Tumpik
#last time when we went to the bookstore i bought him a drink which was nothing obv but he said it was sweet lol...
daechwitatamic · 5 months
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Chapter 1: Interesting Spider Facts || KTH
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(banner by @itaeewon)
Title: What Was Hidden (Masterpost)
Rating: explicit, minors DNI pls
Genre: college!au, angst, eventual smut, strangers -> friends -> lovers -> idiots -> lovers
Pairings: Taehyung x female reader, MYG x OC
Summary:  This is how it all starts: Taehyung is flunking Western Lit. You’re assigned to tutor him. His paper on Strindberg’s The Ghost Sonata could pass or fail him for the semester. As you and Taehyung slowly become friends, then more, you learn that there’s a lot more to him than you originally assumed. Together, you navigate your own experiences with the play’s themes: one’s “true self” versus one’s “shown self”, darkness behind the facade, and how people can be quite literally haunted - and it has nothing to do with ghosts.
//
In which your best friend from home visits you on campus and you fall hard for over Taehyung down some stairs.
Chapter Warnings: language, recreational drinking
Word Count: 5k
      I saw the sun and thought I saw
what was hidden
The Ghost Sonata | Scene III August Strindberg
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Chapter 1 - Interesting Spider Facts
Saturday, November 3rd 
The train comes in with a roar, the force of the air almost making you take a step further back from the tracks. As it slows to a stop, you fix your hair, which got blown all to hell by the train’s passing. 
People start coming down the stairs, making their way slowly towards the parking lot, or towards where you’re standing on the paved trail that leads back to your college campus. You eye each of them, searching for a familiar face. A very specific familiar face. 
You recognize her shirt before she’s close enough for you to see her face; you should - you bought her that shirt last Christmas. You wave an arm as she comes closer, and once she spots you her steps speed up in excitement.
 It’s early November, and your best friend from home is visiting you on campus for the first time ever. It’s your third year, and she’s never come before now – between her own classes, and the distance, it just always worked out better to see each other when you went back to your parents’ house each time campus closed for a break.
You’re happy to see her, of course, but you’re also beyond excited to welcome her into your little world here, to show off the places you like to go, introduce her to the friends you’ve made in your time here.
You hug each other, ignoring her little rolling suitcase on the pavement beside you.
“It’s a bit of a walk back,” you warn her, starting to head back down the trail. “And then we have to sign you in as a visitor at the security place.”
You chat as you walk, and she fills you in on what’s been happening back in your hometown. You kick at small piles of fallen leaves as you walk; autumn is well underway and the trees that line the paved trail are nearly all bare. The crunching beneath your feet is oddly satisfying, and you realize you’ve been tuning Nina out to focus on stepping on crispy looking leaves.
“Sorry, what?” you ask when you notice she’s stopped talking and is looking at you sideways, clearly annoyed.
 “I was saying that Erin told me there’s a party tonight?” she repeats, not hiding her annoyance at all.
Things have been a little weird with you and Nina lately, which is part of why you were excited to have her visit. You were hoping to rekindle how you used to be – you’d been best friends since middle school, with a ton of history between the two of you. You had a lot of love for each other, but things had definitely been strained recently.
It had started back in the spring, when you’d broken up with your last boyfriend, Davis. Your mom always said when it rains, it pours by which she meant bad shit likes to happen all at once. That had been your spring – you’d broken up with Davis, things got weird with Nina, and you’d lost your part-time job at a local bookstore when it went under and had to close.
Always in threes, you noticed.
In the seven months since all of that, you’d gotten mostly back on your feet. You’d dated here and there over the summer, trying to get over Davis. It was… a process. You’d also gotten a new part-time job through school, tutoring. Right now, early in the semester, the students who signed up were doing so voluntarily so the workload was pretty light. You knew, though, that after first semester grades went out you’d be assigned students to tutor if they were on official academic probation. That just left Nina as the final problem to be solved.
And you are doing a crackerjack job of it.
“I just love that you and Erin are so tight,” you mutter.
Nina rolls her eyes at you. “I’m sorry you two have your shit,” she says flatly, sounding not sorry at all, “but I was friends with her before that went down. Anyway, she said there’s a party tonight at -.”
 “I know where it’s at,” you grumble, kicking more leaves. “I was already planning on us going. Not that I want to, now that I know she’s going.”
Nina rolls her eyes even harder, throwing in a dramatic grimace. “You need to move on from that.”
You say nothing, pressing your lips tight together. Conversations with Nina tend to turn into arguments, especially when the topic of Erin and Davis comes up.
“Anyway,” you say finally, after you walk in silence for a few more minutes, “we’re going to the party. My roommates are coming too.”
“Cool,” she chirps, happy again. “I brought like three outfits, you can help me choose. Are we thinking slutty? Classy slutty? Lounge slutty?”
“I’m noticing a theme,” you deadpan, and she laughs. It feels like old times, for a second. “I mean, it’s a frat party. I think you’re safe with any of the above.”
You sign Nina in as an overnight guest at the security station on campus and then lead her to your dorm. The sun is low behind you, despite it being only around 5 pm, as you swipe your school ID card through the card reader to gain access to your building.
“Oh good,” one of your roommates says as you open your door upstairs. “We were about to order pizza.”
You’re in a triple, which means three of you girls in one room; while this is not always ideal, the three of you do get your own bathroom. That makes it worth it, in your opinion. The other suckers have to share with the whole hall.
The roommate you get along with best, Kiko, is sitting on her bed, her laptop open in front of her. Your other roommate, Bridget, is sitting at her desk, leaning forward towards her light-up mirror, eyeliner in hand.
“This is my friend from home, Nina,” you say, gesturing back as Nina comes through the door with her tiny suitcase. “This is Kiko, and Bridget. You can put your stuff by the bottom bunk, it’s mine.”
Nina rolls her suitcase over as you and Kiko begin discussing toppings.
Two hours later, you’re crumpling up an empty pizza box. Behind you, Bridget pours vodka and juice into plastic cups as Kiko fiddles with her Bluetooth speaker to get the pregame tunes started.
“What time do you want to head over?” you ask the room at large. You run a hand through your hair, silently trying to determine if it needs a shampoo before the party.
“Ten? Ten thirty?” Bridget suggests. She’s sort of running the show – the frat guys are her friends, not yours. “Jin told me nine, so I feel like that’s an appropriate level of fashionably late.”
Kiko meets your eyes from her bed and you match her face quickly. Neither of you is huge on the party scene, honestly, and sometimes you both just can’t with Bridget’s nonsense.
“Is the party on campus?” Nina asks, from where she’s laying sideways across your bottom bunk, red solo cup in hand. Her long curls cascade over the side of the bed.
 “No, Seokjin has a place off-campus,” Bridget tells her. “It’s not technically a frat house, but it kind of is.”
Nina looks at you, but it’s Kiko who speaks up to explain. “It’s not an official Greek-life frat house, through the school,” she says. “We have those. But Jin rents this house off campus – he’s had the lease the last two years - and all the guys who room with him are in his frat too.”
“Hopefully one of the younger guys can snag the lease next year,” Bridget muses. “After Jin graduates? I would hate to start having to party on campus again and deal with the fucking Campo.”
“Campus police,” you translate automatically for Nina’s sake.
A little bit later, Kiko makes her way into the bathroom, where you’re pressed up close to the mirror, trying to get your eyeliner even.
“How early am I allowed to bail?” she asks you under her breath.
You laugh a little. Normally you two stick together, and if one of you wants to leave early you go together. You’re not sure you can pull an early disappearing act while Nina’s with you.
“You can bail as soon as you want to,” you tell her seriously. “But I have to stay tonight. You’re on your own.”
 You lower your voice, not wanting to be heard over the music playing out in the room. “And Nina told me that Erin is going, which means Davis is going. If there was ever a night I wanted to bail… believe me… it’s tonight.”
Kiko meets your eyes in the mirror, her mouth making a tiny little frown. “Are you going to be okay?”
Erin, who – yes – has been friends with Nina a long time, is the girl Davis cheated with back in the spring. Well, before that, probably. The spring was just when you found out.
You and Davis had decided to go to the same college back when you were still together, obviously. You regret it big time, now that you have to see him all over campus.
You’re a tiny bit tempted to tell Nina to go to the fucking party without you.
“Yeah,” you sigh. “It’s one night. I’ll just try to stay in a different room than them.”
“Maybe you’ll meet someone,” she says hopefully, leaning against the doorframe behind you. You give up on your eyeliner and untwist the top of your mascara.
“I’d rather not,” you say flatly. “Frankly, everyone on this campus with a penis can go fuck themselves.”
“That is not the right attitude!” Bridget hollers from the other room.
Nina comes to stand next to Kiko. You’re feeling a little trapped, with the two of them blocking the whole door.
“How long are you going to stay on this I hate men crusade?” Nina asks.
You want to point out that she has barely heard your crusading, as it were, since she was decidedly uninterested in listening to you rant back when you’d caught Davis and Erin. You knew she was in an awkward position, being friends with both you and Erin. You understood. But it had sucked anyway, not being able to talk to your best friend as you went through that.
 “Until someone proves to me that I’m wrong,” you say, capping the mascara and taking a step back from the mirror.
“She says that,” Bridget says, coming to join the little party in the doorway, “but watch her tonight. Any guy that tries to talk to her, she’ll castrate. Verbally. You can’t say prove me wrong and then refuse to let anyone try, Y/N.”
“I can and I will,” you say lightly. “Now I need more vodka, so all of you scooch.”
--
It’s about a 20 minute walk to the house, which on a frigid November night is no joke.
“I should have had more to drink,” Kiko says solemnly. “So that I wouldn’t feel the cold.”
 “We’re almost there,” Bridget tells her, pointing. “They’re at the end of that block.”
The music is deafening even from the street outside the house, and you have no idea how they don’t have the police there already. The neighbors must all be deaf… or other college kids. Bridget leads the way, opening the front door. The music goes from deafening to whatever the next step up might be. You resist the urge to cover your ears, but you adjust to it as you follow Bridget through the living room. It’s packed with bodies, but she’s been partying here long enough that she knows her way around.
You’ve been to parties here a handful of times, but not since becoming Bridget’s roommate in September. The fact that she’s friends with these guys is an interesting coincidence. You’re not sure you’ve even ever met Jin, but he and Bridget are on a first-name basis, apparently.
She leads you off to the staircase on the right, and up. It’s quieter upstairs, and she opens the first door in the unlit hallway.
“Coats,” she says, and you all toss your jackets towards the already mountainous pile on top of the bed.
 Downstairs again, you have to fight your way through the packed living room to the kitchen, where the liquor and mixers are lining the countertops. Even though you pregamed, you hardly feel it at all, and you’re perfectly willing when Bridget suggests you all start with a shot.
“The guys are downstairs,” she informs you, after checking her phone. “We should go say hello.”
“Why?” Kiko mutters in your ear, and you smile at her. Nina is looking around eagerly, and for a second you wish you could feel like she does – like everybody you see is a new opportunity, a fresh start, a hopeful possibility. You used to feel that way, before Davis decided you weren’t worth his time, and that you were too stupid to catch him.
After you’ve all mixed yourselves drinks, Bridget leads you back through the jungle in the living room, steering you all left towards a door you’d never know was there. She opens it, and it leads down a dark, narrow staircase.
It’s not quite as loud in the basement, which means you can talk without screaming directly into each other’s ears. There are a few beer pong tables in the middle, and some couches shoved in a U in the back.
 Bridget leads you to the opposite corner behind the pong tables. You recognize a few people in the group that’s crowded together back there – you’ve seen them here at parties, and a few of them around campus.
Bridget squeals and throws her arms around the neck of one of the taller guys, somehow managing not to spill her drink.
“Hello, gorgeous,” she cries, and you fight back an eye roll. You like Bridget, really. She’s just… her.
“Hello yourself,” he tells her, and you wonder if he knows her name or if to him she’s just another cute girl who comes to his parties.
She introduces the rest of you girls, and Jin rattles off the names of the guys around him, but you aren’t listening. You don’t care. You have zero interest in talking to any of these dudes. 
After a few minutes, Nina takes your hand and pulls you to play beer pong with her. You’re not amazing at it – hand-eye coordination was never your forte – but she’s great, and you hold your spot at the table for longer than you thought you would. When you finally lose, you look around the room, searching for your friends. Jin’s crew is still lording over their corner of the basement, but you don’t see Jin himself anymore. You don’t see Bridget either – suspicious – but Kiko is still there, talking to a blond guy, so you head back that way, tugging Nina behind you by her sleeve.
She tugs you back, leaning close to tell you, “I’m going up to make a new drink.”
 “Do you want me to come with you?” you ask, shouting.
She shakes her head, then points questioningly at your cup. You still have half of what you mixed earlier, since you’ve been drinking beer at the pong table for the better part of an hour. You shake your head no, and point at Kiko. “I’ll wait for you with Kiko!” you call to her, and she waves as she heads towards the stairs.
When you reach Jin’s little group and Kiko, she barely turns to acknowledge you, so engrossed in her conversation with the grumpy looking blond.
Well, cool. Now you have no one to talk to until Nina gets back – and knowing Nina, as you have for an entire decade, she’ll probably get swept up in conversation upstairs and never come back for you.
“You need to use your hips more,” a voice says, very close to you, and you startle.
“Excuse me?” you say, raising an eyebrow.
The speaker is most definitely one of Jin’s crew – you recognize him from other parties, and you think you might have shared a class freshman year – but you don’t know his name. He’s tall, practically towering over you (and you’re in heels!), and his dark hair settles in pretty waves just above his eyeline. You determinedly do not notice his jawline, the intensity of his gaze, the sexy cock of his eyebrow. You definitely don’t notice the cute-ass freckle on the end of his nose. Or the one on his bottom lip. You’re not looking at his lips.
You’re not.
Damn. He looks like a god. You hate him immediately.
“When you play pong,” he explains. “You have great hips – use them to box out your opponent.”
You look at him, blown away by the audacity. “Seriously? The first thing you ever say to me in your life, and it’s about my ass?”
He frowns, and you can��t tell if it’s playful or if he means it. “I didn’t say anything about your ass,” he points out.
“Tread carefully, Taehyung,” Bridget says, appearing out of fucking nowhere, slinging an arm over your shoulders. “Y/N doesn’t like to leave survivors these days.”
You give him – Taehyung, apparently - a level stare, hoping he’ll listen and back off. Instead, he licks his lips and then fights a smile as he says, “Is this like a black widow thing? I’m pretty sure they mate first.”
Your jaw drops. “You did not just fucking say that to me,” you say, voice low and dangerous even to your own ears.
He holds up his hands in mock surrender. “I’m just giving interesting spider facts. No need to get upset.”
“I’m done with this conversation,” you say flatly, and you cut your eyes at him as you turn to go. “Enjoy your night.”
“Wait, are you actually mad?” he asks, suddenly puzzled. Besides him, Bridget laughs, used to the way you chew up and spit guys out lately. “We were just flirting!”
“You might be flirting,” you counter. “Not me. I need to go find my friend.”
“She’s upstairs with her tongue in Hoseok’s mouth,” Bridget tells you, and you very nearly spit your drink all over Taehyung, which honestly would serve him right.
“Sounds like your friend has the right idea,” Taehyung says offhandedly, and you firmly turn your back to him, absolutely over it. He wants you to box out your opponents? You’ll start right now.
Beside you, Kiko tucks a piece of hair behind her ear and smiles shyly, still talking with the same guy. You catch Bridget’s eye and raise your eyebrow. She pulls out her phone and starts tapping away. When you feel your pocket buzz, you know it’s her.
[12:42 AM] Briiiiig: IKR!!!!
[12:43 AM] Briiiiig: that’s jin’s bro yoongi and I have NEVER SEEN HIM CHAT UP A GIRL
[12:43 AM] Briiiiig: THIS IS AMAZING
You smile, and type a message to Kiko - “Get it girl!!!!!!!!!!” You know she won’t see it until later - she’s so into this conversation, she probably doesn’t remember that phones even exist. “This is getting boring,” Bridget says to the group at large. “Does anyone have a party trick to share?”
“I can lick my elbow,” one of the guys, who sports a sleeve of tattoos and a few facial piercings says. The guys all boo him.
“I have a great party trick, but the pay-off is a little delayed,” Taehyung says, very seriously. “I can predict the weather - it’s going to rain like hell tomorrow.”
“My phone knows that trick too,” you say flatly, pulling it out and swiping over to the weather app. “And it says tomorrow will be warm and sunny.”
Taehyung levels a look at you, his earlier playfulness fading. “I’ll put money on it.”
You roll your eyes, over it and him. You choose not to answer, instead eyeing your empty cup. You head upstairs with two missions in mind – one, to detangle Nina from whichever poor soul is Hoseok, and two, to mix a new drink.
Maybe not in that order. You stop in the kitchen, eyeing the different liquors and mixers and trying to decide what sounds good. You’re settling on more vodka and juice when you feel someone come up next to you. You glance over to find Taehyung looking at you, brows furrowed.
“Oh my god,” you utter, completely exasperated. “Why are you following me?”
His frown deepens. “I feel like I actually pissed you off downstairs.”
“You did,” you tell him, eyes wide with disbelief. “So go away, please!”
“No, wait,” he says, reaching out a hand as if that will settle you down. “I wanted to apologize. Sometimes when I drink, dumb shit just comes out of my mouth without my brain’s permission. I wasn’t trying to be… disrespectful, or gross. But I think I was. I’m sorry.”
You hear absolutely none of this. You feel like you have tunnel vision: the whole party shrinking down, the kitchen fading, your pulse roaring in your ears louder than the music, as you spot Davis and Erin out in the living room, laughing with Nina and some skinny guy.
Davis looks great – all tan from playing soccer all summer, probably, his hair a little longer than the last time you saw him. You’re suddenly remembering how it felt to be tucked up against him, his arm around your shoulders, his laugh reverberating against you as you held on tight. But it isn’t you glued to his side, it’s Erin, her arm around his middle as she wobbles on strappy heels. Your heart is hammering in your chest.
“Okay?” Taehyung is asking you as you come back into your body. He’s looking at you intently. You’re suddenly so nauseous that you’re not sure you can make it to a bathroom.
“Sure,” you say, even though you have no idea what he’d been talking about. “Whatever. I need some air.”
You have to pass Davis, Erin, and Nina in order to get outside, but there’s nothing you can do about that. You walk quickly, eyes on the ground, shouldering people out of the way as you head for the front door.
You’re better the instant you pull your first drag of cold November air into your lungs. You take the stone steps slowly, stopping at the bottom and dropping to sit on the final stair. You rest your elbows on your knees and press your forehead into your hands, eyes screwed shut, trying to just breathe and steady yourself. Fucking Davis and fucking Erin and fucking disloyal Nina.
Your phone buzzes in your pocket and you pull it out, starting to feel the cold night air on your bare fingers.
[1:24 AM] Nina 💕: did u just go outside?
[1:24 AM] Nina💕: girl it’s cold! come back in
[1:25 AM] You: let me know when ur done talking to that piece of garbage and I’ll consider it
[1:27 AM] Nina💕: 🙄 
You don’t answer this one. You’re calmer now, the quiet and the cold air doing wonders for your nerves. You lean back against the steps, feeling the cold seep in through your jeans, your fingers starting to sting. The clouds that pressed down on you and Nina earlier in the day as you’d walked the paved trail are gone now, and you can see stars clear and bright. You make out a few constellations idly, and hunt for the moon, which is hanging barely above the treeline. It’s a sliver tonight, barely there at all.
You wish you could talk to someone - anyone - about Davis. If you were about two shots drunker and another girl had come out here, you’d probably tell the whole damn story. Kiko would listen, you’re sure, but you hate unloading on her - especially because she isn’t a big sharer herself. You don’t like that it feels one-sided when you open up. Bridget would care, in a very Bridget way, but it would undoubtedly end in advice that had to do with getting someone else’s dick, and you just aren’t there right now. And Nina… well, Nina is inside laughing it up with the asshole in question, so there goes that.
You’re starting to wish you’d brought your coat. Once you’re cold enough you rise, heading back up the way you came.
Luckily, the group you had to pass on your way out have either disbanded or relocated, because you make it through the living room without seeing anyone you recognize. You make your way back to the basement door, ready to navigate the dark stairs.
Halfway down the stairs, you hit something solid and lose your balance completely, letting out a shriek. You tumble sideways, around the obstruction, and a hand closes roughly around your elbow, pulling you back. The sudden change of direction stops you from careening further down the steps, but it also jerks your cup out of your hand, and it splashes as it bounces down the steps. You twist, off-balance, and land on your ass two stairs down from where you tripped. You’re shocked that you didn’t break a heel… or a bone. The hand is still tight on your elbow, stopping you from sliding any further.
For a minute, you just sit there in shock, trying to figure out what happened.
“Ow,” you say finally, once you’re sure you aren’t going to fall down more stairs. “What the fuck.”
“You’re welcome,” a voice says, low, and of course it’s fucking Taehyung.
“Why are you sitting on the stairs in the dark?” you hiss, completely losing your shit. “I almost died!”
“I missed a step and hurt my ankle,” he says, voice still low. “I tried to warn you I was here – I guess you didn’t hear me.”
“I guess I didn’t,” you echo. His hand is still on your elbow, holding tight, as if you might still slide down the rest of the stairs. It’s too dark on the staircase to see his face clearly. Now you feel kind of like a jerk. You didn’t know he was hurt, you just thought he picked a bad spot to hang out. “I didn’t kick you or anything, did I?”
“No,” he says. “Are you okay?”
When you tell him you are, he finally lets go of your elbow, his fingers brushing the top of your arm lightly as it falls away from his grasp. You stare at each other in silence through the dark.
“Thanks for the save,” you say, feeling a little awkward. You’ve been pretty mean to him tonight, and you are fully aware of it. “Quick reflexes.”
You get to your feet unsteadily, eyeing your spilled drink on the steps below you. “How hurt are you?” you ask. “Can you make it down?”
He’s quiet for a second, and you actually feel a twinge of concern. Gross.
“I’m not sure,” he says finally, voice laced with defeat. “Do you mind going downstairs and getting Jimin? Please?”
“Yeah,” you say quietly. “I can do that.”
You make your way down the rest of the stairs, casting a glance over your shoulder at the bottom. You can barely make out his form, halfway up, a shadow just barely moving against the dark.
You approach Bridget and Jin, who are still talking with the same group of guys. No Nina in sight.
“Hey,” you say to Jin. “I’m looking for Jimin?”
“That’s me,” a guy to your left says, looking at you quizzically.
“Taehyung asked me to get you,” you explain, turning to him. “He’s sitting on the stairs back there, trying to trip people in the dark. He says he hurt his ankle.”
“Oh shit,” Jimin says, immediately putting his cup down on a nearby table and hurrying towards the stairs. The guy that Kiko’s been talking to all night – Yoongi – follows him at a clip. This seems like a bit of an over-reaction to you, but it isn’t your problem. You did what you were asked, and now you’re off the hook.
Kiko turns to you, face flushed, clearly fighting a smile. “Hi,” she says sheepishly. “How’s your night going?”
You laugh. “Not as good as yours, apparently,” you tease. “I can’t wait to hear about it later. Has anyone seen Nina? She was upstairs before, but I lost her.”
Bridget says, “She’s probably still with Hoseok somewhere. Hey, the couches are empty, anyone want to play Kings?”
Nina shows up a little bit later, the aforementioned Hoseok nowhere to be seen. She perches on the arm of the couch near you, watching as you all finish the round.
“Want to go soon?” she asks. “It’s almost three.”
“Sure,” you say easily. “Kiko? Bridg? You feel like heading back?”
Bridget isn’t thrilled, but she’s outvoted three-to-one, so you all head upstairs to find your coats and start the walk back. You don’t see any of the guys upstairs, or your ex. Thank goodness. 
Back at the dorm, the four of you vie for mirror space as you scrub your faces with makeup remover. Kiko’s done first, slipping under her comforter and letting out a series of happy noises. Bridget climbs to her top bunk, and Nina slides into the bottom bunk that belongs to you. You rummage in the mini-fridge and pass everyone a cold water bottle before turning the overhead lights off. Bridget turns an old, nostalgic cartoon movie on the tv as you slide into bed besides Nina.
 You drink sips of water, sort of watching the movie through half-closed eyes. You fall asleep, feet tangled with your best friend’s as they have been thousands of times since your childhood, before the opening credits can even finish.
Next
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Thank you so much for being here! I appreciate every single like, reblog, comment, ask, or DM!
A thank you, as always, to my fabulous beta @kookstempo 😘😘😘 love u little one!
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yoongiseesawmp3 · 1 year
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just about perfect - seonghwa
howdy folks, back with another fic but i’m switching it up on ya! i might start writing regularly for ateez as well so y’all are cool with that right? right.
summary: this is NOT inspired by seonghwa saying he watches nevertheless. why would you even think that.
warnings: not the kind of warning u were expecting but there’s no smut (i know its based off a show abt friends with benefits so that’s why i’m warning u. do not get ur hopes up) a little cussing, a lotta me waxing poetic abt the perfect man park seonghwa. also slight tomfoolery from the teezers
word count: 10.6k
the bookstore just off campus is your current go-to study spot, mostly because the cafe inside has a drink special where you buy one coffee and get a voucher for the new bakery next door. so, let’s just say the past few days you’ve been well caffeinated and well fed. you’re on the way there now, already planning out what your treats are going to be. 
today you were supposed to meet your “study group” after your last class of the day, but it looks like you’re the only one here so far. and you say “study group” loosely, the professor for your music theory elective encouraged everyone to make a study group for the upcoming final and your group of friends chose to work together. there’s been no studying going on, though.
especially not when hongjoong’s new friend seonghwa has been flirting with you literally nonstop. he’s apparently friends with everyone else in your group too. san knows him from an art class they took together last semester, meanwhile wooyoung and yeosang claim they lived on seonghwa’s floor freshman year and he always bought them booze. seonghwa denies it, only because hongjoong would slap him if he admitted to buying alcohol for underage kids. 
tasteful delinquency aside, seonghwa is a fine person. you mean personality fine, not like, fine fine even though san would beg to differ. he knows you’ve developed a thing for seonghwa despite trying not to, and he’s secretly trying to get you two together. 
which is why san suddenly texts you and says he can’t make it, and neither can yeosang or wooyoung. they decided to ditch studying to practice for the final in their dance class instead, so it’ll be just you, seonghwa and hongjoong. and little did you know, hongjoong was trying to do the same thing as san. so we’ll see how this goes. 
“y/n, you can’t do that,” hongjoong warns you, referring to the scale you were trying to fill out. 
“why not?” you ask, looking down at your work and wondering what’s wrong.
“because it’ll sound like shit,” seonghwa replies before sipping his coffee. 
“what he said,” hongjoong agrees, grabbing your paper and erasing some of the notes you had scribbled out. “it should look more like this.”
you glance over at what he’s done on top of your old work and sigh. you took this class because you like music, and you thought learning about how it works would be interesting, but it’s hard. 
“can’t you just do all my work for me?” you plead. at this rate, you don’t think you’ll be able to pass the final. 
“no, i don’t want you dragging me down in this class,” hongjoong replies. “my grades are great.” 
“i hate you.”
“what are you struggling with, y/n?” seonghwa asks as he finally looks up from his laptop. he had been working on an assignment for another class this whole time because he, like hongjoong, is great with music theory. so maybe this study group was a good thing. 
“here, you can switch seats with me,” hongjoong says as he clears the spot next to you on the weathered loveseat. “i’m going to look for a book i should’ve started reading two weeks ago.” 
before you can protest, seonghwa is sliding his laptop across the coffeetable and slides himself into the spot next to you. when he sits you notice your thighs are touching, which is weird because there was plenty of space when hongjoong was here. you don’t know that seonghwa is doing this on purpose, that hongjoon really left so he could flirt with the cute cashier in the cafe to give you and seonghwa some alone time. 
“so,” seonghwa starts once he’s settled. “what are you struggling with?” 
“hmm, all of it?” you reply. your answer makes seonghwa smile, and you like the way his eyes sparkle when he does.
“then i guess we’ll be here a while.”
-
about an hour later, seonghwa has walked you through all the major and minor scales you need to know for the test and you’re starting to understand a little more. you’re still having problems with the back of the study guide where you have to come up with note combinations that can apply to those scales, but you have time to work on that since the final is two weeks out. right now, your brain is fried and you need a break. 
“do you mind if i go get a coffee?” you ask seonghwa, who was in the middle of sending you the minor scale cheat sheet he made. he looks up from his laptop and shakes his head before he speaks.
“i would only mind if i can’t come with you.”
“it’s literally right over there, why do you need to come with me?” you question.
“i think i would just miss you too much,” he pouts, and you roll your eyes. seonghwa shuts his laptop and stands up. “what if i need coffee too?”
“you already had one,” you remind him as you stand.
“yeah,” he nods. “but teaching you is exhausting, so i need another. c’mon.”
he walks ahead of you to the counter, and you’re too busy searching for your wallet to notice he took his jacket off, revealing a sneaky tattoo on the back of his neck. it isn’t until you’re behind him in line that you get a look at the hand drawn star right on the nape of his neck, and you have to refrain from reaching out to trace the lines.
“i didn’t know you had a tattoo,” you decide to say. he turns around and instinctively rubs his hand across the tattoo, smiling at you with those sparkly eyes again.
“yeah, i have a couple,” he replies. “but this one is my favorite.”
“why?”
“because my name means ‘to become a star’, so i like knowing that i have a reminder with me all the time,” he explains.
“nice. it’s really pretty.”
“thanks, so are you.”
“sir?” the barista calls, pulling seonghwa’s attention from you. he steps up to give his order as you stare at the tattoo again, noticing alongside it a couple of freckles that almost make it look like a constellation.
“y/n?” seonghwa’s voice draws you out of your thoughts and you realize he’s finished ordering. “what do you want?”
“oh, i can get it,” you begin, but he cuts you off.
“no, my treat,” he insists, and you sheepishly walk up to the counter to give your order. seonghwa makes a mental note of what you get, and he also snatches the bakery voucher from you before you can put it in your pocket. you make a confused sound and seonghwa laughs. 
“why’d you do that?” you whine.
“you only get to use it if you come with me to the bakery later,” he teases. “say yes or i’m drinking your coffee and getting myself an extra cupcake.”
“fine,” you huff. “but i have an assignment due at midnight, so i can’t stay long.”
“it’s 4pm, that’s not enough time for you to finish it?” he asks while you step out of the way for the next customers.
“i haven’t started yet,” you admit. 
“you like saving things until the last minute, don’t you?”
“what makes you say that?”
“well, it looks like you haven’t been studying music theory at all, and now this,” he shrugs. 
“not everybody can be perfect like you, park seonghwa,” you grumble as the barista places two coffee cups on the bar. you hear seonghwa giggle shortly, and you give him a questioning look.
“so you think i’m perfect?” he smirks.
-
it’s the next day, almost midnight, and you really need spray paint. 
why? well, you’re stressed because you have so much to study for your finals and you don’t know where to start. yes, seonghwa helped yesterday, but he’s not in all your other classes, so you’ve decided you need a break from tearing your hair out over the material you can’t comprehend. the best way to distract yourself from that is to finally paint that dresser you got from a garage sale a few months ago, hence the spray paint. 
thankfully, san is still awake, and he has a car, so you ask him to pick you up for a quick run to the art supply store that’s surprisingly still open. a bonus of going to college in the city, you can get anything almost whenever you need it. 
“thanks for coming to get me,” you tell san as you hop into his car. 
“no problem,” he replies. “i was bored and hongjoong said he needed paint pens so this is a win-win situation. plus, i get to hear about your date with seonghwa yesterday.”
“it was not a date,” you groan, choosing to ignore the suggestive way san is looking at you right now. 
“but you spent the whole afternoon together,” san starts. “he bought you coffee and you went to the bakery together and talked about, like, your favorite colors and stuff. sounds like a date to me.”
“how do you know all that?”
“seonghwa told hongjoong and then hongjoong told me,” he explains as he turns onto the street that’ll take you to the art store. 
“well tell hongjoong that i’m still mad at him for ditching us,” you reply. “and i’m still kinda mad at you and the other two for bailing in the first place.”
“hey, if it wasn’t for me, you wouldn’t have had your first date with seonghwa,” san points out.
“it was not a date!” you cry. “we studied most of the time we were together, then he bought my coffee and bullied me into going to the bakery. i couldn’t stay long because i had a paper to write, so we talked about stupid shit until i had to leave.”
“it sounds like the beginning of true love to me,” san sing-songs. 
“stop the car, i’ve decided to walk.”
-
when you get to the store, san separates from you quickly because he sees his friend mingi behind the counter. they’re busy talking while you search the store for the paints, and you’re so busy looking up at the aisle names that you don’t notice you’re about to run into someone. 
“hey-” you start to complain, but you recognize the man you almost bumped into. “oh, seonghwa.”
“y/n,” he smiles at you. “what are you doing out so late?” 
“uh, distracting myself from how small my brain is,” you explain. “what are you doing here?”
“hongjoong needed paint pens,” he says, and you’re about two seconds away from finding san and slapping him. did they really plan this too? 
“why didn’t he come get them?” you ask as you remember what you’re here to find. your eyes scan the aisle behind seonghwa and you spot the paint cans at the end, but he’s in your way.
“i offered,” he says with a shrug.
“you must be a really good friend, then.”
“well you did call me perfect yesterday, so...” he trails off, smirking. you roll your eyes at him but can’t help the blush creeping up your neck. he interrupts his new favorite activity of staring deeply into your eyes (just to fluster you, of course) and he sees that you’re looking past him at the shelves of paint. “you need something down here?” 
“um, yeah, the spray paint,” you reply, awkwardly trying to skirt around him to get into the aisle. he steps aside to let you through, but still follows you as you search for the color you want.
“what are you making?” 
“i’m painting a scuffed up dresser i’ve had for a while, so i want something simple that’ll go with the rest of the things in my room,” you explain as you stop walking and crane your neck to scan the bottles on the top shelf. seonghwa stops behind you and places his hand on the small of your back as he reaches for a can just out of your reach.
“what about this one?” he offers, handing you a can of light blue paint. it’s really pretty, and it’ll stand out with the white furniture you already have, but you really like it.
“oh, that’s perfect!” you say as you take the can from his hands.
“there you go again,” seonghwa teases, and you shoot him a questioning look. he smiles as he responds. “calling me perfect?”
“i said the paint was perfect, weirdo,” you snap. “but thank you for finding this.”
“anytime,” he tells you. “you said your favorite color was blue right?”
“right...” you mumble, thinking back to the conversation you had at the bakery yesterday. “how’d you remember?”
“ugh, i’m hurt!” he exclaims, hand flying to his chest in mock surprise. “i can’t believe you already forgot that it’s my favorite color too.”
“hm, guess i was too distracted by how perfect you are,” you joke. seonghwa laughs at that, a sharp sound that seemed to catch him off guard. he covers his mouth to stifle the sound, but you’re close enough to the cash register now that it draws attention from san and mingi.
“find what you need?” san asks with a shit eating grin.
“hm, just about,” you say as you place the paint on the counter. “couldn’t find a hammer big enough to drop on your head, though.”
“wow, harsh,” san scoffs. “and to think i brought you here out of the goodness of my heart.”
you’re too busy half-bickering with san to notice that seonghwa has paid for your paint and the pens he promised hongjoong. he mumbles something to mingi, who then hands him a piece of paper. he scribbles his number down for you before handing you the can and his number. 
“i gotta go, but i’ll see you later for study group, right?” he confirms. you’re still processing the fact that he keeps buying things for you and you can’t respond in time, so san steps in.
“yeah, y/n will be there,” san assures seonghwa. he nods and shoots you one last smile before he excuses himself and leaves. you’re stuck with san and that stupid grin again. he looks at you and then checks the paper with seonghwa’s number on it. “yep, i think you got what you needed.”
-
even though seonghwa very willingly gave you his number, you’re still afraid to text him. it’s kind of hard to believe that he’s into you the way you’re into him, so you’re fine with just seeing him for study dates. or, uh, not study dates. study gatherings. with just the two of you. because the other guys have bailed, again.
this time, though, you’re not working on music theory. you have an assignemnt due for your ethics class, and you need family and friends to read about your results from this morals test. you wanted san to do it, but he’s currently “chasing a sweet piece of ass,” whatever that means. he’s probably bothering his lab partner that he claims descended from greek gods. you would usually tease him for saying something like that, but it’s a thought you’ve had about seonghwa, so you kept your mouth shut.
anyway, you know you need someone to answer these questions for you, but you can’t bring yourself to ask seonghwa. he kept up his “perfect” demeanor again today, showing up at the bookstore before you so he could get you the coffee you like. you would ask why he keeps doing things like this for you, remembering your favorite color and your coffee order, but you’re afraid he’ll stop if you bring it up. little do you know, every time he learns something new about you, he writes it down in his notes app, keeping a running tab of the things you like.
“y/n?” you hear him ask. his voice snaps you out of your thoughts and you realize you’ve been staring at him this whole time. the smirk you’ve become so familiar with makes another appearance as he gets ready to tease you. “something on your mind?”
“no, i...no,” you stutter. “i’m just thinking.”
“about what?” he questions as he lifts his coffee cup to his lips. you watch the way he slightly pouts them before taking a sip and you have to stop yourself from staring again.
“just this ethics assignment i want to finish,” you explain. “sorry, i didn’t realize i was staring at you.”
“must be an important assignment,” he nods, leaning forward to put his cup back on the table in front of you. you get another glimpse at the star tattoo on his neck as he does. “because i was definitely staring at you too, and you didn’t even notice.”
“oh?” 
“yep,” he confirms. “i was giving you my best puppy dog eyes and everything.”
“puppy dog eyes?” you ask, unsure of what’s coming. “do you need something?”
“eh, not really,” he shrugs. “i’m just worried.”
“why?”
“you never texted me the other night.”
“after the art store?” you ask incredulously. 
“isn’t that when i gave you my number?” he smirks. 
“i didn’t think you wanted me to text you immediately...”
“well, it’s been three days and i still don’t have your number,” he pouts. 
“hold on a second,” you mumble, reaching for your bag. you fumble around in there, searching for the piece of paper with seonghwa’s number on it as he watches you fondly.
“what are you doing?”
“looking for your number,” you reply like it’s obvious. seonghwa laughs a little and places his hand on your arm to stop you. 
“you do know i’m right next to you, and i could just put my number in myself?” he asks, eyes sparkling as he half-smiles at you. you blush, because no, you weren’t thinking about that. you sheepishly hand him your phone and watch as he adds his number and then texts himself. he gives your phone back and replaces it with his own before asking, “what’s your favorite emoji?”
“um, the smiling cowboy?” you offer, not sure why he’s asking. he laughs again, like he did in the art store, but this time it’s harder for him to quiet the breathy giggles coming from his chest.
“why that one?” he asks, typing something quickly.
“it’s funny,” you shrug. “why?”
“needed something cute to put next to your name, but you’re a weirdo, so it’s not as cute as i was imagining,” he explains, showing you the contact card in his phone. your number is saved as “y/n 🥰🤠” and you can’t help but laugh. you look up at seonghwa, warmth in your eyes, and he starts laughing too.
“see?” you giggle. “it is funny.”
“whatever, at least now i have your number.”
-
after exchanging numbers with seonghwa, you’re starting to let yourself believe little by little that he might feel the same way you do. it’s not anything serious, but there’s definitely something there. the texts he sends are always flirtatious, and it has your heart beating faster every time you get a notification, hoping that it’s him. you’re in the middle of studying for your spanish final when you feel your phone vibrate on the bed next to you, and you smile when you see who it’s from.
seonghwa 🥺💫, 6:28pm: are you busy rn?
you, 6:28pm: not really, just studying
seonghwa 🥺💫: can’t be studying too much if you replied that quickly 🥸
you: what do u want
seonghwa 🥺💫: be nice :-(
you: sorry
you: hi seonghwa, how are you? what do you want.
seonghwa 🥺💫: come get dinner with me? 
you: right now?
seonghwa 🥺💫: no, in 30 years. yes right now 
you: but i’m studying ://
seonghwa 🥺💫: liar!
you: fine, when and where?
seonghwa 🥺💫: i’ll pick you up in ten 🤠
“you sure like staying close to campus, huh?” you ask seonghwa as he walks you about a block from your usual hangout and to a little hole in the wall restaurant that looks like it could seat maybe 20 people, uncomfortably. 
“i know what i like,” he responds with a shrug. “speaking of things i like, you look nice.”
“oh, thank you,” you semi-laugh. you’d been close to panic trying to figure out what to wear (because you’re not sure if this is a date) so you went with something simple, but you’re glad seonghwa likes it. not that you wanted to impress him. but you did, a little. anyway, he looks...well, perfect, wearing black ripped jeans and a velvet-y navy shirt. you continually have to stop yourself from reaching out and stroking his arm just to feel the soft fabric (and maybe his muscles). 
“so i take it you’ve never been here before?” he asks as he hands you a menu. you shake your head no in response. you can’t tell if he’s doing it intentionally, but seonghwa leans closer into your side as he explains. “you pick a main entree, but each dish comes with these sides. they say no substitutes, but i know the guy behind the counter so you can ask for more of something else if you don’t like one of them.”
“i might do that,” you say. “i don’t really want dumplings, so could i get extra sweet potatoes?”
“of course,” he nods, noting the way you smile slightly. it makes your eyes light up, and his heart does a little backflip knowing that he’s the reason for it. well, the sweet potatoes probably are, but he’s the one getting the sweet potatoes, so he’s taking that win for himself. once you both confirm what you want, he places his hand on your back and guides you to the counter.
“hey seonghwa!” the tall guy with a lopsided smile behind the register greets. “long time no see. who’s your friend?”
“hey yunho,” seonghwa smiles back. “this is y/n, a vip, so make sure you give us the good stuff.”
“extra sweet potatoes?” yunho laughs. you and seonghwa both nod as yunho continues taking your order, and you find yourself comfortably leaning into seonghwa as you wait for yunho to calculate the price. before seonghwa can even think about taking his wallet out, you’re handing yunho cash for the food, which makes seonghwa sputter.
“what? y/n, i was going to pay,” he whines, and you simply shake your head.
“nope, my turn,” you tell him. “you’ve bought me coffee too many times.”
“but i asked you out! i don’t want you to pay on our first date if i’m the one who brought you here,” he continues to complain.
“so this is a date?” you confirm, right as yunho asks suggestively “oh, this is a date?”
“yunho, give y/n’s money back,” seonghwa says, ignoring the two of you. “i’m paying.”
“yunho, if you give me that money i’ll be forced to leave and stand seonghwa up for our date,” you say, emphasizing the last word. now you’re glad you wore clean pants.
“seonghwa, why don’t you let y/n pay for this, and then you can get the next one?” yunho suggests, sending you a wink before he turns to the kitchen to share your order with the chef. you’re left with a flustered seonghwa, which is a sight you’re not used to, and it makes you laugh.
“c’mon,” you say as you pull on his arm. “let’s go find a table.”
you’re the only ones in the restaurant, so the food comes out pretty quick, and you have to stifle a laugh when you see that someone has arranged the sweet potatoes on a separate plate in the shape of a heart. seonghwa blushes at this, and you’re taken aback by how shy he’s suddenly become.
for some reason, seonghwa showing signs of nervousness puts you at ease, and you lead the conversation to something stupid san told you about the boys and their shenanigans at their dorm. the story has seonghwa laughing, and he confirms that yes, yeosang does have a sword by the tv, and yes, hongjoong did threaten to use it on him after he lost an intense match of fifa. 
“in hongjoong’s defense,” seonghwa begins, “i do think yeosang cheated. wooyoung was definitely helping him.”
“it still sounds ridiculous,” you tell him. “why does anybody need a sword?”
“yeosang is just...yeosang,” seonghwa replies. “he’s weird but he won’t admit that to anyone.”
“i’m just saying, if i went to someone’s house and there was a katana by the tv, i’d haul my ass outta there.” seonghwa giggles at how serious you look, but this conversation reminds him...
“you never showed me your room,” he says bluntly. you pause for a moment, spoon halfway to your mouth, and seonghwa realizes how that must sound. “i mean, the paint, your dresser. you never showed me a picture once you fixed it up.”
“oh,” you breathe out. “let me grab my phone, i can show you.”
“show him what?” a familiar voice suddenly asks from the seat next to you. when you notice that san, and some of your other friends, have snuck their way into the restaurant, you have to keep yourself from groaning.
“why are you here.”
“i’m hungry,” san replies, then turns to seonghwa. “you didn’t tell us you were getting dinner.”
“i didn’t want to,” seonghwa deadpans. “ i wanted it to be just me and y/n.”
“too late for that, pal,” honjoong says as he slides into the seat across from you. “hi y/n.”
“hey hongjoong,” you grumble. “please tell me you’re getting your food to go.”
“we were, but then we saw our good friends eating all by themselves and thought we should join them,” hongjoong teases. by now, the rest of the boys have sat down around you, some at other tables, and one of them you don’t recognize. that must be jongho, their younger “roommate” who technically lives in first year housing but doesn’t get along with the other guy in his room. you’ve heard seonghwa complain that jongho eats all of his snacks. 
“well, i hope you enjoy your food, but seonghwa and i were just about to leave,” you lie, looking at seonghwa with a stare that pleads ‘please go along with this.’
“where are you going?” wooyoung asks, one table over.
“my apartment,” you respond quickly, standing up as seonghwa follows your cue with a stupidly adorable look on his face.
“oh, perfect!” san chirps. “we’ll come with you!”
so much for your date with seonghwa. it was hard to stop the boys from insisting they all join you at your apartment, especially after yunho said his shift was over and he could really use some destressing. and by destressing he meant booze, so you currently have 8 tipsy boys scattered across your living room. if you thought they were loud before...it’s amazing that your neighbors haven’t complained yet. 
it started off innocent enough, you were just playing card games at first and the loser of each round had to drink. then it turned into never have i ever, and each time you put a finger down you had to drink. then yeosang suggested shots, and it really went downhill from there. san tried convincing everyone to play a round of spin the bottle just for the chance of making you and seonghwa kiss, but mingi and wooyoung were the only ones down, so majority ruled there. 
“san, stop pouting,” you laugh, noticing that he’s upset over his evil plan not working out.
“it’s fine,” he lies, duck lips on full display. 
“spin the bottle is such a tween-y game too,” jongho pipes in. “and we’re adults, so it would be kinda stupid to play it anyway.”
“says the baby of the group,” yeosang scoffs. 
“what about truth or dare?” hongjoong suggests. “still immature, but we can make it fun.”
“yes!” san shouts, suddenly back in a positive mood. 
“i’ll start,” mingi volunteers. he takes a deep breath as he looks around the room, eyes narrowing when he looks at you and seonghwa. you’re currently smushed into your armchair together, not really by choice, because the couch is completely full and neither of you wanted to sit on the floor (you know how dirty it is, and seonghwa has a bad hip). thankfully, mingi has mercy on you and directs his gaze to his best friend. “yunho, truth or dare?”
“truth,” yunho slurs out. you’d say he’s the opposite of stressed by now.
“did you sleep with that girl you met at the party last week?”
“no,” yunho replies quickly, cheeks turning a knowing shade of red. “i just walked her home.”
“and went missing until the next morning?” yeosang asks. he gets a few snickers, and you laugh a little too because you remember san and wooyoung talking about their friend who disappeared for a few hours last weekend.
“whatever,” yunho groans. “yeosang. truth or dare.”
“dare,” yeosang chooses confidently. 
“kiss wooyoung on the cheek.”
“no,” he replies, just as confidently. 
“then take another shot,” yunho concedes, waving his hand at the stubborn boy. wooyoung mumbles something about how kissable he is as yeosang downs what looks like more than just a regular shot.
“this is boring,” jongho whines, which makes him the next target. he chooses dare, and you have to detach yourself from seonghwa so you can go into your kitchen and find the lemon juice in your fridge so jongho can chug what’s left. he’s sputtering after a few sips and gives up, grumbling up to you, “ i hate you for that.”
“hey, it wasn’t my dare,” you defend yourself. “you owe me lemon juice.”
“i’ll give it to you if you choose dare,” jongho challenges. you roll your eyes and take the bait, earning a round of ooo’s from the boys around you. 
“make her kiss seonghwa,” someone hisses.
“or me!” wooyoung chirps. jongho looks over at him with a death glare, and wooyoung shrugs. “i just want someone to want to kiss me.”
“i think you’re cut off,” hongjoong says as he leans across your coffee table to move the bottle away from wooyoung.
“everyone be quiet!” san shouts. “jongho has to give y/n a dare.”
“hmmm,” jongho starts, tapping his finger on his chin. “what should i do?”
“for someone who said this was boring, you’re really milking this,” seonghwa says under his breath. you’re perched on the arm of the chair, close enough to hear him, but thankfully no one else does.
“what’s that other childish game called?” jongho wonders aloud. “seven minutes in heaven? i think you should do that with seonghwa.”
“do i have to?” you pout, and your reluctance makes seonghwa stiffen. he thinks you said that because you’re uncomfortable, and not because you don’t want the boys pressing their ear up to the door while the two of you make out.
“rules are rules,” hongjoong concludes, nodding his head toward your room. “go have fun. i’ll keep the kids from bothering you.”
you look to seonghwa, who isn’t looking directly at you. you tentatively take his hand, giving it a squeeze before you stand up and lead him to your room. there are so many catcalls, whistles and cheers coming from your friends that you barely hear san say “take your time! it doesn’t have to be just seven minutes!”
once you get to your room, you let seonghwa go in first and then you lock the door behind you. he quirks an eyebrow at that, and you shrug shyly. 
“don’t want one of them bursting in,” you explain. seonghwa nods, and you both fall silent. it’s not necessarily awkward, just tense. you both want to do what seven minutes in heaven is meant for, but you’re not gonna make the first move and seonghwa still isn’t sure you even want to be in this situation. so he takes this time to turn around and take your room in, pointing to your dresser.
“is this it?” he asks. you hum out a yes in response, and he runs his hand over the freshly painted wood. “it looks nice. whoever picked out the color sure knows what he’s doing.”
“eh, he’s just lucky,” you joke, and you both laugh. you move to stand next to him and place your hand on top of his. “sorry we couldn’t finish our date.” 
“sorry my friends are so annoying,” seonghwa adds. 
“sorry san pushed me into your lap earlier,” you continue, and seonghwa smirks.
“well, i didn’t mind that,” he says. “i wanted you to sit with me, but i didn’t want to draw attention.”
“oh,” you squeak, feeling a blush on its way to your cheeks. a heavy silence falls over you, and seonghwa is the first to break it.
“listen, if you don’t want to kiss me, that’s cool,” he begins. “i kinda got the vibe earlier that you didn’t want to do this, and that’s cool. if you don’t want to do this we’re still cool.”
“you don’t sound very cool about it,” you chuckle, and seonghwa’s face flushes. “but i was only nervous because i didn’t know if you wanted to kiss me.”
“oh i want to kiss you,” he says firmly. “have for a while.”
“why don’t you do it then?” you challenge. seonghwa takes a step closer to you, and before you know it he’s pinned you against your dresser. you balance your hands on it and the cool wood helps you ground yourself as your body heats up from having seonghwa so close.
“are you sure?” he asks, only a few inches from your face. you nod and whisper out “i’m sure” and seonghwa quickly cups your face and smothers you in a kiss. it starts off slow, and your face warms at his touch. once you relax into it you move your lips against his, nipping at his bottom lip slightly and earning a groan from the man before you. you take the chance to slip your tongue past his lips as you bring your hands up to the nape of his neck, slowly brushing through his soft hair. his hands find their way to your waist, gripping tightly but not too hard, and he leans in to get as close to you as possible. you keep kissing for a few moments, but eventually you need to breathe so you lightly tap on his neck. he pulls back, breathing heavy, and his smile shines like the most beautiful stars in the sky. “so?”
“so?” you repeat, equally out of breath.
“that was nice.”
“it was.”
“the boys are gonna know we made out.”
“of course they are,” you laugh. “your lips look swollen.”
“so do yours,” he counters. 
“but wasn’t that the whole point of us coming in here?” you ask. your hands have fallen to his chest, and you finally get a chance to smooth out the soft velvet of his shirt. and you notice his chest is very, uh, firm, too.
“we didn’t have to kiss,” he says with a shrug. “we could’ve just talked.”
“about what?” you ask with a smile.
“my keen eye for interior design,” he replies. “how sexy you look in low lighting.”
“so you think i’m sexy?” you tease, and seonghwa rolls his eyes.
“i just had my tongue in your mouth, does that answer your question?”
another silence comes over you both, but this one is lighter than before. you’re subconsciously rubbing your hands over his shirt, and seonghwa brings a hand up to cover yours, stopping it right over his heart.
“we don’t have to tell them,” you offer. “i mean, they kept it a secret from us that they were trying to get us together this whole time.”
“oh no, i was fully aware of that,” seonghwa tells you, and you scoff. “do you think i really wanted to get out past midnight just to buy hongjoong some expensive markers? he never even paid me for them.”
“well now i really don’t want to tell them we kissed,” you whine. “how could everyone be in on this except me?”
“it was more fun that way,” seonghwa teases before pecking your lips. “but we can keep this between us, for now.”
“i think we should,” you say with a nod of finality. “it’s more fun that way.”
“c’mon, let’s go back out there before they send a search party.”
you return to the living room before seonghwa (so he can sneak into the bathroom and fix his hair) and you find most of the boys asleep on the floor. you sigh as your eyes meet hongjoong’s, and he shrugs.
“at least they didn’t bother you,” he says. 
“can you help me find pillows and blankets for them, please?” you ask, and he nods before jumping into action. he throws one of the couch pillows down to yeosang, who takes it and hugs it to his chest. you have a couple extras in your hall closet and you pass them to yunho, who’s sitting up when you come back. he places one under mingi and another under jongho and keeps the last one for himself. san and wooyoung are on the couch, and hongjoong tells you he’s fine with the armchair. seonghwa is out of the bathroom by now, and, like the perfect man he is, he’s carrying blankets in his arms. the three of you work on getting all the boys covered before you realize that seonghwa doesn’t have a place to sleep.
“i can take another spot on the floor,” he assures you. “do you have another pillow i can use?”
“let him sleep in your room, y/n,” san mumbles from underneath wooyoung. you pause and look at seonghwa, who’s looking back at you with something you can’t read in his eyes. 
“it’s not a bad idea,” hongjoong pipes in from somewhere within the blanket cocoon he made for himself. “he was just there. you can put him on the floor.”
“y/n?” seonghwa asks, pulling your attention back to him. “i don’t have to if you’re uncomfortable.” 
you would try to fight it, so you could hopefully ignore taunts from the boys in the morning, but you’re suddenly really tired and you just want to lay down.
“i’m ok with it if you are,” you yawn. “take the rest of those blankets, we can use those for your bed.”
“make good choices,” honjoong mumbles as seonghwa leads you back to your room, and you hear san going “oooooo” as you close your door a second time tonight. this time you don’t lock it though, and when you turn around you see the blankets on the floor and seonghwa sprawled out on your usual side of the bed, so you tell him.
“well why don’t you come join me then?” he teases with a grin. you blush and shake your head.
“scoot over.”
he does, but only by an inch. he still looks at you with that flirty glint in his eyes, and you can only shake your head again as you crawl into the tiny space next to him. he immediately wraps an arm around your waist and gives you a tight hug, placing a kiss on your shoulder.
“thank you,” he whispers into your back.
“for what?” you reply.
“for not putting me on the floor. and for liking me.”
-
you just woke up from maybe the best night of sleep you’ve ever had. seonghwa’s arms and legs are draped over yours, so you can’t get up without waking him, but having him so close is a welcome source of warmth. your apartment is quiet, and the sun is peacefully filtering into your room through your curtain. it’s the perfect moment, with your perfect boy, until- 
“i think they’re still asleep,” you hear someone whisper from the hallway.
“wooyoung, leave them alone!” another voice hisses. there’s silence for a moment, and then a smack, followed by someone jiggling the doorknob to your room. you quickly untangle yourself from seonghwa before you watch as the door cracks open a bit, revealing wooyoung in all his bed-headed glory. you close your eyes as much as you can while still peeking at who’s sneaking into your room, and you see jongho close behind him. he must’ve been the one who got smacked. or did the smacking. either way, they’re both staring at you and seonghwa in your bed, but you notice wooyoung smile and pause.
“i knew it! they definitely got together last night.”
“how do you know?” jongho asks. “maybe y/n let seonghwa sleep on the bed because of his old man hips.”
“whatever. they’re in the same bed, so that’s at least something,” wooyoung replies. “lame, but still something.”
“what did you expect?” jongho asks incredulously. “you thought we would catch them doing it?”
“i mean, not exactly, but couldn’t i get a little cuddling maybe?”
“you want me to cuddle you hyung?” jongho deadpans.
“yes, actually-”
“hey!” a third voice whisper shouts. you hear footsteps and then you see hongjoong pulling wooyoung out of your room by the neck of his shirt. “leave them alone. and you, jongho, i’m surprised you’re playing along with this.”
“well...” jongho mumbles.
“well what?” hongjoong asks, sounding like the mom-est mom to ever mom.
“they’re the only ones that know how to make breakfast.”
“both of you, out! now!” hongjoong semi-shouts, and you feel seonghwa stirring behind you. hongjoong doesn’t realize you’re both awake and closes the door as he leaves.
“what time is it?” seonghwa grumbles out, and your heart skips a beat hearing how deep his voice is when he wakes up.
“early,” you reply, turning around to be face to face with him. his arms slowly snake around you as you look up at him and share a sleepy smile. “how can you look this good when you first wake up?”
“weird, i wanted to ask you the same thing,” seonghwa replies, leaning in to kiss you but you touch your fingers to his lips and stop him, so he pouts. 
“uh uh, not until i brush my teeth,” you say as you try to get up, but seonghwa’s grip on your waist keeps you down.
“please,” he pouts again, sparkly eyes on full display as he pleads with you. it takes about half a second for you to cave and kiss him quickly, catching him off guard. he shifts to pull you on top of him and deepen the kiss, but he loses his grip on you and you’re able to slip out of bed before he can stop you. a noise comes from deep in his chest that almost sounds like a growl, and you shoot him a glare.
“hey, you got your kiss,” you warn. “now i’m going to make breakfast for the gremlins. do you want to help me?”
-
after the intrusion into your bedroom, wooyoung obviously told the boys what he saw. but, like jongho said, most of them thought it was just because of seonghwa’s hips that made you share a bed with him. there wasn’t enough evidence otherwise, and none of them really expected either of you to make a move despite their efforts. but they’re starting to get suspicious.
little do they know, after the set up fell into place, seonghwa wanted to take you on a real date. the only way to do that without your friends knowing was to sneak around without them, which was kind of fun. it was nice having this bubble with seonghwa, just the two of you, but it was getting harder to avoid your friends. seonghwa lived with them after all, so they pestered him about how often he was out and who he might be out with. 
“san keeps asking if you’re a good kisser. i told him i didn’t know, and then he asked if he could find out for me. should i be concerned about that?”
“we need to be more careful, yeosang said he saw us at the taco place yesterday, and he said we hold hands weird.”
“hongjoong has been saving seats for us at the bookstore, and each time we don’t show up i think he steals something from me.”
you have been ditching study group lately, but that’s more because you need to do some deep studying for your other finals and your friends are too much of a distraction. seonghwa can be distracting too, but at least he can take a hint and back down when you really need to focus. it’s been nice actually, just spending time in his presence. you were so nervous around him just a few weeks ago, and now you feel like you could trust him with just about anything.
today, you don’t get any personal study time, though. your music theory final is coming up and seonghwa wants you to get all the terms memorized before the review session in class tomorrow. he’s motivating you with a kiss for each right answer and the promise of him making dinner once you’re done. you’re currently cruising on five wrong in a row, and you’re getting frustrated. 
“c’mon y/n, you know this,” seonghwa encourages you, but you just whine in response. “we did this like four minutes ago, and i told you the answer so you could remember it.”
“yeah, well i obviously didn’t,” you snap, and seonghwa fakes being hurt. “sorry. can we skip this and come back to it?”
“sure,” he agrees quickly. “but first you need to write down the circle of fifths for me.” 
“i hate you.”
“hm, wrong answer,” he hums. “but kiss anyway. maybe that’ll keep you from getting so grumpy.”
“i am not grumpy,” you defend after kissing him gently. “i’m stressed.”
“you know what you need?”
“hm?”
“you need to go on another date,” he begins. “with me, obviously.”
“damn, i wanted to know if yunho was free,” you tease, and seonghwa doesn’t think it’s funny. “now who’s grumpy?”
“ignoring that,” he scoffs, but you can tell he’s trying not to smile. 
“when would we go? i’m really busy the next few days.”
“what about after class? we could both clean up and do something nice before we get some dinner?” seonghwa suggests. “why don’t we go to that art exhibit you told me about?”
“ugh,” you groan as you learn your head on his shoulder. “that sounds amazing, but we both said we’d be at study group tomorrow, remember? hongjoong practically begged me to be there, and i said i would ask you to come.”
“what about not letting them know we’re a thing?” he pouts. you don’t tell him about the youngest two that saw you all cuddled up, but instead you assure him that you inviting him to study group wouldn’t look unusual to the boys.
“plus, if we both cancel last minute, they’d know for sure we were up to something together,” you continue. “so yes, we need to go on another date, but just not tomorrow.”
“fine,” he mumbles. “now i am grumpy.”
“would something from the cafe make it better, my little boba ball?” you ask in a baby voice.
“ooh, actually, boba sounds good,” seonghwa smiles. “let’s go.”
-
the next day you get to the bookstore late because your professor gave a pop quiz at the end of class and you’ve been so busy studying music theory you forgot to study for anything else, so you needed all the time you could get. when you finally arrive, all of the boys are there, surprisingly. since you’ve never seen yunho, mingi and jongho here before you’re a little confused, but happy to see them nonetheless. 
as you walk up to the usual spot, you notice a coffee cup sitting in front of an empty chair, and you point to it as the boys greet you.
“is this for me?” you ask, placing your bag on the ground before grabbing the warm mug. “thank you, coffee angel.”
“you’re welcome, actual angel,” seonghwa replies, and you almost choke on your first sip. what is he doing?? you’re supposed to be sneaky sneaks and keep your relationship quiet, but here he is flirting with you in front of everyone!
except, that’s what he did before you started dating too, so it’s not out of the ordinary. in fact, no one pays any mind to it, so you’re left with a burnt tongue and blushy cheeks while seonghwa looks at you with a stare that only you would understand. you quickly shoot him a wink before you put your mug down and reach for your notes.
“um, hello? what are you guys doing?” you ask yeosang next to you, who’s rabidly tapping at his phone, just like everyone else. if they weren’t distracted they might have picked up on the vibes between you and seonghwa, but thankfully they’re the oblivious ones now.
“playing a game,” half of them respond, just as hongjoong says “writing lyrics” and jongho mumbles “texting my mom.”
“aren’t we supposed to study?” you ask. “or did you already learn everything in the world while i was gone?”
“well you’ve missed a lot of study sessions, y/n,” san begins. “so yes, we have learned everything. now we just come here to hang out.”
“so then why did you insist on me being here, joong?” you ask newly orange-haired hongjoong. it’s been a while since you’ve seen him, he must’ve dyed it recently. 
“we missed hanging out with you,” he says simply, eyes peeking up from his phone. your heart constricts at this, and you catch seonghwa’s eyes again. you might have to rethink the whole sneaking around thing if they really do miss you.
“yeah, we missed you AND we had to make sure you and seonghwa are still spending time together,” wooyoung adds, wiggling his eyebrows. 
“where have you been anyway?” yeosang asks. “you don’t have other friends.”
“yes i do,” you scoff.”
“give me names and numbers.”
“ignore him,” yunho tells you, and you nod.
“i always do. but i’ve been really stressed about finals, so i had to do some soul searching on my own to decide if i need to graduate or not.”
“seems fair,” mingi agrees. “i almost had to drop a class.”
“because he forgot he was even enrolled in it,” jongho clarifies, and you laugh.
“but seonghwa has been missing a lot lately too,” san starts. “i wonder what he’s been doing.”
“or who,” wooyoung snickers, and hongjoong reaches over mingi to slap him.
“i haven’t been feeling well,” seonghwa says with a shrug. “i’ve mostly been in my room, or at the pharmacy to get medicine.”
“oh, so you could’ve bought new paper towels for the dorm then, huh?” hongjoong asks, and as the two of them start to bicker, yeosang nudges your arm.
“i saw you two,” he says quietly. “at the mexican restaurant.”
“i know,” you whisper back. 
“so i know you’re dating.”
“are you gonna say anything?”
“hmmm, no,” he thinks. “but you have to buy my silence.”
“with coffee?” you offer, and yeosang smiles. he stands up and puts his phone away before speaking, looking directly at seonghwa.
“my best friend y/n is gonna buy me coffee, we’ll be back,” he says as he loops his arm around your shoulders. seonghwa watches as you walk away (and stares at your ass) but he’s mostly thinking about how he’s a little jealous right now. like, he knows you wouldn’t do anything, he trusts you, but he doesn’t want his friends thinking you have a thing for anyone but him. so while you’re gone, he talks.
“i haven’t been sick,” he admits. “i’ve been seeing y/n.”
“we all knew, dude,” hongjoong says casually, and everyone agrees.
“then why didn’t you say anything?!”
“because YOU weren’t saying anything,” jongho replies.
“yeah, we figured that we did enough trying to get the two of you together, so if you didn’t end up dating then that was your fault. we were just waiting on you to make a move,” san explains. 
“then why did you let us lie to you like that?”
“it was fun,” wooyoung shrugs. “by the way, did y/n let you sleep in the bed because of your hips, or because you wanted to cuddle?”
the red tint on seonghwa’s cheeks gives him away, and the boys start laughing and ooo’ing so loud he’s afraid you’ll hear it over by the coffee counter.
“ok, ok, just. keep this quiet for now,” he says. “y/n may still want this to be private.”
“but you just told us about it,” yunho says. “why would you do that if you knew y/n wouldn’t want you to?”
“well,” seonghwa begins. “i need your help with a date.”
-
seemingly by an act of god, you have time this weekend to go on a date with seonghwa. little did you know, he’s the reason your plans suddenly freed up. san said you could critique him and wooyoung for their dance final another day, hongjoong said he would send you his music theory notes from the review and save you hours of studying and then yeosang found the exact spanish book you needed to finish your performance final ahead of time. it was the perfect circumstances, orchestrated by your perfect boy and his perfect-adjacent friends, who all agreed to help him with this (hopefully) perfect date. 
it starts with seonghwa picking you up from your apartment, coffee in hand. 
“you’re the man of my dreams, you know that?” you say in passing as you grab the warm to-go cup. even if you were only saying it lightly, it made seonghwa’s heart soar. you notice he hasn’t said anything to you, so you meet his eyes to find them full of stars like always, but this time there’s something scheme-y in there. he’s up to something.
“are you ready for the best date of your life?” he asks with a smile that puts the stars in his eyes to shame.
“yes, i think,” you respond, grabbing your keys and locking your door. “but i don’t know what we’re doing.”
“and it will stay that way until we get there,” seonghwa says firmly as he laces his hand into yours. you squeeze his hand and sigh.
“i guess i just have to trust you then.”
“but that won’t be hard right?”
“wait, didn’t you say something earlier about going to that art exhibit? is that it?” you question, even though you know he won’t budge. seonghwa just shakes his head no and punches the button for the elevator. a moment of silence passes before you guess again. “a movie? you rented out a movie theater, like you said you wanted to?”
“i tried, but it was expensive,” he admits and you have to laugh. “funds are tight right now.”
“i watched you buy a couple hundred dollars worth of legos the other day babe. maybe that’s why the date fund is lacking.”
“you’re not coming between me and my collectables, y/n,” seonghwa scolds. the elevator pings to open to the parking garage under your building, and you’re confused for a moment before he explains. “i want this to be a nice date, so yunho let me borrow his car. it would be no fun if we show up all sweaty because we were walking.”
yunho’s car, which is actually pretty nice thanks to all the tips he gets from flirting with clientele, is parked by the elevator. seonghwa leads you to your door and opens it for you, revealing a basket of flowers and candies in the seat. you coo as you pick it up, and seonghwa looks on proudly. you lean over to give him a kiss, and you whisper your thanks as you pull away.
“that was mingi’s idea,” seonghwa tells you, smiling brightly “i got all your favorites.”
“i see that.”
“but look around the flowers,” he guides you. “there’s something else.”
you hold the basket up to eye level, noticing the silver sparkle around the stems of the flowers. is it glitter? you tug at a flower and realize it’s a chain, and attached is a hand drawn star charm to match the tattoo on the back of seonghwa’s neck. 
“seonghwa, this is beautiful,” you say breathlessly. “we’re gonna match! that’s so cute. who’s idea was this?”
“would you believe me if i said it was mine?”
“no.”
“that’s what jongho said too,” seonghwa laughs. “it was his idea.”
“tell him thank you,” you say as you play with the charm. “mingi and yunho too. it’s a good date so far.”
“oh baby, it hasn’t officially started yet.”
-
in the car, seonghwa plays a mix of songs that he really likes, and he’s mixed in some of your favorites too. he has to keep convincing you that the songs aren’t clues, because you ask every time a new song plays.
“so are the songs just distractions?” you ask, finally giving up on getting any information out of him. 
“why do you ask that?” he smirks as he turns down a familiar road.
“because i can tell you just took the long way to the record store,” you explain. “are you stalling?”
“me, what? why?” his response does nothing to manage your suspicions, and suddenly you remember how your friends have helped with the date so far. are they all in on this? you need answers.
“seonghwa, i swear to god, if san or wooyoung jumps out to surprise me wherever we’re going-”
“that won’t happen,” seonghwa laughs while he parks the car. “we’re here anyway, and i promise this is the last surprise of the night.”
“the record store?” you question, looking up at the shop you’ve been to countless times to shop and to bother hongjoong while he works. 
“yeah, you said there was a new album out you wanted to get, right?”
“yeah,” you blush. “but i just said that in passing, i didn’t expect you to remember.”
“y/n, i want to know everything about you,” seonghwa says seriously. “so of course i remembered. wait, don’t get out yet. i’ll open the door for you.”
as seonghwa helps you out of the car, you quiz him on the other things you’ve said around him that you didn’t think he remembered. sadly, he does remember you saying your favorite disney movie is ratatouille and you’ve always wanted to try the mushroom/cheese concoction remy makes in the first scene.
“that’s a little embarrassing,” you sigh as you reach for the door. you’re going to complain some more about how seonghwa doesn’t need to remember everything about you, but the sight in front of you makes you stop mid-breath.
the record store has been decorated from floor to ceiling in fairy lights, and there’s more flowers all over the place. as you look around, you notice the flowers are tucked in the shelves next to your favorite artists. next to the door is the album you were talking about, and a little further down you see your favorite album of all time with a few extra flowers next to it. you’re still taking everything in when you notice hongjoong behind the counter.
“did you help him with this?” you ask breathlessly, and hongjoong nods. 
“yeah, but the flowers next to the albums was my idea,” hongjoong explains. “we’re running a new special called “y’n’s favorites” so everything that’s marked with a flower is yours, if you want it. everything is on the house.” 
“i...i don’t know what to say,” you start. you turn to seonghwa and there are those starry eyes that you love to see. you reach out to cup his face and smile. “thank you. this is...perfect.”
“it’s even more perfect now that i’m here!” wooyoung shouts from the front door of the shop, followed by san and yeosang. you look at seonghwa and all he does is laugh.
“what? at least he didn’t jump out and scare you,” seonghwa teases.
“oh, i would never,” wooyoung nods with a half-serious look on his face. “but i definitely wouldn’t do that when i have your dinner in my hands, i can’t let all this hard work spill.”
“especially not on my clean floor,” hongjoong warns. 
“you made dinner for us?” you ask wooyoung, but you’re looking at seonghwa, who simply shrugs.
“yep, i made one of your favorites and then threw in a couple recipes i thought you’d both like,” wooyoung says as he and the two other boys place food down on the counter by the register.
“and what did you two help with?” you ask san and yeosang.
“who do you think made this place so beautiful?” yeosang asks incredulously.
“yeosang did the lights and i bought all the flowers,” san explains with a smile that makes his eyes turn into happy half moons. “you’d be surprised how many places i had to go to get all your favorites.”
“i really don’t know what to say,” you whisper in disbelief. “i can’t believe you all did this for me.”
“it was all seonghwa’s idea,” san tells you. “we did it for both of you.”
“yeah, we’re just his little minions,” yeosang jokes, and wooyoung giggles. 
“you tell me how that food tastes, got it?” he asks as he backs out of the store. “don’t say anything mean though. i only accept compliments.”
“wooyoung,” seonghwa smiles tightly. “please leave.”
wooyoung holds the door open for san and yeosang as he gives seonghwa a thumbs up. san waves goodbye sweetly and yeosang gives you a knowing smile before the door closes behind them.
“well, i think that’s my cue to go,” hongjoong says, handing the keys to seonghwa. “don’t make a mess. if i get fired, i’m selling all the stuff i stole from you when you were sneaking around with y/n and not telling us about it.”
“i’ll keep him under control,” you assure hongjoong, who nods as heads to the door. you don’t see him leave because seonghwa has stepped in front of you, and he places his hands on your waist to pull you closer.
“so,” he begins.
“so.”
“what do you want to listen to while we eat?” he asks, pulling you by the waist over to a row of records. you stand there quietly, looking over the albums hongjoong pulled to the front for you, and you just can’t believe how much work went into this date. you can’t believe how sweet it is that each of your friends helped, and you put your hand on seonghwa’s and give it a squeeze.
“hwa,” you whisper. he hums in response, but you place your hand on his cheek and guide his gaze to yours.
“thank you,” you tell him. “thank you for this.”
he smiles at you with a look in his eyes that can’t be anything else but love, and you smile back with that much love, if not more, in your own face. you use the hand on seonghwa’s chin to guide his lips to yours, and you lose yourself in the kiss, in seonghwa, for who knows how long.
“mm, y/n,” he mumbles against your lips before detaching. “the food will get cold.”
“you’re right,” you sigh. “but we didn’t pick any music.”
“how about this?” he asks, pulling an album out from the top shelf. you smile at the cover, knowing exactly what song seonghwa wants you to hear. 
“perfect,” you agree. “i’ll put it on while you get the food?”
and that’s how you end up eating the perfect meal, on your perfect date, with all of your favorite things around you, sitting right next to your perfect boy.
183 notes · View notes
queenshelby · 1 year
Text
Time for Change – Part Five
Pairing: Cillian Murphy x Reader
Warning: Smut
Words: 3,388
Notes: Not based on Cillian’s life. This is fiction guys! 
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The week following your night at the Westin with Cillian, you and Cillian caught up again, this time at a different hotel and without spending the entirety of the night together so that you wouldn’t raise any suspicions.
Then, the weekend after that, it was his birthday party and you and James were invited over to his and Danielle’s house to celebrate.
Chloe stayed with her grandmother and you were keen to see Cillian again. At the same time, you were nervous. It was the first time you were going to be around Danielle after you slept with Cillian and it certainly didn’t help that, despite your sense of clarity around everything, you were developing feelings for your brother-in-law.
The text messages between you and Cillian had become constant and not just sexual in nature. He called you daily when he could and you even met up on occasion, sometimes at the park when you both went for a run or sometimes at the local bookstore.
He was different to James. He had always been kind and you were interested in the same things. Occasionally, you would still teach the piano to his kids and he made sure that, every time you came over, Danielle wasn’t home.
When there was a chance, you kissed and held hands. You got to know him, even to the point where, when James bought Cillian a birthday present, you rolled your eyes, thinking that it was unsuitable.
‘He does not drink spirits James. Just shelf it and I will go to the bookstore and get something else for him, yeah?’ you chuckled and James looked at you somewhat confused.
‘You seem to know him well, your brother-in-law. I could almost be led to believe that you have a little crush on him’ James said, raising an eyebrow.
‘I ran into him a few times at the book store so I have an idea what he likes James. That’s all’ you explained, cheeks flushing.
‘Relax Y/N, I was just joking. I was thinking though, you know how Cillian had spoken about his holiday house down south the other time?’ James asked.
‘Yes, what about it?’ you asked.
‘Well, perhaps we can ask him for the key and get away for a weekend, just you and me. This might get you in the mood for some sexy time for a change’ James said, causing you to sigh.
‘James, we talked about this. I am just going through a few things’ you explained, not wanting to be with James in any intimate way knowing the big secret he was keeping from you.
‘It’s still about my affairs, isn’t it? You know, if you would have been more attentive as a wife and less occupied with Chloe’s needs and your job, I wouldn’t have had to cheat on you’ James said angrily, making it out to be your fault.
‘So, it’s my fault you fucked your secretary and knocked her up?’ you asked angrily.
‘How did you know?’ James wondered.
‘I just do James. It’s for another time to discuss. Not today. Today, I will pretend to be a happy wife and we will go to my step sister’s house for the party. Then tomorrow, we will talk about what we are going to do moving forward’ you suggested.
‘You know, this is all your fault Y/N. At least Laura gave me a child which is something you were incapable of doing. You didn’t want to fucking try going through IVF’ James then shouted angrily.
‘Because we didn’t have the money, James! And money is what keeps you here now, by my side, isn’t it? You don’t want to pay support for Chloe and me and you don’t want to miss out on my inheritance. Is that it? Because if you leave me, you don’t get anything’ you yelled at him as, suddenly, you had to reach for the corner of the kitchen bench as a wave of nausea washed through your body.
‘Chloe isn’t my daughter, nor is she yours. I have a daughter now and you can’t have children, which is probably for the better because, obviously, you are delusional and self-centred, blaming me for what happened instead of yourself’ James yelled, holding onto your shirt tightly and angrily.
‘Oh, I am self-centred?’ you barely managed to say before pushing his hand away and making your way to the downstairs bathroom rather quickly.
As soon as you walked through the door, you dropped to the floor and leaned over the toilet.
‘Jesus Christ’ you huffed as another bound of nausea overcame you and you emptied your breakfast into the toilet.
Just as you were in the bathroom, you heard the front door of the house close shut and you realised that James had left, which was probably for the better.
‘This fucking sushi place’ you growled to yourself, regretting your takeaway choice for the previous night before quickly brushing your teeth and making your way to the bookstore.
***
At around 7 o’clock that night, you arrived at Cillian’s and Danielle’s house without James by your side.
When Danielle enquired about James’s whereabout, you informed her that he would arrive a little later and so he did.
She could sense that you had been fighting and was quick to offer you a drink, which you gladly accepted.
After wishing Cillian a happy birthday and giving him his present, you socialised with Danielle and her friends and, every time you spoke to her, you felt guilty about what you were doing.
Yet, you couldn’t help but glance over towards Cillian on numerous occasions. He looked incredible and you loved seeing him smile.
Danielle, however, seemed unhappy and a mutual friend by the name Natalie eventually asked her what was wrong.
‘I think Cillian is seeing someone’ Danielle said quietly.
‘Oh god Jesus Danielle, not again, please’ Natalie said, being well aware of the constant allegations and fights they were having. ‘Just because you cheated doesn’t mean he did’ she then said, causing you to almost choke on your wine.
‘You did what?’ you asked surprised. This was the first you heard of it.
‘It was many years ago Y/N. Cillian knows and he forgave me. He was always away and I struggled with the kids and…’ Danielle went on to explain and you couldn’t stop yourself from laughing.
‘What is so funny? We all make mistakes’ she said and you couldn’t help but shake your head in disbelieve.
‘Well, apparently so’ you chuckled. ‘Now, what makes you think that he is cheating on you Danielle?’ you then asked, curious as to whether her suspicions were actually warranted and whether she knew something.
‘I looked at his bank account statement and there were two hotel charges in Dublin in the past two weeks, one for the Westin and one for the Hilton’ she explained.
‘He could have just eaten there with friends Danielle, both of these Hotels have restaurants attached to them and are conveniently located near Temple Bar’ Natalie then laughed, causing Danielle to nod.
‘Yeah, probably. But, he has been acting funny lately and isn’t interested in intimacy. He doesn’t even kiss me anymore’ Danielle said.
‘You walked out on him twice in two months Danielle. Does this seriously surprise you?’ you asked, causing Danielle to shake her head just as Cillian came walking over towards you.
‘Miss Music Teacher, do you mind helping me with this?’ Cillian asked you as he handed you a guitar with two broken strings.
‘What animal did this?’ you chuckled and Cillian looked over towards one of his friends, rolling his eyes as he did.
‘Right, show me where the string is and I will fix it’ you said and Cillian asked you to follow him downstairs which is where he kept all of the music instruments and accessories.
***
After you followed Cillian into the basement and he gave you quick kiss now that you had some privacy, you quickly locked the door behind you.
‘What are you doing?’ Cillian asked surprised and, without loosing any time, you moved towards him and pressed your lips onto his again for a more passionate kiss.
Your lips parted his, allowing your tongue to enter for a short moment and explore, before you broke off the kiss and moved back. You then brushed your finger over his lips in a silent hush as you started fumbling with his zipper.
‘I am giving you another birthday present’ you smirked and, whilst Cillian knew that this was wrong, especially with Danielle and James both upstairs, all he managed to do was exhale and watch as you pulled at his jeans and briefs and released him.
You gasped as his cock sprung straight up, precum already glistening on the tip.
‘Oh, I didn’t expect you to be hard already?’ you said with some excitement.
‘What can I say, I have been fantasising about you all evening, seeing you in these tight jeans’ Cillian whispered as your fingers wrapped around the shaft while your other hand cupped his balls and squeezed.
‘Have you now?’ you purred without looking away from his cock.
‘You are such a tease Y/N’ Cillian moaned as you started to stroke. Timidly at first but you quickly picked up the pace. You could tell Cillian was getting himself worked up and you knew you didn’t have much time as everyone was waiting upstairs.
Without warning, you leaned forward and took his shaft into the back of your throat, making him gasp.
‘Fuck’ Cillian groaned, no longer caring if anyone heard him. Your mouth around his cock just felt too good.
You moaned and hummed as you bobbed your head and the sound coming from your throat tickled his cock. He wasn't going to last long at this rate and he was holding back another groan as your tongue slid up and down the underside of his shaft rather seductively. Then, your lips were puckering on the tip of his cock, sucking like a vacuum before releasing him with an audible 'pop'.
‘You like that?’ you whispered, kissing the tip and looking up at Cillian with eyes full of lust but, his only reply was a nod as he ran his fingers through your hair.
The truth was that, he couldn’t remember the last time Danielle and him had sex, let alone her pleasuring him with her mouth. It wasn’t her thing and you certainly wouldn’t have pleasured James like this in recent years either. But, you couldn’t get enough of Cillian’s cock. He was just perfect and you enjoyed giving him the pleasure that he deserved.
‘You can fuck his face, I won't gag, remember?’ you eventually said with a wink, lowering your head again.
Cillian was somewhat surprised by your rather dirty request but found some reassurance when your hand came off his balls and found his hand in your hair, pushing downward, encouraging him to stop holding back.
Taking the hint, Cillian bunched your hair up in his fist and slammed his hips upward, bottoming out in your throat with a wet gurgle. You held there for a moment before pulling back with a gasp.
‘Again’ you moaned, excited by how he had his way with you and, just as you requested more, he forced your head back down on his cock.
‘Fuck Y/N, that’s it’ Cillian groaned, plunging his cock in and out of your plump lips over and over again now while your hand was back to squeezing his balls.
‘So fucking good’ Cillian groaned as he took from you what he needed and he couldn't hold on any longer. With one last violent thrust he held your head down and exploded, coating your throat with his seed.
Cillian could feel you swallowing as you moaned and squeezed his balls some more, milking him of every last drop before letting go off his cock and wiping your mouth.
‘Now give me the string for the guitar before anyone files a missing person’s report’ you winked as you stood up and Cillian zipped up his jeans.
***
When you came walking back upstairs, you noticed how drunk James was which didn’t surprise you after the fight you had earlier that day.
Tipsy and in a good mood, he walked over towards you and, just as you took a sip from your wine to flush down the remnants of what you had just done to Cillian in the basement, he took the glass out of your hand and gave you a kiss.
Cillian looked over to you, his eyes widening and chin dropping. He couldn’t help but laugh.
‘James, you are drunk’ you pointed out, pushing him off you quickly with some embarrassment.
‘I just wanted to kiss my wife, can’t I do that?’ James then said and Danielle quickly came over and handed James a glass of water.
‘You guys should stay the night, I think you can’t take him home in this condition’ Danielle suggested and, before you could decline, James agreed and accepted her offer.
‘Good, you can stay in the basement. It’s nice and warm and there is a comfy pull-out lounge and bathroom in case he gets sick’ she said and you thanked her for the offer.
Thankfully, the party didn’t last too much longer and, at around midnight, everyone had left and you made your way downstairs to see how James was coping.
Just as you walked down the last step, your phone buzzed and you received a text message from Cillian.
‘Meet me in the upstairs bathroom at 1am’ it said and you couldn’t help but giggle.
‘Okay xx’ you responded.
----------
The clock on the nightstand hit 1o’clock as you were laying on the pull-out lounge in Cillian’s basement studio with James snoring softly next to you. He had gone to sleep about half an hour ago after throwing up numerous times and you quietly made your way upstairs.
You opened the bathroom door where Cillian was already waiting for you and, without a word you met in an embrace, lips locking and tongues fighting one another in a sloppy kiss.
His chest was against yours as you backed your ass up against the vanity. His hands slid under your butt and you giggled as he lifted you off the ground, wrapping your legs around his waist and grinding your pelvis against his growing erection.
‘Are you going to fuck me?’ you whispered into his ear, your tongue tracing his ear lobe.
He answered with a nod and a groan against your neck, kissing a trail back up to your lips before pulling off your panties, which was the only thing other than a t-shirt which you were wearing.
Cillian then sat you on top of the vanity, facing him before pushing down his boxers.
Your lips never broke contact and, once he freed his cock, it sprang upward and slapped against the soaked mound between your legs.
‘Give it to me Cillian…I want you so fucking badly’ you moaned into his mouth as his hands slid up your t-shirt and cupped your breasts.
‘I've been thinking about having your cock inside of me all night’ you gasped between kisses, causing Cillian to groan.
‘Have you been thinking about fucking me too?’ you continued, your hips grinding against him, your pussy lips sliding along the length of his cock.
‘I have been. Every night, I have to go to the bathroom and make myself cum just thinking about you and how good you feel’ Cillian groaned as your hand snaked between you both and took hold of his girth, aiming it towards your dripping love hole.
‘Hmm, oh god Cillian’ you cried out as he took your cue and pushed himself into you slowly. Your body shook as you took him inch by inch.
‘Cillian, fuck’ you moaned again and almost screamed as your body convulsed against him and your back arched, fingernails digging into his chest through his t-shirt.
‘That was quick’ Cillian whispered and his hand immediately came down on your mouth, covering it as an orgasm swept through you within seconds of him entering you. This is how much you had craved him. You wanted to simply have him inside of you and were aching for him.
‘Holy shit’ you panted, pulling Cillian in for another deep kiss. While you were clawing at his chest again, he began to thrust in and out of you with short strokes and you began taking a little more each time until he hit your cervix.
Cillian could feel your pussy juices leaking onto his balls as he thrusted his hips and you moaned and shuttered as a second orgasm rolled through you after several minutes.
Cillian didn't slow this time and instead quickened his pace, thrusting into you relentlessly. Your hips were gyrating every time your bodies connected, making his cock do circles inside your pussy. It felt fucking magical and Cillian could feel his balls tightening as an orgasm approached, but he wasn't ready to finish.
‘Fuck, hold on, not yet’ he grunted, grabbing your hips and lifting you off the vanity before spinning you around.  
You grinned eagerly at this and leaned forward across the vanity, wiggling your apple shaped butt in anticipation as Cillian took position behind you. As Cillian rubbed his cock against your slit you arched your back and raised your ass to give him better access and he teased you with the tip, pushing in a couple of inches before pulling out completely  
‘Please Cillian, I need you to fuck me’ you begged and, just as you did, Cillian held your hips and slammed his cock all the way into you. Your bodies collided with a wet slap and you had to reach forward to brace yourself against the vanity.
‘Oh god yes fuck me Cillian’ you groaned, throwing your ass backwards to meet his thrusts while Cillian reached out and took a handful of your pony tail, pulling your head back as he pounded away. The way you would grind into the mirror in front of you every time Cillian bottomed out inside your drove him crazy and quickly brought back his orgasm.
‘Fuck Y/N, I'm gonna cum!’ he groaned.
‘Cum inside me’ you gasped, twisting to look back at him with lust filled eyes. ‘Fill my pussy and let me feel it’ you moaned.
‘Oh god, fuck Y/N’ Cillian groaned, grabbing your ass with two hands as he pulled you into him as his cock erupted inside you. He filled you with spurt after spurt of hot cum as you watched him in the mirror and wiggled your ass against him.
After he came down from his high, Cillian pulled out of you and spinned you around and once again sat you on top of the vanity before inspecting your cum dripping mound.
He stepped closer towards you and made you spread your legs wide before, without any warning, he slid two of his fingers inside you.
‘Oh shit Cillian right there! Oh fuck!’ you screamed as he pinched your g-spot. Within a minute or two of him stimulating your g-spot this way, your body quaked as one last orgasm passed through you.
Cillian held you in this position until you calmed down before pulling his fingers out with a wet slurp and brining them to your mouth.
You grinned and cleaned them up eagerly with your tongue and lips before kissing Cillian passionately, letting him taste the both of you.
‘That was...fucking amazing’ you said in between kisses and, just after your lips drifted apart, Cillian made an admission to you after a rather long and awkward pause.
‘I think that I am in love with you Y/N and I don’t know what to fucking do about it. This…all of it…it’s wrong. Yet, it’s like I can’t resist it. I need to be with you’ Cillian then said after he pulled up his boxers and let his head lean forward against your chest.
‘I feel exactly the same’ you said, causing Cillian to lift up his head and ask again.
‘So, what are we going to do about it, Y/N? We can’t go on like this’ he said and, just as he did, the bathroom door opened suddenly….
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opening scene, six am, scrambled eggs stuck to your economy class seat
the first thing i bought in america was a stick of deodorant. i'd left mine in singapore though i could've sworn i'd stuck it in my suitcase before i got on the plane, in the turquoise pouch with the chipped zipper beside the advil that would sit there, forgotten, for the next thirteen weeks and a travel-sized bottle of hand sanitizer that smelled like well-fermented ass. it turns out your memory fails you when you're getting ready to leave everything you've ever known behind, even if the place you're headed for has looked like a hammered michelangelo's impression of salvation for most of your life. it was that kind of time. i was out of my mind and found the space beneath my feet where one expects floor to be empty for most, if not all, of my waking moments. of course i forgot about the deodorant. the real surprise was that i thought i'd remember at all.
the first thing i bought when i got on campus was a bottle of mineral water. it took me two days to realize that the star trek-esque metal fitting built into the wall on the first floor of my dorm building was meant to dispense drinking water and not tiny silver men that would kill me in my sleep, and three to realize that none of the water coolers in this place were functional. jamming my thumb into the button while no longer expecting anything to happen, i was reminded, suddenly and abruptly, that we were in the middle of a pandemic. i resisted the urge to rub my eye with the back of my hand and went back up to my room, where already a small army of plastic bottles had begun to accumulate on an empty shelf.
the first person i spoke to here is not a good person, but not a particularly bad one either. he is selfish and has half-eaten dinner plates for eyes and thinks the world is the size of his fist, which is how most people are when they're eighteen, especially the boys, especially the ones who've never had to answer to the horrible, searching x-ray question, what are you? i only hope he grows out of it. i will not be the one to make him. perhaps he should make an appointment with god.
the first time i cried in america was when i was born (austin, texas, april 25th, 2001). it hasn't happened since.
today i cross the street from the campus bookstore to the bank, thumbing my passport in the pocket of my hoodie to make sure it hasn't fallen out, to make sure they'll be able to identify my body if i'm ever found somewhere wet and starless (behind a beat-up denny's would be good, though i'm not against the idea of waffle house). i spend five minutes standing awkwardly in front of the empty counter, shifting my weight from one foot to the other, before i notice the print-out saying something about online check-ins and virtual consultations. i ignore it. when i finally work up the courage to speak to someone the teller makes me scan the QR code with my phone anyway. eight hours later, long after i've opened my first bank account in america and gotten a bona fide american debit card, bright orange like they're afraid i'm going to drop it on the street if it's the color of slate (i will anyway, because god made me full of homosexuality and hubris and i intend to live up to his expectations), and discovered that i am, in fact, capable of holding a conversation with two strangers a decade my senior who both have wedding rings and big adult smiles and soft adult voices, i get a text back. good news, it says. we're ready to serve you now.
the spring semester ends today. when i was typing up my powerpoint on why i should be allowed to go to america for college at four a.m. last december i remember looking up the duration of the spring semester on the school website. look, i told my mom, while frantically clicking through fifteen pointless, but very cool animations on google slides with my other hand. it's only until may twenty-first. it's not that long. but it's long enough.
it isn't long enough. three months is barely enough time to get someone to trust you enough to tell you what they think about when they're lying awake in bed at three o'clock in the morning and they have to pee but they're starting to drift off and if they get up now they'll never fall asleep ever again in their life. and this is a country we're talking about. the worst one there is. the loudest, the proudest, the weirdest; the closest to the proverbial heart of man. the one that's the happiest to fuck the world up, over and over again. this is not your standard courtship ritual. this is a lifelong investmnet.
one time someone told me he'd always thought he was straight. but then i met you, he said, his brows scrunched together in a way that was both unattractive and made me want to pinch his cheeks together until there was nothing left in between. so what does that make me? imagine i'm standing in that room again but a little removed from the scene. i stare into the camera like i'm in the office. i don't have a fucking clue, i say blankly. why the fuck are you asking me?
there is something about people who have never been forced to consider the question of what constitutes their fundamental identity as a human being. they're so happy, but in the way that toddlers are before they realize that melted ice cream doesn't taste as good as the frozen stuff and things that die, like, actually don't come back to you even if you hold a funeral for the ant you accidentally squished and stop drinking soda for a week and make sure not to step on all the white tiles in the hallway outside your apartment. i imagine all of the happy cishets in the world poised on the edge of a very tall building. what's at the bottom of the drop? i dunno. you'll have to ask them.
recently i acquired seven bottles of nail polish from a friend who was trying to clear out her collection before leaving for the summer. i keep forgetting people are leaving for the summer, and now they've all left. reality hits you like a horse's ass across the cheek. it's warm. it's soft. it smells unpleasant but in a way that makes you want to keep smelling it even though at the back of your mind you know that this isn't going to improve your mental, physical, or spiritual health, and yet in the moment, in the moment that is the now that is the blood coursing through your veins all red and shimmery like glass, in this funny little moment all you can do is stand there, eyes squeezed shut, and inhale.
i convinced my mom to send me my favorite bomber jacket. the postage cost seventeen dollars and fifty cents in singapore dollars but true to form it only took thirteen days to get from one side of the globe to the other. it is not so appalling after all that we are connected by distances. geographically speaking, i am always beside you.
there is at least one working water cooler on this campus. in the basement of this whoozy, boozy freshman dorm, beside the laundry room with its clear glass door and clean, powdery lavender-lemon-jasmine smell, you will find a metal fixture with a thick rectangular button hidden under the lip of the bowl. if you jam your thumb into it, water will erupt from the fountain-head like god pouring life into the mouths of tiny clay-children or goldfish, depending on which version of history you're a fan of, depending on which natgeo subscription you have. and the water will be very sweet, very cold, nourishing the skin on your bones and furnishing the ground beneath your feet. but don't drink from it. we're in a pandemic, after all.
instead go back up, past the lounge with the flatscreen tv and the ratty green sofas, past the elevator that sounds like a soap opera crossed with a minecraft let's play, past the cubbyhole of a kitchen with the moldy sponges and the half-empty bottle of dish soap that smells like van gogh's impression of misery until you get to the room that, for the last three brilliant, battered months, has been yours. and let yourself in.
05.21.21
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lucywrites02 · 2 years
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Ace of hearts
Masterlist
A/N: I wrote this story for @startrekkingaroundasgard Love is in the Air writing challange! My prompts were: romantic-emerald-rose-magic. 
Pairing: Loki x ace!Reader (gender neutral)
Loki’s pronouns:she/they
Word count: 1814
Warnings: talk about sex but nothing happens (and I didn’t proof read it so sorry for the mistakes)
Summary: Loki invited you to her apartment to celebrate the day of love, hoping to take your relationship to the next level but your date went in a different direction. 
Sleepover squad: @castiels-majestic-wings @kellatron55 @imyara @twhiddlestonsstuff @cocoamoonmalfoy @amwolowicz @akhansen2800 @electroma89   @the-emo-asgardian @lehuka123 @marvelisawayoflife @unknown-girlie @waywardstarkmadkhaleesi @cozy-the-overlord @whatafuckingdumbass @poetic-fiasco @myraiswack @marvelgirlonmain​ @lokistan​ @lovermrjokerr
Writing Tag list : @twhiddlestonsstuff   @dreamingyouth @xladyxfatex @castiels-majestic-wings @lokistan @amwolowicz  @whatafuckingdumbass @electroma89​ @dpaccione (If you want to be added let me know in the comments or send me an ask)
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If someone told Loki she would court a Midgardian, she’d laugh in their face. And if that person added that Loki would spend their entire afternoon cleaning their appartement and cooking for said Midgardian because they were coming over for the first time in their relationship, which made Loki excited and nervous at the same time, the goddess would probably banish them from Asgard. But here she is. Two burned pots and 3 hours of cleaning later Loki has finally succeeded in making the perfect valentine’s day dish. And dessert! Loki herself was surprised how well it went, except those two burned pots, of course, but there was a good explanation for that!  
In their entire life the trickster has never felt so much love as when they were with you. This relationship is so important to the both of you. You are so dear to Loki and she loves you with her entire being. But something has changed. The more your relationship blossoms the colder you act around your partner. And it confuses her a lot. You used to be so cuddly and didn’t mind being kissed during the movie nights at the tower but lately you started to behave differently. Loki asked you about it a few times, but you always said you weren’t feeling well. Fearing your feelings for them has changed, the trickster invited you here in hope that the spirit of the valentine's day would somehow help.
When you started dating you both decided to take things slow, but Loki was hoping to take your relationship to the next level tonight. And she didn’t mean cuddles or making out during a movie marathon. There was a moment when Loki thought it would happen but then you pulled away quicker than a lightning can strike and wouldn’t talk to her for a few days. She feared she did something wrong and apologized to you on her knees, but you said you were feeling unwell, so the goddess didn’t think much of it. Loki is an overthinker and they were still worried they did something inappropriate.  
Looking at the clock on the kitchen wall, Loki realized she has spent too much time cleaning and cooking.
After taking a shower the trickster has finally started to get ready. There was no rush, but everyone knew that our favorite Avenger would change their entire outfit at least five more times before finding the perfect one. And today the perfect one appeared after the third one!  
It wasn’t rare to see the goddess wearing a suit, but Loki remembered how much you liked this one. It was the fanciest, and most expensive, piece of Midgardian clothing in their collection. Not wanting to waste any more time, the trickster quickly put it on.
Checking herself out in the mirror, Loki adjusted the golden cuffs on their emerald green suit.  They haven’t worn it in such a long time, and yet the woolen jacket still fitted them perfectly. She didn’t need a belt to keep her pants up anymore, but Loki still had one on. For aesthetic purposes only. Making sure there were no wrinkles visible they looked at their reflection again only to realize there was something missing. And then she remembered about that one tie you have bought them for their birthday! Loki knew you would appreciate it if she wore it on the date. You never forget to compliment your trickster’s outfits which always boosts Loki’s confidence. And the tie from you is a perfect accessory!  
The goddess realized they have been in their room for too long because as soon as she put all of the rose petals on the bed there was a knock on their door. She quickly threw some more petals around the place and put a giant bouquet of pink roses on the table before letting you in.
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You didn’t want to be too early but the excitement inside you wouldn’t allow you to wait anymore. So, who cared if you arrived half an hour earlier? You have spent almost two hours choosing an outfit for your date and even after that you still weren’t happy with your choice. Knowing Loki, she will be dressed in a gown or something. And now you’re in front of her door, overthinking. Your hands were sweaty.
Damn, you really were nervous! It’s not like you’ve never been inside Loki’s house before. It was one time when Peter dragged you there with him. This visit has happened before you two got together and was purely platonic. Most of your dates took place at cafes and bookstores so Loki inviting you to her apartment on a date was a huge step forward. You both decided to take things slowly but what if the goddess was tired of waiting? You were so deep in your thoughts you didn’t notice when the front door opened.
And there she was, with the emerald green suit on and this charming smile you have fallen in love with. You were too busy admiring the goddesses' appearance to notice the enormous bouquet of pink roses on the table behind them. Loki gently took your hand in hers and slowly brought it to her lips. She laid a small kiss on your knuckles which made your heartbeat faster and then brought it to her chest. You were going to pass out before this night ends, that’s for sure! Hopefully your confession wouldn't change the way Loki felt about you.  
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“I like what you’ve done with the place.” you said, pointing at the colorful pots on the balcony as the two of you were done with your dinner. So far everything has been great, but you could still feel the tension between you. "There is way more plants since I’ve last been here. Those roses are gorgeous by the way!”  
“Thank you, darling.” Loki smirked and lit the candles with a snap of their fingers. Your favorite drink appeared in your hand soon after. You will never get tired of Loki’s magic. Even after all this time it still fascinated you. “It makes the place look cozier; don’t you think? More romantic.” the goddess winked at you which meant she switched into her seductive mode. “Perfect for the day of the lovers.”  
“Oh, yes, I like it very much!” you didn’t mean to make it sound so awkward, and yet you couldn't help it. How were you going to tell her you didn’t want that kind of intimacy? If you told them tonight, the trickster would think you lied to them and gave her the false hope. Your past relationships didn’t last long because your partners couldn’t understand it and you feared it would be the same with Loki. You were still thinking about that one night during your movie marathon with Loki at the tower. It was, well, it was awkward. “Perfect for the day of love, as you said…”
“Are you well, darling?” the playful facade disappeared as soon as the goddess sensed your distress.  
“I need to tell you something.” you announced, nervously. Your lover was worried but didn’t interrupt you. “Remember how at the beginning we said we wanted to take things slow, right?” Loki nodded in agreement, encouraging to continue. “And by things we meant the, ehm, the intimacy” you needed to remind yourself to breathe.” aaaand I don’t think I want it.”
“You don’t want to wait?” The trickster asked, confused but also very hopeful. Was it really happening?
“No, I..” you inhaled deeply to calm down. It was now or never “I don’t want to have sex.”  
“I mean, we don’t have to have sex tonight if that’s what you are worried about, my little rose.” she responded with a laugh.
“No, Loki.” damn, that was hard “I don’t want to have sex. Like, at all.” you finally announced, ignoring Loki’s gaze. “Not that I don’t find you attractive! Because I do! You are beautiful and I love y-” Loki placed a finger on your lips to stop your mumbling. You were certain it was over but when you looked at the goddess you saw nothing put pure adoration in her eyes.
“Is it your way of telling me you are ace?” her hand moved from your lips to your arm, gently caressing the skin.  
“I- yes?” you whispered, nervously fiddling with your hands “And you’re okay with that?”
“How shallow would I be if I only valued you and our relationship because of the sex we would or would not have?” Loki covered your hands with hers and smiled lovingly at you “I love you and nothing can change that. Is this why you have been ignoring me for so long?”
You felt so relieved! Loki accepting you was the best thing that has happened in so long. Now that you think of it, it’s sad how such a simple thing as Loki acknowledging and accepting your sexuality made you tear up. Wanting to hug your girlfriend you jumped on her and embraced your lover so tightly you have almost knocked off the both of you.  
“I love you! I love you! Iloveyou!!!!” you sounded like a broken record but who cared! Cupping Loki’s face you kissed her with so much passion the trickster thought they would explode from the sheer love you were giving them. “And I’m sorry I didn’t say it earlier.”
“Please tell me I’m not the first person to tell you that.” she muttered against your lips. You could feel their magic all over you. It was a thing the goddess did often when she wanted to make sure you're okay. You asked about it one time and they said it had something to do with your aura. It was a very unusual thing, but it made you feel special.
“It doesn’t matter, Loki.”
“It should!” she protested. “How could anyone ever have a chance to be with you and ruin it? You are so precious to me and whoever thinks that intimacy only means intercourse doesn’t deserve your time! And I am so terribly sorry if I ever made you feel uncomfortable.”
Loki was mad. Mad at everyone who made you feel like you had to hide it from her for so long. But you were right. It didn’t matter. Because you were here, in Loki’s arms, hugging her so tightly as if your life depended on it.  
And suddenly a perfect idea came to Loki’s mind. Handing you one of the roses from the bouquet she said some words in a language you couldn’t understand. The green light embraced the flower, making it all sparkly like a diamond.  
“It’s eternal,” Loki explained “Like my love for you.” That simple gesture made your heart happy. How did they manage to make you fall in love with them even more?? “Happy valentine’s day, my darling rose.”
And happy it was.
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nerdygirl8203 · 2 years
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Old Money, New Feelings- Chapter 8
Warnings: angst, this is set a few months after chapter 7, drinking, sleeping around, mentions of smut
This chapter includes One More Drink by Gjan
Summary: the reader (y/n) finds out what this has been and why Ransom was being so nice to you.
Pairing: Ransom x fem!reader
(Sorry, I couldn’t add a continue reading since I’m writing this on my phone)
For months Ransom has been so sweet and kind. It’s like he looked in the mirror and saw his flaws. He is caring and shows his emotions more. Everything is great. Well, everything was great. Past tense.
I ran upstairs knowing his office is upstairs and I thought he would be excited to see me. I come into his office where I knew he would be since he’s always there when he and I aren’t together. I hear moaning. Female moaning.
“What about that girl? The one you’re always with.” The girls voice says. It’s muffled due to the door between us.
“She’s just some nice arm candy and a decent hole to fill.” Ransom’s voice rings clear even through the door. I back up stumbling a little. I hope he doesn’t hear me as I run down the stairs failing to hold in tears. I run to my car and that’s when I realized he did hear me.
I get in my car and I shut and lock my doors quickly. I try to stop crying before I drive. I don’t want to be in danger of crashing my car or hurting anyone. I see him run out in just some sweatpants. I turn on my car as he runs to my car door and starts screaming “Y/N open your door!” I look at him and I scream back “Back up. I don’t want to run you over while trying to get away but I will!” I need to get out and far away. God it hurts. I was an idiot for falling for this dick.
He doesn’t back up but I scare him by doing something he didn’t think I would. I start backing up my car and he moves away quickly. I drive off no longer caring.
I can’t go back to the stupid apartment that douche got me. I call my best friend over the car phone. I told her about this from the beginning and she even thought he changed from the playboy he was. I sob as I ask if I can stay with her till I find a new place that won’t have traces of him everywhere. She would never say no and she tells me that.
I’m at her place less than 30 minutes later. She holds me while I sob out and tell her what happened. After a week of blocking his calls and making sure my find my friend is off so he can’t find me. After one particular night of drinking my pain away she and I come up with an amazing idea to make him jealous.
In the last few months I wrote and released a song that blew up on Tiktok. I’ve written and sang a lot of songs now and Ransom hated it. He always did. My followers have skyrocketed on everything which would mean that Ransom would be watching anything I post like a hawk. He can’t have me saying anything wrong or even remotely bad about him.
We decide to have me sing One More Drink. As I sang to the music I feel the pain of everything wash over me. I end the song with me burning a cute letter he wrote to me. It’s just bullshit anyways. It all is. Every stupid word he uttered.
“I found out today that he’s a liar. Room full of him the smell of sorrow!” I still remember what it was like when he held me. I felt safe. “I don’t want to know if she’s like me. Or how much she loves the way you speak!” He had texted me trying to explain. “I found out today that you’re a liar, ah.” It brings me back to that day. “And I say I got stuck into you and I can’t believe it, oh, I’m on fire.” I’m an idiot. “Friends told me what to do. But I don’t believe it, oh, I’m on fire.”
I get into it feeling the pain and anger come over me “Ah, ah, one more drink tonight!” I repeat that with emotion three more times then follow it with a tonight. “Both said we’ll build our own empire, ah.” Lies. He lied about what he wanted. “How dare you say you didn’t try? Oh.” I keep singing
“It wasn’t like that. It just happened!” I could hear him saying it.
“I woke up at 4 stuck in a loop. I gotta confess it’s not my room.” I knew that would kill him. I hope it does. I hope he feels half of my pain. “You once said we’ll build our own empire. Ah.” I then keep singing and I end up finishing the song. I burn the letter hoping it would help me feel better.
We stop filming and I fall to the ground sobbing. My best friend edits it and post it for me. I can’t. I can’t keep thinking about him.
It’s another week till I even go out of my friends house. I just need to see life again. See things other than my pain and ransom. I go to the coffee shop but I quickly leave after seeing the cute couples who seem to be rubbing their happiness in my face.
I go to the bookstore I love. The place that makes me feel content and at peace. I stay in the back reading a horror story. I can’t help but understand why the girlfriend killed her cheating boyfriend. Though, I guess he wasn’t my boyfriend. I’m such and idiot.
I don’t even notice how late it’s gotten until one of the employees comes over to me to tell me they are closing. “I’m sorry ma’am but we are closing.” I look up at her. “Thank you. I’m so sorry for staying so late!” I get up quickly and since I already bought the book I leave immediately. I keep walking until I see a familiar car.
‘No. It can’t be him. It wouldn’t be him. Why would he even come this way. This is a crappy area in his words.’ I keep walking at my normal pace after haven slowed for a moment. I keep walking just wanting to lay down in a bed and sleep away that pain I feel deep in my chest.
“Y/N.” I hear a familiar voice say. It can’t be him. I’m going crazy. I keep my walking feeling my heart pounding. Part of me wants it to be him but it won’t be. It can’t be.
I believe that until I feel what is undeniably Ransom’s hand grabbing my wrist. I whip around and I glare at him “Hello Hugh.” I say coldly.
“Dont do that sweet heart. Please don’t do that. I understand you hating me or being pissed but don’t do that.” His face is softer than expected and his voice is sweet and calm.
“Don’t do what? I just said hello Hugh. I thought I was being polite. Isn’t Hugh your name?” I glare pissed. “I get why you’re mad but please listen to me. I just... I need to talk to you.” His eyes are red.
Maybe that’s why I said we could talk. Maybe it was his puffy eyes or how you could see how pained he is in his face. I hate what he did but I still don’t hate him. I can’t hate him no matter how much I’ve tried. “Come with me, we can go somewhere more private.” He says softly. I let him show me the way to a small cafe with no one in it, he undoubtedly rented it so no one would be here. I can’t help but hate that it makes me feel special, I want it to make my blood boil. I don’t want to feel especially loved when he does this. I want to be mad at how cocky he was to just assume I’d come with him. I walk in and he holds the door for me, I have to stop myself from saying thank you to him. I don’t want to be nice to him at all. I want him to be mad. I walk to the booth that is in the corner and I sit down. I sigh softly and when he tries to hold my hand I move it away even though I long to hold his hand.
“Listen, I didn’t want to hurt you. I never wanted to hurt you.” He says then I scoff “Bull shit! You fucked a girl when you were pretending to care about me. I should have known better. I should have known you were just messing with me to get what you wanted.” I huff. “She was just some girl from a bar I went to when you said you couldn’t come over.” “I had work! You know, the thing people do when they need money! Oh wait, no you don’t know that, everything you’ve ever wanted was handed to you on a silver platter.” I spit word venom at him angrily. “That’s not true! I worked to keep you didn’t I?” My jaw actually drops. How in gods name could he do that to me and then say he worked for it! “Bull shit! I’m just a hole that you used to wet your cock. “You know what, just fuck off. You and I would never work anyways. Maybe when you grow up like a big boy and get a real job I’ll reconsider your bull!” I scream at him and I get up off the seat quickly. I leave the cafe not looking back no matter how desperate he sounded.
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(K)night in Black Armor (Part 6) – Spock (Mobster!AU)
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Pairing: Spock x reader
Warnings: mentions of injury and death, groping, allusions to non-con, violence and torture (but nothing explicit)
Words: 3112
All parts: Series Masterlist
Let me know if you want to be added to the Series taglist!
Please do not repost my work on other sites or platforms.
-
Your week of bedrest was getting boring very quickly and not even reading, watching a movie or trying to sleep could help you against being bored and sometimes you were more awake during the day. At least you could talk to the younger kids then because they still were awake during the day and not in the night like the others. This however was something you regretted when you started working again. Theresa had managed to convince Oliver to only let you work half a shift with only working behind the bar for at least five days before you could work whole shifts again. But she would not let you entertain customers until at least two other weeks had passed. Not that you minded.
On your fifth day of working a normal shift again, (at least a normal long one, you still were only serving behind the counter and your friends protected you against customers like they did with younger girls) something unexpected happened. The night was already quite advanced and you were getting a little bored at the bar because not many ordered drinks at that hour anymore. Usually you’d be sent to entertain too in such a situation but with your injuries still healing no one allowed you. So you just sat behind the bar (although you usually stood) waiting for people who still wanted to have a drink. Then suddenly, a familiar face appeared at the bar and you couldn’t help a broad smile
“Spock” you shouted and hurried around the bar so that you stood directly in front of him “I thought you don’t come here?”
“This is a special visit. I had to come and ensure you are doing fine” you felt like your heart skipped a beat “You came because of me?”
“I did” you smiled even more and wrapped your arms around him
“I suppose you should not do this, considering it could make others believe you are available for service” you shrugged
“That’s something different”
“No it is not. At least not in their eyes”
“But you’re not like a customer to me. More like a friend” or more, you thought to yourself. Although that was strictly forbidden. You were not allowed to start a relationship with someone because it could stop you from working, which again would be bad for business. And of course you couldn’t date customers because then you could offer them sex and all around it for free and they wouldn’t need to come either. In general you were not allowed to have sexual relationships without the managers of the Stella knowing about it (so that they could charge the people in question). Of course this rule had never bothered you before because you had been certain that you’d never fall in love anyway but right now you understood why some of your colleagues had gotten mad because of this after they had met someone they liked. That were your two friends that had been thrown out when they refused to work because of their relationship or the feelings. You knew that one of them had been able to live with her boyfriend but you never heard of her or the other one again. Spock placed a hand on the side of your face and you noticed that his other arm was still bandaged “What is your wrist doing?”
“It is healing well, according to Bones”
“That’s great to hear. Also my things are quite healed” you lifted your dress a little to show him the big patch over the wound on your thigh. “Little Zora drew a sun on it, see?”
“That seems very nice of her” you smiled and toyed with your white armband
“I know I’m wearing white but… there’s not much to do and I think that if you ordered a drink we could sit down somewhere and talk”
“It is a tempting offer but I only drink businesswise” you frowned.
“Oh. But we also have non-alcoholic stuff like the ‘Twinkle Star or the Sunbeam”
“I did not intend to stay long” he said
“So you paid 20$ entrance fee just so you could see me?”
“Not quite. I have brought you something”
“You did?” you asked and recognized that bag he was holding. “What is it?” you didn’t care that you behaved like the younger ones when you came back from outside with something you had bought for all of you like something special to eat or something to pass time like drawing colors, movies, games or a book. There was a little smile on his face and he took out a pack of ice cream, your favorite flavor “Oh. How did you know I like that one?”
“I remembered that you have been eating ice-cream the last time we met. And after all you could not eat all of the ice cream because you used the cone as a weapon”
“Ah okay. That’s sweet. But I fear I’ll have to share it. Thank you” you said squeezing his arm. “Maybe I should get it somewhere cold. To the ice cubes” you said and wanted to leave but stopped when you heard him call your name “Huh?”
“I have something else for you as well”
“Really? Why?”
“I only found it adequate to organize you something since you have saved my life and got injured for this reason”
“But you don’t feel bad for me getting hurt?”
“I do feel responsible”
“It’s not your fault the Romulanos abducted you and tried to kill you” you hugged him again “But I’m glad that we came by right then and that you’re alive now”
“It is indeed fortunate” he took something else from the bag and you let out a gasp when you saw it. It was a tablet
“Wow. Is that for me?”
“Of course it is”
“But why would you give me something like this?”
“I initially wanted to gift you a book but I did not know what kind of books you like so I decided this was a better idea. Since bookstores are closed when you are awake, I figured that an eBook would be a good alternative”
“And for that you just buy me a whole tablet?”
“I knew you would need something to read it on”
“But…” you looked at him “I can’t take that. It’s too expensive”
“No, it is an older model” he switched it on and showed you on which internet page you could download books for free and another one, from a bookstore for which he had also given you a 150$ gift coupon so that you could buy books
“Wow that is… thank you. I-I don’t know what to say” you pressed the tablet against your chest.
“You do not need to thank me. You have saved my life, I would not be here without you. Therefore, this is the least I can do” you gave a nod and looked down, then went onto your tiptoes to peck his lips
“Thank you” you whispered “You don’t know how much this means to me” somehow you wanted to share the tablet and the bookstore voucher with the others. On the other hand, you wanted to keep it to yourself. Of course you’d let others read the books too if they wanted. “Wait, can I also download games and all on this tablet?”
“Of course”
“Oh the little ones will like that. This is great. Thank you”
“But please make sure that you too get it at some point” you chuckled
“Okay”
-
Your good mood was destroyed two days later when Oliver heard about the present you had gotten and demanded that you made it a usable good for everyone because he disapproved of such expensive presents that customers made any of you. Theresa had found you crying and you had heard from Gaila that apparently she had argued quite a lot with Oliver in his office, telling him that you deserved the tablet since you had saved someone’s life and almost died while doing so. But as it seemed her adoptive uncle was not impressed at all and found that it had not been your job to help Spock and that you should have thought about the Stella. But this incident only made you momentarily sad, what really freaked you out was when you had started serving not only behind the bar again. Although you were wearing white, you were pulled against someone’s chest and you almost dropped the empty tray you were holding
“Look who it is” you heard someone whisper in your ear
“Let me go. I wear a white band. One of it. So either you’re colorblind or unable to count or both”
“Oh no, no, no. It’s alright”
“No” you said “Let me go”
“Shh. It’s alright”
“No it’s not. Get your hands off me. We can say ‘No’ in 35 languages for something and ‘stop’,  ‘leave me alone’ or ‘let me go’ in at least 20” you wanted to ram your elbow into the man’s ribs but that was only the last resolution. However, it didn’t seem like this customer was actually willing to let you go at all.
“You don’t seem to recognize me or my friends. Although, you only knew my brother”
“And what about your brother?” you tried to break free and finally one of your friends came, requesting that he let you go
“You’d better while you still can or you’re next” Samantha gave a nod and left. But she returned shortly after with Will, one of the managers, who repeated that you should be left alone. “She deserves this. My brother has to be avenged”
“Look, I don’t know what you’re up to, but you have to leave her alone”
“Or what?” you felt something cold against your cheek and saw that he had a knife with which he threatened you “What will you do?”
“Put that knife away right now and let her go”
“Please” you whimpered “What have I ever done to you?”
“My brother died because of you”
“There has to be a mistake” Will defended you
“Oh no, there isn’t. A pier at San Francisco Bay, almost two weeks ago. Do you remember?” you gulped. Of course you did. That was when you had saved Spock’s life.
“I haven’t killed anyone”
“I know that, sweetheart” he whispered into your ear, making you shudder “That’s why I won’t kill you. But you still deserve to suffer for what happened” by now, even more people were standing around you, all not knowing how to help you. Even some customers were there, trying to distract the guy who surely was a Romulano.
“That’s not her fault. Find another way to vent your anger. But leave her alone”
“What if I don’t agree? What are you gonna do?” there was a clashing sound and finally, the guy let go of you and Will quickly pulled you further away from the scene. The Romulano looked rather dazed and you realized that someone had hit a jug over his head. Two more males appeared and grabbed the guy
“Exit?” they asked and Will nodded, whereupon they started dragging the man to the backdoor and shoved him outside. You let out a breath of relief and let go of Will a bit.
“Are you alright?” Will asked and you gave a weak nod, then most of your friends and customers asked the same question.
“Maybe you should go and sit down a little” Tanja said, gently guiding you towards the preparation room. “I’m sure no one would mind if you took off the rest of your shift” although you weren’t too sure about it, you still gave a nod and sat down at one of the make-up tables, burying your face in your arms, while trying to comprehend what had just happened and why. You doubted that the guy could get in again but you were sure that he’d try to get back at you again somehow.
-
“(Y/N)! (Y/N)!” you heard one of the younger girls scream during the day “Wake up. Wake up” you groggily opened your eyes and noticed that also the other girls in your room were awake now
“What?” you groaned, rubbing your eyes.
“Ollie says he got an offer for you. You have to get ready”
“Ready?”
“Oh my God” Eileen jumped up on her bed “Don’t you realize what that means?”
“I can’t sleep anymore?” you let out a yawn.
“No, it means someone has bought you. You can leave, (Y/N)!” that woke you up completely.
“What?” you shrieked “No that can’t be”
“Oh come on, don’t lie. You know exactly who it is” of course you knew who would do something like this. Probably Spock had heard that this Romulano had tried to harm you and thought he had to take you to his place in order to protect you. But you didn’t like it that he spent so much money on buying you free. It were 50’000$ after all.
“Is he still here?”
“No, never has been here” the younger girl replied “Ollie only said that he called and said that he wanted to buy you and that he’d come here in some hours to pick you up and pay” you gave a nod and left the bed, tearing out a bigger bag in which you could fit all your belongings. You didn’t own much though. Only a top, a hat, a book, your baby blanket (the one in which you had been wrapped up in when you arrived here), a plushie, your money, some sweets you hid under your pillow and of course your tablet. For a while you stared at it, not knowing if you should take it with you or not. Then you decided that it was yours and that you should take it with you or else Spock might buy you yet another which you didn’t want at all.
“Oh God, I’m so jealous. He seems so nice. At least when he’s with you. I’ve always thought someday someone might want me but no… it will always be a dream”
“I’d have never thought that either” you muttered and grabbed your bag, rushing down the stairs. Of course all the other girls that were working during the day had already heard the news and congratulated you or wanted to know more about the man. You only smiled and came to Ollie’s office, depositing your bag so that you could get changed.
“They said you should put on something that can get dirty”
“What? And what do you mean by ‘they’?” did Spock not do this alone? Maybe he was sharing the price with someone else. Maybe Bones.
“They. Yes you heard right”
“But… who are they?”
“What do I know? Does it matter?”
“Yes!” you crossed your arms “Did they say names?”
“Of course they did”
“Was-was anyone of them Spock?”
“Spock who?”
“Not Spock?” you repeated, a strange feeling starting to spread in your gut
“No. Anyways, get changed so that you’ll be ready when they’re here”
“But why would someone just buy me? Me? I’m almost invisible. I suppose they are not regulars?”
“No” he looked something up on this computer “Although one of them has a month’s pass entrance. Has been banned to come here again for five years because he attacked someone… oh it was you”
“Oh no” suddenly you knew what was going on. The guy who had bought you was the one from the Romulano family that wanted to avenge his brother “No” you said, steadying yourself at the desk “You-you can’t sell me to them. They’ll hurt me, they’ll kill me” you felt tears in your eyes
“Don’t cry that makes a bad impression”
“No you don’t understand if I go with these guys I don’t know how long I’ll survive. Please! You have to call them and tell them that you changed your mind”
“Listen here, that’s a good price for you. You haven’t been exactly… useful in the last few months. You always seemed distracted and in the past weeks you couldn’t even work properly. I don’t like it when my girls get involved with customers or externals in any way other than business. Especially not when they’re from the Mafia. That only means trouble”
“You can’t do this!” you screamed, tears now rolling down your cheek “Don’t act like you don’t care”
“Look, what do you expect me to do? If what you say is true and they just want to hurt you, what to do you think they’ll do to us if I refuse?”
“Then tell them I ran away or something. But I can’t go with them. You have no idea what they’ll do to me”
“I honestly don’t want to imagine it”
“But you don’t do anything against it!”
“As I said, if I don’t allow them to get you they will only try to get you in another way. And do you want to be responsible if anything happens to any of the others because of you?”
“But there has to be something you can do?” he sighed and placed a phone on the table and wrote something on a block then ripped the page of and placed it next to the phone
“That’s the number they called with. Maybe you can find a solution with them” you gulped and took the telephone and the paper, slowly trotting out of the office.
“What’s wrong? What happened?” the girls asked but you only walked past them when you came upstairs, six-year old Chloë hugged your leg
“Don’t go (Y/N). You can’t go. Please!” you stroked her head
“I don’t wanna go either” you said. Theresa left a room and let out a sigh
“There you are. Apparently, now everyone is awake to say goodbye because they heard you got bought free” she came closer and noticed how you were doing “Hey, what’s wrong?” she asked “I know it can be scary at first but I heard that it’s this Mafia guy who bought you. I’m sure you’ll get happy” you managed to shake your head and told her what happened “And Ollie did nothing?” you shook your head “Well I understand the part that he wants to protect the others but that’s not justifying what he does to you. Go back to your room, I’ll try to make him see sense”
“Thank you” you whispered and returned to your room. Almost everyone was inside but you asked them to leave because you wanted a moment alone. Luckily, they listened and you were alone on your bed, staring at the phone and the number.
-
Taglist: @love-wanderlust15​, @chenellearose​,  @softsapphic-softdom, @softsapphicideals​, @poemfreak306​
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thescentifollow · 2 years
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To Intrigue the Slytherin Prince - Chapter One: Third time’s the charm
Hello everyone! I posted an announcement a few months ago that basically said I was going to turn this one shot called To Intrigue the Slytherin Prince into a series and was going to share the next chapter in a few hours but it didn’t happen that way... Well, I have no excuse, life had just been too hectic. Even though it’s quite late now, I finally finished writing and proofreading the chapter I wrote so I hope you enjoy reading this and feedbacks are always appreciated! ❤️
Draco Malfoy x Reader
Word count: 1912
A few days passed since your awkward incident with the Slytherin Prince. It is not like you cared about it a lot or put so much meaning into it but since then something has changed. You are sure you have caught him staring at you a few times after that day in the common room. You thought that he was looking at you while cursing and insulting you in his mind, because that is what all the Slytherin students had done all the time. The Slytherin Prince was now quieter, but you can never know what is going to happen. This quietness and calmness might be a part of his and his goons’ new grand plan to torment you, the only blood traitor in the Slytherin.
-
It was finally weekend and you were going to visit Hogsmeade the next day. Excitement filled you in as you have not been to Hogsmeade for a long time because of the exams. The next day also happened to be your birthday. You and your close friends from Ravenclaw planned to celebrate it by having a cake at Madam Puddifoot’s first and then going to the Three Broomsticks for some drinks. The previous night, you went over all your clothes to choose the perfect one for your birthday. At the end of the chaos you created, you decided to wear a black turtleneck sweater that fits perfectly and emphasizes your figure and a dark green plaid skirt.
The next morning during the breakfast you sat with your friends Luna and Padma on the Ravenclaw table. It was not an anormal thing to do for you since you were friends with most of the Ravenclaw students. No Slytherin students want you on Slytherin table anyway.
The breakfast was jollier than usual, Luna and Padma were also dressed up for the celebration. A decent number of students wished you happy birthday, which made the day better and better. If there was anyone who did not know that it was your birthday, they know it now.
-
As you passed the Slytherin wagon you could feel a pair of eyes watching you. You turned your head slowly to see the owner of the eyes and you realized it was Draco Malfoy, the Slytherin Prince. Your eyes met with his, the moment you turned your head. You were expecting him to frown or have an expression that shows disgust when you faced him. But it did not happen. His eyes were not filled with hatred and disgust like usual. Instead, they were filled with curiosity. Padma and Luna’s enthusiastic comments about the cakes at Madam Puddifoot’s grabbed your attention and you kept walking. While you did so, Draco looked at you from head to toe and wondered the occasion you dressed up so nicely for. He could not ask you or anyone. But luckily, he heard Padma asking you a question about what kind of birthday cake you wanted as you passed by and entered the Ravenclaw wagon. A light smile appeared on his face as he leaned back and looked out the window on the way to Hogsmeade.
-
A beautiful view welcomed you in Hogsmeade. The snow started to accumulate on the ground, on the trees and on the roofs of the buildings. The snow also brought a lot colder weather to Scotland as Christmas approached. You and your friends made your way to Madam Puddifoot’s quickly.
Even though you had been a student at Hogwarts for years now, it was your first time to visit this shop. It was a place that lovers go for dates, and you were single since birth, so it was understandable why you had never been to this shop. It had never come to your imagination that a place could be this lovey dovey and cringy.
“Hello, my dear girls. What can I get you?” Madam Puddifoot approached you and asked with her very high-pitched voice.
You ordered the cake you had planned to have and ate it as quickly as possible. Before leaving, you looked around one last time and you spoke to yourself quietly.
“I don’t think I will come here again. Ever.” Not that the place was terrible or anything, but it was just too much for you.
After this extreme experience you sure needed some drinks. On your way to the Three Broomsticks, you talked about the lacy napkins on the tables and the constantly snogging couple next to you. Just as you were about to enter the pub, you remembered something.
“You should go in first, I have to pick up something from the bookstore.” Luna and Padma insisted on coming with you, but you could not just drag people anywhere in this cold weather just because it was your birthday.
“You don’t have to. Just get in and I’ll be back here very soon.” They nodded and entered the pub as you made your way to Tomes and Scrolls.
The bell over the door announced your arrival and the owner rushed to you from the back of the shop.
“Hello, how can I help you today?” They greeted you with a smile on their face.
“I had ordered a book a few weeks ago. Emma by Jane Austen.”
“Ah, Jane Austen, yes.” They repeated the name of the author a smile, but their expression changed as they continued to speak.
“I am afraid we just sold it to a young man just about your age.”
You were surprised that someone, some boy your age was reading a novel by Jane Austen, a muggle author, in Hogwarts.
“He asked me if we have Pride and Prejudice first but after I told him we did not he just asked for any book by the same author. I told him that we were keeping it for another customer, but he just insisted so we had to sell it. I’m so sorry.”
After the story that the owner just told you, blaming them was neither an option nor a solution. You really wondered the persuasive person who bought it.
“It’s okay, I understand.” You tried to smile but feeling a little frustrated as you really wanted to read this book.
“This writer must be quite popular among your age these days.” The owner commented on the situation.
You nodded just to brush it off and asked hopefully:
“Is it possible for me to order the same book again?”
“Yes, of course.” They smiled and went to get a quill. As you told them your name to write it down, they looked up for a second and the person who just bought the book caught their eye through the window of the shop.
He pointed at the blonde-haired boy who passed by the shop with his goons as he spoke.
“Oh, that’s him, that’s the gentleman who bought the book you had ordered.”
You turned your head to look out the window and you were shocked to see that it was Draco who bought it. If it was true, Draco Malfoy had just bought a muggle novel! A Jane Austen novel!
“Are you sure it was him?” You could not believe it. You had to ask the owner if they were sure.
“Yes, very.” They answered and put the quill on the counter as they continued.
“Okay, it’s done. The book will be here in a week. You can come to pick it up then.”
You were still looking outside the window even though the Slytherin Prince is already gone. You thanked the owner and left the shop, your mind full of thoughts.
Was that really Draco who bought the book you ordered? Did he really buy a muggle novel? A Jane Austen novel? Did he suddenly become interested in muggle literature?
After countless thoughts on your way to the Three Broomsticks, you came to the conclusion that the owner of the shop was probably mistaken. You snapped out of these thoughts and entered the pub.
It was quite crowded inside, not only students but also professors were present. Obviously, everyone wanted to enjoy some butterbeer and recharge after the busy exams schedule. You spotted your friends sitting on a table close to the table that was occupied by Professor McGonagall and Professor Flitwick. It was obvious from the expressions on their faces that they were having a heated discussion. You passed by them and sat on the table.
“Here is the birthday girl!” Padma exclaimed joyfully.
“We ordered three butterbeers. Would you like something else?” Luna asked more calmly than Padma.
“No, that’s perfect.” You answered her question smiling.
“Where did you go?” Padma asked after taking a sip from her butterbeer.
“I just needed to get a book, that’s all. Did I miss anything?”
The moment you finished speaking both of your friends started to laugh like crazy. After a few minutes of loud laughter, Luna took a deep breath and told you about how both of them just slipped and fell on the ground at the entrance of the pub. Now you could understand their amusement, you joined them, and you laughed altogether once again.
After an extraordinary day, you got on the train feeling tired but quite happy. When you arrived at the castle, you parted your ways with your friends to go to the common room. But after such a day, probably everyone was there chatting about their day. If you happened to go there now, it would just lead to some bitter incidents. That is why you decided to go to the Astronomy Tower despite the cold weather. The peace you found there especially during nighttime was immaculate.
Someone was sitting at the top of the stairs. You could not exactly see who it was, but it was obviously a boy reading a book. You climbed the stairs and the boy finally lifted his head from the book and his eyes met with yours in an instant.
You decided it was best to leave after realizing who it was. But you just could not move because your bootlace got stuck between the stairs. As you were both looking into each other’s eyes just a moment ago, you did not notice your shoelace got loose.
He was shocked as much as you and he did not know what to say or to do. He just kept sitting there and watched you as you tried to get her shoelace free.
You tried to lift your foot in a more powerful way, but it did not work. He thought that it was meaningless to keep doing this and was about to express this thought of him with words, but he could not. One more time you thought and lifted your foot. He got up to talk and in that moment you succeeded.
He could not quite comprehend what just happened as he opened his eyes. Only after he found himself on the floor of and something or someone heavy on the top of him, it made sense.
Yes, you succeeded but you used much more power than you had planned and that led to this chaos. You felt so embarrassed that you could not lift your head from his chest for a few seconds. When you finally gathered up the courage and lifted your head, he was already looking at you. Your eyes met again for the third time today.
“Are you okay?” Draco Malfoy asked in a soft, caring voice that you never expected from him.  
Prologue
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rjhpandapaws · 2 years
Text
A Hand in the Matter
Ch8: Make a Home Here
Richard would eventually learn that when seeking help he should probably ask Connor rather than Silas, and he shouldn't ask them both. It was a mistake he probably wouldn't make again given how it went this time.
The Family Feud
UnluckyNine: I need help. I think I made a mistake.
UnluckyNine: I don't think I'm ready to have someone in my apartment for two days.
UnluckyNine: I know its only Gavin, but this is kind of a big deal.
Sixty-Second-Set: Its still a couple days away right? Just cancel last minute, that's what I would do.
Sixty-Second-Set: Wait. Who is Gavin?
Sixty-Second-Set: Why is he staying with you for two days!
Sixty-Second-Set: Where did you meet him? Have you seen him before? Is his name actually Gavin?
Sixty-Second-Set: Do you have proof he's real? Are you sure he's not a serial killer?
RunawayArkait: Silas, stop. Gavin is a friend of Richard's from school.
RunawayArkait: He's staying the weekend because he is helping Richard renovate his apartment.
RunawayArkait: They met at the cafe. Yes his name is Gavin, and they go to school together so obviously they've seen each other.
RunawayArkait: He's not a serial killer Silas. He isn't smart enough.
RunawayArkait: Anyway Richard, you want to do this right? It would be best to just get it over with. Because if you don't do it this weekend, it will just be hanging over your head for whenever you reschedule it.
Sixty-Second-Set: Solution! If he isn't there at a decent time, don't let him in.
RunawayArkait: As someone who was an hour late to their own birth, I don't think you should be the one to give time based ultimatums.
Sixty-Second-Set: Fuck off, Connor. You were an hour early.
UnluckyNine: Thanks for the help. I'll just see how I'm feeling on Friday
RunawayArkait: It'll be fine Nines, you'll see.
Sixty-Second-Set: Call Connor if you need back up.
Sixty-Second-Set: He can call Nora, or whatever her name is, and she can come kick his ass.
RunawayArkait: Her name is North, and he won't need to because its going to be fine.
UnluckyNine: Thanks for the advice
Sixty-Second-Set: Of course! That's what big brothers are for.
RunawayArkait: Its gonna be fine. I promise
The rest of his week was spent getting ready for Gavin to come over. Cleaning. Making sure he had sheets and a blanket big enough for the pull out bed. Cleaning the pull out bed. He went grocery shopping and bought snacks and junk food like what he had seen at Gavin's apartment. Almost texted Gavin on several occasions to cancel, and then deleted them. After the longest and most stressful week in recent history, it was finally Friday. There would be no backing out last minute, he wasn't Silas. On top of that, he was actually looking forward to seeing Gavin. As if on cue his phone lit up with a message from the man in mention.
Gavin Reed: Getting ready to head your way. Need me to pick anything up on my way over?
Me: No. Not that I can think of.
Gavin Reed: Alright, see you soon.
Richard set his phone on the kitchen island and gave his apartment another once over. Making sure everything was where it was supposed to be, that his apartment was presentable. Richard himself was dressed in a more relaxed way than usual. He had on blue sweatpants from Silas, that said University of Idaho Theater Fest down the left leg, and an oversized blank white hoodie. He didn't want Gavin to give him a hard time for going over dressed at home a second time. His phone vibrated against the counter top.
Gavin Reed: On my way up to you.
Me: Ok. The door is unlocked.
He put his phone back down on the island and made his way over to the door and unlocked it. He glanced at the shoe rack by the door. A small grey thing. The impulse purchase that had started all of this. He smiled and headed back to the kitchen.
Normally he would be waiting in the living room, but that was going to be Gavin's space for the weekend. He leaned against the counter until his nervous energy became too much to handle. He opened the fridge and dug through it, looking for the bottles of soda he had bought. He heard Gavin come in, followed by the sound of his shoes hitting the shoe rack. He looked up when Gavin spoke.
"Where do you want this?" He asked gesturing to the bag on his shoulder, an excited smile curling at his lips.
Richard straightened up and pointed at the couch since that was where they decided Gavin would be spending the weekend. With that taken care of, Richard grabbed the two bottles of old fashioned soda and set them on the island. He turned to grab the bottle opener since he didn't know if they were twist tops or not. He slid a bottle over to Gavin when he came back to the kitchen.
"Thanks." Gavin said as he took the bottle, "I got you something, a bit of a house warming gift."
Gavin's other hand came up and he placed a hastily wrapped box on the counter. He slid it over to Richard like it would have bit him if he didn't. Richard opened it carefully, not wanting to tear the paper. The box didn't have a label or anything that would hint as to what was inside, and Richard didn't want to shake it in case it was something fragile. He set the box down on the counter and carefully opened the top. He took out a white mug. Richard turned it over in his hands to see if it had a design on it. He found 'Silence is Golden' written in pretty light blue font. He set the mug down so he could sign and felt a smile tugging at his lips.
'Thank You.' He signed, 'I Love It.'
"I'm glad," Gavin said with a smile of his own, "I saw it in the campus bookstore and thought you might like it."
Richard took a drink from his bottle, trying to ignore the clutter on the counter. Gavin had gotten him something, saw it and thought Richard would like it. Connor and Silas were really the only other people who did that.
"What's the plan for tonight?" Gavin's voice pulled him from his thoughts. He was heading for the living room, "Online shopping, actual shopping, relaxing, or starting on changing around the place."
Richard came to sit beside him on the couch, leaning into the back rest some. Gavin, on the other hand looked like he had melted into it, he looked relaxed and comfortable. A contrast to the tensness that was still clinging to Richard, he was trying his best to relax. His fingers were tapping against the bottle in a rapid staccato pattern. He didn't really want to do anything tonight. If he was honest, he didn't want to do any of this, but Gavin was already here and it was too late to back out. He figured they could just hang out for tonight and worry about the apartment tomorrow.
He finally set the bottle down since he had come to a decision. Richard tried explaining this to Gavin, but he couldn't find signs that conveyed what he meant that were also signs that Gavin knew, and he didn't want to fingerspell everything. He let his frustration out as a sigh. Gavin was picking up ASL quickly, and Richard was proud of him, it was just that he was feeling more than what child-sign could express. So it was only natural that his texts didn't even scratch the surface either.
Me: Could we stay in tonight? Relax and maybe look at things online?
Me: I don't think I'm ready to do much else yet.
"That's perfectly fine," Gavin said as he turned on the tv, flipping to some cartoon he liked listening to, "We'll only do what you're comfortable with."
That was how their afternoon went. Gavin told Richard about his week as he looked at stuff online. Writing down a list of things he wanted to buy and the stores the website said he could find them at. It was comforting to come up with a plan for the weekend so it didn't feel so much like he was going into this blind.
Hours passed and they were just talking. Gavin was talking and Richard was texting his responses. It was a normal evening for them, up until Gavin's stomach growled loudly interrupting the story Gavin had been telling.
'Food?' Richard signed, not bothering to hide the amusement. He was feeling a little hungry himself.
"Yeah, that would probably be a good idea," Gavin said, a laugh hanging onto his words as he covered his stomach, "You in the mood to cook or is it a take out kind of night?"
Definitely a take out kind of night. Richard couldn't cook to save his life and he wasn't about to expose Gavin to that. He pulled up the app and tapped on his usual Italian place and picked the same thing he always got before handing the phone off to Gavin. He took his time picking before handing the phone back. Richard placed the order and Gavin went back to his story.
The conversation fell away when the food arrived. The two of them falling into a familiar and content silence. They relaxed like that for a time, eventually passing notes. Gavin in the mood to talk, but not in the mood to speak. It was nice, and they stayed like that for hours. Enjoying each other's company until Gavin yawned bad enough that it sounded like something in his jaw broke.
"So how are we doing this Nines?" Gavin asked, rubbing at his face and muffling his words.
'You Take Couch.' He signed slow and clear since Gavin was tired, 'I Take Bed.'
With that established Richard began packing up the remaining food and putting it away. Leaving Gavin to handle the garbage. It reminded him of when he spent the evenings at Gavin's. Getting the pull out bed set up didn't take long and he let Gavin get ready for bed first since he looked like he was going to fall asleep if he stayed in one place for too long. It was new, but not unsettling to have someone else here, but he supposed it was because he was used to being around Gavin.
He took his turn getting ready for bed, and once he was done for the night, he checked in with Silas like he promised he would.
Me: I'm not dead.
Silas: Did he do anything weird.
Me: No.
Me: He bought a coffee mug as a house warming gift which was nice
Silas: You're alright then?
Me: I promise.
Me: I'm going to bed now.
Silas: Sleep well.
When morning rolled around Richard got ready for the day, a grey turtle neck paired with dark jeans, and made his way to the kitchen as quietly as he could. Being mindful of Gavin, who was still passed out on the couch. He got the coffee grounds out and into the machine before he heard signs of life from the living room. Gavin came into the kitchen as though summoned by the spluttering of the coffee machine.
"Good morning Richard," Gavin managed through his yawn, his sea green eyes barely showing signs of life. "How did you sleep?"
'Good Morning.' Richard signed back with a smile, 'I Slept Fine.'
The kitchen fell silent after that. Gavin was leaning against the counter, in the small corner made by it and the fridge. His eyes were open and he was looking around, but it didn't seem like he was seeing anything. Richard hadn't gotten to witness pre-coffee Gavin before, and now he understood why Gavin's texts this time of day were only one word. It was kind of endearing to see a new side of Gavin.
Richard grabbed mugs as the coffee finished, a plain one for Gavin, as well as the one Gavin had bought him. He poured Gavin's first, leaving room for the abysmal amount of cream he felt the need to add to his coffee, and pointed the semi-alert male in the direction of the fridge. He poured his own next, then returned the pot to the machine.
"That's some good coffee," Gavin joked tiredly when he caught Richard looking at him.
'You Monster,' Richard signed back with his free hand and pulling a face to make his point.
Silence settled over the kitchen again, though this time it was content rather than exhausted. Richard was absently staring out the window, going over the plan for the weekend in his head. Today they were shopping, picking up the things Richard had decided on last night. He liked them and hoped they would make his apartment feel less like a hospital room.
Gavin got ready quickly after he finished his coffee and met Richard at the door when he was ready to leave. They were taking Richard's car because Gavin had brought his bike over. He was glad to have Gavin with him since he'd never done any important shopping like this before. What he had now was a collection of things that used to belong to Connor and Silas that had sat in storage when they had moved. The things they were getting today would be Richard's and would finally make the apartment feel like it was his.
Richard had made a list of stores along with what he hoped to find at each one last night. When they arrived at the first store he found a place to park that was relatively close.
'Ready?' He signed at Gavin as he got unbuckled.
"Yeah." Came Gavin's reply as he got out.
Richard joined them and they made their way inside. The store was big and had an open floor plan with furniture on one side and decorations on the other. He made his way through the store picking things out that were on his list, crossing them off as well as other stores as he got them. He also picked up a few novelty things that caught his eye, including a present for Gavin. It was a mug that said 'cunt' in black print with the letter 'c' making up the handle. He figured Gavin would get a kick out of it given his sense of humor.
The other stops went similarly. Richard getting things off his list as well as a few other things that caught his eye. Some of them for Gavin when he did well on signing or passed his Psychology tests. None of the places they went had the shelves he wanted for his room. One place had some that were similar, and he bought them for his office. They were going to try one last place before giving up and ordering them online.
The store his phone directed them to was massive. The website said they at least sold the shelves he was looking for, but didn't say if they had any in stock. Looking couldn't hurt.
He and Gavin wandered the store. Following the signs in hopes of finding the shelves. They were stopped in an aisle trying to get their bearings. Richard didn't think they were going to find the shelves here. He was going to say as much to Gavin, but he saw a girl in the store's uniform coming toward them. Maybe she could help.
She spoke to them as she approached, "Can I help you and your..." her eyes moved from Richard to Gavin and then back as she chose her words, "partner find anything specific."
Richard froze. His partner? She meant Gavin, he knew that much, but it wasn't like that. They weren't like that. It wasn't like that. Richard tried telling her that but his signs wouldn't cooperate. He turned to Gavin, silently begging for help because he didn't know how to get out of this situation.
"Oh, uh. No. We're alright, thanks." Gavin sounded just as embarrassed as Richard felt, he hadn't explained that they weren't together, but his words had gotten the sales clerk to leave them be, which was just as good.
They stared at one another for a long while, the silence between them wasn't awkward, but there was something hanging in it. Gavin broke into a smile and then broke down into uncontrollable laughter. It got to the point that he was nearly doubled over. Richard's own anxiety was beginning to subside and he couldn't help but smile at Gavin, the other's delight rubbing off on him. They didn't find the shelves, but that was fine.
"Let's head back," Gavin said when he finally had control over his breathing. "We can pick up some food on the way back. Then order the shelves when we get back to your place."
Richard found himself hyper aware of how close he was to Gavin the rest of the night. Keeping a friendly distance between them and decided he could give him the mug another time. He didn't want to give Gavin the wrong impression.
They continued talking about it, Richard taking delight in Gavin's awkwardness. They exchanged pleasant stories and memories well into the evening. The late night hours became early morning and when they were both sagging into the pull out bed, Richard decided it was time to get some sleep.
'Okay,' Richard signed as he stood with a yawn, 'Bed Time.'
He let Gavin use the bathroom first again. When Richard was done for the night he climbed into bed and messaged Silas.
Me: Today was interesting
Silas: What did Garrett do?
Me: Gavin.
Me: He didn't do anything, but a worker at a furniture mistook us for a couple.
Silas: You said he wasn't doing anything!
Me: He wasn't. We were just kind of close
Silas: Why?
Me: We were lost.
Me: Anyway, its late so I'm going to sleep.
Silas: Be safe
Me: Always
Richard woke up at his usual time, the late night not quite beating natural habit. Like yesterday, Richard went about making coffee as quietly as possible. Since they were staying at the apartment he was back in comfortable clothes. The same blue sweatpants as before and a loose black t-shirt with an old style cat emoji on it. Just like the day before, the smell off coffee brought a barely coherent Gavin into the kitchen.
"Morning." Gavin muttered, sounding like he would much rather be asleep. "Today's the day. Are you excited?"
'Morning.' Richard signed back, choosing to answer Gavin's question with a nod. He didn't look awake enough for more signing.
When the coffee finished he poured Gavin's first sliding it over to him so he could get around to actually waking up. Richard poured his own next, holding it in his hands to soak up the warmth. He found himself watching Gavin, and rolled his eyes when the other all but moaned into his coffee. Understanding the sentiment, Richard lifted his own mug in a mock salute.
"Look. One of us can't function before eleven in the morning." He complained, hiding a yawn behind his mug before he took another drink, "Its not my fault you can't wake up at a normal time."
'Waking Up Afternoon Not Normal,' he replied dryly, winking at Gavin in place of a smile. Richard found morning's to be the most peaceful time of day and he liked them the best.
"Richard." He groaned gesturing to the window with his free hand, "Its the weekend. Its practically against the law to wake up early on the weekend."
'Yet Here You Are.' Richard felt himself smiling as he signed, 'Awake Early Sunday Morning.'
Gavin rolled his eyes and gave a genuine but tired laugh, "Okay, no need to be so damn smug. You've made your point."
'Have I?' Richard asked with the quirk of a brow.
This earned him getting flipped off by Gavin. He rolled his eyes again and hid a broad smile behind his mug. Gavin finished his coffee first and cleaned his mug out in the sink, setting it aside when he was done.
"Alright, I'm going to start by cleaning up my shit from the living room," he gestured in the vague direction of the couch, but Richard got the idea. "Then where do you want me?"
'My Room.' Richard signed before finishing off the rest of his coffee and cleaning out the mug.
Richard went to his room with every intention of redecorating but caught sight of his open closet doors. Part of making this apartment his was getting rid of those. He walked back out of his room to the hall closet, he opened the door and dug around until he found his tool kit. Richard took it back to his room and got started on the doors. He was working on the one farthest from the bedroom door. He got the top hinge detached without a problem. With that out of the way, he sat down and got to work on the bottom hinge. He heard Gavin knock on the doorframe before he spoke.
"What," Gavin started from behind him, sounding genuinely confused, "are you doing?"
Richard, personally, thought what he was doing was rather obvious. He was taking his closet doors off their frame. He gestured to the door as a way to get his point across and got back to work.
"Okay," Gavin continued, sounding just as confused as before, "and you're taking the door off its hinges because why exactly?"
Richard took a deep breath, letting it put as a frustrated sigh. After making sure the door wasn't going to fall if he left it unattended, he turned to face Gavin.
'I Do Not Like Noise They Make. Help Me.' He emphasized the last two signs by pointing at Gavin, then at the door that was still standing.
"You have a plan of what you're gonna do once they're off?" He asked as he walked over and leaned against the frame of the closet.
'No.' He stopped for a moment, wondering if they could fit in his car, deciding they couldn't he moved on, 'Do Not Want Them Here.'
"We'll figure it out I guess," came Gavin's response as he stood upright again, he eyed the door before he looked back at Richard, "you got anything to make this easier or are we just gonna brute force it?"
As much as Richard would have loved to see that, he didn't think the complex owners wouldn't like it too much if they couldn't replace the doors. He reached behind himself for the screwdriver he had been using and handed it to Gavin.
They worked in silence after that. Getting thr doors off and finding a place for them took longer than Richard thought it would. They settled for sticking them in the back of the bathroom closet, he found the irony of that a little amusing. The shelves for his room wouldn't be coming in for another ten days, but everything else could be set up today.
He took his time in his room, reorganizing things as he got it put together. Richard enjoyed himself as he redecorated his room, relaxing as the space came to look more lived in. His room came to have a blue and grey color scheme that he found calming and visually appealing. He took a picture of the finished product to send to Silas and Connor, making sure Gavin wasn't in the shot. Silas would lose it if he saw him in Richard's room, he would get the wrong idea.
The office came next, and setting up the shelves took the longest. Organizing them was easy though. The one to the right of the door as you came in was for books and paper work, the one to the left came to hold office supplies, a ship in a bottle, and a Lucky Cat statue from Gavin. Like with his bedroom, Richard took a picture to send to his brothers once Gavin had left.
Richard worked on the bathroom next, which didn't take him long. It was just changing the shower curtains and putting up different towels. The shower curtain was a blown up picture of the beach. Another picture that was sent to his brothers.
The last room left to do was the living room. Richard left it as the last room so Gavin had time to get all of his stuff together. He started with the media stand, placing ocean themed glass globes on either side of the tv, and light blue fairy lights along the front of the shelf. He placed two grey costers in shade order from lightest to darkest on each corner of the coffee table and a line of three white-blue electric candles along the center of it.
The couch was the last thing left to be decorated. Richard went back to his room to grab the bags of throw pillows. When he came back he couldn't find Gavin. Assuming he was in the bathroom, Richard started on the couch. He was smacked on the back with something soft, and turned to find Gavin triumphantly holding a pillow with "fuck off" stitched into it with light purple thread. He smacked Richard again, this time in the chest. It was on now.
Richard took a pillow off the couch and grinned at Gavin who seemed to realize he was a little out of his depth. He threw the pillow at Gavin causing him to back up, it hit him in the chest anyway. He ducked under the next one and threw his pillow at Richard. He caught it effectively disarming Gavin.
He backed Gavin into the wall with a barrage of pillows and was poised to throw the "fuck off" pillow when Gavin finally called his surrender.
"Okay! Okay!" He managed between bouts of laughter, "I'm sorry for smacking you with that pillow. Even if you deserved it."
Richard still threw the pillow, hitting Gavin lightly in the shoulder. They got to work setting up the pillows at each armrest, some along the back. Gavin placing the "fuck off" pillow in the center so it could easily be seen. When he moved away from the couch, Richard took a picture of the living room, making sure Gavin was in the shot this time, and sending it to his brothers.
"There its perfect." Gavin said, turning to face Richard with a smile as he put his phone away, "home sweet home."
Richard returned the smile, something light and warm making its home in his chest as he looked at Gavin, 'Home Sweet Home.'
For the first time, it felt true. This apartment was finally a home, a place where he could simply be, rather than be confined to. It was a new feeling and he liked it. Richard hoped one day he had the right words to thank Gavin for this.
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boggirlsummer · 1 year
Text
Roadtrip Rewind
Where did we leave off… After Bozeman I took two days driving through Montana, South Dakota, and Minnesota to get to Minneapolis, where I met up with Zoey. We spent two nights there, one night in Madison, two nights in Detroit, one night camping in upstate NY, and one night camping in New Hampshire after a day in Vermont. The next day I dropped Zoey in Portland and drove up to boat school. A few highlights:
In Minneapolis we stayed at 300 Clifton, this old mansion in the Loring Park neighborhood that was recently restored and is now a 10-room hotel/B&B (it’s on AirBnb!). It was spooky and fun and way cheaper than some shit motels I’ve stayed in. It’s probably haunted which is a plus for me. Also there were free scones. Another thing that makes me feel like I’m getting older - I’m starting to like all the dry biscuity foods I’ve always hated (scones, muffins, biscuits, shortbread).
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There must have been a little cyanide in my tea
My claim to fame - we went to a camera store to get our film developed and the person who helped us shouted me out on their Instagram! 🥰 And they happened to know the guy from the camera shop in Portland where we bought our stuff earlier this summer and tagged him too, sweet small world of vintage cameras.
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Golf courses are a waste of space
I love Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner so I’ve had romantic ideas about Madison for a long time and thought maybe I would want to go to grad school there. In reality it was kinda weird and sterile which is a bummer because they just announced the UW Madison Transdisciplinary Center for Research in Psychoactive Substances with a focus on therapeutic applications for psilocybin and MDMA #therapygoals
John K. King Used and Rare Books in Detroit is massive and chaotic. Loved it! We were hunting for Caliban and the Witch by Silvia Federici and we met two hella hot and tall employees who were very invested in helping us find the book. One wrote the title down and said he was looking to read more feminist anti-capitalist texts… Like okkkk fucking marry me and read to me in bed until the day that I die!! If I published a hot socialist bookstore employee calendar would anybody buy it?? These two guys would be May and November. I have a copy of Caliban and the Witch sitting in my AbeBooks cart with the shipping address: “Sexy Employee 4th Floor - You Know Who You Are, c/o John K. King Used and Rare Books, 901 W Lafayette Blvd, Detroit, MI 48226.” Venmo me $1 if you care to support my missed connection quest.
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Laughed out loud…one million books in the store and this is their choice of doorstop
Our hostel in Detroit was in the Corktown neighborhood and next door was the Pink Flamingo pop-up which has been happening there every Thursday for the past ~six years. It’s basically an airstream serving a rotating food and drink menu and a cool hangout spot with music and firepits. We had a fruit plate cuz we’d been eating straight junk for days while the DJ made an impromptu and rambling fireside speech about community and the meaning of life. Near the end the airstream hostess started handing out free rice balls as an apology.
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After Detroit we had two long drive days to get to Vermont where we had maple creamees at Bragg Farm Sugarhouse (shoutout to our friend and former housemate Brett for the recommendation!) and caught one of the last Bread and Puppet shows of the season (if you haven’t heard of Bread and Puppet it’s a political/radical puppet theater company based in Glover, Vermont). Holy shit Vermont is so beautiful it’s like a magical hobbit land. The lady at Bragg Farm tried to recruit me to come back and work through the spring maple sugaring season, maybe I should. Straight maple syrup is the new Red Bull.
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And that’s it! I can’t believe I drove myself all the way here. Thanks to Zoey for the company and cheers to a summer of buses, bookstores, bikes, and backpacks.
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Before I literally burst into tears
Maine is so beautiful and boat school is keeping me busyyyyy. Does anybody know what the hell a woolen is? I think I’m going to need some here. More soon! Send letters or junk mail my way at 440 Old County Rd, Pemaquid, ME 04558.
XOXO
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satorisa · 2 years
Text
Falling: Chapter 1 - In which the Hug is Finally Acknowledged
Rating: T
Summary:  "I wanna forget all this burden in my past."
Alternate Reading: AO3
Lift the Veil? I don’t know her.
D.N.Angel ending? I don’t know her.
But that hug? Lives, rent free in my mind, man.
Warning: Spoilers for the DNAngel ending abound.
After Dark disappeared, the hours continued to flow as if the incident had never occurred. Satoshi brought Risa home that evening before he visited the Niwa household to brainstorm a story for Commissioner Hiwatari’s disappearance. Daisuke slept next to him that night and, while comforted by his friend’s rhythmic breathing and familiar warmth, Satoshi kept his tired eyes on the window, watching as the evening skies brightened to a morning blue.
Commissioner Hiwatari was declared missing the next day, and Inspector Saehara decided to take Satoshi in for the time being. He moved into the Saehara household that same evening, everything he owned packed in a duffel bag weighing on his shoulder, and Takeshi showed him around the house.
Satoshi met Mama Saehara through a video call that same evening. She worked as a fashion designer, and her job had flung her off to Paris this time. He quite liked her.
After they hung up, he had a warm dinner with Takeshi and Inspector Saehara. It was leftovers from last night, but he enjoyed the food nonetheless.
That night, Satoshi slept next to Takeshi, who snored in his ear while either kicking him or rolling on him. Satoshi kept his tired eyes on the window, watching as the evening skies brightened to a morning blue.
He went shopping with the Saeharas the next day. They bought a bunk bed, a desk, and whatever else they thought that Satoshi would need. After that, the days fell back into their familiar rhythm as if the incident had never occurred.
Satoshi slept in the top bed for privacy. Takeshi took the bottom bed since he didn’t quite care. Their desks sat side by side in front of the window: Takeshi’s impeccably spotless and Satoshi’s covered in manila folders and schoolwork.
Everyday, Satoshi woke up, went to school, and attended the art club that Daisuke finally convinced him to join. On some evenings, Inspector Saehara would ask him for help on a case, and they always headed home after work with fried chicken for dinner. For the most part though, Satoshi spent his time after school with Daisuke and Takeshi.
Then Riku moved away.
Risa began to hang out with Daisuke and Takeshi just as much as she hung out with Ritsuko and the other girls, but she still maintained the same distance she had with Satoshi prior to the incident. She’d greet him, cordial and courteous, and she’d smile and laugh with the boys, just like him, but that was the extent of their relationship: friends of friends.
And that was how Satoshi’s second year in middle school came to an end.
The last of the art club members finally left. They were a group of giggling girls who clearly only joined to get closer to Satoshi but, after realizing that he wouldn’t pay any attention to them yet again, they decided to call it a day.
Satoshi sighed in relief when the door closed behind them and ran his hand through his hair. Daisuke, president of the art club, laughed at the strands that were sticking up.
“How long are you going to let them stay here?” Satoshi asked, watching the group walk and giggle down below.
“They’ll get tired eventually.”
“I highly doubt that.”
“Just wait. They’ll eventually realize how boring you are and set their eyes on someone else.”
Satoshi shot Daisuke a look. He laughed before slipping off his stool.
“So what did you want to talk about?”
“My painting.”
Daisuke, eyes shining with curiosity, scurried over to Satoshi’s canvas. His jaw slacked.
Before him was the familiar visage of Dark outlined in pencil. The sharp angle of his eyes, his chiseled features, his charismatic smile, and his dark hair flowing around him: everything was detailed to utmost perfection.
“Oh my god.”
“How is it?”
“It looks just like him.”
“It does, doesn’t it?”
Daisuke nodded, awestruck, but that eventually gave way to a darker expression on his face. “…why are you doing this, though?”
Satoshi shrugged. “I don’t know. Still life practice got boring, so I decided to try doing something different.”
“You could have done something else besides starting on a portrait of Dark.”
“I know, but this is what I ended up making.”
“…are you okay?”
“That’s a rhetorical question.”
Daisuke sighed. “It’s just—we’re worried about you, Satoshi. We don’t want you to hurt yourself, you know? If you’re not ready to face it, you don’t have to.”
“What? Would a portrait of my father have been better?”
“No, Satoshi, I—”
“Sorry,” Satoshi said before getting off his stool. He grabbed his bag and made his way to the door. “I didn’t mean to snap at you like that.” At the entrance, he turned around to face Daisuke. “But when the hell am I going to ever be ready?”
The sun began to set, casting its golden hue on the busts and wooden stands by the wall. Since Inspector Saehara didn’t need his help that evening, Satoshi stayed after the club meeting to work on his painting. A palette full of varying hues of purple floated gracefully in his left hand while a worn brush sat precariously in his right, waiting to lay down another thoughtful stroke.
The door opened.
“Hello, Hiwatari-kun!”
He tore his eyes away from the canvas to see Risa standing there. She no longer had her customary pink ribbon tying her hair up; her dark locks cascaded down just like Riku’s. If she trimmed some off, she’d be the spitting image of her sister.
Perhaps that was why she changed her hairstyle.
“Are you heading home soon?”
He glanced at his watch: 6:04 PM.
“Maybe.” Satoshi noted the bag slung over her shoulder. “I’m assuming you’re on your way back?”
“Yeah.” She frowned. “Saehara-kun kept us all late today because our monthly issue is coming out. What a workaholic.”
Satoshi smirked. “Like father, like son.”
“His dad’s just like that?”
“Absolutely. His mom’s the same way, too, so it probably runs in the family.”
Risa giggled. The door opened again, and it was the man of the hour himself. He pouted.
“I’m not as bad as my parents.”
“Sure,” Satoshi sarcastically drawled.
Takeshi just shook his head. “Whatever, bro. You headin’ back soon?”
“Maybe. Don’t wait for me if you need to head out.”
“Nah. I kinda want to hit up the arcade for a bit before we go grocery shopping.”
“Can we drop by the bookstore, too? I need to grab a couple of things.”
“Yeah. I think I need some stuff from there, too.” Takeshi then turned to Risa. “You wanna stick around with us, then? No hard feelings if you need to jet, though.”
“Thanks for the offer, but I think I’ll pass. I don’t want to stay out too late and worry my parents.” She waved with a smile. “I’ll see you two tomorrow then. Bye!”
Risa skipped out of the room while Takeshi walked over to examine Satoshi’s painting. He whistled.
“Yanno, you’re a little too talented for someone who doesn’t like painting.”
“Shut up. You know how I feel about it.”
“And yet you joined the art club.”
“I have to start somewhere with that positive reassociation and all.”
“And how’s that goin’ for ya?”
“Terrible. I’m hating every second of it.”
“Well, uh, nobody asked you to make a painting of that Dark Mousy fellow, yanno?”
“Couldn’t help it. His handsome face kept bothering me.”
Mama Saehara popped up on his phone screen with the Parisian skyline behind her.
“Good evening, Satoshi.”
“Good morning, Saehara-san.”
“No need to be so formal with me! Please, call me Mama.”
“I’d rather not.”
She laughed. “Alrighty, hun. How’re you doing?”
“I’m alright.”
“And the therapy? Have you decided to go?”
“No. I don’t think I can.”
“That’s alright. You’re doing alright. No need to push yourself if you’re not ready.” She sighed. “I just need this project to finish and then I’ll take the first flight I can back to Japan. Just wait for me, okay?”
“No need to rush. Take all the time you need.”
“Oh honey, I appreciate the thought, but I don’t know if I trust those buffoons to take care of you. Speaking of them, how are they treating you?”
“They’re very nice. I like living here, Saehara-san. Thank you for taking me in.”
“I’m glad, Satoshi. And you’re very welcome! It’s the least we could do, truly.”
Her phone rang. Mama Saehara answered before launching into a furious tirade of French. After she hung up, she sighed and began to massage her temples.
“Sorry to cut this call short, but there’s an emergency. I’ll call again as soon as I can. Toodles!”
“Bye. Have a nice day.”
Satoshi saw himself reflected on his phone screen, and he took out his earbuds before leaving the room. He went downstairs to see Inspector Saehara at the table, can of beer open in front of him, while Takeshi began plating the food.
“How’s Ma?” Takeshi asked.
“Alright. Busy,” Satoshi answered. He grabbed some plates and bowls from the cabinets.
“Sound about right,” Takeshi said. “And you?”
“Hm?”
“How’re you?”
“Alright. Tired.”
Takeshi smirked. “Who isn’t?”
He patted Satoshi’s back before putting the plates full of table and hounding his dad about drinking: just another meal at the Saehara household.
Satoshi smiled as he began to set the table.
After the club meeting, Satoshi stayed behind to work on his painting, unrestrained by a request from Inspector Saehara. He mindlessly toiled away until the door opened.
“Hi, Hiwatari-kun!”
Risa’s voice broke his focus. Golden hour had passed and the blue hour settled in, dying the room a muted blue. Even Risa, despite her chipper demeanor, seamlessly blended in with the mood.
“Hey, Harada. Did the newspaper club meeting just finish?”
“Nope. It ended a while ago, but I stayed back to wrap something up.”
“So Takeshi’s already gone?”
“Yeah. I think he went to the arcade with a couple of our club members for some bonding time.”
“Ah.”
Risa swayed her head. “Are you heading home soon?”
“Yeah. Let me tidy up here, and I’ll leave with you.”
She smiled. “Thanks.”
Satoshi covered his painting with a tarp before leaving the room to clean his brushes and palette. He returned to see Risa on a stool, watching something on her phone. She laughed until she noticed he had returned, and she paused her video before offering a weak wave and smile.
Satoshi grabbed his bag. “You ready to head out?”
“Yup!”
She hopped off the stool. Satoshi closed the door behind them before they walked to the faculty office. He bowed before entering, leaving the keys to the art room with the frazzled student-teacher, and bowed after leaving. Risa trailed behind him uncharacteristically calm and quiet the whole time.
When they got to the shoe lockers, Risa finally broke her silence.
“Hiwatari-kun,” she began as he took off his slippers, “did you know him?”
“Know who?”
“The person I was waiting for that day at the lamppost.”
“It took you this long to ask me about that?”
Risa giggled. “Sorry. I couldn’t find a good time to bring it up.”
“Really? I thought you’d do it by screaming at me about hugging you and overstepping boundaries.”
Risa giggled again. Satoshi raised his eyebrow as he slipped on his shoes. “I was thinking about it, but I thought it’d be too rude to. After all, you appeared when I needed someone the most. Thank you for that.”
“I had a snarky reply to that but, since you’re being genuine, I’ll keep it to myself.”
They reconvened at the entrance. Risa’s smile looked more genuine that the one she had earlier.
Good.
“So, why bring it up now?” Satoshi asked as they began walking out.
“I tried to forget about it. Why should I stay hung up over someone I don’t remember? But, well, long story short, I couldn’t. I want to know who he was.”
They stopped at an intersection. Cars rushed by while commuters joined them, preoccupied with their own lives. Satoshi focused on the red light of the crosswalk, trying not to look at Risa’s expression.
“Are you sure you want to know?”
“Of course I do! Why else would I be asking you about him?”
“And what if I tell you that it might be overwhelming?”
“So? I’d still want to know!”
“Even if it’ll make you cry?”
“Of course! I don’t want to just forget about him!”
Satoshi sighed. The light at the crosswalk turned green, and they began to move. Risa’s head bobbed with each step, and Satoshi focused on the sidewalk to avoid looking at her.
“Harada, I’d rather not see you cry,” he said. “It makes me uncomfortable.”
“Okay then. I’ll try not to cry.”
“You? Who displays your emotions for the whole world to see? Forget it.”
Risa grabbed his arm, and he turned around. She forced him to look at her. He saw the determination in her eyes, burning just as much as it did when she was chasing Dark mere months ago.
“Hiwatari-kun, please.”
How could he say no to her?
“Alright. Fine. Just give me some time, okay?”
He brushed off her arm, frustrated by her stubbornness. But he saw the softness in her expression when he yielded, and he etched it in his memory.
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tortoisesshells · 2 years
Text
Buying Time (2/6, probably, who knows, ~2,800 words, some salty language and more ways to not deal with grief)
Customs and Duties, but make it a modern!fake-dating AU with a severe lack of fake dating and more historical minutiae than any self-respecting modern AU should have; Part the Second, in which neither party has any luck with antique clocks, despite planned and unplanned meetings.
He never did see that coat again. Either someone had taken it, or maybe it had somehow found its way into the water that seemed omnipresent in that place – tidal creeks and ponds, the little river, the sea itself. One of life’s mysteries. There were others, from that day in January, but it was easier to think about the coat he’d lost.
Or why that particular shop: there was a bookstore nearby, and frankly that seemed a better place to finish sobering up before driving on to New York – where he would, in all likelihood, end up maudlin drunk on Andy Gillette’s couch, but at least get the thin satisfaction of someone worrying about him. At any road, he’d looked at the sign for S. J. Treat & E. C. Treat, Antiques – quaint, with a little hour-glass carved next to the names, and found himself inside – where he’d proceeded to make a complete ass of himself before the proprietor, who, contrary to what a sensible person would have done, sat him in a (modern) chair behind the counter and poured coffee from a thermos that might have actually have been an antique, listened to him ramble about Decatur and Barron because he’d been thinking that maybe his ancestors had been onto something, with their elaborate and ritualized pretenses for beating the shit out of each other over “honor” – and, after she was satisfied he was safe to drive, Mrs. Treat made sure he had  his keys, wallet, phone, and a water bottle before wishing him well. 
When he returned to Boston, he penned a note of thanks, knowing that it was wholly inadequate. Then, after his series of stilted emails with Elizabeth over the disposition of the apartment and everything in it, he’d had the idea.
*
Mrs. Treat politely insisted he pick the restaurant , since he was paying, and he insisted that she pick the restaurant, as she knew the area better than him. They probably would have stood there in the square batting courtesies back and forth like a deranged game of shuttlecock, before he made a tentative suggestion – which, contrary to her earlier assertions that she wasn’t picky – Mrs. Treat scoffed at as both too trendy and too loud, and steered them off in the direction of an unassuming shingle-sided tavern he hadn’t looked twice at on his initial and inebriated visit.
“It’ll be reasonably quiet,” she said, “And there’s a decent chance they’ve got the Franklin stove going.”
With that ringing endorsement, she ushered him into the bar, waved to the bartender, and pointed to a table that was, indeed, right next to an ancient woodstove – and sat in the chair closest to it.”
“I hope you don’t mind,” Mrs. Treat said, by way of an apology, “I get cold easily.”
“Not at all,” he replied, looking around the low-ceilinged room. “The decoration is …”
“A little idiosyncratic?”
He nodded.
“It’s what the tourists expect, I think.”
“They expect harpoons?”
“They’re not used,” Mrs. Treat said, with an expression that was very nearly a smile, “You’d be able to tell if they were. There’s a lot to be said about common misconceptions regarding 18th and 19th century maritime activity in this neck of the woods – or the coast, as the case may be – but that’s not what we came here to talk about.”
James privately wondered how you went about telling how a harpoon had been used, but missed his chance to ask: Mrs. Treat briskly arranged the tablet, folders, and notepads on the table, pausing only for the waitress to take their lunch order. Mrs. Treat recommended the scallops, and a local brewery with atrociously punned names, but he noted she only ordered a sandwich for herself. He thought of reminding her that he had asked her to find a clock that might very well cost more than a car and he wasn’t going to begrudge her a pint, but just as quickly scrapped the idea as horrifyingly bad-mannered.  She might not drink, after all. Or hate seafood.
“I’ll start with the bad news: the sum total of it is, I haven’t found your Williams shelf clock.”
“I assumed so.”
“I would get in touch right away if I had, absolutely. But I haven’t.”
Watching her twist her wedding band, he cleared his throat and asked: “Any good news?”
Mrs. Treat stopped her fidgeting and laughed. “The good news is that I can probably teach a specialist course on clock manufacture to 1850? I found more information on the Boston concern that Williams tended to purchase his clock-faces from, the history of brass rolling mills in New England – mostly Connecticut, by the way, none of your Hub nonsense here – though I don’t know for sure if Williams bought from Abel Porter and Co. or imported from England. You said your clock was early 18-teens, which makes trade with Britain a tad unlikely. There’s more information on the mahogany trade in there, as well. Book review for a monograph creatively titled Mahogany, by a Dr. Anderson – I suppose that’s part of the commodities trend where every other book was titled Cod or Pepper or whatever have you – in case you’re interested. Oh, and did you know that Williams once rented shop-room that had previously been occupied by a silversmith named Zenas Fearing?” She pushed a full manila folder across the table to him.
“If you want it,” she said, quickly, “I have all this in scans and pdfs as well, I can just email it to you. But I prefer hard copies.”
He took the folder and leafed through the pages, her annotations in red standing out against the page. “At this rate, Mrs. Treat, I’ll be able to construct it myself.”
“You might consider it. Shelf clocks are more common by the Federal period, but they’re still rare. If you could find a good source for Honduran mahogany you’d be able to make a pretty close replica to an original. Or just 3D print it, I guess.”
She sat back in her chair and swirled the ice around her glass with an apologetic smile. “I want to be clear, Mr. Norrington. I do believe that David Williams likely made multiple clocks of the type you’re describing, and I do believe that several have survived the last two centuries, and will come up for sale if they’re not already – these things can get misidentified. My failure isn’t an indication that it doesn’t exist, only – hmm. I say this as a professional: I appreciate your business and the trust you’ve put in me, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least tell you to consider going through a specialist. I don’t know clocks as well as I do desks and highboys.”
When he said he had consulted a specialist, Mrs. Treat cocked her head, and frowned. “Well. That’s good.”
He wasn’t sure what to say to that – she didn’t seem upset or offended, more puzzled than anything. He hadn’t meant it as an insult to her professional abilities; the dealers he had consulted spoke highly of her, tempered by the recent loss of her husband, who had been the founder of the business. Still, she looked at him cautiously – like she suspected something was afoot. “You care a great deal about this clock, I see.”
“One needs goals in life.”
“A lawyer’s answer,” she shot back. “But I understand, I think. And that really is all I have for you – there’s copies of correspondences with a few auction houses about Williams’ clocks – mostly tall clocks that have come up in the last half-century, some research from Newport Historical Society I called in a favor for – mostly about Williams and his contemporaries. Shockingly, most everyone wants to hear about William Claggett, so this is a bit thin – but if you ever get to Newport – the antiques show really is something! – you really should see the Claggett clock in the Redwood Library; it makes the to-do about him and his workshop seem very, very justified. There’s some auction results for the last few times one of his has come up, too. Just for comparison. Close to the back, yellow tab.”
Well. That was a number of zeroes.
“I appreciate your diligence,” he replied, closing the folder and pushing it to the side, to make way for the two plates the waitress was sweeping up with, and was very grateful for it, because he wasn’t sure what else there was for her or him to say. At least Mrs. Treat seemed to think one shouldn’t talk during the first few bites of a meal, efficiently clearing away half of her turkey club before setting the rest aside, and pushing her chips around her plate, which seemed an oblique signal that she’d welcome conversation, or still had something to say.
He didn’t say anything – a lawyer’s habit, maybe, though God knew it’d never helped him outside of the courtroom; or maybe he was still feeling a little foolish for letting the blind grief and very old scotch go to his head that day, and wasn’t entirely sure who Mrs. Treat was, even after doing some due diligence of his own: she seemed personable, dedicated, and honest – too honest for her own good, if she was encouraging him to look elsewhere. The glasses she wore on a chain gave her the air of a librarian, or slightly eccentric aunt – appropriate enough for her occupation. Still, it was rude to be too quiet for too long, and Mrs. Treat really had done an admirable job given the conditions.
“Will you permit a question, Mrs. Treat?”
“Of course.”
“You needn’t have given me all this information – or anything else that you’ve sent along. I would have been satisfied with an email that was some variant on ‘Not yet.’ Why all this?”
“It’s the slow season for me. Almost no foot traffic between the holidays and Memorial Day weekend – a spike around Valentine’s Day and St. Pat’s, because of the road race – but all in all, winter into early spring’s my designated vacation time. I liked the challenge – and I spent a lot of summers in Newport, when I was a teenager.” She paused, before looking at him curiously. “Will you permit a question?”
He nodded.
“I’ve been assuming you’re looking for a Williams clock because there was one passed down in your family – how did your family come to acquire the original? I’ve had to get very good at family genealogies over the years, but I wouldn’t have to have done so to know you’re not from a Newport family.”
“An antecedent married a woman from Newport; it came with her to the marriage.” If there had been an implicit question in why he did not have that original clock, he ignored it – better leave it as some question or quibbling over inheritance. Old families were fairly notorious for that. His cousins still weren’t speaking, even after fifteen years had passed, over the disposition some porringers. God alone knew what Hell would break loose when Grandmother passed away, and left the Burt silver tea service to one her descendants.
“Good provenance,” was all the reply that Mrs. Treat made on that score – all the reply she could make, because her phone began to ring and, apologetically, she checked the ID before blanching. “It’s my daughter’s school – if you’ll – just a moment – I’ll be right back!”
And she was – dashing back to the table looking like she was either about to break something or cry. “I am sorry, Mr. Norrington – I have to cut this short – my daughter’s been in a fight at school – she bit someone, actually – no blood, thank Christ – and, well –”
“I understand,” he said, rising to his feet belatedly, because he felt he ought to.
“Bless you! Do you want the folder with all the copies? Yes? Great. I’ll be in touch in June. Enjoy the spring up in Boston!”
Mrs. Treat rushed out the door, and he sat back down with the folder. If nothing else, it’d be more interesting that his current caseload.
*
In his inbox, not a few hours later, was a painstakingly polite email containing more than one apology and several thanks for understanding as he had:  Just in case (she wrote) I’ve set up a DropBox with all the info in the folder, find it at this link, I am profoundly sorry for my unprofessional behavior, Best Regards, Elinor Treat.
He replied immediately that there really was no need for her apologies: though personally unable to relate to the experience of managing children alone, his sister’s children were enough of a handful, and – came the sobering thought – they hadn’t just lost their father the year before.
Biting, though. He wanted to ask, but that would be rude.
And as May rolled through into June, Theo reminded him that it had been six months, and there was no time like summer to at least try to start dating again. This struck him as profoundly collegiate, and he said so, which led to a completely fruitless argument over whether or not either of them had dated in college, and why or why not, and how that at all had any bearing on the subject at hand – the only thing worse than arguing with a lawyer, he supposed, was being one yourself and doing it anyway. Like being an electrician and still sticking a fork in a wall socket.
He won a one-month moratorium on the topic, but that seemed pretty pyrrhic, all told. Weatherby Swann still couldn’t look him full in the face – and he didn’t anticipate that starting to date again would at all endear him the senior partner turned Gubenatorial hopeful. Or maybe it would? Swann could breathe a sigh of relief that it hadn’t been so serious as it seemed at first – no broken hearts, no resentment. Just two people who weren’t quite meant to make it.
He was out of his office before he knew it, saying something vague about getting lunch to Ned Jarsdel and he’d be back shortly, etc. etc. – and didn’t even notice he had a shadow until Theo Groves jumped into the elevator behind him with an obviously innocent expression.
“Someone’s got to make sure you eat your greens,” Theo said, airily.
“I’m not six years old,” James replied. He said it petulantly enough that it sounded like he was, and his junior snorted. Decades of incredibly expensive education, and that was the best he could do.
“You eat like you are.”
“And you know many first-graders who survive on scotch and bagels?”
“More in the sense of, ‘You can’t be trusted to eat a nutritionally balanced meal on your own account,’” Theo corrected, following him into the noisy lobby, “Honestly, it’s a marvel you haven’t developed scurvy by now.”
James tried to think of concrete proof he’d eaten something with vitamin C in the last week, but came up short, and settled for sniping that Theo had a job and caseload of his own – which, somehow, turned into another bout of unproductive bickering that lasted  up State Street, and James pretended he didn’t notice he was being herded towards Sweetgreen (or however it was spelled). With the vaguest glimmer of self-knowledge, he knew he was bristling from the shame of being seen to be incompetent; it didn’t stop him bristling, but at least he let himself be chivvied along through the crowds and the late-spring sunshine.
This was, of course, the moment he encountered Elinor Treat again.
“Mrs. Treat?”
She was standing on the edge of a group of children, clustered around a tricornered guide at the Old State House – and whirled around at being hailed with a puzzled look, until she spotted him and waved. With a word to another woman, she broke away and jogged over. “Mr. Norrington, hello! Forgive me – I’m here with my daughter’s class – end of year field trip, you know. I hope you’re well?”
Very aware that Theo was suddenly Interested in the proceedings, James was as dry as possible in introducing the two: Theodore Groves, a junior associate; Elinor Treat, antique dealer.
“Allegedly,” she said, with a sort of chagrinned cheerfulness, “I’m afraid I haven’t been very helpful yet.”
“Yet?”
Mrs. Treat looked at him rather than answering Theo’s question outright; he supposed he appreciated her discretion. “She’s investigating a family heirloom for me,” he replied, which was at least partially true.
“An interesting line of work,” said Theo.
“It has its moments. It does put a target on my back for chaperoning these kinds of trips, though – and we’ve still got to make to Charlestown.” She glanced over her shoulder at the school group, anxiously, “I don’t mean to be rude, but I’ve got to get back. Responsibilities aside, my daughter’s a firecracker and even the Massacre won’t be enough to keep her occupied long. Goodbye! I’ll be in touch!”
Blessedly, Theo said nothing until after they’d gotten their lunches, and sat out in the sun. “So. She seems nice.”
“You have another two weeks before you’re allowed anything on the topic,” James replied, stabbing at his under-dressed spinach bad-temperedly.
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cannibaldeerdoe · 1 year
Text
Romance is dead.
"She is probably using him." Was the first sentence out of his mouth.  It had slipped out as he starred blankly into his latte as it swirled casually around the espresso and whipped cream in the cup. His friends, Audrey and Stella, Both had their jaws a gap.
To which Darnell simply shrugged nonchalantly, sipping coolly at his drink.
He glanced left, then right at both of his dear friends. A bored expression plastered on his face before he set his drink down, the sleeves of his dark over sized hoodie shuffling over his knuckles as the drink was set.
Darnell had short cut black hair, thick curls at the ends near his neck where he felt he may need to get a haircut sometime in the near future. Long bangs pushed out of his eyes as green eyes took in the shocked expressions of his friends once more before deciding to finally speak up.
"What?" He stated so plainly, " I was pretty sure you were use to this by now. " He stated plainly.
The girl's had been gossiping about a college campus romance unfolding. They had seemed like the most typical couple in the world, boy meets girl, they start doing casual stuff around campus, holding hands, walking to class, ect, ect. Darnell has seen this sort of thing at least a dozen or so times before.
It always ended the same. Heart break. Either after a month or two they faded apart, or one cheats on the other, or the other gets dissatisfied by the fact they only want such and such items. Petty stuff that was enough to ruin anyones mood.
This time though, The guy had left a bouquet of flowers on her desk with a note. She later came back with a red blush on her face.
He had apparently surprised her with some sweets in her locker next, ending with a request to an amusement park. after only a year of dating it seemed he finally proposed. She had yet to give her answer yet. Though, according to his friends, she was a fool to say no to such a romantic gesture.
"No. Dont you see? He obviously figured out she was the perfect fit for him. " Stated Audrey, resting her chin on her palm as she stuck out her puffy lips. Her perfect dark skin seeming to meld well with the lighting drifting in through the window they were seated beside.
"You typically need a few years and living together to know that"
"Maybe he just knew, y'know, like a soul mate or something. " Stated his other friend, Stella stated, her brunettes' locks hanging low as he rested her elbow on the counter. Her gold hooped earrings shinning as they interacted with the sun hitting the table.
"No, See, Here's how things will play out. They rush into this marriage, and after a year pop out some children. They arent prepared or ready for kids so that causes tension. They find out their views on raising kids is vastly different and they dont coordinate well. They divorce, wondering why they were ever in love in the first place. " He began to take a sip at his drink. Humming casually.
"Its so simple. Heard it a dozen times before. There is no such thing as love or romance not in the real world. " They both stared at him, their brown and blue eyes glaring  him down before Audrey broke the silence.
"Yeah, Well, I hope you stay single forever with that sort of attitude!" To such an accusation, the group laughed. Cheerful fun having presented itself.
The group soon decided to depart, standing and walking down the street, the busy city gleaming and bustling with life.
Short lived romance, People arguing, Artists, dancers, office workers. It was just everyday life in this beautiful city. A city of small drama and comfortable living for young people.
It was perfect for beginnings and amazing for endings. Only issue was a lot of the time it was placed in that cold hard, cough syrup flavored reality.
They chattered and Darnell once more found himself laughing.
He had sworn he would stay single forever, because, to him romance was just something he enjoyed reading about in his spare time. It wasnt something that was real. It wasnt something that lasted. Just like his own parents. When he was a kid, they argued non-stop while swearing they were once in love.
To Darnell, Love was a spark that eventually faded. Love that lasted was usually just that. A fairy tale. One he figured he would enjoy avoiding at al cost.
Darnell paused, spotting in a window pane a book he had been in desperate need of and been eagerly awaiting the release of the next volume!
He could hardly contain such excitement, Pausing to stare into the window that showed the new released.
"I didnt even get the notification! "He exclaimed, waving hurriedly to his friends. They looked at eachother before turning to continue to walk.
"We can just meet you later." Stated Stella,
"How a romance nerd like you doesnt believe in real romance is such a god damn mystery to me."
The bell chimed delightfully and slightly annoyingly as he hurriedly opened the door to the bookshop.
Rushing over to the bookshelf behind the window case and searching frantically for where the volume might be located.
"Can I help you?" Stated a smooth voice almost like caramel from behind him.
Darnell's shoulders slumped some, he hated social interactions with  strangers. He had already guessed a read on his personality before even turning to face him. Gorgeous and surrounded by women at all peaks of the hours.
"Im just looking for the book that was released in this series. "He hardly bothered to look the man in the eye.
There was an audible hum from the man as he answered Darnell's query.
"I havent quite gotten around to putting them on the shelf yet. The copies are actually still in a box just over there. I just finished with the display a few minutes ago before being dragged off by my manager." He chuckled softly, his voice sounding almost as sickeningly radiant as the bell that chimed when he strode in.
"Well why bother setting up the display if they arent--"Darnell was about to go off on this guy, who care's if he is good looking?! Yet, when his green eyes met with this guy's almost brown his heart seemed to skip. As though it were waking from a cold damp slumber and stretched its feathered wings.
What. The. Fuck. Oh no, you go back to being dead right this instant!
He swallowed, rolling his eyes and trying to look more disgruntled than what he actually was.
"Just give me the damn copy. "
He demanded, which was promptly met with a chuckle, a smile. And him bending over to reveal even better of a view.
Yeah. He was asking for heart break with this guy. Last thing he needed in his life was more heart break.
He plopped the heady hardcopy into Darnell's hands. His eyes seemed to gleam as he held his most recent favorite romance novel. It was glorious! It was just as great as everything written about it in the forums!
He slouched back into his normal mood, His lip stuck out as he avoided eye contact and held the book tightly to his chest.
"Thanks."
"No problem, I can check you out as well if you'd like. It looks like your friends may have come back for you after all." He chuckled again, waving politely to the two girls standing outside.
Why were they just watching the whole scene? Were they expecting something from all this?!
He bought his book and went about his day. His friends teasing him that the guy back there was right up his alley in every way, shape and form!
"Did you get his name?"
"Did you get his number...?"
" His names Bryan. No, Why would I even bother?" They continued their taunts. Although they all stopped suddenly in their steps, the sound of rampant feet clattering towards the group.
They had gone quite a ways from the bookstore now and were on their way home, surprised to find the handsome and bold short haired red head sprinting towards them.
He huffed, changed from his bookstore uniform. He was red in the face a large smile as he tried to play off how awkward it must have looked running towards them.
"I cant--!"He tried to say between gasps for air. "Believe I ran into you again!" He stated exasperated, "I thought about this earlier, I got so excited when I saw you again I thought it might be a good chance!" he began to dig around in his pocket, pulling out his phone.
"I notice you read romance in my mother's store a lot! I thought you might be interested in maybe coming to a book club with me. It's run by my sister. The next reading is 'What blooms in winter' A new romance story that was released by an armature novelist. "
He smiled, directing the phone screen to Darnell in particular.
"I figured I could...Get your number. It's next week. I can even stop by and pick you up by the store?"
In Darnell's mind at that moment he could heart the thrum of his heart, His friends both at a loss for words. That was basically asking for a date. Adding in some lame excuse for how he could get his number.
He rolled his eyes.
His head was screaming for a yes, yes, YES! Though he instead shoved the phone back into the guys hands. "Why in the world would I bother going to something so childish as a book club. "he snarled. Turning sharply on his heel.
"S-Sorry he--" "Stop talking to the creep!" He interrupted, Not wanting to put up with Stella's excuse.
After that, he said good bye to his friends. Hugs and cheers as they departed. He stood there in the hallway. Waiting for everyone to get to their dorms.
He stood in the silence. Looked left. Looked right.
Then he found his legs were moving on their own.
Sprinting as fast, if not faster, than he thought possible down the hallway, bursting through the doors of his apartment, back down that alley way with his sneakers noisily smacking against the loud concrete.
He turned the corner to the empty city street to see a lone man in a dark green and white t-shirt walking with his hands in his pockets.
He looked a bit forlorn to say the least and turned almost at the last minute to view a black haired, skinny pale male moving faster than he had since middle school gym.
He could barely stop, barreling towards the broad-shouldered red head. He stopped just in time before a crash course collision.
Gasping in deep shallow breaths. He couldnt dare try to say words.
They both stood there in awkward silence.
"Are you al--"He was about to ask, though Darnell very quickly grabbed for his phone from his hands. He held his breath as he rushed to type in his number and throw it back into his hands.
He still was quite breathless but now stood up straight, a scowl present on his face and turned back to walk jelly legged back to his apartment. Leaving the man to the empty street once more.
A soft chuckle being heard from him.
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korra-the-red-lion · 1 year
Text
Unnatural Affairs. Chapter 8: Research.
(Ally + Lyn)
Ally
I chewed on my bottom lip as I looked at the list of people I wanted to talk to. Well, more like needed to talk to. I didn’t really want to talk to Jamieson again, but I felt like it was necessary for the case, so I’d just suck it up. I really needed to talk to the girl who got attacked, Jackie. But I wasn’t going to push her just yet, since she was supposed to stay in the hospital for one more day. She could wait, even if I didn’t like it.
The other person I wanted to talk to was that Janna Kawada person, who claimed to see the shower incident. I felt like it was a good idea to get an outsider’s perspective on it. I quickly wrote her name on the list, thinking if there was anyone else worth speaking to.
Lyn was going to do a lot of the research on the archives tonight, and I thought maybe I should help her. I didn’t study history, but I can read, and I know what I’m looking for. Besides, everyone knows two heads are better than one. I did ask Michael, but he said he was doing something tonight already. It reminded me that we actually had social lives outside of this. Well, at least they did. Sarah and Mags were my two other friends, and Sarah went home for the week. Mags had a date with their partner tonight. And I had a date with research about potentially murdered students, yay.
I opened my laptop and waited for it to wake up. I opened my search bar and typed in strange occurrences on university campuses. Unsurprisingly, mostly joke articles popped up. My face scrunched up in thought as I tried to figure out a better way to search up what I had in mind. I tried instead death on campuses, which brought up a couple of results. Most of them were accidental deaths due to overdose or an anaphylactic reaction to something, a couple of them were suicides. I read them over, even though they weren’t from this school. I just wanted to see if there were any similarities.
One thing did stand out to me. The article was over a decade old at this point, but it mentioned that a student tragically fell to their death at a party. It reminded of how Jamieson met his untimely demise. I printed off the article and stuck it in an empty folder I bought for this reason. I had to talk to him, and it might be good to compare.
Deciding it was time to rip off the Band-Aid, I packed up my things and headed out.
The on and off rain was currently off, thank God. My hair got so danged frizzy when it got damp. I mean, that was the least of my current worries, but it was super annoying. I quickly walked to where the Student Centre was located. When I got there, I stood in thought for a minute.
I don’t really want to be seen talking to the bookshelves, I thought slowly. Maybe he can leave? Otherwise, this is actually going to be harder than I thought. Crap.
Sighing in mostly annoyance, I pushed open the doors and walked inside. I wiped my feet on the mat before waving to the guy at the security desk. He nodded in acknowledgement as I went by. I wondered if he remembered me from when he helped me get back to my dorm. Instantly my guts squirmed, and I shook my head, trying to clear my head from those kinds of thoughts.
I bounded down the stairs to where the bookstore was located. Luckily for me, there was barely anyone here. There was the one lady behind the counter, and she took no mind of me. Swallowing hard, I looked around until I spotted him.
He was leaning against the counter, looking haughty with a bored expression. It looked very practiced to me, if I was being truthful. He must have felt me staring, because all of sudden he looked over with that horrible smile on his face.
I waited for him to drift over. When he did, I whispered, “Are you able to leave here?”
He looked intrigued. “The store, yes. The building, no.”
“Perfect, follow me.”
I lead him out of the store. My hands were trembling a little, and I was shivering. But, unlike that uncomfortable feeling in my chest I got around Dahlia, Jamieson didn’t do that. I think this was mostly from nerves. I pulled out my notebook while we were walking (well, I was walking) upstairs and wrote that down. Was Dahlia a stronger ghost than he was? I went all the way to the third floor and went into the ‘Quiet Room,’ a place where students could go if they needed time alone. I locked the door so no one else would walk in.
Finally, I took a deep breath and turned a steely gaze on him. “Okay, I have some questions for you. But first, what you did back in the bookstore was super uncalled for,” I snapped, jabbing a finger through his chest.
“You were the one who refused to listen to me,” he said, having the audacity of actually whining as he did.
“I didn’t refuse!” I threw my hands up angrily. “I told you I would after I had bought my books!”
“Well, I didn’t believe you!” he shot back.
“So, this might sound crazy to you, but you don’t force yourself on people when you don’t believe them!” I snarled. “If you ever do something like that to me again, I will find a way to destroy you.”
If ghosts could pale, he just did. He pouted and crossed his arms. “It’s not like I did it maliciously,” he said sullenly.
I glared at him. “Dude, intention doesn’t matter. I said no. You owe me an apology.”
“Fine! I’m sorry, human!” he said a voice that didn’t sound sorry. I rolled my eyes and sat on the floor.
“Now that the fun part is over with, I have questions about how you died,” I said, flipping to a new page in my notebook. “And since you were so keen to show me last time we spoke, I figured you’d be up for this, Jamieson.”
His eyes widen for a second before narrowing in suspicion. “How do you know my name?”
I hummed, “Dahlia told me.”
Jamieson’s eyes got a dark look in them. “Human, I wouldn’t mess with her if I were you. She’s psycho and dangerous. I doubt someone as frail as you can handle her.” He smiled darkly at me.
I scowled at him. “I can handle it just fine, thank you. Now, for my questions.”
“Why should I bother answering you?” he asked snootily.
“Because,” I said through gritted teeth, “I’m trying to solve a case here. You aren’t the only lingering spirit on this campus, which means there is something that is causing you to stay here. You showed me your death, and it replays in my head over and over again. You didn’t commit suicide or fall by accident. Someone murdered you. Is that right? That’s why you did what you did to me back in the bookstore, because you needed someone to know what really happened to you.”
He stared at me for a long time with a disinterested look on his face. Finally, he sighed and nodded slowly, his head dropping a little too far forward each time he did. “Yes, I think someone killed me.” He floated over to the couch and sat down, crossing his legs.
I sat next to him and placed my notebook on my lap. “Tell me what you remember, Jamieson.”
When he made eye contact with me, I suddenly realized I was looking into the eyes of someone not much older than myself. A young man whose life was torn away from him far too soon, and he held on to that resentment for all these years. I wasn’t just speaking to some guy from the 1800s, this kid was wearing pretty modern looking clothes.
“It was our last week of classes for the whole school year, back in 2007,” he started, staring off into some lost memory. “I was really excited because I had just finished my lab exam and was pretty sure I aced it. Me and some friends decided we were going to celebrate before the big party, so we grabbed some drinks and got drunk, like guys my age do. Anyway, me and Rachel, my girlfriend, left the preparty to hang out alone. We were making out on the roof of the Student Centre when she got super cold all of a sudden.” He paused, a look of understanding crossing over his features. He laughed quietly, sounding bitter. “Thinking about it now, maybe she was just sensing something that wasn’t really there. Where was I? Oh, yeah. I got up to give her my jacket when we both heard something. I looked around and didn’t see anyone, but then she was screaming her fricking head off and ran away. I was just about to follow after her when I felt something grab the back off my jacket and it tossed me back.”
He paused again, this time looking fearful. I went to reach over to grab his hand out of habit, but I just passed through him. Jamieson looked down at my hand, the look on his face switching from fear to mournful. He gave me the smallest shake of his head and smiled. “It’s okay. I mean, it was years ago…Plus, it’s not like I don’t relive it every day,” he said, pulling his head in an awkward angle.
I tried very hard to make sure I hid my discomfort at this display. “Are you sure? I can come back at a different time if you want.”
“It doesn’t matter. Today or tomorrow, I’m still dead.” His ghostly form went through the motion of taking a deep breath out of habit. “I never really saw who did it. I just know I heard them saying that they needed fresh blood. Next thing I knew, I was pushed off the roof. I landed awkwardly, still alive briefly. I think that was the worst, you know what I mean? I could feel myself dying. I could feel it, but there was nothing I could do about it. I finally just…stopped living. I woke- is that how you would say it?- whatever, I woke up in the bookstore a while later. My body was already gone, and I’m pretty sure it was the summertime. There have been none after me, luckily. Well, I think anyway. I’m the last murdered student of this campus, but I’m definitely not the first one.”
I was quietly writing as he spoke, but I stopped when he did. No one else had died since then…? That should have been something that made me feel better, but it just filled me with a small sense of dread. It’s been over 10 years since someone last died, according to him and now all of sudden someone got attacked on campus recently? Is it connected or just a coincidence?
“Jamieson…” I bit my lip, trying to think of how to say this. “Before you were…murdered, were there unnatural things happening on campus?”
He looked at me puzzled. “Maybe? It’s been so long now…”
“I’m not sure how much you’ve heard, but there have been some strange things going on,” I said slowly. “Or at least, one strange thing. There may be more that just never got attention.”
“I don’t see how that’s connected,” said Jamieson.
“Please, just try and remember.”
Jamieson’s face screwed up in concentration as he thought. I chewed on my pen as I waited for his response. Finally, he shrugged and said, “Maybe one or two things. I know that Sadie said that the walls were oozing one day when she was alone, and Zach claimed he saw a dark shadow chasing him, but he was high as a kite.”
I jotted it down quickly, marking it with a little star. I wonder if we would be able to find old student newspapers that mentioned it at all. I turned to look at the young man in front of me, who was watching me with such a curious expression. I smiled and said, “Thank you, Jamieson.”
He tilted his head in confusion. “Why are you thanking me?”
“Because I’m starting to build a picture here, and what you told me was a great start,” I explained. “I know we didn’t get off on the right foot, but you still shared your story with me.”
If ghosts could blush, then Jamieson just did. “I-,” he rubbed his neck, “-I’m sorry for how I acted earlier. And for the bookstore thing too. It was uncalled for. I’m…I’m just happy that someone is taking this seriously.”
I hovered my hand over his, staring him in the eye. “I can’t promise I’ll solve this, but I’m going to try my very best to.”
His eyes searched my face for any form of deceit before he broke out in a genuine smile, not that creepy one from earlier. “Thank you, human.”
“It’s Ally.”
Jamieson’s face filled with shock. “Why did you tell me your name?” he asked in surprise. “You do know it’s dangerous for a spirit to know your name, right?”
I stood up and pulled my sock up, which had slipped down when I sat. “Because I trust you,” I said simply.
“I- wow.” Jamieson stood as well and stared at me curiously. “You’re a very strange human, you know that?”
The smile that flitted across my face came uninvited. I shrugged and nodded. “I’m not sure I would have it any other way.”
He smirked, shaking his head. “Women, sheesh. I didn’t understand them when I was alive, and I don’t understand ‘em now. I need to head back now.” He paused before looking at me with hesitation. “Will…will you come and see me again?”
“I’ll try my best, but no promises.” He nodded in understanding. He gave me one last awkward wave before disappearing through the wall, no doubt heading back to the bookstore. I stayed there for a couple of minutes, lost in my thoughts.
Jamieson wasn’t that old. Dahlia didn’t seem to be much older either. Why? Who was killing students on this campus? Did the strange occurrences have something to do with it? I pulled out my phone and stared at my messages from Michael this morning. A perfect specimen, fresh blood. What did it all mean?
Groaning in confusion, I packed up my things before going after the next person on my list: Janna Kawada. Why did a couple of answers always come with a few more questions?
XXX
Lyn
I guess therapy wasn’t as bad as my parents made it out to be.
I wasn’t even sure I should call it therapy. I saw the mental health counselor on campus and told her what was going on. She listened and never interrupted me, something my parents would never do. She suggested to me some places I could look into to get more help if I needed it, but I was more than welcome to come back if I wanted.
Needless to say, it was super weird.
She offered me some solutions to my sleeping problems which didn’t include drugs, which I was grateful for. I had nothing against them personally, I just didn’t want them to affect my daily life. It was an option, just one I wasn’t personally comfortable exploring yet.
I went to practice after that, which was just a sad affair. Most of us, myself included obviously, were still reeling over the shock of what happened to Jackie. They even made it a requirement that a member of the campus security stay on the pool deck with us at all times right now. Morale was kinda at an all time low and if I was being honest with myself (which apparently is a new thing I’m supposed to do) I wasn’t sure we could bounce out of this funk. Even Coach Jacob’s heart wasn’t really in it. Andrew and Emma did their best to bring the mood up, but it wasn’t doing much.
Finally, the misery that was practice ended on a feeble note and me and the other girls picked up our stuff off the pool deck. Our locker room was still off limits until the repair was done on the wall, which literally could be whenever they decide to get around to it. We went into the family change room meant for the little kids and changed in there.
There was very minimal chatter today as we all wanted to get out of there quickly. I tied my hair up into a bun as I thought about grabbing a quick bite to eat before heading over to the library. I was probably going to be there for awhile. The thought of a nice greasy pizza seemed really appealing all of sudden and my stomach growled.
“Someone’s hungry,” mumbled Kerry as she pulled her shirt over her head.
I giggled, which in turn caused Kerry to giggle. Then Loryn snorted loudly, and we just couldn’t stop giggling. It felt a little desperate, but it also felt good. Emma joined in and soon enough we were all laughing about something.
“Hey, guess what?” Loryn said between gasps of breath. “Lyn’s got a date tonight!”
“Oh my God,” I groaned even though I was still smiling, “shut up Lor!”
“Oooh, who with?” asked Kerry excitedly.
“Yeah, spill Hart!” That was Emma.
“I wanna know too!” Tammy added.
I covered my face with my hands in mock embarrassment, even though I could feel my face heating up a little. “You guys don’t know her!”
“It’s a she!” Kerry said clapping her hands together in joy. Loryn stuffed a fist against her mouth to stop herself from laughing out loud. I tried glaring at her but my face muscles refused to listen to me.
“Is she nice?” asked Tammy innocently, even though she wore a shit-eating grin on her face.
“Yeah, is she? And how do you know we don’t know her?” said Maddie wearing a matching grin.
I shook my head, refusing to answer. Loryn did the honour instead, blurting out, “It’s a first year!”
Now the first years were getting in on it, asking about her. Honestly, I didn’t mind sharing but Loryn made it seem so much bigger than it was, so I played along. And everyone was actually smiling and joking around again, which warmed me to see. Robin instantly pulled up Tinder to see if she could find who it was.
“What’s going on here?”
I looked through my fingers, tears springing to my eyes. Jackie was in a wheelchair being pushed by her mum. The others screamed in shock and joy as I nearly fell to my knees in relief. She was pale, her face had the pinched look on her face from pain, but she was smiling her stupid fool smile.
“Jackie, are you feeling?” I asked, my voice tight with emotion.
She took my hands into her own as I knelt in front of her. “Tired and super sore, that’s for sure. But I guess the wound wasn’t as deep as I thought. I think they said it was mostly shock. Anyway, can’t swim until the stiches come out. Even then, I suppose to take it easy. I’m done competing for the year.” Although she said this all in an even voice, her hands were shaking in mine.
“I’m so sorry to hear that, Jackles,” I said, squeezing her hands. Tammy, who was basically crying on Jackie’s head muttered the same thing. The other girls came over and gave their sympathies too, as Emma spoke to Jackie’s mum quietly away from everyone else.
Eventually, Jackie’s mum said it was starting to get a little too overwhelming for Jackie, so they said goodbye and wished us luck for the year. I was really glad that Jackie was out of the hospital, even if it felt a little early to me. I had a feeling she left before she was supposed to. The wound was bleeding a lot when I found her, it even soaked through a towel. Or maybe my eyes were playing tricks on me in the middle of a crisis, who knows. Still, it was nice to know she was doing okay.
Emma had spoken to the team after that, saying that she wanted us to give Jackie some space once she came back. Apparently, she was having nightmares about the situation and was grieving the loss of her season really hard. We all agreed to keep it cool, and Emma left to go catch Andrew and Coach Jacob before they left to let them know.
After that, I left the AC to grab a bite to eat. The pizza place that sold big slices was only a quick minute walk down the street, so I swung by there first before heading to the library. I waved to Eileen the librarian before heading downstairs to where the older records were.
I took my usual table and pulled out my laptop, getting all set up when my phone buzzed. I swiped at the screen and read Loryn’s stupid “Have fun on your date! ;^)” text. I rolled my eyes, smirking a little as I sent her a snarky text back.
I slipped my headphones on, opened my iTunes and clicked on Death by Rock and Roll by the Pretty Reckless to get my night started. Taylor’s sultry voice rumbled in my ears as I opened Firefox and quickly got to work.
The first thing to do was figure out if there were other strange things that happened. I already had a couple of dates, so I did the easiest one first, 2007. I opened the library database and looked for the newspaper section, typing in some keywords. The trick to finding what you needed was only selecting a couple of keywords for the search engine to look up. Bingo. There was an article posted in the student paper about oozing walls being reported by some student named Sadie Franklin. I read it over, jotting some notes down. According to an update, it was chalked up to a faulty pipe bursting. A simple explanation for something strange happening. Just like Jackie’s situation.
Next, I looked to see if anything else happened in the same year. The only other thing that was out of the norm was a student died at the end of the year in an apparent accidental death. The police report that was released said his blood alcohol levels were way above normal and suggested that he must have slipped off the roof when he was goofing off with his girlfriend. Curious, I searched around to see if something strange happened in the town itself. The only thing that stood out was a weird power outage on April 25th. No one discovered the reason behind it, most believing it was just faulty wiring.
Faulty wiring, huh? I leaned back, crossing my arms as I stared at the screen. Faulty wiring wouldn’t cause a town wide power outage, would it? That definitely didn’t make a ton of sense. I got up from my desk and raced upstairs to print off a copy of the article. I tapped my student card against the printer to open up my account, clicked on the doc, and printed it off. I also had sent a copy of the student papers with the oozing wall article and the follow-up to be printed off as well. Once that was done, I went back to the basement to continue searching. But not before I bought a chocolate milk from the café.
Slipping my headphones back on, I unpaused my music as I pulled up a new tab. I wanted to do a quick comparison from 1995. I read through a few different articles until I could feel my eyes watering, but I still kept looking. There was a lot of work to do, but it needed to be done. Finally, something caught my eye. It was published in October of ’95. One of the students claimed hearing a strange voice coming from a classroom in Harper, and when she went to go look into it, there was no one in there. Apparently after that, the door locked on her and the classroom got completely trashed. She claimed it wasn’t her, but no one believed her. She had to pay for the damages, and she quietly left school after that.
“Pretty interesting, Kimberly Stanford,” I muttered to myself as I wrote down her name. I wondered if it would be possible to meet up with her, or at least give her a call. She might have something relevant to share.
The next thing I did was look up obituaries from 1995. I first looked around the same month that Jamieson Harris had died in, April. I combed through them all and no young people had died at that time. So, I worked backwards, hoping to catch something. I yawned as I read through the obituaries of those who died in March and February, but nothing was showing up.
I was so caught up in my work that I never noticed that someone had walked over to my table until I felt someone tap my shoulder. I jerked in surprise, pulling my headphones off. I whipped around and saw Ally standing there looking very guilty.
“Lyn, I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to spook you,” she said awkwardly. She held up a tray of drinks. “I thought maybe you’d want some company? I texted you but I guess you didn’t see it.”
“Oh, it’s all good, no worries,” I said shakily. I took one of the drinks with a thanks and took a sip. The taste of chocolate hit my tongue and I smiled as I felt the warmth fill my belly. “Take a seat.”
Ally smoothed her skirt and sat down beside me. Her fingers brushed the top of my paper pile. “You’ve been busy,” she commented.
I nodded, leaning into my hand. “That’s all from 2007. I was working my way through some stuff from ’95 when you popped in.”
Her eyes skimmed the printed off article as her lip curled into a frown. She gently put it back and pulled her own notebook out. She shuffled closer to me so she could show me what she had written down. I could see that it was the same story, albeit with more detail.
“Where did you get this?” I asked as I turned the page to read the rest.
She shifted uncomfortably in her seat, tucking her hair behind her ear as she did. “I spoke to Jamieson.”
I paused for a second, taking in the impact of that statement. I looked over to see that her face was screwed up in worry, waiting for me to respond. Our eyes connected and for whatever stupid reason, I blushed. Loryn’s words were bouncing around my head. I smiled gently and placed my hand over hers.
“Ally, it’s cool. You already told me that you could see them and stuff, right? You don’t have to be worried about me ditching you or anything.”
Relief flooded her eyes, and it just occurred to me that they were a really pretty colour of hazel. She smiled back, pink faintly dusting her cheeks. “Thank you, Lyn. I- it means a lot to me.”
My heart was thudding loudly as we continued to make eye contact. Finally, I looked away awkwardly. “Yeah, no worries. I’d n-never do something like that to anyone, you know?” I laughed with embarrassment. Why was I getting so flustered? Was I the one who said I barely knew her? God, Loryn can never ever learn about this.
I picked up the notebook, regretfully pulling my hand off of hers. “Okay, so you talked to this guy. What he says kinda matches up with what I found.”
Ally was watching me with a curious expression before she nodded. “Except for the part where someone pushed him off. He didn’t fall by accident, he was murdered.”
A chill went up my spine. “Right, yeah.” I skimmed through her writing and nodded when I saw it. I reached over and grabbed my own notebook to show her I had the oozing wall note too. We read over the two different accounts, and I wrote down Sadie’s name too. Maybe we wouldn’t be able to get in contact with her, but it was worth a shot.
I showed Ally what I had been working on before she got here. I explained that I was looking to see if anyone died during that year as well. I showed her the account of Kimberly Stanford and how no one believed her story. Ally opened her own laptop and I showed her where to find the obituaries. We sat side by side looking through them together. The only sound was the tapping of our fingers as we scrolled down and our breathing.
I was aware of how late it was getting. The library was going to close shortly. Finally, I found one. A young woman died in ’95 in November, right here on campus. The way the obituary was written made it sound like a suicide. I sat up excitedly, grabbing Ally by the shoulder. I showed her what I found, and I grinned at her.
“Looks like we’re building ourselves a case here.”
“But why?” Ally asked thoughtfully as she read over the death of Amelia Turner. “The dates are so far apart, so who is killing students?”
The lights flickered overhead, before going on. We both froze, our breathing going very shallow. Just as sudden, the lights flared back to life. Ally and I looked at each for only a second before we quickly packed up our things. We were sure as hell not sticking around after that.
I took the stairs two at a time, trying to get my heart under control. I waved goodbye to Eileen as we left. The sky was clear tonight, the clouds of the miserable day finally gone. It was strangely peaceful after the sudden power shortage. I offered to walk Ally back to her res, which she agreed to gratefully.
We walked quietly back, both lost in our own thoughts. I just couldn’t believe that students were murdered on the very campus that we were currently living on. There was a very big possibility that the person who murdered Jamieson Harris and Amelia Turner was still here. That was scarier than anything else. Did that person attack Jackie too, or was it really a ghost?
“Lyn,” said Ally quietly, knocking me out of my head. I looked down her, but she was staring forward.
“Yeah?”
“Thank you,” she said softly. “I never had a lot of friends growing up. I always felt like I couldn’t connect to them because I was always hiding a part of myself away. Maybe it’s not a big deal to someone like you because you just seem so self confident but having someone who not only believes in me, but also is willing to step out of their comfort zone just to help me means the whole world. You’re so kind and cheerful and I just…you make me feel safe.”
I said nothing as I listened. When she was finished, I reached down for her hand, clasping it in my own. She looked up at me, and I smiled softly.
“You don’t have to thank me for being your friend, Ally. I’m like, super lucky to meet someone as cool as you,” I said. “I knew after that tour that we were going to be friends. Sure, you talk to dead people and that’s kinda weird, but that doesn’t make you some unapproachable freak. You’re funny, sweet, and like, super caring. I don’t know anyone else who would be looking into the murder of a ghosts just because some girl they didn’t know got hurt. Honestly, that’s pretty amazing to me.” I reached up and tugged at my ear in embarrassment. I didn’t mean to go off like that.
There was a silence between us before Ally wrapped her other arm around me. I blinked in surprise before I gave her a one arm hug back. We stayed like this for God knows how long. It was…comfortable. Ally’s body warmth felt nice and calming. She rested her head on my shoulder and I resisted the urge to put my chin on her.
It was only after that the cold was too much for us that we stopped. Ally smiled at me ruefully before kissing the back of my hand.
“Night, Lyn.”
“Good night, Ally.”
I watched her walk into MacGavin, waving at her when she looked back. I didn’t leave until I was sure she was safe inside. Then I slowly walked back to Lukas, my hand tingling where Ally had kissed it.
I totally had a crush on Ally.
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lunalovegood377 · 2 years
Text
So this whole thing is based off a conversation I had with @malfoyssheir and I decided to write about it
Wolfstar proposal
Option #1: a casual proposal
“Hey, Re?” Sirius said, stepping out of the bathroom of their flat. It was their first year living on their own and they had been together since fifth year.
“Hm?” Remus replied from the couch where he was reading a book and drinking tea.
“We should get married.”
Remus spilled his tea all over himself. He’d just been thinking about when they’d get married. Sometimes he swore Sirius could read minds.
“W-what?” He asked, making sure it wasn’t a joke.
“Well we love each other, so why don’t we get married?”
He felt a sudden blush rise to his cheeks as he frantically tried to clean up his tea so it didn’t stain anything.
“Are you proposing?” He asked without looking up. Sirius didn’t Reply, but Remus heard him run to the kitchen.
“Siri, are you ok?”
A few seconds later Sirius came back holding something behind him. He got on one knee in front of Remus.
“Remus John ‘Moony’ Lupin, will you make me the happiest man alive and marry me?” Sirius said as he pulled a donut out from behind him.
“Yes!” Remus fake swooned and held out his hand so Sirius could put the donut on his ring finger. Sirius stood up and wrapped his arms around the boy and, as ridiculously cheesy as the proposal was, Remus teared up at the thought of marrying the love of his life.
Option #2: Remus proposes
Remus had known for a while that he wanted to propose. When James and Lily invited them on a double date to the three broomsticks, the place Sirius had taken him on their first date, he decided he’d pop the question. He wrote to the Potters explaining his plan and they were all for it, but the day had finally rolled around and Remus was a nervous wreck.
“How do I look, Re?” Sirius asked, pulling Remus away from his thoughts. He was wearing black jeans, a muggle band tee shirt, and a leather jacket.
“Gay-GOOD I meant good, heh..”
“Wow shit Remus, you’re really fucking smooth” he whispered under his breath. He inspected himself in the mirror. He was wearing his nicest jumper and pants, and even tried to tame his hair.
“You ready, babe?” Sirius asked. “We should leave soon.”
“As ready as I’ll ever be,” he muttered as they apparated to the pub. When they arrived, Remus spotted Lily’s bright red hair right away. As they made their way to the table she gave Remus excited looks.
“Heyyy Remus,” James said in a sing-song voice as they slid into the booth.
“Fuck off,” he replied, wiping his sweaty palms on his trousers. He glanced at Sirius sitting next to him who luckily didn’t seem to pick up on the tension in the air.
“So, what’s everyone getting?” Sirius asked, bouncing in his seat like the small energetic child (that he is).
“I’m getting nervous,” Remus replied, heart thumping against his ribs.
“What, to order? Don’t worry Moonsie, I can order for you if you are anxious” Sirius cooed, intertwining their fingers under the table. Remus prayed Sirius didn’t ask why his hands were so sweaty. He shot a glance at Lily who was smiling fondly at him.
“Just relax,” she mouthed when Sirius wasn’t looking.
The evening seemed to last forever, Remus thought, as he tried to drown his fear in nonchalant conversation. Finally, finally, dinner was over. Remus slid out of the booth and got down on a knee when James was talking to Sirius. He recited his lines in his head one last time. After no more than a second a wave of gasps and whispers erupted in the pub as everyone began to realize what was happening. Lily and James’ jaws simultaneously dropped (even though they knew exactly what was happening and had for weeks) and Sirius spun around.
This is it
“Pads, I love you,” he started as Sirius slapped his hand to his mouth. “I’ve loved you since fifth year when we were just boys. Before you, I thought I was a monster incapable of living a happy life, but you showed me otherwise. These past years have been the best years of my life and I truely couldn’t ask for anything better. Will you, Sirius Orion Black, make me the happiest man ever and be my Husband?”
Sirius looked through watery eyes at James and back to Remus. The whole pub had fallen silent. Suddenly, from the back a witch who appeared roughly their age stood up.
“What are you waiting for? Answer the boy!”
“Yes!” Sirius cried, letting a tear run down his cheek. Remus felt the world fall off his shoulders as he jumped to his feet and kissed the man infront of him. The pub erupted in cheers and James began to cry.
“My baby brother is getting married!!!”
Final option: Sirius proposes
Sirius was someone who acted on impulse, everyone close to him knew that, which is why it was so out of character for him to be thinking about something so much. He lay in bed next to Remus trying to think about when to propose. They had just bought a nice flat in muggle London- Remus’ favorite place in the world- and Sirius lay restless listening to the city noises coming through the open window and watching Remus’ stomach steadily rise and fall with each breath. He rolled over after a bit and glanced at the clock on the side table.
5:06 am
“Great...” Sirius mumbled. He reluctantly crawled out from under the blanket and walked to the bathroom. On his way back to bed he saw his jacket hanging in the hall.
“Oh, what the hell,” he muttered to himself. The thought of falling back to sleep was hopeless so he pulled on his boots and jacket and went outside. The leather was unpleasantly cold against his bare arms as he roamed the streets, and he felt in desperate need of caffeine. He found a small shop open and when he stepped inside was greeted by the strong scent of fresh coffee grounds. He bought a cup and continued down the street. He past the used bookstore (aka Remus’ favorite spot on earth) and smiled to himself.
Remus’ family was always tight on money, something Sirius had never had to worry about. He and Regulus had always gotten nice clothes and books whenever they were in need of them. Remus on the other side would go for years wearing the same set of robes and reading the same books over and over. Ever since they moved, Sirius would bring Remus to the bookshop every month to pick out a new book. He loved seeing Remus so excited, running up and down the aisles, opening the books and smelling the pages, squealing when he found one he’d been wanting, but it was also sad for Sirius to watch. He knew that Remus felt guilty when the book he wanted was a bit pricey because growing up if he wanted a new book he might have to skip a few meals.
That’s when it hit him.
“Wait...I’ve been thinking about this all wrong,” he spoke out loud. “I’ve been thinking all wrong!”
He threw his cup in a trash can and started running home.
“Remus doesn’t want an extravagant proposal!” He shouted. “Remus’ favorite place in the world is right down the street and that’s where we’ll get engaged!”
He busted through the apartment door to a pacing Remus.
“WHERE WERE YOU?!” He said. He was trying to sound upset, but it just came out relieved.
“Never mind that, baby. Tomorrow morning in going to take you to the book shop for some new books.”
Despite Remus trying to be angry, his face lit up. “But it’s not the end of the month yet?”
“Am I not allowed to treat you?” Sirius asked, wrapping his arms around the werewolf and looking up at him.
So of course Remus agreed, and for the rest of the day he walked with a bit more bounce in his step. Every time Sirius saw this he pretty much melted because he couldn’t imagine a cuter, nerdier boyfriend.
The next day Sirius got up and dressed in one of Remus’ sweaters and a pair of trousers. Remus had on a sweater and a pair of Sirius’ jeans.
“C’mon Siri!” Remus urged as Sirius tried to wolf down a quick breakfast. (Remus+adhd+waiting for five minutes while your boyfriend eats don’t mix)
“I’m coming baby,” Sirius called, stuffing a bagel in his mouth. They walked hand in hand to the book store, Sirius mentally reciting his lines the whole way. When the shop came into view, Remus took off running towards it.
“Pads, come on!” He squealed. Sirius smiled fondly at how much Remus reminded him of an excited child. They stepped into the shop and were greeted by a friendly woman working the checkout. Remus skipped to the back.
“Hi, how are you?” The woman asked Sirius. Any other day he would’ve flashed her a signature Sirius Black smile, but today he was a bit to nervous. (But he’d never admit that to himself)
“I’m good, you?”
“I’m good. Your friend there sure loves books,” she laughed, pointing at Remus. He already had about seven books piled under his arms.
“Yes, that’s Remus. He’s my boyfriend.”
Sirius loved saying that. He felt a bit weak in the knees when he realized that if everything goes according to plan, he’d be able to introduce Remus and his fiancé.
“Padfoot!” Remus cried, centering his thoughts again. Sirius turned around the see the boy struggling to carry a massive pile of books. “Help!”
“Moony!” Sirius snorted, taking some of them and putting them all on the checkout counter.
“Sirius what the hell are you doing?!” Remus whispered.
“I told you I’m going to spoil you today. I have one more surprise outside.”
After Sirius payed for the heap of books, they stepped out.
“So, what’s the other surprise?” Remus asked. Sirius got on a knee and took Remus’ hand in his own.
“Moony, I owe you everything. I would probably be dead if it wasn’t for you. You are the love of my life, my best friend, and my family. I fall more in love with you every time I see your face, and I truely think you are my soulmate. Would you make me the happiest man ever and marry me?”
“Yes! Oh Merlin yes!” Remus replied, letting tears roll down his face. “I love you so much.”
And they walked home hand in hand, to boys hopelessly in love with each other on the streets of London.
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