always loved the shop lifting notice

sweet shop ➹ peter parker

summary : to put it simply, peter parker doesn’t like candy that much, but somehow he keeps finding himself at the same candy shop in manhattan, and it’s definitely not because of the cute worker always standing behind the counter at precisely four in the afternoon. definitely not.

wc : 1.6k

author’s note : if there’s typos my bad i don’t proofread i’m lazy

  “The freckly dork with the sweet eyes is back.” It’s the first thing you hear when you walk into work that afternoon, four o’clock sharp as usual, fiddling with the strap of your apron with the shop name scrawled across the front in lovely cursive letters. You lift your gaze from the cash register toward the aisle you’ve noticed he wanders in most frequently- not that you’ve really been noticing the cute boy of course- and find him through the throng of people, though he’s quite easy to spot considering he’s shuffling awkwardly through stacks of chocolate whilst blatantly staring at you. You’re not sure he even realizes what he’s doing until you lift your hand in a tentative wave and his entire  face pretty much glows pink as he smiles back nervously and he knocks into a display shelf. 

  “Poor kid is smitten,” your coworker sighs with a smirk plastered on her face as she unties her own apron and slips into the backroom to hang it up. “Does he even know your name? Do you know his?” 

    You wave her off dismissively. “My name is on my name tag, I’m sure he knows it. He never buys anything, anyway. He just… like, lingers here.” You shrug. “He’s cute so I let him stay.” 

   She throws her head back and lets out a laugh, returning her scrutinizing gaze back toward the boy with the precariously gelled hair who is hastily trying to restock the shelf he knocked over while simultaneously stumbling into another one. You wince at him, trying not to stare because god, he’s the cutest thing you’ve ever seen but he reminds you of a baby deer learning to walk for the first time in the clumsiest, messiest way imaginable. “He comes here to gawk at you, dumbass. His eyes never stray,” she places a hand mockingly on her heart as you roll your eyes toward her. You flash a jovial smile to a customer when they approach you to ring up their order before turning back to your friend. 

   “Should I talk to him?” You inquire, placing the money in the correct slots of the register. You glance back up at him as he holds his hands out in front of a chocolate, silently pleading with it to stay put so he stopped looking like an absolute moron in front of you. He looks back at you and this time waves back a little, running a hand through his hair in an attempt to appear cooler than he actually was. “I’m gonna talk to him.” You say, not waiting for your friend to divulge her own opinion on the matter. 

   She shrugs, slipping on her jean jacket and grabbing her purse. “You’ve always been a sucker for the dorky, in need of help, doe eyed type of guys.” You swat at her shoulder playfully but she dodges it, winking at you before walking around the counter and lightly patting the boy on the shoulder as she makes her grand departure. He looks around in confusion until he sees your friend gesturing toward you. 

   “Scotty, can you cover for me for just a sec?” You call, your face turning to the backroom of the store while Scott, your other coworker, emerges from it. He gives you a scowl, brown eyes narrowed, though you know its playful. To avoid song quite conceited, you don’t admit it often, but you’re pretty much everyone’s favorite employee. “Thanks babes.” He takes your place at the register, and despite the tattoos and nose ring he sports, his smile is practically contagious. He’s another favorite among the customers just because of how pleasant and charming he is. 

    Peter, though you don’t known his name just yet, watches as you exit your position at the register and hastily tries to make himself look busy standing in front of the same selection of candy that’s he been for fifteen minutes now. He picks up a chocolate bar, pretending to examine it as thoroughly as possible when you lean against the stand next to him. His palms feel sweaty. “I- I was gonna buy something eventually, you know, one of these days. I swear.” He practically shoves the Hershey’s bar in your face, but you lightly push his hand back. “I’m just- I’m, um, very, very indecisive.” 

   You laugh a little. “Um, it’s fine. That’s not even what I came over here for.” You scratch the back of your neck for a second, an anxious habit because suddenly, you’re pretty nervous standing in front of a sweetly awkward boy with possibly the nicest eyes you’ve ever seen and the cutest shy smile that he seems to be trying to maintain desperately. 

   “Oh.” He nods, heat crawling up his cheeks as he sidesteps out of your view. “I- I- I- um, sorry for blocking something, I probably am-” 

   “You’re not,” you assure him. Peter can feel his heart squeeze tightly when you take a step closer toward him, but your smile is the least intimidating thing he’s ever come across. It’s gentle. He appreciates the gentleness of it. “So, um, what’s your name?” It doesn’t come out as smooth as you would have liked it to, but Peter grins back at you like you’ve just asked him the greatest question in the universe. 

   “I’m Peter,” he replies, running a hand through his hair again in a way similar to your own nervous tick of rubbing the back of your neck. “Uh, Peter Parker, he repeats, not knowing if you wanted his last name or not. 

   Scott, across the room, cups his hands around his mouth and calls toward you, “Y/N, if you’re gonna flirt with that kid, at least reorganize the shelves, too!” You turn around to give Scott the finger. To be honest though, you’re also turning around to mask the embarrassment on your face. 

    Peter steps out of the way again so you can stand in front of the mess he had already created just a few minutes before. “I’m Y/N, in case you didn’t catch that.” Peter likes the little disconcerted expression you’re donning now. He’s glad that he’s not the only one flustered here, and in an odd way, it makes him feel a little more confident when talking to you, the same person he’s been trying to gather the courage to hold a conversation with for the two weeks. 

   “I knew that already,” he says. Then, realizing the odd way you’re looking at him suddenly, he continues, “because of, you know, the uh, name tag. Your name tag. It has your name on it. So, that’s how I know.” Another nervous smile flashed toward you. 

   “Oh, yeah,” you look down at it. You continue stacking the shelves in the proper manner. “You really did a number on these,” you wave your hand toward the shelves. “Tell me, how’d you manage to knock down two different shelves in under five minutes and put everything back in a way not even remotely close to the way they were before?” 

   He knows you mean it lightheartedly, but he still blushes even deeper than before. “Hey, at least I tried,” he answers defensively. “But, um, I don’t even really know. I think you made me nervous. You- you waved at me.” He glances down at his shoes, shuffling his feet again. Maybe I shouldn’t have said that, he thinks to himself. He misses the beam you give him, secretly pleased with yourself for having that effect on him. It was flattering. 

    “I made you nervous?” You raise an eyebrow at him, and he nods. “That’s cute, Peter. I’m not much to get nervous over, though. Trust me.” You turn your back on the display shelf just in time for Peter to shake his head at you. 

    “I’ve been coming in here for two weeks now, and I haven’t bought anything because I’m too nervous to go up to the register and talk to you. So yeah, you are. Something to get nervous over, I mean.” You knew what he meant, but he had a habit of over-explaining every little detail that you found endearing, so you let him talk. “Is that weird? Am I weird?” 

    “Nah.” You reach out to squeeze his hand for literally a millisecond, which irritates him to no end because he kind of wants you to hold on for longer. “Like I said before, it’s kind of cute. You’re a cute kid.” 

   Puffing out his chest a little, he says, “Well, I wouldn’t really call myself a kid, I am fifteen so…” Oddly enough, it’s that comment alone that makes you sort of fall in love with him in that moment, and the way he so terribly wants to impress you. There’s no way to describe him other than ridiculously sweet, which is ironic considering you’re standing in a candy shop when he admits that you’re the prettiest person he’s ever laid his eyes on and when he asks for your number, you don’t hesitate to give it to him. 

   It’s the first time he buys something from the store, and he walks out with a stupidly happy grin on his face and approaches Ned with a new bounce in his step. He’s been standing out there for a half hour and patience that was diminishing faster and faster. As they’re walking back to the train so they can go home, Ned eyes Peter as he bites into a chocolate bar. “Peter, you literally hate chocolate, what are you doing?” 

    Peter shrugs, taking another piece off. “This chocolate bar scored me a date and the number of the cutest worker in that store. I’m gonna learn to love it.” 

    “The worker you’ve been stalking for the past two weeks?” 

    “It wasn’t stalking, Ned!” 

    Ned gives Peter an unconvincing nod, but truthfully, he’s glad to see his best friend so excited over someone. It’s been awhile since Liz, and Ned knows Peter deserves to be happy. And boy, is Peter ever so happy, even while he’s eating chocolate that he hasn’t liked since he was seven.

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He doesnt know why he’s so worked up, honestly.

They’ve been dating for a month, now. Surely that’s more than enough waiting for something so small. And Yuri was always comfortable with being physically close to him, even before they got together.

So why are his palms so sweaty?

“Beka? Are you alright?”

Shit. He spaced out too long and now Yuri’s noticed. “I’m fine, Yura. Are you done?”

“Yeah!” he lifted the leopard print shopping bag to show him, grinning happily. “You still didn’t have to pay for it, though.”

“It’s your birthday, Yura. Whatever wish you have, I’ll grant it.”

Yuri’s face flushed so quickly Otabek was scared he’d combust. “Why- you- god, you’re so fucking sappy and gross. I can’t handle it sometimes.”

“You love me,” Otabek chuckles, prodding Yuri’s forehead lightly.

Yuri scoffs, but his blush doesn’t move. “Whatever. I’m starving.”

“Ah, right. I know a place, it isn’t too far from here.”

“And this time, I’m paying, alright?”

He chuckles. “You wish.”

And this, he realizes, is the perfect time for him to do it. Dinner is their last stop for their date, so this might be his only chance at doing this…

Quickly, before he loses his nerve, he casually slings his arm over Yuri’s shoulders and starts leading them away from the store.

He feels Yuri’s shoulders tense, and suffers through a brief second of panic - oh god, I’ve probably overstepped his boundaries. He probably feels so uncomfortable right now, how do I take this back - before he feels them relax, and Yuri brings his hand to the one Otabek has on his shoulders and entwines them together, as if they’ve done this many times before.

This time it’s Otabek’s cheeks that are burning, and Yuri doesn’t let it go unnoticed. He laughs, poking Otabek’s cheek. “You’re so goddamn cute sometimes.”

“I’m pretty sure you’re talking about yourself, Yura.” Otabek replies, and he leads them through the busy streets with his arm wrapped tightly around Yuri’s shoulders.

anonymous asked:

Do you have any advice for writing characters undercover? Thanks!

So, we’ve covered this topic a lot in the past. Undercover operatives, intelligence agents, black ops, assassins, and spies I’d start with a spies search on our website, as that’ll get you started. The really good references will be there. My big advice for writing any kind of spy fiction is to have a clear idea of what you want and which genre you’re chasing. Do want James Bond or George Smiley? You can blend these genres, but it’s a good idea to have a clear idea as that’ll define your narrative.

The first thing to understand about spies and any sort of shadow operative is the Burn Notice quote: “A spy is just a criminal with a government paycheck.”

Take a look at this passage. This is a character (Thirteen) trained as an undercover operative exiting a bad situation. What do you see?

Limping down the hall, I forced one foot before the other. Slowly, my stride lengthened. The silver door at the end didn’t open, so I pushed it, and stumbled out onto the launch pad. My gaze fell on a string of oval automatic airstreams parked all in a row. No, I frowned, eyes sweeping to street and the vehicles winging by in the air overhead. No self-respecting AI would let me drive in this condition. Robots always insisted on hospital, and I had no time to hack. To get out fast, I needed a human. A cabbie. Older, preferably female. Fingers to my neck, I tapped twice. Up came the ODS, my thoughts linking to: call a cab. Human.

A string of numbers and faces appeared before my eyes, the oldworld men and women working a dying industry. Better for No Questions Asked rides in our digital world, no one else called when they could pay a corporate run robot for half the cost.

I picked the first female face that flashed across my dash.

Time to pick up… thirty seconds.

I gripped my injured arm, and ran an analysis. Tucked out of sight, Sixteen’s pistol rested against my ribs. Ammunition at less than half a magazine, so seven rounds. Eight, if I counted the one in the chamber. The Uplink already registered the irreparable damage and severed the blood flow to the damaged limb. So, no more bleeding out. My upper lip curled. A bad trade off for no more arm. Damn, Sixteen.

Fifteen seconds.

I couldn’t hide in the shadows. Needed to seem desperate, distraught. Call up tears.

Ten seconds.

My blurred gaze flicked to the skyline, watching for black. The Ghosts wouldn’t appear in the datastream. Still, NIS hadn’t cut my access. Not yet.

Five.

A beat up airstream in ruby red dropped out of the sky to the left, pulling up to the curb. They were early. From the shabby state of their car, probably desperate. Good.

I limped over quickly. Even if they weren’t my ride, they were human and sitting in the driver’s seat. A car enthusiast who needed no AI systems to handle the steering. Likely to have built in cameras. More likely to possess a slow Uplink. Slow data received poor police service. My fingers seized the handle, flung open the door, and threw myself inside.

“Need a ride?” the voice was sympathetic, unfamiliar.

I slid across the bench into the seat behind the driver. My free hand tight on my damaged limb, couldn’t do much about my nose. So, instead, I tilted my head and caught her reflection in the mirror. Younger. Mid-thirties. Red hair worn short with one gray streak, tied back in a severe bun. Clear hazel eyes. Talk like you’re in pain, scared, but putting on a brave face. Tears. I wiped the blood from underneath my nose, sniffling. “Y-y-yeah.” I cleared my throat. “Yeah. Thanks.” I tried for a half-smile, half-grimace, and leaned on the window. “Just looking to get away. The address should be—”

“You don’t need to worry, I have it,” the driver said. “Came in with your order. Grace, right? You want to go downbelow, the Rep Shop.”

“Yeah.” Resting my cheek against the glass, I closed my eyes; Uplink sizing up her car’s systems. Automatic turned off, but easy enough to hijack. My free hand drifted off my injury, and moved near the pistol hilt jabbing my ribs.

“I’m Marla, I’ll be your driver today.” A pause followed. “You sure a pretty girl like you wants the Rep Shop? Not a hospital? You look pretty banged up.”

“No,” I replied. I got what she suggested, this was a nice neighborhood. “I just need… need to go…”

“Boyfriend trouble?”

I grimaced, eyes squeezing shut, and wished I felt a twinge of guilt. It’s like the Overseer always says, love is just a cover.

“Don’t worry, no need to say it,” Marla said as the engine revved, the floorplates shook, and the airstream lifted skyward. “Shipped enough victims out of here to know.”

Notice, she pays attention to her surroundings and makes choices based on her condition in service of her needs. She needs to get out quickly, but would run into more trouble stealing a car so she calls up a cab driven by a human. Human’s are easier to manipulate in short order than code cracking. She specifically aims for a female cab driver, one preferably older than she is.

Why?

She’s female. Another woman is more likely to assume her injuries are because of a man, and a cab driver will have encountered this scenario often enough to not pry too deeply into it. An older woman is likelier to be maternal and protective, but not so protective that she’ll stay beyond when Thirteen needs her too. However, pay attention to the fact that Thirteen never verbally confirms it was a man who caused her injuries. She lets Marla assume, and fill in the blanks herself. This gives her an out later if she needs to change her story and place the blame on Marla’s shoulders for misunderstanding.

This is an example of what’s called social engineering. Deliberately manipulating the people in your environment to divulge confidential information or getting them to do what you want.

Notice also: After getting into the vehicle, Thirteen’s hand goes to the gun she stole. As she is playing to Marla’s sympathies, she is also assessing the possibility of killing this woman and taking control of the car if things don’t go the way she’s planned. Thirteen would prefer to exit by the easiest means possible, but a good spy always has a contingency. She won’t compromise her safety, and civilian lives mean next to nothing. A dead body is one more problem to deal with, one more attention getter that she doesn’t want, but she’ll go there. Violence is messy, and sometimes necessary.

There’s no real difference between a spy and a conman. Still, if you want to trick people there’s a few rules to follow.

What a spy isn’t:

A compulsive liar, an overseller, or lies all the time. An undercover operative needs to maintain their identity, that is one identity, singular. While a spy can create many false personalities, they should only be using one at a time with the goal of giving away as little information in trade as possible.

Notice: Thirteen does not tell Marla a story, she lets Marla create the story and then plays along. It is easier to convince someone of a lie when they’ll craft it themselves. Why say something when you can get just as much by saying nothing at all?

“You’ve told her three lies. Suppose she’s an asset, now you have to make all three lies true.” - Spy Game

Your character can’t just lie, a liar will be caught after a prolonged period of time. They need to manipulate the truth by creating a fiction. A cover is a fictional person with a fictional job who people think really exists when they check the character’s identity. Assume their identity will be checked, re-checked, and checked again. They are not maintaining a cover to a singular individual, but multiple ones. Their assets are the locals they are manipulating in order gain access to information, and who often run the jobs for them. These assets will, most of the time, not know the truth or not know the whole truth about who the spy really is.

Assets can be friends, business associates, girlfriends/boyfriends, wives/husbands, disgruntled employees, janitors, etc.

Your character can’t enter a business or government agency as a pretend janitor if they’re also going there everyday as a reporter or contractor or some other job. They must maintain the fiction of their identity.

This is the biggest problem most authors will get into when writing spy fiction. The concept of telling lies is something that comes easily to most of us, the problem comes in with keeping up a fiction over a prolonged period of time. The next step is to be able to lie without guilt and throw over people who help you without remorse. Crafting that dual identity of a person who genuinely cares about their friends and allies versus the real one who… really doesn’t.

You need a solid grasp of social functions, mores, and conventions in order to write a spy because a spy is manipulating all those points to gain access. You also need to understand these rules change based on what society your character is entering. Social rules change based on social groups, be it economic or cultural. The expectations for a man or woman in Mexico City versus Seattle are vast, and your character needs to be versed in the world they’re walking into. They need a cover identity to suit their work. Someone who has the freedom to go many places without being questioned, but unimportant enough to be neither needed nor remembered.

A spy is always looking for a way in, to slide into your confidences or sympathies however they can. They are going to use you to get where they need to go. They are very convincing actors and they are changing, modifying themselves slightly for each person they encounter. Not so much though that their falseness becomes obvious to the other people who know them.

When we’re working with a female spy, for example, all the “bad woman” societal traits you’re inclined to throw away are exactly what she needs to succeed. She will flirt, and flatter, and seduce, and manipulate the men (and women) around her to gain entry. She may rotate between being a gorgeous woman and an unremarkable one by the use of fashion and makeup. She is exactly what so many men are afraid of, a social climber who is manipulating their feelings and her attractiveness in order to get what she wants because it is the most expedient method to get what she needs. The one who is manipulating society’s view of women as nonentities, nonthreatening/replaceable objects in order to do her job.

Don’t be afraid of these characters. Don’t be afraid of “unlikeable” characters.

Spies are bad people who do bad things. They are often cold, calculating, impersonal manipulators looking for the most expedient method to get what they need. Your spy’s cover is just a cover. Never forget the real person underneath, especially when they’re lying to themselves.

-Michi

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Broken Ones

Pairing: Stiles Stilinski x F!Reader

Warnings: Heartbreaking, angsty, easily led reader, yoga, smut (18+), NSFW..

A/N: Half of this is a true story, the other half is not. Good luck guessing which parts are real. Thank you to my darling love @were-cheetah-stiles for making this what it is, I truly enjoyed watching you edit my work. Gif by @agentmitchrapp

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“This break was good,” She whispered to him, reaching across the brown oak table separating her from the man she had not seen in four months, “But it opened my eyes - a lot. I think we’ve ran our course, Stiles, I think it’s time we just say enough is enough. We can’t keep living our lives by eating at each other’s throats everyday, fighting over the littlest of things, it’s just not healthy.” Lydia hated the words that were falling from her tongue, and she felt the tears swell up in her eyes when Stiles sucked back a sharp breath, and let his hand slip from her grasp.

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