Summary; If it’s just a game, then I like the way that we play.
Warnings; NSFW. Body painting leading to smut. Smut for smut’s sake. Here be no plot. Latex free.
A/N; Found this little gem saved in my
documents from months ago because I forgot about it. Heathens!Tyler is a work in progress. Thinking next week.
You know what to do fam. Leave me some noise and kisses.
Pardon me for asking this, but... have you considered drawing galra babies or babies that go with your favorite ships? Ive always wondered what galra babies would look like, cute and fuzzy, quiet even 💕 That would be so cool. Btw, love your art and drawings, keep up the good work 😁👍
Yeah boi, though still in my wip folder.
who is this kit? it’s a mystery~
I have designed babies for corandwich (tiea and seren) and for thoran (the twins).
In the world where after dicking around Ancient Egypt, Kaiba came back and brought Atem with him. Getting him kitted out by his tailor (she always has the decency to pretend she’s been in weirder situations):
Tailor: I must say, that young man has the body of a god.
Kaiba: You have no idea how true that statement is.
I let out a long sigh after checking my phone for what seemed like the hundredth time in the past five minutes. It wasn’t anything fancy really. Just a beat up flip phone that had been in my family for what I assumed was generations. Playing with it did help with my nervous energy but now I was exhausted. Was he really not going to show up? I checked through my texts again, hoping to see one from him, but alas, there was nothing.
The restaurant that we had chosen was nice enough, not too overdone. It had a modernish rustic kind of feel to it. But most importantly it didn’t require me to wear a dress and that’s really what counted. I’d dressed up in a white crop top with black and white striped flowing pants paired with my favourite choker and sunglasses. The outfit was perfect for a hot summer day, but now as evening quickly approached, a chill began to set in the air.
Fiddling with the neatly folded napkins was a nice way to ignore the pitying glances of those around me. I flipped my phone open again. 6:01. I gritted my teeth. As much as I tried to fight it, I was getting annoyed. Like spit at your feet and flip you off kind of annoyed. Out of the corner of my eye I can see the same kindly waitress who has asked my order twice in the past hour already. This time I was debating on just getting a takeout and taking a cab home.
“Would you like to order now, miss?” A knowing glint was in her eyes. I smiled thinly at her, hands in a death grip around the water glass as I brought it to my lips. “You know what, thank you for asking Theresa, but I think I’ll just leave.” That’s right. I’d been here so long I even knew her name without needing to glance at the silver tag clipped at her chest. “Why don’t you get something to take home first, dear?” she suggested. “It’s on the house.”
This time my smile was genuine. “Thank you,” I said. I knew what I wanted without even looking at the menu. I’d spent my first hour waiting here memorizing it. If they needed a new waitress I was sure I would get the job without even blinking. “I’ll have the chicken fettuccine alfredo, please.” Theresa scribbled it on her notepad then looks up to smile at me. “I’ll be back in a few minutes, you just wait right here.”
“It’s not like I have anything better to do,” I mutter as she walks away. I sighed again, this time at the irony of that statement. Thankfully the wait for my food wasn’t long. Theresa handed me the bag. I thanked her again and rose from my seat hoping to scurry out the door without anyone staring at the miserable girl who’s date didn’t come. It wasn’t working. I could feel hundreds of pairs of eyes on me. My cheeks heated in anger and embarrassment. Perhaps I would use my time while eating to plot how I would make him pay for this. Ignore his texts all week maybe. Or I could post an embarrassing photo of him and tag all our friends. Hmm, so many options.
I was so caught up in my revenge plot that I didn’t even notice the boy who has sunk into the set across from me in the booth giving me an apologetic smile. He shook out his leather jacket and placed it beside him. “Sorry I’m so late, babe, traffic is crazy right now,” he says loudly enough for the whole room to hear. My eyes must be as wide as saucers as I gape at him. “I’m Cal, by the way. Just go with it, yeah? Whoever didn’t bother to show up is a complete dick,” he quietly adds. I force myself to relax for the eyes still watching us. I guess I had to go along with whatever the hell this was. My hand tightened on my bags, prepared to bolt if this stranger was really just a jerk who thought picking on me would be funny. Relax, breathe. “Of course, I understand. But you’re here now and that’s all that counts,” I say smoothly, fighting to keep my voice from shaking. What the hell kind of situation was this? I cursed in my head. Trouble seemed to trail me wherever I went. My response silences the whispers and giggles. The words sounded warm and charming though I felt anything but.
Say something else Mare, the poor fool is just sitting there looking at you. Oh right. “I’m Mare. Mare Barrow,” I introduce myself to this odd stranger. Well odd was one word for him. Another was jaw-dropping. Stunning. Hot. It was unfair how attractive he was with that glossy black hair in a messy bed head kind of style that suited him paired with warm amber eyes that looked like flickering flames when they hit a certain light. He had a nice stubble along his cheeks and chin and was dressed in a casual green sweater and blue jeans with his brown leather jacket. His lips curled into an amused smile when he noticed me checking him out and I blushed furiously. Something about him was oddly familiar and I couldn’t put my finger on it.
“Don’t be embarrassed about it. If we’re being honest, I was checking you out too,” he says nonchalantly. Under the table I pinched myself just to make sure that I was awake and that this wasn’t some crazy dream. But it wasn’t. This was a crazy reality which was even worse. What’s so bad about being on an unplanned date with a hot guy? a traitorous voice inside my head whispered. Well, I couldn’t argue with that logic. Cal settles into his seat looking strangely relaxed. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if he put his feet up on the table. He casually sips on some water while I gawk at him. “Well,” he sighs, “I suppose you have some questions.” “Umm, yeah?” I say in an its so obvious tone.
“What’s your full name?” He purses his lips at that one. I can’t hep but feel slightly suspicious at his reaction. “Okay, you caught me. My real name isn’t Cal, it’s–” he hesitates, silent laughter dancing in eyes. “It’s technically Tiberias Calore the Seventh, but that’s kinda long so people just call me Cal.” He seems nervous while speaking and it take everything I have to not burst out laughing. I didn’t know why his nervousness was so endearing to me. “What about you Miss Barrow? Is that your real full name?” he asks me. Cal rests his chin on his hand while observing me.
“It’s Mare Molly Barrow, but I mostly ignore the middle part,” I confess, shrugging. "Second question, what are you doing here and why are you helping me?“ He grins at me, waggling a finger. "Nuh uh, that’s two questions.” I roll my eyes. “Well I as going to ask you sooner or later, and may I remind you that you’re the one who jumped in on my non-existent date, so I get to ask the questions here how I like.” Cal doesn’t seem fazed by my response at all, in fact, based on his expression that he approved it. Like he was expecting me to bite back.
“I expect no less from you,” he says, that same infuriating yet adorable mischievous smile plastered on his lips. Goddammit Mare, stop staring at his lips. Once I register his words I feel my face scrunch up in confusion. “Expect?” I repeat, dumbfounded. “Do I know you?” He chuckles at my confused expression. I narrow my eyes at him, hoping to place his face. I knew I recognized him, but from where? He lets me puzzle it out, watching and sipping on his water all the while. A one-night stand perhaps? Nope, I didn’t do those. A friend of a friend maybe who I didn’t remember? “I’ve got nothing,” I finally sigh.
“We used to go to the same high school,” he shakes his head in mock hurt. “I can’t believe this. You don’t remember me.” He has to be lying. There was no way that I could forget someone that attractive. “When did you graduate?” I ask him, watching carefully for any sign of a lie. “Last year. I was captain of the senior football team,” Cal says, this faraway look in his eyes, like he was reliving it in his mind’s eye. Perhaps he was.
A faint flash of a memory flitted across my mind. I was up in the bleachers with Kilorn watching as a game took place below. It was my first time going to such an event, and all I remember was wanting to go home. I didn’t even notice when the captain scored thee winning goal, but I pretended to cheer along with everyone else. I was sophomore when he graduated which is likely the reason I didn’t remember him much, other than that. "How did you recognize me?“ I ask him, suddenly aware of the thought. Was he a stalker or something? Or just really good at remembering people?
He notes my tense posture and his face softens. "You don’t need to be afraid of me, I’m not going to hurt you.” I don’t relax. His jaw clenches and he gives me a strained smile. “How could I forget the girl who spray painted the principals car?”
My shoulder stiffen in surprise at his words. Ever so slowly my lips part into a smile and I laugh. Cal watches me, smiling as well. It was genuine, soft crooked smile that tugged at my heart. “Oh my god I can’t believe you remember that,” I groan, hiding my face between my hands to conceal the red blush flaring on my cheeks. Slowly, softly, he takes my hands in his and I stare at him. He blushes as well at my struck expression. “Sorry, I just…I think your blush is…” He fumbles with the words, tripping over them. “You look really beautiful and I–” He stops when he sees my wide eyes. “Ugh that came out wrong, sorry–” he says, looking very much like he would love nothing more than to crawl into a hole and stay there. “You don’t need to apologize,” I tell him softly. He smiles hesitantly. “And thank you.”
“I’d always wondered why you did it,” he muses. “That’s what puzzled me about you.” I stare at him in wonder. I had no idea that he’d even knew my name, much less thought about me often. “I’ll tell you if you answer my questions and stop avoiding them,” I say. “Alright,” he agrees. “I came to visit my friend on his first day of work here. I hoped to see him, but I haven’t, which probably means that he’s doing a terrible job at this and I need to yell at him.” “But,” he adds, “I’m sure his boss has that covered.”
“Secondly, I came over here because you looked sad and slightly pissed. Well actually, more pissed than upset,” he laughs. That fades as he turns serious. “But I heard people whispering and…” He looks down, fiddling with something. I had a feeling he was trying to avoid my gaze. “The things they were saying were terrible, so I thought maybe I could help out this girl that they were talking about.” I wasn’t sure I was breathing normally anymore. It caught in my chest and squeezed painfully. I knew people’s opinion shouldn’t matter to me, and it didn’t, but I couldn’t stand the whispers. It reminded me too much of sophomore year when hushed words would follow me wherever I turned. They thought I couldn’t hear them, but they were wrong. Look, it’s the troubled girl who spray painted the principals car, one person would whisper, and another would accompany it. I heard she did it on purpose. Why would someone do that on purpose? Someone would snort. Because they’re stupid and lack a brain, another responded.
“Then I saw you, and I recognized you. You were sitting there and I thought that whoever didn’t show up was a total ass,” he scoffs. “That ass is my ex, by the way,” I say, tilting my head at him. He flushes. “Sorry for the language.” His brow furrows slightly. “You were meeting your ex?” he asks, confused as to why someone would even do such a thing. “No, but he is now,” I clarify, shrugging. He laughs and that same heart-wrenching grin returned.
“So, I’ve answered your questions. Now it’s your turn to answer mine.”
I nod. Fair enough.
“I did it because for some idiotic reason I wanted to get suspended. Teenage rebellion, I guess,” I joke halfheartedly. The truth was I did know why I did it. That was around the time Tramy had been leaving to follow in Bree’s footsteps and join the military. I had been so angry at everything and everyone. My parents tried to console me at first, but then they would get exasperated, my mother most of all. And that hurt. Everything had come crashing back, my bitterness of being the shadow to my sister, the pretty, sweet talented sister that I could never live up to, the anger of never being seen by my parents as nothing more than nuisance though I knew deep down that it wasn’t true. They loved me in their own way. Only Shade could put up with me, and he was my first friend as well as my older brother.
I’d poured all of that emotion into that stupid action, hoping to get back at my parents somehow, show them that they were right. I was the only the bitter shadow they thought me to be. I struggle to keep the tears in as I explain this all to Cal who patiently listens to me without interrupting. When I finish, he stands up and my heart sinks. He was going to leave, my story had scared him off.
Instead of running off as I expect him to, Cal slowly reaches out to touch my shoulder, his eyes holding a silent question. I nod once and he comes to sit beside me. Cal wraps his arms around me, and I lean on his shoulder, pressing my face into his broad arm. He brushes my hair back from my face and I bite my lip. We stay like that for a while in comfortable silence. I even spot Theresa giving me a wink from across the room, and I try to stifle my laugh.
“I should go now,” I say quietly at last, shattering the silence that had wrapped us both. “What time is it?” He takes out his phone from his pocket and I note that it’s the newest model. Thank goodness I’d asked him first so he wouldn’t see my flip phone that dated back to prehistoric times. “It’s 8:51, he informs me.” I jolt and jump of my seat. Cal’s face contorts in worry. “What is it?” “I was supposed to be home by seven, or at least call my parents,” I explain breathlessly, quickly gathering my things. Don’t panic, don’t panic, I chide myself. I scrambled through my purse for my bus pass, letting out a cry of frustration when I come up empty handed.
“Hey, calm down,” Cal urged. “I’ll give you a ride back, no big deal.” That stills me. “You…you’d drive me home?” He smiles softly. “Of course.” The words sooth me, but only slightly. I didn’t want him to see where I lived. Our sorry excuse of an apartment flashed through my mind. I would have to get him to drop me a couple of blocks ahead then walk the rest of the way. “Thanks, again.” He shrugs. “No problem.”
We head out together. I shiver when a cold gust of wind sweeps across me, and I wrap my arms around myself in an attempt to keep my teeth from chattering. Cal shrugs of his jacket and hands it to me. I stare at it then him. “Aren’t you cold?” I inquire. He shakes his head. “I don’t get cold often strangely enough.” I accept the jacket and put it on.Thankfully it was lined to keep out the cold but thee fit was much too big. I looked like child playing dress up. Cal’s eyes widen when he looks down at me and I suddenly feel self-conscious. “What, what is it?”
He looked slightly dazed. “Nothing’s wrong.” I struggle to cross my arms due to the bulky jacket. “Tell me the truth.” Cal sighs. “You don’t let anything go, do you?” “Nope,” I said, popping the p. "Alright, I was thinking that the jacket looks better on you than it does on me,“ he confesses. Stunned, I don’t say a word. I can only follow him to his car hoping that the darkness would conceal my blush. It was unfair really how flustered he often made me.
My jaw almost drops at the sight of his car. It was gorgeous. Like I’d date it kind of gorgeous. It was a shiny red Volvo trimmed and plated with chrome, shined to perfection. I would bet that it looked even better in daylight. Cal glances at me, enjoying my look of awe. "What are you thinking right now?” he asks. Fine. It was a fair question after all. “I’m thinking that like to date your car,” I tell him. He huffs, amused. “Sorry, but she’s mine.”
"Who said it was a she?“ I counter playfully. "I fixed her myself. I think I would know,” he responds with a wide smile. “Ugh, gross!” I exclaim, smacking him in the chest. I can feel his laugh reverberate in his chest, and I pull my hand away after I realize that it’s been there too long. He catches it deftly and links his fingers with mine. I inhale sharply. He doesn’t pull away once we settle into our seats and neither do I. He asks for my address and I instruct him where to go seeing as he wasn’t familiar with the area. We pass through the tall buildings which slowly level out to townhouses. I knew that they formed the border that separated my side of town from the nice part of the city
“Turn here,” I point. He obliges and we pass through the neat row of houses. 227, one of them reads. “This is it,” I say, hoping he won’t notice the lie. The house was close enough to the edge that it wouldn’t be a long walk on this chilly night. I begin to shrug off the jacket when Cal stops me. “Keep it. As I said, it looks much better on you anyway.” I stare at him in disbelief, the jacket still hanging loosely around my elbows. He fixes it so that it rests on my shoulders and fastens a few of the buttons. I sit there and study him as he works.
“It was nice talking with you,” I say, slightly breathless at his proximity. He looks up and stills as well, suddenly realizing the same thing. The moment felt suspended as if hanging by thread that could fray and snap at any time. I couldn’t think of anything except how beautiful his eyes were. They reminded me of warmth, of autumn. I wasn’t entirely sure he was breathing anymore as he touched my cheek lightly. With his other hand, he raises my own to his lips and presses a kiss to the back. “It was nice talking to you too,” he whispers.
As I start to pull away, he keeps a gentle grip on my hand and I turn back around. “Yes?” I ask him, just as unwilling to let go. “I–” he stutters. “I have one more question for you that I forgot to ask earlier.”
“What is it?”
“I was wondering,” he says softly, "if you would like to go on a real, actually planned date with me.“
I knew I didn’t even need to think about it. I was sure of my answer.
I smile at him, broad and without restraint. "Yes, I would love to go on a planned date with you.”
He lets out a relieved laugh. “Good.” Cal looks at me almost shyly. “I’ve never been on an actual date.” I pat his hand reassuringly. “You’ll do great, I’m sure of it.” “I hope so,” he replies.
“Just show up in that car and you’re set.”
He laughs again. “Noted.”
We exchange our numbers and I’m careful to keep my phone hidden but he spots it anyway. "Don’t be embarrassed. If it’s any consolation, I think it’s pretty cool. They don’t even make them like that anymore.” I roll my eyes fondly. “Of course. Only a dork like you would notice that.”
“I confess, I am a bit of a nerd,” he smiles teasingly and my heart flutters.
As I walk the rest of the way home I can’t stop the infectious grin that worms its way onto my face. My heart felt light like I would float away at any moment. Is this what you were supposed to feel like after a date? I’d never felt that way with my ex. Internally I sigh at the thought of having to break up with him. I’d do it in person. I could do that much.
When I finally get home, mom and dad sigh in relief when I find them at the kitchen table with Gisa. “Where have you been?” She demands. Sometimes I felt like she was more like a mother than my actual mom was. “Calm down. My date wasn’t showing up and I bumped into an old friend from high school and we lost track of time–”
“What do you mean lost track of time,” my dad growls. I sigh heavily. “Calm down dad it wasn’t like that. We just talked.” “That’s what they all say,” he mutters under his breath
.“We’re glad you’re home, darling. Next time, please give us a warning,” mom says tiredly.“I know, I know. Sorry mom,” I sigh again.“Next time?” Gisa huffs. “There will be no next time young lady. Now go to your room.” I crack a small smile at her adult behavior. “Alright, fine,” I concede.
“Wait, where’s Shade?” I ask them. Mom and dad glance at each other while Gisa plays with her hair. “He went out to look for you,” she explains. “We– we thought that something had happened and–” I hold up a hand and she stops speaking. “I got it. Seeing as I’m not dead, you should probably call him and tell him that I’m home.”
Mom jumps to her feet. “Of course, how could I forget.” She practically trips over himself to get to our old home phone. I leave them to it and go to my room. Once I shut the door, I climb into my bed, inhaling the smoky scent of the jacket. It smelled just like him, and I lie there with a stupid grin at the thought of seeing him again.
This reality cuts across my mind like a wound whose edges crave to heal, but cannot. Thus, one of the great sins, perhaps the great sin, is to say: It will heal, it has healed, there is no wound, there is something more important than this wound.
Whittaker Chambers, from a letter to William F. Buckley, Jr., featured in a journal entry from As Consciousness Is Harnessed to Flesh
“Look at me. (Y/N), look at me right now!” Tate raised his voice. My vision is clouded by the build up of tears. I glance up at Tate. His eyes darker than the darkest of darks. He makes the gesture of placing his hand against my cheek but I flinch away in fear.
“Tate,” I hesitate on my words due to the amount of restraining from crying I’m containing. “I-”
“I love you too.” he says almost instantly.
“Yes, Tate, I love you but I have to go-”
“No, (Y/N), please. Don’t leave me. Please stay. Stay with me,” he begs. Once again making the gesture to caress my face, I give in and trust him. He brushes his lips against mine. “Tate, I don’t have a choice. I’m sorry, I have to go…” a tear slipped from my eye and dropped onto Tate’s shirt. He shook his head from side to side. He shoves his hand into the pocket of his jeans and pulls out a bottle of prescription drugs and a plastic bag of another substance of drugs. I narrow my eyebrows. He nervously pops the bottle open and spills the pills into his hand.
“We can be together forever. Just you and me. In this house forever. We can grow old together and be happy-”
“You want us to commit suicide?” Yes, the idea has come across my mind quite frequently and I’ve attempted it once before but I never actually wanted it to be intentional. I really do love Tate and I don’t want to leave him here. He is the darkest light in my darkness. As much as that doesn’t make sense, it’s true. I’m attracted to the darkness and that’s what he is. I’m scared of him. He scares me and I love him for it. He’s a psychopath and I’m crazy in love with him. I’m crazy for him as he is for me. “Yeah, you know what? Okay, I’ll do it.” I nodded my head and took the bag from his hands. His nervous smile turned into a smile that was unexpected for him. A real smile.
“I’ll run the bath…” I notified him and left the room. Stepping foot outside of my bedroom and bolted down the hall and down the stairs as fast as I could.
“MOM!” I’m panicking. “DAD! WHERE ARE YOU?!” I’m running and I’m panting. My lungs feel as if they’re shrivelling up as my breathing becomes hitched. I bust through the front door and struggle to open the gate that guides the house. I make a run for it down the street. “SOMEBODY HELP!” I run and I-
“(Y/N),” Tate sighs. I look around. I’m back in my room.
“What the hell?” I rush back downstairs and through the front door, leaving the house again.
“(Y/N)!” Tate says my name once more as I find myself back in the house.
“No, no, no!” I try to leave again. I come back. I leave again. I end up back at the house. “This can’t be happening, Tate, what the hell did you do?!” I’m out of breath from sobbing and attempting to run away. I need to leave. I try once more.
Making yet another exit from the house a pair of hands violently grasps my arm and strongly pins me to the wall. Before I got the chance to scream a hand is placed upon my mouth. I breathe heavily and scream as loud as I could even with my mouth closed shut. Scared to death, my chest raises up and down at a rapid speed as my heart thumbs loudly against it.
“Shh, shh,” I’m shaken and shoved up against the wall at an even stronger force. “(Y/N), it’s okay it’s just me.” Tate removed his hand from my mouth.
“DON’T FUCKING SCARE ME LIKE THAT!” I roughly pressed my hands against his chest and pushed him off of me. I leaned my back up on the all and slowly let myself fall to the floor. I begin to hyperventilate while crying hysterically. “Why do I keep running around like a crazy person? And why can’t I leave?” I look up at Tate who has a look on his face I’ve never seen before and that was sorrow. He’s never felt anything until I came along. I’ve made him feel something. Emotions. Emotions he’s never been able to express or feel before. Barely being able to see his eyes, blocked by his messy blonde locks, his build up with tears
“I’ve been trying to tell you but-”
“Tell me WHAT?!” I stand up defensively.
“What is it, Tate? Spit it out. Don’t bullshit me.” I push him again.
“Come.” Tate takes my hand and clenches it tight. He guides me down to the basement, through some doors, and down the halls. It’s dark and I’m exhausted. “Tate, where are you taking me?” I asked him, terrified. He stopped and pointed to a ditch that his flashlight shined on.
“Is that?… Is that me?!” I gasp and cover my mouth with my hand. I glanced down at my decomposing body, disgusted and in disbelief, I began to panic again. “No, no!” I cried. Tate made it his duty to comfort me. I pushed him away once again.
“What the hell happened, Tate? Did you drug me or something? I don’t remember dying!” I yell at him, consumed with rage.
“No, (Y/N) of course not! You attempted suicide and took too many pills. I tried to save you. I dragged you into the tub with me and made you puke some out but it was no use. It was too late.” Tears fell from Tate’s eyes. “I’m so sorry, (Y/N). I’m so sorry I couldn’t save you.”
“Why didn’t you tell me sooner? That I had died?”
“I don’t know… I thought it’d be better if we died together. So you wouldn’t feel alone.” Tate shrugged his shoulders and sniffled. We walked back upstairs in silence.
“So, looks like I’m not going anywhere…” I gave him a weak smile. “And I guess I’m stuck with you in this house forever.” The weak smile turned into a smirk. He chuckled and smirked back at me.
“Tate,” I said.
“For what?” He says, obviously confused.
“Attempting to save my life.” I said making unbreakable eye contact with him. We stood there for a moment. “Because I know saving lives isn’t exactly what you do…”
“I tried. I really did. I care about your feelings more than I care about mi-”
“Don’t say that, Tate. My life wasn’t going to be worth living anyways. I had nothing going for me. All I had was-”
“You.” Tate and I said at the same time. I nodded and smiled as my cheeks flushed red.
Tate brushed my hair behind my ear and pressed his lips to mine. He kisses me ever so softly and passionately. Running my hands through his hair, I kiss him back. Tate’s hands ghost down my body and up my shirt. His hands against my skin caused chills down my spine.
“You’re the only light I’ve ever known.” Tate pulls away for a splint second to pierce those words into my skull with his lips and the black holes that are his eyes staring back at me. Without saying a word, my eyes said everything for him to comprehend. I loved him and he loved me. There was no escaping one another.
Tate playfully throws me onto my bed. He hovers over me and kisses me hard. I wrap my arms around his neck and pull him down. I tug on the collar of his shirt as I kiss him roughly.
“You make me a little less miserable.” He says with a smirk.
Can we just talk about the fact that Sakura cries for Kakashi? She CRIES FOR HIM. Like. She literally cries for Kakashi. She is worried sick about his wellbeing and safety. Can you see how she holds onto the bells from the first test? Her team and Kakashi are that important to her - and when she realizes that she isn’t that little girl she used to be, she wants to take matters into her own hands. What amazes me even more is how angry and aggravated she becomes when Naruto didn’t include her in his plans regarding Kakashi. Yes. This is love, right there.
Movie: Naruto Shippuuden 3: Inheritors of the Will of Fire
I was asked by someone to spoil the reunion scene for them, so of course I was more than happy to comply 😏 Without further ado, I give you The Print Shop.
A. MALCOLM PRINTER and BOOKSELLER
I stretched out my hand and touched the black letters of the name. A. Malcolm. Alexander Malcolm. James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser. Perhaps.
Another minute, and I would lose my nerve. I shoved open the door and walked in.
There was a broad counter across the front of the room, with an open flap in it, and a rack to one side that held several trays of type. Posters and notices of all sorts were tracked up on the opposite wall; samples, no doubt.
The door into the back room was open, showing the bulky angular frame of a printing press. Bent over it, his back turned to me, was Jamie.
“Is that you, Geordie?” he asked, not turning around. He was dressed in shirt and breeches, and had a small tool of some kind in his hand, with which he was doing something to the innards of the press. “Took ye long enough. Did ye get the–”
“It isn’t Geordie,” I said. My voice was higher than usual. “It’s me,” I said. “Claire.”
He straightened up very slowly. He wore his hair long; a thick tail of a deep, rich auburn sparked with copper. I had time to see that the neat ribbon that tied it back was green, and then he turned around.
He stared at me without speaking. A tenor ran down the muscular throat as he swallowed, but still he didn’t say anything.
It was the same broad, good-humored face, dark blue eyes aslant the high, flat cheekbones of a Viking, long mouth curling at the ends as though always on the verge of smiling. The line surrounding eyes and mouth were deeper, of course. The nose had changed just a bit. The knife-edge bridge was slightly thickened near the base by the ridge of an old, healed fracture. It made him look fiercer, I thought, but lessened the air of aloof reserve, and lent his appearance a new rough charm.
I walked through the flap in the counter flap, seeing nothing but that unblinking stare. I cleared my throat.
“When did you break your nose?”
The corners of the wide mouth lifted slightly.
“About three minutes after I last saw ye – Sassenach.”
There was a hesitation, almost a question in the name. There was no more than a foot between us. I reached out tentatively and touched the tiny line of the break, where the bone pressed white against the bronze of his skin.
He flinched backward as though an electric spark had arced between us, and the calm expression shattered.
“You’re real,” he whispered. I had thought him pale already. Now all vestiges of color drained from his face. His eyes rolled up and he slumped to the floor in a shower of papers and oddments that had been sitting on the press – he fell rather gracefully for such a large man, I thought abstractedly.
It was only a faint; his eyelids were beginning to flutter by the time I knelt beside him and loosened the stock at his throat. I had no doubts at all by now, but still I looked automatically as I pulled the heavy linen away. It was there, of course, the small triangular scar just above the collarbone, left by the knife of Captain Jonathan Randall, Esquire, of his Majesty’s Eighth Dragoons.
His normal healthy color was returning. I sat cross-legged on the floor and hoisted his head onto my thigh. His hair felt thick and soft in my hand. His eyes opened.
“That bad, is it?” I said, smiling down at him with the same words he had used to me on the day of our wedding, holding my head in his lap, twenty-odd years before.
“That bad, and worse, Sassenach,” he answered, mouth twitching with something almost a smile. He sat up abruptly, staring at me.
“God in heaven, you are real!”
“So are you.” I lifted my chin to look up at him. “I th-thought you were dead.” I had meant to speak lightly, but my voice betrayed me. The tears spilled down my cheeks, only to soak into the rough cloth of his shirt as he pilled me hard against him.
I shook so that it was some time before I realized that he was shaking, too, and for the same reason. I don’t know how long we sat there on the dusty floor, crying in each other’s arms with the longing of twenty years spilling down our faces.
His fingers twined hard in my hair, pulling it loose so that it tumbled down my neck. The dislodged pins cascaded over my shoulders and pinged on the floor like pellets of hail. My own fingers were clasped around his forearm, digging into the linen as though I were afraid he would disappear unless physically restrained.
As though gripped by the same fear, he suddenly grasped me by the shoulders and held me away from him, staring desperately into my face. he put his hand to my cheek, and traced the bones over and over again, oblivious to my tears and to my abundantly running nose.
I sniffed loudly, which seemed to bring him to his senses, for he let go and groped hastily in his sleeve for a handkerchief, which he used clumsily to swab at first at my face, then his own.
“Give me that.” I grabbed the erratically waving swatch of cloth and blew my nose firmly. “Now you.” I handed him the cloth and watched as he blew his nose with a noise like a strangled goose. I giggled, undone with emotion.
He smiled too, knuckling the tears away from his eyes, unable to stop staring at me.
Suddenly I couldn’t bear not touching him. I lunged at him, and he got his arms up just in time to catch me. I squeezed until I could hear his ribs crack, and felt his hands roughly caressing my back as he said my name over and over.
At last I could let go, and sat back a little. He glanced down at the floor between his legs, frowning.
“Did you lose something?” I asked, surprised.
He looked up and smiled, a little shyly.
“I was afraid I’d lost hold altogether and pissed myself, but it’s all right. I’ve just sat on the alepot.”
Sure enough, a pool of aromatic brown liquid was spreading slowly beneath him. With a squeak of alarm, I scrambled to my feet and helped him up. After trying vainly to assess the damage behind, he shrugged and unfastened his breeches. He pushed the tight fabric down over his haunches, then stopped and looked at me, blushing slightly.
“It’s all right,” I said, feeling a rich blush stain my own cheeks. “We’re married.” I cast my eyes down, nonetheless, feeling a little breathless. “At least, I suppose we are.”
He stared at me for a long moment, then a smile curved his wide, soft mouth.
“Aye, we are,” he said. Kicking free of the stained breeches, he stepped toward me.
I stretched out a hand toward him, as much to stop as to welcome him. I wanted more than anything to touch him again, but was unaccountably shy. After so long, how were we to start again?
He felt the constraint of mingled shyness and intimacy as well. Stopping a few inches from me, he took my hand. He hesitated for a moment, then bent his head over it, his lips barely brushing my knuckles. His fingers touched the silver ring and stopped there, holding the metal lightly between thumb and forefinger.
“I never took it off,” I blurted. It seemed important he should know that. He squeezed my hand lightly, but he didn’t let go.
“I want–” He stopped and swallowed, still holding my hand. His fingers found and touched the silver ring once more. “I want verra much to kiss you,” he said softly. “May I do that?”
The tears were barely dammed. Two more welled up and overflowed; I felt them, full and round, roll down my cheeks.
“Yes,” I whispered.
He drew me slowly close to him, holding our linked hands just under his breast.
“I havena done this for a verra long time,” he said. I saw the hope and the fear dark in the blue of his eyes. I took the gift and gave it back to him.
“Neither have I,” I said softly.
His hands cupped my face with exquisite gentleness, and he set his mouth on mine.
I didn’t know quite what I had been expecting. A reprise of the pounding fury that had accompanied our final parting? I had remembered that so often, lived it over in memory, helpless to change the outcome. The half-rough, timeless hours of mutual possession in the darkness of our marriage bed? I had longed for that, wakened often sweating and trembling from the memory of it.
But we were strangers now, barely touching, each seeking the way toward joining, slowly, tentatively, seeking and giving unspoken permission with our silent lips. My eyes were closed, and I knew without looking that Jamie’s were, as well. We were, quite simply, afraid to look at each other.
Without raising his head, he began to stroke me lightly, feeling my bones through my clothes, familiarizing himself again with the terrain of my body. At last his hand t raveled down my arm and caught my right hand. His fingers traced my hand until the found the ring again, and circled it, feeling the interlaced silver of the Highland pattern, polished with long wear, but still distinct.
His lips moved over mind, across my cheeks and eyes. I gently stroked his back, feeling through his shirt the marks I couldn’t see, the remnants of old scars, like my ring, worn but still distinct.
“I’ve seen ye so many times,” he said, his voice whispering warm in my ear. “You’ve come to me so often. When I dreamed sometimes. When I lay in fever. When I was so afraid and so lonely I knew I must die. When I needed you, I would always see ye, smiling, with your hair curling up about your face. But ye never spoke. And ye never touched me.”
“I can touch you now.” I reached up and drew my hand gently down his temple, his ear, the cheek and jaw that I could see. My hand went to the nape of his neck, under the clubbed bronze hair, and he raised his head at last, and cupped my face between my hands, love glowing strong in the dark blue eyes.
“Dinna be afraid,” he said softly. “There’s the t w o of u s now.”