I Don't Wanna Live Forever [Connor Murphy x Reader]
Title: I Don’t Wanna Live Forever
Pairing: Connor Murphy x Reader
Fandom: Dear Evan Hansen
Summary: Your family takes an annual trip to the mountains with the Murphy family every year to unwind over the winter break–that being said, Connor Murphy isn’t the sweet kid he used to be, and you’d rather be anywhere else than sharing a room with him for two weeks. However, between your parents, a line of accidents, and a mapless trip in the woods seem determined to bring you together–if you can make it out alive.
Warnings: Connor’s potty mouth | Mentions of drugs, abuse, alcohol, panic attacks, sex trafficking, sex, blood, hospitals | First person reader | face paced/vignette style | not proof read | tenses may change
A/N: Here’s that long ass thing I’ve been working on for weeks and just finished a few minutes ago, ayy. Based entirely off the “Connor hated skiing” line. This is long af with no read more option, sorry :/ Here we go! (THANKS FOR 500+ FOLLOWERS ♡♡♡)
Connor Murphy was a lot of things.
He was stubborn–I’d never seen him admit he was wrong, but I’d definitely seen him throw scrabble pieces across the wooden floor of the cabin, leaving Zoe to scramble red-faced to collect them as he stomped up the oak steps to his room, echoing around the house.
He was annoying–I’d told him once I wasn’t crazy about Iron Maiden, which resulted in the album being on blast for the entirety of the time he drove Zoe and I around the mall in the family’s silver minivan.
He was stoic. He was impatient. He was angry.
I’d begged my parents not to go cabins for winter break. I’d begged them to pick a different mountain range if we were so dead set on skiing. But Mr. Murphy and my mother were business associates, and the last thing she wanted to do was make them feel like we were no longer on good terms–especially because of Connor.
“Larry’s been having an awfully hard time with Connor, sweetheart, you have to understand,” my mother crooned in our rental car, fixing her lip liner as she drove, my father keeping a white knuckled grip on the Jesus handle above his head. “He’s not doing very well in school and he’s been throwing tantrums at home. Poor Cynthia is at her wits end. They’re lucky to have that sweet Zoe, she’s so talented and smart. Poor Connor is jealous and acting out, just try not to rally him up, alright, dear?”
I didn’t dignify her with a response, mostly because I knew she wouldn’t like what I had to say anyway, but also because I knew she wouldn’t care to listen, either. I sighed loudly, watching the snow flurry softly outside the window. It wasn’t fair–here I was in the middle of something so remarkably beautiful, and I’d be shoved in a minivan with the Murphy kids and stuck in the valley town’s 1970s mall with crappy t-shirts and a vape store that Connor would spend all day in.
The cabin was huge, up with a view of the town below, nearly three stories made of solid, stripped oak, in the middle of a winding road with a four percent grade. Half the cabin was supported on beams which plummeted down the mountain face. I’d be lucky to stand on the deck without vomiting, let alone being able to venture into the hot tub.
The Murphy’s minivan was already in the drive, trunk shut, meaning they’d unpacked and I’d be left with whatever miniscule space they’d left for me in the loft area.
“Remember to be nice, sweetheart,” my mother crooned again, fluffing her hair in the mirror and giving me an enthusiastic smile in the rearview. “It’s important! They’re practically family.”
Geez, I was lucky to not have Connor Murphy for a cousin.
Slinging my backpack over my arm and exiting the rental car, I took the liberty to stretch, despite the cold air that stung my cheeks and the snow that fluttered down into my hair. This may very well be the last moment of solitude I had for the entirety of the week, and I was going to revel in it.
A movement caught my eye, suddenly, and I lowered myself off my tiptoes to glance up at the second story window–a curtain fluttered shut. It was most likely Zoe or Connor checking out the commotion that was my father and mother bickering over who carried what into the house, and shutting it once they’d realized I caught them. Feeling vaguely uneasy, I turned just as Larry Murphy, bundled in a parka, burst out of the house to take two suitcases from my father.
It was going to be a long two weeks.
Cynthia Murphy made me stand by the kitchen counter as she was stocking the cabinet with neon colored cardboard boxes containing various sugary, pink cereals with marshmallows and prizes inside. The Murphy kids were both picky eaters, I remembered quickly, Connor more so than Zoe.
Mrs. Murphy kept playing with my hair, crowing about how much longer it looked (despite the fact I’d cut it since the last time I’d seen her) and how pretty and grown up I’d become, asking me the usually annoying adult questions (“Any thoughts on schools yet? Oh, Connor can’t decide either! Do you know what you’re going to major in? That’s alright, you’ll figure it out soon!”) It would’ve been annoying, I decided, if and only if she didn’t look so sad all the time, the purple bruising under her eyes visible still underneath the layers of makeup. My mother could say whatever she liked about Cynthia Murphy where her wifely duties were concerned–Mrs. Murphy tried to be a good mother (re: tried, period), and that was more than enough to pass her in my book.
In the background, my parents were settling into the second master bedroom, Larry Murphy yelling at the bottom of the stairs to announce our arrival. I could do without the annual reunion, awkward questions about school. The Murphy kids were tolerable–Zoe definitely more so–but it didn’t mean they had to force us together so artificially.
Zoe skimpered down the stairs first, her soft moccasin boots barely making any sound on the stairs–I was surprised to find her long legs bare, her thighs peeking out beneath a pretty pink chiffon dress, covered by what I hoped to be a faux fur parka. Her pretty auburn hair was curled, pulled back with a polka dot headband I could recognize from her childhood. She was wearing eyeliner, and cotton candy flavored lip gloss I remembered sharing when we were thirteen.
It was such a stark contrast from how I remembered her before. The last I’d seen her she’d been gawky and fifteen with a mouth full of metal and a bra full of kleenex. She was practically grown now, and beautiful–it made me feel slightly subpar in my own blue jeans and blue sweater. Regardless, she smiled brightly and skipped over to me, opening her arms to wrap them around my neck.
“It’s so good to see you!” She exclaimed, pressing a quick kiss to my cheek that shocked me, as well as some others–Larry Murphy’s horrified expression was priceless, and I was convinced Connor put her up to it–but I just laughed and hugged her tightly before letting her go.
“You look so pretty,” I told her with a wry grin, and she just tossed the expression back, nodding with a, “So do you!”
“It’s so good to see you girls are still so close,” my mother tittered, beginning to uncork a glass of wine–we didn’t drink much at my house, but the Murphy’s, I knew, did, and my mother certainly wasn’t going to let that go to waste. “Where’s that sweet boy of yours?”
Larry Murphy at the bottom of the stairs, banging on the oak walls, yelling out, “Connor!” was enough to make both the Murphy women flinch visibly. Zoe still had her arm around my waist as we stared up at the ceiling above us, waiting for the squeak of sneakers on the polished wood.
Zoe jumped away from me as if she’d been burned, pressing herself against the countertop as if to make herself invisible. Mrs. Murphy, her hand clutched to her chest after the initial nose, fought hard to smile believably. I, myself, had jumped at the unexpected sound–Connor Murphy’s curt tenor clear across the room, no where near the stairs, instead standing the doorway were we had just come from. I couldn't quite make out his frame from here–there was a line of bodies blocking my view, my parents, Mrs. Murphy, and Zoe all formed a human barrier that constructed the divide between Connor and I. Fine by me.
“There you are!” Mrs. Murphy chirped, clearly still nervous, visibly by her shaking voice and hands, fluffing her hair to give her something to do. “You didn’t miss much, Connor, they’ve just arrived.”
My mother said something unintelligent in way of greeting, to which Conner didn’t reply, just shut the door carefully behind him to keep out the cold air. I couldn’t see his face from here, but I could make out that he was much too still for a teenage boy, much too quiet.
“–You remember her, don’t you, Connor?”
My throat closed up as the Red Sea parted, everyone’s heads turning to look between the two of us.
He didn’t move from the doormat–boots caked in snow, as if he’d gone for a walk, and the bottoms of his skinny jeans were muddy and slick looking. Still, he didn’t shiver, which was slightly unnerving. He was skinnier than I remembered, like he hadn’t been eating, and his face was all angles. He slouched, his pink mouth which was mottled red from the cold was set in a heavy frown. His eyes, which were scanning somewhere around my waist and hadn’t come anywhere near making eye contact since he’d seen me, had blown pupils. Drugs. He was doing drugs in the middle of the afternoon.
He hadn’t cut his hair since I’d seen him last, brown curls poking out of the bottom of a black sock toboggan with a soft pompom on top. It could’ve been funny, I supposed, his rough puberty finishing to leave him left over with this, something akin to a drugged out vogue model who listened to way too much 2008 Fall Out Boy, if he didn’t seem so…unnervingly somber for someone who clearly wasn’t sober. Geez, this kid was a school shooter in the making.
I glanced back up to find him finally staring at my face, shooting an uncomfortable alertness down my spine. His eyebrows were crooked in vague amusement that didn’t seem to reach his mouth, and I felt my face heat up under his scrutiny. If he was trying to intimidate me, it wouldn’t work. I wasn’t scared of boys like him.
“Yeah, I remember her,” he grinned mirthlessly, stuffing his hands into the gut pocket of his hoodie, giving me a nod that, while meant to appease our parents, also felt like a vague threat. I didn’t smile back.
“Great! Wanna show her the room?”
Connor grinned crookedly. “Follow me, kid.”
The upstairs layout was just like I remembered it–Two rooms, one main one in the first entrance with a king bed tucked in the corner, a TV and a few gaming systems with some furniture in the front, a bathroom with two doors which lead through to the other room, which held the fold out couch and television I was accustomed to using.
The Murphy kids already had their belongs strewn about the room–Zoe’s stuff animals and princess blankets eclipsing most of the bed and an ancient Nintendo DS on the table with SpongeBob stickers on the cover that I’m sure belonged to Connor–and it left me very little room to maneuver through.
Connor was silent as he lead me up, as if I didn’t know the way, but surprised me by stopping in front of the king bed, holding out his arms to signal me.
“Your room, my lady.”
I cocked an eyebrow. “This–this is your bed.”
“Not this year. Dad’s decided it’s a little too Flowers In the Attic for Zoe and I to share a bed this year–I’m on the pull out and you girls get to have your fun.” He shot me a bitter smile to let me know he wasn’t thrilled about having the pull-out–he shouldn’t be, the thing was total garbage–but surely he’d enjoy the privacy of it?
“I don’t care to take the pull-out,” I told him, keeping my bag on my shoulder despite the fact it was beginning to be painfully heavy. “If you wanna–”
“Don’t have a choice,” he said, already turning toward the bathroom to walk to his half of the loft. “The bed’s yours.”
So, Connor Murphy had turned out to be a total dick. It should’ve unsurprising information, I knew, but part of me still remembered him as a charismatic kid I was, at one point, friends with. Back when the three of us all slept in the king bed, before any of us ever had a zit, when we’d fall asleep in the floor watching early 1990s Pokémon episodes, because Larry Murphy didn’t like them watching it.
Even the Connor I remembered at fourteen, gangly and silent and shy with close-cropped hair felt better than this. I was past uncomfortable, sitting stiffly between he and Zoe on one of the couches in the living room. There was a faux fur blanket hanging behind us, shedding hairs onto Connor’s black jacket, which would’ve been funny if he wasn’t picking at his nails with a slightly rusted pocket knife–I notice he’d painted them, which I oddly admired. I’d kissed a boy earlier this year who painted his nails, and his palms were always soft when he’d reach up to cup my cheeks. It softened Connor in my head, just slightly.
He was careful, I saw, to stay on his side of the couch, leaning into the apex of the arm and the back of the couch rather than flush with me, his thin legs stretched out and crossed at the ankle to avoid me. I appreciated it, but it didn’t stop me from leaning forward, my elbows on my knees, sitting on the edge of the cushion. I could still feel warmth radiating from him–it was late, and I was tired with a full stomach. If I wasn’t careful, I’d fall right into him, and he’d never let me live that down.
Zoe practically was asleep, leaning forward as well with her head on my shoulder. Cynthia had let her have nearly two glasses of wine at dinner–not enough to get her drunk, but it didn’t change the fact Zoe was still lithe and young, and easily tipsy.
We’d all gone into town for a very awkward dinner–I was just thankful to be placed between my father and Zoe, in a position on the opposite end of the table from Connor, who was stuck in between Larry and Cynthia, looking as if he were in a permanent time out.
Now we were gathered around the coffee table in the cabin, the seven of us hunched over a tiny photo album that I couldn’t really make out from here. There were fuzzy polaroids of us as children, looking nothing like we did now. Connor and I at six, soaked from romping in a sprinkler. Zoe and Connor sharing a chocolate icecream cone, their faces covered in the brown spatter.
“You were all so small,” Mrs. Murphy crowed with a choked voice, covering half her face with her hand in a faux attempt to eclipse the emotion. “Oh, I miss it. You kids used to spend so much time together! Now we only get together for break, and Zoe is so busy there’s hardly enough time for her to spend quality time with her sweet brother.”
Zoe snorted loudly, earning a glare from Mr. Murphy I was positive I wasn’t supposed to see. I snuck a glance at Connor, whose face betrayed no emotion, just staring blankly ahead in the direction of the album. From his position, I was positive he couldn’t see more than the chipped leather cover of the book. Even if he leaned forward, he wouldn’t have been able to see much.
My mother and Mrs. Murphy went out in loud voices in a seamless attempt to pretend the seemingly secret interaction had taken place, so, while the focus was shifted, I turned my attention to Connor.
He didn’t cock an eyebrow this time when he caught me staring, instead just furrowed his eyebrows and looked at me, as if he expected me to speak.
“Can you see?” I asked, nodding my head in the direction of the book.
“I’m fine,” he said immediately–vaguely irritating, I’d admit, but nonetheless understandable. I was sure Cynthia Murphy had spent most of her life making sure Connor was comfortable at all times. Still, this was my olive branch, in an attempt to make this trip a little more tolerable, and Zoe seemed less than likely to console her brother at this point.
“We can change seats, I’m not really looking,” I promised, sitting forward more in my seat to show that I was ready to make the change.
Connor was cut off by a squeal from his mother, who had tossed the book into our laps. It had taken a great deal of squinting, letting my heartbeat slow before I realized she’d been showing us something and not trying to kill some giant bug between us.
The polaroid was grainy, an ivory hue that whitewashed the photo and the years of existence made the picture hard to decipher at first, especially when we were so tired. The time stamp was from the late nineties, glowing yellow in the corner of the frame. I recognized the gilded tub from upstairs that dominated half the bathroom, big enough for three adults easily.
Connor threw to book onto my lap first, like it had scalded him. I should’ve done the same, but it took me a moment. To see, to adjust, to read and understand what was so socially condemning about the photo.
It was Connor, I realized first, small and tanned with bony ribs and chunky fingers and the apples of his cheeks straining against his baby skin. His hair was cropped so short, it looked almost silly. Beside him was me, my hair wild and tangled, curled as if my mother had teased it for dinner. My wide eyes were blazing, much too big for my face, and I was grinning with wet lips at the camera.
We were in the tub, surrounded by big pink bubbles.
We were very, very naked.
It shouldn’t have been a big deal–not really, unless you counted the fact that if this had been printed, our parents would be arrested for child porn. I was mostly covered, sitting beside Connor, my shoulders hunched forward. But Connor was standing, meaning the camera got a very decent view of–
“What the fuck, Mom!” He screaming, standing and ripping the book off my lap. Cynthia’s tittering died immediately, the hands covering her laughed instead covered her horrified face.
This was how it started, I realized.
“It’s not fucking funny,” he growled, tossing the book across the room, banging against the wooden wall with a heavy whomp.
“That’s enough, Connor,” Larry Murphy growled low in his throat. Cynthia’s head was downcast, her eyes wide and wet. I recognized the emotion immediately–she shut down with conflict the same way Connor did.
“You don’t get to laugh at me for shits and giggles this whole trip,” Connor said, already lunging up the stairs, his hands shaking. “If I wanted to feel shitty, I’d have a conversation with you.”
So much for having a quiet trip.
Zoe wasn’t quiet in her gossip about Connor–his door was fashioned shut, I saw, and I doubt he’d come out for the rest of the night. I was positive he could hear his sister’s loud comments from our room.
“Sorry, he’s such an ass,” Zoe groaned, stretching on the bed, her little lilac nightgown shifting across her thighs. “I think his high is wearing off or something–don’t let it bug you. You don’t have to be nice to him, by the way. I’m not gonna let him hurt you.”
I shrugged, noncommittal. “We were friends once. I’m not gonna be mean, he’s never done anything to me.”
Zoe snorted. “You didn’t just see that? He’s a monster, and it gets worse.”
“He just has a temper. Everyone gets like that sometimes.”
I wasn’t sure why I was defending Connor–half because I didn’t want Zoe to tell Connor I disliked him, then he’d actively terrorize me–half because I had no idea why Connor Murphy was so pissed off. It was just a picture. Yeah, embarrassing, I’ll admit I wasn’t too thrilled about eighteen year old Connor Murphy seeing my nipples, and I’ll admit he definitely had the worst end of the stick.
“He loses his shit like that all the time,” Zoe said. “It’s not just a temper.”
“He’s your brother, Zoe,” I reminded gently, brushing out my hair in the bathroom mirror. “Can’t you give him the benefit of the doubt?”
“He’s no brother of mine,” she whispered, rolling over on the bed and clicking off the light.
The next few days passed as the usually did–the adults going places without us, albeit romantic and boring, and leaving the three of us to wander about the town below the mountain crests. It was Zoe’s turn to pick the day’s activity, and she’d chosen the mall.
The place was all dark oak, and hadn’t been remodeled since the late seventies at the earliest. Zoe was chipper, balancing a bag of organic soap and bath bombs on her lap that she’d bought at a local shop, pouring over the cheese fries between us on a plastic red tray.
Connor had also been well-behaved since his outburst several days ago, albeit quiet. He’d separated from us the second we’d arrived, holed out in some record store. Zoe was thrilled to be rid of him, and very vocal about it. I was bored out of my mind.
“Don’t look now,” Zoe said brightly, despite her face suddenly shifting into a mask of disinterest. She bit down on her lip, covered in a pink glitter lipgloss she’d applied much too liberally, and pulled on her pretty auburn braid. “There’s some boys two tables behind us checking you out.”
I felt my face get hot. “You’re lying.”
“Nuh-uh,” Zoe said, leaning into take a sip of her milkshake, biting down on the straw–the look on her face told me she’d got their attention.
“How old are they?” I hissed. The last thing we needed were some creeps following us around the mall–this was how sex trafficking started. Surely Zoe knew that this was a huge red flag.
It was clear from her overzealous wave she didn’t.
I felt a hand on the back of my chair before I saw them–to Zoe’s credit, they were pretty. Both in thick denim blue jeans, both in letterman jackets over white tee-shirts. One was tall, skinny, with pretty dark skin and hair cropped close to his head. The other was a little thicker, pale and short, in badly need from a shave. They were smiling brightly at the two of us in a way that was less awestruck and more closely resembled a triumphant conquest.
“Hello, ladies,” the shorter man greeted, grinning like a shark between Zoe and I. His hair was dark, curling around his temples–handsome, maybe my age, maybe ten years older. It was impossible to tell. There were lines around his eyes that either indicated he smiled too much or was simply older. “What are two cute girls like you doing inside on a day like this–the ski lift is just a walk down the road.”
“We’re here shopping with our brother,” I said immediately, giving a grin. The taller boy quirked his eyebrows at me–his eyes, I noticed, were dark with tawny flecks hidden in them.
“That’s cool,” he said to me, switching places so that the other boy could be closer to Zoe. They both pulled chairs up to our table, facing us. My stomach pinched uncomfortably. “Where’s he at?”
“Nike,” I lied, seeing the sign from the distance and knowing very well that Hot Topic, while probably true, didn’t exactly invoke fear.
“Ah,” he said with a grin, his eyes glancing down at my bare arm with a grin. With two slim fingers, he reached forward to pluck at my woven bracelet Zoe had made me a few nights ago, my name in block letter strung across the twine. His hands were uncomfortably hot, and I drew my arm back into my lap. “Aren’t you cold?” He nodded to my bare arms. I’d left my flannel with Connor, who was sitting on a bench at the time–I hoped he remembered to grab it. I was just wearing a striped cotton tee right now, and my arm had broken out in a case of goosebumps, though I wasn’t sure it was from the cold.
“I’m fine,” I said, careful not to meet his gaze. He was pretty, and if I wasn’t careful, I might end up going somewhere with this guy.
“You know,” he began, and I could hear his grin turn predatory. “You’re very pretty.”
A jolt shot down my spine–I wasn’t pretty, not really, which terrified me. I could hear what the other boy was whispering to Zoe, but I could tell that all the stars were gone from her eyes. She looked pale, panicked. These weren’t the kind of boys we needed to hanging around with.
“I know,” I said quickly. “We really need to call our brother–”
“I think he can wait long enough for me to get your number, right?”
Across the table Zoe laughed, too loudly, pushing back and standing from her chair. She was grinning at the dark haired boy, beckoning her to follow with a jerk of her chin.
“We’re gonna run to get some coffee, okay? Connor should be back soon, don’t wait up.”
She didn’t meet my heavy glare for long, and didn’t turn around when I yelled her name. I watched in silent horror as the boy put his hand flush with her lower back.
I was alone.
The panic crept onto the back of my neck long before his thin fingers did. He smelled like cinnamon, strongly, like he’d done one too many sprays with his cologne that morning. When I turned to face him, his tawny eyes were asking.
“Is this the part where you say you’ve got a boyfriend?” He grinned, his teeth blindingly bright in his tan face. He was so close I could see the threads on the collar of his letterman jacket–it looked soft.
There was a possibility, I realized, that they weren’t dangerous. That I was just being paranoid–Zoe wasn’t stupid, and she wouldn’t go off with a strange boy unless she was sure it was safe. Still, they were definitely in college.
And boy, were they pretty.
“I do have a boyfriend, actually,” I said, lifting my chin to meet his gaze so he wouldn’t think I was lying. There was a small voice in the back of my head, screaming, raised on her tip toes that I should just take this plunge–let him hold my hand or kiss him or whatever he wanted to do, because this was a shitty trip and I deserved to be as reckless as the Murphy kids were allowed. I didn’t see a reason why I shouldn’t.
Besides, you know, the obvious.
He quirked an eyebrow. “You have a boyfriend?” He asked, biting back a smirk. I felt the voice in the back of my head get sucker punched by my ego. So, he didn’t think I was pretty after all. Which meant he was dangerous.
Which meant Zoe was in trouble.
“Yes,” I growled, standing, yelping a bit when his hand snaked up to grab at my wrist, nearly breaking my bracelet and keeping me bent over the table.
“Let go,” I hissed–the food court was nearly deserted, and the family in the corner was carefully avoiding my eyes. I wasn’t sure I had the voice to scream.
“I don’t believe you have a boyfriend.”
“Let go, or I’ll scream,” I warned, yanking on my arm. He let go immediately, holding his hand high above his head, which I knew was meant as a gesture of calm, but instead looked an awful lot like he intended to strike me.
“Where’s your boyfriend, then?” He taunted loudly, thrilled to see no one in the court coming to my aid. I felt sick, the panic rising in my chest. Where was Zoe? She was in trouble. I was in trouble. I was going to have to scream–
“He’s right here.”
My arm flailed, immediately cocking back in an attempt to elbow in the stomach whoever had wrapped their arm around my neck, their other spidery hand snaking just slightly under the hem of my t-shirt to splay across my hip, finger tips barely brushing my skin above my jeans. The arms were strong, vice like, pressing me against a hard body, and suddenly I felt limp, panic leaving me as I realized whose familiar smell I was enveloped in.
Hair grazed across my cheekbone, and I could make out the dark locks if I looked out the corner of my eye, and I nearly yelped when I felt lips press chastely against my temple.
I couldn’t make out much of the boy anymore, my eyes level with Connor’s adams apple from where he was pressing me against him.
“Babe,” Connor said cooly, calmly, making my knees knock against his. “Who’s this?”
“H-he’s leaving,” I managed to stutter out, barely a whisper, my voice hoarse. I sounded terrified. No wonder this ass in the letterman jacket hadn’t be intimated by me, I sounded about as frightening as a kitten. Connor pressed his fingers against the nape of my neck, tilting my head against his jugular so that I couldn’t see anything but the pale column of his throat and his dark hair. It was getting difficult to breathe–I felt sick. He moved his hand to wrap around my waist, yanking me tightly to him.
“You heard her,” Connor said, again stoic–half of me wished I could see his face, but the other half knew it would be terrifying. Connor’s temper was legendary and destructive–to see him so angry wouldn’t make the fist in my gut unclench. “Go. Take your friend with you.”
There was a beat of silence. Then two. I couldn’t hear much but my own shaky breathing, warm and wet against Connor’s neck, his hair making the space much too hot. I wasn’t aware I had knotted my fingers into his shirt until he started walking, dragging my stumbling form forward with him. He was going fast, too fast for me to keep up, and my chest could only rise so far before deflating painfully.
“You gotta breathe,” he grunted, one of his arms still around me. His face felt hot against me.
“Z-zoe!” I choked out, realizing I had no idea where she was. She could still be with that boy, be in danger–
“Oh, Christ,” he exclaimed bitterly, letting go and beginning to trudge forward. I was terrified briefly, suddenly overwhelmed with the fact I didn’t know where I was. There was a Game Stop, and a Victoria’s secret, the neon lighting combined with the screaming toddlers and the kissing teens and Connor was leaving–
An arm swept up from behind me, leading me just as quickly, mumbling something I couldn’t make out into my ear.
“Zoe!” I grinned, immediately feeling safer, feeling my fear melt away just smidgen in my gut.
“I’m so so sorry I left,” she sobbed. “I went looking for a cop, but I found Connor first and I told him you were in trouble–”
“It’s fine,” I said immediately, surprised that my voice was no longer wet. “Thanks, Zoe.”
I was calm, or, at least calmer by the time we reached the van. Connor was waiting by the passenger side door, which was opened, leaning against a scratch in the silver paint. He wasn’t looking at us, instead appearing to observe the silver snowflakes as they fell.
My reflection in the side mirror revealed my face was red and blotchy, not just from the cold wind. I felt gross–guilty for the fact I hadn’t been able to defend myself and Zoe, guilty for the fact Connor Murphy was the one who had to come to my rescue, and guilty for the fact I’d cried all over him. His zipped up hoodie seemed to have escaped the mess, but that didn’t mean I didn’t feel awful.
He stepped out of the way when I made it close, gesturing for me to get in the passenger side door while glaring at the ground. I was only vaguely surprised, and followed along immediately. Zoe and I almost always rode together in the back. I let Connor shut the door, ignoring the disgusted look Zoe gave as she got into the back.
Connor hoisted himself into the driver’s seat, surprising me with a costume change, reappearing in only a forest green tee. He held out his hoodie to me, balled up in one of his fists without looking at me, before just tossing it into my lap.
“I left your flannel in the back. Put that on or you’ll freeze.”
He licked his lips, staring coldly out the front window, before starting the car. I swallowed. Yeah, he definitely hated me.
“You’re sure you’re alright, honey?” My mother asked for the third time. Her hair was tied up, her pink bathrobe covering little of her cleavage and bare legs. She was cradling a wine bottle in her hands, looking at me in faux concern.
I gave her a soft smile. “I’m fine,” I lied. I’d calmed considerately. Connor and Zoe had both agreed I needed to shower to wash off the panicked look on my face–I’d asked them to keep the days happenings a secret. They’d reluctantly agreed.
She gave me a clipped smile. “Maybe you should go to bed early, yeah? That’s what I plan to do.”
I nodded, scratching at my bare leg. I’d taken advantage of Zoe’s absense and changed into boxer shorts and an oversized tee with a kitten on the front–she and Cynthia had headed into town for the night, spending the night at a spa and would be gone for a few days, and my father had taken his annual ‘me time’ and booked a hotel downtown to do his own thing. I think Mr. Murphy went with him, but regardless, he was out of the house. It was just me and my mother.
And Connor. I tried not to think about it. I planned on offering him the big bed tonight, in way of thanking him for today, but we hadn’t spoken much since the incident and I felt…odd. Unsure how to thank him. Unsure why he helped.
I supposed the Murphy men were just gentlemen, even under all that teen angst.
“Yeah,” I agreed. “I’m probably gonna sit out on the balcony and then head to bed.”
She grinned. “Don’t stay out too late, it’s almost down to single digits, dear.”
I just nodded, sliding off the countertop, and slinking upstairs. I was surprised to see Connor sitting on the bed. I grinned.
He looked different, to say the least. He was still without his jacket, wearing only his tee and jeans, and little pair of socks with stars on them, which did seem a little out of character, but I assumed Cynthia bought them. His head perked when he saw me, simply craning his neck, keeping his shoulders bowed forward over his body.
He looked small, I realized. He didn’t look like a boy who punched holes in walls or scared off very big very scary men in shopping mall food courts. He looked like a vogue model with a little too much innocence.
He gave me a grin with no teeth, and it didn’t quite meet his eyes, but I gave him a sheepish smile back.
“Hey,” I greeted, tugging on my top to cover my shorts a little better–Connor Murphy didn’t have any interest in seeing my thighs. Despite all the panic, I’d been playing over and over in my head the comment the boy in the mall had made, incredulous that I had a boyfriend. It was silly to let it sting me, considering he probably wanted to stuff me in a van, but it crippled me nonetheless.
“Hey,” he greeted back, not rising from the bed. I waited for him to speak again, and when he said nothing, I continued.
“I, uh, meant to say, since Zoe’s gone, you can have the big bed like good old times.”
He frowned. “I don’t need the bed.”
“I don’t either,” I promised, leaning against the banister. “Plus,” I sighed, scratching at the back of my head. “I’m not entirely sure how to thank you for today. I’d probably be selling for a low ball price on the dark web right now, if it wasn’t for you. So, thanks.”
Connor was still frowning. “You’ve had a really rough day. You should take the bed.”
“No,” I insisted, beginning to get frustrated. “I’m really okay, I promise. I can’t give you anything else, take the bed.”
His dark eyebrows knit together quickly, licking his lips again nervously. “I don’t–”
“Plus,” I cut him off again with a curt laugh. “I owe you for your Oscar performance. That was crazy, you know. I can’t believe you fooled him into thinking a guy like you would be with a girl like me.”
His head snapped up. “A guy like me?” He reiterated coldly. I felt my face grow hot.
“You know,” I said quietly.
“That you’re cool,” I muttered. “And nice looking. And I’m not.”
I was thankful for the warm lighting in the room, concealing my red face. It was already dark out, the blinds drawn tightly. Connor’s fists clenched in the white lace comforter on the bed. I didn’t want him to feel bad for me, and I sort of regretted saying it. Connor had already seen me blubbering today and he didn’t need my shitty teen angst to deal with.
He bit down on his lower lip, staring coldly at the ground before murmuring, “I need a shower. Take the bed.”
I shook my head. “I’m gonna go for a walk.”
He just nodded, rising from the bed. “Don’t get too far. It’s cold out.”
Connor shut the bathroom door behind him, and I was left feeling like a total idiot. I could hear the shower running before I left, snagging Connor’s grey jacket from my bed post and sliding it on. I went down the stairs, sliding out the first door to the outside, stepping out onto the first floor balcony. I made a mental note to the shut the blinds later, before walking around to the front of the cabin.
I should’ve been thrilled to be alive, I realized, snorting at how melodramatic that sounded. Still, as I burrowed deeper into Connor’s jacket, watching my thighs turn red from the cold, I realized that I was shrouded in a veil of melancholy I wouldn’t be able to shake off.
I missed Connor. I missed being his friend. I missed him coming over for play dates when we were kids, gauzy fairy wings strapped to our backs, jumping on a trampoline when Zoe was still to young to participate. I missed writing him letters, like a pen pal, despite the fact he only lived on the opposite side of town. Going to different schools hadn’t deterred us, for a while, at least. We had sleepovers every birthday, and Zoe told the best scary stories. I remembered hiding under Connor’s bed with him, a hand clasped over my mouth so Zoe wouldn’t hear our breathing.
I remembered kissing him when we were in kindergarten, ridiculously late at night, a quick smack on the lips during a game of pretend. I’d kissed Zoe, too, when we were probably much too old for it, but thinking of Connor tugged on my chest.
It stopped as we turned twelve, I realized. I never saw him–he was still playing little league, and I stopped coming to his games to pick dandelions with Zoe. He was beginning to get teased. My parents insisted the slumber parties should stop, we were too old. Every time Connor and I were together at birthdays or Christmas parties, adults would joke about when we’d fall in love, how soon would it be before we got married. We avoided each other like the plague, unless we knew we could be alone. And we were never alone.
Connor hid inside himself. Zoe made fun of him at parties, loudly. I kept quiet.
He stopped calling during the summer months. He never rode his bike by my house. The only time I saw Connor Murphy was the annual ski trip.
I missed him. He’d been a childhood friend, and I’d let him go without a second thought to save myself some shred of dignity, like it wouldn’t be ripped away from me regardless.
Connor Murphy was nothing to be ashamed of.
And now it was too late to be his friend.
It had started to snow again, so I wiped my face and rose, walking the opposite way I had come, skirting the stairs–they led to the upstairs, but only to Connor’s room, and I didn’t plan to barge in uninvited, especially if he was still in the shower, two rooms blocked me from getting to the king bed, so I’d have to walk all the way around the house.
The lights were out, I saw, but again no one had bothered to close the blinds. The television might have been on, a dim blue glow resounding onto the leather couch–
As it turned out, my mother hadn’t gone to bed. The television was on, showing some late show with some old white man making cracks about some politician I didn’t care for, casting the blue haze onto the coffee table, revealing the wine bottle my mother had been cradling. Two empty glasses sat on the table–my mother’s bathrobe crinkled on the floor.
I was disgusted in a comedic way, just for a moment, to see my mother in her nightgown kissing my father, who my brain had filled in under the assumption he’d arrived back.
I’d begun backing up to the stairs, Connor Murphy’s naked body be damned, when I realized my father’s car had never pulled up, and I’d been on the front porch the whole time.
A better look in the window revealed a man a little older, a little more gray and a little more handsome than my father.
I was sprinting by the time Larry Murphy had begun to peel his shirt off his back.
I didn’t knock by the time I’d made it to Connor’s room, just threw open the door, struggling to get my breathing under control. I stumbled to the pull out couch, dragging the sheets up around my freezing legs. I was in shock, I knew, and I needed to calm down before Connor came in–the bathroom door was shut, but I couldn’t hear the shower anymore, despite the steady trickle of steam coming through the cracks. I was trapped in this room until Connor came out.
My mother was cheating on my father Larry Murphy. Larry Murphy was cheating on his wife with my mother. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t believe it, I had to have made it up, this had to be a dream–
“What are you doing in here?”
It was an exclamation, alarmed, grasping a towel tight with thin white knuckles.
Connor. Connor in a towel. Connor wet with slick hair and chest hair and navel and hip bones. Connor Murphy, son of Larry Murphy, who had his tongue down my mom’s throat–
“Hey, breathe, what’s going on? What’s wrong?”
By the time my eyes snapped back into focus, Connor was struggling to pull on grey basketball shorts without dropping his towel, and I dropped my gaze back to my shaking hands, almost startlingly red from the temperature change and what was most likely shock. I was hyperventilating, struggling to smother the sobs. I knew this deep in the house, they probably wouldn’t hear me–they were most definitely preoccupied anyway.
The bed dipped, and Connor’s bare side brushed my thigh. I didn’t mean to jerk back, but I did, clinging to the arm of the couch and staring horrified–Connor looked almost hurt, but mostly panicked. I tried to calm down, for his sake.
“S-sorry!” I sobbed. “Sorry! I-I-I didn’t mean–I didn’t mean–I didn’t–I–”
“Hey, stop, breathe. You gotta breathe. Go slow, okay? Stop tryna talk,” he commanded, holding up his hands to show he wasn’t gonna hurt me, readjusting so that he sat up on his knees, leaning over me to take my hands, rubbing them between his own despite the claminess.
I avoided his eyes, focusing instead on the dip of his collar bone, surprised to see thin lines of chest hair, wet and plastered to his chest. He was skinny, and I could see his ribs despite the tiny stomach roll from where he folded in the middle. His thumbs rubbed soothing circles across the backs of my hands, and for a moment, I didn’t think. I could’ve forgotten everything and fallen asleep right here with him.
He pulled my hands against his chest, cradling mine in his own, pulling me forward, asking with his slate eyes if it was alright.
I pretended we were friends.
“You wanna talk about that?” He asked very softly, looking down at where our hands were clasped against him–he was warm, his skin pink and hot from the shower. He’d combed his hair back out of his face, and it was almost cute like that. “If it’s about today, I promise you’re safe, alright? I wasn’t gonna let that guy hurt you.”
My heart sunk in my chest, nearly restarting my panic attack. I shook my head.
Connor deserved to know.
I was scared, briefly, that it would set him off. He might yell at me, throw things, kick me out of the room. He might hit me.
I didn’t care. He had a right to know.
I swallowed thickly, shaking my head. “N-no.”
“Did something happen on your walk? Are you okay?”
I shook my head.
“What? Trouble back home–your boyfriend break up with you or something?”
“My mom–” I started, voice breaking, feeling fresh tears of shock on my cheeks.
His eyebrows furrowed, tightening his grip on my hands. “Is she okay? She–”
I saw it in slow motion–his jaw unclenched, eyebrows relaxing from their set, pouted mouth turning down. It was calm. It was knowing.
“You saw them,” he said very softly, letting my hands fall back into his lap. I was too shocked to move them away from his thighs.
“You knew,” I spat–an accusation. I hadn’t meant to make it one.
Connor scrubbed at his eyes roughly, flopping onto his back against the bed. Frustrated.
“I was tired of my dad reading my fucking emails, so I hacked into his–I only saw a few. I didn’t want to see anymore.”
I paled, feeling nauseous. “So it’s happened before?” I choked.
He swallowed. “That was two summers ago.”
“Fuck,” I hissed uncharacteristically, surprised to find Connor stretching out an arm to me. I took his hand with a firm grip. “How long before then.”
He shrugged. “Maybe our whole lives. Maybe before. I’m not sure, angel.”
I nodded, secretly pleased that he was so calm. It kept me level, grounded, watching where our hands were linked.
“What do we do?” I choked. “I have to tell my dad. He deserves to know.”
Connor’s eyebrows furrowed. “Everything would change. He’d tell my mom.”
I bit down on my lip, folding down onto my back to lay down beside Connor. “I hadn’t considered that.”
Connor sighed, scratching at my hand tenderly with his black painted nails. “I’m not sure that my mom and Zoe could handle the news–it’s not like they’d turn to me. They’d be alone. Zoe might even take my dad’s side.”
I groaned, stealing my hands to scrub at my eyes. My wet hair was beginning to dry in a tangled mess.
“This is too much,” I mumbled, rolling onto my side to face Connor, staring at his bare, freckled shoulder. “I don’t know what to do. If I can do anything.”
I jumped a foot out of my skin when he placed a hand at the corner of my jaw, brushing the tangled hair back out of my face. “You don’t have to think about it right now. You’ve had a really long fucking day. You should sleep.”
I didn’t want to sleep–I didn’t want Connor to leave. I didn’t know how to say that.
I couldn’t believe that everyone had tried to desperately to convince me Connor Murphy was a bad boy–fuck them, Connor Murphy was good. He was better than everyone in this cabin combined.
He cared about me.
I caught his wrist, which froze in my grasp, but I just took his bony hand and cradled it between my hands the same way he’d done mine, tracing the lines across his palm. He sucked in a sharp breath.
“Okay,” I said, and he smiled, moving away. I let go of his hand.
“I just have to turn off the light. Get comfy.”
His retreating footsteps filled my stomach with dread, but nevertheless I unzipped his jacket and draped it on top of the blanket so that it would at least keep my feet warm. Pulling the pillow tight behind my head, I was pleased to find it sort of smelled like Connor’s shampoo as the light clicked off. It left me feeling a little more safe. Ironic, I realized. I was in the middle of a wilderness, I’d almost been abducted, my mother was downstairs ruining our family, and all I could find myself to be worried about was if Connor would be okay.
The bed dipped behind me, shocking me into stillness, surprising me even more when someone lifted the sheet and slid in behind me, a bony hand resting on my hip.
“This okay?” He asked, and I dared to open my eyes to meet his. They were unsure, nervous. He was scared I’d reject him. I nodded, scooting closer.
“It really will be okay, you know,” he assured. “Whatever you choose, I’m gonna be with you.”
“You’re amazing,” I said without thinking, but being entirely sincere. Even in the dark, I saw his eyes go wide and his cheeks tinge a deep magenta in his pale face.
“No, I’m not.”
“Yes, you are,” I assured with a laugh, reaching across the divide to poke at his side, slightly surprised to still find him shirtless. He’d withdrawn his hand almost immediately, keeping respectfully to his side of the bed. “I’d be dead without you. And you’ve supported me this whole way.”
His jaw clenched and unclenched, freeing one of his arms to pick at the wrinkled sheets between us. “I just, fuck, I knew you’d hear some shit, but I was hoping you’d be able to come out here and we could start over again, like before? Zoe started her smear campaign almost immediately. I just, fuck, nevermind.”
I watched him withdraw, turning over with his back to me, the pale plains of his back bared to me.
“Con,” I said very softly. “I don’t care what they say–fuck them,” I laughed, watching Connor’s shoulders shake. “I think you’re good, Connor, and I miss being your friend.”
I watched with bated breath as his back rose and fell with his steady breath in the cold room, his skin radiating heat. I shifted closer, crossing the divide between us. He didn’t respond.
I didn’t sleep.
I was alerted late in the day by a noise–it was daylight, I noted, the clock on the bedside table reading it was almost noon. I was groggy, still in the state between sleep and consciousness. The room was shrouded in a bright grey hue from the winter wonderland outside–it had snowed a significant amount, apparently, and the white fluff stuck hopelessly to the window.
At the foot of the bed, Connor was on his knees, pulling a navy sweater over his head. It was tight, with a stretched collar and holes at the hem, but he looked good in it. His hair was frizzed at the temples, and his eyes were wide when we saw me.
I just nodded, a little embarrassed. Part of me hoped Connor would just let last night drop, and we could continue our indifference toward each other, but most of me felt as if we had an unfinished conversation to attend to.
“Is anyone back yet?” I asked, surprised as Connor came to sit in front of me, legs crossed kindergarten style. He shook his head.
“No, actually. No one came back from their trip, and the lovebirds have miraculously vanished for a ski day. It’s just me and you.”
Connor seemed unsure for a moment, brushing his hands off on his pants. “I’m sorry, um, about last night? I should’ve asked first if it was okay to sleep next to you, I just–I know you said you missed being friends, so I thought–”
“It was nice,” I cut him off with a smile that was nearly all false bravado. “Warm. I really do miss hanging out with you.”
He pursed his lips in way of a smile. “Me too. Miss having friends, period, but you’re kinda great, so–I’ll shut up.”
Stretching, I groaned with the sensation and smiled widely at him. “We can be friends again, don’t you think?” I asked, rubbing the sleep from my eyes. When my vision cleared, he was sitting by my feet, eyes downcast.
“It’s kinda lame, isn’t it?” He asked, sending ice down my spine.
“What, I’m not cool enough for you?” I teased half heartedly, despite feeling slightly sick. If Connor left now, I’d be marooned on this island I’d made for myself, and it wasn’t ideal knowing I no longer had any allies.
“No! That’s not what I–no, fuck, I just meant. Don’t you like Zoe better?”
I shook my head. “I like Zoe–but I liked you first.”
“Yeah, I liked the Teletubbies first, doesn’t mean I prefer them to Death Cab for Cutie.”
I snorted. “Okay, I like you best. You’re both really similar, you know, but you’re kinder.”
He shot me a glare, which I supposed I’d earned. “Liar.”
“Can’t lie,” I protested. “And I like you better. Get used to it.”
He swallowed, shifting on the bed and looking at me again as if grappling to say something. His eyebrows were pinched in the middle, making him look slightly worried, small. I watched the way his mouth bowed as he opened and closed it, my eyes tracing over his soft lips.
He was pretty, I realized, in a way I wouldn’t have considered before.
“What about when you leave?” He asked softly, scratching his arm absently.
I frowned. “What about it?”
“We won’t see each other again.”
I smiled. “Connor, you just live on the other side of town. I do own a car.”
He frowned. “You’d come to see me?”
“If you wanted me to,” I answered honestly. “Or we could go do stuff. It doesn’t make me any difference–whatever you want, I’m game for.”
His eyebrows took a sharp hike into his hairline. “Whatever I want, huh?”
My stomach clenched nervously–decidedly a good kind of nervous. I didn’t realize it till he placed his hand on my ankle, grinning up at me with crooked teeth and pretty eyes, that I might’ve begun to develop a small crush on him.
Which wasn’t okay.
“This is such bullshit.”
I cackled as Connor continued to strap on his snow boots, repeatedly tripping and losing his balance in the snow.
“C'mon, it’s fun!” I protested, pulling my sock toboggan down tighter over my ears, trudging another few slow steps through the slush. Connor was frustrated, I could tell, seeing his pink nose and ears, his breaths coming out in angry puffs of smoke.
“No,” he grunted, dragging himself up the trail a few more steps. “Video games are fun. Cartoons are fun. Cheap Internet porn is fun. Dragging my frozen ass up a mountain covered in snow for ten miles is not my idea of fun, dude.”
“It’s not ten miles,” I protested, taking a seat on a mostly clean looking rock, patting the seat beside me in condolence to Connor, giving him a much needed break. He’d agreed to go outside with me at least once to take a hike, since the Murphy kids never ever wanted to do anything that didn’t involve fried food or touristy tie dye t-shirts. We’d been going for a few hours now, and the last bench had easily been miles ago. I wanted to see where the trail ended.
Part of me was scared he’d only agreed because he thought I would break. I’d surprised myself with how calm I’d been after, well, what a nightmare this trip had been. I supposed I’d be worse once my dad got back–but he wasn’t yet, so I was content to have my last moments with Connor.
“We’ve been out here for hours, man, don’t you think we should head back before it gets dark?” He whined, leaning forward on his elbows and rubbed his hands together–he had on mittens, which was probably the cutest thing I’d ever seen. Say what you want about Connor Murphy, his aesthetic was absolutely demolished once you put him in a fire engine red puffer coat.
I sighed, glancing wistfully up the trail. I’d like to finish, but Connor was right–it was getting dark, too dangerous out for us to be out here alone. He’d humored me enough for today.
Time to go back and face reality.
I just nodded, stuffing my hands in my pockets and rising from the rock, giving a decent stretch before moving forward back down the path, Connor scurrying along beside me.
“Thanks for coming,” I said again, nudging him with my shoulder. He stumbled gracefully, grinning with a subdued force that warmed me a little, before checking me back with his shoulder.
“Don’t tell anyone,” he warned, stuffing his hands in his pockets. “But it wasn’t totally awful.”
I snorted. “I won’t let anyone know Connor Murphy can feel fun.”
Biting back a smile, he nudged me again. “God, please don’t. Then they might bring me back here and I’ll have to spend another two weeks with you.”
“I’m sure I’m just killing you inside,” I teased. “How dare your parents give you unfiltered access to a teenage girl.”
“Who never wears pants around the house,” he added sagely.
“And sleeps in your bed!” I choked with laughter, the bird walking along the snow path in front of us clearing the way. “God, I can’t believe I did that. I’m sorry, I was probably awful. Did I snore?”
His mouth twisted, as if trying to look indifferent but instead just failed at smothering a smile, both corners of his lips turning in a different direction.
“Not awful,” he offered, earning an embarrassed groan from me. “No! It’s cute, like a kid, I promise. You kicked the shit out of me, though.”
“You’re kidding me,” I groaned. “I’m so so sorry! I didn’t hurt you, did I?”
“Might be some bruises,” he grinned, to my further mortification. “Hey, nah, I’m kidding. Any damage will heal. It’s kinda funny.”
I cocked an eyebrow from where I was hiding my face behind my gloves. “Seriously?”
“Yeah, don’t sweat it,” he said, reaching out to take my wrist, pulling one of my hands away from my face. He didn’t realize it, just held it, swinging stiffly between us as we walked. He held his breath for a moment before continuing, “I would’ve let you know if I didn’t like it.”
“Kinky,” I said upon reflex, earning a lazy kick to my ankle.
“You’re hilarious. I just meant you’re warm, maybe the bruises are worth it.”
I felt my face get hot, words forming in my belly, escaping before I could choke them back. “Yeah? Maybe I’ll kiss them better tonight, if Zoe isn’t back.”
He let go of my wrist like I’d burned him.
“Don’t,” he said quietly, stuffing his hands in his pockets, beginning to walk quickly ahead of me.
“What?” I screeched, frustrated.
“Don’t fake flirt with me. It’s not funny,” he spat, continuing walking too fast on his ridiculously long legs.
“Who said it was fake?” I grumbled. “I’m not making fun of you, Connor.”
There was a beat of silence, pulling at my heart with sharp claws, the dull ache starting in my chest and spreading. I’d messed up everything.
“It’s getting dark,” he growled. “And we don’t have a flashlight. Try and keep up.”
The panic set in at twilight.
We were running.
He was holding my hand again, dragging me roughly down the mountain, hoping desperately to see some kind of light pollution as the sun set, but there was nothing.
“We should see lights by now,” I told him. “We can see the lights from our cabin, we should see the lights now.”
“We went down the wrong side of the mountain,” he gasped, already out of breathe. I knew his lungs weren’t the best, and we’d been running for awhile now.
“There has to be something at the bottom,” I whispered hopelessly.
“There is,” he growled. “It’s called a gorge, then you climb the other mountain, and there’s the next state. Fuck, how did we get so turned around?”
“Doesn’t matter, Con,” I said hopelessly. “It’s gonna be dark soon.”
His dark eyes widened. “You aren’t sincerely suggesting we try to find shelter. In the middle of a national park.”
“I’ve got a flare gun and a flint,” I told him. “But we have to get back up out of the trees.”
“You want us to climb the mountain again?” He hissed, holding both my hands now. “Are you positive you don’t have signal?”
I nodded. “I’m really sorry, Connor.”
“Don’t be sorry. Start walking.”
It was an accident.
It was dark.
I had an analog watch, letting me know it was nearly nine pm. We’d found shelter just as it had started to snow–the ground here was wet, quickly freezing into ice, and we kept slipping up on the trail. I’d set off the flare an hour ago, and, so far, nothing. The snow had begun to pick up, and we’d found a alcove between two adjacent rocks–not big, about the size of a walk in closet, but enough space for us, our bags, and a pile of wood that refused to light. It kept the snow and wind off of us, and the alcove was high enough I felt safe, with a small mouth that made me feel as if at any instant we could be trapped.
It was an accident.
“The fire won’t light,” I said again, hopelessly, watching my now bloody fingers go numb from trying desperately to get the flint to do its job. I couldn’t feel them without my gloves on.
Connor, huddled in a corner, viciously rubbed his arms in an attempt to get warm. I knew the temperature would only drop from here. If someone hadn’t seen the flare….
“There’s no dry wood. I checked.”
“No, okay? Nothing. That’s it.”
I knew he was right–and searching now would only prove to be counter productive and dangerous. I moved our bags and the pile of firewood to the entrance, sealing us in.
“It’s gonna be pitch black soon,” I warned, watching Connor tap angrily at his phone. “You should probably save your battery. I don’t have a flashlight.”
He snorted. “You’ll bring sleeping bags and a flint, but not a flashlight?”
“It’s the emergency bag! I didn’t pack it, Connor. Make fun of it all you want, but it’s keeping us alive!”
There was a beat of silence, before he clicked his phone off, leaving us in darkness. “M sorry.”
I dragged out the single sleeping bag, stretching it out to him. “Don’t be sorry.” I felt guilty–it was my fault we were in this mess to begin with. “Wanna granola bar?”
“Save it,” he said in a clipped tone, unsure what to make of it since we were veiled in darkness. “We might need it later.” Then, softer: “What’s the plan?”
I heard him stand, and walk across the slick ice of the alcove, coming to stand beside me, his hand at my elbow.
“Well,” I said very slowly, feeling my throat get thick. “Survive the night, stay awake, and once dawn hits we head back to the other side of the mountain, if no one comes.”
“If no one comes,” he echoed, voice oddly hollow. I choked.
“It, erm, is very possible they think we just wandered off, you know? We’re teenagers,” I reminded gently. I left out the part the police would be less than willing to look–Connor had a history of running away after a bad binge.
“Fuck,” he growled.
It was an accident. It was quick, in the dark, we couldn’t see.
He reached our for me, his open palm colliding with the back of my head, yanking me tightly again his chest, my nose buried in his nylon puffer coat. I felt his other hand, too forcefully, at the small of my back, and I nearly screamed, terrified this was an episode I couldn’t control–
“We’re gonna make it outta here,” he breathed against my ear, his breath warm and humid against my freezing ears. It set off a light bulb in my brain. “We’re gonna go back home and–fucking shit, I’m gonna be a goddamn good friend to you and we’re gonna–fuck,” he hissed, his clipped voice breaking off. “I’m gonna take care of you, I’m not going anywhere.”
I let myself break open, collapsing against him, openly sobbing with regret. He stiffened, but just tightened his arms around me despite our bulky clothes.
“I’m sorry,” I whispered. “This is all my fault.”
“It is not,” he hissed, shaking me a little. “We had no way of knowing this would happen. The trail looked safe.”
I just nodded, knowing that arguing would tire me out. I felt the lethargy begin to creep in my bones–Connor was warm, and it was late, and we were tired. Falling asleep meant dying.
“Get out the sleeping bag,” he said, extracting himself from me, and I heard his hands scrape along the hard rock looking for the entrance. “And I’ll look for some more blankets in the bag, see if we can’t insulate–fuck!”
“What is it?” I screeched, turning, grabbing his hand to only find that my own was suddenly wet, almost sticky, and Connor pulled away with a howl. I smelled the metallic sting before I realized.
“Something cut my hand!”
“Stay away from the wall,” I warned. “Take your undershirt off, I’ll rip it up.” I felt around desperately for Connor’s phone, immediately illuminating our little cave with a blinding blue light.
The amount of blood smeared across the wall was nauseating. There was a sharp spot Connor must’ve grabbed too quickly.
He was crying, trying desperately to unzip his coat with one hand, the other dripping onto the floor.
“Fuck, I hope something doesn’t smell that,” I whispered, laying down the light and running to help him get undressed, careful of the open cut across his palm.
“I knew I was gonna get naked tonight,” he said with an unsure laugh, “I just didn’t realize it would be like this.”
My face flushed. “What, you thought I’d suck you off because we’re about to die?”
He shivered, accentuated by me ripping his white shirt down the front, exposing his blue, goosebumped skin.
“Fuck,” he hissed, and I was unsure if it was from the cold, the pain, or my foul language.
“Hope this is clean,” I muttered, wrapping a strip of his white shirt across his palm in a desperate attempt to stop the bleeding. It was a good way to get an infection, but I wasn’t sure what else to do.
“I didn’t–I wouldn’t ask you to–”
“I’m not sucking you off!”
“Fuck, I just meant–hypothermia, skin to skin, I saw it in a movie–”
The phone light clicked off. I sighed, tying off the cotton bandage.
“You wanna get naked in the sleeping bag,” I finished.
“I don’t want to!” He howled. “And not naked–just, enough to stay alive, shit. It’s gonna be negative ten out here soon, I just wanna stay alive.”
“We should hurry,” I said, surprising myself by reaching out to urge him to rub at his bare chest, earning a gasp from him. “You’re gonna freeze soon. Get your pants off.”
I handed him the sleeping bag, my breath catching as I heard his belt clink to the floor, trying very hard not to think about the implications of this. How far did he expect me to undress? And, if we did get in here, it would be ridiculously tight, we might fall asleep–
“Hurry up, this bag is an icicle with one person.”
Straightening out my bra and panties (even if we were going to die, Connor Murphy did not get to cop a feel) I felt my way to the sleeping bag.
My hand on his chest, he guided my legs one at time–one by his side, one between his knees–and gently folded me down against him, uncomfortably tight as his shaking fingers zipped the sleeping bag up.
He was breathing hard against my temple, and I immediately began to sweat–between the nylon bag and the fact I felt all of Connor Murphy pressed against my chest and stomach–it was nerve wracking.
“Don’t fall asleep,” he reminded in a hoarse voice, shaking a little. I couldn’t quite figure out where his hands were.
“Don’t get a boner,” I begged, earning a beat of silence before:
“I, uh, am–I’m really trying not to,” he groaned, and I could feel how hot his face was against my temple.
“If it helps,” I said, slightly disgusted. “You can imagine our parents kissing. That really kills my fire.”
“Ew,” he said. “Please don’t.”
I grinned. “What? You don’t want me to be your hot step sister?”
“Stop it,” he begged, making me laugh, pressing my face against the soft cushion of his hair, nosing at the column of his throat. He groaned a little, and I felt his fingers twitch beside my hips.
“I can’t believe their secret is going to die with us,” I sighed. “No one is ever going to know.”
“I can’t believe you’re lying on top of me in your spiderman panties, but that’s also happening, so you’d better believe it,” he sighed, hands twitching again.
“You can touch me, you know,” I breathed, a little embarrassed against his ear. “We’re gonna die anyway, might as well die comfy.”
“We won’t die,” he promised, his hands clasping over the small of my back regardless. “Hey,” he crooned, in a soft voice I hadn’t heard before. Encouraging. “Remember sharing a sleeping bag when we were kids?”
I laughed half heartedly, remembering fully. “The thing was always full of pixie stick wrappers.”
“It was an addiction, and I have quit,” he said sagely, earning another laugh from me. I almost joked about the pot, but part of me knew it wasn’t a funny joke. It didn’t have anything to do with him. He sighed, one finger trailing up my spine. “God, I was so in love with you.”
I froze against him, my body a live wire. His hand pulled back.
“I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have said tha–”
“Were you really?” I asked. I felt him smile, before leaning in to kiss my cheek, slowly, his dry lips lingering.
“Don’t tell me you didn’t know,” he groaned. “Zoe had me convinced you were just humoring me because you knew I’d do anything for you.”
I pulled up, as far as I could (which wasn’t much) squinting to make out his face in the dark. “That wasn’t true. You were my best friend.”
He nodded. “Yeah, I know. God, that time when you kissed me….I’m so sorry we stopped talking. I don’t think I’m ever gonna forgive myself for that.”
“Connor,” I said very softly, reaching up to tangle my hands lightly in his hair. “If we’re gonna die…can I just….”
He surged up before I could, the nylon around us snapping taunt, squeaking in protest. Up on his elbows, his bony hands found their purchase on my bare hips, and I felt the wetness through one of the bandages–his hand was still bleeding, the idiot.
His lips were dry, and he kissed much too roughly for someone who wasn’t holding my head in place, our teeth clinking together in a way that I knew was an accident, sending my skull ringing. His eyes were squeezed shut in the darkness.
I can’t believe it took us to the brink of death for him to admit this.
God, he’s an idiot.
I reached up, pulling at his hair, holding his head to mine, his tongue licking roughly up into my mouth before breaking away–
“Boner,” he warned in a squeak, earning a loud laugh from me, collapsing against his chest.
“Not even in death, Murphy, am I sucking you off on a first or last date,” I giggled against his neck, giving him a chaste kiss there, listening to him groan. His hips canted a little, scaring me, before taking a deep breath to calm himself.
“First date, huh?” I felt him grin, followed by a yawn.
“Stay awake, Connor,” I urged, smacking him hard. “Or I’m gonna twist your nipple.”
“Kinky,” he sighed lethargically. Shit, he was gonna sleep.
“Promise me this,” he sighed, nuzzling lightly against the side of my face. “If we survive the night by some miracle, and we don’t freeze to death or get eaten by bears or bleed out–you wanna kiss me again? With more clothes on? As my girlfriend?”
I leaned into his touch, tilting my head up to give him access to suck a hickey into my neck, groaning.
“Murphy, if we live, I will suck you off.”
That was the last thing I remembered.
Three days later, it’s still cold. I’m not wearing much–a blue gown with shitty pink flowers, it’s made of some kind of plasticy cotton material. There’s blood under my fingernails and bruises on my neck that are almost embarrassing when I remembered how I got them. My clothes were gone.
Connor was gone.
My mother and father were leaning over my bed, the Murphy's (minus Cynthia) are behind them. No Connor.
They explained it slowly, eyes wide. They found Connor and I nearly frozen, unconscious. Connor lost a lot of blood, they said, and he wasn’t do so well but he’d woken up several days before me.
He wouldn’t eat until they let him see me.
I’d nearly ripped out my IV to get to him.
He was wearing the same shitty hospital gown, his hair pulled back. He’s got hickies I don’t remember giving him across his collarbone that are ridiculously visible. There were purple bruises under his eyes, like he hadn’t been sleeping.
“They said you were still too sick to get out of bed,” he grinned, opening his arm, and I immediately stumbled over to the thin mattress, pressing myself tightly against him. His hand is thickly wrapped in cotton, a few tubes full of a yellow brown liquid in them. He was combing my hair–which I’m sure was a rats nest–out with his free hand.
“They said the same about you.”
“We’re really lucky, you know,” I said softly, tapping at his chest. “I almost lost you.”
“Almost lost you,” he choked out, pulling away to scan my face, before grinning. “Which would’ve sucked, because you’re my only friend right now.”
“Friend?” I said, trying hard not to sound disappointed. I supposed I shouldn’t have been–what we’d done in the heat of a moment hadn’t meant anything then. It had been a lie for my humor.
It wasn’t fair.
Connor’s eyebrows furrowed. “You, um–do you wanna be my girlfriend?”
I frowned. “I mean, only if you want me to.”
He grinned, the smile splitting across his face. “It’ll suck–your parents will hate me.”
“Right now, I kind of hate my parents, so.”
“I do a lot of pot.”
“We can do something else instead,” I grinned, nudging him, having the nerve to blush.
He licked his lips, looking down at where he’d intertwined our hands. “You–you can’t fix me, you know? I’m still gonna be, you know.”
I nodded, bring his hand up to kiss across the bloody knuckles of his good hand. “I know. I promised I’d be your girlfriend, though. A promise is a promise.”
He grinned. “I’m glad you say that–because you did promise something else.”
I shook my head, rising from the bed. “The kiss is for when we have clothes on, remember.”
Summary- Max has a new tenant. Can he win over his new
resident without her discovering his secret?
Author’s Note- We’re gonna go ahead and pretend that Juliet
doesn’t exist, which is pretty much my head cannon anyways. I love Max. I don’t
care if I shouldn’t. Lol. This will eventually be a multi chapter story.
Probably not very long and will get eventually really smutty and explicit. I’ve
had this idea running through my brain for a long time…this prompt finally gave
me the push to start. Lol. Prompt is Red Velvet from Jeffrey Dean Morgan Rarechar Content Event. This chapter is just creepy
Tag List is only people who specifically requested to be
tagged in everything I write or people who said anyone can tag them in
anything. Lol. If you are on my Sunny Days tag list and want to be on my
“everything tag list” just let me know!
Max had first seen her in a coffee shop down the way. She
sat next to the window with her laptop and latte. She looked so serene as she
watched people walk by with her brown eyes. Every few minutes she would smile
to herself and her fingers would tap furiously against her keyboard.
Occasionally, she’d pause and twirl a curl of her caramel locks or nibble on
her plump rosy lip. She never looked at him. Why would she?
He came back the next day and every day after that. She was
always there. She quickly became the highlight of his day. He watched her for 2
weeks. She was always happy and polite to those around her. He wondered who she
was and what she did. He wanted to get closer. Smell her perfume. Brush up
against her skin.
He didn’t work up the courage to speak with her until he saw
her frowning at her screen one day. He walked by and saw that she was scrolling
through a real estate site. Maybe this was fate. She was supposed to come into
his life for a reason. To give his life reason.
(Author’s Note: I started writing this on Valentine’s Day so here have some Valentine’s cuteness with Chaeng also Knock Knock came out today bye I’m gone)
“Come to the dance with me.”
You thought Valentine’s Day was a dumb holiday, with the sappy romance and cheesy gifts, but apparently no one else held the same opinion as every student in school buzzed around excitedly, looking for a date for the Valentine’s Day dance your school was throwing in celebration of the special day. When you first heard the announcement about the dance, you couldn’t help but shudder at the thought of dozens of couples together in one big room, kissing and flirting. You had no intention of going, even if someone asked you. It just wasn’t your thing.
So when Chaeyoung asked you to accompany her to the dance, you rolled you eyes. “No way,” You said firmly, not even looking up from your lunch, “the dance is a stupid idea, and I have much better things to do than be around gross, overly romantic couples. And besides, why would I ever want to go to a Valentine’s dance with you?”
I miss the feeling of being a kid all too often. I know I am still young, but there is a difference. When you’re truly a kid, everyone is your peer. Until you start to grow up and the separations begin. I noticed it first started with the gender divide, when suddenly it wasn’t cool for girls to talk about anything other than candy flavored lip gloss. Gone were the days of jump rope and hide and go seek with the neighborhood kids. Next the girls began separate themselves, multiplying into many small groups, like seventh grade political parties. I miss the valentines days in grade school when you would go to the grocery store and pick out a box of cards and candy which you gave to everyone, manila envelops taped to desks around the room. No one knew a thing about relationships back then. It wasn’t a participation trophy either–it wasn’t like that. There was no game to be played, and everyone was included. There were a lot more laughs back then.
S U M M A R Y :“ I’m sorry, I know it’s a late night… But I can’t get you off my mind. ”
G E N R E : Fluff
A soft hum had extinct the silences within the dimly lit bedroom, causing me to stir awake just a little yet not enough to make me want to answer the call. I let the phone ring until they are sent to my voicemail, however in just a few seconds my phone hums again.
Groaning, I keep my eyes close as my left-hand looks for the annoying object that had ruined the perfectly good slumber. When finding it, I automatically tap answer and place the cell near my ear;
“Hello..” Sleep could obviously be heard within my voice, however, that didn’t stop whoever was on the other line.
“Uh Hey Y/N… It’s Taehyung.”
A ‘mmmm’ is released from me when hearing his voice, “You know what time it is?”
“Yes… 11:52 AM.”
“And you know that I enjoy sleeping unless you are offering me food…”
“I know Y/N… I’m not offering you food currently but I needed to speak with you.”
Sitting up, I lean against the headboard to make myself more comfortable. While doing so, I can hear Taehyung set free a nervous-like breath of air; “First off I apologize for waking you…”
“It’s fine” I reassured him, “I just can’t get you off my mind lately… It’s like whenever I close my eyes or just enjoy the silence of my apartment — there you are in mind.”
Hearing how honest and serious Taehyung was, I was taken back a bit that he even had such thoughts about me, to begin with. Taehyung and I are close friends, he knew my secrets and I knew his. There was nothing we hidden from each other, that was just how close we were.
“Thinking about me? I-…. What do you mean?”
“Meaning, I like you. Haven’t you noticed I call you more often than usual?”
Silences, I think about it and he had called me multiple times but I can assume I had let such actions fly right over my head instead of really taking notice to it. The reason why is because I liked talking with him. Taehyung was someone you could instantly click with and just fall in love with his personality that he didn’t filter if people didn’t like it.
“Realizing that now, I thought you just wanted to hand out more.” My hand automatically rubs the back of my neck from embarrassment or maybe for being blind to not notice, “Ha well I do. I’ve noticed that you have changed me to be completely honest with you. Nowadays, I don’t go around meeting a lot of girls but I’m sure other girls are all lame and can’t really be as amazing like you are.”
His words make my heart beat a little faster while a smile is kissed upon my lips, “Meeting you has changed a lot of things for me Y/N… And right now I just want to see you so can you come over or would you like me to come over?”
“I’ll come over to you.” I was sure he could hear the joy in my voice while I had left my bed and over to dresser to find some type of clothing to make myself a little more decent from him but as if he knew, Taehyung speaks again;
“You don’t have to dress too fancy or anything. Just come in your pajamas and put some lip gloss on.”
“Lip gloss?” I chuckle a little
“I like the taste of it. Mostly the recent on you put on.”
“Ah (your favorite flavor here) lip gloss?”
“Sounds good but yes.”
Taehyung laughs a little, “I’ll make sure to wear it for you.” I tell him as I travel to the bathroom
“Great, I’ll call a cab to come pick you beautiful.” Again, another smile is kissed upon my lips yet this time the smile had become bigger at his name for me and just the thought of him as, “Okay. See you soon.”
After Taehyung said he would see me in a few, I hang up and prepare myself to see him.
When I had clean myself a bit and applied the lip gloss, I was quick to find myself outside my apartment building and mixed with the ear-splitting sounds of the city that showed no signs of sleeping anytime soon. Within a few minutes, the car pulls to the curb of the apartment building, I go to pull out money yet the driver explains to me that Taehyung had paid before hand which makes me smile even more at how sweet he is.
Thanking the driver, I dash out the car and into building — going straight for the elevator, I lightly touch number 10. A small ding and the female voice saying; “Floor ten going up.’ is heard before elevator music plays within the small space.
Luckily, no one had gotten on so the small trip gave me time to think about what I would want to say to him. The elevator stops at floor ten, getting off I walk down the narrow hall where I stop at door 210.
Knocking lightly, I could hear the sounds of him walking towards the soon and soon the sounds of chains being removed which revealed Taehyung in a pair of gray sweats and a black v-neck shirt
Before we could exchange any shy-like ‘hellos’, Taehyung pulls me in for an embrace. His tall figure towers me, as his voice vibrates when he began to talk: “I’ll make sure to treat you right.”
“I bet you will Tae,” I whisper lowly, but still enough so he can hear, “You always treat me right.” His chest vibrates against yet this time it was of him laughing at me. I could soon feel his lips kiss the top of head before he had guided me into this apartment were the night had consisted of cuddling and movies along with a few times of his lips upon mine which only began to move lower to the point I was sure few love marks would greet me in the morning but for now… I wasn’t complaining about it.
A/N : I hope this is good enough. I’m trying to base a lot of my writing off of the songs I enjoy listening to. Again I hope you enjoy and congrats for even making it this far (I didn’t read over it yet so I will have to edit it.) <3
Asriel in Super Banana Split for @sotorifico!! These colors make me think more of like, banana split flavored lip gloss than an actual banana split. But it still works.
I actually have a really hard time drawing Asriel, and the rest of the goats too for that matter. They take me like 492832858 years to draw and end up looking pretty mediocre…but with this great palette no one will notice, right?? I really liked the color selection for this one. It was fun to work with.
Summary: When Kimberly lost her eye sight, she gained something back in return and entered a world that she never thought existed.
AN: So this one has a bit more violence in this one. It has a scene where there is some blood, (not a lot) but I wanted to add a warning here as well just to be on the safe side. Also I did a little research when it came to Kimberly’s new adjustment but if i missed something, please let me know. Also if you want to give advice concerning the topic at hand it would be much appreciated.
Also another warning, there are some derogatory terms in this chapter as well.
Chapter 2: A cacophony of endless sound.
“Love is blind, and therefore not responsible for whoever she bumps into.” ― Matshona Dhliwayo
Kim took about three weeks off from school after her accident.
At least that’s what Principal Caplan ruled it after “investigating” the situation concerning Kim’s injuries on school ground. Naturally it was Amanda’s father who had tight connections with the schools board of education that convinced them not to make his daughter a person of interest. Even though Trini knew that it was Amanda and Harper that shoved Kim face first into those acidic chemicals, there was no proof to officially punish those two girls.
But Trini knew. Their smug faces, the fact that they would giggle each time they cast glances at Trini, it was all saying the same thing “We’re untouchable and there’s nothing you can do about it.” The fact that they would get away with such a horrible action infuriated the yellow ranger to know end.
She didn’t care about their history. She didn’t care about some leaked picture drama in the past. There was no excuse for blinding her best friend.
She wanted to hurt them, to tear them apart, she wanted to cause the same pain and suffering that Kimberly was going through right now. But if she did that, then she’d be lowering herself to their level.
“Kim wouldn’t want that Trini.” Jason told her one day. Right before she was about to jump them from behind. “Especially after she’s changed so much for the better. This would be letting her down”
And Trini knew Jason was right. Kimberly turned a complete 360 in her eyes. She was nicer, more open and most importantly she treated people the way that the deserve to be treated. Without judgment. She wasn’t the vein self centered mean girl that she was in the beginning. She wasn’t the bully that would send nude pictures of her friends to her boyfriend anymore.
She wasn’t that person and to do something like that would go against everything that Kim stood for. But that didn’t make Trini’s anguish or guilt go away. It just made it worse.
All she could do was sob into Jason’s broad chest as he held her trying his best to dissipate Trini’s every growing guilt. If only she never told Kim about what Amanda said and told her that she was still in the science building. Kim might still have her vision today.
Kimberly liked to watch a lot of movies. And she’d like to think that she’s watched quite a few movies when dealing with vision loss. The movies make like to romantacize things when it came to being blind. There would be a montage of someone learning to read braille, they would fly by and pick it up in a heart beat and at the end of the film the blind character would end up becoming a public figure of sorts and end up making a world changing discovery all while saving the planet and getting the guy or girl in the end and living happily ever after.
But what they don’t show is how is the struggle that a blind teenager goes through. The complete overhaul of your school schedule to fit in those important introduction to braille learning, learning how to use a cane (which kimberly hated. It just reminded her of what she lost), learning to use audio books, having an aide following you around, it infuriated her to no end.
Kimberly absolutely despised having an aide with her. She prided herself of her independence and self reliance. Having someone around assisting her felt like having a baby sitter at her age. And apparently these aides weren’t to keen in being around her. She must have scared of four different aides. The last one reduced to tears as she ran off swearing never to work with another blind kid again.
On her first day back, her friends welcomed her with open arms. Naturally everyone in her group asked how was doing. Billy was the most excited as he literally jumped into the pink rangers arms asking how she was holding up and if she’s feeling better. He was always a sweet kid.
Zack was his usually sarcastic and dark humored self. But he meant well, even if he sometimes stuck his foot in his mouth.
“Hello Kimberly! Its good to see you!” he shouted. Which earned him a grimace and laugh from the pink ranger.
“Zack. She’s blind. Not deaf.” Jason reminded the black ranger. All Zack could do was blush at his embarasing mix up and apologize. Trini was uncharacteriscially quiet throughout the greeting. If it wasn’t for Kimberly hearing her familair footsteps and picking up the scent from the lemonade flavored lip gloss she was always wearing she wouldn’t have known that Trini stuck around.
“Hey Kim.” Trini gave her friend a timid response. Still unable to look Kim in her eyes. Not that she could since the pink ranger had on her perscription sun glasses. Her pupils were still sensitive to the lighting.
“Trini…” the former cheerleader placed her hands onto the shorter Latina’s shoulders as she rubbed them gently. She knew that Trini blamed herself. She could sense the girls heartbeat changing ever so slightly whenever she was around them. And it absolutely shattered her.
“You know when I was in the hospital, you guys were the only ones that visited me. That really kept me going you know?” She looked back up to her four team mates. The same team mates that never judged her or turned their backs on her. The same team mates that turned her into a better person.
“We’re just glad you’re back Kim.” She could hear Jason’s comforting and authorative voice. “It wasn’t the same without you.”
“Yo I really dig your shades. You got the whole Agent smith thing going for you.” Zack’s joke managed to get a laugh from everyone in the group. Even the previously wordless Yellow Ranger.
“Actually it’s more like Neo.” Billy began countering Zack’s statement. “ Agent Smith’s glasses aren’t as round as yours, and your rims are thicker so-”
“Oh god…”Kimberly just shook her head and smiled. Sight or no sight they were the same goofy idiots she knew and loved. “I really did miss you guys.”
“We missed you to K.” Their leader would mirror the group’s sentiments as the five of them walked down the halls of Angel Grove High to tackle the rest of their day.
Kimberly prided herself in her ability to do things on her own. She was a quicker learner and very skilled at remembering things after being taught to her only once. Her fellow rangers could attest to that as they’d all agreed she picked up those combat skills a lot quicker than most people. She was by every definition of the term an “independent women.” Yet her first few classes in the morning were those “Special classes” (according to her mom) that would teach her the tools and skills she needed to learn for every day life. And for the first time Kim found herself struggling.
She had to relearn everything from scratch. How to read, how to compose written sentences (she’d have resources available to her for that though) even simple things like math and searching the internet had it’s own system. Something that Kim was oblivious to. It was the first time in her life that she felt alone and frightened.
And it was the first time that she realized how many things in life she took for granted. Going to the movies with her friends, watching Billy’s face light up when talking about whatever sci fi movie that was released this week (It was some kind of new Star Wars film. She wasn’t into that genre), Seeing Zack and Jason’s face light up and laugh at random reasons, and Trini.
God how she’d miss looking into those deep brown eyes of hers. She knew the Latina’s face by heart. She probably studied it so many times that she could remember it even if she was blindfolded. Which ironically isn’t that far off in her current situation. But it was the little things she also missed. Texting with the group, taking photos on her instagram account, using her smart phone, everything that she loved doing she had taken for granted.
The day she was released from the hospital she wanted to use her phone to post an update on her facebook telling everyone that shes happy to be back home only to be met with the realization that she wouldn’t be able to see the keys in order to type out the message. Hell she couldn’t even see the apps that were on her smart phone. She actually broke down in tears at that very moment knowing that her life would change forever. Her own mother could only console her distraught teenager daughter the only way she knew how. Holding her and rocking her back and worth while rubbing her back as Kim clung to her mother’s waist like she used to when she was a little girl. “You’re a Hart. Kimberly. And Hart’s always find a way to keep beating. Even if the rest of the body shuts down.” her mother would say to her whenever she doubted herself. Kimberly would take whatever comforting and encouraging words she could get.
At Lunch though most things remained the same for the most part. Billy would go on about whatever science project he was working on while Jason would warn him not to blow up anything or cause anymore fires, the young science and tech entheusiast would keep saying “it was only that one time!.” Which wasn’t true. It was multiple times. But she was happy for that small twenty minute break of normalcy in her new routine. And like always Trini would be sitting next to Kimberly.
That’s something she’ll never take advantage of again. She was so grateful that the short Latina was there by her side. What was different was that Kimberly was not only able to hear the conversations going on in her table, but she was able to hear other people’s conversations around her. The jock’s at the table laughing at a video where one of them was beating up a smaller student, the cheerleaders at their usual tables making nasty comments and slut shaming comments about other students on facebook, she was able to pick up Amanda’s hateful words about her. About how “kimberly got what was coming to her. That bitch deserved it.” and Kimberly was outside of the lunch room of all places when she heard it!
Was she going crazy or was everything just…louder? The constant noise in her head and the overwhelming of her senses was giving her a headache. She felt Trini’s hand touching her shoulder in concern. The yellow ranger must have seen Kim’s face of discomfort.
“Kim? You ok?” Trini asked. Her voice laced with worry. “Do you need to go to the nurse or something?”
“No, I’m fine.” Kim waved off the other girl’s concern rubbing her own temples. “It’s just a small headache. Really I’m ok”
“You sure kim? You don’t look so good.” It was Jason’s turn to voice his concern for his fellow ranger. “Maybe Trini is right. A trip to the nurses office might be a good thing.”
The pink ranger was about to protest until she lifted her nose towards Jason’s direction. Her sense of smell being attacked overwhelmed by whatever meat or meat like substance Jason was eating for his lunch.
“Jace what the hell are you eating?” Kim asked in disgust. Jason just looked at her in confusion as he took another bite of his lunch.
“Is that what it smells like?” The pink ranger would inquire, again scrunching up her nose in disgust. “It smells more like spam and greasy bread ugh.” She placed her hands over her own stomach as her sense of smell was attacked with the strong odor from Jason’s lunch. For kim, she never really paid attention to what her friends ate. Before her accident she never even noticed the quality of the food in the school.
But now the blind ranger’s sense of smell was not only bombarded the scent from the cafeteria but all around her. The fresh cut grass they were all sitting on, the salad dressing on Trini’s lunch, the smoke coming from the teacher’s lounge, it was pulling her sense of smell in multiple directions at once.
She never ate the school lunch before, she always brought her own organic and preprepared lunch with her to school. She never trusted the food before but after taking in a whiff of what Jason was eating she sure as hell wasn’t going to be dining down on whatever Angel Grove high was feeding their students.
“That’s because you never ate the school lunch before princess.” Zack smirked taking in a forkful of the mashed…whatever that they were serving today. “Us poor kids? We gotta go with whatever the public schooling system feeds us. Which isn’t so bad. Taco tuesdays are great.”
“I kinda like the deli sandwiches they give us on fridays. The sandwiches are always squared, and it comes with a donut from Krispy Kreme.” Billy chimed in as he took a bite from his peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It was the least offensive food item on the table. Kim however barely touched her own food. She didn’t have much of an apatite these days.
“Sorry guys. It’s just that everything smells so…strong.” The brunette just squinted her eyes trying her best to block out this new sensation she was feeling. It didn’t help knowing that the sun was shining down on her still sensitive and raw pupils. The sunglasses only could do so much.
“Hey Kim. I was thinking. Maybe we could talk to Zordon about your accident. He might be able to do fix this.” Jason suggested. His tone changing in the slightest.
Kimberly’s head snapped up at her friend’s suggestion. She never thought about it before. Zordon did come from a planet where his technology was more advanced than theirs in terms of discovery and progress.
“Yeah. I mean he’s gone some serious star trek technology going on. It’s worth a shot right?” The other rangers nodded in agreement. For the first time since her accident, Kimberly started to feel some hope. As their lunch period was coming to a close and the group got up from their seated position they were greeted uncerimoniously by a very nasally and annoying laughter. Kimberly knew who that laugh belonged to. She cringed enough times at it’s droll sound from behind her back.
“Well if it isn’t the charity case and it’s group of school Rejects.”
Kimberly flinched at the sound of Amanda’s familiar demeaning voice. The other four people in the group just glared at the resident queen bee and her entourage just surrounding them. Kim could hear Ty and Harper’s malicious laughter in the background as a crowd started to form around them.
“Hey Kim. Welcome back. I see that it’s be kind to the handicap day. And look! You got yourself a seeing eye dog! How sweet.” Amanda cooed as she batted her eyelash towards Trini. The Yellow ranger only narrowed her eyes towards her in anger in response. A mixture of giggles and murmmers surrounded the large forming group as the rest of Kim’s friends stood in defense. Jason was the first to speak out.
“Amanda why don’t you do us all a favor a leave? We’re not looking for trouble.”
“Yeah don’t you have a sugar daddy to annoy and bum pocket change off of or something?” Zack would retort. He was never as nice as their fearless leader of the group. That seem to have riled Amanda’s feathers.
“Hey Chink, why don’t you make yourself useful and take your mommy to her chemotherapy session. I hear she’s coming up towards her expiration date.”
That seemed to have worked on Zack as he looked as if he was about to Lunge towards Amanda. Girl or not nobody was about to make light of his mother’s situation. If it wasn’t for Billy and Jason holding the black ranger back and convincing him not to engage he probably would’ve lost it by now.
“Are you serious Amanda? What the hell is your problem?” Trini was starting to lose her own patience as Ty and Amanda stood directly in front of her. Blocking her path. She just glared up at the two taller bullies leaving Amanda standing face to face with Kim.
“Relax. I just wanted to welcome Kim back. So she can SEE. The warm welcome that she’s getting ” Amanda added a petty jab as she blinked her working eyes in front of the now quivering blind girl. She leaned into Kim’s ears and sneered quietly. “ After all, you know all about sending people visual aid right?”
Kim could only bite her lip at Amanda’s reminder of what she did. It wasn’t one of Kimberly’s proudest moments. And there wasn’t a day that didn’t go back that she wished she could take back what she did. A part of her even wondered if she was a nice person to Amanda, maybe the girl wouldn’t have turned out to be such a callous bitch to everyone.
“By the way. Nice shades Kim! Still managing to stay fashionable even after your blunder I see. What are these Prada?” Amanda snatched the glasses off of Kim’s face. For any normal person they would barely feel anything other than some embarassment, but with kim’s accident being recent it felt like someone was pouring scalding hot water into her eye sockets. Kimberly screamed in pain as the harsh sunlight came in contact with her still weakened pupils.
She clenched her eyes shut covering her scared frontal face with her own hands. The endless noise of disgusted yelps and laughter filling her ears pumling her ear drums mercisly. “amanda did you see her eyes? They’re white as hell! God her scars are so gross” She could hear harper and Ty’s laughing as Trini and the rest of the group was trying to break free.
“That’s enough Amanda!” Jason yelled as he and Zack tried to advanced towards her only to be blocked by a group of his own former peers from the football team. Trini tried to break free of Ty and Amanda’s grasp. Even Billy who was usually the calmest of the group had to be held back by Amanda’s entouage. Amanda just walked up to Kimberly who still had her eyes shut. Tears were already starting to leak from the pink ranger’s defective eyes.
“Don’t think I’m gonna take it easy on you just because you’re handicap Hart.” Amanda sneered one last time before violently shoving Kimberly to the ground. “You gotta watch where your going Kim. You really should try to see what’s in front of you.”
Amanda gave one last spiteful laugh before throwing the ranger’s sunglasses down onto the ground. As Kim fell to the dirt her head came in contact, even in her muddled state of mind, her senses were still in overdrive, Trini yelling Kim’s name as she rushed towards her along with her other friends, the sounds of footsteps rushing towards her, the heat coming from the mass of bodies surrounding her, as she drifted off into the darkness, the blood from the cut on her head spilling out of her wound the only thing running through her mind was the endless echos and vibrating sound that would never cease.
AN: I know I ended this chapter in a bit of a downer. But I wanted to set this up for something much more extraordinary in the upcoming chapters! It’s definitely gonna take a much more intense spin. At least I hope it comes across that way. lol
could you maybe do the date-night wear preferences for the men of Bleach too? I loved the Naruto one! what does kenpachi wanna see?? :D
this is kinda pt. 1–the good guys, i can do our baddies if you guys likeeee
you have no hope of pleasing Yumichika on your own, just let him pick out your damn outfit. same applies for Shinji.
however, you could wear a potato sack and Shunsui would think you look bangin’
Byakuya and Toshiro, like some others before, love a fine kimono, it’s just flattering and they love the look and feel of silk (both are apt to share a good deal of their money to keep you stocked with tons of rich, lovely silks.)
Ikkaku, like most of the men of the 11th, both past a present (lookin’ at you Renji) have a weakness for provocative clothing, although they enjoy seeing you in their clothes just as much. Yasochika also quite likes the revealing looks, but he would never admit to it. (what can they say, if you have pinups on your wall for a couple centuries you start to like it)
Iba, Jushiro, Chad, Rose, and Love love a classic but fresh “done up” look. that outfit that makes you feel like a million dollars, a swipe of that berry flavored lip gloss that make your lips look dreamy. that outfit that just makes you shine, whether it’s a ratty t-shirt or a hundred dollar dress.
Kira is a huge emo, so anything black really. be they shinigami standard uniform or a new dress, he thinks the color is quite striking. hardcore punk Shuhei can agree, but on occasion he does like to see you in pastels.
Akon and Mayuri would like to see you in your required protective gear. like seriously, did you not learn anything about lab safety? put the rubber gloves on.
Mizuiro is also a bit of a sucker for “Insta-girl” style and you can expect him to be sliding into your DMs soon
Hanataro, Keigo, Uryu like soft, spring looks, flowy-y dresses, soft colors, fun and light patterns.
honestly, Ichigo is really a jeans and tshirt kinda guy, something easy. he also lends you a couple of his own tshirts so you are never without.
Kensei and Kenpachi both really favor sensible styles. while they can appreciate a nice tight dress every now and then, it is just much more practical for you to wear an outfit that is comfortable and doesn’t hinder you from movement. but the blood of your enemies will also work
Hi! So i dunno if you saw those cute funny videos of gfs contouring their bfs face while they're asleep. How would the RFA+v+saeran boys react of mc's beautiful makeup skills?
Yes, I have and it’s so funny omg I love this idea xD
( Saeran and V’s headcanons contain spoilers! )
This boy will be very confused & sleepy when he wakes up and will have zero idea why MC is giggling softly at him
He’s most likely a heavy sleeper, so wouldn’t have woken up until she was completely done making him over
MC would probably just hold up a small handheld mirror to show him
His eyes would immediately get real wide
“Is that…me?? Why am I wearing makeup??”
Stares at himself for a while and probably gingerly touches his face a little bit to make sure
Then the boy starts blushing and it looks silly because he looks like a strawberry, since his real blush is making the makeup blush darker
Real stutter-y and cute
MC would tell him he looks pretty
EXTREME BLUSH MODE ACTIVATED
He’s embarrassed, but also impressed because he does look pretty
Ends up smiling about it and admiring his gf’s handiwork a little more
Doesn’t take it off till he goes to sleep later that night
I imagine that Zen’s not exactly a heavy sleeper, but he’s not a light sleeper either
Would probably wake up halfway through the makeover process
MC would freeze and be like “oh shit” when she sees his eyes open; she just sits real still with the makeup brush still in her hand
Zen, of course, knows about this trend since he’s on social media a lot and is super excited it’s finally happening to him??
All smiles and grins until he realizes MC wasn’t even done doing it yet
He apologizes before offering to let her continue
Sits on the edge of the bed and is very still as she finishes up his makeup (this boy’s used to this kind of thing, being an actor and all)
When she’s done, he’ll admire himself in the mirror for a while
Definitely 100% without a doubt takes a bunch of selfies and may or may not post them to the messenger to brag about how wonderful his girlfriend is
Leaves the makeup on for a few more hours, but ends up taking it off earlier because he’s worried about his pores getting clogged
Makes sure to shower MC with lots of kisses and cuddles to show how much he appreciates her
Leans more towards the light sleeper spectrum, but not too light, so MC would be really careful doing his makeup because honestly she doesn’t know how Jumin will react
Every time he stirs MC stops what she’s doing and lays down to pretend to sleep just in case he wakes up
It’s going well until the lipstick because MC’s kissed him while he was asleep once before and he woke up straight away like sleeping beauty (he loves being woken up with a kiss, and loves doing it to her too)
When the lipstick starts going on, he instinctively moves his lips to “kiss” MC back, but really he just messes MC up and she smears the lipstick a little
His eyebrows furrow and his eyes flutter open
“MC…what are you doing?”
Sees the lipstick and then registers she must have put it on him
MC explains what she did and why and he’s still confused but is curious to see himself
Other than the lipstick smear, it looks pretty good and he actually smiles a little and says it’s impressive she managed to get that much done without him waking up
Straight up asks to see her eyeliner for a moment and MC is like ??? okay?
He draws a shaky cat nose and whiskers on MC and finds it really cute
Tries to take a picture with her but it turns out blurry and MC takes it instead
It’s his new phone background (what a cutie im ;;~;;)
Light af sleeper because this boy barely sleeps anyway
Needs to be ready for work at any and all times so he wakes up at the slightest sound or nudge
Wakes up the moment MC starts doing his makeup, but doesn’t open his eyes because he’s cross-dressed before and totally recognizes the feeling of the brushes she’s using
He’s gonna pretend to sleep and really sell that shit; lots of fake half-snores and moving around
When he “wakes up” he looks at her and grins
“So…how do I look~?”
MC giggles “Very pretty. Do you want to see?”
Gets the mirror and holds it up in front of him
!!!!! whoa his gf’s makeup skills are amazing !!!!
He’s pretty good himself with makeup, but loves the way she does it more
Will ask her to do his makeup for when he cross-dresses from now on
Probably gets into his maid outfit and wig to show off in front of her and show her how good the makeup looks with the outfit
Lots of fun and laughs <3
Medium sleeper probably, leaning more towards the heavy sleeper spectrum (boy loves his naps; also I like the idea of the twins being opposite types of sleepers lol)
MC would probably make his makeover more on the “edgy” side, rather than cutesy (so, like, probably smokey eye and such)
He moves and twitches a little every now and again
When she’s doing his blush, the brush tickles his nose slightly and makes him sneeze
Boom! He’s awake and jumps slightly because he literally just scared himself awake by the sound of his sneeze
Sees MC with the makeup stuff and sits up, glancing over at the mirror on the wall and his eyes go real wide
Without taking his eyes off the mirror, he gets out of bed and walks over, looking like he’s in a trance
Stares at himself a good long while, all silent
MC’s internally worried at this point like did she break him or something
“I look badass.”
whut omg he likes it?? (just like his brother lololol)
Takes some #edgy selfies and also kind of curious as to how a different style, but is honestly too shy to ask
So he takes a lot more naps just hoping maybe MC will do it again
She catches on and does and he’s smiling softly afterward (he’s prECIOUS)
Weirdly a heavy sleeper?? This man’s like sleeping beauty and won’t wake up unless his body’s telling him it’s time to
MC uses pastels on him because it would look very pretty with his hair and eyes
Gets through the whole process without him stirring at all (he looks so peaceful and it’s really cute)
Looks really pretty in makeup and MC can’t wait for him to wake up so she can see what it will look like when he opens his eyes (for the sake of this hc, I’m going to assume this is a version of V who did go through with the surgery to fix his eyes)
When she’s done, she legit has to wait because he won’t be waking up for another half hour probably
Doesn’t want to shake him awake because it might make him think something’s wrong
He wakes up normally a little later and smiles at MC, telling her good morning
She’s smiling more than normal and giving him a different look, so he asks if something’s up
MC tells him she did his makeup and he blinks and lets out a soft laugh
“Really? Let me see, then.”
MC gets a mirror and shows him and he’s smiling and looking at her handiwork
Is amazed at how good it looks and honestly finds it amusing he didn’t wake up during all of that
Thinks it’s cute that she did it and probably gives her a few kisses (which taste really good because she used strawberry-flavored lip gloss on him)
This is a master list of my fan fiction. I try to keep this
up to date but it’s not always possible. If any link does not work, please let
me know so that I can get it fixed as soon as possible. My ask box is always
open so I should be easy to connect with—or at least I try to be.
The works are organized by story length, which is determined
by the count on FF or by Word.
These are stories that do not yet have a final word count.
Title: Thunder Chasing The Wind
Quote: “That you did.” She leaned her body against his as their feet sank into
the sediment. She bit her lip as she felt his hands on her, “Now what are you
going to do with me?” She covered his hand with hers, guiding it to her hip.
Title: The Story of Us
Quote: He moved in front of her, taking her face in his hands, forcing their
eyes to connect, the smile spreading across his lips, “Maya is like a sister to
me. I’ve never had a romantic notion about her.”
Title: To Be With You
Quote: Zay felt her lips on his, the peach lip gloss flavoring the kiss, he
deepened it. This was what had been missing from his life, this is what he
50,000 words or more
Title: Follow You Down
Pairing: Rucas, Wylex, Charlie/Maya, Corpanga, Farkle/Sarah
Quote: “Just go home to your wife, go in the backdoor as always yell out Honey,
I’m Home or whatever cheesy thing I know you do.”
Title: Dance in the Rain
Quote: “If I don’t marry you, I don’t marry anyone.” Riley looked to him,
watching him it was obvious he was trying to avoid looking at her. “I love you
Lucas, and I am going to do whatever it takes to prove that to you, for you to
trust me again.”
Title: Wedding Weekend
Quote: “I was pledging my fraternity, and they had a pet goat, Siobhan. I had
to take care of her.”
Title: Let Me Be
Quote: “You’re here for more than that, and you know it Lucas, you know it
here.” Her hand dropped down to cover his beating heart, “You also know you’ll
do anything I ask of you, so you know that it’s not worth fighting about this.
I’m coming to Durango, and when Dominic is finally arrested, you can decide if
you hate me or not.”
20,000 to 49,999 words
Title: Oh, What a Night
Quote: Lucas sighed, “Do all New York girls just disappear into the night like
they’re some sort of magical pixie?”
Title: A Christmas Wish
Quote: “Are you okay, I can’t believe the horse got spooked like that, Jasmine
is normally so calm.” He caressed her face lovingly, “What else besides your
omg back when i was younger i ate lipgloss. Like lipsmackers, you know? i didnt just lick it off my lips. I squeeze the tube into my mouth and sucked. Or if it had one of those gloss applicator sticks id suck on that. Id get in trouble for it a lot
Yooooo I used to eat lipsmackers too, but the lip balm!! I’d just bite the whole thing off ^^; I don’t think that was pica though, for me it was bc most of them were food scented lol
(On a side note, remember when lipsmackers lip balm/lip gloss was like…..the obsession of the century?? Lol the birthday cake flavored lip gloss was like the holy grail of all of them for me, one of my friends had one and I was so jealous ^^;; )
"If you were a flavor of lip gloss, what would you be?"
“The kind that, once you press your lips against them, it leaves you wanting more. The kind that will linger on your own lips even after I’m away and will leave you wanting to seek for more than just a mere taste. What flavor is it now? Well, if I answered that then where is the fun in finding out for yourself. I’ll make sure it will be long lasting too, so that way you know that I’ll always be waiting for you to come find me.”