chili and chocolate

The Skam Season 4 Drinking Game

Disclaimer:  I do not encourage underage drinking, so keep your inner Tarjeis in check please, all under 18/16/21s, okay? ;-) 

Anyway, for future Skam-watching generations, re-watch purposes and a way to get through this season’s end, here’s a simple little drinking game.  If you’re like me and don’t actually drink that much alcohol, this will be double the fun.  Trust me, I tried. Also, I realize that this season is about a practicing Muslim girl (unlike me, a non-practicing Muslim woman), no disrespect is meant.  You can do this with non-alcoholic beverages/chocolate/chili, too.  

Take a drink when:

  • Noora appears in a scene
  • Vilde says/does something offensive
  • Vilde talks about her relationship with Magnus (x2)
  • Sana watches Yousef 
  • Noora isn’t actually in a scene but appears via text messages (x2)
  • someone talks about Noora
  • Noora mentions Wilhelm 
  • Sana and Yousef talk but not really
  • Isak and Even make out 
  • someone mentions Even/their history with him 
  • Even talks (so basically, you’ll be fine here because, spoiler, he doesn’t) (x3)
  • Mikael talks (same)
  • Jonas and Mahdi appear 
  • Eva is drinking
  • a storyline is dropped without any true explanation (x3)

Any more suggestions as to what to add? :-)  

Her chili chocolate addiction

Her laugh lines

Her excellent parking skills

The way she changed in the cinema loo in order to make it to my event

The way she champions women

Her pub quiz skills

Two words: Stella Gibson

Her inability to hear me calling for her when the car is waiting

That time she used my jacket pockets to smuggle copious amount of Lindor out of the Golden Globes

That time she blew off her own film premiere

Her roast chicken recipe

Those times she didn’t make me walk the red carpet with her because she’s her own damn woman and she bloody walk a red carpet alone.

Her excitement about life

That time she flew halfway across the world to quietly be my date

Her statement T-shirt collection

Her laugh

Because she’s Gillian f*ucking Anderson and she can do whatever (and whoever) she wants in 2017 (and any other year, for that matter). #imwithher

#191 - For anonymous x3

Filling the prompts “a fic where everyone loves how put together, happy, and confident the reader seems, but van finds out after a while they’re really the complete opposite and van is super comforting? Maybe with some variation of the line, "And I know you’re feeling tired. Just let me hold you for a bit.” from a song by Front Porch Step?“ "Van loves short girls. Like 5’ 1” and “van gets the reader a puppy?”


It was easy to see why people thought you were attention seeking. Why else would you wear a glittery mermaid crown to a non-themed house party? The few people that knew you well would know it was because you liked mermaids and glitter, and weird and wonderful things. They’d know you didn’t care what other people thought and that you truly believed that every day could and should be Halloween. They’d refer to the hours you’d spent collecting shells and hot gluing them together to make something unique and special and beautiful. But those people were few and far between. Most people, and almost certainly a majority of those at the party, just wrote you off as a show off.

Zenna wanted to sit, so you followed her through the house. There was an open doorway, and the room was dark. Inside a television screen was illuminated, and in its glow sat a group of guys throwing pillows around. Standing next to Zen in the doorway, you looked at them carefully. You didn’t recognise them.

“Are you guys… watching a movie? Like, having a proper sleepover? At a party?” she asked them. Their attention all turned to you both. Another body popped out from under a blanket. He had the most room on the couch, and was one of only two with a blanket.

“Yeah. What of it?” one of them replied.

“Nothing. Very cute,” Zen said with a shrug and went to leave.

“Wait!” the one under the blanket yelled.

“Yeah, wait. Have you been to the kitchen? There any food?” a different one asked. Zen smirked and shrugged. “You can join us if you bring food,” he continued. You looked at Zen and watched one of her perfect eyebrows rise.

“The mermaid can stay. I’ll look after her,” blanket boy said. You turned to him. He was rosy cheeked from being so warm and he was grinning. The television screen had a sparkly reflection in his eyes. Zenna snorted.

Keep reading

Viral Video [Justin Bieber]

Pairing: Justin Bieber x [Gender Neutral] Reader
Words: 1.4K
Warning: Suggested Smut.
Synopsis: Justin is at an interview explaining the video you had posted which was meant to be a prank but turned out being a lot of couple time.  
A/N: I realised that the Synopsis, Title, and the warning seem to be leading to a completely different type of story…so my bad.  Also…this is one from my phone and so it’s a bit old but imma try and publish all my old works so…yeah…imma stop now.

IMAGINE FOR THIS FIC (Female!reader)

Excitement filled you as you sat backstage watching your boyfriend, Justin, on ‘The Late Late Show with James Corden’.  The two had been talking about his tour and his music but now the topic has shifted to you.  

James sat at his desk and asked Justin how you were doing which Justin responded with “Pretty good”, not wanting to give to much away since you both value your privacy.  

“Yeah? Good” James carried on talking, turning to the audience “for those of you who doesn’t know who Y/N is, they have been Justin’s significant other for around two years now.” What James said next caused Justin and Y/N to blush, “…and they are so adorable together…” James continued “Y/N posted this video” he explained pointing to the video thumbnail that the audience could see on the wall. “so before we watch it, do you wanna explain what it’s about?” James asked.

You saw Justin cleat his throat before explaining. “So Y/N put go-pro’s everywhere in the house, and I mean everywhere” he laughed “they were trying to prank me because for the past three days I had been in a different state of mind and was…you could say moody. Just before that I had shouted at 'em for something minuscule…and that is when the video starts”

–Video–

Yourself and Justin are stood in the living room. “Justin, two things. One – I’m not your assistant so don’t ever talk to me like that.” You say to him sternly. “and two” you continue with a calmer and kinder tone “Justin, if you are feeling stressed or pressured or you’re just upset then tell me, okay? You have been like this for a few days now, please tell me what’s wrong”  Justin hugs you and buries his face in your neck. “I can’t really explain it” Justin whispered. You didn’t know what to do so you with one hand you rubbed his back and with the other you ran your fingers through his hair. Then you had an idea, so you started to lead Justin into the kitchen.  

“what are you doing?” Justin asked as you gathered ingredients.  

“Making 'Magic Doritos’” you sing in a weird voice causing Justin to laugh as he replied “I love our Magic Doritos”. Magic Doritos are something that you and Justin had created when you had got back from his tour late at night and had nothing to eat in the house and nothing in your bags apart from Doritos chili heat wave and chocolate…and booze. So you spent your night drinking whilst soaking the Doritos in melted chocolate and leaving the chocolate to solidify again to make chocolatey spicey Magic Doritos.  

When all the Doritos had been coated in chocolate and put in the fridge to “dry” you both started to clean up the mess you both somehow made. You had both been listening to music on full blast now Justin began to sing louder and louder grabbing you as both began to dance. As you both slowed down to dance to the slow song now playing, you noticed that you were both still stood close to the counter that had the bowl of melted chocolate on it. You sneakily dip you finger in it as you both stand slowly moving to the music as you hug. “Justin” you mumble. Justin just replies with a mumble before pulling back slightly to look at you. You didn’t say anything just wipe your finger on his face transferring the chocolate onto his face. Justin looked mortified for a moment before realising what just happened. “You did not just do that?!” Justin shouted out a laugh.  

“I really did” you giggle as you back away knowing what he is planning. Justin saw the bowl and dipped his fingers in before flicking chocolate on you. “Justin!” You giggle. You both stand there for a moment both about to pounce at the other. Justin beat you to the bowl of sloppy gloopy chocolate before running after you causing you to squeal as he chased you around the kitchen island. Justin finally managed to grab you and hold you tight as he poured the gloopy chocolate all over you head. You squealed and tried to get away but Justin held you tight against his chest. You instantly got an idea and just smeared all the chocolate off of your face and on to his. “Justin, Stop” you laughed seeing no actual point now that the bowl was almost empty.

Once the bowl had emptied all over you and Justin you both just stood there laughing as he held you closer to him, he started to lean in and kiss you, as soon as you shut your eyes though you felt a wet tongue run up your face. You couldn’t help but grimace as Justin licks the chocolate off your face, as he pulled away he could see your facial features scrunched with your eyes closed causing him to laugh.  

As you open your eyes you couldn’t help but laugh too, before you stood a chocolate covered Justin Bieber. He looks down at you and holds you closer again before whispering a soft thank you in your ear. You drag your fingers through his hair as you hum in reply. When you realise you have both been stood there for a few moments you whisper into Justin’s ear “come on, let’s get a shower.” Before leading Justin upstairs to the en-suite bathroom.  

—INTERVIEW—

Justin remembered that time in the shower. It wasn’t sex, it wasn’t banging or boning. It was passionate, it was being there for each other, it was understanding that you loved each other, it was knowing that you are the one, it was realising you are his everything. It was undoubtedly making love.  

He grinned just at the thought of you, at the fact that he was lucky to have you in his life; that he felt his heart skip a beat at the fact he had your love and that you knew and he knew you had his, that he would gladly spend the rest of his life with you.

—VIDEO—

After you had shower, you walked into your bedroom to find your bed the way you left it that morning…a complete mess. You had started changing the bedding when you had to rush off to the studio to pick Justin up and you didn’t get around to finishing the job. You quickly changed into your nightwear always consisting of one of Justin’s t-shirts and sometimes shorts to go with it. Justin, having you stealing his shirts, wore some boxers (hopefully clean lol) and joggers over the top.  

As you change the bedding Justin throws a pillow at you as he gives you a playful smirk. He grabs another pillow about to throw it at you but you duck using a cover in your hand as protection waiting for Justin to throw the pillow, as you are about to move your pillow away from your face Justin throws his pillow at you whilst chuckling at your dodging skills.  

After your short pillow fight and had actually made the bed Justin ran downstairs to get your Magic Doritos. You climbed into bed deciding what film to watch on the TV when you saw Justin came back into the room with the bowl, glasses and beer. You always admired Justin’s body, his abs, his tattoos, every part of him was your favourite part. He placed the bowl down on the nightstand along with some drinks he had brought up. As you was about to turn your attention back to the tv you felt a great weight suddenly on top of you. Taking a few seconds to realise that Justin had practically cannonballed on to the bed and onto you. He climbed under the covers and lay there on top of you, his head resting in the crook of your neck and his armed wrapped around you.  

“Thank you for this evening,  Thank you for being patient with me.” He mumbled, just loud enough for you to hear him. You hummed in response as he kisses your neck. You rub his bare back with one hand, the other taking up its usual residence in his head of hair as you run your fingers through it.  

The video ended, all plans of pranking Justin went out the window as soon as you had gotten home, which you explained at the end of the video. You were ending the video and saying goodbye when Justin came up behind you and grabbed you in a hug, holding you against his chest as he falls back and pulling you with him.  

Midnight Valentine: SOULMATE SOIRÉE

Chapter II: The Flavor of Love

Part 2

Now, they say that opportunity only comes to those prepared for it.

Well, Alyn had spent two months for this. Gods be damned if that was not preparation enough.

And to be honest, it did not matter if he ended up finding her in the freaking clocktower. It did not matter if he would have to pry her away from Giles or Robert for whatever important meeting. And it especially did not matter if he had to save her from his brother. He would look for her and he would find her.

And he would try, without balking, to be romantic.

Alyn went down the stairs, a bit nervous now, careful to not make any noise. He could hear someone working in the kitchen, the sound of a metal pan being placed on the marble table and then the cupboards being opened and closed, as if someone was looking for something in haste. He tried to suppress a laugh; it was so typical of her to start cooking without having all the necessary items in place and sure enough, as  he took a peek, he saw her reaching into the farthest portion of the shelf above her before taking out what she needed with a relieved huff of breath.

Alyn felt the tension leaving his shoulders, cold dread and panic being replaced by something warmer, brighter, and he watched as she moved methodically, trying to scoop whatever it was on the pan with one clean swipe before transferring it into the bowl she had just taken out. Her hair was pulled back from her face, and her apron was a mess of splatters and what looked like a black singe but he did not want to think about how that happened although he could pretty much guess.

When it seemed like she was in no hurry to look up from where she was working, Alyn braced himself, gripping the gift with both hands, and coughed out loud.

Then he prayed that she would not shoo him away.

“Nico, for the last time, I told you not to -!” But the rest of the words tumbled back into her throat as she looked up and saw him. She froze.

“I’m back.” He said.

“You -! You told me you were arriving tomorrow!”

“It is tomorrow.” Alyn pointed at the clock and her eyes followed his fingers and she cursed under her breath. She looked back at him, biting her lip, her entire face scrunched up in worry and then it showed defeat at being found out.

She sighed out loud, raising her hands. It took everything in Alyn to not cross the kitchen in three steps and kiss her.

“I went up to your chambers and you weren’t there. ” Alyn said. He tried moving closer but just as he thought, she made waving motions with her hands and went to him herself.

“I’m busy.” She said.

“Yes, I can see that.” Alyn angled his head but she blocked his view with her arms. He raised a brow at her. “I can smell what you’re making. I saw all the books in your chambers and in the library too.”

“Goddammit.” She crossed her arms, paused, and then said, “Well it’s for tomorrow - I mean, later, and you have no business here.”

Alyn did not move. “From scratch?”

She opened her mouth. Closed it. Then gave in. “Yes.”

“And you fermented it and all?”

“Took me a freaking week.”

Alyn paused and she would not meet his gaze. “After all these years, you actually followed my steps? You’re making them from cocoa beans? Ground them and all that?”

“Whatever Robert says, I did not have him get them for me.” The blush on her cheeks was apparent now despite her rolling her eyes.

Alyn swallowed again. He badly wanted to kiss her.

“Souvenir?” She was looking now at the box in his hands.

Oh shit.

“It’s uhhh…” Alyn began to stammer and he mentally cursed himself. “I collected these for you.”

“You’re so cute when you’re like that.” She held the box as he gave it to her. She angled her head and they moved to the nearest counter as she began unwrapping the gift that had taken him hours to wrap. When she finally undid the last ribbon, her eyes went wide with disbelief.

“Is this what I think it is?”

“Yes.”

Inside the box was a leather-bound book. She gingerly extracted it, holding it delicately in her hands as if it contained the secrets of the gods. She looked up at him again and then back at the book. She opened it.

Her jaw dropped.

The book was a collection of different confectionary recipes taken not just from the provinces of Wysteria but from other countries as well; there were germanic symbols of the Steiner tongue, the italicized script of Fairmark and the kingdoms farther west, there were even some with the strange symbols used in the far eastern countries that Alyn had forgotten how to pronounce. She scanned the contents, her eyes darting back and forth.  Each and every dessert was carefully illustrated and catalogued and then translated into Wysterian, for her consumption.

For a moment, it was as if she was shaking.

“Is this why you were away all the time?” She looked as if the pieces were clicking into place inside her head. “Is this why you were always assigned at the borders?”

It was Alyn’s turn to avert his gaze.

“Why didn’t you say anything?”

“Isn’t that the purpose of a surprise?” Alyn smiled now. “Happy Valentines, love.”

“Is this supposed to be as practically close to chocolate as you can get?”

“Yes.”

She laughed and threw her arms around him, snuggling against his chest this time. “Gods, Alyn, thank you! And here I was just ready to fight you this year!

“You would have lost.”

“That remains to be seen.” She laughed again. “I missed you so much.”

“I missed you too.”He said, hugging her tighter still. And he wanted more. So much more than just this.

Alyn had had many attempts in trying to be romantic and these attempts had fizzled each and every time. He was extremely private after all, and more often than not, whatever tender words he wanted to say end up either left being unsaid, if not sardonic.

He really wanted to be romantic this time. He reminded himself that he had worked hard for this, had dreamed of it countless of times.

Grab it, Alyn.

The opportunity had just presented itself.

Just say it!

“I want to make it with you.”

She pulled back and looked at him as if he had spoken in a foreign tongue.

And Alyn, in turn could feel the blush on his own cheeks, the warmth inside him spreading all the way to his fingertips. He felt dizzy. Part of him wanted to turn around and walk away, to leave her and tell her he was going to look forward to her surprise after all. Besides, he had given her his gift anyway.

Except that was not what he wanted this year.

That was not what he wanted from here on out.

Don’t balk, goddammit. “I want to make the chocolate with you. I don’t want competition between us this year.”

“Are you still saying that I can’t make it on my own?” She narrowed her eyes at him. “Because if you are, I swear to the gods Alyn Crawford, I - !”

“I’m not!” Alyn countered. “And that was not even in any of my sentences! Look,” He placed his hands on her shoulders. More to stop himself from shaking than it was to stop her from stopping him. “I just want to make it with you. I don’t care if we think differently about cooking. I don’t care if our views are miles apart. It never did matter to me then and it doesn’t matter to me now.

“I just want to… this year… all the other years too because…”

She was not moving her gaze from him and he could feel his cheeks getting warmer and warmer by the second.

“Because I just really want to do it with you.”

“If we were not talking about chocolate, that would sound so wrong and so forward and so unromantic.”

“Please give me a break.”

“Oh this is me being very easy on you.”

“Two seconds to get me into the mood and - ”

But the rest of his words were left unsaid. She had moved towards him, tiptoeing and wrapping her arms around his neck again. It took Alyn by surprise and for a few seconds he forgot how to move.

Then he heard something click.

“You’re so easy to distract, sheesh.” She drew back, a triumphant smile on her face. “Something for you whenever you go back to those godawful patrols. Except, please don’t go on them again.”

“Believe me, I’m not planning to.” Alyn looked down and saw a locket. The circle fit into his palm snugly and it was encrusted with what looked like small rubies around twin swords. He opened it and inside was a portrait: a smaller version of the painting Robert had done for the two of them during their first year.

“Heh. The gems matches your cheeks.”

“They do not.” Alyn said, pouting, closing his hand around the locket, his heart hammering in his chest, and knowing all too well that yes, his cheeks were matching the rubies.

“It was supposed to be for tomorrow - no, I mean, today. Was supposed to go with the chocolate.” She jerked a thumb behind her. “But since you’re here already, and you did give me my gift. Well… Happy Valentines too, love.” She smiled up at him again and Alyn could swear he heard angels singing in his ears. “And welcome back.”

Alyn could not help himself. He touched her face. “I’m finally home.”

For the third time, she hugged him and this time, Alyn did not tarry in hugging her back. The fact that he was practically starving for her touch hit him full on and he savored the sensation of her skin against his, of her weight pressed against him.

And for a moment, they stayed like that, quite content in each other’s arms, quite content to be able to feel the other physically present after such a long time of being apart. Alyn buried his face in her hair, taking in her familiar scent. She was sugar and cream and vanilla and -

“Is that… chili?”

“Ha!” She exclaimed, extracting herself from the embrace and almost bouncing back to the tables.

Alyn was confused. “You’re putting chili in the chocolate?”

“Yup.”

“Are you insane?”

“I prefer the word pioneering.”

Alyn was unconvinced, bordering on horrified.

“You look like I’m about to murder a lamb.” She clicked her tongue, straightening. “Isn’t it somewhere in the uhhh - recipe holder you got me?”

“No!” Alyn said, almost indignant.

“Shame.” She shrugged. “So. Are you gonna help me make it or am I going to just shoo you away again?”

Alyn hesitated. Then he shook his head with a resigned grin. “Lead the way through your aesthetic.”

Some would argue that cooking was a science.

There had to be exact measurements of things in bowls with clearly defined markings; there had to be counting of precise minutes, or else everything is going to burn; you had to carefully follow each and every step, unless what you were originally trying to brew was a disaster. There was a practical reason why you have to put cream first before the sugar, why you made sure the batter was smooth and not chunky, and why you should never try to fry anything that was fresh out of the water.

But some people, like her, would argue that cooking was an art.

It was not that they blatantly ignored basics. That would be insane, and she would agree with him on that. Only, cooking was an art because she saw the vast and expansive room for improvement. Why stop pushing when you could explore so much more options? Why stop trying new things just because a few old rules worked?

And as he and she bustled around the kitchen in their aprons, as they melted the nibs and weighed, measured and added the goddamn chili peppers into mix, as the aroma of her concoction finally drifted from the pot and filled the kitchen, Alyn seemed to finally understand what she had meant.

“Here.” She offered the spatula caked with the chocolate.

“You want me to taste this first?” Alyn was incredulous.

“Think of it as me.” She grinned. “Sweet but with a kick to it, ha!”

“More like death.” But Alyn took hold of her hand and licked.  It was sweet – of course it would be sweet – and as he continued savoring the chocolate there was a sudden spice. He brought a hand to his mouth and then said, “It’s actually good.”

She was all smiles, tiptoeing to kiss him.

Cooking was not exactly science.

But, it was not really art either.

And to be honest, he could not decide which outweighed the other. Not that it mattered at the moment because at least for now, as he watched her humming, pouring the finished chocolate into the molds, grinning up at him as she noticed him watching, the only thing that was definite was cooking with her was an experience.

It made him happy

Just as she did.

Just as she always will.

The end.


Original Character by @cyikemen

Written by @theempresskaizer

Illustrated by @midnightuglystepsister

welcome back to café de HELL - under new (mukami) management!

we’ve seen how the sakamakis managed to ruin your café experience…how will the mukamis do it?

ruki: IF YOU CAN GET HIS FACE OUT OF THE COFFEE BAG, YOU’VE SUCCEEDED WHERE OTHERS HAVE FALLEN. similar to reiji, he’ll judge your choices in drink, but will often recommend others with high caffeine amounts. he knows no other way. but he makes a gorgeous coffee cake, and hey, if you get by the overpowering coffee smell, he’s pretty decent! but god forbid you make a mess…HE WILL DRAG YOU BACK THERE AND MAKE YOU LICK IT UP. YOU WASTED PRECIOUS CAFFEINE. CLEAN IT.
DAYS BEFORE HE’S FIRED: 11 months. he was found sipping from customers’ drinks when they weren’t looking. ew.

kou: kou mukami…the passive-aggressive server who is wonderful if he likes you…but a nightmare if you piss him off. sure, he manages the café’s social media like a pro and acts like a gem to his preferred clientele…but he is a public menace to the people he hates. spits in their cake, takes his hairbrush to their coffee, even uses the wooden stirrer to scrape his tonsils before putting it in their drink. DON’T PISS HIM OFF.
DAYS BEFORE HE’S FIRED: 2 months. turns out being a vampire doesn’t stop you being unsanitary and getting the health inspector to visit.

yuma: what have you done to this humble farmer? what are these machines? why does it smell like ruki in here? he’s good for cleaning and serving, but it’s best to let yuma stay clear of the coffee machine. he sprayed hot water onto shu (still sleeping there) once and had a nervous breakdown when it went up in flames after repeated punches. he got props for finding shu…reiji comments that he’s never seen his brother run so fast…
DAYS BEFORE HE’S FIRED: 4 months. relegated to bus boy after week 2, before he destroyed the dishwasher. “by accident”.

asuza: heavens above, he is so slow when preparing drinks, but he’s…surprisingly good. you know that one scene in spongebob where he spends ages preparing a single patty, measuring it, reading it a bedtime story, kissing it? that’s asuza. he makes every cup with love and care, even if it takes forever to serve…wait, asuza, they didn’t ask for habanero in it! ASUZA STOP. TOO MUCH LOVE.
DAYS BEFORE HE’S FIRED: 3 weeks. fired after not quite grasping the new chili and chocolate trend and sending 27 customers to hospital with intense stomach pains. he thought they’d be happy!

sablestine  asked:

happy birthday megan! i hope you get to eat your favourite food today 🎉✨

aw thank you!! :D wouldn’t you know last night we went out to eat at one of my favorite restaurants, it’s this kinda small little Asain food place but I love it sm I got drunken noodles and this rlly awesome sushi that’s not on the menu but if u ask for it they’ll make it (like a secret menu item pretty much, it’s the chef’s specialty) and it was really good!! and we go there often enough that we know the owner and she gave me?? fried ice cream?? for free?? and they sang me happy birthday?? man I was shook but it was rlly nice!!

June Eleventh

Dan did not like birthdays. He didn’t have anything against the desserts, or the presents, or the scent of birthday candle smoke. He quite liked all of those, actually. One of his first childhood memories was going to his friend Christopher’s third birthday party. He remembered the velvety chocolate cake, and thinking that one day, he would have that same cake on his own birthday. His mother had always bought vanilla cake for birthdays, and he’d never had the heart to say he’d prefered chocolate. But despite all that, he liked nearly all aspects of birthdays.

For other people. Not for himself.

As a kid, Dan had liked his birthdays. Heck, he even looked forward to them, the presents and candy and pinatas. But gradually, as he grew older, he noticed the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Winnie the Pooh themed decor start to disappear, until themed parties were deemed only for “losers.” In fact, it was on his fifteenth birthday that he realized– he was no longer a kid anymore, and all birthdays did was tell you that you were a year farther away from watching Sesame Street and playing Pokemon, and a year closer to the adult world and boring office jobs and worrying about bank loans and dating, which he thought was disgusting, and inevitably, he realized, death. That day, he excused himself from his French classroom and ran to the boys’ bathroom. He stood in front of the foggy mirror, peering at his pale reflection tinged with green from the faulty bathroom lighting, wondering when he’d suddenly become so old, and exactly when his childhood had slipped from his desperate grasps until it only existed in his memory.

That was why, on June 11th, 2017, Dan did not want to wake up. He had though, a few rays of sunlight beaming in through the windows in his room, shining directly in his eyes.

This, he thought as he pulled the grey covers back over his head, was not a good way to start a day. Having your eyes directly assaulted by a sunbeam. He wished it would rain, or at least be cloudy, as a way of watching his already somber mood. But upon checking the weather app on his phone under the covers, the light illuminating the creases of fabric, he was informed that his birthday was going to be, as he muttered to himself, “bloody brilliant.”

The sky was an exuberant shade of royal blue, with puffy clouds almost resembling marshmallows inching proudly across. The sun was shining brightly, and the birds outside his window were trilling a morning sonata.

“Bloody brilliant,” he repeated. It was as though the entire world wanted him to be happy today, when all he could think about was the inevitability of death. He felt like lying on his bed for the rest of the day, curled into a lump of bitterness and regret.

He knew that at any moment, Phil would come bursting in with some silly cake and party hats, or a messily-baked pan of homemade brownies, or cupcakes from the bakery down the street in some exotic flavor like “avocado” or “mango-chili” or “dark chocolate-bacon.” The thought of Phil brought a small smile to Dan’s lips. Even on days like these, somehow, Phil was always able to make Dan happy. He remembered when he’d been in college, horribly unhappy with his life, in what he liked to describe as his quarter life crisis, and Phil would randomly grab his hand and pull him out of the apartment on mystery outings. Sometimes they’d go buy ice cream cones and eat them in the park nearby. Sometimes they’d buy weird board games from Japan or Italy and spend the night trying to figure out how to play. Sometimes they’d just wander around, their fingers almost touching as they walked side by side. Whatever it was, Phil would always manage to make Dan laugh, even if it was just with a stupid pun.

Dan lay on his bed, letting his eyes shut. His breath became even, and after a few minutes, he was fast asleep again.

 

Dan woke with a start. He pulled the hot covers off his head and grabbed his phone from his bedside table. It was three o’clock! He’d been asleep for hours! He scrambled out of bed. Phil must be worried sick! He grabbed a pair of dirty jean off the floor and pulled them on over his pajama shorts.

“Phil!” he called as he hurried downstairs to the lounge. His voice echoed off the walls, mixing with his heavy footsteps. He opened the door to the lounge to find… no one. He checked the kitchen. Nothing. Phil’s room. The bathroom. The gaming room. The balcony. Phil was nowhere to be found.

Huh, Dan thought, brewing himself a cup of coffee in the kitchen. He must be out, he reasoned, pouring coffee into a large mug. He took a sip and sighed. Perhaps this wasn’t so bad. Dan never liked big celebrations for his birthday. He always tried to act happy and upbeat, when really, he just wished that he could sit alone in silence, mourning another year closer to death.

He padded back to the lounge, where he scrolled through Tumblr on his phone. Birthday messages from his friends and followers filled his screen. He sighed and tossed his phone aside. He couldn’t escape from his birthday. Any other day, he’d appreciate those posts, but today he couldn’t stand them. Mindlessly, he grabbed his phone to tap out a thank you tweet to everyone, knowing it was the nice thing to do. Still, he couldn’t help feeling like his somber mood leaked into the tweet as he reread it before posting it. Everyone would notice his lack of enthusiasm, he worried, before realizing it was hard to ever sound enthusiastic over a tweet without overusing all-caps and emojis. Oh well, he thought.

He pulled out the Nintendo Controller and launched himself into a game of Mario Kart, hoping it would take his mind of off everything.

 

Hours passed.

Dan finally looked up from his hundredth game, realizing it was already six o’clock. Phil hadn’t bothered to text or call or leave any signs. No DMs, no Snaps, nothing.

But as Dan refreshed his Twitter feed, a tweet caught his eye. It was Phil’s. Just random gif of a birthday cake.

Dan thought nothing of it until he noticed Phil had tagged his location. Someplace called “Bob’s Boba.” Dan remembered walking by it a few weeks earlier and agreeing to try a bubble tea from there at some point with Phil. Now, as his stared at his screen, he almost felt betrayed. Sure, it was small, but they had agreed to go together! And now Phil was off galavanting with who knows to get bubble tea!

Dan frowned. Phil wasn’t one to go back on his promises. What if Phil couldn’t help that he was at Bob’s? What if-

No, Dan shook his head. It was too impossible. But what if? Dan bit his lip, and couldn’t help but let the thought flood his mind.

What if Phil had been brought there by a kidnapper? He hadn’t told Dan about any plans he’d had today.

The hairs on the back of Dan’s neck stood on end. Phil, poor innocent Phil. Kidnapped?

Dan couldn’t stand thinking of his best friend being dragged around by some huge thug, tweeting random gifs to make it seem like everything was normal, against his own will!

He should phone the police, Dan realized. His finger hovered over the nine on his phone’s keypad. No, he thought. He wasn’t even sure that Phil had been kidnapped. He would go to Bob’s, he reasoned, to find Phil for himself.

He ran upstairs and quickly changed out of his pajamas and old jeans into a pair of clean, nondescript ones and a shapeless black hoodie. He couldn’t be bothered to be recognized today, not when he was on a mission. He grabbed his headphones, his wallet, and his keys, shoved them into his hoodie pocket, pulled on a pair of worn black Vans, just in case he needed to run, texted Phil a few hundred times with no response, and headed out the door.

He passed the cute hipster cafe, the grocery store, and the Starbucks. After a while, the buildings began to blur together into a jumbled mess. He was sure he was going the right way. Right? He looked up at the street signs, but they all seemed unfamiliar. He turned to his phone to check Google Maps, but suddenly realized, to his dismay, that he was over his monthly data limit, only eleven days in. He muttered curses to the sky, which, he noticed, was looking grayer than before. In fact, it looked positively cloudy, the cheery sun from before blotted out by ominous masses of cloud.

It started raining a few minutes later. Dan groaned, cursing his earlier self for wishing it would rain. This wasn’t a light rain, either. At first it was a few drops, but then, just like that, it was pouring. Dan was soaked to the bone in an instant, water sloshing around inside his drenched shoes. He shivered in the dark light, ducking under awnings in an attempt to keep dry. His teeth chattered, his hunched figure dripping and dark. His hair stuck to his forehead, and his fingertips grew freezing in his pockets. The rain stung his arms, coming down almost sideways in the wind.

Finally, he came to a street called Borrows Avenue, which sounded familiar. He could’ve sworn Bob’s was nearby, so he picked a direction and walked in it for a while, hoping he was going the right way. After a few minutes, a glowing neon sign came into view up ahead.

“Bob’s Boba.” Dan grinned, breaking into a run. He flung the foggy glass door opened to find a nearly empty shop. A woman with blue hair stood at the counter, a few years younger than him, looking boredly at her phone. A pretentious-looking older man sat by the window, stroking his pointed beard and scratching away in a small leather notebook. Beside those two, they were alone.

“Um, excuse me?” Dan approached the woman at the counter. She looked up, snapping gum in her mouth, and raised an eyebrow, as if to say “what do you want?” Dan bit his lip and continued. “I was just wondering if you’d seen a tall guy come in here, about my height, with uh, black hair? Blue eyes? Pale skin?”

“Nah,” she mumbled through her gum. “I didn’t see no one lookin’ like that come through here.” She looked thoughtful for a moment, or as thoughtful as one could look while blowing bubbles with their gum. “Wait, actually. Black hair, right?” Dan nodded. “He left, like, twenty minutes ago, or somethin’. He was with a tallish guy and a shorter woman. Blonde, I think. They went that way.” She pointed out the window.

The man sitting in the corner looked up from his work. “I could’ve sworn they went thataway!” He gestured in the other direction.

The two argued for a few minutes while Dan used the Wifi to check for new tweets. Indeed, Phil had tweeted another gif, this time a bowtie tying itself. Again, he’d tagged the location, somewhere called “Pixel.” Dan loaded Google Maps, thanked the woman as she yelled, “No, you’re wrong, you bloody twit!” at the man, and hurried out the door.

Another ten minutes in the rain and he arrived at the store. It was a video game store that Dan made a mental note to return to. Again, he asked the cashier if he’d seen Phil. Again, the guy described the same group of people as the woman at Bob’s, and directed Dan in their direction. Again, Dan checked Phil’s tweets and found another gif. This one, however, was not tagged with the location. Dan sighed with defeat as he stepped out into the rain. Phil, wherever he was, was definitely not kidnapped, and was obviously avoiding Dan. Surely he’d gotten his hundred texts! Surely he knew!

Dan wandered dejectedly home. What was he even doing with his life? Twenty six whole years of what, chasing his friends who clearly didn’t want to be found? He sighed. Another birthday went wasted. Dan hated birthdays, but even he couldn’t help feeling the slightest bit annoyed with his friend. Deep down, he knew that he really didn’t hate the silly cakes and streamers and party hats. Deep down, he liked knowing that his friends cared, even if he didn’t like knowing he was a year older.

Dan was shivering by the time he reached his building. He rubbed his red nose, thinking about Phil on the elevator ride up.

Phil was the one person he knew he could depend on. Phil, who would bring him little gifts without any real reason. Phil, who had supported him for years. Phil, with his clear blue eyes and brilliant laugh that could light up any room. Phil, who, Dan realized, he desperately wanted to be with. He wanted to spend his birthday with Phil, he realized. He wanted to spend today with Phil, and tomorrow with Phil, and, he realized he sounded a bit like a strained fanfic writer, everyday with Phil. He couldn’t erase those eyes, that smile, those eight years of companionship. And yet… he thought, as the doors opened to his floor, there was something missing. Some little piece of the puzzle that was Dan and Phil… gone. Had it ever been there? He trudged to the apartment door, dripping, sultry, and alone.

A sliver of light shone onto his feet from under the door. He must have left the hall light on. He pushed the key into the lock, leaned into the door, and…

“SURPRISE!” The light blinded him for a moment, and suddenly Dan realized he was facing his friends. There was PJ and Chris and Louise and Cat and Joe and Alfie and Casper and even Tyler Oakley in the back. And then, popping up right in front of him was Phil. His glowing face, his shining blue eyes, his dark hair falling in his eyes. And suddenly, Dan grabbed Phil into a huge hug. Phil, his Phil, had been planning all this for him! Phil leaned in Dan, even though he was getting wet from Dan’s jacket.

They both pulled away after a moment, realizing their hug had lasted a little long.

“Happy birthday, Dan!” Phil grabbed Dan’s hand. It was warm and reassuring. Dan was too busy grinning to speak.

“Thank you guys so much!” He finally said after a moment of standing there, awestruck. As his friends started to mingle and chatter, Phil explained that he, Louise and PJ had gone to Bob’s and Pixel to get presents, and to get Dan out of the house so they could set up for the party. It touched Dan that Phil had done all this for him.

 

The party started to wind down a few hours later. Dan’s friends stood in small clumps, talking and eating slices of rich, velvety chocolate cake. (How Phil had known that Dan loved chocolate cake, Dan had no idea. Lucky guess, he assumed with a smile.)

Dan had wandered away from the friendly conversations and up to the second floor with the balcony that looked out over the city. The rain had stopped, but the scent still lingered in the night air. Dan sighed, staring up at the huge, glowing moon. A few small clouds scuttled across it, but otherwise, the night was clear. The stars formed criss-crossing constellations above, and the street lights did the same below. For once in his life, Dan felt truly happy. He hadn’t known this feeling in a long time. He wasn’t worrying about the future or wishing for the past. He was thinking about now. He was living in the moment, like Phil had to always remind him to do.

The door creaked open, and as if on cue, Phil slid onto the balcony beside him. Neither one of them said anything for a while, but instead, they stared out at London in silence, their shoulders touching.

“Beautiful night,” Phil finally remarked, breaking the silence.

“Kind of like you,” Dan blurted out before he could think. He blushed, looking away.

“Or you.” Dan looked back at Phil, surprised. He’d never really been the flirty type. They were flirting, weren’t they? Dan’s heart began to flutter without any reason to. He didn’t need to be nervous around Phil, right?

“Thanks so much for everything, Phil. I mean it. The party, the cake, everything,” Dan looked into those familiar blue eyes for a moment before he realized the were getting closer to him.

“How about this?” Phil’s voice softened as he leaned into Dan. They grew still for a moment, their lips almost touching. Then, as if he’d played out the moment many times in his head, Dan brought his lips onto Phil’s. It was so natural, their bodies intertwining together, their hearts beating as one. They finally pulled apart, smiling and blushing. Their fingers remained intertwined.

“I should probably go back inside,” Phil smiled up at Dan. “They’ll wonder where we are.”

“I’m going to stay out here for a moment,” Dan beamed back. Phil shut the door quietly behind him, leaving Dan to stare up at the sky. For some reason, his cheeks ached, and then he realized it was because he was grinning so hard. He brought his fingers up the his lips. He could still feel the pressure of Phil’s lips upon his own. The puzzle that was Dan and Phil was complete. He laughed out loud, knowing he was the only one who could hear it.

And that was how, on Dan’s twenty-sixth birthday, on the balcony on a flat in London, on a cool summer night, Dan suddenly realized– he had loved his birthday.

Broken Arrow

read on ff.net and ao3

summary: Love is on the backburner for Lucy, whose matchmaking coffee shop business is booming. Her life is going perfectly with everything in order. That is, until a certain prince steps in and flips her life upside-down. It’s time for the matchmaker to get matched.

characters: natsu, lucy, levy

pairings: nalu and others to follow

word count: 1803


“Lucy, I’ll put it this way. I like my men like I like my coffee,” the woman across from Lucy began, and she leaned in as to whisper a secret. “Tall, dark and hot, and not lukewarm.”

Lucy giggled, tapping her notes on her computer. So far she had a few things written down: dark hair, enjoys long walks on the beach, doesn’t mind seeing and caring for twelve cats, a fan of DC superheroes, and a coffee-lover. Seemed easy enough. Maybe not for most people, but for Lucy Heartfilia, it was a cinch.

Some people said she had a gift for seeing people and automatically having the thought that they’d fit with another person. Others said that Lucy was too busy to find a boyfriend of her own so she helped others find their matches. But only people that were close to the twenty-six-year-old knew the gospel truth.

Lucy was demisexual.

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