hotel, he’d get me to dance on the sidewalk, even convincing me not to pay attention to the onlookers on the street, the honking cars, or the confused pedestrians. I was always embarrassed to be in the spotlight, but somehow with him, it was easy. It felt like it was just the two of us, dancing under that streetlight. 
I never understood why people wanted to live in a moment forever, but for the first time that night, I did. That was a moment I wanted to freeze in time. I wish I could’ve stayed there forever. There in that moment, it really felt like it was our own little world. It was easy to believe we’d end up together, and we were the ones getting married, and we were in love. 
But again, that was in that moment. In that singular, fleeting moment. And then life moved on, whether or not I was ready for it to. 
The day of rehearsals inevitably came, and I wasn’t originally supposed to be at the wedding rehearsal since I wasn’t part of the ceremony, but Spencer asked me to be there, deliberately neglecting to tell me that the reason he wanted me to come was so that I could fill in for Kayla, which had I known that, I would’ve certainly declined. 
When I walked in, the team was all there, sitting in the pews, with their heads turning to me where I was standing at the entrance of the church. It felt like an eerie nightmare that I was living out where I was Spencer’s bride walking down the aisle, and this was our wedding. I couldn’t tell you what was so nightmarish about it - probably because none of it felt right - but I was sick to my stomach when Spencer gestured for me to meet him at the altar. 
“What’s going on?” 
“Kayla had a last minute dress alteration in Norfolk and got stuck in traffic. She won’t make it for this rehearsal, but she’ll be there in time for the dinner rehearsal.” 
“So why am I here?” 
“I wanted to practice my vows on you, if that’s okay.” 
I gulped hard, trying to swallow the lump in my throat to open up my suddenly-closing airway. 
“Um, I don’t really know if -”
“Please, Y/N. I’m just nervous that I might mess up-”
How could I say no? True love makes you do crazy things, even if they aren’t in your best interest, right?
I reluctantly agreed. 
Spencer’s hands were trembling and I could see it by the way his notecards were shaking, even from the fact that he brought notecards alone, and that he didn’t already memorize his vows. I wanted to put my hands around his and hold them to settle his unsteadiness, but I knew that wasn’t my place. I figured my words would do a better job at not crossing a boundary that was already crossed.
“Hey,” I comfortingly whispered. “It’s just me, okay?” Calling back those words from the first time we danced months ago. “You don’t need those notecards. Just speak from the heart.”
And sure enough, his heart spoke. 
“When people used to tell me stories about what love felt like and what is what, they always said they fell in love with that person. Like it was sudden and all at once, but with you - I walked into love with you. With my eyes wide open, choosing to take each and every step along the way. I never believed in fate or destiny, but after I met you, I finally believed. I believed that we are only fated to do the things that we’d choose anyway. And I’d choose you; in a hundred lifetimes, in a hundred worlds, in any version of reality. I’d find you and I’d choose you.”
My breath hitched as I got lost in his eyes and how they were looking right at me, completely unmindful of the way everyone around us saw how he spoke to me. 
I think he even got lost too, because what he said next, didn’t even seem to register in his mind before it came out of his mouth. 
“I love you . . . Y/N.” 
Gasps rang through the church, ricocheting off the high ceiling, and in that moment I knew, I knew he was going to kiss me. 
He lunged forward in the heat of the moment. Clearly not thinking straight, he held my face in his hands, and I swear to God, I could’ve kissed him back. 
I would’ve. 
“Spencer?” 
Every single head in the church turned toward the small voice, too distinct to misplace. 
“Kayla, wait!’ 
And there I stood, alone at the front of the altar, watching him run after her. 
∙•○⦾☉☼☉⦾○•∙
I sat by my phone the entire afternoon, waiting for someone - anyone - to update me. No one ever ended up texting or calling, so I figured the dinner rehearsal wasn’t cancelled. At least, in that case, my dress didn’t go to waste. 
After spending an ungodly amount of time curling my hair and putting on my makeup, even achieving a smoky eye look, I finally slipped on my navy-blue, satin, floor length dress, donning nude heels and a dainty gold necklace with a single diamond pendant that laid right on my sternum. 
It was a shame that this was a moment where I should’ve felt at my prettiest, and yet, I’d never felt so ugly. 
I was riddled with the guilt of knowing I would’ve kissed Spencer if Kayla hadn’t walked in. I felt even worse that I was so consumed by his speech that I didn’t even hear her come in. 
How long had she been standing there? Long enough to watch what I knew everyone else saw? These questions never left me. Not even when I pulled into the site of the dinner rehearsal. 
Clutching the front of my dress to walk without resistance, I came to the entrance, and opened the door to reveal . . . nothing.
Staff was removing chairs and tables. 
Waiters were collecting plates and utensils. 
And Spencer was standing in the very middle of the empty room, watching it all happen silently, like he was just the shell of a man. 
“Spencer!” I called out from the entrance, in no hurry to meet him at the middle of the room. He turned on his heels, with his hands sheepishly shoved into his pockets. 
“Gosh, I’m sorry, Y/N. I should’ve called to let you know it got cancelled, but um, Kayla broke my phone.”
“Well, it’s time you got a new phone anyway.” I chuckled, which thankfully earned a chuckle from him, too. 
“What happened, Spencer?” My voice was quiet, as if it was any decibel higher it would sound more like a scold than genuine concern. 
“She, um, she told me she needed some time to think. And I, I told her to come to the rehearsal dinner if she still wanted to get married and,” He mirthlessly chuckled. “Well, you already know.” His words were chosen carefully to deliberately avoid what he hadn’t yet come to terms with. 
She didn’t come. 
I wasn’t yet sure whether or not to console him or to berate him for what he almost did, but I chose the former. 
“I’m so sorry, Spence.” 
He looked up from the ground, still managing to avoid my gaze, by looking up at the ceiling, and pretty much everywhere my face wasn’t. 
“I understand if you want to leave right now. I just need to pay the owner and I’ll be out of here.” 
I shook my head instantly. “No, I’ll be right here. If you want me to be.” 
He bit his lip to stop a sob from escaping. “Yeah,” He nodded, cowering his head. “I’d like that a lot.” 
As soon as I saw his cheeks get red, I took it as a cue to approach him and hug him. He was grateful for my compassionate touch, immediately opening up his arms to hug me back. His embrace around me was needy and desperate, and it felt like he was clawing at my dress, acting out of anger that the fabric was stopping us from being that much closer. 
With his shoulder digging into the spot right underneath my chin, it was hard to utter the words, “You look really handsome, by the way.” I said, finally acknowledging his light beige suit and white button up shirt. 
“Thanks.” I heard him mumble into my shoulder. 
“Kayla doesn’t know what she’s missing.” 
To my surprise, he didn’t recoil, flinch, or so much as react to her name. Instead, he simply pulled away, wiping the moisture under his nose, and straightening out his suit. 
“We should . . . we should probably talk about what happened earlier, right?” 
I sighed and shook my head. “Not if you don’t want to. We can save that conversation for another day.”
He looked appreciative of my avoidance, but I knew he wanted to talk about it. 
“Hey, excuse me,” He stopped a staff member by clutching their arm gently. “Do you mind, actually? Leaving two seats behind.” 
The staff member complied, doing as he said, and leaving two chairs behind, setting one right across from the other. I took my seat, and Spencer took his.
“I probably shouldn’t have spoken from the heart, huh?” He joked, finally seeing the humor in his situation. 
“No, it was good that you did.”
“You think so?”
“Definitely. I think Kayla would’ve appreciated it.” All too quickly he responded with, “I wasn’t talking about Kayla.” 
I was talking about you, his somber eyes said. 
I looked away from his gaze immediately, trying to find a reprieve from the conversation that I was doing my best to avoid. 
“It was a really good speech. It sounded so natural. Like something you knew by heart.”
“Something I knew by heart?” He didn’t seem to understand what I meant. 
“Yeah, some things we just know by heart. Like the lyrics to our favorite song, or a recipe, how to dance,” We both chuckled at the reference. “Or . . . how to love.” 
“Do you think we know who to love by heart or do you think we make that choice ourselves?”
“I think it’s both. I think we can’t control the person we’re meant to love. That, by some miracle, we’re handed this person that complements us better than anyone else. But I also think it’s our choice on whether or not we pick them. Maybe we aren’t willing to stand the test of time and wait for our person, so we don’t pick them and settle for someone else. Or maybe we do pick them and we live out the rest of our lives together. I think that’s what makes love so special. It’s a person choosing you over and over again.” 
Isn’t that what we all want? To feel chosen?
“And what if we make the wrong decision? What if we’ve met who we’re supposed to love, but we chose to love another?” His eyes were searching within mine for the words that I wasn’t saying out loud. Out of fear that my eyes might expose me to Spencer, I looked away. 
“I think -”
Spencer cut me off. “Look at me.” 
My head didn’t move, but I shifted my gaze just as he wanted.
“When two people are meant to be, nothing and no one can end them. They may get lost a time or two on their journey, but true, real love will always conquer. Nothing can compete with them. Others can only attempt to fill a void. And eventually, the two will be reunited. That’s the beauty of true love; you always end up with the right person, at the right time, regardless of any other factor.” 
Quiet fell upon us two after I said my piece. My breathing slowed down and the knot in my stomach came undone. The lump in my throat disappeared. 
All my bodily barriers broke down. There were no more emotional walls up between the two of us anymore. I was completely vulnerable - nothing to hide me. Not even my eyelids could hide the windows of my soul. Spencer had already seen into them. 
He saw my soul, my secrets. 
“Dance with me.” He extended his hand in the air between us two. With no hesitation, I accepted his offer and followed his lead. He’d never danced so naturally before. Somehow, his stiffness had withered away. The thick tension that used to loom in the air above us two dissipated. Something new replaced the contents of the atmosphere. 
Love. 
Unbounded. 
Unrestrained. 
Unbridled. 
Limitless love. 
Spencer drew me in closer so my head could lay on his chest. Previously, I was looking at his face, but now the view was of our connected hands. My fingers were intertwined with his, and I didn’t even notice how his thumb was rubbing small circles on the back of my hand until I saw it with my own eyes. 
Had he always done that, but I couldn’t feel it until I saw it for myself? If so, what else had he been doing that I couldn’t feel?
“Loving you.” 
I removed my head from his shoulder after hearing him answer the question that I pondered silently, wondering if suddenly just acquired the superpower of telepathy.
“What?”
“Loving you. That’s all I know how to do by heart.” 
A wave of relief came over me when I realized he hadn’t read my mind, he was just simply adding to our conversation from before. 
“That’s not true,” I mirthlessly chuckled. “There’s lots you know how to do. You know thousands of chess permutations, you know how to geographically profile - you know how to dance now.” I countered playfully.
He shook his head. “I know how to do those things, but sometimes, none of it makes sense. I used to lose matches against Gideon, sometimes the comfort zone is inaccurate, and until today, I couldn’t dance very well,” He chortled. “But loving you. That always made sense. It never failed me or disappointed me and it’s so all-consuming that if I try to love anyone else - it just doesn’t make sense.”
Of all the words in my vocabulary, each of them were failing me. I was rendered speechless. Spencer cleared his throat and looked away for a moment, before finding the nerve to say it. 
“I choose you.” He proclaimed. 
So, I was right. 
There are some things we know by heart. 
Lyrics to our favorite song.
A recipe. 
How to dance . . . how to love.
And who to choose. 
“I choose you, too, Spencer.” 
. . . So to answer my question from before, is life really that magical? . . . 
✧・゚: *✧・゚:* 
876 notes · View notes
starkdanverss · 7 months ago
Text
The One Where Everybody Finds Out
Summary: The team finds out about you and Loki.
A/N: So I literally took the entire episode of The One Where Everybody Finds Out from Friends and rewrote it for the Avengers. This may have been done before with either Loki or another character, and I've definitely seen it done with other Friends episodes. This is super long because I literally used every line of dialogue in every scene (except for Ross attempting to win the apartment) and then added or changed them enough to fit the characters. Some of this may be OOC but it was the best I could do with the situation they're all in. I hope you enjoy!
Warnings: Implied smut
Word Count: 6274
Tony as Ross, Natasha as Rachel and Phoebe, Wanda as Rachel and Phoebe, Peter as Phoebe, Loki as Chandler, reader as Monica, and Thor as Joey.
Happy Reading!
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“Oh, hey you guys, look! They’re installing the new training grounds outside!”
There’s collective sounds of acknowledgement from the team as they all get up from their spots, walking over to where Wanda stood in front of the floor to ceiling windows. You can feel Loki standing a bit too close to your back, but luckily everyone is too distracted to notice.
“I’d say from the looks of it, Tony went all out.” Natasha states, looking at all the new fancy equipment that was being unloaded and installed.
“Ironically, it was actually Steve who went all out. I just paid for it.”
“Awh, I’ll miss sweating my tits off in that tiny gym.” Natasha says. You snicker.
“That’s repulsive.” Loki rolls his eyes and returns to his place on the couch.
Tony glares at Nat, “Hey, it’s not my fault that the AC is always broken.”
“Aren’t you a mechanic?” Bucky asks.
“Not an HVAC mechanic. There’s a big difference, tough guy.”
“I am excited for this new space! I will be able to call upon the lightning in training!” Thor booms.
“Yes, and kill everyone on the field.” Loki replies nonchalantly, never looking up from his book.
Thor rolls his eyes and everyone returns to their former spots. You sit back in your spot next to Loki, sitting criss cross on the couch and discreetly touching your knee to high thigh.
It’s the small touches you sneak when you think nobody is looking, that make your heart skip just a beat faster.
***
“Oh my gods, I love this setup! It's got something for everyone!” Tony is absolutely giddy with excitement, walking around the newly installed equipment that had been set up outside, “Isn’t it perfect? I never realized how little we were working with before!”
“Well that is because we really only ever trained by fighting hand to hand.” Natasha replies, inspecting part of the obstacle course.
Tony nods, putting his hands in his pockets. He watches as Peter easily climbs a wall that’s part of the course Nat is looking at.
“It’s amazing!” Wanda chirps, “Steve really outdid himself this time.”
“Speaking of Steve, he was supposed to meet us out here like ten minutes ago. I’m gonna go find him.” Tony says, pulling his phone out to try and get a hold of his boyfriend.
As the billionaire disappears into the compound, Nat walks up to Wanda.
“I never thought I’d say this, but I can’t wait to sweat my tits off out here.” She says, the comment matching the one she made a few days ago.
Wanda lets out a quiet cackle, watching as Nat walks towards some machinery across the yard that caught her eye.
Wanda walks towards the teenager and looks around, excited to have so much more to practice and train her magic with. While Loki was more than glad to train with her using his own magic, she always had to hold back with almost everyone else.
She watches as Peter jumps and climbs his way through the course, looking like he’s having the time of his life, when she sees a separate movement out of the corner of her eye. She looks up to see you and Loki standing in a window, facing each other and talking.
“Oh look! There’s Y/N and Loki. Hey!” She waves up at them, but they don’t see her.
Peter’s attention is now caught and he stops in his tracks, looking up at the same window.
“Hey!” Peter calls, waving his own hands.
Suddenly, you and Loki are stripping each other of clothes, and Peter makes a squaking sound, covering his eyes.
“Ah! Oh!” Wanda shouts, her eyes blowing wide as she sees the events unfold. She uses her magic to pull Peter back to her so she can shield his innocent eyes, “Ahh!”
“What?” Nat asks, jogging back up to the pair.
Wanda points to the window that harbored the offending scene, with the hand that isn’t currently shielding Peter’s eyes.
“Y/N and Loki! Y/N and Loki!”
Nat looks up to see what the other two are flipping out about, only to see Loki shove you up against the window, completely bare.
“Oh my god!” Nat’s voice goes up an octave.
“Oh!”
“Oh my god!”
“Y/N and Loki!” Wanda screams.
“Oh my god!”
“My eyes! My eyes!” Peter screams. Wanda turns them both away from the building.
“Peter! Wanda!” Nat steps in front of them, hands out to try and calm them.
“Oh!” Wanda yells again, screwing here eyes shut.
“Okay! It’s okay! It’s okay!” Nat tries to placate them.
Peter removes Wanda’s hand from his face, “No! They’re doing it!” He yells, turning to point at you and Loki before Nat quickly grabs his arm and turns him back to her.
“I know! I know! I know!”
“You know?” Peter yells back.
“You know?” Wanda echoes him.
“Yes! I know, and Thor knows, but Tony doesn’t know so you have to stop screaming!”
Out of nowhere, Tony walks up to the small group, “Hey, what’s going on?”
The three of them scream in surprise, Peter throwing his hands in the air and jumping, screaming the loudest.
“Hi! Hi!”
Concern etches itself on Tony’s face, “What? What?” He steps towards his kid, arms reaching out and eyes scanning for any injuries.
“Hi! Nothing!” Peter yells, jumping around Tony to make him look away from the compound. He really didn’t need to see his daughter being fucked against a window by the one person on the team he trusts least, “Oh, gods, we’re just so excited about all the new equipment!” Peter claps his hands.
Tony smiles, now realizing it’s all just Peter having a hyperactive episode, “Yeah, actually it looks really good-” He says as he turns back to look at everything, but is cut off when Wanda yells and copies Peter’s movements to pull Tony’s gaze back away from the building.
“It looks amazing!” She screams, clapping and jumping up and down next to Peter.
Nat steps around Tony too so he doesn’t have a reason to turn back around.
“Get in here! Come on!” Peter yells, motioning for his father figure to join their happy dance.
Tony smiles before letting out a happy squeal and jumping into the little group dance, all of them jumping and screaming, aside from Natasha who was smirking and biting her lip to keep from laughing.
***
“You mean whenever Y/N and Loki were like, you know, doing laundry. Or going grocery shopping, or- Oh!” Wanda gasps, “All that time Y/N spent on the phone with Margo back in her hometown?”
They sit on Wanda’s bed, coffee in hand. Peter was leaned against her headboard playing Among Us on his phone, sound blocking headphones in. He was traumatized from what he saw earlier in the day, and he didn’t feel like seeing or talking to anyone, so the girls let him hang with them while they gossiped.
Nat nods, “Uh huh. Doing it, doing it, phone doing it.”
Wanda gasps again, “Oh, I can’t believe it! I mean I think it’s great!” There’s a pause, “For him. She might be able to do better.”
There’s a knock at the door before it opens slightly to reveal Thor. He leans against the doorframe and crosses his arms.
“Hello, what are you all up to?”
“Thor! Come here!” Nat says, jumping up and pulling him into the room, closing the door behind him.
Thor moves to sit on the desk chair, which looks like a doll chair compared to him, “What?”
“Wanda and Peter just found out about Loki and Y/N.”
Thor’s brows furrow and his eyes get wide, “You mean how they’re friends and nothing more?” His eyes narrow at the ex-assassin.
Nat rolls her eyes, “No, no Thor. They know. We were outside checking out the new training grounds and we saw them doing it through the window. Actually we saw them doing it up against the window.”
Wanda joins in, “Okay, so now they know you know,” She points to Thor, “And they don’t know that Nat knows?”
The god looks like he’s thinking hard for a moment before he speaks, “... Yes. But, you know what? It doesn’t matter who knows what. Now, enough of us know, that we could just tell them we know!” He says excitedly, “Then all the lying and secrets will finally be over!”
Nat nods, and Wanda gets a smirk on her face.
“Or, we could not tell them we know, and have a little fun of our own!” The witch giggles.
“Wait, well what do you mean?” Nat asks, turning back to face Wanda.
“Well every time that they say they’re like, doing laundry, we’ll just give them a bunch of laundry to do!”
Nat’s mouth forms an ‘O’ in understanding, “Ohh,” She claps silently, “I would enjoy that.”
Thor looks horrified, “Oh no no no. No wait wait. You know what would be even more fun? Telling them.”
Nat looks at him, but she’s already hyped up, “Nah, I wanna do Wanda’s thing.”
“I can’t take anymore-”
“Oh you don’t have to do anything. Just don’t tell them that we know!” Wanda snaps.
“No! I can’t take any more secrets!” Thor whines, running a hand down his face, “I’ve got your secrets, I’ve got their secrets, I’ve got secrets of my own, you know.”
“You don’t have any secrets.” Nat narrows her eyes.
“Oh yeah? You don’t know about Squish, my stuffed octopus.” Thor throes back before his eyes go wide.
It’s silent between all of them for a few seconds before Wanda clears her throat, “So, um,” She veers the conversation back to the situation at hand, turning back to Nat, “How are we gonna mess with them?”
Thor groans and leans back in the chair.
“Well, you could use your position, you know, as the best friend. And then I would use, you know, the strongest tool at my disposal. My sexuality.”
There’s another knock at the door.
“Come in!” Wanda calls.
The door opens to reveal Loki. Peter blushes furiously when he looks up to see the other god, and looks back to down, gluing his eyes on his phone.
“Hello, children.”
Everyone in the room replies with hellos.
“Y/N cannot find her journal. Have any of you heathens seen it?”
There’s a string of denials, nobody having seen the black leather journal you tend to carry around.
Nat turns to Wanda and winks, noticing Peter is now looking at her, and stands up to head towards Loki.
“Uh, hello?” Loki says, watching Nat approach him.
“Hey,” She says, finally stepping in front of him, “Oh wow, that jacket looks great on you.”
Loki quirks a brow and glances down at his clothing, then back to Nat, “Um, thanks?”
“Yeah, the material looks so soft,” She says as she strokes his arm, “Oh hello muscles,” She purrs, squeezing his bicep, “Have you been working out?”
Loki looks incredibly puzzled, “Yes, but need I remind you I am also a god.”
Suddenly Nat is giggling. Since when-
“Are you ill?”
She finishes giggling and looks in his eyes, “Well, if you really want to know,” She looks down at her hands, “Um- Oh I can’t tell you this.”
Loki shifts his weight onto the other foot, glancing at the other three behind her, then focusing back on her.
“While I do not enjoy discussing emotions, I can tolerate you more than most humans. If you would like to discuss something on your mind, I would not object.”
“Well actually, you’re the one person I can’t tell this to, and the one person I want to the most.”
“What the Norns is going on?” He asks, growing increasingly disturbed by this interaction.
“I think it’s just, you know, that I haven’t been with someone in so long and, you know how sometimes you’re looking for something and you just don’t even see that it’s right there in front of you dressed in a black suit…”
Loki glances down at himself again and his brows fly up for a split second as he looks back up to Nat.
“Oh no, have I said too much?” She coos, placing a hand on her chest, “Well, it’s just something to think about. I know I will.” She giggles again and walks over to where she set her mug down, bending at the waist and making an ‘oop’ sound, picking it up and then walks out of the room and past Loki, shooting him a wink.
Loki raises a brow at Thor, who has his face in his hands. Wanda is biting her lip to stop from bursting into a fit of laughter, and Peter’s cheeks are dusted pink with his eyes wide in shock.
***
“You are so cute. How did you get to be so cute?” You ask, looking down at Loki. He’s sprawled on his bed with his arm around you, tracing his fingers along your spine.
“I am not cute. I am a god. Handsome or pretty will do.”
You giggle in response, “Okay now you’re even cuter.” You tease, leaning down to kiss him.
“You know, that seems to be a popular opinion today, I must say.”
“What?”
“Well, the weirdest thing happened earlier today. I think… I believe Natasha was coming onto me.”
You chuckle, “What are you talking about?”
“I’m telling you, I think Natasha thinks I’m alluring.”
You look up at the wall and quirk a brow, then look back at him, “It’s not possible.”
“Ow?” Loki says, lifting his hands in a motion akin to ‘what the hel’.
You chuckle, “I’m sorry, it’s just… I mean Nat just thinks of you in a charming, sexless kind of way.”
“Oh well you know I… I can’t hear that enough.”
“I’m sorry, I just think you misunderstood her.”
Loki sits up, “No, I did not misunderstand. Humans are simple creatures-”
You narrow your eyes.
“Except for you, my darling,” He tries to placate, “But she was all over me. She touched my bicep for crying out loud.”
You grab his arm, and smirk, “This bicep?”
“Well it’s not flexed right now.”
You snort and fall back onto the bed in a fit of giggles.
***
You walk out of the elevator into the common room, headed to the kitchenette for some water.
“Hey, Y/N. What are you doing right now? You wanna come see a movie with us?” Nat asks, flipping through her magazine.
You stutter in your movements, hoping nobody noticed, and continue getting your water, “Uh, you know what, I was actually gonna do some laundry.”
You were out on a jog when Loki had texted you a long paragraph about what he wanted to do to you when you got back. Needless to say, you cut your jog short, turned around, and came straight back. When you turned back around to face your friends, you glanced at Loki, who was sitting on the loveseat with a book in hand. The fucker had the audacity to smirk.
Nat and Wanda look at each other, sharing a knowing look.
“Loki, you wanna do it with me?”
He closes his book and sets it down next to him, standing off of the couch, “Sure, I’ll do it with you.”
Nat smirks and stands, “Okay great! Hold on a sec.” She says before running out of the room. She returns a few minutes later with a large hamper full of laundry, “Ugh, here you go,” She sets it down behind the couch, “You don’t mind do you? That would really help me out a lot. Thanks!”
“Uh…” You look at her, not really sure how to respond.
“Oh! I have some too!” Wanda says.
You finally come out of your stupor, “Wait! Why am I doing everyone’s laundry? Do your own!”
Wanda makes a pouty face, “Because you love us and we asked nicely?”
You look at her incredulously before rolling your eyes, “Fine.”
Nat looks at her watch, “Oh! Alright, honey, we’d better go if we wanna catch that movie.”
They grab their jackets and bags, saying goodbye as they leave.
“Bye, Loki! I miss you already.” Nat says as she passes him, pinching his butt before entering the elevator with Wanda.
Once the doors slide shut, Loki looks at you, “Okay, did you see that?” He says hysterically, “With the inappropriate and the pinching?”
You nod, “Actually I did.”
“Okay so now do you believe that she’s attracted to me?”
You blink a few times, pieces of the situation coming together. Suddenly, your heart drops to your stomach.
“Oh my gods!” You look at the elevator and step around the counter towards the common room where Loki stood, “Oh my gods, she knows about us!”
“You are serious??”
“Natasha knows and she’s just trying to freak us out!” You throw your hands in the air, water bottle still clutched, “That’s the only explanation for it!”
Loki leans his head forward and raises his brows, “Okay but what about my pinchable butt and my bulging biceps?” He throws out an arm and runs his opposite hand over the lean limb before recognition settles over his face, “She knows!”
***
The door to Thor’s room flies open, startling the god, and both you and Loki enter.
“Thor.” Loki snaps, walking up to him, you hot on his tail. It looks like he had been in the middle of a nap.
“Yeah?” He says, throwing Squish behind a pillow.
You roll your eyes and Loki runs a hand down his face.
“Natasha knows about us.” Loki says, motioning between you and him.
Thor looks at you before furrowing his brows, “Well I didn’t tell them!”
“Them?” You hiss, “Who’s them?”
Thor looks guilty as he looks between the two of you, “Uhh, Natasha… And Thor.”
“Thor…” You warn.
“... And Wanda and Peter.”
You and Loki look at each other in annoyment.
Thor stands from his bed, “I would have told you, but they made me promise not to tell!”
“Odin’s beard!” Loki bites.
“I’m sorry!” Thor apologizes, and he does look sorry, “But hey! It’s over now, right? Cause you can tell them you know they know, and I can go back to knowing absolutely nothing!”
An idea pops into your mind, “Unless-”
“No, not ‘unless’! Look, this must end now!”
You ignore Thor’s small outburst, “Oh man, they think they are so slick messing with us! But see they don’t know that we know that they know. So…”
Thor looks confused as all hell by now, but realization dawns on Loki, “Ah, yes. The pranksters become the victims!”
Thor rolls his eyes, making an irritated noise, and flops back onto his bed.
***
Natasha, Wanda, and Peter are all hanging out in the common room playing Mario Kart when Natasha’s phone rings.
She pauses the game, putting the controller down and grabbing her phone, noticing the caller ID.
“It’s Loki!” She yelps, and suddenly she has both Peter’s and Wanda’s undivided attention.
They had filled Peter in on their plan, and he was more than happy to help prank you and Loki after what he had been inadvertently forced to see.
“Answer it!” Peter says, scooting closer.
“On speaker!” Wanda adds.
Natasha slides the green button and answers the call, putting it on speaker, “Hello, you.” She says in a sultry tone.
“Hello, Natasha. I have been thinking about you all day.” Loki’s voice fills the room.
Natasha almost chokes, and the other two snap their gaze to the phone, “Huh?”
“Well you know, that thing you said before. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t intrigued.”
“Really?” She asks, completely caught off guard.
“Yes, listen, why don’t you come to my room tonight and I’ll let you feel my muscles. Or maybe more.”
Natasha’s mouth falls open, as do the others’, and she grasps for some sort of answer.
“I’ll have to get back to you on that. Okay bye.” She hits end and her hands fly to her hair.
“Oh my god!” Wanda squeaks.
“He wants you to go over and feel his muscles and more!” Peter adds.
“Are you kidding?” Natasha says, trying to wrap the situation around her head, “I cannot believe he would to that to-” She cuts off mid sentence as a thought forms in her head. She turns slowly to face Thor, who had been munching on a slice of pizza while watching the Mario Kart tournament, “Thor…” Natasha says, “Do they know that we know?”
He looks at her with a guilty expression, and it’s quiet for a second too long before he answers, “No…”
“Thor…” This time his name is spoken in a warning tone.
He nods slowly, “They know you know.”
Natasha makes a noise of frustration, “I knew it! Oh, I cannot believe those two!”
“They thought that they could mess with us? They’re trying to mess with us?” Wanda guffaws, “They don’t know that we know they know we know.”
Thor groans behind them.
“And Thor you can’t say anything!” Peter turns and tells him.
He throws his hands in the air, “Couldn’t if I wanted to!”
***
Wanda, Nat, and Peter had ended their video game and moved to the couch to talk amongst themselves. You and Loki are standing in the doorway.
“Look at them, they’re panicked!” You whisper.
“Oh, yes. They’re definitely going to crack.” Loki whispers back.
You nod, “Oh yeah.”
Nat turns to look over her shoulder at the two of you and then looks back at her partners in crime.
“Alright, alright, if he wants a date, he’s gonna get a date.” She says, tucking back a strand of hair, “Alright, I’m gonna go.” She adjusts her jacket.
“Good luck!” Peter whispers.
Wanda is giving a subtle thumbs up, “Be sexy.”
Nat rolls her eyes, “Please.” She stands and walks towards Loki with a sexy smirk, swaying her hips back and forth.
He sees her coming and he pushes you away, standing to his full height and pocketing his hands.
You and Nat exchange a fleeting look before her focus is back on Loki.
“So, Loki, I’d love to come by tonight.”
The god’s smug smirk falls for a moment, before he forces it back, “Really?”
“Oh absolutely, should we say around seven?”
Loki tilts his head up slightly, trying to keep his composure, “Yes.”
Nat nods, “Good. I’m really looking forward to you and me having sexual intercourse.” She winks and walks back to her spot on the couch.
Loki gives you a desperate look and you hold your hands up, trying to calm him down.
***
The three troublemakers plus Thor are in Nat’s room. She’s wearing a black, form fitting dress that reaches her mid thigh, with knee high leather boots. Her red hair is straightened and the top layer of her hair is pulled back into a braid in the back of her head. Her makeup is mostly natural, with a subtle green tint on her lids. A modest amount of glitter dusted her cheekbones.
Wanda claps several times, “Showtime!”
“Okay, Peter, pick out a perfume. Over on my dresser. And Thor, can you go grab me a bottle of wine and some glasses?”
Thor huffs but does as he’s asked, leaving the room to fetch the items.
Peter walks up to her with a small bottle filled with purple liquid, “I like this one!”
Nat smiles at him, “One of my favorites,” She stretches her arms out and closes her eyes, “Hit me.”
Peter sprays a cloud of the scent in front of her, and she spins through it.
Thor returns a few minutes later with a bottle of sweet red and two crystal glasses.
~Meanwhile~
You straighten out Loki’s collar and smooth out his jacket.
“Alright, you’ll be great. You just make her think that you want to have sex with her, it’ll totally freak her out.” You spray breath freshener into his mouth and he recoils, not expecting the intrusive taste.
“Okay listen, how far am I going to have to go with her?”
“Relax! She’s gonna give in way before you do!”
“How do you know??” He asks, and he briefly asks himself how he even got caught up in this mess.
“Because you’re on my team, and my team always wins.”
He scrunches his face at you, “At this?” He makes a general motion with his hands.
You roll your eyes, “Just go get some!” You grab his face and give him a quick kiss before smacking his butt, “Go!”
You run to his bathroom and hide inside, listening to the events in the room unfold.
~
Peter, Wanda, and Natasha are all outside of Loki’s room.
Wanda hands the wine and glasses to Natasha, “Okay, Nat. Now we’re gonna try to listen from right here. Okay?”
“Okay.”
“Oh wait!” Wanda reaches out and unzips the zipper on Nat’s chest, letting her breasts spill out a little more.
“Oh, good idea!” Peter says.
“Oh, hang on,” Wanda goes to try and pull it down a little more but Nat steps back.
“Don’t give away the farm!”
Wanda’s hands snap back to herself, and her and Peter hide against the wall as Nat knocks on the door.
It immediately opens, and Loki is there waiting.
“Natasha.”
“Loki.”
“Come on in.” He purrs.
“I was going to.” Nat giggles, and slides past him through the door. He follows her in and closes the door behind him. As soon as it shuts, Wanda and Peter shuffle to the door and press their ears to it.
Nat holds up the bottle in her hand, “I brought some wine. Would you like some?”
“Of course.”
Silence settles over the two as Nat sets the items on Loki’s heavy wooden dresser.
“So, here we are,” She says, pouring a glass of wine, “Nervous?”
“Me? Never. You?”
Her answer is immediate, “No. I want this to happen.” She hands him a glass.
“So do I.” He takes it.
They clink glasses and both down the alcohol like it’s water and they’d been stranded without any for days.
When they finish, they set the glasses down and Loki takes a step back, “I’m going to put on some music.”
He cuts on a song that Nat doesn’t believe she’s heard before. It’s definitely a classical song.
“Maybe I’ll dance for you.” Nat licks her lips, and starts to sway and move her body. She hopes the alcohol kicks in soon.
Loki raises a brow as she gets closer to him. He swallows harshly when she bumps her hips against him.
“You look ravishing.” He chokes out.
“Thanks,” She’s still moving herself to the music, “You know, when you say things like that, it makes me want to rip that… Suit right off.”
“Well, why don’t we move this to the bed.”
“Really?” Nat stops her dancing, the statement coming out of left field.
“Oh! Do you not want to?” Loki asks.
“No, no. I just, you know, first I want to take off all of my clothes and have you rub lotion on me.”
Loki can feel his heart sinking because he can tell that the woman isn’t going down without a fight. And for once, he doesn’t want a fight.
“Well, that would be nice.” He says instead, “I’ll go get the lotion.” He makes a bee line for his bathroom.
He opens the door and slams it behind him.
“This is getting completely out of hand. Alright? She wants me to put lotion on her!” He hisses quietly.
“She’s bluffing!” You hiss back.
Loki throws his hands up, exasperated, “Look, she’s not backing down. She did this!” He copies the hip bump that Nat had done to him earlier.
~
“He is not backing down. He went to get lotion.” Nat says.
She had gone and opened the door to talk to Wanda and Peter when Loki disappeared into the bathroom.
Wanda and Peter look at each other and Wanda wrings her hands.
Thor walks down the hallway and sees them gathered at the door.
“Oh man, aren’t you guys finished yet?” He whines, crossing his arms.
Wanda rolls her eyes, “Thor, look, just look at it this way: The sooner Natasha breaks Loki, the sooner this is all over and out in the open.”
Thor’s eyes light up, “Oh, I like that,” He looks at Nat and an idea comes to him, “Oh! Show your breasts. He’s afraid of looking at anyone else’s but Y/N’s.” He reaches out and pulls on the zipper in a quick motion, causing Natasha’s boobs to nearly fall out of the dress.
The girls gasp and Peter covers his eyes.
“Wow, you didn’t break it.” Nat says, inspecting the zipper and adjusting her breasts.
“Not my first time.” Thor says, cheekily.
~
“You go back out there,” You say, grabbing a bottle of lotion off the shelf, “And you seduce her ‘til she cracks!”
“Okay, give me a moment.” He takes the bottle from you and looks around the small space, “Did you reorganize in here?”
You shrug and push him out of the bathroom.
He stumbles slightly from the force and sees Nat closing the bedroom door.
“Oh, you’re leaving?”
She turns and looks at him, pushing her chest out, “Uh, not without you, lover.” She walks towards him, making sure to show her chest off as she sways her body, “So… These are my boobs.”
Loki glances down at them before locking his eyes on Nat’s.
“They’re very nice.”
They look at each other, exchanging forced sexual glances.
“Well, come here.” He tells her, “I’m very happy we will be having sex.”
Natasha chuckles nervously, “You should be. I’m very bendy.” She steps closer, “I’m gonna kiss you now.”
“Not if I kiss you first.”
She takes a last step forward and grabs one of his hips. He touches one of hers, then switches hands to touch the other. His heart is beating in his throat.
Natasha reaches out and grabs his other hip, jerking him forward. He tries to place a hand on her breast but can’t make himself go through with it, so he settles for her shoulder, and Nat makes a choked sound.
“Well I suppose there’s nothing left for us to do but kiss.”
Nat nods, “Here it comes. Our first kiss.”
Loki quickly glances at the door that you’re hiding behind before looking back to Nat. They’re faces get closer and closer, both desperately hoping that the other will break before their lips connect.
But neither does.
It’s awkward and barely a kiss, but after about two seconds, Loki rips himself away and pushes Nat away from him.
“Alright alright alright. Okay, you win! You win!” He yells, hands up in surrender.
“Hah!”
“I cannot have sex with you.”
“And why not?” Nat pushes.
“Because I’m in love with Y/N.” He admits, running a hand through his hair.
Nat’s heart stops and she can barely string words together, “You’re- You’re what?”
The bathroom door opens and you step out, at the same time the bedroom door swings open to reveal Wanda, Peter, and Thor.
“I love her. That’s right! I love her. I love her!” He repeats himself, pointing to you.
You feel butterflies grow in your belly and warmth blooms in your chest. You don’t care that you just lost this little game. Loki just proclaimed his love for you to a whole group of people. That’s not something he likes; letting others know his feelings.
You walk over to him, sporting a smile so wide that your cheeks hurt. He takes a step towards you and places his hands on your waist, looking into your eyes.
“I love you, Y/N.”
You let out a wet chuckle, “I love you too, Loki.”
He dips down and captures your lips in a searing kiss, pulling your body flush to his.
“I just… I thought you guys were doing it. I didn’t know you were in love!” Nat exclaims.
You turn and smile at your friend, hugging your boyfriend close. Loki chuckles and hugs you back.
“Awh, guys.” Peter says, a large smile on his face as well.
Loki smiles at the boy then looks to Nat, “And hats off to Natasha. Quite the competitor.” He reaches a hand out and the two shake hands, “And may I say your breasts are still out.”
“God.” She mumbles and quickly zips the dress back up.
“All right!” Thor booms, his face filled with joy, “So that’s it! It’s over! Everybody knows!”
“Yeah, well actually, not everybody,” You reply, “And we’d appreciate it if nobody told dad.”
Thor’s face falls and Peter grabs his arm to try and placate him.
***
Tony is watching Peter mess around on the obstacle course.
Peter lands at the end with a backflip and turns to make sure Tony is watching.
The older man holds a thumbs up, “You’re doing great, buddy!”
Movement catches his eye and he looks up to the window of your room. It takes his brain one too many seconds to realize what he’s seeing because he doesn’t want to believe it.
“No… No!” He yells, standing and taking a few steps forward.
Peter turns to look at what Tony is flipping out over and his blood runs cold, “Shit.” He whispers.
“Get off of my daughter!” Tony screams before he takes off towards the entrance to the compound and Peter takes off after him.
Tony runs down the hallway screaming.
“Loki! Loki!” He reaches your room and tries to open it, but it’s locked. He bangs on it several times, “Loki! I saw what you were doing through the window! I saw what you were doing to my daughter, now get out here!”
You and Loki jump up and quickly fix yourselves.
“Well, listen, we had a good run. What was it? Four? Five months? I mean, that’s more than most humans have in a lifetime, so goodbye, take care, goodbye then.” Loki finishes his ramblings with a chaste kiss to your lips before walking to your balcony.
You quickly catch his wrist, “What are you doing?”
“Oh I’m going on the lam.”
You roll your eyes and pull him back towards you, “Come on, Loki, come on. I can handle my dad.”
You drag him with you and open the door to reveal Tony, who is as red as Thor’s cape.
“Hey dad, what’s up?”
He looks at you and then Loki, and storms into the room towards him.
Loki takes several steps back and you run to place yourself between them.
“Dad!” You place your hands on his chest.
“What the hell are you doing!” He yells.
Suddenly almost the entire team is running up to your bedroom door where Peter was already waiting.
“Hey, what’s-what’s going on?” Natasha interjects.
“Well I think… I think… Stark knows about Y/N and I.”
“Brother,” Thor makes a throat cut motion, “He is right there.”
Loki rolls his eyes.
“You are an semi-immortal god that wiped out half of Manhattan and causes trouble everywhere he goes, and this is my daughter. Loki and my daughter, I-I cannot believe this!”
“Look Stark, we are not just fooling around. I love her. Alright? I’m in love with her.”
Tony takes a few breaths and moves his gaze to you.
You step forward and grab his hand, “I’m sorry that you had to find out this way… I’m sorry but it’s true, I love him too.” You reach your other arm back to pull Loki into your side.
He looks at you with unsure eyes, then looks up at Loki and back to you. Then out of nowhere, his demeanor completely changes.
“Loki and my daughter! I cannot believe this!” He says with a more happy tone, bringing them both into a hug, surprise etching Loki’s face. He pulls away and looks at everyone in the doorway, “You guys probably wanna get some hugs in too, huh? Big news!” He says the last part with jazz hands.
Everyone on the team who wasn’t aware files in for hugs and congrats, but the other four stay in the doorway.
Peter smiles, “Awh, no we’re okay, we’ve actually known for a while.”
The smile on Tony’s face vanishes.
“What? What? You guys knew?” He stalks closer and Peter jumps behind Natasha, “You all knew and you didn’t tell me?” His voice became raised again.
“W-Well, Tony, we were worried about you, okay? We didn’t know how you were gonna react.” Wanda explains.
Tony looks between the four of them before the weary smile appears again.
“You were worried about me?” He chuckles, “You didn’t know how I was gonna react?” He pulls all of them into a tight hug.
When he lets them go Thor speaks up, “Okay. What do you say we all, uh, clear out of here and let these two lovebirds get back down to business.”
Tony’s smile vanishes yet again and he turns to glare at the god.
“Hey, hey, hey. I’m just talking here. He is the one sleeping with your daughter.” He points to Loki.
Peter facepalms and Nat drags Thor away, Peter following suit. Peter collects Tony and nods to you and Loki. Everyone files back out of the room and the door closes once more.
After everyone left, there were a few seconds of silence before the two of you burst into hysterical fits of laughter.
***
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shinescape · 6 months ago
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Eye Candy
Idol Wooyoung x Fem Reader
Requested!
note: do excuse the amount of dialogues in here and a reminder that this is a work of fiction so don't take anything written in here seriously. Thank you for requesting this anon! Enjoy <3
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Even when Wooyoung told you their dorm’s passcode, you still wanted to ring the bell. After two rings, you heard shouting and stomping coming from inside. Probably fighting on who should open the door because everyone was either resting or had other things to do.
It’s their off day so it was understandable on your side but Wooyoung texted you to come. You told him many times that he should spend the day resting instead of meeting you and you’re totally fine with it. But knowing him and his petty threats that goes along the lines of, “Someone doesn’t love me anymore” or “Don’t miss me if I don’t text you as often”, had you coming to their dorm without a second thought.
The door opened after a couple of minutes and it was Mingi behind the door. You smiled at him and he returned the gesture as he led you inside. “Did you wait long?” “No, I didn’t. Sorry for intruding.” You gave an apologetic smile and Mingi said it was fine before running off leaving you in the living room.
It’s been a couple of months since you last stepped into their dorm, every time it had a new feeling to it. You sat on the floor and took out your phone, checking in case there were people texting you from work or anyone in particular.
He knows you’re coming yet he’s nowhere in sight. It was getting kind of awkward sitting by yourself so you decided to watch some videos to kill time. Somewhere in the dorm you could hear him talking and laughing. He was everywhere except with you.
“This is risky...but he’s not here so” You took out your earphones and plugged it in your phone. You wore only one and left the other hanging on your shoulder, just in case Wooyoung came.
You’re currently watching one of the latest performances from the Kingdom contestants. Your eyes glued to your phone as the boy group danced and sang to their own version of another participating group’s song.
Then you repeat the video again just because you can and you wanted to hear that particular voice again. “Oh my god, his voice...” You trailed off your words as a dreamy sigh escaped your lips.
“Whose voice?” You did not expect him to suddenly appear beside you so you clicked your phone and put it away. “No one.” You gave a forced smile when Wooyoung suddenly leaned forward and tried to grab your phone.
“Were you watching something inappropriate?” He gasped and you pushed him away with rolled eyes. “Are you crazy? Why would I do it here when I can do that at home.” He narrowed his eyes at you and leaned closer.
“What do you want now?” You questioned suspiciously when he abruptly pecked your lips and grabbed your phone from behind you. You groan and threw your head back when you realised that you fell for his tricks.
“What’s the password again.”
“Hongjoong’s birthday.” He glared at you with the phone still in hand.
“I guess you can’t see what I was watching then.” You stuck your tongue out at him, trying to press his buttons. He won’t give up easily and so were you. “Why is it his birthday and not mine?” He was seriously getting on your nerves.
“I have no password on Wooyoung. Just unlock the freaking phone!” He smiled sheepishly at you. He just appeared for a short time yet you’re already tired from bickering with him.
“Are you streaming other groups' performances?” Wooyoung turned to you with surprise written all over his face and you knew this was the worst part of them all. Explaining things to Jung Wooyoung.
You tried to grab your phone from him but he was scrolling through something you can’t see. “I was just watching their performance. I wasn’t streaming cause it’s already on the phone.” You quietly finish your words.
“You saved Stray Kids’s video and not ours? I can’t believe you. Whose voice were you talking about earlier?” You could feel your head aching from all his nonstop questions. Why did I fall for him again, you pathetically thought to yourself. Right because he’s Jung Wooyoung.
“It was Felix. I just like hearing his voice okay. Nothing more.” You tried to defend yourself before he burst even more. You stretched your neck and saw him scrolling through your camera roll when he angrily put your phone down and looked at you pouting.
“I have a nice voice too. How could you...” You cupped his cheeks and watched how a smile was forming on his lips and eyes turned into crescents as he waited for a compliment but you wanted to tease him even more.
“No babe, your voice is annoying unlike Felix. His voice is so deep and pleasant to the ears, you know?” You laughed seeing his reaction to you complimenting another idol.
“That’s it. I’m throwing your phone.” He stood up and you hastily grabbed his leg and pulled him back down. “If you’re buying me a new one then it’s fine. I know you won’t, Wooyoung.”
Both of you didn’t notice a figure walking in to see what was happening in front of him. “What is going on here? Wooyoung stop pushing your girlfriend like that!” Wooyoung looked at the newcomer and glared at him.
“Stay out of this, Joongie. I caught her cheating on me.” He was being dramatic and you had to defend yourself as usual knowing too well how he was.
“I wasn’t cheating on you, idiot. Hongjoong please do something. I’m tired.” He wished he didn’t come out from the room to grab a drink. The fact he had to be the middle ground out of a sudden, tires him already.
“Tell me what’s going on. You first.” He turned to an upset Wooyoung. At this point you can’t tell if he was really upset or just faking it. But from the looks of it he seemed really upset about you praising Felix earlier.
“She wasn’t streaming our latest performance on Kingdom. She even complimented Felix saying he has a nicer voice than mine.” You know Hongjoong is sensible and won’t believe everything he just heard.
“You make me sound like a bad person, Woo. First, I told you I saved the video so I wasn’t streaming it like you claim. Second, I like listening to you sing but when you talk so much that’s a different story.”
You leaned back on the sofa with crossed arms and heard Hongjoong scoffed at your words. Earning him a slap on the thigh by no other than Wooyoung.
“Besides, it’s like a strategy you know. If I save their performance video it means that I would only stream Ateez’s performance and not theirs. Get it?”
Hoongjoong knew so well you’re trying to save yourself from this ridiculous situation so he added on, “That makes sense. I don't see anything wrong with that.” Wooyoung threw a look at both you and Hongjoong, making sure you’re not trying to scheme something else.
“Stop sulking okay. She came all the way here to see you and you took your time and didn’t even greet her. I saw you were fooling around with San earlier when Mingi came to tell you she’s already in the living room.” You kept quiet the whole time Hongjoong talked to him. You knew that hit the spot.
“Fine. Okay, you can leave now.” He pushed Hongjoong away and the latter shook his head before getting up. Wooyoung then turned to you with a pout. How were you going to resist that face even after what he had done?
His arms were hugging you the minute his leader left. “I’m sorry, baby. Everything is just so stressful and tiring.” You sighed and hugged him back.
You understand what he’s going through and could only be there as a support. No matter what, you’ll always support him.
“It’s alright. Just don’t get too jealous, you’re the one I choose in the end right?” Upon hearing your words, he cupped your face and peppered kisses all over.
You had to squint your eyes at his abrupt actions. Moments after, he stopped and smiled happily at you, content that everything was resolved.
“I’ll try not to, even though it’s hard. I love you so much, come here you.” He pulled you in his arms and hugged you tight. He was squishing you so you told him to let go as much as you want to hug him. He wasn’t planning to let go until you whispered to him a heated question.
“Do you love me more than San?”
“No, I love him more.” He said without hesitation.
“What the heck, Wooyoung?” You shouted in disbelief and you pushed him away. You just made up and due to your question, another petty fight was about to happen and it’s not even a new topic.
“You have no right to be upset when you have a whole folder of Seonghwa’s photos.” He pointed at your phone to which you poke his chest right after.
“You too have a whole folder of photos with San. For what? I can’t even post my photo with you and I only have like ten of them. This is so sad.” You were a bit upset that he actually chose San over you but exaggerating once in a while won’t hurt.
“That’s for when I need to post on our accounts. What about you, what’s your reason?” He questioned back.
“Seonghwa is hot alright, even you agreed on that.” You answered back to which he stayed silent.
Both of you unaware about the other members peeking behind the wall, watching as another fight was about to happen.
“I don’t think Wooyoung is going to let me live on this one.” Seonghwa turned to San who nodded in agreement. “Same here. She looks like she can murder me too.”
“Someone, quickly order their favourite food. I don’t want to stop them again.” Hongjoong said in a hushed voice and Yunho nodded as he took out his phone.
The only way to bond with Wooyoung was to have fights about the littlest thing possible. It gets annoying and tiring but you love him anyway.
It’s not like you get to see each other everyday so this was the way to get the best out of everything even if it means to have arguments with him.
After all, he’s your favourite eye candy.
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