i dont usually do this type of thing but these r literally such huge comfy characters rn soooooo
[self indulgent]sun and moon agere imagines/scenarios/headcannons with regressed reader <3
cw: some of these contain repressing regression, these ones will be marked with a star ☆
•sun would always be so super excited to see you when youre little, obviously they wouldnt be too loud just to spare your little ears, but you know he's wiggling and flapping his hands when you come to visit!
•moon would be excited too, but in a more calm way, certainly less wiggling, but you can tell by their tone of voice thats he's been waiting for you
•sun would love to push you down slides and build the most carefully crafted block tower just to push it all down, and coloring too! it doesnt matter if you drew a masterpeice or a buncha colorful scribbles, he thinks its the best darn thing they've ever seen!!
•moon likes to read and they enjoy games too, but the games he prefers are board games and puzzles, they love to have you sit in his lap while they help you push all the puzzle pieces into place, or help you roll the dice when you're playing slides and ladders
•sun likes to be playful and loud, but when it gets to be too much they make sure to tone it down and does some quieter fun stuff, like storytime or playing with playdough
•moon understands what its like for everything to be too much, so he has a special corner in the nap room with some soft blankets and even softer stuffies and he makes sure its quiet as possible
•if you have bad day suns gonna notice almost immediately and try to make you giggle, telling you all the silly stories they know and playing peek-a-boo and "stealing" your nose
•if moon knows youre havin a bad day hes on the job right away, prepping a sippy/bottle for you full of your favorite juice and getting your favorite pillows and blankies ready in the story corner, reading to you and letting you let out any big emotions you might have
☆if youre refusing to regress, suns gonna try and get to the bottom of it, asking why not and if youre upset, he'll try and make you feel better about any fears you might have and will try their very best to help you feel better, he'll go at your pace and try to ease you into your regression so its not too stressful
☆moon definitely gets a bit upset when you say you can't regress right now, but will try and wait for you to finish what needs to be done, however if youre visibly unwell/not taking care of yourself, moons gonna step in and try and help out, not pushing any boundaries, just helping out with your work and maybe holding your hand trying to help you feel small
•sun and moon caregiving together would definitely be a bit chaotic, both have diffrent ideas of a fun time but they both enjoy reading, however its an interesting story because sun loves to do super silly voices for the characters and moon likes to do voices too but not to the degree sun does, then moon might pick you uo and swing around on his wire [carefully of course] while sun panicks slightly on the ground and follows you around to catch you if you fall [you definitely wont but that doesnt stop him from worrying!]
for the mermay fills: indruck, 25, any rating
Here you go! I went with SFW for this one.
The thing no one tells you about journeys of self-discovery is that they’re really fucking boring.
Duck’s been on this highway for days, and another highway for the days before that. He wanted to see the desert in the spring, but it’s involved fewer super-blooms and more butterflies dying on his windshield than he hoped.
Now he’s on some two lane strip of barely paved road in the vast expanse between Las Vegas and Reno. Green catches his eye to his left; a ribbon of well-watered trees shines in the distance. Closer to the road are dueling picket signs shoved into the ground, some demanding the preservation of the tiny pocket of wetlands and others proclaiming this the site of the Hungry Man Casino expansion. The signs continue all the way to the tiny town of Kepler, where he pulls into a gas station in front of Tarkesian’s General Store.
After filling the tank and chatting with the owner and his incongruous New York accent, Duck decides to stop in Kepler for the night. The road north is mostly open range, and he’s already had one near miss with a cow on a pitch black stretch of asphalt. The lone place to rest is the Reconciliation Motel Court and Casino. He gets his key, pulls up to the chipped door, and flops onto the burnt orange bedspread for a nap.
He doesn’t wake up until eight at night, wondering what the hell is wrong with the other guests that they’re all playing music loud enough for him to hear. He counts at least six separate voices, their overlap meaning the lyrics turn to gibberish. It’s still hot and stuffy in the room, and maybe outside will be quiet. He pulls on his swim trunks and rash guard; a peek out the window at the pool shows it’s empty and that, plus the general sparseness of the parking lot, makes him confident enough that he won’t bump into anyone and try to make up some lie about being shy or mormon or whatever the hell else would explain a dude keeping a top on to swim.
But, just his luck, when he latches the pool gate shut, he discovers he’s not alone. A man with silver hair floats in the pool, eyes closed. When Duck sets a towel on the chair, his eyes fly open and he dives under the water, giving Duck twin shocks: glowing red eyes and a long, jet black tail.
“What the fuck?” He says aloud in case someone else is watching and can explain why there’s a fucking mermaid in the pool.
The merman resurfaces, blinking at him, “How in the world did you get in here?”
“Uhhhh…” Duck points to the gate.
“You...you see the pool? Do you see the motel as well?”
Duck turns, wondering if this is some kind of prank, “yeah?”
“Apologies” the merman swims to the edge of the pool nearest him, “it was such an unlikely future I am having a hard time processing it.”
“You’re havin a hard time”
“Oh, oh of course, this is all very confusing to you. Here, have a seat.” He gestures to one of the pool chairs. Not knowing what else to do, Duck sits.
“Now, have you heard singing while you have been here?”
“Yep. Thought it was the other guests.”
The merman shakes his head, “They are sirens. As am I. We are the descendants of sirens who lived here in the days when there was far more water in this area. As the water dwindled, we made our home in that river and wetlands” he points towards the south end of town, “and then the founders of this fine establishment decided to catch us and use us to lure people to their rundown casino. Since you are about to ask, a siren song shows you what you want; turns out many people want the promise of easy money, food, or sex. But you...somehow you do not seem to respond to it.”
Duck shrugs, “Guess not.”
“I wonder...hmm, perhaps you do not want anything?”
“Don’t think that’s it. Been drivin up and down the country lookin for somethin I want but can’t name.”
The merman rests his arms on the concrete, “You must tell me everything about your travels.”
“I mean, uh, they ain’t all that excitin-”
“I have been stuck in this pool for three years.”
“Okay yeah, more excitin than that. Also, what the fuck?”
“There are ones like it in almost all the lower level rooms. I get stuck out here because I will not sing, but due to having future sight I am too valuable to do away with.”
“This ain’t gettin less fucked up.”
The merman laughs, “Perhaps that is why you don’t fall prey to our song; you are just very honest.”
“That a nice way of sayin I can’t lie for shit?”
“I suppose so.” He grins, sharp teeth glinting in the yellow streetlights, “regardless, I am glad you are not susceptible. I haven’t spoken to anyone aside from the owners in months. They even keep me from my own kind.” His tone is breezy, but Duck sees the flash of pain in his eyes.
“What’s your name?”
“Can’t you see it comin?” He teases.
“Yes, but I want to hear you say it. I get ahead of others often enough as it is.”
“Duck. It’s a nickname.”
Indrid flips his tail once, “Care to join me for an evening swim, Duck.”
“You ain’t gonna eat me or anythin, right?”
“I only taste humans when offered” His tail undulates hypnotically as he pushes into deeper water. Then he pauses, “that was meant as flirtation and not as a threat.”
Duck slides into the water, smiling when he meets Indrid’s nervous gaze “Yeah, I got that.”
“See, you can tell it’s a saguaro because--fuck” the camera slips from Duck’s hand, only for Indrid’s to shoot out and catch it before it hits the water.
“Thanks, ‘Drid, startin’ to wonder what I’d do without you.”
The mer, cheek resting on the warm concrete, shifts sideways so he can bump Duck’s knee with his forehead, “The feeling is mutual.”
For the last two weeks Duck’s stayed at the motel, watching his fellow occupants walk zombie-like through doors or stagger from them in a daze when their money runs out and the owners kick them to the curb to make way for new targets. Following Indrid’s instructions, he delivers messages between the trapped sirens, the kind they dare not sing aloud, brings them things they’re missing, like favorite foods or things to do, when he can manage it.
He’s also careful to spend time in town, away from any lingering influence of the siren songs. Leo Tarkesian gives him a job in the store, and he strikes up a friendship with a woman going by the name of Mama, who comes in once a week with beautiful wood carvings for Leo to set out for sale. It turns out her family used to own the motel before Reconciliation swooped in and stole it in what Mama insists was an illegal move.
“Worst part is, they crowed about creatin jobs, bringin’ in more tourists. But they won’t let no one outside their inner circle work there, and folks who stop never leave and visit the rest of town. Now they’re gunnin for the state park. But they ain’t gonna get away with it this time.”
More than anything, Duck spends his time with Indrid. The siren tells him stories about life in the wetlands and river, Duck tells him about his travels, about his home, talks with him until the stars come out, would stay until they go away again except the mer tells him he needs his sleep.
Indrid is a very encouraging conversation partner, disdain and aloofness only appearing when he has to speak to the owners of the motel. He’s also very affectionate, resting his head in Duck’s lap or winding his tail around him whenever he stands in the water. Which is why, when he asks Duck if he’s made up his mind about what to do come fall, his fingers are stroking the humans back and his tail is lazily petting his legs.
“I dunno. I could go back and finish my degree, become a ranger and all that. But what if I’m only doin that because I feel like it’s what I’m supposed to do?”
Indrid brushes Duck’s hair from his forehead, “When you think of the future where you meet that goal, how do you feel.”
“Happy. Content. Like, like there’s a thing I can do to keep the world healthy and whole. Sometimes I feel like I’m supposed to be out there savin the world, solvin every problem, makin everythin better. And that’s too damn much. But when I think about havin some forest or park or somethin where part of my job is to care for it, help it grow...yeah, think I could do that.” He smiles at the image of his future self those words conjure.
Indrid smiles at the current him, brushes their noses together, “It seems to me that you have your answer.”
Duck loops his arms around Indrid’s waist, “Then again, could just stay here, look after you and the other sirens forever.”
Chlorine stings his eyes as Indrid zips backwards, looking as if he’s been slapped.
“‘Drid? What’s wrong?”
“You cannot stay here any longer.”
“What do you mean? I wanna stay. I wanna be with you.”
“No! Don’t you see? This is how the song gets you. It is making you think that your greatest wish is to stay in this crumbling motel, looking after a siren who has seen better days.”
“Hold the fuck on” Duck tries to swim to him, only for Indrid to swim further out of reach, “‘Drid, it’s real fuckin insultin to tell a fella that the only reason he feels how he feels is because of a magic song. Maybe I am startin to feel the effects, but I know that when I think about you, no matter how near or far to this fuckin pool I am, I wanna be with you. I’ve fallen in love before, I can recognize the feelin from a mile away. And it’s what I’m feelin now.” He crosses his arms, daring Indrid to argue.
The siren swims to him, cups his face in cool hands, “It’s what I feel too. Why do you think I cannot ask you to stay? I am a prisoner here, Duck. If you remain for my sake, you will be one as well. I cannot do that to you. I know the agony of being cut off from the world you love, and you have so much love yet to give it I cannot, will not, rob you of the chance to do so.”
“I…” Duck he mirrors Indrid’s touch, runs his thumbs along his cheeks.
“Please” Indrid kisses him once, softly, “please, if you love me, don’t stay here and make me watch you decay.”
Duck pulls Indrid as close as he can, kisses him until his lips ache and the siren is pliant and purring in his arms.
“I’ll go. I fuckin hate the idea of leavin you here, but I’ll go.”
“There’s just one thing you gotta let me do first. Will you let me introduce you to another human? She’s got almost as much cause to hate Reconciliation as you do, and I got a hunch you two might be able to help each other out.”
Indrid cocks his head, then nods, “Of course, my love. Just tell her to wear earplugs and bring something to write on.”
The cottonwoods rustle in the summer breeze as Indrid floats lazily down the river on his back. A family is picnicking outside the visitor center, but only the youngest member of it sees him. She waves. He raises his tail in reply, smiling when she spills her drink in delight.
Most sirens give the heavily trafficked parts of the park a wide berth, still wary of interactions with humans. Indrid doesn’t blame them; Reconciliation was chased out ten years ago, but their memory lingers like smog. He himself stays clear of unfamiliar groups of humans whenever possible.
But today, the futures show him the park is welcoming a new ranger. And so he swims back and forth, hoping the recent arrival will see him. Hoping he remembers.
“I’m sorry sir, but swimmin ain’t allowed in this chunk of the river.” A teasing drawl drifts over his shoulder.
He spins in what he hopes is an elegant way, accidentally splashing the figure on the bank behind him.
“Of course.” He grins, swimming over and resting his arms on the bank and batting his eyelashes as the ranger crouches down to meet him, “how very rude of me. I am terribly sorry.”
Duck’s smile is brimming with years of stored up affection, the lines on his face hinting at stories Indrid cannot wait to hear, “S’okay. For my favorite roadside siren, I’m happy to make an exception.”
Ayyy have a fic
Tommy and Tubbo platonic sickfic here you go
Tommy hates being told "I told you so". It doesn't make the problem go away. He knows when he fucks up, no need to rub it in!
This is especially infuriating when he gets sick, although he has such a strong and manly immune system that it's a rare occurrence.
But when he wakes up with this horrible headache, a runny nose and a fever, he decides he can curse fate later and put his pride aside for a second.
Moving slowly as to not worsen his condition, he picks up his communicator. He's lucky he didn't have anything to do today.
you whisper to tubbo_: tubbooooo
tubbo_ whispers to you: hey big man :D
you whisper to tubbo_: tubbo I needf help come 2 my hoiuse
tubbo_ whispers to you: r u ok?
tubbo_ whispers to you: wait let me guess
tubbo_ whispers to you: you DID go oustide with just a scarf yesterday when i told you not 2 because youd get sick
you whisper to tubbo_: mmmh >:(
tubbo_ whispers to you: tommy
you whisper to tubbo_: ok yes but dont say it
tubbo_ whispers to you: tommy :]
you whisper to tubbo_: tubbo
you whisper to tubbo_: do not
tubbo_ whispers to you: i told you so
you whisper to tubbo_: fuckhj youw
tubbo_ whispers to you: yea yea
tubbo_ whispers to you: im coming for you try not to die yet
Tommy groans, struck in his ego by his friend's reprimands. He's going to regret this when he's in good health again.
With nothing to do while waiting for Tubbo, he just watches the snowflakes fall outside his window for a while before trying to get a little more sleep, fighting off waves of dizziness. It's the same view he's been getting for a week - the first snow in a long time.
Not much happens while he waits. He coughs his lungs out once or twice, but he's felt worse.
About twenty minutes pass, the silence only interrupted by sniffling noises, and the door opens.
"How's the fever, big man?" Tubbo shouts as he closes the door behind him, shivering at the sudden change in temperature. He shakes off the snow on his coat and puts his bag on the nightstand, rummaging through it. His sensitive goat ears twitch slightly, slowly warming up. "Do you feel better than when you woke up?"
"No." His voice is raspy and his throat is dry, but at least it's still loud. " 'm feelin' like shit, Tubbo."
"You look like shit as well," the brown-haired boy snickers when he enters the bedroom, earning himself a death glare. He ignores it with an innocent smile.
"Anyways, drink this." He shoves a juice box in Tommy's hands before going back to his bag. "Stay hydrated before you go all wrinkly and bad like a raisin."
The blond scoffs, not particularly fond of being treated like a child. Still, he's not exactly in a position to complain when Tubbo braved the snow to help him, so he does as he's told.
"Okay, mum," he says as he pokes the box with his straw and takes a sip. He can't really taste anything, but the sugar gives him a nice little boost of energy, just enough to sit up as straight as he can to try and breathe easier.
Beside him, Tubbo checks instructions on a piece of paper. "Alright, now... Um, can I use your furnace?"
"Mmhm, knock y'rself out," Tommy mutters. Suddenly, his throat tightens and he tries his hardest to fight the coughing fit under Tubbo's worried gaze.
"You gonna be okay without me for a couple of minutes?" He asks, genuinely concerned. Tommy weakly waves a hand towards him in a dismissive gesture. "Can handle m'self, man. Do your thing."
The goat hybrid sighs and reluctantly disappears from his view, leaving Tommy alone in his room. His breath comes out in wheezes, but at least it means air is passing through and he's not going to choke. Yet.
What's worrying him right now is his killer headache. Every second of his blood pumping through his temples is a torture, and the goddamn fever is not helping. All of his energy is used towards pretending he's not feeling half as shitty as he is right now, but the facade is beginning to weaken. And then Tubbo is gonna give him his worried puppy look, like every time Tommy gets so much as a scratch.
How would his friend react when he'll see how bad the blond is really doing?
He squeezes his eyes shut, clenching his jaw to suppress at least a part of the wave of pain crashing down inside of his skull. Then he feels a cool feeling on his forehead, and opens his eyes again.
Tubbo is sitting on the bed next to him, pressing a wet cloth against the hot skin. His expression is still twisted with worry, but he doesn't say anything. Tommy's heart tightens, but he's grateful for the silence, as it feels like any sound threatens to make his head explode.
The cloth quickly heats up, so Tubbo disappears with it for a minute to rinse it with cold water. When he comes back, he also has a mug in his other hand.
"What's in...?" Tommy asks as he sighs in relief at the fresh sensation on his forehead again. His voice his still raspy, but at least it doesn't hurt as much now. And he hasn't coughed in a while.
Tubbo lowers his voice as to not worsen Tommy's headache and waste all of their efforts.
"It's hot chocolate, big man. To keep you warm and also hydrated." He sets down the mug on the nightstand. "I'm putting it next to you, so you can get it when you feel strong enough to pick it up when I'm not here."
The light stings on his tired eyes, but not as much as the words hurt him. Leave? When he's feeling this bad?
"You're... Not stayin'?" He asks weakly, forcing himself to look at his friend. Urgh, he hates how clingy he sounds right now. He just can't help it though, he just feels so helpless when he's sick. Dream and exile are a big part of the reason why, but Phil and Will are the other part, no matter how much he'd deny it.
"Oh! Um, well, I thought-" Tubbo fumbles over his words, confusion and nervousness dancing in in eyes, "-I, uh. Didn't think you'd want me around. Like, this long. You don't like when I'm clingy."
Tommy lets out a shaky sigh. The fog in his mind makes it harder to think, but he does know that's not true.
"Ya know I don't- I don't mean any fuckin' thing that comes out of me mouth, Tubbo." He looks away, feeling weird being this open. "I like havin' you around, man. You're my- my best friend. I just..." He stops and groans in frustration. Why is this so hard?
"I don't... I don't like feelin' like I depend on people. Ever since exil-"
He interrupts himself to cough. His throat is like coated with dust.
"Ever since... That time with Dream. Brings back weird thoughts and feelings, so I guess I'm- I'm coping, in a way, y'know?"
Tubbo nods, looking away. Tommy's exile wasn't a fun time for either of them.
"But." He takes Tubbo's hand. "You- Urgh, this is gonna sound so fuckin' sappy- You're the best thing in my life, Tubs. You're my best friend." He chuckles nervously. "I mean, you came to make sure I don't kick the bucket despite thinkin' I didn't like you that much, and I, uh..."
He's starting to feel dizzy again, the energy put into making decent sentences starting to take a toll on him, making him nauseous. "I had a point, but- I think I forgot. Sorry."
He looks up at Tubbo hesitantly. He's met with a crooked smile and a fond look in the brown-haired boy's eyes.
"Nah, don't worry. I got it."
"Good, 'cause I don't think I could explain it better that that," he mutters, his voice slurred and his eyelids heavy. The pain seems far away, and he slowly drifts off to sleep. Tubbo's soft laugh is the last thing he hears before he passes out.
▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪
The rest of the day is a blur.
He vaguely remembers waking up then talking more to Tubbo, puking in a bucket once or twice, and eventually falling asleep. When he wakes up the next morning, his headache is gone, and the one reminders of his goddamn sick state are the sore throat and the stuffy nose.
Tubbo hasn't left, probably swayed by his pitiful attempt at opening up to him. Good. It's depressing to wake up sick in an empty house.
The goat hybrid is sleeping soundly, bottom half of him sitting and top half resting on the bed next to him.
Tommy smiles at the sight, sighing fondly. He reaches out his hand to ruffle Tubbo's hair, but as soon as his fingers touch the skin underneath he draws it back.
He sighs again, resigned.
All there is left to do now is to hope the snow won't fall for much longer.
@empressreborn I have finished your prompt which was: Will and Ron are out at a pub (or nightclub) getting drinks after a rough day at work...when someone slips a date-rape drug into Ronald's drink. Hopefully you like it!
Also, there is no actual rape taking place. I’m saying that now. The drug was used, but there is no rape. This is a warning in case that’s a subject some people want to avoid.
The music was loud, the place was crowded and Ronald was beaming. Somehow, he was able to convince William to join him after a hard day's work at one of his favourite clubs. Perhaps it was because he was so tired that he needed a good distraction or he was willing to put his faith in Ronald; a guaranteed good time, the blonde promised. Whatever the reason he decided this was a good idea, here he sat, at the bar, with Ronald at his side. The crowds bothered him somewhat, but at least the drinks were good.
Ronald sat next to him, his mouth running about all the troubles he had about the day; point by point. William simply sat and listened, rather intrigued by some of the stories the blonde had to tell. It was far more interesting this his daily paperwork which seemed to be overwhelming lately. The music wasn’t half bad either. It certainly wasn’t something he’d listen to on a daily basis, but perhaps something from his normal was good every now and then. “So, havin’ fun?” Ronald asked him once he’d finished his stories.
William hummed, took a sip of a drink, then replied, “It’s not unpleasant.”
Ronald smirked, clutching his hand on William’s shoulder. “C’mon Will! Give me more then that.”
“The drinks are fine.”
Ronald groaned, dropping his head to the same shoulder his hand rested on. “Hey, I was just thinkin’ it’d do y’ good, y’know? Get you away from the stress of work.”
“Thus you thought of bringing me to a place that’s more crowded and louder then work?” He sighed, shrugging Ronald off his shoulder. “It wasn’t a horrible idea.” he conceded eventually. “Though my idea of getting away would be at home with a book in a bath,” another drink, “this does have a rather…welcoming atmosphere.”
“See!” Ronald perked up. “This is just what y’ need!” he tossed his thumb over his shoulder. “And if you’re up for it after loosenin’ up a bit, we can try out the dance floor.”
William swivelled on his stool, eyeing the ‘dance’ floor. Perhaps it was because he still preferred living in the era he was born in then accepting the modern present, but that looked far more like clothed sex then it did actual dancing. “I’d rather not.”
Ronald rolled his eyes. “It’s the song. When a better one comes on, please, dance with me?”
“We’ll see.” was all he said, rotating back to the bar. He drained the rest of his glass then ordered another; his third.
“Fine. I’ll take it.” he watched William order another drink before eyeing his boss up and down. While he’d forgone his suit jacket, vest and tie, the first few buttons of his dress shirt open with the sleeves shoved up to his elbows, William was still properly dressed in his work attire, all the way up to his too tight of looking tie and brushed aside hair. “Hey sir?”
“Can I…do somethin’?”
“And that would be?”
“Fix y’ up a bit.”
William gave him a side glance. “Pardon?”
“Fix y’ a bit. Y’ look too stuffy for this place, no offence.”
William looked down at himself, rather unconcerned how he appeared to the other patrons. However, this was meant for him to relax a bit and remaining dressed like this wasn’t exactly helping that cause. “I suppose. So long as it’s still appropriate.”
“Yeah, of course. I won’t do anythin’ you’re not comfortable with.” he turned William’s stool to face him, eyeing his date up and down. First, he loosened and removed the tie and opened the buttons of William’s shirt to the top of his vest; flipped down the collar and got him to ease out of his suit jacket. Unlike himself, he rolled up William’s dress shirt sleeves rather then unceremoniously shove them up then dared to run his fingers through William’s perfectly combed hair so the onyx locks slipped out of place; falling in wisps over his forehead. “There.” he announced. “That good?”
William sighed, pushing up his glasses and letting his fingers rest on the bridge of his nose. “I suppose.”
“Y’ look good.” he dropped the items he held, the articles of clothing dispersing to rest back at William’s flat in their realm. “The ‘relaxed’ look, looks good on y’.” he playfully nudged his shoulder. “Y’ might even walk home with someone hangin’ off your arm.”
“Mm, I suspect they will be blonde and sitting right next to me.”
Ronald grinned, winking at him. “Maybe they will be.”
William gave him a subtle smirk before returning to his drink. “Anyhow, do you have any more stories you wish to share from today?”
“Nah. Burned out on that topic. Besides, the less I talk about that shit, the better. What about y’?”
“Unless you want to hear about how much paperwork I’ve had, no.”
Ronald frowned. “That much, huh?”
“Unfortunately. I seem to have gotten more then lately this last week. My only assumption as to why is because of the students set to graduate a month from now.”
“Oh yeah, jeez. I get my first junior, right?”
“If you believe you can handle it.”
“Hey, I had Grell and turned out alright.”
The song ended quickly followed by another with the same sort of tempo. Instantly, Ronald was bouncing a little in his seat, catching another one of William’s side glances. “Why don’t you go dance?”
“’s no fun dancin’ on your own.”
William was about to encourage him more when another man walked up to them. Right away, he was set on edge, back going straight and eyes narrowing at the other. “Um, excuse me for interruptin’.” the man said with a sheepish smile, “but I was wonderin’ if maybe this lad over here would want to dance with me?” he said to Ronald.
William narrowed his eyes more, distrust in the look. Ronald on the other hand didn’t look all that bothered, perhaps just a little surprised at the man's sudden appearance. “Ah, if y’ don’t mind, Will.”
Part of him wanted Ronald to stay right where he sat but another part of him didn’t want to ruin Ronald’s night, thus, reluctantly, he waved his hand. “Have fun.”
“I’m sure. Go Ronald. I’ll be here when you return.”
William watched Ronald go off the other man, his eyes never leaving them. He trusted Ronald, of course; he wasn’t about to police everything the blonde did, but something about him didn’t sit right with William. At least Ronald looked like he was having fun; smiling, laughing, enjoying himself when he wasn’t trying to entertain him and it seemed Ronald kept a respectable distance between him and the other man. That warmed William’s heart a little.
He sighed, letting his fingers tighten around his glass when the man took a step closer. Ronald took a step back, but he could see what the bastard was trying to do. “You alright sir? Another drink perhaps?” the bartender asked, perhaps seeing how tense he suddenly got.
“Please.” he said and she returned in no time flat with another whiskey. “Thank you.” he downed it quickly.
Perhaps it was because of that extra drink and his inhibitions were lowered a little more or any other varied excuse for the bubbling jealousy, but when the man dared to put his hand on Ronald’s arm, even if just a friendly gesture, William removed himself from his seat to intervene. “I think it’s about time I took my place at his side.” he nearly sneered, shoving himself between the man and Ronald. By all rights, he knew Ronald was more the capable of taking care of himself, but it must have been the alcohol. That was his excuse anyway. “Hey, we were just dancin’.” the man said, too innocently.
“And I’m sure you’ve showed Ronald a good time, but I believe it is my turn now.”
Ronald grabbed William’s arm. “And since he refused dancin’ with me once tonight, I’m not gonna pass this up. So, nice gettin’ t’ know ya, but, bye.”
William set the man with a proper glare, one that was returned full force. It seemed he had other plans for Ronald that night. Thankfully, he left without another word and William faced Ronald. “Well, I hadn’t planned to be out here tonight.”
“Well, now that y’ are,” he took William’s hands, swaying this hips, “wanna dance?”
Now he had no excuse, thus he let Ronald lead in this dance. Again, it was more grinding than it was dancing, but William managed, somehow.
After the second song Ronald convinced him to dance to ended, they returned to their seats, William ordering another while Ronald finished off the rest of his drink. “So? Wasn’t that fun?” the blonde nudged him.
“It was…alright.” he replied. “It’s still not a form of ‘dancing’ I’m fond of.”
“It was fun.” he concluded to William’s reply.
As the night continued, William began to take notice of Ronald’s increasingly strange behaviour. It started small with mispronouncing a few words or just unable to get out his sentence properly; then he continuously wiped at his glasses as if there was some smudge he couldn’t get and finally, he was swaying until William secured his hand to the blonde’s back. “Knox, are you alright?”
“Y-Yeah. ‘m fine. Jus’ a little bi’ dizzy.”
He was about to suggest they leave for the night, so Ronald may sleep off, what he assumed, was the alcohol, but his phone went off with his tell-tale work tone he’d set. “Drat. Knox, I’ll need to take this. Why don’t you come with me outside so I may keep my eye on you?”
“Nah, ‘m fine. Y’ go ta’e tha’ an’ ‘m gonna be ‘ere.”
“I’ll keep an eye on him sir.” the bartender said. “He’s not the first one I’ve needed to babysit while the other runs off for a moment.” William was tempted to drag Ronald with him, but from experience he knew a drunk Ronald was very stubborn, so he agreed to let the bartender watch him while he exited to take the call. It turned out, it wasn’t all that important, just a little mix up regarding his paperwork that was easily fixed.
Once he returned inside the club, he expected to see Knox right where he left him, only, he was gone. Keeping a cool head, he asked the bartender where the blonde had went, mostly hoping he’d gone to the restroom, only to be told someone, a friend came by for him to pick Ronald up. The moment she told him they went out the back way, William was gone. Sure enough, the very same bastard form before was helping escort Ronald through the alley. Ronald himself was swaying, gripping tightly to the unknown man for fear of completely collapsing; hell, he looked like he was on the verge of dropping unconscious any second.
It was just plain furry. He didn’t try to blame anything else. He was furious. His scythe was summoned and the man was quickly pinned by the back of his neck to the brick wall, Ronald collapsing nearly to the ground if William hadn’t caught him. “What the fuck?!” the man cried out, struggling against the clippers.
William eased Ronald to sit on the ground before turning his full anger on the man. He removed his scythe, only to take hold of the back of the mans collar and slam him against the wall again. Part of him reminded himself he was mortal and very easy to kill, the other part of him didn’t care. “You are one of the most foul beings I’ve ever encountered. Some demons even have more respect for their meals then you do for your fellows.” he growled, trying very hard not the strangle him. “I know what you did. You drugged him, didn’t you? You used whatever type of drug you had to spike his drink. Of course, I’m an idiot for not realizing it sooner, but I am so very pleased I came back before you dared even lay a finger on him.” the threw the man to the ground, taking up his scythe again. As part of management, he could kill this creature and not have anyone know if it; make sure he would never lay his hands on anyone again. He knelt taking the man's arm and twisting it enough to break it. “You will not lay your hands on anyone again, do you understand me?” The man nodded, whimpering as William didn’t let up. “Good.” with one swift hit, he knocked the man out then promptly removed his mobile to call for the authorities to pick him up.
He then turned to Ronald, bashing his scythe as he did. He frowned, regretting not seeing any of those signs earlier. At least he had gotten here before anything properly bad could happen. He also thanked whoever that reapers were not killable by mortal drugs. Yes, they still fell under their effects, but it also never lasted as long as their mortal counterparts. Now, it was time to get him home.
“My head is killin’ me.” Ronald whined the next morning.
William passed him his tea, sitting down on the mattress next to Ronald’s hips. “I would suspect so.”
Ronald sighed, holding his teacup in his lap. “So…that happened, huh? Y’ weren’t kiddin’?”
“Goodness, I never would about that Knox.” he soothed his hand through Ronald’s hair. “I am very pleased I was able to get to you in time.”
“Yeah, me to.”
William leaned down at kissed him. One thing he knew for certain, he planned to join Ronald a lot more on his night club excursions.
PW: First Encounters of the Valto Kind
Phantomwing shenanigans. Jokan leaves his young daughter, Torvi, in the care of her uncle, Malaanskar for a short while, but a certain visitor makes everything go a little sour.
AKA: Kid Torvi is a bundle of office-wrecking chaos and Valto is a huge asshole. Also lame title because I’m half-dead here trying to also write my prelim exam so I can actually be a PhD candidate.
“Please. It’s exam week, and I can’t leave her alone. Not after what happened with the oven. It’ll only be for a couple hours.”
There was silence from the mass of muscle and feathers and stately stoicness on the other side of the office.
“Just a couple of hours, no longer,” Jokan repeated, almost pleading at this point.
Eventually, Malaanskar sighed, ruffling his feather crest and running a hand down his face. Claws framed the scar across his bow and nose bridge, and Jokan grit his teeth at the sight, remembering just how he’d gotten that particular trophy.
“Right. Fine,” the Stormwatch captain rumbled, shaking his head. “I’ll watch her for you.”
“You tell her to be on her best behavior, Torvalkaalos,” he continued, lips curling back slightly over an imposing set of fangs. “She’s not only your daughter, but my niece as well, and I won’t have her soiling what I’ve built, here, with her antics.”
“Understood, sir,” Jokan mumbled, nodding. “She won’t be a problem.”
“I hope so.”
She was a problem. A four-year-old problem shedding feathers everywhere as she climbed and hopped and flapped around Malaanskar’s office.
He checked his desk clock.
It had only been half an hour.
“Mal! Uncle Mal, look at meeeee!”
The scraping of claws on wood brought his gaze up to the series of shelves to his left. Plaques and mounted medals and trinkets from all over decorated them and, in the center of one shelf, perched between an ornate trophy of crystal and a sculpture welded together from the scrapped metal of a hunting rifle, perched his niece, oversized wings and gangly limbs poised for flight.
“Don’t do it,” he warned, feathers flaring. Torvi grinned.
“Dad said I gotta practice!” He flinched as she snapped open her wings, nearly knocking over everything on the shelf with her. “Watch me! I’m gettin’ pretty good, I think!”
“HERE I GO!”
She launched herself up, wings driving down into the shelf.
The force of her take-off ripped the shelf from the wall.
Torvi’s upstroke crashed into another shelf, sending everything on them flying as well.
A cacophony of noise followed - screeching, shattering, clattering.
Malaanskar jumped from his perch, hissing.
As the proverbial dust cleared, he saw Torvi sprawled half on her back, legs and tail propped up on the wall, the remains of his work spoils scattered around her.
“Oops,” she said, rolling over and hopping to her feet. “Welp, gotta try again!”
She shook bits of crystal from her feathers before flapping over to the file cabinet and starting to climb up.
Malaanskar lung-snarled, the sound shaking the windows and sending Torvi back to the floor, hands over her ears.
“TORVIHARI!” he roared, slamming a hand on his desk hard enough to rattle his bones. “ENOUGH!”
She cowered, hissing back up at him.
“Shutupshutup! Too loud!”
He regarded her for a moment, quieting as he saw several scrapes and cuts on her arms and wing-shoulders.
Cleaning the floor and gluing his trophies back together would have to wait.
Nudging his head toward the perch in the far corner, he sighed.
“Wait over there. I’ll get the first aid kit.”
Nodding, she scuttled over to the perch, climbing up and curling her wings and tail around herself. Satisfied, Malaanskar made for the exit, looking back at her before letting the curtain fall behind him.
“No more flying indoors, alright? Once I get you patched up, we’ll go out onto the runway and you can flail around out there.”
She nodded again, ears perking back up slightly.
“Right. I’ll be back.”
And then he was airborne, making a beeline for the infirmary, head throbbing.
How Jokan even survived raising that bundle of chaos was far, far beyond him.
Torvi picked idly at her scrapes, starting to feel the sting of them. Looking at her handiwork on the opposite wall of the office, she stuck out her tongue and laughed.
It looked better that way, she thought. More natural, less…stuffy.
Yes, it had earned her an ear-stinging roar from Uncle Mal, but the promise of a more open place to practice flying made things better.
Maybe she’d actually get more than three feet off the ground this time.
Hearing claws impact the stoop outside, she perked up, hopping in place on her perch. Uncle Mal was back, no doubt.
However, the Tyrkovan that pushed past the curtain was not Uncle Mal.
He looked a bit like him, though.
Same markings, similar build.
His eyes, though, made her shiver, made her want to hide.
Uncle Mal had bright yellow eyes, like Dad. This guy had...gross grayish eyes. Like herself. And they weren’t stern and stony like Uncle Mal’s or smart like Dad’s.
They were slimy. Cold. Unnerving as they scanned the overturned office.
“Hmm,” the new guy hummed, nearly gliding over to the mess and kicking some of it with his feet. Torvi didn’t like his voice, either. It was just as slimy as his eyes were. “Maybe this’ll knock ‘ol’ Lightkin’s’ ego down a few notches. All his pretty little things, scattered, broken...it’s beautiful.”
Then, he turned around, and Torvi hissed, wrapping herself in her wings. He was looking right at her, face blank like...like...like one of those painted Human masks.
Blank, dead-looking masks attached to wigs of stringy stuff that didn’t move like feathers did, worn by reenactors at the history festivals Jokan had taken her to. She’d cried when she’d first saw them, to her embarrassment, and Jokan had held her and assured her that they were fake.
‘Resin and faux hair, Torvi. A dead facsimile - nothing to be scared of. Nothing like the real thing.’
This slimy Tyrkovan’s face was like those masks, though it was real. Alive.
And Jokan wasn’t here.
“Well, well. What do we have here?” He approached, staring down at her, and she bared her teeth. “Are you the troublemaker that caused all this commotion and destruction?” He smiled, and it barely even started to reach his eyes. “Well done. Wish I could’ve seen it.”
She said nothing, still baring her teeth.
“I have no manners,” the new guy chuckled, wings outstretched slightly, boxing her in. “My name is Valto. That’s Ariitaalos Valto.”
Ariitaalos - that was Uncle Mal’s flight-name.
“Seems my dear brother caught himself a fledgeling for a few hours-ah, wait. You’re Jokan’s little tail-dragger, aren’t you?”
A hand shot out, snatching her from her perch and hoisting her upright by her scraped wing-shoulder. Valto stood her in front of him, his eyes seeming to drill into her as she struggled out of his grip, hissing in pain.
“Let’s see. Strong shoulders, deep chest, sharp reflexes - yes, you’d make a passable Verkorant for sure, should that stunted, pontificating, past-worshipper realize that he has no rights to raise you-GAH!”
Valto hopped back, a scrape on his shin leaking blood.
“YOU SHUT UP ABOUT MY DAD!” Torvi screeched, scrambling back onto her perch, foot talons stinging from the kick. Using the perch for some extra height, she flared every last feather on her person and snapped her wings out to their full span. “YOU...YOU SHUT UP AND EAT DIRT YOU GROSS-EYED FREAK-!!!”
The next thing she knew, she was batted sidelong into the wall by a massive wing, talons pinning her to the floor.
Valto leaned over her, face still horribly blank.
“I didn’t say anything about your father, Torvi. Nothing but his name.”
Torvi scratched at his ankle, hissing and spitting.
“Yeah you did! You called him a stunted, pontiff...pontificat...WHATEVER! GET OFF OF ME!!!!”
Some kind of sour look crossed Valto’s face, his pupils pinning a moment before it all ironed out again into that expressionless mask.
“Figures you’d be as myopic as that superstitious short-wing. Ignorance like that is infectious.”
Whatever he was about to say next, however, was interrupted by more claws on the stoop and the rustle of the curtain.
“Torvi, I hope you haven’t knocked anything else over- YOU.”
Valto cast a glance over his shoulder, removing his foot from Torvi’s chest and taking a step back.
“Ah! Brother. So good to see you aga-”
Uncle Mal’s voice was steelier than usual, cold and hard and sharp. Torvi could practically taste the raw dislike laced in it.
“But I was just having a pleasant conversation with my-”
A hand seized Valto’s feather crest, and he was pulled back with a loud squawk. Torvi rolled over and sat up quickly enough to see Uncle Mal practically tossing Valto out the exit, wiping his hands on his uniform after doing so.
That done, he pulled down the metal curtain, locking it at the bottom and snarling through the message hole for good measure.
“Did he hurt you?” he asked, voice now urgent. When Torvi didn’t answer immediately, he hustled over to her and easily lifted her back onto her perch, face even with hers. “Tell me. What did he do? What did he say?”
“He just said some mean things about Dad, that’s all,” Torvi finally mumbled, shrugging. “I don’t like him.”
“Good,” Uncle Mal sighed, ruffled feathers smoothing out slightly. He took a moment to retrieve the first aid kit and began to clean Torvi’s scrapes and cuts. “Listen to me, Torvi. If Valto comes near you again, don’t be afraid to fight him off. Don’t be afraid to fly away. And for Avar’s sake, don’t listen to anything he spews from his maw, do you understand?”
Torvi nodded, puffing her chest out.
“Got it. Hey, I kicked ‘im in the shin!” She chirped proudly. “See?” Grinning, she held up her foot, claws still flecked with a bit of blood.
She’d never seen Uncle Mal smile before. And, as slight as it was, his eyes crinkled at the edges.
“That’s the spirit.”
He continued to clean her wounds, having to bandage a decently deep one on her shoulder. As he reorganized the first aid kit, she hopped down from the perch and flapped her wings expectantly.
“Are we going to the runway now? Can I practice flying?!?”
Uncle Mal clicked his teeth together as he shut the kit.
“Hmm...no.” He held up a hand to stop the whine that almost made it out of her throat. “We’re going to the gym, and I’m going to teach you a bit about self-defense.”
Torvi’s jaw dropped.
“Wait, does that mean I get to kick and punch things?!?”
“In a sense...it’s more about not getting punched and kicked yourself, but in a sense…”
“NO, TORVI DON’T TRY TO FLY IN HERE AGAIN!!!”