if Death had to live among us today, in what type of place do you think they'd live?
I thought about it for a few seconds and the first thing that came to my mind was the ocean. So many people die there, scared and away from their loved ones, at least they wouldn't have to suffer for longer than necessary
But if they had to really be among humans, living in a house etc... I don't know. Probably far away from everything though. Because, let's face it, they would be constantly harassed by humans trying to kill Death before it kills them. So the only option for Death would be to live in a really remote area.
the family friends from my dad's hometown told us that this week they had to host this exchange student from belgium of north african descent given his name (elias) and i'm obsessed like imagine going to spain for a week and arriving in alicante's airport thinking you're gonna be in this pretty area by the sea and then you get to this 5k inhabitants town in the middle of the mountains where everyone speaks in valencian and is preparing some kind of festivities that involve muslim iconography
Everyone always loves to ask multilingual people what language they think in, but the real question is: what language do you speak when talking to animals?
...𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙗𝙧𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙝𝙞𝙢 𝙩𝙤 𝙮𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙘𝙤𝙪𝙣𝙩𝙧𝙮𝙨𝙞𝙙𝙚...
━ type: bts x gn! reader ━ masterlist ━ pictures taken from Pinterest
━ about: fluff!
━ a/n: goes out for all my fellow ARMY's who grew up in the countryside and or really small towns
NAMJOON: "Stop pretending like I'm kidnapping you," you growled as the car swerved down the familiar road leading up to the family house situated at the far reach of the country.
"I can't help it. It's so...quiet. Are you sure this is not an elaborate plot to get to meet your parents?" he counteracted nervously, throwing flighty glances to the bushy fields and the clear, limitless sky stretching above his head.
For what felt like the last time before your corneas would simply detach themselves, you rolled your eyes.
"And I keep telling you - no. They're leaving to travel and need someone to watch the house. You had some free time and I thought a bit of a country air would do both of us good. But if it's too much, city boy-"
Hearing the now everyday nickname he immediately rushed to disagree.
"No, no, it's wonderful!" he assured perhaps with a hysterical tint to his voice. "I'm just freaked out about what to say if your parents spring from the bush."
You shook your head at his antics, climbing out and stretching out the soreness of the drive only to soon discover Namjoon completely enamoured with his surroundings. The trees, the wind and the warmth of the sun - it all called to him, like a hot shower called to some after a long day of work. With a small smile, you watched him wander around, observing any insects he could find, the growing flowers, and the paths you had traipsed long before him. Already by the evening, it was a struggle to drag him inside, he had gone to lie down by the afternoon at first watching the clouds pass, then the stars twinkling in the night sky.
"This is idyllic," he sighed as you stood over his chair, then a mosquito landed in the middle of his forehead and in his neverending wisdom he smacked himself right in the face.
"If not for these bastards," he added with a self-conscious chuckle.
YOONGI: "I'll marry an old guy. A geezer!" you whined dramatically, watching Yoongi come back across the field, in his hand there swayed a bag of apples from one of the neighbouring ladies.
"Laugh some more and I won't cook for you anymore," he waved off
Life on this side of the country was quiet enough but with Yoongi, it was somehow quieter still. Except for the first night when he got drunk and belted to your horror to all the few residents in the nearby radius.
"DO YOU KNOW BTS?!"
You think someone had replied that their niece listens to them but that could also be a hallucination inspired by the second-hand embarrassment.
But it was healing in a way to watch Yoongi sit outside and simply drift off into the horizon. From the way, his shoulders bore less tension to the unhurried way he cooked meals, taking his time to do things properly, you knew it had been just the right time to rip him away from the city, away from his worries and rushes for deadlines.
"We still need to trim the grass before leaving," he hummed whilst cutting the melon. Sun would set soon and he had been enjoying watching sunsets with you. "Maybe I'll do that tomorrow."
"I'll hook you up in a group chat with the family," you snorted watching him work. "You can give your input on the flower selection."
"Don't laugh," he reprimanded with a faint lilt of playfulness. "Those hydrangeas in the corner are wilting too fast. They should be moved to a different spot."
"Dear lord," you rolled your eyes, though you couldn't stop smiling.
For the first time, perhaps ever, Yoongi was dragging his legs as you packed to leave. He paused by the open car door, inspecting the property with a longing, faraway look in the eye, lips tightened into a stern line.
"We can always return here. It's quite the trip but say the word and we can be here to rest," you assured him and he bit his lip.
"It's not even that, it's just... I just had thought how nice it would be to have a place like this of our own someday."
"It's the flower selection, isn't it," you nudged him with a hip and he laughed, shoulder shaking in mute amusement.
"Yes, I'm a tyrant when it comes to hydrangeas."
JIN: "Ow, goddamnit Jin!" you whined as his fishing tools poked you in the back of the head for the tenth time.
"Please, think of your love for me as you endure this torment," he said in all seriousness before glowering down to the GPS. "Are we going the right way? This is the middle of nowhere."
"Yes, we're going the right way," you assured, leaning out of the way his heinous fishing rod had decided to take. The familiar outlines of the neighbouring properties had breezed past in the corner of your eye.
"Wow, this place is seriously desolate. Did you have sheep as pets when you were a kid?"
You levelled him down with an unimpressed glare.
"What, bears then?" he spread his eyes in comical terror. "Please don't tell me you have pet bears, ___________, that is horrifying!"
"The nearest neighbour has a chihuahua, does that terrify you?"
"Absolutely. Please, don't let that thing eat me! It should be a basic requirement for a partner," he added with a pout.
At the sight of the old country home, you began to squirm with joy. A bed, a kitchen with a meal and a rest, an inviting sight. The same couldn't be said about the trunk of the car, thrust to the brim with food and Jin's precious fishing supplies. No amount of explanation that there was a store available nearby, Jin had been convinced if not bringing half the town with him, he'd be left eating a mouldy piece of bread for the rest of the stay.
"______________! Hello!" a neighbour rushed forth. "Your mom said you'll be stopping by so here are some fresh vegetables, straight from the garden!"
"Thank you! You really shouldn't have," politely, you bid her whilst accepting the bag with eager arms.
"Say, weren't you supposed to have a boyfriend with you?"
You frowned, turning round to where Jin had just been standing only to of course find an empty spot.
"Oh, what a lionheart," you grumbled under your breath.
Jin had bounded through the house with great enthusiasm, enjoying the feel of it and some childhood pictures only for that joy to be promptly squashed when stumbling upon the entrance to the basement.
For a second, he stared into the damp darkness of it, completely frozen.
"Yeah, I'm never going down there," he nodded to himself, shutting the door tightly behind himself.
HOSEOK: When you felt his arm encircle your waist again, you didn't bother opening your eyes anymore and simply growled in a warning:
"I swear this place is haunted," he whispered back, trying to discreetly scooch closer.
For a while peace of a sleepful night had taken root again but it was then promptly torn out when Hoseok whimpered at the sound of the tree hitting the window.
"Hoseok, It's just a branch," you grunted. "I love you but please just sleep."
You don't know what sort of reality he saw at night but the house which he'd been enamoured with during the day was now his personal carousel of horrors. It creaked and groaned as any old country house did but to Hoseok they were omens of misfortune, tales of ghosts and whatnot.
"It's too quiet," he complained in your ear. "There's no one around. No one to hear us scream if anything happens."
"I'll be your knight in the shining armour should any murderers come this way," you assured him, tiredly. "And if you don't accept that I'll kill you myself if you keep waking me up. Now go. To. Sleep!"
He grumbled something about you being heartless but kept quiet for the remaining night.
"You know, _______, I think it's not that bad," lightly, he exclaimed stretching in the morning sun as you inspected the deep circles underneath your eyes. Soon it will look like someone had punched you.
"I think I'm starting to like this place," he added, joyously. This was what he had said three nights before already.
JIMIN: "You know there is a shop here, right?" you panted unloading his seventh suitcase from the car. Fetching his numerous tonnes of clothes and "what if's" in the sweltering heat of the midday sun was not something you envisioned when planning to bring him here.
"Yes, but...better to be safe, right," he pouted and you sighed, taking in your hands suitcase no. 9.
"Is this your great grandmother?" he asked in a hush, once inside. Eyes wide and respectful he took everything in, inspecting and commiting to memory every bit of what had once been a great part of your life.
You glanced at the old picture he was pointing at, dragging the suitcases into the bedroom.
"Yes. That's my grandfather and grandmother in the smaller picture to the left."
Jimin bowed politely towards them.
"Hello! Thank you for bringing into the world the love of my life," he bid them earnestly and you smiled.
"Your love would appreciate you dragging your own pants. How many did you pack?!"
He lingered in the doorway, suddenly appearing deceptively demure.
"Maybe ten or more... Anything can happen!"
You sighed and it too was promptly interrupted by a curious:
"Are there any animals here? Like something you see on a farm?"
"There are a lot of stray cats," you explained, lying on the bed exhausted. "But don't you go sticking your face into every cat you meet! It doesn't matter how cute they are, you're still allergic!"
As only silence followed your suspicion surged and upon cracking open your eyes, you saw him already halfway into the field outside, hand stretched and inviting coos falling from his mouth, eagerly welcoming the tabby cat sitting and minding his business at the edge of the property.
"Oh, fucking hell, Jimin," you cursed, ripping open one of the smaller bags. Well at least in between the hundred skincare products, lotions and three - three! - whole bottles of lube, he at least had the foresight to chuck his medication in there as well. You grabbed it before hauling your ass outside like a devil possessed.
"Sir! Put the cat down! Jimin, no!"
TAEHYUNG: "This reminds me of my childhood," he sighed wistfully, watching the road rush past by, holding drowsing Yeontan in his arms.
"It's nice, isn't it," you hummed. "Just a little bit left."
Taehyung took to the country quickly though Yeontan? Not so much.
"He's a real city boy my Tan," Taehyung laughed, watching Yeontan sleep yet another hour away in the middle of the bed like a small, tyrannical prince.
"Hey, ___________," you got any more spare cash?" he called out amidst the relative bustle of farming vendors.
"Goat cheese?!" you called out, reading the display sign of a slyly grinning seller, clearly having smelt an eager purchase. "Do you even like goat cheese?"
"It's got walnuts in it!" he eagerly pointed at a fairly large chunk weighing on the scales.
"Yes, I can see it's got walnuts but will you eat it is the question?"
"Oh, I can't get things like this in the city. Please?"
You threw what was meant to be an assertive look over the many bags he was dragging with, all under the pretence of rarity and impossibility of finding in the city. He was being quite thoroughly scammed but the wet, sopping eyes worked their wonders all the same.
"We'll get a half of that piece," tiredly, you piped up. The cut was decidedly of the proverbial bigger half and with a deep sigh, you gave the money away. It had flown like sand grains in a storm. Homemade marmalade and marshmallows, apple cider and something that had neither markings nor colour sat at the very top of one of his bags, there was no small chance he had actually bought something from every stall but it made him happy so begrudgingly you trailed after Taehyung as he skipped back home with all of his bags and a bright smile etched on his face.
The goat cheese, however, remained quite untouched, despite the walnuts.
JUNGKOOK: "I'm not telling him that," you replied, eyeing the rain pour down the side of the window and deep puddles forming into the indents of the grass. Jungkook was definitely caught in the midst of the downpour.
"He's there, isn't he?" your mother grumbled on the phone. "A young and capable son-in-law should help out."
"Mom, we're not married yet."
"Eh, few years give or take. Technicalities."
You sighed again.
"Mom, we're here to rest, both of us are, stop exploiting my boyfriend for manual labour."
Just then the doors opened and Bam ran in, leaving behind him wet paw prints. Jungkook too was dripping like he had just taken a shower though the weather had not lessened a bit of that smile.
"Bam! Come here. Don't go in all wet!"
Once sufficiently dry, both of them, he quickly found his way to your side, one hand aggressively brushing a towel over his wet hair, the other reaching to grab you by the waist.
"Is it your mother?" he asked in a whisper and you nodded. In a flash, the phone was yanked out of your hands.
"Hello, ma'am. Yes. You too. Firewood? Sure. Oh, the grass. Yes I can do that. The flowers? Yes. Wait let me write it down."
Unimpressed, you sat by the kitchen table, watching him scribble down a progressively more expansive list of chores, ranging from trimming the grass to hauling down a chair from the attic.
"Yes, I got it. Yes, thank you, ma'am. It's really no trouble. Yes, you too. Goodbye."
Silence followed the end of that conversation.
"What?" he questioned innocently and with some offence.
"You know why I brought you here, right?" you grunted. "It was to bounce on your dick without worrying about the noise."
Jungkook's ears immediately sweltered and a pout formed on his lips.
"I can be a great upcoming son-in-law, help your parents out and still give the best dick in your life. I'm a man of great capability."
At the end of the day, you found both him and Bam promptly passed out with no sign of ever waking up as they both snored to their absolute content.
"Man of great capability, my ass," you growled.
© soraviii, 2022
tagging: @introlxv; @pinkcherrybombs; @devilsbooksworld; @btsiguess-kpop; @mwitsmejk; @belladaises; @halesandy; @seok-jinnies; @themochiverse; @cuteipat; @ratherbefangirling; @manchuria; @chimchimmarie; @smalliechelle; @koostarcandy; @personaarmy;
Of Rain & Lilacs
Alpha!Jungkook x Omega!Chubby!Reader
❝ I broke my rules for you. ❞
* This is a chapter prequel for an upcoming series ‘Autumn Leaves’ OT7 x Omega!Chubby!Reader
𝔰𝔶𝔫𝔬𝔭𝔰𝔦𝔰: When Jeon Jungkook first met the strange Omega everyone had been whispering of she looked every bit like a delicate butterfly, not knowing he would eventually pluck her wings.
𝔚𝔞𝔯𝔫𝔦𝔫𝔤𝔰: strangers to lovers to estranged (?) Angst, Eventual Comfort, Fluff, Verbal & Physical Bullying, Fat Shaming, Eventual Dubcon Smut-ish, Lots of Tears
If you were to ask your high school classmates to describe you in one word they would all say the same thing: Strange.
Now fast-forward four years later and ask your university peers the same thing. This time they would all say: Definitely strange.
Growing up you always knew you were a bit different. If it wasn’t your mother constantly reminding you to stop saying good morning to all the trees you passed or apologizing to a rose bush for picking a drying stem off of it because people don’t like different, they’ll laugh at you.
Your father would console your mother telling her it was you just being a kid, that you’ll grow out of it when you presented, but that was just the beginning.
Nights were filled with screaming matches from your mother as she picked at your clothes and hairstyles deeming them embarrassing to your family, that your siblings are too ashamed to be seen with you cause who wears huge sun hats and knee-high boots together? It was already bad that you’d presented as an Omega in a long lineage of Alphas.
Your family lived in an uber religious rural town in the countryside so imagine the utter scandal you caused at age 15 when you showed up to church sporting a pink buzz cut with cute little red hearts after your mother yelled at you the night before for wanting to give yourself an undercut.
You still traced the scar on your arm you got after your father threw a bottle at you for daring to humiliate him like that.
Their constant ill-treatment didn’t stop after you’d graduated and moved to a university 6 hours away however. The occasional phone call from your mom or bother telling you that you wouldn’t amount to anything would remind you that yes they were still (unfortunately) alive and well.
At least now when you walked through the halls of your school in your rainbow waistcoat, people would whisper when you’d walk by and not saying something to your face.
“Hey freak! Come here!”
Maybe you spoke too soon.
Choi Gaeun. Her name means “kind” and “beautiful” you could scoff at that. Sure she looked like she stepped straight out of a magazine but she was anything but kind.
Gaeun has got it out for you since you’d moved into the city. You’d barely spoken a full sentence to the girl before the whole campus had your name spilling from their lips with sordid slander attached.
“Hellllooo? You stupid or somethin?”
You sighed and clutched your purse, ready to escape any venom dipped words Gaeun was ready to toss your way but you were too late.
You almost escaped but Gaeun was faster. She had put a perfectly manicured hand on your shoulder and shoved you back down onto the bench you were enjoying your smoothie on.
“Aren’t omegas supposed to be obedient little rats?” The Alpha girl sneered, her posse of other rich Alphas from elite families lingering behind her like ducklings.
“What do you want Gaeun?” You muttered, hand clutching the strap of your fuzzy purse tightly as you looked around nervously.
It was fruitless to expect anyone to help. Most of the other students either ignored the situation, quietly watched from a distance, or asked if you were okay after the group of bullies were out of sight.
You just wanted to enjoy your smoothie in peace before your next class but Gaeun’s life goal was to ruin any chance at peace you desired.
“Oh so it does speak, at least it’s not completely stupid.” Another girl, Jangmi if you remembered correctly, laughed from Gaeun’s left.
Gaeun crossed her arms in front of her busty chest, her eyes looking you up and down.
“Oh I’m sorry, did I interrupt your conversation with the grass?” A chorus of laughter erupted behind her as you shrunk into yourself.
Sticks and stones, sticks and stones.
“I-I have to go to class…” you made a move to stand but was pushed back down again, this time hard enough that you dropped your smoothie all over yourself resulting in a lot of unwanted stares and laughter shot your way.
A deep flush burned your ears as you frantically took your sweater off and tried to dab the mess away all the while Gaeun pointed and laughed loudly.
“Are you okay?” The crowd hushed as the one and only Jeon Jungkook, prized Alpha and most sought after student on campus, pushed passed the hoard and kneeled down in front of you, picking up your soiled purse from the ground.
“Kookie!” Gaeun chirped, her voice going up several octaves as she twirled a bleached strand of hair between her nimble fingers.
Jungkook looked back for a brief second, shooting her a friendly smile.
“She’s fine!” Gaeun stepped between you two as Jungkook and you got up. She was quick to dust off your shoulder as if that would do anything and bat her expensive eyelashes at the star Alpha.
“She‘s just a clumsy little thing, right?”
You fought the urge to roll your eyes at her desperate change of attitude. You were certain she would bark if Jungkook asked her to.
Gaeun pinched your elbow hard at your lack of response making you quickly nod your head and look down at your ruined shoes.
Jungkook didn’t look all too convinced as he handed you your purse, a frown weighing heavy on his handsome features.
“But your cute sweater is all sticky now…”
Your head snapped up in surprise, not expecting the simple compliment from the most popular Alpha on campus.
Gaeun’s jaw clenched for a brief moment, a sure sign that you would pay for it later.
Before you could mutter a thank you the heavy bells rang out through the stone walls, signaling the start of your afternoon class.
Most students who stayed to watch the scene unfold were now rushing to make it to their assigned buildings.
“Oh! We have to go!” Gaeun was quick to hug Jungkook’s toned arm to her chest, not shy to press herself against him flirtatiously. “We need to go to class Kookie!”
When she saw that you weren’t moving she shot you a warning glare, her eyes flashing a dangerous shade of red.
You tensed at the silent threat and scooped up the rest of your things, wanting nothing more than to make it back to your tiny apartment and mourn your soiled sweater in peace.
“Wait, you can’t walk around like that- here.”
A tiny gasp left your lips when Jungkook slipped off his dark green hoodie, his shirt riding up just enough to tease his firm stomach.
Your eyes shot nervously between his extended arm and Gaeun’s equally shocked expression.
If you took his offer you’d no doubt be mauled by Gaeun and her pack of mindless followers, but if you didn’t take his offer you’d hurt the kind Alpha’s feelings AND have to suffer the walk back to your place in a goopy sticky mess.
Jungkook didn’t really give you a chance to make a decision before he was gently helping you tug off your garment, his sweater now drowning your much smaller figure.
Your mouth open and closed, no words coming out as you tried to thank him but also save your neck as Gaeun’s raspberry scent was turning dangerously sour.
“There, much better!” His lips turned up in the most breathtaking bunny smile you’d ever seen. “See you around okay?”
And with that the boy turned and walked away, a now pouty and whining Gaeun tugging on his arm looking like a child throwing a tantrum.
You felt like your feet where melting into the ground holding you hostage. Did that really just happen? Did Jeon Jungkook of all people on this ridiculously huge campus give you his equally ridiculously huge sweater?
You would convince yourself it most definitely was a dream if it wasn’t for the scent of fresh rain and lilacs that gripped your entire being, your knees suddenly becoming wobbly and your heart rate speeding up.
So this was the smell of an elite Alpha.
Sure you came from a family of pure Alphas who had a wide variety of scents but nothing compared to Jungkook’s scent.
Jungkook’s scent seeped deep into your bones, turning your brain into mush until all your omega could pitifully whine was Alpha, Alpha, Alpha.
Oh this was not good at all.
You shut your stupid Omega instincts that preened for the boy away as you scurried off in the opposite direction to your apartment. The sooner you took the delicious smelling garment off the sooner your mind would stop racing with foolish thoughts of a certain Alpha.
-ˋˏ ༻❁༺ ˎˊ-
The next morning you paced back and forth in your one room apartment, fingers nervously fiddling with the sleeve of your cardigan as you thought of ways to approach Jungkook and thank him for lending you his sweater yesterday.
You had baked him cookies as a thank you, said treats were packaged in a frog patterned bag with a silky purple bow holding it shut.
It wasn’t too childish was it?
What if he didn’t like cookies, what if he didn’t even want his sweater back cause you washed it and now it smells like you and he doesn’t want his lover to think he’s two-timing them and you’d unintentionally home wreck a beautiful relationship–
You rushed to your bedroom and dove head first into your nest, desperately gathering as much blankets as you could and rolling yourself up tightly in them.
The weight of the comforters gently eased your nerves that were building up into a panic attack.
You hummed to yourself as you willed your emotions to still, not wanting to ruin your day before it even started.
Jeon Jungkook wasn’t like Gaeun. He wouldn’t make you feel icky and sad like she did. His smile was friendly, not condescending like everyone else’s.
After a few minutes you unraveled yourself from your safety cocoon and gathered your things, ready to thank your savior.
Or maybe not.
You only had one class with Jungkook in the afternoon but it was almost impossible to approach the tall boy as he was always surrounded by numerous admirers.
You couldn’t blame the small crowd that followed him everywhere, I mean he was Jeon Jungkook for God’s sake.
Jungkook came from a family of Elite Alphas, much like yours. Elite Alphas were the top of the food chain, many becoming A list celebrities, doctors, or important business people.
To be born into an Elite Alpha line was nothing short of a great honor. Except for you.
Omegas weren’t rare but being born an omega from an Elite Alpha line certainly was. Omega’s we’re almost always looked down upon if they weren’t anything but obedient little caregivers. The highest position an Omega could have was a model, but only because they were already seen as objects to dress up and gawk at.
You got the short end of the stick Gaeun would tell you often. Not only were you an embarrassing Elite Omega but you were fat, nasty, ugly.
Sure you were curvier than the average student on your campus, your thighs thicker, hips wider and tummy softer but you weren’t a monster.
You always knew that although you had Elite blood running through your veins, it meant nothing as long as you were an Omega.
You peeked around the corner of the wall you were trying to hide behind from as you watched Jungkook bid his friends goodbye, no doubt making his way back to the Alpha dorm for his zero period.
Waiting three Mississippis, you half jogged down the hall to catch up to the raven-haired boy, slightly out of breath as you called out to him.
Jungkook pulled his earbud out from his right ear before turning, his head slightly tilted in surprise before he gave you the same friendly smile from yesterday when he saw who called him.
“Oh! Hey cherry!” You stopped before him, now it was your turn to tilt your head. “Um, cherry? Why am I- oh!” You awkwardly laughed and lightly smacked your forehead with your palm.
“Cause of the cherry smoothie I spilled all over myself yeah-“ oh this was painful.
Jungkook laughed lightly, clearly meaning the nickname with no ill intent.
“Was it that obvious it was cherry? Oh no did I really walk around smelling like that?” You thought out loud, Jungkook quirking a pierced eyebrow up in amusement at your rambling.
“No it wasn’t that strong you smell more like-“ He suddenly leaned in close giving you a clear reminder of how much larger he was compared to you. “Old books and sweet coffee. Cute.”
You squeaked and jumped back, your eyes wide as Jungkook leaned back, loud laughter rocking his shoulders happily.
You frowned and pushed the bag containing his sweater and treats into his arms.
“I was going to thank you for helping me yesterday but now I’m second guessing my decision…” you grumbled at the boy.
Jungkook wiped an imaginary tear from his eye before catching the bag in his arms.
His big eyes sparkled in interest as he dug his inked arm into the bag, pulling out your gratitude cookies.
“What’s this?” He smiled inspecting the cute packing.
“I’m bad at words so I hope you like cookies.” You explained with a shy smile.
Jungkook wasted no time in shoving the rest of the bag under one arm, his fingers working open the bag and popping a whole cookie into his mouth, moaning softly at the sweet taste.
You willed any improper thoughts away as you watched him savor his treat.
“These are really good! Did you make them?” He spoke around the cookie, looking like a happy bunny chewing away.
You blushed lightly at his praise, your pigtails bouncing as you nodded happily.
“Yep! I call them. Smeaches!”
Jungkook stopped mid bite into another cookie as he looked down at you muddled.
“A smeach!” You corrected him, “a sugar cookie but with a smidge of peach so you know, smeaches.”
You stated it so matter-of-factly that Jungkook almost felt foolish for questioning you.
There was a pause between you two before the Alpha erupted into another fit of laughter, getting the attention of a few passing students wondering why he was even talking to you.
“Smeaches, oh man that’s the best thing I’ve heard all year.” He groaned as his laughter was starting to cause an ache in his tummy.
You tried to look offended but his laughter was too infectious so you joined in with your own light giggle, happy that Jungkook liked his gift.
“Thank you for this…” he looked a little unsure, eyebrows raised a bit as he tried to remember your name.
“(Y/n)!” You introduced yourself with a shy smile.
“Oh right! Sorry I know we have a class together, I don’t know why I didn’t introduce myself to you sooner. I’m Jungkook. Jeon Jungkook. It’s a pleasure.”
He held out a hand for you to shake which you didn’t hesitate to do, trying not to think too much about how his hand practically swallowed yours whole.
Of course you already knew his name, I mean this is Jeon Jungkook we’re talking about, who didn’t know him?
“The pleasure is all mine Jungkook.” You politely stated, a bit reluctant to drop your hand to your side awkwardly.
“Then, I’ll see you around yeah?”
You tried not to show the disappointment on your features as he took a step back, fixing the bag that was under his arm.
Maybe this would be the last time you got to talk to him, considering his popularity and how hard it was to get him alone.
Oh well, you paid his kindness forward that’s all you needed to do anyway.
“Yeah, see you!” You waved him goodbye, watching as he continued down the path to the dorms, happily munching on the cookies.
Except it wasn’t the last time you would run into the Alpha.
It wasn’t even a week since your last talk that he plopped down onto the bench next to you in the courtyard as you were writing a paper for your sociology class, catching you completely off guard.
He didn’t come alone, happily introducing you to his Beta friend Yugeom.
You learned that they were both majoring in Ethnomusicology, something that had you thinking he couldn’t be any cooler than he was now.
The three of you chatted for a bit before you needed to head to your next class, a promise to finish your conversation another time.
Slowly but surely your path would cross with Jungkook’s a friendly relationship blossoming between you both much to your excitement and Gaeun’s frustration.
Her bullying got worse the more you and Jungkook spoke to each other. What started off as verbal harassment was bleeding into a shoulder shove here or a jab from her elbow there.
You willed yourself to ignore her as much as possible. You were used to her commenting on your looks and bizarre mannerisms but when she poked your exposed arms and told you that nobody wanted to see a fat pig running around, you’d hug yourself and walk away as fast as you could, not daring to let her see the tears stinging your eyes.
You couldn’t help that your body was shaped different, that the trees bid you good day, that the clouds and the sky smiled back at you and that you were positive the stray cats you fed understood you.
You had a friend or two growing up but it was nothing compared to how Jungkook almost seemed to seek you out, a new friend trailing behind him waiting to meet the odd omega he would often bring up.
Even his friends thought you were strange. Not in a bad way of course, in an almost refreshing kind of way.
You weren’t afraid to speak your mind, you always gave them weird but yummy home baked treats and you didn’t seem to swoon over the fact that they were Alphas.
Most other people would try to use their sub-gender as a means to talk to them, always with the intent of mating or being close for future connections but you weren’t like that at all. You liked Jungkook and his friends for who they were.
Jungkook often thought about how it seemed like this was the first time you even had friends to begin with.
Childe being the boss of a bank while being Absolutely Feral
The Tsaritsa sending Childe, A Boy From The Countryside Who Never Had Any Formal Schooling, to run her bank: This is going to be the funniest thing ever
In Childe’s head, accountants cover everything to do with numbers, so when he’s in doubt, he just assumes someone’s job is “accountant”. This is almost never true. Vlad is a bodyguard, he literally stands outside the bank doors, WHY WOULD YOU THINK HE WAS AN ACCOUNTANT--
Childe: Haha yeah I’m an accountant!
Ekaterina, exhausted: You are not. But points for trying.
Childe, very proud: I work at a BANK!
Nadia, who knows that Childe basically just fights people without Actually Working and is the office’s baby: That’s right, honey 😊
Every night Childe gets tutored by someone who does work in the bank on various financial matters and he becomes ridiculously financially savvy even for a twenty-something working in a bank
Childe is crazy good at understanding money if you give it to him in terms of fighting-related things. “Wow, ten of these are worth one Dull Sword!”
Childe who doesn’t understand why people can’t just fish for a living. It’s simple. You find a good cave, set up a fire, and catch fish whenever you’re hungry. His employees are horrified. Childe, is this why you’ve been eating so much fish lately. Childe, are you just catching your own fish despite being one of the most well-paid men alive. CHILDE--
Someone shows up for an appointment with a bank advisor, and Childe, who is HORRIBLY disappointed after learning this truth, pulls them aside and is like, “You know they’re not a fiduciary, right? Banks just want to make money. They don’t actually care about you.” His employees are like. You literally are the boss of this bank can you please stop chasing away business
Childe watching a fisherman about to buy mutual funds or something: “You need to understand that they take a 2% management fee off this, which doesn’t sound like a lot, but in fact if you compare it to products from places that aren’t our bank, you could lose a lot in the long run--”
“Childe banks aren’t a scam”
“Okay then explain why Andre the accountant taught me to always be careful about mutual funds with high MERs and then immediately tried to sell that same bad example mutual fund to a client HMMM”
Childe who honestly thinks the concept of money is a scam. Why can’t we just all fish and hunt meat together and share food.
Childe’s employees are ALL scrawny paperwork office job people so they’re like. Childe we can’t. Just hunt down wild boars. That’s primitive and we don’t have muscles.
Childe backseat driving to other people’s financial decisions and they’re like can you please get this twenty year old out of my face while I decide on mortgages. Childe doesn’t even give good advice he’s just really freaking annoying
Hi! DEar godness can I please tell you how I adore your Avdol! He is confident, he is cool, and even tho he isn't in many of your drawings, you capture the vibe so well. 1) Do you have any headcanons? 2) What drew you to his character 3) Have you listen to his theme song Fire shaman?
Thank you! He is very cool, I'm excited to read the novel when I can!
I do! One is that of Avdol had lived, he could have fire fists 🔥
I and everyone else hc's that he's good with animals lol
He speaks a lot of languages, he and Kakyoin can talk shit without anyone understanding
he takes looooooong luxurious baths if he can
Not a headcanon but a speculation, this man has self-preservation issues (esp knowing the novel!). He's way too ready to die for others while not accepting that someone would do the same for him. Value your life Avdol pls
Everyone in jojo has Issues obvi. If Avdol freaks out or panics, his skin can get so hot it's painful to touch. Joseph is great for snapping him out of it since he has a metal hand and can touch without problems.
He and Joseph are, like, actual friends. Only they know exactly what kind...
If he lived he would move to the french countryside with Polnareff, but they travel a lot for Stand related reasons so they're often away from home.
He's a little soft and a lot strong. Amazing hugs.
great singer! Loves karaoke.
2. He seems very ready to help and teach others, but he's also very hot-headed and impulsive! I like that he was the only one who could resist DIO (when DIO was trying to seduce him lol). Also aforementioned sacrificial issues, we love a man who needs to love himself more.
3. I have now! I also love his other song, Fire of Soul! That's why I hc him as a good singer, I love to imagine him belting it out
An Essay about Authentic Queer Narrative & Why SCOY deserves more credit
Looking through the tags, it’s obvious that a lot of people watch the first episode of SCOY, get a little freaked out and drop it or fast forward through parts because of “cringe”. However, I’d like to give some explanation as to why it is the way is and hopefully bring some appreciation to honestly one of the most authentically queer BL I’ve seen.
This essay addresses: (In this essay I will...ugh what am I doing with my life?)
-Historical LGBT+ representation (BLs and Western media)
-The goal of SCOY and how each character represents important issues in the queer community.
First, it’s important to understand that the goal of this series is different than most bl. Most bl are aimed at fujoshi- they are written by straight women for straight women. This means that even though the main characters are two men, they are often living in heteronormative stories that follow straight expectations of love and romance. You can see the differences when comparing to series that were made by queer writers and beloved by queer audiences. Some classic examples that really started things off would be Queer as Folk and the movie But I’m a Cheerleader.
Saint, the founder and owner of Idol Factory, has said that his goal is to give voice to the LGBT+ community- even if that means not following the trends of what is popular among bls. Thus, SCOY and GAP. This would suggest that his primary audience isn’t necessary the fujoshi who are sometimes out to self insert into romances or watch for the sex scenes, it’s to help LGBT+ people see themselves and their issues on screen in a more authentic way, and honestly I believe he’s achieved that really well so far with Scoy. Even though the genre is very different, it actually like watching Queer as Folk. It’s nostalgic. While this may be difficult to believe- the parts people find “cringe” are a part of why this show comes off so authentic.
Time for a quick history lesson! Depending on the country, LGBT+ stories have a long history of being forced to exist only as subtext. The primary reason being that were anti-sodomy laws all over the world, so authors could get in serious trouble for writing them. However, queer authors of course wanted to tell their stories anyway, so they found ways to do it through symbolism and queer coding. This same strategy was used in Hollywood during the Hays Code where LGBT+ stories were very subtly inserted through masculine women and feminine men. This solidified stereotypes for a wide general audience, but these characters were also beloved by the queer audience because they could read the subtext and see their stories played out. When you don’t have options, crumbs start to look pretty tasty.
Eventually, more freedom was given and now we can see queer stories being played out in many countries in many different ways which is amazing, but when you look at series that are made by queer people for queer people, they still involve an element of campiness. Even in modern shows like “Our Flag Means Death.”
The reason is because that element is genuinely a part of the queer community, culture, and history. This is why bl aimed at fujoshi and written by straight people can never quite get it right because the life experience is just inherently different. When I watch SCOY, their little friend group reminds me of being a first year in college with my own little queer found family stuck together in in the conservative countryside. Yeah, we were loud and energetic, maybe a little crazy, but when I see Toh and his group acting like that, I’m reminded that despite how hopeless they feel about love and all the personal issues they are going through, they haven’t let adversity win, just like we didn’t.
Toh, Jao, and Daisy each show an important issue within the queer community that is often ignored by fantasy based bls and therefore gives real, authentic, representation to groups that need their voices heard.
To begin, let’s start with our chaotic disaster of a hero. Many people have a big problem with Toh’s tendency to pick up Nuea’s trash. Yes, it’s gross, but it’s meant to emphasize how feminine men are often treated and looked at. Even in Western media, they are the funny/quirky sidekick or they are the token gay in straight shows because they are “safe” for straight audiences due to the fact that they are de-sexualized. They are never taken seriously or given genuine feelings. We could all imagine Toh in another series doing this as a running gag. Get a laugh, then move on to the real characters. The beauty of SCOY in Toh’s story is that it has allowed him to be who he is AND sexual.
In Scoy, Toh does this collecting because he genuinely believes that someone like Nuea could never love him, so he does what many tumblr users do- he feeds his hyperfixation by collecting pictures, merch, and information about the man he is interested in. He’s happy enough to fan over him from afar. He’s not hurting Nuea or anyone else, he’s enjoying love the only way he thinks he can. Once Nuea is interested and eventually with him, he continues these habits because he believes it won’t last, and he wants something to hold onto after it’s over. Scoy uses traditional campiness and humor to make real issues more palatable. When you understand what is happening, the fact that Toh does these things should be more tragic than “cringy”.
Jao’s story shows the issues in the community with body image and I can’t help but remember the storylines in Queer as Folk where the boys went to the gym all the time because they felt pressured to be muscular in order to find sexual and romantic partners. For Jao, different cultures bring different expectations and the expectation placed on him is to be thin. While it isn’t said directly, Jao may very well be leaning towards developing an eating disorder. He is often giving away food and refusing to eat. Although he often plays it off as being cheeky or sweet, Sky clearly has noticed this problem, and thus is always offering him food, checking up on him, and making him healthy meals or taking him out to eat.
Often, we only hear about how the media puts pressure on women to look a certain way, but this is a big problem in the queer community as well, and it’s great to see more light being shed on it in comparison to the fantasy bls that actually contribute to these problems by only showcasing Adnois types and K-pop idol level beauties.
Now, I have to admit, I haven’t read the novel, but it sounds like Daisy is either third gender or trans, and so far from her story we have seen how surprised and happy she is that Touch is actually trying to court her which shows us that despite her beauty this isn’t normal for her. Trans culture in Thailand seems very different from the Western world, but based on Daisy’s reaction, I can imagine there are some similarities like the challenges and uncertainties involved in finding a romantic partner that will love you for who you are and accept all of you.
In Western culture, many people outside of the LGBT+ community don’t know much about trans people or culture, and so they base what little they know off of media representation, and unfortunately up until recently almost all trans representation was trans murderers, trans murder victims, prostitutes, and scenes of trans people showing their body to their lovers only to have their lovers puke… Thankfully, that is starting to change, but progress is slow. This is all the more reason that it’s important to have characters like Daisy that are humanized. Her story will help others be more empathetic and understanding of real world issues, but also give hope to trans and nonbinary people who struggle with love.
While the beginning of this series can be difficult for some people to enjoy- particularly if their experience is primarily with the fantasy styled bls developed around heteronormative experiences and culture, I really hope people will give it a proper chance because it is such an authentic and loving narrative that clearly wants to give real representation to issues in the community that need a voice. Just relax and enjoy the comedy, yes it’s absurd, yes it’s camp, but keep in mind it’s meant to be a fun and easy vehicle to get at the heart of the issue.
Ever since watching Kin I keep thinking of like, Stranger Things kid fic? Like, a mungrove AU where Eddie and Billy both end up in foster care for a short stint? Eddie’s parents get in some trouble or smthn while on a trip in Cali and land in jail and he’s left alone. He’s super sad/traumatized about the whole thing but he ends up making an unlikely friend in Billy after the kid swoops in and beats the shit out of some bullies who were making fun of Eddie for “being a country hick who smelled like cow shit!”
Billy actually thinks Eddie is dumb as rocks and that he does kinda smell like the countryside in some weird way; but the first time they met, Eddie had been all over Billy for having a piercing even though he was only like 11, and he said Billy’s freckles looked like sparkles and asked him all these questions about what it was like living by the Ocean. Billy liked feeling like a king even then, so he just took pity on the guy and decided he was gonna make him his little minion.
Eddie is a sweetheart though, and he he won’t stop being genuinely kind and curious about Billy, who these days didn’t really have a lot of friends because it was his mom who always took him to stuff, and now that his dad was in charge all the kids just kind of stayed away from him. Partly because Billy was always really angry after his mom left, and partly because his dad was hard to be around. He’d always have all these rules whenever kids came over to play with Billy (if he even let them), and he didn’t let him go out with the other kids because he didn’t like “the kind of parents they had”, but really it was because after they moved to a poorer neighborhood he ended up going to school with a lot of POC kids. So all this leads to Billy just genuinely liking Eddie and thinking of him like an actual friend.
Of course, Eddie thinks Billy’s like this totally awesome kid because he grew up in Cali and surfed every day, practically since he could walk. Eddie is older than Billy but he’s all skin and bones since his parents are pretty poor, and he gets bullied a lot and has his lunch money stolen really often. But he’s really resourceful and knows how to pick a lock and sneak around without getting caught, he’s got loose fingers and can snatch pretty much anything in sight, a real rascal. He might not know how to navigate a city but growing up in not great conditions with a dad who regularly got in trouble with the law meant he just knew really unconventional stuff. So of course Billy is totally into that and starts respecting him on top of it all, watched as Eddie fiddles with Knick knacks and makes slingshots and shit with whatever he can find. They become a real troublesome duo and the people in charge are constantly trying to separate them and they get sent to “time out” on the reg. Eddie always finds a way to escape though, and he gets Billy out too whenever he gets in trouble.
Eventually, Eddie leaves with his uncle Wayne after like a week, but gives Billy his new address in Indiana, so they can keep in touch. He even tries to come back and visit the next day before Wayne takes him back to Hawkins, but Billy had just left that morning and Eddie is really sad, mostly because he hears that Billy’s dad picked him up and he knows the guy is just absolute trash.
Billy had told him about how Neil broke his surfboard, the one his mom bought for him, and how Billy cried so hard even after Neil smacked him for being a pussy, saying stuff like “your mom abandoned you, why do you need anything from that bitch? She doesn’t care about you.” Eddie had been super mad about that, because that’s stupid; yeah, kids made fun of him all the time and called him a freak, and when he cried it always made it worse for him, but he knew it didn’t make him a pussy, it’s those kids’ faults for being assholes. Crying was natural, and his dad might’ve been a less than great guy but he’d been a kind father.
So Eddie goes back home all sad, and Wayne tries to cheer him up, buys him ice cream on the drive back, but it doesn’t make it better. Eddie thinks about jumping out the truck and running to Billy, but he didn’t even know where he lived, so he gives up on the idea and just sits in the passenger seat and watches the scenery. When they get beck, Eddie sits in the trailer alone at night looking at the foggy sky and wondering if Billy is alright, if he’s crying or if he’s at the beach or something. Eventually, Eddie gets a letter in the mail, it’s from Billy, and Eddie learns Billy’s had it really rough. His dad had been drinking more recently, probably because he got fired from his job, and he beats Billy for little things like not finishing his dinner or watching TV too loud.
Eddie decides right then that he has to get Billy out of there, he doesn’t know how he’s gonna do it, but he’d find some way to save Billy even if it meant snatching some cash like his old man taught him and making a run for Cali on an overnight bus.
Anyway, that’s all I got, I was just thinking of random shit🤷🏽♀️
warnings: nsfw, yandere (barely), vaginal fingering. ran is a control freak
with: ran haitani
word count: 1223
it had been a little over 6 months since you had seen him. what started out as one of the most romantic nights of your life, quickly turned into 3 years of hell.
you remembered how soft and gentle he was, treating you as if you were made of glass, scared to break you but you should’ve known it was too good to be true because after just 4 months of dating, everything changed.
he did care deeply for you and maybe a little too much. he’d constantly check your emails, even if it was just work and all your messages with your friends and family. he wouldn’t let you hangout with your friends unless he could be near, watching you.
social events were a nightmare because he’d keep you close by his side, not letting you socialise. it became suffocating and you needed to get away from him.
you waited for him to leave for work before your best friend came over to help you pack all your things. as much as you loved him, you had to get away but because you were scared that he’d find you, you decided to take a job in the countryside of japan, changing your last name to your mom's maiden name. a name he didn’t know since he never cared for your family because they never approved of him.
you knew he worked as an executive. he’d call it “the family business” and you never bothered to ask because you trusted him and maybe that was your problem, trusting him so easily.
“y/n, take the rest of the day off dear”
you smiled at the old lady and waited for her to leave before going to get changed. you loved the flower shop, it was such an easy going work environment and the owners were a lady elderly couple from okinawa.
the phone rang just as you were about to leave so you answered in case it was a client.
“hello?” you reached for the notepad near the cash register, “how can i help you?”
“do you do deliveries?”
“we do, once we get your order ready, we can send it”
“i’d like a bouquet of white roses send to xxx xxx”
you paused and looked around, a little confused. that was your address and not many people knew where you lived.
“hello?” you say again, surely there must’ve been some mistake.
“the delivery is for f/n l/n”
“who is this?” you ask, starting to feel a little uneasy. sure, your friends did have your new address and it was probably one of them playing a prank on you so you sighed and reached for a pen anyway.
“okay, would you like me to say who it’s from?” you ask
“no, just make sure she receives the flowers”
you sigh and take down the necessary details and make the payment as the person requested. it had been a long time since you received any type of flowers so you wouldn’t complain, white roses were your favourite after all.
your day wasn’t necessarily busy but it did get really hot in the countryside during summer so you just needed a nice relaxing bath before you could truly enjoy your weekend. you made sure to put the roses in a vase and set it on the counter in your kitchen. it added some life to the space.
“always so distracted”
you nearly screamed as you heard his voice, right behind you. you couldn’t really run because he was blocking the bathroom door and you had already climbed inside.
“r-ran” you choked out, “what.. how-”
“did i find you?” he chuckles, taking off his jacket. he was dressed in a suit and you could tell he probably came right after work.
“i’m hurt” he sighs, “6 months of ghosting me?”
“ran please” you begged, trying your best to cover up, “you need to leave”
he doesn’t say anything but the way he looks at you sends a chill up your spine. he was angry and the calm, angry version of ran was the scariest. he stepped further into the bathroom and closed the door.
you watched in silence as he took off his cufflinks and set in on the sink by your mirror. he didn’t look at you but you knew he wasn’t there for a casual visit. he came for you.
“did you like the flowers baby?” he grins, “i know they’re your favourite”
you swallowed hard as he stepped closer to the bath, stopping right next to you. he gripped your chin with his one hand and wrapped his other hand around your neck, forcing you to look up at him. he squeezed a little and closed his eyes when you gasped, a sound he’d never get enough of.
“i missed you so much” he sighs, “i didn’t think you’d ever hurt me like that”
he coos and leans down to place butterfly kisses across your cheeks when you start crying. you always were the prettiest when you cried. his pretty baby
“did you miss me baby?” he asks and despite everything inside you screaming to get away, you nod.
his eyes darken and you squeeze your thighs together. you knew that look very well.
“i don’t believe you” he laughs, “you left me”
you didn’t know what to say. he must have known why. you were so tired of being controlled and used to his liking that it felt like a never ending cycle. you needed to get away before you lost yourself completely. you hadn’t realised you said that out loud because he let go of you completely and you hated how you chased after his touch.
“can you blame me?” he asks, “you’re just so perfect, i don’t want anyone else to have you”
“you’re everything to me baby” he says softly, kneeling so you were eye level and he held your face in his hands, “i want to be your everything”
he leaned forward to kiss you and you let him. you were scared but you’d always give in.
“ran please” you whimper when you feel his hand creeping between your thighs to slip 2 fingers in. you felt disgusted with how much he turned you on, that him just being that close was enough to send you over the edge.
you gripped the side of the bathtub as he began moving his fingers faster.
“you’re this worked up?” he laughs, “just look at you baby, so messy”
you moaned louder when you felt him adding a 3 finger. his fingers were so much longer than yours and you’d never be able you fuck yourself the way he did. you cried out when he pressed open mouthed kisses across your neck and chest, stopping to suck hard on your nipple.
“go ahead” he smirks, sounding smug when he feels you clenching around his fingers, “let me see you cum just like this baby”
you threw your head back as you felt the pressure building up but just as you were about to cum, he pulled his fingers out and you cried, opening your eyes wide in shock.
“i’m not making it that easy baby” he laughs, standing up, “don’t cry, put that pretty little mouth to good use and i’ll fuck you the way you like”
the parent trap — levi ackerman (x)
— levi ackerman x female reader (modern au | the parent trap au)
— warnings: controlling parents. other than that, it's pretty much the anxiety of meeting your s/o's family for the first time.
— summary: the last chapter before the epilogue. even though it's quite unexpected but both levi and altair received quite a welcome from your family.
— word count: 10.7k
— notes: hi, apparently, i'm not dead and ... i can still write long-ass parts and stories. i've been in a bad spot the past couple of weeks ... where i don't find it in me to interact with anyone, even my friends and close family members (like i reply to their messages days later and never get back on talking to them). i just feel so drained these times. anyway, soooo, i hope you enjoy this bc i freaking miss tumblr so bad. ^^
reblogs are greatly appreciated !! <3 my masterlist is here if you want to check out the previous chapters uwu
“Wow, what the hell, this is a huge house.”
Caelum looked over at his twin brother, who was gawking at the mansion (borderline castle) in front of them. The younger boy mindlessly hummed under his breath.
Every person’s first impression of the [Last Name] manor has always been amusing to watch, leaving behind astounded yet spellbound faces. As much as Caelum wanted to pull Altair into the house and introduce him to everyone he knew in this place, he pensively stared at the balcony overlooking the driveway and fountain of the front yard. The double doors were open and there’s no sign of the woman he was dreading to meet after a few months. Despite the beauty boasted by the mazed hedges surrounding the fountain, Caelum wasn’t feeling the welcome to his grandparents’ home. The gardeners a few ways from the parked cars were waving at him with smiles, to which the little boy reciprocated half-heartedly. He went back to staring at the manor until he felt a warm hand on his shoulder, making him jump.
Silver eyes met with yours and suddenly Caelum felt like he could breathe again. You tilt your head, wrapping your arm around his shoulders, and rubbing comforting circles over his suit. “Let’s go, little prince.” Caelum nodded at you with a small smile, patiently waiting for the four of you to start walking to the entrance. You returned it, turning to Levi and Altair right after. “Thank you for coming with us, love,” you murmured to Levi, who ducked a little to let you whisper in his ear. “I can’t thank you enough for doing this.”
“Of course,” Levi told you. “It’s about time I formally introduce myself to your mother anyway. She has every right to be mad at me for sweeping her daughter away without her knowing. I just hope she won’t make me feel like shit for it.” Levi said everything in a rush, his face impassive and he’s occasionally gulping down his nervousness.
He was acting like this was when you got an impromptu call from your father back in university. Levi froze up in the middle of the cafe you two chose for your random date when you told your father about having a moment with your beau. It wasn’t an experience he’d like to relive. Yet here he was, standing in front of the stairs leading to your childhood home.
Your chuckles brought a small smile to his face. Leaning up, you kissed him on the corner of his mouth, with your lips lingering on his skin. “Don’t worry, Maman mellowed out through the years. If she gives you hell, you have me by your side to defend you. Plus, I have a feeling that she won’t be as haughty as she was twelve years ago.” You lightly sigh, thoughtfully walking in the front yard and waving at the gardeners. You wistfully smile. “So much has changed even though I only visited a month ago.” You eye the new flowers decorating the hedges. Your mother always favored roses. However, instead of the romantic blossoms, there were carnations of various colors.
The entire trip towards the countryside of London has Altair questioning if they’re nearing their destination every few minutes. It came off as something endearing to you and Caelum but Levi was having none of it, thus, telling the older twin to sleep it off so that the car ride appeared faster than normal. The cityscape turned into pastures until your entourage of two cars arrived in a gated estate that spanned for miles. There was a long road leading to the main manor and for the people who only stepped on this place for the first time, it baffled them how wide the land under your family name was.
Now, Levi and Altair were at a loss for words as they stood in front of the manor. For them, being greeted every time a butler or a maid passed by wasn’t exactly the most normal situation.
For Caelum, however, it was a monotone routine.
“Welcome back, Mistress [Name]. Welcome home, young master Caelum.”
“Hello, young master.”
“Young master, I baked your favorite cake for dinner tonight.”
“I hope the flight back home is nice and cozy, Mistress [Name]. It’s good to know you came back safe and sound.”
“Have a good stay in the manor, Mistress and young master.”
Yet it was something he thoroughly enjoyed since he grew up under these people’s care and guidance. When his mum wasn’t around in this manor because of an urgent call from the studio, the maids made sure to have his every concern checked out. During the times when he’d rather isolate himself from prying eyes during galas, the butlers always noticed whenever he appeared too tired to communicate with doting relatives and guests, giving him a reason to escape the scenario by reminding them that it’s way past his bedtime. So, with every greeting from the help, Caelum returned them jovially. The dullness present in the hallways of the manor immediately lifted with the younger twin’s genuine replies.
“I’m glad that you came home without any hitches.”
The entire group paused in the middle of the foyer.
Caelum looked away from the two winding staircases and gripped his brother’s hand, eyes flickering from the floor to the couches arranged in the space between the stairs. That welcome was not what he expected this early. He expected it to echo during dinner, not this soon. Altair raised an eyebrow at his little brother’s actions, shifting his gaze to the rather bedazzled woman donning a white suit making her way down one of the stairs with a flourish that only women in noir movies have.
“Oh, Hange, you’re looking amazing, dear. It’s been a while since we talked. And Oluo, I give you my most heartfelt gratitude for attending to my daughter’s whims. Who knows which corner of the world she will go to next time.”
Oluo bowed his head while Hange pursed their lips in an attempt to not blurt out anything comical yet scandalous.
You tried to school your face in a neutral expression, your hand on the crook of Levi’s elbow tightening its grip on the fabric of his suit jacket. Your ex-husband felt your nervousness. As much as Levi was shaking internally, he unwound his arm from yours and wrapped it around your waist, his fingers rubbing circles over the bodice of your dress.
“I’ll ring the maids to further prepare a more extravagant buffet for tonight’s dinner.”
The woman reached the middle of the staircase when she saw the twins standing beside each other. One of them was staring down at the shiny hardwood floor while the other one was narrowing his eyes at her. The boy under your care wouldn’t stare at her openly with those judging eyes so she figured that the one who was finding the flooring interesting, was indeed her grandson. Then, she noticed the man wrapping his arm around your waist. She hummed out of reflex, running her eyes from the top of the man’s well-kept black hair to the tip of his dress shoes. So, this was the man you married back when you’re gallivanting in America. The one who she threatened to cut down for you to come back home. Still, she smiled in that usual manner of hers that sent chills down every person’s back. The woman continued walking until she stepped on the floor of the foyer. She never once lifted her gaze from the black-haired man, who leveled his stare with hers.
“Maman,” you greeted, patting Levi’s hand on your waist to let him know you’re about to give your mother a greeting.
“Ah, my darling dewdrop,” Geneviève [Last Name] announced, her face remained in that cool blank canvas. She opened her arms for you to bury yourself into, her lips now tugged into a forced little smile. Lightly kissing your cheeks as your welcome-home greeting, your mother held you at arms-length with a hand cupping your cheek and glacial eyes running over your features. “I’ve missed you terribly, sweetheart. You never visit these days.”
“I visited last month.”
Maman hummed thoughtfully, her hand still caressing your cheek as if you’re a sculpture she just made and added to her collection of masterpieces. The comparison in her head almost made her laugh, for you’re definitely one of her most-prized masterpieces. After hearing the news that you were going home, Geneviève casually told the help to prepare a lavish feast worthy of your arrival, as always during every visit you did in this labyrinth of a manor. Only this time, she had to control her cold exterior since you have people tagging along, those people being her other grandson (who she had an inkling of) and your ex-husband (who she doubted the entire time you were in America). Her gaze unconsciously flitted to something behind you, her eyes meeting that of the narrow-eyed twin. It took a moment for her to look away from that sharp gaze, only to linger at the boy you nurtured for more than a decade.
Caelum. That’s his name. Rare were the scenarios where there were only two of them in one room. It was awfully awkward for Maman to keep a casual relationship with her grandson. She remembered how he cried the first time they met when he was a baby. Almost as if she was the monster parents in fairy tales warned children about.
It was a stab to her carefully frozen heart.
You noticed how your mother kept looking at something over your shoulder, prompting you to turn around to where her gaze was fixated at.
Altair stopped glaring at Maman the moment you were met with the sight of the twins. Your eldest son blinked before looking at you, his shoulders relaxing at the familiarity of your warm irises. But it wasn’t Altair Maman was staring at. Your heart pinched at Caelum’s stiff disposition. Your mother never had a soft spot for children before, even for your son. Despite you standing in both parental roles in Caelum’s life, she still dared to suggest putting him to adoption, and it was something that caused this entire debacle. So, what has changed now? Why was your mother looking at your youngest son as if she was missing out on something? Or maybe Maman thought that it was due time to show how much she cared.
No secret parasols over sleeping little boys or extra strawberry tarts for hungry grandsons.
Was this the time for your mother to stop leaving a trail of ice inside your home?
Maman clapped to gain everyone’s attention, jolting you from your little trance. “Shall we retreat to the main dining room, everyone? I believe all of you are famished from the trip. Do follow me.”
Levi listened to each and every story your childhood holds.
Every single tale you unfold during your relationship with him was exactly like the atmosphere your childhood home brought to him.
You told him of the hallways that were endless rivers of ice where you pretended you’re an ice skater with your socks on, twirling ballet dances you learned on the polished floor. You recalled the parties you attended in this place, how extravagant they were. Levi remembered how you pulled him to the middle of his apartment to slow dance to a song that was once played in one of those parties. You two pretended that you have the freedom to attend to your family’s galas with the love of your life, without criticism and judgment, as he twirled you until your back pressed against his fast-paced heartbeat. You giddily shared one time during a rainy day that you were so honored to have a hall of books in one section of the mansion. College Levi grasped what it looked like based on your vivid descriptions but now, he could see it even though he only saw the most shallow parts of your family’s manor.
The earlier nervousness Levi held gradually disappeared at each step towards that main dining room your mother mentioned. The hallway all of you were walking on had glass windows that stretched towards the ceilings, the rays of the noon sun making everything glow. Even with a straight face, Levi could straight-out say that your childhood home was built on enchantment. His admiration for the architecture fell short when he noticed that you’ve grown silent ever since your little group landed in London. Before coming here, you suggested that Levi and Altair stay in your house in the city instead of finding a hotel to accommodate them.
During your preparation in your house, you were fidgeting.
“Is it okay for me to sleep here, beautiful?” Levi tentatively called out to you in the doorway of your room. He was leaning on the doorway with his arms crossed, silver eyes trailing over your frantic figure. You were trying to find what to wear in front of your mother, dresses, and suits of various colors and patterns littering your bed. It seemed like you didn’t notice him standing by your door. Levi pushed himself from the doorframe and walked towards you, placing his hands on your arms. You quickly turned to him in surprise, visibly relaxing when you saw that it was Levi. He stared at you with a little quirk on his lips. “Hey.” He pressed his lips on your right temple, your contented hum letting him fully hug you.
“Hey,” you greeted back, your hand brushing over his forearm. You tilt your head to let Levi bury his face into the crook of your neck, his lips ghosting over your skin with light kisses. “I’m sorry I didn’t notice you by the door. Did you need anything?”
Levi took in your flowery scent with closed eyes. “I asked if it’s okay that I sleep in your room. You know I don’t mind if I take the couch in your living room, right?”
You turned around to cup Levi’s cheeks in your hands. His hands were still snug on your waist, his thumbs rubbing circles over your blouse. “I know I’m fine with us sleeping on the same bed. It’s not like we didn’t share one for years back when we were together.” Your eyes became half-lidded as you caressed his cheeks, your face turning pensive. “But if it makes you uncomfortable sleeping in my room, I won’t have any say in it. Whatever you decide is perfectly alright with me, love. I don’t want you to force yourself in situations that might not sit right with you.”
Levi let out a little blissful sigh. “I’m not against us sleeping on the same bed. You know that, beautiful.” He pressed his forehead as gently as possible on yours. “You’re the reason why I can sleep normally. I’ve never slept peacefully throughout those eleven years without you by my side. This, right now, sounds like a blessing — even if it will only last for a couple of days. So, thank you.”
You were silent for a moment before looking down at the carpeted floor while your hands slowly trailed from his cheeks to his chest.
“I’m sorry,” you whispered. “I’m so sorry for leaving you and Altair behind. It’s so naive and uncalled of me to do that.” You felt soft lips on your forehead and you wanted to cry from the tenderness that Levi showered on you, something that you didn’t deserve. “I’ve hurt you. I don’t know why you even want me back. What if something happens again and I’ll put a stop to this fairy tale of ours? What if Altair won’t have his mum back? I truly want this to work between us, love, but I can’t seem to stop thinking about what ruins this again.” You closed your eyes to prevent Levi from seeing how glassier they became. “I don’t deserve your forgiveness.”
“Look at me.”
You did and your breath hitched at the enchanting smile on Levi’s face. Just a smile from this man could render you speechless. Every single thought in your mind vanished at the affection etched in the specks of his irises, at the way his eyes drooped that always made your heart stutter. You wished to look away because it wasn’t healthy for your chest to beat this loudly. However, the firm hand touching your face prevented you from doing exactly that.
“Yeah, I was hurt when you left but I know you were, too, when I didn’t chase after you.” Levi had to make you believe that none of what happened eleven years ago was your fault. If he had to sound like a broken record while proving it, so be it. As long as you were starting to feel confident that it wasn’t just you who put a stop to your domestic life back then. “What happened all those years ago won’t change the fact that I’m planning on getting back together with you. Hell, I was willing to ask eleven-year-olds for advice — eleven-year-olds, beautiful — just to get everything right this time. I even followed you here to ask for your mother’s approval in marrying you again. I don’t want another eleven years of me talking to the moon and night sky — wishing that I get to see you one last time.
“Beautiful, I want to make this right. So, will you let me?”
If you said no, Levi would’ve gotten on the next flight back to Los Angeles but seeing as he was trailing after you through this long-ass hallway, Levi was relieved to have you say yes.
All that was left was your mother’s approval.
God, that sounds like something impossible.
When your mother walked down the stairs, Levi instantly thought how much you took after her. You two were almost the same person (only the lines on your mother’s face differentiating you two). He never had a clue on what your face looked like when you’re pissed off because he never had any reason to elicit that kind of reaction from you during your relationship. However, as your mother descended from the second floor of the manor, Levi witnessed the most unnerving blank face he ever saw on a person.
With a white suit on and hair pinned back on her head in an elaborate bun, the presence of your mother shouted how superior she was amongst the people waiting for her to reach the end of the stairs. Levi had to bite his cheek to control the scowl that was forming on his face when he saw how your mother scanned him from head to toe with an impassive expression. Is that what he looked like when he sometimes didn't like strangers trying to chat him up? Levi would have to lessen his frown in public because he had seen what it did to this woman. It was anything but physical (because the lines on her face could be signs of old age).
It pushed her back into this shell of an individual, Levi concluded.
His guard was up the entire time because you once told him she bought a company to prove a point without a blink.
The giant double doors leading to the dining hall opened, the aroma of different dishes enticed everyone’s stomachs to grumble. Fuck, how much food was on that table? If Levi wasn’t part of any of this, he would immediately say that everything on the table was fit for the entire workers of his tea plantation. He then felt a tug on his sleeve. Looking down, Levi was met with Caelum’s small smile, his hand pulling him to one of the chairs at the table. His throat became dry when his younger son directed him to the chair on the left of where your mother was supposed to sit. He had to check if this was the right chair but Caelum was already sitting on the chair beside him, the little boy putting the napkin on his lap.
Grumbling inwardly, Levi chose to sit on this cursed spot. Good thing you were right across from him.
“I believe there’s no need for words,” Maman stated, poise still in her posture even when sitting. “The food is prepared for all of you, so enjoy.”
Levi watched Hange make a dive for one of the main courses like a mad person. He also noticed that Oluo disappeared when they went inside the dining hall. He looked around and the said butler was one of the help pouring the juice and iced tea in glasses. Levi went back to his plate. He stayed still for a moment, eyebrows knitting at the arrangement of utensils laid out in front of him. There were forks of various sizes beside his plate, even different kinds of knives and spoons.
What the fuck? Levi lifted his head to survey the dining hall, only to slowly look away when he met gazes with your mother. Shaking his head, he rolled his tongue against the inside of his cheek in mild annoyance. Movement in front of him prevented him from choosing the wrong utensil.
You were teaching Altair which spoon is for which type of food or which fork is needed for the salad, your whispers are only for the boy to hear. Altair was attentively listening to you, looking up at you when he chose the outermost fork for the salad. His beaming grin was everything for you when you told him he was correct. A stare that signified a cry for help alerted you to fix your attention to Levi.
You nearly let out a small laugh at the look of your ex-husband. He only slightly narrowed his eyes at you when your lips tugged a little bit in a smile. You mouthed, “salad?”
Levi nodded. His eyes then followed your finger, pointing at the correct fork on your side of the table. Now knowing the correct fork to eat his salad, Levi felt his lips quirk a tiny smirk, eyes flashing a glint of gratitude towards you. While he was scooping up a good portion of various foods to his plate, your mother was eyeing him at the corner of her eye, trying to observe his mannerisms when placed in a situation that called for guessing. Your mother eventually stopped inspecting your ex-husband when you turned to her to ask her a few questions about your father. The entire lunch was only Levi silently asking you from across the table about the appropriate utensils for every type of food he placed on his plate. But when he was about to ask for your guidance as he shifts towards the roast beef, you were preoccupied in a conversation with your mother.
Now, he’s stuck.
Levi turned to Caelum, who was staring at him with brilliant silver irises. “Yeah, Cae?”
Caelum pointed at the second knife beside his dad’s plate. “This is the meat knife. You’re going to eat the roast beef, right? I saw you trying to communicate with Mum.” Then, the boy squinted his eyes as he relayed his observation. “Though you look like you’re trying to shoot her with a laser using your eyes.”
The black-haired man laughed a little before ruffling his son’s hair, making it curl at the ends. “Thank you, Cae. Good thing you’re right here beside me. Shooting your mom with a laser is the last thing I’d do in any lifetime anyway.”
A pleased smile lights up the younger twin’s face. He looked down at his share of roast beef and stuffed his mouth with a large bite, asking something through a mouthful of his favorite food. “Are you enjoying here, Dad?”
Levi still understood his son’s question. “Yeah, I am, surprisingly. Your mom and you are with me and Al, so I guess we’re in good hands while talking to your grandmother.”
He watched Caelum once again gobble a huge bite of the roast beef on his plate. Amused at the complete effect of this certain food to his son, Levi marveled how such a boy with a meek appetite threw that away for the sake of his favored food. Well, Levi’s one to talk. When he was younger, he always preferred to eat smaller portions like Caelum; but if his mom cooked seafood and tarts for their meal, he would turn into a completely different kid. Making a laugh through his nose, Levi noticed the smear of sauce at the corner of Caelum’s lip.
Levi took his napkin and reached out to wipe his son’s mouth clear of sauce. “There. You better slow down, kiddo. There’s plenty of roast beef for you to eat even at dinner. They won’t go anywhere.”
Caelum gulped down the roast beef. “I’m happy that you’re enjoying your stay here so far, Dad.” He dropped his voice in a whisper, making Levi duck down as well. “Grand-Maman can be quite a handful. It’s a surprise she’s this kind for guests. I was expecting her to let her guard up because you know, you’re the one who paid a visit, Dad.”
Levi didn't know what to feel from that statement. He inconspicuously looked at your mother from the corner of his eyes. He couldn’t deny that there were similarities between you and the older woman. Spending time with you during university, Levi was always caught off guard whenever your expression dulled because of a certain situation, very much like your mother’s default face. It happened when somebody was hitting on you while your group of friends was watching or turning down confessions without remorse. They also appeared when your mother called while you’re hanging out with Levi. That empty smile that never reached your eyes was something Levi vowed to never inflict on you. Hell, he even saw Caelum make that cold expression.
And people say that the Ackermans had the most fear-inducing resting bitch face.
Figuring that he wanted to be in your mother’s good graces, Levi opted in humming as his response.
“So, Levi Ackerman, correct?”
Levi looked up from his plate with a pleasing smile on his face. He hoped that he didn't look like someone who got irritated. His smile twitched at the snort coming from across the table. Levi pointedly glanced at Altair, who was downing a glass of iced tea to conceal his hilarity. Caelum appeared to be wide-eyed while you never lifted your stare from your plate, grips on your utensils tightening, expression never betraying what you feel of the unlikely situation unfolding in the dining table.
Fixing his attention back to the head of your family, Levi solidified his smile. “Yes, Ma’am, that’s my name.” Treat this as a random recitation (read: humiliation in the means of grilling someone), the ones where you fucking went through in university, specifically with the merciless professors.
Maman dabbed the napkin on the side of her mouth before coolly regarding Levi. “We finally meet, then, Mr. Ackerman.” The look you shot became unnoticed as she vacuously smiled at the black-haired man who married her daughter without so much as a hello to them. “Would you care to join me for a cup of tea later in the afternoon?”
Oh. That sounded civil enough.
Your breath hitched. Hange winced. Even Oluo shifted his head towards the matron of your family.
Damn, is having tea with his (again) future mother-in-law that bad?
Levi was rigid in his seat.
This is worse than he thought.
Your mother calmly waited for the maid to finish putting the tea set on the table underneath the gazebo.
It was as Caelum said, your childhood home’s backyard is magical enough to be painted in fairytale storybooks. There were flowers wherever he turned his head to, blooming under the delicate care of the help jovially passing by with their wide brim hats to protect them from the sweltering heat of the afternoon sun. It reminded him of the busy days in the plantation, the flower garden bearing similarities with the one his mother started, which was later cultivated under Mikasa and Annie’s cooperation. The picturesque scenery didn’t help in lessening the tension pulsating in his shoulders. He was staring at the spot right above your mother’s head, zeroing on a solitary purple flower between the vines wrapping around the gazebo. The silence was deafening and Levi shifted in his seat as subtly as he could.
The click of a teacup or a spoon became the only sound surrounding the pair. Maman looked down at her teacup with a straight back, her hand showing years of finesse as she dripped honey onto her drink. It was agonizing for Levi; but for the older woman, she took her time. She tapped her teaspoon against the rim of her cup before putting it on her saucer. Sipping on her tea, she failed to notice that Levi was still sitting like a sculpture in front of her. Maman sighed a little when she took a sip of her drink, the flowery undertones of her preferred flavor letting her breathe even just for a moment.
Eyes similar to yours, they met with Levi’s.
“What are you waiting for, Mr. Ackerman?” Maman asked him, slightly raising an eyebrow at the immobile guest. “The cup of tea won’t be as good when lukewarm.”
Levi knew that so he quickly shook his head to keep himself grounded in the reality that your mother was willing to talk to him. He leaned forward and poured himself a cup of tea. Might as well critique the tea in his mind and ask for a recipe. Without any additives to his drink, Levi took a sip. He detected a faint taste of roses but there was a slightly tangy citrus aftertaste if you let the drink settle in your palate for a little longer. It doesn’t need the slightest hint of additives, it’s perfect just the way it was presented. He could tell that this was homemade as well since there were small amounts of bitterness lingering right after the citrus. They steeped it too long or maybe it’s because of the roses they used.
“I assume it’s not to your liking?”
Levi lifted his gaze. Your mother remained neutral but the slight raise of her brow indicated that she was curious about Levi's hesitance while sipping his tea. Levi cleared his throat before saying, “It’s a very well-made brew, Mrs. [Last Name].” The arch on the older woman’s eyebrow rose. Once again, Levi shifted in his seat. “But I’m more of a black tea kind of person.”
Your mother hummed under her breath. “Yet you make a variety of tea flavors in your company. I thought one would broaden their tastes in that industry.”
She knew of his business, it seemed. “I grew up liking black tea. I find sweetened ones a little too much.”
“I see. That’s quite strong for a young child to drink.”
Levi placed his teacup back on the saucer. “I wasn’t one for sweet things, Ma’am.”
“Oh?” Maman expressed interest in the statement. “What made you change your mind?”
Was he really saying this to your mother of all people? She looked like she’s ready to skin him alive with just a wrong move on his part. Levi picked up a blueberry scone from the tiered stand. “It was [Name] who slowly made me change my mind.” He quickly closed his mouth to avoid any interrogations but the look on your mother’s face betrayed no malice. She appeared to be attentive. “She always took me to the nearest cafe in our university, even when we were just friends. It wasn’t an immediate change of heart. It took me years to get used to the taste of macarons and macchiatos. But, now, I associate those flavors with her no matter how many years have passed.” The whole time Levi was talking, he wasn’t meeting your mother’s gaze.
A breath of laughter came out of Maman. “It seems she carried that habit all the way to the other side of the sea.”
The older woman faced the maze-like hedges. There was no coldness present in her expression, unlike what the other suitors saw while she interviewed them or what the other wealthy families in the galas connected her with. An air of wistfulness enveloped the matron of your family, the crease in between her forehead evening out as she breathed in the nostalgic scent of the garden. Her little moment of tranquility was overshadowed by the churning feeling of shame and blame. Both of which originated from her treatment of you and your son. It took her years to realize that what she was doing did nothing to uplift the legacy of the family she married into. Instead, she turned it into something more controlling and pernicious. She remembered what her mother-in-law said.
I picked you as my son’s potential wife because there was no other choice. It wasn’t because you appealed to me, it was because we were tired of looking for someone striking.
But seeing as Orion gradually fell in love with her, she took the role seriously to prove her mother-in-law wrong. She remembered how her husband’s mother paid no mind to family matters after she entered into the portrait. It looked like everything was placed on Maman’s shoulders the moment she said ‘I do’. The grudge she held for the woman who stood as a mother to her husband lasted until the older woman breathed for the last time. To this day, Maman always prioritized family, sticking to the old ways of maintaining status in society. Her realization came too late when you ran away from home, to another continent, just to get away from her authoritarian views of leading the family.
Maman never witnessed you walking down the aisle to the person who made you feel safe. She failed to remember the birthdate of her grandchildren because she was never told that you were carrying them. She always told you to act a certain way to attract suitors worthy of the [Last Name] surname. She was absent during your ballet recitals even though she was the one who told you to pursue it. She waved away your dream of designing dresses and ball gowns, determined to have you take over one of the businesses that the family owned. There it dawned on her that she was never a mother to you, to begin with. Her eyes flickered at the thought. Maman became slightly frantic as she tried fixing her gaze solely on one object. She lifted her head and tightened her hold on the handle of her teacup.
“I didn’t like you, Mr. Ackerman.”
Levi nearly choked on his scone. He opened his mouth to ask if he heard her right but your mother continued talking.
“You were merely a distraction for my daughter.”
Levi swore he felt Time stopped.
“You were never good enough for her.” There was a hint of disbelief in her voice that made her tone quiver. “I threatened her when I found out she married someone way outside of our circle.”
“You mean someone poor?” Levi bluntly asked, face stony and void of emotions. “And what do you mean by ‘threatened’? What the fuck did you say to [Name] that made her fly back here?” The word triggered something inside him. The truth is sitting right there, all in the form of your annoyingly unsympathetic mother. Now he will find out what really pushed you to leave him.
“Yes, I didn’t want her to marry someone who wouldn’t manage a single day in a lavish lifestyle.” Levi clenched his jaw, his fists curled on the armrest of his chair. Good thing that there weren’t any maids standing close by or else they would’ve seen how his grip crinkled the cushion of the armrest. Maman went on. “And to answer your other question, Mr. Ackerman, yes, I threatened her.” It looked like Levi was waiting for her to add something so she did. “It was your business that I threatened her with for her to come back to us and forget about her life with you.”
Levi slackened his jaw. The tea plantation?
The shock on the man’s face bubbled a sardonic laugh from your mother. She took a sip from her tea before slightly lifting her chin with a sarcastic smile. “I would do everything just to give my family glory. Even cut down what’s important to the people giving them happiness. I was that malicious to think that by putting a stop to your starting business, my daughter would come back to my arms. She was too selfless to try to have you give up on your dream, Mr. Ackerman, because I know people like you will also do everything to cling onto someone way more important than a risky move in the business sector.” Maman looked away from him. “She was supposed to come back alone. The child was a miscalculation.”
“How fucking dare you,” Levi murmured dangerously. “You’re cold-blooded.”
Maman smiled a little. “Maybe I am.”
“Calling your grandchild a fucking miscalculation? The grandchild who wished to have a normal family because you couldn’t give him the kindness and guidance that he needed? The kid you’ll willingly put into adoption because you thought [Name] wasn’t taking care of him enough? Fucking bullshit.” Levi was seething. “And manipulating your daughter and taking away something that makes her happy sounds like a nice plan for you? What the hell is wrong with you?”
“She wasn’t supposed to run away from here,” Maman punctuated it with a tone that offered no openings for rebuttals. “[Name] shouldn’t have flown to America. She wasn’t supposed to meet you.” Desperation was evident in her eyes whilst Levi carried anger in his. “She was supposed to be inheriting the fortune to our family, not dally with someone without us knowing. What do you think I felt, Mr. Ackerman?” Her voice kept rising and rising. “I was worried that she might have made the wrong decision. I was thinking of her well-being as her mother.”
“Yet you acted as if you’re not.”
Maman sharply inhaled. The world caved in when she heard those words. The grudge she held for her mother-in-law and the need to prove her wrong vanished without a trace. All that was left was a gaping hole inside her chest. She was never a mother to you, to begin with. She bit her lip to prevent herself from spiraling down the rabbit hole she just made. Levi’s eyes will forever haunt her. They were like bullets shooting down her perch. There was no sign of sympathy nor understanding. In their stead, blankness covered his silver irises, showing that it was her fault that all of this fiasco happened. It was her being your puppeteer that the twins thought it was better to swap places and spend the week with their respective parents.
“Is it that satisfying to see your daughter drift away from you? To have your grandson be afraid of you until he’s aloof whenever you’re around?”
Maman took a deep breath. To calm herself down or to gather patience, Levi would never know.
“I get that you were trying so hard to make your family as perfect as possible,” Levi laughed through his nose, “but people are suffering because of you. You’re a fucking sick bastard if you ever thought that amounts to happiness.” Levi stood up, loosening his white button-down over his forearms. “You know what? I don’t care if I don’t receive your blessing in re-marrying your daughter but do remember,” the black-haired man sneered, “I won’t let you ruin this for the second time.”
Just as he was about to leave the gazebo, Maman uttered, “I didn’t like you because I was once in your place.”
“Are you fucking kidding me?”
“I beg your pardon?”
Levi turned around. “And do tell me what makes us both so similar?”
The older woman straightened in her seat, head tilted to meet the glacial stare of her future son-in-law. The smile on her face wasn’t like the others. It was colored blue this time. It wasn’t even forced. If anyone from the massive estate saw this, they would be having a field day because Geneviève [Last Name] never blatantly smiled at anyone except her husband and daughter. The man standing in front of her was frank and didn't give two shits about anyone. At first, she didn’t see why you fell in love with such a brash individual. You’re royalty fit for a prince. This man is more of a protector than a marriage prospect. Yet you two fit like unlikely pieces of a puzzle. With that in mind, Maman shed the chilly exterior for the first time in years.
“We were placed in unlikely situations that led to an uncalled downfall. For me, it was accepting the arranged marriage proposal by the [Last Name] family until I spiraled into someone that I vowed to never become. For you, it was marrying my daughter and separating for years. I didn’t ask to be in this family because I was never my mother-in-law’s first choice for Orion, much less the second. You, on the other hand, were just roped into my dilemma of being a better mother and wife.”
Levi’s left eye twitched as he watched the woman struggling for her next words. It looked like she was spitting out a hairball but that could be an exaggeration on Levi’s part.
“For that, I am deeply sorry.”
Ah. So that’s why she looked constipated.
Levi nearly blurted out that he didn’t need the apology. It was too late anyway. He opted to stay quiet, inserting his hands in the pockets of his slacks as he hummed in response. There was no point in trying to erase what happened with a half-assed apology. It wouldn’t change the fact that he and Altair suffered for eleven years without you and Caelum. Might as well be impassive about it.
“I know you won’t accept it, Mr. Ackerman—”
“Levi. Call me Levi. ‘Mr. Ackerman’ sounds like I’m an old man.”
Amusement painted your mother’s features before they slipped away when she took something in between the sconces.
“I know you won’t accept my apology, Levi, but I hope you accept this.” Your mother pushed a velvet jewelry box towards the center of the table. It was a striking shade of beige with gold linings. It caught Levi’s eye and his curiosity prevailed over his previous anger. Maman opened the box and nestled between the plush was a ring with the most brilliant diamond as the main attraction. It glinted even without the help of artificial lights. “It’s the [Last Name] family ring. Even though my mother-in-law showed no concern for me joining the family, she was still resolute in not giving this ring for the proposal. My husband fought to give this to me. He won. And now,” Geneviève smiled at a wide-eyed Levi, “this will be yours for your proposal to my daughter.”
“Why?” Levi uttered. “I can buy any ring out there.”
Your mother laughed. “Yes, I won’t disagree with that, Levi. But you can’t buy this ring. It has been passed down since the previous century.”
The black-haired man was at a loss for words. He couldn’t help but echo, “Why?”
“Think of it as my gift for you, Levi. Welcome to the family.”
“Cruella. That’s who she is in my head.”
“Grand-Maman doesn’t have an obsession with furs though.”
“Well, she looks like she can kill dalmatians at random times of the day.”
“She’s allergic to dogs, Al.”
The two boys were left to loll inside the massive library of the manor. After watching over them for a couple of minutes, your assistant, Armin, called from the studio after hearing that you’re back in London. Two clients were inquiring for you to design their wedding gowns and suits. With a kiss on each of their heads, you went out of the library.
Altair was just telling Caelum about his first impressions of their grandmother. Just like any other guest, Altair already had an idea of how Maman ran things in this household. Even though they were just assumptions, the older boy’s gut feeling never failed him. If he surmised from that short encounter that his grandmother from your side of the family screamed like any supervillain he knew, then that thought would stay in his mind until the older woman changed his mind.
“That’s a bummer,” Altair murmured under his breath. “Either way, she seems like a Cruella to me.” The older twin sighed while staring at the paintings on the ceilings. Fairies were in every corner, their hands cupping butterflies that glowed rainbows. Altair pouted when he remembered the face his now grandmother gave him while sizing them up. It sent a shiver down his spine. He wanted the comforting ambiance of his granny Kuchel now. “I don’t like the way she looked at me earlier.”
Caelum reluctantly looked away from his book. Once he saw the despondent expression on his brother’s face, he tucked a bookmark between the pages and placed the novel beside him. “Al, Grand-Maman has always been like that. Don’t take what happened earlier to heart, alright?” When Altair made no move from his spot on the long couch of the middle of the library, Caelum increased the volume of his voice. “Al.” It was only then that the older boy shifted his head to meet the firm gaze of his twin. “I know Grand-Maman will grow to acknowledge you and Dad as part of the family. It will happen eventually anyway. She’s just a little wary of guests, that’s why. So, don’t worry if she appeared too wintry earlier. That’s just the way she is when there are new people around.”
A small half-smile lifted Altair’s lips. He appreciated how alleviating Caelum’s words always were. “Thanks, Cae. You’re extremely awesome, did you know that?”
The younger boy laughed. “You just boosted my ego.” Caelum calmed down from laughing, flashing a smile on his older brother. “Any time, Al. You can always talk to me. I’ll always listen.”
Altair couldn’t thank his twin enough. He figured that words couldn’t encompass the swell of gratitude inside his chest, all of it directed at the fact that he finally found his family. It was even funny to think about because the two of them were at each other’s throats during the summer camp. Pulling pranks on one another and getting placed in the isolation cabin for roping in their camp director. If his pride and ego got the best of him during the summer camp, Altair wouldn’t have his complete family. Hell, he wouldn’t even know that Caelum is his twin brother and that their mom is across the ocean. As Altair laid on the long couch counting the butterflies on the ceiling, he had another crazy idea that made him sit up from his comfortable position. Without any words, Caelum only raised an eyebrow at this.
“Hey, is it possible that I’m going to be lost in this place?” Altair asked with an eager glint in his irises.
Caelum hummed. “If you have a poor sense of direction that is.”
The older twin slowly nodded with a smile. He stood up from the long couch and stretched his arms before putting his hands behind his head. “Do you mind if I explore this mansion for a while?”
“Go ahead,” Caelum murmured, eyes never leaving his book.
The grin spread on Altair’s face as he walked out of the library with a small spring in his step. He was too excited to get to know the house where you grew up in. He heard from Hange and Oluo that this place is pure magic even if loneliness exuded from the walls and paintings. He looked from left to right the moment he stepped out the doors of the library, choosing to lightly jog to the right where the stairs to the next floor resided.
“Just don’t go to the stairs. That’s where Grandpa and Grand-Maman’s office and rooms are!” When there was no response, Caelum looked up and blinked at the absence of his brother. He muttered, “I hope he doesn’t go to the next level, I heard that Grandpa just arrived and is doing work from home today.” Knowing how busy his grandfather was, disturbing him was the last thing anyone in this mansion should do. This was the reason why the east side of the second floor became off-limits to visitors. Then, Caelum shrugged. “Al is probably going to the west side of the manor anyway. Hmm, I could use some refreshments and croissants.”
Closing his book and tucking in under his arm, Caelum headed to the left of the library — the kitchens his destination.
“Whoa, is this Mom?” Altair breathed upon entering a supposed library on the second floor. The library was smaller compared to the one he was in with his brother yet this one spoke like homeliness to him. Inside the little library was a huge portrait of your family, with you only being seventeen when it was taken. “She looks so different here.”
Your hair was longer, your eyes slightly dull, your lips quirked in a small smile that didn't reach your eyes — you were somewhat lifeless.
Altair slowly looked away from your younger self and focused on roaming around the small library. There was a fireplace sitting underneath the portrait and a desk placed in the middle of the room, with double windows behind it to let the light in. It looked like an inventor’s workshop, only without the little innovations. There were papers strewn everywhere yet they looked well-kept. Tiny knick-knacks lined the desk made Altair smile. He walked over to examine each one. He picked up something that was made from popsicle sticks, with paint decorating the figure’s body. A small teddy bear however caught his eye. This one had a dress over it, something cut out from tulle and pasted together to create an illusion of an extravagant piece of clothing. The sound of someone entering the room made Altair drop the teddy bear, his back pressed against the edge of the desk.
The boy was more of a cautious kitten at this point. Altair stared wide-eyed at the man who was just as shocked as he was. He was quite dapper. If it weren’t for the strings of white weaving through his hair, Altair would’ve thought he was younger than his original age. The shock ebbed away from the man’s face, giving way to an amused smile.
“I see you have discovered my secret garden.”
Altair looked at anywhere except this man.
A laugh resounded from him. “The only person who knows when to enter this room is someone who’s very much your age, young man. And even if he knows when I’m available for his stories, he doesn’t visit me that often.” He placed the fancy cane stick he was holding on the side of one of the single chairs at the side of the room. He made himself comfortable on the plush chair, exhaling in satisfaction as he finally sat down after long hours of meetings. “You can sit, young man. That way you can tell me your story.”
The smile on the man’s face was anything but condescending. It nearly made Altair sit on the opposite chair.
Instead of following the man’s harmless invitation, the young boy scratched his undercut. “Uhm, I’m not supposed to be here?” To whom this question was directed, he never knew. Altair took small steps towards the opened door. He pointed at the hallway with a sheepish smile and nervous chuckle. “I think my Dad is looking for me somewhere … around this huge house. Nice house, by the way. It’s really great! Uh,” he looked at the doorway before grimacing at the raised eyebrow the man donned, “bye!”
Altair slowly looked behind his shoulder. The man is now leaning forward in interest. “Allow me to introduce myself.” He placed a hand on his chest, lowering his head in a slight bow. “My name is Orion [Last Name]. I’m sure you know my daughter.”
Oh, he does, seeing as the daughter of this man is his mom.
“And I think I have an idea on who you might be, little one.” A little twinkle of something Altair couldn’t pinpoint flashed in the man’s irises. “I hope you’re willing to let your grandfather get to know you. What’s your name?”
Ah, this is the cool person Caelum was talking about, the one who was making time for him while inside this mansion.
“Uh, Altair,” he recited dumbly, his train of thought thinning.
“A beautiful name, indeed.”
“... Nice to meet you?”
Another bellow of laughter came from your father. “And I, you, little Altair. Would you like to join me for a cup of tea? I’ll have someone deliver them here.” Your father opened his tablet and tapped his fingers on something. He flickered his gaze on the still standing boy. “What kind of food do you prefer?”
Altair rubbed his elbow. “Just some cookies.”
“Okay, a platter of chocolate chips and a teapot of a favorite tea of mine.”
The boy nodded his head, eyes roaming around the expanse of the room.
“My offer still stands, you know?”
“Oh,” Altair muttered, hastily sitting on the chair opposite from the man that claimed to be his grandfather. His hands were fidgeting on his lap, not knowing which topic he should put onto the table for a conversation to start. Talking to his gruncle Kenny seemed like a breeze, he simply had to rile up the older man to extract a heart to heart. The man sitting in front of him was not in the same circle as his gruncle Kenny. This man was more on the refined side of the spectrum. Even the way he was sitting shouted that he should be respected and not thrown a bunch of insults. This lasted until two butlers entered the room with the tea and cookies. Altair noticed the familiar scent of the tea.
At the sign of recognition in the boy’s face, Orion lightly laughed as he poured tea in both teacups. “One time,” Altair looked up when your father started relaying his story, “when a conference didn’t go exactly as we planned, this brand of tea managed to calm my nerves. I vividly remember how it was a mix of cinnamon and jasmine. Quite an unusual flavor to put together but surprisingly, it managed to soothe my palate.” The older man sipped on his teacup and hummed a low sound of delight. “I slept for more than four hours that night. You could say that this tea was a blessing sent from unknown entities — it worked like magic. Do you recognize this brand, little adventurer?”
Altair gulped down the familiar flavor of chamomile and raspberries down his throat. “I might be too biased for this, sir, but I think it’s from Dad’s company. I could be wrong though.”
A twinkle of amusement appeared in Orion’s irises. “Exactly. It’s from your father’s tea business. I knew the Ackerman name rang a bell when I first asked my butler about the brand. Levi makes the most exceptional tea out there.” Orion warmly smiled at the young boy. “I extend my wishes for his business’ flourishing. I hope to see it grow into an even bigger blossoming tree.” The echo of porcelain clicking against each other punctuated his remark. “Oh, and do call me grandpa! I’ll only permit you to call me sir if you’re one of my business partners.”
The weight on Altair’s shoulders lessened tremendously as he sighed, a smile replacing the blank mien he had earlier. “Okay … grandpa. I’ll be sure to tell Dad you appreciate his tea.”
Orion gave a hearty laugh, ruffling Altair’s hair affectionately. “That’s more like it, little adventurer.” Silence and then, “You know, I was curious about your father when [Name] told me stories of her university life.”
The older man nodded. “Apparently, your mother described him as a somewhat stoic person who puts people into place with his words.”
“That’s Dad, alright,” Altair murmured before taking a bite of his chocolate chip cookie.
“Yet she also told me he was heartwarming and kind, blunt but his words mean well to keep her in check. At first, I couldn’t imagine my daughter being with that kind of person. I never imagined [Name] dating someone at all.” Altair smiled at the man’s upset nature. It reminded him of Levi when the topic of Altair growing up entered the conversation. “When she told me about Levi, I knew that she was starting to slip through my fingers. But, what really made me want to fly to America was the news of you and Caelum being born. Your births were what made me realize that I missed something extraordinary in my daughter’s life. Truthfully speaking, I was ecstatic when she mentioned that she’s coming here with Levi and you.”
“I was excited, too!” Altair chimed in, his smile so bright that Orion immediately saw a younger version of you looking at him like that. “The stories Caelum told me while we were on a camping trip were all so fantastical that it made me even more curious about Mom’s childhood home. He mentioned that you two have secret meetings whenever he visits this place.” The boy tilted his head. “Meeting you right now is so much different than meeting Cruella—” Altair bit the inside of his cheek. The smile on his face turned into a tight one, lips pursed and eyes wide. Quietly, he whispered to himself, “Oops.”
The silence was so loud until Orion laughed once again. Altair had the knack for making this man double over in genuine amusement. The older man’s laugh ended with a hum before it started again when Altair shrunk against the back of the chair as if it could aid in turning him invisible. The latter’s face turned a prominent shade of red that spread towards the back of his neck. “Please don’t tell her I called her that,” Altair faintly supplicated.
Orion wiped the corners of his eyes with a slight chuckle. It has been a long time since he heard someone blatantly describe his wife like that.
“You can trust me on that, little adventurer. It’s quite entertaining how that name naturally sprung from you. I bet Caelum, the little dreamer that he is, thinks the same, too. He only never mentioned it out loud to anyone, much less to me or your mother.” He patted the top of his cane, eyes gaining that faraway look that was clouded with reminiscing. “I admit that Geneviève can be quite the villainess of a short fairy tale. She has that effect on other people, too, with the way she dresses and all. I bet others call her meaner names than Cruella. That name actually has a nice ring to it, if I have to say the truth.”
Altair visibly relaxed, the breath he prevented coming out in a sigh.
Conversations flowed from the two of them like a steady stream. The awkwardness Altair exhibited when he got caught by his grandfather vanished without a trace, in its place was an ever-growing curiosity as the older man told him a story of a star merchant in search of the brightest star in the universe. He never noticed how the older man described the star as the most silver pinpricks in the midnight tresses of the sky, almost like the pair of eyes he inherited from his father. Orion relayed how the star merchant was a traveler of his own, having not found the brightest star yet until the end of the tale. Altair was left confused because it was a different story than what Caelum told him during the camping trip. When he asked why this little story sounded different, Orion simply smiled and told him,
“The star merchant was just in the process of completing their journey. Now, little adventurer, what do you think will happen to the star merchant next?”
Levi was shaken, his hands constantly running through his hair, with his fingers trembling from the chat with the matron of your family. He was not a nervous man who shied away from any first conversation. Above all, he’s the opposite of that. However, in Levi’s case, his emotions were carefully schooled as a defense mechanism that prevented him from spilling too much on a single person. That reason was what held him back from interacting with you during university.
With a quivering sigh, he straightened himself and buried every bit of the aftermath deep inside his throat.
There was only one person to who he would gladly go at the moment.
His footsteps brought him to a window seat with your figure on the plush foam, hands scribbling on a sketchpad, and face scrunched in concentration. A natural smile made its way on his face. You’re just so beguiling to look at. Eyes gaining those soft corners, Levi maneuvered his way towards you. Upon reaching you, he placed one of his knees on the cushion and carefully wrapped his arms around your shoulders. He felt you slightly flinch at the contact but you eventually relaxed upon registering his familiar scent. Levi pressed a kiss on the crown of your head, his smile growing when you leaned back on his chest.
“Hey, love,” you greeted, looking up at Levi’s face. “How was your talk with Maman?”
Levi sighed, sitting down on the cushion behind you. He shifted a couple of times to find that perfectly comfortable position, but not before pulling you until you rest in between his legs — your back against his chest and his chin nestled on your shoulder. He hummed, brushing his lips on your skin before answering, “It was fine.”
You turned your head to give him a dubious look. “You’re not telling me something.” You sat up and faced a blank-faced Levi, your body angled to meet him eye to eye. Your hand gently cupped his cheek, with him unconsciously leaning at your touch. “Did she say anything upsetting to you?”
He tried staring at the flowers beyond the glass panes but you pushed his face so that he wouldn’t look away from you. Your furrowed eyebrows made him breathe a laugh, finding your expression endearing. Leaning forward, Levi kissed you on the cheek, never pulling away even after you felt the sensation of his plush lips pressing against your skin. He inhaled your scent, the comfort lacing the sillage running through his entire being. He tightened his grip around you, pulling you closer to him as if a mere disturbance would take you away from him. You were always his secret garden — around you, he felt magic at every little action of affection.
“What did she say to you?”
He merely buried his face in the crook of your neck.
“You know you can tell me anything, right?”
His smile transformed into a grin, a silent laugh washing over him.
“Why are you laughing?”
He took out the velvet box from the pocket of his slacks. The small emblem of your family name’s initial brought the butterflies to life. Levi showed it to you and your rambling stopped. He didn’t even have to peek at your face to know that the box took your breath away. “This. This is what she gave me at the end of our talk.” He opened the velvet box and the ring was once again out in the open. “It will suit you even better than the ring I gave you twelve years ago.”
You stared wide-eyed at your family ring, hand covering your mouth while an overwhelming surge of happiness came in the form of gliding tears. “You have it.”
Levi kissed your jaw. “Yeah.”
A watery laugh emanated from you, the disbelief still present on your face. “I can’t believe it,” you murmured.
“It’s all thanks to the twins. So,” Levi trailed off, lifting his head from your shoulder before tilting your head to face him. With a spellbinding grin that made you see the stars, he uttered, “What do you say? Will you marry me again?”
The kiss you gave him amounted to a million yeses.
@loveprisms @halparkebitch @omlbarnes @a--nonymousse @nunufx @misslovingpearl @softsakusas @whalerus @sakuxxi @littleagxs @izzy-rose010 @dora-the-grownup @dren-whalen @whosveenus @bokkunto @alwayssleepingforreal @haikyuutothetop @awkwardspontaneity @tenaciouswritersheep @leviskata @hexll @poeticsorcery @shadowolf993 @pirate4ngel @purplecandygerl @p1nkfl0wers @kpostedsum @lynnleanist
for those who are in italics, i can't tag you :<<
*Imagine you're seeing a really fancy header up there 👆 like you all have...totally gonna get around to that someday*
Thank you so much for the tags my beautiful, amazing friends. @fatalfangirl @you-remind-me-of-the-babe @kherub @cutestkilla @johnwgrey @confused-bi-queer @takitalks @martsonmars @urban-sith @facewithoutheart @dragoneggo @ivelovedhimthroughworse
(MY LOVES, THIS IS A BOOK of a post and I'm sorry...but I only wrangle my brain well enough to post every 8th posting day it seems so...Anyway, don't feel obligated to engage if this is too long for you!! Seriously.)
Hi, I'm always so late on this stuff...It's midnight, my brain hurts. I just freaking love you all so much, I'm gonna be very honest... I'm beating my head into the ground trying to find a part of this to share...
I've been struggling with being able to get anything out the past month or 2...or ? and then this week I sat down and poured almost 6k into a new WIP very quickly...but looking over it, I mean...it's VERY first draft...it's feelings vomit, you know?
Also...do you make playlists for your fics? I always write to music and I'm *very* sensitive to the specific vibe of a song..so when I find a song for my playlist...it goes to a very specific area of the fic and then I can't listen to anything but that song when I'm writing/reworking that part...so cue me listening to the same sad ass feelings song on REPEAT for hours on end...days on end...um, weeks on end? 😂 I'm sure this is very healthy functioning.
I'm just not gonna overthink this (hahaha, too late) and share this part of this new wip. under the cut for length...and suggestive-ish content??
**here's your sad ass feelings song for this excerpt. Oh, man, I'm IN IT. **
I know normally we try not to give away too much plot, but life is short and I could use support trying to get this done before it all ends. 🙄 This is an AU at the moment, but anything can change. Have you ever heard that to not feel alone after heartbreak you should sleep in the middle of the bed...instead of having an empty side??
I'll tell ya, Baz worked hard to get himself to a place in life where he felt strong and self-sufficient. He'd built up a lot of walls, to keep safe (including sleeping in the middle of the bed, no falling in love), to not be vulnerable again in a way that really decimated him when he was younger. Baz is visiting his family in the countryside...ENTER SIMON...who is slowly obliterating all of Baz's self preservation and Baz freaks the hell out and runs away basically, back to his home in London...memories follow him.
When I get in, I put the kettle on, looking out the window over the city.
London is home—this is home—where I belong. I have a life…
I walk through to the bedroom and drop my bags. All is quiet. Empty. Cold.
I stand at the foot of the bed—hands in my pockets—taking in the sight of the taut sheets, the single stack of pillows in the middle…
“This can be my side.”
“This is my side, yeah?”
“That’s not your side, there are no sides….this is a single person's bed. There’s just the middle. My bed. My middle.”
“All right,” he pulled me down to the bed.
“What are you doing? What the hell are you doing?” He made me laugh in spite of myself.
“Come on, we can both fit in the middle, look,” his limbs flung over me.
“You’re an absolute nightmare. You’re never invited here again.”
“Gonna feel awfully empty without me here.”
“By empty do you mean comfortable? Do you mean reasonably sized for a grown man who is accustomed to sleeping alone? In his bed. Meant for one.”
“I mean, Baz,” he hovered over me on all fours, “awfully empty,” he kissed my neck—
“As in, awfully,” —my chest,
“bloody” —my ribs,
“boring”—into the crease of my hip. His eyes found mine for a moment.
My hands moved through his hair until my breath fell from parted lips, body arching at his touch. His endless warmth.
So utterly empty.
Jesus, I kind of hope no one actually read all this...I should go to bed.
who can I possibly assault with this nonsense who hasn't posted yet? @aristocratic-otter Pati gets that late-night posting too 😆 @frjsti @creepyspice @whatevertheweather @bookish-bogwitch @gekkoinapeartree @mrskrementz ?? Engage or don't , see ya next time?
I don't know. Let's sleep on it. Maybe it will all make more sense tomorrow.
Six on Sunday
Hi, all and welcome to my Six Sentence Sunday! I know I am the worst writer ever; I start all these things, make all the promises, and it seems when I DO have an offering, it’s nothing I promised, or you asked for.
You’re going to have to trust me, I know what’s been promised and you WILL get it but if you know me at all, I can’t rush a story and not going to try. The ideas and inspiration come in bits, pieces, and spurts and I choose to let them simmer on back burners until they come to a boil. I do try to make it worth your wait; hopefully I am more hit than miss with that.
This week, I present you with two asks and a follow-up. The snippets are a little lengthy, but more is better, right? As always, everything is in a really rough state of draft, and final product may vary.
Everything’s below the cut, and I hope you enjoy!
Content Warning: Frank discussion about pregnancy, Liv going off on vegans
Untitled Riam (combined asks), Song Inspo: Jungle, Fred Again
Lastly, Riley’s glance fell upon her husband; Liam’s expression was neutral as he listened to the discussion. Too neutral. He knew something.
“We MUST get these animals to auction! It’s our income for the last half of the year!” Bianca abandoned the eggs to sit at the table with Drake. “And we don’t have much time!”
Leona gazed imploringly at the King of Cordonia. “Liam, you and your friends will help, won’t you? You wouldn’t leave us in a lurch.”
“HELL NO, we are NOT herding WILD ANIMALS across the freaking countryside!” Riley yelled. “Look, I KNEW coming to anything Walker related would be a mistake, but THIS … this is fucking ridiculous! From the moment we stepped onto this godforsaken property, YOU HAVE NEEDED US! You need us to clean and muck stalls, you need us to get Savannah a horse so she can have the fairytale wedding she THINKS her parents had … THEN y’all need a SADDLE for the horse!
“We DID ALL THAT! And Savannah thanks us by staring at my NAKED, SLEEPING husband like some creepy chick out of a horror movie AND leaves a positive pregnancy test in our dresser drawer! NOW … NOW you want us to be ACTUAL ranch hands in this hellish Texas heat.”
Riley stalked from the kitchen, headed for the stairway. Liam followed, breaking into a light jog to keep up with his wife’s long strides.
“Brooks, where are you going?” Drake yelled.
“To do what should have been done Day 1. I’m getting Liam’s checkbook to write this ranch a check, and THEN I am going back to Cordonia!” she hollered as she pushed past the group of noblewomen.
She had placed one foot on the bottom step when the doorbell rang. She looked at the door, rage and confusion on her face. Riley stared at her husband. “Well, ANSWER it!”
Liam hurried to the door, peering through the sheer curtain. His complexion paled as he called feebly for Bertrand to join him. By this time, everyone had gathered in the front room and Bertrand jostled his way to the door after giving a blank-faced Savannah a questioning look.
Everyone’s head shot up. No way in HELL was it Barthelemy Beaumont who had been in a near-death coma for over a decade. Riley, who had eased her way to the door, shoved Maxwell hard. “I thought you told me your daddy was dead,” she hissed.
The young Lord shook his head helplessly.
The tall, gaunt, elderly gentleman crossed the threshold in a suit too big for his frame. Before he could push the door to, a breathless female voice called out, “Hold the door!”
No one noticed Leo as he padded heavily down the wooden stairs; his pajamas were rumpled and he yawned loudly. “What’s all the commotion about?” he demanded.
Then his eyes widened in surprise. “Party Twin?”
Quiet Time (DC AU Maxlivia ask), Song Inspo: Feels Like, Gracie Abrams
Their Friday evening began with dinner at a quiet neighborhood café, where they dined on a creamy Brussel sprout chowder that contained potatoes, corn, and finely chopped jalapeno peppers; blackened salmon; garlic pasta, and garden salads. Over bites of food and sips of an Oregon Pinot Noir, the couple chatted about their day.
Max told Liv that the org’s annual convention was three months away; it was going to be held in Orlando, Florida.
“I’ll miss you,” Olivia replied as she stabbed at her salad.
Max looked dismayed. “You’re not coming? It’s FLORIDA!”
Olivia looked up, a slight frown on her face. “Precisely. Heat, humidity, complete morons, snakes, and alligators. All things I despise in life.”
Maxwell chuckled. “And here I thought it was vegans making a mockery of meat that pushed your buttons.”
“Don’t get me started on that! They don’t want to eat the meat, but wanna pour bbq sauce on cauliflower or that wheat meat concoction and call it a chicken wing or a burger! It’s vegetables and gluten … call it what it is. And I swear veganism originated in Florida! Change my mind.”
“The term was coined in 1944 by one Donald Watson, who was born, lived, and died in England; veganism itself dates back over 2,000 years with origins in both India and Greece.”
“Fucking know-it-all,” Liv muttered before taking a sip of wine.
She mentioned having to revise the policies and procedures handbook for the hotel chain she worked for; apparently some of the language was too vague and easily misinterpreted. As the Human Resources Director, it fell on her to at least start the process, and oversee all aspects of the edits.
“Get Liam to help; he’s good at the legalese shit,” Maxwell advised. “You need the legal terminology so it can be interpreted to your advantage.”
Olivia twirled pasta around her fork. “I don’t know if I want to spend that much time with him. He’s cool and all, but not really in my top three when it comes to the gang.”
Maxwell looked surprised. “Really?”
“He always has women problems and constantly, without fail, wants to take over someone’s kitchen when he visits. And he never, ever has his own weed! I mean, like NEVER!”
A Fine Line, Part 2 of One Night Stand; Song Inspo: Fine Line, Harry Styles
I stare at Riley: splotchy cheeks, red-rimmed eyes … her entire demeanor is one of defeat and resignation. I hesitate to speak, fearful of triggering her.
“Have you considered adoption?”
Her head lifts quickly, sharply; her eyes narrow dangerously as she peers at me.
“That is not an option,” she states in a cold tone. “I either have it, or I don’t. There’s no gray area here.”
I nod my head slowly as I process what she has said.
“How … how do you feel? Not physically, but that to! I just … where are you with the decision?”
A bark of angry laughter. “You mean the decision I have no say in? The decision a group of old white men made for me and who knows how many other women?”
She shakes her head. “I feel like someone has moved into my house and refuses to leave and the cops are telling me there’s nothing I can do.” Pale, slender fingers rake through her hair. “I can’t do Riley things, I can’t BE Riley!”
I say nothing; I shove my hands deeply into my pockets while rocking on the balls of my feet.
“I want to be alone! I like solitude, but now I’m carrying this extra person around ALL THE TIME. I feel it slide with me when I roll over in bed. It makes me eat things I neither like nor want. It’s just here … constantly here.”
Small sobs escape her lips.
“I want cigarettes and coffee! I want my late-night chocolate bars, I want to eat ALLL the fried, greasy things ALL THE TIME because that’s what I do … but I can’t. Because it isn’t good for the baby.”
“It’s a small sacrifice for the health of the child.”
“A CHILD I DON’T THINK I WANT!”
She stalks closer to me, her arms outstretched; I let her push me. I stumble backwards, but don’t fall.
“Where the FUCK is YOUR sacrifice in all of this? What are YOU giving up? What’s YOUR contribution to the health of this baby?” She screams. “YOU get to write a check and walk away! I DON’T!”
I look down at her, before I pull her into an embrace. Holding her tightly, I lay my cheek against her hair. “Why does anyone have to walk away? Because I’m not. From any of it.”
Tagging: @jared2612 @ao719 @burnsoslow @marietrinmimi @merridithsmiscellany-blog @queenjilian @texaskitten30 @glaimtruelovealways @indiacater @kingliam2019 @bebepac @liamxs-world @the-soot-sprite @hopelessromanticmonie @mom2000aggie @cmestrella @iaminlovewithtrr @liamrhysstalker2020 @neotericthemis @twinkleallnight @umccall71 @superharriet @busywoman @gabesmommie1130 @tessa-liam @phoenixrising308 @beezm @gardeningourmet @lovingchoices14 @foreverethereal123 @mainstreetreader @angelasscribbles @lady-calypso @emkay512 @jovialyouthmusic @21-wishes @princessleac1 @charlotteg234 @bbrandy2002 @queenrileyrose @debramcg1106 @alj4890
Summary: Wanda copes with a life that may not have you in it.
A/N: This story literally is heartbreaking but in a good way I think. Let me know what you guys think!
You wake up suddenly to your hand being kicked. It was wrapped around your wife’s very pregnant belly as you both tried to sleep through the night. You smiled dreamily in your sleepy state as you were reminded of the twins who would be born any day now.
You and your wife were a part of the famous superhero group who saved the world numerous times. Shortly after she joined and got acclimated with the team the two of you started dating. It has now been 7 years of being together, 3 of them being married. You had moved out of the compound and were now living in your dream house in the countryside, the perfect place for your growing family.
While Wanda was able to take leave months ago as none of the team wanted your children hurt, you still went to work every day. The team promised that once they were born you would be given 3 months to spend with your family but until then “there were still bad guys out there” in Tony's words of course.
You checked the time to see you still had a half an hour to spare before you had to be at the compound. You made Wanda breakfast and set it up next to her then you got ready for your day. You showered, got changed and before you left you wrote two sticky notes to leave on your wife’s mirror. One saying, “I love you more than chocolate chip cookies.” The second said, “You are looking like such a hot mama today.” You left a kiss on Wanda’s forehead and whispered an ‘I love you’ then you went to work.
Wanda woke later that morning with a smile on her face. She saw the breakfast you set up and immediately started eating because she was starving. After her breakfast in bed, she showered before seeing the notes you left. She actually laughed out loud. Even when you weren’t home you always made her day. She sent you a quick text.
Hi my love! Thank you so much for breakfast! I love you more than tv shows!
After that Wanda went about her day normally before she got bored and decided to go to the compound. When she arrived she saw Bucky and Sam watching tv.
“Hey boys,” Wanda said as she set her bag on the counter before walking over and sitting in between the two.
“Hey Wand, how are you feeling? Do you need anything?” Bucky suddenly jumped into protective older brother mode.
“Sit.” Wanda ordered him, glaring at him. She appreciated the gesture, but she was pregnant and not handicapped.
“Yes Ma’am.” Bucky sat not wanting to make Wanda upset.
“Damn man, if she needs something she’ll tell us right?” Sam asked, turning to Wanda.
“Exactly thank you Sam.” They continued watching TV comfortably every once in a while bantering about something.
“Hey guys, where was y/n’s mission today? I usually hear from her by now if she’s going to be later than 6.” Wanda said realizing the time was now past 6 and she still hasn’t heard anything.
“I think they were in Florida today,” Bucky said, scratching his head trying to remember what Steve told them this morning. “Some mission with aliens that Carol warned them about. They’ll be fine. You’re welcome to stay here in your old room though.” He finished. Wanda thanked him before getting up to move to the kitchen, both men hot on her tail.
“Who is hungry?” Wanda asked as she started to get ingredients out for a caprese chicken dish and some pasta.
“Me, for sure. I missed your cooking so much Wanda.” Sam said, taking a seat at the counter pulling out his phone to que up some songs to listen to while you cooked. Dinner was good and shortly after Wanda went to bed in the now foreign space and begged for sleep to consume her. It was hard because she grew used to your arms wrapped around her with your face pressed into her hair. That night she didn’t get much sleep. She sent you a text letting you know she was sleeping at the compound before she rolled over and tried to shut her eyes.
The following morning Wanda woke up to a still empty bed. Now she started getting nervous, she searched for her phone to see no new messages. She took her time getting out of bed but quickly threw on the clothes she was wearing yesterday before heading to the kitchen.
As she was almost there she could hear Steve talking.
“So Wanda’s here?” Steve asked the person he was talking to.
“Yeah she came yesterday and we just told her to stay. So wait, you're telling me that these things just hit a button then poofed with Tony and y/n? Are they alive?” Wanda could now tell the other person was Bucky. She felt like she couldn’t breath, feeling the wind knocked out of her at the words she just heard. She couldn’t hide any longer and barged into the kitchen.
Her hands instantly went into a fighting position holding Steve in a tight grasp so he couldn’t escape.
“Where is she Steve? What happened? You promised me no life or death missions. You promised me she would always come back to me. She said she would never go away.” Wanda said while breaking towards the end and crumpling to the ground. Bucky went over and wrapped her in a hug.
After a few minutes Bucky put Wanda on the couch as now the rest of the team came in and Pepper with her two small children. Steve went over what happened on the mission and how they have no trace of either of their teammates. He made everyone aware that Thor, Carol, and the Guardians of the Galaxy were all in search of their friends.
Wanda felt so lost. Your twins were expected any day and you were gone. How was she going to do it if you weren’t back? How was she going to be strong for your two little ones if you weren’t there? The questions swarmed her head as she tuned out the rest of the team. After hours of talking the team now turned to their tuned out friend to offer some support.
“When was the last time you ate?” Clint asked Wanda, putting his hand on her shoulder to ground her.
“I don't know.” Wanda shook her head still thinking a million miles a minute not making eye contact with anyone.
“Wanda you need to eat. You have two other people to worry about. Y/N will be ok, she will come back.” Steve said, sitting next to her. She collapsed in tears and that was how the rest of the night went, crying and the team forcing Wanda to eat.
The following days Wanda barely left the bed. On the 4th day of you being missing Wanda felt a sharp pain in her stomach. Her eyes started to tear up from both pain and the realization of what was happening. She was going into labor without you. She screamed out in pain and heartbreak.
Steve rushed into the room as soon as he heard Wanda scream, “It’s ok Wanda we’re here, let's get you to the infirmary.” he held Wanda’s hand all the way down to the infirmary. Steve sent a text out to the rest of the team to let them know what was happening and soon familiar faces appeared in Wanda’s room.
They took shifts as they waited for the time to push. Natasha talked about the makeshift nursery they set up for Wanda, Bucky talked about how he got clothes for Wanda and the babies from Wanda’s home, Steve talked about schedules and shifts he made up to help Wanda, Sam bought stuffed animals, and Peter offered to take the babies to the playground. Wanda just sat and listened, grateful for her friends and the help they were giving her. All she could think about was how you should be there.
You should be freaking out everytime Wanda had a contraction, asking if she should get the doctor. She knew you would try to find her favorite shows on the TV and rub her back whispering soothing words. She needed that more than anything, she needed you. She needed you to be there for your twins first breath, for bringing them home, for the countless sleepless nights.
Soon the doctor entered the room, “Wanda it looks like you are ready to push,” nurses entered behind them with all of the equipment needed for the babies’ delivery. Wanda nodded trying to prepare herself for the experience that was moments away. “Would you like anyone in the room with you?” and Wanda did, she wanted you but you weren’t there. So she asked her best friend Nat to stay with her to which Nat agreed.
They got into position and Wanda endured the hardest fight of her life, childbirth. She could’ve sworn she broke Natasha’s hand from how hard she was squeezing. Soon a melodic sound broke through the pain as her first child was born. “It’s a boy!” she heard and she started to cry of joy. She had a son. The joy didn’t last as she felt another urge to push. “And we have another boy!”
Wanda was so relieved that both boys were here and healthy. You kept telling her that you could feel it was two boys, two football players, you would say. They brought the babies to wanda and laid them on her chest. Nat was quick to snap a quick photo before exiting the room to let the rest of the team know, giving Wanda a moment with her children.
Nat walked out of the room to see no one in the waiting room. She asked the nurse where everyone was who informed her that they were outside. She walked quickly outside hoping you were back. Instead she saw someone else. Tony on his hands and knees crying while the rest of the team was surrounding him.
“What? Where’s Y/N?” Bucky was the first to speak. Everyone was too scared to hear what happened, why Tony was back but not Y/n.
“I don’t know. One minute we were in a room being questioned the next thing I know y/n lunged at the guy questioning us. She was fighting with him for the poof thing. Then after she successfully got it we realized only one of us could go back while the other had to hit the button. She didn’t even give me a second. And now, now here I am and she is there. Where’s Wanda I have to tell her something?” Tony suddenly looked frantic.
“No, you’re going with Bruce to do everything you can to get Y/N back.” Clint said, poking Tony in the chest. “You are not doing anything else until she’s back. And you definitely are not seeing Wanda. That girl just had to give birth to twins without y/n, she’s destroyed.” Clint walked back into the infirmary while everyone was still in shock.
“I ‘m sorry. I ‘m going to bring her back.” Tony promised before walking towards the lab to get in contact with the people who were already searching for y/n.
Meanwhile Wanda was still in awe of the two boys in her arms, memorizing all of their features. She knew their names, you and her had picked out the names for all twin scenarios and for two boys it’d be Tommy and Billy. She started to hum a tune she remembered as a child. She started to get upset as she remembered the last time she hummed the song.
You had just walked in from a long day helping in the lab and training. You saw Wanda in the kitchen cooking dinner before turning to see you. She gave you the biggest smile as she came over to wrap her arms around you. Her pregnant stomach left some room between you two as she reached up to plant a kiss on your lips.
“How was your day my love?” she asked walking back to the stove to turn it off and putting the food on the table.
“I'm so tired. Tony was going on about this new feature he wants to make for the quinjet and then Nat beat my ass at training. I don't want to do anything.” Wanda sensing your mood guided you to the couch she sat then pulled you down so your head was on her lap. She played with your hair to calm you down.
“The babies were very active today kicking the heck out of me” she giggled to which you turned your face to her stomach. You placed your hands on her stomach.
“Hey you two, stop kicking mama. I know you want to play football but you're gonna have to wait till you come out of there.”
“How do you know they’ll want to play football?” She questioned you.
“I can just feel it in my bones.” You said as your eyes fluttered close. Dinner was long forgotten as Wanda continued to play with your hair humming the tune and you drifted off to sleep.
The following week after the twins’ birth was very hard for Wanda. She went through all the firsts by herself. Instead of going through the first night with you she went through it alone. Instead of bringing them home together with big smiles she took them to her room in the compound. Instead of introducing the twins to the team with you they were all by Wanda’s side before she could introduce them.
She spent the nights in bed. Someone on the team was always sleeping on a cot to help her during the nights. It had been 11 days since you went missing and you had already missed the biggest week of your little family’s life.
On the 11th day Wanda left the sleeping twins with a sleeping Uncle Bucky and roamed around the compound seeing you everywhere she went. In the kitchen where you both cooked dinner for the team all the time. On the couch where you spent countless nights watching tv shows and movies. In the training room where you pinned Wanda more times then she likes to admit. Then she headed towards the lab.
She stood shocked.
Right in front of her was a man that betrayed her. A man that you had put your life in the hands of who disappointed you. She stormed at him in a fit of rage.
“You son of a bitch! Where is she? What did you do to her? I'm going to kill you!” Wanda screamed at him while hitting his chest. Tony let her, knowing that this was what she needed. Wanda continued to curse him out before Tony finally grabbed her hands.
“Stop. I get it. I'm the bad guy, and I deserve to be. I messed up the biggest moment of both of your lives. You can keep hitting me, knock me out, whatever you have to do. There is something I have to show you first though.” Tony let go of Wanda’s hands before walking to the screen to pull up a video for Wanda.
When it came through it was you. You were sitting in a bare room and Tony was asleep on the floor behind you. Your hair was a mess and you looked exhausted.
“Friday is it recording? Yes? Ok here we go. If anyone is watching this I probably did something stupid and I ‘m so sorry. If it’s Wanda hi babe. Man, I think it’s been 3 days and I miss you like crazy. I ‘m trying to figure out a way to get back to you and the babies I promise.” Wanda can feel the tears rolling down her face. “Well I think I have a plan. You aren’t going to like it but I promise you that it will all work out and I will come back to you. Babe I don't have much time they are coming back. I love you and our twins so much. I am going to do everything to come back to you.” Then the screen went black.
“Play it again, Tony.” Wanda asked Tony and he did. She watched it about 10 more times. Just hearing your voice made Wanda feel better.
“Thank you for showing me that. Can you send it to me?” Wanda asked, keeping her eyes locked on yours on the screen. Tony nodded and Wanda walked out of the room back to the twins.
After that day Wanda had hope. She knew you would come back to her. She watched that video every night on repeat to fall asleep too. She played it for the twins and other videos of you so they could hear your voice. The team noticed the change in Wanda as well. They were very skeptical but didn’t question her mood change.
After a month of you being missing Wanda had almost given up hope. Tommy was fussy and Billy had an explosion in his diaper and it was the first time the team had all gone on a mission so no one was with her. She was crying while changing Billy’s diaper while using her powers to rock Tommy’s baby seat.
“Ah boys, it’s ok mamas here. We’ll be ok sh sh sh.” She was so frustrated she couldn’t even get the diaper on Billy. There were a few more minutes of Tommy crying and Billy and now Wanda before she heard Tommy stop. She didn’t even turn around; she figured he just fell asleep.
When she turned with Billy in her arms she was shocked to see the person standing in front of her. It was the love of her life with her son. A sight Wanda never thought she would see. You looked skinnier, tons of bruises and cuts littered your skin. Your clothes were tattered and your hair was a mess in your face. Wanda thought you still looked just as beautiful. She had Billy in her arms as she slowly walked towards you not believing her eyes. She reached up and touched your face to make sure you were there. And you were.
With Tommy in one hand you reached up with your other to place on top of Wanda’s. “Hey there stranger.” You said with a chuckle. She wrapped her arm around you and started sobbing. You put Tommy in the bassinet still holding onto Wanda then reached for Billy placing him next to his brother. Then you did the thing you had been wanting to do forever.
You held onto Wanda as she sobbed in your arms. You stroked her hair while whispering “I’m here,” over and over in her ear.
Your arms were around Wanda but your eyes were on your twins. You soon began to cry, realizing how much time you missed. Wanda pulled away when she felt something drip on her shoulder.
“It’s ok my love you’re here now. You won’t miss anything else. You’re here.” Wanda promised with her hands on either side of your face to make you look at her. You leaned down and gave your love a long awaited kiss. Both of you being grateful to have the other there to comfort each other.
You soon pulled away from Wanda to look at your twins.
“I told you two football players.” You chuckled as you picked up the other baby who you have not held yet. “Who is who?”
“That’s Billy and this is Tommy.” She said while picking up the other baby. You both made your way to the bed with the twins and got comfortable next to each other. You stared at them trying to take in the two people who were now your own.
“I’m so sorry I missed all of it. I tried to get back as fast as I could. I really did. I thought when I sent Tony back it was going to be hours and I would be back. But I see metal man's mind isn’t what it used to be.” You rambled on. You wanted Wanda to know just how sorry you were.
“It’s ok. You’re here now and I’m not letting them take you anywhere. You’re staying with us for as long as I want.” Wanda assured you. You sat with your family for hours just basking in their presence and soaking it all in. You changed every diaper and did anything Wanda needed until she ordered you to go shower. While watching your 7th episode of grey's anatomy you dozed off with the babies between you and Wanda.
You only woke when you heard the rest of your rag tag group of friends enter the compound from their latest mission not even trying to be quiet. You turned to see Wanda still awake nursing Billy.
“Should we scare them?” You asked Wanda with a grin on your face.
“You can if you want.” She didn’t feel one way or the other. Knowing how much the team helped her while you were missing.
You stood up and hid behind the closed door. It opened halfway.
“Hey Wanda how’d everything go?” Steve asked, you could feel multiple people enter the room however.
“Boo!” you jumped out to scare the team. Bucky not knowing it was you punched you in the stomach.
“Ah shit sorry y/n.” he said before recognition came to his eyes and the others. “Wait y/n?” he stared in disbelief. Nat was the first to tackle you in a hug before the others were soon to follow.
“How, how, how did you get back?” Tony asked with tears in his eyes.
“Well I thought you would figure it out quickly once I sent you back but that didn’t happen. I kept waiting and finally decided to just do it myself. I befriended another prisoner who promised to poof me back. And then when they did I was in the training room. I got Wanda’s text and just assumed she was still here and made my way up to her room.” They all said how happy they were that you were back. You ate dinner as a family and spent the night in your room with your beautiful wife and boys.
“Let’s go home tomorrow.” you suggested to your half asleep wife in your arms.
“You are my home.” she said and you felt warmth well up in your chest.
“I love you so much darling.” you nuzzled closer to her.
“I love you more.” and you both fell into a deep sleep which neither of you had had for a long time.
Pairing: 10k x reader, Addy Carver sister!reader
Warnings: Blood, swearing
It’s hard not to choke up at the sight of the dead. The surrounding field was littered with both Z’s that had been granted mercy, and those that had not. You knew what the world had come to, and you learned how to deal with it a long time ago, but on days when you were surrounded by beautiful countryside when spots of it was painted red.
“Amish zombies, really?”
10k turned and smirked at your sister, before giving mercy to another Z that was walking towards your group.
Garnett stood beside you and said, “They tried to quarantine themselves from the rest of society. Keep the Z’s from spreading infection.”
Mack let out a huff, “That was before we knew Romero had it right. We were all carrying the virus. It didn’t matter who you were or how you died.”
“Night of the Living Dead. Great movie, sucky reality.” Addy turned to face you with a smile on her face. “For five years in a row you dressed up as a zombie for Halloween, ironic now huh?”
“Yeah, yeah,” you said, laughing. “I was obsessed with horrors growing up, and have probably seen every zombie movie ever made. Shame it hasn’t helped us any.”
Murphy looked you up and down and said, “Why does Astra being a horror freak not surprise me.”
You rolled your eyes, “Murphy? Shut up,” he flipped you off before you continued. “If what we have heard is right, The Z’s don’t spread the virus. How did we all get infected?”
Garnett shrugged, “I heard it was spread by birds. Some kind of parasite piggybacked on the bird flu. Stays dormant until you die.”
You shook your head and said, “I think it was manmade. I find it hard to believe a virus like this just appeared out of nowhere.”
“You know,” everyone turned to face Murphy. “Take it from somebody who knows first hand. Other than the fact that they find brains delicious, when it comes to zombies, nobody knows nothing.”
Warren reappeared, and gave Murphy a knowing look before he went and got toilet roll from Addy. Sighing, you jumped into the back of the truck, joining Doc and Cassandra just as 10k started to talk about his dad.
“When my pa was wounded, he told me to tie him up before he turned.” Doc gave you a wide-eyed look. Neither of you had heard 10k talk about something so personal before. “Made me promise to show him mercy when he died. Kill the brain, you know? I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t hurt my pa, no matter what he’d become. I stared into his eyes for the longest time, just looking for some sign that he was still in there.”
“Did you see anything?” Cassandra asked.
You mentally scolded her for asking him that. Of course he didn’t. Nobody did. You have learned the hard way that once somebody has turned, they are gone.
10k shook his head.
Doc gave him a sympathetic look and asked, “What did you do?”
“I killed it.”
“Damn kid, you had to put down your own dad?” Doc said, “That’s rough.”
“He didn’t kill his dad, he killed a zombie.”
10k stared at you for a moment before continuing to explain how his old man was his first kill. You had more in common than you realised.
You wake up to the sound of chattering voices and 10k nudging you. He looked concerned. You were about to ask him what was wrong when you noticed another car speeding towards your group.
“Humans! Six o’clock!” Doc called out.
Warren kept her cool and continued to drive on.
You and Doc's eyes both travelled to Cassandra. You knew by the look on his face that he was thinking the same as you. He turned to face her, “Is that more of your cannibal friends?”
“No,” she answered. “It’s something else.”
You felt a lump at the back of your throat, whatever was about to happen wasn’t going to be good.
You looked back around and noticed a group of zombies in the middle of the road. Oh, shit. There were at least ten of them. “Guys, up ahead.”
When Warren slowed, you felt movement beside you and frowned when 10k jumped out of the truck. Doc tried to get him to come back, but 10k ignored him and disappeared from sight.
“Let’s pike them,” Garnett said before getting out of the truck.
Murphy let out a scoff. “What? Are we having a little mercy party?”
As usual, his sarcastic comment was brushed up, but on this occasion, you actually agreed with him. With the other car not far behind, and 10K disappearing, it wasn’t wise to take on a pack of the undead that easily outnumbered you.
You slowly pulled out an arrow, but stopped. Something about the situation didn’t seem right. “This is far too easy.”
“She's right,” Warren said, nodding. “Look at their feet.”
You took a step closer and noticed the undead were chained up. This was a trap. The other car approached from behind, and you almost let out a scream when the zombie standing closest to you pulled out a gun and began talking.
“Drop your weapons or die right where you stand,” the very much alive man ordered.
Your group stood strong, and nobody lowered their weapons, even when the man repeated himself. He let out a dark chuckle, aiming his gun directly at you. “Lower the bow and arrow, or I’ll put a hole in that pretty face of yours.”
Before you had a chance to respond, one of the dead fell to the ground. You let out a sigh of relief; 10k was nearby and watching.
The man shook his head. “Now, we just want the vehicle. All right? So give us the truck and we’ll let you live to die another day.”
The tension increased when Murphy wanted to give them the truck, and Warren resisted. The back and forth exchange between the two of them caused the men holding you at gunpoint to laugh.
You changed angles and had your arrow directly aimed at the man’s head. “Say the word, Garnett.”
After a few moments of silence, Garnett finally spoke, “Let them have it. The tuck!” He added quickly when Warren was about to shoot. “Let them have the truck.”
“Smart move,” the man who appeared to be the robbers' leader said. “All right, guys, let’s go!”
They whistled and laughed as they sped off in the truck, leaving behind the orange piece of junk they had been driving before. The door on the driver's side fell off when it was opened. Your group definitely wasn’t going to get far in it.
You always wondered as a kid how so many clowns managed to fit into one car, and now you realise it was physically impossible.
Only four people were able to fit inside the small car. Addy and Mack sat on the hood, while you stood on the back, practically crushed between Doc and 10k.
“How’s your hand now, kid?” The Doc asked, pointing to the fresh scar on your palm.
You sighed, “It’s fine now, just a pain in the ass that left a scar.”
“Imagine we will all have plenty of them soon enough,” the older man chuckled. “How did you get it anyway?”
“Murphy,” you and 10k answered in unison.
The small smile he gave you made you blush. You looked forward, actively ignoring the knowing look Doc was giving you. The small smile that was playing on the corner of your lips quickly fell when you saw the group of men that stole your truck were holding up a family with young kids. “Frickin' heck, you guys see this?”
When the car came to a halt, you all jumped out and made your way towards the situation. Garnett ordered the men who robbed you to lower their weapons, and after a few threats from what you assumed was the kids' dad, they did. It wasn’t until then that you noticed the men lined up.
“What's going on?” Garnett demanded.
“A robbery,” the dad said before opening fire.
10k stood in front of you as you all stood frozen watching the family, including the children, kill the men. The dad turned to you and said, “Drop your weapons now. I don’t want to have to kill you.”
This time you listened and lowered your weapons until the family drove off. Doc shook his head, “never get out of the boat.”
You patted Murphy on the shoulder and shook your head, knowing he was desperate to say something. He huffed before following you back to the car.
You now stood in the back next to Addy, who hadn’t said much. Her face dropped the moment she saw those kids. It must have brought back bad memories for her.
As the car slowed down again, knots began to tighten in your stomach, and you fought the urge to throw up. The Z’s had gotten the family from before.
“We need to get off this road,” Garnett stated before giving Warren the nod to drive on.
Warren managed to find an abandoned drive through, which luckily still had a speaker on the outside of it.
“While me and Addy try to make this work, you guys should keep watch.” Garnett said, before your sister joined him.
“I don’t mind taking a look around on the inside for supplies,” you said, looking directly at Warren.
“Good idea, take knucklehead with you.” You followed her gaze to Murphy. Great, you are babysitting as well as savaging. “He will be better off inside, where he can be useful.”
You shrugged, “Murphy, you're with me, let’s go.”
He opened his mouth to protest, but Warren cut him off. “Go with her now.”
You let out a snort at how unimpressed he looked. Regardless, he followed you inside.
“You know, this is supposed to be a team effort.”
“It is,” Murphy shrugged from his seat at the dinner table. “I’m supervising you.”
You rolled your eyes, and went back to searching for anything useful. So far you’d only come across one Z that was in the woman’s bathroom, which was incredibly lucky considering who was your backup. After searching the men's bathroom, you made your way back towards the tables empty handed.
Murphy eyed you carefully as you started to look underneath the tables in case anything valuable had been dropped long ago. His staring was starting to irritate you. “What is it?”
“I'll offer you some friendly advice-”
You tutted, “I don't want your advice.”
“Well, then consider it unfriendly advice.” You went back to looking as he continued to talk, “The apocalypse has brought out the best and worst in humanity.”
“You don't say,” you sighed before rising to your feet.
“That kid out there,” he pointed to 10k who was currently shooting at the undead. “He’s risked his life a few times for you. Not many people would. I definitely wouldn’t.”
You let out a chuckle, “the feelings are mutual.”
“All of you are keeping me alive because I’m the saviour of humanity. He’s doing it because he wants to. And all I’m saying is, life is short.”
You were slightly taken aback by his words. For once, he wasn’t bitching and moaning or being sarcastic. He was being serious. The truth was that you had developed a crush on 10k, but it didn’t mean anything. He saved you because he’s a good person. Also, you weren’t going to have a conversation about feelings with Murphy.
As you tried to think of a response, you noticed the others hurtling towards the speaker. “Come on, I think they’ve got it.”
You reached the rest of your group as Citizen Z said your sister's name. “Addy Carver?”
“Yeah,” Garnett answered.
“Is she there? I wanna say hi.” Your sister looked surprised before talking to him. “Hey Addy.”
“How’s it going down there?”
She glanced up at you, giving you a what the fuck look. “Pretty effed up. How’s it going where you are?”
“Aww you know, same ol’ same ol’. Busy keeping an eye on the world. What can I do for you folks?”
“Can we get a chocolate shake and fries for ten thousand men?” Doc said jokingly.
“Wait. Is that Murphy? Outstanding. Glad to see you’re still alive, sir.”
“Yeah, but he won’t be for long if we don’t get off this highway,” you cut in. “We’re in desperate need of a way to get out of here.”
“Anything airborne,” Garnett added.
“There is one thing. I’ve been monitoring some random transmissions from what’s left of the emergency headquarters for infection control. I can hear them, but they don’t respond when I reply. And it’s pretty garbled. General McCandles might still be holed up there. You are in luck. I have a visual confirmation on the chopper. It looks like it’s still there.”
“Where is it?” You asked.
“McLean, Virginia. Twenty clicks due west of Washington, DC. Look for a high-rise with structural damage and a chopper on the roof.”
“That’s a hundred miles south of there,” Murphy pointed out. “We’re going west, not south.”
“It might be our only way of staying off the main road.”
“Puppies and kittens!” Warren yelled, ending the call with Citizen Z.
You could have sworn you smelt the headquarters for infection control before you saw it. The bodies of soldiers were piled up. The place looked deserted, but someone was living in the large building.
“Halt! Who goes there!” A soldier shouted as Garnett approached the main doors.
As Warren and Garnett tried to explain the mission to the soldier, you couldn’t help but notice the way his eyes flicked from side to side, and his jaw kept twitching. You leaned closer to 10K and whispered, “he’s drugged out of his mind.”
A few moments later, Doc took his ‘medical bag’ out of the truck and gave oxy to the soldier as a bribe. Unfortunately, it was only Doc who was allowed inside.
10k raised his brows, “how did you know he was on drugs?”
“I used to work as a nursing auxiliary in A&E and saw a lot of drug addicts.”
“Least you've seen a lot of blood before, I’d never seen much of it before, apart from when my pa would take me fishing.”
“You’d think I’d be used to seeing blood after working there, but seeing it pouring out of the undead still grosses me out.” You looked up at him and said, “What did you do before? A survivalist like you didn’t do office work.”
He smiled at your comment, “I grew up in a national park- what was that?”
Everybody went silent as Doc’s screams filled the air. Garnett quickly pulled his gun on the soldier and forced him to open the door. “10k, Astra! Cover our flank. Don’t let a man or zombie follow us up.”
You were surprised when 10K missed a shot. A distant look spread over his face as he took a draw from his cigarette. “You okay?”
“Yeah... just thinking about my old man,” he confessed.
You sighed. “I get it. I had to kill my dad too.”
“Do you want to talk about it?” He asked in between shots.
“Another time, maybe- you hear that?” He shook his head. “The screaming has stopped. They must have found him.”
10k gave you a forced smile, “yeah. Doc will be fine.”
“Astra... They are back, and Doc is not with them.”
“What?” You stood up from your spot and watched as the rest of your group, minus Doc, made their way back to the truck. “Where’s Doc? What happened?”
Warren leaned against the side of the truck and spoke softly. “He didn’t make it.”
You feel tears rising in your eyes, squeezing your throat, making it hard to breathe. Not Doc. You glanced up at 10K, who looked devastated.
Your sister's voice brought you back to reality. “Zombies.”
Fighting back tears, you lined up your arrow but dropped it when you felt your heart sink. “Oh my god, it’s…”
You couldn’t bring yourself to finish your sentence as a zombified Doc started to walk towards the truck. Garnett shook his head, “Someone’s gotta…”
“I’ll do it.”
You looked the other way as Warren stepped forward to give mercy. You flinched slightly when an arm reached around you, and realising it was 10k, you leaned into him slightly. You closed your eyes and waited for the ringing of the gunshot.
“What the hell, Warren? You trying to kill me!”
“You’re alive!” You spun around fast to see a furious looking Doc.
“Damn straight, I’m alive!”
Laughter erupted around the group. “We thought you were dead.”
“Well, so did I! Some numbskull threw a grenade in the air shaft I was stuck in.” When Warren threw him a cloth, he held his arms open to her, “Give me a kiss baby!”
Tears of laughter replaced the ones that stung before, as everyone else jumped into the truck.
“I’d like to dedicate this song to Addison Carver, wherever you are.”
“He’s got a serious crush on you, Addison,” you teased.
Addy looked stunned, “I talked to the guy twice. Come on.”
A smile comes over your face, and you laugh in disbelief that even in an apocalypse, Addy is still gaining admirers.
Doc and 10k sat across from you in the boot of the trunk. “I’m glad you're okay, Doc. You had us worried.”
“Me too,” he smiled before continuing to chatter to 10K.
You watched as the bodies of soldiers disappeared into the distance, and became nothing but a memory.
What if complicated freak is about the same freak as little freak? Aka harry herself?
I would write about it but I’m not even a part of the 🏳️🌈community so I think that would be a bad idea. Have you thought about it in does terms?
yes, I think there could be some link to be made! The use of 'Freak' is definitely very specific because that's not a term you casually throw around to describe people unless you're mean. It's technically derogatory, but for some there is a real thrill and comfort in using those kind of terms to describe their own queerness. And I feel like this is what Complicated Freak and Little Freak do in different contexts.
She got wrapped up in somebody else
I’m wrapped up stuck in love with myself
I think the first lines kind of sum up the whole song, so having sex while being completely high on that gender euphoria. The speaker is into their partner but equally feeling themselves in that moment: She's fully out and wildin'. The ''you'' could be both the partner and She. For example the ''pulling my hair'' line could be kinky AND a metaphore of pulling your own hair out cuz it's all so... ~complicated
But I miss her skin on me now/But I miss how she kissed everywhere/I still crave it
That is reminding me of ''Maybe we'll do this again'' line in Little Freak! It's too hard to just be yourself at times only, in specific contexts. You want that all the time. Missing her skin on me>Feeling good in my skin. the skin part would sound a bit like a buffalo bill moment but bill is terrible horrible terf wank so I'd prefer to think of Leatherface putting make up on his skin masks. I feel very much for the big dude isolated in the deep countryside, who has been raised to fill in the 'nuclear wife' role by his conservative patriarcal family, and so the only way he found to express his femininity is through his masks: he is otherwise silenced and punished when failing his householding duties, like all women were. ITS SO WEIRD TO SAY IN REGARDS TO HARRY SORRY BUT we're in a ~Freak theme and it's ~Complicated right ummm unhinged gender free of constraints and expectations and stuff
Turned up too late one too many times/Bad choice of words in my alibi
Similar to I disrespected you/You'd make fun of me for sure. Reflecting on all that time you spent not being you, lying to yourself and others, making excuses, and how damaging it can be.
I've seen some posts comparing Complicated Freak to Only Angel as well! Both written in the same period and using crudeness and even violence in relation to femininity. In comparison, Little Freak is like a soothing caress <3 which is really heartwarming, we love ambivalence
in honor of a thursday night without a new ep, here's this little piece I wrote at work when i was bored and we were slow
“I saw her across the plaza. People skirting away from her and she was completely oblivious. Commenting on the flower crown on the head of a little girl. Telling her how pretty the pink petals were. Fingers trailing over fine silks and velvets. Nails clicking against jewelry. No one brave enough to tell her to leave their wares alone even though their disgruntlement was clear.” Imogen smiled kindly across the bar in Laudna’s direction. She was standing up from the booth, bony body leaning across the table as she playfully tried to scare Dorian. He was getting more comfortable, his grimace toned down, though his body was stuck in fight response, muscles tensed.
“It was my first time in a city. I wasn’t doing well. I hadn’t learned - I still can’t…” she trailed off not knowing how to finish that sentence. “It was overwhelming as cities are for most people from the countryside. Loud and…”
It was so loud for her. So unbelievably loud inside her head. Head splitting loud. Her vision always bleary from the pain. She hadn’t meant to be there but she found herself stuck. And then all of a sudden, early one afternoon, she had walked into the marketplace, and everything calmed. Her squinty eyes opened wide, the pain in her head became a dull throb and there was absolute quiet aside from a soft musical voice. It was as if everything had been pushed into the background and the only clarity that she found was in a stranger, a woman odder than Imogen had ever seen before. A beautiful oddity of solace. “I knew what I was supposed to see. But how was I supposed to see any of that when she was peace?”
“I mean, she’s kinda - well, we all are really - a freak.”
They winced as Imogen seared into their mind. “Hey hey hey. I said we all were. Look at me.”
Her eyes flickered to the brightly colored stones that made up part of his skull.
“Besides, she calls herself that all the time.”
Laudna was smiling at Chetney who, if they weren’t in a tavern, most likely would’ve had his chisel at her throat.
“She doesn’t deserve it though.”
Ashton ducked their head toward her, a sly smile on his face. “Do any of us?”
Imogen titled her glass to her lips letting the burn dull the onslaught to her brain. These people she had found liked taverns and she liked the people so… she made certain sacrifices.
With Laudna is was always more bearable.
“She’s not a freak, Ashton.”
They put their hands up in apology.
“She’s not a freak. She’s haunted.” And yet, somehow, she was a bright light. It bothered Imogen - though she’d never mention it to Laudna - that she didn’t know exactly how Laudna…was? It sounded wrong and judgmental and even though there were so many inexplicable things in Exandria, none of them intrigued Imogen as much as Laudna did.
Imogen could easily say that Laudna knew everything there was to know about her, yet, she never quite felt that it was the same the other way around. And it wasn’t that Laudna wasn’t forthcoming. She knew about D, the entity that existed within Laudna’s mind. But that was because it was information that Laudna offered. Imogen had decided early on that she wouldn’t inquire. Any question that she wanted to ask Laudna pointed out her differences and if there was one person in the world that Laudna could rely on not to do that, Imogen wanted to be that person. So she sat and smiled and pretended like her heart didn’t crack when others asked prying questions and Laudna answered without reserve. Though it hurt, it didn’t change how Imogen felt, so she kept her mouth shut.
Laudna briefly met her eyes across the tavern, her long, lithe fingers moving like a wave as she acknowledged Imogen’s gaze. She almost blushed - she would have if it wasn’t Laudna - but there was a level of comfort there that Imogen was only starting to understand was different than anything she had felt before.
“We’re all haunted, Imogen. To different degrees, sure. But Laudna is something else entirely and there’s a reason you’re blind to it.”
Her gaze pierced him this time. “And why would I be blind to it?”
He may not have fully understood yet - none of them did - that Imogen knew what they were thinking at every waking moment. It wasn’t that she was nosey - she would have loved to have been able to shut it off - but it couldn’t be helped. The only time there was any relief was when she focused on Laudna because for some reason, unknown to either of them, her thoughts were slow and thick and calming. The only ones that didn’t stab into her skull like needles. The only ones that didn’t turn her vision red and make her crumple to the ground.
So, she knew what he was insinuating.
Ashton wasn’t perturbed by her curtness, easily throwing back their drink and sliding the glass along the countertop. With raised eyebrows, he patted the bar top with his hand. “Well, I think that’s for you to figure out, isn’t it?”