courtyard fountain

My Zine Entry

This was my piece for the @meowraculouschatnoirzine I highly recommend you go check it out as there is TONS of amazing art and stories and its FREE TO DOWNLOAD!!!! (If you do donate when you download the money goes to help get physical copies to the artists who worked on the zine who can’t afford to order it themselves with any left over profits going to charity) 

anyway here is my piece! Hope you like it ^_^



Small Victories

Chat Noir sat waiting, hidden in the branches of the tree. Below him, the precocious little girl settled herself down beside the small courtyard fountain. Her mother had disappeared back into the townhome a few minutes before with her cell phone, but he waited until she was safely absorbed in the conversation with her colleagues before venturing forth from his hiding place. He really wasn’t in the mood for an interview today.

The girl didn’t notice as he leapt silently to the ground, too caught up in waving her magic wand over a stuffed unicorn.

Chat took a steadying breath and tried to relax. He knew he could probably turn around and disappear without anyone being the wiser. No one was expecting him. His follow up visits to the akuma victims was hardly public knowledge after all. Alya had never even posted anything about it on the Ladyblog, despite her firsthand knowledge of his extracurricular habit.

Still, he had already put off this particular visit for longer than he should have due to his own hesitance.

He took a few steps closer and let out a practiced cough, hoping that his nervousness didn’t show.

The girl spun around to look at him with wide, owlish eyes. She was so young. Far too young.

He bit his lip and forced his worries to the back of his mind. Maybe he didn’t have a lot of experience dealing with children, but that was no excuse not to follow through with his mission.

“Manon, right?” he said, coming the rest of the way forward and dropping down unto his haunches beside her.

“Chat Noir?” she asked, fidgeting nervously with her wand, “What are you doing here?”

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Implexium Vitae PT 6

A/N; Short chapter, but next one will have some more reveal!

It is said that some people have old souls, reborn every couple centuries to find their loved ones again and continue on their never ending journey. But what happens to these intersecting lives when one is immortal and the other is ripped from them?

Vampire AU.

Pairing: Nalu, Fairy Tail

Words: 2034

Rating: M

Part: One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven

Lucy blinked, trying to clear her mind. It was obvious she had spent too long on the train and had gone stir crazy. Who knew a week and a half of constant travel could be enough to break a mind.

“C’mon Luce! I haven’t see Jally since he was a colt!”

“And I have never ridden a horse!” Lucy defended. She eyed the large stallion warily, hair and mane black as the night sky above them.

“You broke his great great great whatever grandma,” Natsu explained, happily petting the side of Jally’s neck.

“Well Sun Star was kind and gentle and not three feet my superior.” She sniffed. Really, as though Natsu would compare her mare to his beast. Lucy cocked her head when she noticed Natsu’s stare, a wistful joy shining in his emerald gaze. “Natsu?” Lucy questioned, stepping towards him and placing one hand on his chest. Lucy blinked when Natsu took her hand, lifting it to his mouth where he ran his lips over the backs of her fingers.

“Knew you’d remember her.” he said, voice low with emotion. Lucy took in a sharp intake of breath, becoming aware of the importance of her memory.  

“I have ridden a horse,” she mumbled, head spinning at the onslaught of memories she was able to pull from.

“Bunch’a ‘em.” Natsu whispered back. Lucy squealed loudly when she was suddenly lifted, deposited on the horse and covering blanket as if she were a child by Natsu’s strong arms. “Now we gotta go! I can’t wait to show you the castle again, Luce.” Natsu said easily, deftly lifting himself onto the horse in front of Lucy, his hands fisted in the horse’s mane.

“Natsu!” Lucy hissed, struggling to lift her leg and dress to put it in it’s proper place beside her other one. “I can not ride like this! It’s, it’s improper!” She face felt as vibrant as his hair, and her eyes grew large as she saw an excuse to not be caught in such a compromising manner. “My luggage! We cannot just leave it here.”

Lucy all but pouted at Natsu’s bawdy laugh, his hand resting comfortingly on her knee. One of her spread knees. Shame crept along her spine at the lewd position, to be a lady and have your legs spread this wide… “Don’t worry Luce, it’ll be taken care of. And stop fidgeting, you’re freaking out Jally.”

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Not My Problem | 01

cr.

pt. 1 | pt. 2 | pt. 3 | pt. 4 | pt. 5 | pt. 6 |

Words: 5.937

Genre: Modern kingdom au, prince!jungkook (bc life) + pinch angst

Summary: She was stunning—gorgeous glowing skin, soft green eyes, strong and lean, heart shaped lips wrapped around her wine cup. And all he could think was that maybe marrying her wouldn’t be that bad.

A/N: New series! Woo! I can’t wait. I doubt it’ll be long, but it’ll be fun :”)

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Always Mine

Some more Rafael to end this fabulous Friday!!! Thank you @yourtropegirl for a magical week. And as always for @svu-stories who inspires me in more ways than she will ever know!!! :)

Mi amor, it’s only for one weekend.”

You hadn’t even so much as looked him in the eye since he came home with the suggestion. Two days and one lazy night in the country (translation New Jersey) held a certain appeal. And he had thought of everything, the lakefront bed and breakfast less than half an hour from a local winery to taste the wares with assorted cheeses. Followed by an excursion to pluck fresh strawberries; a small part of you could already taste the tart juice tinging your tongue. All of it concluding with an Italian dinner at a place so exclusive that there wasn’t even a sign marking the entrance. How he would find it in the car you would have to rent was beside the point. Your dearest most darling husband had an agenda worthy of your profession, your personality.

But for all his intricate planning, one detail had escaped Rafael Barba’s mind.

“Please don’t walk away from me,” he moaned, trailing after you as you angrily dealt with the laundry, not caring if you were balling up his socks the right way or if his shirts were hung in a descending pattern of color coordination.

“And your mother can’t help?” you asked, finally giving him something in the way of an answer if not your eyes.

Mamis got this teacher’s meeting,” Rafael said, reaching for your arm. But you recoiled before his fingers could so much as curl around your wrist.

“So change our plans,” you huffed as you slammed a drawer shut and retreated into the bathroom to run the water and scrub your hands together until he stopped you with a lame joke about scratching the skin away if you kept at it.

“As if you would care,” you said through clenched teeth, just catching a quick glimpse of him in the mirror with sagging shoulders and a weary sigh.

“Of course I care, mi amor,” he insisted. “I planned this for you. You deserve a break. We both do.”

Turning the faucet off sharply and facing him with your hands on your hips, you narrowed your eyes into a tight glare and watched him shrink in the doorway, feeling your nostrils flaring as you spoke.

“And Jingles deserves to be punished because you’re tired?” you challenged, stressing the last word as he released the smallest of laughs. “This is funny to you, Rafael?”

“It is a hotel for pets,” he said. “She’ll have her own little condo.”

“That’s a cute way of saying cage,” you spat back.

“You are so melodramatic sometimes,” he sighed.

“Which is a not so nice way of calling me ridiculous.”

“Keep this up and we’ll get there.”

Your next response came out as little more than a frustrated growl, and you pushed past him, furious that he could be so heartless. Making a beeline for the couch, you fell to your knees and found Jingles hiding under the furniture. You scooped her into your arms to stroke the top of her furry head, whispering into her soft ears.

“Sorry, sweetie,” you soothed. “You just hate to hear Mommy and Daddy fight.”

“Who’s fighting?” Rafael asked, emerging from the bedroom. “I’m not fighting.”

“Someone insults me and that’s what I call it.”

Mi amor…”

He sank to the cushions, ready to run his fingers through your hair when you flinched again. But Jingles maneuvered between the pair of you, bridging the gap as her own version of a peace offering until he settled for playing with her whiskers.

“I love you,” he started. “I love the cat. It would have been ideal if Mami could have taken her—”

“Or just stayed here,” you said, still sulking.

“You… fine. Or just stayed here,” he echoed. “But this place is top notch. The staff seems very caring. There’s even a little camera right outside her kennel. All we have to do is log on to their website, and we can check in as much as you want.”

“What’s that?” you asked. “The Big Brother package?”

“I’m calling it,” he said, rising swiftly and rubbing his hands against his slacks. “You are brilliant and beautiful and being utterly ridiculous.”

“Not in front of the cat,” you warned him as he threw his hands up in the air. “No worries, Rafael. Better I find this out now before we bring a baby home.”

For a second he looked as if he would explode into a litany of words that you would only half understand, but somehow, he kept his voice calm.

“You do realize that our son or daughter will have to go to school. And play dates. And horror of horrors summer camp.”

“I don’t think that this is the same…”

Your words came to a halt as Jingles curled into your cheek, her sandpaper tongue just meeting your skin as you suddenly realized what you were saying, that his points were well made….

…and that maybe you did sound the slightest bit ridiculous as you managed a smile and met his eyes.

“You really think that she’ll be okay?” you asked.

“Only the best for all our babies,” he promised, his hands surrounding your face so he could kiss the tip of your nose and then Jingles in turn.

“I just… I worry about her,” you said. “I’d hate for her to think that we were abandoning her again.”

“Never going to happen on our watch,” Rafael said. “She’s getting even better digs than we are. Plus, daily groomings and all kinds of fun new food.”

“Not that,” you said as your face began to soften under his touch. “If she goes, she goes with a lunchbox and the food that I have selected.”

“Is this you warming up to the idea?” he asked, pressing two fingers under your chin, his mouth just meeting yours as you smiled against the line of his lips.

“This… this is me saying that we’ll check it out. If and only if it’s up to my standards… I’ll consider it.”

Mi amor…”

He started to help you to your feet, his arms almost encircling your waist when you let Jingles climb to your shoulder and pressed one palm to his chest.

“But she better have the best cage… condo in the joint.”

“Whatever the cost,” he promised. “Anything and everything for you.”


No one could accuse the website of false advertising. Stepping through a refurbished wooden door, you took in a state of the art room with pristine floors and wide windows looking out at a patch of private courtyard adorned with fountains and several sorts of flowers. Two member of the staff were already walking and playing with a Boston Bull and a Golden Retriever, and you saw other cats in spacious pens that could accommodate a small child with pillowed shelves and tons of toys.

“Don’t worry; I have your things right here,” you said, bending down to the cat carrier to show Jingles the small purple bag containing her catnip pillow, her yellow ball with a bell—

“And I… I brought this, too.”

From his pocket, Rafael revealed one of his socks that had lost its mate in the laundry, a series of red and silver stripes that Jingles took possession of and would never in a million years relinquish.

“That was sweet of you,” your said, standing to lightly peck his cheek and just noticing the tension in his jawline.

“It is nice here, Rafael,” you continued as a woman in bright blue scrubs and a bouncy blonde ponytail sauntered forward to shake your hands.

“Mr. Barba!” she said. “Great to see you again.”

“Likewise,” he said as he introduced you, and the blonde unzipped the black case to pull Jingles out.

“And hello to you, Miss Jingles,” the woman said. The cat’s eyes were wide for all of an instant, and you feared that Jingles might fly up the walls when she nuzzled her head against the woman’s neck, her purrs harmonizing with the blonde’s gentle voice.

“I hear that this is the first time you’re away from home,” she continued.

“Since we got her,” you confirmed. “I… I can’t help but feel a little nervous.

“Understood, Mrs. Barba,” she said, her hand falling to your shoulder as her voice and her smile began to make you feel more and more at ease. “But we’ll make this a fun vacation for her, too.”

The blonde handled Jingles with a firm but caring hand, walking her around the room so she could get a feel for the space and take in the sight of the other cats seemingly content in their condos. Not one of them so much as hissed, and even as you couldn’t help but bite on your lower lip, you felt yourself leaning into the idea that she would make it through the short stay.

“Where are you going to put her?”

Rafael’s voice cut into your thoughts, and you turned to see him shuffling his feet and fidgeting with his hands in his pockets.

“Here we go,” the blonde said as she stood before an open kennel and set Jingles down on the highest shelf. Her face looked so sad through the thin black bars, and you were on the verge of taking her back and making a run for it when the cat simply curled in a ball and turned her gaze towards the window to watch the puppy dogs play before closing her eyes.

“Wow,” you muttered under your breath, feeling every inch a proud parent as she settled into her surroundings and you linked your arm in Rafael’s. “Good girl.”

“Cats are very adaptable,” the blonde assured you, taking the bag of Jingles’ toys and setting them all down in the tray so she could play whenever the mood struck her. Returning her smile as she latched the door, you decided that maybe it was best to bite the bullet and let your itty-bitty kitty stretch her wings. Or in Jingles’ case the leg leading to the paw that batted at the bar. She started to draw back when Rafael left your side. One of his long fingers inched through the opening, and he tapped his nail near Jingles’ little nose.

“Let me just get the login info so you can peek on her!” the blonde chirped, leaving you alone in the room.

“I think it will be okay,” you said, rubbing Rafael’s back and blowing kisses to the kitty. Trying to take his arm again, you found him frozen to the floor and inched closer to the window in search of his eyes.

“Rafael?” you asked. “Are you okay?”

“Fine,” he said, quickly kissing your cheek and giving Jingles’ ears one last scratch with his index finger before he finally moved towards the reception area where the blonde was waiting.

“Wait. We…”

“What is it?” you asked.

“The sock should be on the shelf. You know it’s her favorite.”

“Right. I’ll just ask the lady…”

Leaving him alone, you met the blonde and heard her lilting laugh.

“Such a sweet guy,” she said, nodding towards Rafael working the latch to set the sock in its proper place. “You know he checked us our three times before he even made the reservation.”

“He did?” you asked.

“Said we had to rate five stars before he’d even book your trip.”

Which was something that your husband had not shared with you. When you thought that this was the final punctuation mark at the end of the sentence instead of the first stroke of his pen. Which made you feel ridiculous for questioning his love for the cat and any other baby you might bring into your home.

“He is the sweetest guy,” your murmured, determined to show him how much you adored him the second you started sipping wine and suckling strawberries. He definitely deserved the trip and then some, and you walked back to him, to say your goodbyes only to see him shaking his head.

“No.”

“Rafael? What do you—?”

“I’m sorry. I can’t do…

Avoiding your eyes, Rafael turned to the blonde.

“This won’t work.”

“Mr. Barba, you have one of the best cat condos.”

“I know that. Plus, the cameras. And you seem nothing but kind.”

“So…”

She said nothing else, and you watched without words as Rafael undid the latch to pick Jingles up, bypassing the cat carrier and tucking her inside his jacket.

“So nothing!” he barked back, rivaling the Boston Bull coming in from the courtyard. “I’m free to change my mind. And I’ll even let you keep the deposit. But I’m not… I can’t leave my cat here and have anything close to a good time.”

Still he failed to meet your gaze, walking out the way you came as you gathered the rest of the toys with a slack jaw and saw the blonde’s eyes stunned as they fixed on the door just slammed shut.

“I didn’t see that coming,” she said.

“No. But I should have.”

Joining Rafael in the rented car that was never going to leave Manhattan, you sat beside him as he kept Jingles close to his chest, his free hand picking at the steering wheel.

“Don’t say it,” he muttered.

“I’m not… what do you think I’m going to say?”

“That I’m ridiculous.”

Because he planned a perfect trip and tried to dot every “I” and cross every “T.” Because he found a place for the cat better than most day cares…

…because when push came to shove he couldn’t let her go.

“Not at all,” you said, winding one arm around his shoulders to kiss his cheeks and then his lips. “Maybe it is going to be a chore to send a little one to camp…”

“I’m not living this down.”

“I don’t want you to,” you said. “I want you like this. Forever. And always mine.”

Slowly, he gave you back his smile, his cheeks flushed as he rested his chin on top of Jingles’ head.

Te adoro, mi amor,” he said, his voice soft and his kiss far more tender. Jingles pawed at your lap and started batting his old sock back and forth as he twirled a lock of your hair in his hand.

“What now?” he asked. “We’re out all this money.”

“I don’t care.”

“We do still have the weekend…”

You retired to your apartment with bottles of inexpensive wine, strawberries from the corner market and Italian that was anything but exclusive from Baraducci’s. To binge watch old M*A*S*H episodes and debate the best version of the ensemble cast until any action on the screen had nothing on the pleasures in his arms.

And as you fell asleep in his embrace with Jingles sticking close to Rafael’s pillow, you knew that you never wanted life any other way.

anonymous asked:

Varlen&Dorian 38 :D

Prompt #38 - Soak (Pavellan - 400 words)


“Amatus, this is not a courtyard fountain. If you continue splashing about like that I can and will flip you over the edge.”

Varlen sighed theatrically but conceded, lowering his hands beneath the water and tipping his head back to rest against Dorian’s chest. Deft fingers continued to massage the sides of his scalp, working something expensive and heavily scented into his hair that was as overpowering as it was pleasant. A strange combination at the best of times, but made positively potent when mingled with the rising steam. 

“If you flipped me over the edge of the tub I would be forced to take drastic measures,” Varlen informed Dorian politely, smiling with his eyes closed, enjoying the attention of skilled hands. “My benevolence has its limits, you know.”

“Is that so? And what, pray tell, might constitute these drastic measures?”

Humming thoughtfully, Varlen gave off the air of deep thought, mostly to buy further time for his scalp to make the acquaintance of Dorian’s fingers. Even with the oh-so-deadly threat of retribution hanging in the air, Dorian hadn’t paused his ministrations for even a second, and Varlen was confident he had heard the shape of a satisfied smile on the man’s lips.

“Well, if I told you…” Varlen began slowly, mouth curling into a smile of his own. He opened his eyes and tipped his head back until he could see Dorian’s face in all its upside-down glory. “… I’d have to kiss you.”

For his part, Dorian made a show of narrowing his eyes in playful skepticism, then committed fully to his role, cocking his head to the side. “Oh? Are you quite sure that is how the saying goes?”

“Yep. Pretty sure.”

Dorian chuckled and leaned forward. Varlen rose up slightly on his elbows until their lips met, soft and warm courtesy of the steam that rolled off the water with all the haste of a lazy afternoon.

“Well shit,” Varlen complained as they parted, easing back down and smiling when Dorian wrapped his arms around his chest, “now I have to tell you. That was sneaky.”

Dorian huffed in amusement. “Indeed. But there is no rush.” He paused and shifted to press a second kiss into Varlen’s soaked hair. “After all, we have all evening to ourselves, for once.”

“Hmm.” Varlen sighed contently, letting himself slip an inch or two further into the water, Dorian’s arms a warm comfort across his upper chest. “So we do.”

Jewish Gothic

“Next year in Jerusalem,” You sing. “Next year in Jerusalem.” It is always next year. You are never in Jerusalem.

“The Chabad Rebbe is Dead” the headlines say. “The Chabad Rebbe is alive,“ the Chabad say. You are not sure who to believe.

“Try my matzoh balls,” Cheryl says. “It’s a family recipe.” You look around. You cannot find Cheryl or her matzoh balls.

“Eat lots before Yom Kippur,” someone says. “Eat nothing before Yom Kippur,” someone else says. You do both. Was this supposed to happen?

“Next year in Jerusalem,” You sing. You have vague memories of old stone walls and bustling marketplaces. You think you can remember a roman soldier outside the courtyard with the fountain.

“Try my matzoh balls,” says Sheryl. “They’re super light.” You try the matzoh balls and feel them sink to the bottom of your stomach. Was that the same Sheryl?

The boy at the bimah is reading his bar mitzvah parasha. You remember doing that. The trops sounded different then. You listen to the boy chant. Are those even trops?

“Elijah,” You chant. “Elijah.” What does he have to do with anything?

“Next year in Jerusalem,” You sing. You are in Jerusalem. You have never not been in Jerusalem. The pomegranate on your table gleams red.

“Try my matzoh balls,” They say. You take the bowl. Those aren’t matzoh balls.

“Next year in Jerusalem,” You sing. You think you are singing. Is that what singing sounds like? When did all the voices join you? You cannot see your body.

Title: How DO I Know

Word Count: 768

Warning: Swearing, Dhampir Reader

Pairing: christianXReader

Rating: pg-13

Target Gender: “she”

Request: Can you please do a Christian ozera Drabble where he has a crush on you and everybody knows except you until he asks rose how to get you to like him

Summary: Christian has a crush on you, everyone but you knows. He asks your best friend, Rose, how to get you to like him. She tells you about it and you go to speak to him.

Author’s Note: This has reader’s pov and Christian’s pov.Sorry I have not been uploading lately, I have had some pretty crappy stuff going on, but without further ado, her is the story! If you want to submit a oneshot, you can do it through inbox messages. I will put in bold, italic, and underline, your username/penname at the top so people know that I am not the author, that you are. (if you have any special requests for how you want me to format the upload, please specify.) Please, no hard-core smut.

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So, i realized i never posted one of my works here and that needs to be fixed. I based this off of a piece by @istehlurvz which can be found here. (yeah this fic is super old)

Ao3

Word Count: 2022

Summary: Just holy shit… Lance was desperate. He had an assignment due and nothing was working. What could possibly happen when he spots a cute guy running around on campus and happens to bump into him. Something good right?


Goddammit…

Nothing was working. The flowers looked flat. The birds were blurry…Even though they were just sitting there. Hell, Lance couldn’t even manage to take a different picture of a tree. And those never moved!

Ready to throw his camera in frustration, Lance groaned and fell back on the grass. He loved photography, he did, but this? This stupid freaking assignment was going to be the end of him. Might as well strap him to one of the aeronautic or astronautic majors’ rockets and launch him into space.

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8

asoiaf meme: [2/5] locations || Highgarden

Within the castle walls, greenery abounds, and the keeps are surrounded by gardens, arbors, pools, fountains, courtyards, and man-made waterfalls. Ivy covers the older buildings, and grapes and climbing roses snake up the sides of statuary, walls, and towers. Flowers bloom everywhere. The keep is a palace like few others, filled with statues, colonnades, and fountains. Highgarden’s tallest towers, round and slender, look down upon neighbors far more ancient, square and grim in appearance, the oldest of them dating from the Age of Heroes. The rest of the castle is of more recent construction, much of it built by King Mern VI after the destruction of the original structures by the Dornish during the reign of Garth Greybeard.

Beyond the Goblin City part II 

(part I or on ao3)

“Thirteen hours?” Natasha asks.

“To get to the castle at the heart of the Labyrinth, before my father turns someone into a goblin.” Or all of you. There were worse fates in the Labyrinth. You didn’t grow up the daughter of the Goblin King and not know the dangers. Even the untold ones.

“You can’t be serious, kid,” Tony says.

“Princess,” Hoggle hisses kicking Stark’s shin.

“What the hell,” Tony says stumbling back. Natasha touches his arm, a slight pressure that holds Tony back from seeking revenge.

“Like the story then, the Goblin King kidnaps children and turns them into little goblins,” Steve says. His brows draw together, eyes far away for a fraction of a moment.

“Not just children. It’s complicated,” Darcy says. Her voice trails off as she digs through her satchel, ignoring the tangle of her ipod earbuds, the jingle of keys, and the tubes of lipstick and chapstick that have collected in the bottom of the bag. “Gotcha.” She withdraws a small silver and black pocket watch from the depths of the satchel. The watch pops open, with a swipe of her thumb, revealing an ornate face and hands running backwards from thirteen.

“Beggin’ yer pardon, Princess, but the King said to give you this. Iffin you need it,” Hoggle says holding out a perfect crystal sphere.

“Bog take me,” Darcy mutters under her breath. She takes the crystal, feels it’s weight in her palm, the pull to use it is strong. Magic itching to be used. She glances up at the team looking at her oddly and shrugs, shoving the ball into the satchel hanging at her hip. “It’s like a cheat code, but there is a price for its use.”

There was always a price for dealing with faerie.

Despite the heroes crowding in on her, Darcy feels alone. Alone and guilty for losing track of time in the mortal world. There was danger to be found in the twists and turns of the labyrinth, sure but there was also hope, magic, and love if you looked. Father always said there were darker parts of the underworld that he held no sway over. Shadowy places that even the King of the Goblins feared to tread.

A rumble in the distance and a high pitched scream echoes down the walls. The avengers shift around Darcy, Jane, and Hoggle, ready to face whatever dangers headed their way.

“Princess, you mind explaining all this?” Steve asks. There is a sharpness to his words that cuts straight to Darcy’s heart. They weren’t close, it’s true but he had always been polite before.

“I’ll explain while we walk.”

“No, you’ll explain it now.” Steve’s jaw tenses.

“Short version then,” she says. “My father-”

“The Goblin King,” Hoggle says.

“My father met my mother when she wished away her baby brother to him. She won the Labyrinth, her brother, and my dad’s heart. A few years later she agreed to be his queen. Dragons and fairies, I came along and mom wanted me to have a normal education. High school and college like she did,” Darcy says.

It’s the truth, a shortened form of it. She was half fey after all, and the fey could not lie outright, but words were tricky things, much like creatures of the Labyrinth. There was truth and then there was truth. It was far more complicated than italics would suggest.

“That doesn’t explain why we are all here.”

“Glitter,” she says, gesturing to the traces of glitter they were all still covered in. “It’s sorta a magical byproduct.”

“The glitter bomb was from you?”

“Nope, but too much mischief attracts goblins, even in high tech places,” Darcy shrugs stepping through the open archway of the Labyrinth. The stone walls shine with a glittery iridescence, patches of moss swivel spying eyes towards her. “Watch your step.”

“Your moss has eyeballs,” Clint says stepping forward hand outstretched to touch the moss.

“Look with your eyes, Hawkeye,” Natasha says slapping his hand away. Clint shuffles away muttering under his breath.

Darcy walks along the wall, dragging her fingertips over the stone as her booted feet navigate the branches and boulders strewn across the path. Her fingers encounter air and she stumbles forward. She’s caught by Steve before she can faceplant onto the new path. A new path that looked exactly the same as the previous path with the addition of dry vines shivering in the still air. Darcy looks left and right before choosing the left path and hopping over a large thorn covered vine stretching across the ground.

The vine writhes, tendrils curling out to scrape against her boots. “Careful the thorns are probably poisonous.”

“Probably poisonous she says,” Tony snarks.

“So it’s a maze. If we keep turning the same way every time we should get to the center quicker, right?” Bruce says.

“Not the Labyrinth. It has a mind of its own,” Darcy says. She keeps her eyes on the ground, hopping over a broken branch and scrambling over a glitter covered bolder. “It’s sorta alive, like a coral reef. Only my father has control of it.”

“Watch your feet,” the rock rumbles from a jagged mouth cut into a shadowed face.

“Sorry,” Darcy says stumbling back a step.

“No, you’re not,” the rock says.

“Shouldn’t you have some control? As your father’s daughter,” Steve says.

Darcy flinches. “Yeah, some, but I wasn’t allowed to play in some parts of the Labyrinth. Some paths are too dangerous…or too aromatic.”

“Hey, where did the little guy go,” Jane asks, looking up from examining the rock face warily.

“Hogweed? He’ll have gone somewhere that isn’t here.”

“That’s real helpful there, Hermione,” Tony says.

“Just because the shortcuts I know are closed to me, to all of us, doesn’t mean they are closed to him…or to anyone else that lives within the Labyrinth’s walls. There might still be doors I can open with the right key.”

If there was a word for feeling lost and at home then Darcy was feeling it. The walls turn from damp and covered in sentient moss to something of a drier nature. They were resting in a small courtyard, a fountain was bubbling at the heart of it, the sound bouncing from wall to wall. The water was clear and sweet, a boon that Darcy thanked the Goddess for.

They’d been walking for what felt like days but her pocket watch assured her that only an hour had slipped past. Not that time meant the same thing in the Goblin Kingdom as it did in the world above. Time moved of its own accord, with no relation to the outside world, it sped up or slowed down at her father’s whim.

The light was rapidly fading from the sky. Tiny pinpricks of light appearing in the rising dark. Darcy tilts her head back, crosses her legs and wiggles her shoulders against the wall propping her up. Clint perchs on the top of the wall across from her, with Steve and Natasha at his feet.

She can’t hear what they’re saying, not unless she uses a drop of magic. Somehow that didn’t seem like the right thing to do. At least not with how frustrated Cap was with the whole Labyrinth thing, not that she could blame him for worrying about his team.

“The stars are all wrong,” Jane says, sitting down on the paving stones beside Darcy.

“That’s because they’re not really stars, there is no real light in the underground only faerie light,” Darcy says. She plucks a leaf from a weed growing between the stone, rolls it between her fingers. The leaf rolls up into a small green marble. She tosses it into the air and it bursts into a pale green firework in the shape of a butterfly. The light butterfly pulses in the air and dies down to a few faded sparks. “Magic.”

“….is just science we don’t understand yet,” Jane says.

The words spark a laugh to worm its way up from Darcy’s belly. “Not everything is about science, Jane.”

Jane opens her mouth, but shakes her head instead of randomly spouting science at Darcy. The tiny scientist reaches out and twines her fingers with Darcy’s. “You’re right. Sometimes it’s about family, the ones you share dna with, and the family you chose,” Jane says. She tilts her head towards Tony and Bruce standing in the corner scribbling something down in a moleskine with the stub of a pencil.

“Not sure which family is crazier.”

“So what’s it like being a fairy princess?”

“What’s it like being the future princess of an alien god?”

“Life is weird.”

“The weirdest,” Darcy says. She pushes up to her feet as Tony starts writing something on the wall with a black sharpie. “Oh that’s not gonna end well.” The words have barely left her lips when the wall shudders, dry stone groaning, as an arched doorway forms. Beyond the arch lies a dark forest.

“Don’t,” Darcy and Steve say in unison. But it’s too late Tony steps through, Bruce in his wake and the wall seals itself back up with an audible pop. Not good, Darcy thinks. It’s the last thing before the stone beneath her feet vanishes and she falls into darkness. There are no hands to guide her fall. She lands in a tangle of limbs on a pile of rags. Not a drop of light can be seen. Something cold wraps around her wrist and she can’t quite hold back the girly scream that tumbles from her mouth. She gropes her phone before the reality of the situation hits. Apple didn’t make a product that worked around magic, not the kind of magic the Labyrinth had in spades.

With a snap of her fingers a ball of warm yellow light appears bobbing above Darcy’s head illuminating a small, windowless room heaped with rags and tarnished metal chains. There is no door. “Oh, balls.”