claudia telles

“I know that. But if we make a real discovery, I’ll know how to go back
to Greenwich. ”

“You take the New Haven, silly. Same way as we got here.” Jamie was
losing patience.

“That’s not what I mean. I want to know how to go back to Greenwich
different. ”

Jamie shook his head. “If you want to go different, you can take a
subway to 125th Street and then take the train.”

“I didn’t say differently, I said different. I want to go back
different. I, Claudia Kincaid, want to be different when I go back. Like
being a heroine is being different.”

“Claudia, I’ll tell you one thing you can do different …”

“Differently, ” Claudia interrupted.

“Oh, boloney, Claude. That’s exactly it. You can stop ending every
single discussion with an argument about grammar.”

“I’ll try,” Claudia said quietly.

—  from the mixed-up files of mrs basil e frankweiler, e. l. koningsburg
ITH characters at the beach??

usnavi: creating an exact replica of the entire barrio made of sand

vanessa: begging usnavi to come in the water with her, then getting frustrated and leaving him to his sand barrio

sonny: seeing how far he can go in the ocean, then getting freaked out and swimming back toward the shore

pete: laughing at sonny, and trying to surf on his boogie board

nina: throwing wet sand at benny’s back

benny: splashing nina and laughing at her wet sand pellets

carla: looking for seashells and sand dollars

daniela: helping her, reluctantly, after realizing carla wasn’t going to leave her seashells

kevin: serving sandwiches to everyone for lunch

abuela claudia: reading underneath her umbrella

camilla: chilling and tanning in the sun

BONUS!! johan: yelling and playing his music very loudly

Give Okuyasu kisses!!!

won’t you tell me your name, #1

In a world where soulmates can write messages on their skin, Peter and Chris mostly use their connection to take their anger out on each other. Stiles is the somewhat traumatized kid on the other end of their bond.

For Stetopher Week’s cross-generational issues prompt, with the issue in question being what exactly you’re supposed to do when your soulmates have hated each other since before you were born. Title from The Doors’ Hello, I Love You, because at first I wanted to title this Hello, I Hate You but I decided that was a bit much. 

[Stiles/Chris/Peter, pre-slash, starts pre-canon with some time skips later, soulmate AU.]

There’s only one picture of Stiles on the day he was born. Stiles keeps it in his bottom drawer of his wardrobe, hidden under a bunch of stuff he throws in there when he’s supposed to clean his room. Afterwards, he takes all the stuff out again and hopes his parents don’t make him clean until the next weekend, but the picture always stays inside. It’s a scene that’s reflected in half of the picture frames downstairs, his parents on either side of him, beaming at the camera. In this one, Stiles looks like he’s about to cry, but that’s what babies do, so Stiles isn’t really embarrassed about it. It’s the rest of him that bothers him, the way that there’s only glimpses of his pale skin under a chaotic mess of years of dialog between two other people. The words creep around his face, his little hands, and there’s even black smudges on his ears when the magic that tied him to his soulmates ran out of room to fit the words.

Keep reading

When Claudia starts her assassination plot by bringing him a human gift, Cruise’s eyes show Lestat’s surprise that someone has finally done something nice for him for the first time in the film… In that moment, we realize that while Lestat is capable of love, he’s never been loved back.
—  Amy Nicholson, Tom Cruise: Anatomy of an Actor

–Leia, Princess of Alderaan by Claudia Gray

LET ME TELL YOU WHY I LOVE THIS PART OF THE BOOK SO MUCH, because I am here for the Anakin and Leia parallels just as much as (and sometimes even more!) than I am with the Anakin and Luke parallels, where these sweet kids struggle with the transition from being doted on children to more independent roles, how they want to help people versus what they’re really ready for, especially re: holding onto the affection from the people around them.

That sometimes things pull others’ attention away from them (like Bail and Breha’s attention is being pulled to the Rebellion, like the Jedi’s attention was being pulled to the growing unrest in the galaxy), despite that we can spend pages and pages on how those people loved these kids and answered all their questions and smiled when they saw them come into the room and made time for them.

I love that it’s an entirely empathizable situation to be in, to go from childhood to the first steps into being a young adult, that those teenage years are filled with insecurities, even when they can tell themselves over and over that they know they’re not being wholly fair.

I’ve been reading Rogue Planet at the same time (where Anakin is not much younger than Leia and is grappling with a similar issue) and I am always and forever ENTIRELY HERE FOR ANAKIN & LEIA NARRATIVE PARALLELS.

@harmonization hey! I’m finally done with your prompt, but when I tried replying to it and then save it to my drafts for editing purposes, it disappeared into the void.
(Like, seriously. Tumblr ate it. It’s gone from my inbox, and my drafts do say +1 now, but it’s just - not there.)
I feel like maybe it got away from me at some point, and that I might have missed the point of your prompt somewhere…. I really hope you still like it.
Anyway - here it is:

Cloud is waiting for him, just outside the inn, when Zack returns from the mansion where Sephiroth is still holed up, refusing to speak to anyone.  

Having just been on patrol himself, he’s still wearing that gods awful helmet; the one that looks terrible on just about anyone, but somehow manages to be even more irritating when it’s Cloud wearing it. That, admittedly, has less to do with Cloud not being able to pull the look off - not that anyone could, mind you, not even Zack himself.

(It has everything to do with the fact that Zack just really kind of likes looking at Cloud’s face. It’s a good face, okay - all fine features, framed by that untameable hair, and eyes the colour of polished sea-stone.

And most importantly, it’s expressive - it’s always right there, whatever Cloud’s thinking, in the twitch of his lips, or the raise of an eyebrow, or the way he wrinkles his nose when he doesn’t like something. Zack’s keeping track of all his expressions; carefully catalogued in the corner of his mind that Cloud has somehow, without realising, claimed as his own.)

Cloud’s smoothing down the creases on his uniform before he spots Zack, and his breath comes out in puffs of smoke. His cheeks, from what Zack can make out under the offending piece of uniform, are pink.

“Zack,” he greets, “hey.”

“Hey yourself!” He bumps his fist against Cloud’s, and grins. “You still insist on wearing that thing?”

“Yeah.” It looks like Cloud might be biting the inside of his cheek, and Zack has to resist the urge to just grab the helmet and trash it. His fingers itch.

“You’re gonna be wearing that when we go meet your mom, too? You’ll give her a heart-attack.” He reaches out and pokes his shoulder.

“Oh, shut up.” Cloud swats his arm away, but at least he’s smiling. “I’ll take it off when we get there.”

Cloud starts walking, and Zack easily falls into step behind him, crossing his arms behind his head as they walk.

It’s well in the afternoon already; the sun’s long passed its zenith and is leaning down to kiss the mountaintops reaching out behind the village. It’s quiet too - just a bit like what he remembers Gongaga to be.

From here, Midgar, with its constant noise, feels a world away - machines whirring and pipes creaking and the chattering of busy people rushing up and down the streets - the sky tinted ever mako-green overhead.

Nibelheim’s streets are mostly empty, and, considering Zack spent his childhood just waiting for the day he’d get out of his village, finds he probably misses the city less than he should.

(With a twinge, he realises he hasn’t written home in a while. His parents must be worried. He’ll request leave, when they get back. They’ll be happy, when he comes to visit. Maybe he’ll even bring Cloud, if they get time off together - Zack’s seen his hometown, and it would be fun to show Cloud his own.

From one backwater expert to the other.)

“It’s cold,” Cloud states, breaking the blanket of silence that’s wrapped around them. “It’s probably going to snow later.”

Zack looks up at the sky, grey and blue, gradually growing orange at the horizon. “Snow? Really?”

Cloud nods. “It’s in the air. It probably won’t stick - it usually doesn’t. But yeah, I think you’ll get to see Nibelheim in its most glorious: grey and muddy and snow slush everywhere.”

“Huh.” Zack makes a contemplative sound. Then adds, grinning, “I look forward to it!”

There’s a hesitance in Cloud’s step he almost misses, lost in thought like that, but he does notice it, in the end. The way he’s walking slowly, in the way no infantryman really does, his feet almost hovering in the air for a split second before taking the next step.

Zack catches up to him in two big strides.

“What’s up?”

“Hm?” Cloud asks, and - yeah, there really must be something wrong, for Cloud to be distracted like that.

“You’re awfully quiet,” Zack bumps their shoulders together. The metal plates clink together with a metallic chime. “And not your usual brand of quiet. More like a worried kind of quiet.”

“My ‘usual brand of quiet,’ huh?” Cloud repeats, a small smile playing at the corner of his lips. “It’s nothing much, really. I’m okay.”

“But it’s still something,” Zack prods, “even if it’s nothing much.”

Cloud inclines his head, but says nothing.

Zack frowns.

“You don’t-” he starts. “You don’t have to talk about it if you don’t want to, I mean. But if I can help-”

“You’re helping.” Cloud tugs a strand of hair back under the helmet, and rearranges his scarf; his hand fingers playing with a thread that’s come loose that the edge. “You’re helping. I just- I’m just-”

“You’re nervous,” Zack realises. It’s a nervous tic, straightening his clothes like that. Everyone has them. SOLDIERs - everyone in the military is trained to look for them, in an opponent. A tell, a sign of weakness. Cloud hides his well, but Zack is attuned to the way Cloud shows emotions. He’s an open book, to those knowing how to read him, and Zack likes to think he’s good at it.

“Yeah.” His hand falls away and he bows his head, purposefully avoids meeting his eyes. It takes a moment before he speaks again. “I moved away to become a SOLDIER,” he says. His shoulders sag a little when he breathes out, and it looks like defeat. Zack doesn’t like it. “But I’m not. She’s not expecting a member of the infantry tonight. I don’t know how to face her.”

Zack rounds him, and places his hands on Cloud’s shoulders.

“Hey,” he says. “No. Listen, Cloud. Just because you aren’t a SOLDIER yet, doesn’t mean you’ll never be. You’ve still got years to go! You’re expecting too much of yourself. And comparing yourself to people like Sephiroth breeds misery. Believe me, I know.”


“Nope. No ‘I’s and no ‘but’s. You’re gonna make SOLDIER, Cloud. As long as you hold onto your dreams and your honour, you’re gonna be just fine. You want to know how to face your mother? That’s how. You walk up to that door, with your head held high, and the conviction that you’ve got what it takes to get what you want. Because you do.”

“‘Dreams and honour’,” Cloud murmurs, and the corners of his mouth raise ever so slightly. He lays a hand on top of Zack’s where it still rests on his shoulder, and nods. “Yeah,” he says. “I can do that.”


The atrocious helmet is in Cloud’s hands when he knocks on the door, and his fingers drum an irregular beat as they wait for an answer.

As it turns out, he’d told his mother about their visit in only the absolutely necessary information - namely ‘I’m coming to Nibelheim and will stop by when I have the time’ and then ‘I’m bringing a friend.’

At least Zack hopes Cloud had told her about bringing a plus-one. He wants to be there for moral support, but he would hate to intrude.

His mother opens the door after a moment, expression completely blank as she takes in the two of them standing there, and for just a heartbeat, Zack worries. But then she’s reaching out, slender arm grasping at Cloud’s wrist, and pulling him close in a fierce hug - effectively smothering any worries Cloud might have had about facing her before he can say so much as a word.

Cloud’s mother looks, at first glance, like a small woman. She has the same fine features as her son, and the same unruly hair - it’s pinned back in a messy bun, but a few strands stick out here and there, falling into her face, and down her back.

“Hi, mom,” Cloud mumbles, into her shoulder.

“Cloud,” she replies as she steps back. “Welcome home. “

She takes in her son, from head to toe, before finally looking over to Zack.

“You must be Zack,” she says,eyeing him with a thoughtful expression, and he wonders if maybe he should have dropped the buster sword off in their room in the inn first - it does look intimidating, probably, to a civilian.

Claudia doesn’t spare it so much as a second glance. Instead, she smiles. “It’s good to finally meet you. Come in, both of you. It’s getting cold.”

Cloud first walks in first, with Zack prodding in after him in slow steps. It’s interesting, how people’s stance changes, when they’re on familiar ground - he’d been so worried just moments before, but now Cloud’s shoulders are straight, and there’s a confidence in his steps, one that comes from knowing a place by heart - knowing which floorboards creak and which don’t, how many steps it takes before rounding a corner, which corners to give a wide berth lest you run into them.

He follows them to the kitchen first, small but cosy, with stone tiles on the floor, and a rack with pots and pans hanging from it next to the oven. There’s a bread dough left out to prove on the counter, and the smell of something delicious cooking fills the room - spicy and, somehow, a bit like home.

“The stew isn’t quite done yet,” Claudia tells them,  “but make yourself at home in the meantime.”

Cloud nods. “Come on,” he says, and leads Zack to a small dining area. “You can take off your gear, if you want” Cloud says, “I’ll put them into my room, and they’ll be safe?”

“Great, thanks!” Zack removes the sword from the mount on his back, and then takes off the shoulder plates and harness before handing them to Cloud.

“Are you okay with me taking that…?” Cloud’s eyeing the buster sword.

“Oh, sure! Why wouldn’t I be?” Zack holds it out. “Careful, it’s kinda heavy.”

“I just know it’s important to you.” Cloud takes it with both of his, and even despite its weight, he holds it like it’s something precious. “I’ll be right back.”

(He walks back into the room not five minutes later, dressed in baggy sweats and a long sleeved black shirt that seems rather tight fitting across his chest.

“Guess I did fill out a little, this past year,” he says, giving him a sheepish smile.

Zack feels heat rising to the hollow of his cheeks. “Yeah.” He clears his throat. “Yeah, looks like.”)


Dinner is a steaming pot of deliciousness - every bit as good as Cloud had promised that it would be.

It’s some kind of beef and potato stew, rich and hearty, and served with a crusty soda bread. Zack wolfs down two bowls and is about to ask for a third before he considers that maybe that’s rude, but Claudia catches his look and pushes the pot closer to where he’s sitting.

“Go ahead,” she smiles. “I made enough.”

So he helps himself to another bowl.

He listens to Cloud and his mother talk - isn’t surprised when she takes the news of him not being a SOLDIER yet with grace and a smile.

“You’ll make it soon enough. But they’re treating you well?” she asks. “You eat right? Get enough sleep?”

“Yeah. Don’t worry, the company takes care of me.”

“I’m your mother, Cloud. I’ll always worry about you.” Tugging a strand of hair behind her ear, she adds, “Have you thought about what I said?”

“What?” Cloud finishes his bowl and traces the edge with his finger.

“About finding someone. Someone who’ll take care of you.”

Intrigued, Zack glances at Cloud, who splutters, grimacing, “what- no. I told you! I’m not interested!” He meets Zack’s eyes, and a flush creeps across his cheeks. He gathers the empty dishes and gets up. “I’ll clean these.”

“Want me to help?” Zack offers, turning on his chair, because Cloud’s already through the door.

“No, you’re okay. I’ll be right back.”

He turns back to Claudia, who’d been watching them. She leans back, amusement lighting up her eyes.

“The food was great!” he tells her. “Definitely better than anything I’ve had in a while.”

She waves him off. “I’m glad you enjoyed it.”

There’s a moment of silence - and Zack wonders if maybe he should go help Cloud after all. He’s good with people, and he rarely has to deal with awkward silences, but there’s something about sitting down at the table with the mother of his best friend - his best friend, whose chest he’d been staring at earlier, at that.

Claudia seems to notice. “So, Zack,” she starts. “I wish I could say that Cloud’s told me all about you, but he tells me very little.” Then, with a smile, she adds, “but what he does tell me is often about you.”

Zack grins. Rubs the back of his neck. “Only good things, I hope.”

At her nod, he relaxes a little.

“That’s the thing. See, Cloud - he doesn’t connect well with others. I was happy to hear that he finally found a friend. He cares about you a great deal.”

He feels his own grin soften at that. “I care about him, too. He’s great.”

“I’m glad to hear it. Working for ShinRa, it’s what he wants. And I want him to be happy, but it’s hard - knowing he’s out there, fighting, but not knowing how he is, or when he’ll be home next. And I suppose it will only get worse, once he actually makes SOLDIER.”

It’s hard sometimes, to think that they are not the only ones who carry ShinRa’s burdens. They get missions and complete them; failure not an option. They travel, they train, they fight, on a couple hours of sleep a night and shitty rations or even shittier MREs, and most of the time, they do it gladly - this is the life that all of them, including both Cloud and he, have chosen. But it’s hard, not only for them, but the people they leave behind.

It’s probably equally hard, if for different reasons - the fighting and the waiting.

He nods.

For a brief moment, she closes her eyes. “Thank you,” she says. “For not lying about it.”

Faintly, there’s the sound of running water and clinking dishes, and they both consider the boy in the kitchen.

“Cloud’s capable,” Zack says. “He’s amazing. He impressed a lot of people already, and it won’t take long for him to become a SOLDIER. He doesn’t need anyone to protect him. But.” He exhales, a short release of breath, and meets Claudia’s gaze. “But I as long as there’s ever anything I can do, I won’t let anything happen to him.”

He’s met with a contemplative look. “How old are you, Zack?”

“Uh,” he makes. “I’m eighteen.”

“Two years older than Cloud, hm?” It’s not really a question, so he doesn’t answer. “And you’ll take care of him?”

“I’ll do my absolute best. Nothing will happen to him as long as I’m there to stop it.”

And then Claudia smiles. She reaches over the table, and holds Zack’s hand in both of hers. “A mother can ask for no more than that. Thank you, Zack. I really am glad that we finally meet.”

Cloud’s mother looks, at first glance, like a small woman. Blond, unruly hair and fine features. But she has the same determined look in her eyes that Zack has come to know from Cloud. Her hands are calloused in a way that lets him know she is not above hard work, and he realises at once that she loves her son fiercely.

And when she gets up to relieve Cloud in the kitchen, Zack can’t help feeling like he passed some sort of test. He doesn’t know what it means, but it makes him smile a little anyway.


Cloud’s room, he finds, when Cloud invites him to stay a little longer after dinner, is both exactly and nothing like how Zack imagined it would be.

It’s pretty modest - there’s small desk, a set of drawers, and a bed that’s pushed against the wall, facing the only window. The buster sword is leaning against a wooden chair in the corner of the room, and Zack’s gear is hung over the backrest. It’s a very clean, meaning Cloud’s mother had been keeping it that way ever since Cloud moved out, but even more so, the desk is orderly, sheets of paper stacked neatly in one corner, which confirms Zack’s suspicion that Cloud is just generally a very tidy person.

The walls are mostly bare, save for a ticking clock.

“Hm,” Zack drawls, walking in. “I would have for sure expected one of those Sephiroth posters his fans keep printing. I don’t know whether to be relieved or disappointed.”

“Oh shut up,” Cloud nudges him with his shoulder as he walks by. “You don’t get to walk into my room and make fun of me for it. It’s rude.” He points towards the bed. “Just make yourself comfortable.”

“It is rude,” Zack agrees with a grin as he flops down on the bed. “Guess I’m lucky you like me.”

Cloud grabs a blanket from one of the drawers and joins Zack on the bed. He unfolds it, throws one end over Zack’s legs and covers himself with the other half.

“I only have the one,” he says. “Hope this is okay?”

“Of course it is, but - are you sure you don’t want all of it? I’m mako-enhanced, remember? We don’t really get cold that easily.”

“I don’t mind sharing.” Cloud shrugs. “Look.”

Oh. Zack hadn’t noticed at all, but outside, where Cloud is pointing at the window, snow has begun to fall, and the streets and rooftops are already covered in white. On closer inspection, it does seem kind of wet - like Cloud’s prediction, it probably won’t stay until morning, but for now, it’s a beautiful sight; white against the by now dark sky, and the soft light of Nibelheim’s street lamps and windows.

“I hadn’t noticed,” Zack says, and turns to look at Cloud next to him, who’s still studying the falling snow outside. The bedside lamp gives Cloud’s eyes an almost impossible glow, something entirely different from trademark mako eyes.

“Mh.” Cloud shifts closer, until Zack can smell standard issue ShinRa shampoo and something like pine trees. “Hey, Zack?”

“What’s up?”

“Thank you. For coming today.” Cloud glances up at him, impossible eyes framed by full lashes.

“Aw, buddy, I’m happy you brought me to meet your parent.” Zack grins, but adds, more seriously, “You would have been okay, you know?”

“Still. You make things easier, by being there. You-” Cloud looks down. “You give me courage.”

There’s something warm blooming in Zack’s chest, spreading fast through his entire body like a wave rushing to meet the shore, or perhaps, if he were more poetically inclined, like the colours of  dawn bleeding across the sky. He bites his lip to keep it from flooding over.

Beside him, there’s a faint trembling, and Cloud shifts closer yet, to Zack. “So warm,” he murmurs, quietly, which was probably not meant for him to hear.

Zack smiles. “You cold?”

“Just a bit. Maybe I’ll put on a warmer shirt, hang on-”

Zack pulls him back when Cloud moves to get up, and wraps his arms around him. “Nah, come on. Mako-enhanced, remember? I can be your personal hot-water bottle.”

Cloud squirms a little, in his arms, and Zack can feel the heat in his cheeks where his face rests against his shoulder. But then he sighs, and shifts, just a bit, to get comfortable.

“…You’re an idiot,” Cloud informs him, argument losing heat with the fact that he’s buried his nose in the crook of Zack’s neck.

“I can live with that,” Zack replies with a smile, as he rests his chin on Cloud’s head, and decidedly swallows a joke about being Cloud’s idiot because he doesn’t wanna push his luck.

They’re quiet, afterwards, and Zack watches the snow fall outside the window, breathing the scent of pine trees, until his eyes drift shut on their own.



Claudia balances two mugs of hot chocolate in one hand as she knocks on the door, opens it, quietly, when there is no reply. The sights that greets her makes her smile, probably the biggest and most honest she’s smiled since Cloud left Nibelheim.

There, on the bed, is her son, half draped over Zack; the black-haired, battle-worn SOLDIER’s arms wrapped securely around him. They’re both fast asleep, chest rising and falling slowly, almost in unison.

She places the mugs on Cloud’s desk, picks up the blanket that’s slipped down to the floor and covers the two of them, tugging the edges in more securely. Zack’s eyes flutter open at that, and he moves, just a bit, arms tightening around Cloud as he does.

‘Nothing will happen to him as long as I’m there to stop it,’ he’d said. It’s in that moment, instinctively moving to shield Cloud even as he’s half asleep, that she believes him.

“It’s just me,” she says, quietly. “He chose you, so take care of him for me. I’m trusting you.”

She turns off the light, tiptoes out of the room, and closes the door behind her.


Farscape: Dog With Two Bones
Part 4 of 8 - Whole scene

Claudia: “Aww mommy you’re blooming! What makes you suddenly so happy?“
Melissa: “Uh, I guess I just got tired of being so depressed all the time.”
Claudia: “No seriously, tell me! You look almost like…Hmm…Someone who has just fallen in love. Have you maybe met someone..?”

Melissa: “What, of course not! You know I’m still married to your dad, my dear.”

sonshine-de-la-vega  asked:

2 or 14 with platonic Sonny and Vanessa?

God bless this prompt Sonessa BROTP is my favorite thing in the world. This got way longer than I anticipated.

14. Nobody can trust me to do anything important!

What Usnavi doesn’t know can’t hurt him. Vanessa doesn’t believe that, not really, but that doesn’t mean she’ll rush to tell him about every little thing that is bound to get him all worked up, the little worry wart she got herself as a boyfriend. Some secrets are meant with kindness.

“This stays between us,” Sonny urges her as soon as she answers his call. “Don’t tell Usnavi.”

Vanessa pauses, already feeling a smirk at her mouth, but then she hears the giggle of Nina’s little girl and Sonny snaps.

“Claudita, NO! Don’t put that in your mouth!” He shrieks, then lets out a deep defeated sigh and talks to Vanessa again. “Look, can you come?”

“Why the hell is Claudia with you?”

“Nina and Benny are at that tantric retreat thing, you know? I didn’t ask for details, it kinda sounded like a sex thing…”

It totally is, Vanessa knows, but that’s not for Sonny to hear.

“Yeah, I know that. I mean I though the kids were at Camila and Kevin’s?”

“So, erm, about that…” Sonny says and Vanessa is quite sure she’s hearing the distant wailing of baby Daniel and, much closer, the sound of something breaking. “Fuck… No, don’t you repeat that, oh my god! Vanessa, save me and don’t tell Usnavi!”

There are secrets, small secrets that threaten to turn into big ones, that Vanessa has to keep for Usnavi’s peace of mind. She shoots him a text to not come downtown tonight after closing his shop because she’s going out with friends and hops on a train to Sonny’s little apartment, hoping Usnavi isn’t in for a casual secret visit to his favorite cousin. Thank god they still haven’t made his move into her studio completely official and he still spends some nights at Abuela’s old place. She’s half minded to send Nina a text just in case but keeps that decision hanging until she’s observed the situation.

Sonny opens the door like she’s a long lost relative found again after ten years. He almost pulls her into a hug but then keeps her at arm’s distance. Seeing some stain on his shoulder that looks suspiciously like baby puke, she’s glad for the consideration.

“What the hell, dude?”

From far into the apartment, she hears Pete sigh in relief.

“She’s here!” Sonny shouts back at him and without further comment, shoves Vanessa in. “Vanessa’s here!”

“Fricking thank God!” Pete shouts back from the other room.

The apartment has never been more of a mess, which is saying something. The storm that are Nina’s little ones has taken its toll and it shows. The floor is littered with toys and blankets, all sorts of books pulled from the shelves and lying everywhere, as if Claudia couldn’t decide which one to look at. There’s a dirty blanket on the sofa that she’s not sure she even wants to know the history of and what bodily fluids it is soaked with. The kitchen corner is covered in food stains, there’s an annoying beep of the microwave where she sees Claudia’s bottle, and of course, the center of this spectacle, the girl herself is jumping up and down on the coffee table, completely naked. Vanessa breathes in deeply.

“You,” she tells Claudia, first things first, “need to wear your PJs right now, Miss.”

It’s a dirty mess they’ve made here, and an even dirtier one to clean. While Sonny grabs a shower − and god knows he needs one −, Vanessa handles it all, grimy as it is. Putting clothes on this damned kid, calming her down (she’s certain the boys must have given her at least a dozen pieces of candy, however vehemently they deny it), finding her favorite toy, the fluffy elephant Usnavi gave her when she was born (who put it on top of the fridge?), giving her all the cuddles while she drinks her bottle before bed, putting her to fucking sleep. She makes a fuss of going to sleep, of course, which makes her brother cry all the louder − that baby is a fucking powerhouse. They change his diaper three times in the short time she’s here. In the end, Pete has to lie down with Claudia because she can’t fall asleep without cuddles either and Vanessa hates Nina for all her dumb attachment parenting shit more than anyone in the world right now. Another word for raising snuggle addicts. When she checks the time, it’s been a couple hours since she arrived, and yet it feels like as many weeks. Pete has fallen asleep next to Claudia and Daniel is sleeping peacefully in the crib. They’re so much cuter when they’re not awake.

“Dude, you saved my life,” Sonny says before crashing face first into the couch.

She snorts silently and starts to pick up the toys. Usnavi rubbed off on her a little in all the years they’ve been together and she can’t stand messes nearly as much as she used to.

“Now you’re gonna explain,” she says. “What the fuck happened?”

Sonny groans and slowly turns over, rubbing his eyes, deep frown on his face.

“I made a mistake,” he says simply. When she doesn’t answer, he pops an eye open and glances at her before sighing. “Look, I offered Nina to babysit. Give her parents a break. They’re getting old.”

Vanessa cocks her brow.

“They’re like, I dunno, fifty-five. They’re not that old.”

“You know what I mean!” He waves his eyes around helplessly. “I thought we could handle it instead.”

She picks up the last of the toys − how many plushies do these damn kids need?! − and drops on the couch, rearranging his legs so they’re on her lap.


“I’m a horrible babysitter,” he sighs, staring at the ceiling. “I’m a mess. I get why she never asked me before. I can’t handle it. I can’t handle anything. Usnavi was right, nobody can trust me to do anything important!”

She looks at him. Most of the times, he looks nothing like his cousin, which suits the both of them all the better. In this instant, though, she sees a bit of Usnavi’s nervous mess in him. It’s cute.

“You know…” She starts, not sure how to put it. “You know, the first time Usnavi had us babysit Claudia, she shat all over my beanbag and I had to buy another one.”

For a few seconds he says nothing, then snorts loudly before catching himself and pasting a hand on his mouth. He sits up, folding his legs under him, a dumb grin on his little face.


“Yeah! Another time, he went to the bathroom like, five seconds, and when he came back he didn’t let me hold her for the next six months cause I was holding her upside down.”

“Dude!” He laughs, slapping her arm. “Why’d you do that?”

“I dunno, she giggled when I did it,” she shrugs. “Babies are weird.”

He smiles, which turns into a yawn and a stretch.

“Wanna crash at my place?” She asks. “If Pete is going to take the bed with the kid?”

Sonny shakes his head, his motions already slurring.

“Nah, I can’t let Pete deal with them waking up all on his own.”


He breathes in, as if bracing himself for the rest of the weekend.

“I’m taking the couch, so you gotta free that seat,” he says, the little brat, and she nudges him hard before standing up.

“You ungrateful nerd,” she says. “You’re lucky you’re cute.”

“So I’m told,” he grins, grabbing himself a blanket. “Thanks, though. You, like, saved my life tonight.”

She smiles, getting her coat.

“You owe me.”

“God yeah,” he says, tucking himself in, wrapped up like a burrito. “Night, V.”

“Night,” she replies, closing the door behind her with the spare key he gave her years ago.

She checks her phone on the ride downtown and sees three texts by Usnavi.

do you think nina and benny are having fun at their meditation retreat? 

wait are you busy sorry I didn’t want to bother you, hope you’re having fun I love you

I’m going to bed goodnight I love you <3

She shoots him a goodnight text, and a good morning one for good measure that he’ll also read in the morning. He likes that kind of crap and if there’s something Vanessa likes, it’s making him happy. He’s real cute and she wants to squish his cheeks and kiss him breathless and never see him sad or worried in his life. That’s why he can never know about tonight’s misadventures. What Usnavi doesn’t know cannot hurt him.

anonymous asked:

young Peter gets the xth time arrested by Deputy Stilinski, who can't understand why nowadays Peter gets caught every time (since he fished a very wet Peter out of the fountain on mainstreet)

Well this turned out much angstier than I thought it would, anon! Whoops. 

(And you can check out all my drabbles over on AO3 in Word Soup

The End Chapters

There’s something in Claudia’s laugh when he tells her that John doesn’t quite get.

“What?” he asks, jostling for space in the tiny kitchen of their tiny apartment, and her smile grows. “What?”

She reaches past him to help herself to a handful of the corn chips he just tipped into a bowl. Her eyes are bright and sparkle with mischief. “He’s got a crush on you!”

“What?” John scoffs, the color rising in his cheeks. “Don’t be ridiculous!”

Claudia laughs, and hooks her fingers through his belt loops. She reels him in for a kiss. “Who’s being ridiculous? You’re hot as hell, Deputy Stilinski.” She slaps him on the ass. “And you’re all mine too, and don’t you forget it!”

Forget it? John’s the luckiest man alive. Of course he’d never forget it.


The next week when John fishes a very wet, very dripping, very clingy Peter Hale out of the fountain on Main Street, he figures that Claudia very possibly has a point. Peter only seems to get in trouble when John’s on duty, and he bites his lip when he’s being frisked  and pushes back in a way that is incredibly disconcerting. He’s a teenager. The kid’s only fifteen years old, for god’s sake, and John really can’t even begin to list the ways that’s creepy as all fuck.

“I’m getting pretty tired of this, Peter,” John says as he’s putting Peter into the back of his cruiser. “Watch your head.”

Peter clambers in, his wet jeans squelching. He pouts a little. “Don’t be such a killjoy, Deputy Stilinski.”

Then, when he knows John’s watching, he swipes his tongue over his lower lip and blinks slowly.

Dammit. Claudia was right.

John slams the door shut and climbs into the driver’s seat.

He has absolutely no doubt that, if he asked, Peter would happily drop to his knees and blow him. Jesus. The most sickening thing about that scenario is that somewhere there exists the sort of predator who would ask.

“You need to stop this nonsense, Peter,” he says sternly. “I’m pretty sure your parents are getting tired of picking you up from the station.”

In the rear view mirror, Peter slumps against the back seat and rolls his eyes.

“And I’m getting pretty tired of it too,” John says. He holds Peter’s gaze. “I know what you’re playing at, and it’s not cute, it’s not funny, and it’s never going to happen.”

Something that’s almost like vulnerability flashes across the kid’s face, before he juts his bottom lip out in a petulant scowl and rolls his eyes again.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about, Deputy,” he says.

He clearly does though, since he doesn’t cross John’s radar again for months.


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