ally writes fic

If you think El watched all those cheesy soap operas and didn’t daydream about herself and Mike in some ridiculous romantic situations straight outta those, you are wrong.


As soon as she goes to school, she catches herself scribbling ‘El Wheeler’, 'Jane Wheeler’ or 'Jane Hopper-Wheeler’ on her textbooks, trying it out. Once Mike sees one of those while helping her study and he nearly faints.

Kinktober #20: (light) Pain Play

This is a direct result of @kkumri‘s Judo AU, because Hinata grabbing barechested!Tobio and yanking open his gi is GOOD! Also, there may have been some discussion about KageHina + bruises…

Judo is some of the most fun Tobio’s had outside of volleyball, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it isn’t painful.

Sometimes, Sunday evenings feel like he’s been through a practice that consisted entirely of flying falls and receiving the spikes of every powerful ace they’ve ever gone up against in the past three years, combined. Much of it is due to the fact that Hinata revels in getting the better of him, which means Tobio sees a lot of time either flying through the air, or with his back slammed firmly into the mat under their feet.

He gets admonished, sometimes, for how quickly his attention wavers. But what else can he do, when his stupid short boyfriend catches him off guard by cheating—like that grin he gets on his face after he manages to lock Tobio’s head between his thighs, Tobio’s face pressing right against his crotch. Or his little sneaky hands prying open the seam of Tobio’s gi to yank him in closer, close enough to steal a hot, messy, possessive kiss, right when Tobio is trying his best to spar.

Hinata did the tongue thing after they had pulled apart. The same tongue that had just been all up inside Tobio’s mouth, poked smugly from the corner of Hinata’s lips, as Hinata, quite frankly, leered at him. It was an expression that clearly said he knew exactly how hard the grabbing and manhandling and warm wetness of his mouth had affected Tobio. He was sizing Tobio up, seeing exactly how fast Tobio had lost focus—dazed and fantasizing now about Hinata ripping his practice robe right off of him, and ravishing him on the hard, spongy mat.

Maybe, Tobio thought hazily, lost in his reverie, staring at Hinata’s lidded eyes and smirking mouth—maybe Hinata would even scold him for it. Maybe Hinata would tell him how easy he was, how it was obvious that Tobio wanted him, right there and then. Maybe… Hinata would tell him what they could do once they got home…

Tobio maintains for the rest of practice that he slipped on the mat and fell, thanks to someone’s (Hinata’s) sweaty feet. He did not pass out, thank you very much. He was entirely conscious and aware of himself the whole way down.

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giacomctti  asked:

for the promp thing! victuuri and 60) things you said that surprised me the most ♥

hiya alli!! (and thank u to @teekettle​ for your input ♥)

60. things you said [make your own]

“Tadaima,” Victor called, tugging his scarf down from his mouth. The loss of warmth was distinct when he slipped out of his trenchcoat, but a smile made its way onto his lips when he heard Yuuri’s voice drift around the corner, soft and lilting around the okaeri.

He placed his shoes by the front door next to Yuuri’s, straightening them just so, before padding over to where Yuuri was snuggled into the couch. A thick, fluffy blue blanket was draped over his legs, along with Victor’s old Team Russia jacket zipped over his torso. He looked very warm, compared to the chilliness of the evening outside. A pastel green mug sat on the coffee table, thin wisps of steam still rising into the air, and his laptop was perched on the arm of the couch.

Yuuri offered him a sleepy smile as he came closer, his hair slightly damp and curling at the edges. Yuuri had felt stressed this morning, so had come home from the rink a few hours earlier than Victor did. And Victor was glad, because he looked so much better rested after taking that time for himself.

“Hi Vitya,” he murmured, pausing the video on his laptop and patting the spot next to him. “Wanna join me?”

“Always, lyubov,” Victor said, already grabbing his own purple blanket from another armchair and moving to sit down by Yuuri’s side. Once there, he noticed exactly what was playing on the screen. “Are you watching my old programs?” he asked.

Yuuri’s smile became a little shy. “They’ve always helped me relax,” he admitted, turning back to his laptop and hitting play. Almost immediately, the tinny sound of his Victory program floated through the speakers and the grainy image of a twenty-five-year-old Victor Nikiforov began to move.

Victor found himself critiquing the movements of his younger self almost instantly—he was too stiff in this one section, he wobbled slightly on the landing of the triple axel—but when he glanced at Yuuri, he was surprised to see a look of admiration on his face despite all the obvious flaws.

“I love the way you flicked your wrist here,” Yuuri said, his eyes sparkling as he pointed the movement out a second before the Victor on the screen even did. “It had perfect timing with the music, and I could feel the triumph you were trying to convey with this program. I ran out to the rink to practice my own program almost immediately after—it was really inspiring.”


“The costume choice could’ve been a little better though,” Yuuri continued, sounding thoughtful once the last notes of the music faded and the camera had cut to Victor’s smiling face. “If you were to reuse a costume, I think the one from 2010 would’ve been perfect for a free skate about victory.”

“You’re such a big fan,” Victor teased, resting his head on Yuuri’s shoulder. “Have you been following my career for that long?”


They were quiet again as the video continued and eventually settled on an interview right after Victor received a score that shot his name to the top of the board, assuring him as world champion for the third year in a row.

“How did you feel about this performance, Victor?” a reporter asked, looking eager, and suddenly everything clicked into place.

It was this season.

Victor had thought there was something strange about the program Yuuri was watching, why it had made him so uncomfortable, and now he knew. It was the year that Victor had grown tired of skating and winning and putting on plastic doll smiles for the public and his country.

The Victor on-screen smiled then, and to him it was so obvious how fake it was. No one else seemed to notice how forced it seemed, how his eyes were dark with fatigue, how his voice was overly bright as he answered.

“I’m really happy with it!” Victor replied, still smiling. “It was a difficult program to perfect, but it seems that all my hard work paid off.”

Victor remembered that the reporter had given him an almost patronizing laugh at that last sentence and said—

“Well, how hard can learning programs be for a three-time world champion, right?”

That had happened a little more than three years ago, but those words, no matter how well-intended they may have been, still stung even as he heard them now. He’d felt so much freer after meeting Yuuri, but hearing this and seeing the plastic smile he’d put on for years reminded him of how much he didn’t want to go back to a world that saw him only as Victor Nikiforov, Living Legend, instead of Victor Nikiforov, a man who liked to go on nighttime walks with his fiancé, cook anything and everything he could in the kitchen, and read as many books as there were stars.

It had bothered him more than he let on how people dismissed his hard work and drive in favor of placing him on a pedestal.

“You weren’t happy.”

Victor blinked, startled out of his thoughts. “What?”

“You weren’t happy,” Yuuri repeated, his smile a little sad. “I could always tell in your interviews.”

Victor could only stare at Yuuri, frozen. “You—what?” He swallowed down the growing lump of emotion in his throat. “…How did you know?”

He thought he’d hid it so well. No one seemed to question his loneliness or growing weariness once he started winning—no one stopped to think about how all this was affecting him. So Victor assumed that no one had noticed.

But Yuuri was there, thousands and thousands of kilometers away, watching as Victor’s energy and love for the ice was slowly sapped away by the pressure of years spent at the top.

And seeing Yuuri’s quiet, earnest expression in front of him now, and telling him how he knew how much Victor needed someone to stay close to him, all those years of suppressed emotions tumbled out.

“I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you, Vitya,” Yuuri whispered against his hair, arms wrapped tightly around him as he cried. “But I promise that I’ll be here for as long as I can.”

Victor laughed wetly, tightening his hold on Yuuri. He was currently under two blankets, a fiancé, and a wandering poodle on the couch of his apartment in St. Petersburg, and God, he’d never imagined that his home could feel so warm.

“You never fail to surprise me, lyubov moya. Thank you.”

Then Yuuri pressed a kiss to the crown of Victor’s head. “I love you,” he murmured, and Victor smiled into Yuuri’s side.

“Love you more.”

Just a Kiss Goodnight

So I had a lot of feelings last night about Bughead and then out popped this little thing. I don’t even know, but I know I adore our little Bughead fam

Just A Kiss Goodnight

Words: 1K

Rating: T(ish)

Read in here on AO3


Between the rush of excitement and fear at finding the car with Jason’s jacket, the sinking feeling when they get back to the scene with Sheriff Keller only to see the car has gone up in a blaze of glory, and the absolute desperation at realizing Polly was gone…it is a whirlwind of an evening. When Betty finally walks back to her house, soaking wet, the air still heavy with mist and disappointment, the only thing keeping her steady and on the appropriate course is the unwavering presence of Jughead at her side. 

It is only when they turn down the road onto her block that she realizes her palms are itching. Not in the odd way that precedes one of her panic attacks, when her fingers dig bloody crescents into the soft skin of her hands, no, this time, she realizes, they are itching to reach out and grab Jughead’s hand, to lace their fingers together until they are palm-to-palm.

Betty has never felt this lightly burning desire before. The want to feel somebody close and breathe in their presence. She thinks back to earlier, her room, that kiss, and it takes every ounce of strength to not let a whispy sigh slip out of her mouth.

They haven’t talked about it. Honestly they haven’t had the time in the midst of all this chaos, and the closer they get to her house, the more she wants to dig in her heels and draw up short, demand they talk and figure all of this (is there even a ‘this’ to talk about?) out. But there is also a weariness that has settled into her bones and chest and she’s aching for her bed.

Jughead is quiet beside her, but not uncomfortably so. And she can’t bring herself to end this innocent moment. The rain patters softly on the concrete pavement around them, streetlamps spilling puddles of light onto the rain slicked ground and everything is so peaceful. It strikes Betty as odd that the world continues to spin so smoothly and at ease when her internal world is slowly falling apart.

They sneak around the back of the house, the ladder that Jughead had used earlier to climb up to her (his quiet greeting of, “hey there Juliet” still lingers in her ear) is still propped against the window and later she’ll have the presence of mind to ask where the ladder came from, but right now all she can do is stare between her open window and Jughead.

A heavy sigh leaves her body, robbing her of the ability to stay upright. So she mutters something that might pass for a goodnight, though she couldn’t tell for certain, and turns to scale the ladder into the safety of her room.

Just as she turns, she feels a hand grabbing her own lightly, and she’s pulled around to face Jug. His eyes search her face for a long moment, and Betty flushes prettily under the heavy scrutiny. As her gaze hesitantly meets his own, she wonders briefly if this is what it’s like to be one of his stories, to be so intimately studied, to feel like someone is able to read every word that’s written across her soul and see the hidden meanings that are woven delicately between her ribs. Perhaps this is what it’s like to truly be a blank page: to put herself in the hands of an author, completely open and trusting him to find the perfect words to make her story a good one.

Whatever it may be, she feels hot and flushed under his calculating eye, and she wants to duck her head, but she is lost in him. Just as she opens her mouth to finally speak, his hand reaches out to cup her cheek, a slightly roughened thumb brushing gently along the rise of her cheekbone and she can’t prevent the soft gasp that slips from her mouth. That is most certainly not the sound she had intended to come out, but everything about this…feeling…she has with Jughead jumbles her brain.

And before she can blink again, he leans in. Presses his mouth to hers. It’s just like earlier, a soft, steadying pressure that gives way to this beautifully warm thrumming in her heart that tingles and dances along her skin. Jughead slants his mouth over hers, pressing more insistently and she flushes from head to toe as she sucks in a heavy breath through her nose. When she exhales, she melts. Positively melds into his arms that are taught around her waist as her own wind around his neck.  

His hand flexes against her back before pulling her slightly closer, until there isn’t a bit of space between their bodies and despite the cool rain he is like the midday sun in July, warm and radiating heat and she is drawn into him like nothing she’s ever experienced.

Eventually, though, air becomes a necessity and Jughead forces his mouth from hers with a rough yank.

The look on his face matches her rolling emotions, the confusion and hesitancy are there, but so is the quiet whisper of ‘this feels so right…why does this feel so right?’

But that momentary burst of emotion slips away into a soft smile as his thumb brushes along her kiss swollen bottom lip and he whispers, “Night, Betts. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

It is a spur of the moment decision, but Betty is feeling bold and beautiful and maybe a bit reckless (he makes her feel like this; he makes her feel so much more) so she throws her arms around his neck, burying her nose into the warm skim there and hugging him tight. He doesn’t seem to know what to do with that, but after a few stiff moments he relaxes into her embrace and pulls her tight, his arms slipping around her waist once more.

“Night Juggy. Thank you. For everything,” She whispers the words into the crook of his neck and she can feel the smile he presses into her forehead.

“You know I’d do just about anything for you…you can always count on me.”

She’s heard those words before, from other people (a vision of ruffled red hair and shining eyes flashes in her mind) but for some reason, Betty believes Jughead entirely.

They say their goodnights and she climbs up to her room, throwing her wet clothes into a pile on the floor before pulling on a soft nightshirt and a pair of shorts and slipping into bed.

When her eyes close, her mind is filled with images. Flashes. Polly. Jason. She’s going to be an aunt. Archie’s voice floats momentarily through her ears but then all she can hear is Jughead’s ragged breathing as his mouth moves over hers and her stomach tingles and her toes curl.

Her fingers come up to her lips, and if she really focuses, she can feel and taste and smell him, surrounding her and wrapping her in warmth.

When she finally manages to give herself over to her dreams, it is the most soundly she has slept in months.

our doubts are traitors snippet 7

Heeeeey, so I’m still alive! Surprise!

Seriously, you have no idea how guilty I feel that our doubts has been so monumentally delayed. I AM SO SORRY.

BUT. It has NOT been abandoned, I promise. Let me console you with a new snippet! Things are finally coming to a less angst-ridden head! Ya…ay?


*posts and runs away*

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prom night // a mileven HighSchool!AU

this idea was created by the lovely sydney, who has given me permission to bring her AU to life! thank u bb, i’ll try not to disappoint :’)

I feel like this one is self explanatory so I hope you all enjoy!! Let me know if you’re enjoying these oneshots and I’ll continue to write them!

(no nsfw, just fluff, even in high school these are innocent beans :)

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Okay, but did Mike’s parents even thought that Mike plagiarized that essay, because he fell asleep in the fort one night, trying to contact El and, being exhausted from lack of sleep because he keeps having nightmares, he passed out from exhaustion, the latest thing he said being a teary and desperate'please come back to me I can’t do it without you’’, and then he had to make something up on the spot between periods because he didn’t want to let his grades drop even more??? Or that ‘cursing out mr Kowalski’ was because the English teacher, asked for opinion about King’s “Carrie” by one of the students said that it was and idiotic, pointless story about a pathetic telekinetic girl who couldn’t handle herself and Mike had a really bad day and this seemingly unrelated comment was just too much and the words ‘shut up you asshole!’ just left his mouth without his conscious decision?? And graffiting the bathroom stall was just a tiny 'i miss you’ which he felt pathetic writing and then and drew a huge middle finger over it just to cover the words up??? Yeah right they didn’t

therealracetrackhiggins  asked:

Okok so your post about how u can tell when a smutty fic where one character is a trans guy, is written by a cishet writer, really reminded me of how annoyed i get when cishet writers really badly write queer/trans characters facing homo/transphobia. Like reactions to a character coming out are painfully stereotyped and trope-y?

cishet person writing a trans character:

The giant plot-device creature approached the heroes. TransBoi stood, and rushed towards it in an attempt to save the nearby citizens from impending doom. Alas, despite his years of Hero Experience, he didn’t stand a chance against the enormous creature. It roared, flinging TransBoi’s small body across the city block with one firm backhanded slap. TransBoi slammed into a brick wall, instantly crumpling to the ground in pain.

“NO!!” shouted Cis Love Interest, fearing the worst for TransBoi. With one final strike, Cis Love Interest slays the creature in a fit of rage. He begins to make his way over to TransBoi, who is bleeding very badly.

“Are you okay?” asks Cis Love Interest, cradling TransBoi in his big, beefy arms. “Let me remove your clothes– I have to treat your wounds.”

TransBoi stares up at his beautiful beefcake with a look of horror. “No, you can’t–” he begins to protest, but it is Too Late. Cis Love Interest has already begin to remove TransBoi’s shirt, revealing the ace bandages covering his delicate transgender chest.

Cis Love Interest gasps, alarmed.

TransBoi begins to cry. “I’m so sorry I didn’t tell you this, but I am… I am not a Real Boy. I am transgendered…. you must hate me now. After all, who could ever love a Freak like me, born in a Girl Body? I’m disgusting.”

Cis Love Interest shakes his head. “I’m disappointed in you, TransBoi. Ace bandages, really? You should know better.”

TransBoi blinks his massive doe eyes. “W-what? You mean… you aren’t completely revolted by my existence?”

Cis Love Interest chuckles and shakes his head. He begins stroking TransBoi’s dainty face with his big meaty yaoi claw. “No, TransBoi. I love you, no matter what parts you have. And because I am a Good Cis Ally™, I know what a binder is and I want to buy you one.”

TransBoi is shocked. Even though he’s been transgendered for so long, it never occured to him that he could wear something other than ace bandages. He smiles, slowly. He is so grateful that Cis Love Interest accepts him. Overcome with joy, he kisses Cis Love Interest passionately, on the lips, using tongue, sexily.

“I love you too, Cis Love Interest” whispers TransBoi.

And everyone clapped.

Every single time...

Person 1: What is “Trials and Tribulations”?

Person 2: Well, it’s just a fan fic-

Harmonizer: HELL NO! “Trials and Tribulations” is not just a fan fiction, it’s the fucking bible.

She loves watching him study.

The way he scrunches his nose when he comes across some obstacle, solving maths problems. The way his hair falls down on his face, his back hunched over a textbook. The way his eyes would light up when he understood something he was struggling with. She loves how smart he is, how nerdy he sounds when he’s explaining something to her.

He sometimes comes to the cabin to study with her, since she gets her own homework now too. Mr Clarke, who was, after a lot of hesistation, let on the secret, visits her three times a week, to help her prepare for eventual school after she doesn’t have to hide anymore.

And that’s another thing that leads to Mike. As much as El adores Mr Clarke, Mike is her favourite tutor. He explains the wonders of science in the same soft, attentive tone he used to explain friendships and promises, and El can’t help but keep asking, even if just to hear his voice and look at his freckles when he sits close to her on the floor.

One March evening they are sprawled on the floor, with notebooks laying around them, El doing her maths homework and Mike studying for a science contest. He was furrowing his dark eyebrows, with dark circles under his eyes.

That was probably the first time El hated watching him study.

His head was swaying over his textbooks, eyelids drooping.



'You need to sleep.’ she took the textbook out of his hands. He looked up at her with tired eyes.

'But, El, the contest’s in a week and I still need to…’

'You need to sleep.’ she said forcibly, furrowing her brows.

'Okay, okay, I’ll go to sleep earlier tonight, I promise. I just need to…’

'No. You’ll go to sleep now.’ she pointed at her bed and made the blanket hover over it slightly.

Then she took a hold of his hands and pulled him up, dragging him towards the bed. He didn’t protest much, yawning. He laid down, rubbing his tired eyes.

'Maybe a short nap is not the worst idea…’ and just like that, he was snoring almost as loudly as Hopper. She covered him with a blanket and couldn’t resist brushing her fingers trough his dark, soft hair. He muttered something incoherently, moving his head towards her palm. She smiled softly and went back to her maths homework, glancing at his peaceful face once a while.

But then, after a while, she heard him whimper slightly and lifted her eyes quickly. He was crying silently, curling into a ball, gripping blanket with his fingers.

She got up, unsure what to do.

'Don’t go… Please don’t leave me… ’ he sobbed, shaking. 'I can’t lose… I can’t lose you, please don’t…’

His voice broke and she gripped his hand in her own.

'Mike, Mike wake up!’



He suddenly jolted awake, looking around frantically with tear-filled eyes, until they stopped on her face. After a few seconds he just wrapped his arms around her, hugging her tightly and pressing his face against her arm.

'It’s okay, Mike.’ she whispered, hugging him back just as tight. 'It’s okay. You’re okay.’

Hopper used to say that a lot when he woke her up from her nightmares.

'Y-you were gone again.’ he said quietly, his voice still shaking a bit, muffled by her shirt.

'But I’m not. I’m here, Mike. It’s okay now. I promise. I’m not going anywhere. ’

He nodded, but didn’t let her go for another few minutes. When he did, she gently wiped his cheeks and pressed a soft kiss against his still trembling lips.

'I don’t wanna go back to sleep.’ he said quietly, looking away.

'What if I stay with you?’

He stared at her, puzzled. She laid down next to him and pulled him down, so they were both laying on their sides, facing eachother, their hands intertwined.

'Hopper will kill me if he finds us like that. ’

'I won’t let him.’ she smiled at him, and lifted her chin a bit to kiss his forehead.



El loves watching him study, but what she loves even more is watching him sleep peacefully, with his fingers wrapped around her hands.

@shattered-quill @maxmayfield @themikewheelers @mxdmax @lucassinclairstan @bob-newby-superhero @alabasterswriting

allykat023  asked:

Katsudeku #8 ^_^

8. the way you said i loved you: as an apology

There were a lot of things Bakugou wished he could say to Izuku, and there were also a lot of things that Bakugou couldn’t say. Unfortunately, in the small, unorganized venn diagram of his thoughts, the two overlapped quite frequently.

I’ve counted your freckles a thousand times and I still don’t know how many there are. Your smile is so goddamn bright it hurts my eyes sometimes. I wish you knew that I think about you everyday.

The thing he wanted to say the most, however, was that he was sorry. Sorry for what, he didn’ t really know. I’m sorry I’m a piece of shit. I’m sorry that I’m terrified of how good you are sometimes. I’m sorry I never gave a damn about you when all you ever did was care about me.

No. Bakugou shook his head, eyebrows furrowed. It was all too cheesy, too sentimental. Too not-him.

“Kacchan?” Izuku raised his voice so that it echoed, Kacchan, Kacchan, Kacchan, bouncing against the walls. There was no one else in the room except for the two of them; they stayed up late to study together every now and then. “Are you stuck on that problem?”

“What? No,” Bakugou scowled. “It’s easy as hell. I finished it five minutes ago.”

“Oh,” Izuku said. “Then…why aren’t you doing the next one?”

“…I’m checking my work.”


“Yeah, really. You don’t believe me?” Bakugou demanded.

“Oh, no, it’s just that Iida-kun taught me a really good way to go back and check your work,” Izuku said brightly. “So, what you do is take the value of x, and then after you’ve solved both equations with substitution, you take the value of y and-”

“I know how to fucking solve an equation, Deku,” Kacchan rolled his eyes, before adding, as an afterthought, “Nerd.”

“Oh, okay,” Izuku hummed, and his eyes drifted back to his own paper.

The room was silent again, with only the occasional scratch-scratch of a pencil, or Izuku asking Bakugou what he got on whatever problem it was, and the sound of a clock ticking nefariously in the background. It was annoying as hell, because the whole time, all Bakugou could do was think about the apologies he had never said, the words still unspoken.



“You’re staring,” Izuku smiled, amused.

The tips of Bakugou’s ears turned pink. “That was—I didn’t mean to-”

“I can tell you’ve been thinking, you know,” Izuku continued. “And not about quadratic formulas. What’s on your mind?”

“None of your business.”

“Are you sure?”

Goddamn it.

“Fine,” Bakugou said finally. “I was thinking about you. Not about weird shit or anything—just…you.”

“Is that it?” Izuku hesitated. “You have that look on your face. When you’re trying to say something nice and you can’t and it comes out in, like, all swear words and-”

“I love you.”


Bakugou looked away pointedly, cheeks red. “You’re a shitty nerd.” And I love you. So much. And I’m sorry for everything.

There was a moment of silence before Izuku spoke.

“I love you, too,” he smiled, and Bakugou could see everything else he said behind it.

I forgive you.

send me a prompt w/ a hq/knb/bnha ship!

+ The other fics in the Little Emma universe can be found here: one - two - three

Emma is 13, and she still sees a psychologist every week.

She doesn’t mind - she actually loves talking to someone who isn’t her dads. She’s been with Cynthia since she was 8 and her first psychologist, Helen, retired, and she’s been a good sounding board and an excellent listener, but now it’s Cynthia’s turn to retire, and Emma will miss her. She’ll miss the way her wrists jangled from all her bracelets, and the way her long earrings sometimes got stuck in her curly hair. She’ll miss the way it always felt like she was having a conversation with an aunt, and not someone who was being paid to analyze the hell out of her. She’ll miss the small proud smiles and the kind heart, and the way she always, somehow, seemed to smell like peppermint, like it exuded from her pores. Now her grandkids in Florida will get all of that, and Emma will have Sophie, whatever that means.

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alienslovetea  asked:

Klance 14? :)

14.  “just sit down and let me take care of you.”

Okay uhhhh… there were a few different ways this fic could have gone, but how could I resist some classic hurt/comfort? (I legit teared up this got so heckin fluffy I love it.)

Yeah this really got away from me.

Learn to Love You

Pairing: Keith/Lance
Rating: Teen
Word Count: 1459
Content Warning: injury

Find it on AO3! Or keep reading =)

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I wanna know what love is

El learning the meaning of ‘love’ with Mike, requested by @cricket-hater


It was one of those quiet afternoons, when Hopper was not yet back from the station, and the cabin was bathed in dim November sunlight. Mike was scribbling in his D&D notebook, biting his pencil, deep in thought, and El was sitting next to him, curled in a ball and deeply engrossed in a soap opera that was on.

Mike knew those by heart by now. Not only El watched those a lot, but so did his mom. He would normally roll his eyes when his mom switched the TV to cheesy love confessions and dramas, but when El watched them, it was different. He liked the way her eyes widened in suprise, or when she leaned towards the TV, her curly hair falling on her face.

'But Rebecca, you can not leave with him!’ the man on she screen begged. 'I love you!’

Mike resisted the urge to groan at the theatrical character of the show. He turned the page and wrote annotation about a monster he wanted to bring out in a particular moment.

He felt El tug at his sleeve and raised his eyes.

'Everything okay?’

'What is 'love’?’ she nodded shyly towards the screen. Mike felt his mouth go dry.

'I… Uh… You don’t know what love is?’

She shook her head and looked down. Sure, she heard that word multiple times on the TV. She knew it had usually something to do with hugs and lips pressed together. But dictionary definition didn’t help her much. For some reason though, she was reluctant to ask Hopper about that. And Mike always had answers. Right?

Mike looked at her, frozen on the spot, almost feeling his brain work rapidly. How does he explain 'love’ to her, of all things? But then again, he always knew how to explain things to her before. Right?

'I uh… I mean there’s nothing wrong in not knowing!’ he assured her, seeing her expression. 'I… Um…’

'I checked in the dictionary once. It said something about 'deep care and devotion’, but… ’

'It’s not really something that a dictionary can’t explain properly. It’s…’

He took a deep breath and put away his notebook. You can do it, Wheeler.

He looked at her again, turning towards her, and resisted the urge to put a stray curl behind her ear.

'Love is an emotion. A feeling. Like happiness, or sadness.’

She nodded.

'Okay. And, uh… There are different kinds of love. There’s love you feel for your friends. You want them to be happy, safe, healthy and all. You sometimes argue with them, but you always try to make up, and you care about them a lot.’ he looked at her, as if to make sure if she’s not lost. She nodded, processing that.

'And then, there’s love for your family. It’s really similar to the love between friends. Love between siblings is sometimes hard, like for me and Nancy, we argue a lot more than I do with the guys, but I care about her a lot, even when I’m mad at her. And the love of parents, it’s… Um… Parents are supposed to love you unconditionally, that means they never want anything in return, they just love you no matter who you are and accept you. Always.’ he remembered his father’s complete lack of genuine concern and care, and resisted the urge to sigh. 'Like Hopper loves you. ’

'He does?’ her eyes widened.

'Yeah, I’m pretty sure he does. He might not tell you that a lot, but he cares about you more than anything. Then, um… There’s that kind of love.’ he gestured towards the TV. 'Although the way it’s shown here is not really accurate. I, uh… I guess it’s called 'romantic love’. It’s mostly very similar to other kinds of love. It’s…. If you love someone you just…’

He took a deep breath and looked at her quietly for a second.

'You never want them to be away. You always want to be near them. You… You find it hard to breathe sometimes, when you look at them, because your chest is full of this… Warm feeling, it’s hard to explain. And when they are hurt, or unhappy, it pains you. You want to take away all the bad stuff in their life. And I want to always be there when you need me, or when you have nightmares again… I mean I know you are way more awesome than I am and I’m no hero, and Hoppers way more capable of protecting you anyway, even though obviously you don’t need it, because it’s you who saved us all…’

He didn’t even notice the switch in his speech. The words he kept inside for all those months full of longing and despair were just flowing out.

She, on the other hand, noticed, but didn’t dare to speak, looking into his eyes, unmoving.

'And I wish I could take away everything that haunts you, and it angers me that I can’t-’

'I love you too. ’ she said softly, her eyes never leaving his.

'And I… What?’

'I love you. ’ she repeated, feeling her lips curve into a small, shy smile.

He looked at her with his dark eyes, frozen on the spot.

'You… You do?’

She lifted her hand, her fingertips brushing his cheekbone.

'Yes. ’ she said simply, and inched closer to him, touching his nose with hers.

'That’s… That’s good. B-because, I love you too. ’ he blurted out, grinning, his face crimson.

'Good. ’ she repeated with a hint of laughter in her voice and she kissed him softly. His larger palms covered her hands that were holding his face.

'El? ’ he said quietly, his lips still close to hers.


'Remember, when I told you about the dance? Snowball? You… ’ he gulped 'You weren’t there for the one that was last year, but.. there’s another one coming up next month, and I thought… Maybe if we talked to Hopper, we could go… If you want.’ he rested his forehead on hers.

'Is it who you are supposed to go with?’ she asked, remembering what he said that fateful night in school cafeteria, resting her hands on his chest, while he held her wrists gently. 'Someone you love?’

He smiled gently and nodded, rubbing their noses together.


'Cool. ’ she whispered.

'Cool. ’ he pressed his lips against her forehead.

@shattered-quill @themikewheelers @maxmayfield @bob-newby-superhero @lucassinclairstan @alabasterswriting @ale-le-me

and we know its never simple, never easy

Jake hated the way one person had the ability to completely and totally change his mood.

There weren’t many people who had that ability but if Jake let you have that power, all it took was the tiniest little detail to make Jake want to crawl back under his comforter and never move. It was a short list, but he hated that he had one at all, he hated that he let people get in his head to that degree.

There was his dad, who didn’t even need to be in the same country to ruin Jake’s day (and he often wasn’t), there was Hawkins, for obvious reasons, but currently at the top of his list was The Vulture.

It was such a dumb thing for Jake to be worked up about, the Vulture didn’t even steal one of his cases. Jake had no claim to the case in any way, he wasn’t the secondary, he did zero research on it, and Amy hadn’t even asked for his opinion the way she normally does on the rare occurrences they weren’t working on a case together.

read the rest on ao3:

Snowbaz Dictionary

(concept from A Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan) (also slightly inspired by @carryon-simonsnow’s An Encyclopedia of Simon and Baz kisses)

a/n: Hey, there. Merry Christmas! Hope you’re doing well and that you’re having a wonderful holiday season! So, about halfway through the writing process it came to my attention that I’d been writing about Simon as if he didn’t have a tail and two wings. I ran out of time to fix it, and I’m so sorry, but otherwise, I hope you enjoy it!


alabaster / noun, adjective

        His fingers play over my skin like I am his instrument. His lips are flames and they’re biting at my neck and jaw. Baz likes to do this - focus on the spots that he knows he’ll get a reaction from. (ie. the spot under my left ear). He moves his mouth back up to mine.

        His breathing is hard and fast, and he’s pushing hard into the kiss. My hands crawl down his bare back, pulling him closer, leaving red snakes where my nails dig in too deep. I push even harder into the kiss, and I can feel him shying away. I slow myself down, breaking the embrace for air. When I look down into Baz’s face his eyes are half closed and his cheeks are flushed. I feel a blush crawl into my own cheeks and I look away.         

        He looks brilliant when moonlight dances on his pale skin.

burning / adjective

        It happens one night when neither of us are expecting it.

        Simon is having one of his nightmares. Once he’d left Watford, they seemed to lighten up on him, they weren’t half as bad. But this one was different, this was the worst he’d had since the Mage’s death. He whimpers, and his eyebrows are all screwed up. I blink hard, grogginess gone in an instant when I realize I feel it. My mind flashes back to my first year at Watford, the first night Snow had had a nightmare.

        The green. The burning sensation.

        My hand is at his shoulder instantaneously.

        "Simon!“ I don’t want to shout, I think that’d make it worse. Crowley, crowley, Simon is going off. Or he’s about to go off. I shake him again, forcing my voice slightly louder, a hiss instead of a whisper, “Simon!”

        His eyes snap open. He sits straight up, slamming into my face in the process. He’s off the bed and turning the light on before the stars disappear from my eyes.

        "Baz,“ he says, and he looks horrified and excited and I’m not sure whether I should hug him or try to calm him down. Calming him down seems like a good idea.

"Simon,” my voice is soft. His eyes are wide and he’s looking around the room like he’s lost something. Maybe he has. And then he’s crying, sobbing actually, into his hands and it’s the saddest thing I’ve ever heard. I’m standing next to him in an instant and my arms are wrapped around him.

        "Baz,“ he says again, through sobs, "it’s back. I can’t - it’s actually back, Baz.” And I’m rubbing circles on his shoulders and smiling despite myself.

                "I know, Snow,“ is all I can muster but he’s still crying and clinging onto me repeating it.

        "It’s back… It’s back… I can’t believe it’s back.”

        And I can’t believe it either… but I can feel it. Simon. His magic.

crowley / noun

        It didn’t start as a competition. It started with Baz walking through the front door carrying a bag full of hot cocoa mix, whipped topping and marshmallows. He had a huge grin on his face (a rare occurrence). I stared at him until it was engraved into my memory.

        His face fell when he caught my eyes, “What?”

        "Nothing,“ I said, smiling despite myself, "what’s all this for?”

        He got a mischievous glint in his eyes, “Well, I’m glad you asked, good sir.” He walked to the cabinet by the sink, grabbed two large mugs, and returned to his bag. Baz pulled everything out one at a time, until finally he filled the kettle with water and put it on the stove. (He’s grown accustomed to doing things normally since I lost my magic.)

        "We’re going to be making hot chocolate,“ he said, peeking at me from under his stupid lashes.

        My smile turns into a grin, "Why are my first times always with you?”

        Baz did what any boyfriend would do, he helped me pour the hot water over my mix, and he even told me his secret was dropping a few marshmallows in before the water. He was so cute, too, smiling the whole time and laughing when I started throwing marshmallows at him when he told me I wasn’t very good at making hot beverages. (“I might not be good at making hot cocoa, but have you had my tea?” “Yes, I have Snow, and it’s not as great as you think it is.” “Fuck you, Basildon.” “My name isn’t Basildon.” “No, but I’m Basil-done with you.”)

        "Okay,“ he said seriously, "it’s time for the real test. The decoration. Just so you know, I do work in Starbucks, and I do this every day.”

        I scowl, “Don’t make me laugh, Baz, you’ve got nothing on me.”

        "You wanna make a bet?“ Baz says, raising an eyebrow.

        "Absolutely. If mine is better than yours, you owe me a scone.”

        He rolled his eyes, “Okay, well if I win you’re mine for a day.”

        I frown, “That’s weird, Baz, don’t be a perv.”

        "Do we have a deal?“ I responded by grabbing his hand and shaking it hard once. Then I set to work. I tried to make a beautiful mountain of whipped cream on top of the liquid. It was working pretty well at first, until it started leaning more towards the edge of the glass. I tried to balance it by stacking marshmallows underneath the cliff that had started to build up. Which was to no avail, they only rolled down the cup, leaving a slimy trail of cream behind them. I frowned, how could I fix it?

I looked up then, for a split second, and saw Baz’s. Perfectly stacked with marshmallows hollowed into the topping. Bloody brilliant. Fuck. He caught my eyes, and he raised an eyebrow at my cup, which seemed to be deflating as fast as my ego.

        "Whatever!” I exclaim, lifting my cup up too fast. Hot chocolate and marshmallow-cream muck spill all over my front (staining my new sweater and sticking it to my chest). I chug the rest of my cup’s contents anyways, slamming it onto the counter after I was done.

        "Does that mean I win by default?“ Baz says from behind me. I turn around to glare at him. He stares at me for a minute, and then he starts to giggle. "Crowley, Snow,” he says, walking towards me.


        "Are you a child?” He indicates the area above his lips, “You’ve got something…” I wipe at my lips with my sleeve. Oh. Oh, I’d gotten the whipped cream on my lip. I purse my lips.

        "So are you going to try that or what?“

        He looks at his hot cocoa, then back at me.

        “I’d rather taste you,” Baz winks.

damaged / adjective

        Most of the time, when I’m with Baz I’ll forget about the fact that I don’t have magic. The Mage’s death sort of slips to the back of my mind (which I feel extremely guilty about later, it is my fault he’s dead). The only thing that really matters is the way that I feel when I look at him and the way that my heart kind of lurches, which is really lame and I’m never going to tell Baz about it.

        But sometimes, when I can’t sleep I’ll think about how he and Penny kind of halt their magic while I’m around. They’ll say it doesn’t bother them to live Normally every once in awhile. But they must’ve forgotten that I was a magician, and that I knew what using magic felt like (not that I had many good experiences with my own magic, but still). I knew how wonderful magic was.

        "Baz,” my voice cuts through our quiet flat. He blinks at his book, and then closes it to look at me.


        "I think we should break up.” I feel my throat closing around these words and tears are prickling behind my eyes, but I’m keeping eye contact. He deserves better than me. Ex-mageling. Ex-magician. Supposed demon-spawn. His brows are pushing together and his cheeks look fuller. He blinks hard.

        "What?“ His voice cracks. My heart breaks, and a few tears escape. No, now is not the time for hysterics. I shake my head, fearing what kind of noise would come out if I tried to speak. But Baz has his whole body turned towards me, and he looks like he’s either about to punch me or cry. Maybe both. I stand up.

        "What the fuck, Snow?” He grabs my wrist.

        "Baz, stop.“

        "No, you’re going to break up with me and then walk away? What the fuck?”

        "Baz,“ I try.

        "You are not just leaving, Snow. We’re going to talk about this, sit the fuck down.”

        I shake my head, “You won’t understand.”

        "Then help me to understand, Simon.“

        I turn then, to glare at him, "I don’t fucking deserve you, Baz.” He rolls his eyes, standing up (he towers above me still, of fucking course).

        "Of course you don’t, I’m the Angel of Death.“

        "I’m being serious, Baz.”

        "So am I, Snow,“ he sneers. "You’re being daft.” I growl.

        He sighs, and goes to wrap his arms around my neck, but I pull away from him. “Stop,” I say and it breaks my heart. He just glares at me. “Stop,” I try again, and this time my voice doesn’t fail me so I go on, “trying to act like everything is the same. Like I’m the same boy you loved. I'm not, Baz. I’m a mess. I don’t belong with you.”

        "You are a puzzle of a masterpiece. You’ve got little cracks everywhere you look but you’re still the masterpiece. Hey,“ he says, "look at me. I love you, Simon Snow. I am so in love with you. The you who you are right now.” Our eyes are locked and he looks so serious, damn him, and his eyes are so wide, so pleading. A wave of sobs chokes it’s way up my throat. He’s got his arms spread wide, waiting for me to fall into them.

        I sigh. I guess the supposed demon-spawn and the Angel of Death ending up together would make sense.

        "You’re a bloody git,“ I say, reluctantly leaning into him. He pulls me tight and lowers his mouth next to my ear.

        "I love you,” his voice is so soft.

edge / noun

        "Crowley, Sno-“ I got a face full of freezing mush.

        "Whoops,” Simon, running towards him with a huge, completely unapologetic grin on his face, “sorry about that , Baz.” The sarcasm in his voice annoyingly obvious. He was all smiles and messy hair today and I was not in the right frame of mind for it. I crouched down and collected a handful of snow.

        "What are you doing?“ Simon said, he looked puzzled. Literally puzzled, as if it was so beyond his train of thought that I would want payback. I stood up and dumped the snow on top of his head. Most of it stayed on the curls, sinking in, but some caught in his eyelashes.

        "Pfft!” I attempted to cover my laugh with my hand, “You look ridiculous, Snow!”

        Simon smirked, leaned down to pick up a handful of snow and was coming back up when I slipped some down the back of his shirt. “AH, WHY!” He exclaimed, prancing around and wagging this way and that, “S’COLD!!”

        I was beside myself with laughter, keeled over, clutching my stomach. Simon Snow, what a dweeb.

        Simon straightened himself up (shaking the snow out of his shirt) and glared my way. “That was rude, Baz.”

        "You say that like it surprises you that I’m an asshole,“ I rolled my eyes. He had to have seen it coming, always playing clueless. Okay, not always; Snow isn’t the brightest. His face is getting pink, and he turns away from me, lower lip pushed out. I reached out to grab one end of Simon’s scarf. I pull on it and Snow reluctantly walks towards me. "Sorry,” I say. I hope it sounds sincere, it isn’t actually, but that’s beside the point. He scowls at me. Always fucking pouting- he brings one of his arms around to slam another handful of snow into my face, and then he’s laughing at me and despite my attempts to conceal my own amusement I began laughing with him. I pull on his scarf again, and kiss him.

        Kissing Simon Snow is wonderful. Kissing Simon Snow in the snow is magical. No pun intended.

fire / noun

        Our love feels like a fire that won’t go out. It ignites every time I look into the pools of aqua blues he has on his freckled face. It’s so bright and every kiss, every touch seems to stoke it. Nothing can put out the flames of passion between us. His lack of magic, hasn’t made ours fade in the least. I love Simon Snow.

gone / adjective

        It’s not like I don’t know what Baz is doing when he leaves after dinner. I’d established he was a vampire early in our relationship, last Christmas I’d even gotten him to come right out and say it. He’s a vampire. A member of the not-alive-but-not-quite-dead. He went out every night, too, it wasn’t anything new.

        But he was late tonight. Really late. It was already three. And I was having a hard time breathing. Penny had stayed up with me until midnight. When she got up to go to bed she’d muttered a “I’m sure he’s fine Simon, don’t stay up too late.” I’d barely heard her.

        I felt myself growing more hollow with every minute that passed. Dread would creep up my spine at every quarter hour.Was he okay? Did something happen? There weren’t more Numpties, right? Fuck. So I paced around the flat for most of the night, stopping for bathroom breaks only (How could I even think about snacking or anything else? Where was Baz?)

        It was 3:30 when I started wondering whether I’d fucked up somehow. I must’ve. I fucked up and Baz wasn’t coming back. I was a horrible boyfriend. A moody mess. I definitely wasn’t the magician he’d fallen for. I wasn’t even a magician anymore. My eyes started stinging.

        It was either I’d fucked up or he was dead. But Baz can’t die, Baz wouldn’t be dead (couldn't be dead). I must’ve fucked up.

        What was the last thing I’d said to him? “Be safe, I’ll see you in a few hours.”

        He wasn’t dead. He wasn’t dead and I hadn’t fucked up, he was just a little late.

        He wasn’t dead.

        But what if he was dead? What would I do? What could I do?

        Nothing. I’m useless. Not an ounce of magic.

        The front door opens, and an exhausted looking Baz slumps into the room. His cheeks are flushed and when he sees I’m still awake he smirks and raises an eyebrow.

        "Why are you still awake, Sno-“

        I grabbed his wrist and I’m pulling him into the living room. I’m being rather rough about the whole thing, but I don’t notice until he winced.

        I stop, wipe my face (it’s all wet, what the hell?) and turn to face him. He looks mildly concerned but also amused. I hate him.

        Both of my hands press against his cheeks and I’m laughing partially because he looks ridiculous, but mostly because I am so unbelievably glad that he is here and safe and alive. I kiss him once on the nose, "Fuck,” then on his forehead, “you,” his cheek, “you’re” his other cheek, “lateyoufuckingassholeihateyousomuch,” and then I’m kissing his lips and he’s not kissing me back and I’m scared that he really is going to leave this time when he breaks apart.

        "What the fuck are you talking about?“

        I kiss him again, because if this is our last kiss then I want to remember it forever. "I was so worried, Basil, Jesus Christ, I was worried,” I say it against his lips and I don’t open my eyes because I can’t handle his emotionless glare right now.

        He kissed me back and squeezed me closer to him and I wouldn’t have been able to break away from his grip, even if I’d wanted to. But that’s it, I never want to. I want to stay here, with him, for as long as I can breathe. I want to cry, I’m so glad he’s safe. I’m so glad he’s alive. He stops kissing me and I rest my head against him, he smells nice. Like cedar and bergamot and also a little like animal.

        "What,“ he says after a few moments, "were you so worried about?”

        "Numpties.“ I mumble into his chest.

        He scoffs, but it’s light, almost like he was trying not to chuckle (he does that a lot). "I’m not getting kidnapped by fucking numpties more than once in my life, Snow.”




        He let’s me go, "What about me?”

        "It’s nothing,“ I try for a smile, but he sneers in return, "it’s okay, you’re home now. Safe, that’s all that matters.”

        "You’re a shitty liar.“

        "M'not lying, though.” I look up at him, and I kiss his lower lip because it’s puckering out, the way it always does when he’s trying to pout.

        "Snow,“ he says, taking a step away, suddenly stiff. I blink. "Would you maybe mind waiting to maul my face again until I shower?”

        I smirk, “Why, Baz?”

        He just glares at me and starts towards the bathroom. He stops.

        “Because I just killed a deer, do you want to taste it? I didn’t think so,” he continues towards the bathroom, “but you can join me if you’d like - and I know you would.”

hands / noun

        "Snow,“ Baz says, pressing one of his palms against his eyes, "we’ve gone over it six times now. Are you ready to try it or not?”

        I growl, “Yes, of course I’m ready, Baz.” Honestly, he was such a twit sometimes. I was quite capable of performing a handshake. It wasn’t anything hard. Baz came up with it, so it couldn’t be that hard. No offense to him, of course, he’s bloody brilliant. But I can’t actually see him trying to come up with a handshake that lasted more than a few seconds. He’s really flighty when it comes to physical contact. (How do I know this? Ask the seven years of sharing a room with him.) We’ve only been on a truce for a few weeks. I guess coming up with a secret handshake meant that we were finally moving on from our nemesis-phase.

        I was happy.

I held my hand out to him, remembering the first time we’d met. The night that the Crucible had cast us together. He took it in his own hand. (Bony and slender.) His hands had been softer than I’d imagined possible, and it kind of really pissed me off but at the same time, I’m finally touching his hand. Not sure why that made me happy, though…

        “Okay, one, two, DAMMIT SNOW YOU WENT TOO EARLY,” Baz obviously frustrated, growled at me.

        “I’m sorry, I’ll get it this time. What comes after the pinky part?” I shyly asked.

“That’s the second to last motion, if you can get there then I’ll show you what comes next.” He answered with a smirk.

        I’ve got this. I can handle it, it’s not even that hard, a fucking troll could do this.

        “One, two, three,” Baz started the shake.

        “I told you. I told you I’d get it, what was the next par-” Baz’s thin lips smashed into mine cutting me off.

        So this is what he was gonna show me. Don’t stop, show me more.

instant / adjective, noun

        The night the crucible cast me with Simon Snow was the night I think my life truly began. It wasn’t because I was instantly in love with him. It was quite the opposite, actually. The first time I saw his scrawny body dragging it’s way towards me I felt anger.

        Anger that this small boy had had the world in his pocket.

        "You’re the Mage’s heir,“ was the first thing that’d slipped out of my mouth. It wasn’t a question, more an observation. He’d just thrown his hand out and was waggling it at me.

        "Yeah,” he huffed, shaking his hand again, “that’s me.” I felt the pull towards him, it was almost magnetic. Fighting it was taking a lot of my energy and concentration. I sneered, finally giving in, and took his hand in my own. He smiled then, “I’m Simon, Simon Snow.”

        "Basilton Pitch,“ I replied flatly. No way in hell would I make friends with this kid. My family had told me all about him. The Mage’s heir had apparently come from an orphanage and as far as anyone knew, had no reason to have any magical abilities. (That last part, obviously, proved untrue.)

        He was small, his clothes hanging on him like he was a walking, talking toothpick. It shocked me that he was supposed to be the Greatest Mage. He was the savior our world had been waiting for. He was holding a red ball in the hand that I wasn’t holding. Then I remembered I was actually holding his hand, and I dropped it, taking a few steps back.

        He smiled at me again, "Nice to meet you, Basil!” My heart did a cartwheel for some reason then, so I sneered at him to hide my discomfort. What kind of magic was that? Was nice to meet you some kind of a spell or something? None that I’d ever heard of. “I wonder where our room is going to be…” He trailed off, looking around us. His face had an orange-ish tint in the firelight and it made his moles and freckles pop out. I got the urge to kiss the one right under his jaw.

        That’s weird, Baz, I think, he’s your enemy, by default. Get your act together. You’re going to end up killing each other some day.

        Hopefully soon, that way I can stop thinking about that mole, and all of the other ones.

        That didn’t make the urge go away.

just / adverb

        Whenever I think back to my childhood, I never figured I’d be considering marrying a bloke. (Not surprisingly) I always assumed I’d ask Agatha over dinner at a fancy restaurant. She’d be drinking champagne or some other classy shit, and I’d have done something lame like dropping it into her glass beforehand, like Oh, how opportune, since you almost choked on the ring, why don’t you admire it, also, will you marry me?

        What kind of ring do you even buy for a guy? I can’t imagine Baz would want any gaudy stone on his finger. Or would he, he is one of those in-your-face types… This is another thing I never assumed I’d deal with. Trying to figure out what kind of ring he’d want. Trying to surprise him with something he’ll adore. Wow.

        "Can I help you, sir?“ The lady behind the counter was looking at me with a sculpted brow raised.

        "Uh,” I said, embarrassed, “actually, yeah. I’m looking for a ring.”

        "Well,“ she said pleasantly, "you’ve come to the right place. Do you have any idea as to what kind of ring she’d be interested in?”

        "He,“ I corrected, trying to sound polite, her eyes go wide, "I’m not sure exactly, we’ve never actually talked about rings…”

        "Let’s try over here, then,“ she says, leading me towards a display with thicker rings. She’s smirking, must be good gossip, a boy shopping for a ring for another boy. I pursed my lips, nervous. I chuckled at myself, Merlin, I’m so lame.

        "Good morning Basil, my sweet,” I smile up at him. His hair is pulled back into a loose knot in the middle of his head, stray hairs are brushing against his flawless face. He’s like a fucking angel, kind of, like a dark one or something. Which is honestly, even more fucking attractive. He stifles a yawn and smiles at me.

        "Good morning, Snow.“

        "What do you want to eat this morning, darling?”

        He sits back, sipping his coffee, raising an eyebrow. “What have you done, now, Snow?” I raise my eyebrows.

        "I can’t believe you think so low of me, after all this time, Baz.“

        He chuckles.

        "If you must know,” I say, folding my hands in my lap, “I just wanted to do something nice for you today…”

        "Is something wrong, Simon?“ He says, leaning forward to lay a hand across my forehead. My eyes widen.

        "Why would anything be wrong?”

        "You’re acting really weird,“ he says, leaning back again, "it’s creeping me out.”

        I blush, “Never mind, then, I take it all back, fend for yourself!” He snorts and takes my hand into his. It’s been six years since I officially asked Baz out. (Before the whole mess with The Mage…) Six years and he still makes me blush, still makes my mind go fuzzy when he gets really close to me. It’s ridiculous, really, how much I love this man.

        I don’t have the whole “proposal” thing planned out. I know that I don’t want to do it in public, it’s a personal moment, a personal step forward. I’ll probably do something really lame like hollow out a section in a book and give it to him with the ring and a “Will you marry me?” note inside of it.

        "Simon,“ Baz says, shaking our hands.

        "Huh? Yeah?”         

        "Are you actually okay?“

        "I’m fine,” I am fine.

        "Hey, look at me for a sec,“ I do. And he’s on one knee next to me, looking up at me with puppy-dog-eye-mode activated. I stare at him, feeling in my pocket for the box holding the ring I’d gotten for him. It’s there.

        "Simon,” he says shakily, and I pull the box from my pocket and open it. He looks at it blankly for a minute, realization hit him like a brick. I wrap my arms around him and we sort of fall to the kitchen floor hugging each other and kissing each other and saying yes at least 500 times each. This is it. Just us, forever.

klutz / noun

        That was it, then, a rejection from the coach in person. I hadn’t made the team, again — third year in a row. A guy can only handle so much rejection in one lifetime. I knew it was high time I gave up my dream of becoming some famous footballer. You had to have a lot of stamina — I did not. You had to be good — I was not.

        That was fine. I think I’d always known I wouldn’t be able to live out my life normally. Or Normally, considering I wasn’t Normal. Even aside from being a magician, I was the Chosen One. I was supposed to defeat the Humdrum or die trying. It’s okay, this is fine.

        This is fine.

        I’m fine.

        I’m not fine, this is shit, this is complete shit, how do I get better at playing when I’m not given a chance to learn how to properly play? This is —

        "Oi, Snow,“ Baz Pitch is walking towards me, wearing his uniform. Baz is on the team. Which is understandable, he’s brilliant. But it’s still annoying.

        "Yes,” I say with a polite smile. I’m fucking fuming on the inside and Baz knows it because he’s smirking at me and crossing his arms over his jersey, “What is it, Baz?”

        "I heard you didn’t make the team, again.“ For being a 13-year-old he was awfully cocky.

        "Is that what you heard?” I say, turning away from him.

        "Yeah,“ he said, following me when I’d started to walk away from him, "I just wanted to ask if you wanted to practice with me? Maybe you’ll make it next year…”

        "You’re an asshole, you know tha— wait, what?“

        He smirked, "We can practice right now, if you want?”

        "I—.“ Was he joking? Since when was Baz Pitch helpful? Was there a way he could murder me while we played football?

        "Or not, maybe some other time…?” He said when I hadn’t responded.

        "Now is fine,“ I decide that if this is a trap I might as well go along with it to see what his end goal is.

        "Alright, so, you obviously know the basics,” he says staring down at me with his hands on his hips, “we just need to work on your technique. Part one of that is physique, you might want to lay off the scones, Snow. They’re not helping your—” I shoot him a glare full of daggers, “Don’t look at me like that, you know eating an entire stick of butter with every meal isn’t entirely healthy either, right?”

        I roll my eyes, “What can we do today, Baz?”

        He sighs, scratching his chin. We’ve been standing in the middle of the field since lessons were let out. It was baking hot out here, and the moat smell filled my nose. I’d never been this close to Baz on the pitch. Hah, Pitch on the pitch. Hahaha. He had his hair pulled back into a bun (which really made his cheeks stand out and he looked like some model for a sporting magazine, totally weird!) and sweat was dripping down his face. I didn’t know Baz got sweaty.

        "Let’s start by kicking the ball back and forth,“ he decided, slicking a few stray strands back, "we’ll work on your aim first.”

        "Right,“ I said. I backed up a few steps and waited for Baz to kick the ball to me. When he did and I’d stopped it — an amazing feat, really, considering he kicks like some beast, I looked towards him to check whether he was ready or not. He nodded, so I readied myself, a quick reminder gliding through my head to kick with the side of my foot, and not with my toes.

        I kicked with all of my might, hoping it’d make it all the way to Baz.

        It did. Unfortunately that wasn’t the only thing it did. The black and white ball smacked into his face, knocking him back. He lost his footing and fell onto his back, slamming his head against the ground. He wasn’t moving.

        "Oh my God,” I said, running to him, “oh my Godohmy god ohmygodohmygod, Baz!” I tried to check whether he was breathing but I wasn’t really sure how to do that without actually listening for a heartbeat so I rested my head against his chest, listening hard.

        Nothing for one second and then —

        There it was. Thump, thump. thump. It started slow, but was beating out of control like some war drum after a few seconds.

        "Oh, Baz, oh my God,“ I say, sitting back up. His cheeks are flushed and his eyes are wide open, he’s staring right at me.

        "What the hell are you doing?” He says, sitting up and shoving me away.

        "I- uh, I —,“ I’m so glad he’s not dead.

        "Snow, you fucking klutz, no wonder you didn’t make the team.” He stands up, brushes the grass off of himself and stalks back towards campus, leaving me on my knees in the football pitch fuming over how much of an asshole he is.

lame / adjective

        Couples ruin Christmas. Honestly, how insensitive can they be, kissing each other so possessively when there are some of us who can’t snog who we want. Holding each other close outside because they’re cold. Existing. Once again, the holiday season is right here, in my grasp, and all I can think about doing is snogging Simon Snow under mistletoe. It’s ridiculous, really. To make matters worse, the whole school gets so festive around this time of year, if I spent any more time here than I already did I’d be puking up tinsel for weeks.

        They’ll magic the decorations up around the twenty-ninth of November, and from then on it’s open game to adding your own traditions in with your roommate (ie a small tree, tinsel, wreaths, lights etc). That’d be fine if my roommate didn’t hate my guts. I look over at him now, he’s sitting on his bed, biting his lip trying to figure something on his homework out. I blink hard and take my eyes away from him.

        It’s ridiculous, really, how flustered I get when I see him. Ridiculous… no, embarrassing. Appalling. But God. He’s Simon Snow, he’s the Chosen One, the golden boy. He’s perfect, even with his ridiculous curls and stupid freckles. He’s Simon Snow and I’m so in love with him that it hurts like hell to be around him.

        "What’re you doing at, Baz,“ he says. I look back at him, he’s glaring at me suspiciously. Probably thinks I’m plotting his downfall or something.

        I sigh dramatically, glaring right back at him, "I’m just wondering what you’re going to do without me for Christmas. Your nights are going to be so free now.” This is the first time I’ve acknowledged that I know he follows me every night, all night.

        He growls at me. It’s not intimidating anymore. It brings to mind a dog growling while it’s playing, more of a way to show competition than aggression. I roll my eyes.

        "No, I’m being serious, Snow. I’m worried, are you going to go find some other stranger to follow around? That’s considered stalking you know.“

        "Fuck off, Baz.” He says, tossing his homework aside so he could leave the room. I laugh dryly.

        Good. Maybe he’ll avoid me until I leave.

        But luck, it seems, was never on my side. He came back a little while after dinner had started. He was eating a scone.

        "Why weren’t you at dinner?“ He says, falling into his bed.

        I look over at him, the sunset reflecting in his hair. He looked tired, and frustrated — though I couldn’t understand why.

        "I don’t have to explain myself to you,” I say, looking back up at the ceiling. He sighs.


        I look over at him again, he’s on his back, looking up too.

        The shadows the light cast on his face reminded me of how much I wanted to kiss him. To trace the outline of his bone structure with my lips. I swallow hard and look away from him. Puberty hit him like a fucking baseball bat last summer, his face had lost all of it’s roundness. He wasn’t cute anymore. He was beautiful. Golden locks and blue eyes.

        There’s a knock at the door, and we both stand up to see who it was. Snow is still shorter than me. Probably 3 inches. Every year he throws a fit about it, "Stop fucking stealing my thunder BAZ!” “You asshole!! HOW DARE YOU?!” He’s never actually said any of this to me, I’ve seen it in the margins of his notes. Or homework. Or tests.

        Simon gets to the door first, he opens it a crack to peek into the hall without inviting anyone in.

        "Who is it?“ I say, trying to look over his head.

        "I ‘unno.” He says, opening it the rest of the way. The hallway is empty. And then I see it, right above our doorway.Mistletoe. Goddamn first years probably trying to play a prank. It takes him a moment longer than me to notice it, and when he does his face goes from golden to tomato in a second and he seems genuinely at a loss for words.

        "Wha—,“ and then I realize we’re both standing in the doorway. I raised an eyebrow at Simon.

        He scrunched his nose, scowling, and kissed my cheek.

        It was my turn to blush, I shove away from him and walk into the bathroom. My heart feels like it’s racing a million miles an hour. I don’t know who knew Simon Snow took those silly holiday traditions seriously but I’d have to thank them forever.

monster / noun

        "It’ll be alright, little puff,” her voice rang in my ears, and her hand brushed the hair from my face. Thick, wonderful. Mother. Her hand slips away, and I look around the gloom that seemed to be consuming me.

        "Mother?“ I say, my voice is higher, and thin. My eyes are desperately searching, any hint of a shadow, anything.

        "Darling,” she says, “my Basilton, I’ve missed you,” her voice is retreating. I run towards it. Groping into the darkness, hoping to catch her.

        "Mother!“ I’m screaming it over and over now, shrill voice and ugly tears staining my cheeks. "Mother, mother,mothermothermothermother!” And then I slam into something, someone. I look up, frightened, expecting a monster.

        The sight was worse than any monster.

        It was my mum’s face, contorted in disgust, she was trying to ease her torso away from me, without actually having to touch me. Her eyes are burning. I back away from her.

        "You should have died, too,“ she said with a growl, "you are an atrocity. A stain to this world.” She set the tips of her fingers ablaze. They weren’t burning, the fire never touched our skin. It spread, licking up her arms. Casting hideous shadows across her face. Her eyes were full of disappointment, and I wondered if mother would bring my end. She could rid the world of another monster. Right here, right now. I also wondered whether I wanted that.

        "BAZ,“ this voice is different, urgent, coming from everywhere and nowhere. I look around the gloom. "Baz, love, it’s alright, I’m right here.” Arms are around me, and my head is resting against someone’s chest. A boy’s chest.

        My eyes focus in on a face full of moles and tired blue eyes. Bed-head and worried lips.

        "Simon,“ slips from my lips before he cuts me off with a kiss. He’s got wicked morning breath.

        "It was just a dream,” I say, looking around the room, I reach out for Simon Snow’s hand. I want to make sure he’s real, that this isn’t going to turn into a nightmare as well. He met me half way and laced our fingers together.         

        "It was just a dream,“ he agrees, and I try to slow my breathing down.

neck / noun

        I wasn’t kidding when I’d told him I would turn him.

        I meant every word of it.

        Simon Snow would be my vampire boyfriend until the end of eternity.

        I didn’t know when I’d get enough courage to tell him this, though. I certainly didn’t expect him to walk up to me one day after work and say, “Tyrannus Basilton Grimm-Pitch, I want you to turn me so I can be your shitty vampire boyfriend until the end of time.” (We’d had a few conversations about immortality, and whether I could stay alive forever. "Of course you can, that’s the only perk to being a vampire!” “Most vampires don’t just join, it’s not some club that you can decide you don’t want to be in when you find out it’s not what you thought it was.” “Okay, but consider this, you living forever. You’ll stop aging at 25, you’ll be sitting on a metal bench, because everything in the future is metal-” “Benches are metal now, Snow.”)

        But he did, and he’d said it with such a serious expression that I couldn’t help but laugh, “What the fuck, Snow?”         

        “I don’t want this, us, to ever end,” he paused, “and if I don’t turn, it eventually will .” he finished.

        “Where is this coming from?” I say, raising an eyebrow. Something was wrong, something seemed off.

        He thought about it for a minute, “My heart.”

        Despite how ridiculously cheesy it was, I blushed. Hah!

        “You still have time to think about this, Simon.”

        “What’s there to think about?” He says, crossing his arms, “I love you, Baz, and I want to be with you forever. You’re going to be alive forever. I don’t see what the problem is.”

        I roll my eyes, “The problem is, Snow, that I’m not going to take away your humanity because you never want to be away from me.”

        “Baz, please-”

        “Simon, I’m not talking about this anymore.” He stares at me, and he looks like he’s on the verge of tears. His face looks thinner, and he’s got shadows under his eyes, almost like he hasn’t been getting enough sleep. I wonder how I hadn’t noticed it before. He growls, but the growl gets stuck in his throat, and his face gets pale, and he looks like he’s about to throw up.

        Then he does, he gets sick right in the middle of the floor, chunky dark red vomit (like bloodstained coffee grounds), and he’s actually got tears streaming down his face. He looks terrified and I don’t know what to do. I don’t understand.

        “Simon, what’s wrong?” I’ve got him in my arms and he feels so small. Had he lost weight? He’s shaking all over, but he looks up at me and smiles.

        “I’m a li’l sick, Baz,” he says.

        “I had no idea,” I say, lacing my voice in sarcasm, “Sick how? Is… is that blood?” I’ve got my phone out, dialing emergency.

        “Cancer, Baz. I’m dying, I won’t make it more than a few months, probably less,” he motions at his sick pile.

        "How long have you known?“ I’m sick to my stomach. An ambulance was on it’s way. How hadn’t I known? I should have been with him. Every step.

        "Few weeks, I…” he looks down, “I’m scared Baz. I’m so scared… I don’t want to leave you.”

        Our eyes meet, and his are so blue but they look like pools of sadness.

        “But I won’t have to, if… if you turn me, now.” He looks scared, and I feel scared. I’m horrified. It’s too early to lose him.

        “You know what happens once you’re a vampire right? There isn’t going back, there isn’t waking up to feeling alive again, Snow.”

        “I know, Baz.”

        I didn’t turn him that night. He agreed that it’d be best to set a date. We decided to wait, to see how his cancer played out. Maybe he’d go into remission. But he didn’t. He just kept getting worse and worse. I was more worried about keeping him comfortable than I was about turning him into a monster.

        He’d get through this without turning. He’s Simon Snow. At least, that’s what I kept telling myself.

        It was a morning at the beginning of December. He’d been getting worse lately, later nights with more pain — the medicine working less and less. His face was sunken in, but he’d kept that smile on his face, the Simon Snow one, his signature grin.

        “What’s got you looking so down, Baz?” He said.

        I looked at him sadly, he was so small, falling into the sheets and blankets as if he were one of them. “You look like shit, Snow.”

        “Hah! You’re one to talk, Baz. Have you taken a shower this week?”

        I roll my eyes, “Have you?”

        He didn’t answer. He was all smiles and messy hair.

        He looked like Simon, but he didn’t.

        “How are you feeling?” I said, inching the chair closer to him.

        “Fine,” he said, though he’d winced after shifting a moment before.

        “Really?” I say, I reach for one of his hands, he grabs it gladly.

        His hands are all bone, he looks more like a skeleton now than he ever had after a summer of no-eating. I want to cry. Simon. Simon.

        “Really,” he said. His eyes were hooded now, his eyelids always heavy. He looks so tired, so wrung-out. Like an old rag. His breathing is slow. “Baz,” he says, without opening his eyes.


        “I think I’m ready to go to sleep.”


        “I’m… ready to go to sleep.”



        “Dammit, Snow! You may be ready but I’m not,” I close my eyes, “I’m sorry.”

        I lean in, moving his head aside so that I can access the main . I hesitate, but only enough so I can inhale his scent.                         And then I sink my fangs in, and his blood is sickly sweet on my tongue. This is the moment I’ve been waiting for since we met, right?

        No. It was different now. I wanted to kill him then. I want to save him now. I want Simon Snow to be with me forever. I pull my face away from him when I can’t take it anymore. I look at his face, it’s so blank, his eyelids are purple.

        One minute… Two… I was too late. I didn’t save him in time. Simon Snow was dead, and it was all my fault.

        And then his eyes flew open, and he sat up straight in bed.

        “What the fuck, Baz?” He was grinning.

once / adverb

        The nights when I’m alone with Baz are my favorite one’s. We’ll sit on the ground in the living room with a blanket or two under us and a bunch of pillows (collected from various rooms) surrounding us, and we’ll talk. Not about any particular topic, just anything that pops up.

        (This one time Baz told me about the time his dad caught him smoking a cigarette in the carriage house. He’d gotten pissed, as he bloody well should have. Baz is flammable, thank you very much.)

        And that’s what we’re doing on a Saturday night while Penny is visiting her family. Sitting on the floor facing each other and talking about the reason I like cherry scones.

        "It was almost like magic the first time I ate one!“ Baz is snickering. "It was, Baz! There was so much flavor! Of course, I haven’t really had any supreme ones since I was at Watford…” I trail off. I didn’t mean to turn the conversation this direction. It’s a very somber thing to talk about, how I lost my magic and all. I wasn’t actually in the mood to talk about it tonight, either. I’d been thinking about it quite enough lately, since Christmas was only a few weeks away.

        "What do you miss most, the scones or your magic?“ His voice is light.

        I scowl, "What kind of question is that? The scones, of course. My magic was rubbish, wasn’t it?”

        We both laugh. I appreciate the way Baz doesn’t seem keen on the idea of turning our conversation towards a tear-jerking, pity fest either. I’m tracing the angles of his face with my eyes (lame, I know, I just can’t get over the fact that his jaw looks like it was carved from stone) when he breaks the silence.

        "Snow, can I kiss you?“ I blink at him. Why was he asking?

        "Call me Simon, Baz…”

        He leans in closer to me, “Simon,” his breath is cold, “can I kiss you?”

        I swallow hard, “Just once.”

        And he does, perfect lips against mine. It’s soft, such a gentle kiss but it’s whispering a thousand secrets, each one causing my face to brighten to a more intense red. When he breaks the kiss he seems surprised to see how red my cheeks are. I’m a bit shocked myself, and I don’t understand until his fingers are brushing across my cheek. I shiver. No one’s kissed me like that before. Kissed me like I was their treasure.         

        My blush deepens and I turn my face away from Baz’s peering gaze. He’d probably laugh if I ever said that to him. I’d laugh if our roles were reversed. I turn towards him quickly and kiss his cheek, hoping that my kiss told him half as many secrets as his told me.

pride / noun

        He’s tracing my jaw with his index finger, a small smile tugging at his lips.

        "What,“ my voice is soft, I’m close to sleep. He shakes his head and looks into my eyes. Baz has the prettiest eyes. They’re like the sea during a storm. The contours of his face make him look like a statue of an old god.

        I reach my hand up to catch his, his skin is cool.

        "Simon,” he says, his voice is heavy with sleep too.

        "Yeah?“ My eyes are sagging. Our joined hands are falling onto the bed between us.

        "You aren’t cute anymore.”

        "Huh?“ I open one back up.

        He’s smiling again, I can hear it, "You aren’t cute anymore. Your face has too many angles now.”

        I’m not following. I open my mouth to say something but stop myself and rethink my words, “What are you talking about?”

        "Your face. It used to be as round as that bloody ball you carried around with you everywhere.“

        Both of my eyes are open now, and I’m staring at him, waiting for an in-depth explanation.

        "You’re much more attractive now,” his eyes aren’t even open anymore. When he pauses I wonder whether he’s fallen asleep when, “I like the way your jaw sets when you’re thinking hard…”

        I blush, “What are you saying all this for?”

        His eyes open then, and he’s looking at me hard, “I don’t know.”

        I push myself closer to him. He wraps his arms around me and I feel my own breathing slow.

        "Simon,“ he says.


        "Sweet dreams.“ I can’t help it, I blush again.

quibble / noun, verb

        "Christ, Baz,” Simon exclaims, throwing something at me. It’s probably a scone. “Do you ever think about what you say?”

        I roll my eyes. “I think about my words on a daily basis, Snow. Do you?” That earns a growl. Sneer in place, I am determined to win this argument. It started over something as silly as where to put the tree.

        "Fuck you, Baz.“ He said, turning his back to me. I roll my eyes again.

        "That’s not an option when you’re just going to go off and mope over the bloody tree.” I bluntly state. I don’t know why I’m being like this. It’s not like I really cared about the tree’s position. I just wanted to put it up with him. I’d imagined some silly little couple thing where we wrapped each other in garland and giggled along to Christmas carols because we’d had a little bit too much eggnog.

        But I’d ruined it, the way that I ruin most things.

        My response was a door slamming. I didn’t know what that meant. Did he want me to leave? Was I supposed to put the tree up by myself? Merlin, why was I so daft? I grab my coat, sling it over my arm and slam the front door behind me. Part of me is hoping he’ll come after me. To apologize. But he had nothing to apologize for. I was in the wrong.

        Once I meet the cold December air I start toward the shop. I’ll buy a coffee and then I’ll go back and I’ll explain and I’ll apologize. But… how do you apologize for being an asshole?

        How do you apologize for being mad at someone because of something that had happened in your head? I sigh.

        "Alright, Basil?“ I know my manager’s voice but I look up, surprised, anyways.

        "Alright,” I say with a smile. She snorts.

        "You’re so full of it.“

        "Don’t I know it,” I mumble and I go back to the flat.

        I knock on the door first, assuming Simon had returned to the living room after I left. He doesn’t answer though, so I knock again. No answer. I ring the doorbell.

        He opens the door right away, “You think you’d get the message.”

        "I- uh,“ his hair is dripping wet and his face looks splotchy. I push past him and go in to find a towel, he’ll get sick if he doesn’t dry his hair. The idiot. He’s following me through the rooms.

        "Baz, what do you-” I drape the first hand towel I find down onto his head. I ruffle his hair.

        "I’m sorry.“ I say. He looks up at me with his eyes and they’re so blue, they drag me through them into a whole other world. "Snow, I’m so sorry.”

        And there are tears welling up in his eyes and it’s still so strange to see him this way. So vulnerable. So raw. He looks down and pulls away from me, turning back towards the living room. I didn’t notice it on the way in but he’s already got the tree standing. It’s small, maybe 3’. But it’s perfect.

        He stops and turns to look at me. Instead of saying anything he punches me. Square in the jaw. It hurt like hell.

        "YOU ARE THE BIGGEST ASSHOLE IN THE HISTORY OF ASSHOLES. BASILTON, LOOK AT ME.“ He grabs my face to make sure I do, and his bottom lip is poking out. "Don’t you ever leave after such a stupid fight.”

        "I’m so sorry, Simon.“ I think I might cry too. “I shouldn’t have said–”



        “Okay,” he sighs, pushing his hand through his hair, “maybe I could’ve gone without all of the little digs, but honestly? I don’t even care about where we put the tree… I just wanted to decorate it with you. I’m sorry, Baz. I’m so sorry,” he leans into me, wrapping his arms around mine, “you can hit me in the face too.”

        I chortle, “How could I hit you when you apologize like that?”

rather / adverb

        The morning was cold, biting bitterly at my cheeks. It was too early for me, any time before ten was too early. My eyes were having a hard time adjusting to the bright sun, and I wasn’t sure how much farther I was from the station. I was supposed to be meeting Baz there at 10:30.

        I look at my watch, I left the house later than I should have. It was 10:25. I’m glad when I look up and see the large clock and a crowd of bustling people. Baz is leaning against a wall, one leg crossed over the other, looking like a Greek god. He was looking up at the sky, his hair dark silk against his pale pigmentation.

        I smile because he’s beautiful. He looks so out of place, posh coat, aristocratic features, almost like he’s a model posing for some magazine. He was receiving appreciative looks from girls and women alike, all of them eying him like he was a fucking piece of candy. I walk towards him slowly, trying not to shock him from his reverie. He sees me, though, out of the corner of his eyes. He grins, and I can’t help but blush.

        Basilton is my fucking beautiful boyfriend of two years.

        "Hi,” I manage, once I reach him.

        "Hello,“ he sounds breathless.

        "You look nice,” I say, taking in his outfit. Nice jeans, that fit him snug but not tight. A blue sweater, with a white collared shirt under it. He looked stunning, of course, he could probably make a onesie look awesome (he does, I know from experience).

        "So do you,“ I look up at him, trying to see if he was joking. His features were serious, though, and I looked down at myself. Not very fancy, nothing near as nice as his. I smile.

        "Shall we, then?”

        "Oh, yeah.“ I take his hand then. Because holding Baz’s hand has always been a comfort to me, being close, maintaining physical contact. He squeezes mine in return, and I can’t help but think back to the time we’d almost died trying to get rid of the chimera he’d gotten to kill me.

        I don’t ask where we’re going, it doesn’t really matter to me. He’d told me he had to get some shopping done, and then we could grab lunch and who knows from there? We walked into a clothing store first, a big one with fancy lettering above the door that I couldn’t read. The front racks were stuffed with sweaters. Ugly sweaters, with gaudy reindeer poking their noses out, some with cotton snowballs hanging from the cuffs and neck. There were sweater vests with dogs dressed as elves, and thick fleece sweaters with Father Christmas riding towards you on his sleigh, Ruldolph’s red nose sticking out from the center of the chest of course.

        Normally clothes shopping is a nightmare, I’m not interested in clothes. Give me some pants and a shirt and I’m all set. But there was something about the way that the deformed reindeer faces looked out of the sweater’s that I couldn’t ignore.

        "Baz,” I couldn’t believe this! There were so many, some the ugly Christmas kind, some a nice cotton with a chevron pattern across the chest. I was in sweater heaven! Baz was looking at me, more amused than anything, thankfully. His arms were folded over his chest.

        "What are you doing? Go try them on, you dunce.“ I couldn’t help but notice the way the employees kept looking him over.

        "Huh, eh, uh… what do you mean?” He raised his eyebrow, grabbed the first sweaters he could reach and tossed them into my arms.

        "Go. Change. Now.“ He motioned towards the dressing rooms. I pursed my lips and turned away, excited to interact with the sweaters but also not exactly happy to leave Baz alone in a store full of pretty girls, and attractive boys. I walk into the room and try the first one on.

        Ugly green with a Christmas tree on the front, the ornaments and star elevated against my chest. I don’t know whether I’m supposed to go out to show Baz or just admire them myself. There was a knock at the door.

        I opened it to see Baz standing right outside. He looked slightly uncomfortable until he saw my head poke out.

        "Let’s see it, then,” he says. I stand just outside of the door. Baz has a big smile on his face, he covers it with his palm, possibly trying not to laugh. “Hm…” he pulls on my sleeve to turn me around, “something is missing, try on the next one.” I raise a brow.

        "Aren’t you going to try anything on?“

        He sighed, "No, Simon, not right now. I’m having too much fun waiting to see all of these awful sweaters on you.” I turn back into the room before he can see my blush.

        The next one was four sizes too big, hanging past my knees. Red, with green garland wrapped around the sleeves and the giant face of Father Christmas across the front. His beard hung off, it was made of yarn and cotton. I looked at myself in the mirror, debating whether or not I should just take this one off and leave it balled up in here so no one else would ever have to wear it. But then I thought about seeing Baz smile and maybe even get a laugh from it, and then I opened the door, looking at the ground.

        Baz did laugh, he laughed for at least two minutes, pulling at the garland and the beard, and even at his button nose (it was an actual button, a huge black one sitting in the center of his face). “Simon,” he said, suddenly straightening up and looking at me seriously, “the only thing I want for Christmas from you, is for you to wear this sweater, all day.” I opened my mouth to protest. I didn’t have enough money to buy it, I hated it, it was stupid. But the smile on his face wasn’t stupid, and I couldn’t bring myself to tell him no because he seemed so happy at the way that it fit.

        He looked over to one of the girls on the floor, she’d been watching him anyways, “He’s going to wear this one out.” She looked at me then, and I saw her bite her cheek, probably trying not to laugh. While he checked out I went back to the dressing room to retrieve my own shirt and to grab all of the rejects. I hung them all back up and waited for Baz by the door.

        Just outside of the shop he pulled me into a kiss, wrapping his arm around me. I kissed him back, of course. Who would pass up a chance to snog Baz? He pulled away once he remembered that we were in public, with rosy cheeks and a goofy grin. I liked this side of Baz. I’d buy all of the ugly sweaters in the world if it meant that he’d smile like this every day.

stupor / noun

        "Simon,“ Penny hissed.

        I held my finger up to her, "One. Minute.” She was being ridiculous. I hadn’t had too much to drink. I was an adult. I could decide what my limit was. I wasn’t so drunk that I’d lost my common sense. I mean, it’s not like I was going to run into the middle of the street. I wasn’t going to do anything stupid. I wouldn’t regret anything from a night as wonderful as tonight. I go through my contacts, looking not for his name (I’d saved his number under some vulgar name, like “Stupid Bitch”.) but for his contact photo. His. Baz. Basilton. The man I was so stupidly in love with.

        I hit the call button.

        One ring.



        He answers before the fourth.

        "This better be good, Snow, I’m in the middle of something.“ I could hear him sneering.

        "BASILTON!” I shout. I hadn’t intended it to be a shout. I was aiming more for an exasperated exclamation. Low-key excitement. But I guess my own feelings were already bubbling over the surface.

        "What’s wrong with you? Why are you shouting?“

        "Sorry,” I mumble, not really meaning it. It was so nice to hear his voice.

        "What did you call for, Snow?“ He says, after a few moments silence from my end. Or maybe it was a few minutes?

        "I have something. Very. Very important to tell you, Bazzzzz.”

        "So important it couldn’t wait until later?“ But I hear him excusing himself (he was probably with his family) and walking somewhere.

        "No,” I say, so sure that my feelings needed to be heard by everyone, “I had to tell you. It had to be tonight.” I hope I don’t sound as pushy as I feel.

        "Hang on, have you been drinking?“


        "Crowley, Snow, where are you?“

        "Nowhere,” I lie, “that’s not the POINT! I HAVE TO TELL YOU SOMETHING BASILTON. I HAVE TO.”

        "Then spit it out already, Snow. I haven’t got all night.“

        "I like you.”

        "Come again?“

        "I am in love with you Basilton Peach, I like you-”

        "What the fuck, Snow? Go home. Sleep this off. You’re gonna regret saying it later.“


        He doesn’t say anything.

        "I…“ What else is there for me to say? I’ve said "I love you” already. He doesn’t feel the same. This was a mistake.

        "Where are you, Snow?“ He says.


        "Where are you? Still at the club? Which one?“        

        "I’m not-”

        "Snow, you can’t just tell me you love me over the phone, what the fuck are you thinking?“

        "I don’t-” I’m not thinking, I guess. That’s the only explanation. What the fuck? I hang up.

        Baz calls me back right away. I don’t answer. What was I thinking, Merlin and Morgana.

        He calls again, I hit ignore this time, and I sit down on a bench. My head is spinning, the cold air isn’t helping me. I wish I was back in the dorm, under the blankets and hiding. I could pretend nothing had happened there.

        Penny calls me.


        "Simon, where are you?” I sigh, and look around for a store. “Never mind,” she says, “I see you.”

        I whip my head around, she’s walking towards me, and she looks mad.

        "Hello, Penny,“ I say, "Wanna hear something funny? I think I just ruined my life.”

        "What?“ She sits next to me and raises an eyebrow. I lean into her shoulder, I’m so embarrassed.

        My face is burning.

        "Simon,” she says, “Baz just called me, I didn’t even know he had my number. He called and asked where you are.”

        I sat up straight, “What did you tell him?”

        She looks confused, “I told him you were with me, he asked where we were, and so I-”

        "You didn’t tell him where we are, did you?“

        "Yes, I did. What are-”

        "I’ve got to go.“

        ”-you so antsy about?“

        "Baz,” I say. She doesn’t get it, she doesn’t know what I did! I stand up and start back to the club.

        "Where are you going, Simon?“

        "I’m thirsty.”

        "No, Simon. Simon,“ I stop and look back at her, "you don’t need any more to drink.”

        "I'm fine, Penny,“ I try to smile.

        I’m not fine. Baz is driving here, why is Baz driving here I’m fucked, I’m dead, he’s probably coming to laugh at me in person. "Simon Snow,” he’ll say, "the Chosen One. Drunk off of his ass and professing his love for me.“ Then cold laughter, the unfeeling, hollow kind. I’m not fine. I down another drink, or maybe it’s two, I’ve lost track at this point. I can barely see the guy behind the counter. Penny might be right next to me still, or maybe she’s not. I’ve got to go to the bathroom but I don’t want to get lost.

        "Simon,” I know the voice. Deeper, rounding out my name. It’s Baz, I turn around and try to focus on him. His face is out of focus one minute, and then the next the light above us is casting a halo on his head. His eyebrows are raised, he looks amused.

        "Vaz.“ Baz.

        I feel the sudden urge to kiss him, he looks so beautiful in this dingy place. So out of place. I’m grinning, he’s here, I got to see him on break. He’s here, Baz is here. For a moment, I forgot that I’d confessed to him. I forgot that he was here to make fun of me. But the moment passed, and everything came crashing around me.

        He sits down on the stool next to mine, resting his head on his hand.

        I turn my body towards him, so that I can look him in the eyes, and then I fall forward into him. He catches me by my shoulders and pushes me back slowly. One eyebrow raised he’s smirking. Oh, this must be hilarious to him. He must be beside himself.

        "Penelope,” he says looking behind me, “do you need a ride?” My head flips back, Penny’s biting her cheek, like it was really a hard decision. Maybe it was, I’d been trying to convince her that Baz was evil since the second month of our first year. She nods finally, and looks at me.

        "I, uh.. er, need a ride too,“ I say, looking back at Baz.

        He sneers, "Obviously.”

        He drops Penny off first, I try to get out of the car with her but he stops me with a look.

        "We need to talk.“

        I gulp down the lump in my throat. Why? I wanted to ask, About what?

        "Baz…” I say, not sure what to say. He doesn’t respond, doesn’t even look at me, his fists clenched on the wheel, eyes glued to the road. He continues driving until we’re on a stretch of highway surrounded by woods. The trees cast sinister shadows. He pulls to the side of the road and turns to look at me. I’m nervous, how could I not be? When was the last time I’d seen him look at me like this? Surely it hasn’t been since third year? Fifth?

        He leans in and his lips brush against mine, leaving a cool trail behind. My hand reaches up to cup his cheek, and I kiss him. It’s more than a feather kiss, and he seems taken aback. He grabs the hand I have on his face with his own and holds it there. His breathing is uneven. I open my eyes when he breaks away.

        "Crowley, Snow, how much did you drink?“

        I narrow my eyes, "Why does it matter?”

        "You taste horrible.“

        I laugh, and then kiss him again. He kisses me back and I think that this was the best mistake I’d ever made.

tiny / adjective

        I was 11 years old when the Mage collected me.

        He wasn’t an extremely tall man, 5'9” at the most, maybe. I should clarify, he seemed terribly tall on our first meeting. He was wearing a green tunic with a pair of forest green tights. His mustache was well kept, thin like pencil lead. His face was rounder than most men I’d seen, and he seemed on edge. Nervous, even.

        I hadn’t known what to make of him. He seemed like a modern day Robin Hood. Brave, and strong. I didn’t want to smile. I wasn’t accustomed to strange men coming to visit me. So I scowled at him, hoping maybe he’d leave. There was a pleasant smile over his lips, though. Playful even.

        He’d taken a seat on the old, wooden chair one of the ladies had brought in. His hands were folded across his lap and he stared at me as if he were waiting. Five minutes passed. Nothing. I stared back at him in silence. I didn’t talk much back then. I don’t think I would’ve said anything to him if he wouldn’t have broken the awkward quiet.

        "Hello,“ He said to me, cocking his head to the side, "nice to meet you…”

        "Um-er, Simon. I’m Simon.“ I said, throwing my hand towards him.

        He smiled again. I still hadn’t gotten his name, but I wasn’t sure how to ask him without sounding rude.

        "Simon,” he said at last, his expression melting into that of a man plagued by stress, stresses I couldn’t have dreamed of as a silly 11 year old, “I’m here to talk to you about what happened a few nights ago..”

        My stomach dropped. I should have known this was coming. I’d spoken to the police already.They’d wrung me dry of any information I’d had. I should have known that these people wouldn’t want me here. I’d caused enough destruction for their liking, it was time I was sent to a loony bin. Any person with an ounce of logic would agree.

        "I didn’t do it,“ I said immediately, defensively. This man would get a hefty helping of the truth today, I will not be made out to be some dangerous criminal. I had a record already, fights here and there. That’s the way things had to be though. I had to gain respect, or I would be stepped on. That’s the way the world worked.

        "I believe you, Simon,” he said, holding his hands up, “I know you didn’t do anything intentionally.”

        The way he’d said it made it sound as if he still suspected I was guilty.

        "Simon,“ he said, he seemed to be pondering what to say next. "Do you believe in magic?”


        "Magic,” he said it as if he used it in everyday conversation.

        "I- er… No.“

        The man pursed his lips, furrowing his brows, "What about…” he pulled a stick from a hidden pocket in his tunic, he held it up in the air, “now?” Sparks danced from the end of it, stars of red, green, and gold. I didn’t understand what I was seeing. “Up, up, and away.” he muttered. My bed lifted from the ground, sending me a few inches into the air. I gasped.

        "No way!“ I was grinning as I jumped down and walked around him, trying to find what his trick was. How was he doing it?!

        He chuckled, stopping the sparks and lowering the bed back into it’s place on the floor. "Simon,” he said my name seriously again, I could barely look up into his eyes. “You can do this too.”

        My eyes widened, “Huh?”

        "Simon,“ he grabbed my wrists so that we were face to face, "There is a school, Watford School of Magicks (??), you can learn how to use and control your magic there…”

        I wasn’t following. How did he figure I had any magic in me? Was there even such a thing as magic, really? “How d'you know I’m magic?”

        He sighed, and looked towards the closed door, “How do we know that the sun does not just close it’s eyes on us for night time to come?” I narrowed my eyes, what a strange question to answer my question with.

        "You are magical, Simon, the way that birds are meant to fly. The way that dogs are meant to bark, and fish to swim.“

        "I haven’t got any money,” I say, “to pay for tuition or books or,” the man held his hands up.

        "You need not worry about that, Simon.“ I swallow hard, "Now,” he said, but he stopped himself, as if he’d thought better of what he was going to say. He shook his head. “If you’re ready, Simon, I can escort you to Watford now.”

ubuntu / noun

        pure as your name

        and golden as the sun

        your moles are constellations

        against your skin,

        i love you.


        you’ve fallen,

        a broken piece of china

        and you’ve chosen me

        to gather up your pieces.

        you gave up your world

        to save mine.

        you project kindness


        and you took on a duty

        that was not yours to begin with.

        you had the weight of the world

        planted firmly on your shoulders

        and you held it

        and smiled anyways.

        i love you,


visceral / adjective

        Baz looked like an angel when he practiced violin. His eyes would close, the lashes casting shadows on his cheeks, and his lips would be parted, just a fraction of a centimeter, and he’d look so content, like the world wasn’t ending. Like one of us wasn’t going to die one day. He didn’t ever talk when he played, which is understandable. His full attention was focused on the song his fingers were creating.

        I wouldn’t have ever told him then, that he looked like some divine creature while he played. He was my enemy, always plotting and scheming against me. There was no reason to tell him that when he played I’d considered the possibility that we could live in the same world without tearing each other apart.

        He probably didn’t even know I was listening most of the time. I was never in the room with him.

        I never wanted to be. This Baz was a different one than I knew. He wasn’t the guy that made fun of me. He wasn’t the one that tried to kill me every chance that he got. I wasn’t scared of this Baz.

        At some point in our fifth year he’d started composing a new song. An original one. How did I know that, you may be asking? It was obvious. He plucked at the strings and tried different notes until he was content with the melody. Every night that he played he’d work on it for hours on end.

        It was a beautiful song, really, slow and rich. On more than one occasion I’d caught myself humming it. Not loudly, never consciously. Mostly whenever I was alone.

        There was only one time when someone caught it, actually. It was Baz. I’d just gotten out of the shower and was looking in my wardrobe when he made a noise almost like a gasp.

        "Where did you hear that song,“ he’d said.

        I looked at him, confused, "Hear what?”

        "Don’t play dumb,“ he scowled, "that song you were humming.”

        I blushed, I hadn’t even known I was humming.

        "I’m not sure,“ I lie. He rolls his eyes.

        "Whatever,” and then he storms out of the room.

        I’d forgotten about the song. Pushed it to the back of my mind. There were more important things to take up my mind, first The Humdrum. And then the whole civil war with the old families and dark creatures. And then the whole mess with the Mage… I’m not sure why it came back, or even how (I hadn’t heard the song in at least five years) but I started to hum it one night when I was with Baz.

        His head was on my lap, my fingers trailing through his hair, when he stiffened. I looked at his face to see what was up. He was staring up at me, a sad smile on his face.

        "What?“ I said.

        "Where did you hear that song?” Deja vu.

        "What song?“ I raise an eyebrow.

        "The song you were just singing, Simon.”

        I’m confused. My face must show it. He rolls his eyes and starts humming a tune that caresses my memories with feather fingertips.Then it hits me and I remember fifth year and that sad song Baz had written. I remember how it’d crept into my brain and nested itself there.

        I smile then, I can’t help it. The song, the Baz that wasn’t Baz. I saw him more and more every day now. He was my Baz.

        "In fifth year,“ I say looking back into his face, "I heard you writing it. I don’t know why but it stuck with me.”

        Baz laughs, “I wrote it for you,” his cheeks are rosy, “in fifth year. I wrote it when I decided I’d much rather kiss you than kill you.”

        It was my turn to blush, “A ballad for Simon Snow?” I say it as a joke.

        "I think I named it something like that, actually,“ he said, smiling.

        "I had no idea you were such a dork when I asked you out!”

        "You’re one to talk, Snow! Who remembers a horrible song for five years?“

        "It wasn’t horrible!” I’m not sure why, but I feel the need to defend it. It was my song.         

        He leans up to kiss me. Cold lips rushing with warm feelings. I love him.

        "Thank you,“ I say after awhile.

        "For what?” He’s got my hand in his and he’s regarding them.

        "The song.“

        He sighs, "Do you want to hear the proper song, before you thank me for such a silly thing?”

        "Yes!“ I say before he even gets the last word out.

        When he starts playing, his eyes close, and a small smile is tugging at his lips. The song starts out soft, slow. It picks up a bit and his brows push together in concentration. The song is as beautiful as I remember, and watching him play makes my knees weak. When he’s done I kiss him, again and again. All over his face, his jaw. And he kisses me back.

        "I love it. I love it and I love you.” I say against his lips.

        "I love you,“ he says.

wow / exclamation

        I remember once, before mother was murdered, I climbed a tree.

        It was in the middle of winter, the air was biting to the bone, and I’d decided that I wanted to touch the sky.

        The snow was thick on the ground. I remember I’d looked at it disdainfully. Disgusting, I’d thought. I put my boots on, careful to tuck my pants into them. Hopefully I’d make it back before anyone realized I wasn’t in my room. My coat was too high in the closet, so the thin sweater I’d been wearing was my only means of warmth.

        The tree in question sat a dozen feet away from the front door. It was the tallest one I’d ever seen so close, I hadn’t dared venture into the forest at that time. Father would kill me! My feet crunched against the snow, leaving little prints that I would try, and never get to, cover on my way back. The tree loomed high above me, the shadow it cast sinister.

        I guess I should start by saying that this tree was not nearly thick enough for someone to climb, three year old or not. I think I learned that day, that wanting to fly was no excuse to be a fucking twit, and absolutely no reason to try to climb a tree that I couldn’t even see the top of. I started at the two lowest branches.

        They weren’t even branches, really. Little stubs that’d once been branches, broken by the weight of heavy snow, or maybe I’d broken them on a previous climbing trial. They poked out maybe an inch, and ended in jagged splinters. I grabbed them, ignoring the sting of the snow on my bare flesh. It hadn’t mattered to me then, how cold it was. How cold I was.

        I hoisted myself up, using the stubs as footholds as I reached for the next branch. It was a slow process, my arms couldn’t handle much of holding up my own weight. Time wasn’t an issue once I’d been able to see the end of the drive. I was close, the sky was close.

        I stopped to catch my breath when I couldn’t see my footprints in the snow. I was sitting with my back facing open air, hugging the tree. This is wicked cool, I’d thought, I could probably touch the birds from here!

        "Basilton?!” The voice startled me. Mother?

        I look around, trying to spot her. She was standing in the front doorway, even from the distance I could tell something was wrong. Her shoulders were squared, she looked like she was about to jump up to drag me from my perch. I smiled though, I was excited, she was going to see me touch the sky!

        I waved enthusiastically, wildly. My tree swayed.

        "BASIL!“ Mother’s voice again, she sounded frightened.

        A series of things happened then, most of them jumbled in my memory.

        To sum it up:

        A snap, the world flying by faster than a rocket, the feeling of my stomach flying away through my nose, the ground rushing towards me, a loud BOOM, and then darkness.

        When I came to I was laying in a hospital bed.

        Everything hurt, it hurt to even open my eyes.

        I looked around the room, bare, smelling like cheap soap and sickness. I groaned at the light above me, my head hurt. My mother’s head whipped around. Eyes wide, face pale. Her eyebrows dipped towards her nose and she stared knives at me. Her anger was palpable.

        She didn’t say anything to me, maybe because she wasn’t sure whether I could speak or not. I blinked at her and tried for a smile, "Hello, mother.” She didn’t smile back.

        But her eyes started watering, and she squeezed me into a hug. Mother did things that surprised me all the time. Crying was one. She was shaking so much, I didn’t want to tell her she was hurting me.

        "What were you thinking?!“ She finally shrieked at me. I stared at her.

        "When?” I say. Her eyes narrowed, still watering.

        "You know why you’re here, right?“

        I shake my head.

        "Merlin, Basilton,” she shakes her head, sitting back and crossing her arms, “well, let me start by saying that I don’t know what could’ve given you such a stupid idea…” She trails off, looking at me. My eyes feel heavy again, but I want to know what I did. Why I was there. Why couldn’t I remember it?

        "You were climbing the tree,“ she said, I couldn’t stay awake, "and you-” I was out again.

        The next time I woke up, there was a nurse changing my bandages. They were on my head, it throbbed. His hands were cold, but they moved around carefully.

        "Hey there, l'il fella,“ he said, smiling when he realized I was awake. What was that accent? Irish, maybe. I look around the room, trying to find my mom. She wasn’t there. "That was a pretty nasty fall you had,” he said, looking at me seriously, “you’re lucky.”

        Lucky? I think. Lucky to be in pain? What had I done? What had I done? I’m surprised, then, when I remember I’m in a hospital. A Normal hospital. What had I done that was so bad I couldn’t be treated at home? Or by Dr. Wellbelove?

        I drift back to sleep.

        When I wake up again, I’m in my own room. It’s dark, and quiet. I twist my head around, surprised to find it was still sore.What did I do? Then I remembered. The tree. The sky, I’d wanted to touch the sky, to feel the clouds embrace me into their gentle embrace. I’d wanted to touch the sky so I’d climbed the tree but… What? Had the tree broken? Falling. I fell. Bits and pieces of a doctors conversation with mother, “concussion…” “keep him here to make sure there’s not trauma to his brain…” Concussion. Concussion. It makes sense now.

you/ pronoun

        I liked to hunt on nights when I could see the stars. The moon shone bright enough to light a path for me through the forest. Most of the time it was warm enough for me to leave my jacket in the car. The night hadn’t felt any different than it normally did. There was no unnatural, brisk breeze blowing. There wasn’t a stillness in the woods. It all felt the same, the animals were crushing leaves under quiet footsteps, the trees were talking to each other - swaying back and forth humming a melancholy melody.

        I felt like I could understand them, at least a little. I knew what the lonely ache felt like. I’d felt the stinging of a broken heart. My world darkened the moment Simon Snow died.

        He wasn’t Simon Snow, then. He’d taken my name when we married. Simon Snow-Pitch. It’d had a very mystical ring. Simon went fucking nuts over it.

        "Simon Snow-Pitch,“ he’d say to himself after a shower. And he’d smile every time, every fucking time.

        I’m done for the night. A doe and a squirrel. It takes a lot more to fill me up than it did then. My mouth has a metallic taste, and my lip feels swollen. I must’ve bit it.

        I’m moving through the woods loudly, hopefully I’ll startle any curious animals away. I stumble upon a clearing then. It’s one I’ve never seen before. It wasn’t very large, maybe the size of a garden. The grass looked yellow in the moonlight, and as my eyes passed over it, I saw a shadow shift.

        He sat up and stretched, his gaze in my general direction. He was 18, maybe 19. A curly mop of hair, and a heavy nose. I was surprised, at first. Surprised only, and then upset. Simon. It was Simon Snow. Well, no, his moles weren’t right, and he was petite. Smaller than Simon had been. He was Simon, otherwise. The toothy grin that split his face was like a ghost clawing it’s way up the back of my throat.

        "Hello,” he said. His voice was quieter than Simon’s.

        I don’t respond, I am too dumbfounded to form a coherent sentence. Simon, this was Simon.

        He stood up then, and took a step towards me, then another one. He was pushing his eyebrows together the way Simon used to when he was concentrating. His smile was gone now, and he looked mildly concerned. “Are you alright?”

        "’M fine,“ I force it through my teeth. He flinches. I must sound angry. I’m not angry, I’m confused, upset. How was this kid, this Simon-that-isn’t-really-Simon here, in front of me? Why the fuck did he look like him?

        I forced a smile onto my face, it wasn’t real, it didn’t reach my eyes. It was a politician’s smile, the kind my father had used. He didn’t seem to notice it was forced. He smiled back, and if I’d thought it possible I’d say this smile was wider than the last one. How could he smile like that at a stranger? Had Simon been that oblivious? Yes, yes he had. He takes another step towards me, and I step back. I can be courteous, but that’s as far as I want this to go.

        "I’m glad,” he said, tossing his hand towards me, “I’m Charles.” I regard it with disdain, his fingers are spindly like Simon’s were.

        He is not Simon.

        "Baz,“ I say, deciding against physical contact.

        "Baz,” he says, and he smiles like I’d just told him he would win the lotto next month. “Baz,” he says again, and hearing him say it brings back the feelings I’d pushed down after Simon was buried. “You know, I feel like we’ve met before,” He says, and he’s squinting up at me, as if the moonlight was enough to illuminate my face in his human eyes.

        I scoff, I can’t help it. What a load of hogwash. “That’s unlikely,” I say, and it is. I don’t see many humans (alive, blood pumping) outside of work. But he purses his lips and shakes his head.

        "No,“ he says finally, resting his chin in between his thumb and index finger, "I’m not usually wrong about these things… Maybe,” he stops, eyes widening at his own revelation, “maybe I knew you in a past life?!” I let the breath I’d been holding out. Reincarnation… That’s what he was implying. I think about it for a minute. Reincarnation, Simon being born again…

        Is that how it works? Do the souls of the deceased decide, Hey, I think I want to try life again, maybe die some other way, deal with some other shit. I’ll give it a shot because why the hell not. Do they choose what they look like, or is there some predetermined form that they have to take? Would his soul always look like an off-brand Simon, if that were the case?

        The last part brought on a lump in my throat. Thick and hot.

        I shake my head at the boy, “I don’t believe in reincarnation, Charles,” I turn on my heel and start to leave the clearing.

        There was no way in hell. It was a coincidence, obviously.

        Of course.

        Just a coincidence.

        "Nice meeting you,“ I add, before I pass through the trees.

zealous / adjective

        Simon Snow is obsessed with kissing me. He’ll point out the way I’ll stop talking, how my eyes will close and I’ll be still as a board, waiting, when he starts to lean in. But he’d never talk about the way that he’ll kiss me the moment his eyes open in the morning, and smile into it like he went to sleep just so he could wake up to kiss me again.

        He’d bring up the way that I give him goodbye kisses and welcome home kisses, but he’ll pretend that he doesn’t hug me from behind while I’m cooking and kiss my neck until I turn around to kiss his lips. He likes to think of excuses to kiss me, Oh, you had something on your lip Baz. I just wanted to make sure you hadn’t bit your lip, it looked like it was bleeding. You were concentrating pretty hard, I wanted to make sure you remembered my presence. (He hadn’t said the last one out loud, but he might as well have. He’s persistent while I’m paying my undivided attention to things.) He’d stolen a kiss on Christmas, under the mistletoe-that-wasn’t-mistletoe that’d been precariously hung above the bathroom door after I’d gone in to shower. He said it was totally coincidence, no way had he waited for me to close the door to hang it up, what are you even talking about, Baz?

        So I figured, to regain a little bit of my honor, I’d steal his first kiss of the new year.

        He agreed happily with me, when I’d asked if he’d stay up with me. It wasn’t that strange for us to be up past midnight anyways. It was hard to try to play oblivious when he’d started asking why.

        "You don’t normally ask me to stay awake with you, Baz,” he’d said, raising an eyebrow.

        I shrugged, crossing my legs as I sat back on the couch. “Just wanted to go into the new year with you, Snow.” Simon raised his eyebrows. I knew what he was thinking. What a line, how lame. I thought it was pretty lame too, but he just smirked and leaned in so that his face was right next to mine.

        "I’m always up for new beginnings with you, babe.“

        I closed my eyes, his breath was hot against my cheek.

        "You’re so lame,” I say, pushing a hand between us to get his face away from mine.

        "You’re one to talk,“ he’s smiling at me, and I love him. I love the way his eyes crinkle when he smiles. He kisses my jaw and stands up, "What do you want for dinner?”

        I decided to take Simon out on New Years. I buy tickets to go view the fireworks as soon as I decide that I want to. There weren’t any decent areas left, but really, what was I expecting? It was nearly Christmas Eve by the time I’d finally purchased them. I’d hoped he wouldn’t mind. Everything else would be perfect, no doubt about it.

        Except it wasn’t. Everything was going wrong.

        We were still waiting to get into the parking lot at 11:51.

        Simon was smiling, the way he always smiles. It was like he was fine with sitting in the car, like it was fine that the whole fucking date was falling through. I was frustrated. Why did my luck have to take a shit on this night? It was almost laughable, really.        

        "So, how’s your day been?“ He said, breaking the awkward tension that I’d formed.

        The corner’s of my lips twitched, "Fine. And yourself?”

        "It’s been alright,“ he reaches his hand over to grab mine. I let him take it, and look at him out of the corner of my eyes. He looks brilliant tonight, a pair dark of jeans (that actually fit him) and a light sweater that shows off his muscular shoulders. Fucking perfect, despite his messy curls and his silly scarf that Penelope got him for Christmas. (It had penguins all over it. What else am I supposed to tell him other than "You look like a 9-year-old wearing that.” Although, I’m sure any children who’d actually have to wear such a weird scarf wouldn’t be grinning the way Simon does.) “Glad I get to end it with you.”

        11:55. We should have left earlier.

        "Some traffic, huh?“

        "Horrific.” I sigh, shifting gears again. I look over at him then, I’m not sure what prompts me to do it, but I’m glad I do. He’s watching me, turned completely sideways in his seat.

        "What?“ He’s making me self-conscious.

        He shakes his head, and continues to stare at me. "You look beautiful in this light.”

        I narrow my eyes, what does that mean?

        His eyes widen, “ I didn’t mean it like, offensively, you just look really relaxed right now.”

        I almost scoff, was that a joke? I didn’t feel relaxed.

        11:58. No one else is in front of us, but I don’t want to be in front of people right now.

        I pull off of the road, turn the car off and unbuckle my seatbelt. My full attention is on Snow.

        11:59. He looks at my lips, and then up into my eyes. I grab his face with both of my hands and pull myself forward.

        12:00. Our lips smash and I smile into the kiss. I can hear the fireworks going off. I stole his first kiss this year.

        12:02. I break the kiss because I feel like I need to.

        Simon’s eyes are still closed and his cheeks are burning. I bite my cheek and cover my face. His eyes blink open quickly and he’s staring at me with one eyebrow raised. I look away, embarrassed.

        "Baz…“ he says, but I don’t look at him, I’m opening my door and climbing from the car.

        "Come on, Snow, before we miss the whole show,” and I leave my car on the side of the road to find a decent place to watch the fireworks.

        Simon sprints to catch up with me, and he grabs my hand and turns me towards him (with all of his might, it seems). He jerks me into a kiss. This one I wasn’t prepared for. “Happy New Year, Snow,” I say against the kiss. I feel him smile, and I can’t help but smile in return.

        "Call me Simon, Baz.“

        (The morale of the story is, don’t waste your money on tickets to see fireworks when you have Simon Snow as a boyfriend. The odds are you’ll be too busy kissing to even watch them.)

( @liquorice-inbangkok : beta. Also author of "Hands” and the person behind 87% of the flirting between them)

Okay but can I talk about my theater AU real quick? Doesn’t matter I’m gonna do it anyway.

Some quick things you gotta know: 

  • Keith isn’t in theater
  • Lance, Hunk, Pidge, Shiro, Allura, and Coran are

Okay now that we got that covered… the entire inspiration for this is that I want to write about the showing of A Midsummer Night’s Dream that I participated in during my freshman year of  high school. And like… it’s too good to resist.

Anywhosers, the entire fic is Keith meeting up with Lance, Hunk, and Pidge (originally just Lance) after rehearsal or set or whatever went on that day, joining in on discussions about stuff because why the hell not? It comes up during his and Lance’s lab project all the fucking time and he feels like he’s a part of the thing now.

Anyway, it builds up with Keith just kinda wondering what Lance actually does in the theater, because it seems like he’s doing something different every single time he comes out of the theater building. Like, sometimes he’s covered in paint, or he’s nursing a giant effing bruise from accidentally hitting his thumb with the hammer, or he’s complaining about Pidge yelling at him from the sound booth and blinding him with the lights. And Keith just… wants to know. Lance has become a legit cryptid at this point, and he just has to know.

Then he gets invited to the show (because yeah, I lied when I said the ‘entire fic’ was Keith meeting Lance, Hunk, and Pidge after the day’s work…) and it’s just chaos.

He gets seated next to Pidge and Hunk, who are looking super excited to watch the mess that is high school Shakespeare. Vaguely wonders where Lance is, but hey, no big deal right?

yeah no. 

About twenty minutes before the show starts he notices Lance sitting behind a couple of girls in the audience. “Okay he’s just hanging out with some other friends that’s cool…..” Lights dim, curtains open- Keith is momentarily distracted by the show. Then he notices Lance braiding the girls’ hair together. Like, what the hell Lance? That’s not normal even for a little jokester shit like him.

Keith points this out to Hunk and Pidge who grin at each other conspiratorially and deign not to respond because hello? Theater etiquette? 

And then we get Puck’s first scene. The Fairy runs across stage only for- wait, what the fuck? Lance? Why is Lance jumping out of his seat and vaulting onto the stage while spouting Shakespeare???? What the hell?????

Turns out Lance plays Puck. And he’s scary good at it.

Show shenanigans include, but are not limited to:

  • aforementioned braiding together of the girls’ hair
  • spanking Bottom (played by Shiro) hard enough that it is heard all the way at the back of the auditorium
    • this is not without reason I swear
  • flirting with all of the fairies
    • positively relentless with Titania (played by Allura)
  • falling off stage and into the Pit
  • at one point forgets his lines- improvises so well that literally no one who didn’t work on the show (and thus watched it eighty billion times) notices
  • playing ‘Apologize’ by One Republic on the piano while Bottom brays the fucking lyrics

Not mentioned: Coran standing in the wings acting out the entire show.

For Mike, it’s the hair and eyes.

The girl who said goodbye to him and took his heart with her, which he had given to her without even realising that, had short hair, cut almost to her scalp, and huge brown eyes, anxious, full of fear and sadness he could never understand, but still would give anything to take it away. Those were two things he first noticed about her, things that haunted him for that past year. He could never let go of those moments when her eyes light up for a second when she sat on the La-Z-Boy or when he kissed her in the cafeteria.

But the girl standing in front of him now had a mass of brown curls, even more messy and unkept than his own hair. His suddenly felt the urge to lift his hand up and brush his fingers trough her hair, and see if it was as soft as he imagined it would be.

Her eyes were also different. They held more confidence now, more understanding of the world around her. But even now, she looked at him with a peculiar glow in them, still just as trusting and warm as it used to be.

To her, it’s the height and voice.

The boy she remembered was slightly taller than her, her eyes on the level of his freckled nose, his dark eyes easy to look into. Soft, sometimes a bit high-pitched, quiet voice that made feel safe, made her feel at home, because somewhere during their short journey together she realised that home seemed to move with him. The way he gently explained all the doubts and concepts she failed to understand.

And there he stood, looking down at her, a full head taller. It felt like he was towering over her, but not in the way that Papa and other bad men towered over her in the lab, with their cold stares and calculating expressions. Mike seemed to be leaning towards her, like he was being pulled by her eyes, his soft gaze falling upon her, bringing the overwhelming sense of warmth and safety. She couldn’t resist it, cuddling into his arms, wrapping her own around his waist and pressing her cheek against his arm.

The voice that repeated her name, that kept saying, with a bit of disbelief, that she’s back, that she came back, filled her ears. It was noticeably lower, deeper, still a bit scratchy and raspy with emotions. It was different, but it brought familiar comfort. She liked the sound of his voice and his warm breath in her hair.

They were reunited.