Prompt: (½) “imagine with Sebastian based on the song ‘Little Do You Know’ by Alex & Sierra (@blackwidow-romanoff); (2/2) “Can you do reader saying “i’ll let you down. I will always let you down. I’m not enough for you to be satisfied,” to Sebastian (anon)
Slowly, Sebastian allowed his chest to heave in an attempt to clear his head, but the heavy breath did nothing to suppress the hole within him. He knew what he had done was a mistake and that it shouldn’t have happened in the first place, but he couldn’t shake the feeling of being torn between the pain that he figured would be inevitable and the false sense of hope he fought against giving himself.
*Little do you know I’m still haunted by the memory*
It was just a kiss and he knew that, but it was a kiss with a girl he had been in love with for ages. She was the first friend he made when he moved to New York and the pair had only grown closer in the month they’d been away at college despite not being at the same university. Despite being a year shy of twenty, the pair had come to know one another and rely on the other person in a way that most adults would never be able to experience.
Sebastian had wanted that kiss to happen for a long time, but he’d never known how she felt about him. For years they had only been friends and there was nothing that he felt was strong enough evidence to go off that indicated she wanted them to be anything more. It was because of that uncertainty that he had waited so long to act on any emotions he had toward her, but once he did, he wanted nothing more than to develop that relationship.
Sebastian sat in his bed adjacent from his roommate who was going over notes for an exam. Occasionally, Sebastian’s eyes would dart from the book he was reading to the telephone that rested on a hook on the wall. He had spoken to her only once after the kiss and their conversation went along the lines of him apologizing for getting carried away, her explaining that he had no reason to apologize, and each of them questioning the other about what they want from a relationship. Their conversation ended with a promise that by the end of the week, they would be completely honest with one another regarding what kind of future they could have together. One excuse after another keep him from contacting her. On the one hand, he didn’t want to push her into something she wasn’t ready for, and on the other, he was genuinely afraid of hearing any sort of answer from her.
*Little do you know I need a little more time*
As the clock hanging between Sebastian and his roommate’s bed ticked past 8:52 AM, Ken closed his notebook, tossed it into his backpack, and prepared for the fifteen minute walk to class he was about to make in eight minutes. Hoping to keep his mind off of (Y/N), Sebastian locked the door behind his roommate, stripped himself from his boxers and flannel pants, and stepped into a warm, relaxing shower. He knew not to bother her this early anyways–(Y/N) was starting her second week at an incredibly competitive internship she applied for during their senior year in high school. He didn’t want to get her in trouble given how hard she had worked to get this job.
Panic spread through the office as smoke billowed from the floors below. Screams of pain and terror echoed through the building as hundreds of people rushed the stairwell. Some people ignored the pleading cries for help, others tripped over debris or the dead as they dashed toward their own limited hope of freedom. Cellphones and pagers were clamoring as family members hurried to check on their loved ones. With her heart pounding, a young woman rushed to find an office phone still in service. Three or five machines later, she found what she was searching for. Phoning her mother and father was harder than she thought it would be, but what was worse was only reaching the answering machine. She tried to sound strong. She suppressed the cracking of her voice and pushed away the tears as she finished her message and quickly hung up.
*I promise you don’t have to be afraid; the love you see right here stays*
Slowly, more smoke began to float into the room and, like a dark cloud of death, if hovered over her head. Shaking, she pulled the telephone’s base to the floor. Another gasp of air escaped an older woman trapped beneath her desk while the cries of terror echoed from the stairwell. Hurriedly, the younger woman rushed to the older and worked her fingers under the desk just enough to get a good enough grip on the object to lift it off the woman’s legs. With compassion and terror overwhelming her, she slipped her arms beneath the woman and helped her hobble to the stairs where two male co-workers took her under the arm.
“Let’s go!” they called as the young woman rushed back toward the offices she had just come from.
“There are more people,” she stated and hurried to a woman clutching a photo of her daughters who sat paralyzed from the waist down beneath a support beam. One of the men who had seen the young woman run back into the office rushed to her side and assisted in lifting the beam off the woman. Her face was covered in dust–some dry, some stained from the tears that soaked the paralyzed mother’s face. As soon as that woman was freed from her inability to escape, more voices echoed through the young woman’s head, each gasping for air, screaming for help, and crying over their loved ones’ photos. She knew there would be no hope for them. No one was coming and no one was staying to help…save for herself. Despite the fear she had coursing through her body, the adrenaline pumping in her veins wasn’t allowing her to enter flight mode. Instead, she turned into the smoke and crumbling building and followed the screams.
Sebastian wrapped a towel around his waist as he exited the shower. His feet fell on the soft, absorbent rug sitting outside the tub, and he made his way to the sink to brush his teeth. Toothpaste in hand, he quickly squeezed it onto the brush and stuck it in his mouth before wandering back into the dorm room to grab clothes for the day. He didn’t take but half a step out of the bathroom before an uneasy sensation punched him in the gut.
“What the hell is going on?” he asked as he noticed his roommate, Ken, standing in the center of their dorm room, gawking at the television sitting on top of the dresser. “Aren’t you supposed to be in class?”
“Shut up,” he stated in aggravation as Sebastian spoke over the newscaster. As he took in the images on the screen, he couldn’t help but stare in disbelief. Before he could get the courage to open his mouth and speak, there was a crowd of people hurrying from one end of the building to the other so large the pounding of their heels along the floor sent vibrations along the floor so strong Sebastian could feel it on his cold, bare feet. Rushing to see what was happening, Ken threw open their door and looked out at the gathering of people staring out the windows on the east side of the building.
“Holy shit,” Sebastian heard a voice call from the hall. Frantic, all he could do was stare at the screen before him. At first, his mind was running rampant with the reports speculating this event was a terrorist attack, but then he remembered (Y/N).
“Shit,” he muttered as he rushed toward the phone hanging on the wall.
“What’s going on?” Ken frantically asked as he came back to their room to see Sebastian frantically punching buttons.
*Little do you know I’m trying to pick myself up piece by piece*
One ring. Two… Three
“Pick up,” he begged as he pressed the phone against his face so forcefully he was sure an indention would form across his cheek. Frustrated in the lack of instant gratification that comes when a phone goes straight to the answering machine, Sebastian slammed the phone back on the receiver and hurried to redial the number.
“What the hell is going on?” Ken asked as Sebastian’s hands turned white as he gripped the phone.
“My friend works at the World Trade Center.”
*Little do you know I need a little more time*
(Y/N), along with one other man working on her floor, rushed toward the stairs with the last person they knew to be alive from the surrounding offices. They couldn’t help the sluggishness that stemmed from smoke inhalation, but they pushed through it as the three people hurried from floor to floor, rushing down dozens of flights of stairs.
“(Y/N),” a weakened voice called out, immediately drawing the young woman’s attention. Spinning on her heels, she noticed a classmate who had also received an internship for the fall semester. One of the girl’s legs had been broken badly. Blood soaked her tan pants and (Y/N) tried not to look at the bone protruding from the girl’s skin. Without thinking, she hurried toward the girl, grabbed the jacket wrapped around her waist, and tied it over the visible wound. The girl swayed until her arm wrapped around the back of (Y/N)’s neck. The pair scurried toward the stairs again, only to have a swarm of people rush around them, sending the already faint girl with a broken leg tumbling down the stairs.
“No!” (Y/N) screamed as she rushed to the injured girl now lying motionless on the platform between flights of stairs.
“What do you mean?” someone shouted from below.
“We-we’re trapped up here?” another voice screamed in shock upon receiving news regarding any possibility of escape.
*Little do you know I [want] a little more time*
(Y/N) could hardly hear what the others were discussing; she was too preoccupied with the girl fading from life in her arms.
Sebastian had abandoned the television and his roommate, grabbed his keys, and was now speeding toward (Y/N)’s parents’ home on Staten Island. Surely they would be there–the entire country must be glued to their television sets right now. It felt as if the entire world were standing still, waiting for an update on anything that would happen.
He hated that a mere seven minutes ago he was keeping himself from having hope (Y/N) loved him when now he was keeping himself from thinking she was gone. Life wasn’t supposed to be taken this way–especially not hers.
Grappling for any way to contact someone in the outside world, someone she cared about, someone who she could spend her last moments speaking with, (Y/N) struggled back to a working office phone. She had already tried her parents and left them with a message she felt needed no alternate ending. Just when she felt there was no one left for her to speak with, she remembered a kiss she had shared with her best friend only a few days ago. The corner of her lips curled down in tight, immovable points as she grieved her impending doom, not because of the end of her life, but because of how it would affect her parents and the man she loved most.
Upon finding a phone, she quickly dialed the phone in his dorm room.
One ring…two…three rings. “Hey, it’s Ken and Sebastian; leave a message.” As soon as the machine allowed her to, she began to speak.
“Shit, it’s good to hear your voice,” she sighed into the phone, “even if it is just the answering machine. I told you I’d get back to you right?” She tried to joke but her heart only sank further into her stomach. The longer she sat in silence on the floor beneath the smoke, the closer she felt to death. Hurriedly, she allowed her voice to flow from her mouth in a timid and empty tone. “Do you know how long I’ve wanted you to kiss me?” she asked as though speaking to him.
*Underneath it all, I’m held captive by the hole inside. I’ve been holding back for the fear that you might change your mind*
“Probably since high school,” she sighed. “I’ve always loved you, Sebastian, but I don’t think you could love me. I wouldn’t want you to. I’ll let you down. I will always let you down–even now. You have so much talent and prospects; I would never be enough for you…I’d never be enough to satisfy you.
“Maybe one day you’ll find someone who will make you as happy as you make me, who makes you feel as valued as your friendship has given me. I wish you could forgive me but I know forgetting will be hard this time.”
New Yorkers are used to noise. The sounds of people yelling, cars,
trains, construction work, and general mayhem are all part of the city
we love. That day is the only day I remember absolute silence. Eight and
a half million people, and silence. Gone was the aggression and bravado
that comes with our city, instantly replaced with the sudden
realization that we’re all human, all vulnerable, all the same. There
was a change in tone, a change in respect, a softer eye contact.
Neighborhoods that usually don’t get along forgot about all the bullshit
and stood next to each other and mourned together like humans do. The
empty streets were an eerie sight. I remember looking up Coney Island
and seeing the column of smoke covering the sky. I remember little
pieces of debris in our hair and ash floating down and covering the
streets. I remember reaching up and catching something. It was half of a
yellow dry cleaning ticket. The person’s name was torn in half. I felt
cold when I touched it - I don’t think I’ve ever felt that cold. I
remember no longer feeling untouchable. I remember thinking how it paled
in comparison to what goes on daily in other parts of the world, and I
remember feeling like a shit for only feeling the atrocity when it was
in my own backyard. There was no one untouched. Everyone knew at least
one person who was there. Most of us knew at least one person who didn’t
make it out. I was at a pizzeria watching it on TV when it happened. We
all wanted to know what movie was playing.
I wrote this ¾ years ago, and I felt like posting it on here for this year in tribute. Never forget those we lost 🖤
WARNING: Major & minor character death, 9/11 based so if that’s a trigger, survivors guilt, etc.
It was just a regular day, Rhodey was taking care of his favorite nephew and as always Peter was happy to be hanging out with his uncle. They never saw it coming, no one did. The day September 11th became a day of horror. But like hell if Rhodey wouldn’t do everything to protect Peter.