He looked over at you in the passenger seat and caught you staring back at him, your lips slightly pursed and pressed together. “What?” he growled.
You shrugged. “No, nothing… Not a thing,” you replied, turning your eyes back to the road and night rushing past. “I’m sure you’re right,” you continued. “This has nothing to do with the demons. Clearly, it’s all your fault.”
He cast another tense glance in your direction.
“Because you’re the one who possessed and killed those people…” you trailed off.
He heaved a heavy sigh. “I should have gotten there sooner.” His jaw tensed.
“Dean,” you were brave enough to reach over and gently touch his arm. His eyes flitted to your hand. “You can’t do everything. We can’t save everyone. You need to stop internalizing all the bad things we see. You need to stop blaming yourself. You’re not the darkness… you’re the light.”
His lips fell partially open and he was too anxious to look at you again, but he couldn’t ignore the warmth and rush he felt as he thought of how your hand was resting on his arm, and the words he felt he didn’t deserve.
Patrolling, as uneventful and inconceivably dull as it was, was probably the most exciting part of Dan’s week.
Which he supposed made his week pretty uneventful and inconceivably dull in itself
Patrolling alone was not particularly interesting at all. Dan had heard enough faeries tell him that their silvery glowing liquid was actually ‘a luminescent forest protection balm’ (instead of what Dan suspected it to be) to last him a few decent lifetimes. And it was just so boring, strolling around one godforsakenarea of the forest for hours at a time. That wasn’t what made it interesting, though.
It was more the atmosphere of it all.
The Darker Forest was the type of place to send shivers cascading down your spine. The breeze crawling through the fog and reaching out at the most unsuspected of moments. Grabbing onto your shoulders, cloaks, your hands, trying to tug you further into it’s depths.
Dan lived for it. Understandable- it was to be expected of a Dark Elf. Live in the darkness, and guard the Villages. The boring principles they were all forced to live by. Dan had strayed as far as he possible could from the stereotypes that basically governed them, opting to become a performer and the main storyteller of his village, instead of a guard or night-raiser. Yet, this month, he’d been forced into patrolling instead of performing.
The Council liked to do this sometimes, they didn’t see his storytelling as ‘contributing to their established world’, basically meaning it wasn’t a real job and he needed to pull his weight around the Village. Which he didn’t agree with in the slightest. People went batshit crazy without his stories to brighten up their days, but he guessed he needed somewhere to get his stories from- and if not the Sprite’s villages, the Darker Forest was the prefect place to find them.
Still, this job had nothing on the thrill of entertaining. The Darker Forest creeped him out, plus he was sure all the forest elves, and the river sprites and everyone else hated him for the patrolling and having to interact with everyone he came across. That was okay though, he hated it too.
Dan stopped moving suddenly. He let out a stale breath, feeling the tree roots behind him slithering under his boots, coiling themselves around his ankles and winding up to his knees.
He needed to move faster. The tree roots around these parts tended to do that if you stood in one spot for too long, Dan figured it had something to do with the faeries ‘luminescent forest protection balm’, doing it’s luminescent forest protecting.
He grabbed at his shoes, tugging the roots from where they had attached themselves to the buckles and trampling on them, breaking into a little jog. He could hear a humming from somewhere nearby, a soft little jingle that made the ominous darkness of the forest seem a little brighter.
Then it all dimmed again, Dan realising that humming meant people and people meant interaction. Probably a Pixie- it was in their nature to sing and hum and be generally obnoxious.
Dan moved through the trees as quietly as he could, Pixies tended to overreact and scream when they were surprised- a sequence that often led him into a lot of trouble.
As he drew closer to the sound, he realised it was not a Pixie. It was far too deep in comparison to their strange tinkle and, in Dan’s opinion, far too nice. Something nearby was casting a strange glow now, a greenish light emitting from in front of him, lighting a clear path towards the humming sound. The wind was strengthening and Dan shivered, hiding further into his thick black cloak. The trees blew wildly, leaves raining down from them like raindrops. The sky had begun to darken and the entire forest had that sort of scent like it was about to rain. Dan hated the rain. Too cold and miserable.
He peered through the trees, curious as to see the source of the light. It definitely was not a Pixie. A boy- a forest elf, sat crouched over a tree. He was sort of strange-looking, dressed all in green, his feet wrapped in leaves and a shawl covered his shoulders, buttoned up with little leaf clasps.
And he was glowing.
The glow, the greenish one that tinted all the trees and lit up the entire Darker Forest, was coming from this boy, emitting from his hands and face and through the leaves on his feet.
It made Dan stop and stare.
He didn’t quite understand what the boy was doing, he looked to be scavenging around for something at the base of a tree. His hands dug around in the dirt and his cloak shimmered as he moved his head.
Dan groaned. It pained him to have to interact with people, but the protocol basically forced him to ask questions to everyone he came across. This was why he hated patrol.
“Who are you?” He demanded, marching over to the boy. The elf’s head whipped around quicker than a sprite running from trouble- a little too fast. Dan leapt back as the boy let out a squeal, tumbling to the ground. Falling backwards and jerking his head up to avoid landing on it, in a way that Dan could only describe as about as elegant as a giant sitting down too fast (which wasn’t a pretty sight, and Dan could tell you that from experience).
“Ah, sorry, you startled me!” The boy smiled widely, and Dan was almost intimidated by the sheer glow of cheerfulness in his grin, “My name is Phil!”
“Oh, uh sorry about that,” Dan mumbled, smiling back despite the mask that covered the bottom half of his face. “Here,” He offered a hand out to the boy to pull him up, and he took it gratefully.
“Thank you,” Phil said.
“No problem. What are you doing in this forest anyways?” Dan chuckled, “It can be dangerous… for someone who literally glows.” He added, mumbling the last part under his breath.
“Well, I was trying to find a plant, but then this squirrel chased me! It was so determined? Maybe it knows there are bigger plans for me in this forest,” Phil rambled, Dan trying his best not to laugh.
“A squirrel? Are you actually kidding me?” Dan giggled, pulling his mask down a little, “But aren’t you like… a forest elf? And you’re scared of a little squirrel?”
Phil beamed, “I know- I’m just a bit weird,” He shrugged. This guy was a complete goofball and Dan couldn’t lie, he was a little worried he was going to get himself killed in the Darker Forest.
“Anyway the plant you were looking for… what was it called?” He tried to spark up a conversation, intrigued at the strange elf.
“Oh! It’s called Sanitas Medela. They grow at the bases of trees like this one,” Phil smiled, gesturing to the tall tree they stood under.
“Did you try looking all around?” Dan questioned.
“I’ll be happy to help!” He offered. It beat patrolling any day.
Phil nodded gratefully, “That’d be amazing.”
Dan pulled his mask back up, following Phil as they began to hunt through the trees, Phil stopping to admire a particular leaf every few seconds.
“Look at this one!” He exclaimed, “The patterning is exquisite!” Dan giggled at Phil’s use of ‘exquisite’ to describe a leaf, and he glanced at the tree.
“It’s, uh, nice.” It was really just a leaf. A very average leaf.
“I know! Beautiful.” Phil smiled, plucking it from the tree and shoving it into his bag. “I think we’re nearby a grove of the tree the Sanitas Medela grows under- we should be able to find one there.”
“Perfect!” Dan smiled.
Phil had begun to talk again as they walked, but stopped mid-sentence, “But I don’t think it’s necessary- that’s one there!” Phil yelled excitedly, rushing to grab the small plant. It was a little underwhelming, Dan had to be honest. Basically just a green stick with some red dots at the end. Nothing special.
“That’s so lucky- these are rare,” Phil seemed so content that Dan couldn’t help but beam, “Thanks for your help…uh…”
“Oh, it’s Howell- but you can call me Dan I guess!” He said, pulling the hood of his cloak down and the mask along with it.
“Nice to meet you, Dan!”
“So, uh, what’s the plant for anyways?”
“It’s one of the best for healing the body,” Phil smiled down at it.
“Are you sick?” Dan questioned, feeling sick to his stomach with worry.
“Not me, but my-“ Phil stopped. His ears perked up at a noise from far away. A low growl, followed by the a cracking sound. Branches snapping. “Uh- what’s that,” He whispered nervously, fear forming in his eyes as he stared, scared, at Dan.
They both turned around. The beast stood, snuffling in the shadows, hidden partly by the trees. It’s great bull-like face showed no emotion but anger, and it’s eyes glowed a sinister red.
“Minotaur.” Dan said shortly, his fingers reaching down to grasp his dagger.
A trope is an often used plot device or a common theme you might see pop up frequently (various AUs, bed sharing, pregnancy, etc.). I compiled a list of common tropes (thanks to the help of my amazing followers) as prompts for this writing challenge. Below the cut you will find the tropes and their corresponding fics. Thank you to all of the authors who contributed a fic to this challenge. You guys are superstars!
Many of you lovelies wanted to know what Nobunaga’s Dramatic route was like, and if it was a tearjerker like some Sugar and Divine routes can be.
I tend to avoid sad stories like the plague, and will read them only for completion before happily pretending that they don’t exist.
Like the story of a certain redhead and his poker-faced ninja. Or that sword-obsessed samurai guy. Or that blond duke.
But anythoseroutesneverhappened, I thought that I would get Nobunaga’s Dramatic route out of the way, thinking that it would be really sad.
Instead, it turned out to be really heart-warming!
While you wait for Nobunaga to return from the battlefield, Sasuke infiltrates your camp, and the two of you go deeper into the woods to talk:
Sasuke rushes to explain, since the wormhole is appearing again tonight:
“ELI5″ stands for “explain it like I’m 5,” which is to dumb down a concept for the purpose of making it easier to understand quickly.
You and Nobunaga have fallen so deeply in love that you don’t even give it any thought– you want to stay in the Sengoku era.
Sasuke wants to stay as well, so he tells you that your best bet is for each of you to outrun the storm in separate directions– Sasuke escaping the wormhole with Kenshin and Shingen, and you and Nobunaga going the other way.
You return to the camp and go to find Nobunaga, who is adorably running around and poking his head into every last tent, looking for you.
Jack Zimmermann’s an adjunct history professor at Samwell University. Bitty works at Annie’s, at the start of what’s now his second year after graduation.
And they both want more than what they have. Not love, but a step up that ladder to professional success that sometimes seems hard to even find….
They’ll take love, though, if it comes.
Jack Zimmermann’s life is built from routines. People think that he’s boring, but he likes it, the way that each block of his day slots neatly into the next. He appreciates predictability, he hates to be left at loose ends, and even though he hasn’t played a game of hockey in years, he’ll probably live by the locker-room code of habit and superstition for the rest of his life.
“Jared will be a part of my life for the rest of my life.”
“We’re best friends. Period. He’s my best friend for life. I don’t think that’s remarkable, but it’s definitely special.”
“He’s a really close friend of mine. He and I have been through a lot together, through crazy highs and lows and just the mundane existence of reality. That having been said, we know how to talk to each other, so he can talk to me as a friend, and also, I love him.”