poly!maknae line x afab!reader
genre: SMUT. Like SO MUCH of it. They’re all fuckin’. Porn with very little plot tbh
word count: 8.3k
summary: having gone years since your last real relationship and subsequent satisfying fuck, you decide its finally time to put yourself back out there at the club. For some reason, this club is full of sexy men-who all happen to be taken. As soon as you’re about to give up on men for the rest of your life, your night takes an extremely lucky turn.
warnings: swearing, dom!maknae line x sub!reader, reader experiences some self-doubt, boys are poly and all in love with each other, use of pet names, name calling but y/n is into it, specific smut warnings: unprotected sex (simply don’t do this irl please), oral (male and female receiving), some mxm, face fucking, spit, spanking, praise kink and degradation kink at the same time, maknae line are fucking hung, dacryphilia (but very slight), double penetration, Taehyung loves readers tits, bi!maknae line, cum eating
an: I don’t proofread so if there are typos that’s why. As always, this is mature content so if you are under 18 and/or uncomfortable then please do not go beyond the cut!
“You should really go catch a dick. Maybe that would make you less of a bitch.” The teenager pops her gum as she leaves, a loud complaint about ‘shitty customer service’ spilling to her friends as soon as she catches their gaze.
As much as the girl was annoying-demanding a refund for a dress that had clearly been worn-her words did hold a small modicum of truth. How long had it been since you even had a satisfactory hookup? Your last long term relationship fizzled out about 2 years ago, and a few months after that you gave up on the dating scene altogether. There’s no denying the fact that you’re a bit lonely, and a lot horny, and that there’s an easy way to fix those problems if you’re just willing to put in some effort.
So you find yourself at a club for the first time in probably four years, the bass pulsing through the sticky wooden floors. A group of giggling girls pushes past you, forcing your body further into the writhing mass of dancing bodies. Your heels pinched your feet as you walked, but they made your legs look good, so you soldier through the pain to make it to the bar. The prices make you cringe, but you haven’t flirted with anyone in so long you need the liquid courage. You order two drinks, intent on sitting at the bar to get your bearings before going to well, catch a dick. The height of the stool makes you struggle to get into it, extremely out of practice when it comes to balancing in heels. The chair shakes under you as you try to settle into it, finally planting your ass down ungracefully. You puff out a breath, already feeling downtrodden about the night and looking forward to swallowing down the alcohol set in front of you. Just as you gather one of the glasses into your hand, a voice sounds from your side.
“Excuse me, uhm,” you turn toward the source of the noise and thank the heavens you’re already sitting down. The man speaking to you is tall and built in all the right places, strong shoulders you want to sink your teeth into drawing your eyes upward until you reach his defined jawline, the plump of his pink lips that stretch into a boxed smile. His body is wrapped in a simple black button up with a subtle pattern, leaving only the top button undone to give you a glimpse of smooth skin and a chunky gold chain around his neck. Devastatingly handsome brown eyes peer down at you and you wonder when you got so fucking lucky. He seems to be alone, this perfect man, and he started a conversation with you?
He licks his lips, eyes darting pointedly down to your cleavage-thank god you chose this low cut dress- and then back up to meet your gaze. Sparks of excitement thrum over your body as he leans against the bar beside you.
“Can I ask you what you’re drinking? It looks quite...delicious.” The deep timbre of his voice burns you from the inside out and you nod dumbly.
“They’re called electric lemonades. They’re definitely among the things I find...delicious.” You hope that you haven’t completely missed the mark in attempting to flirt back. In a different setting you would have cringed at the words, but tonight you were operating only on the desire to get fucked. The man cracks a smile and extends a hand your way. His fingers are long and adorned with rings, and you shudder at the thought of how they would probably feel inside of you.
“I’m Taehyung,” he adds as you shake his hand. “And thank you for the recommendation...” he looks at you pointedly and you get the hint to provide your name. The feeling of his warm hand makes your voice waver as you answer him.
“Thank you, Y/N” His hand ghosts up your wrist, giving it a small squeeze and holding on as he grabs the bartenders attention. Your heart is thrumming erratically; trying to decipher what the contact means, if your night was really going to be this easy. He turns back to you, fingers dancing on your delicate skin as you catch a whiff of what must be expensive cologne. Your head fills with lust, abandoning rational thoughts as words bubble out of you.
“You, I think you’re-” Taehyung smirks at your stuttering, cocking his head to the side as you speak. “I think you’re really hot, and I- do you wanna get out of here?” You blurt, face flaming at the cliche you resorted to in the heat of the moment. Taehyung’s smirk morphs into a full blown smile, pearly white teeth on display.
“Oh, Y/N. I would love to, but I’m actually-” His eyes slide over your head, gaze locking onto something, someone, behind him. Your heart stops, world crashing in on you from overhead.
“Oh god, no, I’m so sorry,” you scramble out of his grip on your wrist, all but leaping off of the stool to get away from him. His handsome face twists in what must be disgust of your desperation.
“Y/N, wait, you don’t have to-” He speaks after you as you leave, drinks latched between your palms as you hurry away from the bar, desperate to find a new spot to sit and collect your mind.
As busy as the club seems to be, you find a small booth table squeezed toward the service door that leads into the kitchen. It’s dark and secluded, the leather of the seat smooth and cold against the bare skin of your thighs. Heat still simmers at your core from your encounter, and you down an entire drink in a few gulps, welcoming the burn of vodka and sting of sour lemon juice to wash away the embarrassment of being rejected. Still, there were a lot of people here, and although you doubted you would find another as hot and captivating as Taehyung, you weren’t ready to give up just yet.
“I told you I don’t have time to talk right now!” You jump at the person who seemed to have materialized from thin air sitting at the other end of your booth. His hair is shaggy, pieces hanging around his eyes in a tantalizing fashion, the beginnings of a mullet type style evident by the long cut. His short sleeved shirt shows off an arm of impressive tattoos you’re desperate to have a closer look at.
“Holy shit!” You exclaim, hand clasping over your chest as your empty glass clinks against the full one. You don’t think he even heard you, dark eyebrows furrowed as he presses his phone against his ear. His free hand is digging harshly into his thigh, clearly annoyed at whoever was on the other end of the call.
He glances your way at the outburst, a frown marring his handsome features. Your stomach dives as you process just how handsome this stranger is too. Did all the hot men in the area flock to this club tonight? His eyes don’t leave yours as he finishes up the call with a curt goodbye and you squirm in your seat at the attention. The desire to down your second drink burns in the back of your throat but you suppress it by scratching at the back of your hand.
“I’m sorry if I scared you,” the man speaks and you catch a glimpse of his shining lip piercing. He extends a veiny, tattoo covered-hand across the table and you catch a glimpse of a delicate sliver chain around his wrist that likely costs more than five months’ worth of your rent. You extend your hand slowly to his own, hoping he can’t feel the way your hands are clamming up.
“Jungkook.” He states simply, shaking your two times before dropping it gently back to the table with a deceptively adorable smile.
“Oh, hi. I’m Y/N. And it’s okay, really. I just didn’t notice you were here when I sat down...” His piercing eyes are still stuck on your form, eyebrows quirked in what now looks more like amusement. Your face flushes at his attention and you're worried that the heat will begin to melt your makeup off unintentionally. “I just, ah, hope that you’re okay. That sounded like an intense call?”
He grunts, fiddling with the bracelet. “Been on worse calls. And at least this one brought me some good fortune.” For a moment you assume he means whatever business he must be in, but the way he licks his lips tells you a whole different story. You squirm, in utter shock at the way your evening has shaped up. “M-me?” You finally stutter, once again proving why you hadn’t been in the game for a long, long time.
Yoongi’s eyes scan you, crinkling with a genuine smile that makes your stomach backflip. The hand you shook previously takes your own again, running a gentle line over your palm.
“Yes, you, pretty. Don’t know why you’ve secluded yourself to the furthest booth in the bar, but I won’t complain if it means I get to be the one to entertain you.” He cocks his head in a way that has no right being so attractive, and you feel your insides start to liquify.
“Oh, thank you. I think you’re pretty too...” you deliberately dance your fingertips over his, hoping the teasing touch does a lot of talking for you. Jungkook’s eyes narrow in on the gesture, glazing over with what you believe is lust. Your heart kicks up in excitement, feeling like you had finally cracked the proverbial code. His grin widens and you feel your heart stutter at the way he suddenly grasps your hand between both of his own. “The things I would do to you, if only...” his face shifts, and you’ve done enough time in customer service to know it’s a look of disappointment. A shard of sadness strikes right through you as you wiggle out of his grip, quickly grasping your drink and downing it ungracefully in an attempt to wipe out the shame in your gut. You vaguely register Jungkook’s voice calling after you, but you power towards the dance floor, hoping to get lost in the press of sweaty bodies.
Alcohol and embarrassment are an interesting comorbidity, and the ache to get away from the gazes of the two men you had already met persuades you to weave further into the dance floor. You don’t know the lyrics to the song that’s playing but the beat vibrates through the floor and straight into your blood, encouraging you to rock your hips. You’re vaguely aware of the heat of bodies around you as your eyes slip shut, vodka finally doing the job you wanted it to. Something loosens in your chest, a feeling not unlike taking off your bra at the end of a long day. A body presses in close behind your own, a hand skating over your side to rest just above your hip. The two of you rock along to the music and you look down to see the hand on you looks strong and capable. Your heart and pussy lurch at the same time and you dare to spin around as you rock your hips to the music.
The man attached to the hand had to have just walked off of a runway. His eyes are rimmed in smoky eyeliner, even with his plump bottom lip trapped between his teeth you can see a hint of gloss. His hand tightens on your waist, seemingly pleased with your ogling. You lean closer to his warmth, linking your arms around his neck to pull him down to your height. He takes the bait easily, slotting his head next to your neck and ghosting a hot breath over your skin. A shiver escapes you, exasperated as the music changes and the man makes a point to press his hips forward into your own. An unbidden groan slips from between your lips and you swear you hear him chuckle.
You move just as boldly as he is, rotating your hips forward pointedly. His hands wander to tease the curve of your hip before resting firmly on your ass at the same time he nips at a spot on your neck.
“I’m Jimin, by the way,” his voice is devastatingly husky and low right in your ear. It makes you shiver, digging your fingernails into the lean planes of his shoulders.
“Y/N,” You answer back with a push of your hips further into his own, happy that the tight jeans he had on confirmed the bulge you thought you felt against you. A shuddering breath punches out of you and Jimin notices, nudging his nose firmly against the lobe of your ear.
“What’s a beautiful thing like you doing out here alone?” He husks.
“Tryin’ not to be. But I keep hitting on taken men, apparently.” Jimin abandons the spot at your neck to peer down at you, pretty eyes narrowed in to your own. Your veins thrum under his attention. There’s something in his stare you can’t explain, a quality so captivating that you don’t have it in you to look away.
“Well, what a shame for those guys. You’re such a pretty little thing, I can’t imagine turning you down...” he smirks in a way he must know makes your knees weak, hands taking another generous handful of your ass. You pitch forward into his chest, the fabric of what you assumed to be a simple tank top feels silky and cool under your cheek. Jimin’s chest rumbles with a pleased hum, lips ghosting over the sweaty hairs on your forehead.
“Fuck, baby. Should we get out of here?”
Your heart jumps at his words and you nod immediately, the desire to hook your legs around his waist and let him carry you out of the club replacing all of your usual concerns. You settle for clutching at the fabric of his shirt as he begins to move the two of you out of the crowd. People part easily for the two of you and before you know it you’re in a much quieter and cooler spot. Your fingers finally unlatch from his shirt and find a place on his jawline instead, hesitating for a second before pulling him down and kissing him. You feel triumphant when he falls into your rhythm, biting playfully at your bottom lip before weaving his tongue inside of your mouth. Desire is burning in your stomach and you squirm against him, desperate to get the fuck out of here and onto doing what you’ve been craving for weeks.
“Hey, what the hell!” Someone exclaims, obviously in close proximity. You jump, narrowly avoiding biting down on Jimin’s lips as you both turn toward the noise. He keeps you close in his grasp, arms tight over your waist- possessive in a way that makes your stomach clench.
“Oh, hey guys. This is Y/N.” Jimin grins, nodding his head in a loose gesture towards you. Your stomach knots and flips with anxiety as your drinks threaten to make a reappearance.
“Y/N, this is Jun-”
“Jungkook and Taehyung. Yeah, I um...” you trail off, wide eyes still in disbelief of the fact that your two failed endeavors are standing before you and seemingly are friends with Jimin.
Jimin puffs a breath that ruffles your hair. “Wait, is she- she’s the same girl you guys were talking about? And they’re the guys you mentioned earlier?”
The two other boys nod along with you, and despite the growing feeling of horror in your gut, you can’t help but feel hot under the gaze of all three of them. Jungkook locks his gaze on Jimin’s arms wound around you and his lip curls into a smirk. He moves in closer to your body until you can feel the heat radiating off of him. The tattooed hand you were so enamored with comes to tuck a sweaty strand of hair away from your face.
“I really wish you would have stuck around when I called after you earlier, babe. Just lucky you found your way to Jimin.” His eyes dart to your lips and your heart pounds out of your chest. Every one of your senses heightens; the feeling of Jimin’s arms around you, the scent of Jungkook’s cologne, the way your vision is swimming with desire.
“You can kiss him if you want,” Jimin offers, splaying his hand against your waist in encouragement. Your eyes go wide and you hear a throaty laugh- Taehyung- at your stunned expression.
“Here’s the thing, Y/N. What you didn't let Jungkook and I get to is that we’re dating. Us, and Jimin. His eyes have gone a shade darker than they were at the bar and it makes your pussy clench. “So if you’d like to have all three of us. We’d all certainly like to have you.”
You swear you forget how to breath as his words land and process, but the way your knees physically weaken is evidence enough of how you’re feeling.
“Yes! I uh, yes. To all of it. Y-yes. Please.” Taehyung smirks, running his sinful tongue across his lips, and before you know it you’re all moving towards the door. You feel hazy in the best way possible as Taehyung and Jimin go to collect a taxi and Jungkook hangs back with you, attacking your lips with his own. The cold press of his piercing pulls a gasp from your mouth as he devours you in a kiss even nastier than the one you shared with Jimin. You’re more than happy to get lost in it, allowing Jungkook to guide you until you’re at the taxi, squeezing into the back seat with the other two boys. Jungkook settles you on his lap, holding you steady around the waist as the car starts and gets you back to their apartment.
It’s a race to get up to their unit, and you can barely keep track of who is touching you where as the four of you ride the elevator up several stories.
The inside of the apartment seems nicely decorated and clean, but you only have time to glimpse the living room before the three men are pulling you into a bedroom.
“Look so fucking sexy, baby. I thought we’d lost you after you left me at the bar like that...” Taehyung shamelessly eyes your body, hands working underneath the fabric of your dress at your thighs.
“Can we get you out of this?” Jungkook presses in behind you, pulling your hair to the side and playing with the delicate zipper on your dress.
“Yes, please.” You nod emphatically, head tipping forward to allow Jungkook more room. The gentle skim of his fingers on your back raises goosebumps and makes your nipples perk.
“Shit.” Taehyung swears loudly when your dress slips down, leaving you bare aside from a simple pair of underwear. His lips immediately attach to your nipple, sucking with a fervor that your ex never came close to. Jungkook’s calloused fingers dip into the waistband of your panties and rub the soft skin at your hip before pulling them down your legs. You can feel your arousal smearing down your thighs with the movement, sure that there’s already a mess between your legs. Before you can open your mouth to defend yourself, Jimin appears, shirt already gone, to claim your lips again.
Taehyung nips at the sensitive skin of your breast, leaving a mark that will be blooming in purple by the morning. He laves the spot with his tongue, humming against you as he helps himself to the expanse of you. Jimin lets up so you can both heave a breath. His eyes are much darker than they were on the dance floor, and the intensity of his gaze sends a shiver through you. He smirks, laying a possessive hand on top of Taehyung’s head as he continues to leave a path of marks on your torso.
Your stomach hums with anticipation as you watch the two of them. The simple touch speaks volumes to the closeness of their relationship. Jimin grips your chin with his free hand, tipping your head upwards until you make eye contact.
“You gonna be good for us?” You’re already nodding, and he lets out a dark chuckle. “Good little slut, letting us do whatever we want to you. Isn't that right?” A whine rips from your throat, as Jungkook’s hands find a new home in between your legs, teasing the sensitive skin of your inner thighs. Your body pitches forward, forcing Taehyung to back off as you move.
“S-sorry,” you stutter, embarrassed at the way you bent over for them so easily. The feeling washes away as your angle brings you level with Taehyung’s cock, clearly strained against the fabric of his linen pants. You swear your mouth waters at the sight, itching to have him in you. Jimin’s hands find a home on your lower back, the gentle touch grounding you to the absurdity of the situation.
Jungkook groans at the sight of your bared pussy, his hand immediately spreading your folds. You moan in tandem, eyes rolling at the pleasure.
“Shit, she’s so fucking wet.” He’s clearly speaking to the men around you, and the idea makes your cheeks flame. The squelch of your juices fills the room as Jungkook pushes a long finger inside of you. The stretch makes you gasp and quiver, having been embarrassingly long since you had anything inside of you. Your hands flail wildly until they land conveniently on Taehyung’s waist, just inches from his waiting cock.
“Feels good?” He asks, latching his hands around your wrists and not so subtly inching them toward his cock.
“Wanna suck your cock,” you blurt the words as soon as your hand grazes him and are immediately rewarded with triplet groans from the men.
“Go ahead, baby.” Taehyung encourages you as you find the zipper to his pants, struggling as Jungkook slips another finger inside of you and begins opening you up in a slow burn. You puff a breath when you finally get a look at Taehyung’s cock, heavy and flushed in your hand, with a prettily colored tip and strong veins under your thumb. You rub your thumb over the head and Taehyung groans, canting his hips forward into your touch. Anxiety stirs in your stomach at his size and your lack of experience, and your eyes widen at the prospect of trying to hold yourself up while being fucked on both ends.
“Wait, I-” the words punch out of you, loud enough that the room stills. Jimin’s hands move, encouraging you to stand back upright as three concerned faces materialize in front of you.
“Oh god, this is so embarrassing.” You groan, shutting your eyes tight.
“We can stop!” Jungkook insists, voice surprisingly high strung.
“No! No, I just.” You open your eyes again, licking your dried lips. “Its been a long time since I...you know. And I just, maybe we can move to the bed so I don’t like, fall?” Your eyes dart between them, expecting them to laugh or maybe tell you to just suck it up, but instead a low coo spills from between Jimin’s plush lips.
“Poor girl, you haven’t been fucked in so long you’re worried you won't be able to handle us? Come on.” He leads you the few steps to the bed, laying you down with your back on the cool comforter. His pretty hair falls around his face and your hands are immediately in it, relishing in the soft feeling of his locks between your fingers in a way that grounds you to the moment. All you can focus on is how handsome he is, and how lucky you are to have found yourself in this situation. His lips descend on your own as if he can read your mind, grabbing at your waist with both capable hands. The kiss tastes like alcohol and you can't get enough, welcoming his tongue inside of your mouth in a messy swap of spit. Your noses squish together, as close as humanly possible to one another, until a sharp moan throws you out of your rhythm. Jimin lets up when you stop, leaning to the side casually to let you get a glimpse of the other two boys. The moan belonged to Taehyung, who had apparently stripped down while you were kissing Jimin, who was at the mercy of Jungkook’s hand on his cock. Jungkook had rid himself of his clothing as well, and you couldn't decide where to look first.
Taehyung’s neck was on display, the muscular column inviting you to take a bite out of him as Jungkook works his deft fingers along the impressive length of his cock, all while his other hand grinds slowly against his own.
“Aren't they pretty?” Jimin’s sinful voice snakes into your ear and makes you shiver. His hands deftly work down his own pants and boxers, and you’re given a hint of what he has to offer.
“P-please, Jimin, want you.” He chuckles at the words but obeys you, quickly slotting himself between your legs. With no barriers between you, you can feel the thickness of his cock against your pussy, the girth of him taunting you.
“As much as I wanna dive into your pretty little pussy, she deserves some more attention, don’t you think?” A knowing smirk graces his features as he lowers himself to your stomach, skimming the skin of your stomach with his tongue. The trail he leaves is electric, sending shockwaves of arousal right to your core as he gets closer. Your hands find a home in his hair again, happy to scrape against his scalp with a gentle pressure as he finally settles between your legs.
A stream of air against your clit makes you whimper, hips bucking off of the bed enough that he loops an arm over your stomach to hold you down.
“Fuck, Jimin, please!” He giggles from between your legs and you think you might die before his mouth even touches you. Taehyung and Jungkook have turned their attentions to you, and the sight of them both hard in front of you is enough to make your head spin. You close your eyes, and as soon as your head drops back onto the bed, Jimin makes his move.
Maybe it's just because it had been so long since you had someone eat you out, but the first touch of his tongue brought you spiraling toward an orgasm. Your hands tighten on his locks and he groans as he laps at you, circling your clit with his tongue in perfect little circles. The noises that escape you don’t feel like your own as you rush embarrassingly fast towards cumming. Your vision blurs with tears, and you cum without a warning. A pleasant humming fills your mind as Jimin continues to eat you out, lapping up whatever you give him with a fervor that makes your toes curl. Wet tears roll over your cheeks and into your hairline, mixing with the sweat that was already there.
So lost in the pleasure, you barely notice that Jimin had stopped until your hands drop form his hair, limp at your sides. His lips and nose are glistening with your juices, and the sight of him makes you gasp.
“You came so fast, baby. Were you really that deprived?” You lean into the attention and nod, whining to him when he coos over you. “Such a pretty little pussy deserves attention, doesn't it?” You know he’s relishing in your submission, but you’re more than happy to fall into it when you feel so safe.
The bed dips above your head, and you know that it’s Taehyung and Jungkook finally joining you. You crane your head backwards to find them both staring raptly at your figure, the heaving of your chest as you recover.
“Think she's ready for a dick?” Jimin asks casually, as if you’re not right under him. You whimper, nodding your head emphatically. He finally casts a gaze back down at you, smiling with genuine kindness. After a second he leans away, allowing cold air to wash over your body. A small feeling of alarm washes over you as he backs up, and your eyes dart around as he reaches into the bedside table a few steps away. The silver packet shimmers in the low light, as as much as you admire their willingness to be safe, you shake your head petulantly.
Taehyung’s face hovers over your own in an instant, eyebrows furrowed as he examines you. You know he’s looking for signs of distress; assessing if you need to stop, but all he sees is your pouty lip and teary eyes.
“I wanna-” you gulp down a swallow. “Wanna feel you raw. Please. I'm on the pill and I’m clean.” You plead your case to the man above you, knowing well that they’re all listening. “I just wanna feel you...” you try again when no one says anything. Then, Taehyung’s face lights up in a smile that would seem evil if you didn't know any better.
“Hear that, guys? Our pretty little baby wants us raw.” Excitement passes through your stomach when you see how this is going.
“If that’s what she wants...” Jungkook chimes in, pretending like his cock didn't jump and throb at your words. Jimin comes back to you, hands empty, and grasps the meat of your thighs, hoisting them up so that they’re bent at the knees. One hand drops, and you assume he’s going to play with your pussy, but it instead comes down harshly on the juncture of your ass and thigh.
“You nasty little thing. Want all three of us to cum in you? Fill up your little pussy like you’ve been waiting for?” The gravel in his voice makes your pussy clench and he sees it, chuckling darkly.
“What do you say, guys? Wanna cum inside her?” A collective groan of agreement falls from everyone but Jimin, who is busy lining himself up with your soaking entrance. You heave a breath in anticipation as Taehyung and Jungkook move to flank your sides, eager to have their hands on you. “We’re all clean too, baby. Nothing to worry about.” Jungkook suddenly assures you, tracing a gentle line down your arm closest to him.
At your nod, Jimin presses forward, beginning his descent into you. The stretch is already unbelievable, much more intense than your tiny vibrator. He reads your body well, taking his time to enter you as you gasp and writhe. Taehyung and Jungkook do their best to soothe you, helping to pain morph into pleasure as Jimin is finally fully inside of you.
“Holy shit, you feel so good.” His voice is airy with pleasure and it inflates your ego just a bit. He begins a steady rhythm, splitting you open with every movement of his hips. A gasp stutters out of you when you realize just how big he is, tears brimming once again at the pure pleasure he’s giving you. It doesn't take long for him to increase his pace, fucking into you so hard that you’re pushed further onto the bed, tears spilling freely. Jungkook and Taehyung have each taken the liberty to attend to one of your nipples, pinching and licking at them as they please while Jimin wrecks you.
“Look so pretty when you cry, baby. Sweet little crybaby letting me ruin her pussy, huh?” Jimin’s words add fuel to the fire in your stomach, and you cry even more as he hits a spot inside you that you didn't even know existed.
“I’m getting close, Jimin-” your voice is stolen from you as Jungkook takes the opportunity to work two large fingers over your sensitive clit, heightening every sensation into a burning desire in your stomach.
“I’m cumming!” You’re impressed the words even make it out before you feel like you’re floating, cumming around Jimin’s cock. Neither him or Jungkook let up as you scream their names, hands scrabbling for something to anchor yourself. White spots cloud your vision, and as the sensation passes you realize that your whole body is trembling. Taehyung’s planting kisses on your collarbones, murmuring things you can't quite understand yet. Jimin and Jungkook’s eyes are glued to your pussy, and you can feel it fluttering with the aftershocks.
“Fuck, gimme a turn.” Jungkook is suddenly on the move, practically shoving Jimin- who was still hard- out of the way. Jimin doesn’t protest, his chest heaving from effort as he lays down next to you on the bed, immediately stealing your attention with a kiss.
“You are so hot, you know that?” He says, brushing stray strands of hair out of your eyes. “Crying like that got me fucking harder, somehow. Shit.” You almost feel bad that he’s still hard, but Taehyung steals your attention quickly with a kiss of his own. Jungkook’s hands dance on your thighs, admiring the red marks that Jimin’s hand had made on you. His hand comes down on the opposite cheek that Jimin slapped earlier, relishing in the way you whine into Taehyung’s kiss. He lands one more on each side for good measure, and you moan so loudly that you have to pull away from Taehyung’s mouth.
Jungkook takes the moment to tease his head against your slick entrance, and you nod fervently to tell him you’re more than ready for his cock. He’s somehow longer than Jimin, the impressive length a bit imposing as he begins to slip in. Despite just having orgasmed, he still stretches your entrance considerably. Taehyung groans along with you, sitting up for a better look as he wraps his hand around his cock. You can see now just how needy he is, the tip red and leaking. You reach for him absently, trying to keep your eyes on Jungkook as his face twists into pleasure.
“Think she wants you, Taehyung.” Jimin interjects, warm hands enjoying caressing your side. Your mind is fuzzy with desire, as Taehyung finally gets your cues and props himself up. The sight of his cock makes your mouth water, and you open it to him with no hesitation. Perhaps wisely, he sneaks a look down to your pussy, where Jungkook had started a slow and satisfying rhythm inside of you. As if he knew the exact timing, Taehyung shoves his cock into your waiting mouth at the exact same time Jungkook ramps up his speed.
Stuffed on both ends, you moan, surprised and delighted at how well the men worked together. Jungkook’s pace is punishing, relentless with the way he batters your pussy like it’s made for him. Lewd groans spills from him in a constant stream, and paired with the way he stretches you, you would be screaming for the whole building to hear if not for Taehyung’s cock.
You focus on him as well as you can, relaxing your throat to let him fuck your face as he pleases. Your gag reflex threatens to make an appearance but you fight through it, enjoying the burn of your throat expanding for him. Taehyung is surprisingly perceptive to your needs and speeds up his thrusts just enough to make you feel wonderfully numb, spit seeping around his cock. The wetness drips down your chin onto your chest, but you are far too gone to find it embarrassing. Jungkook is lost in his pleasure, hips moving at an inhumane speed that scrambles your brain and sends shockwaves through your pussy.
“Pretty fucking girl, slobbering on my cock. Lettin’ me fuck your throat like a whore while Jungkook fucks you. Just a good little whore, doing whatever we want you to do, huh?” You nod at his words as best as you can, the mixture of sweat, tears and spit making your neck feel stick, but it’s all worth it when Taehyung produces the deepest moan you've ever heard.
Jungkook mirrors him, letting out a string of high pitched whines. You choke around Taehyung’s cock at the movements and he lets up, allowing your wrecked voice to fill the room alongside Jungkook’s. With Taehyung out of the way Jungkook leans forward and leaves a bite on your neck, gasping as you feel his release fill you. The warmth makes your eyes roll back, satisfied to finally be filled with someone’s cum.
Jungkook continues to buck his hips as he cums, laying his head down on your chest as Jimin captivates him in a kiss of his own. You’re entranced by their embrace, watching the way their tongues slip against each others as Jungkook rests on your chest. A happiness settles inside of you, not even bothered that you didn't come, as Jungkook lets out an airy giggle. He stands up and finds the strength to pull out of you, eyes glued to the mess he made inside of you.
His cum rushes out and you clench to keep it in, loving the heavy feeling inside of you. Jungkook swears, pushing his sweaty hair back off his gorgeous forehead.
“Fuck, you look so pretty with your pussy filled.” You’re surprised to hear Taehyung say, as he rounds the bed. They fall into their natural rhythm again as Jungkook finds his place, cuddled into Jimin’s side as if they’re watching a show. Taehyung’s eyes glint with something you can’t explain as he works a hand over his cock.
He sees your questioning gaze and smirks. “Had to stop fucking your mouth cause I only wanna cum inside of you.” His hands find your hips, massaging the flesh there with reverence. “Flip over.” His sweet playful tone is gone, replaced by a hard dominance that churns your stomach. It takes a second to get your muscles to work, but soon you’re on your knees and elbows, head buried in the soft comforter. Taehyung groans, clearly enjoying the change in scenery as he gropes your ass. His fingers split open your pussy, watching Jimin’s cum seep out of it.
He takes a swipe across your pussy with his tongue, sending a moan stuttering out of you. “Tastes so good, but I can't wait to be inside of it.”
“Please fuck me, Taehyung. I need you so bad.” You whine. The desire to have another load of cum inside of you overtakes any decorum as you shuffle your hips back against him, hoping it will make him act faster.
“You greedy little girl. Already been fucked twice and you can't get enough?” He teases but you can hear the hitch in his voice, the way the heavy head of his cock traces against your exposed folds. He takes extra time to run the head of his cock over your engorged clit, extra sensitive since you didn't cum with Jungkook. Without warning his cock is sliding into you, pushing through the wetness of Jungkook’s come and your arousal.
By far the thickest of the three, Taehyung’s cock punches the air out of you with the new angle. Your manicured nails grip the comforter in anticipation, and before you know it Taehyung is pounding into you. You feel like you will never catch your breath again with the way he’s moving inside of you, deconstructing your nervous system piece by piece. You’re vaguely aware of Jimin and Jungkook next to you and you turn your head in curiosity.
Jungkook, despite his tiredness, has his lips wrapped around Jimin’s cock, eyes closed in pleasure as he bobs his head. The sight sends a ripple of pleasure straight to your core, tightening around Taehyung so much that he slaps your ass in appreciation. Jimin’s eyelids hang low but open, dangerous eyes boring right into your own as if he could read your mind. The hand that isn’t propping him up is resting gently on Jungkook’s head, and even with the momentum from Taehyung’s thrusts making your vision blurry, you can tell that Jimin’s face is the picture of sinful pleasure.
Taehyung’s fingers seek out your clit and your instantly clench around him, your walls spasming as you fall into sensory bliss, all but drooling into the fabric below you.
“Love this greedy little pussy, baby. So lucky we met her-” a hitch of his breath accompanied by his hips stuttering. “Come on, cum for me so I can fill you up.” His fingers somehow move faster, strumming your clit in a way that makes your toes clench and your stomach unravel. You cum with a force you didn’t know possible, gushing around Taehyung’s cock in a sticky mess. He thrusts only a few more times before spilling inside of you, slapping your ass again for good measure.
Your ears ring, happy with the numbness of your world. You can tell there are several hands on you, but who they belong to is a mystery. Taehyung’s cock leaves you and you whine, immediately missing the weight of him inside you. His cum spills out behind him and you feel like you could cry as the fullness slips away from you. You try your best to voice it as your body collapses onto the bed, but you can’t tell if they can even hear you let alone understand you.
The edges of your vision return, fingers and toes coming back to life. You finally make out the hands on your head to be Jungkook’s, who is laying down next to you, staring at you as if you were made of stars. He’s speaking lowly and you smile when you finally make sense of what he’s saying.
“Good girl, now there you are. Hey.” The soft tone he uses makes you feel at ease. “Can you tell me what you were just trying to say?” His eyebrows furrow cutely and you try so hard to focus on his question and not the way you want to kiss him so badly. It takes your mouth a few moments to catch up to your brain, and you finally wade through the happy haze of your orgasm.
“I said that I-” you wince at how wrecked your voice is. “I don’ want all the cum to slip out of me.”
Jungkook’s eyes widen at your admission, perhaps expecting you to have much more PG thing to say. He recovers quickly, allowing a sexy smirk to break through.
“Jimin,” Jungkook says, and for a second you’re still confused, until the man he calls upon is taking his place. His makeup still looks impeccable, and this close up you can see the details in his irises. He says nothing, and you aren’t sure exactly what he heard, so you just start again.
“I want to-”
“Have all the cum stuffed back into you?” His words shock you despite how lewd the entire night had been. “Are you sure you’re gonna be alright? That last orgasm really took it out of you, sweetheart.”
Your heart jumps at his consideration, but there’s still a fire burning deep in your stomach that you know he could be the one to put out. You turn your head just enough to see that his cock is still hard, leaking precum against his toned stomach.
“Yes, I’m sure. Please. Please. I promise I’ll be good. Wanna make you cum. Wanna have you all in me.” Jimin’s eyes darken immediately, and his strong hands maneuver your pliant body back onto your back. A surge of confidence runs through you at the animalistic desire on his face.
“Gonna get you all filled up, baby. Our perfect little cum dump. Lettin’ us all take our turns with you.” He spreads your legs, examining your puffy pussy lips and the remnants of cum that leak from you. He gathers up what he can with his fingers and shoves it back into you. You shudder at the intrusion, beyond sensitive to his touches.
“”M not gonna last long, baby. I’m so fucking hard.” He whines, palming himself as he gets to where he needs to be, settled between your legs snugly.
“S okay, just want your cum.” You assure him sweetly, feeling the weight of the night as well. You weren't even sure you had it in you to cum again, but you knew you wouldn't end the night satisfied without having them all spill inside of you.
Jimin wastes no time after your reassurance, and his cock slides right in as if you were made for him. The lubrication makes for an extremely easy glide. Every move he makes strikes pleasure in your pussy, the sensitivity of the muscles making your orgasm build with surprising speed. Jimin can feel you clenching around him and he gasps, knowing your tells after seeing you cum so many times in one night. He presses a nimble finger to your clit, and that’s all it takes for you to cum again. A slow simmering orgasm that makes your legs shake as you gasp, latching onto Jimin’s arms for support. He joins you not long after, giving a few short thrusts to make sure that he fills you up deep.
He drops his full body weight on top of you and you relish in the secure feeling, his cock twitching while still inside you. The shake in your legs finally stills, and Jimin pulls out of you, careful to minimize the amount that slipped out of you. You closed your legs instinctively although you were exhausted beyond belief. As the adrenaline wears off and the sweat begins to dry you shiver under him. Despite the heat of his body, you were definitely in need of something else to cover you. When he feels you shiver he plants a kiss on your forehead before sitting up and pulling aside the comforter on the bed before leading you underneath the layers of warmth. He slips in right after you, wrapping his arms steady around your figure. Your eyes threaten to slip shut, but the absence of the others nags at the back of your brain.
“Went to get clothes and water,” Jimin explains as if he can read your mind. His head barely lifts from your shoulder as he speaks, and the low hum of his voice against you soothes the very last of your frayed nerves. Seconds later the door glides open, a now-dressed Taehyung and Jungkook with bottles of water and fabric bundled in their hands.
You and Jimin both take a water bottle, and the other boys settle down on the bed. Suddenly you realize the bed isn't quite big enough for all four of you, as Taehyung’s limbs sprawl overtop of Jungkook’s.
Jungkook waits until you drain half the water bottle, and then shuffles the pile of clothes in his arms.
“They’re uh- they’re my clothes, but I. Figured they'd be better than your...dress.” He blushes, gingerly holding it out to you. The sight makes you giggle, but you thank him, and pull the shirt on over your head while you're still in the bed. Feeling like you could trust your legs again you slip out of bed and pull on the boxers and sweatpants he gave you. The shirt falls to your thighs and the bottoms he gave you only fit because of their drawstring, but the enveloping warmth and comfort made up for the size difference.
“Thank you, Jungkook.” You whisper your thanks, scared to ruin the comfortable low hum of conversation between Taehyung and Jimin. It's easy to slip back under the sheets, wedged between Jimin and Jungkook. Taeyhyung takes the other side of Jimin, barely having enough room for his body at the edge of the mattress. He doesn’t seem to mind, though, as he reaches an arm across Jimin to reach you. He gently places a hand on your arm, rubbing gently at the skin there.
An odd wave of emotion crests over you and your eyes well. “Thank you, by the way.”
To your complete embarrassment they all coo at once, squishing in closer to you. You all smell like sex and sweat, but the embrace is so sweet that you have to remind yourself it was only a one night stand.
“We should be the ones thanking you, Y/N. Believe it or we don’t usually do...this.” Jungkook admits. He’s facing your back but you can imagine the blush on his cheeks as he speaks. The idea shocks you and a sound of disbelief punches out of you.
“It’s true,” Jimin pokes your ribs gently when he sees the look on your face. “We’re pretty picky. But you...” He stops himself, seeming to be afraid of saying too much. A teasing glimmer of hope sprouts in your chest with the implications of his words. Was it too soon for you to suggest doing this again? Or just hanging out like normal people? There’s no denying that you’re wildly attracted to all of them, but does that mean its worth pursuing?
“We can think about it in the morning.” Comes Jimin’s gentle voice. Taehyung nods from behind him, and you can tell that his exhaustion is catching up to him. You have no idea it was when you left the club with them, and certainly have no idea what hour it is now. Jungkook grunts his agreement into your neck, and you hope he can't sense the way your heartbeat speeds up at his proximity.
“Well still, thank you. And good night.” You murmur, nestling into the surprisingly soft pillow. Your eyes shut, and sleep is just inches away, latched between the two men closest to you, when Jimin begins to wiggle.
“Shit, guys. Let me out, I need to piss.” Triplet sighs follow his demand, and you all laugh as he flips you off on the way to the bathroom.
hour of need
pairing - harwin strong x reader
warnings - fem!reader, sexual content, exhibitionism, cock warming
notes - short and sweet. also, since devoted to you has reached over 1k notes i just wanted to say thank you so much for all the support :')
y/n felt her body ached in pleasure, she never thought she would be caught dead in this position but here she was in Harwin Strong’s lap with his cock buried deep inside her.
Their relationship had been complicated, to say the least. When y/n first arrived at court, it was merely in honor of Aegon’s second name day. But instead of returning home, Rhaenyra had decided to name y/n her lady-in-waiting, requesting for her to stay at King’s Landing. That was years ago, much had changed since then, but the one thing that stayed constant in her life was Ser Harwin Strong. From the moment they met, an invisible bond formed between the two. It seemed as if everywhere she went he would sooner or later make an appearance to be near her. It all started with longing glances from across the room to secretive touches when walking past each other. They were always playing cat and mouse, dancing around the fact that there might just be more between them just never outwardly admitting it. In turn, she started to give up hopes that he truly felt something for her, that this was all a lost cause. That was until Harwin saw her chatting with Jason Lannister who was obviously trying to woo her with his expensive wine and honey-coated promises. Something in him snapped that day, suddenly realizing he couldn’t wait on the sidelines anymore. He was a fool to assume she would wait forever for him.
So here she was, her dress bunched around her hips, the collar of her dress slipping off her shoulders as his lips ravaged her neck. She whined in need, wanting nothing more than to grind her hips against his but his hands were tight around her waist, keeping her in place.
How long had it been since he had been denying her the release she so badly wanted?
“Oh, gods…please” throwing her head back impatiently.
He lifted his head from her neck, jaw tightening as he grabbed her chin forcing her to look at him “What gods? It’s just you and me and it’s my cock that you’re drunk from.”
He thrust up into her, a soft whimper escaping from her lips. He promised to give her his attention once he finished writing the letter that he had started when she first arrived in his chambers, but that felt like ages ago. Now it just seemed like he was just punishing her for his own satisfaction.
“Harwin please,” she begged her lips quivering as she felt her eyes start to burn with tears.
“Please what, my love?” he mumbled against the soft skin of her breasts, his tongue swirling around her nipple making her back arch. She was so lost in her own pleasure she hadn’t even heard the door to Harwin’s bedchamber open.
“Brother, what is it- my gods!” a voice yelled from behind her nearly making her jump in surprise.
“Come brother, deliver this letter to father,” Harwin said casually, obviously not phased by the situation. y/n cowered deeper into his chest, slipping her face into the crook of his neck wishing she could disappear. How could she ever face Larys ever again?
“And why can't you deliver this letter to father yourself?” Larys demanded, his face red in annoyance, stumbling to grab the letter in Harwin’s hand while trying not to look at his lover’s half-naked body.
“I am leaving for Harrenhal.”
“Lady y/n is to be my wife and we will be leaving for Harrenhal tonight,” he proclaimed, his hand running through y/n’s hair, tugging it at the roots, making her head tilt back to look at him.
“Make haste brother! Unless you would like to stay, I doubt my lady will mind an audience,” he teased with a smirk not once breaking eye contact with his lover.
The sound of the door slamming shut was his only response. y/n whined, only making Harwin’s smirk grow, she wanted nothing more than to wipe that look off his face.
“What’s wrong my love?”
“How absolutely dreadful you are! You might as well have just taken me to the courtyard in front of everyone so they could all watch.”
“And to give them the pleasure of seeing the most beautiful woman in the Seven Kingdoms naked? No, my love, you’re all mine to devour,” he replied, as his lips trailed kisses down her neck once more, wanting to leave marks all over her body.
He gripped the back of her knees, effortlessly lifting her to lay her down on the table in front of them. The movement made her whimper in need, clawing at his body in hopes to bring him close to her again.
“Now, since you’ve been such a good girl, waiting so patiently. I think it’s time for your reward.”
Mason Mount x Reader
This is just a short imagine and definitely not my best work, my apologies, but I wanted to post sth before leaving for a business trip on Saturday. So here you go, I hope you still like it! <3
“No, that’s it, thank you.”, you smiled before you paid for your and Lewis’ coffees and walked back over to where he was sitting next to his younger brother. From what it looked like Lewis was trying to show Mason something on his phone, but the latter wasn’t having any of it. It was 4:19 am and your boyfriend still more asleep than awake and somewhat grumpy, while Lewis was being the ray of sunshine he just about always was.
You weren’t a morning person either. In fact, endless cuddling with Mason during the early hours of a day was your favourite way to spend time, but the prospect of finally getting some time off in Portugal had lifted your spirits. Even at this ungodly hour.
“Here you go.” You passed Lewis his cup before you sat down next to Mason. His hand found yours automatically as he slipped his fingers in between yours.
“How can you get him a coffee, y/n?”, he whined, his head falling back against the headrest of the little sofa. “He’s annoying enough as it is right now.”
Lewis rolled his eyes and reached out to jab his brother in the ribs, but you were quick in stopping him. Knowing very well that he shouldn’t take it too far with Mason at this time.
And the one thing you wanted to avoid at all costs was a seriously annoyed and stressed Mason. He had been through enough at Chelsea and he deserved some peaceful time away from all bothers the world had to offer.
“Just ignore him, Mase.”, you whispered before you pressed a kiss to his stubbly jaw. “Want a sip?” Mason scrunched his nose at your offer, not being a big fan of coffee and especially not this early in the morning. “No.”, he mumbled when he leaned his head against yours carefully. “Thank you, though.”
A couple of minutes later the others turned up. Summer rested on her dad’s hip, rather sleepy too, but the second she noticed you, she wiggled out of Sam’s arms and ran over to you and Mase. “Well, if this isn’t my favourite person in the world.”, you grinned when you picked her up to press kisses against her cheeks, making her giggle loudly. “You’re excited Summer? We’re going on holidays!”
You kept her on your lap for a little while, playing with her hands and trying to distract her from the boring act of waiting for boarding until Tony and the toys he brought from the duty free became way more interesting than you.
Turning towards Mason to ask if he wanted something to eat, now that some time had passed, you found his big brown eyes already settled on you.
“I thought I was your favourite.”, he pouted with a little crease between his brows. He looked way too adorable for his own good. “Oh, my big baby.”, you cooed, slightly squishing his pouty face between your hands. “Are we jealous of a three-years-old?”
Mason pulled his face away, embarrassment flickering through his eyes. “No, I just meant that-“, he stopped himself, realising how stupid he sounded. “Never mind.”
You watched a blush creeping up on his cheeks and covering the bridge of his nose, highlighting his pretty freckles even more. He averted his eyes to his shoes, not daring to look at you because despite having been with you for a while, he was still easily embarrassed in fear of scaring you away. Mason pulled the sleeves of his hoodie down to cover his hands, but you made quick work of reaching for one, not wanting to be without the physical contact you cherished so much.
“Want to hold my hand?”, you enquired quietly after the pilot had announced you’d be taking off soon. You knew flying was his least favourite way of travelling, with him not being in control over everything high up in the air, so you hoped holing his hand would make him feel a bit better.
Mason opened his eyes at that, surprised you remembered the conversation the two of you’d had some weeks ago when he had asked you to join him and his family for their summer holidays and he couldn’t help his heart stumbling over itself.
He had mentioned it in a joking way, saying you’d probably have to hold his hand like Chilly does all the time. Chilly obviously didn’t and never had he thought you’d realise how serious he had been in his hidden request.
“Yes please.”, he whispered and immediately grabbed your hand when you held it out for him and when his engulfed your so much smaller one, he slipped his fingers between yours and squeezed it in appreciation.
You leaned back in the comfy cushions of your shared seat and settled your attention on your boyfriend, who had turned his head towards you and closed his eyes. A small smile ever present on his face and you couldn’t help but bring your joined hands up to your lips to press a single kiss to the back of his hand.
Once the plane had eventually reached the final altitude, Mason felt somewhat at ease again.
He leaned his head against your shoulder, hoping you didn’t mind too much as you were engrossed in your newly discovered favourite Netflix series.
At first, he tried to pay attention too, reading the subtitles you had left on, but eventually he fell into a peaceful slumber against you shortly after, his hand still in yours and his heart settled in his chest.
You didn’t notice he had fallen asleep on your shoulder until his head slid down your arm a little, making the position he was in more than uncomfortable. You waited, hoping he would wake up to reposition, but when he didn’t, you made the heart-breaking decision of waking him up yourself, knowing he’d suffer from a stiff neck the next day if you didn’t.
Pausing your series, you reached out to cup his cheek. “Mase, I’m sorry, but you have to wake up.” He mumbled something you didn’t quite catch under his breath, subconsciously snuggling closer to your body without improving his position.
“Mase, love.” You pressed a kiss on top of his head before lifting it up carefully. “Wake up, love.”
Mason groaned in disapproval, hating the fact you just woke him from what felt like a peaceful nap.
“Why d’you wake me?”, he opened his tired eyes, squinting at the light that was way too bright in that moment. You recognised the sleepiness in them and felt even worse for doing it.
“I’m sorry, but you weren’t comfy.”, you explained, your hand coming up to cup his cheek. Your thumb brushing right beneath his eye. “Your neck would’ve hurt by the time we arrive.”
Mason shook his head. “Was nice. You’re comfortable.”
You sent him a sweet smile, your heart warming at him feeling so comfortable around you.
“You’re cute when you are half-asleep like this.” You removed your hand from his cheek and reached out to ruffle his slightly messy hair. The soft strands slipping through your fingers proving your happiness that he was finally growing it out a little bit again.
Mason’s cheeks were covered by a gentle blush by the time you were done admiring him. “Am not.”, he argued, although he secretly loved your compliment. It was genuine. Not one you’d give out to just anyone. It was one specifically for him because you were the only one seeing him in this state. Sleepy, with tired eyes, messy hair and his thoughts all over the place.
“Are too.” You tapped the side of his nose in jest and leaned in to kiss his forehead, before you finally changed your position on the seats so that he could cuddle back into you. Only this time in a more comfortable position.
When you opened your arms, Mason practically buried his body in your own. His arms wrapping around your middle, keeping you close to him, while yours came up around his shoulders. “Comfy.”, he mumbled, closing his eyes, ready to go back to sleep and you turned your attention back to your series, but before you could even press the play-button, Mason wiggled in your arms and leaned his chin against your chest. He looked up at you, his warm, brown eyes gazed into yours and for a second he wondered what he had done to deserve to be with you.
You looked at him questioningly, wondering what he could want, but before you could ask, Mason already gave you the answer. “Kiss please?”, he breathed, his eyes pleading with you wordlessly.
As if anyone could ever say no to him and those eyes.
Fulfilling his wish, you leaned down and placed your lips against his already puckered pair. Mason hummed against your mouth, his fingers tightening just that little bit against your back when you brought your hand up to cup the back of his head.
You loved kissing him as much as he loved kissing you.
One hour later and Mason was still fast asleep against your chest. His wrists dug uncomfortably into your back, but you didn’t dare to move. He deserved some peace and quiet and if it meant you being uncomfortable for a while, you would take it in a heartbeat.
You had abandoned your series some minutes ago with the storyline not taking the direction you wanted it too, so all you did was holding your sleeping boyfriend in your arms and brushing your hand over his back from time to time, while you stared out of the small window.
“I’ve never seen him like this with anyone before.”
Jaz sat down opposite of you. Summer had finally fallen asleep too, giving her the time to talk to you about something she had wanted to address for some time.
“I have never seen him this happy and free, this in love with anyone before you. He has been through some crazy stuff, I think he’s told you already and he was terrified to let anyone in again, but then you came along and all of sudden he was back to the Mason we’d all missed. There hasn’t been a day ever since he's met you that he hasn’t spoken about you. You mean everything to him, y/n.”
You couldn’t help but tear up at her kind words and how much they meant to you. It was something you had heard from Ben already, but hearing it from Mason’s family was another thing.
“I just love him.”, you admitted. “He’s the best thing that has ever happened to me.”
You leaned down to press a kiss on top of Mason’s head and when he snuggled closer to you in his sleep, you felt like your heart would burst with how much love for him it held.
He was yours. This beautiful, precious and kind-hearted soul your boyfriend was made of was yours and yours alone. And you would protect him and your relationship at all costs.
“I’m happy he met you, y/n. And I’m happy he made you part of our family.” Jaz stood up again, walking past you with a smile on her face.
Halfway through the flight Mason woke up again. You noticed him shifting against you as he let out a little yawn. “I love sleeping like this.”, he admitted, cheeks turning slightly rosy again, causing you to reach out and trace the small constellation of freckles on his cheekbone. “You’re so comfy and always keep me close.”
You moved your hands to brush through his soft hair. “It’s because I love you.”, you replied.
Mason’s heart skipped a beat or two, still not used to hearing you say it. He lifted his head up, wanting to give you something in return. “I love you.”, he breathed against your jaw before kissing you there, making his way over your cheeks and nose until he finally brushed his lips against yours. “So much.”
MCR in Sunrise, Florida (9/24/22)
Gerard Way has supernatural abilities. They are able to possess people. They possessed me on September 24th fully and completely. Their voice has the unique ability to make you feel like you're on fucking fire and covered hot sticky blood and drowning in lake superior in November and being swaddled into a warm chest all at the same time. Their eyes are yellow, contrary to the popular belief that they are green. Eye contact with them is intense in ways I can't describe because of this. They drill into you gently and even if it hurts, you can't look away because of how warm it feels. They are not cis. Unapologetically so. They don't need to say that for it to be understood. Part of me never wants them to say it because I don't want them to feel the need to label what it is they are. They have the smallest, most endearing speaking voice I've ever heard. You can't let it fool you. There is nothing but raw fire behind their cherub face. They embody the Aries sign they were born under. The only reason I still live freely is because they made the conscious choice years ago to not be a Manson style cult leader. The way they command a crowd is frightening because through it all, you never feel like you're being controlled at all. They're scary in the way something you can't understand is scary and it's the thing I love the most about them.
Everyone in this band is both two inches tall and so huge you cannot perceive them. Frank Iero is the worst case of this. I've never seen someone come on stage 40 years old and leave 17 again. He's got no reason to jump around like he does, no one expects it of him or would criticize him for chilling out after everything life has put his body through, but I think he is physically incapable of doing so. He thrives off intensity. Sometimes he's so filled with love that he chokes his lines. Sometimes he sings duets into his mic and, even when a song doesn't call for it, you can hear his uniquely wild voice underneath the lead. Sometimes he goes up to the mic and barks like a dog cause that's how it's making him feel. Sometimes he moans with his entire chest and makes everyone do a double take because of how real it sounds. Who knows, it very well could be. He is, after all, the number one fan of the band he's in. He was their first and only groupie. He will never stop being their number one fan because no one else is brave enough to take away his title. Most importantly though, he will never deal in halves. I don't think he's ever going to die because death has come for him more times that anyone can count and he's fucking serious about keeping his winning streak.
Mikey Way is incapable of frowning or keeping a poker face. For newer mcr fans, this may not be a shocking statement, but I need you to understand that there were maybe three sum-odd pictures of him smiling for the entirety of mcr's original run, and he wasn't sober in any of them. Now he is and he still can't stop smiling. And let me tell you, it's infectious. Any time you catch his face in the monitor looking like he's witnessing everything good in the world happening right in front of him, you feel it deep in your soul, deeper than you thought was possible. He'll get up front and center and play his bass and all eyes will direct towards him because the lights for the show were coded and reworked specifically so he could have his moment, put in by his older sibling and best friends. He is everyone's little brother. He's radiant, and you can see in his face how hard he fought to get there. He's radiant, and he deserves it. Loving him is easy as breathing. He is, without a shadow of a doubt, Mikey Fucking Way.
Ray Toro is the best guitarist in the world. I can say this without second guessing myself for a second because I've seen him play. He's enthralling when he plays, because he's never just playing. He'll be playing and ricocheting off of his best friends, kissing them, hugging them, sticking his face in their necks just to feel their heartbeats. He'll take sips from his glass of vintage red between songs. He'll put a framed picture of his family right in front of the cameras so he can show them off to an entire arena of people. The love he radiates can be felt from a mile away, just as tangible as the heat from the sun. You can feel it warming through your entire body. He could be in any band he wanted. One could even argue that mcr's reputation as a band full of "queers" is the reason he's not nearly as recognized as he should be. He doesn't care. He doesn't care, because he doesn't want to be in any other band in the world. He only wants to play with the people on stage with him, and he he wouldn't trade them for all of the fame in the world. In short, Ray Toro is love embodied. And every time he plays, you can feel yourself fall in love with everyone in your direct vicinity, including him. He's Venus as a boy. He's Cupid as a man. He is love.
swimming through sick lullabies | eddie munson
eddie munson x byers!fem reader
synopsis: you and eddie are fwb's, but eddie never really thought of you as that. so when jason carver starts flirting with you during lunch, eddie decides to show him the dude who screws you good every night.
category: fluff + jealousy
a/n: special tag to @h4rringtonsworld, this one's for youuu 🏽
you had just moved back to hawkins from california a year ago after the unforeseen storm of an earthquake the small town in indiana had suffered. your mother and chief hopper are a real thing now and your brother will's always out with his three other friends. on the other hand, your eldest brother jonathan decided to drop out of lenora hills community college and bring his best friend argyle along to hawkins, renting a trailer together at the trailer park with the money they have from god-knows-where; you assume from argyle's old job at surfer boy pizza.
during these trying times of your family trying to make themselves comfortable again in hawkins, you've been secretly hooking up with the town freak eddie munson in your humble abode; whether it be when your mom is out on a date with hop or will is at mike's for d&d, or both if you're lucky. if you're not lazy to drive, you'd do the deed in his trailer, even though argyle and jonathan live nearby. sometimes jonathan would see your car parked out front of eddie's trailer in the morning and ask you your motives of staying the night, and you'd say you had a school project to complete, got too tired to drive and just crashed on the couch.
"you do realise i have a perfectly working car? that could drive you back home? god, at least knock on my door if you're here." jonathan would glare as you reply with a yeah yeah, big brother.
today, argyle and jonathan had enough time to drive back into town and drive you to school. you hadn't seen eddie all day yesterday. and of course, argyle made a big deal out of it. because when does he not make a big deal out of anything? "didn't crash at munson's last night huh byers?"
you had to play along. "yeah. he's all i don't wanna do shit tonight," you explain. "classic munson." you mumble to yourself, but obviously argyle heard. because apparently smoking purple palm tree delight gives you unreal auditory superpowers.
"you sound mad, byers," argyle teases. "i see this pattern in girls all the time."
"what pattern?" jonathan chimes in.
"byers, man... your sister likes that munson kid." argyle nods with the widest grin on his face.
"i don't like him, argyle!" you smack his arm. "fake news man. fake news."
"my sister knows better, man," jonathan taps his best friend's shoulder. "she's way out of eddie munson's league, trust me." oof. to you, it's kind of the opposite. eddie munson was way out of your league. you're still kind of in awe, the fact that he would choose you out of the dozens of metalhead girls in hawkins.
the school from the byers house is not that far, it was just a mere ten minute drive away. you lean back in the backseat as jonathan drives into the school parking lot. "hey jon, drop me off by the front doors." you tap your brother's shoulder, noticing eddie, steve and robin waiting by the doors already.
jonathan pulls into the entrance of the school. "thanks." you utter.
"see ya later byers." argyle waves.
"yeah argyle." you nod confused, as steve approaches you.
"hey loca," steve greets, giving you a side hug. "finally got a ride to school from big bro, huh?"
"and his high ass best friend? yeah, you guessed that one right." your eyebrows raise, walking towards robin and eddie. of course, since your regular fornications with eddie is kept a secret between you two, you had to pretend to not know each other well in public. "hey rob. eddie."
"hey byers," eddie nods his head up slightly, dropping his right foot from leaning against the wall. "we have to finish that physics project tonight, huh?"
you nod awkwardly. "yeah kinda."
"right. sorry for ditching you yesterday, by the way. had a— uh... gig at the hideout last night." that was a lie and you knew it. jonathan is catching on, so you didn't come over last night. you'd told him that over the phone.
"yeah no worries. let's just quickly get it done tonight." you nod, grinning before steve pulls you away from the conversation, his arm swinging around your shoulder.
"i'll see you at lunch later. eddie and i have calc right now." robin says, pointing towards the calculus room.
"yeah." steve nods as you watch robin pull eddie by his backpack towards calc. "sooo... how's partnering up with munson for physics huh?"
oh god. you hate questions that pertain to eddie. you know soon enough, you're gonna break. "meh. he smokes weed the entire time. not that i care, but... he gets so out of focus. it gets annoying eventually." you shrug.
"tell me about it," steve scoffs. "i have world history with him. the dude's always dozing off in class like he gets fifteen minutes of sleep every night. wonder what's up with him." oh, you know exactly what's up with him. you're under him almost every night.
"anyways enough about munson. how are you, man?"
"you just moved back to hawkins. how's everything?"
you scoff, not really knowing how to answer this question. "i mean... my mom's dating hop. my brother lives nearby eddie so whenever i come over for— project completion, he thinks i'm doing something else. will's at mike's 24/7. you tell me, i guess."
"so you barely see your family huh?" steve has that pitiful face on. you hate it.
"stop with that face. you don't have to pity me. i'll live."
"okay, jeez." steve lets you go as soon as you enter english.
finally. lunch. you were so ready for today to end. so many damn questions about how you and your family's holding up after moving back to hawkins from cali. you just wanna be at eddie's at this point.
you never eat lunch. even at lenora. you always thought lunch food was jack shit. they serve the most disgusting things, you just end up starving the whole afternoon. you didn't mind it though. you only sat with steve and robin because eddie's off with the rats of hellfire that is gareth and jeff, your younger brother, dustin henderson and mike wheeler.
if this day couldn't be more random, jason carver and his band of dicks decided to approach your table. "first day back, y/n byers," jason grins. "how is your family holding up huh?"
you didn't want to be rude, that's for sure. "just fine, jason. thanks for asking."
"now get lost, man." steve scoffs.
"damn harrington. calm down. just wanna... reconnect with y/n here." jason smiles mockingly at steve. robin was cringing in the corner.
"as long as you're into band..." a voice you recognize in a heartbeat. "or science, or... parties..."
"god." you hear jason mumble next to you.
"or a game where you toss balls into laundry baskets!" eddie screams towards jason. "yeah. you, carver."
"you want something, freak?!" jason argues.
"yeah, i do," eddie nods sarcastically. you see argyle and jonathan look your direction from a corner in the cafeteria. "want you to stop flirting with her."
jason scoffs, turning to the guys behind him with that look at this fuck expression. "why? she's not yours, munson. she knows better not to."
"actually..." you drag. "that's where you're wrong buddy."
"byers is mine carver. mine. so fuck off." eddie's eyes widen, a smirk growing on his lips.
steve stops facing eddie and faces you instead, his brows furrowed in utter confusion. "the hell is he talkin' 'bout, byers?"
"oh my god, are you with eddie, y/n?!" robin chimes in.
"uh..." you stutter, watching eddie jump off his table and walk over towards yours. you give eddie that cut it off gesture before staring at everyone else. argyle and jonathan are running now.
the gesture you sent eddie apparently fired him up even more. because guess what he did. "hawkins high! you heard that right! y/n byers, is mine. she belongs to the freak now, so jason carver... my guy... kindly fuck off." eddie giggles.
damn him and his big smile and stupid giggle. you stand up from your seat. "you heard 'im right, people. he's my freak now."
"your freak," eddie shakes his head, before snaking his arms around your waist. "loving how that sounds baby."
"what the fuck, y/n?!" you couldn't quite read jonathan's face. is he confused? is he mad?
"get it, byers!" argyle on the other hand was cheering for you.
"argyle likes us together, that's all that matters," you wink at eddie. "sorry jon."
"if only i could take you right here right now, byers..." eddie sighs.
"you and i are gonna have a long talk, byers," jonathan's finger aggressively points at you. "you too munson." jonathan walks away, before pulling argyle along since he wouldn't budge staring at you and eddie.
"is there even a physics project?" steve throws his hands up.
"yes steve. we still have to get it done eds." you turn to face eddie, who is sat next to you with his hand on your thigh and his other arm on the backrest of the chair next to him.
"fuck physics baby." eddie scoffs. "it's you i'm doing tonight."
"you guys!" steve groans.
summary: Your bedroom was the pandoras box of memories of Rafe Cameron
pairing: rafe cameron x kook! reader
warnings: angst! swearing! illusions to sex!
a/n: surprise! i quiet literally have zero self control and could not wait until friday to post this so enjoy!! <3
Your bedroom was the pandoras box of memories of Rafe Cameron, it was another reason you avoided coming home your freshman year. It was hard to return to the room that you and Rafe once considered one of your safe spaces, away from all the pressure from your families. You had dreaded this moment, a day where all your friends were busy and you would have to spend the day trapped in your home- in your room.
Duke laid in the middle of your floor, chewing on an old t-shirt of Charlies that he had found under your bed. The chocolate lab had whined at the door while you put away your laundry until you let him in. Soft music played from your TV as you moved between your dresser and closet, putting away clothes and picking out new ones to bring back to school. An old Duke University sweatshirt peeked out from the top of your closet shelf, a grin making its way to your face as you pulled it down. Your dad had believed he lost the sweatshirt on a family vacation.
“Shit,” You curse to yourself on your tip toes as you pulled the Duke sweatshirt down, along with one that was hidden on top of it. Your eyes go wide as recognition washes over you. Settling on your knees you hesitantly reach for the gray sweatshirt, Kildare Academy Lacrosse is written across the front.
You sit motionless for a moment before your fingers find the stitching on the right arm ‘Cameron 28’. You absentmindedly bring the sweatshirt to your nose searching for his familiar scent, closing your eyes to try and picture the moment you got this sweatshirt in the first place.
Spring of Senior Year
“It’s going to be cold tonight so wear a sweatshirt please,” Rafe parks his truck in your driveway, his body turning towards your own as you sat pretty in his front seat.
“You know what? I totally forgot to tell you! Duke chewed up all my sweatshirts so looks like I’m going to freeze.”
“Oh really?” Amusement is written across his face as he smiles at your antics. “Even the ones of mine that you have?”
“No!” You quickly shake your head “Those are safe.”
“So wear one of those then baby,” Rafe knows where this is going, you had been eyeing his new Kildare Academy Lacrosse hoodie since the teams new apparel came in two weeks ago. The sweatshirt that adorned his upper body was something that only the seniors received and he knew he wouldn’t get to enjoy it for long before you got your hands on it.
“Can’t they’re all in the wash. They won’t be ready by the time your game starts.”
“I’m sure Charlie would be happy to lend you one of his.”
“Rafe,” You whine as he laughs “Are you going to seriously make me beg for it.”
“Hm that sounds kinda nice,” He teases, but you notice the way his eyes lust over slightly as he leans in to you, laying a hand on the back of your neck to pull you closer to his lips.
“We are not having sex in your truck and in my driveway,” You deadpan, frowning as Rafe pulls back to laugh again.
“Will my sweatshirt change your mind?”
“Maybe,” You grin, using Rafe’s lustfulness to your advantage. “Please baby.”
“Fuck that’s not fair and you know it,” He sighs, already unbuckling his seatbelt so he can take the sweatshirt off, handing it over to you. “You can’t just call me baby and expect me to agree every time.”
“Why not? It works every time doesn’t it?” You grin, rushing to unbuckle yourself to pull the sweatshirt over your own head. Rafe’s familiar scent washes over you, the sweatshirt was warm and it felt as though you were wrapped up in Rafe. Biting his lip at the sight of his sweatshirt enveloping your form, it practically swallowed your body and he knew the moment you stepped out of the car it would rest on your thighs. Nothing will ever beat the sight of you in his clothes, after two years of being together. He wants this sight for the rest of his life.
“I love you,” He breathes, his heart skipping in his chest as you smile shyly at him.
“I love you more.”
“Not possible pretty girl,” Rafe takes you in, his girl sitting in his front seat in his sweatshirt with that fucking smile on her face. If he wasn’t already thinking about fucking you before when you made the begging comment, he’s definitely thinking about it now. You are his, the one thing that Rafe believes he has gotten right in his life, and he’s overwhelmed by the amount of love he feels for you.
“Rafe,” You warn, catching the way his eyes dilate.
“I can be late to warmups.”
“No you cannot.”
“Please baby,” He echoes your words from earlier as he leans over the center console planting kisses along your jaw. “Wanna make love to you right now.”
Your breath hitches in your throat and Rafe already knows your answer before you let out a breathy ‘yes please’, following you into your house and up the stairs with a lovesick grin on his face.
The sweatshirt only smells like your closet now as you drop it onto your bed, unsure what to do with it. Rafe had to know that you still had it, when he had picked up the box of his stuff on your front porch he had to have noticed it was missing. You had honestly forgot you had it until now. The only reason you kept it hidden in your closet was so that Rafe couldn’t find it and steal it back when he would come over.
Maybe you could have Charlie drop it off to Sarah or something, but would it be weird returning it after all this time? Is he going to think that you brought it to school? You needed something to do to take your mind off the sweatshirt that sat on your bed and the memory that is attached to it. Walking into your en suite bathroom you decide to go through and clean out any products in your cabinets that you don’t use.
Duke moves to lay at the front of the door that connects your bedroom and bathroom, wanting to watch you as he chews on the t-shirt still. Starting with makeup you go through and start to throw out anything that was old and you no longer used. Falling into a nice rhythm you’re mind starts to settle as you keep yourself distracted and busy. You decide to do your perfumes and lotions next, opening the drawer. It was mostly empty, considering you took most of that stuff to school with you.
“Jesus Christ,” You moan as your eyes land on the product that sticks out like a sore thumb. Snatching up the cologne you’re quick to return to your bedroom and drop it on the sweatshirt. Looking up at the ceiling you sigh “This is my karma right? For not coming home?”
Summer before Senior Year
You sat cross legged in the middle of Rafe’s bed as your eyes followed him around the room. A frown etched across your face as you watched him pack his suitcase. He places another polo in his suitcase before his eyes find yours, his own frown forming as he takes in the look on your face.
“It’s only ten days.”
“Is that supposed to make me feel better?” You deadpan, narrowing your eyes at him. “It’s ten days too long.”
“My dad invited you,” He reminds you as he moves back into his closet, missing the way you mocked him in annoyance.
“And I already told you I have to babysit.”
“Baby you’re passing up a trip to the Bahamas, with me, to watch a bunch of little rugrats.”
“Don’t call Maddy and Mason rugrats! I can’t just bail on the commitment I made because my boyfriend wants me to run away to the Bahamas with him,” You tell him sternly as he exits the closet, holding yet another polo.
“Do you like this one better than the light blue one?” He asks holding it up.
“I like whichever one is going to make you look bad so no girls hit on you,” You smile sweetly at him, as he rolls his eyes but the smile on his face tells you he thinks it’s funny.
“I’m not going to get hit on.”
“Literally don’t even try to make me feel better right now by lying,” You hold your hand up at him “We both know that what you said is not true.”
Rafe grins at your dramatics, he loved this side of you. He walks over to the edge of his bed and grabs your legs, uncrossing them before pulling them so he stood between them.
“Would it make you feel better if Sarah wrote ‘i have a girlfriend’ across my forehead every morning?”
“Yes actually that would help.”
He laughs as he places a gentle kiss on your forehead.
“The only girl my heart beats for will be playing out my MILF fantasy of her as she sits poolside on Figure 8 watching twins splash each other in the pool. I think I’m going to be the one missing out.” He tells you “Can’t believe I’m going to be jealous of two 8 year olds.”
You blush as you bury your head into his chest, taking in his strong cologne.
“Can I have another sweatshirt?”
He laughs as he pulls back from your embrace, a wide smile across his face.
“Baby you just got one.”
“But it doesn’t smell like you anymore,” You whine, your doe eyes begging him silently “I can’t go ten days without something that doesn’t smell like you. How am I going to sleep?”
He rolls his eyes again about to give in when he thinks of something better, something that will last you longer than ten days and save him from running out of all his sweatshirts.
You grin victoriously thinking you got your way again but your eyebrows furrow together as he comes back with his hands behind his back.
“Here,” He hands you the bottle before stepping between your legs again. “I can buy a new one.”
Your eyes take in the cologne that rests in your hands. It was full from him just buying it but he handed it over to you like it wasn’t a big deal, like he wasn’t leaving for the Bahamas tomorrow morning.
“Rafe you need this for your trip,” You try to hand it back to him but he shakes his head pushing it against your chest.
“I’ll use an old one or something,” He shrugs “I want you to have it, so you can drown all my clothes in my cologne so they smell like me again.”
You grin up at him, butterflies fluttering in your stomach. Rafe Cameron had a way of making any little action feel like the most romantic thing in the world. There were not enough words in the English language to describe the love you have for the six foot three boy in front of you.
“I love you,” You wrap your arms around his neck, pulling him down for a kiss.
“I love you more,” He whispers before he is slotting his lips to yours.
“Go with the light blue polo,” You tell him when you pull away “It’s my favorite color on you cause it makes your eyes even more blue.”
He attempts to hide his blush with a grin before he’s leaning down to capture your lips against his own again.
The bottle was half full now, after a year of you using it on anything that you had wanted to smell like Rafe. You bit your lip as you glare at the sweatshirt and cologne that mock you from your bed. You can’t help the thought of what other objects remain haunting your bedroom of the memory of your first love. What else could you have missed when you angrily packed up a box full of his things for him to pick up?
You were spiraling and you knew you weren’t going to stop until you tore every inch of your room apart. Telling yourself that it was just because you wanted everything gone, but deep down you wanted to relive the memories even if they cut open old wounds in the process.
Your eyes lock on your jewelry box that sits on your vanity, allowing your legs to make the decision for you as you make your way over. The brown wooden box was old and dust had collected on the top of it after not being used for two years. You can feel your chest physically ache as you open the box, as you zero in on what you were expecting to find.
A dainty gold locket hung alone on the hooks along the inner lid of the jewelry box. It was the only necklace you had left behind when you went to school. Gently taking it off the hook you hold it in your hands, blinking back tears.
Winter of Junior Year
Your head laid on Rafe’s shoulder as you two swung gently on your porch swing, watching the orange and pink sunset in silence. A smile rests softly across your face as you replay the night you had in your head. Rafe had taken you to your favorite Italian restaurant for your one year anniversary, showering you with love and flowers all night long.
A gentle kiss to your head pulls you out of your mind as you look up at the boy, his blue eyes shining down on you.
“I have something for you,” He speaks gently bringing a hand through your hair, resting it on the back of your neck.
“You already got me a present Rafe.”
“That was just a warm up gift,” He teases as he reaches into his pocket to pull out a small box. You sit up next to him as he hands it to you, nerves eating at his stomach.
Opening the box your heart jumps in your chest, your smile growing even wider. A gold necklace lays shining inside, a dainty heart shaped locket dangles from the chain.
“Baby,” You meet his eyes as they dance over your features to gauge your reaction.
“Do you like it?”
“Rafe I love it,” You breathe looking back down at the necklace “You- How did you know?”
“You’ve mentioned wanting one before,” He shrugs shyly.
“Is there a picture inside?”
“Of course there is,” He reaches over to gently open the locket to display your favorite photo of the two of you. You had forced Rafe to take pictures in some photo booth at one of the weddings this summer, and as cliche as it was the picture of the two of you kissing was your favorite out of the four pictures on the strip. Now you had it with you all of the time. “There’s also an engraving on the back.”
January 28. Your anniversary. Rafe’s jersey number. Your favorite number.
Rafe clasps the necklace around your neck for you as you blink back tears because Rafe Cameron wakes up every morning and never fails to prove how much he loves you.
“Now I’ll always be with you.”
“I don’t think I will love anyone else the way I love you Rafe Cameron,” You tell him honestly as he places his hands on your cheeks, his eyes lighting up at your words.
“I don’t want you to ever have to find out if that possible Y/N Y/L/N,” He whispers “It’s you and me, always has been always will be.”
You stare down at the picture inside the locket, the photo of two teenagers olds in love and not afraid to show it. You and Rafe had been sixteen when the picture was taken during the summer going into your junior year. He had waited half a year to gift you the necklace wanting to wait for your one year anniversary in January.
You move to sit at the edge of your bed, the weight of the memories rests heavy on your heart as you allow your tears to fall. You had spent two and a half years with Rafe Cameron and he never once made you second guess how he felt about you, proving how much he loved you through words and actions. It was hard to believe how quick you two had called it quits right before you were both leaving for school.
Choking back a sob you rest the necklace on your bedside table before reaching for the sweatshirt, pulling it over your head before moving to lay under your covers. This is exactly why you avoided coming home in the first place, there were too many memories and it was too painful to process.
Duke moves to jump up onto your bed to lay with you, resting his head on your curled up legs as you let everything pour out of you. You had been broken up for two years, why were you crying as if you broke up last week? If high school sophomore Y/N could see college sophomore Y/N she wouldn’t believe that Rafe Cameron was ever capable of breaking her heart.
Rafe drummed his thumbs along the steering wheel of his truck as he sat outside Sarah’s friends house waiting for her to come outside to go back home. She had called him last night around two in the morning and from the voicemail she had left he could tell that she was drunk again. The text he received this morning from her asking him to pick her up and bring her back to Tannyhill after their dad and stepmom left the house told Rafe all he needed to know about how hungover she was.
“You look like shit,” He speaks as she slides into the front seat, exhaustion written across her face.
“Thank you Rafe.”
He shrugs before pulling out of the driveway, making his way home. Silence fills the air between the two siblings as music plays softly from the speakers. Rafe wasn’t sure if he should ask Sarah about how she’s doing or just let it be. His mind replays all the times Sarah checked up on him after his own breakup two years ago and he knows his answer.
“Are you okay Sarah?” His eyes glance over to his younger sister for a moment “This is seriously becoming a problem.”
“I’m fine Rafe,” She keeps her eyes trained onto her phone while she speaks “I’m over it really.”
“You never really get over your first love Sarah.”
“Yeah well you would know that better than anyone right?” She regrets her words the moment they come back as she watches Rafe’s jaw tighten “I’m sorry- I didn’t mean-”
“It’s fine Sarah.”
Guilt pools in Sarah’s stomach and she feels the overwhelming urge to start crying, the last person she would want to hurt or push away is Rafe. She opens her mouth to speak again but it get cut off by her phone ringing in her lap.
Charlie flashes across the screen.
Rafe doesn’t pay much attention to the conversation his sister is having, something about a party tonight. He wants to object and tell his sister to just relax tonight but he bites his tongue.
“What do you mean she’s upset?” Rafe’s ears perk as he takes in his sisters words “Do you know why?”
“I don’t know she was like crying in her bed earlier when I went into her room,” Charlie’s words wash over Rafe. Were they talking about you? “She wouldn’t talk to me about it, told me to leave her alone.”
Sarah’s eyes meet Rafe’s as he slows down at a red light. She can tell by his face that he overhears what Charlie is saying.
“Do you want to just come over now?” Sarah asks, ignoring the way Rafes eyes burn into the side of her head “That way we can just go to the party together tonight, you can hang out at Tannyhill all day.”
Rafe’s mind races as they pull into their driveway. He had been replaying the short conversation the two of you had the other night over and over in his head. It kept him up at night, regretting how he didn’t tell you that he hasn’t even looked at another girl romantically since you. Why were you upset? Did something happen with your mom again?
He hated the way he couldn’t call you and tell you he was coming over like the way he used to be able to. He had to wait to hear any information about you through Charlie and Sarah, which irritated Rafe on a whole new level that his sister knew more about what was happening in your life than him.
Leaning against the kitchen island Rafe stared blankly into the backyard as he waited around for Charlie to arrive. He had hoped that maybe he would be able to overhear what was going on if he stayed downstairs with Sarah. The sound of Sarah opening the front door and greeting your brother pulls Rafe out of his head, his focus now on the two younger siblings.
“Do you want anything to drink?” Sarah leads Charlie into the kitchen, rolling her eyes as she spots Rafe lingering. “Why are you down here?”
“Hey Charlie,” Rafe nods his head in greeting while ignoring his sisters question and stare.
“Hey man,” Charlie greets Rafe with the same nod. Rafe notices the way there is no malice in his voice or greeting, unlike at his dads birthday. He knew that Charlie was just looking out for you, attempting to intimidate Rafe and Rafe let it happen because he understood. “How are you?”
“Good,” Rafe shrugs grabbing a water bottle from the fridge “Kind of bored but I’ll survive.”
“Yeah I think Y/N’s bored too.”
Rafe tries to seem impassive to the comment, his heart jumping to his throat at the mere mention of your name. He hadn’t expected Charlie to bring you up to him, he had gone the past two years not uttering your name around Rafe.
“Charlie,” Sarah hisses shoving his shoulder with her own. Rafe watches the way the two communicate silently and he has to look away. You and Rafe used to be able to do that.
“What? I’m not going to beat around the bush,” Charlie shrugs “I know he’s probably curious right Rafe?”
“I-Uh,” Rafe could feel the heat rising in his neck as he stuttered out a response “Y-Yeah.”
“See?” Sarah rolls her eyes at Charlie’s victorious smirk. “She’s been holed up in her room all day, she was clearly upset when I went to check on her but she told me to fuck off.”
Rafe bites back a grin knowing how you hate to let people see you cry and he can just imagine you telling Charlie off for just trying to be a good brother. That aching feeling in his chest returns as Charlie continues.
“She looked like she’d been crying, and she won’t let Duke leave her room either. Kind of selfish if you ask me. Like hello I’d like to play with my dog.-”
“Charlie focus,” Sarah cuts him off.
“Right sorry. I don’t know she’s just been sad all day and won’t talk to me about it and I know she won’t talk to our parents about it, who by the way are going out tonight so she will be home alone incase someone wanted to go over and check on her. You know maybe see what’s wrong and I don’t know possibly talk out any issues they might have…”
Rafe draws his eyebrows together as he takes in Charlie’s words, ignoring how Sarah shoves him again and tells him something about not meddling.
“Are you trying to hint at me to go to your house and see if she will talk to me?” Rafe asks slowly, wanting to make sure he was understanding correctly. He sucks in a breath as Charlie nods his head in confirmation. “Charlie I don’t even know if she would talk to me.”
“You have to try man.”
“Please?” Charlie cuts him off “I just worry about how she keeps everything in and our mom has been insane since she got home. I want my sister to come home during the holidays and summer breaks, and not because our mom forces her to but because she wants to. That’s only going to happen if she faces her anxieties that stop her from coming home. Rafe I wouldn’t put you up to this if I didn’t think she would turn you away, you know that. You know her.”
He’s grabbing his keys off the counter before Charlie even finishes talking, nausea washing over him. Rafe was right, you had been avoiding coming home because of him. Because he made a stupid fucking mistake two years ago that put the both of you through hell. Rafe wasn’t processing his movements letting his body take him to where it needed to be. Where home was.
“This is like some parent trap shit,” Sarah speaks as they watch Rafe make a beeline out of the house.
“The sibling trap,” Charlie smirks holding up his hand for Sarah to high five him. “This couldn’t have gone any more perfect.”
“They’ll thank us at their wedding.”
tags: @bobswifexo @bookaholics-stuff @mannstarkey
𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗦𝗮𝗺𝘂𝗿𝗮𝗶 ~ 𝗟𝗙 [𝗠]
⤜WORD COUNT: 7.9K
⤜PAIRING: Felix x Fem!Reader
⤜GENRE: Samurai AU, enemies (ish) to lovers, angst, fluff, with spice MINORS DNI, attempted humour, force proximity, one bed trope, established relationships,taking a bath together - hint of spice here - love confession,
⤜Copyright: © DreamEscapesWriting - September 2022
In all of your years of being a Samarui none of them had prepared you for a moment like this, the moment your heart would thump so hard against your chest that you were afraid it was going to jump right out of your chest. Your eyes scanned over the words again and again as you tried to wrap your head around them,
We have your brother, if you plan to see him alive again you'll give us what we want. Tell anyone and we will kill him.
You had no idea what the kidnappers wanted from you, it wasn't money since you barely made any money as a soldier and it was significantly less than a man would make. This had been your dream ever since you were a child, become a warrior and protect the crown with your life. You never would have imagined someone targeting you and threatening you for money when you barely made money.
"On your left!" Someone screamed, you stepped away and let the familiar sound of a sword dig into the wooden board in front of you, someone had been practising their knife-throwing skills and were failing if they happened to be aiming for your head.
We have your brother
You'd seen him, less than 24 hours ago you'd been out to tea with your brother, the two of you talking about your life as a samurai warrior and now he was gone just like that. Being a Samarui wasn't all that it was cracked up to be, you were constantly fighting with people who claimed you weren't good enough because you were a female. Maybe that was who had taken your brother, someone who wanted you out of the crown's protection squad.
Things in the world had progressed from the days when women couldn't do anything without a man's approval but there was a sad truth left in the world and that was that many men still disbelieved a woman didn't need a man's help. That somehow a woman still <<<needed>>> to have a man in order to do something correctly in the world, or to feel and seem validated in society's eyes. Of course, female warriors were allowed and had been for many years but there were still some men in your industry that decided to say that females weren't good enough for this lifestyle. One of those men, in particular, was Lee Felix the very man who got on your nerves every single day when he claimed you weren't good enough to be on the same team as them.
The sound of metal clashing together so close to you made you jump as you looked away from the note in your hand, you came face to face with Felix who was staring back at you. He and the others had been watching you ever since you'd opened your mail wondering what you were so entranced by.
"Going away with the fairies again, Yn?" Felix asked with a smug smirk plastered across his face. Usually, you would give him some kind of snarky remark back to him but your mind was still trying to wrap its mind around the note and the fact that someone was threatening you.
"Yn?" Chan asked. Chan was someone you'd come to like over the last few months - he was the leader of your team and was always trying to make sure each of you was well taken care of.
"Don't, boss. She won't hear you. She's too busy writing love letters," Felix teased as he moved closer, ripping the paper from your grasp and studying it. The smile that he had been wearing so proudly was wiped clean from his face and you snatched it back from him,
"I need to leave, Sir." You said as you directed your attention to Chan who shook his head,
"I need a reason." You knew Chan had his rules and you weren't legally allowed to take leave from the team without some kind of valid reason.
Tell anyone and we will kill him
Your mind raced, if you spilt the truth they would kill your brother and you weren't going to risk anything happening to him, you were going to do anything to save him.
"Her mother is sick," Felix lied, pushing the note back into your chest making you stare over at him. You would have assumed Felix would drop you into it but you were thankful that he hadn't, Chan studied the two of you before nodding his head.
"I'll make sure to cover for you, take all of the time you need," Chan explained before dispersing from the area leaving you and Felix alone with one another while you tried to think of a way to approach what Felix had done for you.
"Why did you do that?" You bit out a little harsher than you probably should have since he had just lied for you but you didn't care. You didn't want this to somehow come back on you and have it be a "you owe me" thing. You didn't like to owe anyone favours much less someone who hated you.
"Do what?" Felix asked, playing dumb as he took out his throwing knives and began to throw them in the direction of the practice dummies, hitting all four of them in the centre of the head.
"Lie for me." You explained, moving in front of him when he attempted to collect the knives he'd just finished throwing but You weren't about to let him get some kind of thing to hold over you.
"I wouldn't want to feel guilty for your brother dying," He mumbled harshly, staring at you as you teared up and nodded your head at least he was honest about it.
"I owe you nothing for lying to me," You snapped at him as he held up his hands in defence and nodded his head at you, he knew better than to fight with an angry woman, especially an angry woman who carried a samurai sword.
"Whatever. Just work on getting the person what they want." He grumbled before you nodded, slowly making your way out of the training area while trying to get your head to think straight. The first thing you wanted to do was clarify that the note was real, you were going to go to your brother's place and investigate everything yourself.
Felix hadn't felt right about letting you go off alone, he'd watched you earlier in the afternoon when you'd left your living quarters and he'd followed after you to make sure that you weren't going to do anything stupid. He'd been following you for a while now, he'd watched you investigating your brother's trashed house and was now watching in amusement as you attempted to steal a horse from the royal stables. If you got caught trying to steal one of the palace horses you'd probably end up with a head on a stick.
Felix had no idea what was going through his mind but he rode closer to you on his horse and stared down at you, he should have just stayed with Chan and let you do this alone. But no. His stupid gut was telling him he should go with you, to make sure you didn't do anything reckless.
"Get on," He mumbled as he tried to come up with a logical reason as to why he was here but you didn't ask. Your eyes were too busy travelling over the pure white horse that was in front of you to even notice who had spoken. It wasn't until you finally made eye contact with him that you realised who it was. Felix who was holding his hand out for you to take. Why was he here?
"What?" You asked, still completely dumbfounded that he was still standing there when he'd previously told you he'd rather throw a knife at his own foot than ever be alone with you on a mission. This was something he was willingly doing and even offering you to get close to him on the horse.
"Get on, unless you want to get caught by the guards for trying to steal a horse?" Felix snapped, you said nothing as you climb up with the help of Felix's hand and waited for him to do or say something to you.
"You better hold on," He smirked as you held onto the sides of the saddle, only for him to quickly speed up as you scream out and wrap your arms around his waist and buried your face in his back.
"I thought you'd rode before." Felix quipped as he made his way in the direction of the forests. It was the only plausible way you could have been heading if you were planning on taking a horse, if you wanted out of Crier's Moon you needed to go into the forest to go anywhere else.
"On my own, not the back of someone else." You grumbled as he came to a slow in the woods, your eyes stared around as you tried to make sense of the thickened forests. You were going to be completely out of your depths if you tried to navigate this area alone, the only time you'd been through the woods was when you were with others and followed their lead or in a carriage, with your family You'd never once had to navigate yourself through a thick forest that was full of danger at every which way.
"Tell me where to go," Felix said as he glanced over his shoulder at you, the two of you briefly locked eyes before he stared straight ahead again. He hated the fact that his heart raced whenever the two of you would make eye contact, and your arms wrapped around him were making his mind race.
"Why?" You mumbled, not completely understanding why Felix was telling you to tell him where to go. You figured that he would get you out of the stables and leave you alone, you never would have imagined him helping you out.
"Because I don't know what clues you have, so tell me where I'm going." You stared at the back of his blonde head and swallowed the lump in your throat. You were going to have to be honest with someone for the first time in a long time and you were afraid he was going to judge you for it.
"The men that took him are the same men that killed our father," You mumbled as you remembered the calling card you'd found inside your brother's bedroom. You hated that he had gotten into the same mess that your father had wound up in all those years ago.
Your father had gotten himself into a deep debt after getting a ring for your mother and getting enough money for you to be able to become one of the best Samarui in the whole of Crier's Moon.
"They have a place in Massadonia," You stated blandly before looking around the darkened forests. It was no secret what lay in Massadonia, it was filled with gambling dens and debt collectors but Felix said nothing as he nodded his head. It wasn't his place to question your brother or your father's actions and he wasn't going to get into a fight with you right now.
"I'll bring the horse back, I can travel alone." You lied, you knew damn well you'd have more of a chance of flying than you'd ever have at navigating the woods alone but Felix didn't need to know that. You could just figure it out as you go along, it was no big deal.
"You're going to take on men that took your brother?" Felix quizzed as he thought about it. He'd seen the state of the house that your brother was taken from, it was clear that there had been more than one man that was there and you might have been skilled but not skilled enough to take on more than two men at a time.
"I'm trained well," It was a fact and one that Felix wasn't going to deny since you had both been trained by Chan who was the best of the best in the business.
"Well enough to take on more than two men at once?" Felix asked with a smirk on his lips, he knew you hated it when someone doubted your ability but it wasn't just that. There was no way one person was going to be able to take on more than one or maybe two men at a time, it just wasn't possible.
"I'm perfectly cable of looking after myself,"
"I never said you weren't. But If you think for one second I'm going to let you go out to Massadonia on your own you have another thing coming," Felix stared at you and your heart gushed, it almost sounded as though he cared about your well-being with the way he had structured his sentence and you could have sworn your stomach was bursting with butterflies,
"I can't guarantee I would get sunshine back, so that's why I'm coming." Felix quickly added as he realised how it must have sounded, he quickly turned back to face the woods and the butterflies all died down and you stared forward.
"Massadonia is about a night's ride, we'll need to stay in an inn close by until we come up with a plan." He told you as the two of you began to ride, your arms staying locked around his waist.
There was little space between your bodies and your heart was racing against your chest, you did your best to tell yourself it was because you were doing something dangerous and <<<not>>> because you were so close to Felix. You sat straight, desperately looking around to make sure the two of you weren't being followed by anyone and then Felix grunted.
"Stop moving," He mumbled as you went stiff, looking at the back of his head as he continued to ride through the darkened woods. It was hard not to move when the horse rode so quickly and it wasn't exactly the most comfortable ride you'd ever had in your life.
"How do you know your way around?" You questioned, trying to break the ice so things weren't so rough between the two of you since you were going to be riding together for a while. The two of you had never really seen eye to eye with one another, he was always cracking jokes about how you weren't good enough to work with him and the others. Or that a woman shouldn't be doing this kind of task since it wasn't very ladylike of her.
"I've been riding in the woods for years," He mumbled bluntly making your mouth form a hard line. Sighing to himself Felix felt a little bad for being so harsh with you since your brother was currently being held against his will, he rolled his eye.
"So who are they?" You looked at the back of his head and bit down on your lip. Felix was going to figure out the truth sooner or later so you were just going to spill the beans now, it would save it from coming out later.
"They're debt collectors. Our father ended up in a pretty bad debt years ago when he paid for my training and when he didn't pay them back..."
"They killed him." Felix nodded, he'd heard rumours about your father's habits but it wasn't his place to question it or bring it up. The one thing he was confused about was why they would take your brother. Typically when a debt collector killed the person they'd given money to they were through with the whole family.
"But then why take your brother?" Your mind rushed over everything you and your brother had last spoken about. He'd mentioned money issues but when you'd offered to help he just told you that he knew he was going to find a way out of it. It was typical of a man never to go to someone when they were in desperate need of help, it was one of their weaknesses.
"He was struggling...I offered to help but he wouldn't take it," You explained, moving closer to Felix as you did your best to get comfortable on your long ride together.
"Some brothers don't want to admit that they need help from their younger siblings," Felix explained, it was one thing he'd never want to do if he needed help. As an older brother, he wanted to believe that he could get through anything alone and would never rely on a younger sibling for help.
"Men as a whole are dumb where that's concerned. If you need help, ask for it." You mumbled as Felix smiled to himself, pretty happy you were on the back where you couldn't see him. It was rather dumb of people to do but everyone was guilty of not asking for help once or twice in their lives.
"Maybe he didn't think it was as bad as it was," Felix suggested as he sped up, your arms tightening around his waist as you squeezed your eyes shut.
"Well, he's an idiot." You mumbled against his chest, slowly opening your eyes as you felt the horse jumping over a small ditch filled with water. Felix let out a small laugh at the thought of you insulting your sibling even though he'd been kidnapped.
"Be sure to tell him that when we get him rescued," He told you with a chuckle, slowly heading in the direction of a pathway. He knew it wasn't going to be long until the moon was at its highest and the two of you were going to need to find somewhere to sleep for the night.
"Thank you." You said suddenly into the silence and Felix frowned,
"Helping me. I know I'm probably the last person you would want to spend your time with right now..." The realisation began to hit you, Felix had refused to ever be alone with you on a mission but now all of a sudden he was going out of his way to help you with something.
"So why are you helping me?" Felix swallowed the lump in his throat. He wasn't about to admit the truth to you, you thought he hated you but it couldn't have been further from the truth.
Felix cared a lot for you, he had a weird way of showing it with all of the insults he threw in your direction but it was only because he attempted to deflect his true feelings for you. Sometimes the insults weren't insults but more playful jabs, the same ones that he and the boys would have with one another but maybe he had taken it a little too far.
"I told you. I'm not letting you take my horse alone." He looked down at your hands that were locked in front of his stomach and he smiled weakly to himself. He knew he couldn't keep up the act forever but right now, the last thing you needed was some kind of love confession from him.
"I could have taken a palace horse...How did you even know where to find me?" It was silent for a while, the sounds of crickets and other forest creatures could be heard around you, biting his lip Felix decided to admit some of the truth.
"I followed you." You sat up straight but kept your arms around him, he'd followed you? Had Chan ordered him to or something?
"Why?" You questioned softly, not wanting to spook him into not speaking with you but he seemed to be pretty open right now. Maybe it was the relaxation of not being at work that made him easier to deal with.
"Because I didn't want you to do some dumb shit and get yourself killed. The first rule of Chan's is?" Felix covered his ass, how was he supposed to tell you he followed you to make sure you didn't get hurt without making it obvious of his feelings for you?
"Don't do anything alone." You knew the rules well and Felix smirked to himself, speeding up a little as he made his way through the woods trying to find an Inn that the two of you could stay together in for the night.
With each passing hour, you moved closer to Felix, your back was aching from sitting up so straight and you were starting to feel tired. The moon was above all of the trees and was the only thing lighting the way, Felix hoped if he'd gotten you far enough in the night the two of you could rest and come up with a plan of attack for tomorrow.
"We should rest," Felix said when he felt you falling limp against him, the last thing he needed right now was for you to fall asleep on the horse and fall off. You whined a little as you looked up at him, nodding your head too tired to fight him on it, the thought of rolling into a bed sounded amazing.
"One bed? Are you kidding?" You asked out loud, staring into the dimly lit room and at the giant bed that was inside the bedroom you'd be sharing with Felix. He'd been talking to the woman at the desk trying to get you both a room as quickly as possible but it seemed as though she wasn't very welcoming of the two of you. Not that you blamed it, it was well past midnight and she probably didn't want to be renting out another room.
"I'm not sleeping on the floor," Felix told you as he saw that there was one bed and nowhere else for him to sleep. He would be damned if you thought he was going to sleep on the cold floor for you,
"If you were a gentleman you would," You quipped at him, smirking at him but he chuckled as he met your eyes.
"I never claimed to be one." He smirked back at you before you rolled your eyes and looked around. The least he could have done was attempt to get you another room instead of letting you share one with him.
"Why did we have to get one room? I would have been fine sleeping next door," You mumbled, opening one of the windows and looking out into the woods - not that you could see much of anything since it was dark out.
"There were no other rooms. Besides, I told them we were expected to be husband and wife next week. They probably thought we were just eager to get to one another," You grabbed the knife from your garter on your thigh and threw it in his direction, smugly smiling at him as he hit the wall close to his face.
"Relax," He laughed at you and pulled the knife from the wall, gently handing it back to you as you slid it back into the garter and shook your head.
"We needed a room, we got one. Just go to sleep." He mumbled before making his way over to the tub that was in the centre of the room and began to turn on the taps. As soon as you heard the gushing water you turned around to face him and frowned, there was no way he was actually going to take a bath while you were in the room...Was there?
"What are you doing?" You questioned, staring at him as he looked over at you and smiled.
"Having a bath. I don't like to sleep dirty." He mentioned before slowly beginning to unbutton the shirt he was wearing, you couldn't seem to take your eyes off him even though you wanted to.
"You can't have a bath," You stumbled on the words a little, your eyes quickly moving to find his eyes and he frowned at you not finding any reason he couldn't bathe when he was covered in sweat from the horse ride.
"And why not?" His hands stilled on the final button and you gestured around the room to remind him that it was one room and he was about to get naked in front of you. Not that it had ever bothered Felix to get naked in front of people before, he was comfortable in his body.
"Because it's in the room...And I-I would have to see you-" You gestured to his body and he smirked, slowly taking off his shirt and letting it drop to the floor as he kept his eyes on you.
"If you don't wanna see, look away." He smirked as your eyes stayed tracked on his toned body, drinking in every muscle he had on his stomach until you heard him fumbling with his belt. That was when you quickly looked away and stared out of the small window inside the room trying not to think about how hot he was.
"Not enjoying the show?" He asked as you heard the taps shut off and the water stopped running,
"You couldn't pay me to," You mumbled, you had to admit he was hot but you weren't going to give him an ego boost.
As soon as he was in the water you looked around the room and began to try and come up with a plan of attack for tomorrow. There was no use waiting around, you twirled the necklace around your finger as you tried to think of a way to get into the bar where the men spent most of their time. They'd owned it for many years and it was one of the places your father would take you whenever he needed extra money from them it was a disgusting bar but it was their place.
"We can sneak into the bar that the men work in," You said, dropping the necklace from your finger as Felix sighed and leaned his head back against the wooden tub.
"Can I relax before we come up with a plan? They won't kill him while you have something that they want," He explained before you took in a deep breath, you knew it was true but if you didn't talk about a plan what were you going to do?
"Will you hurry? I kind of want to have a bath," You told him before sitting on the edge of the bed and staring at him, he shrugged his shoulders at you since he was in no rush to get out of the water
"I'll get out soon, chill." He told you, closing his eyes and enjoying the sounds of nothing. This was nice compared to the baths back in Crier's moon, there he would have to deal with other men yelling and screaming all of the time.
"Please." You hated that you had resorted to begging with him but the longer you sat here the longer you felt gross. There was blood on you from the branches you'd hit on the way here and not to mention you stunk from how much you'd been sweating.
"I'm covered in sweat and blood," Felix tensed when he heard you mention "blood" and his head lifted from the tub until he found your eyes.
"Blood?" Felix stared at you, concern seeping from his tone as you nodded showing him the cuts that were on your arms and legs.
"Yeah, I cut myself by accident on a branch," Felix got out faster than you expected and wrapped himself in a towel, nodding to the water for you to get into.
"The bath is all yours." He said friendly making you frown. It wasn't like him to be so friendly toward you but you weren't going to look a gift horse in the mouth, you were dying to get clean.
"Thanks." You stared at him as you waited in front of the wooden tub waiting for him to leave the room.
"What?" He quizzed you when he noticed that you were beginning to stare at him for longer than he expected you to.
"Leave." You ordered before making him chuckle at the thought of it. Where was he supposed to go?
"Leave?" He questioned, staring at you as he raised his eyebrow and waited for you to elaborate on what you could have meant by that. It wasn't as though he could go and sit out in the hall in nothing but a towel.
"Yeah, I'm about to get into the bath," You said before pointing at the water but Felix didn't move and he kept his eyes on you.
"So? You watched me when I got in," You stared back at him a little shocked at the thought of him going to watch you strip,
"I don't want you to watch me," You hissed before he rolled his eyes, he wasn't actually going to watch you he was just going to tease you for a little but he could tell you were in no mood for that.
"I'm not going to watch you, I'm going to go to sleep. Chill." He mumbled as he climbed onto the bed, as soon as you knew he wasn't looking you began to strip out of your clothes and stepped into the water. It was so hot on your skin but relaxing, the steam that left your body was nice and you leaned your head back against the wooden tub.
"Wow, that's a view I'd love to see more often," Felix smirked as he looked over at you, you splashed water in his direction and glared when you lifted your head to meet him. He was no longer on the bed but near the fireplace trying to get it warm inside of the room since he was currently freezing his balls off.
"Pervert." You hissed before he went and added some more wood onto the fire, smirking as he watched you relaxing. Your breasts were under the water and he couldn't see anything unless he got closer but the view of you was enough to make him hard. Staring down at his hands he realised how dirty he was from the soot after he threw a log onto the fire and so he moved closer to the tub and took off his towel.
"What are you doing?" You gasped out, your eyes trained on his face as you did your best not to look down at him.
"I'm covered in soot from the fire, I'm getting in." You scoffed at him and shook your head at him. There was no way he was going to get in when you were still in the bath yourself,
"No. I'm in it...Why don't you just wait?" You quizzed before he shrugged his shoulders and looked at the tub. There was clearly room for more than one person in it but that didn't mean you wanted to share a bath with him,
"So get out, or stay there. It's big enough." He chuckled, putting one foot into the water as you stared at him. He was right, you could get out and yet you choose to stay sitting there and yet you didn't bother to move,
"Felix!" You screamed, covering your eyes as he suddenly climbed into the water and sat across from you, staring at your eyes as you did your best not to show how nervous you were.
"See, relax. It's just a bath." He mumbled and stared at you, neither of you moving as you pulled your knees against your chest. Even though you were naked in front of someone you claimed to dislike you were strangely comfortable with him and you didn't have the urge to get out. In fact, you had a strong urge to move closer to him.
So you pushed the urge down as far as you could and tried to pretend as though you didn't have it.
"You're kind of hot, you know," Felix smirked before you splashed him for even thinking about you while the two of you were naked he groaned at you and shook his head,
"Stop splashing me," He ordered only for you to splash him again and he spat water out of his mouth and onto the floor,
"Hey! I fucking mean it!" He said before you splashed him once more, he was suddenly in front of you and pinning you to the back of the bath,
"That's the last time you splash me," He tells you, your faces inches apart, you slowly licked your lip as you thought about how easy it would be to kiss him right now and your skin heated at the thought.
"Do you hate me so much that you want to splash me all the time?" He smirked, he knew that your chest was raising and falling so quickly and not because you hated him. It was raising and falling so fast for the same reason that he was because you were attracted to one another.
"Yes." You lied through gritted teeth and Felix slowly licked his lip as he stared down at you,
"Oh? Is that why you're breathing so fast? Your chest is rising and falling so fast, maybe you must be that angry at me." He suggested as you nodded your head at him even though it was clearly a lie.
"Yeah?" He smirked holding your cheek in his hand as he slowly ran his thumb along your bottom lip making you whimper at the small action.
"Is this making you angry?" He questioned with a deep chuckle when he felt your skin beginning to heat up at the sudden attention you were getting.
"Is that why you're stuttering? I can practically hear your heart pounding for me." He whispered, his breath getting caught on your lips as you let out a whimper.
"You're imagining it," You mumbled before he moved closer, your breaths getting caught on one another before he kissed you softly. Your heart thumped as you wrapped your arms around the back of his neck and bought him closer to you, both of you getting lost in one another as you made out in the water. Felix's hands slowly trailed down your sides until you pulled him closer to you, gently wrapping your legs around his waist as he pulled away to look at him.
"You sure you want to do this?" He questioned as he looked down at you, both of you breathing heavily as you nodded your head. You'd never been so sure about anything else, you wanted Felix and you could feel just how much he wanted you to.
Kissing you softly Felix rested his forehead on yours as he slowly pushed into you, your whole body tensed up with how big he was. You hadn't looked before but it was hard to ignore when he was buried deep inside of you, Felix tangled his fingers with yours as you moaned out his name.
"D-Do that again, I liked that." He whispered as you looked up at him, breathlessly whispering his name as his whole body began to shudder. It was everything he'd been dreaming about since he met you.
"F-Felix, please move." You begged for some kind of friction between you and he nodded, slowly beginning to move his hips as he angled himself deeply inside of you.
The room was a mess of water and sheets, after your moment in the tub Felix and you couldn't seem to get enough of one another and you'd practically fucked on every surface inside of the room you had.
"Yn..." Felix whispered, your head was resting against his bare chest as he slowly ran his fingers up and down your bare back,
"I want you to know that's not something I do all of the time...That meant something to me," He explained while looking down at you. He never would have done that if he didn't want there to be something more between the two of you and maybe it was the wrong time for all of the feelings to come out - since your brother was being held against his will - but if he didn't speak his mind now he was never going to.
"It did to me too," You said as you slowly turned your head to look up at him and smiled, his cheeks were pink with how flushed he was and he was beaming down at you.
"Felix...I-I think we should talk-"
"I've loved you. For a long time, I always tried to play it off as nothing, I thought maybe if I treated you like one of the guys the feeling of love would go away..." he shook his head at himself,
"It was dumb, I would insult you and tease you trying to act as though nothing was different and that I didn't have feelings for you when I did. But it's quite clear it's not going to. What did you want to say?" He questioned as he realised he'd cut you off with his little love confession he'd given to you. Your heart raced against your chest as you stared at him. He loved you?
"I was going to talk about a plan to get my brother...B-But I also like the confession you made," You felt your body heating up as you both sat up. The reality that you were supposed to be doing something important came halting back to you and you both smiled at one another, deciding that now was as good a time as any to come up with a cunning and daring plan.
"I love you too...In case...It wasn't obvious," You mumbled as he smirked at you,
"Oh, it was, from the way you screamed my name loud enough for the whole Inn to hear-HEY!" He yelled out as you hit him with a pillow and sat up straight.
"what is it that they want from you?" Felix asked as you slowly looked down at your hands,
"This." You whispered as you held the necklace around your finger. Sitting on the chain was one of the largest diamond rings that Felix had ever seen,
"It was my mother's, dad used their money to get it. It's worth more than anything my brother could have gotten himself into. So this is what they want back...They can take it," You whispered as Felix watched you closely, biting down on his lip as he realised how hard this must have been for you. Bringing up all kinds of bad memories, he gently pulled you closer to him and smiled weakly,
"We'll get him back safely. I promise," Even though you knew it wasn't something he could promise you there was still a strange sense of comfort in his words and it made you feel as though you could believe him.
The plan was easy in theory - sneak inside while everyone was sleeping and take your brother with the element of surprise but when you and Felix got to the location you'd had to take out two men until you got inside. Everyone else appeared to be sleeping and you hadn't bumped into anyone inside the bar on your way up to the bedrooms. It was completely quiet except for some of the floorboards that would creek whenever you would pass over them.
"You find your brother," Felix whispered as he withdrew his sword, getting ready in case anyone decided to surprise you. You nodded and took the lead, looking through every door until you saw your brother tied to a wooden chair with blood coming from his nose and lip that was swollen. You knew he wasn't going to go easy and must have put up a fight,
"Lix." You whispered, reaching your hand out behind you to grab Felix by the shirt but when you pulled you realised it wasn't Felix and you bit down on your lip as you tried not to scream. The last thing you needed was to draw more attention to yourself when you knew you could take the guy.
"Looky, looky." The man with an eye patch chuckled deeply as he pinned you up against the wall, smirking as he took in a deep breath from your neck making you gag,
"Maybe we can use you for payments instead, you would be much-" Before the man could finish his sentence he was gargling on his own blood and you whimpered as you glanced at Felix who was behind him. The knife hit the man in the back of the head, killing him instantly which was good luck for you.
"I might be a little possessive," He joked before you both walked into the bedroom to free your brother from his bonds and helped him to his feet. It was worse than he was unconscious since you were going to have to carry the weight of him and fight anyone that could come up to you at any moment.
"Yn," Felix grunted when he saw someone making their way over to you, you nodded and let go of your brother racing over to the man before sweeping his leg out from under him. He fell down to the floor with a loud crash and you shoved a dagger deep into the man's chest as hard as you could before standing up and rushing back to Felix.
"We get him on the horse, we'll sit him in the middle of us as we go." He told you before you nodded at him,
"I saw horses outside, I could take one-"
"If you think for one minute I'm letting you ride alone, you have another thing coming," He said protectively making your whole body tingle as you nodded at him,
"I'll be by your side then," You giggled as you both made your way out of the house and in the direction of where you'd hidden Sunshine in the woods.
"There's one more," Your brother mumbled as you got him onto the back of the horse, you frowned looking at him.
"F-Five guys," He mumbled before falling unconscious again and hitting Felix's back as he did so, you frowned and shook your head. If there was one more guy he would have presented himself.
"DUCK!" Felix screamed as he noticed an axe flying through the air, he moved out of the way and it lodged itself into the tree beside his head.
"That could have hit me," You seethed, grabbing the axe from the tree and staring over at the man who had thrown it. You recognised him from years ago, the ring leader of the whole operation and your blood boiled so much you thought it was like lava in your veins.
"The pretty sword handler, come to pay what I'm owed?" He questioned with a deep chuckle, you swallowed the lump in your throat as you took off the necklace and held it out for him.
"I think I should take more than that since you just killed three of my men,"
"They had it coming." You quickly said to him. You had no guilt for what you had done and you weren't going to back down from it since the men deserved it in the first place.
"One tried to take me as payment, one came up behind and the other two were in my way." The man smirked at you and Felix stared at you both, his hand on his daggers as he got ready to jump in the second that you needed him. Not that he thought you did, he'd seen you handle yourself well with one of the men and he had no doubt you could do this by yourself.
"It's not very ladylike for a woman to be such a brute,"
"Then it's a good thing I never claimed to be ladylike," You hissed at him as he moved closer, bile hit the back of your throat as you remembered the way he'd savagely killed your father all those years ago and you pocketed the necklace. There was no way you were going to allow him to do this to other people in the world.
"Actually, it's mine." You told him as he came closer to you with a rather angry look on his face and you raised the axe, doing just as Chan had taught you and made sure the blade was perfectly straight before throwing it forward and releasing it. It whistled as it flew through the air and struck him in the chest as he fell down onto the floor.
"This is for my father," You hissed out before hitting him with your sword through the top of his shoulder and twisting it making the man grunt loudly,
"And ***this*** is for my brother," You spat out before driving the Samauri sword through his neck killing him instantly as he landed on the floor. Your chest was rising and falling quickly as you made your way over to Felix who was quick to help you onto the back of his horse and ride off into the woods with you.
Your brother slept soundly on your bed in your house and you and Felix sat in your living area, taking in deep breaths as you tried to process everything. There was a chance that Chan would kill the two of you when you got back to work tomorrow but it was a chance Felix was willing to take. There was no way he was going to let you do something so dangerous alone and he was glad he hadn't, you never would have made it without him.
"You couldn't have done it without me, admit it." He taunted as you glared at him, shaking your head before sipping on the hot drink from your cup.
"If I give you an ego boost me and the boys will never hear the end of it," You whined before he pulled you closer and kissed your lips softly,
"Please. I just want to hear it once." He begged, his eyes turning into a puppy-like stare as he looked at you,
"Ugh you're so fucking annoying," You whined at him before nodding and closing your eyes and groaning as you decided to admit it.
"As painful as it is for me to admit this...I couldn't have done it without you," Suddenly his lips pressed against yours and you hummed softly, kissing him back as he gently wrapped his arms around your waist and pulled you close to him while you tried to put down your glass.
"I couldn't have done it without you either, you're incredible with a sword," You gasped loudly as soon as he finished his sentence and he rolled his eyes at you,
"Was that a compliment?"
"It may have been," He mumbled before you got up and rushed out to look for your calendar while Felix watched you with a frown on his face.
"What are you doing?" He laughed before you grabbed a pen and smirked to yourself.
"Marking the day that you complimented me. I don't want to forget," You teased before he groaned at you and rushed to stand up behind you and hold you from behind.
"I'll give you more," He whispered in your ear, kissing your cheek softly as you completely relaxed in his arms. This was the beginning of a very strong and happy relationship and partnership if Chan was going to let you continue working together.
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4 times nancy thought steve and robin were dating & the 1 time she knew they weren't
Summary: Nancy doesn't know how she didn't see it before. Robin and Steve are too close- too touchy to not be dating. But why does it bother her so much? She thought she was over Steve.
Word count: 5,825
A/N: This is my first ronance fic and im so nervous!! I've been seeing a lot of ronance content on my dash and reading a lot of fics on here and ao3 so i just had to write for them. Also trying out a new kinda format with pictures instead of a gif. I hope you all enjoy!
CW: swearing, mentions of alcohol, mentions of weed
The first time that Nancy realized that Steve and Robin might have been dating was when she crashed one of their weekly movie nights. She was dropping by Steve’s to return the jacket he lent her the last time their group hung out at Skull Rock. She didn’t plan to stay for more than a minute, just enough to pass back his jacket, make polite but short conversation, then head back home to study for her next chem test. But Nancy unfortunately asked about his plans for the night and suddenly she was sat on the loveseat, munching on overly salted popcorn and watching the new Halloween movie with Robin and Steve, who sat on the couch beside the loveseat, sharing a blanket and a bowl of popcorn.
If Nancy was being completely honest with herself, she was watching Robin and Steve more closely than she was watching the movie. She couldn’t tell you who Michael Meyers killed on screen two minutes ago, but she could tell you exactly what Robin and Steve were doing for the last ten minutes.
Cuddling. Robin and Steve were cuddling. The sandy blonde was tucked into Steve’s side, her head resting on his shoulder as they spoke in hushed voices, giggling every once in awhile. The sight of it made a lump form in Nancy’s throat. She knew that it was irrational to be upset about Steve and Robin’s closeness, but that didn’t stop her from feeling it anyway. The more she thought about it and let herself glance in the direction of the pair on the other couch, it became clearer to her that Robin and Steve were dating.
The lump in her throat turned into a knot in her stomach as the realization hit her. Steve and Robin were her friends and she should be happy for them. Then why was she so upset? Why did the thought of the two of them together neauseate her? She’d been over Steve for two years, so she had no reason to feel this way. That’s what she thought, anyway. She may have to reevaluate her feelings for the brunette after tonight’s events.
When Robin and Steve walked her out at the end of the movie, hand in hand, Nancy did her best not to stare at their intertwined fingers or notice how bright their smiles were when they looked at each other. She tried not to think about why Robin wasn’t leaving with her and the duffel bag that she passed in the hallway on the way to the front door, littered with patches similar to the ones on Robin’s favorite jacket.
She tried not to think of those things as she drove herself home. She tried not to think of those things as she lay in bed at night, willing her body to let her sleep. But the image of Robin’s head on Steve’s shoulder and the sound of lovesick giggling clouded her mind nonetheless.
About a week after the movie night at Steve’s, Nancy headed to Family Video to return a movie and rent a new one. She pushed open the heavy glass door, the bell above the door ringing as she stepped through the threshold. She was in a chipper mood, having gotten an A on her chem test earlier that day, until she saw them. Robin and Steve were behind the counter, standing way too close for Nancy’s liking and whispering to each other. She couldn’t understand why, as the store was empty and there was no one there to hear them. Her mood dampened even more as she got closer to the counter and saw them wearing the smiles that they had reserved only for each other.
They broke apart as soon as they noticed her, sheepish smiles replacing their bright ones. They knew they were caught.
“Nance, hey!” Robin chirped, her voice a whole octave higher than usual, almost as if she was trying too hard to pretend to be casual.
Nancy forced a tight lipped smile and gave a small wave as she approached the counter. Steve and Robin were now separated, now stationed at their respective registers. She headed straight for Robin’s register without a second glance at the Harrington boy.
Nancy was undoubtedly still bitter about the previous incident, but she couldn’t help but soften as she stared into the baby blue eyes of Robin Buckley. Robin always had that effect on her. Robin was the calm to Nancy’s storm. The Wheeler girl cleared her throat to gain her composure- to bring herself back down to Earth.
“Do you guys happen to have Ferris Bueller’s Day Off? I came in here on Monday to rent it, but Kieth said it was out.” She leaned against the counter, her palms flat on the purple countertop as she waited for a response from the girl in front of her.
Robin perked up, immediately turning behind her to the black cart, marked “returns”. She rummaged around for a second before turning around again, waving the tape case in the air with a victorious smile. The sight made Nancy smile and her heart soar.
“Just got it back today!” Robin scanned the tape and set it on the counter, “Did you want to get anything else?”
Did she need anything else? Honestly, Nancy could care less if she got to see Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. The movie was for Mike, anyway, but she volunteered to go and pick it up while he was at Hellfire so she could see her friends. Though at that moment, she didn’t really feel like conversing with Steve Harrington.
“Don’t think so.”
An awkward silence fell between the two as Robin finished typing Nancy’s account information into the computer, scanning the movie again, as she had messed up the first time.
“So…” Nancy started, “Any plans after work today?”
She was just trying to make conversation, but it sure sounded like she wanted to see Robin after work. Some may have even interpreted it as the preamble to a date invitation. She cringed at herself, hoping that Robin didn’t misread the situation. Since when was she an overthinker? Nancy Wheeler always acted with confidence, even if she happened to make a mistake.
“Going to Steve’s to watch a bad horror movie, maybe stay over,” She chuckled as she handed nancy her receipt and her movie, “What about you?”
Fucking Harrington again. She felt a pang in her chest at the mention of his name and willed herself not to show any sign of distaste. Nancy should have suspected that they’d hang out after work. They were dating, after all. As much as she loved Steve as a friend, she wondered what Robin saw in him. Even more than that, Nancy wondered why she was so upset about Robin and Steve watching a movie together after work. She had no right to be jealous and she reminded herself of that as she forced another smile.
“Cool. Well, have fun!” Nancy said with as much enthusiasm as she could muster, “I need to head home to deliver this to Mike before Will gets there so uh I’ll see you later.”
She didn’t even give Robin time to reply before she was speedwalking towards the door, desparate to get out of the small video shop.
The Wheeler’s basement was the main hangout spot for both Mike and Nancy’s group of friends. This used to result in daily fights between the two siblings, as both wanted to stake claim on the space on the same days, until finally, they decided that Nancy got the basement on Friday nights and weekends and Mike got it every other day of the week. On Friday nights, Nancy had Steve, Robin, Eddie, and Jonathan over. It was a low-key hangout that sometimes included beer and weed, when her parents weren’t home to to smell it.
Robin and Steve were the last to show up, having gotten off of work later than their usual Friday hangout start time. They bounded down the basement stairs, Robin carrying the “good beer” that Steve stole from his father and Steve carrying the pizza. The sounds of their laugher and clanking cans of beer could be heard even before they had completely descended the stairs.
Nancy’s chest usually filled with warmth at the sound of Robin’s giggles. She usually found herself unable to fight a smile and a small chuckle of her own when she heard the raspy laughter. Usually the sound was music to her ears, but tonight she was almost nauseated by the it because Robin was laughing with Steve, more than likely because of something he said or an inside joke he brought up. Her blood boiled at the thought, but she couldn’t let it show.
“Hey, guys,” Steve managed through his obnoxious laugher.
Robin gave a small wave with the cutest smile to match. Nancy melted at the sight and almost completely forgot about the jealousy she felt a minute ago.
“We got pizza and beer!” Robin chirped, walking over to the coffee table to set 2 six packs down before taking a seat on the couch.
Nancy frowned to herself from her spot on the floor. Robin usually sat by her on Friday nights, it was the only reason that Nancy sat on the floor of her own basement. Steve followed suit, placing the large pizza box on the coffee table and taking a seat beside Robin, pulling a blanket off of the arm of the couch and over the two of them. The sandy blonde shot a grateful smile at her counterpart and Nancy was once again red hot with jealousy.
After the pizza was devoured and the “good beer” was broken into, Robin settled her head on Steve’s shoulder as she laughed at something Eddie said. Jonathan stood up, his trusty polaroid camera slung around his neck, and snapped a picture of the two all cuddled up together. Nancy stared straight ahead at the two with a grimace and fire behind her eyes as Robin laughed at a story that Steve was telling from their shift earlier that night. Steve’s fingers ran through Robin’s short sandy hair as he spoke. Even in her jealousy, she wondered how it would feel to run her fingers through Robin’s hair. It looked so soft from her spot across from her.
“Nance? Nance?” Eddie shook one of her shoulders from his spot beside her.
She shook her head, finally tearing her eyes away from Robin and Steve to look at the man beside her.
“Yeah, right. I’m here.” She nodded, more to herself than Eddie.
“You were up in space for a second,” He chuckled, taking a quick sip of his beer, “Everything okay?”
“Yeah,” She forced a smile, “Just lost in thought, I guess.”
Eddie quirked a brow and nudged her side with a smug smile, “Do those thoughts happen to be about a certain Harrington?” He asked under his breath.
Nancy scoffed, rolling her eyes, “Absolutely not.”
“Ahh, so you were thinking about Buckley, then,” He whispered just as smugly.
Nancy froze. She had been caught. Was she really that obvious?
“No! Just stressed about my essay for Click’s class,” She defended, tugging at the fibers of the carpet below her and averting the metalhead’s eyes, as she knew he would see right through her.
“Hm,” Was all he muttered before turning back to the conversation that was still going on around them.
Meanwhile, Nancy’s head was still swirling with thoughts of the sandy haired girl in front of her. She had never considered that she was jealous of Robin and Steve because she had a crush on Robin, as Eddie suggested. She always figured that she was jealous because Steve was hogging one of her best friends. But friends don’t think about how pretty their laugh is, or how soft their hair must feel. Friends definitely don’t feel their heart leap into their chest when they hold hands or get nervous to talk to them when they were too close in proximity. Fuck, Nancy had a crush on Robin.
For the rest of the night, Nancy tried to think of anything else. She also tried not to look directly at Robin and Steve and made sure to converse mostly with Jonathan and Eddie. Nancy was stubborn and usually stuck to her guns. She kept her eyes off of the couple in front of her, and successfully limited her talking to only respond to Jonathan and Eddie, but she still couldn’t keep her mind off of Robin.
The girl of the hour eventually switched spots with Eddie when he complained that his “old knees” were hurting from sitting on the floor for so long. Nancy immediately smelled her vanilla-scented perfume when Robin dropped to the floor beside her. They sat shoulder to shoulder and knee to knee. She silently cursed, wishing for the first time that Robin would go sit anywhere else.
“Hey, Nance,” Robin offered a small smile that Nancy knew better than to believe was real. She knew all of Robin’s tells, enough to know that she was nervous, “We haven’t really talked all night. How’ve you been?”
“I’m- Everything’s been fine.” She answered almost coldly.
It’s not that she meant to come off as mean, she just wanted to seem uninterested, maybe a little aloof, so that Robin wouldn’t push her any further, but her bitterness and jealousy got the better of her.
“Well, I missed you tonight,” She nudged Nancy’s side with a playful smile, obviously trying to emit a laugh from her upset friend, but to no avail.
The close proximity and Robin’s good intentioned prying was putting Nancy on edge, even more than she was previously. Having Robin this close to her was both electrifying and maddening at the same time. On one hand, her presence was always warm and welcome. Robin could make her smile on her worst days. But tonight, Nancy’s revelation made her stomach churn and the sandy blonde girl’s knee touching her own made her nauseous. It was too much for her to handle all at once.
“Yeah, well looked like you were just fine hanging out with Steve.” Nancy’s eyes widened at her own words. She had no idea where her biting words and harsh tone came from, but they were out in the open now. She couldn’t take them back, nor could she bear to look at Robin after she said them, her eyes trained on the carpet below her.
“I’m going to head up to bed,” Nancy jumped to her feet, addressing the whole room, “You guys can stay up a little longer though. You know where all the blankets and pillows are down here.”
Nancy ascended the stairs without another word, muffling her sobs and trying not to think of the freckled girl that sat just downstairs.
It was Wednesday, which meant that per Karen and Ted Wheelers demands, Nancy had to go back to school and pick up Mike from his Hellfire Club meeting that got out at 8PM. She thought it was rather annoying, considering the mountain of homework that she had sitting on her desk, including an essay on Gatsby that was due in two days. The thought made her squirm. She hated having unfinished tasks, academic or not.
She pulled into a parking spot by the front doors so Mike could easily locate her and she could get home quicker. She put the car in park and sat back, catching a glimpse of Steve’s red BMW parked beside her and Steve leaning against the hood with headphones on and a walkman in his hand. He was waiting for someone, too. Without a second thought, she got out of the car, making her way to the brunette boy in front of her and leaned on the hood beside him.
“Hey. Waiting for Dustin?”
He shook his head, pulling the headphones off of his head and letting them rest around his neck, “No. He’s catching a ride with Will and Joyce tonight.”
“Oh..” Nancy racked her brain, “then who?” She asked, puzzled.
“Robin.” Nancy felt a pang in her chest at the familiar name. She should’ve known, “Her band practice ran late today. Usually she’s outta here by 6.”
“W-why? Why are you picking Robin up from band?” The green monster of jealousy was out to get Nancy again and she knew it. It was painfully obvious in her tone of voice. All she could do was hope that Steve didn’t hear it.
“Who else would do it?” Steve shrugged, “I won’t let her bike home past 5PM. Too many weirdos out here, you know? So I pick her up from band practice every Wednesday, whether it runs late or not. Sometimes we get dinner afterwards or hang out at her house for a bit. S’not a bad deal.”
Nancy pictured it, Robin and Steve laughing in the booth of a diner, holding hands and sharing a milkshake, or making out in Robin’s bedroom with one of her many cassettes playing in her stereo. She knew that she was only torturing herself with those images, but she couldn’t help it. Steve painted such a clear picture in her head with so few words, or maybe that was the jealousy talking.
“That’s nice of you,” Nancy forced a smile, “I’m here to pick Mike up from Hellfire on Wednesdays, anyway. So, if you ever wanted to just.. I don’t know, let me pick her up and drop her off at home so you can have the week off, I could totally do that.”
Steve waved her off, bringing his hand to his hip, “No, no it’s fine. We like driving around together, anyway. Rob’s been showing me new music and telling me all about the band drama. It’s really more fun for me than a burden.” He paused, turning to look at the girl beside him, “If I ever can’t make it, I’ll let you know, though.”
Nancy responded with a nod and a tight-lipped smile, afraid that she’d say something she’d regret if she let herself speak.
Suddenly, Robin came walking out of the front doors of the building, clad in the Hawkins High band practice uniform. The white shirt with the green tiger on the front hugged her body in all the right places and the matching green shorts showed off Robin’s long legs. Nancy had seen Robin in her practice uniform dozens of times, usually in the hall right before she runs off to the band room so she isn’t late, but that didn’t stop her from admiring how good she looked in it.
“Ugh!” She exclaimed, throwing her trumpet case in the back seat of Steve’s car, “I’m sorry we ran so late today. The trombones kept messing up their part and Mr. Baum wouldn’t let us leave until they got it right.”
She stripped her shirt off and threw it in the backseat, leaving her in only a black sports bra. Immediately after tossing her shirt, she slipped her shorts off, and tossed them on top of her band shirt. Nancy’s eyes were blown wide and she stared at the toned muscles of Robin’s stomach and arms for a minute before she came back to herself. She immediately looked to Steve, but he didn’t seem surprised. She tried not to think about how that meant that Robin was comfortable enough to undress in front of him, probably on a regular basis.
“Then once they got it right, the clarinets couldn’t get their shit together and the same rule applied and now here we are, going home 2 hours late.” She finished as she reached in the car to grab pair of green Hawkins High basketball shorts and slip them on.
Nancy had seen those shorts before. They were Steve’s. She’d seen him wear them countless times, from secret sleepovers at her house when they dated, to Friday night hangouts a couple weeks ago. Of course Robin would wear Steve’s clothes. It was extremely common for girlfriends to steal their boyfriends’ clothes, but still, it bothered Nancy.
When Robin was finished with her rant and getting dressed, she took a breath and looked up, cheeks growing red at the sight of the Wheeler girl in front of her.
“Oh god, Nance, I’m so sorry. I didn’t realize you were there. If I did I wouldn’t have…” She gestured over her body, “I’m used to it just being ol’Stevie and I out here,” She chuckled nervously, rocking on her heels.
“No, I- uh.. I just… See I’m- well I’m here to pick up Mike today, so…”
Nancy Wheeler, one of the most intelligent, well-spoken students at Hawkins High was stuttering because of a shirtless, very toned, pretty girl in front of her. She could interview just about anyone for a newspaper article, take the insults of the men at the Hawkins Post, and walk headfirst into danger to fight the Mindflayer or Vecna and do it all with her head held high and unwavering confidence, but the minute Robin Buckley strips her shirt off, all of it goes away and she brings up her brother, of all people.
“Right, Hellfire Club meets today,” Robin said, a warm smile gracing her features, “It’s really nice of you to pick your brother up.”
Suddenly, Mike’s walking towards her car, a wide grin plastered on his face as he turned around to say his goodbyes to Eddie and his friends. He stood beside his sister when he reached the car. Nancy was still struggling to speak, her mouth and opening and closing like a fish out of water.
“Yeah, well- My um, my parents wanted me to- They don’t want to come back here so-so I do it.”
Mike rolled his eyes beside her, “Nance, let’s go.” He groaned, already impatient.
“Yeah, uh we should go!”
“Us too,” Robin added, “Gotta go grab some dinner, but I’ll see you before first period tomorrow?”
“Totally!” She immediately winced at her over-eagerness.
“Come on, Nancy!” Mike nagged, throwing his head back.
“See ya tomorrow!” Robin laughed as she rounded the BMW to get to the passenger side. She slipped into the car beside Steve.
“B-bye Rob!” She called, but the BMW was already gone.
Nancy had been stopping by the video store much more frequently than she’d ever admit. She wan’t exactly one for movies, that was more Mike’s territory, but she did have her eye on one Robin Buckley that worked the counter at Family Video. So every day after school, Nancy would drive to the video store with some excuse. Mike wanted to see the new Star Wars movie, her mom wanted a nice rom-com to cuddle up with that night, Holly wanted to see the My Little Pony movie were all excuses that she used, and none of them were true. She was just too embarrassed to admit that she showed up just to see Robin.
Nancy pushed the heavy glass door open as the bell above it chimed, signalling herr arrival. She didn’t see Robin at the counter this time, only Steve and a big pile of returned tapes beside him. Nancy didn’t panic just yet, Robin could be stocking or rewinding tapes.
She entered the empty store and made her way to the counter, looking around for the familiar sandy blonde mop of hair to pop up between the shelves, but it didn’t show.
“Hey Steve,” Nancy greeted, trying to see past him to the open door of the back room, which to her dismay looked to be empty.
“Nance,” He responded as he sorted through the tapes beside him, “What can I do for ya?”
She realized that she didn’t come up with excuse for today’s visit, so she had to think fast.
“I came for me today, actually. I want to have a movie night, but I’m not sure what to watch.”
Steve chuckled, he was definitely onto her, “Recommendations are more Robin’s thing, since she has better taste than me, but you can take a look around.”
Nancy just nodded and turned around to scour the shelves for her favorite blonde. She refused to believe that she wasn’t here. Nancy tried to convince herself that she could have been sitting on the floor between shelves, but even she knew that she was being delusional, as Robin definitely would have popped up to say hi to her by now. So she searched the empty store for a movie that she probably wouldn’t watch.
Suddenly, the bell above the door rang out again and Nancy could only hope that it was Robin starting her shift late. She craned her neck to see over the shelves and she quickly saw that it was not Robin. A tall, curly blonde wearing way too much lipgloss walked up to the counter and leaned on it, popping her bubblegum in her mouth.
“Do you have a copy of The Poltergeist?” The girl asked without greeting as she stared Steve down like she wanted to eat him for dinner.
“Y-yeah, uh we definitely do,” Steve answered as he rounded the counter and took the girl’s hand, leading her to the horror section, “You know, I heard that this movie is really scary. You might want to find someone to watch it with you.”
Nancy knew that tone. She’d heard it countless times when she and Steve dated. He was flirting back when he was dating Robin! She hid between the shelves and continued to listen, peeking through so she could see the two as they lingered by the horror section.
“Oh yeah? Maybe I’ll do that then.” The blonde responded, biting her lip. It made Nancy’s stomach sick.
They continued to flirt back and forth until they ended up back at the counter to check out. Nancy had learned that the girl’s name was Carrie and she was a cheerleader at a school in the next town over.
She watched as Carrie scribbled her name and phone number on the back of her receipt and slipped it bsck across the counter to Steve.
“Call me. You know, in case I need someone to watch this movie with me…” Was all she said before she exited the store.
Nancy was fuming. She thought Steve had changed, but it seemed that he was just fooling everyone and he was still the same grade A douchebag from 3 years ago.
As soon as she knew that the coast was clear, she speedwalked to the counter empty-handed. She was on a mission, “Where’s Robin?” She asked almost coldly, but she couldn’t bring herself to care.
Steve laughed, “See, I knew you only came here to-”
“Steve, not in the mood. Where is she?”
His smile quickly fell, “Uh… should be home. She called out to do some homework today. Said she was swamped. Is everything okay?”
Without another word or glance at Steve, Nancy took off toward the Buckley residence. He called out for her a few more times before she got to the glass double doors, but she kept walking. He didn’t deserve to have an explanation, Nancy decided.
Nancy’s car pulled into the familiar driveway of the Buckley’s house. It was empty, which meant that her parents were out for the night, but a blue bike with a metal basket attached to the handlebars leaned against the garage door. Robin was home.
Suddenly, she was at the door, her hand hovering over the yellowed doorbell as she took a breath, then she pushed it. Robin appeared, sliding down the hardwood flooring of the main hallway with socks on and Nancy almost completely forgot about her anger. Robin Buckley was a complete ray of sunshine. Her eyes widened in surprise when she peered through the window in her front door to find Nancy standing there.
The door swung open and Robin stood in the doorway, “Nance! Whatcha doin’ here? Not that I’m not excited to see you, because I totally am, but usually you call before you come over. Is everything okay? It’s not the Russians again is it?”
Nancy chuckled, “No, no. Not the Russians… but I wouldn’t exactly say that everything’s okay. Can I com in?”
Robin nodded and stepped aside as Nancy led the way to the Buckley livingroom like it was her own. It may as well have been, Nancy was over all the time. The girls took a seat on the couch and Robin grabbed the remote, pausing Family Ties before turning her attention to the brunette behind her.
“So… What’s wrong?” Robin asked, chewing on her bottom lip anxiously.
“Well I uh went to the video store today and saw Steve. He was flirting with some blonde girl and she gave him her number… I was just so disgusted with him. Anyway, I came right here so I could tell you. I’m sorry, Rob,” Nancy knew that she only gave an abbreviated version of what happened, but she told Robin what she needed to know and she figured that more details would just make her more upset. But Robin still looked at her with furrowed brows, possibly more confused than she was when she saw Nancy at the front door.
“I-I’m a little lost here, Nance, I’m not gonna lie,” Robin chuckled.
“Steve cheated on you,” She stated plainly and waited for the sobs, for Robin’s beautiful features to twist into a frown, for her to launch herself forward to hold on to Nancy as she cried, but instead, Robin laughed, loud and raspy.
“You thought Steve and I were dating?”
“Y-yeah. I mean, you guys are always cuddly and holding hands and you never go anywhere without him. He drops you off and picks you up from school, for god’s sake! He doesn’t even go to Hawkins High anymore!” Nancy didn’t know why she got defensive, maybe it was because she felt a little stupid, a little confused.
“Absolutely not. Gross,” Robin chuckled, “We’re just close, is all. Though I am surprised that he managed to get a girl’s number. He usually scares them away before they can even offer.”
“So you and Steve...?”
“Very platonic. With a capital P.”
“Single and very gay,” Robin giggled, still amused by the mere thought of her and Seve Harrington dating, “Thought you knew that, Wheeler.”
Nancy froze. Robin was gay, which meant that she had a chance wirh her.
“W-well, no I uh don’t-didn’t exactly know that specific piece of information,” Nancy looked down at her lap, suddenly very embarrassed, “If I did I wouldn’t have come over here…to tell you that Steve was cheating on you.”
She watched as Robin’s confident smile fell and was quickly replaced by furrowed brows and an almost frown.
“Don’t worry. I won’t like hit on you or anything,” She chuckled nervously, obviously trying to play off her hurt, “You’re uh- you’re safe there.”
Nancy felt a pang in her chest. Robin thought she was disgusted by her.
“Does that mean that I’m not allowed to hit on you either, then?” Nancy wasn’t sure where that sudden burst of confidence came from. Perhaps she was more desparate to prove that she didn’t hate Robin than she was scared to share her true feelings.
Robin’s eyes snapped up to meet Nancy’s, her smile settling back onto her lips, “N-no I’d actually love it if you would hit on me because you’re hot and funny and so smart and I’ve been dropping hints for ages. Though, Steve tells me that I’m bad at that, so it’s not really your fault if you didn’t get them. I-I’d be honored if you’d hit on me because you’re definitely out of my league, I mean… I’m rambling again, aren’t I?” Her cheeks grow red under Nancy’s fond stare.
“A little, but it’s okay. I like to listen to you talk.”
Robin beamed and Nancy swore she could see the glisten of unshed tears in her eyes. The sandy blonde cleared her throat and tried to contain her smile. Nancy wished she wouldn’t. She decided she’d do just about anything to get Robin to smile that brightly at her again, as if she hung the moon, as if she was the center of Robin’s entire world.
“I uh…thank you. No one’s ever said that to me before. Usually people just tell me to be quiet.” The taller girl shrugged, as if she’d accepted that fact. Nancy wished that she didn’t have to.
“Well, I’m honored to be the first, then.”
A few moments of silence passed over them before Nancy glanced at the TV screen to find a still of Mallory Keaton sitting on the couch and remembered that she walked in on Robin watching Family Ties. She realized that she was probably intruding on a peaceful night in and stood up to excuse herself, walking closer to Robin to hug her goodbye.
“I’m uh gonna head home and let you get back to your night with the Keatons,” She chuckled as she gestured to the TV, “I’ll see you at school tomorrow, yeah?”
“No, wait… stay?” Robin asked shyly, “I-I have popcorn in the kitchen, 2 seasons of Family Ties on tape, an extra pair of PJs upstairs, and my parents won’t be home until after school tomorrow. We could have like I don’t know, a date.”
Nancy blushed. She had to admit, a date night in sounded much better than going home. She liked Family Ties and she liked Robin even more.
“Hmm…I could be persuaded, I think. Maybe if you-” Then Nancy was cut off by Robin’s lips on her own. When the shock wore off, Nancy melted into the kiss and rested her hands on Robin’s waist, holding her close and gripping the soft cotton of her t-shirt as if Robin would get away from her if she didn’t hold on tight enough. Their lips moved in tandem as they kissed, soft and slow, like they were trying to savor the feeling, and Nancy was. She’d thought about kissing Robin Buckley for months and now that she finally was, she realized that her lips were softer and her kisses were sweeter than she ever pictured them to be.
She pulled away giggling when she finally needed to breathe, and she saw it again. Robin’s bright, toothy smile. The one that made Nancy feel like she was the center of her world, the one she tried to hide just minutes ago, but didn’t show any signs of doing so this time.
“I’ve wanted to do that forever,” Robin admitted with crimson cheeks and a quiet, giddy giggle, “So…are you persuaded?”
“Not sure.” Nancy said, feigning thoughtfulness, “Think you have to kiss me again. You know, so I can make an informed decision.”
And so Robin leaned in again for the second of many blissful times that night.
ᵕ̈ ೫˚∗: hard to let go | hrj
summary | your high school friend group had an ambiguous and messy end, and you never got any closure for anything. two years later, and lee donghyuck’s girlfriend lives on the same floor as you, and you’re forced to face huang renjun, whose abandonment hurt you the most.
genre | huang renjun x fem!reader, haechan & reader (platonic, also incredibly negative), most intense situationship ever, non-idol! au, college!au, angst
warnings | alcohol, throwing up, haechan (and jaemin) are terrible people, victimization, villainization, toxic friendships, a bad fight between y/n and her mom is briefly depicted
wc | 4.3k
a/n: huang renjun marry me please i’m free thursday and every thursday after that i also don’t have classes on monday if you would like to hang out then.
ft. people i made up
THERE IS NOTHING GOOD ABOUT LOVE, OR COLLEGE.
You should’ve realized how much you hated school before you’d gone and put your all into college applications, but it was too late now, and you were already here. The clock was getting closer and closer to 3 am, and you had an 8 am lecture you needed to be up and prepped for.
The equations in front of you didn’t care about your 8 am lecture, though.
As you took a deep breath, resolving to take one more stab at the gibberish in front of you, the door to your dorm room flew open. You practically jumped out of your seat, your pencil flying out of your hands. A boy you’d never seen before stood behind her, gently trying to lead her into the room.
“Oh my god, Koeun,” you said, standing up from your desk chair. You had to stop for a moment, brushing off the wave of dizziness caused by your exhaustion. Then, you walked over to her, grabbing her by the shoulders and taking her away from the poor boy who’d gotten her here.
She tried to push you away, but you’d dealt with this more times than you could count; you grabbed her wrists as she tried to push you, pulling her over to her bed and practically pushing her onto it. The moment she laid down, she passed out and slumped over onto the hard, university-complimentary mattress.
“I’m so sorry for the trouble,” you said frantically, rushing back up to the boy. “I’ve got it from here, so you can go ahead and go home. Thank you so much for bringing her back.
“Uh, no problem.”
The boy looked down at you with a confused look on his face, chewing on his lip as he did so. He smelled like cigarettes and alcohol, more than Koeun did—it was impressive to meet someone who bested her in that.
“Do I know you?” he asked, furrowing his brows. “I swear, you look so familiar.”
“Sorry, but I don’t recognize you at all,” you replied, suddenly wanting him to leave a lot more than you originally did. “Have a good night.”
You slammed the door on his face, glad to be free from the smell of illegal parties. Koeun rolled over on the bed, letting out a loud snore, and all you could do was thank the lord above that you wouldn’t have to deal with her puking all over the room.
A sigh escaped your lips as you approached your desk, flopping back down onto your desk chair. What a bore this was—while Koeun went out and got drunk every night, you were here, bogged down by the pressure of your chemistry homework.
You wanted to scream and cry and jump around the room, rip your hair out strand by strand, cry until you couldn’t read the problems on the page; Koeun wanted to frolic in flower fields and go to expensive cafés to take pictures.
“You wanna know something, [First]?”
The sound of Koeun’s slurring made your previous relief vanish in the second, so you pushed yourself up from your chair, seeking out the bucket you recently bought.
“What do I want to know, Koeun?”
She giggled, grabbing the bucket from your arms and hugging it to her chest. “Kim Yeona lives on our floor.”
You raised your eyebrows. “Yup, she does. Two doors down.”
“Kim Yeona is dating Donghyuck.”
You felt yourself tense, and your knees weakened substantially. That was a name you hadn’t heard since three years ago, when you were a bright-eyed, seventeen-year-old girl who floated through life like a duck on a pond.
Yeona was a sweet girl—you could see why Donghyuck would choose her of all the people who probably threw themselves onto him. But, you couldn’t help but wonder if he had known, if he knew what dating Yeona would do to you. He’d been a main offender in the end, and you were unsure he ever got the closure he truly wanted.
“Mhmm…Yeona doesn’t know about you. Nobody’s told her. Donghyuck—” Koeun hiccuped, and you cringed, hoping she wouldn’t open the floodgates. “Donghyuck hasn’t told her what he did to you. He knows Yeona would break up with him. But—get this—he said he doesn’t regret it, [First]. I heard it with my own ears, as I chugged another glass off…um…whatever I chugged, and—he was there, [First]. In the flesh. He was there. And he ignored me, too. He pretends like he never did anything wrong.”
You took a step back, mind racing and heart pounding. He said he doesn’t regret it. What a joke that was—how could he not regret it? In what world could someone be so heartless?
“Go to bed, Koeun. I’ll see you in the morning.”
She hiccuped, reaching out towards you. “Renjun—” she slurred, exhaustion lacing her voice. “Renjun should’ve chosen you.
You wished Lee Donghyuck had just killed you—pushed you out a window, thrown you out of a car, accidentally tripped you off the side of a pier—before he’d begun the campaign to destroy your existence.
“Oi, [First],” Donghyuck called, catching up to you in the hallway. The sound of students chattering and doors sliding filled your ears, nearly drowning out his calls, but you could hear them just enough to stop and turn. He half-smiled, draping a loose arm around your shoulder when he caught up to you. “D’ya got the answers to the calc homework?”
“When have I ever done the calc homework?” you snorted, hugging your books closer to your chest. Donghyuck sighed so heavily you could feel his chest expand into your shoulder, causing your heart to speed up a bit. You weren’t into Donghyuck—not in the slightest, given the situation you’d found yourself in—but he always made you a bit nervous.
You could never tell what he was thinking. You’d been friends since your first year of high school, so you’d watched him build people up just to drag them down with the same hands he’d used to build. It was scary. Sometimes, you wondered if you were next, but from the way he treated you and the way Mark insisted you weren’t, you knew that wasn’t the case.
“I wish we were friends with more people in our class. I feel stupid every time I walk in ‘cause I always gotta do the homework as she’s walking around to collect it.”
“Yeah, well, our class is stuck-up city. Bunch of rule-follower teachers' pets. Plus, Haeun hates me, so she’d never give you answers.”
“Haeun, hm,” he hummed, forcefully turning you towards the front doors of the school. “We’re skipping today, by the way.”
“You never skip with us,” he said, so nonchalantly you could have thrown up. Your boundaries had officially been crossed; you ducked down, losing Donghyuck’s arm from your shoulders and causing him to stop and turn.
“That’s because my parents will kill me, Hyuck. Skipping class would get me grounded for weeks,” you replied, frowning. “Sometime after exams, I will, but for now…I just need to be consistent. Okay?”
“What about if I had Renjun come get you?” he asked, taking another step towards you. The presence of your classmates in the halls began to fade, with more and more people returning to their classrooms as lunch approached its end. “If I had star student Na Jaemin take you to the nurse? Or would you still turn it down?”
“I feel like I’m losing you, [First]. We never hang out, not like we used to. We never talk. You never meet up with us after school, no matter how much we invite you. Even Koeun comes with us, but never you. Even Mark came with us last year, and he’s more stingy than you. Do you even care about us anymore?”
“Of course I care, Donghyuck. I just need to think about the future for a bit.”
“What future is there to think about if you’ll marry Huang Renjun and get a cut of Chenle’s dad’s billions?”
You looked at him, hurt building up in your heart. You didn’t want to be an extension of Renjun and Chenle; you wanted to be yourself, wholly, with a life you built by yourself. Not a life built by Chenle’s birth luck and Renjun’s family-friend status.
That didn’t overtake your pure want to be accepted by Donghyuck.
“Go get Jaemin, then.”
He smiled a devious smile, lips curling up and eyes sparkling with mischief. “Sounds good. Wait here.”
It only took a day for you to see him on campus. He was across the main quad, sitting on a picnic blanket with your neighbor, Yeona, and feeding her strawberries.
His smile was so genuine it made your heart want to shrivel up into nothing, his happiness was so real it made you want to march over and ruin it. Lee Donghyuck made you feel a lot of emotions—anger, sadness, betrayal, nostalgia—but you couldn’t pull one ahead of the others, and that was the reason you couldn’t fight back against him way back when.
Part of you hoped Koeun heard him wrong. That she mistook the does regret it for doesn’t regret it. That, if he could, he would apologize, and he would give your new number to Jaemin so he could apologize, too. “Mark got through to me,” he’d say, referencing the boy who protected you from Lee Donghyuck’s meaningless wrath until he couldn’t anymore. “I wasn’t in the right place.”
You looked away when Yeona saw you staring, rushing towards the sciences building with tears already building in your eyes. You knew you didn’t miss Donghyuck—you could never miss him, after what he did to you—and that you were missing someone close to him, but an apology from Donghyuck meant an apology from him.
An emotional one. A pleading one. A “please, let’s finish what we started” apology that could only be given to you.
It would never happen. You hoped Yeona either broke up with him or moved out soon.
You felt like your stomach was caving in on itself.
You hated skipping class; the more you pushed, the closer you got to your parents finding out. The nurse never questioned the fabricated fever on the thermometer, not when Na Jaemin was behind you, frowning and patting your shoulder. But, the more you feigned sickness, the more likely it was going to be for the nurse to call your parents and ask how you were doing at home.
They’d find out after that. Even if you used Donghyuck’s lie, which was telling her you didn’t want to get in trouble so you’d been staying at his house during the school day. Not only would you be destroyed for going to a boy’s house without permission, but you’d also be destroyed after your mom took you to the hospital and found nothing was wrong.
Nevertheless, you kept coming. Like today. You sat on a cold, large rock next to Renjun, who was smiling and laughing with the rest of the group. Koeun and you were sitting back to back as she slept, head resting on your shoulder.
Despite how people surrounded you, you still felt cold.
“I just don’t get why she thought it would be a good idea to ask me out. I mean, if she wasn’t so ugly, I’d say yes, but…” Jaemin sighed, throwing a rock at Jeno, who was also nodding off and for good reason. According to Koeun, after you left early last night to make sure your parents didn’t suspect anything of you, they’d all stayed up together until Jeno caught a shooting star on camera. You felt left out, but it was for your self-preservation, so you didn’t care too much.
Jeno jerked awake as the rock hit his knee, a loud yelp escaping his lips. “What the fuck, Jaemin? That fucking hurt, holy shit,” Jeno swore, holding his knee. Jaemin just laughed, which was followed by Donghyuck and Chenle joining in. Jeno hopped up, beginning to run towards Jaemin, who also pushed himself off the ground and began to run.
Mostly everyone followed, except for Renjun, who stayed next to you, and Koeun, who stayed asleep. Renjun looked at you, taking your mostly-alone-ness to cover your hand with his and initiate a conversation.
“Are you okay, [First]?”
“No, you’re not,” Renjun said, immediately calling you out on your bluff. Koeun shifted against you, and you could tell she was awake now, but you didn’t say anything. “You don’t like skipping—I know you don’t. You don’t have to come with us, you know. You care about school a lot more than the rest of us do, and that’s okay. We’re still your friends.”
“But Donghyuck said—”
Renjun cut you off by squeezing your hand, a lot tighter than you would’ve liked him to. “You did this with Mark, too, but Mark was nicer and less of a tyrant,” he said, turning to make sure none of the other boys were coming back. Koeun shifted again, firmly pressing her back against yours. “[First], just because Donghyuck is our quasi-leader now that Mark is in college doesn’t mean you need to follow his word like it’s sacred scripture. He does not decide how things go around here. Don’t risk your parents getting mad just to sit in a park and do nothing all day, okay?”
Maybe you should’ve noticed how jealous Renjun was, and how it was already too late.
“I’d rather see you after school and on the weekends than never see you at all because your parents grounded you, [First].”
The unspeakable was going to happen at some point, no denying it, so maybe you should’ve tried to prepare for it more.
You had an empty laundry bag draped around your arm as you descended the stairs from the fifth floor of your dorms, where the laundry room was. The sound of quarters jingled in your pocket, excited for when you’d go back up to move your laundry from the washer to the dryer.
You had headphones on your head, music blasting loudly. You whistled the tune, taking the lanyard off your neck to unlock your door as you emerged into the third-floor corridor and found yourself opposite Lee Donghyuck.
His eyes widened as you skidded to a stop, almost running into him. Yeona stood behind him, purse on her shoulder, and you assumed you were running into them as they were about to leave.
How unlucky were you?
The difference between Yeona’s and Donghyuck’s facial expressions was palpable, so much so you could’ve laughed. His eyes were filled with malice, mixed with a sick sense of accomplishment; nevertheless, he looked disgusted. Yeona looked overjoyed to be seeing you.
“[First]!” Yeona exclaimed, stepping in front of Donghyuck. She drew you into a tight hug, a smile drawn on her face. “I haven’t seen you in a while! How’s Orgo treating you?”
“Miserably,” you mumbled, clearing your throat. “Not to rain on your parade, but I’ve got an online class in a few minutes…”
“Oh, before you go, let me introduce—”
“I know him,” you cut her off, ignoring how Donghyuck’s smile seemed to grow at your discomfort and Yeona’s seemed to fade. “We went to high school together.”
And you brushed past her, marching towards your room and not looking back.
“Mom, you can’t do this to me!” you screeched, lunging and just barely managing to grab your phone out of her hands. “Take away my free time, my stuffed animals, whatever you want, but you can’t take my phone.”
“Why not, huh?” she yelled back, getting in your face. “Your awful friends are who did this to you! They’re ruining my daughter, [First]! I should be able to take away your friends if they’re getting in the way of your education!”
“I will not let you isolate me again! I’ll never leave the house outside of school, hell, you can pick me up and drop me off, but I will not let you isolate me!”
“Fine! Let’s see what happens when that awful Lee Donghyuck unfriends you because you can’t destroy your future, and you have no friends at all because he’s the leader of the pack! You’re better off rotting away in your room than you are talking to him.”
Koeun sat on the bed, hugging her knees to her chest and giving you the most pitiful look she’d ever given you.
“I should’ve punched him. Gotten myself expelled. I should’ve beat the shit out of Lee Donghyuck,” she finally said. “Renjun, too.”
You frowned. “Renjun didn’t do anything wrong.”
“Since when was abandoning your almost-girlfriend the right decision, [First]? Do you remember what you told me after you snuck out with him that night? You said you could spend the entire rest of your life with him, and he left you the next day—just like that. Stop forgiving his mistakes without an apology.”
You stayed quiet, listening to the commotion in the hall. They were out there—at least three or four of them—hanging out with Yeona. You’d heard them call it a “first meeting,” meaning Yeona was new, and there was no way she’d known anything.
“I’m going to go to the bathroom,” you heard Yeona say, giggling as she did. There was a beat of silence, and then a chorus of loud ews and get a rooms, which you assumed meant Yeona and Donghyuck had shared a quick kiss.
“Be back soon, baby.”
Your stomach churned, and Koeun angrily got up and stomped over to where her headphones were charging. A few more beats of silence occurred as Koeun put the headphones over her ears, drowning out the noise of your ex-friends.
“Is that really [First] and Koeun’s room?”
“Watched [First] walk into it. Pathetic, right? How uncomfortable they must be knowing I’m dating their neighbor,” you heard Donghyuck say, laughing as he spoke. “If they were here right now, I’d suggest we pop in for a visit, but I doubt it. Koeun’s an alcoholic and [First] is obsessed with her books.”
“Are they popular, or something?”
“Incredibly. [First] is a campus favorite, according to Yeona—”
You shoved your airpods in your ears, pressing play on the first song you saw.
The night sky was so pretty during the winter. It was clear and cloudless, a break from the constant snow and clouds that seemed to assault Seoul.
This was, quite possibly, the first time you’d felt comfortable sneaking out. When you skipped school with Donghyuck, you always felt so unsafe, like your mom would show up and scream at you any minute. But, when you were with Renjun, you felt safer than you ever had.
“I wish it was easier to take pictures of the stars,” Renjun sighed, reaching his hand up to the sky. You both laid on a random blanket he managed to unearth from a closet in his house, out in a field near your house. You’d managed to sneak pillows out, too, making a makeshift bed on the open, grassy land. It was calm and quiet, the only noise being whatever you two decided to say.
“Maybe it’s better for it to be difficult. The night sky is best viewed in real life, you know.”
You picked up your phone, checking the time—2:03 am. You had another hour with Renjun until your dad could possibly wake up, and you didn’t want to risk getting caught because your dad decided to do his morning workout an hour early.
“I take a lot of pictures of you,” Renjun began, turning over on his side to look at you. You turned over as well, feeling your heart warm up at the proximity between you. “But you’re best viewed in real life, too.”
“How cheesy,” you giggled, staring at him. Renjun smiled back at you, shuffling closer so he could rest your forehead on yours and wrap his arms around you. It was uncomfortable to lay on his arm—you’re sure it was the same for him—but you would rather have him closer than not.
“I wish I could hang out with just you more,” Renjun sighed, his breath tickling your face. “Everyone’s so much work. You remind me of home.”
“I’m honored,” you smiled, cupping his face with your hands. “I want to spend more time with you, too.”
“If only exams could come faster,” Renjun said, inching closer to you. “Then, we can spend as much time with each other as we want.”
With that, Renjun did what he had done many, many times before. He pressed a kiss to your nose, and then pulled you into a kiss. Renjun’s kisses were soft and sweet, like kissing a cloud. His chapstick was berry flavored, so you’d grown used to a slight blackberry taste mixed in with mint—it always lingered on your lips afterward.
You liked kissing Renjun. A lot.
But, as fast as it began, it ended, and he suddenly looked a lot more conflicted than he had before. With a furrowed brow and worried eyes, you asked, “What’s wrong?”
“I know we planned to stay out until 3,” he began, removing his arms from you entirely. He sat up, almost in a panic—like you’d slip through his fingers at any second. “But I don’t want you to get into more trouble. Okay? Next time, we can stay out later.”
You sat up, frowning. You should’ve rejected Donghyuck, through and through.
“Okay. We can leave. That’s okay.”
You wondered which of the boys told Renjun where you lived.
If you had to guess, it was probably Jeno. He’d always felt bad—you could tell from the way he looked at you at graduation—but never had the guts to do anything about it; maybe this was him doing something about it.
“You’ve got ten seconds before I slam the door in your face,” you said, mustering the most malicious look you could. It wouldn’t be a lie to say you never let go of Huang Renjun—he’d been your first love. He’d ruined every other date you’d gone on since because nobody would ever manage to be better than him. He was, in many ways, your everything, and with your lack of end, it always felt wrong to move on.
“Please, let’s just talk. Okay? We’re grown up now. We can talk about this rationally.”
“One good reason why?”
“Because I want closure, [First]. That’s all I want.”
It was all you wanted too.
Knowing Koeun was at a party, you stepped to the side, allowing Renjun to enter your dorm albeit hesitantly. He looked around, standing awkwardly as you returned to your seat on the bed, next to your laptop and phone.
You stared as he gently pulled your desk chair away from the desk, positioning it across from you, and sat down. Silence overtook you both, and you figured this was your only chance to have the first word.
“You left me. You didn’t even talk to me, Renjun, you just stopped picking up your phone and answering my texts. Avoided my daily route at school. Everything you could to not see me, you did.”
“You’re right, yes.”
“Not even an I’m choosing you over Donghyuck text. Nothing.”
“And I’m sorry. I was stupid and selfish. I didn’t know what I was doing.”
“Oh, for sure,” you replied, narrowing your eyes. “He forced me out, Renjun. Told people petty lies to look at me in a bad way. Slowly stopped talking to me, but not before constantly shoving how boring I was down my throat all the time. Not before Jaemin told me I was the worst friend he’d ever had. And you just watched.”
“I’m sorry, okay?” Renjun finally snapped, his voice nearly cracking. “I didn’t know what to do; I asked Mark for help, but he never responded, and I—I felt so alone. Jeno didn’t know what to do either. Donghyuck was a tyrant, but he’s not anymore. Mark beat his ass when he found out.”
“Seems like you’re still friends, though, and they still have it in them to talk shit about me. What’s your point?”
“What? I didn't know they—that’s beside the point. What I’m saying is…can we just end things here and now? Forget about each other after I say this? I just want to move on.”
“Meaning you want to get rid of your guilt, yes.”
“Whatever you want to call it, I’ll agree. I don’t care. I just want you to know that I really, truly was in love with you, [First],” Renjun said, clenching his fists. “Once upon a time, you were my entire world. My whole life revolved around you, and when Donghyuck led you into that trap—I felt like I’d been lured, too. Every day without seeing you was painful, and I thought things would get better if I tried to forget as Donghyuck phased you out. I never forgot, and things only got harder. I was wrong.”
“So you were.”
“I don’t expect anything from you,” Renjun continued, sighing. “Nothing at all. I just needed you to know it was never fake. I was never fake. The only time I’ve truly understood what it was like to love someone was when I was with you. I’d move mountains for you—I still would. Even now.”
You would never say it, but you would too.
“That doesn’t change what happened. So, thanks for letting me know, but never come back here. And let Donghyuck know I’ll spill everything to Yeona if he ever comes back here.”
Renjun stood, understanding you were essentially telling him to get out. “I will.”
“Thanks.” You stood too, approaching the door and opening it. “I’ll see you, maybe.”
“I’ll see you too.”
Renjun stepped out of your room, hesitating as you kept your door open. And, with a surge of idiocy and confidence mixed into some sort of mystery potion, you spoke.
“By the way,” you paused, sucking in a deep breath. “I loved you too.”
thank you for reading!
Time After Time Chapter 3
Summary: Y/N is dating Fred Weasley. She started Hogwarts at the same time as her friends Harry, Hermione, and Ron. The only thing? She keeps getting dreams about living another life. The only thing about that? Said other life is in the 70s. With people that are either grown adults or dead. And her name isn’t her name. And it all feels way too real.
Warnings: mentions of food, lots of dialogue, crying, mentions of death
Pairings: Fred Weasley x Reader, Regulus Black x Reader, Marauders x Platonic! Reader, Golden Trio Era x Platonic! Reader,
A/N: in the first chapter I started when the gold trio already started their 3rd year but I’ve gone back to catch up the time line with how i want this story to go sorry if that’s confusing! Ps. no Umbridge will be included bc i hate her tysm
Chapter One Chapter Two Chapter Three
Every year after your first year at Hogwarts you have spent the last three weeks leading up to the start of fall classes with the Weasley’s. They lived closer to London than your family did, and your parents were so happy you had friends you loved that they encouraged you spending time with them outside of school.
Before your fifth year began, and your boyfriend’s last, you all were spending the last few weeks of summer holiday at 12 Grimmauld Place, aka: Headquarters for the Order of the Phoenix. Aka: Sirius’s childhood house.
Ever since you found out Sirius’s innocence, you had grown close to him. For some unknown reason, probably the same unknown reason for Remus, you felt comfortable sharing everything with him. You tell Sirius and Remus things you don’t feel you can tell your parents or friends.
The only thing you’ve kept a secret from everybody is the random memories (are they memories? you didn’t exactly have a name for visions of another person’s life that looks exactly like you). Nothing ever pieces together. One night Lacey is young, one night she’s older, the next she’s already out of Hogwarts. The only constants in the visions are the people around you: Remus Lupin, Sirius Black, James Potter, Peter Pettigrew, Regulus Black, Lily Evans, Professor Snape (Severus in the dreams), and Professor McGonagall (Minnie in the dreams).
You’ve kept your mouth shut about these dreams after your conversation with Remus back in your third year. For the same reason sometimes Harry wouldn’t tell any adults about his scar pains, you never told anyone about your vision induced headaches. You didn’t want to sound crazy! If you miss heard two years ago about you and Lacey being the same person, you didn’t want to risk them sending you to St. Mungos for going insane.
What you know you didn’t miss hear back then was Sirius and Pettigrew calling you Bunny. Only because Ron kept going on and on about it. In Lacey’s memories, her animagi form was a Bunny. She filled in for Wormtail during full moons to cease the whomping willow’s movements when he was out of commission.
You didn’t tell anyone about how much more vivid and longer these memories are every night. You didn’t tell anyone how much it caused you to question every morning who you are when you wake up and don’t know until you see someone you know.
You didn’t tell anyone how being in Sirius’s house brought back strong memories and feelings about him and Regulus. You didn’t tell anyone because all you wanted was for this life, your life, to be real. You needed Fred to be real. You needed the feeling of kissing him and being held by him and sneaking up into his room to sleep next to him every night to be real.
Despite this, every night when you lay down you’re excited to see what happens next in Lacey’s life. Every night you hope you’re closer to an answer as to why this was happening to you. But when you walked through the door of 12 Grimmuald Place with Mrs. Weasley, you never wanted to go to sleep again.
“Y/N!” Fred shouted from the top of the stairs. Then you heard the pop! sound of him apparating in front of you.
“Fred!” Mrs. Weasley scolded. “What did I tell you about apparating right next to me!”
You smiled as you looked into Fred’s eyes, you’ve missed him. Sure, he came to visit for a week during the early months of summer, but you’ve barely seen him since. You wrapped your arms around his neck and stood on your tip toes for a kiss. His hands went to the small of your back as he deepened the kiss. You never wanted it to end.
“Hey don’t hog my best friend!” Ginny shouted at Fred as she raced down the stairs. You let go of Fred to run towards her. The hug you gave each other was so tight it was like you were trying to turn each other into a diamond.
“I’ve missed you,” you told her.
“I’ve missed you more!”
You let go at the sound of someone across the hall clearing their throat.
“Sirius!” you shouted with glee.
“How’ve you been my dear?” he asked after hugging you.
“Really good,” you smiled.
You haven’t seen Sirius in person in over a year. So when you saw him again, flashes of his younger self appeared in your mind. Nothing long enough to get a memory, but enough to know there’s so much more that happened between him and Lacey than with anybody else.
You shook those thoughts away from you. Lacey was a sleeping problem.
Catching up with everyone and meeting new people made you feel the happiest you’ve been all summer. You adored Tonks, seeing her and Remus together made you beyond happy.
“Alright!” Mrs. Weasley announced. “Kids up stairs! Order business is starting.”
“George and I are of age!” Fred protested. “We deserve to know some more details!”
“Freddie,” you said, pulling on his arm. “You know it’s a losing battle just come spend time with me!”
“Then can I-“
“George! You too!” you shouted. You took ahold of both their arms and dragged them out of the kitchen and upstairs. Fred, George, Ron, Ginny, and Hermione all went into an unlabeled room. But you halted when you got an intense feeling at another door. You turned to look at it and sure enough, right on the door, the name Regulus was spelled out.
“Y/N come on!” Ron pleaded. “Hermione brought a muggle-“ he paused his shouting to quietly ask Hermione, “Tellawhat?” “Television and tape player for us to watch a movie!”
You took one last glance at the door before scurrying off to join your friends to watch some 1980s romance movie Hermione brought.
It was late when the movie ended, so you all said your goodnights and went to your rooms. You curled up next to Fred, laying your head on his chest with your arms wrapped around his waist. His arm was holding you close around your shoulders.
“I love you,” you said breathily. You felt Fred kiss the top of your head.
“I love you too,” he echoed.
“If you’re going to do anything could you at least put a silencing charm around yourselves?” George said from across the room.
“Oh sod off!” Fred yelled, throwing a pillow from the ground his way. “Goodnight Y/N.”
The energy in the trolley with the Marauder’s was different than it was last year. You knew it from the second you found them on the train. It wasn’t necessarily bad, it just wasn’t necessarily good.
“Hey guys?” you questioned.
“Lacey!” James shouted as he popped up from his seat to hug you. “How was your summer?”
“Pretty good! Yours?”
“Oh it was brilliant. Lace thank Merlin you’re here. Would you please tell Sirius that no matter what house his brother gets sorted into he’ll be okay?”
“You have a brother?” you asked shocked. You knew about Remus’s brother, but not his. Sirius never mentioned his family.
“Lacey!” James shouted. “That’s not telling him it’s gonna be okay!”
“JJ, how am I supposed to tell him it’s okay if I have no other context?” you sassed. “Siri, why do you think it’ll matter what house your brother is in?”
“It doesn’t!” James interrupted.
“James!” you scolded. This got a laugh out of the other three.
“I haven’t heard her call you James in months!” Remus laughed.
After scolding them all to hush up and let you talk you finally got Sirius to open up.
“Sirius, why does it matter what house your brother ends up in?”
“Because I’m supposed to be the heir of ‘The Most Noble House of Black’. But I’m a Gryffindor. One of the only Black’s that isn’t a Slytherin, and if Regulus isn’t a Slytherin then no matter how physically impossible it is, it’ll be my fault. For feeding my baby brother my ‘radical ideas’” he answered, using finger quotes around radical ideas. “And if he’s Slytherin, that means he’s just like the rest of them. Cruel and hateful and discriminatory.”
You sat there shocked for a few seconds, really taking in what he was saying. You knew about some of Sirius’s relatives and how awful they could be, but you didn’t connect that he was the only one not in Slytherin.
“Did someone feed you these radical ideas?” you asked.
“I know none of you want to agree, but not every single Slytherin is evil. A lot, yes. But you know who was the only one in my potions class to help me clean up my spilled potion? A Slytherin. And you know who taunted me during every History of Magic class ever? A Gryffindor. The world isn’t black and white, good and evil, and the only ones who say it is are the people who make it out to be and people are the exact same way! If you tell someone every day how evil they are of course they’re going to act like it.”
The four of them went dead silent. They knew they had a major part in the telling Slytherins how awful they are everyday thing.
“Your brother is out of your hands, Siri,” you said softly, like you were scared if you talked any louder the room would shatter. “Even if he ends up in Slytherin, you don’t have to hate him too.”
You all got pulled out of your silence by a young black haired boy stopping at the door of your trailer. You wouldn’t have thought anything of it if Sirius and him weren’t staring at each other for so long.
You didn’t like them just staring at each other, it was weird. You stood up and slid open the door.
“I’m Lacey,” you introduced yourself. “Can I help you?”
This severely caught everyone off guard. They should’ve expected it, just one year ago you boldly stopped in front of their trolley just as Sirius’s brother was doing and now you had them doing homework assignments for sweets.
“Re- Regulus,” he stuttered out. “Regulus Black.” This time he stood up taller as he said his name.
“Nice to meet you. Did you need something?”
“No, um… I-“
“Sirius. Just say something you’re making him nervous!”
“I don’t think it’s me making him nervous Lace,” he smirked.
You looked back at Regulus, who was now bright red. You smiled at him and leaned up against the doorframe, arms crossed in front of you.
“Yeah? Do I make you nervous, Regulus?”
Regulus mirrored you, “No.”
“Do I make you nervous, Sirius?” James mocked.
“Absolutely,” he joked.
You could stop smiling at Regulus. You really hoped you’d see him again after this.
“You should go find a seat. If you aren’t careful you’ll end up with 4 idiots as your best friends,” you teased.
Remus pulled you back in as Regulus was walking away and laid you across him and Sirius. Your head was on Sirius’s lap, your middle on the bench, and your legs draped across Remus.
The rest of the ride was much more relaxed and fun. Remus was very good at taking Sirius’s mind off things, and you were very good at laughing so hard it echoed within the small walls.
This year you got to ride into Hogwarts with the Marauders in the carriages, but not before you ran off from the gang to quickly find Regulus.
“Hey, Black!” you called. Regulus spun around at the sound of his surname and tilted his head at you, a bit confused as to why you were coming over. You grabbed one of his hands that were hanging by his sides in both of yours to keep him looking at you. “Whatever house you end up, come find me tomorrow at breakfast. Before 7:15 otherwise Sirius will snoop, okay?”
He nodded, “yeah sure, okay. 7am.”
“Perfect,” you smiled as you ran off. “I’ll meet you outside the doors!”
Remus spotted you as you were running back to find them and yanked you over so you could get on the carriage with them.
“You can’t just run off like that! We thought we told you you’re not riding in the boats anymore,” Remus said exasperated.
“Oh sorry, I was um… saying hi to my mom’s friend’s daughter it’s her first year.”
JJ eyed you, and you knew he didn’t believe your lie. He saw straight through you, he always had. He never called you out on it in front of people, though. That’s what made the two of you so close. His eyes moved towards Sirius, then back at you. You nodded ever so slightly. Enough for James to catch it, but not so much the others noticed.
“You’re walking a thin line,” he warned.
“Stay out of it, JJ.”
The ride to the castle on land went by much faster. You supposed that was on purpose, so everyone not new would be seated before the first years. When you came to a stop the boys got down first, then James grabbed you by the hips and lifted you off the step and you slid down to the ground through his grasp.
“Does the Princess need to be carried in?” Peter teased.
“No, do you?”
That got a laugh out of everyone. As you came into the Great Hall you tilted your head up the whole time you walked down to your table. The floating candles seemed a thousand times brighter than it did at the end of last year. You were one of the first ones in there, so you ran up to the edge of the long table of professor’s to hug Hagrid, who met you halfway.
“Y/N! How was your holiday wee one?” he greeted.
“Amazing! I spent a week of it at James’s house and Mrs. Potter made the best cookies I’ve ever had!”
Hagrid chuckled, “It’s good to have ya back! Come see me this weekend will ya?
You agreed and waved bye to him and scurried off to sit next to Sirius at the table. You grasped his hand in yours and petted his arm as you leaned into him.
“Whatever happens, you’ve got 4 brothers right here,” you told him. He nodded and squeezed your hand back. You two let go, but he reached for your hand to squeeze when Regulus was up to get sorted. The sorting hat was barely on his head before it roared, “Slytherin!”
Sirius’s grip tightened. Extremely so. His head was down and his hair was in front of his face so you couldn’t get a good look to see if any emotion was across his face. He let go and stood up hastily, making his was through the sea of people out of the Great Hall. You, Remus, and Peter all started to get up when James put his hands out to stop you.
“Not all of us,” he instructed. “Remus, go. He listens to you more.”
When Remus left the table James motioned you and Peter to lean towards him.
“Sirius is going to be a walking bomb right now okay? Follow his lead, and if you can’t, change the subject. I’ve only heard him talk about his family once and it was not a pretty sight.”
You nodded and peered over your shoulder to see if you could spot Regulus.
“Lacey!” James drew your attention back to him. “The line is even thinner now and you know it.”
You didn’t argue.
The next morning you got up nice and early to meet Regulus before breakfast. All you had to do last night was tell James to not let anyone go to breakfast before 7:15. He told you to be careful, and he wasn’t happy about it but he agreed. At 7:05 you got nervous, you were hoping he wasn’t going to stand you up.
At 7:06 you heard your name being called and heavy footsteps following the sound. You turned to find Regulus running over.
“In a hurry are we?” you laughed. “Good morning, Regulus.”
“I’m sorry I went the wrong way for a bit,” he apologized. “Oh and um, good morning to you too.”
“Just because you’re not Gryffindor doesn’t mean you gotta be timid around me,” you teased him.
“I’m not timid!”
“You definitely are, Black you’re not fooling me.” You were walking backwards down the hall between the tables. “Is it because I’m friends with Sirius? Are you waiting for me to hex you or something?”
“Of course not!“ he said defensively. “Just confused that’s all. Sirius and I barely speak to each other anymore. I’m not sure what he’s told you-“
You stopped him mid sentence, “he hasn’t said much of anything. I just found you intriguing.”
“I’m a Slytherin,” he said firmly.
“It’s just… It’s our parents. They were never the nicest, especially to him. When he got sorted into Gryffindor everything changed. They wouldn’t like me talking to you. Neither will Sirius.”
You stopped walking and got up close to him.
“If you’re going to live your life scared to do anything your parents might not like you aren’t going to have one. It’ll be theirs.”
Regulus didn’t say anything, he just looked at you in awe. You had some points and he knew it.
“Okay say I don’t care about my parents, what about Sirius?” he asked, crossing his arms as you two did before. You copied.
“What Sirius doesn’t know won’t hurt him. We’ll meet in secret.”
“Tonight. The astronomy tower. 9pm. Unless you’re scared?“ you taunted, walking backwards so you could meet the Marauder’s before they got up.
“I’m not scared,” he declared. “I’ll be there!”
“I know!” you shouted back.
You woke up on the floor. That wasn’t even the weirdest part of your wake up. You were on the floor, in the middle of the room marked Regulus. And you didn’t know why.
Everyone was in the room around you. When you finally began comprehend what was happening you heard your name being called and someone asking “are you with us?”
“Am I with who?” you asked groggily. “Woah.”
You tried to sit up by you immediately fell back down. Fred caught you before you touched the floor and moved to set your head in his lap.
“Alright don’t crowd her,” Mr. Weasley told everyone.
Everyone moved back a bit with the exception of Fred, Remus, and Sirius.
“Can you tell me your name?” Remus asked.
You faltered. Merlin you must’ve looked insane.
“Was that a question?” Fred asked, concern in his voice.
“No. No, my name is Y/N. You’re my boyfriend, those are my friends, I’m at 12 Grimmuald Place where Sirius grew up,” you said confidently. “How did I get here?”
“We were hoping you knew,” Ron called out.
That seems to be a phrase you hear a lot now. You never knew.
“Ronald, the second I have an answer for something weird that happens to me, I’ll just tell you,” you sassed him.
Sirius and Remus shooed everyone out of the room, much to Fred’s protest. Mrs. Weasley announced that she would be making your favorite breakfast and ordered Fred to assist her.
“Come on, Freddie! Let’s make your girlfriend’s breakfast with looveeeee,” George said.
You were sitting up now, and Remus and Sirius were sitting on either side of you facing your direction.
“Would you like to tell us what’s really going on?” Remus asked you. You looked down to the floor. “We know a lot more than you think we do.”
Still nothing. Sirius scooted closer to you and made you look at him.
“Whatever you have to say, trust us when we tell you it’s not as crazy as you think.”
You laid back down on the floor and pat the spaces next to you for them to follow suit.
“I don’t know what’s real,” you whispered. “Remus, remember how I knew you were the Moony on the map? And that I could do spells a third year definitely shouldn’t know how to do without being taught?”
“Of course. It’s not every day a third year can produce a patronus even with being taught the spell.”
“I know a lot of things now. Ever since that day in your office I’ve been having dreams about this other life. They used to be short and every once in a while. They didn’t make much sense.
Now they’re longer, they connect with each other. I can feel what’s happening. They’re happening every night and when something happens in the day that causes a vision of this life I get an intense headache. When I first saw your mug shot everywhere, Sirius? I wasn’t scared. I wasn’t concerned. I felt sad. And guilty. And I didn’t know why. And being here, and being around you more and more over the years I have a bit of a clue. Nothing strong enough to be sure. But it has something to do with Regulus. There’s more to it, when I saw you again some flashes came but I couldn’t make sense of any of it.”
They didn’t say anything for what felt like forever. You started to get up, you knew they’d think you were crazy! You should’ve kept your big mouth shut. You were almost out the door when Sirius grabbed your arm and pulled you back in. Remus stood in front of the bedroom door so you couldn’t leave.
“This isn’t weird at all,” you said.
“We all know,” Remus said.
“So I did hear it right that night,” you muttered to yourself. “I’m Lacey.”
“5 years ago, when you first walked through the doors of Hogwarts, I got a call that night from Snape,” Remus started. “We bounced around ideas- coincidence, doppelgänger, time travel. None of it ever matched up. Not until that night in the shrieking shack.”
“We don’t want to say too much about Lacey. We don’t know what will happen if we say something about her you haven’t remembered yet. But you can come to us, alright? Any of us. Me, Remus, Snape, Minnie, Dumbledore. We all knew Lacey and can help you try to make sense of some of these memories,” Sirius tried to comfort you. “And if you need to talk to me about feeling guilty, I’ll have that conversation with you.”
You nodded. You were glad you weren’t crazy, but everything about Lacey being true didn’t make you feel much better. You had so many questions.
“There’s…” you stopped yourself. You looked at the two men in front of you, two men you were best friends with in this other girl’s youth, your other youth, and they motioned for you to continue. “Something’s happening that’s making Lacey’s memories stronger. I don’t know what, and I don’t know when. But it’s something big.”
Sirius and Remus looked concerned at this. There was already a second war coming, something else happening couldn’t be good.
“Is it something bad?” Remus asked.
“I don’t know.”
“Is it about Regulus?” Sirius asked.
You paused longer this time.
“Memories of him are happening more frequently. There’s still a lot of others- mostly you four. Lots of James,” you said more fondly this time. “I called him JJ.”
They both smiled at you.
“You coined ‘Mischief Managed’ you know,” Sirius said. “Lily always called you our Manager of Mischief because you didn’t let the pranks that you knew would get out of hand happen. So when we made the map, it was your idea on how to close it.”
Something about him saying that sparked an idea. Sirius got up and went to leave the room, telling you and Remus to stay put. When he came back, he had something that looked an awful like the Marauder’s Map in his hands.
“So that’s where that went!” Remus shouted.
Sirius gave the map over to you to look at it.
“Messrs and Miss Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, Prongs, and Bunny are Proud to Present the Marauder’s Map,” you read in disbelief. “I don’t remember this yet.”
“You won’t,” Remus said. “James didn’t make it til-“
He cut himself off. The three of you sat against the bedroom walls staring straight ahead for a moment. Letting what Remus almost said simmer in silence.
“Until after Lacey died,” you blurted. No need to beat around the bush. You wouldn’t exist with these memories if Lacey was still around.
“Do you know how she died?” Sirius asked.
“No. And I don’t want to yet. I want her to live a little longer.”
You said that last part like it was the worst secret in the world. You didn’t know if it was a bad thing to love Lacey’s life. You didn’t know if it was allowed to want to live another life.
“It’s okay to want to know about Lacey,” Remus read your mind. “After all, she is you.”
“Y/N and Lacey are the same person,” Sirius said. “You’re Lacey, Lacey is you. The only differences are your names and the people you that surround you. Your homework system? Both of you did that. Caring, loving, and risking everything for your friends? Both of you. I loved Lacey, Y/N, I did. You’re right, there was a lot that happened between us. Good, bad, everything in between. We went through a lot together, but in the end it was all okay. It was more than okay. And I missed you every day since that night, and a lot of our memories were ones I held on to in Azkaban. But I’ve loved getting to know about Y/N’s life. It’s like getting to know you all over again. Do I wish you got to grow older with us? Of course. Lacey’s death was hard on all of us. But seeing you get a second chance at life is the best feeling in the world. You deserve that.”
You were trying not to cry the whole speech, but you couldn’t help it. You were so torn between wanting your other life and this one. You broke down into tears.
Remus pulled you into his arms, and Sirius got closer and rubbed your back as you cried.
“It’s okay,” Remus cooed. “Whatever you’re feeling it’s okay.”
“I’m starting to remember more of the bad things that happened to her. So why do I still miss that life?” you cried.
“Because it was yours,” Remus said softly. “Just like this life. It’s all yours. So live this one while you’re in it.”
You stayed like that for a little while before you calmed down. You made them promise not to bring this up to anybody as you all left the bedroom to go downstairs for breakfast. The second you saw Fred in the kitchen you ran to wrap your arms around his waist while he was cooking.
“Hi, beautiful,” he laughed. “Any reason you’re gripping onto me for dear life?”
“Because I love you. And I love this life with you. And I never want it to end.”
Fred bent down to give you a kiss before going back to flipping the bacon in the pan. You still hugged him. You looked over to Remus and Sirius who smiled at you. They were right. You could miss that life, but you had to live this one.
seventeen going under (ch. 21) (j.f)
seventeen going under (j.f)
a/n: guys its here - the final chapter. love you all so much for reading and supporting the story, it means so much to me. this will not be the end of my storytelling and i hope to be able to continue their story one day - lmk what you think :)
Tangible proof. Those words kept ringing in my ear. Jeremiah had written an entire book of tangible proof that he loved me and all I had given him was a summer of lies. Just listen my mom said. Just listen. Just listen. Just listen.
I rummaged through my room to find any tangible proof hidden in these walls. Something I may have forgotten about or deemed less important. I grabbed notebooks that I stashed from school, flipping through them to find notes written back and forth between us but all I found were niceties written by Conrad in between the margins of my Math and English notes. “You’re gonna kill this test!” “Don’t forget to hang the 1.” “This note was so important.” He would take my notebooks when I told him I was struggling and he’d make notes on the sidelines making sure I got everything I needed to get out of it. When I saw them over the next few days in class, I’d smile to myself. I always felt taken care of.
On my bookshelf was a book. The spine read The Outsiders by S.E Hinton. I grabbed it, the only copy I owed of it that had a broken spine and was well loved. It was the same copy I had in middle school that carried me to now. It was the only copy I read religiously. Next to it was a newer copy with the spine still intact and I grabbed that one, too. We all were forced to read it in middle school but it had quickly become my favorite book of all time. I scribbled down annotations in the margins and between the lines over so many years it was barely legible anymore. The new copy was from Conrad. He gave it to me one night while we sat in the basement alone. Jeremiah went to get more snacks and Conrad pulled it out of the couch cushion. “I annotated it with my thoughts. I don’t know, I thought you’d like it,” he said. I read it that night. This was his tangible proof, I thought. All the notes in the margins of my notebooks and this novel - that was his way of telling me he has loved me all these years, too.
Conrad once gave me a copy of Wuthering Heights. It sat on the top shelf, untouched, but he said it was one of his favorites and he hoped I would read it some day. I never did because classics weren’t always my favorite but I grabbed it off the shelf and opened up to page 1 with a pen tucked behind my ear and a highlighter in the spine of the pages. I wrote in the margins and highlighted what I liked and wrote sad faces next to the stuff I didn’t. I only got halfway through before the sun went down and my eyelids felt heavy. Mom went to Susannah’s without me. No one texted.
The next morning I woke up so early the sun wasn’t fully up yet. There was a dark glow to the Earth and the clouds looked pink. I grabbed the book off the nightstand and I finished it. On the very last page, I wrote a letter. My brain hurt. My heart hurt. My hand hurt. But I signed my name at the bottom with a kiss and then shut the book. My tangible proof.
There was a knock on my door. “Are you awake?” Mom.
“Yeah,” I called back as I got up to open the door. She was in her pajamas, her hair in a messy bun, and bags under her eyes. “You look good,” I teased.
She pushed herself into the room with a fake laugh and sat herself down at my desk. It was a disaster between me digging out every ancient artifact in the drawers and all the new supplies we got a few days ago but she poked at it all anyway. “What’s with the mess?” She asked, holding up a notebook from the 7th grade.
“I was just trying to find something.” She cocked an eyebrow up. “What? It’s true.”
“Find what?” I crossed my arms and shuffled on my two feet feeling uncomfortable.
“I don’t know. Proof I love Jeremiah, I guess.” When I said it out loud, it sounded stupid. Why should I need proof when I know it in my heart? My atoms were split from his atoms. I shouldn’t need a piece of paper to prove that, yet, here I was searching. Her face said everything I knew: I was stalling. I was looking for a way out.
Her eyes softened and she sighed, setting down the notebook. “You know when you were younger you used to beg me to buy Jeremiah cards for every occasion.” I nodded because I knew this. I remembered it vaguely but I didn’t know where she was going with her story, so I let her continue. “Easter, Christmas, birthdays. If there was a card for it, you wanted Jeremiah to have one. And even if there wasn’t, you’d want a blank one so you could make one yourself. Do you know how many cards he probably has?” I shook my head. “Hundreds, I bet.”
“What’s your point?” I asked.
She smiled. “My point is that you signed every single one, ‘I love you”. He has heard it a million times. He has it written down a million times from the moment you could write. I used to have to spell it out for you, that’s how young you were.” She was shaking her head as she was talking as if this was obvious. As if I should have already known. As if she has known from the moment I was born I was destined for Jeremiah Fisher. “I’m pretty sure you came out of the womb loving that boy. Don’t go looking for reasons why you don’t.” She flipped open one of the new notebooks. The page was stark white and empty. “But if you need something tangible then write it down.”
When she left the room, I took her spot at the desk. The page in front of me was so full of promise. So full of all the words I’ve been wanting to say. I took a pen and did what my mom said. I wrote down all my feelings. All the good and all the bad and when I was finished, I had my tangible proof. It was the only thing that sealed the whole thing shut. I stuffed it in an envelope and sealed it with a kiss.
Susannah answered the front door when I rang the bell. I’m not sure what I was expecting but her looks took me off guard. She was perfectly put together and she was smiling. “You’re here!” She exclaimed, pulling me into the foyer for a hug. “Your mom said you weren’t feeling well. How are you?” She smoothed down my hair and kissed my temple before holding me at arms length to look at me.
“I’m good,” I told her, trying to muster my best smile. I felt the need to apologize for the debutante ball but the words didn’t come. I think she saw them in my eyes.
“Hey, don’t worry about everything that’s happened, alright? The boys are okay for now. I will start treatment in a few weeks and all will be well, okay?” She didn’t sound too convinced. “Want me to get him for you?” I didn’t know who she was referring to but I nodded. Both the boys came tumbling down the stairs a few moments later.
They stood in front of me, both effortlessly handsome but in their own ways. Conrad’s hoodie was falling off his shoulders and his hair was messy and pushed out of his face. Jeremiah was put together but I knew it wasn’t intentional. His curls were perfectly placed on his head and they both stared at me with hopeful admiration. “Can I talk to you?” I asked, looking over at Conrad.
The room felt thick. I could feel Jeremiah’s shock and confusion even though I wasn’t looking at him. Conrad cleared his throat and he nodded and stumbled over his words, “yeah, yeah.” He nodded his head so I would follow him up to his room. I avoided eye contact with Jeremiah as I passed him.
Conrad let me in the room first. He shut the door behind him and leaned against it. He kept his hands behind his back and I pictured his white knuckles gripping the doorknob. His eyes were soft. Wanting. Hoping.
I took the book out of my bag and handed it to him. His eyebrows furrowed in confusion. “What’s this?”
“Open it.” He did, careful not to crack the spine. I can still see my handwriting scribbled across the first few pages. He flipped through them, his eyes scanning over the highlighted parts and reading my commentary on the side. “I figured it was time I repaid you.”
He smiled and shut the book, closing the gap between us. He dropped the book on his bed. His arms wrapped around my waist. It was just instinct for me to wrap mine around his neck and let him spin me around. When my feet landed, he cupped my cheeks. “You didn’t have to do that.”
“I liked the book.” My voice was barely above a whisper. I was too scared to speak. “I wrote you something in the back. A note.” He went to grab the book but I grabbed his wrist, stopping him. “But before you read it I need you to know that it’s Jeremiah. It’s always been Jeremiah.” He didn’t react. His body didn’t stiffen and he didn’t move. He just looked at me and blinked. “Say something.”
“What do you want me to say?” He straightened himself out and was no longer aching to touch the book. “I’m happy for you. I just want you to be happy. That’s all I have ever wanted.”
“I know,” I whispered.
“You’re my best friend but I was stupid to think that I stood a chance next to him. No one compares, right?” He half chuckled and my heart snapped in half. I shook my head and sat down on the bed. Everything felt too heavy.
“You’re not stupid. That wasn’t a stupid thought. I’m sorry. I wish I loved you that way. I wish I didn’t make you feel this way. No one is comparing you two. He’s not better than you, he's just Jeremiah.” I breathed out the last word like it was something I had been holding in for my entire life. A weight lifted off my shoulders and they slumped down. Conrad moved my hair out of my face and tucked a piece of it behind my ear. “I’m sorry,” I whispered.
“I wish it could have been me but you’ll take care of each other. Promise me, he’ll take care of you?” The request felt odd coming from his lips but I think I knew what he meant. I nodded and Conrad kissed my forehead. “Go to him. He’s probably freaking out. I couldn’t help but let out a small laugh.
“I couldn’t talk to him without talking to you first.” Conrad grabbed my hand and stood me up. He pulled me in for a hug and he held me for a few moments. The world felt so quiet I couldn’t even hear the birds chirping. When he pulled away, everything came back to life. life. Conrad kissed my temple before releasing me completely and I searched the house for Jeremiah. He wasn’t in his room, although his clothes from our summer in Cousins were thrown all around the room haphazardly. The cleaning I did the other day was barely noticeable but it smelled like him.
I found him in the basement laying on the giant Love Sac. It was well-loved and over used, with small holes ripping at the seams that Susannah had patched numerous times before already. His ankles were crossed and his arm was thrown over his eyes to block out the light. He didn’t hear me come down so I looked at him for a few moments as I stood at the bottom of the stairs. My eyes couldn’t drink in enough of him and I could look at him forever but instead, I started to walk toward him. He sat up, blinking rapidly as his eyes adjusted to the light and to me. He smiled gently almost like he didn’t want to really be happy to see me but how could he help it? The corners of his mouth turned up anyway.
“Hey,” he whispered. I gave him a small wave. The letter was itching in my back pocket. “About time you showed up,” he teased. My cheeks flushed and he reached for me. He pleaded, “please don’t tell me you love him.”
I shook my head slightly and his eyes softened. “Jere,” I whispered.
“I love you,” he said. I stuck my hand out loosely and he grabbed it. I wish his life vest in this hurricane of a summer. I was keeping him afloat and drowning him all at once.
“I love you, too,” I said.
“I’m glad you finally agree.” I laugh. I actually laugh. “I love your smile. God, is it the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.”
“Jeremiah,” I tried again, eager to spit out exactly what I need to say. He cupped my cheek and his palm felt hot against my skin. His thumb caressed my face and then my bottom lip, pulling it down gently. I placed a kiss on the pad of his finger.
“Just kiss me, okay? Don’t say anything, just kiss me and be mine.” How could I resist his request? I couldn’t. I let him kiss me and he kissed me like the world was crashing around us and the last thing he would ever remember was the feeling of my lips and I kissed him back as the Earth fell away in giant chunks. His curls wrapped around my fingers and his fingers wrapped around the base of my neck. He was inhaling every part of me, drinking me in with an eagerness I had never expected from Jeremiah Fisher. He wasn’t intense or needy. Never in his life. He was soft and carefree and reminded me of the color of the sky when it’s really early and the sun had just woken up making the sky so clear it almost looked white. Right now, he reminded me of crimson. There was a fire in him that I could not put out.
When he pulled away, our breathing was heavy but it was in sync. We were perfectly in tune. His breath had become my breath and his saliva was now swimming in my body. He was him and I was me and we were one. “Do you know how long I have loved you?” He asked. This admission had struck me right in the gut. He was so desperate for me to love him and it was because he didn’t know I had been loving him all this time.
“Almost as long as I have loved you, I assume.” I reached into my back pocket and pulled out the folded up piece of paper. I probably could have presented it a little nicer but the words just poured out of my body and I was too impatient to wait so I folded it up haphazardly and threw it in my back pocket before I lost the courage. “I wrote this for you, but I’m sure it’s not the first love letter I’ve written for you. According to my mom, you should look through all the cards I’ve given you.” I half-laughed as he took the letter from me, his finger slowly unfurling the paper but I put my hand on top of him. “Don’t open it yet.”
“Why not?” He questioned. I folded my hand over his and he used his other hand, the one not holding my letter, and grabbed my waist pulling me closer to him.
“Read it when you’re alone.” Truthfully, I was embarrased to watch him read it. “And then you can call me in tears because you’re so consumed with love for me there’s no other way to express it other than tears,” I teased, kissing his pouting lips gently as if we had been doing it our whole lives. He smiled into my lips.
“I can think of some other ways to express my love for you,” he mumbled. He shoved the letter in his back pocket and grabbed my waist completely, holding me to his body. I giggled - giggled - like a little girl and kissed him with everything I had inside of me. Kissing him, loving him, was like coming up for fresh air. We collapsed into a pile of limbs on the LoveSac, laughing into eachother’s mouths. I rolled over on top of him and looked down at him. My hair fell in front of my face and he tucked it behind my ear. “Finally,” he whispered.
“You know this is insane, right? Us. Together.”
“Why do you think that?” He sounded genuinely curious but also disinterested. He disagreed and nothing I said would change his mind. I didn’t want to change his mind. I smiled so he knew.
“All we’ve ever been is friends. How are we going to navigate this? Won’t things be different?”
Jeremiah shook his head. “It won’t be different because nothing that I feel is different and I don’t think anything you feel is different. But now, we kiss.” He kissed me and then said, “Us, together, is not inside. It’s right.”
Later that night, after Jeremiah had read my letter, he snuck through my window. He told me, I love you, thank you, and then he kissed me. He kissed my lips and my jawline and the nape of my neck. We rolled around in my bed, stifling each other’s laughs so my parent’s would not be woken up. It was late and dark and the crickets were alive outside, singing for us.
He asked me how could you have waited so long for this? Why didn’t you tell me sooner? I asked him the same thing and he flushed so red it went all the way down his neck. I didn’t notice the backpack that he was wearing when he came inside but now that was reaching for it, I saw it on the floor under the window. He pulled out the notebook that I had already saw, but I pretended to be confused. “I’ve been writing in this since I was a kid.” He handed it to me and I flipped through the pages I arleady saw.
“What is this?” I asked. Jeremiah was shy and he shrugged his shoulders and he kissed my cheek.
“All the ways I’ve loved you.”
That night, we kissed and we talked. We talked about his mom and he cried on my shoulder and then I started to cry as I apologized for lying to him all summer. I never should have done that, I admitted. It’s okay, he told me as he kissed all over my face. He kissed all my tears away until I could no longer tell why my face was wet. He said he could forgive me for anything. He would forgive me until the day that we die and then I told him I hoped he wouldn’t have to do that. I asked him about Conrad. He stiffened but said he was okay. He was happy for us. He was his brother again.
Jeremiah and I had never been given boundaries from our parents. We never needed them because we were just friends, despite everything everyone thought. But now, he was no longer allowed in my room with the door closed except when he snuck in really late at night without anyone knowing. Susannah was less concerned about what we were doing behind closed doors because she said she just wanted to see her son happy. She just wanted him to wake up with a smile on his face. She told me she wished she could see us get married and I told her I wished that, too. She got a photo of us at the ball framed. We were walking down the stage and he was looking at me like I was holding up the universe and I loved him more after seeing that. If that was possible.
Falling into a routine with him was easier than I anticipated. I thought we would mow over speed bumps with a hesitation that would surely doom us but we didn’t. I didn’t notice any speed bumps. He kissed me when he saw me and he kissed me when he left and he held my hand whenever he could. We did what we always did, be friends, but we kissed. Just like he said. And the kissing was good.
We kissed in the pouring rain one fall night. We were in his living room and the rain was pounding hard on the roof and he grabbed my hand and dragged me outside. I was laughing in shock, mostly, but I was still laughing. Jeremiah was laughing. He was dancing with me in the rain and kissing me as the cold water seeped through all my clothes and he screamed that he loved me over the rain hitting the cement. It wasn’t the first time it was said, of course, but it was the first time it was said since he was my boyfriend. He never had to say it. He said it when he told me to text him when I was home safely even though I was just going next door. He said it when he made sure I was drinking water every day. He said it when he brought me my favorite snacks every day. He said it when he stroked my hair until I fell asleep.
I screamed it back and he kissed me again and then I said, “can we go back inside?” He nodded and we warmed up in hot towels and he waited for me on his bed as I got out of a shower.
“You look good in my clothes,” he told me and then I said I could take them off if he wanted me to and then we made love quietly as the rain bled out of the sky. The birds sang us awake and he moved the hair out my face and tucked it behind my ear and told me, “I love you.” He never could say it enough. I could never hear it enough. It sounded new every single time and I prayed that I would never get sick of it.
“Do you think we were meant for each other?” I asked him one night. We were sitting in my bed. My feet were on his lap and he was stroking my ankle as I read a book for English class. Conrad had notes written in the margins because it was his copy from his own senior year. He went off to college when the leaves turned orange and we hadn’t seen him since but he calls pretty often. He’s doing well, he said. He’s happy.
Jeremiah looked at me. “Of course I think that.”
“Why?” I asked him again. Jeremiah chuckled and he grabbed my ankles, manuvering my legs so they sat on either side of him and then he gracefully pulled onto his lap. He traced my bottom lip with his finger and he searched my face for his answer.
“I have never been more sure of something in my entire life, don’t you feel that too?” I nodded. I felt it, too. I felt it so deeply it filled my lungs and made me feel like I was drowning sometimes but loving him made me feel like I was coming up for fresh air.
Weekends Ft. A Flower
Pairing: Dilf!Bucky Barnes x Teacher!Reader
Word Count: 2.4k
Warnings: literally none
Genre: just your regularly scheduled fluff
Summary: A weekend date with your boyfriend turns into an afternoon with his daughter too
You hum along to the music you're playing as you drive to Bucky's house for the afternoon. You'd made plans earlier in the week and you're honestly just excited to see him.
"What are you doing Saturday?" Bucky asked, on his call with you after work like most days.
"Probably just some grading. Nothing interesting planned." You hummed as you crawled into bed for the night.
"We should go to the aquarium. Steve told me they've expanded in the last year or so."
"Really? I think the last time I went to the aquarium was on a field trip we had a couple of years ago. I'd love to go. You live closer to the aquarium than I do so I'll come to yours and we can leave from there."
"Sounds great, how's 2 o'clock?"
"Perfect. I'll see you then." You smiled.
When you pull into Bucky's driveway it's just after 2 when you'd planned to meet. You take a moment to adjust your sundress and knock on the front door. A few moments later Bucky pulls the door open looking a little frantic.
"Hi! Sorry- nice to see you." He smiles with a huff.
"Hi, is everything okay?" You chuckle.
"I'm sorry, I should've called about this- Steve was supposed to take Lily out for the afternoon but his car broke down and he didn't let me know soon enough that I could take her down there so she's still here, up in her room." Bucky explains, running his hand through his hair.
"Well, since we're just going to the aquarium, we can bring her along if you'd like. I don't mind her spending the afternoon with us unless you'd rather reschedule for when someone can watch her." You offer.
"Really? You don't mind? It isn't weird to bring my daughter on a date?" He chuckles.
"I don't know if it's weird or not but who cares? I mean I like Lily, so if she wants to come along bring her." You smile. Bucky lets out a relieved sigh and leans forward to kiss your cheek.
"You are the best. I'll go get her, come on in, make yourself comfortable." Bucky says. You step inside and shut the door behind you as Bucky runs upstairs. It takes a few minutes for Bucky to come back downstairs, this time with Lily in tow.
"Y/n!" She squeals rushing up to you.
"Hello little flower!" You say lifting her into your arms.
"Hi!" She smiles.
"Daddy said we're going to the aquarium." Lily says as you put her back down.
"We are! Are you excited?" You ask her.
"Yes. Uncle Stevie was supposed to hang out with me but his car is broken apparently." Lily tells you.
"Yeah I heard but now you get to spend the day with us so, it could be worse."
"Alright we should get going ladies." Bucky says. Lily grabs your hand and practically tugs you out the front door. Bucky helps Lily into her car seat in the back of his car while you slide into the passenger side. Once Lily is settled, Bucky gets in and pulls off.
"How is school so far Lily? Do you like Mr. Gatlin's class?" You ask her. Although the year started a few weeks ago, you haven't actually talked to Lily about how fourth grade is going for her, especially since her teacher is new to the school.
"I like Mr. Gatlin. He's funny. There's a boy who sometimes tries to mess with me in class so Mr. Gatlin moved him away from me." Lily says with a shrug.
"A boy is messing with you? What boy?" Bucky frowns.
"Was he in my class with you last year?" You ask.
"No he was in Miss Conner's class. Uncle Steve thinks he likes me." Lily says.
"You told Uncle Steve before you told me?" Bucky glances up in the rearview mirror at her.
"Yeah daddy you overreact." Lily says.
"And uncle Steve doesn't?" Bucky scoffs.
"Lesser of two evils." She shrugs.
"Lesser of two evils? What've they got you reading Lily, Animal Farm?" You chuckle.
"What's Animal Farm?" She tilts her head.
"A book you won't need to worry about until at least sixth grade. On another note, uncle Steve shouldn't be telling you this kid likes you because he's picking on you. That's never okay and it's good that Mr. Gatlin isn't encouraging him." You say.
"And if it continues, kick his ass." Bucky winks.
"Or don't because that might get you suspended, especially if you doesn't hit you first. But you can and should still enforce boundaries around this kid." You tell her.
"I do. That's why Mr. Gatlin moved him. I told him I wasn't comfortable sitting next to him." Lily says proudly.
"Good girl." Bucky smiles as he pulls into a parking spot at the aquarium. You get out of the car and wait for Bucky to help Lily out and join you at the front of the vehicle. Lily runs ahead of the two of you to the ticket stand, already talking to the man at the desk before you meet her up there.
"I take it you're the parents?" The man looks at you two. Bucky chuckles as he answers.
"Yeah, can we get two adult tickets and a child's ticket." He tells the man as he grabs his wallet.
"That'll be $32.50." Bucky hands the guy his card and after a few minutes the guy hands its back along with our tickets.
"Alright let's go." Bucky says.
"Time to see the fish!" Lily says marching towards the aquarium entrance.
"Lily! Remember your dad has your ticket, don't go too far ahead." You call after her as you and Bucky walk trail behind. When you get into the aquarium, you let Lily decide your path through the different habitats. She dictates that you have start with the turtles. From there you see some tropical fish, then frogs, following the her decided path through the jellyfish and deep sea fish. Lily stops to read all the infocards when you pass a series of crabs and then she insists you go through the shark tank where she tries see how many of the sharks she can name.
"I had no idea you were so into sharks Lily." You muse.
"My friend Dylan at school really likes them." She says absentmindly. "Daddy make sure to take lots of pictures here so I can show him okay?" She turns to him.
"Oh- alright sweetheart." Bucky pulls out his phone and takes a picture of as many sharks as she can get close to. You even help by hoisting her up on your shoulders to get closer to the ones she wants pictures with that swim near the top of the tank. You're in the shark area long enough to catch them getting fed which Lily asks Bucky to record for her. When she's satisfied with her pictures and videos she runs off to the nearest map to make sure you've seen everything.
"Thanks for letting her come along with us." Bucky says to you quietly.
"You don't have to thank me. I know you're a packaged deal, that's never bothered me." You shrug.
"I mean, you're a teacher- I can't imagine after spending five days a week with kids you wanna spend one of your two off days with another. Who expects to be looking after a child on a date?"
"Don't be ridiculous, I love Lily. Plus, all I expected was to spend time with you. I'm getting to do that and Lily seems happy so- two birds one stone." You smile at him.
"Have I told you how amazing you are?" Bucky's eyes hold such adoration you're almost caught off guard. In the almost six months since your first date Bucky has been everything you could think to ask for in a partner. Considering how reserved he was when you met him you're honestly surprised with how easily he seemed to trust you.
"Alright! I think we saw all the important things, except the gift shop which is up those stairs." Lily announces walking back over to you. Something tells you his trust in you has something to do with the little girl currently beaming up at you both.
"Did you wanna hit the gift shop Lily?" Bucky asks her.
"We gotta dad!" She tells him.
"Maybe we can find you a shark plushy for this Dylan friend of yours." You smile nodding towards the stairs.
"Wouldn't it be weird to give him a gift?" She throws a look over her shoulder as she walks up the stairs in front of you.
"It doesn't have to be. Friends give each other gifts all the time. At least, me and my friends do." You shrug.
"Well, if I see something he'll like I'll think about it." She says assuredly. You giggle to yourself.
"Do you think she likes this boy?" Bucky whispers as you walk into the gift shop. Lily's run off to look around on her own while you look through the overpriced knickknacks with Bucky.
"Well, it's certainly possible. I think fourth grade is a pretty normal time for kids to start exploring crushes." You shrug picking up little things and putting them down.
"She shouldn't be exploring anything." Bucky frowns.
"I didn't mean anything by it Buck- come on, the most they'd do at that age is hold hands. He might kiss her cheek, but it's probably all innocent, they're kids. Plus you don't even know if she likes him. She's probably just excited about a new friend." You laugh a little.
"I'm starting to see why she told Stevie about the boy bothering her in class and not you." You joke.
"What do you mean?"
"Bucky, you look ready to lock her away like repunzel at the prospect of her liking a boy which you're only considering because she's taken an interest in sharks cause of a classmate." You muse. Bucky sighs.
"I just want to protect her."
"She's nine and so is he. The only thing she needs protecting from right now is falling off of the monkey bars or scraping her knee on the blacktop not boys." You tell him. "If it makes you feel better, I can talk to Mr. Gatlin about it?" You offer.
"Of course, if it would ease your mind." You nod.
"Do you know this teacher of hers anyway?"
"Mr. Gatlin? Not well, I mean he's down the hall from me, but I've only spoken to him a couple of times. He seems nice enough. He's friendly, salt and pepper hair, nice smile- the others seem really charmed by him." You chuckle.
"And you aren't?" Bucky asks.
"He's good looking but my eyes are focused somewhere else." You smile with a shrug. Bucky places a kiss against your temple at that.
"Are you getting anything from here?" He asks you after a few more minutes of walking around.
"I don't think so. Nothing really grabs me for more than a couple of seconds." You shrug. He hums and nods.
"Lily!" Bucky calls out and his daughter pops out from behind a shelf.
"Yes dad?" She tilts her head.
"Anything you wanna pick up or can we head to lunch?" He asks.
"Oo let's get lunch." She says skipping over.
"So nothing caught your eye then?" You ask her.
"Nope. Can we go to that burger place with the really good milkshakes dad?" Lily asks grabbing his free hand.
"Sure princess, I think there's one up the street actually. We can walk to it from here." Bucky says. The three of you leave the gift shop and then the aquarium to find the restaurant in question. It doesn't take you long, it's actually only a block away so within minutes you're inside looking at the menu and placing your order.
"So Lily, do you have a favorite shark? Or are you not that into them to have a favorite?" You ask her while you wait for your food at a table.
"I like hammerheads. I think they look funny." She says and you laugh.
"They do look funny don't they?" You muse. Eventually, your food is called and Bucky grabs your trays and brings them back to you and Lily.
"Do you have a favorite shark?" Lily asks you.
"Oh I don't know enough sharks, I think whale sharks are pretty cool. They're really huge ones with spots." You hum.
"Did they have one of those at the aquarium?" Bucky frowns.
"No I don't think so." You shake your head.
"They didn't." Lily confirms.
"Would you ever swim with sharks Lily?" You ask.
"You can do that?!" She gasps.
"Well yeah, some people do it all the time." You tell her.
"No thank you. Sharks are cool when they can't bite you." She shakes her head furiously.
"Don't encourage my daughter to do life threatening things." Bucky jokes with you.
"No worries, she's not interested. I agree, they're much cooler when they can't bite you." You smile at her munching on a fry. You chat through lunch with both Lily and Bucky until food is done and eventually Lily starts to get antsy to go home at which point you head out and start the drive back to Bucky's house. When you get there, Bucky takes Lily into the house while you get out of his car and toss your bag into yours.
"Hey, sorry we had to cut it short-"
"Bucky, don't apologize for having to be a dad. To be honest she lasted longer than I expected. I thought for sure she'd tap out as soon as she stopped eating." You chuckle.
"I hope you had a good time today." He says. You lean forward and place a kiss on his cheek.
"I had a wonderful time." You tell him quietly.
"Yeah?" He blushes shyly.
"Yeah." You nod with a giggle.
"Cool- me too." He nods. "I'll uh- I'll see you soon then?"
"Of course you will." You smile.
"Good- great. Call me when you get home." He says.
"Okay. Have a good rest of your day." You tell him.
"Yeah, you too." He steps back enough to let you get into your car and watches you drive off. Only once your car is completely out of sight does he go back inside with a content smile on his face. Bucky's not sure he'll ever get tired of the light feeling in his chest he has every time he goes on a date with you. Every single date leaves him simultaneously thinking he could fly and yearning for the next time he can see you. A small part of him worries he's far too attached so early in the relationship, but with how well you do with Lily he can't help but imagine you as permanent for the both of them. How can he not want that when you treat his daughter so well? It's probably too soon to say this out loud but he's definitely falling in love with you and on your drive home you find yourself thinking you're well on your way to saying the same.
Tagged Users: @marvel-fandom23 @alana4610 @marvel-wifey-86
Arctic Monkeys’ Interview on Ruta 66 Magazine, October Issue 2022
Translated by RatioMonkeys on Twitter
I ain’t quite where I think I am… are you?
The matter requires complete confidentiality, so it doesn’t leak into the treacherous ocean that is social media. The interview with Alex Turner will be in London, towards the end of July. The Car -code title: Suffolk Punch- won’t be published until October 21st. If listened in another device other than the original, the copy will self-destruct. Agents in the service of Her Majesty will descend upon the journalist from Ruta 66 at the slightest indiscretion. Shhh…
And here I am, before Town Hall Hotel, in Bethnal Green, taking one last puff of a cigarette before deciding to enter and face the frontman of one of the most successful British bands since 2006, when they released their debut album of a title that already indicated its idiosyncrasy, Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not. That was not the first step, but the conclusion of two dazzling three years in which their fans, and the internet multiverse, had put them on the pedestal of valuable substance, a young rock band that, paradoxically, believed in the old principles: composing big songs, gathering those songs on a vinyl that enhanced them, playing them before crowds that would sing them at the top of their lungs.
“When I am in London, I stay here,” says an educated, youthful Alexander David Turner, recently showered, in designer jeans, summer jacket, comfortable boots. “In 2007, when I still lived in Sheffield, we created one of the Arctic Monkeys’ records here, in Shoreditch. Since then we always stay in the neighborhood, and in fact, I lived here for a couple of years. There is a nice park…”. Out of place as the international star that he is, the frontman of the Arctic Monkeys resides in L.A., as another northern English attracted by the Californian sunshine and the epicenter of spectacle. “I am not there as much as I was a couple of years ago”, he explains. “Well, I was in there months back. I am looking for a place to stay…”
The suite in which we are in, as the entire hotel, exudes a timeworn classic style that cushions luxury: 70s furniture of varnished wood that doesn't hide its scratches and fading but spotless vintage rugs. Sitting before coffee and scones, during the first hours of the morning, we enter the scene. Alex, amiable and shy, far away from the public image of a difficult interviewee or god-like singer, expresses himself in a choppy manner, as if his reasoning were questioning the words that he pronounces. At 36 years of age, he is seemingly cultured and has his own opinions. The sixty-something chronicler sighs with relief.
The Car is a brave album, without great outbursts, a trip that starts flat and that discovers its peaks and valleys as it goes. This tendency started in Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino, where you started writing on the piano…
Certainly, the previous album started taking everything in a direction that… [thinks]. Well, the truth is I don’t think you can go backwards in music. And even if the listener expects a big smash, I think I’ve probably made the effort for it not to appear anywhere, because that’s the way I think it should be. But you don’t have to feel it like something that’s unnatural, on the very contrary, I think the album sounds open, even more than the previous one, where we started to open ourselves more.
When you released Tranquility Base, some fans demanded you on social media to go back to the studio and re-record it with guitars. But an artist must take risks, and I don’t see any other band from your generation that has evolved so much.
I hope so! If I think about our attitude when we were 17 and we played in a garage, you know, a group of guitars, drums and bass, I see that it all had to do with the instinct of “what can we do with this”. When you start you barely know how to play guitar, but you hear this voice that tells you that this is what comes out when you play altogether with your mates. It all relies in a sort of presentiment. And I think this is still true in everything we’ve done so far, that voice that comes from somewhere and keeps talking to you, that sort of instinct that forces you to move in a certain direction.
So, basically, you follow your instinct…
Absolutely, yes. I certainly do at a creative level. And it’s not always the easiest, to follow your instinct, either on the creative field or on your life. Your mind interposes between what you really feel and what you think you should do. But it’s also true that, when you do pop music, sometimes it’s easier to follow your instinct.
From the outside, people may think that when you started you were wild, heavy, and now more sophisticated. But you have to remember that it’s not only about volume, but also about feelings, and these can be as effective as a guitar riff…
I completely agree with you. Sometimes even more, I think. You have to recognize that… [mumbles]. Because if now we tried to do the kind of music we did ten years ago, it wouldn’t seem like the right thing to do. We can turn the volume up for five minutes, but you don’t have the same kind of inspiration in that sound as if you go to the next place that you reach when you write the rest of the song. You can always go back to the big dramatic effect, I think it’s something I still seek, but hoping to do it in a different way. (*Translator note: Most of this paragraph doesn’t make sense in the original article in Spanish either. It looks like he said a bunch of nonsense and they transcribed it word by word*).
You can always go back to that initial energy, sure.
Yeah, of course, I hope so… Recently we’ve been rehearsing altogether for two weeks, playing old songs out loud, and we had a great time. You know, lifting our guitars up in the air and making a lot of noise. We still enjoy ourselves with our loud guitars and we could take this into the recording studio. Perhaps someday we will.
Does the rest of the band share this presentiment you talk about? You have been together for a long time and you are a solid organism, even when you are the main songwriter.
I think the answer is yes… Certainly they all share that presentiment and, even if it wasn’t like that, I’d say sometimes not only they share it, but also if they see that I’m unsure about whether to follow my intuition, they’ll most likely encourage me to do so, to go in the direction that I’m not brave enough to follow. I remember times during the recording of this album where I was the first one to let my mind get in the way and tell myself that perhaps we weren’t doing the right thing, but the rest of the band would always encourage me to follow that road. And I think this is one of the reasons why we are still together.
I don’t think there’s anything bad about being unsure either, otherwise you take the easy route, you do an album that sounds like the previous one, you sell music, you don’t create it…
Exactly. You are absolutely right.
How is your internal dynamic? What does each member contribute?
When we started and we played in the garage it was different, because the way we’ve recorded the last two or three records has been different. We don’t play all together in a room anymore, although we did it in the previous record, but this time the contribution of each of us has been more fragmentary. I remember that during the recording I spent some time with each of the band members, individually, one on one, to try to use some of their musical ideas, more twisted stuff.
In the third song of the album, “Sculptures Of Anything Goes”, we worked together with Jamie, the guitarist, and he’d just acquired a Moog synthesizer. He was experimenting with that machine, creating a loop with the drum machine that inspired the song and he took it far away from the original idea. After some time, it went back to its origin and what ends up in the album is the sound of that idea summed up with the resulting song. Jamie contributes, apart from the stimulus, a will to grow, evolve and push the boundaries of our music. He’s the kind of musician who likes to experiment with the sound of an instrument, to manipulate it, rather than just playing it. That’s what he contributes to the group.
You’ve said that you like to write a song in the moment, without thinking about it too much, but in the last two records the process has been more elaborate. Isn’t that more tiring and mistaken than just to write it, record it and that’s it?
I haven’t worked with such immediacy for a long time. I like that idea of doing something that quick right now, today! [Laughters], but for some reason it hasn’t been like that. I think you just have the opportunity to do it a few times, perhaps during a long time, I don’t know… And I think I might do it again, but I believe that when you realize that you’re not doing it, it’s too late. And you think ‘I’ve done it for some time, but it has no use anymore’…
Obviously, there are no traces in “The Car” of those young Arctic Monkeys who brok through the British scene with fierce guitars and echoes from 1979 singing about teenage angst and living in the suburbs with big hits like “I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor”. Alex Turner has already said it: it´s their instinct, that force of destiny that made Alex Turner take another path on his side Project “The Last Shadow Puppets” , travel with the band to the Mojave desert and collaborate with Josh Homme for “Humbug”, finally take over America with “Suck It And See” or dress like a rockabilly for “AM”. The fact that he doesn’t conceive writing another “No. 1 Party Anthem” and that he portrays his burdens over silky funk, string arrangements and high-graduation ballads, is due to the fact that he knows that, in the art of songwriting, standing still equals to rusting, falling into irrelevance, failing.
You can sense from the lyrics that you’re trying to expose your intimacy without exposing yourself too much. I find it more gratifying than the obvious pop narrative: you offer all the pieces for the listener to construct what they imagine. Do the lyrics come out spontaneously or do they require a slow elaboration?
On one side, yes, they come out spontaneously. It’s something that happens in time and, as in other areas, a sort of writing style develops. Then, at some point, you find out what that style is and you can play with it. I like what you say about the pieces in the puzzle. I like the idea that the other part of that puzzle is the music, that the melody completes the lyrics, that you can feel that harmony between lyrics and music, a whole. The lyrics are just a piece of the puzzle, not something you have to decipher, but something that goes together with the music…
I am one of those who think that the listener is the one who completes the song. Big songwriters have confessed to me that they understood their lyrics decades after having written them. They’re a product of the subconscious…
I saw an article about Nick Cave in a magazine, about that wonderfull conference he wrote and developed, “The Secret Life Of The Love Song”, in which he talks about this. I found that idea fascinating. I think it’s absolutely true. Some of the things that come from that instinct we were talking about, from that poetic voice that we don’t completely understand and that we haven’t fully processed or thought, they find their way into your artwork. It happens a lot of times and you realize what it means long after; you remember the real life events that made you reflect and inspired you to invent it. I take the album’s lyrics with me [he takes them out of his jacket’s pocket] and I re-read them trying to make them make sense. We could compare them with the ones you brought [Laughters].
You seem to write about failed relationships, with poignant irony and a few drops of sadness; problems with your loved ones, with daily routines, with the outside world…
I think there is a certain level of search that never gets out of reach for the lyrics in some of my songs, although perhaps in this album it’s all more open to the outside…
You’ve cited poet John Cooper Clarke as an influence, are there any other authors that left a mark on you? What did you read while you were working on The Car?
There was a moment in time where I knew the answer to this question in relation to the songs that appear in our records. Right now, it’s harder to draw a line between what I was reading back then and what ends up on the album, but perhaps it’s there, I don’t know. When I started to write these songs I read Raymond Chandler, Phillip Marlowe’s novels, although I don’t see that on the album, but “The Long Goodbye” is mentioned at some point, the idea of The Long Goodbye appears. I was enjoying Phillip Marlowe…
In these lyrics, there’s a similar use of the sharp phrase in which Chandler was a master…
Yeah, and the attitude in Marlowe’s character. An attitude that I think is well represented in Robert Altman’s film, the way in which the character acts with his cat, I don’t know… Something I haven’t talked about is a book that perhaps is the one that holds the closest relation with the album, “In The Blink Of An Eye”, which talks about cinematographic montage, by Walter Murch…
Apocalypse Now… Coppola’s editor!
Exactly… Someone recommended it to me a few years ago, it’s a short book. I read it and found it very interesting. That work fascinates me, cinema montage, the way he describes it. At the beginning he explains his work at Apocalypse Now, the big amount of material they had and the long time they worked on the film’s montage, a lot of hours every day. What he tells is very interesting, how they did lots of cuts and undid them later. Do the maths, they worked for two years to end up with a single montage. There are a lot of things in that book that touch me directly, not only on a creative level, but also personal and beyond. Very interesting.
In The Car, was there a lot of material you had to select or discard?
Not on an Apocalypse Now level [Laughters]. But there was a bit of that. And to be honest I enjoyed the fact that the edition took us so long. We allowed things to exist, we edited them and then undid what had been done. There’s a thing he mentions in the book, a dinner with some friends of his wife. He explained what he did for a living and someone said: “So your job is to cut out all the bad stuff…”. At first he got offended, but then he understood that in some way it was like that, but that the hard part was to be able to see what was the bad stuff. The idea is that montage is not so much about gathering the fragments of something, but about discovering a path through the story you’re telling. There are a lot of things like that in the book.
Well, it’s also about the story flowing at its own rhythm. If a very good passage of what you have written doesn’t contribute to the progression of the story, it has to be discarded…
Yes, and sometimes it’s hard to cut it out. There are songs that contributed to this album but that are not in it anymore. There’s one I can’t take off my head, and I want to find the way to release it at some point, because I feel that it was almost like the pattern for the whole record, but in the end there was no room for it, it made everything feel, I don’t know, cumbersome.
Success is a double-edged sword and Alex Turner knows it well. Arctic Monkeys’ fans love to go to unheard lengths, but the band is always under suspicion by the specialized press. They have been in opportunistic politicians’ mouths who have compared them to the Beatles, and have been cautioned for banting at awards ceremonies, or merely for winning awards and showing up to receive them. They are still on their merry way, limited by that Sheffield rookie band with a strong Yorkshire accent, who listened to The Smiths, Velvet Underground, Oasis and The Strokes, while dreaming of leaving that loop of performances in pubs and dancehalls, which occurred steeply despite being denied to appear on live television. The Car places them on another level characterized by risked maturity and songs with a sophisticated excellence which underlines the ever-rough entrance into the adult world, love hangovers, and life traps. It will be curious to see how they are received by the public… and by critics.
On a sonic level, the album has many layers, lots of textures that need to stand out or hide. Is it here where your producer James Ford, who’s worked with you for a long time, helps with decision making?
He’s someone I trust much better than myself [Laughters]. That relation has gone through a lot, we’ve worked together a lot, and that leads to a mutual comprehension that is unmatchable. He is a part of the whole process, but I think that, on the topic of what needs to be discarded, here we’ve done a better job than we ever did. We’ve been capable of allowing everything to be the way it should be and have its own space. This was, I believe, much harder to do in the beginning because there was this feeling that everyone had to play all the time, while now we all take some distance and it’s probably more effective, since it allows things to flow their own way.
Is it because of the experience you’ve accumulated over all these years?
I think that has something to do, but also because these compositions allow and also insist in that it’s done taking turns. I feel it’s almost as if they were written like that, to be developed slowly, and the rhythm they are worked at is very important. It’s also important to have a vision of the big picture.
Let’s talk about how your voice has evolved. David Bowie, of course, would be a referent. Jarvis Cocker, Brett Anderson… How have you been improving as a singer?
Yeah, they are all references, of course. It’s true that my voice has changed. There’s a physical reason, your own growth, which alters it. But I think that’s the less important part, for I feel your way of singing has to match what you are trying to express. It’s hard to explain this with words. I think the sound of the voice helps, along with the melody, to the totality of the song.
Now you use it as an instrument, which is what great singers do: Sinatra, Nina Simone, Bowie, Marvin Gaye…
Once again, it’s a part of that puzzle you were talking about. The way you interpret a song is everything; sometimes you can make it mean different things depending on how you sing it. Those great singers you mention are technically very good, but in the beginning I didn’t care that much about that, and I’m happy that it was like that because our music didn’t require it. But I reached a point where I wanted to be a good singer. Nat King Cole! That song of his, “Where Did Everybody Go?”, I think it’s connected to all of that.
Do you suffer the syndrome of fame and success? You don’t look like the kind of person that feels comfortable with that, and it’s visible in your songs.
Well, sometimes I’ve had difficulties with some aspects of it. For me it’s a weird situation, although I don’t get chased on the street. They might stop me in some places, but normally it all goes well. And on the lyrics, since they are getting more open, I think there might be some of that, perhaps I’ve let some ideas related to that in my songs, things that I ignored in the past, because, well, who cares. But I don’t think that’s necessarily true nowadays, you can find a way to put it into a song.
YOU ONLY CALL ME WHEN YOU’RE HIGH
“Don’t get emotional, that ain’t like you/Yesterday’s still leaking through the roof, but that’s nothing new/I know I promised this is what I wouldn’t do/Somehow giving it the old romantic fool seems to better suit the mood”.
That’s how “The Car” starts, on the first verses of “There’d Better Be A Mirrorball”, preceded by dry hits of stentorian Philly Sould, confirming that the young man that wanted to be like The Strokes today aspires to the melodic depth of a crooner. Recorded at the Butley Priory Studios, Suffolk, and on the French La Frette, produced and mixed by James Ford, the band’s seventh studio album continues in that new style -atmospheric, confessional, solemn, poignant- with which the Arctic Monkeys surprised their fans on Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino.
The funk riff and Bowie vibes from “I Ain’t Quite Where I Think I Am”, the futuristic soul anointed in Moog of “Sculptures Of Anything Goes” -co-written by Jamie Cook- or the sustained euphoria of “Hello You” keep the pulse of an album that delves between raw and sophisticated, intimate and spectacular. A lagoon of brilliant surface and fathomless depths navigated by half times that catch you gradually. “Body Paint”, with those McCartney vibes, sounds as vaguely autobiographical as the rest (“For a master of deception and subterfuge/You’ve made yourself quite the bed to lie in/Do your time travelling through the tanning booth/So you don’t let the sun catch you crying”).
Ominous ballads follow, like “Big Ideas”, or the insidious, chimerical “Jet Skis On The Moat” and “Mr. Schwartz”, both co-written by Tom Rowley. And without understanding how we ended up here, “Perfect Sense” farewells a subtle, enigmatic collection where we shuffled between the bitter outcome of his penultimate romance with an American model and the nuisances of being, oh, a celebrity: (*Note from the translator: here goes a lyric snippet from Perfect Sense, but it’s written in Spanish. It’s stupid because it’s the final bit of the song, but they didn’t put the original version anywhere. What follows is a literal translation*). “Sometimes I wrap my head around it and it makes perfect sense, keep reminding me that it ain't a race when my invincible streak turns into the final straight, if that’s what’s needed to say goodnight, be it that way”.
Do not want to sound rude but harry is not the same from the live on tour. I get that people like some stuff better but this is Harry now and we should appreciate this moment of his life
i get what you mean but it's something people go off about, and i'm sitting here and trying to connect dots because when have i ever NOT appreciated his phases? who said hes not appreciated over here? a lot of peple need to disconnect this idea that criticising something = hating that. i love harry. (period) all dorkness, all phases, all projects (covid shirt not included in this), i love him for him, and for reasons i could go on and on. thats not EVER up to discussion, thats not EVER a fact i bring to the table when criticising whatever hes wearing while performing, while WORKING, because that's a non negotiable thing for me. harry is part of who i am, who i became, my friendships and my family, harry taught me more than i can ever be thankful for, and really comprehend, that doesn't mean i have to agree with everything he does, let alone love it, you know? im an individual myself, with own views, taste and etc. my opinion is purely on pieces of clothe produced and manufactured by a third party in which harry has been in a business relationship with. that's it. i will always cherish the love on tour, 2021/2022, i will cherish fine line and harrys house and ill always be fond of hs1. its amazing to see his growth as a musician, as a performer and citizen (again, covid shirt not included), im immensely proud of harry and HarryTM, it really feels like anne on the backseat of that SUV for the TMHT doc, like its gonna burst with pride at any time. everyday i get and, working with teenagers and 40+ people, its so amazing to see his positive influence, and to see how he rebrands and rebrands to continue growing and continue getting in touch with newer audience, but never ever losing the harry we met over 12 years ago, his amazing sense of humor, dorkness, hopeless romantic, and etc and also see how confident hes grown into it over the years as a soloist. the two are not in the same balance, i can love him more than my heart feels like it can handle it, and can also say "hey, i feel like my eyes have been exposed to this terrible piece of clothe for the next 3/4 hours [which it takes to fully update a single show] like what the fuck i wanna d word". that's it, yk?
somewhere only we know
Oh, simple thing, where have you gone?
I'm gettin' old, and I need something to rely on
So, tell me when you're gonna let me in
I'm gettin' tired, and I need somewhere to begin
Jily. First War. Angst. Manipulation. Gray characters. Rated E. Text might change later. @startanewdream
This is the day I’ll die.
That is not a good thought, but it is one that crosses Lily’s mind nevertheless, a familiar grim thought that escorts her every time there is an Order mission. It is not her first time, by any chance, not with their number so scarce and with Voldemort getting more powerful everyday, and she has a good track so far, but Lily knows that her luck could change in the blink of an eye.
She saw it happening with Dorcas, lively Dorcas, killed by Voldemort himself while Lily managed to get away by sheer luck. Two months later, she saw Voldemort’s spell missing her by inches only to hit Benjy, who she once dated, exploding him into bits, his blood splattering over her face; everything afterwards had blurred into horror and then darkness. Lily woke up days later in a hospital bed, alone and frightened.
There is no guarantee.
She wishes she could be alone, with her track of old partners having died while with her—Lily wonders if she is cursed, dramatic as that sounds—, but Dumbledore always organises their missions so they are at least paired. Constant vigilance, Moody barks in agreement, and it’s better having someone watch her back, she supposes.
And it’s already someone she knows, which should make it easier, except nothing about James Potter was ever easier.
“I can take the first watch if you want to rest,” James says, barely looking at her, positioning himself by the window where he has a view of the whole city square in front of the inn they are in.
“I am fine,” Lily mumbles, coming to the window and sitting on the other chair. The small table between them feels like a whole universe.
He doesn’t answer her; his face is mostly hidden in the shadows, the lights from the street not enough to show a face that Lily once spent hours studying, caressing, tracing every inch of it. She could draw his face better than her own; but that was a long time ago.
Not really, but one year seems an amount of time as infinite as the table between them.
Not for the first time since she found out who would be with her on this mission, she wishes it were anyone else. Maybe someone she doesn’t know very well—she got to know Dorcas, to share a few drinks and talk with her before… before—or even someone that still intimidates her like Mad-Eye. James falls in the same category as Benjy—someone from her past—but whereas things with Benjy ended easily, things with James are more complicated.
They were always more complicated.
The silence instals heavily in the room. Lily looks around, wishing they could turn on the lights, but it would just give it away their localization. It’s the middle of the night, after all, the sun still hours away from rising, and they are hiding. Her gaze falls to the only bed in the room, a beautiful canopy bed that seems to belong in a fairytale, the bed where the princess will fall asleep waiting for her charming prince… or where they will consume their wedding.
She blushes, now thankful for the darkness around them, and steals a glance towards James; he keeps his face turned to the square outside, still looking hundreds of miles away—or maybe he wishes to be. He isn’t happy to be there with her.
She saw it in the way he closed his hands into fists when Dumbledore announced they would be paired for this mission; she felt it in the silence during their train ride to that small town, a silence that she had never associated with James before; and how he clenched his teeth and buried his nails in the palm of his hands when the receptionist announced that there was a room reserved for a night in the name of Mr and Mrs Potter.
Mrs Potter. What a twisted joke.
Lily thinks of a wedding ring falling to the floor with a quiet thump, not twirling or rolling away. Just staying there. Lost. Forgotten.
Would she have said yes? She never found the answer to this question and one year later Lily swears it doesn’t matter. Fighting for her life, for a bigger cause, is more important than if her relationship with James could have taken another turn—
“Are you sure?”
Lily blinks. James’ voice seems to echo in the room. Sure? Are you sure?
“About not wanting to rest. We should take turns.”
“You can take the first one. I am not tired.”
“Me neither. I slept late today.”
“I know,” she says before she can think better of. “It was a full moon yesterday.”
That comment—that careless line that shows how much Lily once knew about him—finally makes James turn to face her, the lights now illuminating his whole face; it’s the first time their eyes truly meet in one year.
James has changed, but the change is so nearly imperceptible that Lily just feels aware of how much she was familiar with him. Physically, he looks the same; hazel eyes behind rectangular glasses, dark messy hair pointing to every direction, if only longer than she remembers him ever spotting, full brown lips that are soft and a small scar at the side of his cheek from where he was cursed at sixteen.
But his eyes are harder than she remembers him ever looking at her; or maybe it’s because that for a long time, all Lily could think was about how heartbroken James was during that last day they had. Red eyes, torn apart—James always showed his emotions too clearly—, begging silently for Lily to not do it.
And that’s what he does now, only this time with words.
“Don’t do this.”
His words are softer than his expression. Lily would have preferred he had yelled, but that wasn’t very much James’ style.
“Okay,” it’s all she says.
James continues to stare at her; he seems angry now as if her quietness bothers him as much as his bothers her. He wants to argue with her, she realises, and this sends a jolt of adrenaline down her stronger than anything.
But that is James. He always makes her feel something.
“I did not ask to be here with you,” he says.
"I didn't even know you were in the Order until a month ago."
There is the faintest trace of bitterness in his voice now, one that Lily knows the reason. She knew James was in the Order, had heard his name mentioned before—not just his, but his friends too, no surprise that where James was, so were the rest of his friends—but her own joining had been quiet. Few people had known she was in the Order, and she hadn't shared that news with James.
In fact, she had expressly asked Professor Dumbledore to not mention anything, a wish that had been dutifully respected until six hours ago, when Dumbledore had gathered them to ask them to go together for that stakeout mission.
It was Lily's first mission after that last disaster with Benjy. And considering the timing, she guesses how James found out about her in the Order after all.
"You heard about what happened," she mumbles, voice heavy now.
"On the newspaper," he confirms, eyes accusing. "I couldn't believe it at first, but then Dumbledore confirmed and… I thought you were working in the apothecary."
"I am. I was." Lily isn't sure if she still has a job, not when she doesn't go there for a month. "I was working there and for the Order."
He shakes his head, disapproval written all over his face.
"Would it be so hard to tell me?"
She pursues her lips for a moment, gathering her thoughts in order.
"I had no reason to share anything about my life with you, James."
She can feel the contradiction in her own words, the coldness of reminding him of their distance that doesn't match the warmness with which she involves his name, enveloping it in a layer of caress that it's been there ever since the first time she called him by his first name.
A part of her—that traitor part of herself that Lily never can totally extinguish, a fire that keeps burning despite the cold—wants him to realise this contradiction. To stare at her, urgent and hopeful, and to ask her why did she break up with him, why did she give up their dreams; the only bed in the room draws her attention even more as she thinks of everything they shared, every night and every morning, promises exchanged between kisses and touches.
It was real, she wants to tell him, but she can't. She told him it wasn't and James believed her then.
He still does, apparently, because he only listens to her distant words.
"No, you hadn't," he agrees, and they feel as apart as ever. "After this is over, you can go back to pretending I don't exist."
That's actually a good definition. All Lily has been doing in the last twelve months is pretending she doesn't care about James because the alternative… is painful.
So she swallows every explanation and excuse she wants to give him, instead turning to the view outside. In the few minutes they got distracted, there was a movement outside.
Three figures are gathered in the square, dark hoods and cloaks obscuring their faces, but Lily knows all she would see would be their masks.
"Death Eaters," she mumbles, warning James, and passing him quietly a Muggle binocular that works pretty well despite any spell that might have been cast outside; purebloods always despise any Muggle technology.
James takes it, their fingers brushing with the movement; there is a small pause and Lily wonders if he also felt that current of electricity running through his body, that recognition of everything they ever shared in warm winter nights, promising spring days and until the start of the summer. But James just places the binocular in position and Lily picks up her wand to start the spell.
It's not very complex, but it needs to be cast with extreme precision so they won't realise they are being bugged. Lily works patiently, her movements fluid and slow, so concentrated that she jumps when she feels his arm holding hers.
"Lily," he calls, and something heavy on his voice drowns the realisation he is touching her on purpose. "Voldemort is here!"
Her spell is broken now, white mists disappearing in the air as she stares in the direction of the square, heart beating at a speed that has nothing to do with James' presence for once. It's a mix of fear and hate and an urge to do something.
Two encounters with Voldemort.
She has survived him twice so far, the first one thanks to Dorcas' sacrifice and the second one because of fate's call that made Voldemort's spell hit Benjy instead of her. The second time landed her in the hospital for three days, at death’s door. She saw him kill two people she had cared for.
And now Voldemort is here and that's just her luck, isn't it, that her surveillance mission—Dumbledore asked them only to see what the meeting was about, he said there were only new recruits—just got more dangerous.
She thinks of Dorcas' eyes staring at nothing and Benjy's blood on her face and then Lily looks at James. He’s sober, decided.
The fear was never for herself.
"We should go," she whispers and predictably, James turns to her with a disbelieving expression. "We came here to check on newbies, not to—"
"We will get even more important intel!" he says, his low voice showing all his excitement. "This is even better."
"It's too risky. If he detects us—"
"Then we might take the son-of-a-bitch down. It's not my first go against him."
Lily shivers. "Our mission was surveillance, not to fight. We are outnumbered two to one at last."
And one of them is Voldemort, she doesn't say.
"Bring two more bastards and it would be a fair fight," James says, and suddenly there is a cocky smile on his face that floods her with all the longing she had refused to feel ever since meeting him again. It's the smile she first despised then loved with all her heart.
And that's the reason Lily crosses her arms, her jaw set, adamant. "I won't go. We are done."
He flinches. Lily hates herself for the hurt that crosses his face, the recognition that shines on his eyes and then the anger that she is throwing back at him the same words she said when they broke up.
When she broke up with him.
"That's not about you and me," James hisses at last, grabbing the binocular once more. "I've faced him twice now and—watch out!"
His words haven't yet registered in her brain when Lily feels herself thrown to the ground, with James pulling her down. She hits the ground with a gasp, his warm body over hers taking her back to nights alone in the Heads rooms, his familiar musky scent involving her and—
—and then the window explodes in green flames, glass shards falling around them, the air unbearably hot now, taking the last breath out of her lungs. She coughs, blindly accepting James' hand as she feels him pulling her to the other corner of the room.
"Are you hurt?" He asks, concerned.
Lily coughs, shaking her head. Through the smoke, she sees that James has pulled her to the bed—the irony is not lost—, still intact after the explosion, and though there are a few cuts over his face and arms, he seems to ignore them as he stares at her.
"I'm fine. What—"
"We were spotted," he mumbles. "We should go."
Lily nods, grabbing her wand firmly in her hand, but years of studying complex charms tell her they will have trouble.
"It's protected," she says. "Apparition wards are in place."
"That doesn't make sense," James mumbles, and she knows what he is talking about. This kind of ward takes several minutes to be in place. If they were spotted only a few seconds before the explosion…
"They knew we were here. Someone betrayed us."
James shudders, staring at Lily as if her words make no sense.
"It doesn't matter right now. We need to move."
Lily sighs. "To the only place we know they won't have protected it. To the middle of the square."
He presses his temples for a moment; there is a wrinkle on his forehead that Lily suddenly wants to touch; if this is it, if this is her last minute on this planet, she would want to share a last laugh with him, maybe even die with the ghost of a last kiss on her lips.
But he opens his eyes suddenly.
“Let’s go. Wands down. Pretend we are just going to talk. As soon as you can, however, you disapparate.”
“I’m not leaving you behind, James!”
Something flickers in his eyes so quickly that Lily wonders if she imagined it. “You have to,” he says, voice steady. “We don’t have time to argue—someone needs to go warn the Order.”
“I can’t—you’ll be—”
But she can’t say it out loud, can’t really imagine a world in which James Potter isn’t there.
“I will not,” he assures, knowing exactly what she isn’t saying. “I’m the last Potter. He wants me alive.”
A grimace pulls up his lips. “That’s how I’ve survived the other two times.”
Voldemort wants to recruit James.
Somehow, despite knowing this makes sense—James is a pureblood, and his recruitment would also bring Sirius Black to Voldemort’s supporters, a shot well-aimed against Dumbledore—, Lily can’t really imagine a world in which James is a Death Eater, wearing dark clothes with a mask, a skull tattooed on his skin and standing next to Voldemort’s pale face and red eyes.
James is too Gryffindor, too noble, too good for ever joining Voldemort’s side. He is a flame that could never be extinguished.
But there is none of his usual warmth as they walk outside, climbing down the wrecks of the building. Lily glances around, hoping no one was harmed in that explosion—the nice old lady who ran that inn, or the other couple who was on their honeymoon —, but she can’t see anyone, which she takes as a good sign. Next to her, James’ eyes are hard, fixated on the four people in the middle of the square, and when they leave the building, he rushes ahead as if he wants to shield her from view.
Lily fights back a sigh and takes a step to the side. She won’t let him protect her—that’s what she has been trying to do for months now, and for all she knows, she is already a target. But James—with his blood, the last descendant of an important wizarding line—isn’t at any risk.
No one moves. Voldemort stands at the other side of the square, his three followers almost forming a circle; there is a gap and, with a jolt, Lily realises it’s a gap for two people. She and James stop a few steps of reaching there, aware of the wands pointed at them—not Voldemort’s—, and that if they advanced, they would complete the circle perfectly.
She grabs her wand firmly inside her pocket, urging her face to not betray anything.
There is a still moment, then Voldemort smiles. “I’ve been waiting for you,” he says, voice soft.
It’s the first time Lily hears him saying anything other than a curse, but his voice still manages to make goosebumps rise on her skin at the same time hatred like she never felt before involves her. She thinks of Dorcas’ face permanently frozen and of Benjy exploding, and she almost raises her hand, ready to curse him in any way she can, but then James holds her arm, almost absently.
“You’ve interrupted our night,” he says, almost teasingly, and his comment makes one of the Death Eaters in the circle shift.
“James, James. You can’t fool me. I know all about your failed mission. You were not here to court this lovely lady.”
Lily blinks. Lovely?
“The night is still young,” James says, but he seems nervous now. “Why don’t you let her go while we talk—”
“Why would I deprive you from her company?” And then Voldemort turns his gaze at Lily, his smile still intact. “I’ve heard so much about you, my dear girl.”
She finds her voice. “I guess talking about Muggleborns is a pastime amongst your people.”
“Not our favourite pastime involving people like you,” he agrees, unfazed. “But once in a while, we make an exception. I’ve been meaning to meet you for a long time.”
“Yes, of course. And it’s so lucky you and James are here, together, the perfect couple.” He raises his hand, counting on his fingers. “Head Boy and Head Girl. First of your classes. Exceptionally bright. Brave.” He lifted the last finger. “And I’m willing to allow you both a choice.”
For a moment there is only silence, even the wind around them quieting down. Against her best judgement, Lily takes her eyes off Voldemort to exchange a glance with James that, for once, holds none of the resentment she has come to associate between them ever since they broke up. He looks as bewildered as she feels.
“A choice,” Lily echoes.
“Well, James here is familiar with my offer. How many times now, James? Two?”
“I seem to remember you didn’t take well my answers before,” he answers gravely, tapping his chest absently.
“You are alive, aren’t you? Many can’t say the same, as I’m sure your dear girlfriend can tell you.” Voldemort stares at her, his face betraying no real sympathy. “Your friend died bravely, but needlessly.”
“You murdered him,” Lily hisses, once more reaching for her wand only to be stopped by James, who glances around tensely. “You are nothing but a fucking sociopath, a bas—”
“I would hear my offer first,” he cuts her off, his smile flickering now, eyes glinting red. “It is not usually made for people like you.”
“So what?” she challenges, voice loud, ignoring how James just grabs her hand, throwing a warning look at her. “You want a Mudblood like me?”
Now Voldemort seems to gather her as a petulant child, amused by her tantrum. “Yes. I see talent where it lays, even with the most questionable blood. Even if, as James here, you would rather devote your attention to a lost cause.”
Lost, Snape once told her. You can't win.
“It’s not lost while I stand fighting you!”
“But you will fall. The Ministry cannot hold me. Dumbledore’s precious Order cannot touch me. You are doomed to die unless… you join me.”
His cold smile doesn’t falter. “I see why you fancy her so much, James,” Voldemort says. “Spirited. As stubborn as you.”
James forces a smile on his face. “We all have our flaws—but that’s not hers. And we’ve been over this, Voldie. I will never join your side.”
“I did not take you for fools—or selfish. Being by my side is the only way for you to protect your… loved ones.”
Familiar faces cross her mind, everyone she ever cared for, maybe even talked to—friends, colleagues, professors, her sister—her only living relative, recently married, so distant—and then James at her side, the only man she ever really loved.
And once more she thinks about Dorcas never getting to smile again and how Benjy was just gone in a cloud of blood and gore and if anything happens to James on this mission, if she leaves here without him… she would never recover. If there is one chance for him to survive this, shouldn’t she take it? Sell her soul, all for the chance she couldn’t give to Dorcas or Benjy? Isn’t this the braver, even nobler choice? Isn't giving him a chance what she hoped for when she broke up with him?
One yes, one mark branded on her skin and she could protect him and maybe others, far more than she has done so far…
“Would you really protect them?” James asks, taking a step ahead, his face dark. “Even Sirius?”
“The black sheep?” Voldemort laughs scornfully. “If you can control your friend, remind him of his duty—why not? His young brother is mostly favourable to our cause.”
“James—” Lily calls softly. This doesn’t make sense. She is the one considering that macabre offer, why is James questioning it…
He ignores her.
“My friends won’t be hurt. Ever. And Lily walks away now.”
“That’s the only way I’ll be accepting your offer.”
“No!” She takes a step ahead, pulls his robes, any incoherent thought of ever joining Voldemort vanishing from her mind. It was absurd for her and even more for James. He is good; he is kind and loyal and brave, and none of this fits Voldemort’s ideals. The good side—Lily—cannot lose him like that. “What the hell are you talking about?”
“This is the only way.”
James doesn’t look at her. “Let her go, and I will go with you.”
“You are not—”
“It seems she doesn’t want to go. What do you say, Lily Evans? Join the winning side, prove yourself a witch above your birth—”
“I’m never joining you! You killed my friends! You wipe off innocent people!”
“There is no innocence, only weakness.” He looks disappointed. “I didn’t take you for a fool, but very well. Join my circle, James, and I will let her go… this time.”
“Lily.” James’ call is quiet, but his eyes burn into hers when she turns around. “Go. This is my choice— as we talked before.”
Before? His gaze urges her to understand what he means, to believe in him… and then, in that chaotic mess, she remembers what he told her. Pretend we are just going to talk. As soon as you can, however, you disapparate.
Relief—unstoppable, burning, bright relief—floods her. So James isn’t considering going dark after all. He is just crafting a plan, a way out so she can go ask for help, and even if he’ll sacrifice himself in the process…
The relief is gone, replaced by despair and anger. She won’t leave him alone. If Voldemort as much as suspects a deception, or if they are already gone by the time she gets back with reinforcements… No, no, no. She won’t leave him.
And James knows it. She sees the moment that his eyes flash with urgency, begging her not to do anything reckless and a laugh escapes her lips with a curse when Lily turns around, her wand aiming for the closest Death Eater.
Spells are flying then, and James is rushing to cover their backs—two to one, she warned before, not very good odds especially when one of them is Voldemort—, but Lily doesn’t stop smiling.
She learned recklessness with James after all.
It’s been ten minutes since they sent off their Patronus, and Lily figures out it will take ten more minutes until anyone from the Order comes to help them.
She isn’t sure they can survive that long. It’s chaos on the square and she can only hope the lights don’t attract any innocent Muggle to the windows, anyone than can venture outside and get caught in the midst of explosions and curses flying. She doesn’t want to be responsible for anyone’s death.
And she is fighting to kill.
There is a time to be noble, to disarm instead of killing, but she can’t think about it at this moment. Unblockable green spells fly around and if she hesitates for one moment, if she isn’t fast enough, if she is in the wrong place at the wrong time… she can’t despair. She needs to be better and she needs to make sure, above all, that nothing happens with James.
Too bad he seems to think the same about her.
There are cuts on his arms and all over his robes that came from the same distraction: he’d been too busy trying to protect her instead of taking care of himself. Lily wants to scream at him, to throw back into his face every time he looked heartbroken at her after the end of their relationship, pointing out this is one of the reasons they couldn’t be together.
She endangers him in so many ways.
“Stop protecting me!” She finally snaps, deflecting a curse aimed for his back that he should have seen, only James was too busy with a spell that Lily would have blocked easily.
“If you had gone away I wouldn’t need to!”
“I told you I’m not leaving you!”
“Again, you mean?”
That’s unfair and also true, but Lily’s retort is cut when the fountain in the middle of the square explodes, the force of it pushing them behind. Her ears buzz, unable to hear anything for the moment, and her head seems as heavy as the smoke around them, but some clarity comes to her mind. If the square has been blown, then the wards will be off… She and James can both disapparate, regroup until they can come back and then face off Voldemort—she won’t let him kill anyone else, never again…
There is only one problem. She has no idea where James is.
Lily turns around, jumping when another spell flies towards her. She calls his name, barely hearing her own voice, head spinning and yet desperate to find James. He was right next to her, he must be close…
And then she is on the ground, screaming, her whole body struggling with unbearable pain, a thousand knives cutting her skin without drawing blood. Make it stop, just make it stop, she thinks, or maybe she cries it, because the pain is suddenly gone and, very distantly, she hears a cold laugh.
“You should have accepted it, girl. You wanted to.”
“No,” she mumbles, voice raspy. She doubted for a moment, she was willing to sacrifice herself, but she never wanted to be by his side. “I will kill you.”
He laughs once more, raising his wand. Lily stretches her hand—her wand is so close and she doubts Voldemort will just kill her simply—but she suddenly knows it.
This is the day I’ll die.
Voldemort is faster, his wand ready, and Lily can only hope to die with her wand on her hand, fighting for a lost cause. She grabs her wand just as the spell leaves his, and time stops.
Red spell. The same one that hit Benjy. No body to bury later. Only bits of her, splattered across the square, a warning for the mudbloods who dare to refuse Voldemort, who dare to fight even when there was no hope…
And then she sees James. Face ablaze, resolute, unbreakable. She was silly of doubting his allegiance, his loyalty. He could have been a fool when he was younger, but his heart had always been in the right place. And once Lily had realised this, she just couldn’t help herself. Falling in love with him had been the easiest thing in the world, as natural as breathing.
Breaking up with him had been the hardest thing in the world.
I was trying to protect you, she wants to say. I love you, she wishes she had time to say. Go away, she thinks.
He doesn’t. For all he called her stubborn, James had always been worse.
He is right in front of her, a blue shield emerging from his wand just as Voldemort’s spell hits him. For a moment, Lily dares to believe there is hope.
She was always a fool.
James falls back to her side, all spells dismissed. Lily, he whispers with a last breath, and then there is blood coming out of each pore of his chest, a gruesome sight that belongs to her nightmares. He is dying, Lily realises, and Voldemort laughs watching her despair.
No, no, no.
She jumps over James’ body—he’s still warm, he’s still breathing, there is hope—and her eyes meet Voldemort’s red one—she vouches she will take him down someday—and begging for all gods that this doesn’t make James’ worse, she disapparates with him.
Darkness claims her and Lily sinks into it.
She dreams of the last day.
Not the day she broke up with him, just before graduation, just before she went to Dumbledore and told him she would join his Order, in secrecy, working behind the curtain.
No, she dreams of that one final happy day, when instead of joining their friends for a last walk in Hogsmeade, Lily stayed with James in the Gryffindor Tower.
They spent the day in bed, wrapped in sheets, watching the sunlight shining on their skins, glad that for once they didn't have to stay quietly hidden under the bed's curtains. And they had more time than usual to go slowly, to find out more about the other than they had so far.
There were many good moments that day, but Lily dreams of those last hours, when she was laying against him, her head on his chest, with James caressing her hair while they watched the sun setting in the opposite window.
The sky was pink, Lily remembers, full of fluffy clouds.
"I have to go," she'd said lazily. "Night patrol is mine."
"It's the last week before term ends," James answered her. "No one will break curfew tonight."
He was wrong, but he couldn't know then that Lily would meet her former best friend and that he would warn her against her choices; he couldn't guess that Lily would hear the warning and realise the danger she represented to James.
There were many things they both didn't know.
"I can show you the benefits of staying in bed," he'd added in her favourite mischievous voice, lowering his head to kiss her earlobe, her pulse.
"You've shown them all today," Lily had agreed, laughing.
"I still have a few tricks up my sleeve," he promised, and Lily had believed him. She'd turned around, allowing their lips to meet for a few seconds, their bodies glued together.
"We have time," she'd said (another mistake). "You can show me later."
He caressed her face, a reserved expression on his face. "Later. Do you really mean it? All the time we can?"
Lily nodded. James had smiled then, that beautiful happy smile that lighted up his whole face and that Lily had to answer—his happiness was unmatched—before he rose from bed.
"I will take a quick shower. Wait for me?"
Lily had acquiesced. James gave her a peck, almost jumping on the way to the bathroom. She remembers how contented he seemed and how she shared this until she rose to gather her own clothes.
When she picked up his cloak, a velvet box fell from the pocket.
Inside, there was a silver ring with two tiny gemstones—one was the color of her eyes, the other was amber. It was beautiful.
It scared her. It made everything real. It made her want to say yes.
She was already changed when James came out from his shower, wearing her own cloak, the box back to the pocket of his. She thinks she smiled at him, with a brave expression that hid all the tension she'd been harbouring.
"I think I should go alone," Lily said. "Go meet your friends, you've been away the whole day. You know how Sirius gets it."
"Jealous and needy?"
"Like a dog."
James had laughed; there were dimples at the corner of his mouth.
"Okay then. Be careful."
"It'll probably be boring."
"Should I save you a seat later?"
She'd turned, but James had held her hand, making her stop. His touch was warm, tender.
"Are you okay?"
"How could I not be?"
He cupped her face, thumb caressing her cheek, her lips; his eyes shone.
"I love you," he'd whispered.
And then nothing. Lily can never remember if she said she loved him back or how it was the last kiss they shared (a peck? A full snog that left her breathless? A slow kiss that lasted minutes?).
The next morning, when he'd nervously asked her for a walk in the grounds, his hands hidden inside the pocket of his cloak, Lily accepted only to break his heart.
Lily blinks. The Gryffindor dormitory is empty save for her.
"James," she calls, looking around, opening all the curtains but there is no one there. She has been left alone as she asked him to let her. "James!"
No answer. When she looks back at his bed—a bed that speaks of winter nights and spring mornings, nights they only slept together at first, then progressing, evolving their relationship, making love to each other—there is blood.
She jumps, nearly falling from the bed. The room is lit—sunlight comes filtered by the light curtains, sometime in the middle of the afternoon—, unfamiliar. Lily's last thought was of apparating to a place she'd felt safe—James' house at Godric's Hollow.
A quick look outside the window tells her she did it right—it's the village as she remembers, crowded at the end of the summer—but not his place. The mystery can wait, though. For now, she needs to find him and make sure that someone took care of him as she couldn't.
Her whole body aches as she walks outside the room, barefoot, her wand in hand. The door leads to the hall of a beautiful old house, ornamented with pictures on the walls; there are about six doors in this hall, but only the one right in front of her is closed and that's the one she opens, finding James laying on a bed like the one Lily just left.
He is still.
She rushes to his side, begging him to not… not him, please, he can't… I should have done it differently, I shouldn't have left him—
Her hand trembles as she touches his neck, feeling for the soft pulse, the proof his heart is still beating. When she pulls off the sheet over his bed, she sees a lotion over his bare chest, a blue one whose smell reminds her of dittany and bezoar.
"He shall be fine."
The voice makes her startle, turning around, her wand ready, but even before she spins, Lily had already recognized his voice. In the corner of the room, almost hidden in the shadows, she sees the familiar face of her old headmaster; his blue eyes are glinting.
"Professor! You scared me."
"I'm so sorry, my dear girl," he says, and for a moment Lily remembers Voldemort calling her the same way. She shivers. "I'm glad to see you awake."
Lily nods. Now that Dumbledore is here, she feels strangely aware of the fact she is wearing only a nightgown, too thin, but Dumbledore doesn't seem to notice. He seems to be miles away.
"How long has it been?"
"Twelve hours. James woke up before you, but we needed to give him a Sleeping Potion so the Healing Draught could work. He was very adamant on seeing you."
She smiles against her will. "That's James. Will he be fine?"
"He will need a few weeks of rest until he's back in action."
"He won't be happy about it."
"No, you two seem very alike in this aspect. Can you tell me what happened?"
She sits at the edge of the bed, taking James' hand between hers—if Dumbledore notices it, he doesn't say anything—, and tells him everything that happened.
"They knew we would be there," she repeats at the end. "There is a spy."
"I know," Dumbledore admits gravely. "I have known ever since your mission with Benjy went wrong. No one should know about you, and yet—"
"You knew?" Lily asks, baffled. "And you didn't say anything? We could have—”
"The information about your and James' mission was kept safe. Only one other person knew."
Lily shakes her head. "No, not him. He wouldn't betray James. They are brothers."
"So they claim, and yet… Voldemort knew. Somehow someone had access to that information without us knowing how."
"They must be spying on us or—"
"I believe so, yes, yes. Someone is feeding information to him and that's dangerous. Especially… especially now."
Dumbledore takes a moment to answer her. He goes to the window, the sun shining only over half his face, the other side covered in darkness.
"You said you and James denied Voldemort's request?"
She thinks of almost slipping, of the yes that she denied to James but considered giving to Voldemort.
Lily pushes that guilt to the deepest corner of her mind. "Yes."
"He will not take it lightly. There were others present and Voldemort cannot rule if anyone dares to question his power. Your own survival questions it, makes him look weak and that's not something he will forgive."
"Good," she whispers coldly. "Next time we will be ready, he will—"
"Next time," Dumbledore repeats, thoughtful. "How many times have you faced Voldemort now?"
"Two. I mean, three, but I don't think he knows I was there when… when Dorcas…"
She bites her lip. The green light had been burned into her memory for months after that; her nightmares were green, until, after Benjy, they became red.
"So did James. Three times. Both of you."
"That's… that's a strange coincidence."
Lily grimaces. That's not the kind of fate she'd wanted for any of them.
"You two need to stay hidden for a while. I have a cottage in the woods, near the Forest of Dean, that could be a safe haven for you until—"
"No," she says, flushing with the notion she interrupted him."I can't stay hidden, I'm fine and at no more risk than I was before. I can help the Order—"
"When you signed up, you said you would do whatever it took to make the world safer."
Lily glances at James. Now she knows he is out of danger, he looks just peaceful, as if he is just sleeping. His face always looks young like this; she thinks of carefree days, of laughs that were too short.
"That is all I want," she whispers. A safe world means a chance of happiness.
"With Voldemort gone?"
"The greater good," Dumbledore whispers. "I once thought…" His voice dies. Dumbledore turns to look at her, his eyes piercing. "I have one mission you can do while you are away with James."
"Professor," Lily tries reasonably. "I can't go into hiding, not with James. There is a reason I asked you to keep my presence unknown—"
"There is a prophecy about Voldemort's demise."
Lily blinks. Dumbledore’s words make little to no sense and she almost expects him to crack a joke about it, but he remains strangely somber.
"A prophecy? As in Divination?"
"I recall you never took this class."
She shakes her head. The professor that ran that class—recently retired, if Lily remembers correctly—had the fame of being some sort of charlatan, with far more theatrics than any correct knowledge of foreseen the future. Mary had complained all three years she had stayed in that class. James had told her it had been a good laugh, but then he laughed in every class.
"There is a room in the Department of Mysteries full of orbs of prophecies that may or may not come true. Magic is so unpredictable sometimes… One year ago, I received a prophecy that spoke of the Dark Lord's demise."
"It mentioned a person who would have the power to defeat Voldemort."
"So… is this real? Who is this person?"
"Do you believe in prophecies?"
"If you are telling me it's true, Professor, I—I think we should try every possibility."
"Do you?" Dumbledore's eyes seem to read her mind. "No matter what the cost? Would you sacrifice yourself to stop the Dark Lord?"
Dorcas' face got red when she drank, even after only one shot, and Lily remembers talking to her all night, sharing stories, even mentioning James (Dorcas had understood and promised her they would still find their way to each other). Dorcas had been a friend.
Benjy loved the rain. He would walk outside in the worst storm, not caring for anything other than feeling the raindrops on his face. They dated for a few weeks and though it hadn't worked out, he never questioned her for it. She had loved Benjy even if it wasn’t like he wanted her to.
And she thinks about them in the past because they were both killed by Voldemort.
"He blew up the inn you were staying in after you left," Dumbledore adds in a small voice, handing her a Muggle newspaper—The Daily Prophet doesn’t cover Muggle deaths anymore—that shows the black and white picture of that inn in flames.
The old lady that ran the inn said she and James made a lovely couple, and offered them tea for the night. In the lobby they met a newlywed couple who couldn’t stop smiling at each other, clearly smitten, clearly happy. They had nothing to do with this mess.
"Fuck," she curses, fighting a sudden urge to cry. "We should have stayed, we should have protected them—"
"That's Voldemort's fault, not yours."
She knows it, but it doesn’t change anything.
"I will do anything to defeat him," she vouches. Dumbledore’s eyes pierce her, more powerful than ever, and a sudden chill runs down her body. "This prophecy… is it about me?"
As soon as she says it out loud, Lily feels silly. She is not special in any way. Just a young Muggleborn witch trying to make ends meet, desperate to survive and to protect those she loves and even those she has never met. If anything, a prophecy more likely would concern people like James—pureblood, heir to an old bloodline that was important enough to attract Voldemort’s attention, to request him…
"No," she whispers. "Please don't tell me… Not James…"
"No," he answers her slowly. "The prophecy speaks of a child who hasn't been born yet."
That doesn’t make any sense. How can a child have any power to defeat Voldemort? It feels too religious, too esoteric. Biblical, even.
“I do not know, but the prophecy says that a child will be born, and they will have the power to vanquish the Dark Lord.”
“That’s all the prophecy says?”
There is a brief moment of hesitation. “No, the prophecy also says… this child will be born in summer, to those who have thrice defied Voldemort.”
“Thrice,” Lily repeats slowly, the word taking a long moment to sink into her brain. She suddenly wants to laugh—a long, loud, crazy laugh that holds no happiness. “Dorcas. Benjy. Today.”
“That’s thrice,” Dumbledore agrees, and Lily suddenly wants to shake him, to take away his patience and above all the glint in his eyes that looks strangely glad, hopeful, triumphant. “As did James.”
“Yes,” he says calmly. “He met Voldemort soon right after he graduated, then six months later—”
“But those times—James said he survived because Voldemort wanted him, so he didn’t defy him—”
“He denied Voldemort’s request on both occasions and now, with this last meeting… Thrice.”
“So—” She swallows hard. Her mind is overworking now, seeing everything with more clarity than she’d like, but still the words are difficult to say. “So then… I don’t—tell me what this means.”
“It means there is a prophecy foreseeing that a child will be born in the summer to those who have thrice defied Voldemort. And as of now, you and James are the only candidates to parent this child.”
Transitions- Chapter Twenty-Five: Coffee From Lauren
Pairings: Steven Grant x (platonic) Reader, Marc Spector x (platonic) Reader, Jake Lockley x (platonic) Reader, Layla El-Faouly x (platonic) Reader
“Thank you so much for the coffee,” You tell Lauren. She sat on the metal cart next to the counter top that you were currently sitting on. Her legs swung back and forth as she adjusted her bun on top of her head. It was a slow morning so far, one that you were grateful for due to your exhaustion, yet, you also hated it because sitting still made you more aware of how tired you were.
“You rarely ask for these types of things, the least I could do is buy you a coffee as a thanks for picking up my shift this Friday.” She smiles, her own coffee cup filled with lemon tea sat on the counter you perched on. You sip on your warm beverage as she speaks. Right, you have a double shift in a couple of days from now. Seven in the morning to six in the evening, fun. You roll your eyes at that. It was a day you would make a lot of money though, hopefully you’ll be well rested enough to not be too tired throughout that day. You already knew what you were doing tonight after work, eat dinner with Steven and Marc and go right to bed. You had to get a new laptop this weekend too, school was on Monday and that was less than a week away.
You were stressed about that. You really needed that laptop for your senior year otherwise you would have to drop out and re-enroll next year or try and get your GED. It would be difficult trying to apply once more since they would try to contact you for your whereabouts and why you weren’t doing any school work within the first two weeks of the term. So, you would have to create a new identity and that would be even harder this time around since the American government has finally got most of their shit together. It was pure chaos when everyone came back, the government was backed up on files since the sudden appearance of everyone who was gone for five years came back. It took awhile for them to get ninety percent of the blipped back on file and confirm their status of life.
The cheapest option for you to buy a laptop is if you could find one at a yard sale like you did for your previous one, but that might not happen. You haven’t seen any flyers for a garage or yard sale. You know for a fact you don’t have five hundred euros saved to buy a brand new computer, you had enough for small items like the strawberry waffles you keep internally promising to buy for Marc and Steven, and maybe the pyramid paperweight you saw at that glass shop a couple of months ago.
“What are you thinking about?” Lauren asks as she sips her tea. You could see the lemon flavored tea paper attached to the tea bag string in her cup from where you sat. You blink tiredly at her and smile.
“Just the amount of sleep I didn’t have last night.”
“You haven’t slept?”
“I’ve been up for-” You pause and place your coffee next to you before you count off the amount of hours you have been up since. You worked yesterday and didn’t get any shut eye last night. Your shift yesterday was at eight am, but you woke up at six thirty and right now it's nearing ten, so you’ve been up for almost twenty-eight hours and you don’t get off until three.
“I’ve been up for almost twenty eight hours.” You tell her and her mouth drops open.
“Are you serious?”
“Deadass.” You say as you pick up your coffee and sip on it. You didn’t want to drink it too quickly and have a caffeine crash mid-shift or on the bus ride back to the apartments and miss your stop. You were falling asleep on your feet this morning, the passenger you almost fell asleep on moved several feet away from where you stood so you couldn’t drool on their backpack.
“That’s not healthy.” Lauren says with a frown. “Is there something keeping you up?” You let the caffeinated liquid sit in your mouth as you think of what to say. You couldn’t tell her the whole truth. It would sound insane if you did. You can’t tell her about Khonshu and his declaration of not being the god that held you out a window Saturday. You also have to keep quiet about your neighbor who you began to trust and his lies that made you take a couple steps back and think of who he is. Could you trust him completely? You don’t know and that thought alone hurts you. You can’t tell her about your friend, Layla, and her weird absence on Saturday, what was up with that? Maybe she was doing some black market shit? That would be a huge can of worms to open with Lauren. And finally, you can’t talk to her about Jake and how he threatened to kill you and yet, he saved your ass and made sure you were breathing for a month and a half; and now his absence and zero want to communicate with anyone, including you, kind of, surprisingly, hurts.
You don’t like that he threatened to kill you, but for a while, he was the only person you had. You can’t tell Lauren that because she would absolutely call the police.
“I’m just anxious,” You tell her a slice of the truth. Saying that this weekend was terrible would be an understatement.
“Do you want to talk about it?” She asks. You knew that she truly meant her promise about how you could talk to her about anything. But, you can’t take her up on this. Maybe in the future you can tell her about any normal problem such as how you mixed colors in your wash and now all your white shirts are pink and the amount of frustration you feel for yourself for that mistake. But, this anxiety issue needs to be kept away from her. You don’t know what you will do if Lauren ever finds out the truth about what you know. You will admit that you would feel relieved that you had someone normal to talk to about the existence of deities, your neighbors and how one works for a god and took down a cult, and also your friend's occupation as an illegal seller for the black market. You can’t let her in on the truth about yourself, though. If Lauren ever finds out about your real age and your fraud, she will never trust you again. Straight to the police station you go.
“I don’t know why I’m anxious,” You lie and shrug to make it more believable as you bore your tired gaze onto her. “I need to start taking melatonin if this becomes a habit.”
“You’ll need to go to the doctor if this becomes a habit.” She corrects. “When was the last time you went to the doctor?”
“When I lived in New York, I think I was…” You squint in thought. “Thirteen.” It was true that the last time you visited the healthcare clinic was for a bone you thought you broke but turned out you sprained it. That was- for you- nearly four years ago. But as far as Lauren knew that was-
“Five years ago?” She says. “Ten years actually! The healthcare here is free, you need to go get some check-ups done.”
“I know, I know.” You groan. “It’s just that it costs so much in America without the insurance and even if you did have insurance it would cost like five hundred dollars for it.”
“Well, it’s free here.”
“I know.” You repeat. “It was a habit to not go to the doctor or the hospital unless you absolutely needed it.”
“A habit that is free to break.” She says. You nod in agreement. “Molly needs to go to the doctors soon for her yearly check up.”
“She needs to go on the scale and the measurement scale and get her knees tapped at with those hammers.”
“I don’t think so.” She says. “Jamie needs to get his four year shots next year. He needs to get his polio and mumps and measles. When Molly got hers, she was crying and we had to reward her with ice cream for being so brave.” You smile at the thought of little Molly crying as she ate her ice cream. It was a comedic sight to imagine. The last time you received any vaccinations was for your annual flu shots in your local pharmacy, you were fifteen and still underneath your parents insurance plan. You should make an appointment for the flu shots this year so it wouldn’t hit you as hard as it did last year, but you weren’t sure if you needed to be insurance to receive the vaccinations.
“Well, it’s Jamie's turn to get ice cream for his reward.” You smile. “Are you packed for your trip?”
“No,” She groans. “We’re doing that tomorrow. We still have to pack the kids bags since they’re staying at Kris’s parents house this weekend.”
“Are they excited to be staying at their grandparents house?”
“They are! They don’t seem to realize that it’s more than one night though.”
“It’s going to be a surprise when they realize that you aren’t picking them up until Sunday night.” You laugh. “They’re going to miss their mom’s.”
“Every time I think about that I almost begin to cry.” She says. You glance at her and sure enough there were tears forming in her eyes.
“It’s just for the weekend, they’ll be fine.”
“Their grandfather is going to feed them a lot of sugar and send them home with us.” She says, you laugh.
“That’s the rules though.” You say. “They’ll eat the sugar and be hyperactive before inevitably crashing.”
“Just like you are?” She asks and gestures to the coffee next to you.
“You’re the one who ordered it to be sugary.”
“Well, having pure black coffee is a crime.”
“My dad used to drink it straight from the pot without adding any milk or sugar to it. He should have gone to jail for it.” You joke and she grins at that. “I don’t know how he did it, but he drank it every morning.” A ping of sadness hits you as you finish the statement. Your dad will never drink coffee again and you will never have the opportunity to make fun of him for it with him standing next to you.
“What’s your favorite coffee so I know what to order for you the next time around.” She asks and you swallow around the lump forming in your throat.
“You don’t have to-”
“I know I don’t,” She cuts you off. “So spill, what is it?”
“You basic bitch.”
“You can’t just ask me for my favorite drink and bully me for it.”
“I just did.”
“You have no room to speak because you are drinking lemon tea.” You gesture to her paper cup.
“At least I have taste.”
“Yeah, weak ass taste.” You scoff. “You didn’t even get raspberry and mint or some other tea with more than one flavor. You paid a coffee shop to make you tea, something you could have made at your own place.”
“I could say the same for your coffee.”
“Actually you can’t because I don’t have a Keurig.” You say before you pick up your cup and sip on the liquid.
“This is why us English people don’t like you Americans.”
“We don’t even like ourselves.” You laugh and she chimes in with you. The noise hurts your ears in the small space but the sound was melodic. A light feeling spreads through your chest as you both giggle at your teasing of each other. You missed this, the feeling of being relaxed and carefree enough to crack some jokes. It’s been awhile since you haven’t been obsessed with whatever new drama was happening in your life. It was nice to have a normal friend who wasn’t tied to deities or cults. Once the laughter dies out, a comfortable silence settles between you. The bell above the entrance rings and Lauren pushes herself off of the cart and briefly pats your thigh as she passes you.
You could hear her greet the customer from where you sat on the counter. You listen to her talk about the specials of the day and if there were any coupons underneath the desk that the customer could use for their meal. You only tuned out when you began staring blankly at the box of spices on the shelf across from you. Saying you were ready for bed would be an understatement. The caffeinated beverage was helping a little but not as much as you wish that it would. The word of the black pepper on the side of the cardboard box you burn your gaze into became indistinct the longer you stared at it. You knew what the word was and what it meant, but there was an odd disconnect from it. Your brain was not quite clicking it together in your mind.
This only happened one other time when you were at your lowest a couple of weeks after moving to London. Everything that was words whether it was on the back of a granola box or sentences of articles on your phone became a blur of unknown words and phrases that you could not comprehend for the life of you. Staring at the two bolded words in front of you now, an odd feeling settles in your chest. You couldn’t describe the feeling, it was hard to put a finger on what it felt like. You force yourself to blink and look away from the box. You could hear Lauren tell the customer to have a good day before you hear her footsteps on the tile floor and see her near you out of the corner of your eye.
“I was joking about your taste,” She says as she hops back onto the cart and grins at you. “If that wasn’t clear and you feel insulted about your terrible choice in coffee.” She adds. You don’t say anything for a moment as you muddle your way to form a proper sentence in your mind and make it roll off of your tongue so she wouldn’t get concerned and send you back to your apartment early.
“I know and I was joking about your poor taste in tea.” You say, it doesn’t sound like it came from you despite the vibration in your throat. You rapidly blink as she parts her mouth in fake irritation. You breathe in through your mouth and hold your breath for a moment before letting go.
“It’s decent taste actually.” She defends herself. The words on the box in front of you made much more better sense in your mind as you forced out a laugh. This time the noise sounded like it belonged to you.
You trail your tired gaze back to her as you say, “Hmm. Sure.” Whatever has just happened to you scared you a little. Maybe it was caused by the lack of sleep you had, whatever it was you didn’t want to experience again.
Lauren didn’t seem to notice you as she says, “That customer wanted me to put crisps on their sandwich.”
“No! That would be cross contamination if I did.”
“Good.” You say. “Emily told me that someone asked her if she could put cookies on their sandwich.” She wrinkles her nose at that.
“Cookies?” She says, “Like the ones in the cookie cabinet?”
“Those exact ones. Chocolate chip onto of their ham sandwich.” You reply. You watch as a look of disgust forms on her face and you agree with her. When you first heard the story, you had the same expression as she has now. You pick up your coffee and sip on it.
“I can get potato chips on top of a sandwich, but cookies?” You shake your head. “That's a crime in itself. They need to be jailed.”
“Agreed.” She says. The bell above the entrance rings and you both share a look before looking at the monitor. It was just a single customer, you couldn’t tell who they were from the glare of the lighting but that didn’t matter. You trail your gaze away from the monitor and to Lauren.
“Your turn.” She says before she picks up her own cup and sips on her tea. It was only fair if you were to take turns until lunch rush came. You blink tiredly and yawn as you place your cup onto the counter and hop off of it. You raise your arms above your head to stretch your muscles as you begin to walk to the front. Another yawn escapes you as you greet your first customer of the day.
You don’t care how many orders you messed up today, you were just glad to be ten minutes away from your neighbors apartment. Usually, you would be beating yourself up for putting ranch on a customer's sandwich when they clearly asked for mayonnaise; but you were way past the point of caring by the end of your shift. Your coffee was long gone and your bladder was empty from the endless amount of peeing you seemed to go through today. Caffeine makes you pee more often and you weren’t used to having so much caffeine in a day. You could feel yourself crashing with every step you took towards your apartment complex. Your feet ache and your back hurts a little.
Maybe you’ll change the plans of you passing out after dinner to taking a nap on Stevens couch before eating instead. You don’t know if that would make you more cranky if Steven or Marc wake you for the meal, but you don’t care enough about it. If you’re lucky, maybe Steven has some snacks you could eat instead of waiting for dinner. Or you could just go to your own apartment and sleep on the couch, you could put your phone on silent and shoot Steven a text message stating that you won’t make it to dinner. Perhaps you’ll pop into his apartment and show him that you’re alive and breathing before heading over to your own and passing out for the remainder of the afternoon and night.
You would like to sleep in his bed since it wouldn’t hurt your back as badly as your couch does, and his place brings you comfort, but you just want to sleep in peace more than anything. Marc or Steven might make too much noise for you to fall asleep and you weren’t going to ask them to be quiet in their own flat. If Khonshu or whatever deity decides to fuck with you when you’re trying to sleep in your apartment, damn them. You’re tired and cranky enough to beat a bitches ass if they decide to pull some shit like that. Maybe they’ll be willing to show their face and you can pop them in their jaws. You’ll like to think that you’re pissed off enough to throw hands with them. Either way, sleep was your main priority and nothing was going to-
Suddenly, the feeling of something or someone grabbing the back of your shirt and dragging you into the open end of the alley you were just passing causes you to lose your train of thought. You yelp as you get slammed into the brick wall, knocking your head against it and you let out a groan at the contact. Holy fucking shit. You snap your eyes in the direction of the open end of the alley and see someone standing there. They wore a cloth mask on the lower half of their face and a beanie covering their hair. The jacket they wore was zipped up to their neck and a turtle neck shirt hid any identification on their body, the black pants were baggy on their legs. The only visible thing was their brown eyes and the white skin surrounding it. They held onto a knife with glove-covered hands and you can feel their eyes glaring onto your body. You can not catch a fucking break this week, can you?
“Give me all your money,” They said, their voice deep and gruff. Your stance tenses as you stare at him. Just three months ago you were in almost the exact same situation, why does this bullshit seem to only happen to you? Well, you don’t want it to happen to anyone but it was weird that it happened twice to you.
“I’m flattered that you think I have any.” You say. You know that you shouldn’t be rude to this man and you should hand over any cash you have on you, which you don’t since tips were terrible today. You were more awake than you have been all day thanks to the adrenaline rushing through you. The heaviness in your limbs and the baggy feeling around your eyes was gone. You were slowly planning on how to escape this situation. You could pretend to give him some cash or punch him in his dumb face and run for it; or you could throw your apron at him as a distraction and run- wait where the fuck is your apron? You rack your brain for where you left it and your heart nearly drops to your stomach as you realize that you left it in your locker after you grabbed your phone, keys and the Eye of Horus paper.
Fucking fuck. Okay, scratch that, go with plan number one and if you get shanked, you have to leave the knife in and go get help. God, you just wanted to go nap and this fucker decides to choose you to mug. Life really just stopped holding back their punches, huh? What did you do to upset the universe?
“I know you.” He says after a long pause. You squint at him. Maybe he was a customer you served today and that’s why he says that he knows you? You sure as hell don’t know anybody that would rob teenagers for their tip money. Well, maybe Jake would though? Where the fuck is he when you need him anyways? Man, it would be the perfect time for him to swoop down from the buildings and do his Moon Knight thing. Kick some ass, take some names. Beat the absolute shit out of this guy so you could go take a nap. Do you have to call for him to come appear and save you or does Khonshus job only happen at night? You doubt that Khonshu would warn Jake about the situation that you’re in. The little bird-bitch.
“I don’t know you.” You say. Man, you really should have brought your taser. What’s the point of having a taser if you don’t carry it around on you? You just didn’t want to get arrested for having one on you because it’s illegal in the United Kingdom. But, it would be really fucking handy to have it now. You could feel your phone pressing against your thigh. The emergency number for the U.K is 999, all you have to do is be able to call them if you need to. You should actually dial them and report a mugging but you don’t want to get involved with the police because of what you did to move countries. You only need to call them if you get a stab wound or any other major injuries.
You tuck your fingers inward to make a fist as you prepare yourself to throw hands. You did this last time and you only got away because of your neighbors. They aren’t here now, so you’re on your own. Maybe you’ll call Marc's number if you get stabbed, he was in the marines and a mercenary, he has to have knowledge on stab wounds. He told you not to call his number unless it was a emergency and if this isn’t one than you don’t know what the fuck is.
“You don’t remember me?” He says. You almost snort at how pretentious he sounds.
“Yeah, I don’t remember every brown eyed bitch that is willing to rob a kid.” You say. Why is he so surprised that you don’t know who the fuck he is?
“We met before.” He supplies and you stare blankly at him. You obviously were familiar to him unless he was mistaking you for another person.
“June.” He hints and your mouth parts open in surprise. This man is the same god damn mugger from before! Holy fucking shit. You almost laugh at that. Even after Marc beat his ass, he still is working the same nine to five job and he’s boasting about it. You stare at the eye slits across his face, any bruises that he might have had were healed. He sure as hell didn’t learn his lesson. What were you supposed to say to him now that he confirmed who he is? Hey man, how have you been? Still mugging teens huh? Or: How’s the kids and partner? Are y’all still a family or married? Going through a divorce huh? Yeah, I would divorce you too if I found out you were mugging children.
“Oh,” You say instead. “I thought you were dead for a while.” His eyes narrow at you. You did hope that he wasn’t dead because it would have meant you were a acquaintance to murder; but if he did kick the bucket, it means that you would be safe from this and you would be going up the stairwell and napping sooner than later.
“Still alive and well.” He snarls at you. You glance at the knife he held. It was the size of a bodice dagger, the blade was about five inches long. If you get stabbed, that’s going to cause some damage. Of course, it depends how bad it will be for where he aims and lands on. You just need to throw a punch and push past him. You need to run for your apartment. Wait, should you lead him to where you live? That sounds like a terrible idea. Okay, well, maybe you should book it for the bus stop? There has to be people there. There’s no fucking way that this man would be willing to stab a kid in front of a group of bystanders.
“I still don’t have any-” You start but get cut off by his fist connecting with your face. Your head whips to your right as all your breath seems to stop and freeze in your chest. The pounding in your head covers any noise that could have warned you that he was taking a step forward before you feel his hand wrap the cloth of your shirt into his fist. He smelled like cigarettes and axe body spray. The left side of your face stung from the impact and you knew that a bruise would be forming on your face by tomorrow if you make it out of this situation alive.
You reach up and grasp his wrist, your fingernails digging into the cloth of his gloves. If you’re going to die at the hands of this fucker, you’re going to get his DNA underneath your damn nails for the police. He pulls you forward and slams your back into the wall, whatever breath you had is gone as soon as you felt the impact. Your head stung and your chest aches. You let go of his wrist and form your hand into a fist before swinging. His head whips to the side and he groans at the impact of your fist against his cheek. Slowly, he turns his head and glares angrily at you. Did he seriously not expect you to fight back?
He lets go of your shirt and steps back a little before his fist makes contact with your stomach. You wheeze at the feeling and bend forward, clutching your torso with both hands before he grabs you by the back of your collar and throws you down to the ground. You roll a couple of feet, your skin gets torn apart due to the road burn. You slow to a complete stop and groan as you lay on your side. The gravel of the alley digs into your skin and crunches underneath his feet as he walks towards you. Fucking hell your body hurts. Your palms sting as you roll onto your back and try to catch your breath from being punched in the gut. You need to get up before he kicks the ever-loving shit out of you and gives you a concussion or breaks your ribs or arms.
You need to get up before he makes sure that this is the last bit of daylight you’ll ever see. Through half lidded eyes, you stare at the bright blue sky above you, and watch a bird fly over you with its wings spread wide. You couldn’t tell what type it was and you didn’t care much at the moment to think about it. You just need to get up. You need to get the fuck up. Your palms press into the gravel as you bend your torso to sit up. The muscles in your torso ache in protest as a shadow blocks your view of the sky above you. You bend your neck back and glare at the man before you. You could feel trickles of blood run down your forehead and you saw the drip of blood drop from the arch of your right brow and hit your cheek before continuing on trailing a path down your face.
He swipes the knife across your cheek and narrowly misses your eye. You jerk backwards from him as a sting of pain spikes across the fresh wound and warm blood runs down your face. A gasp leaves you and a scream begins to build up in your throat. This is the moment that you understood that he wanted more than money or any belongings that he could pawn, he wanted revenge; and even though you weren’t the one who beat his ass until he was unconscious, you were there as your neighbor did so and you didn’t stop him.
You saw his leg swing back before you felt his foot make contact with your ribs. You fall back, your head hitting against the ground and once again, all air gets knocked out of your lungs. He steps forward, placing his foot on your chest and putting all his body weight onto the joint as he leans downward a bit and stares at you. The sunlight glints off of the blade he grasps in his hand and momentarily blinds you. This was going to be difficult to run away from since he’s already beating your ass. You need to scream for help, surely there’s someone nearby and willing to check in on you or call the police. Your hands wrap around his calf as you try to push him off of you so you could inhale some air but alas your attempts are futile.
You kick your feet against the ground, scrambling for some leverage. Maybe if you use the force of your torso against him he will stumble away from you. Your shoes slide against the gravel as you struggle to plant your feet onto the ground and force your torso into the yoga bridge pose. He presses his foot down harder and you swore that you felt your sternum crack under the pressure. You let your legs slide down and lay flat against the ground as you stare with anger at the man. You could feel panic begin to settle in your bones as you open and close your mouth like a fish out of water. You need to scream for help but you had no air in your lungs to do so. You try to force away the panic so you would have a clear brain to think with.
Okay, you need to get him off. How do you get this fucking man off of you? Your eyes land on the one sight that all of your male classmates would protect the most during a game of dodgeball at recess in middle-school. He’s a man with a weak spot that happens to be right at arm's length. You should have realized it before, you would have gotten him off of you sooner. You let go of his calf and ball your hand into a fist before harshly slamming it against the area where the sun doesn’t shine. He lets out a gasp of air and stumbles back a few steps. You take a deep breath of air as you waste zero time to push yourself off of the ground.
You spare a glance down at your palms and frown at the sight of blood seeping from the wounds that were made from when you scraped along the pavement when he threw you down. You pat your pockets for your belongings as you walk towards him. He was bent over and clutching his privates as he blocked the only exit to the alley. You need to run past him and book it for either your apartment or the bus stop. You pick up your pace into a jog before pushing your legs to move faster past him. He reaches out on his right side and grabs onto the cloth of your shirt and tugs you towards him. He stands up straight as you call for help, screaming it like you were a getting murdered and it was your last chance of survival, and it sure as hell felt exactly like that. Your back hits his chest as his left arm wraps around your throat and his knife pokes into your throat.
“Call for fucking help one more time and I’ll slit your god damn throat.” He threatens. Huh, this sounds awfully familiar. Your nose began to sting from the tears forming in your eyes. You could only hope that anyone that was nearby would be willing to check on your pleas. Maybe you’ll get really lucky and someone would pass the alleyway and see this. He kicks at the back of your knees, letting go of you temporarily as your knees give out underneath you and hit the gravel. He bends down, wrapping his arm once more around your throat and digging the tip of his blade back into your skin. You feel the blade digging into your throat as he bends down and begins to pat your torso for anything to take from you.
With each hard pat, you know that the spots will be red from his hits. His hands trail down to your jean pockets and he pulls out the Ziploc bag that contains the Eye of Horus paper, your lanyard falls out of the same pocket and lands on the ground.
“What is this?” He says behind your ear. His breath was hot on your ear and you wince at how close he is to you. He keeps your head tucked to his body as he removes the knife from your throat so both of his hands are available to open the baggy. You know that the piece of paper was just that: a piece of paper. But you don’t want him to damage it. It brought you comfort like it was a teddy bear and you don’t want to lose that. He takes out the paper and drops the bag as he unfolds the parchment. You swallow as you look down your nose and at the eye that stares back at you. Your blood drips off of your jawline and onto the paper, a small splat could be heard as it hits the parchment.
“Horus.” He grumbles, “What is that? An anime character or some shit?” You don’t answer, you weren’t going to explain to this prick what this symbol means. He doesn’t add anything but scoffs, you think the sound meant that he finished skimming through the description of the god and the protection symbol. He grips the edge of the paper and you nearly cry out when he tears it in half. Your wide eyes watch as he layers the paper over each other and he tears it once again. He lets the paper drop to the gravel, you swallow around the lump forming in your throat and try to ignore the sting of your nose and tears begin to make your eyesight blurry.
More of your blood soaks the torn paper as his hand travels to your other pocket and pulls out your phone, the lock-screen picture of your parents lighting up on the device with the movement before he clicks the button on the side and the screen goes black. In the reflection, you could see your injured face and the desperation behind your eyes.
“Please don’t take that.” You plead. “That’s the only thing I have left of my parents.” Every photo of the life you had before was on that phone since you don’t visit your old social media accounts in fear of it stating that you were active online. The SD card was still in the phone and any image saved to the device was more valuable than gold to you. You don’t see him pocket the phone but you can hear him do so. This time the tears roll down your cheeks and the sob you were holding back leaves your throat. His grip tightens around your windpipe, making you choke on your own sob and quiet down from anyone who might be nearby. All of this for zero money and just to get some revenge on a teenager for being in the wrong place and at the wrong time. Fuck this dude. You felt the tip of the blade poking into your neck before you saw his right arm was up and pointing the knife at your throat. The tip drags from the right side of your neck and to the back of your neck. Another choked sob escapes you as tears blur your vision and mix with the trail of blood and sting the cut on your cheek.
You felt his boot hit your back before you registered that you were face down on the pavement. The smell of metal, dirt, and paper fill your nostrils before you roll over onto your back with a groan and a half moan for help. He marches a couple of steps to your left and he pulls back his leg, the toe of his boot hitting the side of your head, once, twice, three times before he directs his kicks to your side. He had what he wanted, your phone. He could wipe the memory off of it and reset the device before trading it into a pawn shop for some cash. But, this was the cherry on top of the cake for him. He’s getting his revenge nearly three months later and you were nothing to him but a punching bag.
You don’t know when your eyes closed and darkness took you from the beating you were receiving. But you do know that when your eyes peel open, your lashes stick to your cheeks from the dried blood on your skin, that the world is spinning and it isn't going to stop any time soon. You lay still, your body past the point of it aching and hurting and more into the territory of it feeling like you got hit by a bus and you were in absolute pain. You could feel a puddle of blood surrounding your head and the damp collar of your work shirt didn’t help the suffocating feeling you were experiencing by how it clung to your skin and around your bruising neck.
The sky above you was covered in gray and white clouds that were slowly darkening with patches of blue poking through. It was going to rain soon and you didn’t want to risk walking back to your apartment injured and bloody on wet pavement. You need to get up; and still, despite that realization, you lay there and watch as the clouds roll by and cover the patches of blue. You don’t know what time it is, but you do know that there’s a chance that Steven may knock on your apartment door or call your phone if the bitch hasn’t shut it off yet. He’ll figure something went wrong and he might look for you if you don’t head over for dinner. A selfish part of you didn’t want him to find you bleeding out in an alley and save you from whatever potential internal bleeding you have. Not because it would cause him trauma and self blame for not looking for you sooner; But because, you hope that you will die in this alley due to everything you lost.
Your old life was on that phone. You lost the memories of the life you had before you were blipped. You lost the pictures and videos of your parents and friends; of homecoming dance pictures, trips to Coney Island, and bookstores. You lost the audio of you and your best friend laughing together over some dumb joke and how both of your eyes shined in the video with wrinkled corners and wide smiles. You lost the video of your mother and father speaking your name as they urged you to cut the video and to set it up to a timer for a photo instead. You will never get to look back on how they sounded and spoke your name with love and affection. Your parents lay six feet underground in the same Earth that you walk on every day; and you laying in your own pool of blood was the closest that you have ever been to them since.
Everything was gone simply because a man chose you as his victim and you couldn’t defend yourself well. You don’t notice that it began to rain until you felt the first few drops land on your face. You need to get up and go take care of your injuries so Steven and Marc won’t find you dead in an alley. They will blame themselves for your death and you know that they will also do so for how beaten up you are. You need to get up and you don’t want to. You want to die. You want to give up and go to whatever or wherever it is that you’ll go to after you pass. You want to just call it quits and leave this Earth or roam this planet like a ghost. You just don’t want to exist anymore.
Everything about existence hurts. You hurt; and it’s more than just the physical pain that you were currently going through. You have wounds that you have yet to heal after years of neglect. You want to die. You want to die. You want to die. You want to die, but you still painstakingly push yourself up into a sitting position.
Your sides scream in protest and your breath gets caught in your throat. The buildings around you sway as if you were on a boat and blood mixed with rain ran down your forehead and made you close your right eye to prevent any blinding you. Your palms are wet and sticky with blood, your jeans and shirt cling to your skin with the liquid of the body fluid and rain. Saying that you are uncomfortable would be an understatement. You slowly inhale a breath of air through your mouth, the taste of metal was gross on your tongue. Your sides expands slowly and you only hiss out in pain when a shock floods your torso. You bend forward a bit, the movement causing you to cry out and clutch your bruising side as you squeeze your eyes shut.
Dying is an easy choice, getting up is going to be a bitch. A mumble of string together curse words leaves your lips as you wait for the pain to die out enough that you could focus on opening your eyes and taking in how bad your injuries are. You sure as hell felt like your ribs on your left side were cracked and perhaps broken. You had to have a concussion and the blood loss was making you woozy. The cut on your hands and cheek probably had to have some form of infection beginning to fester in the wounds from the dirty ground; and they definitely will get infected if you don’t clean them properly in a couple of hours. Slowly, you open your eyes and tilt your head down to your damp shirt. You carefully pull back your shirt from your torso and lift it enough just see some of the damage below your belly button on your side.
Blood and rain ran down the visible patch of your torso as you stared at the darkening of your skin, it was slowly turning purple and black. You lower your shirt, you don’t need to raise it up any higher to know that it was matching the bit that you saw. You glance at your right hand, your knuckles are a little swollen and the sight of it makes you a tad bit more numb inside. You did fight back, you did punch him, it just wasn’t enough. You look away from it and to the entrance of the alley way, cars pass with their windshield wipers sliding back and forth across the glass. The windows were rolled up and people were tucked warmly inside with the heater blasting on high. You wonder if anyone saw you knocked out in an alley and thought that you were just a knocked over trash bag with your work uniform being a black shirt and black pants. Did they not notice? Were they too busy paying attention to the road or listening to whatever was happening on the radio? Or did they see you and just not care to check on you?
There were a lot of people like that in New York. Some of the people who were homeless were often doing drugs or drinking their problems away with alcohol. There were several stories of people pushing others onto the subway tracks when the train was visible and about to make its stop. New York was not kind and maybe you thought London would more likely be kind enough to check on a person who was injured. You don’t know if you're grateful or not that nobody seemed to notice you. Your gaze trails to the ground in front of you. There lay the damp and shredded pieces of paper of the Eye of Horus, the ink was running from the rain and your blood; and not far from it was the wet plastic bag you carried it in and the orange lanyard that holds your keys. You bend forward, reaching for the plastic baggy and crying in pain and despair as your fingers wrap around it.
Carefully, you pick up the pieces of paper, most of it falls apart as you pinch the parchment between your fingers and place it into the baggy. You don’t know if the liquid running down your cheeks was the rain, tears, or your blood, but either way you try to collect and save as much as the paper as you could, just so one less thing could get taken away from you. Sobs begin to build up in your chest and you try to hold them in as you focus on picking up the paper Steven gave to you. Your shoulders start to shake as you pick up the final piece and pinch the baggy shut. You hold the bag to your chest as a sob escapes you and soon another one follows. You try to hold in your cries but all that causes is more pain in your body. It wasn’t fair. None of this was fucking fair. Why does this bullshit happen to you?
A choked out sob leaves you and just like that, the water-gates were open and you were completely crying. Nothing was fair, why do you have to have a shitty week? Why did you have to be the one chosen to be this asshole's victim? Why did your parents have to die and why weren’t you in their shoes? You let everything out in your cries and sharp pains of breath. You just wanted a damn nap and you sure as hell got one because you went unconscious for who-knows-how-long. Everything hurts and sucks and here you are: crying in an alley during a rain storm while shivering and drenched in blood and rain water. This was a terrible Tuesday, the worst one you think you ever had. By the time that you calm down enough to think rather than to feel, the rain seemed to become heavier and you were sure that you were getting hyperthermia. You were cold, especially your hands and nose. Your teeth clatter together and your face aches. You need to get up. You let the emotional numbness take over, you feel drained and exhausted.
With the state that you’re in, you’re going to need support on getting up, there is no way that you would be able to push yourself off of the ground without help. You look around the alley, trying to focus enough that you could clearly see your surroundings through the rocking of the world. There wasn’t anything but trash cans and bags of garbage that you could use. Through your hazy thoughts, you consider that you could knock them over and injure yourself more if you did try to use them. Your eyes trail away from the bins and to the brick wall next to you. There was about an inch between each brick that you could use as a ledge to help pull yourself up. It might damage your fingers some but it’s your only chance to get up. You didn’t move to London after committing fraud, get scared by a deity multiple times, and have a knife held to your throat twice just to die in an alley.
You stuff the plastic baggy into your jean pockets and scoop up your lanyard off of the ground and place it into your other front pocket. You cry out as you rotate your body so you’re on your hands and knees before crawling slowly over to the wall. Your body screams as you lift your upper body and grasp the wall with your hands. It took what felt like forever to stand and lean against the brick to help stabilize yourself. The world seems to spin faster as you’re standing and you close your eyes and try to calmly take a breath and do some breathing exercises. Inhale slowly, try to ignore the sharp fucking pain in your side, hold for five, four, three, two, one; and slowly exhale and repeat. You go through the cycle several times until you feel nauseous. Your stomach churns and you don’t have a chance to hold back your vomit. You throw up directly onto your shoes, almost in the same spot you did all those months ago. The taste of bile was gross and your throat burns a bit from it. You keep your eyes closed as you wait for your stomach to settle.
You let out a shuddered breath, the smell of vomit, rain, and metal floods your nostrils as you inhale and prepare yourself to continue to fight. Your eyes flutter open and you stand up straight. With every exhausting step you take, you lean your hand against the wall and move; and you keep moving despite the stumbling of your feet and spinning of the environment around you. You keep moving despite your head pounding and the brightness of the world becoming too much for you; and when you fall due to slipping on a mixture of your blood and rain water on the sidewalk's pavement, you get up and continue. You push forward and persevere just like you always have.
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pairing: austin!elvis x black reader
word count: 684
“e?” her timid voice echoes throughout the run-down barn. at the sound of her voice, said male pushes himself out of his hiding spot, not able to fight a smile once she’s in his line of sight.
she sends a smile back, but he can’t help but notice that it fails to reach her eyes.
“what’s wrong, darlin’?” the taller of the two asks. he stands patiently before her, but gets no response.
elvis gently grabs her hand and pulls her to sit on the hay bales a little ways back.
she sighs heavily, seemingly lost in her thoughts.
eventually, the girl looks up with tears glowing in her eyes.
“tell me it ain’t true.” she speaks in a hushed tone. elvis furrows his eyebrows, confused.
“(y/n), baby, you’ve got to give me more than that. i don’t know what you’re talkin’ ab-“
“mama says you’re leaving.”
his blood runs cold at the declaration, having thought about this moment multiple times in the past week.
it wasn’t supposed to go like this.
(y/n) stares at him awaiting an answer, a few tears falling down her cheeks as the boy stares back dumbfounded.
it was true, she concluded.
“why didn’t you tell me? y-you promised me i’d be the first to know if you ever got scouted.”
“i didn’t want to hurt you.” he says truthfully.
elvis and (y/n) had been friends for seven years now, ever since his family of three moved to memphis.
despite being thirteen and rather immature, the two hit it off immediately, becoming inseparable, much to their mama’s dismay.
they caused quite the ruckus around the neighborhood.
their shared appreciation of music only further enhanced their friendship, so much so that they foolishly promised not to pursue it without the other.
unfortunately for them, this promise was based on naïvety and childish hope.
as the two got older, it began to sink in that there was only a chance at one of them actually making it big.
not wanting to face the harsh and disgusting reality, they ignored it all the way up until now, when they couldn’t anymore.
“it hurts more knowing that you were gonna keep it from me.” she exhales, squeezing the raven haired boy’s still intertwined hand, “i just keep thinking ‘bout all the possibilities…like you just disappearing without a word.”
“come on now, (n/n). i ain’t heartless. i was going to tell you at some point.”
elvis lets go of the girl’s hand and stretches his arm around her shoulder, pulling her close. he leaves a gentle kiss on the top of her head at the sound of her sniffles.
“what if you forget about me?”
“it’s only for four days right now, doll. m’just testing the waters.” he chuckles.
he takes his sleeve in his hand and rubs at her cheeks, silently pleading with her eyes to cease the tears.
“and if it goes well?” (y/n) makes eye contact with him for the first time that day, her heart constricting at the concern tainting those beautiful blue eyes, “what if it goes on for years and you never come back to me?”
elvis sighs, grabbing her cheeks between his thumb and forefinger, “if it somehow gets to be any longer than four days, i’ll take you with me. m’sure the colonel won’t mind.”
another naïve statement, but it was worth it to see the smile break out across her face.
“would ya really?! i’ve never been out of the state…do you think it’s any different from here?” the brown skinned girl goes off on a tangent, muttering to herself about all the sights she’d love to see.
elvis’ swallows thickly, ignoring the ache in his heart.
he pulls the girl into a warm hug, cutting her off mid-rant.
“you okay?” she asks softly, eliciting a chuckle from the blue eyed boy. she had just been crying less than five minutes ago and yet she was asking him if he was okay.
elvis nods, squeezing her tighter.
“there is no one else in this universe i’d rather be following my dreams with. remember that, baby.”