He wouldn’t tell his mom how much he’d hated the summer. It felt like a betrayal to do so after all the sympathy trips out for ice cream and extra free time granted our of guilt. She knew summer was his favorite season, but not for the beating sun or even the freedom from school. Summer was Dustin Henderson’s favorite season because of the friends coming in and out of his front door, the countless water balloon fights staged on the freshly mowed lawn, and the bike races that left him sweating and often in last. But Dustin didn’t even mind that he was last as long as there was a stream of friends on all the bikes ahead of him. And that’s what Waupaca had plenty of- friends.
The first half of summer saw a smattering of friends at his house, but it was much weaker than previous summers because from the moment his family announced their plans to move he had an expiration date stamped over his chest. He was like a gallon of slowly spoiling milk to them and they acted as if they could smell it on him. But after he thought about their stiffness, he understood it well enough to forgive them. After all, he’d been on the giving side of the coldness before he had to receive it. People left all the time, and now it was his turn.
But that’s not to say he didn’t fight it. He glowered at the brown boxes capturing all his belongings and he raved about how wonderful their current situation was whenever his father was in earshot. He even went on a brief fast from all food just to worry them into canceling their plans, but he couldn’t hold out past the pot roast on day one.
“You can still keep your friends here,” Mom attempted, squeezing his hand for good measure. “You can write letters to all of them like they’re your pen pals,”
But Dustin knew how that scenario would pan out. He’d seen it with Dave Coiler, who left for Maryland with hopeful hugs and address exchanges in the third grade. Everyone meant to keep the friendship going, at least half-heartedly, until the new school year started up and Dave’s chair was filled with another kid and his letters puttered to a stop. Now Dave was someone you had to squint to even remember, and Dustin knew he’d fade out in a similar fashion.
So the second half of summer saw no friends at all. Just boxes and bills and a moving truck that Dustin secretly named the nastiest curse he knew. And then of course, the new house. The new town. Tinier than the one they’d left and less…everything. The bronze faded off his skin as the sun blared onto asphalt his tires wouldn’t touch and the stiffness settled into his limbs as his gaze skirted around the blank walls of his rooms. His mom tried to supplement. She did everything, scouting out the neighborhood for potential friends, who she claimed were all over the place. So he wouldn’t tell his mom how much he’d hated the summer. But he did not have the highest expectations for September.
Pressing his trademark baseball cap against his curls, he made a firm decision before leaving the house. I don’t need friends. There wasn’t much point to them anyway, if they didn’t last past a certain amount of miles. So he accepted the kiss and the good luck from his mother, grabbed the lunch box from the kitchen counter, and threw back the kickstand on his new bike to pedal. The bike moved smoothly down the street, being the newest model and having freshly pumped tires. It was a compensation gift, another useless thing his parents thrust at him to make him happy. But he felt horribly selfish riding on it now because for the longest time now he didn’t feel happy at all, not even a little bit. Here he was riding into new territory without a friend to his name and he was supposed to spend the school year and then an indeterminate amount of time after that in this dead end of a town. And then a thought hit him so hard in the chest that he almost pulled a U-turn to race back home. His teeth. Kids in Waupaca knew everything there was to know about Cleidocranial Dysplasia and didn’t care about the gaps where other kids had teeth. But here…
I don’t need friends. But he would prefer for his classmates to leave him alone, and looking like an overgrown baby was plenty cause for meanness in a place like fourth grade.
He made his way to his classroom and sank into the first available chair. Already he could feel the gazes of curious kids poking at him, but he refused to give them attention. He clamped his mouth shut tight and waited for the day to begin.
I don’t need friends. The teacher tried to calm the chattering in the room and Dustin knew with a sinking feeling in his chest that everyone else did have friends. But he wouldn’t let that bother him. He wouldn’t.
It took a few hours of sitting and focusing on only the teacher (and keeping his mouth shut) until one voice stuck out over the mill of babbling: “Mom said we could bike to the VHS store after meeting up at my house and we can pick out two movies when we’re there,”
Dustin didn’t know there was a VHS store in biking distance. Maybe his mom had tried to mention it at some point. Slowly, he twisted around to see the source of the information- a skinny boy with dark hair contrasting his pale skin, talking animatedly to two boys of similar stature.
“Is she going to let us watch both movies today?” This came from the boy in the faded flannel with wide eyes and a pronounced brown bowl cut.
“I don’t know,” the first boy admitted. “But maybe she’ll let us if we start them soon enough and it’s not too late,”
“Even if she doesn’t,” the third boy with the dark skin and clear voice added, “You can rent those movies for five days max. We can pick one for today and save the next one for tomorrow, since no teacher gives out homework on the first day,”
“Where’s the VHS store?” Dustin heard his own voice breaking into the conversation before he could remember the fact that he was not getting friends from this place. “Sorry, I’m new here and I didn’t know,”
The dark-haired one seemed unfazed by Dustin’s interruption. “It’s past the general store if you know where that is. You take a right on Hay Street and- hang on,” He dug through his pack and ripped out a leaf of paper. “Here’s Hay Street, and there’s the general store and the building that used to be that fast food place-” He drew a rather bumpy line across the page and added two lopsided boxes beside them. “And if you take the road on the right-”
“And not the road that goes towards the old folk’s home. Mike forgot to draw that in, and it’s a dead end,” The third boy interjected.
“It doesn’t have to be perfect, Lucas!” Mike protested.
“Boys in the back!” The teacher had noticed the pocket of disruption coming from their row of seats. They quieted, Mike tucking his map back into his backpack. But as the teacher continued, Dustin felt a gentle prodding against his shoulder. He turned to see the wide-eyed one, looking particularly flushed from being called out by the teacher. “If you come meet us at lunch, I can have a map of Hawkins drawn out for you. A good one this time, although Mike tried his best,”
“Okay. Thanks,” Will responded with a shy smile, and Dustin had to catch his own grin before it exposed his mouth. As he turned around, he reminded himself for the hundredth time since arriving in Hawkins: I don’t need friends. But in that moment, he thought he might want them.
Background Info: “When his arms lace around us, it’s as if the ballroom is set on fire.” After three months of wrestling with myself to make a playlist that would do this boy justice, I’m so excited to share this with you all. ✨
Click on each song title for the link. I highly recommend listening while looking at the visuals, lyrics, and analysis. 😉
A big town Synthetic apparitions of not being lonely —– Oh, she’s dancing, enthralling, I guess I gotta wait my turn I said, “Don’t fall in love with the moment.” She said, “I’ve got a lot to learn.” —– There’s no more water in this city But be careful or you’ll drown You think you’ve got it figured out —– And we’re socially relevant, she’s American
New York comes alive in the night, brimming with the adrenaline and anticipation of what’s next. Meeting the waitress with the beaming smile and sparkling eyes is a most appreciated welcome.
When we step out the door with hair loose around our shoulders and face flushed, he can’t help but think that America truly is a breath of fresh air. Away from the darkened memories of home, he allows himself let his mind, unrestrained, roam over the possibilities.
Even when he secures his own fate, as the palace moves closer in the airplane window, he still thinks of that night, painted indigo by our smile.
I don’t ever wanna let you down No, I just want to kiss your lips in the rain You know I’ll pull you closer if you start to drown, drown —– And now it’s burning my mind That you left me inside With your lips and your thighs You pull them closer to mine —– Roxanne I think we should go but I’m not sure enough
When his arms lace around us, it’s as if the ballroom is set on fire. As we twirl about the floor and his hands trace slow patterns on our waist, we finally understand the magic of fairytales. How it feels to be swept away into another world.
Too soon, though, his deep blue gaze skirts away from us. His hands are up, his eyes shadowed with doubt and something else, longing. Before we can summon an apology, an explanation, his mask slips on.
In a flash of regret, we’re whisked away into the arms of the prince. All he can do is stare at our retreating frame, and try to forget the warmth of our skin.
All my islands have sunk, in the deep And I can hardly relax or even oversleep
But I feel warm with your hand in mine When we walk along the shoreline I guess we’ll never know, why sparrows love the snow We’ll turn out all of the lights and set this ballroom aglow —– Time together isn’t ever quite enough When you and I are alone, I’ve never felt so at home What will it take to make or break this hint of love? Only time, only time
There is a sweet innocence to the little sparks in between us. He’s rendered speechless when we step out of the changing room; we shyly admit that the few moments we share have meant everything to us.
Even when surprise, reproach, flickers across his sunburned face, our smile wavers only a little.
As we lay back against the sand with enough distance to pretend that the burning heat comes from the sun, we close our eyes. The ocean air whisks away the rigidity of palace duties, leaving nothing but the taste of serenity and stillness.
Dancing on the line of a dangerous love You could break me overnight But there’s no one like us Insatiably insane Equally exchanged —– Throw it all away cause you do what you want —– I know my way around your heart Don’t start thinking, “Things have kinda changed. They’re different from what they are.”
Spurred by the electric beat and the freedom of our night out, we stride over to Maxwell. His effortless confidence on the dance floor, paired with the teasing grins that he saves for us, gives us the courage to close the distance a bit more.
As we laugh and spin around in his arms, it feels as if we’re home again. Seeing our favorite guy thriving in his element lights the whole room up.
Our steps and smiles grow brighter as the night goes on.
I’m hanging from your lips, dancing in your stillness While you’re killing this — But only say the words and I’ll be yours. —– All my friends say: “stop wasting your days on a runaway — Never mind the time it took to fall” —– Cause darling, if you call me, I’ll come running Just let me turn out all the lights In the dead of night Cause I’m your lovely Burning for my turn to be your one and your only
Holding him is elusive. The dismay on his face, at our confession that we’ve strayed from the Prince, hits us as hard as rejection. But it’s only when Maxwell steers quickly around our questions and stops us from getting too close, that the ache in our chest threatens to spill over.
He refuses to see the truth—that we are not searching for the perfect lover or ending scene, but him. It’s not the promise of a future that we ask for; it’s today. And that, already, is too much for him to give.
As the glassy smile stretches across his face, we hurry away, shrinking our hope before we say too much again.
That night, Maxwell dreams of unspoken promises and faceless dance partners.
You pay for the right, but what is there? When every place in the world is all built up And every space in the herd is all filled up
I can hear all the obsolete From a landfill, singing out
I’m just suffering from changes Locked outside for good Paper cut by turning pages Sitting under dust cause I’m not understood
Desire, once set afire, cannot be doused so easily—as Maxwell soon discovers. His attempts to quell it only create more flame, and more frantic attempts to cover up the growing blaze.
As tensions rise, his practiced responses and avoidance turn harsh. He cuts us off, snaps at his brother, and for the first time in weeks, gazes at us with unbridled longing in our room.
For once, he does not hide. After all, letting the want surge through his veins is a welcome respite from everything he’s done wrong—from the fire that he is sure will burn down this entire, weary house.
7) “Roman Holiday” Halsey A nostalgic, synth pop ballad to youthful escapades and a love that can’t quite get the timing right.
Late December with my heart in my chest and the clouds of my breath Didn’t know where we were running to But don’t look back —- I imagine the tears in your eyes The very first night I’ll sleep without you —– We’ll be looking for sunlight Or the headlights Till our wide eyes burn blind —– And our heart’s gone And the timing’s never right But for now let’s get away On a Roman holiday
It’s supposed to be an ending. Yet that night, we dart out of the ballroom with him, giggling like teenagers. Our fears of getting caught are thrown to the wind in more than one way.
Standing but a few inches shy of us, in the hallway where this whole story began, Maxwell commits our breathless laughter to memory. It strikes him that after all this time, looking at us still feels the same way as that first magical night in New York.
As we press our cheek to his and sense the longing in his heavy sighs, in the burning gaze that he still forces away from us, we can’t help but that this is not quite what we expected.
No, it’s a million times better. We’ll drink this secluded moment in until the end. (Until the next one takes us away again.)
“One saw a bird dying, shot by a man. It was flying with rhythmic beat and beautifully, with such freedom and lack of fear. And the gun shattered it; it fell to the earth and all the life had gone out of it. A dog fetched it, and the man collected other dead birds. He was chattering with his friend and seemed so utterly indifferent. All that he was concerned with was bringing down so many birds, and it was over as far as he was concerned. They are killing all over the world. Those marvellous, great animals of the sea, the whales, are killed by the million, and the tiger and so many other animals are now becoming endangered species. Man is the only animal that is to be dreaded.” ― Jiddu Krishnamurti, Krishnamurti to Himself: His Last Journal
we are a nation
not built on
the ten fucking
an all inclusive
fucking rode a horse
was the greatest smartass
that ever lived
tried his best to absolve
our sins until the father
of all trump supporters
we have a dark history
I won’t argue that
for a nation built on
we’ve committed genocide
we’ve not equally separated
we’ve privitized prisons
but God Damn
is this us?
Is this really us?
I am a Patriot
in every fucking
sense of the word
but I am not our
do you see
what’s happening here?
We’ve sent children
into muddy chattering
machine gun beaches
to stop the type of
people in command
of our ship
what the fuck happened?
I’ll tell you
We let fear
we let faith
we let just-us
beat the scales
we don’t have to take this
this isn’t their land
it’s our land
we, the PEOPLE
Not the fucking suits who
don’t give two shits about
rush the fucking harbor
dump the Miller, Coors,
bullshit rhetoric they
ran the tab up with
don’t buy into the fear
the hate the division
they blind us with
fanning flames of
old fires we can piss on
put out for the last time
fold the flag around
the eyes of our lady again
wipe her delicate cheeks
like she could stop these
assholes from unfolding
her cloth, she couldn’t
drop the scales
she couldn’t stand
It’s time for us to
reclaim our independence
what the fuck happened to us?
I’m not entirely sure
but I know we can find out
Member: suga. Min yoongi
Summery: naughty hoseok and namjoon attempt setting yoongi and his crush together, will their awkwardly planned trick work?
This wasn’t going in any planned direction. Sure it was odd enough to be asked to dress in his most presentable clothes for dance practice, but they just drove past the building.
Yoongi rounded on the other two. Overly enthusiastic considering they were painfully sandwiched at the back seat. “Oh no” he internally panicked.
“Tell me now, what have you two planned?” He demanded in a low, cold utterance, ignoring his frantically vibrating phone.
“Yoongi-ah” Hoseok started, dropping all formalities. “I’m not saying anything unless you check your phone” he jabbed his elder, only to immediately retreat after gaining a loud scowl. Yoongi could almost predict where all of this was going, and he did nothing but pray for otherwise.
“You, what kind of childish game are you paying?” Hoseok was playful enough to drop his respect every now and then, but yoongi was in no way expecting namjoon to act the same. Slouching an arm around the black head’s shoulder, he sighed
“Hyung already told you, the answer is in that vibrating phone” he smiled mischievously. And when yoongi checked the ten or so messages flaring through his screen, the pair exchanged satisfied glances.
“I’m waiting by the ice cream shack”
“it’s too hot where are you?“
“I’m buying tickets without you.”
“Yoongi I swear to god of you are sleeping I’m going to suffocate you with the pillow”
Yoongi bit his lip in attempt to comprehend the situation at hand, well, more like to restrain himself from murdering his two band members.
“where are we going?” He asked in exasperation.
“Y/N had a day off, so we planned a date for the pair of you, you know, theme parks are where love birds confess” Hoseok giggled proudly, hitting namjoon’s thighs too many excruciating times.
“If this is a date” Yoongi stuttered as the towering railings came to view. “Why are you two here?”
The car came to a halt at the parking lot, meanwhile, yoongi’s hands where a sweating mess and his heart was beating it’s freedom out of his ribcage. “You won’t even see us, we are just third and fourth wheels, just to get the car movin’” Rap monster gave him a thumbs up, hurring out of the car.
With a confused groan, yoongi calmed his breathing down while wiping his hands on his jeans. If he didn’t love her so much, confessing wouldn’t have been this stressful.
“Hyung look out for the Ice cream shack” Hoseok shouted facetiously, but yoongi spared him no attention, he was going over his “please love me back” speech, so intensely, he knocked a dozen people on his way.
“Ah here she is! Y/N!!” He stopped dead in his tracks as hoseok and his accomplice ran all the way to her dazzling figure. He already wanted to warp his arms around her smaller figure, never letting go. But this time, she looked brighter than ever, as if she gets more beautiful everytime he saw her. In fact, a new mental war was raging through his head, whether he should run up to her and kiss his feelings through her, or running away and never coming back. “This is a bad idea” he murmered, unable to control his emotions.
“Yoongi” she sang, resting her head on his tight chest. A tide of warm confidence rushed through his veins. The entire world muted in that quick second as an air of pensive positivity surrounded him. This is what she does to him. Whenever she is around, he knew he could take on whatever challenge he was presented with, he knew he belonged with her, and today was the day to admit it.
“I thought Jin was coming too?” Y/N broke away, turning her attention to smirking, winking hoseok and namjoon.
“He is baby sitting the maknae line, making sure nothing gets caught on fire” “Oh so it’s just the four of us?” “Its a double date, these two” Yoongi smugly pointed at the two boys, “finally figured out their emotions, it’s heart warming really” and before they got a chance to clear whatever yoongi caused, he took Y/N’s hand ever so gently and guided her to the playground.
“do you want to see something beautiful?” He asked, and that’s how they both ended lazily swinging their legs across the abandoned, depressed railings, “Where did you find such a place?” She asked in in fake awe, oblivious to the stress-frozen man beside her
“Tell me, do you know why you where asked to come to this date?” Yoongi started off, shaky and breathy, but pushed on nevertheless.
“So this is a date?” She giggled the statement off, yet the blush creeping on her face was unmistakable. This was the time yoongi regretted all his life decisions.
“This is a great idea” he let out a breathy laugh.
“What’s the great idea?” “This” he whispered, leaning to capture her off-guard lips in a tender kiss. They both melted into it, hot and sweet, fitting perfectly against each other. This was definitely a good idea.
“Maybe this is odd to ask you of all people yet you’re the only one I trust or consider myself close enough to ask. Have you ever seen someone before from afar, they seem to be average. Then you get a closer look and realize .. perhaps there is something different about them. That makes them more special ..” Honestly he had no idea where he was going with this, his finger tips were already twitching in order with his words. Mainly from nervousness on even speaking up, but also because / Erik /.
a taunting remark would’ve been a suitable response for either of them. although their friendship truly expanded past the expected boundaries, he didn’t imagine lyon to confide in him like this. his special hearing allowed him to catch onto enough mental clues circling his mind. he could presume who he was talking about with little effort. he recognized how uneasy he was–––clearly evident by his body language alone. erik responded simply with a frown, cocking an eyebrow at his query.
average isn’t really how he’d describe people, but he tuned into what the ice wizard was suggesting. regardless, his thoughts instantly moved to a certain someone in his life. although, he deemed him to be far from ordinary, his impact on erik’s life had taken him by surprise. he tilted his head down, searching to provide the proper answer. ❛ –––that’s . . . one way to put it, ❜ he mumbled, attempting to conceal the way he smiled fondly to himself. quickly realizing how he might’ve appeared, he wiped away that silly expression before answering quietly, ❛ but yeah i . . . i guess i have. ❜
turning his attention back to his friend, his palm fell softly to the other’s shoulder–––giving unspoken reassurance. he captured a hint of lyon’s person of interest. unfortunately, his nerves were easily struck at the mere thought of that man. the bad blood between erik and him had nothing to do with lyon, so at that moment, he could only force himself to be supportive. besides–––erik was all too familiar with the possibilities of finding love in the most unlikely person. perhaps, this could be lyon’s chance.
❛ if they’re special to you–––you should . . . . tell them. nothin’ good comes out of holdin’ it in. trust me. ❜
As the cameras began filming it could be seen that the two person couch was back. “Hello” Namjoon greeted before sitting down on the couch taking off his hat to readjust his hair before slipping the hat back on
“Thank you for joining us as our fourth and final Rap Daddy. Kim Namjoon, stage name Rap Monster. Working your way from the underground rap scene to leader of an idol group. Working with many other artist in the industry and furthering your involvement in music.”
Various clips of Namjoon on stage were played. His many accomplishments on display for everyone to see. “Before agreeing to be on this show you had announced that you were thinking of taking a hiatus but someone changed your mind.”
is a legend as old as time, and it goes something like this: as the
world grows old, four demons knights will arise. They announce the
coming of the great tide of chaos, the coming of the Great Demon
King. In the north, south, east and west they can be found, and only
through the holy blade of blessed heroes they can be defeated.
once they are the gateway will open, spilling the most wicked beasts
to ever exist. The earth will split and shake as the heroes take
battle with the Great Demon King to restore the order of the world