Frogs fall out of my mouth when I talk. Toads, too.
It used to be a problem.
There was an incident when I was young and cross and fed up with parental expectations. My sister, who is the Good One, has gold fall from her lips, and since I could not be her, I had to go a different way.
So I got frogs. It happens.
“You’ll grow into it,” the fairy godmother said. “Some curses have cloth-of-gold linings.” She considered this, and her finger drifted to her lower lip, the way it did when she was forgetting things. “Mind you, some curses just grind you down and leave you broken. Some blessings do that too, though. Hmm. What was I saying?”
I spent a lot of time not talking. I got a slate and wrote things down. It was hard at first, but I hated to drop the frogs in the middle of the road. They got hit by cars, or dried out, miles away from their damp little homes.
Toads were easier. Toads are tough. After awhile, I learned to feel when a word was a toad and not a frog. I could roll the word around on my tongue and get the flavor before I spoke it. Toad words were drier. Desiccated is a toad word. So is crisp and crisis and obligation. So are elegant and matchstick.
Frog words were a bit more varied. Murky. Purple. Swinging. Jazz.
I practiced in the field behind the house, speaking words over and over, sending small creatures hopping into the evening. I learned to speak some words as either toads or frogs. It’s all in the delivery.
Love is a frog word, if spoken earnestly, and a toad word if spoken sarcastically. Frogs are not good at sarcasm.
Toads are masters of it.
I learned one day that the amphibians are going extinct all over the world, that some of them are vanishing. You go to ponds that should be full of frogs and find them silent. There are a hundred things responsible—fungus and pesticides and acid rain.
When I heard this, I cried “What!?” so loudly that an adult African bullfrog fell from my lips and I had to catch it. It weighed as much as a small cat. I took it to the pet store and spun them a lie in writing about my cousin going off to college and leaving the frog behind.
I brooded about frogs for weeks after that, and then eventually, I decided to do something about it.
I cannot fix the things that kill them. It would take an army of fairy godmothers, and mine retired long ago. Now she goes on long cruises and spreads her wings out across the deck chairs.
But I can make more.
I had to get a field guide at first. It was a long process. Say a word and catch it, check the field marks. Most words turn to bronze frogs if I am not paying attention.
Poison arrow frogs make my lips go numb. I can only do a few of those a day. I go through a lot of chapstick.
It is a holding action I am fighting, nothing more. I go to vernal pools and whisper sonnets that turn into wood frogs. I say the words squeak and squill and spring peepers skitter away into the trees. They begin singing almost the moment they emerge.
I read long legal documents to a growing audience of Fowler’s toads, who blink their goggling eyes up at me. (I wish I could do salamanders. I would read Clive Barker novels aloud and seed the streams with efts and hellbenders. I would fly to Mexico and read love poems in another language to restore the axolotl. Alas, it’s frogs and toads and nothing more. We make do.)
The woods behind my house are full of singing. The neighbors either learn to love it or move away.
My sister—the one who speaks gold and diamonds—funds my travels. She speaks less than I do, but for me and my amphibian friends, she will vomit rubies and sapphires. I am grateful.
I am practicing reading modernist revolutionary poetry aloud. My accent is atrocious. Still, a day will come when the Panamanian golden frog will tumble from my lips, and I will catch it and hold it, and whatever word I spoke, I’ll say again and again, until I stand at the center of a sea of yellow skins, and make from my curse at last a cloth of gold.
Terri Windling posted recently about the old fairy tale of frogs falling from a girl’s lips, and I started thinking about what I’d do if that happened to me, and…well…
YAY WE’RE BACK, EVERYONE!!! Did you miss me?? I missed you.
If you would like to be added to or taken off of the master tag list for the season 13 post-episode codas, please send me a message ASAP. Thanks, guys!
Anyway, this scene definitely should have been in the ep.
“Can he teleport?”
“The kid!” Dean snaps. “Does he have wings?”
Sam stutters out that he doesn’t know, and, right. How would he? Dean wipes his mouth with the back of his hand and it comes away bloody - his lip stings where he’s touched it.
He closes his eyes and takes a slow breath in through his nose. He’s trying his absolute hardest to keep it together, but his hands shake regardless.
“We can check along the main roads,” Sam placates, mistaking his silence for frustration. “We’ll be faster in the car than he is on foot, assuming he doesn’t fly, and he can’t have gotten far.”
Dean opens his eyes, but he doesn’t reply. He keeps his back to his brother.
“It’s going to be ok, Dean,” Sam says, only a few feet behind him now, and damn it if that just doesn’t break Dean’s heart all over again.
Soon enough he hears the dirt start to crunch under Sam’s shoes. He has to swerve around Dean to get to the passenger side, his usual post in times of crisis, but Dean lets out a sigh just as he gets his hand on the door.
Sam turns back to look at him, eyebrows raised expectantly.
Dean swallows. “I need you to help me with something first.”
Aries: “I can’t love when I can’t even love myself. Things I would rather be, thoughts at the back of my head. But I’m addicted to hurting. And I got these lungs.. And I spend too many late nights, just thinking a hole in the earth.” (Drugs, Eden)
Taurus: “Change comes for you, even when you’re hiding out. So take hold of me, and hang on ‘till the hurt is gone.” (The Hurt Is Gone, Yellowcard)
Gemini: “I’ll use you as a warning sign, that if you talk enough sense then you’ll lose your mind. And I found love where it wasn’t supposed to be, right in front of me. Talk some sense to me.” (I Found, Amber Run)
Cancer: “There she was like a starry night. Like a Ferris wheel, full of blue green eyes. And a heart of steel, always on her own. Almost never real.” (Even If She Falls, Blink-182)
Leo: They say ‘It’s time to grow up and stop with these foolish games.’ But I say they’re wrong. She says: ‘Go, go, go! I don’t want to take it slow! There’s plenty of time for us to finally get it right. Why don’t we crash and burn tonight?‘” (Go Go Go, Sleeping With Sirens)
Virgo: “I’d give up forever to touch you, ‘cause I know that you feel me somehow. You’re the closest to heaven that I’ll ever be and I don’t want to go home right now.” (Iris, Goo Goo Dolls)
Libra: “People help the people. And if you’re homesick, give me your hand and I’ll hold it.” (People Help The People, Birdy)
Scorpio: “You want the heart, or to be saved. But even good guys still get paid. So watch my back, and keep the blade. I think it got you laid. So fake your death, or it’s your blame. And leave the lights on when you stay, take of your clothes. And dream that fame. Come on and feel that shame.” (Fake Your Death, My Chemical Romance)
Sagittarius: “I’m young and I am free. But I get tired and I get weak. I get lost and I can’t sleep. But suddenly, suddenly, I am small and the world is big. All around me is fast moving, surrounded by so many things. Suddenly, suddenly. How does it feel, to be, different than me?” (How Does It Feel, Avril Lavigne)
Capricorn: “It’s funny I got all this money but my heart’s still broke. So many times I said “Imma change.” Just to turn around and do the same, same shit that’s been putting you in pain. Won’t say I’m affected by the fame, but even my mama knows I’ve changed.” (Sinner, Phora)
Aquarius: “Slow down, this night’s a perfect shade of dark blue, dark blue. Have you ever been alone in a crowded room when I’m here with you? I said the world could be burning down. Dark blue, dark blue, have you ever been alone in a crowded room? Well I’m here with you. I said the world could be burning 'till there’s nothing but dark blue. Just dark blue.” (Dark Blue, Jack’s Mannequin)
Pisces: “Do you believe in hallucinations?
Silly dreams or Imagination? Don’t go away 'cause I feel you this time. Don’t go away 'cause I need you here this time.” (Hallucinations, Angels & Airwaves)
◇ pairing: jungkook | reader ◇ genre: too much fluff.. too much cute ◇ word count: 3.986 ◇ author’s note: surprise! \o/ I honestly have no idea how or why this happened. yesterday I just… started writing, and here we are, a few thousand words later. also, bear in mind that this is a sequel to blue orchids, so you need to read that one first if you want to understand this short piece. hope you all enjoy!
This story is set six years into the future within Blue Orchids’ universe.
The sun rays are melting on your skin. It has been a while since the skies opened up like this, leaving the sun bare to the living, its warmth a pleasant gift after days of storm and gloom. The sand under your legs and feet is, fortunately, not scorching — not yet, at least. The early morning is still warming up to the pristine sun, and the salty winds of the beach are still a strange mixture of the growing heatwave and the remnants of past iciness.
You cannot remember the last time you visited the beach, but it does not feel foreign or uncomfortable. It feels like you belong, mind at peace and body molding to the sand as your extended legs allow your toes to brush against the gentle waves that break and ebb away, water still too chilly to enjoy at its fullest.
They’re in the middle of research when Human Jane stands to get some coffee. An addictive substance that nearly all Humans drink. That in and of itself confuses Xon’a, but he ignores it now. The Human Guide book had been very helpful in understanding the humans love for things that are bad for their health.
Only when he looks up, he freezes. On her bottom is a red stain.
He jerks into a standing position and knocks over his book. Human Jane turns around with surprise.
“H-Human Jane! You are bleeding!” She frowns and looks down at her arms. “No-no, your bottom! We need to get you to medical!”
Suddenly her cheeks turn very, very red. And then she laughs as Xon’a pushes a chair out of the way to get to her.
“No, I’ll be fine, I just need to go change. Sorry about that,” she puts the coffee down but Xon’a picks her up.
“You are dying, Human Jane, you need medical!” She lets out a squwak, and shakes her head.
“No no! I just have my period, all women get it! It’s totally normal for humans!” Xon’a puts human Jane down and stares at her with narrowed slits.
“…Normal? What is a Period? I thought it went at the end of your sentences?” She started to laugh, cheeks still blushing.
“Periods are our menstruation. We get it once a month. Our bodies prepare every month for a baby, but when theres no baby, the lining of our uterus sheds and the blood is pushed out of our bodies. I usually get mine for 7 days.” Xon’a stares in horror at his human friend.
“T-that is not normal. Y-your insides shed? Like molting?” Human Jane grins.
“Totally is, some women get cramps, other people it hurts a lot. For me I usually just get cramps on the last few days. But we use pads, tampons, and cups to hold the blood until it’s over. I just must have forgotten to change my pad this morning.”
Xon’a takes a step back and looks down at the chair, stained with a small puddle.
“That is a lot of your life blood. I think you are ill!” He says. Human Jane laughs again.
“That? That’s pretty light for the first day. Don’t worry, this is nothing! If only you saw childbirth!” He blinks again, his slitted eyes narrowing.
“Birth?” Human Jane blinks.
“You guys create your babies out of spores, right? Well, ours grow in our bellies. Then we push them out of our vaginas. Sometimes, we have to get cut open to get the baby taken out.” Xon’a lets out a horrified squall and jerks back.
“W-why do you continue? H-how are there so many of you?” Human vagina’s were small, and he’d seen a pink skinned baby before, and a brown one, but they were both so large! Both babies heads were incredibly large! How in the Gods names could they have squeezed a babe out of a small hole like that? And getting cut open? Human Illa had said childbirth was wonderful!
Human Jane shrugs. “My grandmother had eleven children. All natural. She said childbirth was beautiful. I think it’s more the whole, holding the baby afterwards that is beautiful. My mom only had two. When my brother and I did something stupid she’d say that she didn’t suffer through eight hours of childbirth to give birth to two dumbasses.”
Xan’a began to breath rapidly, and looked at human Jane.
“The rumors are true: Humans truly are terrifying creatures.”
Human Jane frowned and cocked her head. “I mean, it’s not that crazy. We’ve been doing it for hundreds of thousands of years.”
Xan’a sits and closes his slitted eyes and inhales deeply.
Now he understands why his father told him to befriend the humans, but never cross one. Who would willingly have children over and over again just to be ripped open or cut open when there was plenty of children already among the five planets they currently inhabit?
Gray. A whole world of nothing but gray tones and
colors, a vast emptiness that has no start or finish…That is what you see, or
at least what you think you see. The
first time you had been here was right after being shot, faced with a dilemma
whether to live on as a…being or die
as yourself. Putting your trust into the wrong people had driven you to the
first option. That day there was darkness all around you. Now it’s all simply
gray. The surface of this place is wet, calm streams of water rush by your
feet, but why or to where you have no clue. Gray. Time passes neither fast nor
slow, you cannot dream or eat or do anything but exist and feel certain things.
Only strong emotions though, the ones that are powerful enough to break the
shell of indifference that constantly surrounds you. Those emotions flash in
bright violent colors, namely blue and red, representing of the two other
people stuck here with you. Celine and…Damien.
One day you’re graduating high school, and you think you’re going to marry the boy, and you have no idea what you want to major in, and you don’t know how to grow up.
Then you blink and you’re about to graduate college, and the boy is so far gone you can hardly even remember his name, and your major might’ve changed a few times but you finally know what you love, and you’re growing up without even meaning to.
Life changes so quickly. It’s scary and it’s beautiful. All you can do is wait for it to happen.
Overview:That’s why friends should sleep in other beds. And friends shouldn’t kiss me like you do. (Sirius Black x Reader)
Word Count: About 2,500.
Warning(s): Mentions of nightmares (not in depth, though), cuddling, and shirtless Sirius.
Author’s Note: In which both the reader and Sirius have nightmares only the fire can soothe. Based on Ed Sheeran’s, “Friends.” Listen below. :)
You weren’t friends.
Not exactly, at least. You smiled at him when you passed by in the halls, he chatted you up during Charms lessons, you even asked him for help on an essay. Despite Sirius’ notorious reputation, you were civilized around each other. You would go as far as to consider yourselves acquaintances.
But you weren’t friends.
There was no way you could be friends with someone who broke your friend’s heart with no sign of remorse. Sirius was cocky and arrogant–someone who walked around as if he expected others to bow down before him. He was entitled. He was trouble. He was fire and you were determined not to get burned.
◇ pairing: jungkook | reader ◇ genre: angst and fluff (but mostly angst) ◇ word count: 22.293 ◇ warnings: implied sex, alcohol mention ◇ author’s note: this is an AU based on the movie ‘seeking a friend for the end of the world’. you can read this story without having watched it first. just letting you know that it follows the main ideas of the original plot, though the story is not exactly the same. :)
≪…the urgent media call NASA is holding just revealed the unfortunate results of several failed missions that have been carried out in secret for more than six years…≫
≪…the asteroid named Golevka is sixty miles wide, and travels at roughly one hundred fifty miles per hour. It was supposed to slip past our planet in a few weeks, but it is now revealed that its orbit has shifted and it is now headed straight to Earth…≫
≪…the scientists were not able to find a feasible solution. They have called it an ‘imminent tragedy’ with zero chances of survival…≫
≪…the impact risk is at one hundred percent, and our life as we know it has only three weeks left.≫
Give me a character that isn’t a “geek” or a “nerd” with asthma. Give me a track star that has to use an inhaler. Give me an Olympic swimmer that has to work harder and harder to breathe because their lungs need to be trained for the vigorousness. Give me a ballerina, a baker, a flourish, a cyclist. Give me ordinary people from all walks of life. Give me a character that isn’t portrayed as weak because their lungs didn’t form fully when they were born. Give me someone who was the best at what they did and then asthma was formed, and then show them working harder and harder to get what they have always wanted. Don’t tell me you can’t, because we exist in the world, and it’s not fair to pretend that we’re only stuck in one corner of an entire cinematic universe. Put us in books, give us a voice.
It was just too complicated. Yeah, the younger hunting
community did seem significantly more progressive than John’s old
buddies, throwing around f slurs and laughing over beers, but Dean
was in his thirties. His late thirties.
No one came out at this age, and if he did, he was sure they would
think he was faking, having some bizarre mid-life sexual crisis or
trying to get attention. Moreover, he was a legend among
hunters: he didn’t want his going both ways to become the
talk of the town, their variation of celebrity gossip, even if it
wasn’t in a completely negative context.
So he could never be with Cas. It just wasn’t practical.
Still, he couldn’t help but feel that familiar sense of longing
as he watched Cas stitch up his trench coat, delicate fans of dark
eyelashes over soft, tired bags and prominent cheekbones, stubble
sprinkling his jaw.
Man, it would be great if Cas was human. If Dean was just a
normal guy who’d met him in a park or a grocery store, who could
have worked out his sexuality in his teens or twenties like any
normal fence-sitter, instead of worrying about his brother’s life
or the damn apocalypse.
Or even if it wasn’t, even if things were just as they were now,
Dean couldn’t help but think how amazing it would be to hold him in
his arms late at night while he slept, press his nose to that dark
mess of hair and breath in the soapy smell of shampoo. Maybe
start to see a grey hair or two.
That was another pleasant thought: Cas going grey, Cas the
silver fox. He’d always had a thing for mature guys, though
he’d absolutely never admit it, and he was surprised to find the
idea of getting old together with Cas a pleasant one.
But then, he’d blown his chance to have human Cas, hadn’t he?
Cas had been human once, been ready to settle down in the
bunker for good, and Dean had kicked him to the curb. He’d
spent every day regretting it.
“Dean, are you okay?”
Dean blinked, remembering Sam was there. He was sitting
perpendicular to Dean at the long wooden table, open laptop and book
of lore in front of him, looking at Dean with concerned, puppyish
Even Cas paused in his mending the wounded sleeve, looking up to
see what this latest drama could be.
Dean cleared his throat. “’Course I’m okay. Why
wouldn’t I be?”
“I dunno,” Sam shrugged. “You’ve just been sort of
spacing out for a really long time. You looked kind of upset.”
“Bullshit,” Dean scoffed, a tad defensively. “M’not
“I noticed, too,” Cas pointed out. “But it’s been a
rudimentary aspect of his personality since I’ve known him, so I
generally elect to ignore it.” There was a brief pause as
Dean mustered a glower. “If you’d like, I could read his
“No!” Dean cried, horrified by the suggestion.
Sam ran a palm over his face, clearly trying not to laugh.
Sadistic bastard. “It’s fine, Cas. I’m sure
Dean is just…distracted.”
Cas nodded hesitantly. “Very well. Let me know if
this changes, Dean: I should very much like to help.”
“Yeah, don’t count on it,” Dean muttered, pretending to go
back to his laptop.
God, Cas was a sweetheart. Oblivious, but a sweetheart.
Dean could see now that all he’d ever wanted to do was help.
To help Dean.
So many missed opportunities, over the years they’d known each
other. So many times he’d noticed that mouth, full and
chapped and supple, when he could have closed the gap between them
and let the warmth consume him. So many times he could have
said something, anything, to convey to Cas how he felt.
Dean froze suddenly as a realization dawned on him then: if
he could look back on moments five years ago that he could have told
Cas how he felt but didn’t, five years from now, would he feel the
same way? Would he still be hooking up with the same sexually
frustrated housewives that liked to boss him around the way he
craved, or odd bull named Larry, only to come home feeling empty and
full of regret? Would he still be watching Cas from afar and
wishing he’d said something, anything, to convey that he loved him
as more than a friend? To convey that he loved him at all?
It’s too late, said that nagging little voice in his
head. Too complicated. He isn’t even your
Dean realized he didn’t care. He’d spent his whole life
watching people wait for some idyllic scenario to come along to show
their loved ones how they felt: John promising he’d give his
boys the life they deserved after he got his precious revenge, Mary
studiously avoiding them until she could mold their lives into what
she’d envisioned for them over thirty years prior.
Dean wasn’t going to repeat their mistakes. He couldn’t.
Think of the hunters! the voice persisted. Do
you really want them knowing you like guys?
Dean scoffed inwardly. At the end of the day, who fucking
cares? He’d met gay hunters before. One of them was a
goddamn witch. The hunting community had changed a lot since
he’d last been involved.
And yeah, he was sure there was still some homophobia lurking, but
was he really gonna let that stop him? Besides: there
might be some young hunter kid scared to come out of the closet, who
might be inspired to if he knew Dean Winchester was bi.
Dean could have really used someone like that when he was younger.
“Cas, do you wanna go get burgers?”
Dean blurted the phrase out without thinking, causing both Sam and
Cas looking up in surprise.
Dean swallowed, suddenly feeling very awkward as silence hung
thick in the air.
“I mean…just if you want to, that is,”
he added, rubbing the back of his neck self-consciously as he felt
his ears grow hot.
Cas blinked. “Certainly. You know I love burgers,
Dean stared at him, then chuckled awkwardly, not really processing
that he’d just said yes. “Yeah, that’s, uh. Kinda
why I asked.”
There was a long silence before Cas offered, “Shall we go
Dean blinked, still in a haze as he registered the question. “No
no. I mean, uh. We can if you want to,
but I was kinda thinking we could go tomorrow night.” He
swallowed, palm rubbing over his trachea. “Y’know. Make
a date of it.”
Dean chuckled awkwardly again as Cas’s eyes widened, expression
unreadable. He was peripherally aware of Sam’s comically
baffled facial expression, eyes wide and mouth hanging open. He
looked as though if you poked him with your finger, he would fall
Finally, Cas said quietly. “I would love that, Dean.”
“…Great.” Dean cleared his throat, nodding slowly. A
nervous smile spread over his face. “Great! Uh,
tomorrow at eight, then?”
“That would be wonderful, Dean.”
Dean had to resist the urge to giggle like a schoolgirl.
Everything about this was incredible. The fact that he’d
just asked Cas out on a date. The fact that he’d said ‘yes.’
The way Cas said his name.
Dean. Dean. Dean.
Dean thought he could listen to that voice say his name forever
and never get tired of it.
He and Cas sat there in mutually baffled silence for a moment or
two longer, before Sam’s exhausted, relieved sigh broke the spell.
Been wanting to write something about this since my good friend @sasusake and I flailed about how such a first time could have gone down during their travels. It was such an inspiring conversation, and the image I had in mind was just too good to pass up! And now many, many months later I finally got around to it.
Hope you enjoy! :)
Disclaimer: I don’t own Naruto.
It was that look in her eyes that unraveled him: hesitant, determined—but so gentle, so shy as she tentatively held his dark gaze. Straddled along the span of his legs, her small hands rested at the opening of his slacks; questioning him, but never pushing, always only gingerly testing the limits of where he was willing to go.
Swallowing thickly, Sasuke only pushed his face into her neck, and nodded. Closing his eyes, he exhaled a slow breath as she timidly worked on the buttons, slim fingers shaking. His stomach tensed when he felt her reach for the band of his underwear, fumbling with it momentarily with nervous tugs—but when she finally pulled him out, he found himself holding back a gasp, his lone hand curling tightly against the back of her shirt.
“Girl, why are you in such a rush?” Alya asked, watching her best friend gather her things in a hurry.
“I forgot about something!” Marinette fretted, dropping her bag in the process. Which caused all the things she’d gathered to spill out. “Shoot,” she muttered under her breath, “I’m such a klutz!”
“Whoa, girl, relax. What could you have forgotten about that can cause this much panic? I haven’t seen you this scatter-brained since high school!” Alya astonished, joining Marinette on the ground to help her clean up.
Marinette sighed, putting the final piece in her bag again and looked at Alya. They were both knelt down on the floor and Marinette blew a piece of hair from her face. “I—Well… I’m meeting Adrien.”
Alya gave her a deadpanned look. “With whom you’re married to… what’s the big deal about meeting with your husband?” she asked.
“It’s not the meeting with him part, it’s just—ya know. We’re looking for a house… and… I dunno,” Marinette dug through her bag for her keys, mumbling something about needing a brighter keychain.
Alya looked at the table they had been sitting at to see her friend’s keys lying there. She picked them up and jingled them in front of Marinette’s distracted face. “Here,” she said, hearing Marinette utter out a “Thank you.” Alya crossed her arms and stared curiously at her friend. “What’s the big deal? You’re looking for a house. Something every married couple does… Haven’t you dreamed about this for like, your whole life, or something?” Alya asked.
Marinette shrugged and looked away from her friend, “Well, I mean, yeah. But, like, it’s still a little soon, isn’t it?”
Alya furrowed her brows, “You’ve been married for 3 months. So no, it’s not ‘too soon.’ Getting a house is good. You’ve been crashing in his mouse-sized apartment, which, if I do recall, doesn’t allow for a roommate.”
Marinette bit her fingers, “Yeah, we’ve been ignoring the calls about that…”
“What’s the real issue here?” Alya asked, reaching out for Marinette’s shoulder, “Are you alright?”
Marinette slid from her grasp, looking worriedly at her phone. “Y-you’re probably right! I’m just crazy. This is Adrien,” she said as she lifted her phone, “Gotta take it!”
Alya watched her friend go with a wild expression, “Oh…kay… see ya later, then?”
Marinette pushed the coffee shop door open with her shoulder, holding her phone in one hand and her drink in the other. “Hey, hon,” she said, “Yeah, I’m on my way. No, I didn’t forget, I’m just running a bit late. Yeah, bad traffic. Uh huh. Okay. Yup, see you in a few. I love you too. Bye.” She hung up and stuffed her phone in her purse, grabbing her keys and hopping into her car.
“Alya’s right,” she told herself, “This is good.”
“Okay, on to house number three!” Adrien said enthusiastically, buckling up his seat-belt. “That last one was cool, though, huh? What did you think, Mari? You were pretty quiet in there…” He looked over at his wife to see her staring numbly out the window. “Marinette?”
She blinked and turned to him, looking dazed, “I’m sorry, I was zoned out. What?” She asked.
Adrien frowned, “I asked if you were okay,” he said, reaching out to touch her forehead. “Are you sick? Do you have a fever? Maybe we should go home…”
“Oh no, I’m not sick,” Marinette brushed him off. “Tired is all.”
“You sure?” he asked.
“Positive,” she smiled at him.
“Alright. So, what’d you think of the house?” he asked.
“It was okay,” she said. “It’s expensive, though.”
Adrien shrugged, “Well, money’s not an issue, so don’t pay attention to the price tag, okay? We’ll get whatever we need and whatever works.”
Marinette looked at her husband with a clumsy smile, “The money you got from your father is suppose to be for retirement, isn’t it? That was your plan, right?”
Adrien looked at her with a gentle smile before looking back at the road, “Plans can change.”
Anxiety squeezed Marinette’s chest, “You should save it.”
“Mari, don’t worry. Even if we went all in and bought the whole house now, I’d still have plenty left over. Besides, I’m gonna put what we don’t spend in a retirement plan.” He reached out to touch her knee gently, “Your worried, and it isn’t about the money…”
“I’m not worried, it’s just an expensive house—“
“Marinette, what’s wrong?” he came to a stop at a street light.
“Nothing,” she said, crossing her arms stubbornly.
“Come on, Mari, what’s eating at you?” He pushed.
She nodded towards the windshield of the car, “The light’s green.”
He huffed, “I’m not going until you tell me what’s wrong.”
“Adrien you can’t—there’s people behind us,” she turned around in her seat to see a frustrated wave from the car behind them followed by a honk. “Adrien, seriously! Go!”
“Not until you tell me what’s wrong. Normally I wouldn’t push because I don’t need to know sometimes, but this is clearly about us, and that I should know. So what’s wrong?” He pushed the car into park to prove his point.
“Adrien, we don’t have time—“
“Are you having regrets?” he blurted out, his voice calm. Marinette knew this voice, but she’d never personally experienced it. It was his business voice. The voice he used at professional parties, or conversations with co-workers. It was his father’s voice.
“…Regrets?” She repeated numbly, looking him in the eye. The angry honks and yells began to fade out.
He nodded, “Yeah, regrets. About us,” his eyes and face stoic; he was like a wall. But Marinette could see clearly behind it. He was hurt.
“N-no! No, of course not! I could never regret this,” she gestured between them. “It’s just…”
“Will you?” she ask carefully. Looking away from him.
“Will I what?” He asked, tilting his head. His once calm voice became lathered in frustrated confusion. A car swerved around them, giving them a pleasant curse and honk as he passed, followed by more cars.
“Will you regret this?” she asked. He didn’t respond. “Maybe not now, and maybe not next year or the year after that, but… maybe in ten years. When I’m older, and less exciting. Maybe you’ll look back at it all and realize that it was when you decided to marry me that things started to go wrong. That, in ten years you’ll regret loving me and how you bought a fancy house and used up your money,” she hadn’t noticed until now, but she was crying. She could tell because a tear had fallen onto her hand. “After all, you said it yourself! Plans change, and I don’t want you to regret this—“
She felt large hands envelop her own small ones. She didn’t dare look up to see the man who was holding them though. She couldn’t.
“Hey,” he said gently, leaning over to kiss her wet cheek. “I could never regret this,” he said, but she looked unconvinced, offering him a lazy shrug and a mumbled, “Maybe.”
“I love you,” he said, baffled. She didn’t move. He huffed, thinking of what to say. “Now, if I remember correctly,” he began, “I had a crush on you first,” he said.
“You had a crush on Ladybug, not Marinette,” she pointed out.
“And you had a crush on a model, not Chat Noir,” he countered. “I agree, things can change. We changed, but it was for the better, right?”
“For better or worse,” he repeated their wedding vows. “Now, I take that seriously. Even if there comes a ‘worse,’ I’ll never regret it. Because I love you. We chose each other.” He gently pulled her chin to look her in the eyes. “The only thing I could ever regret would be not marrying you. To not share a life with you. To have kids and grow old with you.”
She blinked and smiled at him, “Kids?” she asked.
“Kids,” he nodded, glad she was smiling. “I’m serious, Mari. About you. About this.”
She leaned in to kiss him. Soft and sweet, short and simple. “Thank you,” she mumbled.
He kissed her nose and leaned back. “But,” he said, putting their car back in drive and looking to see the light had turned red again. “If Nino confesses his love to me, I may just run into the sunset with him,” he said, acting serious.
“Oh my gosh,” Marinette shoved him with a laugh, “You’re a dork.”
“What do you want, Pansy?” Draco asked bitterly, pulling his cloak around himself more tightly as a bitingly cold wind gust of wind swept of over them on the Hogwarts grounds.
“Nothing wrong with a little fresh air, is there?” Pansy said primly.
Draco’s expression darkened, “You hate fresh air and pointless exercise. If you’re going to lie to me at least try to be a little more clever about it.”
Pansy was quiet for a moment, the only sound was the faint crunch of the thin layer of snow, frozen hard overnight, melting in places under a brilliant late winter sun that seemed to be promising an early spring.
“You’re in a shit mood. I wanted to help,” Pansy said, “and you happen to like long, pointless, moody walks.”
That seemed closer to the truth although Draco could tell Pansy was still hiding something. Blaise was the only one who could lie to his face and get away with it.
“They’re not moody,” Draco retorted, on principle.
Pansy snorted inelegantly, “Whatever you say, sunshine.”
They followed the path along the bank of the lake, to the edge of the forest and back again. Right before they were meant to head back into the castle, Pansy veered off, walking out onto the small dock that, as far as anyone knew, was only used for the first years boats on the very first day of every school year.
“What are you doing?” Draco grumbled but followed her out onto the creaking wood, ducking his head into his scarf as the wind whipped across the black lake.
“It’s our last year,” Pansy said quietly.
Draco rolled his eyes, “Sentimentality doesn’t suit you.”
“I didn’t say I would miss it,” she said sharply before her expression softened, “Just, a lot has happened here. It’s strange to think we won’t be coming back.”
Draco’s nose wrinkled but he kept his mouth shut, not particularly wanting to encourage Pansy one way or another into any sort of conversation that would increase the amount of time it would take to get back to the warm castle.
“I don’t want to have any regrets,” Pansy was saying, turning to him, “You know, Draco?”
He raised an eyebrow, “If you’re done reminiscing like a soppy Hufflepuff?”
She frowned at him, “Oh, just use a warming charm if you’re cold, you ninny.”
“Or we could just leave,” he said pointedly, none-the-less taking out his wand to replace the waning warming charm he had cast before they left. He turned the tip of his wand to himself, the words of the spell on were on his lips when his feet slid out from under him.
He had one breathless moment of utter terror as he fell backwards where the world seemed to be holding its breath. He hit the water. He hadn’t the time or thought to hold his breath and the bitingly cold water over his head filled his mind with panic. His feet touched the bottom and he pushed to the surface and took a deep gasping breath. The water was only chest deep.
It was so cold it hurt.
Draco’s fear and panic was instantly replaced with pure and utter fury.
Apologies if I’ve missed anyone out - it’s a long list as you can see xD
‘Don’t forget.’ Jumin pressed in
on you, your bodies touching inch for inch, the warmth between you growing hot.
‘….We are in love.’
There was a silence that
followed, a stillness that seemed to teeter on a strained edge. Your breaths
were slow but heated, the soft rush of air as it passed your lips the only
noise in the room.
‘…Aren’t we?’ he breathed.
There was a fading restraint to his tone…as if he had been tightly coiled up
until this moment, as if whatever he had been winding was now beginning to come
‘We are…’ you said, your voice
coming out low and husky as small shivers ran down your spine…..like
continual reminders that you were about to walk an unfamiliar path.
‘That’s my good girl.’ Jumin murmured, slowly running
the back of his finger down your cheek. ‘…But words are just words. I
need you to show me. To trust me,’ he leant in, his breath caressing the shell
of your ear. ‘…To submit to me.’