and i return from a month of obscurity to bring you this

Masterlist of Awesome - Part 3 (Other Fandoms)

Hello everyone! It’s been a while! But here’s a new rec list ;) Although, for the Sterek fans following me, this is strictly other fandoms, sorry. Been away from Sterek in a while and that’s the result!  Here’s a listing of what you’ll find!

Merlin / Merthur

Suits / Marvey

Supernatural / Destiel / SamxDean / SamxDeanxCas

White Collar / Peter/Neal/Elizabeth

James Bond (Daniel Craig’s) / 00Q

London Spy / Alex/Danny

Originally posted by paradisebird


Fandom: James Bond (Daniel Craig’s) 
Pairing : 00Q

Temeraire by professorfangirl (lizeckhart) / 8858 w. / E

“At Bond’s age anything like love was trapped and walled away, a scorpion under a glass; what he felt now was like the fire at Skyfall, filtered through icewater light. And yet it was there, it was possible: one more reckless leap, one more deadshot fall, one more defiance of loss. It was there, waiting in the way Q’s eyes lingered on him, the intelligent desire in their depths, patient, saying, ‘we have almost all the time in the world’." 

Does Your Mother Know? by sorion / 17561 w. / M 

“He told me… that he’d loved and trusted people with his life before, and that it didn’t end well. And he told me… that he would trust me with his life… and his death.” 

“Wow. Now I don’t know which one of you to warn off of breaking the other’s heart, anymore.” 

The Inevitability of Time by dhampir72 for missMHO / 27055 w. / M 

When they meet for the first time at the National Gallery, Bond has a strange sense of deja vu. 

For the 00QNewYearParty as a gift for missMHO. 

Mister Kiss Kiss Bang Bang by sorion / 31571 w. / M 

Despite Bond making a kind of running joke out of Q’s “exploding pen” remark by requesting one at every opportunity… it was Q who mentioned it first. The reason behind it is quite simple. They both like to blow shit up. And then they realise that that’s not the only thing they have in common. 

Denominations by WriteThroughTheNight/ 33299 w. / Series / T 

Part 1: Denominations by WriteThroughTheNight

"Q confirms that he’s an Empath three months before his first day of primary school, and the deciding of Denominations that comes with it." 

OR Q is smarter than anyone gives him credit for, and an Empath to boot. 

The Haunting of Skyfall Lodge by BootsnBlossoms, Kryptaria for shipimpala / 36522 w. / E 

All his life, Q has seen ghosts. For years, he’s searched for scientific proof to back up what he knows to be true. Finally, he starts a YouTube channel to chronicle his adventures of exploring haunted sites. His latest location: Skyfall Lodge. 

Yours, J by swtalmnd / 41104 w. / Series / G to E 

Part 1 : Yours, J by swtalmnd

Bond sends letters. Q is vexed. Q-branch starts a betting pool. There are an appalling amount of sweets. Also, 002 is a bit of an arse. 

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Nyx-Chapter 9

Summary: Nyx was an ancient deity usually envisaged as the very substance of the night–a veil of dark mists drawn across the sky to obscure the light of Aither, the shining blue of the heavens. Her opposite number was Hemera (Day) who scattered the mists of night at dawn. she was doomed to walk the earth in search of her consort Erebus.

Warnings: My usual. Angst, Violence And Smut

Pairings: Bucky X Reader, Avengers x Reader

To your surprise Thor does not attempt to ravish you, instead he waves a hand, magic leaking from his fingers. Your appearance is righted instantly, twigs and mud gone from you.

He pulls a warm night dress over your head, gently unclasping the jewelry adorning your neck, placing it on the dresser. He leads you toward the bed, changing his own clothing as he goes, placing himself behind you and pulling you to his chest. “I wish for you to tell me everything” he requests gently.

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A Pirate’s Life For Me - Pirate Negan AU

Originally posted by pbonnie89


Author: @84reedsy

Characters: (Pirate) Negan X Female OC

Word Count: 4759

Warnings:  A level of smut that I was not even really prepared for. Also my first time writing Negan! NSFW, Swearing, language, some violence. 

Tags: @flames-bring-a-ton-of-ash @negans-network

Description: A new crew member has a big secret to hide, will the Captain find out “Gabriel’s” hidden identity?



The seas were fairly calm, the skies were bright blue. The hull of the ship bobbed slowly in the water as if it were part of the tide, part of the sea itself. The Sanctuary was a mighty ship, it’s black sails setting it apart from many of its counterparts; the pirate ship’s appearance alone struck fear into the hearts of those who were unlucky enough to lay their eyes upon it. For when one saw the ship, it was usually to late to fend her off for long, for The Sanctuary was a mighty, mighty ship indeed as her lossless record of piracy would suggest.

The crew was kept well as any crew could. Captain Negan made a point to call them Saviours instead of pirates, saying their work was honorable and part of what the sea needs.

They did not want for much as long as their allegiance to their captain was strong. The deck swabbed daily, the ship kept in immaculate shape, even the cooks quarters, normally a source of disease and festering smells was kept well. The captain would tolerate no less. He was fair, but if crossed or disobeyed could be a vicious and as bloodthirsty as any pirate captain could be. Those he did not strike fear in upon his appearance, he would at the very least garner the utmost respect. Yes, Negan was one hell of a pirate.

The ship was large, one of the largest vessels ever stolen from the royal navy and left unreclaimed, for the military feared him as much as any other man. Knowing this only furthered Negan’s drive to plunder and amass his fortune.

Most of the crew was an aggregation of his conquests. Those that did not perish were invited to join the ship’s legion. Those that refused were left behind on their sinking vessels to die an almost certain watery death. It was on one of those ships that Gabriel was a recruit from. He was aboard a french ship on a destinationless pleasure cruise when they were taken by Negan and the rest of the crew aboard The Sanctuary.

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anonymous asked:

Would you please continue "Renewed"? You cannot possibly leave us in the lurch before the wedding - that's downright cruel ;-) Thank you in advance ladies- I'm looking forward to your stories every single day!

lindseyylu17 submitted to imagineclaireandjamie
More Renewed please!!!!!!

anonymous asked:

may we have more “Renewed”- now that they are finally married? How will their life together pan out - at this age surely not such an easy adaption. Perhaps a totally unexpected pregnancy?? That would be great- and thank you so much for your daily effort to bring us happiness. It’s greatly appreciated! Keep up the good work.

As requested…Renewed:

Despite his protests, Colum had kept him late. There’d been a specific job Colum had wanted completed by the end of the day and Jamie, it seemed, was the only one capable enough of completing said task.

Claire’s mystery sickness had been sitting heavy in his mind and heart all night and Colum’s insistence that he stay had only increased the feeling of trepidation. She’d had her appointment earlier in the day and he’d hoped that she might call him with news. Of course, knowing Claire’s insistence that he wouldn’t ever contact him at work unless it was an absolute emergency, she’d be holding up at home waiting to tell him the news.   

It wasn’t a long task, and before he knew it he’d clocked off and was racing through the icy streets home. The ground was still coated in a wee smattering of snow, and his workbooks slid along the slick pavement as he jogged down the small cycle path that ran alongside the Clyde. The feeling grew heavier with each step he took, the same thoughts running through his head. It hadn’t been something terrible – she hadn’t called.

Though what if it was? What if something was desperately wrong?

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Ease - Part 1

Genre: angst/fluff

Pairing: reader/taehyung

Length: 1.4k

Summary: You and your best friend Taehyung have recently got into the same university in the capital of Seoul. Hoping that this was your year to finally admit your romantic feelings towards your said best friend, uni seems an exciting prospect. But of course, the future never really goes according to plan.

A/N: This is my first fic so go easy on me! This parts sorta just an intro. It’s set in Korea but I’ve written the reader as being  from another (English speaking) country so I hope you can go along with that :)

Originally posted by jeonbase

1 ♡ 2 3 4 5 ♡ 6 7 ♡ 8 ♡ 9 ♡ 10 11 ♡ 12 ♡ 13 ♡ 14 ♡ 15 ♡ 16 ♡ 17 ♡ 18 ♡ 19 - End ♡ Moodboard

“Do you think we will stay friends at university?”

You heard Taehyung chuckle at your words. “And what’s that supposed to mean?”

“Everything will be different in a month. New city, new people, new friends. I just… don’t want you forgetting about me, that’s all.”

Your view of the clear blue sky was suddenly obscured by a black-haired boy with a cheeky grin as he hovered over your head, a twinkle in his eye. “Y/N, even if I wanted to, I couldn’t forget about you if I tried,” Taehyung said, his smile growing wider. “We have a framed photo of you in our house, and there’s only so many times I can accidentally smash it.”

“Yah!” you exclaimed, pushing your friend’s chest so he fell back into the long grass you were both lying on, making him laugh at your reaction.

It was a few weeks until you both left for Seoul, or as Taehyung put it, a few weeks until he could finally dye his hair without his parents freaking out. You two had already discussed arrangements on meetups and film nights, but there was still that nagging worry in your chest that you were going to lose the closest friend you had.

Staring back up at the cloudless sky, you heard Taehyung giggling to himself before you felt his hand grab yours amongst the stalky grass.

“You’re my best friend, Y/N,” he said solemnly, “and I’d be a fool to ruin that.”

You let yourself be comforted by his words. Although you weren’t completely reassured, just feeling his warm hands wrapped around your fingers put you more at ease.


After so many tense days of waiting, the big move to university finally arrived. With only a few bags of your belongings, you were packed and on your way to Seoul. Sitting on the bus, with your head lulling against the window, you peered out onto the streets to admire your new home. As the bus drew ever closer to the place you would be staying, more and more butterflies made a nest in your stomach. Just the simple thought of meeting your housemates made your hands tremble slightly, which is why you had them jammed between your legs.  Your mind kept drifting back to when you moved to Korea, and how scared you were then about meeting your class for the first time.


Spotting your assigned classroom, you ran to the door whilst checking your watch. One minute to spare. Once inside, you looked around at all the students already seated at their desks, chatting to their friends or making one last text before the class started.

You shifted your weight from leg to leg, hoping to cover the shaking in your knees. Come on Y/N, get a grip. Just find a desk and sit down. Your eyes frantically searched for an empty chair, but there didn’t seem to be any available. A blush grew on your cheeks as you realised how many people began to stare at the new international student, standing gormlessly in the doorway of the classroom.

Just as you were considering turning around and leaving to save yourself from more embarrassment, the teacher at the front of the room cleared his throat. “Park Jimin, if you would like to sit on the chair instead of the desk, maybe there would be enough room for everybody.”

A boy, supposedly Park Jimin, had spread himself across two desks, and with a red face, he got up and slid behind the desk closer to the blackboard, creating room for you. Smiling gratefully at the teacher, you edged your way to the back of the classroom, plonking down on the chair with relief.

Just as your cheeks had cooled down and the teacher had begun the lesson, a scrunched-up piece of paper landed in front of you, flying in from the left. Looking at your neighbour, you found yourself staring at a pair of dancing eyes, belonging to a cute boy with a boxy grin. He wiggled his eyebrows, implying you to open the piece of paper. Intrigued, you opened it up and slowly deciphered his scruffy handwriting.

‘I’m Kim Taehyung and you got my friend, Park Jimin, told off. He was annoying me, so thanks. Owe you one. What’s your name?’

Smiling gently, you turned over the paper and wrote your name, hoping your Hangul handwriting was better than Taehyung’s. After returning it the paper to him, you got it thrown back at you with a new line of text underneath yours.

‘Hello Y/N. Want to eat with us at lunch?’


Ever since that first day several years ago, you and Taehyung had become glued at the hip. You shared the same sense of humour and you were both interested in the same things, and it made the move to South Korea a whole lot easier. Taehyung always helped you out when you needed it, whether it was improving your grammar or showing you the best food places in town, so you knew you could rely on him. Your parents were relieved that you had found a friend so quickly, and Taehyung’s parents had become like your own.

Even sitting on the bus on the way to your new city, you could imagine Taehyung sitting next to you blabbing on about a new video game he was obsessed with or how difficult he found the maths homework. His personality was infectious, bringing you warmth and comfort even when you felt your lowest. Perhaps that was why you had starting falling for him, and began to see him in a different light.


“Y/N! She’s coming this way! How do I look?”

Without removing your head from your locker, you reply, “You look great Tae. Who’s ‘she’ again?”

“You didn’t even look!” Taehyung whined. “It’s Yeji! The girl who I’ve been talking about for the last three months? Have you been listening to me?”

You turned and looked at Taehyung, your heart sinking a little when you heard the name ‘Yeji’. You knew you were jealous; only jealousy could describe the panging sensation you got whenever Taehyung stared lustfully at another girl, or when he would comment how pretty Yeji was. She was pretty, so you assumed that that was where the jealousy was originating from. It had to be, surely?

Yeji walked past with her friends, chatting about exams and how much work they were doing. Taehyung looked straight at her, his dark brown eyes following her every move, but not once did Yeji look his way.

When she was a safe distance away, Taehyung let out a wail and dropped his head onto your shoulder, pretending to have a sob. “She doesn’t even know I exist!” he cried, tufts of his soft hair tickling your neck.

As you patted his head and breathed in his honey scent, you tried to ignore how your heart rate had increased and palms had become clammy. Just jealousy, you told yourself. Just jealousy.

“How about grabbing some pizza on the way home? I’ll let you choose the film,” you offered.

Taehyung stood up straight at your words, his eyes shining once more. “This is why we’re friends,” he grinned, linking his arm through yours before pulling you down the corridor.

That’s all you two would ever be: friends. When that realisation stung your heart, you knew deep down that Taehyung meant more to you than you’d ever imagined.


Shaking your head, you pushed those feelings aside. I’ll tell him, you told yourself. I’ll tell him next time I see him. But for now: housemates.

When you came to realise you liked Taehyung more than a friend, all you’d ever done was push those feelings aside. You didn’t want to ruin what you already had, and what you had was a friendship most people only dream of. He’d tell you his darkest secrets, and you’d share your greatest ambitions, but you also made him laugh with your stories of your home country, and he would always crack a joke to lighten the mood.

Climbing out of the bus, you wished for the thousandth time that Taehyung was standing next to you. He was probably excited to meet his housemates, and probably friends with them all already by now.

Taking a deep breath, you rang the doorbell to your share house.

CEO.

A/N; So this idea was originally coined by a lovely anon sent to @rongasm without her headcanons and inspiration this fic would not exist. Also shoutout to @mystic-biscuit  for helping me develop the idea! And the beautiful @dumbass-stilinski for proofing for me. AND MY HOES. Thank you all so much  xo

Pairing: StilesxReader

Author: thelittlestkitsune

Request: No

Warnings: NSFW. 

Word count: 4.567

Inspired by this song

Originally posted by bluemelodies

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Books Mood Board as H+L Fics

(To see other mood boards as H+L fics, click here!)

Special thanks to @becomeawendybird for inspiration with these, and for letting me borrow from her amazing world of Far Afield - go read it immediately! 

Top Left: Librarian Harry
Harry loves his job at the library, but he would be lying if he said he never got a little… bored. That is until Louis starts frequenting his branch and taking full advantage of Harry’s extensive knowledge of all things research related. Harry assumes Louis is just in a unique field of study, until it becomes painfully obvious that Louis long ago ran out of legitimate material to look up. But Harry’s never had such a good time at work, so he doesn’t say anything – even when Louis requests information on things like medieval furniture, the history of nudist colonies, or beekeeping in the 21st century. 

Top Middle: Strangers to Lovers
Louis’ neighborhood bookstore has recently implemented a “Take One, Leave One” program, and Louis is delighted when the first book he finds is by his absolute favorite author. Wanting to return the favor to his mystery donor, he leaves the newest release of said author in its stead. When he returns the next week, the book is gone only to be replaced by another fantastic option – with a little note slipped in the front cover that reads simply “Loved your suggestion, hope you enjoy this one. –H xx”. Wondering who this mysterious H is, Louis continues to leave books (complete with their own increasingly flirty notes) over the next few weeks, until one day he comes to find his newest option includes a note that simply reads “Meet here Friday evening, 6 PM?”  

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BoJack Horseman Aced It

A few months ago I saw a gif set of a scene from Netflix’s BoJack Horseman, a character from it stating he was not gay, but not straight either… maybe nothing. 
How that was probably the best representation for asexuality we got this far is under the cut (it got kinda lengthy)

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Right Here All Along

Pairing: Dick Grayson x Reader

Surprise…?! Here’s the Dick x Reader soulmate fic! Hope you guys like it!! Tell me what you think!

Tagging: @jadedhillon

_______________________________________


It felt like you had known Dick Grayson your whole life. As it was, it had almost been a decade since you had met the boy wonder at a Wayne Enterprises gala. Your father worked on the board of directors for the company, but at the age of nine this had been your first time attending. As it just so happened, this was Dick’s first rodeo too, so to speak.
You could hardly remember it now; other than that your mother had made you wear a disgustingly frilly dress and shooed you off to ‘play with the other kids’ almost as soon as you were in the door. At events like these that pretty much meant sitting in the corner and being on your best behaviour. You opted to hide under a banquet table instead, and that was where you met Dick, hiding out with another kid and making stupid videos on a camera. It was the start of a beautiful friendship.

At present, you were lounging around together in your living room, only half paying attention to the movie playing on your parents huge flat screen television. You’d both seen it a couple times already, on account of it being your favourite, so it wasn’t really essential that you give it your full attention. Instead, your attention was focused on dick, who was sitting cross legged on the sofa across next to you and was currently attempting to teach you how to juggle. So far your attempts had been pretty disastrous.
You had three going at once now, and if you concentrated you could keep them moving. It was after that you started having trouble. “Okay, hit me,” you commanded, sparing a glance at Dick, who nodded. “Three, two, one..” He tossed in the fourth ball, and for a second it seemed to fall seamlessly into the pattern. Then it all fell apart. You cursed as the first ball slipped from your grasp, the rest soon following after and skittering across the floor. Dick just laughed, grinning at you when you threw him a dirty look. He knew you couldn’t get mad at him for real. “I give up. I hate this,” You announced, getting up to retrieve the balls from the floor. Dick pouted at you. “Aww, but you were just getting good! C'mon, I’ll show you how I do it again,” His tone was gently persuasive, and you could already feel yourself giving in. “Fine, but this is the last time. Clearly I have no coordination,” You sighed, flopping back down next to him. “Eh, I mean, you could be worse?” You just rolled your eyes, dropping his props back into his waiting hands.

You could never say no to Dick. Well, you might have been able to, had you ever wanted to. That was the real problem. From the moment you had met the two of you had just clicked. There was a certain chemistry there; like the two of you were designed to fit together effortlessly the way that you did. Your friendship was the most important thing in the world to you; without Dick to depend on you knew you would never survive the dog-eat-dog ways of aristocratic society. Or your parents, most likely. Dick was always there when you needed someone to turn to, or just needed to vent about your problems. He was the perfect friend. You were almost ashamed to admit that it just wasn’t enough.
You had never been as excited for anything as you were for getting your soulmark. But that all changed when Dick got his a couple months before your thirteenth birthday. He was three months older than you, so it made sense that his would appear first. You hadn’t even realised you’d been wishing that the words would be yours until he rang you on the morning of his birthday and told you that they weren’t. You’d have felt worse, only sympathy for Dick had won out. When he’d woken up that morning there had been only one word on his wrist. “Lame”. You winced when he told you, and a couple minutes later managed to convince your parents to drop you over to the manor early.
Your words were a little better, but no less obscure. They read “You too huh? This thing sucks,” You figured that at least when you met your soulmate it would be obvious who they were. For now though, you just had to focus on not being head over heels in love with your best friend. Easier said than done.

You had just worked your way up to three when your mum walked in. Your concentration wavered and you messed up, dropping everything back onto the floor. “Drat,” You mumbled, glancing up at your mum to see what she why she had come in. She spared a disparaging glance at the juggling balls on the floor before walking over to you. You knew she hated Dick’s ‘circus tricks’, but she tolerated them for the sake of your friendship. Needless to say, having you make friends with Mr. Wayne’s newly adopted son had thrilled your parents. Dick greeted your mum with an easy smile, not at all phased by her obvious disapproval of your chosen pasttime. You hated that her only interest in your friendship was business based, but Dick had never been bothered by it. He was just glad that it meant you got to spend as much time together as you liked. It made you love him even more than you did already.

Your mum held out her hand to you, and in it was a flat square box you hadn’t noticed when she walked in. “That West boy came by to drop this over. He said to tell you he found it yesterday, and that you two might be interested in it,” She raised an eyebrow. You ignored the way she said Wally’s name, taking the box from her, intrigued. “What is it?” Dick was leaning in towards you now, curiousity plain on his face. “He didn’t tell me. You know you really should consider more carefully when choosing your friends dear. That boy…” She was gone before you could even start an argument, out the door in a flurry of silk and grace.
It was only when Dick placed a hand on your shoulder that you realised you were clencing your fists, your jaw tight. “Ignore her. And open the box, I want to see,” The distraction worked, and you didn’t hesitate in tearing open the seal on the lid, flipping it open. Inside was an unmarked dvd. Dick peered over your shoulder to get a look at it. You glanced at him, your eyes questioning. He shrugged. “No idea. Only one way to find out though,” He wiggled his eyebrows playfully, and you giggled, shoving his shoulder gently.

Standing up from your perch on the sofa, you walked over to the television, pressing the eject dvd button and swapping out the discs. You hit play on the remote, returning to sit next to Dick. You leaned your head on his shoulder as you waited for the disc to play.
Once it began you immediately knew what it was. It was the video Wally had made the day you had met him and Dick. Bruce had offered to bring Wally along so Dick would have some company for the night. At the time, Wally had been obsessed with making home videos. You had tons of them on the shelf in your room, most of them were of the three of you, but a couple had a few of your other friends in them as well. They’d stopped not long after you discovered that Dick was Robin, although you couldn’t remember why.
The scene on the tv was instantly familar, but in the nostalgic way you usually only felt in dreams. Wally had edited it to start just before you crawled in under the tablecloth in all your frilly, pink glory. You cringed when you saw yourself. “Ohmygod,” You covered your eyes with your hand and Dick laughed, patting your knee sympathetically. On screen, little Dick Grayson started to talk. “You too huh? This thing sucks,” You froze, your breath catching in your lungs. You felt Dick go statue still beside you. You watched in shock as the you from the past replied with that one fateful word. “Lame,” she agreed, sitting down beside the boys and offering them the candy she had stolen from the table and stashed in her dress pockets.

The movie carried on playing on the tv, but neither of you were paying attention anymore. Slowly you pulled back, turning to look at Dick, fearing his reaction. You saw your own doubt reflected in his eyes. And then, unexpectedly, he laughed shakily, breaking out into a huge grin. You breathed out a sigh of relief, giggling a little unsteadily. You were starting to feel extremely lightheaded. Dick was the first to speak. “Oh thank god,” He gasped, shaking his head in disbelief. “Dick?” You didn’t understand what he was talking about. He just smiled a little uncertainly, reaching over to lace his fingers with yours. “I was so worried I’d gotten it wrong, and that my soulmate was someone else.” He paused, forcing himself to look you in the eye when he continued, “It’s just, I’m kind of in love with you,”
You gasped, and the next thing you knew your arms were around him, squeezing tightly and holding on for dear life. You were laughing and crying at the same time; tears streaming down your cheeks as you laughed, hiccuped, and buried your face in his shoulder. He held you back just as tightly. “Dick, I love you too,” You stayed like that for awhile, and when you finally pulled back it was with great reluctance. Still, you were both smiling, fingers remaining interlinked in your lap. “We’re both idiots,” You stated, shaking your head fondly. “Remind me to get Wally a really expensive Christmas present this year,” You nodded in agreement.
When Dick leaned in to kiss you it felt as though your heart stopped beating for a split second. And then his lips were pressed against yours, slow and sweet and just so him that you couldn’t believe it. When he pulled back he rested his forehead against yours. You whispered, “Wait until my mum finds out,” He paused. “Well shit,” You just laughed, pulling him in for another kiss.

TO WONDER; Chapter Two, History’s Greatest Wonder

Summary: Studying art history abroad was supposed to be easy. It’s the second semester of your Freshman year. Meeting a gorgeous woman was a thought in the back of your head. This gorgeous woman having deadly secrets of her own wad not a thought in the back of your head.

Word Count: 9,639

Pairing: Diana Prince x Reader; Wonder Woman x Reader

A/N: So, this will be a, uh, story? A series? I’m not sure yet. I do have the third chapter started. This is a long chapter. I just kind of went with it? Anyways, I hope you guys enjoy it! Thanks :)

__________________________________________

The Louvre is full. More so than yesterday. You patiently wait near the statue of Aphrodite. A quick glance at your phone lets you know its 10 minutes past 12. All the ‘what ifs’ run through you mind like a guinea pig on a wheel. You begin to think she stood you up or just plain forgot about you. You grab your stuff slowly, hoping she will appear if you go slow enough. No show once everything was in your arms. You venture to the exit.

Your walk was slow. Your hope slowly going away as despair and anger filled you. The crisp air couldn’t bother you with the sun beating down. A beautiful combination. A wonderful day for art. Your mood keeps you from staying at the Louvre, wanting to get as far away from there as possible.

The streets are full of people hustling around. Some to are going to work, others to breakfast. The teens are walking off to who knows where, then there was you. Walking slowly, with dismay on your face. She could have been flirting to make you feel better, playing at your heart strings you think to yourself. Even more crushing is the fact you won’t be able to see the behind the scenes and learn more about what the Louvre has to offer.

You slow your walking, to the point you just stop and stare. There is this wall on an old brick building, dedicated to the late Superman. Low quality photos civilians have taken of him flying by. Some from the conference that took a drastic right turn into turmoil. Grainy pictures of what seems to be an average man interacting with normal, everyday people. It really makes you think, how many amazingly talented, superhero like people you have crossed paths with in the past.

A simple memorial means everything to people who’s lives have been affected by this one man who never asked to be the world’s martyr. You guess this world is as much of your home as it is his. Well, was his.

You look around, realizing you have never been around here before. You notice across the street a vendor selling flowers. You dig in your pocket to see if you have enough change. Crossing the street you look over the selection of flowers being offered for sell. You pay the vendor for the bouquet of flowers and walk back over to the wall of valor for a single man. A simple bow holding the bohquet together. Laying down the flowers next to the others surrounding the large portrait of the godly man, you step back to take it all in. A man that you’ve never met affects your life more than you’ve ever could imagine.

“Chrysanthemum, meaning a wonderful friend, cheerfulness, and rest. Cattail, meaning peace and prosperity. Iris, meaning your friendship means a lot, faith, hope, wisdom, and valor. Tell me miss, did you know him personally?” The little old ladies curiousity brought the attention of the crowd to you. Panic begins to fill your chest as you try to find a way to dismiss the crowd.

“He’s a friend to everyone. A savior to all. He gave us hope, faith, and peacefulness. I may not have known him personally, but in my heart it felt like I did.” You clear your throat with the intense air surrounding the crowd.

You smile at the lady, and begin to push your way out of the crowd. Your feet carrying you faster than when you first started your journey to, well, wherever your feet take you.

You stop your journey at a little café on the corner of a busy street. You stare inside the window of the shop. You can see the reflections of everyone behind you and across the street. You watch them walk by, oblivious to everything as their heads are shoved deeply in their phones.

One woman is wearing brown sandals with a red, flowery summer dress. The wind blowing it gently around her. Her long blonde hair getting stuck to her glossy lips. Another woman wearing a baggy t-shirt with ripped jeans and dirty vans. A man business arguing with someone on his phone, French pouring out of his mouth like a rapid river.

A woman exits the building behind you, long brown hair that could be mistaken for black as it flows in the gentle breeze. Her face obscured due to her looking down at the ground mostly. A tan coat wraps around her long legs. What catches your eye is her shoes, they look more like boots. Boots covered in metal. Red and gold shine brightly as the sun danced against the metal. The lady walks fast, weaving in and out of people. You turn to watch her go, feeling a strange pull towards this lady. You soon realize everyone has stopped what they were doing, as if frozen in time.

You hear the sound of heels clicking fast towards you. You manage to turn to your right only to be surprised. Diana was dressed in a gorgeous white dress. Once again in killer heels that make you ache in sympathy. Her hair braid around her head in a crown with little diamond hair pins throughout the braid. The pins give the allusion of a crown for royalty, something she could definitely rock and deserve.

“I’m so sorry I’m late. Something came up and I was needed else where. Please accept my apology as I did not mean to make you wait. Or leave for that matter.” She looks at you with such sincerity that you can’t do anything but accept her apology.

“I just felt uncomfortable with all those people around. Needed some fresh air. Besides, I’ve never been around here before. Been site seeing actually. Quite interesting here. Also, if I knew there was a café near by then I wouldn’t starve the whole day while I was sketching.” You grin up at her, trying to ease her guilt. Her blinding smile returning, bringing warmth inside of you.

“Are you hungry now? We can grab something here. I hear they have quite fantastic food here. Would you like to join me for this meal?” She asked, grin speaking volumes of her emotions.

“What, in like a date kind of way?” You smirk at her face when she realizes what she might of implied. “Well, I thought you’d never ask. After you, my majesty.” Opening the door for her, you laugh at her expression. She’s most likely flabbergasted at your change of emotion in such a short time.

Diana gracefully enters the café, dominance flowing out of her. She commands the whole rooms attention and respect without a word being said. She crosses the room to a secluded booth towards the back of the room. You hurry to catch up as she gestures for you to take a seat on the opposite side.

Just after sitting, a small, bubbly blonde comes up to your table.

“Bonjour! May I take ya orders?” Her heavy south accent is something you haven’t heard in a long while. The states have people of all kinds. Not many workers here in France have an American accent. The accent is quite refreshing to hear.

“A coffee with lots of creamer and lots of sugar. Never can go too wrong with sweet coffee. Especially after a long day.” You look to Diana, as she stares at you.

She orders, not glancing away for a second. “Coffee. Black with two sugars, please.” Her eyes seem to turn golden in the sunlight coming in from the window. Once the waitress left, Diana set her hands on the table, gently folded.

“So, Y/F/N, how long have you been here in France?”

You think a moment, trying to remember when you arrived with your group. “I think around 2 months. Actually, no, 3 months. Yes, 3 months. The is my 1st month here. We’ve been studying at the Louvre. Of course most is on your own time while we go and do things as a group every other day usually. The professor is sick so some are meeting up as small groups while others do their own thing today. We’re here for another month before we fly back state side.”

The waitress comes back carrying both the coffees. “One black with two sugas, ‘nd one super sweet. A lady after my own ‘eart. Enjoy ladies!” She skips away, back behind the counter.

“I’ve been meaning to ask you, I was wondering if we still get to do the tour? It doesn’t have to be today or anything. I’ll probably sketch something from the window of our hotel room.” You ask shyly, afraid to put a strain on your blooming relationship with this breath taking woman.

“Today is probably a bad day for me. Will tomorrow work for you?” Her relaxed body language maybe you believe maybe you didn’t mess it all up.

“Possibly. It would have to be in the morning. That afternoon I have class to go, hopefully.” You smile at her, hoping you get to hang out with her more and see all the beautiful art work he Louvre has to offer society.

You go to grab you cup when a sudden force shoves you out of your seat, sliding across the floor. Your ears ring, vision distorts. You try to focus on the moving colors. Suddenly everything comes back in force. Screams. High pitched screams everywhere. Next to you was the body of the blonde waitress who gave you and Diana your respected cups.

'Diana. Where’s Diana? She was right next to me. Across from me. Where is she.’ Your thoughts are sluggish as you try to look around, paining exploding all across your body. You curl up into a ball, sobbing in immense pain. You feel a strong arm grab around your stomach, sliding you back across the floor to the booth you were sitting at.

Someone is in your face. You manage to focus just enough to realize it’s Diana. Something about you’re safe here. Stay put and try not to move. Your senses dull back down as another wave of pain crashes over you. Red begins to fill your vision. Everything else has been shut out. 'Just survive. Just survive’ on repeat in your head.

You stare into the waitress’s unmoving eyes. Blue, blue as the ocean. On sunny days, the may have sparkled like the water. Now, now they are dull, almost gray. Your vision begins to tunnel, with only her eyes left in your site as you finally succumb to the numbing darkness.

What Do YOU Want? Pt. 9

A Kwon Jiyong series ft. Kim Jiwon

Genre: Angst/Fluff

Word count: 4,200+

Summary: The most important person in the world to you can appear most often when you least expect it. But through everything, you can’t forget about you and your own happiness. Who are you happy with? Who is the best for you?

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 … Part 10

(A/N: Yikes! The word count is just going to get longer and longer honestly. We’re approaching some really good content so bear with me, guys! There’s a lot going on in this part, but as always: please enjoy!)

Originally posted by ibmariji

You’ve never been the type of person who liked surprises, especially when it came to your birthday. The one and only time anyone had ever attempted to throw you a surprise party resulted in you unintentionally punching one of your childhood friends in the mouth. Another time came in the middle of a haunted corn maze when you kicked a man wearing a clown mask, yielding a fake chainsaw in between his legs for attempting a jump-scare.

Having someone show up unexpectedly to your door wasn’t going to result in you decking them across the face, but it being your birthday definitely had you putting your guard up. A million possibilities danced through your mind as to who the hell it could be.

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Open the Memory Cage

Well shit looks like I done wrote my first fic. Here it is in all its glory. I wanted to explore 2B and 9S’s relationship after the end and how they might help each other heal from all the trauma they went through both during the game and from before it started.

Tags(ish): Ending [E] spoilers. 10 pages/7309 words. 2B9S. Quite a bit of angst and feels. There’s a suggestive bit in there but nothing overly smutty (sorry to some of you). References the recent stage play/concert [Link to translation]

Summary: After ending [E] 9S wakes up to see 2B has brought him back to the Resistance camp. He’s unable to believe it’s really her until she begins sharing her memories with him to help bring back his own as well as helping him heal from everything he went through.

Partially inspired by some of @nines-s fics. So I guess it’s sort of a fic of a fic?

Story under the readmore. [Link] for mobile users in case you can’t click it.

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A Quest For Vengeance: The Arena: A Short Story

I told you all I would be writing a fan-fic based upon –> this <– conversation. And it’s looking awesome. This is the first episode. Enjoy! I’m tagging everyone in the post. Let me know if anyone else wishes to be tagged in future episodes!

Today’s episode introduces @actualborossoldier‘s fanwalker, Marius and @confused-phyrexian‘s fanwalker, Thaclel. You can follow the rest of the story –> here <–.

Gather `Round! It’s Storytelling Time!

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At The End of the Day (RebelCaptain Appreciation Week Day 2)

Happy RebelCaptain Appreciation Week! (Now I’m on the correct day.) Thank you again to @therebelcaptainnetwork and @rebelcaptainprompts for this :)

Day 2 Prompt: Comfort

Summary: The Battle of Endor is finished, and the Death Star II is destroyed; all Cassian Andor wants to do is find Jyn Erso among the chaos. 

Words: 1268

AO3 /  Below the Cut!

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anonymous asked:

#31 Mercy's pregnancy inspires Ana to bring out the photo album of the original strike team with baby Pharah. Symnetra's curiosity is piqued

This ficlet is an immediate continuation of this ficlet, and runs parallel with this ficlet.

—-

They had not expected Mercy to be on the couch with Ana when they returned to the Watchpoint. Symmetra shoved the shopping bags she was holding into Pharah’s arms and then quickly waved Pharah to go up into their room before turning and facing Ana and Mercy on the couch. 

“Angela,” Symmetra cleared her throat, “We… did not expect to see you here.”

“Jack needed Genji on a call in Lijiang,” said Mercy, turning a page in a large book that was between her and Ana, “Ana invited me over.” Angela looked down at the page and snickered.

“What are you looking at?” said Symmetra, stepping toward the couch.

“Just some of Fareeha’s baby pictures,” said Ana.

“Her what?” said Symmetra.

“My what?!” Pharah’s voice came from the top of the stairs.

“Oh it’s nothing embarrassing, you look adorable, ḥabībti,” said Ana.

Symmetra stepped over and sat on the other side of Ana and looked over Ana’s shoulder down at the photo album. “Here,” Ana said, turning a few pages back, “I can start over for you.”

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Cold Pizza (chapter 2)
  • Jaehyun fluff
  • word count: 1,005
  • chapter 1
  • A/N: I hope you enjoy this, I posted the first chapter 4 months ago and decided to continue it, please give it a read. The first chapter might be disappointing but I promise I’ve improved in 4 months. Send in any sort of feedback or queries you have.

You tried to find your peace through rain and thunder but you couldn’t, considering the fact that there was a hot guy sleeping in the room next to yours. The deafening, irritating sound of thunder was another reason you couldn’t find your sleep. It was a cold, cold night and your throat was as dry as the paper in the book you were trying to read. You couldn’t focus at all on the thin text because your mind kept drifting to Jaehyun. Sighing deeply, you got to your feet and walked out silently to fetch a glass of water.

As you stepped out, you felt a presence behind you. Shrieks ran down your spine when you turned around to face Jung Jaehyun, inches apart from you.

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Shifted - Part 1, Chapter 1

As mentioned yesterday, every Tuesday I’ll be posting a chapter from my brand new AU story. The premise is simple - what if Claire had gotten pregnant with Brianna a month or two earlier in the story, and she and Jamie had re-evaluated their priorities and decided that the cause was lost, and they were able to slip away from the army and quietly return to Lallybroch?

And so here we go:


Part 1 - The Beginning

Chapter 1

Lallybroch, October 1746

At first it came in waves – like the tiny laps she’d felt against her ankles when walking sandy shorelines as a child. It seemed completely manageable, and she truly wondered what all the fuss was about.

But as the hours continued to pass, and the long shadows of the afternoon gradually slipped into darkness, the waves subsided – replaced by a constant thudding pull that did not relent, did not yield for even the slightest moment.

Pain sharpened her senses. Claire shivered as a tendril of cold October air licked her bare shoulder. Doubling up against the cold, and overcome with the sudden scent of her own exertions, she opened her mouth, gasping for fresh breath.

Her head turned so that only one ear faced the room, straining to make out the words murmured at the foot of the bed –

“…been eight hours now wi’ barely a change. We need to do something afore she canna help us to do it.”

“Aye, I know, but I’ve seen this go on for up to a day and even more. We need to let this run its course.”

An audible sigh. “Ah weel. I don’t disagree with ye. But we need to get her to eat, or to drink something. She canna go for much longer as it is.”

“Stop,” Claire rasped. “Stop talking about me as if I’m not here.” She opened her eyes and blearily focused on the shorter figure at the foot of the bed. “I’m a physician. I can diagnose my own problems.”

“Oh, aye.” Jenny approached Claire, skeptically surveying her bare, twisted, sweat-soaked limbs. “If ye take nothing else away from this experience, sister, I hope it’s the fact that when it comes to bringing bairns into this world, everything ye thought ye knew about your own body proves to be false.”

“Is this you trying to cheer me up? You know I couldn’t keep anything down a few hours ago. Why should anything have changed by now?” Claire swallowed against the dryness tugging at the back of her throat.

Jenny smirked – but Claire saw concern etched in the creases of her eyes.

“A few hours? May as well be a lifetime ago, Claire. Your body has been working non-stop. Ye need to eat something, or at least try for water. To keep the blood flowing.”

“I won’t. I don’t want it to come back up again. Just the thought of it makes me sick.”

“I swear, you’re as stubborn as my pig-heided brother. God knows how much longer this will last, Claire – you need to be able to see this through to the end.”

“No.”

“Yes.” This time Jenny braced her hand on the headboard and leaned over Claire, trying her level best to establish eye contact.

Claire shut her eyes, overcome by a fresh wave. Her mouth opened in a silent scream, body tensed. She pushed back against the arm wrapped around her middle, her only anchor as sensation overpowered her.

“For God’s sake, Claire,” Jamie murmured in her ear, face obscured by the riotous mess of curls he normally loved to sink his fingers into. “For once in your life, woman, do as you’re told. Eat something.”

The sheer terror in Jamie’s voice forced her focus away from pure sensation and toward the immediacy of the moment – and the man wedged between her back and the headboard.

“All right.” Sighing, she laid her right hand over Jamie’s at her middle, threading their fingers together and running her thumb over his own. She had meant it as reassurance, but he just gripped her even tighter. “What do you suggest, then?”

Good Neighbors

She inherited the little house from her parents, who had decided that it’s time for a change of scenery, starting with a cruise. 602 Gulf Way had been her childhood home, so some of the older neighbors were not quite surprised when she moved back in. They remembered her from that childhood, knees perpetually smeared with dirt and grass stains and some flora entwined into her hair. Once or twice, the friends with the pool had called 602 with concern: Lana wasn’t playing with the other kids, but rather messing around in the flowerbeds. “The flowers and everything are fine!” they insisted, puzzled at her parents’ lack of concern. “Yes… yes, they are coming in wonderfully! I never have luck with tomatoes; the insects in this area can be quite horrendous, but I appreciate your help. Thank you for asking! Yes, it’s been lovely talking.”

It was a dreary winter morning that had seen the generations change at 602 Gulf Way, and the cheerful older couple waved as they zipped down the road, excited for saltwater and sunshine. Wrapped in a flannel blanket, Lana waved from the porch and lingered to watch her parents disappear from sight before she retreated from the cold.

Her neighbors on the cross street, at 637 Bramble Street, watched from their lace-draped bay window, peering as intently as they could. They had been a newer family, moving in seven years before, but they’d never quite got along with 602, due to Mrs. Pack’s sensitivity to pollen and 602’s garden.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the block had been divided into neat little lots, and four houses per side. Each small family had their own little gardens, and the lawns were kept pristine. 602 Gulf Way was the corner lot, and the owners had plans for a vegetable garden in the back. Mr. and Mrs. Geller kept to themselves, but were extremely friendly whenever encountered out and about. Their next-door neighbors always commented that Mrs. Geller was usually out in the backyard, weeding and fertilizing, or digging up the contents of the compost bin in the warm summer weather. Whenever they met eyes, she would wave in a friendly way, and often have a short conversation that ending with presenting some bundle of herbs from the flowerpots arranged neatly against the wall of the house. Her garden enjoyed uncommon success, and she sometimes expressed the desire for more room to plant to her neighbors.

Only the Misters Edgar and Kaemon Ford in 557 Gulf Way had memories that stretched to 1953, when the various tenants of the 600 block all picked up and moved into the city. 602 was all that remained, and somehow, it had legally transpired that the whole block was now the Gellers’ to tend and utilize as they pleased. The vegetable garden extended, and while the couple were as friendly as ever, hedgerows began to spring up along the sidewalks. Mr. Geller would spend an hour after work each evening trimming some section, and after a few years, they had grown into a wall that encased the whole block before reaching 602. The front yard was still visible, and the sprightly little flowerbeds were the same demure daisies and bright marigolds, but gave no hint as to what the owners were growing in the backyard.

Eventually, everyone stopped wondering, and as the years passed and the families revolved, it became common knowledge that 602 Gulf Way was actually the entire block, and most of the other houses ended up being torn down as the hedges grew. Sometime in the 80s, the owners passed the house down to their son and his new bride. By the time Lana was born, the hedgewall was over everyone’s heads and now obscured the greenhouse that had replaced the house at 604. By the time Lana herself, now a tall adult with long dark curls and a job as a nurse at the town’s hospital, was watching her parents trundle away to an all-expenses-paid Mediterranean cruise, the hedges were astoundingly high, and the only other original house left was the erstwhile 634 on the cross-street Bramble Drive. No one had seen the extensive backyard for years, only the tops of a few old oak trees as they towered above the meticulously-trimmed shrubs. Everyone saw Mr. Geller drive in every spring with the bed of his pickup truck loaded with mulch, and then fertilizers, and occasionally a small tree, to unload them directly into the garage before closing the door, presumably to move them to the backyard in secret through a back door.

So the garden still lived on; Mrs. Pack’s allergies came with full force every spring, and she often cast disparaging glances through her windows. Prying eyes had only her suspicions and Mr. Geller’s deliveries as evidence, though. No child had managed to infiltrate the thick bushes, and while the Gellers had hosted an open Christmas party every few years, the festivities began only after dark, and any door to the back was barred to visitors. Google Earth was of even less help, as any view of the neighborhood showed it as it was in the spring of 1953, with all of the little houses still in place and no shielding hedge walls.

So it was of extreme interest when, a few months in, a large white door appeared in the hedgerow directly in front of 634 Bramble Drive, and the driveway up to that little house was paved again. The Packs regarded the area with particular interest, as the door was directly across from their front door. Many hoped that it heralded a grand reveal of the backyard, but as the weeks passed, it remained closed. One or two of the neighborhood teens crept close, hoping to trip the latch open. Despite being a simple catch-lock, the garden remained a mystery, for the door itself was over ten feet tall with the latch near the top, and the hedges branched too thickly around the doorframe for spying.

As for Lana herself, it was some weeks before the neighborhood was able to interact with her; early-risers saw her trudge out to her car at dawn three days a week, bundled in a puffy coat and her long curls tucked into a knit slouch. The rest of the week, she disappeared into the little house and wouldn’t reappear until a day or so later, always around dawn and not returning until several hours later. Finally, the Fords invited the neighborhood for a St. Patrick’s party, and Lana’s arrival sparked a torrents of interest through the partygoers, who queued around her and bombarded her with introductions, inquiries about her parents, and not-so-subtle probes about herself.

She bore every interaction affably, and details of her life were gleaned easily enough. She apologized for not introducing herself sooner, citing exhaustion from nursing shifts at St. Cyprian’s Hospital in the city. Her undergraduate years were at a small, unrecognized school evidently tucked in the Appalachian Mountains, where she’d studied chemistry, joined a sorority, and planned to spend the rest of her life in academia before a rushed and lackluster senior capstone project persuaded her to rethink and apply to nursing school. Despite her new neighbors’ protestations that she was too interesting and lovely to be so, she was single.

“Our little Ricky Klein is a CPA in the city,” Annalise Alden, the maiden great-aunt of Ricky informed her with a wink. “He was engaged last year, but then the woman ran off two weeks before the wedding. Poor boy, but we keep telling him that he needs to get back up on the horse and not let this dim his outlook on love.” Her eyes were sly as she took a sip of her wine and pressed Lana’s arm in her other hand before leaning in conspiratorially, “I remember how you two used to play together when you were younger; you always had him digging and grubbing around in the flowerbeds with you. Perhaps you two might want to meet for a drink sometime? Or come join us for dinner? I’m sure he’d love to reconnect.”

Lana politely demurred, “I’m just trying to get settled in at the moment, and I don’t have much room in my life for a relationship; I’m at the hospital quite a lot. But I can bring a dish for dinner, of course, as long as I can get off work.”

As she moved away, she found herself wrapped in more reminiscing with Mr. Tandy, whose wife had passed away a few years back (“Very sorry about your wife, and I’m sorry I haven’t been in touch since the funeral,”) but had kept the pool kept up for his son and grandchildren (peering at pictures that Mr. Tandy produced, she smiled and cooed at how adorable the babies were). After that were the Fords themselves, who were as lively as ever, and responded with twinkling humor at her teasing suggestions that they were hoarding some secret to youth. “Your parents used to bring us potted bulbs each year,” Edgar told her, his smile warm and sad. “They would bring a pot with some mystery bulb in it and tell us how to care for it, and it would be a lovely surprise every year.”

“They left me with explicit instructions on what this year’s is to be,” she assured them. “In fact, I’m to be around with it in a few weeks.“

“You and your parents are so patient with us!” Kaemon sighed; he was the taller of the two, and his words always had a very deliberate quality. “Edgar and I do love greenery and color around the house, but neither of us are very skilled at keeping plants alive for long. In fact,” his voice became confidential, “your mum and dad switched us to annuals very quickly. Very easy to start over every year!”

“My parents were rather unsentimental gardeners,” Lana laughed. “My mother was very stern with her vegetables, and nothing was so important that it had to stay in the garden without obeying the rules.” The Misters Ford were not quite sure what to make of this remark, but they passed it over for an update of the now seaborn Mr. and Mrs. Geller before allowing Lana to be claimed by the next neighbor eager for introductions.

As the various families mingled and all got a chance to talk to Lana, Mrs. Pack eyed her from across the room, nursing a cocktail. She’d approached Mr. and Mrs. Geller a few times over the years, always with a friendly smile, but with the express purpose of finding out what was in their backyard, and to try to convince them to remove it. She’d referenced her heightened pollen sensitivity, mentioned a former neighborhood with strict rules on what could and could not be planted on the owners’ properties, and even had gotten herself involved with the Homeowners’ Association to attempt to gain entry to the Gellers’ property. The other members had viewed her as nosy and entitled, and had gone as far as to threaten her with removal from the association. She’d backed off at the point, but four years later, now that a younger Geller owned the property, she sensed an opportunity to try again 

“Ms. Geller,” she extended her hand as she stepped toward Lana, a wide smile on her face. “So good to meet you!”

Kaemon Ford watched as the two chatted, and he couldn’t help himself from edging closer to catch their conversation. “My parents tell me they’ve been a bit of an unintended nemesis for you,” Lana was saying, her tone seeming apologetic.

Mrs. Pack waved her hand. “I’m afraid I was a thorn in their side, and I only wished to be as friendly as possible. I did quite like your parents,” she insisted. “They were always so cheerful, and absolutely wonderful people. It’s just, you know,” her smile seemed to sadden a bit, “one hears tell of that garden, and for something so apparently wonderful, it makes me dread springtime. Pollen allergies, you know. I asked them to consider the neighborhood at large, because whatever is back there makes the whole area quite a nuisance every year.”

“Well, if you want, I can recommend a doctor to help treat your allergies,” Lana offered. “I know of a rather talented one who runs a clinic downtown, and I’m sure they could help you with treatment.”

Mrs. Pack’s smile seemed just a little cold, and she patted Lana’s hand between her own as she said, “That’s very kind, but it seems to me that I must not be the only person affected around here. It was never this bad until Alan and I moved into the neighborhood. Therefore…” she trailed off meaningfully.

Lana tilted her head, considering her neighbor, and then gave her an impossibly warm grin. She withdrew her hand and rummaged in the bright, quilted purse slung from her shoulder. “I thought we might be having this conversation,” she mused, rooting energetically amongst the purse’s contents. A few feet away, Kaemon thought he heard the tinking of glass against glass before she withdrew a gauzy drawstring bag stuffed with dried leaves, bright brown pods, and bits of fragrant cinnamon. Wherever the conversation was to go, his attention was abruptly pulled to the opposite end of the room, where Annalise was attempting to scrub her spilled wine from Mr. Tandy’s sweater as energetically as her stiff elbows would allow.

Mrs. Pack’s eyes began to pull to the commotion, but Lana stepped forward, and Mrs. Pack found herself staring into Lana’s wide, dark eyes. “Mrs. Pack,” Lana said lightly, “I don’t want to make a fuss, and I don’t intend to have to deal with this again. Nothing is so important that it has to stay in the garden, but I’m afraid that the garden itself must stay.”

Indignant, Mrs. Pack sputtered a bit, but Lana cut her off, “This is a peace offering,” and pressed the bag into Mrs. Pack’s hands. As the dried contents of the bag crinkled between her fingers, Mrs. Pack didn’t realize that the sounds of the party faded just a bit, and she stared harder into Lana’s black eyes. “This will help less your reactions every year; I want us to get off on the right foot,” Lana went on; she hadn’t blinked yet. “Modern medicine has its benefits, but nothing works quite the same as the natural remedy.”

The scent of cinnamon drifted into the air between them, as well as something just a little bitter. Mrs. Pack chewed her lip, conscious for the first time in years that she’d been selfish all these years, and maybe not the most considerate neighbor to the Gellers. “Well, you’re very kind,” she offered quietly. “What… what’s in it?”

“A mix of herbs, but you’ll mostly taste the cinnamon and anise,” Lana said with a smile. “Boil a teaspoon of it for tea, and a dose every other day will help. As I said, I want us to start well, as it’s about time for the garden to be shared as needed.”

“Shared?” Mrs. Pack glanced over to the Fords, who were attempting to console Annalise. “The flowers for the Fords… your parents usually gave some form of plant as gifts. To those that they thought deserved it,” she added with a sniff, attempting to regain some of the superior attitude she’d began the party with.

“Those were from the greenhouse,” Lana corrected with a sober shake of her head. “These herbs come from the garden.”

Mrs. Pack wasn’t sure what set her on edge about that statement, but she waved it away as she considered the bag in her hands. What, after all, had bothered her so much about the Gellers’ garden? Her itchy eyes and dripping sinuses were extremely bothersome every year, but she’d also never been fond of secrets. At least not ones kept from her. If Lana was willing to be more open with the garden…. She straightened and set her shoulders, gazing into Lana’s eyes once again. “Well, it’s possible I have not been as accommodating as I could have been. Thank you, my dear.”

A few weeks later, Lana answered a knock to find Mrs. Pack with the empty bag clutched in her hand. “This tea!” Mrs. Pack was gushing. “I haven’t had to restock on Kleenex, and I’ve just been sleeping so well! You must tell me what’s in it.”

Lana’s smile was indulgent as she stepped away from the door and ushered Mrs. Pack inside. “I would be more than happy to give you some more, Mrs. Pack. You can’t stay long, but let’s see what can be done.”

Whitemoore House

You don’t go out after dark. That had been one of the inn’s rules since it opened in the late 19th century. Built beside a wide swath of marshland, it was large, beautiful, and sitting on a precarious edge. During daylight hours, paths were easy enough to see and enough signposts had been erected that finding one’s way to and from Whitemoore House wasn’t much of a challenge. After nightfall, however, shadows had a way of obscuring signs and swallowing light, pathways got tangled and lost underfoot, and one misstep was all it took to end up in one of the bogs. And once you were in, there was almost no getting out.

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