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journeytomonkiekid · a day ago
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CH 5 (Pendulum) - Page 36 Previous || Next
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the-modern-typewriter · 2 days ago
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Hopefully this request isnt too specific but can i get one where its after a battle between the hero and the villain and the heros mask is partially broken and they have a large scar and when they go to check on the citizens they're scared of the hero and it makes them sad but the villains watching from afar and uses mind control to make the citizens congratulate the hero and thank them. Thanks :)
"I appreciate the sentiment, but you shouldn't have done that," the hero said.
"Hm?" The villain turned, an innocent expression plastered on their face.
The hero stayed in the shadows, head ducked slightly to turn their cheek towards the ground. Their voice, when they spoke though, was steady and sure.
"Mind control," they said. "My stance on it doesn't magically change just because it's for my benefit. It's still wrong."
"So is the way that they treat you."
The hero didn't know what to say to that. Rather, there were too many things to say. Flippant things. Sad things. Boiling things. Breaking things. Burn the whole damn-world down things. The silence stretched just a fraction too long between them.
"They don't mean anything bad by it," the hero said, at last. "They're just scared."
The villain snorted. "Yeah? I think they're just ableist pieces of-"
"-Mind controlling them won't help. It won't actually change them."
"I don't need to actually change them, love," the villain said. "I just need them to stop. Scared?" The villain laughed. "I can show them real fear. And it's not something so shallow as a scar."
The hero swallowed.
The villain took a step closer, and the hero shrank back. The villain stopped again, head tilted, examining the vague shape of them in the dark.
"The fact that you could immediately tell I was controlling them," the villain pressed, "only proves the point. Have they ever thanked you before?"
"Of course they have."
"When you have the mask on."
The hero said nothing again, but they both knew that meant 'yes'. What was the point in voicing it?
"They may not mean anything bad," the villain said, "but that doesn't make it not-bad. Tell me you know that, at least. Tell me, when you see them flinching from anyone who looks physically different, that you don't want to strangle them. Just a little bit."
"Sure."
"But you can't. Because that would confirm everything they think is true about you."
The hero shrugged, but they both knew that was true too. They had to be a hero, they had to be beyond perfect, beyond any possible reproach. Anything else was just the inevitable proof of their secret monstrosity.
"Doesn't change the fact it would be wrong to strangle them," the hero said. "Or mind control them. Please don't do that again. Not for - not for me. If it's for me. Then-"
"It's for you."
The hero swallowed once more, studying the villain where they stood; radiant and gorgeous in the light.
"I won't," the villain said. "If you come here."
The hero's fingers flexed around the broken shard of their mask, but it was impossible to fit back onto their face. They wanted to step back again, go home, go somewhere that no one would see them anymore. They forced themselves to step forward. Into the light.
The villain drank up the sight of them, and the hero didn't know what to make of it. It was a cruel demand, undoubtably, but also...
The villain's hand closed on their jaw, on the side with the mask still intact. The hero couldn't quite feel them through it, only the weight of the touch. They felt as frozen as if the villain had mind-controlled them, but the villain's telepathy had never worked on them before.
"You shouldn't have to hide in the dark," the villain said, and held their gaze. "You shouldn't have to be scared of what people will think. You shouldn't have to hold such sorrow inside of you. And..." They leaned down, to press a kiss to the scar, entirely unafraid, before their lips moved to the hero's ear in a dark promise. "By the time I'm done with this wretched world, you won't have to."
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bts-trans · 2 days ago
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221003 Weverse Translation
Jin's Post ❇️
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오 남준 나도 메이플 재획하면서 이거봄ㅋㅋ (https://weverse.io/bts/artist/2-106268897)
Oh Namjoon I'm watching this too, while collecting items on MapleStory haha
Picture translation: It's so damn good.. (T/N: RM's story from yesterday showing the Korean drama 'Little Women' on Netflix.)
Trans cr; Annie & Aditi @ bts-trans © TAKE OUT WITH FULL CREDITS
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the-endless-archive · 2 days ago
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[ Zatrium ]: “Usually it is visitors that react to my appearance as it is out of the norm for them. However, as my interaction with visitors tends to be very low, it is rather rare that I hear any of these comments.”
[ Asker & Featured ]: @ask-wizard-sunburst
[ Mod ]: loOK WHO FINALLY MADE AN UPDATE, it is sketchy but it is an update. I can’t promise that this means I’m alive tho, lmao
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ilovemesomevincentprice · 2 days ago
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Vincent Price as Verden Fell - Tomb of Ligeia
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write-on-world · 2 days ago
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artemysiax · 2 days ago
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The Collector of Broken Dreams
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In the town shshshsh, a town hidden between places, lives the Collector of Broken Dreams. Her name is Elda, and each night, she trudges past homes, collecting the dreams heaped in broken pieces on doorsteps and under windowsills. She picks them up and places them carefully in her wooden handcart.
No one has seen Elda’s face in many lifetimes. No one knows if anyone has ever seen Elda’s face. And no one cares. In fact, no one ever thinks about Elda, and this is how she wants it. That’s why she took the post as Collector of Broken Dreams. The less people are reminded of her existence, the better.
So every night, Elda walks the ancient stone streets, and just before the sun is ready to break triumphantly into the sky, she brings her overflowing cart to the center of the city where the Pool waits. Here, Elda drops in the mostly darkened pieces of dreams. What had remained of their light had died sometime in the night. The Pool is special, you see. It is the fountain of energy from which the town draws life.
This is Elda’s life. For her it is all very normal. Each night the same, almost always. On one such night, Elda found a child’s dream broken in the street beneath a window. A little girl sat in the window above it, crying softly, so that only Elda’s membrane ears, sensitive to the slightest changes in vibration in the air around her, could hear.
“Tch tch, little one,” thought Elda with tenderness in her heart.
She picked up the child’s broken dream and gingerly tucked it into her cloak. The pieces of the child’s dream still glowed with hope, even as the little girl cried inconsolably in the room above the street. She never saw Elda, and she never would. That’s the way Elda likes it. As Elda sees it, it doesn’t matter who sews the dreams back together. What matters is that these dreams never die.
Just as the sun began to whisper to the sky of her return, Elda deposited the broken dreams in the Pool. She reached a hand beneath her cloak to the little girl’s dream, and smiled when she felt that it still lived, and then she headed home.
On the way, she stopped by the Field of Unicorns and picked through the trash there. Unicorns love to brush their manes and tails, and even though they rarely shed, because they have never met Time, sometimes a strand will break. Elda uses these rare strands to mend broken dreams.
Back home in her hut nestled in the mangroves that edged the lily ponds, Elda set to work on the child’s dream. The dream hummed with hope. Each stitch of unicorn thread strengthened the flickering life. Elda sat and hummed with the dream as she worked, and by nightfall, the child’s dream was sewn back together. Pleased, Elda sat back in her chair with a smile and wiped a sinewy arm across her damp brow. It is hard, exacting work, to build the flickering hope in the broken dream. As she made her even, tiny stitches, she hummed in chorus with the dream to the Great One, asking for grace and to borrow the Light. The hard part was keeping her heart empty in order to receive it, so she might pour it through her hands into her work.
This time, she was granted success.
Elda stood up, her gnarled joints creaking (she had met Time long ago, and in fact, they were good friends), and tucked the dream into her vest. She shrugged on her cloak, fed what could easily be called a cat, and took up the handles of her handcart.
She spent the whole night collecting and as the sun began kissing the sky to the east, Elda walked hesitantly to the home of the child. Not all people with broken dreams want the dream back, she knew. But she could tell the dream wanted to return, so maybe there was hope. Elda placed the dream on the doorstep and rang the bell. Then she scuttled off to a nearby corner to hide behind some vines overflowing from a private garden. Most people don’t notice Elda, anyway, even if they are looking right at her, but Elda didn’t want to take any chances.
The light on the stoop lit up and the door opened a crack.
“Hello?” came a small girl’s voice. “Is someone out there?” Read the rest here: https://objkt.com/asset/KT19GMZxGKxYTxrDX4Gthtkk7LUpsgaiGoxZ/3 Cover art by the author. Watercolor.
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sjokomila · 3 hours ago
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part 20! I don't think this museum is osha approved you guys
part 1 - part 19 - (next tba)
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fruitgoo · 2 days ago
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bts-trans · 20 hours ago
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221003 RM’s Instagram Story
그냥 죽은 사람 아냐 ~ 사아실~~
I'm not just a dead person~  Honestlyyy~~
Trans cr; Aditi @ bts-trans © TAKE OUT WITH FULL CREDITS
Source: instagram.com
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emberwood-if · 18 hours ago
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I can't believe you made characters that are perfect for farming shenanigans and hilarity, and put them in a angst ridden game
How could u
hehehehe that’s exactly what I was going for
My biggest thing is how to balance the humor with the angst…poor characters I am going to TORTURE THEM
and then throw in a joke or two lol
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soohaaaleemeee · 2 days ago
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The Real Deal
Part 5 - Never Alone
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Description: Bill and Cassandra have been friends a long time and with time realize Cassandra he is her dream but not just him but also his lifestyle.
Characters: AU Single Bill Skarsgård. A version of Bill where he becomes single 2017 and with a different timeline. AU Skarsgårds and others. The rest is my own original characters.
Setting: The story will jump from 2001 until present day. This chapter jump between 2015 and 2019.
Warnings: 18+, alcohol, drugs, drunkeness, toxic relationship, smut (sort of), sex work, slut shaming.
Notes: Remember that is is fiction and the most of isn't true and is just for entertainment.
"Still haven't heard from him?" 
"Not a word, not even on Facebook." 
"He's such a fucking idiot. You know, he has done this to others too, just completely ignoring them and I don't understand why. Sure his job sucks, but like, come on." 
"But he has contact with you, your family?" 
"Em… Mostly Gustaf, me only a bit. Mom and dad a bit but they are also mad at his behavior." 
Cassie hadn't heard from Bill for months. Not even on her birthday. Last time she heard from him he talked about his new work conditions, the asshole producers and parties that more or less always ended up with him and Landon hungover in their apartment with no memories of the night before. She had been annoyed with him during the whole conversation because he just spoke about his life. His job, his friends, his dreams, his disappointment. Cassie was relieved when the phone call was over. Now, several months later she wished she could just hear him complain again. She missed him so much that she had called Eija just to get some answers but she didn't have many. 
"Do you think… It's drugs or something?" Cassie asked carefully, like she didn't really want to know the answer. 
"It sounds like they smoke a lot. They seem to mostly be inside, smoking and planning their success. It feels like they have some sort of megalomania…" 
Cassie laughed a little. 
"Hasn’t he always had that?" 
Eija laughed. 
"I think my whole family suffers from that to be honest." 
Cassie laughed too and looked around in her dorm room. She had a picture of her, Eija and Bill together pinned on the fairy lights on the wall. It was from a drunken night in Stockholm a couple of years ago. Both siblings looked like models while Cassie felt like she looked like a toad in between them. Now it was early morning on a Sunday while in Sweden it was afternoon. Cassie started to wonder if she maybe bothered Eija. 
"But no drugs then?" 
"No serious drugs. Just weed and some party drugs. I mostly think they are angry little boys locked in the apartment and then they party when the girlfriend is there." 
Cassie sighed. The girlfriend. The crazy actress. She had understood from Bill that they fought a lot. That they both made each other jealous on purpose and she even had hit him a few times. It sounded so toxic as it could be and Cassie didn't even wanna hear it. Her Bill wouldn't do all this shit. Her Bill would never be with such a person and he would definitely not begin to act like it himself. 
"Okay… Thank you, Eija. But please ask him to call me if you're talking to him." 
"Totally. I'm always here for you, Cassie. Especially when Bill is being an asshat and doesn't see that he can lose you." 
× 
Bill was back in Stockholm again. It was always a relief for him to come home to his country. He had his own apartment for six month that he had been decorating himself. First he asked Cassie, mostly because he didn’t have the energy to think about such things by himself but she had refused to help him. It wasn’t to be mean but because she knew Bill could do it himself. He had good taste and even an interest but as soon as he actually needed to do the work he couldn't decide for himself. Because of the lack of help he had been forced to do it by himself and was now quite pleased with the result. It had simple, white walls and polished wooden floors. Classic Scandinavian interior design. He had mostly photo art on the walls but in the living room he had a vintage poster of the solar system. On one wall he also had a drawing. A Pennywise drawing made by Director Andy Muschietti himself. The first he had bought for his apartment was a massive wooden table to have in the dining area. It was maybe the most important thing, except for the bed that was a special bed, extra long because of his height but also because he could move quite a lot when he was asleep. The couch was also big, so that many people could sit comfortably but it also made for lazy days. It was in black velvet with a chrome glass table in front of it. Next to it stood two bookcases in dark wood filled with books. It was probably quite obvious a man lived there. 
Bill walked around in the apartment, thinking about putting on that series everyone was talking about or if he should read the book for a script adaptation he received but he was too restless for those kinds of activities. He was often restless, even if he loved being back in Sweden it was hard to live so… slow. What did others do? 
A thought or a feeling swimmed around in his head which made it even harder to just continue doing nothing. He sat down on the couch and looked at Cassie's number on his phone, then called her without even considering the large time difference in New York. 
Cassie lay awake scrolling her phone even if it was early Sunday. Usually she would sleep until noon but now she wasn't alone. Georg was there, lying behind her with an arm round her waist. They were covered by her dark blue sheets and nothing else. Cassie knew this was the new normal, now when he paid so much but it was annoying to not decide for herself when he could spend the night and when not to. He was probably expecting a quickie before he went home to his big flat with a view over central park. Cassie sighed and tried to move his arm from her body without waking him up. She almost cheered when she succeeded and then stood up without looking at Georg who was lying on his back with his chest of white hair exposed. When Cassie approached the bathroom her phone started to buzz on the nightstand and in a panic she grabbed it and ran to the bathroom. Locked in the bathroom she looked down at her buzzing phone and saw Bill calling. She smiled and answered even if she didn't know how long Georg would stay asleep. 
"Hey," said Bill, then he was quiet. He often did that. Call to just pretend she was close. 
"Did you have a specific reason to call,” Cassie asked while she sat down on the toilet to pee.
"Are you peeing?" He asked. He could hear the familiar sound and smirked. 
"Yeees." 
"Is it nice?" 
"So nice. First pee of the day you know," Cassie said while flushing and washed her hands with her phone pressed between her shoulder and cheek. 
"That one is nice." 
"Mhm. What are you doing Billy? Are you restless?" 
She knew him too well or he was just that easy to read. 
"Yeah… But I also have a question?" 
Cassie put on a robe and looked at her make-up free face in the mirror. 
"So… Larissa and I, well that never happened but as the impulsive idiot I am, I bought a ticket for her to my family's Christmas trip… Do you want to go instead?" He rambled. He did it so she wouldn't focus so much on him and Larissa had stopped seeing each other but he also knew Cassie would still ask about that even if he didn't want to talk about it. He laid on the couch chewing on his pinky as he waited on the question he didn't want to answer.
"Ooh… What happened?" 
Bill sighed. Cassie knew he didn't want to talk about it but she also knew he needed to talk about it and it was most often her who he talked about such things with. 
"Yeah you know, she felt I was more interested in my job than her." 
"I'm sorry Bill but I know how important your job is so it was probably for the best. You will find someone that can accept your work conditions." 
"Sometimes I just think… Maybe I shouldn't have broken up with my ex. It did work pretty good." 
Now it was Cassie's turn to sigh. He had said these things before. Bill wanted safety and wanted that special girl by his side. He didn't like being single and definitely not dating. 
"You didn't want the same thing. You know that. You don't even know what would have happened if you had a child. Maybe she would have then said you must work less." 
Bill was quiet on the line. He played with a lighter he had found on the table and thought, again, that he should start smoking again. 
"Anyway, do you want to come to Thailand with my big awful family? You don't need to pay anything because I've already paid for everything." 
Cassie smiled and thought about it. Bill, calm, tanned, happy. His family, warm, fun and safe. And the luxury. The best hotel, white beaches and exotic restaurants. Larissa was stupid to ditch Bill before the trip. 
"Of course Billy, I would love to." 
×
His legs were spread out on each side of her. Long and hairy with childhood scars on his knees. Cassie dragged her fingers through the hair while Bill played the Swedish game Bulleribock on her back. 
"Bulleri bulleri bock hur många horn står det opp?" 
Cassie tried to feel how many fingers he pressed against her back. 
"Three?" 
"Tre du sa, tre det var bulleri bulleri bock." 
They were finally together again. Together in Gustaf's apartment in Stockholm, in his bed. Gustaf was filming so Bill had his apartment and when he had left Canada, the weird girlfriend and the messy film set, he called Cassie. He had thought a lot about her but was so locked in his bubble he had problems reaching out. He and Landon had felt lonely so unconsciously they had made themself even more lonely. 
He was so happy being with Cassie again, lying in bed and breathing in her scent and calmness. Her caring nature. They laid between the green sheets, Cassie with her head on Bill's bare chest. She played with the hairs around his nipples. It had just grown more and more and she wondered when it would spread out over his chest. 
"He said he needed some time to think… Then a few days later I saw him with another girl at the restaurant I've taken him to on our third date… You know that Lebanese place you showed me," said Cassie and continued to play with his nipple hair. He had asked her about the guy she was seeing and once again the guy had more or less just disappeared. She felt it was her curse, to meet guys that never saw her as the right girl. 
"Ahh gumman, I'm sorry… I knew you liked him," said Bill and took her hand. Cassie looked up at his face and shrugged her shoulders. Bill dragged his other hand over her back, dressed in one of his t-shirts.
"I don't like him anymore. Nothing to grieve. Do you want to tell me what happened to you and that girl now?" 
Bill sighed and dragged his hand over his forehead and back through his messy hair. 
"I don't know what to say really. I don't think anything worked between us. We were so different from each other and just… You know what I mean, we were not good for each other." 
Cassie nodded a little and positioned herself so they could lay face to face. 
"She likes wild parties, drama… She wanted me to spank her and call her a whore and…" 
Cassie smiled a bit amused. 
"Can't you do that? Just be a daddy?" She teased. Bill sighed and rolled his eyes. 
"Sorry, maybe I'm old fashioned but it feels really weird doing such a thing to a woman. I know people like that shit but I think it's just degrading and… I want to be her boyfriend, not her daddy." 
Cassie smiled a little and looked down at Bill's lips for a second. She knew he had those feelings just like the majority of Swedes in the country. Everything should be politically correct and even sex was a political question. He had also been friends with many feminist girls that had called him a pig if he even thought about calling a girl a whore in bed. 
"Wouldn't you even want to try? Just to see how it is?" She asked and again looked down at his lips. 
"Sure with the right girl… Explore when I know it's just between me and her… But she wanted everyone to hear and wanted to cause a scene…" 
Bill dragged a hand over his face and closed his eyes like it was painful to think back on. Cassie understood what he wanted to say but wasn’t able to formulate. He didn't feel safe with that girl. He should be a man and be confident and horny but instead he was the one that felt unsafe. Cassie understood that even if Bill couldn't phrase it. She pressed herself closer to him, hugged him and gave him a kiss and the side of his neck. 
"You're such a good guy, Billy and that's never a bad thing." 
× 
Cassie looked at Bill's broad back spread on Thailand's hot sand on a thin blanket. He had gotten color quite fast but it shifted to a red tone. His scandinavian skin wasn't really made for this sort of weather. Cassie had just come up from the water and looked out over the beach. Eija and her fiancé lay close by in the shadows. They always looked so in love and Cassie could often envy them. There were few who had such a relationship as those two had. Bill turned and looked at her. He had a pair of old sunglasses he had lived in when he was like 24. She had had similar ones just like everyone else but now felt they were outdated. Bill wasn't exactly a trendsetter.
"I'm really glad you came. I don't know who to bug otherwise. It's just couples," he said as he sat up. He had let his facial hair be and he had a shadow of a mustache on the top of his lip. Cassie smiled and fixed her red bikini before sitting down. 
"You have Valter." 
Bill smiled bashfully. 
"We both know he has more in common with Ossian than with me." 
Cassie smirked and brushed away some sand from her knees. Bill and Valter loved each other like brothers do but had a problem finding common ground over more than film and they rarely talked the same language even then. 
"We don't have so much in common either. I have style while you don't. You are pretentious while I'm not…" 
Bill laughed and faked offensiveness. 
"I'm not pretentious!" 
Cassie gave him a pointed look. 
"Come on, even your dad gets nervous to talk about some things with you! You’re suddenly name dropping some philosopher from Taiwan or something!" 
Bill shook his head with a smirk. Cassie smiled at him because both of them knew she was right but they also knew he was pretentious because he was really intelligent and keen to learn. Lots of people thought of him as just an actor but he probably could have been just whatever he liked. 
"So what is your dude doing?" Bill asked, stretching out his long body. The swim shorts sat low on his hips and tight in the front. 
"Who?" Cassie said while watching Bill's body up and down. 
"The older gentleman," Bill said with an old British accent. Cassie looked away. She didn't want to talk about Georg. That was something Bill shouldn't be a part of and that was also a finished chapter. When she had told Georg that she was going away on a trip with a male friend he had lost it. He felt that he paid her enough to just be with him and not "whore around" as he put it. He didn't want her to have contact with any other men and that would have never worked. Especially because of Bill. She needed to have Bill in her life. 
"Oh, that wasn't anything serious. Just a bullshit thing. That's over." 
Bill patted her thigh. 
"Aren't we hopeless? Soon we’ll be thirty and still single." 
Cassie clicked her tongue. 
"That’s not even old. I still feel the same as I did in my early twenties," Cassie said a bit annoyed. She hated when Bill made them sound old. 
"I just thought I wouldn't be alone in my thirties. It seems a bit sad." He said and sat up on the blanket and pushed his sunglasses up on his head. 
"Bill, for having two older brothers that have lived like they are twenty until they were forty you are so conservative. You don't need to have someone just because you are thirty. And you should definitely not be with someone just to not be alone." She said it like she was annoyed at him but she was just annoyed at how much he restrained himself. All this talk about not being alone made her sad for his sake, because he made poor choices because of it. 
Bill was quiet, Cassie was one of few that was totally honest with him. That dared to say the things he didn't want to hear. He knew he didn't need a girlfriend, he knew he didn't need emotional support around the corner but he couldn't stop acting that way. It had become a part of his persona. 
He took Cassie's hand that lay in her lap and played with her fingers between his. He had a bit to learn from Cassie but she had also had something to learn from him. She gave up on people, jobs and interests if they didn't reward her quickly but he wouldn't bring that up now, that would be childish and he didn't want to hurt her. 
"I love you, Cassandra." 
Cassie smiled and looked at their hands. 
"I love you, Bill." 
Just when Cassie sat and felt the warmth in her chest he surprised her by lifting her up and throwing her up on his shoulder. 
"Bill!" She screamed in panic when he started to run down to the water.
"I'm going to punish you for talking like that to me!" He said and ran down in the water while Cassie just screamed. She never liked when he did those kinds of things and he knew it. Sometimes he was like an irritating brother. When the water was deep enough he threw her in. 
In the shadow sat Eija and her fiancé watching them and smiled amused. 
"Why aren't they a couple? Have they ever tried to?" Asked her fiancé and looked between her face and Bill and Cassie. Eija sighed deeply.
"He has. But she doesn't want to. She has always refused him." 
Her fiancé nodded a little, sadly. He knew Bill well now and knew he was a sensitive guy so such a thing must have broken him. 
× 
Even if Bill had said he wanted to lay in bed for weeks after coming home from Canada he agreed to come to a club opening with some friends. Cassie still sat in bed when he turned around with the phone pressed against his cheek.
"That's okay right? I think it can be fun to do something." 
Cassie smiled and unintentionally fixed her hair. It was with friends of Bill's she knew so it could actually be fun.
"Yeah okay." She said and Bill gave her a big smile as an answer while he searched after his socks on the floor. He had managed to put on his jeans while talking on the phone. Now he had a shirt and socks to look for. Cassie still sat in just one of his t-shirts and panties. She hadn't any reason to dress yet. 
When he hung up he had one sock on and his jeans were still unbuttoned. Breathless, after the fight with the socks he turned to Cassie again. 
"So pizza?" 
Cassie laughed a little and stood up and in the bed and threw her arms on Bill's neck. 
"Sure but not that weird one you like to eat!" 
"Oh with peanuts?" He placed her down the bed, passing her jeans to her. 
"And not that one with fries on it!" 
She put on the jeans and her own socks. 
"You have the worst taste in pizza!" Bill said with a dramatic voice and threatened her with his boot. Cassie smirked and put on her own outerwear. 
"It's swedes that have that! Especially you! And don't you dare wear that jacket! It's so fucking ugly!" 
The day went by as they ate and got ready for the club event. Cassie panicked over her outfit while Bill chose to keep the one he had on from earlier that day. Cassie wished she could just wear jeans and a t-shirt but girls couldn't get away with such an outfit at a club opening. People would think she was Bill's assistant or something. She decided to wear a deep purple Herve Leger look-alike dress. 
"Wow," Bill said when he saw her. She stood in front of the hallway mirror putting on a big pair of hoop earrings. 
"Do I look okay?" She asked and looked down at herself.
"You will be the prettiest girl there." 
"Am I overdressed?" 
"Who cares? You look great." 
Bill had words like hot and sexy on his tongue but that was weird to say to a friend. Maybe she would even think he was just joking around. He looked at her up and down again and he felt a bit underdressed but he wouldn't feel comfortable in a dress shirt at a club. Together they went to a friend of Bill's. It was mostly just guys but Cassie had met them many times and she felt comfortable. The friend lived in a big Victorian apartment in the old parts of Stockholm, an apartment his father owned but he "borrowed" from him. Bill's friends were a mix, some super privileged and others that fought hard to afford their one room apartment in Botkyrka. Still Cassie always felt like there was a flair of luxury when she was in Stockholm she couldn't put her finger on why but she always felt a bit like a princess around Bill. 
Bill liked that Cassie could mingle so well with his friends, she was fun, sweet and confident. He liked watching her from afar when she mingled around with his friends but while doing that he also noticed other things. How several of his friends looked at her body in that tight dress, someone that winked their eye at her and another that even offered his lap for her to sit in. Bill just felt his hands tremble and his face flush but wiped it away as just friendly care. He knew his place, that he shouldn't jump in and he knew also Cassie could handle it by herself. His friends may be flirty but they always understood a no. 
The club had some sort of rave theme with neon, blinking lights and bubbles. It was fun for a while but then Bill craved a smoke and Cassie just wanted some fresh air. Bill left Cassie on a bench, after checking it was alright and then walked to the smoking area. He stood around with people dressed as dark as himself. Cassie had realized quickly that she wore totally the wrong outfit. She could never really learn the Swedish dress code, she always felt either overdressed or underdressed. She looked at Bill talking with a brunette. She was probably in her thirties and had a messy updo like she had danced wildly. 
The girl on the bench next to Cassie asked her something in Swedish and pointed to Bill. 
"I'm sorry, I don't speak Swedish." Cassie said politely. 
"Aw, you're British, that's so cute! I just asked if you're here with him?" Said the girl and moved to sit next to Cassie. The girl had long blonde hair and a black skater dress on. 
"Yeah, why?" 
"I know who he is. We actually went to school together." 
"Oh, wow." Cassie smiled. She didn't really know what to say. 
"Are you his girlfriend?" 
Cassie looked at Bill, who still stood with the brunette. She seemed to give his under arm a massage and Cassie furrowed her brows at the odd vision. 
"No, no we're just friends…" said Cassie but continued to look at Bill smiling at the woman in front of him. 
"Okay…" said the blonde but looked at Cassie who couldn't stop watching Bill. 
"You know, when he left Sweden he was cute, really cute but now… He's sexy. There’s quite a few people that have decided they want him." 
"Yeah…" said Cassie and tried to give the girl a smile. It wasn't anything new, she could also see that Bill had changed the years he was away. That he now looked mysterious and sexy. She also understood there were probably many girls in Stockholm that wanted to claim him as their own. Cassie looked at the brunette again, she was older than Bill and looked at him with a perfect mix of care and wonder. Like he was a golden prince. 
Cassie and Bill walked in again and danced with his friends but also got company of the brunette and her friends. They just danced silly and wild. Cassie couldn't really understand how Bill suddenly could be so drunk but she noticed he more and more used her as some sort of pillar to lean on and his eyes becoming heavy. 
"It's time for you to take Billen home now! Before you find him sleeping somewhere!" said one of his friends and gave Cassie an amused smile. Bill had a tendency to fall asleep easily and at weird places when he was drunk. 
"No, no. I'm okay…" said Bill with a lazy voice and dragged a hand over his face. 
"No it's time to go home," said Cassie and took Bill's hands. She felt Bill's friends and the others watching them. "You know, half my pizza is waiting for us in the fridge." She said and dragged him with her. 
"Sov gott kompis!" Shouted his friends while Cassie dragged Bill with her through the club.
Bill was extremely sleepy so Cassie got them a taxi at Slussen even if it wasn't so far to walk but she was afraid Bill wouldn't be able to walk. He was just as sleepy in the taxi but when they were in Gustaf's apartment again he had wolfed down Cassie's pizza leftovers and drank quite a lot of water. With a full belly he perked up a bit. They got ready for bed together, or Bill brushed his teeth then sat at the toilet lid watching Cassie do her procedure. 
"Have you stopped using hand cream as night cream?" Cassie teased. Another time after a night out he thought he would surprise her and do a facial routine too, the problem was just that he took her hand cream instead. 
Bill stuck out his tongue and stretched his arm. 
"I don't feel that tired anymore," he said and played with the elastic of his boxers. Cassie sighed because she actually was. 
"We're going to sleep now. You need it." She said like a determined mother. 
Bill didn't say anything, just followed her to bed. They already had their side of the bed, the same side they always slept on. 
They laid down face to face under the fluffy covers and looked at each other with small smiles. Cassie thought about what that girl had said, that Bill was sexy, it was true but right then and there he was just that cute little boy, with big eyes and an elfish nose. Bill watched Cassie, admired her makeup free face. He had always liked her like that. She looked much younger but still sexy in an innocent way. He breathed heavily and crawled closer to her. Cassie smiled and thought he just wanted to cuddle so she laid her arms around his shoulders but Bill kissed her softly. His lips were wet and plush, like they already were swollen full of kisses. First Cassie just laid shocked but when he kissed her again she kissed back. Bill's hands took a hold of her waist over her t-shirt and continued to caress her back. He did it softly, like how you pat a kitten. They kissed a few times more just as softly and innocent. She knew Bill so well she knew he waited on her to deepen the kiss, to show him it was okay that they went to the next level. She licked his plump bottom lip to make him separate his lips and invite her tongue in. He groaned when they started to kiss passionately and he pushed her t-shirt up a bit to touch her naked hips and waist. Cassie caressed Bill's shoulder and chest but slowly a voice in her head started to get louder and louder. 
This will destroy your friendship. He is your only real friend.
She pulled away from his arms and pushed his chest. Bill let go of her fast and looked at her with his big eyes like he had done something wrong. 
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry… But you're drunk Bill and… You're my best friend. This is such a bad idea." She rambled. Bill crawled away even more to give her space and nodded a little. 
"We're friends, Bill…" 
"Yeah, yeah…" he said and turned away his eyes. "I'm going to pee…" he said lowly to get away from the situation and went to the bathroom. 
Cassie sat up in bed and hugged a pillow. She was sure that Bill was just drunk and horny. They had been friends for so long, why would he suddenly want to kiss her? He probably missed that actress girl. 
Bill stood in the bathroom, splashing his face and neck with cold water and then looked at his reflection. She had rejected him again. Okay, he was just eleven the first time but it felt the same. He was really friendzoned. He had thought he felt a chemistry between them but obviously he was wrong. He would never try that again, it was humiliating to be rejected and one more time their friendship wouldn’t survive.
When Bill came out Cassie pretended to sleep and it was the best for the both of them because they both felt humiliated. The both of them believed they were the only one with romantic feelings for the other one. 
Their friendship would survive the situation, probably thanks to that fact that both of them had a partner just a few months later. 
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Bulleri Bock - a child game where you push in fingers in a person's back and they will guess how many you hold up. 
Bulleri bulleri goat how many horns stands up? (drumming on the other person's back and then holds up some fingers against the other person's back) 
(The other person is guessing) 
(the person's guess) you said, (the right answer) it was. Bulleri bulleri goat. 
(drumming on the guessing person's back again) 
Gumman - is from the beginning a loveable word for an old lady but is today a pet name for girls. The male version is Gubben. 
Swedish feminism - have been really radical and have roots in swedish social democratic history where everything is politic. It's better now, it peaked with #metoo but after that have other opinions and feministic perspective become okay. 
Botkyrka - Part of Stockholm County that is an area of ​​exclusion and has high criminality. 
Slussen - area that connects Gamla Stan with Södermalm. A common place to expire from when you're in Stockholm. Also known for their constant rebuilding. 
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